Full Item Description

The Maul Shank is a short, hiltless one-and-a-half-edged weapon, wickedly curved and with handle and blade all one piece. The length of the blade varies between 4 and 8 inches and the handle is usually wrapped in cord to provide a better grip. The wrapping is intricately done, and differs subtly between different makers.

Many Maul Shank users engrave their blade with their name or their personal sigil, if they have one.

The materials used in the construction of a Maul Shank is usually impure, second-hand metal forged together under insufficient heat, giving the blade a damascine-like finish. It is traditionally worn horizontally on the belt at the small of the back, like a scramasax.

In the context of modern warfare, with breach-loading muskets and cannons, the Maul Shank is strictly a last-ditch back-up weapon, but also has significant symbolic value.

History

The Maul Shank was the traditional weapon of the gangs of the Old Maul, before the Great Fire scattered the few surviving people of the Old Blood like leaves in the wind. The Maul Rats, the counter-revolutionary Maul milita (and later official Regiment of Locastus) adopted the weapon to commemorate their origins.

When a new recruit joins the Maul Rats, he (or she; the Maul Rats is the only Regiment that recruits women) is given a probation period to prove himself, before he is given his Maul Shank and accepted as a full member.

Special Properties

Absolutely none; the weapon is a crudely made, ugly piece of equipment. The Maul rats, however, revere it as a holy symbol, and wear it with pride. It also serves to mark the wearer as affiliated with the Maul Rats, which can cause problems in interacting with members of the ruling classes of Locastus - The reputation of the Maul Rats is less than good.

Plot Hooks

The PC's are asked by representatives of the Maul Rats to locate and assassinate a renegade from their own ranks. To prove that the job is done, they have to bring back the target's Maul Shank.

The PC's are sent to an old battlefield to locate and dig out the Maul Shank of a former Maul Rat hero. To do this, they have to study the layout of the battlefield, to determine where the hero fell, and then dig him up. Once they have the prize, they have to defend it against the scavengers of the battlefield and grave robbers, who violently defend their turf.

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