"Fear me! I am a master swordsman! I dance with my finely polished blade! I swing grand arcs above my head! I twirl my sword with grace and... ouch!"
The fine art of Swordsmanship is a skill to be admired. Employing neither the wallop-on-the-head approach of the mace fighter, nor the pinging, poking thrust of the fencer, the swordsman knows the near-silent whistle of polished metal slicing the air — and other, less vaporous things…
The benefit from increased levels of swordsmanship is a greater chance to hit your target. Other melee factors, like damage and swing speed, are governed by other statistics, in this instance strength and dexterity, respectively. This skill also counts towards your ability to perform Special Moves.
Swordsmanship also benefits from a Mastery: Warrior's gifts, Onslaught and Focused Eye.
From 0 - 30 skill you should buy from the Warrior Guildmaster. After that you need to hold a sword in hand and hit opponents. For more details on training Swordsmanship or other melee skills visit the Melee Training Guide page.
The standard sword class of weapons are primarily designed to chop and slice opponents. As it offers the largest range of weapons to choose from by far, the Power Scrolls required to become a Legendary Swordsman are considered extremely valuable.
Another exclusive bonus to Swordsmen is the Axe weapon class. These add an additional Damage Increase bonus dependant on your character's Lumberjacking skill, though this is typically considered too low to be worth pursuing.
Note that as the Tinkering skill has no Runic Tools, the items it produces are seldom used as primary weapons in combat. On the other hand, the only swords which may be used with the Poisoning skill are created by Tinkers (the Butcher Knife and the Cleaver).