Impractical Applications (Kiara’s Workroom)

Earlier this week I talked about learning about people from their personal spaces. I considered doing this one’s living quarters, but I think one can learn a lot more from her workspace—enjoy!

She works in a small room, near the edge of her building, dimly lit through soft white lamps set into the ceiling. It smells of ink, books, and tea, and the inch-deep green carpet muffles most of the sounds made in it.

The walls are covered with bookshelves, and wall scrolls hang down the points where the shelves separate, save two points equidistant from the far corner that bear heavy brass hooks. Most of the room is taken up by a large mahogany desk, and much of that is taken up with silk scrolls and sheets of various form of paper, all arrayed neatly over most of the surface and leaving two spaces—two, centered, across from each other, and one near the left side—clear for writing. On the right sides of the two centered empty spaces rest several ink blocks, several brushes, a few other writing implements and a silver quill pen, all together. Similar materials—minus the quill pen—dot the outsides of the third space, but they’re haphazard, jumbled.

There are three chairs in this room. One is of the same wood as the desk, its arms, seat and back padded with velvet whose fuzz has long since worn off, so deep in the carpet that you could swear it’s rooted, and on the desk near that chair is a steaming mug of tea. Another, newer, sits on the opposite side of the desk. And a third, this one of a much paler wood, is pulled up to the off-center writing gap.

And the books—oh, the books! Astrology and sorcery and geomancy, observations on the dead and the living, history and philosophy, craft and calligraphy, and anything else that seemed appropriate, represented by four or five different languages, they fill the shelves and bow the wood slightly downward. Most of them have at least a few bookmarks, and only the top shelves are particularly dusty. They aren’t shelf-stuffed; any one of them could be plucked from the shelf.

Leaning on the side of the desk is a simple case—a few compartments, a handle—of some sort of metallic material; wrapped around its handle is a chain of the same stuff that dangles down the side of the case, and on the other end of that chain is a small crystal. From a distance it seems like nothing—a drop pendant, quite simple—but on closer inspection, or when the light is gone, it emits a faint, pastel glow.

Seeing it?

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