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A Dream Come True

by Elias Felan

When I was young, my mother took me on my first outing to Scarborough Faire. I still remember looking up at the different people with awe, marveling at the beautiful costumes and shining weapons that they wore. When I was younger still, my fascination with fantasy and the ways of the sword were first sparked when I saw the Conan films starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. To this day movies with swords and sorcery are still my favorite ones to watch, The Lord of The Rings films being my most favorite of all the ones I have seen to date. Getting back to the faire, I recall my first visit to Angel Sword, my mother wanted to walk on past to find food or something more to her liking, but she noticed my star struck eyes and heard the short gasp of breath that I released, and my general unwillingness to move from the spot I was standing. So she took hold of my shoulder and guided me into the shop. I was speechless. Never before had I seen such amazing things. At the time I was a bit too young to know or understand the technical aspects of steel tempering, edge holding ability, blade flexibility and so on, but it made me curious. At that time I thought $2,000 was more than I'd seen in a lifetime, but that didn't matter, I wanted to know more, and even if I could not have an Angel Sword I would at least try to learn. From then on not only did I sit and read my books on fantasy, but I looked into more historical and scientific texts. I studied the sword, from classical western fencing to Japanese styles. I was never able to take lessons, being of a rather poor sort and living no where near a training facility, but I studied hard on my own, much the same way I started my martial arts training. I'm certainly no master with any one blade, but through my extensive research and practice I have grown comfortable with almost any weapon in my hand. Perhaps one day I'll be able to refine my rough skills to as fine an edge as the blade I now call my own.

Many years later, all grown up, living on my own and reveling in my young adulthood, I attended 2002's Scarborough Faire. I once again visited Angel Sword, this time decked out in the attire that would fit the faire nicely. (It was my first year to attend very regularly and wear costume.) This time I gazed at the blades in much the same way as I did as a boy, but this time with more appreciation due to the knowledge I had gathered in the past years. I loved the weapons more than ever before. I also took great consideration into purchasing a blade; I knew that they had layaway and that my dream of owning and Angel Sword blade was not impossible. Then something else happened. I heard a voice, a loud, clear, voice fitting a showman and actor. However, it was not simply the voice itself that drew my attention, but the fact that the voice sounded strangely familiar. I looked up from the particular blade I was admiring, a keen dagger with a blackened blade, and looked about for the voice's owner. Shortly I spotted Shawn Rizzo, and my mind instantly recalled where I had seen him nearly two years prior. I handed the blade back to the salesman that was tending me, Bruce if I remember correctly, and made my way to stand near Shawn and the customer he was attending to. When his customer made his way out of the booth Shawn's attention sprang to me with a cheerful, "Good Day Milord!" I then declined his offer of a blade to fondle and instead asked him if he had ever attended the University of North Texas. Shawn was indeed the person I had seen so long ago, one of the performers/instructors of the "Blades of Dawn" stage combat presentation. I remembered the presentation well, particularly the moment when Shawn's partner cracked him on finger with an epee blade and nearly ended the show! Poor Shawn had to continue with a nearly useless sword hand. When I recounted the event to Shawn he remembered it all to well. From that moment Shawn and I hit it off, and he went on to show me blade after blade each day I was present at the faire but it wasn't exactly he who showed me my blade. 

As Shawn and I were chatting and examining different blades Daniel decided it was time for another one of his famed cutting demonstrations. Instead of picking up one of his common choices, a katana or short blade for the demonstration, he took a different blade from the rack. This sword caught my eye instantly, a deeply curved scimitar with a blackened blade, bright steel cross guard, and a beautifully carved hilt of black diamond wood made in the likeness of a horse's head (possibly even a sea horse depending on the way one looks at it). Daniel proceeded with his demonstration, slashing away a short length of the manila rope with a downward cut, then immediately following with an upward slash to shear away another length of the rope. When Daniel had finished I tapped Shawn on the shoulder, pointed, and told him that I wanted to see THAT blade. Shawn fetched the blade happily then went on to help another customer as I stood in a stupor. The sword was as light as a feather; I could scarcely tell there was a real, lethal weapon in my hand. The hilt fit my hand perfectly, and the blade seemed to send energy tingling up my arm and into my chest. I knew in a moment that this blade belonged to me. The next weekend I came back to the faire with my checkbook in hand. The $2000 price tag on the blade made me feel a bit overwhelmed, but Shawn helped me work out a payment plan and I made my down payment. You couldn't hide my smile with a darkened room, a paper bag over my head, and your back to me. I was never happier. Each weekend after that I came to the booth and played with the blades, I even got behind the counter and tried my hand at selling them. With Shawn's help (well mostly Shawn, I just assisted him really) I made a sale. I was very proud, and then I realized just how good it felt to introduce others to the Angel Sword family. "It's like buying a Saturn," Shawn once said. Daniel, upon seeing how much I was helping, decided that he would like to thank me. He did so verbally, which was an honor in itself, but then he presented me with one of the prints of the Atlantian, his masterpiece that was being raffled. Along with the print I was given a chance at winning the beautiful weapon, though sadly, I did not. After that I wanted very much to work with Angel Sword as a salesman the next season, I hoped that I could help Daniel even more by convincing customers that they could not live without one of his masterful works. Sure enough, with help from Shawn and my other new found friend Jeremy, I was brought onto the team for 2003. Now I stand behind the counter every weekend, watching with a smile as star struck patrons gaze upon and fondle the finest weapons ever made (in my humble opinion). I wear my keen edged, Avatar Damascus scimitar with overflowing pride, displaying it for any who would care to see, even with the knowledge that by doing so I am obliged to sell my own sword to anyone who wished to buy it. Though I would do so begrudgingly, and likely plot revenge, I would do so if it came down to it, though I pray it never does. 

 
Sword Arts is sponsored by Angel Sword, maker of fine swords, daggers and other edged weapons since 1979.  Angel Sword operates one of America's premier forges - one of the few that still crafts swords, knives and daggers using the traditional methods of hammer, anvil, fire and sweat.  Each Angel Sword piece is a fully functional combat weapon that also stands alone as a work of art.
 
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