Dangerous Beauty

Chapter Five: Have You Tried Not Being In Debt To The Fae?

Montaigne; spring

Our heroes reasoned that the sorcerer causing damage to the Veil and risking the incursion of Legion was probably a Montaigne, since that’s generally how Porte works. They travelled to Lierie, the largest port in Montaigne, and more importantly the most foreigner-friendly port in Montaigne, since this was not likely to be as welcoming a visit as their sojourns in Eisen and Ussura.

Upon arrival in Lierie, Fabiana pointed out that just marching up to Charouse and asking L’Empereur to have the bad guy stop doing what he was doing was probably not going to work, and the party split to do some reconnaissance. They discovered that Montaigne was on the verge of famine due to shortsightedness by the Flaubert du Dore family converting all their farmland into grazing land in order to be able to sell more expensive beef instead of less expensive food crops; that the peasants were deeply unhappy about the state of the Church in Montaigne, and that there was a play about to open by noted Avalonian-Montaigne playwright Guillaime Marlowe, entitled “The Story of the Fox”.

Fabiana may also have sworn to retrieve her aunt Rosa’s body for proper burial. Her aunt Rosa being L’Empereur’s second wife, who died some twenty-two years ago. Awkward.

Upon returning to the classy inn where she and Isabella had taken rooms, Fabiana found a letter from The Gilded Lily, Lierie’s premiere theatre house, inviting her and her friends to the play’s grand opening that night, with six tickets enclosed. She proceeded to invite Morgan and Ailsa and attempt to not invite Joachim in an attempt to avoid social scandal, because a noble hobnobbing at a classy event with an Eisen mercenary is not done. After promising to exchange one of the high-class tickets for two lower-class ones, Joachim returned to the less-classy inn he had taken a room at and invited the tavern girl who’d taken a liking to him and almost certainly had a name.

At the grand opening, accompanied by Fabiana’s cousin Cerise Bellamy, the party watched a surprisingly good play about the plight of the common folk, labouring under a master who constantly demanded more from them only to spend it trying to please a yet higher master. Renardine, the wily fox, and his companions, Tybalt the cat-prince, Hirsine the clever wolf, Bruin the steadfast bear, and Baldwin the forthright ass, showed them that they had greater force of numbers than their masters, and the play ended with the promise of uprising.

Joachim seemed to approve, although whether of the message or the dick jokes, it was uncertain.

In the mingling afterwards, several things of note happened.

Fabiana went to speak to Guillaime Marlowe and his muse, a lady named Luigsech, who proceeded to be entirely too creepy for words. When attention was called to her creepiness and the fact that she was eyeing Morgan, whose hands had begun tingling, Morgan realised that oh, shit; she’s Fae. (It’s like Oh Shit She’s Hot but much, much less awesome.) When Morgan finally approached her, she acknowledged Morgan as in her debt and that Morgan’s debt was, in fact, three years past due; she eventually agreed to give Morgan another year if Morgan would bring her a “special person”, identifying Morgan, Ailsa, and Brie as “special”, and offering to release Morgan’s potential offspring from the debt in exchange for more than one person.

Ailsa recognised Brie Michel du Gloyure, the wife of Duke Jourdain Michel de Gloyure; the Duke was also a friend of Cerise’s husband, so Fabiana and Morgan were talking with them (and being irritated at the Duke’s habit of shushing his wife) when Ailsa walked up and hugged Brie. This did not go down well with the Duke, who proceeded to insult Ailsa in true noble fashion. Also in true noble fashion, Fabiana retaliated. After a brief physical altercation with Morgan and Joachim, the Duke left, hauling his wife after him, and Ailsa stalked them into the street in time to see an argument culminate in Jourdain shaking Brie, at which point she punched him in the face.

Things did not improve from there, and ended with Brie knocking her husband out with Glamour magic, Ailsa agreeing to come steal a blooded item from Jourdain’s townhouse so Brie could run away with her, and Joachim spotting Ailsa retrieving her weapon from the cloakroom and joining them. The official story was kidnapping. Sexy kidnapping.

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