Bas-Lag Wiki

The weapons of Bas-Lag are incredibly varied in form and function. This article contains a large, but not exhaustive, list of the various types of weapons used by various races and factions in the world of Bas-Lag. The various weapons are grouped according to their primary means of functionality.

Mechanical weapons[]

Mechanical weaponry refers to weapons that do not exclusively use thaumaturgy in order to function. However, mechanical weapons can be, and sometimes are, enhanced with thaumaturgical properties by sufficiently skilled users. The adventurer Shadrach, for example, used an intricately carved pistol enhanced by thaumaturgy.

  • Bolas - A type of throwing weapon composed of weights attached by cords. Bolas are used by a variety of races.
  • Bomb - Refers to a variety of explosive weapons, almost exclusively using gunpowder. Distinct from the variety of thaumaturgical explosives.
  • Longbow - Used by the hotchi tribesmen of the Rudewood bordering the southern fringes of New Crobuzon.
  • Crossbow - Crossbows are used in New Crobuzon and come in a variety of sizes, ranging from full-size crossbows and double-crossbows to smaller crossbow pistols.
  • Firearm - Firearms are used heavily by the New Crobuzon Militia as well as pirates frequenting the Swollen Ocean. In 1779, firearms were primarily muzzle-loaded, but technology has advanced sufficiently such that by 1805 percussion-cap firearms were very common.
  • Machete - Used by the adventurer Shadrach.
  • Rapier - Used by the adventurer Tansell.
  • Rivebow - Primarily a cactacae weapon, rivebows are large crossbows that fire spinning chakra to severe limbs and torsos. They were developed to injure and kill the very durable cactacae, but due to their large size they are difficult for other races to wield.
  • Sling
  • Stingbox - Stingboxes are an ancient khepri weapon that originate from Bered Kai Nev. Notoriously difficult to operate, stingboxes incorporate "metaclockwork" into their functionality. When used as a weapon, they shoot two spiked balls connected to wires that lead back to the box. Operators can adjust the current that flows through the wires to stun or kill their targets.
  • Yarritusks - Briefly mentioned in The Scar. It is unknown what kind of weapon this is.
  • Baan - Briefly mentioned in The Scar.

Thaumaturgical weapons[]

Thaumaturgical weaponry refers to weapons that require the wielders to utilize thaumaturgy in order for them to function.

  • Gnoscourges - Thaumaturgicaly-enhanced whips used by the New Crobuzon elementarii to incite and control elementals. Gnoscourges are capable of extending and retracting large distances.
  • Golem mirrors - Enhanced, reinforced mirrors used to create and direct light golems.
  • Golem traps - As the name suggests, golem traps are golem-summoning traps. They can be created with conditional logic that triggers them in the presence of specific conditions, such as New Crobuzon Militia.
  • Prefabricated golem - Used by the New Crobuzon Overseas Militia, prefabricated golems, or "prefabs", are portable, unfolding weapons made of leather, wire, and metal piping. These golems are capable of flight via their leather wings and skewer their targets with bayonets mounted on thin, extending metal limbs.
  • Toro's helm - A thaumaturgically-enhanced metal helmet in the shape of a bull's head. It is imbued with thaumaturgic properties that allow the wearer to track thaumaturges and make use of space-bending shortcuts throughout the city.
  • Toothbomb - A likely thaumaturgical weapon, toothbombs turn the teeth of anyone caught in their blast radius into shrapnel, blowing them out through the jaw and cheeks.
  • Gris-gris mace - A weapon used by shamans of the Wormseye Scrub. Gris-gris maces are studded in "whispersome cowries".

Other weapons[]

  • Daggerpigeon - A type of pigeon possessing metal-bladed feathers. Braces of daggerpigeons are used by some Maru'ahmers as weapons to settle gambling disputes.
  • Possible Sword - The Possible Sword is a Ghosthead artifact that is neither a thaumaturgical nor a purely mechanical weapon.
  • Colourbomb - A weapon of mass destruction first used by New Crobuzon. The science was later lost, and subsequently rediscovered by Tesh.
  • Torque bomb - A weapon of mass destruction that uses Torque to contaminate a large area. The science was later lost after the Pirate Wars.
  • Unnamed living ranged weapon - A strange ranged weapon is used by an abnatural bounty hunter in central Rohagi. The weapon sometimes takes the form of a pistol which "spits and mutters" when fired, and other times becomes a rifle or a crossbow; in all forms, the weapon shoots spines. When the bounty hunter kills a target, his weapons "eat the corpse".
  • Living nets - Living nets are used by the abnatural bounty hunter. Although they is not described in detail, the living nets can apparently be used to injure or kill targets.


  • The baan gets its name from M John Harrison's Viriconium stories. In the stories, a baan is essentially an unpleasant and dangerously radioactive magic laser sword.