(1311-08-01) Disappointment
Summary: Desarae calls on Andre to find out first-hand what happened between Philomene and Kalisha.
RL Date: Thu Aug 01, 1311
Related: Between the Hosts and the Guests
desarae andre 

Flatlands Suite

A new day has dawned over Marsilikos and finds Andre still in his suite, recovering from the events of the previous day. The suite assigned to dignitaries from the Flatlands has few personal touches, although there is a nice Flemish tapestry on one wall, depicting the stormy coast of the Northern Sea back home. The table is laid out with breakfast, which for Andre consists of fresh bread, jams and cheese along with watered-down beer. He is dressed down for the privacy of his chambers in a clean white shirt, green hose and soft shoes. Clearly not quite expecting someone apart from the maid who'll take the breakfast stuff in a while.

The knock on the door to the Flatlands Suite will be answered by whichever of the palace staff has been assigned to duty there. As large as the suite is, it is very likely that the quiet exchange which follows will be overheard in the room where breakfast has been laid for the Prince of Brabant.

"Good day, my lady. Oh of course. I will inform him of your wish to speak with him."

Another quieter exchange follows, words being murmured back and forth, and a second or two later the maid appears before Andre to bring him news which he may or may not wish to hear. "My lord, the Lady Desarae is asking to speak with you. She realises that it is still early as yet, and that you might not have risen from your bed. She has business to attend to and her schedule is tight, but is happy to wait for a short while, or to return to speak with you later. What would my lord have me tell her?"

Andre briefly look like he swallowed a frog instead of a piece of cheese, eyes widening, skin going pale. Then he gulps the morsel down and nods. "Please do show her in.", he tells the maid and gets to his feet to receive the visitor in style. Putting, if not his best foot forward, then at least a warm welcoming smile on his face. "Lady Desarae, what a surprise and a honour to visit me in my humble lodgings."

Desarae is shown into the suite, though before she can say anything, she's arching one brow at Andre's greeting. "Well," she says stiffly. "I should apologise on behalf of my aunt if you find your accommodation humble. I will inform the staff responsible that it doesn't meet with your standards…" She's looking refreshingly informal herself, with layer upon layer of pale apricot voile that covers the bustier comprising the top of the dress. An underskirt gives volume where the voile does not, and when she moves, the skirt seems to float with her. A bolero made of the same pale apricot voile is embroidered and beaded with flowers, meant to make the dress a bit more conservative but in keeping with d'Angeline style. Her hair is up for once, pinned up and arranged in free-flowing waves, though these do nothing to soften the expression on her face. "I have been hearing things, my lord," she says quietly. "So rather than listen to the gossip of the servants, I thought to come and speak with you myself."

Andre winces a little when she goes straight for the attack. "It was a turn of phrase and I apologize if I caused offense, Mylady.", Andre replies politely and gestures to a seat at his table. "Please sit down, Mylady. Would you like some refreshments? And I appreciate you coming to see me, as I didn't get a chance for some private words with you yesterday during that unfortunate encounter. Please do tell me, what gossip is swirling around the palace hallways?", he inquires and resumes his own seat.

"My humour is somewhat lacking this morning," Desarae says sourly, "It must be the difference between our cultures that fails me with your 'turn of phrase'. I would have suggested that if you are not happy with the fully-staffed suite of lodgings which my aunt provided for you gratis in her palace… you could always leave." Slippered feet carry her to the table at his invitation, and when he claims a seat before she, her eyes narrow at this next percieved slight. She lets this one pass. "Thank you." Her words are short and sharp, and she sits across the table from him in a flurry of chiffon and voile. She doesn't speak again until she's leant across the table and stolen from his plate the boiled egg he's been provided for his breakfast. She sets it neatly on her own plate, takes a knife and slices through the top, decapitating it neatly. Perhaps in her head it's no egg. "The gossip," she eventually says, "is that the Skald returned to the courtyard after I had left it, and spilled noble d'Angeline blood. They scrub the cobbles even now."

Andre arches a brow at the egg theft, but doesn't comment on it. He has sisters. He knows better than to irk an annoyed woman further. "I see.", he comments on the gossip and nods slowly. "The foreigner - who might or might not be of Skaldic heritage - did indeed get into an argument with a Camaeline lady who saw fit to heap abuse onto the foreigner. Swords were drawn and the Camaeline went down immediately." Andre can't hide a look of disappointment. "I thought the people of Camlach were ferocious fighers." He sighs a little, then continues his story. "I called for the guards immediately, who arrested the foreigner and took her to the Citadel. I myself took the Camaeline lady to the temple, so that the healers could take care of her."

<FS3> Desarae rolls Perception: Good Success. (3 6 1 8 4 2 7 3 1)

Desarae notes that look of disappointment with another narrowing of her eyes. "The Vicomtesse de Guéret is a woman of advancing years, some two score and ten, and carries a heavy limp. An injury inflicted upon her, I understand, from her time defending our borders." After buttering a piece of toast, she cuts it neatly into soldiers and jabs the first of them into her egg. "Had the Skald left when ordered to do so, there would have been no confrontation. I find myself wondering, why she returned. Did I not make myself perfectly clear that she was not welcome, or did she choose to ignore my instructions." She lifts the toast to her mouth and crunches the yolk-covered end, eyes bright as they lock on Andre's, awaiting his answer.

"If the Vicomtesse de Guéret had not PICKED a fight with the foreigner, there would have been no confrontation. Perhaps she was not quite realistic about her capabilities at her, ahem, advanced age.", Andre replies ever so politely, then sighs, but manages to hold Desarae's challenginggaze. "The foreigner returned to my side as she considers herself - or considered - a servant of mine and thus thought her place was at my side."

Desarae stabs her toasted soldier into her egg again. Stab. Stab. Stab. "The Skalds are enemies of my people, my lord. I do not understand what you do not understand about that. Despite her attitude, her insolence, and her attempt to draw me into a fight, I gave her opportunity to leave without violence. And yet…" Her chin lifts, proud and filled with Kusheline righteousness, "… she slunk back, and shed d'Angeline blood on d'Angeline ground. I cannot, and will not, fault the Vicomtesse de Guéret for her actions. I am sorely distressed — though that distress feels insignificant in comparison to the disappointment which I now feel towards you, yourself."

While it's not exactly a surprise to Andre, the last remark still draws a deep sigh from his chest. "Mylady, you did not give me a chance to explain myself to you yesterday, so let me try now?", he suggests and after a moment simply begins: "Firstly, it is not certain that she is Skaldic. She looks foreign and barbarian, yes, but so do many Gotlanders and Vralians. Surely you do not wish to cause a diplomatic incident with nations you are NOT at war with? We might want to establish her origin first. Secondly, even if she is indeed Skaldic, does it not worry you that a Skaldic warrior is washed up at your shore? That there was a ship transporting Skaldic warriors in the Middle Sea, going from who knows where to who knows where, planning who knows what? She could be the key to giving you answers. Answers that could give you valuable informations about whatever the Skalds may be planning from the sea - which, you know, is not exactly a direction you would expect them to come from."

"At this point," Desarae says quietly, "it hardly matters what she is or is not. The relevant facts are that she disobeyed a direct order, given by myself, which then led to a confrontation that might have ended in the death of an important d'Angeline noblewoman." She pauses, crunching the end of her toast before licking yolk from her fingers. "Anyone, d'Angeline or otherwise, would find themselves enjoying the hospitality of the City Guard after such an act, and it is only her good fortune that she was not immediately cut down by the guards of the palace. She was in a position to run amok and cause further chaos, and who knows what was in her mind, or what possessed her. I hear she was jibbering like a madwoman as she was dragged from the courtyard." She draws a breath, pausing to point her next piece of toast across the table in a somewhat accusatory fashion his way. "Either she is a Skald, or she is not. If there is a ship filled with Skaldic warriors, the Southern Fleet is berthed in Marsilikos and are well-equipped to deal with it. My thoughts are that it has long since passed us by."

"Her ship went under, in the same storm as mine.", Andre remarks quietly, "It is how I first got into a conversation with her. And she was not jibbering like a madwoman, she was calling for her mother." He pauses to let that sink in, then sighs. "I do agree that she disobeyed orders and showed utter disrespect for her hosts and she deserves to have been arrested. We - foreigners washed upon your shores, benefitting from your kindness and hospitality - must show respect and humility accodingly. I would have told her so and made her apologize to you, if… the Victomtesse had not interfered and things took a tragic turn. So I can only offer my own apologies for my part in the matter, Mylady."

"You apologise," Desarae states, "but I truly do not find a sincerity in your words. Why did you not tell her to leave when she returned? I mean, you knew my stance on the matter. My wishes had been stated plainly enough." The toast in her fingers plinks as it falls to the plate, and she pushes her shoulders back and down, abandoning her food in favour of discourse. "I'm not sure," she continues on, "that you even paid heed at all to what I had said. You are a guest of my aunt, my lord, and whilst you may not share our view or our beliefs, or even think them silly, you should bow to our wishes. If you absolutely must align yourself with this savage, then you should do so away from our home. Take her with you to the Flatlands, but do not make excuses to me for her behaviour."

"We were about to walk away together, when the Vicomtesse arrived, leading a horse and blocking our path. So we -were- leaving.", Andre replies and leans back in his chair, crossing his arms. "If you wish me to listen to you, Mylady, please also listen to me. I told you, I have no interest in aligning myself with the foreign woman. I had a chance encounter with her once in which we realized that we had both been shipwrecked in the same storm. She had lost her memory and didn't know who she was and what happened. I was in the privileged position to both be in full possession of my memories - as unpleasant as they were - and of enjoying your hospitality, so I extended a hand of kindness to a stranger in need. The expectation was, of course, that once she had recovered her memories and knew where she was from, that she would return there. I thought I was doing you a favour by keeping an eye on what is very likely a Skaldic person and find out what brought her to the Middle Sea."

"Oh. So now she is likely a Skald…" Desarae muses mirthlessly. The green of her eyes sharpens, and her voice is as brittle as flint. "I wonder if you know more than that which you're admitting to? No matter…" She pushes to her feet, and the scent of rose water wafts in the air with the drift of her skirts. "It is all in the hands of the guards now. I expect that I will be required to give an account of what happened prior to the attack on the Vicomtesse, and I shall answer any questions honestly and plainly." Fingers adjust the cuffs of her sleeves, then twist the bangle at her wrist, the pause being taken as she gives herself a moment to think before addressing Andre once more. "Through you, I started to see a side of foreigners that I hadn't wished to see before, and began to think we might be friends. How mistaken I was. You and I — we are very different creatures indeed." A shake of her head. "I will not be so fooled again, and will leave you now in peace."

"Likely or not… in my country we give people the benefit of doubt.", Andre replies softly. When she gets to her feet, he does the same in preparation for her parting. "It saddens me to hear that, Mylady. But I cannot help you if you only wish to see what you want to see to confirm your prejudices against foreigners. Rest assured that I harbour nothing but goodwill and sympathy for you. Perhaps in time you will remember that. It would gladden me.", he adds in an even quieter tone, then bows deeply. "Godspeed, Mylady."

"And may Elua's wisom enlighten you," is Desarae's curt response to Andre as she turns to leave. Her Cassiline steps towards the door and opens it for her, and she speaks quietly to him, his response earning a shake of her head. Then she's gone, any view of her turning into the corridor beyond the door, blocked by the bulk of her Cassiline.

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