Mancuso threw back his hood and drew his sword. He wore the armor of
old like that in the korax carving. His face, now visible, could
have been mistaken for a man of much younger years if it weren’t for his
shoulder-length hair and a neatly trimmed beard which were gray but fast
turning white. He wore a few wrinkles like a soldier wears campaign
ribbons. They showed that he had survived a few battles in life and
though he appeared old, he had a vitality of youth about him as if age
touched only the surface of his life. His eyes . . . his eyes were
alit with a blue flame, brilliant blue, the mark of his clan.
seeing whom they confronted, the Shadow Knights drew back a step except
for the leader Consus, who smiled mockingly with hand outstretched.
“What? Does this old man best us at swordplay?”
Mancuso spoke for the first time keeping an eye on all who closed in on
him, “This old man drew blood before your grandfather drew the breath of
life.” He spoke with a thick accent – with a stiff upper lip and
rolled his R’s -- an accent no one could quite place.
facts, old man. The days of the Firesmyth clan are over.”
Do you not remember the prophecy?
When fire brands the smith of
The stories shall then be
The robber shall forfeit his gold
And time will once again
waited, allowing the words to sink in. “No, the days of the
Firesmyths are not yet over, but yours is at hand.”
saw them flinch a little in reaction, but not quite giving in to this
insult. Their training would not allow them to give in.
Instead, they resumed the walk around him drawing in the circle, burning
in outward anger and inward fear.