Fortuna Gambling on Rapier Bouts: Robert of Beddingfield

corby's picture

Robert will be present on the rapier field, encouraging questers to bet on rapier bouts. He has very graciously agreed to portray the Goddess Fortuna in drag.

So part of the station involves the questers being courtly and polite to Fortuna, calling Robert "she" and praising her beauty. If they don't, he can screw them on the wagers.

Questers ante up something they have with them that they'll need later--swords, scissors, shield, helmet or even one of their members in order to play the game.  If they win, they get a coin or coins depending on the odds of the win.

They need 5 to get everyone across the Styx past Charon, though fewer coins also have value other places.

If they lose, they're short whatever gear or personnel they wagered, be it sword, shield, knitting needles, skein, goat, sheep, fleece,  one of their party, etc.  Maybe some blessing earned elsewhere can erase a loss IF they have it before they bet. 

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seriously? I'd start with

seriously? I'd start with .

[I know it's cheating a bit but at least it's a Roman deity...]

If he's available, though, who else but Count Daffyd... I mean, Guido? hehe

What the world needs is a good ELE. - Jonathan Blackbow

Agreed on Fortuna ... but should be a woman (man as woman)

Fortuna is female, and I have plenty of documentation of male actors dressed as women (( key clothing items are palla [wrap] and stola [overgown] to play role of woman ))

See the following on
Fortuna: silver statuette with gilt traces.
The crowned goddess holds a cornucopia in her left hand; her right arm is lost. Roman (probably made in Gaul) 200-225 CE. London, British Museum. Credits: Ann Raia, 2006.


The immature nymph of the dragonfly.

I'm just sayin'.

better than

Better than Bacchus' attendents, the My-nads. That's what Corby said they were anyway...

Heh. She said

Heh. She said "nads".


corby's picture

Robert dressed as Fortuna?

So, Robert, do you want to be the goddess Fortuna?

In any case, I had somehow pictured you dressed in red. Got anything that color?

Know anyone your size whom you can borrow a dress from?

And no, I wouldn't want you to shave.

You in drag would actually be fertile ground for the oracular clue--If you as Fortuna got mad if the questers laughed at you or said anything insulting, you could offer then bad odds on their bets or otherwise make it hard on them.

red tunica would be easy for someone to make for Robert ...

... I'm swamped on sewing, or I'd offer to do it! In a pinch, we could put my "teaching tunica" on him (( which is more of a orange-red and a blended fabric ))

Tunica is essentially two rectangles of 60" wide fabric, sewn up the sides to about 10" or so from the top edge, and pinned or sewn shut along the top. IIRC, Robert is around my height so about 5 yards of fabric, cut in half for the panels, would do for the tunica....

corby's picture

Pointing out this comment to Robert

Robert somehow missed this comment, so until yesterday he didn't know what I had in mind for him. In fact, his exact words were: Who? What?

Here's how this idea developed:

  1. We need a way for questers to earn coins.
  2. Make them gamble for coins, wagering some of their gear as collateral.
  3. It is good to use as many of the on-site activities as possible.
  4. We need to use the rapier fighters somehow.
  5. Let's have them bet on rapier bouts!
  6. Isobel: Bob would be great at that! He can con the pants off them.
  7. We need to figure out a mythological theme for Bob as the gambling guy.
  8. Siobhan and Caitlin: Fortuna is the Roman Goddess of Luck.
  9. Corby: I can't find a male aspect of Fortuna.
  10. Can we put Robert in drag?
  11. That would be fun!

So how about it? When you look at it this way, it almost seems inevitable.

Two things: Thing one, have

Two things:

Thing one, have you checked with Syr Christian on how Robert's betting will work with the current plan he has for the rapier fighting? Will the tournament he has planned last the four hours of the quest, or will there only be gambling in the earlier hours?

Thing Two, I got some special Robert trim to make a tunica atlantia for Bob (as well as one for Alan). Alan's will be more refined, but Bob's is a bit silly, but perfect for Bob (blue flames). So instead of being in drag, can he be instead one of Pluto's minions since modernly we see gambling as a vice and obviously vices end you up in Hades. Just some thoughts.


corby's picture


I've discussed the quest in broad measure with Christian, and he knows someone will be betting on the bouts.

I do need to talk to him to be sure that bouts are ready to go about 15 minutes after the start of the quest.

bits on gaming & Romans


==> Potentially interesting tie-in to Venus -- looks like highest throw is hers?

venus -eris, f. charm, loveliness; love; a loved one; personif. Venus, goddess of love; the Venus throw, highest throw of the dice; adj. Venereus (-ius) -a -um, of Venus or of love.


==> Possible inclusion in Oracle's bit on Fortuna? special dispensation, in honor of Coronation or some such?

"The Romans were passionate gamblers, especially in the luxurious days of the Roman Empire, and dicing was a favorite form, though it was forbidden except during the Saturnalia. Horace derided what he presented as a typical youth of the period, who wasted his time amid the dangers of dicing instead of taming his charger and giving himself up to the hardships of the chase. Throwing dice for money was the cause of many special laws in Rome. One of these stated that no suit could be brought by a person who allowed gambling in his house, even if he had been cheated or assaulted. Professional gamblers were common, and some of their loaded dice are preserved in museums. The common public-houses were the resorts of gamblers, and a fresco is extant showing two quarrelling dicers being ejected by the indignant host."


"It is unknown of what material the earliest polyhedral dice were made. A pair of icosahedral (20-sided) dice dating from Roman times are on display at the British Museum.[3]

Roughly cubical six-sided Roman dice made of wood, bone, ivory and lead have been discovered. It is possible that polyhedral dice were used by even earlier cultures."


"20 icosahedron Icosahedron Faces are equilateral triangles. Typically, opposite faces add to twenty-one. A Roman icosahedron die from the 2nd century AD has been found, though the game it was used for is not known.[3]"


"[3] a b Thompson, Clive (December 02, 2003). Ancient Roman dungeonmastering. Collision Detection. Retrieved on 2006-06-26."


Tabula -- backgammon --

Tali -- knucklebones --

* * IMAGES * *

Scroll down for extant Roman die:

20-sided die:

Tali has the Venus throw ...

from the tali link I just posted:


(6,4,3,1) :Venus -- all four tali with different sides.
(6,x,x,x) : Senio -- A single six & anything
(6,6,6,6) : Vultures -- all four tali the same
(4,4,4,4) : Vultures -- all four tali the same
(3,3,3,3) : Vultures -- all four tali the same
(1,1,1,1) : Dogs -- lowest of the Vultures