The world of Alderamin on the Sky has reached a technology level making it loosely analogous the late 18th and early 19th centuries in the real world, but with some significant differences. Most notably, gunpowder does not seem to have been discovered, with true firearms being replaced with air-powered guns and cannon powered by air spirits. Because these can only be used by those who have contracted with an air spirit, along with their low rates of fire and short range, weapons such as swords, and crossbows are still commonly used in battle.
Daggers and KnivesEdit
Yatorishino Igsem uses a parrying dagger similar to a real-world main gauche dagger, with a cup shaped hilt and a knuckle guard to protect the user's hand, and a narrow, straight, double-edged blade tapering to a point. The weapon is primarily for parrying an enemy's sword strikes, but can also be used to attack, with the blade being designed for rapid thrusting attacks.
The Shinaak Tribe of the Alfatra Mountains use a blade identical to the kukri, a roughly L-shaped heavy bladed fighting knife with an edge on the inward curve used by the real-world Gurkhas of Nepal, on whom the Shinaak draw their inspiration.
The primary sword of Katjavarna soldiers, including Yatori, is a one-handed sabre similar to a real-world 19th century cavalry sabre, with a curved blade designed for slashing from horseback, though it can be used effectively on foot as well, as Yatori demonstrates on multiple occasions. The blade has a single edge with along the outward curve. The grip is equipped with a crossguard and knuckle guard to protect the user's hand from enemy attacks.
While rare, spears and polearms such as halberds are occasionally seen in the the manga. For the most part, they have been supplanted by bayoneted air guns.
As air guns require an air spirit partner, much of the Katjavarna, and presumably the Kiokan Army use crossbows as ranged weapons. The crossbows are equipped with stocks and triggers similar to those of an air gun or a real-world rifle. The bow-mechanism, or prod appears to be made of metal, and is drawn back with the aid of a stirrup. A bayonet can be attached to the end of the stirrup. Crossbows are often issued to soldiers partnered with light or fire spirits, the light spirits are used to both for night aiming and to blind incoming enemies before loosing a volley of bolts, and the fire spirits allow to the user to shoot flaming bolts for use against structures and other flammable targets.
The Shinaak tribe use recurve bows and arrows, mostly for hunting. In combat, they prefer short air carbines, however, in the anime, at least one Shinaak is seen with an bow on their back in battle, suggesting they are used in combat.
As gunpowder was never invented in the world of Aldermarin, air guns powered by air spirits took their place as battlefield weapons. Multiple variants exist, and are listed below.
Smoothbore Air GunsEdit
Smoothbore air guns are the most common air guns in the world of Aldermarin, and are used by both the Katjavarna Empire and Kioka Republic. While their appearances are reminiscent of real-world late 19th century rifles, they are actually single shot smoothbore weapons similar to a musket, firing a round ball at ranges of no more than about 50 meters, and are typically employed in volley fire, similar to real-world muskets. The air spirit powering the weapon sits on top of the breech of the gun, and the weapon is loaded by literally feeding a ball to the spirit, which then chambers it into the weapon through an orifice in the spirit's chest. When the trigger is pulled, the air spirit generates a blast of air which propels the bullet. As the spirit has to sit on top of the weapon, the sights are mounted on the sides. Some members of the Shinaak tribe use shorter barreled carbines, which likely have a shorter effective range, but are more portable. The weapon can mount a spike bayonet for close combat.
In the anime, the design of air guns is somewhat different, with no spirit on top of the weapon, presumably being housed internally (thanks the much smaller size of spirits in the anime). The rifle has normal top-mounted sights similar to most real-world rifles, and appears to be either a single-shot breech loader or a bolt-action weapon with a multi-shot magazine.
Air-powered double-barreled shotguns also exist in the world of Aldermarin. While not usually a combat weapon, at least one Katjavarna soldier is known to use a shotgun as a close-combat weapon. The anime replaces the shotgun with an unusual three-barreled weapon, presumably intend to fire three shots at once.
A recently designed improvement on the air gun consists of the addition of grooves in the barrel, or rifling, which allows the projectile to spin, stabilizing it in flight, and giving it an effective range up to about 200 meters, allowing it be an effective sniping weapon, as demonstrated when Torway Remeon uses one to eliminate a Shinaak artillery crew at a range of 150 meters. The weapon also features an pistol grip and a stock with a cheek rest similar to that often found on modern military rifles.
The version in the anime looks similar to the smoothbore air guns, but has a scope mounted on top for use as a sniper weapon.
Artillery in the world of Alderamin consists mostly of air-powered cannons powered by multiple air spirits housed in the rear of the weapon. The cannon fire steel balls at a range of up to about 200 meters. In many cases, air cannons are actually less effective than the catapults they supplanted, as pointed out by Ikta Solork. If the cannon fires from a higher position, however, the effect of gravity can greatly increase the velocity, range, and lethality of its projectiles.
The Kioka Republic has developed an improved artillery piece which uses exploding hydrogen gas to propel the projectile instead of air pressure, making it similar to a real world gun, and the only known example of a true firearm in the world of Aldermarin. The blast cannon has an improved range in comparison to an air cannon.
Fliers are essentially hot air balloons used by the Kioka Republic for reconnaissance and bombing purposes. These balloons lack any sort of engine, moving with the winds. Nonetheless, they have proven effective enough that the Kioka Republic has set up an Air Force, and employed them to drop oil-based incendiary bombs on Katjavarna troops concentrations and settlements.