(1311-01-10) Greeting a Guest
Summary: At the Ducal Palace, Marco encounters Farah, a recently arrived guest of the Duchesse.
RL Date: 24/01/2019
Related: Midwinter Ball in Elua
marco farah 

Solar — Ducal Palace

Spacious enough to provide a meeting place of more familiar atmosphere to the residents of the Ducal Palace, the solar is of rectangular shape and generously lit during the day through a number of arched windows in the south wall. The opposite side is governed by a huge stone hearth, a fire crackling there during colder weather conditions. Above the hearth hangs a shield with the coat of arms of House Mereliot, flanked by a pair of exquisitely woven tapestries depicting naval scenes of ships on the sea, one in calm and tranquil weather conditions, the other one in a storm with heavy rain.

All furniture is made of oak, be it the long table in the middle of the room, or the number of high backed chairs arranged about it, flat cushions of blue brocade adding to the comfort of seating. The ceiling is a sophisticated rib vault, constructed of wood, the ribs painted in yellow. Depictions of a variety of sea animals have been added onto the light blue ceiling as well by an unknown artist. Several kinds of mediterranean fish adorn the spaces in between ribs, such as combers, groupers and flounders but also starfish and octopuses.

A door leads out onto a rooftop garden, and an archway opens into the upper hallway.

Marco has found himself a quiet corner of the spacious Solar to relax in. The young vicomte is tucked into a comfortable looking lounger with a book in his lap. As always he dresses well but somewhat simply for his rank the finery going more for comfort and luxurious materials than open gaudiness. For all his attention seems engrossed in the book the young man doesn't seem the type to completely lose his attention to the area.

The hour may be late already, but here she is. Having arrived a bit earlier in the day, Farah has had little time to settle in as of yet. There had been a light bustle in the courtyard, with the return of the Ducal delegation from Elua, and this Akkadian woman had been among those travelling with them. Her status of niece to the halif granting her a few guards and maids of her own. One of these maids is trailing behind Farah now as she enters the solar. Pausing for a moment, Farah takes a sweeping glance at the chamber. Spotting the lord that is sitting there. She is clad in a long-sleeved dress of dark violet with golden embroideries, with a belt of gilded links slung about her waist. Dark hair is worn in a long braid.

Marco's head tilts as he senses that he's being watched. He slowly finishes his line in the book and lifts a hand placing it on the page to wait. His head tilts up slowly looking around carefully and then he raises a brow considering the stranger. His eyes widen faintly taking her in studying her. He smiles faintly considering her and offers warmly, "My Lady, Welcome. I don't believe we've yet had the pleasure." He offers to her slowly unfolding himself from his seat rising to give a light bow as he considers her searching her for signs of her station, position or affiliation. His eyes wandering her body and sliding up to her face smiling a little wider as he takes her in.

<FS3> Farah rolls Composure: Success. (4 7 1 2 3 1 1)

What Marco may note from her body language (back straight, chin slightly lifted) is a certain confidence that comes with higher station, but there is a flicker in her gaze telling that she may not be used to venture outside of sheltered seclusion. "My lord," she returns the greeting with a d'Angeline that clearly shows an Akkadian accent, and she lowers herself into a curtsey, gaze dipping for a moment. "I am a guest of Her Grace, the Duchesse of Eisande. Farah Firzadeh Shamabarsin, niece to the khalif of Khebbel-im-Akkad, daughter of Prince Fouzan, his brother." That appraising look is noted, and maybe it causes that faint flaring of nostrils, as she in turn, dares to assess the lord that stands before her. "My mother was… is of this country.", Farah adds then, with the ghost of a smile touching her features, that indeed show of that refined d'Angeline beauty, even if it is defined by her Akkadian heritage.

Marco considers her studying the way she moves and responds in his presence. He blinks at her accent taking it in, "Oh? Her Grace has a new guess. That is always… a delight." He tilts his head, "Daughter of Prince Fouzan that is…" He stands a little taller and he smiles bowing more formally, "My Lady, will you join me? I will admit I know little enough about Khebbel-im-Akkad. Just what I could study in the academy at Tiberium." He admits as he gestures for a seat, "I am Vicomte Marco Mereliot, of Toulon. Will you be staying with us long?"

"Thank you, I think I should in turn get to know about Terre d'Ange," Farah replies, her voice melodious and smooth. "I was raised in the seraglio. I have learned how to read and write, and I know a few languages.", she adds then, and when offered the seat, elects to take it, lowering herself gracefully onto the chair. "D'Angeline has been the focus of the past year, so… I apologize if my… way of speaking may sound odd at times." A beat then. "I am pleased to meet you, Lord Marco. And… I believe I shall stay here in Terre d'Ange for a while." Is there a faint glint in her dark eyes as she says that?

Marco admits, "I'm sure you will find many who are willing to speak to you of no end on the subject." He admits clearly enjoying that light tone to her voice, "Interesting. And what of your mother did she accompany you on your return here? I'm sure we are glad to have someone who comes from here to come learn about us." He admits studying her still as he sits across from her, "Oh? You shall stay here for a time." He smiles wider, "Well then I am glad. You do not sound so odd. As I mentioned I studied out of the country for a couple of years. So what are you most excited to see of our city. Were you able to visit the city of blessed Elua?" He asks with clear interest even as his head tilts to consider those warm eyes.

"The subject of…?", Farah wonders, looking a bit bewildered for a moment. Catching her lower lip with her teeth, before Marco's next question makes her lower her gaze, fingers lacing in her lap before her. "My mother… She left Khebbel-im-Akkad, when I was five," she explains then. "She returned to Terre d'Ange, or so I have been told. I haven't seen her, and I was hoping to learn anything about her while I was in Elua." A light shrug of her shoulders, followed by the shake of her head. "Yes. I was in the city, and I was invited to attend the Midwinter Ball at the Palace."

Marco blinks, "Oh? Will you search for her?" He asks the mystery clearly catching his interest though his eyes draw down to her lip watching the perfectly shaped skin dimple beneath her white teeth. He can't help but smile again at her trying to reassure her. "I could…help you look into it. Ah, but I'm glad you were able to attend. I trust you were able to enjoy the festivities thoroughly they are quite the extravaganza." He says proudly, "Is it very different than such events at your home?"

"Yes. Very different.", Farah replies to his latter question. "It was… interesting. A little… overwhelming. I attended with another uncle of mine, Prince Adashir, and two cousins. There is… an arrangement that was made. And because of that arrangement, I was asked to accompany Her Grace, the Duchesse here to Marsilikos." Said, as she holds his gaze, catching perhaps the appreciative glances he gives her. Maybe this causes her to lower her gaze. Maybe it doesn't. When she speaks again, she addresses the other topic he spoke of first. "I would… like to see her again, yes. I have memories of her, she was beautiful. And she has this… friend. A lord. He left with her, so I suppose, she may still be with him. I don't remember his name though. But hers. Fleur, she was called. I have been told many things about her, when I grew up. Not all of them kind. I would like to see, of these things are true, or whether they were nothing but lies."

Marco's features tilt as he considers her words musing, "Oh? An arrangement? I had not yet heard. I don't suppose you have the details?" He asks curiously and he smiles, "Well I'm sure we are all glad for her bringing you here. She is an impressive woman and I'm sure if she invited you it was for good reason." He says and he watches her reaction and he raises his hand reaching to her hand pausing though hesitating to take her hand, "Oh? If you have memories will you describe them to me? What you remember of them. How they interacted of each other? Fleur… do you recall of which house or title?" He asks clearly assuming her to be noble. "ais important. I'm sure she had her reasons for all she did. I would be pleased to help you in this matter." He pauses there and then he tests her name out, "Farah." He rolls the r as if testing the name in his mouth, "What should I call you?"

"I don't," Farah replies with a flicker in her gaze. "But I think, Her Grace will enlighten me to them, in the coming days. The purpose of me and my cousins coming here to Terre d'Ange… is obviously to see us married to some of your nobility. I know that Salomé has been sent to Azzalle, and that Delara to Siovale." Giving him that information, she leans a little away from him, even if her hand remains in reach.

The maid clears her throat. It is a dusky skinned Akkadian woman who must be in her mid-forties. Having taken position at the nearby wall, she watches attentively.

As if reminded of the maid's presence, Farah lowers her voice when she replies to Marco's next question, "She wore a beautiful picture of a flower on her back, that is all I remember." And there a blush touches her features. "She and that lord were very close." A beat then. "I'm not sure. I am daugter of a prince, so maybe that makes me a princess. But then on the other hand… I am no daughter of the khalif, nor was my mother wed to my father. What do people in your country call others of noble blood? Lady? I believe that would fit. After all, I am to be a lady once I marry, here in this country."

Marco blinks, "Oh? I did not realize… Your uncle had so many.. nieces." He suggests carefully cleary unsure of the term. He lowers his hand and glances to the maid bowing his head apologetically. He smiles then at the description. His eyes widen, "Oh? Your mother was a courtesan. Do you remember the design of the flower? That could tell us much of who she might have been." He smiles, "Women of noble blood but not titled, yes a Lady." He says and he considers, "Such an interesting background so many things unknown. Tell me what else do you look forward to learning about your land, My Lady?"

"A… courtesan." At this, Farah nods her head slowly. "This fits what they have been telling me." A sigh leaves her and she lowers her head. "The wives of Prince Fouzan. They said, I am the daughter of a whore. But I never believed them. Were they right, in the end?", she whispers, ignoring his question about the design of the flower. At least this is not what she replies to, when she regains her composure and lifts her head proudly, as if thi make up for the lapse in her countenance. "I am supposed to meet people, learn of the noble relations, and the courtly customs," she tells him, her voice now adopting a slightly louder and confident tone. "I am here for a reason. And that is to… learn about d'Angeline ways so that I can be… a good wife to the man I will marry eventually."

Marco is quiet for a moment, "A courtesan is not a whore. You should speak to the priestess of Naamah to understand more. But also… if it was complete your mother was more. Having completed one's marque gives one much more freedom. Your mother was not Akkadian she was d'Angeline. You should learn more of it before you look at it. I'm sure Her Grace will provide tutors and guides as well. But I am always available to you if you have questions." He seems to be considering her that way she shifts uncomfortable and yet confident at the same time drawing a smile, "I'm sure you will make someone an excellent wife." He says firmly, "You are… certainly different."

"I know so little." Farah sighs as she looks up, taking in Marco's words. A nod then, and a smile. "And yes, you are right. Her Grace has been kind to me, and also asked me to seek instruction. I shall visit the Temples." The smile dims a little, even as the dark fire of her gaze intensifies. "I believe, our paths may cross more often, if you are frequently to be found here, at the palace."

Marco chuckles, "Well I live in the wing here… so I suspect I will not be difficult for you to find." He offers and he smiles as he meets her intensely dark gaze considering her and clearly enjoying it. "You know about so many things those here do not. Do not doubt that but learn all that you can. People here often talk much but say little, so don't… well let them put you off what you wish to learn. If there is anyone or group you have trouble meeting please don't hesitate to call upon me… at any time." He encourages as his eyes linger.

"I shall." Hands unfold where they had rested in her lap, and Farah sits up. "It is already late. I think I need to withdraw, and get some rest. Her Grace mentioned she wished to see me in the morning." Pushing back a stray curl of dark hair that had slipped from behind her ear, the Akkadian visitor moves to stand. "Thank you for your time and enlightening replies, my lord.", she says, sipping into a curtsey. Even if executed with a certain grace, it is clear she is not used to offering that particular courtesy. That lingering glance of his makes her lift her chin just a touch further, as if pride could easily fend off the advances of d'Angeline charm. "I wish you a good night."

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