The dragon (and Habib could not think of him in any other way) was infuriatingly hard to read. How do you know if its a snarl or a smile? Although he had tried to hide the presence of the other fire creature, the dragon seemed drawn by the smell of smoke that always wafted around him. Jaren had spent several minutes inspecting the azer silently, and then suddenly began to speak a language of hissing growls filled with gusts of air and snapping sounds.
"What are you called?"
"My name is Embre."
Jaren looked at the welt on the fiery dwarfs head, it seemed to flow within itself, like lava. Small licks of flame arose from where eyebrows and ear hair would be. He smelled like the dying embers of a campfire. Jaren recognized the symbol as an ignan rune "traitor".
"Explain the mark you bear."
"The liege of my homeland marked me thus, and exiled me."
"Obviously. I mean why are you marked as a traitor."
The outsider was used to orders, but no master had ever asked him this before.His voice quieted to barely a whisper.
" I was tricked by an Efreet, a jester of a noble efreet my clan warred with. I believed he was an elemental dragon who needed my help. I was tricked into letting him into our castle. I was forbidden to never return to my homelands as long as I bore this scar. He stripped me of my Fire, and sold me to a Sultan on the northern tip of the continent to the west. I am forever more a slave, as long as I bear this scar."
The pause was so long it was painful. Habib's robes were puddled from the sweat running in rivers down his neck.
"What duties did you perform for the Sultan?"
"Mostly building monuments and palaces, or crafting weapons or armor, and since I have lost my Flame, I have become a skilled carpenter."
Another long pause.
"I can also read and write in the languages of fiends."
"I'll take him."