Excalibur

The Encyclopedia Superium

Excalibur: Excalibur was the name of one of the most powerful mystical treasures in history, often cited as one of the Nine Mystical Treasures of Earth. It has been involved in the greatest mystical wars of England and Europe in general, and its destruction was considered one of the great tragedies of World War II.

History

Creation

According to legends of the time, Excalibur was forged by Merlin, the Smith of Faldias, in the year 55 BC. At the time, Julius Caesar, Emperor of Rome, had begun a full-scale invasion of the British Isles, backed by technical skill and magical might, and the Smith feared that if the nations of the Isles did not unite, they would be destroyed by the Roman menace. When Caesar's first invasion was less than successful, the British ignored his warnings, and he felt that he needed to act alone. To that end, he gathered the greatest weapons of each land, including the mighty Gae Bolg that he had once made for the Tuatha De Danaan in their own wars, and forged them together into a single weapon, one which would draw on the might of the Isles and the virtue of its wielder to be invincible.

When Caesar's forces returned a year later, Merlin gave his newly-made weapon, Excalibur, to the British war-chief Cassibelanus. The hero used the sword to great effect on three occasions, breaking Caesar's lines and forcing the Roman emperor into a draw. Ultimately, Caesar and Cassibelanus made peace, exchanging hostages and resources, and the Isles became peaceful once again. For the duration of his life, Cassibelanus protected the Isles from raiders and warfare. When he died, Excalibur vanished with him, returned to the Smith's home of Avalon, and many thought it was lost forever.

Camelot

Excalibur's second appearance, and its second-most famous to most people, was in the court of Camelot in the year 521 AD. This time, Excalibur was gifted to King Arthur of Camelot by the Lady of the Lake at Merlin's behest, and served as his weapon in his many battles to unify England and bring peace and order to the land. For many years, the king maintained Excalibur, but its power waned when his own virtue was tarnished and ultimately failed to save his life in the pivotal final battle of his realm. After Arthur's death, one of his knights (different sources argue about which) returned the sword to the Lady, who took it back to Avalon with her. At the time, a legend spread that the sword would return whenever England faced its darkest hours.

The Pretender Overthrown

The third appearance of the famous sword was in the year 1065, when Harold Godwinson, the Earl of Wessex, was slain and replaced by the demon Accolon. Accolon took advantage of the death of Godwinson's father, Saint Edward the Confessor (who legend says had banished him many years before) to crown himself king of England. When William of Normandy first landed in England, not knowing the foe he faced, a mysterious woman approached him and told him that his enemies were not merely mundane in nature. She handed him Excalibur and vanished - many sources believe that she was Morgana Le Fay, fulfilling the prophecy of centuries before. With the power of the sword, William was able to defeat Accolon, and quickly brought his demon-corrupted nobles into line.

Intent on not having his kingdom fall as its predecessor had, William I introduced reforms and changes to England that changed the course of its development. Excalibur remained with him until his death, at which time it vanished from his bedchambers, presumably back to Avalon.

Chernobog's Bane

Excalibur's fourth appearance also marks two historical firsts: the first time that it was not held directly by the rightful king of the British Isles, and the first time that a woman carried the sword. Excalibur appeared in 1360, as plague ravaged the shores of Europe, in the hands of the young heroine Blanche of Lancaster as she wept by her father's deathbed. Blanche soon afterwards became embroiled in the Europe-wide battle against the demon Chernobog, who had unleashed the plague as part of a complex plot to weaken and conquer the continent. Chernobog was ultimately defeated, and Blanche continued to carry the sword, eventually marrying one of her companions from that war, John of Gaunt (young son of the king).

Blanche herself was ultimately slain when Chernobog returned, but her dying strike delivered the blow that killed the demon forever, ending the threat of its deadly plagues. After her death, John bore Excalibur to the seaside and oversaw its return to Avalon.

The Sword Of Kings

When Excalibur failed to appear during the Spanish and Napoleanic wars, many in England began to fear that Chernobog's destruction had somehow damaged the sword. They were proven wrong in 1863, when Rex Mundi I used his recently-gained control over the island of Atlantis to launch the Atlantean King Invasion of western Europe. Excalibur fell into the hands of Avery Midnight, a British mystic and swordsman, who later joined the League of Adventurers to fight against Mundi. Professor Midnight continued to wield Excalibur for over forty years, well after his retirement. Upon his death in 1907, the sword passed once again to Avalon.

Destruction

Excalibur was lost in 1939, less than a month before the outbreak of World War II. Albert Von Wessler, a German pseudoscientist, succeeded in invading and despoiling Avalon, and stealing the legendary sword of England long before it could be deployed. The sword was melted down, tainted with Rhinegold, and reworked into the form of the most powerful suit of pseudotech armor known to history. As Blitzkerig, Wessler used the armor to full effect, until his death at the hands of Pendragon. Many of Excalibur's powers remain within the armor, but the sword as it once existed is no more.

Ultimate Fate

Some question remains about what will happen to the Pendragon armor when its current wearer dies. The first to wear the armor was driven insane by it, but at that time it remained corrupted by the Rhinegold and the usual processes did not take place. Many believe that when the current Pendragon passes on, the armor will be reclaimed by Avalon, while others believe that it is now on Earth forever. Only time will tell.

Powers and Capabilities

Excalibur's powers varied wildly depending on who was wielding it. In general, it appeared to provide near-total immunity to mind control of all forms, whether mystical or scientific in origin, as well as vastly increasing the combat capabilities of its wielder. It also did immense amounts of damage when wielded against demons and other intrinsically evil beings, and protected its wielder from their magics. In isolated cases, Excalibur also provided control over the physical environment, calling upon the elements as required.

However, the exact power of the sword was dependant on the virtue of those who used it. When an unrighteous user, as defined as a person lacking in empathy, courage, or justice, wielded the sword, its power decreased dramaticaly. The use of the Rhinegold allowed Blitzkerig to alter what the sword considered to be virtuous behaviour.

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