(1310-12-07) The Gameroom is Afoot
Summary: A nobleperson likes to invite interesting people round for games at their place from time to time, and both Symon and Sarielle were on the list.
RL Date: 24-12-2018
Related: None.
symon sarielle 

Unnamed Noble's Home, Marsilikos

The invitation to a small gathering of noblesse struck Sarielle by surprise; very rarely would it be that one such as herself, scarcely debuted, would be invited as a true guest to such an event. And yet, with her Dowayne's permission and the accompaniment of a guard and somewhat chaperone, she's been permitted to attend.

Mindful of company, the adept has chosen a reserved thigh-length pet en l'air of silk taffeta and matching petticoat over modest pocket hoops. The soft blue of her eyes is echoed in the sumptuous fabric, subtly embossed with the lily motif of Lis d'Or. The neckline is such that the ruffled edge of her chemise is barely visible. A line of bows down the front of the stomacher serves to accentuate the slenderness of her torso and elbow-length flounce sleeves are trimmed with scalloped ruffles, revealing fluttering lace engageantes.

Thus dressed, the golden lily is found in a gaming parlor in one of the noble residences of Marsilikos, hovering discreetly a few steps back from the shoulder of a young noblewoman intensely involved in the final stages of Ch'inese strategy game. Dozens of stones, made of uniform, rounded pieces of slate or lilac-tinged shell (depending on their player), have been placed on the wooden board between the woman and her opponent, and Sarielle is worrying at her carmine-stained lip, occasionally mumbling under her breath.

Symon is by no means surprised by such an invitation. He may assume it is due to his excellent company, the pleasure he affords those in his company with his wit and grace. He prefers not to consider that it might be owing to his reputation as someone who loves gaming but is not overly careful of money. He is passing in search of anyone he knows well, but finds no such person. Instead, his attention is distracted by a novel game, this game of Ch'in. He leans in close to peer at the pieces, watches for the space of two minutes and then shakes his head. "M…my, this is m…much too m-mysterious," he comments, to no one in particular. "This m…must be one of those games you m…must choose over w-wine."

There's rapid fire exchange of pieces; acts of willing sacrifice between the two players following a standard life-or-death problem. "I should hope so, milord; one would not command troops in battle while so intoxicated," Sarielle responds to Symon with a dimpled smile. "Such is the game of Weiqi."

The lady's opponent removes one of the double-convex stones of slate from a dark-stained wooden bowl, placing it with confidence amid a group near the center. Sarielle hisses through her teeth softly enough that the combatants would miss it, "He had the opportunity to reinforce there and didn't. Oh!" A brief exhale from the courtesan, eyes alight, as the noblewoman places her own lilac-toned shell — her voluminous sleeves away from the board as she does — before gathering an alarming large amount of her opponent's stones and placing them on her side of the table with a placid head-tilt.

"See?" the adept enthuses. "She just took that territory, now, along with capturing the pieces. Five groups might live, but the sixth will die. You can learn much of a person from how they place their stones."

Symon turns to Sarielle and blinks once or twice. "W…would one not?" he replies. "Then some m…must b-become particularly abstemious in times of w…war." He smiles. "You know this game?" he asks, obviously with more interest in the adept speaking to him than in the game. "How can you tell w…what each stone represents?" he asks. "How do you know w…which one to sacrifice if you don't know who they are?"

A tinkling laugh, girlishly charming, escapes Sarielle, "I'm given to understand this is not always the case, but thankfully, games of Weiqi tend to be protracted over hours rather than months. A much smaller commitment." She nods firmly, pale gold curls spilling over her shoulder, "I'm passing familiar, my lord. A better observer than player, I'm afraid. Moreover," with a glint in her eye, she reaches out as a servant passes with a tray of Namarrese red, snatching a glass so smoothly as to hardly disturb the surface of the wine, "I'm not particularly prone to abstinence myself."

"It can be assumed that each stone represents a group of equal worth and competency, which lacks nuance, admittedly. It's more about the strategy of intelligently reinforcing, knowing when to be parsimonious, and not always answering your opponent." The goblet of wine, made of porcelain so fine the bowl is tinged pink, is raised to her lips for her to take a mannered sip. She bobs a curtsey, then, the drink's stillness again a testament to her exquisitely trained poise, "Sarielle no Lis d'Or, my lord. A pleasure."

Symon looks most delighted of all to notice this passing tray of wine. He helps himself to this, as well. "That is a relief," he says. "How do you tell if p-people are equal w…worth?" he wonders. "Are they all p-peasants?" He tilts his head curiously. "No, of course the p-pleasure's m…mine if you are Lis d'Or. Symon de P…Perigeux."

<FS3> Sarielle rolls Politics: Great Success. (2 8 8 8 5 8 6)

"That is a question of axiologia." With her slightly lilting accent, the Hellene word flows softly from her tongue. Attention slipping from the game, as the outcome is increasingly more in the noble lady's favour, the unlikely heir — for Sarielle recognizes him as such — is given an appraisingly look. "I find it more pleasing to view them as willing combatants rather than conscripted peasantry, my lord Perigeux, fighting for love of their land, but perhaps that is an overly D'Angeline interpretation."

Symon shakes his head a little. "I don't know that w…word," he replies, smiling and pausing to sip his wine. He seems serene about his ignorance. "That sounds noble, anyway. Do you like fighting?"

Sarielle is taken slightly aback by the admission, enough to let it show for a brief moment on her finely wrought features. "'The realm of the philosophist; a field of study that seeks to understand the nature of values how to makes judgments to determine value. You ask, 'How do you tell if people are equal worth?' 'Tis an axiological question, my lord. And perhaps one too heavy to address in such an environment." Another sip of wine, though the colour of her cheeks is indicative that this is not the first glass she's partaken of, as she searches for an answer. "Fighting? No. A good competition?" There's just a hint of predatory in her close-lipped smile, all at odds with her illusion as a delicate blossom, "Always."

Symon blinks back at Sarielle's shock. He listens to her while sipping wine, then smiles. "Oh," he says. "You really m…mustn't w…worry yourself about it," he says warmly. "I didn't m…mean anything in earnest." He sips again. "I w…wonder if I'm p-properly competitive. I like games b…but I don't always b-bother about who w…wins." Despite his significant stutter, he seems relaxed, perhaps overly open and honest with a total stranger who might be placed to repeat anything fatuous he says.

"As my lord says," the adept concedes with a graceful incline of head, making her hair fall just so. As for Sarielle's discretion, luckily for Symon, he's stumbled upon one who holds it as a sacred trust. From the other room, there's the tell-tale bell clang of a plastinx hitting the manes, followed by a round of raucous cries. "If it please you, that is a simple enough question to answer. Do you play rythmomachy at all?"

Symon cranes his neck to see who is throwing at kottabos, then glances back to Sarielle. "Isn't that another one w…with a lot of fiddly b-bits?" he asks. "I'm afraid I'm hopeless w…with fiddly b-bits."

Sarielle breathes through parted lips, stifling a laugh, "Perhaps not rythmomachy, then." Lightly, she rests the fingers of her free hand upon the young lord's arm, steering him artfully away from the mysterious game from Ch'in, the noblewoman now accepting her opponent's concession without boast, and towards the more straightforward choices, first for a trick-taking game played in pairs. Thus do they while away the time, until it grows late enough in the evening that one Messire Gérard, inconspicuous guard/chaperone, comes to remove his vivacious charge.

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