A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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    Default [Darkath] The Black Claw (IC)


    IC Thread

    The night had been cold. Colder than Peet had felt in a long time. It was made all the more chilled by the fact that she was being hunted once again. Leaving Sulnor had put her troubles behind her, but now it seemed that she had dug herself into another hole. Not quite a grave, but if she wasn't careful it would become that easily enough. Shady types like the three from the other night wouldn't care enough to bury Peet if they caught her. Hide her body perhaps, but there would be no grave for this wholesome grave robber. She had lost them by sheer luck and wasn't being followed as far as she could tell.

    It seemed that her makeshift campsite had gone undisturbed through the night. Even so there wasn't enough distance between there and the road to justify lighting a fire last night. Behind her lay the road to Sulnor and all of her troubles. Before her lay a downhill sloping road. In the distance there was a split in the road. The west fork continued on toward thinning forests and eventually onto grasslands. From what Peet could remember there was a decent sized town in that direction, one that would trade with Sulnor quite often. It would be quite a trek to reach the town, likely resulting in another night sleeping under the stars. The south fork entered deeper forests, leading toward many plumes of smoke. There was some sort of settlement nearby, much closer to Peet than the town but from the number of rising smoke plumes it was very small or no one had awoken yet. The sun had yet to rise fully, so the tiefling was still relying on her ability to see within the dark of night. Where would she go from here?
    Last edited by Volos; 2011-10-25 at 04:05 PM.

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    Default Re: [Darkath] The Black Claw (IC)

    Peet stands on road, looking back at the dim glow of Sulnor's lights reflected on the clouds at the edge of the horizon. Tempting, isn't it? she thinks. You know it would be dangerous, maybe even deadly, but it would be easy ... comfortable, almost. You know how everything works, who everyone is... It wouldn't be that bad, would it?

    She shakes her head, clearing the thought away. "Ash and rain, I'm thinking like a bloody kemish addict," she says, her tail flicking back and forth in annoyance. "We're quitting Sulnor, Peet. Cold porridge."

    She hefts her pack and sets off down the road, looking thoughtfully between the west and south roads as she approaches the fork. She hesitates at the split. "West is the smarter move, isn't it? A place kind of like Sulnor, but maybe not so bad? A place where I'd know my way around, probably. Where I could lose those three berks if they're still on my tail," she says. "As opposed to some little podunk village in the middle of nowhere, where they probably all marry their sisters, and would be like as not to come after a passing tiefling with torches and pitchforks."

    She considers this, then shrugs and pulls a coin from her pocket. "Heads west, tails south, then?" She flicks the coin into the air, then slaps it to her wrist.

    "Yeah," she says, "I thought so, too." Slipping the coin back in her pocket, she heads south as the sun comes up.
    Last edited by Systole; 2011-10-18 at 08:00 PM.
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    Default Re: [Darkath] The Black Claw (IC)

    As chosen by the coin, the path leads Peet into the depths of the forest. Even though the sun had risen hardly any light was reaching the forest floor. The emerald and topaz spotted canopy above blocked out the dawn but was far too sparse to keep out the noon-day sun. Several minutes down the road the sound of an axe or blade chopping into wood makes itself apparent as Peet turns a corner around a thick tree. Down the path lies a wagon propped up on one wheel with a small figure chopping at the other wheel with a small bloodstained sword. The figure also has a box affixed to its back and a small horn hanging from its waist. As the figure continues to chop at the wheel, Peet notices that its skin is a sickly green color and that its head looks to be far too large for its body. On top of the wagon, clawing about and nipping at anything it could find, was a rather large grey and brown rodent with crimson about its mouth and claws. In fact the rodent was almost as big as the small green skinned figure. It had yet to notice her, as it was rather preoccupied with its task. If this was the path toward the pillars of smoke she saw earlier it was currently blocked by this pair. Peet could find a way around them, if she thought she could go unnoticed.
    Last edited by Volos; 2011-10-25 at 04:04 PM.

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    Peet ducks into the bushes, and assesses the creatures.

    It looks like it got someone,
    she thinks, so that cart and whatever's on it would be salvage.

    She shakes her head. "Yeah, but I'm outnumbered," she whispers to herself.

    Let's think about this. Joe Farmer disappears, then tiefling shows up in town empty-handed, then tiefling gets strung up by a bunch of inbred hicks for the murder of Joe Farmer. Alternate scenario: Joe Farmer disappears, then tiefling shows up in town with the corpse of the goblin that killed him, then tiefling is hailed as legitimate businesswoman and showered with gifts of...

    She frowns. "Cabbages? Potatoes?" She shrugs. Doesn't matter. They're worth something to somebody, somewhere, right? Worst case, they're edible.

    She unholsters the battered firearm. "Okay, Peet, let's do this," she says under her breath, and then begins to sneak forward, to pistol range.
    Last edited by Systole; 2011-10-18 at 10:09 PM.
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    As she begins to move forward Peet feels a breeze against her face, blowing from the small figure and the rat toward her. The putrid smell of rotting meat and unwashed flesh almost overcomes her, but somehow she is able to stomache it. The green skinned midget doesn't seem to notice the gunslinger, but the rodent's ears twitch about until they face Peet. It turns its head, sniffing the air while slinking closer to her. The rat was onto her, but hadn't found her hiding spot quite yet. She was well within pistol range for either target now. She couldn't see the remains of the victim from her current vantage, which might actually be a blessing. Any cover she could have taken from the tree was gone now, but it would have been tough to make a shot from that far anyways.
    Last edited by Volos; 2011-10-25 at 04:04 PM.

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    Peet looks down the barrel, first at the goblin, then at the giant rat.

    The rat suspects ... but they're both going to know once I shoot. The pistol sight comes to rest on the goblin. Okay, let's do this.

    Her finger tightens on the trigger.
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    The figure with pointed ears is suddenly interrupted from hacking at the wagon's wheel by a bullet to the back. An unearthly shriek errupts from the ungainly humanoid figure as it reaches for its bow and notches an arrow along the bowstring. Before he can fire, the rat charges toward Peet. It leaps foward, baring its fangs down on Peet's leg. The bite isn't deep, but it does sting a little bit. The rodent's breath is putrid and the bite wound it leaves in Peet's leg starts to sizzle a little. Despite this she feels just fine. The goblin shouts something Peet cannot understand as it lets loose with an arrow, which proptly pierces the rat's flesh instead of Peet's. Perhaps he wasn't as much of a threat has he had seemed earlier.
    Last edited by Volos; 2011-10-25 at 04:04 PM.

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    Default Re: [Darkath] The Black Claw (IC)

    Peet quickly takes a step back, reloads, and fires at the rat.

    Actions
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    Free:5 ft step back
    Swift: spend 1 grit for +3 damage
    Move: reload
    Standard: shoot the rat.

    I feel dumb. Shoud have used the grit last round. Chalk it up to being new at gunslinger.

    Hit - ranged touch at (1d20+5)[12] for (1d8+4)[8] damage


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    Wholesome Peet (Link)

    HP: 21/22
    AC: 17 (Touch 14, Flatfooted 13)
    Fortitude: +3
    Reflex: +6
    Will: +2
    Perception: +4

    Weapon in hand: Pistol
    Conditions: None

    Grit: 2/3
    Luck: 7/7
    Spells (1st): 2/2
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    Default Re: [Darkath] The Black Claw (IC)

    Before the rat can so much as squeak at the goblin for getting an arrow to the back, Peet fires another shot. It far overshoots the rat and strikes the ground somewhere between the rodent and the goblin. The goblin notches another arrow on its bow and fires, missing both the gunslinger and its rodent friend. He stomps his little green feet and says something loud (and probably nasty) in that unintelligible speech again. He pulls something from his pocket, but keeps it hidden in his hand. The rat jumps forward and gets a mouthful of dirt as Peet's quick reflexes keep the rodent's overgrown teeth just short of catching her leg again.
    Last edited by Volos; 2011-10-25 at 04:04 PM.

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    Default Re: [Darkath] The Black Claw (IC)

    What's he got? Whatever it is, it can't be good. Luck don't fail me now! Peet steps to the side, reloads, and desperately fires at the goblin.


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    Swift: Invoke Luck
    5 ft step.
    Move: Reload
    Standard: Shoot at goblin. After stepping back twice, I'm guessing he's at 30 ft, so he's at 1 range increment but still PB. +5 attack + 1 luck + 1 PB -2 range = +5

    Ranged attack (1d20+5)[13] for (1d8+1)[8]


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    Wholesome Peet

    HP: 21/22
    AC: 17 (Touch 14, Flatfooted 13)
    Fortitude: +3
    Reflex: +6
    Will: +2
    Perception: +4

    Weapon in hand: Pistol
    Conditions: Luck

    Grit: 2/3
    Luck: 6/7
    Spells (1st): 2/2
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    Default Re: [Darkath] The Black Claw (IC)

    Peet's well timed shot strikes dead center in the middle of the goblin's chest. The small humaniod falls to the ground, still holding tightly to whatever item it happened to pull out of its pocket. She hadn't killed him, but he wasn't getting up on his own anytime soon. The rat, however, is not detered by this recent development. It lunges at Peet with its frothing mouth of oversized yellowing teeth once again. Its teeth come down on her hip but are unable to penetrate to do any real damage to Peet.
    Last edited by Volos; 2011-10-25 at 04:04 PM.

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    "See, the mistake I made with you..." she says dropping her pistol. "...was bringing a gun..." She draws her trusty spade. "...to a shovel fight!" She swings at the rat.

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    Free: Maintain Luck, drop gun
    Move: Draw shovel
    Standard: Attack rat

    Melee attack (1d20+4)[5] for (1d8+4)[11]


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    Wholesome Peet

    HP: 21/22
    AC: 17 (Touch 14, Flatfooted 13)
    Fortitude: +3
    Reflex: +6
    Will: +2
    Perception: +4

    Weapon in hand: Shovel
    Conditions: Luck

    Grit: 3/3
    Luck: 5/7
    Spells (1st): 2/2
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    Default Re: [Darkath] The Black Claw (IC)

    The rat deftly dodges the shovel blade, a few of its hairs being severed by the sharp edge of the graverobber's favored tool. Back by the wagon a groan escapes the goblin as he tires to stand. He falls back down, bleeding out from his wounds. The rat lunges at Peet once again, this time aiming to knock her down rather than to simply bite her. It grabs a bit of cloth on her leg and tugs hard, but fails to knock her down.
    Last edited by Volos; 2011-10-25 at 04:03 PM.

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    Peet curses at the rat in a most unladylike fashion. She swings again.

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    Free: Maintain Luck
    Standard: Attack rat

    Melee attack (1d20+5)[25] for (1d8+4)[9]


    Mini stats
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    Wholesome Peet

    HP: 21/22
    AC: 17 (Touch 14, Flatfooted 13)
    Fortitude: +3
    Reflex: +6
    Will: +2
    Perception: +4

    Weapon in hand: Shovel
    Conditions: Luck

    Grit: 3/3
    Luck: 5/7
    Spells (1st): 2/2
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    Default Re: [Darkath] The Black Claw (IC)

    Peet's unladylike cursing is returned by the rat, or atleast it would seem so. The rodent makes many noises, not one of them very friendly. None of this matters though as Peet's shovel cuts off the rat's tongue along with the rest of its head. The blow was so strong that the shovel ended up planting itself in ground. After pulling her shovel from the ground the graverobber would discover what the dying, correction: dead, goblin had been holding. It was a small bottle filled with a thin transparent green liquid. The stopper was secure and the bottle had no cracks in it. On his person the small figure was wearing a small suit of leather armor with two bullet holes in it, a quiver with a dozen or so arrows, the bow he had been shooting at Peet and/or the rat with, and a small wooden shield slung over his back. There was also the small sword stuck in the axel of the broken down wagon. Whatever or whomever had fallen at the hands of this goblin and his pet rat was nowhere to be seen. The goblin's teeth, now clearly visible as he had expired with his mouth parted, were stained with a stickly red semi-fluid. It was the same color that stained the paws and face of the oversized rat, before he was decapitated. Peet would have yet to see if those pillars of smoke led to a village, but now her path was clear of danger.
    Last edited by Volos; 2011-10-25 at 04:03 PM.

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    Peet shakes the blood off her shovel, and then puts it back into its sling. Next, she retrieves her pistol and reloads it. "Could've gone better," she mutters. "This pistol thing has potential, though."

    She examines the cart and the goblin. After some consideration, she takes the shield, bow, and shortsword. The armor, she decides, is too heavy and probably not worth much. Same with the arrows. She spends some time peering at the bottle full of green fluid, and eventually shrugs and tucks it away in her pack. "It's gotta be worth something to somebody," she says to herself.

    Before she leaves, she takes an ear from the goblin and from the rat. The gruesomeness of the operation doesn't even occur to her -- which is perhaps not surprising after her years of exhuming the recently dead. She puts them into a belt pouch. "Just in case nobody believes a perfectly legitimate businesswoman who happens to be a tiefling," she says.

    She makes sure her pack is comfortable and her shovel is within reach. "Okay, Joe Farmer," she announces to the forest, "I know you probably just got ate by a big rat and stuff, but if your restless shade is still floating around, I'd really appreciate it if you could keep your kinfolk from stringing me up once I meet them. I mean, I just avenged your murder, right? So you kind of owe me a solid, you know? Good."

    She sets off down the road.
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    The road leading to her destination is uneven and difficult to walk. Roots from the trees obscure the beaten path, catching one's foot more often than not. Soon it becomes apparent that it would be easier to walk upon the roots themselves than the ground. Despite what difficulty Peet has in traversing the path, she finds herself at the edge of a point in the forest where light actually breaks through the canopy. The amber speckled emerald leaves break every so often to allow the early morning sun to pour on through. The trees thin and between them lay many cabins and sheds. From each cabin came the smallest wisps of smoke, likely the last of their nightly hearth fires. At the very edge of this is a short stone wall made of gathered stones and years of moss and ivy. At the gate to this neck high wall stood a sun-kissed man with a thick peppered beard. He was leaning on a walking stick, watching for anyone who would approach from the forest. Other than perhaps his stick this man appeared to be unarmed and unarmored. From the other side of the wall the sounds of small copper bells could be easily heard, making low toned rings every so often.
    Last edited by Volos; 2011-10-25 at 04:03 PM.

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    Seeing the old man, Peet puts on her winningest smile and steps forward, her outward confidence attempting to mask a deep unease at being out of the city. What are we worried about? Not like we haven't outrun mobs before, right? she thinks. Yeah, but we weren't in the damn woods then. We were home, where we knew our way around.

    "Hail and well met, good sir! And a good morning as well, isn't it? Might there be a place where a weary traveler might eat?" Or a place where a weary traveler might find a couple of marks who wouldn't noticed a slightly marked deck, she adds to herself.


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    The man takes a break from leaning on his stick to stand upright. When standing like this he is a head or so taller than Peet. "There may be. Depends on what your purpose is in visiting our village miss...?" The man was already looking Peet up, down, and every which other way. He wasn't taken aback in the least by her appearance, but then again he wasn't welcoming her with an open gate either. His grip on the stick tightens a little, making the leather wrapping creak under the strain of his digits. The bells on the other side of the wall fade away almost immediately.

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    "Peet. Wholesome Peet," she says extending a hand. "100% legitimate businesswoman, guaranteed. I was just passing through. Fresh out of Sulnor, out to see the world." Her eyes flick to the village, and she tries to maintain her smile. "Such as it is. So, is there a breakfast that's inclined to appear? I've got a few goods to trade, if it'll help."
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    The man looks at her hand, almost appearing confused at the extension of her limb in his general direction. "Miss Peet then. Business-woman and whatnot. Inn is just inside the wall." He steps away from the door in the stone wall, opening it for her as he does so. "I trust you know well enough to stay out of trouble?" He stands there waiting for her to enter the village. Just inside the stone wall, as promised, was an Inn. From the size it didn't look as if there would be room for that many patrons. It was one of the few buildings in the village still emitting smoke. A few sheep were inside the wall as well, staring at the opening with some interest. Around each sheep's neck was a copper bell, the source of the ringing sounds earlier.

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    Peet quickly withdraws her hand, but brightens as the man opens the gate. "Trouble? I hardly know the word, kind sir. Lovely sheep, by the way. Very ... wooly. Probably meaty, too. Very sheep-like, all around. Excellent job."

    She starts toward the inn, but stops at the last minute as a thought occurs to her. She turns back toward the gatekeeper. "You know, on the way here, I noticed some, uh, goblin tracks. I imagine the little buggers can be tough on your ..." She searches desperately for the word. "Packs ... of sheep? There wouldn't be a reward for dead goblins, would there?"
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    The man seems amused by Peet's words, his reasons for this remain unspoken. As she inquires after a reward he simply smirks and says, "Wouldn't rightly know myself. Ask the constable, he'd be in the inn this time of day anyways." The man closes the gate. As Peet makes her way to the Inn small child rushes from a nearby house into the Inn infront of Peet, looking rather cheerful about it. Inside the small building was a bar with a handful of stools, two tables, a bench, and enough people to fill almost every seat. Ontop of a platform near the corner was a man the size of a child, telling tales of shepards and wolves. Everyone within the Inn found the ending line of, 'and that's how he got his name!' quite funny as they were all laughing to it as Peet passed through the doors. A short round man sitting at the bar had the child from earlier whispering in his ear. As the laughing from the crowd died down, the man addressed Peet. "So I hear yer looking for a reward 'garding them Goblins. So ya got the lot of them by yerself?" The man did not appear to believe in Peet's prowess or luck.

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    "Oh, is there a reward?" Peet asks with all innocence. "I ran into a group of them down the road a ways, in the middle of destroying a cart. So I figured I'd clear them off as a public service, because I'm very interested in doing good deeds out of the kindness of my heart and that kind of garbage. But if you felt indebted to me for the thr-- five goblins I killed, I wouldn't deny your generosity by refusing a reward. And two of their giant rats. But you might, uh, not find all the bodies. Because dangerous woodland beasts might have dragged the corpses off to eat or something. Wolves. Bears. Deer. Those kinds of things."

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    Despite the constant pauses and sudden changes in the numbers of goblins and the varriety of woodland animals, Peet's tale of her heroic (heroinic?) battle solicits a loud cheer from her audience. The child-sized man on the platform does not join the cheering, but does not speak out against her either. The constable nods slowly while stroking his chin, the only part of his head with any amount of hair. "Very impressive. The standard reward for a goblin kill is a free night at the Inn and ten gold. It is too bad that ya come without proof of yer deeds, but have the smell of goblin about ya. If ya was a threat our dogs or the gate's guard would have had it out for ya by now. We can offer ya yer twenty gold, a night at this fine Inn, and as much food and drink as a wee lass as yerself can handle." There was a second cheer from the Inn patrons, as they seemed very pleased with the idea of drinking with the goblin-killer.

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    Well this is new and different, Peet thinks, half flattered and half uneasy. I wasn't expecting people to be nice. She glances at the short man. Except for the midget. Not sure what's going on there.

    She joins in the celebrations, taking care to limit the amount of alcohol she consumes. When the food arrives, her demeanor changes completely, and she practically falls over in amazement. "This ... this meat pie ... it has real meat! Fresh meat! And vegetables!" She inhales the aroma deeply, obviously in a state of shock. "There's no sawdust ... no rat turds ... gods above! Where did this come from? Who made this?" She begins shoveling the food into her mouth and in the space of seconds the pie is gone. She grabs the innkeeper by his apron, her pupils dilated to the size of copper pieces. "That ... was the most amazing thing I've ever tasted. Get. Me. More. Now!"

    Unable to stop herself, she gorges on the meat pies until she can barely move, and then flops back in a chair, groaning happily.
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    The people on the Inn seem to be more than happy to join her in the celebration of her victory over the goblins. There is plenty of drink and food for all. Somewhere in the midst of the merry-making a bag of coin is tossed into Peet's lap. It is filled with gold, silver, and copper adding up to a full twenty wagons*. The chef is flattered by Peet's reaction to her cooking, giving her all that she can take and perhaps a bit more. After all is said and done (and eaten) the half height man comes right up to Peet's table and stands across from her. His chin barely clears the table. "You stole my business tonight!" It sounded as if a squirel was talking, if squirrels could talk. "I had them! All there was to do was take their coppers, maybe a silver or two. So now I'm going to take it out of you missy!" The halfing jumped up on a chair, reached into his pocket and drew... a deck of cards. The halfing threw down a few silver. He stared Peet down, daring her to accept his challenge. There were other patrons who approached the table, but they awaited Peet's responce before getting involved themselves. The constable was long gone by this time, having some sort of duties to attend to no doubt.

    *Lycian term for Gold Pieces

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    "Oh my," Peet says with a grin that displays her sharp white teeth. "Is this one of those games of skill and chance I've heard so much about but never played? I suppose I might try it once or twice. Is it true the cards with the ones on them are worth more than the kings and queens?"

    She fishes out four axels out of her money pouch and sets them on the table. She picks up the deck and shuffles it awkwardly, then puts it back down and pushes it back across the table to the halfling. "Well, I suppose you'd better start," she tells him.

    Bluff (I've never played before, honest!) (1d20+9)[27]
    Perception (checking the deck for marks) (1d20+4)[23]
    Sleight of Hand (borrowing an ace or two during the shuffle) (1d20+8)[28]
    Gambling (1d20+4)[7]
    Avatar by Gulaghar

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Volos's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Default Re: [Darkath] The Black Claw (IC)

    The game appeared to be one where skill was more of a factor than luck. It was a cross between poker and game where one had to slap the top of a growing stack of cards in order to win. The halfling let Peet know the rules beforehand. Each person was given only a portion of the deck. Peet's assumption that aces were better was true, as aces played a key role in switching up the winning condition of the game. Try as she might, she was unable to win this hand of the game. The small man laughs as he collects his winnings from Peet and the few other suckers who joined in. "How about we up the ante? Now that you've had a chance to learn. A full wagon." Obviously the win had gone to his head. Depending on how she looked at it, Peet was already up nineteen wagons and six axels with her meal, drink, and room paid. What harm could be had in humoring the little man? Before she could answer more drinks arrived, on the house for those playing cards. The number of patrons in the Inn was lessening by the minute, but the table was more than full.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Systole's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: [Darkath] The Black Claw (IC)

    Peet watches the halfling rake in her hard-earned four axles ... okay, her sort of hard-earned axles ... look, there was a battle wound, alright? So they're her at least partially hard-earned axles. She closes her eyes, leans back, and takes a deep breath. So that's the way it is, then? Alright then. Nothing up my sleeve, short stuff.

    "Let's do this," she says, leaning forward.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Peet isn't playing to win here. She's waiting for the other schmucks to drop out, trying to get the halfling head-to-head.


    Gamble(1d20+4)[9]
    Avatar by Gulaghar

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