Saturday, April 21, 2012

S is for Shimmerblade

One of the assassins' favorite products of the Firenzi materials laboratories, the shimmerblade is a fearsome weapon.

Inactive, it looks like an ordinary knife, but when its vibrating crystalline edge is activated, it can shear through almost any material short of military-grade vehicle armor.

Naturally, you have to remember to switch it off before trying to sheath it!

The other drawback of the weapon is the tell-tale blue glow that highlights the activated edge. This immediately tells any onlooker that you are handling no ordinary knife. If you haven't already given the game away, of course, by your ability to behead an opponent with a casual flick of a wrist.

Shimmerblades come in all shapes and sizes. Shayla favors a pocket knife. Small, innocuous, the sort of thing anyone might carry.

In the The Ashes of Home, Shayla is attacked by another assassin wielding a rapier shimmerblade. This confrontation highlights another limitation of the weapon: when two active blades clash, the results are unpredictable and potentially lethal to the owners. At best, the blades rebound with a ferocious, bone-jarring wrench. At worst, one or both blades could shatter, filling the air with a supersonic hail of needle-fine shrapnel.

These are not weapons you will ever see used in a swordfight.


  1. It may be a fearsome weapon but it sounds incredibly beautiful, too. I'm trying to imagine what a shower of shrapnel would be like. Lethal, I expect, but again, beautiful.

  2. What Stephanie said is exactly how I felt. The name is so beautiful that I thought how ironic to be destroyed by a weapon that shimmers.

  3. Fascinating concept, and such vivid imagery. You have an amazing imagination, sir.

  4. Stephanie: I think the shrapnel would be nigh-on invisible, seen only by its butchering effect on nearby flesh. Yuck.

    Lee: The name is beautiful, for such a deadly weapon. I'm quite proud of that one :)

    Fairchild: Thank you :)

  5. The moment I read it's description and it's "cutting" depth, I couldn't wondering what it would be like to have these two blades go against each other. Like magic, your post went into that beautiful description of this. Though a rather shrapneled-to-death ending would be fated for those too close by, it would be interesting to behold.

  6. Nice insight into your work. I'm guessing supply of the weapons would be restricted to assassins. I wonder how Shayla dealt with the attack by the rapier blade?

  7. Angela: Glad I anticipated the question, and happy to oblige :)

    Nick: I don't envisage there being a ready "supply" of these weapons. They are unbelievably rare. The only way to get hold of one would be either to have the right connections in the first place, or to steal one.

    The attack is dealt with in the opening chapter of The Ashes of Home, but I'm not ready to give away details just yet ;)


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