A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default Second Darkness - Shadow in the Sky (IC)

    Oathday, 14th of Arodus, 4708

    It was always raining in Riddleport, it seemed like. All through the summer, it has been two days of rain and two days of overcast skies for every one day of warm sunshine. The streets were always muddy and wet, and there was an unshakable odor of mildew and filth that never quite went away. The buildings were towering wooden structures that leaned into one another, as though supporting each other lest they all topple like dominoes.

    There weren't many horses or carts in the streets of Riddleport, but there were people; roads and alleys virtually packed with merchants, sailors, travelers, and more unsavory sorts. The rain was no deterrent for the business that was always needing to be done in the City of Cyphers. There was noise, too, of course. It was much louder than any village; in fact, Riddleport was widely known to be much louder and busier than any other city in Varisia, including Korvosa and Magnimar.

    The light drizzle of rain, the slight stink of the city, and the heavy, noisy crowds weren't enough to deter the excitement permeating the air of the city, though, because this day was special.

    There had been posters put up all around Riddleport, from the Windward District right up to Lubbertown; the Gold Goblin Casino was going to have a gambling tournament, and Saul Vancaskerkin was putting up a big fat prize for the winner! The gossip spread like wildfire, and by the time the week was out, everyone in Riddleport was talking about the games to come.

    When the sun had finally started to set, the Gold Goblin Casino was full to bursting with excited gamblers and opportunists....

    Gold Goblin Casino - Evening, just before night

    The air inside was smoky from the torches and tobacco. Just inside the main doors, two sultry beauties scantily clad and wearing faux bat wings, devil horns, and tails played the part of alluring succubi. Both, of course, were employees of the Gold Goblin, and they cheerfully registered contestants for the tournament and processed entry fees; all the contestants had to do was sign a little contract on the specified line. Elsewhere, armed guards stood nearby to either side of an immense treasure chest into which each patron's entry fee of one gold coin was added.

    DC 15 Knowledge (Arcana) or (Local) Check:
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    This document is not magically or even legally binding; signing the contract will not actually sign away your soul.


    Beyond the registration table was the hall's game floor. Dozens of gamblers, waitresses dressed as succubi, and bouncers milled about the room, wandering amid tables offering various games while dealers shuffled the cards, rolled dice, and spun wheels. Moving through the throng were a dozen more of the barely clad, bat-winged vixens serving drinks and batting coal-black eyelashes flirtatiously for tips.

    In the center of the chamber was a short podium atop which sat a massive gold chest affixed to the floor by similarly gaudy chains. On either side of it stood a bare chested bouncer in the exotic garb of some foreign sultan's court. Each stood with muscled arms crossed over chest and with a naked scimitar of prodigious size tucked through his waistband. High above them, from the hall's cloth draped ceiling, hung a brass birdcage within which crouched a small, bat-winged, pointy-tailed devilish creature that sulked as it gazed out over the room and occasionally rattled the cage threateningly.

    DC 10 Knowledge (The Planes) Check:
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    The caged critter is actually an Imp.


    Scattered amongst the crowd of the casino were several people of note.

    Evelyn:
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    Evelyn sat at the bar as one of the two bartenders slid a drink across the counter to her.

    "That's complements of the gentleman over there," the bartender said, pointing to a grinning man seated three seats down, beaming at her.

    It wasn't the first drink she'd been bought that night, and if he followed up with a proposition, it wouldn't be the first offer for that she'd had, either. Tonight, though, Evelyn was here looking for work. She'd come to the Goblin in the hopes of making an impression on Saul Vancaskerkin, but the old rogue hadn't shown his face in the gambling hall or the bar yet.

    The stocky little man got up from his seat and moved over to sit next to Evelyn.

    "I can't 'elp but notice y'er sittin' all by y'er lonesome," he crowed as he took his place.


    Mirana:

    Spoiler
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    The Gold Goblin was everything Mirana had heard it would be; noisy, crowded, and full of booze and games. Along the north end of the gambling hall was a bar, and scattered around the main floor were tables for the four most popular games in Riddleport: Bounder, Ghoulette, Golem, and Skiffs.

    Somehow, the half-elf had gotten herself into a game of Golem with four Varisian men, sailors by the look. She had five cards in her hand... the 4 of Clay, 5 of Flesh, 5 of Stone, Queen of Iron, and King of Flesh... and it was her turn to bet.

    Spoiler
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    Plays like Poker, more or less. After betting, you may discard up to two cards to draw two more.


    Ioriel and Bel'on:
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    The tournament was to begin once the sun was below the horizon. Everyone knew it; in the mean time, it was just games to pass the time and, of course, the casino's bar was always open for business. The sun was going down now, though. It would not be long until the tournament began and Bel'on would have his chance at winning the fattest prize he'd seen yet in Riddleport: 10,000 silver pieces.

    Ioriel wasn't as interested in the gambling or the cash as he was, having arrived shortly after he did. The casino floor was before them; straight ahead were Bounder tables, where dice were being rolled across the tables. In the middle of the floor, near the dais, was the Ghoulette table.

    "Your brains taste so bad that a ghoul'd rather feed them to a zombie-dog and go to bed hungry!" the little spinning head shrieked gleefully as casino chips were moved around based on the taunt. On the other side of the hall were Skiffs tables and Golem tables. It was a far more serious bunch of gamblers at these tables...


    Basil:
    Spoiler
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    It has been a long day. Just as Basil had hoped, there were all sorts of people visiting the Gold Goblin. Since he'd been staying there for the past few nights, he'd taken the opportunity to try questioning some people about the Blot, but all he'd gotten were distracted laughs from people who didn't even seem to care.

    "It just is, mate. Leave it at that. Why're you worryin' about it, anyhow? It's just some dark cloud in the sky; ain't no cloud gonna dampen my spirits tonight. I'm gonna strike it rich! Good luck, mate," the latest gambler bid Basil, standing up from the bar, raising his glass in a toast, downing it in one gulp, and then walking out towards the games.

    Night was falling, Basil knew, and it wouldn't be long before the tournament began in earnest. Nearby, Basil saw two other people sitting at the bar; a short, sleazy looking man with a gold tooth and a blonde woman with a drink who he'd seen around before.


    Benkt:
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    Benkt had heard rumors about the Gold Goblin. Most of them were fantastic; people thought that old Saul Vancaskerkin had come upon a dragon's hoard for the prize money. Others said that he had raided a sunken pirate ship and found the very chest now on display on the dais. These rumors didn't trouble Benkt, though... No, what concerned him was the talk of devil-worship.

    No one really believed it, but here Benkt was, and all around him were the signs of hedonistic sin. Succubi and contracts and some kind of fiend in a cage... This didn't look too good for Saul Vancaskerkin.

    "Welcome to the Gold Goblin, handsome," one of the succubi said to Benkt, stopping right next to him and looking him over appraisingly, "You ready to be a rich man, sugar? Cuz tonight's gonna be your lucky night. Want me to help you find a... nice cozy spot?"
    Last edited by Askel; 2014-01-28 at 10:06 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Evelyn


    Oh how it had been a dreary walk over here, out in the slick dirty streets of dear ol Riddleport. Fortunately, she had managed to acquire a carriage, even if it was some of the poorest quality she had ever seen. Well, not the like service cost her anything, a flirty smile here, a calculated stroke of the arm there, feigned begging look of the eyes.
    ===================

    The Gold Goblin


    Evelyn smiled coquettishly at the stocky little man whilst using that gesture to stealthily wrinkle her nose as she caught whiff of his more than likely unpleasant odor. She rested her chin on her right palm, her elbow propped up against the bar counter. She brushed her blonde wavy tendrils of hair, tucking them behind her ear with her left hand. A slight shift in her seat, a subtle stretching of her neck, eye contact, everything calculated.

    "Oh is that so? Well, thank you for being a gentleman in keeping a lady like myself company,"
    She wrapped her slender fingers all daintily around the drink he had bought her and brought it to her lips before taking a sip.

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    GreenSorcererElf

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    After having arrive in town just recently Ioriel had heard a lot about this tournament. She figured it would be her best opportunity to learn about all the strange things in town.

    Ioriel Guldurbes is a long thin slender woman. She does not hide her beautiful elven features and she use her long ears to help hold her long dark reddish blond hair back. She got a beautiful, if thin, face with big brown eyes. She is dressed in comfortable clothing, more made for practicallity then for comfort. Still, it's very well made and does not marr her beauty in the slightest. A set of overlapping layers of clothes, like a robe, that does not hinder her movement in the slightest. She also has a backpack with a crossbow strapped on it back and a dagger at her waist. She figures it's safer to have her things with her rather then leaving them somewhere despite the chance of getting robbed.

    It will certainly be safer then wandering around the streets on my own. If only that guy had agreed to stay with me, I would have felt a lot safer. Too bad I had to pay the fee to get in, but it can't be helped. Silly contract, why do they do that I wonder? she worms her way through the crowd, trying to get a good handle of what is going on. Then suddenly she spots Bel'on at one of the tables. Ah, that is the guy from earlier, he looks so much in his natural element here, yet all the bluster and bravado of the other men is replaced by effortless grace. she is content to watch him from afar for a few minutes before walking up to him. "Hello there, I should have figured I would meet you here. You look to fit in here quite nicely." she says with a sly smile.

    Spoiler: Checks
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    Taking 10 on the knowledge checks since it's not a particularly threatening situation.

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Taking 10 on the Knowledge (Arcana) and Knowledge (Planes) checks as well.


    Another dead end, these people were simply drunkards gambling their livelihood away. Basil was not there for the tournament, and he'd been staying there the last few days as a means of getting in without looking suspicious because of that fact. As the latest clueless gambler walked back into the crowd, Basil took a sip of the whiskey he'd been nursing, savoring the burning as it went down his throat. It kept his mind off of the caged imp. Realistically, he knew he could not slay such a creature as he was, but the man's very nature compelled him to consume the evil sitting so close and yet out of reach.

    How did the owner of this establishment come to possess an imp, Basil wondered. The contract was only for show, but capturing a live imp was going a bit far just to put it on display. Some manner of familiar, perhaps? There was no proof that Saul was not a wizard, he supposed. Regardless, there were more concerning matters than imps and wizards and Blots. Basil's elder brother Nathaniel had not checked in since last week, and this place was the last lead mentioned in the investigation notes left behind. Yet Basil was here, and his brother was nowhere to be found.

    The woman further along the bar stood out among the other patrons of the Gold Goblin. Had her outfit been more in line with the theme of the tournament, Basil might have mistaken her for one of the succubi waitresses. Maybe she would know something these drunken louts didn't. Getting up from his seat, he moved quietly over and sat on the opposite side of her from the other man, removing his hood. Basil's Blackwood signet ring was clearly visible on the hand with which he nursed his glass. He spoke with a smoother voice than his gruff, pudgy face would suggest: "Well met, good lady. If I may say so, you stand out among the common rabble gathered here this evening. Would you mind terribly if we exchanged discourse? This venue is rather starved for intellectual company." He nodded subtly towards the shouting and bickering gamblers at the game tables.

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    Evelyn turned her head and flashed the one named Basil Blackwood a small smile and quickly looked him up and down with one small glance.

    "I suppose....though it may have to cost you...I do so enjoy...wetting my lips,"
    She made a gesture with her drink in hand, slightly shaking it a little. She glanced back at the other man, the short stocky one to gauge his reaction.

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    RogueGuy

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    Evelyn and Basil

    The man practically purred at Evelyn's gratitude.

    "Mhm...," he chuckled, licking his lips, "I know 'ow ta please th'ladies. Do y'got a name, beautiful?"

    Before Evelyn could answer, Basil took the other seat next to her. At his comment about intellectual company, the man bristled, the top of his head turning crimson .

    "She's spoken for," he insisted petulantly, scowling at Basil, "I 'pologize fer his crude advances..."

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    It had been while since he had joined the mass of eager gamblers that had poured steadily into the Golden Goblin during the ever-darker hours of the evening, and yet the purse of Bel'on Eshedor remained rather light. It was not altogether out of place, of course: most of the games were rigged against the players from the start, and many of the players no doubt employed various means of cheating to nudge the odds to their favor, so the chances of someone actually winning a fortune legimately from here were slim to none... And not much better even if they'd be masterful gambler.

    He himself barely had modest skills at gambling, so he'd just have to employ the skills he was more accomplished in and cheat like there was no tomorrow. Of course, if he wouldn't succeed in acquiring what he'd need, there was every possibility that there would indeed be no tomorrow for him. The idea made the tiefling snort as he mingled with gamblers and staff in the smoky, flashy casino: most of these people were likely here due to nothing more than greed. He himself required funds to shake his pursuers and lead a meaningful pursuit... The only one that mattered, really. No means were out of question when it came to that particular pursuit.

    The fact that he liked money was only a minor factor, surely.

    Having made his way to Ghoulette table and put four of his remaining gold pieces to the pot, the smoky-haired man gave Ioriel a sidelong glance as he continued to play a game that he was, by all appearances, about to lose...but still kept his cool perfectly well as he made several blindingly fast, nearly imperceptible movements to "improve" his luck somewhat. "Oh, I am not sure whenever to take that as a compliment or excellent jab at my personage, considering the clientele" he remarked dryly, turning his gaze fully at her when he was sure that there was nothing more to be done at the Ghoulette. "I do recall saying that it would be better for you if we never crossed paths in the first place, but I suppose I should have expected you to not listen. So yes, here I am."

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    RogueGuy

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    Bel'on

    Dealer's Perception Check:
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    No one seemed to notice as Bel'on's hands adjusted the spinner. The ghoul head spun around and around. It was moving at first towards "Something Nice", but with a quick and imperceptible flick of the wrist, something bumped into Dungo (the ghoul's) head and it spun a bit further, coming to rest on "Appearance".

    Dungo's head squinted for a moment, then looked eagerly out at the crowd.
    "Well look at all of you, huh? You, you, and then there's y-Oh! AH! AHHHH!! My eyes! You're hideous!"

    There was a ruckus of laughter, and casino chips were pushed around. Everyone who'd bet on "Appearance" received the same number of chips back... only at the next highest denomination.

    "Four platinum pieces for the gentlemen. Congratulations, sir; would you like to place another bet?"

    Four chips were passed to Bel'on, amidst murmurs from those nearby. That was a big win, the biggest all day thus far. It wasn't quite the tournament prize, but it was notable all the same.

    "Please place all bets!" the dealer called out to those around.
    Last edited by Askel; 2014-01-28 at 03:02 PM.

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    Mirana stared at the cards in front of her in vexation. Eyes darting between them, she slowly and hesitantly reached for the 4 of Clay, then the Queen of Iron, then back to the 4 of Clay. Finally, she settled for pulling out the King of Flesh and repositioning it between the 5 of Stone and Queen of Iron. Glancing around at the others at the table and realizing something was being expected of her, she fiddled with one of the small coins that was apparently hers by reason of being in front of her seat.

    "I... um... guess I'll... bet?"

    The confusion and questioning tone in her voice made it painfully clear just how much of an amateur she was. And of course the logical conclusion to anyone watching was that she really was perfectly aware of what she was doing and this was just a poor bluff to try to fool the other players. Normally, such a supposition would be correct, but in this particular case, the newbie really had no clue what she was doing.

    Mirana only had a tenuous grasp on the rules of the game, and hadn't actually intended to end up here; she had Narami to thank for that. As far as she could tell, the other personality had signed up for some sort of gambling tournament and then swapped out with her once actually seated at the table.

    Placing a few small coins in the center pile, Mirana smiled nervously and gave a small laugh, trying to break the awkward silence.

    "Um... I can trade some of these cards in now? That's how this game works, right?"

    Spoiler
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    Lets discard the 4 of Clay and King of Flesh and see if we get something useful!

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Glancing at the gold-toothed man, Basil just sneered and waved dismissively with his free hand, "Do try not to be so presumptuous of my intentions. Are taverns not places for both conversation and information to change hands?" He turned his attention back to the blonde woman. His face took on its serious demeanor again, his tone likewise becoming more straightforward and less flowery, "I assure you, I always repay my debts. I will be perfectly honest here, there is a matter most concerning to me, and I wondered if you might know something."

    Basil's eyes had a mix of worry both real and exaggerated as he reached into his coat and pulled out five gold coins. The man looked at his palm as he cradled the coins and sifted them around, "My brother, a researcher by the name of Nathaniel Blackwood, has been missing for the better part of a week. The last trace of his whereabouts led me here. Might you know of him? His raiment would be similar to mine, and bear the same family crest."

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    RogueGuy

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    Mirana

    There were a lot of blank looks at Mirana. Was she bluffing? Was she playing them all for fools? One man tossed down his cards with a scowl, but the other three matched her bet, sliding their own chips into the pot.

    The dealer took Mirana's two cards and placed them along with the other discarded cards. When everyone had bet, the discarded cards would become the Golem's Hand, which would have to be beaten in order to win the pot.

    Looking at her new cards, Mirana had been given the 5 of Clay and the Jack of Iron. Only two more people had turns to take at betting; the pot had already grown (including Mirana's latest contribution) to 90 silver pieces. The man up next looked through narrowed eyes at the three competitors, especially at Mirana, who seemed so out of place.

    "Ten silver," he bid, sliding one of his gold piece chips into the pile.

    There was an intake of breath. The next man slid a gold, then the next. It was Mirana's turn to put in a gold piece of her own, or to fold. After that, she'd have another opportunity to discard two cards.

    Everyone watched her expectantly.

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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Ioriel is lost in thought studying the man. Such a nice face too. She fails to notice him tampering with the game, or much of what is happening it really until he get the money. Hmm, that is quite a bit of gold. She opens her mouth with a smile. "Take it as a compliment silly. Surely there are things even you can't accomplish on your own. You know some of what I can do." Dae, her snow-white owl finish his sweet of the room and suddenly lands on her shoulder, she strokes it absentmindly. Her eyes on the tiefling.

    Bel'on had been paying attention to the game instead of Ioriel, suddenly he gets his reward. The elf gets a surprised look on her face. "Oh, you won, how nice." She smiles again. "Are you here in town for the tournament? Myself I am more insterested in the coulds above the city. Do you know anything about it?" With his tail he might know, there are a lot of things he is not telling. I am not sure the whispers about things happening here are related to the cloud or not, but it's as good place to start as any. Who knows, maybe something will spring out from this tournament? The contract was fake, but the imp was not. For the first time in a while she look around at the other people around the table. "Maybe some of you know anything about it?"

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    Seeing that making small talk was probably not going to hurt him any even if he wanted nothing more than to forget about the whole incident earlier (mostly due to it leaving clues as to his presence in the city), Bel'on shrugged his shoulders ever so slightly. "I am wrong person to ask about that, sadly: I am a new arrival myself. I don't really know anything about the place" he admitted, as much to the crowd as to her. A newcomer would not be taken as seriously, his windfall likely being put down as "beginner's luck", and he did want to avoid attention if he could.

    After all, the more he'd make a spectacle of himself, the higher the chances of assassin squad dropping from the ceiling would be.

    Deciding against cheating this time around, the tiefling removed one more gold coin from his coinpurse, putting his bet onto "Demeanor" this time around. Even if he wouldn't win (which was quite likely possibility thanks to his relative inexperience), the lingering doubt some might have about the honesty of his gaming habits would likely be dispelled by the show... And if he would win, he'd not be at any risk doing so. Quadrupling his money was more than enough in way of practice, so he was well on the side of positive even if he'd lose one gold coin. "So you are in the town to look at the clouds, miss elf? And if you must know, my name is Bel'on."

    Spoiler
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    Betting 1 gp on "Demeanor" and not cheating this time around. Brilliant strategy!

    (1d20+4)[16] (Profession: Gambling)

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    Mirana fidgeted nervously, uncomfortable with everyone watching her reaction so intently, especially when she wasn't even sure what exactly the bet meant. Attempting a cheerful smile to break up the tension a bit, she tentatively reached for her own chips and slid them forward to match the bet. She honestly had no clue what she was doing, but whether she won or lost at least this whole mess would be over with.

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    Matching bet and discarding the Jack. Hoping for a Queen or a 5. Come on full house/4 of a kind!

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    RogueGuy

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    Basil and Evelyn

    The squat little man continued to glower at Basil, but he seemed unable to think of a reason to shoo his supposed competitor away, so he kept his mouth closed. His eyes remained on Basil, though.

    Bel'on and Ioriel

    "The Blot? Yeah, I know of it. Everyone in town does," one of the men at the ghoulette table said as he placed chips on four of the different topics, "You a Cyphermage or somethin'? I always thought them was all scholarly old men and bookworms. You don't look so bad."

    Around and around the head spun, opening its mouth and sticking its tongue out for a few seconds gleefully until it came to a halt... facing "Clothes".

    "Hey, I got one for you!" Dungo's head cried to everyone, "What's red and gold and ugly all over? That ladies dress! Ahhh hahaha!!! Gimme another spin, Jocko!"

    The mentioned lady in the dress let her jaw drop, then put her hands to her mouth and wailed before fleeing from the table in tears. The man who'd been talking to Ioriel grinned and scooped up a small pile of winnings he'd just won. It wasn't as much as he'd hoped for, given that he'd split his bet, but he seemed smug all the same.

    "Take my advise, honey, forget about the Blot. It's nothin'. Just a little magic cloud. No omens, no curses, no deeper meanings. It's just a cloud."

    Mirana

    There was a tangible air of worry when Mirana pushed her chips forward, bringing the pot to 130 silver pieces. Next followed the discarding. Mirana discarded her jack and drew... the ace of clay.

    Now, there was only one more round; one more chance to discard. The man looked appraisingly at each of his opponents, his eyes on Mirana the longest. Suddenly, he shoved a large pile of chips into the pot.

    "Thirty silver," he crowed in delight.

    Immediately, the next man cursed and tossed his cards on the table. That meant it was Mirana's call; she could match the bet, gambling thirty of her own precious silver pieces, or she could fold now. After that, she'd have her final opportunity to discard... and then the winner would be determined.
    Last edited by Askel; 2014-01-29 at 01:07 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by Askel View Post
    Benkt:
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    Benkt had heard rumors about the Gold Goblin. Most of them were fantastic; people thought that old Saul Vancaskerkin had come upon a dragon's hoard for the prize money. Others said that he had raided a sunken pirate ship and found the very chest now on display on the dais. These rumors didn't trouble Benkt, though... No, what concerned him was the talk of devil-worship.

    No one really believed it, but here Benkt was, and all around him were the signs of hedonistic sin. Succubi and contracts and some kind of fiend in a cage... This didn't look too good for Saul Vancaskerkin.

    "Welcome to the Gold Goblin, handsome," one of the succubi said to Benkt, stopping right next to him and looking him over appraisingly, "You ready to be a rich man, sugar? Cuz tonight's gonna be your lucky night. Want me to help you find a... nice cozy spot?"
    Benkt has read what scraps he could find about Asmodeus' minions. It hasn't been much. The contract, he's not sure about: the creature in the cage is something he hasn't heard of, though it looks distressingly devillish. But he's reasonably certain that the curvy girl in front of him with the ridiculous devil-horn hairband and floppy felt tail is more ridiculous than infernal.

    He gives her an unamused glare, a bit irritated at having been mistaken for a customer- then thinks better of it. Instead, he nods at the bare-chested bouncers that flank the chest.

    "This is quite a crowd. And Ali Baba over there's got a beer gut as well as bulging biceps: even money he'll be out of breath within half a minute if he has to start tossing around that blade of his. This place needs more manpower if you girls are going to keep safe.

    Already got myself a bigger sword. Who do I talk to about getting fitted for a turban?"
    Last edited by Toptomcat; 2014-01-29 at 01:43 PM.

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    Default Re: Second Darkness - Shadow in the Sky (IC)

    Mirana forges onward with the ignorant bliss of one who has no idea just how much they're gambling with. Shifting the cards around in her hand for a minute, she eventually reaches for the chips once more.

    "I'll... um bet again... I guess?"

    Her eyes dart around the table at the other remaining players and the gathered onlookers. Her expression almost seems to convey the question "I was supposed to do that, right?"...

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    And let's trade in that Ace after matching the bet.

  18. - Top - End - #18
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    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Second Darkness - Shadow in the Sky (IC)

    Benkt

    The succubus woman arched a thin eyebrow at the half-orc's reply.

    "Mmm... Well don't you have your eyes on the prize?" she asked, putting her hands alluringly on her hips, "Saul has all the boy toys he needs for the tournament, handsome, but maybe if you come on by later tonight... we could find something for you to do?"

    The succubus licked her lips slowly.

    "If you like, I could fit your turban myself..." she added.

    One of the burly bouncers walked over to the talking pair. He didn't say anything, but his expression was aimed at the woman, and she seemed to take the hint.

    "Time's up, sugar. For now... If you'd really like to hang around here after the tournament, though, I'd suggest talking to Saul once he comes out to start the games. Seeya around, handsome..."

    She walked away from Benkt, back onto the main gambling floor.

    Mirana

    After Mirana, the other man pushed in his chips too, bringing the pot's final value to 220 silver pieces, with three contestants remaining. Mirana slid her card forward, taking one final gamble on getting the card she needed. It was passed to her quickly... and when she looked at it, Mirana saw that she now had the 7 of clay in her hand.

    "I will now raise the golem," the dealer said.

    There was a hush around the table as the discarded cards were revealed. The dealer plucked out five cards from the discards and laid them face up on the table: The Ace of Clay; The Ace of Flesh; The Ace of Stone, the Ace of Iron, and the 2 of Iron.

    Four of a kind... One of the other competitors swore violently and showed his hand: One pair, with the Queen of Stone and the Queen of Flesh. The other had a sudden look of hope as he examined his cards, then tossed them disappointedly on the table. Two pair, with 3 of Flesh, 3 of Stone, 4 of Flesh, and 4 of Iron.

    Finally, it was Mirana's time to reveal her cards.
    7 of Clay, 5 of Flesh, 5 of Stone, Queen of Iron, 5 of Clay. Three of a kind... A good hand, and one that beat the other players, but not a good enough hand to beat the golem's hand.

    "The house wins," the dealer noted with some amusement as he pulled the large pile of chips towards him.
    Last edited by Askel; 2014-01-29 at 03:53 PM.

  19. - Top - End - #19
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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: Second Darkness - Shadow in the Sky (IC)

    Well, couldn't hope for much. Still, getting his name is nice enough in itself. Ioriel cooks her head to one side. "Mayhaps I am here for the clouds, I am not sure myself actually. Something is going to happen here in this city I think. I guess I am trying to figure out what is going on."

    She pauses as the game comes to a conclusion, but as it's obvious that Bel'on lost this game she gets a sad expression on her face. "Aww, you didn't win this one." Then she responds to the guy talking about the blot. " You might be right that the clouds are nothing more then a little magic cloud, but you might be wrong too." She looks back towards Bel'on with a smile. "I am quite new here as well as you might have guessed. I don't know much about city either. I am no cyphermage." She turns towards the other guy again. "Maybe you could tell me more about this establishment and the guy who runs it. This Saul Vancaskerkin? Might not be much, but might be a start to figuring out all that is going on in this city."

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    Grim ranger's Avatar

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    Default Re: Second Darkness - Shadow in the Sky (IC)

    "Well, can't win them all. That is why it's called "gambling", miss" Bel replied evenly, having expected just that kind of a result. If he'd win too effortlessly and often, he would be outed as a cheater and forced to flee, or possibly even into fighting. That would be counterproductive, to say the least, considering the overseer of this tournament would likely look poorly upon murders in their place of business.

    But before he could return to manipulating the gaming tables for his own benefit, he might just have time to make someone's evening a little better.

    "Excuse me for a fleeting moment" the tiefling said casually, walking away from Ghoulette table and briskly catching up to the lady in red and gold. Bowing ever so slightly to her, he shook his head slightly. "Such public humiliation of you, fair lady, was an outrage... But I do suppose such a thing was what the entire thing is based on when it comes down to basics. No matter what slander might be thrown your way, however, you are nothing but a true beauty. Please treat yourself to a drink" the incognito ninja mused, making five silver pieces appear from his sleeve and flip between his fingers, one after another, handing them all to her. "You do seem like you might need to take your mind off things."

    Even if he would likely end up causing good deal of financial grief to most people present, the opportunity to cheer up someone who needed it gave Bel'on his warm fuzzies. Annoying as the instinct to help people the best he can was at times, this time he didn't really mind acting on it.
    Last edited by Grim ranger; 2014-01-29 at 04:02 PM.

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    RogueGuy

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    Bel'on and Ioriel

    "Vancaskerkin? I don't know much about him. I think he used to be some big cheese in these parts or somethin' like that. All I really know is he just reopened the Gold Goblin, and I plan on making all kinds of cash here tonight. Good enough for me, lady," the man replied to Ioriel, grinning.

    As they spoke, Bel'on disappeared into the crowd in pursuit of the red dressed-woman. She seemed startled at his charity, and then she was suspicious. She wiped her eyes with the back of her hand and smiled uncertainly at the tiefling. Her smile was dazzling to look upon.

    "I'm sorry, do I know you?"

    Before Bel'on could reply, there was hush that fell over the gambling hall...

    GM Post

    The windows were starting to darken with twilight. The games, running all day, were starting to cease as dealers told gamblers that the night’s tournament was about to begin. Several gamehall employees entered suddenly, carrying torches shaped like pitchforks skewering burning heads made of straw and cloth. They walked around the outside of the hall, lighting several large braziers which consequently gave the room a much more infernal hue.

    A hush fell over the crowd as a short man climbed to the central podium, accompanied by two gorgeous “succubi,” and stood before the gold, chain-shrouded chest there with a demoness on either side. He wore a formal suit, and his thinning black hair was slicked back. His left arm ended in a stump just above the wrist, and affixed to it was a bronze cap from which protruded an oddly shaped key.

    This was Saul Vancaskerkin, the owner of the Gold Goblin and host of the tournament. He bowed before the crowd and cleared his throat before speaking.’

    ”Welcome, one and all, to the Gold Goblin Gambling Hall and your chance to cheat the Devil and win back not only your soul but all of his gold as well.”

    He says this last as he pats the large chest before which he stands.

    ”I hope you found your reception by the Devil’s lovely temptresses suitably entertaining.”

    All around the gambling hall, there is a general murmur of laughter and one or two catcalls. Even the people by the bar are leaning around so they can better see the podium and the speaker.

    ”Let’s take this moment to thank Old Scratch himself for attending this event. Not only did he loan us these lovely dark angels, but he also emptied the deepest vaults of Hell itself to provide the gold for this tournament!”

    With a sudden flourish and a blast of flame from all the braziers at once, Saul gestured up to the creature in the birdcage. The creature, Old Scratch, flew into a flurry of rage, banging on the cage bars, spitting, and howling down into the crowd.

    Infernal:
    Spoiler
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    ”Your souls will all be mine! Verily, I will enslave you all and your firstborn offspring! You shall all know my wrath… and so on and so forth. This can’t be worth it…


    People amongst the crowd guffawed and there was a smattering of applause at the howling devil, but the sounds died down as Saul continued to speak.

    ”Of course, he plans on replacing what he loses in gold with the souls of those of you who don’t win. The tournament rules are quite simple-as you play, you’ll earn more chips. And with those chips, you’ll be able to bribe your way out of the current Hell you’re trapped in, working your way down deeper until you get to Old Scratch’s treasury. Currently, all of you are Old Scratch’s prisoners in the first of the Hells, Avernus. If you want to work your way down to the ninth circle, you need to win games. Each time you win, you’ll be awarded a golden eye. If you come in second, you’ll get a silver tooth. And third place will win you a copper heart. These bits of flesh and bone are what the devils use in Hell for currency, you see, and they’re what you’ll need to pay in order to bribe your way into the next layer of Hell.

    “Now, the first player to win a game after reaching Nessus not only keeps his winnings for that game, but also earns back his soul and the ten thousand silver coins that the Devil put up for this tournament. You can, of course, decide to cash out your winnings at any time you want, but if you do, or if you run out of money entirely… well, that means Old Scratch gets you.”


    Vancaskerkin grinned evilly and Old Scratch cut lose with another profane tirade above.

    ”And that, ladies and gentlemen, will earn you the Devil’s Mark and an escort out of the game hall until the tournament is over. The bar will, of course, remain open for your use as usual. But what, you ask, is the Devil’s Mark? Well, it’s something too utterly horrible to even contemplate. The forfeiture of your very soul, it is… but I suppose I can show you what it is-gods know I more than deserve the Devil’s Mark. In fact, better make it two, girls!”

    With that, the two succubi accompanying him leaned over and each firmly planted a kiss on Saul’s cheek with her ruby-red lips. When they pulled away, their lip rouge had left clearly visible prints in the same shocking red on his cheeks. Saul beamed at everyone and cried out, ”The Devil’s Mark, everyone!” which was greeted by a flurry of shouts, catcalls, and hoots.

    Now, my friends, let’s cheat the Devil and take his gold!”

    There was another flurry of shaking and spitting from the imprisoned fiend above, and with that, the tournament had begun.

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    Last edited by Askel; 2014-01-29 at 05:45 PM.

  22. - Top - End - #22
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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Ioriel is surprised to see Bel'on jump up to go the woman. She is about to say something but stops herself. What the... I was just talking to him and he runs off. She looks after him. Though I guess it's nice of him to cheer up that woman. It's the same that made him come to my aid yesterday. I wager most people in this town would not stop for something as normal as a woman getting grabbed on the street. She gets a kinda dreamy smily on her face.

    As the talking starts she takes the opportunity to wind her way through the crowd over to Bel'on. She puts a hand on his arm to let him know she is there as they watch the performance, though she does not speak to interrupt it. After he is done though she says. "The contract we wrote going in is actually fake you know. We aren't forced to play, but I suppose that isn't stopping you." She says with a small smile. "I am not going to play, but do tell me if there is something I could do to help you."

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    Grim ranger's Avatar

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    Default Re: Second Darkness - Shadow in the Sky (IC)

    Paying attention to the big announcement as long as it was required for him to understand the basic rules of the game, the tiefling turned his attention back to the woman in red. "Alas, you don't... I am new arrival. I don't see how that should prelude me from cheering someone up, however: you can call me Bel if you wish" he said simply with small nod.

    Turning his attention to Ioriel next, he looks dry. "Well, good to know that I won't be signing over anything I'd have to regene on giving should I lose... I do tend to take legal agreements seriously. I am here to play, so I will get to that in a moment: I doubt that I will have to worry about my chances slipping away quite yet even if I do pause for a moment."

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    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Second Darkness - Shadow in the Sky (IC)

    Bel'on and Ioriel

    Bel'on moved to the Bounders game to try his luck at winning a few Gold Eyes. This was a dice rolling game, where he had to roll against the dealer and bet on the numbers being rolled. It was a frustrating game with poor odds to begin with.

    He bet five Gold Eyes and, after a couple rolls and a few small bets (with a few strangely lucky last minute bounces of the dice), made out with a slight profit on his bet.

    Getting more confident, Bel'on bet another five Gold Eyes. His dice rolled, and the dealer's dice rolled... but things weren't looking good. Bel'on's hands were fast as he swapped in his own dice, but Desna didn't seem to care for the tiefling this night. Even his slightly weighted dice refused to yield any real bounty, and after several more tosses, he only managed to make back half of his initial bet.

    Spoiler
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    In the first game, Bel'on bet 5 Gold Eyes and earned 6 Gold Eyes. In the second game, Bel'on bet 5 Gold eyes and earned 2 Gold Eyes. Bel'on's net gain/loss is -2 Gold Eyes. Bel'on loses two Gold Eyes (dropping him down to 38).


    No one else seemed suspicious of the tiefling's dice rolling, but that didn't stop Ioriel from noticing his cheating anyway...

  25. - Top - End - #25
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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: Second Darkness - Shadow in the Sky (IC)

    Ioriel follows after Bel'on to the gameing tables. "Hmm, did you know that your name means Great Person in elvish? You truly are great, helping out both me and the woman when they needed it." She seems in quite a good mood, not affected by the infernal mood of the place. "Let's see how well you do in this game." She stayed close to the man. If I stay close to him it will be less chance that someone sneak up and pick my pockets right? I am only practical. She even pushes her slender, soft arm against the tiefling's shoulder. When he wins the first game she claps her hand, getting somewhat into the mood of the place. "I think you got a knack for this." Finding out more info can wait a bit right? Hmm, I suppose I could ask the 'dealer' about the palce. She opens her mouth before the first game starts. "I am somewhat new in town. Is there something one should really know about this place or have there been anything wierd happening lately, you know other then the cloud in the sky and this marvelous tournament?"

    When she catches Bel'on cheat she manages to hold herself from ghasping. She quickly looks over to his face, but he does not show any signs that anything is wrong. She calms herself as she looks down on the table, her smile somber somewhat as she thinks to herself. He really did cheat, didn't he? That's not a very nice thing to do. Then again, I guess the house would always win if people didn't cheat. This is the way to be good at games where the house is normally the only one who wins. She looks over at him again, more slowly this time and leans down to whisper in his ear. You cheated! I saw it. I guess this is how you plan to win the prize eh? Suddenly she is all too aware of the fact that her turning over and leaning down like that made her breasts press against his arm. She quickly takes a step backwards away from him before he can reply. Aww, what must everyone think of me? That I'm just like one of those girls dressed as succubi? Still, she does not move further away, but remains at a respectable distance about a step away.

  26. - Top - End - #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Askel View Post
    Evelyn and Basil

    The man practically purred at Evelyn's gratitude.

    "Mhm...," he chuckled, licking his lips, "I know 'ow ta please th'ladies. Do y'got a name, beautiful?"

    Before Evelyn could answer, Basil took the other seat next to her. At his comment about intellectual company, the man bristled, the top of his head turning crimson .

    "She's spoken for," he insisted petulantly, scowling at Basil, "I 'pologize fer his crude advances..."
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandomWombat View Post
    Glancing at the gold-toothed man, Basil just sneered and waved dismissively with his free hand, "Do try not to be so presumptuous of my intentions. Are taverns not places for both conversation and information to change hands?" He turned his attention back to the blonde woman. His face took on its serious demeanor again, his tone likewise becoming more straightforward and less flowery, "I assure you, I always repay my debts. I will be perfectly honest here, there is a matter most concerning to me, and I wondered if you might know something."

    Basil's eyes had a mix of worry both real and exaggerated as he reached into his coat and pulled out five gold coins. The man looked at his palm as he cradled the coins and sifted them around, "My brother, a researcher by the name of Nathaniel Blackwood, has been missing for the better part of a week. The last trace of his whereabouts led me here. Might you know of him? His raiment would be similar to mine, and bear the same family crest."


    Quote Originally Posted by Askel

    Basil and Evelyn


    The squat little man continued to glower at Basil, but he seemed unable to think of a reason to shoo his supposed competitor away, so he kept his mouth closed. His eyes remained on Basil, though.

    Evelyn gave the squat little man a playful wink before returning her attentions to Basil.

    "Hmmm.....perhaps I have....I meet so many different kinds of folk in my everyday..."
    She half purred, her lips playing with a smirk. She brought her drink up to her lips and took a dainty sip. Though of course if she had seen him...at work, ahem, she would have little memory of seeing this Nathaniel Blackwood in the raiment his brother here spoke of, if you catch my drift.

    She tapped her chin ponderously and softly hmm'd, casting her blue eyes towards the gambling hall. She opened her mouth to utter some nonsense when Saul Vancaskerkin made his flashy entrance. Suddenly her attention was off Basil and focused utterly on Saul. So this was him, she had only heard of him, never seen him before, for some reason she had imagined him taller.

    The creature in the cage bothered her for a bit, on the grounds she didn't really know exactly what it was, but mostly because she couldn't understand a lick of what it was saying, ho hum.

    "You don't really think one really is signing over their souls in this tournament do you?"
    She casually asked Basil, feigning a small frown on her face. She hadn't really paid much heed to the contract thing, merely glanced at it. She wasn't considering participating in the games herself, so it didn't register to her upon her arrival into this establishment.

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Second Darkness - Shadow in the Sky (IC)

    Listening carefully as the woman pondered and purred, Basil remained wary of attempts at deception. With this sort it was difficult to tell when they were teasing, and when they actually knew something. Basil turned in his seat to face the stage as well, when it became the center of attention. He took another sip of whiskey and listened with some disinterest to Vancaskerkin's introductory rant. What interested the young Blackwood more was the imp's tirade. Schooled in the Infernal tongue, he could understand the devil's words. It seemed there was indeed some Infernal dealing here, at least on the part of Saul Vancaskerkin, if the devil's embarrassed murmuring aside was anything to go by.

    Once the show was over and the gambling began, Basil turned back towards the bar. He glanced over at the woman, who was now changing the subject. So she didn't know anything after all.

    "The contract is nothing more than a piece of paper. It is neither legally nor infernally binding. That devil in the cage, however, is completely real," Basil took another sip of his whiskey before continuing, "An imp. A minor devil, but most ordinary weapons will do nothing to it, meaning it could kill most anyone here without a scratch. Makes me wonder why it's stooped to the level of working for Saul Vancaskerkin."

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Default Re: Second Darkness - Shadow in the Sky (IC)

    She stared at the imp with a furrowed brow. So did this mean Saul was making pacts with devils?...Milady would be quite interested in this hmm..

    "You don't suppose that Saul...what was it..."
    She lightly tapped her chin and softly hmmmd. "Oh what was it...those Cheliaxians...deal in it so often...Hmm!...bound it him? Mmm, it might make this Saul a practitioner of devil binding."

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    "Hrm. Devil binding, wizard with an unusual familiar, infernal pact... however he has it doing his bidding, I don't like it," Basil mumbled, half to himself and half to the woman next to him. He tapped his fingers on the bar counter and drank the last of his whiskey in a large swig, setting the empty glass on the counter. "Makes me think, perhaps my brother was caught witnessing something untoward. Wish I'd brought a silver spike..."

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    "That would be quite...unfortunate..."
    She stared at Basil, somewhat thoughtfully bringing her drink to her lips again and taking a small sip. "Hmm, so, Mister Blackwood, where do you hail from? Considering clearly tis not from dear old Riddleport."
    Last edited by Benson; 2014-01-30 at 01:03 PM.

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