Eleventh Month
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Passage Hand
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Year 10,171 Contasta Ar


Gorean Weapons - Shields



This is my narrative and relevant references from the Books about Shields.
It is not meant to be anything other than the facts of the matter.
Arrive at your own conclusions.

I wish you well,
Fogaban


 


Shield
To The Index

A shield is the basic means of defense for a warrior. Normally it is large and round, behind which a warrior could even crouch down.[1] They are built with seven concentric,[2] overlapping layers of hardened leather riveted together with iron[3] and bound with hoops of brass. Another version has but four layers of bosk hide but these too are bound in brass.[4]

They are also fitted with a double sling for carrying on the left arm in combat.[5] These straps are tight enough that, if the shield is torn away in combat, the arm might be broken.[6] One is trained to use his shield to deflect a thrust or thrown spear. If one is unsuccessful, the shield is then rendered unwieldy and a handicap.[7] It is slung over the left shoulder when transported.[8] It might also be carried by a shield bearer.[9]

Goreans, being very proud of their home location, paint their shields boldly and have infixed in them a device for identifying the bearer's city.[10] If the shield has no insignia, one could easily be taken for an outlaw. [11] While, obviously, the shield is light enough to be used in combat, carried on one arm, it is nearly too heavy for a female to lift.[12] Yet even for the warrior to lift such a device for Ehn at a time, and receive blow after blow upon it, bearing up under them, in time makes the arm desperately tired and sore.[13]

Working together with fellow infantrymen, shields can form a roof to protect against and missiles of tarn attack. However, the tarn attack is commonly coordinated with an enemy's infantry advance.[14]

There are differences to the norm in both construction and shape. Turian shields are also large enough to crouch[15] behind but are oval in shape.[16] Those of the Vosk delta, use rence in making their shields.[17] Other shields are made of reinforced wood[18] but sometimes just improvised nailed wood[19] or even wicker.[20] The askaris shields of the Ukungu area are made of leather[21] but are long, oval[22] narrow, and tufted.[23] A Kur's shield is huge, wide, round and made of iron, some four feet in diameter.[24]

The Red Savages construct stout war shields from the neck, between the shoulders, or the humped back, behind the head, of the bull kailiauk. This rawhide is then thickened and hardened by shrinking it over heated stones.[25]

The Red Savages also have a great affinity for their shields and believe that if they are unworthy, or do not speak the truth, their shield will not protect them. It will move aside or will not turn the arrows and lances of enemies.[26] They make their shields with the aid of spells and to them the shield is holy and precious,[27] even to the point where they speak to their shields, telling them what will be expected.[28] Incidentally, Red Savages keep their shields in a case or cover when not fighting.[29]

There are other uses for the shield, perhaps more for display than an implement of war.[30] When expressing emotion, instead of slapping the left shoulder, a warrior smites his shield with his spear or sword.[31] Shields are used as signal devices on ships.[32] Shields are also symbolic during a truce or surrender. This is signified by laying the shield at the feet of another for a truce or cutting the straps and laying it down when surrendering.[33] And shields are sometimes used in swearing an oath.[34]


 


Buckler
To The Index

Bucklers are also used for defense, but are smaller than shields. For instance there are used with daggers or axes in arena combat,[35] or from the backs of animals.[36] In the Tahari, the primary defense is a small round buckler[37] as it is on tarnback.[38]

There is also a studded buckler, a small, round, spiked shield.[39] And another which had a bladelike edge allowing it to be used to cut at an opponent's body.[40] The cavalry buckler is described as having a bladelike edge.[41]








Footnote References


[1]
the large rounded shields common to Gorean infantry in the north, behind which a warrior might crouch
Blood Brothers of Gor     Book 18     Page 416


[2]
The bronze head of the spear had cut through the brass loops on the shield and pierced the seven hardened concentric layers of bosk hide which formed it.
Outlaw of Gor     Book 2     Page 237


[3]
and the rounded shield of layered boskhide, with its double sling, riveted with pegs of iron
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 68


[4]
More than one mercenary had a crossbow bolt half through his brass-bound shield, formed of layers of bosk hide.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 58

The thrust spear, of course, impelled by the force of a strong man, may penetrate a four-layered shield or a human body, but then the spear is lost until its retraction.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Pages 352 - 353

The strike of the Tuchuk bow, short, of curved horn, requiring much strength to draw, is heavy, and, at close range, terrible, capable, like the thrust spear, of penetrating the typical four-layered shield.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 357


[5]
The round shield, concentric overlapping layers of hardened leather riveted together and bound with hoops of brass, fitted with the double sling for carrying on the left arm
Outlaw of Gor     Book 2     Page 21


[6]
A shield was torn from a soldier breaking an arm.
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 641


[7]
Sometimes the spear, thrust or cast, is used to penetrate a shield, rendering it unwieldy, and a handicap to its bearer.
. . .
One is trained to take the cast spear obliquely on the shield, that it may carom away.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Page 376


[8]
I donned the helmet, and slung the shield and sword over my left shoulder.
Outlaw of Gor     Book 2     Page 24


[9]
Behind him there was a shield bearer."
Witness of Gor     Book 26     Page 488


[10]
Normally the Gorean shield is painted boldly and has infixed in it some device for identifying the bearer's city.
Outlaw of Gor     Book 2     Page 21


[11]
You wear no insignia on your shield," he said. "You are outlaw.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 18


[12]
Vina, with a shield, whose weight she could hardly bear, was trying to cover the boy, Fish, as he fought.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 297

"Do not slaves sometimes arm their masters?" she asked.
"Sometimes," he said.
"And do they not sometimes struggle beneath the weight of their masters' shields?" she asked.
"Sometimes," he said.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Page 385


[13]
To lift such a device for Ehn at a time, and receive blow after blow upon it, bearing up under them, in time makes the arm desperately tired and sore.
Renegades of Gor     Book 23     Page 331


[14]
The shield roof in an infantry is usually proof enough against even the arrows and missiles of tarn attack, but the tarn attack is commonly coordinated with an infantry advance. Clearly the shield cannot be used simultaneously to defend one both from the air and the ground.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 535


[15]
They were not the large, oval shields of Turia, . . . behind which a warrior might crouch.
Blood Brothers of Gor     Book 18     Page 416


[16]
He wore a helmet and carried the Turian shield, which is oval.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 123


[17]
Some of the men of the rencers, with their small shields of rence wicker, fought, but their marsh spears were no match for the steel swords and the war spears of Gor.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 52


[18]
The shields were round, and of wood, variously painted, some reinforced with iron bands, others with leather, some with small bronze plates.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 32


[19]
They carried improvised shields of nailed wood and spears.
Conspirators of Gor     Book 31     Page 541


[20]
I saw then that their action had been diversionary, to occupy us while other longboats, fixed with wicker shields, of the sort used for naval bowmen, lay along the chain.
Guardsmen of Gor     Book 16     Page 11


[21]
The oval leather shields and the stabbing spears of the askaris
Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Page 439


[22]
Lake Ngao, which was discovered by Shaba, and named by him, was named for a shield, because of its long, oval shape. The shields in this area tend to have that shape.
Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Page 100


[23]
Behind the Kur, to one side, stood two other Kurii. They, like the first, were fearsome creatures. Each carried a wide, round shield, of iron, some four feet in diameter.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 171


[24]
The askaris were jubilant, resplendent in their skins and feathers, with their golden necklaces and armlets, their narrow, tufted shields
Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Page 224


[25]
Cuwignaka's upward thrust, however, was easily turned by the Yellow Knife's stout war shield, of rawhide thickened and hardened by shrinking over heated stones, from the neck, between the shoulders, or the humped back, behind the head, bearing the trident of the bull kailiauk.
Blood Brothers of Gor     Book 18     Page 226


[26]
It is a belief of the red savages that if they are unworthy, or do not speak the truth, that their shield will not protect them. It will move aside or will not turn the arrows and lances of enemies.
Savages of Gor     Book 17     Page 50

"Yes," said Cuwignaka. "It is a well-known fact. One's shield may choose not to defend one, if one is a liar."
Blood Brothers of Gor     Book 18     Page 175


[27]
I am speaking of the shields of the peoples of the Barrens and within the Barrens. These are not your ordinary shields. These are made with the aid of spells. The medicines of war are important in their construction and designs. They are not merely equipment, not merely contraptions of metal or leather. They are holy. They are precious. They are friends and allies.
Blood Brothers of Gor     Book 18     Pages 175 - 176


[28]
Still others spoke to their shields and weapons, telling them what would be expected of them.
Blood Brothers of Gor     Book 18     Page 239


[29]
They carried feathered lances, and war shields and medicine shields, in decorated cases.
Blood Brothers of Gor     Book 18     Page 25

It is not uncommon for a warrior to keep his shield in its case or cover when not fighting. It is removed from the case, or cover, also, of course, when it is sunned, set forth to draw in power and medicine from the yellow, life-giving, blazing star of two worlds, Sol or Tor-tu-Gor, Light Upon the Home Stone.
Blood Brothers of Gor     Book 18     Page 302


[30]
There I saw the shield which Tela had been polishing, a small, round shield, more of a buckler, really, than a shield. It was ornamented with bosses, and engraved with mythological scenes, the conquest, and the rape and enslavement of Amazons by satyrs. In Gorean mythology it is said that there was once a war between men and women and that the women lost, and that the Priest-Kings, not wishing the women to be killed, made them beautiful, but as the price of this gift decreed that they, and their daughters, to the end of time, would be the slaves of men. The shield, so small, so beautiful, was perhaps more for display, I think, than an implement of war.
Dancer of Gor     Book 22     Pages 351 - 352


[31]
the Tarn Keeper and the Saddle Maker cried out, and began to stamp their feet in the dust and pound their fists against their left shoulders. Then others watching cried out in glee. I myself removed my sword from its sheath and with it struck my shield.
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 36


[32]
And on its mast, round and of painted wood, had hung the white shield . . . that it came in peace.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Pages 30 - 31

"What shield is at his mast?" called the Forkbeard. "The red shield," called the lookout.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 70


[33]
He then raised a spear and set it, like the shield, at his feet. This gesture is a military convention employed by commanders on Gor when calling for a parley or conference. It signifies a truce, literally the temporary putting aside of weapons. In surrender, on the other hand, the shield straps and the shaft of the spear are broken, indicating that the vanquished has disarmed himself and places himself at the mercy of the conqueror.
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 187


[34]
"Swear, too," he suggested, "by the side of the ship, by the shield's rim, by the sword's edge."
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 184

"He has sworn by his shield," said Akihoka."
Blood Brothers of Gor     Book 18     Page 187


[35]
buckler and dagger, ax and buckler, dagger and whip, ax and net, or the two daggers
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 124

The crowd is fond of seeing various types of weapons used against others, and styles of fighting. Buckler and short sword are perhaps most popular
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 189

Ho-Tu, his hook knife dripping, a buckler on his left arm now stood beside us.
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 346


[36]
The war kaiila, rearing on its hind legs. . . He thrust the jaws away with the buckler
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Page 59


[37]
the primary defense is a small round buckler
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Page 302


[38]
The small cavalry buckler, too, was edged, and, if one were close enough to a foe, might be similarly formidable. I saw no reason to call this to the attention of my companion and guide. On tarnback of course, it served primarily as a weapon of defense.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 159


[39]
A studded buckler, a small, round, spiked shield, was at the side of the saddle.
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 284


[40]
as in some arena bucklers, it would have a bladelike edge, thus allowing it to be used to cut at an opponent's body, ideally the throat.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 238


[41]
The small cavalry buckler, too, was edged, and, if one were close enough to a foe, might be similarly formidable.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 159




















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