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Old March 18, 2013, 12:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Gem [Lingerers] Kings at the Tavern (Noxu, Open)

Spring of Era XX, PF

DarkeningNight had fallen on Nexus Prime, fortified city of magic and trade, thieves and spies. One spy in particular was out and about that evening, sitting at a table with a bottle of Placidian single-malt at her elbow and a pair of worn, tattered cards spread between her taloned hands. Primith considered her hand for a time before her amber eyes flicked up to regard her opponent over the top of her cards: a big-boned human named Bev, the bartender at the Lingerers. He certainly had a smug look on his broad face, apparently secure in the knowledge that he had the superior hand. Prim sighed as she considered her own. The cerulean draconess had a Priestess and a Priest worth forty points, which wasn't bad, but there was a lot that could beat it, and something about the glint in Bev's eye made the Moraden suspect he was holding the Mage.

Despite the warmth of the tavern, Primith was wearing a heavy azure cloak that she had bought the previous winter, hood drawn up to cover her draconic features. Normally, the draconess wouldn't have come out from the catacombs beneath Nexus' streets without the benefit of one of her many seemings, but lately she'd had to make do with the hooded cloak instead. Anyway, the hour was late, the patrons were few for the hour, and the staff of the Lingerers knew her, all of which made her comfortable enough to visit the tavern every now and then.

"Are you planning on making a play anytime this era, my dear?" Bev asked, his voice thick with barely repressed mirth.

Prim sighed and shook her head, tossing her cards face down on the pile of crowns they bid for this hand. "I'm not sure if your cards are good, or your acting's better, but it's not worth my hard earned-money to find out with only forty points in my hand." She muttered with more than a hint of annoyance.

Bev laughed loudly, gathering up the cards and shuffling them before he glanced over at her again. "Cheer up, Prim. I only started teaching you this game to take your mind off your troubles." He reached across the table and poured more scotch into her glass. "The darkening's still young, the bottle's still more than half full. Shall we play another hand?"

"The night is old." The Moraden countered, taking a drink. "And the bottle is half empty." Despite her words, the draconess' tone had lightened slightly. "Deal the cards."

The bartender shot her a look that seemed to say: That's the spirit, lass. Then he dealt out the cards, two apiece.
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Old March 18, 2013, 10:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Releven walked into Lingerers Tavern after a long brightening at work. The half elf slowed his pace as he walked into the room, his handsome face looking around at the room. He saw a card game in session that involved the bar tender and someone in a cloak. The individuals tail suggested that their race wasn't human or elf. Releven though it must be hard to hide us a feature. Either way Releven didn't particular care. He was here for a drink and some company.

Running a hand through his blond hair he walked over to the bar were he order a drink. He wasn't a common regular, but he did come in ones or twice a week. Releven had seen his fare share of drunks, but that only prevent heavy drinking. He took the tankard of ale that was handed to him, and walked over to the table.

While he was half elvish he had learned more of his human heritage then his elvish, part of that was his human half had embrassed him and his siblings, while the elvish wasn't to please with his parents decision to marry. The long legged man took a seat by the table to watch the card game as he played. His blue eyes watched the two and glanced at the pile of coin to see who was actually winning, but couldn't really tell at this point.

He raised the tankard to his lips and sipped at it just quietly watching what was going on, and hoping that they would ask him to join. It had been a while since he had played a good game of cards. He really needed to get out more.
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Old March 18, 2013, 11:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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A tavern was, without a doubt, one of the first places Noxu would have ever wanted to go to in a city as large as this, and after what seemed like forever, he'd finally found his way to one. As he was still getting accustomed to the cities in general, he found himself adapting to the place rather quickly. It paid to be able to adapt to one's surroundings with relative ease, and it was something he was actually quite proud of, as it had saved his life more times than he could count. Adaptability was key to survival in his line of work.

The darkness of the skies outside the tavern was soon overtaken by the lights of the tavern before him. Looking through the window of the doorway, he took a quick glance to make note of its surroundings before opening the door and heading on in. First things first, see if there's anyone worth taking from. He planned out ahead and took a quick glance around the tavern, sizing up everyone that was in there in as little time as possible as to not let on suspicion.

There were a few potential targets, but none of them were positioned well enough, or alone enough to be able to steal from. Shaking his head, he made his way over toward the bar. He leaned his left side up against the bar, resting his left elbow on it, while looking over to the barkeep. "I'll have a Blackberry Ale, thanks." He said with a drawl. Turning his back to the bar, he leaned himself up against it and placed both his elbows onto the bar top. Time for another quick scan of the room.

From left to right, his gaze took him, once again sizing everyone up before his attention settled on the duo playing the card game. His brow perked curiously at this, as he never recalled seeing such a game played before, and it seemed to be pretty new to him. Maybe he could learn it from here? The two certainly did seem loud enough so he could possibly overhear the rules of the game.

Interesting game, to say the least. Makes me wonder what they might just be betting. He liked to think he was a quick learner, but maybe, just maybe the better way to learn the game would be to walk up and see about it, instead of watching from a distance, even though that's how he'd always been accustomed to learning. The city-life was definitely tough to adapt to.
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Old March 19, 2013, 06:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Finally dinner was boiling in various kettles over the fire, enough to feed the masses for a while. Loelir was given a break and wandered out of the kitchen carrying a bowl of onion soup in both hands. At the bar she received her usual glass of milk and seated herself somewhere near the cackling fire. Spring had begun, but the darkenings were still cold. While she spooned her soup, dark eyes were scanning the room, observing people. The Lingerer’s always offered something of interest if one kept their eyes open – that she had learned only after a few brightenings.

That particular darkening the tavern was as merry and cheerful as always, yet she spotted something unusual. Next to her a hooded figure settled down and was soon joined by the bartender. Bev didn’t notice Loelir, instead he dealt cards and they began a game. The figure was mostly covered in a cloak, so clear signs were hidden from view, but the tail and the silhouette told enough: they weren’t human. Even their voice, albeit difficult to understand through the noise, sounded strange.

Loelir started watching them, hiding behind her bowl. She barely tasted what she ate, the customer’s mystery hypnotized her. Then someone sat down between her and the gamers, distracting her. His golden hair and handsome features reminded her of Gale, her radiant superior, yet his ears weren’t quite as pointed, his figure not as lithe and slender.

Apparently he was watching the cards. After a moment of consideration Loelir tapped him on the shoulder. “Excuse me, sir, do you know what kind of game they’re playing? It looks interesting.” Working and preparing food always put her in a good mood. During break, nothing relaxed her more than a brief talk with customers, although she was too young to play. Her voice was vibrating with a faint accent, enough to notice, yet not enough to be distracting.
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Old March 19, 2013, 08:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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OOCWelcome Releven and Loelir! :D

Prim picked up the two cards that Bev had dealt to her, draconic features twitching slightly in a barely-repressed grin when she saw what she'd received for the current round: the Mage and the King. If she remembered correctly, that hand was worth fifty-five points; one of the top five that you could get in Kings. She glanced across the table at Bev, who was still regarding her with that same superior smirk.

This time his good-natured bravado was an act. Or at least, the Moraden was about ninety percent certain that it was. If she was holding the Mage, the only hand that could beat hers were two Priestesses, and what were the odds that the old devil had gotten that hand?

"Hmmm..." Bev said, laying his cards face-down in front of him and leaning his elbows on the table before fingering the stack of crowns he had piled on the table. "I think a wager of twenty-five crowns is a good start." He counted the coins off of the top of the stack and set them down with a musical clink. Primith eyed him as she took another sip of Placidian single-malt, her expression purposefully blank. But when it came time for Bev to turn over the first of his cards, the draconess almost lost her composure, coming dangerously close to choking on her mouthful of alcohol. He had revealed a Priestess, the card's grinning face mocking the draconess from the tabletop.

Before she could offer him a reply, the door to the tavern opened and both players were momentarily distracted from the game by the arrival of Releven. Bev raised a finger, the universal, silent signal asking for someone to wait a moment. Getting to his feet, the bartender made his way over to the counter and took the half-elf's order. "Hullo, hullo lad! Welcome back to the Lingerers! And what will you be having, this fine darkening?"

He had just set Releven's drink down in front of him when Noxu entered the bar. Bev raised a broad hand in the air, offering the man the same warm greeting that made all of the patrons of the Lingerers Tavern and Inn feel so welcome there. "One blackberry ale, is it? Fine choice. Not exactly my taste, but many people here enjoy it!"

Primith shifted uncomfortably in her seat as she waited for her friend to return to the game, very aware of the presence of the new patrons coming into the inn. The draconess never knew how people were going to react to her natural form. There were dracon-haters everywhere, after all... She reached up with one taloned hand and subtly pulled the brim of her cloak down in an attempt to deepen the shadows that kept her features from view. Only a short portion of her serpentine tail peeked out from underneath her cloak, but it was still easily identifiable, and the Moraden flicked it around to the other side of the chair to hide it from view, self-conscious about anything that would identify her as a dracon.

Once the drinks were served and his duties were momentarily fulfilled, Bev returned to the table and offered the draconess another smirk. "That should have given you plenty of time to decide if your hand is worth betting on, my dear. Are you planning to match me?"

Rather than answer verbally, Prim reached out and picked up twenty five crowns, setting them next to the human's wager before she laid her King card face-up on the table. He can't have a second Priestess. No one was that lucky. "Are you raising again Bev?" The spy raised her eyebrow ridges, her amber gaze filled with her unspoken challenge.

The bartender nodded approvingly, realizing that Primith wasn't backing down. He raised the wager to fifty crowns, and the Moraden matched him again, waiting tensely for the human to reveal his second card. Her face fell, jaw very nearly dropping to the floor when Bev revealed another Priestess card.

"Diana's breath, Bev!" The draconess muttered, shaking her head in wonderment as she dropped her Mage on the table. "Is this how you comfort a troubled friend? By taking all of her hard-earned crowns?"

Bev guffawed, his belly shaking with laughter as he leaned back in his seat and clapped his big hands. "Well, the next bottle of Placidian Single Malt is on me, how's that, lass?"

Primith scoffed and shook her head, taking the opportunity to drain her glass before refilling it yet again. "I think you're just trying to get me drunk so that I'll be even more of pigeon for you, you old swindler." The grin on the Moraden's face belied the cranky statement, and the human laughed again.

It was then that Loelir spoke to Releven, asking him if he knew what kind of game that Bev and Prim were playing. The bartender turned his good-natured smile towards the lady. "It's an interesting little card game called Kings. If you" his eyes drifted between Loelir, Releven, and Noxu, including all of them in the statement, "would like to learn how to play, there's enough room in the game for four. I don't think Prim would mind losing her crowns to a different opponent for once, would you my dear?"

The man cast Primith a meaningful glance, knowing how weary the draconess was of strangers when she didn't have the benefit of a disguise. The Moraden took the hint and turned to nod at the three newcomers with a tentative smile. "Indeed. Feel free to join in. If I can learn the rules, anyone can."

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Old March 20, 2013, 04:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Looking around the tavern for a moment, his gaze settled on the two playing cards. Just as he was about to move away from the bar and make his way over, they called him out, along with a couple of others. His brow raised curiously, and a small, sly smirk came across his lips as he nodded to them. "Well, can't say I've ever played that game before, but ... I suppose I could learn a new game." He said with a small nod toward the duo.

It was a bit of an odd feeling to go mingle with people so openly, as his main goal up until getting into the city was to avoid people, but he couldn't quite help himself but to go and participate in the card game. From any outsider's view, it would be nearly obvious that he wasn't usually one of the city folk, as his clothes, while still quite nice, weren't usually what one would wear around in the city. His clothes were a bit more ragged, with some light patchworks done around on the arms and legs. The tunic in itself wasn't in the best of conditions, but at the very least there weren't any holes in it.

Making his way over toward the table with his drink in hand, he pulled an empty seat from one of the nearby tables and slid it up toward the right side of the table, turning it around so that the back end of it would rest up against the table. Sitting down, he leaned up against the chair and looked between the large human and the shady woman. He'd never really seen a dracon before, but he'd always tried to be at least somewhat tolerant of other races, so when he caught any glimpse of her being anything but a human, he didn't say anything. Instead, he turned his attention to the cards.

"Well then, how is this game played, hmm?" He said with a wry smirk, hoping the directions would be simple to learn. As he overheard them from earlier, he knew they were betting some form of currency, and it raised his hopes of coming out of this game with a little more coin than he'd gone into it with.

Raising his drink up to his lips, he took a small sip of it and shook his head slightly back and forth. The stuff in the city was always stronger than what he'd found out in the woods in the outskirts of the cities, this actually made him shiver from the burning that went down his throat. "Can't say I've had this from the city before today..."
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Old March 20, 2013, 09:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Turning his head to the side he saw the dark haired woman take a seat behind him. He looked into her dark eyes. He looked back at the game, and then at her. "I have seen it played before but never actually played it." Up until recently he had been stuck under his mothers strict rules, he had finally left the family home. He had finally set out on his own and was now experiences those things he hadn't had the chance to before. This was not saying he was naive, one doesn't surive growing up in Nexus Prime if you are.

He turned back to the table as the bartender spoke to them. His well shaped lips spread into a smile. "I would love to learn." He said standing up and walking over to take a seat. He seat his ale next to him and settled himself into his seat.

He ran a long figured hand through his golden hair and settled it waiting for the explanation. He looked over at the dark haired woman. "I guess we can find out together how it is played." He looked around at the group. "The name is Releven." He said still smiling at them his handsome face giving the impression of open friendlness. He raised the cup to his lips and sipped as his sapphire eyes watched the other young man shiver as he took a drink. "Yes some of the are fairly strong.
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Old March 24, 2013, 08:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The female Pantheri walked along the street in a long cream colored dress that feel to just her ankles. Her tail swished back and forth helping her balance. Her eyes found the Kings Tavern, the lights playing shadows across the way. Of course just having decided to venture out on her own, she wasn't entirely sure what to do.

Opening the door she found a group of people enjoying some spirits and playing cards. Her black furred face looked at what appeared to be a Dracon as well as a mix of other races. Silently sneaking in she stood near a wall and observed the players. Having no actual spendable money she really couldn't do anything but watch, and perhaps learn the game from a distance.

The smell of food caused her stomach to growl slightly, she growled at the incident. Great way to make a first impression. She thought to herself.
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Old March 25, 2013, 08:45 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The players finished another game with the hooded person growling slightly at Bev who was clearly in a good mood. Loelir could imagine who had won. It fascinated her in an exciting, forbidden way, for gambling was hardly known and also frowned upon in Ara Lyffrenda. They were always watching and wouldn’t approve in the slightest. Besides, she was too young, a fact others never seemed to care about.

Nevertheless she couldn’t resist the offer. Putting down the empty bowl, she turned her chair a little to get a better view of the adjoining table and cards. “Thank you for the offer, but I’m not allowed to gamble and I’ve no coin I could bet. If it is alright, I will watch though.” She didn’t mention why she wasn’t allowed, but her slender figure and features still bearing a child-like softness were clear signs of her age.

When the elf who looked like Gale addressed her, she nodded, eyes sparkling. He even introduced himself! Proof that he wasn’t Gale indeed. “I’m Loelir. Pleased to meet you all”, she offered hastily. Her gaze went around the table, including the others. Of course, Bev knew her, but she was interested in learning about the other player and the human man too. Especially the other player. Never had she seen a creature like that before. Fascination glued her eyes to its face. She couldn’t even tell its gender! Addressing that would be beyond awkward and rude though, so she only stared.

A growl from behind made her jump and look up. A furred woman with cat ears and a tail! Katta she knew, but had only seen from a distance before. Didn’t cats growl when they were angry? Inching closer to Bev, she hoped he’d handle that particular customer.
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Old March 25, 2013, 10:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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OOCI will be peer modding this thread per Primith's request. If you have questions, feel free to PM me

Bev watched as the the two men joined the draconess at the table to play the game. He then looked sideways at Loelir and her decline to play. "What? A lass who ain't allowed to gamble? I think ye may be in the wrong city then." He let out a boisterous laugh and shook his head. It was quite the odd thought, but then he did see the unusual patron who entered the tavern but didn't like to drink alcohol. There be some strange people in the world. Of that Bev was sure of.

"Is it the lack of coin that's restrainin' ye lass? If so I can spot ye a few coins for a game. I just so happened to pick up a few extra ones right recently. Don't worry, ye can pay me back with yer winnings afterwards. Prim's sure ta give ye a few crowns afore yea thru." The bartender looked at the young woman for a moment before deciding not to press the issue. There be some strange people in the world.

It was about that time Bev noticed Eulae sneaking by towards the wall. No one snuck around his his tavern! And they needed a fourth player. "Hey pretty kitty. Come over here and play a hand or two. I'll spot ye ten crowns, and ye can keep whatever ye win. Deal her in Prim. Now, if ye'll explain da rules ta dem, I'll get back te mah job." The barkeep laughed and then left the odd group to themselves. There was other patrons to deal with, and more entering every few minutes.

The draconess would explain the rules, deal two cards to each player, and the game of Diamondback would begin.

 
* * * OOC Game Rules * * *

I will PM each of the players with the cards they received. This is to keep the cards private from the other players.

Each Diamondback hand will take two posting rounds.
For the first round please state what you would initially bet/raise to, and also how high you would be willing to go before you fold. For example, "I will bet 3 crowns to start and am willing to match up to 20 crowns." The pot will be the highest initial bid.

For the second round, you will reveal one of your cards to the other players. (your choice) You then get to bet again. Please use the same format as the first round.

After everyone has posted I will reveal the hands of the remaining players (those who didn't fold) and announce the winner of that hand. In that same post, a new hand will be dealt and I will PM you with your new cards.

We'll continue this until: the four players decide to stop, all the players have lost their money to the winner, there is interference from the outside.

Complicated enough? Good! Let's play.
 
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Old March 25, 2013, 11:51 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Having been dragged to the table, Eulae saw the coins sitting at the spot she was to sit. As well as two cards. She didn't understand the game, nor did she really care to play. She picked the cards up took a few moments to look at them. "These are pretty pictures." she commented as she set them back down.

"However, I can not accept your money my lord," she slid the coins away from her and towards the female human. "Nor can I play this game. My apologies my lords and my ladies. May the odds be in your favour though."

"I am more than content to just watch," her stomach growling again from the smell of the food, again she let a soft growl out from the sound. Perhaps it would cover it up... unlikely.

By her very nature she could not accept charity. She simple wanted a place to watch, listen, and learn about others. She had no issue helping others out. But sadly her pride would not allow her to accept any charity. She stood up and went to return against the wall to observe the game.

She smiled and adjusted her dress to show that she meant no disrespect or hard feelings.
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Old March 27, 2013, 10:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Primith watched Noxu approach the table with a critical eye, as if she was attempting to decide what sort of opponent he would be. When the human glanced at her however, the Moraden averted her gaze, focusing instead on the deck of cards that she was currently shuffling. Unable to wear her human or elven forms, the draconess felt naked, unable or unwilling to look a stranger in the eye. Like the thief, Prim also had her chair turned to accommodate her tail and wings, mostly hidden beneath the voluminous folds of her cloak.

She chuckled slightly at Noxu's comment about the strength of the ale in the city, raising her glass of scotch to him in a mock toast. "You should try Bev's Placidian Single Malt. That really has a kick to it." Tilting her head back, the cerulean draconess took a drink of its contents before setting it aside.

She cast a quick glance at Relevan, offering him a friendly nod before she turned her attention to the deck of cards resting in her hands. "Glad to meet you, Relevan." The Moraden said, her silvery voice a bit more subdued than it had been when she spoke to the bartender. No one had displayed any hostility for the draconess in their midst, but she was still more than a little weary amongst the new people.

"My name is Primith. But my friends call me Prim." The Moraden said once Loelir and Relevan had introduced themselves and before she got down to the business of explaining the rules. "The name of the game is Diamondback. Each player receives two cards per hand. Cards consist of the Mage, the Priestess, the Queen, King, and Priest. In descending order, the Mage is worth the most points and the Priest is worth the least." Prim paused to make sure that none of that had gone over anyone's head before she continued.

"Hands are ranked in points based on the pair of cards that you get. At the beginning of each hand, players can look at their cards, and then the dealer makes a wager. This wager must be matched by each of the other players if they want to stay in the game. Once you've matched the dealer's bet, each remaining player reveals one card of their choice. Then the dealer shows their card and starts a new round of betting. After that, players each expose their second card and the highest hand wins the pot. If there's a draw, the pot is carried over into the next game." Prim paused and took a breath after her long winded speech. "There is no ante in Diamondback. If you fold before the first reveal every time, you could play the whole darkening without losing a single crown."

After that, the Moraden spent some time telling Noxu and Relevan the various hands as well as the points that each was worth. The explanation, which was far too long-winded to repeat here, boiled down to this basic set of information:

 
Magician + Priestess = 70 pts
Priestess + Priestess = 65 pts
Magician + Queen = 60 pts
Magician + King = 55 pts
Priestess + King = 50 pts
Priestess + Queen = 45 pts
Priestess + Priest = 40 pts
Queen + King = 35 pts
Magician + Priest = 30 pts
Queen + Queen = 25 pts
King + King = 20 pts
Queen + Priest = 15 pts
King + Priest = 10 pts
Priest + Priest = 5 pts
 


Once the rules were explained, and if no one had any questions, Prim dealt two cards each to Noxu, Relevan, and herself. Picking them up, the draconess stared at them for several long moments, her face purposefully blank. "Hmmm. I'd say...ten crowns is a good start." She said before reaching out and picking up that number of coins from her stack and setting them in the center. Next, she selected the Queen card and set it face up on the table before glancing at her two opponents to see if they wanted to match her wager or fold.

OOCWelcome Eulae! :) And to everyone, sorry about that long post! Hopefully the next ones will be decidedly shorter.
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Old March 30, 2013, 08:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Eulae watched the others as they began to play. Deciding that she really was bored just by watching she gracefully stood up and left the establishment. She didn't want to make the others uncomfortable by 'watching' them.

OOCSorry guys, but this thread isn't something I would do in real life, nor would Eulae do. Good luck to the winner!
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Old March 31, 2013, 10:53 PM   #14 (permalink)
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His handsome face showing his intensity. He listened as Prim explained how the game worked. He tilted his head working to remember the various amounts the different combination of cards was worth. He nodded his head saying that he had understood. He took the two cards he had been handed and looked the over before picking up ten crowns and saying "I will meet that bet." He stopped for a moment and waited to see what the last player would do before he revealeved his card.
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Old April 1, 2013, 02:51 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Noxu Za'tire is a malevolent Minion


As he sat there listening to the rules, there was one thing that came to his mind, How can I possibly steal away the win? You could get some crowns out of it. Granted, you're not doing it for the coin, just the thrill of it.. He mused to himself, leaning up against the table a bit and taking his two cards. He looked them over for a brief moment and gave a simple nod.

As he looked around the table at the other players, he took note of their reactions to the cards they received, judging them silently to size them up and maybe get a read off of them whether they liked the cards or not. Unfortunately, the elf didn't seem to give much clue as to whether he liked the cards or not. As his attention turned to Prim, he tried to see any reaction, but of course she was straight-faced and he couldn't get a read.

He shook his head briefly, and studied his cards some more. "Count me in." Slipping his hand to his pant pocket, he pulled out the ten crowns, and handed them over to contribute to the pile--might as well join in, it was only ten crowns after all; it wasn't as though he wouldn't be getting more back in the near future, if his plan had gone through. Now it was time to wait to see if he had a chance to win; and so far, it was looking quite well for him.

If his plan would come to fruition, he'd hopefully make out like a bandit, and get a good few crowns in the process. His eyes took him around the table, albeit briefly, to take in anything he could use as a suitable distraction. He saw the glasses on the table, at least the one on his side of the table, and the ones with the other dealers. It was quite possible to slip his arm and knock his own glass over to cause it to spill, but that might be too obvious. He'd wait to see what the other cards of the other players were, and until then, he'd continue to plot what he could do.
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Noxu Za'tire - CIR | SOF
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