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Falkirk Casino

Date: 05-09-09
Poster: Brogan Frasier
Post # 1

Another of Kind

Brogan was at the bar in light conversation with Alex. Being Charles was going to close up the Casino once everyone was done, he took advantage of the nice night and headed here to the Thistle. Dress shirt was left on tucked into black pants, the vest and jacket left at their business. The night was warm enough though it had rained sometime earlier leaving a fresh scent and mist still hung in the air.

Nigel had arrived earlier in the day and taken a room at the Thistle as recommended to him by the Captain of the ship. He had planned to explore but the prospect of a comfortable bed in a quiet room was too good to pass up and he had slept a good portion of the day. After a good meal, and a bath, he was ready for a drink or two and perhaps even a card game. He was casually dressed in a poet's shirt of pale blue as well as navy pants tucked into riding boots. Coming into the common room, he nodded his greetings to Alex and the gentleman talking to him.

Alex and he seemed to halt at the same moment before turning in the direction of the one coming in from the hall that led to the upstairs rooms. "Evening, you're new in town, in the lands as well?" Brogan was certain there were ones from the sister castles he had not met. Had not met everyone within Heathfield for that matter but a good deduction by the fact the man was making use of a room here, he was from out of town. "I'm Brogan Frasier," sliding from the seat to stand as he extended a hand.

"Indeed I am." He smiled as he spoke, his accent clearly English. "I just arrived early this afternoon on a ship from London. Nigel Blackwell. It's a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Frasier." He shook Brogan's hand firmly but not overly so. "Are you native to these lands?"

One hand in a shaking grip while the other clasped his shoulder before both were released. "You sound like my partner, maybe you had heard of Charles Harwood, Chas the high stakes roller from England?" Stepping away as he indicated a stool next to his. "Care to join me in a drink? I've been here quite some years but not native. Family moved here, cousins, eventually I found them." Taking up his seat again where a glass sported a bit left of potcheen in it and the bottle left. "Home brew with a smooth burn." Taking up the bottle to refresh his before setting it back that he could partake if he wished.

"Indeed I have though I've never met him. " He chuckled. "I'm afraid we were in different parts of England though I did admire his talent. Is he here as well?" He looked at the bottle then nodded, his smile growing wider. "I had a glass earlier, after I arrived. I must confess, I could barely talk for a while after."

"Aye, that he is, and stayed. Seems he ran into rough times," not necessarily meaning money but maybe what he won from someone who didn't like losing. "I started up a Casino in town and Maurice put him in as a partner if we got along. We got along very well and it worked out perfectly. Place gets very busy that neither of us has a lot of time to ourselves." Chuckling with the comment on the potcheen, "you acquire a taste for it for it is strong but most around here drink it. The McAndrews men, you'd think it was water for them until after a few bottles. Then there are some.." which he halted as he wasn't certain how this man might take any comments on those that had other worldly attributes. For a few of them it didn't have any effect that he could see.

Once the last of the patrons had left the Casino, Charles saw to closing it up along with the three bouncers they had and the waitresses to cleaning what was needed. He learned that Brogan had headed for the Thistle and decided he'd join him. It had been a while since he socialized that was not work. He made use of the side door, jacket and vest left behind as well but he had fancy suspenders over his shirt, hooked to the heather gray dress pants. He wasn't sure where he left his belt. Kind of told something of his night off prior. "Jolly good show, we made a hefty profit again," heading straight for where Brogan sat talking with another. Introducing himself in the next breath as he offered his hand, "Charles Harwood and you might be?"

He'd take it as meaning they couldn't hold their drink at least for now. Nigel was open minded though he has some superstitions. "A Casino, you say? Well, I certainly will visit while I'm here." H paused as another joined them and realized this must be Brogan's partner. That was confirmed when the man spoke. "A pleasure to meet you, Mr. Harwood." He took his hand, again shaking firmly before releasing. "Nigel Blackwell. It's a pleasure to meet you."

"Speak of the devil and he'll surely show!" Mirth leaped in olive green eyes as there were no flies on Chas when it came to socializing even if he claimed he had little time. "Aye, with some good rules so no one becomes poor. Here it is set up for fun, lose some, win some, the Casino making a profit as it should or it would not be worthy business wise. Poker and Black Jack mostly, though we have plans to expand now that it has taken off. Ladies welcome with an escort and a separate ladies night." Or some of the women would be up in arms. There was an exclusive night for the gents too.

"Chas, we're not so formal here. You're from England." A statement than a question for he recognized the accent straight off. Hand shake was firm, quick before he indicated the bottle of potcheen. "Have you tried Ireland's finest?" He would quickly learn if the man held prejudices against the Irish or Scots for that matter. He didn't, in fact he enjoyed their humor better than his kinsmen on the whole. Maybe there was a reason. "Nigel Blackwell," mussing the name as it rang a bell, "did you attend the Ainsworth of Yorkshires infamous ball that ends in a few nights of high stake poker games?" Last one he was to actually but didn't add that. He had won a favored estate in Chelsea from Lord Morris and the man had not been happy but he had bet poorly. It was won fairly by Charles. There had been a big stink over it too.

"Nigel then, and yes I am." He grinned at mention of the bottle, holding up the glass he had just filled. "I have indeed and as I was telling Brogan, I could hardly speak after. Luckily there was little I had to say." He nodded at the mention of the ball. "Yes I did. And dropped a bundle. Needless to say, my father was furious at the time, but I've gone back a time or two and have made that money back." No estates but there was a gambler who swore Nigel had to have cheated. Turned out his accuser had been the one doing the cheating but Nigel had stymied him.

"That's the initial slicking down your vocal chords, it passes.." they all had similar experiences the first time potcheen was tried. He had been thirteen with a bunch of his friends. That was a night to remember, leaving them all passed out. Lost in nostalgia for a few moments before an idea popped in his head but first he needed to learn more and it seemed Chas knew of Nigel. "Are you traveling through? Visiting family?" He could have added more questions but decided those were two good ones to start with.

Chas took up a seat, gaining a glass from Alex which he filled with the potcheen, a few drams worth. Long day and after the night before it would affect him quicker if he wasn't careful. Hair of the dog worked. Being Brogan was technically the senior partner, not by age, he let him do the talking as he listened while observing.

Out and about to explore what she could, she was now returning to the Thistle for the night. Her horse stabled for the evening, the walk from there to the inn wasn't far, nor was it long. Pushing through the door, quiet tunes were hummed as she made her way to the bar with casual strides. Leather gloves pulled from her hands, tucked away into a pocket of her riding coat during the walk, with a smile to those already gathered inside. "Good eve, all."

"Well, England has become a place to not be for now, for various reasons." He didn't seem the least bit uncomfortable saying so. "My estates are in good hands, and I thought I could do with a bit of traveling. I've heard of Heathfield and thought it sounded interesting so here I am." He paused to greet the woman who entered. "Good evening, Miss."

Hearing a far lovelier voice, focus shifted from Nigel a moment. Took a second but he recognized the woman and another few seconds to remember her name. He'd been pretty much in and out that night she was here with his cousins. "Good evening, Vanessa if I recall correctly?" If she didn't remember his name, he'd not be offended. He heard Nigel's reply which fitted in to make the next suggestion. "If you're looking to settle, put down some roots, then I know of a position here you may be interested in."

Dark brown eyes turned to the gents as she was greeted, a brighter smile given to them. "Sir." dipped her head to Nigel, then attention went to Brogan. "Eve, Brogan." It took her a moment to remember, but vaguely she did. "I 'ope I 'ave nae interrupted." Words thickly laced with Irish influence, she offered a quiet smile to Alex, requesting some brandy from him.

"I only visit England, better for your health that way," huge grin to follow before he was up from is seat, hand to splay over the dress shirt worn. "Good evening madame. A perfect one to be out and stop for a drink before the night is done. You've not interrupted, you've added the rose amongst the thorns." Slight bow of his head before straightened, hand lowering away to rest against the edge of the bar.

"This is my partner, Charles or Chas along with Nigel, visiting our lands." He well noticed her accent, his was mostly Scots but had French mixed in, could be complete if he decided to speak in that tongue of his mother's. Charles and Nigel, definitely English, had him curious to her reaction.

Looking to Charles, light smile was accompanied with a blush to his compliment. "Indeed t'is. An' thank ye. If I am t'be a rose in a thorn garden, then I mus' be th'luckiest of roses fer such 'andsome company." Nodding to those being introduced. "A pleasure t'meet ye. 'm Vanessa Baltimore."

"The pleasure is mine Vanessa and I accept the return compliment in the right light." Which both had been given the same so in that he was pleased. Said a bit about this unknown woman. He was curious as to how Nigel would respond to Brogan's insinuation, turning attention there for the moment.

He chuckled, lifting his glass in salute to Charles comment before turning his attention to the young woman. "A pleasure, Vanessa, and thank you for the compliment from me as well." Now his attention was back on Brogan. "I may be and you've certainly piqued my interest. What position might you mean?" He might take some time to make the decision but it would be good to know his options.

She flashed a brilliant smile to the men before nodding her thanks to Alex for the drink. The brandy was picked up and sipped from, her attention drifted back towards the conversation she walked in on.

"My cousins would verify I'm a thorn in their side," he'd been a good one until he did some introspection, took off to France and came around to being himself by the time he got back. His looks passable compared to many about but it was what was inside that counted, that he had lacked many years ago. Back to Nigel with the idea. "If Laird McDonough approves through the Crown, we could use another at the Casino that knows the game, knows the looks, knows when trouble will brew..." and so on. "Especially as the expansion plans are being made."  It obviously was not a private conversation either. If she had questions she could ask them and join in.

He listened quietly, his expression becoming thoughtful. He took a drink of the potcheen before looking at Charles then back to Brogan. "That sounds like something I would be very interested in. And until and if Laird McDonough gives his approval, it would give me time to come to know the land and its people."

"Aye, that's the idea first, see if these lands suit you. Some say it calls to them," mostly the ones with those extra abilities like the Elementals that were drawn here to the Druid Prince Andrew. Then shifting to include Vanessa, "how is your stay coming along Vanessa?"

She was quietly listening. Attention drifted around between the three men curiously. She lifted herself onto a seat and sipped a bit more of the brandy. Nodding to Brogan, she smiled lightly. "Quite well. I really like it 'ere. Thank ye fer askin'."

He nodded again, falling into a comfortable silence while Brogan spoke to Vanessa. That would give him time to have a good look around.

"That's always good to hear. Have you met many of the others from here or the sister castles?"

She shook her head gently. "Mostly just yer kin, an' a few others but nae many."

He had fallen to silence which was not the norm for him. Good reason, he was exhausted. Knowing he'd not be much company from this point on, he finished his drink, leaving the empty on the bar. "Nigel, come by tomorrow and see the place." If he saw it he would be impressed and might help to make up his mind. They could use another at this point so it would help them out. "Vanessa, it was a pleasure to meet you and I can hope our paths cross again when I'm more awake," not admitting directly how tired he was. "Brogan, I'll see you tomorrow." Saw him just about every day except those he went to Falkirk to visit his family. He had invited him which was a consideration to take him up on being he had no family here so adopting one was in order. Hand coming to rest on Brogan's shoulder a moment before he was heading for the side door, "pip pip! Cheer-e-o, grand night to you all." And out the door he went which was left open.

"Good night, Chas and I will, thank you." He laughed when he heard his farewell. "Cheer-e-o to you, old bean." Just because! He was still chuckling as he turned back to Brogan and Vanessa.

"A pleasure t'meet ye, Charles. I look forward t'meetin' ye again sometime." She laughed softly to the parting words of the man and shook her head lightly.

"Aye, see you bright and early Charles, bushy tail," laughing as well as his partner took his leave. "Come by tomorrow, that's a good idea if you're not too busy, Nigel. Roseann Cleary made a stained glass window you'll appreciate."

"I probably won't be busy at all, unless I lose track of time while I'm exploring the city. Roseann Cleary, you say? I really must write down all these names so I can learn them." Well, he'd only heard a few but still...

"The Cleary Clan is from Ballicastle, though Allan has a Dairy just over the border here in Heathfield. If you want a list of the major families, I can provide you with that. Answer any questions you may have and if I don't know the answer, Laird McDonough will. I will see about leaving him a note being he is the one taking care of such matters lately. There are others that do so also."

"I'll remember that at least." He laughed as he held up his glass in another salute. "McDonough. Is he the chap that has the horses in the stables? Ones that can be borrowed?"

She sipped her brandy again before looking to Brogan. "Is there anyone 'ere tha' breeds 'orses?" Casinos weren't really anything she understood. But if she decided to stay, she had thoughts on things she'd like to be involved with.

"Aye, Rory McDonough has a stable and breeds them. He supplies the citizens with horses as fits their needs. He interbred many with the wild horses they round up each year, ones let go into the wild decades ago of thoroughbreds and mingled with the wild ones. They're more sure footed, some can run like the wind, some good for work horses." He didn't know a whole lot about horses though he had won a racehorse in France which was in the Golden Dawn stables. "There is another stable in these lands but I think she only breeds the thoroughbreds. My cousin, Patrick, whom you met, has the Falkirk Race tracks. It's comprised of five stables and then individuals who have racing horses."

A racetrack as well. Now that certainly had his interest.

Rory McDonough..she'd have to remember that name. She listened to the names and places spoken and nodded. "Do ye know if anyone 'ere breeds front line 'orses?" front line for battle or war.

"Aye, Rory does that for the warriors. Though there has been many peaceful years here, not so in Kildare yet." Rory had been the main supplier since he took over his mother's stable many years ago. "So, you have a rapport with equines?"

She nodded lightly, taking all the information to memory. Trying to at least. "Aye. Me father owned stables at 'ome. 'e bred Lipizzaners an' Andalusians. Fantastic show 'orses an' keen wits on th'field t'protect their rider."

"I've heard tales from the knights and warriors here how a good bred warhorse is as good as you kin. They have sacrificed their lives to protect their owner." He couldn't quite say master for it seemed a more unique relationship. Like ones better known of faithful dogs.

She nodded agreeance. "Aye. A good 'orse is as close as a best friend. Most who take the time to build a companionship with their 'orse, 'ave a companionship fer life."

"I would say that goes for any kind of relationship. Be it beast or human. A real friend, takes years of trial and error to become true. Though some start with that spark of feeling like you've known them a long time, but still time needs to prove it." His opinion anyway as he finished off his drink. If he was to get up early tomorrow, he would need to get some sleep.

"I agree," she smiled some. "But somethin' an animal companion 'as tha' I've nae seen a 'uman companion 'ave is an intuition tha' only animals 'ave. The ability t' sense things from afar. Tha's th'experience wit' my 'orse at least."

"That is true. Sometimes one you think is a true friend, turns out to be a rotter." He finished his drink and stood, offering Brogan his hand. "I'm very glad you came in here tonight, Brogan. I shall definitely see you tomorrow eve at the Casino."

He knew some humans that could do that, but best not venture there for it would be bringing out more. Leaving his empty glass to the bar as he stepped away, hand grasping Nigel's. "It proved an interesting night. I should get out more often and not just the Casino and Race Tracks. Now there is something you might want to bet on with the next one coming up. Usually held the end of the month." Hand released as he turned to Vanessa, "sleep comfortably,"as he was sure she would here in the Thistle. "It was a pleasure having your company again."

A nod was given Brogan. "A pleasure as always. I 'ope ye 'ave a lovely evening."

"I'll certainly look into it. Good night to you both and rest well. Vanessa, it was a pleasure to meet such a lovely rose." He bowed slightly.

"It was a pleasure being the thorn," having to add that with an amused glint in green eyes before he took his leave by the same side door Chas had used.

A nod to both. "A pleasure to 'ave the company."



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