Swordmaster

From Anstepedia

The Swordmasters of Westernesse are an order of elven warriors. They are known throughout civilized Calenndor as legendary swordsmen, skilled in all manner of weapons but most celebrated for their use of the elven greatsword. Although Fyrgen-Draca, the Tower of Blades, was originally constructed in the City of Towers in SA 7236, the original, ancient tower in Westernesse was restored after the latter city was destroyed in FA 6.

Origins

Eleomyr, one of the most ancient elves to be found on Calenndor and Loremaster of Fyrgen-Draca, was first taught to use a two-handed blade by Kragnyyyr, greatest of the Elder Dragons, in around 5750 of the First Age. Seeing that the elf was an excellent student, Kragnyyyr soon oversaw the training that would make Eleomyr a master in nearly every form of weapon fathomable, including unarmed combat. When the Elder Dragons departed from Feanor in 9267 of the First Age, Eleomyr perfected the techniques taught to him for thousands of years and finally passed on this knowledge to a small group of students who would later become the first Swordmasters. Their tower was later crafted in Westernesse, then home to all elvenkind on Calenndor, but abandoned before any actual training began. Eleomyr looked east to Valanthia, and it was there that the academy of the Swordmasters was first established, although the original tower in Westernesse is the current home. In honor of his mentor, Eleomyr named the academy Fyrgen-Draca, which means "cave of the dragon" in the common tongue--the place where Kragnyyyr first taught the art to the elf.

Fyrgen-Draca

Fyrgen-Draca is one of the tallest and oldest of the trees in Westernesse. The boughs and branches are elaborately shaped to display the finest qualities of elven architecture; even while abandoned for millenia, Fyrgen-Draca has stood as one of the most easily recognizable features of the elven capital and a frequent subject of elven painters. The tree, which is a Giant Sequoia, is separated into segments marked by the points along the trunk where branches grow outwards. The topmost segments are inhabited by, and contain the rooms and facilities for the most experienced blademasters, while the descending segments fulfill the same capacity for the newer members of the order.

The exterior bark of the tower has been carefully sculpted and shaped into elaborate reliefs of battles, heroes, and other elements from elven history. Most of the bark of the enormous tower was shaped by the renowned elven druids, who abandoned the project during the exodus of the Wood Elves. The exterior of the trunk, which, in its entirety, is a huge pillar of elven artwork, was later completed by the artisans of Westernesse over a period of several hundred years.

Art of Swordmastery

Swordmastery is an ancient art that demands strict discipline, rigorous training, and significant spiritual development from its students. It is for this reason that apprentices are chosen very painstakingly, and that most quit altogether before the first decade is finished. Traditionally, only High Elves can be trained in Swordmastery, but there are rumors of half-blooded elves having been trained in the art. The higher authorities in the order are quick to denounce these rumors as myths conjured up by bards and unreliable scholars.

Central to Swordmastery is the repetitive practice of traditional forms. These forms are best described as sets of movements arranged into exercises of approximately thirty moves each, with special attention paid to stances, techniques, and breathing. There are hundreds of traditional forms, but only the Loremaster Eleomyr can be said to know all of them. Most of the bladelords have learned at least sixty. Prior to advancing to "Journeyman" status, teachers put heavy emphasis on mastering the basics of the art: strikes, parrying, stances, and sparring.


In other news, Sol is lazy SOB and will finish this later. Almost done!