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The goblin sat alone on the terrace, placidly sipping her tea and watchin g the traffic on the street nearby.  She was interrupted from her reverie as a tall human seated himself at her table and withdrew a small notebook from his pocket with a grin at her.

"I'm doing a story on the inhabitants and visitors of Dalaran.  Care to answer a few questions?"  His tone was brash and forward, his inquiry accompanied by an examining gaze and waggle of his brows.  She fixed the obvious journalistic person with her steely gaze and finished her sip of tea. 

"I can certainly not prevent you from asking your questions.  But you will not look upon me in that lurid manner if you wish to gain any information from me."

He lowered his head in a mockery of a cowed apology, the corners of his mouth turning down as he fought valiantly to prevent a smile from breaking free.  Her own lips pressed into a tight line but she refrained from voicing her opinions.

"Better.  Do go on."

In a voice tremulous with laughter, he began.

"Well, ma'am, let's begin at the beginning.  What is your name?"

"My name is A. Enid Cobblesmythe.  No, I know what you will ask.  Do not bother.  I will not disclose the meaning of the 'A.'"  Her tone was firm, and brooked no argument.  He decided to let it lie, thinking there must be more interesting information to fight for.

"Alright.  Do you have any nicknames, Enid?  Any titles?

"the appellation my Pappa bestowed upon me is soubriquet enough.  The title I prefer to be addressed by is that of Ms. (and I would appreciate you doing so.)  I am a scholar, and am striving for the position of mage.

Jotting notes, he nodded and and read his next question.  "What about your adventuring style, En-- er, Ms. Cobblesmythe?"

"To date, my only adventures were as a child within the kitchen or my Pappa's study.  I do hope, though to have adventures of a more mature nature in future."

He blinked, taken aback by her previous remark.  His first thought was that she wasn't so prudish as she appeared, then he realized she must be using the word in it's other sense and sighe, hoping for something more interesting.  "Fair enough.  Where are you from?"

She tilted her head with a smile.  "That question is more complicated than it would seem.  I was raised near Amber Hold, here in Northrendk, but I am unaware as to my place of birth or original home."  She does not offer more information, spearing him with an intent expression that caused his question to die off before it was given voice. 

He sat up straighter, squaring his shoulders, and attempted to gain control of the conversation.  "Where do you live now?"

"I have temporary lodging here, at the Legerdemain.  I am in the process of planning exteneded travel and will seek more permenant accomidations once that is concluded." 

More and more, he became aware that he was not going to be able to steer her answers, and his voice reflected a shadow of the meekness he began to feel.  "Do you have any family of note?  Any relations that others might have heard of?"

"Again, your question is more complex than it would first appear.  The short answer is "I do not know."  A more detailed one is that my Pappa was not a man of note except in certain academic circles, and even then he was content to study in relative anonymity."

"What about your parents?  How was your relationship with them?"  It was his last attempt.  If this didn't work, he was going to give up and stick to the script.

"I have already spoken of my Pappa.  He was a kind man, and saw me educated and well cared for.  As to my parents?  Again I am forced to answer that I do not know.  Now, might we move on from this subject to another more propitious one?"

Completey off his game, his eyes went to the page and he read the next question mechanically.  "Do you have any siblings?"

Eyes upon the man, she raises her teacup to her lips, brows raised.  He begins to fidgit, and when after a time she still does not answer he deems it expedient to abandon the inquiry.

"Other family?"  The question dies upon his lips and he rushes ahead before she can level that indimidating stare at him once again.  "What were your asperations as a child?"

"I never thought to be anything more than my Pappa's caretaker and a scholar in my own right."

"Were you a naughty child?"  He's sight is fixed upon the page, cautiious not to look over at the stern woman.

"I, of course, had my moments of disobedience like any child (and you should doubt the word of one who says they did not.)  My nursemaid endeavored to instill in me the knowledge of right and wrong after such instances." 

"What has been the most important event in your life?"  He sounds like a schoolboy struggling over his primer, instead of the calm, confident man he knows himself to be.

She considers the question carefully for a few moments before answering in a thoughtful voice.  "I would have to say that day, 27 years earlier, when my Pappa found and took in a lost goblin babe.  That one act of kindness has shaped my life and character in a manner vastly different, I am sure, to that of any other goblin alive."

"What is your happiest moment?"

She puts her teacup down with a slight bit more pressure than necessary, causing the saucer to ring out audibly.  "I am always a pleasant and even-tempered individual.  Move along."

The next question is fairly a squeak, though she obviously undersands it as her eyes open wide in indignation.

"Young man!  What an impertinent question!  Asking a woman her age outright like that.  Really!  I absolutely refuse to dignify that with an answer."

He squeezes his eyes shut as he intones the next.  His words stumble over each other in his haste to ask, rushing on to the next questionion without hesitation.  "How old do you look?  Do you have any religious beliefs?"

"Faith is necessary for all persons to find pourpose and meaning in life, whatever that creed may be.  My own principles are that of knowledge."

The next question did not scare him so much, and he straightened as he shared it.  "What do you consider your best feature?"

"I am always forthright and direct, unlike many others of my sex.  I never prevaricate," she mumbled something under her breath, "and I accept all person without prior judgement or stereotypical leanings."

"What feature do you believe people notice first about you?"

"I am certain that would be my appearance, of course.  What a vague question."  She shook her head with a twisted smile.

The next was another one she was likely to take offense to.  "Is there anything about your appearance you would choose to change if you could?"

"I do not fit the standard of beauty I was raised within, but I am quite comfortable with my countenance.  Any change I would make this late in my life would only cause me to start at my reflection."

Completely off his game from the inability to tell what would set this austere woman off, he continued on, not knowing what to expect from her.  "How do you prefer to dress?" 

A slight chuckle escaped her as she thought on the answer.  "It would seem that my preferred attire is rather out of date.  Frocks have become much more sleek, disdaining the fuller skirts to which I am accustomed.  I believe I shall attempt to adopt this fashion, as I imagine it is myc more practicable for an active lifestyle.  However it will take me some time to completely abandom my petticoats, inured to them as I am."

"How do you earn your living?" 

"I am independantly wealthy, my Pappa having bequeathed me with a modest fortune upon his passing."  The answer was short and succinct, and she gave no further particulars.

"Do you enjoy your job?"  He had become emboldened by the spate of friendly answers, and was duly chastised she she spoke next.

Her smile was slightly condescending, in the manner of a caregiver to a simple charge.  "You do not consider your questions before you speak.  Employ your intellect, instead of blindly dictating the words before you.  A mond cannot grow and learn unless one gives it suitable opportunity."  The statements had the semblance of well used aphorisms, though he had never heard them before now.

"Um...yes, ma'am.  Er.  What do you do in your spare time?"

"Much better."  She gave him a nod, her expression pleased.  "I strive at all times to occupy myself.  Physical, as well as mental, exertion is key to a meaningful existance.  Inertia of any form allows for declination of the facilities, to which I never accede."

The next question caused him to stammer.  "W-what attracts you to a person?" 

"Mental agility.  I prize acumen and reasoned discourse in another.  Anyone who can follow my cognitive acrobatics is worthy of my time."

"Is there anything that truly disgusts you in another?"

"I should like to think that no quality, no matter how base, would repluse. me so easliy.  If I were forced to answer, I would say a simple mind, yet even the most unintelligent of persons may better him or herself."

Curious, he leaned forward slightly.  "What is your romantic past and current situation?"  He was dying to know what sort of man would dare saddle himself with such a woman.

"I am unmarried, and at my age expect to remain so.  I have no leanings toward any kind of romantic attachments or maudlin sentiments.  I am far too logical for such things."

He leaned even forward over the table, his notes forgotten at this point.  "If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?"

"Young man, I have warned you of your impertinance once already.  I do not expect anotehr such lapse or this interview will be over."  She glanced at her pocketwatch.  "You have a few more minutes of my time.  Use them wisely."

"What is your favorite place to visit?"

"Dalaran is the first stop on my expedition to view the places I have read of in books.  I am not in a position to accurately answer that question at this time."  She tucked the watch away and gestured to the waiter to clear her teathings, dabbing at her mouth with her serviet.

"Your favorite mode of transport?"

"For short distances, I prefer to perambulate - a brisk walk being of use to facilitate a healthful lifestyle.  For longer distances, I have become enamored of flying.  Envigorating experience!"

"Do you prefer to be active more during the day or night?"  He was coming to the end of his questions, and hoped he could finish in the short time remaining.

"I strictly adhere to the hours of polite society, of course."  Turning to the waiter, she continued.  "Yes, thank you.  I shall be dining in my room again tonight.  Promptly at seven PM, yes."

"Are you an early riser?"

"Of course.  I prefer to greet the day as it begins.  Laziness of body leads easily to laziness of the mind." 

She stood.  He rushed out his last question, hoping she would answer before leaving.  "Do you have any tattoos or piercings?"

"I am certain you can determine the answer to that question with your own eyes.  Now.  I believe I have answer all your questions.  Yes?  Well, then, the hour for tea is past.  Good day.  No, no, don't rise."  The last was said with a hint of sarcasm, subtly pointing out his lack of manners before she left.

He stared agape at her back as she departed.  Never had he come across such a forceful and unpredictable personality, much less from a goblin and a female.  He stared at his notes, and with a swallow he closed his fist around them, crumpling the pages into a ball.  No one would believe it, and of it.  His editor would accuse him of fabricating the entire interview.  Besides, even with his talent for writing he was unsure he could accurately portray the woman in print.  As he stood and tossed the wad of paper into the wastebin, he froze as an incongruity occurred to him:  While he had begun the conversation speaking Orcish, she had responded in clear and unaccented Common.



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