Rumors, Part 6

September 1311

The Duchesse's Judgment

posted Sep 07 2019

The cause célèbre that has kept Marsilikos supplied with arguments for a solid month now — the stabbing outside the ducal palace which nearly led to the demise of Philomène Aiglemort de Chalasse, the vicomtesse de Gueret — is brought at last to a resolution which will please some partisans, though not all.

In an open trial in the Great Hall of the Dome of the Lady, which was attended by high and low alike, Armandine de Mereliot heard the evidence of the case and witnesses from every side, and pronounced a judgment in which a duchesse's strict care for her people was tempered by Eisheth's own gentle mercy.

The Skaldi savage, or the exiled Gotlander heiress, or whomever you believe her to be— the woman Kalisha, is sentenced to permanent banishment from Eisande. Preparations are underway to see her removed from d'Angeline shores as swiftly as can be. Then, at least, the cynics are saying, she'll be a Caerdicci problem, as she would have been all along but for the storm that wrecked her ship.

(OOC: This became public knowledge ICly from 8/31, the date of the trial; but because it was backscened in a gdoc the rumour appears only now.)

A New Sultan in Ephesium

posted Sep 07 2019

For some weeks now trade in the eastern Mediterranean has been disrupted by the death of the elderly Sultan of Ephesium and the resulting conflict between his sons, their partisans, and the armies of that ancient empire.

This morning news reached the merchants and markets of Marsilikos that the fighting is at an end, and that a new Sultan reigns in Constantinopolis.

Crowned and anointed as Bajazet IV, the new ruler of Ephesium is said to be the very same Prince Ísfendiyar who dazzled the court in Elua during his recent two-year sojourn as Ambassador to Terre d'Ange, whose enlightened and sociable nature and sincere appreciation of d'Angeline customs (and d'Angeline ladies) earned him the personal friendship of House Courcel and many another.

His brothers? Well, they're unlikely to be seen alive again.

As for the lady-in-waiting who often interpreted for the prince and his mother— Lady Sophia, as she was called in Elua, is rumoured to be the woman behind the Ephesian coffee-house recently opened in Marsilikos: La Perle Noire.

Dragons Nesting

posted Sep 10 2019

Where, Marsilikos has begun to wonder, might one find the vicomte and vicomtesse de Draguignan—? Once fixtures of the city's social scene, the young couple — formerly Drake Rousse and Rajiya Jadeja — seem content now to rusticate upon their own lands, in a romantic idyll attended by stripey horses, preferring one another's company and the sacred bliss of their long-desired union, to the heat and the hubbub of the city where they fell in love.

Their nuptials at the end of June were the talk of Marsilikos at the time: hosted in the ducal palace by House Mereliot's kind permission, for no other hall in Marsilikos proper was held to be large enough or grand enough, but paid for by House Rousse's gold which spilled unending in celebration of their new young vicomte, his foreign bride's royal blood, and the treaties she brought as her dowry. The duc de Roussillion stood up for the groom; his duchesse, herself a sister to the King of Aragonia, made a rare appearance in the city; the Rousse heirs, Lord Athanasius and Lady Chimène, were present too to witness the solemnities, sign their names upon the marriage contract, and wish the newlyweds well. The bride's family, visiting from Bhodistan, lent their own exotic splendour. The commons were fed for days upon the leftovers from a truly Lucullan feast; the Royal Navy anchored out in the bay fired off such deafening salutes that in the palace one could dance to their rhythm, and nobody for miles along the coast could doubt that some momentous event was taking place.

Of course the vicomte de Draguignan is new to his rôle as well as to his marriage. No doubt he has much to learn of his lands and his lady both. But his friends in Marsilikos can only hope that he'll take the occasional respite from his studies, and appear laughing and drinking in their midst once more…

Pre-Exhibition Tragedy

posted Sep 11 2019

On the late morning of September 4th, a group of nobles aiming to spar in the tournament grounds made a gruesome discovery. There are reports of blood being all over the place. A dead body, soon identified as that of the Gotlandish ambassador Elin Asbjornsdottir. And a severely injured man, known as her bodyguard Einar. The surviving foreigner has been brought into the city, where he is tended to at the infirmary. His reports so far have been sketchy, making mention of the recent accused in the big trial held at the ducal palace, Kalisha Knutsdottir. Which must be nonsense, as everyone saw that ship depart in the very early hours of morning of the same day.

Still, the occurence leaves the Gotlandish delegation in some sort of dilemma, as Lady Elin was supposed to host an event at the Great Exhibition. According to rumors, Leif Gunnarson, the trusted advisor of her father, will step in. But also there is other gossip indicating that the Gotlander contribution to the exhibition may stand on shaky grounds. It is a question of good taste and decorum whether to proceed after such grave tragedy. As some d'Angelines murmur about consequences of the whole matter affecting relations between Gotland and Eisande and Terre d'Ange as a whole.

October 1311

The Attraction of Opposites

posted Oct 11 2019

Lest the gossips of Marsilikos remain in any doubt who contributed to the present expansion of Emmanuelle Shahrizai's belly: Jehan-Pascal de Baphinol, the heir to Avignon, was seen several days ago at the Temple of Eisheth making a father-to-be's traditional offerings for the protection of mother and child.

Lord Baphinol's Marsilikos residence shifted some months ago from Les Tanières to La Maison Sanglante, that Shahrizai stronghold in the Place des Mains — and, though it has long been his habit to enliven social occasions by hiring Marielle nó Rose Sauvage to decorate his arm, on several evenings since then he himself has been seen as a glittering ornament upon Lady Shahrizai's… It's this sort of thing that lends new life to the old truism that opposites attract.

Swan Sightings

posted Oct 12 2019

Lady Chimène Rousse de la Courcel, whom some would call the most glamourous woman in Marsilikos, has hardly been in Marsilikos this year.

Apart from a brief sojourn in the city to celebrate the nuptials of the new vicomte and vicomtesse de Draguignan, she has divided her summer between acting as hostess and support for her intermittently ailing mother-in-law in Nice, the seat of the duchy de Roussillion, and the fragrant fields of Grasse, the vicomté she now administers as regent for her son Lord Esperère Rousse.

Any inmate of House Rousse's residence in Marsilikos could tell you however that she has returned with a vengeance, dragging with her a personal household considerably expanded in light of her son's new dignity. Minor cousins find their own quarters cramped in consequence. She seems bent upon enjoying the pleasures of Marsilikos until her annual pilgrimage to Elua to celebrate the Longest Night. So much for family and duty— she's overdue for a season of drinking, gambling, parties, gowns, jewels, and luscious young adepts… Today she saw in the dawn at La Glycine and was heard to remark, in an airy soprano, that it arrived far too early and she was simply longing for the winter to come.

A New Baron of Beaucare

posted Oct 18 2019

Lord Belmont d'Eresse, widower of the late heiress to the Comte Delaunay, has been away from the City of Marsilikos for a few weeks. It is now with his return that word trickles from his home of Beaucare about him having been invested with the title of baron. Belmont's older brother Gauge, a famed seafarer and privateer, has held the title previously for a while but now is released from his commitment to fulfill newly found duties at the side of Princess Aziza of Menekhet. It may be the hope of the Comte d'Eresse that Belmont's experience from his short term as Vicomte de Rognac may help him cope with his new challenges and duties.

A Delightful Success

posted Oct 25 2019

"Wasn't it a lovely thing to see all these people from abroad milling about in our beautiful city?", asks an older lady, beaming with a smile as she enjoys a mug of mulled wine at the Leaping Fish Inn.

"Interesting and enlightening," her friend replies, a slightly younger woman of an established Eisandine House. "I loved the activities the ambassadors set up for us. I admit, I bought more than one piece of jewelry during the events… Elua. My mother will cut my allowance, I'm sure, with all the money I've spent."

"I believe some of them are still lingering. The foreigners, I mean. Those ambassadors and their people. Others have already left for the home countries…"

"I happen to know a few who appreciate them leaving.", the younger lady sighs. "With all that trouble surrounding the Gotland delegation. Blood and violence. It may have left a stain on all of our visitors, don't you think?"

The older woman lets out an even deeper sigh. "I am sure, *most* of our foreign visitors behaved all properly. Some may stay in Terre d'Ange, for the Longest Night in Elua. It's not that far away, is it? The Capital… and the event, in question?"

"Certainly.", the younger lady replies with a soft chuckle. "And again, I feel, some of our d'Angeline nobility won't appreciate seeing those foreigners at the Royal Court…"

Blades and Hospitality

posted on Oct 27 2019

As the nobility who had taken up the Baphinol invitation to go and tour their newly renovated Villa des Bedarrides trickle back into town, rumors are rumbling into their natural courses: rumors of rooftop duels and champions named; a baron with an axe defending the unarmed heir to the county Avignon from a baron with a blade, determined to spill his blood. It all sounds quite perilous, smacking of assassination and political turmoil, and, to boot, it carries those romantic themes of fealty, chivalry and bravery which keep it on the tips of everyones' tongues for a good several days.

It almost clouds the news, drifting in subsequent to all that of the drama, that the Lords and Ladies Baphinol have established access to free medical care for all their commons, which may, otherwise, have been of particular note.

Battle of the Barons

posted on Oct 28 2019

The Baphinol baron who stepped forward to defend the heir to the comté in last Friday's impromptu duel at Bedarrides is said to be Gregoire Basilisque de Baphinol, baron de Monteaux by virtue of his marriage to the lady Louna.

Whereas the challenge was offered by Fabrice Baphinol, baron de Sauveterre. This first official patient for the new hospitality at Bedarrides is reportedly still alive, recovering from the pasting he got— and no longer a baron.

The comte d'Avignon and the vicomte de l'Orange acted quickly to depose their turbulent and treasonous vassal, and this morning a decree to that end was posted and promulgated throughout Baphinol lands and in Marsilikos as well.

Now Eisande waits to see who will be appointed to succeed him.

The obvious choice might be Fabrice Baphinol the younger, a happily married man who has for some years acted as his father's right hand in the barony. But the eldest Sauveterre scion and its theoretical heir is the former baron's estranged daughter Mathilde, an unmarried and childless woman who hasn't set foot in Terre d'Ange in more than a decade. What will House Baphinol decide for the best?

Black Pearls for a Duchesse

posted on Oct 31 2019

Fashionable Marsilikos, take note. The new coffee-house in the Grand Plaza, and its strong, cinnamon-fragrant coffee brewed from the proverbial black pearls of Ephesium, received this morning the sanction of the duchesse d'Eisande.

Armandine de Mereliot was seen to arrive with a modest retinue two hours before noon, and to leave in good humour after whiling away a rare hour of relaxation in one of La Perle Noire's sumptuous private chambers. She was accompanied by her oft-reclusive friend and guest, the lady Charlène Morhban de Fhirze, dowager marquise de Fhirze. It seems Ephesian coffee suffices to tempt all the city's noblest palates — Ephesian music, too, for as they departed the ladies were heard to speak well of the lutenist who entertained them. The seal has been set now, surely, upon the popularity of this fledgeling establishment.

November 1311

Toulon Gossip

posted on Nov 28 2019

"One could think he had never left," remarks an elderly lady of House Rousse, with a faintly sardonic smile playing on her features. "A few weeks to Namarre, he left right after the Great Exhibition… and there he is, often seen again at the Night Court." She chuckles. "Some people do never change, do they? As much as Marco de Mereliot wishes to make us believe, he's interested in anything much longer lasting than a night of pleasure… I mean… trade deals, yes?" Her shoulders lift in a shrug. "First thing he does upon his return is go and visit the Rose Sauvage. Again. And again. On his own. Without his delightful foreign wife."

"I heard some trade arrangements were made, indeed," her male companion of seasoned age counters. "That the Vicomte de Toulon returned with some trade deals struck with none other than the Comte de Lafoneuil. That he and his wife appeared to be pretty much at ease when they arrived at the Palace. I've heard some murmurs, about the both of them having been invited to the chambers of Her Grace to give a report of their travels only a few hours later."

"Funny thing though, that Lady Farah hasn't been seen in public, ever since they returned, three weeks ago. That she allows her husband to roam as freely as he did, before he got married. Is it innocence he is chasing after? Or does he crave the stern handling of a Thorn?", the lady wonders, her voice carrying a faint hint of sarcasm. "If any of the Akkadian delegation were still present in Marsilikos, I believe, he would keep himself more in check."

"Ah, my dear. You are too harsh on him," the elderly lord responds. "It is Elua's precept, to love as we will. And Lord Marco pursues this as much as he chases those delightful servants of Naamah. His wife has been seen now and then at the Night Court as well. I heard someone whisper that she is no better than him, in that regard."

"Ah. Is that so?" Her tone cools considerably, eyes narrowing as they glance towards her companion. "But then tell me… Why has Lady Farah been spotted only at the Temples since her return? Why has she been absent from courtly occasions as well as those of the Night Court? Why does a woman who - as you claim - likes to indulge, seek spiritual guidance?"

Her elderly companion needs a moment to consider, before he gives his reply. "Perhaps, she has found enlightenment. Understanding that there are higher values and virtues to pursue?" His tone holds a faint edge as he gives the lady a sharp look. "After all, she is a foreigner, and I am told that our d'Angeline ways may not be for everyone."

December 1311

De Quiete

posted on Dec 03 2019

The great and good of Terre d'Ange have been visited by the book fairy.

The nobility of Eisande in particular, the most influential courtiers and courtesans in the City of Elua, and a scattering of other worthies selected with an incisive eye to posterity, each at the dawning of December or not much later found themselves in receipt of a silk-wrapped parcel containing a slender volume bound luxuriously in calfskin coloured the blue of the Eisandine sky.

The real riches lie within its covers: "De Quiete" is a philosophical poem in 999 lines of Tiberian dactylic hexameter, with a prose translation into d'Angeline. The work is credited to Lord Jehan-Pascal Aumande de Baphinol. The crème de la crème of Marsilikos may recall that during the Days of the Companions last spring he was awarded Eisheth's medallion for his rousing recitation from its pages; this edition's front matter makes plain that it was just as well-received in the summertime by the scholars of the Academy in Tiberium, and that its first publication was indeed in that ancient capital of learning.

There are 400 hand-numbered copies, some inscribed by the poet.

OOC Note: If you're a noble character and you'd like to have received a copy, please assume you did. :) Otherwise it can be purchased at ruinous expense from Razial's Sanctum. For more information about the poem, behold the original memoir:

Shahrizai Spawn

posted on Dec 20 2019

In the many years since Lord Edouard Shahrizai came seeking adventure in Marsilikos and won the heart of the ducal heiress, Lady Lorianne de Mereliot, House Shahrizai has always kept a quiet but powerful presence in Eisande.

Their daughter, Lady Emmanuelle nó Mandrake de Shahrizai, retired from her place as Dowayne to take up residence in Marsilikos, in the Maison Sanglante, which has since become a true family home with a thriving nursery. Lady Shahrizai's eldest daughter Lady Dorimène nó Cereus de Shahrizai has two young daughters of her own — and their cousin Lady Laure Shahrizai, vicomtesse de Saumur, has been in residence also for much of 1311 with two daughters in tow, the younger a child born in the summertime beneath that very roof and named Emmanuelle.

And now, though there has been no announcement, rumour is filtering through Marsilikos — starting with Shahrizais and Mereliots and working outward — that after some months of reclusivity and some weeks in absolute seclusion, Lady Shahrizai herself has been delivered of a daughter and a son. Twins. Elder Eisandine nobles may recall that the gentleman understood to be the father, Lord Jehan-Pascal de Baphinol, is himself the survivor of another such pair.

The children's names symbolically unite their Kusheline and Eisandine heritage, the elder sister being dubbed Lady Monique Armandine Shahrizai after their Mereliot aunts living and lost, and the younger brother Lord Edouard Pascal Shahrizai, in honour of their young father and venerable grandfather.

Lady Shahrizai is understood to be recovering satisfactorily from the birth, but she is not at home to visitors. And who can wonder, at her age.

A New Priestess

posted on Dec 25 2019

Whoever pays visits to the Temple District these days will notice a new face at Naamah's Temple. Joining the priests there, Estelle Lacroix has taken up her duties, a new arrival from the Namarrese capital, Troyes-le-Mont. The priestess has been sent to Marsilikos by the Grand Temple, and rumor has it that she was leading the life of a courtesan before finding her true calling.

OOC: In case you need a scene with a Priestess of Naamah, please +mail or page. Apart from that, Estelle will be around for casual social rp in the city.

Foreign Infatuations

posted on Dec 25 2019

"Goodness. I mean… Even with most nobility having left for Elua… I hear, not everyone with good reason to attend the Midwinter Ball at the Royal Palace has done so!", says an elderly crone to her younger companion.

"Whom are you referring to?", the young lord asks, looking curious.

"Lord Belmont did not go," the crone explains with a faint smile. "Even if he has recovered so remarkably fast after his late wife's death."

"Ah, the poor man. I hear, the Comtesse Delaunay released him from his commitment to the family. There were no children…"

"And thus, Belmont Delaunay became Belmont d'Eresse again… A tragic story. But then again… the Comte d'Eresse decided to elevate him, by handing him the title of Baron de Beaucare… It would have been his duty to attend the ball at the palace, in his new function as Eisandine baron…"

"Who knows? Maybe he's dreading memories of last year's ball?", the young lord dares to counter.

At this, the elderly lady pulls her features into a vague smirk. "He's no longer in mourning, believe me. In the past months, I hear that he was seen *often* in company of that Alban princess and ambassador. Looking quite infatuated with the foreigner, if you ask me."

"But why didn't he leave to accompany Lady Aedhwyn to the Capital? As I heard, she went there, on expressed wish of His Majesty, the King."

"Elua's ways seldom follow a straight path, my dear Gerard. And in the case of Lord Belmont, I suspect there are some political reasons that will thwart any considerations of them ever being matched in matrimony…"

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