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Hard, heavy objects have always been just the thing for mashing your opponent's head into pulpy mud. And though we at Strongblade do not tolerate or condone the use of our replicas for any sort of violence, we do admit that there must have been a strong satisfaction in vanquishing your opponent with a powerful blow from a flanged mace. In the heat of battle, adrenaline pulsing and anger at the foe in full bloom, it must have been a most fulfilling (and yet horrific) way to discharge pent up frustration and claim vengeance against an enemy who you felt had wronged you and your country.
The mace was developed as a way to crush bone, muscle, hair, pores, teeth, cartilege, fingernails, veins, arteries, organs, gerbils, and anything else that it came into contact with. It could do this even if an opponent wore light armor, since the power of the blow would transfer through the armor into the body. The flanged mace could do the same thing, except that it could actually compromise the armor, causing even more horrific wounds by puncturing the human body as well as crushing it. The flanges could also drive shards of armor into the wound, giving the victim what historians like to call a "bad day." Even if it didn't actually penetrate the armor, such a mace could at the very least damage even the hardiest of plate armor, making it very difficult for the opponent to move.
This particular flanged mace is from late 1400s and early 1500s. It's interesting to note that while Europeans were transforming themselves into perfectly educated and noble Renaissance gentlefolk, they were still creating head-mashers like these.
The mace is made from an extremely high quality high carbon steel. It is coated and blackened, and put together with an insane amount of care and precision. The lower half of the shaft is wrapped with a high-grade black leather, which provides a fantastic grip and a comfortable hold. A smooth hole is bored through the base of the shaft for insertion of a leather thong, or for hanging on a pin or nail.
The mace has eight flanges, typical of Italian and Germanic maces of the period. The flanges were pointy parts (to speak technically for a moment) that made it easier to drive through armor. The mace is forward-weighted for better leverage when swinging and about as satisfying an object to swing as you can find. Please make sure there are no humans or gerbils near you if you swing it, and take care not to bash yourself with it. It will hurt very much if you do.
Overall length: 24”
Head length: 5.75"”
Shank Material: Leather-Wrapped, Polished and Blackened High-Carbon Steel
Head Material: Polished and Blackened High-Carbon Steel
Since the very early days of humankind, we have always had a subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) urge to bludgeon our fellow humans into mushy pulp using hard objects. The cavemen knew this. The Byzantines acknowledged this. The Celts and Gauls were aware of it. Medieval knights relished it. Heck, even the sophisticates of the Renaissance had the itch.
We don't really like to talk about this, of course, but when the artificial social restraints are stripped away, there really is no more manly way to defeat an opponent than by mashing him into fertilizer on the battlefield. That's why the mace and warhammer were considered maces for the strongest and most capable of warriors.
Maces and warhammers evolved and gained popularity over time, particularly when chainmail, ringmail and scale armor were invented. These types of armor made it difficult to kill an opponent with slashing swords or daggers. The mace, however, could pulverize body parts without having to penetrate the armor. And pulverize they did. Maces and warhammers became extremely popular instruments and were responsible for uncountable deaths, injuries and accidental self-bonkings on the head (the last which really didn't do too much damage, but were likely a source of humiliation and jokes at the campfire after the battle).
Maces started life as clubs made from particularly big, heavy sticks. The big-stick arms race eventually led to big sticks with heavy balls of wood or rock affixed to the end. The next evolution was "heavy wood balls with knobby protrusions" (which, ironically was my nickname in high school). The knobby protrusions hurt a lot more than smooth wood, and caused more damage.
Eventually, with the advent of bronze and iron, metal maces came into fashion. These of course were much more lethal, although not as popular as swords and spears. It wasn't until the aforementioned popularity of metallic armor that the maces and warhammers truly enjoyed a robust popularity. Maces and hammers were also quite a bit cheaper to make, on average, than swords, so lower class warriors and some po' folk in general could afford them.
Flanged maces (maces with angular metal edges and points protruding from the head)were popularized circa 1200, when thick, nearly impenetrable plate armor was rendering both swords and maces less effective. The flanges were capable of focusing an enormous amount of power into a very small point. This allowed the mace to penetrate the armor a' la old fashioned can-openers.
An alternate version of a flanged mace was the spiked mace, which was basically a standard ball-headed mace with iron spikes lodged into it. The spikes were less effective against heavy armor, but really, really hurt if they hit lightly armored or, heaven forbid, unarmored opponents (or gerbils).
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A bearded axe is actually an axe blade with a long heel that hangs down. This bit of blade gives the wielder a greater cutting surface, but, more importantly, it provides a great hook. Why would you need a hook? Well, the Vikings (and the Saxons, really) fought in shield walls-long lines of men, shoulder to shoulder, holding shields. Trying to get through a shield wall was ridiculously hard. So, Vikings came up with the bearded axe.