The Gambler’s home is the northwestern territories of the world. The area is a sheer endless plain, mostly free from the influence of the five big dominions. The people in this area make a living out of hunting trihorns, massive hoofed beasts. Their tasty meat is a valuable both as sustenance and a commodity traded throughout the entire world.
The territories are bordered to the south by what is referred to as the “civilized world.” One huge mountain range crossed by countless trading routes separates the territories from High Cambria, the northwestern dominion. High Cambria’s wealth is a direct result of all the trading with the territories. But it also controls an abundance of ore and other natural resources which results in a high level of technology.
After his stepfather’s death, the gambler decides to leave the territories, eventually reaching the dominion of High Cambria where he spends the rest of his youth.
The story of the Gambler
“My name? Names don’t mean anything. Where I come from, I guess they mean even less than in the rest of Dominion. We’re being measured by our deeds and often called by them. This can come in quite handy and you’re getting used to it pretty quickly.
They call me the Gambler. But that’s just one of the names they gave me. I’ve had a lot of names in my time. Scallywag, blot, thief, murderer, cheat. I’ve worn them all and in a way, they all suited me quite well. Each one at a time. Although… they should never call me a cheat. In my experience, there is just one kind of cheats: the loser. I don’t lose. I never lose. Whoever calls me cheat for that, just proves that he doesn’t understand the rules. And those who did call me cheat, learned an elementary lesson right from my world: there is always room for a blade between two ribs. Blades obey me. Cards obey me.
Don’t ask me why, it has always been like this. I was five years old when the first dagger took exactly the way I wanted it to take. He called me a scallywag, the man, who was not my father. He never told me who my parents are or where I really came from. I suffered through all his humiliations, never showing my pain or despair.
False pride? Sod that! Pride is never false. And I knew that my day would come. After each trihorn hunt, it was my duty to sharpen the dull blades of the man that was just known as “the Hunter”. He was quite a hunter indeed, a true master. I’ll give him that. He knew his job and I admit that I learned quite a lot from him… a lot about killing.
Trihorns are the only resource of the north western territories, where I grew up. About a thousand pounds of great meat on tremendous legs. Truly magnificent creatures, dwelling their lives in regions of dust and stunted grass. Growing so strong and majestic in an environment like this means you know how to defend. Each of their horns is three feet long and if Djeitan would wear a fork, the spikes would be made of these creature’s horns. If you want to hunt them, you should know that their skull is a good match up even for the finest steel. In order to kill them, you better ought to know their only weakness. The blade has to penetrate between the second and third rib on the left side of their chests. This will kill them. Everything else will get you killed. However, you won’t have the time to count the ribs. Trihorns are lightning fast and you only have this one try. I’ve seen many men try and fail.
The man who was not my father never failed. Instead, he eventually became a prey of his own blades. The blade was well sharpened. By my own hand. And I was the one, who threw it. The dagger took exactly the path I wanted it to take and the blade pierced his chest exactly between the second and the third rib. In the end, he died like a trihorn. Unfortunately, his corpse was completely useless. When he finally left this world, spewing a last gush of blood, I turned and left. I left the dust behind me, the stunted grass, the trihorns and the corpse of the man who did not have a son. I never came back to these lands.”
(to be continued…)