The desert silk caravans of the Nai Leth nomads are renowned throughout the world for their size and opulence, and naturally, this attracts unwanted attention from the numerous bandit rings that operate throughout the more inhabitable areas of the Stalewind Deserts. An added inconvenience that often proves deadly for the unfortunate merchants is the weapons ban imposed upon them by the nearby Ethedian Emirates, who are distrustful of the mysterious nomad people and set routine waypoints where goods are checked and often levied arbitrarily. A caravan owner can choose to hire a group of Ethedi guardsmen or mercenaries with special permits, but these usually charge ridiculously high fees out of sheer racial tension.
The only reliable - but subversive - method of ensuring the safety of the caravans without risking a heavy fine or confiscation is that of cleverly concealed weapons, often disguised as less conspicuous articles. A popular form of defense is that of the Coffer Blades and their accompanying storage chest. Built to function perfectly well for storage, the chest hides a number of small, removable short blades, handy for surprise bandit attacks but very discreet.
To an unenlightened viewer, the Coffer Blades simply resemble the item they are meant to - a large treasure chest, about four feet long, two feet wide and two feet high, with a shallowly rounded and suspiciously heavy lid. The sides and lid of the chest is inscribed with elaborate carvings of odd subjects - stylized animal-headed warriors slaughtering each other, strange patterns that seem to portray twisted versions of living beings - and is made of some sort of wood, most likely maple or something similar, stained an chestnut-orange colour. The wood panels are held in place by bands of bronze, and while there is a lock, it is a small latch-type affair, hardly useful for securing precious items.
The blades themselves are simple and functional, designed for speed and stealth rather than aesthetic value. There are four in total, two on each flat side of the chest’s lid, their hilts and pommels cleverly disguised as carrying handles for the chest. When inserted into the lid, they slip into specially designed sheaths that escape notice and prevent the blades from slipping out if the chest is overturned, and they can bear the full weight of the chest, letting them be used as the carrying handles they masquerade as. The blades are tapered to a point, double-edged, and each is roughly one and a half feet in length when removed from its chest sheath. There is no cross-guard - removal is easier without one.