Once we did not know ourselves and were at peace. We worried not, we cared not, we neither created nor destroyed. But we were forced to think and to change when the great storm came.
Once, forest was mountain, mountain was river, and river was forest. We saw nothing wrong about this, and we loved the land. But this has changed, and we do not believe those days will come again.
The storm took us all, killed us, and brought us to life in new skins, with new thoughts. We drew together for safety. We were afraid for a long time, so very long.
But then the day came.
- Book of Light, Chapter One
Lia walked in to the candlelit room as quietly as she could, closing the door behind her to keep the sound of the weeping parents out.
Sky was on his knees next to the bed, holding the child's hand in his. His eyes were closed, and Lia could see the glimmer of a tear on his cheek.
She cleared her throat gently to get his attention. He opened his eyes, set the hand down on the bed beside the child, and wiped his face as he stood.
"I'm glad you came," he said in a hushed voice.
"How is she?"
"Same, I'm afraid. I wish I knew what it was. I was wondering if you could... you know..." Sky felt uncomfortable asking Lia to do it, so he hoped she would know what he was referring to.
Lia walked up to the side of the bed and got down on her knees. With one hand on the child's head, she began to concentrate as best she could. She remained motionless for a little over a minute, after which she let out a sigh and stood.
"Nothing. It's as if there's nothing in there. Her mind is... gone. How could this be? Why is she not dead?"
"I don't know. She's alive at least; she's breathing, her heart still beats, and even her eyes move while she sleeps, but beyond that nothing I've tried will bring her out of... wherever she is."
"Do your best, and take care of her. But sadly that's not why I'm here... It's time to start meeting all the newcomers."
Sky looked away. "I don't know if I want to be there. I don't think Laris is pleased with me."
"He'll get over it, dear. Besides, I want you there. You know how impulsive he gets... I want you to be there as another voice of reason, to make sure he doesn't pick five sword swinging brutes."
As she began to walk out, Lia turned to look at the child one last time.
"Dear sweet child... I pray for the day that you will return."
The passenger dock to the Village of Solis had been cleared of all clutter, and now the only thing inside of the large building was a registration desk with an aged man behind it. Two guards stood next to the doors heading out in to the village.
Anyone who came off the dock was usually asked to sign in and specify the purpose and duration of their stay, but now there was a new list: "Recruits".
As soon as one approached the desk, they were greeted with the same response - in a tired, monotone voice - by the man behind the desk.
"You will be notified when you are to appear for recruitment. This medallion will provide you a three night stay at the inn, and a modest discount if you choose to remain longer. Travel outside of the village walls is forbidden. If you cause any trouble, you will be thrown in to the ocean. Welcome to Solis."
"Report to the inn for your room," the old man hands you the medallion and waves you along.
By the time it takes you to check in to the inn, secure and inspect your room, a guard posts a notice on the bulletin board downstairs. He also passes a copy of it underneath your door.
You are hereby summoned to an audience with Lord Laris and his staff in his throne room tomorrow at dawn.
The audience should take no more than an hour, after which you are to remain within the village until further notice. If your services are no longer required, you will be given a small compensatory amount for your time and payment for passage by ship once you decide to leave the village. If you elect to not seek recruitment after the audience, you may leave by ship at your discretion, but no compensation will be given.
Anyone not in front of the throne room shortly after dawn will not be permitted entry into the chamber and will be removed from consideration.
Come dressed and equipped as you would be if you were already recruited. All weapons will be inspected by the village guard before entry.
Acts of violence within the walls of the throne room will not be tolerated. Violators will be removed and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Lakota stands in line next to a sturdy dwarf. Those nearby who care to can overhear their conversation given the crowded nature of the line waiting to get in the gates. “Truly Thoradin, I will be fine. Return home and tell them that all is well with me. I will return when it is time.” The dwarf, who had been grumbling about leaving her alone the entire time, gives in reluctantly, but he finally gives in. “Aye, tis a long ways home an they be needin the grain before winter sets in.” The dwarf hugs Lakota, which only emphasizes the fact that she is about two feet taller than he is. It also emphasizes one other facet of her nature. “Oyye, you still be all sharp angles and hard edges. Don’t be goin soft on me now.” The crystals that make up Lakota’s face seem to smile as she gazes down on the dwarf while promising not to change. She has known the middle aged man all his life and she will miss him. Who knows if she will see him again in this life. The crystal being feels sadness at the thought of how short a time these people around her will live. The dwarf abruptly turns away and begins to make his way against the crowd trying to get in, heading back toward the docks. Lakota does not say anything, having seen Thoradin tear up before turning away. He would not want her to see such a shameful sight.
It does not take long for the short dwarf to disappear into the crowd and Lakota turns back to the front, moving slowly along with the crowd. She does not appear to notice the strange looks the others give her. Likely they have never before seen a shardmind. Those who are part of the Living Gate have a city deep in the earth. It is rare for anyone to leave. Her ‘birth’ was very unusual and should not have happened. She should have been born within the city, under controlled guidelines, not allowed to come to maturity outside their influence and guidance and allowed to roam the face of the earth at her own whim.
“Excuse me.” Along with the small voice is a tug on her robe. Lakota looks down, glowing white gaze meeting innocent blue eyes. It is one of the young ones. Lakota softens her facial features in a way that makes her seem kinder somehow. *Yes little one?* The boy’s eyes widen as her voice is reflected in his head. “Why are you all white like that?” Children of all races seem unafraid of asking any question. “I am a shardmind, part of a special people who spend their entire lives dedicated to helping others. There aren’t very many of us so you might not have met one of us before. Look, see what I can do.” Her voice is warm, like sunlight on crystal. The boy watches in awe as several crystal shards break away from her body and slowly swirl around her. After a few moments they return to their exact place on her body and it is impossible to make out where they came from as they mesh seamlessly with the rest of her. “Cool, huh.” The boy readily agrees, hero worship shining out of his eyes.
It is at this time his mother breaks off her conversation with the woman behind her long enough to realize her son is speaking to a strange, crystalline creature and yanks him away. Lakota nods at the woman and turns back to facing toward the gate. She does not understand the reaction of some of the people she has met. The young seem to have no problem with her being different. It is the adults that stare and sometimes back away in fright.
Finally, she reached the front and is told to sign in. Without hesitation, she reaches forward to make her mark on the Recruits list. The man behind the desk begins his rehearsed speech, looking up with a bored expression. The speech falters when he sees whom he is speaking to, though he finishes it and hands her a medallion without further incident. He watches silently as she takes the medallion and makes her way in the gate and into the city.
It is crowded inside the city. She expected that, considering the call that Solis has put out there for help. There are all sorts of different people here and she looks around in fascination. She has made a point of studying these short-lived races. Their soft exteriors make it easy to read what they are thinking. These people are under her protection, for as part of the Living Gate, her very existence helps keep them safe. It does not matter to her that these people will never know the role she plays in protecting them. Such things as fame do not interest her. What does interest her is growing in knowledge and acquiring power so that her support as the part of the Gate is strengthened. The shardminds are all that keep this world from being overrun and enslaved. She cannot help but want to learn all she can about the things she is protecting.
Her contemplation of those around her is abruptly halted and Lakota whips around, hand lightning fast to grab the arm of a young girl trying to slip away through the crowd. “That does not belong to you!” The voice is now as hard as diamonds. She pulls the girl’s arm straight and a crystalline shard that looks like a finger sized diamond floats up into the air from the girl's sleeve. It hangs there for a moment, the girl’s eyes fixated on it, before it flies back and reattaches to Lakota’s shoulder. “That is a part of me. It is the same as if I were to steal your arm.” The girl looks down, realizing her arm is still caught in Lakota’s grip. Now fright truly enters her eyes. Lakota can see it and it softens her. “Here.” She undoes the pouch at her belt and hands it to the girl. “It is all I have. Go buy yourself a good meal and find a new life. You aren’t very good at this one.” With that she releases the girl, who appears shocked and quickly melts away into the crowd.
Ah well, she has the medallion so she will not have to stand outside while she waits to be summoned for her interview. She turns and makes her way to the next inn she finds.
(I think I got carried away. I actually was going to do a bit more but figured I didn’t want anyone’s eyes to bleed out over the length. Did I say I was excited to get started and play a shardmind? Lol)
Do NOT meddle in the affairs of dragons; for you are crunchy and go good with ketchup
Bothor adjusts his hat to stare at the mug in front of him. It was filled with ale, but the mug wasn't his. The hat once again slips forward, making the man grunt in annoyance. He tries to flip it back up by jerking his head backward, but that only causes the hat to slip down further down his face. Laughing softly at himself, he raises his arm to push the damn thing up, then realises he missed the hat and is sitting there with his hand raised in the air. A bright skirt appears on the edge of his vision, just visible below the edge of his hat. A bright voice calls out to him, but the man doesn't listen, he's more interested in the pretty colours. He pushes up his hat to better view the cloth, and blinks as he realises the skirt is attached to an Elf maid. She's eyeing him curiously, making the man blush. He reaches into his pocket for a gold coin to pay for a mug of ale, but before he can hand it to her she speaks up in a bright voice. "Do you want another, sir?" The man follows her eyes, noticing the filled mug standing on the table in front of him. "Oh, heh. Da's quick. No, got enuff 'ere." He flashes his teeth at the girl, forgets about her, and with practiced expertise unhooks a worn old mug from his belt, slamming it down on the table a bit harder than he'd expected. He chuckles to himself, then reaches for the filled mug, missing two times, and starts to pour it's contents into his own old mug. Halfway through this process the hat slips over his eyes again, causing him to spill half the ale onto the table, but the man hardly notices, pushing his hat up with the now-empty mug, and raising the other to his lips to take a long swig. "Ahh. Da's be'er."
As he drops both mugs onto the table, his fingers find the medallion hidden in his pocket. "Huh. Whazzat? Oh, I r'member. Guy a' the docks gave me da'. Didn' ev'n look 't me, he did. Jus' sign'd X an' got free stay a' th' inn. I like th's town."
After finishing with the last of the latest batch of recruits in line, the man at the recruitment station heard what sounded like a clearing of a throat, but didn't think anything of it. He heard it twice more before he finally leaned forward to peer over the front of the table, where his eyes were met the those of a kobold, mouth beaming wide with a huge smile, and a holy symbol of Bahamut dangling prominently from his neck. Brell doesn't pay me enough for this job.... Days before, Patrin was not smiling nearly so much. "Mother, please! I am not a hatchling, you really need to stop treating me that way!"
The dragonborn woman sighed with exasperation. "Hornan, tell your son to mind me."
Her husband paused between bites of his dinner. In a sotto voice, "Patrin, mind your mother. Zinna, he's an adult now." Then another bite of wurst, while the other two ignored him, as usual.
"You're far too small to be thinking of such things. There's plenty for you to do here in the city. The shelter needs all the extra hands they can get. Your friends -"
"My friends have all moved on, Mother. Even Shar's in the cityguard and -"
"Shar? That good-for-nothing is in the city guard? Hornan, can you believe that they'd take that troublemaker?"
Swallow. "No, dear." Bite. Chew.
"Anyway, Mother, I'm a grown man, no matter what you think. You two were perfectly fine as adventurers. I have a calling. Bahamut -"
"Don't you dare tell me what Bahamut does or doesn't want. You know very well...."
The argument didn't last much longer, and Patrin spent the rest of the evening in his room, studying one of the flyers that had been posted around the docks, while he'd been watching the travelers and cargo coming and going earlier that day. Solis... It sounds so magical....
The next morning, they found his window ajar and a letter to them on his pillow. After signing in, Patrin set out to find the Temple. He ignored the odd looks as he made his way through the streets, quite used to getting them all his life; once at his destination, he found a private shrine room and made his prayers to Bahamut. In private, he made his usual apologies for breaking the rules, and added a special request to watch over his mother.
Once done with that business, he made his way to the Twilight Inn, where he secured a room, and then on to the Silver Bow, to find some sustenance. That's where the new travelers in town always go, he thought, so I might as well start there. Once inside, he climbed up onto a stool, peeked over the edge of the bar, and asked for some bread, some meat, and a soda water. Glancing around the room, he looked to see who might be in need of some of Bahamut's benevolence. That human over there, perhaps?
• Ad Hominem— Attacking the person's circumstances, not addressing the argument. • Ad Hominem Abusive (Personal Attack)— Insulting the person, not addressing the argument. • Ad Hominem Tu Quoque— Saying the person's inconsistent, not addressing the argument. • Appeal to Authority/Belief/Common Practice/Consequence of a Belief/Emotion/Fear/Flattery/Novelty/Pity/Popularity/Ridicule/Spite/Tradition— Using emotion instead of Fact. • Bandwagon— Use of peer pressure. • Begging the Question— Assuming premises which haven't necessarily been agreed to. • Biased Sample— Using a sampling which may not properly represent the whole. • Burden of Proof— Shifting it to the wrong side. • Circumstantial Ad Hominem— Attacking the person's interests in supporting their argument. • Composition— Assuming that the whole has the same qualities as individual parts. • Confusing Cause & Effect— Assuming that one thing causes another because they appear in conjunction. • Division— Assuming that the individual parts have the same qualities as the whole. • False Dilemma— Assuming that only two options exist. • Gambler's Fallacy— Assuming the odds have changed because of past occurances • Genetic— Assuming a perceived defect in the origin of a claim is proof of a defect in the claim. • Guilt by Association— Attacking others who agree with the claim. • Hasty Generalization— Assuming a quality based on too small a sample size. • Ignoring the Common Cause— Assuming there is no outside cause of two connected things. • Middle Ground— Assuming the midpoint of two extremes must be correct. • Misleading Vividness— Assuming a colorful anecdote outweighs statistical evidence. • Poisoning the Well— Using unprovable claims about the person instead of addressing the argument. • Post Hoc— Assuming that something caused something else simply because it happened first. • Questionable Cause— Assuming that one thing causes another. • Red Herring— Using irrelevant evidence to divert a discussion. • Relativist Fallacy— Asserting that a claim may be true for some but not for the speaker. • Slippery Slope— Assuming the inevitability of one event based on another. • Special Pleading— Claiming exemption without justification. • Spotlight— Assuming individuals that get the most attention to be indicative of the whole. • Straw Man— Misrepresenting the opposing argument. • Two Wrongs Make a Right— Justifying something unethical/immoral as response or pre-emption to something else unethical/immoral.
Response to those who like to compare 4e to a Video GameShow
Also, I find that the "D&D 4e is like an MMO" argument is often a sign of someone who is deliberately being obtuse and/or is potentially ignorant of actual MMO play. As someone who only ended a 6-year World of Warcraft addiction a year ago, I can say that most of your bullet points actually don't match up to the truth of it.
In D&D 4e, you can choose a hybrid, you can choose to play one class as though it were another (people played Warlords as Bards frequently, when the edition first came out, and Rangers were refluffed to Monks), you can focus your class on its secondary role (a Warlock who is more controller than striker, for instance), you can multiclass, and you can create a particular concept (a mounted lancer, a charger, etc.) within the mechanics via feats, choice of powers, and choice of skills. You decide which set of stats you use--are you a Chaladin, Straladin, or Baladin?--and you have ultimate influence on how your character turns out in the end. Yes, powers require you to be using a particular weapon within your class's available selection, but the powers are not themselves tied to the gear. Powers tied to weapons or armor are typically powers that belong to the item, not to the character class that's most likely to use it.
Yes, there are only so many powers available, and these will be what you do in battle; this is all that the designers created. Yes, there is a time-frame in which they can be used; this has always been the case, even in the days of Vancian casting. Yes, there are suggested builds, but you can routinely ignore those if it pleases you; the only parts of a class you have to take are the class features, and even those have options at this point. But the only way that this can be considered at all conflatable with MMO character building/playing is if you are deliberately ignoring all of that.
In WoW, you choose a class and you're done. No multiclassing or hybridization, no way to mimic one class with careful building of a different one. There is a firm dividing line on what is a WoW class. No secondary roles or creative concepts, either; you're going to be what the class sets out to be, and that's it. You'll always have the same stat allocation as another of your class, because you get set numbers as you level up, and you've got at best four options--and that's only the Druid class--to build, and if you plan on running dungeons, particularly heroic level ones, or raiding, you'd better not even think of deviating from the single defined best build on the talent tree for what you want to do. It was only recently, with the complete tear-down and recreation of talent trees for Mists of Pandaria, that there was a concept of there being anything but the one best build that people who calculated such mechanical advantages (the folks on Elitist Jerks, for example), and the people who did things like achieve "World First" at various top-tier raids set precedent for.
Also, no class will ever not have a specific set of powers; all Priests in WoW have the same baseline, with deviation only based upon their talent tree specialization, where a D&D4e player could take whatever power in their class pleases them. Any Retribution Paladin will be the same as any other in terms of powers, because that is what a RetPally is. Any Assassination Rogue will always have the same powers as another, etc. All powers are always on specific cool-downs, but will always be there when they start a battle, where a 4e PC might enter an encounter with only At-Wills, or without their Daily powers due to what plot has done up until that point. Furthermore, no power that is not already specifically tied to an item will ever "require" you have that item, to my recollection. Classes get all their powers based on class; gear only gives bonuses to stats, possibly cuts down cast times for abilities or cooldowns, grants temporary extra bonuses to stats (the latter two most often on the raid tier equipment), and on rare occassions an extra power that may or may not be valuable, as some are only special effects instead of valuable abilities.
Most honest/open response on why DDN needs to be InclusiveShow
I've always felt it is in the best interests of D&D to be as inclusive across the playerbase as they can be and still have a game. I've never felt though that making a game that was inclusive within a group was very useful or even desirable. DM's and players can decide amongst themselves what options or restrictions they want for their games. I tend to lean to the DM to make most of those decisions but again that is a group specific thing.
Having said that. I get the distinct impression that there are a lot of players on these boards who come from groups that generally ruled against their own desires. It's almost like they are an oppressed minority from a gaming perspective. I also get the impression that they tend to advocate against things that if available their fellow group members might like and vote them down on.
Do a lot of you feel this way?
Just for clarification...here are some examples... 1. Alignment restrictions as an option. 2. Alignment Mechanics 3. Martial healing 4. Races being included or not.
I know my perspective is not that I often play at tables where my likes are not represented. Instead, my perspective comes from the many years I spent being a bad DM. I was a bad DM because my guidance came from the books, and the books gave bad advice. The books told me that alignment was a useful approach to roleplaying, so I went with it even though it felt kind of weird to me. Now I know that, at least in my style of running games, alignment destroys rp. I trusted the books to give good advice, and it messed up my game. Now I'm much more mature as a DM, so I know how to take advice with a grain of salt. And I still learn new stuff every session I run.
I don't want future DMs to go through my problems again. There's a big enough DM shortage as it is. DMing well is hard.
The biggest thing I had to unlearn in my process of becoming a good DM was the idea that the game is a simulation of a world. I understand many DMs prefer a more simulationist approach, although I am always skeptical simply because I would have said the same thing until I learned and grew as a DM. This doesn't mean their approach is completely invalid, but it still gives me a personal twinge when I see a regression back to 3e era sim style gaming.
I also have noticed many groups where one or two old-school players run a whole group's playstyle because the newer players aren't even aware there are other ways of doing things. The newer players tell me stories of things they hated in the session, and I end up explaining to them how those things they hate are very fixable, and in fact are fixed in the newer edition of the game their older players have told them is terrible.
In regard to things like martial healing, I don't think it's necessary for it to be in the game for the game to be fun. However, the attitude that says martial healing is terrible and shouldn't exist is an attitude that, to me, reveals a wrongheaded approach to the game. Therefore, my fight for it to be an option is to help legitimize the more narrative approach that I think is what most players want, but many don't know is possible, because they've never been exposed to it.
Stalford steps off the ship, his modest pack slung over one shoulder. He takes a breath, and smiles. The sea was a calming influence on him, despite his history as a landlubber. The vast expanse of endless blue, the gentle lapping of the waves against the side of the ship, it gave a clear sign that Man was not the biggest force in the world, but was merely a footnote in the annals of the world's history.
Stalford's patience extended to the line as well. He examines the other applicants with his good eye, the shardmind in front of him in particular. It was only the second shardmind he had ever seen, but he had known the first well. Sintar D'Lairron, also known as the Obsidian Swarm, had been another of the Devil's Six. He had allowed the devil to recreate his body in obsidian as part of the pact. Stalford wondered how much that had hurt. He rubs a finger along the eyebrow over his patched eye absently. This shardmind was white. What kind of crystal was that?
Stalford smiles as he reaches the front of the line. He pens his name in. His real one, too. "Good day." he says to the old man, but is ignored. Ah well. Stalford accepts his medallion graciously. He runs his thumb over the smooth brass. It felt nice. Walking off, Stalford puts the medallion in his pocket.
Ah, the city. So many people. Stalford found the inn easily enough, and flashed his medallion at the innkeep. Once he was sure there was a room reserved for him, Stalford left his pack in it and went off to the Silver Bow to enjoy a nice lunch. In the crowded room, he flagged down a waitress and ordered some of the special and a glass of honeyed milk. It was too early for alcohol, but never too early for sweets. Besides, his Arcane power kept his body at peak condition no matter what he put into it, so why not enjoy himself? The room was very crowded, and Stalford found that the only available seat was next to a man who did not share his feelings about alcohol before mid-afternoon or so. Probably empty for the company the seat provided. "Hello. Mind if I sit here?"
Lakota did not realize it but there were those who watched the exchange between her and the young thief and before she could finish moving down the street, several of the city watch approached her. They requested she go with them and she went without hesitation.
They took her to a building that was bustling with various guards and after a short wait she was taken to a small room and introduced to a dwarf in full military gear. He gestured for her to sit and what took place next was what Lakota would guess was an interrogation, though one unlike anything she had encountered before. “So, I see you arrived off the Black Swan with a companion, a dwarf, but you did not enter the city with him. Why not?” The dwarf’s question was blunt but it did not put Lakota off, for she is used to the dwarven nature and takes no offense. “Thoradin needed to return to our people before winter sets in. I decided to leave our home and come to the Surface and Thoradin felt he should travel with me until I was able to make my own way. Along the way, we made several trade agreements with other cities and he needs to return now if he is to begin the process and return home. Please take no offense, for we were not aware that there were dwarves here or I am certain he would have come to pay his respects.” Lakota has learned a bit of diplomacy when it comes to dealing with the dwarven nature and she puts it to good use now. The dwarf seated across from her looks thoughtful and finally gives a sharp nod. He asks about her home and the dwarves and she answers honestly, though without explaining the dwarves discovered her and instead letting him think she was born into the Clan. He inspects her weapon, surprised to find she forged it herself. The man reaches a decision and nods to himself before motioning for his aide. “I will have one of my men escort you to the Twilight Inn. They will accept your token. Be ready to appear before the Court at any time.”
With that, Lakota is politely escorted to the inn. No one bothers them along the way and in fact, it seems that the crowds part for them for quickly reach their destination. It is one of the largest buildings in the city. The officer escorting her to the inn proudly explained that the inn had not only a small tavern in the lobby but also sported a rather nice restaurant. Lakota nodded, though neither interested her. She does not eat or drink, not needing to consume natural resources or the flesh of others in order to function. If she had to define her feelings on the matter, it would be pity for the poor people who must survive this way. Oddly enough, despite her feelings she spends an inordinate amount of time in places like taverns. They are a great place to study people and learn what is going on locally.
She offers to buy the officer a drink, knowing it is the polite thing to do. (One must always stay in the good graces of the law.) He declines, saying he is needed to work. “Come by later and I will buy you that drink.” It is the last thing he hears as he disappears into the crowd. With that she turns and enters the inn.
It takes her a moment at the door to take in the crowded room before she slowly begins to wind her way through the press of bodies. Her unusual nature gains her a slight advantage as adventurers and mercenaries give her room to pass. She can feel their eyes staring but she ignores it, uninterested in their curiosity. She makes her way to the bar and shows the medallion to the man behind the bar. He nods and begins to assign her a room. “Please, I do not require such things. I can easily sit down here and all I will take up is a single chair. This will allow you to accommodate one more person.” She points this out because she knows the innkeeper will immediately think of the profit he will make with another person buying drinks and meals. “I would just ask that you provide a certain officer in the City Watch with a drink the next time he comes in? His name is Borak Thrane.” The portly man wipes his hands on the stained apron covering his front and once they are clean, he spits into it and reaches his hand out to shake hers. She shakes his hand, careful not to squeeze too tightly.
The deal struck, she heads off to find a good spot to settle in.
Except there are not very many seats. She spots someone getting up and it is off near a corner, which is perfect for her. She moves quickly, several crystal shards breaking free of her body to swirl around her as she hurries to the empty seat. It will not remain empty long and she knows it. Oddly enough, several others get up to leave. They give a nearby man drinking from a rickety old mug dirty looks before pushing their way up the stairs and presumably to their rooms.
Lakota approaches and with a voice that sounds like the tinkling of chimes, she asks the two humans seated nearby, “Excuse me, do you mind if I sit here?” She is uncertain why the previous group got up and is careful not to intrude where she is not wanted. She does not want any trouble, which would most certainly eliminate her for any chance at getting hired on by the city.
(Yep, she’s approached Bother and Stalford.)
Do NOT meddle in the affairs of dragons; for you are crunchy and go good with ketchup
A vague blur appears next to Bothor. "Huh." His mug has already been filled, again, and the robed man reaches for it when a scraping chair interrupts him. The blur shifts, moving into the chair, and another blur appears immediately after. Slightly annoyed by all these interruptions, Bothor tips his hat upward with his thumb to identify the blurs.
His bright green eyes take a moment to focus, and grimy, stubble-covered cheeks bulge and stretch as he works his jaw, working up for a conversation. Shallow lines crease up as his lips twist into a faint smile, then open as Bothor starts to speak. His breath stinks of ale, but for a wonder his teeth are not in a terrible condition. "Huh. 'lo there. Wha's yer name, ol' man? Nice err, hey, uhm. Oh, nice 'stache. Happend t' yer eye?"
"Oh, whazzat? Stop tha' tinklin'!" The smile leaves his face as the dirty man scrunches up his face in thought as he focuses on the second blur, trying to recognise the thinking mass of crystals in front of him. The shifting stones make his eyes water and his head spin, so he quickly averts his eyes, turning his attention back on the old mug resting near his hand. In an attempt to be friendly to the thing, however, he pulls his long green robe away from the empty chair and motions to the chiming mass to sit down. The motion makes him sag down in his chair, and he appears to be in danger of slipping down under the table when suddenly he remembers his legs and pushes himself back up to sit wobbling on the wooden surface. He chuckles again at his own clumsiness, and dares a glance at the shifting crystals.
He takes a long swig of ale to settle his stomach, then tries to adress the apparition, though he turns speak to Stalford first. "Eith'r I'm really drunk, or, eh. 're you seein' tha'? Whazzat? D'you know?" He doesn't wait for an answer, looking back at the Shardmind, although his stomach warns him again to keep his vision focused on a single point. "You! Yeh, you. Wha're you? Oh. Name's Bothor, th' way. Stop movin', w'ld ya?"
Lakota looks over at the man speaking to her. She can easily make out his words, having spent the last half century with dwarves, a race that knows how to drink. She does not think this man can hold his liquor as well as a dwarf can though. She wonders if it is a personal flaw or a racial one. It is something she will have to pay attention to more closely. It’s a good thing she is in the right place for such observations.
She modulates the width of the crystals that form her throat, able to make minor changes in order to speak. “My apologies for the excess noise.” The tinkling sound is reduced and her voice sounds more like the wind as it cuts across a mountain range. “I am Lakota Krystallin and I am not moving. Yes, you are really drunk. Perhaps things would stop moving if you ate something.” That always seems to make the dwarves feel better.
She sets her shield down against the wall but leaves her backpack on. She does not really notice the weight of it, too interested in all the things happening around her. She nods politely to the man with the hair over his lip. He appears to be missing the lower half of his beard and she wonders what happened to it. This is not the first time she has seen someone with only half their facial hair and she wonders what it means.
Do NOT meddle in the affairs of dragons; for you are crunchy and go good with ketchup
Stalford takes his seat, and begins to thank Bothor for the mustache compliment, when the man begins speaking to Lakota instead. He smiles at their exchange, and nods to Lakota respectfully. He rummages through his memory for the polite term for Shardmind. "Good day, Gatekeeper. Please, take a seat. My name is Stalford." He notices her staring at his mustache and his smile grows a little wider. Everyone seemed to be appreciating it today.
Lakota waves one arm up in the air, capturing the attention of a harried bar maid. She waves, letting Lakota know she is seen. The shardmind turns her attention back to the table just as Stalford greets her at Gatekeeper. Astonishment courses through her, along with some pleasure. “Please, just Lakota. I confess I am impressed. Most people have no idea who or what I am. Are you a lore keeper?”
The young girl finally pushes her way through the crowd. “What can I get you Miss?” The waitress looks uncertainly toward the two men with her. “Can you please bring my friend here something to eat.” Lakota looks over at Bother, notes his condition, and looks back to the young girl holding the tray full of empty tankards. “If you have something that could help ‘soak up’ some of what he is drinking, it would be most appreciated.” Lakota sets five silver pieces down on the tray.
The transaction finished, the girl heads towards the bar and Lakota turns her attention back to Stalford.
Do NOT meddle in the affairs of dragons; for you are crunchy and go good with ketchup