(1311-11-16) Alienor's Debut
Summary: The debut of Alienor nó Rose Sauvage, at a decorous tea party in the solar of the White Roses.
RL Date: 11/16/2019
Related: Previous Alienor logs!
alienor boniface elliot emmanuelle jehan-pascal laure marielle philomene 

Solar — La Rose Sauvage

Compared to the darker, heavy interior of downstairs, the solar feels like a pleasant contrast, where the use of light pastel tones and white provide a light air that is almost convincing. Floor to ceiling windows overlooking the city are guarded by curtains in light shades of pastel greens and blues. A few thick carpets cover the polished oak floor, where a few high backed armchairs are arranged about a kneeling cushion in the center. Beverages offered here will usually be white sparkling wines, to lighten the mood and keep up a certain innocent air. The tapestries on the white walls are kept to lighter hues as well, picturesque depictions of alyssum flower arrangements along with those of modest maidens in innocent situations, while the darker side to Alyssum canon reveals itself only to the attentive eye, in the details of the woodwork in dark mahogany side tables and the seats, depicting a pair of man and woman caught in obvious amorous entanglement, she faintly resisting and averting her gaze.

The soft scents of honey, lemon, and tea fill the Solar, which is comfortably warm, the windows wide with a view out on the gardens. It has been raining on and off all day, and while the debutante in question might have preferred the gardens, the odds of everyone getting uncomfortably damp in a sudden drizzle are too great. Silver tea services are out in force, though there is also plenty of sparkling wine for the having, and for those who want neither tea nor wine, there are harder beverages if one asks for such from a servant. Guests are encouraged to mingle, as well.

The debutante has a halo of white roses in her dark locks, a lace-edged veil somewhat concealing her face. She wears a layer of lace that clings to her skin from long sleeves all the way to a high collar about her throat, with a sweetheart neckline of white satin under the layer of lace before the gown flares out over her hips in lacy layers. The satin follows her form closely, slit up the sides to allow movement, while the lace is fuller and gives pretty hints of her legs as she moves. Satin buttons run down her back from the nape of her neck to the floor.

Elliot Rocaille arrives clad in attire of green and gold silk, a lion embroidered onto the front of the tunic he wears in glittering golden thread. He moves calmly through the room, peering around at the decorations curiously, searching for the ellusive novice that is to debut today. When Elliot does spot Alienor his breath catches and he offers her a bright smile dipping his head low as he moves to approch her and bow politely. "Madamioselle Alienor, you look exquisite. I hope you are doing well?" He regards her gently and with curiousity. "I hope with all my heart that tonight is enjoyable for you." Bowing his head he smiles once again. "But I should let you greet other guests I suppose." He gives a moment for her to reply to his words then drifts away but not before placing a neatly folded piece of paper in the hands of those in charge of taking bids.

The White Rose Second has has Adepts and Courtesans tone down their white outfits just enough that Alienor is known as the bell of the ball. MArielle herself is dressed slightly more elaborately than everyone but Alienor so people know where bids are going. Just as white and veiled, though. She is greeting people as they arrive but the White Rose Second is leaving most of the hosting to Alienor unless she needs to step in. It is her night, after all.

Alienor blushes at Elliot as he greets her, unable to stop smiling, and she carefully curtsies to him, not used to wearing such a fine dress, nor a dress that is meant to show off her figure finely as opposed to conceal it in heavy modesty. "Thank you so much, my lord," she replies to him, beaming radiantly. "I'm delighted that you could attend. I'm very excited. Might I get you a bit of tea or something else to drink?"

It would be rude to show up to what is arguably the most important day of a young courtesan's life in a tatty old riding jacket and scuffed boots, and whatever else Philomène d'Aiglemort de Chalasse might choose to display a lack of courtesy over, she has at least made the effort today to look the part. A dark green frock coat with heavily embroidered flared skirts and exquisite detailing around each buttonhole and seam is worn over a white waistcoast, white, high collared shirt, with white cravat, and an understated brooch on her lapel - a red bull - indicates her familial allegiance. In an unusual turn, she's not in her accustomed breeches today either, but instead in a long, somewhat severe skirt in the same shade as her coat, but as she limps her way up the stairs and into the solar, a glimpse of red-brown riding boots with gleaming brass spurs beneath show that she's not entirely changed her wardrobe for the sake of the day, and the smell of horseflesh is never quite hidden by the clean, fresh scent of good soap. And, of course, if the limp, the boots, and the horsey smell didn't give her away, the sharply sculpted features and the perpetual look of belligerence certainly would.

Jehan-Pascal steps into the solar as one returning back home after a long sojourn abroad, eyes soft with memories and gazing about here and there with an affectionate wistfulness. He's dressed in a doublet of the palest baby pink, buttoned in pearl and lined about the collar with a soft wisp of white rabbit fur, the individual strands of which sway to and fro against his jawline. His knee-length trousers are cut to match, and his willowy calves are dressed in opaque white stockings, warm enough, and pink slippers with a little heel are fur-lined, as well. In whites and baby pinks, not to mention by dint of the watery gaze with which he inhales the place, he might well blend in with the rest of the White Roses— the same could barely be said of his companion, on whose arm he dallies girlishly as he enters. "The debutante looks so lovely," he sighs happily, "And she's serving tea— how charming," he slides Emmanuelle a tender smile, then, for Marielle, a rather more beaming one. "Mari," he greets her rather familiarly, but with enough charm of countenance to buoy it up in register. "Congratulations. You must be very proud of her."

Emmanuelle Shahrizai is a rare sight at the Rose Sauvage, in this generation — and rarer still for wearing something besides pants. Her high-waisted gown of raw black silk is pleated exquisitely to accommodate and even to emphasise the ripeness of her shape, narrowing again below her eight-months child before its skirts attain a considerable rustling fullness about her ankles. That outer layer is caught up twice by buckled leather straps to reveal petticoats of violet and black embroidered with a garden of blooming mandrake flowers outlined in thread-of-gold. Over it she wears an open surcoat of darker violet velvet edged with a narrow border of dark golden cloth. Her soft black leather boots have flat soles, about an inch thick, and finely-wrought golden buckles. Her gloves are of even finer black leather, well-fitted to her hands, each fastening inside her wrist not with a button or a pearl but a delicate golden key. The third such key, of the proverbial Shahrizai trio, is the pin piercing the folds of the black silk cravat tied to fill in the unbuttoned V-neckline of her gown. Her only other jewels are her earrings, a white-golden mandrake flower blossoming upon her right earlobe, and its mate higher on her right earlobe above a second piercing from which there dangles a sizeable marquise-cut amethyst suspended in a filigree cage of the same white gold. Her mode of perambulation is of necessity a slow waddle. Nonetheless there's a dignity in the straightness of her back and the carriage of her head; and her incisive blue diamond eyes inspect the solar with the usual brutal thoroughness, forming opinions which don't show upon her meticulously painted visage. "They've repainted," is all she drawls to Jehan-Pascal, "since last time I was up here."

And then she releases her companion to flutter and twitter with his rosebud friends, and claims for herself a table for four with an excellent vantage upon the proceedings. Near the door, too, in case she elects to slip out early. A tea party, for fuck's sake. Love is an absurd and inexplicable motive force.

Boniface arrives as well. He's dress finely, of course, even if his clothing is not particularly flashy or worth noting. The bright, excited, enthusiastic smile he wears, on the other hand, -is- flashy and worth noting. In any-case.. he's here.

After handing off his paper Elliot looks back to Alienor with a bright smile. "Some tea would be lovely yes. I am glad you are excited. You seem to be postively glowing, it makes you look even more beautiful. I didn't think that was possible…" He smiles shyly. "Anyway, which of the teas on offer would you recommend I try?"

"Oh, there's a black tea with bergamot that's absolutely delightful. Let me get you some with a bit of honey and lemon," Alienor offers to Elliot, though she watches the handoff of the paper to Marielle a little breathlessly. She doesn't have to go far to find a servant with a silver tea service, and of course, the china tea cups are delicately decorated with gold leaf and white roses. She offers Elliot his on a saucer, then glances around to be certain that she's not missing anyone. She has a winsome smile for Jehan-Pascal and Emmanuelle, of course, and a graceful curtsey, and she offers yet another curtsey to Philomène as well. She drifts towards Boniface next, offering him a beaming smile and a bob of a curtsey. "Thank you for joining us," she says enthusiastically. "May I get you some tea?"

JP gets a gentle smile and she murmurs, "Hello, Jehan-Pascal. I am always proud of the White Roses. Alienor has been behaving exceptional with her excitement for her debut." The paper handed off to Marielle is glanced at then tucked away, no comment upon it. Another paper is also handed to her and Marielle peers at it to, tucking it away as well. For the moment she is just keeping relatively quiet and assuring everything goes smoothly.

"That sounds wonderful, thank you." Elliot watches Alienor as she prepares the tea with a gentle expression on his face. Accepting the teacup and saucer carefully he smiles to the novice and lifts the cup for a slow sip, watching as she goes to serve the others now. He takes a moment to look around and observe those present with curious eyes.

Philomène dips her head as she's acknowledged, a faintly amused look tugging at the corners of her lips as she notes the beaming smiles for all around her and the, let's be polite and assume unintentional, lack of one directed in her direction. Her gait distinctive and uneven, she makes her way to a chair at one of the side tables and settles herself into it slowly. Her face freezes in a mask of neutrality as she lowers herself, and only finally regaining animation once she's able to sit back and rest her arm on the tabletop, fingers absently drumming as she glances around the slowly gathering crowd. One or two people get a nod of recognition, Emmanuelle prime among those receiving a slightly deeper one, but she appears restless, gaze never settling long on one person before going to examine the next.

Jehan-Pascal, released, comes close to Marielle when she replies to him, ducking to kiss the very edge of her veil and giving her hand a supportive squeeze before he leaves her to her duties. He doesn't have a bid ready, but there will be time for that, yet. Boniface's excited countenance draws a knowing smile, and he diverts slightly from his course back to Emmanuelle's side to greet him: "My Lord Vicomte." See, there, all business of vocabulary, but with a playful friendliness of tone, offering a hand for him to take, to grasp, to press, and draw him in with a hug from his other arm. A trap is set, if Boniface takes the bait.

By now Emmanuelle has seen all there is to see of the solar's improved decor and its pale and graceful veiled inhabitants and she has one eye — let's face it, mostly both eyes — on the pink bunny making his habitual social rounds. Perhaps that's how she comes to be ambushed by a belligerent vicomtesse parking herself in the chair opposite, with that frozen mask of defied pain which only slowly melts into a nod of greeting. She raises one bold dark eyebrow at Philomène and murmurs, beneath the general hubbub of talk, "Well well." But her occasional patient is saved any immediate expression of her wit, for a dark-garbed figure she has been half-expecting appears then from the landing. She lifts a hand still gloved in black leather and makes a fractional gesture of 'come hither'.

The debutante drifts over to the side table, so that she can greet her guests there. "Thank you both so much for coming," she says with great warmth to the two women sitting at the table, beaming at them. "Is there anything I can get for either of you?" Alienor wonders excitedly. "Tea? Sparkling white wine? Something else?"

Alienor's approach is greeted with a wave from Boniface, but before he can really respond to her, his cousin ambushes him. "Jehan-Pascal," he greets in return, taking the offered hand and walking into what ever nefarious trap JP has set.

It is well for the Second of Thorns to arrive a little later than the first guests to a White Rose debut, lest his incongruous presence be startling to those in attendance whose interest runs particularly to the White Roses of the house. So it is that Raphael is only just coming up to the solar that sees so little of him and his canon. Since it would be futile to attempt to blend with White Roses, he has made no particular concessions in that direction, dressed in black and deep blue, black leather jacket fastened with silver-colored hardware. He looks composed, taking note of the nobles who have turned out to the event, including those he knows well, and moves along the perimeter of the room.

Philomène narrows her eyes for a moment at Emmanuelle, before turning her full attention to Alienor. She scrutinises the young woman completely, beginning at the head and working her way methodically down to the poor girl's toes before finally lifting her gaze to the veiled face again, and nodding once. "Tea, thank you, yes. If you'd be so good. I'm sure Lady Shahrizai will split a pot with me. With a little lemon, if that's possible?" Emmanuelle's opinion on the matter of beverages is not solicited.

Jehan-Pascal gets a word or two, perhaps, edgewise, in with Bonnie, and then, wth a friendly clasp of the arm and a supportive smile, he goes to stake out a place by Emmanuelle's side before her popularity renders it needful he sit away from her. He gets there, as it happens, only a moment or two behind the debutante, herself, and it might be a surprise for her to hear him pipe up from not too far behind her— though not close enough to hover, precisely. "I'll have a cup of whatever you think best, though that black I smell really seems a treasure. Also," he goes on, voice kind, almost delicate, "If you'd bring a piece of paper, and a bit of pencil, as well, I'd think it a great favor." He doesn't say what for, of course— but it must be a bid. He teases at it shyly for her, peeking aside as he settles in to see whether it rouses one of those famous white rose blushes.

Elliot stands quietly for a moment, sipping his tea. Catching sight of the prowling form of Raphael, he smiles softly in that direction and inclines his head low in respect to the Thorn. Slowly he begins to drift around the room, tea in hand looking for a place to settle.

The debutante's approach draws Emmanuelle's chilly blue eyes from her cousin in the doorway; in tandem with Philomène she gives Alienor her own kind of scrutiny, of what her lace-edged veil reveals and what it's carefully draped to hide, and which never troubles to wander below the girl's neck. She's slow to speak and that is surely why the vicomtesse de Gueret gets in first. "I am pregnant," she remarks drily with a tilt of her dark head toward Philomène, "not deaf." Her gaze flicks to Alienor again, meeting her eyes through the veil's scanty cloth. She turns over her left hand and the fingertips of her right pop the golden key fastening through its hole. She begins slowly to strip off her black leather glove, holding Alienor with her gaze, keeping her there waiting to catch those next low, drawled words. "Black tea, without lemon. Lord Baphinol will take honey in his."

"Of course," Alienor offers to Emmanuelle with a little curtsey, then rushes off to get a silver tea service with the proper number of teacups on the tray. She's a flurry of lovely white lace, and then she returns to the table with a beaming smile for Philomène among others. "With lemon, and without, as promised," she offers as she pours tea for those assembled, praying silently that she's not neglecting anyone presently.

It's a questionable blessing to have multiple Shahrizai descend upon your debut, but here Laure is anyway; she's more austerely dressed than her gravid cousin, as is ever her style, in a monochrome velvet gown dyed the deepest sapphire. The closeness of the pile-threads indicate this lack of adornment is preference rather than necessity, as does the barely discernible silver embroidery stitched with painstaking perfection on her stomacher. The only jewelry she's conceded to is a signet ring worn on a delicate chain to settle just above her flattened bosom. With a fluidity of gait that's mildly uncanny (especially considering the height-compensating effects of her boots), she follows Emmanuelle's summons debutant-wards. Her gloved fingers are resting on the chair beside Emmanuelle before drawls greetings, inclining her head in turn to the all-too-familiar denizens of the table before lifting her eyes to the bustling woman in white. "My apologies," she addresses Alienor as she sits, eyes not leaving the face of the veiled figure as she begins peeling the black silk from her hands, "for I seem to have disrupted your tea service with my tardy arrival. You'll forgive me."

Raphael must of course first stop to greet Philomène and Emmanuelle. He approaches their table, watching the debutante pour tea with a cold slate gaze that gives away so little of what he is thinking. He says nothing to the debutante either. But to the other two: "Good afternoon. We are pleased to have you both joining us today." A glance toward Philomène, whom he would have expected less, perhaps, than Emmanuelle.

Elliot takes a seat by himself and continues quietly observing those present as he savors the taste of his tea. His gaze drifts back to Alienor after a moment and he watches her with a thoughtful look in his eyes. Then his gaze drifts, moving away again to watch the guests.

Jehan-Pascal will take honey in his, won't he? The addition causes him to have a little moment mooning heart-eyed over the woman beside him, and he'll be content to nestle in at her side for tea-with, letting her, for once, carry on the task of conversation. Should a paper arrive, he'll write out a bid and have it sent to Mari, over there where she's collecting them.

THe White Rose Second is still just keeping things running smoothly behind the scenes. She is acting the part of Second more than the White Rose this eve. Some bids are taken and inspected before set aside. She's been observing Alienor this whole time and finally she speaks up, "For those who wish to have the luxury of claiming Alienor's Debut, do catch an adept or Courtesan of the White Roses and have your bid sent over to me (AKA page and and Alienor). This is your final chance before I ask Alienor her preference." And decide if it is most benefitail to Rose Sauvage, "We do not often announce who the winner is, it is by choie of the winner. So, don't expect to know who it is."

Alienor smiles charmingly at Laure's remark, perfectly willing to forgive her, and she steps away momentarily to fetch her a cup. "Here you are, of course," she says brightly as she brings the teacup and a fresh tea service. Afterwards, though, she drifts away so that she can be beautiful at other guests and offer them tea.

Philomène drums her fingertips absently on the table, flicking a glance up to Raphael as he joins them and then granting him a slight smile that seems to say 'what can you do?'. "You're pleased to have Lady Shahrizai and her young man, and you'll put up with having me here because it would be rude to throw me out, you mean," she notes drily. It might be noted that she, at least, has made no request for a piece of paper to make her bids. Her attention, having examined Alienor and made her decision one way or the other, seems to be more for the gathered guests than for the lady of the hour. "It's good to see you, Raphael. I think the sentiment is shared by many young ladies here, from what I can see," she adds with a faintly amused glance around to the admiring looks he's getting.

As a piece of Night Court theatre it will surely not be lost upon the assembled Rose Sauvage society: a former Second of the salon itself, a former Dowayne of Mandrake House, their founder's daughter and their duchesse's sister, leaving her gloves on the tea-table like a sculpture of her hands crafted from black leather, ignoring the fragrant and steaming cup of unadulterated black tea next to them and the debutante who just set it there, and offering a pale paw with a flawless black-lacquered manicure to the new Second of Thorns, Raphael nó Rose Sauvage— and then accepting his aid in levering herself up out of her chair (next to the adoring heir to Avignon), for the sole purpose of drawing him into an embrace. Well, half an embrace, proximity being a challenge. In her flat boots she's a head shorter than he is, too. Her other hand on his shoulder draws him down and into the nimbus of her cologne, till she's whispered something straight into his ear and given that shoulder a firm and friendly pat. Then she lets him go and lowers herself back into her chair with a sigh of silk and plants her feet comfortably apart. "You make up the numbers, vicomtesse," she drawls to Philomène across from her. For the other vicomtesse, her cousin Laure, she has but an unreadable blue diamond glance. Who knows what peculiar Shahrizai telepathy is going on there.

"Nonsense," Raphael says to Philomène. "It is Marielle who would throw you out of here, not me. Unless of course you were inclined to be combative. Then it would probably take several of this." All of this is said in dry good fun, the two seeming to know one another well. He makes his transition to the next guest smoothly, giving Emmanuelle his hand and helping her up, slipping arm round her in reply to the embrace she initiates. "How good to see you. You look well," he says to the Lady. Laure, on the other hand, he does not seem to know. So he echoes Emmanuelle's look, in a different register.

Laure returns the debutant's smile in full, an odd balance on features as severe as hers. Her gloves are smoothed flat and placed on the table beside her, the fingers of her right hand making contemplative circles on the fabric until the young White Rose departs. It is simply in the nature of Kushielines to appreciate good service, especially so delicately rendered. Raphael's quip re: Philo is answered with a brief chuckle; a slight twitch of a brow returns the askance the Second's gaze, but she leaves the proper courtesies to her cousin.

"When am I ever disinclined to be combative?" Philomène responds easily, taking up her tea and poking the lemon in the cup with one fingernail before lifting it to her lips for a sip, and to then turn her attention to Laure over the rim. Clearly a Shahrizai, and clearly well suited to this corner of the room where the general demeanour is less pristine, innocent, excitable and airy than the atmosphere Alienor presents. "Given half a chance, I'd fight my own damn shadow, as well you know." The words are directed to Raphael, but her attention is firmly on Laure.

Alienor has admittedly sort of fled from the dark corner of the room once she has provided it with tea. After all, she's trying to be light and sweet and innocent, and that's certainly not what's swirling around the Shahrizai contingent. She offers brilliant smiles to other potential patrons and generally makes a charming circuit of the room.

LAst minute bids from various sources come in and Marielle makes note of them all. All are tucked away by MArielle after she glances them over then she bids Alienor over to discuss certain ones with her. Once a decision is made the White Rose Second sends off various courtesans and adepts to deliver responses to the bids in a discrete way. "THe lucky person that has won Alienor's Debut has been informed." says Marielle. "So, continue to enjoy the night and be merry."

The courtesies are left to wait upon Emmanuelle's first sip of her unsweetened, uncitrused, yet to her taste fairly palatable black tea. And then her second, as she watches the White Roses going about this business of bids, which she knows so well: how pleasant it is to watch other people doing the work. "… My dear," she drawls at last to Laure, "may I present Philomène Aiglemort de Chalasse, vicomtesse de Gueret, whom I have this year been keeping alive for reasons past even my own understanding; and my old friend Raphael nó Rose Sauvage, who serves presently as Second of Thorns in this house." Then, looking to the persons thus named: "My cousin, the lady Laure Shahrizai, vicomtesse de Saumur. Another cup of tea for Lord Baphinol," she orders, this last to the unwary adept charged with bringing her bunny the news of the failure or success of his bid. He is not introduced: presumably he knows her kinswoman well enough by now.

“Well, let us postpone single combat for after the bidding is done, then," Raphael says casually to Philomène. He inclines his head precisely in acknowledgement of the introduction. "Vicomtesse," he greets. "A pleasure." He does not fail to notice the developments in the determination of Alienor's fate, either, eyes tracking the messages that spread across the salon with White Roses.

“Vicomtesse," Laure drawls first to Philomène, folding her hands on table before her, "I'm glad to see you looking sufficiently less like you're about to join the Companions than the last time we met — though I hardly expect you to recall, considering. And the pleasure is surely mine, Monsieur Raphael." After returning the nod, he's given a long moment's consideration. "I do not doubt that Rose Savauge is glad to have you back among their ranks." Courtesies properly rendered, she claims her tea cup; her sharp gaze flicks between the members of the salon tasked with delivering news over the silver rim before settling on Alienor.

"Ah, I did think you looked familiar," Philomène notes, lips twitching into a half smile. "I can only apologise if I bled all over you. I'm aware that your cousin's boots were a casualty at least." But then the results of the bidding are announced, or, well, not announced, as the case may be. "What's the correct etiquette now?" she asks of anyone close to her. "Ought we applaud? Offer congratulations to the young woman? Drink a toast?"

Elliot rises from his seat calmly and with grace after a moment. Slipping towards the exit he seems content, wearing a warm smile as he glances back at Alienor.

"For Alyssums," drawls Emmanuelle, who in her day supervised the whole rose garden and not only the most wickedly prickly of its blooms, "I believe the custom is to pretend," she enunciates more precisely as she looks about her table and the friends and frenemies gathered round her, "that we're at a tea party." She lifts her cup again, with an ironic air, and drains it to its dregs. "Another pot for the table," she orders the poor adept who has just been obliged to come near enough to the Shahrizai contingent to deliver a honeyed concoction to the bunny nestled in their midst; "let's stretch our thespian powers that long."

Though the crème de la crème of Marsilikos society is already skimming itself off the top, good actors and a few poor ones finding balm for their defeat in the company of the solar's other ingenuous habitués, or else slipping away to engagements elsewhere. Nobody sees the debutante leave the solar: she's simply gone, as if a veil fell to conceal her passage, and then in less than a blink of an eye lifted again upon her absence. (It may be that Philomène is the only one who notices, around the same time, by means of a shift or a thinning in the crowd, that a certain pale-haired figure is no longer quietly occupying her earlier chair across the room.) The remaining White Roses, more novices than adepts, keep the tea flowing. Emmanuelle's party disposes of that second pot. And then somehow it's finished, as discreetly as it began: the solar's windows opened to air out the scents of so many costly perfumes, and calm descending once more upon the Rose Sauvage's loftiest and most delicate precincts.

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