(1311-03-05) Death of a Baron and End of a Life
Summary: Bastien Aubrey no Lis D'Or is called to the Ducal Palace to meet with Baron Gerard Mereliot, Baron Auzonnet.
RL Date: 03/31/2019
Related: None

Auzonnet Suite of the Ducal Palace

The young courtesan in training followed cautiously behind the large man that had brought summons from the Baron Auzonnet to the Lis D'Or, demanding Bastien's presence immediately. The large man's stature and presence would have been enough to convince him to go, even if it were not the sealed letter from the baron. With wide eyes, the dark haired youth walked through the halls. He had never seen such luxury as the ducal palace before, and he thought he had seen luxury in the Lis D'Or.

After being ushered into a lavish bed chambers, Bastien walked over to the bedside as directed. There an aging man lay in obvious failing heal. "My lord, baron." He said with an uncertain voice. "You asked for me?" The only reason that he could imagine that he was called to the ducal palace was his training. After all, his debut was approaching within a month's time. "If you wish for music, I have yet had my debut, such would not be normal, but I could make an exception." Judging by the man's appearance, he might not see the boy's debut, but Bastien was trained to have enough tact not to say such.

"Bah! I have no want for music!" The baron roared before being struck by a terrible coughing fit. The man brought a cloth to cover his mouth. Bastien could not help but notice that the white fabric was speckled crimson afterwards. "I have something much more important to discuss with you," the man continued. He waved his hand, "Sit." Bastien knew it to be an order and not an offer. An order that he obliged and sat as told.

"Then what can I do for you, M'Lord Baron?" Bastien said as he leaned slightly forward in the seat. He could not imagine any reason why he was called here if it was not to perform, and that was clearly not the case. His smokey grey eyes laid still upon the older man. A touch of pity filled those eyes as he watched the man.

"It is not what you can do for me, but what I am about to do for you, boy." The baron said. "You see, sixteen years ago, I gave favor to your mother, when she was a young courtesan. She was young and beautiful and gave me a son." Bastien's eyes widened slightly. "Yes, yes, I am your father. I have known all this time. I did not need some bastard son trying to lay claim to the rights of his elder brothers."

The man's words were anything but kind. "If that is your concern, then why tell me this now? My mother never told me who my sire was, so what harm was I to you or my brothers?" Bastien chewed on his lower lip slightly as he sat further back in the chair, no longer curious of what all of this was about.

"My sons are dead, and soon so will I be. You are my seed, boy, which means my title belongs to you when I am gone. I'd rather see it go to you than to any of your cousins, who are like carrion birds circling around my bed waiting for me to die. So I have already signed the necessary paperwork to claim you as my own and make you my legitimate son. Congratulations, you are now a member of the Mereliot, and when you come of age, you will be a baron. I won't be around to see it. The physicians say that I will be dead in a matter of months, if I'm lucky." Once again, the baron's body is taken by a violent coughing fit, and once again, more speckles of blood stain the cloth.

"But what if I do not want it? I…" the baron cut Bastien off, "It does not matter what you want. It is done. What you do with it is up to you, but it is your duty and responsibility to serve. Be a good baron or a bad one, but be one. That is what you will do. My staff has already been told to make ready for you. It is not about you any longer…. it is about the honor of the family. So do not stain the family's name. Now, begone. I grow tired."

Bastien found himself caught up in a frenzy of activity tearing him from the salon and into the Ducal Palace. The master of the salon knew that the noble obligation exceeded the training and potential income of the young novice, and Bastien was released from his service. The truth of the matter was that Bastien was released from his ties to the salon before he had met his father for the first time. The months of life that the baron was told that he had left turned out to be a matter of a few weeks. So before Bastien really got to know the man that had given him life, and the same man that had ripped the life that he had known his entire life, the man was gone, and Bastien sat alone in his private chambers in the Auzonnet suite - the same chambers that he had been shown to on that fated day.

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