|These are the Bladewielders, identified by Watchers, me, or TNT, whoever got there first. ;) I've given each one as much history and
background as possible, and have also taken the liberty of including a few notable possible wielders (these are noted as such).
|The Witchblade has been here for uncounted time. (See the History page.) The first known Bladewielder was Myrene, one of
the greatest of the Amazon Nation's queens, in about 500 BC.
Myrene, the Gorgon Amazons' most exceptional Queen, conquered parts of Syria, Egypt, Phygia and lands in the Mediterranean
including the islands of Samos, Lesbos, Pathmos and Samothrace. The Hesperian or Gorgon Amazons, were Libyan women
warriors who originated on Tritonia, an island off the African coast, which was largely destroyed by volcanic eruption with the
surviving portion forming the present day Canary Islands. Herodotus wrote of the Libyan Amazons military power as late as the
sixth century BC. Myrene founded several cities that bore her name, including the ancient city of Smyrna. A description of a North
African battle in which she led a cavalry of 30,000 women is believed to be the earliest record of troops riding horses into
combat. Myrene's army was fronted by her Gorgons in snakeskin armor, armed with bows that they drew past their chests and
could fire rapidly from horses at full gallop. Some scholars have theorized that the Centaurs, the legendary half human / half
horse warriors of Greek mythology were actually descriptions of Amazons on horseback. After years of warfare the combined
armies of the Thracian and Scythian empires retook part of Myrene's colonial conquest. When she died the Gorgon Amazons
abandoned their remaining colonies and returned to their base in North Africa. Myrene was buried near Troy, with the
Witchblade on her wrist.
The Witchblade seemed to have been retrieved from Myrene's tomb by Artemisia I. Named after the Goddess Artemis, sister of
Apollo, Artemisia is the only woman Herodotus attributes with the virtue of courage, or 'andreia'; an almost impossible quality
for a woman to possess since it literally meant 'manliness'. She married the king of Halicarnassus in 500 BC, just prior to the
Ionian Revolt that helped trigger the war between Greece and Persia. Her husband, whose name has been lost to history,
probably died only a few years later. Taking to the throne herself, she made her name not as an ally of Greece, but as a loyal
subject of Persia. Artemisia's major claim to fame occurred during the battle of Salamis, which King Xerxes of Persia watched
from his golden throne on the shore. Finding herself trapped between the deadly Greek triremes and the utterly bewildered
Persian fleet, she determined to break out. Pursued by a trireme (a Greek fighting ship) she calmly and expertly rammed a
friendly ship blocking her exit, and made her escape. Believing her to be an ally, the trireme dropped its pursuit, while Xerxes,
believing her to have sunk an enemy and exasperated at his own side's general incompetence, declared 'My men have become
women, and women men'. Needless to say the Athenians were not very pleased; they had offered an especially high reward for
her capture -a prize of 10,000 drachma- because they could not believe a woman would join a war against them ~ and be so
The Witchblade eventually made it's way to the Romans. When the last pharaoh of Egypt ~ the legendary Cleopatra ~
bewitched Julius Caesar, he presented it to her in 45BC as a token of his affection..