The Beginning Part One

I have found that there are two different mindsets about writing fantasy, one focuses on the characters and the other builds the world the characters live in, now I don’t know if I have the imagination to do the latter and it might come about that the world they live in builds around the characters as they develop. I have decided to start with a band of three misfits that are out in the world seeking adventure thrown together by one strange and mysterious man and set upon a quest of unknown origins. So I can see I have set the tone of the basic instinct that drives these unlucky few we are going to meet. I believe in the beginning it will start as short stories just to get a feel for trying to write and right from the beginning I will tell you I am very descriptive of surroundings, sounds, feelings and actions. So let us meet our first character shall we?

The beginning part one:

This tavern is much like any other tavern, there are rushes on the floor covered in I am hoping sawdust, you can still see the blood stains on it from the night before. It smells of old sweat, leather and cheap ale. It could be any tavern in any town on any world for that matter, they are all the same. I notice this much just from stepping through the door and shaking the road dust from my cloak. I head towards the bar, nothing more than rough sawn planks held up by empty ale barrels and look at the bartender who does his very best to ignore me as he spit polishes the tankard in his hand. Ok I will play his game, I slowly turn around to look about the place I notice two very large and heavily muscled fellows sitting on the right hand side of the door I came through, everything else is the same workmen off for the night out for a bit of fun, several of the local watch playing a game of dice at a table near the fire place grinning and laughing loudly as the current player loses his money and another steps up to take his place, several barmaids swivel around the customers swaying their hips and just barely missing the touches, slaps and pinches that only barmaids can do, or should I say only good barmaids can do as one gets deftly swept off her feet in to a woods mans arms and settles into his lap, she playfully slaps him on the face and twists out of his grasp and off she goes much to the merriment of his friends. Like I said could be any tavern in any town on any world.

I turn back to the barkeep and this time he decides to notice me, now I am not known for my patience and I give him a slight scowl as he approaches, if it bothers him in the least he doesn’t let it show.

“What will it be stranger,” he mumbles under his breath. “A tankard of ale if you please”, I reply. “Show me the color of yer money first then we will see about that ale”. I reach into the pouch at my belt and produce a silver coin and slap it on the bar. He picks it up and bites it between two of his rotten back teeth, most of them missing from his mouth, as he grabs the coin off the bar I notice that he has scarred knuckles, this man was probably the bouncer before he went to fat and started to run this place, funny I can’t even remember the name of this particular pig sty of a bar. As he walks down to the tap I notice that he still walks like a man that can handle himself even though he has let himself get fat off the profits of his bar.

He comes back and puts the ale on the bar in front of me saying, “We don’t see many strangers around here mister are you just back from the wars?” “Just passing through on my way to nowhere,” I reply. “Suit yerself I were just trying to make a little conversation, gets a little boring round here and any news from outside of this place is more than welcome.” He stalks off to the other end of the bar to take care of another patron. I turn my back against the bar again and I start looking over the place once again, now much doesn’t escape my notice but after my first glance I see a man sitting at a corner table his cowl raised on his travelling cloak sitting at a table all alone, my eyes sweep the table and as they do I see a glint from his eyes from under the cowl, he notices me noticing him, our eyes lock for a second and then his turn down towards the table again, this man I won’t dismiss lightly. I wonder what he saw when he looked at me I wonder idly?

What he saw was this, a man half eleven, half human, standing slightly over six feet in height, weighing probably 200-215 pounds, not leaning towards fat but well muscled and standing like a man that has seen some bad things, and done worse just to survive. He wears a hand and a half sword over his left shoulder just within reach of his right hand, a long bow slung over his right shoulder positioned so as not to interfere with his ability to draw the sword from its sheath. Not that he would know this but he also carries two parangs in twin sheathes under his cloak at the small of his back, a full quiver of arrows hangs on his right hip and a short sword on his left, giving the impression that this man can fight two handed if nesseccary, making him a bit more dangerous than most men in this bar, except for himself.

His human side was the dominate side of his heritage having long white hair tied back into a pony tail and a leather head band to keep it out of his eyes, his eyes now there is a mystery the color of his eyes comes from neither his eleven or human side they are violet in color hinting that he can more than likely see better in the dark than most others, it hints at having a bit of the dark elves in his ancestry, very interesting he muses. I wonder if he even knows his heritage.

Now this is interesting as he watches the man at the bar, his armor leans more to leather than to chainmail of plate armor of the type I am wearing, most of his armor is leather but metal plates no doubt lite but strong are sewn directly to the leather armor in the places where he is likely to get struck, like the two plates that cover the right and left breast but leave the sternum open, half greaves on his forearms that don’t cover the underside of the arm, the same for both thighs and lower legs, and his boots are soft and thin of sole meaning he is either a ranger or a thief maybe a scout of some sort too, he looks like he can be very quiet if he needs to be and he is unobtrusive, standing there like he has no care in the world, watching his surroundings noticing everything going on in the bar but not lingering too long on any given table including mine, that shows intelligence and a desire not to cause conflict, but he doesn’t seem the type to run from violence if it is thrust upon him, notice he is sipping at his ale even though he makes it out to be that he is guzzling it, smart and smart is dangerous, could be one of the men I am looking for.

I call down to the barkeep and order ale, not knowing that I am fully being scrutinized by the man in the cowl, I know he has not looked at me directly since our eyes have met. The barkeep drops off ale and I inquire about a room for rent. “Aye I have rooms fer rent but it’ll cost you a gold ingot for the night and we will take care o yer horse also,” he replies greedily, and considering I have been sleeping on ground for the last several weeks I don’t mind paying that high of a price. I lean into the bartender intending on speaking to him and the smell of him and his rotten teeth breath and sour sweat smell almost overwhelm me, wrinkling my face in disgust I tell him for that price I want a nice hot steaming bath ready for me when I go up, he agrees and once again dig in my pouch and produce the required amount of money. As I do I notice that the sounds in the bar are going quiet, a little too quiet as a very large man sidles up to the bar next to me, I see the barkeeps eyes go wide and his face pales as the man speaks, “It seems you are all full o money my friend hows about buying a hard working man a drink?” Slowly I ease back from the barkeep and turn my head slightly in the direction that the man came from, so I turn and face him and say, “I don’t know you friend and I only buy drinks for my friends and you are not one of them.” As he listens to me his face turns that peculiar color of red that most men get when they have had too much to drink and are in the process of thinking about what was just said and realizing that I have told him quite nicely if I do say so myself to go fuck off, then it dawns on him light a flame to a candle. He never says a word only swings his right hand at me in a round house swing thinking to catch me off guard and end this situation quickly, for me time stops his arm still in the motion of swinging I think pranag in the underarm of the right armpit he dies, and I get in trouble, or I duck the swing come up beside him hammer him in the ear which sets off his equilibrium and then a few quick punches to the face and he is out on the floor no harm no foul, yep that is the way. Time snaps back into focus as his arms swishes over the top of my head and I come up on the right side of him as he over swings nearly knocking the shit out of the barkeep in the process, I snap a quick flat handed punch to his right ear as he bellows and follow the flat hand punch up with three quick right and left combinations to the face, he twirls towards me and quickly I think I might have been wrong when his eyes roll up in the back of his head and he falls to the floor with a mighty thud, out like a light. With that I hear the scrap of chairs on the floor and the running of feet, I swing around and at the same time I draw my sword in one fluid motion seeing three men coming at me, I pull into my fighting stance, upper body turned towards them legs shoulder width apart not giving them full access to my body but just in a profile, they scuttle up short and have drawn wicked looking long knives from their belts, they cover me in a half circle, muttering between each other as to will go first. Well they never had the chance because the guardsmen who were gaming had come up behind them and laid each of them out cold with a rap from the pommels of their swords, I look at them still with my sword in my hand and they put theirs away, the leader of the guards approaches me as I put my sword away, know this I am as dangerous with my hands as I am with a sword and he just saw firsthand what I could do. Raising his hands palms up he walks forward and says, “That was some very handy work you did on this fellow, you are the first in this town to ever take him down, I figured we would have had more blood on the floor and you would be dead and we would have had to fight him just to arrest him, but he will be out of jail tomorrow along with this lot and they will come looking for you, it would be best if you weren’t here for that to happen.”

“What time in the morning will you let him out of the stocks,” I ask.

“Daylight,” he replies.

“Fine I will be out of here long before that, and thanks for the help I didn’t want to have to kill this fellows friends but I might not have had a choice,” I tell him.

“What is your name if I may ask stranger?” he queries

“Solence, the name is Solence Valerian,” I murmur quietly.

“Well met then, I have to be off it will take at least three men just to carry this one and I would prefer to get him to the jail before he wakes,” he tells me as he and his men lift the big ruffian to his feet and start to drag him to the door of the inn.

The whole encounter was watched with great interest by the man with the cowl pulled over his head, as he watches me head up to my room, thinking yes this one will do for my needs.

Tell me what you think.

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