Intrepid Heroes : 3

The Original 'Intrepid Heroes'

by Edeyn Hannah Blackeney
parte the third

Average Day for WE

The jerkin was a lot cheaper than he had thought it would be, but WE didn't let the little gnome leech know that. Parasites, the entire gnomish race. Why couldn't they be USEFUL like the Halflings, Elves, and Dwarves? If you're gonna be non-human and decide to live in human lands, at LEAST learn to speak the language intelligibly. They're always so fast -- why such a hurry? If you asked him, nothing to hurry to but death... so take your time. It fit comfortably, though. Maybe that's the use of gnomes. An entire race of seamstresses. But that's a stupid thought. Now that he was properly dressed -- the shade of green in the new jerkin set off his boots and hat fetchingly -- it was time to see about funds. He leaned against the wall and spotted her. Well-dressed halfling woman... cute, too, if you were into that kinda thing. Halfling cooking... he nodded to himself as he decided to get a meal out of her before fleecing her with the standard grift.

He lightly pushed off from the wall and took two steps before being tackled.

"There's the cheatin' son of a whore! You got him, Wentzel?" came a loud boorish -- [Aw, no...] he thought, [Moronic little dicer from this morning.]

Putting on his most placating smile he pushed the lout that was on him -- Wentzel? -- off and stood, brushing off his new jerkin, noticing the lack of damage and being pleased by the craftmanship. "What is this about, gentlemen?" he asked reasonably, more for the benefit of the growing crowd of potential witnesses. Polite always stuck in folks' minds.

"You know dadgummed well what this is --" began the Moron -- let's call him 'Otis.'

"Now, now, brother, calm down," came a woman's voice interrupting him. "You were dicing. Do you have proof he cheated? Whose dice were they?"

"Well, MINE, of course! Lookit him! Anyone dressed like such a dandy down at the gaming alley has to be untrustworthy. No way was I gonna even let him offer to use his own dice," spluttered a still-outraged Otis.

"Okay, then... if he used your dice, how did he cheat, brother dear?" she almost purred. Every man in the crowd -- and some of the women -- were hanging on every word spoken in that lovely voice.

"He... he threw them so that he would WIN!" Otis' clouded face spat.

There was a, well, a titter, that worked its way through the crowd now, and the two men holding WE's arms released him quietly.

Shaking her head, the woman with the crystalline voice said with the smile in her dulcet tones, "Um. That would be skill, dearheart, not cheating. He used YOUR dice and did nothing more than throw them successfully. How much gold do you owe him?"

Otis was in shock. His jaw went slack and the color drained away along with the rage at his sister's reasoning words. "Er. Skill, you say? Oh. That does change things a bit. I guess then we were playing double or nothing for 82 gold, so I guess that's... 164 gold."

"Not to be too contrary," came the tinny and weak tenor voice from WE that embarrassed him so often, "but the 164 gold was the time just before the last. It should be 328 gold, sir."

"That's your real voice? I thought you were trying to make yourself look bad to a mark," chortled Otis as the smile began to return to his rotund features. It was, however, short-lived. "Unfortunate that I'm not counting that last throw then, mister sissy-voice, as I only HAVE 350 gold and I'm not about to give you nearly every --"

The woman meant to simply cut the bag off the belt, but not exactly being the cutpurse type, she got the bag, but her brother's pants were around his ankles with his belt cut. She tossed the entire bag to WE.

"Take it," she commanded as his reflexes snatched it out of the air. "Consider the extra 22 gold an apology and a guarantee that you'll not come after my brother for revenge."

Without another word she turned, ushering her short, fat brother in front of her, still yanking up his trousers. What crowd was left lost interest since there was to be no bloodshed, and dispersed itself.

Blinking, WE hefted the bag and frowned. He opened it and inside was almost entirely platinum. Which explained why it wasn't so heavy that... he shrugged and with a little twisting, dropped the bag as a whole into his own purse suspended on the inside of his pants. Well, his mark was gone, but now he didn't need one and his stomach decided to make it known that it was past tea and time for a substantial evening meal.

That's when the cart ran him down.

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