Sida is walking along a mountain road in the dark. Which, sure, maybe isn't the safest thing, but walking in the dark is fun and she doesn't want to stop for the night just yet.
"No, not at all! This is Tarka, who was just telling me about the safest ways to delve in the dungeon under the Tower! Tarka, this is Josarin - she's from another world, it's fascinating!"
"Pleased to meet you, Josarin."
[INQUIRE ABOUT ORIGINS.]
"I'm curious, where did you come from? And how did you get here?"
"The planet is named Olam, but I don't think that would mean anything to you. It's another world, kind of like this one, but without magic, gods, Weight, or people other than humans. Well, I thought we didn't have magic, but I got hit by a truck and transported here, and I guess that's kinda magical. I have no idea how it happened, really."
"Ah, so you are stranded, then?"
"Yes. Probably. Unless I become a Great Name and gain the ability to transit planes. Which is what I'm aiming for, it's just not very likely."
[SHE SHOWS PROMISE. WATCH HER.]
"Indeed. I wish you luck."
"So, how are your plans going then Josarin? Have you decided if you're going to try entering the dungeon after you've finished your training?"
"I'm making progress. I might be done in... nine to eleven months? Optimistically? But I think I have reason to be optimistic. I might visit the dungeon once or twice, but I don't think I'd want to make it my regular gig. I've got a whole new planet to explore, you know?"
"You're making good time, then! I look forward to seeing what you can do. The dungeon seems dreadfully boring, to be honest! All risk and death and the botany is well-studied even when it is valuable. Well, until you get down to, what, the 5th floor? I hear there's some good stuff that far down. For people who really need the money and power, like, now, I can see the appeal, but I can afford better."
"It is somewhat predictable, yes, which can be advantageous. But I imagine it would get boring for some people."
"I was thinking about getting a party together, hitting the road, and seeing what we run into. There should be plenty of appropriate risks to take in the wilderness, if I'm not mistaken."
"Oh the wilderness is just as willing to kill you as the dungeon is, indeed. Somewhat more, if you account for the fact that sometimes you're not the only dangerous thing wandering around out there. But also, you have the chance to find things people have never found before, as opposed to the corpses of the last people to try going down the path you're taking."
"Personally, I am satisfied with the progress I am making now, although I can see why you would feel that way. I suspect it is better for one's growth—not Experience, but one's general skill and the range of situations they know how to handle—to go off the beaten path, as it were."
"I think finding corpses could be interesting, actually. As long as whatever got them doesn't get me."
"While we're talking trade: Dyva, I'm curious how your, uh, career is going."
"Whatever got them will certainly try to get you, unless you were what got them, and you have to worry about the unquiet dead - people who aren't buried properly, or who died violently, tend to leave behind bits of themselves that are often aggressive." This last bit is said with an air of of 'oh right I need to make sure my offworlder friend is kept up to speed on magic-related common knowledge'.
"Things have been going very well for me! I've got some interesting seeds that I've been trying to grow, apparently they're from a mobile carnivorous plant that I'd quite like to train up. Ossa is good and all, but having some extra firepower would always be nice. I haven't been able to get them to sprout yet, though, I'm not sure why." (She can list half a dozen possible reasons, from hydrology to the magical character of the air, though, and what she's trying to do about all of them).
Sida is glad to be kept up to speed on magic-related common knowledge!
"I've heard about unquiet dead, but I was under the impression they wouldn’t be a problem immediately, for some reason. And, uh, I guess what I meant is, are you killing things?"
"You're right it's not usually a problem immediately, but if someone's body is left in the dungeon for a few days, that'll absolutely do it, though. I'm not personally killing things right now, except for occasionally when something goes rogue in the family garden-complex. Killing things would take time away from my garden. I guess I should at some point, but for now I'm happy spending my parent's money."
"If you do want to travel eventually, it seems like it would be hard to take your garden with you."
"... I've got a few plans, but yeah. Not fun. Still, if a decade of wandering and collecting seeds lets me come home and set up a *really good* garden, I think that'll be worth it?"
"Civilization is pretty old here, right? Do you know if there are any large seed libraries anywhere?"
"Soil's cults are known for them, even their little temples tend to make sure that there's reserves of seed for the future. I've always wanted to go on a pilgrimage to the grand temple to the south, but it's a long way. I'm sure the dwarves have some as well, they love Soil, but it'd all be underground stuff probably. Which is still interesting, you can get some really cool plants underground! But a lot of them need the depths to grow at all. It's a real shame there isn't a proper temple to Soil in this city, but they take so long to build. We have a shrine at home though, and we can leave offerings at the construction site, or the dwarf diarch-temple."
"Diarch-temple is Steel and Soil, right?"
"Correct. Although the way dwarves worship them is not the same as they are normally worshiped."
"I have been pretty confused about gods. Religion here seems to be some strange combination of trading or allying with gods the way you'd trade or ally with any other person, having weird parasocial attachments to gods, and vague philosophical alignment with gods for which it is unclear to me why the specific entity is necessary. I mean, the organized priesthoods and the trading part make sense to me, but I don't really get why people worship them."
"What else would you worship?"