Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild

Axe of Ten-Thousand Strokes

Practice makes permanent

The axe-head glints in the summer sun. I see her felling Kava plants, harvesting the two thousand shoots to which she is entitled. I am shocked to see hundreds of Kava shoots already neatly divided on the ground. What magic is this, that cuts through the steel-grass like an oar through water?
— Lieutenant Iris of Port Nora
  The Axe of Ten-Thousand Strokes is a legendary axe forged approximately seven hundred years in the past by a grandmaster smith. With a history of continuous care and use throughout its existence, it serves as an excellent demonstration of the most modest magic: Habitus.

Mechanics & Inner Workings

Further inspection revealed the axe in question to be an ordinary axe, made at a standard forge. Voltammetry established the tool as 712 years old, and historical records show it was made as a gift for the Azmar family by a grandmaster smith. Attempts to explain the axe through conventional means failed, and it was sent to the magical institutes for study.
— Iris' preliminary report
  The axe is made of completely mundane materials. The head is double-bitted, and made of work-hardened bronze. The handle of the axe is made up of the lightweight Kava Wood, and surprisingly has not rotted away with seven centuries of use.   The main driver of its action is invisible: it is the intent itself, which has accumulated with such use. The intent has flowed into the axe, and by now, it is honed in on its purpose of chopping wood.

Manufacturing process

The process of manufacturing the axe was well-recorded. The axe was made through conventional, alpha bronze forging techniques. The bronze was cast, and then hammered into its desired shape. A handle was added of kava wood.   Next, the longest, seven-hundred and twelve year part of the process was done. The first bearer of the axe is said to have chopped down just forty-five shoots of kava with the axe: one for each year of her existence. However, her descendants used the axe in a more utilitarian manner, chopping tens of thousands of trees down: however many they could get in their quota.   By the time it passed to its last true wielder, the axe would have gone through well over ten thousand strokes: perhaps closer to one million strokes. The exact number is lost to history. After Sara Azmar-Laning's lease of the axe to science, the Azmar-Laning family ceremonially chops down and splits one kava shoot every year.


What, have you the patience to craft a tool like the Axe of Ten-Thousand Strokes?
— Common saying
  The Axe of Ten-Thousand Strokes has become a profound cultural icon of the Pestrib, who place great value on patient tenacity. The axe, under study, was made just like any other axe; yet it is stronger and sharper than any steel axe of this day. Many use it, as well as the kava plant, as parables on how a grown halora should behave.

Item type
Related Technologies
Related ethnicities
Owning Organization
Baiqiang Union
Unique tool
2.5 kg
Base Price
Not on market
Raw materials & Components
  • One-meter kava wood rod (standardized)
  • Ten kilograms of chalcocite ore (used to make copper)
  • Two kilograms of tin additive (used to turn copper into bronze)
  • 712 years of continuous use

Notable Users

Note: all names of the Brown Halora are unpronouncable by humankind, so these names have been assigned by human historians.
  Larissa Azmar of Linsent (Larissa of Azmar of Linsent Tribe) was the original bearer of the Axe of Ten Thousand Strokes. Cherished as a present made for her by grandmaster smith Nathan Dunan of Linsent, Larissa used that axe solely for her job as a woodsman. The axe was not noted for its properties, but Larissa was praised for achieving the pinnacle of woodsmanship.   The axe began to be passed down through the generations from mother to daughter in the Azmar clan. However, all of Natalie Azmar of Linsent's children were male, and so she passed the axe down to her eldest child, Aldrin, and told him to gift it to his wife in marriage. Aldrin gave the axe to Catherine Laning of Pestrib, moving his trade to Port Nora.   Two generations later, the axe passed to its final holder, Sara Azmar-Laning of Pestrib. Sara was a scientist by profession, and therefore did not use the axe as much as her ancestors. Eventually, her good friend, Iris, watched her chop kava wood, and immediately recognized skill alone could not explain the actions of the axe. Sara leased the axe to magic research agencies to further the study of its science.

Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild


Please Login in order to comment!
28 Dec, 2018 17:23

So the only thing i see miss g is whether it is a single ax or something that can be made and have multiples of. You say in the last quote an ax of etc but say the ax in the lore. I hope that makes sense. Lol so my question depends on the answer to the previous. If it's more than one, how does is it made magical, is it just usage? If it's one then maybe some famous users and why they are famous?

28 Dec, 2018 18:27

Oh yeah, it's only one, the last quote is kinda about being patient, knowing some things take a long time. I'll add some notes on the users of the ax!

28 Dec, 2018 19:01

Oh cool. So the ax is remarkable sharp and strong and it won't age over time. It maintains that power. Does it have any other abilities.

28 Dec, 2018 19:07

Not really, I tried to describe all the powers of the axe. Its not like it sets stuff on fire or something, its just a normal axe, except an exceptional one.

28 Dec, 2018 21:16

Still effective either way :)

29 Dec, 2018 05:22

I am curious to know if the ax had ever been used for other purposes, perhaps as a tool of self-defence, or to cut down other things. It is something of unusual properties, so has anyone tried to steal it, or even replicate it?IF so, how did those attempts go?   I really like how you have implied the strength of the Kava and the difficulty in harvesting it by having this single ax be the absolute best at doing exactly that.

31 Dec, 2018 00:23

The axe has not had other purposes, which is special because the Habitus magic only works if the tool has one very specific purpose used over generations. About stealing, more than a few have tried to steal it. However, given that the Azmars were more than excellent fighters, those thieves likely went to an early grave. After Sara gave it to science, they attempted to figure out how these axes or any tool could have these properties, unfortunately the concept is defying attempts at systematizing things. You can read more in my Habitus article.

29 Dec, 2018 10:21

I believe you should talk alittle more about the creator of the Axe `Nathan Dunan of Linsent` or at least make a article on him explaining alittle about him.

31 Dec, 2018 00:15

I hope to get characters more, but right now I'm concentrating on broad strokes of history and culture

29 Dec, 2018 12:46

Really good, i was wondering about a few things though. 1. How did the axe perform for the first user, and what difference did it make that a grandmaster made it if it's a conventional ordinary axe of the time? 2. When did the properties become notable if they built up over time? 3. If a common axe just needs lots of use to become like this, why have other axes passed down over generations not gained the same properties? 4. Is the same effect gained in other tools and weapons? 5. What is a halora? Otherwise, nice work ^.^

31 Dec, 2018 00:19

1. The axe performed normally for the first user, the magic started flowing through the axe from her body but she didn't notice it 2. The properties probably became notable by the time of Catherine, as the Azmar family moved from a smaller town to a bigger city, and more experts were like, this axe is special. 3. An axe like this needs to be Habitus-capable to build up this magic, about one in one thousand tools are Habitus capable, and many of those tools haven't been passed down. However, other tools have been found in smaller towns and villages with these same properties. 4. yes, the same effect is gained in other tools if they are capable of this magic 5. Halora are the sentient species, I couldn't really detail them here since no space :P Basically a pheasant-like bird