a solemn man, constantly dusting and polishing the items in his shop.
At night :
The old man never turns away from his telescope. "Shhh! Can't you see I'm busy?!"
"Whoever you are, come back in the morning."
The old man adjusts the telescope, exclaims "Aha!" and starts scribbling on a scroll.
During day :
"Ahem. Yes, what can I help you with, madam/sir?"
"I am Ephemerides."
"I am an astronomer. More precisely, I calculate movements of the stars, phases of the moons..."
"My field of specialization is tidal predictions."
"I also make various glasswares and instruments."
"Yes, sextants mostly."
"Lenses and the like."
"Which of you?"
full-<NPC Name> looks at <Character Name>. "You haven't any room in your pack."
no gold-<NPC Name> looks at <Character Name>. "<Item Name>s cost more gold than you have."
Have gold/room-<NPC Name> looks at <Character Name>. "It'll cost you # gold for a <Item Name>. Do you want one?"
no-<NPC Name> frowns at <Character Name>, "That was a good price."
yes-He hands <Character Name> a <Item Name>.
"Lord British has requested the publication of an almanac for use by the general populace."
"It will contain high tides, low tides, ebb tides, flood tides, spring tides, and neap tides."
"Britannia's tides are a function of the two moons, Felucca and Trammel, interacting with our world, Sosaria."
"I plan to publish a paper about how the world is flat, to dispel all this foolish talk to the contrary."
"Afterwards, I will construct a model of how it all works: an orrery."
leased with your interest, Ephemerides shows you papers with plans for a clockwork model of the Sosarian system.
"This, ahem, flat piece is Britannia. Each moon would exert a pull on the oceans thus, resulting in the tides."
"You turn that little handle there to get it to go!"*
The normally staid Ephemerides is practically giggling with glee.
"Low and high tide marks are close together. The planets are in quadrature."
"Angular separation of two celestial bodies (as measured from a third) being ninety degrees, of course. A very safe tide."
"The opposite of a neap tide; the sun, earth and moons are all aligned."
"Thus, lines of low and high tide are far apart."
"Once I construct my orrery, I'd be able to demonstrate the principles involved."
Made lens :
"I hope the lens I made you will prove suitable."
Don't have Gargoyle lens :
"What sort of lens do you want?"
Ephimerdes has Gargoyle lens :
"When you bring me a glass sword, I should be able to duplicate your lens for you."
Avatar has Gargoyle lens :
"Ooooh, let me see it... That's a very interesting lens."
"You need a concave copy of it? Let me think..."
"It would be very tricky to duplicate, being magical in nature, but I believe I might be able to do it."
"The material and the nature of the enchantment appear similar to those involved in the making of glass swords."
"If I could keep this to analyze while you go get me a glass sword, I'll try and make a copy for you."
Before you can protest, he pockets the lens. "Let me know when you have the glass sword."
Avatar has sword, Epimerdes has lens :
"Ah, you've brought me a glass sword! Let me just get your lens..."
He fumbles through his pockets.
"Oh no! I seem to have lost the lens!"
"Just kidding... Here it is. Now I'll melt down the glass sword and try to cast a lens for you."
You watch as he works, intently focused on his task. Finally he pronounces the job a success.
"Here's your lens back, and the duplicate. There's no charge - the challenge of the task was reward enough."
"I don't know what you need these lenses for, but I wish you luck!"
"I once heard of a master glassblower who could make glass swords..."
"Minoc is the logical place to look. That town is filled with master craftsmen."
"Why, I once heard of a man from Minoc who built a flying machine!"
"Must have been a fairy tale, of course."
"Goodbye, <Gender>. It was nice talking with you."
"That I cannot help you with."