Of Goblins, Orcs, and Gnomes
So I took the gnomes, Starg, and Fiola to the goblins and orcs. Well, that was interesting.
The journey there taught me that one has to have a lot of patience with gnomes. They like to have fun and are curious. They offered some harmless diversions and "shortcuts". I think they were overly obnoxious, way more than the gnomes I have met before, simply because they had been cooped up for a long time and had enough nervous energy to heat that entire lake of cold water.
Fiola had very little patience for them and that just encouraged them. Starg took it all in stride. He is quite different than he used to be. He used to have such anger, such envy, such hatred that he could see nothing past his own nose. Now, it was as off the whole world was a part of him. He would mock wrestle and tumble with the gnomes, carry them on his back and then flip them high over to me. At one point, we had a sort of juggling of gnomes going on with Fiola harrumphing along to all the noise, chatter, etc.
It was a great deal of fun, but I got weary. It had been a long day. The gnomes would not tire. They gloried in the outdoors. They gloried in the feeling of freedom now that the bad goblins and badder orcs had been dealt with. Some of course, scampered back to their people to give the news and be with their loved ones. But most stayed with us, curious to see these good goblins and orcs. And to get to know who we were.
They seemed disappointed in our names. They like lots of names. Ours are simple. They kept proposing new names to add onto ours. They only stopped after Fiola threw some fire in their general direction. She sure has a glorious temper!
Eventually, we met up with the good goblins and Kordian orcs. They had already cleaned up the mess and now were trying to communicate with each other. The goblins spoke no common and the orcs spoke broken common. It seemed as if they were trying to figure out whether to stay or go. They looked relieved when they saw me. But before I could even greet them, I heard a shriek, "Fiola! Oh, Fiola!" and Matola ran up and hugged a stunned Fiola.
I had never seen Fiola so still. Then she cried out, "Oh, mommy! Oh, you are alive!" a big hug, tears, and then, "All these years! Not a word! How could you leave me..."
I noticed that the others in the room were looking away. I tried to motion Fiola and Matola into another room. They ignored me. So Starg and I just picked them up and moved them to another room. They hardly noticed that.
We continued to hear yelling, wailing, harrumphing, and all that. The rest of us decided that fresh air was a good idea. The goblins and orcs were overjoyed to hear of the end of the bad orcs. They all strode out onto the plains with freedom in their souls. We found a nice rolling hill and began to discuss what to do.
I cast tongues on myself and a few others. And so proper discussions began. It took awhile to get the gnomes to settle down from their playful antics, to get the goblins to start talking, and the orcs to stop wrestling (okay, okay, I was doing most of the wrestling).
But eventually it was decided that the goblins and orcs could use the boiler cave as their home base. The gnomes did not like being there, but wanted someone around to watch it. And the goblins and orcs thought it was a nice location for them. The orcs offered to help the gnomes with some heavy-lifting, the goblins offered to help the gnomes with their rodent problem, and the gnomes offered to share their food. All in all, a successful first negotiation.
Eventually, Fiola and Matola emerged. It seemed that Fiola had let go of a lot of anger in those hours. Her mother was looking much better than I usually did after such encounters. Fiola was actually smiling, a sight that always warmed my heart and tensed my muscles.
The gnomes then brought us back to their little community. We had a nice feast that night and much celebrating. In the morning, Starg, Fiola, and I decided to stay a few days and work with everyone. I continued to teach the goblins about Kord and there were some interested gnomes that listened. They kept asking puzzling questions about the Kordian tales.
In the items we recovered from the orcs were a few Freespeak rings. These allow the wearer to understand other languages. And so by using them judiciously, we were able to start training the goblins to learn common and help the orcs learn common better. Everyone is now settled in, but Fiola and Starg want to stay longer. I too will stay with them. I am just going to take a quick trip to the temple and drop off some items.
Mords of Wisdom: Differences can be overcome by those of good heart and cheer.