∴ A Royal Bearing∴
Your name sounds unfamiliar as it rings along the long, marble gallery, bedecked with gilt frames and austere painted eyes. How strange to hear it here, plain and pedestrian alongside ancient titles. A small cough from the footman prompts you to step through the crest-bedecked doors.
There is no end to the finery that greets you – polished plates and chandeliers, jade figurines from lands beyond your dreams. Dukes and generals commingling in their garb of gold and blue, upturned cuffs and sweeping plumes. And the swords! Swinging at their hips, all solid gold pommels and plaited wire grips.
Transfixed you gaze from blade to gilded blade – until your eyes come to rest on a peculiar incarnation: similar in its stately shape, this sword is blackened where others are polished, its long blade slender and more wieldy. You can’t shake the feeling that where other guests wear dress swords, this is a weapon worn with intent.
Suddenly aware that you’re being watched, you raise your eyes slowly to meet the steel grey glare of the sword’s owner.