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Gavin heard the arrows whizzing over his head from the archers in the rear and saw the line of horseman charging toward him.  He anchored his pike in the ground, one of thirty men whose job it was to hold the line. As the line of cavalry reached him, he felt the pike bend as it absorbed the weight of the horse driven onto it.  The horse’s rider jumped off and drew his weapon. Gavin quickly dropped the now-useless pike and drew his own sword…
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Japanese swords are much more than tools of war: they are works of art.  Born of a time when quality steel was more precious than gold, Japanese swordsmiths created complex and exacting methods of forging swords in order to create masterpieces that belied the poor quality of the ore from from which they were created. These methods have been passed down through traditions while remaining essential unchanged for centuries.  One man Yoshihara Yoshindo is considered the greatest swordsmith alive today...

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Riding with his cavalry contingent, Reo was a bit nervous. While he had been training as a Samurai for years, he had only recently been allotted a horse.  He heard some voices up ahead and saw three men running down a hill just ahead, their feet kicking up dirt into the dry air.  They were scouts, and from their rush seemed to have some important news...

 

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Tomoe Gozen, first captain and wife of Minamoto no Yoshinaka, surveyed the field where the final battle was sure to soon take place.  A warrior first and foremost, she was dressed in full armor and carrying an oversized sword as well as a bow. As first captain, it was her job to lead the soldiers into the part of the battle where the fighting was thickest and ensure the victory...
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Johnny looked down and pursed his lips as he mulled over everything he had just seen.  Then he looked up as a thought came to him. “You did a great job explaining the types of swords, and even the progression of materials in the earliest blades.  But I noticed that while most of the swords here are made from steel, you barely mentioned the progression of materials from iron to steel.”

The shopkeeper brightened.  “That’s because the use of steel in a sword was a complex, though interesting historical development...

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