∴ A Steely assent∴
The air in the chamber is as thick with tension as it is with peaty smoke. The room is too cramped for your liking, with kinsmen of both barons keen to hear the outcome of the meeting first hand. Glancing around, you cannot help but notice that everyone in this chamber is armed, their weapons glinting ominously in the dim light. You swallow uncomfortably.
In the centre of the room two barons stand before the lawman, their swords drawn and ready, each attempting to appear more aloof and imposing than the other. It would be a comical sight were it not for how much was at stake.
The lawman says nothing, holding his silence like a weapon. His eyes are closed and his head bowed, deep in thought or prayer. Before him he holds his actual weapon: a broadly-tapering longsword with a downturned black guard, its tip pointing downward like a stately crucifix – a reminder of the authority granted to its wielder by the ultimate judge.
At last the lawman lifts his head and lays out the terms of the agreement in calm, even tones. A tangible silence envelops the room as kinsmen strain to hear, their collective anticipation gathering like a storm. You focus on the firelight reflecting dully from the black satin facets of the lawman’s pommel, trying to turn your thoughts from what might happen if the barons don’t like what they hear.
The tension is shattered by the decisive swish of steel against leather as one of the barons draws his sword, followed swiftly by the other. Will it be blood or brotherhood, you wonder, your heart pounding. A sigh of relief surges in your chest and washes around the chamber as each baron in turn clashes his blade against the lawman’s longsword. A resolution has been reached.
As sword after sword is drawn around you, tension gives way to a new energy. The steely clatter of blades echoes around the chamber as both clans raise their weapons high into the air, clashing them together in a raucous din of assent.