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In an ancient time period (sometime around 500 AD technologically), would it be possible for a culture to have unique and unstoppable weapons? NO, because your question is fundamentally misunderstands conflict. The purpose is to win the war, not to win the battle, and, since weapons are designed and wielded by humans, and humans are imperfect, every weapon ...


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What would cause a culture to keep a distinct weapon for centuries? Success. If your enemies have found no way to duplicate/master a similar weapon and no way to counter it, then there is no motivation to replace it. Necessity is the mother of invention, not success.


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Can it be something basic like the mercenaries' weapons are blessed? It doesn't even have to be a 'real' blessing. Just the fact the wielder believes in the blessing makes it work that much better. This could answer both your title and body of your question which are not exactly the same.


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To be kept, a weapon has to be useful. If it's easy to use and significantly better than common weapons, it will become ubiquitous. Therefore, for the weapon to remain in use in one location and relatively unknown elsewhere, it has to be useful but either difficult to learn to use effectively, difficult to produce, or less useful in other environments. ...


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Gunpowder ... Mercenaries from behind the ocean are mysterious indeed, but not because of their dress or talk. No my lord, their weapons are the most mysterious. They spit fire, smoke and death, no man is safe from them. Wearing armour or carrying shield is no use against these. And the noise they make, like heavens should fall on us! Alas! How can one hope ...


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If a weapon is actually a significant upgrade it will be copied by everyone within a short period of time unless the people that know how it functions are rare. Where you would end up with a weapon that was unique to a group for an extended period of time would be when a weapon isn't actually better under normal circumstances but that when combined with a ...


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You got the English Longbow. Archery is hard. Like, really hard. Fantasy almost never makes justice on how skilled and how strong an archer has to be to be effective in combat. While we often see archers as those lithe, quick, nimble elf-like beings with noodly arms that use bows because they lack upper body strength, that is the absolutely worst physical ...


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Historical example: horse and bow The steppe nomads from Asia have been quite proficient horse archers. It's their signature fighting style to move quickly and shoot. Individually, neither of these is hard to duplicate. And mostly anybody can learn to shoot from atop a horse. What makes the steppe people fearsome is how well they do both at the same time. It'...


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A sword made from something like Damascus steel Damascus steel is perhaps a few centuries away from your targeted tech level, but some similar early steel making tech (e.g., iron + fire + pumped air containing co2, e.g., coal fire smoke = steel) would make steel blades far superior to iron ones. Existing blacksmiths can melt anything metal down and recast it ...


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It's not the form, it's the material Actually this "super weapon" is simply a sword/spear. Maybe it does look fancy, but that's because the godess of those island-weirdos demands it. But compared to mainlander-swords the material is more durable, probably a bit lighter and needs a lot of disuse to lose it's edge. And you know how those island-...


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The unstoppable weapon of 500 A.D was called "The Horse." It had dominated battlefields for thousands of years already, and would continue to dominate for 1400 more. 500 A.D was the middle of an arms race to breed bigger, stronger horses for greater tactical advantage. Expensive, but used properly they were very much worth the price.


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Us and them The scope of your question is huge and I guess you'll get plenty of great answers. However, I think you can boil it down to something simple. Us and them. All you need is the ability to separate some people from others. This can be distance, the food they like, religion or whatever. Each of these don't necessitate a different society or culture. ...


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Theres a few different possibilities that might arise from this situation. The first that comes to mind is conflict. From what it sounds like, these people have no idea what parts of their lives are real and what parts are made-up. Depending on the people, some may find this situation difficult to grasp. People have good memories and bad memories: even ...


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Conditions, Conditions, and Conditions Say one group develops on an archipelago of separate islands, another on inland plains. Different political organization. Say one group lives in a key trade node, without much agricultural potential. Different economic organization. Say one group lives in the floodplains of a predictable river, another one follows ...


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< :-) > Without a doubt it's the Honey Badger. They can't stand violence from ANYTHING. If a Honey Badger meets something that's violent, might be violent or can be suspected of thinking that violence may be a good idea it immediately uses all possible means to eliminate the violence source. If this is not possible (which is usually not the case) then ...


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I think the best candidate for this would be the Naked Mole-rat. They are classified as eusocial creatures, which means that they behave as a collective to support a single reproducing female rather than reproducing individually, similar to many bee and wasp species. They are the only mammals that behave in this way which makes them uniquely qualified in ...


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Bonobos, unlike common chimps, are matriarchal and non-violent, at least within troops. They can be described as randy little buggers, as they use sex to reduce social tensions. They do eat meat, including lower primates, but this is a small part of their diet.


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The hedgehog: Some mammals respond to threats with aggression. Carnivores have effective weaponary for violence. Many herbivores have learned that the best defence is a good offence and many will fight over mates. But there are some who respond defensively. Hedgehogs do. They have a passive and effective defensive system. They are not build to fight nor ...


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The Sloth, of course. The concept of ANY energetic physical movement, much less that directed to injury, is anathema to their very way of life. It is rumored that they redirect the usual instincts for physical violence into political intrigue, but no-one has waited around long enough to verify this as yet. It can be hard to tell by body language alone. Image ...


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Possibly - the capybara Capybaras are somewhat known for being extremely relaxed around other animals and they are also quite social. They share their natural habitat with many other species and with some they have developed a natural symbiotic relation (with birds, for example). They also give an alarm when sensing a predator, which others around can ...


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Prairie Vole My answer, after about half an hour of poking around the Internet, is the prairie vole. I went looking for species that do male courtship displays as their primary mating ritual. Why? Because every species that does combat or dominance displays for mating rights is automatically less likely to avoid violence -- there's at least one arena where ...


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Scientists have studied the frequency of aggression in mammals in several studies. This study investigates the roots of lethal violence across Mammalia. However, this study is only based on field reports of positive confirmation that animals engage in lethal violence, which can be seen in how primates appear hyper-aggressive. Primate are hyper-aggressive, ...


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It is always freaking cold. source It is always cold where these folks are. Even inside, because they are ok with it being cold so they don't crank the heat. They cope by wrapping up and they stay wrapped up. Even when it is not that cold, it feels weird for these folks to not be wrapped up. Like you or I would feel weird strutting around naked from the ...


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The Seven Sevens As a lot of people have already pointed out, your city is absolutely enormous an virtually impossible to be physically maintained. That's not the question though. The question is how you govern a city that size. The answer is by stratifying the country into distinct social classes determined by your political station. At the top, you have ...


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The answer is fairly simple: give your ruler sole control of the magitech the city needs to survive. As other answers have pointed out, without some serious magic this city hasn't got an ice-cube's chance in hell of existing; a settlement of this size would require a colossal hinterland and super-advanced trade network to supply it with enough food and raw ...


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