• Open • The False Fortune Teller

Once an isolated and dying township, an influx of academics, adventurers and thrill seekers have made Scalvoris Town their home. From scholars' tea shops to a new satellite campus for Viden Academy, this is an exciting place to visit or make your home!

• Open • The False Fortune Teller

Postby Devin » Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:13 am

6th of Ashan, Arc 718

Devin Thorn, thief, con man extraordinaire and self-proclaimed member of one of the Eastern Settlement’s richest families arrived at the town square shortly before dawn, when the streets were still empty and most upstanding members of society were still asleep in their beds. He was not normally a morning person, but he wanted to set up his newest business without anybody getting in his way and asking him what he was doing. That early in the trial it was still cold. His breath formed little clouds of mist in front of his face, and he shivered slightly as he set the large bag that he was carrying down in front of the central fountain, furrowing his brow as he did so. The water in the fountain was not frozen. He quickly removed a vial from one of the many pockets of his coat and filled it with water so that he would be able to study it later on. Water that never froze would most likely come in handy one trial.

Having done that, he took a quick look around the square to make sure that nobody was watching him, and then he unpacked. First came something that looked like a large piece of multi-colored fabric that was tied together with a piece of rope, but that was actually a tent. He struggled quite a bit with it – he had never erected a tent before – but after nearly half a break it was standing, and it even looked halfway stable. Next, he pulled an old carpet that he had stolen from a clothesline out of his bag and put it on the floor of his tent, followed by a small folding table. He placed several items on it in quick succession: a lime green table cloth, a glass ball, a bowl with bones that he had gotten from the butcher and a deck of cards. Having done that, he pulled a black hooded cloak out of his bag and put it on, making sure that his face was sufficiently covered so that nobody would be able to recognize him. It made him feel quite mysterious.

Last came a jar that was filled with bright crimson paint, a brush and a piece of cardboard. He looked at it thoughtfully for a moment, wondering how much he should charge his future clients, and then he dipped the brush into the paint and wrote “Fortune telling! Only five silvers! Only until the 13th of Ashan!” on the cardboard. Once he was satisfied with his masterpiece, he placed it next to the tent entrance so that it would be hard to miss.

Satisfied, he sat down inside his tent on the old wooden crate that he had found at the nearby market (one of the merchants seemed to have forgotten it which meant that it was free for the taking in his opinion), pulled out a cigar, lit it, put his feet on the table and waited for all those superstitious fools to come and pay him for the lies that he told them and help him finance his luxurious lifestyle. He’d heard that a fortune teller had been in town a season or two earlier – her name had been Joelle, if he remembered correctly – and that she had been quite popular.

He planned on surpassing her.

Bought:
Tent (Two Person) – 30 gn
Black wool cloak - 13 gn 5 sn
Small table – 25 gn
Industry sized glass vial with rubber stopper – 1 gn
Large heavy duty canvas bag – 1 gn
Non-fiction book - 10 gn

I’m not sure about the cost of the other items (they weren’t on the price list), and thus I will leave that matter to whoever reviews the thread.
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The Fake Fortune Teller

Postby Genuvah » Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:55 am

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Genuvah was walking the square of Scalvoris Town as Selmon Barber, the pudgy, blonde, would-be healer. He brushed his simple clothes as he stepped toward the speakers corner of the square, where con-men, fortune tellers, shell-players and all sorts of charlatans set up in the hopes of profiting from peoples' idle curiosity and boredom.

Genuvah enjoyed these kinds of services, as useless as he supposed they were. It gave him a chance to stretch the limits of his ability to see through the fog a charlatan threw up at him, all while learning a thing or two from them himself. So when Genuvah spotted the jar with the writing on it, telling all comers that they'd let them have his fortune told until the thirteenth of Ashan, his curiosity won out over skepticism. Besides, he was certain of the security of the square, in broad daylight as it was. He'd be out a few silvers, but that was alright, worth the small lesson in bullshitting.

The yludih walked over to where this man was waiting. Entering his tent, Genuvah bowed fractionally, nearly stumbling as he did so. He was still unused to the new proportions he'd assumed for this new form. He supposed Selmon was as much a clutz as he was a stutterer. Well, whatever the case, he nodded to the man in front of his tent, and smiled shyly. "So, you're telling fortunes? Why only until the thirteenth of Ashan?"

He reached into his coin purse, and produced the amount of coins the man was asking for, "What do these tell you about my future?"

Genuvah grinned on the inside. This ought to be good, funny if nothing else. On the surface, Selmon appeared all serious, concern evident on the wrinkles on his forehead.
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The Fake Fortune Teller

Postby Devin » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:18 pm

“Well, well, who do we have here?” Devin drawled as Genuvah approached his tent, took a long puff of his cigar and blew a few smoke rings in the Yludih’s general direction which was bound to make him cough as the smell was quite intense. “Come in, come in. I’ve been expecting you. The Fates have foretold your arrival”, he announced in an almost overly mysterious tone, figuring that a real fortune teller would likely claim such and extended a hand as if he wanted to invite Genuvah to take a seat – only to suddenly realize that he’d forgotten to procure something for his clients to sit on.

Nevermind, this particular client looked healthy even though he was a little challenged in the height department. He’d survive standing for a few bits. He lowered his hand again, and he also removed his feet from the table. He didn’t do that because having one’s feet on the table was bad manners, but because he needed some more room for his tools.

“I’m indeed a fortune teller”, he replied and continued in a very dramatic tone. “But I’m not just any fortune teller. I was taught by the famous Master Anselmus …” He paused for a moment, trying to come up with a sufficiently impressive name for the teacher that he'd just made up. “Accius Accoleius, Pope of Yaralon, Beloved of Edasha and Chosen of Ziell. He gave me his Book of Secrets”, he announced, removed a leather-bound book from his bag and briefly showed it to Genuvah before he let it disappear again so that he wouldn’t be able to snatch it from him. It didn’t really contain any secrets. It was a book on human anatomy that he'd bought at the local bookstore, and it contained a lot of very interesting drawings.

“As for why I’m only going to stay here until the 13th of Ashan”, he continued, quickly grabbed Genuvah’s money and let it disappear in a pocket of his coat it lest he changed his mind. “There are other people in other cities that need my help. Idalos is a dangerous place right now, my friend. Trouble is brewing everywhere, and things will get worse before they get better again”, he claimed, hoping to entice Genuvah to ask him for some sort of magical protection and hand over a few more coins.

“But you want to know what the future has in store from you”, he remembered, extinguished his cigar on the table because there wasn’t a lot left of it, promptly burning a hole into it, grabbed his deck of cards and handed it to Genuvah. “Shuffle them, pick one card and give it to me. Of course I can also ask the bone oracle or the crystal ball, but the cards work best. They also have nice pictures on them”, he added in order to make the decision a little easier for Genuvah and tried his best not to grin because he was already having so much fun.

This would be soo easy!
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The Fake Fortune Teller

Postby Genuvah » Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:31 pm

Image


Genuvah reacted to the smoke as one might expect, coughing, though he genuinely had no need to do so as a Yludih. It was all about appearances. He actually found the smoke very pleasant and nice smelling. His asterism warmed to the scent of the smoke. "Oh? What have those nasty Fates been gossipping about?" He japed, wondering how this matchstick man would respond to it. A bit out of character for Selmon to tell a joke like that, but the fortune teller hadn't met him yet.

Genuvah looked around for something to sit on but came up short. Instead, he decided to kneel, his posterior resting on the heels of his feet. He was a bit lower than the teller on the other side of the table, but it was a good vantage point from which to detect movement beneath the table. "Uh, is this okay? I can stand if necessary, but I'm pretty beat from walking those streets all the morning."

He listened to the fortune teller's obviously improvised pitch. He was somewhat impressed by the man's creativity. Or perhaps this one had some actual background as a mystic. Either way, Genuvah went on to say, "Master Anselmus! Of Viden! Wow, you must be really good to have learned from such a legendary mystic." Genuvah didn't know if Anselmus was actually real, or if he was some name the man plucked out of his imagination. Either way, he expected to either be corrected or reinforced. Or perhaps he'd be surprised. Anyway the teller wanted to slice it, was fine with Genuvah.

"Yes, there's always no end of troubles, it seems. Even a place as remote as Scalvoris has its share of conflict. I appreciate the pains you take to alleviate some of the suffering in the world." Perhaps Genuvah was laying it on too thick here, he should reel it in.

That said, he took a card when bid, and flipped it over to see what it looked like. "Huh, what's this guy on the card? He's wearing motley!"
True enough, the card Genuvah pulled had a jester's cap on, and carried a stick with a satchel attached to it like a beggar's crook. Genuvah gasped slightly, "Are the cards saying I'm going to be homeless!?"

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The False Fortune Teller

Postby Devin » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:52 am

“Oh, the usual stuff!“ Devin replied as Genuvah asked him what the Fates had been gossiping about and waved his hand dismissively. “Murder, death and betrayal – not yours of course. You won’t get murdered. The Fates have something extra special in store for you, and you’ll find out just what it is in a few bits!” he proclaimed, hoping to arouse Genuvah’s curiosity. If Devin had not been wearing a hood that covered his face almost completely, the Yludih would have noticed that the false fortune teller’s eyes shimmered brightly and that there was a small amused smile on his face.

Apparently Genuvah did have back problems, Devin noticed as the man sat down on the floor of his tent. He felt bad for him - for all of a moment before he decided that he didn’t care because he couldn’t feel Genuvah’s pain – although he would procure something for people to sit on before he let his next client enter the tent, he decided. “Sure”, he said and shrugged his shoulders. “Feel free to sit anywhere you like.” He wanted to say more, but it was just then that Genuvah claimed to have heard of Master Anselmus. Devin’s heart skipped a bit, his eyes widened in shock, and his thoughts started to race. It had never occurred to him that there might really be a Master Anselmus somewhere!

What was he supposed to do now? If Genuvah realized that he was a fraud, he would likely call the guards on him, and he had absolutely no interest in going to prison. He’d already been to prison once. The company had sucked, the food had sucked even worse, and he’d woken up to a rat crawling across his chest and trying to take a bite out of him once. He forced himself to calm down again and act as if nothing had happened, and he wasn’t almost about to have a panic attack. That was the best he could do, considering the circumstances, he decided.

“You know Master Anselmus?” he exclaimed, feigning surprise and absolute joy. “Tell me, how is he? It’s been a while since I last saw him!” He gave Genuvah a moment to answer before he proudly proclaimed, “Of course I’m good. In fact, I’m one of the best. I’m the second-best fortune teller in all of Idalos, right after Master Anselmus, and I’m much better than that fraud Joelle. I doubt she’s even really blind!”

“Oh no, you aren’t going to be homeless”,
he reassured Genuvah and looked at the card that the Yludih had drawn, worried that he would demand his money back if he gave him bad news. He didn’t know much about the meaning of the card – or any of the other cards – he hadn’t bothered reading the manual because he wanted to come up with his own interpretations. In his opinion that was the sign of a really good fortune teller.

“On the contrary, this card speaks of great fortune and a journey that you are going to undertake in the near future.” He pointed at the satchel. “You are going to …” he began and paused for a moment as he tried to think of something sufficiently impressive. “You are going to find work as a jester – in King Cassander’s court. He’s going pay you thousands of nels each season, and he’s going to shower you with gifts. If I were you, I would buy an outfit like the one the man on the card is wearing and start practicing right away so that I’ll be ready when the time comes!”

“Do you want to know more?”
he asked.
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The False Fortune Teller

Postby Genuvah » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:47 pm

Image
The Yludih could be forgiven for feigning to float the idea that he was going to be a poor beggar in motley, when the fortune teller set the mood with a spiel about Murder, death and betrayal. Personally Genuvah would have set the mood for his reading with something positive to entice a potential customer, but he could see the merits of hedging a client/mark's expectations with such dire predictions. Perhaps this teller had the right approach.

This was an interesting adventure in any event. Genuvah was learning quite a bit about natural human behavior, which would doubtless come in handy in the future. Even if it was feigned, there was value in finding a layer of deception above the actual intent.

Genuvah thought he caught the hint of shock when he mentioned Anselmus, that he actually knew who the famous fortune teller was. He could have elaborated a bit more, made up stories, but decided to throw the fortune teller a bone instead. Besides, there was an off chance that Anselmus actually did exist, or that the teller might call him on his bluff even if he was bluffing. The best thing sometimes was to be honest. And Selmon was nothing if not Earnest.

"Oh" He said, blushing slightly, "I actually never heard of him, I'm sorry. I just didn't want you to think I'm dumb. I don't know why I said that." Of course this admission had the likelihood of doing just that in Genuvah's opinion, but Selmon had an air of naivete about him.

Finally, they came to the crux of the matter of Genuvah's sitting down, the actual reading of the card. "Oh! Good." He was about to rush out to feign buying a motley outfit and book passage to, wherever this King Cassander ruled. Then he realized what the fortune teller meant by 'Do you want to know more?'. Obviously he was digging for more coin.

Genuvah decided he could do with some more edutainment, if the fortune teller was willing to oblige. He reached into his coin purse, which had far less jingle than before, and took out what remained there. Just a couple of golden nels to rub together. Selmon would presumably get more for the Motley later, depending on how this telling guided him further.

"That's excellent news, here have a few more coins, all I have left on me!" Genuvah tried to suppress a laugh at his alterego's own gullibility. "What else do you see? I want to know more!"

This would be interesting, to say the least. Genuvah was ready to be entertained one last time before being cast out of the tent. Afterall, he had told him that two golden nels was the last of his coin. And that was true. He only carried so much while in the market, while amongst the pickpockets and conmen.

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The False Fortune Teller

Postby Devin » Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:55 am

“Oh“, Devin made as Genuvah admitted to actually never having heard of Master Anselmus, feigning disappointment. In truth he was absolutely relieved because the risk of him being found out had just decreased dramatically. He didn’t want to be found out, despite everything! “That’s okay. I don’t think that you are dumb. I’m sure there are plenty of people that I haven’t heard of either!” he told him so that the Yludih wouldn’t get depressed. Depressed clients tended to be bad for business.

As he sat there, waiting for how Genuvah would react to his revelation, it occurred to him that maybe he should have toned it down somewhat, but he really didn’t want to be yet another fortune teller whose tellings were so vague that they could mean practically anything. No, he wanted to be dramatic and over the top, he wanted to impress, and he wanted to see how much he would be able to get away with!

“I will tell you more in just a bit!” he claimed, grinned and quickly grabbed the coins Genuvah had taken out lest he changed his mind. He couldn’t believe how gullible the man was. If all people in Scalvoris were like that, he’d be one of the richest men on the island by the end of the season, and he’d finally be able to buy that castle he had always dreamed of!

“I need to touch you in order to see more!” he claimed and reached for Genuvah’s hand very quickly so that he wouldn’t be able to pull it away. As he did so, he began to roll his eyes and sway back and forth, and then he suddenly threw his head back, as if he were having some sort of fit. When he looked at Genuvah again, his eyes were wide.

“I spoke of death, murder and betrayal”, he said in a monotonous tone. “and a journey that you are going to undertake. During your journey you are going to witness a truly terrible crime, but if you act quickly and show no fear, you will be able to prevent the worst, and people will celebrate you as a hero. I see a woman with hair like the sun. You like women, don’t you?” he asked, a little doubtfully, and then claimed, “She is going to play an important part in your life, make you very happy and give you a lot of children. That’s all going to happen in Rynmere where you are going to become King Cassander’s court jester, by the way”, he added.

“I see no more”, he claimed, blinked a couple of times as if he were confused, and then asked, “What did I just say?”

Off Topic
I’ve already written 1.500 words, so we can end this thread whenever you like!
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The False Fortune Teller

Postby Oracle » Thu May 03, 2018 4:15 pm

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This was a wonderfully fun thread! I really enjoyed the exchange between you both. Devin, you did an excellent job of detailing the setting and the nearby surroundings. Your writing is wonderfully detailed. Genuvah was so funny and does an excellent job of playing the part of Selmon Barber. Well done both of you! Enjoy your rewards.


Devin

Points :  XP:15
This may NOT be used for magic.

Renown :  +5 for becoming a successful fortune teller on the fly!

Loot : 2GN 5SN from Genuvah
Injuries :  None
Knowledge : Deception: Pretending to be a fortune teller
Deception: Making a famous teacher up in order to appear more competent
Deception: Claiming that your competitor is a fraud
Deception: Lying about the contents of a book
Deception: Lying about the meaning of a tarot card
Deception: Claiming that your services are in high demand
Disguise: Hiding your face under a hood
Etiquette: Having one's feet on the table is bad manners
Research: Taking samples

Non-Skill Knowledge
Genuvah: Gullible
Genuvah: I told him that he's going to become King Cassander's new court jester
Location: Scalvoris: Town Square


Genuvah

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