The Auction

Tales from a goblin-infested brewery (home of Jake Thrash and Badsider Brew), and a lawyer-infested sports bar (home of Kalamere Ar'Din and The Line).

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The Auction

Post by Jake » Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:05 pm

Jake finished capping off the last batch of Badsider Wicked Winter Ale and wiped the sweat off his brow. Another shipment ready to go, and it was time to grab an ale and relax for the evening. The half-orc made his way towards the front of the brewery and up the stairs towards the living quarters and office space. As he rounded the top of the stairs, PJ's voice caught him from her office, "Jake! Jake, come here!"

Her tone was urgent, so the orc popped his head into her office to see what was up. "Eh? How come you aren't already done for the evenin'?" PJ's home rested on top of the brewery, so she didn't have to go far, and it was unusual for her to be working so late.

"Jake, wow, you reek of sweat. You need a shower." She made a face at him.

The orc grinned a little, "that's what you hollered at me for?" He leaned against the frame of the door, but didn't enter. He was afraid of disturbing the piles of photos for promotions, the paperwork for shipments, and the recipe tasting results that were scattered about on every surface in her office. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the t-shirt idea he had proposed using Candy Hart sitting at the end of a credenza.

"No, actually, I called you to tell you to go attend the auction taking place at the Great Hall tonight." She pointed towards a strongbox sitting beside the door. "We've got some funds to contribute, and it would be good for you to make an appearance there."

"Contribute? Give away money?" The half-orc was nonplussed. "Um...why would I want to do that?"

PJ started to explain, and then thought better of it. "It's a tax thing, Jake, let's put it that way. It's good to get some money off the books for tax purposes."

"Wait? I'm paying taxes? To who?" The orc was indignant.

PJ shook her head. "Just trust me, Jake. We want to give away a little money. It will be good for the charity. It will be good promotion for the brewery. It will be good for Rhydin."

"But, ... give away money?"

She looked at him with a mildly reproving expression. "Yes, Jake. You can afford it. So, you're going to go, take a shower," she sniffed, "maybe two, then get dressed up in your best leathers, and go attend the auction."

Jake was doubtful. He chewed a little on his lip as he thought about it. "I dunno. I don't want to come up short when it comes time to buy supplies for the brewery. Those merchants from the vale were charging an arm and a leg for that last order of barley."

His spokesmodel, then marketing director, and now chief financial officer stared at him for a moment. "You have no idea what our profits are, do you Jake?"

The half-orc fidgeted for a moment. Math was not really his favorite subject. More was good. Less was bad. Gold should be hoarded. That was about the extent of his accouting methodology. ""

PJ came around from her desk and literally began pushing him down the hall. "Go, go, take a shower. A long, hot one. Get yourself cleaned up. You've got an auction to attend. And you're going to use everything in that strongbox."

Jake elected not to protest as she pushed him along. She was not going to relent.
Last edited by Jake on Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Jake » Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:06 pm

Strongbox in hand, Jake entered the great hall with some trepidation. It was a large crowd, and the background chatter was loud. The orc moved up along the side, looking for a good spot to hang out without feeling the need to stab anyone. Crowds like this normally meant fighting to the orc. Seeing such a large contingent of well-dressed folks meandering about, doing nothing more than chat seemed unnatural.

The event began as Harris and Seirichi started the first bid with a person that Jake didn't recognize. She was someone that frequented the inn he was sure. When the final bid was 11,500, the orc grunted to himself. These auctions were not going to be cheap. He had not actually looked to see how much was in the strongbox that PJ had sent him with, but the notion of spending that much gold on person, much less one you did not get to keep, seemed ludicrous. The slave auctions in Badside at least made a little more sense. You buy something. You keep it, or sell it for profit. But, PJ had assured him the point was not to buy a slave, but to "rent" some time with some notable figure and contribute money for some homeless nomadic women and their whelps, or something. She had tried to make it sound important. Jake had just nodded and agreed with her so that she would stop explaning and let him get it over with.

The second person up for bid was more familiar to him. Dris, who sometimes dueled and hung about the rings, and who had been the governor at some point he thought. Dris went for 19,000. This was not a good sign if the bids kept getting higher.

The next two people auctioned off went for a little bit less, which relieved the orc somewhat. He spied a table with someone serving beer and made his way there to grab something to drink while he watched. "Got any Badsider?" The orc realized that he was going to be here a while. He was going to need fortification. "Make that, two of them."

Jake guzzled the first one down, right there at the refreshments table. As he grabbed the seconded he nodded to the attendant and glanced towards the stage. "Crazy, right?" The lad serving shrugged a little as if to say he didn't question these things any more. The orc turned, camping out at the table for the nonce, while watching the next auction.

The trend of lower bids did not last. More names went by. More regulars of the Inn. Then someone named Thorn went for 80,000. The orc shook his head. Unfathomable. He needed more ale.

As the orc ordered up another ale, he perused the available selection and watched to see what was being ordered. His competitor, Silver Mark, was there, which didn't surprise him. Jake handed over some silver to the serving lad with a suggestion that he move the ice chest of Badsider to the center of the table where it could be seen more prominently.

More names, and more bids went by. Jake wondered if he could hide the gold and just tell PJ that he had bid. But, she was usually pretty good at reading him. He would get a lecture for that. Ok, so bid on someone, and lose when someone else outbid him. No, that would be no good. If he came back with money, PJ would scowl at him.

"Jake, you were *supposed* to donate that! Surely you could have won at least *one* bid?" The orc imagined the conversation in his head. He wondered if he could bluff and say that he did donate, but she would ask him what bid he had taken part in, and which auctionee he had won. So, like it or not, he was going to have to go through with it. In his head, PJ smiled and nodded at him, her arms crossed in finality. "Yes, exactly. Bid, win, plan on telling me all the details."

The half-orc muttered to himself. Then guzzled down another Badsider.

Thinking this over in his head, the orc realized he should probably at least figure out how much she had sent him with. He set aside his ale, and glared about to make sure no one was too close to him when he popped the box open. The serving lad was close enough to see and whistled when he saw the pile of silver. PJ had thoughtfully included a slip which tallied up the value of the coins that filled the box. The half-orc's jaw fell slack for a few moments. She really expected him to donate all of this? "Yes, Jake, every last coin of it." And he did not even know most of these people.

More names went by. More bids went by. Lots more ale went by. The orc felt frustrated that most of the faces were unfamiliar. It would at least have been fun to bid on someone that he knew. "Doesn't matter, Jake!" The imaginary PJ was not going to let him off the hook.

The current governor went up for bid. Jake recognized her from the delivery he had made to her party at the request of Candy. The ale might have dulled his attention, as he missed that she was the last auctionee. And she did not go cheap! Another 80,000 silver nobles. The orc shook his head, this wasn't good. He still had his strongbox, and he had not yet bid on anyone. And now it was too late. The half-orc started formulating a story about how he secretly gave the money to another bidder and let them use it. Would PJ buy that? Probably not. He could picture her tapping foot. Waiting for his explanation. He needed a better story...

With this thought in mind, he saw Seirichi lure Overlord Candy up to the stage under pretext of some lighting problem, and then suddenly holler that she was up for bid. "THE OVERLORD, CANDY HART! IS NOW UP FOR BID!"

Surprised at this turn of events, the half-orc smirked to himself at the expression that ran across her features. He could imagine the imprecations that she was muttering to herself and at Seirichi. He saw Seirichi whisper something to Candy, but was unable to make out what it was from this distance. Whatever, it did not appear to make Candy happy.

The orc hunted around for the electronic paddle he was given. He started to wave it at the stage, but Ernie, the serving lad, made a noise and shook his head at the orc. Jake paused while Ernie came around the table and pointed out the small buttons on the paddle out to him. "Use those to bid." The orc punched in some numbers, indicating a bid. The numbers went higher.

Harris announced the bids as they came in, but not who was making them. "40,000. 50,000. That's a lot of money for a trip to the hospital!" The half-orc chuckled to himself. Harris was probably right about that.

Seirichi shoved a microphone at Candy enthusiastically, "50,000? Candy, what do you have to say about that?" There was a positively feral gleam in Seirichi's eyes that Jake could see even from the back of the room.

Candy gritted her teeth together and growled out, "It's for a good cause." He was pretty sure she was making fists as she ground out those words.

The orc grinned to himself. She was enjoying this event about as much as he was. The half-orc bid again.

Jake surveyed the crowd, trying to guess who might be bidding on her. He spotted one person who was fiddling with his electronic paddle and glared at him a little. The orc was starting to get into the spirit of the event. It occurred to him that with as busy as the brewery kept him, he was probably never going to find time to win the title of Overlord (or more precisely, OverOrc as he had planned to go by). And if so, then perhaps the next best thing would be to rent one!

Seirichi egged the bidders on, "Come get a piece of Candy for Yule!" Jake could see Candy scowl and glare with the threat of violence for anyone that thought they would be getting a bite of her. "Who's the lucky man that's going to make all of Candy's dreams come true?" That struck the orc as funny. He imagined some fateful bidder spending a long evening being pounded into the muck of the Pit, and slammed into the walls over and over. Surely that was what the Overlord would do with the winner. And, that actually sounded like fun to the orc.

The half-orc was committed and signaled again. He did not plan to lose this one and put it all in.

Harris ended the bidding. "Amazing. Go get Jake to give me all his money."

Seirichi made a fist pump and declared, "Team Beat Down!" She directed something else to Candy, but it was too quiet for Jake to hear. Candy's facial expression was one of disbelief. The orc grinned at her, but her reaction did not suggest she was amused. Jake realized there was a good chance she would would slug him right here. The orc guzzled down the last of his ale and got rid of the mug. What the heck? It had been ages since he had been in a good ballroom brawl.

Candy stormed towards him looking as if ready to throw down right there in the hall. He could hear the serving lad behind him quickly clearing the table and securing the refreshments just in case. "Before I hurt you. I'd like the money for the shelter, half-orc."

It was hard not to smile as he handed over the strongbox. For a moment, the orc thought she would hit him with it, but then she turned to take it back towards the stage. The orc followed after her, and the serving lad made a sound of relief. Together they went towards the stage and where Harris and Seirichi were still bantering. After handing over the strongbox, Candy punched Seirichi full on in the mouth. Seirichi dropped her mic and looked stunned. Jake was not sure that Candy was done.

Jake half expected a fight to break out, with Candy laying out some punishment for the indignity of the evening, but a commotion started as a disagreement took place about who was going to deliver the money to the shelter. At first Harris had the money, but then Seirichi grabbed the cashbox and it became a tug-of-war. Harris rambled about the things they could buy, and Seirichi threatened his life.

As they continued to fight over the cashbox, the half-orc suggested to Candy they should tackle both of them. "I'll take the mouthy one," Candy announced. Jake nodded but then paused, "which one is the mouthy one?"

Jumping into the fray turned out to be unnecessary. Amidst the struggle between Harris and Seirichi, the cashbox had come free and the governor was there, pointing Candy to the cashbox. "Would you, please? The shelter is being started by one of the barons, so I think it's appropriate you present it."

Quick to act, Candy grabbed the cashbox and turned to Harris and Seirichi who were still bickering with each other. "The Baronness extends her thanks t'your help in the collection of these funds."

The governor, satisfied the charity funds were safely in hand, looked to Candy, "Candy...Jake...enjoy your date." The orc smirked but did not chuckle. He had a feeling Candy would have punched him.
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Post by Jake » Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:06 pm

As they exited the hall, Candy's posture was stiff and tense. She was ready to fight. "Let me get one thing clear. This auction buys you my time. Nothin else. You try anythin I consider 'else' with me? I will knock every tooth in your mouth out."

This time the orc did chuckle.

Candy turned toward him, irritation showing in the tick of her jaw. "You think I am kiddin, half-orc?" Her expression radiated annoyance, anger, and other things the orc could not read.

The orc stopped short and put his hands out, falling reflexively into a defensive stance. His grey eyes narrowed as watched her for the tell-tale sign of a move. Her stare was hard with menace.

After a long moment without an actual swing, he deliberately relaxed, crossed his arms, and cocked his head to the side. "Nope. I don't."

The woman scowled at him. "You don't?" Her posture still read violence. And lots of it.

With a grin, the orc answered, "I got a date with an Overlord. Why would I wanna waste it?"

She gritted her teeth and her fists balled up. "Get t' your point an quick."

Jake uncrossed his arms and he leaned in at her with an irrepressible grin, getting perilously close to punching range. "I wanna go trollin' brawlin' dens and fight clubs and beat the snot out of people. And I wanna do it with the Overlord."

There was a long moment Jake was sure she was going to punch his lights in.

Then she turned and walked off, "I'll think about it."

Jake watched her go. He considered following after her, but she was too close to the edge. He grinned. Maybe PJ's idea about going to the auction had not been such a bad idea after all. He called after her. "You know you like my idea! Come find me at the brewery when you're ready!"

She did not reply.

The orc chuckled to himself, then turned north to head home, back to the brewery. As he went, he started planning out their brawl crawl. Where to start? The Brawler perhaps. No, maybe the Underbelly, and save the Brawler for last, since that was a favorite of hers.

So many clubs. So much damage potential. This promised to be fun
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