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  1. Yesterday
  2. Hope

    Away & Here Notices

    A belated appology for my absence from posting, I'm doing my best to clear the worktable so I have time to leisure here with you all (and our characters). But's it's not been happening has it. And Im picking up learning a new skill this year too, which I'll need to find time to practise. Hmm, perhaps the thing would be to shedule playtime slots into the week. I'm going to think on this a bit more and come up with a plan. Sorry this post here is a tad inconclusive.
  3. Caroline Despanay

    Away & Here Notices

    Good luck!
  4. Aria

    Away & Here Notices

    The laptop has arrived. Give me a few days to set up everything and I'll be back to posting.😁
  5. She gave a frown as some things suddenly occued to her ... "But if you are the one to return this it will not bring you harm will it? If so then I shall gladly take the blame and consequence." She put a finger to his lips to still his laugh. And hands. "This is not something to take so lightly My Lord. What if that Lady's Husband were to take umbridge and give way to some flight of fancy that had occured? If this was HIS gift to his wife then would he not want to kow how you came by it?" "Remember how I discovered it? I do not know who that Gentleman was but it was clear he left in anger. What if he was a Lover and this a token of affection between them?" "No this is becoming far to involved. You might well step into some domestic dispute between the Mountjoys!" Grace had let her imagination and her desire to keep HIM Safe run in all directions. He would have to be firm and resolute in his assurances that he would be in no danger for her to believe it. His question of what she desired had all but been forgot.
  6. Last week
  7. After spending the late morning looking at account books in the palace, Louis was ready to speak with his sister Lucy. He had been selected to break the news to her about Nicolette. She was often found waiting on the Queen. Being married and with child, it was likely that Queen Karoline might seek her company. So it was that Louis sought out his sister in the Queen's quarters. Making inquiries of the guards, he hoped that she might come out and speak with him for a time
  8. "A style, indeed," Francis agreed, in a whisper. "I see that you could be quite the influencer in many fashionable and knowledgeable things if you wished to be." As to his own part, he snickered quietly, "Oh, hardly. I assure you." He was quite useful for all manner of things of that required little court knowledge, but he did not see himself as any influence in any sort of matters of State. There wasn't room for more talk, because Caroline then showcased her own incomparable ability. Francis had an affinity to stringed instruments, but in comparison to such skill, he was very mediocre at violin. Buckingham seemed quite enthralled, for he was not leaving any commentary, as he would if he was bored. Francis had learned some things about the Duke after living with him! "Brava!" Francis echoed Nicci's sentiments. And then there was Sophia's finale, which would be quite bonkers if she pulled it off. He knew the protection was essential. THere had been several times singers had caused him to want to plug his ears without trying to break a glass, and not because they were poor singers. They had serious lungs. Sophia's ability was almost uncomfortable even with the protections. And then it burst. In the silence immediately after, Francis' voice could be heard saying candidly in shock, "I'Faith, I think my heart stopped!" (OOC - I'm going to post as Buckingham after Nicci posts)
  9. Blackguard

    A Meeting, Noon, the 6th Queen's Chapel

    It would be later that the servant would report to Davina. The lady that left the church took many twists and turns but the servant kept up with her. Near Picadilly Square she entered a carriage painted light blue. There was no emblem on the coach door. As he sought to follow, a large man interfered with his progress. Perhaps she knew she was being followed. The man that held him looked like a foreigner, perhaps Spanish. When he was released, the servant could not find the carriage.
  10. Blackguard

    Killigrew Calling April 7 morning

    Dressed in a dark suit, knowing it was a preference of the Spanish, Thomas Killigrew arrived at the residence of the Spanish Ambassador. Lady Toledo had summoned him to discuss something theatrical.
  11. Blackguard

    To Master Killigrew | arrrives 5th April

    Milady, I shall see you then. Your Servant, Thomas Killigrew
  12. It was late morning by the time he arrived at his offices at Somerset Palace. He had expected his men to arrest one or two servants from the house in question so they might be interrogated. Charles sensed he was getting close to solving the dagger mystery. Once he learned the identity of his antagonist, the soldier hoped to bring things to a speedy conclusion. Sitting behind his desk, he awaited the arrival of the prisoner(s).
  13. His business was done in the park and it was now getting quite late. He had not visited Catherine Sedley since Darlene had shown her face at court and Charles imagined that Catherine would suspect something soon. Women were like that. He hoped that she would be too tired and would send him away. If she had retired for the night, he would gain credit for the visit but not have to speak with her. He rang the bell and awaited her servant.
  14. Charles was deeply uncomfortable to hear himself described as 'kind.' Embarrassed, even. It was not a quality he had ever associated with himself, indeed in many ways it clashed with his self-image. Generous, yes, he had long believed in being open-handed, but ultimately he was a pragmatist, or so he had always imagined himself, and to hear the contrary proclaimed so earnestly sat as well on him as an ill-fitting justacorps. Oh God, am I blushing? He coughed awkwardly and forced himself to meet Grace's eyes. He was no schoolboy, damn it, to be routed by his own embarrassment! "It would have been churlish in the extreme of me, not to replace what I had caused to be lost," he said softly, reaching out to stroke her cheek. "And I like to see you smile." It was a relief to move back to more practical matters, and doubly so that Grace herself was so sensible about the ribbon. He smiled at her in gratitude. "That is a good thought," he agreed, musing. "Once I have devised a plausible explanation for how I came by the ribbon, I may call by the Queen's presence chamber. It can do no harm to perform a small kindness for Lady Mountjoy." His lips quirked. "Assuming, as you say, that it has actually been missed." He laughed softly, stroking his hands up Grace's sides and back down to her hips. "But come, I promised you a gift to celebrate your elevation. What do you desire?"
  15. There was agreement about meeting at the Woolsack. Finch nodded his approval. "Shall we say Friday afternoon?" I shall be able to catch up on my work Saturday." As one might expect, the Chancellor was more devoted to his job than his person. He stood in contrast to most other courtly figures who preferred to do as little as possible for their offices. "Basildon might be there," he acknowledged. "He is fond of the place." He paused a moment before revealing more. Basildon was married to his niece and they shared a great secret. "You should speak to him about Hen. It was he who warned me that Hen planned to marry some Irish chit who claimed to be carrying his child. We conspired to prevent it but Hen disappeared from court." his voice was soft and full of disappointment. "He will not speak to me of it. I can only hope that the marriage did not happen and he is greatly embarrassed by the affair." It was the fatigued voice of a parent who felt helpless to save their offspring. Children could be groomed for years and lose it all in one foolish minute. "I agree it is too quick to appoint Hen to the bench; but, he needs to lose his cares into his job. I was thinking a few years as a solicitor for the Crown in London or a nearby town. Let him practice in front of a bench before he sits behind it. You might help him in this regard. I think he would prefer reading contracts and deeds." that was as close to a jest as the elder attempted. He preferred his son to be a lion of justice. Seeing a number of people awaiting him in the hall, Finch requested "learn what you can and then let us speak of it Friday."
  16. Cordelia Lucas

    Newcastle Residence, the 6th, 2pm, Matters of Marriage

    Cordelia hid a smile and thought that this was going to get interesting. She waited until Lady Margaret had poured the tea watching her movements thinking that she was indeed well-rehearsed. She took a sip then answered back "Why all four naturally. Let us start with the one that YOU think is of the most import and I would know the reasons why."
  17. His kiss was welcom'd as always. He breathed over the stones then made his announcement which she had no doubts as he was far more learned than she in such things. She grew quiet and rather sober as he took a box from his person and held it out to her. Opening the lid she saw the hair pins and how they were blue-tipped one finger reaching out to touch them. "He remembered." She whispered then raised her eyes her smile a bit tremulous. "No one spared me a thought and so I have grown used to it. How kind you are. I shall never forget." His gift was small in comparrison to others he had given but to Grace it was the most treasured therefore the dearest. Her gaze returned to the ribbon. "Tis a pretty thing tho and it does catch the light. But I can not keep it and that is why I shall give it to you. I think you are better placed to find it returned to Lady Mountjoy - you must know of her as well and can have reason to seek her out." "if I were to, well, it would arouse suspicions and I would have to explain why I was there. And then I might be cast out or worse." "Then too tis like as not that it will be missed but then forgot. You will remember what I said to you here that first meeting? Tis how I supplemented by finding all those ornimantations that fell from cloaks and doublets and dresses ...." "Those that wear such can easily replace. I need but a few times more here and then I shall have enough pearls to string a small necklace."
  18. Charles smiled fondly as Grace relayed her story. There was something deeply endearing about her enthusiasm, and he barely resisted the impulse to kiss her again. There would be ample time for that later, but for the moment he was intrigued by this little scene Grace had painted. Who had the distempered gentleman been, and why had he been so displeased? Lady Mountjoy's husband was making some sort of diplomatic progress through the Empire, he vaguely recalled. Had she taken a lover in his absence? Wait. Has Mountjoy returned? I could swear I'd heard something to that effect... Perhaps then, Lady Mountjoy had thought it best to part with her hypothetical paramour, and that gallant had taken it poorly? No, he decided, somewhat reluctantly. Nothing he had seen or heard of Lady Mountjoy suggested that she was that sort, however much the thought appealed to his sense of scandal. He was distracted from his idle speculation as Grace produced the ribbon. Again, her wide-eyed enthusiasm called for him to kiss her, and he gave in this time. He lingered for a few minutes before breaking off to inspect her prize. Looking to answer her question, he leaned down to the ribbon and and breathed out over the gems, watching his breath fog them up. "Rhinestones, I think," he said, annoyed a little to have to disappoint her. "Though I would have to scratch them to be sure, which I am loathe to do. Very pretty though. A shame you cannot wear it — it would go well with your eyes, I think." He looked up and smiled at her. "But here. I have something you can wear." He fished a box from the pocket of his justacorps and offered it to her. "I thought it only fair, as I cost you a few when last we met." The box held a set of simple bronze hairpins, with the heads enamelled livid blue.
  19. Her eyes sparkled at the enticement of a gift and she returned his kiss. "I was flirting about looking at everything for I am new to that side and there is SO much that fills the eye! I was going to use one of the side doors in a wall but was stopped by some conversations. I know one voice and it twas Lady Mountjoys. She was pointed out to me as the Queens Lady of The Bedchamber. I could not hear all but then two other voices joined and one I knew as well. It belongs to one of the Queen's Ladies who has a foreign accent. She had come to fetch Lady Mountjoy. It grew quiet so I thought to peek further and there was Gentleman finely dressed but in some temper of what cause I do not know." "He stood for some moments then he threw some figurine across the room and it shattered everywhere. He turned and left." "I stood still and quiet but no one returned. I crept in and then I saw something upon the floor. It was this." She reached into the pocket of her skirt and drew out the handkerchief. She carefully opened it to reveal the blue ribbon with the sparkly gems. "Do you think they are diamonds?" She whispered to him her eyes going wide at the idea.
  20. Caroline Despanay

    Away & Here Notices

    Woo hoo! New toy. Always exciting.
  21. Aria

    Away & Here Notices

    The new laptop will (hopefully) arrive tomorrow. If not, it will be Saturday or Monday. Soon I will be posting again.
  22. Charles laughed deep in his throat, a low, wicked sound. "Yes, Grace, you are tempting. I know I must always fight the urge to simply carry off, and I do not think myself exceptional in that. You are a pearl of great price." That was a biblical reference, he remembered as he spoke, and he would have laughed again had Grace not silenced him with a kiss. That little nip was a good sign that she was growing bolder, he was delighted to note. He rather enjoyed it when Grace was playful and proactive. "Minx," he murmured amusedly, swatting playfully at her rump. "Perhaps you would not mind being carried off so much, hmm?" He kissed her again before continuing, voice more sober now. "I've missed you too. But come, this is good news. Well done! I have a small gift for you, but I must get you something finer now, to celebrate your good fortune." He beamed at her. (He was genuinely pleased for her, of course, but the cold reptile that sat behind his eyes could not help but note that this promotion made Grace an even better agent. He buried the thought. Such things could be considered later.) He rested his hands on her hips and leaned back into the pew, head cocked attentively. "A tale? You have roused my interest. I should be delighted to hear it."
  23. She smiled before she took his mouth to hers savoring as he teased her body responding as it always did. Quick to heat up. "And to you My Lord" She whispered back her eyes open and fixed on his one as he pulled her onto his lap. "There is no safer place and whom shall I fear - a Priest perhaps? Would I be tempting do you think?" "And if such a calamity befell me then it would naturally be waiting to be rescued." She kissed him teasing his lower lip with her teeth bitting enough to be felt and then running her tongue over the spot like a salve. "I have missed you. The days have been long. Yet I am placed different then last we met and so now ply my needle amongst those that occupy the Queens side." "I have a tale to tell would you hear it?"
  24. Earlier
  25. “You are quite correct. Placed as it is between two strong catholic powers I do not think they could achieve much. If Germany were to attack France or Poland they would surely be quickly defeated. I do not think it in them to threaten the balance of power for they are at the core a peaceful people.” “Indeed they still do hunt bear but alas they are becoming uncommon and only present in any numbers deep in the wilds of Russia. They say that in the forests of Lappland there are even giant white bears! I would dearly love to see such a beast but Lappland is so very remote and I have been away for longer than I would have liked.” He chuckled as his senior made clear that such adventures were not his cup of tea. “I do not claim to be wise doing what I do but such sport provides me with pleasure and relaxation and, as most German noblemen hunt or shoot, it provided a shared interest to facilitate cordial relations.” He then listened in silence as Finch opined about the political state of the Court and even the Courts as they both inhabited the similarly named but wildly different institutions. The Chancellor came from an old family but his rise to prominence was mainly due to his own ability and he was well respected by friends and enemies alike which was an even rarer thing to accomplish. If one was fortunate enough to receive advice from a man such as Finch it behooved one to listen carefully and heed the advice. “I have always sought to be someone the King could rely upon to lessen his problems rather than increase them. He has been generous for such services in the past and I hope he knows he can rely upon such service in the future. I am prepared to serve the King’s interests as needed but I echo your efforts in bolstering the Courts for I think it is time I spend more time representing His Majesty’s legal interests and bolstering the Crown’s influence and authority.” When Finch left off with the ominous warning of times to come Mountjoy wondered if he was referring to the succession, something that worried him greatly. He had serious misgivings concerning York’s capacity to rule effectively but he was a monarchist and believed that the Royal prerogatives were god given and the King was owed allegiance despite ones personal feelings. He put great store on the Queen’s ability to provide a son and heir which would, in his opinion, relieve the nation from great danger. But, as the Chancellor sought fit not to complete his thought Mountjoy did not deem to add to it and allowed the silence to settle and allowed the sound of their footsteps to provide punctuation the thought before continuing, “Yes, it would be politically more advantageous to be seen at the Woolsack. A friendly tete-a-tete would be more pleasurable but one needs to be seen to be effective and men of our position and rank must forgo many personal pleasures to fulfill our social expectations.” How true was that phrase. Although he did not know the details, for he would never broach so personal a subject, of the difficulties between Lord and Lady Finch, he was beginning to understand how something like that could occur. Like Finch Blount was devoted to the Law but the Law demanded toil and effort to be just and effective. Unlike the position of Master of the Horse who’s duties were mostly ceremonial and what few actual tasks there were could easily be delegated to underlings the positions of Solicitor general and indeed Chancellor required constant attention and effort. Such demands could easily affect ones family relationships. “I shall look forward to seeing you at the Woolsack then. I do like their roast beef and it has been some time since I have had a good English joint. I might also run into Lord Basildon there for, unless he has changed his ways, had been a feature there and he has always been one with keen political instincts.” Charles always listened to Finch and heeded to his words but when he mentioned the younger Heneage Charles paid particular attention becoming worried as the Chancellor voiced more fatherly concerns. “Reckless you say? I have never considered him so… trusting…naïve perhaps…” he challenged as he thought back to their time as children when they would get into all kinds of mischief. “Well… to be fair when we were young and Hen did anything reckless I must admit I was usually the one egging him on.” He frowned in concern for his old friend. “Of course I will do anything I can to help Hen, not only because of your request but for the fact that I care deeply for him and would not wish to see him hurt or unhappy.” Normally he would blame Daniel for anything that happened to Heneage and the chances were still good that his brother was a factor but now that he was an adult there could be many more reasons. “I will spend as much time with him as I am able. With the Margravina occupied with the Queen I can have him over for dinner regularly for if I am not out it is tedious to sup alone. It may or may not help but it would at least reduce your own household budget considerable.” The last was a feeble attempt at humor to dull the seriousness of the subject for Heneage Jr. was known to enjoy his food. “Yes, look at me.” He stated non-committedly. Was such a statement true anymore? Although Charles was wrestling with his relationship with his wife he was not ready to burden his mentor with such details as he did not wish to add to the considerable burden born by the Chancellor, especially now that Heneage was one of those concerns. “There are fine women out there for Heneage to find… sometimes it is blind luck. It certainly was in my case.” He thought for a bit. “I have heard that Heneage is in private practice is that correct? His current waywardness notwithstanding, I believe Heneage possesses a legal mind rivaling your very own.” It was usually not a good idea to compare one man’s professional capabilities with another but when the men are father and son there was greater latitude to not cause offence. “Might there be a position in the Courts for Heneage? I have always thought he would make a fine Judge. It is in your power to appoint him a Master in Chancery. Normally I would caution against such as it could be construed as nepotism but there is no one who could deny that Heneage is superbly qualified and such a position might provide some structure and induce a sense of purpose and duty.” Whatever the outcome Charles would do whatever he could to help his friend. When they were back to discussing legal or political matters Charles could speak with more authority and competence. He gave a soft bark of laughter when Finch mentioned the possibility of the cities bringing suit. “I do not think it would be immodest of me to state that the cities have any legal basis for action as I did my best to be quite thorough.” He cocked his head. “That being said, it would not be wise to revisit that well anytime soon. I was careful not to overreach and the Guilds understand that there is a cost for doing business but any repetition would certainly lead to discontent and become counter productive. With Danby gone and with my former success in providing coin I was worried that His Majesty would expect me to continue in such a capacity and that is a service I would not relish continuing. I will of course wait upon the King and provide any service I am able for I am still desirous of advancement but for now I am content to consolidate what I have already achieved and perchance even have some time to hunt and spend with my family for little Hope has become much less little in the year I was gone and I have missed the Margravina’s company.”
  26. Charles was almost always inclined to play. Indeed many would say that it was his besetting sin. (But those people were so dry and boring it was a continual amazement to him that they did not shun breathing as too great an excitement. Besides, it would be downright ungentlemanly to disappoint Grace by refusing her invitation, as even those walking vacuums of joie de vivre would have to concede.) He kissed her slowly, softly, as an aperitif. One arm curled around her waist, bringing closer so he could properly enjoy her soft warmth pressed to his side. He broke off for a moment, teasing, and then kissed her again. He was in no rush. This, alone of all things, he would always have patience for. Abandoning his kisses, he looked at her, familiarising himself once more with the elegant lines and curves of her features and form. "Good morning," he whispered at last, smiling, and dipped his head to press his lips to the hollow of her throat. He tarried there, wondering if he could coax a moan from her. "You should be careful about where you fall asleep," he mock-chided between kisses. "Why, any rapscallion could come along and snatch you up." He drew her into his lap. "And then where would you be?"
  27. Charles Whitehurst

    Business in the Park | 10pm-ish, 6th April

    Outside the Gates Leave it to the clergy to spoil the fun of firm-handed security measures. "I thought the clubs and staves better than bringing muskets and bayonets Bishop," Whitehurst tried to explain. "The clubs and staves are needed to provide motivation for the vermin of the city to move along and not return." He looked for Trentmont to see if his mentor would offer any wisdom. It had been his idea to woo the church. If the Church was going to be mad at Charles if he bloodied a bunch of malcontents, then it would not only lose the purpose of including the Church, but it would make things worse. It caused the young lord to wince briefly in the dark. The path was clear, no matter how unsatisfactory it might seem to him. Turning to his men and officers, Langdon ordered "men, use your weapons only for defense. Tonight you are to encourage the rabble to leave the park and never return. We can threaten them with arrest if they do. Tonight is for chasing them away, rather than beating them. If you are attacked by a mob, you are free to defend yourself and call for others to join you. Violence will be met with violence but peaceful exit will be met with peaceful escort." "I hope that meets with your satisfaction Bishop," Charles asked.
  28. Louis Killington

    Back at the Woolsack Later April 5th

    Basildon found himself agreeing with the other lords. The King did not have many old friends. There was Buckingham to be sure, and Louis had that flank covered. There was his brother James, who was friendly with Basildon. Another flank covered. Was he falling back on the old CABAL? Was that why Arlington was relevant at all? "Despite the ... uncertainty shrouding the court, I predict better days ahead. The Country Party shall fail. The new funds for the Crown will undermine their plot to keep the Crown poor and weak. The new heir to England will render the Exclusion Act irrelevant. They can continue to attack the French and Catholics, which will gain them some support of the masses, but they have little else to offer. It is not enough to sustain them. The Court Party and royalists can offer a better vision for the future I should think." These were safe enough words inside the Woolsack, "Speaking of changes around His Majesty, who do you gentlemen think will be the next Chief Minister, if there is one?" He would have volunteered Buckingham aloud, but saw no need, especially since he had thrown his lot in with Buckingham, which was likely known to the other two lords. Others have speculated that the King shall have no other Chief Minister, but I wonder." Louis still struggled with the notion that there would be no head of the Court Party. Of course, if true, it would be temporary for, some day, Basildon was convinced that he would be the Chief Minister to an older King Charles or his heir; of that he was certain. He just needed to be patient and collect more allies.
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