Just a background tease of a character I'm hoping gets some play...


"What is it you lack?"

The gnome lady's name was Toyn Bomba. Her eyes were grey and her bobbed hair was an interesting mixture of lavender and silver. Coraz couldn't tell if both colors were dyed or if one was highlighting the other. The gnome wore a simple brown robe and around her neck was a bronze pendant bearing an unblinking eye -- the symbol of Boccob. Coraz put her at around middle age, which for a gnome would mean about 250 years.

"Pa-pardon?" Wincing, the young woman fidgeted with the hem of her cloak before awkwardly rising to her feet. Her throat felt dry. Coraz didn't trust her voice right now, but Toyn took no apparent notice, instead gesturing to the relief set into the wall of the shrine. Another cold, unblinking eye stared out at the two of them.

"That's the way it is between gods and mortals. We call out to Them because we're missing something. Maybe They're missing something too. Maybe that's why They put up with us," Toyn smiled and jabbed a fat finger towards the eye. "Even Him."

A beat.

"Oh yeah, He's called 'The Uncaring'. But that doesn't mean He still won't make demands from you!" Toyn shook her head in amusement. "They ALL do, in Their own way. But Boccob, He's not as annoying as most."

Coraz blinked, taken aback by the gnome's words. "You...you ARE a priest, yes?"

"I've not been smited yet!" Toyn laughed. "I take that as a sign I've not displeased Him. But you, child..." The gnome cocked her head, peering now at Coraz. Coraz felt herself stiffen, wishing she would withdraw as deep as she could into the folds of her cloak. But there was no hint of surprise or malice in Toyn's voice as she continued. "...you're afraid of displeasing others, aren't you?"

Coraz just nodded, staring at Toyn with wide blue eyes and feeling the wetness behind them wanting to escape. The gnome took hold of her hand and gave it a matronly squeeze.

"He is the Uncaring One. Consider all sides of that coin, child." Toyn offered her a faint smile. "What is it you lack?"

Coraz's mind whirled. Protection and security, but there were other paths -- other gods that could offer that. If They didn't judge... Freedom? It didn't matter how far she could run, there was still that inescapable--

--no. They weren't inescapable. It was her own self. But if Boccob didn't care about that...

With trembling lips, Coraz answered "The truth."

Toyn nodded. "Then there it is then."