Well, aside from their new mage, that is. She's bored, and curious. Making portals to known places is straightforward enough, with the magic she found, but that's far from the limit of what it can do... so one day, she slips away, portals off to a different cave system - one can't be too careful, after all - and experiments.
Temperature roughly the same... gravity roughly the same... air the same, not into stone or underwater or in a volcano or on top of a mountain... but, instead of patterning it after a place she knows, what happens if she only specifies those things, and lets the innate patterns of the spot she's casting on do the rest? Particularly this one part, which seems to specify the world...
She finishes the spell, and hesitates for just a moment before activating it.
Kiri can get a decent picture of the kobold's native lifestyle this way, too - she comes from a culture of stone age hunter-gatherers, surrounded by people who have enough technology to work metal but who still live quite close to the land. Individual kobolds often have specialties - this one was roughly the equivalent of a physician's assistant or nurse, with a focus on gathering medicinal plants, before she became a mage - but they all know the basics of how to support the tribe, gathering food and cooking and making basic supplies like leather and rope and tools, and they're all expected to contribute to the tribe in that way, with the results of those contributions being held in common by the tribe as a whole.
"Kiri trade -" This is getting irritating. "Kiri speak 'I': Kiri. Kobold speak 'I': kobold." Yes? Personal pronouns?
...right. The kobold is intentionally not in the habit of using personal pronouns - apparently they're dangerous for her to use in the context she most often speaks in - but she knows them; here they are. Also 'you', and two variants of 'them', one for 'person of unspecified or irrelevant reproductive status' that can be used to refer to anyone and one for 'person who cannot reproduce' that mostly is used for children and elders; she declines to share the variants that specify reproductive status other than that.
Kiri translates 'you', translates the first 'them' as 'them', and, having no Welchin equivalent for compressing inability to reproduce into a pronoun, asserts that there is no Welchin word for it. ...And now she's curious. "Danger words?"
She has made a decent amount of progress in improving relations between the species, though, certainly enough for her to consider it worthwhile; even a fair portion of the tigerfolk tribes that she hasn't directly interacted with have switched over to using snare traps that a caught kobold can free themselves from, for example, and while she's not sure this change would hold in the case of another actual famine, an increasing number of tigerfolk appear to have stopped thinking of kobolds as even an emergency backup food source.
It's obvious to Kiri the kobold is a person: there is her mind, right there, whirring away, quite brightly. Whether it would have been obvious without that if the kobold didn't talk is not clear, admittedly, although she hopes if she saw some critters manufacturing rope and having roles specialized to the level of "physician's assistant" she would at least be thoroughly nervous about the possibility that anybody might eat one.
The kobold does think it's important and useful, even though it's not properly work (since it doesn't directly contribute to the tribe) and her tribemates consider her willingness to interact with or even be seen by outsiders unsettling.
Given that understanding, and enough self-awareness and self-care skills to safely put it to use, yes, she can do this thing, but she's very much an exception; for most kobolds, the taboo on being seen makes perfect sense, and seeing her flout that and survive is baffling.
"Tribemates think me danger?"
Absolutely. Most of them wouldn't even be open to the idea of letting them prove otherwise. Not that the kobold plans to try - her tribe puts up with her weirdness now, but only because she's proven that she's not going to put anyone but herself in danger, and that's a fairly fragile understanding; trying to get any of her tribemates involved could easily get her exiled, if her tribe decided they couldn't trust her any more.
"Why kobolds no speak?"
"Kobold want learn speak, kobold go tigerfolk, hide, listen, maybe learn. Go danger, small maybe learn - three, four kobold go, one kobold learn. Most kobold no go, danger scare."
"Why no kobold language?"
"Kobold person," she asserts, braced for action in case this gets a poor response.
That's a good enough answer that the kobold doesn't immediately teleport away. She watches Kiri, warily but thoughtfully, for a few long moments instead.
"I know," Kiri repeats. "I know thoughts, you think, you're a person."
Back into range.
That's... not usually the standard she's held to. Usually it's speaking, and usually even with her being able to it's an uphill slog to convince whatever tigerfolk she's dealing with that it's not a trick; 'if kobolds are so smart, why didn't any of the other ones talk' has been the end of that discussion more than once, and she really, really doesn't want to think about how that came to be a thing. (None of those other kobolds are alive now. She's sure of that. She's not going to think about why.)
So - kobolds don't talk; they just don't; that's okay, and if Kiri has a problem with it, this one can go home now.
Kiri shrugs. She doesn't have a problem with it; this one talks, and even if she stopped talking she thinks, which serves the immediate purposes of communication; and there are no other kobolds around to be inconveniently nonlinguistic, and even if there were they would still be people under the unlanguage barrier - but Kiri can't say most of that. So: shrug.
No, not really, but good enough. She's handled trickier situations in worse mental shape and come out okay.
Damn but she could use a hug right now, though.
Given that; given her options; where does she want to be right now?
Home is surprisingly not tempting. She wants a hug, but not nearly as much as she doesn't want to admit defeat, to deal with the smug looks from one faction and concern from the other that always happens when she comes back rattled from one of her trips, to deal with it being that much harder to go out again next time. Going someplace else - one of the private little crannies she's found in her travels - and hanging out for a few days while she gets her head together feels much more appealing. She could even come back here afterward, though that would probably cramp her schedule to the point where she might not be able to come back again like she agreed to. Or... she could stay. It's tempting. That impulse to fling herself directly at whatever she's afraid of will probably kill her eventually, she knows, but it's still there, and so far it hasn't actually steered her wrong, and anyway it's probably not actually going to kill her today.
So... she'll stay. And maybe portal back to one of the prettier winter caves for a while before bed tonight.
"Person think danger: 'afraid'."
Sure. More words is fine. Here's the animalperson word for that. And 'hungry', and 'angry', and 'safe', and 'happy'.
Somehow Kiri gets the impression that asserting that the kobold is safe will not have the desired effect. She translates these conditions into Welchin.
The kobold is somewhat distracted thinking about various places - she offers some nouns from that. Tree. Rock. Dirt. Grass. Lake. Waterfall. Path. Bush. Leaf. Berry. Fruit. Nut. Cliff. Sky. Sun. Cloud. Rain. Snow. Wind. Hill. Cave.