(1867-10-12) Playing the Part
Playing the Part
Summary: Philippe plays his part as humble courier well as he presents gifts on behalf of his employer to the Lady Alina, who herself plays the part of gracious hostess after a particularly grating encounter just prior.
Date: 10/12/1867
Related: Immediately after A Dressing Down
Alina  Philippe  

The Grand Study - Highwater Castle - Couviere

The study is a large room on the main floor. Part study, part library, part sitting room; a place for the duke or his family to visit informally with guests. The room features a large hearth with chairs and couches set before it. Off to one side there is a single table set with an overlarge chessboard and a pair of chairs for the players to sit.

Beyond the chessboard is a shelf of well-ordered books on a variety of subjects. The remaining walls are hung with rich tapestries of fine make and exotic threads.

This room, like the rest of the castle is immaculate, with no sign of dirt or dust and each tapestry and book put perfectly in place.

12th of Octobre, 1867

As Alina puts down the empty cup of lemonwater, the door opens to admit the next petitioner. She settles her skirts around her a bit, pushing away the irritation from dealing with Baroness t'Maren.

Marie opens the door as the serving girl pours Alina another cup of lemonwater.

As the door opens, there is a moment of pause, as a male's voice wafts in….a partial sentence of "…will appreciate greatly minor assistance carrying these in, if you please." From the murmur of agreement, the mysterious male must have been charming enough to win that assistance. As the figure passes into view, it reveals the owner of the voice to be one Master Philippe Giscard. And, as he enters, a low bow is given before he fully enters. "Lady Alina, I thank you for seeing me today." Blue eyes take in the room quickly, before Philippe moves fully in, allowing a servant walk in with a somewhat bulky item or two in tow. "I certainly do apologize taking your time today, as I certainly understand how busy you are. I do, however, have a minor petition to present, on behalf of my patron, the Viscountess Talia t'Corbeau."

With Philippe fully within the study, there is a slight indication to the servant as to wear to place the items….which happens to be behind him, for the moment, keeping the delivery from Alina's view for the moment. Ever the performer, it seems that Philippe is setting the stage for an event and doesn't want to spoil the surprise too soon.

Alina watches Philippe and his burden with some small interest. "Ah. I am pleased to meet with you…?" she trails off, looking for an introduction. She vaguely recognizes the man but cannot place him.

She takes a long sip from her recently refilled cup, placing it down beside her. "And what does the Viscountess wish of house l'Saigner this afternoon?" she continues, smiling. She may not entirely feel happy, but smiling when she felt like the exact opposite was basic courtly deception and intrigue. Marie shuts the door behind Master Philippe and returns to standing just behind and beside Alina.

Philippe says, "Ah, forgive my impertinence, my Lady. I forgot to introduce myself." With another bow, even lower than before, Philippe offers a proper greeting. "Master Philippe Giscard, bard of Couviere, at your service." Once Phil regains his height, he follows up with an answer to the question posed. "It isn't what the Viscountess wishes of your house, Lady Alina. It is what the Viscountess wishes to give to your house. More specifically, to your knightly husband and your precious children. If I may be so bold as to approach?"

And, with that, Philippe takes a step…but instead of forward, it is a step backwards, to reveal at least a bit of what gifts the t'Corbeau bear. One is a slender oak case…which is sealed closed for the moment, preventing view of the contents within. But the other…bears a striking familiarity to a shield. Somewhat odd, considering.

Ahhhh. Alina recognizes that name, and she seems to perk up a bit. "Master Giscard. A pleasure to make your acquaintance. Please, approach if you wish." She gazes over the oaken case and the shield shape, the latter of which causes her to tilt her head and consider.

"I assure you, my Lady, that the pleasure is most certainly mutual. Thank you." With that, Philippe bends down to pick up the wooden case. A hand slides into a pouch, and produces what appears to be a cleaning cloth, to which he promptly uses to wipe down the oaken case before he tucks it under one arm. The other free hand reaches down to pick up the shield…somewhat awkwardly, for it is apparent that Philippe is no knight…and carries it as he approaches Alina. Pausing a couple of feet away, easily within reaching distance, the shield is placed back down, leaning against the bard himself as he shifts the wooden case to position in front of him, with the case set to open before Alina.

Once the case is opened, set into the case are three Lightsilver daggers that are each matched to the other save one small, but important detail. Each dagger is inscribed upon the beautifully wrought hilt with one of the children of Alina and Gabriel l'Saigner. As the lightsilver shines with the available light, Philippe speaks softly. "First, custom crafted daggers. As you can see, my Lady, there is one for each of your beloved sons. As per Talia's specifications, each dagger has a small applicator within the hilt, designed to allow distribution of certain…poisons, I believe she mentioned…from the blade itself." The case is extended, then presented to Alina for closer examination by means of Philippe simply bowing.

Alina leans forward and looks over the daggers, reaching into the case and lifting the one marked 'Leonard'. She examines it, her hands obviously familiar with these sort of blades as she turns it over gracefully, inspecting the poison grooves and general workmanship.

"They are quite lovely, and when my sons are of age, they will appreciate them greatly I am sure," Alina says. "Please pass along my gratitude to the Viscountess for such well-made and beautiful gifts for my sons."

The bard watches patiently as the ducal heir inspects one of the blades, a proper pleasant countenance affixed upon his features. Philippe knows how to play a part well, with his part being presently the gracious courier. He offers a gentle nod, then shifts to place the still-open case down upon a nearby table, positioning the case in such a way as to look inconspicuous, but plainly visible for any further guests that the l'Saigner might entertain yet this day. "I will be sure to relay as such to Her Excellency. Now then, my Lady, if you would allow me to present the Viscountess' second gift…."

Philippe twists downward partially, reaching with his hand to retrieve the shield at his side. The shield receives the same sort of gentle cleaning with the cloth, before it is tucked away back into the pouch whence it came. The shield, as it comes into proper view, is one that has seen its fair share of use and age, but showing older design and framework from blacksmiths some decades ago rather than something newer, shinier, flashier. In fact, the shield has upon it that Gabriel himself might recognize from House l'Corren. When looking closely, there is an inscription upon the shield. An inscription that Philippe indicates politely, then reads in his soft baritone. "This inscription states 'Andre l'Corren understood that the strength that could come from alliance between Lonnaire and Murnord. It seems fitting, then, that this should be in your care. My father remembered Sir Andre with respect, and kept this shield in remembrance of him.' I could only assume that the inscription is a more recent addition, for it certainly has the voice of the Viscountess within its words. I sincerely hope, on behalf of my patron, that your husband would be pleased to receive a memento from his forefathers."

Alina looks to the shield, wishing for the first time that day that Gabriel had been with her for the petitions. Still, on his behalf, she accepts the shield with all the grace she can muster.

"I am quite sure my husband will look upon this shield fondly," she says. "Lord Sir Andre l'Corren was a great man, and Gabriel in many ways has followed in his steps. The alliance between Lonnaire and Murnord can only strengthen Couviere as a whole."

"Truer words have never been spoken, Lady Alina." The smile upon Philippe's face twists with minor amusement as he allows himself a minor observation. "It is somewhat awkward, I could imagine, to receive a shield. Perhaps more awkward than for an individual who has no business with one, such as myself, to present one." The shield is placed down, alongside the self-same table, as Philippe then takes a step back, his duty as a courier complete and Talia's gifts presented accordingly. "As for myself, I prefer presenting my own gifts. That of song and entertainment. I look forward to offering such at the upcoming Masque."

Another step backwards, as Phil offers a potential reprieve. "I can only imagine that you must have a rather full schedule, Lady Alina. I do not wish to take up any more of your time as necessary. By your leave, I shall be on my way and deliver your kind words of thanks to Her Excellency. As you are probably aware, she is convalescing at present. It is my hope that hearing of your gratitude will provide a small measure of comfort during this time. Thank you for seeing me this day."

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