(1311-05-08) Day of Naamah: Temple Feast
Summary: During the Days of the Companions, the priesthood of Naamah hosts a feast in her honour.
RL Date: Wed May 08, 1311
Related: None.
aedhwyn amaryllis boniface desarae emilie-malet esmee raphael vincens yves 

Temple of Naamah — Marsilikos

The Temple of Naamah is a serene and lovely building which has been constructed of stark white marble and cool latticed stonework. Decorations here reflect the gentle side of the angel to which the temple plays homage, the building being filled with an abundance of flowers that spill from columns and pedestals. Within the centre of the main hall, arching columns support a dome that is open to the skies above, and these are hung with garlands of flowers amongst which the temple doves sit and preen. A narrow carpet of carmine red runs from the main doors, through the arches, and towards the rear of the temple to where an exquisite alabaster statue of Naamah herself kneels upon an altar of deepest grey granite. She is depicted with her eyes closed in quiet repose, and with her hands extended palms uppermost before her. On the floor around the base of the plinth are shallow bowls of chased silver, receptacles for the coins and trinkets that are offerings to the angel herself. Scarlet-robed priests and priestesses might be found within the temple whatever the hour of day or night, going about their chores or offering comfort and guidance to those that seek it.

The people of Naamah have done some adjustsments to the Temple, of sorts. The warm feeling it always gives off is amplified by a variety of flowers, bouquets of each type of Flower associated with the Elua night Corut as well as the flowers of each Salon of Elua. IT is an overwhelming floral fragrance but pleasantly so. Various tables and chairs fan out from the statue of the Angel, drawing attention to her and the basins around it. Upon each table is an array of food that will not suffer from lingering upon body heat. Many of the tables have various Courtesans of the Night Court laid down with trays of food upon them. It is clearly Emilie has taken time to set up the Courtesans to reflect the canons of their house for some are tied down, some look as if they are in beds of food, etc. The canon of each house is reflected in the food displays and the chosen food. The variety of food is varied in looks, types, and so on. Nothing as been spared by Naamah's Clergy to make this feast one to remember.

Emilei is near the entrance bidding welcome to all that attend, giving those who request it a blessing. The night is clearly devoted to festives.

One of the living platters laid out on the tables is Amaryllis nó Glycine. Long red hair has been draped to pool about this adept's head. Her skin tone is as light as milk, with a few freckles dotting it as if sprinkled by light rain, in a face which is governed by the sensual promise of full lips and the everpresent craving in grey-green eyes. Youthful slender built meets definite femininity, in the way her curves are for now covered with a line of morsels of smoked ham, cheese and pastries. Leaves of green salad have been placed upon crucial areas, offering but the illusion of decency. She is layed out on her back, long legs covered with rows of tasty tidbits to to take and enjoy. A trail of fresh strawberries has been laid out on her shoulders and arms, fruit alternating with sweet cakes topped of with chocolate. And so, this Glycine seems to be the perfect combination, of hors d'oeuvres, main course and dessert, all in one. For now, Amaryllis maintains her composure, keeping still. Eyes staring up at the ceiling of the main room of the temple, her lips slightly parted revealing a faint glimpse of teeth.

Boniface was told to see more of the city, and that's just what he's going to do! This feast sounds like a perfect opperutnity, and so the young nobleman arrives, a cheery enough expression on his face. He's dressed well, despite his desc, having finally traded his traveling clothes for an outfit more befitting his station.

The outfit that Yves wears for fetes outside of the duels is actually slightly less brilliantly colored. The red and white are somehow more subdued, and without the armor to pad him out and add a silvery sheen he looks a bit less like his most noble self. Bowing his head to Emilie, he smiles at her but seems to have no idea what he is supposed to say or what he is walking in to. Walking into the celebration area, his eyes widen and he sidesteps slowly, staring at the ground.

It'd not be difficult to miss Desarae's entrance to the temple; for she's two guards of House Mereliot with her, along with a severe looking man that wears the drab grey of the Cassiline Brotherhood. Her outfit for this day of Naamah is dove grey silk, her long dark hair left romantically long and loose, held back from her face by a garland of fresh flowers in soft pinks and creams. She holds her hand up to her entourage as she enters, having spotted Emilie lingering there. She peeks past her to the festivities beyond, though her eyes are quick to return to the priestess. "It looks magnificent. I've so been looking forward to today. You must be so pleased with how wonderful it all looks."

<FS3> Amaryllis rolls Perception: Failure. (1 5 2 5 1 5 2)

Desarae's arrival, being a little more pronounced thn the others with the Guards and Cassiline, gets a greeting first. "I am glad you could attend, my lady." says the priestess, kidnly. As she dips into s curtsythe scars on her legs and arms can be spotted as her cltohing moves with her motions. She has the looks of a Courtesan..before the marrings come into view. "I am glad you could attend." Now Boniface takes her attention as Emilie noted him as one of the more pronounced guests to arrive. "Welcome, my lord. Enjoy yourself. Feel free to speak with me if you've questions." Last but not least is Yves and he gets a smile, if a bit amused by his reaction. Her hand slides to his arm to guide him to a more subdued corner of the room. She is quick to be mindful of how people react and place them where they can feel more at ease.

Amaryllis seems to be oblivious to the awkwardness others will easily read in Yves. And she seems oblivious too, to others entering the halls of Naamah's Temple. But then again, platters have another purpose, they are there to present food, which Amaryllis does ever so subtly. Her body, so exquisitely decorated, doesn't seem to move at all, breath only visible in a minimal rise and fall of her abdomen. She seems too busy with staring at the ceiling, or perhaps this is what lends her more focus. Being a platter isn't easy, it is an art, and today, Amaryllis strives for perfection.

Does Boniface notice Desarae's big entrance, yes he does, and the young man offers her a friendly wave and smile. "My lady," he greets, happily enough, before offering a the same smile to Emilie, accompanied by a polite bow of his head, "Quite a spread you've got here!"

Desarae dips her head in a show of deference to the priestess, before Yves claims her attention. "Vicomte d'Orange. I'm so very happy to see that you managed to find your way here." She offers him a curtsey, hands sweeping the silks of her skirts lightly to one side as she dips, then rises. A tilt of her head towards the platter that's nearest. Amaryllis. "Can I tempt you to join me in tasting some of what's on offer?" The tip of one finger trails along the length of Amaryllis' thigh, skirting smoked ham to settle upon an intricately arranged display of cheeses and fruits.

Guided apparently somewhere more subdued, Yves looks around a little but for the most part is still made a touch uncomfortable by the nudity or something of that sort. Finding a particularly interesting flower display, he stands there admiring it for what seems like far longer than is necessary. The petals, the leaves, the flower parts he doesn't know the names for, each is considered with deliberation.

Boniface gets a warm smile from the Priestess, "It seems only right that the one I was a servant too and am now a priestess of get the best the Clergy of her Temple can offer." Her hand lifts to fan wide "Partake in the pleasure we offer here." invites Emilie, "THere will be no denying of you indulging in the pleasures we have to offer." No less expected from the Naamah priesthood, no doubt. When Desarae claims Boniface for induldging in the offerings Emilei glances to Yves and says ina gentle voice, "Lovely flowers, are they not?"

"Oh, I think I can be convinced, Lady Desarae," the afore-mentioned Vicomte d'Orange says, as he follows her toward Amaryllis-As-Table, light blue eyes taking in this particular spread. Boniface doesn't take anything or touch just yet. "You won't even have to twist my arm."

<FS3> Amaryllis rolls Composure: Good Success. (4 8 8 4 1 6 7)

Oh, but Amaryllis is not nude. She has some handy morsels of tasty refreshments arranged upon her flesh, and one must not forget about green salad leaves used as some sort of cover certain areas at least to some degree. When Desarae's fingers brush over her thigh, the Glycine adept keeps her composure. Not even twitching to the touch. On the contrary, a subtle smile begins to form on Amaryllis' features.

The tip of Desarae's fingernail scrapes lightly across Amaryllis' skin as she delays a fraction over her choice. This one. That one. Oh la! Decisions, decisions. She attention finally settles on a sliver of goat's cheese that's benefitted from the warmth of the courtesan's flesh, and she lifts the slightly melting piece betwixt finger and thumb. "There's a pleasure in being fed, my lord," she says simply to Boniface, her eyes meeting with his. "But the question is, do you like being fed?"

Boniface's eyes drift over the Glycene adept's form- before his attention is captured once more by Desarae- first the morsel of cheese held between her finger tips before he meets her gaze, his smile warm and genuine. "I can't say if I do or don't, my lady," he murmurs to her, "But…. I somehow suspect I do."

Raphael is fashionably late, or else the noblewoman he escorts is. The lady in question with her hand upon his arm wears a fine gown of lilac and charcoal gray and has her silver hair neatly pinned into a precise style while Raphael wears his next-to-finest clothes, subdued in color but fine of fabric. Is the lady a regular patron of Raphael's, or perhaps an old friend? Their dignified manner gives nothing away. "It promises to be a fine gathering," he is saying. "Each salon represented, and naturally those patrons and followers of Naamah with the finest taste and the most appropriate sense of gratitude to our Bright Lady."

Oh melted cheese. How great thou art. It's starting to drip from the tip of Desarae's finger as she holds it tantalizingly close to Boniface's lips. "Go on, then," she taunts him, that delicate profile of hers made to appear even more so with the lifting of her chin. There's the smallest grunt from behind her as her cassiline shifts his weight one foot to the other, and the smallest of smiles tugs at the edges of the young heiress' lips. "You'll need to be quick though, for I've someplace else to be…"

Does Amaryllis shiver just a little beneath that suggestive scrape of a fingernail upon her flesh. The young redhead Glycine blinks, and she gives Desarae a sideways glance from grey-green eyes, while keeping her head still. At Desarae's teasing of Boniface, a wicked glint shows in that stormy gaze, and Amaryllis turns her head just a touch to be able to better observe the display, of Desarae feeding the young Baphinol lord — or at least tempting to feed him.

With out any hesitation, Boniface leans in to pluck the drippy cheese from Desarae's fingertips- and while he doesn't nip her in the process, he does use the edge of his teeth to make sure he scrapes off every bit, his eyes closing as he savors both the flavor and the sensation.

Since Yves seems content to stare at the flowers Emilie moves away to grew]et Raphael and his companion. "Welcome. Do feel free to induldge in all we have to offer." Amaryllis, Boniface, and Desarae are given a glance to check mostly on the courtesan to assure she is not getting weary frm having to lay just so. No one is stopped from doing as they will.

"Yes, they're quite lovely," Yves replies and shifts his focus since he has been noticed to look at something else. Or he wanders nearer to one of the displayed courtesans and stares outside of the sight line of seeing anything that might make him act like an idiot.

A slow laugh bubbles in Desarae's throat. The finger now cleaned crooks into a curl, and is quickly slid beneath Boniface's chin. Eyes lid, though they do little to conceal the dancing green mischief of her eyes as they slide to the prone form of Amaryllis. "There is more to be had, should you have but the nerve. I wish Naamah's blessings upon you for the rest of the day." That finger so recently cleaned off by him, is licked by herself, and in a swish of grey silks she turns to depart. Duty — it'd appear — done.

"Thank you," Raphael returns to Emilie, with an abbreviated though respectful bow. "How good it is to see the temple in top form today. Naamah deserves all the glory of our combined endeavors on Her day." His companion murmurs something in his ear and he nods, extending his arm so as to see her off as she glides toward some friend or courtesan of interest to her. Raphael seems in no way surprised by her leave-taking. "Are all the guests receiving their due attention," he asks Emilie in quiet tones, glancing toward Desarae and Boniface and back, "Or is there any need of help?"

"Amaryllis is keeping Lady Desarae and Viscomte Boniface distracted." Then Desarae is maing her departure. The priestess just gives Desarae and gentle smile, stopping no one from coming and going as they will. Emilie tilts her head to Yves as she continues to murmur to Raphael, "He seems on the more uncomfortable side. PErhaps a less freely dressed Courtesan might be his prefered company." MEaning a not naked one put on literal display.

<FS3> Amaryllis rolls Composure: Success. (5 8 6 1 1 1 2)

Boniface swallows his little bit slowly, his eyes opening as he grins at at Desarae. "I think I do like it." When she starts to make her departure, he can't hide the flash of disappointment in his eyes, though he still seems quite pleased with their brief encounter. "Naamah's blessings to you as well, my lady" he says, his words soft, "I hope our paths cross again soon."

Amaryllis has her head return to its previous position, her gaze directed upward as she shifts just a little on the table, careful as to not let any of the food arranged upon her slip off her frame. Inhaling a breath softly, she smiles, probably overhearing Emilie's remark towards Raphael. So far, she seems to hold out just fine. And yet. The platter is still filled with so many delicacies, someone should dare to snatch another from where it rests on her skin.

Desarae twists her head to look over her shoulder at Boniface as she departs. "I hope so too." There's the brush of a laced-edged sleeve that Amaryllis will feel against the curve of her breast and the underside of her arm as Desarae moves past her, slippered feet light upon the travertine marble of the temple's floor before she disappears through the main arched entrance.

Raphael lets out a chuckle. "It has not often been suggested that I should make a patron more comfortable than a Glycine adept," he says with a note of humor. But he nods, understanding his directive, and moves in the direction of Yves. "It is perhaps your first time attending such a gathering," he hypothesizes in lieu of an introduction. "If the platters do not please you, my lord, shall I fetch you something to eat?" He is, at the very least, quite fully dressed.

The Priestess gives Raphael an amused look at his comment, "Sometimes the firm hand is needed to put someone at ease." says Emilie before movign to leave Yves to Raphael's care while she moves to settle in a chair at one of the tables, securing her robe in place to keep the scars marring her form obscured but the glimpses are not hard to catch. So mny of them mar her flesh, after all. She seems content to leave entertaining the nobles to the various Courtesans.

Apparently his attempts to not be caught not looking are all being easily noticed, so Yves turns his attention to the Lord, "Hm? Oh, the 'platters' are nice, I just feel odd about eating food off of people," and he sidesteps a little. The presence of Raphael at least serves as something to look at.

No longer distracted by Desarae's presence (and really who could blame him?), Boniface turns back toward Amaryllis, once more looking over her form, before emulating Desarae and taking some food for his own- a sliver of ham, his fingertips brushing her skin.

The lady's presence had distracted the lord, but now it seems he is at ease to give the platter more attention. Amaryllis awards this with a soft intake of breath, and a glitter in her grey-green eyes that look back at Boniface with unfeigned interest. "You are handsome, my lord," she says in a low whisper and smiles. Her flesh feels warm to his touch. Nevermind that her skin will continue to smell of food, once the banquet is over.

"Not every pleasure is for every person," Raphael affirms for the young Yves. "Wait here, my lord." He steps toward the platters, picking up a plate from a nearby acolyte. This he loads with a selection of food from several different 'platters.' This he does with a utter lack of embarrassment, merely selecting a wide variety. Noting that Amaryllis and Boniface are taking a certain interest in one another, he smiles faintly and leaves them alone, returning to Yves with a plate. "No need to go hungry in a temple of plenty and pleasure." The plate is offered out.

Amaryllis's words bring a little bit of color to Boniface's cheeks as he eats his captured bit of ham, his eyes meeting her gaze now. "Thank you, mlle." he responds in kind leaning a little closer, his voice low and bent only for her, "I can't remember the last time I ate off such a lovely woman." He tries to make his tone casual-cool, but it's very likely this is the first time he's done as such!

"Oh, thank you m'lord," Yves says amiably and takes the offered plate, holding it in one hand and using the other to eat, slowly. He tries several things, nodding a bit after he tries a bit of each thing there. "What's your name? I'm Yves Valliers," he introduces himself. His attention captured by the decorations on his plate.

A light silvery giggle can be heard from Amaryllis, and it is a wonder that nothing worse happens than a few strawberries rolling towards her collarbone and then following the side of her neck, tumble upon the table she lies upon. "You haven't eaten off me, my lord," she murmurs back. "You merely touched."

"I'm not a lord," Raphael replies with a hard smile. "I am the son of a butcher. I am called Raphael nó Rose Sauvage. I am of the Thorn canon." His tone is soft, even pleasant, despite the reputation of his canon. "What brings you to this celebration of Naamah? Do you often frequent the salons, or are you beginning to consider doing so?" The last question is surely asked due to the fellow's apparent youth.

"You make a great point," Boniface responds, considering Amaryllis's form for a moment before he leans over, examining a selection of berries resting near her navel. He twists his head so he can make eye contact as he lowers his mouth to her skin, gently dragging his lips against her flesh before capturing a berry between his teeth, swallowing it as he s straightens up- but not before whispering something in the girl's ear.

"Oh, that's nice," Yves says, looking a bit wide eyed when he realizes his mistake. But it passes quickly enough. "I thought it'd be proper to go to all of the celebrations, and so I have, what brings you here?" he explains and bobs his head once at the man. As to whether he goes to the salons, "I went to uh, one, once, it was," he pauses to think of the word and takes a bite to eat, "Nice. I'll probably go again sometime, but I don't go often, no."

She did challenge him a little. And Amaryllis looks pleased when Boniface obliges her in reacting to her tease. She actually lifts her head a little to maintain eye contact, when he brings his lips to touch against the flesh somewhere near her navel. Her eyes widen a little in amusement, when she sees Boniface devour a berry in the process. His whisper is caught and she gives him a brief glance, before she lowers her head once again onto the table. Her lips move as she offers a whisper in turn, face turning just that she can offer her words right into his ear. There is a smile, a wicked glint from stormy eyes, before Amaryllis slips back into her role, of delightful and unmoving platter.

"Very even-handed of you," Raphael remarks dryly to Yves. "As a courtesan, naturally I am a devoted follower of Naamah and serve in gratitute of the many blessings she has bestowed upon me." That much is said in solemnity without a hint of humor. But then on to other matters: "And which salon did you choose for your first outing. Not, I imagine, mine?" It is a particular breed that chooses the Rose Sauvage for their very first salon visit.

"I did well in one of the contests, too," Yves mentions with a broad smile and seems to be forgetting about the distractions around him for the moment, just standing there eating and talking to the nice old man. "I guess that makes sense! Oh, I went to um.. glycine," he answers after a moment and nods his head a little.

Boniface seems well pleased by what ever whispered answer he gets and he gives Amaryllis a smile. "Oh good. Very good." And then, with one last touch of his fingers he's off to examine other 'platters'.

"A wise choice," Raphael pronounces. "And were you entertained?" He does not partake of food or drink for the moment, himself. "In which of the contests did you distinguish yourself? I admit I have been rather occupied and have not attended many of them." His eyes do flick over to take note that Amaryllis and Boniface seem to have concluded their flirting on a successful note, as is most appropriate to the Day of Naamah.

"Camael's contest, the duels, I won," Yves answers with a pleasant smile and continues to eat slowly, wandering a few steps over towards where there are drinks so that he can get himself something to drink. "I was entertained, it was interesting to see some of their styles I'd normally never see," he mentions.

The priestess continues to just observe eveyone as they entertain each other. When she notes that Amaryllis is claimed by newer people and Boniface moves off she smiles faintly. Emilie, though, leaves him to his platter investigating. Yves and Raphael seem to be well in order as well, though, she does watch the two men a moment longer, likely trying to assess if Yves is feeling a little more at ease around a more clothed Courtesan.

"You are young to win at duels," Raphael replies, casting an eye over this Valliers nobleman, "But I can see that you are martially-minded. Is it strength of arm or sharpness of strategy that attracts you most to the swordsman's way?" There is no doubt that he is taking the measure of the young fellow, putting together the puzzle of this new acquaintance.

"I started early? Both, I suppose," Yves replies and some examination can show that despite the fact that his garb covers him more than adequately he has the thick neck and wrists, if nothing else, of a young man accustomed to great physical effort. He's undoubtedly quite strong. "It's interesting, figuring out how others will fight, the sort of guard they'll take, if they're big on the riposte or if they tend to be aggressive, that sort of thing," he explains and drones on for a moment when he realizes he's talking a bit much about swordwork for a celebration.

"Both, then," Raphael concludes. "You are suited to it naturally. There are people in Marsilikos who will value those qualities immensely. Do you hope one day to lead soldiers in battle, or do you prefer the intimacy of the duel?" Perhaps a strange thing to talk of intimacy in swordfighting when surrounded by people more or less casually eating off of nude courtesans.

"I will probably eventually have to lead against the Skald, for my father or my brother," Yves explains, but doesn't really speak about which he prefers. Just sort of leaves the question unanswered as he dwells on it for a moment or two. "Do they teach people in the salons to fight at all? I know mlle Cochonnet bragged to me once that she could beat me in a wrestling match, but I thought that might have been from her life before."

"That is not what I asked," Raphael points out, but not in an unpleasant tone. "What they teach in terms of fighting varies by canon. Now, an Orchis may do anything. That is the great strength of the Orchis. They astound. She may spend her afternoons wrestling pigs in mud for a lark. Other canons may know not the slightest thing of fighting. Now, in the Salon de la Rose Sauvage it is not uncommon for Red Roses and Thorns to have some training in combat. It is of use to us. In my case, it is useful to know how to apply real violence as well as the illusion of violence. I must be strong and precise so as not to injure when I mean to excite."

"Oh, okay, that makes sense," Yves decides after he thinks about it for a moment or two. That seems to really answer his question, even if it isn't greatly specific, but perhaps that's because there is no specific answer. Having finished off his plate, he finds a spot to set it down where it isn't in anyone's way, or hands it off if that seems like the right thing to do.

Raphael stands where he is, watching the young lord's movements. "You are concerned about putting anyone to trouble," he observes. "But I think such concerns are not strictly necessary on the Day of Naamah. If yesterday you abstained from any pleasures, today you ought to indulge yourself. He gestures broadly to the room. "If the display is not to your delight, then you must consider what attracts you. Is it finding conversation with the most fascinating person in the room? A verbal spar with a great wit, to match your duelling prowess? Finding a kind ear to hear your worries? Sharing your dreams with a Gentian? Yielding up gratitude to the Bright Lady who permits us the pleasures we enjoy in our fine land?" All these possibilities he suggests before gesturing to Emilie. "Or perhaps, if you struggle to know your own pleasures, it could be wise to confer with a priestess of Naamah?"

As Raphael explains, Yves listens attentively and nods and looks around, perhaps with a bit less awkwardness as he evaluates things from a perspective that isn't asking him to reflect on the thing so much as on his own preferences. "What I enjoy," he repeats aloud and puts his hands on his hips as he sort of just stares off into space for a seemingly too long moment. Like he never really takes the time to think about what he enjoys, and just does things, or doesn't do them, as the whim strikes him. "What um.. does mssr. Raphael enjoy doing?" he asks.

Raphael smiles sharply at this question. "You understand that I am a Thorn, of course," he says. "Being a young and a serious man, you may have only a certain understanding of what that means. It means I enjoy the pursuit of yielding." Having mentioned the key word of his canon's motto, he fixes on Yves an intense eye contact as he explains further: "I in some way create the conditions that my partner may give themselves up fully to me, that they may give everything up fully to a pleasure so complete that they can scarcely endure it. Besides mere obedience, I enjoy producing the shiver in the spine. The sound that cannot be contained. The collapse of the exhausted body." A pause, accompanied by a slight narrowing of the eyes. "Do you understand?"

"Well, I guess if you enjoy what you do, I thought that was more like a duty, but it's good you enjoy what you do! Even when you aren't obligated or, you know, not as part of your devotion," Yves admits and seems to follow along with the explanation. "I enjoy what I do too, the training for fighting part of it, anyway. It's enjoyable to learn to master myself so that I can," he pauses to think of the right words, "Be the best me."

"We are carefully selected that our calling is our pleasure," Raphael replies. "Really, we are not so different. Particularly in my canon and its closest sister-canon, self-mastery is of utmost importance. Mastery of the other can only follow if that is established." A brief smile. "Just as you can only control your enemy in battle if you can control yourself."

"Oh, that makes sense, is there also like a merit system or a test or something for proficiency, as well?" Yves asks, since he'd never taken the time to ask after such things and Raphael seems inclined to educate him on the finer points. The explanation about self-mastery is clearly well followed, and he nods his head a few times. "What sort of training is there for that, for your people?"

"There are many tests," Raphael replies in answer to both questions, "At various ages and levels of proficiency. Courtesans unsuitable to a particular canon may be sent to another, or may leave the service of Naamah, depending on the situation. In my canon, children must first show interest rather than fear or displeasure when regarding the discomfort of others. We are later tested on the mastery of many skills, but also on our composure. Can a novice, for example, resist reacting to a situation that provokes anger, or desire? Can they apply just the right amount of pain that it is at its most closely intermingled with pleasure, without causing injury or pain devoid of delight? Can they read a patron's desires without seeing merely a reflection of their own?"

The Temple of Naamah differs from its usual arrangement in the presence of courtesans laid on tables acting as platters for the various delectables and savories which are on display for this day of preferred pursuits. Many noble and devoted persons stand around, enjoying food, and conversation as the day goes on. Standing off a touch to the side with his back to the majority of the room in conversation, is Yves Valliers. "I definitely couldn't do what you do mssr., I think I was lucky to be who I am. Or maybe I'm just good at adapting to my situation," he is saying to the older man amiably. "I wonder if I would have been fitting anywhere in the Houses."

"Indeed, you were born to a station which seems to agree with you," Raphael replies. "As I was." He himself holds no food or drink, but wears dark clothes of fine quality and cut. He stands with the excellent, erect posture one might expect of his canon. "Which house would you like to find yourself a member of?" he asks. "If you do not know, perhaps in the next few years you will begin to become more familiar with us all."

Vincens guides Esmee into the temple with a light touch on her back. "Sometimes its easy to forget how glorious these big city events are." he tells her. "It's been good for me to get a reminder." He pauses for a moment to consider the options within but, in the end, only knows the one person and he's in conversation. And so he starts to guide Esmee across to some strawberries served atop a delightful brunette. The path takes them close to Aedhwyn and he pauses politely to let her through and offers a warmly spoken. "It is quite the display isnt it my Lady?"

Aedhwyn arrives or more to say she peeks in, remaining near the very edge of the Temple as if trying to decide whether she will truly enter into view, let alone participate in the activities. She draws in a small breath when Vincens speak with her, a small blush rising to her cheeks and spreading out towards her ears. "It…it is like nothing I have previously witnessed."

Guided forwards into the temple proper, Esmee's head is turned slightly while conversing with Vincens, "There are many that I have not gotten to attend yet, not while I was off traveling. Such smaller celebrations back home… are not the same." She will admit, turning as he proceeds to guide her towards a serving of fruit. It takes her but a moment to realize that the platter beneath is a courtesan, and there is but a hint of a blush to appear upon her cheeks. As he speaks with someone, her attention is drawn to Aedhwyn, a smile given to the other young woman, "If you have questions about anything, there are plenty here to ask."

For his part, Yves is wearing a more subdued form of his usual red and white, almost entirely wool. He glances around at recent entries, but doesn't break conversation with Raphael. "I don't really know, and, perhaps," he agrees when the older man suggests that he'll probably learn in the next few years. "It was more of a passing question, I didn't really mean it as a question of some deep interest," he admits, "Like, I don't think I'd do well with what you do."

Raphael observes as Vincens and Esmee approach the table, watching the pair with a certain glimmer of interest. Aedhwyn is also noted. "Some prefer to lead, while others delight in being led. My lord," Raphael says to Yves, "Have you had the opportunity to circulate much socially while honing your martial talents? I know a few people here to whom I could introduce you."

"You are in for a treat then I'd say." Vincens gestures Aedhwyn towards the courtesan that Esmee just claimed some fruit from. "Everything is twice as delicious when served so." he snags a piece for himself and gives first Esmee and then Aedhwyn a smile. "Its always interesting to see how different things can create beauty in such different ways. Take this lady here for example.. so different to her.. yet i'd be hard pressed to say which was loveliest." He catches the look Raphael casts over there way and gives a slight dip of his head in return. "If you had to pick just one Esmee. Could you?"

Aedhwyn nods her head, speaking with her nearly flawless d'Angeline though her accent is just the slightest bit…off, as if she learned the language secondhand. She looks at the display, the colour deepening a bit before turning to look at Vincens' face instead. "I will take your word for such things but it is interesting to see the different ways that things are expressed in the different temples during this festival season."

Esmee glances back to Vincens, a brow arched upwards, "Pick one… what?" She might have missed something there while taking a look at the various offerings laid out on the different living platters. Men and women, all shades of hair and skin. Turning quickly back to listen to Aedhwyn, she smiles, "Especially for one who is not used to such festivities, hmm?"

"I don't think it's really an issue of leading or being led," Yves begins to say, but bites that off a touch awkwardly as it stirs thoughts he'd been doing well to keep from the forefront of his mind as he is reminded of where he is and the people around him. "But yes, I met a few people at the contest the other day, and then some prior, but not a lot, no, I'm not the best at that sort of thing. I mean, I suppose you could introduce me," he says to Raphael.

"Allow me to put it more clearly:" Raphael says in a polite tone. "I am going to go and say hello to a few people. If you wish to be introduced, do come along. If you do not, then a good evening to you." That said, he turns to approach Vincens and Esmee. "How good to see you on Naamah's Day." This he addresses to Vincens. "It is a pleasure to see so many new and old friends here to celebrate the Bright Lady."

Aedhwyn nods her head, "This is my first." She blushes hotly as she realizes just how that could be taken. "My first experience with the festivals of his nature in Marsilikos. I believe I arrived after this time last year., during the full of the heat of summer." She is already dressed for summer and in clothes that some d'Angeline might consider a bit scandalous. Where spans of bare skin are exposed, intricate designs have been painted upon her skin in woad and other paints to create complete patters an decorate her for the festivities.

"Do you think this blonde or this brunette" Vincens repeats, gesturing to each of the platters in turns. He smiles to first Esmee and then to Aedhwyn, growing more amused as his eyes shift between them both. "is the more ravishing today Esmee? You will never see it if you do not truly look Lady…?" he lets the word lady drift off, invitating Aedhwyn to fill in a name. Raphael's arrival gains a smile of welcome. "I am grateful for such an opportunity to honor the Bright Lady Raphael." He looks to Esmee. "Have you met the Baronesse De Cargese, Esmee Rousse?

When Raphael clarifies, Yves nods his head and follows along, doing better than he had previously to manage without looking too distraught at seeing things. His hands holding to his belt, he nods to the noble people that Raphael has lead him toward. Not recognizing either, but paying attention to names and introductions so that it doesn't need to be said twice.

Esmee's attention is soon turned towards the two lovely platters, and while there is a hint of pink upon her cheeks, she does seem to give them both a studious examination, "Blonde. She has the look of one of the White Roses to her.." Whether or not she is correct, is to be seen. When someone approaches, and introductions are made, a smile is given along with a polite dip of her head, "It is a pleasure to meet you, Sir." She recognizes the Thorn, though she's not be formally introduced to him. "It is a beautiful day to pay hommage to the Bright Lady herself."

Aedhwyn fills in easily enough, "Aedhwyn mab Mor Rioghan de la Courcel of the Maghuin Dhon, Ambassador from Alba." Her name is a mouthful but it flows off the tongue in a beautiful, lilting brogue. "May I ask who the Bright Lady is, my lord?" She smiles at Raphael, nodding her head at him in a bit of a bow. "I am pressuming it is another name for Namaah but I would not wish to assume such things about the religion of others."

"How good to be introduced," Raphael says, which does not precisely answer whether or not he has met Esmee before. 'Met' could, after all, mean so many different things. Since Yves has followed along, he says for the benefit of the company, "Yves Valliers, who won at the duelling competition." And now his attention moves to Aedhwyn. "Your presumption is quite correct," he says. "I hope that our festivities do not overwhelm you today?"

Vincens takes a moment to weigh that mouthful of a title on his tongue before he responds with a slight bow and an almost smooth "An honor to meet you ambassador. They know me as Vincens d'Eresse. I must say you have a very beautiful name." He gives a nod and a smile to Yves. "You had the honor of taking victory Yves? I must say I envy you your talent." He looks back to Esmee, gives her another warm smile, and then mourns. "I can see i'm going to have to try harder."

Aedhwyn mms, a small glance taken to the various serving platters. "It is a bit…different than I am accustomed to but I wish to continue to learn about your culture and in some way have it become part of my own while not losing sight the ways of my people." She sucks in her bottom lip a moment, "Some would say that in doing so I learn about myself."

"It's a pleasure to meet you all." At his introduction Yves Valliers bows slightly, sliding one hand from his belt to his midsection as he does so. He glances at the Ambassador at her introduction and seems to be wondering something for a long moment, but whatever it was, he makes a decision and the look of curiosity leaves his face. "I did, though Lord Cyriel gave me a good contest in the last round, and Lord Aidan is apparently made out of marble, I must have hit him a dozen solid hits before he yielded," he mentions when asked. He shakes his head at the mention of talent. "Just lucky, it could have been anyone. And I'm sure you have talents I'd be envious of," he mentions, not wanting it to be a discussion of his talents.

Esmee hmms, nodding a few times before she glances back, hearing Vincens' comment, "Try harder?" She dares to question him aside before listening to the outcome of the tournament, "Congratulations to you then. I did not get to Camael's festivities.." Names mentioned draw a thoughtful look from the young woman before glancing to the small group and nibbling on the strawberry she'd taken from the nearby brunette's stomach.

"And how will you each be taking your pleasures tonight in honor of the day?" Raphael inquires, looking curiously at Esmee first, then Vincens and finally Aedhwyn. "A visit to a salon? A fête with friends? A night together?" This last is directed at Vincens and Esmee particularly.

For once Vincens doesn't say anything at all. To either question. Instead he pours his entire focus into choosing between two almost identical pieces of fruit and looking absolutely innocent.

Aedhwyn looks to Yves as he's introduced as the champion. "I would be interested in perhaps testing my skill against you at some point or perhaps even seeking tutelage in your particular style if it proves to be quite different from that of my people." She blushes a bit at the compliment to her name by Vincens, "I believe I will be spending the day learning, perhaps with friends if I am so blessed."

"You're Alban? I won't pass along any family secrets, but I'd be happy to train with you Ambassador," Yves suggests and walks over towards her to stand a bit closer. "In fact, it'd be a welcome diversion, if you'd like to join me?" he suggests and gestures towards the doors. "I already ate, mssr. Raphael provided me some food, and I can honor the Bright Lady by doing what makes me most happy," he mentions, as if making excuses for himself more than explaining to them.

Quiet is Esmee for a few moments as the various members of their little circle converse. The berry is eaten, juice licked from her lips before the question is asked and her gaze rises to meet that of Raphael. Cheeks surely darken a little more, the color surely would do a White Rose proud. Briefly might she look at Vincens, finding him looking about, "I plan to see where the day may take me?" Leaving her options open!

Well, at least Yves has a potential answer! Raphael inclines his head at the young lord's proposal to leave. He may, after all, be looking for permission, and who better to grant that than a Thorn? Then a keen gaze focuses again on Vincens and Esmee. "Waiting for the day to take you?" he asks Esmee. "Then we must hope the day obliges."

Aedhwyn takes a small step back when Yves moves closer to her, "I…I did not mean just this very moment and yes, I am Alban, sister to the Chief of the Maghuin Dhon." She sucks in her bottom lip a moment as she ponders, "I suppose that I could but I would wish to stay a bit longer first, to see a bit more." Though for someone that wants to see a bit more, she doesn't do more than sneak peaks at the serving dishes.

Vincens looks up when Esmee gives her answer. His eyes not leaving her face even when Raphael starts talking. "Are you ready to head home Esmee?"

Esmee does smile a little as she listens to Yves and Aedhwyn, but turns to Vincens to give the lord a look with eyes of blue, "I thought you were hungry?" A brief gesture is given to the various living beautiful platters of food laid out in the temple, "Surely, you still wish to get a few more bites?" So innocely asked.

"Of course, well, when you finish or any other day, House Valliers in the Camlach section of the Noble District," Yves reiterates and then turning to the others, bows from the waist to those still gathered. "Again, a pleasure meeting you all," he adds and starts to make his exit, giving only pause as necessary to accept farewells on his way out.

Aedhwyn nods her head, "It was a pleasure to make your acquaintance, my lord and I will most certainly call upon you so we might enage in physicality." Sometimes her phrasing is just well interesting, causing her to blush a bit as she realizes just how it could be taken. She looks about a moment, taking the moment to try to wil the blush away from the features but failing. She looks to Raphael, "My lord, how will you celebrate this day?"

Vincens gives Esmee that is at first exasperated and then amused. "No. No." He gives a brief laugh and reaches out to take Esmee's hand. "I surely do not." Half turning he gives Raphael a slight, respectful bow, "Taking the day." Offers Aedhwyn (And Yves if he still lingers) a "It was an honor to meet you." Then with a little tug to get Esmee moving starts for the door. "Surely you have fruit?"

Raphael nods his approval at Vincens. "As the day wishes to be taken," he says, perhaps a reference to their previous conversation. To Aedhwyn he nods. "In fact I have been asked to call on one or more persons of my acquaintance," he says. "Which I think I ought to do before much longer."

Innocent enough is Esmee, though there is surely a smile upon her lips at the way that Vincens reacts to her comments. When he takes hold of her hand, seeking to turn them towards the exit to the temple, she does dip her head to those lingering, "A pleasure to meet all of you.. I hope to do so again soon.." And then she's walking out with Vincens, skirts swishing about her legs, and a husky laugh given for whatever reason.

The Naamah priestess seems content with murmuring to the temple's clergy and the Courtesans hired to help out with the feast. The 'platters' are frequently changed so that none are left stilled for to long. Save for the Valerian Courtesans, they are purposefully left to a more straining point. Emilie might not partake in the darker canons but she does know what they need.

Aedhwyn is near the entrance, not having made it very far inside before people started conversing with her. For that she is actually rather graceful. She is close enough to be able to see hints of the activities without being in the mix of it. She is obviously of Alban descent given the way she is dressed and the woad patterns drawn upon her skin, the dots of Courcel blue across her cheeks and the bridge of her nose. She smiles at those she speaks with, occasionally peeking at the living platters.

His farewell more or less made, Raphael departs.

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