Vigil for a Dragon, pt 3

Kallar has been watching the strangers carefully, and is beginning to form opinions of them. The thirteen of them fascinate him, not the least because he can scarcely fathom their reasons for being here. He examines them all one last time, starting with the one sitting nearest him.

The tallest of the strangers, and the fourth to arrive, is the man most like to Kallar in size and shape. However, his skin is a pale shade of blue, like one who has been out in the snow too long, and his hair, what there is of it, is dead white. He is a strangely delicate man, precise and economical in his movements – and he weilds cutlery with a grace that partakes equally of a surgeon’s and an artist’s. Kallar is a big man who has no special fears in a fistfight, but he suspects that this man could defeat him without much effort. Of all the strangers, he is the one who most seems to be just passing through.

Next to him sits the first of the strangers to arrive, a dark-haired woman with an asymmetrical face. Her left cheekbone was clearly broken at some point, and did not heal aright, so that her eyes are out of alignment with each other. Kallar cannot decide whether those eyes are both the same colour or not. The woman speaks little, but the others all attend when she does; sometimes the sudden silence of their table radiates out into the room, and everyone can hear the liquid whisper of her voice. What she talks is nonsense most of the time, but Kallar has noticed that none of the other strangers seem to think so.

The chair on her other side is empty, and has been so the entire time since her arrival.

Beyond that chair sits a hirsute man whose voice varies between a growl and a rasp. His body is hairy everywhere it can be seen – and he wears no shirt. His pants and boots are made of a soft but durable leather that is unfamilar to Kallar – and his boots are stretched around the toes. The man seems a little ashamed of the way his voice sounds, but sometimes forgets himself and speaks at length. The other strangers are all patient with him, and no one draws attention to his self-consciousness. Two nights back, when the hirsute man was quite drunk, Kallar heard him sing to a tune played by the musician. He has a deep voice and a suprisingly well developed sense of rhythm.

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