Friday, April 20, 2007

The Swan-Blade

I continue to research Imraheth's sword, the Swan-Blade, known later in Sindarin as Alfcrist. I discovered last night while in very enjoyable RP with several of my fellow Arrows that the sword was forged by the Teleri in Alqualonde and taken from them by the Noldor.

I learn this morning in research that the Teleri were esteemed even by the Noldor for their work with silver, and that Tolkien credits them with being the greatest silversmiths in Aman. So, the Swan-Sword is made of silver.

But Alfcrist of course is a Sindarin name, and the Teleri would have called it something different, for they knew not Sindarin and would have christened the sword in their own language. Fortunately, there is a wonderful article on Teleri at sindanoorie. There, I learn that a) the Teleri would put adjectives after the noun, b) that the word for Swan was "alpa" and c) that "lanca" was the word for an edge, specifically an edge crafted by hand or in nature, like a cliff.

So in Telerin the sword was Lancalpa, the Swan-Blade, though it might also be considered the Cliff-Swan. This may appear nonsensical, but it will be remembered that I am portraying Dol Amroth and Belfalas as a place of cliffs overlooking the sea. (Possibly Lancalpio, the Sword of Swans, if I am constructing my genitive plural correctly. And while we're on variations, if the Teleri name used lanc shouldn't the Sindarin use lang, meaning sword or cutlass, to get Alflang?)

Alfcrist's history continues to evolve. Fortunately, I was saved by another player last night before I had to say where the sword is now or why Imraheth does not have it! Thank goodness for a mopey Noldo with a memory of the kinslaying!

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