(1310-07-20) The First Duel Club
Summary: Jacqueline organizes a small gathering in which both Roland and Arsène duel for the entertainment of the ladies! And possibly their own.
RL Date: Fri Jul 20, 1310
Related: None
roland arsene jacqueline chloe 


High walls stand protective vigil around the gardens that flank the house, though from the inside looking outward they are half-hidden behind orange and cherry trees and cultivated honeysuckle vines that take turns filling the air with delicate fragrance. Much of the area is mere greensward, flagstone paths traversing it at various angles whose complex pattern is meant to be appreciated from the townhouse's upper balconies. Raised beds are regularly placed, regularly spaced, mingling a combination of ornamental plants with herbs and edibles, joining the form of a noble pleasure garden with the function of an expansive kitchen's demands. %r%rThe southern side of the house is dominated by a terrace that runs its entire face. Access to the house can be had there through various sets of doors, while shade is abundant under the combination of lush, flowering vines and sheer fabrics adorning the massive pergola sheltering it. Stone urns overflow with flowers, spilling down two steps to a ground level version commonly used for martial practice.

Well there ain't no party like a Camaeline party 'cause a Camaeline party don't stop.

Or something.

'Tis early in the evening on this lovely July day. The weather has been reasonably cooperative and some of the humidity has blown inland ahead of what might be a storm rolling in from the ocean. It laces the horizon with ominous bruise-colored clouds that occasionally flicker with lightning, mostly flash with no audible bang. As indicated, Jacqueline has set out the fixin's of another little party. Not a full-fledged gala, but similar to her last family gathering. The difference tonight is that glass lanterns have been hung between the front beams of the pergola, casting extra light down onto the lower terrace from what may have been deemed to be a safe height. No danger of a stray foot knocking over a lamp. There is also no music this evening. Several members of the staff are on hand as always, ready to bring dinner at the appointed time, and quick with trays of beverages that have been teased out as favorites among the short list of guests.

The hostess herself is busy giving some last minute instructions to a pair of them, Jacqueline almost comically petite in comparison to her footmen, both of whom are well over a foot taller than she is. She wears green tonight; emerald dark, light as midnight sea foam, adorned with glittering black crystal and copious amounts of silvered thread. Her hair is all braided and twisted up, a number of flowers cut from the garden wreathed into it in a crown of white, pink, and lilac. No blades for her, though. Only a fan, silk lavishly painted with florals.

Yellow! Bright and cheery ready to chase storm clouds away, is trimmed with the most delicate touch of lace and nipped at the small waist to emphasize slender curves. That however is not the Vicomtesse de Crouzet's most stunning feature. It is her smile. Ear to ear, reaching her eyes, she appears in the garden with a look that challenges anyone to sour her mood. "Jacqueline! You are sublime in green. I cannot tell you how I've been looking forward to this evening." A pair of air kisses greets the hostess before stepping back and snapping her own painted fan open to cool her flushed cheeks.

Arsène arrives in a casual outfit of a simple shirt and trousers, both black, and the usual accoutrement of belt with his longsword and boots. His hair is still wet from a recent swim, and his shirt likewise clings to him, not yet fully dried when he put it on. But from the way he arrives, at a lively and enthusiastic pace, he was looking forward to the evening. "Dear cousin, how good to see you again!" he calls when he steps inside and towards Jacqueline. A bow is offered, and a polite kiss should a hand be extended. "And the Vicomtesse de Crouzet, radiant as always." And the same is offered to Chloe in turn. "So! Tell me, who else is coming?"

Is it early evening? Roland has been enjoying it like its past midnight and the fun has only started. And he has been enjoying a few drinks to. Not… completely drunk, but a bit loose and enjoying himself. He leaves the business of organizing this whole shindig to those who are far more capable and with a mind towards organization! Has the party even started? He doesn't care. Its always a party when he is around. He has a few of the servants occupied, ones who should really be getting the food and drink ready, regaling them with the story of how he once got a whole troop of Skaldic raiders to charge off a cliff to their horribly heigh based doom. Exaggerated gestures and faces are given. "You know for a moment… I thought he actually was going to start flying…" There is a sword at his hip, though it has remained in its scabbard the entire night. He looks up to his wife to be, "Finally she joins us! I had gone looking for her a moment ago and could not find her at all." He is terrible at lying.

All of the pleasantries, of course. Jacqueline takes both of Chloe's hands and returns the air kisses, there and there, just so. "And you look splendid in yellow. I cannot wear it, at all." She does not describe how or why. Does not need to perhaps, as others arrive. Well. Another. Arsene, still damp, most notably. She examines him from under the somnolent weight of her lashes, and gives up one or two lazy blinks before offering up one hand for a more proper greeting. "I did hope that you would find it in your heart to attend. I know that dueling is not really what you are passionate about but the nights here are so dull." She smiles then, a little. "I've a few other invitations out, but I cannot say for certain they have all been accepted. We shall make do. If all else fails, maybe I can persuade Loic to take a turn." Loic. Her Cassiline. The brother in grey lurking yonder, almost invisible for how often he is around. He just looks at her. Just looks. She must feel it because the vicomtesse smiles radiantly. "In the meantime there is always Roland. He has some passing skill with a blade, and energy enough that he might do for a round or so."

Chloe is only briefly taken by Roland's arrival. Her attention flits back to Jacqueline and Arsene and her smile remains the radiant focal point of her face. She extends her hand in proper greeting and curtsies. "Vicomte de Dreux, it is so good to see you again. It warms my heart to see how close Lady Jacqueline's family is. I assume you will be partaking in the duel this evening?" He might have said and she might have glossed over it when something in her periphery seems off.

Arsène chuckles at Jacqueline's response, smiling as he answers. "If they give a worthy fight, there's nothing I like more than a duel. At least they live to fight again." He turns his dark gaze to Loic when the man is mentioned, thoughtful. "Mmm… that could be fun." And then Roland is pointed out, and he grins. "What say you, cousin? Care for a bit of a spar? You can show off to your intended, display all those muscles of yours at work, mm?" he asks in Roland's direction. "Yes. Depending on whether any of the men step up to the challenge." he answers Chloe, smiling.

Roland steps away from the servants, allowing them to return to their duties, intent on enjoying the other guests as the party starts to come together. He finishes a glass of some kind of alcohol, depositing the glass on a passing tray so that he can cross his arms across his chest. He is clearly flexing at Arsene. "Now now. I wouldn't want to embarass you cousin. Its not all show." Flex. He certainly seems sure of himself! "Though I suspect our duel will have silly rules like no shirts and oil." He asks with a raised brow to Jacqueline, though not before giving a wink to Chloe. One must flex and wink. Practically required. "Or will this just be a simple display of skill and strength?"

As an absolute rule, Cassilines only draw their swords if they intend to kill someone. Thus Loic now simply looks at Arsene with the patience of a very put-upon dog dealing with a bunch of small but adorable kittens. This might be the reason for Jacqueline's good humor. Or perhaps it is Roland trying to puff himself up to look more impressive. "Shall we?" She says to Chloe in the meantime, before moving off to take a seat on one of the sofas that has been very conspicuously placed in a way to watch the lower terrace. Once she has settled and arranged the layers of her skirts as she will, one of the servants comes 'round with a tray, from which she takes a little flute of something white. "You can decide on any rules you like, though I should probably insist on no wounding. This is meant to be good sport and entertainment, after all."

Chloe follows Jacqueline and sits upon the sumptuous cushion, arranging her skirts and even after it looks perfect, picks a piece of invisible lint from the fabric. She politely accepts a flute from the passing tray but eyes it suspiciously for a moment. "You are being far too nice, Jacqueline. They should certainly duel without their shirts. Roland might already be shirtless if I had to bet.. She turns around and bats her lashes at both men.

Arsène looks… perplexed at Roland's showmanship. "Is there something wrong with your arms? Do you have a cramp?" He tilts his head to the side. "It wouldn't be the first duel I've fought shirtless." he remarks after Chloe's comment. And apparently, he decides it shall be one such rule, for he discards his own shirt easily enough. Thus is Arsène's physique displayed, the physique of a man who's trained with the sword every day of his life, a man who's muscles were hardened less by flexing, and more from use. His sword is drawn in one smooth move, and as he steps towards the illuminated terrace, it is with feline agility. "Let's not keep the ladies waiting, shall we Roland? First blood, or until one of these charming ladies cannot bear to see us fight any longer, mm?" he calls over his shoulder as he walks. And then he is on the terrace, shirtless, longsword in hand, waiting.

"Not yet. Give me some time though. If you're able to give me enough of a challenge." he says with a grin on his lips. "Oh look you've preverted his well composed sensibilities…" he says with a wagging of his tongue at Jacquelien and Chloe, clearly accusing them of corrupting Arsene as he strips off his shirt and shows off for all to enjoy. "I thought you were a duelist. You need more showmanship. More flare. Make the ladies swoon with the raw virility!" he declares to Arsene as Roland does not remove his shrit through normal means. Roland does not do normal. He rips his shirt in half with a burst of strength, the thin fabric built for the Marsilikos climate easily being rent in two with a yank of his arms. Arsene's muscles might be developed from training and work, but Roland shows off his muscles by putting them to work. It was a nice shirt too. At least Chloe did not chose it personally for him. He tosses it to the side, hand at the hilt of his blade. Is there a moment of hesitation as he eyes Arsene, with his blade in hand? Only a moment, for would miss it, and then Roland's blade is drawn. "Let us begin."

There is a good, solid reason why Jacqueline brought her fan along. She takes a tiny sip from her flute and then snaps the fan open with a flick of her wrist, ostensibly so that she can use it to break up some of the warm night air. As half her guest list begins removing their clothes though she raises it a touch more, probably because by the time Roland gets to ripping his she's doing a rather poor job of trying to contain outright laughter. Chloe will be able to see this without issue. Loic might. Behind that pretty painted silk is a smile that she's biting into, the net result of which leaves the rest of her trembling ever so very, very delicately with the effort of restraint.

<FS3> Chloe rolls Composure: Success. (4 7 1 6 3)

<FS3> Jacqueline rolls Composure: Failure. (6 2 3 1 5 3 3 3 4)

The Vicomtesse de Crouzet just barely keeps it together as Arsene removes his shirt followed by Roland's showmanship. Dainty fingers lift to press against her lips and while she blinks the giggles away, her cheeks redden just a touch. "I did not realize how humid and moist it is down South." Idle conversation about the weather for Jacqueline, of course.

Perhaps Arsène just wants to test Roland's flexing. Surely his muscles will be so hard as to just make his longsword bounce off, right? Unfortunately, they don't, the blade connecting hard against his chest, though Arsène does not come out of the exchange unscathed. The Vicomte smiles, his eyes darkening with both focus and interest as the spar begins in earnest. "Good. But we've just begun. Let's see how far we can go before someone spoils the fun, don't we?" And with that, the duelist attacks once more, steel flashing as it catches the light of the lamps.

Roland is a big lad, but not entirely slow. Arsene has a bit more lithe to him compared to the soldier that is Roland. As Arsene slices a cut into Roland's chest the Camlach men lets out a hiss and has hold himself from using his none sword hand to clock Arsene right in the face. All is fair in war, though this… is a duel. Rules and such. Longswords only. He instead turns his body in an attempted riposte, nicking the other Camlach man. "Oh just showing a bit of red to get the energy in the room flowing, promise." he growls out as he bounds into his own attack, leaving defense for the timid.

"It certainly lends itself to some interesting architecture," Jacqueline answers Chloe, in the meantime. Her voice, usually soft and even, is full with that held-back laugh too, so the words are slightly broken and maybe a little more stilted than her usual practiced self is. She hasn't qutie broken out into straight up giggling, but… oh. Then they begin to fight in earnest and she straightens up a little more, flicking the fan again. Whatever her initial impression of them on display was, now that they have begun crashing steel they do have a different sort of interest. She is Camaeline. She must've watched a thousand sword matches, but no two are ever quite the same. Sidelong to the other vicomtesse she explains, "I have never seen my Trevalion cousin fight. He has something of a reputation."

"Does he?" Chloe glances between Jacqueline and Arsene for a moment. "Roland is impressive. His fighting style is impressive." She clears up any confusion. "I've watched him train. As I'm sure you're aware of our Camaeline soldiers and their training exercises. Sometimes he just doesn't know when to stop."

"Good." And it seems Arsène answers in kind, crashing into the other man with naked steel. Evenly matched, both come out the worse from wear, but no less eager to shed blood, least of all Arsène. He's grinning, so obviously enjoying himself. And it is with growing battlelust that he attacks anew, as ferociously as a true Camaeline. And it seems he might have forgotten this was to be an entertaining spar. He's having far too much fun.

"It is because your Basilisque knights and soldiers need more training!" Roland declares brazenly in the middle of the battle to Chloe. He is distracted! A prime moment to strike. But does he realize Arsene is coming for him, or was it an elaborate ruse? Is Roland capable of elaborate ruses? Well… Ruse does start with R. Likely a philosophical discussion for others, he turns to meet Arsene head on, leaving his defenses open to welcome the attack.

Another sip before Jacqueline replies. "The difference, perhaps, between those who fight for the art of it, and those who fight for the necessity of it. I would question how many of them would fight if they did not have to… but they are Camaeline." Which seems to answer the matter for her. But her conversation wanes a bit as they press more fiercely. Her fan lowers and she leans forward a bit, as though it might put her in a better spot to see the last clash.

<FS3> Roland rolls Mind+composure: Success. (4 6 4 7)

Arsène does not speak, indeed, the ladies are all but forgotten. After all, he has a far more entertaining playmate! He steps forward, only for his left arm to be cut by Roland's blade, and it looks as if Arsène made a mistake… till he strikes. A precise blow, as vicious as his reputation would imply, striking his cousin's abdomen. It is no gentle touch, the cruel bite of the blade to be remembered as the wound heals. But at least it seems to have satisfied the Vicomte, for he steps back afterwards. "I believe the ladies are suitably entertained, don't you, cousin?"

Its been quite some time since Roland has felt the bite of a blade. Though its been even longer since he has felt one that threatens his life. Arsene is deadly foe, and comes close, the Camlach man's eyes widening in shock as the duel is soundly decided in Arsene's favor. He grunts, pushing his sword against the floor, wishing they were outside so he could sink it into the dirt for support. He peers up to Arsene, his lips pulling into a smile before he grunts again, trying to catch his breath. "Good show. Good show." he rumbles out.

One little gesture with the fan will send a red-headed woman from the wings out onto the lower terrace. She is fairly recognizable to those who live in the house as Jacqueline's personal chirurgeon, a sweet-tempered woman native to Eisande who generally does not take 'no I'm fine leave me alone' for anything akin to an answer. As for Jacqueline herself, she lowers the fan so she might bring her hands together in applause proper for such a display. "Very well done. A fine first match. Once you are not in danger of bleeding on the linens anymore, please, come up and join us while you catch your breath. No shirts required, Roland."

"Yes. I look forward to when you are healed up, Roland. I'd hate to run out of good dueling partners." Arsène tells his cousin before, after wiping the blade clean of blood of course, he sheathes his sword. He then moves to where Jacqueline awaits, remarking. "Though it should perhaps come as no surprise that a Camlach would be one of the few to make it a worthwhile match. A good first test, we should have more coming next time. Surely you can think of a few ladies who might be interested in seeing this one." And he motions back to Roland.

Roland soundless waves a hand at both Arsene and Jacqueline, likely making some rude soldier gesture as the is assaulted by the chirurgeon. Shes already poking and proding and seeing how deep those wounds are, illicting a groan, "Horrible wench!" Roland lets out and then 'guffs' as the woman either pokes a wound or just jabs him in the belly. "Sorry…" he grumbles as he is tended to, peering at Arsene and Jacqueline. "I don't know how often I will be putting on shows with you cousin, but it was fun."

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