(1311-06-19) Name Dropping
Summary: Desarae finds a waif and stray in the Port of Marsilikos, but things aren't always what they seem.
RL Date: June 19th, 2019
Related: None
desarae andre 

Port - Marsilikos

Fortune laid the foundation for the grand port of Marsilikos; look how the arms of the land spread wide to embrace the setting of the sun, welcoming a bay of still waters rendered all the more peaceful by the presence of a small island to the south, on the flanks of which the waves cut themselves into powerless ripples as they move in from the sea. But what Fortune gave the D'Angelines their cunning and craft has improved to a hum of efficiency and culture. The natural bay has had its curved shores sharpened into straight edges bolstered with ridges of heavy stones on which the tides have left long mark when the waters are low, algae and barnacles hung onto the rugged stones. Then stone foundations have been piled out into the harbor to hold up wide wooden pillars and the great treated slats of the piers and boardwalks which extend into the bay, now at wider intervals for massive trading vessels, now at shorter intervals for private fishing and pleasure yachts.

The southern arm of the bay is reserved for the great sourthern fleet of the Terre D'Angan Navy, which is headquartered here in Marsilikos, and is ever a hub of activity, the giant slips outfitted to haul the massive warships up into the air for repairs, while further inland on the southern peninsula a forest of masts rises into the air where new ships are being built and old ones repaired in full drydock. Between the naval slips and the drydock rises the stately edifice of the Southern Naval Headquarters, glistening with huge latticed windows on the upper floors. Beyond the headquarters rises the massive fortified promontory of the Citadel, with bleached-white parapets and fluttering banners.

Markets and vendors throng the plaza at the innermost fold of the harbor where civilian and military seamen alike might find a bite to eat, supplies for their next mission, a good drink or a little bit of companionship. Far in the bay, that little isle sports a lofty lighthouse to guide the ships in by night.

It's a brooding sort of a morning; warm and stormy with dark clouds rolling in across the sea that look as if rain might be imminent. It's where where Desarae's retreated to this morning, the weather matching a mood that had descended upon her the night before. She's no maid accompanying her today, for she'd dismissed her from her company once her cloak had been fetched. She sits quite alone, if her Cassiline and the Mereliot guards whom have escorted her on her walk are to be ignored, though in truth — a Cassiline is a person that should never be ignored. He stands a few paces from where she sits on the edge of the harbour wall, and in her lap is a folded linen cloth from which she picks at something contained within. Food, a person would have to assume, since it's conveyed from the linen to her mouth in an absent-minded manner.

A stranger can be seen walking nearby, squinting at the ships docked in port and the merchant houses that line the street nearby. He wears simple clothes, a white shirt, brown breeches and comfortable black boots, that are clearly a bit too large for him and make him look slighter than he is. His most notable features are a mop of bright blonde hair and a very red sun-burnt face that give him the unfortunate appearace of an inverted match stick. Seemingly stranded, he decides to approach the young lady sitting alone and thus perhaps not averse to company. "Excuse me, Mylady, might you help me?", he asks in polite tones, his D'Angeline decent but clearly spoken with the accent of a foreigner.

Such strangers are very much subject to scrutiny, and this particular one has had his approach to Desarae tracked not only by the Mereliot guards, but by the keen eyes of a Cassiline too. "That's close enough, monsieur," comes the gruff warning from the grey-garbed man, and he moves to place himself between his ward and the stranger. Not offensively so, just enough that a threat might be countered. "Help you with what?" With a small piece of pastry held between her finger and thumb, Desarae's focus settles on the sunburnt young man. The food is dropped back to her lap, and she takes a moment to lick the buttery grease from her fingers before speaking again. And when she does, it's simply to state the obvious. "You're not d'Angeline…" Her head tilts a fraction, and with her fingers now clean, she wipes them upon her skirts before sweeping an escaped lock of hair from her cheek. Unusually, she wears it loose so it falls past her shoulders, rather than pinned up, or braided in the usual fashion.

"My apologies, Sir.", the young stranger answers the guard politely and immediately stops in his tracks. At least he's close enough to not need to shout. "Indeed, I am not, Mylady.", he confirms her worst fears, "I come from Brabant, in the Flatlands. I was lost at sea and chanced upon these friendly shores. I am quite sure that there are countrymen of mine present in this famous port, but I've had no luck yet in finding them. Would you happen to know where the Flatlandlish merchants are situated? A merchant house? A place where they might assemble to discuss business?", he suggests hopefully.

"Merchants from the Flatlands? No. I don't know." Desarae is quick to answer. Her response is accompanied by the smallest lift of her shoulders, though there's no hint of apology in her tone for her lack of knowledge in her reply. "I wouldn't have thought there would be that many here in our city, since your country lies to the north of ours. Most trade would come through Azalle, I'd have thought." She breaks of, her eyes leaving André in order to look back out across the usually blue seas, made grey now from reflecting the clouds in the sky. "I suppose," she adds a little more quietly, "that you might try asking one of the city guards that patrol here in the port. Perhaps they might direct you better than I."

"Oh, there is a lot of merchandise coming through Marsilikos and other southern ports. Much easier for example, to ship wine barrels by sea around Aragonia than transport them overland through Azzalle.", André replies, clearly a topic that gets him excited and animated, "We also ship goods directly from our ports to your fair lands here. Textiles, tapestries and lace for example." He catches himself before he bores her further and hms. "Well, you might be right, I did not mean to impose, Mylady."

Desarae blinks, her lashes heavy so the action is slowed. "Really? I would have thought it simpler to offload your merchandise at one of the ports in Azalle. It's safer to do that, wouldn't you say, than risk the rough seas and pirates to be found in the seas between Aragonia and Carthage." A pause. "But what do I know, I am neither a sailor nor a merchant, and nor would I wish to be." Her hand returns to her food, and she tears another piece of the still warm pastry off and lifts it to her mouth. "Were you lost long at sea? The burns to your face would suggest that you were, and they'd also suggest that you're not a sailor at heart." In goes the pastry, and there's the smallest of smirks that curls at her lips as with a twist of her head, she directs her focus back upon him. "You look terrible, by the way. Perhaps it's a healer you should be seeking, before anything else."

André opens his mouth to debate the finer points of maritime trade, but then claps it shut again, when she continues "I do not know, Mylady, I believe two or three days, but I admit that my memory is vague. When our ship sank, I was lucky to be able to cling to a piece of wood that kept me aloft and carried me to the shore eventually. Sadly, it did not provide protection from the sun." A little smirk appears on his lips at her non-compliment. "I beg pardon if my appearance offends your eye, Mylady. I would actually appreciate being pointed towards a healer as I can assure you these burns hurt as terrible as they look."

"You'll want to take yourself to the Temple of Eisheth," Desarae says, folding the edges of the linen back over her food. She's neat in her method of eating, and no crumbs have escaped to stain the silk of her skirts. Nevertheless, she still brushes her lap free once the package that she's made has been set on the wall by her side, and her breath escapes her lips in sigh. "You'll find healers at the temple whom will take pity upon your plight, monsieur. They'll have any number of salves that will be suitable to calm your skin, soothe your burns and aid in your recovery. You won't have to pay them for the their services, though if you wish to make a donation to the temple, or a leave an offering or some prayers for Eisheth, such things would speak well of you." She pauses, brows knitting together above her eyes. "Was there nobody else that survived the wreck of your ship along with yourself? Will anyone be looking for you? Have you even any coin with which to feed yourself?"

André nods along, grateful for the advice and instructions, until she starts peppering him with questions and he makes a face. "That is the problem, Mylady. The waters took my possessions. A kindly lady found me on the beach, took me here to the city, fed and clothed me, but I cannot impose on her generosity much longer. Hence the need to find my countrymen, who would hopefully supply me with some coin. They might also know if other crew members made it ashore in the area. And I would hope that someone might me looking for me.", he adds after a moment, frowning slightly, before he brighens again. "I am sure they will! And once I am supplied with money, I will be happy to make a donation."

<FS3> Desarae rolls Empathy: Great Success. (5 8 7 7 6 8 5)

"Since you were shipwrecked to the south of Terre d'Ange," Desarae quietly notes, "it might be quite some time until your loss becomes known. And if you were outbound, rather than inbound, even longer than that. You could send word via a messenger, of course, but even that will take days of travel before the border between Azalle and your homeland is reached." She softens a little, something somewhere deep inside her allowing her to feel some degree of sympathy towards the man and his plight. "If you would like, I can help you with having a message sent, though as you say, there might be compatriots of yours already here in the City, should you be lucky enough to find them." A chew of her lip. Perhaps it's because he speaks so politely, perhaps it's because he's non-threatening in his demeanour. Perhaps it's because his clothes are ill-fitting and his boots are too large. "Are you hungry?" She picks up the neatly packaged pastry and offers it his way, holding it at arm's length so he needn't approach her too closely.

A man can always be lured with food! Still, André dithers a little bt when she's offering food, before he holds out his hand to accept the parcel. "I am hungry indeed and always keen to try new things!", he explains brightly, holding up the pastry to inspect it closer. "Is this a local speciality?", he asks hopefully, before retruning to the business at hand. "Any message that could be send to ease my parents' fears about my fate would be appreciated, Mylady. As you say, it may take a while for me to find my countrymen and even longer until a message is sent. Flatlanders, it has to be said, cannot be rushed.", he sighs.

When the food is claimed, Desarae drops her hand to her lap, and laces her fingers with those of its twin. "Hm. I don't think that it would be considered as such. No. I've had pastries similar to that in Elua, though not with apricots and almonds." A pause. "I prefer them fresh from the baker's oven, myself; when the glaze is still sticky and fruit still warm." A beat. "You may sit on the wall, if you wish. It looks bad to eat whilst standing, and besides, I'll wake with a stiff neck come the morning if I have to look up at you for even a moment longer. As for a messenger, well yes. If you tell me where you're staying, I'll have someone sent to you later." A frown. "You do have lodgings, don't you?"

Still exotic, as far as the Flatlander is concerned. He gratefully accepts the invitation to sit on the wall, making sure to not sit too close to her and takes a big bite out of the pastry. An expression of delight appears on his face while he chews and he nods his approval. But apparently he's well-bred enoug to only speak again once his mouth is entirely free of pastry. "Delightful. Almonds, you say? Quite a rarity in my northern home, I admit. So are apricots. Apples. We do have plenty of apples.", he adds helpfully and hms. "I… well, I was hoping to find lodgings with my countrymen here. I cannot impose on the lady's hospitality much longer, it would be rude. I'm staying with…" He falters and knits his brows, then chuckles softly. "I'm afraid I do not know more of her than her first name, Jaide." He looks at his present companion hopefully to see if this might ring a bell.

A first name isn't much to go on. The chances are that there are many women whom go by that name in Marsilikos, and so André's hopes that it will bear fruit for him, are quickly dashed with a shake of Desarae's head. "It's not a name I'm familiar with," she quietly informs. "As to lodgings, if you really don't wish to impose upon this Jaide for longer than necessary, you might be able to pick up some labouring here in the port wherein you might be also offered a roof. Or if you like horses, then you might try one of the many liveries here in the city." She looks down at her hands, and picks at the edge of one nail, seemingly lost in thought for a moment. "But speaking of names, you've not given me yours. I'll need to know if if I'm to send a messenger to track you down."

Labouring. A look of alarm crosses André's face, when she speaks of this, as if she might have suggested prowling the back alleys of the port for coin. But he quickly masks it behind a smile. "Ah, that sounds exciting. Labouring in the port. I may try my hands at that. Horses, I'm good with, too.", he says with a fair amount of optimism. He takes another bite of the pastry and enjoys in silence until she speaks again. He might even blush, if thus were visible on his bright-red face. "Oh, how terribly rude of me, Mylady. My name is André.", he introduces himself and, seeing as that's probably not enough, adds: "André Montford de Westerlo." She might know it's the name of the rulers of Brabant. Perhaps. He doesn't like to brag.

<FS3> Desarae rolls Politics: Great Success. (7 8 7 3 7 3 5 1 3)

Desarae sucks in her breath as a faint wash of colour finds a home in her cheeks. "I see, my lord. And I suppose that it didn't occur to you to tell me your name before now?" She's plainly wrong-footed by the revelation of his name, and a scowl of irritation settles upon her features. "Well. I should beg your forgiveness for the crassness of me suggesting that you labour in the docks or muck out the stables." She should beg it, but doesn't. "We have no ambassador currently here from the Flatlands, so you could stay in their suite at the palace. Or we could see that you're comfortably lodged at one of the inns in the city whilst word of your whereabouts is sent ahead to your family." She rises from the wall, her cloak falling neatly to shroud her slender figure. "Artemis," she turns to address one of the guards, "Please go directly and inform my aunt that Prince André Montford de Westerlo of Brabant in the Flatlandshas washed up on her shores, and that I'm taking him to the Temple of Eisheth."

André realizes that she recognizes his name and looks slightly uncomfortable himself now. "I… I do not want any kind of extra treatment because of my name.", he assures her quickly, "And I'm quite prepared to work for my keep. It would be rather exciting, I think.", he confesses and finishes the pastry. Yet he can't deny that he appreciates how fast a dropped noble name sets things in motion. "If a suite were available, I would not mind to occupy it, of course. And… I suppose, I could take on some ambassadorial duties as well." Whatever that entails. When she gets to her feet, he follows quickly and clears his throat. "Erm, now that you know my name, would you do me the kindness to share yours as well?"

"Lady Desarae Mereliot, niece to Her Grace," Desarae supplies, gesturing with one hand towards the square of the marketplace and the roads that lead from it. "The temple is only a short distance from here, but since I have my coach waiting we can travel in that." As she speaks, a glance is given to one of her guards, and gives a small bow before moving away from their company. Presumable to inform the driver of the coach that she's ready to leave, for it's only a matter of moments before the sound of shod hooves on cobbles and the creaking of springs can be heard. A black carriage with the Mereliot crest in blue and gold paint on its door pulls to a halt before them, and footman climbs down from the back to open the door and let down the step.

Now it is him, who looks ever so slightly sheepish when she reveals her high-born name. But he is quick to chuckle again. "Well, it is a honour to meet you, Lady Desarae. I trust it would have been more usual for us to meet in a palatial ballroom, dressed to the nines, while the musicians strike up a jaunty tune, but this is rather fun, isn't it?" He looks up expectantly as the coach arrives and is quick to rush to its side, so he can offer a hand to Desarae and help her up the steps, if she wishes to.

Desarae takes the hand that's offered, and her step is light as she ascends into the carriage. After waiting for André to join her, the Cassiline is next to take his place inside, joining Desarae on her side of the seating arrangement as the door is closed behind them. Instructions must already have been given to the driver by one of the guards, for the springs dip lightly as the carriage starts to move. With windows let down, the sultry air that heralds the storm flutters the curtains at the window, and by the time they arrive a few minutes later at Eisheth's Temple, fat droplets of rain are already beginning to fall from the skies. It'll be with exemplary grace and manners that Desarae will escort André into the temple to speak with the healers, though once he's taken from her side, it's with a roll of her eyes and scowl on her lips that she'll find a quiet corner in which to wait for him. Her day, apparently, now ruined.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License