As soon as you beat one character's Chapter 4, Tavern Banters are suddenly available. These take place between three or four of your characters, and are basically more world-building and character development with your party members. They'll only pop up if you're in a tavern, naturally, with a new one popping up every ten times or so you travel to a different town. There's an ordered list of which banters will trigger, with the list skipping to the first one that involves all of your current party members. I'll be going in order of this list because, well, why not?
(This update post will eventually contain the first ten of twenty banters, with a second update post containing the rest at a later time.)
1. Let's Play a Game (featuring Ophilia, Cyrus, and Tressa)
That's right. We were about to play a game.
You should join us, Ophilia!
That sounds like fun. But I have no idea how to play.
Not to worry. We can explain the rules to you. It'll be a nice little break for all of us.
Well, if you are offering, how could I refuse?
(And that's how it started. What we thought would be a "nice little break"...)
(...Oh-ho. The eight of swords, and three of them no less. A promising hand. 'Tis easy to know Tressa's hand, for she shows her delight and dismay plainly on her face.)
(Her constant smile makes her impossible to read! She must have a tell, but I've yet to find it!)
I have three of a kind. The eight of swords.
Hehe. I've got four of the same. Six of staves, right?
A deft player, to be sure! How do you do it, Ophilia?
Hehe. I just let the Flame guide me.
I see. You eschew greed, and let nature take its course.
"Let nature take its course"? What kind of strategy is that!?
Ophilia's so uninvested in winning that she doesn't care whether she wins or lose, meaning she has no tells whatsoever. Of course, she's stumbled into a lucky winning streak, but that's the game of not-poker for you.
It also shows how astute Cyrus is in scrutinizing people that he's so adept at reading people at not-poker. If only he was as good at reading women's advances...
2. Fears and Aversions (featuring Cyrus, Tressa, and Olberic)
What's the matter, Tressa?
Someone told me a ghost story... But I can't stand ghosts! They're so scary.
I suppose the notion of spirits can be somewhat terrifying.
And you know what else is terrifying? Thunder, and debts, and--
Debts? That's a strange one.
Strange!? Then what are you afraid of?
Well, I am a poor swimmer. Though that is more a weakness than a fear.
Well, that's a surprise, coming from a man of action like yourself.
...I swam a little, as a child. But then forgot the skill as I grew into manhood.
Too much muscle, I warrant. You probably sink like a stone.
Mayhap. ...What of you, Cyrus? Do you have any weaknesses?
Well, whenever I give voice to a song, people look at me with the queerest expressions... Also they say things like, "Good thing you're a scholar, sir, and not a bard."
Well, now I'm curious. Why don't you sing something for us?
Perhaps one song then. I do enjoy a good ballad, after all. Ahem...
...Well, what do you think? ...Tressa? Is something the matter?
Everyone has weaknesses, it's just our crew here has some rather weird ones. But that's alright since their strengths include kicking all sorts of ass.
3. Rituals and Superstitions (featuring Ophilia, Therion, and H'aanit)
They aren keepsakes from my parents. I touche them for luck before a hunt. A foolish superstition, I knowe. But I remembere holding it tight before my first hunt. After that, it becameth habit.
I guess hunters need all the luck they can get. So I'm not surprised they'd believe in things like charms and rituals.
I don't think it's limited to hunters. I have one as well.
You mean, praying to the Flame?
No, not exactly. Every morning after reading scripture, I wish for a blessed day...
That bookmark I use is actually a pressed flower that I picked from a secret place I know.
That is a fine ritual. May it continueth to blessen thy days.
Oh, I do hope so.
Of course. Thievery is as prey to Fortune's caprice as hunting.
So what aren thy superstitions?
When I break into a house, I always enter with my right foot. And I knock on the door first. Lightly, of course. I never look portraits in the eye, or steal from children's savings boxes. Also...
Stay! How many hast thou!?
As many as I need to make off with my prize.
Go figure that Therion would be one of the most superstitious characters, though when a lot of your job relies on good chances and opportunities, it's probably better to be safe than sorry.
4. Culinary Competence (featuring Ophilia, Cyrus, and H'aanit)
A crunchy crust, a soft, doughy inside, and at the center of it all, a dollop of wild strawberry jam!
Gosh, H'aanit. These are rather tasty.
I am happy that they pleasen thee. It maketh the effort worthwhile.
Wait. You made these?
Thou needest not looken so surprised. I was given a jar of rosehip and strawberry jam.
I wish I knew how to bake. In the church, it's nothing but porridge and tack most days...
I coulde teachen thee, if thou wishest.
Truly!? Why, that would be splendid!
What do you call this particular confection?
Sweetdough. 'Tis a popular treat in mine home village.
...Frankly, I would never have expected you to be such a good cook.
It behoveth us to knowen how to preparen meals, lest we starven there.
Needs must, eh? Well, as my professor always said, "necessity is the greatest teacher."
Necessity, yes. Yet it pleaseth me even more that others finden my cooking agreeable. Perhaps next time I catche some game, I coulde maken a stew, seasoned with forest herbs. With wild turnips on the side, and an apple sauce, and...
It's always nice to see another side of these characters, and it turns out H'aanit's actually a pretty good cook! Which makes sense considering there's likely a lot of downtime during a hunt, and you need a variety of foods to stay in good physical shape, plus it's easy to get sick of eating the same thing over and over.
5. I'll Take That! (featuring Tressa, Olberic, and Primrose)
My brassard, you mean?
Mm-hmm. It looks like it would fetch quite a price!
Is that so?
Are you going to appraise it? Can you tell how old it is? Who made it? Where it came from?
Not quite. I've just got a hunch, that's all.
Surely it has seen countless battles, and warded the blow of countless swords.
Hehe, I knew it! I could tell with just a glance.
...It is a symbol and token of the comrades who served before me. I could not possibly sell it.
You mustn't give in so easily, my little merchant girl.
Why? Is your gut telling you it's a valuable treasure, too?
I don't know about that...but it sure is unusual. What do you say, Primrose? Want to sell it?
Sorry. It has a lot of sentimental value to me.
Got to respect Tressa's hustle to barter even with her own traveling partners.
6. My Aching Back (featuring Olberic, Primrose, and Alfyn)
Olberic, are you all right? You're moving very gingerly...
My back is terribly sore. The last few days have been hard ones.
Want me to take a look?
If you wouldn't mind, Alfyn.
What's the prognosis, Alfyn?
I'll mix up a salve that'll help. But you have to avoid overdoin' things.
You certainly know your stuff, Alfyn. Perhaps you can help me, too? You see, my shoulder's been very stiff in recent days.
Just bend your arm like so... Right! And then I'll knead this knot of muscle here...
Oooh, that does feel good. ...Ah, much better.
Told you I can fix anythin'--you just got to ask, is all.
Go figure it'd be handy having a doctor around to help with your aches and pains! Just shows how good Alfyn is at his job that he's able to heal all sorts of things.
7. Potent Potables (featuring Primrose, Alfyn, and Therion)
You said the same last time, too.
I did? Well, I'm speakin' the truth. Here, have a taste of that...
...Hm. Not bad.
Ah, Primrose! Pull up a seat and join us!
I'd be delighted. Do you want me to pour you more?
That'd be grand! We've got lots to talk about, after all.
...Not bad at all.
Hehe. A nice chat--that sounds perfect.
Alfyn loves drinking, part 47. Though even he has his limits!
8. To Err Is Human (featuring Alfyn, Therion, and H'aanit)
Letters? ...Can't say I am. Talking's quicker.
I oft write letters. When I putte my thoughts to paper, they becometh clearer to me.
So, er, do you deliver them as well?
Yes. If there is someone I wolde have knowen my feelings, I give the letter in person.
That's mighty wise of you. A letter is important, and you don't want some daft fool losin' one.
...Are you speaking from experience?
I was still just a kid...
Me and her and my buddy Zeph would play together from dawn to dusk, most days. When Zeph and I studied late into the night, she'd bring us sweets she baked.
Way over to the other side of the Middlesea, she was goin'. Chances are we'd never see her again...
Well, Zeph wrote her a letter and he gave it to me. Said he was too shy to give it to her himself, and asked me to deliver it for him.
Haha. The plot doth thicken...
Of course, I said I'd deliver his letter. I was his best pal, after all. So on the day that Mercedes was leavin', I headed to her house...
I gave him a salve and some medicine, and after a while he was back on his feet. You can imagine, I was pretty chuffed with myself that I could help... But Mercedes looked so sad, sittin' up there on top of the cart.
That was the last I saw of her. I headed back home, ruminatin' about this and that...
Somehow, I'm not surprised. So what did you do with the letter?
I gave it back to Zeph, with my apologies. Along with some fish from the river. Taught me a good lesson, that little incident did.
Oh? What was that?
Words to live by.
A long but goofy story. It'd be sad if we didn't just turn it into a happy ending.
9. Wedding Bells (featuring Ophilia, Olberic, and Alfyn)
A wedding parade, they were saying.
You don't say! I've assisted at a number of weddings myself.
Ah, indeed. Wakes and weddings alike--all fall within the purview of the Church of the Flame, do they not?
That's right! Needless to say, weddings are far more lively and extravagant.
That's when the couple makes their vow to the twelve gods, right?
Yes. Although the precise words of the vow often differ depending on local custom... They usually involve making a promise to face any hardships together, and praying for the gods to watch over them. After the vows have been said, the newly wed blow out the candles.
Come to think of it, I remember seeing a long wall of white cloth hung up around the candles.
Indeed. The bride's family provides the cloth. But do you know the reason for it?
I figured it was merely to keep out the breeze.
The white sheets form a barrier between this world and the next, keeping death and misery at bay.
You don't say. Live an' learn, eh?
When the time comes for either of you to be wed, I would be honored to preside over the ceremony.
Just a nice bit of world-building fluff about Orsterra weddings. Not really related to anything else in the game, but it's always fun to get neat little details like this.
10. Heart of a Maiden (featuring Cyrus, Primrose, and Therion)
Yes. But don't worry...I'd be happy to help.
Er, not at all! It's nothing, isn't that right, Therion?
Is that so? Now listen up, Professor.
Has my language been somehow improper?
On the contrary. You're too eloquent for your own good. Women like charm and eloquence in a man, this is true. But when you shower a girl with flowerly words, she's bound to get ideas in her head. You have a face that girls are like to fancy. You'd do better not to raise false hopes.
That was not my intention! I mean, I had no idea...!
I think that's her point.
Of course, if you do have a true interest in a woman, you can whisper sweet sentiments to your heart's desire. Don't assume your feelings are communicated as if by magic, like some men seem to believe.
Because you're precisely who I'm talking about.
Primrose is the only person in this group to really have any experience with romance, as the group is full of loners and youngsters from small towns. So she feels responsible for giving advice whenever possible, and this won't be the last time she'll do so!