(1310-05-29) A Cousin and a Cure
Summary: Alexandre arrives to speak with Desarae, and tells her of a cure he's researched to reverse the curse on her.
RL Date: Tue May 29, 2018
Related: All logs in the Bloodshed at Béziers plot.
alexandre desarae 

Marquise de Chavaise Suite

The large chambers are noticeably Mereliot, with the house colours sprinkled throughout. The walls are covered with dark oak panels, as are the floors. There is a large stone hearth where fires warm the rooms in the colder months, above which hangs a landscape painting of the port of Marsilikos. Bookshelves are inlaid on either side of the fireplace, filled with books on military theory, histories, and even some literature. Knick-knacks from around the world fill the spaces in between, from Ch'in and Carthage, Menekhet and Bhodistan that have been passed down the generations. Three chairs surround the fire, a long cream coloured chaise with a sea green throw and two wingbacks, all upholstered in the same cream colour.

Through from the sitting room is the bed chamber, where a large four-posted bed constructed from solid oak is the dominating feature. It rises up to a canopy, with sea green brocade drapes that can be drawn for privacy and darkness. A large oak table stand against the far wall, behind which is a full shelf of books and documents, serving as a study area for the Marquise. An archway leads off to an alcove with two doorways in it. One holding clothing and the other a small storage room for a tub and other personal accoutrements.

There is a balcony just off the bedroom, overlooking the ducal gardens, a tree close enough to the railing to provide an alternate entry for the brave or foolish. It is lit by two braziers, one on either end, with a table for private dining between.


Visitors to Desarae's chambers are few; primarily because instructions have been given that the young woman is not to be disturbed by anyone other than the healers unto whom her care has been entrusted, and the most her immediate of her family. Throughout the illness that's beset her, the fires in the room have been kept banked high to sweat the fever from her diminishing frame, though the drapes at both the windows and around her bed remain pulled back so that fresh air and light might also assist her. On arrival Alexandre would have found his initial attempts to see her firmly denied, though production of the note he'd received in Desarae's own hand, would eventually see him being admitted to her chambers.

He'll find her propped up amongst a fortress of pillows on one of the gilded couches drawn near to the fire; an elegant wrap of fine white cotton covering shoulders that seem as fragile as porcelain. Her hair is pulled back from a face that looks grey, and her eyes burn bright with a fever that's further defined by the bruised purple smudges in the hollows beneath. Two guards positioned outside of her suite, and two within, and it'd be obvious that she's very much been bodily carried from her bed to be deposited where she currently resides, a blanket tucked neatly about her frail figure. It's perhaps something indeed that despite her malaise, she refuses to recive her cousin in bed. And this is how Alexandre will find her, when eventually he's shown to her rooms on the heels of an anxious maid.

*

When he arrives it is with no sign of annoyance at all, as if the people barring his entry into the room or the guards therein simply did not exist to him. What does exist is the heat of the room from the fireplace that is trying to roast them alive even with the window open. There a ghost of a frown forms on his face, curling his lips downwards and there is a faint wrinkling of his brow before he shakes his head just a touch back and forth. "Pointless." He says softly to himself before he lets his gaze roam further until finally finding Desarae all piled up with pillows on all sides. "Cousin." He says with a bow of his head politely before he starts to walk over towards where the new heir rests and tries to recover. "I am sorry that you are not doing so well." He looks at the bruises under her eyes, her general ashen pallor, and then reaches to take her hand gently in his own massive ones if she allows it. It seems he does not think whatever she has is contagious.

"It has taken me some time, I apologize about how long, but I know what has been done. I know how to reverse it. As I said in my letter." Alexandre says in a surprisingly gentle voice for a man of his size. He'll even give her hand the gentlest of squeezes if she allowed him to take it.

*

"Alexandre," Desarae says, her voice paper thin and as cracked as her parched and dry lips. Despite her pallor, there's that flush to her skin that speak of a raging temperature, and a line of sweat where hair meets brow that leaves her dark tresses dampened. Her skin glistens from the hollow of her throat down the line of her breastbone where untold applications of unctious medications have been applied. Her breath rattles when she speaks, and though Alexandre may take one of her hands in his, the one not so captured moves to her throat as if to ease the pain that lodges within. It's there that the most striking pysical manifestation of her illness is to found, for a rash has formed there; a raised vivid welt of red that bisects her throat as if in mockery of the manner in which her siblings had died. She swallows, the fingers of her other hand tightening almost imperceptibly within his at the squeeze. Her eyes meet with his, blown and dilated with whatever it is that rages within. "I fare better than the rest of my family. I live. Elua will not take me until I have seen justice done." Her voice is halted by a cough that wracks her slender frame, and the strain of speaking shows in the sweat that beads on her upper lip. "A cure, you say?"

*

"Yes." Alexandre says softly, "This is a curse. The witch spoke of it as we were taking her captive. I found books that had done research into these curses and I have discovered how to reverse it." He smiles very faintly and though his green eyes do brighten with it, it doesn't seem to touch the rest of his face much. Not a very emotive cousin it seems. "The curse she used upon you is one that could be done from anywhere, with the proper components for the ritual. There are a few things I need in order to undo it. One of which will be easy to acquire, I simply must go visit your father where he…" There is a pause, "Tries to serve penance for his part in what has happened. The other I must acquire from your mother." He takes a slow breath through his nose, "Do you have the brush used on your mother before her sending? I need hair, from her head." He smiles softly again, a little bit more than the faint smile he had shown before. "With those and a few other things I hope to undo what was done to you. This thing that has befallen you isn't a normal sickness. It is a curse. From what I have read it takes a week or two to kill." He pats her hand gently, "I would very much like you to see Justice done while healthy and hale so that Naimah knew she had failed to enact her revenge in full."

*

Desarae's hand tightens briefly about her throat, then drops to her lap. The astute would note the sheen of tears that remain trapped and unshed behind darkly spiked lashes, and her whole being appears to diminish further with each word that Alexandre speaks. Her voice is hard-fought for, and husked by the illness. "The locket. Please…" Her head cants to the left, and her eyes cut from his to the piece that lies on the table next to the couch. It's oval in shape, exquisitely etched with the Mereliot family crest, and strung on a fine filigree chain. There's probably so much more that Desarae would say, or would like to say, but what the tragedy of the events in Béziers haven't robbed her of, the curse does its best to claim. Her eyes return to her cousin's, and whatever strength she still has left to her, shows in the determined lift of her chin and the flare of her nose as a breath is drawn to fuel her next words. "It is… good to meet you Alexandre. What I was told of you, appears true."

*

"I can't imagine anything good being told about me." Alexandre says with a faint smile at that but he squeezes her hand gently and then lets go so he can straighten up and move to acquire the locket she suggested. He brings it back over towards her and moves to sit gently on the edge of the bed she rests upon but even that much causes the bed to sink a fair bit due to his size. "I am far from the best heir or Vicomte." He shifts over towards her again and offers the locket to her. "It is not how I had hoped to meet you Desarae." He admits with a faint shrug, "I promise you I will do everything I can for you though Desarae." There is a ghost of a frown furrowing his brow and curling the corners of his mouth down. "I want nothing more than for you to be able to regain your strength so that you can look at that woman yourself and cast down your judgement and justice upon her." He pauses, "There is more I would tell you too, but it can wait until you have recovered your strength."

*

Desarae extends her hand, fingers curled slightly, as Alexandre places the locket in her hand. "They said," she husks, "… you are tall." Her eyes flick back to his, and there's pain to be found there should he be looking, though they quickly fall away and back to the trinket she holds. "Mother's hair." The pad of her thumb rubs gently across the etched coat of arms, and there's a tremble to her fingers as she eases it over the side and across the joint where front and back meet. One of the maids clucks lightly behind her teeth as she watches her mistress struggle with the moment. "Taken from her head, before…" But words fail her, and she pushes the edge of her thumbnail between the edges, prising the locket open to reveal its contents within. Unlike Desarae, her mother was Mereliot in the colouration of her hair, the golden-blonde curl lying pressed upon a backing of blue silk. A tear escapes and splashes on her fingers. "Take it. Make me well. I will see the witch dead." And she holds it out for Alexandre to claim.

*

Taking out a silk handkerchief Alexandre unwraps the fabric and then gently rolls the locket to spill the hair into the silk so that he can wrap it up and not lose any of it. "Whatever is left, I will return to you Cousin." He folds the handkerchief up tighter and then slips it inside his shirt near his chest that is still bandaged from the wounds he took in the capturing of the witch. "Tall." He smiles a little more at that, "Yes. Tall. Big." He looks over towards her, "I will gather the other ingredients to try and reverse this as soon as I can." He considers, "As it is a curse… I am not sure if you need any more of these medications. None of them will do anything. Just try and be comfortable." He closes the locket so she doesn't have to and then offers to take it and put it back where it was. "I should go. I need to find Armand before he does something silly like shave his head." He does not seem to have a high opinion of her father, his uncle, judging by the way his strong jaw flexes at that and teeth almost grind together. "When you are well, we will talk more about things." He smiles a little. "And perhaps get a chance to know one another. I am sorry about what has happened." He says seriously, "We got there to late for your mother… I had hoped…" He shakes his head and then he stands up and the bed rights itself. "We will get you feeling better soon."

*

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