• Closed • The Tavern Gambit

4th of Cylus 721

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Seated on the shores of Lake Lovalus, Rharne serves as the home of the Lighting Knights, the Thunder Priestesses, and the Merchant's guild. This beautiful trade city is filled with a happy and contented people who rarely need an excuse to party.

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Sabine Devereaux
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The Tavern Gambit

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Cylus 4, Arc 721


Sabine…was bored.

There was this thing about the sultry redhead that no one knew – she had as many sides to her as, well, something with a lot of sides. Dirty traveling clothes or dressed up, she was comfortable in either and knew her way around a tavern. Traveling often left her a bit starved for attention of some sort and as such, as soon as she arrived within a town, a tavern was often the first place she stopped.

After cleaning herself up, of course. It simply wouldn’t do to make an entrance in a tavern with the dirt and dust from the road clinging to every bit of her.

The young woman had one hard and fast rule – she paid for the first drink. Every drink after that, it was her sworn mission to get someone else to pay for. That allowed her to keep practicing her seduction, persuasion, psychology, detection ’people skills’, keep coins in her pocket, and still get drunk. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn’t…but it was always a good time.

And she so hated being bored.

Another rule – never go to the cheapest taverns in town. They always reeked of disappointment. Only go to the most expensive ones in town when a mark was already had. That was perhaps a third or fourth encounter tactic. Once you knew they had the money, make them spend it.

Sabine’s tavern of choice in Rharne was the Copper Prince. Always a wide variety of clientele and ample room for her to work her magic. It was perfect for what she needed, especially on that particular evening.

It always started with the entrance – that was very important. One needed to exude an air of mystery to capture interest. Stepping into the Prince, Sabine immediately made eye contact with the barkeep, smiling widely, gliding into the room. In doing that, the people at the bar would see the barkeep’s reaction and look to see what he was looking at…which was always Sabine. It was a very simple trick she had been taught by a whore in Melrath and it had served her well over the arcs.

Once that one little thing was done, she could sit back and take her time choosing what she was in the mood for that evening. Or more specifically, who she was in the mood for. Decisions, decisions…and so little time.

Last edited by Sabine Devereaux on Wed Feb 08, 2023 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 408
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Revan Blackhand
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Re: The Tavern Gambit


4 Cylus 721
He was still sore from rough night a few trials before but Revan had a habit of thinking a visit to a tavern could cure most ailments. Unfortunately he found himself in the Copper Prince- an establishment both he and Morton were not incredibly fond of. Walsh was a great guy and never really seemed to mind the business, but there was so much brawling in the tavern. There was brawling everywhere but last season had been particularly bad and Revan expected this season to be the same. The Dust Quarter always had a wide range of people willing to fight. Revan sighed slightly as he approached the tavern with his false limp and cane to 'support' himself while he walked. He could feel the inner Morton screaming at him to go anywhere but this place. It didn't stop Revan though. Business was good in the Dust Quarter in the dark season.

Sabine was already inside the bar when Revan arrived. He had his hood up over his head and passed through the door as quietly as he could on his way into the tavern- given away by a creaking noise and the tapping of his cane on the floor with each step he took... and the weather outside. He noticed the tavern seemed to grow a little more quiet when the door shut behind him. Revan limped over to the counter, his cane making a more prominent sound against the floor than his feet with each step, and he slid into an open seat at the bar. He took a deep breath, feeling a little pain in his chest where humans would have said their ribcage was. Ale could fix that. He ordered two and sat quietly while he waited for them to arrive. He cast a quick glance around the room, looking to see if he recognized any faces from the Dust Quarter but none immediately came to mind. Walsh would recognize the face though which was a problem for business.

Maybe it was time to find a new one? Revan's ales arrived and he considered what sort of face he would want to replicate. It wasn't just a face. It was a person, a personality, body, mannerism- it was a complete act. Morton had taken him a long time and he was far from perfect but taking an appearance was a little easier than that. Revan took a drink from his cup and looked around the bar for anyone interesting.
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Sabine Devereaux
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Re: The Tavern Gambit

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She had found an appropriate spot in the back corner of the room, perfect for letting her eyes travel in search of what she looked for. Hmm…slim pickings, really. The Copper Prince was usually primed for action, but it must have been a slow night. Oh well. Sabine always found something interesting to get involved in.

That was when the man entered the tavern. One thing Sabine knew when she saw it was a beautiful face, and he had one. She watched as he made his way over to the bar, curiously taking in everything she could about him. Clothes, suitable. Hair, just fine. Age, never much of a factor to her but he appeared to be right in her preferred range. Ordered two ales right off the bat so either he really liked ale or might be self-medicating – or a little of both. Neither bothered her. He would either be amenable to company…or not.

Not having ordered her drink yet, Sabine slid away from the table she had occupied and sauntered up to the bar, choosing the spot right next to Revan, leaning against the bar as her gaze found the barkeep’s again. “Ale please”. Her voice was naturally melodious, so she had found from a very early age that people wanted to listen to it, so there was no extra effort needed there.

Leaning up a bit, she glanced Revan’s direction a bit. “Oh, I’m sorry. Just muscling my way up here without asking if I could. I apologize.”

Giving him one of her best smiles, she then glanced around. “It’s a bit slow in here tonight. Must not be any brawling going on, or perhaps they’re finally charging too much for their ale and people have gone elsewhere…”

There were people that enjoyed small talk, and some that didn’t. Offering up a bit of each to see if any bites were taken was always a prudent approach, and saved time in her opinion. One always needed to wait to see what another was like before they knew the best tactic – or at least she did, not being overly skilled in her arts yet. There were those that could size someone up with a single glance but that was not Sabine. Various people had taken her under their wing and showed her a thing or two along the way but the young woman was largely figuring out the grift on her own.


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Revan Blackhand
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Re: The Tavern Gambit


4 Cylus 721
Sabine may have had a naturally melodious voice but it didn't seem like the man sitting beside her was giving her the attention the others were. He was, but he wasn't looking at her. He kept his ale in his hand and drank from the cup as she ordered beside him. He stole a glance at her through the corner of his eye when he brought his head back to drink and then looked forward again when he'd seen enough of her. She had a good face but nothing to steal. Too remarkable in too many noticeable ways and she probably got around based on what happened almost immediately after she came to the bar beside him. She ordered the same drink he had and while he hadn't addressed her, she turned and apologized for 'muscling' her way up to the bar. "If there was space, someone would have filled it." Revan said absently before setting his first, half empty cup down beside his second. It would be rude now not too engage and he didn't want to be rude. Not with this face. Morton wouldn't have given the girl a moment but Revan was a little more willing to socialize. Yes... the Yludih thought that was a good decision... for the moment.

The girl kept talking, confirming what Revan suspected already when she'd given him a large smile- she was after something. Friendship? A story? Some free drinks? What would it hurt to see what she was after? Maybe she wanted to make fun of his limp? No, most people opened with that when it was their intention. She mentioned that it was a slow night and suggested that it might be do to the shortage of brawlers. Revan nodded his head slightly, appearing to agree with her whether or not he thought she was actually correct. "Probably the first one, the ale didn't cost any more than it usually does." Revan pointed out as he picked his cup back up and turned slightly to face Sabine. "You a brawler?"

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Sabine Devereaux
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Re: The Tavern Gambit

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Interesting. Very interesting. Sabine was used to easy marks but the one she had picked for the evening was proving to be a bit of a challenge. So be it. She’d either learn a valuable lesson or things would sort themselves out. “True, but you could have been waiting for someone. The polite thing to do is ask…and I neglected to do that. Hence, the apology.” The young woman had already done her analysis so further glances at him were unnecessary and not helpful for the moment.

She was beginning to think the encounter a waste of time when he replied to her comment about the lack of people. Shrugging her shoulders gently, she decided to forgo the smile for this round. “I wouldn’t know about the price of ale. I haven’t been in Rharne for a while. Just arrived totrial. I didn’t see any crowds on the way in, so I assume the first is correct as well.” Grabbing her ale as it arrived, she smiled at the barkeep, tossing nels his direction
.
The new question caught her a bit off guard, especially being coupled with some slight attention from the man. No smiling. Not yet. “Me? No. Traveler. Always a traveler. I don’t mind watching the brawls though. Always some useful information to be had when one looks close enough…but most don’t. Their loss. Why pay someone to teach you how to fight when you can pick up free lessons.” Taking a drink of the bitter ale gave her time to consider options. Things weren’t going as smoothly as they generally did, so she had a few choices to make. She could abandon the encounter and wait for someone a bit more predictable…or she could double-down on the meeting and see if she could learn a thing or two before it blew up in her face. Either way, valuable information to be learned if she kept her cool.

“And you? Traveler or resident? I heard Rharne had some difficulties last cycle. I was a bit worried about coming but it seems like things have settled?” Sabine was unsure as to what she was dealing with, but the comment felt appropriate. Her guess was that he traveled – or else he would have known she wasn’t local but then again, maybe he was a resident and just didn’t come to the Copper Prince often. Her guessing was a way to keep her mind sharp, always trying to figure other people out.

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Revan Blackhand
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Re: The Tavern Gambit


4 Cylus 721
Sabine tried to justify her apology and Revan didn't really listen to what she said because he didn't care for the verbal one up game. Morton wouldn't have let it stand but Revan wasn't one to pick arguments unless he had to or was trying to get something out of it. Profit, that was what drove him. When something stopped being profitable, he stopped doing it. Being polite to strangers in a bar didn't matter much to him because there wasn't anything to be gained from it. However being polite to a mark on the other hand was a little bit more reasonable... so was he a mark to her? Or was she just a fish out of water? What she said about her arrival made Revan think the latter but she could have been lying.

"Why fight at all when you can pay someone else to do it for you?" Revan mused after Sabine's comments about free lessons and the things she could pick up from watching the brawlers. Revan didn't hate the brawling. It made for good gambling most of the time and when you could fix a fight, you could really benefit. He'd just never put his focus into combat because apart from when things went wrong, he didn't think he'd need to fight. If he ever really wanted to delve into fixed fights, he had a few ideas on how to start though. Sabine had said she was a traveler but Revan didn't think much of it. It was harder to trust travelers because their intentions were a little less predictable than people with a trade or residents but he didn't mind.

She asked him what he was and Revan considered lying just for practice. "Resident, can't travel on my leg." She must have seen him come into the bar with the limp and the cane so that much he had to stick too. "I work in a tavern in the Earth Quarter but can't drink there without seeing regulars." Believable enough. "So I come here, and any other place where I won't see the regulars." She spoke about the Flameborn and Revan gave a small shrug. The fear of the Flameborn breaking past Storm's Edge was bad towards the end but they'd weathered it. 'Settled' was a decent word for it. People were getting back into the swing of things. "Wouldn't know about that business, wasn't involved."

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Sabine Devereaux
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Re: The Tavern Gambit

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While not entirely sure what he was gaining out of talking to her, she didn’t mind the conversation. There wasn’t much going on and as conversations went, it wasn’t horrible. His comment about paying someone to fight for one caused a bit of a smirk to slip free. “True, but it’s a horrible waste of money if you can do it yourself, and again, free tips and lessons are always a good thing. Sometimes I can talk a fighter into giving me a lesson or two on the road. I’ve never gotten into a situation where I’ve needed to use any of it, but I feel better having a few tricks up my sleeve since I travel alone.”

Apparently, he was a resident, but she wasn’t paying much mind to the answer. Worked in a tavern? Possibly, but then again, Sabine really didn’t much care what he did for a living. Information was nice, but she had a policy of not trusting what other people said. Everyone lied. The whore in Melrath had beaten that into her head enough times. It was easier to operate under the assumption that everyone had secrets, lied, and go from there.

The trouble in Rharne? Anyone in Rharne would know something of it. That meant he either truly didn’t know because he wasn’t from Rharne or it wasn’t something he wanted to talk about. “Huh. Interesting. Even I heard about it and I’m not from here. Must not have been as bad as they said. Strange.” There was no point pushing the matter, so Sabine let the matter drop. There were subjects one pursued and others that weren’t worth it. She already had established he wasn’t telling her everything and that’s all Sabine really needed to know. Whatever his reasons, he obviously had them.

“I’m Sabine, by the way. From Melrath. Well, originally from there anyways. Now from nowhere.” It wasn’t always prudent to give one’s true name, so she took a bit of a risk there, but the rest was vague enough to suit her purposes. There was nothing of a lie in the statement. Taking a drink from her ale, she curiously glanced at him a bit. He wasn’t interested really in the conversation, but he wasn’t disinterested either. Body language told her that. That made her decision a bit harder. Biting her bottom lip gently, she tried to think things through quickly.


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Revan Blackhand
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Re: The Tavern Gambit


4 Cylus 721
Revan thought to argue further about the use of fighting when Sabine said it was a waste of money if you knew how to do it yourself. There would always be someone who was better at fighting than Revan. He knew that very well. It was one of the few things he was willing to expense so he could focus on becoming better at that which he thought he might one trial be the best at- stealing. He had a resource few others had and it did very little credit to his race that he used it in the way he did. Still, no one would know if he played right. He could be many and one at the same time. She said it was good to have a trick or two up her sleeve incase she ever needed to fight, but Revan thought there were simpler solutions. You didn't have to be a good fighter to get a knife into someone, you just had to surprise them at the right moment. However he decided just to let the topic go because he wasn't one to give away free lessons.

The woman kept talking and it began to seem like she was interrogating him. She paid no mind to some things he said while commenting on how other parts of his answers were strange. What was she looking for? Regardless, he wasn't going to let her find it. He finished his first drink and was about a third through his second. The remaining alcohol in the cup was the only reason that he hadn't moved from where he was yet. He couldn't move and drink elsewhere. Not while she was around and it felt like she'd be watching him. She was certainly watching him now, gauging the reactions to things and so he needed to feed her false positives... but he didn't want to. She gave her name and said where she was from, two pieces of information he hadn't asked for. She probably expected a name in return but Revan wouldn't make it that simple for her.

"Hello, Sabine from Melrath." He said, not quite addressing her notion that she was now from nowhere. If she was born and grew up in Melrath, she was of Melrath. He turned a little to face her, drinking a bit more from his cup before asking, "Take a guess, if you're close I'll buy you a drink. What do you think my name is?"
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Sabine Devereaux
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Re: The Tavern Gambit

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He wasn’t the verbose sort – not like her. Although, really, while she did tend to use words to her advantage, she was incredibly careful about those chosen. It seemed that her companion did the same thing, only to a much greater degree. It was intriguing to her, but at the same time, a bit frustrating. She was used to being able to talk rings around inebriated patrons…but then again, she hadn’t chosen him because she thought him to be easy.

He didn’t know what she was looking for, and that was a good thing. Good because she wasn’t quite sure herself. Her goals seemed to be changing the longer they spoke. It wasn’t a terrible thing in truth as all grifters needed to learn to be adaptable to an ever-altering situation. Things rarely stayed the same or were as they appeared on the outside – she had learned that lesson well.

Sabine hadn’t given up anything that she hadn’t been willing to part with…or that pointed to her in any meaningful way. In a few trials, she would be gone anyways, and the encounter forgotten on both sides. The training itself was important though, and to be who she needed to be, she had to encounter as many different types of people as possible.

The little game he wanted to play was adorable. He knew there was no way she could guess his name…or even come close. Taking a drink from her cup, she considered him and his offer with a smile. “Alright, strange man from Rharne. I’ll play your impossible little game.“ Thinking, she decided to go with the first name that popped into her mind. “William?” Arching her eyebrow gently, she waited to see which direction he would take things. He had two options and much would be told by which one he picked.

She wasn't done yet though. "But, I have a riddle for you. Maybe you know the answer. Maybe not. I'm curious. Answer correctly, and I'll buy you another one of those ales"

Giving him a smile, she began.

"What is so fragile that saying its name breaks it?"

Taking another drink, she gazed at him over the mug, waiting to see how it would all shake out.

Last edited by Sabine Devereaux on Tue May 25, 2021 1:35 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 391
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Re: The Tavern Gambit


4 Cylus 721
"William?" Revan repeated with a look on his face like a child who'd tried a food they thought they would not like and discovered it was actually pleasant. William. A decent enough name. He could find a face for it somewhere around the bar. He just needed to find someone unremarkable, someone who could blend in. He needed to find someone he didn't notice while he was looking around between verbal jabs with this mysterious woman. How would William contribute to the cause though? Revan's grand dream was to run a shadowy organization as both the leader and many of the members in order to keep tabs on everyone but he knew he was far from it. He was barely a decent enough pickpocket to get from the Dust Quarter to the Earth Quarter but for now he could collect faces and assign them jobs. Revan was the Black Hand, the front man. He was the one everyone in the group talked to and he was the one who talked to everyone. Morton was the Cardinal, the appraiser and forger though Revan was not actually good at either of those things. Morton had a lot of uneducated but strong opinions that Revan looked forward to shaving down as he learned more of the trades Morton would participate in... but William? What would William do?

William could be a smuggler, or man on the inside- a Lightning Knight! No, that would invite too many eyes while he lived in one house. A smuggler might have been better... a face no one noticed would work well for a smuggler. A friendly face. He needed to find a William. However before that he had to respond to the woman. "No, not William. Good effort though." Revan said after what was really only a short pause before she presented him with a quick riddle. He still hadn't given her his name but her riddle gave him an excuse not to bring it up again. What was something so fragile that saying its name would cause it to break? There were not many options and Revan'd response came rather quickly, "Silence." He knew well how quickly and easily silence could be broken when you needed it not to.

He took a drink from his cup. "So is this how you like to spend your nights? Giving out riddles to men at the bar?"

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