KA Heritage Collection Eastern European Vampire Slayer
The year is 1849 in the Slovenian town of Ptuj on the Drava river, north of the Croatian border. Rumors have been circulating for years about people being found in Zagreb in the early morning hours, drained of blood. Dead.
Easy to ignore and dismiss as folklore, Zagreb is almost 100 miles south and over the border. But as stories are told of an agent of the Church being dispatched from Rome just 6 months ago, those tragic deaths start moving north. Is some foul beast being flushed out of the big city? 15 dead in a fortnight in Varazdin, then 10 in Trzec within the week. The mystery has now spilled over the border and is just south on a river tributary. How long before death comes?
The town blacksmith answers. The townsfolk of Ptuj begin arming themselves with anything and everything they can get ahold of, but something more purpose-built is forged in the fires on a cold November morning. Sweat, fire and fear are poured into the work as the hammer falls. The work is not as refined as some in the past, but does it really matter? The design is driven by need and there isn't enough time to worry too much about appearances. A stranger is waiting in the shadows of the water wheel. He used only enough words to commission this piece, then stood like a sentry watching...smoking. It's unnerving for the smithy to be watched while he works, he's always hated it. But this man seems too serious to be asked to leave. In the failing light of the season it was hard to tell, but his long hair seemed to be partially stained red near the ends. An unsettling feeling lingers, and the smith just wants the work done and the stranger gone. In the end, an axe like none seen before leaves the shop in the hand of this soft spoken muscled man on horseback. A shadow of a man, slipping into the mist and darkness that clings to the river's edge this time of year.
The next time the axe is seen, it's in America and there are 7 notches carved into its haft...
OK, maybe fiction is still more entertaining than reality but can you be certain? This axe was found and shipped from Slovenia, made during a much more superstitious time in history. A unique design, unlike other axes that have crossed this bench in years past. Why this design? Seems a little too exaggerated for a simple hewing axe, and what are the crescent markings on the one side not to mention the large rectangular window. Much will never be known about this piece, but when it is held you can feel a story in it!
Now cleaned, reground and rehung on a two tone 28.5" white ash haft. Visible lamination lines and deep strike marks, contrast with the clean lines and beveled details around the poll. This was made by a smith with skill, but made quickly and for a purpose driven reason that we'll probably never know. The axe took a keen edge and exhibited the feel of a nicely hardened carbon steel. A hand fabricated leather sheath was made in Quebec at the same time as the shaft, and protects both the axe and the user from that exaggerated drop edge design, should you need to sling it across your back as you ride off into the mist. In just the right light, I swear there's just a hint of red in that old remaining patina.