Dense brush littered the only visible trail through the humid forest. Droplets of mist gathered before sliding off leaves and petals. There were no animals scurrying around, no insects to be seen, and no end to the seemingly endless rows of trees and bushes. A rich smell of soil and greenery enveloped the air and stirred mildly as an occasional breeze blew quietly. Above the thick woven branches that created a canopy, the sun's light shone through a few open holes in the branches and dimly illuminated streaks in the midst. Every few feet, a family of vines would begin suffocating the trunk of a tree, depriving it of the nutrition it needed to live. Red and green leaves that sprouted from the vines fluttered silently as if to give a simple wave.
A silent sigh escaped the pale lips of a woman who walked silently along the trail. One could guess her to be no more than twenty two although nineteen at the youngest. Her golden blond hair was pulled back into a loose ponytail full of newly forming curls and wild strands from the mist. Her aqua eyes were bright though her expression held a shadow of fatigue. She wore a black cotton halter top that was tattered at the edges and thin from wear. A plain gray skirt hung from her hips ending mid thigh. Although it was thicker than the shirt, there were a few obvious pulls in the material and a few small tears. Black leather moccasins made her steps mostly silent unless a small stick snapped under her weight. The leather left a three inch fold above her ankles giving the feel they were something a jester might wear if they had a curled toe. Her grip tightened around the straps of her cloth backpack as a flimsy vine tangled around her foot almost as if it didn't want her to go farther. She kicked off the vine and continued down the narrowing path.
A few hundred feet away, a patch of green speckled with red caught her attention. She quickened her pace although upon closer inspection, the berries turned out to be of a poisonous variety. With her back turned from the bush, she adjusted her bag giving a glimpse of the strip raw skin underneath the straps. A distant thought in her mind registered that the cool mist gave a slight feeling of relief. The muscles in her stomach tightened as she became more aware of her surroundings hoping to find a quick snack. For a long stretch of time, the only colors visible besides the greens and browns of the plants and trees were a few patches of red leaves and the seldom white flowery weed. A thin stream of spring water trickled across the trail pooling in tiny puddles created by sticks and leaves. Not wanting to wander from the trail, she knelt down and sipped the cold water until her stomach was full; even if it only gave the illusion of subsiding hunger. The after taste of earth and leaves only added to the illusion in her mind as she stood up and took a deep breath.
Her body started to feel weary although her mind was alert. Ignoring the idea to sit and rest, her feet moved mechanically as though lulled by the soft moss that started growing in much thicker patches due to the nearby stream or river. The sunlight peaked and then started to fade giving an estimate time of early afternoon. Sometime later the forest started to once again brighten capturing her curiosity. Her eyes darted to and fro each direction and each step she took resulted in the forest thinning. She broke into a relaxed run hoping to find a break in the trees. What she found had her even more excited; in the distance was a patch of green meadow spotted with reds, blues, and yellows. Beyond that, she could just barley make out the fuzzy outline of the top of a small village. The air was lighter just a few steps out of the forest and she decided to finally take a rest. She dropped her book bag to the ground and stretched her back and arms. Her shoulders were blotchy and red from the straps and she took the time to enjoy the freedom from the weight. She pulled open the flap of the bag as she sat down and fished between the books that she carried for anything else that had monetary value for use in the town.
During her short rest, she dug out a battered necklace that had been picked up a few days prior. It should at least have enough value for a meal and a night at a cheap inn. The walk to the town seemed longer than the hike through the forest and the sweet scents of bakeries and restaurants was the first thing that her senses focused on. The streets were lively with trades and entertainers with their hats pooling for donations. Merchants with wagons walked up and down the sides advertising their products and services. Shops of all kinds had handmade wooden signs above their doors from shoe makers to blacksmiths. Few people traveled by horses around the town and the crowds opened to make a path for the horse to go by and then reunited in one fluid movement. Those who paid any attention to the newly arrived woman did not do so for long as they saw no nobility to her. She entered a small pawn shop and traded the necklace for a small sum as she expected and set off to find a cheap place to eat.
Posted on 2008-11-17 at 05:03:23.
Edited on 2008-11-18 at 02:20:34 by Zau
--I will write more soon but this is what I got for now, cool thread --
The Blind Bard Tavern hung on the edge of Balding Bear, the town that barely clung to the highway by their only inn. Barely linked to civilization, Balding Bear was on the precipice of one of the largest forests, Viscina's Wood, across the town from the main road. Because of this Balding Bear was the host to the occasional pilgrim, passing through, and despite its small size, it was remembered by most travelers for its stubborn and suspicious population of forty-one.
Whether or not the citizens had good reason for their lack of trust was arguable but they at least deserved respect for their stalwart defense against the small wayward, raiding packs of wolves, which they took pride in and used any possible moment as an opportunity to swap battle stories and display inconsequential battle scars.
With very little entertainment outside of their small battles, legends were woven around the wolf raids. Balding Bear's residents created and circulated myths of werewolves amongst the community. Not one of the stories held factual support and most of the tales were spun to kill off idle time and believed out of boredom as opposed to faith.
Passerbys usually took what hospitality they could, in food and shelter, from the Blind Bard before hurrying on, in search of whatever treasure or damsel they sought. This is precisely what Shepherd intended on doing as he sat at his table in the dimly-lit tavern, watching the locals eye him across the room over their pints.
Posted on 2008-11-20 at 00:07:54.
Edited on 2008-11-20 at 00:08:07 by Dragonblood
Standing in the shade of a house's roof, off to the side of the roads, a young girl sings alone. She is very young, no older than eight years old from the looks of it, with a wooden bowl placed in front of her, in which are a number of copper and even silver coins others have placed. Few people regard her, for they are busy with their own work, but those that have time do pause, for although she is young, her voice is surprisingly well trained. The song is clear, yet at the same time slow and gentle, more like the whispering of a wind.
A breath of sun in the spring of light,
With the moon's kiss felt during the night.
In the wind a flower sways, and the clouds cry a tear,
The flower grows without cause for fear.
A sunflower that shines through the shadow of doubt,
Yet no one can hear its quiet shout,
As the fall comes and winter showers its snow,
Its seeds are sewn for the new year to grow.
Her eyes are closed as she sings, but when she finishes the last line, she opens them. They are a bright blue, but they are probably not what one would see first when they look at her. Her most noticeable feature is undoubtedly her long hair, for it is not a natural shade, being the blue and green tone of the ocean. She wears a simple dress, worn and stained, a possible indication that she has no home. Behind her, leaning against the building she borrows the shade of, sits a small backpack, perhaps containing her only possessions.
Her steps were small and lacked a specific direction as she walked through the town. So far she had not seen anything that remotely resembled an inn. The town was not nearly as large as it had appeared to her so in theory, she should have seen one by now. Nonetheless, every town had to have an inn for travelers or there would be very little trades to keep the town alive. A few men that stenched of ale laughed and bounced around the entrance to a bar and she held her bag tight to her chest as moved to avoid them. Few people paid any mind to the men so she figured they were far from having any harmful intentions. She noted where the bar was in case she could not find a place to rest for the night; at least there would be a meal to eat there.
Keeping one arm around her bag, the other hung loosely at her side. Although she had nothing that would be considered valuable to a thief, she was still wary of the people and cautious when it came to her belongings. Up ahead, she saw a girl sitting on the side of the road. As she neared, the little bowl full of coins reflected the light catching her attention. Why would a little girl be alone in a town? Shouldn't children be with their parents or playing with friends? It was none of her concern though so after briefly taking in the girls appearance, she tossed a coin into the bowl and continued through the town. The whisper of her song just barely reached her ears and it somehow reminded her of a forest sprite's song. Of course she had to admit that she hadn't seen a sprite in years.
The crowds of people began to look more like little clusters gathered around a common interest; usually indicating the edge of the town was soon approaching. She breathed a silent breath of relief when she saw a small sign swinging about four hundred paces ahead that read Blind Bard Tavern. It looked to be as old as the town but at least it was dry and up kept. She walked in and took in her surroundings; a bar, a few tables with various people, and a desk. The lady behind the desk looked up and nodded as she placed her bag on the counter. She pulled out a few coins from the bottom of the bag and exchanged them for a room key. The lady informed her that meals were served three times a day and it was thankfully included in the room price. Drinks were extra. She collected her bag and walked up the steps taking a second glance at the people enjoying food and beer.
Inside the room was a small table, a bed, and a washroom. The warm water quickly filled the tub with just enough room for her to fully submerge her body. Taking the soap from the small stand, she washed her hair and body instantly feeling refreshed. As she wrapped the thin towel around her and started to wash her clothes, the splotches of dirt reminded her of the little girl that she had seen earlier. She wrung her clothes and hung them to dry. Her only other outfit was a simple sundress that she slipped into and tied in the back. Her hair hung in damp loose ringlets as she bounced down the stairs leaving her belongings in the room. Her stomach protested to not having a bite to eat before entering the town once again but her mind was focusing on other matters.
Purposely walking down the main street, she was surprised to find she was glad the little girl was still there. This time as she walked the streets, there were a few people who had tried to sell her trinkets and such from their shops and stands but she politely declined. Once she was under the shade where the girl sat quietly, she knelt down on the ground and smiled. "Hi," She said softly. "I'm Zau. What's your name?"
She wasn't quite sure why she had decided to come back or what she expected of the child but, she was usually drawn to things for a reason. Perhaps that was one part of her abilities that wasn't flawed. Or maybe it was just her female intuition. Either way, her curiosity had gotten the better of her once again.
Posted on 2008-11-21 at 00:11:43.
Edited on 2008-11-21 at 00:12:44 by Zau
Zau nodded encouragingly noting how mature the girl seemed for her age. "What a pretty name," She complimented. "Just like you. I can't imagine how people could just walk by."
Which was true because she was very different from an ordinary child. Her hair, her intelligence, her sparkling eyes; a rarity indeed. Is that why people ignored her? Because she was different? Or was it because she was seemingly alone? Being alone, as far as humans logic, usually translated into being different in some aspect. Perhaps people ceased to acknowledge her due to quick judgments and irrational deductions. In any case, it wasn't Zau's nature to judge without a basis to do so. Even then she usually was around someone or something for a good amount of time before she formed a personal opinion.
"Hm," She said while adjusting to sit on the ground. "The reason I am here is because I had just came from a long trip through the forest. I was walking through the town and at first I saw you simply sitting here but as I neared, I heard your song. After that I decided to come back." She didn't add the fact that there was something about her that she was drawn to.
Zau laughed quietly thinking about how Marie reminded her of herself. Of course she wouldn't say this aloud; she never fully admitted to her past. "You know your song reminded me of a forest sprite's that I used to listen to many years ago." She took a small breath while letting a few memories float in the back of her mind before turning her attention back to the girl. "She had a very pretty voice just like you."
"Do you live here?" She asked motioning to the small house. Based on the stains from her worn clothes, Zau guessed that she had no real place to call home. Perhaps it was just that few people offered her shelter from time to time when it got cold. Not everyone could have a heart of stone in this town.
Marie shakes her head, "No, I don't live here. I come into town once in a while simply to remember what it is like in a town; I usually stay in the forest, although I've been other places too."
Marie smiles mysteriously, "You said that you heard a similar song from a forest sprite, and we share similar voices, but I wonder... could it have been my voice then as well?"
But before Zau can respond, Marie laughs, "I'm sorry, that was a peculiar thing to say, wasn't it?"
Marie tilts her head at Zau, "You haven't eaten yet, have you? I can hear your stomach growling." Marie giggles, "You should go eat."
Glancing up at the sun, which has begun its descent, Marie stands up, which sets her at about Zau's height, with Zau sitting. Gently, she takes Zau's hands, and sets her bowl of coins in them. "I don't really need these." She whispers.
Picking up her backpack, Marie turns back to Zau, "Well, if you'd like to see me later, I'll be in the forest." Her eyes glance toward the windows of the nearby houses, and in a soft, quieter tone, she adds, "Away from prying eyes."
"See you!" Marie waves, turning to go toward the town's entrance.
No one would be able to tell Shepherd did not appreciate his surroundings in the small, well-kept Blind Bard. He ate his food slowly and easily and sat comfortably. He was a tall, proud looking man with broad shoulders and muscular arms. He wore only a loose, earthy-green tunic with a tattered, wood-coloured gathered cloak around him. His face was very distinct and seemed foreign compared to the soft, chubby features of the surrounding patrons. He had a long forehead, surrounded by shaggy brown hair and piercing gray eyes peering from beneath the bushy eyebrows. The big, broad nose jutted out from the bridge between the two shining stone irises. His large chin thrust out dressed in the thick beard that covered his face from ear to ear.
His eyes moved slowly but keenly over the tiny crowded room. There were very few people in it and yet it still seemed smothering because there were in fact only three tables and only a few paces between each. A jovial, baby-faced man worked the bar. He sent grins over to the local men and did very little to hide the grimace that passed over his features as he looked in Shepherd's direction.
Shepherd ate slowly and nodded back to the barkeep. He had a room for the night but that was as long as he was staying, he had somewhere to go and it definitely wasn't Balding Bear.
Posted on 2008-11-23 at 07:11:35.
Edited on 2008-11-23 at 07:13:59 by Dragonblood
Zau blinked at the song comment. This girl couldn't have been the sprite from that long ago. Could she? It was almost fifteen years ago since she had heard that particular song. On the other hand, she had had some odd re acquaintances throughout her travels. She mentally sighed and decided to not dwell on the question too much.
"I hadn't eaten yet because I came to see you first," She admitted. "The inn isn't too far from here so it's not a big concern." Zau glanced at the coins in her hands and then at the girl. She was about to decline when the girl stood up leaving her with a bemused expression. She honestly didn't need the coins either since she rarely had any use for them unless she stumbled upon a village or town. Even then she usually could get away with using her looks to gain a meal, sometimes a room. Surely there was someone in this town who could use the coins more than either of them; she would look before she left the town.
"Before dusk," Zau told the girl as she stood up taking a quick look at the windows. "Until then," She said giving a small wave.
She put the coins in a breast pocket and replayed their conversation as she walked. It made her realize just how much she lacked in sensing others abilities; something that should have came easy by now. A soft sigh slipped from her lips as she reentered the inn. She took a seat at the far end of the bar and ordered a plate and a glass of water. Her next meal would be of nature and whatever she could find.
She looked over her shoulder at the few men chatting and others who were simply indulging in their food. Based on the look on a few of their faces, they found this place a little too close; she found it to be claustrophobic as well. Despite the lack of personal space, she sat and ate what was placed in front of her trying to ignore the lustful, and occasional curious, look shot her way. She even noticed the bartender sneaking a look at her every so often even though she was sure he didn't like those not from the town much. She kept her gaze down and focused on trying to figure out what she was eating. She guessed steak, some green vegetables, and potatoes.
She shifted in her chair trying to move closer to the wall as she took a sip of her water. It tasted of minerals and left a slightly metallic aftertaste. It wasn't a welcome difference from the usual fresh spring water she drank out in the forests but it quenched her thirst just the same. A passing thought wondered if there was any entertainment after dark here. Despite the shadow of fatigue she felt, Zau had no intentions of attempting to sleep. Not yet anyway.
Bezmir had spent the past week in the Blind Bard Tavern, the irony of which he was a bard himself. He noted the passing of every traveler, just taking in his surroundings. Last night he used up all his coin on ale due to the rejected feeling he got when he realized none of the current patrons appreciated his playing. He began to pack up his lute, but still kept an eye on the patrons.
A broad shouldered man had caught his eye. It was the first time this man had been seen. He decided to play just one more night. If he was rejected again, then he could simply leave, and go up north. He checked his lute to be sure it was in tune, and then began to sing.
Not long ago, when strife tore the land,
four shepherds came with their flocks at hand
their hooks made a thud with their every step
the showing of ribs proved their stock unfed
They begged for a month just to keep their sheep
they died one by one how the four did weep
But one man showed kindness and gave them gold
the next night their souls were claimed by the cold
But that display of charity was simply enough
to make their spirits soar and make an oath
They spoke to the man in the dead of night
the next day he never did see a sight.
He martyred himself in the name of the gods
and brought peace by his charitous act to God.
He finished his song, cringing at what he believed to be a horrible improvisational song. But the past few night's rejection hardened him, and he sat and waited for the worst.
Posted on 2008-11-28 at 20:40:54.
Edited on 2008-12-02 at 04:14:21 by Bezmir
Shepherd had been sitting silently for awhile, perhaps a little more lost in thought than he would usually allow himself to become; he was still aware though and knew that for the time being he was safe, no one would be daring enough to upset the calm that had crept up upon the Blind Bard and dragged it to a stand still. Lost in the quagmire of its own inertia, Shepherd felt quite comfortable leaving the Blind Bard be while he wandered through the labyrinths of his mind. The olive-skinned, young-and-human-looking man delved into the centuries of experiences that had heaped up in the expanses of his mind.
A door swinging upon slowly drew him from his thought and he turned to observe the young woman who was seating herself at the bar. He instantly noticed her astute understanding of the rooms dynamics, so she was smarter and obviously not a local... though that was palpable from the curious and lustful leers she was picking up on her way to the bar and the glances that the Bartender was sneaking at her. This was interesting... better keep an eye on her: who knows what men will do for desire and it seems like she's a rare attraction for these sex-starved men. Shepherd turned back to look at the wall, lit by the glow of the nearby, roaring fire, yet he kept the excited men and the new face in his peripheral vision.
Suddenly, a new character entered the scene, though Shepherd had been watching him for awhile. It was the bard, depressed by how he had fared the night before, packing up to go. And abruptly his mood changed and his instrument was out again. Though not a soul would have been able to tell, Shepherd was pleased that the disliked bard was back at it. A look did not cross Shepherd's face and still he watched the wall and the lusty men and the wanted girl and Shepherd let the beautiful song drift through, this performance was even better than the first: perhaps he had everything on the line or perhaps he had nothing to lose, whatever the case, it had a pleasing effect and Shepherd listened.
A certain loneliness crept into Shepherd as the melody floated through his mind and pricked up memories of bygone days, this man was singing of so much more than the simple and fun story and so much more than even he knew. Shepherd knew though and it brought reality to bare. Shepherd felt at home in the the night and the cloak of stars and constellations where he could wrap the mythologies around the world. The sky was one of the few things left which had seen more than Shepherd and its breeze had known Shepherd as a boy it had known him all his life. It had been mother, raising him to know Father Wind, showing him the ways and corners of the world. Guiding him over land and over ocean, and yet in a funny way he had grown with it, frolicked with it and loved with it. Shepherd had held it closer to him in the dark cold nights than any woman. Now what was that night breeze. Gentle kisses, a guide, a watching spirit. He missed it now and rose to go and greet it, to reminisce and to drift with it.
The thoughts that had flooded from Shepherd's heart and stormed his mind, were locked deep within, under layers of walls and armour and anyone watching him would have thought that he was indifferent to his environment, to his music and perhaps even to his life. His stoic look remained set upon his face with a somber wisdom that only an observant eye would draw as an indication to question his appearance of youth.
Shepherd rose and went to the bar making no signal to draw the barkeep to him but a fixing of the eyes... and that was all the bartender needed from a man like Shepherd. Shepherd placed money upon the counter, all he had... he wouldn't need it after he departed town and could always find more if he did.
"This is for the meal and tell our bard, he can have anything he wants... that my money will pay for. And a room if he still needs" His deep, resounding voice commanded the full, undivided attention from the innkeeper, for a moment he even ignored his newest patron, whom he had taken an attraction to.
Before turning to leave he caught the eye of the performer, no change in look passed across Shepherd's face but his eyes held eternities of experience and for a moment they were shared with the musician, before Shepherd turned into the night.
The wind was whistling through the silent town, which had completely died before dusk had come on. He sat upon the bench, pressed up against the outer wall of the town's tourist attraction and packed himself a bowl of tobacco in the pipe, almost as ancient as he was, which he had crooked in his jaw. With a tiny flint and steel nestled in one hand and a swift and dextrous movement of the fingers plenty sparks leapt into the bowl of his pipe and as he shadowed his hand over the tobacco the sparks grew to a warm roasting within his pipe, perhaps a touch faster than it naturally should have been, though no one was in the vicinity, to notice such a slight altercation of the norm. Shepherd drew deep and looked out into the skies, staring right back at him. As the night breeze drew away his exhalation, he knew that they were comrades now. Together in this struggle to right the world, to set balance back to the swinging scales of existence.
Bezmir sat amazed. He had trained his ears to be keen to pick out the variations in tones of his music, so he caught bits of the large man's short conversation with the bartender.
He was shocked, and elated.
Someone liked my music! he screamed in his head. It was his dream to be able to come up with a song off the top of his head. He had played off an old story he'd heard once, a myth passed down by some people or another. Not many people cared about the story behind the song. He made a mental note to write this one down.
After making brief eye contact with his fan, Bezmir watched him march right out into the night, looking either troubled, content, or very apathetic. Bezmir sucked at reading people.
Now, he was at a moral dilemma. Should he take advantage of the hospitality just shown to him, or should he follow his pride's savior, and find out more about the enigma behind those eyes.
"God I hate turning down free rooms," he muttered as he walked out the front door, into the dark night.
Whether the bartender was drying a freshly washed glass or someone was taking a swig of ale, there had not been a movement that had gone unnoticed. She wasn't concerned, just watchful. Curious even. She finished her meal quietly and drank the last mouthful of her glass. The bartender wasted no time in clearing her spot leaving a little less of a barrier between them. Zau nodded at the bartender in nothing more than acknowledgment, though her gaze was directed over her shoulder at the few lingering eyes. Most looked away with either a sheepish look or as if their attention was directed elsewhere. One or two winked but she narrowed her eyes and turned away. Somewhat of an opposite reaction was given to a broad man sitting alone. It was apparent he was not from around this area based on the variety of grimaces. She noticed he was one of the few who had not had a look of lust.
Something was different about him though she merely accessed his aura before directing her attention straight ahead again. She was about to hop off the chair and go back to her room for a few hours sleep when another man entered the inn. Out of the corner of her eye, she noted that he was either a beggar or a bard. Curiosity returned and she she continued to watch the man pull out an instrument. The local crowd paid no mind beside the initial glance as the man started to play. It seemed that she and the man she had noticed before were the only ones listening though one could not tell by the expression on his face or body language. Zau could only guess based on the small changes in his aura as the other man started to play. A bard, she confirmed to herself. And a very good one at that. He didn't look to have a high status and yet each note seemed to emphasize the emotion behind each word. The song painted a beautiful set of pictures displayed for only the worthiest soul to view.
The last note faded and the atmosphere was broken as the man stood up and started towards the bar. He attracted looks from each set of eyes as he simply threw down a handful of coins in a generous gesture towards the bard. His expression remained masked though his eyes reflected much more than a simple emotion. Zau noticed a look of pure glee replaced the solemn expression the bard wore when he had first arrived. Confused expressions and gossip was shared among tables while the man walked out of the inn leaving no indication he would return. After a moment of internal debating, the bard followed; Zau's gaze followed as well. Lively chatter filled the small room and more drinks were ordered. While the bartender was busy filling mugs and men were absorbed in their conversation, Zau bent down and scooped up her bag that appeared beneath the chair unbeknown to anyone else.
For some reason, she felt no inclination to stay at the inn; it was as though the balance had been tipped.
A few looks and invitations were sent her way as she walked towards the door but she ignored them leaving her key on the desk. She swung her bag over her shoulder and was greeted by a burst of fresh air. The two men were not far off; though they were in the opposite direction she had been intending on going. The moon shone brightly in the early night so she had time before dusk. Her steps were light making little noise while she walked towards the closest exit of the town. A person, she couldn't tell if it was a man or a woman, slept in the shelter of an ally entrance. Without much thought, Zau reached into her pocket and tossed the coins into the person's hand and continued walking.
It was times like these that she wished she knew a little more about her intuition; how she was drawn to different people. Perhaps the girl from earlier would be able to answer some of her questions. If that girl had been the same forest sprite from her childhood, then it was more than likely she could have a few answers. On the other hand, the chance that she was one and the same seemed unlikely. It didn't matter. She had nothing to loose by talking to the men and nothing to loose by seeing the girl. Zau shook her head before her thoughts could wander to things that had been lost and things that she needed to find. At this current moment, her attention was on the two men. After that, she would find the girl. That was as far into the future as she cared to see.
Shepherd was silent, drawing deeply from his pipe. A relaxed sense of keen awareness came over him and he was not startled when the door to the Blind Bard swung open casting a flare of warm light into the dark streets emitting the Bard into the night. He seemed excited and Shepherd felt a certain tenderness, satisfied that this man had been encouraged by the coins left for him. Shepherd did not turn to him however he simply let the smoke drift from between his lips into the embrace of the cool, summer zephyr to be carried to the nostrils of the man sprawled at the gate of the alley way. Shepherd had been watching him: Balding Bear was not a town to host the homeless and the appearance of a so-called vagrant was unusual. Perhaps this demanded investigation, but the bard was a more pressing affair and Shepherd did not desire to seem unwelcoming or disapproving, being aloof as he already was to strangers.
"God, I hate turning down free rooms." the young bard had said on his way out and Shepherd sought to right this wrong in perception.
"I will not retract what little I had to offer in recompense for the song you gave me as well as the remaining patrons. Thank you." Shepherd spoke, looking directly into the Bard's eyes.
Suddenly the door swung open again and the light pierced into the darkness, revealing the young women to the night. She gave coins to the homeless person and Shepherd noted this with interest though he did not seem to pay any attention. Shepherd observed this as well with an aspect of curiosity. What would come of this odd meeting in a remote town in the middle of nowhere? It had been a long time since Shepherd had engaged in a discussion that he had actually been interested in.
"I'll consider the room then," Bezmir responded. His whimsical laugh after was enough to dispel any sense of tension in the atmosphere. "You know, this town isn't quite concerned with music. Maybe I should write a song about the wolves they so love." He opened up the case for his lute, which was a little large and could be worn on his back. Out of it, he pulled out a small flask. "I see you have a weakness for tobacco? It would seem I have a taste for spirits." He took a drink, and tilted his so far back, he saw the world behind him upside down. He watched the lady hand the coins to the old man, and thought huh, that's curious. He then leaned too far back, and fell over.