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The Ryan Krusac Dragon Slayer is to fountain pens what Italian dwarf metal is to music
perfect word picture, end of post
I recently saw the Italian dwarf metal band Wind Rose on their first US tour. By “Italian dwarf metal,” I mean that:
They are from Tuscany
They play power/folk metal1
They write songs from the perspective of Tolkien’s dwarves
I know what you are thinking: FINALLY, MUSIC FOR THE REST OF US.
If you have a child who obsessively plays Minecraft you are likely already familiar with Wind Rose’s most famous song, Diggy Diggy Hole, which is a cover of a song from a podcast about Minecraft and I cannot tell you how much I love writing that.
Here is the video:
So you can sing along, the chorus is:
I am a dwarf and I’m digging a hole Diggy diggy hole Diggy diggy hole I am a dwarf and I’m digging a hole Diggy diggy hole Digging a hole
Refreshingly, none of that is double entendre.
If this is your first time hearing Diggy Diggy Hole, I envy you and wish I could relive that moment: hearing this song for the first time was like seeing the Montegrappa Chaos for the first time. My music app told me that Diggy Diggy Hole was my most-played song of 2019, which is saying something since it wasn’t released until that summer, I have never played Minecraft, and I did not know it was a video game reference until months after I had the song on repeat. I just really like it because it is perfect.
Moreover, I am old enough that I refuse to wait more than 5 minutes for anything nonessential—TEN MINUTES? pass, I have episodes of NCIS to watch before bedtime—but I waited in line like 45 minutes to buy a Wind Rose concert t-shirt.
OK, with that in mind: the Ryan Krusac Studios Legend Limited Edition Dragon Slayer2 is Wind Rose in pen form. The pen body has a dragon-slaying scene engraved into antler and it is so awesome that language cannot adequately capture the majesty.
Just look at it:
LET IT BURNINATE INTO YOUR RETINAS. YOU WILL NEVER SEE ANYTHING BETTER ANYWAY.
Got it? OK, now here’s another Wind Rose video. In this one they fight an ogre, and you can skip to 3:10 if you’re in a rush and just want to see that part (WHICH YOU DO BECAUSE IT RULES):
Now look at the Dragon Slayer pen again:
CAN YOU EVEN TELL THE DIFFERENCE?
WHERE DOES ONE END AND THE OTHER BEGIN?
It is, of course, impossible to say. Both radiate epic high fantasy to such a degree that they can only be adequately described by being compared to each other.
For example, consider just three features of the Dragon Slayer:
The body is made of moose antler which is the most metal of all antlers, and based on a careful inspection I would in fact wager that Krusac sources this from blood moose which is the most menacing of all moose and definitely not something I just made up
It is decorated with laser-engraved scrimshaw of a scene from Wagner’s ring cycle, the most metal of all operas
The cap is made of ebony and engraved with scales, which is the most metal way to use wood in a pen that does not involve sourcing wood from Transylvania (additionally, the cap is lined with plastic which is not particularly metal but it does make it seal nicely so you don’t have issues with dry-out)
The Dragon Slayer is a limited edition on Krusac’s “Legend” body, which comes in a bunch of different materials and sizes. We bought my father-in-law a heartwood Legend at a pen show (which was a hit), and my wife ordered me this one as a present later that year. I’m not sure what specific size this one is; it seems just kinda large-ish when capped, but it feels absolutely massive in the hand. I assume this is caused by magic.
Despite this, it is stupid comfortable to use for a long period of time because the antler is incredibly lightweight, the ebony wood grip is a good size, and the stepdown is unobtrusive.
You can probably tell from the photos that the Dragon Slayer does not post, but that’s fine because you know what else doesn’t post? A SWORD. A SCEPTER. THE HOLY AMULET OF REMORAH. SO SHUT UP.
The nib is a steel JoWo #6 but I think you can get it in gold too. It is branded with Krusac’s logo—which also looks pretty metal—and it was tuned well when I got it; it’s one of my favorite writers.
As a bonus, the Dragon Slayer comes in a silk taffeta pen “kimono” sleeve made by Krusac’s daughters.3 This is helpful because the pen is so magnificent that it cannot be contained by an ordinary single-pen case (if you try the case will just burst into flames, probably).
In sum: I have eyes, so I can recognize that this is a pen of power and might. After all, it is one of the pens featured on the About page of this site for a reason. It is a limited edition of 150 and can be purchased from Ryan Krusac’s website or pen shows as he tends to make the rounds.
Welcome Pen Addict podcast listeners! I am glad you heard this blog described as a “stationery fever dream” on last week’s show and were like “ok sure.” If you missed it, the segment where Extra Fine Writing is discussed starts at 31:40 in that link.
For clarity, the Wind Rose show was not the folk metal show referenced in this other post. That one had a hurdy-gurdy player and was about Celtic mythology and this one was about dwarves VERY DIFFERENT.
For Italian symphonic metal fans, a group which I assume is a 1:1 overlap with this blog: this was the tour where Wind Rose opened for Rhapsody of Fire, and I thought Wind Rose was the friendliest metal band I’ve seen live until Rhapsody went on. For example, here’s a GIF of when Giacomo jumped into the crowd during Wisdom of the Kings and then stopped on his way back to the stage to hug the fan in front of me:
So wonderful! So Italian! I rarely stay through the encore of shows anymore (because old) but I stayed for this one because the entire show was like that. Strong recommend.
Meaning the music is about dragons and stuff, but also there is a flute.
I would normally make a joke about how ridiculously long this name is but the pen is worthy of such a title.