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el'silrivan - Swords of Malin'or

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Swords of Malin’or




The silriv (pl. silrivan) is a type of one-handed sword with a radical curve, commonly wielded by Acaelanites, other mali’ame, and the broader elven peoples.


Description and Brief History


The silriv was originally contrived by Malin’s followers in the elven lands of antiquity, supposedly modeled off the curved blade bestowed upon the First Elf by the Aengul Gavrael. Despite these possibly apocryphal origins, through the succeeding millennia the silriv has been adapted and modernized, remaining in use by a number of mali communities today. 


All silrivan are characterized by their graceful blade curvature, extending along the length of the blade and tapering towards a sharp point. A well-made silriv’s hilt variously exhibits a blend of functionality and artistry, often featuring ergonomic designs such as a ‘bird’s head’ feature - these hilts are typically made from materials like wood, bone, or ivory, providing a lightweight yet durable foundation for the sword's handle. While basic silrivan may be relatively utilitarian in their design, the most prized of their number bear ornate quillons adorned with intricate motifs and geometric patterns. This quillon serves to protect the wielder's hand during combat while adding an element of aesthetic sophistication to the sword. Additionally, the pommel, located at the base of the hilt, serves to balance the silriv and can also serve as a striking implement in close-quarters combat.


Generally, silrivan are one-handed and almost always double-edged, and their parabolic shape makes them easier to unsheath than a straighter sword. This shape means that the blade is primarily suited to slashing opponents with fast strikes, either on foot or horseback. An advantage of the silriv’s mechanism of use is its simplicity, as employing it effectively requires little more than slashing and hacking when compared to more refined schools of swordsmanship. Though theoretically a silriv‘s point may be used to thrust, the blade’s sheer curvature makes this difficult from the perspective of both accuracy and range. As such, the silriv’s design and the intended method of its use has made it uniquely adaptable to both mounted and naval combat, which are the domains where it is most frequently used in modern times. Additionally, a common elf’s silriv is relatively cheap to make when compared to an equivalent shortsword, requiring a less labor-intensive metalworking process. These attributes have ensured the silriv‘s survival from its archaic origins to the modern era, contributing to the weapon’s relative timelessness.  



(An Alderfolk diveth [retainer] of Clan Ithelanen, on horseback and silriv sheathed, in the time of Malin’s kingdom.)


The silriv holds cultural and historical significance to the Acaelanites as a symbol of sil Malin’leh and the artisanry of old Malin’or, and modern silrivan are frequently manufactured by diaspora Acaelanite swordsmiths and metallurgists. Most Acaelanites will carry a silriv as their sidearm when traveling - the more expensive and intricate of these weapons (engraved and decorated) are considered works of art in their own right, and are frequently employed as status symbols or accessories. 


However, though the silriv bears this significance amongst Acaelanites, its use is not exclusive to that particular community. The style of curved blade now called a silriv was originally developed in the Malin’or of yore, in the era immediately following the departure of Malin that preceded the ethnogenesis of modern Acaelanites, and so the weapon is present in some form in most other elven cultural traditions. The Manist Alderfolk (closely related to the Acaelanites) were documented to wield silrivan in the time of the Dominion of Malin, with each chieftain required by custom to arm the fighting mali of his clan with both a silriv and a dagger in peace and wartime alike. Additionally, Irrinites and Haelun’ori have been known to employ either silrivan or similar, sabre-like blades reminiscent of their design. Therefore, it is likely through the Dominion that the silriv entered the mali’ame’s enduring Irrino-Alderfolk tradition, subsequently spreading to the broader elven world. 


Consequently, the silriv should generally be understood not as a uniquely Acaelanite innovation (despite its identification with that group), but rather as a generic descriptor for a particular style of curved sword commonly wielded by many of Malin’s descendant peoples. 




The word silriv is derived from the Ancient Elven root words ‘sil’ meaning ‘sword’ and ‘riv’ meaning ‘claw’ in an adjectival suffix, roughly translating to ‘claw-sword’. This etymology is presumed to originate from the silriv’s curved shape, which was said by the mali of antiquity to resemble a ‘claw’, likely that of a lion, manticore or similar beast.



(Sketches depicting a pair of silrivan and their scabbards.)


It should be noted that that while silriv is the appropriate name for this style of curved sword of elven make, in common parlance and non-technical historical records this weapon is just as likely to be referred to as a ‘sword’ or ‘sil’ (in Ancient Elven), without distinction from other kinds of blade. 


The Sword of Malin


Tradition holds that the first silriv was made in imitation of sil Malin’leh (Common: Sword [Falchion] of Malin), the sacred weapon or ‘golden relic’ bestowed upon Malin by the Aengul Gavrael. As such, modern depictions of sil Malin’leh typically represent the sanctified blade as a silriv, even though it technically predated the existence of that style of weapon. One such likeness is evident in an alternate name for Malin’s relic, el’silriv il’tayneiyulnan (Common: The Emerald-Studded Silriv), arising from a proto-Lye’naeran epic detailing ahe’Malin’s smiting of Iblees. 


The historian Martin Benedict’s identification of the Sword of Malin as a ‘falchion’, a different kind of curved sword widely prevalent amongst human realms at the time of his account, is likely a combination of misattribution and an editorial decision to avoid confusion. The relic wielded by Horen was already known as the ‘Sword of Horen’ since the time of Emperor Godfrey, and so knowing that sil Malin’leh was curved it is probable that Benedict mislabelled it as a falchion to distinguish it, doing so through the contemporary lens available to a human writer. In reality, sil Malin’leh was no true falchion and its shape was presumably reminiscent of the designs of early silrivan, which were modeled explicitly in the fashion of the legendary weapon. 


The last documentary evidence of sil Malin’leh was in the coronation rite of the Alderfolk clan leader Kairn Ithelanen as Mortal King of the Elves in IC 1668, though it is likely that he continued to wield it as a symbol of his authority after this event. Accounts of the ritual coronation describe the sacred weapon as possessing a ‘bejeweled sheathe’, though provide little description beyond that. Unfortunately, what became of the relic after the Mortal King’s abdication is unknown to history.  




iyul’maele asiol oem Acaelan ito kae’leh, el’Tuva Uelln’ehya el’Bilokir Tuva’leh, illern’leh el’Taynuel maele’ehya ay evarn’sae ahe’Malin’onn Lye’ehya. 





This is simply some more worldbuilding I’ve been working on, it isn’t particularly special or gate-kept lore - if you want to RP with a curved sword, I encourage you to RP wielding a silriv!




Edited by Esterlen
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One pious Acaelanite hones his strikes with a wooden silriv, making sweeping blows against a hay dummy of Adriel's likeness.

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