The Legend Of Faux Pas
IC date: Summer 56
OOC date: August 15th
PCs: Gamble, Rocket, Amber-Shot, Tubular-Bells
NPCs: Fuzzball
GM: None

The Champagne Bay is, as always, just dimly lit enough to not bother the lushes who have come in to drink away their hangovers while not so dark as to be uninviting. It also smells relatively pleasant for a tavern, an active effort by the propietors to help make the place stand out among the numerous other sailor dives around the harbor. The room is half-full, mostly with regulars, with plenty of seats both at tables and at the bar itself for newcomers. Unfortunately all of the corner tables are already occupied by ponies trying desperately to look conspiratorial but really only succeeded in looking like they're trying too hard.

A familiar yellow stallion is behind the counter washing mugs and exchanging words with a few of the sailors seated at the bar. Seems the new princess in town has a thing for squeezeboxes, or so the grapevine indicates.

Normally a pony like Gamble would have been out with the rest of the party animals, enjoying the drinks and fun and such, or back at his new home drinking. But recent events had landed him with something interesting to figure out. So he'd spent a day or two researching in the local library. And now? Now he's ready to spill the beans, as it were, but he didn't feel up to doing it on the cider at home.

Rather, he'd gone and invited Rocket to the higher-standard bar in town. Probably the only one neither of them have been kicked out of yet. So that they may grab a table, and…discuss. The rusty pony is first to the table, dropping a few books onto the tabletop and claiming a cushion seat.

A very uncertain looking black stallion peers in through the door, then walks past, turns and looks in again, and repeats the process, hesitating each time before finally edging his way in. His dark coat makes him look almost ninja-like in the dim atmosphere, but the silhouette of his hat at least makes him easy to see. He clears his throat a little to himself and wedges himself into an empty table, shifting to try and get comfortable. Not his normal place, that much is clear.

Rocket follows him to the table, looking around curiously. She hasn't been in this bar yet! Ooooh, new places. But that's not the concern right now. Nope, there's something /interesting/ to discuss. So she settles down at the table, wings tucked in, bunny on her shoulder. Serious and ready to go.

"Hey there, strangers," the pony behind the bar says as some unfamiliar faces come into his tavern— though his eyes narrow at Rocket. He hasn't had the pleasure of meeting this particular griffon before, but he's heard rumors from the other bartenders about a certain mooch who runs up tabs and pays in berries. He'll be keeping an eye on that one. "Welcome to the Champagne Bay. What can I do you for?"

Fuzzball, the bunny in question, has on a Very Serious Face. He's been lounging on the gryphon's shoulder most of the day! After Rocket gets settled, Fuzzy climbs atop the gryphon's head to perch from a higher vantage point.

Gamble perks his ears. Oh hey! An attentive bartender! He holds a hoof up for the spot of attention it affords. "Somethin' strong and sweet fer me."

Mostly, the black pony with the hat looks around bewildered. Someone has books, though, and he peers Gamble-wards or at least at the table where he's set 'em. Quiet. Watching, for now.

"Sounds like a job for a brandy," the bartender says with a nod as he pulls a glass out from under the counter. "You a fan of Henneighssy?"

Rocket blinks and glances up, flashing a slight grin towards the bartender. "Got any of that cider stuff? That was pretty good. S'long as Fuzzball doesn't get into it," she adds with a small chuckle, looking up at the bunny in question.

Fuzzball looks totally innocent! Even if he's blushing. Surely he didn't drink all the cider!

"…dang bunny. How'd he even learn how ta use a barrel tap anyway? I mean, yeah, it's not hard, but… It's a bunny…" Gamble grumbles. He'd gotten all of a single mug of cider to himself before finding out that Fuzzbutt had a thing for alcoholic cider. Yet Fuzzball merely shrugs, ducking down in Rocket's feathers to hide from Gamble's glare.

"That sounds fine ta me, barkeep." Gamble notes to the bartender, leaning onto the tabletop to look over the pair of books he'd brought in with him. "Brandy might jus' hit the spot."

Tubular-Bells scoots out of his table and edges over to the bar, doesn't sit. "Um, sir, might I have a water?…"

The bartender pours some sugar into the glass and a splash of alcohol and muddles it while hmming at Rocket. "I think we might have some cider left. We're not really gonna hit prime cider season for another couple months. Gimme a second and I'll check if we have some casks." He puts the first bottle away and pulls the aforementioned bottle of Henneighssy off the shelf behind him and tops off the glass with it. He carries it with him down the bar and considers something under the counter. "Oh, here we go." He taps the cider cask and fills up a mug.

"Yeah, I can get some water for you," the bartender says to the black stallion. "Just a second, let me drop off these two and I'll have it for you." He puts the glass and the mug on a tray and balances it on his back before trotting out from behind the bar and over to Gamble and Rocket's table.

There's already a few bits on the tabletop when the bartender gets to Gamble's table. He wasn't exactly sure how much the drinks were going to cost, but he figured if there wasn't enough he'd be told so. And if there was enough, then so much the better! Fire and forget.

While waiting for the drinks, the rusty pony arranges both books in front of him, focusing on the gryphon across the table. "Lookin' up that captain was interestin', Feathers. Y'know there's a whole bloody list of pirate captains that're s'posed ta have hidden caches all over Equestria 'n beyond."

Rocket nods, looking curiously over at the books. "Yeah? Any neat ones? Anything around here? Big ol' forest. …Though guess that's kinda what I found, though, something here in the forest."

Slowly, slowly, the others have a stallion with a black coat sitting next to them. He doesn't exactly loom or sneak, in fact it's a very timid kind of stealth, but he does have an air of just suddenly being there as he very politely waits for ater to show up. Pirates do sound fascinating though, something from the long, long past history of this place…so he doesn't mind listening in! And watching, too.

The drinks are placed on the table and the bartender, recognizing when a customer wants to be left to his own devices, quietly collects the bits and returns to the bar. Hopefully the brandy Old Fashioned should meet Gamble's need for something sweet and strong. He visits again soon enough to get the black stallion his glass of water but then returns to the bar to surreptuously eavesdrop on the conversation.

It was such a slow, stealthy thing to have another pony suddenly sit at their table that Gamble has yet to properly notice! He's still intently watching Rocket's reaction to everything. "Yeah, there's a few other interestin' ones that hung out around this area. Y'know, there's even this one…" He scratches his cheek with a hoof. "Some Dread Pirate Saltlick, supposed ta be a real terror back in her day."

Gamble taps a hoof on the first book. A History of Pirates, it's aptly named. "That ain't the point though. I found yer Captain Faux Pas in here. A real..unique bloke, he was." The gambler sits back for a moment, with his newly acquired drink. "Apparently he was one of those prankster-types of ponies. Loved pullin' jokes. 'cept the book details him as kinda mean-spirited with his pranks. One of his favorite pranks was ta make 'exploding gold', leave it somewhere that other sailors could find, and then when they took the bait, ol' Captain Faux Pas would shoot the poor ship's hold 'n blow'em up!"

Rocket blinks and gives a low, somewhat chirpy whistle. "That is kind of nasty." She tilts her head thoughtfully. "…That… kind of explains the foam spikes. And the rubber spike branch. Those seemed kinda pointless." There's that pun again! She really doesn't mean to keep doing that.

Intentional or not, there are several groans from nearby tables at the pun.

The black stallion with the little white patch on his neck leans forwards, and takes the chance to speak up uninvited in a high-pitched voice. "It's rather a good thing there's none of those pirates still running around, isn't it? It makes everything so much safer, especially coming out to a little town like this…Why I don't think I could even fathom it if there were ruffians like that."

"Yeah, good thing…" Gamble agrees, taking a swig of his drink and promptly double-taking at the mysterious black pony! He almost /almost/ spits his drink out. It's held in his cheeks until he remembers that he can't talk until he swallows, at least. One quick gulp later, Gamble sets his drink down, glancing again to the black stallion. "Y'know it's rude ta sneak up on ponies like that, don'tcha?"

Shaking his head, Gamble drums a hoof on the table. "Anyway. This particular captain ended up pullin' off a huge heist of gold. Replaced it with a bunch of his explosive stuff. By the time they caught up to him, he'd already hidden all the gold. So they hanged him fer it, and supposedly never got the gold back."

Rocket blinks and glances in surprise over at the dark pony as well. Where'd /he/ come from? Peer. She clicks her beak a time or two, moving to sip at her drink as she looks back at Gamble. "So that's probably what all this's about, then? That missing gold?"

Tubular-Bells blinks his eyes a couple times. "There's missing pirate gold? Oh dear, this little port is just full of terrifying adventures, isn't it." He actually does look alarmed…but eventually decides to butt back out of the conversation, and scoots off to a farther-away adjacent seat.

"I'm sure at least part of the treasure is all that gold." Gamble nods to Rocket's assessment. "But this other book added a little more to" it." He taps his hoof on the second book, 'Legends of the Pirate Lords'. "Apparently this Captain was nicknamed 'Captain Bad Joke', an' it lists his stash as the Faux Pas Fortune." Gamble folds his arms across the table and blinks when Bells high-tails it to another seat. He wasn't that scary, was he?

"So this book's a little more flowery with the details than that history book, but apparently Captain Bad Joke kept souveniers of all his raids. An' bein' a unicorn, that meant he kept a lot of priceless, often magical things. Supposedly his hoard's got all that gold, and a little bit of everything he'd ever taken from another pony, all in one place."

Rocket perks up notably at the mention of magical things. She likes magical things! This definitely just got a lot more interesting. "Well. That could be useful," she responds as casually as she could manage. "I mean, that's a pretty good fortune, right? Lots of gold, and… other neat useful fancy things."

The problem with books? They're all old news. It's not like Gamble's saying anything that anypony else couldn't have figured out. Somehow Gamble had the idea that Rocket might be more interested in this whole legend after more magical things were involved. Gamble puts one book on top of the other, leaning one arm on the small stack. "That's what I got so far. There's a little more research I need to do, ta figure out where that thing ya found fits into all this, but I'm pretty sure it's got somethin' ta do with the forest. Which is probably why nopony's found this one's treasure yet."

Rocket nods, puffing herself up a bit proudly. "Bet none of you ponies know the forest as good as I do." Which totally explains why she found the thing! …Totally by accident. By following Fuzzball. …Well, nopony knows the forest as good as /he/ does, surely! With him as her partner they shall be unstoppable! At finding things in the forest. Yes.

Fuzzball puffs up as proudly as Rocket does! So fluffy.

Gamble shrugs, "Well, you found one thing. Who says you can't find more? Jus' gotta figure out what we're lookin' for, and then I guess we'll hafta plan a trip into the forest fer it."

Rocket grins. "Hey, sounds like a plan. Like a scavenger hunt! We got a clue from the book, it sounded like. If you can find out somethin' more specific, we can start hunting."

Gamble scratches the back of his head. "Yeah… I'll figure somethin' out. Anyway." He glances around the bar. Wondering just how many pairs of ears they might've perked with all this talk of treasure and fortune. Maybe a public place wasn't the best spot to mention the journal. …But he was thirsty, dangit.

Rocket chuckles and sips at her drink, leaving a little in the cup for Fuzzball. "It'll be an adventure, one way or another."

"And that's what life's all about, in't it? Adventure." Gamble lifts his drink. "To adventure!" He drains his drink!

Fuzzball shares in the toast, scampering down along Rocket's arm to get to the drink. Happily polishing off the cider.

There's a roar of half-drunken cheering at the mention of a toast. The air is full of hooves holding glasses aloft in various states of fullness, the majority of which are unaware what is being toasted but happy enough being party to it.

Amid all the cheering and drinking, a dark-coated stallion runs in abject terror from the hooting crowd.