(1310-11-09) Potential Perils of Tree Climbing
Summary: … are discussed when there is some conversation in the room of contemplation, between the newcomer Laurentin, adept Lois and novice Coty.
RL Date: 09/11/2018
Related: None
lois laurentin coty 

Room of Contemplation — Salon de Coquelicot

Godly beauty, a wide, tall sacral chamber in muted tones of beige tile playing along the floors and walls, punctuated with roundels of burgeoning red marble and striated with an octastyle collonade of fat, serene columns thrusting powerfully to the ceiling, black marble veined with streaks of red and sparkling with flakes of gold polished to the surface. In the ceiling, four round panels of pearlescent material allow daylight in through the mottled gold-tan of the pearly windows, each painted with symbols of serenity and contemplation. In between the columns, along the three walls of the building's wide northern wing, narrow-slit windows are covered with billowing red curtains which can be drawn back to let in more light or to help regulate the temperature inside a room which tends toward retaining heat even in the chill of winter.

The space is truly massive and can be adapted to many and various high functions; on a day-to-day basis there are likely to be adepts practicing graceful yoga poses on intricately woven mats, a novice at each corner of the room, striking resonant chimes in harmony with one another to pace the breathing of those in meditation, a healthy frolic of youth in and around the wide columns, joyful prayer and readings from ancient collections of wisdom and insight.


It is a late morning, one of those lazy mornings where hardly a patron can be encountered at the salon, and Lois has withdrawn to the room of contemplation after a brief breakfast. The young adept wears her red hair in a braid, and a dress that is more functional than sensual by any means. Green is the dress with long sleeves, and it charms her figure more than it wraps tightly about it. Grabbing a cushion from somewhere, she then moves to a kneel, hands resting in her lap with their palm up, her back straight, and her gaze going distant as she begins with her late morning meditation.

It has been a few weeks now since Laurentin's arrival in the City, and thusly, to the Salon. Surely by now the hubhub about the two Mont Nuit courtesans that moved to Marsilikos has finally died down, and the odd contraptions that were moved (and installed) in Laurentin's room are no longer the main subject of hushed speculation among the novices.

Having returned from one of his excursions into the city, the Gentian has once more dressed down, as he is wont to do when he is not planning to meet a patron or venture out on 'official' business to not attract too much attention to himself: The linen clothes would pass for commoner wear, worn and almost threadbare in places they have seen plenty of use over the years. Black pants, an off-white shirt, and the cloak of faded blue. As usual, he has forgone any shoes now that he is in the Salon, padding barefoot into the room.

His movements are unhurried, as he enters, offering a smile and a nod to one of the novices he seems to recognize, before he too seeks to secure himself one of the pillows, though once he has it in hand, he seems to let his gaze sweep over the room, as if not quite sure where to settle down this morning, yet.

Coty is busy with…chores of all things. Goodness knows who he managed to annoy, but he's currently occupied with sweeping the Room of Contemplation with a stiff bristled broom. Still, he doesn't seem to be taking it too badly and, although he tries not to disturb any of the more meditative visitors, such a Lois and potentially Laurentin, occasional snatches of song can be heard as he hums quietly to himself.

Coty is far from a new sight around the salon, having been here since he was a child, though with his debut coming closer perhaps he's starting to draw a little more attention than he used to. Today, he's also barefoot, and shirtless as well, the boy well known for never wearing anything more than is strictly necessary. He's wearing a pair of loose cotton pants as he works, though to be fair he's now been at it a while and his task is near complete, a small pile of dust and debris being gathered up near one of the doors.

Meditation requires silence and tranquility. Even so, Lois' features settle into a calm expression as she closes her eyes, turning her senses away from worldly and wordy things. Senses sharpening to perceive audible sensations. The movement in the room. The tap-tapping of bare feet on the wooden floor. The sound of the broom as it sweeps the chamber. It will be the humming, however, that pulls the young adept from her moment of contemplation - when blue eyes are revealed as they open and glance about. She sees Coty and she smiles, moving to stand in one fluid motion. Her own feet are bare as well, and it seems to be warm enough here for her not to catch a chill. "Good morning," she greets the novice with a warm smile — in a low whisper. "How are you?" Her gaze sweeps to where Laurentin has settled himself and she lifts her finger to her lips, as if eager not to disturb the fully marqued courtesan.

It is not exactly the quietest place, with the chimes and the like. surely if one wishes for a total silent room to meditate, one would find better suited places. It is the calm enough to do so, and yet offering enough community and impulse to propel thoughts along lines that solitude and silence do not.

Laurentin has indeed picked a spot and he started to move in that direction, flopping the pillow to the ground, before he sits himself down on it in a cross-legged fashion. It is, however, the lifting of the finger to Lois lips, the look in his direction that draws his eyes to the pair, and he has to chuckle, shaking his head. "Please.", he whispers in their direction. "Don't worry about me. I am just weary from the walk across town. You're not disturbing me.". A tilt of his head is given to the two, his brows furrowing a little. "I am sorry. I do not think I have all the names memorized yet…".

Coty isn't one of the world's great singers, but he can carry a tune fairly well, so the humming wasn't exactly a total din, though enough to grab Lois' attention. He winces a little when Lois rises to her feet and he realizes he's disturbed her, though his features light up with a warm smile when she draws nearer. He's just about to speak when Lois gestures to Laurentin and so, when Coty does answer, it's in a quiet whisper to the adept. "Good morning" he smiles warmly, leaning against his broom a second. "I'm well, how are…" which is right when Laurentin speaks to them. This draws Coty's attention because Laurentin is /new/ and clearly brought /instruments of torture/ with him. At least, that is the gossip. Lifting a hand to his chest when Laurentin asks their names, Coty introduces himself with another of those warm smiles and a slight bow of his head. "I'm Coty!" he offers chirpily.

Lois' eyes alight when Laurentin assures them that they are not disturbing. And so her voice will be less of a whisper when she replies, "I am Lois, Monsieur. An adept of Gentian flavor. Such as you… even if… you must find our salon small compared to the size and grandeur of Gentian House." If she heard of instruments of torture or the like does not show. "Good morning," she adds towards Coty. "You should perhaps swept this room a bit earlier in the morning, as it tends to be crowded at this hour.

"Lois. And Coty.", Laurentin echoes, nodding his head a few times, as if willing himself to remember the names. So. Many. Names. Still, when Lois speaks of Gentian house, he has to chuckle again. "Oh, Mont Nuit is almost overwhelming sometimes, but…", he trails off a little, shrugging his shoulders, "…it has been a long time since I have been there.". A hand lifts from his thigh, to gesture around theroom. "The Salon is beautiful, and the blend of canons is well chosen and refreshing.", he does turn the praise back to his new home, and by extension, to the two servants of Naamah before him. "And it is always a pleasure to meet another with the gift, my dear Lois.", he comments.

For a moment he turns his attention to Coty then, though he waits for the young man's reply to Lois' suggestion, before he tilts his head. "Coty. I heard that name before…", he tilts his head, then ahs. "You are the next to debut, are you not?". Finally he dips his head. "I am Laurentin.". The pile of dust at Coty's feet? It is given a brief look, lips curving upwards a little. "What did you do?".

Coty lifts a hand to rub at the back of his neck, glancing around a little awkwardly when Lois points out he picked the wrong time of day to do his chores. "When you're right you're right…" Coty nods in agreement glancing about, as the room is indeed beginning to fill up. There's a certain look of admiration as Coty glances between Lois and Laurentin when they speak of the Gentian gift, something he's never showed any ability with, unfortunately.

When Laurentin turns his attention to him however, Coty grins brightly and nods a few times in quick succession. "It is my turn next!" he beams, seeming pretty excited about it. "I'm hoping to get a pretty good price" he enthuses, though there is a hint of uncertainty there. The comment about the pile of dust raises a nervous laugh, Coty raking fingers through his hair as he glances down at the floor. "I was erm…well, climbing the trees in the garden again…" he shrugs, cheeks flushing slightly red.

"It is a nice place to be," Lois agrees softly with Laurentin, "and there are still separate areas for adepts and courtesans of the different flavors. I do love the blend though. I have some skill in massages as well, as it often helps to make a patron feel more at ease…" She smiles then, when Coty announces himself as being the next to debut. "Ah! Yes! How exciting! I can imagine you must be looking forward to it. Has a date been set yet? And do you have an idea already for the theme of the fête?"

Laurentin has to chuckle a little at that admission. "Tree climbing. So shortly before you debut?", he wonders, shaking his head a little. "You do not want to fall and injure yourself now, would you?", he does caution. "Even if you do not gain scars, that could set you back months…", he adds, though his voice is calm and measured, just laying out such dire paths that his life could take, almost serenely.

As for Lois, Laurentin nods his head at her. "Massages can do so yes. I find it important and helpful to accustomize a patron to your touch, and massages surely manage to do so.". He studies the young adept for a moment. "You manage the strain of the gift well?". Perhaps a bit blunt, the question, but it is vague enough voiced that surely she can evade the question if she wishes to.

His attention does turn back to Coty though, at the question of dates and fete.

"I know…" there is actually just a hint of a whine in Coty's term as he responds to Laurentin's dire prophecies of the risks of tree climbing. A gentle reminder that he is, ultimately, still a sixteen year old boy. Still, it doesn't seem to dampen his spirits for long and that gentle smile soon returns, glancing between Laurentin and Lois as they discuss their gift and techniques. Probably looking to pick up some tips. Coty himself is known to lean more toward balm, with a smattering of Heliotropeyness. When the question comes about dates and a theme for his fete, Coty's eyes briefly widen just a touch and his features, pale as they are, blanch ever so slightly. "Err…not yet?" he responds with a nervous laugh, a hand wandering to play with a collar that isn't actually there.

Lois glances towards Coty when Laurentin points out the potential perils of tree climbing, and her expression remains serene somewhat, and thoughtful as she seems to be caught in her own contemplations. When asked by the older courtesan about the strain of her gift, she lowers her gaze to consider the question for a moment. "Meditation helps," she replies then. "And so far, my patrons have been of easy disposition. There hasn't been any… harsh memories I have been forced to observe, so far. I am still new to my service, with only three months that have passed since my debut." A smile then, as she looks towards Coty. "Oh… don't worry. I am certain, Mademoiselle Elspeth will help you with finding a theme. It will be a wonderful occasion."

The faintly whining tone? It does not seem to bother Laurentin much, though there is a hint of amusement curving his lips upwards, especially when the young man starts to fidget about the fete and date. "Well, my dear Coty. Leaving Novice-hood does mean to take responsibilities beyond what you were used to. This includes taking some charge of yourself.". He gestures to the broom, but does seem to sweep his hand up his body as well. "Making sure you are fit for service to Naamah. Making sure you represent your Salon and not embarass it by being appropriate. And yes, starting to take an interest in your own future, seek the help of the Seconds to plan your debut.". So calm, quiet his voice, even when he is being a bit evil to the novice.
As for Lois, he does turn his eyes to her, studying her expression, before he nods, holding out a hand to her, palm up. No matter if she does take it or not, he does caution, "…even if they are not experiencing harsh dreams, it is draining. Don't be afraid to turn down an assignation or postpone them. You will do neither yourself nor your patron a favor if you are not rested and at an equilibrium yourself.", he offers, before he glances back at Cody, then at Lois once more. "What has your theme been?".

That nervous look is certainly not helped along by Laurentin's 'friendly' advice. Coty sort of lets himself in for this though, having one of those faces that immediately gives away every thought or feeling. His eyes glance briefly downward and he shuffles a little awkwardly, lifting a hand to rub at the back of his neck as Laurentin lectures him all about his new responsibilities. Man, it really sounds a lot! Eventually though, he answers with a "Right" and a more definitive nod of his head, the boy looking somewhat more encouraged by Lois' suggestion of speaking to Elspeth about it. While he mulls this over, Coty rests his chin on the end of the broom he's still holding, those big blue eyes still watching the two more accomplished courtesans as they discuss their Gentian canon.

"I shall heed your advice," Lois tells Laurentin, tilting her head a little to the side as she… pulls her hand from the folds of her gown and the other two might notice that she holds two pebbles in her fingers, turning them slowly in her hand as she speaks. "Fortunately, I have been granted enough time inbetween assignations so far for a full recovery and a return to balance. It is a gift, yes." Her lips curl in a smile, "and I understand that it also can become a burden, in certain circumstances." Stepping a little to the side, she turns, and then adds, to Laurentin's question, "Mine was a double debut, together with Annais, who is of Heliotrope flavor. Our theme was a tale… of unicorns. A fairy tale, in a way. I was the pixie and she was the princess." The memory seems to amuse her. "I believe our guests were well entertained."

Stressing the novice out a little bit? That is part of the fun as an adept and courtesan! Ahem. Of course it is meant to focus them, so they do succeed in their debut as well, spurring them on, while offering advice and assistance.

As Lois explains her techniques for dealing with the stress of their gift, and then uses the pebbles to exercise, Laurentin smiles. "Very well. Just know, if you need to talk about anything, that you can knock on my door anytime.", he offers, simply enough, then smiles softly. "As I hope I will be able to knock on yours. Sometimes it is easier to explain to people who know first hand what we speak of.", he offers.

"A pixie and a unicorn? And a princess?", he tilts his head, eyebrows to loft. "I…think I am missing part of the tale, but yes, that sounds delightful.".

Coty doesn't seem to mind Laurentin's ribbing /too/ much. He's been in the Salon a lot of years now after all, so it's not the first or the last time that one of the older courtesan's has picked on him a little. A couple of years ago he might well have kicked Laurentin for his trouble, though he's actually calmed down a lot and now just sort of takes it all fairly mildly. "They tried to see if I could do that when I first got here" Coty explains, rolling a shoulder into a lazy shrug as he leans on his broom "But I never had any sign of the gift" he confesses, though he doesn't seem too put out by it. "Maybe we could do something with flowers, or candy, or something…" Coty suggests, more or less just listing off things he is known to like. "Naked candy eating with flowers?" is suggested, chewing thoughtfully on his bottom lip.

"Thank you, Laurentin," Lois says, nodding her head to the more experienced Gentian, and her glance and her tone is that of gratitude. "And of course… you may come to me if there is anything I can help with. My bunk is in the dormitory though." The clarification comes with an apologetic flutter of a smile. "While you of course, due to your advancement, have a chamber of your own." Her expression becomes once again thoughtful and slightly dreamy, as she remembers the fête of her debut. "The tale," she explains softly, "was something Annais and I had come up with. A princess was chased into a forest by some evil villain, and a pixie had decided to help her escape. They rode on a unicorn deeper into the forest, the enchanted part, where they fell asleep — and the bidding ensued."

Then Coty shares his ideas, and Lois cannot help but chuckle. "A pretty bold idea, that. I am not sure, Mademoiselle Elspeth would approve. As for flowers and candy, hmm…" She smiles, glancing at the pebbles in her hand. "Perhaps… we could create a tower from candies, with flowers strewn in as decoration…"

Laurentin grins actually when Lois speaks of her having a bunk. "Well. Yes. I was trying to be figurative.", he says, but apparently does not mind the explaining the adept does. With the offers exchanged and accepted, however, he does turn his attention back to Coty and the tales of the debuts. "Mhm. I suppose one could fashion some semblance of attire out of the various styles of candy.", he muse, tilting his head. "Though I would suspect that might become a sticky mess if not done carefully.". As for the pixie and the princess, Laurentin nods, smiling. "Quite fitting. I am sure you were quite successful.". Well, he wasn't here to witness it, but the young adept seemed pleasant enough.

Coty laughs when both Lois and Laurentin kind of point out the gaping flaws in his master plan of 'naked candy eating with flowers' which is obviously the most inspired debut idea in…well…forever. There's an exaggerated sigh, coupled with a laugh. "I mean, maybe they could eat candy off of one another?" another thoughtful look, then a shake of his head. "I will think of something!" he beams eventually, his spirits seemingly undimmed by the prospect. "I think I was grounded and had to stay in my room for your debut" Coty confesses when Lois explains about her own, a rueful smile finding his expression at the admission. Coty is sometimes the wayward child of the salon, it must be said.

*Click* - *click*

Lois turns the pebbles in her hand, contemplating perhaps the quality of candy when used as some sort of garment. "It would be sticky," she agrees with Laurentin, "eating it off someone… sounds sensual though. Perhaps too sensual for our salon? Perhaps Mademoiselle ELspeth will approve of the idea.", is offered with a light shrug of shoulders.

*Click-a-dee-click*

"A pity you weren't there. But I recall… there was an incident?" A smile of empathy is offered to Coty, and Lois regards him with mild curiosity.

"Perhaps it is a nice idea for an event: Allowing our guests to create candies and sweets to gift to their loved ones?", Laurentin wonders, those brown eyes unfocusing for a moment as his mind goes off on a tangent, which it is prone to do sometimes. A blink, then he sighs. "Though it might be risky, given how hot melted sugar can be…". Not like the Wax Voyeurs at all! Ahem.

"There is a language of flowers as well, of course. And many of them are used to color or flavour candies…". Brainstorming, it is really, but finally his eyes turn to the clicking from Lois hand, and he chuckles.

"An incident?", he echoes, before eyes turn back to Coty, expectantly. Yep, now he has to tell the tale!

"I don't think she would" laughs Coty, shaking his head a few times when Lois suggests Elspeth might approve of the idea. Coty's eyes watch as Lois twirls those stones about in her hands, tracing their movements with interest. It's sort of mesmerizing to watch really. Coty is quite fascinated. So fascinated in fact that it takes talk of 'the incident' to bring him back to reality. He looks up, eyes wide as a deer taken by surprise for a moment or two. Blink. Blinkblink. A low, pained moan accompanies the sight of Coty deflating as though Lois has just stuck a pin in him. "He was /asking/ for it…" Cody's voice gets that slight whine to it again. That's his story and he is sticking to it!

"Hmmm." Lois considers Coty for a moment. "And you probably hadn't found that point of balance… about here…" The hand with the pebbles is lowered, fingers curling around the stones as she lifts the other and places her palm against his chest, in the area where his heart must be beating. "To provide healing, we must be whole and… focused, Coty." That whine! It has her eyes roll ever so slightly. But the smile remains on her features. "At ease. With ourselves and the world." To put it simply.

Laurentin watches the adept offer her own advice to the novice, and does not offer any other on top of that. Nope. Just watches the interaction between the two. Until at last, he speaks up. "/Who/ was asking for /what/…?". See, they did not actually /tell/ the tale yet!

"I know" Coty responds, glancing off down and to one side, obviously not terribly impressed with himself when push comes to shove. "I'm doing better now. I had been doing better up until then…" Coty explains and there is no whine in his tone any more, it all seems fairly earnest. "I'm keeping on working on it. Miss Elspeth has me doing meditation and reading philosophy" he explains. Which probably doesn't explain why he has a broom in his hand, but there you go. Looking next to Laurentin, when he presses on the matter, Coty explains "There was this boy in the market, who was being…well, he was being an ass" a long pause "So I punched him in the jaw, then he got me in the mouth, split my lip open. There was blood everywhere." a frown "Anyway, I couldn't go to Lois' debut with a cut on my lip, so I had to stay in the dormitory."

Laurentin listens to the explanation, and he ahs. There is no censure from the older courtesan. Why, he already had his punishment, after all. "Perhaps he /was/ asking for it. Sometimes people do that. They do not realize it, but they want, deep down, be punished for something and then they act out. It does not work, though. It is not the punishment that soothes your soul, it is the repenting. And you do not repent by provoking someone into hitting you.", he focuses instead on the boy, rather than the novice at first. "It is not easy to stand by when we think something is unfair or unjust, and perhaps we should not. But what path we chose to right those wrongs matters. You let him control your actions, instead of controlling them yourself.". A shrug is given. "You know better now.".

Coty looks to be bracing himself at first, perhaps waiting for Laurentin to tell him off. But then he doesn't and Coty looks wary, as though waiting for the other shoe to drop. Eventually however it really seems like Coty is going to make it through without being told off about it again and a hint of that smile creeps back in, the novice standing up just a little straighter as he gains back a modicum of his confidence in the situation. "I'm working on it" Coty agrees, when Laurentin tells him he knows better now. "I've always been scrappy, since even before I came here…" a gesture around, referring to the Salon. "I'm actually a lot better than I used to be. Sometimes I still end up losing it though" he confesses. "I'll keep working on it" he nods.

There had been a wince, when Coty described the injuries sustained from the incident. And yet, Lois leaves the talking to Laurentin, when the courtesan speaks to the young novice and gives him advice. A flicker of a smile to given to Coty and then to Laurentin, when Lois suddenly notices the time and takes her leave, knowing of other chores that await her. "Do that," she tells Coty, before she slips out, stowing the pebbles away in her little pouch, bare feet touching the floor in soft footfall as she makes her way towards the entrance hall of the salon.

A nod is given by Laurentin. They probably are like fire and water, really. The man as reserved and controlled as perhaps humanly possible, but surely he has not started out like that himself. "Of course you will.", he states, simply. "You are a servant of Naamah. You dedicated yourself to her service and you will do your best to serve her.". There seems to be no doubt about that in the man's tone or eyes when he watches Coty. "Sometimes we misstep. The Companions know we are not perfect. It is just important we learn from that.". With that, he turns to regard Lois as she makes her departure, and he has to chuckle.

The departure of Lois and her mention of chores has Coty looking down at the broom in his hand and perhaps more pointedly at the little pile of dust and debris he's swept up from around the room. There's a momentarily guilty look around, as though keeping watch for whoever set him the task to begin with, though the coast seems to be clear for now, at least. There's certainly a hint at times that Coty is growing into his role as he approaches his debut, though there are still more than occasional glimmers of the boy beneath, as well. "Thank you, for your advice" Coty smiles brightly, nodding affirmatively at his words.

The look is not missed, and Laurentin takes a deeper breath, resting his hands on his thighs again, before he closes his eyes. A slow release of his breath. "You are most welcome, Coty.". A heartbeat, or two. "I am sure we shall see each other again soon, when you have less chores.", he releases the boy from the conversation, so he can do what he was tasked with. Meditation it is.

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