A gambler who's always got it under control. His lax confidence makes it hard to know when he's lying, which is just how he likes it. He says things like "I come from royalty" and "I never lose," but who knows if that's true or not?
Lady Luck's Tamer
Ranzal: Damn! That's ANOTHER loss! How've I still not won a SINGLE ROUND?!
Euden: What's got you shouting, Ranzal? Are you playing dice?
Ranzal: Yeah, and this guy's a total beast. It's like he knows what number's gonna come up before he throws the things.
Aurien: Hah! You flatter me. I'm many things, friend, but clairvoyant isn't one of them. You mustn't rail against your own luck. Lady Luck is a sensitive soul. Slight her, and she'll surely forsake you. But put your trust in her, and she'll return your love tenfold—in due time! Patience and faith. That's how Lady Luck is wooed.
Ranzal: Spare me the poetry, pal. Don't think ya got it all figured out just 'cause yer on a lucky streak. Rrgh, I'm passin' the baton to you. Avenge me, Euden!
Euden: B-but I don't even know the rules of the game!
Ranzal: Eh, it's easy. Yer gonna be fine.
Aurien: Then you're my next opponent? Aurien is the name. I'm a traveling gambler of sorts. A pleasure to make your acquaintance...?
Euden: Euden. And the pleasure is mine.
Aurien: Ahh, a familiar name. I've heard the rumors, friend. All of them good. Now, shall we begin?
Euden: I'm ready. Er, but try to go easy on me.
Aurien: ...... What?! That's not...
Ranzal: Bwa ha ha! Looks like Lady Luck just dumped ya, buddy! I knew it! Beginners always catch her eye.
Aurien: Heh heh... I see. You've been chosen by fortune herself.
Euden: That seems like a bit of an exaggeration. I think Ranzal has the right idea. Just a bit of beginner's luck.
Aurien: There are no coincidences in this world, Euden. Fortune does not pick winners haphazardly. If what I've heard is true, you're looking for allies to join your cause. Looking to do something truly big.
Euden: Well, yes, I suppose—
Aurien: Will you deal me in?
Euden: You want to join us? Are you sure?
Aurien: A betting man is never certain, but that's half the thrill. I'll take my chances that you'll prove to be a man smiled upon by fortune.
Ranzal: He's a pretty smooth talker, and he's got a head for strategy. Might be useful.
Euden: If you would fight alongside us, I welcome the help. Nice to have you along, Aurien!
An Innocent Game
Elisanne: So you were born a noble, Aurien?
Aurien: Yes, to an old aristocratic house some seven generations deep at this point. But my own path diverged when I first picked up dice at the academy. Now they're my life.
Cleo: A rather remarkable turn.
Elisanne: Yes. I don't know much about those sorts of amusements, but your story is fascinating. Your dice game has certainly captivated Ranzal. It must be quite alluring.
Aurien: Any interest in finding out for yourselves, ladies? I would be happy to teach you. A single round and you'll have it mastered.
Elisanne: Oh! May I?
Cleo: I...think I'll sit here and watch, thank you.
Aurien: As you wish. If you change your mind, you need only say the word.
Elisanne: Ah, they match! Then I've won? I can see the appeal. This IS rather fun! Look, Cleo! I've won again!
Cleo: Yes...so it seems.
Aurien: I can see you're much beloved by fortune, Elisanne.
Elisanne: Er, I suppose? But I'm curious: you've yet to win a round, yet you seem absolutely delighted regardless.
Aurien: Ahh, games of chance are a matter of luck, and a humble human cannot hope to alter fortune's course. Luck flows like a river, you see. All I can do is let its current take me. At times, Lady Luck may turn a cold shoulder your way. But her caprice makes her no less alluring. It's all part of the game's charm.
Elisanne: You're quite humble, I see.
Aurien: Besides, how could I be anything but delighted sharing a table with a beauty such as yourself? To ask for any greater fortune would surely be hubris.
Elisanne: You, sir, are incorrigible! I'll not be taken in by such obvious flattery. ...What is it, Cleo? That's quite the look on your face. He's a shameless flirt, but he's harmless.
Cleo: I wonder. I've been watching the dice rather closely, and something feels extremely unnatural. Almost as if he's intentionally making you win.
Aurien: Ha ha! And just what would I stand to gain from losing?
Cleo: I've been told that it's the clumsy card sharp who does nothing but win. After a handful of losses, most patsies will cut their losses and run. But give them a few wins to make them think their luck is infallible, and they'll bet their last coin. Quite an effective strategy, really. Indeed, Elisanne was well on her way to falling for it.
Elisanne: I was?!
Aurien: You're very wise, dear Cleo. Which is why it pains me all the more that someone I so respect would doubt me.
Elisanne: I'm sorry, Aurien. I'm sure she meant no insult. Really, Cleo, you mustn't go flinging around baseless accusations.
The Gamble That Counts
Euden: And you're absolutely certain Aurien is cheating, Cleo?
Cleo: He's fleeced half the castle by this point. If he were simply outplaying them, I'd have no complaints. If it were luck, so be it. But I saw him manipulate the dice with my own eyes!
Aurien: You have me dead to rights, my dear. Wise, observant Cleo. Your kind is always trouble for men like me.
Euden: So you've been rigging the games all this time? Why stoop to such tactics?
Aurien: Luck is a fickle friend. It will help you win sporadically. But to win reliably? That takes a bit of ingenuity. Feign destiny. Sprinkle a bit of drama and mystique! And always make it elegant. That doesn't end with the dice. I've lived my entire life that way, meticulously stage-directed to appeal!
Euden: And to misdirect your audience while you take advantage of them.
Cleo: You're a fraud. A swindler. A con man.
Aurien: Ha ha ha! So many names. Choose whichever you like.
Cleo: Leave at once.
Euden: Now, let's not be too hasty, Cleo. I'm sure that Aurien had his reasons. Some desperate circumstance, perhaps?
Aurien: She's largely on the mark about the sort of man I am. I make no bones about it. But I've a history that's brought me where I am today, the same as anyone. My father was a noble, and he also held a vast business empire. Everyone agreed he was a man of vision, talent, and drive. But in his last great venture, it was luck that he lacked. We were left with a mountain of debt, abandoned by all but the moneylenders who circled us like vultures. But they did not get to pick this carcass clean. I clawed my way back out with a pair of dice and a bit of smooth talk.
Euden: That must have been quite arduous.
Cleo: Indeed, a story like that warrants pity. ...Or it would, were it true.
Aurien: You won't believe me?
Cleo: Deceit is your stock-in-trade. Whatever it's won you, the price you've paid is the trust of others.
Aurien: Ha! Quite the stern appraisal. I respect my father as a man, but he made one unforgivable mistake... He gambled and lost. And his poor fortune ruined the lives of those he held dearest. When you face down the greatest gamble of your life, you mustn't lose. You cannot. I'm not about to get picky about the means.
Euden: So you deceive others?
Aurien: Quite gladly. You, too, will face a battle you're unwilling to lose someday, Euden. I'm certain of it.
A Gambler's True Joy
Ranzal: Anybody else notice the shady guys skulkin' around outside the castle?
Aurien: My, my... I'm impressed they found this place.
Ranzal: They yer guests, Aurien?
Aurien: They're a pack of city roughs. I played a few rounds with them, and they proved to be sore losers. Though considering the sum I took from them, I'm not entirely surprised. Still, it's awfully childish. They knew the rules and chose to play. It's unbecoming to fuss about the outcome.
Ranzal: Provided ya FOLLOWED those rules...
Cleo: I assume you cheated them as well? Rather rich to hear you lecturing them on proper behavior.
Ranzal: I guess ya try coppin' to it and just apologize?
Aurien: Ha ha ha! No cheating was involved this time, I assure you. And I doubt an apology would satisfy these rogues. After being so roundly embarrassed in front of his men, their boss is rather furious. I barely escaped with my life, frankly.
Ranzal: Over a dice game? Seems a bit extreme.
Ranzal: Okay, what ACTUALLY happened?
Aurien: I came across a starry-eyed young man in the main plaza, you see. An actor, it turns out—broke, but talented, and over the moon at having just landed his first leading role. But the head of this pack of thugs chose to rain on his parade by openly mocking him. I overheard and thought it was in poor form, so I proposed a little wager on how the play would fare. The conditions were overwhelmingly in his favor, but should he lose, he promised to kneel before the actor and grovel.
Ranzal: So, how'd it do?
Aurien: The smash hit of the decade! It's the finest show in town—save for the sight of that ruffian on his knees in the city square. The crowd loved watching both. It seems the villain is rather unpopular with his fellow citizens. The actor's gone on to do quite well for himself, though. He sends me box seat tickets to every performance.
Cleo: A charming story, though it means you've made yourself a target.
Aurien: I'm not too broken up over it. I stand by my bet. I want to see that rising star ascend to its rightful spot in the sky! Encouraging those dreams is my joy in life.
Ranzal: Huh. That's actually pretty decent of ya. I'm starting to see ya in a different light, Aurien. Eh, Cleo?
Cleo: Yes... Perhaps.
Aurien: I consider what I did a public service. If that earns me a few grudges, so be it. ...Though I'm not entirely convinced it's me they're after this time.
Cleo: Oh? And what does that mean?
Aurien: Heh. Perhaps nothing at all. ...I suspect it will become clear soon enough.
A Mesmerizing Dice Roll
Cleo: Thank you for your help with the shopping, Euden.
Euden: Of course. I couldn't very well ask you to carry this mountain of groceries alone. We can—
???: End of the road for you, Yer Highness! ...Get the ropes, boys.
Euden: Huh? Augh!
Cleo: Euden! Just what do you people think— Hngh!
Euden: Ngh... Why are you doing this?
Boss: There's plenty of folks would pay a pretty pile'a coin for you, Highness. You're about to make me a veeery wealthy man. Heh heh heh...
Cleo: So those thugs hanging around the castle weren't after Aurien.
Euden: Rgh, I was careless.
Aurien: Need a hand?
Aurien: It's been a while, friend. Speaking of which, these two are also friends of mine. Perhaps you could see fit to let them go as a favor to me?
Boss: "Friends" my gouty foot. You were after him for yourself, weren't you? Well, you were too slow. I'm not handing over the goose with the golden eggs now. But you're welcome to try taking him by force! Gwa ha ha ha!
Aurien: Perish the thought! Violence is so terrifically inelegant. I propose a game of dice.
Boss: Are you completely daft? We know all your tricks by now. If you think your little game's going to end the same way it did before, you're sorely mistaken.
Aurien: I see. Then why don't we have a good, clean game and leave it all up to fortune? You can name your conditions.
Euden: Aurien, don't!
Aurien: No cause for alarm, friend. I'll see you two freed. Besides, it's time I showed I'm more than the sum of my tricks. I'll make Lady Luck stand up and take notice of me yet! Now, shall I roll the dice? Watch closely... Hah!
Euden: What?! *cough* Those dice are SMOKING!
Boss: Dammit, I can't see a thing! Aurien! *cough* You scoundrel!
Cleo: Euden, I believe this is our cue.
Aurien: Shake a leg, you two! Let's go!
Cleo: I might have known you were up to something when you proposed an honest game.
Aurien: Gambling isn't just about dice games. This is how I live my life.
Euden: Well, thanks to you, we made it back home safe. And without a drop of blood spilled on either side. Elegant indeed. Thank you, Aurien!
Cleo: I will confess I did not expect you to come running to our rescue.
Aurien: I told you before, when the stakes are highest, a gambler mustn't lose. And right now I'm eyeing the gamble of a generation. I'm betting Euden reshapes all Grastaea's future. I'm not about to allow anyone to get in the way of that!
Euden: All Grastaea! You really think so highly of me?
Aurien: From the moment I saw you. It was reason enough to cheat my way into your entourage, at any rate.
Euden: You cheated back then? But wait, when we first played, I was the one who won. Don't tell me you intentionally...
Aurien: Heh heh. Who can say? Perhaps I did...or perhaps I'm bluffing. Just know that the fact that I'm betting on you is very much the truth. And I have every intention of winning!
Posted by the Dragalia Lost Twitter account on May 26, 2022.