The cups were set. The pea underneath. Now all what was needed was a bit of advertisement.
“Try your luck with this intense game of … luck!”
Iogairn winced and hoped no one noticed the cock up, as most of them were so deep in their ale cups. Fortunately this was the case- or at least no one cared- as a few drunks stumbled over to waste away their money. Iogairn smiled as the first sat down in the seat opposite and chose a cup, or gestured wildly in the direction of one, before he had even a chance to shuffle them.
“No, no my friend! You must wait until I have moved them, or else it wouldn’t be a contest!”
The drunk grunted unintelligibly and stared as keenly as possible at the cups, no doubt hoping they would turn over and fill with ale. Shor
, thought Iogairn, this one’s so drunk I don’t even need to cheat. I don’t even need to have the cups, I could take his money and he’d think he’d won
Even so, Iogairn shuffled the cups, and before the drunk could pick he murmured a spell under his breath. This turned the pea invisible just in the blind chance that the drunk could flail at the right cup, or even in the right direction. He didn’t, so Iogairn looked thoroughly chagrined and deep-hearted for the poor man then welcomed the next one with a bright smile and open arms. This continued for fifteen minutes, sometimes losing to make it realistic.
Then an Imperial walked in. This one was dressed in fine furs and silk. Iogairn grinned at the sight of new prey. Following this said Imperial, came two, gargantuan, Nords. The Imperial saw Iogairn and walked over with a sneer on his face. Best to rob the bastard blind
, thought Iogairn, because he’s obviously a bastard and obviously can afford it. I’ve met a few like that before
. Then as the Imperial walked closer, Iogairn realised he was one of those few. Bugger, I hope he's not going to recognise me.
But the determined way the Imperial walked towards him showed that he did. He was also angry. Yes
, though Iogairn, he definitely recognises me
“Hello there friend! Can I interest you in a game of…”
The two Nords had grabbed Iogairn’s shoulders and forced him against the wall. The tavern went quiet.
“Remember me?” the nasal voiced, poxy Imperial asked him.
“Of course, you’re the man I just asked for a game of chance with. Now if we could dispense with the ahh…” He nodded to the two titans holding him.
“Silence!” the Imperial virtually shrieked. Gods, they’re always so full of themselves
. “You cheated me in Leyawiin and I will have justice!”
Iogairn looked perplexed “Leyawiin sir? Never been. Too close to Black Marsh, Knatchian Flu and all that.” He added the last bit in an undertone with a knowing voice, as if he and the noble were the only two who new of the thing. Bring him into your confidence, make him your friend
. The Imperial stood there with a glazed expression for a few seconds until he triumphantly screamed,
“Then why is your face on a wanted poster for fraud”, ripping out of his a pocket a piece of tattered paper, with indeed, his likeness on it. Maybe the nose was a mite too long…
"I have hunted you all across Cyrodiil to reclaim my money!"
You really want to consider getting a job, or a at least something else to occupy his time.
Still he knew when he was beaten. “Oh yes! How could I forget; your obscene pox scars, or your chin- or lack of it- or even your stupidity of having fallen to so low a trick!”
Iogairn woke up, with a drastic pain in his head. And chest. And arms. And even his little toe. Looking back he marvelled at the skill of those Nords. They definitely knew how to inflict pain
. He looked around at the rather shabby establishment Peering out the window, and realised he was upstairs in the same tavern. A small balding man walked in holding a bottle of… something.
“Good, you’ve woken up. Now, drink this.” He held out the bottle.
“So soon, but we’ve hardly had time to get to know each other” he tried a smile but the man just shook his head briskly.
“Just drink the potion. I’ve got more injuries to attend to, all as stupid as yours”, he said, albeit with more swearing. Iogairn did so and felt as the liquid went down his body, tingling as it did. The bald man nodded. “Good, now unless you’re going to try and cheat me I will leave you in the care of my assistant. Claudia!” He yelled down the stairs. “She’ll be with you shortly” he grunted and walked out the room.
“Cheat you! I’m wounded.” Iogairn called after him in mock pain.
“Yes you are” the call replied. Iogairn chuckled. Doctors always had to have the last laugh. He patted his pockets then grimaced. They’d taken everything. Well this was a black cloud and no mistake
. Then the assistant walked in. Iogairn smiled as he found his silver lining…
Next: Volume II