Abgar threw the dice. “And… Lady’s Fingers! Damn it…” He passed them to Isengrim. “Your throw then.” The Ogre tossed the dice, which then showed a seven. Abgar snarled. “Damn your luck, Ogre.”
“Curse it all you want,” said Isengrim. “I’m still gathering the coin.” He collected the pot, and then placed his next bet. “So… I hear the old man has you watching the baby boy?”
Abgar nodded. “His nibs had one too many fits. Now I have to hold his hand to make sure he doesn’t hurt himself.”
Brunel scratched his head. “Personally, I think that would improve the little lord.” The others glanced at the cross-eyed Goblin. “Getting hurt. Preferably in some nasty way.”
“Well, he’s upper gentry, so I wouldn’t recommend it,” said Abgar.
“Well obviously, we wouldn’t hurt ourselves,” said Brunel, placing his coins in the pile. “More… he’d have something hit him in the head. All… accidental-like.”
Isengrim rolled his eyes as he threw the dice. “You worry me sometimes, Brunel.” He frowned. “Hmm… five.” He sighed and shook his head, preparing another throw.
“Brunel worries anyone with sense,” noted Abgar, his eyes riveted on Isengrim’s hand.
“Like a rock,” continued Brunel. “A really big rock.”
“Three,” muttered Isengrim, gathering the dice again.
“Think of it!” said Brunel. “A really big rock hitting him in the head! Wouldn’t that be great?”
“Depend on the size,” came out a small croaking voice. The guards turned to see the hunchback quietly cleaning in a corner.
“Oy, Creeper!” snapped Abgar. “How long you been standing there?”
The hunchback considered. “Well… I really don’t know, sirs, I really don’t.” He smiled at them. “Not long, sirs, though. No, just doing a little cleaning here, sirs. Cleaning, all quick and quiet. That’s what I was doing, sirs.”
Brunel got up quickly. “Listen you whoreson, did you hear me planning to hit Cheirmmarrhus in the head with a big rock…?”
The hunchback considered this, then shook his head. “No, good sir. Of course not.”
Brunel gave a satisfied nod. “Right. Right. Good.” He gave a menacing, cross-eyed squint. “Best be on your way then.”
The hunchback bowed, creeping towards the door out of the chamber all the while. “Of course, sir, of course, of course.”
Abgar turned to him. “And word of this better not reach Lord Nycetus.”
“Of course not, sir,” said the hunchback. “I would never dream of disturbing the great master with all of sirs various… business. Never, never.”
Abgar watched him dart out the door, then turned back to the game. “Brunel,” he declared softly, “why is your hand in the pot?”
Brunel released the coins in his hand. “I was… adding coins to it?” he suggested.
Outside, the hunchback released a deep breath, and shook his head, massaging it gently as he walked away.