Origins of the Double Scimitar

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I'll preface by acknowledging that this is a pretty niche query and that I'm fully capable of justifying it however I like in my Eberron. Nevertheless I thought I'd throw this out there to see if anyone else had given it any thought:

While there's no doubt in my mind that the Tairnadal have a wide variety of weapon traditions, the Double Scimitar is, in my opinion, the iconic weapon most associated with their warrior culture. Based upon the importance of emulating Ancestors in their culture, it would seem that, by extension, it was also the chosen weapon of a good number of the elven rebels from the Age of Giants.

This is the source of my confusion.

It seems odd to me that a slave population that was "on the move" would have the facilities and materiel necessary to *make* a superior weapon of this nature. Was the double scimitar originally a weapon crafted by the Giants for their drow servants that the elven rebels stole? If it's the case that it was a scavenged weapon, how did its use become so widespread by the variety of elven cultures fighting the giants that it's seen as the iconic weapon of their descendents who emulate them?

Similarly, the conflict between the elves and their Giants masters has consistently been portrayed as that of elven warriors using "guerilla tactics" against a superior opponent. I can see elven guerilla fighters creeping around a jungle with bows and arrows or perhaps daggers made from found materials, but a steel double scimitar seems somewhat "unwieldy" in that setting and that purpose. I realize there were a variety of terrains in Xen'drik, and maybe it's more representative of a warrior from the desert regions, but I still don't see how it goes from being the chosen weapon of a small group in Xen'drik to the iconic weapons of their descendents. 

So why the preponderance of double scimitars? Why not the bow and arrow, or simple melee weapons that could have been more easily crafted from found materials? Rule of cool, or something else entirely?
    The Elven war with the giants lasted centuries and giants were on the decline during much of it.  During that time you had small bands of freedom fighters, but you also had full blown stable communities. There were enough free elves with enough free time to study/develop magic, lay the foundations of ancestory worship, forge weapons, and manage enough stability to establish a functioning nation of sorts.  They had been winning for a while when they finally decided to leave for Aerenal.

  The  double scimitar has important status/cultural meaning that outweighs its practicality as a battlefield weapon.  Just like real world knights didn't exclusively use the longsword, Samurai preferred bows and various polearms to katanas, and a Ghurka soldier scores more kills with his rifle than his kurki. 

The average Valenar possesses training and skills comparable to the Ranger class, so he's also pretty good with archery. I imagine that to be their go to weapon in most life or death situations.
I don't have time to answer in detail, but a quick point is that not all elves were slaves. This could have been the result of earlier small scale rebellions (as could easily occur in the chaos of the giant-quori conflict) or even of a giant society that chose to emancipate its slaves long before the fullscale Elf-Giant wars. If you read this Eye on Eberron article, Cardaen was a slave of the Cul'sir, but Vadallia was a free elf who worked to unite the other clans of the free elves. Beyond these, you also have the Qabalrin as an example of a sophisticated Elven culture so mystically advanced that even the giants chose to leave them alone.

So it's possible the double scimitar was originally designed by giants as a tool for those elves who policed the other elves (even before the drow); those who turned on the giants enjoyed turning this weapon into a tool of liberation.

However, if you want MY answer? The double scimitar is in fact a weapon from Thelanis (though not in widespread use among all feyspires). The first free clan retreated to the fallen feyspire of Shae Tirias Tolai, and there they found weapons of their eladrin ancestors; the giants had left a wide range of treasures behind, as they were too small to be useful. These powerful artifacts helped these first free elves survive, especially in a time when they didn't have the tools to create magical weapons of their own, and they became vital legacy items for heroes of each generation. This also means you might find Eladrin in Thelanis using similar weapons...
  The  double scimitar has important status/cultural meaning that outweighs its practicality as a battlefield weapon.

Exactly. Hence my thought that even then, it was seen as the weapon of the ancestors - and because these blades were some of the first and most powerful artifacts the free elves possessed, a symbol of their freedom. It's likewise worth noting that the individuals idolized by the Valenar are their greatest heroes. So it's quite likely that the double scimitar wasn't the common weapon of the typical soldier, who would be more likely to be working with salvaged tools; these were the treasured weapons of the greatest heroes. But in the present day, it's possible for most soldiers to emulate those heroes. If we were comparing the early elves to Arthurian legend, they'd be using swords because that's the traditional weapon of the king and his knights... even though the most common soldier might be using a dagger or repurposed farming implement.

Of course, this also opens the possibility of having an ancestor who was just such a simple soldier, and who achieved legendary things despite fighting with a threshing flail... so that would be the weapon those Valenar tied to him would use.

  The average Valenar possesses training and skills comparable to the Ranger class, so he's also pretty good with archery.


In one of my games, I had a Valenar PC whose family had always been chosen by a legendary swordsman, but who had been selected by a famous archer. He'd refused to accept this, stolen his family's double scimitar, and fled Aerenal; his character arc was about coming to terms with this and deciding if he would accept his sacred duty to emulate the ancestor who'd chosen him, or turn against those traditions.
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