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The Warmark's Sword

 
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Innominate Theurgist
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 1:50 pm    Post subject: The Warmark's Sword Reply with quote

Upon yet another reread of TIW, something I remember noticing years ago but not giving thought to jumped out at me. On at least two occasions when Hile Troy is donning or maintaining his sword, Donaldson describes it as an 'ebony sword', or the 'traditional ebony sword of the Warmark'.

Not that this is a very important point, but I think we all accept as given that in general, the swords of the Warward are metal, just as their breastplates (which are specifically said to be so). So, is the 'traditional' blade of a Warmark made from the actual wood ebony, or is SRD just using that word as a more interesting version of 'black'?

If he had said 'ebon sword/blade', I'd not give this minor point any thought at all. I'd just assume that a black sword was, like the yellow headband, part of a Warmark's uniform. He specifically said ebony. The Woodhelvennin used wood blades, so I would reckon there is no reason at all that a Warmark might well wield a sword made of wood. Ebony is pretty hard as is, and I'd presume some sort of lillianrill rite could harden it further to contend with all the rigors a sword would have to endure.

As I said, this is a VERY minor point, but one that intrigued me. Either SRD is just using a fancy word instead of black, or the sword is actually crafted of wood. I'm leaning toward the latter. I don't know enough about metallurgy to know what would make a sword blade black other than long periods of time with no oxidation (something I read in an Ewart Oakshott book on knightly weapons), but this IS The Land, so many possibilities exist.

I'm pretty sure someone would have noticed if Troy had been toting Stormbringer or Gurthang around, so that explanation is right out.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's something interesting that I never noticed before.

We know SRD knows the meanings of words very well. And we also know he stretches how words are applied.

I think it's distinctly possible that the lillianrill could create a functional ebony sword.

I think it's distinctly possible that the Warmark's sword is ceremonial.

I think it's distinctly possible that the Warmark's sword is merely black. "ebony" is equally as legitimate as "ebon" to mean "a deep, lustrous black", and more commonly used.

Are there any indications of a Warmark weilding his sword in battle? There must be. But I cannot think of one.

In the Marvel Universe, the Ebony Blade was carved from a meteorite, and not made of wood.

In Skyrim a character says, "A good ebony sword is dark as midnight, sharper than fear and hard as hell."
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are there any indications of a Warmark weilding his sword in battle? There must be. But I cannot think of one.

TIW, Pt 2, Chap. 19:

Quote:
But as it neared him, [Troy] saw that it carried Ruel's crumpled body in its mighty talons. He could see Ruel's flat, dispassionate features. The Bloodguard looked as if he had been betrayed.

A convulsion shook Troy. As the bird swooped toward him, he remembered who he was. The strength of terror galvanized his muscles; he snatched out his sword and struck.

His blow split the bird's skull.


Admittedly, the text doesn't specify the ebony sword.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dlbpharmd wrote:
Are there any indications of a Warmark weilding his sword in battle? There must be. But I cannot think of one.

TIW, Pt 2, Chap. 19:

Quote:
But as it neared him, [Troy] saw that it carried Ruel's crumpled body in its mighty talons. He could see Ruel's flat, dispassionate features. The Bloodguard looked as if he had been betrayed.

A convulsion shook Troy. As the bird swooped toward him, he remembered who he was. The strength of terror galvanized his muscles; he snatched out his sword and struck.

His blow split the bird's skull.


Admittedly, the text doesn't specify the ebony sword.



That's the only time I recall Troy using a sword, as well!
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey ... jiggery-pokkery!

Ah, you're a poet, Chordy,
Who did not no it!

LOL
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dlbpharmd wrote:
TIW, Pt 2, Chap. 19:

Yeah! That's what I was looking for.

That passage certainly implies it wasn't just a ceremonial sword.

But remember, Troy wasn't the only person who had the sword. Garth had it in LFB, Troy had it in TIL, and Quaan had it in TPTP. Garth and Quaan may have used it as well.

In The Power That Preserves was wrote:
Despite his seventy years, Quaan carried proudly the insignia of his office: the yellow breastplate with its twin black diagonal slashes, the yellow headband, and the ebony sword.

dlbpharmd wrote:
Admittedly, the text doesn't specify the ebony sword.

Meh. If they used their sword, it was the ebony sword. It seems they always had it on them, and there's no mention that they ever had a second sword.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:13 am    Post subject: Re: The Warmark's Sword Reply with quote

Innominate Theurgist wrote:
Either SRD is just using a fancy word instead of black, or the sword is actually crafted of wood. I'm leaning toward the latter. I don't know enough about metallurgy to know what would make a sword blade black other than long periods of time with no oxidation (something I read in an Ewart Oakshott book on knightly weapons), but this IS The Land, so many possibilities exist.


Quote:
They seemed to fall like a stone into the forest. One moment, they were still winding down the hillside above the trees; the next they had penetrated the gloomy deep, and the sunlight closed behind them like an unregainable door.
The odd punctuation has been copied straight from my Voyager/Harper 1996 edition.
Quote:
There was room for them to pass. The trees with their dark-mingled ebony and russet trunks were widely placed, leaving space between them for undergrowth and animals; and the riders found their way without difficulty.


A minor point perhaps, as ebony and russet are used here to describe colours, but no less interesting when thought of as the unregainable door the company had passed through.

Just like the Valinor Trees of Tolkien's Silmarillion - as darkness seeped into the forest the trees of Morinmoss began to glow with a silver light, bright enough for the company to see without difficulty.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's also worth remembering that the Warmark would usually do less actual fighting than the warriors and less senior officers, as we certainly see with Troy in TIW. It is only in extremis in Doriendor Corishev that Troy himself uses his sword.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2016 7:33 am    Post subject: Re: The Warmark's Sword Reply with quote

Quote:
They seemed to fall like a stone into the forest. One moment, they were still winding down the hillside above the trees; the next they had penetrated the gloomy deep, and the sunlight closed behind them like an unregainable door.
There was room for them to pass. The trees with their dark-mingled ebony and russet trunks were widely placed, leaving space between them for undergrowth and animals; and the riders found their way without difficulty.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always read the passage as meaning his sword was black. The idea is was actually made of ebony did occur to me, but I thought it unlikely.

This is just my opinion, though. I don't really have anything to back it up.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hunchback Jack wrote:
This is just my opinion, though. I don't really have anything to back it up.
Me too.
Hunchback Jack wrote:
The idea is was actually made of ebony did occur to me, but I thought it unlikely.
Why unlikely? Wasn't it just a wooden toy, as was all Hile Troy's soldiers!

Quote:
... the sunlight closed behind them like an unregainable door.


There is another unregainable door. Amok had said to the company of the quest that they must pass through Damelon's Door without delay, or else they would be lost forever in some labyrinthian maze, (or words to that effect). And there was the time when Amok's song spoke to Elena like far off dreamy thoughts of moonlight in a forest. More than likely this was an allusion to Caerroil Wildwood, (the master of song!)
Yet the trees of Morinmoss did have an eerie glow after sundown, and Morin was Elena's Bloodguard.
Somewhere there is a connexion that joins up all the dots and explains the similarities - that may have something to do with the Warmark's sword. Meh!
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good question. I guess I considered the Warmark's sword as a symbol of the office, and the folk of Revelstone would be more practical. I didn't consider it Hile Troy's personal sword.

Mind you, it's been a while since I read TIW.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hunchback Jack wrote:
I guess I considered the Warmark's sword as a symbol of the office, and the folk of Revelstone would be more practical. I didn't consider it Hile Troy's personal sword.


This is a good point - a symbol of office.
There has been an attempt at discussing the idea that the Warmark's Sword is Loric's Krill. It fits into the whole mythology and fantasy ethos, when comparing it with the Sword in the Stone and the legends of King Arthur - and in all likelihood Thor as well - as only a Pure One could have withdrawn the sword from the stone table.

More often than not KW members a very reluctant to venture outside box.
There's a beautiful connection between an idea (in The Entire Chronicles forum) that the Giants are actually the Fire-Lions of Mt.Thunder, realized by Trell and his display of extreme passion and failure in communicating this through his enactment of the Ritual of Desecration. The Krill of Loric Vilesilencer (the Warmark's Sword?) also plays it's part. Meh!
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It never occurred to me that the Warmark sword was anything but a metal blade given the general description of the Warward's weapons. I took it to mean the sword was black in color. No other description of its origin or any special properties was given.

I would like to think that the sword was forged by Ur-Viles and was a gift as part of a ruse buy Foul or won in an ancient battle. It would be interesting to find that the Warmark sword was an unbreakable talisman whose blade edge, like the Krill, only became keen while being used by its proper wielder, in this case only the Warmark. Of course there is absolutely nothing to support my idea. I just happen to like the sound of it. Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aTOMiC wrote:
I would like to think that the sword was forged by Ur-Viles and was a gift as part of a ruse buy Foul or won in an ancient battle. It would be interesting to find that the Warmark sword was an unbreakable talisman whose blade edge, like the Krill, only became keen while being used by its proper wielder, in this case only the Warmark. Of course there is absolutely nothing to support my idea. I just happen to like the sound of it. Smile


I know what you mean. As is, with much of Thomas Covenant, believing is vital.
For example, what if Hile Troy were not really the true believer he said he was?
He loved Elena. This much was true. But Elena did not love him, and this undermined his footing on reality. If only, in the face of insufferable odds, Troy had the know how to draw the Krill from the stone table. Unbelief!
The Land suffered immeasurably because of this.

I like the idea that the power of belief can turn the tide. If the Lorestraat had been capable of unlocking higher lore in the Second Ward what then if they'd discovered a cache of weaponry hidden somewhere deep within Revelstone. Weapons far superior to what Troy's army had had. Magical weapons. Like Loric's Krill - Excalibur, Mjolnir
The Warmark's Sword always comes back to this.

How can this be backed up?
I'm sure the one-armed trucker is a clue. After all, he was a war vet.
And if you were to imagine sitting next to him in the dark cabin of his truck then his lit cigar is the key. But that's as far as I go.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rune wrote:
I like the idea that the power of belief can turn the tide. If the Lorestraat had been capable of unlocking higher lore in the Second Ward what then if they'd discovered a cache of weaponry hidden somewhere deep within Revelstone. Weapons far superior to what Troy's army had had. Magical weapons. Like Loric's Krill - Excalibur, Mjolnir
The Warmark's Sword always comes back to this.

How can this be backed up?
I'm sure the one-armed trucker is a clue. After all, he was a war vet.
And if you were to imagine sitting next to him in the dark cabin of his truck then his lit cigar is the key. But that's as far as I go.


The thing about the trucker is that he could have used some Unbelief in his personality. He was all too willing to make up his mind about an issue (like deciding that Covenant's leprosy is highly contagious and seeing no solution for Covenant but to live with other lepers) and not ever letting any doubts about his opinions to ever creep into his thoughts.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cord Hurn wrote:
Rune wrote:
I like the idea that the power of belief can turn the tide. If the Lorestraat had been capable of unlocking higher lore in the Second Ward what then if they'd discovered a cache of weaponry hidden somewhere deep within Revelstone. Weapons far superior to what Troy's army had had. Magical weapons. Like Loric's Krill - Excalibur, Mjolnir
The Warmark's Sword always comes back to this.

How can this be backed up?
I'm sure the one-armed trucker is a clue. After all, he was a war vet.
And if you were to imagine sitting next to him in the dark cabin of his truck then his lit cigar is the key. But that's as far as I go.


The thing about the trucker is that he could have used some Unbelief in his personality. He was all too willing to make up his mind about an issue (like deciding that Covenant's leprosy is highly contagious and seeing no solution for Covenant but to live with other lepers) and not ever letting any doubts about his opinions to ever creep into his thoughts.


Meh, ... it seemed like a good idea at the time.
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