∴ A Champion’s Tool∴
Another explosion sounds from beyond the blasted temple, blood-curdling cries in its wake. You spit a mouthful of grit and blood into the carpet of white ash you are crouched in, and grimace as you rise to your feet.
Your helmet remains wedged under your arm, but even without its heightened senses, you can sense that you’re not alone. An armoured figure steps from behind a crumbling pillar, and with relief you spot the Imperial sigil emblazoned on his shoulder. He carries a caliver slung over one shoulder, and something swathed in black cloth held flat in both outstretched hands.
There is something about the carefully-wrapped object that holds your attention, even as you look the figure up and down. It is as if it speaks to you. The edge of a whisper, lost at once against the clamour of battle. You furrow your brow, at once enthralled and repelled.
The intruder speaks in a low rumble, half muffled by his helmet.
“He says you are chosen to wield this weapon,” he begins, shaking the thing loose from its bindings.
It is a sword, you can tell that much. But where you expect the harsh reflection of honed steel, there is only shadow. A deep, mottled darkness that absorbs what little light makes it into the ruinous space.
“He?” you ask, confounded. The whispering grows more distinct as you step toward the figure. You think you can make out words, but they are lost again before you can settle on what they are.
The stranger tilts the sword toward you, and suddenly the screaming and explosions cease, all sound imploding into silence. You feel as if you have been plunged into cold, dark water: the ecstasy of anguish, infinitely removed from the world around you, the sword consuming your consciousness.
It is bleakness and beauty, a broad and dominating blade that drinks in light, beneath a grinning silver skull, splashed with gold. The hilt is half-wrapped in golden wire, and crowned with a cruel black diamond pommel.
Here in this world between worlds, the whispers take form – and in tongues you did not know you knew, they tell of the sword’s many centuries, of its first forging at the Emperor’s command, and of a new command: your name, again and again, growing louder and rhythmic like a heartbeat.
With the Emperor’s will surging through your blood, you push forward with a roar, clasping your metal-gloved hand around the wire-wrapped hilt, and snatching it away from its bearer.
At once you feel something blacken inside you. That same velvet-deep void that the blade beckons now fills your mind, and you know with appalling and pitch-black certainty what must be done.
∴ Specs ∴
When our client asked for a fencing-ready interpretation of a Black Sword from the Warhammer 40k franchise, we were faced with a couple of key challenges: the first was making this legendary, oversized and somewhat spiky power-weapon into something lightweight and safe for sparring with. The other, of course, was making it black.
The blackening process for the blade took a few days of work, building up the oil blackening layer by layer until it had a smoky matte finish with a slight mottled sheen. The fictional Black Sword is said to drink in all light to that it casts no reflection, and we think we got pretty close! This finish is liable to be damaged by sparring use, but like our oil-blackened hilts, should patinate over time so that any scratches blend back in.
The rest of the detail was a delight to design and engineer, with Chris working closely to include as much of the detail of the fictional sword as possible while cutting down excess weight and rounding out any grimdark details that might snag clothing.
As such the engraved ecusson is kept relatively flat, with the skull and cross details striking in relief. The diamond-shaped pommel, which int he original artwork tapers into a cruel spike at the top has been reimagined in a more comfortable style for wielding. The blade has been made slimmer, but maintains an imposing sense of grandeur with its very gradual taper and broad fuller.
The Black Sword of the 40k Universe is said to be much larger and heavier than most wielded by Space Marines, and yet does not slow down those who carry it. In an effort to stay true to this latter point, Chris has carefully balanced the sword to feel even lighter than its 1655g, with an easy central rotation and a certain grace to its arcing cuts.
Named for the founder of the Black Templar chapter, and wielder of the most legendary Black Sword in the 40k cannon, this interpretation marries grandiose gothic imagery with genuine grace and elegance. It is said that the Black Sword of Sigismund murmurs mysteriously just beyond the edge of hearing, and looking at this tenebrous replica, you can almost hear the arcane whispers…
A similar longsword could be commissioned for £1500 plus postage.
- Total length: 132cm
- Blade length: 100cm
- Blade width at shoulder: 5cm
- Blade stock: 6mm
- Quillon span: 23cm
- Grip length: 15cm
- Grip and pommel: 31cm
- Point of balance: 12cm
- Weight: 1650g
- 2mm blunt edges
- Swollen tip
- Fencing-safe flex
∴ Notes ∴
The hand-forged and heat-treated crossguard and pommel are blackened to a matte finish. The crossguard features square-sectioned straight quillons with blocky square terminals.
The quillon block features a pronounced ecusson, and is engraved with a skull to one side and a Maltese cross to the other. These details are hot-brushed with brass. The pommel is a flattened diamond shape with faceting to the front and back sides.
The oak grip is split into two halves, with the lower half wrapped first in linen thread and then in black kidskin. The upper half features a wire wrap in twisted brass and steel with a Turk’s head knot to the top. The construction is completed with a square brass peening block.
The blade itself is distinctive for its black colouring, created with layers of oil blackening and resulting in a mottled, matte finish. It features a wide central fuller that flares out toward the crossguard, and feather-like carvings to the ricasso. The legend “Rex Imperator” is engraved into the fuller on one side.
∴ Gallery ∴
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