qaleghqa’neS! Welcome to the next installment of “Weapons of the Klingon Empire!” Today, we take a look at Klingon axes! The axe is a rather uncommon weapon in Klingon battle, for two reasons. The first being that, in close quarters combat, such as narrow star ship corridors, or cluttered bridges, large axes would have been more of a liability than a benefit. Naturally, once Klingons became a fully space faring race, battle axes became obsolete.
The second reason is that the betleH, the universal Klingon melee weapon that replaced almost every other, was designed to allow both close-in and extended reach techniques in close quarters combat. It was so well engineered for Klingon melee battle techniques, that no other large weapon could really come close to the kind of versatility the betleH offered the Klingon warrior.
As a result, most of the axes we will see today are Klingon designs adapted from medieval, pre-starship weapon design. First up, the ‘aqleH.
The ‘aqleH (or half betleH) is perhaps the most modern combat axe of the Klingon empire, developed for planetary based forces to use against a blitz attacks by mounted aggressors. Developed is perhaps not the best word, more like adapted, since, as you can see, it is essentially a standard betleH, cut in half and mounted on a shaft.
Because of it’s considerable length, this weapon would never see the inside of a starship, however for the same reason, it also served double duty as the only Klingon polearm of note, though historically, polearm weapons were rarely used at all, since Klingons found much greater honor in close quarters quarters combat.
The Klingon ‘alngegh is a medieval Klingon design that reflects many of the similar design philosophies of human battle axe development, spawned in the face of heavily armored opponents. The heavy, wide curved blade, allowed it to be used for both slashing and chopping against lightly armored foes, while the spiked rear head made it a great weapon for piercing heavier plate or mail armor.
Indeed the function and use of this weapon was identical to that of it’s human human counterpart, but in this axe you also begin to see the spark of what eventually inspired the design of the magnificent betleH known as the Sword of Kahless…
The third, and final axe weapon of Klingon origin that I am aware of is called the jey’naS. The jey’naS is a unique double bladed axe design, but unlike traditional medieval Human axe design, this weapon features a unique double hook blade design. It’s hard to tell what inspired this particular design.
Because of the voids behind each blade it would not be a particularly strong chopping weapon, and would have been fairly useless against armor, so my guess is that this weapon probably predated the ‘alngegh. However it would have been quite adequate at slashing duty.
Also the head of this axe is not only pinned onto the shaft, but also has a long tang that extens all the way down through the shaft, and is secured to a metallic pommel, just below the widely flared base of the grip. The flared base would give the wielder a very secure purchase, and the extended tang and buttcap would make it very resistant to extension forces.
Combine those design elements with the large voids, and very sharp points at the bottom of each hook-like blade, and you can see this being designed to trap an opponents weapon, or possibly even hook, impale and unseat a fast moving mounted aggressor. A fairly stereotypical Klingon tactic, given that they tend to prefer close up face time with an opponent.
But all in all the jey’naS is also one of the more unusual, but aesthetically pleasing axe designs I have come across, though I am torn between it and the ‘alngegh for my favorite Klingon axe design. They are both great weapons with all the curves and points you could ever want out of an axe…
Sadly, that ends this episode of “Weapons of the Glorious Klingon Empire”. Special thanks to Kri’stak Forge, and the Klingon Imperial Weapons Guild, for keeping the flame of honor alive. I hope you’ll join us for our next installment. Until then, I bid honor to your great house. Qapla’ batlh je!
Kri’stak Forge – [Klingon Imperial Weapons Guild]