(1866-06-27) Secrets. Scandal and Lies
Secrets, Scandals and Lies
Summary: A discussion of the murder of Baron Hogan turns to accusations and scandal in a Sunsreach rose garden.
Date: 1866-06-27
Related: Related Logs (If there aren't any, use None. Don't this entry leave blank. If there is a log, use full URLs, like logname)
Players:
Tristan  Aidric  Clara  Thaddeus  

The Rose Garden
Room description
Juin 27th 1866

Editor's Note: Changed Lord Edgar from House Fendral which is upjumped itself to House Sandoval one of the few older houses in the area of Sunsreach.

The court has been abuzz for days with the rumors of the death of Baron Robert Hogan. A myriad of differing accounts and stories of his assassination have been shared and passed around the Rose Queen's court so much they were beginning to blend and smear together, making less and less sense in every telling. One assassin became five, ten. His throat was slit, no, he was beheaded in broad daylight. The guards stood by and did nothing, no, they were stuck mute and unmoving by the horror of it.

The afternoon in the rose courtyard at Sunsreach Palace was filled with courtiers and of course, this was the subject of the day.

Tristan strolls through the rose courtyard, his ears picking up on the various rumors being bantied about. He is amused. Ten assasins was it? For one man? Maybe Jaren Cassomir, but he doubted that Robert Hogan accounted for that much attention. One to three was a more likely number though that would need to be confirmed.

As he strolls, the tapping of his cane is drowned out by the buzz of conversation by the courtiers, though those close enough tend to slip to the side to allow him to pass by. A useful thing, that.

Aidric Carling has roused himself from his manse to come and listen to the palace gossip. The slender noble has picked out a bench in the shade and from this perch he sprawls with a book, pretending to read while all the while listening to the chatter around him. Assassins, as if they hadn't had enough of that nonsense this last decade or so. Still it paid to be well-informed.

Rumourmongering is nothing new in the rose courtyard, and Clara has certainly heard her share of rumours. That is, when she is bothering to pay attention. Today, she isn't completely wrapped up inside her own head, and so she is aware of the current rumour of the day…that being the murder of Baron Hogan. The topic brings a wrinkle of displeasure to her otherwise calm demeanor. It isn't what she would consider proper conversation material. Still, she sits, with notebook and charcoal pencil in hand, listening while she attempts to draw out more wedding plans. Which means…she is mostly listening.

Thaddeus departs the palace, parchments in a tube under his arm as he is flanked by two Greycen guards. He sees a few courtiers and actively tries to avoid them for the moment, though eventually he gets stuck talking to a rather obnoxious man for the time being.

"I'm telling you," one of the courtiers says, "it's not safe, even here in the city! Assassins on every corner. And what did poor Baron Robert do to earn such a vile end?"

"Bet it was one of those Giraldi," mutters another. "Robert was doing his damnest to keep the rabble out of rubbing elbows with decent folk… and they're Pacittan, not even real Rivanans. Everyone knows Pacitta is a wretched hive of scum and villianry."

The courtly ramblings draws Aidric eyes up from his book. They shift over to the courtiers but slip past them to Thaddeus where his waylayed by lord… what's his name. Ah, the burndens of actual power. Aidric could do with such burdens. Still the talk of the Giraldi draws his eyes back to the courtiers and he advises "Murder is ever the way problems are solved in Pacitta," before licking a finger and turning the page.

"True, true!" the courtier nods in agreement with Aidric's idle comment. "And the Carling boy would know, he spent some time in that vile city, didn't you, Sir?"

Tristan pauses in his strolling to turn to a courtier, an eyebrow raised at the courtier and Aidric. He is interested to hear Aidric's response to the pampered fool, especially at being referred to as 'Carling boy'. He is also a little annoyed at how stupid some of these people are. Really? Assassins on every corner? One would think that the streets were awash in blood then.

There is a sideward glance towards a courtier from Clara, in particular to the 'city not being safe' commentary. There is a slight shake of the head, as Clara murmurs partly to herself. "Would have thought the occupation of the palace would have been some clue that cities are never truly safe." It is said to no one…but perhaps loud enough to be heard.

But…then the comment about the Giraldi is said, which does earn the courtier a hard look from the princess. "Pray tell….just what is your definition of 'decent folk'? Are you saying that certain houses are inferior because they are only recently ennobled? Or is it a matter of being fortunate to suffer the genetic accident of being born in the proper family?" Clara shakes her head, returning to her notebook. "Nobility should be judged by its actions…not through chance events such as birth. Besides….the Queen did see it fit to ennoble the Giraldi house. Are you saying you are questioning her judgement?"

Abashed, the reply to the princess is simply a "As you say, your Highness."

Aidric's book is snapped closed. "Boy?!"he begins before Clara cuts him off and as the courtier caves under the royal assault a predatory glint gleams in Aidric's eyes. He stands to his full six feet in height and puts a hand on the man's shoulder. "Come now, that's all you've got?" he asks the man. "You were so sure of your position a moment ago, you're not going to let a single challenge change your mind about what is noble and what is not?" he turns from the man and calls out. "Everyone attend! Our friend here is about to make a defense of all that is good and noble in the blood of Rivana's ancient houses."

His attention flashes back to the courtier in his grip. "Come now, you only speak to a Princess, surely you are not afraid to speak your mind?"

Thaddeus is able to gain some relief in the conversation as Clara lectures a courtier. The Greycen heir smiles and is able to cut off the conversation with the obnoxious man. Thad is partly amused considering his own house's background. He walks towards the assembled nobles to see the upcoming show, though he does give Aidric a frown, not entirely sure how to feel about this.

The courtyard goes silent, though several faces are disapproving of Aidric's show.

The courtier draws himself up, puffing out his chest. "Baron Robert believed that nobility should not be bought with coin," he says coldly. "And I do as well. In the past year, the Giraldi— more Pacittan than Rivanan— have been granted a lordship. Now, Her Majesty is wise," and he inclines his head towards Clara, "but perhaps led astray by the Bastard Duke. Everyone knows he favors the Giraldi because he's a Pacittan himself, from their stock."

He takes a breath and soldiers on, "And now the Moreno. Merchants and movers of goods. Coin they have, yes, but nobility? Abyss, the 'Lord's' eldest daughter was a whore."

"Mmmm…" Tristan considers the words of the courtier, rather amused thus far by what has happened, even though he is displeased by the man questioning Alysande's decisions. "I cannot give an opinion either way on what the good Duke wants, but let us not forget that the Duke served the realm quite well in our last bit of trouble. This service was rewarded. House Moreno was rewarded for the same reason. I see nothing wrong with this."

Tristan moves forward so that he can at least stand near Clara. A rather amused glint is in his eyes and the slightest quirk of his lips is given as he remarks, "Besides, I daresay that I can vouch that your own daughter has gotten on her knees just like any whore in Pacitta."

The charcoal pencil is placed into the spine of the notebook. Then, the notebook is closed gently and placed down while Clara shifts to stand on her feet. It is all very deliberate…methodical…purposely done to let the courtier stand in place. Finally, with nothing in her hands to distract, Clara's full attention is brought to bear to the courtier. "So…I take it that action has nothing to do with nobility, then. That it is merely a right of birth, and not for those that show through deed that they are truly worthy of nobility."

There is a light shake of Clara's head. "You have no idea how Couvieri you sound right now. They hold fast to the same misguided principle that being trueborn somehow makes you noble."

Aidric laughs at Tristan's remark. "Well what are you going to say to that sir?" he asks the courtier with his arm still over the man's shoulder and gripping tight. In truth he is glad the topic has shifted from the Moreno. So why not further fan these present flames?

Edgar sputters, but cannot truly say what he wishes, though his eyes glitter with hatred at the Prince of Fools. "…With… with my daughter?" he manages. "YOU?"

Thad steps forward and would speak if not for Tristan and Clara's responses, both catching him off guard. "No sense letting tempers flare. I am sure that you all are intent on keeping the Queen's peace. Her Majesty wanted them raised, and it was done. End of discussion, there is no debate on whether or not they are noble. They simply are. End of debate."

Tristan puts on a pained expression. "You sound so surprised. Certainly no one can be surprised by what I do anymore." He blinks, glancing around. "Right?" He seems to completely oblivious to the fact that the man seems rather outraged. "Now then, I do believe we were all discussing how we all love our queen and agree that Her Majesty is leading our nation into a bright future."

He even gestures towards Clara and Thaddeus. "Wise words from these two, far wiser than I could even muster. Though I admit that the Baron's death is a little troubling. Quite troubling indeed."

Aidric barks a laugh. "In truth Tristan I'd be more surprised had you not been with the girl," he remarks and then with a look to the courtier under his arm "Let it go man, you will not win this battle." Then he lets him go and steps away.

Back to Tristan Aidric smiles "Oh yes, we all no doubt love the Queen and scorn these villains who murdered her baron, whatever their station or whomever their kin may be."

Tristan's comment should come as no surprise, as he himself mentioned. And, to Clara's credit, she doesn't immediately burst into a fit of giggles towards it and Lord Sandoval's reaction to Tristan's words. It does, however, diffuses Clara's stance to the point where she turns away from the rather angry courtier, reaching over to pick up her notebook once more. "I agree with you, Prince Tristan…" The emphasis on the word Prince is given, even as a flicker of a glance is sent back to Edgar, perhaps as a gentle reminder. "I do think that the death is rather disturbing. I also think that it would be best if we refrain from casting doubt upon other houses and let the facts speak for themselves."

Then, a proper question. "Apart from the rumors being bantered about, does anyone have any real idea as to what happened?"

Most of the gathered courtiers glance around at Princess Clara's question. One pipes up, "I heard his head was taken clean off by a Sidhe Steel blade."

Another scoffs. "His throat was slit. The assassin pretended to be a servant and slit his throat with a razor whilst shaving him."

A third disagrees. "That's ruddy foolishness. The Baron had his throat laid open by a lady assassin. She kissed 'im and slit him open."

Tristan considers these conflicting tales and then shrugs. "I suppose we can have some of the guards begin inquiries into this matter. Though I am loathe to admit it, we may also want to entertain the possibility that there is a small pocket of rebels still in the city who wish to lash out when and where they can." He doesn't believe that, but hey, it's possible and maybe it will get these fools talking about something else.

Aidric snorts. "It seems the problem is not letting the facts speak for themselves but coaxing the lies to silence," he quips to Clara and shifting over to stand near her, Tristan and Thaddeus he nods to Tristan. "Speaking with the guards is likely the best course," he agrees before snorting again. "Oh good, let's have them looking at me," says sidelong to Tristan at the suggestion that rebels were behind the murder.

A few more 'helpful' clues are mentioned before the call to dine is made and the nobles drift away with more questions (and grudges) than answers.

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