11921027 Lord, Lead Him into Temptation

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Lord, Lead Him into Temptation
Date: October 27th, 1192
Location: St. Demetrius's Square, Palace Courtyard
Participants: Tristan de Fontaineaux, Scarlet the Dwarf
Related Logs: The Lion's Leavings, Music in the Garden of Eden
Content Warnings
A not so chaste Hospitaller knight and a dwarf armed with a wine barrel
Room Description

1. Where Baldwin I's high road veers westward in junction with the street erected by his regent and rival, Tancred, Prince of Galilee, a wide plaza stands - clear of buildings, but typically thronged with people. Beneath a neat square of date-palms serry the crowds of traders and petitioners going about their business directly before the summer palace of the Kings of Jerusalem - now the court of the ruler of Acre. In the centre of the square stands a lone equestrian statue, Saint Demetrius, patron of all soldiers and especially pilgrims of the Cross, who appeared to save the army of the First Crusade at Antioch.

2.The gateway into the royal palace proclaims the building's origin in its Arabesque design; this palace was originally taken from the old Emir of Acre, and the Frankish kings saw no use in adjusting so pleasant a residence more than minimally. Reddish-yellow sandstone about the portico and within the courtyard shows no images of men or beasts, but beautifully carven floral decorations. A fountain dances in four long rills with crossbars, a Jerusalem cross, as in the royal heraldry, in water that divides the courtyard effectually into four. Royal banners, argent with the cross or, hang down, curiously, from Gothic windows. There is also one banner of Champagne, azure and argent with a Cretan knot or, and one of Montferrat, a simple argent device with a bar gules overtopping it.

This central courtyard is heavily guarded and well attended by serving-men. Directly ahead is a further portal into the palace's heart, while the western prospect looks onto another courtyard, and the eastern, through a gate wrought in gilt silver, into a green expanse of garden.

The square before the palace is crowded as usual, even on this late morning. Before the statue of Saint Demetrius stands ironically enough a Hospitaller, clearly recognizable as such by his tabard of sombre black with the white cross in its center; this particular knight has a prominent scar running down the right side of his face, and many of the traders who come here each day to go about their business know him from sight. Although not by his name. Tristan de Fontaineaux has frequented the vicinity of the palace quite often as of late, and the way his grey-blue eyes glance over to the impressive residence of the King of Jerusalem now and then suggests he is hoping to spot a certain face.

In spite of the early hour ball of luminous red pushes itself agilely through waves of hips and elbows like the setting sun drowning in the see of busy people. Scarlet the dwarf is wrapped in multiple layers of cloth, cinnabar red linnen with rust-coloured ribbons on the hems with floating carmesin silks transforming his silhouette from his deformed caricature of a man to a merry ball. Little drops of sweat glisten on his huge forehead, for not only his attire but also his efforts to roll a small barrel, almost as tall as he himself, right across the square.

Not having considered all the unevenness of the ground the barrel gains a bit of speed and waywardness, makes a little jump and rolls a few inches on it's own - just to stop at the Hospitaller's shin bone. "Soo that's how you thank me? Unfaithful beast, I adopted you, carried you all way along and the moment you see a pretty face you bump at his legs? Great. Great. And I was so sure there has been something between us, something true." the dwarf proclaims pointing at the wayward barrel.

<FS3> Tristan rolls Speed: Success.

His attention being caught with a small group of ladies-in-waiting, emerging just now from the Palace, Tristan notices the threat to his shin almost too late. Scanning the faces of the female nobility from afar in mere fractions of seconds, the Hospitaller knight turns as he hears the racket, sees no familiar face at his eye level, until his gaze brushes first the dwarf in all of his red splendour and then the barrel of almost the same size approaching at an alarming speed. In a movement that comes automatically he steps to the side, to stop the thing with his booted foot, alas, the barrel manages to scrape his other shin as he does so. The slightly annoyed rebuke that almost came over his lips is swallowed down however as he hears Scarlet's remark. "A pretty face? Either you have not very high standards, dwarf, or you have a taste for the scarred and broken." His words sound friendly enough and are followed by a good-natured laugh.

The barrel's detour ends peacefully at the foot of a date-palm, the dwarf's pusuit right in front of the tall knight. Puffy breathed he confidently grabs the man's sleeve to dab his sweaty forehead, commenting with heavy r's boiling on his foreign pronounciation "Oh there is a twisted beauty in many things. If I were a maiden fair I would sigh at the very sight of you. After having weeped for the lack of a certain part of my body every day, of course. Where did you get that little scratch, young man? And which little chicken are you peeking at?" The last question is shot with a glance at the ladies.

Too surprised obviously or simply not offended by the dwarf's making use of his sleeve - a dwarf can get away with a lot indeed, especially if it is such an illustrious one as Scarlet - Tristan smirks at the reply he is honoured with. "That 'little scratch' as you call it... Hattin." The smirk remains, but does his gaze get a little steely there? His eyes follow the dwarf's gaze and he shrugs with a smirk. "Those over there are of little interest to me, little man. I am sworn to celibacy, a knight of the Hospital." The latter part added a bit half-heartedly. Scratching his beard he stares over there for a little longer than would be appropriate, contradicting his very own words, but caring little about it, obviously. "There's... a certain lady, though." he continues as a thought seems to cross his mind and he turns his gaze back down in Scarlet's direction. "You live in the Palace, I'm sure you must have seen her."

"A certain lady. Well, yes, you are right, I'm residing at this little cottage over there." Scarlet muses nodding into the direction of the palace "So you can be almost sure, that I have glimpsed her. Tell me of her backside, apple, date or peer? You know, when your eyes are at my height... And for celibacy. Yes. For sure. I once sweared I'd never drink again for half an afternoon, after my last cup of wine was a bit to sour. The next day I tasted another one and it was sweet enough."

At the end of his little speech, his mouth opens to a gaping grin, showing a row of big, strong teeth. "You know... you could help me bring this barrel home. I'm sure in there, we find a cup of wine for you."

"She's... more the dusky type. Her skin has a slightly darker shade to it. Not of too high position, but... I've seen her at the banquet, following the Lionheart's departure." Tristan explains with a light grin. "As for her backside, I was more studying her frontside. And that appeared promising enough." After chuckling at the dwarf's analogy of sour and sweet wine, he spares the barrel another glance and shrugs. "Sure, why not. Wine is always welcome, little man." He grabs the thing and lifts it with a light groan at its weight, to carry it on his shoulder, following Scarlet right over to the entrance of the Palace.

Waddling merrily at his side, the dwarf keeps up with the knight. "I see. In the end it's always the apples to lure you over. Good luck, then. When I see her, I'll tell her you asked for her. The pretty faced fancy knight. Or should I even catch her for you? I can surely do that. Promise me another skin of wine, and I'll get her for you, wherever you want her to wait for you.", he promises with his huge head bobbing in sincere nods.

"Pretty faced fancy knight." Tristan laughs. "I'm not sure whether that description fits me any longer. But no, don't bother. I'm a poor Hospitaller knight and can't afford the fare." Or he needs to keep all the wineskins he can afford to himself. "I'll catch her one day - perhaps today even if the Lord is willing?" And the nearer they come to the gates of the Palace the more attentive are the glances the knight casts here and there.


"Oh yes good Lord, lead him into temptation." Scarlet comments with a moist chuckle. "She must have made quite an impression on you, that chit. But look at this one!", he says quickly catching a ribbon of a maid's gown passing by and thus holding her on a taut line an instance later. Auburn-haired and freckled the young girl shrieks startled as the tenseness of the ribbon makes her stop. "She's pretty.", the dwarf adds with a shrug. "Not quite dusty, but not bad at all, what do you think?"

Tristan smirks at Scarlet's comment, but he is not bold enough to continue on that thin line bordering on blasphemy. At least not with words. Taking his time though to study the 'offered' young maid despite her startled shriek, he finally admits: "Aye, she's pretty, little man." And putting the barrel down for a moment he takes a step towards her to take a closer look. "Tristan de Fontaineaux." he introduces himself, bowing in the fashion of a Burgundian nobleman before her. "Alas," he adds, turning to Scarlet again. "She's not her. And..." returning his attention back to her. "...I assure you, you are safe from me, dearest beauty. At least for now." A wink is offered to the poor maid. "You may release her now, dwarf. Let go of her. This is not the way to treat a woman, anyway."

The girl, who has been just about to raise her hand and prepare herself to slap the dwarf, interrupts her hasty movement as she is confronted with the courtly manners of the hospitaller. Blushing she lowers her hand and dips a silent curtsy.

"Heaven's!" The dwarf exclaims, letting go of the ribbon. "You know how to flatter them. You must have spent hours to practice such a skill, I see. Now shoo. Shoo, pretty one." he says to the girl wiggling his arms into the direction where she has been heading to a moment ago. With a baffled snort, an insecure look at the Hospitaller and her lips pressed together she actually turns around to leave.

"A talented knight indeed! Thank you for your help with the barrel. I see you have a skin with you? Empty it and we shall refill it with the content of this wooden beauty over here!" Scarlet says.

The maiden's blush draws the Hospitaller's attention for a moment, but not for too long. "Never practiced." he remarks with self confidence. "I suppose I have the right instincts when dealing with them." His grey-blue eyes follow the maiden as she leaves for a moment. Tristan does offer her a polite nod before she turns away from them. Turning back to Scarlet he chuckles. "You have the wisdom of a clairvoyant, little man. I happen to have an almost empty wineskin with me." And after taking a final gulp from it he holds it in his hands for a moment, letting Scarlet take care of the barrel. "You know how to open it, I suppose?"

"Opening barrels? That's what I'm quite experienced with, I promise, tall man!" Scarlet answers emphasizing the adressation with an amused smirk.

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