The word spread like wildfire from those who had seen
In the dark of the forest a glimmer of green:
“The beacon is lit, the Balefire now burns,
The legend yet lives, the swordsmith returns.”
Well we know tales of those days half-remembered,
Of destinies glimpsed in the glimmering embers,
And weapons awaiting the ones that might wield them
And mantras soft-murmured to strengthen and shield them;
A smith working wonders by cover of dark,
The chime of the hammer, the sputter and spark,
Then breath-steaming stillness as shadows give way
To ash-scattered empty at dawning of day.
Half-hoping, half-fearing that what we might see
Might rewrite our memories as mere fantasy
We draw our cloaks about us tight
And wordlessly wander the gathering night
To answer the beacon that can’t be ignored
And dance by the light of the Balefire forge.
A true craftsman, Chris has slipped the bounds of the everyday and forged a world in which magical swords are manifest and life is a constant quest. Drawing inspiration from folklore, fantasy and astute observations of historical fencing and weaponry, Chris is dedicated to sharing that world with historical fencers around the world.
Having discovered a passion for fencing at the Sussex Sword Academy, Chris began studying the art and alchemy of swordmaking under Marco Danelli in 2013. Upon graduating from his apprenticeship, he continued to craft fine blades at Danelli Armouries until 2018.
Combining extensive experience as a smith and fencer with an insatiable curiosity about all things historic and folkloric, Chris takes pride in creating fencing-ready works of art.
As the voice of the forge, Alicia is our customers’ first point of contact, working meticulously to translate their visions into viable fencing swords, and keeping them informed throughout production. She is also responsible for Balefire’s messaging and marketing, creating quality content across the website, social media, and limited edition art books.
Alicia started creating leather companion pieces to Chris’s creations in 2019, from bespoke scabbards and sword belts to protective gear. She continues to make a limited number of commissions alongside her writing commitments.
A lover of longswords and scholar of Skaldic verse, Alicia delights in all things Medieval and mythic. She’s happiest when writing unique stories for each sword, and weaving Chris’s artefacts into a wider mythos.