/me slinks into the bar, glances around, and quickly slides into a dark corner – a hooded figure with a mysterious past hanging around her like a shadow.

/me fades back into the dark corner to watch the room carefully, sharpening his dagger.

/me lurks quietly in a dark corner, obviously lost deep in thought.

Back in the day I played in an online RPG hosted in an IRC channel – mainly set in the common room of the Black Rose Inn, and inevitably you would try to introduce a new character, which somehow wound up needing that infamous “dark corner” spot before he, she, or they could become involved in the story in progress.

The trope was especially popular with new players who fancied themselves enigmatic.  To the point where us regulars would have tongue in cheek fun with the over-used gimmick.  I believe we pointed spotlights into the corner, sabotaged the conveniently placed table and chairs, and other ridiculous antics… including ignoring the mysterious stranger as they tried more and more to be obvious and lure in attention until they actually had to come out and interact like an actual person.

I mean, really, we were already chock full of adventurer stereotypes, down to the fact that we were all looking for adventure in the main room of a tavern/inn/bar – the ultimate “how to start an adventure” hook.  We had rogues and knights, and a few deities with nothing better to do, wenches and bartenders laying down plot hooks as often as they were serving drinks, and 90% of us were orphans with “unusual” backgrounds.  The dark corner was just a little too over the top trope for us after a while, even though we all spent time there.

And at times, those corners got a little crowded – for a room with a certain number of corners, strangely all of them were shadowy and regularly filled.  Try not to step on the kender, he called dibs on that one ages ago and he’s easy to overlook.

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