(1310-07-05) Amidst Thorns
Summary: Boredom leads to introductions and discussion among bored noblemen and Mandrakes.
RL Date: Thu Jul 05, 1310
Related: None
evangeline arsene jean ophelia vespasien 

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.%r%rThe 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 would be a splendid evening if it weren't so hot. There is a bit of a breeze coming in off of the sea which, now that the sun has begun to sink down over the western edge of the world helps a trifle, but the end result is sultry. The few windows in the salon of the Rose Sauvage have been cracked open to invite that fragile breeze in; it dares ruffle at sheer curtains, as if afraid to enter. Lamps have been lit enough to brighten up the room, to give enough moody light to see by, and in one corner of the room a young woman sits on a padded red footstool, playing a violin. She wears all black, and her eyes are covered in a strip of black leather. Tonight, she is art.

Ophelia is not. The moonflower adept might have melted in the heat. She occupies a chair by the (cold, dead) fireplace, as if she had been communing with the gargoyles. Now she drapes across it, legs hooked over one of its arms, the rich indigo blue silk of her dress borrowing heavily from the moody shade of the sky. It's even strewn with tiny crystals, which catch the lamplight and glimmer like little stars captured for her decoration. She might be listening to the violinist play, but there are warning signs. The heeled shoes she wears are almost entirely off; they dangle from her toes, not properly worn at all, in danger in fact of falling off. In one hand she holds a glass of red wine, but she isn't drinking. It's a prop. Something to keep her hand busy while she watches the door like a bored cat waiting for a mouse to emerge from a hole.

Ysabeau arrives from the Gardens.

Ysabeau has arrived.

Vespasien arrives from the Gardens.

Vespasien has arrived.

Evangeline arrives from the Hallway.

Evangeline has arrived.

Vespasien steps into the Salon's foyer, taking a slow breath as he enters- letting his eyes adjust to the pleasing darkness that hangs in this place. A quiet moment of appraisal at his surroundings as he looks quietly towards the Red Room. He bows his head towards Ophelia suffering in the heat and lounging in glorious stellar repose.

The astronomer in Vespasien can't help but look her way a moment. Still, his attention is behind him now- looking over his own shoulder.

Arsène, with the damnable heat plaguing everyone's lives, has chosen on a different outfit than the norm. A lighter variant, without coat or cape, though of the typical exquisite cut and fabric expected of nobility. The colours are likewise the same, dark blue, and black where the leather of his boots and belt are concerned, offset by silver. Completing the ensemble, his longsword, currently sheathed, despite the presence of his faithful, and blessedly silent, guard following the Vicomte where he wills. And this time, it's the Rose Sauvage. He's not made contact with the Mandrakes yet, after all. And in he walks, to be met with… Apparently a very boring scene. "Mm. Either I made a wrong turn or this really is the Rose Sauvage." Dark eyes wander over those present. The violinist, dismissed swiftly enough, and then to Ophelia and Vespasien. "Please tell me something's going to happen between you two, or are you really just going to stare at her quietly?"

Boredom sets and one goes to their favorite… hangout … to drink. That's what happens with Jean anyway, and a gaggle of L'Envers partisans follows him like a stormcloud might be followed by rain and wind. He spends a moment to observe the environs before his eyes land on Ophelia. Approaching her, the violet-eyed son of the Duc of Namarre smiles, ever so faintly. Vespasien's stare towards the adept is noticed just as the Vicomte receives his goblet of wine, and he chuckles, ever so amused at that, before approaching the Mandrake. But Arsene's words belie his steps a little and he starts laughing, out loud.

Ysabeau isn't far behind Vespasien, carrying a shallow, dish shaped basket with spools of thick embroidery floss and a project - the beginnings of a beautiful iris. Clad in a gown of rather sheer red silk that is decorated with embroidered appliques of Valerian flowers, placed in such a manner as to tantalize without revealing too much of what lies beneath the delicate silk. Seeing so many faces, she smiles warmly, but lower her lashes to half hide her bright green eyes, "Good evening." Greeting the room in general.

"I'm afraid I have other plans, Cousin." Vespasien offers simply, "It just so happens the choice of dress caught my eye." he bows his head to the lounging thorn- "It reminds me of the sky." Scientist and artist both- there is a meaning there for Vespasien. A deep meaning. "However, I am chasing other stars this evening. Emerald star." he mentions as he looks back to Ysabeau. "Cherie, let us not linger over long." he bows his head to the assembled patrons before he heads into the Red Room.

The patient cat is rewarded, see? And oh is Ophelia rewarded. As this rapid trickle of entertainment arrives she perks up minutely, and spends a full five or ten seconds examining Arsene without really moving. At all. It eats up all of her attention for that time, and it isn't until the very end that she actually laughs aloud as if this whole little scenario were somehow funny. Or she's laughing at Ysabeau, latest on the scene with her little basket. No… "Emerald. Star?" Her voice is like velvet. Her repetition, and her comment, sweet as honey. "Ysabeau, darling, have you found an admirer?" But they're running and there are other people here, so the Mandrake uncoils and gets to her feet, attention finally drifting to Jean. The goblet is held out to him, almost idly, as if he were perhaps a servant late arrived to collect it from her. "He doesn't like me very much," she informs Arsene. "But who are you?"

A shadow moves in ArsÃne's periphery and suddenly there is light where there once was none. How long has Evangeline been lurking? It is difficult to say, but when she makes her presence known, it is obvious. The sweltering heat calls for a lighter array of semi-diaphanous silks to be draped around her lithe figure in such a sensual manner and yet, she flaunts nothing obvious. Her arms are bare as is most of her back, proudly displaying the marque of the Mandrake, and her daring neckline draws the eye to the flawless strand of skin between her breasts. She is a picture of contrasts; Fair of hair and dark attire, a demure countenance and a predator underneath it all. She gives the room a sweeping glance just as she slinks her way through some of the patrons. Ophelia is greeted with a slow sly grin. Ysabeau is then regarded for a moment. The other blonde Mandrake observes the Valerian carefully, admiring or judging her attire.

Arsène glances back to Ysabeau when she speaks, and then back to Vespasien. "Very well, I suppose I won't hold it against you so much. Odd how we always seem to run into oneanother when visiting the Night Court. No matter." he waves it off, and dismisses that particular conversation to look at Ophelia. "Mandrake, then." he decides, rather than immediately answering. "Good. I've been meaning to put faces and names together. I am Arsène de Trevalion, Vicomte de Dreux. And who, little thorn, are you?" he tilts his head to the side, curiosity the sole emotion exhibited in that moment. The black gaze does not weigh on her for long, however, for it turns to catch sight of Evangeline, and he smiles. "And the woman with the puppy crying for the boot to kick him again. Why, it seems I have two for the price of one." And then his attention shifts again, this time upon Jean. "And who are you? We've not met before, have we? Pretend we haven't, for if we have, then clearly it wasn't anything worth remembering."

"No, likely we haven't met. Unless we did, and it just wasn't that memorable or rich in alcoholic beverages. Jean Shahrizai L'Envers, Vicomte de Tonerre," Jean inclines his head to Arsène, taking the goblet that Ophelia passes to him. "Oh. Thank you," he says to the Mandrake before drinking a sip, and offering the goblet back to her. Vespasien's words clearly have the L'Envers confused, and he tilts his head at the man before nodding a quiet greeting to Ysabeau. Evangeline's sudden and abrupt arrival prompts another chuckle. "Why, hello, Mademoiselle. I see your usual admirer isn't around. A shame, his abeyant posture had become a fixture of this very salon."

Labeled as a star, Ysabeau's cheeks flush darkly as she hurries a step or two, to catch up to Vespasien's longer stride, shifting the basket to rest against her hip, flashing a bright grin towards Ophelia at her teasing. There are far too many Thorns in the room for the daintily built Red Rose to want to stick around for long. Cheeks dark with a blush, she slips ahead of Vespasien to open to door to the red chamber and wait for him to enter before slipping in after.

Vespasien leaves, heading towards the Red Chamber [RC].

Vespasien has left.

Ysabeau leaves, heading towards the Red Chamber [RC].

Ysabeau has left.

The paler Mandrake smiles back at Eva when she too catches sight of the other woman, but it's this little whirl of introductions that Ophelia addresses next. Her brows lift, surprise feigned with remarkable adeptness, as if she were some ingenue who had forgotten a detail at her first dinner party. "The quantity of alcohol required is of course at my lords' discretion, but we should be remiss ere you were to part company and think the night unmemorable." She gathers her glass back for a sip, then peers over it at Jean. "Let me see. We lack a Skald to set on fire, and a boy puppy to use as a footstool…" She tilts her head and looks him over as if considering whether he might replace either of them. Then turns enough to similarly regard Arsene before giving him a smile sharp enough to cut glass. "I am Ophelia Shahrizai no Rose Sauvage. No gloves needed to handle you, I take it."

"Do not be so obviously envious, Jean. Green is not a good color on you." Eva saunters with a confident towards the tray of wine. She plucks a chilled white glass and pivots gracefully in Arsene's direction. Her eyes narrow on his face, drinking in the 'tall, dark, handsome visage. Just when it appears she might give him the drink, she stands directly in front of him and drinks it down herself. She makes something of a subtle show of it. Quiet strength that speaks of exactly who she is in this place. When she finishes the last drop, Eva delicately wipes the corners of her mouth and hands Arsene the empty glass. "Do not ever say I've never given you anything." Her smile is wicked as she leans in to feign a whisper, "You're welcome."

"Or it simply was too rich in the beverages, in which case, well met again." the Vicomte de Dreux replies, before nodding upon hearing the name. "Ah yes, the man who caused scandal with… Was it an Alyssum? Well played, intentional or otherwise." Though what he's congratulating the man on is left unclear. Still, Arsène is smiling as he inclines his head in return to Jean. His gaze soon shifts, however, to rest once more upon Ophelia. "Skald… You wouldn't happen to refer to a sellsword, would you?" he asks. It is her own question however that make him laugh, amusement coming to life in his eyes, as his smile matches them. "No. The gloves would merely waste both our times, and times are boring enough as it is, we don't need even more, do we? Mm, I wish I had brought company with me, there's a few I wouldn't mind set aflame." No hate in the words, only disappointment at missed amusement. And then Evangeline makes her approach, does her little show, and even more, hands Arsène the empty glass. Yet the glass is not picked, the Vicomte instead tilting his head to the side, watching the Mandrake, making no move whatsoever to help her. "And you think I am to be your night's table?" He grins, and something awakens in the black of his gaze, new life given to the curl of his lips, as he steps even closer to Eva. "There are few things I love more than to test the strength of a woman who thinks herself strong. I wouldn't want you to step down a path you misjudged terribly, Mandrake."

Evangeline has partially disconnected.

"I've since been cause for much consternation at court, my Lord. If only you could see the look of the Menekhet Ambassador when I decided to greet and render my compliments and gifts to the Duchess when I arrived," Jean chuckles, flashing Arsene a bright grin as he's congratulated. Really, causing controversy is part of the L'Envers' whole thing in Marsilikos. "Then again, even my critics cannot claim that they've been good enough to take a stab to the gut, kill the stabber, then another and finally capture the person responsible for the incident at Beziers." Evangeline's remarks to the Vicomte from Namarre just have him laughing again. "I do not envy the man his position, my friend. I do envy his choice in company, but then again, you and I both know I'm a different breed and I do not look so good on my knees, as it turns out." Ophelia's recounting of the absences have him looking at her with a musing expression. "You know, I could remedy the lack of a Skald to set on fire."

The glass remains caught between her fingers for a breath then released where it falls to the ground between them and shattered into a million glittering sharp pieces. Arsene exposes himself his grin. "If you think I find you worthy enough to be my furniture, then you are dumber than I suspected." There is no malice in her tone. In fact, Arsene's reaction seems to catch Eva's attention for now but she does turn from Tje nobleman and addresses Ophelia. "Your debut was spectacular. I hope you made him pay handsomely."

Ophelia's brows lift again at the question of the sellsword. "The ugly one, with the scars on her face? Have you met her? Ask her about those sometime. She loves to talk about them." Milk mild, this statement. So very nearly genuine that she could. Almost. Be telling the truth. Shahrizai blue eyes catch with a peculiar glitter as Arsene evidences his own disappointment, but she doesn't dwell over long, leaving him temporarily in Eva's tender care. Shattering glass and all. It's Jean she turns to. Smiles at, even as she kisses one of her fingertips, then reaches up to press that same to his lower lip. "No. You do not look good on your knees. You are splendid, however, in that moment right before you… lose your temper entirely. Higher, higher, burning fire, hm?" It's over her shoulder, almost idly, that she answers Eva. "I got what I wanted."

Arielle arrives from the Court de Nuit.

Arielle has arrived.

"Indeed? I must have missed that particular bit of news on my way over. Specifically the stab to the gut and kill part." Arsène remarks to Jean. "Is that the sort of situation you commonly find yourself in, Vicomte? It sounds like the sort I'd enjoy." he adds. He does not blink when the glass shatters, though the almsot feral grin turns back to his more typical amused smirk upon her response, even chuckling. "Good, a side step. Perhaps it is you I should bring along next time there is some fête organized. It might make them less of a chore." And it is then he respond to Ophelia. "We did. I did not bother to ask, merely added another one to remember me by. She was entertaining enough." He does not add more, the comment enough as far as the Vicomte is concerned.

"When the situation calls for it, my Lord. You see, when things need doing, I'm not going to be arguing about who does what. I'll just go and do what needs must." Jean explains to Arsene with a faint smile, glancing over to Evangeline and the Vicomte when the glass shatters, and his smile curves a little deeper, a little more wicked. Ophelia has his full attention when she addresses him, however, and that smile, and the kiss to her fingertip that she presses upon his bottom lip prompts another one to be flashed at the Shahrizai. He kisses the pad of her finger, then reaches up to caress her at the base of her neck, nodding to her words. He has no comment regarding his temper, nor does he add anything else other than, "I suppose there is more than one way to be incendiary, my heart."

Shattered glass is crushed beneath Eva's heels rather than stepping to the side to avoid it. As moves to find herself a comfortable spot on a couch, she tosses Arsene a comment. "If I am free and even then, I am not sure I like you enough for such companionship." She claims her seat, stretched her arms over the back like a queen and crosses her long legs at the knees. An impish grin paints itself across her lips. "There is some sort of glass fete soon." She eyes the broken pieces then slowly drags her gaze up Arsene's body until they meet his dark gaze. "I suppose I've now given you two things. Do have an open mind." Sarcasm drips from her tongue as she does all she can to hold back her laughter.

"If she won't go with you, I will," volunteers Ophelia. It's so terrifically off-handed that it might not be immediately obvious that she was talking to Arsene. She was just sharing a moment with Jean, wasn't she? She smiles at the l'Envers lord a moment longer, then turns away from him too. "But Eva is the nice one." She still has her glass of wine. It's only missing, what, three sips? It's deep, very red; likely some Kusheline vintage. Like a big round bowl of blood, held out to the Trevalion, as if she were making a peace offering. Or baiting a trap. Her smile lingers, sweet and sharp in equal parts. "You can tell me all about how you gave that ridiculous creature another scar. I'm surprised she hasn't appeared, summoned by the sound of liquid hitting the floor."

"Then do feel free to send word when something needs doing and the others are taking too long. There's only so much entertainment to be found in dueling fools with too much pride and too little skill with the blade." Arsène offers to Jean. "And far too little time to break them as thoroughly as I might wish when first blood is so often the rule." At Eva's answer, he arches a brow. "Like me? The fox does not need to like the one who keeps the gate open to the henhouse. Either you amuse, or you don't. One way or another, one can be found with the desire to add the spice of chaos to these gatherings, and I'll enjoy the show." he says with a disinterested shrug. At the notion of the glass fete, however, he laughs. "As tempting as it might be, I imagine it'd cut down on the fun far too rapidly. Not all have the Mandrake touch." Their inclinations, however, is another matter. "Though I expect we'll hear some tried their hand at it quite inadvertently." He glances back, however, when Ophelia speaks up. Was that to him? It seems it was! "You'll do better, then. Nice is what these people expect. It's high time they be surprised." At the offer of red, he might have taken it, indeed, his arm was moving, but it stops when she mentions the Skald, and he smiles. "Her glass was empty, no liquid has yet been spilled. Perhaps that explains her lack of appearance, mm? As to the scar, simply enough. She wanted to see me swim in the river badly enough I made her agree to a wager. A duel. She wins, I would swim. I win, she owes me a favour. I won." he tilts his head to the side. "Still weighting the possibilities as to when to call it in."

Evangeline has partially disconnected.

"Better call it fast, in my opinion." Jean advises, but Ophelia is given a brief look before the invite to Arsene. He nods to the Vicomte's words. "Probably something will come up sooner or later. When it does, I'll send for you. Seems like we've mostly aligned on these things, so that's good to have someone to count upon." And having said this, he ponders Evangeline's words about the glass fete. Again he laughs, "Which one was promoting it again? Oh, la Glycine. Boy, did their quality take a sudden dip with Madelynne's disappearance." He tsks, shaking his head in clear disappointment. Ophelia's glass is casually snatched from her, unless she draws it back to herself. He'll have his sips. "I expect to see a string of fatalities related to glass going where it shouldn't go, to begin with. I didn't like what my herald said was the thrust of the party, so to speak."

"Yes, Ophelia would suit you better, My Lord." Eva agrees. "She has recently had her debut and would benefit from all the exposure. When you are ready to taste the true darkness of the Mandrake, then you may come to me. Do not mistake 'nice' for weakness. My thorns are sharp." She regards Arsene for another moment before setting her attention on Ophelia and Jean. The fully marqued courtesan remains seated, calm, cool, collected. "I wonder what sort of fete Mandrake should have. We shall have to bring this up to Baptiste. I could certainly see it now, your burnt roses and my human chandeliers."

Mention of Frida's dueling only causes Ophelia to roll her eyes. She is 17. She is the consummate master of world-weighted ennui, and it descends on her here now like a mantle. "That is hardly a victory, my dear lord Trevalion. She challenged me to a duel as well. What did she call it? Holmdag? Holmdang?" As Jean tries to take the glass she moves it an inch, then an inch more, making him work to get it. But only a little. "La Glycine, home of la Sex Clown. They try so hard to be funny. We should go. All of us. Offer some profound boon to any one who can actually make anyone laugh." Relieved of her glass she tilts her head toward Eva and flashes another sliver of smile. "Perhaps a limited guest list. No more faeries, showing up to spoil things."

"Probably. We shall see. Its value is questionable." Arsène shrugs to Jean. "Good. I shall keep myself entertained in the mean time." he adds, before shifting his look to Eva. "Twice today, a member of the Night Court has tempted me to try the 'true' experience of their Salon. I shall tell you what I told the other one. You may tempt me, you may even succeed, but you follow the wrong canon if you aim to find any pleasure from it." It almost sounds like a professional courtesy, the way he addresses it, aloof. "If you persist, then it shall be my pleasure to test their sharpness, dear Mandrake." That, however, is far from distant. The grin he gives Eva an echo of the one of before, the thrill of a challenge. It's what makes a man alive. "She has the blood to be entertaining, but our meeting left me on my hunger. Perhaps given time, if she hones her skills… and doesn't die in-between." he answers Ophelia, untroubled. "Now, however, comes the time for my exit. Do try to find some fun." And with that, the Vicomte takes his leave, his goal fulfilled.

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