Lyrissa first noticed him by the fireplace as she wove through a handful of tables on her way to the bar. Something about him had caught her eye for more than a passing glance, but she forced herself to look away before he found her staring. The girl paid the innkeeper for a night then took a seat at the end of the counter while a barman fetched her an evening meal. She found a stool that gave her a wide view of the inn’s common room, including the stranger by the fire, and the unlit lantern beside her allowed for an added amount of privacy.
The man appeared well-kept despite being simply dressed in a cleric’s robe and tabard. The tabard’s crest was unfamiliar, however Lyrissa was of a mind to think it wasn’t evil-aligned or the stranger would not be enjoying the peace provided by the other patrons. His garments also made it hard to tell for certain how tall he was; even so, he didn’t appear to be much taller than herself. His pale skin almost appeared to glow in the firelight. No doubt a bookworm, she thought, and has little use outside of ceremony for the dagger nearly hidden in his right boot. However, she did find it odd that the man had made the extra effort to conceal his weapon in the way he did.
Lyrissa continued to muse over the cleric’s peculiar need for armaments as a bowl of watery stew was placed in front of her. She chanced one more look at the man before starting on her meal, hoping to glean another detail, but a jolt of fear froze her in place. Their eyes met in a reflection off of the fireplace’s bronzed mantle. She forced her eyes to look down as she tried to compose herself, hoping no one else noticed her moment of distress. When she looked up again, the chair by the fireplace was occupied by a different patron and the cleric was nowhere to be seen.