Coerced by shadows in the amber glow
I feel compelled to share a tale I know
about a fierce nomadic loner born
when Ares hung brightly one fateful morn.
Possessed of great strength and terrible ire
he stalked through darkness, a killer for hire
no name was given for none had the chance
to see this phantom once fixed in his glance.
One evening a sultan of some renown
was keen to punish affronts to the crown
he called to the blackest fold of his tent
“Come forth marauder of fearsome decent!”
Alert to the promise of sanctioned death
this wraith appeared like ethereal breath,
a menacing glint in his feral eyes
subdued those seated before they could rise.
The buzzing of flies broke a nervous still
then someone boldly said, “Come, drink your fill,
our honeyed wine will soothe your weary bones
while sultry harem girls elicit moans.”
“Such lavish trappings soften those of wealth
I choose to don the thrifty threads of stealth,
enjoy the indulgence that makes you weak
for culling goes quicker among the meek.
Now who has called me to vanquish a foe?
The name of the prey is all I need know
my blade will quickly drain every last dreg
unless you would like them to shamelessly beg.”
The sultan sat breathless, consumed by his fear
but managed to muster his haughtiest sneer
“The name is Verona, remember it well
and send the ungrateful temptress to hell!”
“Her head shall be yours or my life in its place.”
he said with no hint of doubt on his face
as the stifled assemblage sat wringing soft hands
and watched him disintegrate into dark sands.