So with a few days left in an hour of fitful I’m-ready-to-sleep-but-can’t, I was narrating in my mind a scene from my proposed story. Finally learning from all the times of not wanting to move from the bed to later not even realizing I had even forgotten the ideas I had the night before, I got up and typed it out.
Though I’m the only one who knows at this point what the hell is happening in my story, I’m wary about posting too big of a description of the characters and plot in support of such a small sample. But for reader’s sake, the two characters we have here are; Kshar, who had previously died but only long enough to form a slight connection with the parallel, shadowy equivalent to this world’s equivalent to “hell” or “the underworld”, leaving him a Warden, an enigmatic, near-dead order who hunt those who are tied to that shadow world (think Luke Skywalker using the dark side to fight Darth Vader); Solana, a witch of sorts who has fey powers that stem from the OTHER parallel realm called the Sidhe, who met Kshar when her, essentially, gypsy caravan was attacked by; Templars, agents of the pseudo-theocratic setting, can use some influence over the energies of the Shadowfell. Outside of their public roles as magistrates, one of their primary concerns is the disposal of apostates (any non-templars who use “magic”). They have the judicial, ceremonial, and war-time feel of Feudal knights mixed with Christian witch-hunters and, I don’t know, necromancy I suppose. Yeah, that is a lot of explanation for what takes about 20 seconds in my story…
As they pushed opened the doors to the dusty taproom, the pair stood a few steps inside to adjust to the room’s atmosphere, as outsiders would.
After a few moments of noting his inward shadows Kshar leaned over, a slight movement, and noted to his companion “Expect trouble”. His watch took in the collection of patrons, hostesses, and drunkards and settled on a craftsman, too groomed for his station, sitting alone with his back to the wall at a small round table at the far end of the room. “A Templar,” he said. “Who brought a fair number of companions.”
“Who? How do you know?” replied Solana in hushed tones, trying not to betray her surprise at his imperceptible assessment.
“The ones who are purposefully not staring at the two strangers in their town,” he answered.
With a nonchalant gait they approached the taps, greeting by a once-burly barkeep who now looked to have seen too many dust storms. With his chinless beard and hair that seemed of weeping moss and too-dry hay all at once, this man’s slightly odd appearance didn’t belittle his general air of ‘tavernkeep’.
“What respite might you be needing?” he addressed the travelers, affixing them with tired, but kindly, eyes nearly hidden by the ruddy, dwarfish, fit-for-a-fist hunk of flesh that only in the lowest light could it be called a nose. He brushed his hairy hands against his ale and grease flavoured apron. Though what matter of material may be on his hands that to wipe against that smock would be thought an act of cleaning, the pair didn’t know.
While Solana approached and appeared to inquire the terms of stay with the furrow of a man, the hairs on the back of Kshar’s neck began to rise as he noted the closest stationed patron: a rough-looking sort with a lean far too casual to be anything but confidence. The logs that were his arms were crossed and visibly flexed, the skin of which doing it’s very best to not burst like an overstuffed sausage in the boiling pan. When the man, who was less that than savage, met Kshar’s fixed scrutiny, the corners of his lips slithered in to such a grin, malformed by the protrusion of a near tusk-like tooth, that it made the Warden immediately want to draw steel.