In which we take a closer look at Veliaf.
Veliaf awoke slowly to the sound of twittering birds, blinking in the sunlight which was filtering through the inn’s slatted wooden shutters and across his pillow. Sitting upright against the headboard, he took a moment to remember where he was, and then glanced around the rented room.
The four poster bed he lay in was typical of those found in the Elwynn-style inns, with light drapes hanging from each side of the canopy and a woollen bedspread covering white sheets. Directly across from the foot of the bed was the door leading to the first floor of the inn, and next to it in the corner of the room stood a wooden wardrobe with a full-length mirror down one side. In another corner, underneath the silled window, was a small washbasin, but otherwise the room was bare save for the light overhead and a plain sheepskin rug over the floorboards.
Sliding out from underneath the covers, he stood upright on the rug, stretched with a yawn, and walked across to the basin, where he thoroughly scrubbed his face and neck with the icy water before straightening and catching sight of himself in the wardrobe’s mirror. He was of average build for a human, standing at about six feet with a toned muscular body from working long hours as a labourer, though his chest was crisscrossed with faint scars from the other side of his mercenary work. His straight, thick, brown hair hung down just below the level of his chin, which itself was covered by a neatly trimmed beard, and his intelligent brown eyes were partly obscured underneath ferocious eyebrows.
Turning away, he pulled on a light brown tunic, matching trousers and his usual leather boots. Grabbing his small hunting dagger from where it lay sheathed underneath his pillow and fixing it to his buckled belt, he pulled open the door and headed out onto the landing. After quickly giving the other doors a cursory glance, to the right was a narrow flight of stairs leading down to the ground floor, and it was these Veliaf took. Arriving out in the main area of the inn, the room appeared to be populated only by the bartender and a few other early risers.
“Ah good mornin’ to you squire! What’ll it be? A hearty breakfast? An ale to get you on your merry way?” The barman, a thickset chap in his late thirties who looked more like the local blacksmith than the chef, leant across the bar.
“Morning. I’ll take the fried breakfast thanks, but hold the ale.” Veliaf grimaced. He had never been a fan of excessive drinking, and any kind of drinking at this early hour was pretty excessive in his book.
“Certainly sir! I’ll have that ready for you in just a few moments.”
“Thanks. So, any new work in today?”
“‘Fraid not, least we haven’t had any new notices up. Haven’t had none fer days now.” He gestured over his shoulder towards an empty noticeboard hanging behind the bar pumps. “Though you could always check th’ signpost outside. Here’s yer breakfast anyhow.”
Veliaf accepted the steaming plate of food and carried it over to a table by the fireplace. He sighed. It was going to be another unpaid day.