I can’t do much more than second Olivia’s suggestions! There’s really nothing more to add. This was interesting to read and I liked how you incorporated Tristan’s voice. I get the impression he’s rather arrogant XD
Now, one thing I would like to expand on is how you describe the characters. (
Tristan was tall as far as Frenchmen went, nearly five foot ten inches, and his practice with the heavy swords and maces had given him a strong, broad build. But the man who stepped out of the cart made him pale in comparison. The man had a large bulky body with broad shoulders clad with a green tunic and dark grey surcoat with his coat-of-arms on the chest. He stood a good three inches taller than Tristan and had long black hair, and a thick beard. Give the man a mace, and he would have matched his coat of arms.
Now, this isn’t bad, and comparing characters is always a great way to get information across, but you could be much more concise.
Here’s a rewrite:
Despite his own solid build, Tristan paled in comparison to the man who stepped out of the cart. With his long black hair and beard and broad shoulders, he matched his coat of arms, minus the mace.
In two sentences, you get the exact same imagery. I do like the way you compared him to his coat of arms, that was amusing XD
“Father” said the clear elegant voice of a young woman who had stepped out after Dax, “Don’t fluster our kind hosts.” The woman’s slender figure was nearly as tall as Tristan, and was adorned by a voluminous dark green gown belted at the waist with a silver buckled brown belt.
<He met her eyes. She had elegantly defined cheekbones and jawline, clear skin, and candid brown eyes that shone bright energy. Her erect shoulders were framed by wavy brown hair that fell down to her waist.
I’d rewrite it as:
“Father, don’t fluster our kind hosts.”
The clear voice belonged to a young woman, supposedly Dax’s daughter. She lifted her voluminous skirts daintily, keeping them from dragging through the mud. She tossed her head, meeting his eyes with a confident smile. If Dax was a bear, this girl was a doe, her eyes and hair bright chestnut.
Just wanted to add something because I’m a nerd and this is one of my favorite fields of nerd-dom, but she wouldn’t be wearing her hair down.
Up until the invention of modern shampoo, women simply didn’t wear their hair loose, mostly because it got greasy and tangled too easily, and loose hair is an impractical pain in most circumstances.
She’d be wearing her hair up or in some form of braids, and probably covered. (Though this would depend on marital status in many regions and periods) Anyway, you can go down that rabbit-hole some other time, but suffice it to say, loose hair wasn’t a thing in that period.
I’m also linking a topic I made a while ago. It’s been dormant and lost in the archives for a while now, but feel free to use it if you want!
Without darkness, there is no light. If there was no nighttime, would the stars be as bright?