Excerpt from Chapter 12

Published December 1, 2017

Like everyone else present, having never seen Exchalybe in its
entirety, Ludgran was clearly curious to examine it up close. He
frowned at the yellow tarnished lower half of the blade – which had, of
course, not been regularly cleaned and burnished, unlike the upper half.
Though most critically important of all, it didn’t seem at all rusted –
which might otherwise have indicated the integrity of the steel had been

Those who’d built the altar had possibly used a form of quick-drying
cement containing volcanic ash, that was known to be naturally
absorbent towards water. It would have set hard within ten minutes of
being poured, leaving no unbound water remaining within the block
that might subsequently cause any corrosion. There was also the likelihood
that those who originally set Exchalybe in the block had rustproofed
it beforehand – probably with a thick layer of linseed oil, hence
the unsightly stain. For the assumption had always been that it would one
day be retrieved, and so it would obviously still need to be in a serviceable