The rain tattered on the top of Porone Belltower's carriage. The merchant gave a sigh. "Four solid days of rain," he declared. "On top of three weeks of it on and off." He clicked his tongue. "It'll be an unpleasant winter. Cold, long, and unpleasant."
The Goblin driving the cart gave a grunt.
Porone regarded him and then went on. "Of course you might say, what does this bother me, with my safe warm halls protected by thick, warm walls, but you know heating them costs, and I do like to stroll outside of them, even if I don't necessarily look it!" The merchant gave a loud laugh.
The Goblin gave another grunt.
Porone regarded him again, and then sighed. "You could at least make casual conversation, Beld."
Beld frowned and spurred on the horses. "Didn't pay me to talk. Paid me to drive the cart, not ask questions during it, and to not talk afterwards."
"So--I would have to pay you extra for conversation?" asked Porone.
"If you want to talk about the weather, yes," answered Beld. The Goblin shook his head. "It ain't exactly scintillating wit, sir, if you don't mind me saying. Nor is it informative. People always try to talk to about the weather, and they always want to say the same things. And I will add, they do so while assuming the authority of a Hardheels Abbot discussing the Esoteric disciplines. An authority they do not deserve." He grimaced. "I have had men--and some women--declare iron laws of weather time and time again, many of which contradict each other, and always with absolute certainty. It is tiresome, sir. It is tiresome."
Porone coughed. "So... would you rather we just... sit here in silence then?"
"Rather than talk about the the weather?" Beld nodded. "Indeed."
"I see." Porone put his hands on his lap, and sat in awkward silence for a moment. After a while, he turned and glanced at the Goblin. "May I state that you are probably the worst company I've had on the Great Stone Way?"
"I doubt that, sir," said Beld. "If it were so, you wouldn't be up here with me. You'd be back there with the individual I am not at liberty to name/"
Porone narrowed his eyes. "All right. I grant that. But... you are on the list."
"That I can both accept as true, and live with," answered the Goblin.