(1311-04-29) The Murder Fad
Summary: Young men about town deplore the spoliation of their fun.
RL Date: 29/04/2019
Related: Day of Anael: Horse Race.
symon etienne cedoric 

Étienne’s Chambers — Les Tanières

This small sitting room is wood paneled and cozy. It has a small fireplace with a shared flue, with two comfortable chairs in front of it, with a small table on a green and black rug between them. There is a small writing desk and an X shaped oak foldable chair in front of it.

The floor of the bedroom is made of blackened wood that has aged to be hard as stone. It bears a shallow dip at the door, worn shiny by the passage of feet. There is an oval rag rug made of old clothes in all the shades of the sea in all its moods at the center of the open space. The room is lit by an irregular window, with a deep, padded sill. It has heavy asymmetrical shutters than can be closed completely, or secured on one side, with thick green curtains that can be drawn to hide the window seats. There is simple stained wood paneling. The ceiling is timber frame and plaster. Someone has re-plastered it, embedding a wide assortment of shells from the north coast of Azzalle and the southern coasts of Eisande. In between are smaller bits of mica and iridescent shell fragments that make the ceiling sparkle when a candle is moved.

The furnishings are in the same heavy, sturdy, but simple style as the sitting room. A canopy bed with faded green and black hangings is pushed against one wall, with a heavy chest at the foot. A table and two chairs is set by the windows. The table holds a large brass bowl for washing and an ewer of mildly lavender scented water, assorted cloths, a shaving kit, strops, and some other rather nice male grooming items of clearly local manufacture. A bookshelf mostly holds particularly nice shells and books on astronomy, navigation, and travel, along with a few other items. The bedside table holds a lamp, spare candles, assorted small jars and tools for care of weapons. A few swords and practice blades are propped in a corner.

It's raining out, you see, and so even the sportiest of lads are trapped indoors. It's not his own indoors, however, but someone else's altogether. Nonetheless, there he sprawls in the sitting room, lounging in a chair with his boots crossed over an arm, idly tossing a jeu de paume ball into the air underhand and then swinging his arm about in a lazy-looking figure eight to strike the ball back into an overhand grasp with a sudden onslaught of speed when it reaches height. "This rain," he mourns, but more put out than actively distressed. "I hope it clears out in time for the grounds to dry for tomorrow's sport."

Étienne has set up a target in the sitting room and is lunging at it with a sword, "What was tomorrow's sport again? Want to play cards or something? Have you heard anything about that murderer?"

Symon lets himself in quickly and shuts the door behind him, dropping a basket nearby and holding his arms away from his body as he strips off his drenched cloak and hangs it on a peg by the door. "It just started p-pissing it down," he complains as he comes in, kicking off his boots as well. Even his clothing under the cloak is quite damp. "I'm going to ch— Oh, hello," he says to their guest. "Excuse me a m…moment." Apparently he does not intend to stay in these damp clothes even for an introduction, so he hightails it to the bedroom.

"Tomorrow's is to be bows," Cedoric informs with a thoughtful draw to his tone while his eyes are engaged in tracking the height of the ball and swiping it from midair at its apex. Then, setting the ball onto the arm of the chair, he rolls it around upon said surface against the palm of his hand. "Oh, the Camaeline? No, I haven't heard of him turning up again. Casts rather a dimming pall over the place, doesn't it? I feel sorry for dear coz on that score — he laid so much coin against the success of the place — hallo—" is, at length, for Symon on his entering, "How do you call for your lady in a place like this? Someone ought to build up your fire a bit."

Étienne makes a shooing gesture, "Hang your tunic up to dry too! It'll mold if you let it sit!" He is smiling, though as he goes to poke in the basket, "Do you remember Cedoric from the horse race, Symon?" He thinks it over, "I can shoot, but I'm not particularly good at it. I might go anyway for the fun of it." His brows knit, "Your cousin runs that dueling club?" He calls, "Roberts! Fire!"

The basket has four apricot pastries that are almost entirely dry. Symon calls back, "Oh, yes, of course! W…welcome, Lord Cedoric." From his tone it is not clear if he really does remember or if he is being polite. Meanwhile the servant Roberts appears, a man in his forties, and he kneels to tend to the fire, though the glance he casts over toward Étienne and Cedoric suggests a man not altogether joyful in his occupation. Soon, Symon emerges in dry clothing, a shirt with no doublet. "W…what's this about a dueling club?"

"It's not a— mmh," Cedoric begins, then, again, "It's not a duelling club, it's only a club and there, I suppose, has been… a duel. Two duels. Some duels," Cedoric purses his lips in consideration after being forced to such escalation, "But the duelling is completely optional and otherwise it's a very fine place to hang about, you know. Just the boys." He regards Roberts when he comes to the task, "Did he come with the flat or did you hire him on yourselves?"

Étienne selects the driest of them to offer the guest and takes the soggiest for himself. "Want one?" He decides to add for Symon's benefit, "He was the one who was so good in the final stretch. I wonder if Vicomtesse Isabeau won, I never did hear how it all turned out… Oh! Thank you, Roberts." He eyes Cedoric, "Why just boys? Is it only for gentlemen who only enjoy gentlemen? Are there likely to be many murders do you think?" He watches Roberts back, "Symon hired him. Why?"

"He w…was recommended to me by Lady Oriane," Symon elaborates, giving Cedoric a nod of acknowledgement, then gesturing to Étienne that he would indeed like a pastry. "Who was m…murdered?" he wants to know. "W-why would anyone want to duel? It seems dangerous."

Roberts meanwhile has not appeared to buck up in the face of the discussion of his provenance. "Anything else, my lords?" he asks, because he has to.

Cedoric gives a moderate flourish of his free hand when Étienne alludes to his last-minute brilliance in the horse race. "Oh, I wouldn't mind, thank you," he adds, of the offered pastry, even as he eyes Roberts rather as a fellow might size up a nice piece of horseflesh, "I was only curious about the amenities," he goes on, "I'm not sure why just boys, I only rather enjoy the atmosphere. Ladies are too lovely, often times. Take the Vicomtesse, for example. Heavens, what legs. They render unto me a certain bafflement which I find disconcerting. When it's just us fellows I can speak as though I have something to say." Which, as often as not, he doesn't, but he can pretend. "I hope that the murder fad dies out quite soon, if you'll forgive the play on words on such a dire topic. Duelling can be fun sport if you are only playing for laughs. Put a hot head or an ounce of hurt pride behind it and it can come over quite nasty all at once."

Étienne hands Symon the second best pastry and Cedoric the first best. He gives Roberts a winning smile, "Perhaps a bottle of wine and some glasses if it's not too much trouble? Also, thank you again for your information the other day. I hope your brother is well." He takes a bite, "These are good! I do love apricot." He sighs, "She is stunning just generally. Is she married, do you know?" He winces, "I don't think I would want to join a duelling club where people turn up dead in bushes after. A fencing club though? that really could be fun."

"Yes, my lord, thank you," Roberts says. "I visited him on the day you gave me." That said, he goes to get the wine requested.

"W-which V…V…Vicomtesse?" Symon wants to know, taking the pastry from Étienne as he speaks. He can't guess who has the most baffling legs. And, "Oh, is there a fencing club?" Holding the pastry in his mouth temporarily, he drags out a couple of the large cushions and lounges upon them on the floor. "Just the season for apricot."

"The Vicomtesse Isabeau," Cedoric brings up the name once more, bringing things full circle once more with a lazily patient spirit, "I'm not sure, I hadn't thought to ask at the end of the course," he adds, with a bright laugh that sends the ball rolling off of the arm of the chair and sending him craning a lanky arm down below to try to swipe at it. "There could easily be fencing in the Sharks' courtyard," he brings up, "It's a lovely spot, I'm going to get some jeu de paume tournaments going… hopefully we'll book up the courtyard and there won't be any time for duels."

Étienne grins at Symon, "The one with the excellent seat and lots of sisters I get the impression she's hoping to marry off. There was talk of us all having luncheon with her." He eyes Cedoric, thinking it over, "Will there be cards and kottabos? I've not played jeu de paume, but I think I'd like to learn."

"Oh," Symon replies, bobbing his head in a nod. "I suppose w…we should, that sounds p-promising." He has a bite of the pastry, then pushes his cushion forward a little to grab Cedoric's ball and return it to him. "P-perhaps w…we should wait and m-make sure no m…murders follow for a week or two." Roberts emerges again with goblets and two bottles of wine tucked under his arm. He pours the three goblets and then leaves both bottles, perhaps hoping to avoid being called for again for a little while.

"Cards, for certain, I can't say as to whether le Coz intends a kottabos stand— I haven't yet seen one, for my part," Cedoric gives as much information as he has in between tearing strips from the pastry and eating them down with a certain (but not inelegant) gusto. "Ah, thanks!" He cups his hands together once he's finished, making a receptacle of them into which he welcomes the ball, and from there onto his lap, not to escape again. "I'm going to tell him this murder business is keeping members away. Maybe he will take steps. Steps, at any rate, ought to be taken," he nods to his own sound good sense while taking for himself a goblet of wine.

Étienne laughs softly, and teases, "It is true we are both heirs. Turning up dead in bushes would definitely inconvenience our families." He smiles and takes his goblet, "Thank you, Roberts." He agrees, "Steps definitely need to be taken. It's the wrong sort of trouble."

Roberts bows and departs. Symon reaches for a goblet. "I do like cards," he says. "And games. B-but yes, steps seem essential." He lifts his goblet. "Your health," he toasts their guest.

"I can only hope that soon we fill the club with the sort of gentlemen who know the right sorts of trouble," Cedoric gives his opinion rather loftily, for what it is, with a rakish grin, and raises his glass. "To mine, and all of yours."

Étienne lifts his glass, and remembering both their recent scares adds, "All our healths yes, let's hope."

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