Yavmir is an ongoing project, where Michael and Radiostorm work together to build a slavic-themed fantasy setting. More information can be found at the WoR Wiki.
At the suggestion of a few folks on the Paizo boards, I thought I would take some time to research a few traditionally Slavic weapons for the world of Yavmir. Some of these weapons may be familiar to those who have played D&D and its variants, but I’ve tried my best to give them a unique twist by integrating them into the lore of the world.
A type of mace, named for its close resemblance to a feathered arrow. Extremely useful for penetrating heavy armour, pernachs were one of the most widely used close-combat weapons during the War of Rising Blades. Scavengers will often pick apart old battlefields in search of particularly well preserved pernachs – a testament to how well the weapon has aged over time.
In the current age, pernachs are the weapon of choice for thugs and ruffians. They are easy to use, relatively cheap to purchase, and easily concealable under loose robes or up one’s sleeve. In sharp contrast, particularly wealthy kings and landowners may carry an ornate parnach as a sign of status, adorned with patterns of kreutzets, simargl, and other fantastical creatures.
Shashkas are a special kind of sabre: sharp, single-edged, one-handed, and completely without a guard. Effective as both a slashing and a piercing weapon, shashkas are the favoured hand-to-hand combat weapons of the famed Ivanov cavalry.
Warriors generally take great pride in their shashkas, decorating them with ornate gold, silver, and brass engravings whenever possible. A well maintained shashka is a fearsome weapon, able to shear through light body armour with little difficulty, and with it a trained sabre fighter can be a dervish of death on the battlefield.
A bardiche – figuratively meaning “long poleaxe” – is one of the most ubiquitous weapons in Yavmir. Due to shortages of pure iron in the Mortal Age, the wooden handled bardiche has proven to be an economical and effective armanent. Most citizens of the Low Kingdoms have at least a vague proficiency with the bardiche, and it is a common weapon for militias, infantry units, and city guards.
Despite being a shorter than average pole-arm, the bardiche has several distinct advantages. The design allows ranged fighters to steady their crossbow (or perhaps musket, in Tol) atop the blade for greater stability. The curved head also allows it to function as a makeshift axe, and some executioners in Vaan possess particularly intimidating bardiches to aid in their duties.