The other Arthur

Prolog

Jacob Stone loved wandering around the Annex, loved the way the folios looked, the way they smelled and more than anything else loved the information that the library still shared with its guardians. He spent hours when not out on some adventure just wandering from shelf to shelf looking at volumes he had only dreamed of ever seeing much less reading. Every stroll through the shelves brought a new discovery, new knowledge to enjoy.

This night he had found a stack of books with assorted plates depicting the various versions of the legend of Camelot. He pulled on a set of cotton gloves, mindful of what damage touching these delicate volumes with unprotected hands could do. As he lifted the largest of the folios from the shelf, a small leather bound package seemed to almost leap out from behind the stack and land with a soft plop on the floor. A slight glow, almost imperceptible to the naked eye, shone briefly from the packet then disappeared.

Stone lifted it warily. "What the hell?" he wondered, carefully laying it on the table beside the stack he had been examining. It didn't look like some of the other, older leather volumes he had seen on the shelves. The covering was soft and pliable to the touch, not crumbly and fragile. He gently unwrapped the package to find small, handwritten pages. The pages were made from an odd material similar to velum, the surface velvety to the touch. The ink was vibrant, almost glowing in the dim lighting of the reading room. "Probably magic," he thought, gently examining the book.

The writing was in an archaic Latin, a little different from the Latin he was used to seeing. He frowned in concentration as he slowly started to translate the first page. Soon though he was lost in the story unfolding before him.

"This is insane" he thought, turning another page in disbelief. "It can't be true!" He stopped to examine the next to last page where the story ended and a drawing remained. The face that stared back at him young but stern and cold, a rugged face more accustomed to a rough rather than city life. The eyes that stared back at his were penetrating, seeming to stare right through him. And the man depicted in the sketch wore a simple gold crown, one that Stone had seen before. Retrieving that crown had almost cost Flynn his life and had started Jacob Stone on his new life as a Librarian. Looking back at him was a man wearing the crown of Arthur, King of the Britains, and ruler of Camelot, sketched in a book with the name Myrddin Emrys on its title page – a man more commonly known as Merlin.