Sir Terry Pratchett, who died today aged 66, had a fondness for history and heraldry that extended beyond his books.
In 2010 he was granted his own coat of arms (below) and, later in the year, he decided that if he was to be a knight he also needed a proper sword.
So Sir Terry gathered deposits of iron he found in a field near his home in Wiltshire and smelted it himself in the grounds.
"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," he said of the sword.
The author dug up 81kg of ore to produce it, smelting using a makeshift kiln built out of clay and hay.
To add a trademark element of fantasy to it, he threw in "several pieces of meteorites - thunderbolt iron, you see - highly magical, you've got to chuck that stuff in whether you believe in it or not."
The metal was then shaped into a sword by a local blacksmith, finished with silverwork and stored by Pratchett in a secret location, apparently because he feared it might pique the interest of the authorities.
"It annoys me that knights aren't allowed to carry their swords," he said. "That would be knife crime."
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