This spear type is one of the unique and typical weapons of the Northern cultures.
It's the only spear that functions as a ski stick, when ielded as either a primary or secondary weapon.
It is also usable for fishing.
A new character from any of the northern tribes has a good chance of starting with a northern spear.
Though a powerful spear, fine and masterwork quality northern weapons are incredibly rare or non-existant in the current version (3.17). - Might need an update.
URW Game Encyclopedia description
The official URW in-game encyclopedia (accessed by the key) describes the Northern spear thusly:
The northern spear has a long, sharp blade and it is used in hunting. It also has a special cross-piece usually in the dull end of the shaft, so that the spear can be used as a ski stick.
Real life context
Like much of the economy and unique equipment of the northern cultures, the northern spear is based on the Sámi people's invention of a combination spear-and-ski-staff. Interestingly enough, this practice also sometimes extended to longer Sámi bows, which were similarly modified to serve as skiing sticks whenever needed. Skalastet, a Sámi from of spearfighting, is one the few surviving traditional martial arts of the Sámi, and has been studied by historical martial arts researchers.
- Use of spears as ski sticks during hunting - Page 175 of A Year in Lapland: Guest of the Reindeer Herders describes how the Sámi people used spears combined with ski sticks during occassional wolf hunting in winter.
- Traditional Saami hunting - This article also mentions the use of spears that also double as ski sticks.
- Sami bow from Örbyhus Castle - A discussion on a historical specimen of a Sámi hunting longbow combined with a ski stick, very similar to the more famous spear-and-ski-stick combination.
- Skalastet - Sami quarterstaff & spear fighting tradition in Northern Sweden - Research article at Hroarr.com on surviving Sami traditions of polearm martial arts (with quarterstaffs, spears, etc.).