1867-02-01: Ill-Advised
Ill Advised
Summary: A certain group of Queen Cynthia's songbirds gossip about the current Court in Rovilon, and one of them gets put in her place by their Queen Bee.
Date: 2/1/1867 IA
Related: None
Marcella  Lily  Jessa  Marie  

Within one of the many small sitting rooms throughout Aveyron Palace, a small group of noble ladies sat, enjoying afternoon tea and one of the most favored pastimes of these particular Songbirds: gossip. Some entertained themselves with needlework while they chatted, others simply lounged, but the chatter was ever-present, occasionally dissolving into brief fits of giggles, though those were often quelled by a sharp look by the Lady Marcella t’Juliano, from whom the others tended to take their cues.

“The boys in the Circle are already placing their wagers as to which of us they’ll be bedding this season.” Lady Lily t’Vanile spoke over the rim of her teacup, drawing a bit of an eyeroll from Marcella, though for the moment she bit back the response that came to mind. Lily may have been among the youngest of her coterie but in her first half-year as a Songbird had wrapped her legs around no less than a half-dozen different men at court. Marcella knew that Alina’s own coterie had made comments about Lily striving to be the first to “make it all the way around the Circle.”

“Most of those worth pursuing…or letting them pursue…are wedded now. Not that it really stops most of them.” One of the t’Mollari girls opined, “I suppose there is Sir Elrick. He’s fun…but not much of a challenge.” A couple of the other girls’ grins and nods did lend credence to the opinion, but Marcella spoke a few moments later.

“The challenge with Sir Elrick isn’t bedding him. It’s wedding him. His old bear of a father is delusional enough to think that just because the Queen Mother took pity on his family and let his sister marry Prince Silvio, that His Majesty King Jean-Paul will surely give Sir Elrick one of his sisters in return.” Marcella shook her head, pursing her lips in disapproval while the other girls giggled once more. Not disapproval at the giggling, but rather the silly notions of Baron t’Tremaine.

“Well, I’m setting my eyes on more challenging prey this season.” Lily t’Vanile spoke once more, affecting an air of superiority that her youthful countenance couldn’t quite match. At the silently questioning looks of her “sisters” she added, “You all saw Lord t’Synclarre and his wife, looking like poor little lost lambs among wolves, and her fat with child. Didn’t they just look so happy together? Wouldn’t it be fun to see them pried apart?”

Marcella had to stop herself from audibly groaning, but even that couldn’t stop her eyes from nearly rolling completely into the back of her skull, “The One help you Lily…sometimes I wonder if you fell on your head as a babe.”

Lily glared petulantly at Marcella, “What? You know his wife won’t be bedding him for a while before and after the child comes. A man gets lonely when his needs are neglected.” Lily’s expression shifted to a sly grin, but this time it wasn’t just Marcella that eyerolled, and Lady Jessa t’Resseaux stared at Lily incredulously.
“You…know who Sir Joffrey is, don’t you?” Jessa shook her head, taking on a lecturing tone that she had likely inherited from her healing instructors in her youth, “He’s a hero. He’s the Unbroken. He won’t take you to his bed, Lily.” Jessa shook her head a bit more vehemently, “You shouldn’t even try.” Marcella could forgive Jessa her admiration. No doubt her kin had had dealings with Lord t’Synclarre firsthand and shared tales with her.

Lily all but scoffed openly, “Every man breaks eventually.” She smiled mock-sweetly, “For me they do. And besides, who said it has to be in his bed?” Lily had plenty of charms, and a womanly figure that had attracted plenty of attention upon her arrival at court (and plenty of jests behind her back about “bountiful assets”). She didn’t lack for beauty, but as she was so very well demonstrating now, her spoiled upbringing had left her a bit…reality deprived. Marcella decided that it was time to rein her in.

“You’ve been like a squire practicing on those wooden effigies they like to beat up in the practice yards, Lily.” Marcella fixed the younger Songbird with a flat gaze, “Jessa may be tongue-tied from hero-worship, but she’s right. You may as well throw yourself at that statue of King Maris that they’re building down by the docks. You’d have about as much success.” Lily opened her mouth to protest, but Marcella cut her off, “You’re going to break the Unbroken. You.”

Marcella did scoff openly this time, “What exactly are you going to offer him, Lily? His wife is young and pretty and it’s obvious to all they adore each other. She’s the daughter of a Duke, so it isn’t as if letting you wrap your legs around him provides him any political benefit, either. He’s not like these oversexed newly-knighted boys that the Circle recruits every year. You won’t be able to bat your eyes and flash a little cleavage and have him following you around like a puppy looking for table scraps. He’s a grown man and a battle-scarred knight that has a history of putting the needs of others before himself, and making difficult choices for the good of the Kingdom and his lieges rather than his own self-interest. A man that doesn’t think of himself first.”

Jessa gave an emphatic nod to Marcella’s words, drawing herself up in pride-by-proxy for the Great Lord that happened to be part of the same duchy her own family was.

Marcella’s voice never rose, no true anger reached it, but there was an unmistakable undercurrent of disdain, “A challenge? That’s the only thing you’ve gotten right in this little scenario you’ve concocted, but it’s a challenge you are sorely unequipped to meet. A man like that…you’d have to win his heart before you’d win his cock, and his heart is already safely tucked away.” Marcella sighed heavily, “If you persist, I can’t stop you, Lady Lily, but know that I consider it ill-advised…and that we won’t be laughing with you, we will, in fact, be laughing at you when you fail miserably.”

Lily’s cheeks flushed bright red, and she moved to her feet, eyes glistening with as-yet-unshed tears of anger, but she offered a passable curtsey to the ladies present, “If you all will excuse me, I need to…take some air.” And with that she flounced out of the room with a rustle of skirts, her handmaiden following after.

“Thank you, Lady Marcella.” Jessa spoke softly, but blinked in surprise when Marcella’s gaze fell upon her and remained cold.

You I expect not to simper and fawn should you find yourself in Sir Joffrey’s presence.” She briefly glanced over the other ladies present, then back to Jessa, “Remember where we are. That may be acceptable in Murnord, but we must maintain a certain dignity here in Rovilon.”

“Of course Lady Marcella.” Jessa’s cheeks flushed, and she cast her eyes downward, returning to her tea in silence. That silence reigned for a few moments, until Marie t’Caden piped up as if the past unpleasant exchange had never occurred:

“Have you seen some of the dresses the Queen’s new ladies are wearing? You’d think they were made by the t’Fleur…”


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