Kult of Athena


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Epic Combat

In honor of the movie Gladiator, no not the wonderful Russel Crowe sword epic about honor an truth, but rather one of the greatest, if not the greatest B films of all time with Cuba Gooding Jr. and the legendary Brian Dennehy, I have tonight composed a special exhibition for all of my loyal followers. Tonight, we will have a steel on steel match up between two of the finest challengers in my collection: The Global Gear Solingen and the dreaded slicer champion, The EYE OF BALOORR!.



At first glance, the swords seem evenly matched. Both blades are made of high quality steel; both have attractive fittings; and both, I know from personal experience, fit very comfortably in the hand and make a very thrilling woosh sound when slicing the air.

Now wait, let's take this fight, in the style of Gladiator, into account by comparing the attributes of the two swords.

The Solingen:

  • Weight: 2 pounds (for the sake of argument)

  • Blade Length: 32.1 inches

  • Fear Factor When Swung Like a Crazed Viking: Scary, but no wet ankles

The Eye of Balor:

  • Weight: 2.6 pounds

  • Blade Length: 30 inches

  • Fear Factor When Swung Like a Crazed Viking: I would say terrifying, especially if someone caught a look at the cats like Sauron eyeball looking at them from the hilt before it was drawn


The fight is on! The clang of steel against steel reverberates off of the walls of the corridor as these monsters go at it. Each delivers solid hits on the other. Making dents, dings, and small nicks. The warriors are dead tired, their comrades fallen around them. Only one goes on to claim all kinds of goodies from the others camp (gold, women, other fine swords, other assorted iPod like gadgets). They know its all or nothing.

Rawwrrr! (They charge)

There is a scarping, sheering sound that splits the air! The hardened high carbon blade of the Eye of Balor has gone straight through the softened, albeit more flexible, spring blade of the Solingen (and subsequently the warrior's dome piece) and he carries on to claim sweet booty.

WINNER: The terror of the ancient Celts (as was told in their myths), the super sexy and super dangerous Eye O' Balor. Brian Dennehy, you are the Solingen.




Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Templar Steel

This modern replica of a 12th century medieval monster is the biggest baddest blade in my humble collection. Produced by Darksword Armory, one of the best, if not the best, sword forges in the modern market, and sold by Kult of Athena, my personal favorite, this weapon is heavy and devastating. Weighing in at a very impressive 4lbs 7.5 ounces, it would have taken a giant to swing this sword around on the battlefield.

The tang of the blade extends deep into the handle in a marvelously functional full tang array and is peened into the pommel of the sword for extra stability. What I enjoy about the model that I own, as I purchased it long ago, is that the pommel itself is one complete piece of steel. I don't not think I would be able to take this sword apart even if I wanted to and I love that.

The present models of this sword have newer, more durable handle wrap materials, and the nut can be removed out of the pommel with a slight application of elbow grease and a freed up Sunday afternoon. Now, that is not to say that this amazing weapon is any less strong because of the new construction, universe apart from it. It just means that Darksword wanted to make the repair and disassembly easier for their customers' sake. God bless those boys.

Practically speaking this blade is unstoppable. I can't imagine what it would do to light armor, horse, or shield with a strong hand and room to swing. I have split heavy logs as easily as the sharpest axe, embedding it into deep into the stump, and there have been no dings or scratches of any kind, no aesthetic marring of any kind, on the blade. It is tempered carbon steel, incredibly strong, and well balanced (at 5 inches from the guard) provided you have a nice adrenaline rush (as all sword enthusiasts should have) when you hold it.

What makes this incredible piece of steel special is that it evokes the ancient days of the Templar Knights crusading in the Holy Land. They protected pilgrims on their sacred road and upheld the code of their faith using sword almost exactly like this. Along the blade, within the fuller, there is the Latin phrase "Militaris Templi" along with the cross of the Templar Knights and, of course, the stamp of Dark Sword Armory.

Overall, with the edge placed on this sword thanks to the good people at
New England Sharpening Co. Inc., the closest and most accommodating sword sharpeners near Boston, MA, this weapon is my pride and joy. I would trust it in battle and it's going to look very scary and impressive on daddy's wall of steel when being showed to my daughter's first boyfriend.

To read more about the Templar Knights and the Crusades, consult "Dungeon, Fire, and Sword" by John. J Robinson.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Gen 2 Excalibur

The very first "real sword" that I ever purchased is the, now collector's item, Brass Excalibur from Generation 2 and Kult of Athena. This amazing weapon is nothing fancy at all but I can say with confidence, that it is one of the better and most favored pieces in my collection.

The grip of the sword is easily a two hander wrapped in a wire mesh down to the bottom of the handle.

Once taking hold of this weapon, you will notice that it is extremely light and balanced. The cross piece is solid brass as is the peened circular pommel. The tang is full and travels down the full length of the handle for added stability.

The blade, shining bright with a little WD40, extends approximately 3 feet from the cross piece and is as beautiful as it is functional.

You must remember to respect the sword at all times when handling it and caring for it. This sword can go through ANYTHING! The steel will slice right through it's wielder's hand as easily as anything else. It does not love you. I, through unfortunate experience, and lack of attention while cleaning this sword, was treated to a beautiful view of the bone in my right index finger after it ran down the sharpened edge.

Finally, the blade comes to a sharpened point on both sides of the blade in the typical fashion of the medieval broadsword. The toughness of this marvelous weapon cannot be questioned and the solid construction from peened tang, meaning that the threaded end of the forged steel is welded into place in the circular "cap" of the bottom of the sword, to sharpened tip makes this sword one of the strongest produced by Generation 2.

All beaters, swords that can be beaten against the toughest surfaces and not have a scratch on them, the veritable Chuck Liddels of the sword world, should be made like this one: high carbon steel blade for added toughness.

I will leave you with an excellent display of this bygone force of the steel era from our brother in arms Paul Southren of Sword Buyers Guide.com

Excal Demo

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Hoard

When reading a blog about any subject, you want to know one thing: what makes this author think he has any right to talk about, and make me read, what he is writing about? Where does his experience come from? This solid question has not escaped me. So, in the spirit of being a firm believer in the functionality of all things, not just the written word or the sword, I will divulge and analyze the various pieces in my personal collection, the attributes and detriments of each piece, and prove to you, my faithful readership, that I have, at least, the experience and the true love, for all steeled tools of war.

In my youth, my impulsive, and often uneducated beginnings, I will admit I was a complete spendthrift when it came to the purchase of a sword. I received my first blade at the age of 16 years. A rat tail tang decorative claymore that was given to me by my parents as a Christmas gift.

I handled this weapon once. And, despite it shabby construction, awkward weight, and balance, and misshapen blade, I was instantly hooked into the world of weapons for good.

Over the years and the paychecks, I built for myself a small collection of different weapons; choosing at random the swords that looked the "coolest"; baffling my parents and siblings, and yes impressing a few of my cousins and friends with my collection. A good start. To this day, I still know all of my pieces and can still recall all of their origins. However, I know that if it ever really came down to it, I know I would probably be better off using foul language or just plain running like a little girl than depend on the often over priced rat tail tang construction of the dreaded eBay special.

The one point that I hope you will come away with from this post, and I appreciate your kind attention in reading it, is that you must be precise and selective in your choice of a sword. In ancient warrior cultures, the sword was an extension of the warrior. It was the self discipline, self worth, confidence, personal artistic expression, and often times, the trusted friend and defender manifested in strong steel. Homes, families, honor, livelihoods, and even nations were defended by sharpened steel. If the blade was flimsy, inferior, or was tempered poorly, the warrior would surely fall and all he held dear would come to an often horrible and violent end.

In modern days, the days of guns, where any fool can be just as deadly and dangerous as any other, there is little point in choosing the right steel. However, for those of us who still carry the tradition and real love for the sword, the right choice can distinguish and define us as collectors and as disciples of the blade.

Choose well. Stay alive.