(1310-04-28) Looking for Trouble
Summary: Meanwhile at the harbor, there is conflict brewing. A conflict of egos.
RL Date: April 28th + 30th, 2018
Related: Happens on the same evening as the Spring Masque.
belmont gal achille marion 

The Kraken's Den — Port — Marsilikos

A tall-tottering inn with a variety of rooms to let on the upper floors, from three fine suites just above the main floor to a collection of ramshackle one-cot rooms that sway with the harder gusts of wind in off of the sea in the upper levels. It has seen its share of fires and renovations, and every time it falls in ashes it seems to rise higher in the aftermath. Outside, proudly burnt-carved signage displays a huge black-tentacled kraken winding its limbs about in repetitive knotwork patterns. It hangs from a post on four links of bronze chain, and creaks when the wind hits it.

The main floor is part restaurant, part lobby, with a warm hearth next to a counter at which guests in the rooms above can pay their bills or ask after vacancies, many fine chairs and some a little less fine to fill out the number. Small tables amid all the seating provide room just enough to have a tea or a beverage and maybe play a game of cards with your mates. A low bannister-fence separates off the dining area from the lobby, to keep some semblance of order among the diners and to keep out the riff-raff.

Riff-raff, of course, is welcome to make its way downstairs, or else to descend into the alleyway behind the tavern and find the rear entrance into the half-basement, where a bar slings some of the hardest-scorching liquor known in Port Marsilikos, and attracts some of the roughest elements of society. It's dimly lit, with rough stonework walls and flooring and sturdy oaken furniture which must have been built in order to best resist any effort to shatter said furniture over someone's head. Fights are the nightly norm here, black eyes and sopping intoxiction, and for those without the coin to attract the contract of a proper courtesan, some affable ladies are usually present in the evenings in case any gentleman wants to buy one a drink.

When looking out of the windows, you see: It is a spring night. The weather is cool and fair.

Late night. At the harbor. While there is a grand masque is in full swing at the Ducal Palace, it would be highly unlikely to encounter any peer of the realm at the Kraken's Den. And yet. Here he is, Belmont d'Eresse, unlanded noble, a young man whose temper got him into a duel a week ago. He is not unarmed, if one counts the rapier dangling from his belt a weapon, and he wears a subdued sort of courtly fashion that will make him blend in easily. Dark greens and no flashy ornaments on doublet and breeches, with a clean shirt worn beneath. This would make him stand out, but he sits at a table in the corner, all by himself, content to watch the bustle of commoners, sailors and soldiers, while he sips from a mug of mediocre red wine.

While courtiers are dancing and giggling elsewhere, playing identity games by hardly obscuring their own.

Yeah, let the elite have their mask-games. A man like Jehan-Pascal might need the anonymity of a masque before he lets loose and starts snogging random livestock, but, hell, for Gal? That's called Tuesday. He doesn't even give a nod to his noble birth in his clothing, red tunic, hide trousers, serviceable boots, but he pounds those stairs down into the rowdy basement of the Kraken's Den with a youthful whoop of enthusiasm before he leaps down from the third stair from the top and lands in an athletic crouch, "Yeah!" he hollers, "What time is it? Hey, Belleu, WHAT TIME IS IT?"

Ironically, one Vicomte de Gardanne, that is, Achille Delaunay, had arrived at the Kraken's Den which just so happens to be in the vicinity. The man who's built like a tank enters in with his full armor worn, minus his helmet, but he wears a black cloak over it that has the shape of a poncho. Either way, -somehow-, he makes this look extremely stylish. He sees one Belmont, eyes on him in a sort of perhaps a silent challenge….for Achille -loved- to fight.

He was far more martial than about 90% of his kin.


He starts off the evening by ordering himself a white wine.

<FS3> Belmont rolls Perception: Success. (4 3 4 3 7 4)
<FS3> Belmont rolls Composure: Good Success. (7 4 5 3 8 4)

Belmont's gaze drops to his mug, in thoughts perhaps, in contemplation of a slight given and not adequately returned, maybe. Until Gal's loud entry draws his attention and he looks up, his forehead wrinkling in a frown. That young lad… he looks familiar, but the Eresse lord has a bit of difficulty to place him. Until… right… that young lad who ran off to fetch a healer, as things started going awry. A sigh breaks free from Belmont's chest and he takes a good swig from his wine, trying to drown whatever memory threatens to worsen his mood even further.

But there is that man in armor who enters, and Belmont catches that glance of challenge. A heat rises within him almost instantly, a heat of temper that has sometimes rather been his doom than earned him any good. With last shreds of his composure though, he keeps from jumping to his feet right away, merely holding that gaze with his grey-blue eyes. Unrelenting and stubborn.

"You are right my man it is time for shots," Gal almost sings out the words. Maybe he even thinks he is singing, but it comes out as more like protracted pitch modulations, loud enough to start a dog barking outside. And, true to his word, they're being set up along the bar, just the most concentrated drunkenness in the least liquid possible. "Cuts down on going outside to piss. The wall's got to be happy these were invented, or else it'd have a hole peed through it by now," he grins. Taking up a drink, no, two, wait— three, he carries them along, sipping from the edge of one so it doesn't spill over when he walks. "Hey! You're alive!" he points out, when he sees Belmont.

Achille turns his head curiously to Gal…well, just found the life of the party most likely. Though Achille's eyes fall upon Belmont, fully ready to take a good fight with fists or blade should the need arise. Ocean blue eyes lock onto his own, though either way, there's an almost air of tension in the room and all these two did was look at each other…

Oh boy.

But wine demands his attention, his eyes falling upon Gal as he sings up to the bar and all that. Though then it seems that Gal knows Belmont…which just made this more interesting. though when the Vicomte glances over to Belmont?

He grins.

"Hrrm." Belmont clears his throat, and perhaps that could be enough indication in its own right, that he is indeed still alive. Gal's rather extrovert nature, to let all within the room know of his half-philosophical ponderings. Suddenly Belmont finds himself addressed by Gal, and words that confirm that he had not been mistaken. "Yes. I am.", he states the obvious, which is followed by a somewhat exasperated exhale. Just in time with his gaze that shifts to focus on the tall guy in armor.

And he catches that grin.

"What's so funny?", Belmont calls over to Achille, and it may be due to the wine, that he takes the grin as insult and not as a coincidence. Or perhaps his slight state of inebriation has opened his mind to see the obvious more clearly, without any faux excuses or considerations?

"Cheers on you, then, mon frere," Gal knocks the tabletop with the butts of three glasses almost simultaneously, "To being alive, 'cause it's better than the alternative, at least, like, eighty-five percent of the time," he loses it halfway through his toast and cackles wildly over the end of it before washing it down with the fiery spirits from one of the three glasses. It makes his eyes water; that's how you know it's good. Then shit is getting tense between Belmont and this other— Gal just looks lethargically between the pair of them. "This isn't the other guy, is it?" he asks Belmont.

Achille then moves closer to them then as it appears that Belmont wishes to be quite hostile. "Oh, it has very little to do with you, rather I find your friend here to be quite amusing." he offers a little grin then in retort as he sips his drink. "Though I know not who you speak of as this 'other guy'." the Vicomte takes another swig of his drink.

He seems to be looking Belmont over.

Belmont hears Gal. But his eyes linger on the tall guy in armor. His chin remains tipped down a little as he doesn't shift or move, making the white show beneath the irises that focus in a chilly grey-blue upon Achille. He sets the mug down with a noisy CLANG. "No, he is not." This he says to Gal. To Achille, the young man seated at the table says. "My name is Belmont d'Eresse." Introduction of sorts, required by courtesy, even if the tone of the voice makes it sound like a challenge. "And you are…?" At which he leans away from the table, lifting his chin. "Whoever you are, you are lacking in manners." There. A vague thing that may be taken as insult. Of course, completely unintentionally so.

"He was having it out with some guy in the market promenade," Gal doesn't mind telling the story, though it may not be his to tell. "Swords. Looked pretty serious," he restricts himself to saying, not also mentioning how Belmont was getting completely trounced by the time he went off for the doctor. A doctor definitely not there to treat the other guy. As to the manners, "I usually just leave my manners upstairs. Not much use for 'em down here." Which might double as a sort of non-apology apology, if he was included in the rudth.

Achille keeps his attention on Belmont, though despite how clearly aggressive an individual he is, whether it's mental problems or just trying to be the toughest guy in the room. However, eventually, he just -laughs-. Loudly, boisterously. "Heh! I like this one. I'm Achille Delaunay" he might know the name as the Vicomte de Gardanne. Either way, the smile never wavers. "Coming from the fellow who has yet to smile, yet has only met me with hostility. I think, my friend, that it is you who is lacking in any manners." it's as if he was just -waiting- for the gauntlet to be thrown down.

Achille does nod softly to Gal with an 'ahhhhh'. "That makes sense."

Belmont gives Gal a slight glare, when the Valais decides to drop some hints about that duel. But beyond that there is nothing. Apart from chuckle that comes in reaction to Gal's latter addition. "You are right." A smile finally appears, even if it will vanish as soon as attention shifts back to the Delaunay. "You don't look like a Delaunay to me," he observes. Delaunays are usually not as tall and martial as Achille is. "You call me hostile? Lacking in manners? Wasn't it you in the first place, who came in and glared at me? My lord?"

"Woah— woah, woah," Gal is there to lift his hands, taking on, as it were, the role of a peacemaker, except, "You can't fight in here. Not yet. You need to be on at least the fifth round of drinks and a quarter to midnight before you can plame the fisticuffs on the alcohol," he goes on to not quite discourage it, just delay it. "At a quarter to midnight, anything's possible," he adds with that irrepressible grin of his, maybe some kind of double entendre- with enough drink, it could just as well go the opposite direction of a fight.

Achille looks to Belmont then as he's questioned about his manners, Achille simply sighed. "It is a strange thing, how someone can throw a temper tantrum over being looked at. How many fights do you try to cause daily? Though if you wish for combat, I will happily grace you." he smiles then. "Hands or blade?" before he looks to Gal, apparently not in the mood for him attempting to play the peacemaker.

Belmont lifts his gaze, seated as he still is, but even if he were standing, Achille will most probably tower over him. This would be a great time to regather his sense. To contemplate consequences, or even remember certain stories, where such constellations proved rather disadvantageous for the shorter protagonist. Instead, the young Eresse lord keeps top his route, and moves slowly to his feet. Yes, his suspicion was right. Lifting his chin, to focus on Achille, Belmont begins, "You know… there is this story I overheard once, told by a Yeshuite priest. Maybe… maybe I can tell you that story once we are…" His gaze shifts to merry Gal, "outside to discuss such matters, like civilized gentlemen." Not that the way he stresses that word sounds civilized at all. "The story I am referring to, is that of David and Goliath. I doubt you are familiar with it.", he snorts, not even gracing Achille with another look, as he shoulders his way out through the crowd that has been gathering slowly before the table. A coin is tossed towards the barmaid to pay for the drink, but Belmont doesn't stop nor pause, before he is safely out in the refreshing chill of the night air.

It's perhaps not a normal occasion for a courtesan to be out so late but Marion's current patron is a rather wealthy lord who enjoys walking the docks and watching the stars. The pair step inside just now the Coquelicot Courtesan walking calmly and gracefully on the young lords arm. The exotic looks of the bronze skinned woman showcase a foreign sort of beauty that make her stand out. She wears a modest gown of midnight blue with a loose skirt that has been dotted with sparkling silver beads that give the appearance of stars in the sky. Her hair is pulled up into a simple yet elegant updo, a silver clip in the shape of a crescent moon holding the dark locks in place. The lord is decidedly plain in comparison to the woman he is with but still she seems quite content letting him lead her inside. However the lord is bumped into by the form of Belmont to whom he scowls at. "Watch where you are going." Marion looks around cautiously taking note of what seems to be tension in the air. She speaks up her voice soft. "Is everything alright?" Her gaze flicks to the men that seem to be heading outside with a look of concern.

Gal grins a cockeyed grin at the Coquelicot and her companion for the evening. "You know how it is when one Lord looks at another funny," he quips a general sort of poke at the state of oil norms while still remaining light-hearted about this particular instantiation. He doesn't know these guys — not well, anyhow — so if they're apt to pummel the snot out of one another, who is he to stop them? I mean. Technically. He's in the city guard. And should probably stop them. But he's not on duty. So staying in for drinks ad the odd ogle… that's good.

Achille watches Belmont as he stands up. If he knew Achille's reputation, maybe he should have sat back down. Nonetheless, Achille welcomes the fight that is about to happen! and he steps aside to let Belmont lead the way as honor dictates of the challenger. Before he turns to follow. He does look to Marion with a small smile. "Oh but of course. we just need to work something out. Never fear, good lady." then his eyes are forward, focused and ready as the two men exit.

Belmont may have bumped into the lord in Marion's company, but unintentionally so, as his quickly murmured apologies hint at. He makes sure, not to bump into the comely courtesan, though. Even when slightly drunk and in a bad mood, the Eresse lord would never be impolite to a member of the Night Court. A hint of a bow is even to Marion, before he reaches the door and steps outside.

A few of the inn's patrons are spilling out after him, soldiers, a few, and sailors. There is nothing like the promise of a heated brawl to lure a few of these scoundrels. Especially, if it is two men of higher rank that will be getting at it.

"Blades," Belmont decides, turning to face Achille in the circle that is forming. "First blood." This he adds, his eyes flickering darkly as he takes in the impressive frame of the Delaunay that looks so Camaeline. "I need some sort of armor." He glances towards one of the soldiers who is already fidgeting to provide him with a breastplate of sorts. "And a sword." Not the fine rapier, that dangles from the belt at his side. Chances should be evened out. Especially when Achille looks more or less like a tank.

Port — Marsilikos

Fortune laid the foundation for the grand port of Marsilikos; look how the arms of the land spread wide to embrace the setting of the sun, welcoming a bay of still waters rendered all the more peaceful by the presence of a small island to the south, on the flanks of which the waves cut themselves into powerless ripples as they move in from the sea. But what Fortune gave the D'Angelines their cunning and craft has improved to a hum of efficiency and culture. The natural bay has had its curved shores sharpened into straight edges bolstered with ridges of heavy stones on which the tides have left long mark when the waters are low, algae and barnacles hung onto the rugged stones. Then stone foundations have been piled out into the harbor to hold up wide wooden pillars and the great treated slats of the piers and boardwalks which extend into the bay, now at wider intervals for massive trading vessels, now at shorter intervals for private fishing and pleasure yachts.

The southern arm of the bay is reserved for the great sourthern fleet of the Terre D'Angan Navy, which is headquartered here in Marsilikos, and is ever a hub of activity, the giant slips outfitted to haul the massive warships up into the air for repairs, while further inland on the southern peninsula a forest of masts rises into the air where new ships are being built and old ones repaired in full drydock. Between the naval slips and the drydock rises the stately edifice of the Southern Naval Headquarters, glistening with huge latticed windows on the upper floors. Beyond the headquarters rises the massive fortified promontory of the Citadel, with bleached-white parapets and fluttering banners.

Markets and vendors throng the plaza at the innermost fold of the harbor where civilian and military seamen alike might find a bite to eat, supplies for their next mission, a good drink or a little bit of companionship. Far in the bay, that little isle sports a lofty lighthouse to guide the ships in by night.

Achille watches Belmont as he follows him outside. Moving into the wide space. He was already armored so he simply waited for Belmont to be ready. "Then it is decided. May the best man win." he offers a small bow of his head then, before he draws his sword. It's a longsword, perfectly crafted and his stance is one of clear experience. The blade held in reverse-hand as he awaits for likely an angry Belmont to strike.

"Attack when you are ready." he offers with a small smile.

"There was this Giant," Belmont begins, eyes narrowing as he both begins spinning the tale and launching his first attack, his voice showing clearly his anger and frustration that only has it increase, when his first strike does not even connect with the man's armor but misses. "He was a champion of the Philistines, and challenged king Saul to send out a champion, to decide battle in single combat."

Achille listens to the story, only for him to lean out of the way of Belmont's strike, only to swing at the chest of the man before him, yet the armor manages to save him from suffering a bloody wound right then and there, and Achille keeps his guard up. "interesting." he says easily enough.

<FS3> Belmont rolls Mendacant: Success. (1 1 2 1 8 1 6)

Belmont is slowly getting into the routine. How ever much wine he may have had already, the night air of the port has him regain a clear head, at least in regards to the fighting. Achille is a very capable sword fighter, and Belmont has to acknowledge that, receiving one more blow to his breastplate, while evading two other strikes of the taller Delaunay. All the while, his wits return as he continues to spin the tale. "For a while, King Saul pondered whom to sed against the giant. There was not a single one volunteering to face the awe-inspiring tower of a man. But. There came David. A young lad, more agile than strong. He heard of the challenge and he could not resist. Accepting it, he walked up to Goliath, and raised his voice, that it rang over the battlefield."

Achille seems to be impressed as Belmont manages to dodge the two swings that Achille gives, though Achille also manages to take a blow to his breastplate. Not too bad, not bad. He listens to this story though, clearly interested in how it may end. "Curious decision. Though I like this King…bold and risky."

"Goliath waited for him on the battlefield, in his heavy armor, and with his javelin in hand. David… meanwhile didn't even bother for armor. He only had a staff and a sling, as weapons. Goliath taunted him." Belmont continues narrating the tale, even if he has to pause now and then, brows furrowing with concentration as he receives another hit to his armor, then dodges and leans away from another strike of Achille, that blade hissing through the air not too far from Belmont, but still missing its mark. Not that Belmont manages anything beyond a grazing of Achille's armor himself.

"The Philistine cursed David by his Gods," the Eresse speaks, words ringing with more power through the night air as he continues, "but David countered: 'This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down; and I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that God saves not with sword and spear; for the battle is God's, and he will give you into our hand.'" Quite a long speech to land a number of other attacks, but Belmont has to realize that Achille is a more than competent opponent.

Well, if anything, the speech in itself is riveting to Achille to hear! he loved hearing tales of such things. the tale of Sampson is his favorite story. nonetheless the battle continues and Belmont manages to not get throttled by the much taller warrior. their blades clash as the fight for honor.

"tell me more won't you?" Achilles knows he likely Won't win this with ease like he's done at other duels. but his eyes remain fixed on his opponent, back into the fray!

The sparring continues, and either he is lucky or just quite skilled. A seasoned duelist, perhaps. Given Belmont's attitude, it seems likely he gets a lot of practice there. And yet. There are signs of beginning exhaustion, beads of sweat running down his temple, his breath needing to steady itself, as he evades blow after blow, encumbered with a breastplate, and wielding a much heavier blade than he is used to.

"David hauled a stone against Goliath with the sling, the stone, comparatively tiny, flew through the air," the Eresse lord continues, too stubborn to pause his account of the story. "The stone… strikes Goliath right in the center of his forehead… He… falls. And lays there, stunned for a moment. This moment will decide his fate."

Unlike Belmont, Achille is very used to the heavy armor that he wears, clearly not even slightly winded in that regard. Fighting is his number one focus when he's not running a house. as such? he takes a stance much akin to a knight as he smiles lightly to Belmont.

"I sense we are reaching the Denouement, no? Goliath felled by a pebble?" he asks as he tries to push through this round.

"Goliath…", Belmont says, now clearly a bit more out of breath, "fell. He fell to the ground, only to lay there… defenseless. A giant rendered as helpless as a maiden, by a mere pebble that hit his forehead. David was no fool… He seized the opportunity, grabbed a blade that was lying about and… cut off the head of the Giant." His jaw sets, teeth clenching, as Belmont tries to keep up with Achille, but it is evident, he is not as fast as he has been before. Movements slowing from exhaustion. Still. He is not giving up, yet.

"Wise boy. Only a fool welcomes the prospect of death. Alas…a beautiful story. my thanks for telling it." he then attempts to utterly bomb rush Belmont now that the man is clearly getting exhausted..!

He is not moving as swiftly as when they had started out. Belmont d'Eresse may be stubborn. Perhaps he was in a dark mood. But such moods can be cured, evidently, by a sufficient amount of sweat produced, and enough strikes dealt, even if those most often missed, and fewer hit against Achille's armor. Much more used to the rapier and quick duels, Belmont finds himself suddenly overwhelmed with exhaustion, panting as he falls to a knee, only barely steadying himself with the borrowed sword he leans on, with its tip resting upon the ground. "Yes.", he replies breathlessly. "Wise. As not to wear this bloody heavy armor." He grins. "You didn't best me." This he states as if to clarify. "And neither did I best you. Let us consider the matter as…" He exhales and draws a deep breath. "Settled."

Achille…is a helluva fighter. He looks like he's about to throw another blow when it's pretty clear that Belmont is surrendering. "Oh of course." and he sheathes his blade, lowering a hand to help him up. "you fought well."

The way Belmont had worded it, it was actually not a surrender as such. A draw, rather. And yet… with him now having taken to a knee before Achille, this could perhaps inspire another interpretation? With a grunt, Belmont pushes himself back up tll he stands, and then begins to unstrap the breastplate, which may carry a few more dents by now, before he hands it back to the helpful soldier who provided it. "You too," the Eresse allows with a wry twist of a smile. "Next time, let's do a match by my rules, rapiers and light armor." Whether Achille elects to respond to that or not, Belmont will take his leave. It is late after all.

Nevermind, that the masque at the Ducal Palace most probably still is in full swing.

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