Man at Arms – In the many different legends of King Arthur, Excalibur is simply a part of King Arthur’s story; there is no backstory for Excalibur itself. Many tales and legends surround this iconic sword of King Arthur, many versions of King Arthur’s legends also merged both Excalibur and the sword in the stone as one sword. To celebrate the forge of King of Avalon’s version of Excalibur in the popular Man at Arms Reforged series on YouTube, we have crafted our very own King of Avalon version of the Excalibur origin story. Combining historical literature and original world setting from King of Avalon, this version of the Excalibur origin story not only explains the story behind the birth of Excalibur, one of the most iconic and influential weapon in western literature, but as well as the legendary blade’s ties to King Arthur, Merlin, Lady of the Lake, and many other iconic characters from the Arthurian legend and King of Avalon.
Man at Arms Reforged
Man at Arms Reforged is a popular YouTube series from DEFY media’s AWEme channel, the channel was launched back in February 2012, aims to deliver high quality programming that truly lived up to channel moniker: “Amaze, Wow, and Educate”. And with that intent Man at Arms was born. Focused on the master skills of swordsmith Tony Swatton and his team at The Sword and Stone, they would forge fans’ favorite weapons from movies, video games and TV every week. They tackled everything from Jaime Lannister’s Sword from Game of Thrones to the Blades of Chaos from God of War, and fans were amazed.
The growth of the AWEme YouTube channel has been equally amazing – surpassing more than 2.1 million subscribers in less than two years thanks in large part to the success of “Man at Arms” which averages more than 1.2 million views per episode. After re-creating 40 of the coolest weapons in pop culture, AWEme expanded the Man At Arms franchise with Man at Arms: Reforged. Launched on July 14, the new iteration of the show heads to Baltimore Knife and Sword, Maryland’s premiere shop for stage combat weaponry, where the team puts their own spin on some epic builds that take some of viewers’ favorite items and mash them up into hybrid weapons never seen before like “Batman’s Wolverine Claws,” and combining all the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ weapons into one. The new team of world renowned blacksmiths and craftsmen include Kerry Stagmer, Matthew Stagmer, Ilya Alekseyev, John Mitchell, Sam Salvati and Lauren Schott who have forged original work for film, Broadway and most renaissance festivals around the country.
The forging of Excalibur from King of Avalon, is the first time for the Man at Arms team to work on an iconic weapon from a mobile game, which is a great representation of King of Avalon’s quality, and a solid evidence to why King of Avalon is the number one mobile strategy game in the market today.
Man at Arms – Excalibur: Origins
Following the death of Constantine II, his eldest son Constans takes the throne of Brittania. Constans soon proves to be a weak leader and is easily manipulated by his advisor, Vortigern.
Consumed by ambition and the lust for power, Vortigern arranges for Constans to be killed, and declares himself the king of Brittania. Upon hearing this devastating news, Constans’ two younger brothers, Aurelius Ambrosius and Uther (King Arthur’s father), flee to Brittany in France for safe haven.
Vortigern forms an alliance with the Saxon invaders Hengist and Horsa, giving the Saxons land in return for their assistance in fighting the Picts.
Man at Arms Blacksmith
Vortigern’s chief blacksmith is said to be descended from Wayland, the blacksmith from Norse mythology. He is a bear of a man, body crossed with scars and burns. His skill as a smith is legendary and he takes pride in the beauty and deadly efficiency of his creations.
On discovering the blades used by the Saxons at the Treachery of the Long Knives were from his anvil, the blacksmith has a crisis of conscience. He leaves Vortigern’s retinue and renounces weapon-making.
Sometimes later, Aurelius and Uther return from France to avenge their brother and reclaim their kingdom. Upon victorious defeat of Vortigen’s force, Aurelius burns Vortigern in his castle, and reclaims the throne of Britannia.
Leaving his weapon forging career behind, the blacksmith lives a quiet life, making jewelry to pay for medicine for his sick daughter. But even in his jewelries, his legendary craftsmanship stands out from the rest, and soon his jewelry catches the attention of a royal orderly who insists the blacksmith be brought to their castle to make jewelry for the Queen.
Soon after the blacksmith arrives in the royal castle, King Aurelius is taken ill. The king is then poisoned by an assassin pretending to be a physician. Meanwhile a comet in the shape of a dragon blazes across the sky.
When the assassin is caught, he recognizes the blacksmith as one of Vortigern’s former allies and pleads for help. The blacksmith ignores him, and the assassin causes a scene, shouting of the blacksmith’s former close relationship with Vortigern. The crowd turns on the blacksmith leaving him no choice but to flee the scene. He steals a horse and left the castle as guards give chase.
Having lost the guards, the blacksmith wanders the field and eventually stops at a lake to water his horse. He is distraught at being separated from his daughter. The shining light of the Lady of the Lake then appears before him. She tells him it is his destiny to make a sword, one that will outshine all the rest, a sword only the true King is worth of wielding, the legendary Excalibur.
The blacksmith refuses. He has vowed to never to make another weapon since he discovered who Vortigern has been supplying his blades to.
The Lady of the Lake explains the sword is no ordinary weapon; it is destined to be wield by the true future king to lead his people out of darkness and to glory. She reassures him his daughter is in safe hands and promises that once Excalibur is made they can both go to the mystic isles of Avalon, an unreachable utopia where no one fears or gets hurt, where no one hunger or dies, a place where all wounds get healed, where his daughter’s disease will surely be healed by the island’s mystical power.
Upon accepting the quest to forge Excalibur, the blacksmith must first travel to Dinas Emrys, where an old farrier will give him the materials he will need to forge Excalibur in his quest ahead.
The old farrier is actually the legendary wizard Merlin in disguise. Merlin explains Excalibur will be wielded by the one true dragon king. It must withstand the heat of dragon fire and be able to pierce the virtually invincible dragon armor. To do this, dragon fire must be used in the sword’s forging process.
Merlin directs the blacksmith with the location of a cave where two fearsome dragons dwell. Blacksmith sets out to what many would consider an impossible task, as dragons are no friendly creature. After reach the dragon cave, the blacksmith attempts this suicide missions a number of times, until finally the blacksmith manages to trick both of the dragons into breathing fire on the sword at the same time, making it harder than any blade ever made in history. Spurred by the promise of seeing his daughter again and the restore of her health, he works continuously day and night, crafting his finest masterwork as Merlin channels his magic into the sword at each stage of the crafting process.
After the crafting of Excalibur completes, the blacksmith bids farewell to the legendary wizard and the future mentor of King Arthur, and set out for his return trip to the Lady of the Lake. The trip back is not an easy one, but the blacksmith is eager to meet his daughter after a longtime apart. After days and nights of continuous travel, the exhausted blacksmith falls asleep by the side of the road. When he awakes he discovers Excalibur is missing, devastated by his misfortune, the blacksmith breaks down in tears, thinking maybe he has gone mad and imagined his entire quest, a quest so extraordinary it’s involves a goddess, a wizard, two dragons, and a legendary sword for the true future king. Then, when he is sure that he has lost his mind, the Lady of the Lake appears before him and instructs him to get in a boat in the nearby river and row his way to Avalon. He refuses, claiming he is not worthy due to his sinful past and his most recent mistake on losing Excalibur, but she reaches out and leads him to the boat. On reaching the shores of Avalon he has an emotional reunion with his healed daughter and finds Excalibur embedded in the stone, patiently awaits for it’s rightful master in silence.