(1310-05-19) Ducal Court
Summary: Ducal Court at the Palace of Marsilikos takes an unexpected turn, when a messenger arrives with grave news of bloodshed.
RL Date: Sat May 19, 2018
Related: None.
alexandre antoine arielle armandine aziza belmont imogen elliot emilie ezio fleur foulque gabrielle gauge jean leandra leonide magalie marco pierre sombra timeo 

Great Hall

High and light colored are the walls of the Great Hall, woods of golden tones used in the wainscoting that reaches till mid-level, with elaborate ornaments of fish chasing each other carved into them. A great hearth governs one end of the hall, with a large shield looming above, showing the coat of arms of House Mereliot. With six tall windows on one side framed by long dark blue curtains of heavy brocade, the wall opposite has a line of a couple of shields of Eisandine Houses, placed at regular intervals, and the pair of impressive double doors, through which courtiers usually will enter. The floor is of polished cream colored marble, enhanced with white inlay work depicting the ever repeating pattern of Mereliot fish. Lighting is provided through the lamps at the walls and three large chandeliers suspended from the arched ceiling, polished glass beads glittering where they catch and magnify the light of candles.


The Lady of Marsilikos is holding court today, and so double doors have been opened to admit the hoard of courtiers waiting in the hallway. They are spilling into the great hall now, lords and ladies clad in various styles of courtly fashion, hair done in a manner as to appeal and not to distract. Here and there a coronet can be spotted, sitting upon carefully arranged coiffure, and of course, Armandine Mereliot's ducal coronet sparkles golden and blue in the rays of sun finding their way in through the windows. The Duchesse sits in her high-backed chair upon the dais, with an advisor standing beside. She looks composed, expectant and calm, like a reliable rock in occasionally stormy waters of ever moving politics. Dark blue is her dress, with the emblem of two golden fish embroidered upon the bodice, long sleeves flaring out slightly at the wrists, and dark blue skirts cut in a manner that they part at the front to reveal a second golden layer of skirts.

As courtiers are beginning to filter in, Armandine turns her attention to the advisor beside her, to exchange a few murmured words. For those wishing to speak on their matter before the Duchesse, they will have to approach the herald standing at the foot of the dais, to be put onto the list of today's agenda. Others will be at the sides, mingling and observing, with servants in Mereliot livery providing them with beverages, should they wish it.

So many landed nobles have gathered - barons, vicomtes - and yet there are those in the crowd of fashionably clad observers that won't stick out. Belmont d'Eresse clearly can be counted as belonging to that category. Calling neither title nore lands his own, he is merely here due to his noble station, a baron's younger brother who looks slightly misplaced in the ocean of those that are here to see and be seen. Dark blue is the doublet he wears, with the coat of arms of House d'Eresse stitched upon the left side, the green ship upon a field of white. Currently, Belmont will stick to his Eresse kin and observe. He glances about attentively, a slight tension there in the faint clench of his jaw, as he lets his gaze wander about the courtiers, perhaps in search for someone in particular.

Leonide does not seem to be in any kind of rush to address the court and so does not make her way to the herald or have any reason to try to push forwards. Instead she takes her time as she moves into the room, behind the main flow, careful steps not quite masking that she favours her left leg. She does very much pay acute attention to the others present though, blue eyes roaming from person to person as the baronesse takes up a position to the left of the chamber.

Elliot Rocaille is one of those nobles present here off to the side. Dressed in an elegant outfit of blues and grey the only hint of his family is the fine silver pin he wears depicting the Rocaille Crest. He seems perfectly content to blend in with the crowds, even as those blue eyes watch the proceedings with open curiousity and great attention to detail. Still despite all his efforts to blend the golden haired son of the Duc of Rocaille still manages to draw a few curious looks. He stands up straight watching with that air of open curiousity as the Duchesse prepares to open the floor to petitioners.

The Vicomte de Bastia is present among the growing number of courtiers, wearing a pair of simple trousers with a white tunic belted at his waist, he has thrown on an overcoat of red done up with gold brocade and a high collar; when matched with his turndown boots gives him something of a swashbuckler air to him, sans the sword of course. Ezio slips through the crowd effortlessly snatching one of the beverages from a passing servant to hold or sip while he makes his way off to the side. Not here today to make an address but to observe and watch, see the goings on.

It's a matter of days since Fleur's arrived in Marsilikos, and the young woman has brought herself to the Ducal Court so that she might officially make a representation of herself to the Duchesse. Dressed in a gown of dove grey brocade that features silver embroidery upon its bodice and skirts, and with her hair swept back into a loose romantic knot at the nape of her neck, she takes a moment on entering in order to orientate herself with the Great Hall's layout and where she needs to position herself, then heads quietly towards where the Herald stands, making notes of names of those that wish to speak with Armandine. She arrives alone without a companion upon her arm, but that is rather the norm for her of late.

Arriving arm in arm with Gabrielle, Alexandre makes his way through the crowd as they come in and by virtue of size and being an unfamiliar face at the court creates some space around the pair. Wearing black and deep purple silks that are designed to flatter and enhance his frame while muting the sheer physicality of him. Standing head and shoulders above so many he moves his way through the crowd over towards a place where he and Gabrielle can observe the goings on but not before he comes to a stop near to Armandine's throne and offers a deep and polite bow towards the Duchess. That done he settles in to watch, to wait, and his green eyes sweep about the room with an intensity that seems to radiate from him just by his bearing.

Being guest currently at the Ducal Palace, Magalie Iskareios stands somewhere to the side, fingers curled upon the handle of her cane. The woman of Hellene origin wears her dark hair in a courtly fashion involving a number of braids, black tresses that add to the dark accents created by moderately kohl'd eyes. She wears a crème colored dress of Hellene fashion, light and flowing, leaving her arms bare, shapely arms, one of them anglet are arriving. Leonide catches her attention for a moment, noting that slightly hampered walk, and Magalie lifts a brow. She will offer a smile to the woman, should their eyes meet. Being a little hampered there herself. Fingers tighten about the cane momentarily. There is a flicker in her gaze then, something catching her attention, apparently, making her turn away towards the side.

Sombra makes her way into the room, easily moving to the side since she doesn't have any important matters to present herself. Her usual books and papers left behind. Her gray eyes sweeping around the room to see who all is present, offering a warm smile and a nod of hello to all she happens to make eye contact with.

"Well, there is a first time for everything." Gauge rumbles in his deep gravelly voice as he arrives with Aziza, dressed to match the Menekhet Ambassador to an extent. Silks are replaced with gold chain link, the 'shirt' being worn with nothing underneath. The rings of Gold are loose and open to be decorative more than protective, displaying his sun bronzed and scarred body beneath. A pair of pale gold silk pants and white boots finish off the look as the former Privateer and new Baron de Beaucare takes a look around. A slight nod is given to Belmont and the rest of the d'Eresse group when he spots them. Gauge walks further into the room but appears to be following Aziza's lead for the most part.

The Namaah priestess makes her way into the Great Hall of the Ducal palace, the scarlet of her robes drawing attention to her quite easily. Anyone who does notice her are given a warm, gentle smile. She moves to find a spot that is out of the way of all the nobles so she can observe the proceedings quietly. Though, those that approach Emilie are not stopped.

Some people like to arrive early to be here when others already arrive. Others seem to prefer to arrive later, to be a fly on the wall as it were, in terms of stepping into an already filling up hall. Pierre is one such man whom arrives when others have already begun to file into the area, filling up the available space. Dressing in a comfortable set of pants and doublet, ranging in black and deep purple, he has no other real markings to show which family he is from. His hands are held behind his back as he slowly moves in through the doors. A quick look around the area is given before he takes to the side, to not hold up valuable entry space.

Having left her guards back in the Aragonian guest suits the slight Leandra enters the Ducal Court, having waited for as many nobles as possible to proceed her. Leandra is of foreign nature so she doesn't entirely know the process of such things. She walks with perfect confidence and an arrogant tilt of her head. The smile that touches her lips is slight and polite. She is likely at the Court as a representative of her brother or something. The more likely thing is she decided to join of her own accord.

Arielle is here as well, standing among a group of ladies the young Rousse still manages to stand out with her beauty and look of serene calm. She wears a gown with a flowing skirt and sleeves of layered aquamarine silk, the fabric fluttering softly around her with every subtle movement. The top of that gown fastens with pearl buttons and the squared neckline reveals just enough skin to tempt the eyes while remaining modest. Her hair is pinned up neatly and her ears are adorned with a pair of white gold earrings with three hanging pearls in order from smallest to largest. Standing there calmly she watches and listens, doing little to add to the gossip of the other ladies flowing around her but still aware of it, and of everything else.

One of the people entering the Great Hall in quiet is the Vicomte de Marcoux, Antoine de Valais. He slips off to the side as he enters, making his way to a place where he can watch the happenings rather carefully.

A small smiles tugs at the Menekhet ambassador's lips as she hears his words. "Indeed." Aziza's kohl lined brown eyes were a stark contrasts to her sun kissed skin. Surprisingly none of her guards are attending with her so thus she was entering in with Gauge. A small smile tugs at her lips as she walks in almost gliding in that ensemble of golds, silvers, blues….all of beads. Her gaze goes to the throne, bowing her head as she smiles. She eventually will make her way to let those who need to know she wants to speak then return back by the side of the Baron de Beaucare.

Belmont catches the glance from his brother Gauge, and just maybe there is a slight arch of a brow at his siblings attire - or lack of it. The younger Eresse lord shakes his head just so, but can't help but glance after Gauge and his foreign looking company.

<FS3> Alexandre rolls Perception: Good Success. (5 6 3 6 7 7)

With a look of complete and utter disinterest, Jean entertains the company of a Namarrese courtier as he strides regally into the manor. There's a bow towards the Duchess of Eisande, and polite nods offered pretty much everywhere, but his expression barely shifts from that unnervingly cordial smile that flourishes across his lips once that part of his entourage just detaches from his company. He has a sheathed blade at his side, one that he might surrender to the guards if necessary. Not that the pikemen would need him to be without weapon to get him, if that was the case, anyways.

The blade will indeed be demanded for Jean to give up to the guards that stand at the entrance. L'Envers or no, even a Duc's son with the violet eyes of that family has to respect the rules at the court of the Lady of Marsilikos.

Leonide hmms as she watches arrivals, then turns and makes her way toward Alexandre and Gabrielle, a bow of her head as she does so, before she addresses the latter, speaking quietly so as to not interrupt larger proceedings. "It is good to see you again Gabrielle, might I ask for an introduction to your noble companion?" Alexandre looked to at that.

The place fills up quickly, even if it is a large area. Crowds means a lot of places to move about and that seems to suit Pierre just fine. He never stands still long, simply moving at a leisurely pace, stopping once in a while to give a nod to someone, offer a pleasant but brief exchange with another; but always he is on the move. Could be he is looking for someone, or just here to watch the Duchess event unfold. He does after a little bit end up with a glass in his hand, containing a clear liquid.

Ezio can't miss Leonide moving through the crowd, his eyes locked on her for a few moments that might give her that 'being watched' sensation before he shifts his attention to those that she goes up to. Gabrielle if he draws her attention will get a polite smile before he looks to the front at the Lady of Marsilikos while he sips at his beverage.

Into the slowly subsiding ruckus of people entering and taking their places at the sides, the Duchesse of Eisande moves to stand, rising to her full height which is slightly above d'Angeline average. "Peers of the Realm, noble kin of Eisande, and further abroad. Be welcome. And please step forth if you wish to bring a concern to my attention, be it grave or small." Her voice is easy on the ears, clearly showing traces of soothing personality and a keen mind, an air about her that very much proves she has Eisheth's blood flowing through her veins. With her part said, Armandine retakes a seat, hands folding before her in her lap expectantly.

"Hrrm…!" That's what comes from the herald who straightens, and seeing focus suddenly shifting towards him. Which provokes a deep intake of breath, before he announces, "First of, Your Grace, is the Lady Fleur…" His gaze drops to the note held in his hand, "Fleur Courcel nó Heliotrope de Valais. Widow of the Comte de Valais. Please. Step forth, my lady!"

"Alexandre de Mohrban, Vicomte De Landaul, heir to Concarneau." Alexandre introduces himself to Leonide when she makes her way over towards himself and Gabrielle. He offers a stiff nod of his head towards Leonide, politely respectful but crisp and to the point. Green eyes fall on Leonide and his gaze flicks lazily over the woman taking his time to absorb what Leonide /is/. At least to his intense visual inspection. "The pleasure is mine, my Lady." He offers a slightly deeper nod of his head to follow the introduction. A faint smile curves his lips to be just the ghost of an expression but those green eyes remain intensely locked on Leonide for several long moments until Armandine begins to speak and he turns his attention in her direction and then to the herald.

Fleur steps forward when called to do so by the Heralds, and she approaches the throne where Armandine waits. Her curtsey is deep and elegantly executed, and she holds it at its lowest point for a second or two before rising back up. "Fleur Courcel nó Heliotrope de Valais, Your Grace." she states, repeating the introduction that the herald had made. "I bring no concerns nor matters of import before you, but am simply here to make my official introduction to the throne since I intend summering here in the City, along with my children. I am finding already that the things which they say of Marsilikos are true. And that is, that it is the jewel of Eisande." Her voice is quiet and softly spoken, and her tone is that of someone whom knows well the courtly etiquette that might be expected when greeting their Duchesse for the first time. Her eyes lift to meet with Armandine's and the faintest of smiles ghosts her lips, though it doesn't quite reach to her eyes. Those remain solemn and shadowed, dark within the pale frame of her face.

Gabrielle smiles in that way of hers as Leonide comes near, she offers a hand to her friend and would give a slow hug before Alex does his own introduction. There is a twinkle of amusement at that but as the introductions come just as the Duchess speaks, she holds her words even if her eyes speak volumes.

Silently Arielle turns her ice blue gaze over towards the Duchesse as the woman begins to speak. Those eyes then slip over to the herald breifly and then back to the regal form of Armandine once again. Her expression is calm, a serene mask that shows nothing but patience as she watches Fleur address the Duchesse.

Antoine raises an eyebrow as he focuses on the order of business now. There's a brief pause as his attention goes to the front fully, watching in silence for now.

"Leonide Arielle Rousse, Baronesse de Cargèse, heir to Corsica. A pleasure to make your acquaintance my lord." Leonide answers to Alexandre's own introduction, deliberately pitching her voice low and soft to avoid it carrying over the room. Then an answering hug to Gabrielle that is apparently given mindful of a stiffness in one arm, a grin, then a nod to the viscomte as she disengages and the duchess speaks. Thus her rather frank appraisal of Alexandre back is also distracted and only given half of her focus, she does turn toward the front of the room and the announcements being made.

Armandine leans a touch forward in her seat, and her features warm in a smile as she hears Fleur's words. "Be welcome in this fine city, and to this court, Lady Fleur," the duchesse intones. "Mayhaps… you would like to introduce me to your children, being a mother myself, I can't say I have tired yet of admiring little ones." A soft chuckle then, before her smile dims a little. "By Elua, may all today's requests be as easily fulfilled as this one." After which she dismisses Fleur with a nod of her head.

Gauge leans over towards Aziza and asks, "Is this very different from the gatherings of your land Ambassador?" His deep rumbly voice curious, "A bunch of nobles all wishing to be seen and present without being to seen and present?" He asks the Menekhet woman with some wry amusement. Belmont's upraised eyebrow is met with a rakish grin as the Baron meanders amongst the crowd until the Duchess addresses the court, and is addressed in response. He offers a smile and a nod to Leonide when he catches sight of her as well but then goes back to observing as the privateer baron learns how Court works by gathering experience.

Fleur sketches another curtsey to Armandine, and after noting that she would indeed bring Bastien and Giselle to introduce them to the Duchesse, retreats to allow for the next person to step forward. If there's a look of relief on her face that duty's now done, then that's perhaps because it's that sentiment she's feeling. Not yet knowing anyone else here at court, she accepts a glass of wine from one of the servants, and retreats towards the edges of the room where she'll be able to observe from the sidelines.

When Fleur has vacated the spot before Armandine's seat, the duchesse offers the herald a nod of encouragement to continue. "Next requesting to address Her Grace is the Lady Aziza Nimr, Ambassador of Menekhet.", the man says after a pause. The eyes of many turn towards Aziza, her looks somewhat suggestive of her origins.

Aziza looks to Gauge, chuckling softly. "Not very…..but….." That is when she hear's her name is call and she slowly steps up to make her way to approach the Duchess' throne.. Upon reaching that spot, that tall Menekhet woman slowly bows, her hand touch her side ever so slightly before putting it back down by her sides. "Your Grace." Slowly she stands back up straight to her full smile as she smiles warmly. "I bring no serious matters to you but simply to say thanks. Once my letter is complete, his highness the Pharaoh will undoubtedly feel grateful knowing I was taken into such care. I'm sure there will be a gift of thanks as well." A beat. "Also…though my stop here unexpected…I am glad that I was brought here. Marsilikos is beautiful and I couldn't have asked for a better place for recovery."

Elliot peers over at the ambassador curiously as the woman is announced. He smiles faintly his gaze trailing from the forigen woman to the Duchesse the curiousity obvious in his gaze. He manages to stand still, keeping his composure for the most part but the young man's excitement and energy can easily be seen in his gaze.

Observing from the edges. Watching events unfold. There are those that seem to truly wish to be part of such things, to talk and mingle and be seen and heard. And some like the edges, watching and listening; be it by choice or other. Pierre, along with his glass of water, eventually finds himself having completed a full circuit around the hall; minus walking behind the Duchess sea, of course. It brings him to a stop, finally, near Fleurs general area. A fact he acknowledges to her with a nod in greeting.

"Your Grace," Jean inclines his head to Armandine, then flourishes into a better bow. "I trust things are well." He has no issues to present before the court, but then again, if he /did/ have issues, this would be the wrong authority to present them to, at present. "My Father sends his regards, and hopes the forthcoming present of the finest Namarrese Red harvest in the past twenty years will be an appropriate vintage to the tastes of the Sovereign of Eisande."

As Jean goes to intrude upon the Ambassadors time with the Duchess, Alexandre fixes his gaze on the man who speaks so unannounced. It's a hard look with a faint tightening of his expression but otherwise he turns his attention back towards Gabrielle and Leonide, but also to see how everyone else is responding to the interruption with a sweep of his gaze.

<FS3> Gauge rolls Composure: Good Success. (5 8 1 8 8 1 4)

Arielle blinks in surprise as Jean moves to speak with the Duchesse during another's time. Her expression is hard to read but the subtle narrowing of her eyes might be a clue of sorts. Otherwise her expression of calm alertness remains unchanged. Those eyes sweep over the room breifly now and breifly stop of Alexandre her lips quirking upwards ever so faintly before she lets her eyes slip away again, her head turning subtly so he can better make out the details of the earrings she wears.

Fleur notes the man to her left in the periphery of her vision, and a twist of her head has her bestowing a smile on him. She'd not intended to mingle too much tonight, perhaps even to escape her courtly duties before she got too drawn into them, but a lifetime of breeding and tutelage disallows her to not speak to him. "Hello. First time?" Her question is surprisingly direct and down to earth, and she takes a sip from the glass that's held lightly with the tips of her fingers. Whatever is happening with those that greet Armandine is lost to her for now.

"Lady Aziza.", Armandine gives the ambassador a long look, weighing her words perhaps before she finally responds. "I would have liked to receive you here under much less… dramatic circumstances. I am glad, however, that you are recovering so splendidly, and to have you as our guest, here at Marsilikos. The only gift of thanks I'll accept, is that you will stay safe and will have little to remind you of the unpleasantness encountered on your voyages. With that said, feel free to stay for as long as you wish. I believe, a true exchange of cultures needs more time, than merely a few days." This said, she nods to Aziza, holding her gaze, considering her with that air of warmth, when before the woman can even step away… Another courtier comes forth, this one obviously a scion of House l'Envers. "Jean Shahrizai l'Envers," Armandine greets the man, and for a moment, it is hard to tell if she is appalled or amused at his hastiness. "Thank you for conveying those greetings. So you and your father must be on good footing again? What a relief. I shall savor that vintage, especially as it is so dashingly advertised." She turns her gaze towards the Menekhetan lady, "Lady Aziza, may I introduce to you the Vicomte de Tonneres, Jean l'Envers, son of the Sovereign Duc of Namarre."

Jean doesn't seem to truly care one whit about the looks others may give upon him, but Alexandre's haughty stare has him quirk an eyebrow to the man. His lips purse as he cants his head slightly in staring across to the other man. His lips part and he seems about to say something but instead he chuckles, loud enough the Kusheline might hear it, before the Vicomte is turning fully to the Duchess. "Father and I are starting to talk again, yes. I am working on something for him about commerce and I can't help but feel he means to test me for some reason," he admits with some measure of mirth. The Duchess's expression prompts a grin from the L'Envers, though, one that he extends to Aziza. "My Lady, it is a pleasure to meet you."

Leonide raises her eyebrows at Jean's interruption, peering at the man a few long moments before then shifting her focus to the duchess as she responds. Then an incremental relaxation before she leans a little to the right and shifts her weight onto what appears to be her good leg, a slight shake of her head whilst her focus remains upon the interractions.

"Well, apparently some people simply cannot wait." Gauge says to himself and those nearby while he waited for Aziza to finish her address of the Duchess. His deep rumbly voice carries just due to it's nature but he otherwise seems amused by the preceeding events. He moves around the edges of the crowd to come up to Leonide and murmurs something softly to her, soft enough that his gravelly voice doesn't carry that time. He offers a sly rakish smile to Leonide before he turns his attention over towards the meeting of the Ambassador and the brash vicomte.

The woman in the Hellene clothes can no longer be seen, as Magalie seems to be on a quest for a refill for her goblet of wine. Dark hair frames her face, and with a glance and murmured apology, she pushes past Leonide, cane tapping upon the polished floor in accompaniment to her steps.

To this, Pierre shakes his head, "Oh, no. By far. I am however not entirely comfortable at these events. So many people, so many voices." he gives her a smile, "It is however, a pleasure to make your acquaintance, My Lady Courcel." he pauses, "But forgive me, I am being rude. Pierre Delaunay, at your service." he puts his right hand to his chest, then offers a bow in greeting, "And how find you Marsilikos, My Lady?"

Aziza raises her brow ever so slightly to her bangs but just smiles at the man. Waiting for him to finish she simply folds her hands in front of her as she…waits. Upon the introduction, she turns ever so slightly to the man to give him a smile. "A pleasure as well….I'm honored, Vicomte…." At that her dark gaze looks back to the Duchess with a smile "I've been meeting so many, many people. It's been an adventure……" A beat. "But thank you. Since you extended the offer, I shall before I continue on my way. I feel as if I could learn a lot here and someone who is ever learn other lands….I can't help but jump at the offer…." At that she bows once more more and waits until she is dismissed. When she is….she quietly makes her way to where she was standing next to Gauge. As she passes, she catches Ezio and gives him a smile with a bow of her head before finding her spot.

While he wasn't late, Timeo at the moment has no horse in this race - nor does he have a say, to be honest - as the visitor from Camael that is still titled there until he marries Imogen, the Viscomte has taken a seat near the back to allow those of the local flavor to discuss. It is mainly so that he observe the others, the large man carrying the scion of Camael looking rather bemused at the current antics.

"There are matters we should likely address at some point, however, Your Grace. Business that might be of interest to you. I will tell my seneschal to meet with yours so we can schedule a more private audience, such as it is. And, of course, as I am part of the Namarrese community in this glorious city of Eisheth, please, do let me know if there is anything you'd like me to coordinate with my peers. It is, as always, an indubitable honor and pleasure to be in your company." Jean bows to the Duchess of Eisande, flashing her a bright smile.

Leonide turns as she is addressed, pivoting on her good leg without moving it then looking up to Gauge and giving an inclination of her head. Then a smile at whatever is said, a low chuckle then a slight shake of her head before she answers, keeping half of her focus on the events at the front of the room as she does, obviously mindful she does not miss anything. Also a bow of her head given to Aziza as the ambassador returns to the shirt averse baron (said individual being Gauge).

Fashionably late, of course, Foulque Shahrizai strides in, the tall silver haired man showing off his elegant black on black, his muted velvet doublet slashed with shiny satin, his creamy white shirt ruffled underneath. He looks around and bows deeply, not wanting to put anyway off by interrupting, and keeping close to the door so far.

"Valais," Fleur gently correct Pierre, looking down into the glass that she carries. "I am the third child of His Grace, the Duc de Namarre, but wed into Valais. My husband, Louis, was lost to me last year." So few words are used to sum up the absolute tragedy that has rocked her life. "But as to Marsilikos, I am enjoying it greatly. My son loves exploring the rock pools in the harbour, and the sea air is doing all three of us the world of good. You are a local to the city, my Lord Delaunay?"

Armandine's eyes follow Aziza as the ambassador rejoins her former company, a momentary amused expression touching her features as she notices the rather unusual 'shirt' of golden chains upon Gauge d'Eresse. To Jean, she nods, gaze sweeping back to meet his violet eyes. "Of course. I shall set aside time for you to discuss possible ventures." There may be a slight crinkling at the corners of her eyes, as sh dismisses him. "Enjoy yourself, as you always do."

A pointed glance towards the herald, and the same raises his voice again, "Next to speak to Her Grace is Lord Elliot de Rocaille, from the province of Siovale."

The allowance of Jean to barge in and speak freely in the middle of business is not lost on the Camlachian Viscomte. A soft snort leaves from Timeo as he gives a shake of his head and returns his attention to the goings-on as he sets his hands over the other against his knee.

"Always," Jean winks at Armandine, bowing again to the Duchesse before heading over to a servant bearing refreshments. He helps himself to a generous goblet of wine, drinking from it.

Stepping forward Elliot drops into a seamless looking bow, easily and gracefully showing respect to the Duchesse. As he straightens he smiles softly. "Your Grace. I am pleased to say that my matter is one easily taken care of. I merely wished to introduce myself to you formally since I plan to stay in your city for a while yet. It truly is a wonderous and beautiful place and I look forward to exploring it further. I shall have to write my father, the Duc of Siovale a letter full of praise for your province. As I have found it to be most enjoyable to visit." He smiles warmly, sincereity written plainly on his features as he awaits her reply.

Keeping quiet, Antoine turns to watch the various people in the crowds near him. There's some glances to the front again every now and then, looking a little thoughtful.

Aziza turns her gaze to Leonide and smiles warmly. With a bow of her head she smiles warmly to the woman but speaks oh so softly to her. "…it is nice to see you again…." Glancing over to Gauge she leans over to murmur even more quietly then.

The allowance is not lost on Alexandre either, his attention moving from Jean to Armandine, and then to Aziza before the giant of a man looks back towards the herald and the latest addressee. As to Jean's chuckle and look, Alexandre does not react at all, as if Jean no longer existed to the Kusheline.

Jean doesn't seem particularly bothered with Alexandre, either, instead carrying himself over to Fleur, and inclining his head to the Courcel. "My Lady. I trust things are well. We haven't met quite yet, have we? Jean Shahrizai de L'Envers, Vicomte de Tonnerre, son of the Sovereign Duc of Namarre, at your service."

Sombra continues to watch quietly, just observing for the time being. Her eyes flitting from person to person as they speak and watching all the interactions.

Leandra continues to just silently watch the proceedings with a slight curious tilt to her head.

"I am, yes." Pierre replies to Fleur, "As local as you can become, I suppose, however I spent a good number of years traveling on various ships before deciding to return to being just a local." he lifts his glass up to his lips, taking a sip from the clear liquid within it, "Make sure to take care around the rock pools, though, my lady. Some of them look innocent enough, but others are quite treacherous."

The approaching Rocaille is considered by Armandine Mereliot, and with a curious smile, which soon shifts into a warmer cast, the Duchesse's eyes alight. "Ah… How is Fernand these days? I haven't heard from him in ages. Pray, write to him that he should come and visit Marsilikos. Why, a few months ago we had Louis de Trevalion here. It is not uncommon for us to receive people of ducal status in our fine city. Welcome to Marsilikos, Lord Elliot. I trust you will find your time here quite enjoyable."

Looking as slight and fragile as the duchesses own daughter, Imogen slips into the room carefully. She is pale and has dark circles beneath her eyes, and yet walks with a purposeful stride as she makes her way into the room to stand next to her betrothed, her hand reaching for his for strength, but seeming content to be by his side for this, for them. "Have I missed anything my love?" she murmurs as she settles down next to her betrothed.

"He was quite well last I saw him. I have been away from home a while though, touring the provinces, we do write often however. I shall indeed see if I cannot convince him to come and visit if it would please you, Your Grace." Elliot smiles warmly in return and bows low stepping back now. "I am sure I will Your Grace, and thank you for receiving me." He will withdraw back into his spot in the crowd now looking relaxed.

Fleur is about to respond to Pierre, when Jean makes his way to where they stand. "Vicomte l'Envers." A curtsey is dipped. "I needs must correct you on what you say however, for we have met before. You most likely would not recall me though, since I was a little more than ten or so, and you a full twenty. A natality party, I believe, and magnificent too. Held at your Ducal seat." There's the smallest scrunch of her nose as she extends a hand his way. "I forgive you for forgetting me though, for what young Ducal heir would remember the child that peeked at the proceedings from the balconies above." A tilt of her head and a glance to Pierre. "This is Lord Delaunay, an acquaintance that I have just had the pleasure of meeting."

When Aziza addresses him, Gauge smiles slyly at the Ambassador and leans over with a clinking rattle of the gold chain-link shirt he wears so he can respond to her in quiet rumbly tones. As more people go to address the Duchess however he watches the interactions of the others before he looks back towards Aziza and speaks to her again quietly, offering her his arm.

"Next to speak to Her Grace, is Lord Alexandre de Morhban, heir to the Comte de Concarneau." Says the herald, with a glance towards the impressive figure of the man in question.

Rising when Imogen arrives, the concern is written on Timeo's features as he feels her hand press into his own and his squeeze is supportive if subtle before he takes a seat with her, and speaks quietly with her, a glance towards the proceedings as he finally passes his note for Imogen's turn in line.

Leonide ahhs at whatever was said in reply to her by Gauge, then a warm smile to Aziza, before she moves a careful few steps away from the two as they quietly discuss, turning her full focus back to the introductions and announcements.

Imogen chuckles at whatever it is that Timeo says, nodding quietly as her hand is taken. "Ah so nothing important, I'm afraid my presence will be breif, I only wish to speak with her grace on a singular matter, i've been feeling ill as of late, i'm getting better, but not well enough for court i'm afraid," she admits with a small bemused smile.

"Fifteen years is quite awhile, indeed, my Lady. I accept your correction and beg apologies for my lapse of memory," Jean admits with a bright smile to Fleur, taking her hand and kissing her knuckles courteously. "Nevertheless, Companions bless our meeting again, and I am thankful for the company of a fellow peer of Namarre." That smile of his meets his gaze even as he extends it to Pierre, letting go of the noblewoman's hand to offer his to Pierre for a knightly handshake. "Lord Delaunay, how delightful to meet you. With such a storied name, I trust your House bears good tidings as always."

"There is no need of apology. I know that your illness has kept us at pause. But if my lady would be willing to have herself attended to, I will accompany you back to your home after the matter we're here for is addressed." Timeo offers quietly to Imogen as he lifts his gaze back towards the proper court.

Aziza puts a hand to her lips as she smiles but then nods to him. At that arm, she glances ever so slightly but takes it with her free hand with a small smile. Her gaze returns back to the proceedings. In that gold next dress, she shifts the beaded gown ever so slightly.

Moving away from Gabrielle as he is announced the immense form of Alexandre moves over towards the Duchess' seat and he offers a stiff but politely formal bow to the Duchess with function and precision being favored over grace. "Your Grace." He offers towards her before he straightens, "I bring greetings from my Father, Lucius Alexandre de Morhban the Comte de Concarneau. While I have already begun to enjoy the hospitality of your fine city," He gestures with one hand to indicate Marsilikos, "The Pearl of Eisande is without question unique and full of mysterious beauty to appreciate. I wish that I could spend all my time simply enjoying what you and yours have to offer, devouring that which would tempt me." But. "My father bids me request of you a list of names for consideration, for the linking of families in marriage to bring our two great provinces closer together." He inclines his head to her, "It is with respect that he requests such, and has sent myself for perusal by you and your Court with which to discuss such arrangements and negotiations." He bows his head to Armandine and smiles faintly, "Now that the official request has been given … I look forwards to meeting the notaries of your Court, Duchess, already I have found myself quite engaged with the differences here in Marsilikos as compared to Mohrban."

Pierre appears to be less bothered then some would at the sudden interruption in his conversation with Fleur. His head simply turns to the appearance of Jean to which he just falls silent, taking another sip from his clear liquid. He almost looks amused for a few moments, as well. Moments that he spends just listening. When the hand is offered in a handshake, Pierre shifts his glass to his left hand before he puts his right arm slightly across his mid section. He then executes a bow to Jean rather then taking the hand to shake, "Vicomte l'Envers. It is an honor. I stand at your disposal." he pauses, "I do trust my family is doing quite well."

Foulque raise an eyebrow as he sees a fellow Kusheline, and while there's no love lost between Shahrizai and Morbhans, , still when not in Kusheth, they should present a unified front. He listens slowly, not interrupting, accepting a glass of wine from a servant, and sipping, without joining conversations , since there are people he is not acquainted with.

With a sudden, bright laugh, Jean smiles pleasantly, to Pierre, "Please — I demand no formalities of friends to my Province and your House has proven their loyalties to Terre d'Ange as a whole again and again. No need to bow. Are you a militant type, or a courtier, my Lord?" He inquires, spending a moment to consider that before apologizing: "Forgive my curiosity."

"Yes. Companions bless our meeting," Fleur says to Jean, her smile a quiet thing that settles lightly upon her lips. There's something intrinsically melancholy about the young Valais, despite the front that she wears, and she keeps her thoughts to herself as her hand is released and Jean turns to Pierre. A second elapses, perhaps two, until with Jean's next question of Pierre a more genuine smile finds its way to her lips. "Goodness. Such questions." But nevertheless her eyes do turn to seek and find Pierre's, curious as to his answer.

Armandine receives that stiff bow with an incline of her head, gaze glittering faintly as she considers the Morhban, in all his impressive stature. "Thank you, and I insist you greet Lucius back in turn. Your request is a thing to consider, and I shall gladly do so. Especially, since we are already connected. My dear sister, the Marquise de Chavaise 'devoured'… no, 'claimed' one of your own. A pity she and Armand can't be here today, but they are busy with their own duties, holding the Festival of Lights at Béziers." Her tone and demeanor are friendly but not with a faint satirical air. "I shall be pleased to receive you here, in the days to come, so that we can talk about possibilities, my lord."

"Of course Your Grace," Alexandre says with another nod, slightly less stiff but still not graceful. "It is with some marginal amount of amusement I find myself the beef upon the butchers block of a sort. Given my positions it appears that patience has run thin on my desire to be elusive in that regard. As the Vicomte to Landaul, and the Heir, it appears that I have been given more than enough rope." Another faint smile follows, "Now I simply must try not to hang myself with it." A small laugh follows and he bows formally precise again, "Your Grace, thank you for showing such welcome. I shall hope only to survive being devoured myself, should that come to be." He then steps away when dismissed.

Pierre once more lifts his glass up to his lips, taking a light sip from the liquid within. He considers the question posed to him a few moments, his eyes traveling to Fleur, "Well, without questions, My Lady, you will never get answers within due time." he lets his eyes return to Jean, "I am neither, My Lord. I have served in both the military and the merchant navy but, as I have come to ground myself more, I have turned my pursuits to more .. menial pursuits. I am a merchant, much to my fathers chagrin at my choice of occupation."

And dismissed he is, with an amiable nod and a faint grin curling lips of Eisande's Duchesse, as she watches Aelxandre step away. An inquiring glance she casts towards the herald, who stares down at his notes and then raises his voice anew.

"Please, next to speak to Her Grace, the Lady of Marsilikos, is Lady Imogen Mereliot, heiress to the Comté de Florac, and her betrothed, Timéo d'Aiglemort, Vicomte de Marlieux."

"Nothing wrong with being a merchant. Perhaps you and I will do business," Jean offers to Pierre in a far more businesslike tone, and his expression pleasant, but with that inquisitive edge only someone of Kushiel's descent would have. "Questions beget answers, and answers beget knowledge, my Lady. That is the best way to get to know someone better: being direct, I find, has yielded the best results in terms of efficiency." He grins again to Fleur. "How about you, my Lady? Where do your passions lead you, in terms of occupational interests?"

Rising from his seat when they are announced, the formality of the Camlachian as well as the presence of his strength is brought to display. If only he'd been allowed to bring in his polearm - but when the court of Eisande… Offering his arm to Imogen to lean upon, the Viscomte offers a bow of his head in consideration of the woman before moving to lead her to the Duchesse.

The lady next to speak has been staring down at her lap for the last little while, slightly out of it, but listening all the same. A squeeze is given to her betrothed's hand but she makes her way up at his side and not clinging to him, sick or not, she's raised better than to appear sick when the attention at a room is on her, and her steps are measured, careful, and practiced as she approaches the Duchess and dips into a curtsey, proper and elegant as ever. "Your Grace," she greets quietly.

Putting names to the faces as they are introduced at the front and filing it away for later, Antoine starts making his way along the crowd, nodding a little and offering smiles to people here and there. He gazes to the front every now and then.

"Terre d'Ange is carried on the backs of merchants such as yourself," Fleur says to Pierre, setting her glass upon the tray of a passing servant. For the main part, it looks as if she's hardly touched its contents, and she knots her hands loosely behind her back, her attention shifting from Pierre to Jean with the question that's asked of her. "My interests?" Her smile falters, and a quiet breath is taken, shoulders rising a little before she exhales and a shake of her head is given. "I believe that my interests are unimportant. At least for now. I am just now coming out of mourning for my husband. We will see where we are when the summer is done."

"Child." This is the first thing that escapes Armandine, as her gaze falls upon her niece. "Are you alright?", is added at a lower volume, a glance towards Timeo along with a raised inquiring brow. "Please… what is it that I can do for the both of you?" Her gaze softens, noting how Imogen holds herself, intent on bringing forth whatever it is she wishes to say.

There is pride on Timeo's face. Imogen's stand in the face of her own illness and intent to carry out her request can't help but to cause the Camlachian to offer a nod of support to his betrothed as he looks up towards Armandine. "Your Grace." he greets politely, "Greetings from my Uncle as well." he offers with a rumble, before turning his attention back to the Comtesse to be at his side.

The approach of Imogen and Timeo to address the Duchess, Alexandre watches the approach with a touch more interest than was noted otherwise to other addressee's. He then shifts slightly but only enough to reach out and snag three glasses of wine, one for himself, one for Gabrielle, and one for Leonide. A nod is given towards the pair of women as he looks towards the Duchess and the pair.

Marco no doubt slips in from side entrance. One of those benefits of being a Mereliot in residence no doubt. He seems to be observing the festivities and activities with interest off to the side with a half sipped glass of wine in his court finery.

Imogen smiles tenderly and nods with a weak chuckle. "I haven't eaten much, my stomach is not at it's best and that brings the rest of me down, but i am sure it is no more than a temporary problem," she assures in that same softer tone, and for that moment, she drops the title and chooses to address the duchess as her family rather than her superior. Rising to normal room volume as she continues along with her words. "I wished to speak with you regarding the Vicomté de Besseges, traditionally it is held by the heir to the Comté de Florac. I was initially content to let it be, seeing as the circumstances to my ascension to heir were largely tragic, but now that my betrothed is giving up a title to marry me, I thought if i might be so bold as to begin discussions upon coming into the title myself, as far as I understand, it has gone without holder since Edmonds passing," she begins with a small smile.

Pierre falls silent a few moments, giving something said some thought, "I do very little trading the land route heading north. Most of my trade takes place on the ocean, with other Kingdoms. But, nothing is ever written in stone." comes his reply to Jean regarding trade. His eyes glances from Fleur to Jean, "Well, perhaps there is not." he lets a light smile come to his lips, "I should send my father to speak to the both of you regarding such matters." he says with a hint of a joke to his tone of voice.

<FS3> Timeo rolls Composure: Good Success. (6 8 5 7 8)

The request brings surprise to Timeo's face, admittedly. Armandine was already aware of his plans to relinquish title to marry the heir, but Imogen's suggestion causes his expression to falter with concern in a moment before he straightens back up to return his attention to the niece and aunt as they speak.

Aziza stands there still with her hand on Gauge's arm. Licking her lips she watches the proceedings only lean over to murmurs something.

Gauge leans in to listen to Aziza, though he rumbles a soft chuckle at what she says to him then answers something back to her. When he notices Leonide stepping away from him and Aziza though he frowns slightly, about to address her when she is offered wine by another lord. Turning his attention back to Aziza he lightly reaches to place his hand over her arm lightly with a comparably soft touch.

"Ah," Jean looks to Fleur with an expression of understanding, smiling softly to her. "Forgive me, and my deepest condolences. It is my hope that your heart mends with time," he states softly to her, before mentioning to the Delaunay, "We'll speak soon, then. I happen to have interests that are seaborn, I can take care of the terrestrial components of it."

Gabrielle has mostly been silent as many speak with the Duchess and her eyes move to follow each on, that green gaze curious as a smile lingers to her lips. Her own purple dress flows around her as she finally settles down so that she can watch the Court. Alexandre is followed by those eyes as well as he moved to make his introductions and the reason he is here, as well as being put up on the block. That last statement causes a slow smile and a soft chuckle shared with Leo. When her escort returns, she accepts the glass of wine and settles once more into that curious watch of others.

"Thank you, Lord Timeo," Armandine says to him, for conveying his uncle's regards, another Duc from another province, and they all seem to be on such good footing with the Lady of Marsilikos. But it is Imogen who voices the request, and Armandine's focus is completely on her, when the young woman utters the words that earn her look of acknowledgement. "You are right," she states after a moment, "The Vicomté de Besseges is currently under the care of a steward. I shall consider this, but upon first thought, I can already see the proposal is not without sense." And with this she dismisses the pair with a nod, and a murmured, "Now please get some rest, my lovely. I shall speak to you later about this."

Imogen chuckles softly as she feels the soft shake of Timeo's hand when she drops her plans. Given her illness she had not the time to inform her of them, but she doesn't draw attention to it in the moment, as she's trying to be official and focus on the matter at hand. She smiles warmly at her aunt's agreement to think and discuss the matter further with her and she dips into another curtsey in parting. "I shall gladly go do so, and maybe even pilfer some rolls on my way back," she murmurs back teasingly, taking timeos hand as she heads for the exit, though leaving room for him to part if he wishes to.

Leaving her side is not in question at the moment - it would be tantamount to abandoning her. No, Timeo is going to stay right at Imogen's side, after a formal bow to the Duchesse. "I will make sure she is well cared for, Your Grace." he promises as he moves to slip Imogen's hand into the crook of his arm to lead her out. There will be words. Words, I say.

A look of concern threatens to become almost a frown, as Armandine Mereliot looks after her departing niece and that betrothed of hers. A soft sigh then, and a faint smile as she turns her attention to the line of courtiers forming before her.

"They do say that time mends all," Fleur says to Jean, reservation in her tone. "I expect I need to learn patience. I am told it will come." Her words are accompanied by a twisting away of her head towards where Imogen petitions Armandine for a title, and her gaze sweeps to encompass Timeo. "Love. Isn't it so that we believe it can rise above anything?" There's no rancour in her tone as she speaks, and her eyes cut back to Pierre, a smile given his way. "Your merchant ways sound filled with excitement. I shall have to bring Bastien to meet with you. Though only four years old, he loves tales of adventure and excitement."

An ever present flow of ladies and lords is heading forwards as the herald continues to call out names of those wishing to push their agenda… It could become a long and tiring afternoon. But in fact, it becomes worse.

There is commotion at the double doors, standing wide ajar as to admit courtiers - when an individual who is obviously not a courtier makes a rather hasty entry - but is intercepted by a guard.

A second guard joins them and listens to words that are hard to catch, even for those standing close by. It is this guard who makes his way over to the Duchesse, ignoring any order that had been established by the herald on his list. He bends forward murmuring a few words into Armandine's ear. And her features turn white, as her grey eyes turn to regard the messenger at the far end of the Great Hall. The man is brought forth, he is breathing heavily, hair damp with sweat clinging to his temples. People are moving aside to make room for him, as he comes to stand before the Duchesse.

"Your Grace…", he inhales, unable to continue at once, when his features clearly speak of impending dreadful tidings.

Fleur turns to look toward Armandine, and the interruption of the court.

Foulque makes his way to Jean, having recognized the other man from a clan meeting years back and he starts introducing himself to Jean and his companion, but..then the interruption makes him turn his hea,d deep blue eyes raised.

That draws his attention. Jean holds up a hand in quiet apologies to Fleur and Pierre, making no move to approach the Duchesse as she no doubt is appraised of grim tidings, considering the emergence of the guard and the abrupt way the order of audiences are interrupted. Not that he can say much about interruptions, that is, but the son of the Sovereign Duc of L'Envers, a nod of his head offered to his Shahrizai kinsman, along with a brief smile. His focus is entirely on Armandine, though.

Sombra's face begins to echo worry as she watches the court interruption.

Aziza looks to the commotion and blinks. Seeing the Duchess' gaze she then goes still.

At the bit of an uproar, Gauge's attention turns towards the pair of guards and then the travel of the guard to the Duchess. He cocks an eyebrow as he murmurs something to Aziza again. He also looks back towards the entrance where the excitement began with to see if anything else of interest is occurring.

Leonide frowns at the interruption and obvious urgency. She shifts her weight a little, no longer leaning entirely on her good leg, brushing at her silk dress with her hands a moment as she watches, not to mention listens.

Antoine pauses as he hears the commotion, looking towards the man brought in front of the Duchesse. Taking a few moments to move a bit closer to the happenings, so he can watch more carefully, expression a mixture of curiosity and worry.

Leandra focuses her own attention on the interruptions with silent curiosity. LEandra seems to be good with just silently watching the proceedings.

A look of nothing but interest dawns on Pierres face as he turns to look, like everyone else is, at the Duchess and the news she is being delivered.

Wine may have been procured for Leonide and Gabrielle, but Alexandre himself doesn't seem to be drinking the wine he had acquired. As the proceedings continue on the massive Kusheline simply waits, watching, listening, and observing everyone and everything that he can with that intense green eyed gaze. As such he missed the response of the Duchess originally but the after effects… those he notices.

"What is it? Please. You must speak. You must tell us. You must tell me." Her words echo in the sudden silence that has laid the Great Hall suddenly under its spell. And Armandine moves to stand, as if this shift in posture would force the man to regather enough wits to give his report.

The man standing before her is a commoner, wearing the leathers of a messenger and the sigil of Mereliot.

"The Festival of Lights… at Béziers. There… was a bloodbath. It happened last night, Your Grace. While they were at the harbor, for placing the lights upon the water… The Marquise was about to hold her speech for the people… And suddenly, bloodshed started… People from the crowd… And then… guards rushed to bring the Marquise and her family to safety."

A short pause follows. "There was chaos at Béziers, Your Grace. It took the authorities a while to get the situation under control. They returned, and… The Steward of Chavaise found dead bodies in the courtyard…" He swallows. "The Marquise and the Marquis… have been abducted. Your Grace… Your nephews… Your nieces… they are dead. Killed. Slaughtered." And as if in an afterthought, he adds in a deep sigh, "I am sorry."

"Who would assault a Mereliot in their own lands, let alone murder them?" Jean frowns in light of the revelations, before lifting his tone to the Duchess, "Your Grace, in light of these dire news, I volunteer to investigate and lead a group of men to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice. And, hopefully, show to these brigands and miscreants what happens when they stray from the path of law and justice. "

The L'Envers adds, "I am certain that, were our roles reversed, my father would welcome the assistance of the Eisandines in this. As such, it is only right for me to offer my aid as I can."

Fleur covers her face with her hands, colour draining from her cheeks. "Oh no. No. The children? The children have been slaughtered?"

Sombra's hand raise up for cover her dropping jaw as she overhears what was said. A mixture of horror and sadness upon her features that her hand isn't covering.

Pierre slowly lifts his hand up that holds the glass of water, taking a sip from it. He gives Jean a light glance, but his eyes returns once more to the Duchess. His expression remains, as before, one of alert interest.

Aziza stares silently as she listens. Pursing her lips, a frown mars her stoic features. Children? Killing children? "…..that is…..that is beyond unforgivable…." Her tone was stern…more stern than it had been before. Glancing to Gauge she still has that frown on her face but she looks back ahead.

Gabrielle holds still where she is at the news, those green eyes wide and as Fleur goes pale so does the Vicomtes, though maybe for other reasons. A deep breath is taken as those eyes move to not the Duchess but the Messenger and she stares at him for a very long moment before finally looking to the Duchess, it would seem she almost wants to grab the Messenger and ask a few questions but for now curls one hand and stays put.

"Strange." Alexandre says softly at the news, "Why kill the whole family and only take that pair." He muses softly to himself, easily missed as people start to talk and react to the news. Finally he lifts his glass of wine and takes a sip, glancing towards Gabrielle to see how she is reacting to the news and offering her support of his presence and a strong person to lean on should she need it. As well as Leonide, he also checks on since they are close as well.

Leonide blinks, stares, then clenches her own hands and straightens incrementally whilst setting her jaw as her face pales. She pitchs her voice to be clearly audible and is loudly, perhaps startlingly so as she demands. "What villains were responsible? Traitors? Foreign raiders? I pledge my own support to answering this crime and am sure I can speak the same for Corsica!"

Gauge listens to the news of course and he considers, "If it were me planning to assault a place at the start of a surprise attack and begin a war." He rumbles to Aziza, "It would be a fairly effective opening gambit." Then he steps forwards and offers: "I cannot speak for all of d'Eresse, Your Grace, but Beaucare will ready our fastest ships and muster what sailors and soldiers we have in support of your determination, whatever actions those be."

Antoine blinks a few times as he hears the news, and his eyes narrow quite a bit. "Who…" he begins, going silent as he listens to what's being said, glancing around the room at the people present, before he focuses to the front again. "I would think it would be something more than just brigands and miscreants," he says, as he looks between the various people present. "Any aid I can offer, I will give," he says, voice raised a bit louder than before.

Marco is listening quietly as the tail comes out listening to each drop of detail that was brought out. Dark green jade eyes hardening as he listens to the details. He lifts his wine glass and hands it in passing to a stunned server. Marco steps quietly towards the side exit murmuring to himself, "Nothing more to be learned here."

<FS3> Armandine rolls Composure: Good Success. (3 6 5 4 8 4 4 6 7 4 8 5)

"Kushiel's Mercy.." Foulque gasps, rocked in shock at the news. he nods at his cousin's words, though the older man watches the Duchess to see what her response will be. Without even realising..he seems to have emptied his glass of wine in one gulp.

It is quite a challenge, even for a Duchesse who held the reins on Eisande for quite a while to stand through all of this unblinking, whilst hearing the direst of news. Armandine looks almost like a statue, a soft ripple there in her throat as she swallows, nostrils flaring as she inhales, a breath as uneven as the thoughts that must currently race through her mind. "I believe Léonard has already taken measures." It is a statement, but also a question, and the messenger nods his head. The duchesse looks towards Jean then, as he is the first of the others speaking up. "An investigation will be needed. Yes. Thank you for your offer, Lord Jean. The circumstances of this atrocity seem to be… more than odd." And there her gaze sweeps the hall, noting who speaks up. "Any help in this will be more than welcome. We should discuss measures. I would like to close this Court Session, if you don't mind." A sigh. "Béziers will require half-a-day's travel, but I would like to send people there, willing to investigate. And to find my sister and her husband."

Aziza slowly takes her hand from Gauge's arm and speaks up. "If you wish reinforcements, Your Grace….I can send my men along as well as accompany them as well….." A beat. "I can send word as well to gain anything you may need for such an endeavor if you wish."

"It will be done," Jean states to Armandine with a nod, and another bow. "I'll have my personal guard at this as well, and we'll catch the murderers. They will be brought back to you alive, that you might decide how best the Punisher might act on them."

"I'm on this as well." Says one of the many unlanded nobles present as he steps forth from his Eresse flock. "Belmont d'Eresse, Your Grace." There is anger in his eyes, and empathy for the plight of the Lady of Marsilikos. A bit of pride even, as he glances towards his older brother, the Baron of Beaucare. "I shall come along to investigate, and to bring those villains to justice."

"Well.." Pierre begins, putting his glass aside. The call for the end has been given, so he turns to Fleur, "Despite the tragedy that has beset our land.. mh, no.." he stops himself with what he was about to say, then goes with, "Companions keep you, My lady. My lord.." he looks to Jean, then he moves to leave.

"I pray that all is not as it seems," Fleur says, her hands knitting together where held before her face. "Companions keep you too, my lord. I fear they may be looking after more than a few in the coming days." A dip of her head to departing Delaunay. Her attention is then back to the room, and the Duchesse in particular. "I pray that the news from Bézier is false, however." Her words are to herself, quietly spoken, though from the heart.

A glass shatters. And a low curse escapes Magalie as she glances down, where remains of red wine dot the floor among perilous shards. Turning around, she glances at the gathering that seems to slowly dissolve, and then takes her leave, hurrying out of the Great Hall as if wishing to flee the sombre mood that has taken hold of so many there.

The shattering of the glass is enough to draw Alexandre's attention and he looks after Magalie's retreat, studying the woman and her cane with a tightening expression before he murmurs something to Gabrielle then he bows his head towards Armandine. A personal note would be sent later, offering his support for what little can be provided so far from his power base as it would take a great deal of time and choreography to get a significant number of men moved without incident across Terre d'Ange

Once the glass shatters Ezio jolts out of the headspace that he was in and he frowns. He looks around the room and then he sets his own empty glass on a tray for a passing server and he begins to quietly make his way through the crowd towards the exit, slipping out when he can.

Emilie slips out to go back to the Namaah temple. Probably to do priestessly things after the news.

The sound of the glass causes her to come back from wherever Sombra went off to and she begins to recollect herself and head towards the exit herself.

While he may not exactly believe it'll be an easy job bringing the people behind the attack to justice, Antoine nods to the part about doing it. "We will find the ones behind it," he agrees, looking around at the various people.

Aziza exhales deeply after her offer then waits until she see who's still left. After that, she bows to the Duchess before making her way out. Time to speak to her guards about a trip…

Gabrielle whispers something to Alexandre, leaning up and presses her lips to his cheek. But she looks a little out of sorts, both worried and upset and something else but it only shows in her eyes. She waits till the Duchess departs before leaving herself of course.

Leonide shakes her head now as the crowd starts to disperse, exhales, then closes her eyes for a moment before letting her shoulders slump. A wince at something which she mostly succeeds in covering then she turns and starts to step briskly toward the door out. She is not even trying to hide it now, heavily favouring her left leg as she takes rapid steps, kept short by the nature of her ankle length dress.

Armandine remains standing, even as courtiers begin to spill out of the Great Hall, when a thought hits her belatedly, that almost throws her off balance. "Oh… Eisheth have mercy…", the Duchesse breathes, her eyes closing for a moment. "I need to tell her." At which, her features look even more glum than before. A fleeting glance is shot Gabrielle, and Armandine nods towards her, even as she moves out of the hall now herself, her pace quick and determined. "A letter… and an escort," she murmurs, more to herself. And then she is gone, off to her quarters, making arrangements. The first of many, it would seem.

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