Solo Cheating the Ignorant

[Job] Starts with an honest reading, at least!

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Cheating the Ignorant

Postby Nahaali on August 20th, 2018, 7:19 am

40 Summer 518

Nahaali sat on her chair in front of her covered wagon in the Baroque Bay district. They were average quality, able to hold her and her clients up with just a little bit of creaking from use. Her guard dog Woofus sat to the right of her, between her and her horse Patch, who was eating from a bowl of feed. Woofus watched passerby with wary, suspicious eyes. He knew not to growl when most people came forward, but he could sniff out ill intentions within seconds. When he was on-edge about an approaching person, Nahaali knew to be cautious.

Her hair was tied up in a loose bun to keep it out of her face. It allowed clients to see her face clearly, giving them a false sense of trust more than if she had parts of her face hidden. A sign was placed on the side of the wagon's base, about chest-level for an average human standing. Mystic Readings. The front and back openings in the wagon's cover was covered with cloth to keep people from seeing inside, and those who got too close drew Woofus' attention.

On a good day, Nahaali could get at least three medium-priced readings, mostly from newcomers and travelling merchants. Children were also common to read for, since their innocence and naivity made fortune telling some wonderous and magical thing. Nahaali didn't care for children one way or another, similar to most things. Sure she could put on a smile and speak with one with enthusiasm, but she didn't really care.

Around nine bells, a young girl and her mother walked by. They seemed fairly well-off from their clothing, and Nahaali figured they were on a ship that stopped here during their voyage. As they passed, Nahaali started shuffling her deck and playing around with them to catch the girl's attention. The girl widened her eyes as she watched, and stopped in front of her table. "Oh, wow! Are you a psychic?"

"Elise, manners." The mother scolded.

"Oh, sorry." The girl blushed and adjusted her stance. "Hello, ma'am. Are you a psychic?"

Nahaali chuckled, shuffling as she spoke. "Eh, not really a psychic, per se. I'm a fortune teller. I can't see yer future, but I can help give you words o' wisdom for it."

"Oh, Mommy!" Elise turned back to face her mother. "Can I get my fortune told? Please?"

The mother looked at Nahaali. She had that ignorant look to her eye, someone who could easily be swindled out of a couple extra miza. Nahaali gave the woman a wide smile, and put the deck down on the table, spreading them out face-down with one quick flick of her hand. "Jus' a gold miza fer a simple readin', ma'am, ain't much."

The woman stepped forward, digging out the mizas and handing them over. Nahaali motioned for Elise to sit at the chair opposite of her. She sat down excitedly while the woman watched just behind her.

"For a simple readin', I'm'a do a three-card spread. First card's yer past, second's yer present and third's yer future. How's that sound, young ma'am?"

Elise nodded with a wide grin, and Nahaali motions to the cards spread on the table. "Pick three, then. Don't look at 'em, just set 'em down next to each other face-down."

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Cheating the Ignorant

Postby Nahaali on August 20th, 2018, 7:19 am

40 Summer 518

Elise looked over the cards before picking three. She placed them down as Nahaali had told her, and Nahaali gathered up the rest of the cards and placed the deck out of the way. "A'right, let's have a look-see, shall we?" She flipped the first card. "Knights o' Cups, this one." She looked at the girl with a knowing nod. "Someone ya knew in yer past, someone importan' to ya, they played with yer emotions and left ya with no real closure. Ya never learned how to deal with it, so it's been a struggle in ya life."

Elise gasped and turned to her mother. She whispered, though Nahaali could hear them. "She's talking about Daddy!" The woman gulped, her lips pursed.

"This helped build yer foundation to yer current situation. Let's see..." Nahaali flipped the second card. "Mmm... reverse Nine o' Swords. Because o' yer dad, ya've been left in a pretty rough place. Dark, sad. All seems lost. But see, this card is reversed. That's good. Means as yer growin' up, yer starting to understand. It ain't that bad, yer startin' to see. There's help fer ya, ya just gotta be willin' to look and ask fer it."

Elise was hanging on to every word. Her mother was starting to show interest, as well. Nahaali seemed to be hittin all the right spots. She smirked, and leaned towards the third card and slowly flipped it for a dramatic effect."Three o' Cups... yes, that's a good sign!" She looked at the girl with wide eyes and a grin to match. "Ya see, the Three o' Cups in this position, in yer future, means that good times are comin' fer ya! Plenty o' love and creativity. And with the Knight o' Cups accompanying it, it means a new and good connection is comin' yer way as well." She nodded with pride. "I say yer in fer a treat, youn' lady. So pick yer chin up and smile!"

Elise was stunned. Her mouth fell open, looking at the three cards as if they were made of gold. "Wow." She looked at her mother and bounced in her seat. "Mommy, did you hear that? Good things are coming!"

The mother smiled and looked at Nahaali. "That's good to hear. You see, just a season ago her father left after a particularly nasty fight with me. Haven't seem him since. She's been so confused, so have I, but this is sure to help."

Nahaali nodded as if she cared, but really she didn't give a damn about this family's troubles. She just wanted the coin. "Fancy a readin' of yer own, ma'am?"

The mother hesitated, but Elise jumped out of her seat and dugged on her sleeve. "Oh, Mommy, do a reading, too! It'll be so wonderful to see yours! Please, Mommy?" Finally she caved in and took a seat at Nahaali's table. "Alright. What other spreads do you do?"

Nahaali spoke as she picked up the deck, shuffling the three cards into it and shuffling it thoroughly, "Besides the past-present-future spread, I also do three-card spread fer ya dreams at the same cost. Then there's a five-card spread fer ya success in life fer 2 mizas. Seven-card spread outlines yer dream career for 4 mizas. My eight-card spread outlines yer life in all sorts of topics, very useful. That's 5 mizas. Then I got the nine-card special that helps ya with love for 7 mizas.

The woman nodded as she listed her spreads. "The life spread, that sounds like I could use it. After Eric left, I've been lost...."

"Life spread, comin' up!" Nahaali held out a hand. "Pay first, ma'am." She handed her the five mizas, which she put in her apron pocket and then spread the cards out in her hands. "Pick the eight cards, then. When she did, laying them face-down, Nahaali once again moved the deck to the side and flipped the first card.

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Cheating the Ignorant

Postby Nahaali on August 20th, 2018, 7:20 am

Timestamp

"This card," Nahaali explained as she flipped the first card, "represents yer main concern in life. And it's... Two o' Pentacles. Well, that means yer main concern is figurin' out how to balance yer life. With yer health, ya gotta take it easy and relax. Overexertion can really mess up yer body and mind. With love, this is sayin' ye ain't ready for another relationship. Yer last relationship is too recent. Don't rush things. Besides, ye got better things to focus on, like yer daughter."

The woman inhaled sharply, and Nahaali held back a grin. Already hooked. Good.

"Second card's yer motivation in life. Reversed Lovers card...." She clicked her tongue as she shook her head. "Yer motivation is the threat o' poverty. Yer afraid of losin' it all. To help this, ye gotta step back and work on harmony. Jus' like Two o' Pentacles." Nahaali couldn't help but purse her lips. Yeah, lose it all and be like us. Learn what a real struggle is. But of course she kept a serious face, and flipped the next card.

"Third card's yer anxieties in life. Six o' Pentacles, eh? Worried about, ye guessed it, balance. Financial balance, emotional balance, all the goods. When it comes to love, it says ye can expect to find someone who can help with ye balance, but remember. Don't rush things. Relax, focus on yer current family."

The woman nodded. "So, like, I'll find someone who will help us, but I can't expect there to be love immediately? I have to take it slow?"

Nahaali shrugged one shoulder. "I'm just readin' the cards, ma'am. Ye interpret what ye will." She reached for the next card. "Fourth card explains things yer not aware of in yer life. Things yer missin, details ye've missed. Ye got the Magician, reversed." Nahaali's face fell slightly, though it was mostly an act. She never really cared for what the readings were. "Ah, oh dear."

The woman's face paled and she nearly jumped out of her seat. "What? What does the Magician mean?"

"Well, the Magician means one thing, but when it's reversed..." Nahaali looked at the woman. "It warns o' manipulation. Someone's usin' ye. Cheatin' ye, lyin' to ye. I ain't gonna lie, ma'am, Sunberth can be a dangerous place if ye don't know who to talk to." She tried not to laugh at the irony. "Luckily ye came to me so I could warn ye!"

The woman gulped. "Oh, dear. I guess you're right. But... can the cards really see that? I haven't noticed anything...."

Nahaali shrugged. "Now is a good time to focus, I suppose." She moved on to the next card. "This card's yer advice card. This is... Nine o' Pentacles. Huh! This is a good card for ye. It tells ye that despite what's happenin' to ye, good times are comin if ye plan it right. Perhaps a pamperin' is in order? So, yer advice is what the cards have been tellin ye: relax. Find what relaxes ye without stressin' yerself."

The woman pursed her lips. "I'll keep that in mind. I could definitely use some relaxation."

Nahaali nodded. "Couldn't we all? Anyway, on to the sixth card."

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Cheating the Ignorant

Postby Nahaali on August 20th, 2018, 7:20 am

Timestamp

Elise, who had been silent since her mother's reading began, was watching just as eagerly as her mother as Nahaali flipped over the sixth card. "This one's tellin' yer the best way to relax, what ye need to do to keep movin'." Flip. "Page o' Swords! Ah! He's here to tell ye that ye gotta be honest. Be honest with yerself, with yer daughter, to any of yer loved ones who deserve to hear the truth."

The woman scratched her chin. "I guess that makes sense. But... honest to myself? what does that mean? My needs? Do I need to focus on my needs? That does sound right... it'll help me relax, which is what all these cards are telling me to do."

Nahaali winked. "Exactly! Now the seventh card. This one's here to explain how ye can move forward with positivity. Ten o' Wands. This, combined with yer past cards, is basically tellin' ye to accept the fact that yer plate is full. Ye need to understand that yer burdens are heavier then ye'd admit. Accept that, and work on one problem at a time. That'll move ye forward, help ye future relax."

The woman smiled. "Ah, there's my answer. That's what I need to do to be honest! Accept my plate... is full." She sighed, her smile fading. "Work on one problem at a time?"

Nahaali didn't bother responding to her ramblings. She reached for the last card, explaining, "This last card explains what yer life will be like if you follow all the previous card's advice." She flipped the card. "Hmm... Two o' Swords reversed. This is tellin ye that if ye follow these cards, yer makin the right decisions and yer life is bound to improve! Ye have the tools, ye have the advice. Ye can't be hesitant, like ye have been. And with the Magician here in yer spread, they say that yer hesitation comes from manipulation. Someone's manipulatin' ye, and makin' ye hesitant. But ye can't hesitate!"

She paused for a moment to let the information sink in. She sat back in her chair, and the woman reached up and put a hand on her cheek worriedly. "Oh, dear. I... I can think of a few people like that. Making me hesitate about my needs." She jumped up. "Oh, I think I understand! Thank you so much!"

Nahaali reached up and put her hands behind her head in relaxation. "That's what I do, ma'am. That's what I do." She leaned back forward and gathered up her cards.

The woman continued mumbling to herself. "This is a lot, though. Perhaps... Elise's happiness will come from my relaxation? If I relax, I have more time with her... then she'll be happier. I just have to find out how I can relax."

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Cheating the Ignorant

Postby Nahaali on August 20th, 2018, 7:21 am

Timestamp

The woman began to stand up, nodding to Nahaali. "Thank you for the readings, ma'am. I have a lot to think about."

Nahaali held up a hand. "wait a chime 'fore ye go, if ye please. Yer problem is that ye gotta relax. Luckily for ye, I got some remedies that could help!" She brought out a small chest and opened it to reveal dozens of pint-bottles of potions. "For ye, I got a drink that'll help yer anxiety. Definitely help ye relax and focus on yer work. Also got a sleep aid for those night that keep ye up from worry. Those sound like ye could use 'em. They both work for a day. They're in small bottles, after all. Either sound interestin'?"

The woman paused, looking at the bottles in the chest. "How much?"

"Miza and a half for the anxiety-calmer, as I call it, and ten mizas for the sleep aid. It's a small dose of Iskyny Tea, if ye know what that is. Good sleep aid. Very powerful, considerin' the size." She smiled. The woman seemed too naive. She could easily sell her one of her fake potions, made from tolm or everlight. Of course, by the time the woman realized that, it would be too late.

The woman rubbed her chin. "Ten miza... I'll take one of the tea then. But three of the anxiety potion."

Nahaali grin widened. "Perfect! Thank ye, ma'am. That'll be eleven mizas and five silver." She held out her hand, and the woman placed the coins in her hand. She put it into her coin bag, a mesh bag that was tied to her waist, and grabbed two bottles from the chest. She handed them to the woman, who put them in her own bag.

"Bye, fortune teller lady." Elise waved at her. "Thanks again!"

When they were out of sight, Nahaali let out a hearty laugh. She looked over at Woofus and wiped away a forming tear. "Oh, I love newcomers to 'Berth. Travellers are so naive. Poor women won't even know until too late. Should celebrate with a pint o' my own at the Drunken Fish, eh Woofus? Maybe get ye some treats, too?"

Woofus had just been watching the passerby as he always did, but when Nahaali mentioned treats he turned his head towards her and began to wag his stubby tail.

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Cheating the Ignorant

Postby Kynier on August 23rd, 2018, 2:13 am

Grades!


Skill Rewards
  • Acting +1
  • Fortune Telling +4
  • Observation +5
  • Persuasion +2
  • Rhetoric +1

Lores Learned
  • Self: Don’t care for children
  • Self: Love newcomers to ‘Berth


Rewards
  • +17 gm and 5 sm for Fortune Telling

Very entertaining read. Curious to see it in action wih another PC. If you have an questions or concerns about your grade please feel free to PM me.
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