Encyclopedia Realmgardica: The Houou Mochizuki

The phoenix on the sword. Not the one you’re thinking of, though.

The Houou Mochizuki, a katana-style sword, with a diagram of the phoenix engraved on the blade.

Despite being likely the most famous Yamatai-style sword in Realmgard, the exact history of the Houou Mochizuki is unclear and there are several conflicting accounts of how it first arrived in Realmgard — it may have been given as a gift from a Yamatai nobleman to a visiting dignitary, it may have been stolen from its rightful owner by a Gardian pirate, or it may have been won by a Gardian vagabond in a duel to the death with a Yamatai swordsman.

While it is genuinely agreed that the sword is a genuine Mochizuki sword, even this is a matter of some debate.

Like its origins, the exact number of times the famous sword has changed hands is unclear. Whatever the case, it was ultimately purchased by a Prince of Porthaven and is now displayed in the armoury of the Prince’s Palace.

Another view of the Houou Mochizuki.

While not the only sword from Yamatai to have made its way into an armoury in Realmgard, several aspects of the Houou Mochizuki’s construction make it instantly unique. The hilt is wrapped in red, the scabbard (itself made of wood) in covered in snakeskin. The blade’s most notable feature, however, is the engraved image on the blade.

Whether the sword had a proper name is unknown and it is now known as the Houou Mochizuki due to being a sword forged by the legendary female Yamatai swordsmith Mochizuki Hikari (in Yamatai, the family name is written before the personal name). Houou is the Yamatai word for “phoenix” and the sword can be identified by the phoenix engraved on the blade.

Other Mochizuki swords are known by reputation in Realmgard and several of them have made their way to the continent. Such engravings of animals and mythological creatures from Yamatai are the method used by Mochizuki to identify her works.

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