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Nowhere and Bath

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It's the holidays! I'm done with Flaky Pastry 800! That means I have time to... draw non-pastry things again! And what non-pastry things do I love to draw? Character casts for new settings!

Our story this time comes inspired by French author Guy de Maupassant, whose short story "Le tic" i.e "The (nervous) Tic" was included in a collection I read recently. It's a story mostly about a man with a tic and his daughter who is probably a vampire, but it starts out with the narrator (a third character) describing a hotel near hot springs and how all sorts of travelers are always coming through. Before I read the rest of the story, that got me thinking it might be an interesting setting to do something with.

So over the following weeks I wrote down ideas as they came to me. Characters and their roles, names, personalities, etc. It's a fun thing to do at night before going to bed, or at work trying not to lose one's mind.

As usual, I have no real intention to do anything with these characters. I just enjoy coming up with them! And also drawing them. Sometimes I wonder... what story could I tell, if I wasn't already all in on Flaky Pastry... and the answer is usually... ... something a lot like Flaky Pastry. It's such a fun, crazy, self-indulgent world. I can just do whatever I want in there, whatever I think is interesting. But the more that question turns around in my head, the more I try to incorporate what I like in these other hypothetical projects.

Anyway, that's it for the introduction. ON WITH THE SETTING.

I call it... Nowhere and Bath. The idea is that it takes place in a small inn, built on mountainous foothills with some hot springs. It's near a little village in the middle of nowhere, far from everything. Hence the name. It's also a fun pun with the phrase "There and back". I even have an alternate French title for it: Nulle-Part-Les-Bains. (Nulle Part means Nowhere, and "____-Les-Bains" is a typical naming pattern for villages built around hot spring bathing establishments).

As with the inspiration, the premise would be slice of life stories featuring new characters coming and going all the time, interacting with a small crew of regulars - both the inn staff and a few patrons that never leave.

They are:

ROSETTE
Rosette is the daughter of a rich family from halfway across the country who is unfortunately very ill. Her family's doctor has prescribed that she spend a lot of time - maybe ALL her time - in a place with hot springs. So her father sent her here, and sends money every month to extend her stay indefinitely. He even comes by to visit. Sometimes. She has felt better since her arrival, so she takes it all in stride. Rosette likes to observe the staff and patrons around her, listen to their conversations. Sometimes she engages in conversation herself and gets to know them, but she's fairly introverted, so most often she prefers to sit on the sidelines with her sketchbook. She's very calm and easy to get along with - kind of passive, really. Not much choice, because of her illness. She's gotten to know the staff very well over the months, and might even help out with the work when she's feeling up to it.
MtG colours: Primary green, secondary blue
(the colours of Magic the Gathering are a fun way to balance personality traits in a cast - I like to use them sometimes!)

CHÂTAIGNE
Châtaigne is a girl from the village who works at the inn. She has a very bright, energetic disposition, smiles all the time and works all the time. Her primary job is waiting tables, but she does pretty much everything inside the inn: cleaning, laundry, making the beds, greeting visitors, etc. She works so hard that sometimes she burns out and has a breakdown. But her sense of duty and support from her friends get her back to the grind soon enough - even when her friends really just want her to take it easy. She is Victoire's niece and admires her greatly, hoping to take over the inn someday.
MtG colours: Primary white, secondary red

VICTOIRE
Victoire used to be a champion gladiator from the capital, but in her later years she retired from the arena and decided to head out in the country to live a quieter life. So she bought an inn. This inn. She's the boss around here and no one goes against her. She is tough but fair, and her staff is like family. If you mess with her people, she will mess you up. She does, after all, still have all her weapons on display in her office.
MtG colours: Primary black, secondary white

DUBOULEAU
Dubouleau is the inn's stable boy and odd-job-man. He's quiet and subdued; does what he's asked without ever complaining. He's hard to read, and people in general tend to be split 50/50 between thinking he's got a rich inner life or that he's just dumb as rocks. What's certain is that he's good with horses, and is surprisingly strong and able for such a gangly lad.
MtG colours: Colourless

"CHEF"
This man only introduces himself as "Chef", though it's certainly not because he's secretly a wanted fugitive and gentleman thief from the capital, laying low in the hinterlands after a big job. No siree. He's always dashing and suave, and definitely knows his way around a kitchen. He prefers to hang around back there and interact with patrons as little as possible, but he's passionate about his craft and will step out to defend his honour if anyone ever insults his food.
MtG colours: Primary blue, secondary black.

CADUC
Old Caduc is the next most regular patron, after Rosette - but he's been coming around for much longer than she has. He lives in the village, and mostly comes to sit in a corner of the main room, getting drunk. There are plenty of taverns for that in the village proper, but he likes it here. He always pays and rarely makes trouble, so that's fine. Most consider him a harmless if slightly obnoxious old coot, but sometimes a few genuine pearls of wisdom bubble up out of him through the fog of booze. In reality, he used to be a great wizard, but no one would guess that nowadays. He's got lots of stories to tell if only anyone would bother to ask him.
MtG colours: WUBRG

FRIMOUSSE
Frimousse is a little imp that lives in the springs and loves to play pranks on bathers and staff. Everyone used to just do their best to anticipate, avoid and ignore them; but one of the first things Rosette did when she arrived was make friends with them. She managed to convince the little devil that they'd get a lot more enjoyment out of their pranks if no one expected them. And the best way to do that, was to be friendly and helpful. So nowadays, Frimousse has practically become part of the staff... they bring extra towels, clean the floors, and help out in tons of little ways around the bath area... all the better to catch the staff unaware with their pranks once in a while. While Victoire and Châtaigne (who used to do everything Frimousse now does) appreciate the respite, they're not sure the situation as a whole is necessarily an improvement.
MtG colours: Primary red, secondary green
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© 2019 - 2021 falingard
Comments10
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Rassilon001's avatar
Hot springs?  Sign me up for a weekend visit!
chad-spider's avatar
Rosette's most obvious symptom is her sick hair
falingard's avatar
A dunk in the baths does help cure that!
DEMarq's avatar
  Cute Imp there =^_*=Heart Nod 
falingard's avatar
Stupid sexy imp!
DEMarq's avatar
  How stupid sexy? =*_^=
dragonaur's avatar
One of them is a murderer, and Frimousse has to figure out who dun it!
falingard's avatar
Murder on the Nowhere Express?:sherlock: revamp 
dragonaur's avatar
That's it! ^_^
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