You step into a small room. Well, not really a room...more a rocky floor and a ceiling supported on four pillars on the corners of the floor. A young man-about eighteen or nineteen, you guess-is standing with his back to you, playing with a border collie puppy that only looks to be two months old. Two cats, one tortoiseshell-and-white and the other sleek black, sit on a nearby rock washing themselves and seeming to say, in a typical feline fashion, honestly! Canines and humans...who would want to run around on a hot day like this?!
Suddenly the puppy gives a yap and rushes over to you, tail wagging furiously.
"Hello, boy," you say, reaching down to give him a rub. You straighten up and look around for the dog's owner, who is leaning against a pillar trying to look calm and unruffled-an act which is betrayed by the brick red pallor of embarrassment covering his face.
"Sorry," he says, "didn't see you come in. Me and ol' fuzzyball here-" he indicates the puppy, "-were just killing time, waiting for someone to turn up. My name's Alnasl, and you are...?"
You introduce yourself, taking a good look at Alnasl. He is about five foot eleven with bright blond hair...so bright that you wonder briefly if it's come out of a bottle...and tanned skin with dark green/hazel eyes.
"Nice to meet you," Alnasl says. "Hey Digger-leave off that! Digger!"
The puppy gives him a 'who-me?' look, then opens his mouth and backs away. You're quite relieved...it wasn't exactly pleasant to have a dog chewing on your foot.
"I really am sorry about him," Alnasl says. "Digger loves chewing shoes...only problem is, he can't tell the difference between a shoe that someone's left for him-or simply just left-and a shoe that's attached to a foot! He also loves to tease Calica-" he indicates the tortoiseshell-and-white cat "and Sidia-" indicating the black cat. "Anyway, enough about this furry fuzzball...I assume you've come to ask about mating your Fire Lizard?"
"Yes, I have," you answer.
"Okay then." Alnasl crosses over to a small basket in a corner of the 'room' and starts rummaging around. Digger bounces over to him and, due to your position, you're unable to catch anything other than 'Digger let go of it' 'Let me have it' 'Digger!' and various other comments. Eventually, after a long while, Alnasl straightens up and hands you a scroll, albeit a slightly damp and chewed scroll.
"These are the rules for mating your Fire Lizard," he says. "Sorry about the condition-Digger got hold of it one day and took it for his new chew toy."
You laugh and start to read.