Donarious Thibault was a scoundrel. He had never needed friends, unless it was to gain their confidence in order to betray or use them. He lived alone, traveled alone, stole alone..a lone wolf of a rogue. He was a crude man, who’s vocabulary was mostly swears and rude retorts. The word ‘nice’ was never spoken of Donarious.
He was also easy pickings for a Drow raiding party a single loner, shot with a sleep dart and thrown in the back of a cage on on a wagon. Healthy human males sold well in the underdark slave market.
Donarious awoke to a stick poking him, he was still in the wagon. But it was not his Drow captors that he saw, for he saw no one. Just a stick poked up from below prodding him awake and a odd accented voice squeaking “Hey You, Alive?” from below the wagon. “well I ain’t fucking dead” Donarious said rubbing his aching head.
He looked over the side of the wagon in the darkness he could barely make out several 3 foot tall small humanoids. His head hurt from whatever the Drow drugged him with and his human eyes could not see in the dark of wherever he was at. He heard odd words he didn’t understand, and then his hand covered his eyes instinctively as a bright light source grew in front of him.
As his eyes grew accustomed to the light, there was more babble of words he didn’t understand. He lowered his hand from shielding his eyes. “What be you?” said one of the creatures before him that his eyes could now see. There were 5 gnomes, he knew them to be gnomes by their huge noses, but these looked as if covered in dirt and dust. They were almost uniformly grey/brown, clothing, armor, skin…everything the same color, almost like living statues. One gnome was forming his hands around a glowing ball that was illuminating the area, concentrating on its clearly magical eminence.
Scattered about the ground by the gnomes were several bodies of Drow, some had crossbow bolts buried in them, one body was still smoking and burned severely. He was in some sort of cave with a smooth floor, well worn and traveled. The gnomes babbled again in a tongue that Donarious could not understand. “What are you runts gonna do with me?” Donarious asked.
The gnomes mounted the cart, and took off with it. The cart bucked and bounced along the rock track, tossing Donarious about the cage. “Hey arn’t you little bastards gonna let me out?” he yelled his throbbing head worsened as the gnomes drove the cart at a freinzied speed…..
I first met the Deep Gnomes of Glimmerfell on a trading mission, fluent in the usual trade language of the underdark, undercommon. I greeted them, and then to gain their trust, I spoke what little gnome-tongue I knew “hail brothers, what have you got for me to trade?” is what I think I said. Surprisingly they responded in human-tongue, evidently for the same reason, but with the phrase “Only the biggest pair you’ve ever seen”
I wondered what I had said to them in gnomish, that made them say that? Better I go back to speaking under-common. But the gnomes persisted in human-speak, oddly ending many of their statements with “The biggest pair you’ve ever seen”
It was many years later that I learned that long ago the gnomes had rescued a human named Donarious from the Drow. This was at a time when the gnomes were interested in trade with the surface and wished to learn human speak. The gnomes learned all they could from Donarious before he disappeared, and unfortunately for them Donarious had a crude sense of humor, teaching the gnomes that in common human language “penis” meant friend “turd” meant good and “only the biggest pair you’ve ever seen” was a common friendly greeting to initiate trade.
It was even taught in the schools to the young…..