∴ A Curse Come Good ∴
“Briar Rose,” the old cook shouts as you streak through the kitchen, snatching an apple on your way.
“That girl will be the death of me,” she grumbles, watching you disappear into the maze of corridors beyond.
You do not pause to apologize – Cook is used to these fleeting visits. They keep her on her toes. Besides, the one-eyed ginger tom is already getting away.
It’s a rough-and-tumble fondness you have for the old mouser – you’ve been chasing him since you were a bairn, and he never fails to lead you somewhere strange. After twelve years, you’d think you’d have seen the castle in its entirity, but somehow there’s always someplace new.
Had it not been for the curse, you might have spent your days docile at your mother’s side, teasing and tatting the flax and learning the dainty motions for spinning thread. But cursed you were, and the spinning wheels were cast from the kingdom – and for lack of ladylike pursuit, you made your own fun.
Chasing the cat was always a favourite, or creeping across the steepled rooftops, watching slate tiles skitter to the guttered edge. Then there was fighting the stable lad. At first you brawled with fists and feet until the horsemaster sent you scurrying. Then you played at knights with sticks, clashing and clattering until they splintered. Once you tried to rescue a real sword from the wall of the great hall. But the Castellan spied you smuggling it up the horse stairs and sent you to bed with an earful.
The old tom takes a left, then shoots up a narrow wooden stair. You don’t recognize the spiderweb-rimed staircase, but you fancy it might lead to the servants’ quarters. You could play a prank on Cook, you think, as you scurry after the beast.
The door at the head of the staircase opens with a creak like a crone’s laughter. Beyond is an empty attic room, all loose floorboards and gnarled beams. And there, in a single shaft of sunlight dancing with motes of dust, is a sword.
It lies quite unassumingly on the ground, as if placed there by someone who went to fetch something then forgot about it. You walk toward it with unfaltering steps, and crouch down to examine it.
It is small and wiry like you, with beautiful braided wire and a black guard shaped like a butterfly. Or like the symbol your father’s alchemists use to mean eternity. The blade is narrow and straight, like a needle. You lift it toward the light, wide-eyed, and do you hear for a second time the creak of crone’s laughter?
“This sword will be the death of me,” you murmur.
∴ Specs ∴
This tidy smallsword combines elements from a range of historical examples into a swift and precise weapon with a slight back balance for optimal maneuverability.
Named for the spinner’s spike, the blade features a very slight profile taper, the lines of which are emphasised by the false ricasso of the guard. Though simple in appearance, the figure of eight guard provides solid hand protection when correctly angled.
A similar bespoke smallsword would come to £900 plus postage.
- Total length: 92.5cm
- Blade length: 76.5cm
- Blade width: 2cm at base
- Blade stock: 6mm
- Grip length: 8.5cm
- Grip and pommel length: 12cm
- Quillon span: 12cm
- Point of Balance: 10.5cm
- Weight: 605g
- Blunt edges, rounded tip, sparring flex
∴ Notes ∴
The hand-forged and heat-treated guard and pommel are oil-blackened to a matte finish. The guard features a figure of eight guard, a false ricasso with finger rings, and flat-sectioned quillons with flared ends.
The pommel is spherical and finished with a steel nut. The oak grip is wrapped in twisted steel wire with Turks head knots to top and bottom.
∴ Gallery ∴
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