The new Ramsgate wasn’t just gilded towers and virtuous heroes. It had its crevices where the detritus of society formed. Like barnacles on a hull, they clung to dark crannies, resilient and stubborn. Speakeasies and watering holes had sprung up in the early days of reconstruction. There was an entire world outside of Ramsgate Plaza that Dr. Shaed Priyani wasn’t accustomed to.
The Rusty Anchor’s ceiling was low. Its patrons stooped awkwardly to avoid low beams as they meandered between tables, seeking cheap drinks and even cheaper conversation. The odd shaft of light cut through the blanket of dust motes that hung over the room.
In an especially gloomy corner, Lady Luck sat at a rotting table, appraising the man across from her. His hair was a ragged mop and his face was heavy with exhaustion. Although tattered and worn around the edges, a glint in his eye hinted at a dulled sense of cunning. Even from her vantage point at the counter, Priyani could tell this riffraff held himself in high regard. Too high, she thought. A man like that needed to be knocked down a peg or two.
Priyani could tell this riffraff held himself in high regard.
“Word is,” said Lady Luck, “you’re weaving tales of something new. Something big. My partner and I need this information.” She nodded to the bar where Priyani watched, hiding behind a weathered flagon. Surprised at being pulled into the exchange, she offered an awkward wave in return.
The man turned his attention back to Lady Luck. He looked the corsair captain up and down, eyes darting from her golden adornments to her glowing archonite eye. “What’s it worth to you?” he asked, leaning forward with a sneer.
“Aye mate, not what it’s worth to me, but what’s holding this secret worth to you?”
“We’re bartering now?”
“No,” she replied, working some dirt out from under her nail with the point of her dagger, “My deal’s firm. If you don’t start talking, I’ll deliver three broken ribs here and now. That’s my rate these days.” She sheathed her blade with a thwack to drive the point home.
“I know who you are, corsair. Just because you get special treatment among the Slayers and a free ticket to th—”
Lady Luck pushed back from the table and shot to her feet as her chair toppled back into cursing clientele, who already seemed to be looking at the incident as an excuse to kick off the evening’s brawl. Before the man could react, she kicked the table forward in a torrent of loose drink, knocking the man back into the wall. She gripped the table’s edge and shoved hard, pinning him there in a vise of wood and plaster, the table wedged in his gut.
“Now,” she said, with a sharp grin, “back to our deal.”
He spat at her feet. Digging in her heels, she jerked the table into the man’s stomach, and the doctor heard a sickening pop all the way from the bar. She raised one hand to her mouth in dismay.
“That’s one, well… maybe two.” Lady Luck said, giving the table a wiggle. “Yes, let’s say two. Now, you can cancel this transaction any time you’d like, sweetheart, or we can raise the price. Do you value all your parts, I wonder?”
Priyani watched in silence, resisting the urge to interfere. Something deep in her gut told her not to get involved. There was no way she could call off the captain at this point.
Had something inside her desired this? She knew Lady Luck was a loose cannon, so to speak, but she’d requested her help despite that. Priyani’s tavern expertise was lacking, and Lady Luck was a formidable guide to the underbelly of Ramsgate. The prospect of an excursion with the notorious corsair had excited the doctor, she had to admit, but now that excitement mingled with terror.
“Cape Fury!” shouted the man. “I saw the beast! Skies above, woman, look for it there!”
She pushed the table aside. The man doubled over and heaved. Between Lady Luck’s first blow and the man’s release, a brawl had blossomed amongst the other patrons; a tempest of fists and chairs flew chaotically around the room.
As she sauntered to the exit, Lady Luck beckoned to the stunned doctor through a tide of chaos. Priyani made her way through the ebb and flow of wrestling patrons, flinching as a few tussled nearby. After a few close calls, she reached the smiling corsair, and they made their way out to the street.
Lady Luck beckoned to the stunned doctor through a tide of chaos.
“Ha! No one can resist a good fight in a place like this,” said Lady Luck.
“I’m not sure I would have asked for your assistance if I’d known your methods were so—”
“Not the word I’d choose, Captain.”
“Happy to help, darling. Now, if you need me, I’ll be back on my ship.” With a wink, Lady Luck moved away into a shadowed alley and deep into the gut of Ramsgate. “Don’t be a stranger, now.”
Talk to Dr. Shaed Priyani in Ramsgate to assist with her research in the Shocking Developments quest.