Posts Tagged ‘Star Trek’

Weapons of the Klingon Empire – Short CQC Swords!

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Welcome to the latest installment of Phyreblades treatise on Klingon melee weapons. If you’ve been following the blog for any amount of time you’ll know I am a fairly big Star Trek fan. Not as fanatical, perhaps, as most, but I certainly do love Star Trek, and everything it has brought for the Sci-Fi genre, not to mention it’s innumerable cultural contributions. But I digress. We are here today to talk about weapons. 🙂

In previous posts I’ve talked a little about Klingon battle axes, such as the ‘aqleH and the oh so popular Klingon knife, the D’k Tahg. And who can forget the ubiquitous Bet’leH? I doubt anyone can think of a Klingon without thinking of a Bet’leH. But today, I’m going to talk about a somewhat less popular, and certainly not as well known Klingon weapon, and some of the other designs it has spawned. I speak of none other but the deadly MeqleH!

MeqleH - The Klingon Short Sword

MeqleH - The Klingon Short Sword

Now Klingon legend has it that the MeqleH was a weapon borne of necessity. While the Klingons were still planet bound, the Bet’leH was a perfectly fine battle weapon, and they rarely used any other. However, once they became a space faring race, things changed a little. Instead of the open battlefields and large arenas they were used to, they were stuck in closed, cramped space ship quarters.

This changed the face of battle for them, as the venerable Bet’leH, while still a potent weapon, was rather large, and somewhat more difficult to bring to bear in the tight confines of a Klingon Bird of Prey. The first space faring Klingons, ever the resourceful warriors, took to  fashioning shorter, faster weapons from one thing they apparently had lots of. Bulkhead supports.

It is said that this is where the unique shape of the MeqleH came from, as they were initially designed to fit against the curved interior bulkheads of the early Klingon space ships, as well as provide support for various conduits and pipes. They simply cut them to size, and sharpened all the available edges. And thus, a new Klingon Battle weapon was born. The MeqLeH!

Or so I am told.

Truth is, regardless of it’s heritage, it is just a really cool design. But it does have some weaknesses. Like little to no thrusting ability. However the design that has spawned a few new but similarly themed designs, none of which have that particular problem to the same degree:

Volkoth Simikath - Klingon Derived Melee Sword

Volkoth Simikath - Klingon Derived Melee Sword

This, is one of them. The Volkoth Simikath. As you can see, the Volkoth Simikath is significantly different from the MeqLeh in design, however it does borrow much from the design of the Klingon Axe, especially the ‘alngegh. I could totally see a Klingon weapon master deciding to use a scaled down axe design as the basis for a melee combat weapon, and this would fit the bill perfectly.

Volkoth Simikath - Klingon Derived CQC Sword

Volkoth Simikath - Klingon Derived CQC Sword

Here’s another etched version, with a leather wrapped grip, a look much more befitting of it’s style. At least in my opinion. The Volkoth Simikath sports a double edged head, much like an axe, except with a much deeper void between the edges, presumably for capturing an enemy blade during a close quarters battle. It certainly doesn’t help it’s strength any, that’s for sure.

And there is yet one more:

Volkoth Simkar - Klingon Derived CQC Sword

Volkoth Simikar - Klingon Derived CQC Sword

The Volkoth Simikar. This is my favorite variation on the hybrid MeqLeH design. This one hearkens a bit farther back towards the original MeqLeH design, with the secondary, rearward facing  blade reduced to little more than a short talon. However, there are talons and claws everywhere on this weapon. Besides the one  up top, you have one downwards facing little blade at the pommel, with a smaller protrusion facing forward.

This time, both voids are very small, but just large enough to catch a blade either with the pommel or the head, *but* with the added bonus of the main blade extending down a full 3/4 of the way back down the blade to provide additional cutting surface, and hand protection, much like the original meqLeH. It is probably a weaker design than either of the others, however it should be a little faster.

Either way, it is just an absolutely dark, malevolent weapon whose lines I just love to death. What else can I say?

Anyway, I think that is enough weapon ogling for me, I must take my leave of you to clean up the drool from my keyboard, and plan my next post. Until next time.

QAPLA’ My friends. May you bring eternal honor to your house! The Crest of the Klingon Empire

MeqLeH – [By the Sword]
Volkoth Simikath – [By the Sword]
Volkoth Simikath – [Strange Steel]
Volkoth Simikar – [Strange Steel]

An Introduction to Traditional Klingon Melee Weapons.

Saturday, December 1st, 2007

Some of you may have figured out that I am a big Sci-fi and movie buff. So it should come as not surprise that I am also a Star Trek fan. I wouldn’t exactly call myself a Trekkie, but I certainly am a big fan of the various series spin offs and the movies that resulted.

As both a weapons nut and a star trek aficionado, I noticed that one of the characteristic aspects of the Star Trek series was the fact that, no matter which race you ran into, they all seemed to have some sort of laser/phaser/disruptor or other, similar futuristic energy based ray gun technology, that appeared to be the weapon of choice. However there was one quite notable exception to this rule. The Klingons.

The Klingons are a race after my own heart. Why? Because while all of the other civilizations left their “barbaric” knifeworks behind, the Klingons stuck proudly and stubbornly to their traditions in the bladed arts. In fact, much of the Klingon code of honor is based on the legends and history of their greatest historic warriors and the bladed weapons they wielded. Most note worthy is the story of Kahless, and of the genesis of bat’leth.

“Kahless the unforgettable” was a legendary hero of Klingon lore, having been the one to finally unify the Klingon empire, and become it’s first Emperor. His legends were the very history of the Klingon Empire. But more importantly to a bladed weapon fanatic like me, is how he is credited with creating the most iconic weapon of Klingon history. The Bat’leth.

There are actually two stories I know of, that supposedly describes how the Klingon Bat’leth got it’s shape. The first story is that it was shaped after the horned skull of a great sea animal, that Kahless had battled with and slain. Yet another legend claims he forged it in the Kri’stak Volcano, from a lock of his own hair, and quenched it in the Lake of Lusor.

But none of that really matters. What is important is that knife designer Gil Hibben, who designed many of the knives for the contemporary star trek series, is a bona fide genius. And this sword is testament to his blade wrangling mastery. Below, I present to you, in all of it’s Klingon glory, the Sword of Kahless:

The Sword of Kahless
[view full size]

Isn’t it a beaut? This is just an awesome weapon design. Mr. Hibben somehow managed to combine almost all of the elements I like about blades into a single weapon. Organic curves, sweeping blades, and lots of points. And what I found most interesting is that they opted for a dark, damascus steel type finish on the sword, as opposed to a shiny polished finish. Most definitely my kind of weapon. It’s like he was inside my head.

Here’s a closeup:

The Sword of Kahless
[view full size]

And a sweet computer rendering of the weapon:

The Sword of Kahless
[view full size]

Absolutely magnificent. Of course, the Klingons had other cool bladed weapons, but seeing as how this post has gotten really long, I’m going to cut it short here, and show you a few of my other Klingon favorites in future posts. I just had to get this one out there… 🙂

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