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Mages may have built this city, and mages may inhabit it, but not a one of them appears to have any notion of how to repair plumbing.

This morning, upon arising, I had approached the washbasin with the intention of performing my ablutions.  A twist of the handle produced nothing more than the high-pitched and inharmonious warbling of the pipes.  Seconds later, the faucet proceeded to cease it's screeching and disgorged into the basin a quantity of rather noxious mud.

Assuming my attire and doing the best I was able with my coiffure, I went downstairs to speak with the proprietor to inform him of the malfunctioning tap.  He apologized profusely and assured me that the issue would be resolved before my return that evening.  I gave him my own pledge that should that not be the case, I would seek other lodgings.

That matter settled, as much as could be at that time, I set out to locate the library I had heard mention of the day before.  What an astonishing sight I beheld upon entering: Magical persons of many races and descriptions filled the room, mulling about in small conversational groups or applying themselves to their studies at the tables and desks littered around the room.  I approached one of the shelves, running my finger along the displayed spines of books.  I longed to speak with the students and scholars encompassing me, but the groups seemed so insular and engaged in their own discussions that I dared not interrupt.  Instead, I selected a particularly interesting tome with the title The School of Arcane Magic - Enchantment embossed in gilt lettering upon it's cover and seated myself at an unoccupied desk.

I became quite unaware that my feet dangled in an unrefined manner as the printecd page engrossed me  in the subject that had so recently caught my attention.  Several hours had passed (I noted from the shadows that lengthed from the doorway) when I was approached by a tall, stately figure with pale azure skin and curving tusks emanating from it's temples.  I took the figure to be Dranei, it's proud bearing seeming to fit well with what I have read of that race.  He began to speak, for I assumed from his masculine tenor that the creature was indded a he, in broken Orcish which I of course understood, though in deference to him as well as my own aural capacities, I responded in the Common tongue. 

"Yes, thank you.  I am quite well and require no assistance at this time.  You are a librarian of this grand facility, I assume?"  I had to crane my neck to look up into the man's face.

To his credit, only a single blink registered his surprise before he recovered himself.  His speech was heavily accented, but more intelligible and properly conjugated than his Orcish.

"I am zee assistant, yes.  Your Common ees gud.  You like to study zee arcane?" (I take the liberty of transliterating his words.)  He finished with a gesture to the volume in my hands. 

"Certainly, yes.  You know, there is something you might do for me.  Would you recommend a proper course of study for one new to the arts?"

He produced a square of paper from within the folds of his robe and proceeded to inscribe upon it the names and locations of appropriate materials.  Handing it over, he accompanied the inventory with a warning not to let the subject overtake me.

I smiled politely as my fingers closed around the page, refraining, as courtesy demanded, from voicing my initial thoughts.  "Thank you for your concern, sir, but it is unfounded and unwarranted.  I have no intention of giving in to the weakness of character required for such a course of action to come to pass."

With a nod of acknowledgment and a gracious, but I am sure, empty compliment about my person, he left me to return to my reading..



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