Please note that I use the term “nerds” lovingly and inclusively, as a member of the group. I don’t want to get into a nerd-credentials battle, but I’m a software developer, I’ve written books on pretty niche technical topics, and I am of course currently employed at one of the greatest concentrations of professional nerd-dom to ever grace the planet.

Back before the days of the Internet, if you had a disagreement about medieval weaponry, you pretty much had to agree to disagree. When I was a kid, our small town library had almost zero books descriptive of such things. And, as I’ve come to learn after writing a bunch of books, those books we did have access too were probably just written by someone who thought they knew some stuff. It was, like, just their opinion, man.

flail from (yes) Hill Interiors

So this discussion:

“I use my mace.”

“No, you have a morning star.”

“They’re the same thing!”

“No they’re not.”

This discussion usually ended in hurt feelings, because nerds are gonna nerd, which translates to “fight to the death over matters of syntax and semantics.”

Anyway, we do have the Internet now, and someone has made a handy flowchart to determine if the medieval weapon you’re wielding is a mace, a morning star, or a flail. It turns out that my friend and I who had the argument were both wrong.

Click through below for the real deal and the cute flow chart.

The Morningstar – Distinguishing Your Bludgeoning Weapons: Medieval Weaponry and Accoutrements

Also, if you’re even in a discussion at Google and you want to set off an hour-long verbal flame war, tell someone that you’re trying to learn to properly use a mace but the chain keeps getting kinked up, then walk quickly away.

Buy Lincoln, Fox and the Bad Dog on right now, or get the first half for free right here if you're still on the fence (.epub download to read in iBooks, Google Play Books, etc.)

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