Excerpt – Verbia Princeps Magus, by Jack, Apprentice Mage

Though the provenance of this tome is in doubt, you are nevertheless struck by the words contained within. Many pages appear to be written in an indecipherable script, with symbols both arcane and mundane littered throughout the pages. Here and there, however, something appears written in the common tongue:

“It is not the sword,
but the man,”
said Merlyn.
But the people demanded a sign—
the sword forged by Waylund,
Excalibur, the “lightning-shard.”

“It is not the sword,
but the words men follow.”
Still, he set it in the stone
—Excalibur, the sword of kings—
and many a man did strive, and swore,
and many a man did moan.

But none could budge it from the stone.

“It is not the sword
or the strength,”
said Merlyn,
“that makes a man a king,
but the truth and the conviction
that ring in his iron word.”

“It is not the sword,”
said Merlyn,
crowd-jostled, marveling
as Arthur drew forth Excalibur
with never a gasp,
with never a word,
and so became their king.

Beyond the River of the Blessed, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Camelot. Our swords were shattered in our hands and we hung our shields on the oak tree. The silver towers were fallen, into a sea of blood. How many miles to Camelot? None, I say, and all. The silver towers are fallen.