• Solo • Rag Time

The Barrel Pot is holding a high-stakes tournament for gamblers, advertising for chance-takers as far as Yaralon and Scalvoris. The tournament has drawn a great amount of interest, and many sailors, gamblers, and other people looking to get rich quickly gather to try their hands at the finest players in Rharne. Brawls are almost guaranteed to break out during the more contentious games, as The Barrel Pot provides copious amounts of libations for the enjoyment of the contestants.

13th of Cylus 721

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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Rag Time


13th of Cylus 721

Keque got dressed in a very simple outfit, this wasn't an occasion through which he wished to bring attention to himself. So he was wearing his regular Keque face, not his handsome Pau face. As well, he wore humble attire. A hip-long, woolen jacket with patches to cover parts where the seams have been exposed and ripped by regular wear. Beneath this, he wears a linen shirt, leather vest, leather breeches, and soft soled shoes.

As he stepped out into the weather, and headed down the street, he found that it was very cold, still in the grips of Cylus' freeze. There was some heat coming off the potted flashnips interspersed here or there, but for the most part they only did a token service in mitigating the horrible chill in the air. Eventuallly, though, he did arrive at the Barrel Pot.

Zuny heard about the gambling tournament. He liked games but wasn't very good at them generally speaking. He'd lost many a pot when he lived in Quacia, throwing dice or shuffling cards for the derelicts that he lived with at the time. Yet, what never ceased to strike him was the enjoyment one could get from the unexpected. An unexpected windfall or even a loss could provoke the most exquisite reactions from people. Zuny loved it.

So he arrived at the date, intending mostly to people-watch in his original form, of the Jester Keque. He ran a hand through his blondish hair, and watched as the people gathered despite the weather, seating themselves not far from bonfires and under awnings set up for their comfort, should it begin to snow during the night.

Potted flashnip was set up at several areas around the place, providing extra warmth for the people gathering to play cards. Zuny, for his part, had no intention of joining the games, having little to lose at such a affectation. However, unwittingly he found himself wrangled into the rollcall for several players, perhaps thinking it was a crowd of other men who were there to merely hang out on the wall. Keque protested in Vahanic, and then in Common, "No no! We do not!" However, his accent must have been horrendous, as they merely laughed at him and plopped him down at a seat with a few other men and women. One of them was a huge hulk of a man, at least 6'5" if Keque was any judge. He looked like the brawling type. As the cards were dealt out, the man, who was introduced as Edward, merely glared at Keque. The clown had to gulp down his fear, and employ the use of Thespian to lighten his own mood.

Once that was done, it was a simple matter to ignore his attempts at intimidation and snicker under his breath. He felt like he needed a laugh, so he defaulted to the emotion of amusement.

Unfortunately, this seemed to agitate Edward further, and he glowered over his hand of cards at Keque, making the clown uncomfortable despite his use of Sesser's Thespian.

Keque thought he'd venture to break the awkward silence with a joke, "Say, what do you call a fly with no wings?"

Everyone shook their head, except Edward, who only stared down Keque. "A walk!" Keque burst out laughing at his very very funny joke, that he definitely didn't lift from a ten year old in his home neighborhood.

A few people coughed, but Keque didn't mind, he thought his joke was hilarious and began laughing really loudly, lest he die instead. It was a habit he'd acquired since the development of his Thespian ability. It seemed that whenever he invoked the Thespian of Sesser, he was prompted to strange and unpredictable fits of laughter. Otherwise, he was also haunted by terribly scary and horrible nightmares. It was a mixed blessing, but all in all very useful in his daily life as a performer.

But not everyone laughed with him, despite his infectious mirth. In fact, people seemed a bit perturbed by his excessive joy derived from his own bad joke. Most of them looked uncomfortable. But despite Edward's glowering at Keque just a few moments before, he began to grin. It was not a friendly grin, but a smile that promised trouble if he continued to grate on his nerves. The man was a brawler, and relished even the slightest excuse to call someone out. Edward had a reputation for being particularly hard on smaller people.

But then, there weren't all that many humans that were bigger than Edward. He was a large man, almost half as wide as he was tall, and looking like he was built as one of those stone-founded buildings in the Earth Quarter. Keque wondered if he was invulnerable, he certainly looked like he'd be able to take a beating. Keque sighed as he flipped his cards back and forth through his hands, searching the possibilities, and trying to devise his own strategy.

As the game continued, more cards were doled out. Keque kept his poker face for the most part, aided in part by the Thespian which he now used to flatten his affect. This didn't appear to please Edward, anymore than his joke or his laughter had moments before. Edward was still staring him down, even over his hand of cards.

Keque, unbothered by the intimidation of the fellow player - at least on the surface - moved his cards around in his hand. It was an unfavorable one, and even a novice gambler like Keque could see that. He sighed internally, but hatched a brilliant scheme to increase his chances. He would slip one of the more valable cards with matching suits into his sleeve, until he had what he needed for a winning hand. It couldn't fail!

So he slipped in cards. Despite his utter lack of deceptive skills and stealth, nobody called him on it. So as the game wore on, Keque found himself getting freer and freer with the appropriation of cards of a certain suit. They began another game, and finally, Keque thought he had enough cards up his sleeve in order to produce a full hand.

It was then, and he didn't notice at first, that Edward got to his feet, and walked along with the table, in back of Keque. Keque was about to make the brilliant switch for a full suit, a royal flush, when he was seized from behind by Edward!

"Fuckin' cheat. Fuckin' cheat I saw you. I saw you the entire time cheat." Edward threw down his cards, and pointed a meaty finger toward Keque. He turned to look at the other players, trying to get them on board. Luckily for Edward, they also appeared to have noticed the clown's game. Although why they hadn't spoken up or mentioned it until now was a matter for the clown's curiosity to sort out later.

There were chuckles around the table, as the rest of them appeared to be in on the fact that Keque had been cheating the entire time. Then why hadn't they called him on it, unless he'd been set up to be bullied by Edward...

Larga-me"Unhand me!" Keque squeaked in Vahanic. "And what cheat? What a cheat?" He asked, slightly curious what they meant by that term. It didn't take him long to put two and three together, when they spilled out his hidden cards from his flowing sleeve. Edward chuckled, as he hugged Keque to him. Keque gulped visibly, as he tried to smile disarmingly at the men surrounding the table.

"You and me buddy..." Edward breathed his ale-sop breath into Keque's ear, as he bear hugged him from behind, "We gonna fight. We gonna brawl. Accept, or be branded a coward and run out of town on a rail."

O?"What?" Keque asked in Vahanic, not quite following his speech. He knew some of the words, and prepositions, but he needed fewer words in order to process the full meaning of what he was hearing. As the man tightened his grip from behind, Keque tried to squirm out of his grasp, making himself bottom heavy so as to slip easier if he ever eased up on his grip.

"We duel. Fight. Brawl!"

Now at least one of those words Keque understood. And to those, he had only one word to say in response. And a handy word it was, "No! No want!"

Edward growled at that, and tightened his bear hug briefly before letting up, and then that was Keque's chance to slip out of his grasp.

Cackling painfully, though his ribs still ached from the bear hug, Keque bounded out of the Barrel Pot, leaving his cheat cards on the table where they lay, as well as his wager. So much for a fun night of cards!

word count: 1500
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Re: Rag Time


Deception: Hiding cards up one's sleeve.
Deception: Cheating at cards is hard when you have many eyes upon you.
Etiquette: Refusing a brawl in Rharne can brand one a pariah.
Linguistics: Telling context clues to determine the meaning of a spoken word.
Linguistics: Common Language: No means Não
Linguistics: There's more to language than just phonetics.

Loot: -
Lost: -
Wealth: -1 WP
Injuries: Keque's ribs will hurt for a while because of that bear hug Edward gave him.
Renown: 5, for cheating at cards.
Magic XP: -
Skill Review: Appropriate to level.
Points: 10

Consequences: Keque'd better avoid the Barrel Pot in the near future. Edward and his fellow players, but especially Edward are quite irritated because Keque tried to cheat. If they meet him again, he might be forced to fight and get a beating, after all. And what more, he's been branded a pariah because he refused a brawl!
- - -
Comments: I like that you usually describe your PCs' appearance and their outfits. In my opinion, doing such a thing can add a lot to one's threads!

That being said, it's been a while since I reviewed a Zuny thread. I was quite amused when he ended up taking part in a game even though he didn't really want to.

I like that you had his lack of language skills play a part, and I thought it was interesting that his Thespian ability affected him like that.

I can definitely understand how his behaviour might get on people's nerves. I appreciate that you had that play a part!

I was about to wonder if I should assign overplaying consequences of some kind because Zuny kept on slipping cards into his sleeve, but apparently, Edward noticed after all!

That was great. Fortunately, Keque managed to get away!

Enjoy your rewards!
word count: 310





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