While hefted weapons are serviceable, little compares to the appeal a Sword offers. With a longer cutting edge, better balance, and a dizzying array of variants, swords have largely replaced all other hand weapons as favoured sidearms. The Sword category of hand weapons includes any blade short of a claymore (a long-bladed, doubled-edge sword with an elongated handle for use in two hands. Thus, swords include cutlasses, the Bretonnian Longsword, and even the short swords of Tilea.[1a]

Swords can have a single edge, like a sabre, being large knives, or double-bladed to expand a warrior's backswing. There are also several designs of hilts, from the stylised Ulric "U" prevalent in the northern lands of the Empire to a crossbar designed to protect the hand. Some, especially the more expensive blades, feature elaborate basket hilts, such as that used on the cutlass, but these are often reserved for the smaller and faster rapiers.[1a]

In addition to the variety of styles, there are variations based on culture and land. In Bretonnia, warriors favour the longsword. These weapons feature long straight blades with an edge on either side terminating in a sharp point, ending a crossbar hilt. In the Empire, however, swords emphasize decor, adding intricate runic inscriptions along the blade and hilt, ending in a stylised pommel when price is not a problem. Otherwise, Empire swords vary wildly.[1a][1b]

Among Tilean mercenaries, swords are often single-edged sabres or are long-bladed weapons similar to those used in the north.[1b]

Of the non-Human races, only the Elves use swords as much as Humans do. The Elves of the Empire employ weapons similar in style and function to those of Humans (although usually more aesthetically pleasing). However, in Athel Loren, Elves are just as likely to wield sickles as they are the straight blades of the Bretonnians.[1b]

The High Elves, though, use swords reminiscent of the leaf-shaped blades on their knives. Using slightly wider blades, they gain the benefit of extra weight behind their swings, easily cutting through the feeble defences of lesser warriors.[1b]

Swords are all similar in function and effect. Designed for chopping and slashing attacks, swords can also serves as piercing weapons, an aspect exploited by rapiers and foils. Poorly crafted swords are made of inferior materials such as bronze and cast iron that snap or bend in combat. Swords of superb quality feature runic inscriptions along the length of the blade, incorporate a fuller (a channel cut into the centre of the blade to keep the blade clean), or have intricate hilts and pommels. Of equal importance is the scabbard, which is a perfect surface for devout or superstitious warriors to add blessings of the Gods.[1b]

Swords are symbols of excellence in the Empire. Naturally, they are revered because the Runefangs are swords, and those are the highest symbols of worth in the land. Many quality blades comes from the Dwarf clanholds, but there are several weaponsmiths of merit within the Empire's lands. In fact, Sylvania once produced some of the finest blades in the land; though those days are long gone.[1b]

Types of Sword


  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Old World Armoury
    • 1a: pg. 30
    • 1b: pg. 31

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