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The sword Gramgaldur by windsormagistus The sword Gramgaldur by windsormagistus
my final masterpiece and my thesis for my artisanship, the gramgaldur,

lenght 144 cm or 56 inches,
weight 3,2 Kg or 7 lb

forged and tempered damascus blade made with 4 different tool grade steel sheets mixed with mild iron sheets (124 layers)

scabbard: birchwood with goats leather coating and cast bronze fittings

handgrip carved from 3 pieces of moose antler, separated with bronze fittings.

100% handmade

made with inspiration derived from the legendary Gram, the sword of sigurd fafnesbane, the heir of the völsungs.

yes I know vikings did not use two handed swords, there have been findings of few long bastard swords or two handed swords in from the northern europe made in the viking era and cultural region, allthough it is debated wether they were actually made by vikings or brought to the north from somewhere else and then re-decorated by their owners with nordic styles
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Given 2013-09-05
The sword Gramgaldur by ~windsormagistus
The suggester said: "Gramgaldur is an incredible example of the swordsmithing art. "
( Suggested by dcason and Featured by cakecrumbs )
:iconkaribuxy:
KaribuXY Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2016
This is some badass sword mate.
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:iconwindsormagistus:
windsormagistus Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2016  Professional Artisan Crafter
thanks :)
Reply
:icontwilightd3signer:
TwilightD3signer Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2015  Student General Artist
Wow I want to be able to learn this skill. I am hoping to build a forge outside my father's workshop soon so I can begin to learn this amazing skill.
Reply
:iconwindsormagistus:
windsormagistus Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
well a forge is a poretty simple thing to make, but you'll need a ton of tools to make swords, a real anvil for one, because you are going to have a terrible time trying to make swords with a make-shift anvil, if you have the opportunity then I recommend going to a school for artisanship, but ofcourse there are tons of self-taught masters out there :D a great place to start self education is youtube, but I say this, start with somethin small and simple, like forged nails and such, learn how to use tongs and get your hand-eye coordination righ so the hammer is an extension  to your hand instead of a clumsy chunk of metal. after you learn how to use your basic tools, then start making more tools, and gradually increase the difficulty.

I've heard everyone saying this and now Im also saying this, forging a sword looks and sounds simple and easy but it is anything but easy.
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:icontwilightd3signer:
TwilightD3signer Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2015  Student General Artist
Ya it seems hard to do that intricate of work.
Reply
:icondracoan:
Dracoan Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
I normally like historical designs better than fantasy designs, but this is one of the best looking Viking swords I've ever seen. If not THE best.
Reply
:iconwindsormagistus:
windsormagistus Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
well thank you very much, and I agree with you, I too like the historical versions more, but since I wanted to incroporate different styles of decoration, all the way from 300 century b.c to 1100's the large two hander gave me a much bigger canvas to work with, (I did a very extensive historic study on viking age weapons and their mythology for this thesis) and at almost 60 inches its also more imposing as a weapon, a real viking sword (even though they arent even the smallest of swords) looks like a childs weapon compared to this. also as the inspiration for this weapon was the legendary gram, a mythological sword, I figured it wouldn't have to be exactly like every other sword.
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:icondracoan:
Dracoan Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
True, it probably would be unique in some way. Plus, I'm sure the Vikings would have used two-handed swords occasionally if they had better steel.
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:iconwindsormagistus:
windsormagistus Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
that could be, allthough vikings usually used one handed weapons because contrary to the popular belief they actually fought in formations like the romans, and there is no room to be swinging a 4 foot long blade around in formations. berserkers propably would have favored two handed sword since they preferred long and heavy battle axes, so if there would have been sturdy enough steel to make two-handers there propably would have been a market for them also.
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:icondracoan:
Dracoan Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
I've read about them using formations, but I've read that their formations were usually fairly simple, and that they used a very aggressive fighting style. I've also read that they tended to use surprise attacks a lot. I'm curious to hear what you've read about their fighting tactics.
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:iconwindsormagistus:
windsormagistus Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
yeah well some of their fomrations were pretty simple such as the shield wall, but there were some that were more advacned, like  something called "slagfylking" or something like that (im not completely sure about the name) it was supposedly a formation of thee triangular sections or something like that and it was apparently very effective.

there were ofcourse a lot different situations, for example when they were raiding some place they just rushed everywhere and annihilated anything standing in the way of their goals, formations were used when they fought each other or other organised military forces, and ofcourse some of them weren't trained to fight in formations, that depended completely about how much the king or earl of the men deiced to militarise them. some danish kings even founded barrackses for proseesional soldiers, but mostly viking armies consisted of free men who were summoned up to fight by the king or earl or whoever was in charge, and thus their military know-how wasn't consistent. and their tactics changed drastically during the centuries and at the end of the viking age they were already fighting on horseback, like knights.

every free man actually trained to fight from a very young age in the viking world but as I said, they weren't all on the same level on these things. there has been some arguments and evidence some of them trained their slaves to fight beside them also since there was laws that demanded the master to respect their slaves and treat them properly, wich in turn lead to mutual respect between the masters and slaves so the slaves would have been happy to defend their good master. (these laws ofcourse were not always complied and they didn't exist trhoughout the whole viking world so things were not always so happy but mostly viking slaves were more like servants than actual slaves)

but on the account of slaves fighting side by side with their masters, on some occasions they were even in on the raids, yes the vikings did sometimes take skilled enough slaves with them on the raids kinda like squires, and by law the slaves would own whatever they looted. allthough it isn't completely certain wether this actually happened or was this a tall-tale.
the slave ofcourse needed a permission of their master to actually carry a weapon on public places. allthough by law the slaves could not carry a sword. every other weapon was allowed but a sword was only allowed for free men.

(I have to mention that I am atleast somewhat skeptical about the slaves actually being on the raids, there are no really obvious mentions about this in the sagas, instead some sidequotes that are kinda shady in context. but quess that it is possbile, who knows...)

and even the free men that carried a sword were by law required to use a so called "peace-strap" (friðbönd) in public places such as market places or any town street. this was a leather strap that was used to tie the sword into the scabbard  so that it could not be drawn in a burst of sudden anger. and so if someone slahsed another man with a sword in a public place it meant that he had to untie his sword, with a premeditated intention to do so, wich made it murder instead of a manslaughter so the punishment was far greater. (its actually quite suprising how well developed and how insanely modern the viking law and justice system was!)

I've read about 75% of all the sagas that have so far been translated, theres actually a lot of mentions about their war tactics  if you stroll through them all, there's not really any single website where you can find them all but basically you can find them from here and there on google with a little effort. also there are a lot of historical studies that are free, such as studies done by universities and such. you'll have to do some amount of work to find all these articles. also there are some documentaries on youtube, but theres also some misinformation in there. the sagas are pretty difficult to read since they are full of kennings, and because they are mostly translated with amateurs who do not speak english as their native language, so they are riddled with typos and other errors.
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:icondracoan:
Dracoan Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for telling me all this. I did not know that the Vikings probably trained their slaves to fight, that seems like a terrible idea even if they treated their slaves well. Also, that peace-strap thing is really cool. You remind me of a guy I met in college who also studies Viking culture. He can actually read runestones and translate them. BTW, I'm doing a speech at the college I'm going to talking about Viking weapons, armor, and warfare. I'd feel guilty not asking if you want to be listed as one of my sources. If you say no, I'll make sure not to use any of your information, since it'll probably end up being too long even without the info here. I didn't ask you specifically because of the speech BTW, I'm genuinely curious.
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:iconwindsormagistus:
windsormagistus Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
you're welcome! well if you're going to use my info then you should just list me as "some guy on the internet" since Im not really a professional researcher on this matter and I cannot prove most of the info that I have, since I've gotten it from internet where anyone can say anything usually without having to prove it, like me for example :D but if you want to then go ahead.

and about the matter of slaves being tauht to fight with their masters, I am skeptical about that subject and it is very controversial matter amongst those study these things professionally so if you mention about that then it should not be presented as a proven fact but as an assumption made by some researchers, as I said the occasions in the sagas that refer to this matter are a bit shady, and they can be interpeted in many different ways, like if the slaves in these cases were actual slaves that were brought as loot from somewhere else or wether they were paid servants.
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(1 Reply)
:iconemeflagrustheemperor:
Wow, awesome work. I really like it's design.
Reply
:iconwindsormagistus:
windsormagistus Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
thanks :)
Reply
:iconragnar949:
Ragnar949 Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2015  Professional General Artist
Beautiful work
Reply
:iconwindsormagistus:
windsormagistus Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
thanks :)
Reply
:iconl33tn3rdz:
l33tn3rdz Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Nice looking, but is it functional? That is how a sword proves its worth.

My friends always say to never forget the original purpose of the sword. A sword is built for hacking (As in hacking your enemies to pieces. Not their computers.) Thus it must be crafted with that purpose in mind.

TL;DR If it cannot hew aka hack through flesh and bone it is useless.

But then again how would you find that out? I doubt that there are any people like that in the world (In western cultures anyway.)
Reply
:iconwindsormagistus:
windsormagistus Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
well I quess this is just as usefull as any real two-hander of this size, it is sharp and heat treated to endure, and it is well balanced, I've tried but I think that one could obliterate a wooden shield very easily with a sword like this. ofcourse something like this is useless in close quarter combat but on a wide open battlefield this would be a very effective weapon.

but luckily we live in age that we don't have to use weapons like this to defend for ourselves anymore, so the value of swords like these are based on the quality of the craftsmanship and the detailing of the ornaments, rather than the performance in battle.

by the hours spent on making this sword (if I were to calculate a hourly wage, and the costs of materials and equipment I'd say this sword would cost somewhere between 5000 to 9000 euros, but so far no-one's been ready to pay that kind of money since no-one tends to realize that this sword has taken about the same amount of work as a premium japanese katana.
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:iconl33tn3rdz:
l33tn3rdz Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Well some of my friends think that the world should just be disarmed of all of this guns and explosives garbage and bring back the use of swords and other melee weapons.

It would certainly make killing someone a lot harder and you would have to meet your target face to face. Not to mention it would make things more personal which might deter violence even more. No more of that cowardly and cheep point and shoot and drone BS that war has become. You must actually fight and face your foes head on.

On that note, every time that odd someone fends off an attacker with a sword with often gruesome results, all the anti-gun nuts become pro-gun pretty quickly. 

"Why use such a brutal and inhumane weapon!?!"
"Just use a gun! It's more humane and less messy!"
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:iconwindsormagistus:
windsormagistus Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
yeah well sadly that is just as possible as living in a world where violence is not needed anymore :(
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:iconrkasparek:
rkasparek Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
WOW!!
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:iconcharmyraven:
CharmyRaven Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
It's beautifully intricate! Nicely made!
Reply
:iconwindsormagistus:
windsormagistus Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
thanks :)
Reply
:iconselectyourself:
SelectYourself Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2015  Student Artist
This is fantastic!!! All your work is amazing! Do you have a website?
Reply
:iconwindsormagistus:
windsormagistus Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
well thank you :) I don't have a website yet but I've been meaning to get one, my own html and css coding skills are not sufficient enough but I have few friends who could propably make me a site.
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:iconjukkis6699:
jukkis6699 Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2014
simply amazing
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:iconwindsormagistus:
windsormagistus Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
thanks :)
Reply
:iconpaladin-slim:
paladin-slim Featured By Owner Edited Dec 20, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
This is a masterpiece of swordcraft.  Period accuracy be damned. This is the kind of sword I would want to wield if I was going on a quest, I really mean that, because I like two-handers and Bastard Swords. 
Reply
:iconwindsormagistus:
windsormagistus Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
well thank you :) and for what comes to accuracy this sword is a mix of different style that are accurate by themselves, but from different periods of time, and the question about the two-handers still hangs in the air :P
Reply
:iconcopper9lives:
copper9lives Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2014  Professional General Artist
Utterly phenomenal work, and craftsmanship!!! I'm astonished!
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:iconwindsormagistus:
windsormagistus Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
well thank you very much :) and thanks for the fav also :)
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:iconcopper9lives:
copper9lives Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2014  Professional General Artist
:clap::clap::clap: Thanks for sharing the work! I'm so impressed...
Reply
:icontaranko:
Taranko Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2014
It's nice, but the hilt is too long for my taste
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:iconwindsormagistus:
windsormagistus Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
well it is a two-hander so it is supposed to be long for more leverage
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:icontaranko:
Taranko Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2014
yeah, not my style, but it looks great
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:iconpolardarkness:
Polardarkness Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Just stunning, with beautiful details (even on the blade). Also, the handgrip looks amazing I wish I could do that with wood;A; 
Anyway, keep it up!
Reply
:iconwindsormagistus:
windsormagistus Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
thank you :) if your hands are healthy and you can acquire some tools then you can do that with wood ;)
Reply
:iconpolardarkness:
Polardarkness Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
In fact, I make wood sculptures. However, I have the feeling that something like that with wood will be much more...dull
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:iconwindsormagistus:
windsormagistus Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
yeah well bone and bronze are prettier than wood ofcourse... but you can get some moose and giraffe bone online, allthough they are a lot harder material to work on
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:iconshardsofidentity:
ShardsOfIdentity Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2014
...Magnificent.
Reply
:iconwindsormagistus:
windsormagistus Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
thanks :)
Reply
:iconnemesis-eris:
Nemesis-Eris Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014  Hobbyist
It's so beautiful... *.*
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:iconwindsormagistus:
windsormagistus Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
thank you :)
Reply
:iconumirua:
umirua Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You've created a sword inspired out of my ancestors legends. The very blade carried by Sigurd Fafnesbane when he slew the lindworm Fafnir. Go with honor my friend
Reply
:iconwindsormagistus:
windsormagistus Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
thank you! :)
Reply
:iconislander-60:
Islander-60 Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Two-handed or not, this is a work of great power and beauty in the Viking style... A true masterpiece!
Reply
:iconwindsormagistus:
windsormagistus Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
thanks :)
Reply
:iconpentaclegram:
pentaclegram Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2014
Oh my god this sword gives me a hardon. Absolutely beautiful.
Reply
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Details

Submitted on
December 12, 2012
Image Size
1.1 MB
Resolution
2338×1309
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25,786 (1 today)
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Comments
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Camera Data

Make
PENTAX Corporation
Model
PENTAX Optio WP
Shutter Speed
10/300 second
Aperture
F/3.3
Focal Length
6 mm
ISO Speed
50
Date Taken
Aug 17, 2005, 7:42:36 PM
Software
Optio WP Ver 1.00
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