Chapter 1: Everybody's ScrewedMature

(Originally posted by Xeranad on Fri Jul 24, 2009)

Burning Wheel Casino

"Alright everybody, we have a new player. Your name, kid?" The dealer asked.

Aria sat down and answered. "Aria Candenza. Pleasure."

"Alright, Aria, let me deal you a hand, then bet what ya got." He tossed her a hand, and she took a look.

Not bad... not bad at all. Two pairs... I could try to make a full house out of this. She thought to herself, then she rubbed the sides of the cards. No notches in the sides... and no stickers either. Seems honest. Still, I should keep my guard up.

The player right of the dealer made the first move. "Opening the bidding with 20 talons."

The player next to him folded, as did the one after him. The next one nodded. "I'll take that... and raise. 10 more talons."

The man next to him nodded as well, and smirked. There was something different about this one. "Called, and raised... by 50 talons." Everyone else at the table gaped. "What's the matter?" The man replied with a smirk. "Can't afford it?" The others grumbled and tossed it in.

Aria had a dilemma. She didn't have enough to pay it off. She put all of her talons on the table, and though of something she could raise that would give her an edge... then she had it. "Does anyone have a slip of paper?" The dealer looked at her, confused. He handed her a slip of paper, on which she wrote the following:

I, Aria Candenza, sell myself, body and soul and heart, to the owner of this deed, and shall become the wife/plaything/slave/concubine/etc. of said owner until freed from servitude or until death do us part.

Aria then pricked herself with her knife and signed her name on the parchement, then placed it onto the table with the talons. Everyone stared at her.

The dealer was the first to speak. "You're willing to sacrifice yourself, your freedom and your dignity, in a game of cards?!"

Aria smirked. "That's right." At that moment, the dealer, and everybody else at the table folded their hands. The ruse worked, and she thought she won... until she saw the man who raised the 50 talons from earlier. He was still there, a big smile on his face.

"Well, well, well... I'll take that bet." He leaned in closer, and she could see his face: he was a young man in his late twenties, possibly early thirties, had long silver hair that was rather untidy, and he wore a very expensive set of clothing. He smiled. "The name is Sal Sagev, and to me, everything in life is a gamble. I like you a lot... you got guts to bet your own soul on this game. Life's about taking chances... so let's see if this risk you made pays off."

Aria wasn't expecting this. Damn... what have I gotten myself into?

Elven Outpost

Dronel thought for a moment, then nodded. "Alright, your equipment will be returned to you immediatly. Shall we shake on it?" Dronel extended his hand, and before Conrad to accept it, someone came rushing in.

"Captain Dronel, sir?" The elf in question was a soldier, badly wounded, but still conscious. There was blood dripping down to the floor from his stomach, and he was breating heavily.

Dronel was shocked. "What happened to you?"

"Captain... it's him... the Stygians are attacking again... and their led by... him. GENERAL KOJIRO KOGA!"

Dronel's face suddenly paled. "The General Kojiro? Xeranad's own right hand man? The general who led the battle against the orcs, trolls, and dwarves and won... WITHOUT SUFFERING A SINGLE CASUALTY?!!"

The soldier nodded. "Yes... and he's just as deadly as the rumors said he was. He killed twenty men with one swipe of his weapon. I barely managed to get out alive..." With that, he passed out on the floor.

Dronel was in a panic. "Nurse! Get this soldier some treatment. Now! Leiutenant, gather as many of our troops as we can... we are not losing this outpost!" He turned to Conrad. "Looks like immediatly isn't good enough. Here." He tossed Conrad his equipment, and dashed out. Conrad followed behind him.

What he saw astounded him: Two Stygians riding on top of a giant scorpion. One was in control of the beast itself, using a chain to move it around. The other was dressed in armor that made him appear to be a dragon knight, weilding a deadly spear forged from evil magical energy, concentrated into crystals on both ends of the lance. Conrad saw that there were more doing the same thing, and also saw Stygians in the trees, firing off volley after volley of crossbow bolts. They were all being ordered by a man dressed in golden armor, with blond hair and green eyes. Around his arms were chains, and in his hands were twin blades that were attached to the chains.

An elf tried to attack him, but was immediatly cut down before he could get into striking distance: those weapons gave him an edge in the range department. Conrad watched in horror as elf after elf tried and failed, felled by the golden warrior's cold and ruthless attacks.

The End

119 comments about this story Feed