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Author Topic: Valan/Scholar/Erpheronian  (Read 11583 times)
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Valan Nonesuch
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« on: April 03, 2009, 01:02:27 AM »

Name: Valan Nonesuch (Proncounced Vay-Lan)
      
Gender: Male

Age: 43

Race: Human
 
Tribe: Erpheronian

Occupation:Itinerant Compendiumist

Title: Collector of Lore


Appearance
      
Height
1 Ped, 2 Fores, 1 Palmspan

Hair Colour
Grey, with patches of ruddy brown still showing, especially in the beard

Eye Colour
Brown

Physical Appearance
Valan is a short, owlish man of no particular strength or build. His arms are thin and rather bony, not accustomed to lifting more than his pack or a particularly heavy book. His elbows in particular are rather pointed, casting the shape in the mind of some sort of wing. His hands are equally thin, and rather long. The tips of the fingers on his right hand are quite often inkstained to one degree or another. His face is long and ends in a pointed chin, though his cheeks are fuller and rounder than one would expect. Wrinkles of ongoing age have begun to set in, particularly around the eyes and nose. His nose has been broken, apparently more than once, giving it a crooked beak-like shape. His lips are thin, and convey an almost perpetual feeling of disdain, or perhaps displeasure with the individual(s) being observed.

Valan's hair has long since ceased to be one particular colour and is now a sort of mottled brown and grey, and thinning slightly The top is more often grey than it is brown, while the sides are more brown speckled with grey, particularly around the ears. Valan does not bother keeping his hair well trimmed, and so it protrudes in odd tufts above his ears at the back of his head. Valan has grown a sort of beard that runs down either side of his face around the jaw and ends at the chin.  His chin terminates in a scruffy sort of goatee that varies in length depending on how concerned Valan is about keeping it well trimmed.
Valan's plain brown eyes peer out from underneath a pair of great bushy eyebrows, and blink rather infrequently. Valan walks with a limp and a slight stoop, which lends to the illusion of being examined by an ancient and curious owl.
Valan makes a great habit of holding his hands behind his back while he lectures that gives the impression of a roosting owl peering down on some morsel.

Clothing
Valan prefers to wear dark brown or black clothing to avoid showing any ink stains. He is often poorly dressed for whatever occasion may present itself, since many of the types of clothing he prefers are workmanlike and easily repaired. Many of Valan's clothes are well patched around the wrists, ankle, elbows and knees, giving him more semblances to an impoverished farmer than to a scholar of any sort.

When traveling outdoors, Valan's head is perpetually topped by a brown hat with a pair of feathers to either side of the crown and a brown cotton coat with rather capacious pockets both inside and out. This coat is waterproofed with regular treatments of oil, and tends to be much heavier than it would normally seem because the pockets have notebooks of various sorts stuffed and crammed in wherever they will fit conveniently. The sleeves of this coat are a little wider than necessary, with quite a bit of slack in the forearms which gives it a robe-like resemblance. He wears simple brown trousers, often patched and repaired, and similar brown tunics.

Indoors, Valan prefers long sleeves with little looseness so that they do not trail in the ink and simple pants, occasionally making a concession to wearing a warmer robe, since some of the places he visits can become rather cold.

Personality
Valan's most obvious trait is his absent-mindedness. He will begin talking about something, only to trail away from the original topic to stop some time later and have forgotten what the point of the discussion was. He has a great need to explain things, often in greater detail than may ever be necessary.

His second most obvious trait may be a heated intolerance for company or an adamant hatred for ignorance. Valan has many a time attempted to beat a solid understanding of one thing or another into a novice's head with harsh words and rarely blows. His dislike for company may have been acquired from long days traveling on the road short of any company but his own.

Valan has few people (which he will grudgingly refer to as "friends") he will tolerate for more than an absolute minimum length of time, but others had best have a reason for bothering the grumpy scholar. Crowds are to be avoided whenever possible.

Valan is mortally afraid of horses owing to an "incident" during his youth that led to a broken leg and a limp. The thought of sea travel makes Valan rather queasy and boats make him ill despite numerous attempted remedies. He has a great tolerance for footslogging though, and the patience to go long distances on foot.


Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths
Valan is a prodigiously lettered individual. It's often suspected that he spent more time reading books than shelving them at the Lorehold. As a result, his knowledge base is broad, if imprecise. Geography, History, a rare bit of Law and assorted other subjects are stored within his mind.

Never one for impreciseness when an accurate source is available in another language, Valan has learned enough Styrash to be able to read histories. His speech of the language leaves much to be desired however.

Because his father had business dealings with the Dwarves from Kor Donion, a cursory knowledge of Dwarven was included in his learning. Though he has forgotten how to speak it, Valan can read Thergerim'Taal in Aleterons.

Valan is quite fit for his age, and finds slogging across vast tracts of land on foot rather easy. He puts younger folk to shame in some cases, climbing up and down hills or small mountains with less than the expected difficulty.

Weaknesses
Valan is the definition of absent-minded. In his old age he has become increasingly easily distracted, particularly when explaining things to others. His near compulsive desire to impart wisdom to the ignorant is often his downfall. And he natters folk's ears off if he isn't stopped.

Valan is not a strong person by any definition of the word, and actually finds most types of lifting exhaustive. His build is poorly suited to lifting anything heavier than a large book and Valan actively avoids having to move the same thing more than twice (once from the shelf, once back) if he can, which is sometimes mistaken for laziness.

Due to a variety of circumstances (involving horses, and other things that one would never find in a library) Valan walks with a limp in his right leg, and lives in mortal fear of most horses. This bothers him particularly badly in inclement weather and usually leads to a great deal of grumbling.

Valan has very little luck with things such as sea travel (which makes him violently ill despite whatever medicines he tries) coaches, horses (which he lives in fear of as a result of the incident which gave him his limp) and similar conveyances. His misfortunes with anything more complicated than foot-slogging are enough to form a rather long and distinguished list of failures.

Valan has a terrible sense of direction when it comes to being outdoors. In cities or things such as libraries, Valan has no problem, but something about the distinct lack of anything resembling a worked stone seems to throw him off balance and has even led to him confusing east and west.

Valan's personality can only be described as abrasive. He does not get along well with others as a rule. Those who disturb him at his business (especially without good reason) should consider watching the stick he carries closely.

History

Childhood
Valan Nonesuch was born Valan Vaelichtson in Lorehaven. His father, a minor noble, was an ore merchant primarily dealing with tradesmen and schools in bronze and in iron as well as occasionally in less common metals and precious stones when he could come across a bargain. His one regret was that his eldest son had no aptitude for business. Well, to be fair this wasn't entirely true. Valan had a solid head for numbers, and a memory to be proud of, but he lacked the drive, the... competitive edge for commerce. He was, in his father's eyes, something of a failure being inept as he was. And that would be putting it kindly.
 
Vaelicht Ironchest, Valan's father, decided that he would send himself to an early grave before he would let his son turn out to be some fluff-brained accountant, or gods forbid, a book-keeper. Not his son, no mark you. Vaelicht tried as he could to train the boy to the nuances of business, of changes in the market and the demand for some goods over others. He spoke at length about quality of ore and of the value of good iron and steel.

Valan took to his father's lessons in the same way that a hawk might take to swimming or a whale to flight. Both father and son were at a loss as to what to do about each other. As far as Vaelicht could tell, his son possessed no skills whatsoever that he could tell. Valan on the other hand, was more than happy to avoid further "lessons".

A Fortuitous Discussion of Plans and Consequences
An acquaintance of Vaelicht's, one of the men he regularly employed in delivering his shipments and a long-time friend of the family, suggested scholarship for the boy. He had a good memory after all (to be spouting facts from records even Vaelicht didn't remember, he must) and Lorehaven had, this acquaintance reasoned, a fine university after all. Scholarly pursuits were not a disreputable sort of work and, moreover, it would keep the boy occupied and away from business, where he might do damage. There was no shame in the more "learned" pursuits at least, and it was better than letting him inherit the business when Vaelicht died (gods forbid either happening, of course). Both Vaelicht and his friend had Views about those who squandered, or outright ruined, their inheritance. It was agreed that having Valan inherit the ore trade would not be in the best interests of anyone.

The "Horse" Incident
Horses are intelligent animals it is said. In Valan's case this is not to be believed. A young Valan attempted once to lead a horse and loaded cart out of the stables. He was trying to be "helpful" in that delightful childish way. What he forgot was that hitting the horse was not a good idea. And that you needed reins of some description to have any chance of steering a horse. Or he did anyways. What happened was this. Valan fell from the seat of the wagon as it hit a bump, in front of the cart. As he scrambled to get up, he hit his head on the passing cart, and the cart proceeded, unabated, to run over his leg. It broke. Quite badly in fact. With time the injury healed, but the leg could not have been expected to return to its original state. To this very day, Valan walks with a limp and swears off anything to do with horses.

To University
To the Lorehold the young man was sent packing. To be "out of sight, out of mind and, best of all, out of trouble and my hair" his father reasoned, "and may something better come of it than whatever bedevilment he might managed in commerce. In hindsight (always perfectly clear) the boy had never really been suited to anything more than intellectual pursuits. He'd showed interest in one scholarly thing or another (history or some such nonsense). Regardless, he wouldn't be able to do much with his limp (stupid accident by any reasoning) in any case. Perhaps it was time to start looking at those brothers of his after all.

Valan the Scholar
Valan indeed had showed interest in history and lore and a dozen other things, though history was his preferred subject. His memory and voracious reading soon made the boy a veritable font of knowledge. As soon as his interest was free to roam at the university he devoured whatever he could find.
History, he reasoned, would always be happening, and someone had to write about it at some point. Historians therefore, would always have jobs. At least until people ran out of things to do. Valan's efforts would eventually earn him some money, though he worked as an occasional researcher at the university, aiding those who actually taught things by finding materials within the massive library, something he proved surprisingly adept at, despite his limp.
The transient researchers, compendiumists and the like, intrigued Valan, and despite his poor luck with both conveyances all of all sorts, Valan set out to record the events that would one day make up History as they happened, in the best way he could find: on foot.

Valan Nonesuch: Compendiumist
Valan's travels exposed him to numerous interesting places and things. It wasn't long before he'd run out of books to write in. A tragedy unto itself. He found himself bound for Lorehaven, on a boat for some godsforsaken reason, where he intended to acquire some more notebooks and be off again. While he was packaging his notes for storage a strange thought occurred to him. Some of these notes were copious to say the least. Investigations of a river not too far from Ciosa had filled several pages. A perusal of some of the earlier notes left him with a few other subjects. He hastily wrote up some sort of proposal, attached the notes to it and sent it off to New-Santhala.

Belongings
Valan's admittedly over-sized pack contains a lap desk, several well corked and wax sealed bottles of ink, and other writing equipment (quills, bits of charcoal, sand, paper for blotting, pencils, and so on) along with books and notebooks in various stages of completion. Valan also carries a gnarled stick of black birch with a bronze capped end which he uses as a crutch or a cane depending on whether or not he is walking or standing. It occasionally doubles as a stick for thumping people with, though not often.

Familiar
Valan keeps the company of a cat called "Inkear". The cat appears to be quite attached to him, though it is a feisty little creature, and happens to be quite the nuisance on occasion.

[Further Information]
« Last Edit: December 20, 2009, 07:33:34 AM by Azhira Elrosse » Logged

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Valan Nonesuch
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2009, 05:38:10 AM »

Right Valan... It's my turn to torture you devilish

Now, since you're not finished yet I'll give you a little tip for you to finish it off. First off, the strengths.... need to be LISTED and when I look at your strengths and weaknesses section, I think you'll need to re-do it. You can't pass with just one strength and one weakness; or so the section suggests.  One last thing; you'll need to expand your overview section; one or two sentence is definitely not enough.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2009, 05:50:47 AM by Inxth » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2009, 05:54:07 AM »

One very small thing, the tribe is called Erpheronian, not Erephonian ;)
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Simonne Miller
Valan Nonesuch
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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2009, 07:42:15 AM »

@Inxth
Strictly speaking, the requirements never say they must be listed, only that they must be separate. Customs may be as strong as rules and laws but they still aren't. I do have more than one within each paragraph, though it never explicitly says 1/1 is not permitted either.
I do apologize if my manner seems condescending but words can only be interpreted by the person who reads them I'm afraid.
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2009, 01:56:12 PM »

I'm sorry as well. I shouldn't have snapped at ya. But, to  be on the safe side, please separate them so it's much easier to see what the strengths and weaknesses are.
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2009, 02:43:34 PM »

"Strengths
These are things that are of advantage to you character. Anything your character is better at than the average person is considered a strength and should be included in this section. These include the possession of any skills, knowledge, or advantageous physical characteristic which the average person does not have. Each strength should be listed separately, with a short explanation of how it is of advantage to your character.

Weaknesses
These are things that represent disadvantages to your character, and should not be easily changed, though as the character develops these can be more easily overcome. Weaknesses should counter your strengths, and can even be present in areas your character excels at. Some areas to consider for weaknesses are lacking skills, knowledge or a physical attributes, particularly in areas that most influence your character. The lack of skills and knowledge that the average person does not have, such as weapon skills or magical ability, is not considered a weakness. Each weakness should be listed separately, with a short explanation of how it disadvantages your character."


While I understand that it says 'Should' at the beginning of the sentence, I tend to read is as a nicer way of sayin' this is needed. In my opinion, its better than just commandin' that it be listed.

As pointed out, we do ask that the Strengths and Weaknesses be listed, with each explained in 3-4 sentence, so we can understand how they hinder or help your character.

As a CD Mod it is my right to 'ask' that you provide us with somethin', and expect some changes. If you have valid reasons as to why your not goin' to change this then type them up and present them to me. I'll take the time to look, but in this case, fixing this is gonna be your easiest course of action, as we use these elaborated strengths and weaknesses as a means of checkin' a character's balance. Take a look at other CDs and you will find that those in the archives and those on the right track on this board have theirs set up this way for the most part. We aren't singlin' you out.
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Valan Nonesuch
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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2009, 08:12:17 PM »

I believe it was that the little icon with the pencil meant you -weren't- finished yet?
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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2009, 11:09:10 PM »

I understand that, but as the point was bein' argued with another player I believed I should step in with an actual quoted point that would end this. Also, after readin' your last post, I assumed you had missed this part which is somewhat important as it is one of the first few things commented on when settin' up a new CD.

Secondly, all I did was come in, settle an issue that was causin' a small dispute between two players. There is no need for you to go bitin' my head off for doin' my job. Yes, the pencil icon was up, but as I said, I saw the need to step in. If you choose to ignore my little comment and clarification on an issue, than go right ahead, but as soon as the exclamation mark comes up I'll re-post the same thing so you can take care of it anyways. Somewhat less work on your end if you just deal with it now.
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Valan Nonesuch
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« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2009, 09:46:15 AM »

There it is then, for ill or worse.
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Eléyr Fásamár
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« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2009, 10:34:30 AM »

I actually really like this CD, Valan. A refreshingly simple, well-written character which I have only a few, quick comments for. :)

Quote
Because things like histories and similar are often more precise in their native languages, Valan has learned passable styrash and theregrim which he can read fluently, though his knowledge of speaking the dwarven language leaves much to be desired.

1) Styrash, Thergerim (note the difference in spelling as well!), and Dwarven should all be capitalized as languages and nationalities are proper nouns. ;)

2) You leave the horse accident in the history pretty vague, but I'd actually prefer you elaborate on that a bit more. Just to clarify on the severity and the circumstances under which the event took place.

3) Your history is a teensy bit short for a 43 year old. Some great things to expand it could be some specific topics he researched or wrote about that had a large impact on him, what city he grew up in, and things like that. Also, you make reference to a "university" in your history. I'm assuming your referring to the Lorehold located in this city, but if you could confirm that it would be great! Thumb up

Quote
Valan's efforts would eventually earn him some money, though he worked as a sometimes researcher at the university, aiding those who actually taught things by finding materials within the massive library.

4) Did you mean to say "part-time researcher" here. I've never heard "sometimes researcher" used before, and it just seems a little awkward. But that's just a little nitpicky thing of mine.

Overall, a good CD. I didn't have many comments for this one, so I'm hoping this goes for a speedy approval! grin

~Eleyr
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Valan Nonesuch
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« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2009, 11:09:56 AM »

I think I've sorted it all out then.
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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2009, 05:06:44 AM »

Name: Valan
     
Gender: Male

Age: 43

Race: Human
 
Tribe: Erpheronian

Occupation: Scholar-for-Hire

Title: Collector of Lore


Overview
A short, owlish man with ruddy brown hair, a stick and a large coat with several dozen bulging pockets, Valan appears to be lost in thought much of the time. Maybe. What's the 'maybe' about? Either he appears that way or he doesn't (no matter if it's really the case or he only appears so). The word is just confusing me a little ;)


Appearance
     
Height
1 Ped, 1 Fore

Hair Colour
Ruddy brown, beginning to gray

Eye Colour
Brown

Physical Appearance
Valan is short and owlish. Of rather insignificant height, I'd say at 1 ped and 1 fore, he's past 'insignificant height' and into 'really really short'... he possess a pair of dark bags under his eyes regardless of the amount of sleep he has recently managed, and a slight stoop, with lends to the illusion of being examined by an owl. His eyes are rather large, and a dark brown in colour. Does he blink with them often? He walks with a limp and has little physical strength to speak of, owing to a lifetime spent in libraries and an overall slender build. He has a slight goatee, which grows and shortens depending on how much time he spends doing anything of particular interest, instead of remembering to shave. So what about his nose? Teeth? Does he smile often, or does he look rather severe? We are using the description here to paint a picture of your character in our mind, so anything you can tell us is appreciated.

Clothing
Valan's face is almost permanently topped by a brown hat with a pair of tufted feathers stuck into a brim on either side, a good, stout, brown cotton coat, waterproofed with oil and bulging with pockets inside and out, which lends a rather unexpected weight to it. Valan prefers to wear dark brown or black clothing to avoid ink stains. He is often poorly dressed for whatever occasion may present itself, since many of the types of clothing he prefers are workmanlike and easily repaired. Is he very often in situations where 'better' clothes are required? Many of Valan's clothes are well patched around the wrists, ankle, elbows and knees.

Personality
Valan is absent-minded in the extreme. He lacks a certain focus on what happens around him much of the time, only furthering his owlish appearance. When focussing on something interesting (say... books for instance) he becomes oddly intense as focused completley completely on whatever it is he is doing, much to the delight of others. Some find it amusing to frighten Valan while he is deep in concentration, including several colleagues of his (who shall remain nameless).

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths
Valan is a consummate polymath when it comes to intellectual pursuits. He knows quite a bit about history, geography (though directions when traveling continue to elude him.), lore and minor bits of philosophy. Much of Valan's knowledge is focused on the historical information of the obscure variety.
While not much of a teller of tales, Valan has collected quite a few folk-stories and legends, and enjoys hearing the differences in things like songs and tales as they change over distance.
Because things like histories and similar are often more precise in their native languages, Valan has learned passable Styrash and Thergerim which he can read fluently, though his knowledge of speaking the Dwarven language leaves much to be desired.

Weaknesses
Valan has difficulty focusing on that which he does not find interesting. He might for instance trail off in the middle of a conversation if something catches his attention, or begin a completely different train of thought in the middle of an unfinished one, and his explanations can endure for hours.
Valan is not a strong person by any definition of the word, and actually finds most types of lifting exhaustive and avoids having to move the same thing more than twice if he can, which is sometimes mistaken for laziness. how does being thought lazy hinder him? Or is it the 'not being strong' that is the weakness? Or both? This is not entirely clear :)
Due to a variety of circumstances (involving horses, and other things that one would never find in a library) Valan walks with a limb limp (a limb is part of a body) in his right leg, and lives in mortal fear of most horses. This bothers him particularly badly in inclement weather and usually leads to a great deal of grumbling.

History
As a young child, Valan was fascinated by the (usually exaggerated) tales the sailors told after arriving from more interesting places (at least to the young boy). The idea that people lived great distances away, and his interest made it only natural that he would start to collect some of these stories. The University held great fascination for the fisherman's son, who never showed much proficiency with boats. Indeed, travel by anything other than foot had disastrous results for Valan. One unfortunate incident involving a horse left him with a broken right leg that has not healed properly and has led to a limp in his later years.Young Valan attempted to lead a horse and it's wagon away from the docks, fell from the seat when something frightened the creature. His leg was run over by the loaded cart, and broken badly.  Sea travel made him violently ill, and his mortal fear of horses meant that access to much of the world would be slow for the would-be scholar. Valan's efforts would eventually earn him some money, though he worked as a sometimes researcher at the university, aiding those who actually taught things by finding materials within the massive library.
Valan's interest was piqued by the sheer amount of history within the library. History, he reasoned, would always be happening, and someone had to write about it at some point. Historians therefore, would always have jobs. At least until people ran out of things to do.
The itinerant researchers, compendiumists and the like, intrigued Valan, and despite his poor luck with both conveyances all of all sorts, Valan set out to record history as it happened, in the best way one could: on foot.

One thing I would like to see in the history is how he learned Styrash and Thergerim? Styrash is easy enough, with some looking you can probably find an elf willing to teach you, but dwarves are quite self-sufficient, and it's really not easy to get one to teach you their language, so I'd like to know how that came about.

Belongings
Valan's admittedly over-sized pack contains a lap desk, several well corked and wax sealed bottles of ink, and other writing equipment (quills, bits of charcoal, sand, paper for blotting, pencils, and so on) along with books and notebooks in various stages of completion. Valan also carries a gnarled stick of black birch with a bronze capped end which he uses as a crutch or a cane depending on whether or not he is walking or standing. It occasionally doubles as a stick for thumping people with, though not often.

Ok, and that's it for tonight! I hope my comments aid you a little in getting an approval. You're not far from it, so congratulations on a character well-written :)
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« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2009, 05:56:17 AM »

I'll add the explanation for learning thergerim as soon as I think one up... asuming I can.
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Valan Nonesuch
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« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2009, 08:11:24 AM »

Explanation added. I think it needs expanding but the reasoning behind learning dwarven exists now.
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« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2009, 10:00:42 AM »

Well, Roosje did mention that dwarves were self-serving and might not be immediately willing to teach you their language. So I would tell us about the dwarf you ended up learning from, and what you did to befriend him enough to get him to teach it to you. Also, how long did he spend with the dwarves? You can't exactly pick up a language in just a short stay. ;)
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