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Cimmerian Hunting Knife


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#1 Kortoso

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 12:59 AM

Okay, here's a fun challenge. What would a hunting knife look like that was made in the forge of Conan's father in Cimmeria?

Practical, artistic, real knives, drawings, whatever. Let's just see what you come up with.

#2 Boot

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 07:39 AM

In my Conan RPG campaign, one of the PCs has a Cimmerian hunting knife handed down to him from his father. As tradition dictated, the character made his first kill using the blade.

As GM, I hopped on the net and found a pic for the knife to crystalize it in the players' minds. This is what I selected:

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Plain, simple, servicable. The handle is made from antler. The blade is saw-toothed on the upper edge. And, the leather sheath sports simple Cimmerian (Celtic) designs.


That weapon fit my game and the grim practical reality that I place on Cimmerians.

If you're talking Conan's dad from the Arnie film (or even the newer film), I think the blade would be a bit more flashy, like father's sword. Here's some ideas...

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#3 deuce

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 04:04 PM

In my Conan RPG campaign, one of the PCs has a Cimmerian hunting knife handed down to him from his father. As tradition dictated, the character made his first kill using the blade.

As GM, I hopped on the net and found a pic for the knife to crystalize it in the players' minds. This is what I selected:

Posted Image


Posted Image


Plain, simple, servicable. The handle is made from antler. The blade is saw-toothed on the upper edge. And, the leather sheath sports simple Cimmerian (Celtic) designs.


That weapon fit my game and the grim practical reality that I place on Cimmerians.

If you're talking Conan's dad from the Arnie film (or even the newer film), I think the blade would be a bit more flashy, like father's sword. Here's some ideas...

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I think you're better off with the first (though the saw-edge on the first knife is a bit advanced). Despite the claims of pasticheurs, there's nothing to indicate (in the writings of REH) that the Cimmerians were master bladesmiths. They could work iron. Period.

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#4 Lunatic

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 04:06 PM

A typical toolknife would be effective but boring...

I think it should be a big, scary heavy thing which also could be used for war as well as for hunting.

Blackened blade for stealthy assasinations in the cimmerian night. A superior quality steel closing to the supernatural.

Animalskull, carving on the hilt and a line of runes along the edge.

Multipurpose? Balanced for throwing?

#5 deuce

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 04:16 PM

A typical toolknife would be effective but boring...

I think it should be a big, scary heavy thing which also could be used for war as well as for hunting.

Blackened blade for stealthy assasinations in the cimmerian night. A superior quality steel closing to the supernatural.

Animalskull, carving on the hilt and a line of runes along the edge.

Multipurpose? Balanced for throwing?


I could see "multipurpose". All the other fancy/Goth crap doesn't fit with Robert E. Howard's/Conan's description of the Cimmerians. They were a pragmatic people, interested in survival and killing their foes. About all I could see is the interlace on the knife-sheath.

If you have references from REH's yarns to back up your whimsies, feel free to share.

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#6 Lunatic

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 04:44 PM

Decue,

Always on the prowl..;)

No, as far as I know Conan used daggers for war, poniards and dirks. His admiration for Zenobia when she handed him a proper sturdy blade for rather than a fancy jeweled flashy thing, in Hour of the Dragon, novel is the best reference I can come up with.

I read that cimmerians are moody and warlike. Survival is in everyone´s interest. To prettyfie the blade sounds like something the Aesir would do. But in the historical world the celts certainly invested great artistical value in their weapons. This is not the same as we would do to our cellphones to look cool, pink shells and all...But, it is a magic/religious thing to bless the sword...therefore cimmerians would of course not! do it.

#7 Lunatic

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 04:44 PM

How about a big black bowie knife?

#8 Munthasem

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 05:57 PM

The first and most important thing for the knife that it's durable, easy to sharpen, to hold the edge well and to serve the purpose. Now, we have to determine what purpose it is. What tasks would be the most common for it to handle.

Having in mind that it was a sort of nordic land with a lot of wood and animals to catch, skin, cut and so on, I believe it would look somewhat along the lies of big scandi Leuku knives, only a bit pointier or something along the saex or scramasax. These are brutally simple and up to various tasks you can get.

There are another examples such as various machettes much like the one Rambo forged in the last movie, or something along the sgian dubh lines but bigger.

I liked the tower of the serpent dagger in CTB 82. This was a heavy spearlike blade which could easily make any task you put in front of it.

If I had to choose, I'd go with something between Leuku, Falkniven A1 and some heavy drop point Bowie knife.

Very often, inexperienced people are disapointed when someone flash the real surviving knife in front of them because they expect it to look like some over blown toy and when they see the real thing, they are dissapointed that it's just a knife, very often a simple one but up to the tasks it's meant to handle.

Look at Leuku, original Bowie knife, any Scandinavian knife, South America's parangs, machettes, India's kukri's, Russian Zlatoust Taiga and so on. All of them are very simple but yet, totally effective.

Leuku

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Saex

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Sgian dubh

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Some modern saex and scramasax

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Edited by Munthasem, 18 February 2012 - 06:19 PM.

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#9 Myrmydon

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 04:57 AM

I think the key is calling it a"Hunting knife" . To me that seperates it from a "fighting knife". I would think of something like the first example picture. I am thinking of something with a 6-8" blade for skinning and general utility. It is still a lethal weapon, but not the first choice in a fight.

#10 Boot

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 07:07 AM

I think the key is calling it a"Hunting knife" . To me that seperates it from a "fighting knife".


"Some people call it a slingblade. I call it a kaiser blade. mmmm-hhmmm."

#11 Myrmydon

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 12:42 AM

"Some people call it a slingblade. I call it a kaiser blade. mmmm-hhmmm."
Thanks Billy-bob...LOL.
I guess it is a matter of opinion.

#12 Kortoso

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:56 PM

Nice ideas, all.

For my part, I envision a big hunting knife, which would be a good fighting knife in the hands of a Cimmerian. Maybe drop point, not clip point, with a decent "belly" for skinning. Seven inches overall, I'm thinking. And Damascus, of course. Most bowies have a crossguard that projects on both sides of the knife, but I favor one that only projects on the blade side. Would that cross be cast from bronze? And of course a crown stag hilt.

Suppose I need to find a custom knife smith, huh? :)

#13 thatericn

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 07:18 PM

Considering the big animals a Cimmerian is likely to expect to deal with, ruggedness is likely the top priority. If you are stabbing this between the ribs of a cave bear, giant hyena or tiger, or even something Sasquatch-y, you'll want to make sure it doesn't break. And in life-or-death situations, the grip should be VERY sensible...

Off-Topic... Karl Childers in the Hyborian world...

Conan - "Crom, Man! Are you wounded? You are bathed in blood!"

Karl - "I'm pretty much alright. But that skinny Stygian feller was gonna stab that pretty young girl. She was all chained up on that big stone slab back yonder. So I killed him with this here briar axe. Some people call it a sling blade, I call it a Kai-"

Conan - "Bakxuthoses? He is slain?"

Karl - "Yessir, I'm right sure of it. I hit him two good whacks in the head with it. That second one just plum near cut his head in two."

Conan - "And the lass?"

Karl - "I broke and chopped up them chains so she wouldn't be stuck on that stone no more. They were fancy and all gold-like - kinda flimsy. Anyhow, she was all scared and crying such. She ran down one of them dark halls... Conan, I'm feeling a bit hungry. Do we have any more of that potted meat?"
"Careful with that ax, Eugene"

#14 Arthyron

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:01 AM

I know this is a modern design, but it strikes me as something that Conan would have were he transported to modern times. I own two of the smaller model, wear 'em lashed together on a neck rig. Nasty little suckers. I'd own the larger model too if it weren't so damn expensive. :\

http://miltner-adams...ical-knife.html

#15 Gin-Wulf

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 12:01 PM

sense we are dealing with things not put to paper by REH , i guess id go with something like an early style dirk. even going as far as to make it double edged( being cimmerian and all ;) )

#16 RJMooreII

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 12:55 PM

It should be like 6" from edge to back of the blade, and nine inches long, covered in extremely detailed embossing work of tribal dragons and stuff. Oh, wait, I was thinking of Skyrim.
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#17 droc

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 04:45 PM

The first couple of suggestions seem pretty good to me, though I'd probably go for a shorter blade on a hunting knife than the one with the antler handle. Something like a Scian Dubh (Irish spelling, I think it's Sgian Dhu in Scottish) seems pretty practical.

I don't get the need for a long blade like most people are suggesting, we are talking about something for skinning and the like right? Not fighting bears?
In which case a sharp 4 inch blade is best as it's long enough to do the job and short enough to control effectively for more intricate work.

DROC

#18 Kortoso

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 05:07 PM

...I don't get the need for a long blade like most people are suggesting, we are talking about something for skinning and the like right? Not fighting bears?
...


I'm glad this has turned out to be an interesting topic. Reckon a Cimmerian would have one knife that would have to kill bears as well as skin them. I never skinned an animal with a dirk, but I have tried to do varkious camp tasks with a dagger and found it sadly wanting.
So I am leaning to some sort of Bowie-seax hybrid. :)

#19 thatericn

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 05:20 PM

Something rugged, like the Leuku mentioned by Munthasem, or a not-too-radically shaped Bowie knife seems appropriate.

Thinking Cimmerian, it should be grim, sober and nearly indestructable. Nothing silly or showy. With a well shaped, ergonomic handle, made of bone, or if the owner has the good fortune, ivory (from walrus since mammoths are to the far east, and elephants to the exotic south?). I would think decoration would be minimal - a maker's mark, and possibly a small heraldric inscription on the handle denoting the owner...

It should NOT look like something a 17-year-old high schooler would design for his metal band's CD cover...
"Careful with that ax, Eugene"

#20 Kortoso

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 07:14 PM

This guy gets it:
http://www.hoihoknives.com

Might be a good place to start with a custom piece. :)
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