(1311-11-27) Gentian Charm
Summary: Tancred comes to discover what it means to be Gentian. And meets Le Chat, naturally.
RL Date: 2019-11-27
Related: None
soleil tancred 

Le Coquelicot

Tiles of fine beige colored marble cover the floor in an ever repetitive pattern that is only broken by the circle of inlay work in its center, where through the use of white marble and dark red obsidian a likeness of the poppy flower comes to life, informing the visitor which salon it is he has entered. Long white drapes embroidered with a line of similar earthy dark red to the obsidian used in the floor are arranged to frame the windows, through which the parlour will be generously lighted through the day. Scattered about the room are comfortable chairs, light rattan fletching topped off with comfortable, cream-colored cushions, beside small tables where long slender flagons of wine stand at the ready beside goblets made of clay, glazed in warm earthy tones.

The air is that of relaxation, on more levels than just the physical; this extends to the mind, the soul, and the heart as well. An effect that is enhanced by the soothing melodies played by a lutist in a corner, by the pleasant subtle scents emanating from clay bowls filled with aromatic oils sitting on the tables; the warm lighting of oil lamps through glass shades painted with soothing patterns of waves in orange and dark red. Enhanced further by the soft laughter rippling through these halls where the visitor for once is allowed to take a break from his everyday trials and tribulations, from fears and worries, from tenseness in muscles and sometimes just loneliness.

Archways in old Tiberian style lead onwards to three areas, where patrons can find soothing in the way they wish to. Whereas a stairway at the back curves all the way up to the upper floor, where private quarters of courtesans and adepts can be found.

When looking out of the windows, you see: It is a fall evening. The weather is freezing and raining.

What with the inclement weather, the fire is quite inviting at the moment, and that is where the petite blonde has placed herself, the firelight making her choice of gold clothing look all the more sparkling and glittering. Even the pearls she wears have a warm glow to them, and she looks quite relaxed in her armchair. She dances a silken handkerchief that does not deserve the abuse that it's getting to the interest of a small ginger kitten, who plays enthusiastically and tries to bite it.

A rather unusual patron enters, one of clearly foreign descent. He towers over most, wears arming clothes of modest quality stained by mail and metal, though he sees fit to turn his sword in at the door as seems to be the standard for salons. This doesn't make him that much less threatening. The massive Skaldi-born man allows a novice to lead him to the fire. Lately, he's been more welcome in the salons. Courtesans do tend to be a bit more open-minded than other d'Angelines… Once seated, he asks, in his accented tongue : "I would like wine."

Soleil arches her brow at this man, this foreigner, who has come to invade her space. She drops her handkerchief for the kitten to play with, and she looks unimpressed. "You would like wine?" she inquires, her Mont Nuit training evident in her enunciation of her vowels, presing her lips together. There's a long pause before she rises to her feet to fetch the man a glass of wine. When her back is turned, the full marque of a Mont Nuit Gentian is revealed, not the Coquelicot marque. Soon she returns. "Here you are, sir. May I inquire as to your name?" she says.

Thankfully, Tancred hasn't seen fit to turn into a personal space invader as well, imposing enough on these poor locals as is. He seats himself gingerly, his long legs and stout boots set comfortably while he studies the marque that isn't wholly familiar to him, but he recognizes as being from elsewhere. "Thank you." He accepts the wine, looking within for a second before taking his first sip. "I am called Tancred." The name is Skaldi, too, who knew? His bright blues alight on her face curiously, saving talk of the kitten for later. "You are from the capital?"

"Yes, I am. I am Soleil L'Envers no Coquelicot, granddaughter of the Baronne de Vezelay. I have come to Marsilikos to see my grandmother stay with family to see if perhaps the mild climate improves her health," she explains as she keeps an eye on the kitten, who has curled up with his handkerchief and is nipping it to see if it will play more. "I am Gentian. I do dream analysis."

"I have heard this house, but I know little of your canon." Tancred leans slightly to one side to get a better view of the kitty, a little more distracting than whatever gowns and bodies that may be on display for the moment. "Would you tell me of yours?"

"Often one has internalized anxieties that come out only in dreams. A courtesan of the Gentian canon is rare because he or she might walk your dreams with you. Might experience your dream as you do, and thus it is very important for there to be good rapport between the courtesan and the patron. Almost all of our contracts are long term affairs, to allow several nights for relaxing and getting to know one another. It is possible to dream walk in a single night, but it is tricky," Soleil replies, retaking her seat. She scoops up her kitten from the floor and deposits him cozily back in her lap, where she scritches his little belly and he paws at her with his little creamy feet.

"So, for you, the King was swayed because Naamah took away his pains and anxieties while they slept," Tancred surmises from her explanation, with no obvious foreign judgement/skepticism leaking through, if any. He sips his wine, watching her lap for a moment. "For one of your canon, what did the sweet taste like? Or is someone of your specialty picked on something else? I cannot imagine all are made to share dreams."

"No one is picked to be a Gentian based on a sweet. It is that they show a talent for oneiromancy," Soleil says softly with a small smile as she coaxes the kitten to take a nap in her lap, all curled up in a little orange ball, played out for the moment. "It was expected that I might be Eglantine. But true oneiromancers are quite the rarity, and I have always been one to pay attention to dreams and keep dream journals."

"Oneiromancy," Tancred carefully enunciates the word, though likely butchers the term just a little. His brow twitches - perhaps he's not sure what it means, but context certainly helps here. Once the kitten is asleep, he looks back to her face and has a little more wine. "How is it tested if you are a true one - or a false one? I imagine it is hardly easy."

"Experience, mostly. If you can do it, you're legitimate," Soleil says, gently stroking the little kitten in her lap as he sleeps the blissful sleep of the very young. "I can do it. But I'd have to have a very thorough contract in order to enter your dreams. It's not the sort of thing I just …do."

"I would ask what you have seen, but that must needs be secret as well." Tancred seems vaguely frustrated by that fact. He finishes his wine to set it aside, both hands on the armrests as he stares into the fire. "In my home tribe, there are shamans and druids who are thought to be capable of the same, but I have never known whether the gods and spirits have such lesser concerns as our dreams. Perhaps your methods are different. I would ask, yet your tithes are like to be beyond my reach."

"Yes, that's part of the contract. Confidentiality," Soleil replies with a little nod. "I don't know anything about your …religion. But it is true that only the nobility can generally afford my services. The cat, among other things, was the gift of a duc upon my leaving the City of Elua. Something to love me completely. My little baby. My little Le Chat."

"I would have chosen a puppy for love, if I were him," Tancred muses, leaning slightly to look at the creature again. "Cats are fickle and topple pottery, but they are known to be closer to the other worlds than many other beasts. I suppose it is more fitting - for one as yourself who wades into the world of dreams." He takes off a buckskin glove to tuck into his belt, reaching over to try and touch Le Chat. "May I?"

Soleil settles the kitten a bit on her knee so that her guest can pet him, and he gives the man a sleepy look when he's moved, but he clearly enjoys being petted. "Of course," she says with a little laugh. "I think he understands, though, that I would be unhappy with a creature that didn't think it was the most important one in the room. And Le Chat certainly is that. The most important one in whatever room he's in."

"I imagine you do not take him on an assignation. There is only room for one important person in a chamber." Is Tancred joking? There's some cant to his tone that suggests he's trying. He delicately pets the kitten's head, using his thumb and two fingers. "How old is he?"

"Six weeks, I think? Old enough to be away from his mother but that's about as far as it goes. Still a baby. He's got a charmingly long tail, though," Soleil says fondly of the little orange fuzzball, running one finger against that little tail, which is indeed fairly long for his body size. Perhaps he will grow into it. "As for taking him on an assignation, it would certainly depend on the patron."

"Young. So you have arrived only recently." Tancred lowers his index finger to scratch at the base of the cat's tail, careful despite his worn and trimmed nails. "Is laying with your patron also expected on such an assignment, or only if they wish it?"

"Only if they wish it. It is not a bad way to get to know someone and to help them relax into deep sleep, after all," Soleil points out, beautiful as one might expect someone with angel blood in her veins, particularly a Scion of Naamah. There's something very composed and poised about her, and she watches Tancred pet her baby cat with a gentle smile.

Tancred nods. Makes sense - especially being a man like he is. He draws his hand back to pop it on his armrest, a pensive look on his bearded face, and after a second he makes a request of Soleil : "May I see your marque?"

"Let me move Le Chat," Soleil says for a moment, and she cuddles him up so that he is sleeping essentially on her bust, and she keeps him there as she rises to her feet. Her dress is cut low down her back to show off her marque, an exquisite and rather dreamy arrangement of Gentian violets, their purple contrasting beautifully with the gold of her dress.

"Their marquists in the capital must be talented," Tancred notes, leaning back slightly as she positions herself to show off all the ink. His fingertip catches in his beard, itching at the cleft in his chin, then the hand lifts, reaching towards her. "May I touch it?" If she allows him, he does, brushing rough and callused fingertips down her midback, over the petals of one flower.

"Yes," Soleil replies, bowing her head slightly as she gives him permission to touch. She holds still, right in range, cat snuggled in her cleavage.

"I envy your cat now," Tancred says with mild amusement after he notices where exactly she's decided to nestle the pet. Still, he's got his bright eyes on her back again, stroking along her bared back with a gentle rake of nails. "Is it appropriate to ask how long it took?"

"Five years. This is not uncommon for a Gentian. We take longer than most, for our skills are quite niche," Soleil replies easily enough. "But my patrons were often generous and appreciative, even if there were fewer of them than if I had been, say, Jasmine."

"There is no shame in that, they say. Love as thou wilt is the proclamation, not 'gather glinting gold in two years or less.'" Tancred brushes his fingers along her lower back and then the edge of her waist, and after that ceases, leaning back in his stout chair with a nod. "Though it does not surprise me that that house oft finishes quickest. Dance is said to be as making love, but upright."

"It's a niche role. Do you need your dreams analyzed? No? Then perhaps you will seek your love elsewhere," Soleil notes with an easy smile. She adjusts the kitten so that he is sprawling along her arm, and turns to bow slightly to Tancred with a little smile. "If you'll excuse me, I need to retire for the evening. Le Chat is quite worn out," she notes, not even realizing that she's left her handkerchief under the chair, slightly kitten pulled.

"Love can be found in unlikely places," Tancred recites that little platitude, inclining his head. He stays in his chair for at least a while longer. "Rest well, then." He takes note of the handkerchief, but doesn't mention it.

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