I’ll give the man some credit. I’ve never had someone pay off a bet that resulted in the destruction of their house before. Then again, I don’t know that I’ve ever won a bet by destroying someone’s house. And it was his trap, anyway.
That, and he put his life on the line for his little ‘test’. Most of the rich I’ve dealt with would have let that be some underling, or ensured that the whole thing was a ruse. I have no doubts that the Tool could have escaped at any time, but he still did expose his own actual precious little self.
He’s still a tool. Drake the Tool. And I don’t particularly care for being set up, especially when it’s to determine if I’m a useful enough tool or not. The rich love these sorts of games, pitting their pawns against each other, to get a few more coins in their bank – and I’ll be thrice damned if this whole situation doesn’t boil down to some rich slob wanting a few more coins.
Still, what they’re doing will – as usual – end up with a lot of people like me being ground between the wheels of their plots. Playing along is probably a good thing, at least for now. Maybe I can save some of the people, maybe I can take down some of the bastards. But I’ll be better off as a player in the game, even if I’m a player that’s also a piece.
Purity recognized the symbol and nodded at me. Good. Hopefully she’ll think that I knew what the symbol was – without having to have seen the daggers or ask about it. Let her have a little doubt. It’s good for those bastards to have a few questions about us, instead of all of them being the other way around. I probably missed some kind of code phrase or something to go with the symbol, though. Still, some chance is better than none.
These people want to use me. Fine. I’ll play along. I’ll let them believe that I buy into their lies, that I’m somehow going to be part of the ‘inner circle’ and privy to secrets. I know better than that – I’ll be told what they want me to know, to get me to do what they want me to do. But that’s still more than I’d know otherwise. And with luck, they won’t know that I’m onto their games.
So they can use me. And I’ll use them right back.
Delilah’s a good girl. You can trust someone from the streets, at least as much as you can trust anyone. I have no doubt she’d stab me in the back for the right price, but that’s a sort of trust in and of itself, isn’t it? Knowing how someone will act, and when they’re likely to betray you is its own sort of trust, and a lot more useful and dependable than the bullshit ‘I believe what they say’ kind. I think we can work together well. She seems to have not learned some of the lessons of the street, or has she? She was eager enough to jury-rig that trap.
Isobel’s one conflicted woman. I’ve never met someone that is both so eager to cross lines and so repulsed by the idea. Pick one, damnit, and learn that you do what’s necessary to survive, and everything else is negotiable. The woman was ready to yell at me for just questioning the old man, but she was more than willing to feed him one of her potions – and given her constant drunkenness, I don’t know that I’d trust her proportions. Still, she’s smart. I can probably use some of her potions or whatever to help with my illusions. And I have little doubt that they’d be of use in the future, especially if I don’t care if the recipient gets a poorly mixed one or not.
Drake and Purity’s needling of her was totally unnecessary. They set up the situation, and then used it as an excuse to get under her skin? Self-serving bastards.
Isobel seems to have gotten the impression that I’m weak, with the way she apologized to me. Damned armor coat. I’m going to have to convince her otherwise. Can’t have her thinking I’m potential prey – I’m pretty sure she’s a predator, even if she doesn’t realize it herself.
I still feel bad about the old man. Why couldn’t the bastard have just answered my questions? Most people are smart enough to not struggle too much when someone jumps out of the shadows and puts a knife at their throat. I’ve got a bad feeling that Thurgrim had something done to him… he was pretty quick to jump to the ‘well, now we’ve got to kill him’ conclusion. The man may have been an idiot, but he didn’t need to die.
Thurgrim’s one mean sonofabitch, but he hides it well. But he seems like the kind of mean sonofabitch that still believes in loyalty, so I’ll do my damnedest to make sure he thinks that I’m loyal to him. Mean sonofabitches are great, so long as they’re on your side, and pointed at someone else. I think keeping him drunk until somebody needs to have a judicious amount of violence applied to them is probably the best way to deal with him.
Eirlys and Wynfor… well, rich people. I trust them exactly not at all. Eirlys may know something of the old tales, though, and that may be useful. There’s too many legends of magic for it to not be real, or at least to not have been real. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that rumors are always founded on truth, no matter how distorted, broken, or misunderstood. Ignore them at your own peril.
Player notes: Yes, I realize that Thurgrim is probably the wealthiest character in the group ;)