Saturday, December 26, 2015

Immortality on the Battlefield: Vikings vs. Persians

It was a night like one out of a dream, cold and steely. I could feel the wind in my hair and the salt from the sea upon my armor. My armor was that of gambeson or quilted cloth. Being from a lower status of Vikings this leather armor was all I could afford. Some of my friends from the higher Viking status have obtained the ever fancy Lammellar armor. This particular armor is more expensive than my gambeson due to the iron plates it contains. These iron plates are then laced together in a pattern. Regardless of the armor being worn on this night, our goals are the same and that is to defeat our enemy in battle. 

As a Viking warrior of a peasant class, I’ll have the honor of carrying a spear. My particular spear contains a metal head and a hollow shaft. It’s made from ashwood as all spears are. Other Vikings carry larger-headed spears which have been referred to as hewing spears. My father has been known to carry the hewing spear.

Bows and arrows are a typical weapon of choice for battle or hunting. I’ve a rather large bow crafted from helm. Other Vikings prefer bows of ash or yew, I’m not one of these. My bow has a 90 lbs draw back and can travel a distance of 200 meters. My father isn’t impressed with this distance, he’s one to exaggerate that his arrows can travel to the moon and back.

Another weapon that I always find to be useful is my knife. There are two types that Vikings use, the first is the knifr and the second is the seax. I prefer the knifr, even our slaves carry these useful tools. I do however carry a seax which has also been referred to as broken-back seax. This blade is like a machete and is much larger than my knifr. 

Swords are among our most deadliest of weapons. If you’d ever walked on the streets and saw a Viking warrior carrying a Vlfberht sword you knew he was important. Many Vikings tried to have cheap knock off Vlfberhts made, but if one looked closely enough we could tell the true sword carrier from the lying brigand. 

Swords are viewed as a symbol of high status in our society, because they’re so costly to make and obtain. Our swords are forged from iron and steel that have been twisted together. Swords are important to my people and many warriors give names to their prize possessions. The grips of our swords are usually made from antlers, horn or even wood. As I mentioned earlier, I come from a lower status of Vikings and the only reason I’ve a sword of my own is because I’ve earned enough riches through all the raids I’ve been on. If it weren't for these raids, I wouldn’t have the luxury of owning a sword of this caliber. 

All of my comrades are ready for the battle that lies before us. Our enemy is the fearless Persians. Their soldiers are referred to as the Immortals. Rumor has it that these Immortal men come out of nowhere and strike their enemy down. If one were to attack a single Immortal and defeat him, one of his comrades would swoop in and destroy you. This is how they’ve earned their name because they appear as Immortal men on the battle field. I won't let this rumor scare me. 

Persian warriors carry bows just as we do, however they carry recurve bows and use their archers to send arrows across the sky and have these arrows come down like rain on their enemies. Despite this terror from the sky, their arrows are lighter than ours and are made from cane. Their arrow heads are typically made from bronze creating a battle weakness in these so called Immortals. 

Unlike our spears the Persians use a thrusting spear which’s typically 7 ft. in length with a spear head made from iron. I believe this weapon to be stronger than the spears of my people. The Persians have been blessed with the nickname of apple bearers due to this spear. 

As far as swords go the Immortals possessed a sword referred to as an Akinakes. This was a double edged sword made from iron and about 2 ft. in length. As powerful as this sword was to the Immortals of Perisa only a few owned this treasure. They don't go on raids to obtain their swords the way us Vikings do. I do believe we’ve the advantage when it comes to this weapon. 

Their armor was influenced by the Greeks and is called Linothorax. However, very few Persians owned this armor. It was made from glued linen and didn't protect them as well as our Lamellar and gambeson armor protects us. 

In the end, I believe we, the Vikings to be the victors of this battle. Our bows and arrows would defeat theirs because their arrows are too light in weight. Their spears are far more superior to ours, giving them this slight advantage. Our swords are stronger and made from both iron and steel. Their surprise attacks which gives them the famous name Immortals would be their advantage in one on one fighting. However, we the Vikings are fearless and are willing to conqueror this foe.

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