The Traditional Two
|The Traditional Two|
“The Traditional Two” was written with the express purpose of being handed out in periods of drafted warfare in order to give each person a fighting chance. Its author has long since been forgotten in time, yet it is believed to have been drafted by a Knight during the Cataclysm era where war and conflict was at an apex. The manual makes it a point to include military grade weaponry that can easily be learnt by men with minimal to no combat experience, and is often distributed to those who had recently joined the army or navy.
The Traditional Two
This category pertains to utility axes that have been pressed into a combat environment and battleaxes explicitly dedicated to warfare. Despite their outward appearance, both weapons differ from one another quite a bit. One discernable difference between the two is the weight, as axes designed specifically for combat tend to be lighter than those meant purely for labor and utility. Another category in which the two often differ is how the mass is distributed and the weapons balance. The best tidbit of advice is simple, yet efficient. Get to know the functions of your axe, ascertain whether or not it is balanced by the half or whether it is top-heavy. This simple task can be the deciding factor on the battlefield.
People who have worked in lumber yards have a habit of being natural axemen. This is due to the functionality of the axe remaining relatively identical even if you are on the battlefield or hacking into timber. The ideal grip for a right-hand user wielding a two handed axe involves placing your left hand near the end of the axe handle’s half and keeping your right hand near the head; however, this is switched for a left-hand user. This particular gripping style is beneficial for dealing devastating blows by swinging the axe outwards while sliding the right hand down the half towards your left hand.
Another lesson that a utility axe-fighter can learn is that there is more than one way to use an axe. While the sliding-hand blow can be used to combat enemies that are further away the move loses its effectiveness when an enemy is right on top of you. Therefore, it is recommended that you only slide your hand partially down the shaft, or not at all, if the enemy is closing the distance. Other options pertain to axes that have a curved tip, since they can effectively act like spearheads if need be - even blunted or flat ends can be used in this fashion if the occasion arises.
One technique that is regularly misunderstood and misused is the hook. Many have the preconception that the hook technique requires the user to curve their blade about and catch either their foe or weapon. A movement like this makes your intent obvious, and may allow your enemy to anticipate your move and deliver a counter-attack or dodge your strike entirely. To prevent a contingency like this, you should swing your axe as usual, although aim at a point past your enemy. Once this has occurred you should reorient your momentum by shifting your rear foot backwards to bring both you and your axe back. If performed correctly, this movement can wrench a weapon from the hands of another, or deal a gruesome blow.
In its well attuned form, the halberd has five methods of punishing its enemies: a pointed spike or spearhead on top; a cleaving blade, bill, or axehead; a hooked beak at the back; the butt of the staff; and the staff itself. In concept, the halberd is a congeal of a multitude of weapons like the axe, spear, and staff mashed into one deadly mesh. Beginners typically resort to only two or three means of attack and turn a blind eye to the rest which can be another deciding factor on the battlefield.
A recommended grip for the halberd involves gripping one hand midway on the shaft with the thumb pointed towards the spearhead, and another placed closer to the butt while leaving adequate distance between both hands to leverage a powerful blow. However, the hand nearest the butt should leave room to project a bit of the shaft so that one of the most beneficial guards of the halberd can be used - the high ward. This guard is used by placing both hands well above the head, having the butt of the staff pointed forwards and downwards at the enemy’s face. Those untrained in the facets of combat may presume this guard can only deliver downwards stride, and while they are not wrong, this is not the only way to use this guard. In point of fact, this guard versatility allows numerous methods of striking and defending by taking advantage of the exposed butt to either jab at your enemy or set aside their blade. The defensive properties of this guard are particularly useful against spear or other thrusting polearms, as it allows the halberdier to shove aside any oncoming thrust and follow through with a downward strike of the axehead.
Other methods like the hooking technique of the axe can be employed in a similar fashion, yet performing this technique may result in an enemy closing the gap and diminishing the benefits of the halberd’s range. As such, there are three essential thrusting guards that may be used when the opportunity shows itself: the high ward, level ward, and middle ward. The high ward is held identical to the grip mentioned above with the halberd held above the head, but this time the spearhead is facing the enemy rather than the butt of the shaft. The level ward requires the halberd to be held at level with the body while the spearhead juts towards the opponent’s navel. Lastly, the middle ward, which is comparable to the level ward, but with the rear hand dipping slightly to have the spearhead aimed towards the enemy’s face.
- In previous wars, when supplies were dismal, the manual was used as lining for soldiers jackets to help insulate their body heat.
- The manual is periodically scoffed at because of its author, who is believed to have perished using the very same techniques he suggested to others.