(1310-07-23) Trouble in the Gardens of Eisheth
Summary: On a wonderful summer morning, there is a chance encounter of various people in the Jardins. Conversation is had until the situation threatens to escalate.
RL Date: 23/07/2018
Related: None
cyriel uncumber fleur abraham annais gal 

Jardins d'Eisheth — Marsilikos

Tranquility and beauty of nature is what those coming to the gardens of Eisheth usually seek. There is a playfulness in the arrangement of paths through the greenery, and the way four of them wind to the center, where there is a pond surrounded by a few elm trees, beside an area with wooden benches and tables beneath an arbor, where ivy winds about wooden posts, and a roof of colorfully glazed tiles offers shelter from the sun but also moderate rain.

Bushes are trimmed, and the green is kept short, so that people coming here can enjoy the dramatic view over the coast all the way to the sea, with the harbor and the citadel slightly to the north. Slightly towards the south and close by is the infirmary with the herb garden beside, where a variety of plants used for healing and treating certain illness are grown under the immaculate care of the healers. Towards the east, a path leads towards the temple district, where the dominant structure of the Temple of Eisheth looms, the white marble shimmering almost otherwordly on late afternoons, when it catches the warm, orange light of the setting sun.

There are many things you can do on a summer morning, when the weather is hot and fair, in the promise of even higher temperatures to be reached when time will move towards noon. And the gardens of Eisheth are a favored destination when one wishes for a bit of morning exercise.

The 'exercise', in this case, seems slightly misplaced though, in these gardens of tranquility and leisure. Among the sounds of twittering birds in the trees there is the harsh sound of steel clashing against steel to be heard by those wandering the paths in the well kept greenery. Once following the turn of the path, two men come into view, clad in breeches and shirts. Steel blinks in the thin blades of their rapiers, and Cyriel Charlot parries a strike of his opponent with elegant ease. He is a man in his early thirties, of aquiline features, his light blue eyes can look a bit piercing at times. "You have to try harder," he calls to the other man, oblivious for now to anyone approaching the scene.

Women in trees… it was apparently more common than one would expect. The bronze skinned acrobat seemed to have taken up tree sitting as a recent past time, holding a fiddle in one hand as she stood on the sturdy, outstretched branch on a tree. She was standing to watch the two fence, holding herself steady by gripping a branch above her. Uncumber looked to be caught in an inward debate of whether to hop to the next tree or to get a better view, or to keep her relatively safe spot on the branch she was already on.

A cheerful whistle billows in the gardens. A melody unusual to the bards of the Kingdom. It lacks elegance and has more wilderness since intonation goes up and down so fast. One moment it sounds like a squeaking cat, and the other like a tired old owl. The sound grows louder with each moment and visitors of the jardins d?Eisheth may only question if the person lacks some talent or, on the contrary, is very devoted.

A young Tsingani man soon shows up from behind the turn of the road. Abraham has many various different trinkets such as leather pendants and leather bracelets hanging down from his fingers. They sway in the movement and wind, playing with the rays of the sun, shimmering and glinting in silver and gold shades. He is studying those shinies while moving in a joyful pace. The man also has a leather shoulder bag hanging on his shoulder. The bag is decorated with very colorful pieces of fabrics. It appears to be quite heavy. His hair are tangled and earrings are glimmering in the light as well as his personal pendants which rest on his hairy chest. It seems that the man is enjoying a warm weather since his colorful shirt is left open. One of his legs has his trousers perfectly tucked inside the boot, while the other has the fabric of his pants sticking out here and there from half-tied shoe.

The man seems to be so focused that he does not even hear the others, as well as he does not see. So, he moves straight towards the back of the tutor of the young swordsman…

<FS3> Cyriel rolls Perception: Good Success. (8 3 2 7)

Fleur Courcel nó Heliotrope de Valais has taken quite often of late to visiting the gardens of the Temple of Eisheth, and today sees her doing so once again. Dressed in a gown of dusky mauve that borders on grey depending on the light it's viewed in, she walks with the lightest of steps along a path that winds its way through the prettiest of the garden's plantings. Her blonde hair is swept up, and held in place at the back of her head with ornate silver combs, and she's accompanied by two severe looking guards in the livery of House Valais, and a single handmaid. "Ah there. See? I told you it was coming from this direction." She stops and points out Cyriel and his sparring partner to the maid at her side, adding after a moment's pause. "I don't recognise either of them, however. I think perhaps we shall watch for a while." Feet angle off the path they've been following, and the party cuts across the expanse of the grass that separates them from the sparring men. It's as they draw closer that the sound of the fiddle and the whistling becomes apparent, and a glance is cast about. It's the whistler that's noticed first, not least because he approaches the swordsmen. "Oh look. It's the Tsingano from the docks."

Had he felt her observing glance, even when Cyriel's focus must have been on the swordplay? Pale blue eyes glance up, to where Uncumber lurks upon that branch, a tightening there of his gaze, before it focuses once again on his opponent. "The objective was first blood?", he asks in a low but somewhat distinct voice, tone matter-of-factly, as he executes a feint, aiming for the other man's left leg, and then goes for his arm instead. A quick, almost casual nudge of the rapier against the fabric of the sleeve - and it begins to redden, in a spot that is quick to grow from small to moderate upon the white shirt. "There." The Charlot steps back and lowers his blade, turning just so that he can give the Tsingani approaching a cold look. "Someone should teach you to sing or silence you, once and for all," Cyriel says in a low, slightly menacing growl. The arrival of Fleur might cause that blade to be lowered further. When the Kusheline elects to greet the lady who arrives in the company of two guards. "My lady.", he says along with a faint bow, in formal courtesy. His eyes cut back to Abraham, and he reaches into his pocket to pull out a handkerchief he now will use to clean his blade.

<FS3> Uncumber rolls Acrobatics+body: Success. (5 4 3 2 3 3 2 7 1 1 3)

"Oh!" Abraham stops and raises his gaze up at the man who just spoke to him. "M'lord, I apologize! It's just something common to the people of my origins. A song, that is. But," He boldly steps closer and extends the jewelry towards the man. "If you want me to stop singing, you can distract me with your interest to one of my works. Maybe you would like to adorn yourself or the lady of your liking with something unique? Design comes from many different lands I have visited. I never make the same item twice. So, you can be guaranteed to add an absolutely impressive touch to your style or win a heart of a lady!" He winks at Cyriel but is quick to add, "I will just be here if that interests you!" He points toward the bench. He moves there and settles down, offering a wink to lady Fleur.

Uncumber simply couldn't bring herself to resist the opportunity to jump tree to tree. She tucked the end of the fiddle down the back of her skirt and made the leap of faith. It almost seemed elegant at first to watch the vibrant rainbow woman, but ended with a brief flailing and the desperate grabbing of a branch as the trees were just a bit too far apart. The bronze skin woman dangled from the branch for a brief moment, the fiddle falling free to clatter onto the ground before she finally let go to drop back in the grass next to the fallen instrument. The sword clinking had ended anyways, so she didn't see a need for the better view.

It would appear that the sparring is over, and disappointment reflects briefly in Fleur's expression. "My lord." Cyriel's polite greeting is met with an equally polite one of her own. She sketches a curtsey, her skirts effortlessly swept to one side, and her eyes slip to Abraham as she rises from it. "Hello Abraham." There's a quiet quality to her manner of speech, and she uses the simpler form of his name that he'd given her on the docks. More might be said to him, but a simple smile is all that follows since he's already excusing himself to go and sit on the bench. And back to Cyriel. Or it would be back to him with perhaps a proper introduction were it not for the sudden commotion above them and the falling out of the trees of a rainbow dressed woman. "Oh!" Such an entrance might be a surprise for anyone, and she takes a quick step back in alarm as her guards' hands move for their swords. Everyone's a potential threat to their charge, especially vibrantly dressed people that drop out of trees.

<FS3> Cyriel rolls Reaction+Reaction: Success. (1 5 2 6 2 7)

Does he smile? Does his look even soften a little? Not at all. Cyriel stares at Abraham with his pale blue eyes, as if aiming to freeze or kill the poor man with that mere look. Soon finishing with cleaning his blade, he stows the rapier away, and then wipes his hands with the handkerchief. Lowering his head then in what might be a dismissive nod, as the Tsingani man retreats to the bench, after not even considering the man worthy of a word or two in reply. His back is halfway-turned away from the other lord, a man that seems utterly displeased at his defeat. "First blood, yes," this man announces towards Cyriel, "but you have been cheating… and I've been distracted. By that damned Tsingano… And what's this? Another one has been lurking in the trees?"

Uncumber is no longer a lurking shadow but now officially descended reality. And what a coincidence that her leap goes awry, and her fiddle slips from her fingers, and could easily break from the fall. Where it not, that someone who had noted her presence is quick enough to extend his arm and catch the instrument. Not that elegantly, perhaps, but Cyriel manages to get hold of it, before it can shatter upon the ground. "There. Take it, woman," the Kusheline addresses her and hands her the fiddle back in the moment she has moved to stand. A somewhat sceptical look is given Uncumber's attire, before attention sweeps away from it and its wearer. "Cyriel de Charlot, my lady," the same introduces himself to Fleur. "One may say many things about a Kusheline. But that we are unappreciative of art, is not one of them.", he offers to her, in dry half-jest.

Annais appears around the corner of some of the taller flora in the gardens, her eyes curious and clearly searching for something that has drawn her attention. The sound of of rapier on rapier, perhaps? Whatever it is, her face lights up as she sees the gathered group but then quickly turns into an inquisitive pout instead as she sees that the practicing seems to have ended for now. Regardless, she starts approaching the gathered people with small, fast steps, her hands lifting up the hemline of the pale yellow gown as to not trip on it. A few seconds later a young, tall man with an exhausted look on his face rounds the corner and starts half-walking/half-running after the young woman and shaking his to himself. "Just wait a second you…" is all he manages before she is out of range again and he has to continue his "hunt". As Annais comes close enough to hear what is being said between the people gathered, she slows down almost to a halt and just observes them, clearly interested in learning what is going on, even if it is just a random conversation. When suddenly a woman jumps out of the tree and a guard of another woman, a lady by the looks of it, goes for his sword, Annais freezes in place and her hands come up in front of her chest with a small "ooooh" sound. Her interest does not seem diminished by this, on the contrary.

Uncumber dusts off the bright colored skirt with several swipes of her hands before happily taking the fiddle back from Cyriel. "Why thank you sir… a hero of fiddles. A fair title under your already long list of great achievements. It should be hereby known that not a single fiddle perished under your watch." She stated, simply assuming he had a long list of achievements and perhaps slightly exaggerating the one time catch of a single, falling fiddle. She paused to look at Abraham in a brief ponder before pointing up at the tree above her. "It's a very lurkable tree to be fair." she said in her defense. The odd, bronze skin woman didn't seem to notice the reaction of Fleur's guards right away, but when she did finally notice the hands on their swords she quickly turned to face them and mimic the action… but having no weapons she simply used the end of her fiddle, holding it at her side within an invisible scabbard. It might have been a more impressive if it were anything besides a fiddle, so instead it was clear she resorted to just being silly.

If looks could kill, then Uncumber might well be dead, felled by the scowls of her guards as their hands drop from their swords. Fleur's attention cuts from Uncumber to Cyriel. "Fleur Courcel nó Heliotrope de Valais." She has a long name. "A fine catch, my lord." Hands knot behind her back, and there's the smallest giggle from the girl at her side who apparently finds the situation to be one of amusement. As does Fleur if the smile that's tugging at her lips is a measure of such. "Do you often lurk in trees, Mme? I find myself pleased that Bastien is not with me, for he is easily impressed by such things. I feel he would be halfway up the branches himself by now had he observed you up there for himself." Honey brown eyes cut to the young maid in yellow that approaches, but it's another face that she's unfamiliar with. "Sir?" This to Cyriel's opponent. "I have a 'kerchief for your wound should you need it." A tilt of her head towards the infirmary. "At least you chose the right place to cross swords."

Apparently the secluded spot Cyriel and the as of yet unnamed lord had chosen for their duel is about to get crowded indeed. The Charlot lord's brows furrow when he notices the arrival of a very young maiden and someone tasked with her protection. It is a brief glance, but Annais might find it oddly cold and assessing, before Cyriel turns his attention to the foreign looking entertainer. "Vicomte de Chavagne," he corrects her address with a touch of sharpness, as is the right of nobility over those common born. "And who might you be? Another Tsingani, like he over there…?" A faint tilt of his head indicates Abraham on his bench. "Had you jumped down earlier I might have killed you by mistake," he adds towards Uncumber, his tone flat and matter-of-factly - and devoid of any humor. Setting this straight, before Fleur meeting his introduction with an introduction of her own manages the trick, to have his features shift into a faint smile. "In the art of duelling, good reflexes can sometimes decide between life and death, my lady of Valais."

"I am fine, my lady," the other duelist assures, he is keeping his hand pressed upon the wound on the arm, a young lad in his early twenties. "Mathieu Ferraut, my lady.", is offered in a displeased mumble, but courtesy requires the introduction. His gaze follows her gesture and he nods. "I shall be off. My lord." His smile fades as he looks towards Cyriel, before the man moves on, heading to the infirmary.

A big smile appears on Annais' face and her hands start to come together in a series of small, excited claps as the vibrantly coloured young woman in the tree attempts to leap down, seems to missjudge her step slightly and drops the instrument only for it to be caught by the darkly featured lord that seems to have just bested his sparring opponent. This allows the tall, young man following her to catch up and as he does he places a firm hand on Annais' shoulder that makes her jump a little in one place and give him a slightly apologetic look over her shoulder before turning back to watch the group. When the fiddle-wielding woman moves into what resembles a combat stance to face the guards stepping closer to her, Annais' eyes widen, not in fear but in what can best be described as confused excitement and she starts moving up to the group without any apparent shyness. Then her expression turns to one of disappointment as the guards are told to stand down by their charge but she continues to move up to the group and places herself not far from the exotic fiddler before addressing the group as a whole in a tone as if she had been part of the conversation all along and had simply missed the last couple of minutes. The cold look from the lord is returned with a warm smile and a little wave of the fingers. Either she doesn't notice the hardness in his eyes, or she simply doesn't care or mind. "Hello! Is the practice over? Did I miss all the fun?" Her eyes dart between the assembled people for an answer, seemingly no thought of introductions on the young woman's mind at this point.

Uncumber lifts a brow. "The fiddle saviour is a Vicomte as well?" she dips in appreciation. "Hmmn… that would have been a tragic end to my story" she agreed with Cyriel's obvious observation. Her eyes lifted to the sky as she pondered an answer to the question. Her head tilted back and forth before she decided to answer "I am an Uncumber" she said with a smile. "A fiddle player and a tree climber." she gestured behind her, at the trunk of the tree. They were all very obvious statements, and besides giving her name, didn't really tell much. "You should also know… if you call out 'Cumby' I might still look your way." She stated in a roundabout way of giving the short version of her name. "Oh trees are the best for lurking in" she assured Fleur. "And that one especially." she said pointing up before lifting her hand to hide her mouse as she whispered. "Don't tell your Bastien." she warned, as though the climbability of the two trees was a secret. She turned the hand wave her fingers at Annias' in greeting

Tsingano was sorting out his pendants while spending time on the bench. Some of them were tangled, and some no longer needed. So, those were hidden back inside the shoulder bag. Another part of his shinies was attached to the front part of that same bag just to hang openly for everybody to gawk at them. The rest was adjusted to more properly wrap his fingers that he could show them to potential customers.

Then the man is ready to raise to his feet again. Of course, his eyes catch that same group of people, but this time a much larger group! His demeanor lightens up seeing more familiar faces. Taking a casual pace, the young leather worker strides back to the group, announcing loudly of his arrival: "Dear Annais! What a pleasure to meet you again! My kindred adventurous soul! Would you mind introducing me to your friends? I am pretty sure I might have something pleasant for them the way I do for you! Just to make you all smile!" Then he looks at Fleur and offers her a polite bow one more time. Another smile is given to the acrobat-lady. But all this is followed by a swift attempt to place his hand on Cyriel's shoulder and focus his crafty eyes on Cyriel. "Did you consider my offer, m'lord? Would you be interested in adorning your ladies or yourself with some of my work?" Tsingano dangles some pendants in front of Cyriel's eyes.

<FS3> Cyriel rolls Composure: Good Success. (4 5 8 5 6 8)

A tilt of Fleur's head indicates the departing Ferraut to Annais. "Yes Mademoiselle, it is quite, quite over." Her words are spoken as the youth catches up with his charge, and her mouth twists in the wryest of smiles. Her voice lowers and she leans a little closer to the young girl. "A word to the wise, however. Tempting as it can be, it is not always the best of ideas to attempt to escape those that are set to watch over us. It generally means a loss of privilege going forward, or more guards." Her words are tempered with another smile however, and she brings her attention back to the others in time to hear the giving of Uncumber's name. "That's an unusual name that you claim. Are you here with a troupe of performers? And you can be assured, I shall not be telling Bastien about the climbability of the trees in these gardens. I…" But she breaks off as Abraham saunters back over, worry showing clearly in her face when he decides to attempt to peddle his wares to Cyriel. It's perhaps the boldness of his approach that has her biting down on her lip.

<FS3> Cyriel rolls Perception: Failure. (5 6 3 1)

Cyriel lifts a brow when the young Annais elects to join them, and more, adds herself to the ongoing conversation. He studies the man in her company, the courtesan chaperone who most probably wears some hint as to their salon visible upon him. But it is the foreign looking woman, whom he has somehow difficulty with placing, by the accent, who receives a shake of the head. "Uncumber. This is no Tsingano name." At least not that he would know of. her introduction is accepted however, even if it won't receive another comment. The Kusheline tenses beneath the unbidden familiarity of the gesture. And if pale blue eyes can darken, they will do just that. In the same moment Cyriel's features become a mask of intimidation, the dark heritage of his province speaking through his posture, his air and the stare he will give poor Abraham.

"Remove your hand, Tsingano. At once." It is a command, not a request. "Unless you wish me to cut it off."

Annais' expression grows a bit distant as she hears the fiddler speaking before looking up to the woman tilting her head to the side, her big brown eyes all question and wonder. "What is an Uncumber..? I've never heard about those? Are there many of you?" Then Fleur starts addressing her and Annais' attention shifts fully to her, a surprise in her eyes as if Fleur had just appeared out of thin air, or maybe just surprised at the woman's words, before her hand comes up to cover a small giggle escaping her lips. "Oh I'm not trying to escape, Gaétan here.." She turns her head to look at her chaperone quickly before looking back at Fleur. "….he's just a bit slow. You wouldn't think with those long legs of his, but… well, what are you gonna do. And he always looks grumpy when he has to escort me into town, I dunno why… well ok, maybe I can think of a reason or two…" She looks back to the chaperone again, this time with a slightly annoyed look. Then Abraham starts approaching and a wide smile forms on Annais' lips as she raises a hand to wave to the Tsingano eagerly "Abraham! Oh, I would love to, but it might be taking things a bit too far, even for me, to name these people as friends. Yet." A confident, happy smile is offered as the last word is spoken. As that word is spoken, however, Cyriel turns to Abraham with a dark look and a remark no lighter in nature, causing Annais' to momentarily freeze in place with a slightly sheepish, almost apologetic look sent Abrahams way.

Uncumber smiled and lifted a finger. "Alas no… well I suppose both yes and no" she quickly corrected. "You see, my troupe has dissolved." she waves at the empty space beside her. "I came by sea only a few days ago." she started to explain. "I was on a perilous, long journey to send an old countryman back to his home" she gestured at the ground as to indicate the city of Marsilikos. "He is dying you see… and wished to see his country one more time before he faded into oblivion!" she put an arm over her forehead in dramatics. "The poor devil" she shook her head. "Although I shouldn't say it like this, he's lived a long and happy life, however his retirement has shattered the binds that kept my previous, so tightly knit troupe together… that along with some bad markets, bad weather… as well as a fight or two, a stolen pendant, and a few scandals." she started to tack on an almost never ending list before just trailing off. "But truely, I'd say the troupe's demise was the old man leaving" she said, despite the admitted evidence otherwise. She glance down at Annias "An Uncumber? Oh they are very very rare. You are lucky to see one once in your life. So when you see one, keep your eyes on it" she pointed up at her dark brown eyes. "As they may perform something spectacular" she claimed, giving a short pluck of her fiddle for effect. Unfortunately tree climbing, dropping it, and using the instrument as a mock sword was enough to cause the strings to fall slightly out of tune, and the produced noise caused uncumber to wrinkle her nose. "At least when their fiddles are in tune…" she added

The wrathful tone of Cyriel does not steal away the young man's smile. Abraham just dusts off the man's shoulder as if cleaning it from the touch. He idly moves around, making sure that Uncumber would be standing between him and the lord. Then Tsingani shrugs his shoulders and playfully glances at the lord again, "M'lord, why such a tone? You don't have to impress those ladies here with your superiority. They will not allow me to lie, they are already impressed with your well-built and features which speak of experience! By the gods, even I would wiggle my skirts to receive your attention, if I would be a woman! But, obviously, you may be lacking some charisma!" He now basically stands right behind Annais swaying to the sides. He places both of his hands on the young novice's shoulders, making sure to keep her between him and the lord, "I am merely an artist who was trying to help you to hide your tiny flaws with lovely trinkets…" A wink is offered to Cyriel despite lord's obvious determination to cut poor Tsingano in one slice.

"Where did your troupe and you are staying? Our caravan is settled just outside the town. We haven't see you," Tsingano turns his attention toward the woman he has not yet met. Most likely he asks, expecting that someone of his kind may have joined their troupe.

Fleur's eyes widen ever so slightly as Uncumber's tale unravels, but really her attention is only half on her by the time that she finishes, because of what else is unfolding. Discretion is everything, but nevertheless concerned eyes do land upon Abraham when Cyriel is done talking. Concern turns to horror however when he circles around Annais and lays his hands on the novice. Already pale of complexion, she somehow manages to pale further, her mouth opening to say something, then closing just as quickly. Her arm wraps about her maid's waist and pulls her in close. Violence could still occur.

There are few things about Kushelines that Tsingani people would know. One of them would be to never make fun of them, as their humor would lash back. Sharply. Cyriel doesn't object to Abraham dusting off his shoulder. And after all, the stare he gives him should be warning enough. Pale blue eyes follow the Tsingano with their gaze. When the man verbally transgresses, they brighten, and a faint smile appears. It is no pleasant smile, and neither is the sound of steel as he draws his blade. "Step away from her, you cur!", he demands, in cold calm, blade lifted and pointed towards Abraham. "Take your filthy hands off this novice. You are not to defile her." He moves closer. Expecting others to move to the side and make room. "Or I shall mark you. My tough and foolish Tsingano friend." Apart from the fact, that the way he says "friend" makes it sound very much the contrary.

Annais' eyes go even wider as Uncumber turns to answer her. "Really? Ok!.." A series of small eager nods and a serious expression hints at the young novice not picking up on the humor, if she has she is certainly hiding it well. "Are they all as pretty as you?…." Then her voice trails off and eyes turn back to the group and she seems confused for a moment as she can't seem to locate Abraham who has moved to stand behind her, before his hands on her shoulders causes her to make a little jump on the spot and look back at him, her expression softening for a moment until she notices Abrahams eyes resting on Cyriel and her own goes to do the same. It seems like she is just now noticing the possibly rising tension and for the first time a somewhat nervous expression scars her otherwise jovial and warm features. The sight of Abraham moving around Annais and placing his hands on her shoulders and the situation seeming to possibly escalate get an immediate reaction from the chaperone standing a few steps behind them both and he takes a step forward before clearing his throat and addressing Abraham "Remove your hands, please, monsieur!" as he goes to gently but firmly push the Tsingano to the side and take his place behind the novice. The stark reaction and serious tone of voice from the Kusheline makes even the chaperone pause, however. Annais herself doesn't seem to know what to do, simply standing there looking from Cyriel to Fleur, to Uncumber and back again, her lips parting as if to speak but no words escaping her mouth.

Fleur certainly does move to the side and away from potential conflict. "Mademoiselle." She holds the hand not wrapped about her maid's waist, out to Annais. "Come this way. Stand with us." Fragile and delicate of looks she might be, but she's the advantage of age and experience on her side. It's revealed in the short and simple commands that she gives, as if by speaking in such a manner she might simply will the young novice to her side. Her guards remain alert, ready to step in should Abraham choose to dart in Fleur's direction instead.

"M'lord, what if we make a deal here? I am pretty sure that Jardins d'Eisheth does not require a spill of blood and…" That moment the Tsingano is pushed aside by the novice's chaperone. He stumbles at that a little bit but quickly focuses his eyes on Cyriel, "I removed my hands from this beautiful novice!" The man keeps his hands raised up but moves to search for a different cover, maybe Fleur but his eyes do not find her as she moves aside. "And you lower your sword, m'lord. In addition to that, I promise to sent to you magnificent and professionally made scabbards to your blade. I must say that even lord Philippe Morhban d'Eresse bought my work and was very pleased. And trust me, it's impossible to cater that lord! My scabbards will be worthy of a full pouch of silvers. Take this into consideration before swinging your sword, m'lord. The deal is worth to save it's sharpness for a true enemy!" He nods quite eagerly with that same smile in his tanned features. He takes few steps backwards.

Uncumber laughed, her bronze cheeks flushing red as she waved away the compliment. "Oh don't. You will kill me with flattery" she said, clearly tickled at being called Pretty. She lifts a brow at Abraham's question. "Oh they've wandered off in almost every direction" She explained with a wave of her hand, but didn't continue the discussion on lodging as the exchange between Cyriel and Abraham escalated into a pointed sword. The acrobat took a step Annais as though to intervene, but the fiddle wielding acrobat appeared a bit over her head as she pondered what to do other than to steal the girl's hand and politely to try and politely usher her further away from the pointed sword and dancing Tsingano. It almost started to look like a game of musical people as her chaperone pushed Abraham aside "So youthful and clever, and you already have three men fighting over you. You are quite the woman!" she commented as she moved to deliver her over to Fleur… not knowing where else young novices were supposed to go.

Annais' expression doesn't change, still all confusion mixed with a hint of excitement. She looks to Fleur immediately as the woman starts speaking and then back to her chaperone as if asking permission. Then she looks shortly to Abraham as he is pushed to the side before her eyes dart up to Uncumber as she starts to speak and a faint spread of pink spreads over her cheeks at the womans word despite the seeming confusion still lingering. She reaches up and takes the fiddlers hand and starts moving with her towards Fleur to position herself close to the lady and looks up at her and speaks in a hushed, slightly timid voice "Thank you….". Her eyes fix on Cyriel, more interested than afraid. Her chaperone seems even more flushed than the novice by the scenario unfolding, but he sends Abraham a stern look before moving to where Annais now stands, his eyes resting on Cyriel as he moves.

Hey, do you know what could be pretty useful right about now? The attendance of the Marsilikos City Guard! Fortunately for all of you, Gal and Ercole are currently trudging the edge of les Jardins, sweating gamely under even their light armor on their way back to the citadel, each one murmuring to the other before Ercole lifts two fingers in the direction of what seems to be a disturbance deeper among the garden paths. Gal follows the fingers with his eyes, and, with a nod, veers in course and takes up a solid, lanky-limbed lope, arm crossed with his hand on his blade's pommel but not yet escalating the situation by drawing steel. Ercole is right in beside him when he draws up on the scene. "Hey. Everything OK, here?" Gal pronounces, in that tone that's half a question, half an imperative, as if to say that if it wasn't, before, it had probably better be, now. He flashes a glance to Fleur, but keeps his regard largely to the Tsingano and Cyriel, to see whether the situation is likely to escalate, or need aid de-escalating.

His posture shifts minimally, when Cyriel sees Gaétan intervene, a faint nod given to the man as this at least removes Annais from Abraham's reach. His blade remains lifted, as before, held with the routine of a skilled fencer. He closes the distance, murmuring a "Hold still!", to the Tsingano as he aims to touch the flat of his blade against Abraham's cheek. "And listen to what I say. I don't want your scabbards. I very much feel inclined to kill you for your insolence.", Cyriel tells him quietly. "You are lucky though." His lips twitch into a mirthless smile. "I don't want to stain a young mind with a sight it is not ready for." A quick flick of his glance towards Annais. "Nor would ever wish to see. You may go. There are guards here that will ensure you don't transgress, and I shall leave a little hint with the city guard to have an eye on you, Tsingano. You better behave. Or you will have to face a less forgiving blade next time." He gives Abraham a glare and then puts his rapier away. "My lady. Mademoiselle. Uncumber.", he addresses the others, before he straightens and turns. "Ah. The City Guard. Everything is fine here." A nod he gives the pair of Ercole and Gal. "No blood has been shed." At least not that of the Tsingano. He seems ready to depart but will linger for a moment, waiting if the City Guard will have any questions for him.

Fleur welcome Uncumber and Annais into her little group, a small pat given to the young novice's arm before attention returns to Cyriel and Abraham. Not that it has a chance to settle on them completely, because another face, and one familiar to her, comes trotting into view. "Gal!" His name is spoken a little louder than she probably intended, because certainly it's not her desire to distract him from diffusing the situation at hand. "My brother-in-law." She adds for the benefit of the others she's with. "That one." Gal is indicated with the smallest of smiles. "I think, perhaps, it is Abraham's lucky day."

Blades are sharp. Blades cut. Blades draw blood. Blades wound and cause pain. This Tsingano has too pretty skin to be thorn! So, is he stupid to just stay still and wait till an unpredictable man will pat his cheek with a sword? Of course, not! Like a little snake, Abraham coils around seeking for a better corner. He is on the right, and then even more on the right, and then he is finally close to the bush at the side of the path. Diving into an eglantine shrub sounds like a lovely plan. But even being threatened, Abraham does not lose his playful smile and he is eager to nod at Cyriel's words. "I would…" He wants to add some more of his witty humor but then decides to grow quiet. A step, after a step, after a step and the man withdraws backwards from the group. When he is at the safe distance, the Tsignani turns on his heel. He starts whistling the same cheerful melody and in a joyful pace leaves the gardens.

Uncumber lifted her fingers to her lips as she watched the chaperone moved to Annais she was half tempted to continue dragging the girl in circles to see how far he would follow, but thought better of it as she let her go to Fleur's care with a smile. She stood back to idley watch the scene unfold. "Quite lucky" she mused with a smile.

Gal looks a little abashed when Fleur calls him out on his being related to her, but hides it well behind a brief conference with Ercole, which leaves Ercole going to follow Cyriel a short way off to get a statement while Gal marks the features of the retreating Tsingano with a fixed stare, then turns to the collection of Annais and Fleur and attendant guardians, stepping closer, "Everyone OK, here?" he checks, quickly, eyes lingering on Fleur's, but then giving Annais a once-over as she seems to have been the target of the assault. "Want to tell me what happened?" he asks her gently.

Annais' expression and posture visibly relaxes as she places herself close to Fleur and the woman gently touches her arm, as if she immediately feels safer in her presence. She gives Fleur a warm smile and her head dips into a polite, appreciative nod. She looks back to Uncumber and offers her a similar nod and gives her hand a soft squeeze before letting go. Her eyes shift between the two as she speaks in a low voice, an impish smile tugging at the corners of her lips "This is…exciting… Does this happen often?" Her eyes drop to the ground for a moment before looking up at them again with a disappointed shrug "..I don't get to go out much.." She watches intently as things play out between the Tsingano and the Kusheline, moving a step closer to Fleur to almost lean on her, but then a young soldier arrives with hasty steps and his hand on his sword and the excited sparkle in her eyes return. She nods at Fleur as she explains that the young man is her relative and nods once before turning her eyes back to the, now de-escalating, scenario. As Abraham and Cyriel both moves to leave and the young man, Gal it would seem by the words of Fleur, approaches and addresses her, Annais' again looks up at Fleur before her eyes return to Gal, a slight pleading panic in her voice and eyes. "I didn't do anything. Really, I didn't. I promise…" It seems like she thinks he might be a "suspect" in this matter, as silly as that probably seems to most everyone else.

"Hello Gal. We are all quite well." Fleur's smile for her brother-in-law is warm, and it's the sort of smile that's birthed from the genuine pleasure of seeing someone again. Her arm slips from about her maid's waist and is wrapped about her own instead. "It was nothing really, a case of someone overstepping boundaries." A glance to Anais as she quietly explains her own position. "No." A shake of her head. "It was nothing you did," going quickly on to add, "But I do think that the Tsingano learned something today that he will not forget in a hurry. It is lucky that the Vicomte was here. Perhaps your Dowayne might assign you proper guards the next time you wish to go out."

Gal shakes his head subtly, letting a boyish smile rise in sunny assurance. "You're fine, OK?" he tells the novice, "No worries. I just wanna know… like, was that guy trying to hurt you?" he puts the question delicately, not trying to scare the novice, at all, "Or was it just, you know, cultural misunderstanding? Like he didn't know it was wrong?" he wonders, obviously willing to lend the Tsingano the benefit of the doubt, if that's the way it went down. A glance, once more, to Fleur, in case she might help clarify the issue. "If you could just tell me how it happened… that would help, a lot. We just wanna make sure everyone's safe," he adds.

Annais looks back to her chaperone with a slightly triumphant expression as she is absolved and he is chastised by Fleurs words. "See, it wasn't my fault." Her words sounds like he had actually accused her of something. Then she turns back to the others, offering Fleur an amused nod at her words about a better guard before addressing Gal with a graceful, clearly practiced, curtsy. "Hello. Everything is fine, yes, but it's good to know that help isn't far off when things starts to go awry. I think Abrah…the young Tsingano man upset the Vicomte and I somehow ended up in the middle of it all. Thankfully your sister-in-law and this nice woman.." she motions to Uncumber "..was here." Another quick glance over her shoulder towards Gaetan who is, perhaps purposely, kept out of the mention. "I don't think he meant any harm. I have talked to him once before and he was very friendly and certainly not intimidating. I think he merely got a bit flustered at the Vicomte's words and didn't think about what he was doing. He only touched my shoulders, and only very briefly." She looks up to the sky for a moment with a thoughtful expression before looking back at Gal. "I think that's all"

Fleur nods. "A misunderstanding. Yes." She glances over to where Cyriel speaks with Ercole, her brow furrowing briefly. "The Tsingano tried to sell some of his trinkets to the Vicomte. It appears that he's fond of touching people. The Vicomte didn't appreciate it, and appreciated it less when he did the same to…" She halts, looking back to Annais. "I'm so terribly sorry. I don't think I caught your name." If she ever gave it. The exhale of her breath is slow, and she banishes her frown with another of her smiles. "I met the Tsingano on the docks the other day, and has been said, he's harmless. Enthusiastic, but harmless." Beat. "He gave Giselle a pendant which he said would keep her safe. I didn't think a two year old could grow so attached to a trinket as she has to it."

Uncumber lifts a brow at Annais' question. "Well I certainly hope so, that was riveting!" she boasted as whether pointed swords and duels happened very often. with a grin. She looked over to listen to Annais' story and gave a confirming nod. She decided to add to the story "I was also that tree…" she pointed behind Gal. It wasn't relevant information, and only added confusing to an already queer story, but that why she said it. "Well it was delightful meeting you, but I have a fiddle to tune and an withered old man to feed." She punctuated by giving a pluck to one of the strings on her fiddle and a bow before making her escape.

Gal could have figured something like that was the answer, but doesn't say so, only nodding slowly. "Alright, well, as long as everyone's OK, I don't think we'll need to look into this any further. Maybe I'll go talk with him sometime, he beat feet out of here like he thought he was going to get in trouble," Gal worries a little bit. "I don't want him to think we're out to get him just because he's— y'know," Gal shrugs his shoulders, looking back over the way Abe scampered. He looks a little bit baffled when Uncumber claims to have been a tree, but that seems to have been the desired result, so… thumbs up, there. Still he lifts a hand in affable farewell, only giving a quirk of his brow to his sister in query.

<FS3> Fleur rolls Perception+4: Success. (2 4 3 1 3 3 1 4 1 3 5 5 5 7 2)

Annais listens as the fiddler speaks, offering a slightly sad smile as she mentions a withered old man. When the woman turns and goes to leave, Annais waves at her enthusiastically and raises her voice a little as Uncumber slips away. "Bye! It was nice meeting you!" Then she looks at Gal as Fleur explains the situation in greater detail, nodding in agreement with a soft "Mmmhm" sound. Then she is reminded that she has yet to introduce herself and she looks up at Fleur with with an embarrassed look. "Oh, yes. I'm a little….forgetful at times, or so I'm told." She takes a small step back from Fleur and dips into another small curtsy and her expression switches to a more formal, courtly one. Apparently she can compose herself, at least for a moment. "I am Annais Engelise nó Coquelicot, my lady, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, and thank you for your assistance. I am sure everything would have been fine, but I appreciate it nonetheless." she offers to both Gal and Fleur in turn.

Fleur can't help but allow a laugh to bubble as Uncumber takes her leave from the gardens. It's laughter that's not helped by Gal's look of query that's directed her way. "I do believe that she meant to say in the tree, Gal." she explains, lofting her eyes up to the branches of the one above them. "She was up there. Watching. But then she fell out. I'm thanking the Companions that I didn't have Bastien with me today, for he'd have wanted to get up there too. He's growing so fast that I'm almost scared to blink." Her expression is soft as she talks of her son, and it remains so as she listens to Annais' introduction. "Ah. Coquelicot. I've not taken the time to visit any of the city's Salons as yet. I was fostered and debuted in Elua myself. House Heliotrope. It's nice to meet you Annais."

"Oh!" Well, that makes a bucketful or two more sense. "OK," Gal loses the baffled look, though he's still not sure how it's pertinent to what's going on. But it doesn't matter; Ercole seems to be done taking a statement from Cyriel and Gal beckons him back over, but the two have more or less put off their City Guardsman personae. "Climbing trees is a great thing for kiddos to get up to. If you, uh. If you want I could come over some time and show him how. Y'know, take him climbing with me or whatever," he mumbles out a sideways offer. He tips a jaunty salute Annais' way in acknowledgement of her name and position. "No problem, s'what we're here for," he adds with a shrug of a shoulder.

Annais lips purse together as she mostly holds back a small giggle as Fleur explains the part about the tree, giving Gal a look like the one you would give a child that has just said the most adorably silly thing. Then her head snaps back to look at Fleur as she mentions Elua and House Heliotrope and her jaw drops a little to form a clearly excited and interested smile. "Elua, really? Oh I've heard so much, it all sounds so magnificent and grand when people speak of it. I hope I get the chance to visit it myself one day, although that is far in the future, for now at least." A thoughtful look then as she pauses for a short moment.. "Why would you leave Elua? I mean, Marsilikos is wonderful and all but when people speak about Elua it just sounds so much more……well, more." Her expression grows a bit softer as she catches herself as she is about to continue.. "Sorry, that is not my place to ask such questions, I just can't help it sometimes. But you must come to visit the salon sometime, I would love to hear how you think it compares to the houses of Mont Nuit." She looks back to Gal and seems to study him for a moment, the thoughtful expression forming on her face again as she looks between the Gal and Fleur. "Did you come here together, then?" Questions, questions, questions, she doesn't seem to run out.

It might be a sideways offer that Gal makes, but Fleur is quick to pounce on it. "Really? You'd do that?" Fleur's smile is as radiant as the sun itself as she presses a hand to her brother-in-law's arm. "I'd be ever so grateful. Really, I would. Bastien's now at that age where he so very desperately needs someone to do all those things with him. Climbing trees. Playing with sword. Wrestling." She pauses as Annais then speaks, and the smile that'd been so radiant falters at the questions she's asked. Teeth bite on her lip and her arms tighten where wrapped about her waist. "Oh…" She draws a breath, her eyes cutting briefly back to Gal where he stands. Sadness shows briefly in her eyes. "I fell in love, left Naamah's service, and married." Which should be something happy and joyful, but apparently it's not.

Ercole gives Gal a gentle nudge to the flank with his elbow when his comrade-in-arms steps up to babysitting detail, but Gal rolls his eyes to Ercole's gesture and tips his head toward Fleur, "Dude, she's my sister," he murmurs under his breath, even as he's glad for the distraction from the fact that Fleur is basically pointing out that Bastien needs a father. He glances softly away from the radiant smile, the hand on his arm, "I mean. Yeah. Whatever you need, OK?" he offers askance, "Maybe, um, Cole will come over with me, we could have dinner and playtime with the kiddos some night soon. Oh. Uh, Fleur, this is Ercole," he makes introduction. "He bunks with me on the citadel." Which, given their ambient closeness, is probably both a fact and a euphemism. "Hey," the other guard lifts a hand to Fleur in greeting, and has probably been the source of all the commoner slang Gal's been picking up. "Nice to meet you."

"And, no, actually," Gal adds, totally not forgetting Annais' question, "I didn't even know she was here until a little bit ago."

The expression on the young novice's face falters in concert with Fleurs as she realizes that she has asked on of those questions again, the ones that make people look like Fleur is looking now, and she offers an apologetic look to both Fleur and Gal that makes her brow furrow slightly. When Gal's comrade steps up to join the group, she gives a small polite curtsy and smile followed by a wave of the fingers. "Hello there.." To Gal she nods, appreciative that he totally didn't forget her question. At all. His answer seems to brighten her expression, of only very faintly. Then her attention is back on Fleur and Annais nods slowly as she starts to explain, a small hopeful smile appearing when she mentions love and marriage but fading away again as no happy ending to the story is given. She looks at the woman with a concerned and sympathetic look that holds the slightest hint of optimism. "That is a good thing….right..? I hope that I can find someone someday that could make me consider leaving my services…." There's a sound of longing in her voice mixing with the concern as she says the last part and her eyes go distant for a fraction of a second before their full attention is once again on Fleur. Either she hasn't picked up on the less-than-subtle hints or she simply refuses to accept the obvious truth until it has been completely confirmed. It's hard to say.

<FS3> Fleur rolls Composure: Failure. (5 3 2 5 2 3 3 5 6)

Fleur nods to Ercole. "It's nice to meet you, Ercole, and of course you're welcome to come over with Gal. Dinner included, of course." There's an innate graciousness in Fleur's manner with the invitation that's extended, though her shoulders fall away with the next words that come from Annais. "I…" Her voice cracks. She'd been doing so well too, these last few weeks. Perhaps it's simply the innocent manner in which the Novice's enquiry is made that's Fleur's undoing, and she takes a shuddering breath that's followed by another. Eyes bright with tears about to spill, she looks wordlessly to Gal for support.

<FS3> Gal rolls Composure: Success. (1 4 8)

Gal can see those cracks sorming in Fleur's composed foundation. He hardly knows that he's even moved from Ercole's side, but suddenly he's there to collect Fleur into his arms and let her spill her salt sorrows down through the gaps in his armor. It's not the most cuddly sort of embrace, but he stands tall, strong, supportive, managing only to brim to the eyelash with tears before letting them reside. He's there for her, essentially. Something to lean against, lean on, rely on. There's a mild look given to the novice who pushed his sister over the edge like that, and then Cole is taking to the novice's side, careful to leave space for Naamah between them. "His brother — her husband — died a couple of years ago," Ercole fills the novice in quietly while Gal stands as resolute a pillar as he's able for Fleur in her moment of despondency.

Annais' expression and demeanor turns into one big apology as the tears starts to visibly well up in Fleurs eyes and she moves closer to put her hand gently on the woman's arm but then Gal steps in to embrace his sister-in-law and the hand is retracted. Her voice is low and soft and full of regret. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean….. I didn't intend to cause you any distress, m'lady…I…" Her chin drops and her eyes find the ground, her hands fiddling nervously with the fabric of her gown. When Ercole approaches and speaks to her, her head stays low and she looks up at him through thick, black lashes with big, sad eyes. Her shoulders come up slightly as he explains and the novice visibly shrinks a little more as she realizes what emotions her uncareful questions have likely brought up in Fleur. Gaétan, who has until now remained in the background, likely embarrassed at the fact that other than him had to come to Annais aid earlier, also seems to have caught on as he approaches the group with a series of fast, deliberate steps, offering Annais a scolding look before addressing the two guards. "What did she do now? I apologize if she is causing you any alarm, I'll be happy to relieve you of her company, I think she has had quite enough excitement for one day as it is." There's a sharpness to his tone that hints at this likely not being the first time he's felt compelled to intervene on the young novices behalf.

Cuddly embrace it's not, but it's apparently what Fleur most needs. The floodgates open as Gal pulls her in close, and she does nothing to stop them. "I'm sorry Gal. I'm so very sorry…" His armor swallows her words. Annais appears forgotten for the moment, and her maid stands pale and quiet, her hands twisting about themselves before she steps in close. A pat to her mistress' back before a handkerchief is miraculously produced. "Come my lady. We should be getting along. You were going to write some letters today. Remember?" A look is shot Annais' way by the maid, though the look is more one of sympathy, quick up and down flap of her hand given that might suggest a 'it's not your fault' message. "Letters. Yes." Fleur's head lifts away from Gal's chest, and she presses the heel of her hand to each eye before taking the 'kerchief from her maid. At least she's not an ugly crier. What little is left of her composure she gathers about herself, and she looks up at Gal, attempting a smile. Fails. "Next week," she says simply, turning from him as she's ushered along by maid and guards.

Gal's lower lip wavers— he might just be on the point of saying something back to Fleur when the maid comes to draw her out of his arms and he… stands there for a second, watching her away with only a solemn nod before he looks back to Annais and her minder. "It's— it's fine, no problem," he lets the Coquelicot novice off the hook, if somewhat tersely. "Cole, let's go?" he asks, holding out his hand for Ercole to come and take it. "Glad you're alright, mademoiselle," he tells Annais, one more time, before the guardsmen continue their way back to the citadel.

Annais just stands there, her head low and her eyes flickering between Fleur, Gal, Ercole and Gétan with that same look of regret and apology. The maid moving in to help and comfort her mistress is given a small nod and an attempted smile of gratitude in reply to her calm gesture. She looks visibly relieved at Gal's words and she gives him a slight nod og gratitude before speaking slowly in a hushed tone, as if she is considering every word coming out of her mouth as to not say anything else that could hurt or offend "Thank you…and I really am sorry for ripping up fresh wounds given little time to even start healing.." A last polite curtsy is then offered before she turns and looks up to Gaétan with a defeated expression. "Ok…let's go home". And with that, the novice is escorted out of the gardens towards Court de Nuit and the salon.

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