∴ A Temporal Touchstone∴
Shadows cling to painted walls like spectres of the past as you tiptoe through the dark, quiet halls, the air thick with the musk of ages past. Suits of armour stand like silent sentinels, their polished surfaces reflecting slivers of moonlight but their blank faces giving nothing away.
The great stone lions at the top of the steps eye you with an imposing stillness, their stony gaze unwavering. You impulsively nod your head to them as you slip past into the armoury, seeing them as unlikely co-conspirators.
And then you are alone, and suddenly very small, lost in a forest of pikes and pole arms, dwarfed by the great wheels of blades adorning the walls. Every glimmer of muted light in the long glass cases makes your stomach somersault.
Your eyes dance across the array of weapons, some gilded and engraved, others bearing the marks of battles long past. Your gaze settles on a solitary rapier, remarkable in its elegant simplicity. A matte black cup and long, straight quillons. A slender blade gleaming with quiet confidence.
“That’s it,” you whisper to yourself, fingers brushing lightly over the rapier’s hilt. You think you feel a resonance beneath your fingers, as it the very steel resonates with history untold.
Something disturbs the rippling waves of your imaginings — the very real sound of leather soles slapping against marble floors. Your heart quickens as you realise your presence has been noted.
Instinctively you retreat into the shadows, weighing your options. The rapier, now clutched in your hand, feels as weighty as it does ethereal. As the footsteps close the distance, you steel yourself for the inevitable clash of intentions.