Artifacts of Lore #1: Excalibur





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    The Guvnor
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    Artifacts of Lore #1: Excalibur

    This is the first of EN World's Artifacts of Lore series. This article introduces the legendary sword of King Arthur, Excalibur.

    Excalibur, the most famous of all magical swords, was wielded by King Arthur. It was given to Arthur by the Lady of the Lake as a symbol of the sovereignty of the Britons, and is said to be “the finest sword that there was, which sliced through iron as through wood”. A jewelled, shining sword, Excalibur was engraved with words on both sides.

    Excalibur had various magical properties: it was said to blind the wielder's enemies with a bright light, and that he who wore both sword and scabbard would not bleed from his injuries.

    After Arthur's death, Excalibur was returned to the Lady of the Lake.
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    4ognard
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    Ooh, game effects from alingment.

    I see how you got the "can't be cut" bit in there, but I wonder if there isn't someway to play with the bloodied condition, since technically you can't be, well, bloody, wielding the sword.

    Also: excalibur means "cut steel".
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    The Guvnor
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    It's not so much "can't be cut" as "won't bleed to death". So my alternative idea was to link it to death saves.

    Yup, I know it means "cut steel". Although the etymology isn't quite that clear-cut:

    In Chretien de Troyes's Perceval, Gawain carries Escalibor and it is stated, "for at his belt hung Excalibor, the finest sword that there was, which sliced through iron as through wood"[4] ("Qu'il avoit cainte Escalibor, la meillor espee qui fust, qu'ele trenche fer come fust."[5]). This statement was likely picked up by the author of the Estoire Merlin, or Vulgate Merlin, where the author (who was fond of fanciful folk etymologies) asserts that Escalibor "is a Hebrew name which means in French 'cuts iron, steel, and wood'"[6] ("c'est non Ebrieu qui dist en franchois trenche fer & achier et fust"; note that the word for "steel" here, achier, also means "blade" or "sword" and comes from medieval Latin aciarium, a derivative of acies "sharp", so there is no direct connection with Latin chalybs in this etymology). It is from this fanciful etymological musing that Malory got the notion that Excalubur meant "cut steel"[7] (""the name of it said the lady is Excalibur that is as moche to say as cut stele"").
    Last edited by Morrus; Wednesday, 13th October, 2010 at 10:38 PM.

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    .. and since Morrus did a much better job than I with the background of the name.. I stand down
    Last edited by Kobold Boots; Wednesday, 13th October, 2010 at 10:51 PM.

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    Removing dup post

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    Well, technically "excalibur" means "excalibur". It's a derivative
    Of course the latin ex caliburnus.. cut steel.. but it took a while.. I think the naming line went something like.. calefdwich, then latinized to caliburnus, then to the French escalibor, then re-anglified/latinized excalibur.

    So.. in welch calefdwich means blade or sword.. the romans may have just changed that up to steel, and at some point the french came up with escalibor which can either be strongest steel or exceptional in the old French.. and then we eventually get to excalibur..

    So blah blah blah.. this is my douchy post of the day in response to the douchy post of the day.. I am a geek.

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