(1311-02-18) A Rendezvous at Raziel's
Summary: Acquaintences are renewed, and some new ones are made, in an afternoon at Raziel's Sanctum.
RL Date: February 18th, 2019
Related: None
helene jehan-pascal fleur rajiya 

Raziel's Sanctum - Grand Plaza - Marsilikos

Pedestrian traffic flows past the tall, multistorey temple to knowledge without ever daring to glimpse within. Their loss proves the academic community of Marsilikos' gain. Watery light passing through greenish tinted windows throws a distinctly sylvan enchantment over the narrow ground floor. Awash in jade shadows, the built-in bookcases heave with the treasures of the deep and wide world. Volumes mass-produced by printing press in d'Angeline dominate the front shelves, a wild assortment of topics contained within some obscure system of sorting known only to the regulars. Herbalism and gardening stand abreast of architectural sketches from the City of Elua and Kusheline manuals on horse breeds.

A journey up the twisting stairs past the bric-a-brac acquired by years of travelers trading in their goods leads into the true heartland of wisdom. Candles set before stained glass throw rapturous kaleidoscopes of painted colour over a long hall. The open central aisle hosts low couches set back to back on woven Bhodistani rugs. The most treasured volumes — and hence, the most costly — occupy the floor-to-ceiling shelves overseen by the grumpiest of caretakers, an ill-tempered marmalade cat with his own stuffed chair that no one sits in.

The third floor holds a repository of maps and scrolls, aged texts too fragile to hold, and a bookbinding and mending service at a cost.

It is a quiet afternoon in the bookshop, and Helene is wandering through the stacks, her hand running idly along one of the shelves. While her eyes glanc at the titles, she is a bit distracted today, and not quite taking all in. She is dressed down as usual, in a wool dress of deep green, but now also wears a heavy signet on her right hand.

Jehan-Pascal can't ever quite swing by Marsilikos and not stop at the Sanctum. He may be leaving in a day or two for another round of meeting-planning in Avignon, but he has finished all his day's correspondence and has a few spare hours while he waits to see what the day's correspondence will bring back in. And so he's here, dressed certainly not half as well as he does for court, a nice knitted wool tunic and tanned breeches as well as a dark red cape clasped with a leather and bronze buckle over his shoulder. It's servicable outerwear, for sure, and when he flicks his cape back over his shoulder his trousers show off the backs of his thighs and his hind end quite nicely, the craft in the garb belying its rude materies. "Is that our Mari?" he asks, just outside the shopfront, spotting the new Second of the White Roses with a grin. "Come inside, won't you?" he holds open the door for her. "I'm leaning the morning after next for Avignon, again, but I ought to be back within three or four days. Did you settle on a date for your masque yet?"

Helene turns when she hears the rustle of the door, inclining her head to the newcomer. She smiles at Jean-Pascal, recognizing him from her tour of his apartment. "Lord," she says simply, giving him a gentle smile. She looks back to the bookshelf a moment, then back to Jean-Pascal, "And how are you doing?"

Jehan-Pascal lets Marielle into the shop ahead of him, then steps in after and is distracted almost immediately by a greeting from another quarter. While Mari takes herself to the upper reaches of the store, Jehan-Pascal looks up after her briefly, just to make sure all's well, but then returns his attention to meet Helene's with a chipper smile. "Lady Helene. Hello!" he greets. "I'm well, thank you— yourself as well, I hope?" he goes on to chatter, the empty sorts of friendly chatter as often opened up between people of bare acquaintance.

And whom should be next into Raziel's Sanctum? The answer's to be found in the fur-enrobed figure of Fleur Valais de la Courcel as she drifts down the stairs from the floors above. She's in the company of three today; two guards in the livery of House Valais, and one of her favourite maids. The maid is one of those cheerful young sorts, with her brown hair braided neatly and left to hang to the front of one shoulder, and her hands employed in the carriage of precisely four paper-wrapped parcels that are wound about and fastened with string. Conversation between Fleur and her maid is brisk as they reach the ground floor of the emporium, and a pause in their progress is taken so that the maid can recover Fleur's white kid-skin gloves from a bag she wears slung crosswise from shoulder to hip. It's whilst she's waiting to be handed those accoutrements of fashion that she notes the presence of both Hélène and Jehan-Pascal, and a wondrous smile melts on her lips. "Lord Jehan-Pascal. Lady Hélène. What a delight. And here was I just this past few minutes thinking of you, my lord, and the letter which you penned and sent."

It is a busy place today, for not too long after Fleur has arrived, there comes another that sets the bell to jingling. This time, it is the more exotic figure of Rajiya along with her black-clad female guard. The two are talking quietly in Bhodistan, the answers from Chetana short and to the point. Wearing a strange black and orange furred cloak over her colorful sari, the Bhodistan Ambassador but chuckles at something said to her by the guard at her side.

"Lady Fleur," Helene greets her with a soft smile, having only just met the woman. She looks between her and Jehan-Pascal, noting their familiarity and then asks "And what brings you both here today? Looking for anything in particular?". Of course, no sooner have the words escaped her lips than another joins, and she intones in greeting, "Your Highness. I hope your day is going well."

Jehan-Pascal is about to get in the way of a regular influx of traffic, isn't he? Well, edging along the interior wall of the shop will help that, and when he turns to mark the next to enter with a deferent cant of his head and that good-hearted smile of his, he's momentarily surprised to find Fleur, herself, and he stands briefly word-baffled, mouth slightly open before he remembers how converation is meant to work, "Heavens," he laughs, breaking his quiet. "A small world— yes, just this morning," he, of course, recalls the letter. "I'm glad it found its way to you so swiftly. I was just telling Mari," he lifts his eyes to the floor above to indicate whither she is away, "I'm making the journey to Avignon morning after next, but I am going to endeavor to be back in Marsilikos before the masque she is putting on." Why he is updating the Lady Fleur on his calendar might be anyone's guess, of course. And there's the Princess, next, to whom he issues a forward slant of his neck and shoulders in a casual bow of greeting. "Your Highness. Felicitations abounding," he wishes her. "I was just in to browse… and, if there are any newly acquired tomes of Tiberian poetry for fair coin, to bring them away with me."

Fleur takes the first of her gloves from her maid, and wiggles the fingers of her right hand carefully into it, and the trio of mother-of-pearl buttons that fasten the cuffs about her wrist are tackled with much-practiced ease. "Oh dear," she notes to Jehan-Pascal. "I was about to suggest that self-same day to get together, upon which you're now leaving. But no matter, I'm sure that we can fix it for after your return. It'll give me something to think about, and also to look forward to." Her gentle smile still naturally held, she accepts the second of her gloves, and begins the process of working the fingers of her remaining hand into the leather, her honey-brown eyes alighting next upon Hélène. "I was collecting some books from upstairs my lady. In truth, they are texts that I have spent more time than perhaps I ought to have in hunting down. They are to be a present for my Papa, and one that I'm sure he'll appreciate. At least, I hope that he will. He's incredibly difficult to buy for, but these I've had re-bound and re-covered in a style that he favours." There's potentially far more that might be said on the matter of fathers, birthdays and the absolute horrors of finding adequate gifts for such, but she's diverted by the arrival of Rajiya. Recognizing her from the ducal court, she simply offers. "Congratulations on your betrothal, Excellency. You are to reside with us here in Marsilikos?"

Hearing the greetings called out to her, Rajiya turns to look towards the small gathered group nearby. Dipping her head, she smiles, voice raised in greeting to all, "A good day to you all, Lady Helene, Lord, Lady." If she has met Jean-Pascal or Fleur, she's done so in passing and not caught their proper names, "Forgive me, I do not think I have had the chance to be properly introduced to you." That offered to the pair, "Thank you." That said as they offer congratulations, "Yes, we hope to divide our time between here and Draguignan as able." Such excitement to be found on her face. As she talks, the black-clad guard will take that step back, to put herself at the princess' back as she talks to the other nobles.

Helene looks to Rajiya and nods, "I am glad to hear it Your Highness. May I present Lord Jehan-Pascal Baphinol, And Lady Fleur de la Courcel.". She does not have any more to add to the conversation between the other two, so simply steps back slightly, looking at book shelf once more. Something catches her eye for a moment and she reaches a hand out to remove it from the shelf before remembering she is still in conversation, and looking back.

"I'm certain he'll appreciate the time and effort, my Lady Fleur, and that you're quite thoughtful," Jehan-Pascal praises the Lady in mild but earnest terms. "I'm ever terrible with gift-giving. I have a tendency to second-guess which as often as not leaves me at cross-purposes to myself," he smiles bashfully, averting his stormy grey eyes to the floor. On the commute to Draguignan, "Oh— that will hardly be trouble, I should think. I commute rather frequently between Marsilikos and Avignon, and— once I have gotten into the pattern of it— it's a long day's travel, but only a day's travel, at that. Only during the darkest portions of the winter do I lack enough sunlight to go from one to the other. And Draguignan is not only less distant but also the route thereto is more gentle," he goes on, by way of encouragement. To Fleur, "I has hoped we might meet before I left, but I recognize that the time is tight. I'll see you on my return, certainly. Perhaps even at the masque itself— if you were planning to attend? I've already promised Mari I will go," he smiles, joyful laughter in his eyes at the notion of supporting his best friend in her promotion.

At Hélène's introduction, a sudden sadness chases Fleur's smile from her lips. "Lady Fleur Valais de la Courcel," she gently corrects, her teeth catching the edge of her lower lip, before allowing its slow release. Her breath is a soft exhale that stirs the fine white hairs of her ermine furs where they kiss beneath her chin, and there's puzzlement to be found in her voice when next she addresses Jehan-Pascal. "Your tour must be brief indeed if you're intention is to make it back in time for the masque, though I confess that I might be away myself on that date in order to visit with my sister in Nice." A touch of gloved fingers is given his arm. "Of course, I may not, and if I am to remain here in Marsilikos, I will make every endeavour to attend your friend's fete." A nod back to Rajiya. "You would be acquainted with my sister, I imagine. Lady Chimène Rousse de la Courcel, your future Duchesse."

With the introdcutions, Rajiya dips her head once more, "A pleasure to meet you both." While JP and Fleur discuss visits and travel, she glances to Helene, about to enquire, but is stalled when conversation returns to her, "I have yet to actually visit Draguignan itself, but I have seen some of it's lands, those closest to the city here." Seems they were found to be pleasant. Mention of Fleur's cousin has her thoughtful, "I have heard the name, but I do not think I have been introduced to her as of yet, truthfully." Something she wouldn't mind fixing eventually.

"Your intended offer to introduce me to her," Helene adds to Rajiya, as the name stirs memory of her own. She did catch the glimpse from the princess though and adds, "Was there something else Your Highness?" She does also turn to Fleur to intone softly, "My apologies, of course."

"Oh— hardly a tour," Jehan-Pascal shakes his head. "Only a few details I need to iron out in person with my father and a few others before I set a date and book a location for a meeting I've been planning. I should be there a day or two, three at the outside. It'll be a quick turn-around, but I'm hopeful to return in time. I'll be certain to keep you updated of my diary as it develops— and would be grateful for your attendance, if the datein question see you in town," he goes on, lowering his voice a little bit, just in case Mari's listening in, "I know it's important to her that it come off well." The sensitivity over her titles in introduction is noted with a reserved and respectful nod, but not commented upon further— well, that would just be rude.

Concern fills Fleur's eyes, and she gives a gentle shake of her head to Hélène's apology. "Please. No apology is needed, my lady. I was married into House Valais, though have been widowed for quite some time now." It is, in fact, almost three years and counting since Louis had died, though the look on Fleur's face tells a tale of its own. Such is the curse of a Heliotrope. "Lady Chimène is my sister, not my cousin," she says to Rajiya after a further moment is taken to collect both her wits and her composure, enough it would seem that she's able to find her smile again in order to further add, "But it's a shame there wasn't time for the Vicomte Draguignan to make introductions whilst you were all together there in Elua, for as I mentioned just now, she's off and away in Nice at the moment." Escaped wisps of hair the colour of sunshine shift about the edges of her jaw as she twists her head back Jehan-Pascal's way, and taking her cues from him, her voice is likewise lowered. "I'm certain that the event will be a triumph unto itself, and I will do my very best to attend."

Rajiya listens, following the conversation as best she might. At the question from Helene, the princess does wonder, "Do you know whom here in Marsilikos, is the best seamstress? The Salon, or one of the others?" She is curious as to what Helene might know. Turning to Fleur, there is a delicate shade of pink in her cheeks, "Ah, I am sorry. Perhaps upon her return, we might meet? I hope until then, her travels to Nice will be well and enjoyable? As will yours, if you are going to visit her?"

Helene considers the question from Rajiya and shakes her head, "No, I do not. I have never had need here in Marsilikos, and my mother always managed the fashions in Siovale.". She lets her voice trail off as she raises her shoulders and gives the princess an apologetic look. She does pay attention to the others and inclines her head, "I shall await her return then for the introduction. It was relating to the port in Siovale, but I have plenty of work here in the meantime. I am working with someone as well on sounding better shipping routes around the top of Caerdicci actually."

Jehan-Pascal issues a quiet smile of warm-hearted gratitude to Fleur when she pledges her support, then— oh, there's a topic afloat he knows a little bit about, when the Princess is looking for recommendations. "A seamstress, your highness? For mending and alterations, or are you looking for new pieces for your wardrobe?" he looks for a little bit more information on what's needed before giving his opinion one way or the other.

As the topic of conversation turns to fashion, it'd appear that that's the cue for Fleur to leave. "My ladies. My lord." A nod is given each of the three before her maid moves past to open the door to the street, allowing for the young Courcel's egress from the shop.

Rajiya offers words of goodbye to Fleur as she heads out of the bookstore, leaving her to turn back to Helene and Jean-Pascal. "It is okay. I am still trying to figure out what is right and perhaps not so right.." Wry is the smile that comes to her lips then before the questions put forth by Jean-Pascal, "New pieces, perhaps. I brought a full wardrobe with me from home, but would like to find someone willing to work with me in combining the fashions, perhaps? "

Helene again remains quiet, fashion not being a forte of hers, or likely even an interest. She does make a polite goodbye as Fleur leaves though before returning to the remaining two.

Jehan-Pascal inclines head and shoulders to Fleur, "My Lady Fleur," he intones gently, waiting until she's withdrawn to stand up straight again with a perhaps somewhat harrowed expression fleeting across his features before it's masqued once more by his usual jolly demeanor. "Oh, I won't ever go without recommending the salon of the Courtly Couture," he advises Rajiya, "The Lady Isabelle can hardly do else but to please, and if you have something in particular in mind, she will sit down with you with all patience and a fine sketching hand to make your vision come to life before your eyes. Our Isabelle is a true wonder— when I am in Marsilikos I hardly go anywhere else when my wardrobe in in need of augmenting or updating." This message has been brought to you by Courtly Couture. Jehan-Pascal tested, Jehan-Pascal approved.

Rajiya takes in what Jean-Pascal says, hmming, "I have seen the shop, it is near the market, yes?" Everything is near the market. "I will go by and see what she might say.." Such ideas hare had in her thoughts, "Besides that, I have a wedding dress to plan for as well.." Something she is determined to be perfect. Thankfully, there are still several months away for that.

"If Lord Jehan-Pascal approves I am confident it will be brilliant," Helene assures the princess before asking, "But as this is the book seller, what might you be after now?"

"Oh, a wedding gown," Jehan-Pascal seems super excited by the prospect of same, until he is, in due time, reminded that he is in a book-seller's, not a social club, and, with elbows having all been duly rubbed, "Ah— yes, I should go see after that poetry I was looking for," he remembers— he's a busy fellow, after all, and he is already rather past the time he had allotted to himself to dally among the fetching odor of the books. "Good day to you, Lady Helene, your Highness." Not that he's leaving, yet, he's simply betaking himself to another quadrant of the floor. He evidently knows the way to the materials he wants.

"Then I thank you for the suggestion." Rajiya is reassured by Helene's added comment, the smile warming towards the young lord. Flushing a little when asked, she catches her bottom lip. She may be about to speak, but with Jean-Pascal making his excuses to go find the book he was there to find, she nods, smiling a little more, "A good day, and a pleasure to meet you again, my lord."

Helene looks after Jehan as he starts to walk away remarking, "I had not meant to frighten you off." She sighs, her shoulders slumping a bit as she looks back to Rajiya and nods, "I seem to do that more than I used to. I am sorry, I realize you are very excited about the gown."

"You too, your Highness!" Jehan-Pascal is not… gone, really, after all, just sort of crouching down in a corner to see what new titles may be lurking. "I'm not… by any means frightened, my Lady. I may have an engagement this evening, however, if our schedules and all the planets may align," he glances back with a grin and a glint in his eye, jesting after everyone's' busy schedules. "So I should be home and change, just in case."

Rajiya looks a little confused by Helene's apology, but the quickly chuckles when Jean-Pascal does speak up in answer, "Ah, an appointment. Sounds.. important." She half teases, cheeks still warm from whatever idle thought that crossed her mind. "I will visit the shop, find the lady he speaks of. For now…" She's in the bookstore. Whatever for again?

Helene gives JP a gentle smile, grateful for the answer. She looks back to Rajiya and answers, "Very important, of course. He is after poetry, I was looking for maps and anything on cartography, and yourself?"

"Oh, hardly. Dinner with a friend, is all," Jehan-Pascal answers mildly from his spot, where he pulls a volume half-out on consideration, then tucks it back to. "Still, these moments must be seized whenever possible, mustn't they?" he offers up some very lazy philosophy, shaking his head in a conclusory manner before he stands back up in front of his shelf. "Nothing here to make me ask after a price, to-day," he mourns. "At any rate, it was good to see you both. I'll write a note to the Lady Isabelle about your interest, your Highness, if you'd like," he thinks to offer, on his way to the door. Sometimes it can be less awkward to have the ice broken for one, after all.

Rajiya turns to Helene, to approach her a closer as she hmms, "I…" And then Jean-Pascal speaks up, leaving her to consider his words, "True.." The offer is greatly appreciated by the young woman, "If you would? I will see if I can stop in within the week, if she can take the appointment. She can reach me within the guest tower of the ducal palace." Again, a word of thanks for that ice-breaker introduction.

"Have a good night Lord," Helene answers back, waving as he departs. Of course that means she now gives her full attention to Rajiya, "Yes Your Highness? How can I help you?"

A wave is offered to JP as he heads out, leaving the store. Rajiya turns back, and when questioned, laughs softly, "I had wondered of poetry, but also fo any books from Bhodistan. " Surely that is not all, but maybe she will find whatever else she wants sometime later.

Helene raises her hand and gestures further inwards, "Poetry is over this way. As for books from Bhodistan? I once bought books to learn the language, but I do not know if they have any from there." There is a moment of pain on her features, but it passes as they make the familiar path towards the poetry section. Her hand rises to run along the spines for a moment as she considers the titles, "And what kind of poetry would you like?"

Rajiya follows after Helene as she shows her where certain books might be. At the flash of pain across her features, the princess does ask, "Is all well?" Concerned is the princess, though she soon thanks her as she points out the poetry, "What are the more popular authors, do you know? If you don't, that is fine. I.. figured picking up a few things would allow me to get to know the country a little better."

"Of course, all is well," Helene answers, putting a smile on her face as she turns back, "As for the poetry itself…" Helene reaches over and pulls a couple of titles out to pass to Rajiya. "These are well known poets from here. Then…" A few more are added to the stack, "These are some of my own favourites." And one last one, a collection of poetry about the sea, "And this is one I bought a copy of for a friend recently. He seems to like it."

Rajiya's gaze studies Helene after her answer is given. She hmms, but doesn't push for anything further than that which already given. A slight nod comes, and she follows, to soon look over the various books that are handed to her. Before long, she's got an armful, "Oh, these looks very good.." She might even get Drake to read one or two! Maybe. She can hope!

The smile grows warmer as she looks at the stack and laughs, "I might have a fondness for poetry." She takes the top one off, "Perhaps only this one if you have a particular love of the sea." She places it back on the shelf, biting her lips together for a moment. She turns back, about to say something, then looks back to the book once more. "They have some Eastern poetry though only in translation."

"I may come back for that one another time." The poetry on the sea, "Unless it's more than just descriptions of wvaes and story skies?" Might she have tried for a joke there? "Eastern? Like from Chi'in?" That has her curiosity. "They work so carefully upon their writing.."

"I will have to ask Lord Guillard. He is a naval officer which was why I thought he might like it. As for eastern, no, mostly Akkadian and Bhodistani, but as I said, in translation." She turns again and moved another foot down the shelf to take another off, holding it out. "Mostly love poetry, but that would be appropriate for you right now I think?"

"Ah. I am not sure what Drake would like. He seems… to like a good fight. Or joke." Rajiya answers with a wry smile as they move along, "Oh, yes. Well, it shall be interesting to see if I recognize any of the authors, and then compare translations." She'll look through the titles once they reach it, "I am lucky, yes. I know that I am…" Getting to marry someone she fell for. "I shall blame the trip to Elua." The horseback trip, the river trip by barge. Several days of forced company.

"Or just blame Elua himself. He is a fickle master of course, but generally worthwhile?" Helene suggests, looking back at the books once more. When her face falls again, the careful cheer disappearing for a moment she adds, "I am sorry. My life has been very confusing of late."

"He and his Companions." Rajiya says with some hint of amusement in her voice. As she watches Helene's face fall, she begins to speak, "I am sorry to hear that.." But it's then that Chetana will step up, speaking in Bhodistan to the princess who does, "I am sorry, I am reminded that I do have an appointment to meet with a another Ambassador." She starts to head for the counter to pay for the books, but pauses, glancing over her shoulder to Helene, "I hope to be able to speak with you again sometime. And will certain add your name to my prayers that you life.. will become less confusing soon?" That said, she will head out, paying for the books in her arms before joining her guard and heading out.

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