In an opulent command tent, the king sits with his head in his hands. His tall pale advisor, Abendiir, leans over him and sets a weak, long-fingered hand on the kings white furry collar, “my liege”, he rasped, “it must be done”, his mealy mouth clicking, and bald pate shining in the candlelight.
“Done?” the young King responds, looking up. To the old veteran guard at the front flap of the tent, the crown looks heavy upon his shoulder length blonde hair with a centre parting (that’s not a metaphor by the way, the crown was dead heavy – made of lead). “Done!?” he squeals, banging his strong hands against the old oak table, sending silver plates and golden goblets of red wine flying. “And how, dear Abendiir”, he says, turning to his advisor, “does one kill… A God?”.
Abendiir smiled (or was it a smirk, the old faithful guard thought), “mmm, my liege, leave that”, he brushed down his long black gown, “to me”. He straightens and walked out the tent, smirking still as he walked past the guard.
“What a mincer” the guard muttered.
“What was that?” demanded the king
“Nothing, your grace”.
Phewf! The stakes have been raised! We’re trying to kill a god now. Ah yes, the Greatgod KOK I mentioned before has become quite the annoyance ‘mongst the pantheon. You see, he’s started believeing in another god! At first, the lesser gods were tolerant of KOK’s new religion, thinking it a test of their own faith. But then he started posting leaflets through their doors, and wouldn’t shut up about it at dinner parties and in chance meeting on the cloud-streets. The lesser Gods had had enough, and so had our mysterious priest Abendiir. I’ll give that advisor credit, he’s got ambition. With his infernal blacksmisth Slurg, he came up with a design for a dagger which could surely kill any immortal. Let’s take a look at this unique, cursed blade:
The priceless gemstone in the pommel is the Aiye-of-Khandaar. This cursed diamond, in ancient times, was blamed for a great many deaths in the sub-eastern land of Ynndya: A filthy land home to ten billion people; almost all beggars, pickpockets or petty criminals. The ancient leader of that land, S’hlamm Ak’khander, ran a massive diamond mine. The health and safety was atrocious, and loads of the workers died. They all wore loincloths and it was dead hot. They had big blokes in turbans whipping them all the time it was mental. Anyway, a young lad, his name lost in the mists of time, had been underground for over a month due to an argument with his sadistic line-manager. As he wept for his simple village life he had been stolen from, something caught his eye in a fissure, glinting in the pitch black. He crawled towards it and picked it out of the rock. It was this gigantic ruby. He was carried to the surface a hero, but alas it was too late. The lad raised the gem and belted out “With my last breathe, I curse thee all, and thys gemstone! Death to thee emperor!” and died. All the workers were naturally upset with getting cursed by the lad. As far as they were concered they were in the same boat as him in terms of being enslaved, but cursed they were. The emperor went on to lead a long and happy life which made it even worse (but isn’t that always the way- the poor suffer while the rich get richer and better healthcare. Remind you of anywhere?? (Earth)).
The 7 gems inlaid in the quillion block signify the seven curses Abendir infused into it. These are (l-r): pain, murder, hex, poison, death, chornic pain, lack of life, and illness. Abendir reckoned that that lot should do the trick.
The actual blade’s design is very careful. The point, followed by the curve, and the serrated bit was perfect for piercing through a big muscly back which the scholars of the age assumed KOK had. But of course, a sharp bit of metal alone isn’t going to be enough to kill a god. So, imbibed in the blade are two pieces of the rarest mystical metal, known only as sharrash, or Death Metal in the old tongue. Rarer than gold, it has a mystical property that poisons blood incurably as soon as it makes contact with it.
The design phase over, Abendiir thought long and hard about how to actually strike the mortal blow on KOK the immortal. He knew he couldn’t do it on his own, so he enlisted two of the lesser Gods- the God of Betrayal, and the God of Good Hospitality. Did he succeed? Come closer, friend, as we peer down unto this night of epic portentions…
Slurg beat away in his dungeon smithy through the night, as Abendiir watched on, his bald pate reflecting in the furnaces flame, a sinister grin on his gaunt face. Cock’s fearful crowing informed them of dawn. Slurg lifted the blade to his master.
“’Tis done master, what ‘ee think?”
Abendiir touched the Black Metal. Red hot, yet cool to the touch. He gazed lustfully into it’s endless blackness “Slurg, dear servant, tonight we will be killed by a God”, he flicked his eyes to the blacksmith, “ or become gods ourselves”. He smiled a sinister grin, and the dagger disappeared into his large sleeves. He strode from the smithy.
Slurg put down his worn hammer, wiped his big green face and spat onto the hot floor. “What a mincer” he muttered.
Night. Abendiir stood at the altar of the Cathedral of KOK. His hands in his massive sleeves, the light from the myriad lanterns licking his bald head. He was bowed in silent prayers.
“ooh! He’ll be here any minute!” wailed the God of Hospitality. He was running up and down the centre aisle, straightening the pews and brushing imaginary dust from the cold slabs of stone. “How does the place look?! I hope he likes it! Oh no, look at that candle, its dribbled right down to the holder! Abendiir, help me, its-“
Abendiir slammed his fist down on the altar and turned to the minor god. “For the last time, the place looks great. You’ve done a lovely job. Now, fuck off and find a place to hide. If this shit doesn’t work I’ll need you in here with your massive fireballs”.
The God of Hospitality scurried off up the stairs with a whimper. Abendiir finished his silent prayer. And not a moment too soon, for from the massive oak doors came three booming bangs.
“Child. KOK has come”. At the sound of the name there came an enormous low rumble, as if the very foundations were shuddering.
A curtain to the priest’s right twitched, and The God of Betrayals impish face appeared, “Psst… that’s him arrived I think”, he said, and then disappeared back into the folds of heavy gold cloth.
Abendiir straightened up, and then did that thing where you clench your jaws a few times, then turned and strode to the door. Opening them, he saw KOK, naked muscly and massive. He was holding a leaflet.
“Ah almighty KOK, please, enter…” the priest bowed low and KOK strode in, each sandaled footstep causing a huge boom around the church. As KOK reached the altar, he turned to study the room, and then turned to his arch-priest. “Look at the state of that candle, but no matter… What summons thee of myself?”
The priest rubbed the back of his bald pate. “Well, ah, it’s just, uh… God of Betrayal! Now!” he cried, and the little scamp ran out from his curtain hideout with a hideous cackle and stabbed the Greatgod in the back. A momentous boom echoed round the whole chamber, and loads of blood and a bright light spurted out of his back. He staggered, and turned to the priest. His face a picture of shock. “Et, tu Brute?” he sighed, then fell to the floor and died.
Abendiir strode over to the rapidly cooling body of his former god. A single tear appeared on his bald face. “Sleep well thee, for thy has- ughnn!”. As he spoke, the little God of Betrayal jumped up and stabbed him right in the arse. Blood spurted everywhere as the infernal priest collapse and died. The God of Betrayal cackled like a mad man and ran out the door, carrying the sacred knife with him.
Echoing footsteps filled the cavernous space, as the God of Hospitality ran down the stairs. “Ooh! Abendiir what’s happening! I heard screams!”. He appeared at the base of the stairs and stared down at the two bodies, entwined as though lovers. “Oh. what a mess” he whimpered. Then vanished.
What a mess. Indeed
On a misty moor near dusk a lone-hooded wanderer walks, leading his weary old war horse. Out of the swirls of fog, he is suddenly surrounded. He looks over one shoulder sort of, but with only his hood visible so that it looks cool but he probably can’t see much. His weathered hand instinctively reaches under his rain-battered whaleskin cloak. He counts 8, 9, maybe more in the bushes.
“dint be silly now sonneh” grunts the leader; an old, ugly barbarian in tattered furs. “Dere’s furteen ov uz, and ainly wan of uuz”. The wanderer’s eyes narrow (but you can’t see it cos of his hood, but you can tell by his stubbly chin). “tak off yer sword and put it don on t’grund”.
The lonesome wanderer grunts, turns to his horse and whispers “easy girl” while it licks his hands a bit, looking for an apple. Then he unbuckles his belt. Some of the barbarians laugh gruffly and start whooping, scratching their bare chests and shifting their weight from one foot to the other. Rough clubs made of bones or wood are waved in the air. But suddenly: “Oh yeah? Check this out!” the man bellows, and lifts the sword high into the sky, handle up to the heavens. The Pommel! A bright light blinds the whole squad of barbarians. They are transfixed. Black swirls mesmerize them and all weapons drop to the ground. All of a sudden, they are hypnotized. “ha ha! unlucky you stupid idiots!” the wanderer bellows. Then, still holding the blade aloft, walks casually round and murders each of the transfixed barbarians with a knife except the birds who he feels up first then kills, then he lets his horse eat some of them and shit on the rest. He also shits and pisses on some of them (I didn’t say he wasn’t a dickhead). Yes, this wanderer’s sword is no normal blade. It is the mythic “Remesmo”. A blade forged (allegedly) before the dawn of time. It’s name a fearful whisper on the lips of travellers, adventurers and bar/kitchen-staff in taverns.
Key buzzwords I invented at the concept stage were “sleek”, “minimalist”, “futuristic” (that might spoil the twist actually). It is indeed minimalist (and futuristic), and I expect a few comments saying I’ve not really bothered my arse with this one, just scribbled a few lines and called it a day. Well, I would counter that all minimalism is half-arsed and lazy, so it’s perfectly justified in this here. Paradoxically, the blade is the least interesting part of this sword. Yes, it’s straight as an arrow, and has a classic 1-line fuller and typical “heroes-weapon” symmetrical tip, but in terms of overall import it’s merely a secondary weapon on this sword. Yep, look at the pommel, it’s a swirling infinite depth, all colours of the rainbow (and a few more ;-p) all swooshing and swirling around in front of your eyes. Just relax and take it all in. now take off your bra.
You’ve been hypnotised! That’s right, the pommel has the ability to hypnotise people (mentioned that already, now I think of it). The finest scholars, alchemists, chemists and necromancers of the age haven’t been able to work it out (and most of them got hypnotised by accident). The whole thing looks very… futuristic doesn’t it? …anyway….
What you can’t really tell from the picture (intentionally), is that the handle-wrap is a soft white suede material. Yet it never dirties, is waterproof and is dead good at gripping. The crossguard is a light, mysterious alloy, and is covered also in a brilliant white, mysterious, sort of, it’s hard to explain in the context of the world of Shagina (especially at this point in it’s history –ooh spoilers?), but it’s kind of plastic-cy. The sword is incredibly light to wield and nigh-on unbreakable.
There are many oft contradicting tales of how Remesmeo came into being. Some say it was crafted by the Greatgod KOK (it has to be all capitals. Like the God of our Christian faith, but KOK is even more all-powerful than That. It’s alleged he created all the other Gods, and insisted that if they get to capitalise their names then he gets all capitals. Sorry to just throw KOK in here, but you’ll be hearing more from him in the future let me tell you!). Other’s claim it fell from the sky in a flash of light on a specific night. However, let me tell you, this sword, Re:mesmo, is from the future.
Aha! It all makes sense now doesn’t it! All those clues throughout the text. The strange metal, the mysterious pommel with hypnotizing properties, the sleek white plastic aesthetic. Someone once wrote that all magic is just technology back in time or something, and here’s the proof. If the near-sighted thinkers of this age never even bothered to crack open the pommel, they would just find lots of wires and a few LED’s. I mustn’t speak much of the far future from the age of gods and kings and warriors we usually deal with for fear of spoiling some of the civilisation-defining event of the age (KOK dies though) but the sword was just a prank. The pommel is just a cheap novelty toy that some spoiled brat from the year 90,00000 glued onto his toy sword and sent it back in time for a laugh. But isn’t it interesting how much these simpler people value such a simple thing. Could it be that in our relentless pursuit of technological advancement, we are losing something? Our Humanity? Makes you think… Also makes you wonder if that little shit ever realised what he caused. That’s the other moral of this tale, don’t send shit back in time.
Aah the high seas.
I’m sure, reader, that you’ll agree what a relief it is to escape the murky swamps of Slurridjj to the fresh air of the Sea of Cuntea. A vast, inland sea almost the size of a continent itself, itself wrapped in the mega-continent of Shagina, our home here on Swords Drawn. Of course, regular visitors will no doubt have a niggling sensation that we can never be safe in this land, but fear not the mer-men this day, we have a much more pressing enemy much closer to hand.
“Corsairs! off the starboard brow!” comes the call from the crow’s nest, and the crew run about cussing, pulling ropes and tying them over those wooden rolling-pin things stick to the side of the boats. One cheeky young crewmate throws a bucket of briny water of at the first mates head; drunk as usual on pissy grog. He awakes with a roar, wipes his face, then looks up… and sees the red flag. Then shits himself.
The Corsair, the scourge of Cuntea. Ruthless pirates intent on one thing: attacking boats and stealing their loot and killing everyone. They have a number of names amongst the peoples of the Inland sea. Corsair, Pirate, Privateer, boat-sharpy-dicks in the giants-tongue, the orklins name them skrilligigs. One thing all races can agree on is that they don’t like them much.
This sword is typical of the Corsair, and a majestic weapon it is too. Do not think for one second that just because these guys (they’re all blokes) are all poor, uneducated, dregs of society not worth the louse-infested shirts they sleep in, that they don’t value the value of a good quality blade. A lifetime at sea, your next skirmish just over the crest of the next wave, they depend on fine craftsmanship. Besides, the salty air rusts cheap metal quite quickly.
The blade is curved, this is for a reason lost in time but most sea-faring people have curved blades. I think it’s purely cos it looks ace but I’m not sure. The delicate indent into the base of the blade is a bottle opener; as when the corsair isn’t pillaging he’s usually boozing on bottles of grog. Soon after man first went to sea they found that corks were getting nicked to plug holes in the hulls of their ships, and this led to the invention of the modern bottletop (so I guess some good came from all that pillaging and raping). But anyway, I’m sure your eyes were drawn to neither the curve of the blade nor the curve of the bottle-opener. Yes yes, there is a much more interesting “set of curves” on the blade!
This beautiful mermaid inscription is the work not of the bladesmith, but of the owner of the blade himself. Intricately carved, it is a vision of sheer beauty. You can almost feel it flowing effortlessly through the water. It’s sleek body gyrating in the warm currents. The mermaids are both a blessing and a curse to those who traverse the blue expanses. Legend has it they swim up to boats in the dead of night, their gentle songs and massive wet tits seducing lonesome sailors to their deaths. No sightings of Mermaids have ever been confirmed, but ask anysea traveller and they’ll swear they’ve seen them and barely survived their watery seduction.
Many’s a corsair who lies alone in his hammock, gently inscribing his blade with these beautiful women. A life on the sea is a a lonely place for a hot-blooded man, and these exquisite drawings, passed from bunk to bunk on those long lonely nights, can often be the only thing stopping these men from bumming each other. For this reason alone new recruits are sent for a few months of inscribing lessons on the lonely isle of Inscivulo even before their swordfighting and grog swilling lessons begin. No one likes a bummer, even less to the fiercely “homophobic” corsairs of Cuntea (the lady doth protest too much perhaps ;-p).
The crossguard is circular in shape, and quite sharp around the rim. You can just make out the jagged points of metal down the centre. These are used for making regularly spaces small holes in cloth. Not sure why, possibly to make it easier to rip or something.
The handle is very important for a number of reasons. If you look at sword as a whole, you’ll see an almost mathematically wavy line from tip to toe. Ostensibly this is to make the blade look like a wave, but it’s also a perfect sine wave (measure it go on). This balances the blade perfectly, giving the corsair great advantage over their foes (“bleedin’ strait’edges” as they call them). Evidence of the sheer craftsmanship of the blade can also be seen in the technologically advanced twisting mechanism in the handle. This give the corsair extra tactical options when in battle. If at any time he (they’re all blokes) wants to switch to an underarm holding position, all he needs to do is quickly grab the blade, flick a small switch, put in a four digit code, then twist the blade 20 degrees clockwise then a full 180 degrees anti-clockwise and he can hold it upside down. Some experienced corsairs can do this in under 15 seconds, but most of them need to run around the ship for about a half a minute getting chased by their opponent whilst they do this. Its worth it though cos holding a blade looks cool and leads to some ace finishing moves.
There’s another sexy mermaid on the handle with her arms spread out wide like a real birds legs and she’s all like “come on let’s fuck”.
Welcome to Centros, aka King Schmin’s Folly, capital city of the human realm. Home to over 90million people, its districts range from The Skank, a muddy grounded, disease ridden whore-, disfigured beggar- and unapologetic murderer-filled slum, up to the golden paved-, gem-studded spire-, palaces with loads of windows-filled gated community The Best Quarter.
Literally all life is here, and the divide between rich and poor is huge and increasing (remind you of anywhere? Who says fantasy can’t be topical ;-p). It is a place where a man can make a lot of money, if he is smart, quick and a thief. Allow me to introduce to you master thief, Cloaken Dh’aghir.
Cloaken was born an orphan, in the slum district of Brown (near The Skank, but not as quite minky). His orphan master, Skugnacious, soon put him to work as a pickpocket (as all orphan masters do). He showed great aptitude, making over 10,000 kings’eads (the slang name for currency) by the time he was 5. He was Assistant Orphan Master at the age 13. However, there was a falling out between him and “Skug” over certain administrative issues in their Orphan Gang and to cut a long story short Cloaken was let go.
We move on 15 years, and now Cloaken has a nice apartment in the merchant’s quarter of Sumgold. Charismatic, handsome, charming, with shoulder length golden hair, by day he woos the ladies and by night he robs them (and sometimes fucks them). He has moved on from cutting purses from stupid, foul-mouthed market traders, and now plans elaborate heists. It usually starts in a tavern with his trusty manservant Chutney (who’s fat) and goes something like this:
(sitting, placing two pints of mead on the worn wooden table)
Say, Chutney, what know thee of the Guldmillar Estate?
By ‘ek m’lord! Tis one of the securest of all the estate’s north o’ the Great River! Why, ‘tis said ol’ Guldmillar has more guards than thar citee watch demselves!
(stroking his stubbly chin thoughtfully)
Hmm, interesting. (to himself) I wonder what he could have in there which needs to be so closely guarded
Whit de ye think m’lord! Tis bound tae be lots and lots o kings’eads methinks by moi reckonin’!
(finishing his mead) Well, there’s only one way to find out..
How, m’lord? Are thee gonna gae unt ask aul’ Master Guldmillar hisself whit he’s gon’ n hoarded duwn in hiz cellar? (lifts mead to his mouth)
(stands) No, Chutney my good man. (puts on his hat) I intend to rob him. (winks)
(spits out his mead) Christ!
However, his good looks and sharp tongue have got him into trouble on more than one occasion-trouble which he isn’t able to escape with a witticism or by jumping up and grabbing a candelabra then swinging out of a window and landing in a hay cart. He has been challenged to duel with many of the nobles and middle classes of the city. Whether because he robbed them or shagged their daughters or wives or milkmaids. And on such occasions he uses this sword.
A fine duelling weapon, the blade is two centimetres thick, and straight as an arrow. It may look fragile, but is made from the finest steel by the craftsmen of the warmer climes to the South. It wouldn’t snap if you landed on it (which is lucky because Dh’aghir has done it on more than one occasion as he leaps out of windows after swinging on candelabras). Its handle has one of those finger guards, and an uppy-downy crossguard which is probably more for decoration than actual use. It’s a Fencing weapon, so a crossguard is pretty useless. The tip curves upwards, which isn’t ideal for fencing, but makes it easier for Cloaken to whip the sword up and cut his opponents cheek, which is usually followed by a witticism about the man (or woman) being too old, fat, or that his daughter’s a right goer in the sack, followed by a wink. The blade itself was the result of one of my self-imposed Drawing Challenges. As an artist, it is important to test myself frequently and with hard things. Some previous challenges include: draw as many swords as you can in 20 seconds, draw a sword blindfolded, draw a sword naked. These help an artist learn his weakness and as thus improve upon them. This one was, obviously, draw the thinnest blade possible. Something which I don’t think I, or anyone else, will ever improve on.
Chutney has brought up the appropriateness of a full length sword when climbing ivy, sneaking through sewers, crawling across creaky floorboards etc and it’s true it has gotten caught on things and knocked over pots that then smash on more than one occasion, leading to more daring escapes. Besides he’s got a dagger that he uses to slit guards throats, stab kitchen staff that have stumbled upon him, slice up maids that come running to the sound of his latest smashed pot. But, as Cloaken retorts –“Why Chutney my good man, tis’ my lucky charm ;-p. I t’aint dead yet am I ;-p” before grabbing a candelabra and jumping out of a window (he doesn’t say the emoticons I just added them in).
Is this a sword? That is open to debate. In my eyes, yes it is a sword.
This cleaver is a brutish weapon, designed for one thing: Chopping stuff. As you can see it lacks the refined details of most of my other works. The wrapped leather handle’s there, but apart from that this sword could almost have been created by anyone.
It was created by the vile blacksmiths of the Orklin race. Vicious, green skinned, with big fangs sticking upwards. These creatures hail from the lands to the West. A desolate place of no plants and gravel. Like the Giants to the North, the Orklins lack the intellectual refinement of the humans, and rely on brute strength in combat. They are slightly smaller than most men, and hunched, but they’re pretty solid too. The blade thickens to the top, making it top heavy, though the three holes at the back of the blade help balance the weapon. The orklins don’t realise this though and put heavy silver rings through the holes, completely unbalancing it again. The meaning of these rings is unknown, but there are hushed reports from scouts that some orklins have been seen to stick their dicks in them or rub them on their fannies.
That’s right, female orklin’s are just as vicious as the men, and sometimes better warriors. Their main attacks are to pull hair and scratch. But they’re also pretty mean with the cleaver. When not using it to cut up and prepare rats for cooking stew, they use them to chop whatever meagre wood the males can bring home, to use as cutlery. They also use them to scrape dust off their floors because they haven’t invented dust pans and brushes. As a result most orkling women are filthy, usually with at least one wailing orklinling suckling sour milk from their small, flat breasts.
Woe betide any human who set’s foot over an orkling dwelling’s threshold however. There’s an old Human saying “all women hath more fury than the hells”. Well if an orkling woman found so much as one boot-shaped dusty footprint on her floor, the human would almost welcome such a maids company! One early dignitary was lucky to escape with only two arms lost after he accidentally insulted the main wife (they can have more than one wife) of chieftain Mug’gurk’lurkiblurk by spitting his rat stew on the floor (he actually liked the taste but got his customs mixed up with that of the Gorks, a vicious, blue-skinned race from the Eastern lands).
Despite from this diplomatic incident, it is a time of unsteady peace between the humans and the orklins. Trade has been good -the orklins lands have an abundance of natural gas which the human alchemists use in their hellish experiments. The humans trade back with ladles, aprons, garlic crushers and other “essential” kitchen accessories.
Will this peace last? Only time will tell 😉
P.S As promised here’s my shortlist of names for my world:
The Fore Continents
The Early Places
This is a very special weapon indeed. And is much more than initially meets the eye!
I’m very proud of the blade of this sword. It is exactly the right shape and size. I really felt I nailed this drawing based on my original idea. It was one of the earliest pieces from my ‘pencil phase’ which I haven’t returned to for a while (I don’t have a sharpener). It is straight as a ruler, and the curve to the right at the top is perfect. Again, I’ve gone for the loads of small lines to make one big line, but this time the edge helps explain what makes this sword so special. It exists in other dimensions!
The blade shimmers between the dimensions, sometimes in our world, sometimes in some hellish mirror-world where giant beetles sit on the throne with human women as their concubines (though they may actually have penises themselves in this hellish place), sometimes in some realm completely un-imaginable by the human eye. Inspired by the works of German mathematician David Hilbert (suspiciously English name for a kraut, but you can’t argue with his logic), I agree that there are literally an infinite amount of dimensions out there. I haven’t read all of his entry on Wikipedia but I’ve read enough to believe there is not a chance of any other amount of dimensions being out there. This theory poses one major problem though: How is a blade going to be of any use when it is only in any one dimension for an infinitely small amount of time? Well the answer is quite simple really- “our” dimension (I am down to a shortlist of names for my universe BTW, more on that next post) is the “anchor” which all other dimensions pass through and as such the blade is “anchored” to it, and has to pass through it EACH TIME it wants to travel to another one, effectively doubling the amount of time it spends here. The blade was created here at one microsecond past the dawn of time by a meteorite spirit landing on the planet. One mathematician friend has pointed out that an infinitely small amount of time multiplied by two is still infinitely small, but we can disregard that to be honest. In this dimension, mathematicians are looked on with suspicion and scorn but the magic-embracing peoples, and as such are mainly outcasts and have been the victims of a great many pogroms. Mathematics be gone! ;-p
Anyway back to the sword – the blade is long and straight, and the curve at the top shows that this is an exotic weapon from a far off land (the meteor landed far away), and yes that is blood at the top- but from which creature one can never be sure! Though here it’s a bear. You can actually see a snap of electricity to the right of the blade as it crackles and pops into yet another dimension. The crossguard has an aura around it, again supporting the idea that it travels between dimensions- this would shimmer in a film or TV show, or a GAME (hint hint guys I know you’re reading). Watch out though – looking into the cross guard can make you go blind and sick as it contains an infinite amount of rings, and here’s the twist, each one contains a new dimension! So is the sword within the universe? Or the other way around?! I’ll leave that for you to work out (but I’ll probably decide in a later blog).
The handle has dots which represents orbits.
Actually I’ve decided that, although I like this sword a great deal (see para 1), it’s too powerful as it stands. I want one of the other ones to be my ‘ultimate sword’. It doesn’t even have a name. So actually it’s just gemstone in the crossguard. But it does still go to other dimensions.
Picture the world in which all my swords exist. One large coherent planet, with countries, cultures, histories, gods, kings, wars, and food and song and intrigue and prostitutes.
Now picture a computer RPG, where small parts of some of these great countries, halls and battlefields are visitable. The snow-capped hills of RockTreeSnow, the great civilised halls of the Human Lands. The decadent underwater halls of the mermen (plus many more to be revealed).
All the blades I have shared with you thus far have been common swords, ten-a-penny, which the player could pick up a great number of (weight permitting of course – lol at the thought of carrying more than one Giants Blade), and sell to the nearest merchant.
The EyeSeer is the first “Unique Weapon” in this realm. For the uninitiated, that means there is only one of its kind. In a computer RPG (CRPG, or “RPG”), this is the sort of shit the player holds on to. And in this case, you can clearly see why!
Let’s start with the obvious: This blade contains not one but 3 living eyes (but it’s actually closer to 6 because it’s the same on the other side). These are kept alive by some infernal curse, and blink and look around and, sometimes, cry. They allow the wielder to ‘see’ in 3 (or 6) dimensions. But not dimensions as we mere earth-dwellers understand them. In this world, dimensions are more than just height, length, and size. The three (6) dimensions here are: Danger, Awareness, and Hell.
Danger, the middle eye: When the wielder looks through the Danger eye, he can see all dangers around him. This could be traps, bad animals, situational hazards such as cliffs or snowstorms, or, if his perception is high enough, traitors, chancers, thieves and just general bastards. These dangers would probably glow red in an RPG. You can tell it is the danger eye because it has dark lines around it, indicating that it is evil. It is also bloodshot.
Awareness: Quite similar to some of dangers traits. It will show the player the traitors, but also things like chests in dungeons, doors, merchants, doors etc. Basically all the non-dangerous “interactive” elements of the world, but also some of the dangerous ones as well. It can see through walls. This eye is embedded within the blade itself. As you can see it is wide open and has a cat-like iris for added awareness.
Hell: This would be the killer feature of my game, which sets it apart from certain other big name RPG’s. In my world, hell doesn’t exist underground, or in some handy alternative dimension, but rather it exists 1 millisecond ahead of us. At all times. Imagine, just one millisecond into the future, all hell exists. Being able to see one millisecond ahead, you’d see tortured souls, wasted cities, destroyed countries and farms. Loads of dead bodies of animals and men. Probably torture and, I’m sad to say, rape. With the eye’seer, the wielder can peer into this tormented future, and go adventuring in there. There’s lots of high-level (read: strong) enemies, as well as some kick-ass loot. The hell-eye is in the pommel, and you can see by it’s 1000-yard stare that it has seen some horrible sights.
As a blade itself, the eyese’er is pretty standard fare. The blade itself is tapered rather than straight, making it more of a ‘stabber’ than a ‘slasher’. The leather-wrapped grip is made from two types of leather, one of sheep, the other of hellsheep (found in hell).
Obviously the finer points of any game based on this realm have to be fleshed out fully (and they will be in later posts), but it is clearly fertile ground. Unfortunately this view is not shared by one such game developer who shall remain nameless. Thanking me for my interest, they rejected my initial design document, citing a “general lack of detail”, and sort of blaming the impossibility of creating a game based at least 33% underwater (the merman realm is integral to the plot, and sadly water breathing spells simply do not exist in the lore. Christ, they managed to make it work in Sonic 2!). There was also a note from some obviously junior artist (or intern?), saying that the dimensions of the eye-Seer made it more likely a dagger. I think the Eye’seer knows what it’s talking about when it comes to dimensions, sir! I assume it’s a translation error from Canadian to English.
(Post Script: In my various descriptions of my theoretical game, you’ll see I always refer to the player as “he”. It has been a trend over the last decade or so to allow players of these games to be given the choice of a male or female protagonist. In my world however, it is strictly male-only. This isn’t sexist however, it’s simply that in my world women are either maids, kitchen workers, milkmaids or whores.)
This sword is huge, and very very sharp. It is actually probably made from stone, since giant’s are often blundering idiotic simpletons that rely on pure strength and size to survive. That also explains why this one is squint. Can you imagine a giant using ruler? Actually it is squint because the sheer weight of the blade (a cool 2 tonnes) has caused damage to the structural integriy- something which would have been accounted for had it been crafted by the master-smiths of the enlightened human race, (perhaps using an iron spine). Also, the idiot has inlaid the pommel within the grip, completely cancelling out any beneficial counterbalancing. The Pommel is shiny, because like most lesser intellects they like shiny things.
Giant’s don’t have a word for subtlely in their language, so what we get here is lots of sharp points, even on the crossguard. They don’t even use scabbards half the time so sheathing this weapon would almost definately cause some mild cutting to the hip bone for crissakes. The dark spot on the tip of the blade is not blood but rust because he didn’t take care of it properly. Plus it’s cold and wet there. The serrated edge is handy for sawing chunks of mammoth meat which they eat raw because they still haven’t discorverd fire.
Despite an almost complete lack of intellect, Giants are a formidable foe to the humans. This particular blade is a trophy taken by a group of human rangers high up in the giant’s homeland, RockTreeSnow (or Giants-land in the human tongue). Seeing a lone giant they ambushed it, but it took over 90 arrows and slew three of their number before finally succumbing to two axes in the thighs and knees.
The particular image is actually a statament on the barbarity of hunting in our own society, and the human hand holding aloft the trophy is not just for scale (despite what the scribbled note says), but also a statement about those photos you get of real-life hunters beside the corpses of giant alligators, bears, yeti or natives. Makes one ponder; who, exactly, are the real savages? (Humans)
Aside from the blue colour chosen for this blade, there are 4 significant points of interest here which make it obvious that this is a sword of the sea-people:
1. The decorative fish-head pommel. Not a real fish head (which would rot away pretty quickly, leaving the blade unbalanced), but carved whalebone. Its teeth are sharp, making it a perfect secondary weapon against smaller fish should they get too close.
2. The “flotsam” crossguard. Made from a piece of driftwood, possibly from the wreck of a cursed ship. In fact yeah the mermen make their crossguards from ships which they have sunk, casting the crew to the bottomless depths of their kingdom. In order to make their first crossguards they attacked that ship with tridents and nets.
3. The “fishbone” fuller. Unlike the pommel, this is real fish-spine. Each mer-lad has to kill a fish as a rite of passage, and then they use its spine as a fuller. This gives the blade the same flexibility as a spine, which is a good thing. The bigger the fish they slay, the longer the blade. One mer-hero of yesteryear, Seabass Pacific, slew a whale and so his blade was over 30 metres long and weighed six tons. He tragically drowned on his first assault on a fishing vessel. So did Trout Black (named after the Black Sea) who killed a jellyfish.
4. The Seaweed tip: Makes it all sea-like.
Also of note is the slight curve in the blade. This isn’t accidental, rather drawn to represent the gentle swaying of sea-plants in the current. It also helps make the sword more deadly.
I’ve yet to swing a sword underwater, but I actually think it would be quite hard to do so with enough force and speed to harm anything. For this reason the mermen can also spit acid, and use this as their primary attack, and only really use their swords to stab hulls of ships.
This blade has definately seem some action in it’s time! Where to start…
The crossguard is perhaps made of animal-horn; maybe some fantastic relative of the cow. This is to show that the sword belongs to a more savage people, as opposed to the refined steel of a knight’s blade. It’s two horn-points are stained with the blood of over a hundred thousand victims (I told you it had seem come action ;-p). The crossguard has two decorative double-lines of small metal studs inlaid to aid balance, and a slot in the centre. This is for an unspecified reason. Possibly to insert a magic crystal, thus increasing the blades power.
A classic wrapped-leather grip (again pointing to a cow as the source of the horns) is decorated by a wrap of a twine-like substance. Perhaps from a fair milk-maiden’s hair, or some favourite victim of the owners reaving. Perhaps it is simply to attach the blade to the barbarians fur armour to stop him losing it.
You can see that the blade was drawn in that style of drawing loads of tiny lines to make one big line. I’ve seen loads of artists do this to give a more ‘impressionistic’ impression of their subjects. Here, it just makes the blade look blunt. This is partially on purpose however as it helps give the the weapon the air of being used literally hundreds of thousands of times. It is a true barbarian blade, an essential tool. A simple weapon for a simple time. A killers blade.
Critics might point to the massive priceless gemstone pommel going against the idea that this a savages blade. But who knows, perhaps the owner found the stone. Or maybe he lived near a diamond mine. No one will ever know for sure. In a way, that makes me sad…