(1310-07-14) Summer Banquet
Summary: As the first social event, after a month of mourning, a summer banquet is held at the Ducal Palace.
RL Date: Sat Jul 14, 2018
Related: None.
annette antoine armandine arsene cyriel evelyne irene jacqueline jean laurent ligeia philomene-npc reina sebastien stephane-basilisque 

Great Hall — Ducal Palace

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 Great Hall has been transformed for the Summer Banquet tonight by a profusion of flowers and greenery. Garlands of ivy and sweet myrtle have been carefully twisted about each other to form a sumptuous backdrop into which roses in shades of palest pink and white have been threaded. They frame the ornate double doors through which guests to the banquet arrive, scenting the air with a perfume that's redolent of lazy summer evenings. Arrangements that echo the garlands spill from porcelain vases which are placed on pedestals between each of the windows, and further garlands swag the edges of tables that groan with the weight of food and refreshments. The centerpiece is surely, however, the elaborate glass vase which has been blown in the shape of two golden fish, and which straddles the centre of the mantle above which the Mereliot family shield hangs. Placed so that the fish lie horizontally rather than vertically, their mouths have been fashioned deliberately wider to enable an abundance of flowers to flow from those mouths, across the mantle and down to the floor in a waterfall of exquisitely-scented color.

The floral theme is extended to those entering the hall, as each lady and each lord will be allowed to pick a flower from a wide assortment laid out on a side table, roses, daffodils, lilies and other varieties in yellow, pink, red, blue and purple. Female and male attendants stand at the ready to fasten the flower of choice into the hairdo of a lady, or attach the flower to the revers of a lord. Next will be beverages. Goblets of white or red wine will be offered to those requesting them, and servants stand at the ready to offer a refill where needed. A group of musicians offers a musical backdrop to the first guests filtering in through the double doors, and two doors have been opened towards the garden, late afternoon rays of the sun warming the hall with their light.

The Lady of Marsilikos has yet to arrive, or so it seems. For now it is the steward who points guests towards areas where they may sit down if they wish to. Trestle tables have been arranged to leave the center of the hall clear for dancing that may occur later, with a slightly elevated table to the far end indicating where the Duchesse may be seated later.

Enter a Kusheline. At least he must be, with that somewhat dark air about him. Cyriel de Charlot is clad in rather somber dark blue, even if stitched with silver embroideries that make doublet and breeches look just a tad above average fashion of a courtier. Brown hair of medium length has been pulled back into a pony tail, revealing a face of slightly aquiline looks, and pale blue eyes that glow with the faint chill of icicles. With a low sigh he has submitted to the whim and theme of the evening, picking a rose of dark red color that now has been affixed to the front of his doublet. Soon after, a goblet of red wine has been claimed and is now carried in his hand, pale fingers curled about the stem, as Cyriel slowly and leisurely takes his first round about the Great Hall, outwardly admiring the interior, while his calculating gaze flicks here and there, taking in those present, and perhaps trying to place them.

Enter two newcomers to the city; The Vicomte de Montmarlon and his younger brother. Both recently arrived from Camlach.

Sebastien's attire is completely black: starting with his half-laced boots, leather pants and silken shirt and finishing up with a fancy leather jacket which goes down to the mid of his tights. Though even if his clothes are not of an exceptional style, he walks into the room with a high self confidence which is stressed out by two large old dark metal rings adorned with heavy navy blue gems. A touch of softer elegance is added by one silver earring pierced into his right ear and the bright red rose fastened on the left side of the jacket. The man takes a look at all gathered and raises his hand to place it firmly on his brother's shoulder, "Don't drink too much. Remember, we have came here to impress people not to make a joke. By the way, there is this one lady I would like to introduce you to…" His eyes start to scan the room searching for the mentioned woman.

The other man seems more interest in the building and decorations than in the people gathered here, for now at least. To the comment of his brother, Stephane simply looks at him with a dry smirk "Drink too much? Me? I don't know why you would get that idea" before looking out over the crowd.

Stephane has opted for a somewhat less roguish outfit than his brother. He is wearing a somber outfit matching the colors of his house; Fine black pants tucked into black, polished boots and a short, form-fit black jacket over a dark blue silk shirt that is buttoned down to just above his pectorals and displays an embroidered serpent snaking across the high collar. Breaking up the dark colors is a thin silver belt shaped like a serpent, the buckle making up the head of the serpent as it eats it's own tail and the light blue rose placed on the chest of the jacket. Thick, hazel-colored hair is kept somewhat messy in textured spikes and fades slightly to connect with a short-trimmed beard.

Arsène arrives alone, save for the Trevalion guard that follows him, though whether to protect the Vicomte or simply serve as his second is a coin toss. The nobleman himself is clad in dark blue hues, a fine courtly attire that nonetheless keeps his limbs free from restraint. Duels or balls, he seems ready to take them both, though he does not seem to be particularly on the lookout for either. Moved perhaps by curiosity, he enters the Ducal Palace and grabs one of the roses on the way in, and gives the room a scanning look. Taking in the various faces with his black gaze, noticing those that he recognizes and those he does not, before finally taking a nice spot for himself, out of the way where one might enjoy drinks and conversations without running into every single new arrival. That'd grow tiresome rather swiftly.

Who is going to miss this? Not the Camaelines. Anyone with an eye for heraldry ought recognize them, men in black and white, ladies in brighter, airier colors. And one fellow in the ubiquitous grey of the Cassiline Brother, who stands out among them simply because he is the only one not dressed for the occasion. Jacqueline d'Aiglemort leads the procession, on the arm of a blond man who has managed to work just a bit of red into his garb. Her gown is summerweight finery, silver-white as sea foam and ivory, with black brocade darting enlivened by silver threading. She takes the liberty of selecting flowers for everyone in her little group, including the Cassiline, who ends up with an anemone pinned to his chest along with a radiant smile smile from the vicomtesse. She matches red lilies with her escort. Then most of them scatter, perhaps under strict orders to mingle, divide and conquer.

Ligeia arrives in the midst of a hushed, apparently spirited conversation with her guard given the way she talks with her hands. Her lips twist in a smirk at whatever her last remark is as they come through the door, a winsome smile quickly replacing it. The Lady is dressed in the colors of Basilisque, her gown modest in lengths (save for a scooped neckline) but richly embroidered to match the half-crescent headpiece hiding the rest of her dark locks. Humming to herself, she drifts to the fringe of the crowd of guests arriving, giving each their due diligence of a curious stare. She is only briefly distracted by her guard ensuring she has a drink in hand before her 'study' continues, the soft melody of her hum never waning.

Already here and lingering over near the musicians are two figures from the salon of Lis d'Or. The Dowayne Philomene no Lis d'Or stands watch over the regal yet young looking form of Annette. The novice is dressed in a silk gown redder than any rose, its color deep and rich. The embroidery on that gown is simple and done in thread of a deep cream color, close to gold but not quite. The designs form a simple small vine pattern along the rounded neckline and fitted sleeves of the gown. The design of that gown meets with the latest fashions in cut and style but remains modest as well, allowing the girls naturally commanding presence to draw attention on its own. Golden hair is pulled up neatly into a loose bun and secured by a carefully woven wreath of lilies almost as red as her dress. The golden haired novice stands calmly, her gaze intense as it sweeps the ballroom yet her expression is serene and perfectly composed as she awaits her time to perform.

Arsène watches arrivals idly, waiting, not looking like he gives anyone particular attention as to whether they arrive with company, dress, or neither. His cousin Jacqueline's entrance is noticed, and he gives the young woman a smiling nod from where he stands. Ligeia gets much of the same, though it is less a smile than a smirk, and amusement in the look. He moves towards neither, preferring his little portion of the room, and resumes his admittedly less than alert watch over who comes in next. One must find their fun wherever they can!

Pale blue eyes narrow, when Cyriel's head turns just in time to note a specific individual entering and blending in. Odds are low that he will meet one of his home province here, and so common ground will likely have to be found in other areas. Choosing a spot beside where Arsène has elected to hold out till the Duchesse arrives, the man remarks, "It seems we are here more to see than to be seen, my lord. At least the wines on offer are decent enough." Said with a somewhat haughty tone and an accent that gives him away to be from Kusheth. "I don't think we are acquainted. Cyriel de Charlot. Vicomte de Chavagne," the same adds. Dictates of common courtesy and such.

Entering in quiet, Antoine looks around rather thoughtfully at the people present. He pauses for a little while just inside the door, looking to the flowers, before he steps further into the room. For this occasion, he wears dark red, with some white embroidery on the clothing. Nothing too elaborate, but the current Vicomte de Marcoux has never been a man for too elaborate clothing. Taking some of the white wine, he looks around again, to see what other people that are present.

Her guard murmurs something and suddenly there is a burst of sound from Ligeia's corner, a bright peal of laughter from behind the pale hand pressed against her lips. Amusement dances in her dark, doe eyes and the porcelain doll of a woman fans herself and to dry the tears welling up from the jest. At least it has stopped her incessant humming? Ligeia's lips begin to part with a reply, but thinking better of it she perishes the syllables with an imbibing of her wine. A tilt of her head and gaze then finds Arsene. His smirk is return, though with a regal wave and crinkling of the nose. "The performer -is- quite good and she'll be a fine diversion to the staring contest so many of us are in engrossed in right now." she muses aloud to no one in particular.

Arsène turns his gaze back to Cyriel when the man speaks, the black eyes, unrecognizing, yet neither hostile, instead curious. "Arsène de Trevalion, Vicomte de Dreux. I do believe you're the first Charlot I've encountered in this city thus far. Well met." he nods, before adressing the man's words directly, lips still smirking. "Indeed. Not that I would wish to be the centerpiece of this little play. My interests lie elsewhere. You've not come with company then? Or know of many who are looking forward to make their mark on this social event?" he asks Cyriel. His attention then shifts to Ligeia, her comment heard. "Perhaps one will serve to elevate the other, mm?" He glances from her back to Cyriel, and shrugs. "I'd offer introductions, but I realize I'vve no inkling as to the Lady's name."

Annette remains near her Dowayne, standing calmly with perfect posture and a regal air to her that cannot help but draw attention. Those gray eyes sweep slowly over to Ligeia as she hears the woman laugh. A slight arch of one eyebrow is given along with a faintly amused quirk of her lips. She lets her gaze wander further after that, regarding Arsene and Cyriel both for a breif moment before that intense gaze sweeps slowly away once more as she continues to survey the room.

"…and Roland, stay off the tables, please," is perhaps the last thing Jacqueline will get to say to the last of her courtiers. There is a wry fondness in it, but also a shake of her head, as though this might almost be too much to ask for. She accepts a glass of white wine and uses it to recognize Arsène, a little lift of a gesture that can easily be seen across the way. But he is entertained thus now, and so it is, after a few beats of consideration, Ligeia that she drifts toward, her own guardian a silent but omnipresent shadow. "Wait, wait, don't tell me," she ventures once she has gotten within conversational distance of the Basilisque. "You are one of Chloe's cousins, aren't you? You can't be from Cléron, so you must be…" It's right there, it only takes her a moment, during which she tilts her head and studies the other woman through sleepy, heavy lashes. "Léon's lovely daughter, yes? Ligeia de Basilisque?"

His entrance, usually somewhat flamboyant sui natura, is, this time, muted. Jean de L'Envers, the son of the Duke of Namarre, strides in with a group of similarly sober-faced courtiers, who don't appear to be as happy as they were in their last visit to the Eisandine court. He looks around, as if searching for the Duchess of Eisande.

"It is expected of nobility visiting Marsilikos to appear at occasions as these," Cyriel counters in a somewhat detached tone. "Or an affront might be taken. I've come here to look for someone. A relative. I heard word that a cousin of mine was seen here in this city." A light shrug there of his shoulders before he nods to Arsène. "And yes I agree. It is preferable to be the observer, in this case. I came on my own."

The Great Hall has now filled with guests, d'Angeline nobility from Eisande and beyond. It shows in the ruckus from conversations occurring here and there, in the small groups that have formed. The occasional giggle, and the lower baritone of a good-natured chuckle adding to the festive mood. And awareness. That Her Grace, the Duchesse has yet to arrive at her own party.

It is just now, that the knock to the floor, administered by the herald's staff calls the attention of those in the hall, to have them quiet down as he announces, "Her Grace. The Duchesse of Eisande. The Lady of Marsilikos. Lady Armandine Mereliot."

Into the expectant silence, Armandine enters the hall, with a few of her ladies in tow. The Duchesse wears her ducal coronet of gold with sapphires, and into her blonde hair that has been mostly left in open tresses cascading down over her back, a number of yellow roses have been attached to, using a number of hair needles. Her dress is a light fresh yellow, with a few flower ornaments, golden thread catching the light in the elaborately worked bodice. A warm smile adorns the face of the woman, who must be in her early forties, and she leads the small group of young ladies that are following in her wake with easy grace.

"…and I had not the slightest notion as to what this Lord's name was until now. Oh, I have names for him aplenty..just none of them polite and all of them derisive." Ligeia beams in addition to Arsene's words, her smile turned cheshire. "Lady Ligeia de Basilisque, the pleasure ever is yours." she dips into a graceful curtsey to Cyriel. Her attention is then grabbed by Jacqueline, the bard's eyes darting to her instantly. "Yes, the very one in the same. Lovely? I'll allow it. I'd wager a guess, and I do so -love- a wager and gamble, that you are…..Horatio's daughter, Jacqueline?"

One of those ladies gliding into the hall in gentle supportive pursuit of the Duchesse is Evelyne de Somerville. A hint of mischief glitters in her blue eyes, as she lets her gaze drift. Her dress is light green with white embroideries depicting floral ornaments of roses, it has those fashionable sleeves that end at the elbow, long skirts that swish so dramatically as she walks. A very faint scent of apples might be noted by those she passes, and her blonde hair has been gathered and twirled in a fashionable manner that - surprise - also involves white roses.

One of the ladies who comes with the Duchess is a younger sister of Baron de Beaucare. Feminine, airy, and utterly romantic are the words to describe Lady Irene's D'Eresse champagne colored gown. First of all, the sleeves of this dress are nothing more but an illusion created by meticulously done laces. This Lace and Tulle over gown also features a classic sweetheart neckline and breathtaking lace bodice that trickles down onto the full, A-line skirt. Lace detailing begins at the shoulder of this gown, and works its way down the sleeves before being accented with pearl buttons. A wide keyhole back adds a touch of drama to the elegant style. Even more glamour is added to the young woman's attire by delicate silver earrings, bracelet and necklace of exactly the same style. Jewelry is combined by the pieces which represent leaves and those leaves are adorned by green gemstones and shiny diamonds.

Irene's hand reaches for the glass of red wine when she gets a chance to catch one of the servants. Then she just keeps moving through the people gathered, smiling and scanning everyone, searching for familiar faces. When her eyes catch those quite different features from the rest of the crowd, the young lady inhales and slowly moves in the direction of the lord Cyriel Domitien Charlot. Fingers of the woman are dancing on the edge of the goblet when she idly passes by the Lord Arsene and others who surround the object of her attention. She smiles at them and offers a nod to Cyriel, "Lord Cyriel Charlot, I hope you will be enjoying yourself tonight." But then she takes a couple of steps further as if she was only passing them by. That's where lady Irene makes a stop and simply observes the gathering.

Arriving fashionably late is a tall, blonde young man dressed in hues of dark green and white with subtle details of red worked into the outfit. His hair is swept back and kept in a small bun at the back with a few strands falling down to his shoulders on either side. Given the expression on his face it is safe to assume that this is the first time he is attending an event at the palace, his eyes sweeping over the details of the Grand Hall as well as the people that has assembled here. He has opted for a white lily fastened to the embroidered vest he wears over the formfitting dark-green shirt as his floral-decoration for the evening. He moves takes a glass of red wine from the tray of a passing servant and takes a slow sip before moving towards the area where one might take a seat, looking out over the crowd, as if searching for someone in particular.

Arsène watches, amused, as Jacqueline makes her guesses, and turns out to be correct! "You should stay with us, cousin, and point at all the people and name them in turn." he proposes, before his attention shifts. "Mm, indeed. Though why are you seeking this elusive relative? I would ask if it is a sensitive matter and all of that, but clearly if it wasn't, you wouldn't have mentioned it already." he smiles to CCyriel. And then to Ligeia, "Did you? I hadn't noticed. Perhaps it is this loveliness that blunts the edge of your words and soothes all poison. You should have been born ugly, perhaps you'd have had a chance then." For some reason, it doesn't sound like a compliment. And then the Duchess, Armandine, arrives! "Tsk, how rude. The herald just spoiled that one for us. Sorry Jacqueline, perhaps next one?" he tells his cousin, before tilting his head to the side as he catches sight of someone. "Who's the one that offered her attentions to his Lordship so? Romance in the air? Enemy? Old friend? I am awaiting your guesses." he tells Jacqueline while his eyes wander anew, and catch sight of Annette. He smiles, but makes no move in her direction, remaining within his circle of friend— people.

Following the Duchess's arrive is one of her lady's in waiting though she has not been seen in that position much of late. Lady Reina Trevalion, heir to the Sovereign Duchy of Azzalle, moves with graceful and silent steps into the hall. She stands out only in the creation of her dress, a soft silvery blue silk that is heave with enlays of silver florals that makes the whisper thin silk seem to have more weight than the breeze that ties to move it. S trail moves behind her as she pauses near the Duchess with a graceful tilt of her head. Her dark tresses are crowned with a flowing river of silvery flowers tht also match the circlet that keeps her hair in place.

A soft word with the Duchess and she slowly drifts away to accent a glass of wine with a smile and to allow those stormy eyes to sweep over the crowd. If she is looking for someone she might find them after a time.

Smiling as he sips his wine, Antoine watches the entrance of the Duchesse and her entourage. Aside from that, he keeps silent for now, content with observing the people present so far.

After watching calmly as the Duchesse enters Annette's eyes continue to sweep the room. Catching sight of that smile from Arsene she offers a faint smile in return giving him a subtle dip of her head in acknowledgement. Watching him and his circle of people with an assessing gaze she retains that look of perfect composure, a regal bearing that seems both aloof and alluring. She makes no motion to approach him or those around him though, merely watching them briefly before looking to her Dowayne. "Is it almost time then?" She inquires of Philomene softly.

"The same," Jacqueline grants Ligeia, with a radiant smile. She turns toward the remainder of the group then, the Trevalion and the Charlot, who she regards for a second or so as if trying to place him, though perhaps she gathered some of his introduction prior to. "Cousin dearest to my heart, why should I save you the playing of that game? Surely you must know enough about them to recognize them at a glance. How many peers can there be here in Marsilikos?" She's teasing, but gently. She drifts a bit nearer to that lot and then turns so she is more or less in line, though maybe more or less closer to the dance floor than they are because she is painfully short and otherwise might not be able to see anything. Like the arrival of the Duchesse and her entourage.

"Well, brother, I think that I shall leave you alone," Sebastien de Basilisque offers to his younger sibling giving him a one more pat on the shoulder. "I need to-," the Duchess arrives at that moment and the man's dark eyes scan not just her but the ladies who follow. Vicomte sighs, "She is not there. Maybe she just simply did not arrive. So, you will have to make introductions to all those new people by yourself, lil one," he winks at his brother and sneakily tries to ruffle Stephane's hair before withdrawing with a cheerful announcement, "Off to get more wine and sight!"

Cyriel offers the required nods of courteous greeting to the ladies, and one particular, who even addresses him receives the faint flicker of a smile. "You seem to have a good memory of names," he remarks to her in somewhat vague praise. As Irene seems to be ready to move along, he doesn't leave the spot where he currently is, and watches her drift away in gentle grace. To Arsène he replies, "You said already I am the first Charlot you encountered in this city. So there is little chance that you can give me any hints or leads in the matter. But perhaps you know people here in the city who have seen him. Kushelines tend to be noticed, especially when outside of Kusheth." One corner of his mouth lifts into a wry grin, mingling well with the faint hint of menace in his look. He is just trying to prove his point.

"That's quaint and somewhat charming, that you have even the passing thought I would waste my breath to tell you. A single breath of mine is worth more than your entire person. Do you not have something, or someone somewhere, you can be playing at swords with?" Ligeia off-handedly retorts to Arsene, her tone bored as she waves a hand in the air as if swatting at a fly - dismissive though an amused smile betrays her. "You are as beautiful as I have heard, though I fear the admirer's words can't do you justice like I could, Lady Jacqueline. Perhaps you will indulge me to put it to song some day? I am ever in search of new muses."

Philomene nó Lis d'Or gives the novice at her side an encouraging look. "Easy, Annette. I believe the Duchesse wishes to address the guests first, before you can delight us all with your performance." The Dowayne of the salon of refinement and perfection holds herself well amongst all nobility from Eisande and elsewhere. Despite her perfect composure, the fact that she takes delight in attending this courtly occasion is undeniable, from the glitter in her eyes.

"Quite a lot, given they've apparently come from all corners of Terre d'Ange. But fine, if you won't fall for my clever ploy to make you feel useful, how about another game? Share not their name, but whatever piece of gossip one might have heard. Make it up if you can't think of anything, it's how such begin, is it not?" Arsène replies to Jacqueline, grinning, and no less so when Cyriel answers. "Are… you doing something special right now? Ah, is it the smile? Mm, I don't know how I'll be able to find someone based off of that, but what could go wrong?" To Ligeia, he looks neither insulted nor angry, instead arching a brow. "Poorly played, my dear lady, for how many breaths have you wasted responding so? I fear you'll have to do better if you aim to fool anyone."

There is a sigh that Jacqueline conjures up that suggests fatigue generated by Arsène's comment. It lifts her shoulders. In fact it lifts her up a tiny bit from the ground, then settles her back in as she lets it out. "Cousin, dearest to my heart, a lady never gossips." She looks sidelong at Ligeia then. "Goodness, what has he done this time to earn such ire? I scarce dare wonder." She may not be willing to participate in gossip but that does not spare her from some curiosity, evidenced now as studies him, dark gaze lightly guarded but no less direct for the veil of lashes she wears. But the questions have already been asked; she but waits for some answer before being distracted by the Basilisque anew. "Oh, you are lovely. But I must decline, on that count. I dare say I should resist being the only Duchesse of Camlach to be immortalized for beauty, and if what I have heard of you is true, it is something that might be remembered for a very long time. Still, you really must come by the house soon. There are so many of us here that I ought organize a smaller fete soon."

When the Duchess arrives, Stephane's attention is drawn for a moment from the magnificent architecture and design of the Grand Hall. He studies the woman for a short moment, then turns to his brother when spoken to, the look on his face indicating that he is not disappointed in the slightest by the other mans comment. A jesting smile plays across his lips as he answers "I'm surprised you trust me to not embarrass you or our family, what has the world come to." A small raise of the glass in his hand before he empties it with a single sip and places the glass on the tray of another nearby servant before picking up a full glass and turning towards the crowd, scanning over the increasing crowd of people gathered in small pockets around the room.

"Wasted? Hardly. I love the sound of my own voice." The bard of Basilique quips quickly and shamelessly to Arsene. "Poor form, poorer blow.." she murmurs, clicking her tongue to chide him. "It is not ire, it is sport." she defends to Jacqueline. "He has made it a mission apparently to fail at duels of tongue as well. But if not of beauty to ballad, I will find something original and uniquely your own then. Far more interesting that way…there is only so many ways and time a song can describe how effortless a beauty is, or how heaving her bosom with quickened breath." the last few words come in a a sardonic drawl, complete with rolling of the eyes.

First greetings have been offered to the Duchesse already, even as her ladies began to scatter and mingle in the hall. Armandine exchanges a few words with her steward, and those paying attention might note how her gaze darts here and there as he points certain individuals out to her. It is after another moment, that she makes her way to the center of the dancefloor. Not so much to dance, but to be seen - and heard.

"My dear ladies and lords.", Armandine begins, in that voice that is pleasant on the ears and still carries well. "How glad I am that you could come today, for our first social event held at the palace since…" Her gaze grows a little pensive, "Since the dreadful occurrences at Béziers. This is Eisande, and who would we be of we denied what we enjoy the most… to be entertained, especially in the arts." She smiles, and it is a warm smile as her gaze comes to linger pointedly on Annette. "Tonight we are fortunate in manifold ways. A novice of Lis d'Or is about to delight us with her music - and a Second of Rose Sauvage was so kind as to provide the inspiration and decoration for this evening." Again, the duchesse lets her eyes roam the hall, and she smiles as she adds, "It appears, that recently a lot of nobility from outside of Eisande is coming to Marsilikos. High-ranking nobility. Please know that we are glad to welcome you in our city. I hear that Camlach and Azzalle is present today." Her gaze finds Jean. "While Namarre is a guest who has earned our esteem."

Inclining her head , Armandine takes a step back and gestures for Annette to come forth. "Now, my dear Annette Chalasse nó Lis d'Or… I can't wait to hear you perform for us."

<FS3> Annette rolls Violin+1: Success. (3 2 1 2 6 6 2 1 8 3 4)

"Lies, dear cousin. But very well, we shall not play, lest it ruin appearances." Arsène answers Jacqueline, amusement and disappointment present in equal measures. To his cousin still, rather than Ligeia, he answers. "I frankly do not recall. We met some time ago, and I dimly remember having found some entertainment from the girl's behaviour. But she's clearly lost her touch." And indeed, Arsène's attention wanders, to Armandine now as she begins to speak. He listens, and offers no comment, save to nod when the mention of Azzalle is made. When Annette is called upon to play, he turns his gaze to her, waiting.

Reina tilts her head to her side, watching the Duchess for a moment, but as the younger of the Lady's in waiting stay by her side the heiress drifts a little farther into the crowd, her movements as much a dance as a walk as she moves to a place where she can see the performer and be near the dance floor. It is during these movements that she happens to hear a voice that causes her to pause and turn slowly to stop Stephane. A blink and then she smiles as she nods towards him from where she stands a few paces away.

<FS3> Annette rolls Violin+1: Great Success. (1 4 1 8 8 1 6 4 7 7 8)

Evelyne has been quick to grab herself a goblet of white wine, as she left the other ladies to mingle. How curious that she ends up trailing after Irene, the other lady who meanwhile must be among those that have been accepted while she herself s still on trial. "Anyone of these lords catch your fancy?", she inquires with a low giggle, as she looks around, taking in and considering what's on offer.

Ligeia begins to retort to Arsene, "If indifference is all you can offer as barb…." but her attention is drawn to the performance as it begins. Waving a hand at the duelist, she makes a dismissing buzzing sound. Draining more of her wine, the tall Balisisque's eyes drift to the violinist with a faint smile.

There's a brief cloud over Antoine's face at the mention of Beziers, but it's gone after a few moments longer, and he takes another sip from his wine. There's a brief shrug, and he moves further into the crowd, looking around to see who he might know, or not.

Annette inclines her head to the Duchesse as she is introduced. Gliding forward with slow steps her movements are smooth and perfect in their grace. Picking up the violin that has been set aside for her she lifts the instrument into her arms with care and draws the bow gently across the string, the first note is slow almost haunting as her gray eyes stare calmly out at the audience. But suddenly she stops and a slow breath is drawn her expression unreadable even though her eyes glitter softly with a firey kind of excitement. Then she begins to play again, in earnest this time. Rather than haunting however the tune is more like a light breeze on a hot day, refreshing and cool in tone. It starts off flitting through the air with ease a certain sharpness to its notes speaking of heat while the lighter refrains mimic a cool wind and give a reprieve after a moment, its a song of summer of heat and hope and meant to uplift spirits. The sheer passion she seems to pour into it is perhaps likely to have an affect as well, the music almost seeming to take on a life of its own as it spreads through the room.

Irene smiles at Evelyne and is quick to nod at her question. She looks around but not at anybody specific. More like to see if nobody is listening and then she takes a gulp of her wine before leaning closer to Evelyne and whispering her two names. She chuckles at that and even blushes a little bit. "But what about you, Evelyne?"

"A fleeting acquaintance," Cyriel explains to Arsène when asked about the smile that must have looked a bit odd on his aquiline features. "As for Charlots… They should stick out in Marsilikos. Like a wolf in a henhouse." A curious remark, he leaves it at as he finally excuses himself from the current company - where Arsène looks rather taken up in conversation anyway. The Charlot Vicomte goes for a stroll, in search for a refill perhaps. And there is a novice that is about to play. A performance that makes the Kusheline indeed pause in his steps. It is undeniable for a d'Angeline to note the power of the blood, and what it is capable of, in such a moment, when Eisheth herself seems to sing through he instrument. Pale eyes widen just a fraction, and a breath is drawn - and then the moment is over, when a slightly enchanted expression shifts back into a cast of cool and perhaps considering observation of the young maiden.

Though Arsène listens, something is said, it would seem, to gather enough interest for him to tilt his head slightly and murmur…. to Ligeia? Weren't they at each other's throat moments before? Still, whatever is said, it doesn't take too long, for he is back to listening to Annette's performance, silent.

As Stephane is left standing there, he empties the newly acquired and near-full glas of red wine in has hand in a single, healthy sip as he looks at the older Basilisque move towards some of the other guests assembled. He turns to grab another glas but then his eyes widen a bit and his face lights up in a delighted smile as he notices the young Trevalion woman. He corrects his posture slightly and a hand goes to make sure that the pale blue rose on his jacket is firmly secured. Then he starts moving slowly towards the dancefloor where the young woman lingers, his eyes fixed only on her.

Sebastien has been wandering in the crowd, sipping his wine while Duchess was speaking. He was mildly amused by the general event, maybe even excited as someone who came to Marsilikos just few days ago. Though, when the music starts, his smile grows wide and he searches some victims to approach. "Ladies and Lords," a voice of Vicomte de Montmarlon can be heard close to Jacqueline and Ligeia. "To those who may not know my name I am Sebastien de Basilisque and I must say that I am surprised to find two lords simply sitting with two marvelous ladies when such a beautiful music is played. So, I do hope that none of you," he glances at Cyriel and Arsene, "Is going to call me to a duel if I will try my luck in stealing one of the Camlach ladies to dance with me?" He extends his right hand to Jacqueline and his left one to Ligeia. "I hope at least one of you will have some kindness not to refuse a newly arrived lord?"

Reina listens to the lovely novice as she plays and sings and those stormy eyes lighten and brighten as the music washes over her with the power of the Angels. For one born to dance she can not be still and sways and swirls silently to the music before a bright chuckle bubbles from her lips, only when the music ends does she curtsy towards the performer and bow her head in praise of the performance. But even music can be slightly lost when a handsome male has eyes for only one person. And when that person is one such as Reina she turns those eyes back to the moving Stephane and slowly allows that smile to bloom in greeting.

That empowered tune continues to spill forth from Annette's instrument, the violins sweet notes brought forth with a flawless ease as the song reaches its peak. Like the sun at its highest point the sheer warmth is something that one could bask in, the lingering notes that follow that high point now sweeping in like a soft breeze as the song winds its way downwards. Annette's eyes are calm, serene and ever watchful of her audience. Cyriel's reaction is noted but nothing in her expression changes as she gazes out his way, save for the tiny smile she offers him as she continues to play out the song till its natural conclusion.

Evelyne giggles a little behind the long fingers she lifts to muffle the sound. "Ah… the one I was hoping to see is obviously late. He might still come around… but then again… All these Azzallese and Camaelines… what in Elua's name are they doing here?", she remarks to Irene. "But then again… What am I doing here, of all places? Not that I regret coming to Marsilikos. Not quite." Her brows lift and she downs her glass. Almost. Before she remembers to drink properly like a lady should. Almost coughing on the wine when she hears that whisper. "My brother? He's here???" Now it is time for her to glance nervously around. "Ah, you just go and dance, if you like. I shall find someone fitting for myself."

To Cyriel's explanation, Arsène nods, but offers no reply, the Vicomte already gone. And then Sebastien makes his approach! "Mm… A duel would be fun." Arsène muses when Sebastien mentions it. The Vicomte hadn't been paying attention till the Vicomte de Montmarlon made the mention. "But lest my cousin take offense at the offer, hardly the cause for it save potential boredom." he waves it aside. "That one is also free." he motions to Liegia. "Family of yours, My Lord. Perhaps the moment to catch up on family matters?" he smirks.

Irene's eyes grow wide when Evelyne almost chokes on the gulp of wine when she hears her brother's name. "Are you feeling alright?" But since Evelyne is already up for finding someone else for herself, d'Eresse lady calms down and offers a smile to the other lady, "You should find your brother. I've met him twice and both times he was trying to find you. I believe he misses your company," the young lady explains.

Arsene is awarded a sidelong glance as Ligeia quirks a solitary brow to whatever is murmured to her. No inkling of its nature is allotted the room, for the Lady's face soon returns to the emotionless porcelain that makes her appear so doll-like when not animated with emotion or phrase. She nods once and drains the rest of her wine before tossing it to her guard. The man fumbles, the glass bouncing between his hands before he catches it a split second before it would shatter on the floor. With a smirk, Ligeia applauds the guard's performance sarcastically before her applause turns genuine, approval for the violinist. "What exactly am I refusing? A dance?" she confirms of Sebastien. "Cousin, I thought we had already established I am the better dancer?" the caricature of mirth returns to warm her expression, a ghost of a smile tugging at the cupid's bow of her lips.

The performance, even or perhaps because it starts off so… gentle, manages to grow into something more, and Armandine Mereliot notes it, of course, when her gaze goes distant in that expression of pleasant memories and thoughts lingering, a deeply felt appreciation for the performance there, that Annette will note also in the wave of applause that rises once she is finished.

After that, the musicians take over the small stage at the side again and start off a merry tune that clearly inspires dancing.

Antoine smiles in quiet as he listens to the music, looking around at the people gathered. He sips more of his wine, pausing for a few moments as he drains the rest of it, and starts to look around for a refill. While dancing is good, so is more wine, yes? Yes.

Did someone mention a duel? Cyriel's head turns so that he can consider who uttered the word, Sebastien, and the Arsène responding on that matter. "There is a time for swords and a time for diversion," he states flatly, raising a brow. "Which doesn't mean I'd be opposed. At another time."

As he moves towards the stormy-eyed young woman the music starts again and the melodic tune clearly has an affect on him as his steps start to faintly mirror those of the solemn rhythms. His eyes are still firmly fixed on the woman he moves towards but it is clear from the way he gently steps out of the way of the people he passes on his that he is still aware of his surroundings. As he moves close enough to her for words to be shared, he first takes her hand, if she will allow it of course, and gently places the faintest of kisses and the back of it. "And just when I thought the splendor of this event had reached it's peak.." He gestures to the performer just finishing up her tune "…here you are". The warm smile on his lips and the look in his eyes makes it clear that this is a pleasant surprise indeed.

Jean offers a bow towards the Duchesse for her words, much belatedly, along with a faint smile. "It felt like my incumbent duty as your guest to pursue justice, for your kin and for those that were under the thrall of the sorceress, Your Grace. Namarre stands with Eisande, every step of the way."

"I've been so awfully busy," Evelyne responds to Irene. "And whenever I was at our townhouse, he wasn't there. I wager, he s distracting himself with other company.", she adds with a slight pout.

Annette curtsies gracefully to the applauding crowds and steps off the stage with slow regal looking steps. She smiles softly to her Dowayne her eyes sparkling with a faint touch of triumph. She remains silent and composed watching as the couples take to the dancefloor with a faint quirk of her lips.

"Oh, but I love learning from the best!" Sebastien speaks to Ligeia. "I might be good at keeping balance since I've spent so much time on a ship, but I am still quite professional stepping on a woman's toes. Though, if your shoes are too pretty," he glances down and then back up at the lady, "I could just carry you around the dance floor in my own pace. Two rabbits shot with one arrow - a bit of training and a lot of fun." Sebastien laughs. "But I am not forcing if you would prefer to sit in the grandmas' corner." He once more briefly looks at Arsene and Cyriel, "No offense. Just trying to make a convincing argument to reach victory."

"Dear Evelyne, your brother seemed to be more lost than occupied," Irene opposes. "He doesn't know anyone around and he has a bit different aura than majority of the people here. He is quite… modest, I would say. I can guarantee that while many women drool over Laurent's golden hair, he might have difficulties approaching them. He approached me quite bluntly once but just because I was staring for the reasons unknown!" She laughs.

Arsène chuckles at Ligeia's answer to Sebastien, even as he begins to move away. "Good luck." To whom he adresses these words is unclear, for he moves from the little group to go off on his own, an aimless wandering that doesn't take him from the vicinity quickly enough to not hear Cyriel and then Sebastien. And laugh. But he does not turn and continues to walk away, lips curled, amused. He waits until the applause has died down till he makes his approach… towards Annette. "Dowayne, Novice. I hope you will forgive the presumption, but given such performance, and the crowd's obvious liking of your music, would you give me the pleasure of a dance? Why not enjoy the full ball, I and other young men would be more than happy to repay such gift in our own, limited way. If of course the Dowayne allows." he smiles pleasantly.

Reina allows Stephane to takes her hand and a very slow hint of pink appears on her cheeks. "Well I am pleased that you remembered me, m'lord. How are you enjoying the first ball of the season? The Duchess has went out of her way to bring the new and bright together.." One graceful hand, the free one reaches up to run a feather soft touch to the flower he has picked for his coat that evening. "Did I see you speaking with someone who is now speaking of duels?" Voices carry and Reina is amused to see Arsene in the middle of such conversation. But her eyes soon return to Stephane and she looks up at him with a welcoming ut still amused smile.

"Any turn about the dance floor would be my talent carrying you, not the other way around." Ligeia turns the phrase to Sebastien with an impish smirk. "I am afraid I shall have to decline for indeed, I value my toes more than I value your amusement. The lesson will have to continue another time for I fear I do have to depart to see to something. I may return, but do not quote me for it." She stands on her toes to better pat Sebastien on the top of his head. Patpat. "You're adorable, darling. Truly." To Arsene and Jacqueline she offers a curtsey of farewell and to any others that are near before with a sharp turn of the heel and rustling of silks skirts, is gone with her guard trailing behind her.

Armandine receives Jean's words with a momentary flicker in her yes, a hint of a shadow of mourning that yet felt so fresh. "My lord. This is good to know. My niece has returned to Béziers for now. But I hope she will return to us soon. It is one thing to bear with the loss of her family. But she has duties to learn. Duties she thought would never be imposed upon her. Nonetheless, I don't doubt she will become a fine Marquise once her time comes."

Gray eyes lock intently onto Arsene and Annette smiles ever so faintly. "I am not normally one to merely give another the pleasure they seek simply because they ask. However I would also enjoy a dance so it seems we may both get something that pleases us here my lord. Provided my Dowayne has no objections." She smiles faintly to Arsene her gaze smoldering like the ashes of a fire that has yet to burn out as she awaits permission to dance.

"Well, I guess I need to put much more work into my charms," Sebastien shrugs after his burst makes a group of people scatter around. Though, that does not steal away a broad smile from the man's features. He moves toward one of the servants with a tray of wine and grabs himself a one more goblet of wine. Then moving through the people, dancing a little bit with himself, Vicomte finds a comfortable looking chair and flops down. But his feet keep swaying following the rhythm.

The Dowayne of Lis d'Or lifts her gaze to regard Arsène, there is dignity in her posture as would befit someone of Dahlia canon. "Annette may pick three that she wishes to dance with," Philomène declares softly. "She is not to dance with each and every one, my lord." She looks to Annette. "This lord, and two others. Choose wisely, my dear."

"Excuse me," Irene whispers to Evelyn. She takes hesitant steps back toward where Lord Cyriel is. The young woman approaches that peaceful corner and just simple takes a seat beside the man. Not too close, of course. There is a proper distance. She raises her dark gaze at the man and then looks back at the goblet of wine in her lap. "Beautiful music, isn't it?"

"Am I to be his chaperone and teacher?", Evelyne counters towards Irene. "Laurent is a fine young man. If he's playing the shy one, fine. That's a route to go, and as you say, ladies fall for that. I am sure our paths shall cross, and when they do, I wouldn't be surprised to find him with not one but two beauties, one on each arm." Words that land in the void Irene leaves as she moves on, with the Somerville lady staring after her. "Tsk!"

"No, I would expect it would take all night." Arsène remarks in response to the Dowayne, amusement returning when Annette is given her limit. "Well, we shall have to make each count, won't we?" His smirk remains, though he gallantly offers Annette his arm to lead her off onto the dancefloor, if she so chooses to take it. There's yet time to flee, his black eyes seem to say, teasing.

Indeed. Cyriel had withdrawn to a place at the table. Perhaps in the expectation that food would be served later in the evening. For now his freshly refilled goblet of red wine will have to do. The fact that the bold lamb seeks his company makes his features twist into a wry grin. "What is it that draws you towards what you should avoid?", he asks her. "I thought our previous encounter should have warned you appropriately." The Charlot Vicomte lifts his goblet and takes a sip of his wine. "A lady commenting on the music can only mean one thing…" Does he sound vaguely annoyed? "That she wishes to be asked for a dance." A pointed exhale, a lift of his shoulders. "Very well then, little lamb. You asked for it.", he grumbles, as he sets the goblet onto the table and moves to stand, bearing and tone shifting marginally towards a more polite quality. "Would you give me the honor of this dance, Lady Irene d'Eresse who has two famous brothers I never heard of?" It is an art to offer such a request with a subtle layer of insult, but Cyriel masters it - perhaps in the hope that the request will be refused?

"How could I not?" The expression on Stephane's face is equal delight and a slight mockery of surprise, though in no way a mockery of the delicate young woman in front of him "Even amongst the splendor and beauty of this place you stand out clearly m'lady" A small dip of the chin and a deep breath, he takes in the sight of her for a second before continuing. "I am enjoying myself quite well so far, thank you. The place itself is magnificent, the wine is of the best quality and now it looks like the company here is likewise. What is not to enjoy?" When she mentions duels, Stephane looks over in the direction where he saw his brother leave towards.

"Duels? That would be like my brother but I am sure it is simply a display of his somewhat odd humor I would assume. He does like a challenge, granted, but I believe he is here for other matters than to simply humiliate some poor soul who mistakes his jovial nature for weakness." The words are spoken more matter-of-factly than anything. "I'll have to introduce you sometime. As for myself, I'd certainly be more interested in a different kind of dancing than one that involves blades, at least on this fine evening." His head tilts to the side slightly, deep pits of brown soaking in the stormy blue of her eyes. "But first, a drink perhaps?"

"Of course Dowayne, and thank you." Annette replies smoothly as she reaches out to accept that gallant gesture from Arsene. She lets him guide her onto the floor, moving with the poise and grace those of Dahlia are all well known for. Those gray eyes meet those black ones calmly and a touch stubbornly perhaps, as if to say she has no desire nor intent to flee. Instead that composure seems ironclad and unwavering, her movements precise and filled with a regal sort of grace. "You have yet to give me your name my Lord." She speaks softly to Arsene as they make their way onto the floor. "I would very much like to know the name of the first man brave enough to ask me for a dance…or perhaps you were merely the most tempted?" She might be teasing him a touch with that last part but her tone and expression never changes so its hard to tell.

Some of this has been lost on Jacqueline, who is, for a short while, drawn into conversation with two of the members of her little cohort, late circled back around from whatever they had gone off to do. She converses with them briefly, mostly listening, nodding once, then tilts her head at the pair in some kind of quiet dismissal. After she is freed again to observe as the dancing begins, and finally to have a tiny sip of the wine she first claimed upon arrival. After some moments she begins to walk, a tiny puff of pomp and silver circumstance, off toward the Duchesse is holding court. Once she's nearer there, where Armandine and Jean, too, are in conversation, she dips into a gracious curtsey. "Do forgive me, Your Grace. I imagine you are quite busy, but I would be remiss if I did not pass our greetings, and express my profound delight in this triumph of a celebration. I have been to few balls outside of Camlach, and if this is what I have to look forward while here in Marsilikos, it shall be a delight indeed. A peerless example."

Lady Irene d'Eresse does not make any comments nor about her reasons to approach the man boldly, nor about her desire to dance. Though, when he stands up to offer a dance, the young lady smiles broadly and extends her hand toward Cyriel, "It will be my pleasure to honor you with my acceptance of your generous offer, lord Cyriel Domitien Charlot who has no friends to stand at his side." She raises to her feet nipping on the skirt of her gown with a free hand. "This is suppose to be a celebration. I simply… thought that you could use a company. Of course, m'lord, if this is a true torture, I may leave you here," Irene gestures toward the empty table. "I am pretty sure that those chairs are getting very cold without your touch but I do not lose hope that they might survive the other day even if you won't come back to them."

Reina does so love dancing and she looks longingly at the floor for only half a moment before those eyes return to Stephane and she nods with a growing smile. "A drink sounds lovely, maybe someone a little less loud. But know if you desire to spend time with me this eve, you will have to invite me to dance.." Her voice is impish and delighted, still uplifted from the performance not to long ago. She places her fingers on his arm and let's him lead her away from the dancefloor. "As for your brother, such an introduction would be lovely, but I would hope you might offer your own during this visit?" Those stormy eyes are amused as well, but there is a touch of relief as well, for whatever reason.

So far, Laurent has kept to himself simply observing the gathered guest and the performance. Clearly, the talent of the artist performing has him quite enraptured. His expression turns inquisitve and curious as he suddenly seems to notice someone, or something, that he thinks he reckognizes. He stands up from the chair where he has been relaxing and put the glass of wine on a table without looking, his gaze still drawn to whatever it is he has noticed. If one didn't know better, they might think he had seen a ghost. Albeit from the smile in his eyes it seems a most welcome ghost, if that should be the case. Could it be? He starts walking slowly towards the center of the room.

"Lady Jacqueline d'Aiglemort," Armandine Mereliot greets the heiress to the Duchy of Camlach. The smile that curls this Eisandine Duchesse's lips is a fine one, and yet, her gaze does not lack the attentiveness and warmth a host should show. "I am glad you find this banquet to your liking. Your greetings are very much appreciated. You have settled in well here in Marsilikos, I presume? Should you need anything…" Armandine considers the frail looking woman, "The Temple of Eisheth is always open. And I can only recommend the relaxation offered at the salon de Coquelicot."

<FS3> Arsene rolls Dance: Good Success. (7 3 2 8 4 1 5 3 3 7)

"I have not, have I? How terribly improper of me." Arsène remarks, smirk turning to smile as both he and Annette reach the dancefloor. "Arsène de Trevalion, Vicomte de Dreux. A relatively recent visitor to Marsilikos, and apparently the lucky man to be the first among three for the pleasure of your company." he answers. "Would it really take that much bravery to ask? I did not notice. To face you, or the Dowayne?" he asks, smirking, as they move. He displays obvious skill and experience, offering a rather suitable dancing partner to the novice. "Temptation, who would not be after such song?" Yet oddly enough, it seems more rhetorical than an actual answer, for indeed, the man does not seem to have lost himself just yet.

Some wolves hunt better on their own," Cyriel counters towards Irene. "And if you think I am without friends, you are mistaken." Amusement flashes there in his pale blue eyes. "As for torture… I am not unacquainted with the topic. But rarely on the receiving side." A statement that leaves him in all matter-of-factliness. "Dancing with one such as you, wouldn't be torture at all. Rather… how did you put it? An honor. You came in with the duchesse. So you are indeed one of her ladies?"

<FS3> Annette rolls Dancing: Great Success. (7 8 8 6 2 3 5 5 8)

Jacqueline rises from her curtsey as she is recognized, mirroring the Duchesse's smile in her own fashion. "We have," she acknowledges. "My retinue is entrenched, as it were, and many of them are out making the acquaintance of your court now." She tilts her head in the direction of the dance floor, though otherwise does not draw specific attention to any individual there. "I have not yet visited any of the salons, though Eisheth's temple was one of my earliest visits. I have heard so much about it, and it seemed inappropriate not to make an offering to the Companion upon settling in her land."

"Some wolves hunt better on their own but yet a lone wolf has been hunted down by a little lamb!" Irene giggles and starts leading the man toward the dance floor. "Yes, I am one of her ladies. I think I've told you that. You thought I was lying?" She raises a brow coming to a stop and turning to face the lord in front of her. If he allows, she will try to place her hand into his to find a proper position for a dance which suppose to match the melody. "Doesn't that make me a little bit better prey than some other ladies around?" Irene whispers quietly that only Cyriel could hear. "Some of the ladies think that this position makes them a bit more superior than the rest since we are almost like on a display. My brothers, you know, the ones you have never heard about, wanted that I would stand at the Duchess' side in order to find a better match. I turned eighteen less than two weeks ago!" She announces in a whisper but with quite a pride.

<FS3> Evelyne rolls Perception: Failure. (2 6 3 2 1 2)

Stephane pauses for a moment, like he is thinking back to the previous meeting between the two. Then she takes his arm and they start walking towards an area where several servants are standing with trays of goblets. "Yes, I guess that would be considered proper, wouldn't it. Not that I ever was too good at proper" he answers with an expression of slightly embarrassed amusement and a hint of sheepishness to his smile. As they reach the intended area slightly off to the side of the main crowd, he reaches for two of the goblets and offers one to the woman before raising his own. "Well, to the formalities then. I am Stephane Emile de Basilisque, recently arrived from Camlach with my dear brother Sebastien." He offers a small bow as he speaks the words, although the hand holding the goblet doesn't move at all, staying perfectly still as to not spill any of the contents. "And who might I have the pleasure of, possibly, inviting for a dance?" A tease there in his voice as the word possibly is spoken.

If it is her that Laurent has spotted and is moving towards, Evelyne de Somerville remains perfectly oblivious to his approach. Despite the fact that she has just chatted about her brother with Irene. Irene, yes. Blue eyes follow her to the dance floor, and Evelyne raises a brow at her choice in dance partner. Companions. There are certainly more handsome options around.

Annette smiles somewhat slyly to Arsene. "Bravery helps to bolster one in seeking what they want. Perhaps I am mistaken though and you require nothing to bolster you when you set your sights on something. I'll believe it when I see further proof of it however. That is the mark of a truly motivated individual after all." Annette follows allong with Arsene's steps her own grace impressive and easily seen as he leads her across the floor. "Temptation is a sign of weakness though is it not? Temptation is a sign that you could easily lower your guard in the name of desire… Surely you would not admit to such…even if you were tempted?" She replies back easily her tone low and steady as they talk and dance.

<FS3> Cyriel rolls Dancing: Failure. (6 5 5)

Brows furrow a little at Irene's turn and take on the analogy. "It is what many a lamb has been mistaken in," Cyriel replies to her then with another shrug of a shoulder. "And I didn't think you were lying… Exaggerating perhaps, like so many young ladies like to do." His eyes narrow slightly as he regards her, but that doesn't keep him from performing the steps of the dance. Grace of a duelist might save him from blundering, but it is clear his performance lacks esprit, a dull repetition of steps that he clearly takes little delight from. Her whisper earns her a glance, but no immediate reply. It is her next remark that Cyriel will respond to. "It is in order perhaps then to offer my belated congratulations to your natality?", the Charlot asks.

<FS3> Irene rolls Dancing+1: Failure. (3 3 2 3)

"It a man truly wants something, he should not be shy about its pursuit. Yet just as there is every motivation to step forth and take what he so wishes, neither is there much bravery required to reach for something one is indifferent too. If it is met with failure, it matters little. Motivation should not be gaged solely on action, don't you think?" Arsène remarks to Annette as they continue to dance. "As I would not admit to weakness, what man would, then my answer is the same either way, is it not? But no, I am not moved by simple temptation, even at the worst of times. Many have tried that particular ploy, to play upon my desires, yet none have managed to hit their mark. I would suggest to avoid it, lest your arrows be lost needlessly." he smirks. "Better to leave it to the next two lucky ones, mm?"

Reina gasps playfully as Stephane teases about not asking her to dance and she can't help give a husky chuckles as she takes the offered wine. At this introduction those stormy eyes look up into his as if seeking something. If she finds it, there is no reaction but a very slow smile. "A pleasure to meet you formally Lord Stephane, I am Lady Reina Trevalion, lady in waiting to the Duchess, though I believe this is my last event in said position. I was fostered here and have just return for a time.." She does not mention her title but her smile is radiant that she has a name to put to the Lord.

"Exaggerating?" Irene frowns playfully, "No no no, I think it's only you who is exaggerating when you speak of your own personality and how scary you might be!" She laughs letting out a quiet 'booo' and adding, "I am a big bad wolf and - OH! Oh, I am so sorry!" The young lady releases the man's hand and covers her lips to hold up a laugh after she steps on his toes. It's a gentle step but still one she did not expected. The young woman looks up at the man, "Alright, I must admit that I am terrible at dancing. I have never been very amazed by music, nor the crowds," she shrugs and looks down, then back around the room and then at Cyriel. "You are also not fond of dancing, right? And this party is… I remember I offered to sketch you. I have my notebook and some pencil hidden pretty close. I… I could get some fresh air and I would lo-… Just… Do you want to?" Irene's eyes wandered all over the place when she was speaking. She looked at the ceiling, at the floor, at the man's attire, and just at the end manages to take a look at him again.

"No, it should not. Motivation is what drives us to act but its also what drives our goals, our dreams and ambitions as well. It moves both our bodies and our minds." Annette replies with a soft smile and a look of amusement as she dances with Arsene. "I have no intention to tempt you my Lord. If one desires something it is best that they discover that themselves…thats the most powerful sort of desire. One might suggest and tempt another away from their true nature for a time but in the end that persons true preferences will always hold more sway and power. I might wish to get to know you but I would never waste your time with simple temptation. If you want something from me…that will be for you to discover."

"It has been a while since we had so many guests of Camlach here in Marsilikos," Armandine says to Jacqueline, and yes, that smile remains, deepening even when it finds an echo on Jacqueline's features. "The Grand Temple of Eisheth is indeed a place that is worth a visit and draws many from all over the province to come here. The infirmary right beside it hosts also an academy of healers. And the gardens, there by the temple are magnificent and worth a visit.", the Duchesse adds after a moment. To Jean she glances, as he seems to have fallen silent somewhat. This does not keep her from addressing him, however. "I received your note, Lord Jean. And while I have been very busy, I believe a meeting can be arranged in the coming days."

"I would appreciate that, Your Grace." Jean bows his head to Armandine, having been mostly quiet for this court, as mentioned. "And I look forward to it."

"Now… that is a curious offer.", Cyriel de Charlot states, his features looking even sharper in that considering look he gives Irene. "You ask me to withdraw with you so that you might draw me?" Either he didn't hear her earlier mockery or he pretends not to react to it. Apart from a murmured, "I am certain you have never met a big bad wolf in your whole life - so how would you be able to tell…?" He doesn't mind her stepping on his feet, this lady is light indeed, and he seems to be relieved as they move off the dancefloor and finallyy end the torment it must have been for them both. "If you insist," he finally says. "I'm actually surprised someone would like to make a drawing of me." He follows her unhurriedly outside, where the air is still warm from the hot summer day.

"Good. I do enjoy my time being spared, and in effect, yours as well." Arsène smirks. "I already appreciate you more for it. Better the insightful conversation than the petty flirting games involving fluttering eyelashes, giggling and whatever else is currently in favour." he adds to Annette. "We shall see, however, as to what might be desired in the future. I must first learn what could be had from such companionship, couldn't I?" he remarks. "I know of your musical talent and at dancing, of course, but where else might you shine?"

"In truth I am surprised to find so many of my countrymen in residence," Jacqueline admits. "Though perhaps I should not be. It is a fair change of… well, everything, really, from the borderlands. I shall have to think on how to bring some of it back, to capture pure sunshine in a bottle. The distilled twin to joie." When the Duchesse makes this comment to Jean, and Jean answers thus, she glances sidelong through that weight of lashes to study the l'Envers. One long, slow blink later she inquires finally, "Are you well, my lord? You seem quite distracted. I would bid you beg a dance from me but I am under strict orders not to exhaust myself before dinner."

"Reina de Trevalion…" Stephane let's the name slowly play across his tongue with a series of faint nods of seeming approval as his gaze seems to once again take in only her, everything else fading to black in the background. "I should have guessed there was a scion of Azza hiding behind those untamed blue eyes and the grace and elegance of movements. It is a pleasure to make your, formal, acquaintance m'lady" He says with a barely contained smile as he raises his glas to her again and takes a sip that empties most of the goblet.

"So what has brought you back to Marsilikos, then? If I might inquire as to such, naturally." A curious look in his eyes as he observes her, finishing the contents of the goblet and sets it down on a tray of a passing by servant without so much as a look in that direction, still fully focused on Reina, seemingly at least.

Reina smiles up at Stephane and chuckles softly at his question, "That is a question to be answered when we are sitting somewhere and the music is not calling me. I believe if you would care to join me, we can step into the gardens for a dance without worry of my dress being stepped on and I end up naked in the middle of the ballroom.." This is said boldly as if with that dress it is a worry.

"Just thinking about some personal matters, my Lady," Jean states to Jacqueline, though he offers her his hand. "As for those strict orders, I say you could disregard them for at least half a song, couldn't you?" With a confident smile, he steps closer to the d'Aiglemort, palm extended outwards. "And, of course, welcome to Marsilikos. Officially, that is."

"You have my sympathies if you are forced to endure such games often my Lord, I can only imagine how dull that must be. Intriquing conversation is something I enjoy greatly I would not dare trade it for such a shallow sounding game." Annette replies easily to Arsene with a faint smirk. His inquiries about her talents draw a look of faint amusement. "My talents are various I suppose, I am as much a flower grown under eglantine canon as I am a dahlia. I am regal but also creative, a creature as fond of political affairs as I am music and even new experiences. As such I have the abilities of both canons. But arrogance is an ugly trait and I should not boast too highly of my own talents, rather I should let you discover what you can of them should the idea sound appealing to you."

Stephane tilts his head and looks up to the ceiling for a short moment, a small appearing on his lips as he seems to imagine the hypothetical situation suggested. "As much as I should like to be there if and when that happened.." He looks back to her, the look in his eyes unmistakable "..I think you are probably right." A small nod before offering his arm to her, indicating that he is not opposed to leaving for a more private place to continue their evening. "I never did get to introduce myself to the duchess, but sometimes there are simply more important things than etiquette".

"One grows used to it, the same way I expect you'll have to smile and endure when a patron turns out to be particularly obtuse. Or would you rather simply storm off and make you displeasure known in that manner? How would regality move, I wonder." The dance continues, and he listens through it all, nodding once when it ends. "Perhaps I shall, at that. But now is the end of our dance, and the beginning of your two other choices. Good luck, and till we meet again, Novice." And with one last smile, the nobleman takes his leave from the dancefloor, approaching Armandine and her entourage, though without barging in. He waits for permission, like a polite young man in a court not his own. Wonders of wonders, Arsène behaves!

"Perhaps half a dance," agrees Jacqueline after a tiny bit of consideration. She dips into a little curtsey for Armandine once again before straightening so that she can accept Jean's hand. But by this moment Arsène has come upon them and she pauses anew to regard him, slower to smile at the Trevalion. "I hope you were gentle with the novice, cousin, dearest to my heart. Have you been properly presented yet?" It is not her court but she assumes the role of gatekeeper, at least for a moment. "Your Grace, might I present Arsène Trevalion, the Vicomte de Dreux?"

Armandine looks from Jacqueline to Jean, a but of amused surprise showing in her eyes as the duchesse realizes that the l'Envers is asking the d'Aiglemort for a dance. A half step is taken backwards as to signal her not minding the two leaving for the dance, even as surroundings and those lingerin close by come into focus again. Arsène's approach she notes, and gives Jacqueline a grateful smile as the d'Aiglemort elects to introduce the Trevalion. "Vicomte de Dreux. I am enchanted." And this does sound enchanting, coming from the Lady of Marsilikos.

When introduced by Jacqueline, and acknowledged by Armandine, Arsène performs his courtly bow, the same control of body maintained in court as much as the dueling grounds. "A pleasure, Your Grace, to be a guest in your Court, and to have been witness to such merriment. I do apologize for not presenting myself sooner, but you seemed to be in fine company." he smiles, black eyes taking in Jacqueline and Jean before returning to the Duchess. "As to the novice, she was released from the dance unharmed, I assure you. I was even nice, imagine that." he remarks to his cousin.

"And are you acquainted with the Lord l'Envers, Vicomte de Tonnerre?" Jacqueline continues these introductions of hers. Surely she is not avoiding the actual dancing part of Jean's invitation. Her head tilts a little as Arsène claims this niceness. "Has someone suggested that you are ever anything but? How slanderous." The very corners of her mouth lift in the tiniest of smiles.

The Duchesse inclines her head towards Arsène. "You are here, today. I am glad that I now can put a face to a name, my lord." And while it seems that Trevalion, d'Aiglemort and l'Envers are now busy amongst themselves, Armandine seems to be distracted for a moment, by a message that is being delivered to her steward and thenm through him, to her. And while it doesn't seem to be a grave matter, it is enough to keep the duchesse occupied for a moment.

While nobility continues to mingle and dance and enjoy themselves at the summer ball.

"We have met already, yes." Arsène nods in regard to Jacqueline's question about Jean. "Do try to keep her in one piece. She's a fragile little thing." the man remarks to the other Vicomte, lips curled in amusement. "And why, dear cousin, slander follows everywhere. It is an unfortunate part of one's life that must simply be endured, till one earns glory through duty like cousin Augustin." His voice bears an intertwined mix of seriousness and humour that almost borders on mockery, yet who or what is targeted is difficult to figure out. And while the Duchess is kept busy, and the other two nobles to deal with the threat of dance, Arsène takes his leave, off to continue to behave elsewhere. Hopefully.

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