The Blade of the Waylander: Inspired by Classic Fantasy and Historical Design
This sword, inspired by the character and the classic fantasy series, has a design pulled straight from the 14th century. The pommel of the sword has a classical Norman wheel pommel, as you’d see in many historical swords hailing from this era.
Indeed, the blade and overall basic structure of the Waylander are reminiscent of the arming sword, otherwise known as the knightly sword. This is a one-handed sword with a straight, double edged, tapered blade and a single ¾ length fuller.
The grip is wrapped in an attractive brown leather which works well with the shape of your hand. The guard diverts slightly from the typical arming sword design however, as this product is a fantasy sword at heart.
While the guard isn’t too extravagant, it does have a fierce design that evokes the assassin who inspired the sword. With the curved quillons and centre of the sword, the guard has a claw-like construction, bleeding a hint of darkness into the weapon.
The wooden scabbard is covered in brown leather, matching the grip nicely. With the scabbard, you can carry this battle-ready sword around with ease. This makes it ideal as part of any ensemble, whether you’re Cosplaying or attending a LARP event.
Because of the largely historical design, you could likely get away with wielding this sword at historical events as well as more fantasy inspired events. It’s an incredibly versatile piece, and will work well with all kinds of characters, as long as they’re likely to wield a sword.
Otherwise, this could be a fantastic addition to any sword collection. Whether you lean more towards classic fantasy swords, or prefer historical blades, the attractive and characterful design of the Waylander sword can suit any collection.
Classic Fantasy at its Best: The Waylander Trilogy
This classic fantasy trilogy, penned by David Gemmell, follows the eponymous assassin through his adventures in the Drenai world. The trilogy is actually part of a larger series set in this world known as the Drenai Saga, which spans the history of the Drenai people.
The trilogy that we’ll be focusing on is set before the rest of the saga, and so sets up many of the subsequent events. Before we look at Dakeyras (the assassin in question), let’s explore the Drenai world itself.
The Drenai World and People: Setting the Scene
There’s some scope for confusion when we talk about the Drenai, because that’s the name Gemmell uses for both the overall world and for one of the civilisations within the setting. There are actually several different countries and races of people that make up the world as a whole.
Geographically, the world is made up of three continents. Two of these continents are closer together, one to the east and one to the west. The third continent is way off in the north-east somewhere. We spend a lot of time on the western continent, the home of the Drenai nation.
Along with the Drenai, the western continent is populated by other smaller groups. These include the Vagrian empire, who clash often with the Drenai. We also have the Nadir, a group of shamanistic, nomadic tribespeople and fierce warriors, and the Gothir, who have a bitter rivalry with the Nadir.
The Talent and The Talented: The Magic System of the Drenai Saga
As well as the political landscape of these nations, there are other influential and powerful groups populating the lands. Because Dakeyras appeared at the beginning of the larger Drenai saga, his actions went on to massively affect world history as a whole, both directly and indirectly.
One of these actions was the founding of the Thirty. Alright, this needs a little background information, but that’s all part of the fun of fantasy.
First of all, the Drenai world is one steeped in magic. It is known as ‘the Talent’ and can be used for good and evil. As you’d expect, different users of the Talent cultivate different aspects of this magic, and often find themselves in a specific organisation.
For example, the Shamans of the Nadir have demonstrated the ability of melding man and animal into a werebeast, a far more deadly foe. The Drenai nation boasts a group known as The Source Priesthood, a largely pacifistic group who dedicate their lives to the Source of All Things and primarily use the Talent for healing.
The Dark Brotherhood, an evil group (if the name hadn’t given it away) of knights also use the Talent, although they cheat and use a magical leaf to help with their magic. They worship the Chaos spirit and typically use their Talent to harm. For example, they can fight in an astral form and use telepathy to disable and torture their foes.
Finally, we come to the Thirty. The Thirty are a martial offshoot of the otherwise pacifistic Source Priesthood, largely serving The Source like their progenitors, but in a more violent way. Eventually they develop into one of the most powerful military forces in the world, using might, magic, and tactical brilliance to become an unmatched force.
Most members of the Thirty are very Talented, being able to use astral projection to fight much like the Dark Brotherhood. They come to battle decked in silver armor, a white cloak, and wielding a silver sword and shield, using them both in the physical and astral realm. In extreme circumstances, they can join together to form a single consciousness (called Temple), where they become even more powerful at the risk of losing their personalities to Temple.
The Temple is really the perfect representation of life as one of the Thirty. In joining, the members essentially sacrifice their own lives and individuality to be part of a larger, more powerful force. Most of them are known only as ‘Brother’, and the end result of being one of the Thirty is always the same.
When the Thirty are called into action, they stand, fight, and die to the last man standing, who will then go on to establish the next order. This survivor is often picked beforehand and is traditionally the ‘least perfect’ of the current group. This is an interesting note, as the Thirty themselves could be considered a less perfect version of the Source Priesthood, using violence rather than pacifism to further their means.
As we’ve said, the founding of the Thirty is directly related to the actions of Dakeyras, a ruthless assassin. So, let’s focus on him and see how he acted as a catalyst.
Dakeyras: Assassin, Soldier, Family Man
When we first meet Dakeyras, he is a seemingly amoral assassin for hire, willing to kill anyone for the right pay. Most infamously, he was the man who murdered the beloved Drenai King, Nialliad. This is especially galling because Dakeyras is a Drenai man himself, and his nation is embroiled in war with Vagria.
However, as time goes on and we spend more time with Dakeyras, we learn that he’s more anti-hero than villain. He is ruthless and unscrupulous, but there was once a noble heart beating in his chest. Before he became an assassin, Dakeyras was a skilled Drenai soldier.
After he retired and married, Dakeyras settled down to raise a family. But, because it would be really boring to read about his happy life, Dakeyras’s future was ripped away from him when bandits murdered his family.
And so, our antihero was born. Fuelled by rage, Dakeyras became a deadly assassin and hunted down each and every one of the bandits who had killed his family, using his signature crossbow to enact his own justice.
During these years, Dakeyras’s morality evidently ebbed away, leading to him accepting a contract to kill the King. After this, he went on the run. During Dakeyras’s escape, his horse was stolen by yet another group of bandits. There’s a severe bandit problem in Drenai, it seems.
After tracking these bandits to their camp, Dakeyras predictably killed them to the man and retrieved his horse. However, he also spotted a prisoner who the bandits had been toying with, a Source Priest called Dardalion.
Despite his darker tendencies and actions, Dakeyras freed Dardalion and the two travelled together for a while. Along the way, Dardalion was attacked by a Dark Brotherhood knight in the astral realm and almost killed, when Dakeyras saved him again. Dakeyras used his own impure blood to corrupt Dardalion’s pure, peaceful soul, and caused Dardalion to fight back.
This chance encounter and moment of kindness from Dakeyras eventually snowballed into several major historical events. Dakeyras went on to be instrumental in the ongoing Drenai-Viagra conflict, while Dardalion, spurred by his newfound willingness to fight, went on to found the Thirty.
The technical specifications of this product are as follows:
- Blade Material: 5160 High Carbon Steel. Dual Tempered HRc 60 48-50 at the core.
- Total Length: 39 inches.
- Blade Length: 32 inches.
- Blade Width: 2 inches.
- Weight: 2 lbs 13 oz.
- Point of Balance: 3.5 inches.