The First Rule in the Underbelly...

Talk a walk on the Badside. But don't forget to keep your weapon handy and an eye on your wallet!

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The First Rule in the Underbelly...

Post by Jake » Sun May 20, 2012 10:51 pm

The sounds of a crowd roaring with excitement filled the air. Their noise almost hid the howls of pain and screams of challenge being issued by the two fighting beasts. The half-orc paused in his counting and listened. One of the creatures sounded cat-like. He wondered if it were a natural beast, or some hybrid creature. He had heard that some lycanthropes voluntarily entered the games. Given their resilience, the orc imagined that a werewolf would be a popular spectacle within the rings.

Jake resumed his count. Twenty barrels of Badsider, along with six barrels of Skullsplitter, and another four barrels of his newest Badsider Gold ale. The orc was pleased that the Gold was ready for shipping, but he was still working out the marketing with PJ. The Underbelly would serve as a good test market for it. If it caught on, he hoped to begin delivering it to the Outback and Arena as part of his regular monthly business.

Thirty barrels total. The orc checked off the tally on a form, initialed it, then again on a copy. He looked around for the manager. His attention was on the crowd, doing his best to gauge how the fight was going, and when the next break in the action would mean a run on the bar. Jake sauntered over, clipboard in hand, and nudged him. "Need to sign." Then the orc too glanced over the crowd to see how the fight was going.

The cat-creature was tearing hunks of flesh out of something that might once have been a bear. It was getting hard to tell. It would be over soon.

The man, pulled away from the fight, glanced back, and then to the clipboard. "Hmmm...oh, right." He perfunctorily initialed both forms without even glancing back to verify Jake's count. Then grabbed the top form and folded it up and stuffed it into a pocket. His attention went back to the ring. "Over soon." He commented, mostly to himself.

With a glance to the hard bartender, he gestured to alert them to be ready for a new round of orders before the next fight.

"You know, the mistress still wants to meet with you to discuss sponsorship." That to the orc.

Jake chuckled a moment, but didn't reply. Tyailna was angling to get Red Orc Brewery as a primary sponsor for the fights. He was still having PJ review the details of her offer. The numbers and paperwork just made the orc's head hurt. He preferred to stick to the brewing, and let PJ handle the marketing and promotional stuff. She was the one with the head for it.

The manager eyed Jake for a moment. "She won't take no for an answer."

The orc grunted. "We'll set up a meeting soon. Gotta get the latest batch delivered, and the new Gold ale promotion going."

The cat-creature let loose a fiercesome scream of triumphant. The fight was over. It stood, jaws dripping with blood, on top of a tusked bear. Jake couldn't tell if the bear still lived or not. The handlers were moving in now, coaxing the cat-creature away. The cat swiped at them, not ready to relinquish its "kill".

"What were the odds?"

The manager's eyes didn't leave the ring. "Cat was the favorite, 3-1 at the start of the evening. Likely the mistress will take him out of rotation for a week or two to rest."

Jake nodded. The betting stuff was more Kalamere's thing, but the orc got the gist of it.

"Alright, well, tell her that as soon as PJ finishes reviewing the proposal we'll contact her." The orc gestured to the barrels of Gold. "Let me know how that sells."

The human cocked his head and nodded, but his attention was on the crowd. The tenders were moving through the stands taking orders, and lines were forming at the bar.

Taking that as his cue to head out, the orc took a final glance to the ring to see the cat-creature being led away, and a team coming in to fetch the bear. Maybe it was a bear-boar hybrid the orc thought as he ambled out.

Next step, the brewery. Time to check in with PJ about the plans for a block party, and to prep the shipment for the Outback.
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