Rojerian Hunting Knives

special thanks to: arno smet

The Rojerian hunting knife is an item of unique significance to the Rojerian people, and so when it appears off-world or in the hands of non-Rojerians, it is important to consider what that could mean. This document is meant to familiarize the layman with the history and use of a Rojerian hunting blade.

The making of the blade is primitive, and its construction process has changed little in technology from the steel age of Roger society. Mass production is as intuitive to the Rojerian philosophy of uniformity as one might imagine, and so hunting knives are designed to be easily made, easily used, and easily replaced.

Ore for the knives is gathered, smelted, analyzed and then shaped in molds. In times of old, gathering took place on the surface. In modern times, mining has produced a steady stream of metals. The molded metals are then sharpened and sheered down to size before being affixed with a handle and distributed as knives. Each blade is shaped in the same fashion, with two flat edges and one curved edge looping inward on the knife. Opposite the sharpened side, the metal is slightly thicker and dull.

The handle is wood, and must be taken from only one species of tree for the sake of Rojerian uniformity. The handle has no grip, no curve, and nothing to make it comfortable for long-term use. It is meant to be utilitarian and simple. Knives are to be produced quickly and without distinction.

When completed, the knife resembles an Earth butcher's knife with a hole cut on the sharp side of the blade. This unusual shape is a result of the knife's usage design. The front point and edge are meant for stabbing or gutting, as a standard bladed tool would require. The edge near the handle is for chopping, or cutting any item that would require more leverage - another basic use of any bladed tool. As the knife is used, these edges can become dulled or chipped, and so it is the curved inner blade that stays sharpened over time.

The curve is brutal in its intent. Rogers, a species biologically defined by their ability to run and jump, learned long ago that to overtake prey from behind was useless if they could only inflict one or two superficial wounds with their blade. If they could, like the larger predators, overtake their prey and then quickly rip the jugular vein, they could bring down much larger creatures. The curve allows a Roger to "hook in" to the flesh of their prey from around the neck, and so even if the prey fights to free itself, the damage will be done. This is, needless to say, a messy ordeal and Rojerian hunters will be absolutely bathed in the blood of their prey.

If the prey flees with the knife still in their wounds, it is not considered a significant loss, as the knives can be quickly and easily replaced due to their mass production.

Rogers are omnivores, and so can go lengthy periods of time without needing to consume meat. While hunting was certainly an option to support nutrition in times of old, it could easily have been foregone in favor of other high-protein foods such as nuts or insects. In lean ancient times, however, the need for qualified hunters made itself evident. However, as Rogers are a species obsessed with uniformity, hunting became a skill that every generation was ceremonially trained in in order to justify it existing as a culturally at all.

Shortly before a Roger would come of age, they (and all others in their generation) would begin training to become a "hunter." In ancient times, this consisted of being abandoned by their elders and forced to survive only on what they could catch - and kill - on their own as a group. Conceptually it was to desensitize the generation to the need to hunt, kill, and ultimately dismember in order to survive. At the beginning of this abandonment period, the young Rogers were equipped with the bare minimum in supplies, including a Rojerian hunting knife. Occasionally, these hunts would result in cannibalism. Culturally this was not scandalous at the time, for if the group of young hunters decided to survive together they needed to kill one of their own, it was considered in keeping with the group uniform behavioral trend of Roger society.

While most of the "hunting party" never developed the skill, a few would rise to the call and be qualified at seeking out prey should the need of their society for meat arise.

In modern times, the training is more technologically and psychologically advanced. Young Rogers are brought to a training center where they are given a daily diet of violent imagery in order to desensitize them. In a display of psychological conditioning considered brutal to most other cultures, they are also informed that at the end of their stay they must hunt one of their own - or be hunted. They are kept on a low-protein high-sugar diet which leaves young Rogers impressionable to such brainwashing. In the end, there is no actual hunt. The elaborate psychological exercise culminates in sleep depravation and isolation, and ideally hallucination, resulting in the young Rogers feeling both that they are hunted and must become the hunter in order to survive.

It should go without saying that both methods, old and new, are brutal. Often young Rogers do not survive, or survive with deep psychological scarring. Those that are able to maintain a mask of calm after they leave the center 'graduate' as Hunters, and are awarded a Rojerian hunting knife. The knife is symbolic and, though functional, rarely ever used. Most Roger adults simply stow it away somewhere, forgetting it all together.

The brutal significance of the knife and what it means to Rojerian society - abandonment, isolation, starvation, torture and ultimately repression - should never be taken lightly. While it is uncommon, aliens raised by Rojerian society or Rojerian philosophy-driven organization will also acquire these blades. Because of the dark associations, the blades themselves have little to no value on the intergalactic market and are not often seen. It is uncommon for a Roger who has moved off- world to save or use the knife, as it is only another reminder of the society they do not see themselves as a part of.