Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A is for Adz in the Arsenal

Source: caribooblades.com

Adz or Adze  -- depending on whether you need extra two points to win the game -- is a wood carving tool from the Stone Age. Used around the globe in countless cultures, the adz has a flat curved blade and either a long-handle or short-handle.

The adz is an underrepresented weapon in fiction.

For such a universally used blade, it's surprising how little page-time it gets in novels. Yes, I'm looking at you, medieval battle scene. The majority of "soldiers" were serfs who used whatever tools they had at hand when their lord summoned them to war, right? As long as there were trees on the lord's land, pretty sure someone had an adz.

Source: WikiCommons
Medieval not your thing? How about a murder at an Egyptian shipyard using an adz? Or a Russian peasant revolt? Or a dwarf attack on the elves?

Okay, it's possible separating the blade from the victim is a little tricky, but still the opportunities to exchange the common ax for the adz...

Imagine the character who wields the adz. Arms and angles. Strong back, silent observer. Rough edges, calculating. Respects the art but has no love for authority. Rather be alone with the wood. Resents the cause that separates her from her craft.  Anyone? Eh? Eh?

When casting about for an uncommon murder weapon, dear readers, consider the adz. It has far more of a story to tell than the ax(e).

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