[There you are, my boy. I was wondering if you'd have the chance to sit down and, ahem, read some before you reached Kiergard.]
"I'm sorry. First we were busy dealing with...um...what was left of Azhgrott. And then we've been trying to put distance between us and those human soldiers who showed up there. I'm finally on watch alone."
[I understand. There were times I lived a wandering life myself, actually. Back when I was a young man.]
"Really? Which did you prefer? Roaming and wandering, or staying in your little cottage?"
[Well, when I was wandering, I preferred wandering, and when I was settled in my cottage, I preferred being settled in my cottage. Both had their merits. Heh heh, I would say it depends on your perspective, in large part, and a man's perspective changes quite a bit as he ages. Or a kobold's, I expect.]
[I know better than to think you don't understand me, so I must conclude that you aren't convinced. Surely you must view Valkith and the Bloodskull, barbarians, orcs, humans, magic, even yourself, differently from when you first set out to Azghrott?]
[It's the same thing. One's tastes expand and refine, one learns more about oneself and the world, and has a desire to appreciate ways of life different from one's own.]
"When I was in Valkith, I didn't really think that there was much that was worth learning if it wasn't inside a book."
[Books are wonderful things, young master kobold, but as teachers, they fall short. And I should know.]
"Ummm...was that supposed to be a joke?"
[Yes, and you should laugh.]
"Everyone else already thinks my sanity is on shaky ground, when I talk to you. Laughing will only convince them more."
[Does any of them understand the secrets of the arcane as deeply as you do?]
"I, um, I don't think so, no."
[The answer, my boy, is no. A resounding no.]
"Hey, I don't think that's very nice."
[I did not say, Nibar, that your friends are inferior for not knowing what you do.]
[There is a difference, and one you must learn soon, between recognizing your strengths and weaknesses as well as those of others so that you can understand them, and belittling others for their weaknesses. Especially now.]
"What? Why especially now?"
[Because, lad, your strengths are advancing to the point where you will be noticed. And noticed by people with power.]
"But, I'm nobody special. Just an on-the-run scribe who worked for the Bloodskull."
[A scribe who not only knows magic, Nibar, but one who taught himself using only books. No teachers or mentors. I cannot over-stress the importance of that fact. Of more immediate importance is the fact that, self-taught or not, you are advancing beyond the realms of mere hedge-wizardry. You'll soon be heading into deep and dangerous secrets of the arcane.]
"But there are lots of people out there who can do the magic I'm capable of."
[Lots, yes. But that number is far fewer than the arcane feats you were capable of just two months ago. It's primarily about that, and the events in Azhgrott, that I wanted to speak to you.]
"What do you mean?"
[You said you got angry, and you told me about what you did to Tredgemor.]
"He...killed most of my people in Azhgrott. Just to make himself an army."
[Yes, he did. And anger against that kind of evil is not a bad thing, Nibar. It shows you have a moral center, and that you are passionate about defending what you believe is right. It's one of the reasons I like speaking with you. But, it will behoove you to learn some new ways to show that anger.]
"Why? It's not like I can hurt anyone if I get angry."
[As a matter of fact, you can. And that is why it is important for you to recognize your strengths. You are a wizard.]
"Well, if you say so."
[Stop acting a false humility. But a wizard controls the forces of reality. Isn't that so?]
"Well, yeah. But that's not really what I'm doing...is it?"
[Bending the world so that you and your friends move faster? Crafting a shield around a friend to keep them from harm by evil things? Making them stronger? You don't call that controlling reality?]
"I, um, never really thought of it like that."
[What do you think would happen, then, if someone who can control the very forces of reality loses himself to anger?]
"I don't know; something bad."
[Do you think it likely, boy, that someone powerful enough to turn a foe to ash with a thought and a gesture wouldn't use that if he were angry...as angry as you were with Tredgemor?]
"But that's not fair! He murdered all my people in Azhgrott!"
[Yes, he did, and it was a vile, horrible thing. And no, it's not fair. This isn't at all about fair. If you let that anger, even if it is anger over an injustice, overmaster you, it will at the least be a cause for great regret. You have a responsibility to your friends, to yourself, and to the world that operates in part on what you study. To use the intellect you were given, and not to allow it to be subsumed by your feelings. Let the sorcerers do that. You follow a different path; one of knowledge, and the wisdom to know what to do with it.]
"I...suppose you're right."
[That is why it is important to recognize your strengths and lacks, as well as those of others. Your friends will have need of your gift, and the thing about your gift is that it works best when it is informed by, but not clouded by, your emotions.]
"I guess that makes sense. It's a lot to think about."
[It is. But you have time yet before your watch is up. I'll leave you to think on it. When you're ready to talk more, I'll be here.]