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Codex entry: Trading with Kal-Sharok

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Codex text

My approach was carefully observed. This was not a thaig unused to watching its boundaries. I got the impression that if I'd been one of his Orzammar cousins, our meeting would've been swift and bloody. That is, if I'd been allowed to find the passage at all. As it was, he was polite and efficient, and he knew well the current market for everything he offered. Clearly their isolation is not because of fear, and certainly not disinterest. Among his wares, I saw the latest fabrics of Val Royeaux and volumes by a Free Marcher poet three centuries dead. This only added to my doubt of the official year of Kal-Sharok's "rediscovery" as declared by the Assembly of Orzammar. I didn't mention this to my host. As curious as I was, there was an undercurrent I found unsettling. I must stress that he and his helpers were professional and honest throughout. But there was something I can't describe. While he remained hooded the entire time, he looked me square in the eye when our deal was struck, unashamed.

I lived through a time of Blight. I've felt the gaze of a Grey Warden and seen the corruption of his prey. Why I remembered both in that moment, I still can't explain.

—On meeting Novas Sturhald in Kal-Sharok, excerpted from the journals of Ser Evrain Abernache, noble merchant-scholar

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