∴ A Local Legend∴
The Erl King’s sword is in the apple tree. Everyone knows that.
It was All Hallow’s Eve, they say, and the Erl King came from the forest to demand his tithe. It had been a poor harvest, and the folk had naught to pay him, so the Erl King swore he’d take his tithe in blood. But then some peasant Jack stepped up, and challenged the Erl King to a fight.
They met in the orchard after dark, for sunlight made the Erl King weak. And when the Erl King drew his mighty sword, Jack brandished only the branch of an apple tree. The Erl King laughed with a voice like rustling leaves, but when they fought he was surprised to find the peasant an able adversary: every strike was parried, every thrust dodged, the apple bough splintered and yet held strong.
A symbol of life in the face of death.
For twelve hours they fought: the young lad and the darkling king, until the sun began to creep over the horizon. Realising that Jack had tricked him, the Erl King took one last desperate swing, even as Jack plunged the twisted stick deep into the creature’s chest.
Steel met skin. Wood met bone. The Erl King vanished in a flurry of dead leaves, and Jack’s body slumped over the blood-soaked ground where already the apple bough was taking root, fed by bloodshed and irrevocably entwining around the sword.
That’s the story, anyway. You don’t believe such things, of course. You’re not a child any more. So when the older boys dare you to climb the orchard wall on All Hallow’s Eve, you grit your teeth and grasp the mossy stone. When they bet you can’t touch the tree, you glare over your shoulder at them and walk the lantern-lit pathway toward it, careful not to crush the corn dolls and offerings laid out underfoot.
And when you see, lit by the moon, a streak of steel at the heart of the twisted trunk…
∴ Specs ∴
This complex-hilted hand-and-a-half sword was inspired by a medley of originals in collections around the UK. It is an excellent all-rounder, with a long, wide cutting blade and a complex hilt with a thumb ring offering both protection and control whether used in one hand or both.
With its strongly centralised mass, it rotates well in the hand and easily dominates a bind. While it is not a particularly fast sword, it moves with authority. The added hand protection lends itself to offensive movements, while the broad blade and large pommel add a dominant presence to strikes and parries alike.
Aesthetically, the swelling to the rings and quillon terminals are a homage to the Wallace Collection’s much-loved A535, while the split grip adds a touch of historical fantasy with its steel wire, brass studs and deep orange leather. It is the combination of this autumnal russet with the matte black of the bars that inspired the sword’s name – especially apt as it was finished in late Autumn!
- Total length: 123.5cm
- Blade length: 97cm
- Blade width at shoulder: 4.8cm
- Blade stock: 8mm
- Quillon span: 26cm
- Grip length: 18cm
- Grip and pommel: 25cm
- Point of balance: 11cm
- Weight: 1970g
- Fencing safe edges, tip and flex
∴ Notes ∴
The hand-forged and heat-treated guard and complex hilt are blackened to a matte finish. The guard is made from round-section bars and features lateral S-shaped quillons with swollen terminals, side rings, and two rings to the front with swellings to the centre of each. The rear guard is formed from a bar split into three with a thumb ring to the centre. The pommel is mushroom-shaped, mirroring the swellings of the quillon terminals.
The oak grip is half wrapped in linen thread and russet kidskin, and half with twisted steel wire. It features a Turk’s head knot to the top and brass studs to the centre. The blade features a double fuller to the centre.
∴ Gallery ∴
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