Description

A Shieldbreaker is often a one-handed axe, hammer or mace. It is especially favoured by the Steinr, who use it to great effect when fighting the well-armoured orcs that infest the lands to the west of the Empire. Many artisans take pride in proving the superiority of their craft over that of the barbarians, showing that anything the orcs could create could be broken by their arts.

Swift and lightly armoured skirmishers among the Navarr, Marcher beaters, and Highborn unconquered make use of these weapons to even up the odds against shield-bearing opponents and to soften such foes up for their comrades in the main battle-line. Hammers and axes are the most common forms among these groups, who sometimes call them Bull’s Eye Bait as skilful use of these weapons will open up the target for a deadly shot from allied archers.

Runesmiths often inscribe the rune Verys, Rune of Might, on a Shieldbreaker. Although some smiths prefer to use Mawrig, the Rune of Storms, weapons bearing this mark are often considered to draw their wearers into dangerous situations; they are used by the frayed but many others prefer to avoid them. This weapon is popular with many orcs, both the Imperial Orcs (especially their reavers), and barbarians.

Rules

  • Form: Weapon. Takes the form of a one-handed weapon. You must be wielding this weapon to use its magical properties.
  • Requirement: Any character can bond to this item.
  • Effect: You may spend a hero point to call SHATTER with this weapon when you strike a shield.
  • Materials: Crafting a Shieldbreaker requires eight ingots of orichalcum, eleven ingots of tempest jade, seven ingots of green iron, three measures of ambergelt, and seven measures of beggar's lye. It takes one month to make one of these items.
The tallest of the youngsters stepped forward from the line to answer, his head held high as he spoke though the slight twitch of his pointed ears belied his nervousness. Though still a boy he bristled with pride for soon he would pass his citizenship test and be recognised truly as an Imperial. The weight of the honour hung heavy on his shoulders , few among the denizens of the Empire appreciated this the way an orc did. His hand tightened around the handle of his training shield and he took solace in the feel of the leather creaking in his palm.

“Your shield is your greatest tool, it can protect you from harm better than any armour. If it has survived many battles then the worth of it is proven already. Your shield is your life” he smiled, confident he had given the answer that the senior warrior had wanted.

“Wrong” the old orc bellowed, the dozen younglings before her flinched at the sound and stiffened their backs. She fixed the aspirant that had spoken with her remaining good eye; the other lost years before fighting the tribes along the western borders. She considered the memory for a moment, it was a good story, the scar had been well earned. It had worth to these youngsters too.

“But...” the young orc stuttered. “I’ve heard tales of the legion’s warriors in battle, shields locked and proud as they battle the barbarians. Shields that could endure whatever the enemy can muster. We’ve all heard.”

“Wrong” she repeated, calmer this time. She turned to the other aspirants and walked along the line, examining each in turn. Her awkward gait courtesy of the blow that saw her retire from the legions front lines. Another good memory but for another time. “I thought as you once, that shield and armour were my greatest gift, I was wrong. Raise your shield youngling.” The young orc barely had time raise the battered wood before him as she swiftly unclipped the darkened metal mace at her hip and brought it down with skilled precision. The blow knocked the young orc to his back, where his fellow aspirants hurried to pick him up, all eyes looking fearfully at the elder orc.

“My shield!” the young orc cried, looking in horror as thin lines spread from the centre boss like ice shattering underfoot. The creak of splitting wood increased until with a final crack it fell into pieces before them. His fellow aspirants helped him to his feet as the older orc looked on with a wry smile.

“Look to your fellows first, children. That is where true strength lies. Shields can be broken many ways - with a big enough weapon or with simple enough enchantments or the blows of the unnatural - but the bonds of blood ....unbreakable” She allowed the weight of her words to hang in the air for a few seconds before speaking again. “You,” she pointed to the young orc whose shield lay in pieces, though a bruised ego the only injury he’d sustained , “pick up your mess. All of you, class is over for today.”