And Still His Name Sounds Stirring

I wrote a while back about the little details a writer uses to introduce a reader to a character. Just the other day I had the opportunity to be introduced to a rather splendid character, full of those little details which more or less summarized my sentiments. I say all this with aplomb, but don't let that fool you: I was taken with this fellow the moment he stepped into the room.

Lord Brandoch Daha

...leaning forward Lessingham saw where the arras curtains behind the dais parted for a moment, and one of princely bearing advanced past the high seats down the body of the hall. His gait was delicate, as of some lithe beast of prey newly wakened out of slumber, and he greeted with lazy grace the many friends who hailed his entrance. Very tall was that lord, and slender of build, like a girl. His tunic was of silk coloured like the wild rose, and embroidered in gold with representations of flowers and thunderbolts. Jewels glittered on his left hand and on the golden bracelets of his arms, and on the fillet twined among the golden curls of his hair, set with plumes of the king-bird of Paradise. His horns were dyed with saffron and inlaid with filigree work of gold. His buskins were laced with gold, and from his belt hung a sword, narrow of blade and keen, the hilt rough with beryls and black diamonds. Strangely light and delicate was his frame and seeming, yet with a sense of slumbering power beneath as the delicate peak of a snow mountain seen afar in the low red rays of morning. His face was beautiful to look upon, and softly coloured like a girl's, and his expression one of gentle melancholy, mixed with some disdain; but fiery glints awoke at intervals in his eyes, and the lines of swift determination hovered round the mouth below his curled moustachios.

Isn't the paradox delicious? He's like a stallion, all pretty and prancing and faintly mocking, but just you catch him in a fight, or fresh from the gate, and he'll trounce you in a heartbeat. The writing was so beautiful, I had to share.

1 ripostes

  1. I love that passage! It's really as you say -- delicious. The paradoxes and similes all tie together so perfectly, producing an image of grandeur, daintiness, and danger within my mind. The first part of his name (Lord Brandoch) is captivating and princely, while the last half (Daha) is slightly foreboding, at least in my opinion.

    I particularly like the part where the writer says there was a "sense of slumbering power beneath". Very enchanting!