Oh god my worst story of brutal involves a mace. So we had a first year join out group at uni saying that she knew how to use a mace. No for those that don’t know its really hard to get to a level where you can use a mace as its an actual weapon. You normally spend a year or so with a spear, shield and dagger so you can get used to battles and practice. It takes a long old time and a lot of practice. But she had the paper work so we let her get on with it.
We did a friendly group melee to warm up with at the start of each session. In the space of 10 minuets she broke 2 collar bones, 7 fingers, cracked my ribs, hit someone so hard on the helmet that there was a dent (thank god for the padding) and gave someone a bloody nose when she just punched someone in the face.
As for coolness, for LARP I had a pair of weighted cutlasses. As most of the people there didn’t have much fight experience you just had to shove through a naff shield wall then start hacking.