Every Man Has A Weakness

Title: Every man has a weakness
Time Period: August 5th, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: The skeptical pirate captain is told his fortune

People tell tales of the faire which draws pirate curiosity. Rhagfyr's lived on an island for so long, and spent years at sea so he's never been in a position where one has rolled into his town, so to speak. Not that they arrived for that here, but having claimed a home on land for now, there's still the draw. Something unusual that has the townsfolk talking. Inevitable that he'd investigate and sate his curiosity, or confirm his cynicism.

It's already past sundown when he saunters in — since Rhagfyr rarely just 'walks' anywhere — with a long forest green coat to hold off the chill. Eventually his path takes him by the fortune teller's wagon; steps slow, veering more toward the steps up. What's the worst that could happen?

After he's made his way through the beaded curtain, he finds the elderly Deya smoking a cigar in a moment of quiet. She takes one more puff and waves her hand to the seat across from her, then exhales the sweet-scented smoke that rises up to the top of the wagon.

"I've not seen you before, laddie," she says — the faire's come through the town in years past, and Deya seems to have a keen memory for those she's met before. Black-brown eyes survey his face, dropping down to take in his attire before sliding back up. "What is it you seek from me this evening?"

"True enough." Rhagfyr opens with one of his best smiles, always prepared to make a good first impression which will colour future tales told of him. Such a slave to reputation, even if he doesn't see it that way. He pulls in a deep breath, absorbing the smell of her smoke and seeming to approve of the scent.

Sliding down into the opposite seat, he studies her in turn as though not entirely sure yet what he seeks and taking time to consider the source before making his request. "Captain Llyw. I've heard them say around town that you're quite the fortune teller." It's something of a backhanded compliment, as he's not quite able to keep the skepticism from his tone, not willing to admit that his fate is anything more than a product of his deeds. He must be open minded to some extent, given that he draws from his pocket a thin silver chain with small, intricate charms hanging from it which is then set upon the table.

Deya smiles and lifts a shoulder in what might be modesty — or merely feigned. "I do not see your future, Captain, but I can sense some things about you that others might not. You make your own fortune, though I think you know that already, aye? I can merely tell you some things that might influence you, that you might not know already."

She studies him for a moment, before picking up a stack of cards from her table and shuffling them a few times before handing them to him. "Shuffle those. Do you have a particular question in mind, or are you just here to feed curiosity and skepticism?" Her eyes crinkle at the corners; her tone is not cross.

"The shifting tides, so to speak? Telling you where my ship might end up?" Typical that he should make such a comparison, even if it is fitting. Rhagfyr accepts the cards, no stranger to the shuffle and games of chance and setting to the task without even focusing upon it. "I've already made my fortune, although I'd not object to making more of it." he replies with a wink.

The shuffled deck is slid back across the table, "No particular question; none that I would actually want to know the answers to." A wry smile at that as he leans back in the chair, "As you say, such qualities are hungry and I'd see what you have to say about our future."

The Traveller takes the cards back and smiles at his answer. "I wonder what question's answer frightens you, my pirate lord," she says with a smile, peeling off one card at a time to lay out five on the table — one in a corner by itself, then a row of two followed by another row of two, corners touching like a checkerboard.

"This is called Twisting Path," she explains, "and it tells about the path ahead of you and the choices you must make, and what pitfalls may lie ahead."

She turns up the lowest left card. "This is the first decision along your path." The card shows a man seated on a throne, holding a disc with a five-pointed star upon it. "The King of Pentacles represents a businessman, someone with a gift for identifying opportunities and for taking advantage of them — someone well informed about the world and skilled in all things physical; practical and dependable and possessing an understanding of all things material. Someone who loves luxuries and also hard work."

A dark brow rises as she studies him. "I think perhaps this might be the decision you've already made, rather than one that awaits you — and that this man does not represent you, but one whose fate you have moored your own to, perhaps."

"I didn't say I feared the answers." Rhagfyr clarifies, lest word get out that the pirate is afraid of something as simple as a fortune telling. That would never do. It's spoken with good humour, rather than petulant denial. His gaze moves over the layout of the cards, ever so slightly narrowed as he takes in the first reveal.

There's no shaking that casual denial, even though he's paying for this, suspecting that these 'revelations' could apply to anyone; it's mixed in with a certain sense of recognition however. Even if it could apply to anyone, there's an individual that fits the bill in the rogue's past. "So far so good." He's not impressed, but amused and willing to see where this is going.

Deya grins at him and bows her head as if in thanks for his faint praise, or lack of derision, at any rate. Her hand moves to the farthest left. "This is the first false path that may lead you astray," she says, turning the card to reveal the Nine of Pentacles, and upside down. The card shows a woman with a bird on her wrist, surrounded by the discs.

"Fitting," she says, with some amusement, "for a pirate — before you laugh, remember you are the one who shuffled the cards, sir."

Her cigar is picked up and puffed once before set back down; a smoke ring floats to the ceiling as she considers the card.

"This suggests bad luck in regards to material affairs. Perhaps from a lack of discipline or complacency, which leads to a break in security. It could lead to contempt for the very things that brought you to your wealth."

She sets the cigar down again, and tips her head toward him. "This is what you need to be wary of — it is the pitfall to avoid, not a certainty. The card also speaks of elitism and snobbery, which might mean that you feel too confident and you let yourself slip a little. I think the lesson here is that the mightier you are, you have all the more reason to be — what is the word? Paranoid, aye?"

"Is that all it comes down to then, my shuffling?" The pirate affects a disappointed tone, as though he'd expected more mystery at play instead of the particulars of his attempts to make the cards random; even though such things fit with his overall take on fortune telling. Making his own fate.

A flicker of his gaze toward the cigar, recalling his promise to find Bernadette something good to smoke. Perhaps afterwards he can barter on her behalf. "I can't imagine anything that would put me off my chosen career." he states with no small certainty. Poor pirates have all the more to gain, after all. It looks as though he takes the advice on board, however. "Too confident? Me?" That gets another wide, toothy smile.

She points at him with a crooked finger. "Your words, not mine. And no, not just your shuffling. Your energy, your thoughts, your feelings… the cards will come to speak to you, so to speak, and I am just their translator. That is all."

Deya flips the card in the middle. "This represents the second decision." And the Moon shows its face, looking down upon a trio of creatures on both land and sea. "The Moon, in this part of your path, is about cycles. Circles, even. Something from our past returning again, something that made us what we are showing its face when we thought we'd left it behind, just as the moon turns her face away and then back to us time and time again."

She touches the card, thinking about it and brows knitting. "The moon also can symbolize occult and dark magics, and bring about dangerous situations, perilous times. Perhaps something from your past that will haunt you again; perhaps someone who you once knew. Be prepared, and learn from your past mistakes, this card is warning you."

It's another of those vague warnings; most people have something in their past, some skeleton in their closet that will at some point likely cause them harm. The rational part of Rhagfyr's mind warns him not to be fooled by such coincidences. The subconscious however serves up flickering memories of his lost home, left behind and scourged by dark magics. It's an unavoidable connection and one that he has no desire to revisit but he can be grateful at least that Carys isn't here with him given the possibility that such a warning might drive her to one of her moods.

There's no cocky come back to this card; the casual smile remains in place, but the tension is visible around the eyes and at the corner of the mouth, poorly hidden. A quiet moment before he states, "Continue."

She reaches to pat him on the hand. "Warnings, laddie, not certainties. Things to keep in mind. What may be, not what will be. I would not do this job if it were all certainties. There would be no point, aye?"

She turns over the card on the bottom right, leaving only the top solo card unturned. A goat-like devil is revealed, and she taps it twice. "This is the second false path. The devil does not necessarily mean evil, as many might think, but is instead a symbol of temptation, vice, and weakness — a very apt place for him to sit, here at the fork that would lead you astray no?"

Her dark eyes come up to study his face. "He can mean many things — hedonism, ignorance, lust. I think for you, pirate, he is a warning not to let your greed or lusts get in the way of what you care about most. Not to lose sight of what matters most in life."

She leans back and lifts the cigar to her mouth again for another puff. "He's a foreboding thing to look at, to be sure, but he's not the worst of warnings. You see here?" Deya taps where the man and woman are chained to the creature's throne. "Those chains can be removed at any time. We are the ones who choose to bind ourselves when we give in to our temptations — we are also the ones who can free ourselves of them."

The patting makes him realize that he was giving the game away with his reaction, encouraging him to further attempt to smooth over his expression. He doesn't even believe in all this stuff, after all. It puts him back in that more casual curiosity posture for the next card, with a more genuine smile at the lord of temptation for many would consider him a slave to vice and greed.

While the last warning was noted firmly, when she explains this one he is far less worried. Rhagfyr is all too aware of what matters most in life. "The temptations are half of the adventure, aren't they?" he asks, breaking out that open-mouthed curve of lips again. "Nothing keeps me from what I care about most." It's a slip, maybe, in defending his position, having gotten caught up in what was supposed to be idle distraction for the evening; that first word is almost a warning in itself, declaring to fate and fortune that they'd best be wary of what they conspire.

Dark brows rise, and she raises her shoulders. "Sometimes," she warns, lifting a finger, "what you care about can be the temptation, can it not? My wording was perhaps not so good. Care about what matters — and don't let your greed and lust matter too much. Keep your treasures close to your heart, and let your heart and mind, but no other body parts choose your treasures." She winks at that, and finally reaches to reveal the last card at the apex of the spread. "This card is but one face that your final destination may wear, if you avoid the pitfalls and heed the warnings along the way." Flipping the card over, she reveals a woman clasping the jaws of a lion, the word Strength across the banner at the bottom.

Deya looks up with a smile, pleased at the positive card for the cynical man. "Fitting — if you have fought and won the battles with your demons, it shows you have this." She taps the card. "Strength. Power, health, fortitude. It can mean a recovery from an illness or addiction, or triumph in a battle long and hard fought. It could mean dominance over past fears or troubles."

She leans back again, opening her cigar case and selecting one to hand to him. "An excellent card for a pirate, I think. What is it you are fighting, I wonder?"

Rhagfyr may have been swayed by the reading more than he'd wanted to be, but even the clarification doesn't shift his initial reaction to that previous card. The wink does nothing to soften that fierce determination in his eyes. Not that he begrudges the fortune teller for the direction things have gone in, there's no blame or accusation but definitely a stubborn wall where this issue is concerned.

As quickly as his resolve shows itself on his features, it's gone and hidden away with the move onto the last card. "If I win all my battles I gain victory and dominance?" The smirk returns as he reaches for the cigar with a grateful nod of thanks. "That seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy, doesn't it?" Even if his general opinion of the practice has not been changed, there's evidence of respect for the fortuneteller in his tone. "The whole world, it feels like at times." he answers, of the last.

She wags her cigar at him. "It may seem a bit circular, but then, there are people that would seek to win a war without winning a single battle first, and you and I both know some of those, I would wager, aye?" Deya takes another puff of her cigar, before speaking again. "But," she warns, "the battles may not be the type you envision, and the victory or dominance might not be either. It may not be sea battles the cards are speaking of. It might not be dominance over the sea. It could be a victory of another sort they mean, and a strength that isn't physical but emotional or otherwise. They do not promise you will be king of the oceans, but that you will overcome something significant if you do not fall for the false paths laid like traps before you. Fate is not a sure thing; she's fickle and flighty, but you can use that to your advantage."

There's a laugh at the first question, as Rhagfyr slips the cigar into a pocket of his coat for later. "Ah, I'll face some undetermined hardship and overcome it, so long as I do not fail." At this point, he's clearly just teasing the gypsy with that look in his eyes. Fickle himself, he's taken what he will from the advice and now simply toys with the aftermath. Perhaps a cover while he mulls it all over. It's hard to be certain.

"I do not need the cards to tell me that I will be king of the oceans." Stated with a broad grin, already falling victim to that overconfidence he was warned about. "Do you ever read your own fortune, I wonder?"

"Perhaps I over warn you to remind you it's just a possible outcome — if you heed the warnings that the cards already gave. Not every final card is a happy one — it's not a given by any means that it'll be so positive, I promise you, laddie. I just know your type well. Over cocky, my words circle one another to make it more than clear that you are not guaranteed success — except in your own mind, of course." She winks at that, and then begins to pick the cards up one by one.

"Sometimes, but rarely. My life is a simple one, and I know myself well enough that I don't need the cards to mirror my heart back to me. That is really their magic, you know. To tell us what we already know but may not want to face. To tell us what our weaknesses are, what our strengths are, when we cannot see them."

She shuffles the cards again, and smiles at him. "You know your heart, I think, but perhaps not your weaknesses."

"Guaranteeing success in my own mind is half the battle, I think." Rhagfyr counters, leaning back in the chair as she picks up the cards and pushing that charm chain across the table into the space they occupied. A well worn silver coin is extracted from somewhere and as he continues it dances across his fingers.

"Know thyself, as they say." It's a fitting maxim for the man of so many boasts. The silver circle is folded down beneath his fingers and held out of sight for a second before a sharp motion of his thumb sends it tumbling up through the digits to begin the movement anew. "It could well be that I simply have no weaknesses." It looks as if he almost believes this too, but for the one, blazingly obvious one. "I know my type well, too. I've encountered them over and again, given them a sound beating and more often than not, sent them on their way." A lift of a shoulder comes with the smile that follows. This could be another joke, or foolish arrogance, or a combination of both.

She inclines her head as her hand leaves the cards to palm the chain. "Thank you for humoring me, Captain," she says, her rich voice laden with amusement. "And every man has a weakness. The trouble is, most of them think of it is as their strength." She taps the pile of cards, perhaps to indicate the card with that very word as its moniker. "Good luck on your voyages. Perhaps we shall meet again."

A hand is offered to him in farewell. "I'll be interested in hearing the tales of your career, at any rate, Captain Llyw."

A little flick and the coin spins up in the air to be snatched into his palm as he stands. "With weakness and strength, nothing should be as it seems." Rhagfyr, would be warrior-poet, or at least a man who read the Art of War once in an attempt to be a better pirate. "You were not what I expected." That seems to be a compliment, given with a last, long appraising look.

The hand is accepted, head dipped in gratitude briefly. "Until next time, then." He leaves her with one of his best smiles, turning to move to the door and then hopping down into the night.