The long-awaited sequel to Thorn Explains: Heartswords, from April 2016!
Thorn: By popular demand: Let’s talk about rare types of heartswords!
All heartswords are blades.
You’ll hear urban legends about things like “heartstaffs” — those are probably based on magical girls who were misidentified. (Or who were deliberately messing with people.)
But there are lots of blades that are rarely, if ever, seen as heartswords.
With the never-seen ones, there’s no way to tell why not. All we have are theories . . .
#1: they don’t exist!
#2: they correspond to a very unusual type of person
#3: they correspond to a type of person who isn’t ever likely to draw a heartsword
An example of the Type 2 is the heart-saw. They have been seen, but very rarely. Because they come from people who don’t have . . . let’s just say, a lot of basic human emotions.
And a Type 3 is the heart-khopesh. The few known wielders weren’t unusual in general — but they weren’t good at self-reflection, which is essential to getting through heartsword training.
Longswords are type 2 — they come from extreme over-achievers — but we see them fairly often! Statistically, once the wielders get into heartsword training, they’re the most likely to succeed at it.
The swords themselves don’t change . . . but sometimes we change how we perceive them.
For the first thousand years or so, heart-sabers, heart-scimitars, and heart-katanas were all considered variations of one broader type.
Then some researchers worked out that katana-wielders are reliably more reserved and precise than a scimitar or saber. So now they’re seen as a rare-but-distinct type.
Xiphos (N/A . . . now)
Also, sometimes the rarity changes? The heart-xiphos used to be rare-ish, but it hasn’t been seen at all in the modern era. It’s not even clear what kind of people drew them anymore.
We also have theories about that! . . . but I’m out of space for the details.