Patadessa: Sardinian Knives

sardinian-knifeThe pinnacle of north-eastern medieval Sardinian culture is the patadessa or Sardinian knife. Crafted lovingly by dedicated knifesmiths, the myrtle leaf-shaped blades deftly fold into their mouflon horn handles and exceptional examples are considered more precious than gemstones. Two similar styles, the s’arburessa with its flat rounded blade used for skinning animals and the rectangular lametta used for stripping cork oak are made by craftsmen elsewhere on the island. A similar craft tradition exists in Corsica, but the knives, known there as cursina by the shepherds that use them, typically have a  sawtoothed section along the top of the blade. Corsican craftsmen are also responsible for a small pointed knife called the temperinu.

sardinian-knivesSardinian knives are readily concealable due to their folding construction, making them a favourite of Genoese sailors and adventurers alike, whereas Corsican knives are generally simpler in construction except for a jacknife style known as the runchetta. All such knives are considered superior Items of Quality and grant up to a +3 bonus to both Attack and Defense rolls to the wielder.

The best knifemakers possess the Touched by (Realm) Virtue or Mythic Knifesmith, typically aligned to the Magic or Faerie Realms allowing them to forge their knives as Wondrous Items with minor magical effects. More accomplished knifesmiths may possess other craft magic related Minor Virtues that allow them to either impart their own Ability score in Single Weapon: Knife to the wielder, add a +3 bonus to the wielder’s rolls with the weapon, or else grant limited use of one of their own minor Supernatural Abilities.

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