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an original fic pondering

What's a believable (i.e. you wouldn't roll your eyes if you came across it in a story) reason that a pre-firearms society would not use bladed weapons?
  • Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful
The only believable reasons I've come across in my reading are things like a complete lack of any sort of metals that could be refined into weapons. But even that stretches things as other things would develop, like wooden or stone tipped spears and arrows - originally all arrow tips were made of flint or something similar anyway.

I guess it all depends on where you want to go with the story. If it's any sort of fantasy, then perhaps because the development of various magic had rendered any sort of weapon development useless - though I find that a bit of a stretch even in that setting.

Perhaps if it were a place where nothing burned hot enough to make fires where metal could be burned. Yes, I'm rolling my eyes at that too. Maybe there are no easily accessible mineral deposits?

Of course, the whole premise of any reason for which a society didn't develop edged weapons, even perhaps a religious one as someone else said, is that this society would be fairly quickly crushed by anyone around them who did use bladed weapons. It's all very well walking into a fight with a cudgel when the other guy has the same thing, but when the other guy is holding a sword ... Just look at how the conquistadors did in South America. When they arrived wearing armour and carrying swords and the like, the various indigenous populations couldn't really offer much in the way of resistance.

Hopefully someone else can help you come up with a believable reason.