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Ask me about swords.

DMThaane

Sage
Is it true that blood strengthens swords? Like in Naruto, when Zabuza said that the iron in the blood of his enemies keep his cleaver even more powerful? Any truth to that?

This is an old myth and I've never been able to find the origin of it. The earliest primary source I've seen is from 1894 in a Berlin newspaper, long removed from any of the periods during which it supposedly happened. Classic versions include wootz steel blades from Damascus, viking swords, and katanas; often quenched in the body of a slave and sometimes in the blood of a dragon. Incidentally, while researching this I found a myth that blades warp if not quenched facing true north so... a lot of forging myths out there on the internet.

To go a bit more in-depth, quenching a blade in a human body would be a terrible idea for a number of reasons, notably the risk of hitting bone and the inconsistency of the quenching medium. A living body would be even worse because they would, understandably, thrash around. Quenching in blood could work and it does have a decently consistent salt content (which is the only thing I've seen mentioned in its favour) but it congeals and would go rancid. Urine, apparently, works better for less hassle. Urine also shows up in more historical sources, often with advice about how to get the right sort of urine. Regardless, oil or water are much more common, almost certainly better if you know what you're doing, and couldn't possibly smell as bad.

Also blood may contain iron but it also contains salt and oxygen, two things that aid in rusting. This shouldn't be a problem in a quenching medium but does make Zabuza's logic somewhat suspect. Of course in your world its your rules so the blood of certain creature could be the quenching medium of choice, especially if its magical. Alternate use for unicorns, maybe?

Another thing, I want your take on this. I have a country of knightmages in my story. They use broadswords with enchantments that make their weapons lighter and tougher. I also have a country of samurais. Their katanas are bespelled to not be as fragile as they are in real life. Have any of you ever used magic to bypass the fragility of swords?

I have one world where they put different sections of the enchantment on different pieces of iron then pattern-weld them together to form the final enchantment. This is done to sidestep complexity issues that arise when trying to enchant homogenous steel. It's rare, however, as I generally try to keep magic inconvenient for both plot and preference reasons.
 

Centinuus

Scribe
Ah lovely, ive been into historical swordplay for some time and attempted to form my own small group around my area as were sadly rather dry on HEMA establishments. i have a collection of a few people who i regularly fence with,and not the rather silly modern fencing which is more equatable to whip fighting, i own a small collection of historical rapiers, as well as a few longswords and a chinese Dao of decent quality. glad to know others here are as enthusiastic about the sport, as a practitioner of 10 years im sure i could learn alot from you.
 

Russ

Istar
Ah lovely, ive been into historical swordplay for some time and attempted to form my own small group around my area as were sadly rather dry on HEMA establishments. i have a collection of a few people who i regularly fence with,and not the rather silly modern fencing which is more equatable to whip fighting, i own a small collection of historical rapiers, as well as a few longswords and a chinese Dao of decent quality. glad to know others here are as enthusiastic about the sport, as a practitioner of 10 years im sure i could learn alot from you.

Where are you in Ontario? I might be able to put you in contact with some practitioners nearby.
 

Zack

Scribe
Is there a one-handed short-ish sword that allows for the user to switch hands as well as grip? (ie: Standard to reverse grip) If so, what is it called? How exactly does one use it? And would it still work if the first inch of so was broken off. Another off the wall question, is there much a difference between a sheath or scabbard?
 

Ireth

Myth Weaver
Is there a one-handed short-ish sword that allows for the user to switch hands as well as grip? (ie: Standard to reverse grip) If so, what is it called? How exactly does one use it? And would it still work if the first inch of so was broken off. Another off the wall question, is there much a difference between a sheath or scabbard?

No idea about your other questions, but I think sheath and scabbard are two words for the same thing. I may be wrong though.
 

Zack

Scribe
Cool, thanks. One more question. Is it common practice to hold a one handed sword in your right hand and a shield in the left? If so, is it taboo to hold the sword in the left and the shield in the right?
 

Russ

Istar
Is there a one-handed short-ish sword that allows for the user to switch hands as well as grip? (ie: Standard to reverse grip) If so, what is it called? How exactly does one use it? And would it still work if the first inch of so was broken off. Another off the wall question, is there much a difference between a sheath or scabbard?

It is a very high risk endevour to change hands or grips in combat unless you have some space to do so.
 

Zack

Scribe
Ok, thanks. If a character was using a shorter sword and not switching or doing anything like that, would it be best to block with the sword or just dodge incoming attacks?
 

Russ

Istar
Ok, thanks. If a character was using a shorter sword and not switching or doing anything like that, would it be best to block with the sword or just dodge incoming attacks?

The good swordsman does both.

He takes a step, or half step to either a) adjust the distance to be safe; or
b) get off the line of the attack; AND

Parries (rather than "block") in such a fashion that will hopefully allow them to counter attack both safely and successfully.

Think of it this way. If there is a sword swinging down at your head really fast, you want to both get out of the way and interpose something between you and that sword so that if you don't get out of the way you will still be breathing after that attack is finished.
 

vaiyt

Scribe
Also blood may contain iron but it also contains salt and oxygen, two things that aid in rusting. This shouldn't be a problem in a quenching medium but does make Zabuza's logic somewhat suspect.
As far as I know, blood does not contain nearly enough iron to have an appreciable effect even in a regular sword, let alone a humongous cleaver like Zabuza's.
 

DMThaane

Sage
As far as I know, blood does not contain nearly enough iron to have an appreciable effect even in a regular sword, let alone a humongous cleaver like Zabuza's.

I've never actually watched Naruto, I was only turning the character's logic around on itself. I mean, why would a sword even need extra iron? It's not like swords have an iron deficiency and elemental iron wouldn't do much good if you just slapped it into any chips or pits in the blade. If he was chroming the surface that would make some sense because at least that would reduce rusting but I doubt there's anywhere near enough chromium in the human body for that. So, yeah, there are a lot of places where Zabuza's logic falls down.
 

TheKillerBs

Inkling
The blade uses blood to magically rebuild when it breaks, if memory serves. It's been a long time since I gave a rat's rear about Naruto.
 
What an incredible discussion about swords! Mythic Scribes is really full of valuable knowledge.

You would benefit greatly from learning more about Hyrulean swords and steel. We have swords in my world that are as good and perhaps even better than any sword of your world, like my personal sword:


Zelda_s_Sword.png


You see the elegance and beauty of the design? I designed it myself! My sword is the fastest and sharpest in all of Hyrule. Sometimes, my friend Link has challenged me to a cutting competition (we cut onions, pumpkins, the occasional monster or just some grass to find rupees, you know...) and I always win.

My friend's sword is heavier and clumsier:


latest


My sword is so much better than that, oh yeah!
 
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