Aurore nó Bonnel de Chalasse
Aurore_01.jpg
Fullname: Aurore nó Bonnel de Chalasse
Played by: Gina McKee
Gender: Female
Age: 29
Birthdate: August 16th, 1281
Class: Noble
House: Chalasse
Occupation: Vicomtesse Regent
Province: L'Agnace
Country: Terre d'Ange
Parents: Unknown
Siblings: Unknown
Marital Status: Widow of the late vicomte de Ferrand, Jean Chalasse (d. December 1306)
Children: The present vicomte de Ferrand, Thierry Chalasse (b. January 1303)

Known Information

Background

One fateful day in 1301, an independent courtesan calling herself Aurore nó Bonnel arrived in a village in L'Agnace.

Overlooking the village was a well-made fortress, for this particular village and castle controls one of the best passes through this section of the mountains and there has been trouble in the past. Ruling from that fortress was the elderly, though still sprightly vicomte de Ferrand, Jean Chalasse, who was unfortunately childless despite having outlived two wives. His heir was a middle-aged nephew, Philippe, who despite having a hale wife a few years his junior, had only managed to produce a sequence of sickly children, none of whom had survived to adulthood.

Aurore rather quickly caught the attention of both lord and heir and soon there were merry entertainments up at the castle's great hall. Aurore herself said little of her exact origins and there was a bit of a guessing game about what they might be, though it was known from her name that some Kusheline noble of House Bonnel must have held her marque. The most entertaining guesses were rewarded with kisses. She hinted she was the daughter of some important ambassador and gently born, though she never claimed such a heritage outright. Her independent courtesan’s marque, based on the tiny, delicate, poisonous flowers of the wild carrot, was already complete and her time and money, her own. Soon both lords were in love with her, and she seemed enamored of them in turn. As an inducement, the vicomte had something his nephew did not: the baron was free to marry again, and so Aurore in retirement became a vicomtesse in 1302, though there were rumors that the nephew had not lost his interest in her. In any case, a healthy son, named Thierry, was born to the vicomte and his wife within the year (January 1303), and a will made making Aurore the guardian for the new heir in the likely event of the vicomte dying before the lad reached adulthood. Indeed, the old lord did seem to be wearing out under the rigors of marriage to such a merry young wife. By the time the little boy was out of diapers the sod was being laid on the old vicomte's grave.

The nephew contested the guardianship of course, but the elderly lawyer who came to write up his briefs for the case, soon grew very fond of the young widow. Papers were delayed, challenges sent to the wrong places, deadlines missed.

The young heir learned his letters and numbers under his mother's care and the castle was made merry: any passing acrobat or jongleur or the like was invited up to the castle to stay and made much of, and sent away well satisfied. As a result, songs were sung of Aurore’s virtue and generosity wherever the performers wandered, which legend of course drew still more entertainers to the castle gates — whilst the whispers about how perhaps the old vicomte might have died a bit before his time remained local, shared mostly among friends of the in-laws. The nephew was not growing any younger meanwhile.

In the early spring of 1308, a merchant caravan came through that part of L’Agnace and spread a fever to village and castle. First the nephew's wife died of it. A week later, the nephew followed his wife to the grave, along with several villagers and the servant who was nursing Philippe and his wife. The nephew's lawyer remained in favour at the castle until about a year later he fell ill of a surfeit of eels, and then had what appeared to be a stroke. He died after several month’s illness, well cared for. There were more whispers now about how lucky the merry widow had been in the deaths of others; though she had been lucky in everything since she arrived, the men were old, and there was nothing suggestive in her manner or any proof at all. Just whispers, albeit whispers spreading through a larger circle now, across a broader swath of the province, despite all the good reports of her character spread still more widely by musicians and traveling players and their ilk.

And so it was that, in 1310, beset by rumour and no longer quite so beloved in her own lands, the dowager decided that she and the young vicomte might both benefit from a change of air, and he from the wider educational opportunities available in Marsilikos…

Inspiration

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