The door falls closed behind you, not with the sepulchral thud you might expect from such a portal, but with barely a whisper. It is as if the empty, unfinished cathedral sucks the sound from everything – the door, your footsteps, the words you might have uttered before the sheer vastness of the space took them away.
From here, the unadorned altar could be miles away, all perspective lost in the face of the forest of arches in between. Moon-pale and massive, they reach their arms into the sky, drawing your eyes unerringly with them, into a canopy of vaults and voussoirs. Lost in the woods you stand, stunned by the miracle of the place, disquieted by its terrible greatness.
As you fail to take it in, your fingers play anxiously at the hilt of your sheathed sword, keen for something solid in this dreamlike space. You count in your head: the eight edges of the blackened pommel. The eight facets of the straight, stern guard. The eight corners of the mottled green grip. It is a habit you picked up on your pilgrimage, adrift in the unknown. It grounds you somehow – the repetition, perhaps – your litany of eight.
Emboldened, you step into the emptiness, still counting silently. And as you walk, you notice: eight sides to the fluted columns. Eight eight-faceted ribs forming a star on the ceiling. Eight eight-petalled rosettes in the round window’s tracery.
One, two, three, four. The numbers mark the rhythm of your steps; describe the world you walk though; bind you to it somehow. Five, six, seven, eight. They fall from your lips with barely an echo, a prayer in themselves, your scattered breadcrumb trail in this strange, stone forest.
Available now, this broad-bladed Type XIV is ideal for i.33 sword and buckler practice. Authoritative in the cut without feeling heavy in the hand, it features a canted pommel for optimal control and comfort when used in the right hand.
Aesthetically, the sword’s geometric theme is carried throughout its form, with the octagonal shape of the pommel mirrored in the section of both the crossguard and the grip. Some texture from the forging process has been left on the furniture to heighten the hand-crafted feel.
The sword’s name contains the Czech number eight, referring to the repeating patterns of eight found in the architecture of St Vitus’ Cathedral. This is speculated to be based on medieval Christian numerology, in which eight was the number of resurrection.
A similar bespoke arming sword would come to £750 plus shipping
The hand-forged and heat-treated guard is blackened to a matte finish then polished selectively, as is the distinctive octagonal pommel. The pommel is finished with a brass peening block, while the oak grip is wrapped in a mottled green leather over linen thread. The broad blade is adorned with a single, wide, central fuller.
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