He was born to greatness, the son of a druid bard and a princess of lost Atlantis. A trained warrior, blessed with the gifts of prophecy and song, he grew to manhood in a land ravaged by the brutal greed of petty chieftains and barbarian invaders.Merlin: Respected, feared and hated by many, he was to have a higher destiny. for It was he who prepared the way for the momentous event that would unite the Island of the Mighty-the coming of Arthur Pendragon, Lord of the Kingdom of Summer.
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April 01, 1990
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Excerpt from Merlin by Stephen R. Lawhead
Many years have come and gone since I awakened in this worlds-realm. Too many years of darkness and death, disease, war, and evil. Yes, very much evil.
But life was bright once, bright as sunrise on the sea and moonglow on water, bright as the fire on the hearth, bright as the red-gold torc around my Grandfather Elphin's throat. Bright, I tell you, and full of every good thing.
I know that every man recalls something of the same golden sheen in life's beginning, but my memories are not less real or true for that.
Merlin.. a curious name. Perhaps. No doubt my father would have chosen a different name for his son. But my mother can be forgiven for her lapse. Merlin-Myrddin among my father's people-suits me. Yet, every man has two names: the one he is given, and the one he wins for himself.
Emrys is the name I have won among men, and it is my own.
Emrys, Immortal.. Emrys, Divine . . . Emrys Wledig, king and prophet to his people. Ambrosius it is to the Latin speakers, and Embries to the people of southern Britain and Logres.
But Myrddin Emrys am I to the Cymry of the hill-bound fastness of the west. And because they were my father's people, I feel they are my own as well. Although my mother long ago taught me the folly of this belief, it comforts me-much, I suppose, as it must have comforted my father in his times of doubt.
And as there is much evil in the world, there is much doubt also. This is not the least of the Adversary's servants. And there are so many others . . .
Well, and well, get on with it, Mumbler. What treasures from your plundered store will you lay before us?
I take up my staff and stir the embers, and I see again the images of my earliest memory: Ynys Avallach, the Isle of Avallach. It is the home of my grandfather, King Avallach, the Fisher King, and the first home I ever knew. It was here in these polished halls of his palace that I took my first faltering steps.
See, here are the white-blossomed apple groves, the salt marshes and mirror-smooth lake below the looming Tor, the white-washed shrine on the nearby hill. And there is the Fisher King himself: dark and heavy-browed like a summer thunderstorm. Stretched on his pallet of red silk, Avallach was a fearful figure to a child of three, though kind as the heart within him would allow.
And here is my mother, Charis, tall and slim, of such regal bearing as to shame all pretenders, and possessing a grace that surpasses mere beauty. Golden-haired Daughter of Lleu-Sun, Lady of the Lake, Mistress of Avalon, Queen of the Faery-her names and titles, like my own, proliferate with time-all these and more men call her, and they are not wrong.
I was, I knew, the sole treasure of my mother's life; she was never at any pains to disguise the fact. Good Dafyd, the priest, gave me to know that I was a beloved child of the Living God, and his stories about God's Son, Jesu, kindled my soul with an early longing for paradise, just as Hafgan, Chief Druid, wise and true, faithful servant in his own way, taught me the taste of knowledge, awakening a hunger I have never satisfied.