(1310-06-27) Perspective
Summary: Aedhwyn brings herself to La Rose Sauvage, seeking information on the nature of its purpose.
RL Date: June 27, 2018
Related: None
aedhwyn baptiste olivia alexandre 

La Rose Sauvage

A huge hearth of black marble, with gargoyles of stone adorning the mantlepiece, governs the foyer of the Salon de la Rose Sauvage, which emanates a certain dark air, the interior design of the more heavy sort, that could easily be encountered in a gentleman's club, especially with the dark cherry wood wainscoting used on the walls. Dark leather upholstery is predominant in the furniture of chaise longues, couches and long-backed chairs that are arranged in a half-circle, leaving space in the center for courtesans (or patrons) to kneel for an inspection. Three tall windows with circular stained-glass insets are framed by dark red curtains of heavy brocade, a few golden threads worked into the fabric catching occasionally the light of flickering oil lamps at the walls. The lamps light a pair of portrait paintings, of the two founders of the salon, Edouard Shahrizai and his cousin Annabelle no Mandrake, resplendent in their dark Kusheline appeal; and a cabinet in a corner, holding a number of quality wines and a flagon of uisghe.

The foyer has a high ceiling, and a gallery beyond a balustrade of dark teak wood, carved in the shapes of gargoyles. Sometimes a few veiled creatures can be spotted up there, stealing glances at what is going on below; from the gallery, which can be reached by ascending some winding stairs at the back of the foyer. Beside the stairs leading up is a hallway on ground level, leading further into the building to where the offices of the leader of the salon and his two Seconds can be found, along with the two wings of private quarters for roses of Mandrake and Valerian canon.

It's a beautiful day outside, warm and fair, but the cheeriness of exterior doesn't quite reach into the Rose Sauvage salon. It's darker inside, cooler out of the warming rays of the sun. It is morning and is fairly quiet and slow at the moment. Not known for her early days, Baptiste is nonetheless awake and seated in one of the richly upholstered arm chairs off to one side of the entrance. Dressed in the red and black typical of Mandrake, he is flipping slowly through a small book that looks even smaller in his large hands. Yet he turns the pages delicately, eyes moving back and forth as he reads and relishes in the relavtive silence of the morning hours.

Aedhwyn arrives rather purposefully at a time where the salon is not likely to be busy. One might even hope for all but abandoned or perhaps even unattended but she is not quite so lucky. She must maintain her courage a bit longer. Her companion is with her, a rather large and imposing looking Alban warrior with facial tattoos and woad patterns on much of his visible skin. Aedhwyn draws in a breath before moving further into the room, her features in a neutral expression though she does smile. It is the quick movements of her eyes tracking motion that gives her away as either rather nervous or exceedingly attentive.

There's a ghosting of white silks and movement towards the rear of the salon, and the rarity of one of the White Roses of la Rose Sauvage makes her way across the floor. Having been here a full nine years, and having been recently elevated to the position of one of the salon's Seconds, Baptiste will be more than familiar with whom it is beneath the flutter of veils that she wears. It's Olivia. She carries in careful hands a fresh display of dark blooms and verdant foliage to replace the ones that are now past their best, yet linger on the mantle of the fire. "Good morning Baptiste." She greets her fellow courtesan, though stays her step a little as the presence of Aedhwyn and her companion are noted. Thank goodness for veils. There's a barely imperceptible widening of her eyes at the sight of all that woad and tattooing, and she subtley allows Baptiste to be both armor and shield between herself and them.

"Olivia." he greets, his tone warm enough though he doesn't immediately look up from his book. Baptiste continues reading in silence until he feels he's found a good spot to stop. Only then does he close the book, set it aside, and lift his gaze to the Alyssum. "At least I think it is Olivia. Perhaps it is some spirit come to haunt me for the pains I caused it while alive. No, I think it is Olivia." he's so funny. Lips curl into a faint smile and then he's looking to the door, "I hadn't heard we were being invaded by the Albans. One would think they would have started in the north but it seems the blue men circumvented all of Terre d'Ange and Aragonia just to come here. Curious. I will try to protect your virtue, Olivia, but I cannot long stand against the savage foreign hordes. Let us hope they kill us quickly." all of this is spoken evenly and with hardly any inflection as if he were bored. Distant. A brow arches expectantly at Aedhwyn.

Aedhwyn is rather obviously Alban as well with bright dots of Courcel blue across her cheekbones and over the bridge of her nose. Above and below the golden arm torque is an intricate swirling pattern that almost seems like elaborate script of some type but isn't really. Yet there is obviously some d'Angeline blood to her, the features are far too fine, she is a bit smaller, thinner of bone for one of her clan. Certainly she is a great deal paler though her skin has been kissed by her love of the outdoors. The fluttering of veils catches her attention, her eyes tracking the movement like a hunter watching a rabbit dart across a path. Though her eyes snap back to Baptiste when he speaks, a breath drawn in that she might not even be truly aware she took. "Good morning, my…m'sieur and m'mselle." Her d'Angeline is flawless, spoken like a native but her accent is just a touch off, watered down as if she learned the language second or third hand. Her chin rises, her posture straightening a bit more, pride stiffening her courage. "Rest assure you are not being invaded but I am here in Terre d'Ange as part of a diplomatic envoy from Alba. Both the Cruarch and my brother, chief of the Maghuin Dhonn wish for continued relations between our lands."

<FS3> Olivia rolls Politics: Great Success. (7 2 8 5 7 3 4 5 8 7)

Despite the image the Albans convey, and the natural uneasiness that it brings to Oliva, there's a hint of a smile in the way her veil catches in the crease of her mouth. "You're very wicked, Baptiste, but you know that already." The weight of the arrangement she carries must be heavy indeed, for she shifts the balance of them in her arms whilst Aedhwyn makes her introductions. She's generally a quiet thing, but the introduction that's given has her brow creasing lightly. "That lineage would perhaps place Alais de la Courcel as your grandmother, perhaps?" There's a degree of indecision in her words as she speaks, together with a cutting of her eyes towards the Mandrake where he sits. It can be so very hard at times to recall bloodlines, especially when mingled with foreign blood, and if being observed, the astute would notice the faint rise of a blush beneath her veils.

"Are you certain? I see foreign emissaries on what seems to be a daily basis. Many if not most of them half-blooded d'Angeline. You need no army to invade us. No, you simply thin the blood of angels. I may not be nobly born, but I am born pure. But…" he trails off, lifting his broad shoulders in a shrug, "that is hardly your fault, Alban. I neither understood nor am aware of those names you spoke and if it is diplomacy you wish to peddle, you have missed the city of Elua by a good many miles." Baptiste's fingers thrum on the arm of his chair, his expression still mild and detached. "What brings you and your beast to La Rose Sauvage? I'm sure there are a Valerian or Alyssum or two that would be willing to surrender to your foreign ways, if only for a time."

Aedhwyn nods her head, "You are correct, m'mselle. Alais the Wise, was my grandmother, mother of my father." Lineage is something that seems to resound with the Alban, considering that their lineage is part of their names. She draws in another breath, though this one seems to be meant to calm her. Her hand starts to close before she relaxes it. "The Cruarch is what you would call King of Alba. As to why I am here, I came for a better understanding of your Salon though I am not sure you be qualified to provide it."

Olivia exhales sharply, her breath billowing and lifting one edge of her veils. "Excuse me whilst I set these down." A downward glance to the flowers in her arms before she turns and retreats in order to switch out arrangements. Happily her lot is not to carry the fading one away, but the fate instead of one of the younger novices who lurk at the periphery of the room. She could abandon Baptiste and Aedhwyn to their conversation, but she's a Princess of the Blood, no matter how watered, and the canon of her training is deeply ingrained. She returns to her position a foot or so behind Baptiste's chair. She doesn't interrupt the flow of the conversation, not until Aedhwyn pauses and a suitable gap appears. "Your Highness seeks a better understanding of the nature of La Rose Sauvage, and it might just be that in speaking with Baptiste, a little of it is gleaned. He is one of our Thorny Roses, and his manner adheres to that ideal."

Baptiste nods in response to Aedhwyn, "Yes, I know what the term means. Though I am but a lowly servant of Naamah, I keep abreast of the foreign hordes and their brutish ways. I can appreciate the Aragonians and the Caerdicci. Even the Hellene, perhaps. But you tribal sorts." he lifts his shoulder in a shrug and folds his hands together in his lap. He glances over at Olivia with a sly smile, gaze lingering a moment or two before he turns it upon Aedhwyn and proceeds in a condescending tone, "La Rose Sauvage is comprised of three canons. They would be called houses in the capital but here we are arranged a little differently. The Valerians submit and, in doing so, draw out your darkest and sharpest desires. The good ones will drive you to depths lower than you thought possible, drawing their power from submission and sacrificing themselves for your pleasure. The Alyssum are innocent. I don't know what else they have going for them." this is meant as a friendly jab at Olivia, at whom he smiles once more. "I am of the Mandrake canon - thorny roses as Olivia says, though I prefer the original house name myself. Our words are 'yield all'. To us. As she says, you are learning quite a bit about what we do. Domination, pain, fear, pleasure. They are more closely linked than you might think. I am a master of the whip and blade, though my favored tools are my bare hands. I scourge the body, break down what you think you know of yourself, leave you in a heap of sweat and blood and more, all to purge and clean the soul and rebuild you into something better. Stronger. The things I could show you, were I to debase myself and enter into a contract with you. I suppose you're a half breed. You would need to leave your dog behind, however. Perhaps clean yourself up and wear a proper dress."

Aedhwyn obviously has no idea who any of your are. She is fairly young, likely having come of age already but is hard to tell with her youthful features. It speaks to either her temperment or her training that she has thus far managed to keep all but a small bite from her words. "The Cruel Ones….that explains much in the lacking." Nope, she couldn't quite manage to keep a second bite from her words. Her gaze rises to Baptiste in challenge, her chin rising just that bit but his words, an observant person would notice her taking half a step back before she catches herself. "While I thank you for the utterly graceful manner in which you have invited me to partake of your house, I am here to learn. Though the idea of a person being builtinto something stronger and better than themselves sounds intriguing, certainly better than a person being drawn into debase themselves and become a broken shadown of themselves. It explains much…the power to destroy is a tool nearly too great to not weild expertly." She looks to Olivia, "M'mselle, would you perhaps explain a little bit more about your house since it was so little covered."

Entering into la Rose Sauvage, Alexandre takes a look around with a single sweep of his gaze, intense green eyes flicking over person to person but without expression or reaction to any and all. Wether or not he found whom he was looking for is unknown but he does continue further into the salon, reaching out to snag a glass of red wine from an attendants tray with a slight nod of thanks to them. Taking a sip from his glass he moves over towards a couch and finds a place to sit where he can listen without interrupting, and possible wait for the person he came to see.

Olivia is standing close enough to Baptiste that he'll hear the hiss of her breath as it's drawn through her teeth. It punctuates his glossing over of her canon. "Baptiste…" A sigh. "You should know well enough how popular the canon of Alyssum is." The rebuke, though lightly given, brings a fresh wash of colour to her cheeks, though with Aedhwyn now addressing her on the intricacies of her nature, it's to the Alban she next responds. "The White Roses cater to those Patrons of the night court whom enjoy the pursuit of virtue and innocence, Your Highness. Whilst none truly believe that they are the first to be the undoing of one of our roses, there are so many different aspects in which worship might be given, that it is likely that they are the first in more ways than one — or are left in the belief that that is the case." Such a long speech, especially from Olivia who prefers to be seen and not heard. There's a glance Alexandre's way as he enters the salon, but since she's a rose displaced within the downstairs environs, she makes no move to approach him, but casts her eyes to the floor instead.

"Though the methods we use vary from salon to salon and canon to canon, the ultimate goal is not to destroy or ruin. It is to give each their own. Give each what they desire and, more importantly, what they might need at any given time. These needs change over one's life, ebb and flow, come and go. That is why there is the variety there is within the night court. We are here to serve Naamah in the way she herself served." Baptiste remains in his arm chair, apparently unwilling to exert the effort to stand and move. He looks rather comfortable as he continues on in his low, smooth voice, sounding as if he's already had enough of this conversation. "So if you find yourself offended by my attitude or too thin-skinned to endure the barb of word or whip, then I am not the courtesan for you. And again, there would be quite a few preconditions before I would consider some painted foreign woman." a brow arches and he once again looks Aedhwyn over with a critical eye. Then his attention shifts and he glances in Alexandre's direction long enough to let the man know he saw him and then decided not to greet him. That's what novices and adepts are for. "I imagine, Alban, that you could most certainly use a session with a Mandrake. You seem to think you have a little steel in your spine. I see it. At least, I see that you think you have it. The set to your jaw, the lift of your chin. So much like a child, which is what you outsiders are to us. Yet I also see you retreat from me. I see the uncertainty in your eyes, smell the fear coming from you and it sustains me." another glance to the nearby Olivia and he chuckles, low and soft, "You explain your ways better than I do. And of course you are popular. Of course."

"I thought that the goal was to worship Naamah." Alexandre says after that, finally speaking up. "Not to give desires, but to celebrate Naamah's sacrifice for Elua. That the Courtesans," He gestures with his free hand towards the Courtesans present, which is all over, "Are there to either represent Naamah herself, or the King. That this is a place of worship and celebration." He speaks evenly, "Not to 'break' people who have no taste for what they represent." He stands up and sets his mostly empty wine glass on a tray. Saying to the Alban, "If you are to partake of our ways of worship, I would suggest going to the temple and discussing our faith with them. So that you have an unbiased view on each of the courts, and what they represent in our religion."

Aedhwyn blushes greatly when Olivia mentions the taking of innocence and virtue, the colour rising on her cheekbones and rising out towards her ears. As she elaborates on there being more than one way to be the first the colour travels out further and deepens. She doesn't rise to the bite of words this time though once more must she force her hand to relax but she smiles, "Were I to be so easily offended by careless comments from those ignorant of the beauty and complexity of my homeland, then I would make a poor envoy. I serve noone to allow words to anger me or to give you what you desire in proving myself a barbarian in your eyes. I know I am not and that is enough." She pauses drawing a breath before continuing, "You may address me as Aedhwyn mab Mor Rioghain of the Maghuin Dhonn or Ambassador instead of Alban. I will take the fault on that since I failed to properly introduce myself earlier." It is just so terribly difficult to look superior or unaffected when you are blushing like a spring rose. She turns towards Alexandre, "I have a basic understanding of your ways but it is not the unbiased view that I wish but a view from within for to truly understand another you must see them as they see themselves."

Olivia's eyes avert immediately from Aedhwyn as Alexandre cuts into the conversation. It is as if a switch were internally flicked, and she defaults to the disposition that had so easily led to her being a White Rose. "There are many ways to learn of Elua and Naamah, Excellency. But my Lord does offer valuable advice if you have not as yet visited our Temples to learn of Blessed Elua and the Companions whom he travelled with." She reverts to the simplest of addresses for the Alban Ambassador, her voice a quiet and modulated thing. "Should you wish, at any time, to discuss further the place of the White Roses in our faith, then I should be happy to accommodate you." And that offer made, she lapses into silence, for surely there will be something further forthcoming from Baptiste.

Baptiste turns his head to look once again at Alexandre, "I speak of methods, you speak of faith. We speak of the same thing. I do not believe you will find an unbiased view of anything. We are all human, we are all biased in our own ways. The Alban, as she said, came for obviously biased information. Who better to learn about the salons from than members of the salon?" Baptiste shrugs and returns his focus to Aedhywn, "I am proudly ignorant of your homeland. I am certain it is lovely but how could it possibly hold a candle to Terre d'Ange, a land created by Blessed Elua and his companions. It cannot." he offers another shrug and a fleeting smile to the Alban.

"As you wish then, Ambassador." Alexandre says with a faint ghost of a smile, "By all means learn in the choosing that suits you best. Welcome to Marsilikos and Eisande, I hope you find the city as lovely as I do, upon occasion." He offers a polite bow to Aedhwyn, "I am Alexandre Morhban, heir to Concorneau, vicomte de Laundal. You speak our language very well," He compliments, "Do enjoy your evening." And another bow is given before he moves off towards the Gardens.

Aedhwyn takes a step further into the salon, "I am quite familiar with your faith though it is not my own. My father taught us all well the customs of your lands, of our lands." She just couldn't resist the small dig. It's childish but it causes the corners of her lips to upturn into a little smile. She turns towards Alexandre only to pout a bit as he continue on his way so quickly. She adds as an afterthought, "It's not as if I do not plan to speak with those of each house." She remember herself, the moment slipping away as she looks to Olivia, "I would enjoy speaking with you or one of yours more in depth about your house and the place of your faith."

Olivia tracks Alexandre's egress to the gardens, though her attention quickly returns to Aedhwyn. "Whenever your Excellency wishes. I am generally to be found within the salon, though a note sent ahead will ensure that is so." Pause. "But I feel that that time is not right now for that meeting, so I shall retire from the salon and leave you to pose any further questions you might have of our Mandrake courtesan." There's a hint in the tone of her voice that to remove herself from the lower salon might not be the worst fate in the world for her, and a curtsey is sketched the Alban's way. "By your leave…" And by Aedhwyn's leave or not, there's the whisper of silk on silk as she turns quickly and excuses herself from their company.

Aedhwyn looks almost frightened, her eyes widening and her nostril flaring a moment, as she's been left alone with the Mandrake. Her eyes track the whisper of silk and then snap back to you. Oh it's so much harder to be brave when faced with the wolf alone. She clears her throat, looking terribly lost for a moment but your words bolster her, allowing her to follow and at least seem to hold her own once a path has been shown. All she needed was a little nudge.

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