The hammer strikes on the anvil, a steady beat ringing in the morning air.
The mist from the lake obscures everything around the glade, leaving a kiss of morning dew upon all the green and growing things.
Upon stone and wood, upon fern and the heavy heads of cattails nodding by the well. His bare feet pad on the damp grass, the dew wetting the hems of his trousers.
He follows the sound, the iron heart beat, with an anticipation he cannot name.
The doors of the small building are thrown wide, and within, the throat of the forge breathes in and out, filling the small dark room with an orange glow.
The object of his intent is within, sweating against the heat. He's bent over his work, focused entirely on the bar of steel he's thrust into the coals.
One hand works the bellows, stoking the fires to their hottest, bringing the metal up to the perfect colour of scarlet red before extracting it and laying it across the anvil.
He wears nothing more than a leather apron, heavy gloves, simple trousers, and his boots.
His broad shoulders are bare, and his skin is coated with a fine layer of grime, of oil and iron, of sweat.
It beads on his brow, trickles down through his hair, now grown a bit longer than when he first arrived. The ends curl at the nape of his neck, and sway lightly with every hammer stroke.
His entire form is lit by that soft orange light, as if he was cast from bronze and lit from within.
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