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Welcome Home

We know of course that other gnome families reside in Herbium aside from Gene’s extensive one but to be fair they were usually of a certain appearance small in stature with an overall approachable air. Although, one chill autumn morning an older gnome staggered into town. His face was completely hidden beneath paint: a white blanketed visage, blue swathed across the lids of his eyes, and red splattered everywhere! 

You can imagine the fear and confusion apparent on the faces of those around him, but for one gentle woman who approached and inquired softly, “Can I help you friend? You seem lost.” The man turned a crooked smile towards her and replied, “Oh, I am not sure anyone can help me dearie.” His eyes glinted with a sort of unhinged glee at having been addressed openly, “The name’s Sid by the by.” The woman replied, “Good to meet you Sid. Would you care to come inside away from the cold and tell us how you came to be here?” Sid chuckled to himself, took the woman’s arm and shuffled his mud encrusted soles along with her into the main cabin of the local gnome’s guild. 

Sid found himself in front of a warm fire, a cup of tea in one hand, with a few other gnomes spaced round the hearth nervously. He hacked and sputtered clearing his throat and began his tale in a gruff tone as if he hadn’t spoken aloud in a great long while: 

“I remember very little of my path here, but I can tell you I have traveled for many moons before reaching this place. The world beyond is filled with dangers and cruelties you can scarcely begin to imagine. Shadows creep forth in the night to attack the unwitting or weak. I made it here not without a little sacrifice on my part. 

You would think that the unexplained darknessess of the deep woods would be the greatest thing to fear but I hold no fear for the wilds. Humanity holds the greatest capacity for pain and kindness. 

(Here he gave a light nod to the brave woman who led him inside.) 

I have witnessed such atrocities in my life at the hands of those who consider themselves masters of this world: children left to starve in the cold, thousands perish over beliefs that do not affect them, animals toyed with and slaughtered all in the name of humanities needs. This world is certainly unkind to those who do not have the right gifts to offer. My days are a blur and it would be untrue to say I am not weary for all that I have seen. This seems a kind and quiet place to rest for a time if you would have me? I can find ways to be useful, I am sure.”

While Sid spoke his audience had multiplied and drawn in close as if the crackling of the flames did burn away any trace of fear these people previously held for him. After his moving revelations the guild gnomes were more than happy to make a place for him in their home. Truly Sid became a member of their family, as prized as a wizened old grandfather who shared his stories around the campfire after sunset. Indeed the children found Sid the most appealing, developing a game of trying to add little bits of paint or doodles at the edges of his face or on his hands. It just goes to show that you don’t know a person’s heart lest you take the time to listen to the whispers of their footsteps on the soft earth they've tread.

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