Alaric's Preparation

In the vibrant heart of the old market, under the canvas awnings and flanked by stalls teeming with artisan wares, stands the master blacksmith Brunhilda. Her hands, calloused from years of labor, carefully pass the fruit of her skill—a sword of exquisite craftsmanship—to the waiting hands of the knight, Alaric. Encased in his suit of armor, etched with tales of a hundred battles, Alaric raises the sword, its blade a whisper of death, and proclaims, "Perfect for the upcoming battle!" His voice, a deep timbre of courage, carries over the din of the market. Around them, life flows uninterrupted; merchants hawk their goods, jesters dance, and the aroma of hearty stews mingles with the metallic tang of iron. Yet, in this fleeting moment, the bond between Brunhilda and Alaric transcends the ordinary exchange—a blacksmith's legacy melded with a warrior's destiny. The sword, named "Aistulf" - 'swift wolf' in their tongue, now an extension of Alaric's arm, is more than mere steel; it is a vessel of their shared aspirations and a beacon of the triumphs to come.