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Old 02-05-2019, 03:46 PM   #11
PiperHolmes
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Default Re: Dwarves and Axes

Never really thought much of it. I just thought of it in the context of miners with pickaxes and mallets (to bust rocks), and it seemed a reasonable extension.

It's not that dwarves expect to get into lots of fights with pickaxes. It's just that's what they happen to have if they're assaulted while working....
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:55 PM   #12
Black Leviathan
 
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Default Re: Dwarves and Axes

I've never imagined a Dwarven home as being claustrophobic. An ax isn't so impractical in a cave with 90 foot ceilings and columns spaced 20 yards apart. Even if there are doorways or other narrow passages a spear for a guy with very short arms isn't so dynamic a weapon.

I can see shortswords and shields, they favor a Dwarven build. However pretty much anywhere I can fight effectively with a shield I can swing a pick or an axe pretty comfortably. if I had the strength of someone twice-to-three-times my size it would be ridiculous to pass up a hatchet for ranged attacks.

I hope we can all agree on Crossbows.
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:23 PM   #13
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Default Re: Dwarves and Axes

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Originally Posted by PiperHolmes View Post
Never really thought much of it. I just thought of it in the context of miners with pickaxes and mallets (to bust rocks), and it seemed a reasonable extension.

It's not that dwarves expect to get into lots of fights with pickaxes. It's just that's what they happen to have if they're assaulted while working....
I recall Pratchett described the Discworld "dwarven axe" as "a pick on one side, to go prospecting with and an axehead on the other in case someone tries to dispute your claim". I could actually see a dwarven axe like that being iconic, but not what the dwarves use for warfare. You see them a lot because that's what dwarves travelling on the surface carry as a utility tool and expedient weapon - the actual dwarven military are equipped with more sensible kit, but very few people ever see them.
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:24 PM   #14
Fred Brackin
 
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Originally Posted by Black Leviathan View Post
I've never imagined a Dwarven home as being claustrophobic. .
A line I have used relevant to this is "Dwarves build their ceilings high enough for their pride rather than just their heads." and I've gotten some emphatic nods in repsonse.

However, goblins don't make their ceilings very high at all and if you can't chase retreating goblins down that puts sharp limits on how much of a victory you can achieve.
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:27 AM   #15
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Default Re: Dwarves and Axes

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Originally Posted by The Colonel View Post
I recall Pratchett described the Discworld "dwarven axe" as "a pick on one side, to go prospecting with and an axehead on the other in case someone tries to dispute your claim". I could actually see a dwarven axe like that being iconic, but not what the dwarves use for warfare. You see them a lot because that's what dwarves travelling on the surface carry as a utility tool and expedient weapon - the actual dwarven military are equipped with more sensible kit, but very few people ever see them.
With the exception of the basic spear, most pre-firearm armies' polearms are directly derived from adapting tools or combining them.

Poleaxe - used for chopping limbs.
Bill hook - a pruning tool.
basic hook: used for pulling branches down for harvest, or knights off horses
Glaive - literally a seax-on-a-stick, and the seax is a utility sword, essentially a cleaver with a thrusting point
Picks and hammers - adapted from the named tools to be better weapons.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:42 AM   #16
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Default Re: Dwarves and Axes

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Originally Posted by Apollonian View Post
Did Tolkien ever go into why the Khazad prefer axes?
Did they?

Gimli had an axe, but Thorin Oakenshield carried a sword. And after Thorin's company barricaded themselves in Erebor, they had bows to shoot at the man and elf "invaders".

It's been too long since I read The Hobbit to remember what the other dozen dwarves used.

And in the description of the room of Balin's tomb in Khazad-Dūm, we have
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fellowship of the Ring
By both doors they could see now that many bones were lying, and among them were broken swords and axe-heads, and cloven shields and helms. Some of the swords were crooked: orc-scimitars with blackened blades.
So some of the swords would have been straight-bladed dwarf swords, by inference.

So - some of Tolkien's dwarves preferred axes, and other preferred other weapons?

Luke
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:41 AM   #17
Fred Brackin
 
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Did they?
From the Silmarillion (IIRC) we have two battle cries which are described as being some of the only known phrases of the otherwise hidden language of the Dwarves.

These were "Baruk Khazad!" and "Khazad ai Menu!" which were transalred as "The Axes of the Dwarves!" and "The Dwarves are upon you!".

So yes, the link between Tolkien's Dwarves and axes would appear to be very strong.
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Old 02-10-2019, 06:48 AM   #18
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A weapon can be culturally iconic without being universally used. Vikings have Danish axes. Franks have francescas. Saxons have seaxes. Japanese have katanas. Lakota have tomahawks. Turks have scimitars; Indians, tulwars. Dwarves have axes. That doesn't mean they only ever use that weapon. But they might well put it in their battlecry.
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:38 AM   #19
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Default Re: Dwarves and Axes

Most of those are iconic, because they were visually distinct and unique to said cultures. What was unique about dwarven axes? How could someone tell them apart from human made axes?
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:11 AM   #20
DouglasCole
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Most of those are iconic, because they were visually distinct and unique to said cultures. What was unique about dwarven axes? How could someone tell them apart from human made axes?
They're all bearded?
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