A bec de corbin is a European polearm consisting of a combination of a hammerhead, spike, and hook mounted atop a long shaft. Unlike other long weapons of similar design, such as war hammers, a bec de corbin is intended to be used with the "beak", treated as the front side of the weapon, rather than the hammer.
Although a bec de corbin is the product of a modified hammerhead attached to a staff, it is not a dedicated war hammer. A spike protruding from the top of the head dominates its profile while on the other side of the hammer face is a hook commonly referred to as a beak. This beak is designed to tear through enemy armor and into their flesh underneath, and the weapon is essentially a war pick.
The leaf-shaped spikes of bec de corbin employed by the Parisian Brotherhood of Assassins, however, were so broad and prominent that they effectively functioned as spearheads. The Assassin design also differed significantly in the apparent absence of a hammerhead, with protrusions on either side, one that forked into two hooks, the other a stout blade. A gilded variant of this type of bec de corbin also saw service with the French Assassins though it was inferior as a combat weapon.
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- The bec de corbin appears only in Assassin's Creed: Unity where despite its name, it differs substantially from typical becs de corbin, being closer in appearance and usage to a spear than a war pick. Though it is described as consisting of a modified hammerhead, the bec de corbin in the game does not appear to have a hammerhead. Instead, it bears a forked blade on one side, and the rear protrusion of that blade on the other, both components supplementing the spearhead rather than a beak taking primacy.