The gears of the clock rotate, the hour hand striking one…

"So, Lord Phoenix, what is your decision?" Inquired the man that knelt beside the seat of the table head that was carved out into the shape of a Phoenix rising from the ashes. The big oak tabled, lined with chairs that were currently filled with anxious councilmen and women who were looking at their current Clan Lord with blatant concern. The man, dressed in blood red, ran a hand through his silver streaked raven hair and heaved a sigh.

"We go to war." Save for the audible gasp from every other member of the room there was nothing but silence. The kneeling man, cotton-colored hair the only thing visible, shook.

"Ar-ar-are you su-" The man stuttered and shouted in pain when the Lord grabbed him by the hair, pulling him up to eye level.

"Do not make me repeat myself," Lord Phoenix enunciated every word in a staccato fashion, "I said: we go to war. Any questions?" He narrowed his coal black eyes at the rest of the table. They all shook their head 'no' enthusiastically. "Good. Prepare the declaration. Parliament will need to see an official document of war. Dismissed." Sweeping elegantly from the room before another word could be uttered, the Lord of Phoenicians wandered the halls until he came to a shrine – simple and elegant with nothing more than a portrait on the wall overlooking a small table that had two candles on either end and a few small plants.

Reaching for a match, he struck it on his shoe and lit a candle, his fierce gaze never straying from the image on the wall.

You will be avenged, Father. Even if I have to give my life…

The gears of the clock rotate, the minute hand striking three….