By Hazel B. West
I have always been a huge fan of the idea of sword songs and the personification of swords, especially when almost written like a love story between the sword and the warrior that wields them. That was my inspiration for this story. Also I had to include a little nod to Sherlock S4 by naming the sword Euros because it is a beautiful name and instantly made me think of something you would name either a ship, a sword or a classy supercar. But of course, in this case, it is the sword, the narrator of this story. I also gave it the flair of a Norse saga as seemed appropriate for a story about a sword and her warrior.
For I sing a tale of a great warrior and the trusty blade he bore. A paring true and bright who chased foes until their dying day with a Warrior’s cry as he charged into battle with the East Wind at his back.
Foes make haste! The song is sweet on the blade of the East Wind and blood shall be spilled e’er you away!
My forging happened on a night when the moon was full, spilling silver light over the hills outside the forge. One final ring of the hammer, a plume of steam, and I was brought to life, a wet, gleaming thing, gathering the moon’s kiss on my blade.
The blacksmith whispered his approval, and went to bind my hilt in leather cord, fitting a sheath to my length, which I never did like overmuch. I was not made to be sheathed but to sing in the air over a field of battle.
It was the next day, when the sun rose in the winter morn, that I was taken from the forge to a new place, and handed to a man who paid money to the smith for his service after inspecting me. I gleamed brightly, proud of the praise he spoke, and eagerly awaited my use in his hands.
But it happened I was not destined for this man, but another. A young boy, or, for the first time that day, a man. His sixteenth year had dawned with the sun, and a man needed a blade.
As a newly made thing, I should never have understood the aspect of love and devotion, but I felt it surely as I was taken in his hands that first time. He drew me from my sheath, the glim from my blade shining in his eyes as he ran his hand lovingly over my flank, testing the sharpness of my blade.
“She is beautiful,” breathed the newly made man to his father.
“This sword is the mark of a warrior,” his father said. “Treat her well, and she will protect you in battle.”
And I vowed to do as much as my Warrior gazed at me. He took me up, hand fitted perfectly to my hilt, and swung me in a glowing arc over his head. Then he held me in both hands.
“You have the grace and power of the east wind,” he whispered lovingly. “You shall be called Euros.”
I gleamed in joy at my naming. There was nothing that made me happier in the whole world than being in the hands of my Warrior.
My Warrior and I trained together, and when he grew in skill, we went to sea, to fight campaigns in other lands. Our pairing was deadly, swift and gleaming. Those who fought us soon learned to fear, and those who fought with us, stared in awe. Never before had they seen such skill, such true power that came from our companionship. The way I sung in my Warrior’s hands, our own battle song, as we crushed the foes, and won our victories.
It was my job to be sharp for him, to always bite deep; to swing at the right moment before the foe could strike his own crude blow. To drive hard when that was needed, and cease motion when our shield brothers were close at hand. To be at my Warrior’s back when he needed the protection and when his comrades in arms were not there.
Sometimes, the fight was hard, and blows got through our defense, and I was taken to the forge to smooth out the nicks in my blade, and he was taken to the healing tents to rest his injuries, but we were always reunited, for I would never leave him to his destruction alone. If my Warrior fell, surely I would do the same.
When we were not fighting, I was at his hip always, and even though I despised my sheath, as he well knew, I bore it to stay at his side. I had not left him since he first picked me up. I stayed on the back of his chair at meadhall; I was belted across his back or at his hip when he saw to the village. At night, I rested beside him, always close to hand, should he need my protection at a moment’s notice.
At home, I took pride protecting his kith and kin. The woman who slept by his side, and the small ones he joyfully tossed over his head. He always trusted they were safe with his hand on my hilt, because when we were together, none could ever defeat us.
But my favorite times were when we were at sea, or in the hills, sleeping under the stars. His hand on my hilt as I lay by his side in moonlight that reminded me of my forging. I was always his companion true, no matter the wind or weather, following the foe’s road or the whale path, it was him and me always and always it would be.
But there is always a final battle, and it came for us too. Vicious, dark, and red. Blood flowed from our men, more from our enemies; but the match was fierce, the heart of those men strong, and our own men flagging from a fight they had borne too long.
My Warrior and I too, were getting on in years. The summers had been long and the winters more and more unkind. His arm was not as strong, nor my blade as swift, and a fatal blow was sure to come on that crimson field.
It was struck cruelly and I could not stop it. I, once so swift, and sleek, was pushed aside as if nothing, torn from my Warrior’s hand. He pulled out a clumsy saxe as a last resort but was unable to stop the continuous blows of his foe without me at his side.
A shout, a thrust, and a gasp, and my warrior fell to his knees, clutching the mortal blow as lifesblood spilled over his fingers. Fingers that had once held me so surely, but now trembled before his whole body did the same, slumping to the cold ground to rain more crimson on the spring grass.
A hand stretched out, red-stained fingers grasping, my name on his lips, but he could not reach me, and I was helpless to go to him. My soul companion, my Warrior, my truest friend. In these last moments, I could not lie with him; I, who the gods themselves could not part from my Warrior, was now unable to be there for him. He would be damned, barred from entering into the Hall of Heroes if he did not have his faithful blade in his hand. I could not bear it as I watched with helpless grief, while his eyes grew dim and his very life continued to spill from his mortal blow.
Then from the west, the woman walked through the field, appearing as if in the glow of the sun. Long hair of the same gold spilled over the gleaming silver of her armor. She moved through the blood and destruction as if oblivious to it, her task clear to only her. I knew that my Warrior saw her too, for his eyes, though dimmed, widened as she came to stand over him.
The woman smiled in a beautiful way before she turned to me, and knelt among the gore to take me up in her hands.
“A warrior such as you should never leave this life without his truest companion,” the woman said as she took my warrior’s hand and pressed my hilt into his red-slicked palm before she helped him cradle me against his chest. “You have fought long and showed great bravery. You shall both be taken to Valhalla where your fame will be told: The Warrior and the East Wind.” The woman smiled, one hand on my hilt, the other on his cheek. “Sleep now, brave warrior, you have proven yourself worthy to sit in Odin’s Hall.”
My Warrior gave a sigh of contentment and slipped from this world, and I, who went wherever he did, let myself return to the oblivion before my making, to never fight again on this plane, as the setting sun gleamed over my blade, a last kiss of warmth on that battlefield.
The warrior now rests away from this world, his most faithful companion by his side. No more shall they face foes, or shed blood, but they shall be remembered long in song and story. The Warrior’s hand and the East Wind that struck fear into the hearts of their foes. Feast in the Halls of the Heroes, true companions. For a seat sits there for you this day.
Copyright 2017 Hazel B. West