Terry Pratchett Made His Own Meteorite-Powered Sword After He Was Knighted
Just how cool is legendary fantasy author Sir Terry Pratchett? In early 2009, he was knighted, reportedly saying on the occasion that “you can’t ask a fantasy writer not to want a knighthood. You know, for two pins I’d get myself a horse and a sword.” This year, he took his new station of Knight Bachelor seriously: Pratchett took it upon himself to forge a sword using more than 175 pounds of iron ore found in a deposit near his home in Wiltshire. For good measure, he added several chunks of meteorite — “thunderbolt iron” for their “highly magical” properties: “you’ve got to chuck that stuff in whether you believe in it or not.”
With help from his friend Jake Keen — an expert on ancient metal-making techniques — the author dug up 81kg of ore and smelted it in the grounds of his house, using a makeshift kiln built from clay and hay and fuelled with damp sheep manure.
After days of hammering the metal into bars, he took it to a blacksmith, whom he helped to shape it into a blade, which was finished with silverwork.
Pratchett: “Most of my life I’ve been producing stuff which is intangible and so it’s amazing the achievement you feel when you have made something which is really real.”