(2018-04-30) Know When to Quit
Deal Me Out!
faraman arabella 
albatrosscards.jpg
Summary:
A friendly gambling game in the Wandering Albatross with a noble lady and a mercenary.
Related:
Any plots or larger stories this is part of, any links to related logs or pages?
Misc Info:
You gotta know when to hold 'em. Know when to fold 'em. Know when to walk away and know when to run!

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It is a spring night. The weather is nearing the warmth of summer aside from lingering spring showers that are cool on the skin the skies overhead fill with white clouds that start to linger as if lazy and prepared for the heat of summer to rise.

There's only one tavern that is really suitable for a young lady of one of the great houses and that's the Wandering Albatross. While it's not in the greatest of state, it's not a brothel. The weather is warm out so the doors are left open for whatever breeze comes in off the water and the salty sea breeze leaves a tang in the air.

Seated at the table towards the back where the gambling usually takes place, Arabella di Sabastino gives the dealer a shrewd look. A guard in the colors of her house and sporting their coat of arms is seated nearby, but deliberately gives the game privacy, seated far enough not to see the cards, to keep the game fair.

Several have just got up and left the table leaving some empty seats, and it looks as if they are between hands.

Off duty, the Wyvern Company city guard who enters the tavern isn't wearing stifling (and sweat inducing) armor any longer, though there are still red marks on his face from the helmet that's only just been removed. He has a serious case of helmet-hair, too, and smells a bit of oil and leather. The mark of the Wyvern on his chest still signifies his station as an officer of the Ventura Company. He moves with the lethargic lack of enthusiasm that tends to descent on a working man when relief finally comes. And how better to enjoy one's liberty than with a game, and something to drink.

"A jug of wine." A pause, then he adds with a sigh, "and not your finest. Wait, not the cheapest swill either!" He's out for the goldilocks prince range; just good enough to stomach without wasting all his coins. He needs some of that for the gambling.

He scans the interior, looking for a game in progress with a free seat to occupy. The table that seizes his attentions is the one with the noble and her guard. Putting on a smile, he starts to approach. Though he addresses the whole table, its the woman of rank he fixes his eyes on, sweeping her an acceptable bow before intoning: "Signora, I can't help but notice you seem to have room for a player. Would you do me the greatest of honors and kindnesses, and allow this unworthy soul to join you?"

Having been intent on the previous game it takes Arabella a moment to realize it was she who was being addressed by the Wyvern Company mercenary. Lifting her eyes to regard him a moment, she gives a somewhat generous sweep of her arm towards the few empty chairs. "Of course, Signore, you are more than welcome to join. Anyone who has the coin to bet is welcome." Adding that slight correction, tilting it towards being a hint.

Her own drink is as full as when she had ordered it, but it looks to be a goblet of wine, red in color and fragrant, though very probably overpowered by the salty sea air. "The dealer was just about to start. Just ante up and you will be in the game."

"You are font of generosity, Signora! Your hospitality only exceeded by your peerless beauty!" There's a pause at the end of that flattery, when he adds somewhat more slyly: "It shall be my absolute pleasure to take all your coin." There's some shadow and redness to his eyes, suggesting that he hadn't had much sleep recently. He dumps himself down into one of the chairs, quite gracelessly, and sprawls out comfortably.

From a puch he produces the coin to buy his entry into the hand. Soon after the wine arrives, and if its a rather more sour and cheap version than hers, from the sound he makes when he tastes it, it's ecstacy in liquid form.

"I am not so generous when giving of my coin, only when inviting others in. So I can try and take theirs." Perhaps Arabella is bluffing a touch, really, and the flattery is met with a knowing smile. "I wish you luck, if you believe in such things." Her ante is in and the dealer dishes out the cards to each player.

Studying her own cards she looks from beneath long lashes to the features of the other players before calling any bets that are placed.

(>-------<)
| Arabella (Gaming) |
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| Failed |
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| Skill: 9 Mod: 0 Total: 9 |
| Roll: 17 Status: |
(>-------<)

(>-------<)
| Faraman (Gaming) |
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| Failed |
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| Skill: 5 Mod: 0 Total: 5 |
| Roll: 13 Status: |
(>-------<)

"Bah!" Faraman exclaims when he sees his cards play out, and his coin vanishing into the hands of the player to his right. He isn't the only one to have to suffer the disappointment, of course, but that hardly weighs up for anything. His cup is emptied in a single backwards toss, and swallowed down like he's a professional drinker. With annoyance he pours himself a second, then regains his smile and suggests: "Well, it can only go up from here, no?"

He slides a sideways look in Arabella's direction while a new hand is dealt. "May I presume to inquire your name, Signora? I am myself Duilio Lucio Faraman," there's the hint of him looking for some kind of recognition upon making his name. Regardless if it's there or not, he continues: "Ventura officer of the Wyvern Company."

Losing! Arabella did not like to lose, but she was not an ungraceful loser. She simply watches the coins she had placed being taken by one of the others. A finger taps on her goblet as she debates for only a moment before putting more coins in for the next hand. "Only up. Hopefully at least for one of us."

As the hand is dealt, she collects the cards and looks only after all have been dealt. "Signora Arabella Rosalina di Sabastino." Because the longer the name the wealthier? Perhaps not, but she gives it anyway. "A pleasure meeting you, Signore Faraman." Eyes flicker over that Wyvern Company crest before she offers a nod.

"And it is my supreme honor to make _your_ acquaintance, lovely Signora Arabella Rosalina di Sebastino." Since bowing is rather difficult while seating, he settles for a deep and respectful dip of his head in acknowledgement of her rank. Some more coin finds its way onto the table from his purse, buying entry into the next round as well. Whatever he sees in his cards, he keeps to himself, face straight. "Do you spend much time at cards?" While making conversation, he alternates between sipping from his wine and glancing around the table to try to discern how the others are feeling about their chances.

His clothes, like his hair, are fairly rumpled. There's some signs here and there that he perhaps aught to spend some coin to improve on them, too. There's a tear here, and a less than perfect mending there. But then that coin couldn't be wasted on cards, though, could it?

(>-------<)
| Faraman (Gaming) |
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| Failed |
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|

| Skill: 5 Mod: 0 Total: 5 |
| Roll: 19 Status: |
(>-------<)

(>-------<)
| Arabella (Gaming) |
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| Success |
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| Skill: 9 Mod: 0 Total: 9 |
| Roll: 1 Status: |
(>-------<)

"I have very little time for cards of late, having been helping my brother expand on things in our home. I have gained quite a head for business it seems, more so that I thought I would." Arabella also attempts to keep her features neutral, but mostly her eyes give her away, so she hides them behind the cards as she looks at them.

His attire had been noted when he had joined, but she makes no reference to it. Nor her own red and silver with her own family crest. Hers is in impeccable condition. As she shows her cards at the end of the hand, she realizes she had won and pulls the money towards herself, all except the ante for the next hand. "Luck indeed."

This time the mercenary folds before the end, his cards turning out to having been utterly atrocious. There's some consternation in his expression; thick dark brows knit expressively over his shadowed eyes. Still, he is quick enough to ante up for the next round.

"A lady of business? I am impressed! Me, when luck runs bright I can spend every hour available to me playing. Alas, its been a little while since last time I was on a roll. Perhaps I am being punished for my sins, eh?" There's a worldly chuckle that suggests he isn't the most religious man in the world, and that he has little actual fear of the consequences of misbehavior in the eyes of the Divine.

"What kind of business, if I might ask?"

(>-------<)
| Faraman (Gaming) |
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| Failed |
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| Skill: 5 Mod: 0 Total: 5 |
| Roll: 14 Status: |
(>-------<)

(>-------<)
| Arabella (Gaming) |
|
|
| Success |
|
|
| Skill: 9 Mod: 0 Total: 9 |
| Roll: 8 Status: |
(>-------<)

Arabella does take note of him folding before the end, but she plays through to the end. It pays off when her own hand proves to be the winner. Now, she is up on coins and she debates a moment. "A lady of business," she confirms, "And as being so, I have to say I know to quit when I am ahead." Tapping her finger on one of the coins she just collected, she opts to sit out a hand.

"Do you have so many sins to be punished for, Signore Faraman?" An inquisitive look given in his direction, curious despite his worldly chuckle. "Do you mean the business you are in, as a mercenary? Someone must keep the laws here, I would not call that a sin." Though the direct question has her giving a more demure smile. "Family business. Economy and exporting. My brother has put a lot of trust in me. We will see soon how well it pays off. Or if it does."

The dealer begins dealing the cards again, this time dealing her out.

When she's dealt out, he doesn't hide his frown, one that suggests he thinks its a great faux-pas to quit so early and before he has a chance to make up his losses! Still, his words belie those sentiments when he politely offers: "Very well played. You've a gift for coin, that much is certain." He just doesn't have to be happy about it, right?

Where she has the good head to cut while she's ahead, he's only digging himself a deeper hole.

"Oh, I was just making light, Signora. I take pride in being an honest and just adjudicator of disputes minor and major for the good people of our grand city. Why, without laws and peace, the whole thing would collapse. And we couldn't have that, could we? No, no. By my honor, I am happy to lay down my life for such a noble cause!"

"It is good to know one is appreciated," he says if her brother's trust in her.

(>-------<)
| Faraman (Gaming) |
|
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| Failed |
|
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| Skill: 5 Mod: 0 Total: 5 |
| Roll: 8 Status: |
(>-------<)

(>-------<)
| Faraman (Manipulate) |
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| Failed |
| |
| Skill: 10 Mod: 0 Total: 10 |
| Roll: 13 Status: |
(>-------<)

(>-------<)
| Arabella (Awareness) |
|
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| Failed |
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| Skill: 9 Mod: 0 Total: 9 |
| Roll: 16 Status: |
(>-------<)

Arabella is only sitting out a hand or two to watch how it goes with the other. As the Wyvern continues to lose she tsks softly. "Perhaps your skills lie elsewhere." Not trying to put him down, but to encourage him to stop for now. "The amount you lost in this short time could have purchased you other clothing or a better drink."

Her own goblet is lifted and she takes a small sip of the contents before replacing it on the table. As the dealer arches a brow towards her she ante's once again, getting into the next game for better or worse.

Maybe he was not being completely honest on his delivery, but she believes what he says and a smile is given, more sincere perhaps than before. "Those who would put themselves in danger to protect others are certainly honorable."

(>-------<)
| Faraman (Gaming) |
|
|
| Failed |
|
|
| Skill: 5 Mod: 0 Total: 5 |
| Roll: 14 Status: |
(>-------<)

"True. But I could've won, couldn't I?" Asked with cheerful optimism. "And then I could've had what you're having twice over." There's a wink in her direction, before he clears his throat and suddenly looks worried that he might have gotten a bit too familiar. Never know with the nobles. He shift a quick look in her guard's direction to gauge any protective threat level there.

"Indeed," to being honorable. His head bobs along as he makes another attempt at some winnings. Alas. And now his purse is starting to look fairly shrunken. He gives it a little suspicious jingle and then peers into it. Quickly he steels himself with some more wine to gain the courage to try again.

(>-------<)
| Arabella (Gaming) |
|
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| Success |
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| Skill: 9 Mod: 0 Total: 9 |
| Roll: 2 Status: |
(>-------<)

"Maybe you could have won." Again, Arabella wins the pot and she scoops it in, seeming to be pleased with herself and the success and again she sits out a hand, simply sipping her wine as she watches the dealer deal her out again. "Never underestimate a woman's intuition." There's an amused sparkle in her eyes and perhaps more than a touch of mischief as she considers him and his familiarity.

The guard seems to see him as harmless, so Arabella follows suit, simply contemplating., another small sip of her wine. "I may even be finished for the day." Scooping any of her coins into her change purse, she pulls the strings to seal it and its bulging weight. "When is it you decide to end the game? When all of the coins are gone? It may be more fun to toss them in the pool at the gardens uptown and make wishes on them. Though it is a noble garden, perhaps you could get through on patrolling alone?"

Now that's just not fair. Faraman squints around the table as if he's contemplating accusaing someone of cheating. But of course he can't do that when the winner happens to be a noble lady. Instead he pours what remains of his coins in his hand, and weighs them. He takes one out and places it next to the wine jug, clearly ear marked for some more drink and perhaps something to eat. The rest, then, can safely be squandered on gambling.

"I have to win at least one hand. I'm sure this'll be the one," said without any true confidence. Blasted luck!

"Hrm? Oh, we patrol everywhere but the premise of the noble estates themselves. Still, blasted be if I'll trust in wishes. Mark my words, wishes never amount to anything at all." And now he's dealt back in, committed with what little resources he has left. Its win or go broke!

(>-------<)
| Faraman (Gaming) |
|
|
| Failed |
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| Skill: 5 Mod: 0 Total: 5 |
| Roll: 8 Status: |
(>-------<)

"Sometimes luck is crueler than pointless wishes, is all I was asking. At least you get time in between making the wish and seeing it come true than you do on believing or depending on luck and realizing it would not help you at all." Arabella winces as he loses yet again and she gives a shake of her head.

"Such as that. Had you made the wish, at least you would not know so soon that you were just tossing your coin away. It would last longer." The amusement has faded some and a touch of sympathy takes its place. "I think I am finished for the day and will take my winnings to the bazaar. My family is hosting a party in a few days and I should find some more decorations. It was a pleasure meeting you, Signore Faraman."

There's still the single coin. For a moment he looks at it, then at the table, then back to the coin. As if he's contemplating whether or not to truly go for broke. But in the end a sliver of self preservation holds him at bay, and he just shakes his head and gestures for the game to go on without him.

Instead he too rises to his feet, and delivers to Arabella another deep bow. "I'd say it was a pleasure to give you my coin, Signora. But I do wish it'd been the other way around. Enjoy your evening, Signora."

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