(1867-08-25) Alchemy, Imperials, and Tournaments
lchemy, Imperials, and Tournaments
Summary: Alina, Gabriel, and Corvin discuss many things, including the Free For All math and the family's history with the Doran house
Date: 1867-08-25
Related: Free for All and Regarding Gabriel
Alina  Corvin  Gabriel  

Ostvor - Couviere
In scene
25 Aout 1867

The large suite in the the castle at Ostvor that had been set aside for the use of Alina and Gabriel was well-lit and ready to recieve visitors if the couple desired it. For this evening, the only visitor they are entertaining is Alina's half-brother Corvin, who has his own quarters (though not nearly as nice and appointed— more suited for a much younger son of a Duke than the heir of one). His position as being considered near-true-blood by Duke James (since that fact was known to Archduke Manfred) afforded him such privledge.

Alina is seated in one of the chairs in the suite, brushing her long dyed-blonde hair. She is dressed in a fine gown of purple, getting ready to go out in the later evening to perhaps do a bit of shopping and socializing with some of the ladies of the court who had made their way to Ostvor for the tournament.

"Good evening, Sister." Said Corvin Fremont emerges from his quarters. He's truthfully been fairly absorbed in watching over the accomodations with the detail of Wraiths that travelled here. Not that there's any particular worry of danger, but they never take anything for granted. Still, it seems for the moment Corvin is "off-duty" as he moves over to pour himself a cup of wine, then settles into a nearby chair, taking a swallow before noting, "I hear Lonnaire was well-represented in the bareknuckle competition."

Gabriel enters the room, dressed in some outfit of black and purple that Alina had designed for him and had laid out for him to wear in the morning. Life was so much easier when someone else planned out what you were going to wear each day. Carrying a tankard of ale in one hand, he nods and smiles at Alina before slumping down in a nearby chair. "Corvin." He greets Alina's brother with a nod, sighing. "That bareknuckle competition might have been more interesting if you were there, Corvin. I bet you could have won, although some of the southern women put up a nice showing as well."

"Corvin tends to avoid those sorts of things," Alina shrugs. "Keep his abilities a secret, at least in part. It like why I would not participate. It's not for others to know what the l'Saigner can do. We'd rather let rumor do what it does." She gives her hair a few more licks with her brush. "Though I believe my brother is likely one of the most dangerous men in the Edge with his bare hands— I'd rather that not be put to the test unless needed." She glances to Gabriel. "No handcannons on the list of prizes, but the sidhe steel is harder to come by. I do hope you fare well in the jousts and duels."

Corvin offers a smile towards Gabriel as he enters, lifting his winecup in Alina's general direction at her words, since she sums up the reasons he doesn't fight in the Bareknuckle competitions quite well. "And if I want to spar against the person who just won, I usually just have to ask. To be fair, it's oft a fairly even match. Though if I were to offer my full opinion, I do feel I am more skilled…I never had to learn how to rule a house."

Grunting, Gabriel lifts the tankard to his lips to take a long sip. "You say that Alina. And now all of Couviere knows that a l'Saigner can dance through a dozen armed fighters, take several down, and come out completely unscathed. I am a little surprised someone hasn't tried to raise up the question of alchemicals, even if it would be utter horse shit." He glances towards Corvin, nodding a little. "True enough. Besides, they don't really give time for people to rest up between bouts, so when people reach the end, you don't even know if it's a true measure of skill at that point or if the first one to fall just succumbed to exhaustion first. The duels are a bit similar, as is the melee."

<FS3> Alina rolls Alchemy: Good Success. (1 4 3 7 6 5 5 7 4 6 7 2)
<FS3> Alina rolls Criminal Lore: Good Success. (8 8 5 2 3 3 6 3 5 4)

"I think they just assume we all dose with alchemicals," Alina says teasingly. "Besides, its not like if we were that anyone could prove as much. If you take them in small enough doses you don't get much of the negative aftereffects. Of course, you don't get as much of the benefits as you would with full doses either." She hmms quietly to herself. "It might not be sporting for such competitions, but I wonder if I might be able to… well, maybe not." She frowns. "My knowledge of alchemy is fairly extensive but I'm not quite the alchemists that the t'Andalucci… or even others," she muses, thinking about the Silva down in Rivana— they may not do much direct trade with them, but she is aware that some of the alchemicals the t'Andalucci work with and have provided for the family come from them. "are," she finishes.

"Don't often get time to rest in a real fight either. I think it becomes a contest of both skill and conditioning…and mental fortitude, at that. Exhaustion can make people sloppy." Corvin notes, sipping from his wine once more, "Alchemicals have their uses, no doubt, but I prefer to use them sparingly and only when I feel I need that edge. The aftereffects can be crippling if you're not careful. I've lost a few good Wraiths to strong doses of enhancers."

Raising a hand, Gabriel shakes his head at Alina. "No, no. I don't even want to think about what benefits there are. If I can't fight something on my own, I don't want to fight it. I'll use my own skill and talents, I'd feel less of a man having to use such things as it is. Not that I don't appreciate your healing items and some of the weapon applications your alchemy can provide." He downs a bit more of the ale, thinking about Corvin's comment. It seemed a high price to pay for a fight. "As to the sword? Well, the joust should be far more competitive. Likely Thaddeus or Elrick will do really well in those. I'm hoping to do better in the duels."

"I hope you do quite well in the duels. You've won jousts before, I just know that isn't your forte," Alina says with a shrug. "Whatever gets you points, dear." She glances to Corvin. "I got a new vial of a variant of Neversleep from our sources. Instead of a night's wakefulness in exchange for a full day's sleep, this is half a night's wakefulness with the mind and body at peak condition. It still costs just over a full day of rest and a headache besides— but it could be interesting to use. We acquired three vials. Father used one and said the headache was too much to use it quite frequently as he does with Neversleep. We've two left, back home."

"Hm. Could be useful. I suppose we'll see. I may try one if a suitable situation arises." Corvin replies as to the Neversleep variant, giving Gabriel a glance and a slight grin, before shrugging his shoulders a bit. All the Jousting and duelling business isn't really his thing, though he's familiar enough with how it all works. "I'm sure you'll do well, Sir Gabriel. Even if there's good competition on the field. Though I suspect there'll be plenty working very hard to land a strike upon you in the duels."

Gabriel sits back, sipping at his ale while glancing between Corvin and Alina. This was a subject that he had little interest on and the two of them knew far more than he did. When the talk comes back around to the competition, he nods. "True enough, Corvin. I suspect that anyone I face will be doing their best to put me on the ground as quickly as they can. Honestly, I have to wonder what some of them were thinking in the melee. I was barely harassed until about the middle of the event. So many of our countrymen want to make it this competition about Rivana and then end up failing to win the melee because they leave people on the field for too long. I have won far too many melees not to be the first person targeted. "

Alina chuckles. "Well, that's their failure for underestimating you, husband. Still, going the entire melee without being touched… that was a testament to your skill, not just their lack of desire to bring you down early. The end of the melee they certainly wanted to bring you down."

"I don't think it was underestimation. I think it was a combination of national pride and nobody wanting to be the Knight that was party to dog-piling on the Couviere champion. A lot of you lot…no offense, milord…" Corvin's cheeky grin is clearly jesting, "Still hold to a great deal more honor than I would in the free-for-all. I would be teaming early and often to take down the most dangerous combatants."

Grunting in amusement, Gabriel glances between Alina and Corvin. "It's a testament to training with some wraiths and having to always keep moving in some of those excercises. I don't think the Duke understands just how fucking tired I actually was. It's far easier to keep doing it when you're not wearing a set of goddamn maile and are using a wooden blade. As for honor?" He glances towards Corvin. "There's much to be said about testing one against another in a bit of a duel, but seeing how double and triple-teaming is much more common in the latter part of the melee, one would think it'd be logical to begin it a little earlier to knock out the bigger threats. If I could do it over again, I would have gone after Jonathan or Alexandra, but Haldis was coming for me and he's no slouch either."

"No, he's not. Truth to tell, I would have expected a dogpile on either you or Duke Haldis… or both," Alina says keenly. "But enough about the free for all, save if you can think of anything more interesting to say about it than who would have and should have done what. Gabriel, you handled yourself well with Archduke Manfred and again in front of the court with your apology. I am proud of you for it. The Archduke took more points than I would have hoped… I had been hoping an apology alone would have sufficed."

"Duke Manfred is proud. He couldn't let it simply be an apology and maintain face, particularly if those Imperials are as snotty as they're rumored to be." Corvin frowns, "Have you heard the name of the delegation's leader, Alina? I sent a message back to Father just in case…but "Doran" is a name that might not be terribly well-inclined towards us, given the stories…."

"Apologizing isn't a big deal, though I do think people care way too much about all this damned showmanship. We still don't even know if all the mess is cleaned up from last year, and yet we like to parade around for show. Bah. There's actual work that needs doing if you ask me." Gabriel proceeds to finish off his tankard and put it down on the table next to him. "I've only seen the Imperials around and at court." Unsure about this Doran character and content to let Alina and Corvin discuss that.

"Doran, eh? Well, nothing was ever proven," Alina says with a twist of amusement quirking her lips. She glances to Gabriel. "Still, it might be wise for us to be on our best behavior when we formally meet him and his wife later. Just in case." She frowns momentarily. "Hopefully… if they hear anything… they are forgiving of alleged things that happened generations ago."

"Indeed." Corvin laughs, "Even we ourselves don't know the truth of it all for certain." Corvin shrugs, "Doubt I'll have any cause to interact with them, and may offend them merely by speaking to them out of turn, so I'll likely keep my distance and try to keep Esyld apart from them as well." Since well…she might be even less inclined than he is to avoid sharing unsolicitied opinions.

Gabriel glances from Alina to Corvin and then back to Alina. "What alleged things are you two talking about? Some business between the l'Saigner and the Imperials?" He squints, trying to search his memories for something Alina might have mentioned when she shared her secrets, but coming up with nothing.

"Allegedly," Alina stresses the word, "back when we were only t'Saigner, the head of the house at that time conspired and managed to bring about the end to house l'Doran." She flattens her lips then continues, "Supposedly. And that paved the way for us to earn the l'. The ruins… Alain's rest… were named after Alain l'Doran. We might have killed him and several members of his family and took their holdings."

"Maybe." Alina shrugs. "As Corvin said— even we don't know for sure."

"But true or not, the allegations stuck." Corvin chuckles, "And eventually, our family decided that if they couldn't be shaken, we may as well embrace the image it painted of us. And so House l'Saigner stopped even bothering to put on the facade of honor and forthright behavior. We would show our loyalty to the crown with results, not platitudes and flattery and false piety." Corvin shrugs, and gulps from his wine once more, "Or something along those lines, anyway. As noted…all "alleged.""

Gabriel sighs. "Alina, you are using allegedly and maybe and supposedly way too much. Still, the past is the past and it's not like there's anyone alive that could remember it, right? Since this is also a time when new peace agreements are being made, some of that bad blood simply just needs to be forgotten. It's a lesson some of our fellow Couvieri could do well to remember in these tournaments."

"Fine then," Alina replies cheekily, "for what it's worth I am pretty sure my ancestors did off the l'Doran. But I agree,, it's long in the past and immaterial. Except if the Imperials decide to get upset by what my ancestors probably did to their cousin. a few hundred years ago. It's even older than the stuff our family did do to the l'Corren a few generations back. And look how well we are over that!" She kisses her l'Corren husband on the cheek fondly.

"Yes, I'm pretty sure we're not the ones that would have a problem over it. The Empire, however, is known to have a long memory, and the l'Doran were descended from the man who discovered the Edge." Corvin shrugs, "But perhaps it'll not be a concern. Certainly it won't be anything we're bringing up." Corvin chuckles, "Are you saying you're disappointed more of your countrymen weren't beating on you in the Free-for-all, Gabriel?"

"Fine, fine." Gabriel says with a sigh, waving off Alina with a soft smile. "I get your point." Turning his attention to Corvin, he nods. "A little. I mean, they did let me go through unscathed. So they should all be resolved to training harder or dissuade themselves of the notion that just because someone has retired from active tournament competition that they've forgotten how to compete."

"Well I suspect the duels will be a different beast. Too many have drank to the Untouchable Red Knight," Alina points out, "and it is very likely your opponents will remember that well and work very hard to ensure you do not stay untouchable long."

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