Friday, June 22, 2012

Sherwood: A Game of Cup and Coin

Lady Briarleaf and Oberon's 3 Penny Tavern
"Well...there's a Three Penny Tavern that belongs to Oberon, King of the Gypsies..." the courtly Lady began, and that's when everyone knew that shenanigans were in store...

...Princess Lolly pinned her Lady dubious glance.

"Well, I wouldn't want to be one to spread rumours." Briarleaf shifted her weight from one foot to the other.  "But there might have been one evening where there were some pirates and maybe some pear cider."

Furybash paused poking around in the bushes looking for pixies to guess. "Mumbletypeg!"

"Cup and coin...but close."  Briarleaf brandished the mug in her hand with a sly grin as the other fey eyeballed her. "What?!  It was a fair game!  I just told the captain of El Tiburon the rules fair and square."

PDX Yar, Pirates of El Tiburon!
Courtesy: Laume Zekas
They wheedled and pried and blackmailed that autumn-clad Lady until she spilled the green-beanstalk-beans: 1 coin, 3 mugs and a wager.  The Pirates put a coin under their mugs, Lady Briarleaf switched them around and around and they guess which one had the coin.

It all seems like a simple tale; a right guess gets the coin.  A wrong guess drinks some ale.   For the water in the seven seas Captain Redgoat McHaggis probably did guess the right tankard a fair number of times, but even on the right guesses his coin wasn't there.

Well, Lady Briarleaf caught on quick as the Captain caught another ale and she challenged him one last round to all or nothing, including his mug - to which he agreed in a slurry fury.

The crew gathered round to bear witness to the game. Captain Redgoat placed his gold piece under a mug and Briarleaf warmed up her hands and slowly began.  Deftly she moved the cups left, right, in circles and widdershins and then stopped.

Being sure he had the right cup he was about to guess when the Quartermaster "Dingo" spoke up, who was not so sure the Captain had it right.  And then the Gunner.  Then the Boatswain. And even the Cabin Boy.  Everyone had a different idea as to where the coin was and before long a row and ruckus erupted in Oberon's Three Penny Tavern.
Mug: Courtesy of Don Lewis

Bar stools flew across the room, ale and barleybeer was dumped over heads and sloshed on the floor.  An occasional black powder shot went through the roof.   With all the confusion and no one looking on, Briarleaf figured this was the most pragmatic time to clear the table of her winnings and vacate the tavern.

"Arrrrrr! She's made off with the gold!"  The Captain shouted, pointing his sword.  "Get that foxy fairy and we'll make 'er walk the plank!!"

Briarleaf swished her tail and dove into a hedge, disappearing from sight.  Behind her, she could hear the Pirates shouting and foraging around, swearing at the top of their lungs they would kidnap every Faerie in Sherwood Forest if they didn't get their gold back.  The Lady fae paid them hardly any attention though because she was busy trying to figure out the exact same thing!

"Now...what in the heck is going on with this mug - who took the gold??"  Briarleaf whispered to herself behind the hedge, as she turned the wooden cup upside down,  shook it, tapped on it with her fingers, knocked on the bottom and anything else she could think to do.

Rayzoo the Genie
Frustrated, plopped down by a nearby stream and swished out the cup with her foxtail so that she might have a drink of water.  With an audible pop! and the jingle of coins, there was suddenly a very pretty, if unearthly woman standing right there in front of her.

"Rayzoo."  she said, brushing off her clothes and tucking back a strand of light-brown hair.

"Bless you." replied Briarleaf.

The exotic woman rolled her eyes.  "Rayzoo.  The Genie.  It's my name, not a sneeze."

"Sorry about that."

"My name?"

"No, the not-sneeze."

"Right..." she dusted off her baggy garments as she spoke. "Well, you are a breath of fresh air - you don't smell like scally or wag!"  said the Genie as she conjured a needle and thread from thin air and started sewing gently tinkling gold coins onto her sash.

"Heeeeey!" pointed Briarleaf as realization dawned on her face.  "YOU are the one who took the gold."

"I just picked up the lost and found off the table when it appeared under my mug - I figured that traveling with you would be better than being sea-sick all the time." Rayzoo just shrugged.  " about those three wishes?"
Briarleaf was in stitches of laughter!  It was too rich - Rayzoo the Genie had engineered the whole game and was now making clothes out of pirate gold.  Once she calmed down she asked, "So...I suppose that wishing for wishes is out of the question?"

Rayzoo nodded.

"Well then, I'll have to think about it.  In the meantime - we had better warn the Princess of Captain Redgoat's wrath." Off the two ladies set out through the forest headed back toward the Hollow where the fae lived.

Meanwhile, Redgoat and his crew were sniping up poor, hapless pixies one by one as they scoured the woods in search of his mug, AND their gold...

...To Be Continued!...

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