(1866-09-10) The Hammer or the Crown?
The Hammer or the Crown?
Summary: Gastogne's exuberance for his friend Philippe's talents gets the best of him as Aidric offers to wager on the outcome of the pending Pacitta artistic competition
Date: 09/10/1866
Related: None
Aidric  Gastogne  Philippe  

The Gambler's Folly - Pacitta
in scene set
10th of Septembre, 1866

The Folly is certainly a rough and tumble place…and on any given night, the spectral cloud of doom and gloom that lingers within the front room is almost visible. It is a grey haze that just hovers over the tables, dragging anyone caught in its intangible grip to slip slowly into depression.

But not this night.

This night, it is the front room, and not the back, that is brighter and louder, even if nary a torch has been added. For tonight, there is live entertainment, in the form of a bard, playing for the bar's patrons. It seems neither planned nor refused, for the musical entertainment was unexpected and certainly welcomed.

Philippe, for his part, had every intention of playing. For him, it was more a chance for him to practice his trade and not for any particular need for showmanship. However, he *is* a performer by trade, so there might have been a slight need to show off. As it were, he entertains the crowd with songs appropriate for the location….with his playlist consisting of drinking songs, sailing songs, and drunken sailing songs.

After all, he knows to give the crowd what they want.

<FS3> Philippe rolls String Instruments: Amazing Success. (6 6 8 7 8 1 2 7 1 2 6 6 6 8 8)
<FS3> Philippe rolls Singing: Good Success. (1 2 1 3 4 6 1 7 8 1 7 6 3 2)

In town as well for the tournament, a chance to fence some coin over and a chance to make some contacts, Gastogne has been in and out of the club that Master Samwell works at. Clapping along with the exquisite music that the bard plays, Gastogne looks over some of the cards in his hands. Not playing cards, but rather some of the prints showing some of the men and women who will likely be competing over in the tourneys in the next weeks.

Betting odds at that. But, breaking into applause then, he whoots as much as any other at the showcase being put on by the bard on the stage then, even as he goes to quaff his mug of ale then and finishes it with a somewhat roasty belch. Then, eyes circling amongst the rest of the crowd present as he glances about and judges the rest of the state of the room.

Aidric all but stumbles into the common room from the back. The woman under his arm keeps him from tumbling, and he mutters something under his breath stopping short when he hears the music. "Abyss below…" he says letting go of the whore as he walks, clearly stunned, into the common room eyes fixed on the bard. He brushes a pillar absently before leaning against it, his female company forgotten. "Who knew this place boasted such talent."

Of course, Philippe isn't above a bit of coin himself, regardless if he is just seeing the impromptu performance as a practice run for him. A beer stein, oddly devoid of liquid refreshment, sits on the table before him with a few wet coins within as he plucks at the lute strings with grace and precision, the notes just flowing from the instrument. His voice, a little rough (and maybe just a little slurred…that stein was full when he started) is still rather good despite the apparent inebriation. It is a bawdry song, which is always a hit with the lower folks…and one he finishes with a flourish, his hand sweeping up the lute and into the air.

The applause is met with a roguish smile and a nod, as Phil more falls back down into his chair. A glance is cast over towards Gastogne, then a beckoning with a finger as the bard calls out. "Come over 'ere, Gast. Wanna talk to ya." The blue eyes shift to the prints in the commoner's hands. "Whatcha lookin' at there?"

Finishing up his drink and going to prop a couple of coin over onto the table to pay for the last round he had, Gastogne goes to give a passing nod over at Aidric then as he goes to get up then and heads up and over towards the bard as he gets off the stage. Gastogne might have had one or two on him as he tucks the cards that he was inspecting earlier, but he's fairly well on his feet then with only a little bit of a sway over as he makes his way through the front of the room towards his companion then. "Aye." Meeting Philippe as the other man went off the stage then and going to give a quick look around then out of the corner of his eye, a light glance given towards the back room where the -professionals- played at cards (Which he was not clearly in the league of) he went to go on over. "Get you a refill then?" Good enough reason as any to seem to come on up.

Gastogne holds up the cards after a moment's thought, "Oh, just those expecting to participate in the jousts over the next few weeks and the odds then." On each card was shown a marked portrait of the knights and lords expected to partake and the generally estimated odds for each. "Got them off a man going to the back."

The woman with Aidric tugs his sleeves, and Aidric pulls his arm away, "Change of plans, find someone else," he says without looking and strides off leaving her scowling and cursing. "Well-played master bard," Aidric says as he reaches the table. "I am surprised to see someone of your skill here amongst the rabble," he says as he helps himself to a seat. "Let me buy a drink for you and your friend here."

A nod is offered to Gastogne as he explains the purpose of the flyers. "So…expectin' to bet on them, huh?" Why else would one want specs on the combatants? There is a laugh as Philippe settles back in his chair. "Gastogne, a word of advice. It isn't betting on the tournaments that will win you gold. It's entertaining the crowd after the tournaments that will loosen the coin." There is another short laugh, as if amused by his own observation.

Those blue eyes shift as what obviously is a noble lord and knight approaches the table. They also catch sight of the jilted woman in the back, which only serves to bring a wry grin to Philippe's lips. "Thank you kindly, gentle lord." The slur is still there, but barely heard….the bard known enough to apply proper etiquette when called for. "I find that rabble and nobility alike share one aspect….they like to be entertained. And I, fortunately, happened to be passing through at the opportune moment." The offer of a drink is met with the grin growing to a smile and a slow nod of the head in appreciation. "and I would be most remiss if I did not take you up on that drink. You are a gentlemen among knights, good Sir." Ah…a most perceptive minstrel indeed.

A light nod is otherwise taken over by Gastogne, "Aye, but those of us who are not otherwise as gifted by the One with such majesty when it comes to showcasing the crowds as yourself such as me must otherwise resort to other ways when it comes." A lookover of amusement in his eyes. "For I rather doubt anytime soon anyone would wish for me to take part in a show of the Master Knight Tumblewood.."

Then as Aidric approaches, Gastogne's mood definitely shifts over for the better. "Aye, and I thank you for your kind offer Master Knight, and generously accept. Next round shall be on me then?" Adding his own little bit up and over to it and nodding over at Philippe's words. "Because I doubt in all the realms that there be any bard as gifted as Philippe here from the North to the South, and perhaps never will again."

Aidric tilts his head as he is properly marked but offers a smile all the same, "True, and for a moment both commoner and noble were equally amused by your performance," he says returning courtesy in kind. "So, tell me master bard, what is your name and why have I not heard you play before? I thought I knew most of the good bards in Pacitta already?" he looks to Gastogne briefly when he boasts of Philippe's skill. "Quite the boast," he says before looking to Phil. "Does he speak for you?" he asks..

“Please, excuse Gastogne. He is a most excitable fellow, thinks rather highly of me, and sometimes allows his tongue to escape him." There is a slight nudge…an elbow to Gast's ribs, before Philippe offers a name. "My lord, as my friend had let slip, my name is Philippe. Philippe Giscard, of Couviere. I am in Pacitta for the upcoming tournament, which is perhaps why I am not familiar to you, as I am not of Pacitta proper." There is a pause, as the head tilts slightly to one side…then an observation is offered. "I had performed at the coronation tournament for King Jean-Paul l'Valdan, claiming the top prize for my performance in the artistic competitions. Which begs me to ask the question, if I may. Might I inquire of your name, good Sir?" Philippe sits up straighter, those blue eyes looking Aidric over. "For it is a poor performer that cannot recognize his audience, and you bear all the markings of a trueborn noble, my lord. If not Couviere….then Rivanan, perhaps?"

It is a guess…but Philippe knows it is a good guess. For he would know a Couvieri when he saw one…and it doesn't seem likely that Aidric would be from Sanctum, considering the tart that was upon his arm before being dismissed.

There is a reason why over with the duo that Philippe is the brains of the pair then, even as the elbow lightly taps him to remind him, and Gastogne is quick to cover it over with a light flick of his own elbow up and over to rub at the sore spot from the light shove, and he manages to restrain giving his companion an annoyed glance back, before nodding lightly, "Aye, Gastogne Originne of Couviere. I'm a middleman for some merchants looking to pass some wares and sell them up here in the city for the tournament and looking to hopefully get some coin on my own end." The aforementioned betting, if Aidric had heard him going on that bit. "And good luck and sport to you then, brave sir knight." Gastogne is going to take that as his cue then as Aidric converses over with Philippe to take his spot to remain silent then unless spoken over to then and given some firm instructions in the matter.

Aidric gives a nod at Phil's explanation of Gastogne's boast. "A shame I was going to offer a wager," he says mildly before enjoying a sip from his tankard. "And I heard the name, but I missed the competition in Rovilon… overslept," he offers with a slight grin. It likely had less to do with sleep as female company. "Belated congratulations, by the way. As to who I am, you're right I am a Rivanan. Sir Aidric Carling," he says eyeing the men as he says it not expecting them to know it but still vain enough to hope. "As to the tourney, I don't plan to joust, but I will be at the artistic contest, should hopefully be a good show."

<FS3> Philippe rolls Artistic Lore: Failure. (2 4 4 3 5 2 6 3 5 1)

There isn't any indication on if Philippe is aware of the name or not. He does, however, know better that to comment about the complete and utter blank the name has drawn in Phil's mind. "Well met, Sir Carling. I, too, intend on making a showing at the artistic contest. Though, from what I heard, I may have difficulty in repeating my Rovilon performance." The bard did not mention who or even why he might have difficulty…a clever little play on words, meant for the listener to fill in the blanks on his own. "I certainly plan on observing the tournament, though I lack the proper disposition to have been an effective contender in that particular field of battle." In other words, he didn't have the temperament to be a knight. There was one little slip of the tongue that caught his attention, though.

"Offer a wager? To Gastogne? Oh, this intrigues me greatly…"

Let it not be said that some heads were as empty as the great plethora of stars over in the sky then as Gastogne gives a bow then, "And well met, good sir. An honor to make your acquaintance." Such cleverness and words, among many other things, went above Gastogne's head, though he assumed from the setup that such a contest would have him playing that role he was too often best suited for. "And.. What sort of a wager would that be? And I'm going to be up for more than the next round if I'm not quite on top of things aren't I?" A sigh going through his mind, but otherwise him rolling his shoulders. "Then but name it good Sir Aidric, and but a man as humble as me cannot be matching for it should I be not up to my side of things.."

Aidric frowns just a little when his name doesn't ring any bells. He covers the frown in his ale. "Hmm, the wager?" he asks as he lowers his cup. "Ah, well I was going to suggest that if you were going to compete, then we might wager, say five crowns on the outcome, but as you are not up to your usual standard as you say, it would hardly be fair," Aidric says with a bit of a smile. He looks over at Gastogne sizing him up, "Perhaps we ought to make it five hammers."

Philippe chuckles softly as his attention also shifts to Gastogne. "What say you? You wanted to bet on the games….shall the artistic competition be one of them?" The blue eyes shift to Aidric for half a moment, the amusement clear within that glance,before shifting back. "Is your faith in my skills enough to warrant a wager?" Seems Philippe is curious just how far Gastogne would go, as well. Of course, the smile betrays that he is finding the situation hilarious…

That money was what Gastogne was going to put towards food, drink, and places to stay. But the look over in Philippe's eyes is enough to make his blood run cold. Just like the rumors of what he's heard of that happens over in those 'rooms' that.. "A-Aye. I have enough to cover it." He lets out a quick gulp and a laugh then, a shiver of suppressed terror going through him as he raises his mug up to Philippe then. "And to victory in the arts."

Aidric looks over at Gastogne, "Are we talking the bet of crowns of the bet of hammers?" he asks. "Either way I will be good for my end of it," he promises confidently and shoots an amused glance at Philippe, who seems to be enjoying this as much as Aidric is.

"He was rather vague on that, wasn't he?" agrees Philippe, who is almost to the point of laughter. That look is returned to Gastogne, the smirk plainly evident upon his features. "Was it to be the hammer or the crown?" As an aside, Philippe offers a lifeline to Gastogne. "As the good Sir Carling said, I, too, can cover both wagers." Perhaps he offered the information to help Gast out….or perhaps there is an ulterior motive. "So, should I lose, I can cover you and you can simply pay me back."

There's a quick yelp and then a half shiver of relief going through Gastogne's body then, "The crowns. The bard be worth it, and I have faith in him." Otherwise, a look of relief floods through him and he nods then. And then a quick look.. Wait, pay the bard back? And just what -will- this entail? Too late now then.. Having a sinking feeling in his stomach, Gastogne lets out a sigh then. "And I'm sure regardless we will all have a most amazing display, not only of arts but of arms as well, good sir knight."

“He was, wasn't he?" Aidric agrees readily with Philippe before looking to Gastogne. "Clearly you trust your friend well, he needs but miss a note to put you in his pocket," he warns the man before finishing his ale and moving to stand. "Well, I shall take my leave, but I will see you both at the tourney. Enjoy yourselves in the meantime," he says putting a fist full of coppers on the table that should more than cover their drinks and then begins to make his departure.

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