In the Consulate of Stars, on the Pu’er continent, there is the city of Theophrastus. It contains 170,000 people, at any given time, packed loosely into twisted spires and crooked alleyways and more ordinary businesses and homes. In it, walking through one particular alleyway, there is a neko - androgynous and slender, with pointed cat ears and a slowly swaying black tail - and an improbably tall and athletic drow, walking beside him.
The neko - Jade - is considering going to a tavern.
This is never a good sign.
Some people go to taverns very casually; otherwise they would be a less viable business. This is fine, if you’re a relatively ordinary person. It might even be fine if you’ve been interesting for a very long time; hundred year old adventurers who’ve yet to learn their tenth secret can grab drinks without any particular concern.
Jade Bushida is only twenty three. He has already learned fourteen secrets. He is ordinarily far too sensible to go around visiting taverns.
But the other person in his head wants to, very badly, and so he is considering it.
‘... why do you want to go to a tavern,’ says Jade, internally.
‘Um,’ says the other person in his brain.
‘Um’, they repeat. ‘We’ve been on the road for a while now, and, um. I thought it would be fun?’
‘Taverns are not fun.’
‘I, um. I’m sorry if this is a conflicting need, but I really want to go to a tavern and we’re supposed to have joint input on stuff and everything, so I think that we should do it.’
‘That is not an explanation.’
‘We just spent the last week trekking through the wilderness and I’m really very lonely and sad and I think a tavern would be better for me than just finding an inn?’
‘I don’t think that it will help.’
‘Um. I think that it’ll help, and I think that I’m still allowed to make decisions sometimes, even though decisions are hard, and I don’t think the overall risk estimate on going to a tavern is actually high enough for you to exert your veto?’
‘This is going to end poorly.’
‘I’m okay with my decisions occasionally ending poorly. You’ve also made decisions that ended poorly and I really don’t think that means that you shouldn’t make decisions at all or anything?’
He turns to his… traveling companion… what would even be the word for ‘the person his headmate is dating’...
“Kamin wants to go to a tavern.”