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Scottish Two-Hander Sword
Witcher Aerondight Inspiration
Like many modern sword lovers my fascination with the topic didn't spring to life from the walls of museums or auctions houses. While my interests have long since swung towards historic reality they actually began within the realm of fantasy: computer games in particular. Nowadays we are treated to a sweeping visual spectacle with games such as the Witcher series, which became an instant classic from the first moment of its release. For students of the sword, both fantastic and realistic, one of the nicest surprises of the WITCHER game series are the swords used therein. All too often swords depicted in fantasy medievalesque games verge from the flamboyant to the ridiculous. Not so with the swords from The Witcher. While some of the sword designs do have an obvious fantastical flare they are far more subdued when compared to the usual fantasy game sword fare. These designs rest firmly within the "Not really, but could have been" category. The swept forward hilts of swords like Aerondight, Gven'nel, Mastercrafted Silver Sword, Disglair (and others) are all heavily (if not entirely) based upon Scottish late medieval swords. This sword, is not a verbatim copy of any sword from the game, it is a true Scottish Two-Hander, and yet, as a tribute to Aerondight (and Gven'nel etc.) we’ve extended the grip just a little, expertly wrapped the grip in red leather, and made the crossguard and pommel a bright silver colour, as per the game sword, but these alterations are relatively minor – it’s still a Scottish Two-Hander: a real full tang, hand forged sword (the real deal). Consequently, the sword's mass distribution has been kept within working parameters; so that the sword's dynamic handling properties are not compromised. Any Scot, some five-hundred years back would instantly recognise this sword as being of his nation, albeit with 21st century metallurgy! As for the longer handle, silver fittings and dapper red grip - my guess is that they would have met with approval!
Measurements and Specifications:
Weight: 1.42 Kg
Overall length: 113 cm
Blade length: 82 cm
Blade width: 4.7cm at base, tapering
Grip length: 21.5
Guard width: 20 cm
Point of Balance: 10.5cm from guard
Center of Percussion: ~18 inches from guard
Oakeshott typology: Type XVa blade
As far double-handed swords go, this sword feels pretty good in the hand. I was pleasantly surprised when I picked it up for the first time. It handles ideally for an Oakeshott Type XVa, which is to say it feels good in both cut and thrust. The balance is fairly close to the guard, allowing a feeling of quickness and precision. It is primarily a two-handed sword, but is not difficult to use in one hand. All this has been accomplished while remaining true to its inspiration.
The blade has a nice sharpness for its type. The edges are just sharp enough to perform cuts well but are not sharpened to a razor edge. I did some light test cutting on pumpkins and found that it performed just as expected for a sword of this type. It was able to make good cuts, though because of the taper towards a fine point it did not really want to cut all the way through without some extra effort on the user. This is to be expected of most swords of this type. Thrusting required no effort, as the blade is very stiff and the point is very acute. This sword would be a good choice for thrusting into the mail-covered joints of plate armour. Techniques of the half-sword, where the blade is grasped with the off-hand, would probably require a glove for a modern, non-calloused hand, as the edge is still pretty sharp. This is not unrealistic, as historical swords of this type would have varied in just how sharp they were. The heat-treatment is very good for this sword as well.