(1311-05-11) Refreshed and Renewed
Summary: It's the morning after the Day of Kushiel, and La Rose Sauvage is getting ready for another day - the final day of the Days of the Companions.
RL Date: 11/05/2019
Related: Days of the Companions
raphael severine denise tancred 

La Rose Sauvage — Night Court

A huge hearth of black marble, with gargoyles of stone adorning the mantlepiece, governs the foyer of the Salon de la Rose Sauvage, which emanates a certain dark air, the interior design of the more heavy sort, that could easily be encountered in a gentleman's club, especially with the dark cherry wood wainscoting used on the walls. Dark leather upholstery is predominant in the furniture of chaise longues, couches and long-backed chairs that are arranged in a half-circle, leaving space in the center for courtesans (or patrons) to kneel for an inspection. Three tall windows with circular stained-glass insets are framed by dark red curtains of heavy brocade, a few golden threads worked into the fabric catching occasionally the light of flickering oil lamps at the walls. The lamps light a pair of portrait paintings, of the two founders of the salon, Edouard Shahrizai and his cousin Annabelle no Mandrake, resplendent in their dark Kusheline appeal; and a cabinet in a corner, holding a number of quality wines and a flagon of uisghe.

The foyer has a high ceiling, and a gallery beyond a balustrade of dark teak wood, carved in the shapes of gargoyles. Sometimes a few veiled creatures can be spotted up there, stealing glances at what is going on below; from the gallery, which can be reached by ascending some winding stairs at the back of the foyer. Beside the stairs leading up is a hallway on ground level, leading further into the building to where the offices of the leader of the salon and the Seconds can be found, along with the two wings of private quarters for roses of Mandrake and Valerian canon.


The day of Kushiel ended and the day of Elua just beginning, there is much to be done to be sure that the salon will continue to delight rather than to look drab in comparison with all the many spring festivities. Being that Raphael is typically an early riser, at least by salon standards, he has collared a few young Thorn novices for duties of polishing the dark wood furnishings and refreshing the leather upholstery, a process which he is overseeing while drinking from a steaming mug of mint and barley tisane, a clean rag slung over one shoulder. "Geoffroi," he says, arresting a boy walking away from a leather chair. "You cannot leave it that way. We have the most illustrious patrons in Marsilikos, have we not? Our guests come to us in their finest clothing. Should we ruin it with even one streak of oil, we make ourselves look as tawdry as any dockside tavern. And that especially cannot be let to happen on the day of Blessed Elua. Can it. You must buff it once now, then come back when you have done them all and use yet another fresh cloth for a second buffing. Hold this." He passes the mug to the boy and, plucking the rag from his shoulder, kneels to demonstrate. "You understand?" He passes the cloth over. "Good. Don't let anyone catch you shirking in the future now you've been instructed." Standing, he claims his mug again.

Séverine had been absent from the salon for the Day of Kushiel. But today she seems to be around. Arriving from the hallway, she lets her gaze sweep, and in spotting Raphael overseeing the work of the Thorn novices, she smiles. Dark green is the gown she wears, and it has long sleeves. Unusual for her, the dress keeps her back covered. Red-blonde hair is gathered in a loose knot at the nape of her neck. "Good morning, Raphael," she greets the Thorn with the hint of a curtsey, the smile remaining on her pale and faintly freckled features.

Denise has a manner of seeming fresh and composed in the morning that is really somewhat unfair in a courtesan. Entering the salon, she keeps to the sides of the room, almost as if to take in the atmosphere of the place in its current state of preparation. Perhaps in honor of the day, she has foregone her usual dark fabrics, and is instead wearing a gown of white linnen, thin enough to show off tantalizing glimpses of the figure beneath when she stands in the right light. A gilded belt and soft leather sandals complete the outfit. She gives a quiet smile of greetings to the two senior courtesans, a brief, knowing glance cast at Severine's back.

"Good morning," the Thorn replies to Séverine first. He inclines his head in respect and steps in her direction, away from the novice and the chair and the smell of oil. "I've not seen this gown before," he comments, taking a moment to appreciate the vision. "It is your color." A pause before he asks, in a thought which may well be related, "And is your spirit refreshed after the Day of Kushiel?" Only now does he spot the quiet Denise who had been keeping to the perimeter of the room and send her a faint nod of greeting.

Denise receives a glance and a smile from Séverine. "That is a lovely gown," the Second comments towards the adept, grey eyes focusing for a moment on the play of light in white of the attire. "Now this would make you almost look like a White Rose, but the absence of a veil, and that look in your eyes give you away," Séverine states with a fine smile. That smile remains there, even as she notes how both Denise and Raphael react to her own choice of attire. It is to Raphael, that she will reply. "I wear this only rarely, but thank you, I am glad if you appreciate the color." That gaze of hers tightens, giving that smile of hers an almost sharp quality. "Refreshed and renewed. Yes. It has been awhile since I have paid a visit to Kushiel's Temple. It certainly has a certain atmosphere."

Denise gives a faint grin at Severine's compliment, and despite her comments, there is a faint blush creeping into her cheeks. "Thank you, Second" she murmurs as she steps forward, letting the morning light make the garment a little more translucent. "I do like to think I have picked up one or two things from my fellow-roses over the years." Standing closer to the two now, she gives Raphael another graceful nod and murmurs "Messire Raphael."

"Denise," Raphael replies, pausing to drink some of the tisane as he note the quality of the light on this unaccustomed gown of Denise's. "It has been an eventful week, has it not." Not really a question in tone, but the remark invites conversation, though Raphael does split his attention briefly, turning his head to say in a steelier tone, "Annabelle, you heard what I said to Geoffroi. I recommend you not look for Elua's patience in /me/ just because of the day." Then his attention is back on the Red Roses and his voice is velvety again. "I hope it has been as delightful in its varied ways as you both might have hoped."

<FS3> Severine rolls Composure: Good Success. (4 1 4 4 7 2 7 2 6 1)

"Delightful would not quite be the way to put it," Séverine counters towards Raphael. "I have been lax lately, in staying true to some principles of mine. I needed to confess and do penance." And that will be as specific as she will get about that topic. Visits to Kushiel's Temple are of a definitely private nature. What ever occurred there, the Red Rose Second moves with almost unhampered grace as she approaches Denise and admires the play of light in the dress. "Quite the wicked combination," she comments not without humor, before her gaze lifts to regard Raphael who stands before her. "What about you, Monsieur Raphael? Did you enjoy yourself?"

Denise lightly glasps her hands behind her back as she stands in the light, eyes glittering ever so faintly with the knowledge of the exposure this causes. There is a hint of tension about her, though maybe that is just an instinctive reaction to a Thorn's stern voice. "It has mostly been a week of quiet reflection of myself" she murmurs softly. "Which was quite beneficial in itself."

Raphael inclines his head as a gesture of respect for the Second's focus on the previous day and does not press the matter. "It has been a busy time," he replies to Séverine. "I met several patrons this week that we have not received before. Country nobility, first-timers…some were desirous of advice or orientation to our night court. It is always a challenge to introduce each person in the proper way, but perhaps particularly so at this time of year when so much out of the ordinary is going on."

"Quiet reflection can be useful, now and then," Séverine opines gently, as she regards Denise and she smiles, noting a certain reaction to the Thorn in the Red Rose adept. "The salon appreciates your efforts, Monsieur Raphael. But considering you have returned to service, it does not take me by surprise.", the Red Rose Second tells the Thorn. "Those new to our canon are always to be treated with the required subtlety. First-timers," her smile turns into a faint wry twist of one, "need to explore possibilities and the depth of their disposition towards one canon or the other."

Denise lets her gaze briefly drift over the salon, keeping aware of her surroundings even as she maintains her quiet pose, her privacy left at the mercy of sun and clouds outside. "I did think a while ago we should maybe think about organizing regular Showings of our canons" she murmurs softly, returning her attention to the other two Roses. "Often it takes an actual encounter with what we offer for people to understand the fascination of it…"

Raphael nods to each of the Red Roses. "Exploration is indispensible," he agrees. "But some are not ready for showings right away. They start with verbal exploration. With wanting to know the reasons for what we do as much as to see the allure of skill. Why, at Naamah's feast, I came upon a young man so fresh from the country and to man's estate that he blushed even at the sight of courtesans. And even in this salon a few weeks ago I met a new foreigner shocked even to see closeness between courtesan and patron. Such people, I think, are not yet ready for a showing, though I hope that understanding our ways may take them in that direction." He looks to Denise. "What talent of your own would you be most eager to display for someone's…very first time?" As he speaks, the novices working on polishing the leather upholstery are starting their second pass at buffing the last of the oil out of the chairs, leaving them supple and lustrous.

Just his luck that the furniture is fresh and ready for his heavy arse. It is morning and Tancred has no rocks to throw, no trunks to move, no floors to wax, so he has decided to take a comfortable stroll to ease the soreness in his legs. A detour and a slight thirst for alcohol send him passing by the Salon in riding leathers of House Baphinol's color, though naturally he leaves his sword and dagger at the entryway. The huge foreigner, despite looking … well, foreign, seems familiar with the building, and begins to look for a place to sit.

Séverine sighs softly at the mention of Showings, even if perhaps more in a longing way than as if she were troubled at the thought. "Showings have been highly exclusive," she states towards Denise and Raphael. "Save for that one time, where we went for an experiment, of incorporating all three of our canons. I agree. We should prepare to hold a Showing, but it should be strictly a combination of Thorn and Red Rose. In addition, patrons should apply if they are interested to receive an invitation. We don't want people to stumble in by accident. In regards to where to hold the Showing, we shall probably choose the Red Chamber, as I am not sure all of our patrons with appreciate the darker setting of the other patron room." She smiles. "Other things, demonstrations may not require us to be as exclusive. Think of… a demonstration of skilled whip work. We already had an event showing off rope art. Something in that vein can be open to a grander public, while allowing a glimpse of some parts of our canons."

Despite the early hour, it seems that La Rose Sauvage is already receiving its first visitor of the day, and Séverine turns to greet him. "Ah… It is you. Monsieur Tancred," she greets softly, inclining her head to the man of foreign origin. She wears a long sleeved dress today, that keeps her back covered. Dark green is the color that contrasts so nicely to the pallor of her skin.

Denise is standing with her hands clasped behind her, her thin white gown rendered near-translucent by the daylight streaming in through the windows. She nods thoughtfully, blushing ever so faintly at Raphael's question. With a wry smile she replies "I suppose… obedience is the core those skills and virtues. A display of… giving myself, of displaying surrender and abasement…" She turns her head at Tancre'd entrance, eyebrows lifting with a hint of surprise as Severine displays former acquaintance with him. Nonetheless she turns toward the man, smiling and giving a graceful curtsey "A good morrow, Monsieur. May our House be of service to you today?"

Since a patron has arrived, the novices hurry to make sure that one of the several groups of seating is ready, that the man may choose the seat he likes, and they then move on to the next grouping. Raphael's gaze falls on Denise thoughtfully for a long moment before swiveling to Séverine. "I must say I agree," he says generally to her statements, then follows her gaze to the morning patron, sipping from his cooling mug of tisane the while.

"Aye. Morning," replies he in his Skaldic-accented d'Angeline. Tancred waits for the seating to be ready - patience, at least, being his virtue - and then moves to take his seat with a soft grunt, hands on the rests, though sitting himself fails to conceal his width or length of leg. His bright blues alight first on Severine. She gets a nod. "You are lovely as always." Next, for Denise : "Is there wine?" Lastly, Raphael gets just a nod, though not a curt one.

Séverine smiles as she notices the lift of brows in Denise. Leaning in, she murmurs a few words into the adept's ear. Before she adds, this more meant for the ears of Raphael as well, "Monsieur Tancred is in service of House Baphinol." As can be seen from the colors in his attire. Leaving the request for wine for Denise to respond to, she for her part remains standing. "Thank you, monsieur." As a consequence of a patron having entered the salon, all salon-related talk is doomed to dim down. Apart from an approving, "Obedience, yes.", murmured towards Denise in belated response.

Séverine whispers, "I encountered him in the Baths of Naamah, some time ago." to Denise.

Denise inclines her head ever so faintly at Severine's murmur, and if anything about the situation surprises her, she hides it gracefully. She heads off to one of the cabinets and pours a cup of red Kusheline wine before making her way toward Tancred, her hips swaying a little with every step, her gown's translucence shifting as she moves through patches of light and shadow. In traditional Valerian fashion, she sinks to her knees by Tancred's feet, offering up the cup with both hands.

Raphael inclines his head to Tancred. "Good morning, Monsieur," he bids. He is perhaps on the point of redirecting a novice, but Denise is so gracious as to pour the wine herself, so there is no need. Raphael can instead appreciate the light on the back of Denise's gown as she moves away.

"Thank you." Tancred accepts the cup of wine, having seen her go on to attend to his stated need and taken notice of the gown as well, which gives him thoughtful pause. He holds his tongue until she's kneeling; he doesn't seem surprised by that, either. Those bright blues settle on her face. "You are an adept," he surmises, "of the Red Rose, yes? What is your name?" He spares Raphael and Severine glances, too, and wonders, "What were you talking of earlier?" Not harsh, but to the point.

Denise rests her hands on her thighs as she remains kneeling beside Tancred, inclining her head with a soft smile as she replies "Infeed. Denise Shahrizai no Rose Sauvage, at your service." The question makes her pause for an instant, before she replies "Just discussing House business, and possible plans for future events"

"It is as Denise says," Séverine replies softly. "La Rose Sauvage needs to advertise the canons that are to be found in this salon." Her stormy grey eyes consider Tancred, the manner in which he sits in his chair, and Denise, kneeling so picturesquely before him. A glance she shoots Raphael's way then, tilting her head just so. "We shall confer about this later."

"Morning is often our time for both conversation and business, Monsieur," Raphael replies to Tancred. "We talked also of our experiences during the Days of the Companions. I hope yours have been satisfactory?" His gaze slides to Séverine and he nods. "As you like," he replies. "I shall look forward to it."

"They have," he allows, for Raphael, "Though I have not partaken of much of them. I will join the duels if they permit me to next year, ironic or no." Tancred shakes his head slightly, slaking his thirst while his eyes stray towards a window, and on the matter of house business he ends up musing, "Is there competition between Salons on your day? What would you have your visitors do?" For some reason, his gaze flicks to Severine.

Severine senses: It may be difficult to notice, but when Tancred looks her way, the gaze briefly pauses on her neck, and his free hand briefly flexes.

<FS3> Severine rolls Composure: Great Success. (3 3 7 4 8 8 2 5 5 7)

"You would have been permitted to take part in the duels," Séverine observes softly. "These competitions are open to everyone. The stricter rules of tournaments don't apply here." She speaks about the Days of the Companions of course. Or does she not? "Competition between the salons? How do you mean? On the Day of Naamah, some of our own had been assigned to be at Naamah's Temple. We didn't have a competition among the salons, it was more joining our forces for a celebration held there." Stating this, she inhales a slow breath, gaze lingering on Tancred and the glass of wine and his hands. "But perhaps, when you ask what we wish to have our visitors do, you are referring to future events held here, for exclusive clientele?"

"My understanding is that this year's winner of duels was quite a young fellow," Raphael mentions. "One wonders where he will stand with another year of training." He sips form his tisane. "Indeed, on Naamah's day, every salon can contribute to the honor of the Bright Lady." He glances Séverine's way, leaving her the lead in the conversation since she seems to know the fellow.

"A friendly competition," clarifies Tancred, "To see whose appeals the most." He drops his left hand to rest it flat against his thigh, the right setting the winecup on the table adjacent. "Another year might do him well if the victory didn't get to his head." Fingers drum thoughtfully against his thigh. "But, yes. That is what I was wondering. I overheard you saying rope-art. I think many a patron must be taught knots first, or at least spend a year at sea to find out how."

Denise gives a faint smile "That is where the Rose Sauvage has something of an advantage, in uniting the Valerian and Mandrake canons under one roof. There is always the skill on hand to display both sides of that coin…" The dark-haired woman rests her hands on her thighs as she settles back on her heels and listens to the conversation.

"Certain preferences of a patron require a demonstration — or at least some expertise through practice," Séverine replies. "When it comes to rope art, this was more reference to a recent event we had here at the salon. Of course. If a patron would wish for his assignation to be tied up beautifully, we have our Thorns always close by. Yes, Denise. Exactly." She tilts her head a little to the side and smiles towards the adept. "Our planning in regards to our next event hasn't progressed as far that we can already issue invitations. If and how those can be earned is a detail we still need to puzzle out, Monsieur. I doubt it will involve bindings. At least not in the elaborate form that was on display at our 'Roses in Bloom' feast."

"It is well to show our range when we plan events," Raphael puts in. "Though the tastes of individual patrons can sometimes be particular, the tastes of our city are various. And of course the skills of our courtesans are vast." By now, the novices are nearly done with their work, and the furniture shines with a fresh dark luster.

"I see." Tancred picks up the cup of wine, finishes the dregs, and then begins to rise from his chair, leaving a good imprint. He brushes off his behind. "Thank you for the time. I think I will go ride, or else I will be tempted to stay longer." His eyes drift towards the hallway, then he bows, hand to his waist.

Séverine inclines her head to Tancred as he moves to stand. "All that is left to me, is to wish you a pleasant ride then.", she intones softy, grey eyes alight as they meet his gaze. With a flick of her wrist she indicates for Denise to rise from her kneel. "A good day to you, Monsieur Tancred."

"Blessed Day of Elua," Raphael bids affably before approaching the novices who are now finished. "Good," he says. "Go and ask Baptiste for your next task," he tells them, handing off his empty cup to one before they go.

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