Bladewielders
By 1199, the Witchblade was in the possession of Itagaki, a Samaurai of the Taira clan, who led a charge of 3,000 warriors
against 10,000 Heike soldiers.  She was described as exceptionally strong and hauntingly beautiful, with pale white skin.  One
of her last acts, on the verge of defeat, is the subject of many plays and poems.  She was ordered to retreat because the local
shogun stated "It would be a disgrace to have it said that Lord Kiso was accompanied by a woman in his final battle."  Rather
than simply leave, however, she instead rode directly into a group of the enemy, singling out the strongest.  She matched his
horse's stride, reached over, sliced off his head with her sword and cast it aside.  She died in the battle ~ the Witchblade
dropped off her wrist at a critical point.

The Witchblade passed to Chinese loyalists, who gave it to Kublai Khan as what they thought was just a powerful talisman of a
fierce warrior. Kublai Khan then presented it to Marco Polo while he was exploring China, in about 1287.  He seemed to have
thought it was just another trinket.
Jeanne d'Arc
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