I hear things at times. Not the kinds of things that indicate a need for medication, but snatches of dialogue from characters. Sometimes I “see” the setting.
The most recent: My bard character from Sam’s D&D world, Tarafëar, is on the road with an unknown companion. She is quite willing to fetch firewood, care for mounts, clean up, etc. but she does not cook. Ever.
When questioned as to why, she replies, “A companion once stated that what I do with victuals is less cooking than desecration, and an insult to that which gave its life to feed us.”
A while back, this description happened. It is interspersed with other paragraphs in the story I started around it, which also introduced The Hart’s Rest and its keeper, Yolan. They simply made themselves known, and have become a solid part of the world.
She noticed his hands first—all of him that she could see was darkly tanned, but even in the uncertain light of the tavern she could see the stark white from knuckle to knuckle on the ring finger of his right hand. He touched that finger frequently, unconsciously, as if checking for something that should be there.
His hair was pulled back into a clout and looked as if it had been brown at one time. Now it was sun-bleached as much as his skin had been darkened, nearly the same dark golden color as his skin. Lion-colored, she decided. The jagged white line running down his face from eye to chin, pulling up the corner of his mouth and leaving a bare track through his beard, was the same bone-white as the empty finger.
If she hadn’t seen him walk in and stand next to Yolan, though, she’d never have known him to be so large—6 and a half feet if he was an inch, she’d say. He didn’t seem a large man or bulky, and he moved with the grace she was accustomed to seeing in a very few who were much at home with their bodies. His walk made her think of ships at sea, and those who were accustomed to bracing for the next swell. She wanted to see him move again, perhaps even dance, so that she could watch.
The man’s clothing was well-made, likely tailored for him, and of the finest grade of cloth—she was her mother’s daughter enough to recognize that. She could tell, however, that they had also been long-worn while someone was at hard work, and repaired here and there with needle and thread rather than magic. He wore no jewelry at all, although she thought he’d probably worn an earring at one time.
He treated the serving people very well and would appear to be paying for his custom as he went, so it was unlikely that he was a regular here. He smiled easily at them, but in a way that told her he was largely closed off from them and just being polite. Obviously, no few of the girls and at least one of the lads would have gladly shared his company for the night if he showed the slightest interest, but he had remained polite and businesslike with each of them. He ate alone, his back to the wall. His eyes roved the crowd, taking in people, noticing flows, rather than focusing on his meal.
At a distance, his hands seemed well kept and clean, but she had a sense of heavy calluses and wondered what kind they’d be—from working a ship, wielding a sword, farming? He didn’t have the bulk about the chest and arms that she’d expect from a smith, and she hadn’t caught a whiff of the wax that always seemed to accompany the serious bowman. She wanted to get closer to find out, though. There was something beyond his appearance that was very attractive, something hinting at a story. What bard could resist?
He’d seen that she was watching him during her performance. Unusual, that, as she knew well how to watch subtly. He raised his tankard to her, and the smile on his face seemed a truer expression than those he’d bestowed on the staff.
Why don’t I ever get snatches of a plot to go with the dialogue and descriptions, dammit?
The glimpses into other worlds aren’t always about Tara. Sometimes they concern another character, Seauclaire (currently a character in search of a game or story). They are usually in CoraNi, though.