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|This article is about the current version of DF.|
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Sometimes dwarves will grow particularly attached to a weapon or piece of armor, and if they become attached enough, they will name it. The armor/weapon will then be listed as an artifact, although its value and effectiveness will remain the same. What causes dwarves to name their weapons is unknown - time alone will suffice (though it may take a very long time), but slaying an important historical figure, such as a forgotten beast, will often be enough. A weapon having a long kill list will also contribute to its naming. A weapon or piece of armor, even a shield, may be named if it only had a single kill.
After the weapon has been named, it will become fixed[Verify] to the dwarf who named it. It then becomes impossible to melt. If the dwarf dies, the weapon will be forbidden for use until all dwarves that slew something with that particular weapon (according to its kill list) at any given moment (before and after its naming) are properly buried in a coffin. If any of the slayers' bodies have been destroyed, the weapon cannot be used again.
Note that dwarves can grow attached to items even if they are made of poor-quality materials, which can lead to poor combat performance. Notably, it is quite possible for your warriors to grow attached to training weapons, which are completely useless in combat. Let this serve as an encouragement to keep your military well-armed sooner rather than later.