(1312-09-30) Of Battles and Deaths
Summary: Another encounter between Daniel and Jacquet leads to the unexpected revelation of a secret.
RL Date: 01/10/2020
Related: Sparring at Night
jacquet daniel 

The Kraken's Den — Port of Marsilikos

A tall-tottering inn with a variety of rooms to let on the upper floors, from three fine suites just above the main floor to a collection of ramshackle one-cot rooms that sway with the harder gusts of wind in off of the sea in the upper levels. It has seen its share of fires and renovations, and every time it falls in ashes it seems to rise higher in the aftermath. Outside, proudly burnt-carved signage displays a huge black-tentacled kraken winding its limbs about in repetitive knotwork patterns. It hangs from a post on four links of bronze chain, and creaks when the wind hits it.

The main floor is part restaurant, part lobby, with a warm hearth next to a counter at which guests in the rooms above can pay their bills or ask after vacancies, many fine chairs and some a little less fine to fill out the number. Small tables amid all the seating provide room just enough to have a tea or a beverage and maybe play a game of cards with your mates. A low bannister-fence separates off the dining area from the lobby, to keep some semblance of order among the diners and to keep out the riff-raff.

Riff-raff, of course, is welcome to make its way downstairs, or else to descend into the alleyway behind the tavern and find the rear entrance into the half-basement, where a bar slings some of the hardest-scorching liquor known in Port Marsilikos, and attracts some of the roughest elements of society. It's dimly lit, with rough stonework walls and flooring and sturdy oaken furniture which must have been built in order to best resist any effort to shatter said furniture over someone's head. Fights are the nightly norm here, black eyes and sopping intoxication, and for those without the coin to attract the contract of a proper courtesan, some affable ladies are usually present in the evenings in case any gentleman wants to buy one a drink.

Late night it is, at the Kraken's Den. Most of the clientele has already left, or fallen asleep beneath the tables; others are leaving, a group of some sailors, drunk and in high spirits, obviously on their way to the brothel next door, as one can gather from their wry smiles and remarks. At a table somewhere to the back of the common room sits a man, a city guard, if one can tell from his tabard and chainmail, but obviously off duty. Otherwise there wouldn't sit a tankard of ale before him on the table. The man has a weary look to him, as if this were the last stop for him today, before heading back to the citadel for some rest. He is a man in his forties, his face showing lines carved by experience and scars.

Daniel is not an easy figure to miss coming into even as busy and raucous a place as the Kraken. Daniel ducks his way in and surveys the area with an amused look. He seems content enough with the place being a little quieter than it's typical mischief. He smiles politely at a couple of the serving staff as he glances over and around for a seat. After a few moments he spots a familiar figure. He approaches Jacquet and he beams, "Hello again. Might I join you?" He asks indicating a nearby seat in the booth. He seems to be studying Jacquet curiously his head tilting to look down at the other man, "I can get another round." He offers brightly with the open and easy smile that he is typically wearing.

Jacquet's eyes look dark in this dimly lit corner, when he lifts them to regard the large man that approaches his table. "Ah. Tis you, m'lord.", he rasps, and his features twist into a faint smile. His gaze shifts away from Daniel, to sweep over the rest of the common room, before he meets the other man's eyes again. "Plenty of room. But yeah, if you'll like to join me, go ahead. No other round for me though, thanks." His tone is not unfriendly, but there is a bit of caution in his bearing.

Daniel beams, "Tis me." he says smirking brightly and then he nods as he drops into a seat, "Oh? Not much of a drinker?" He asks with curiosity watching Jacquet curiously head tilting and he shrugs before waving over a hand for his own drink, "A usual place for you?" He asks curiously as he smiles, "It's been awhile since we sparred how are you doing?"

"A drink may be enough," Jacquet replies, arching a brow when Daniel's chair groans beneath the sudden addition of weight. "Anything more than one drink is folly, and can only get you into trouble. Besides, I need to get up early tomorrow, and I prefer not doing duty with a hangover. My lord." He lifts his tankard to have a sip, one third of it already drained. "I usually come here after finishing my last round," he adds with a light shrug of his shoulders." He shoots Daniel a glance, "And you?"

Daniel snorts, "Folly? Ah but a few drinks in is what people tend to enjoy." He says mildly and he shrugs, "But to each their own. Hmmm I'm still exploring the city finding out where it's best to spend time. Though I'm considering what to do if I go back for the events coming up in Camlach." He smiles, "Besides a little trouble is better spread out than a lot."

A serving wench comes by and puts an empty bottle with a candle stuck on top onto the table, providing more light. "What are you having?", she asks Daniel with a smile. "An ale?" Once Daniel has placed his order she'll be off again, to get it.

"You'll be going to Besançon?", Jacquet wonders. After squinting a little at the flickering light of the candle, he regards Daniel. "That'll be soon. In October." A shake of the head is given to the wench, and a pointed look towards his tankard that is still reasonably filled. "It's been ages," Jacquet adds, towards Daniel. "Will you compete?"

Daniel inclines his head, "Ale seems best unless you recommend something lovely." He says warmly to the serving woman eyes twinkling but he shrugs shifting and he nods to Jacquet, "I'm thinking I will with so many heading up. It's been awhile and as long as I don't get into too much trouble." He shakes his head, "I don't think I'll compete ostensibly I'm to be recovering but I've not ruled it out it at least seems worth going you know?"

"Why go there then?" Jacquet rasps, raising his brows. "You could certainly pull it off." Another sip from his ale, and he sets the tankard down onto the table. "And after all, isn't it more honorable to test oneself against the prowess of others, especially at the Great Tournament in Camlach?" There is a hint of longing in his dark eyes. Dark eyes that do seem familiar, even if they have a certain broken quality to them that don't quite fit the picture. The man sitting across from Daniel looks like the commoner he claims to be, a city guard, marked by years and experience. If one took these eyes alone, they have a disturbing similarity to someone whose picture hangs in the family gallery at the Chateau de Ferraut in Camlach. Someone who left for Skaldia and never returned. But nah, this cannot be. The brother who was lost, the dead wife of which was brought back to Camlach. It must be a strange play of fate or coincidence.

Daniel shrugs, "People I know are interested in going I'd like to see them have a good time. And I do miss home. Isn't there a draw from the place you are from?" He asks curiously of Jacquet. "As for honor… my own honor isn't so fragile that I require the prowess test of the tournament. If I'm feeling good I may participate in some events but my blade is more meant for real threats to my people and realm. I don't need the honor of the tournament particularly. But I'd enjoy it I'm sure." He considers Jacquet, "What about you?"

"I'm a sergeant of the city guard in Marsilikos," Jacquet replies, and his lips twist into a wry grin. "No way, will I go to Camlach. Because I can't." Words that are said in his distinctive Camaeline accent. He seems inclined to evade Daniel's gaze for a moment and then looks to the serving wench when she returns with an ale for Daniel. "What of your people and realm," the guard asks after a moment of silence. "Have there been any threats lately?" Picking up on what Daniel had said.

Daniel raises a brow, "Could they not grant you leave. It's not as if guards do not ever take some time off. I'm sure if you wished it… you might manage it." He says quietly and he shrugs quietly, "There are always raids and threats but I'm not aware of any specific ones… I suspect if there is a major one they won't tell me as I'm likely to return up there quickly. I dislike the idea of there being a battle and not being there."

"It wouldn't feel right, my lord." Jacquet shakes his head. "Besides, I don't have the coin." His gaze remains lowered. As if to spare Daniel from the look of those dark eyes. "I'm an old sergeant. As you said, there's battles, and mine are here."

Daniel considers that for a time and he looks earnest for a moment but then he nods his head slowly, "If you don't wish to then I suppose that is it. But… it's not like it can't be done." He shrugs, "There are always more battles to fight but…." He frowns for a moment, "If that's what you wish though. That seems…unfortunate."

"Does it?" Jacquet looks up, his dark eyes intense and piercing. "There is no way that I can return to Camlach. You of all should know." His voice shaking off the tinge of supposed commoner accent. "It's been… how long? Fourteen years? To see your wife murdered at your feet… It changes a man, it changed me. Returning to… home would open the wounds, those bad memories… and there would be questions. Daniel. It is your place to go. Not mine. Not anymore."

Daniel shrugs his shoulders, "I think… I would disagree that there is no way that you could. The question is more if you wish to or not." He shrugs, "We all change. That is what life is. Life is living through things and becoming something more." He sighs quietly, "It is a heavy burden far heavier than I can truly appreciate perhaps…. except in perhaps just some fraction…. but you don't have to bear such things alone is all."

Jacquet sits up, pushing the chair away from the table, anger and old despair rising in his demeanor. He snorts. "Is this advice for Jacquet, the guard, or for the man who used to be known as Florent Benedict Ferraut, your brother? You know nothing, Daniel. Nothing of what I've been through." He shakes his head, brows furrowed in indignation, even if it is not clear whether this indignation is aimed at his brother or himself. "Something broke in Skaldia, and it cannot be fixed. The past cannot be changed. Eliane and Sylvain are dead, their dead faces are haunting me in my sleep, even now. I… have failed and put stain on my House. There is no way I can return!"

It is odd how talkative the usually so tongue-tied sergeant is. Unless this hasn't been his first tankard of ale tonight. And the fact that this encounter makes it impossible for him to stay quiet for longer.

Daniel shrugs his shoulders, "It's… just my views." He sombers slightly taking a long sip, "No. Perhaps I don't know what you've been through. But I buried more than one body up there in the aftermath." He says quietly, "The past cannot be undone, but the future isn't the past." He looks to Jacquiet quietly and then he sighs quietly, "The house… is not so fragile that it cannot sustain such a thing. What happened was a tragedy. But we lost ALL of you. You don't have to. But you could." He says firmly.

"Florent Benedict Ferraut is dead," Jacquet says flatly, after pondering Daniel's reply for a moment. "He died in Skaldia. This much is true. And he will remain dead, for as much as I am concerned. Sergeant Florestan Jacquet, though, he has little reason to leave Marsilikos, so this is what he'll do. He'll stay and see to his duties, because these duties are all he has left. They keep him going." With as sudden as the outbreak came, it already seems to dissipate. "And thank you for not being mad at me, brother. For everything I did to you, by vanishing… and by… leaving this mess for you to clear up."

Daniel sighs softly at that response but nods, "As you wish. Perhaps someday there will be more for him than just that duty as a guard." He shrugs his wide shoulders and he sighs, "Mad at you? How could I be. It was a tragedy. I'm glad to find you even as this. It haunted me you know. Wondering on any given raid if I might find you alive or dead." He shrugs, "At least… there is an answer."

Jacquet stares at Daniel for a long moment, his hands flat on the table, palms touching against the wood. His fingers seem to claw into the piece of furniture for a moment, before he lowers his gaze and lets out a low sigh. "There is." And silence settles between them once again. Before Jacquet looks up, his eyes narrowing. "You won't tell anyone. This I ask of you. Don't tell Robert. Nor anyone else. Least of all, Elianne's family and that of Sylvain." Eliane Montchapetre de Ferraut and Sylvain Valliers, his close friend, as Daniel will recall.

Daniel shrugs his large shoulders again, "It's not my place to tell. In the end it is your choice. But I hope you will… reconsider maybe not today but someday." He says softly. "But no. I have no reason to break your confidence. There is little reason to refresh the tragedy of those old wounds."

"I have your word on that," Jacquet insists, his eyes dark and intense as they hold Daniel's gaze. "They must not know." Only when this is met with an affirmative nod or verbal assurance will the guardsman relax. His gaze shifts to the tankard and he reaches for it. "If you go to Besançon, will you consider returning to Marsilikos afterwards? Or is your business done here?"

Daniel nods his head quietly though not without some sadness. He shrugs, "I have reasons that would draw me back to Marsilikos. I don't feel done with here and my original reasons haven't gone. So I will be back regardless." He admits agreeably.

Jacquet nods his head to that. "So… next time we meet, we can have another spar?", he asks with a faint smirk, now visibly more relaxed after Daniel's reaction.

Daniel inclines his head, "Of course. No reason not to continue the sparring. I've got a lot to continue learning from it seemed from last time. Always more benefit to sparring." He says happily, "Besides it brings back memories of more pleasant times."

"True," Jacquet replies. "It does." He takes another swig of the tankard and then moves to stand, nevermind that there is still some ale left in there. "It's been good talking to you, Daniel," he says, his voice and tone now shifting back to the regular guardsman rasp. "But… as I said… I'd better be off now, it's already late, and I need to get up early for my next patrol."

Daniel inclines his head, "Good evening Jacquet. Be safe, and take care of yourself out there. If you want to talk…. well you know how to reach me." He offers quietly, "It's been…. nice catching up."

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