(1311-01-27) On Chi'in and Courtesans
Summary: Desarae and Marco speak of Chi'in and foreigners, and are joined by Denise and then by Farah. The subject of courtesans is touched upon.
RL Date: January 27th, 2019
Related: Greeting a Guest
marco desarae denise farah 

The Solar — Ducal Palace — Marsilikos

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 is curled up in one of the corners of the Parlor near the doorway to the gardens. He's reading a book with a glass of wine nearby seeming to be resting and relaxing in the quiet of the Parlor in the warm afternoon light.

Desarae is reading a book herself, though she's not curled into some comfortable chair in the solar. She emerges through the doors that lead up to the rooftop garden, a warm cloak of sable hugging her shoulders of a black so dark that it rivals the shine of her hair, and with the book propped lightly in the angle of one hand. Her cassiline follows a step or two behind. She's looking better than she has for weeks, perhaps due in some part to her reprieve in the City of Elua, but also to the colour that chill winter air has put in her cheeks. A glance about her is given on gaining the solar, and eyes of intelligent green are quick to alight upon Marco. She could continue on in the direction of the family wing, but she stays her steps and pauses near him. "Good afternoon, my lord. It's been quite some time."

Marco glances up and over and smiles, "Desarae." He considers her, "How have you been? Did you enjoy the City of Elua?" He asks curiously consiering her and gesturing for her to join him. "It's been far far too long." He says agreeably.

Desarae closes her book, but not before she marks her place with a ribbon. Nicolas, her cassiline, gets a nod of her head, a silent communication between the two that informs him without words that she'll be accepting Marco's invitation and lingering a while in the solar. "I'm doing better now, and Elua was lovely. It was my first ball at the palace, so that was exciting." She unfastens the frogged chain that holds her cloak fast about her throat and drapes it over the back of one of the chairs, sweeping her skirts carefully to one side as she drops herself into the comfort of the seat. No longer the novice of Rose Sauvage that he might remember her as, she possesses an air of maturity that life has lent her. I think it must be fully a year since I last spoke with you and invited you to bid on my debut."

Marco smiles warmly as she joins him, "Oh? I'm glad you're doing better." He says firmly, "Elua is quite the enjoyment. He admits and beams at her watching her settle in. He seems fond and content to enjoy watching her but not as he might have once. "A year?" He shakes his head, "This one certainly has flown and you've had much changing to do. Do you… miss it?" He asks curiously, "The simplicity of your childhood?"

Desarae slides her feet from her slippers, and a flash of gold glimmers on her toes where nails have been gilded before they're tucked away beneath her in the cusions. "I do. Being a child was so much simpler. I knew what my future was, and I had the love of my parents and siblings to keep me warm. Now, there's just me." It's quite the stark statement, but a true one nevertheless. Even though she's only sixteen, she's a presence about her that's derived from her Morhban heritage, her dark hair the perfect foil for the intensity of her eyes and the fragility of her face. "I'll confess, however, that between the lessons that Aunt Armandine has me do, and the army of tutors that have taken me beneath their wings, the year has indeed flown. I hardly have time to myself these days. And you, your own affairs are agreeable?"

Marco nods solemnly at her words and then offers, "I'm glad Armandine has been able to help she is… very thoughtful." He admits and then at her question he shrugs, "My own affairs are passable. Some courtesans went missing in the city. Some of the nobles went out and were able to retrieve them, and I was able to find some of their accomplices though it's not fully resolved but… on it's way to being." He pauses and then he smiles, "Did you see the Akkadian princesses that came to visit?" HE asks of her curiosly.

Desarae chin lifts, and her head tilts ever-so-slightly onto the angle. "I did." she confirms. "I believe that they were in attendance at the ball, though I wasn't fortunate enough to speak with them. I understand that at least one of them is a guest of my aunt, here in Marsilikos." Teeth snick at her lower lip, and the smallest breath is exhaled between her lips. "That sounds exciting. Rescuing courtesans. I sounds as if you've been having a fine time playing the hero whilst we were all away and enjoying ourselves. Hopefully the offenders now rot in the dungeons?"

Marco inclines his head, "Farah." He says the name testing it out on his lips thoughtfully, "She says her mother was a d'Angeline. An interesting sort." He chuckles, "Hero? No I left that to Lady Helene and Eneas." He chuckles softly, "My own efforts were more… assisting the guards in finding the right people to root out. Not all of them but some of them. Enough to catch the rest I expect."

"Farah Firzadeh Shamabarsin," Desarae quietly notes, "I remember her being pointed out to me at the ball. A d'Angeline mother, and an uncle who's Khalif." Her mouth presses into a soft, flat line, and she props one elbow on the arm of the chair, allowing the tilt of her cheek to find the curve of her palm. "I've not seen her about the palace myself, though undoubtedly she must be somewhere here by now. The Ambassadorial Tower, perhaps." The tip of her nose crinkles. "Still, the sleuthing about that you did to aid the return of the courtesans, it must have held satisfaction for you." A glimmer of a smile. "Their Dowaynes must be pleased, and I imagine that you'll be made /very/ welcome in the salons in which they serve…"

Marco nods at the name and admits, "She's searching for her mother it seems as part of her visit. Though I'm sure Armandine has something in mind for her. But it seems an interesting mystery to solve don't you think?" HE considers at that and he chuckles, "I'm already quite welcome." He points out, "Besides some of my favorites have departed recently." He says with a grin but shrugs, "Someone took a Mereliot. Such things can't be let alone." He glances to Deserae, "I've failed too many times as it is." He says with sorrow in his tone and his head lowering.

"In what ways have you failed?" Desarae's question is softly-spoken as her cheek rests a little deeper into her hand. "It appears to me that you've been quite busy, my lord. Rescuing damsels in distress and aiding the guards. I've not heard anything mentioned about your vicomté being in trouble or your people having cause for complaint either. And believe me when I say, my tutors in the area of economics and politics have no hesitation in dragging examples of poor leadership up for me to study and learn from." A faint roll of her eyes is given, though her words are tempered by a certain hint of amusement in her tone. "Perhaps you might be able to assist the Princess in hunting down this errant mother of her's."

Marco shrugs, "Mereliots are hard to keep track of. But I do my best to keep an eye on.. or well to keep tabs on each of us. Just in case." He says quietly. "I was thinking to assist her in the matter it seemed an enjoyable past time. Besides it might be an excuse to take a trip." He pauses then and he asks, "Though now I'm curious. Do you go to visit the Salons now with your ascension?" His tone carrying fascination.

"Do you keep an eye on me, my lord?" Desarae's mouth curves in the most delicious of smiles, the tilt of her lips quite transforming her face. It's a wonder what a smile can do in fact; suffusing the loveliness of her face from the inside, out. An angel indeed. No wonder Jacques was so ill-tempered at her loss from his entourage of Valerian flavoured courtesans at Rose Sauvage, for she's an exquisite young thing, despite her sorrows of the year just passed. "And yes. I do. I find relief in my visits that it's difficult to find elsewhere."

Marco considers that and he considers her, "Not nearly as close an eye as I'd like I assure you Des." He murmurs mildly eyes not leaving her as that smile blossoms. He sighs at it and chuckles. "Good… and now I'm thinking I need to arrange to be there next time you come by…. or more likely when you come out." He says mildly, "I find that now I'm having terribly delightful images and thoughts." He says contently and grins, "What are you reading? I need something else to think about than you indulging in…"

Desarae's eyes glint with amusement. "Other than me what?" She's teasing him, that much is clear, and she pulls herself to sit more upright in her seat, reaching one hand around the back of her neck to pull the burnished lengths her raven hair forward and over her shoulder. Poker straight and soft as silk, she idly wraps it's lengths about her hand, making a rope out of it before tugging it gently. A person could be forgiven for imagining that rope of hair being looped around her neck in order to draw her head back, and her eyes glaze a little as she toys with the silken tresses between her fingers. "It's the thoughts and musings of a traveller, Lord Marco. Drawn from a year of his life which was spent travelling in far-flung lands of Chi'in."

Marco considers Desarae, his eyes on her thoughtfully lingering on the tresses. "Oh? Do you have much interest in the Chi'in they're not one of the cultures I've studied much."

Desarae's breath hitches, and her eyes darken at words unspoken. "Now I feel even more keenly the sadness of my failure to debut." She pulls her abandoned book back to her lap, and her eyes release his as they drop to its pages. "I prefer reading about Chi'in far more than the countries closer to the borders of Terre d'Ange. Foreigners are becoming a far too common sight within the city, and they don't hold as much interest as they might otherwise do. Chi'in, however, is far enough away that it's still filled with the mysteries of the exotic for me. I doubt very much that I'll ever have time to travel there now however, not with the yoke of responsibility which I've inherited."

Marco smiles at that hitching of breath. His eyes watching her, "It… is a pity." He says and he smiles relaxing back but continuing to watch her. "It would have been a thrill. But we can always imagine it still." He grins, eyes twinkling, "It might be… a pleasant fantasy. I've always been fascinated by the Akkadians, and those farther to the south. But Chi'in is a rarity have you met any from there?" He asks curiously.

"We could imagine it still. Yes." Desarae's fingers allow her hair to fall from around them, the black lengths spilling like silk upon her shoulder as her head falls back to the prop of her hand. She's curled within the sumptuous cushioning of one of the chairs near the fireplace, it being placed opposite to the one in which Marco sits, and close enough for conversation to flow easily between them. A black sable cloak is thrown carelessly across the back of chair and her slippers are abandoned upon the floor. There's also the foreboding presence of her cassiline, Nicolas, where he's tucked against the wall, hawk-like eyes keeping a close watch upon his ward. "As to having /met/ one anyone from Ch-in," she continues on, "I'm afraid I have not. I /have/ glimpsed a merchant or two when in the vicinity of the docks, but with how much I've been out of the city of late, even visiting there has become a rarity in itself." The hour, it seems, is slipping rapidly into the early evening, with the skies outside darkening where previously the sun had shone.

Marco is smirking faintly at Desarae's words and eyes twinkle, "Think on it." He suggests mildly, "Interesting. I will have to ask around it might be fun to explore their culture for a time perhaps have the cooks make some food and have you tell stories of them." He suggests and he offers, "Well if you go sometime sooon I'd be happy to accompany you. I always find other cultures curious and interesting. What is your favorite knowledge of them so far?" He asks leaning back in his own seat closing his own book tucking it away.

Denise is escorted into the Solar by a Night Court guard, who discreetly remains at the entrance. Midnight-blue silk hugs her figure, leaving her arms and a tantalizing amount of cleavage exposed. Her bright eyes sweep the room once, before coming to rest on the couple by the fire place. She tilts her head to the side thoughtfully, then heads toward them with quiet, graceful steps, the faintest hint of a smile on her lips. As the firelight starts to play on her pale skin, she drops into a graceful curtsy, her face turned toward MArco as she murmurs "A good evening, my lord."

"I surely /will/ think on it," Desarae's quick to smile back at Marco's suggestion. "Or dream on it even, for I'm sure that such dreams as those would be far pleasanter than the darker ones that have plagued me so much. As for Chi'in…" She gets no further, for she catches sight of Denise's arrival in the edge of her vision, and whatever else she was about to say is put to one side as the woman approaches. The smile that'd been hovering on her lips, instantly brightens. "Goodness! Denise!" There's a warmth and familiarity in the tone of her voice, and her eyes cut from the woman that she'd shared many a lesson as novices with, to the man that sits opposite. Laughter seems close, though doesn't yet spill, and there's a hint of mischief about her as waits to see if they'll immediately excuse themselves from her company.

Marco grins at Desarae's agreement to think upon it or dream upon it. IT seems he's pleased at that idea. He nods at Desarae looking expectant and then he blinks as she greets the other woman. He tilts his head to consider the two, "Friends?" He asks of the two girls studying each of them and he smiles and he looks to the other girl, "Denise. I'm so glad you decided to join me." HE admits his eyes lingering on her studying her. He then reaches for her his hand holding out clearly expecting her to come near and when she does he's pulling her onto his lap his hand wrapping around her fingers caressing along her abdomen and up over her breast fingers tracing the edge with his nail. His eeyes are on Desarae as he so very blatently lets his fingers pinch over Denise and pull hard clearly trying to make her squirm and seeing if he can't do it to Desarae too. He admits to DEnise, "I've missed you."

Denise smiles softly as she turns her gaze toward Desarae, eyes glinting ever so faintly. "We did share our home and teachers for quite a while, after all." she replies, giving the other woman a quick wink by way of formal greeting. Before she can add much more however, she finds herself pulled into Marco's lap, gaspign in surprise but managing to keep her graceful poise through it all. A soft laugh spills from her lips as she sits up, and quite clearly represses any instinct to squirm and blush, quite possibly due to her former house-mate's watching. "Good" she manages to murmurs in a playful tone, arching ever so faintly into Marco's touch. "I should hate to think my absence should remain without effect…"

Desarae's eyes glitter behind dark lashes as she watches the two opposite. The three are grouped in chairs near the fire, and quite close to where the door is that leads onto the stairs which rise to the gardens up on the roof. "Denise and I were novices together at the Salon," she informs Marco lightly. "Though she's older than I and therefore debuted before me." A glance back to the courtesan. "Your marque must be almost completed by now, I imagine." She shows little to no discomfort from the way in which Marco comports himself with Denise, and indeed seems innured to. Doubtless she's seen far more than that within the salon itself whilst still a novice. She stretches one hand along her legs, curling her fingers about her toes where they're tucked beneath her in the cushions.

<FS3> Farah rolls Composure: Good Success. (5 7 6 4 6 7 4)

Early evening it is, and so Farah has elected to explore the palace. The young woman has been provided with quarters in the guest tower, and now, on her current venture, she is accompanied by a maid. An interesting sight it is, that greets her when the Akkadian lady enters, and so Farah pauses on the doorstep, a smile of recognition blossoming on her faintly dusky features, as she spots Marco. Then… that expression shifts a little, as she notes the woman in his lap, and the other woman sitting there. It is only a faint flicker in those dark eyes of hers, as she steps into the room and offering a curtsey to those present. "Good evening.", she says, in heavily accented d'Angeline. "Lord Marco. My ladies." Unaware as she is of the status of the women, she assumes they must be noble. The maid follows in her wake, a member of Mereliot staff, obviously, as the lighter skin tone betrays.

Marco seems utterly content to have the Shahrizai adept on his lap while his eyes remain on the ex-novice. His hands remain on DEnise teasing pulling, stroking and he shifts her on his lap. It's clear he enjoys making Denise blush and is trying to draw the same reaction from Desarae. No doubt part of his draw to the House the two come from. He murmurs to Denise, "Well I did make a few promises about next time when I visited last." He points out mildly shifting her on his lap bouncing her playfully. He seems perhaps a little disappointed that Desarae doesn't have more of a reaction. The sound of Farah's voice though draws a blink and a look of surprise, "Lady Farah." He offers warmly turning to look to her. He shifts as if he might rise but there's a Denise in his lap and so his hand drops from her breast his hand though still tracing along her Marco as usual not able to resist his small indulgences, "Lady Farah Firzadeh Shamabarsin, guest of the Duchess, neice to the Khalif, might I introduce you to Lady Desarae Mereliot, Heir to the Marquisate of Chavaise, and Lady Denise Shahrizai no Rose Sauvage, an Adept and one of our courtesans."

Denise smiles wrily at Desarae "Thank you for the flattery, but I still have a little way to go…" she shifts slightly under Marco's touch, and this time his murmured words do sends a faint flush into her pale cheeks. As Farah approaches she looks up a little suddenly, drawing in a sharp breath but otherwise managing to maintain a pleasant smile on her face as she murmurs "A pleasure, my lady." Her head is inclined with graceful propriety, notwithstanding the fact she is sitting in a man's lap and getting casually groped.

Amusement flickers on Desarae's face as she addresses Denise. "I didn't remember that you mixed the qualities of the canon of Alyssum along with those of Valerian." Clearly she herself does not, though it's not unusual in a Salon that houses not only those canons, but also that of the Mandrakes beneath the banner of its name, because for all of Marco's attempts to lift a blush in her own cheeks, they remain entirely unaffected. Her hand pulls from her foot, and she lifts her fingers to her cheek to twist dark lengths of her hair back behind ears from when she'd earlier drawn it. But even as she's attending to that small detail, another's amongst them. Her head turns in Farah's direction, and a smile graces her lips. "My Lady Shamabarsin. Lord Marco was just speaking of you earlier to me. I believe I saw you from a distance at the Midwinter Ball in Elua. Such a wonderful night. And now I'm given to understand that you're to be staying with us here in Marsilikos?"

Farah's smile twitches a little, as she keeps her gaze fixed on Marco's eyes, perhaps pointedly not looking at what his hands are doing. But there is definitely a blush that touches her cheeks. "My lord." She then glances towards Desarae, and she nods. "Lady Desarae. Ah yes. How could I forget. Of course. I was there at the ball." There is something awkward about the way she responds, as if something were slightly throwing her off balance. "I am. Her Grace was so kind as to invite me to come with her. To be her guest, here in Marsilikos." Then she looks towards Denise, and again, she seems to focus on the face of the courtesan lady, more than on hands resting on certain parts of Denise's body. "My lady." She bites her lip as if pondering something before she adds, "You are a courtesan?" As if to hear that fact confirmed, or to use this fact to include herself into the conversation.

Denise lifts her eyebrows rather sharply at Desarae's playful quip, pointedly declining to respond. She manages to reassert her dignified mask, but she can't entirely hide the effects that Marco's roaming hands have on her. Shifting ever so slightly in his lap, she gives a half-playful, half-friendly smile at Farah, inclining her head in response to the question. "I have that honor."

Desarae pulls her feet up closer beneath her, and she gathers up the pillows from the seat next to her so that an inviting space is made available. "Would you care to join us, my lady?" Her question is directed Farah's way, the pillows being tossed on the floor to join her abandoned slippers. /Someone/ will pick them up once they're gone their separate ways.

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

Did Farah catch that subtle quip of the Mereliot lady? Perhaps not. Perhaps the word 'courtesan' made anything else escape her attention. "I still need to learn a lot about d'Angeline customs and culture," she states, words sounding a bit sharp perhaps from her Akkadian accent. "Lord Marco here suggested I should speak with the priests at the temples." Her gaze flicks towards the lord, and then focuses on Desarae. "I would like to. Thank you. At least for a moment." Stepping over one of those pillows with careful grace, she takes a seat beside Desarae. A bit of awkward hesitation there, as she turns her gaze towards the pair of Marco and Denise. "You are also of noble blood.", she remarks to Denise. The name Shahrizai is known far beyond the borders of Terre d'Ange.

Denise exhales gently, clearly using all her focus to rebuild her composure, the last hints of her blush gently fading from her cheeks-for now. Sitting up in Marco's lap, she meets Farah's eyes and nods "I am." She replies, the faintest hint of defiance in her words. "It is far from unusual to find members of the nobility in the Night Court."

"Indeed it is not unusual, no." Desarae confirms, propping her elbow back upon the arm of the couch so she can rest her chin on folded knuckles. She seems to be perfectly at ease in the company of the three that she's with, four if her cassiline's to be counted — though he lurks to one side and remains stoicly out of the conversation. "It is an honour to be given to the night court, Lady Farah, and many of our greatest families have spouses drawn from their number." Curiously, her smile brightens, and alights upon Denise, a softening to her voice as she continues. "The name Shahrizai is indeed amongst the finest, and though I am half de Morhban through the blood of my father, my Aunt Emmanuelle is of the Shahrizai. I won't lie, it made for interesting family gatherings in the past."

Farah nods, dark gaze flicking downwards for a moment. "I see. It is… not something that would be thinkable in Khebbel-im-Akkad. So please forgive me, if I need to get used to these views." A faint twitch at the corners of her mouth as she lifts her gaze again. "The concept shouldn't be that foreign to me, but… my mother left when I was still very young." Her eyes turn to regard Marco for a moment, even of the lord seems to have fallen silent, observing the three of them. "She is d'Angeline."

Faded due to late hour.

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