I stare at him for a few seconds, waiting for him to continue. I sigh, heavily. "Out with it, boy. It's been a long day already. And call me Kurgen. I am no one's master." Quanire starts, his eyes round. Perhaps I've overdone it. He's handled himself well but is obviously tired and a little scared. Whatever the hell is going on here has him rattled. I try a kinder tack. "Look, just tell me who this mutual friend is and what they need. We Dwarves are famous for our loyalty. I am no different, Quanire. I always help my friends when I am able." I pause, studying him. "I sense that you're mixed up in something bad. Perhaps we can be of mutual benefit to one another. I need some help finding a friend of my own. You help me find my friend and I'll do what I can to ease whatever burden it is you are carrying." I have the sense that our problems may be the same one but I can't yet be completely sure.
"Ah, well, yes...erm...Kurgen," Quanire begins, but then stops frowning and looking about him at the impressive Dwarven architecture. He glances toward the door. It doesn't take a genius to see he's thinking of the guards outside. Or of the crushing authority figures all around him, born of not one, but two nations.
I try not to roll my eyes and engage in the familiar habit of pinching the bridge of my wide, uneven nose. I try again, speaking kindly but sternly. "Consider, servant of the White Dove, that your duties as a healer far outweigh any other, more worldly considerations." I jerk my thumb at the door. "I trust you have taken this mission on behalf of our mutual friend precisely because it falls within the boundaries of your duties. Else, you would not come here in such haste and fluster. Consider also, you rest upon Dwarven soil. Our peoples cooperate as much as we are able. Sometimes the diplomacy and bureaucracy inherent in those processes slows communication. Though we remain vigilant in our own duties as diplomats, certain information can become obsolete or obfuscated by matters of greater importance. Do you understand?"
Quanire is silent a moment. I can see the wheels turning. Here is a bright lad, with an agile and open mind. I can only hope he can see past his fear and hold fast to the lifeline I've tossed him. At last, he responds...