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    Jack the Knave

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    Kitrazzle
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    Jack the Knave

    Post by Kitrazzle on 26/06/11, 04:27 am

    Jack the Knave had not always been Jack, nor had he always been a knave. The latter, at least, was a fairly recent development.

    Once upon a time, simultaneously not terribly long ago and a lifetime away, he had been John Barrow. John Barrow was a Son of Detroit, born into poverty as the middle child of factory workers, determined to build a better life for himself. John was also something of a prodigy: sensible enough to know what he wanted, intelligent enough to figure out how to do it, and diligent enough to work hard for it. This led to being shepherded out of the public school system at a fairly early age as he kicked scholastic butt.

    Insisting as he did on only attending boarding schools, John found himself flung into the world of the super rich and jaded. Being a charity case friend to some and the butt of jokes to others, he discovered that games of skill and chance earned more respect (and spending money) then exceptional grades did. He experimented with various games throughout his years at Berkshire and into Old Ivy, preferring strategic games but honing quite a talent for games of "chance". Unfortunately, this talent caught the wrong kind of attention.

    Taking the trains from Boston to Detroit to visit his family over Winter Break, John found himself in a poker game with a number of individuals. About halfway through the day long first leg, the only players were himself and a rail thin man with a crooked smile. As they neared the end of the line in Chicago, they were betting the most outlandish things. The thin man's grin nearly split his face in two when he declared that John had lost.

    And suddenly there was only the Page, the Knave, the Jack of Clubs. Lowest royal of the lowest suit, thought of as still a peasant by the other suits' royals and thought of as a royal by the numbered clubs, not belonging anywhere. Just a simple playing card when the Devil felt like using their deck, and a moving paper sculpture working in the Casino the rest of the time. It never occurred to the Knave of Clubs that anything had ever or would ever exist outside of the Casino Royale until one day he looked up and realized something.

    The Devil had a tell.

    No one is remotely sure how it happened. The few memories retained are sketchy at best and contradictory at worst. What is known is that one day when the Devil sat down to play against a peer the Knave of Clubs, lowest royal of the lowest suit and not belonging anywhere, cheated his way into becoming a third player from within the deck itself and beat them both.

    The deck cheated? Unheard of! The deck won? Absurd! But that was the easy part. Fifty two cards, released from all debts and contracts, walked out of the Casino Royale. When the changelings stumbled out of the Hedge scratched and torn and stood blinking under the streetlights of Detroit, their numbers had dwindled dramatically. Released from his role in the deck, the man who remembered being John Barrow promptly flipped them all the bird and started walking towards his parents' part of town. Luckily for everyone, the hue and cry raised by the others drew the attention of friendly ears. They were spirited away to safety and the rehabilitation began.

    Being one of the lucky ones, in that he knew his name and still looked approximately the age he was supposed, John eagerly went to slip back into his life only to find that it wasn't his life anymore. Horrified to find a John already there, he began to wonder if he was really John at all. Assured by his new mentors that this other John was a fetch created to replace him and that all of their kind had such counterparts, he calmed down enough to observe properly and decided to leave this other John alone for a while. It was doing a decent enough job of living his life for him, and it would be too difficult at the moment to take his life back without breaking his mother's heart. Setting aside the name John Barrow, fracturing his heart and mind in the process, he took up the name Jack Littleoak and made it legal by bartering his services to a vampire who made an art of alternate identities.

    Being the only page of the deck to survive the return from Arcadia, Jack became known to the supernatural world as Jack the Knave. Perhaps he was a little too smooth and sharp -but always charming- and certainly he was a bit of a ladies' man -thought always a gentleman- but surely it was only because he played his role as Spring courtier to the hilt. The troublesome part of Jack was the propensity for gaming, for just because he'd learned the follies of frivolous wagers against unknown opponents did not mean that his time in the Casino had not left him even more inclined to gamble then ever. He was simply more careful now about who he sat at table with and what he wagered. Mildly famous among certain circles for being one of leaders of the largest known group to escape the Hedge, Jack solicited the good will of the Carthians who mostly ruled Detroit and the other seasonal courts (but not the Hunters in Darkness that infected his city, they thought too like the Gentry for comfort) in order to become a reasonably trusted courier able travel around the country -no questions asked- for anyone who would pay his price. For Jack had heard a rumor when he'd gone to Pennsylvania to swear his allegiance to Spring, a whisper of a marvelous game where anything could be wagered and won. Perhaps even a mortal life and soul once lost.

    In the two years since his return, Jack had become something of a fixture in Detroit's supernatural society, amusingly unpredictable in predictably entertaining ways. Being one of the few members of Spring in a town where Winter and Autumn fight for dominance, he refused to travel during the three months when his tiny Court was in power. For the rest of the year, he frequently left for up to a week at a time, keeping both ears open for any hint of the Marvelous while conducting other peoples' business. He founded a Friday night poker game in a back room of the casino owned by one of his Spring comrades, a slightly seedy place intended for locals instead of tourists, and played chess every Tuesday he was in town with a few lady friends who didn't care for gambling. After an incident where his mother saw him in the street and -assuming he was his fetch- chastised him for coming home when he had graduate classes to attend, Jack learned to create a new mortal face and bartered his services to the Identity Artist again to have the name John Clover attached to it. This face was older, dark haired and distinguished, with a different mixture of sophistication and strength, but the eyes stayed the same. Having to set aside his original face for another of his own crafting cracked his heart and mind a little more, leaving him incapable of changing his eyes away from their original light blue/grey.


    Last edited by Kitrazzle on 05/07/11, 05:11 pm; edited 4 times in total
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    Kitrazzle
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    Re: Jack the Knave

    Post by Kitrazzle on 26/06/11, 04:42 am

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    Re: Jack the Knave

    Post by tuck on 26/06/11, 09:44 pm

    Soundtrack suggestions:

    Good Run of Bad Luck - Clint Black
    Friend of the Devil - Counting Crows
    Mr. Boombastic - Shaggy
    Drunk on the Moon - Tom Waits
    Devil Went Down to Georgia
    Sympathy for the Devil - The Rolling Stones
    Mack the Knife - Frank Sinatra
    I get Around - The Beach Boys
    Poker Face - Lady Gaga
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    Kitrazzle
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    Re: Jack the Knave

    Post by Kitrazzle on 05/07/11, 06:46 pm

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    Kitrazzle
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    Re: Jack the Knave

    Post by Kitrazzle on 05/07/11, 07:40 pm

    Soundtrack Additions

    You're a Wanderer - Wormtooth Nation Soundtrack
    Luck be a Lady - Frank Sinatra

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    Re: Jack the Knave

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