Rumors, Part 3

October 1310

Grave news and superstitions

posted Oct 04 2018

"Wait wait wait, Agathe!" An old rounded woman catches up to the younger and more lean friend. "Have you heard the grave news about Monsieur Anselme?"

"No," the other turns around and frowns, "Did his wife finally learn that he was sleeping around with half of the city's wenches?" She stops and waits for her friend to get closer.

The old woman sets her basket filled with tasty goodies on the ground. She leans her hands to the sides and stretches a bit while trying to catch her breath.

"Mademoiselle Coustance, tell me, what happened?" Agathe grows impatient.

"He died!" Her friend finally spills out.

"AH" Agathe exclaims bringing her hand to a chest. "Kushiel's balls, how did it happen?!"

"Oooh!.. This is not a mere accident, Mademoiselle Agathe, I am telling you!" The old one firmly waves her finger in the air as a wise man would do. "Two deaths haunt this union and so it has been marked by blood. This is a sign, I am telling you. It's not supposed to happen!"

Agathe frowns, "What nonsense are you talking about? You are way too superstitious!" She turns around to walk away but after taking three steps, curiosity makes her look back, "What union do you have in mind?"

"Ah!" Coustance smiles proudly having her friend's attention. "Of course, I am talking about that ducal heir of Somerville and our lady Phaenne Mereliot!"

"Are you out of your mind?! How is Monsieur Anselme related to those noble arses?" Agathe rolls her eyes.

Her words make Coustance flinch as she comes closer and leans in to whisper, "Are you out of your mind to speak of our nobility like that and-…"

"What? I have all the right to speak about them whatever I want. I have four hungry mouths to feed and enough coins for two!" Agathe interrupts, "Better explain your own superstition. I don't have the whole day!"

"Alright, alright. That ducal heir has been redecorating the Somerville residence. He hired Monsieur Anselme and a couple of others to do it. So, when they were carrying this enormously huge wardrobe back and forth on the staircase, Anselme slipped and fell, the wardrobe came down on top of him and was shattered to pieces. A frail piece that was and our Anselme died on the spot!"

"But you said, it's two deaths…" Agathe reminds.

"Well, lady Phaenne had to marry the ducal heir of Somerville but he died two months ago. This one is his younger brother!"

Agathe frowns considering her friend's words but then just waves it off, "Politics. Those nobles die like flies and I care little. You should also care less about those rumors!" She walks off leaving the old woman in thoughts.


Battle At Sea

posted Oct 27 2018

Rumors begin to circulate in Marsilikos that a remarkable battle has been fought off the coast of Kriti — remarkable, but of little national consequence. It seems that a merchantman out of Marsilikos, The Dancer, was ambushed by two pirate ships in the midst of a raging gale, somewhere off the coast of Kriti.

There is little agreement on the facts of the battle, but it seems that the captain of The Dancer elected to fight it out rather than attempt to flee. Some people say that Athene Lesse, the captain, sunk both of them. Others, wiser in the ways of the sea, claim that this is so unlikely as to be impossible. But everyone agrees on one point: The Dancer was victorious, somehow.


More Bloodshed at Beziérs

posted Oct 28 2018

Two handmaids are gossiping together in one of the suites at the Ducal Palace:

—-

"Poor mite…" Marie, the older of the two grumbles, shaking out a gown of ink black silk before hooking it over the other maid's waiting arm.

"One of the grooms at the castle told my cousin that it was another bloodbath," Yvette, the younger one whispers, her eyes enormous.

"I heard it was too," Marie nods, pulling another of the black silks from the wardrobe. She gives a shake of her head. "Both his Excellency and his cassiline killed, right there in the Marquis' study."

"But thank the Companions that her cousin, Lord Leonard, survived." Yvette quickly adds. "I heard he was injured something terrible, and that it was Lady Desarae herself that found him."

"It was the castle /guards/ that found him. At least I /think/ it was," Marie corrects her companion as she pulls another gown of obsidian from the depths of the closet and hands it to her. "And from what I understand, Lady Desarae's lucky to be alive herself. Had it not been for her Cassiline, Brother Nicolas Guillard, well…"

"Nicolas…" Yvette's voice grows dreamy and a small sigh is given.

"Stop day-dreaming, you silly child." Marie chides. "Take those gowns downstairs and make sure they're cleaned and pressed. The Lady will be returning to Marsilikos soon enough, and she'll be back in full mourning for /goodness/ knows how long!"

Word has reached Marsilikos that Marquis Armand de Merliot and his cassiline have been killed by an assassin at Castle Chavaise, and that it was only the quick-thinking actions of her own cassiline, Nicolas Guillard, that saved the Lady Desarae from a similar fate.


Eisheth Temple Gossip

posted Oct 30 2018

Quiet comments are being whispered about Eisheth's temple:

"That big guy that came in… she healed his hand." One acolyte tells the others.

"She bandaged it, just like any healer would." Another says with a roll of her eyes.

"Noooo… you didn't see it before! There were bones sticking out and everything! And now it's healed!" The first would whisper back.

"There wasn't anything wrong with it. Saw him writing a letter with it?" A third chimes in.

"That's because she /healed/ him with Eisheth's help!" The first states.

Another soon joins in, "Are you talking about the priestess? Did you see that lord that came in and carried her out??" She might sigh a little dreamily.

The others shake their heads.

"He came hurrying in, grumbling at the priests and priestesses, and.. just abducted her right out of her cell. Said he was taking her to his estate so she could be sure and rest without trying to return to the infirmary to work." The fourth informs the others.

"Well, you know she would have done that. She works entirely too much half the time." The second does reply after a moment.

Soon, a priest comes in, shooing the acolytes off to their chores.


Close Encounters of the Piratical Kind

posted Oct 31 2018

The incredible word from the last few days, that a d'Angeline merchantman called The Dancer managed to fend off a double pirate attack off the waters of Kriti, finds some manner of resurgence when another ship makes port in the late hours of the evening of the 31st. It appears that most of the beleaguered vessel's crew has managed to find a temporary home in The Myrmidon, captained by one Alcibiades Rousse, whose efforts are said to have been instrumental in preventing disaster from falling on The Dancer after a risky maneuver to take the first pirate ship and use it to sink the other while the Dancer was left crippled, decimated and dismasted, saving its crew…and a particular passenger of some renown in Marsilikos high society.

It seems that the Lady Isabelle de Valais, fashion designer and the personal couturiere of the Lady of Eisande and her family, among many others, had been on her way home from business dealings in Phaistos aboard The Dancer when the pirates attacked. While the incident was undoubtedly dangerous, she has managed to escape a deadly fate with only minimal injuries.


November 1310

A Displeased Comte

posted Nov 05 2018

Two ladies can be overheard chatting at the Golden Harbor whilst enjoying their meal and some wine.

"So. Another Trevalion arrived a few days ago. The Comte d'Amiens!", the older one of the two begins. "Isn't it odd? Azzalle is so far away, and here they are, all these Trevalions."

"I can't blame them." the younger lady responds. "The weather is far more pleasant in Marsilikos than up north."

"Anyway, I saw Lord Archard Trevalion heading towards the town residence of the Delaunays. He seemed to be in the best of spirits when he entered."

"I can't see anything odd about that. I heard one of the Delaunay ladies… Vicomtesse Emeraude…? She is about to be engaged to a Trevalion… actually… isn't Lord Narcisse one of the Comte's sons?"

The older lady nods. "Yes. Exactly. How odd then, that the Comte left shortly after he arrived, with a *very* grim expression on his face."

"You were lingering there before the residence all the while?", the younger lady asks, looking a bit bewildered.

"I was talking to my good friend, the lady," she says a name and shrugs. "After Lord Archard left, about half an hour or so…" The older lady winks at the younger one, "the Comtesse Yseult de Delaunay stepped out onto the plaza. I daresay, she is a beautiful woman, but she looked a bit tense."

The younger one lets out a dramatic sigh. "So, I believe there will be no match after all…"


10 Ducats

posted Nov 05 2018

"Companions… One must wonder about what goes on in the head of *some* people. You would think they should know what to expect when going to a Thorn debut!" The Red Rose adept giggles and shakes her head.

"I haven't seen Monsieur Jacques as displeased as this in a while…", the other Red Rose courtesan offers thoughtfully. "I saw that he had a letter written and overheard him instructing the messenger to deliver it to the Baphinol residence. The tone…" A light shudder there. "Cold and determined."

"I doubt we shall see Lord Jehan-Pascal again so soon — save for to offer an apology for his conduct. Why did he show up in the first place? Only ladies were permitted to bid. Is he a 'lady', like our Dior is occasionally?"

"And then he had the impertinence to place a bid of 10 ducats — and bragged about it afterwards while speaking with Lady Isabelle and Lord Alkee-something - within our salon!" Says the courtesan. "The Comte heir insulted Rose Sauvage by commenting on 'lack of skill' in our Piers. But honestly… I hear the way Piers snuffed out the candle with his whip was actually quite precise."

"Wasn't it the other… this Alkee-something who said he'd intervened had the lord been touched by the whip? Do they really think *that* little of us?"

"10 ducats.", the courtesan replies with an ominous look. "That says it all."


The Pirate-Hunter

posted Nov 10 2018

Rumors begin to circulate that Alcibiades Rousse, the newly-fledged captain of The Myrmidon, has had his expertise recognized in the highest circles. He has been granted letters of marque, to sail under the Duchesse's colors and hunt down the pirates that so threaten trade. Word is that he has already begun recruiting seamen and former Marines.


A letter

posted Nov 13 2018

An envelope a mixture of blue and silver mixed together, the name of the person hand write, in the colors of their house, in perfect penmanship.

Inside is a letter, and under that is a engraved flask, with the name of the person again.

The letter reads as follows:

Lord/Lady,

You have been invited to the consort ship of Gemma Renault and Thaddeus Trevalion, to be held on the Sunday, of the 18, we would be most honored to see you there, to bless our way into our future, and to be honored under the love of Eula, as we seek to find our happiness in the world. There we will be a food, and drink to celebrate at the house, after the ceremony is over, and we hope to feast, and drink with you till the rise of the dawn.

Sincerely,
Thaddeus Trevalion


A Wounded Dragon

posted Nov 16 2018

Gossip has been emerging from the Rousse Residence that Drake has been hiding in his rooms like a wounded dragon. He refuses to speak to people, while he licks his wounds and soothes them with copious amounts of expensive wine.

"What's going on with the lad?", neighbours muse when meeting in the street.

"Apparently he wanted to marry some noble lady but wasn't deemed good enough for her. Probably feels like a kick to the shin, I'll give him that."

"Aw, poor dear. But there are other fishies in the sea!"

"Indeed, he's young, heartbreak won't last…"

Nodding to each other in agreement, the neighbours tut and go on their merry ways.


December 1310

Trouble at Tonnerre?

posted Dec 14 2018

In Marsilikos, a lady and her lady friend engage in conversation at the Leaping Fish Inn.

"Have you heard?", asks the older one of the two, "They say the Vicomte of Tonnerre is back in Marsilikos."

The other lady nods, "Yes, but this is hardly news. As far as I know, he and his retainers returned two weeks ago. That young courtesan too. That shy looking blonde thing." The woman lifts her hand and makes a gesture indicating a belly. "Even if… seems she seems to be with child. a friend of mine saw them arrive at the l'Envers Residence."

"Hah. Isn't she still quite young, debuted one and a half years ago in Elua? The scandal.", the other one retorts.

"Even so. Tonnere is not a safe place to be these days. If one can believe the rumors. Brigands and robbers roam the Vicomté. I heard, Jean l'Envers set after the villains and chased some of them down. Some were brought to trial, others were killed in skirmishes.", the younger lady replies.

"Apparently, Lord Jean enjoys leaving a lasting impression on his people. One hears of heads put up on spears." The older lady straightens in her seat, clearly relishing a little in that particular morbid detail. "Must be his Shahrizai heritage. I have heard of no other l'Envers seeing personally to quashing unrest and bringing brigands to justice."

"That blonde courtesan must be glad to be out of immediate danger.", the younger lady concludes. "Because… you know. Each action might provoke a reaction, bringing those close to the Vicomte in peril."


Ship Afire in Siovale!

posted Dec 17 2018

"I heard it from the postal coachman, and he heard it from a barkeep at the provincial border. I could hardly believe it."

"Believe what, Marcelle?"

"A ship caught fire at that new port in Siovale. Apparently while they were unloading their cargo. I heard the Baron was there in the harbour and went running on himself to get the crew off when the harbour crew found three women locked up beneath decks."

"Slaves?"

"No, prostitutes, there to keep the sailors happy on the long voyages."

"Well if they were locked in they might as well have been."

"The captain tried to tell the harbour crew that they weren't worth it, but the Baron and three others ran in after them and got them out."

"Well that, at least, is a miracle. Strange people, that they'd not care about the women."

"I don't think the issue was that they were women Marcelle, more their profession."

"Do you know where they were from?"

"No idea, the crew could have been from anywhere, but Alain, the coachman you know, he thought the ship was flying a Carthaginian flag."

"And the Baron? His crew?"

"One lost to the smoke, but the Baron made it out, though maybe not in the best of shape."


Shortest Day Disappearance

posted Dec 22 2018

In Marsilikos the day after the Longest Night when so many are trying to recover from the excesses of the night before, starting off within the temple area, then spreading to the dock area comes a rumor that soon turns into fact.

A priestess from Eisheth's temple has disappeared. She left with a sailor to help tend sick family members, and never returned to the temple.

City Watch was called by midnight on December 22nd, and started to help with the search for the priestess from the Merliot family. With morning's first light on the 23rd, the Port Master had sent out word to all ships that none would be allowed to leave.

Before the sun came up all the way, merchants would be heard grumbling in the market upon hearing that the ships were not allowed to leave port, or come into port, for that matter.


And Another One Gone

posted Dec 24 2018

The Court de Nuit is in uproar. Apparently, a young adept of Salon de Coquelicot has gone missing on the day after Longest Night. A guard of the salon, who was to look after Lois nó Coquelicot, was found in a back alley of the harbor with a severe wound taken to the head. It took some hours, before he could give a somewhat coherent account of what had happened. A group of three men in dark cloaks attacked them somewhere close to the Market Promenade. The Dowayne of Coquelicot has approached the city authorities to help in the search for the missing adept of Gentian canon. So far, there has been no trace of the girl. And the more time passes, the more unlikely it seems that she will be recovered unharmed. If at all.


Eglantine Token Winners

posted Dec 30 2018

The results of the Eglantine Talent Contest are posted upon the front door of the House this morning. It reads:

Congratulations to the following people for winning a token from the judges to the exclusive Longest Night Fete at Cereus House!

Lord Etienne d'Arguil has won Jeremie no Eglantine's Token for a very skilled and perfectly choreographed sword dance.

Lord Nathaniel Lafons has won Daphne no Eglantine's token for a very tragic and beautifully told story of love and revenge.

Madamoiselle Yun Tien of the far off land of Ch'In has won Noire no Eglantine's token for a very special and extremely exotic sounding voice performance.

Thank you all who participated! Everyone was so very amazing and talented!


The Search Continues

posted Jan 03 2019

Starting on the night of the 22nd, and continuing on through the 24th, rumors surrounding two nobles making the rounds of Marsilikos, in and out of even the rougher parts of town with personal guards and members of the City Watch are being discussed.

"You know that loud mothed noble? That keeps asking questions? "
"Oh, I do. She is quite the nusiance. "
"She? It was a He in my case!…"
"So you didn't run into a Lady Helene Verreuil asking about the missing Adept or the Priestess?"
"No.. no.. it was a Lord Eneas D'Aiglemort… he wasn't very nice either."
"Well, I know there's a reward offered if anyone has information on the priestess. No doubt, the Salon is offering one as well."

In the Leaping Fish Inn, a discussion between a maid and her beau, a City Watch guard, was overheard:

"These nobles came by and was asking all sorts of questions this morning about carriages leaving the city on the night of the 22nd. You know, before they closed the ports."
"What were they asking about??"
"Foreigners and wagons with stuff in it. There were several wagons that left though.."
"That's pretty normal, yes?"
"Yeah, but they seemed interested in hearing about these peddelers that left heading towards Caerdicci."
"That doesn't seem so strange though."
"I heard from some of the other City Guard that they were asking guards at the other gates as well, making note of any wagons that left the city that night."


Adept and Priestess Found!

posted Jan 15 2019

In Marsilikos…

A few days after the harbor closed, it opened back up, though things loaded upon ships were often searched by the Watch due to the still missing Adept and Priestess.

Nearly the end of the year would bring reports that both, along with two other girls, were found and recently returned to Marsilikos. While there are not so many rumors being bandied about, there are a few facts that have gotten out:

Both Gal de Valais of the City Watch and Vicomte de Toulon, Marco de Merliot, were heard to be searching throughout the city, tracking down bits of information about the kidnappings and who might have been behind it.

Word from the docks from the crew and guards and a few mercenaries that were on the ship said it was the Lady Helene Agnes Verreuil and Lord Eneas d'Aiglemort who were responsible for bringing the Adept, Priestess and two other young girls back home. With them, was also one prisoner who was taken to the city prison to await questioning and punishment.

Of course, there are many questions being raised still, and rumors are surely starting to roll out. Who was behind it? What would they wish for such a collection? Should the women of Marsilikos be worried?


Midwinter Ball Gossip

posted Jan 20 2019

With nobles returning from Longest Night, rumors are spreading from Elua to all provinces of Terre d'Ange.

"I heard you were there? Now, tell me about the ball, and that icicle mishap?", a young Valais lady asks of her friend, a blonde lady of House Mereliot.

"What do you want to hear?", counters her friend. "News of a Bhodistani-Rousse double wedding? How an Akkadian Ambassador put three princesses out on the marriage market? Companions. I heard they are to be offered to Ducal Houses of Terre d'Ange."

"Hmm, I can't imagine everyone will be happy about that.", replies the Valais. "Thinning of our blood lines. There *are* still many, in certain circles that are complaining about this. But it is not fashionable these days. Not with Her Majesty the Queen being of foreign blood as well." A light shrug there. "But times are changing, and so must old convictions die, I suppose."

"True," the Mereliot replies, looking thoughtful for a moment. "And then… there was this other odd thing. Her Grace, our Lady of Marsilikos attended the ball with her friend, Charlène Morhban de Fhirze. And when the Duc of Kusheth finally arrived… there was this odd moment between him and Lady Charlène. They greeted it each other, but there was no warmth between them."

"Ah well… she is daughter of his predecessor. The late Jacquet Tristan de Morhban. They are… what? Cousins? Maybe she is envious that Quintien became Duc and that the title did not go to her — with her already married out."

"I can imagine. Now I wonder if she had a hand in that odd thing that happened next. With the icicle garlands… one of those *icicles* slipped and shattered on the floor of the ballroom, not far from where Quintien was standing. One of those glass shards cut him in the hand. I suppose the wound was to be seen to immediately. At least this explains, why Quintien de Morhban excused himself from the festivities soon after."

"Lady Charlène? What did she and the Duchesse do?"

"They stayed, and enjoyed themselves, as one should do at the Midwinter Ball. It is only once a year!"

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