> Say something else.
[Write in: Ask Umildraen something to test his knowledge and interests.] <
"Follow my lead," you replied in your native tongue, leading to one cautious Aika and one confused Umildraen. "Wha- H-Hey," the dwarf stammered as he flicked his eyes between you two. "It ain't polite to leave someone outta conversatin' in his own home, y'know." Umildraen fell back in his chair with a thud, crossing his arms with a slightly disgruntled huff. Luckily, you quickly diffused the situation with some silvery wordplay. "Oh, no no you mistake us," you sought to reassure him, returning to the common Daldoran between you. "You see, part of the walk back down from the temple was filled with second-hand stories, tales of wanderlust and lofty dreams of heroism. Tales told from you to me, and then from myself to our new friend here Aika," you turned to face her, and her eyes widened as she became the center of attention. She nodded a bit too hard with a slightly lagging "Mhm!" You looked back toward your host, and folded your hands on the table before you as you continued. "She told me that she'd like to hear them from you directly though, and I'd certainly love to see what rumors or tales have spun about what the temple holds, before we er- burst your bubble- no offense." As you finished your deflective speech, it seemed like Aika finally picked up on what you were trying to say, and she threw in her own flare to sell the bit. "Oh! Yes Mister Nogrid, I'd love to compare notes about what people who live here believe and the research I collected. Who knows, maybe your wildest dreams are true?" Perhaps a bit too strong on the sell but, maybe this was one area you were the expert in.
Umildraen unfolded his hands and ran his fingers through his beard once more, humming a low and long gravelly "Mmmmmhhh," as he pondered the proposition. "All-righty lasses," he sparked with a renewed jovial expression. "Ye've earned ye'selves quite th'story then. Now, th'only thing that can make a story better is more mead!"
When I was but a wee lad, m'folks raised me in th'city of Jotov. Ifn' ye ain't been in Daldon for long, it's a walk n' a half down th'mountain west o'here. Anyway, Jotov's a perfect spot for folk o'all shapes n' sizes to take a trip to n' fro between Daldon and me folk's homeland below in Lasaruuj. I've been seein' travelers n' so-called "adventurers" like ye'selves long before either of you were a glint in yer folks' eyes. Th'King's men, th'Emperor's men, mercenaries, even folk you'd call vagrants. You name it, they'd been somewhere neat that wee lad Umildreaen never heard of. But when I take a gander up th'pass at that stone structure atop the highest peak in all o'Daldon, one man's tale fills me more than a thousand bowls of goat stew.
Y'see, it seemed like an ordinary day to everyone else. But to me? Every day I see someone new is anythin' but ordinary. Th'men that took a table at the bar I was workin' that night sure weren't ordinary to me. Ye take one stroll 'round Jotov above or below ground, the knights n' soldiers are wearin' red. Th'Emperor's men red n' silver, th'King's red n' gold. No, this knight n' his boys flew the bluest flag I've ever seen in me life. I sat em' down, got em' all drinks, and wasted no time askin' where they were from n' where they were goin'. Well- to me delight- it was a longer answer than I thought.
Gelish soldiers they were. Th'King's men- different King, of course. They spoke among themselves like you two just did, n' I suppose their captain saw no harm in talkin' about what he said was already common news "back home." Said they were meetin' with th'Emperor to talk about the temple atop Therakin. Yer Geland saw a nasty war with yer other neighbor Minerva quite some time ago, I'm sure you two know all about it, and word made it west of the Spine, but when they told me what was in that temple, I thought I had rocks in me ears.
Accordin' to these folk, yer King's great-great grandfather- th'man who won ye th'war- took the son of Minerva's greatest war general as a prisoner o'war. Took him west, hiked him up Therakn, dug a hole in th'mountain, tossed him down it, and closed it up good. Now- ye might be thinkin "Oh that ain't too crazy a story," but ye'd be wrong! What floored me the most was the nature of this supposed son. Turns out, he's a dragon! I couldn't believe me ears one bit! Men capturin' a dragon- alive- and sealing him in a mountain.
Umildraen tilted back another mug of mead, one that you, Aika, and probably Umildraen himself likely lost count of by now. He closed his tale with a mighty belch and let the mug clatter onto the table with a heavy fist. "Now, as mighty fine a tale they spun for wee lad Umildraen, there's no way it can be true, yeah?" He leaned forward and eyed you and Aika closely. "I mean- how do a bunch o'elves n' humans capture a dragon alive? N' why would they build a temple on Daldoran land-" Umildraen seemed to have an epiphany as he asked that last question, his eyes going wide in realization. "Is- is that why th'blue knight wanted to talk to th'Emperor? Is there some kinda deal between Geland and Daldon?" He went to take another drink, only to remember that his mug was empty, and so he stood to help himself again. "Is it true then? Is Zorkuth truly a dragon?"
• "It's true."
• "It's not true."
• "We don't know."
• Give Aika the chance to reply first.