The Forge is perhaps the most exclusive club on Xuria, it's membership consisting entirely of the pilotry of Hammer and Anvil. The walls are a beautifully polished wood. The furniture is extravagant. The food is excellent, and it is populated wall to wall with the noble warriors of this world.
It's a gambling night, of course. The members are together to drink and talk, to rub elbows, and make wagers of preposterous amounts against each other.
Is this a usual haunt for you, or did it used to be? In any case, tonight you're here to locate, and talk to, Lord Kles, and in fact you've found him. He's at a gambling table, of course, and there, next to him is Gorey. Kles is wigged in the current fashion of course, as are most of the people here. Gorey likes to play the brute, and wears the corvus as a badge of honor.
Gorey takes the cigar from between his lips, offering a smile, before bringing a glass of expensive liqour to his lips. "Kanishka! It's been an age since I saw you in here. I remember you being rather good, not too surprising since we both learned from the same man, eh? Sit, we'll deal you in." The other Lords-pilot shift their eyes between you, him and each other, interested in the subtle tension in the air.
Of course Kles would be sitting next to Gorey. Of course Gorey would be standing between me and my objective, wagging his privileged ancestral lineage around like it's his dick in a pissing competition. Normally, I would have none of this. Normally, I would politely decline and ask to speak to Lord Kles for a moment in private... But a baser part of me wouldn't mind taking Gorey down a peg, so I sit. "Lord-Pilots. Good to see you, fine gentlemen, again. What's buy-in?"
"A modest 10,000, old boy, just a friendly game at this stage after all." Gorey says, "and nothing to a man with such good contracts. Unless you're looking for a more interesting venture." The eyebrow raise says it's more bait. He's more or less called you a merchant. The leagues may style themselves like nobility, but no one forgets that a noble gentleman doesn't earn his living.
Again, glittering eyes around the table move to you, like the other player in a tark match. Some expressions lean toward smirks, others are carefully blank.
Kles deals your tiles, raising a cool eyebrow and a lazy smirk as he does. "Is it then? For me or for you? Why were you looking Kanishka?"
One of the club staff asks you if you want a drink.
How good are you at this game? Do you play the people, or the tiles?
I take my tiles and make note of them. "Come now, Kles — who do you take me for? A sensitive contract came across my desk, and I thought you might be interested in putting your iron to good use!"
He slides out three tiles as a bid. He's trying to flush you out, certainly.
Still, Alvega does have a rather unique perspective on life. I'd be interested to see who she'd pair me off with.
"It's not a soldier's lot in life to marry," I raise my bet, "it's irresponsible to father children when your life is spent staring down the barrel of enemy fire..." The irony of this statement doesn't escape me — but it was the argument my father used when I told him about Corrine and I. That said, he always did impress upon me the importance of a loving relationship. "But who knows what the future will hold once this business gamble is through..."
Gorey meets the bet though you saw the hesitation, however brief. Then he shakes his head. "It's the first duty of solider, even more a nobleman. If he dies in battle, what use is his sacrifice, the honor he brings to the family name, if there is no family to recieve it? I'll talk to Alvega, and we'll have you to dinner with someone suitable. If you wait too long you'll be stuck marrying that second of yours. That woldn't do at all."