(1310-11-14) Intrigues
Summary: Aurélie overhears something and dares to ask questions.
RL Date: 01-03/12/2018
Related: Tonnerre plot

Palais des Trois Frères — Tonnerre — Namarre

It's a quiet night in the Tonnerre manor. Jean hasn't had it renovated yet from the previous occupant, some steward working the appanage for the Duc L'Envers. On the other hand, it is luxurious and spacious enough, and there's evidence that the seneschals now overseeing the estate make sure it is meticulously cared for. The Palais des Trois Freres has a room nicknamed the Intrigue Room, where the local nobles go to discuss their various grievances before the lords' representatives.

And while there are no news of Jean L'Envers or the success of his entourage, Aurelie has been left to oversee - and overhear - the various topics at hand. Some give askance looks to her, some ignore, and some are receptive and chatty. Some earnest, some not. It is up to her to find out just who else might be involved with the episodes of brutal waylaying that have haunted the countryside of the Vicomte's vassals.

It is an odd situation, for Aurélie, to be left in Tonnerre, and now, merely by the obvious connection between her and the Vicomte, she appears to be the one, people might approach with their concerns, in the hope she would pass them on to Jean. She has chosen more courtly sort of dresses lately, even if of a high-waisted cut, as her condition becomes more and more obvious with each week that passes. It certainly adds a healthy rosiness to her complexion that is not the deliberate consequence of a blush, more a radiance of sorts. And so she tries to use this to her advantage, being all chatty and amiable, and also… observant. Talk would return now and then to the topic of the raids, as Aurélie naturally must be curious to the extent. With Jean still being away on his mission of hunting down those involved, his courtesan is indeed keen on gathering as much as she can about the current state of the lands — and raiders that may haunt them.

Aurelie spends 1 luck points on Trying to find out stuff about the raids.
<FS3> Aurelie rolls Investigation+5: Good Success. (4 1 3 3 3 5 8 1 7 2 5)

She manages to hear a seigneur, sworn to one of the Barons, complain to the chief of said Baron's guard: "And yet I'm told it's that man sworn to Auxerre, the Baron who married a Courcel woman, who is bankrolling these brigands. It's strange, to say the least. But then, wasn't he also involved in some organization or another in the past? Something about smugglers…"

<FS3> Aurelie rolls Politics: Good Success. (7 3 8 5 3 1 2 1)

Aurélie catches those words, or at least enough of them that she raises her gaze to regard the man in question. With a soft rustle of skirts she rises from her seat and elects to approach him. "Seigneur. Might I ask who you are speaking of?", the blonde woman asks, letting her green eyes take in the appearance of the seigneur, but also somehow including the guard in her line of vision. There is a slow blink of her eyes, innocent almost, where it not for the attentive awareness lingering within them. Maybe the question is a ruse, and she is already well aware of whom he had been referring to. Or maybe she wants to assess the man's loyalties, and how he stands towards her, and the somewhat vague role she is currently playing. Oddly enough, with her left in charge of things at Jean's home, she may be viewed as his representative, but this role stands on shaky ground — as it will stay or fall with the impression she makes. "In the name of our lord Jean l'Envers, I must insist on you telling me all you know about our suspicions." Her voice is soft, the volume lower and almost confidential.

"Vouzon, my Lady. The Baron de Vouzon." The nobleman replies to Aurelie after her questions as she urges him, studying the courtesan with a quirk of his eyebrow. She looks young, very young, really — and then there's her pregnancy, which has become somewhat more obvious as time passes. "Eavesdropping is very unbecoming," he chides the young woman, turning to his companion. "Either way, the vintners tell me this year's will be a fine vintage. Good grape yield, and great quality, so I'm told."

<FS3> Aurelie rolls Subterfuge+4: Good Success. (2 1 5 5 2 8 8 5 8 4 2 3 5)

There is a flicker in her eyes as she hears the title, and for a moment it seems as if Aurélie would inquire further. Were it not for the chide. Too tempting, as not to fall back into old patterns, as she lowers her gaze for a moment, a blush rising to her cheeks, even as she places a hand on the growing curve of her belly — as if seeking some reassurance there. She gives the perfect impression of a young woman of her age, and plays up to his expectations. At least for a moment.

"My lord," Aurélie raises her voice again, even if it means she might interrupt the conversation about this year's vintage. "This is good news indeed. But forgive me for insisting…" She smiles, a smile that even if somewhat shy and apologetic also shows some determination. "And for eavesdropping. I carry the child of Jean l'Envers. Even if I may appear young and in lack of experience… Anything that might serve as a lead in finding out more about these brigands… Trust me, but I would inform our Lord the Vicomte about how forthcoming you have been to provide us with your valuable knowledge."

"You do know the Vicomte's story with the Baronesse, I hope? A Courcel, Princesse du Sang, even, but cadet line. They had a child, the tongues wag, and this child went to Mont Nuit. It is said that the Baron, who was her erstwhile betrothed, was furious to hear of it." The noble comments, of Jean's history with the Baron's wife. He stares at Aurelie for a longer moment. "So far as I've heard, the only reason this man got his betrothal was through blackmail and money-lending."

The companion at the other's side seems increasingly agitated for some reason. He turns away, reaches into the lapel of his doublet.

<FS3> Aurelie rolls Perception: Good Success. (5 3 6 2 1 4 7 6 6 7)

A fine smile tugs at Aurélie's lips, even as she nods her head to the man's words, holding his gaze. "I heard of this," she states softly. "So this is the same baron you speak of?" Her brows wrinkle a little. She regards the seigneur, meeting his stare. "The Baron de Vouzon seems to be a despicable creature, if I go by your assessment of him. How could he get that far, I wonder?" From the corner of her eye she notes the movement of the other man, turning away from them, and as if in some natural instinct, she backs away a step or two.

"He never got caught." The courtier states, drifting away from Aurelie. The tense man following him seems to be about to draw something as he strides along; there's a decisive, purposeful edge to that walk.

<FS3> Aurelie rolls Empathy: Success. (6 4 4 8 4 1 2)
<FS3> Aurelie rolls Composure: Success. (1 5 8 2 5 4 1 6)

"But… my lord!" Aurélie seems intent to follow, as the courtier moves away from her. Her cheeks are flushed, but this time perhaps more from the odd feeling of impending danger. Her hands move to her skirts, to keep her from tripping on them as she tries to keep up with the man. But then eventually, comes to stand, her eyes following the courtier, and the other one that seems suddenly so intent on leaving.

There are other people in the party. A Baron sworn under Jean and the primary beneficiary of his latest round of justice; an entourage following a decorated Chevalier, among others. The departing man and his follower will soon fade from her sight, though, and there's still a party.

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