Full Item Description
Simply put, a war forbici resembles a very large pair of scissors. The twin blades are 5-inches wide at the forte and taper to a quarter inch at the feeble. The blades are metal, usually iron or steel, and are about 3 feet long. The handles of the weapon are oval-shaped, about 10-inches long, and usually wrapped in leather. The backs of the handles are much thicker than the grip to act as a counter balance to the blades. The blades are fastened 6 inches from the grips by a wide bolt; this bolt is often engraved or embellished in a quality pair. The inner edge of the blades is sharpened, while the outer edge is left dull.
The origins of the war forbici are uncertain. Many suspect the weapon originated in circuses and coliseums where they were a novelty weapon used by gladiators to entertain the masses. Trainers in gladiator combat schools probably taught curious nobles on how to properly wield the forbici.
Due to the unusual nature of the weapon, and its difficulty to wield, it is rare among even well-trained warriors. Most fighters who are at least mildly familiar with the weapon do not bother with it simply because it is impractical in normal situations. War forbici are heavy and large, requiring impressive strength to wield properly. They also require a great deal of maintenance, as the blades and bolt joint must be cleaned frequently to prevent jamming.
Despite its drawbacks, the war forbici is a fairly versatile weapon. Unopened, the forbici can be used as a crushing weapon by swinging the unsharpened outer edge of the blades at an opponent. The pointed tip also makes for a quality thrusting weapon. When the blades are opened, the forbici becomes a bladed weapon that is capable of short (albiet somewhat clumsy) slashes. The most effective use of the blades are to chop and grab, achieved by closing the blades around an opponent. Above all, the war forbici draws attention wherever it goes, and most warriors do not know how to regard such an unusual weapon.
War forbici aficionados are admittedly rare, but they have produced at least one famous soldier: Prince Kestor le Vesre, former crown regent of Radania. Prince Kestor was very fond of the forbici after reading about them in weapon enthusiast gazettes. As a young man, he insisted that his combat teacher, General Doras Muroe, train him in the weapon. Muroe had been a former gladiator and was familiar enough with the forbici to instruct on it use. He refused the prince’s request at first, in fear that the king would think him wasting valuable training time on such a ridiculous weapon. Kestor relented, however, and the general eventually agreed to teach him. Kestor proved to be a natural for forbici, his strong upper-body well suited to wielding the unusual weapon. During the Radanian Silver Wars, Prince Kestor led the royal armies to victorious combat, his men inspired by the impressive sight of their regent downing foes with the forbici. Legend says that the prince ended the life of the enemy army’s leader by beheading him with a sharp stroke of the forbici. Kestor’s fame led to many copycats who took up the weapon, though most proved to be utter failures in actual use of it.