(1311-03-02) On Les Bedarrides
Summary: Jehan-Pascal and Louna discuss a certain underused property of value… to them both.
RL Date: March 2, 1311
Related: Directly after The Baphinol Have The Music.
jehan-pascal louna 

Chateau du Pontet

Only a fifteen minute ride out east of Avignon sits a small but charming chateau on the southern bank of a meander of the Rhodane, the Pont d'Avignon rising in a lush green hill upon the other side. The property is built up onto a small plateau of its own, paved with stones that are staggered in a theatre-style stairwell down to the waterfront.

Along the northern and eastern flanks of the building dozens of double-doors open outward to allow even flow of people into and out of a large dining room with a long oaken table down the center, grand seating with velveteen cushions upon the seats and arms laid to either side and at the head of the table, behind which the great hearth rises, warming the room from the west like the setting sun. Along the southern wall of the dining hall arched openings allow access to a corridor which leads back behind the hearth and to the several rooms behind, as well as the stairwell to the two suites available above.

The decor is oak and stone and skin and antler and bronze, rustic but polished, simple but stylish, and the colors of house Baphinol fly in a banner from each of the gables.

After a rich but simple supper of venison, radish stew and freshly baked bread, along with copious amounts of wine from the Longchamps, the various dignitaries of the Baphinol banner are left to discuss in pairs or threes, and as the day wends on everyone takes their leave, in turn, until it's down to Jehan-Pascal himself, the Baroness of Monteux, Georgine and her pretty little daughter, the two of whom are tidying up the table even as Jehan-Pascal still lounges thoughtfully in his chair at the head of it, patting a space for Louna to sit right across the corner from him to talk.

When directed, Jehan-Pascal is there to represent his father after all, Louna makes her way over. A warm belly and wine makes for a relaxed Baroness who settles in easily enough, ankles crossed beneath the green silk.

Jehan-Pascal is likewise sated and… well, more or less satisfied by the reception of his plan, even if there might be a couple of holdouts, for now. And look, here comes one, whom he receives, no less, with a kind and easy manner at table. "Baroness," he greets her. "I hope the supper was to your liking, even if you're yet undecided on my tax plan," he opens up talks with a little jest. "And thank you for recalling I wished to speak with you. I won't keep you very much longer, I know you'll be eager to be home. I wanted to talk to you about one of your baronial villas. The Villa des Bedarrides… it lies on the western edge of your territory, at the place where the Vicomte d'Orange and the Vicomte de Caprentras meet the Comte lands." Which she obviously knows, but since JP-player is making this stuff up for the sake of plot, have some exposition.

"I am familiar with it. IF I am not, then Gregoire likely is." The hint of disdain in that name evident. "May I inquire as to why it has come to your attention?" Slender fingers smooth her skirts, brow raised.

"It is, as you know, in a prime location, almost directly central to all Baphinol lands, from which it is scarcely more than two hours' walk to even the furthest points of the comté. It lies on the tributary l'Ouveze, which flows directly to the the Rhodane and to Avignon itself. I think that the existing infrastructures of the villa and its environs have the opportunity to be used to the great benefit of all of our lands, rather than being occasionally occupied as a vacation home. I have… plans, for this property, and would like to negotiate with you either that you see these plans through, which would be, of curse, a creditable use of your baronial funds, or else for Avignon to acquire the property from your lands so that I might manage the project myself."

"You have plans. Plans that Is surmise you have already laid out the steps for." There's a look. "I'm presuming, a port of some kind? That's the only thing that really makes sense when you point out the location being on tributary. It would mean easier movement of goods from within Baphinol lands." She's watching him. Closely.

"I have— and I would share those plans, of course, preliminary as they are. I would very much like to work along with you on it, one way or the other. But it's not a port, precisely— I'm only considering the wonderful accessibility of the site," he assures her that her presumption, while clever, is mistaken.

"It is an unwise individual who once again, agrees to everything before they know what is happening. Blindly forging forth tends to not go well for anyone." The one way or another gets another look. "If I decline?"

"I will continue to tempt you," Jehan-Pascal answers, with a sly narrowing of his eyes and a long draw of a smile. "Alright, I suppose I can't keep it to myself forever. If I tell you what I want the property for, will you at least consider what a boon it will be to us all?"

Jehan-Pascal shifts in his seat, leaning toward Louna. "It's not my hand, Baroness, it's our hand. And it is valuable. But its value is left on the vine to wither. Let's work together and make of it what it might be. It's hardly a great access point for a trading port— it's smack dab in the middle of our lands, and there are many better points on the Rhodane itself for trading out. The value of Les Bedarrides is in its accessibility to our own people. My proposition is to convert the villa into a sort of hospitality center. We would staff the villa with a preliminary selection of physicians, healers, and priests of Eisheth. There are so many rooms, as well as the open gardens that can be converted with tents to house the ill and the injured in the summer months. Being equidistant from all the furthest points of the Comte, why— everyone would have a chance to access the care they provide equally— and as the physicians will be in the pay of the state, why— care itself will be free. And as to the financial side of things, the villa being populated all year by the physicians, their families, the ill and their visitors, need will come for shops, housing— there will be new jobs, more opportunity for income.. and that income will be augmenting the coffers of whomever holds that land. Even though there will be some long-term recurring costs for the project, those will surely be offset by the economic growth that will ensue. And then, think of it… to be able to care for the poorest among us… isn't that what we are called, as leaders, to provide?"

"You ask the Baroness Physician to open a retreat cum hospital upon her lands." She's thinking. "The tents would be inappropriate and not provide the best state of care. It would likely be better served as small buildings, more hygienic. But you're not a physician and so this doesn't occur to you. So you want to expand the size, convert, and pray that enough nobles will come to offset the cost of the commoners who will come. You're also looking at those who have long term needs as opposed to the more short term that the local physicians in their own villages will tend to."

"Yes, precisely. See, you already know more of it than I do," Jehan-Pascal grins. "I don't think we need to expand it, at all. There's plenty of room to start out, and, well, we can just see how things go. The initial layout would be mostly to cover the costs of the caretakers. And I don't think the nobility will have much use for it. We all have our favored physicians and can be tended to at home. This is for those who may have a physician in his or her own town but be unable to afford their care. The cost will be considered offset in different ways… such as were Bedarrides to become a bustling hub on its own due to the frequency of those living and travelling there, and then, also— due to the better health of the commons in general."

"The buildings will have to be expanded. Just because you want to convert one of my homes lands to a health retreat, doesn't mean I should sacrifice my actual home." The wine is placed down, most of the last glass drunk. "I will think on it. Speak it over with the beast and see what his thoughts are even though I already know. Then consulted my economic advisers to see what predicament I'll be placed in should this fail, how long till viability, and a whole host of other things. But tell me. What precisely do -you- get out of this?"

"It's hardly ever occupied, to be fair," Jehan-Pascal counters, with the air of one who has watched this property for some time now with an interested eye. "What about your villa on the Lac de Monteux? That's a very charming place to spend a summer month. Still— yes, you're quite right, it is your property. I only think it could do such good for the people and the family of Baphinol. And their success is my success, Baroness… as your success is my success. I don't need anything more than that." Which is both extremely optimistic in tone and, as well, actually true, since all success trickles up to him in the form of tax.

'Nothing can be started for a few months if even that. So allow me a few weeks to consult with those that I need to consult with to see if in their opinion, this will be beneficial and the risks. Can you agree to that?"

"Of course," Jehan-Pascal rights himself and nudges back his seat so that he can slip out of it. "You do take a room in Marsilikos, right? I'm sure between here and there I'll have ample opportunity to see you." And he will assist the Baronesse with her chair, in the best manner of a gentleman, before helping Madame Georgine and her daughter to help clear the table, in the best manner of a servant.

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