Full Item Description
A Ryder Spear is a length of Hard Leather two to three meters in length. It has a point tip, a block, and a hand tip. There are hundreds of variations on the basic design for the weapon. Some wings (and Edges) will have “wing weapons”, so the entire wing will have the same design (assisting in training and standardized tactics). But in most cases, Ryders will have craftsmen carve out weapons to fit their personal needs (and wing colors).
Since Ryder Spears are made of Hard Leather, that can be molded and shaped (as well as dyed, dye washed, and laquered) before final hardening resins and laquers are applied (granting it iron like hardness, though not the full durability, for a fraction of the weight.) Some master craftsmen will “dapple” certain areas to increase grip traction. This, plus the weight of the material, will allow complexities that are impossible for a wood and metal spear to duplicate.
Spears can be works of art, with a variety of colors and effects embedded in the laquers. Almost all spears will be a mix of the wing’s colors, with either edges being off colors or a candy stripe pattern. But some will have emblems visible in the blade laquer or metallic sparkles.
The point tip resembles a double broad head arrow point, with a back catch - a curved back arc, allowing the point to catch (useful for hooking and tripping). The broad points will have rivulet cuts, allowing for blood letting while the blade is in place. The broad cut (and thickening blade) makes for a gapping wound, which is more effective against thicker hide megafuana.
About .3 to .5 meters up from the tip is The Block. The Block is a cross bar the prevents the spear from penetrating the creature too deeply. Also it prevents the creature from “climbing up the spear” to get at the Ryder. It is useful for stoping ring captures in tournaments as well. There is often a tiny ring associated with the block, where a spear flag is sometimes mounted. Most Blocks are flattened and curled slightly to be “wings” that will help the spear fly straight and true (with a good spiral).
Many Ryder have tournament spears with a different blocks, if they have any at all.
The hand tip is the end that the Ryder holds. It is a carefully smoothed and grooved area that grants several solid holds.
1) Lance: There is always a scooped and curved lance guard, to grant a solid grip with small hand protection so a Ryder can hold it as a lance. The Lance handle area is actually thinner than most of the shaft, so the guard is only slightly larger. The lance guard provides little protection for the hand, mostly to deflect knuckle scrapping misses or for catches.
2) Gripper: A rippled set of finger holes with ergonomic carvings through the spear, so the ryder can hold the spear as if it was a suitcase - laterally. The gripper hold is used for carrying, but in combat it is used for low straight underwing strafing attacks.
3) Throwing: one to three places on a spear, there will be a set of slight indentures that will enhance the grip for throwing the spear.
4) Tossing Hook: a small point where an Atlatl or throwing stick’s hook is inserted near the back of the spear.
5) Back Spike. A smooth sharp pole point.
There are other options, but these are the most common. There are sometimes back blades, spring loaded firing points, additional gripper or guards- some of which might be Ring Grips or Strap Grips, sling points (so it can be held by a sling, resting in a ready position with the sling over the shoulder and the hand in the lance points), and a few others.
This weapon has been enhanced and worked upon for generations now. Every Ryder and Crafter has their opinion as to what makes “the perfect Spear”.
Many Ryders will have two or three spears, some for tournaments and some for actual combat.
Unlike Western Culture which makes weapons to be efficient and quickly produced, the crafters of Kerren have had a limited choice of materials and weapon styles, they have had more time to tinker and develop their weapon. Is it the “ultimate spear”? No. Is it darn good at what it is used for? Yes, very.