The other day I discovered a show on the History Channel. It’s called Forged in Fire, and it’s basically Chopped but with blacksmiths making weapons.
In the first episode I caught, the smiths’ final challenge was to each craft a pata. I wasn’t really familiar with this weapon, but I did have the inkling I’d seen it somewhere before. I’m glad the judges pointed out its famous appearance!
The pata is an interesting Indian blade that’s basically a longsword attached to a gauntlet. Although it looks like it could do some serious stabby-stabby damage, it was meant primarily for chopping. The arm-attachment provides for extra strong slashes. Combined with superior reach, this apparently made it an effective infantry weapon against armored cavalry.
Wikipedia also tells me that the pata was sometimes paired with a shield, javelin, axe, or belt, and often even another pata. Can you imagine having two of those badboys strapped on?
I’d honestly like to see more use of the pata. Heck, I’d like to see more use of exotic and unusual weapons in general. Plenty of fantasy characters wield long swords or big ‘ol axes or even warhammers; sure, they’re tried and true. But how about some flavor?