One of the very first character intros I ever did was for my friend, Sarah Levesque, a fellow writer of fantasy, knower of all things Tolkien, and editor of the online magazine, LogoSophia. She's been begging me to give her another intro, but I still have a partiality to this one, which focuses on her no-nonsense, yet fun-loving approach to life. Enjoy and let me know what you think!
(Note: I know the girl in the graphic is wearing red, not green, but, alas, I have not the skills to change the color of the image!)
“…and then, after you offer them the berries, you step back three paces, bow…” here, our would-be-guide to the Elven kingdom took three very unstable steps backward and awkwardly bowed. The mead in his mug slopped dangerously, but he was a practiced drunk and not a drop was lost.
“Then,” he said, his one-eye gleaming over the prodigious growth of beard and longish nose, “you say ‘tshne Arwen ithmas’. That completes the charm.”
Ren and I exchanged doubtful glances. All we'd asked was for directions through the Dark Wood to the Elven kingdom on the other side. We'd known it to be dangerous and expected there to be some level of elvish nonsensical hoops to jump through, but this man's explanation long-winded, excessively detailed instructions even our expectations. It was, to say the least, a daunting prospect.
“And that’s how you obtain passage through the Dark Wood?” Ren asked. Concern creased his face. I knew what he was thinking, because it was the same thought I was having: going through the Dark Wood was bad enough. There was no way the pair of us could magick our way past barriers as well. Our mission was over before it began.
Our cheerful informant didn't appear to notice our distress. “Oh sure.” He nodded confidently as he carefully retook his seat. “Manys the time I’ve been in the forest, drinking their wine, making small talk with the…”
“…weasels.” A new voice erupted from very close beside me, making me jump nervously. “Wesley, you just made all of that up.”
Ren and I turned. Beside me stood a young woman, dressed in a practical green dress and a tan bonnet. She had the air of amused, but strained patience, and she stood with her hands on her hips. Though she was scarcely taller than I was seated, she commanded both the room and the liar we’d been speaking to.
The one-eyed man turned pale and his massive frame seem to shrivel before our eyes. “Aww, but Sarah…” he complained, but she would have none of it.
“If you want work, Wesley,” she said, “my father has wood that needs chopping out back.”
There was a moment's stand off, where the large drunk with the untidy beard debated his chances against the tiny girl with the confident stance. In the end, her determined stance won. He slunk away, defeated, to go chop wood.
The girl, Sarah, turned to face us. “I wouldn’t take anything he says seriously," she said. She'd relaxed and her manner was practical and efficient. This was her domain and she ruled it well. "Wesley means no harm, but go with him and he'll get you into more trouble than he could handle and charge you double the fair rate to boot."
"Right," said Ren, sounding as flummoxed as I did.
She eyed us both carefully. "But if you need a guide to get you through the woods, I can do it. And you won’t need any magical mumbo-jumbo to get there, either.”