Everyone knows how long it takes to make a book. Well, not exactly how long, but everyone agrees it's a process that takes many months or even years. Even ignoring the time spent in producing the paper, the cover materials, and the binding process, just putting pen to paper for page after page after page means a book is expensive, rare, and rarely seen, even by the wealthy. Lately, it seems that something has changed. Oh, not in a hugely radical way, but books are appearing more frequently. Not single copies of a work, but several. There is no way any copy of a book matches exactly, but these appear to do so, even to the drips of ink that sometimes lightly splatter a page. Books are still rare, and still found only in the hands of a few, but those hands have doubled or tripled in number now. I cannot confirm my report, as I have not seen the device myself so I cannot bear witness either way. I feel it important to record this now, even without visual proof, so that People will be aware. If true, it is a significant leap forward, and an unexpected possible solution to advance the quest for literacy that we hope for. The Everlasting Quill It is said to have the appearance of a reqular quill pen, perhaps a bit less, feathery, than the show pieces of the nobility. It is a tool that looks like a tool. My sources who have claimed to see the pen are mixed in their identification, some claim it to be a quill from a goose, some from a swan, but all state that it looks like it came from the right wing, its curvature seems off. Indeed, the books that appear to have been written with this instrument do have a different sort of lean to the text, but not quite the common slant usually seen in someone writing with their left hand, rare as that is. It is much more durable than a regular quill pen. No normal quill would be able to write a single book, much less many books. Two different processes have been reported by my sources for the duplication of the written word.
- The pen is used to write the original document, then by some means it retains a knowledge of what it has written and can be set to work copying that material. The original is written, then additional copies are made by a scribe not writing, but merely supporting the pen, placing it at the beginning of the page and keeping it in a writing position. It pauses when needed to change to a different page, or gather more ink, but continues uninterrupted to the end.
- The pen can be used to trace an existing work, using no ink for this step, then again supported by a scribe with sufficient paper to hand, it replicates what was traced.