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Author Topic: Chapter 2A -- You Say It Like a Bad Thing  (Read 22250 times)
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Luca the Thief
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« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2004, 01:51:22 PM »

Two of the youngest looking brownies were sitting on the wagon poking a very old brownie, who happened to be sleeping, with sticks. Their poking seemed to be hard, but the old man never stirred. One of the two, one who Luca had heard his friend address as Atchu, looked up at Mavrus who was standing nearby.

Atchu took his stick in hand and jabbed Mavrus in the side, "Hey you! Big guy! Could you give Uncle Adder here a good jab?" he asked, gesturing to the sleeping old geezer, whose beak-like nose moved with each labored breath.

Ahnii turned to glare at her young cousins, but was interupted as the silver-haired elf commented on the game so covetted among her relatives. Bracing for a sudden display of brownie wrath, Ahnii was surprised to hear not a dozen enraged voices, but one deep, slurred one.

"Chance?" Adam murmered, then reiterated with a more solid tone, "Chance? No lass. Perhaps to young lads playing on a street corner, but when played by men, such is a game of skill. Skill and well-placed luck!"

Luca was surprised as the thin drunk straightened and took a hesitant step forward. Now standing straight, the half-elf realized that Adam must have stood nearly two heads taller than her. "And this calls for a match!" Adam cried excitedly, bringing his arms up in a sweeping gesture (a move which nearly cost him his balance and a nearby brownie their head). "Once the night comes, we will play!" This announcement brought a few groans from the brownies, but Ahnii, being the wisest of her relatives, could only smile.

"And a match means a bet!" she cried, with equal enthusiasm, moving to stand by Adam.

The tall man seemed to smile stupidly, with the glossy eyed stare of a drunk in his eyes. But Luca, a woman who had spent so many years around drunks, swore she saw Adam wink knowingly at Ahnii before moving off to the wagon for a drink of ale.



"Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life"

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Ryldor Gadriel
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« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2004, 03:22:22 PM »

Ryldor was surprised when Adam was seemingly reenergized by the mere mention of gambling. Don't luck and chance mean the same thing? This guy is a good gambler? Then the elf had another thought. Maybe he's faking it. I might in his place. Let's see how good he really is.

"Well I guess we'll play. But we're only going to practice right? Or maybe some small betting? Like I said, I'm not very familiar with the game." He turned to Aryia and said "Sure you don't wanna play?" he called out to the warrior as she walked back to Shaer. Looking around he found his other companions. "Mav. Luca. You two will play, right? Just for fun?"

With that, he started heading towards the circle of brownies.

It is not enough to conquer; one must learn to seduce. ~ Voltaire

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It is not enough to conquer; one must learn to seduce.  ~  Voltaire
Oh dearest Ryldor, dust thou know thy charm?; The clever smile soft upon thy face; Seem like a promise for to do no harm; Whilst I, enjoying thy tender grace; Should gaze in admiration at thy eyes; As azure as where highest heaven lay; Reflections of the clearest, truest skies; They seem to melt my very heart away!; And if thy lovely words were not as true; As thine eyes blue, still I'd believe thy claim; Of magedom. Magic turned a rosy hue; My cheeks. A spell thou cast upon this dame!; Thou art a most capricious scoundrel, yet; The sweetest gentlemen I've ever met.; ~ Rayne Avalotus
Mavrus
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« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2004, 08:51:22 AM »

Mavrus was about to question Adam about the "mail" he had been muttering about, but with a disgusted look on his face, he dropped the subject.  Walking over to one of the wagons, he stood by as Ryldor and the others talked.  Mavrus didn't care at all for playing cards, nor for talking about them.  I don't really like cards.. and betting, that's even worse.  Ironic that the only betting that is done is for gnome ale, betting and drinking all in one... Great.

Mavrus heard sort of a "clank", and followed by more of a hollow sound.  Looking around, he didn't see anything, until the he just realized that a brownie had been hitting him with a stick to get his attention.  "Hey you!  Big guy!  Could you give Uncle Adder here a good jab?"

Looked at the two of them with a repremanding look in his eyes and replied, "You should respect your elders, I doubt that he wants to be disturbed."  Adam then rose, and talked of chance, luck and skill.  Not really wanting to play, he turned his attention away, and back towards the old brownie, whom the two younger ones were still poking.  When Ryldor asked if Mavrus wanted to play Great house, he flashed an unconcerned wave in Ryldor's general direction and turned back to he wondering if the older brownie was even alive.  Maybe I should see if he wakes up...  Mavrus turned to Atchu and asked, "Why do you want him awake?  Is he alright?"


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Luca the Thief
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« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2004, 11:57:22 AM »

As Adam busied himself with a flask of gnomish spirits, Ahnii stared quizzically at Ryldor. "Practice? No, yip, practice time is over. This is for money, yip," she explained, then added with a sly smirk, "Unless of course you're too stuck on your money, yip...eh boy?"

Luca stepped over to where Ahnii was and smiled brightly at Ryldor. "I'm game! I love cards..." she began, then stared down suspiciously at the brownies, "We're playing straight rules right? Because my Rue days are over."

Meanwhlie, Atchu and his close cousin, Attba, began to explain to Mavrus the situation of their uncle.

"Why do you want him awake? Is he alright?"

"Uncle Adder? Well, we suppose he's alright.  I mean, he's been asleep for the past thirty years," explained Atchu, half-heartedly prodding the ancient brownie with the stick.



"Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life"

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Ryldor Gadriel
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« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2004, 04:46:22 AM »

Ryldor plopped himself down, pulled out his purse and counted out a few coins. He tried to make it look like he was calculating whether or not he could afford to play for money. After several seconds he said, "I guess I have some sans I can spare. Especially if I get to play against a man who always wins."  He turned and saw Adam continue to guzzle spirits. This should be like taking maple candy from a baby.

Luca, at least, seemed eager to play. He was slightly taken aback by her "Rue" comment and decided to have some fun. In mock horror he said, "I'm not playing Rue rules with you. At least not without a blindfold." Then the elf started laughing hysterically as if he'd said the funniest thing in the world.

It is not enough to conquer; one must learn to seduce. ~ Voltaire

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It is not enough to conquer; one must learn to seduce.  ~  Voltaire
Oh dearest Ryldor, dust thou know thy charm?; The clever smile soft upon thy face; Seem like a promise for to do no harm; Whilst I, enjoying thy tender grace; Should gaze in admiration at thy eyes; As azure as where highest heaven lay; Reflections of the clearest, truest skies; They seem to melt my very heart away!; And if thy lovely words were not as true; As thine eyes blue, still I'd believe thy claim; Of magedom. Magic turned a rosy hue; My cheeks. A spell thou cast upon this dame!; Thou art a most capricious scoundrel, yet; The sweetest gentlemen I've ever met.; ~ Rayne Avalotus
Luca the Thief
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« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2004, 11:02:22 AM »

"I'm not playing Rue rules with you. At least not without a blindfold."

Luca smiled, seeming as though she had not gotten the joke, "Oh, please. I don't need a blindfold," she began, sitting down next to Ryldor and patting him on the shoulder, "You can't possibly be that bad." The half-elf untied a pouch from her belt and weighed it with a well-trained hand, keeping herself from letting out her own laugh.

Just as the other players began finding bets of their own, Adam rejoined the group and sat directly across from Luca and Ryldor. The only difference now was that next to the refilled flask on his hip, was a weighty looking money purse. The drunk took up the deck in hands which, despite his obvious intoxication, handled them with the calloused digits of a master.

"Do you wish to deal, master elf?" he slurred, holding the cards out towards Ryldor. Luca couldn't help but notice that the playing cards had had their edges trimmed sufficiently to allow the smaller players to handle them easier. But the thief, eyes well trained to small details, saw no sign of cheating within the deck itself.



"Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life"

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Mavrus
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« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2004, 10:15:22 AM »

"Uncle Adder? Well, we suppose he's alright. I mean, he's been asleep for the past thirty years," explained Atchu, half-heartedly prodding the ancient brownie with the stick.

Mavrus blinked.  "You.. *ahem*, suppose he's alright?" Mavrus started slowly.  These little guys are crazy..  30 years he's been asleep and they think he's alright?  The old man's flesh is probably decaying.  Mavrus cupped his hand over his mouth and his face was contorted as if there was some sort of poison gas in the air.  I don't know whether it's my imagination.. but I'm getting nauseous.

"If.. Adder has been asleep for that long, he's probably dead."  Mavrus stated in a muffled tone, his hand still over his mouth.


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Aryia en Evasha
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« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2004, 11:40:22 PM »

Aryia`en did not even look back when Ryldor called after her. She had seen gambling in the big cities -- a noisy affair littered with loud drunks, predatory creditors, willing victim-debtors, and the ever so occasional brawl and skirmish. It was a crude vigour that made its presence known in human cities.

Aryia`en found her way to a brownie-free spot a little ways away from where Mavrus stood. Collecting some sturdy brances and twigs, Aryia`en sat down to replenish her supply of pins. Looking across towards Luca and Ryldor, it seemed that the gambling had began in earnest. Shaer slithered up and settled down in a coil besides her Mistress. She couldn't understand why Luca was interested in squarish bits of non-edible blocks when there were other more interesting, edible things running all over the place.

Diligently shafting and sharpening suitable pieces of branch, Aryia`en couldn't help but overheard the conversation between Mavrus and some brownies nearby.

"Hey you! Big guy! Could you give Uncle Adder here a good jab?"

"Why do you want him awake? Is he alright?"

"Uncle Adder? Well, we suppose he's alright. I mean, he's been asleep for the past thirty years,"

"If.. Adder has been asleep for that long, he's probably dead."

Aryia`en was curious. She would ... listen further.  

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Luca the Thief
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« Reply #23 on: February 29, 2004, 12:31:22 PM »

Before either Atchu or Attba could say anything in response, Uncle Adder's small frail hand flew up and smacked Atchu across the face. The old man let out a scream, "Stupid youngins! Keep you're grubby paws away from tha--". Attba's face crossed a look of horror, slapping a hand across his Uncle's mouth and nursing him back into a slumber.

"Uncle Adder's 3 parts mad," he explained, making a point of not making eye contact with the seemingly enraged Ahnii.

Atchu sat back, rubbing his face gingerly and lifting an eyebrow at Mavrus. "Honestly, if that's dead I don't want to see him alive."



"Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life"

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Aryia en Evasha
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« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2004, 10:12:22 AM »

Aryia`en was contented with plying out the highly-skilled art of eavesdropping, until she heard the resounding slap across the face of the elderly brownie that was presumably dead. Creasing her brows, Aryia`en rose and made her way towards where Mavrus stood in conversation with the other brownies.

Casting a cold stare at Attba, Aryia`en drawled in a slightly condescending tone, "Were he to be dead, you would certainly have had your part in it." Her gaze swivelling slightly towards Mavrus, she decided he didn't even warrant a condescending tone.

Looking down upon the brownie known as Uncle Adder, Aryia`en found him to be quite a fine specimen of deathliness. Quite the very first vocal corpse she had ever seen in a long time too.  

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Ryldor Gadriel
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« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2004, 04:46:22 PM »

(OOC: So I wrote this post and then realized that time-wise, this will finish much later than the Uncle Adder storyline. I don't know how else to do it without waiting for that to finish first, but then Luca (the character) and I can't do anything. I'm posting this just so you guys can read it and see if you can come up with any other solution)

Ryldor shuffled and dealt out the cards in a manner the belied his dexterity and gambling experience. He kept as careful a watch on Adam as he could without it being too obvious. The mage thought about trying to tell Luca about his suspicions, but presumably the street-wise girl would be watching on her own. She's probably better at spotting a cheat than I am.

Play continued for several rounds and Ryldor saw no signs of anything dishonest from Adam, but may have come up with why Adam always won. It turns out the brownies weren't very good. Ryldor, Luca and Adam easily won most of the hands despite being outnumbered 2-1 by brownies. Their "bad luck" did not seem to be affecting the little ones however. Despite their mounting losses, they continued to be eager to play.

Most of the more interesting hands came when the two or three of the "bigs" collided. Luca lost a large pot to Adam when he caught her bluffing, only to win it all back a couple of hand later when his bluff attempt failed. Ryldor took several little pots, mostly from the brownies as he did he best to avoid confrontation. Unfortunately this strategy failed him when a lucky card (or unlucky card for Ryldor) awarded a small fortune of the mage's money to one of the little people.

"Feffin Fire Queen" he was still thinking to himself a few hands later. He had lost most of his winnings on that one hand and he was now well behind Luca and Adam. There was plenty of talking going on, mostly between the brownies and Ryldor decided to mess with the human a little. "So Adam. You're doing pretty well. Where did you get so good? Or is it all luck?" he asked with a smile.

It is not enough to conquer; one must learn to seduce. ~ Voltaire

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It is not enough to conquer; one must learn to seduce.  ~  Voltaire
Oh dearest Ryldor, dust thou know thy charm?; The clever smile soft upon thy face; Seem like a promise for to do no harm; Whilst I, enjoying thy tender grace; Should gaze in admiration at thy eyes; As azure as where highest heaven lay; Reflections of the clearest, truest skies; They seem to melt my very heart away!; And if thy lovely words were not as true; As thine eyes blue, still I'd believe thy claim; Of magedom. Magic turned a rosy hue; My cheeks. A spell thou cast upon this dame!; Thou art a most capricious scoundrel, yet; The sweetest gentlemen I've ever met.; ~ Rayne Avalotus
Luca the Thief
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« Reply #26 on: March 02, 2004, 03:20:22 PM »

Luca played the game like an idiot. At least, an idiot who kept a good third of the winnings.The brownies almost never got through her bluffs, and the thief could tell Ryldor wasn't even trying. But then there was Adam.

The drunk seemed one step ahead of them all. It was only a few cheap bluffs and a few good hands that kept Luca and Ryldor in the game. As for the brownies, it was their seemingly endless supply of coin that kept them going. Just betting and more betting. Pot's grew huge, and winnings tended to be won equally among the three players who stood over half a ped tall.

But despite the obvious tension, Luca was as relaxed as she could be. Half drunk from some ale offered from Ahnii (who was constantly hovering about and encouraging large bets), the half-elf played as she always did. Animated.

Now, this may seem like a terrible strategy for a game so based on keeping a straight face. But the thing with Luca was that...well, she never had a straight face. Bluffing, straight playing, good hand, bad hand or sitting out, the half-elf constantly had this stupid, obnoxious and rather effective grin on her pretty pink lips.

"So Adam. You're doing pretty well. Where did you get so good? Or is it all luck?"

The drunk turned, a dumb smile spreading over his lips. "Luck? You should know better than that, master elf. Such is not a game of luck. But skill," and with that, Adam continued to win an impressive pot.

But a few peds away, the two young brownies explained their uncle's condition to Aryia'en. "Nobody's seen him awake ever since a human in robes began talking to him about relij onions or something"

As if on cue, Uncle Adder's legs went into spasm and kicked Atchu in the neck. "Theiving relatives!" he cried, arms flailing and narrowly missing his groaning nephew, "Do you want them orc-brained maggot-mothered idio--" but the ranting of the sleeping old man was silenced by the sudden appearence of Ahnii.

"Shut him up!" she snapped then, spotting the silver haired elf and Mavrus out of the corner of her eye, added "Our friends are trying to play a game."



"Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life"

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Aryia en Evasha
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« Reply #27 on: March 04, 2004, 11:26:22 AM »

"Nobody's seen him awake ever since a human in robes began talking to him about relij onions or something"

So, talking but steep in sleep. And a robed human? And food? Toxification by food ingestion? Of course, it was easier to say "food poisoning" in spoken words. "Food poisoning? What were these onions you speak of? Who was this human?" Humans were always suspect for something. Their very nature demanded it.

As she peered closer at Uncle Adder to look for signs of poisoning, the sudden whirlwind of his aged limbs narrowly missed the bridge of Aryia`en's nose and landed on Attchu's neck instead. "Theiving relatives! Do you want them orc-brained maggot-mothered idio--"

It seemed like none of the brownies had much affection for their uncle, especially not Ahnii. Aryia`en had little concern for family feuds anyway, raised a brow at Ahnii's tender display of affection, and proceeded to walk away.

As Aryia`en reached the tail end of the wagon, something compelled her to halt her steps. Something wasn't making sense. The brownies seemed particularly well-stocked and equipped for a purportedly gaudy group of wandering gamblers. And a "bodyguard"? What was there to guard besides food supplies and gambling inducing ale? Much as a relic the old brownie would seem to be, his "relatives" seemed more eager to auction him off than to preserve him as a novelty. Something wasn't quite ... right.

Choosing to be oblivious to concepts such as "permission" and "property", Aryia`en turned towards the back of the wagon, finding a clumsily latched door. With all the brownies seemingly distracted in one way or another, Aryia`en placed her hands on the latch, with the intention to render it out of a job.  

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Mavrus
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« Reply #28 on: March 06, 2004, 02:54:22 PM »

Mavrus was quite shocked when Uncle Adder slapped Atchu in the face, and was equally shocked when he was slapped back into his stupor by Attba.  I guess that rules out death Mavrus though.   A confused look was spread across Mavrus's face as he wondered what exactly relij onions were, or rather, what they did.  Uncle Adder's sudden outburst once again took him by suprise as he kicked Atchu in the neck.  Aryia had leaned in and Adder's flailing limbs barely missed her face.  Uncle Adder started screaming profanity at the two young brownies but he stopped when Ahnii came over.  She looked enraged.  There was something about these brownies that didn't seem to work out.  Now, as annoying as the old brownie was, shouting and spasming all over the place, values such as respecting your elders and your family didn't seem to be around in much quantity.  

"Shut him up!  Our friends are trying to play a game" Ahnii said.  Mavrus caught her looking over at both him and Aryia.  As if a cold wind had blown at that point in time, something sent a chill down Mavrus's spine.  What's going on?  Is there something actually going on?  Or am I just imagining it?  Mavrus looked around, noting the position of most of the brownies and the guard, which wasn't really that necessary because they were all playing cards, except for the ones closest to Mavrus.  While looking around, Mavrus saw Aryia doing something with the wagon.  Mavrus slowly placed his hand on the hilt of his sword as if he were just resting it there.  He didn't want to fight.. yet.


Edited by: Mavrus at: 3/6/04 14:08
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Ryldor Gadriel
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« Reply #29 on: March 07, 2004, 02:33:22 AM »

A few more rounds went by, but little changed in the poker game. Ryldor and Luca continued to take their share of pots but Adam pulled in most of the bigger ones. Ryldor became more and more fascinated by the human's ability to win consistently. He still hadn't seen any signs of cheating. Could it be magical? Can he really be this good? the elf though as Adam won yet another big pot.

Adam raised his flask to his lips and was visibly disturbed when only a few drops of the gnome ale came out. He stood and left, muttering to himself. With the game on hold for a moment, most of the players took the opportunity to count their coin or, like Ryldor, stretch a little. It was under the guise of a stretch that he leaned over and quietly asked Luca "So what do you think of Adam? How does he keep winning?"  

It is not enough to conquer; one must learn to seduce. ~ Voltaire

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It is not enough to conquer; one must learn to seduce.  ~  Voltaire
Oh dearest Ryldor, dust thou know thy charm?; The clever smile soft upon thy face; Seem like a promise for to do no harm; Whilst I, enjoying thy tender grace; Should gaze in admiration at thy eyes; As azure as where highest heaven lay; Reflections of the clearest, truest skies; They seem to melt my very heart away!; And if thy lovely words were not as true; As thine eyes blue, still I'd believe thy claim; Of magedom. Magic turned a rosy hue; My cheeks. A spell thou cast upon this dame!; Thou art a most capricious scoundrel, yet; The sweetest gentlemen I've ever met.; ~ Rayne Avalotus
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