We are all familiar with the great geese that ply the coast of the Silver Sea, as aggressive as they are beautiful, and totally immune to the purgative effects of those waters. I, Ad Dakhla, scribe and chronicler to the court of the Sultan of the City of Bronze, do here set down a record of a nameless blade that had been cursed to attract those vicious birds to the location of its bearer, and to cause them to attack ceaselessly.

A volunteer from the Sultan’s guard demonstrated it this very afternoon, and it is hopeful that he will make a full recovery. It is a beautiful short sword, with a goose motif in its decorations as one might imagine, but I cannot comprehend why anyone would forge such a miserable object. The Sultan is of the opinion that it is a noble heirloom of goose-kind, one whose return that they desperately seek.

I myself believe that it is a prank in very poor taste by an artificier, perhaps the same one that cursed a magnificent sword to feel like a fetid river eel.

  • Like what you see? Purchase a print or ebook version!

I, Ad Dakhla, scribe and chronicler to the court of the Sultan of the City of Bronze, do here set down the story of the Goatherd’s Knife. It is said that a great blade, finely wrought and silvered, slipped from its handle and was found by a humble goatherd.

With a need to defend herself, she affixed the blade to the horn of a favored goat that had recently passed, to serve as a handle. She then carried the blade, carefully oiled and maintained, for ninety years until her death. Those years, it is said, have imbued the weapon with a supernatural ability to summon and herd goats, with the side effect of imparting a certain stubbornness as well.

  • Like what you see? Purchase a print or ebook version!

I, Ad Dakhla, scribe and chronicler to the court of the Sultan of the City of Bronze, do here set down a story I am not sure I believe, but one which is attested by both the archives in Korton as well as the City of Bronze. It is said that a great magician and practical joker once ensorcelled a beautiful weapon but cast upon it a hex that caused it to feel as slimy and unpleasant as a live eel to any who would wield it in battle.

Worse, the affected would see the blade as soft and malleable, useless in combat, even as their companions wondered why they would cast down so fine a thing in the heat of battle. The Sultan swears that he once handled the blade, now in the hands of a roving purveyor of curiosities, but I was unable to lay hands on the weapon myself.

Perhaps, if its story is true, I would not want to.

  • Like what you see? Purchase a print or ebook version!

I, Ad Dakhla, scribe and chronicler to the court of the Sultan of the City of Bronze, do here set down what I have heard of the Weeping Rapier. Long ago, so they say, early in the reign of Køs over Korton, a mother and her two sons fled the city. Seeking refuge, they were offered shelter by a family who turned out to be highwaymen and brigands.

The two sons resisted and were thus slain, while their mother was held until the next convoy of slavers to be sold on. Weeping bitterly at her predicament, the woman found her tears settled and hardened in a peculiar way, and she was thus able to fashion first a lever to force her chains and then a sword to slay her captors. Hearing only ceaseless weeping, it seems, the slavers had no inkling of their demise until it was too late.

Once they were dead, and her sons buried, it is said that the aggrieved mother cast the blade her tears had miraculously made into the Silver Sea, and bade it return to any who cried bitter tears over a matter that could be cured with steel. My records, sparse though they are, attest to its reappearance several times since.

  • Like what you see? Purchase a print or ebook version!

I, Ad Dakhla, scribe and chronicler to the court of the Sultan of the City of Bronze, do here set down a tale of the Thiefblade, a small dagger that makes a thief of anyone who possesses it. It is finely jeweled, or so the illustrations in the chronicles relate, and so well-wrought that if is difficult to conceal when worn in any capacity.

Upon sight of it, those with even the smallest aptitude for a blade are smitten with it, and seek to steal the dagger at their earliest opportunity. This has, as one might imagine, led to more than one would-be thief being struck down with the very blade they attempted to steal. But once the blade is prized away from its former owner, the cycle begins anew.

It is said that the Thiefblade has been stolen hundreds of times, and will see yet a hundred more before it is put beyond the reach of mortal man. No tales exist of how it came to be, nor any theories; it seems that any knowledge of its history has, itself, been stolen.

  • Like what you see? Purchase a print or ebook version!

I, Ad Dakhla, scribe and chronicler to the court of the Sultan of the City of Bronze, do here set down the story of an heirloom of the city and the sultanate, the Stained Blade. Long ago, when the city was ruled not by a sultan but by a shah, the current Sultan’s forefather sought to take the city to free it from the Shah’s tyranny. He appealed to fabled Vloles, on the Dreaming Moon, for a blade with which he could strike but a single decisive blow.

And his entreaty was answered, with a warning: stroke your blow, but the evidence of it will forever be known. The Sultan’s forefather smuggled the blade, and his men, into the city over a number of months before the gathered their strength, opened the gates from within, and stormed the palace. Only one blow was struck, to end the Shah’s reign and begin the Sultan’s, but the blood was forever imprinted upon the blade. Its pattern and spray seem to depict a blow not struck in combat but one from behind, on an unaware target.

The first Sultan was not bothered by this, and he displayed it for many years in his palace before it was consigned to the armory. The current Sultan is more ambivalent, and is not enthusiastic about his ancestor’s “cowardly blow.” I offer that if the first Sultan was not bothered by it, and if the hosts of fabled Vloles did not strike him down, none but the Shah may truly find fault with such an action.

  • Like what you see? Purchase a print or ebook version!

I, Ad Dakhla, scribe and chronicler to the court of the Sultan of the City of Bronze, do here set down with contrition the story of a sword the Sultan revoked my access to. The blade was a fine crystal, clearly useless for combat but nevertheless a masterpiece of several arts intended as a display piece. I was warned not to remove its protective case, and warned not to touch it.

Nevertheless, my curiosity got the better of my judgment and I removed the blown glass cover from the sword and filter gave it a slight tap with a wooden pin. My simple objective was to note the resonance of the sound it produced, and perhaps thereby ascertain the sort of crystal that the sword was made from. But the warnings had been given in earnest, and that small tap was enough to set off a resonance that caused the whole room to vibrate, several glass enclosures throughout the palace to crack or break, and bits of masonry to rain down upon the head of the Sultan himself.

Needless to say, my access was quickly revoked. If he had a hammer and could be assured that he would survive the resulting blow, the sultan told me, he would destroy the infernal thing. When I asked for further details, he refused to give any, simply saying that his family had lost too many armorers to the cursed thing.

  • Like what you see? Purchase a print or ebook version!

I, Ad Dakhla, scribe and chronicler to the court of the Sultan of the City of Bronze, do here set down the story of the Sword of Regret. Once, it is said, a man of Korton so regretted an action he had taken that be appealed to the Dreaming Moon and fabled Vloles to grant him a means of undoing it.

In response, he was sent the Sword of Regret. By slaying 100 souls that it designated through the shifting engravings on its blade, the Sword would allow the hand that held it to erase one regretful mistake. Though not a violent person, the petitioner nevertheless took up the sword and killed those it bade him. When the time came, his sincere regret was acted upon, and the act undone.

However, with nothing to regret, the sword could never have come to him in the first place, for there was no reason for him to ask it of fabled Vloles on the Dreaming Moon. Thus, he found himself, instead, a murderer and hunted. It is said that his journals, now held in the archives of Korton, and eyewitness accounts corroborate this, though I have not been able to find either myself.

  • Like what you see? Purchase a print or ebook version!

After writing about the mundane falchion which I carry, I mentioned the fact to the Sultan and he insisted that I also write about my true sword, the one which I sharpen and practice with every day. Thus, I, Ad Dakhla, scribe and chronicler to the court of the Sultan of the City of Bronze, do here set down the history of my pen.

While I use goose quills from the royal aviary for much day-to-day writing, I am lucky enough to have a nib pen wrought by the Sultan’s personal metalsmith as well, for writing on wood-pulp paper and vellum. It is made of fine steel, ornately engraved so as to provide a grip, with a nib that can be removed, exchanged, and sharpened.

The metalsmith made me 100 nibs by way of his apprentice, and since that gift I have used up 54 of them. The 55th nib writes these words now, and I have often wondered which will come first: my own death, or the 100th nib?

  • Like what you see? Purchase a print or ebook version!

I, Ad Dakhla, scribe and chronicler to the court of the Sultan of the City of Bronze, do here set down the story of my own sword at the Sultan’s express request. I imagine it amuses him, or perhaps he thinks that I was given Le Aaiun’s sword when she passed through and have secretly kept it. No matter; history should recall all, even the mundane.

My sword is a simple falchion, steel-bladed and tanged, with accents of brass and lapis on the handle. I purchased it in the bazaar during a visit to Korton; it is said that their legendary blind smiths had a hand in its creation, but the same is said of every blade there. On my return to the City of Brass, I had the weapon inspected by a smith a trust, who modified it to my taste and created the azure scabbard for it. I have never been much of a swordsman, but I know a few basic parried and thrusts sufficient to protect myself.

If they write songs of my mundane sword, it will be about how I used it as an axe, a paper cutter, and a straight-edge for drawing.

  • Like what you see? Purchase a print or ebook version!