(1312-09-05) A Game of Dominoes and Wine
Summary: A coincidental encounter at the wine cellar leads to conversation and a game of dominoes.
RL Date: Sat Sep 05, 2020
Related: None.
justine foulque jehan-pascal daniel 

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.

Even with summer already moving on to its later and more ripe beauty, the weather outside still carries the benign warmth of July. So… perhaps it was the chill of the thick stone walls of the wine cellar that lured Justine Chalasse de la Courcel down here. The young blonde lady has descended the stairs into this place already a while ago, and now is seated at one of the tables — all by herself, for now. Of course, there is the unobtrusive guard leaning against the wall close by. But Justine is on her own — apart from that glass of red wine sitting before her on the table. Her station is evident in the fine couture of her attire, a dress of courtly fashion, but perhaps deliberately not displaying the colors of her House by marriage. Dark blue with a few accents in turquoise aren't the Chalasse hues, but then again, you aren't required to wear your House colors when you simply go out to enjoy a glass of wine somewhere.

Even in the heat of summer, Foulque still wears his black on blacks, muted velvet doublet slashed with shiny satin , black breeches and boots, in stern contrast to his snow white hair, which falls loose down his back, his walking stick with the silver head more a fashion item than something he needs. He does seem to relish the chill of the wine cellar and he bows as he sees Justine, not presuming to join her, waiting for an attendant to find him a table.

Jehan-Pascal sure hopes it's not a requirement to go everywhere in ones' house colors— not that he has anything against his, hey simply don't suit his complexion, his hair color, or his eyes, and so he tends to leave it to the banners, unless on matters of state importance, which this is… certainly not. A stop for a post-prandial bottle of wine and maybe a game of dominoes or something in the dark and pleasant cellar, who cares what colors Jehan-Pascal might wear, as long as they suit him— which they do. They always do. A pale dun lined in silken sky grey and accented in pale blue hosiery decks him stylishly for court. He may have been paying call at one of the other noble houses quartered here in Marsilikos, or even from an event at the palace itself. He wears his strands of pale grey pearls and walks tall on a slight heel even down the stairs, following after Foulque and loitering at the bottom of the stair for him to be seated before proceeding further, though he does let a casual gaze skim the place, and give a wave to Justine from his spot.

Now, an arrival such as that of Foulque Shahrizai is bound to draw a young lady's attention, especially through the intriguing combination of Kusheline presence with silver hair. Justine looks up and her gaze settles on the Shahrizai lord, and she bites her lip, for a moment caught in that rare moment of fascination and curiosity. And then there is Jehan-Pascal, and in recognizing him, Justine gives a wave in turn. The way her gaze subtly shifts between JP and Foulque might be taken as unspoken invitation to join her at her table.

Foulque may have met Jehan-Pascal, but it was probably brief, the Shahrizai inclines his head though with polite warmth to see the younger lord, though he also catches Justine's interested look. As a bottle of wine wrapped in wicker is brought to him, and a glass poured, he does lift that glass to inhale the bouquet and to also salute the others.

Jehan-Pascal returns the incline of Foulque's head with a tender sort of smile in greeting, almost too warm for such a passing acquaintance, but, well, there you have it. "My Lord Foulque," he pipes up, chipper. Justine's unspoken invitation isn't lost on him, either, and he, for his part, doesn't wait for a table of his own, but will go and stand to one side of the table, offering a bow while awaiting a more formal invitation to join her. "My Lady Justine, how well you look in your gown! Those colors complement each other so well."

"They do go well with my blonde hair, I have been told," Justine responds to Jehan-Pascal, giving him a warm smile. She does not hesitate to extend her informal invitation to a more formal one, as she adds, "Thank you, Lord Jehan-Pascal, I do appreciate the compliment, but I would also appreciate you joining me at my table." And back to Foulque her gaze darts, as his silent toast to her from afar has left a certain impression. "Do you perchance know that gentleman over there. I cannot deny that he has caught my curiosity."

"Milord Jehan-Pascal , a pleasure to see you, it has been too long. All my fault, I suppose, since I do not go out as often as I should.." Foulque replies to JP, the tall , older man sipping at his wine , and the Shahrizai may indeed sense that curiosity from Justine, so as JP joins her, he stands up, taking his glass with him, and he bows deeply to the both of them. "May I ask for a favor, milord, will you introduce me to your charming companion?"

<FS3> Jehan-Pascal rolls Politics: Great Success. (3 6 7 3 5 2 7 7 8 8)

"I do," Jehan-Pascal assures Justine, "And I will," is for Foulque. "My Lord Foulque, this is the Lady Justine Chalasse de la Courcel, future Comtesse of Brioude, and my Lady Justine, meet Lord Foulque Shahrizai, Vicomte in Tours," he gives each of them the trangulated pertinents of the other so that neither of them are at a political disadvantage in sorting out how each of them might be connected or advantageous to one another. It's only polite, after all. "Would either of you care to join me at a game of domino?" Now that the great naming is over. "I've had such a strange urge to play a round, and I know they keep a set at the counter here."

Introductions are given, and Justine inclines her head towards Foulque, with a smooth downward flick of her gaze. "My lord," she greets, "it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance." As Jehan-Pascal seems to propose some sort of game, she more or less gestures towards vacant seats at her table. "I don't have the slightest idea about how this game is played, Lord Jehan-Pascal, but I trust you will enlighten me - and the Lord of Shahrizai, should he be as oblivious as I in this regard?"

"The pleasure is all mine." Foulque replies to Justine, no before bowing again to Jehan-Pascal, to thank him for the introduction. He sips at his wine as if in salute, then raises an eyebrow at the proposal of a game. "I could certainly do that, a game sounds like fun. I must confess I have not played at dominoes in a while."

Daniel eases his way into the wine cellar. The large frame of the Ferraut lord moves carefully. His eyes surveying the area curiously. He takes in the cellar with the air of someone who is still growing familiar with the sites and the scenery of the city. He lets his eyes meander and smiles as he catches a small gathering. He drifts closer inclining his head to each though hesitating at the edge of the conversation perhaps curious to gauge them before asking curiously, "What are we playing?" He says with interest. His voice even controlled is not particularly built for quiet as he smiles easily at each in turn.

"Neither have I," Jehan-Pascal laughs, "Maybe five years since I've touched a domino at all, longer than that since I ever played regularly. I don't know what's brought it up all so suddenly to mind," he settles in, ordering the domino set and also a bottle of his favorite. Just one. He's already had a bottle at lunch, after all. "Hello," he greets Daniel, "A game of dominoes, if you're up for it, my Lord."

Justine smiles, and the glance towards Foulque indicates that smile is for him. She may not be opposed at all to him joining them at the game, which - truth be told - has yet to start. When Daniel enters the downstairs area that is the wine cellar, she seems pleased to see him. "Lord Daniel." Adding then, perhaps for the others, "Lord Daniel Ferraut, my lords." There is plenty of space at her table, given that she has sat there all by herself so far. "Aww, please join us, Daniel, it would be so much fun!"

Daniel beams at Justine's greeting, "Good evening my Lady I would be delighted to join you and your companions. You always have the most interesting of company." He says warmly and he gives Foulque and JP a bow, "A pleasure to meet you both always a delight to meet companions of her Ladyship she's been quite the guide to the city." He says brightly and he offers, "As for dominos I wouldn't say no to a game and some good company." He surveys the seats and moves towards one though testing it clearly before sitting.

"So nice to meet you, Lord Daniel," Jehan-Pascal smiles to the tall Ferraut. "I'm Jehan-Pascal, of Baphinol. But call me Jehan-Pascal," he offers the familiarity, and, perhaps notably, while he had filled Justine and Foulque in on one another's positions in their earlier introductions, he makes no particular mention of his inheritance of the county Baphinol. He never really does. Maybe he thinks it bad luck to mention the (hopefully distant) future death of his father, or just doesn't want to be seen as preening, but he doesn't, in general.

Justine smiles towards Daniel. "You make it sound like I am always in company. But, well, perhaps I am. And I think our circle can benefit a little from a bit of Camaeline tenacity." The way she says it makes it sound almost like some sort of frivolous jest. Or is it the wink that accompanies her words? She looks towards Foulque, but the Shahrizai lord seems to have been approached by someone else, keeping him for now from joining the table and the gambling that may soon commence. "Lord Jehan-Pascal is heir to the Comté," she easily supplies the information so humbly withheld by JP. After all, he introduced her with her future title as well. Even if hers is only by marriage.

Daniel smiles, "Jehan-Pascal then. Please call me Daniel." Daniel doesn't seem overly conscious of the title or what it may mean instead he seems honestly happy to have more company. He assures Justine, "I like to think of it more as quality rather than quantity my Lady." He says though his eyes twinkling warmly. He glances to JP then as Justine indicates, "Oh? Well that is wonderful. My apologies I don't… know as much about things inside of our borders as I do outside. But I suppose that's part of why they sent me out here…" He admits sheepishly, "Not just because of the delightful distractions."

Jehan-Pascal sets a graceful glance flickering toward Justine when she acknowledges the lands due to him by birth, Avignon. The invocation of which is enough to bring a dreamer's smile to his face. And then come his bottle, his glass, and the embossed box of dominos. The first will be opened first, the second filled second, and meanwhile. "Daniel," he repeats the given name given for his use. "I'd hardly expect one raised in Camlach to come to Marsilikos and know all of our counties to the barony at once," he excuses him kindly, then takes a deep swallow of wine, almost visibly soothed by it. "Mm, that's lovely."

"I am Namarrese by birth, and l'Agnacite by marriage," Justine states with her smile dimming just a little. "A stranger to Marsilikos I was when I arrived here for the first time, in January. Eisande is a lovely province, and I have returned here now, for the second time." Her lips curve in a smile and her gaze becomes intrigued as it comes to rest upon the box of dominoes. "Now. Shall we go for a round? What do you think?"

Daniel chuckles softly, "I'm sure some of my siblings might at least know it better… but it was never a thing of interest to me. But now I'm here so I suppose I should learn." He says as he shrugs his shoulders and gestures for a server to bring him a glass as well. He looks to Justine, "Well you seem delightfully comfortable with life here now?" He suggests and he looks thoughtful as he considers the dominoes and he shrugs, "Why not it seems the thing to do… any excuse to indulge in a drink and satisfy our appetites." he suggests mildly.

"I really think that we should, though I feel as though I might be making up the rules again as I go," Jehan-Pascal is pouring his second glass already, though, proving in plain sight his reputation for being a somewhat prodigious drinker. "But, on the other hand, I almost believe that when I touch the bones once more, they'll tell me somehow what to do with them," he laughs, and, draining half his second cup, sets it down long enough to open the box and unpack the dominos from it. "So they're white on one side," he shows, and, flipping one over, "And there are scores on the other side, one to each half of the bone. This one has a two on one side and a five on the other. The basic rule of all domino games is to put matching scores together."

Something in Daniel's words causes the smile in Justine's features to deepen. Her own glass of wine is still filled by half, and she then looks towards Jehan-Pascal, as the young man begins to explain the rules of the game. "I see," she says, signaling that she is following his explanation.

Daniel considers JP's words and he shrugs, "I suppose well rules are meant to be… tweaked aren't they? It's all in good fun, it isn't as if we're betting something. Though I suppose we could." He smiles, "Matching and getting the highest score yes?" He suggests watching them and helping to shuffle them up idly. He glances from JP then to Justine and smiles, "Is there a particular variant we prefer?" He glances to Justine and teases, "You seem quiet today." He offers mildly.

"Yes — there are some variants where playing a double — a bone piece with equal scores on each half — stops the game entirely until someone plays on it. In other variants, you can only play on your own bones unless a double is in play. There are lots of different ways to play, but — let's start simple. We'll each have seven bones," which he's sort of mixing up face-down on the table, now, sliding them to and fro. "Whoever has the highest double will play it and one more bone first. After that, anyone can play anywhere as long as it matches. If you have a double, you can play it along with another score that matches the double and play two bones at once in that manner. If you cannot play, you draw a bone, and first person out of bones wins," he sets out a fairly standard game, not too complicated. Or, at least, he hopes so — he's looking at his compatriots in domino-playing to see if they've followed, so far. And fills up his glass again. One gets the impression that it's only the refined company keeping him from saving time and just drinking from the bottle.

"Can we do a first round?", Justine wonders. Obviously, she's been following well. "Without any betting, just to get a feel for the game?" She lifts her glass to her lips, perhaps in time with Jehan-Pascal, even offering him a half-toast, before she has another sip. And with the glass drained, she certainly needs a refill which she demands from a passing attendant. Her gaze lands on Daniel and she shrugs. "What about you, Daniel? Shan't we play just a little?", is her question for him.

Daniel blinks at that, "Well that's troublesome… forcing people to address your move but I suppose that's the strategy of it. You'd think I'd play more of such a play." He admits and he considers and then he nods taking seven of the tiles and studying them,, "Yes let's start and we'll pick it up from there." He says agreeably and he nods, "I would be delighted to play with you both." He says as he gestures for more wine as well.

<FS3> Jehan-Pascal rolls Gambling: Failure. (5 5 4 4)

<FS3> Daniel rolls Gambling: Failure. (5 6)

<FS3> Justine rolls Gambling: Good Success. (8 3 8 4 6 8 5)

"Of course… no need to bet at all, if we don't like to," Jehan-Pascal assures. He doesn't gamble much, himself— it's a good way to lose money. "Or we can play for copper, or the tab, or some sort of light punishment," he laughs. "It's just a friendly game, after all." A friendly game, indeed, at which Justine proves herself more than capable over the course of a few rounds— but Jehan-Pascal is happy to play and lose— and pick up the winner's tab for her, along with his own— and Daniel's!

"Oh… that was lucky," Justine smiles, leaning back after she scored that win. "Well. I am surprised that I was able to win against a tactician of war and a future Comte. Perhaps, female intuition is the key after all…" She chuckles, and then she seems ready to engage in yet another round - but there comes an interruption, in the form of a servant, whose whispered message prompts Justine to rise to her feet and nod to her guard. "I am sorry… but I have to see to a certain matter. My lords… I shall look forward to another match soon." Said as she offers the both of them a curtsey and takes her leave, with the grace and elegance that is expected of a lady born into House Courcel.

Daniel blinks in surprise at Justine's winning, "Well… she seems a knack for it." He grins or perhaps he's distracted as he chuckles, "Thank goodness it's a friendly game." He says to JP admitting, "Did you know she was so talented?" He asks curiously and then he looks at Justine and he smiles, "My Lady… a pleasure. I hope to see you again soon."

"I didn't, but I do now," Jehan-Pascal answers, standing up to bow slightly to Justine when she makes her excuses, giving her a smile as he settles back in, pouring another glass of— oh. The bottle empties out, and Jehan-Pascal is left with a paltry sip or two left. "Well, what do you think? One more bottle?" Interestingly, he hardly seems touched by the first one, yet.

Daniel smiles, "always good to learn." He chuckles, "Sure I cannot complain of the company so a little more drink would be delightful." He says agreeably, "So any suggestions on things to do in the city?" He asks and he smiles, "Or wines to try?"

"Wines to try, we're in the right place," Jehan-Pascal answers, and orders not one, but two more bottles, and a flagon of a cask wine he's fond of. "We'll try these and see which is best to your liking… then I can name you some others," he grins. "In the city, well… there's the Night Court, of course, the shops at the promenade… the citadel, if you like exercise," which a little flick of a glance at Daniel's physique will score as 'likely.'

Daniel smiles softly, "I rather thought we were." He chuckles softly, "Well that there is I've visited a few but there's always more houses to indulge in and explore." He nods, "I've spent some good amount of time at the Temple of Camael." He admits with a sheepish chuckle and then nods, "I'm supposedly here to rest and recover so really understanding what life is like here."

"Maybe the Temple of Eisheth is your better bet, then," Jehan-Pascal suggests. "They have some really quite remarkable gardens, and the clergy are excellent, of course," he goes on. "So you've been sent south for your health, hum? Do you know how long you plan to stay?"

Daniel raises a brow, "Oh? I'll have to check it." He shrugs his shoulders, "No specific time but I'm in constant communication back home in case of trouble." He nods, "There was a raid that went…poorly." He shrugs, "For the most part I'm alright but occasionally I strain it and it was felt here I might not aggravate injuries."

"A raid? You were raided?" Jehan-Pascal's voice is one of those into which a flutter of fretting can so easily flit— he's got that maternal, caring softness to him that is only on more open display the more deep into the bottles he gets. "What happened?" he wonders, "Or is it… not something you wish to discuss?"

Daniel considers that, "Well in fact it was more we were responding to a raid. Headed into northern skald territory." He shrugs and his eyes flicker around, "It's not discussion for pleasant company." He admits and he shrugs, "A tale I can tell another night." He smiles though weakly at the fretting. "Perhaps after a few more drinks."

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