If I were to give new adventurers two pieces of advice, it would be the following: one, always say yes; two, if something sounds too good to be true, it is. It may look like these are two pieces of contradictory advice but only on the surface. The place to make the wisdom roll is figuring out when the “too good to be true” part is about to turn from “too good” to “too good to be true.” Once that skill is mastered, then saying yes to everything becomes much more fun. Of course, living long enough to acquire this wisdom is the tricky bit; I have been part of several parties where the jeweled goblet at the bottom of the pool was actually bait set by a nearby aboleth or the giant feast that we find in the abandoned castle turns into a vast illusion cast by some angry magic-user. These encounters often go something similar to this: Dingeldwarf Velvethammer reaches for the cup, the aboleth goes for the clutch, clutch, grab routine, and we all spend much-needed arrows, potions, wand charges, and the rest to save our overly-inquisitive companion.

But the always say yes part; that is where the real good times are at. Long-time acquaintance Hamor once was living in Irongate, near the Iron Hills. Yes, that same Hamor who was instrumental in finding and procuring the famed “high-end, Bag-end Heavy top” from our local Troll teenager. It was a down time in the adventuring season; early Readying is too rainy and cold to do much exploring and most of the good caravan guard and city militia jobs are already taken. This enforced vacation meant time was sitting heavy on the hands of Hamor and I. A human and a halfling can only visit the same taverns, ale houses, bars, pubs, and watering holes a certain amount of times before their credit starts to run a little thin and the bouncers become a little less friendly. But I will give this to Hamor, that hairyfoot can track down a party anywhere. Drop him into the middle of the Bright Desert, and he will find three local herbs to take and five human/demi-human/humanoids to get down with. He hears from some flind that if we are looking for a little pick-me-down, we should head underground. At first, I didn’t get it: of course we have to head underground; it is not like my local merchant is selling bags of Tilmon’s Headrest  [highly recommended] over the counter. Then I put a few more of the pieces together and realized that we had to physically go underground, as in into a cave or some other naturally occurring hole in the ground. What can I say? I’m a fighter; intelligence comes in fourth, after strength, constitution, and dexterity. Don’t even get me started on where wisdom went.

Hamor leads me to some cave about fifteen minutes outside of town. We light some torches and head in. Long story short, after walking and walking and walking, we begin to hear something. We get closer and realize it is laughter, but not people or halfling laughter; it is deep gnome laughter. Yes, that’s right; we had found us some wasted Svirfneblin. It was one of the odder moments of my adventuring career, right up there with when I saw two xvarts and a goblin dress as a hill giant to trick some local merchants into paying protection. Svirfs are not known for their mirthful displays: they leave that to the surface dwellers. Yet, here were about fifteen of them, whacked out of their collective heads on some of the local growth. We went into the party, did a little small talk, made a couple of charisma checks, and before we knew it, we got, as our deep gnome friends call it, rockled.

A couple tidbits about partying with svirfneblins; they spend almost all of their time underground; as a result, their discussions generally concern rocks, stones, minerals, inclines and declines. They know when one of their fellow gnomes has had a little too much of the hydroponic fungi when a) They become, as the gnomes say, “Smoke Snelflinged.” When one is in this state, they do things such as fail to detect slight gradation in passages. I overhead one svirfneblin comment:  “That guy got Smoke Sneflinged. I mean, he was so wasted he could not even tell that the slope in the floor was 45 degrees incline or decline. How many die rolls did that guy miss to screw that up?” b)  Bilgerd or Climver or Perchnif  is unable to distinguish sandstone from granite or mica from quartz. Now to the untrained eye, stone is stone. It pretty much does the same stuff, looks the same, and hurts the same when it falls. But deep gnomes take their stone very seriously. When one of the group can’t make these distinctions, they are cut off: no more of anything for them.  As I mentioned, they take stone seriously.

It was sometime later that we made our way out of the cave. I don’t remember much more of our time underground, but I do know that I went into a cave, got two great terms out of the trip [Smoke Snelflinged and rockled] and that I want to meet this Smoke Snelfling person. If he or she has been turned into a verb that means to be wasted, then they seem to be a personage that I should be acquainted with.

This gnome is rockled

This gnome is rockled

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