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The inn’s windows were dark and empty when the traveler found them.

No, not a traveler. A trespasser. Not by her choice either; she was merely searching for some place to hide or rest without much care of where that was. She was desperate.

Her clothes were burned and her arms and legs bore numerous bloody cuts. She had found this place by chance and had fled towards it, prompted by some instinct.

After all, there was no mistaking the humble nature of this building. Despite the years, the wooden exterior built upon the solid foundation of stone had not deteriorated much. The ancient grain of the rich oaken boards had withstood weather and rot, as well as time.

The inn was four times the size of a normal house, built to accommodate crowds of people. But that was not what attracted the young woman to it.

It was merely a thought.

When one thinks of the most important building in the fantasy world, whether in games or stories, there is one that stands out above all the rest: the inn.

From a place to sleep and recover health to a meeting place for adventurers, the inn is a place of solace, refuge, and respite. Epic quests begin around an inn’s hearth fire, and companions may be met dining upon repast both foul and fair. An inn is safety, or so the weary traveler hopes.

The inn’s signboard was faded and the years had worn the paint long away. But still, she had hope, and she was desperate. So the trespasser mustered what courage she had left and pulled at the door’s simple handle.

Nothing happened. After a few seconds she pushed instead of pulled and the door swung inwards.

The door creaked open and revealed a dark room. To be more accurate, it was the common room where food and drink was served. Normally, the tables would be filled with weary travelers like the intruder herself, but dust covered every surface and no one was present. The inn was clearly long deserted.

“…Of course it’s empty.”

The intruder sighed and leaned against the doorframe, strength suddenly exhausted. She rested her forehead on one arm and tried not to cry. Her hopes had been shattered yet again. But it’s not as if she had had many to begin with.

“Ever since I came to this world everything’s been going wrong, huh?”

Slowly, she walked into the center of the room and turned around. An empty inn. A world full of monsters and the unknown outside.

Her burned arm and shoulder hurt. The young woman felt the cuts on her legs start to ache as the adrenaline of panic and flight left her. Against her will she collapsed in a chair, raising a cloud of dust.

She was tired. So tired. And though it was empty, the inn called to her. In its walls she hoped for at least some safety. So she sat and rested.

Outside it began to rain. Another misfortune narrowly avoided. The young woman closed her eyes as the rain began to patter on the inn’s roof overhead. She could hear the gentle drops turn into a flurry overhead, muffled by the thick roof. But somewhere, upstairs, she heard water dripping down through the cracks, landing softly somewhere above her head.

It was peaceful. The traveler sat back and felt the pain of her injuries fade, at least for a moment. The rainfall became background noise and she let herself relax for the first time in what felt like ages. She would rest here, at least to begin with. But a thought nagged at her, something that could only be said here. So she opened her eyes and addressed the empty room.

“…I’m really hungry.”

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reddir @reddir ago

Nice, well-written, descriptive start. I was looking for stat tables / etc, but your writting is really nice and I will continue to see what you will do with this :)

Pubeard @Pubeard ago

thanks for the chapter!

TheSevenChambers @TheSevenChambers ago

Just joined and flicking through for a story to start with. Really enjoyed your first chapter. Thank you.

Thykaeus Helmelius Meistrom @Thykaeus Helmelius Meistrom ago

Congratulations man! For your steps taken towards becoming published.

Here's a few things which might be typos:

"dining upon repast both foul and fair" - I think the word repast would invite some confusion - it sure did for me. Not sure if it exists.

"After a few seconds she pushed instead of pulled.." - 'giving it a pull' or 'pulling', and 'pushed *the wooden frame*, instead of... and the door swung...'.

Thykaeus Helmelius Meistrom @Thykaeus Helmelius Meistrom ago

I look forward to reading the next chapter.

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"Normally, the tables would be filled with weary travelers', much' like the intruder herself"... 'The inn had been long since deserted.' 'Clearly' would go better with another sentence, or you could emulate descriptions to 'clearly' show that the inn had been deserted, and/or how old the infrastructure would be for it to be 'long deserted', aside from the dust. Or you could just say that the inn looked deserted.

...leaned against the doorframe, 'her' strength suddenly exhausted' - though it's awkward saying it that way, especially the 'suddenly' part. It would be fine to take it simple here and leave sudden parts for when the reader is well into the story. She could have 'quaky legs' or maybe it would be 'all strength leaving her legs'.

Also, 'cuts' don't ache - they aren't tangible things, and unlike with the 'heart', personalization doesn't work this way. The cuts from her legs stung/eventually 'started'(check if you write in another way without the 'start' verb) stinging and she felt her adrenaline rush subsiding.

'..she collapsed 'on' a chair',..." - 'against her will' would not be effective here, since she would have to walk to a chair, or maybe 'feeling dizzy/faint-headed', she collpased on a chair - the 'raising dust' part would be cut but that's about necessary, if it were written this way. You already mentioned dust before that.

'In its walls - within its confines - she hoped for at least some safety/she hoped for some measure of safety'. Words like 'rather, really, at least' aren't that impressionable, and may need to be replaced by more powerful words or cut out to convey a simple meaning.

'Outside, it rained' or 'it had started raining'. It 'began' to rain isn't quite pretty if you feel the euphonic factors to judge it.

'I'm starving/really hungry' - choose the word count or type which you think would translate as better reading experience.