It is 1677, the Baroque Court in France is the pristine pinnacle of fashion, fortune and power... However recently cracks have begun to appear throughout our little world and the people we once trusted are now, plotting and planing things we can only wonder about... these truely are dark days In the Palace of Light and Air.
The power has shifted throughout the court, the advisor has been murdered, the Princess has passed, the Queen whisked away by a mother with a sharp mind and a strong tongue and with the King's quiet nature, power is up for grabs, after all even with his childhood friend, his wife's voice-in-court and his faithful gossip he still needs an advisor....
Originally Posted by eternal_sunshine
The object of this RP is to make an aristocrat character, and then guide him/her into the position of the King’s Advisor. It won’t be easy, though. Other characters will be after the same thing, and might even try to get you banished from the Court, or have you stripped of all your titles and money, thus making you start all over again.
Secret alliances and backstabbing are part of the game. Not everyone has to want to be the King’s Advisor – you can team up and help people into the role if you want. The real courts of this time period were a teeming, infested viper’s nest of intrigue and debauchery. Have some fun with it!
The RP is set in the Baroque period (1640’s – early 1700’s).
NOTE: The word “courtiers” simply refers to a group of nobles that lives in the King’s Palace. Aristocrat and Noble are interchangeable words: they simply mean a person of great wealth or power.
Each roleplay day is split into three; morning, afternoon, and evening. These will be operating on a 5, 5, 4, basis. Which basically means a morning is five real life days, a afternoon is also 5 and an evening is 4. This will maybe tweaked as needed to allow everyone ample time to roleplay their characters. One roleplay day is considered a round.
Follow all roleplaying rules of this forum.
All characters must be atleast 16 year of age.
Any titled Courtier can become the King’s Advisor.
All RPs must have a minimum of 8 lines. You are encouraged to build conversations via PM then post them in the thread if need be.
Do your best to stay in the feel of the times. Remember, this is before electricity, running water, and automobiles.
The Rank & Titles:
Duc & Duchess – This is the highest level attainable in court. They have the most money, the best suites, and the most sordid past. Each character of this level starts with 80,000 livres, and a major scandal.
Comte & Comtess – The middle level of power in the court. They’re not the smallest fish in the pond, but they sure don’t rule the roost. Each character of this level starts with 60,000 livres, and either a major or minor scandal, decided by a randomizer.
Baron & Baroness- The lowest level of nobles in court. They are just beginning their journey up the ladder. Each character of this level starts with 40,000 livres and a minor scandal.
Untitled Characters – These characters have no title and are referred to simply as Mr. and Mrs. They may very well think themselves wealthy and important, but they’re nothing compared to the nobles with titles. Each character of this level starts with 20,000 livres and no scandals.
There are two ways to gain a title. You can buy a title, or be given a title from the King. It costs 40,000 to gain the title of Baron/Baroness from an untitled state, 60,000 livres to buy your way up one title from Baron/Baroness to Comte/Comtesse and 80,000 from Comte/Comtesse to Duc/Duchesse.
A scandal can be either a minor scandal or a major scandal. (These are considered levels.)
Minor Scandals: These scandals have to do with flirtations, having relations with a commoner, dueling, and blackmail. If a scandal of this nature reaches the King’s ear, the character will be demoted one rank, and/or given a “morality fine” of 50,000 livres.
Major Scandals: These scandals have to do with infidelity, murder, treason and stealing from the King. If this type of scandal reaches the King’s ear, you may even recieve banishment from court. (Members of the Royal family, Duc d'Lorraine, Baroness Venn, and the advisor are the only ones exempt from this rule.)
When a new character enters the RP they are required to begin with a scandal. These are referred to as given scandals. The level of the given scandal depends on their title and rank. (See section above.) During the RP new scandals are sure to be born. These are referred to as created scandals. All these scandals, both given and created will be put into a scandal database. A created scandal will only stay in the database for one RP week, given scandals stay in there indefinitely. Each round (1 RP day) a randomizer will be ran and a scandal chosen. This scandal will make its way to the ear of Baroness Mercy Venn.
Who is Mercy Venn? She is the court gossip, the court snoop. Each day she will have a scandal told to her. Depending on how the randomiser goes, it may already be old news to her. She will then alert your character that she knows their dirty little secret. It’s up to you to do whatever it takes to earn her silence as each day Mercy Venn has the opportunity to tattle to the King. So if she approaches you, it may be in your best interest to do whatever it takes to appease her. IF you decide to bribe her, you must PM me the amount of money you bribed.
It’s what makes the world go round. Money, and lots of it. Your character begins with a set amount of money depending on their title. There are two ways to earn more money. If it is suggested to him, the King may gift it to you. The other way is by visiting the Court Accountant (randomiser), in RP formally asking for the money. The request will be denied or approved formally by PM if your request is approved you may recieve, the amount youn ask for or hald the amount, depending , once again, on a randomiser. You can only ask for money four times, and each request is limited to a maximum of 20,000 livres. You must have two rounds between each visit to the accountant. The money is measured in the baroque French currency – livres. Brief details of the accountant are in the listed below under "Untouchables."
In this day and age very few Nobles NEED to work, but those who wish too now have the ability to pitch a business to the Court accountant, offer him a some of money and secure yourself an office to run a business, which will pay a small dividend each day, the amount of money will depend on your investment, your business idea, and your character's popularity.
Winning the game has changed any courtier can be granted the position, besides the Untouchables (and secondary characters of those RPers), regardless of title as long as they have access to the Rotherham Rooms and the De Mollier Offices.
The Voice-in-Court may now suggest to the King grants of access to the Rotherham Rooms for other Courtiers.
The Old Friend may now suggest to the King grants of access to the De Mollier Offices for other Courtiers.
Rotherham rooms, access is a sign of the Trust of the Royal Family.
De Mollier Offices, access is a sign of Respect from the Royal Family.
Every round the King will heed a suggestion made by either the Voice-in-Court, or Duc d'Lorraine. (The decision is made with the randomiser.)
Suggestions will consist of:
- Granting titles- they can suggest you go up one title from your own
- Bestowing money – a financial gift of up to 40,000 livres may be given
- Demoting- they can suggest you go down one title
- Fining- a financial reprimand of up to 20,000 livres
- Banishment- if they get mad enough at you, you could be banished from court
- Access- the De Mollier Offices or Rotherham Rooms may be opened to you.
Each RP Day morning, the King will hold his morning announcements. This is when he will follow through on a suggestion given to him, and deal with any scandals that he has learned about. The afternoon and evening is free time for your character.
Gaining the Prize:
In order to be eligible for the position of Advisor you must gain access to the De Mollier Offices and the Rotherham Rooms. Once you are eligible, you must get the Voice-in-Court or the King's old friend to suggest you be appointed to the King. Once they make the suggestion, the King (a randomiser) will decide if he agrees. If the King does not agree to appoint you, you must wait another three RP days before the suggestion can be given again. The randomiser will be slanted however so A Duc/Duchesse has a much higher chance (50%) of being granted the poisition than an untitled man/woman who will have only a 5% chance when suggested. The other titles will find you a percentage in between these
If the King does appoint you, congratulations, you’re the new advisor. As the advisor you now have the King’s ear and will be able to give suggestions just as the Voice-in-Court and Duc d'Lorraine do. It’s time to pay back all those who helped you get to where you are. However, just because you’ve gotten the position does not mean you’re safe, or the game is over. If the king was to find out about a major scandal of yours, you will be fired and other penalties may be imposed. The position becomes open again for someone else to enjoy their moment of fame. If you become the advisor and are not active for two RP days, (roughly a month real time) a new advisor may be appointed.
Though the palace of light and air is indeed grand, there are only fourteen suites available. So if you no longer wish to participate, please have the curtesy to remove your character from the RP to allow others to join. Do not be surprised if your character is banished if you have been inactive for a month’s time.
When you submit an application please include the following:
Picture: (Does not have to be sim)
After you submit your application, you must PM me your character’s given scandal. This is the scandal they begin the game with, that will stay in the scandal database. You may not post an RP until after I’ve approved your scandal. Remember, the severiety of the scandal depends on your characters rank.
If there are any question, please feel free to PM me.
The King Edouard Auguste Louis Rotherham IV
King Edouard is a private man who spends most of his time in his Salon, or in his private suite. He leant heavily upon his wife and his friend Duc d'Lorraine for advice after the loss of his beloved Duc of Mollier. With Isabella also temporarily indisposed, the Voice-in-Court had taken her place.
He is an NPC whos actions depend on a randomizer. The only people who have access to him are the Duc d'Lorraine, the Voice-in-Court, the Prince, Juliet de Margoles and, on occassion, Baroness Venn, afterall you never know what she has to say.
Baroness Mercy Venn (Flight)
((The picture is the marvellous Judy Dench and the blonde sim is my version made especially for Mercy... looking rather annoyed with one of our other Courtiers.))
"What can I say? Life is life and other peoples are so much more interesting. I can be sworn to secrecy... if we're friends or if there is something in it for me."
Mercy is very loud and insists it is the public's right to know, this point of view may have come from her deceased husbands constant affairs that she knew nothing of until a relative made it rather clear. She at the moment lacks good friends, which she craves this makes her an excellent target for flattery, or occasional bribery. She is friends with Isabella, and quite likes the way that sounds, arguing with Mercy is not really advised...
Mercy is the court gossip, having access to scandals of all sorts, she has made her self immune from being banished from the court.
Dimitri-Josèphe, Duc d'Lorraine
The King's old friend, Dimitri, is quite opposite of the King in nearly every way imaginable, fortunately this means you can in deed talk to him, and perhaps sway him, you want him to like you really...
Baron Larkin d'Marius
An ambassador to a far flung place and the much younger brother of the Duc d'Margoles, hand picked by Juliet (see further down list) to be her Daughter's Voice-in-Court.
Prince Octavien Lahance
Octavien came to this court as an untitled man. Thanks to his luck in happening across the Queen when she was in need he found himself in her favor, eventually moving up the ranks to the title of a Comte. Though he does not have direct access to the king, his marriage to the princess makes him ineligible for the advisor’s position. Now she has passed away however he is looking like a favourable choice.
Duchesse Juliet de Margoles
The Mother of Queen Isabella, she comes and leaves as she pleases as of recent. (She looks like an aging Cybil Sheppard.)
Mister Tobias Benedetti
The court's accountant, money lender and general financial guru. Relatively handsome, short black hair and blue eyes.
The King’s only heir, she was a rebellious young lady until her untimely demise.
Queen Isabella Rotherham
King Edouards second wife, she is often called the most powerful woman of the kingdom. It is a title that she enjoys living up to immensely. Whilst still living she is currently residing in the family home with her parents and her older brother (the next Duc de Margoles.)
Queen Susanna Rotherham
Age:32 at death
King Edouards first wife, Adalita's mother and a strong believer that even a gossip has her uses..
Ducs and Duchesses
Christine Du Fontaine
Comte and Comtesses
Barons and Baronesses
Miss Padme Castilla
Other Titled Characters
Lady Charmaine de Mollier
Marquis César de la Vallière
Marquise Joséphine de la Vallière
The east wing is for the higher titled courtiers, Larkin, is also there due to the Influence of his Sister-in-Law
The Upper Floor
The De Margoles Suite and Salon used to be the queen's room, they remain in that capacity officially but they are currently being put to use by Juliet de Margoles, the Queen's mother.
The Rotherham Rooms once the Princess's chambers they are now the meeting point for those trusted by the Royal family, access can be granted and taken away.
The De Mollier Offices once, the rooms of the past advisor, access to these rooms, shows you are intelligent and respected.
The Bottom Floor
The servant's rooms, and other facilities including the Palace Accountant's office and four more vacant offices just looking for entrepreneurs.
The Palace Grounds
Various places including the Blackmail clearing some of you may be invited to.
A young boy, is born into a world of power, he proves to be a quiet man and during his young days is already pressured, after all he is to grow up to be king.
The young Edouard befriends an intelligent young man with a great eye for detail and understanding of social politics. The King encounters Duc c'Lorraine.
Within the Palace of light and air a fitting young woman is found for Edouard to court.
Love blossoms *thanks to the aid of Duc d'Lorraine* and The King marries.
The Princess is born, the future Queen of the Kingdom.
The Duc d'Lorraine leaves the court to return to his family estate.
The Duc de Mollier becomes increasingly popular and becomes the King's advisor.
A widow arrives in the court, under the name of Madame Mercy Flight, her past is widely known and her reputation begins to build.
A friendship of sorts is struck up between the first Queen and the court gossip.
The first Queen passes away and the Duchess of Champagne, Juliet de Margoles brings her daughter the court.
The young Isabella de Margoles becomes the second Queen.
Duc d’Mollier is found dead, the court is in chaos and a new advisor must be located.
The Princess begins to show her true colours by spending her time in the company of young men.
A Duc by the name of Silvius attracts the attention of several female courtiers including the Princess.
The Queen forms a friendship with a courtier named Octavien who is giving her harpsichord lessons.
*Both relationships progress.*
The Queen seems to strike up a friendship with the court gossip Mme Flight.
The Princess announces her engagement to Silvius.
*The Princess falls pregnant.*
*Mme Flight Blackmails her way into a title, Silvius out of an engagement and gains the Queen’s favour.*
The Princess engagement is now to Octavien Lahance. *The Queens lover.*
The Princess and Octavien are married.
The Princess falls Ill.
Duc d’Lorraine arrives to comfort his life long friend, the King and nearly runs over Baroness Flight.
Baroness Flight, reverts to her Maiden name, Venn.
The Queen plays the doting step mother.
The Princess dies.
The Queen’s Mother Juliet de Margoles arrives to attend the funeral.
After the funeral the Queen collapses and Juliet demands her return to the family home.
Juliet desires for a relative to come to the palace to represent the Queen. The Voice-in-Court.
Title: Comtesse de Valois
Bio: Married at 13 and widowed at 17, Marie-Elisabeth widely says she only gained two good things from her arranged marriage. Her massive inheritance from her husband, and their 6 year old son Charles. Named for her late husband, he is being educated and cared for by the best tutors money can buy. As the widow of the Comte de Valois she might not have inherited his estate but, as the mother of his only son (his first wife had 2 daughters), she holds it until he comes of age. Her two stepdaughters are named Sophie (14) and Helene (16).
Being forced into her marriage at such a young age, she believes she never got to experience life. Being saddled with a husband who was literally 4 times her age was something Marie-Elisabeth has always resented. While she admittedly cared for her husband, who doted on her and granted her every whim, she was in no way in love with him. She has come to court to make something of her life and hopefully have some fun while she’s there. What exactly that fun is remains to be seen.
Marie-Elisabeth always has a look about her that suggests she’s plotting something, and has a tendency to be bitter about her marriage and those who think it should define her life. She always keeps her own best interests and those of her young son close to her heart. She has a small locket with a portrait of him in it that she wears at all times, only taking it off when she goes to bed. She also has a particular weakness for beautiful clothes and, with a strong sense of pride, won't tolerate people who don't know their place in the world.
In terms of the "look" I've often said Marie-Elisabeth has on her face, I refer you to this gorgeous picture that has it dead on: Link
Also, as to the locket she wears, I imagine it being similar to this one link, with a fancy string of pearls (think Anne Boleyn's B) and a V for Valois instead on an M on the actual locket.
With her son
(As much as I adore Natalie, I changed them to sim ones since it seemed more appropriate)
Bio: Charmaine is a member of the English artistocracy hense the title of Lady, her English name and status are what makes her act just as she does, strong, determined, aloof and quite formidable.
Charmaine is married to a cousin of the last advisor which I fear may serve only to spur on her feelings of superiority. She does not plan to stay at the court long, merely long enough to make her husband regret taking a long hunting holiday in Scotland. After all nobody does anything without having permission first, I mean this is the 1670's, people need to get with the times and realise a woman's job is to co-ordinate her family...
((Charmaine is the Brunette... And no I'm aware it is not period costume, but I play without cc... so it's harder for me ))
Title: Has gone from untitled, to Baron, to Comte, to Prince.
Octavien was a young man with a hunger for nothing more than fun and adventure. Unfortunately, this lead to quite a few precarious situations, and after having been seen leaving the bedroom of one too many married women, his parents sent him away from home, to the court, in the hopes of having him discover that there's more to life than just having "fun". And he did. He discovered power, and the perks of having friends in high places. Now he has his mind set on earning a title, one way or another, and although still a carefree thrill-seeker, he can also be a cunning, ambitious trickster. He's watching the aristocrats and learning what he can from them. And the higher the title, the bigger his interest. Thus, he has taken a special interest in the Queen herself.
And one and two more, just because. :P
Title: Marquis de Mont-de-Marsan (visitor)
Bio: Imagine for a moment the untitled Octavien Lahance, not yet a courtier at the Palace of Light and Air, as a cartoon character, with the classical angel on one shoulder, beseeching him to behave and be good, and a tiny devil on the other, constantly tempting him to be naughty and bad.
That tiny devil, would be César de la Vallière; Marquis de Mont-de-Marsan and one of Octavien's best friends since childhood. Good-natured, charismatic, and with eyes rarely lacking a spark of humor and mischief, the two years older César was the ringleader of sorts, of what one could call the late 17th century 'brat pack' - the circle of friends - that Octavien was part of before being sent to the court by his parents, to mature.
César is very much a man of his time, and his social standing. With his father having died a few years ago, he's now the man of the house and the estate, and the head of the family, consisting of his mother, his wife, and two (legitimate) daughters, whom he adores. He spends a great deal of his time on the favorite past times of the young and the wealthy, such as riding, horse racing, fencing, hunting, parties and balls, playing cards, visiting the opera and the theatre, etcetera, and despite being married at the age of seventeen - an arranged marriage, but not one he objected to, or even minded much - he's still a ladies man. However, he's not the kind of man to leave a woman's bed, never to return. The affairs he has are rarely 'one-time' things, and do not limit themselves to nothing but bedroom activities. Over the years, he's had a few select mistresses, to whom he keeps returning, and has only occasionally had brief flings. But even with his wandering eye, and even though his mistresses tend to end up rather well off - recieving gifts of money, dresses, jewelry and perhaps even a small mansion - he would never flirt with another woman or look at her excessively, while in the presence of his wife. Despite his affairs, he does love her - her wits, her passion, her beauty, not to mention the firey temper that he so loves to tease - and he will never spend too many nights in a row away from her bed. He simply believes it's a man's privilege to have a mistress or two. Still, he might have a tendency to neglect her and take her for granted every now and then. They are married after all, and so in a way he's already and always entitled to her, whereas a mistress isn't bound to him by anything but interest alone. Thus, Josephine might not recieve as many and as romantic gestures as her rivals.
(Expect another pic later. I was trying to get him to flash that mischievous smile of his, but I'm not quite happy with it, it makes his face look a bit weird.)
(((ooc: Fayre & slytherin - Why, thank you. I'm kind of fond of him myself. But I made him, so I'm partial.)))
*nods in agreement with Fayre* Yes, yes he is. If Marie-Elisabeth wasn;t already...distracted... LOL)))
Padme grew up a servant, in a household similar to this one. She observed the ways of the cunning, and believed she would be one of them some day. Though she was young, her observant ways can be useful.
Her parents died when she was young from a sickness, but she was taken in time to an Abbey where she was later adopted and put to work (much like Cinderella without the adoption part). When she was 18, Padme "bought" her freedom (she was able to bribe the head of household, a baron, from the money she recieved from her parents inheritance) and quickly moved into a household like the one she grew up in, as a free woman.
A close friend, who knew an influential Baron, eventually (after much nagging and pestering for several years) put in a good word about Padme with another noble, and word eventually got around that she had potential as an advisor.
(This should be enough.... but I can fix it again again)
Personality: The second son and fourth child of the Lords of Lorraine, Dimitri studied with King Edouard and became among the young Prince's closest confidants since. His home province of Lorraine is located at the border with the Germanic states. It thus seemed only natural that, at 15, he participated in the brutal Thirty Years War, returning to the Palace of Light and Air four years later with riches, scars, and a reputation.
Compared to the light King, Dimitri is as a skeleton of steel patched in earth and clay, with a similarly inscrutable disposition. It would be more accurate to label him the product of his family, rather than just his generation. Growing up in the belief of a strong King for a strong kingdom, he dedicated his early years to securing the foundations from which Edouard would rule. His preparations were interrupted by the death of his older brother, after which Dimitri was recalled to his family's estate.
Although he has remained away from the Court for over a decade, it was no loss to this strict man, who scoffed at the frivolities of the younger nobles and their nonexistent sense of duty to the throne. He has a propensity for rules and the abiding of them, but Dimitri can make decisions that throw others for a loop, as long as the ends aligned with his own principles.
Description (close-up profile): Grey eyes. Tanned. Dimitri is of above average height and build, but has become skinnier compared to his days in the army. He has several scars on the left side of his face. Light wrinkles line the corners of his eyes and forehead.
Random Pictures :D
Dimitri pays his respects at a grave.
Jehanne explains her new invention, the "eye ring". Enthusiastically.
((Third thread around for this RP! Think we broke any records? XD))
Name: Joséphine de la Vallière
Title: Marquise de Mont-de-Marsan (visitor)
Bio: When Joséphine of Vortigern, aged sixteen, was told she was going to become the Marquise de Mont-de-Marsan, her fanciful mind projected the beginning of a fairytale marriage with all it entailed. Having witnessed it happen to her elder sister, Joséphine dreaded being married off to a man many years her senior, or otherwise brutish and violent for as long as she could remember.
César was not like that. Young, handsome, intelligent and endearing, he appeared to be the husband any woman desired, and Joséphine was smitten with him almost from the beginning.
Loosing her innocence came at a terrible price however: settled comfortably in the plush luxury of the Mont-de-Marsan estate, Josephine witnessed, year after year, her husband's infidelity, chipping away at the idealized view of life she had fashioned for herself. At first, she bottled her jealousy, hopeful that César's affairs were only fleeting, temporary, but as time went by, she was forced to accept a rather different reality. Joséphine did it proudly, turning a blind eye whenever her husband did not share her bed at night or was seen whispering in another woman's ear words unknown, despite the ache it caused her, often wondering whether César believed she did not know or, just as she pretended not to, so did he. From the moment of her birth, she had been bred into a lady, and a lady did not become angry. A lady did not question her husband's behaviour.
Joséphine tried, and often succeeded.
Sometimes however, she did not. Unknown to most outsiders, a scorching flame burned beneath the Marquise's calm, quiet exterior. A fiery passion that rebelled against her conditioning, which tempted her mind with beguiling whispers. That hidden fire would surface when it grew too hot to contain, often in surprising ways. Transforming from a girl into a woman and later a mother, Joséphine grew more and more aware of her power over a man's mind, of the effect a stolen glance and a fleeting touch could produce, inwardly horrified at her wantonness whenever such thoughts percolated. And just a little exhilarated.
César, too, baffled her. Despite the attention he lavished on his mistresses, he was not cold towards Joséphine, or their two daughters, Adèle and Angélique. On the contrary, he remained the charming young man she had married, alternating between the attentive husband and loving father and the ladies' man; however she would often get the feeling she was a step below his mistresses as far as his interest was concerned. This stirred Joséphine's fiery core, causing her to undergo endless private debates as she struggled to understand what it was that she lacked that he felt the need to look for in other women. She continued to educate herself despite her mother-in-law's disapproval, driven by a personal desire to enrich her knowledge and awareness of what went on around her, growing ever more skilled at reading others' mannerisms, including César's, who enjoyed challenging her and being challenged, a game of wit and subtle provocation that had as many chances of ending in a night of passion as it did in a cold “good night”.
In society's eyes, Joséphine is the perfect image of a dutiful wife with a pleasant singing voice, the angelic-looking Marquise de Mont-de-Marsan. However, if one lingered in her presence longer, they might discover that underneath that demure façade lurked a keen mind and a woman who was as sweet natured as she was ambitious, capable of unexpected astuteness.
Thanks to her husband's friendship with Prince Octavien Lahance, Joséphine now had the opportunity to be introduced into the court life surrounding the Palace of Light and Air, a world that dazzled and intrigued her at the same time, for it appeared to house a couple of strong, influential women like she aspired to become. To be taken seriously by men and respected for more than just her title is one of Joséphine's ambitions, and she often finds herself regretting having been born a woman.
Name: Elena Sánchez de Suárez y Torre
Title: only daughter of Grande Duque de Suárez y Torre, typically addressed as “Excellency”, “Most Illustrious Lady” or simply "Milady"
Bio: There are powerful, influential men among the aristocracy of Europe, and there are men such as Duque (duke) Carlos Sánchez de Suárez y Torre, who throughout his long life has manoeuvred himself into an exalted position, a "Grande of Spain", the very pinnacle of wealth and political and social power, second only to the royal family.
However, while Duque Carlos rules his vast lands, estates and fortunes, Elena rules Duque Carlos. A formidable man indeed, he has one clear weakness: his only daughter whom he loves above all. Ever since her childhood days, Elena has been unusually apt at influencing those around her into doing her will, her father most of all, while managing to keep herself untied to any proof of mischief, either through bribery, blackmail and some even whisper, murder. When the Duque's wife died after a life of fragile health, Elena was seventeen and without siblings. Despite strong suggestions and advice, Duque Carlos refused to re-marry, and those who knew the family came to suspect Elena had a hand in her father's decision, aware of the great influence she maintained over him.
Supremely ambitious and ruthlessly determined to never bow to a master, Elena had always dreaded the day one of her relatives would step in and claim her fortunes, and begin making decisions concerning her fate. This was the reason she has been avoiding marriage for as long as she possibly could, dripping honey into the Duque's ear year after year until he no longer questioned her motives for risking spinsterhood or worse. While she inhabited her father's estate, Elena ruled supreme, and it was not a position she would easily relinquish.
However, as the years progressed and Duque Carlos advanced in old age, it became searingly clear to Elena that her existence would be threatened the moment he passed away, leaving his title and fortune within reach of one of his younger brothers, or some other relation who would try to claim it. It only meant that she needed to secure her position before that came to happen, in the only way available to her: marriage, but not to just anybody. Nothing short of royalty would do, unfortunately the King of Spain was married and his sons much too young; Elena then turned her attention to foreign countries instead, aware she had quite a few years on most unmarried ladies and the clock was ticking. It was fortunate indeed that Duque Carlos had a lifelong ally in King Edouard of France; from his letters she learned that Prince Octavien Lahance was a widower and the matter of marriage had been brought up....
Plots within plots...such is Elena's motto.
((ooc: Here she is at last! By the way, she isn't untitled per se, she's a duke's daughter but if memory serves, women only got a noble title when they married or were somehow the last survivor of their family or they were Princesses (not that it matters here so much, that's going to change soon anyway :P). If there's any confusion about the bio let me know
Also, Fayre - I am not sure part of which morning's announcements her arrival should be, since I plan to wait one day before bringing her in. ))
Bio: Larkin, the queen's paternal uncle, was rather awkward for his parents [the queen's grandparents] to deal with. As a small child he was told, in no uncertain terms by a governess that being the youngest son meant that there was no way he would inherit anything useful and was essentially another mouth. Not that the nobility of France couldn't handle it, she had said, but it had a profund effect on young Larkin. He proceeded to ignore the lessons of fine statecraft imparted to his older brothers, and instead study the more... abstruse sciences. Those of ambition, of greed, of efficeincy.
Upon his twentieth birthday Larkin's father died, and, as expected, gave the eldest brother most of the duchy, and leaving small, infertile, essentially useless baronies and marquedoms to the younger brothers. Larkin, being thoroughly uninterested in any of the day to day administration of his barony, went to court, where after a year he was appointed ambassador to Zimbabwe.
While there he maneuvered brilliantly amongst the natives, bearing technology to them and piles of gold and trade goods away, all for the good of France. He has been there for well over a decade, missing his brother's wedding, said brother's daughter's birth, and said daughter's rise to queen. However in his capacity as ambassador he was able to cultivate a firm freindship with the king. Due to some small insurrections in Zimbabwe, Larkin was exiled from there and has returned to the court, as he still has no interest in his barony, and it is capably run by a steward, who leaves the appropriate revenues to his Baron's disposal.
Larkin d'Marius is rather pleased to return to his native land, self imposed exile does get tedious after more than a decade. He remains ambitious, wanting a better parcel of land for his long suffering steward to administer to, but at the moment is quite content to enjoy real food that is not spiced to death, and real women that go about leaving something for a man to think about during the occasional dull days. As opposed to the ladies of Zimbabwe... who provided things other than thought.
((OOC: Hope thats aright, if not, let me know and I'll go right ahead and change it!))
The humor of a story on the internet is in direct inverse proportion to how accurate the reporting is.
And I shall have a long post up later involving the Royal's, plus new a new installment for Mercy AND Charmaine's entrance... :insane: :insane: :insane: what a lot of work :insane: :insane: :insane: ))
It was nothing against the Comtesse de Valois herself. Not in the least, as César quite regretted not having gotten the chance to talk to her some more. She was as sweet as could be, and since last they had met, he had found himself occasionally wondering if that mischievous streak that seemed to surface every now and then was for real, a sign of a true impish nature, or simply an act, something that young women were taught in order to entice equally young men, without fully realizing the forces of nature they set into motion by doing so. Many girls had had their hearts broken and their innocence stripped away that way.
But the more he thought about it, the more he doubted that this would be the case with Marie-Elisabeth. She had been married already, she had a son, and thus was obviously no stranger to the somewhat more primal side of human nature. And she did play the game between men and women like a true expert. She even seemed like the kind of lady that would offer a challenge even when the initial chase was over.
And there she had been, in the Blue Salon, face to face with a lady he knew would never cease to be a challenge. Joséphine, his wife. The one thing he had always tried to avoid, as far as his extra conjugal activities were concerned, playing out before his very eyes.
Beautiful and pleasant young lady or not, the situation at the time had been far from ideal. It was a good thing they had been interrupted not only once, but twice, by different members of the royal family. First Octavien, and then the King and Queen themselves, who by requesting a moment of silence for their daughter had provided César with a chance to decide how to handle the matter of Joséphine and Marie-Elisabeth.
It was a plan he would end up not needing, however, as once again the Comtesse decided to assist him in resolving the situation. As soon as the King and Queen retired from the Blue Salon, so did she, excusing herself that she had an important letter to read. Truth or not, he didn't know, but he was relieved none the less.
And with her gone, along with the Royal couple, and Octavien still engaged in conversation, there was little reason for the Marquise and Marquise de Mont-de-Marsan to stay in the Blue Salon. For while César had gone there to get acquianted with the other courtiers, he no longer held such desires after seeing how most of them had treated Octavien. Not then, at least. If he was to be introduced to anyone, it would be only once the gall presently threatening to spill forth from his tongue, had had a chance to ebb away.
However, had he thought the awkward incident involving Marie-Elisabeth was over, he was sadly mistaken. Once back safely in the privacy of their own suite, Joséphine had brought up the subject of the young Comtesse. Though just barely, as she did it in such an indirect, roundabout way, that it left him unsure of whether she had sensed something, or was merely making conversation. He was very much aware of the fact that those that were looking for something, would often found it, even when it was not there. Joséphine's reasons for bringing up Marie-Elisabeth might have him sensing a trap where there was none. Which was why he felt it was safer to just give some generic, borderline disinterested reply, and then change the subject.
It wasn't until later, in bed and after a little while of trying to silence his mind enough so that he could go to sleep, that it had dawned on him what she had really said to Marie-Elisabeth back there in the Blue Salon; "When César and I have a son"...
It wasn't as much what she had said, as it was the tone of voice in which she had said it. He already knew she wanted a son. As did he. But that "when"... It had sounded rather confident. More so than that of someone who 'merely' wished.
Or was it him that was wishing? Was his currently rebelliously loud mind making him read too much into it? Did he want a son more badly than he himself was aware of? So bad, that all it took was something that may have been just a simple and casual statement, to make him imagine things?
No... It hadn't feel right. He wanted a son, but he was neither living nor breathing that wish.
Still, going over it back and forth in his mind like this had done little good, and there had really only been one way to find out what she had meant.
"Joséphine?" he'd said, turning his head to the side to look at the lovely brunette that had been laying next to him, as though he'd thought she might still be awake.
She hadn't been, and with a slight sigh, he had resigned. But only for a moment. The thought of what she might have meant had refused to leave him alone, and so finally, he had just submitted to it, and simply woken her up, by pressing against her from behind, and nuzzling into the thick chocolate curls in the back of her neck while at the same time pressing his lips against the softness of her skin. She had woken up with a slight smile on her lips, though it had soon turned to slight surprise instead when she had realized it was still in the middle of the night. Not that it had never happened before, that her husband was overcome by certain feelings during the night, but this time, that had not been his reason for rousing her from her sleep. This time, instead of being met with passionate kisses, she had been met with the question "What did you mean?".
Needless to say, she had been confused to say the least, her head still groggy and heavy, and César had had to explain just what he had meant, before she even knew just what on earth he was talking about. Not that it had done him much good, as she had sleepily requested that they'd talk about it in the morning, before promptly drifting off to sleep again, leaving her husband feeling rather impatient and frustrated.
But, he had resigned, and eventually, after a bit of tossing and turning, even fallen asleep himself.
With a night like that, he was bound to sleep late, and the only reason why he awoke when he did, was because the sun decided to find a small crack between the heavy curtains covering the windows, and send a few bright rays to ruin his morning by hitting him square in the face. A frown upon those sunkissed features became the first sign of life from the young Marquis, followed by a few moments of malcontent squinting and a hand raised limply to protect his eyes from the bright light, before he tossed himself onto his other side, turning his back towards the window with a wordless grunt.
(((ooc: Just something to try and get the thread going again. I guess he's only approachable to Joséphine, should Ghanima have no other plans (I don't mind in the least if you do)... Or is someone for some reason would come waltzing in. Or come knocking, at least. )))
She had gotten a rather early start that morning, surprising for someone who generally liked to stay in bed until noon hour. But she did have a lot of things on her mind, and she had figured she may as well stop lying around in bed and do something useful.
Marie-Elisabeth had decided to wear the pretty blue dress Charles had spoken of in his letter, when she had spotted said letter when she got out of bed. She knew she looked good in the gown; it was nearly the exact shade of her eyes and had a little hat to match it. This, of course, was why she had had the portrait of her wearing it done in the first place.
She reached the salon quickly, and settled herself down at a small table to begin writing. The room was completely empty now, and she quite appreciated that. She wanted a place free of distractions to write in. Especially distractions of the tall, handsome, brown haired variety that had occupied her thoughts for the last few days.
Yesterday had been another story; she had initially been quite pleased to have the distraction. She was even looking forward to it, not really wishing to spend the entire evening in the company of boring old courtiers she hardly knew. Neither of which, to her great relief, César was.
Not that she knew him overly well, but what she did know she liked. And she really wouldn’t have minded getting to know him a little bit better but that plan had gone awry the second his wife walked into the room. And Marie-Elisabeth had wisely decided to remove herself from what she was sure could turn into a very awkward and embarrassing situation for everyone involved.
She sighed and shook her head to clear her thoughts, deciding to write to her sister first.
To my most darling and beloved of older sisters,
You wouldn’t believe how glad I was to have a letter from you. I really needed a good laugh yesterday.
I hope you’re feeling all right, I know how sick you tend to get when you’re with child. I think twins would be lovely, though I fear for you if it is indeed a pair of boys. I’m run ragged just having one. How you manage all seven of yours I will never understand.
The court so far hasn’t really been a place for gossip or anything interesting. The poor Princess passed away the day after I got here. She was so very young and it was quite a shock to everyone here. Most of all to her father I would imagine. I don’t want to bring bad luck by thinking about it, but I can only imagine how devastating it must be to loose your only child.
And as to the first thing in your letter, well that would be gossiping and well bred young ladies like me don’t do that. Though I will say that you’re indeed correct with that analogy.
You be sure to give my love to all my nieces and nephews, especially my little namesake. And I had better be the first one you write to after the baby or babies are born or else.
Love you always, your sister
Marie-Elisabeth, Comtesse de Valois
Marie-Elisabeth smiled as she finished and carefully folded the letter up. She then sealed it with some wax and placed it down on the table next to her. She quickly picked up another piece of paper and started on a reply to her son.
(((OOC: Figured I’d end it there. I’ve typed enough letters lately LOL)))
Click Clack Click Clack
The Duchess rose and waved a hand to the young Lady who Edouard had sent to take care of her, the girl was young, very young and quite pretty, she smiled inwardly, life could change so rapidly....
Click Clack Click Clack Click Clack
The young girl moved slowly across the room, she was carrying a pair of black lace gloves, for even though the official day of mourning was over, today was a sombre occasion, the Queen was leaving her Palace and the heir to the throne was STILL dead so surely everyone would realise the sombreness of the occasion.
Click Clack Click Clack Click Clack Click Clack
Juliet put on her gloves, and then wearing her Charcoal dress stepped outside of her room and carried along the corridor.
Click Clack Click Clack Click Clack Click Clack Click Clack
Danielle, the young girl sighed, for how could a woman hold such power? she thought was she watched Juliet move swiftly and effortlessly down the corridor, she was head for the front door surely to greet some important, some man of true wisdom, Danielle smiled ran to the window, whoever this was, she was determined to get close to them.
Click Clack Click Clack Click Clack Click Clack Click Clack Click Clack
Upstairs curtains twitched and a small window of light fell across Isabella's pale face, she was surveying the grounds of her Palace, for what would be the last time in such a long time. Edouard moved about in the semi-dark behind her, for some obscure reason he was checking the packing Margaret, Helena and the Baroness had done for her. Was this his way of showing her cared?
Click Clack Click Clack Click Clack Click ClackClick Clack Click Clack Click Clack
Edouard looked at his wife, she did not look well, he felt rather protective over her, but whilst he could stop her leaving, he knew getting her away from this place would be what is best. He refelcted his family were leaving and made a mental note to speak to Dimitri about his Son-in-Law something had to be done surely....
Click Clack Click Clack Click Clack Click ClackClick Clack Click Clack Click Clack Click Clack
Mercy knew the carriage was now within the court grounds and moved slightly, so she could view it from one of the long windows outside the Queen's suite, the carriage was grand, a magestic pale blue affair with black detailing, she inhaled sharply.
Juliet reached the front door.
Danielle carned her neck to see down, and out of the window. To see who was causing such a stir.
Isabella turned from the window.
Edouard gently kissed his wife, for what he felt would be the last time in an eternity.
The carriage door swung open.
The door hit the side of the carriage from the force which had opened it.
Suprise fell across Juliet's face.
Danielle focused hard on the figure with delight showing on her face.
Mercy moved away from the window, this was not the person she was expecting...
Isabella jumped slightly at her husbands touch.
Edouard paused, how had the years slipped right by them?
Isabella bit her lip.
Charmaine de Mollier stepped from her Carriage. "Well?" She asked.
The question was simple, impolite and in English... this was not a good sign.
((There you go people! I hope you don't mind a little of suspense building, or two overlapping stories. As you can see I have tried to offer some sign Isabella is up and about without writing too much, as my writing style does not fit her character, and I would have no idea how to descride her thoughts and feelings, or even what they may be, she truely is lost without Shenan...
Oh and the new character is approachable.))
All things considered, it had been an odd week, with a finale to match. Not more than three days had elapsed since their arrival at the Palace of Light and Air, and already Joséphine had discussed and resolved hers and Octavien's past issue, after which she had been unexpectedly taken into his confidence regarding a very personal matter and in the evening, she had come face to face with Comtesse Marie-Elisabeth de Valois, the comely blondine who clearly harboured less than innocent designs concerning César, and vice versa. It was a lot to take in, and the Marquise anticipated a future of deep contemplation of each issue, as she stripped it of its layers one by one in her mind until only the kernel remained bare: the core of it. Joséphine did so often during her hours of solitude when her mind soared freely – it was one of her distinctive traits, her “gravely ponderous” intellect as César liked to refer to it, not without an accompanying smirk that suggested the touch of curious amusement he had regarding his wife's famous tendency to over-analyse.
It was that very trait which held Joséphine's delicate brow in a slight furrow that morning, lowered over two focused jade eyes which traced César's sleeping features from the window's ledge where she sat, hugging her knees to her chest. Beyond the crimson and gold velvet curtains, the sun's bright disc traced the blue morning sky on its way to the apex, bathing the palace in dazzling light. A single fascicle penetrated the dimness of the Mont-de-Marsan suite however, landing pointedly on the carpet at the foot of the bed.
Watching her husband's peaceful sleep, Joséphine replayed the previous evening's events in her mind: her conversation with the Comtesse, the pair's growing discomfort, culminating with a hasty departure. She found it interesting indeed how, among the three, she had been most calm about it, and most willing to continue the game of subtleties between them, to watch as the Comtesse's words and actions revealed part of the answers she sought. What was it they feared? Did they believe she might cause a scene, and embarrass them? Perhaps the Comtesse did, after all she did not know her, but she couldn't imagine César shared that belief – although, if truth be said, even he had not been prepared for a meeting between his wife and one of his paramours. The evasive manner in which he had replied to her questions regarding the Comtesse spoke for itself.
Then, there was the matter of César's curious behaviour later that night. Positively exhaused, Joséphine had drifted to sleep almost immediately; she even retained the fuzzy recollection of a dream, something involving a forest and a cabin, but the picture was severed when she became aware of a very real arm coiling around her waist, and César's lips touching the base of her neck. The Marquise remembered leaving the forest of her dream, a familiar, pleasant tingle growing inside her stomach when she opened her eyes, followed by a wave of warmth which sent her heart racing. Less fortunate wives submitted to their husbands out of duty, but unless she was feeling unwell or was crossed with him, Joséphine welcomed his attentions, often seeking them herself, though she was soon to discover her husband's intentions were of a different nature that time.
"What did you mean?" he had asked cryptically, the Marquise's excitement subsiding under the weight of sleepy confusion: what did she mean...about what? When César failed to elaborate, a smidgen of irritation welled up inside her: if he had nothing else to add, then surely the matter wasn't that pressing could wait until morning, which she promptly communicated to her husband before turning on her side and closing her eyes. Joséphine remained like that for a while, pretending she was asleep, until she heard César's breathing grow soft and regular. Then, and only then was she able to relax and surrender herself to exhaustion.
Nonetheless, Joséphine awoke first that morning, suppressing a moan as a pronounced ache made itself painfully obvious throughout her limbs: she was more out of shape than she had realized, and the past day's ride in the forest had been taxing. Not surprisingly, César was still deeply asleep. Climbing out of the bed, Joséphine poured some water into a shallow porcelain basin and washed her face and neck, before wrapping a dainty lace robe around herself and positioning herself on the windowsill, where she had been sitting for the past three quarters of an hour. Last night's irritation had left her mind, but the question hadn't. “What did you mean...” considering the plethora of things César could have meant with that question, she wouldn't know until she asked him.
Reaching two of her fingers in the gap between the curtains, Joséphine widened it gradually, guiding the light away from the carpet and towards César's upturned face on the bed. She saw him groan and move a hand to shield his eyes from it, before turning on his side. That man could be petulant as a child! However, the hour was late, and Joséphine had pondered all there was to ponder about his mysterious question. As such, she left her vantage point and snuck back into the bed, drawing herself up against her husband much like he had done. Tracing his jawline with one finger, Joséphine let out a soft laugh when she saw him quiver slightly – César was ticklish when taken by surprise.
“Good morning, mon cher” she whispered right into his ear. “Mind you, good afternoon will seem more appropriate soon.”
Knowing he could not avoid waking up much longer, César tried nonetheless, but Joséphine lowered her cheek into the softness of his hair and placed a kiss on the lobe of his year, biting down on her lip; she might as well go ahead and say it:
“César, last night....what was it that you wished to know?”
It was very kind of the King to consider his old friend’s tendency for solitude when choosing his suite; Dimitri was, simply, very lucky he always had an extra pair of eyes to watch the hustle and bustle when he could not.
He had been in the middle of penning a letter—or, rather, staring at the waxy, watery remnants of a dying candle while mulling for the past hour or so over what he should (and could and was safe to) express in writing—when those extra eyes came knocking at his door.
Dimitri recognised the rhythm so immediately that he did not think twice about allowing entry.
Rukov bounded in, the devil’s gleam in his dark eyes and lips. “Thy worthless subject bringeth thee fine news for thy lordship ‘tis ominous morning.”
Dimitri looked at the sky through his tall windows. The heavens were perfectly clear. “The Queen’s uncle has arrived?”
“Wha… Oh. No, my lord.”
The Duc merely smiled at the sight of his aid’s stocky shoulders slumping dramatically. There was obvious amusement, but also a strain of exasperated resignment. He had been struggling since sunrise—even before that, hence the death of his candle—to pen to paper a concise, safely worded yet fully informative account of everything that had happened thus far. And, thus far, he had only gotten as far as preliminary greetings. He was already at such a loss for words, what was one more bit of news to add to his unwritten letter?
“What is it then?” He paused, considering Rukov’s excitement. “It must be a woman.”
“Aye!” The gleam was back. “Better than that—an Englishwoman. Or, at least, that was the first godforsaken word outta her mouth! All the palace is in a uproar if I do say so myself, and I do. Luckily the footman’s got a good enough grasp on the language, but my God, you should’ve seen their faces, my lord!”
Dimitri frowned, but his reply was merely thoughtful. “I see… And I take it you wish to drag me there now to see her?”
“If only!” Rukov sighed, before bowing and presenting his lord with an elegant note. “But His Majesty wishes to meet with the Duc before the morning announcements, and if I do say so, it seems quite urgent. Didn’t even use the steward, His Majesty’s guard just pushed it right into my hands.”
There was nothing unusual with Edouard wanting to see Dimitri in the mornings, although there had been a remarkable lack of productiveness in their morning talks since he arrived. The first time or so witnessed the King putting up a valiant show, inquiring as to progress of finding his next Advisor, duly listening as Dimitri duly reported his observations… but it hadn’t taken long for Edouard to simply skip over that part and delve straight to the nonsensical topics only friends talked about. Not for the first time, Dimitri wondered how the man was going to weather being without his wife and his daughter.
Then again, they had been talking most mornings even when Isabella was here. Perhaps, the Duc sighed, nothing was unusual at all.
There was that glint in Rukov’s eye—he was a man whose life had tempered and broken and re-sharpened his deepest instincts, and he must have picked up on that sliver of agitation which slipped from the King’s hand to the guard’s to the note.
Dimitri recognised the glint so naturally that he did not think twice to question it. “I shall meet His Majesty, then. You may show me your Englishwoman after today’s announcements.”
((lol, Fay, I had the Jaws theme playing through my head while reading your post! So just to clarify, Charmaine de Mollier is an Englishwoman who married the cousin of the Duc d'Mollier?
BTW, I just saw-- you didn't post the map of the servants' quarters
Dimitri will just disappear for a bit into the King's salon until after the morning announcements. After which... Octavien, be prepared~
[EDIT] Holy Shiznit, Ghanima, sim!Elena looks WICKED AWESOME. Josephine is so pretty too-- I especially love the little family portrait you have behind her! Who be the girl seated beside Cesar (if that is Cesar)?))
Ghanima - Ha ha, I love what you did the sunlight/drapes thing, and how you just added such a feel to the whole scene! Brilliant!
*edit* Oh, almost forgot; the site's been updated! )))
Seiza - *grins* thank yeh! She looks quite dastardly, but it fits. And yes that is César, the girl in blue is Adèle and the younger one in Jo's arms is Angélique. I made one a child and the other a toddler to emphasize that one is younger than the other but translated in the sims they look a few good years apart. Ah well.))