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After the apocalypse event, humanity basically had to start from scratch. The systems made to store the information about modern technology were damaged beyond repair, with the new human race having only access to middle age technology and limited, poor quality firearms. In this society which saw itself returning to the use of melee weapons, they had to isolate themselves from the "changed", once humans from the ancient times, now cold monsters devoid of empathy which thrived while the new humans were "grown". What settles these creatures apart is the ability to generate thick, sharp scales akin to those of a pangolin, which they grow on their hands and body to use as swords and bullet-proof Armour. They're mostly composed of keratin

Now, could these "changed" really do that? I've seen concepts of modifying one's arm into a sword, but that would sacrifice flexibility as the wrist joint is rendered useless. Could a creature grow a bladed weapon on their hand, preferably through the association of long scales? The hand is meant to be almost fully covered by the grown structure and be usable again after its discarded by the body.

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  • $\begingroup$ Why don't you instead give them katar-like forearm projections instead? Or, alternatively, just rip off Wolverine's claws. $\endgroup$ – Halfthawed Apr 6 at 20:04
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    $\begingroup$ That kind of "change" is likely to take millions of years via normal evolution. So unless you're going the "bitten by a radioactive spider/// pangolin" approach, ain't gonna happen. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Apr 6 at 20:52
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    $\begingroup$ Don’t get me wrong: I like the question, but I have to ask why these creatures need swords rather than going with the much simpler ‘claws and longer arms’ option. $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Apr 6 at 21:41
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    $\begingroup$ @ProjectApex: I think you need to consider what they were engineered for, since I can’t think of a situation where affixing a bayonet to an arm makes a creature better at anything than giving them suitably sized claws. If they were bioengineered their primary enemies would be humans using guns, so a sword is less useful than being stealthy. If they were (for some reason) engineered to fight swordsmen then simply armouring them well enough that they can close to within arms reach and tear off their opponents face would suffice, so flat armour plates, strong muscles and claws. $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Apr 7 at 7:34
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    $\begingroup$ Reading only the title, I imagined this question was going to be about planting a sword garden. I came here all ready to talk about Papuan ironwood machetes and making spiked clubs by embedding flint daggers in successive tree saplings and harvesting juvenile trees when a war starts. $\endgroup$ – Michael Apr 8 at 16:26
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You're mixing things that don't need to be mixed.

1) They grow weapons.

2) They use those weapons.

Have them grow a keratin(ish) sword then detach it to use normally. So while it's growing it's more ornamental than useful, like a spine growing down their back or something.

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    $\begingroup$ That's evolutionarily very unlikely $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Apr 6 at 20:50
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    $\begingroup$ @CarlWitthoft We're deep into bioengineering and the remains of future tech... So they're "starting over" but they got further up the technology tree than we are right now. $\endgroup$ – Dark Matter Apr 6 at 20:56
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African Clawed Frogs do something similar but more gruesome. You see instead of scales, they brace their own brittle, sharp bones to form false claws to scratch their enemies with. Not only is is it terrifying, it's a great biological metaphor to add to that "cold monsters devoid of empathy" thing you're looking for.

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A guy on youtube turned his beard into a knife.

The answer is probably yes. Any body part an animal sheds can be transformed with some imagination, and if the tool created is useful then it eventually becomes part of evolution.

Example: spiders evolved webs to block prey, with time they understood that their silk is a material for flying, building traps and houses

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