JourneyQuest is a fantasy comedy web series from the creators of The Gamers and The Gamers: Dorkness Rising. To learn more about the show or watch the series for free online, visit the official website. This article is part of a series that explore the world of JourneyQuest, its locales, myths, monsters, and characters.
There is perhaps no more iconic Orcish weapon than the vivdly named atrocity-knife (kelled in Orcish). Also known as flensers, hellshivs, and – most horribly – rape-knives, a war party of Orcs armed with these vicious, hideously tongued blades is instant nightmare fuel for the civilized races of Fartherall.
Atrocity-knives vary in length, from the size of a dagger to that of a short sword, and resemble an unholy cross between a lobster claw and a can opener. The serrated blade and puncturing hook make atrocity-knives brutal close-quarter weapons; the “atrocity” in the name is most often linked to the gruesome wounds the blades have been known to inflict. The hook on the knife can, in the hands of a skilled user, also be used defensively to entangle a hostile weapon or disarm an enemy. To that end, it’s not uncommon to see an Orc fighting with an atrocity-knife in one hand and a heavier melee weapon in the other. Even so, the knives’ tendency to break or stick in armor means they are not the primary weapon choice of most Orcs.
Most atrocity-knives are not made very strong material, and Orcs generally consider them disposable. As the knives tend to break in battle and/or in victims, smash-happy Orcs tend to go through a lot of them. Fortunately (for an Orc, at least) atrocity-knives are not at all difficult to make; given adequate time and any suitable amount of scrap metal, an Orc with rudimentary blacksmithing skills can create a small bundle of knives.
Why Orcs are so willing to carry frail (but still razor sharp) weapons into battle is curious, considering how painstaking they usually are with the care and quality of their weapons. One theory is that the practice is a holdover from the Orcs’ pre-nomadic scavenger days, when the only crafted materials they had were what they stole or salvaged from other races. It’s an interesting theory, since the Orcs as a race don’t care to remember that part of their history, and the jagged and oft blackened blades of the atrocity-knives closely resemble the Orcish scrapaxes and piecemeal armor of ages past.
Interestingly enough, there have been reports of some tribes using masterwork atrocity-knives that are sturdy and ever keen and can punch through plate. Speculation abounds that some sort of magic is involved in their creation. Rumors from the border kingdoms suggest that these master knives are forged rather than cut, and are cooled not in a blacksmith’s bucket but in a captive’s belly. Then again, these are only rumors, and the border kingdoms’ antipathy towards Orcs is well documented.
Even more curious are certain accounts of traders and peddlers friendly with some of the Orcish tribes in the Afterlands (these would be the more traditional, nomadic Orcs, not the modernists, who have consider atrocity-knives an outdated and hindering aspect of their culture, and have thrown them away along with ritual facial scarring). According to these reports, most Orcs don’t rely on their atrocity-knives except as a last resort since they’re unreliable in combat. Supposedly, the reason they wear them is psychological—they scare the living jibblie-crap out of the other races. Indeed, often all it takes is for an Orc to draw his atrocity-knife to get a clamp-lipped captive to start talking, or a stingy merchant to suddenly drop his prices.
Atrocity-Knife Game Information
Cost: 5 sp
Dmg (S): 1d3
Dmg (M): 1d4
Weight: 1 lb.
Type: P or S
A wicked blade that is cheap, defensive, and potentially lethal with the price of it being somewhat easily broken in battle. With an atrocity-knife, you get a +2 bonus on Combat Maneuver Checks to sunder an enemy’s weapon. On an attack roll of natural 1 there is a 50% chance the weapon will break. Openly carrying an atrocity-knife grants you a +2 fear bonus to Intimidate checks.
Compatibility with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game requires the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game from Paizo Publishing, LLC. See http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG for more information on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Paizo Publishing, LLC does not guarantee compatibility, and does not endorse this product.
Pathfinder is a registered trademark of Paizo Publishing, LLC, and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatibility Logo are trademarks of Paizo Publishing, LLC, and are used under the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatibility License. Seehttp://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/compatibility for more information on the compatibility license.
Pathfinder and associated marks and logos are trademarks of Paizo Publishing, LLC, and are used under license. See paizo.com/pathfinderRPG for more information on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.
Product Identity: The following items are hereby identified as Product Identity, as defined in the Open Game License version 1.0a, Section 1(e), and are not Open Content: All trademarks, registered trademarks, proper names (characters, locations, deities, etc.), dialogue, plots, storylines, locations, characters, artwork, photographs, and trade dress. (Elements that have previously been designated as Open Game Content are not included in this declaration.)
Open Content: Except for material designated as Product Identity (see above), the game mechanics of this Signal Fire Studios and Zombie Orpheus Entertainment article are Open Game Content, as defined in the Open Gaming License version 1.0a Section 1(d). No portion of this work other than the material designated as Open Game Content may be reproduced in any form without written permission.
Open Game License Version 1.0a
The following text is the property of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. and is Copyright 2000 Wizards of the Coast, Inc (“Wizards”). All Rights Reserved.
(a) “Contributors” means the copyright and/or trademark owners who have contributed Open Game Content;
(b) “Derivative Material” means copyrighted material including derivative works and translations (including into other computer languages), potation, modification, correction, addition, extension, upgrade, improvement, compilation, abridgment or other form in which an existing work may be recast, transformed or adapted;
© “Distribute” means to reproduce, license, rent, lease, sell, broadcast, publicly display, transmit or otherwise distribute;
(d) “Open Game Content” means the game mechanic and includes the methods, procedures, processes and routines to the extent such content does not embody the Product Identity and is an enhancement over the prior art and any additional content clearly identified as Open Game Content by the Contributor, and means any work covered by this License, including translations and derivative works under copyright law, but specifically excludes Product Identity.
(e) “Product Identity” means product and product line names, logos and identifying marks including trade dress; artifacts, creatures, characters, stories, storylines, plots, thematic elements, dialogue, incidents, language, artwork, symbols, designs, depictions, likenesses, formats, poses, concepts, themes and graphic, photographic and other visual or audio representations; names and descriptions of characters, spells, enchantments, personalities, teams, personas, likenesses and special abilities; places, locations, environments, creatures, equipment, magical or supernatural abilities or effects, logos, symbols, or graphic designs; and any other trademark or registered trademark clearly identified as Product identity by the owner of the Product Identity, and which specifically excludes the Open Game Content;
(f) “Trademark” means the logos, names, mark, sign, motto, designs that are used by a Contributor to identify itself or its products or the associated products contributed to the Open Game License by the Contributor
(g) “Use”, “Used” or “Using” means to use, Distribute, copy, edit, format, modify, translate and otherwise create Derivative Material of Open Game Content.
(h) “You” or “Your” means the licensee in terms of this agreement.
2. The License: This License applies to any Open Game Content that contains a notice indicating that the Open Game Content may only be Used under and in terms of this License. You must affix such a notice to any Open Game Content that you Use. No terms may be added to or subtracted from this License except as described by the License itself. No other terms or conditions may be applied to any Open Game Content distributed using this License.
3. Offer and Acceptance: By Using the Open Game Content You indicate Your acceptance of the terms of this License.
4. Grant and Consideration: In consideration for agreeing to use this License, the Contributors grant You a perpetual, worldwide, royaltyfree, non-exclusive license with the exact terms of this License to Use, the Open Game Content.
5. Representation of Authority to Contribute: If You are contributing original material as Open Game Content, You represent that Your Contributions are Your original creation and/or You have sufficient rights to grant the rights conveyed by this License.
6. Notice of License Copyright: You must update the COPYRIGHT NOTICE portion of this License to include the exact text of the COPYRIGHT NOTICE of any Open Game Content You are copying, modifying or distributing, and You must add the title, the copyright date, and the copyright holder’s name to theCOPYRIGHT NOTICE of any original Open Game Content you Distribute.
7. Use of Product Identity: You agree not to Use any Product Identity, including as an indication as to compatibility, except as expressly licensed in another, independent Agreement with the owner of each element of that Product Identity. You agree not to indicate compatibility or co-adaptability with any Trademark or Registered Trademark in conjunction with a work containing Open Game Content except as expressly licensed in another, independent Agreement with the owner of such Trademark or Registered Trademark. The use of any Product Identity in Open Game Content does not constitute a challenge to the ownership of that Product Identity. The owner of any Product Identity used in Open Game Content shall retain all rights, title and interest in and to that Product Identity.
8. Identification: If you distribute Open Game Content You must clearly indicate which portions of the work that you are distributing are Open Game Content.
9. Updating the License: Wizards or its designated Agents may publish updated versions of this License. You may use any authorized version of this License to copy, modify and distribute any Open Game Content originally distributed under any version of this License.
10. Copy of this License: You MUST include a copy of this License with every copy of the Open Game Content You distribute.
11. Use of Contributor Credits: You may not market or advertise the Open Game Content using the name of any Contributor unless You have written permission from the Contributor to do so.
12. Inability to Comply: If it is impossible for You to comply with any of the terms of this License with respect to some or all of the Open Game Content due to statute, judicial order, or governmental regulation then You may not Use any Open Game Material so affected.
13. Termination: This License will terminate automatically if You fail to comply with all terms herein and fail to cure such breach within 30 days of becoming aware of the breach. All sublicenses shall survive the termination of this License.
14. Reformation: If any provision of this License is held to be unenforceable, such provision shall be reformed only to the extent necessary to make it enforceable.
15. Copyright Notice
Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
System reference Document. Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, based on material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.
Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook. Copyright 2009, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.
The Book of Experimental Might. Copyright 2008, Monte J. Cook. All rights reserved.
Tome of Horrors. Copyright 2002, Necromancer Games, Inc.; Authors: Scott Greene, with Clark Peterson, Erica Balsley, Kevin Baase, Casey Christofferson, Lance Hawvermale, Travis Hawvermale, Patrick Lawinger, and Bill Webb; Based on original content from TSR.
The Atrocity Knife. Copyright 2010, Zombie Orpheus Entertainment, LLC; Authors: Matt Vancil and Jamie Chambers.