11921126 Come On Baby, Fight My Lyre

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Come On Baby, Fight My Lyre
Date: 26th of November 1192
Location: Palace - Banquet Hall
Participants: Beatrice de Courtenay, Raimon de Baux
Related Logs: 11921122 The Forgiveness of a Lusignan?, otherwise a tiny attempt of an unposted scene - their first encounter
Content Warnings
Room Description
Like its equivalents in England or France, the feasting hall of the royal palace - constructed in Frankish style, in meagre commemoration of the Emir's fall - is in itself a sombre place, dark and dignified, until brightened by the noble company which gathers within it. Justice as well as celebration is occasionally conducted here, after all; along with the hall of the Seneschal's Palace, it is a habitual location for the summoning of the Haute Cour.

Voices echo beneath a vaulted and beamed ceiling of wood and stone. A vast hearth is set into one wall of the long chamber, just as in the west, but only late at night are flames ever kindled therein. Before it is the dais which houses the high table, set squarely athwart the room, while three ranges of lesser boards approach it sideways over the stone floor below. At the other end of the hall is the minstrels' gallery, high up, on the same level as the outside wall's unglazed windows, which let in a gaudy, irregular, sometimes oppressive light.

A pair of strong dark wooden doors provide for passage to and from the palace's central antechamber; their twins, opposite, give onto the palace gardens, from whose precincts a parcel of land was purloined to build this hall. From the darkest corner, a passageway leads off into the realm of sumptuous servitude known to the disdainful noble guests merely as the kitchens.

Dense threads of rain veil the afternoon's chilly air and gathered most of the palace's inhabitants inside its protective walls. Especially the banquet hall seems to be highly frequented today, the muttering of several voices adds to the constant whisper of rain. At a table near a window young Countess Beatrice sits in her usual subtly lengthened silks, her hands seemingly busy with the embroideries on a piece of linden-green linnen in her lap. Soft words are exchanged with a handmaiden, even some chuckles occasionally. The fiery girl seems to be in high spirits today.

Somewhere nearby a young minstrel has been holding court admit a few young ladies-in-waiting, singing a lengthy ballad about the noble Sir Lancelot of the Lake and his pure love for his queen for them. But a strict-looking governess appears, clapping her hands to shoo the girls back to their tasks. Devoid of an audience for now, the minstrel rises to his feet to make his departure when his eyes alight on the little Countess. Smiling to himself, he heads over and bows deeply. "Lady Beatrice."

Beeing reduced to the social standing of a 'lady' instead of beeing adressed with the title of a 'countess', she tends to emphasize whenever it seems necessary to her, Beatrice turns around with the flick of a sour expression about the corners of her small mouth. Her mien changes, however, as her eyes catch the sight of the handsome face speaking such blunt words and at the respectfully performed bow.

"Raimon de Baux it was, wasn't it?", she greets with a delicate bow of her head, mimicking a little moment of remembrance before she speaks that name, that is still well-known.

"You remember me, Countess! What a honor for a mere minstrel like me!", Raimon replies, beaming happily and apparently being sincere in his joy, "Have you been well, fair lady? It is a happy coincidence to find you here, for ever since my eyes first beheld your lovely face, I wished to sing a song for you. Would you indulge me by sparing a few minutes of your precious time?", he asks politely.

And there it is, the little word, the title that melts Beatrice's usual bit of scepsis away to boil it up to a soft rosiness blossoming on the honeyed skin of her cheeks. The first launch of a spontaneous answer flies away to a defenceless little smile over the young man's flattery. The second time she opens her mouth, she manages to speak - even if all youth's insecurities seem to bind her usual permissive tongue. "If your singing will prove as beauteous as your speech, your silver-tongued flattery, I'll be most honoured mylord.", she answers with her dark eyes meeting his green-blue ones. The blush deepens slightly, especially since the handmaiden and several other girls turn from curious silence to the first exchanged whispers around them.

"Ah, you flatter me, Countess. My father may be a Lord, but I am not. I would be honored if you would use my name, dear lady. It is Raimon.", he explains although she obviously knows that. He settles down comfortable, the lyre on his lap and plucks at the strings a few times before he sings a song about the legendary beauty of Helen of Troy, tweaking the lyrics a bit here and there to make sure Beatrice understands that he is dedicating this song to her. Finally the last note fades away into silence and he sits with his head bowed, awaiting her comment.

"You must be of a gentle birth, I am sure, since neither a peasant, nor a brute would speak so decently. But, if you wish I grant you the little favor of chosing how you like to be called. Raimon. Raimon de Baux. I am sure by nightfall many will know this name and praise you for your talents, for you have many ears to listen to you right now. Mine are the most attentive ones, I can assure you.", Beatrice responds through another blushing smile. By the time the chords still transmigrate the hall Beatrice's gaze oscilliates between beeing humbly lowered to the hands in her lap and drinking the sight of the lyre-strumming songster. With the last tune drying up, she rises from her seat, clapping softly. "I am swept away by your tunes, Raimon des Baux! Eurydice could not have wished for an Orpheus like this. I it... Well, my deepest thanks, mylord. Unfortunately I don't have my purse with me right now, but if you'd like to come to my guard later this afternoon, there won't be lack of silver, if...", she offers, her cheeks now in the colour of the sinking sun.

"Your smile is worth far more to me than a pouch of silvers could ever be.", Raimon replies with his warmest smile, the one that shows off his dimples to perfection. He plucks a fresh pink rose from his jerkin and places it onto a pillow for Beatrice to pick up if she wishes. "I must be on my way now, fair Countess.", he says softly and rises to his feet, "If you wish to hear another song sometime, do call for me. I am always at your disposal." He bows deeply once again, ready to depart.

The ones that might have blinked in the right moment have probably missed the short instant when the flower lies abandonedly on the cushion. Carefully like she would have done with one of her young birds, Beatrice picks up the rose and raises it to her chest. "Farewell, then...", she says while many other sentence drown in husky insecurity of her young age, a diffidence that not even the title 'countess' could have dispersed.

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