Session 1: The Festival.   Posted by The Powers That Be.Group: 0
Gerhard de Colmar
 player, 30 posts
Thu 5 Aug 2021
at 15:55
Session 1: The Festival
A man Gerhard much admired had once told him. "No man really enjoys dancing, but pretty girls like to dance, and so you dance."

The young Knight was not an outstanding dancer in and of himself. He was not graceful, but he had an excellent sense of the position of his own body.

This meant that Anne was in no danger of being stepped on or obstructed, and what's more, he was more than happy to be the background against which Anne might be displayed. Like the rough hewn stone blocks surrounding a window of stained glass.

While she floated, he encouraged, and where she flourished, he kept her steady. If there was any obvious flaw it was that his stature and garment obscured her to a full third of the assembled at any given time.
Anne de Arras
 player, 38 posts
 Scheming noblelady
 Dice pool: 1
Thu 5 Aug 2021
at 15:57
Session 1: The Festival
I'll let you do it, I need to replenish my pool after that previous fiasco.
Helena of Ghent
 player, 40 posts
Thu 5 Aug 2021
at 22:47
Re: Session 1: The Festival
The Powers That Be:
Helena and the merchants are taking their opportunities to stand in good graces with the Castellan by conversation. A lot of flattering remarks are given about the feast. The food, the wine and the music gets praised, as do the looks of the Castellan and his family. Should Helena in some way want to try and get in even better standing with the Castellan in this conversation then she can describe how she intends to do this and roll for it. If successful again, the choice is there for a monologue of victory or an extra die to the pool. If you let me narrate your victory the chances will be that your good graces with the Castellan might also gain you some enemies with the merchants at the table.


I think at this point she's going to keep her powder dry. At some point later, she'll probably call in favours to the Castellan if she needs, but she's generally out of her element here and tends to prefer to do her actual business in private (where she can remind the Castellan of the obligations he has to her father without making it public knowledge). In the meantime, I suspect she'll remain polite and not take the risk, just watching the rest of the evening go by and keeping her ears perked up.
Roland de Sergius
 player, 26 posts
Fri 6 Aug 2021
at 18:47
Re: Session 1: The Festival
Roland has only spent his time dancing with a certain lord, well after the others in their manor have gone to sleep. And so while he tries his best to impress the lady, he's always felt more difficult sharing a dance with his lover more than anyone.

14:20, Today: Roland de Sergius rolled 13 using 3d6 with rolls of 4,3,6.  Dancing with the Lady.
The Powers That Be
 GM, 82 posts
Sat 7 Aug 2021
at 09:35
Session 1: The Festival
ROLAND
The Powers That Be:
As Roland and Catherina are dancing Lady Catharina nods to Roland. "Impress me with this dance, dear knight, and I might introduce you.", she says with a smile as you dance.
This will be an opportunity to impress her (and others) with your dancing skills! As stated before it's a slow dance, a Bassadance, a low dance. Feet stay on the ground, everything stately and proper. As the evening progresses, maybe there'll be some more modern, fast and lively dances, like a Galliard. So roll for dancing. Your description (and your choice in wether to do a monologue of victory or get an extra pool die) will influence how you succeed (or fail.) I give you one extra die for this.


Roland de Sergius:
Roland has only spent his time dancing with a certain lord, well after the others in their manor have gone to sleep. And so while he tries his best to impress the lady, he's always felt more difficult sharing a dance with his lover more than anyone.

14:20, Today: Roland de Sergius rolled 13 using 3d6 with rolls of 4,3,6.  Dancing with the Lady.


The Lady Catharina seems to be more fragile than a certain lord you know, and your holding of her a bit too rough for her liking. Additionally, I'm assuming your normal dancing partner does not wear a dress (I could be wrong here) and you step on her dress a few times. She graciously finishes the dance with you awkwardly, but excuses herself to go look for another dancing partner afterwards. Any invites to any exclusive balls she might organize will most likely not be sent to you after this experience.


ANNE AND GERHARD
The Powers That Be:
Anne, if you want to turn heads, please roll an appropriate trait. I will grant you 2 bonus dice, this should not be too hard.

Anne de Arras:
2 dice + 1 Raised at Burgundian court

16:42, Today: Anne de Arras rolled 5 using 3d6 with rolls of 1,2,2.  Making an impression at the ball.

Gerhard de Colmar:
A man Gerhard much admired had once told him. "No man really enjoys dancing, but pretty girls like to dance, and so you dance."

The young Knight was not an outstanding dancer in and of himself. He was not graceful, but he had an excellent sense of the position of his own body.

This meant that Anne was in no danger of being stepped on or obstructed, and what's more, he was more than happy to be the background against which Anne might be displayed. Like the rough hewn stone blocks surrounding a window of stained glass.

While she floated, he encouraged, and where she flourished, he kept her steady. If there was any obvious flaw it was that his stature and garment obscured her to a full third of the assembled at any given time.

Gerhard's actions make me wonder if there would be such a thing as a helping mechanic. The way he described it just means that he lets her be the star, which for this scene seems well enough, but I'll have to think about an appropriate mechanic. In Lady Blackbird players can each give one (1) helping die from their pool if they can describe how they are helping (as Gerhard did wonderfully unprompted), so I might default to that next time.

In any case, Anne is making an impression at the ball. The people love her. The grace and poise with which she's dancing turn heads and becomes the topic of many conversations. There even is some applause and people want to talk with you even more than before, praising you for your elegance.

Suddenly you hear a voice say "Yes, that is wonderful! I did not know they taught you such worldly things at Le Tart. Although ... if the rumors are true, there's probably even more inappropriate dances they thought you there, is it not true?" The voice belongs to a woman in a bleu velvet dress that now has your full attention. Lady Catharina, unhappy that your dance went so much better than her fiasco of a dance, seeks a chance to bring you down a peg. (take your +1 to your pool. You are welcome ;) )

This will be a conflict for sure. She seeks to bring down your reputation through slander. If you want to let her, this is just the consequence of your letting me narrate your victory. If you want to engage, roll 1 die + an applicable trait + any pool dice you wish to wager.

HELENA
Helena, mainly observing the goings on sees the dancing and both of the events happening there. A lot of talk goes about dancing, and quality of dress, etc. One merchant, fully red in the face by his consumption of the strong burgundy wine, suggests you dance with his son, whom he slaps on the back firmly. The son, clearly uncomfortable with this, smiles politely and awkwardly at you. "Father, stop it, you are drunk.", he whispers to him.

He turns to you. "While my father is drunk and not entirely in control of his mouth," he says to you, shooting a dark look at his father, "I would not be opposed for a dance with you, miss Helena, but only if you truly desire so." The son is not altogether unhandsome, and a son of a merchant rich enough to sit at your table. They are smiths who aim to sell their goods in these villages. Razors, plates, cups, ... all finely crafted and engraved.

ROLAND (AGAIN)
The Castellan, politely trying not to laugh at the antics at the merchants table, removes himself from the conversation and goes around, finding Roland and seeing if Roland is in need of some comforting. "Ah yes, Lady Catharina.", he says, "she's not a kitten to be taken without gloves, am I right?".

What do you all do?
Anne de Arras
 player, 41 posts
 Scheming noblelady
 * Dice pool: 1
Sat 7 Aug 2021
at 13:55
Session 1: The Festival
quote:
In any case, Anne is making an impression at the ball. The people love her. The grace and poise with which she's dancing turn heads and becomes the topic of many conversations. There even is some applause and people want to talk with you even more than before, praising you for your elegance...

Anne's smile turned from the merely formal and required for such a performance-style dance, to one of genuine relief when she saw how unobtrusively Gerhard adapted to her moves and pace, to pure pleasure at the success of her, or their, performance.

About time someone showed these provincials how one dances at Burgundy court.

"Oh, you were too modest about your own dancing skills, dear sir,"
she purrs at Gerhard. It is a very polite lie, or perhaps no lie at all: sometimes the best dancer is the one who knows how to be led, instead of insisting on leading. Unconventional for a lady to lead, for sure, but then Anne fancied herself a very unconventional lady...

quote:
Suddenly you hear a voice say "Yes, that is wonderful! I did not know they taught you such worldly things at Le Tart. Although ... if the rumors are true, there's probably even more inappropriate dances they thought you there, is it not true?" The voice belongs to a woman in a bleu velvet dress that now has your full attention. Lady Catharina, unhappy that your dance went so much better than her fiasco of a dance, seeks a chance to bring you down a peg. (take your +1 to your pool. You are welcome ;) )

Anne turned slowly towards the voice, making it obvious she was in no hurry to answer such a petty interlocutor. When she finally faced Catharina, she squinted, as if the other woman was too small to be seen.

"Why, I shall gladly demonstrate more fine dances from my august father's court, if that pleases you," she starts in a regal tone, talking down to Catharina. Then she raises an ironic eyebrow. "But I fear, regarding rumours, you have me at a disadvantage: naturally you have heard about me, but I? Faith!, on mine life, I have never heard of you."


1 + 1 Pool + 1 Bastard daughter of the Duke = 3
14:36, Today: Anne de Arras rolled 13 using 3d6 with rolls of 6,1,6.  Sparring with Catharina.

Yes, take that, bitch! Now for that Victory Monologue...


In the dense silence around the dancefloor, you could hear a pin drop. But it was lady Catharina's jaw that fell, just as her face turned claret red.

"I- I am... m-my fa-family..." she stammered, drunk with rage. Her knuckles were as white as her face is crimson. Anne gave her an encouraging smile, like one does with a little child who's learning to speak.
"Yes, you are? Your family?" she says, nodding in mock sympathy. Some laughter broke here and there, amongst the less charitable noblemen.
"Y-you... you a-are..." muttered Catherina, the laughter and Anne's mockery further blocking her in a blinding fury.
"Oh, me now? I am your family?" Anne retorts, feigning delighted surprise.

At this, the room erupted in a roar, the assembly openly laughing at the blue-clad damsel.

Catharina took a step forward, perhaps ready to strike in anger, all decorum forgotten.  At the last moment she remembered herself, turned on her heels and made a furious beeline for the door...

... Only to collide with a page carrying wine. In a confusion of broken glass, stained velvet and tangled limbs, lady and servant land on the floor.

The room goes crazy as everyone, Castellan and merchants included, laugh and hoot their lungs out. Half crawling half running with tears in her eyes, Catherina beat an undignified exit stage, pursued by mockery.

Meanwhile, Anne curtsies to the audience, collecting a round of applause, hardly containing her own laughter.

This message was last edited by the player at 13:59, Sat 07 Aug.

Gerhard de Colmar
 player, 31 posts
 Pool: 6
Sat 7 Aug 2021
at 14:37
Session 1: The Festival
While Gerhard was focused on keeping up and displaying Anne, he found that despite the effort he had to out forth, the remnants of the wine, the talent of the musicians, and his enthusiastic dance dance partner combined to make the whole experience enjoyable.

He delighted in her subtle perfume and delicate features, the way her dress trailed behind her. He found a particular satisfaction in the way they found the rythm of the piece together, with both moving simultaneously and without any sort of lag after a change in direction.

The corner of his mouth turned up at the complement. "That's high praise, coming from a dancer such as yourself." he replied as they turned together about the floor, far more eyes on them now then there had been a few minutes before.

Perhaps dancing was not so bad...and the few times he had been forced or coaxed into it had been poor examples.

These thoughts vanished when Lady Catharina picked her fight.

Gerhart bore witness to the brutal rebuke.

It was like watching a drunk get beat about the ears by a sober pugilist. The baseless confidence in the attacker, the hazy realization that things are going poorly. The way Catharina was always seconds behind Anne in response, and then the crushing humiliation when she was forced to flee rather than endure any more punishment.

He refrained from the open mockery, at least until she collided with the servant,  when even he had to chuckle and shake his head at the comic scene.

He gestured to Anne with an open palm as she curtsied, the applause still sporadic as he escorted her off the floor in the waning chaos.

"That was...brutal" he told her as they reached the periphery. "What you did to that woman, not the dance." He clarified with a  faint smile. "But she was asking for it."
Roland de Sergius
 player, 28 posts
 Knight of the Gold Fleece
 3 dice
Sat 7 Aug 2021
at 18:31
Re: Session 1: The Festival
The Powers That Be:
ROLAND
The Powers That Be:
As Roland and Catherina are dancing Lady Catharina nods to Roland. "Impress me with this dance, dear knight, and I might introduce you.", she says with a smile as you dance.
This will be an opportunity to impress her (and others) with your dancing skills! As stated before it's a slow dance, a Bassadance, a low dance. Feet stay on the ground, everything stately and proper. As the evening progresses, maybe there'll be some more modern, fast and lively dances, like a Galliard. So roll for dancing. Your description (and your choice in wether to do a monologue of victory or get an extra pool die) will influence how you succeed (or fail.) I give you one extra die for this.


Roland de Sergius:
Roland has only spent his time dancing with a certain lord, well after the others in their manor have gone to sleep. And so while he tries his best to impress the lady, he's always felt more difficult sharing a dance with his lover more than anyone.

14:20, Today: Roland de Sergius rolled 13 using 3d6 with rolls of 4,3,6.  Dancing with the Lady.


The Lady Catharina seems to be more fragile than a certain lord you know, and your holding of her a bit too rough for her liking. Additionally, I'm assuming your normal dancing partner does not wear a dress (I could be wrong here) and you step on her dress a few times. She graciously finishes the dance with you awkwardly, but excuses herself to go look for another dancing partner afterwards. Any invites to any exclusive balls she might organize will most likely not be sent to you after this experience.


Roland sighs internally - he should have been better with the lady, though given his dances were late at night with his liege lord, he didn't exactly have lots of experience with a lady, much less one in a gown.

The Powers That Be:
ROLAND (AGAIN)
The Castellan, politely trying not to laugh at the antics at the merchants table, removes himself from the conversation and goes around, finding Roland and seeing if Roland is in need of some comforting. "Ah yes, Lady Catharina.", he says, "she's not a kitten to be taken without gloves, am I right?".


"Aye, that much is right. She isn't 'a kitten to be taken without gloves', as you so eloquently put it."
Anne de Arras
 player, 43 posts
 Scheming noblelady
 * Dice pool: 1
Sun 8 Aug 2021
at 14:09
Re: Session 1: The Festival
Flush with victory, dance and those two cups of wine, Anne retured Gerhard's smile with glittering eyes.

"Oh, that little slip of a girl, you mean? A small calf, not yet a doe, that thinks herself a huntress when she's scarcely worthwhile prey. Perchance a friend of yours? Do you happen to know her name, or whose plaything is she?"

The questions were kept casual, but Anne wasn't forgetting Catherina's deft movements, before the dance. Perhaps she outclassed her in a direct confrontation, but the blue velvet wench was a smooth operator - and Anne was now curious about her operation. Whatever she had been working on, she had seen Anne as a threat. So, worth investigating...

This message was last edited by the player at 14:09, Sun 08 Aug.

Helena of Ghent
 player, 42 posts
Sun 8 Aug 2021
at 21:12
Re: Session 1: The Festival
The Powers That Be:
HELENA
Helena, mainly observing the goings on sees the dancing and both of the events happening there. A lot of talk goes about dancing, and quality of dress, etc. One merchant, fully red in the face by his consumption of the strong burgundy wine, suggests you dance with his son, whom he slaps on the back firmly. The son, clearly uncomfortable with this, smiles politely and awkwardly at you. "Father, stop it, you are drunk.", he whispers to him.

He turns to you. "While my father is drunk and not entirely in control of his mouth," he says to you, shooting a dark look at his father, "I would not be opposed for a dance with you, miss Helena, but only if you truly desire so." The son is not altogether unhandsome, and a son of a merchant rich enough to sit at your table. They are smiths who aim to sell their goods in these villages. Razors, plates, cups, ... all finely crafted and engraved.


As much as she'd hoped to avoid that particular aspect of the feast, Helena knew that such hopes were fleeting. She looked at the man before her up and down, and felt about the same level of interest than she did with any of the other potential husbands that had been put in front of her throughout her life. Namely, absolutely nothing.

Ah, well. I suppose it stops me from being labelled shrewish, and I can tell Mother that I'm doing my daughterly duties. Anyway, I suppose it could be worse. It could be the drunkard.


She smiled, albeit somewhat weakly, and nodded to her new dancing partner.

'Not opposed? Such high praise, the prospect of a dance with me is not so onerous as to completely turn your fancy?'

She realised that her words had been perhaps a little harsher than she had intended. She didn't really do playful very well.

Oh, be nice to the poor boy. How many times were you pushed into some unpleasant sqeaty clinch with a total stranger at the behest of one of your parents?


She sighed, and bowed her head to him.

'I jest, of course. I would be happy to accompany you in the next dance.'

Gesturing to the dance floor, she fixed a placid smile to her face and waited for a break to enter, definitely trying to ignore the small scene which seemed to have been playing out between the Duke's bastard and one of the court's more formidable gossips.

Remember, you're here to be a good girl, so only stamp on his feet if he starts to place his hands where they don't belong.


If she had any real choice in the matter, they and any other hands would belong nowhere near her, but such was the world in which she lived. You had to play the game at least a little if she wanted to be able to play it at all.
The Powers That Be
 GM, 88 posts
Mon 9 Aug 2021
at 08:45
Session 1: The Festival
Is there any specific thing you want out of this interaction before I start roleplaying the scenes out? I have an idea for the young lad, but it's not set in stone.
Helena of Ghent
 player, 43 posts
Mon 9 Aug 2021
at 12:14
Session 1: The Festival
Not really - I think she views this mostly as a necessity, and while she'll keep an eye out for a business opportunity or gossip, she's not actively looking for it. Mainly, she's just looking to get through the dance without breaking an ankle or having to break one to avoid being groped.
The Powers That Be
 GM, 93 posts
Tue 10 Aug 2021
at 07:45
Re: Session 1: The Festival
ROLAND
Roland de Sergius:
"Aye, that much is right. She isn't 'a kitten to be taken without gloves', as you so eloquently put it."

... and it is at that time that Catharina gets shut down viciously by Anne and makes a pitiful exit. The Castellan laughs in surprise. "Well, it looks like Anne has some gloves to handle Catharina.", he says and pats Roland on the shoulder firmly. "Anyway," he resumes, as the laughter subsides. "I hope you're having a good time at the festival otherwise? I am very appreciative of your presence. Do you intend to stick around? I can offer my hospitality to a knight of the fleece for however long is needed. Depending on how the people react to my taking over here, having someone with your authority on hand might be beneficial to the County."


HELENA
Helena of Ghent:
As much as she'd hoped to avoid that particular aspect of the feast, Helena knew that such hopes were fleeting. She looked at the man before her up and down, and felt about the same level of interest than she did with any of the other potential husbands that had been put in front of her throughout her life. Namely, absolutely nothing.

Ah, well. I suppose it stops me from being labelled shrewish, and I can tell Mother that I'm doing my daughterly duties. Anyway, I suppose it could be worse. It could be the drunkard.


She smiled, albeit somewhat weakly, and nodded to her new dancing partner.

'Not opposed? Such high praise, the prospect of a dance with me is not so onerous as to completely turn your fancy?'

She realised that her words had been perhaps a little harsher than she had intended. She didn't really do playful very well.

Oh, be nice to the poor boy. How many times were you pushed into some unpleasant sqeaty clinch with a total stranger at the behest of one of your parents?


She sighed, and bowed her head to him.

'I jest, of course. I would be happy to accompany you in the next dance.'

Gesturing to the dance floor, she fixed a placid smile to her face and waited for a break to enter, definitely trying to ignore the small scene which seemed to have been playing out between the Duke's bastard and one of the court's more formidable gossips.

Remember, you're here to be a good girl, so only stamp on his feet if he starts to place his hands where they don't belong.


If she had any real choice in the matter, they and any other hands would belong nowhere near her, but such was the world in which she lived. You had to play the game at least a little if she wanted to be able to play it at all.


He introduces himself as Dietmar, and while his grip is strong (he is a smith), he guides you with respect in the dance. "I'll have to apologize for my father. He is ever on the lookout for me to find a wife. Having the drink in him doesn't help. Anyway, I heard you're in the cloth industry? At least the drunken old owl managed to tell me something of interest about you rather than just commenting on your fair looks. While we don't do much with cloth, we would be willing to help out and see if we can work together for shipments. They are generally very costly to pay for alone. Sharing the cost might be mutually beneficial. We've done this before with a previous merchant that came through. They called him Dour Durant. Have you heard of him?"

You have, and the emphasis on the words owl* and shipment in combination with that name seems no coincidence. They must be smugglers on the side too.

*technically the term owler was only coined hundreds of years later, but for the sake of the story lets make it a current term, but an obscure one.


ANNE AND GERHARD
Anne and Gerhard are the center of attention at the moment. They get to enjoy it, with people gushing at them and congratulating them. Nothing specific of note happens there, unless you want it to.
Gerhard de Colmar
 player, 32 posts
 Pool: 6
Wed 11 Aug 2021
at 14:45
Re: Session 1: The Festival
In reply to Anne de Arras (msg # 53):

Gerhard was unused to women speaking in such a way. It was nice in many respects, it seemed some how more honest. As if the veil of high born feminine mystery had been pulled back a bit to reveal that the fairer sex was not quite such a conundrum.

"Not a friend of mine, no." he told her, almost shoulder to shoulder now as they watched the aftermath of the retreat. Among the crowd he caught a glass raised in salute to their performance, mostly Anne's performance, and he returned it. "You have come to the wrong shop for gossip I'm afraid." he shrugged. "It should not hard to find out though...only a few eligible souls still left in Rethel, and the match makers are always busy."

He chuckled. "The arrival of a woman of your carriage will cause quite a stir, as I'm sure you already knew." he rubbed idly at a waxy looking scar just under his chin in thought. "A lot of changes in Rethel as of late. A lot of opportunity, in some ways." he trailed off
Anne de Arras
 player, 46 posts
 Scheming noblelady
 * Dice pool: 1
Wed 11 Aug 2021
at 15:06
Re: Session 1: The Festival
Anne chuckled softly, as she raised her glass in turn and curtsied to the admiring audience. She exchanged a couple of pleasantries with some minor gentlemen that approached her with sundry compliments.

"You have spent some significant time in Rethel, and yet you deny having ever set eyes on the little wench? Either you're the most faithful of married men, or a very poor liar," she teases Gerhard, with a sideways glance. Naturally, there were other possibilities, but not in polite company.

"But you are correct, her Gerhard. I did not come to you for gossip; in fact I did not come to you at all; you did," she purrs, regaling him with a smile to soften the taunt. She lightly places a hand around his forearm, signalling her firm intention to be led somewhere else.

"I spy your lord the noble Castellan over there, speaking to a knight sporting the insignia of my father's preferred order. I see no reason why we shouldn't join them, except out of modesty - and that would be out of place, considering my lineage and your... dancing skills," she smiles a mischievous smile.
Gerhard de Colmar
 player, 33 posts
 Pool: 6
Thu 12 Aug 2021
at 01:24
Re: Session 1: The Festival
Anne de Arras:
"You have spent some significant time in Rethel, and yet you deny having ever set eyes on the little wench? Either you're the most faithful of married men, or a very poor liar," she teases Gerhard, with a sideways glance. Naturally, there were other possibilities, but not in polite company.


Gerhard visibly bristled a bit at the insinuation, not in an angry way, but suggesting that he was sure to rise to his own defense. "Oh I never said that I had not seen her, but I have seen a few young women about during my three years here. We are not to starved here in Rethel that I feel the need to pounce on the first pretty thing that comes along." he assured her quietly as they began to move towards the Castellan, not quite arm in arm but near enough to it.

"We may be a fair distance from the courts of Brugges and Paris, but not all of us are...savages" He smirked at the last word as they drew nearer.
Anne de Arras
 player, 47 posts
 Scheming noblelady
 * Dice pool: 1
Sat 14 Aug 2021
at 18:14
Re: Session 1: The Festival
Anne chortled seeing Gerhard bristle.

"Oh, it might seem I have the right nerve! Have you been having your sinful way with the local maids all this time, my wicked sir? And yet, after three years of that lechery, you still haven't felt the urge to, ah, 'pounce on a pretty thing' like the lady Catherine? My, herr Gerhard, you must really be having the most enticing women in Brugges and Paris - nay, in the whole of Burgundy and France!, that you need not deign lower your standards as low as the little wench in blue. Truly a prodigy of manhood unrivalled since Lancelot!"

She was having real fun now, teasing the bear.
Helena of Ghent
 player, 47 posts
Sat 14 Aug 2021
at 21:39
Re: Session 1: The Festival
The Powers That Be:
He introduces himself as Dietmar, and while his grip is strong (he is a smith), he guides you with respect in the dance. "I'll have to apologize for my father. He is ever on the lookout for me to find a wife. Having the drink in him doesn't help. Anyway, I heard you're in the cloth industry? At least the drunken old owl managed to tell me something of interest about you rather than just commenting on your fair looks. While we don't do much with cloth, we would be willing to help out and see if we can work together for shipments. They are generally very costly to pay for alone. Sharing the cost might be mutually beneficial. We've done this before with a previous merchant that came through. They called him Dour Durant. Have you heard of him?"

You have, and the emphasis on the words owl* and shipment in combination with that name seems no coincidence. They must be smugglers on the side too.

*technically the term owler was only coined hundreds of years later, but for the sake of the story lets make it a current term, but an obscure one.


Helena's relief at Dietmar's apparent chivalry was shortlived when she realised what he actually wanted. This was, to say the least, not how she liked doing business, in the middle of a crowded room with goodness knows how many listening ears who might catch a part of the conversation. That, and she was trapped in such a discussion until the dance ended, for fear of dragging even more attention.

And this, Mother, is why I never liked these kinds of gatherings...


Still, cornered as she was, she had little choice but to play along, albeit doing her best to avoid committing to anything at this stage.

'And here I was hoping that you might have wished to dance solely for my company? You are lucky I am not easily affronted.'

Now that's a barefaced lie, there's a lot which affronts me, I just don't show it or let it affect my judgement.

'Still, in answer to your question, I can't say for certain, but it may be that my father may have made mention of such an individual, although whether we've ever done business with him is beyond me.'

Officially? Absolutely not. Unofficially? Better not ask.


Durant wasn't her first choice of contact, but in that particular avenue, she could hardly be picky when time was short and windows of opportunity began to swing shut. Still, she appreciated him for what he was, and he was certainly easier to work with than some of his peers, who tended towards braggadocio rather than any great skill.

'I could, if you wished, make a request to my father - his memory is prodigious, and he could probably tell you far more of such a man than I could. If I am to write to him, though, it might be easier and more timely if I could also include your proposal as well?'


As the music continued and she silently begged for the opportunity to retreat, her mind spun through the reasons why a family of smiths might want to hire a smuggler.

Gold, perhaps? Possible, but there are easier ways of getting that over water. Or...

She paused as a thought hit her, and it almost caused her to fall out of time with her partner. She adjusted as best she could, hoping that Dietmar wouldn't notice, as the cogs in her head sped up at the prospect.

God above! He can't be smuggling weapons? Can he?
Gerhard de Colmar
 player, 34 posts
 Pool: 6
Sun 15 Aug 2021
at 18:11
Re: Session 1: The Festival
In reply to Anne de Arras (msg # 61):

Gerhard laughed, deep and earnest, in part at the filthy tone of Anne's prodding but also at the ribald humor of the situation.

"You've found me out. And so quickly, I am in fact an unrepentant Satyr my dear." he admitted in an obvious comic, yet subdued way. Barely loudly enough for her to hear over the hustle and bustle of the crowd.

He shrugged. "What can I say? If it was only the pell and pulpit to look forward to every day, a man might go mad " for all his lack of courtly experience, it really was hard to tell if he was joking as they neared the Castellan. "Your most lady like face now..." He whispered as if she needed a reminder. "Or they might find us out."

Was he still drunk? He certainly did not feel drunk, but that was part of the allure of the vine, or so they said.
Roland de Sergius
 player, 30 posts
 Knight of the Gold Fleece
 3 dice
Mon 16 Aug 2021
at 20:39
Re: Session 1: The Festival
The Powers That Be:
ROLAND
... and it is at that time that Catharina gets shut down viciously by Anne and makes a pitiful exit. The Castellan laughs in surprise. "Well, it looks like Anne has some gloves to handle Catharina.", he says and pats Roland on the shoulder firmly. "Anyway," he resumes, as the laughter subsides. "I hope you're having a good time at the festival otherwise? I am very appreciative of your presence. Do you intend to stick around? I can offer my hospitality to a knight of the fleece for however long is needed. Depending on how the people react to my taking over here, having someone with your authority on hand might be beneficial to the County."


"Aye, it seems so," Roland says with a soft laugh, surprised at the pat on the shoulder. "I have family and friends in this area, truth be told, although your offer of hospitality is greatly appreciated." He took a swig of his drink, patting the other man on the back and smiling warmly at him.
The Powers That Be
 GM, 97 posts
Tue 17 Aug 2021
at 05:30
Session 1: The Festival
ROLAND, ANNE & GERHARD
Roland de Sergius:
"Aye, it seems so," Roland says with a soft laugh, surprised at the pat on the shoulder. "I have family and friends in this area, truth be told, although your offer of hospitality is greatly appreciated." He took a swig of his drink, patting the other man on the back and smiling warmly at him.


"Ah well, that's fine of course. But stick around. I've been thinking of organizing a hunt. You could join right?", he says while patting you on the shoulder. It is at that moment that Anne and Gerhard join the conversation. "Ah, talking about hunting!", the Castellan said. "Lady Anne here does like to hunt, and not only for men.", he says, as his eyes move over to sir Gerhard with a smile. "What say you. Will we not organize a hunt soon? We can all hunt together. I heard these hills are full of deer and boar. Pheasants too!"

HELENA
Helena of Ghent:

'I could, if you wished, make a request to my father - his memory is prodigious, and he could probably tell you far more of such a man than I could. If I am to write to him, though, it might be easier and more timely if I could also include your proposal as well?'


"That seems more than reasonable." Dietmar said. "I will talk to my father and you will write to yours once he gets back to you. This seems like a good deal."
As the dance continues, Dietmar goes on. "My apologies of making this all about business. Now that this business is over, I must say that you dance very well. I am enjoying this dance greatly."

He does not seem to be lying. He seems to like the dancing for just that, the dancing. There's no woeing or untoward flattery, no improper touches, but a very technically accurate dance, all according to the rules of dancing.
Anne de Arras
 player, 49 posts
 Scheming noblelady
 * Dice pool: 1
Tue 17 Aug 2021
at 08:08
Session 1: The Festival
"Oh, please, monsieur le castellan, why would you shame me so?" Anne feigned outrage, but wiht a smile on her lips. "I am but a good Le Tartienne maid at heart, just as your lovely wife, and quite a sheep in wolf's clothing, really! I sincerely apologise," she said, unsincerely, "for the previous spectacle. I was forced into self-defence by that indecorous wench someone has unwittingly allowed into your otherwise delightful court. But yes, a hunt shall be lovely indeed! We were just discussing the abundance of game in the forest, ser Gerhard and I..."

Her glittering eyes move over to Roland, appraising. The Golden Fleece sparkled around his neck.

"We have not been introduced, dear sir, but I can see you are a trusted friend of my father. Do you hunt too, sir?"
Gerhard de Colmar
 player, 35 posts
 Pool: 6
Tue 17 Aug 2021
at 14:03
Session 1: The Festival
Gerhard bowed slightly at the waist upon receiving the invitation. Having to momentarily remove himself from Anne's arm to do so. "I would be honored, of course, to accompany you on a Hunt your Grace." he assured the Castellan.

He did not seem terribly surprised at his slight jibe at Anne, although they had just met, she did not feign the doe eyed maiden.

And some small part of him did grow concerned. He had been quite serious about how wild the Ardennes had grown in the last year or so. There was always risk with these things, from falling off a horse to getting lost in the trackless hills. But as of late the animals themselves had been the rumored culprits.

He dipped his head to Roland. "We come full circle it seems" he told him, highlighting his attempt at conversation before he had been asked away earlier. It was just as well. They would have plenty of time to speak during the Hunt.
Roland de Sergius
 player, 31 posts
 Knight of the Gold Fleece
 3 dice
Tue 17 Aug 2021
at 18:51
Re: Session 1: The Festival
The Powers That Be:
"Ah well, that's fine of course. But stick around. I've been thinking of organizing a hunt. You could join right?", he says while patting you on the shoulder. It is at that moment that Anne and Gerhard join the conversation. "Ah, talking about hunting!", the Castellan said. "Lady Anne here does like to hunt, and not only for men.", he says, as his eyes move over to sir Gerhard with a smile. "What say you. Will we not organize a hunt soon? We can all hunt together. I heard these hills are full of deer and boar. Pheasants too!"


"Aye, a hunt sounds like fun - I suppose if my friend Lord Pepin de Aquitaine could help organize it, he'd be glad to help, and I'm sure my family could help as well."
Helena of Ghent
 player, 52 posts
Thu 19 Aug 2021
at 00:08
Re: Session 1: The Festival
The Powers That Be:
HELENA
Helena of Ghent:

'I could, if you wished, make a request to my father - his memory is prodigious, and he could probably tell you far more of such a man than I could. If I am to write to him, though, it might be easier and more timely if I could also include your proposal as well?'


"That seems more than reasonable." Dietmar said. "I will talk to my father and you will write to yours once he gets back to you. This seems like a good deal."
As the dance continues, Dietmar goes on. "My apologies of making this all about business. Now that this business is over, I must say that you dance very well. I am enjoying this dance greatly."

He does not seem to be lying. He seems to like the dancing for just that, the dancing. There's no woeing or untoward flattery, no improper touches, but a very technically accurate dance, all according to the rules of dancing.


Outwardly, Helena spent the rest of the round dancing perfectly ably, in a manner which would best be described as polite, with a smile on her face which would manage to satisfy the honour of all parties. Interally, however, she was anything but placcid.

Her first concern was the same thought which had almost lost her step, namely exactly what Dietmar and his side were hoping to transport. This, admittedly, was still a theoretical, and she could probably refuse to help if it turned out to be too hot for her tastes - owling was generally frowned upon, but supplying an insurrection was another matter.

The second, and the one which she already knew was going to gnaw at her, was exactly who knew about her links to the owlers, and how much they knew. True, there had always been rumours, and it was probably fairly well known among the small circle of owlers who worked in the area, but that was a big difference to people being able to accost her on the matter on the dance floor.

As she spun and weaved between the others, she wondered whether she had missed a trick by acknowledging the possibility of a link, and instead should have just blanked the conversation. Still, she'd bought some time, if nothing else.

God, and this is why I hate these damn things. It's absolute chaos, no one is behaving properly, and I'm both sore, stuffed and tired.


As the dance finally finished, she smiled and nodded to Dietmar, excusing herself with a quick pleasantry and returning to her table. Noticing that the group was a little less packed than before, she was relieved to not be the first to leave, and set about making her apologies in preparation for her departure. As she did so, she took one last look at the assembled company, and slightly shook her head, sighing internally.

Well, that's put the cat among the pigeons. A perfectly dratted night, I must say, full of other people spending my money, staring down my dress, and involving themselves in my affairs. If I didn't know any better, I'd suspect that the Almighty has been testing me tonight. At least Job was excused the dress code...