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Posted by on 1998 Oct 23 |

Simplify Ye Say?

The wind sweeps in as the soaked figure trundles through the door.

"Close the door you fool", a surly dwarf barks from nearby.

The door closes quietly as the man lowers his hood and removes his cloak. "Tis nae night fer man nor beast out there, sir. Ye should be more tolerant, my friend," he states with a too broad smile. With a quick flip of the wrist, the cloak snaps sharply, showering the stout bearded fellow with rainwater.

The rest of the dwarf’s table howls loudly as he growls, wipes the water from his face, and glares at the human now seated next to him.

"You always did have to get the last word in, Carsen" he says in a huff.

The human winks and orders a round for everyone to take away the chill. The room returns to a quiet buzz now that the show is over. The table is surrounded by an odd assortment of people. A full dozen in all, of mixed races and professions.

An hour later, the small crowd erupts with raucous laughter as the dwarf turns scarlet once again. You lean your chair slightly closer to catch what barb was tossed the dwarf’s way.

"All kidding aside, ye told me before there be strange tidings in the air. Ye said that many heard the missives from the gods, and that no one knows the meaning o these portents. That rumor ye just told me o, ye know the one, the Young Girl Offers Words of Wisdom in Lute Room. If’n ye ask me, which ye did, I say it shines new light on that riddle. I cannot speak fer the money-grubber, or his thievin’ brother," with that he waves toward a pair of halfling twins snickering at the other end of the table.

"But most o the rest o us use a form o magics, one way or the other. Cut off access to ANY and ALL mana, internal or not, and ye get a cleric who cannot rez, a warmie with nae fire, and a healer who cannot heal or will die thereafter. Maybe she be right, the elven lass, and we need to simplify a bit.

"Maybe the missives were nae meant to be read together, but separately, individually. Maybe we put too much into them and tried getting too much out o them. We be so used to the tests o faith our gods require for favor, we look for deep meanings everywhere. Perhaps tis a simple warning to be prepared for the loss o our abilities, to be ready for that day, or face certain doom. There be still too much we don’t know and never will, to read this properly. I fear hindsight as always will reveal the whole truth, if even then."

The table falls silent, each face a mystery of closed contemplation, as he swirls his mug and downs the last dregs.

You start a bit as the human stands, snatches up his cloak, and flips it casually into place over his shoulders. Near your table, he stops and adjusts the fit.

You hear a quiet voice "Yer welcome to join us, next time. If’n we did nae like diversity, I would nae be allow to be here."

He strolls over to the barkeep, orders another round for the table, plus one for you, pays his tab, and pulling up his hood, disappears out the door.