This van labeled HAZARDOUS MATERIALS is also on its way to school.
The van hits a patch of black ice. It goes spinning, it turns over, it slices itself open on a wrought-iron fence with spikes, and it disgorges boxes which smash open on the pavement. Some of them skitter clear into the slush.
Some of them - along with most of the van - land on Annie.
There is a whirl of bewildering pain and confusion -
- and she falls to the ground, injured and in more kinds of discomfort beyond that and moaning.
She slowly starts to heal before the eyes of her sole witness.
"Yes I am, did you hear about the side effect? And the short version is buying food from some dwarves and selling it to other ones."
"The long version is that dwarves have a caste system, but some of them are casteless and those aren't allowed to sell things legally to other dwarves. Those laws don't apply to non-dwarves, so to give them an alternative to organized crime it would be useful to have a few down there to sort of relay things, especially now since I invented a thing that lets them grow plants underground and they'll have those to sell."
"Shouldn't take more than two or three, and that'll probably make the dwarves in general more comfortable with it if there's not a massive immigration. Dwarves are doing the farming, dwarves could do the actual retail work and hauling the potatoes around, the non-dwarves would be present almost entirely symbolically."
"The job might not last very long, if the casteless are allowed to sell things themselves at some point, is that okay?"
"Cool. I'll want to talk to my fiancé" (eee) "about whether you need to go with escort or if he can just write you a letter. What's your name?"
Annie writes that down. "What's a good way to find you when I find out about how to get you into Orzammar?"
"Not more than a day, likely less."
Well, Annie can hand out the language property. She makes sure they all know about the side effect and says she'll probably be around the encampment tomorrow if they decide they don't like it.
"How's it going?"
"Well, nobody warned me in advance that it's not a good idea to put Elvish on a sign intended to address elves, so that had to be explained to me."
... Stalas hugs her.
Hug. "Um, but they're kind of collectively excited about the languages thing so I've been handing that out and I have one taker on the job but I need to know how she'd be getting into Orzammar, can you just write her a letter or do we have to swing by and pick her up whenever we go back or what?"
"It'll probably go easier for her if I escort her into Orzammar personally, but a letter might do. It's just that if the gate guards argue with the letter, the result is that she stays outside, and if the gate guards argue with me, the result is that she comes in."
"So I guess it depends on how she feels loitering around the entrance for - how long are we expecting to be up here?"
"Might be as long as a month or two, but any more than that and the archdemon will have caused us to miss our wedding, which is unacceptable."