(1310-02-16) The Engagement of a Bard
Summary: Lysander seeks out Clémentine at the theatre, and a position is sought.
RL Date: February 28th, 2018
Related: None
clementine lysander 

Backstage Area — Opéra of Marsilikos

Through the stage doors and deep, deep, deep into the bowels of the opera house which nobody can see from the outside, and few bother to think about. For what's back here anyway? A pair of gigantic double doors, one of them left ajar, leads into an equally massive backstage space, flanked by tall windows, dust and cloud-greyed sunbeams that are scattered over what seems like miles of scenery, costumes, devices, and props. Each is a motionless memorial to a performance or an idea for a show in past years, some of it shrouded in linen for cleanliness. Faces that mix monsters with humanity stare unblinking from any number of corners, and the atmosphere could be just as creepy as it is fascinating were one to find themselves alone here when others have left.

'Theatre people'. Is there a better name for the myriad collection of personalities that populate the halls, sweep the aisles, carry the costumes, and radiate such down-to-earth eccentricity that even the plainest of them seems better-suited to being a character onstage? It'll be one such of these 'theatre people' that Lysander will find himself in conversation with when he enquires as to the whereabouts of a particular Clémentine nó Trevalion; the owner, manager and creative head of l'Opera Marsilikos all rolled into the one neat red-headed package that's currently also the beloved Songbird of the city. He'll find himself led through the labyrinthine hallways of the backstage area, past inner doors where the sounds of a rehearsal are underway, and up some stairs towards the attics where the soft, lively music of a pan flute being played gradually sharpens itself on the senses. Airy notes dance over the attic, stringing together a song that's a childhood favorite of most d'Angelines; a song that extols the virtues of taking chances, turning corners, and bravely trying the new. Draped in an off-the-shoulder white linen and corseted in copper for contrast, Clémentine sprawls idly in a sheet-covered chair; one leg out, one leg wound over the arm of the furniture, and a meadow of masks blooming on the floor beneath her feet. Once Lysander has been led inside of the double doors, she leaves the pipes at her lips to finish the melody and waves the man over with a hand, her mouth turning up at the sides.

There had been a change of plans! After being all properly led towards the backstage area, Lysander exchanged a few words with the lad and grinned watching him go. Amidst all of these theatre folk, what better way could there be to introduce oneself, than through a dramatic entrance?

Someone slips in through the door, after administering a brief knock, but overall there is a bit of sneakiness in the way Lysander enters the backstage area, his lute held under his arm, as he closes the door immediately and leans against it, his ear close to the wood as if expecting someone to come after him and throw him out. Belatedly, he becomes aware that he is not alone, and indeed, Clémentine will have had enough opportunity to look him over. What she will see is a minstrel, a commoner of good looks, dark hair cropped short if one can tell, as most is hidden beneath the dramatic wide-brimmed hat with a feather he wears upon his head. Said hat is pulled off instantly, to act as prop for a wave he offers along with a fluid bow. "My lady, forgive me!", he intones, his voice pleasant in its lower register. "I'm not a villain, I swear. Just a poor minstrel, seeking your attention!" She knows him of course to be a member of a travelling theatre troupe currently staying in Marsilikos.

Doo, doo, doo-doo-doooooo. And done. Silver glints in a streak of silvery-grey illumination as Clémentine turns the pan flute over in her fingers, watching the vague reflection of Lysander in the shiny little tubes before putting the instrument down, letting it dangle again from the leather cord strung 'round her waist. Shoulders straighten as she leans one shoulder into the curve of her chair's backrest and her foot bounces where it dangles across its arm. "There's not that many that care to climb to this floor if not seeking some obscure item that's long been forgotten, but no need to apologise, for it's hardly private. As to being a villain. Well… I'd not pin you as that, for what villain would wear such a hat? If it's my attention you truly seek, then take the throne over yonder. Just behind you. Purple cushions? Can't miss it. You're welcome to explore, though, if it suits you better. I know that I never get tired of wandering around up here." Her smile deepens on one side, producing a dimple. "It tends to inspire me. Have you a name?"

The music had been pleasant enough, and so is the sight, "Hmm… Such a bewitching red hue you have in your hair!", Lysander tells her, not averse to using his charme and flattery to impress upon the woman. "So what they say is true, about the exquisite beauty of those of the Night Court!" But there, attention shifts to those purple cushions she indicated. "Lysander Beaufort, minstrel, actor and teller of stories, at your service, milady.", the young man offers in introduction, in the moment he takes the offered seat. The lute is placed upon his lap. "I also play the lute. Mind if we test our musical compatability?"

<FS3> Lysander rolls Lute: Failure. (2 2 4 3 6 3 6 3 1 6 6)

The attempt to have a melody evolve from sounds he draws from the strings, fails somewhat, when the notes sound erratic and uninspired, failing to weave the magic that music can be.

Clémentine retrieves her flute and lifts it to press to her lips, though quickly lowers it after a breath or two across its pipes. Lips quirk, and she has to work hard not to smile at the sound that Lysander pulls in accompaniment from the strings of his lute. "I am thinking that perhaps the two instruments are not compatible," she says, and despite the fact that she doesn't allow mirth to show on her face, amusement is easily found in her voice. "Or perhaps it is my bewitching red hair or the exquisite beauty that distracts you so…" her voice tails off, a definite smile now making an appearance as she gestures to the lute which he holds. "By all means, another attempt? Perhaps if you look not at me, but at one of the other treasures that are held in this room?" She's teasing him now, that much is obvious, the smile lifted his way as with an expansive sweep of her hands she encompasses the entirety of the room and its contents.

"It is hard to keep focus," Lysander agrees, his eyes holding Clémentine's gaze, if she allows. "Fair Clémentine, for her you must be. Birds sing your praise and pale against you, so I've heard. The Nightingale of Marsilikos… Might I… ask for the honor…", the lute he sets down, leaning it against his seat. "The delight of attempting a duet with you?"

<FS3> Lysander rolls Charm: Good Success. (2 7 8 1 8 4)
<FS3> Lysander rolls Singing: Success. (7 3 1 2 1 3 6 3 2 1 3)

Not waiting for her reply, the bard begins, his voice more a shivering piano, perhaps because he is so terribly in awe of her.

"The most handsome and heroic knight,
"Would not shy away from a fight,
"For the most treasured beauty there ever was…"

He clears his throat.

"The Nightingale of Marsilikos."

<FS3> Clémentine rolls Singing+4: Great Success. (7 8 3 6 2 7 6 2 2 5 5 2 7 8 4 2 2)

Slinking a hand behind her neck, Clémentine draws the fiery red lengths of her hair forward over her shoulder, allowing the waves and curls to settle upon the the delicate span of her collarbones. She beautifully picks up the tune that Lysander sets down, though without knowledge of the words he sings, her voice is merely an exquisite counterpoint of notes that blend with his, and her laughter is bubble that breaks on its conclusion. "Oh but you are too much, Monsieur! Really, too much! But do tell, since you have my curiousity piqued. Why is it that you've come to seek me out?" Fingers stroke a length of her hair between her fingertips, watching herself twirl its tip before lifting her eyes back to his and locking upon them there. "What is it you want of me?"

Did she hold back on purpose, just to make his lapse in performing less obvious? Lysander catches himself, pausing to draw a breath, before he continues, a small smile blossoming upon his handsome features. "Your voice…", he breathes, "it carries the coloratura so well." Her words reach him belatedly. "Am I? Too much? Truly?" The smile shifts into a grin. "I'll take that as a compliment, Mademoiselle Clémentine… I really do. Well. The reason why I came here… I wished to ask if I could work at your theatre. I like the venue. So… grand. It must attract quite the audience." But her fingers fidgeting with her red hair do distract him, again. Blinking, he clears his throat and shakes his head, as if the get rid of the spell (or imaginary spell, who knows?), she casts on him. "I sing, I play, I'm a decent actor, or so I've been told. And currently… not held by any other engagement, so… What do you think?"

Clémentine unhooks her leg from where it's hung across the arm of the chair, placing it alongside its twin on the floorboards. "A permanent position here at l'Opera Marsilikos? The bard in residence, you mean? First Bard. House Bard? Hmm… so many titles that that could carry!" Fingers ripple where curled about the chair's arms as she leans forward, her eyes digging into Lysander's. "We have not had a bard in residence for two seasons now, the last having left us suddenly when a fancy to see Alba drew him suddenly away. I had not thought…" Her voice drifts, as do her thoughts, though to what it'd be hard to say. Perhaps to some rumour that'd circulated in the preceding months regarding the predilections of a certain young bard. She clears her throat and drags her focus back to the one now before her. "We keep certain standards here at l'Opéra Marsilikos. If engaged, your public face must be exemplary."

"I… am aware my performance was not the best… hardly qualifying for a position as… what?" Lysander jumps to his feet, eyes widening as he stares at Clémentine, incredulous that she would offer such an position to him. "F…first bard? Oh…why… certainly, I can…" He smiles, as he pictures the impressive auditorium filled with lovely ladies and high nobility, and opportunities.

"…be the very best First Bard you ever had," the young commoner finishes the sentence. His attire, colorful yes, but showing traces of repair here and there. "Ah.. faraway lands… I've just returned… I mean, I've been to Caerdicca Unitas, milady. I even speak a little Caerdicci. I feel no inclination to leave Marsilikos soon, of that I can assure you." Eloquence may be a thing that he is good at. His glee dims into a sobered earnest attitude, and he nods gravely. "Exemplary, yes I understand. I shall fulfill these… whatever standards you have, Mademoiselle Clémentine." His head dips, the suppressed smile slowly gaining the upper hand again. "Companions… Would you give me that chance, oh fairest lady of them all?"

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