(1312-06-23) Of Course It's All Real
Summary: As ever, when Alienor nó Rose Sauvage shows her half-veiled face in one of the city’s watering-holes, a circle of lords gathers about her in hopeful conversation…
RL Date: Tue Jun 23, 1312
Related: Previous logs with these characters.
alienor dante perrin zabien 

Wine Cellar — Noble District

Stairs lead down to the heavy oak door, above which the sign of the place, the likeness of a Hellene amphora spilling over with wine painted upon wood, swings lazily in the occasional breeze. Beyond that door the entrance hall comes into view, where various kegs and casks of differing sizes are arranged in oenological allure before the roughly hewn walls of ancient stone. There is a chill down here on hot summer days, that will be efficiently battled in the colder months through the heating of a giant hearth to the back. The place has a decidedly cavernous character, alcoves to the left and right offering seating at small tables for two or three. Lamps are dangling by chains from the ceiling, shades of milky glass work from La Serenissima offering sufficient lighting. There are no visible windows, which means lamps will be in use even during the day.

Further to the back there is a small hallway branching off from the main area, leading to a medium sized chamber where the bigger barrels are stored. Here, a larger group of up to eight people can sit about a round table of heavy oak, while they are being served the rarer vintages or even the heavier spirits that are stored in a wooden cabinet to the back. Staff is mostly male, clad in black breeches and white shirts with dark red vests, knowledgeable sommeliers of superior training that will be glad to wait on guests in person and offer insight into the variety of wines, red and white, not only d'Angeline but a variety of specialties from abroad, that are available here.

The Wine Cellar is not too busy tonight, with only a few groups of patrons in various places around the cavernous room. Seated by himself in a quiet area is one of the newest arrivals in town, an unlanded and untitled noble of the Somerville line. He seems to have just finished a conversation with one of the lead serving men and now has a small line of six glasses of varying shades of amber in front of him, and he appears to be quietly questioning his decision making process, and how he ended up in the situation he now finds himself.

Danté makes his way into the Wine Cellar looking around a bit before he heads towards one of the empty tables taking a seat. He looks around waving one of the servers over, "Some finger foods, cheese, meats and bread. And a glass of a nice dry red please." He's dressed for the weather, dark brown pants with darker brown boots up to his mid shin. The shirt is a thin gauzy cotton shirt showing off the Mandrake Marque across his back.

Perrin leans back in his seat, simply waiting it seems until the serving man returns once more with a small glass that appears to have a small filling of water, along with another empty glass. Perrin nods to him and the man performs this small ritual where he transfers water from one glass to the next until he manages to deposit a single drop of water into each glass of whiskey on the table in front of Perrin. The horse lord smiles at these, seeming pleased with the ritual and that the serving man seems so practed at ensuring only a single drop of water lands in each glass. Perrin nods his head to the man in thanks, then picks up the glass to his furthest right and breathes in the aroma of the strong drink, however he does not seem to be in any rush to begin the venture of trying all the glasses he may have accidentally ordered.

Slipping in quietly, clad in a conservatively cut gray gown that is well-tailored to her small figure, Alienor pauses to look around at the clientele and the servers. Her hair is partially up, so that long dark tendrils frame her face prettily and the back is in a curled updo that is decorated with bright yellow daisies. This styling shows off the nape of her neck and the finished marque which has only recently stopped swelling. Artfully pinned to her locks is a diaphanous veil that conceals without hiding too much of her pretty features. For a moment, she looks slightly lost, and then she comes to Dante and lays a light hand upon his shoulder. "Monsieur," she says softly with a smile, and perhaps Perrin catches her eye as well.

Danté glances over at the young courtesan as she places a hand on his shoulder, "Oh don't be so formal with me have a seat. How have you been?" He looks over at Perrin leaning back in his seat and frowns a moment as he tries to place the young lord, "Sommerville right m'lord? Come sit with us, nobody should drink and eat alone if it can be helped."

Perrin is in fact performing a delaying action with the table of whiskey in front of him, so he does in fact notice the grey clad beauty when she arrives. Her attention goes elsewhere, and his gaze follows for a moment, however he does not seem to know the other man and seems to resign himself to begin his long trek of sampling the whiskey which had been placed before him. He breathes in deep the spirits in front of him before taking a slow sip and setting the glass back down. His eyes drift downwards briefly and it is not difficult to imagine the warmth filling his chest as the spirits cause a pleasant burning sensation in his throat. When his eyes open, they meet the serving man who had placed all those glasses before him and he nods his appreciation. It is around then that Dante' addresses him and he inclines his head in gratitude for the invitation, "Thank you, that is most kind of you." He recovers the glass he had been working on and heads over. The serving man will make certain the others follow him in due time.

"Ah, yes, Lord Perrin. Do come join us," Alienor agrees as she moves to have a seat next to Dante with a warm smile. "I have been spending a lot of time at the Temple of Naamah, working with one of the priestesses there. She's helping me figure out how to cope with my feelings so that I might find serving Naamah a joy." She folds her hands in her lap neatly, sitting quite straight, careful of not leaning back against the chair, so cautious of her back.

Danté nods a bit and looks over as the wine he'd ordered and food is delivered, "Thank you." Then his attention goes back to Alienor and Perrin as he settles at the table as well, "Have you been using a salve for your Marque? I see it's finished." He offers a nod towards Perrin, "My pleasure m'lord. I'm Dante no Rose Sauvage. Have you met the lovely Alienor?" He looks over at her to see what the rest of her name is now.

Perrin takes a seat across the table from the other two and offers them both a smile, "It is always nicer to enjoy a drink with good company." In short order all of his drinks are brought over and set in front of him, causing him to look just a little overwhelmed by it all. Still he asks Alienor, "Can I get you something?" not offering her the over abundance in front of him, as if this world of poor choices was somehow intentional. He has no valuable advise in regards to the pain of a marque, so keeps his silence on that matter. When Dante introduces himself, "Thank you again for the invitation, as you have likely already pieced together, my name is Perrin de Somerville. It is nice to meet you." Then to his question he responds, "We had the chance to meet yesterday. It is good fortune to meet twice and as many days in a city this size, to be sure."

"It's still 'nó Rose Sauvage,' at least for the moment. I have separated from the salon to be independent, but that is where… where I finished my marque," Alienor replies to Dante with a moment's hesitation, blushing slightly. "And yes. So much salve. I've finally gotten to the point where I can wear dresses that aren't just bags, but I'm still practically bathing in salve. Blessed stuff." She laughs a pretty little laugh, her smile demure yet playful. "Lord Perrin, it is, of course, quite nice to see you again.”

Danté smiles a bit as he reaches into his ever present satchel and pulls out a small container that he hands over to Alienor, "It's some salve I've been working on over the years for tending to my clients after. It's got a numbing agent that should help a bit as well." He looks over at Perrin and grins, "Good to meet you m'lord. I haven't seen anybody from the family in a while. I hail from Somerville as well." Looking at Alienor he nods, "I know you'd told me you'd be separating when your marque was done. It's a shame to see you leave but I suppose all the White Roses have moved onto a better place. I'm actually quite happy with that it's hard to keep you all safe with you under the same roof. You should get a drink. And perhaps some food." A grin, "And maybe think about less veil and more of your lovely face eventually."

Perrin looks between the two and does not input anything regarding the marque or the salve, however he does seem to follow along with interest. He does display some concern as Alienor discusses her transition from the salon, however he has nothing to say on that matter either. It is then that Dante drops the relation on him and he blinks, then squints his eyes just a little as if trying to remember his whole family tree. He admits, "I do not believe we have ever met before, I am sorry that I did not recognize you though. It is good to meet a member of the family." distant cousins as they are it is little wonder. He pauses then as he listens to their conversation for a time before he says, "Forgive my ignorance, but would you mind if I ask a question or two? You said it was difficult to keep the White Roses safe when they are under the same roof, and I am not sure I understand why it would be more difficult when they are all close together." He inclines his head to Dante's words and looks to Alienor, also encouraging her to settle in with them. Either that or he is agreeing with the veil part, the world may never know which.

"Thank you," Alienor says as she takes the salve from Dante and peers at the container for a moment before slipping it into the pockets of her dress. "Much appreciated." She takes a breath. "My desire to …somewhat deviate from the White Rose canon for my own mental health and stability caused a bit of friction with leadership of the salon. Now that I am independent, I have the opportunity to learn in advance what my patrons might want, which theoretically should better prepare me to serve their needs. Assuming I continue as a courtesan. It is my intent to continue, at least, even if I am still …ah, taking my time about it." She smiles at Perrin for a moment, then glances back to Dante. "Ah, you just want to be able to tell more easily when you make me blush," she says with mild accusation to him, but she reaches up to adjust her veil, drawing it up so that it falls at a different angle, revealing quite a bit more of her face while still remaining a sense of modesty to it.

Danté shrugs a bit at Perrin's question, "We attract a different type of client than what a White Rose normally would take. And yes likely a different branch of the family. And I've been gone for what thirtyish years? I doubt you'd have been able to remember me either way." Looking at Alienor he grins, "You caught me. But not just that. You've a beautiful smile and it's a shame to hide it. And I think you're more suited to something more than the innocent little lamb I met in the gardens."

Perrin shows Alienor a smile, but seems to defer to Dante's wisdom as a courtesan that has completed his marque, he surely has a much better grasp of the topic than Perrin does. Dante's explanation of why they had never met checks out and Perrin can only nod and agree, "You are right, still it is nice to meet another from Somerville." He quiets again as Dante gives her advice, and he even gives an encouraging nod despite having no valid advice of his own to offer. He does add, "You are quite lovely and charming Alienor, I am sure you will find your guiding star in no time, and be just fine."

Perrin sits at a table across from Dante and Alienor. Several drinks litter the table along with a plate of meet and cheese. Alienor is veiled, but has lifted it some so her lovely face is partially revealed.

"You know, before my debut, one of the Thorns, she said she didn't think I had quite the right style. She didn't think I'd ever be able to truly enjoy putting up a pretense. She said that I seemed more suited to not put up a facade, that however artful and charming I was, I'd never really be happy with a simulation of self," Alienor muses, glancing from Perrin to Dante, and then, when a waiter brings her a glass of wine, she hides her mood with a sip. Afterwards, though, both men get a radiant smile.

The former White Rose is wearing a gray gown that is tailored to her figure, but which has a high enough back to conceal the majority of her mostly healed marque. Her hair is partially up with little yellow flowers, and her veil is worn at an artful angle that makes her smiles much more visible.

Danté nods a bit, "I agree with her. You're a lovely white rose and adorable when you're being demure and nervous but you've got a hunger that you just couldn't hide even back then. I look forward to when you find it again. But like all injuries it takes time to heal." He reaches over to give her shoulder a brief squeeze, "So what else is on the menu?"

Perrin watches Alienor and seems to chew on that for awhile before saying, "Wait, it's a facade?" completely dead-pan. Is he is joking to try and lighten the mood, he is playing it close to the chest.

Several seconds pass before he cracks a smile, "Forgive me, I thought perhaps if I could earn a laugh, it might assist the mood… But I do agree that time heals, and it has only been a short time." He indicates the salve, letting even he know that the events that shaped her recent history have been pretty recent if the marque has yet to heal fully.

A trio of figures enter the Wine Cellar. All three are dressed in black and gold - the livery of Shahrizai. The two guards peel away from the much smaller figure of a wisp of the beautiful sixteen year old, Zabien. The two guards practically disappear in the shadows, so that they can keep an eye on their charge without being obvious about it. Zabien walks through the establishment to find an empty table, which happens to be next to where the three are seated. At first, Zabien does not notice, but then Alienor catches his eyes, which he returns with a nod and a smile. He raises his voice just enough to be heard at the other table. "Good evening, m'lady. How fare you this night?" He smiles to the two men, "And good eve to your companions aw well."

Alienor blushes at what Dante says to her, laughing softly in spite of herself, and then Zabien catches her attention, and she turns towards him with a measure of surprise. "Ah, my lord! It's a pleasant evening. Would you like to join me? Dante, Lord Perrin, this is Lord Zabien Shahrizai. Lord Zabien, Monsieur Dante Somerville no Rose Sauvage and Lord Perrin Somerville. Monsieur is a Thorn, and I knew him when I was at La Rose Sauvage. I have since separated." And indeed, her fresh marque peeks out above the line of her dress.

Danté offers a nod towards Zabien, "A pleasure m'lord. And please do join us. Plenty of room and I'm sure we can get more wine at the table without too much trouble." The Thorn in question is fairly relaxed into his seat sipping on his red wine and every now and then snags a bite from the plate of cheeses, meats and bread on his table. He does look over at Perrin and his joke then back at Alienor, "Wait… What's a façade? I thought it was all real!"

Perrin looks towards the man that greets them and seems to catch the coat of arms as he says, "Good evening, Lord Shahrizai." He stands to take his leave telling the two at his table and the new arrival, "I have an early morning, so I must take my leave. Thank you for the fine company." He vacates the his seat and seems to agree with Alienor and Dante's invitation of Zabien. He adds, "It is good to meet you my lord, I wish I could stay longer and make your acquaintance." and with that he bids farewell to the three, "It was a pleasure, have a good night." He starts to head to the door, however Dante at least responds to his joke and he earns a smile with that.

Zabien slides out of his seat with the same feline grace that he sat down. He moves over and takes the freshly vacated seat. He smiles widely, which causes the faintest traces of dimples to show. He cants his head slightly to the side, "Thank you for your offer. I would be delighted to join you and your companion. Thorn, you say…" He bites the edge of his lower lip, "How intriguing… " He shakes his head, "And please, we are here as friends… please call me Zabien."

"Oh, of course it's all real," Alienor tells Dante with the most innocent smile coupled with a charming wide-eyed look and a little flutter of dark lashes. She shifts slightly to better focus on their new companion, turning that smile on him now. "How have you been, my lord? Keeping busy with your days?"

Danté chuckles a bit and nods, "Of course it is. Of course it is." He looks over at Zabien and offers him a smile, "A Thorne yes. Although I was trained as a Mandrake and then moved here well after I'd completed my Marque joined Rose Sauvage."

Zabien smiles, "Certainly it is… No Alyssum ever faked a blush… " He gestures for a servant to come over to the table. "I am in a fine mood. My favorite aunt has joined me here in Marsilikos. It makes my banishment almost bearable. How are you this eve? And once again, I implore you.. it is just Zabien." His sapphire blue eyes flicker over at Dante. "Is there much difference between being a mandrake and being a thorn?"

"Ah, how lovely for you," Alienor replies with a charmed smile, studying Zabien for a moment with her gray-green eyes, soft as a coming storm. She lets her gaze fall demurely, then tilts her head just so to regard Dante. "Perhaps I should consider getting you to teach me some things. Expand my repertoire, perhaps?"

Danté shrugs a bit, "I suppose no real difference. Just location we are trained at. The Thornes were trained by Mandrakes when the salon was formed." When Alienor asks about expanding her repertoire he chuckles a bit, "Do you want to learn to tie the ropes or get tied in the ropes?"

Zabien arches an eyebrow, "Now that is something that I would not mind seeing…. that is if you were needing a third party." The server comes over with a bottle of wine and a set of clean glasses. Zabien pours himself a large glass of the dark red wine. "Can I interest any of you in a glass?"

"To tie, please," Alienor replies to Dante with a pert little nod, then nods to Zabien. "I'd love to try a glass of wine. I didn't realize you had an aunt in town; Shahrizai women are so very intense, in my experience. Won't you tell me all about her?" She fixes him with a winning smile and a little flutter of lashes.

Danté smiles and nods a bit, "Let me know when you want to. I'm sure we can find somebody to practice on." He offers them a quick nod of his head as he climbs to his feet, "But I must be heading out. It was good catching up Alienor. Take care." He offers another nod towards Zabien, "Once again a pleasure m'lord." Some money set down on the table for his drinks and food before he heads out.

Zabien pours Alienor a glass of wine as well, then. Setting the bottle down, he looks over at Dante. Monsieur Dante Somerville no Rose Sauvage… It was a pleasure meeting you. Perhaps we will meet again." He looks over at Alienor. "Ah, she was married off to a Hellene nobleman before I was born. I only met her a few months ago in the City of Elua…. I don't really know all that much about her. But she is Father's favorite sister, so that makes her my favorite aunt." He chuckles softly.

"Oh, how fascinating. So you must have foreign cousins, then," Alienor observes as she takes her wine glass and adjusts her veil just slightly to sip from it, smiling at Zabien curiously. "Still, it seems like a bit of a trivial reason to favor that particular aunt. Do you just not know enough about your aunts to make a decision on your own?"

Zabien chuckles and sheaks his head, "I grew up hearing stories of Father's little sister and what she was like. In some ways, it is like I do know her… just most of that information is a little outdated." He takes a hearty drink of wine, perhaps a little too much for just a casual drink. He then changes the topic, "So your friend, is he good at his job? Some mandrakes see it as an occupation… then some love what they do… those are the ones that leave you craving just one more lash."

"Ah, I see. Well, perhaps you will now have the opportunity to get to know her better, now that she is here in Marsilikos," Alienor replies with a measure of amusement. "And I don't know. I presume he is? But the White Roses were always separated from the Thorns, and we were only allowed to mingle in the gardens, and sometimes not even then. Still, I've never met any of his patrons, for good or ill, so I have nothing to go on save that he has always been kind and respectful to me."

Zabien smiles. The smile is a small one, but seems to be extremely earnest, "Well, that certainly speaks highly of his character, if naught of his skill though." He cocks his head. "I noticed a bit of your marque peeking out. Does that mean you have come to an opinion on whether or not you are going to follow Naamah's calling?"

"Really, it means that it is finished, and I have separated from the Rose Sauvage," Alienor replies with a blush and a shy smile, looking down at her wine glass as if it might have better answers for her. She licks her lips slowly. "It seems likely that I shall continue to serve as a servant of Naamah in the future, yes." She looks up at him a moment. "You are interested in my decision?" she inquires curiously.

Zabien cants his head slightly, "I believe I stated my interest in your decision the first night that we met." He grins, "You intrigue me, Alienor." He breathes through his nose a bit loudly, "This is just my opinion, but I feel that you would be doing Naamah a grave disservice if you did not. That being said, I think that if you took some time away from it, and tried to find yourself, she would not mind…. but then again, taking clients on your schedule might also afford you the time to do you and the money to help take care of you."

"It is true that you expressed interest when first we met," Alienor concedes with a little nod of her head, thoughtful for a moment, and she smiles slightly, then leans forwards curiously, her tornado gray gaze falling on Zabien intently. "What would you want from me, were you my patron? Should I be demure for you, with eyes downcast?" She almost rips her gaze from him, closing her eyes for a moment and looking then to her wine glass, reaching to sip from it.

(fade to black)

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