Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Place Your Bets

So, if you can lay bets on someone's ancestry, I have to wonder -- what other kinds of things do people bet on in Pitsh? And where does most of that go on?

Well, there are the usual games of chance played with dice, cards, notched sticks, and shells. There are also variations on cock-fights. The most popular in Pitsh currently are games with scorpions, spiders, snakes, and lizards.

All of these games are fairly common in the taverns, inns, and brothels of Pitsh, but the best place to go for this sort is currently the temple of Tiamat just outside the city walls. That's also the best place to bet on gossip and scandal, such as someone's ancestry, or whether or not a certain lady's child will, in fact, resemble the father, when it's born.

Down on the docks and those places which serve sailors, there's a very complex system of betting around the arrival of ships and cargoes. This is actually part of a byzantine system of insurance and very localized futures trading. Widow Kat of the Oarsman's rest is involved in this.

On the southern end of town, there's a far more informal system based on the treasure hunters who head out into the jungle. The sums tend to be pretty small, and it's primarily about bragging rights. The adventurers also frequently engage in impromptu competitions to show of their skills. These contests always spur a flurry of betting.

Clerics of Hasrit can really swing the odds wildly, since most assume they have some inside information when it comes to matters of chance and fate. Some bookies refuse to take their bets, and there are very stringent rules on how they can get involved in the shipping bets. Hierodules and witches are watched with the same attitude when they bet on social matters and gossip, since they seem to know everybody and everybody's secrets.

Any bet witnessed by two others is considered legally binding. Failure to pay up can get the clerics of Aratshi coming down on you. Those who are unable to pay are handled like any other debtor: handed over to the clerics of Shkeen to be sold into slavery.

Photo credits: pepperfoster and pedrosimoes7.

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