(1310-11-02) Rose Sauvage Debut
Summary: The debut feast of Piers nó Rose Sauvage. Warning: some suggestive theme, as this is a Thorn debut
RL Date: Fri Nov 02, 2018
Related: None.
piers theodosia emeraude alcibiades isabelle delphine arielle jehan-pascal 

Waiting Lounge — La Rose Sauvage

The lounge of la Rose Sauvage is decked out all in finery for the gathering tonight. The usual crimson furniture has been replaced with more severe black padded dark red cherry wood chairs and lounges. Everything has a sharp edge to it, no soft lines at all and while sitting or relaxing is not uncomfortable neither is it the decadent experience one might be used to for the lounge normally. Black drapes are trimmed in red hanging over the normal art on the walls giving the image that they are blindfolded or kept in the dark for what is to come. The stairwell and upper balcony is also blocked off by drapes of black trimmed with white border to shield the 'innocents' from the potential below.

Attendants are dressed all in red, offering dark wines to those whom desire such. There is an energy in the room that is not usually there or heightened beyond what is usually there. A subtle pressure and tension in the room for the debut that is to start soon, or perhaps already has after a fashion.

As guests begin to arrive to the lounge prior to the debut of Piers no Rose Sauvage the crimson robed and cowled attendants welcome each guest and offer to see them seated into a chair or lounge while they wait. Refreshments are offered, primarily wine that is so dark red as to appear black. The wine has a sharp tang to it's aftertaste unlike many reds, like the grapes were picked just a bit early but it is not an unpleasant flavor.

There is the occasional flutter of one of the heavy curtains that lead off deeper into the salon. With curtains that heavy it cannot just be the wind. Forms must be moving behind them. Whether wine, drink, or a light snack is taken or not each guest is given a silk blindfold but no instructions of what to do with it for the time being other than being told:

"You will require this later to attend the debut in full."

Then the attendant will see to other guests.

A young woman with short bob cut hair and a shimmery red lace dress walks in, her finger stroking the silk blindfold with a smile, as she takes a glass of brandy, and walks into the dark room, her cales flashing from under the hem of her dress. She looks around and just seems content to wait for now. Theodosia smiles taking a sip of her drink.

When Isabelle arrives, she isn't alone. Her hand is securely tucked into the inner elbow of one Captain Alcibiades Rousse.

She had received an invitation prior to the Salon's commissioning of her, but with the young man designated as one of her patrons, officially, she has all the more reason to attend. Isabelle de Valais enters the salon clad in an ensemble of her own design: a creation so dark, light seems to vanish at her every movement, black ribbons threaded around her neck and criss-crossing over a neckline that would be revealing were it not for the intricate cage they make over her skin. They wind around her lower spine, somehow, some manner of sartorial sorcery applied, crossing over the dip at the small of her back, pulled through metal rings, the rest of their lengths flowing into a layered skirt that pools like liquid night against her floor, sheer material draped over panels to hint at her silhouette without revealing much of anything.

It is rare to find her with any split to her skirts, whenever she wears them, but there is one today. Fabric parts to the thigh on her left, secured by a ring; whatever skin exposed buttressed by a black stocking and its lace hemming, secured by clasp and the hint of a garter keeping it up. Bare arms are similarly kept in their textile fortresses - she wears black gloves that pull up past the elbows. The way she wears herhair - almost always up - makes the most of the delicate chandeliers that tug at each earlobe, matching the interlocking bracelets on her left wrist.

A slender hand with its long, elegant fingers pluck at a goblet when it is passed to her, inspecting the wine curiously. "I've never seen vintage this dark," Isabelle murmurs to her companion appreciatively. "Have you attended one of these before?"

Alcibiades Rousse is not a regular attendant at debuts — indeed, this may be the first time that the quasi-Rousse has ever attended. Fortunately, he has a Virgil for this event — the tall seaman arrives in the company of Isabelle de Valais, the magnificent couturier responsible for all the most exciting fashion statements in Marsilikos.

He has dressed for the occasion, or at least been dressed for the occasion. His black coat has a high stiff collar, rising almost to his chin, made from ebony cotton. It is exceptionally well-tailored, sweeping lines serving to accentuate his lean musculature, and has been dyed an even ebony. The shirt beneath lacks all adornment — no lace whatsoever, striking in its simplicity and dyed onyx, the shade subtly different than the coat's. The effect is to provide texture to the outfit and to lend definition to his silhouette. His long mahogany hair has been released from its habitual ponytail and actually brushed, and it appears as though someone has even made him clean out his nails.

He accepts his wine and his blindfold with a dubious expression, studying the room curiously. When Isabelle speaks, he looks down at her for a moment, features suddenly amused. "I have not," he admits. He finally takes a sip of the wine and hesitates before speaking. "It's… interesting."

Black is a color Delphine seldom wears, but tonight, she makes an exception. The woman of brunette curls worn in an impressive pile of a hairdo enters the place. She is already moving towards her forties, but with d'Angelines, that still means her looks are impressive. The bodice wrapps nicely about her torso, making a pleasant display of a neckline, long sleeves starting midway from shoulder to elbow which leaves her shoulder bare. The blindfold is accepted and toyed with, as Delphine lets her glittering gaze sweep about the room. As if to save it up for later, she wraps the blindfold about her upper arm… then pauses. Smiles. And sits down, creating a loop of blindfold in her lap, turning it into an 'eight', before she slips her wrists to it, tying them together in practiced mischief.

Emeraude gracefully makes her way into the debut, a soft blush caressing her cheeks as her nerves set in. Her hands smoothing out over the bottom of her lilac bodice and dark green ruffled skirts. Her hooded cloak matches the skirts and her slippers match her bodice. Her eyes looking to one of the novices who is serving drinks for the party and eagerly takes one of the glasses of offered wine, after saying "Thank you." She almost immediately begins to drink from it until it is gone and trades it for another full one. Her blue eyes slowly scanning over the room as her breathing slightly hastens, unsure where she should go to sit.

Not a regular attendant, but despite the last minute arrangements that keep him impeccably ensconced in the ensemble that she has picked for him, Isabelle tilts her head back to regard Alcibiades' amused, and slightly uncertain profile. "Black suits you as well," she observes, an appreciative draw cast by her eyes over the frame he makes within the solid lines of the coat and shirt that she has picked out for him. "I had my doubts, but I suppose it's not a terrible thing to realize that I, too, can surprise myself on occasion." There's a cordial smile directed to the newcomers as they start to fill the waiting room of the debut with a slight dip of her head. Easing closer to Alcibiades, she turns her face, as if to look over his shoulder, imparting a few quiet words to him.

An attendant approaches her with a blindfold, which she plucks with her fingers, twisting it deftly in her hand as she regards it with a contemplative and somewhat humored expression. She bites back a grin at the look on the man's face as he examines his own. "Don't worry," she jests quietly, eyes searching the room once more. "I'll protect you."

Attendants dressed in all crimson come to converse with the guests, asking if there is anything they would need. For the moment the man of the hour, so to speak, is not present. In fact the only men present are those who are accompanying female guests. There is plenty of wine, and there are also trays of food. Small squares of black bread sliced thin. Different cheeses. There is a central table laid out with even a fondue pot of boiling cheese and a variety of bread squares to dip with wooden spears.

For now they are waiting and letting guests trickle in and absorb the way the Rose Sauvage salon has been altered for the occasion.

Dark her dress, but light the smile in her eyes, Theodosia seeps deeper at her drink, watching the people trickling in, and she inclines her head warmly, the namarrese lady clearly interested in watching as some obvious couples walk in, and different ladies…

Alcibiades gazes around the room speculatively as Isabelle murmurs in his hear, studying Delphine and Emeraude with particular interest for a few moments. When he responds to the young woman at his side, however, she is given his full and undivided attention. "You doubted I could pull off black?" He seems mock-affronted, sipping his wine before continuing. "For what it's worth, I never doubted you." He shades a wink down at Isabelle.

Glancing from his blindfold to Isabelle, he says "You had better." There is an ominous note to his voice, almost certainly a put-on joke. "Er. Isabelle?" He drops his voice, leaning in to whisper "Am I expected to, well… participate?" There it is again, that uncertainty mingling with his amusement. "I'm afraid Myrmidon has quite wiped out my, well, disposable income. Until someone challenges me to piquet again."

"A glass of wine, please," Delphine asks of the attendant, lifting her hands, wrists caught in the blindfold that wraps about them. A smile is offered to the lad, before she inquires, "And when can we be so fortunate as to meet tonight's debutant?" A curious glance she shoots the pair of Isabelle and Alcibiades, and once she receives her glass she lifts it in their general direction. In a toast? A greeting? Probably both!

"As well as you shouldn't," Isabelle declares with that same, easy banter, complete with an imperious lift of one eyebrow and the defiant angle of her delicate jawline. "I am, after all, an expert." There's a pause, one that stretches on - enough to give anyone listening in the impression that there might be a quarrel over the horizon, but what follows is a brilliant smile that gleams white from between parted lips lacquered a cherry red.

His question is a good one, being a novice in such events. "Yes," she deadpans. "Bid an irresponsibly exorbitant amount, bankrupt yourself before any of your new and exciting ventures take off, and all for the privilege of getting trussed up and whipped to submission by a rising talent. It is the expected thing to do." She lets the words hang, before that familiar devil's mischief returns to her expression, leaning in.

"No," she murmurs. "In all seriousness, you needn't." She takes a quiet sip of her drink, before dropping her voice further. At the sight of Delphine's toast, she returns it, and turns to the Vicomtesse's direction. "Come. Let's mingle while we wait for the festivities to truly begin."

Theodosia cannot help but overhear Isabelle's description of what the night would entail and she laughs wickedly, having to take care not to spill her snifter of brandy. "Well, now I am becoming even more decided to bid.." she says, with a merry laughter in her eyes.

The attendant helps with Delphine's wine, the red robed individual could be a boy, it could be a girl, it is young. All of the attendants are, and the robes and cowls hide their bodies to make determining gender difficult. Wine is lifted to Delphine's lips if she wishes to be doted on in such fashion, otherwise it is placed into one of her hands where her wrists are bound.

"When it is an appropriate time." Comes the answer to Delphine's question.

Alcibiades notes that hesitation, which stretches into an awkward silence, but there is no concern on his feature before Isabelle's smile breaks out. If anything, he looks rather amused. As she explains the expectations of such an event, he raises both eyebrows. The amusement looks as though it might spill into laughter when Theodosia interjects, and he takes a long sip of his wine to regain his composure.

"I wouldn't know where to begin bankrupting myself," he informs Isabelle, speaking lightly and loudly enough to be overheard. "After all, the ducats have quite spilled out of my pockets. They've grown so unbearably tedious." When Isabelle murmurs something in his ear, his grin widens slightly. Alcibiades absently tucks away his silk blindfold in one pocket as he follows her toward Delphine.

A smile is given to both Isabelle and Alcibiades as they look her way. Delphine is quite capable of holding the glass even with wrists bound. It looks as if she may have done this before, at some point. "The right answer to the question," the Vicomtesse remarks towards the attendant. A glance then towards her blindfold. "I might need to unfasten my bindings, once the bidding starts…", is mused, more to herself.

Theodosia's laughter is responded in kind, Isabelle winking towards her. "As well as you should, my lady," she says. "The debutant is a patron of mine, you see, and I've no doubts that he'll exceed the expectations of even the most skeptical of bidders." Stopping before the collective, she eases her hand away from Alcibiades' arm, sweeping a flourishing curtsey towards her gentler company. "Though while we all appear to be competitors this evening, I believe there is no reason for any of us not to be cordial or even friendly about it." Her mischief is fully visible now, lighting up her sunkissed expression. "As it is, we are in the rare position to be afforded the opportunity to hunt a talented predator - and there is safety in numbers against such a formidable foe, isn't there? I am Isabelle de Valais, niece of the Comte de Digne."

She gestures to the man at her side. "May I present my companion, Captain Alcibiades Rousse of the Myrmidon."

Emeraude remains rather shy and blushing as her hand clings upon her glass of wine and she continues to just study over who all is here. Her free hand beginning to nervously fidget with some of her skirts as she softly bites upon her bottom lip.

Tanned features turn toward Isabelle, listening to her small speech with an expression of mingled amusement and respect. "Well said, My Lady de Valais," he murmurs softly. And then she is introducing him.

Ah. Right. Alcibiades has rehearsed this.

When Isabelle gestures toward him, Alcibiades effects a courtly bow toward the others. "A pleasure, my ladies." He looks just a hint triumphant when he straightens — the seaman is no courtier, and this may well be his most successful attempt thus far. He didn't even spill his wine.

Straightening, he catches Emeraude's eye for a moment. Raising his glass in a polite toast, he takes a sip, eyes sparkling as he glances aside at Isabelle.

Leaning down, he murmurs something to the woman before stepping aside to collect two plates of food, returning to her side and offering one out.

Once it seems the majority of the guests and attendees have arrived and begun to socialize amongst themselves the curtain leading back into the halls of the Salon opens enough to admit the tall form of Piers into the room. The 'Novice' finally arriving at his own debut is wearing a rather martial uniform of black leather and silk. Two languid graceful steps are taken from the curtain he has arrived through and pale blue eyes sweep the lounge. There is a casual imperiousness to that look. The way he stands tall and confident. Head tilted just so to look down at the room and those gathered within it.

All the crimson robed attendants stop immediately upon his arrival. No longer conversing to draw attention to Piers' presence.

"Thank you for coming to tonight's event." Piers' voice carries easily, deeper and richer than his age would suggest. Confident and cool even though he gives warm words: "Tonight we will take you to a place you likely have never been. There we will play a game while we commence the bidding. Bidding will take place in stages, and blindly done. If there is a tie for the top bid and the winner of the game round has placed one of those bids then their bid is considered the winning bid for that round. We will continue until the bidding has ended and a winner is determined."

As he speaks Piers looks over each guest, his expression perfectly calm and controlled. Only the brightness of his pale blue eyes showing any amount of excitement or emotion for the situation: "None are required to participate in the game if they do not wish. I will be disappointed in those who do not however. If you have any questions, ask them now. If you are ready to depart, secure your blindfold over your eyes."

"Delphine le Blanc de Baphinol," the same offers in introduction, directed at the group of Isabelle, Alcibiades and Theodosia.

Emeraude quickly downs her second glass of wine and offers the now empty glass to one of those serving at the event and blushes deeply as she begins to take the blindfold and without fail brings it up to place it over her eyes and carefully tie it, her hands fumbling a few times as they softly shake but eventually it is secure. And she waits patiently as she softly chews upon her bottom lip. Her hands then rests at her sides as she tries to shake off the anxious feeling.

"Theodosia de Fhirze, of Namarre.." The girl says merrily, coming closer and raising her glass. "I should enjoy joining you for the night and see what it brings.. " She bows her head to Delphine too, sipping at her drink, then her laughter is cut short by the dramatic entrance of Piers. "Now, what could this be?" She asks, curiosity driving her.

But there he comes.

And Delphine assesses the tasty Thorn novice, in his martial look of casual dominance. With surprising ease, she slips her wrists out of the improvised binding and then brings the blindfold before her eyes, securing it, binding it tightly.

"Oh… Namarre is well presented here, my Lady de Fhirze.", Delphine adds towards Theodosia. "We shall see if either of us will get their nails into the debutant. Shall we make a bet?"

"A bet? I like that." The young woman smiles, licking a droplet of brandy off her lips and adds. "What should we bet on?" Theo's eyes are a deep blue, and her long eyelashes flutter merrily. "It seems this is a night for games and bets."

"Well met, Vicomtesse," Isabelle tells Delphine warmly, smiling broadly enough to chase an errant dimple from her left cheek. "And you as well, Lady de Fhirze." She would say more, but the debutant arrives, clad in the impeccably tailored and martial ensemble she has designed for him, with its bold lines and sparse, silver embellishments. The long coattails are somewhat of a signature - most of her own outerwear designs feature it this season, and in spite of her glib and imperious demeanor, there's a hint of both pride and satisfaction on her face; the look of an artist especially satisfied with her own work, and how the young man himself looks within them. Her smile eases up higher, turning her face towards Alcibiades as she murmurs her approval.

The small plate handed to her, she lets an attendant carry her wine, fingers picking at the offerings on her plate. She only manages a bite or two, however, when the debut is about to begin. She and her companion then draw their blindfolds over their eyes.

Piers moves easily into the room to those who bind the blindfolds over their eyes. First he moves to Emeraude. Those who have not yet blindfolded themselves would see the 'Novice' pause to consider the blindfolded woman, taking his time to look her over from head to toe. There is a hard clap of his heeled boots with every step as he paces around the woman.

When he wants them to.

Piers reaches up and checks the binding on the blindfold to make sure it is secure and covers her eyes with the padded silk: "No peeking." He says to the woman, his voice right at her ear. With a nod to an attendant to come take her hand and Piers steps away over towards Delphine to continue the ritualistic method of checking blindfolds.

Jehan-Pascal feels somewhat out of sorts dressing in all black. Maybe that's why he's taken such a time to turn up, though when he does it's smartly enough, in a long coat with a low, broad collar and wide cuffs buttoned in blackened pearl. A simple cotton blouse, below, loosely laced, might be something once worn to a funeral, but his trousers are beautifully made, of polished hide, dyed to a gleaming black with a bundled pleat down each thigh, met just below the knee by a black fur lining of a tall pair of boots. It's all brought back with him from his most recent sojourn to Avignon, specifically for the purpose; it might be he just brought back everything black in his wardrobe and mixed and matched until he found something that suited him. At any rate, he's here, and dressed to code, and has appeared just at the point that nobody much will have to look at him, all and sundry already drawing their blindfolds to. He watches the start of the game, his pale lips drawing into a charmed little smile, and thanks the red-robed figure who hands him the proper equipment with which to play along, sending him skirting about the side of the crowd, smiling sideways to Piers and settling silently near to a wall, where he can rest an elbow against something solid before negotiating the blindfold about his temples.

"Let us make a wager over a bottle of my finest… Hmm… Aspir Desireux. A rare rosé wine from my le Blanc kin.", Delphine suggests to Theodosia. "In case you win the debut. If I am to be the lucky one… well… you'd have to offer me something in turn."


Emeraude stands up a bit straighter as she hears the hard clap of the heeled boots. Her cheeks flushing deeply as her breathing hastens, her shoulders slight rolling back to make sure she is in perfect posture. An excited gasp escapes her lips as she feels him checking her blindfold and softly utters "I… I won't" Her hand then taken by the attendant and easily follows to wherever she is supposed to be lead.

Theodosia allows herself to be blindfolded, then she takes the attendant's hand.. the slender young woman breathing a bit faster.

"Welcome. Just in time to proceed to the main show. Please place your blindfold on if you wish to proceed to the next section." Piers dips his chin towards Jean-Paul in slight greetings to the man and then goes to check on Delphine's blindfold. Followed by Theodosia's. Each time a blindfold is checked and made sure it is secure an attendant comes and takes the individual by the hand.

Even with her blindfold neatly in place, Delphine senses the presence of Piers, because he wills it so. She remains silent though and waits until she is led off by an attendant. "Okay, so I'll keep the Aspire Desireux for myself…", she murmurs in belated comment, probably more to herself, as Theodosia won't be able to hear her anyway.

Jehan-Pascal eases his forearm in against the wall and strikes a sort of casual pose there, a piece of the architecture, with a supple play of tension between shoulders and hips, his free arm sweeping back the side of his coat to rest the back of his hand against the back of his hip, halfway to the small of his back, his elbow slightly crooked outward in the understanding that someone will sometime come and take it. Staying close to the wall lends him a hint of security— he can sense the approach of someone much more aptly when the faint resonances of their footfalls echo from the surface right near to his ear.

Bidding Room — La Rose Sauvage


There is very little light at all except those provided by the small short candles that sit in front of each patron at their circular table. Each patron has a hardwood chair with no padding to sit on. High backed with tall arms the chairs are very formal and beautiful in design, but not all that comfortable. By design.

Surrounding the tables is a wooden pathway that seems to be suspended over a bottomless black pit. The candles do not provide enough light to see down into the darkness to attempt to see a bottom. The walls are far enough away that they cannot be seen in the very dim light of the candles as well. It *feels* like a vast, open, and hollow space.

As guests put on their blindfolds and everything becomes darkness with black padded silk over their eyes a hand takes their own to guide them to their destination. The hands are covered in silk gloves but feel female in dimensions but could be a young man's perhaps. The hand gently guides each individual forwards at a careful pace.

"Be careful now. There is an incline coming."

The attendant's tell their charges as they are lead blindly. The ground turns slightly unstead, like one were walking on wooden planks. There is a soft creak of wood, the sound of shoes, boots, slippers on wood instead of stone. It is a winding path back and forth.

Eventually each patron is guided to a chair that is all hard wood, high backed, high arms, no padding at all. The seat is only moderately curved for comfort but there are worse seats. It is a very formal style of chair.

Once each guest is seated as comfortably as possible with their hands guided to be placed on a wooden table before them Piers voice rings out:

"You may remove your blindfolds."

Utter darkness reigns still even with the blindfolds removed at least at first. Crimson robed attendants come bearing fire on a long stick which they use to light three short candles before each patron at the circular table. The candles do not provide much in the way of light but the soft glow illuminates each person just enough that they can be seen by the rest. Once all the candles are lit the attendants step off to the side and fall backwards down into darkness. All around the table is what appears to be a bottomless pit. Sure just a trick of light and theatre, but there was no sound of the attendants landing on anything.

And from the darkness comes the light.

On this case, barely any light when the train finally ends and the proceedings begin. The yawning, dark pit before her captures her interest, if not just because the optical illusion it presents is so fascinating to her that for a moment, Isabelle does nothing but stop and marvel at it. Her hand has somehow remained on Alcibiades' inner elbow, the man's taller shadow giving her another protective shroud in which to keep herself mostly hidden and after a few more blinks, her eyesight quickly settles and adjusts to the new landscape. "Fascinating," she murmurs to her companion….and she can't help but extend a long leg, to try and toe the edge of the bottomless pit in an attempt to gauge the limits of the piece of theatre presented before them.

It's at her movements that she catches sight of the future Comte d'Avignon nearby, open surprise flitting over her expression. There's a lift of her fingers towards him in a wave, the bottomless pit suddenly forgotten, and her eyes immediately taking in what he wears, because she can't not - truly a woman perpetually enslaved by the whims and machinations of her art.

Her features warm in a smile, once Delphine finds herself properly, if perhaps a bit uncomfortably seated, and the blindfold is removed, so that hazel eyes blink into the warm light of three candles. "Quite the impressive scenario," the Vicomtesse of Namarrese origin states, a bit breathlessly perhaps, as she looks towards the other 'interested parties'. "This will be about games, hmm?" A question addressed to the room as a whole. And perhaps to Piers as well. Should he have come along with them.

The 'bottom' of the pit is not easily reached by simply extending a foot.

Theodosia trembles a bit, as she is being led along, the short girl chuckling a bit too , as her feet take step after step.

Too many long nights with a quill and a guttering lamp have already dimmed Jehan-Pascal's eyesight just that much. He's used to the feeling of looking up into the dark and kind of scrunching his eyes back into functioning shape with a few forceful blinks. But those lopsides manipulations of his eyelids avail him naught against the darkness unveiled by the removal of the darkness. He even lifts his first two fingers to rub his right eye— when the candles are brought and make e'erything a little less abyssal. A little less abyssal. A single booted toe does not venture down to test the chasm before him, but his knees draw up a little toward his chest, a heel finding purchase against a hard beam of the chair, his other knee rising to cross over the first, extending the line of his flounced leather trou in a rather beneficial manner even as he spots Isabelle and gives her a cheerful little wiggle of fingers and a kindly smile hello.

Emeraude gracefully but nervously walks along as she is lead by the attendant and slowly lowers herself into the seat she was guided to. When given the permission to remove the blindfold, her free hand reaches up to removes it and she curiously looks around the room, carefully studying over it. Though she remains quiet and eventually looking about to locate where Piers is now.

Each person or pairing has an individual table of their own, those small candles doing very little to spread the light around so that each person, all in black, is an almost ghostly visage to the others.

Silence reigns beyond their conversation as hushed or quiet as it may be until there is a new source of light. A candelabra lights all at once thanks to neat tricks with waxed wick running along the length of the candles to the tops. Five candles provide a proper illumination for him. He raises the candelabra and a small hanging chandelier of candles is lit as well to provide more ambient glow. Still not enough to see the walls or the bottoms of the 'pits' but enoughto see Piers.

"Now that we are all here." A black robed attendant sets out a series of small lidded black boxes, some parchment slips, quill and ink for each of the tables: "Those are for your bidding. Here is how the game will be played. It is very simple: I say to do something. You do it. I ask a question. You answer it. Loud enough for the rest of us to hear. Those who hesitate lose the round. The best answer or performance wins. After each round we shall begin a round of bidding. Write your bid on the parchment and place it in the box."

Piers stalks forwards over towards Delphine's table: "You may be wondering how you will know if you have lost the round." He tells the woman.

The whip at his side unfurls and his arm flashes. A loud crack is heard and one of the candles in front of Jehan-Pascal is snuffed with nary a splash of wax. Without even looking at Jehan-Pascal directly Piers notes firmly: "One should be respectful of the situation and how they present themselves. You have lost round one before we even begin."

The Novice must not have liked Jehan-Pascal's manner of indolent lounging!

"Indeed, Vicomtesse," the couturiere replies to Delphine. "Perhaps the victor to who braves the fall into the abyss?" For a moment, she leaves Alcibiades to his own devices - perhaps to get more refreshments. There is a pause that follows after, Isabelle inclining her head faintly at the rules of the game presented, brows lifting upwards slowly - do as commanded, tell as commanded. Lashes lid, the thrill of the challenge suffusing her bones. "So it be, then," she murmurs, more to herself than the rest of her companions. The rebuke towards Jehan-Pascal, however, has her attention gravitating back towards his direction, somewhat surprised.

A latecomer arrives to the event just now. Dressed in a slinky gown of black silk with softly shimmering pearls sewn onto its skirt in a swirling pattern, Arielle's outfit hugs her every curve perfectly. Heeled black slippers click softly as she drifts into the room calmly speaking in a gentle and curious tone. "I do hope I am not too late to take part?" She accepts the blindfold offered to her at the entrance and puts it on without hesitation, waiting to be guided to a table.

Jehan-Pascal isn't… lounging. That's just how he sits :-/

And he lifts an arm, flinching hard at the expectation of a strike that doesn't end up landing except on a candle in front of him. Which… he has to admit is pretty impressive, but it doesn't really clarify why or how he lost a round of a game he hardly realized had started. Ah, well. He applauds mildly for the trick shot performed by the debutant before realizing that it probably wasn't meant to garner applause, and so just folding his hands in a rather subdued fashion in his lap. "Yes, sir," he answers the rising adept with a game little smile.

"When your candles are out." Piers explains: "You are out of the game. Shrouded in darkness from my sight." And everyone else's sight. So there is a limit to how often one can lose!

An Attendant guides Arielle in and to the table, where she is whispered to remove her blindfold. Candles are lit for Arielle but when a third one is about to be lit Piers subtly shakes his head. Arielle is down a candle for her tardiness!

"There are abysses and abysses," Delphine muses lightly towards Isabelle. "I prefer those that don't hold the risk of spraining an ankle - or of breaking one's neck." But it seems, she is intrigued with the intelligent Valais lady. And similar to Isabelle, she reacts quite astonished, when Piers snuffs out one of Jehan-Pascal's three candles. "Monsieur Piers…" A faint protest? Before she relents. "I see," Delphine says, nodding her head to Piers. Her hands reach for quill and parchment and she begins to write. A fine smile curves her lips when she puts her bid into the box.

Emeraude patiently sits and awaits to see just how to ensure she is not left in the darkness. Eagerly she utters, "Yes… Yes Sir…" Her cheeks still a bit flush as her hands move to write in her own bid and deposit it into the box.

Theodosia smiles and tries to keep her eyes closed for a while before she opens them, she beams at Piers then with her chest rising and falling as she looks towards the strap in his hand..

As she is guided into her seat and the blindfold comes off Arielle peers about curiously. She blushes when she realizes her tardiness has set her back her and her head bows slightly in apology. She writes down a bid to place in the box with a gentle yet determined expression.

"The first question is an easy one." Piers says as he turns away from Delphin and with a twist of his hand the whip slithers across the floor with a subtle hiss that carries in the darkness. Rasp of leather on wood: "Give me a single word that defines your interest in my debut." The question is posed to each in turn, and he waits to hear all the answers before choosing a winner or loser.

Isabelle tilts her head, to murmur towards Delphine in confidence, eyes glittering with both amusement and challenge in equal measure. "An astute observation, my lady," she says. "Clever this, is it not? I believe the objective of the game may very well be a test of our iron." Dark eyes and their gold flecks wander to the debutant, lowering her voice in a further whisper.

And at the first question, without hesitation: "Challenge."

Arielle cants her head as Piers poses the question but answers quickly, right after Isabelle. "Endurance." She keeps her head slightly lowered watching Piers curiously from under her lashes.

"Youth!" This comes from Delphine, with a certain very intrigued gleam in her eyes. And yet, she looks confident, not at all displaying any of those appreciative shivers others are so ready to provide. The Vicomtesse d'Orange meanwhile, dares to add more. "And… tenacity?" Her gaze drifts over Piers' frame, despite the darkness, and one could wonder whether she would be able to add more of his obvious strengths.

To Isabelle, Delphine confirms, "Clever and so awfully diverting. Were it not the case, would we be here?"

Theodosia peeks towards the place where she hears the scrape of leather of wood, and the trembling of her body reveals her excitement. "Um.. one word.. " She licks her lips and adds. "Kiss."

Jehan-Pascal is generally a rather laid back and fairly genial personage. Being whip-cracked near-by, however, has set him a little on edge. No doubt that was the point of the demonstration, and it's done its job. Though if it was meant to instill discipline, maybe it has given rise to something quite to the contrary. Or just… quite contrary. He's marking up a bidding note when he hears the question, and his chin tips upward from the writing, letting a word come all free-association from the bottom of his diaphragm, without letting his mind have a chance to edit it into something that might make more sense to someone not already inside his head: "Abandon."

Emeraude bites her bottom lip before she responds to Piers, "Fascination." Her hands moving to temporarily fold in her lap as her eyes never leave him for one moment. A hint of a smile curling her lips.

"Interesting." Piers says after the answers have been given. The black robed attendant appears out of nowhere again, a dark shape amidst the darkness to collect the bids and taking note of each then whispers into Piers' ear. If he is surprised by the bids Piers doesn't show it. Instead he looks at each bidder while he receives the information. Maybe he hasn't even been told who the numbers were offered by.

Taking a step towards the center of the tables again, Piers withdraws a taller candle from inside his coat. Walking over towards Arielle's table, Piers lights the long candle off one of her smaller ones. Then lights her smaller candle that was never lit. A slight dip of his chin towards her acknowledges her answer. Moving away with a swirl of his coat and a hiss of that whip that draws along the ground behind him Piers places the lit longer candle in front of Emeraude on her table. Casting her in a brighter light than the rest.

Walking back to the center Piers waggles a finger at Delphine: "One word." He tells her with a tsk.

Piers then continues: "The top bid was a tie of ten thousand ducats." He announces matter of factly. Another sweep of his gaze over the tables and the patrons: "Round two. Yes or not. If you could have one act from me," Piers pauses, then continues after a moments silence, "Would you allow it to be done to you in front of everyone?"

Emeraude quickly responds "Yes." Her cheeks flushing deeply at her admittedance as she writes another bid down upon the paper and deposit it into the box

"One word?" Delphine meets that gaze of the debutant, biting her lip. Perhaps she disregarded his directions on purpose. The next question, though, has her reply without hesitation. "Yes." Offering that reply as she begins unhurriedly to pen her next bid. Which will find its eventual destination in the box.

Arielle peeks up at Piers as he approches her table, as her candle is lit she bows her head gratefully as she watches him go with the taller candle over to the table of another. Writing down her next bid she answers the question with a sly little smile. "Yes." She does not blush though doing her best to stay composed.

Theodosia pouts a little and giggles . "Yes" She looks around, giving Arielle a shy smile, apparently not minding being overbid so far

Jehan-Pascal leans forward slightly, angling his head to watch the debutant announce the results of the bidding, then leans back again to receive the next question. He wonders whether 'everyone' means 'everyone here,' or… a more general throng of onlookers. He can't ask, of course, so he'll assume the former, and while Piers is asking about, he considers the make-up of the room, attention lingering near Delphine for a moment before a smile warms his expression and he renders up a yes, as well.

Nobody gets their candle snuffed. Yes was apparently the right answer though his attention wandered to each speaker as it was given to judge their reaction and their answer. Piers gathers up the whip into a coil again as he waits for the bids to be gathered again by the black robed and cowled attendant. Words are once more whispered to the Novice and there is a faint nod.

"The top bid, is twenty one thousand and two hundred ducats." Piers announces. No tie that time. Which is good cuz everyone was a winner!

"Next round: What would that act /be/." Piers 'asks' in so much that a cool demand can ever be a question.

Emeraude bites her bottom lip before a moment before she responds, "A spanking." And she curiously studies over him as her breathing hastens a touch and she shifts in her seat.

Arielle studies Piers intently, raising her head a bit as he asks his question. She answers him gently yet firmly keeping her composure still firmly in place. "A whipping game where every time I scream I earn another punishment of your choice."

Theodosia giggles a bit. "Someone has a lot more money than I do.." Which probably is a good thing for her finances, but even so she nods and looks up, hearing the other desires, the petite Namarrese whispers a bit slowly. "Kneeling..and performing the languisement on someone, with my eyes tied."

Quietly Arielle will send a message over to Theodosia and from her seat she watches the woman with a curious smile.

Delphine lifts her brows, after meeting Jehan-Pascal's gaze. Of course, they are acquainted, as would befit the future Comte d'Avignon. Perhaps not quite bound by ties of blood, but of marriage. But then the highest bid is announced, and it makes the Vicomtesse's brows furrow. Her hands fold before her on the table, in pointed inaction. Her reply, however, she gives to Piers nó Rose Sauvage, with the sweetest of smiles and a glow in those hazel eyes of hers. "That act, would be…" The drawl may be impertinent, as the pause demands attention. And how cheeky the gleam of her gaze, how wicked the twist of her mouth. "My hands bound, behind my back, me kneeling before you, holding your gaze as I do my particular take of the languisement upon you.", Delphine declares, in a husky voice at a low volume. Not without a certain confidence. A pity, she does not write down another bid.

Jehan-Pascal eases his back against the uncomfortable seat backing of the chair into which he's been settled. His hands lace around the fore of the higher up of his two knees. The question is an easy one, the one act that has ever tempted him to try the nest of thorns at all, being as averse to pain as he is. And since he'd already given thought to having it performed in front of those present, to admit to it is hardly troublesome: "Being suspended at the wrists by ropes and my clothing removed by means of a blade, down to my undergarments." Not overtly a sexual act, but one that he finds somehow unbearably compelling. Isabelle will perhaps note he's not wearing any of the clothes she made for him. Perhaps they were chosen for dispensability as well as color. Though it would be a bit of a sartorial tragedy to lose the trousers — it might be worth it.

Her answer, in the first round, was of course 'yes'.

But when asked to describe what that act would be, Isabelle lifts her eyes to meet those pair of blues from the shadows, and when she speaks, her voice is soft, and low, making the most of the smoke of her natural contralto - the audible imprints of candlelit confessionals, of rich, dark brandy. "I would let you truss me up," she murmurs. "In any contortionist's knot you desire - suspended in the air, spread eagled on the floor, on my knees or bent over a block. In any material of your choice - silk ropes, or leather….or the sharpest piano wire, if you prefer." She tilts her head at that. "Tight enough to cut, perhaps, at every flick of your finger."

She tilts her head back further, looking up from under the shadows cast by her lashes. "I'd beg you to whip me," she continues with that low murmur. "I'd beg you to bleed me. I'd beg you to tear me apart as you stand there, looking down at me, helpless and squirming, letting me fall further into the snares of my imagination. I'd plead, whisper what I want you to do to me, tell you what I think about while I'm alone, in the dark, and what I would do to myself at the thought of your punishments. And then I would offer everything…my skin, my breath, every single opening in my body that would fit you. And when you finally oblige me, when you think I've finally had enough…"

Her lips tilt upwards faintly. "I'll scream. In front of everyone in this room."

As what bids are taken, just two actually, Piers takes out another long candle and walks over to Isabella's table. The long candle is lit and placed in front of her on the table which illuminates her and her date even further. As he is drawing his whip, looking around to see who's candle is getting snuffed the attendant comes and whispers into his ear.

Piers nods faintly and coils the whip tightly. Setting it on it's hook on his belt: "The winning bid is twenty seven thousand and five hundred ducats. Thus ends the game." A dip of Piers' chin towards everyone: "Thank you for coming. Please enjoy yourselves and avail yourselves of other courtesan's tonight if yours was not the winning bid. I shall see some of you soon."

Attendants come to gather up the patrons who did not win and escort them back out to the main foyer of la Rose Sauvage.

Emeraude looks a touch crestfallen as she did not win, soon gracefully getting up and beginning to make her way out of the event as her cheeks deeply flush all the more. She wants to get out of the black clothing so bad!

There's a faint smile at the candle placed in front of her table, Isabelle inclining her head towards Piers. With the winning bid announced, the young woman rises from her table, her hand moving to curl her fingers around Alcibiades' inner elbow. Both bodies follow the attendants who escort them out, though she lowers her voice in a murmur towards Delphine, before exiting the room. But she waits, of course - she has not yet greeted Jehan-Pascal and she moves to stand to the side of the entryway; she had noticed that the man, himself, was not wearing any of the autumn wardrobe that she has designed for him, but then again, her palettes for him had been heavily focused on color….and the evening's dress code calls for anything but.

Whatever had prompted Delphine to venture out to this debut tonight… She does not regret her decision to not go up further with her bidding. A vicomtesse holds a certain responsibility. When Piers declares the amount of the winning bid, Delphine inclines her head, perhaps a touch relieved that someone else will have to shoulder that immense sum. Not waiting for an attendant to 'gather her up', she moves to stand, giving Piers a look and a smile, before she departs. "Master your challenges, Monsieur," the Baphinol by marriage murmurs towards Piers and then turns to Jehan-Pascal, to see if he is escorted out as well. Pausing just to receive that murmur from Isabelle, Delphine whispers back a reply, too low to be overheard.

Jehan-Pascal is a little intimidated— first by the way Isabelle's fancy stepped straight past his comfort zone and marched confidently three miles in the opposite direction of it. He finds quite little sensual about being in actual pain, which is probably the reason he doesn't show up very often amid the thorns, and he only tries to listen politely without wincing too badly about the eyes. Thank heaven for his partially whip-trimmed trio of candles. When the bidding is completed, he also is a little timid o try to climb down out of the chair— not being able to see the floor, he sort of hovers a booted foot downward until he taps along a surface and makes sure it continues. Fortunately, someone comes along to lend him an arm and the confidence of following someone who knows where to walk. Meeting up with Delphine and Isabelle by the door, he releases his escort with a kind and gracious expression of thanks and a kiss to his own fingertips to lay upon the attendant's arm. "My Lady Aunt," he greets the former with a nephew's courteous manner and a kiss to her cheek, as if they had not just confessed their darkmost fancies in front of one another AT ALL. "How are you? Isabelle, how good to see you returned," he gushes softly over both of them.

Arielle sends a soft yet triumphant smile to Theodosia as she hears the winning bid. Her eyes glitter with interest in the candle light as she watches those around her, many of them moving to leave. Rising to her feet she moves over to Theodosia speaking softly to her. "It has been a most enjoyable evening has it not?"

The note from Arielle had sparked Theo into movement, and she's watched the proceedings with more interest…having returned her own note. And then she sees that their is the winning bid, making the young woman blush…and stand up, going to meet Arielle. "Well, it has, and it promises to be even more so!" She takes Arielle's hand and entwines her fingers with the other woman's. "Now…shall we go..see what we have gained?"

If she means every word, Isabelle shows no sign of it - the objective was to win, and if she is part of a game, she makes it a point to make the attempt. With the young woman standing by the side of the entryway, speaking with the Lady Delphine and chuckling softly at something she says, she makes room for Jehan-Pascal to provide his aunt with his gentle affections, and her hand slips away from her own escort, to reach for Jehan-Pascal with both of her own, to clasp his fingers if allowed, and kissing both his cheeks. "You look well," she tells him with a smile. "I hope you've not missed me too much. I brought something with me from Kriti to give to you and thankfully, those odious pirates haven't made a mess of its wonderful patina, but that can wait - perhaps in our weekly luncheon? I was just gossiping with your lovely aunt." There is a gesture towards her companion. "May I present Captain Alcibiades Rousse of the Myrmidon, who managed to fish me out of the water and return me to where I belong."

"Nephew." Delphine's smile brightens and she does not look troubled at all, at the notion of what had been confessed at this Thorn debut. Turning her head slightly to receive that kiss to her cheek, her lips pressing against his own side of the face. "I was surprised to see you here. But well… Naamah's ways are twisted sometimes…" At which she tosses Jehan-Pascal a wink. "As for how I am…? I am… slightly nervous. It will be Inesse's sixteenth natality tomorrow. A day that will certainly remind me of how many years have come to pass since I gave birth to my dear daughter…", is confessed in a low murmur below her breath, most possibly overheard by Isabelle and the Baphinol heir.

Piers bows his head very faintly to those who are leaving and then walks over towards where Arielle and Theodosia have met up together. Looking down at the two noble women his chin dips again: "Congratulations. Follow me and we shall arrange the details of your assignation." He doesn't need any help in guiding the two away from the remaining gathering and makes his way out of the room with them through a different exit. He doesn't even look back, people don't pay /that/ much to win a debut, and then not collect. Their following is expected.

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