In the end though, Man C still won, and though efforts had been made to prevent it, neither of the other players had managed to beat him. The final round, which featured the bald Biqaj and the bespectacled Man C, had not taken long. Still, The Biqaj, Man D, had succeeded in diminishing his opponent’s dice by one before kicking the bucket himself. No-one was particularly happy when the bespectacled man gave a slight smirk, gathered his winnings, and left the Blacksmith Arms. Despite his many losses this evening, Man A still broke into a bellowing laugh, slamming his hands on the table and ordering ale for himself and the other losers of the game. “What yer writing missy?” he questioned, as he shoved the mug towards Yana, who was franticly writing in her journal. Though she wrote fast, her handwriting was clean and readable, though it looked rigid and stiff.
“I’m taking notes,” she replied briefly, not even looking up from the pages, constructing a table that showed which players had lost a die in which round. As she had not been taking notes while playing, Yana had no way of remembering what claims had been made, or what the actual faces of the dice displayed when revealed, thus she figured this would have to do.
“’My Diary’,” the Biqaj read, as Yana closed the journal and placed it back into a pocket of her cloak. The bald man raised an eyebrow. “You’re still keeping diaries? Aren’t you a little… you know, too old for that?” His tone was hesitant, and while all leftover players had their eyes on her expectantly, they were careful not to look mockingly. Perhaps because they had seen the weapons at her hip, and because they did not know how she would react.
Yana shrugged and took a sip of her ale, wiping the foam from her lips with the back of her hand. “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” she said, “the cover might say one thing, but the contents say another. It’s a log.”
“A log is just a fancy word for diary, missy,” Man A laughed, part of his beard wet from spilled ale.
“I think she means like a ship’s log,” Man B chimed in, not having spoken much since having been eliminated from the game. Yana nodded in agreement. That was pretty much what her journal was. “So you make a log of… gambling?”
She nodded again, adding: “Gambling, people, animals… sometimes plants or locations that I think are worth remembering.” She set her mug to her lips and poured some of the beverage down her throat. “Mostly for future reference.”
“And the gambling?” the Biqaj asked, his chin supported by a hand. His eyes showed interest. Yana kept her silence for a couple trills, considering whether or not she wanted to speak of her journal any more.
“To catch cheaters.” It was not a lie, but it wasn’t the truth either. The use of the journal to be able to spot cheaters had come to her a couple arcs ago as a coincidence, when she’d thought it suspicious a certain player in a game of cards had been extremely lucky according to her notes. And indeed, it did not take long before she’d found a pattern in the results. As it turned out later, he’d shifted the odds in his favor with some sleight of hand and a deck of extra cards.
“Do you think our bespectacled friend might have been cheating?” Man B asked, sounding hopeful. But Yana shook her head. Her data was not detailed enough to make such assumptions, but the elimination of dice had happened rather steadily. Everyone had had about the same amount of dice throughout the game. But it could be he was just that good.
The conversation then quickly shifted, favoring more common subjects such as what everyone’s occupations were, and what they thought of the rebellion. The Biqaj, traveling merchant by trade, wished to be out on the sea again before war broke out, which he said would surely come. The bearded Man A was a mercenary, and believed that perhaps there might be some coin to earn with the rebellion, and Yana had to agree. The both of them were not from Rynmere originally, and in true sellsword fashion, they both claimed to have no preference for who was to hire them. Coin was their master, and coin was their god. Or so Man A laughed, then in all seriousness stating that the only ones benefitting from the rebellion and possible war that would follow would be the third parties with business that thrived on it. Which included himself, of course.
Man B was a cobbler, and he was not quite amused by the statements uttered by the not-so-sober bearded merc. He left quickly after finishing his ale, face displaying worry and a certain amount of disgust. The Biqaj was not so affected by the words spoken, but he needed to rise early on the morrow, he said, and thus he could not stay much longer. Yana, not really planning on staying with a drunken mercenary, excused herself as well, claiming she had a contract to fulfill the next day. As such, she had to leave, sadly. But, they would see each other around for sure, as the world was small, and Rynmere even more so. Not to mention that in the mercenary business people were sure to run into each other more times than they cared for.