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Messages - Paris Villeneuve

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1
Rosnay Island / Re: Not a Spider or a Fly
« on: April 26, 2020, 09:13:35 AM »

The sea Paris was familiar with. He could not imagine it as grass. Or conceive of a place so flat. There was very little flat land on the islands, most of it taken up by sandy beaches, or overrun with thick trees and dense foliage. His face turned seaward, as if he could see what she spoke of. And later, alone in his narrow bed, he would hold his hand above his face and squint at the blurry shape of his thumb trying to imagine it.

"Sounds lovely." He said of a thing he could not picture. Jin-ae imagined it, Paris thought. That far away look of remembrance stealing over her face. What Paris could not picture she saw clearly in her mind's eye. The place she had come from and would never see again. People who came to Ile de Paon did not leave again, unless it was by sea bier.

"It will not. There has never been snow on the islands in all our history. Not even the Priestess Mother could will it into existence here." Not even the Lady Reneux with her Black could accomplish such a feat. Or at least Paris thought not. Eyebrows winging upward at her laughter. It was pretty, if inappropriate to her station. Tongue tracing his bottom lip, Paris watched what favor could do to a slave. It made them too bold.

"No offense taken." He did not feel mocked. Not even annoyed that she expressed emotion she should not. It was hard to stifle the rising tide of personhood in yourself. Paris was grateful his own calm manner left him free of such outbursts. Though he was allowed. He was not a slave. Maybe Jin-ae forgot. Sometimes they pretended in order to survive.

He leaned in. Drawn in by her hands and the thing she summoned there to show him. A decorative piece of leather, stamped in a manner he had seen before in spoils brought back to the islands, but had not paid honest attention to. Bright beads falling like water from its edges. "Very lovely." He admitted, admiration for all he saw. The danger of it tickling that itch at the back of his neck.

"I will believe you about leather, and you may believe me about the libraries." He agreed. They had leather on Paon of course, made from the hides the hunters brought back. But it was rarely used for anything more than boots or belts when it came to clothing. To wear leather in such stifling heat would have been too oppressive. Even for Paon.

The turned back to the ribbons. Speaking over them together, close and hushed as if they spoke of great secrets. Something building between them though Paris did not know what. "Adornment?" He offered. She was a house slave. Surely ribbons were allowed, so that she might be a between backdrop to her lady. Or a prize for her master. Paris still wondered about that. Perhaps his mind was drawn to the idea because it mirrored his own life.

He looked at her. Gaze slow and heavy. Face turned toward the display but his eyes were all for Jin-ae. Paris could not have blamed Isidore for it. But she was speaking of Salome. Speaking as if Paris might know her better than the girl living in her house. He did not smile. Or frown, looking back at the ribbon. "She favors blue. Deep blues, such as sapphire, specifically." To honor the husband that did not visit.

Paris never smelled him on her. Or her bedsheets. Mostly finding traces of himself beneath the rich aroma of Salome. Chin up, Paris tilted a glance toward Jin-ae, something fierce rising up in his chest. "She will wonder where you get the marks to buy her gifts, unless you spend her own on herself." He cautioned, hoping Jin-ae might tell him where those marks came from. Wishing to know why those marks came at all.


2
Rosnay Island / Re: Not a Spider or a Fly
« on: April 24, 2020, 04:36:01 PM »

"There are people to feed too." Paris admitted with a shrug. Sharp amusement passed his lips, barely exposing his teeth. Almost as if he had been caught telling a tale. Or worse, a lie. But all of it was true. Mother Night was supposed to be first in all things. But hungry people mattered too.

And the men enjoyed the hunt. It made their blood run out and gave release to the violence in their veins. Paris did not partake, and thought himself removed from it all. But it was like an itch at the back of his neck, beckoning him to taste.

"What is a steppe?" He asked, eyes sliding down Jin-ae's body as if the answer was held there. "I think I have read of them." Enough to know he'd never seen anything close enough to understand. He did, however, know what a woman was. Tucking his hands away, Paris let the distance between them grow again. Neither of them seeming quite comfortable with it.

Shrugging listlessly, he slid his hands into his pockets and out again. "Fashion, again, I would assume." What a strange place, where women would prefer hard leather to beauty for their adornment. Maybe it was that itch at the back of his neck that made him list so many ways a ribbon might be used. Paris rubbed it as Jin-ae turned away. Not quite ashamed of himself.

"It is vast. Though I hear the library on Thure is even mightier." He turned shortly after her. Ribbons flapped the air in front of his chest, reaching for him without touching. "It's to be expected, if course, being the home of the Mother Priestess." One day he hoped to see for himself. But that was a terrifying dream. He imagined the whole island stank of the Black.

"You should get some, now that you aren't a steppe woman." Paris tempted, ignoring for a moment that she should not have marks of her own. Ignoring too that it was quite obvious she did. Jin-ae was no favorite of Salome's, no woman could be with a creature so painfully self conscious and arrogant. Isidore perhaps? Canting a sideways look at her, Paris wondered why.


3
Rosnay Island / Re: Not a Spider or a Fly
« on: March 03, 2020, 05:54:15 AM »

Chin dipping, Paris agreed. "Surely Paon breeds the greatest of hunters." More feral than the beasts they hunter. Men bred for violence. He was an outlier. His weakness blamed on his father. Paris was not sure he agreed, but he had no wish to be a man such as these. No doubt his sort were needed. That ladies such Salome turned to him proved his inner truth.

It did not matter none other would know.

"Of course not. She is greater than we can ever hope to encompass." A faith of rote sayings. Paris had an endless supply of them as any temple child might. And many not born of the temple. Across Paon only murder was revered higher than faith. And even then it was expected to be done for the glory of Mother Night and not the individual.

Looking down over the shadow of his cheek bones, he watched Jin-ae. Hand reaching for the ribbon caught in his fingers. But she did not touch, or even lift her eyes last his chin. They settled on the bob of his adam's apple, he imagined. Then slid back to the ribbon as he looped it back around the stand it fluttered from. Dozens of others to keep it company.

"Seems strange for a young lady to not own ribbon. Are they not fashionable where you were from?" A place he would never see and know little about. It did not truly matter. Jin-ae would not see it again either. That time of her life was done and past. Question amusing him, Paris tipped his face to the sun and considered.

"Decoration, embellishment. Many like to string shells from them as jewelry." He thought of all the ways he had seen women wear ribbons on their person. Hair was the most common. Worked into braids or elaborate coifs. But there were other ways. Paris shrugged, and tucked a smirk to the corner of his mouth. "Love play, as well." He half teased. "Or so I read in a rather surprising text discovered in the library."


4
Rosnay Island / Re: Not a Spider or a Fly
« on: February 29, 2020, 11:14:14 AM »

"A noble enterprise." Paris murmured. His hand was neat and untiring, but he could create artwork to such a degree. It was copied studiously, but what he recreated lacked the passion of true art. Honest creation. He transcribed religion texts to teach, not to please.

"Do you?" Paris fought the rise of eyebrows and the curve of a smirk at the lips. While his eyebrows remained boredly flat, his lips twitched in secret amusement. "I do not know the Captain well enough to comment. But the grounds are definitely pleasant." Mostly the long beach that swept the front of Salome's house. A house, and the entertainment of, he was familiar with.

A dangerous affair. But Paris could not deny the Salome. She could kill him just as easily as her husband, and sometimes he imagined she might surely out of spite and possessiveness. But also he did not want to. She was beautiful, and plucked at his hidden, sympathetic heart. She was so much a pathetic creature. A woman who had everything but lived as if she had nothing.

Empty on the inside because she could not see all she had.

"And very long." He added with a smile. Kindred spirit to kindred spirit. He wondered if the priestesses of other lands were the same? He understood that their understanding of the Darkness was flawed. Many of them had helped in the turning away from Witch. But Jin-ae, like he, was descended of the people had birthed Witch. He imagined what she might think on the subject, but did not ask.

He would hate to have to turn her in as a heretic. Slave or not. It could not be helped if she did not know better, and he did not want their time together tarnished. She too was beautiful, if less plucking of his sympathies, despite her lower status.

Between the stalls he stood close. Out of necessity, and because he wanted to. Let his body act as a shield to her nervous fluttering. Paris watched her hands smooth hair and clothes that were hardly mussed. The hooting and hollering of them stirring the protective warlord in his soul. A part of him could have bared teeth at their threat. And a part of him longed to be swallowed up by their bestiality.

"It is not always a holiday. Just a good hunt in need of celebrating." Egos in need of being appeased. New ways to leash men that had not queen craft to hold them. Or enslave them. The priestesses did what they could for their souls. But they beast within needed blood and violence. And Mother Night gloried in their savage abilities, so did Paon. "Besides, there can never be enough praise to Mother Night and her glory." He recited, hand curving just behind her elbow to keep her from stepping back into a display. The other plucked a ribbon away that the wind had blown into her hair.

"Lovely, but not your color, I think."


5
Rosnay Island / Re: Not a Spider or a Fly
« on: February 02, 2020, 05:47:49 AM »

What indeed? Paris found his tongue pressing into the edge of his tooth. Nature, or a mishap he did not remember, had made its edge slightly jagged. An crevice that a sliver of skin could be slid into. Arrow shaped, like a good pen tip.

"Seems to depend. We all exert different pressure, I've noticed." Lines just ever so slightly different despite being copied from the same text. Paris' lashes swept over a gold hued eye in what might have been a wink in another place or time. Or world.

Palms brushing each other in front of his navel, Paris drew his elbows across his sides and his fingers through each other before allowing his hands to fall away. "Yes, no doubt." He murmured. A swell of emotion made the back of his throat tickle. Curiosity? Jealousy? Shame? He could not define it. His relationship with Salome was a careful one. Paris cared while trying not to become attached. He wondered who else she saw. Who else she brought before Jin-ae, eyes cast over the girl as if he could spy on her secrets. Or the secrets of her mistress.

"Truly?" A finger tip lingered. A thin circle of leather pressed between stopper and ink to keep the pot tightly sealed absorbed the oil from his skin. Gaze swept. Not wholly, not directly, looking. Jin-ae's face. The market around him. All the staring eyes felt for a brief moment. The whispers he was used to, even when they couldn't be heard. Their weight, ready and waiting on a tongue, felt, and dismissed as just another kind of breeze. "I suppose the lady does keep a quiet house, with her husband so often away."

As if there were nothing but common business keeping the couple apart.

"Never to be done. Even with those discarded by the birds themselves." Paris said solemnly. A passing hint of amusement making the corners of his mouth soft rather than hard. "I would not doubt some intrepid soul has tried, and been punished, for the thought." An idea that did not strike fear into him. For Paris the lash was just another arm of Mother Night and her handmaidens, the Priestesses. Its kiss an unpleasant reminder of what it meant to disappoint a Mother's love.

Transaction made, the pair moved off.  Paris with his simple black and Jin-ae with her colors. Did Salome give the girl time to paint? Did she even notice? Paris doubted it with a smile for the careless disinterest of his... the lady Nazaire. "Just a year?" He had practiced putting away the wash of pity he felt for those taken from other lands to be brought to Paon. Surely they had left something worse for something better, even if they were no more than slaves on the islands. Jin-ae seemed to be adapting well. Surely she was very sensible and recognized that Paon was for the best.

"All my life." Paris answered without actually asking how Jin-ae was feeling about her new home. It mattered as much as the wailing child and fretting mother. She was here now. And forever. "My mother was a priestess. So I was raised in the shadows of the temple even when I was not within its walls. The temple may change, and the lady ruling it, but otherwise things are as they have always been."

His body turned, shading hers. An angled knife to cut a sudden press. Hunters jostling the street as if they were raiders just back from the mainland. Voices loud and the imprint of their bodies louder. Psyches staining a swathe of market with jovial violence and the old blood of fresh kills. "This way, please." Arm out, palm up, his tapered fingers pointed to a break between displays that would shade them from eager elbows. The kill did not always dampen the hunger in the men. Sometimes it made their blood run all the hotter.

It was like the warmth of the sun, creeping up Paris' back as it crested the horizon. "There will be much feasting tonight." He commented dryly once they were under the shade of a broad leafed tree. A stall selling ribbons and another carved trinkets of bone, hiding them the sight of the hunters. There was a faint flush to his cheeks that darkened his eyes.


6
Rosnay Island / Re: Not a Spider or a Fly
« on: September 09, 2019, 04:13:39 AM »

Paris glanced briefly in her direction. Repeatedly. Careful slips of the eye to both keep from being caught staring, and to also not been seen as furtive. There was a trick to it he was not certain he'd exactly mastered. "They do." Paris allowed with a faint shrug of his shoulders. "But we have a difference of opinion on what makes for a good pen tip." He explained.

He felt less guilty when he inevitably ended up taking one home. Tucked into a pocket or behind his ear. Vanished thoughtlessly or chewed upon. Better they were already his own. He looked again. A strain at the corner of the eye because she walked behind him to some degree and Paris was too afraid of what turning his head to look would appear like to the marketplace.

Her answer was clever enough to still his tongue. Or was she simply that devoted? He did not think she was overlong on Paon, but Paris had no real way of knowing. Lower lip tucked beneath his tongue, he tipped his head in acknowledgment. "I do not see where there should not be." Best to let the first comment drift by. It was only right that her purpose align with her masters' needs. She was a slave.

Paints first. A dizzying array of colors and jars. The pots of ink were less thrilling in their display, being black only. But there were differences there too, though Paris did not speak of them. Nodding acceptable of her thanks because welcoming a slave in public would not stand, no matter how softly he said it. "I enjoy walking." The markets were a good place to hear gossip.

Or become it. Paris picked up a small jar of blue, the vendor smiling broadly and proclaiming it 'peacock blue'. Nodding, Paris smiled and put the jar away, body angling subtly toward Jin-ae. "I find it helps keep me connected to the people the temple serves. Plus my legs need stretching after work." He traded blues with her, half a smile curling his lips.

"Everyone has their own version of peacock blue. Or priestess blue, depending on how pretentious they are trying to sound." His smiled turned clearly into a smirk, fingers pressing a dry brush across his palm. The hairs spread and tickled his skin. "All of then trying to get closest to the birds color. It is something of a competition, and a joke."

Trading a single coin for a pot of ink, he turned away from the table, and scanned the market. He could not say if the market looked back at him with any vested interest. Half leading, they moved on together. "How long have you been in Prince Nazaire's service?" He asked, stepping around a scene in the road with little interest. A child broad tears of no interest to him while it was chided by its mother. She was not important either.


7
Rosnay Island / Re: Not a Spider or a Fly
« on: August 25, 2019, 06:58:44 AM »

Paris' head tilted ever so slightly. She stood, she recognized, but he sensed she didn't really look. Eyes like water, that slid off rather than cling. But not servile. Maybe she was too new to it for the proper sort of humbling. Some never learned it at all. "Yes." Sometimes they died, because of it.

His father had never stooped or shrank. Sandals stirring the dirt of the marketplace, Paris shifted so she could glide by without becoming to close. The angle of his body changing with the direction of his hips. "You're welcome." He couldn't help the amusement that curled the corners of his mouth. His smile deep rather than wide.

Paris should have left then, but he lingered. Fingers moving over goods as he listened to her barter. Half attentions paid to each other. They looked familiar in a sea of strangers. But Paris had been born to Paon, and he very much doubted Jin-ae. She wasn't afraid enough. When she was done, her focus returned to him, and Paris' fingers fell away from manuscripts he had never intended to purchase.

"Myself mostly. But a little of both." He took her attention as invitation and matched his pace to hers, his stride only slightly longer. Side by side would have been too much. An admittance that they walked common ground. There was too much questioning about Paris status as it was. And he was likely to be flayed if Salome suspected him of prancing about with her spy.

"The temple has others to do its shopping. Housekeepers and seneschals who know what is needed all over." He explained, tipping open a bottle of paint. The slowing of Jin-ae's steps leading him to her destination. "Probably many of them. There is much to organize there." He admitted with some surprise. He had never much thought about it before.

"And yourself? Who do you shop for this day?" He sniffed a small pot of ink and put it aside with the air of someone all to familiar with the product. Telltale traces still staining his fingertips and nail beds. "This shade of red is imported. That deeper color will be half its price." He informed her solemnly, tipping the offending color on its stand, his voice pitched so that the stall keeper was less likely to listen in.


8
Rosnay Island / Re: Not a Spider or a Fly
« on: August 22, 2019, 06:46:54 PM »

Paris licked the smile from his lips. Tongue hold his lower lip against his bottom teeth until they bit. It was a curious experience, fear angling toward his person. He couldn't remember the last time, if ever, he had incited it. Hand rising, he wipe the saliva his tongue left behind from his lip and chin and tried not to laugh at her bowing.

He recognized this one.

The sweep of her dark hair familiar. Caught in glimpses as she moved along the outskirts of Salome's house. The slave the lady's husband had brought to live with her. Salome was sure the girl was a spy, and Paris wasn't willing to risk Salome being right, so he did not argue, just followed along. More time spent out on the terrace that circled the house. Less time spent lounging in her bed.

"Forgiven. Jin-ae, isn't?" Dog-girl, Salome called her in that spiteful way she had. The lady herself was almost as terrifying as her husband. Fingers stroking down from the corners of his mouth to the tip of his chin, Paris shrugged. "No harm done. Are your books alright?" He asked, eyes bright against the sun, and internalized mirth. Salome would kill him for chatting up her slave in the market.

But she was a vindictive, sensitive soul, he'd learned quickly, and did not worry.

His eyes rolled around the market, body seeming to slump forward. If he'd had more hair it would have fallen into his face as he looked about. No one seemed overly concerned about them. But aware. He wondered if people knew and talked about his late night gossip sessions with the lady Nazaire. Or was it that the prince's slave was now conversing with him.


9
Ile de Paon / Villeneuve, Paris
« on: August 06, 2019, 08:02:47 PM »
Paris Villeneuve


The Basics


Full Name: Paris Villeneuve
Age: 239
Gender/Pronouns: male/him/his

Ethnicity: SL/LL mix
Birthplace: Rosnay, Paon
Current Location: Rosnay, Paon
Profession: Temple Scribe

Caste: Warlord Priest
Birthright Jewel: Summer-sky (CUT 06)
Offering Jewel: Opal (CUT 62)

Face Claim: Simon Martyn


The Body


Height: 5'10"
Body Type: Slender
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Burnished gold

Appearance:
Skin a pale gold where his eyes are dark, Paris stands out against many other islanders. His is not the body of a raider. Lean, weak as a warrior, he was made to carry books. Callouses from quills rather than blades. Beneath his dark mop of hair, his gaze is gentle and his smile kind. Wariness at the corners of his eyes. A different sort of man among the wild, violent warriors of Paon.


The Mind


Craft Strengths: 12/15pts
Telekinetic Manipulation
Preservation Spells
Guidance Craft
Communing
Craft Weaknesses: Ceremony Craft. Shields.

Personality:
Paris has learned its best to keep your head down and eyes averted. To be deaf to the insults slung your way. Long years of practice have turned him indifferent to the mocking of others. Serene in the face of their scorn. Long years to make him comfortable in himself. Confident in an unassuming way that doesn't rouse tempers.

Perhaps it his priesthood that lends to his calm. Grounded by Mother Night so that his warlord temper is not roused in return. His protectiveness runs toward care rather than defense. Distraction rather than violence. Clever in his mild manners, using the easy way he is dismissed to listen to what he should not.

Open and friendly when he is not hiding behind walls of invisibility, Paris loves a good bout of gossip enjoyed over a meal paired with wine or tea, the steeping of which was taught to him by his father.


The Backstory



History:
A common enough story on Paon. A child born between slave and islander, but there was one subtle, yet striking difference. Paris' father was the slave. Captured in Dhemlan before the war on Witch and brought to the islands so that they could make use of his knowledge. He was skilled with a sword, and a quill.

Mind sharp, he made a good life for himself, despite his station. He wore his invisible shackles with confidence. Bonds could only hold you as tight as you allowed him. Decades after his original master had died, as the short live had a tendency to do, he found himself in the care of a rather cunning and beautiful woman.

With this woman, he made a son. Paris, for all his father's looks, was raised almost wholly as an island native. His mother was a priestess, and she took the devotion of her household very seriously. Her son would outlive, as his father would, but he could be her lasting legacy. His century long devotion to the Darkness a mark she could leave upon the world.

So his upbringing was rigorous. His place always one of a knife's edge. Was he citizen or slave? Claimed as his mother's son, but still, his father had never been made free by any owner or patron. Not even his mother. His father did not much outlive his mother, but Paris has. For decades he has worked quietly in Rosnay's temple. Just avoiding the cut of Eunuch-hood, by fervent refusal. That life was not for him, as much as he was often mistaken for one.

Jewels nothing to worry about one way or another. Dark enough to keep him free, light enough to make him below suspicion. He enjoys the roiling politics of the island. The strange, smiling way the people stab at each other. Enjoys too, walking outside the seclusion of the temple and tasting life outside its service.


The Writer


Player Name: dergon/cole
Player Pronouns: she/her
Timezone: -6
Contact: PM or discord
How did you find us?: I was in the closet

Inactivity Instructions: Archive and write out as needed.

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