(1310-10-29) In Which Adeline Learns To Gamble
Summary: Adeline goes looking for a rare good time and stumbles upon a bored Courtesan eager for a distraction from book keeping!
RL Date: Oct 29, 1310
Related: None
adeline veronique 

House Glycine, Gambling Hall

The Gambling Hall of La Glycine dazzles on first entry with cut crystal chandeliers which catch the soft light and set the place sparkling. Beneath four of the largest chandeliers are wide octagonal gaming tables in glistening, polished mahogany, inset with a panel of gently padded green velvet to provide easier gaming surfaces for dice, cards or dominoes. Seating is the height of luxury, deep, buttery leather chairs, lounges, loveseats, for any who want to play or watch, alone, or with company. Along the left wall of the room, a raised mahogany platform swells with a sultry curve, a massive spinning wheel attached to the lefthand wall closer to the door, pie-slices of variegated silks making a striking display of fluttering colors when the wheel spins. Three different indicators chime as they're plucked by the pegs which separate out each segment of the wheel, creating a musical whirling to drive up anticipation of what color might land at what indicator — and who might have to pay what penalty in this particular game.

Beyond the curve of the swollen stage on the northern wall a short passage with three stairs leads down into a more dimly lit chamber. The floor is rugged, rusticated stone rather than the polished mahogany and soft carpets of the antechamber. The couches are of the same buttery leather, arranged around a wide but shallow squared pit, around which velveteen cords have been strung from a series of posts. A massive chalkboard on the southern wall lists upcoming fight nights and events, turtle races, greased pig wrangling, mud wrestling, sparring with swords between members of the nobility. Odds are posted for wins, as well as other myriad possibilities for each event. The books are tended and the odds adjusted twenty four hours a day by one of Bryony's courtesans, so the fun here is not limited to events themselves.

When looking out of the windows, you see: It is a fall day. The weather is cool and drizzling.


It's a slow evening in the Gambling Hall of the Glycine, or at least as 'slow' as evenings get around here. Novices take their turns practicing honing their skills on patrons while people mill about and enjoy various indulgences. Food, wine, in some cases other various intoxicants can all be found easily enough, desite the somewhat-thinned throngs. Games of chance and games of skill are in abundance, and money is flowing like wine.

With most of it going to the House, naturally.

And through it all a very, very bored-looking Veronique d'Aiglemort sits behind an ornate table, doing the job she hates the absolute most: keeping the books. Why? Because it's her turn and she couldn't find any other half-competent sucker to do it for her, nor could she weasel her way out of it by claiming she has an assignment. Her life is usually dope, and she does dope shit.

But not tonight. No, not tonight.

The young, dark-haired vixen casually trims her nails, resplendent in her dark violet dress that hugs her lithe body just so, as if it was tailored specifically for her. Because it absolutely was. Her down-cast lashes bespeak of her utter disdain for her current activity, occasionally lifting them to when someone needs more credit, or a younger member requires advice on various things related to the gambling hall.

And she, the premier gambler herself, chained to a desk! FIE THIS LIFE!

But mostly fie this lousy book, the brunette thinks as she tosses her nail trimmer aside petulantly and sinks forward. Her chin comes to rest on her palm, and her elbow to rest, in turn on the table as she sits there, with none of the refined posture she was taught, sulking her boredom away.

"Excuse me."

The next person to come to the desk is not exactly the run-of-the-mill fare that shuffles into the Gambling House. Adeline, rather, looks dreadfully out of place. Whatever perfume she tossed onto her robe before coming down can't hide the smell of leather and iron about her, and it is very likely that the scent is coming from what she's wearing underneath. It'd be easy to presume her a Camaeline, but for the fact that she wears House Mereliot's crest.

"Recommendation on a table?"

She sounds nervous. Nervous people are easy to hear. She doesn't look nervous, but the calm, icy exterior isn't enough to hide the way she looks about furtively. Is that table lucky? What about that one? Thoughts that race do not belong in the mind of a woman who wants to win money. She needs to be chill as fuck, and that ain't her, under the thick coating of emotional snow. Not her hair or face — the metaphorical — aw, fuck it.

Adeline looks serious as she waits for the answer.

Dark eyes flick up at the two simple words that jar their way through her intense concentration on looking as unenthused as possible in the hopes that someone, anyone, would rescue Veronique from this nightmare that is book keeping. She should be over there, milking the high rollers! Instead of that sketchy skank loser Bianca who can't tell her odds from her ass.

Immaculately-plucked, thin brows raise towards the brunette's shadowy hairline as she looks at the one addressing her. Eyes droop to the crest, then back to the woman's face. Nostrils flair.

Out of place would be an understatement. Woefully out of place. And belonging to a noble family. Can you say… 'Mark'?

"Tut tut tut tut tut!" Veronique chides as she turns, pulling one of the young ladies who has not yet earned her Marque away from delivering a tray of delicate drinks. She smiles widely, taking the tray from the young woman's hands. "I will take care of this! You need to take care of THIS!" The gambling Courtesan indicates the chair and desk with her chin, before stepping away lest the evil little underling refuse to do as bid.

Can not leave the books unmanned, after all!

Veronique lifts prim little nose in the air and flips her fabulous head of hair over her shoulder as she holds the tray aloft with one arm, snaking her other into Adeline's. "Come along, dear. We will find you a spot that is fruitful and fortuitous! What is your name, mm? And more importantly, darling, what is your game?" The questions practically purr out of the Courtesan's throat as she leads Adeline away from the book-keeping area with a hip-swaying gait, expertly holding the drinks aloft as if they weren't even there.

"Dice."

There's a flicker of annoyance that passes by Adeline's eyes. It happens when the word 'dear'pops up. For, you see, this mark, she apparently doesn't consider herself a 'dear'. No, she is a very serious woman, and those are the best kind of marks. Or, so the theory goes, as has been demonstrated many times. Quod erat demonstravit, all of that.

And 'darling' doesn't seem to improve her mood.

Mark or not, Adeline follows Veronique wordlessly, as a good soldier ought to. "What is your name?" She speaks plainly and to the point too, as a good soldier ought to. No doubt, her armor and sword — yes, there's a sword under her robe, which gently strays out when she walks — are probably well-kept and sharp. Definitely someone who enjoys the military fashion, and probably does not wear it for show.

And, lo, as she walks, Adeline surveys the field.

Ah, she is a smart soldier, then. Not the brutish, lusty sort that likes to feel like a big man when he wins. Not the weaselly, sly sort who thinks he is smarter than he is. No, she is a smart soldier, somehow. Purposeful. A leader? Perhaps she has some sort of rank, judging from how she walks slowly, sternly, and with that sort of chutzpah that veteran commanders have.

She seems to be more comfortable now.

"You ask me without telling me yours?" Veronique scoffs playfully, as she leads Adeline far enough away from the desk that she can't be called back. The tray of drinks is set… somewhere. On some random table, the closest one she could find. Abandoned. Those orders are never getting filled. That's now officially in the realm of Someone Else's Problem.

"I am Veronique d'Aiglemort. And you?"

The dark-haired gambler's hips roll with every step as they bypass card games, games of guessing, and other assorted merriments and debauchery. People playing games, playing with other people, all the sorts of things one would expect to go on in a Holy House of Whores, especially where wine and money flow through. It's no Rose, to be sure, but hedonism is still found aplenty.

Veronique hangs onto Adeline's arm with both of her hands, one linked through, the other resting on her elbow as she leads through the darts, through the orgy, and towards the game of six-sided chance. "Ah, dice. Liar's dice? I'm not sure you have the temperment for it. And yet, I find it the easiest of the bunch. If you can but deceive convincingly, victory is yours, as are the spoils."

The brunette comes to a stop, resting one hand on Adeline's shoulder as they survey a game. "It's like a battle that way, no?" She smiles that impish smile of delight and devilry, her eyes sparkling with mischief. "It is all about reading your enemies, knowing them, how they think and act. And if you can do that, slaying them is no more of a challenge than picking up your sword. But those who can not, well, there are many losers here, love. Only one takes the prize."

"What do you say, mm?" Her hand rubs softly up and down the armed woman's bicep. "Shall we try? This is more a game of skill than chance, but there are some games we can play if you prefer blind luck."

The Lady in Blue is all business tonight.

"It is." She doesn't necessarily agree with Veronique's assessment as to the similarities between gambling and war. "But there is more to battle than just the surveying and the gambits. Thinking that your opponent is trying to win a battle is often the first step to losing it." Adeline looks down to where her bicep is held. And, yes, under that robe and armor, there is probably a meaty bit of arm to be held.

Her eyes twinkle for a moment, when she smiles briefly.

"I am Adeline Mereliot." Surely, there is more to it than that. Perhaps 'Cold-Ass Commander of the Eastern Front'. Maybe 'Foolish Woman Getting Too Big for her Breeches'. "And, why don't you take me to where you think I may have the most fun?" Beat. "That is why men and women come here, right? To have fun?" There is a note of dryness in her words. "I can't imagine what else they could be looking for here."

Her smile fades.

"I'm interested in seeing whether you can take my mind out from under the weight it bears, m'lady d'Aiglemort." She half-turns to eye Veronique seriously. "Surely, with that name, you understand that sort of travails that beset a soldier?" Adeline doesn't talk like a soldier. No, she's definitely a little more than one. And she's looking at Veronique with the sort of interest that might suggest analysis instead of sexual interest.

She probably needs a drink to loosen up.

"Oh, Adeline, it is a COMPLETE mystery why they come here." Veronique intones with the largest look of utter innocence anyone has every given to another human being on this Earth. So innocent, her big doe eyes radiate with it as she looks pointedly over at an orgy happening upon some tiered cushions. Then across to the other side, where people laugh and drink and lose incredible sums of money. Then back to the armed and armored woman. "So very, very mysterious."

With a tender smile, like a woman might give a child who has wandered into her care, the Courtesan reaches up to run her fingers through the Merliot's hair, then uses her forefinger to lightly tap her on the nose as she breaks into that radiant smile again. It is not a beautiful and mesmerizing smile, but is infectious with a certain charm that typically makes one want to smile back.

If they weren't a cold-ass Commander of the Eastern Front, that is.

Veronique half-turns as a serving Courtesan walks by, snatching a goblet of maroon liquid from it. Her other hand takes Adeline's wrist, lifting it to press the goblet into it. "Then this is our game. You have only to listen to me, and I will be your guide not only into merriment, but riches. Yes. Yes. Drink up."

The brunette's fingertips touch the bottom of the goblet to gently try and push it towards Adeline's lips and tilts it into her mouth. And she doesn't stop until the other woman forcefully pulls it away or the liquid is gone.

"Take a seat." Subtly, Veronique slips just a bit behind the noblewoman, hands on Adeline's hips, pushing her gently forward, her chin touching shoulder to whisper into her ear. "Do you need an explanation of how the game is played? It's very sociable. The more you banter, the more you learn about the other players. The more you learn about them, the easier they are to read. We will have fun here, Adeline. I will make sure of it!"

Adeline breaks first.

She smiles again when she's tapped on the nose. She even snickers, her lips cracking open into a wide, toothy grin. The white-haired lady could break a heart or two — without her mace — if she smiled more. Maybe shed whatever weight she perceives on a regular basis. It's easy to see the flush that comes to her cheeks; pale-ass skin can't hide shit without a good foundation on it, which she does not have.

"You have me."

The soldier takes her seat where indicated. And she drinks as indicated; actually, she takes the goblet, tips it up, and drinks the entire fucking thing in one, two, three seconds. Like a good soldier should. "Tell me what to do," Adeline asks of Veronique, tilting her head back a little as she puts the goblet down on the table near her. "No, wait. Sit with me." She pats her thigh twice, and reaches into her robe for something.

A fat pouch of coin, liberally dropped with a thud on the table, and signalling that it is time to make money.

"Gentlemen, Ladies." Veronique addresses those already seated with a flourishing smile as Adeline joins them at the table. A half-dozen or so are gathered around it, each with a cup and several dice. "May I present Adeline Merliot. You don't mind if we join you, do you?" The heavy sack of coin hits the table. "We shall just watch for a round or two!"

As the soldier pats her thigh, Veronique laughs, a light thing, much like her smile, not beautiful, but infectious and genuine-sounding in a House full of people who fake it all too often. She slides into the other woman's lap, almost oozes against her like a liquid, her weight warm and light as she perches on one side of the soldier. One arm goes around Adeline's shoulder, her fingers resting lightly against her neck, caressing skin softly, at times reaching up to toy with the noblewoman's hair.

Her other hand reaches for the coin purse, pulling at its strings to open it without looking as she leans her lithe body into the soldier's side to whisper in her ear, breath and lips tickling the outer shell. "The game is simple: When it is your turn, you have two options. Raise the face number of the dice. Raise the number of dice. Every time you raise, you put in another ante, and so the pot grows and grows until someone is a liar. At any time, you may call someone a liar. If you are wrong, you are out of the hand. If you are correct, you win the pot."

A tongue, warm and wet, flick fleetingly against that ear. "My fee is twenty percent of the winnings. I will take nothing if you follow my advice and lose."

The current hand continues as Veronique signals for another drink for the soldier, taking the goblet and pressing it into her hand as it arrives. The gambler smirks when a patron, under the auspices of another courtesan fervently whispering in his ear, takes his remaining money and quits the table before Adeline and Veronique can join the game proper.

As the next hand is being set up, the Courtesan once again tucks her head in against Adeline's to murmur to her. "Can you feel my hand?" The fingers caressing the back of the nobelwoman's neck tap. "Count the fingers, love. First the face number, then the dice number. Like so." She taps three fingers lightly against Adeline's spine. Then two. "This is how I will tell you to raise. I will let you know who is lying and when. Just don't forget to have fun."

"And drink up!" The last bit is said loudly as she lifts Adeline's goblet above the table, rousing a chorus of cheers before she turns to feed her client for the eve more wine.

They win. They win a LOT of money that night.

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