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Haust Gjalda - A Miniature Viking Sword

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Presenting "Haust Gjalda"




We all know of Freyr, that most venerated god who brings fair weather and fine harvest.  We also know of Freyr’s fine sword which, when wielded by a worthy hero, would fight all by itself.  What is not so well know is the tale of Freyr losing this magical sword, and its eventual fate.


It would seem that all heroes, even godly ones, have their flaws.  Freyr is no different.  He gave into temptation one night and creeped to sit in Odin’s seat Hliðskjálf so that he may see everything in all the realms.  His reward for this treachery was to glimpse the fair Gerda, and he was smitten.  Not able to get the giantess from his mind, he implored the messenger Skírnir go to Jötunheimr and win her favor.


Afraid of the road, Skírnir asked for, and received, Freyr’s enchanted sword for protection.  This was insult number one to the sword.  In failing to charm, or bribe Gerda into granting Freyr her favor, Skírnir then threatened her with the sword.  This was insult number two, and the magic heart of the sword was broken.


Eventually Gerda agreed to come to Freyr in nine days’ time.  However, having been used for such shameful purposes, the sword was mortally wounded.  Its honor blead out onto the ground as Skírnir rode home.  Once the honor had escaped, there was nothing left inside to maintain the mighty frame of the sword, and it began to shrink.  About the time Skírnir reentered Alfheim, the sword had become so small that it fell from his belt unnoticed.


It was there, on the ground, that the elves of Alfheim found the sword and understood what had happened.  Not having the reverence for the Vanir, let alone Freyr, that the mortal humans do, the elves felt that the sword was better off with them.   They healed its wounds and stemmed the flow of honor.  However, nothing could be done to restore the sword to its once great glory so it remained a fraction of its original size.


Freyr was so distraught over the nine nights he had to wait for Gerda that he never noticed the loss of his sword.  This will be much to his dismay (and destruction) at Ragnarök.  As for us mortals? The cost of our faith in Freyr is to suffer a cold month each year in the norther climes for every night that Freyr waited for his bride.



...Ok, back to reality...

This is my KITH contribution for 2020.  I wasn’t coming up with a great idea to fit with the “Seasons” theme, and I had this art project rolling around in my head, so I just made up a story to justify it.


I had a go-mai bar that had a very thin layer of cable on each side.  I thought it might look a little like a wrought iron core with steel edges.  However, the cable was so thin that I knew I would have to forge the fuller and also forge the bevels of the blade very close to final shape.  Otherwise, I would loose all of the cable layers in the grinding.


The bronze castings and leather wrapped grip were also new challenges for me as was the overall construction with a peened upper guard and pommel cap.


The end result has a 10.25” long blade and is 15.25” long overall.  The fittings are investment cast in bronze, and the grip is goat skin wrapped over an oak core.


I do KITH to try new things, and there are a lot of firsts for me in this one.  This is one of those knives that shows a lot of little beginner’s attempt flaws, but I am quite proud of it overall.


You can see a WIP of this project here:








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Wonderful work Brian, boy you did a great job on that grip as well. I really liked the story too. In addition to that, very nice photography. Inspiring all round.

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"Old dogs care about you even when you make mistakes" - Tom HALL - Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon wine.


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Hey Brian, lets just say it’s a “KITH for all seasons”.

You put a lot of work in it.

I know that for me, casting anything, is waaaay on down my bucket list. You’ve already got your hands into that rather nicely I’d say!

Nice job, good work Brian.

Gary LT

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"I Never Met A Knife I Didn't Like", (Will Rogers)

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That came out great Brian, and you learned a bunch of stuff along the way. Bonus!

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“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  





J.States Bladesmith | Facebook



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