Firearms are far from ubiquitous in Kalyr, so the sword remains the primary weapon of most warriors. The most common swords are the Narvork, the traditional knight’s sword, a heavy, slightly curved weapon that can be wielded either one- or two- handed, and the lighter Nirvork, the slender noble’s duelling weapon. The majority of swords are made from steel, but the most expensive swords are most likely to of vyrn.
Other common weapons are knives, maces and a bewildering variety of polearms. Because steel is so expensive, the business end of such weapons is often ceramic.
Flamelances are the main firearms available to kandar and humans. They are chemically powered weapons, consisting of vyrn tubes 4-6′ long which project a gout of flame when a trigger is squeezed. They are roughly equivalent in technology and effectiveness as early black powder weapons on Earth.
It is an indication of the conservatism of the kandar that these weapons are crude copies of the energy weapons of ancient times, and they have never tried to make projectile weapons. Production of flamelances is restricted to the The Academy of Knowledge. The number produced is restricted, and most weapons produced are in the hands of the military.
There are two basic types of flamelance. One-use weapons are made with the chemical charge built in. They cannot be reloaded. The charge is good for (usually) six shots of full damage, and an additional two shots at half damage (as the charge runs out). When empty, they must be returned to the The Academy of Knowledge for reloading. They are very reliable, malfunctioning only on a critical failure. Rechargeable weapons can be opened up half way along, and a replacement cartridge can be loaded. These cartridges are only good for four shots plus one more at half strength.
Both basic types are made in several variants. “Arrows” are long, thin weapons projecting a narrow bolt of fire, They have good range, but are not very accurate. “Spears” are shorter weapons which project a cone-shaped bolt. They do great damage at short range, but are less effective at longer range. “Lances” are the heavy military version. The term “flamelance” strictly only applies to this weapon, although it tends to be used be a generic term for all of them.
Lightning wands are the name given to the weapons used by security staff and operatives of The Academy of Knowledge. They are small, concealable hand weapons firing a bolt of electricity that can either stun or paralyse the target depending on the setting. The construction of these weapons is a closely-guarded secret, but they have a plain appearance, made of black wood with brass fittings. There is no visible means of loading or charging these weapons, so when they run out of charge, ammunition or whatever it is that they use, they must be returned to wherever they are made for recharge.
True flamelances are the energy weapons on which the far more common chemical flamelances are said to originally have been based. The Academy of Knowledge makes them available in extremely limited numbers, so they’re seldom found in the hands of anyone other than elite troops. While they actually do slightly less damage than the cruder chemical flamelances, they do it at greatly increased range. They’re fairly bulky two-handed weapons, powered by capacitors than can be recharged from a building or vehicle power plant. Like the chemical flamelance, there are a great many variants with differing numbers of shots, ranges and damage. It seems that the guild manufactures them in small batches, and no two batches are quite the same.
The Academy of Knowledge once manufactured a smaller pistol-sized version, which had a smaller ranger and fewer shots, but had the advantage of concealabilty. They withdrew them from production many years ago, but there still seem to be a fair few in circulation, despite the guild’s best efforts to recall them.
The stone gun is the zughru equivalent of the kandar flamelance. Instead of fire, this blunderbuss-shaped weapon fires sharp stone chippings. It’s quite devastating against unarmoured targets, but doesn’t penetrate armour well. The vast majority are two-handed weapons carried by zughru troops, although a smaller one-handed version exists, used as a self-defence weapon.
An ice gun is an assassin’s weapon, a pistol-sized device using a compressed air charge to fire a tiny sliver of ice into the victim. The ice is concentrated poison, which melts inside the victim’s body to kill them. It’s pretty useless against an armoured foe.
These weapons aren’t encountered very often, and nobody knows who exactly who manufactures them; the Academy of Knowledge denies that it’s them.
The most devastating weapons still in common use are the large artillery pieces. These are energy weapons, using the same principles as the true flamelances, but on a much bigger scale. They’re too heavy to be man-portable, so they’re normally to be found mounted on buildings, vehicles and ships. They need a sizeable capacitors bank to power them, and many will have their own power source to recharge the capacitors; others take power from the building or vehicle in which they’re located.
Although the Golden Empire fell well over a thousand years ago, they build things to last. This includes some of their weapons. Such weapons are so varied that any that survive are to all intents and purposes unique, and many are only partially functional. It’s said that the Academy of Knowledge has tried and failed to reverse-engineer many of them, because the principles behind them have been lost. Most are energy weapons of some kind, although there are some weird and esoteric melee weapons as well. Unlike more recent weapons, they don’t seem to need recharging, having their own miniature “source”.
There are some that interface directly with the user’s mind. They have no physical trigger, and give the wielder a “vision” of looking down the barrel. They seem to respond to mental commands.
Some literally have minds of their own. Such a weapon might do things like refusing to fire at particular opponents, or deciding to fire on their own initiative. when the wielder happens to point it a target they don’t like. Since they’ve existed for many hundreds of years, they’ve had a lot of time to accumulate ‘interesting’ personality quirks; some have gone completely insane. In extreme circumstances they may even attempt to take over the mind of the wielder.
The vast majority of warriors wear armour made out of the hide of the ulsoghir. It varies from the lightweight flexible armour commonplace for guild security to the heavy layered armour reinforced with steel or vyrn worn by the Legion on the battlefield. It can by dyed in just about any colour, which varies from the black of the Academy of Knowledge Security or the dull greens and browns of the legions to the lurid colours worn by some more flamboyant knights. Metal or vyrn armour is rare and expensive, and only the highest status knights can afford to maintain and wear it.