The Trickster’s Coin

Time to gamble with forces best left alone

Chapter 1 by 12shadesofnight 12shadesofnight

The Summoning Circle is almost complete. Six months you have toiled on it, making sure to keep your room locked to keep it a secret.

You wipe your face clean of sweat, fearing that drops of moisture would fall on your hard work. It is only your paranoia that makes you do so, since you are drawing with enchanted chalk. Enchanted chalk never runs out, and cannot be erased without an enchanted eraser. You finish drawing the last part of the diagram, and suddenly it begins glowing.

You leap away, out of the diagram and watch with your back against the wall and with fearful eyes as a portal opens. The empty darkness spits an incredibly tall, cloaked man out. The man lies on the ground for several minutes, unmoving, but you don’t dare approach. After a while, he sighs tiredly and begins to stand up.

He is almost tall enough to brush the ceiling with his hair. His face has that paleness that suggested that he spends very little time in the sun. His long, black hair frames his sharp face and his coal black eyes stare into yours. He reaches into his robe and pulls out a silver coin. Your eyes are drawn to it immediately.

“I wasn’t aware that some warlocks still live,” the Trickster says as he absentmindedly plays with the coin, rolling it across his fingers and flipping it. “In fact, I am certain I killed all of your filthy kind the last time I was dragged into this realm.”

Your eyes dart from the Trickster’s face to the coin in his hand and back, and you swallow audibly. The diagram seems to be working.

“Of course it is working, you filthy ape,” the Trickster cuts in sharply, his face contorting with disgust. “If it weren’t for your great grandfather’s diagram, there wouldn’t have even been ashes remaining of you.

The man visibly struggled to calm himself down, breathing deeply. He coughs to clear his throat.

“You desire the coin, just like your great granduncle had before you,” he states. Rolling his eyes at your surprised face, he continues, “No, your great grandfather may have been the one to come up with the Trickster’s Diagram, but it was your incompetent great granduncle’s greed that got all of their kind killed. Your great grandfather was the only man I didn’t despise among all of the warlocks, but he had been careless. He let his brother get hid hands on this.”

“Your great grandfather’s children were the one only ones I spared, and that was out of respect for his devotion to the arcane mysteries,” he says, and eyes grow cold. “A mistake, clearly. And unlike his foolish ape of a brother’s, this diagram has been drawn perfectly: It forces me to be honest while confining me to itself.”

You try to speak, but the words don’t come out. Your throat is dry, and your heart threatens to burst out of your chest. The Trickster watches you in silence, his hand always toying with the object of your desires.

Suddenly, he tosses the Coin through the air. Time slows down, and you feel your heart thumping in your throat as it flies towards you. You reach out and snatch it out of the air. As you clutch the coin in your fist, you feel the metal grow searing hot, and let out a shriek in agony. You cannot let go but your flesh was sizzling around the Coin, burning into your hand.

“The Trickster’s Coin ensures victory for it’s owner,” the Trickster states, ignoring your cries of pain. “I have just transferred ownership to you. My kind already knows of its existence, and also have the power to refuse to make bets with me, so it is useless to me.”

“With this coin, you will win every bet you make involving it. If it lands on one side: you win. If it lands on the other side: you still win.”

“As long as a person has bet something, it will be yours regardless of how absurd the terms are. People will see no problem with this, and it will be accepted universally. The only hurdle is getting the person to agree to the terms of the wager. If they refuse to participate, then that coin,” he says, pointing to your fist. “is just a piece of metal.”

“This,” you whisper, finally speaking. Your voice is hoarse, and dry from the stress. “This is the real thing?”

Your hand feels sore, but miraculously is unharmed. You hold the Coin between your thumb and index finger as you eye it.

“Try it out,” he answers simply. “Gamble.”

“What if- What if the person I’m betting against doesn’t mean what he says? What if you lie?” You feel more confident now, seeing as the diagram is successfully protecting you against the Trickster.

“Doesn’t matter. The coin is unaffected by lies. As long as someone says they are participating, be it with words or text, they are bound to the wager. Now, do it.”

“.....”

“I’ll do it, then,” he says, growing irritated. “If you win, you are spared from my revenge. In fact, I’ll go as far to never do anything to harm you, or any mortal on this plane, directly or indirectly, but if I win,” he says, and his eyes burn green. “I will burn every trace of yourfamily from this world, and I will drago you through every hell there is and leave you to die in the worst.”

“You will free me from this circle regardless of which of us wins, and now,”

His eyes burst into green flames in their sockets, and his voice reverberates through your mind. ‘Choose: heads or tails?’

The coin begins to grow hot in your hand once more.

But first,

Who are you?

Nutaku
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