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Named / Legendary Spears

Discussion in 'Research' started by Zero Angel, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    Hi Guys,

    A character I invented for WotA is of a position that she knows a lot of the legends and history of our world, and as such has fashioned her weapons after some of the most legendary/powerful/historical spears we've ever heard of.

    Problem is, I can't seem to find many from history.

    So far, only Ascalon, Gungnir and Gáe Bolga have impressed me enough to make the list (although I am combining Gáe Bolga with Gáe Assail for the purpose of her weapons). I was extremely pleased to find out about Rhongomiant/Rhongomyniad being the spear of King Arthur, then less happy to find out that it basically has nothing special about it. One source has Arthur say God gave it to him along with his other two weapons, dagger and sword. While another source says it was owned by his dad.

    Not interested in the Spear of Destiny / Lance of Longinus for the purpose of this story (although it pops up in my Dracula story).

    I'm to the point where I am considering her being a little less picky and choosing other famous named weapons, but making spear-versions.

    Anyway. Any help in finding other famous spears that I've overlooked or maybe famous weapons the character can reasonably adapt into a spear would be greatly appreciated.

    I've already looked here: "List of magical weapons - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia" and here: "List of mythological objects - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia", although feel free to make a case for one of them if you think I'm being unduly harsh.

    BTW, the character summons the spears from a pocket subRealm so the more the merrier. Right now, she's using Ascalon as her primary hack-and-slash with Gáe Bolga in her offhand and relying on Gungnir more for execution style throws.
     
  2. Amenonuhoko? It's supposed to have created Japan, after all.

    (Wiki calls it a naginata, but I've mostly seen it depicted as a spear, which makes sense since the spear is a much older weapon.)

    You say not all spears you've found have "impressed you enough." Can you elaborate on your criteria a bit?
     
    Zero Angel likes this.
  3. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    Definitely an important spear. I didn't choose this one because it's not used in battle at all though. I was a little surprised I never saw this one in a Final Fantasy game. Seems better than "Venus Gospel". The other famous Japanese spears seem to be famous primarily just because of who made them or owned them, not because of what was done with them, so that's why I didn't choose those ones......although I didn't see Tonbogiri before! That goes in as a maybe...maybe.

    Hmm, my criteria isn't well-defined, but I'm looking for a few things: (1) has a cool name; (2) historically, mythologically or legendarily significant; (3) has cool powers.
     
  4. Darkblade

    Darkblade Troubadour

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    Lúin Celtchar a spear covered in flames so hot that it must be submerged most of the time to keep it's wielder safe. That's a pretty awesome spear, although it's name is based on who first used it which is against your criteria.

    Green Dragon Crescent Blade/Frost Fair Blade, a heavy Chinese spear. Some interpretations of it's name could allow it to have frost powers even though it does not have such powers in the original novel.

    Some interpretations of Zeus's thunderbolts portray them as spears until thrown, at which point they become lightning and thunder.
     
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  5. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    Thanks a lot. I forgot about Guan Yu, for some reason I had his weapon mixed up with Xiahou Dun's. I like the ideas behind it (being so heavy that most people had difficulty wielding it, but Guan Yu was able to wield it deftly with one hand). And I had never heard about the layer of bloodfrost on it, that's cool too. Thanks!

    For Lüin Celtchar, what I've read of this says there is a theory that it is related to the Spear of Lugh, the Gáe Assail, so I'm kinda' folding all those legends into one spear and calling it the Gáe Bolga.
     
  6. OGone

    OGone Troubadour

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    You're leaving out Mjolnir? :eek: Is too well-known, or do you really only want spears?

    I love RotTK, Lu Bu's weapon was a halberd called "Sky Piercer". I'm not sure how much historical substance the novels actually contain but "Sky Piercer" seems a pretty badass name for a weapon.

    If you're not that bothered about whether they were spears or not then Masamune the swordsmith had a whole bunch of his weapons named after him. No special magnificent powers though.

    Edward Longshanks named a trebuchet "Warwolf"... No comment really, just sounds awesome.

    There's a couple on the list I think you should reconsider. Vajra is on of them. It was a lightning bolt, you could make it a spear with a crooked, lightning shaped blade or something. A lightning bolt could easily be interpreted as a spear, I guess metaphorically? The other is the Tizona, it was on the list but the description sucked. Historically it had fire powers, the name translates to burning stick or something to that effect. If you need a fire or lightning based weapon, these are my suggestions.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013
    Zero Angel likes this.
  7. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    If fictional examples are okay, there's also Aiglos, the spear belonging to the elven King Gil-Galad. Its name means "snow-point" or "icicle".
     
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  8. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    I don't have a problem with well-known, in fact, well-known makes more sense. The character in question isn't exactly a scholar, although she's friends with the god of knowledge...

    But yes, Mjolnir as a hammer doesn't fit into spears all that well. I'm to the point where I'm accepting polearms, and I am considering adapting swords, but I'd like to avoid blunt weaponry.

    I didn't see the Vajra! Thanks for pointing it out. The fact that it is Indian is nice too actually. It was in the weapons instead of polearms so I didn't really see it at all. Sky Piercer is cool and everything, but I couldn't find anything special about it other than it was used by Lu Bu (who's kinda' a jerk, but a peerless warrior).
     
  9. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    Gah, ran out of "thanks" to give. I'll wait for it to recharge and thank your post!


    Anyway, thanks. Although the character is making them herself and they're not the actual historical spears, I'd like to avoid fictional ones. I appreciate the assistance though.
     
  10. Wanara009

    Wanara009 Troubadour

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    I know one that hasn't been mentioned here:

    Tombak Batu Klinting (lit. Klinting Stone Spear). According to legend, this spear was actually a dragon (or a naga serpent, Indonesian isn't that strict when it comes to distinction between Dragon and Naga) punished by his human father (named Ki Ageng Mangir Wanabaya) because he tried to cheat when told to encircle a volcano with his body (Ki Mangir was testing his character). The punishment turned the dragon into a spear, which has a will of its own (it actually rebelled when someone else tried to wield it) and render its wielder virtually invulnerable. However, its great strength came with a great demand: it cannot be touched by a woman. So the enemy used this by sending a princess to marry Ki Mangir and touch the spear when he's not around to watch over it. Because of this, the spear lost all of its power thus allowing his enemy to win against him

    It now serve as a 'companion' for Tombak Kyai Plered (Kyai Plered's Spears, a 3.5 metres long spear wielded by the First King of Mataram).
     
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  11. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    Thanks! That sounds very cool, and it's nice it's from a culture I haven't seen yet. I can't find anything on it in English though. How did you hear about it? Are there any online sources you recommend? Thanks!
     
  12. Wanara009

    Wanara009 Troubadour

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    Unfortunately, I can't point to a good English source about it online. It's a Javanese folktale that I heard from my grandmother (she's a hardline Javanese type). There is a series of books compiling Indonesian folktales (I have nearly all of it buried somewhere in my home in Jakarta), but I think it's been out of print for years.

    The best source I could give you is This blog. It's in Indonesian, but its good enough for google translate to... well, translate it. It's not a good translation, mind you, but the good enough to convey the story.
     
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  13. Frankly, I think the mere fact that famous named mythological spears are kinda rare limits how picky you can be about this, unless you are okay with your MC only having a handful of them. I personally don't think it should matter if the spear in question was known to be used in battle. I mean, it's still a spear, what else would she use it for? And while cool names are nice, I wouldn't get too hung up on that either.

    It would probably be better if you just defined the spears by what properties and powers they have within the context of your story, because once you get passed the glamour of the first impression, that's what actually going to matter. For example, Amenonuhoko may not itself be very powerful as a weapon, but have the ability to manipulate land and summon earthquakes. Likewise, Longinus could manipulate probability or something. For something like Rhongomyniad, I dunno, make something up. You're a writer; it's what you do.

    Though, I think that the more weapons you give your character, the more specialized each weapon needs to be. After all, there's no point in carrying a hundred spears if they all do the same job. Odds are she ends up relying on just a few favourites anyway.

    And if you absolutely want her to carry a very large arsenal, you can always do it like Gilgamesh from the Fate/ series - give her a huge number of spears but only refer to a select few of them by name, and have her toss the rest of them at fodder.
     
  14. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    Thanks for the advice. It is surprising that there are so few though — you'd think as important as spears are that there would be more. I love the Fate/Stay Night anime, but haven't gotten into the visual novel (it's too expensive :( ) or the manga. One of the things I enjoyed personally was being able to know who the fighter people were by the names of their weapons.

    I don't want hundreds, but I would like 5-10 solid choices.
     
  15. Shockley

    Shockley Maester

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    I'm a huge Rot3K nut, and I've never caught the blood frost bit before. I wonder how legitimate that is.

    There are the 'Three Great Spears of Japan.' I believe all of them are real weapons - Tonbogiri (Honda Tadakatsu's favorite weapon, supposedly), Nippongo (they have it in a museum somewhere) and Otegine.
     
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  16. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    The whole weapon is purportedly part of Guan Yu's myth. As far as I've seen there's no evidence he ever used that type of weapon, let alone one so heavy. Wikipedia supports this: Green Dragon Crescent Blade - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I've been considering the Tonbogiri, but I haven't seen anything special about Nihongo or Otegine. All three were made by Masazane Fujiware. I can't even find the translation of Otegine -_- Closest I've found is "honorable hand gavel" but this is unverified. I can verify "ote" can be translated to honorable hand, but can't find "gine" online and have yet to break out my old Japanese books. If the other two weapons are special in some way besides being made by the same guy, I'll probably fold all three into a single weapon.
     
  17. Shockley

    Shockley Maester

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    I'm aware of the myth - I have a Guan Di statue in my living room. I'm just saying I don't recall the blood frost from either of the major works dealing with the weapon (The Romance of the Three Kingdoms and the companion piece, The Water Margin, where a descendant of Guan Yu rides in with the Green Dragon Crescent). A brief search on Google indicates the people parroting the blood frost story got it from wikipedia (as in, the single incident of that happening involves a guy linking to the article). I wouldn't be surprised if this was a joke edit, which are fairly common.

    Tonbogiri is definitely the coolest of the three weapons, if only because Honda Tadakatsu is a seriously bad mofo. It takes a very special person to be feared by both Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Oda Nobunaga, despite being a close ally.

    I have no real knowledge of the Japanese language, outside of pororesu terms. Otherwise, I'd help you with that translation.
     
  18. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    Wow! That's completely absurd! I've never not been able to find the source before. I found one article on "Asianparanormal.com" that MAY be the source article (or just someone plagiarizing Wikipedia -_-), but it doesn't have any reference for it either. I had never heard of the Frost Fair name until hearing about it through this thread. And the number of places that just blanket copy Wikipedia is absurd as well!

    It frequently happens in math wiki pages that they are blanket copied from another source, but I've never seen so many copies of a Wikipedia page, especially one with exactly ZERO references.

    I've never gotten around to reading Romance of the Three Kingdoms, although it's on my list of things to do :p

    Good point about the Tonbogiri. And in regards to the translation, it's more laziness on my part than anything, I used to be at a conversational level in Japanese and was starting to learn to write, then gave up on it when I transferred universities. I have the books needed to translate it somewhere. Thanks for the offer though!
     
  19. Shockley

    Shockley Maester

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    The whole article is a little off from what I recall of the novel. For example, the idea that a dragon was cut up and used for the weapon isn't present in any of the material I've read.

    That said, I can't discount it completely. There is a whole operatic culture around the Guan Yu character that I am fairly ignorant about. I know the story doesn't predate Rot3K, as Guanzhong compiled the majority of the existing myths present at that time for his work (and he loved throwing in crazy little details like that - there's a character who is introduced, provides the most amazing intro of all time (I am He Man, the devil who shoots across the sky) and is killed in one paragraph). That said, there's no real reason the story couldn't be a more recent innovation, as Guan Yu is an incredibly popular character in the Beijing Opera. I just doubt it.
     
  20. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    I don't remember anything about a dragon being cut up in my research beyond the wiki article; I read that during the creation there was a cloud burst and a shower of blood (they counted the blood droplets), and then they consulted others (not sure if ministers or what) and their reasoning was that it was a green dragon.
     

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