Trinsic Tales:Metagame/Chapter 11
Chapter #11: Pawn Stars
<Capn_Ascii> "As we join our heroes, we find them thwarted by the most fiendish foe they've ever faced - foreign currency!"
- Miranor walks off grumpily and tries to find a mark to sell gold to.
<Sheona> "We're not gonna start one of those scam companies that sells gold to survivalists, are we?"
- Cade also scans the crowd for anyone who might buy gold.
- Jug waits patiently, leaning against the wall and idly spinning his chain in complex patterns.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: No good. All you can see is an elf in an expensive gold suit pulling up in a gleaming gold-trimmed Rolls Royce. He clearly doesn't need any.
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: You spot a group of 'adventurers' huddled around speaking to each other. It's hard to tell if they're 'real' or just people in costume, though.
- Miranor walks over to the group. "Hey, need gold?" Miranor flashes a coin. "I'm selling good, hard, Trinsic-minted gold."
<Capn_Ascii> On closer in spection, it's clear they're just teenagers in costume. Not even particularly good costumes, either...much of their outfits appear to be made of a combination of repurposed sports equipment, spray-painted styreofoam, and foil-wrapped cardboard. The apparant leader, a gawky teen boy in coke-bottle glasses and barbarian armor made from football shoulder pads, looks at you. "Oh, hi. What's this about gold
<Miranor> "I'm selling coins. I'll trade gold for cash."
<Capn_Ascii> "Huh, really? Usually it's the other way around. What've you got there, prop coins?" Another of the 'party', a petite girl wearing cleric armor made from old buckets and PVC pipe, speaks up. "Are they chocolate? I could go for some chocolate."
<Miranor> "Nope, just your standard prop. $80 for a stack."
<Capn_Ascii> "80 bucks? I could by *real* gold for that much!" You hand him one, and let him take a look. "Hmm. Actually, this isn't bad. Nice weight, good luster. You make these yourself?"
<Miranor> "Me and my friends, yeah. We, uh, need $80 for 4 tickets."
<Capn_Ascii> "Oh, I see. Couldn't get in the door, eh?" He eyes the coin. "This is *really* well made, actually. Okay, tell you what, define a 'stack' and we'll talk turkey."
- Cade hands five gold to Miranor to begin the "stack".
<Capn_Ascii> "...hey, wait a second!" The teen squints at the coin in his hand, then starts to scratch at it with his fingernail. The gold begins to peel off... "Hey! This *is* chocolate!" Sure enough, the coin's golden foil skin has given way to milk chocolatey goodness. "You trying to pull one over on us, man?"
- Miranor blinks, having seriously no idea where the chocolate came from.
- Cade blinks. "Where'd you get a chocolate coin from? Or was that one of mine? Where did *I* get a chocolate coin from?"
<Miranor> "I have no idea. This is bizarre."
<Capn_Ascii> "Ooh!" The petite girl snatches the coin and bites it, chewing with her cheeks puffed out like a chipmunk. "Oooh, this is good."
<Capn_Ascii> The leader looks at you pointedly. "Nice try, man. Maybe if you had something else worth buying, but I'm not paying 80 bucks for candy."
- Cade picks at one of the other coins to see if it's also chocolate.
- Miranor does so as well, frustrated now
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: This one seems real. Looks like Miranor got (un?)lucky and found the one fake coin in a stack of real ones.
- Cade hands Teen Leader the real coin. "Here, try this one."
<Capn_Ascii> "Nuh uh, man, I don't want your fake gold. If you don't have anything else to sell, we're outta here."
- Miranor sighs and walks off, looking for another group.
- Cade looks through his pack for things to sell. "Want some witch hazel? Err..." Cade stops and whispers in the guy's ear. "Viagra powder?"
<Jug> After a few more minutes of watching this, Jug finally asks the ticket seller, "Where's the nearest pawn shop?"
<Capn_Ascii> The petite girl looks pointedly at the geek, grinning. "Nah, he doesn't need any of tha--" "GAH! SHUT UP, PENNY!" The geek's face turns glowing red as he tries to disappear into his shoulder guards.
<Capn_Ascii> The other adventurers snicker and roll their eyes.
- Cade shrugs. "Ah well. It was a longshot; you're definitely not in the target age range for guys who want that." He waves and walks away from the group.
<Capn_Ascii> One of the other members of the party answers Jug. "1337 Pawnage is just around the corner there." He points.
- Jug heads to the pawn shop.
- Miranor wordlessly heads that way.
- Cade follows.
- Sheona tags along, also snickering
<Capn_Ascii> You end party chat, your party leaving their party behind, the leader trying to get his blood pressure down while his apparant girlfriend giggles at him. Leaving the parking lot (and the van) behind, you go around the corner and find yourselves in a small strip mall.
<Capn_Ascii> The pawn shop is nestled between a bridal outlet and a cigar store. The sign is huge and neon - hard to miss.
- Miranor heads on in
- Jug meanders on in.
- Nenni purrs on in.
<Capn_Ascii> Oh, right, Nenni's back. When did that happen?
- Nenni acts like nothing has happened.
<Capn_Ascii> Oh, well.
- Cade tries not to trip over the unexpected cat on the way into the pawn shop.
<Capn_Ascii> You enter the store. It looks not unlike a regular pawn shop, except for the eye-searing amounts of neon signage everywhere. There's arrows and stars and comic-book-style explosions in all sorts of colors, highlighting the shelves as if they held something more impressive than other peoples' old worthless crap.
<Capn_Ascii> There's a young man behind the counter who's dressed like some horrible reject from the 80s. Parachute pants, a day-glo vest, visor-style sunglasses and a mohawk. "Heeey! Welcome, dudes and ladies, to..." He strikes a pose. "LEET PAWNAGE!"
<Capn_Ascii> From somewhere in the store you hear an electric guitar riff.
- Sheona facepalms
- Jug heads up to the dude. "Dude, I've scored some sweet coinage and am in dire need of some lettuce instead. Think you can hook me up with an appraisal and some cash?"
- Miranor resolves not to talk and screw this up again
- Nenni spies a DVD on the shelves about some kind of Excellent Adventure involving Ted Theodore Logan and Bill Esquire. Or something.
- Cade watches Jug in amazement.
- Sheona double facepalms
- Jug murmurs, "I minored in l337 speak in college."
<Capn_Ascii> The guy throws Jug the devil horns with his hands. "Yo, dude, I gotcha covered! We totally buy coins here. What'cha got, broski?"
<Jug> "I got these totally awesome coins... I think they might be ACTUAL, like, GOLD, dude!" Jug takes three coins out and puts them on the counter. "What's your take, dude?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Hmm..." The guy removes his shades (from the bloodshot-ness of his eyes, he must stare at the neon all day long), pulls out a loupe, then bends over and examines the coins. After a couple of minutes. "Duuude, righteous! These totally *are* real gold and everything! Where'd you get these, bra?"
<Jug> "Oh, man... you won't BELIEVE this, but I was on some kind of TOTAL trip and when I came out the far side, DUDE, there they were!"
<Capn_Ascii> This goes on for a few minutes.
<Capn_Ascii> "'Fraid I only got a four hundred in cash in the till. That gonna be okay with you, bra?"
<Jug> "Well, I think..." He sighs, then says, "Yeah, that'll hook me up for a while. Thanks, man!"
<Capn_Ascii> "Killer! Later, taters!" He scoops up the coins and heads into the back room, presumably to put them in his safe...dude.
<Capn_Ascii> Jug: You've now got $400. What are you going to do with it, I wonder?
- Jug hands $20 to those who need to buy tickets. "All right, let's go."
- Miranor takes the $20 and heads back to the convention center
- Cade grins. "You have unexpected skills, Jug. Unexpected skills."
- Nenni slinks along, expecting he won't need to purchase a ticket if he can lurk behind ankles.
<Capn_Ascii> You return to the parking lot, which is in much the same crowded state you left it.
<Jug> "It hasn't come up a whole lot, really. But thanks."
- Cade walks up to the ticket vendor, hands him the $20, and says, "Ticket please."
- Nenni hides behind Cade's ankles.
<Nenni> ... or possibly his knees, as Cade is a dwarf.
<Capn_Ascii> "Ah, real money this time, I see. Here you go." He hands Cade a ticket.
<Capn_Ascii> He also hands Cade a wristband.
<Capn_Ascii> "Wear this, and you can get back in if you leave."
- Cade puts the bracelet on and looks around for a welcome/info table that will have maps and schedules.
- Miranor hands over $20 as well
- Jug pays and bracelets.
<Nenni> "$20 for that band? We could have offered $5 to anyone getting into their car in order to buy their bracelet second-hand!" Nenni thinks telepathically.
- Sheona also pays the $20
<Nenni> "They might even have been happy with chocolate."
<Capn_Ascii> "And you're all set. Try not to let your, uh, 'animal companion' there wander."
<Capn_Ascii> "Maps and program schedules can be found just inside."
- Cade heads inside.
- Sheona tags along
- Miranor goes inside
- Nenni acts like an Animal Companion, or what he assumes one must be like given the games he's lazily witnessed in the FLGS over the years.
<Capn_Ascii> You head inside, and...hoo boy. It's a nerd's Mecca in here. Dozens upon dozens of booths, vendors, stages, and of course, the requisite crowds of geeks and dorks walking around in cosplay. There must be over a thousand people in here.
<Capn_Ascii> There's a table near the door stacked with maps and pamphlets.
- Cade heads to the table and grabs a map and program schedule.
- Miranor follows
- Nenni looks at a map that has fallen on the floor beside one of the desk legs.
- Cade starts skimming through the program schedule.
- Jug grabs a map just in case and stuffs it in with his coinage.
<Capn_Ascii> The layout of the convention is fairly simple. Near the entrance are the various concession stands, then farther in is the vendor displays - all the people selling genuine authentic bootleg sci-fi and fantasy merchandise. Towards the middle are the event displays and various 'meet a star' booths, and then beyond *that*, toward the back, are the panel areas for things like interviews, preview vids, and the like.
- Nenni looks for any kind of one-shot roleplay tables, or a popup bookshop of fantasy novels and splatbooks.
<Capn_Ascii> There's an area off to the west that's set up for things like D&D, card tournaments, and such.
<Nenni> "Check it out - roleplay area to the West." suggests the cat.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: There's a seminar later this afternoon on 'The History of Paper Miniatures'...
<Cade> "Ok. Let's checkout the roleplay." Cade heads in that direction.
- Jug plays the following along song.
<Nenni> "With all the mad things written about fantasy cats in that library (it gave me quite a turn!) I'm curious to see if humans are equally as outlandish when writing about fantasy humans in this convention."
<Capn_Ascii> The moment you pass the concession area, you're bombarded with pushy booth vendors trying to sell you their junk. "How would you like to take home your very own pet Tribble?" "Original Boba Fett action figure, still mint in box!" "Genuine animation cells from your favorite animes!" "Leonard Nimoy's hair for sale!"
- Nenni racks his brain to see if he has an "Enforce Personal Space barrier" psionic ability available.
<Capn_Ascii> Jug: They're getting closer! You can feel your newly-aquired cash burning a hole in your pocket!
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: A short, round man interposes himself in your path. "You, sir, look like you could use a genuine Klingon bat'leth!"
<Capn_Ascii> He pulls out a curved sword and brandishes it like a martial artist wannabe.
- Jug heroically resists the syren call of overpriced food.
<Miranor> Miranor looks around furtively, then smirks. "Do you really think I would use that worthless Klingon crap?" Miranor points at his ear.
<Capn_Ascii> He looks at your ears. "Oh, why, you're absolutely right! How silly of me." He puts the sword away, then pulls out a gun-like weapon. "Then how about this genuine Romulan disruptor? Only one owner, a little old lady who only fired it on Sundays."
- Miranor rolls his eyes. "Sunday isn't even a day on Romulus. You're a moron." He moves on.
- Cade continues trying to make it through the crowd of vendors to the D&D tables.
<Capn_Ascii> "Butwaitsirifyoulljust--aw, dammit." He pouts, then goes back to his booth, where, bored, he takes aim at some targets hanging from the back of the booth. There's a loud *PEOW* and they all disappear in a flash of light.
<Capn_Ascii> You continue through the crowds towards the gaming area. When you arrive, you can see more than a few games in progress. D&D, Magic, Warhammer, just about every tabletop game is being played here in some capacity. There's over a hundred people here, either playing or spectating.
- Cade sighs and looks around for an odd parchment.
- Nenni is spooked by a terrifying cyborg being clutched by some dweeb arguing emphatically about whether her Furby is more closely related to Mogwai or Ewoks. The thing looks uncanny and occasionally makes a noise from its sinister beak.
<Capn_Ascii> Nenni: As you stare in horror, the Furby turns its cold, soulless eyes, staring directly at you.
<Capn_Ascii> IT SEES YOU.
- Nenni cowers, eyes fixated on its beak of torment +3, ready to flee if a threatening movement is detected.
<Capn_Ascii> The Furby's mouth slowly cracks open. "Frrrriiiieeeend..."
- Sheona shudders
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor, Cade: The two of you begin an exhaustively thorough sweep of the gaming area - meandering between tables, casually glancing at character sheets while trying to seem inconspicous.
<Capn_Ascii> It takes the better part of a half-hour to cover most of the area. Just as you're beginning to despair...there it is!
<Capn_Ascii> There, sitting on a display stand near the game tables, is a familiar-looking sheet of parchment in a wooden display box with a glass front.
- Miranor examines the parchment to see, first, who's sheet it is, and second, if anyone seems to be watching it
<Cade> "Oh great," Cade mutters. "Of course it has to be locked up on display."
- Nenni is still hiding under the bookshelves.
<Capn_Ascii> Nenni: You turn your head. There's a second, differently colored Furby right next to you. "Frrrriiiieeeend..."
- Nenni scrams like a lightning bolt.
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: You can see Jug's name on the sheet. The case is sitting on the end of a table full of various tabletop gaming merchandise, but there doesn't seem to be a vendor present at the moment.
- Miranor looks around for any sort of camera
<Nenni> Nenni runs under the gaming table(s) and out the other side and wedges himself in the middle of a postcard rack column.
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: Nope, no cameras in sight. Just dozens and dozens of eye witnesses.
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: You sense a presence behind you. "I see you have an eye for quality merchandise."
<Miranor> Miranor prepares to cast Wall of Smoke to prevent those eyewitnesses from noticing his actions... then winces as he realizes someone actively interested has spotted him.
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: You turn around. The man behind you is *huge*, in both height (he's at least 7 feet tall) and girth (nearly half as wide, almost all of it fat). He's got a neck beard, his hair is pulled back in a low ponytail, and he's wearing thick square-rim glasses that hide his eyes. His t-shirt says 'FEEL MY FORCE' on it, and he's wearing cargo shorts and a pair of sandals...with socks. My god.
<Capn_Ascii> "What can I do for you, potential customer?"
<Capn_Ascii> ---END SESSION---