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Sketchbook: Shark Tooth Daggers

Sketchbook: Shark Tooth Daggers published on 15 Comments on Sketchbook: Shark Tooth Daggers

AU version of the Neineikura headmates, if instead of magical girls, they were all heartsword wielders!

The “what kind of soul gives you what heartsword shape” rules for humans are really well-defined, but less so for Tamaputians. We just know they always draw lei o mano — daggers with blades made of shark teeth.

Although they share a body, Kallie, Atarangi, and Kiki are all individuals, which means they each get their own heartsword.

(Readers, place your bets: If one headmate drew her heartsword, and then switched, would it shapeshift? Or would the next headmate be able to also draw her heartsword, and then dual-wield?)

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Oooh, interesting question! I actually think it would be a third option: the first heartsword would “despawn”, as though stowed, and the newly fronting member would have to draw their own blade separately.

But it’d be interesting to see if co-fronting headmates would be able to dual wield or if they would draw a fusion-style weapon.

Thirding this, with the addition that switching back would “respawn” the first sword again, instead of it needing to be drawn anew.

Fourthing this. Except I don’t think the respawn would happen unless their hand happened to be in a proper position to be able to hold the weapon and it wouldn’t be stabbing anyone, because otherwise that could be logistically troublesome and also OP.

It’s also possible that the respawn would only happen if the headmate that had the body immediately prior also had their heartsword out. In which case the despawn/respawn would appear to be a shape-shifting sword.

It’s an interesting thought, but doesn’t really work well with how I was thinking of it.

Basically, fronting in a system is kind of like taking a physical presence in the world, right? And drawing your heartsword is a similar kind of idea, manifesting your soul/identity in a physical kind of form. So I don’t think having your heartsword drawn is a thing you can do internally (in your plural headspace) and have it just directly translate to physical reality any more than your internal image of yourself translates to physical reality, which means that if you stop fronting and your blade gets stowed, you’d have to draw it again to have it actually present.

If that *was* how it worked, though, I agree with Ed that it’d basically be the same as the shapeshifting option.

Okay, now would it be possible for a heartsword wielder and a magical girl to be headmates? Or does the muscle memory carry over too strongly?

I feel like it’d be POSSIBLE, but the challenge lies in both getting enough front time to appropriately train, because the body still has physical limitations.

Yeah, this is my feeling about it too. There’s only so much time in a day, after all, and when you’re sharing that time with someone else, it gets even harder to fit it all in. And unlike situations like “you’re both magical girls” or “you’re both heartsword-wielders”, you don’t get any benefit from “sitting in” on each other’s lessons and practice.

A fourth possibility could be that they couldn’t swap who was in control while a heart weapon was out. This feels off and since it wasn’t mentioned or feel like a good option, I doubt that it’s how it would actually work. But I do feel like mentioning it for completeness.

Edit: To be clear, I’m not counting the heartsword/magical girl question as a possibility, because it doesn’t feel like it actually answers the question but rather poses a different one instead. But I do acknowledge it as a comment and as a question I also wondered.

Ooh hey, if you wanna go for completeness, I got one more for you: you can only have one heartblade out at a time, so you’re stuck with your headmate’s already-drawn blade unless you deliberately stow it yourself and draw your own.

(Same disclaimer, I don’t think it’d work this way.)

Variant: If your heartblade is out? You are up front, Period. Your soul (or an abstraction thereof?) is on display for the world, and that manifestation keeps you from being [dragged] somewhere out of the way like Aratangi was during Ø Is For Øverwritten.

This doesn’t preclude another member of the system drawing their blade, too… and it especially doesn’t forbid one of the members drawing their blade, handing it over, then standing back without going full out-of-body while a more practiced headmate, say, takes the body through the appropriate kata as a training exercise for the less-experienced headmate, just so they can ‘feel’ the right stances.

When Atarangi is transformed and Kallie makes a fronting comment, the body doesn’t lose power or change outfit, right? I feel like the heartsword would be like that: it would despawn soon but not immediately, allowing a short period of dual-wielding.

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