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Tales of the Sindri Udur

The Sin Baruk

Long-Axes, or Sin Baruks, are not only the Kazami’s preferred weapon but are their most important cultural icon and the symbol of the order of the Sindri Udur. Approximately 5-6½ foot long and usually comprising of a 2-2½foot slightly curved blade with a 3-4 foot handle, they are made from a single piece of metal folded multiple times to create intricate patterns and runes in the blade. Sin Baruks are split into approximately 30 categories of blade thickness; thinner blades are more effective in combat but bend and break in the hands of a stronger martial artist. When Kazami males come of age they must undergo the “Felek Baruk” or “axe-splitting” ceremony where they strike a special stone called a “Khurn Stone” as hard as they can to see if they can break the blade. Starting with the thinnest blade they strike the stone in a ceremonial manner and if the blade splits they move up to the next size of blade and try to break that one in the same ritualistic way. The first blade they cannot break against the Khurn Stone in a single strike will be the thickness of blade his own personal Sin Baruk will be when it is crafted for him. The thickness of a Sin Baruk is seen as the measure of the Kazami who wields it, the thicker the blade the more powerful and therefore more important they must be. A Kazami can, later in life, ask to perform a second Felek Baruk if they feel their strength has improved enough to require a thicker axe. It is not unheard of for rich, less scrupulous Kazami to request a Felek Baruk and either bribe the officials or supply their own inferior axes in the test so that they result in a much thicker axe than they deserve. It is of course, the role of the Sindri Udur to ensure such unscrupulous practices do not go unpunished and the guilty parties are suitably shamed.

The Sin Baruk

One of the highest honours for a Kazami male is for his axe to fail in combat, demonstrating they were fighting beyond their natural abilities. However, the honour this bestows is proportional to the quality of the axes that breaks, if the axe is of low quality or badly maintained then it is seen more as a careless accident than an honour. However, if the axe is of superior quality and has been cared for appropriately, the honour is high indeed, and from that point on the martial artist in question gets to wield the thickest type of axe possible known as a Khurn Bitr, the thickness of blade Sindri I wielded. Legends say that in his Felek Baruk, Sindri I broke all the axes there and so the smiths crafted him the thick enough to cut through a bundle of Stone-Reed in a single swing. It took 2 guildsmen to carry it but when he tested it, Sindri I split the Khurn Stone in two and hence forth was known as Khurn Bitr, a name that would be given to all blades of that thickness. In later years, it was also the weapon used by Sindri II to slay the demon Nathaug in the battle for Gabil’Herrot. As most Sin Baruks are of very high quality and are rarely actually used in combat, this almost never happens.

Kazami craftsman of the Smithing Guild put considerable effort into the making of a Sin Baruk, often taking decades to finish a single blade. Their traditions and methods are fiercely guarded secrets and although the basics are learnt by every apprentice guildsmen, each craftsman prides himself on personalising the process in some way, a secret only passed on from father to son. Craftsmen have been known to hire spies and thieves to find out a rivals techniques and assassins when they just want to eliminate the competition. Members of the order of Sindri Udur all carry superior quality Sin Baruks, custom made for the individual based on their strength, size and martial skill. It is the one thing they are allowed to own and they treat it as they would a loved one.