Trinsic Tales:Metagame/Chapter 12
Chapter #12: Ragequit
<Capn_Ascii> "As we join our heroes, we find them confronting a nerd's greatest fear - a bigger, nerdier nerd!"
<Miranor> Miranor smiles. "I'm interested in this sheet here. It looks cool."
- Cade watches the games in progress while Miranor haggles.
<Capn_Ascii> "This 'sheet'?" Uh oh, you recognize that condescending tone. "Sir, this is no mere 'sheet'! This is a genuine, one-of-a-kind original Dungeons and Dragons limited-issue pre-1st-Edition prototype character creation form, thank you." He gestures to the case.
<Miranor> "Exactly what I'm saying. It's awesome!"
- Miranor looks for a price tag.
<Capn_Ascii> He notices you looking for a tag. "If you're looking to buy, I hope you're prepared to haggle. I'm not letting this baby go cheap."
<Miranor> Miranor nods. "Very well. It's very rare and impressive... Fifty."
<Capn_Ascii> "Fifty!? Ahahaha! You ignorant plebian. There were only five of these *ever made*! Try a thousand."
<Miranor> "It's still just, ultimately, a piece of paper... seventy-five dollars and I'll throw in five gold coins, from the same edition," Miranor flashes a gold coin briefly.
<Capn_Ascii> "You are *severely* underestimating the value of this item, which leads me to believe you don't really appreciate what you're attempting to purchase here. And no one wants your gold coins, I have enough of those as it is." He gestures to a nearby table, where a bunch of coins occupy an obviously plastic treature chest. "If you do not take these negotiations seriously, I will be forced to shun you."
- Miranor looks over at the gold coins disdainfully. "Those coins are common trash. Have you even looked at these?" He plops one down on the table. "Here. As a token of goodwill. Have this one. And there's twelve more where that came from, and one hundred US dollars. This is good, but it's not *that* good."
<Capn_Ascii> He sighs, rolling his eyes. "I said, I don't want your..." However, he trails off when he sees the coin. "Hmm?" Interestingly, he pulls out a loupe and, just like the pawn shop dealer, closely inspects the coin. "...ah. I see." He seems to be doing his best to not show any emotion, but it's clear from the way his eye is twitching that he's barely holding back his greed. "You have a deal, good sir. If you will give me a moment, I will place your purchase under a spell of protection to be issued forthwith."
- Miranor nods. "Thank you."
- Miranor turns to Jug, hand out for the cash.
- Cade wanders back over just in time to hear the vendor's last words.
<Jug> Jug hands over a cool hundred dollars cash.
<Cade> "Why a spell of protection?" Cade whispers to the others.
- Miranor shrugs
<Cade> "Could that mean he's in cahoots with A.M.?"
<Miranor> "Let's not speculate."
<Capn_Ascii> After taking the case down and fiddling around beneath the counter, he produces the sheet in a protective comic book-style plastic cover. Oh, so that's what he meant.
- Cade looks relieved.
- Miranor nods, handing over the cash and gold, and taking the sheet.
- Cade hands Miranor 3gp as his share of the 12.
- Miranor smiles gratefully
<Nenni> Via telepathy, from his scared hiding spot in the nearby postcard rack, Nenni suggests, "If he was fiddling around behind the counter ... make sure it IS the genuine sheet and not a photocopy..."
- Miranor checks
- Cade looks at the sheet to make sure it is still old-y parchment instead of modern paper.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: Everything looks fine to y--heeeeey, waitaminute! This isn't the same sheet at all! It's for a character called Ascii the Cleric. Who the hell is that?
- Cade growls a deep dwarfy growl at the man. "Give us the real sheet."
- Miranor blinks and looks at it. "Yeah, this isn't worth a dollar, let alone the gold I spent. Real sheet or no deal."
- Miranor hands the thing back and menacingly fingers his bow.
<Capn_Ascii> "Excuse me? That sheet is one-hundred percent genuine!" He frowns, but then smiles a greasy smile. "Oh, you meant this *specific* sheet? I have multiples, so I gave you one of the others. I didn't realize you wanted my display model. That's going to complicate things somewhat."
<Miranor> "Oh yeah? You said something specific about 'only five ever made,' don't give me that crap. You know exactly what you have," Miranor growls at him. "Don't be a welcher."
<Capn_Ascii> "Now now, sir, I am no charlatan. If you wish, I shall refund your...ahem, generous monetary offer." Sure enough, he takes your cash and coins back out of the money box next to him and sets them in front of you. "But I'm afraid I can't let this particular item go for such a sum. It is far too...precious, wouldn't you agree?"
<Capn_Ascii> He assumes a (rather overexaggerated) 'thoughtful' look. "However..."
<Miranor> Miranor stares at him silently, waiting for him to finish.
<Capn_Ascii> He seems to roll a thought around in his head, then stands up. "I propose a contest of skill! If you can beat me at a game, I will let you have the sheet. I will even allow you to choose the game! As long as it is of the 'board' 'tabletop' or 'video' variety. None of that 'sports' business."
<Miranor> "Very well. I choose a tabletop game. It's a very simple one. It's called Nim, have you heard of it?"
- Miranor sets up the Nim board, using 12 of the coins on the table. "And I will even allow you to go first! Isn't that lovely!"
<Cade> "He's going to cheat, if he can," Cade says, not bothering to hide his voice.
<Miranor> "The game is simple. The 12 coins are here in a row. Each turn, you can take one, two, or three coins from the row. Whoever takes the last coin, wins!"
<Jug> "Gee, my proposal was going to be much simpler. I whack him with a 2x4" until he gives us what we paid for."
<Capn_Ascii> The neckbeard frowns. "I said a contest of skill, not a contest of deceit. You insult my intelligence, good sir. Please choose a proper game, or I shall have to recind my offer."
<Miranor> Miranor shrugs. "It was worth a try." He scans the counter for different games. No need to waste time by leaving the area.
<Cade> "I like Jug's idea better," Cade mutters, still glaring at the vendor.
- Miranor looks. That works. "Let's go with a classic then. Backgammon," he points at the board in question.
<Capn_Ascii> "Very well." He strikes a memetic pose. "Challenge accepted."
<Cade> "Can we get someone else's dice, to make sure they aren't weighted?"
- Miranor visibly glares at Cade. "Can you stop questioning this man's integrity? The best rolls aren't even linear."
- Cade stares back at Miranor. "But he ALREADY tried to cheat us. We KNOW he's a cheater."
<Nenni> Nenni uncurls himself from the postcard rack, no longer hounded by Furbies. and makes his way behind the gaming zone, zeroing in on the framed character sheet's location, using ankles for cover (using Urban Strider to move unimpeded at full speed through crowds)
- Miranor hisses at Cade. "Yes, well, and I already got him back for that, with my own attempt."
<Cade> "But fine," he grumbles. "If you don't think he's cheating with dice, then go play already."
<Capn_Ascii> "Hmmph. Although I resent your implications, I will allow this."
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: Some random con-goer next to you dressed like a random townsperson NPC offers you his dice.
- Miranor takes the dice
<Capn_Ascii> The game starts! Miranor takes an early lead.
<Capn_Ascii> Nenni: Soon you're standing at the base of the table the sheet's case is on. If you climb up from here, though, the nerd might see you.
- Cade stares at the game, mystified.
<Nenni> Nenni uses Cloud Mind on the nerd (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/cloudMind.htm) to be undetectable by him. Then he hops up onto the corner of the counter, not near the framed character sheet yet.
<Capn_Ascii> The game continues! Miranor's early lead has now become a lengthy gap between him and his opponent. The nerd is starting to sweat nervously!
<Capn_Ascii> Nenni: The nerd doesn't seem to notice you. He's too absorbed in the game.
<Capn_Ascii> The game enters its final stage! The nerd is clearly outmatched! He's struggling to remain composed while Miranor whips him.
<Nenni> Nenni watches the game and nonchalantly ambles closer to about a metre from the case, vivsible to the team but hidden from the charlatan. Via telepathy to Miranor he suggests, I'm not following the score, but if you scratch your hand, I'll spirit the sheet away.
<Capn_Ascii> Finally, it's over. Miranor raises the last checker and *clacks* it down with a sense of finality. The day is won.
<Capn_Ascii> The nerd looks at the game board. Then at you. Then at the game board. Then at you. Then at the game board.
- Nenni pounces
<Miranor> "Fifteen-ele... ohcrap."
<Capn_Ascii> With a thunderous clatter, the table completely upends itself as the nerd violently flips it upwards. Game pieces go flying everywhere.
- Miranor scratches his hand.
<Capn_Ascii> He points dramatically at you. "You CHEATED! You must have cheated! No one can defeat me!"
- Miranor looks at him with askance. "I've won the state backgammon championship twice. I'm just better than you."
- Nenni touches the framed character sheet and teleports into the van (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/dimensionDoorPsionic.htm)
<Capn_Ascii> Nenni: You open the case and grab the sheet, curling it up and wrapping it in your tail to hold it securely. You then teleport out to the--
<Capn_Ascii> Nenni: Ow! Something just shocked you. You didn't seem to go anywhere, either.
<Capn_Ascii> "Ah, a ringer. I should have guessed. You, sir, have taken advantage of my good nature and swindled me!"
<Cade> "A ringer?!" Cade objects. "YOU were the one who said ANY game! You can't back out of this now!"
<Miranor> "You challenged me to a contest of skill. Varying skill level happens. If you wanted to be sure of it, you should've picked the game yourself. Of course, then you would've cheated. It's obvious from your attitude now you have no intention of being reasonable."
- Cade unhooks his waraxe from his belt and holds it menacingly, without stepping any closer to Cheater Dude.
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor, Cade, and the nerd continue to argue, rather loudly. As Cade draws his weapon, some of the con-goers look concerned, but others seem to take it as a challenge. Some of the nearby cosplayers behind the nerd begin to nervously grasp at their (pretend) weapons, and in response, some of the ones behind Miranor do the same. Looks like a full-on riot is brewing.
<Capn_Ascii> Nenni: You feel a prickling sensation up the back of your neck, and for once it's not a Furby. You glance around for the offending stare-er...there! Off in the back of the crowd, towards the entrance to the gaming area. There's a man standing there wearing a familiar robe. It's the Archmage! He's here, and he's looking right at you!
- Nenni telepathically warns the team
<Miranor> Miranor looks around. "Time to bail," he mutters. He looks at the cat. "Get the thing. Let's bail. Out the back and around."
<Capn_Ascii> Interestingly, he doesn't seem to be approaching. He seems focused on the in-progress argument between Miranor and the nerd.
- Miranor sends to Nenni. "Take the case, get Cade and Jug, get it out of here, I'll keep the bad guy focused on me."
<Capn_Ascii> The nerd is still fuming, but now the voices of the other con-goers are getting louder as people start to take sides. "Hey, the new guy cheated, he's some kinda ringer!" "No way, man, it was a fair game! The guy lost, fair and square!" "You wouldn't know fair if it bit you on the ass!" "I'll show you fair, you jerk!" "Oh, what're you gonna do, hit me with your foam bat?" "It's a lightsaber, you jackass!"
- Cade attempts to grab the parchment, in the confusion.
<Nenni> to Miranor "Teleport fizzled probably due to Archmage. Probably need someone bigger than me to grab it and run."
<Miranor> Miranor keeps up the argument, on full taunt. "You just couldn't handle it. It's not MY fault you suck at one of the most classic of games! I saw at least five times you made suboptimal plays! Leaving something open in the 5 when you don't have to is just asking for problems! Don't blame me for you being garbage!"
<Miranor> Miranor sends to Nenni "Have Cade or Jug grab it and get it out of here. Go with them."
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: You give Nenni a hand, popping open the case. You (quickly) confirm that this is the *actual* sheet and not just another fake, before slipping it into your pocket. "Picard SUCKS! Kirk is the better captain!" "No way, man, Boba Fett would totally whip Darth Vader in a fight!" "Knights would stomp samurai into the floor!" "The Fourth Doctor is the only true Doctor!"
<Nenni> Since Cade is acting already, Nenni relays instruction to Jug
- Nenni was too slow
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: You glance back at the Archmage. Although most of his face is hidden beneath his hood, you can see a rather disturbing grin on his face. He raises a finger, and suddenly, you sense movement nearby. You turn back towards the nerd just in time to see one of the con-goers - a teenage fellow dressed like a barbarian - stumbling awkwardly. His sword (made from duct tape and plywood) lurches in his hand, as if someone was trying to snatch it away from him. He's unable to react before it hauls back and then swings forward, clocking one of the louder nearby arguers on the head. <more>
<Capn_Ascii> "Mother****er!" The bonked nerd turns around and takes a swing at his 'attacker' with a plush greatclub, smacking him upside the face. Other nearby con-goers see this and rally to both individuals' defense, and soon everyone is hitting everyone else. Angry yelling fills the area as open violence breaks out!
<Capn_Ascii> Within moments, the riot is in full swing, attendees viciously attacking each other. Well...
<Capn_Ascii> ...okay, maybe not *that* viciously. Between the fake weapons and the fact that most of the people here are 98-pound nerd weaklings, it's more like watching one big dorky slapfight. Still, though, they're really pissed off. The big nerd who just lost to you raises an arm. "Rally to me, my fellow dweebs! FOR GREAT JUSTICE!" His 'henchmen' attack the people behind Miranor.
- Miranor gets out of the way and seeks the exit, but will still make sure Cade makes it out moreso than him.
- Cade runs for the exit.
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: The other party members gather with you, and you begin pushing and elbowing your way through the crowd. Suddenly, your path is blocked by...!
<Capn_Ascii> ...a guy wearing a black bathrobe and wielding a double-ended red foam rod. He begins twirling it in a rather clumsy manner while making "Vrrm" noises with his mouth.
<Capn_Ascii> "You shall not pass! Vrrm, vrrm."
<Capn_Ascii> "Yeah, what he said."
<Capn_Ascii> A second nerd, this one cosplaying as Tron, steps up behind you, brandishing a blue frisbee.
<Capn_Ascii> The both of them circle you meneacingly.
<Miranor> "I feel obliged to warn you our weapons are handmade and actually functional, not the foam silliness and ordinary frisbee you are using. Mess with us at your peril."
<Cade> "Wanna feel the edge on my axe, boys?"
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: The Sith wannabe lunges at you in response! You effortlessly parry his strike and cleave his fake lightsaber in half with one blow.
<Capn_Ascii> He looks at it, then at you, then squeaks like a mouse and runs away. His frisbee-wielding friend sees this, looks Cade in the eye, shen grins sheepishly and scoots back into the crowd.
<Cade> "Nicely done!" Cade says to Miranor.
- Miranor smiles.
<Capn_Ascii> ---END SESSION---