11921014 Music in the Garden of Eden
|Music in the Garden of Eden|
The gardens of the Palace are a place of almost magical tranquility at this late morning, magical enough to make a Hospitaller knight linger for a bit longer after he has delivered a message from the Grandmaster Garnier de Nablus to the Royal Court. Tristan de Fontaineaux ambles about, pausing at the shrine to the Virgin and Child, as he lets his grey-blue eyes wander until they find... a lute, some minstrel must have forgotten at this place of all. The Hospitaller picks up the instrument, a smile playing across the corners of his mouth, and settling himself onto a bench, he starts tuning it with capable hands that are used to handling an instrument as this.
Not far away from where the knight is now perusing the found lute, is a small group of people - well, four young women actually, clad in the fine garb of lesser noble ladies, none of them older than 20 at most. They sit in a semi-circle around a young man in fine silk clothing, playing a lyre he is holding on his lap, while singing a plaintive love song. At least that's what people recognize if they know the language of Provence, the langue d'oc of the south. His voice is fine and filled with seemingly genuine emotion.
The lute is in tune, and Tristan is about to try a few chords on the instrument as he suddenly becomes aware of another string instrument being played - and a voice accompanying it. He rises and continues to wander about the garden until he glimpses the small gathering - and the minstrel. But instead of interrupting the performance, the Hospitaller knight chooses to lean against a tree, his arms folded around the lute in his arms as he listens and lets his gaze wander over the young man, lingering a bit longer perhaps on the four young beauties than his vow of celibacy would allow.
When the song is done, the girls cheer and squee and clap and immediately demand another song. "Please, ladies, my voice needs a little rest.", the young troudadour replies with his big charming smile and he reaches for a flask to drink some water. It is then that he notices the nearby knight and gives him a look and a nod to indicate that he's noticed him. The girls, realizing that his attention has gone elsewhere, turn to look at Tristan as well.
"That was a nice song, young minstrel." Tristan remarks, applauding while he carefully holds onto his instrument. The sudden attention doesn't make the Hospitaller knight feel awkward at all. The smile on his scarred face broadens even while he scans the faces of the ladies, now so conveniently turned towards him, for a certain face. Yet the one he is looking for doesn't seem to be among them obviously, as his gaze drops for a moment to the lute in his arms. "Who might you be, lad. I don't remember having you seen hereabouts before?" he inquires raising his gaze towards the young lyre player.
The troubadour carefully sets his lyre aside, so he can rise to his feet and bow deeply. "Raimon Florestan Meyragues de Baux, at your service.", he introduces himself grandly, "I've been greatly honored by the young ladies' attention to my poor art." Which promptly makes the girls giggle and blush.
"I am glad to make your acquaintance, Raimon Florestan Meyragues de Baux. I am Ser Tristan de Fontaineaux. Of the Order of the Hospital." That last part added a bit halfheartedly as it is obvious, from his black tabard with the white cross in its center. The blushing and giggling makes the knight smirk however. "Aye, music and song is a way into the fair maidens' hearts. I remember that." After a short moment of hesitation Tristan walks over to Raimon and sits down beside him, his legs crossed and the lute at the ready. After plucking thoughfully at the strings for a few moments, the knight starts to play another melody, this one a melancholy tune from his home in Burgundy.
<FS3> Tristan rolls Lute: Success.
<FS3> Raimon rolls Lyre: Good Success.
Raimon smiles, when he recognizes the melody and plays along, though he remains silent, listening to the other man's interpretation of the song. "He's not bad, is he?", he winks at the girl closest to him, a dainty blonde, who giggles and nods. "Not as good as you, Flory.", a brunette adds, giggling as well. "Sssh!", a third one hisses and the others fall silent, so that they can all listen to Tristan's song. "Where are you from?", Raimon asks, "Burgundy, by the sound of it?"
Tristan doesn't seem to be bothered too much by his own mediocre performance. Indeed he seems a little distracted by the four ladies, as he looks up from the strings to offer the blonde a smile, and then as his gaze shifts to the others he simply plays the wrong chord. "Flory?" he murmurs to Raimon, raising a brow. "It's that what they call you?" His gaze drops once again to the strings of the lute as he replies: "Burgundy, aye. Dijon." He finishes the melody with two chords and looks to the minstrel. "And you? From the Provence?"
"Ah Dijon.", Raimon nods, as if he knows the place. He blushes a bit when the knight picks up on his nickname and shrugs. "Some of them. My name is Raimon.", he insists, "And yes, from Provence. My uncle is the Lord of Baux.", he explains, quite certain that the other man would know of this rather famous hill-top castle. "How long have you been here?"
"Baux? I might have heard of him. He has a castle, hasn't he?" the Hospitaller knight replies thoughtfully before giving his answer to the minstrel's question. "Too long. Long enough to experience the siege of Kerak and the Battle of Hattin." Tristan replies pensively, putting the lute aside. Indeed there is that massive scar running from his right ear downto his chin, where it is partly hidden by a beard. "And Arsuf." he adds, his demeanour lightening up a little. "That was one of the better ones."
"It is well known, yes.", Raimon confirms with pride, "Halfway between Marseille and Avignon." He listens to the explanations, nodding slowly. "You have been here a long time then. Were you at Jaffa this summer?" Meanwhile the girls start to get bored and one of them reaches out to twang the lyre, giggling when her action earns her a frown from Raimon.
"I was. And at Ascalon, too." Tristan sighs. "And now I enjoy a bit of... peace as long as it lasts." he adds, before the giggling distracts him once again. "It seems you have quite a following, Raimon. I wonder..." The knight's gaze comes to rest on the blonde, then. "You there, fair ray of the sun. Are you from the Royal Household?"
The girls giggle again and the blonde nods in response to Tristan's question. "It's our afternoon off.", she explains before he starts to wonder, while the two brunettes turn back to Raimon. "Another song please? Please, Flory?" Raimon smiles faintly and looks at Tristan. "My cousin was at Jaffa too. I wrote a song in honor of the valiant fighters and their noble stand." He picks up the lyre again and plays his song, warbling about honor and valor on the battlefield and God's smile upon his faithful.
Tristan nods to the girl's answer and smiles. He is about to inquire further as the others demand another song from Raimon, and with a sigh he realizes the moment has passed. "I would like to hear it, Raimon." he says, leaning back against a tree, and smiles as he listens to the minstrel's version of the battle that sounds so very different from his own dire experiences. He will seek the blonde out again, a bit later perhaps, to inquire after that dusky beauty that had caught his attention at the feast following the departure of the Lionheart's fleet.
She might just know the other one! Raimon's song is met with clapping again, though one brunette pouts and nudges him. "I don't like songs about bloody battles. Sing us another song about love, Flory." "Yes, another song about love!", the others agree eagerly, "It's the most beautiful thing in the world!" Raimon offers Tristan an apologetic look. "I'm afraid that I must obey a lady's every command, Sir. If you don't mind...?" He plucks the lyre again and starts into another song involving a lady, almost forced to marry a man she did not love until the knight in shining armor came to rescue his true love and carry her off.