The Sword Beneath the Cloak (Odigan work)

A central place to talk about weapons and armour, as it relates to your kit. This is where you show it of or talk about making it. Discussing the relative merits of types of weapons goes in the WMA section.

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Elleth
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The Sword Beneath the Cloak (Odigan work)

Postby Elleth » Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:38 pm

So you may remember some time back we discussed “What do you look for in a Ranger sword?” At the time I’d just finished a re-read of the books, with a mind to trying to picture the material culture going off the tone of the text. Batting that cultural feel around with the practical experience of blades in the wild Greg and others have brought to the forum, this idea came to mind:

Image

Around the same time, I had gotten a hold of a Windlass XIV, and I was in the middle of asking Odigan to work his usual magic to clean it up.

The obvious question came to mind - could he just turn the Windlass sword into that hypothetical design instead?

The master was willing, so -

merf-dunedain-ranger-sword-kit.jpg
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Goodness this is a fascinating little thing. Even at first glance, you can tell it's meant for the wilds: browned furniture and a darker brown grip promise to just disappear once the blade is scabbarded. The channel through the guard for the blade is filled in, so as not to allow a drop of rain or crud to run down inside the grip:

merf-dunedain-ranger-sword-hilt.jpg
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Taking it in hand however is when things get magic. :mrgreen:

Despite being with an ounce of Elenglin, it feels radically different. With this short wide blade, the weight is noticeably closer to the hand, and my first thought on picking it up was how nimble it felt.

Given the XIV blade and the Reeve pommel weren’t contemporary with each other as far as I knew, I was a little concerned they’d not mesh as well together in the hand as they did on the page: I’m happy to say that is absolutely not the case.

Whether dumb luck or Odigan’s special magic (I’m betting the latter. ;) ) - the components mesh perfectly. The pommel is much svelter than I’d expected from pictures. It’s absolutely thin enough that you can get a fencer’s grip on the sword if that’s what you want, but the pommel is wide enough and the handle short enough there’s fantastic support for the hand in a more slashing grip. At least to me, it seems to have a much more secure hold than the Bristol-style grip of Elenglin.

While a buckler fencer like Mr. Roland / Dimicator might miss the wide quilons of the classic XIV, I’m tempted to think a Ranger in the wilds might be actively happier with the narrower Norse-style guard that Odigan created not inviting along every vine and bramble. The composite package just screams “sidearm.”

In feel, the more time I spend with this sword, the more “stabby” it seems. The edge is there, but you’re certainly aware there’s not as much reach as with a larger arming sword. More, the point just seems thirsty somehow. I won’t go quite so far as to say it seems an overgrown gladius, but to the extent the tool shapes the hand, the blade just seems to want to dance around wards and pierce deep.

This feels like a brawler’s weapon - not something intended for deeds of song on a bright sunlit battle plain, but rather for the chaotic frenzy under dark trees when fell things draw close.

I can totally picture a blade like this under the cloaks of scruffy dangerous men sidling their way to the back corner of the Pony. :mrgreen:

Specifications:

merf-dunedain-ranger-sword-dynamics.jpg
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Overall length: 32 ¼” (82 cm)
Blade length: 26 ¼” (66.5cm)
Weight: 2 lb 5 oz (1.048 kg)

Point of Balance: 4 3/8“ from guard (11.25cm)

COP-
vibration node: 17.75” from guard (45 cm)
“most authoritative whacky part”: 17 ⅜” (44cm)
Persona: Aerlinneth, Dúnedain of Amon Lendel c. TA 3010.
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Ghostsoldier
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Re: The Sword Beneath the Cloak (Odigan work)

Postby Ghostsoldier » Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:56 pm

Beautiful work!

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Harper
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Re: The Sword Beneath the Cloak (Odigan work)

Postby Harper » Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:09 pm

Nice.

I always thought that a shorter blade was more appropriate for a Ranger in the woods. They work better in formation work as well.

The lighter weight and nimbleness are also quite attractive.

Time to quench it in orc blood!
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Peter Remling
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Re: The Sword Beneath the Cloak (Odigan work)

Postby Peter Remling » Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:29 pm

Now that is a beautiful little sword. Very nice joint effort !
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Greg
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Re: The Sword Beneath the Cloak (Odigan work)

Postby Greg » Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:31 pm

That is simple, but beautiful. Exactly what I think we've all had in mind. The wider profile at the guard and the simplicity of what looks like a 'mass replicated, small-batch' hilt just scream brawler, you're right. I REALLY like it. There's something elegant and fantastical about our etched and customized pieces, but THIS really fits into the "find a common persona" vibe...the "If it makes your kit oh-so-special then you probably shouldn't" is well followed here. What you're describing is exactly what we're told the general populous thinks of the Rangers...a Roughish bunch of nobody-knows-whats that get messy in the woods and then pop up to tell a rare tale while picking the dirt and (???) out from underneath their fingernails. That blade just nails it. WELL DONE, Odigan. Gosh, I love the collaboration you get on this board...nowhere else do this many dreams become realities.

I hate to say it...I think I want one.

Nobody panic...least of all Odigan.
Now the sword shall come from under the cloak.
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Re: The Sword Beneath the Cloak (Odigan work)

Postby TaylorSteiner » Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:04 pm

Wow awesome!
Still, I wonder if we shall ever be put into songs or tales.
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Iodo
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Re: The Sword Beneath the Cloak (Odigan work)

Postby Iodo » Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:59 am

Nice :P I agree totally with Greg, It fit's what I imagined from the book exactly and getting rid of the polished shiny guard and pommel works so well, no glint to give away your position in the trees

Odigan's made your design amazing :mrgreen:
Gimli: It's true you don't see many Dwarf-women. And in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance, that they are often mistaken for Dwarf-men.
Aragorn: It's the beards.
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Elleth
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Re: The Sword Beneath the Cloak (Odigan work)

Postby Elleth » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:24 am

He is amazing. :)

And very good point on the "common persona" observation, Greg. I confess I'd not thought about that at the time, but I'm quite happy that's how it turned out.
If/when you request work from Odigan yourself: are you thinking a new sword entirely, or rehilting your Bristol?

If the latter, I'm quite curious how the two end up comparing! I might even have to loan you this one for a bit of side-by-side testing, out of curiosity. :mrgreen:

If the former - Having just missed the clearance a while back, I was able to order the donor XIV directly from Windlass in India. Just because MRL doesn't carry it anymore doesn't mean you have to scrounge the secondary market. (If I recall correctly, the Bristols were off the market entirely at that point, so those didn't occur to me as an option. Likewise I didn't order it with this project in mind originally, so I didn't think to ask about the option of a bare blade from either source).

I will say the Windlass blade is very pleasantly stiff, which suits its stabby nature I think.
What's the Bristol like?


edit: I haven't been able to spare much thought for the carriage yet, but I'm tentatively thinking it will hang vertically from an attached belt strap that can be buckled around the waist or over the opposite shoulder. Probably laced to the scabbard in that 12th century "belt is split and laced through the scabbard leather" fashion, albeit in another layout to be determined. Possibly with a Saxon-style covered wooden slider on the scabbard. No metal besides the buckle, and minimal decoration - probably none - on the leather itself. I think that closest fits the raggedy presentation of the Rangers and the late Dark Age feel of book-Eriador, but I'm not certain.

Thoughts?
Persona: Aerlinneth, Dúnedain of Amon Lendel c. TA 3010.
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Re: The Sword Beneath the Cloak (Odigan work)

Postby Jedd382 » Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:11 pm

That is a great looking sword. I always found simple swords with nice lines to be more attractive than more elaborate or ostentatious swords. This looks like a sword that's meant to be used. I also like your slider idea. I've seen some good looking scabbards with both covered and uncovered sliders.

When it comes to decoration on the scabbard I think that some wouldn't be a bad thing. A little tooling here and there could reflect the wearer's personality. Or it could be a form of camp art? I can imagine rangers decorating pieces of kit during their down time in the wild.
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Greg
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Re: The Sword Beneath the Cloak (Odigan work)

Postby Greg » Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:34 pm

Elleth wrote:And very good point on the "common persona" observation, Greg. I confess I'd not thought about that at the time, but I'm quite happy that's how it turned out.
If/when you request work from Odigan yourself: are you thinking a new sword entirely, or rehilting your Bristol?


I've always thought about rehilting the Bristol at some point, but this one may have to be its own project (whenever that might happen...) as I really like the lines on the blade itself. My Bristol is a special case...meaning it's special, and not in a good way. It was my first blade, and it was part of the pre-order first shipment from Valiant all those years ago. Mine was NOT up to snuff. The blade was (and still is) quite noticeably warped, not remotely symmetrical, and the pommel doesn't actually align with the center of the tang. It's like they were in such a huge rush that I got shipped a 'second'. At the time, I didn't know any better, and sure as heck wasn't going to ship it back...I was thrilled!

So, in short, if and when I have Odigan rehilt it, the blade's going to undergo a LOT of re-work that grinding alone won't be able to handle. He's going to have to straighten the whole thing, which means starting all over with heat treat (and he MIGHT tell me it'd just be easier for him to do one from scratch instead...)

I like where you're going with the scabbard concept...just avoid making it TOO raggedy! Cloaks don't get as dirty and torn as new line makes it appear, and a Ranger would know how to take care of their harness.

India, eh? Mind PMing me some details? I went looking and wasn't able to find a source.
Now the sword shall come from under the cloak.
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Ursus
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Re: The Sword Beneath the Cloak (Odigan work)

Postby Ursus » Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:38 am

Awesome! Definitely nailed the visual aesthetic.

Does it come in longsword size lol? Alternatively If you shrunk it down about a foot it would also make an amazing design for an eket.

My hat is off to Odigan for yet another job brilliantly executed.
"Lonely men are we, Rangers of the wild, hunters – but hunters ever of the servants of the Enemy."

“My cuts, short or long, don’t go wrong.”
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Elleth
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Re: The Sword Beneath the Cloak (Odigan work)

Postby Elleth » Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:42 pm

Does it come in longsword size lol?


Something in this direction perhaps?

merf-ranger-longsword-ursus.jpg
merf-ranger-longsword-ursus.jpg (39.97 KiB) Viewed 1217 times


Source images:
Albion Squire "Late 13th c. Greatsword"
Albion Stamford for hilt furniture
Persona: Aerlinneth, Dúnedain of Amon Lendel c. TA 3010.
Zaskar24
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Re: The Sword Beneath the Cloak (Odigan work)

Postby Zaskar24 » Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:11 pm

Congratulations Elleth, The finished product looks great and I can see it being very handy in the bush and for fighting in a melee. Odigan did a fantastic job of bringing your initial design to life in steel! By chance did you have him do the engraving to the pommel that you had in your concept?

I like the sword that you created for Ursus as well. It looks like the natural progression to a warsword coming from your design.
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Elleth
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Re: The Sword Beneath the Cloak (Odigan work)

Postby Elleth » Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:25 pm

By chance did you have him do the engraving to the pommel that you had in your concept?


No engraving - at first that was just because I hadn't come up with anything I really liked, and couldn't spare the time to keep working on the problem.
Now I'm grateful we didn't go down that road. The unadorned, nondescript look suits the final work better, I think.
Persona: Aerlinneth, Dúnedain of Amon Lendel c. TA 3010.
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Ursus
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Re: The Sword Beneath the Cloak (Odigan work)

Postby Ursus » Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:35 pm

Elleth wrote:
Does it come in longsword size lol?


Something in this direction perhaps?

merf-ranger-longsword-ursus.jpg

Source images:
Albion Squire "Late 13th c. Greatsword"
Albion Stamford for hilt furniture


Good thing I have a custom type XII bare blade in the works that I intend make fittings for...
"Lonely men are we, Rangers of the wild, hunters – but hunters ever of the servants of the Enemy."

“My cuts, short or long, don’t go wrong.”

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