Back in December of 2018 I made a trade with Silver Back Stacker or SBS @sbsparts for one of his Silver Back Gorilla face Channel bars. Sure enough we traded Channel Bars but he wanted two of my Shurikens rather than one.
SBS promised something special for the second one that he was sure I would like. So the deal is swapping Channel bars for the first and a mystery pour for the second. And knowing his penchant for the unique pour I was intrigued to go along with it.
Objective complete for the first part of the trade! Silver Back Stacker’s Channel piece. A One oz.T 0.999 fine silver gorilla face and partially toned for effect. Perfect! And a little piece of trivia is that Skully of Beyeridge Designs made this piece.
The next item weighting in as 7.36 grams is what I dubbed as ‘Fractional Skulls’ when I first saw them unveiled on his blog back in October 2018. He originally called then “Tiny Skulls” but he liked the “Fractional” tag better as like coins and rounds that are less than one troy ounce so why not for Skulls that are less than the ‘standard’ one troy ounce Skull. No Charge SBS! And giving me one of these may perhaps be that ‘Thank you’ for the new name. Yes, the Silver Stackers and Silver Pirates are creating their own language, terminology, inferences and even memes but that is a different topic for another time.
Next was another surprise piece. I was looking for a Geiger bar but my Canadian sources were to pricing these far too high let alone the cost of shipping. I’d be quite charmed if he did go through all my comments I made in the past of what are some of my top priority shopping list silver. Oh that would so sweet of him or it may just be a lucky guess? Naw! I like to believe he went far out of the way to charm this Goth girl.
“Unkindness of Ravens”
The term is a collective noun for a group of Ravens. Like a pride of lions, pack of dogs, murder of Crows. The term originates from an old 15th century periodical collection called the Book of Saint Albans (Boke of Seynt Albans) 1486. The book the 8th of eight books pertaining to Hunting activities of Gentlemen of the time. Source
The time follows another conflict in an ongoing Anglo-Sottish war from the 14th century into the 16th Century and the conclusion of the 30 year long War of the Roses.
It is interesting to note how a 15th century fellow’s observation of the Raven’s behavior in groups in relation to other fauna gave rise to this ‘colorful’ pronoun propagating this bird’s dark reputation.
But what SBS made for me was totally epic, I’m speechless.
From the Chronicles of the Bloody Raven
The moon hung high in the clear night sky over the calm Norse village. Its soft light illuminated the valley intensified not just by the Inlet water but also the snowy mountain caps that lined the great Fjord. The ships gently bobbed in water anchored not far from among the collection of well-kept homes, shops and buildings that comprise the village. A large structure with fortifications dominated the center, the hall of King Eric. Its occupants noisy, making the tranquil appearance of this village much less than peaceful.
Varik began beating the table with his fist as his Steersman Skari started the rhythmic chant, "Erik, Erik, Erik..." One by one, table by table until the hall filled with the echo of King’s name.
King Erik grinned then took another swig of the brew from his Grimfrost drinking horn. Dropping his fur cape upon his throne he rises up, and strikes the wooden floor thrice with his sword. “What a Victory and profitable raid my friends, it is time for the ritual and send our exploits to Odin the victorious!” One by one, they lined up to the old priest Asmund collecting a dram of blood from the forearms of each of Erik’s finest ten men. Another monk further stokes the forge with a handful of Raven feathers to call upon the Spirit of Huginn and Muninn to carry their stories to Odin’s ear. The crucible ready with some of silver captured from their enemies is ready to pour into its final form. The Pagan priest chants in old dialect of something before he pours the blood into the Rumskulla oak stoked furnace fire with a loud sizzle.
Long shadows were cast upon the Longhouse wall. The flames spiraled upward forming what appeared to be the form of a bird before dissipating through the roof opening. The monk heaves the bellows to heighten the heat as the Viking warriors begin to Chant Odin’s name into another frenzy of drink and celebration. The priest lifts the crucible. The King points down at the mold with his sword, “Now!” And the die is cast!
The hot glowing silver flowed, running into each of the ten painstakingly carved stone Raven forms that had been kept under the bright hot coals. The stone then dropped into a barrel of water with a wicked hiss and the noise of the stone form shattering. Of the ten forms only three Ravens were complete, and of the three only one is suitable to be sanctified and empowered.
The priest fastened a cord to the silvery form then proclaimed, "He who possesses this silver pendant shall be endowed with a special warrior’s power of what the Great Raven shall choose."
Magnus wipes his mouth with the back of his arm then buried his axe head into cluttered oak table, "It shall be mine!"
"No Magnus, it will be mine!” Ragnar himself stands and strikes the floor with the butt of his battle hammer to challenge for its possession. A third warrior, a fourth and then another hero lay claim to the new pendant.
Seated at the end of the hall Balder slowly rose to his feet, his stature towered far above his fellow warriors, his familiar deep voice resonated across the hall, "I challenge anyone in a match for the pendant!" Around his neck hung adorned other trophies of previous challenges fashioned from the hard fought treasures of their enemies. This night's celebration ends the week's preparation of this silver to be instilled with a gift from Odin to the most deserving Viking warrior. The games begin.
“Et lux in tenebris to serve laboro, sum sicarius” “I work in the shadows to serve the Light, I am an Assassin”