Scowling into your empty cup, you skip the pewter bit between your fingers and wait. A meeting of three, the note said, in its cryptic, spidery scrawl. Three for beginning, middle and end. Mind, body, spirit. Maiden, mother, crone. They would know you, the letter said, by the coin.
You toss the metal disc into the air and catch it, slamming it down on the rough wooden table. A cast image glares back at you: an equilateral triangle, bisected by a sword. A cult? A guild? A secret order?
The second was discovered soon enough – sitting up at the bar, coin peeping conspicuously from between scattered change – though she was none the wiser as to the meaning of the note. She sits across from you now, and you can tell your impatience irks her.
Just as you make up your mind to leave, the door opens. You freeze as a figure pushes through the portico and shakes the snow from his hood.
The man may be remarkable, but it’s his companion your eye is drawn to: a slender greatsword, almost as tall as its wielder, with three fullers lining its blade and, at its centre, two blackened bars reaching down from the cross to create a protective triangle.
And there is no doubt.
You step onto the silent floor, and draw your partner to you. Even in this brief moment of stasis, you are struck by her power and grace. Though you know the steps by heart, she was made for this.
You make the first move, both followed and led, and sense her spinning out into a graceful arc. You smile as you turn a quarter step to meet her – you’ve had to work hard to keep up with her all these years, but you’ve still got it.
She’s urging for speed now – a slight shift of momentum, hungry for the fight. You tighten your grip only slightly – enough to remind her who’s leading the dance. It was always this way: even through the stone wall of your discipline, you cannot fail to sense her passion.
As she spins through another flurry of steps and cuts, you recall a line from an old story book. The one about the mermaid. “She laughed and danced with death in her heart.”
Caught in the beauty of her motion, you can’t help but laugh along with her.
When our client commissioned a scabbard for our very first Middle Earth , Elthrovan, I was delighted to sink my teeth into his interpretation of Tolkien’s themes and aesthetics.
The client provided a thorough sketch detailing the proportions and aesthetics he envisioned, and it fell to me to interpret these into a feasible and durable scabbard.
The resulting piece is made from hand-carved hardwood, coated in mottled brown leather which was wet-formed and stitched around the core. A series of thick cord risers between the wood and leather form the basis for the regal geometric designs, with the addition of tooled and sculpted stars.
Part of a suite of Lord of the Rings inspired pieces, this scabbard needed to channel the proud history of Gondor, complimenting the bold, masculine design of the Amroth Arming Sword.
As a companion piece to the The Aranarth Scabbard, this scabbard needed to carry through a certain aesthetic kindred while evoking a subtly different character and culture.
The scabbard is wooden-cored and coated in a polished dark brown leather, wet-formed and secured with a seam of crossed stitches. The length of the scabbard is criss-crossed by broad black leather straps, while the steel rings and chape are finely carved.
An interpretation of Gondor’s symbolic tree is tooled into the leather then highlighted in gold, seven stars tucked amidst its roots and branches.
When tasked to make a scabbard for the Lord of the Rings inspired Aranarth Longsword, a plethora of images immediately flooded my mind. While our client was particularly inspired by the now classic swords and scabbards made by Weta for the film trilogy, I was keen to incorporate a sense of Strider’s story: the rugged ranger with noble roots.
The scabbard is wooden-cored and coated in mottled dark green leather, wet-formed and secured with a seam of crossed stitches. The sturdy, practical brown strapping is offset by the strong lines of the steel chape and ring, which follow the shape of the sword’s ecusson.
A knotwork motif, picked out in gold and then lightly sanded to a distressed finish, completes the tale: a hint of regal glory, both worn away and enhanced by hard wear.
When our client requested a scabbard, hanger and belt for the intricately decorated Maristella Smallsword, I was keen to create something that would compliment the maritime themes of the hilt without distracting from the detail of the sword itself.
Thus a simple, elegant wooden-cored scabbard was created, with a steel mouth and chape. Black leather is wet-formed secured around the hand-carved core with a cross-stitched seam.
The simplicity of the piece suggests a sleek military look, while subtle details such as the periwinkle-like spiral on the chape tie into the sword’s maritime theme.
Your name sounds unfamiliar as it rings along the long, marble gallery, bedecked with gilt frames and austere painted eyes. How strange to hear it here, plain and pedestrian alongside ancient titles. A small cough from the footman prompts you to step through the crest-bedecked doors.
There is no end to the finery that greets you – polished plates and chandeliers, jade figurines from lands beyond your dreams. Dukes and generals commingling in their garb of gold and blue, upturned cuffs and sweeping plumes. And the swords! Swinging at their hips, all solid gold pommels and plaited wire grips.
Transfixed you gaze from blade to gilded blade – until your eyes come to rest on a peculiar incarnation: similar in its stately shape, this sword is blackened where others are polished, its long blade slender and more wieldy. You can’t shake the feeling that where other guests wear dress swords, this is a weapon worn with intent.
Suddenly aware that you’re being watched, you raise your eyes slowly to meet the steel grey glare of the sword’s owner.