When I approach a project like this I like to first gather my sources, establish a reality for the piece and then allow myself some artistic licence in the execution. However, the Troll-hunters seax brings some problems with it. If I were to look to the Nordic sources then I must take in to account the reality that trolls almost certainly still exist there, hidden away in the wilder places. So their hunting was far from successful. In that regard, I would maybe be better looking to the Anglo Saxon troll hunting success story. There seems to be a complete extinction of the creatures upon the isles of the Anglo Saxons…. It could rightly be argued that this extinction is not as complete as we imagined in the late 20th century. Maybe the trolls were pushed into waiting for a millennium or so. Only to re emerged into the Internet in a different form, as pernicious and malevolent, as they ever were when they roamed the wild places of the world.
Taking all of this into account I have made a practical Troll hunters seax, a large tool for a big “Job of Work”. A heavy Damascus but-cap counters the weight of the blade and giving the Seax the feel of a small pole arm or glaive. There is elegance to its form despite its brutish nature.
This blade is made from patternwelded Damascus steel, convoluted and writhing snake forms battle for visual dominance over the random patterned edge steel. Ornate for a mere troll hunter but we must remember such was often the way with significant tools of old.
The blade is a 7 bar construction. First a layer of wrought iron at the spine and then a convoluted snake pattern, its self confined with steel edge bars, an evocation of the power of the the Midguard Serpent or possibly the Dragon of later Arthurian myth.. There are then 2 bars of twisted steel in a pattern I call Wodens river, then 700 layer random pattern damascus at the edge. This is made using the same techniques that are used in the making of legendary Saxon and Viking swords.
Broken back seax blades have a very distinctive and stylised geometry, where the blade is thicker at the broken back and tapers towards the tip and back towards the handle. The Anglo Saxon broken back seax is the iconic tool and weapon of the Saxon. And found almost exclusively in the UK. Historically the blades have lots of subtle differences in profile but often share communality with the broken back part of the blade being the thickest, I deemed this to be the perfect model for a troll hunters seax.
This troll hunter’s seax has a Damascus steel ferrule around the handle. The handle is ash with a leather overwrap and silver studs. There is a heavy damascus steel butt-cap with the tang of the blade riveted through it, the rivet stamped with a makers mark.
The sheath is oak tanned leather with damascus steel and silver fittings, I would be happy to make a shoulder strap if wanted or to supply the sheath as is to be tied into a saddle or hung on a wall…near a north facing doorway!