Argent, the Gambler

Background

The village discovered by Ishowo and her band is not the only place that humans live in the Glen. A constellation of hamlets is scattered across the valley. In some of these, the more superstitious villagers have come to revere a pair of odd beings with strange powers. Argent and Juri have built a tiny empire amongst these settlements.

Many years ago Argent lived with her twin sister Juri in a hut along a mighty river. The two of them were mocked by the people who lived near them, though they did not know it at first. They had few skills that would make them a living, so they lived on gambling. A few obols here, some quarters there, enough to buy rice and meat. Argent tried to run a gambling house herself, but Juri couldn’t cook, and Argent couldn’t bring the people in, and it was a disaster. People would treat them nicely to their faces and laugh behind their backs. The twin failures.

What really made Argent feel awful was when the others came through. Those who looked as she and her sister did, with jointed limb and painted face. The same villagers who looked down on the twins respected these newcomers. That was what made Argent realize that it wasn’t their bodies that brought shame on them. It was their actions. She became bitter.

After much arguing – which is how they made every decision – the two of them left the riverside town and traveled to the northeast. Downriver things were dangerous: dragons and magic, hardship and slavery. The headwaters of the river promised new people who had never heard of them, never learned to hate them. Argent thought it was the safest bet.

The two of them kept moving from village to village. They became better at their games. Smarter. Craftier. Trickier. Eventually they came to Pinedeep, where Ramia and Ivy lived, and proceeded to bamboozle the folk there out of nearly everything they owned.

That was when they truly began to pay for their poor behavior. They are by no means done.

Appearance

argent-500

Argent has cream-colored skin and yellow eyes. She puts a purple blush on her face, between the silver paint that covers her forehead, jaws, and neck. Her hair is platinum blonde with a blue tint in the back. She wears low-cut blue dresses with silver bells and silver trim. She has a handful of brightly-colored, ostentatious hairpieces that she rotates through. Her feet are often bare, as she demands that the spirits clear stick and stones from her path.

Currently, Argent has three eyes, having won one of them from Juri in a game of cards. The two of them had more ordinary forms many years ago, but Ramia cursed them for their bad behavior. Tired of seeing the villagers be victimized, Ramia wished that Argent and Juri could “see the truth about themselves.” Now they can trade eyes – and ears as well. They are a bit scared of what might happen if they wagered anything else in their games. There is only so much of oneself that one is willing to lose, after all.

Demeanor

Calculating, manipulative, and cutthroat. Argent conceals much of this behind her poker face. She’ll act kind towards her cult, imperious toward visitors to Brown Ford, and dismissive toward anyone in power. If you’ve got a skill, Argent thinks it’s not all that great. If you put a lot of work into something, Argent says, “Well, at least you tried.” If she’s talking to you at all, it’s because she thinks she can gain more advantage that way than by pointedly ignoring you.

Argent is fed up with her sister, and especially with Juri’s effect on her own reputation. Argent wants to be recognized for her brilliance. She’s skilled! She’s intelligent! She’s a smooth-talker! But no, all that people see about her is that she’s strongarming people with her supernatural powers, just like her sister Juri. Just another low-class thief. Well, Argent is sick and tired of that.

Argent and her sister deeply miss the giantess for whom they were made. They never talk about it in public, but between each other they talk about the wonderful old days when they had love and joy and purpose. They call her “mama” and they’d do anything to find her again. When they talk to the spirits, they ask after the giants, hoping to hear some hint of where they might have gone and when they might return.

Intimacies: I miss my mama (defining), People deserve to lose what they can’t hold (defining), Juri is all I have left (major), Juri really pisses me off (major), I deserve to be worshipped

Capabilities

Argent is a brilliant and skilled gambler. She knows the odds for every hand or toss in every game. She’s also adept at counting cards and spotting cheats. This leads to no end of argument with Juri, who insists that Argent is falsely accusing her and is just a sore loser. (It doesn’t help that Argent is, indeed, a sore loser.)

Ramia’s “curse” actually turned out to be a blessing for Argent and Juri. They can see the truth about each other (which is so distasteful that they ignore it), but they can also see the truth about many other things. They can see spirits, ghosts, and Raksha. They can see into the hearts of the people, making it easier to manipulate and blackmail them.

Argent’s cult funnels prayers and essence to her every day. It is also quite widespread, having branches in Pinedeep as well as the larger townships like Stonewall. Argent traded shares of this essence (fairly useless to her) to some of the weaker local spirits, allowing them to upset the balance of the spirit court and gain the power they always wanted. In return, they order their servitors to obey Argent, lest she choke off the flow of essence and return them to their former sorry state. Argent can command the spirits to carry her in the air, to point things out to her, to make the ground shake or the wind blow. The Glen’s plentiful nature spirits carry her about on a litter that seems to float about a foot off the ground. Everything she can do depends on what spirits are actually nearby and able to hear her, so Argent is careful to have the spirits whisper to her which of their friends are nearby and what they might do.

Supporting Characters

  • Jona Barnland, the leader of Argent’s cult. Intrepid, stoic, cutthroat.
  • Erdlin Lackwise, who keeps challenging Argent to games in an effort to win his money back. Desparate, compulsive, lazy.
  • Vestia Shoemaker, who suspects that Argent’s “magical powers” are a sham. Observant, jaded, crabby.
  • Koku Snaretyer, who is looking for someone who can beat Argent and “take her down a peg.” Inventive, coquettish, snob.

Questions

  • Maska would hate Argent’s tactics with the local spirits, but also be taken aback by seeing someone else using his own social tactics. How will he react when he meets Argent?
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