The axe has seen use as a tool of war for many ages long past. A heavy, two-handed weapon that can cause truly gruesome damage in the hands of a skilled fighter, the axe has seen many variants come into being since its inception. The sword may be the weapon of choice for many brave warriors throughout the lands, but a stout combatant wielding the two-headed battle axe can be fear-inspiring.
According to Vetron's Guide to Weapons and Armour, the two-handed axe has a "10" effectiveness rating, giving it an advantage in stopping power over the one-handed sword -- a change from earlier Ultima games.
Axes have been seen in the series since Ultima I. Ultima IV saw the introduction of the magic axe, which always returned to its wielder's hand when thrown, as well as the halberd, which greatly resembled a long staff with an axe blade at one end. In Ultima V, the non-magical throwing axe first came into popularity.
Several special axes have appeared throughout history:
- Magic axe - A throwing axe enchanted to return to its wielder.
- Axe of Firedoom - Casts Flame Strike, but fire protection is a must.
- Erinon's Axe - Greatly enhances the wielder's battle powers; found in the Silver Seed.
- The Deceiver - A magical axe found in Pagan.
With a double-sided two foot blade, a warrior wielding a battle axe can really wage war. The axe is a favorite among Tinkers, as many of them are workers of wood and metal.
As a weapon, an axe in one hand is a good match for a sturdy shield in the other. In combat against multiple foes, an axe permits rapid attack without a sacrifice of defensive balance. Combat axes come in many shapes and qualities and are quite effective against weak and untrained opposition, such as barroom thugs and bandits of the highway.