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Basic Information

There are several existing medieval illustrations that show an upgraded and elongated torch variant for which I'm going to coin the term torchstaff. We're talking about a torch as tall as a man. In these depictions the bottom half is like a walking stick, so you can rest some of the weight on the ground and not wear out your arm waving a torch around all night. The upper half is the burnable part - it's fatter and longer than a normal torch, and presumably burns for good bit longer than the standard handheld torch. If a normal torch usually lasts 10 to 30 minutes before burning out, chances are good the torchstaff at least doubles the illumination time. This would seem to be the logical ancestor of the lantern-on-a pole that a lot of pre-modern night watchmen are depicted as carrying.

There's no reason why a further variant couldn't exist with a point on the end so you stick it in the ground and walk away like a tiki torch, but I'm not aware of any historical illustrations depicting that variation.

See the torch page to learn more.



Game and Story Use

  • It seems like an obviously useful thing to have access to when exploring or standing guard duty in the middle ages. Like the rushlight, I'm surprised something like this doesn't appear on more lists of adventuring equipment in RPGs.
    • Unlike the lantern on a pole, this is probably quite useful for keeping dangerous animals at bay - a burning bit to jab in the critter's face, and a long bit to keep it away from yours.
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