From the archeological notebook of Archon Niniri Niri.
The Templar’s Falchion: Falchions are blades of Hyuran origin, crafted with a curved edge that allows them to slash through flesh and less living materials alike. This blade was assuredly carried by a holy knight of Ishgard who took to the Vale, perhaps to end its threat, and failed.
The Canopus Weaponry: A variety of weapons drawn from the Vale, these items are named for the stars above although little of their origin can be divined besides that they seem to have originated from Coerthas or Dravania, judging by the dragon that adorns the axe of the group and shields that bear the same name of Ishgardian make, found in the Stone Vigil. The weapons consist of an axe, a spear, a pair of daggers and a shield.
Etymology Notes: Canopus is the second brightest star in Earth’s sky, and likely drew its name from one of two origins – either a Grecian origin, in which it referred to the pilot of King Menelaus of Sparta’s ship on the way to the Trojan War, or from an ancient Egyptian port by the same name, which may have been named for the ancient Egyptian spelling of ‘golden earth’ referring to how the sun appeared on the horizon from the port, though the Greeks believed this port was named for their resting place of their own sailor Canopus.
Balisarde: This is a zweihander, a weapon defined in part by the blunted section near the hilt that can be used as a secondary grip in order to increase control. This blade does carry some infamy however, masterfully crafted as it is, as it belonged to Sir Renaut of the White Mountain. A young knight, Sir Renaut slew a nephew of a past Archbishop during an argument over Halonic doctrine and fled, hiding in the Vale where he found his death at the hands of the caves vile toxins.
Etymology Notes: The Balisarde was a blade of Italian myth wielded by the middle eastern character Ruggiero, love interest of the legendary female french knight Bradamante. It was said to be able to slay even those wearing magically empowered armor. The French influence in Ishgard is evident, which may explain this naming. The stories of Bradamante were a method of increasing the legitimacy of the Italian noble of Este, rulers of Ferrara, Modena and Reggio, as well as producers of multiple Popes.
The Verdant Weapons: The second joined set of weapons from the Vale, this group includes fist weapons, a bow and a scepter which all seem to have been damaged somewhat by the corrosive essence of the caves. This may be the only essence linking them together, naming them by the green tone of the verdigris.
The Bloody Murder: Flintlocks like these were innovated by Lominsan gunsmiths using technology already used to develop the city state’s cannons. They involve flint-striking firing mechanisms, though these are vulnerable to water causing malfunctions. Particularly colorfully named, one cannot imagine this originated with a knight of Ishgard and thus may have been carried by a particularly adventurous pirate who found their end in the caves.
The Pupil’s Book of Mithril: A common class of books, the pupil’s books are tomes bound in aetherically conductive metals that have been commonly promoted for their ability to quicken elemental energies, including by numerous instructors within the Studium.
The Astaroth Cane: Canes such as these are hewn from the roots and branches of dryads, though those taken without permission from the dryad pale in power when compared to those taken with blessing. Similarly, the more twisted a cane the more powerful it is. The text on the cane’s stone reads ‘Thou are that and that is all’, perhaps a reference to similar inscriptions found in certain religious texts which state that the reading is at one with reality. It was likely carried into the cave by a conjurer seeking to calm the cruel elements of the Vale, only to die in the process.
Etymology Notes: Astaroth was a demon found across western faiths, famed for carrying a venomous serpent and having toxically damaging breath. This allusion to poison explains why a staff in the Vale would be named such. The ‘thou are that” segment of the inscription could be a reference to tat tvam asi, an important phrase found in the texts that form the basis of Hinduism. It implies a oneness with Brahman, or an absolute reality of the universe. Or at least that is my uneducated understanding of the topic. There are some parallels between Hinduism and cultures with conjurers, namely Gridania, including a ruling priestly class that is chosen by birth or bloodline. This may then be a line of faith native to the animism or twelve’s worship in Gridania.
Vega: A star globe, these forms of astrologic tool utilize concentric rings which pivot around a central disc which represents both the moon and Hydaelyn herself, allowing a practitioner to discern the future. It is a little unclear how exactly this item came to rest in the Vale, though it could’ve been at the hands of a fellow Sharlayan explorer.
Etymology Notes: Vega is a star within the Lyra constellation, taken to represent a vulture/eagle in many observations of the stars.