V is for Viking Swords & Fantasy World-Building

Photo from http://www.coldsteel.com/
Photo from http://www.coldsteel.com/

Have you ever envisioned a certain weapon for your character that was so specific that nothing compared to it in reality? I faced that problem in my WIP, and it’s kind of like going on a shopping spree with an exact image of the perfect outfit…. I set myself up to fail. I had in mind an image of a large sword encrusted with gold and jewels. It needed to be light enough for my heroine to wield and perform some deadly choreography.
I’m a panster, so I write first and research later. And when I discovered that the weapon I envisioned was a cleaving sword, I had a problem, because in real life this type of weapon is too heavy for my heroine to wield. Not to mention that all the gold and jewels I imagined adorning the sword are, well, heavy. So, after consulting with Rayne Hall during her workshop about choosing weapons for you characters, we decided on a Viking sword:

But, do you know what I forgot? I’m writing fantasy…that means I can give magical elements to any weapon, I can make a cleaving sword light and I can make a dagger as heavy as a mountain. So long as I have an explanation and a solid world-building I’m good. And that’s the fun part about fantasy! I can play around with different things that have no connection in reality and mesh them together. I can play at being a surrealist, and have some fun. That’s the most important aspect of writing, right? And I feel inspired to try any kind of different combinations of weapons after visiting a Salvador Dali exhibition yesterday. There’s nothing more inspiring than basking in the creations of a great artist.
So, now I’m working on the Viking/cleaving fantasy sword mesh. I was thinking…it’ll be as light as a Viking sword, with the strength of a cleaving sword, and it’ll grow poisonous ivy thorns on command. It may, or may not, grow a parachute out of the tip. AND, if someone uses the wrong command, the sword will melt into resin and will trap the amateur sword wielder inside. It might be fun to trap my heroine inside and see how she gets herself out of this blunder. 🙂

What about you? Have you ever invented a weapon for your characters?

4 Replies to “V is for Viking Swords & Fantasy World-Building”

  1. on our fantasy world of Persis they have pulse rifles , but the sand gets everywhere so our hero had to resort to a good old fashion spear to kill the charging sandcat. I do love the freedom fantasy gives. And your sword sounds cool!

    1. Oooh, I love it when the character needs to get creative during a fight or fight the old fashioned way….with their hands, or spears, maybe without a shirt… 😛

  2. I prefer magical weaponry, as well. Every since I read ‘The Blue Sword’ and ‘The Hero and the Crown’, I’ve been drawn to the idea of a magical weapon, which is somehow sentient. I also enjoyed the weapons in CLAMP’s ‘Magic Knights Rayearth’ manga/anime, where Presea, the weapons’ smith, crafted weapons using a magical material, which were tailored exactly to the three heroines. (The way Presea crafted the weapons was interesting as well) Seeing the dead pigs, the severed heads, and the models in this was a grim reminder that you’re hacking up a person, when you use an edged weapon on someone. This is another reason I prefer magical weapons. It might have another purpose other than simply hacking to someone to bits, one which is not visible to the ordinary eye. Thank you for sharing!

  3. I’m not a fan of gore or killing for the sake of killing, either. That’s why I stopped watching Games of Thrones. All the killings and intense scenes just made me sad when I couldn’t see a HEA for the characters. Although I loved Drogo and Khaleesi. I wish someone would write the romance version with a HEA for them! But I digress. Weapons, right? I haven’t watched Magic Knights. It’s been ages since I watched some manga, and crafting weapons using a magical material sounds fascinating!

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