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Thursday, 28 March 2013

H+I: France 1625 Act 1 Session 2: Uneasy marriages (possibly NSFW this time!!!)

As expected, we did have a second session of H+I with our new GM. She’s still nervous, for no actual reason (I’ve seen worse GMing from people with years of experience).
So, back to the party where we left… Catherine was indeed trying to drug the guy. And she pulled it off on top of that, distracting him and getting him to drink.
Not long after, he was feeling out of focus, and she outright invited him on the top floor. For maximum fun, Jean-Pierre and Isabelle joined them.
Unlike him, however, we actually had fun… Catherine just tired him out until he went asleep, then pocketed some letters he had on himself. We failed epically to break the code ourselves, after we were over with our good times, but the Cardinal probably has better people for that.
If not, well, it’s not our fault.
Anyway… we left, then Catherine remained. When he was awaking, she started to dress, and left with a “You Spanish guys know how to turn make us feel like women!” He had probably assumed there was more he should be sorry for forgetting…
When we got down, we went to actually get some sleep. All was peaceful. Well, Catherine had some fun ruining the self-esteem of the court lady I've mentioned already in the previous page of this journal. I mean, most girls dislike NOT being the centre of attention, but this one has been snubbed recently by a prospective suitor. And then Catherine stole another one away.
And when she came down from upstairs, she stole the next one. She can be mean, as I'm sure to have mentioned before.
Seems like it was too much for her, so the court lady started drinking more than she could stand. Soon after, her prospective suitor – Catherine’s young noble “student” from the countryside – had had to carry her away. Or so I hear. He was back alarmingly soon. I hear he just covered her with a blanket, or something. The fool.
But anyway, all was quiet - until morning, that is. Then there was the hue and cry, for someone had also killed the second of my last night’s opponent. Too bad. The alchemist was much more fun than him.
Well, theoretically, he could have had a heart attack. It’s just the flaw in my character of not believing the best about whatever has happened. Said flaw even has a name. “Life experience”.
Being a man of the cloth, I immediately assumed my duties and started praying for him. Mme La Marquise called for one of her many acquaintances – I swear, she’s got a lot of those! – and he arrived in a hurry.
That’s how we got acquainted with some traveling Spanish-born doctor. While I was praying, he arrived and asked to kneel and look at the body. I bade him to say a prayer first, and keep his looking within the realms of the good mores, and he agreed.
Besides, he had that look of questionable morals, furiously defended honour and willingness to hurt people for it, which marked him as one of the ours, despite being from a foreign country. The Grey Cardinal might well hire him some day, I suspect. Gold, steel, and flesh speak all languages, I’ve found, and Richelieu’s got the gold.
Hopefully, or some day, I might be called to dispense the steel, ‘cause this guy doesn’t look like one that stays aside from politics. Ah well, we’re going to see. Plenty is to each day its own evil!
So, he busied himself with looking for clues. Curious idea, having a doctor to see a body – I hear the heretics over the Channel have been using it. But they’re, well, heretics. For a reason.
Either way, he announced it was a poison, with some kind of spike introducing it. Which lead to a young girl of good family fainting. The same flaw in my character says she just wanted attention. But either way, she got plenty of that.
Next thing I knew, Catherine was slapping her "student" in the face. He rose – not willing to discuss the matter, I guess – and left. I intercepted him, and took him back to her.
“How did you offend the lady, monsieur? I’d suggest an apology!”
“I have no idea what I’ve done to offend her!”
“If this wasn’t Catherine, I’d have some ideas. As it is, why don’t you go back to ask? I admit to being curious, and I'd rather not let a possible breech of etiquette just to pass.”
Obviously, he had expressed a desire to marry a certain court lady. And in the course of teaching him how to get close to her, Catherine had decided he’s too good for the gal.
An opinion, I should add, that Mme La Marquise obviously shared. Because she joined us at the table and upon hearing the story, slapped him as well. Poor boy.
I took him aside, saving him from their ministrations, and gave him a glass, and a man speech, explaining him why they had a point.
“I expected you’d be in favour of marriage, as a man of the cloth?”
“As a man of the cloth, I’d remind you you should marry an woman you can live with to the end of your days. Seems like they don’t think this to be the case. As a man of society: she’s below your station. And as a man to a man: you ain’t got one of those reasons compelling you to marry her in the next few months. Wait and see whether you’re not going to change your mind, because divorce is hard to obtain even for kings!”
Ah well. I’m kinda known for unorthodox sermons, but that one tops them all, I believe.
So I left him to drink and think, and went to find a teacher of fencing. Because I love fencing, and I could use some more practice. Due to the hue and cry, I had missed my appointment in the Cardinal’s Guards hopelessly.
In the meantime, the doctor – who asked me if I knew someone that knows more than him about different poisons – went to see a friend of his, an apothecary I believe. He had received tips to look for some foreign pets there, and went to track them, having ascertained that the poison was…some exotic seasnake. If talking to a Church superior, I'd say it's a creature of the Devil, and the fact that it's living in the seas of un-Christian countries wouldn't do much to prove me wrong. (If talking to anyone else, it's a rare poisonous snake  (Enhydrina schistosa). I'd have used a viper instead).

And then, I came back. The young noble was shooting at birds in the park, calming his nerves. Catherine mentioned he probably needed to blow off some steam, so I went to see him.
“Are you drunk enough to have fun, monsieur?”
I lead him to one of my parishioners – a widow that I knew didn’t mind some action – and let him to her ministrations. He was feeling reluctant – the stupid – claiming this might anger his “beloved”.
“Only if she ever learns, monsieur!” I didn’t add “and you’d better forget her”, but knowing Catherine and Mme La Marquise? It would have been good advice. Just not one I expected him to want hearing, at least at this point.
Then I went to receive some confessions, and to give spiritual advice to my flock.
Meanwhile, Catherine had grown bored with the gal that fainted basking in all the attention to her health. So just as we arrived, she mentioned fainting might be the result of mood swings. And mood swings could be the result of an woman being in a delicate situation…
I looked immediately at the court lady, and yes, she looked worried, too! Ah well, probably she had risked said condition recently. The guy deserved to know that little fact.
He did react well, meaning he stopped worrying about his own “transgression”. So I called this a good day’s work in enlightening the flock!