Swordmasters are warriors who have devoted their lives to mastering one weapon - the blade. Learned in ancient meditative techniques, they practice the art of ak'anginta: "thought-to-form", in which the sword becomes an extension of self, with each style an expression. Using these "ginta" or "forms", a swordmaster becomes one of Avendar's most formidable combatants, displaying a mastery of his weapon unparalleled by any other. The roots of ak'anginta are often claimed by the aelin, its graceful and aesthetically pleasing motions expressing the highest ideals of their storied culture. However, over time, other races have left their mark on the profession's practice, be it in the cruel precision of the shuddeni or the brutal power of the srryn.
Individual swordmasters often find personal affinity to a single form early in training. However, swordplay is as flexible as it is unique, leading many to take great pride in mastering a variety of styles. Additionally, the trained ambidexterity offered by this path allows for greater diversity in sword selection than other warriors. Because of their dedication to a single sword, longer-lived and more broadly experienced swordmasters are able to vastly outclass swordsmen of other professions.
A deeply aesthetic art, aelin swordmasters of good alignment often favor Aeolis as a deity, while evil practitioners occasionally offer secret homage to Serachel. These affinities can also apply to other races as well, especially those whose study heightens their appreciation for aelin culture. However, the path of the ginta is often as deeply individual as its students, making common swordmasters of all faiths, or none.