SotF: Codex: Introduction to the Flail

  • Experienced legionaries or guards often have tales of the dreaded flail and some even have the scars to prove it. Developed from the farming tool it shares its name, flails are similar to the mace in that it is a percussive weapon that heavily relies on the user to constantly generate momentum for effective use. The defining difference between the two weapons however is that the striking head of the flail is separate from the handle, held by a rope or a chain.


    Usage of the flail is simple as any farmer chasing off wolves, bandits, and other predators might attest – swing towards the target and the head will do the rest. Over the mace or rather, any other percussive weapons, the flail can go over the opponents shield and, in some cases, may tangle on the opponent’s limb or weapon. Expanding on this, flails are very difficult to guard against as no one, not even the user itself can fully predict on the trajectory of the head.


    Nonetheless despite the advantages of the flail over the mace, I must stress on my aversion to the training and adoption of the flail in the Vigilant’s training curriculum.


    For one, the training of the weapon itself defeats the key purpose of our curriculum: simplicity. Maces, clubs, and staves are easy to train with and in a pinch, a Vigilant can use anything with some proficiency should they be trained with the three weapons which can be done within a month. Flails take months of training and are dangerous to their own users in training and in battle. A mistake with a mace might result in a strained wrist but with a flail? A cracked skull.


    Secondly unlike the mace, the flail has even less mundane utility for adoption. Unless the Vigil plans to thrash corn, there is very little reason for a Vigilant to carry a flail about and on the smaller variants, the ball-and-chain is a cumbersome carry to begin with potentially snagging on loose objects or protrusions. Yes, the flail and the mace are battle tools but at the very least the mace can be used to break down barriers if need be. It has been argued that the chain of the flail can bind a target for arrest but I’d argue that the Vigilant might as well be carrying rope or a chain rather than risk the flail.


    Hence, I suggest that for any training with the flail within the Vigil should only be conducted as an extra-curricular choice of the individual Vigilant. Should that be the case, the training is as follows…


    ~ Excerpt from Vigil Combat Manual v.1, Introduction to the Flail, by Garruk, Senior-Vigilant of Stendarr




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