(1310-05-05) Literary Visionaries
Summary: What constitutes a good romance novel? Eisandines are so weird!
RL Date: 2018-05-05
Related: None
carenza marco angelique 

Raziel's Sanctum

All adventures probably begin on a soggy evening by lamplight. What number of schemes can be traced back to possibilities seeded in the damp shroud drawn around a city, and likeminded individuals bandying about good or outright atrocious ideas around a table? Plenty, more than history cares to recount.

The main floor of Raziel's Sanctum is fairly quiet, thanks to the dismal weather and the advent of more interesting distractions that come with inevitably warmer weather. Muggy heat and bookstores do not easily mix for most. Those with their research to do would be wiser to retreat to the stone-floored keeps or private gardens of their townhouses. Those who party have actual parties, and not the company of dead poets or dead-letter characters. Now why on earth Carenza de Mereliot is present, that's something known only to mercurial angels who turned away from the one above. She stands on a tall ladder, proving no fear of heights, leaning out at a precarious angle to reach a jammed volume. Naturally the much larger chronicles wedged to either side of her book in question refuse to budge, and the rail only extends so far. A risk doing this, standing on her toes, but she has little concern.

The resident cat prowling around her glares at her from a stair, his tail twitching.

*

Marco ducks his way in with an easy stroll his eyes wandering the area. He considers the room with open intrigue surveying it as he gets in form out under the evening chill. His eyes wandering and then he takes it in. He smiles in pleasure as he catches the various repositories visible and looking pleased. He blinks though in surprise at the woman perched on her tip toes on the ladder. His head tilts and then he glances down to the cat prowling below and he offers, "Careful he looks grumpy." He says with mild amusement.

*

The place belongs far more to the imagination than to the souls who dwell within, few and fleeting as they are. Footsteps echo ponderously through the open hall, and creaking floorboards betray anyone trying to descend from the higher floors. Carenza pays them barely any heed whatsoever. She has greater fish to fry, wedging a straining fingertip along the margins of a remarkably vexing spine. Lips tight to her teeth surrender their fullness, her tongue curled to her palate rather firmly. A little further…

That murderous grip on the rung of the ladder owes its success in no small part to wearing leather archer's gloves, or a swordsman's with the digits cut free. Odd as that may be, it still aids her for some stable contact. It does not magically free up the book. Dust trickles onto the floor. "Oh, come now. You need me to seduce you to get free? I'm not a Bryony, you wretched novel. Don't make me fetch a candle…"

The cat yowls. Marco is only belated spied, the leaning girl in a flying eagle formation managing a blithe grin. "The book? Yes, I'd say so."

*

Angelique arrives from the Grand Plaza.

*

Angelique has arrived.

*

Marco is standing just at the foot of a ladder which bears Carenza up into the upper shelves of one of the bookcases. He laughs, "There's book seduction going on. Now that would be an interesting bryony specialty." He says brightly as he stoops a little and offers the back of his hand to the cat for yowling sniffs should it wish. He glances up to Carenza, "Well I can go if you need to continue in private." He suggests brightly amusement remaining evident.

*

The front door opens, signalling a new arrival to the bookshop. A young woman, dressed in a burgandy gown with gold trim and accents, and a red cloak lined with white fur, enters and looks around the store. Her long, red hair is styled in a tight braid that falls to a bit below her shoulders, with a few strands of hair refusing to stay in place. She looks at the two occupants with her blue-grey eyes, giving them each a nod and a slight curtsey by way of greeting. "Hello. I thought I might see what books are available; I find myself needing something to read by the fire alongside a nice glass of wine."

*

The murmurs of the city outside fade away, the benefit of a narrow facade. Rain shimmers on the windowpanes and forms growing puddles, hazards for the interior contents of the bookshop, and well outside any concern of the vicomtesse. "Book seduction? I can only imagine how that goes," she says. Certain legacies announce her lineage to anyone with a jot of familiarity with the great houses of Terre d'Ange, those flashing amethyst eyes purely a hallmark of House L'Envers. But the golden skin? Mereliot. Cousins, surely, though the far-traveling daughter of the Comtesse de Vaucluse may have been little encountered in the last few months and years.

Sotto voce, she pitches her soprano even higher, softened. "Oh, Monsieur Libre, to feel my fingers trailing down the grain of your silken parchment. The swirls of ink stamped upon it, oh!" A frisson of laughter breaks through like wine splashing into a goblet, head shaken. She flattens back against the splendidly sturdy ladder. "None such privacy is needed. Books are meant for voyeurs, aren't they? All those pages seeking to be seen." A curtsey for her is nigh impossible, being six feet in the air.

*

Carenza ^^

*

Marco glances over as a new arrival appears and he smiles inclining his head, "You know what pairs well with a book, wine and a fireplace, good company." He says brightly but it's more of a smirking comment than overly forward. He grins up at Carenza then and suggests, "Well imagination is half the fun isn't it?" He suggests and then laughs as she begins to seduce the book clapping his hands and grins, "Good pooint. A little reading does go a long way towards voyeurism. Do you need any help by the way?" He asks still crouched near the cat and he looks back and forth from Carenza and Angelique and offers, "Marco de Mereliot by the way. This is by far one of the more entertaining conversations I've had in a long time."

*

The comment from Marco about good company brings a shy smile to Angelique's face, and a slight tint to her cheeks. "Angelique d'Eresse, Vicomtesse de Nimes," she replies to the introduction, again adding a slight curtsey. They way she says her title, it's more of a statement of fact than a demand of recognition of her station, like some nobles would make it. "A pleasure to meet you, Lord Mereliot." She looks between Marco and Carenza, asking, "So…which one of you would be the proprietor of this shop?" Angelique smiles as a thrid option enters her mind and she glances at the cat. "Unless it is the cat who is on charge here?" she asks with no small amount of amusement.

*

"I regret to confess the book thoroughly resists even my charms. It must sense a fellow creator in its midst, and fear being replaced in due course." Mischievous echoes ply their course around Carenza's reply. The ladder cannot scoot further on its track, and she briefly ponders her dagger, then shakes her head. Not worth the consequences certain to be inflicted by the resident cat. Mess not with that feline. It may be more dreadful than Kushiel himself, if it doesn't serve as one of his auxiliary judges. The young woman tosses her brazen locks and sighs, the inevitable risk of foregoing some valuable acquisition weighed up and found wanting against socializing. Not like the book will go anywhere short of an earthquake, volcanic eruption, or Tiberian invasion.

"Carenza de Mereliot," she supplies for the duo, descending a few steps. "Your father was from Eire, was he not, Lady Angelique?" The flickering curiosity present in her expression betrays the absent D'Angeline distrust for foreigners. Quite the contrary here, to be sure. "I'm the resident mischief-maker in Sault." Meaning she's the comtesse's eldest and directly in line to Vaucluse. "I /would/ be the proprietor if they're fool enough to permit me. Though in that respect, I believe the cat inherited it, so we might need to defer to his feline majesty. Books, though. You want a novel, by the sounds of it, unless your reading habits pertain to, say, a historical epic, a treatise on the political fragmentation of Caerdicca Unitas in the mid-ninth century, or something about mixing up herbals?"

*

Marco smiles as he glances up and over to Angelique, "The pleasure is all mine Viscomtesse." His eyes twinkle at her flushed cheeks. "I'm fairly certain Felines are always confident they are in charge of all things." He says warmly and then he chuckles, "IT would not be me." He glances up to Carenza then and smiles, "Would you like me to try? I've been told I have quite the touch." He blinks then at the discussion of the Eire. He looks between the two curiously, "Oh? A resident mischief maker? I should see how to get that title." HE declares and smiles, "Caerdicca always seems the most fascinating though all seem worthwhile reads."

*

Angelique gasps at Carenza in mock astonishment. "Indeed he was! But how could you have known?" She does reach up to pat smooth her braid of crimson locks, smiling and feeling a bit relaxed. "I did indeed inherit many things from my father, the hair and skin being the most noticable. But, it is a pleasure to meet you as well, Lady Mereliot. And, my tastes in reading are wide and varied. History, science, medicine…I enjoy scholarly subjects as much as the romances. Although, perhaps I am more in a mood for romances as of late. I have enough scholarly works arriving to keep me company."

*

"I've nary an idea where they came up with it." Carenza's smile fixes a sunny warmth about her as if her honeyed complexion that goes with the namesake house of Eisande were insufficient. One thing she shall never lack for is colour, be it personality or complexion or midway between. The pivot on the ladder is a hazard of itself, but facing outward, any slip will hopefully spare her face and let her land upon her feet. "Please, just call me Carenza. Formality belongs only in my aunt's court and certainly not here. I half expect my mother to pop out when someone calls that." As a precaution, she spares a quick glance around, as if the comtesse might sail out with a book and a bottle of wine to offer. Not the worst of it. "You know, I am minded to point out the despairing lack of scientific romances. There is a field fully awaiting someone who is not me to plunder it and make something of it. A chirurgeon whose skillful hands inspire an entire village, or the separation of an herbalist and a chemist, neither of whom may see eye to eye given the differences in their methods, only to be united by love and the revelation using plants for the same purposes makes them allied academically after all."

Elua save them all. She's mad, absolutely so. "Should you wish to claim the book, my lord, by allo means. Something Caerdicci and romantic, those are our collective recommmendations. Not Serenissiman, I would imply. Napoli, maybe, or Firenze? They might give you an exciting tale of besieging a tower."

*

Marco ahs as Angelique smooths her hair and shakes his head ruefully. He grins, "Perhaps medically enclined romances. I DO so love an epic about a charming healer and his delightful charges… it's really quite a favorite scena….ahem." He trails off absently, "Scientific romances you say? I suppose I'd have to do some research on the hard science but it seems if you think there is a need like something that should be filled. THough I'm not sure your bookcase can handle more occupants." He grins then as he begins to straighten up and eyes the challenging book and begins wiggling his fingers as if stretching them out.

*

Angelique nods to Carenza, looking more relaxed. "Very well, Carenza. I've never been a fan of formality ourside of court, as well. She ponders for a moment, then nods in agreement. "A scientific romance would indeed be an interesting read, Carenza. I imagine there would be several nobles willing to give patronage to a writer of such stories. But, for the nonce, I believe that a Caerdicci romance sounds favorable to me." Marco's comments about the story structure of a scientific romance brings a smile to Angelique's lips. "And what," she asks with absolute sweetness in her tone, "would prevent the story from being about a charming healer and *her* delightful charges? It might even encourage some of the young ladies of our society to study medicine and the sciences, would it not?"

*

Carenza tips her head. The flowing waves of her hair brush the small of her back, twined in rose-briar ropes studded by small bronze clasps at the moment. "Imagine a romance involving an astrolabe or a compass. Goodness, an architectural romance, bonding over columns…" The way her voice trails off may well imply she constructs some manner of viable storyline on the spot, though her fingertips practically twitch for the pen not exactly at hand. She ought to forfeit that spot on the ladder for Marco, but far more entertaining for all to see how he might pull out the little maroon volume from its much larger neighbours. It is wedged in there rather tightly.

"All said and done, a good many women do serve as chirurgeons and they could well be inspired by that kind of tale. Maybe two of them, a gentleman chirurgeon and a woman from halfway across the country, have a healthy rivalry and both fall in love with one of their patients. There's a match made by Eisheth herself, nearly."

*

Marco look distinctly thoughtful at the discussion of scientific romances. He's grinning faintly clearly in his own little world and his eyes twinkle as Angelique shifts, "Well I suppose I can get into a tale of a female healer… But she must be buxom." He informs Angelique with a grin. He considers Carenza, "Well I mean I've read plenty a romance involving sailing and sailors but not nearly enough of them involve a compass. Just bad writing clearly." He laughs, "Architecture though does seem like fun." He waits at the latter to take up his post eyeing the challenging manuscript. He grins, "Well I suppose Carenza that is a fine compromise."

*

Angelique smiles and shakes her head a bit at Marco. "Of course. Because buxom is an important attribute for a healer to have…" But, her smile to Marco continues, showing she's not really upset or angered by his mental image of said healer. But, she turns to Carenza and nods excitedly. "Or…perhaps a lady chiurgion who travels to a D'Angeline embassy in a less…enlightened nation. She meets a healer from the native people there and shows her capability to him, leading to the romance." Angelique does seem rather enthralled with that prospect. "Or, as you mention, it could be the two bonding over any educated point, really. Archaeology, chemistry, astronomy…"

*

Violet eyes acrackle in mirth, Carenza innocently supplies, "It could imply a healthy living due to an abundance of food. Also a motherly nature. Someone who is svelte is no less capable a healer than someone stick-thin, although the former would presumably be strong enough to lift up a patient more than someone very slender." Her fingers comb through her spiralling hair, the strands of burnished copper wrapping around those digits in a silken flow that proves as unruly as the rest of her, all things considered. "What sort of romances inspire you, my lord? Surely there may be something worthy to mine there as well." A cover, given an element of her expression turns vaguely pained and spins away from the sore spot inadvertently poked.

*

Marco nods sagely at their comments, "But of course." He says grinning from ear to ear, "Though I suppose bringing the d'Angeline ways to somewhere less enlightened can be fun. I'm sure she would show him quite a few things." He purses his lips, "But medicine is so….erotic you know I think that every time they make me try some horrendous potion." HE says brightly and grins at Carenza's explanations and nodding his head, "Oh well I'll admit I've never been as much one for the sailors sweeping in type romances I do like the ones full of intrigue, politics, clandestine meetings, that back and forth between manipulations and true love, and the like."

*

Angelique takes a while to add to the conversation, and looks a bit uneasy when she does. Like she's letting too much of her inner self be known. "I think that I prefer the 'swept away' romances," she says. "Partially because it reminds me of my own parents; the brash Eirin trader romancing the high-born D'Angeline noblewoman, both being swept away by the other. And…the intrigue romances…" She bites her lip a bit and shakes her head. "They just seem too…problematic, given what a noble has to deal with. I don't think I could really enjoy one of those and not wonder if anyone romancing me was trying to use me to ends like those books talk about." She ahkes her head again. "Perhaps it is just me, but I don't think those stories would be conducive to building trust in a relationship."

*

A laugh rings clear and bright in the hushed bookstore. "Erotic when you try to gulp down a badly-flavoured medicine? I have to wonder if you have a taste for suffering and discomfort. I stand a bit more with you, my lady, there is something to be said for having romances with a dose of reality but not so much of it that the narrative suffers as a result. We needn't have the trite day to day details, or likewise something that makes light of a serious subject without at least honouring the context. I've no great like for stories set abroad by a writer with not a least bit of respect for those cultures. Staring down one's nose at everything rarely makes for any sort of enjoyable custom." She laughs then, invariably soft-spoken about the matter, and hops off the fixed ladder. Not so far, though, just a few feet that allow her to land well enough on her booted feet. "However, I do regret that the hour grows late. I fear if I'm to make it back in fair time before the steward notes my absence. No doubt he'll prepare additional material for me to review before the season's budget is fixed. I hope you do not think me rude or lax in making my departure hastily."

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