"Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying." -- Arthur C. Clark
The gnome hefts the giant tome situated on his back and then pushes his round spectacles up his protruding nose. He rubs the tip of his nose, knowing that he should really stop studying with his face so close to the books. The skin would sometimes rub off the tip during long hours of recording and study. Specks were moving on down the road, and he produces a spyglass from a loop on his hip. Through the lens, he spots a group of adventurers. He grins from ear-to-ear and gives a hoot, almost losing his balance due to the weight of the book on his back.
"These fellows look like they have purpose! It's time to find out what they're up to!"
What a narrow street! The bowed windows of the upper floors encroach on the view of the bowed windows opposite, making it all very dark and shady down here in your carriage. You feel it slow down and stop, and there are raised voices outside. Craning your neck out of the door you see a smug cartsman ahead, whose cart is blocking just enough of the narrow street to make your passage impossible. He appears to be waiting for you to move, but your driver is hurling abuse at him and your horses are getting restless...