Everyone has, for one reason or another, ended up in the port city of Riddleport. A known haven for pirates and bandits and others of ill repute. As dangerous as it would seem, the Riddleport actually ends up being a fairly safe haven for those who have no where else to go. Thieves honor, or something like that.
Many recent arrivals to the city have come to see the strange cloud that formed in the sky about a month ago. The Blot, as it is called, seems to be some sort of magical creation, but none of the local mages have been able to figure much of anything out about it. It moves around the sky in very erratic patterns, sometimes it is there, sometimes it is gone.
The locals have all but forgotton about this Blot and pay it no mind anymore, though to new comers, it is still quite fascinating.
More importantly, the talk on the street is about an upcoming gambling tournament. Cheat the Devil and Steal His Gold is to be held at the Gold Goblin and the winner will walk home with 10,000$!!!
Snargash: that’s a lot of shoes and blankets
Guy: Or one REALLY fancy one
Something about this tournament draws you to it, whether it is the thought of winning all that gold, the chance to meet and see all manner of Riddleports ‘finest’ or just the thrill of the game. You arrive at the Goblin, as it is referred to locally, ready to join the party.
Bodil: That’s the kinda cheddar i need
Just inside the main doors, two sultry beauties scantily clad and wearing faux bat wings, devil horns, and tails play the part of alluring succubi. Both are employees of the Gold Goblin, and they cheerfully register contestants for the tournament and process entry fees. Armed guards stand nearby to either side of an immense treasure chest into which each patron’s entry fee is added. The guards are on hand to not only protect the money, but to prevent any overzealous admirers from trying to dare the infamous touch of a succubus.
Each of you enters the Goblin, paying your entry fee and passing through the doors.
Beyond the registration table is the hall’s game floor. Dozens of gamblers, waitresses dressed as succubi, and bouncers mill about the room, wandering amid tables offering various games while dealers shuffle cards, roll dice, and spin wheels. Moving through this throng are a dozen more of the barely clad, bat-winged vixens serving drinks and batting coal-black eyelashes flirtatiously for tips.
- Bodil looks at the entry girls. “Hey there dolls….after I win this thing, how about we go find a nice bar and a bedroom to celebrate in?”
Bodil: Now this is more like it, gambling, girls, and drinks.
The serving girls look at Bodi and smile, "Of course, Bodi, as long as you have enough coins in your pocket.
Bodil: “Better get me a drink and keep them coming every half an hour”
- Bodil will work his way around the Golden Goblin looking for a ripe group of noob-type gamers to hopefully win against
Drinks are served and food is eaten. Everyone is in fine spirits tonight.
Ajax: So, Guy, what’s the plan?
- Shayla keeps mostly to herself, watching all that goes on quietly, hood draw to cover her head.
People from all walks of life mingle and gamble together.
- Aragon will flank Aethel and his uncle, gambling and losing at nearby tables.
Guy: Find a snack then get settled into the game I suppose, eh?
- Guy will make a $100 wager.
- Guy rolls: 3d6 vs Gambling => 6
- Bodil makes his way to a table, eyeing up some noobs and starts with small bets, hoping to lure in more ‘beginners’. His first hand at a low-cost dice game costs him 5 copper as he looses in a close game.
A dealer yells out "High roller here! The Gnome WINS!
Guy: Yes! Let’s do it again!
- Aragon raises one eyebrow and checks out the players at the “hot” table.
Ajax: Guy, only $10 me have. must you to win food money for me. Can you do? Kudasai?
Guy doubles his stake, coming away from the table with 100$ in extra chips!
- Bodil best again, this time going to 5 silver.
Bodil: I’ll take that!
- Aethel jumps into a random game, betting $5
Guy: Looks like it! I think.
After losing a hand of Towers, Bodi heads over to a dice game, plays for a moment and ends up breaking even.
Ajax: Guy, me fortune need changing. Must help
Guy: What help did you want?
Aethel does not fare so well at the game of chance he chooses.
Ajax: You bet, Thank you
Snargash has connected.
- Guy gives Ajax $25 for a bet.
- Ajax pushes the money away
Ajax: No No You do
- Ajax hands Guy $10
Ajax: Last coins
Ajax: Need food
- Guy shrugs. “If you say so.”
Ajax: Help PLease
- Guy is willing to make the bet for Aax.
- Aragon sits at a table and makes small bets, watching Aethel’s back
Aethel: Aethel places his bet of 5$ and tries his hand at a game. ((Roll: 9))
Guy: Guy places his bet of 10$ and tries his hand at a game. ((Roll: 10))
Aethel puts some more money down and sits in on a card game, after a few minutes, he ends up with the same amount of money he started with. ((breaking even))
Guy bets Ajax’s last coins and and manages to win him 2$ back. ((winnings 12$))
Guy: How much food did you want?
Aragon loses half of his stake, though he was not paying much attention to the game after all.
Ajax: Eat here, coin for food later
Guy: Ah, okay.
Guy: How much for later then?
- Ajax grabs a bit to eat off the buffet
After about a half an hour of casual gambling, the lights in the hall suddenly dim…
Ajax: Mix win coins for you bets? THen some for me later?
There is no longer any light coming in from outside, night has fallen. A pair of doors at the far end of the hall open and several employees enter the room, carrying torches shaped like pitchforks skewering burning heads made of straw and cloth.
They move about the room and light several brass braizers, filling the room with a deep red light, casting infernal black shadows all around.
- Guy admires the effect.
Aethel: They certainly have the atmosphere going for this event.
- Shayla quirks an eyebrow from underneath her hood
- Bodil takes advantage of the darkness to pinch the butt on one of the serving girls
A hush falls over the crowd as a short Human climbs to the podium in the center of the room. He is accompanied by two beautiful ‘succubi’. They stand before the gold, chain shrouded chest there with a demoness on either side…
He wears a formal suit and his black hair is slicked back. The most noticible feature of the man is where his left hand should be… a stump that ends in a bronze cap with an oddly shaped key on it.
The nearby serving girl giggles and playfully slaps Bodi as she hurries away.
The man on the podium straightens his jacket, bows low to the crowd, clears his throat and speaks….
“Welcome, one and all, to the Gold Goblin Gambling Hall and your chance to cheat the Devil and win back not only your soul but all of his gold as well.” He says this last as he pats the large chest before which he stands. “I hope you found your reception by the Devil’s lovely temptresses suitably entertaining.”
This is met by a general murmur of laughter and a few catcalls.
Saul Vancaskerkin: “Let’s take this moment to thank Old Scratch himself for attending this event. Not only did he loan us these lovely, dark angels, but he also emptied the deepest vaults of Hell itself to provide the gold for this tournament.”
- Shayla watches with interest
- Saul Vancaskerkin motions to the caged creature hanging from the ceiling above. The devilish creature begins howling and rattling the bars of its cage.
- Guy looks up to get as good a look at the creature as the lighting permits.
The creature begins spitting and shouting out in some infernal language, pointing its clawed fingers and gnashing its sharp little teeth.
Saul Vancaskerkin: “Of course, he plans on replacing what he loses in gold with the souls of those of you who don’t win. The tournament rules are quite simple—as you play, you’ll earn more chips. And with those chips, you’ll be able to bribe your way out of the current Hell you’re trapped in, working your way down deeper until you get to Old Scratch’s treasury. Currently, all of you are Old Scratch’s prisoners in the first of the Nine Hells, Avernus. If you want to work your way down to the ninth circle, you need to win games.
- Shayla smiles at the irony
Saul Vancaskerkin: Each time you win, you’ll be awarded a golden eye. If you come in second, you’ll get a silver tooth. And third place wins a copper heart. These bits of flesh and bone are what the devils use in Hell for currency, and they’re what you’ll need to pay in order to bribe your way into the next layer of hell. The first player to win a game after reaching Nessus not only keeps his winnings for that game, but also earns back his soul and the ten thousand silver coins that the Devil put up for this tournament. You can, of course, decide to cash out your winnings at any time you want, but if you do, or if you run out of money entirely… well, that means Old Scratch gets you.”
Bodil: sounds hokey to me
- Ajax frowns
Saul Vancaskerkin: Vancaskerkin grins evilly and the caged imp cuts loose with another profane tirade. “And that earns you the Devil’s Mark and an escort out of the game hall until the tournament is over. What, you ask, exactly is this Devil’s Mark? Well, it’s something too utterly horrible to even contemplate. The forfeiture of your very soul, it is.
- Guy glances around to see the reactions of those around him, and to gauge how deep their pockets are.
- Bodil just scoffs
- Ajax hefts his spear and glances around, making sure noone is advanging on Guy and his money
The reactions from the crowd are mixed. Some cheer, some laugh, some just roll their eyes.
Saul Vancaskerkin: But I suppose I can show you what it is— gods know I more than deserve the Devil’s Mark. In fact, better make it two, girls!”
Bodil: Horrible ’eh? sounds like a date with his mother
Saul Vancaskerkin: With that, the two succubi accompanying him lean over and each firmly plants a kiss on Saul’s cheek with her ruby-red lips. When they pull away, their lip rouge has left clearly visible prints in the same shocking red on his cheeks. Saul beams as he cries out, “The Devil’s Mark, everyone!” which is greeted by a flurry of shouts, catcalls, and hoots. “Now, let’s cheat the Devil and take his gold!” which prompts one more rabid flurry from the imprisoned fiend above, and with that, the tournament begins.
Aragon: “Hmmph. This in not amusing.”
Guy: Well, I suppose we should get started then.
- Aethel grumbles at the metaphors and implications of the speech
- Shayla edges closer to the caged creature to get a better look.
Ajax: you bet, me watch
Ajax: no one thief you
Guy: Probably wise.
- Bodil moves to find a table to play at. he spots a group that look like clueless noobs. he mutters, “Yeah, I’d like to see them devils go down…”
Each person at the tournament is presented with the ’Devils Contract to sign.
I,_________________________ , do hereby sacrifice my immortal soul and the worldly sum of 10 pieces of silver to the Devil to hold in escrow against his own stake of 10,000 silver coins in the gambling tournament being held at the Gold Goblin Gambling Hall of Riddleport on this Oathday, 14th day of Arodus, 4708 AR.
I understand that my soul will be placed on deposit in the Hells’ deepest pit of Nessus. Furthermore, I understand that all winnings shall be catalogued in concordance of souls, to be represented by teeth, eyes, and hearts of the damned. By participating in the gambling tournament and beginning in the first pit of Avernus, my winnings shall earn my way deeper through the Hells on the following schedule:
Dis—1 gold eye
Erebus—3 gold eyes and a Badge of Dis
Phlegethon—5 gold eyes and a Badge of Erebus
Stygia—10 gold eyes and a Badge of Phlegethon
Malebolge—25 gold eyes and a Badge of Stygia
Cocytus—50 gold eyes and a Badge of Malbolge
Caina—75 gold eyes and a Badge of Cocytus
Nessus—100 gold eyes and a Badge of Caina
I understand that if I should lose my stake in the tournament I shall receive the Devil’s Mark and my soul shall be cast upon the rocks on the shore of the River Styx. I understand that if I elect to cash in my winnings before reaching the pit of Nessus I shall forfeit my soul and 50% of the cash value of my winnings for said early departure.
If I am the first player to reach Nessus, then I am granted the redemption of my soul and the right to Cheat the Devil and Take his Gold in addition to collecting my winnings. In such a circumstance, all other players shall receive the Devil’s Mark and forfeit their souls.
This is I do swear.
Witnessed by: Old Scratch
The succubi serving girls bring the contracts and quills around to everyone to sign.
- Bodil looks at the girls and feigns signing, as he can’t read the contract anyway
- Guy will sign the agreement with a florish.
- Aethel will adamantly refuse to sign such a contract
- Bodil marks it with an X
- Ajax look confused at the paper, holding it sideways and sniffing it
The serving girl looks at the Elf, “But sir, you have to sign the contract if you are going to stay. We sure do WANT you to stay.”
Aethel: I’m sure you do. I’ll be leaving I suppose.
- Aethel wanders towards the door
Aragon: Aragon stands and moves behind Aethel.
Another serving girl takes Ajax’s hand and shows him how to sign it. “Just put your name here. Your name.”
A bouncer at the door, a tall, lanky Human looks at the Elves as they are preparing to leave.
He says, “Leaving so soon? The party is just getting started!”
- Aethel looks at the bouncer and says “Such a document is not something one should take lightly, even in jest.”
- Aethel notices Aragon with him, and smiles.
- Ajax makes a complicates pictographic mark on that spot (the translation is “no chance, refusal” for any who could read it) then nods to the server and smiles
Aragon: “Such ruses are fine for the riff-raff, I suppose.”
“Bahh, it dont mean nothin, its just for show, you know. Old Scratch up there, he aint really a Devil, you know!”
Aethel: “Then why require doing such to remain? No, I think not.”
He shrugs, “I dunno, old Saul’s been plannin this thing for over a month, he just wanted it to seem authentic.”
Bodil: Let’s play some games!
Aethel: “Aye, and that would be why I now take my leave.”
Aethel: “It’s too authentic”
- Aethel continues out the door
He reaches his hand out, “Here, give it here, ill sign it for ya!”
- Aethel shakes his head and leaves. Once outside, he shreds the document he was handed.
- Aragon follows
Aragon: “Really? This is what passes for entertainment in this foul city? Selling your soul for gold?”
Aethel: “I think they could have made that entertaining without being insulting.”
The two Elves leave the establishment, and see a few other folk who were also uncomfortable with the thought of ‘selling their souls’
Bodil: what pooftahs!
Back inside, the games continue.
Several games are drawn over to the Bounder Table…
“Bounder, Bounder, Bounder! No doubles, no doubles!”
Bodil: bounder, my specailty!
Snargash: After watching the exchanges quietly, I shrug and sign my name
||Bounder is a dice game where the player and the dealer both roll dice. The player rolls two strangely shaped dice marked with 20 sides. The dealer rolls 3 traditional dice.
All players start the game by placing their initial bet (minimum 1$). Each player then rolls one of their dice, making their ‘point.’ After each player has made their ‘point,’ they have the option of doubling their bet.
The Dealer then rolls his three dice. Any player who’s point matches the dealers total loses his stake.
The remaining players then roll their second die, making their second ‘point.’ If any players two ‘points’ are on both sides of the dealers total, he ‘bounds’ the dealer and wins an amount equal to his stake, otherwise he loses his stake. If a players ‘points’ are 1 and 20, his winnings are double.||
As the two Elves begin to walk away, the bouncer sticks his head out the door and calls to them, “Come on boys, come back in, Ill sneak you in! Its gonna be a fun night!”
- Aragon looks at Aethel. “I am curious, and if we don’t have to sign… I’d be up for it if you are.”
Bodil: me me me
- Aethel sighs
Aethel: “Well, If we don’t need to sign anything, I’m willing to stay longer”
Aethel: “What say you Aragon?”
Aragon: "Maybe you explain this game “Bounder” to me.
The two Elves re-enter the Gold Goblin and end up at a Bounder table with a group of strangers. Aragon notices the incredibly ugly Half Orc he met recently.
- Bodil tips the waitress, “hey sweets, bring those two pigeons over here…..we’ll teach them how to play…and lose!”
Bounder Dealer: Ok, everybody. Are you ready to play some Bounder?
- Guy shrugs. “Very well.”
Aragon: “By my swords! Aethel, you must meet Snargash. Face as ugly as sin, but with the voice of an angel! Snargash! Hail and well met! What brings you to this retched hive of scum and villainy?”
Snargash: I turn, grinning, “Good to see you”
Aethel: “hi… um.. Snargash was it?”
- Bodil watches the exchanges between all folks at his table, keeping an eye on body movements and facial reactions, trying to read them (not that he knows how)
Ajax has received initiative.
Aethel: "Well, I’m OK with a lute, but I’m not really that good at singing myself.
- Bounder Dealer hands Aragon his die.
Snargash: “An orphanage to the south burned dwon, I don’t have enough money to really help them. Not yet at any rate. . .”
- Aragon lays down $10
Bounder Dealer: Roll the die, Elf.
- Bodil watches this ‘snargash’ closley
Aethel: Aethel places his bet of 5$ and throws the Bounder die, getting a 11.
aragon: aragon places his bet of 10$ and throws the Bounder die, getting a 6.
Snargash: I bow to the new-comer" Snargash Windblown Sir."
Snargash: I bet 1$
Snargash: Snargash places his bet of 1$ and throws the Bounder die, getting a 13.
Bodil: oh, c ya doll
- Bounder Dealer passes the dice to Bodi
- Bodil takes the dice, a strapping young man, dark hair, attractive and a fit, athletic build to him. Wearing brown leathers, he has a rapier and knives on his waist as well as a heavy cloak over his shoulders
Bodi: Bodi places his bet of 5$ and throws the Bounder die, getting a 19.
- Bounder Dealer passes the dice to Guy.
Guy: Guy places his bet of 20$ and throws the Bounder die, getting a 10.
- Bounder Dealer passes the dice to Shayla.
Shayla: Shayla places his bet of 5$ and throws the Bounder die, getting a 10.
Bounder Dealer: The dealer rolls his dice and gets a 8.
Bounder Dealer: No losers.. any one want to double their bet?
Bodil: I got ya right here
- Bounder Dealer winks at Bodi
- Guy shakes his head. “Not this time, I think.”
Snargash: I will
Bounder Dealer: Oh, I see you are a high roller.
- Bounder Dealer looks at Guy and Shayla.
Shayla: What the Hells, Ill double.
Snargash: I smile at her – “The orphans need new shoes”
Bodil: orphans, huh?
Bounder Dealer: Those with double bets go first.
- Bounder Dealer passes the dice to Bodi.
Bodi: Bodi places his bet of 5$ and throws the Bounder die, getting a 10.
Bounder Dealer: Owww. A loser.
- Bounder Dealer collects the coins in front of Bodi.
- Bounder Dealer passes the dice to Snargash.
Snargash: “Morning, Noon and Night!”
Snargash: Snargash places his bet of 1$ and throws the Bounder die, getting a 13.
Bounder Dealer: Wow, another loser. So sad for those orphans.
Shayla: Shayla places his bet of 5$ and throws the Bounder die, getting a 14.
- Bounder Dealer passes the dice to Guy
- Bodil looks over at Shayla. “Looks like its not our night doll”
Guy: Guy places his bet of 20$ and throws the Bounder die, getting a 19.
- Guy sighs theatricly.
- Bounder Dealer passes the dice to Aethyl.
Aethel: Aethel places his bet of 0$ and throws the Bounder die, getting a 19.
- Bounder Dealer passes the dice to Aragon.
Bounder Dealer: Tough table, sorry everyone.
aragon: aragon places his bet of 10$ and throws the Bounder die, getting a 1.
- Bodil laughs at the dealer. How about I win this next hand dear, you and I meet for drinks later?
- Bounder Dealer looks at Bodi.. “maybe”
- Bodil winks
- Bounder Dealer collects all of the coins and waves as everyone hurries from the table.
Aragon: Ah, well, easy come, easy go. I need to find work in town soon anyway.
The gaming continues for some time, everyone wins some, everyone loses some.
Everyone’s attention is called to the cente of the gaming hall when a scruffy looking sailor jumps up from his table and bellows out “I won, I won, HOT DAMN, I won!”
- Aethel wanders over to get a better look at “Old Scratch”
- Bodil rolls his eyes. Oh that’s just great.
As he holds his hands up in the air, there is a sudden, blinding flash of light filling the room.
- Aragon stands and makes sure he’s got room around him
Bodil: “What the….”
The flash of light is disoriented, blinding some and making it hard to focus for others. Ajax and Shayla are both temporarily blinded while everyone else is stumbling with unfocused vision.
Guy: Ack! What the-?
People start shouting and yelling. You hear “This is a stick up, dont any of you motherfucker even move!”
- Bodil holds hands to his money belt
- Bodil also tries to swipe a few coins off the table
- Ajax tries to locate the voice
- Aragon moves to Aethel’s side.
- Guy looks around for the nearest dice. They seemed pretty close in size and shape to pebbles…
Several gamblers jump to their feet and draw swords.
Bodil: You mean you assholes planned this?
Aragon: “Aethel, Snargash, perhaps we should be getting out of here?”
Snargash: You could be right
Aethel: “Aye, it seems a good plan to find our way out”
Bodil: Great, some jerks decide they’re gonna swipe our loot? Not without a fight if I have ahnything to say about it!
An ugly sailor looking fellow continues to yell. "Everyone on the floor and nobody gets hurt! "
- Aethel tries to figure out who is doing the “stick up” and who is about to start fighting them
A fight breaks out across the room between some bouncers and some bandits.
- Bodil slowly curls part of his cloak into his left hand
Immediately the room erupts into chaos as patrons begin to either flee or draw weapons.
Bodil: That’s the exit cue! Thanks for playing!
Snargash: The city’s as warm and welcoming as I remember. . .
Several of the bandits begin approaching the area where you all happen to be.
- Bodil slides past the table, attempting to snatch some coins unseen
- Aragon stands in their path, waiting until they come into range.
- Guy locks his eyes on the bandit that seems to be approaching closest to him.
- Aethel begins casting and forms lightning in his hand
You see one of the bandits hop up onto the podium, strike a guard with a crackling wand and then turn his attentions to the chest of gold.
Ajax has received initiative.
The wand wielding fellow speaks some soft words and points the wand at the chest of gold and it suddenly vanishes.
- Bodil keeps moving, keeping close to Shayla and the dealer girl (to sort of protect them)
- Bodil draws his rapier
Bodi: || Bodi’s turn is over.||
Shayla: Bet out of my way, you idiot!
Aethel: || Aethel’s current maneuver is Concentrate
Current Shock modifier is -0 ||
- Aethel concentrates and brings forth Lightning to hold in his hand… « 3d6 = 11 » vs 16
Aethel: || Aethel’s turn is over.||
A group of bandits approaches you. One of them calls out, “Drop yer weapons and get on the floor, like I said!”
- Aragon steps past Aethel, fast-draws his swords and waits. To the request to drop his swords, he sneers “I drop these swords for no one.”
Guy: || Guy’s current maneuver is Concentrate
Current Shock modifier is -0 ||
- Guy will TK Bullet a nearby die into Gambler 66. ((skill 17))
Guy: || Guy’s turn is over.||
Aethel: (( aragon probably would have changed facing there too… ))
- Shayla steps around Bodi and readies her bow.
One of the dice from the Bounder table flies up and hits the approaching bandit in the chest.
Each of the bandits carries a heavy curved sword in his hand.
Snargash: I put the end of my staff to my mouth and begin blowing a low drone
- Shayla reaches down on the podium and grabs something off the floor.
Snargash: And I begin coughing. . .
Suddenly the floor underneath your feet becomes sticky and you cannot move!
The bandits continue to advance, but they too, get stuck in the glue, unable to approach any closer!
Ajax thrusts his spear at the approaching bandit.
- Aragon smiles as a bandit comes in range and flicks one sword out at his torso.
Aragon: “Ah ah ah – you don’t want to come any closer…”
-——— Session End -—- #1 -—— 020512 -———