Swordtember – topiary

Cuvan, Root-Running-Deep

A wooden sword? Yes indeed — a sabre carved of cherrywood and planed to razor sharpness, enchanted as strong as any steel blade. The warmth of Cuvan’s wood extends to its hilt, cherrywood again and pinned in place over the blade’s broad and rootlike tang, and the pommel cap bears a cherry blossom to complete the theme, picked out in pink and green and white glass.

Cuvan has no quillions to speak of, merely the faintest swelling of the wood before the blade begins in earnest. What it does have is a hollow bored through the blade’s hefty tang, accessed via pulling free the pommel cap; inside the snug little space is kept a surprisingly fresh twig or leaf, blossom or cutting from a tree or woody shrubbery.

* Cuvan nurtures green life on the lives it takes. Every time a wound is dealt by its edge, the tree (or shrub, or hedge) to which the cutting in its hilt belongs receives a full season’s nourishment; and if Root-Running-Deep is used to vanquish a foe, its wielder may choose to reshape that linked greenery, or instead cause a clonal double to split and establish itself alongside the first, like a strawberry runner.

In this way, green life is sustained even at a distance, and in the most forbidding of conditions, whatever they may be and why.

* Shaping Root-Running-Deep was considered a great success by the network of briar witches, nature-priests and hedgerow revolutionaries that call themselves the Taproot. The sabre was gifted to an exiled former noble; they have found new purpose in being a ferocious defender and nurturing, among others, a truly massive apple tree and its witchery cuttings for the villages that look to Taproot — and now there is great debate over channeling resources into make several more such blades.

It could only be for the better, right?

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