(1310-11-03) In Which Luck Is Tested
Summary: Veronique gives Symon a few pointers about gambling. The always-scandalous Ondine interrupts them.
RL Date: Oct 03, 1310
Related: None
symon veronique ondine 

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.

The casino known as the Salon Glycine is open twenty four hours a day, rain or shine, forever taking people's money and giving them fleeting pleasures in flesh and coin in return. Though subdued during certain times of the day, come evenings, there is always some manner of festivities happening amongst the affluent members of society. Those with less fat wallets should seek their fortunes in tavern games of chance. Only those with money to lose need apply here.

Servants of Naamah slink through the throngs of people playing dice and cards and all manner of games of chance. They bring drinks and refreshments aplenty, dressed to catch eyes and attention, and offer other services one might expect from courtesans.

Veronique d'Aiglemort is one of these. As a fully-marked courtesan, she has much more free time and freedom to choose her assignments than most. She sashays through the crowd, her slender hips rolling with every step. Dark eyes flicker through the crowds, picking out likely winners who might fall prey to her machinations today to separate them from their coin and give them her gift in return. She isn't the most beautiful here, but her smile and the way her eyes light up when it shines is infectious enough.

One such young nobleman is deep in a game of chance, rolling dice in an esoteric game of chance which has others at the table betting on his outcomes. People cheer him on as Symon throws his dice, and cheer louder when he wins many of them big, though a few curse his very name in disgust as huge sums of money change hands while the dice are fetched back to him.

Soon enough the young man feels a hand on the back of his arm, which strokes gently upwards, coming to rest on his shoulder. The willowy form of Veronique is leans lightly into his side as she watches the table with an intense gaze, the money changing hands. Then her eyes flick up to his as she offers a small, tight-lipped smile.

"How do you fare at the games thus far, love? You seem to have a made a great deal of people here happy with that throw. I wonder… is it luck or skill, do you think?"

A sparkling room where one can sit comfortably and lose money: Symon's natural habitat. He is a very cheerful sort of gambler (perhaps a welcome break for those working here), taking losses and wins with equanimity and a smile. His gaze is brought up from the table and pile of coin when he feels a touch on his arm. He smiles at Veronique. "Oh, luck, assuredly," he says with a broad smile. "B-but either w…way, I'm winning. Here, come sit with m-me and touch the dice for luck." He shifts on the plush bench.

The dark-haired brunette's smile grows as Symon answers with luck, turning devilishly conspiratorial. Though her eyebrows inch towards her chocolate-colored hairline just a bit as he stammers. Her face tilts towards the table again, as if considering his offer, gears working behind those big, dark, doe eyes.

After a moment, she slides into the bench next to him, oozing into position like a liquid poured into form, every movement fluid and deliberate. One hand comes to rest on the back of the young nobleman, the other lightly touching her fingertips against the bottom of his hand to raise the dice up a bit. Veronique leans forward, eyes gently closing as she puckers her lips and presses a brief, damp kiss on the pair of small objects.

"For luck, then." The Courtesan pronounces as she sits back up staight, tilting her head while she aims a grin at Symon. Her hand finds the inner side of the thigh closest to him as she wriggles side to side in her seat in a bit of excitement as antiipation builds for the next through. She gives his leg a squeeze and bobs her eyebrows impishly at him.

"Away we go." She says with a flick of her eyes back towards the table.

Symon seems satisfied that his invitation has been accepted, and he smiles as his new companion charmingly bestows luck upon the dice. "P-perfect," he says, and throws the bet without taking away any of what is being wagered, though some who are placing some sub-wagers on his wager shout at him that he is being foolish. Still, the luck holds for now, and another win adds yet more coins to the pile, accompanied with a chorus of shouts of joy and groand of defeat. "Now," says Symon, turning to Veronique, "Do I b-bet all or half this time?"

Veronique's eyes flash as the dice are tossed, waiting for the tumbling to finish. By the time the little cudes have finished dancing, and come to rest showing their sides for all to see, Symon is once again declared the winner. The Courtsean cheers with the rest of them, snatching a goblet off of a passing tray to lift her drink in toast. The cup is quickly brought to her plush lips for a sip to be taken, and then lowered again, placed along the edge of the table.

The dark-haired vixen gives the inside of Symon's thigh a little pat as her gaze returns to his. The professional gambler in her knows the answer to this question. She knows the odds as easily as she knows how to keep breathing. For many games located here, the only way to win is not to play. Chance is the enemy of the gambler, the killer of fortunes.

But everyone loves the excitement of the risk, of not having to think, only having to play.

"Interesting question, dear. Do you continue and risk it all, or fall back to play it safe. Either call could be the prudent one. The fun lies in the uncertainty, does it not?"

The hand is removed from Symon's thigh, placed instead along his spine, creeping gently upward to rest on the back of his neck, her thumb caressing a small patch of flesh there, to tantalize and tease as she offers a wicked grin.

"What is life without a little chance. If you are going to live, then you should live with everything you've got, shouldn't you? Half of living means you're half dead. Take a chance. Do something you know you shouldn't. What happens might surprise you."

"Exactly right," Symon agrees, tone warmly approving, and lets this absolutely absurd bet ride. At this point, a number of people are worried that the wave has been rolling too long, and change their bets at this tempting of fate. Others have decided that the foolhardy nobleman is a lucky charm, and cannot lose. People switch bets, and then all there is left is to throw the dice. Symon rolls them in his hand and then throws them. They bounce across the table and come to rest—on an unfavorable number. A large groan is raised and coins are redistributed, mostly to the house. Symon throws his hands up at the groan. "Ah, well," he says, smiling half-ruefully at Veronique.

Veronique watches the dice roll expectantly, already knowing in her heart what is going to happen. If not on this throw, then certainly the next. When you toy with chance, sooner or later, chance will catch you. It is rarely kind when it does. The Courtesan lets out a little laugh as the numbers come up and a great groan rolls around the table.

Her fingers squeeze where Symon's shoulder meets his neck consolingly as she turns her look to him with a mirthful, phony look of sorrow. "Nothing is forever, darling. But for that heartbeat between when you let go of the dice and when they came to rest, everyone at this table felt excitement they will rarely recapture again. Alive with possibilities."

Veronique grins at the end of her philosophy lesson, before looking the nobleman up and down for seemingly the first time, leaning a little away and swanning her neck back as she does so. "I am Veronique d'Aiglemort no Glycine. And you?"

The brunette stands, slowly, her supple form rising easily in the shimmering, skin-hugging dress she wears. "Why do we not take ourselves to another game, that we may truly come to see and appreciate the difference between luck and skill." Her smile turns wickedly teasing as she offers her hand to place in his arm if he so chooses. "…If you have any."

"Yes," Symon agrees, more easily cheered than many losing gamblers. "I do love p-p-possibilities." He nods at her introduction. "Symon de P-Perigeux. Forgive me not p…pronouncing your name, b-but it might take hours." He stands, reaching to take up a goblet from a passing tray. "Oh, I haven't any skills," he says. "Ask anyone. B-but it /is/ time for a new game."

"Oh, it is a very boring name anyway. No need to pronounce it. You may call me by the pet name all my closest assigners call me…" Veronique leans in conspiratorily as she takes the nobleman's arm. "'Hey you'!" Grinning at her own joke, she gently guides the man away from the group games of dice, wheels, and chance, and towards the more focused area of skill.

Towards those tables where men and women play cards, liar's dice, and such, the mood grows only a bit more somber as those competing for each other's fortunes concentrate on not losing their own.

The dark-haired Courtesan runs her fingers through those chocolate locks as they pass by several games. Her shadowy, intelligent gaze surveys the assembled tables as she comes to a standstill, pausing while studying the piles of coins, as well as the players, both newcomers and regulars alike.

"Tell me, Symon de Perigeux…" Veronique turns towards the male in question, one eyebrow arched upwards as she tosses her head to one side to indicate one game, and lifts her chin in another direction to showcase a different one. "Are you into dice… or cards?"

Symon laughs appreciatively at the joke, smoothly crossing the room on the courtesan's arm. "Oh dear, the p-people over here are always so serious," he says, though he doesn't /really/ seem worried. He flashes a fresh smile. "As it happens, I like b-both. B…but since I have just had p-plenty of dice, I could enjoy a round of cards."

"Of course they are serious here, darling." Veronique mentions off-handedly as she takes Symon's wrist to begin tugging him towards the card game she has selected. "Those people over there have come for the excitement of uncertainty. To risk it all in the hopes of winning big. That is where the Salon is the winner."

The brunette gestures around them as she stops just short of the table. "Over here is where the people come to make money. This is the zero-sum side of the House. Where your winning means someone else losing. But don't worry, I will make sure we win, my dear Symon…"

Veronique reaches up with a pointed finger, squirming it around as she homes in on the tip of the nobleman's nose. "For twenty percent!"

With that, the Courtesan places her hands on Symon's back, gently urging him to be seated at the table with five other gentlemen in the midst of a current hand. Veronique, resplendent in her form-clinging violet dress, and Symon have just meandered away from the games of chance, towards those of skill, particularly to sit the noble down at a card game amidst the general revelry and chaos that is the gambling house of the Glycine.

"In return for your advice?" Symon replies. "W…well, naturally I accept." He seems the accepting sort. "Shall w…we p-play at kottabos, or is there a game you recommend for a b…better chance?"

Something about the nervous young man wrapped around Veronique's finger catches Ondine's attention, and she hops down from her seat at the lip of the stage and sashays over. Her golden curls are pulled back loosely, dancing and cascading around her shoulders as she moves. She wears a gauzy golden gown, cut daringly low, with glittering glass beads adorning the neckline. "Oh, my dear man," she says, peering down at him. "Were you not aware that our dear Veronique is a good luck charm?"

"Advice? More like commands, dearest Symon." Veronique says with a teasingly saucy smile, running the edge of a finger down the middle of the nobleman's chest. "Obey me well and I will have you walking out of here with your purse much heavier than when you walked in. All you need is a bit of patiene and discipline and the ablity to do as a woman tells you. You know, as all men should!"

he brunette laughs at her own joke, her smile light and infectious, the kind that typically makes other people want to laugh and smile along with her. It's sort of like her superpower. That, and being really, really good at gambling.

But a new voice cuts in, causing the brunette to twirl towards it and catch sight of Ondine, raising her eyebrows. She places one of her hands against her own chest, turning up her chin in mock offense. "Luck? You wound me, madame! A scurrilous slander! There is nothing 'lucky' about what I do. It is all numbers. Numbers and skill, and a bit of daring."

"But yes, Symon here might not think me so good of a luck charm." Veronique opines coyly as she slides her hand onto the male's shoulder and gives it a little rub. "I shall have to win his confidence back after convincing him to, let's say… make a sizeable 'donation' to Naamah over there at dice."

"Symon de Perigeux, this is Ondine, an absolute scandal of a person. Don't listen to a word she says! I will swindle you into debtor's prison if you're unfortunate enough to play against me."

Symon blinks at Veronique, looking perhaps more curious than titilated. "Oh, I /see/," he replies. "W…well. I /don't/ have any discipline, b-but let us give it a try even so," he consents. Then he turns at Ondine's question. "W…why yes, I /am/ aware," he replies. "She has b-been so kindly accompanying me." If he bears a grudge about the big bet he has just lost, it doesn't show. Veronique immediately draws his attention again, and he seems pleased to hear this warning. "Oh, then w…we m-must bring her along too, if she is scandalous."

Ondine preens a bit when Veronique calls her 'scandalous'. She doesn't confirm nor deny, just grins, catlike, resting a hand lightly on Symon's shoulder. "Daring /is/ testing one's luck," she says playfully to her fellow Glycine, nudging the other woman's shoulder with her own. "So, my dear, tell me about this charming lord who 'donated' so generously to Naamah," she says, the hand at Symon's shoulder moving to tousle his dark hair.

"That is true. Life without scandal would just be… polite. And how boring would that be?" Veronique acquiesces with a dramticly amused roll of her eyes, before her gaze lands back on Ondine. "I suppose it won't KILL me to have back up. But if we lose, just know that I am going to blame every bit of it on you!" Because nothing is ever Veronique's fault. EVER.

Not even when it really is.

"Well." The gambling Courtesan begins as she clasps one of Symon's arm with both of her own, one hand on his, the other taking his arm like a lady should. A seemingly innocent, if overly-familiar gesture that neatly just so happens to box the male in between them. They fall into the routine as easily as two cats toying with a mouse. "It just so happens that our fabulous wealthy, handsome, and charming Symon here was on a too-hot-to-believe winning streak."

"He asked me to bless his dice for him, and I obliged, as is only proper. After a little kiss to the pair for luck, he won yet again! Then this marvelous young man turned to me and asked what he should do next. Well, you know me, sister dearest." Veronique grins impishly, carving dimples into her cheeks as her eyes dance with mischief. "Of course I told him to live a little. Sadly Naamah was not with him a second time. Perhaps because I didn't kiss the dice again. So here we are."

The brunette gestures around them at the tables of cards. "Where I am either going to win him back some of his money, or convince him to part with yet more of it." One of the Courtesan's hands climbs smoothly up Symon's arm and back down as she flicks her large, dark eyes up at him. She bats them coquettishly in a way that's only comical. "While I am savvy enough to simply take a portion of our winnings, perhaps I can convince you to purchase some of my friend's time on assignment that she may accompany us?"

"When you p-put it that way," Symon says to Veronique, arching a brow and smiling, "You sound as if you are the one who shall w…win either w-way." It seems like he's /half/ in on the joke. But he's still about to entrust these women with his money for sport. "Oh dear," he says at Veronique's suggestion. "You really /do/ w…want to lighten my p-purse, don't you? Well, lucky you are that I am out on the lam and away from my p-parents' eye."

Ondine laughs at the story, genuine and cheerful. "See, so you were good luck, but you left out the kiss. The kiss /is/ the most important part, after all," she says as if that were the most obvious thing in the world. She gasps exaggeratedly when Symon informs them that he is on the lam. "And my dear sister says /I/ am the scandalous one!" She leans in a bit, her hand resting at the back of his head. "It sounds like he has a story to tell us."

"Darling, of course I am going to win!" Veronique says, almost as if in surprise, laughing delightedly as Ondine joins them. "I'm on the side of the House, which makes it particularly easy. But there's no reason that my winning can't translate into all of us winning, hmm? Mutually assured beneficience! It's one of the pillars of economic growth."

Behind that infectious smile and mischevious glances lies a sound financial mind. It's just well-hidden under layers upon layers of flattery and Courtesanship and bawdy tales of past clients.

"Ohhhhh, you are correct, Ondine." The brunette leans back, as if assessing the male for the first time in a new light. "I am always falling in with the outlaws, aren't I?" A casualty of the many scurrilous pubcrawls she frequently takes those on assignment with her to."

She tugs at Symon's belt, near where he keeps his coin purse. "Just loosen this a little. You DID say that she simply must come with us. You can't expect to have a whole evening of a servant of Naamah's time for free, can you? A little tighing goes a long way, sweet Symon. And look at her. She is fantastic company, you can already see that. She's positively smitten by the bad boys!"

Symon clicks his tongue away from the roof of his mouth. "W…well, w-what can I do?" he asks rhetorically. "I shall have to employ you b-both as counsel and entertainment." And with that, it is off to the card tables.

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