I cannot deny that swords are intrinsically very basic instruments. They’re sharp, you swing them at things and they cut. Sometimes you stab them into things but the result is the same. There’s no depth there (barring the depth of the wound ;-)), no buried ulterior motives (barring the buried blade in flesh ;-)). It does one thing and one thing only, a simple automaton. The human equivalent would be a secretary or a nurse.
But what if a sword was to be infused with something else…something unworldly… something that makes it able to do something else. Imagine if that secretary got an HNC in cake decorating or something. Of course she’d never make a career out of it, but it would give her something to talk about on the phone to her sister while she filed her nails with her feet up on the desk instead of making tea for her boss.
Now I’m not suggesting for one second that I’m the first person in the world to imagine a so-called “magic-sword”, but I feel safe saying that I’m the first person to draw a sword inspired by surrealists such as Dali, and other surrealists. I spent a good twenty minutes looking online at pictures of clocks all melted, mad long giraffes, stuff that looks a bit like things but might not be, and am pretty confident I have channelled the essence of that movement into this blade. The Surreal Blade.
Like all great surrealists, I have designed this piece to be more than a sum of its parts. You have to look at all the parts together to see what the sum of it truly is. Observe that the crossguard and the handle jut out in two different angles! Imagine the look of terror in an enemy’s eyes as he slices down the blade, expecting to skilfully dodge the ‘guard and slice into the un-gauntleted fingers (the wielder’s probably wearing oven mitts or something random like that). But! Clang! Counter and stab! The assailant goes down; his last sight the off-kilter coffin-shaped crossguard, implanting surreal, subconscious images of death in his head, which subtly helps him die.
Ah yes, the coffin design. An interesting choice you might think. But not so, for you see, the original owner of this blade was locally known to be what was known locally as a Bloodpire! Count Suckgard was a mysterious man; oft misunderstood by the villagers who lived in the town at the base of the path up to his castle, high in the hills to the East. Rumours spread that he would sneak down into the town when the moon was full (differing reports also suggest he did it when the moon was crescent, or half, or eclipsed or when it was cloudy) and stalk the lanes, hunting for an open window. Many’s a tale around the town of Fabhaven of wives, back from a long day’s labour, rubbing their sore backs walking into the bedroom to find mysterious count sucking from the groins of their moaning, be-witched spouses, draining them of their life-force. After chasing the count off with their brooms made of twigs and a branch, the men would have to be shaken awake, dazed, unable to remember that the strange man from the house at the top of the hill was in their bed. They also seemed to have lost all track of time, often asking why the wives were home so early.
Alas, poor Suckgard was tragically killed when the wives of the village finally forced their men to break down his gates and set his mansion ablaze. As the flames grew higher and high pitched squeals were heard from within, a lot of the men shifted uncomfortably and whistled while their wives looked on, tapping their rolling pins and huffing.
The sword was lost for generations, until a fearless warrior found it in a cave, thought to be hiding place for men exiled from their villages for unknown reasons (the men were always a little cagey when asked). The blade was hidden amongst a pile of old glittery shirts, garish jewellery and bright cushions. This adventurer’s cohorts mocked him for taking such a useless blade, but after doing the crossguard thing they changed their tune.
In his first skirmish afterwards, the warrior (Chungkka Youngka was his name –more on him in later posts 😉 he slashed a bandits throat- but instead of dying, the miscreant turned into a fence-post. Thus the magic of the blade was revealed. Every time it killed someone, the poor cadaver turned into something totally random!
For you see, the tragic part of this tale is that Count Suckgard was actually really into culture and the arts. A priceless collection of surrealist art was lost when the ignorant villagers burnt down his home. His trusty manservant, a muscular young brute of a blacksmith named Sin-Hen spent years crafting this blade for his master and imbibing within it surrealist magic, as a thank you for taking him under his wing; away from a child brothel in a decadent city far to the south which Suckgard had visited on a number of occasions before old age caught up with him.
I firmly don’t believe in all tales having a moral, sometimes life is just life, and things happen for no reason. However, if I was to seek some sort of meaning from this tale of a lonely old man and his hidden love for art, it is this: Sometimes people are more than they look on the outside. Here was an educated, lonely man, with a love for art and all the beautiful things in life, tragically shunned and then killed by his neighbours. Was it jealousy of his house and wealth? Or simply for being a randy old poof? Whatever the truth died in that fire so long ago.