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Castir – The Beheader

Original Castir Sketch by Rayhan Alfatta

Type of Sword: National Sword of Escia, used by Escian Warriors, mercenaries and practical types.

Replica by: Blade Culture International

Status: Prototype – made as a prize in the design a sword competition.

Designed by: Legendary Swords Senior Contributor and competition winner Rayhan Alfatta.

THE LEGEND

The desert regions further to the west of the Aelutian Empire and beyond the Aru Sea were the homelands of the militant Escian People. A proud and fiercely independent race, since time immemorial they have clashed with their neighbors and despite the relatively small size and lack of natural resources of their country, have established a fearsome reputation for their martial prowess.

While their enemies have changed over the years, there was one common element shared in each and every war; The Castir.

The first Castir blades were created over 1,600 years ago when Escia became an independent Kingdom in its own right and needed a specialized blade to defend their fledgling empire against the much larger Kingdom of Khartoum. These early Castir blades were most often used on horseback, making full use of its long blade, curvature, and twin edges. These blades were worn on the waist with the outer curve facing downward. The edge facing the inner curvature is only sharpened around ¾ of the blade’s length.

This extra edge, which would not normally be sharpened in any other curved swords, is used to execute enemies of the Escians by slitting their throats while the edge facing outwards is used to behead. The Castir quickly became known as a brutal executioner’s weapon, thus earning its moniker, the Beheader.

Early Castirs were made from folded steel and although examples of differentially hardened Castirs exist, they are rare and have only been in the ownership of wealthy or important individuals. One such individual is Kira Kosakami – the Deathless Witch –  who owns one of the earliest Castirs ever forged, made of folded steel using techniques both mundane and magical that is now lost to time. This blade is enhanced by some of the most powerful archmages in the world for a single purpose; to kill Kira. Suffice to say, that attempt had failed and the blade became a part of her collection. Modern day Castirs are forged using modern methods and materials without regard for tradition. So long as it looks and functions like a Castir, it’s a Castir.

The Castir didn’t evolve much in its centuries of combat life. It is a perfect blade for use by the Escians thanks to their relatively level terrain and to make full use of their expertise in mounted warfare. The Castir also finds itself among foot soldiers just as often as cavalrymen, though the Castirs made for footsoldiers are often slightly shorter and thicker to make them easier to wield and tougher. An effective slashing and chopping weapon, Castirs reigned supreme in a time when iron and maille armor were relatively rare. Even when iron armor were more common Castirs simply became thicker and wider. Its wielders would slice at an armored opponent’s joints between the plates, where maille offers limited defense.

The Castir pictured above is one of many swords owned by one of the most famous masters of its use, the legendary Akassir. Custom made to his preferences. It is 40 inches long. While sheathed, its length is 44 inches. The handle’s length is 12 inches while the blade from tip to base is 28 inches long. The blade weighs just over 1kg, fully fitted. The handle is wooden and wrapped in cord, sometimes also with rayskin. This particular blade had no rayskin on its handle nor was it differentially hardened. A Castir’s sheath is most often made of leather or wood, though leather sheaths are more common because it is cheaper to produce.

THE SWORD

The Castir was designed by Rayhan Alfatta and the prototype made by the team at Blade Culture International.

It will be made from differentially hardened 5160 Spring Steel, though the temper line will not be prominent, and the components and fittings are all made in house using the same materials they typically use on their Japanese lines of swords.

STATISTICS:

  • Overall Length: 40″ (101.6cm)
  • Blade Length: 28″ (71.2cm)
  • Handle Length: 12″ (30.48cm)
  • Weight: 2.54lbs (1154g)
  • Point of Balance: 6″ from handle (15.24cm)

Summary: It has been described as a blade that wants to dance and sing, and is extremely fast and agile. One of Rayhan’s martial artist friends tried it out and said: “If I’m in a battlefield, I want this thing on my side. This is better than a Katana.”

Behind the Scenes – Making of the Castir

From initial Sketch to the sword in steel

Click here for the behind the scenes making of the Castir

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