• Graded • Step Right Up!

Atop a stony plateau overlooking the lands of central Idalos, and growing wealthy from the gem stones pulled from the rocky soil, Etzos is a bastion of independence; firm in its belief that man should rule Idalos, not be servants of the vain Immortals who nearly destroyed it. But can the many factions set aside their conflicting agendas and see this through?

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Mon Jul 03, 2017 7:50 pm

"Step Right Up!"


An Etzos "EVENT"
Ymiden 41, arc 717


The loud ringing of the bell surely drew nearby folks to the small open courtyard; word of mouth making its way to the ears of the rest. It was mid-morning of the 41st trial, and the exuberance of the voice proclaiming "Come one, come ALL! Try to best the cunning of Lewis Parren, and be rewarded in strange and wonderful prizes!" promised diversion from the rigors of the trial's anticipated drudgery.

What the curious would find was a round, walled-in space, about 15 yards across, covered with a form-fitted carpet. In the center of the carpet was a small, wide-based pedestal, about a foot high, with what appeared to be a simple glass ball atop it. The top of the pedestal was a cup, so the ball could not just be tapped and expected to roll off onto the carpet. At the top of the wall, many benches had been placed for spectators, but none were allowed at the carpet level; that was for contestants alone.

What these contestants were challenged to do, at the cost of 10 gold nel per try, was to simply retrieve the glass ball and hand it to Mr. Parren. Whichever bauble was being offered as a prize was then given as reward for their resourcefulness. I use this word, because contestants were not allowed to step upon the carpet, not place any additional weight upon it, nor use magic or divine abilities of any sort in the process of obtaining the ball.

Mr. Parren stated in no uncertain terms that he intended to interpret these restrictions liberally, and demonstrated this by eliminating the first contestant because he allowed a single toe to rest upon the edge of the carpet as he considered how he would achieve his goal. The grinning host collected his 10gn, amid loud protests by the ex-contestant, and informed him that he was free to try his luck again tomorrow, and that he would be here until the 50th.

There would surely be other rules as well, but the words "Oh, did I forget to say?..." were to become a common feature of his challenge...

So step right up, ye worthies of Etzos. This trials prize is a simple-looking headband that has an empathic sensory ward, that vibrates ever so slightly when ever someone within 100' is looking upon the wearer with deliberate intent of some kind. It could be good or bad, but it is focused upon you!
____________________________________________________
OCC: So here's the deal. Obviously, if someone solves the puzzle right away, I don't want everyone being able to read it here. That would take all the fun out of it. So any that wish to try their hand should PM me with what they want to try. If they hit on the right approach, and there may be more than one. I will simply announce that they succeeded. Those that fall short will be instructed to post their attempt, and I shall post the sad follow-up detailing why it failed.
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Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:42 pm

Trial One


What started as a fairly reserved crowd of curious passers-by was steadily growing into a carnival atmosphere. Mr. Parren was slowly morphing into a legitimate Circus barker as the crowd grew bigger, larger and more enthusiastic over the failed attempts made thus far.

It was even becoming an audience-participation flair when he disappointed some contestant with a slow "Ohhh...." only to have the whole crowd join in with "...DID I FORGET TO SAY?" and then cheer uproariously for a few moments. Lewis would parade around, making theatrically exaggerated gestures for the audience to quiet themselves so he could explain why "...this honest attempt, sadly, must be disqualified."

The contestant was of course, then allowed to join the crowd, and take out his own frustrations cheering for the failures that came after. It was a great tactic for Mr. Parren to share the wealth he was accumulating in the form of free ale and snacks for those lazing about to watch. He could afford it, and since business was booming for the nearby vendors they, in turn, were pooling their own profits for an increased Black Guard presence.

And some of the attempts were nothing short of circus displays themselves. It was decided early on that the use of alchemical enhancements did not qualify as magic, and the parade of out-of-control buffs that sent overpowered contestants slamming painfully into the far walls, or cartwheeling through the air, to land in a heap yards away from the target, were met with enthusiastic roars of delight from the drunken onlookers.

A different contestant tried quite successfully to dislodge the glass ball with a whip. His lash was right on target, but when he pulled at it, the entire pedestal tipped onto the carpet, showing that the glass ball was somehow attached. "Oh...." Parren started, the crowd joining boisterously in, "...DID I FORGET TO SAY?"

When the cheering stopped he continued, "...the ball is attached to pedestal. And I'm afraid the ball rolling across the carpet would constitute 'additional weight' being placed upon it anyway." He then turned to the crowd, while he patted the disappointed whip wielder on the back, "Better luck next time. You can always try again tomorrow. LET'S GIVE OUR FRIEND A BIG ETZOS HAND EVERYONE!"

He basked briefly in the ale-charged adulation, then turned to the line of those waiting their turn, "And so...who shall be next...ten gold nel, if you please."
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Mal
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Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:09 pm

Conniving, as he was, the Shapeshifter caught wind of such escapades being wrought for a strange prize. Situated up above the audience as a Falcon, he peered down at the spectacle in cautious study of it. Watching several try their hand at this deed, he knew it might be uncouth of him to utilize any of his... inhuman talents, and given that the Black Guard were certain to know his face he watched the first Trial without placing his claws upon the prize, and also paid attention to when the Guards would leave their post.

He realized there was a shift change; a few scant Chimes, wherein he could participate. He left for the Underground, and paid a man five Nel for a set of ropes, tucking them into that unusual and unsettling Domain Bag wrapped around his coarse-furred, monstrous hips. He practiced a few basic knots ahead of time--he would need to be quick, and he doubted his method would succeed. Even still, he showed his wiry face and demanded the attention of the audience with a bright, friendly, razor-toothed grin. Naked, as he was, most were none-too-thrilled about this public display of indecency. Mal was good at breaking laws, apparently.

Chills and gasps rang through the stands, many went quiet and some started to leave. "I assure you, this is merely a costume!" he shouted in a friendly voice. "Why'd any'un fear art?" And so he casually tied off his ropes to one edge of the ring, walking alongside the rail with his metal claws ticking along the bars. This's actually a bit fun. So many eyes watching me, 'tha fool. His heart-rated blossomed into a dull anxiety, and as he stretched the rope over and measured it for just the right amount of slack, he found himself gazing over his shoulder at the staring crowds. Their whispers were unsettling, but as he hopped onto the railing and held firm to it with his claws.

Strutting his stuff, Mal stood upon the bar and leaned forward, placing a paw upon the rope which bobbed and swayed underfoot. He put his arms out, carefully trying to balance his weight evenly on the surface, bestial ankles correcting powerfully while his long, prehensile tail proceeded to grasp the railing behind. He gazed down over the edge at that carpet, and suddenly he felt the room reverberate with the roar of these human souls all announcing their opinion of the spectacle.

And yet, the noise struck his ears so foully that the sound-sensitive acrobat lost his peace of mind for a single moment. This brought the naked, fur-covered man to the harsh reality of his folly, and so his clenching feet wobbled violently before he found himself teetering, trying to correct as he swayed to and fro. The rope bent underfoot, and he took another step. This time, however, that step missed its mark.

Instead of correcting the balance and bringing it in line with his own strength, the thing rebounded up and over. Suddenly he felt himself falling, snatching out at the rope to hang with hands clenching tight, tail letting go of the railing and flicking behind him. This feels more natural anyway. He began putting forward one paw after the other, hoisting himself towards the middle as the rope gave to his weight more and more. As planned, he found himself lowered down, carefully holding on to the rope as he tried anchoring himself to the pedestal with his feet.

Only, the platform rose as he clutched it, and he found himself fumbling and kicking his feet, trying to pry the glass orb off with his toes. In the end, he growled and let go of the rope, landing atop the teetering pedestal and just barely balancing himself as he crouched atop it, blinking with eyes going wide. He looked up at the audience, paws clasping the orb.

The rope was out of reach.

Realizing no human acrobat could match that feat, the fairness within him dictated that he could not win now, and so he bowed his head and threw his arms into the air, signaling his defeat. "Me wit hasn't been enough!" he hollered, kicking off from the pedestal and tucking his head to the side as his body curled over, hitting the carpet on his back and doing a front roll which had him bouncing off his feet and into the air next to Parren. There, he handed off ten Nels to Parren before running off just as the Black Guard arrived.
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Finnegan O'Connor
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Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:48 am

The commotion was hard to miss. By the time Finn arrived at the jolly scene, a sizeable crowd had already gathered and Finn had to elbow his way to the first row, ignoring any protest along the way. Once at the front, he frowned at the challenge on display. It seemed impossible. Seemed, because of course there had to be a valid solution. Scratching his head, Finn watched one contestant after another fail while the game-master's purse grew fatter and fatter. He held his breath as a nude, fur-covered hybrid of sorts got dangerously close to succeeding. Unfortunately, that attempt too failed and Parren was another ten golds richer.

While Finn had his own ideas - involving a very long plank, held up by others, from which one could bridge the distance to the ball - he didn't have the money to wager a try. Besides, the reward didn't appeal a great deal to him. He only stuck around in hopes of witnessing the solution, but none came forth. Perhaps, he considered, there was no way to win and the game master was simply a fraud. Given the many additional rules that were introduced whenever a contestant got close to solving the puzzle, it didn't seem entirely unlikely that this was indeed the case. If it were so, then the only way to win would be to cheat. While the crowd grew drunk and rowdy, Finn started to lose his patience. Part of him wished to turn away, yet he feared he might miss witnessing some brilliant solution, and so he remained until he thought of a new plan.

A devilish smirk parted his lips as he thought of a trick. Contestants were forbidden from touching the carpet, but what if he wasn't a contestant? Just when the next player, a short, broad woman with puffy cheeks, paid the game master, Finn broke rank and bolted across the carpet to seize the glass ball. At least, that had been his intent. On arrival he soon discovered that the ball was attached, somehow, to the pedestal, though after a little wriggling it soon came loose. The orb was notably heavier than it had appeared to be, but he managed to carry it back anyway, with his tongue squeezed past his lips.

"Want this, Miss?" he grinned at the woman as he casually strutted back, carrying the glass orb with both hands before halting at the edge. "It's yours for a silver," he shrugged.

"I mean..." If the price of entry was ten gold pieces then he could certainky charge more. "I meant, two gold pieces. Whaddaya say?" He stretched out his arms to offer the orb to the woman, but soon reconsidered and withdrew. "Money first," he demanded with irritating smugness as he held the orb under his armpit while holding up a cupped hand. He had half a mind to simply run away with the ball should the woman refuse to pay. It would undoubtedly make for an exciting game of chase.
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Doran
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Mon Jul 10, 2017 6:52 pm

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The atmosphere in the courtyard reminded the son of Ziell of a circus far too much for his liking. He’d attended such an event in Andaris once and then never again. Mr. Parren’s behaviour was likewise met with intense disapproval. The mortal was loud and annoying, his manner of speech left something to be desired, and he established rules only to change them again when it suited him. That was something that was just not acceptable in Doran’s opinion. Had he done such a thing back when he had still been a professor at Rynmere University, they would have thrown him out immediately!

He had half a mind to just let it be and leave again as the whole spectacle seemed like an utter waste of time to him – he found mixing potions in his laboratory in the Tower far more entertaining this here – but then the rumour that there were actual magic items to be won reached his ears. That, he decided, was something that he needed to investigate. If there was somebody in the city that owned so many magic items that he could just give some of them away as prizes in a contest, then he needed to know about it - and take a look at one of the items in question.

He decided to join the crowd in the courtyard, but he did not make fun of those that failed, he didn’t cheer at anybody, and he also didn’t eat or drink. Instead he stood slightly separately from everybody else and watched those that tried to retrieve the ball closely.

It surprised him that alchemy was allowed, but magic was not. The alchemical enhancements that the hopeful contestants used left something to be desired though, and he couldn’t help but wonder where they had gotten them. Certainly not from him. He would have remembered if somebody had approached him with such a request. They had probably bought them from a second-rate alchemist, an academy reject or something similar, he thought with a sneer.

Still, he briefly considered mixing a potion himself, but the reagents would likely cost more than the entrance fee. No, there had to be a different solution, but what? There were several factors that he needed to consider: a man that interpreted the rules quite liberally, the fact that one was not allowed to step upon the carpet at all, the fact that the ball was attached to the pedestal – and the material of the pedestal and the cup. Depending on what they were made of, retrieving the ball would be relatively easy, he thought.

He was just about to retrieve the items that he would need to test his first theory when that creature appeared. He doubted that Mal was really wearing a costume –it looked far too realistic, and he also didn’t move as if he were wearing some kind of heavy fursuit. No, he was a freak of nature, somebody that would benefit from a sword through his chest, somebody to be studied and experimented on. Why was he allowed to participate?

~~~

He returned some time later, carrying a long pole that had a magnet attached to it, a leftover from a previous experiment. As he approached Mr. Parren, he briefly wondered if anybody recognized him – he had risen to fame – or infamy – recently due to the events in Treidhart. It didn’t matter though. Mr. Parren, he thought with a hint of disdain, might even use his presence for publicity!

He handed him the requested ten nels, accompanied by the words, “I will likely be back tomorrow.” He was arrogant, but not so arrogant as to assume immediate success. Besides, failure was a necessary part of the scientific process in his opinion. You needed to test your theories and rule out certain things before you could arrive at the correct solution.

He extended the pole towards the cup, slowly and carefully. Due to its length it was heavy and unwieldy, and aiming it so that the magnet would touch the cup the right way was much harder than he had thought it would be. He moved it an inch to the right and then another one and another one and took a step forward so that he was standing directly in front of the carpet.

Following that, he paused briefly before he moved the pole again ever so slightly. The magnet finally came in contact with the cup. A small sound could be heard, but the cup did not stick to the magnet. It did not fall over either. It was either not made of metal or at least not made of a metal that was magnetic. Or perhaps the magnet hadn’t been strong enough, although that was unlikely in his opinion.

His next attempt, he decided as he joined the audience again to watch the contestants that came after him, would target a different aspect of the riddle, the carpet or maybe the ball itself. Or maybe, he thought, he would attempt something else entirely and take a page out of Mr. Parren’s book.
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Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:10 pm

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It had been a dreadfully long time since Noth had decided to grace the city of Etzos with his presence. He far preferred to wait near the outskirts, observing the citizens from afar, and learning about new events through the use of his network of drunken idiots. They were surprisingly useful when it came to understanding when things were occurring, and one had recently informed him about a contest of wits which had been setup within the city limits.

He had been interested, but decided against participating until it was made clear that he would have the opportunity of gaining some form of artifact. The twilight hybrid wasn’t nearly foolish enough to turn down the prospect of winning a powerful tool in his conquests, and even if it wasn’t necessarily something useful to him, he could always use it as a bartering tool. Nevertheless, it took surprisingly little to convince the hybrid to make his presence known once more to the city of Etzos, and after having draped himself in a cloak and donned his bronze helmet, he set out for the city using the underground pathway located in his home.

Noth had managed to evade detection whilst he lurked between the dark alleys of the Underground, and had eventually located the site of the contest. The crowds did little to conceal the contest, and their jubilant cries were easy to hear over the usual sounds of bustle inherent in city life. All in all, the trip had gone surprisingly well, at least, up until the twilight hybrid actually lay eyes upon the man conducting the contest.

Parren.

The hybrid had beaten Parren several trials prior for being a hustler, and in the process he had managed to recruit a small squad of soldiers who would assist him and the Al’Angyryl in their future plots. He hadn’t enjoyed the presence of the arrogant hustler, but had assumed that he would never see his face near Etzos again. Clearly, he had been incorrect in that assumption.

The helmet he wore did wonders to obscure his facial features, and the cloak draped across him allowed him to negate most of his recognizable qualities. With a sigh, the hybrid stepped forth to Parren, and handed him ten golden Nels so that he could begin his first attempt. It was not a large amount in the hands of those with actual work, but a majority of Noth’s money came from corpses, and it was difficult to find wealthy dead.

The hybrid carefully squatted near the carpet, pressing his fingers against the edges, but not allowing them to fall upon the carpet itself so as not to ‘Add weight’. He would press against the side until it bulged slightly, and then lay his hand under the carpet, gradually pushing it forward as he walked towards the orb.

He had gotten almost halfway to the prize when he heard the subtle intake of breath, and knew that Parren was going to find something wrong with his plan.

He vaguely considered finding something wrong with Parren’s face, and correcting it with forceful application of his mace.

Last edited by Noth on Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 532
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Credit to Pegasus


As a note: Noth is a Grandmaster in Intimidation. That means that he's at least as scary as the Count from Sesame Street. Beware.

"The tyrant confuses those he can't convince, corrupts those he can't confuse, and crushes those he can't corrupt." - Anonymous
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Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:58 pm

MAL:


Lewis Parren had never heard of "Padfoot", not having been in town until only the last two trials. It was not until after the fur-clad contestant acknowledged his failure and departed that some murmurs became recognizable as identifying the culprit.

The newly arriving Black Guard sentries took quickly to run a few paces beyond the gathered crowd, and peered up and down the few streets that were within their view. They went to no further bother however; shrugging and returning to take up their posts, along with their complementary mugs of ale. "If'n it was Padfoot, he be long gone now."

When the details became a bit clearer, Parren dismissed the entire effort with a grand wave, "If that is the result of Becoming magic, giving him those claws and such, and not alchemy, then he'd be disqualified anyway."
___________________________________________________
FINN


Because of Padfoot's rumored presence, spectators were now piqued to be on the lookout for well-known individuals. Such it was that a new murmur came to fore. The name "Doran" was starting to make the rounds. It was fortunate for him that he kept on the move as he watched the foibles of those thinking that inexperienced use of alchemy would ever be done with grace.

Now this famous name was one Parren HAD heard of, and he stalled proceedings while he too, scanned the crowd for the great 'Hero of Oscillus'. So it was that Finn had his opportunity to slip across the carpet, in violation of no rule specifically clarified, and return with the glass ball. By this time, Parren had given up his search for Sir Doran's august presence and resumed play, calling up the next contestant, a fairly young woman.

Parren had assumed that the rise of crowd noise had been due to searches for Doran, but when he saw the young lad holding the ball out to the woman, his head recoiled to the empty cup and back, and his face quickly darkened with impatience. He realized now that the crowd had been cheering the creative interpretation of the rules by this youngster. The woman hesitated to take hold of the ball, weighing the look on Parren's face against the rules that had been stated several times by now.

Parren suddenly stopped with a glint in his eye, raised his eyebrows innocently and cocked his head questioningly at her, breaking his gaze only to look down at Finn with an actual sparkle of approval. He said nothing though, until the contestant actually took the ball in hand. Then he immediately spoke up, "Well?...Ma'am?...An offer has been made? Are you going to take the lad up on it?"

Of course, by now Finn had upped his asking price to two gold, and the woman got a look of defiance and agreed to the terms. Everyone waited to see what sort of fine print shenanigans Parren would pull out of his hat this time. And he did not disappoint. "It's true. I did not sufficiently clarify the role a non-contestant could take in between attempts by legitimate contestants..." he flashed an amused scowl in Finn's direction.

The woman and Finn both looked surprised at the suggestion that they may have actually outwitted the charlatan. "BUT...I did state clearly that a contestant must 'retrieve' the ball. When this poor girl agreed to our young lad's terms, she already had the ball in her hand. I'm sorry, you lose."

For perhaps the first time, the crowd did not roar with unanimous approval. There were some boos in amongst the laughter. Parren took note and raised his arms for quiet, "Nonetheless, I like the boy's moxie, and his fair play in trying to turn my own wordplay back at me. So I will spare the woman her 10 gold, AND allow them a FREE attempt on the morrow. Good luck to you both next time. But now let me clarify, non-contestants are not allowed to impact a contestant's effort in any way."

____________________________________________________
DORAN


Parren stood now in genuine humility before the renowned Hero of Oscillus, promising no semantics to rob such an honored individual of his reward. In this instance his intent was genuine. He knew he had nothing to gain by cleverly cheating this man of a prize through some cheap twist of the rules.

As well, he stood to gain a great deal of approval and legitimacy by besting the fellow, if he could do it honestly. And when he saw the long pole, he knew he would prevail. He had already anticipated such a move. Not only was the ball screwed onto a threaded post extending up from the center of the cup, making it a single weight that would require a strong magnet, but the pedestal was deliberately fashioned of a non-magnetic metal.

When the attempt failed, Parren made a show of great disappointment, wishing the hero well and generating a grand applaud for the attempt. Behind his show of adulation, however, he sneered enviously at the man; wishing him nothing but scandal and shame for stealing the show.

_____________________________________________________
NOTH


Noth was very fortunate that the current squad of spectators contained two off-duty soldiers that recognized him, once Parren had made a show of "exposing the monster" in hopes of seeing him arrested for ruining the Piol scam he'd had going in a tavern to the south. They stood to defend Noth as having helped them rid Etzos of a Rhakrosian spy in the woods several seasons ago.

With the city's current mood, Parren was forced to submit yet again to the hybrid, and suppress a howl of outrage as the crowd looked on with nothing more than eagerness to see another attempt. Of course, they hoped for failure, but there was no underlying animosity towards someone who'd taken out a spy of Rhakros, regardless of how indisputably horrific he looked.

Anyone looking closely might have seen some genuine concern on Parren's face when Noth began his attempt. When the hybrid got about halfway to the ball, the host stepped in and kicked the underside of the carpet, sending a wave of material swamping the spot where the pedestal sat, knocking it over.

"Ooooh...Too Bad!" Parren said with an overt sneer. There was a noticeable lack of voices joining in this time though, as he followed up with his now-traditional "Did I forget to say?...there is no rule against kicking the underside of the carpet, as that is not additional weight!" the two glared at each other, Parren knowing that even if the guard thought he'd stretched his rules a bit too far this time, they would not let it escalate to bloodshed.

Noth apparently came to the same conclusion as he backed away with no comment. Parren added no further gloating either, though. The halfbreed had come too close with his attempt. Also he knew he'd lost a portion of the crowd's pleasure with his cheap tactic to stymie him.

___________________________________________________________________
TRIAL 2............
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Mal
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Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:45 pm

Largely, Mal felt bitter. Many Trials did he spend wallowing in shame and grief, broken up over what had happened in the Downtrodden. Ultimately, he knew he had to live, and that his life needed to change. Before, revenge was what he desired most, but when he realized the truth about these killings he felt disgusted, even melancholic, gravitating towards anything that would give him some kind of comfort.

This circus was a kind of comfort.

Sure, the man was never going to let him win, but it was entertaining to perform something less serious, more innocent. He even contemplated stealing the prize, but he knew this fellow had to have some kind of protection aside from the guards. Those deeply vested in magic almost always did. And so, in the early hours when the second Trial began, Mal crept on up to the locale, heeding what Parren had mentioned about his claws. He’ll get me on them technicalities, an’ what he did to that ol’ bird man I know made me really fekkin’ mad.

Yeah, the Trial before? Mal circled back, and he watched Noth’s attempt. Mal very nearly dove down and harried Parren with a set of sharp talons for that gimmick, but decided not to escalate the situation since it was getting tense. Still, that look of fear... the carpet was how to solve this riddle, but he didn’t even want the prize for himself at this point. He deserves it, I’ll get this thing ‘n sniff ‘em out. Good pay back for helping me with Sar’kahr, ya?

No Black Guard were there yet, and Parren was likely still trying to build a crowd. The Becomer looked over the podium, having a feeling that the man might have ‘refined’ his challenge a bit...
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Finnegan O'Connor
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Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:48 pm

For a trill he believed he'd outsmarted the charlatan, but upon handing over the treasured orb, Parren's mouth moved to speak the now infamous words. "Oh, did I forget to..."

Finn's expression soured as though some precious toy had been taken away from him. Nevertheless, he had arguably won more than any before him. Firstly, he'd gained two shiny gold nels, which he clutched anxiously in a balled fist. Secondly, he'd earned another chance to try the following day, and he was determined to do so. With not much else to do, Finn took a seat at the edge of the arena and watched quietly as other hopefuls betted their hard-earned gold against Parren's deception. Just when he grew absolutely convinced that the whole ordeal was a thinly veiled scam, a strangely mishapen contestant made a shocking discovery. He jumped up from his seat, surely this time Parren would have to admit defeat? yet before the glass ball was reached, Parren disrupted the attempt as only a shameless charlatan could. Finn slunk back into his seat, more determined than ever to beat the hustler at his own game, just to wipe that smug look off his face. Biting on his lower lip, Finn contemplated what the mysterious figure had just demonstrated. The carpet was key, that much was certain.

The day was already winding down by the time he arrived for his second attempt. This time, he came prepared, armed with a second-hand dagger of poor make. It was all he had been able to manage with two golden nels. Yet, while the blade was dull, the tip was still reasonably sharp and that was all he cared about.

After he'd made his presence known to Parren and reminded the man that one was allowed to kick the carpet's underside, he proceeded with his plan. Firstly, he shoved both his feet under the carpet in order to lift it ever so slightly off the ground. Next, he lowered himself to a crouch and stabbed the dagger into the underside of the material, at the space between his between his feet, before carefully cutting towards himself. Simply put, if he was not allowed to walk over the carpet without Parren interfering, then he would simply cut out a path. He shot a glance over his shoulder at Parren as he proceeded to slice his way through the material, always making sure that he never directly touched the up side of the carpet.

"This might take a while," he said as he tried to guess what flaw Parren would find with his plan this time.
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Doran
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Race: Mortal Born
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Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:38 am

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On the second trial the Mortalborn had a far better idea of how to solve the riddle. After his first attempt he had spent a couple of breaks watching the other contestants to find out why they had failed and how Mr. Parren interpreted the rules (quite liberally, even things such as the fact whether he found a contestant likeable seemed to play a part).

He had considered simply asking somebody that was not a contestant to retrieve the ball, but after watching the interaction between the woman and the boy that was most likely an orphan judging by his questionable appearance and his lack of manners he realized that would not be allowed. Mr. Parren seemed to have made up a new rule on a whim.

Still, he briefly considered bringing the falcon that Kylar had once given him and arguing that the bird was really an extension of himself and that he was thus not breaking any rules. It would be hard to get the bird who normally hunted mice and other small animals interested in a bit of glass though. No, he needed to do something else, but what?

As he had found out on the first trial the ball was screwed on tightly. There were a couple of ways to take care of that though. That was why he brought a new tool. He had attached two long poles to a pair of tongs so that the poles would work as extensions of his hands. His aim was to loosen the ball or the cup with the ball and then retrieve it somehow.

The practical application of his invention left something to be desired though. It turned out to be nearly impossible to work precisely from such a distance, and it put a surprising amount of strain on his arms. In the end ball, cup and pedestal landed on the carpet. He was not frustrated though. The second attempt had brought him much closer to the solution. His next attempt or the one after that, he thought, would likely be successful.

He knew now that solving the riddle through conventional means likely would not work. No, he needed to remove a factor from the equation, but which one? There were Mr. Parren, the cup, the pedestal, the ball and the carpet – he had not targeted the latter yet. Perhaps, he thought, he ought to try and dissolve it using one of his chemicals or simply set it on fire. No, there had to be a better solution than handling dangerous substances in an enclosed space – something that he had always warned his students about. Besides, Mr. Parren likely wouldn't approve of somebody damaging his property, not even if that somebody was the hero of Oscillus.

Of course! Stepping upon the carpet was not allowed, but what if he didn’t use his feet and never put any additional weight on it? He remembered the trial that he had moved out of his old house in Andaris and what he had done then. He would try something like that next, he decided – although a part of him had begun to doubt whether Mr. Parren really did have any magic items. Why else had he made everybody so far fail?
Last edited by Doran on Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:34 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 550
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