GROUP CLOSED An Ode to Etiquette?

Noctis the Devious

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Raina Somers
Female | -teen | Lady

"When you move forward, you move your front foot first," the Earl of Grey said, giving a demonstration of the way fencers advanced. "When you move back, you move the foot behind you first in a proper retreat." He then went through the movements quicker to show how it was supposed to look in practice. Easy enough.

But as Raina took the stance to go through the movements herself, the doors of her father's studies were opened by a flustered maid. "I know you said no one was to disturb you but the Lady of the house--"

"--wants to know what she's still doing here," and there her mother stood, nearly shoving aside the maid to make her dramatic entrance. Raina wasn't nearly impressed enough to straighten out of her stance. Not that her mother would notice with the way she was staring down her father. Whatever. She advanced forward anyway as her father showed her.

"Last I checked our daughter still lived here," Lord Dacian quipped.

Lady Sadie was not amused. "Her etiquette classes, my dear husband. Mrs. Clark was kind enough to squeeze her in and she, to no one's surprised, is being rude! This!" She gestured to Raina still practicing her advance, "This is why she needs them! No Lady should moving in such an abhorrent way, and in a dress!?"

Raina couldn't help the smirk. Abhorrent? Her mother made it sound like she's practicing to dance naked in the woods. If anything, her mother should be impressed she wasn't tripping over her skirt, but, then again, if her mother was impressed by anything she did she would have no choice but to get the church involved.

"Mrs. Clark..." Lord Dacian mused. "She's supposed to be taking on that foreign prince?" His question was directed to Raina, most likely realizing how determined her mother was to exclude her from the conversation altogether.

"And Lord Caleb... Brown? Kenmare?" She only knew because her mother hid her interest in her daughter sharing a class with some sort of prince and a son of an Earl poorly. She's pretty sure his family name was Brown and his father was the Earl of Kenmare. Her mother gestured to her once more as if what she had said proved whatever point her mother was trying to make. Raina made a face.

"Well an appointment is an appointment," Lord Dacian conceded. "Come along Raina." He grabbed his favorite hat that hung on the coat rack by by the door on his way out, giving her mother a polite nod as he passed before ducking his head to put it on. He handed his rapier to the maid and Raina followed his lead.

"And where are you going?" Lady Sadie demanded.

"What a father can't escort his own daughter to her lessons?"

"I thought we were going to have tea together?!"

"We still can, I'll just be a little late!"

The answering aggravated huff had Raina snickering.

Too bad that same amusement couldn't follow her out the door and to Mrs. Clark's class. The woman in question was an elderly lady with thin gray hair pulled into a bun so tightly her wrinkled skin was being pulled back with it, and her nose could pass for beak. She looked down on Raina with sharp gray eyes and barely there lips threatening to tug into a sneer. She looked even less amused by her father's spun story about their carriage falling apart and needing to repair right there on the side of the road.

"My Lord, you have my sympathy for the hardship that felled you on your way here, but Lady Raina is not the center of my attention. If she's to continue lessons with me, punctuation is a must. I won't tolate such tardiness in the future no matter how many wheels your buggy loses. And I have yet to hear an apology from the young Lady." Those eyes were on her and the tilt in her head made it so she literally had to look down her nose at Raina.

"I'm sorry, I was the one chasing down the wheels," Raina drawled. The Lord of Grey nudged her. She sighed through her nose before giving in. "My deepest apologies, Madam, it was not my intention for my grave misfor--" a sharper nudge had her rethinking her words, "I mean, it wasn't my intention to undermind the worth of your time and I'll be sure to give it the due respect it deserves in the future." Not like it wasn't her time being robbed from her or anything by the very woman who dumped her on this poor soul with the hope of getting rid of Raina.

What exactly was that woman hoping to get out this? One of these two purposing to her after seeing how refinely she could drink out of a tea cup?

Mrs. Clark didn't seem appeased and may have been about to turn them away completely, but the Earl of Grey was a sharp, stoic man in public and knew how to stand at full height to look down his nose at someone as well. "That's was quite the apology, wouldn't you say, Mrs. Clark? Now that's been said, I wouldn't want to keep you from your class further. Your time is valuable afterall."

Oh did Mrs. Clark look annoyed and boy did Raina have a hard time containing her smugness! "I've heard better and more... sincere, but I supposed that's what I'm here for. Go and take a seat Lady Raina. We have much to go over."

Now Raina was deflated. Oh right, they were trying to get her in etiquette classes. She looked to her father one last time and he wink. "Sooner you get this done the sooner we can make it our own appointment." She huffed but went to her seat anyway.
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Caleb disliked London. It was loud, restrictive and his access to the countryside was limited. If he wanted to be fair, London had its perks too. It was easier for him to slip away and roam about without people recognizing him for quite a long time. It had a variety of architecture that he could spend hours sketching upon and eavesdropping the conversations of the members of the Royal Society could be fascinating. However, while Thomas and Patrick would be busy in promoting Patrick's budding political career, he was stuck in etiquette lessons with an old lady that was clearly bitter with life.

"Go through with the lessons. It will please father...." Thomas had told him at the steps to Mrs Clark's establishment. "Father is never pleased with anything I do." Caleb cut his older brother in a sour mood. Young Lord Thomas looked down on his baby brother and sighed. "It will at the very least, take his ire away from you for a while." Caleb snorted in response. That would be maybe true for a week or so, then the Earl of Kenmare would discover some other mortal flaw in his youngest son to draw ire from. "Be a good lad and I promise at the end of each lesson we will go to Tattersall's. By the time we go back to Kenmare you will have everything you need to ride your own horse." Thomas knew this would get Caleb's attention immediately. The boy had a turbulent relationship with their father and horses were his way out. But he also knew that Caleb had reached the point where he loathed having to take one of Father's horses and tack. Such a reward would guarantee the boy was in his best behavior for as long as possible. He had to hide a smile as Caleb immediately perked up and gave him the stink eye as soon as he realized how he had been played. "I'll hold you to that Lord Thomas" He said with a mocking pompous British accent. "I would expect nothing else Mr. Caleb." Thomas replied in kind and shooed the boy away and up the stairs.

That is how he had found himself staring at the Earl of Grey giving the most ridiculous excuse for being late and his daughter, and future classmate of Caleb, deliver a rather indignant and insincere apology - though you would never know if you looked purely at the words and not their delivery. Towards the end of the altercation, with the Earl of Grey coming out on top, much to his pleasure, Caleb returned to his sketch of Astley's Amphitheater outer façade. He wished to clean his lines a bit more before he would have to go through several hours of how to drink tea and hold a knife the 'correct' way. "Unless you plan on taking notes Mr. Browne, I kindly request you put your notebook away and focus on the task at hand." Mrs Clark was quick to turn her attention on him too and Caleb suppressed the urge to groan, managing to tone it down to an annoyed huff.

@Nemopedia @Noctis the Devious HERE WE GOOOOOOOOOO

August (Yilmaz)
Male | -teen | Sultanzade / Mr.

Princess Fatma was a woman of meticulous planning, wasting virtually no time whatsoever to get her son Yilmaz into the daily tidings of incoming scholars that taught him all there was to know about his new life in London, including etiquette. Nevermind the fact that the air here was much damper than it was back in Constantinople, or that the sun was less warm and its appearance in overall infrequent and often obscured. Yilmaz would grow accustomed to the cool temperatures and the constant chill he felt, she had claimed, but they couldn’t delay his education any further now that they were so far away from the Ottoman court and were expected to prove themselves as civilised people, instead of the barbarians the English believed the Ottomans to be.

“Introducing,” the servant who had led them into the little class of Mrs. Clark, the tongue rough and foreign still to Yilmaz as the servant peeked down at the card handed by his mother, “sultanzade Yilmaz bey.” The little tonal inclination upwards was such a clear sign of astonishment that Yilmaz could only sigh inwardly, making sure to show none of it outwardly, he had been taught that much in court, before the servant continued with a sound of discomfortable triumph as he had noticed the next line on the card.

“Mr. August Yilmaz.” The servant exclaimed, satisfied for an easier name to pronounce which dissatisfied Yilmaz immensely for it wasn’t the name he had chosen but one his mother had forced upon him, accompanied with all of the misunderstandings the English had about the lack of a surname to their understanding. The servant had done his job, however and left August behind in the room with two guards at his side, one foreign and the other Ottoman, dressed like an Ottoman, which was much too cold for the English weather, but pride wouldn’t allow the soldier to dress otherwise as Yilmaz approached the Mrs. Clark who was about to be his teacher.

“It is an honour to be allowed to study under you, Mrs. Clark” Yilmaz would repeat that one sentence he had been saying so often now, taking a bow by bending one knee and crossing his arms. An Ottoman greeting that rose brows here, but Yilmaz hadn’t been taught anything different until Mrs. Clark had gently pushed her hand into his view and waited for him to take it.

It was in this setting that Yilmaz, now redubbed as August, found himself meeting two more students that were to join him, the first a boy, just a little older than him, that was referred to as Mr. Browne and had immediately set off to drawing in his notebook, followed by a girl about his age who looked as displeased to be here as Mr. Browne did and August felt but didn’t show. Etiquette, it seemed, was no one’s favourite class to take and that worried August all the more, for it didn’t seem to come naturally either if an entire class was needed instead of the reprimandings of his nannies and mother.

Standing next to his seat, as Mrs. Clark had taught him just a little before, August thus made a bow to both his classmates, this time bowing from his waist instead, as he had been instructed, before straightening up, waiting for Mrs. Clark to do the introductions for them. But first both his classmates were receiving a reprimand as well, it seemed, relieving August only a little to know that he wasn’t that far behind in class.
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Once all of the children were seated - though it felt more like she was herding cats than young Elites with Mr. August, her one foreign student, being the exception - Mrs. Clark stood in front of the round table that had them all seated in a triangular arrangement so that at the very least none of them had to sit directly opposite of one another. "Let this be your first lesson; a formal introduction needs to be made and for a formal introduction to happen, a third party must initiate it. For example, Lady Raina Somers, this is Mr. Caleb Browne. Lady Raina is the third daughter of the Earl of Grey. Mr. Caleb Browne is the third son of the Earl of Kenmark." She paused for what Raina could only assume was for them to stand and curtsey and bow respectively to one another.

Raina's eyebrow twitched. She's already seen what polite society had to offer through the games her sisters play, one thriving and even making her own rules just to see others flounder as they tried to guess them, and the other to survive as she fancied the company of women over men but still had to secure herself a comfortable life. She was already seeing it in her older brother, who Mrs. Clark deemed not worth mentioning in this scenario as third daughter sounded better than fourth child, in the way he was made to hold himself and stern his heart everytime he saw the young commoner girl who parent's owned the sweetery their father took pleasure in taking them to for a treat.

And she saw it in irony that it was going to be because of polite society that she was going to have to stab someone for Selene and Declan, which was fine enough for her. Afterall, her father held enough pull to have all charges dropped if so need be. The way she saw it, it didn't matter how she felt about her position, or how her cunning eldest sister who was arguably more suited for Earl, was going to be over looked for Declan, in the end she was an elite and she was going to take advantage of it where she could.

In this situation though, there were no pros or cons to weigh, so she simply turned to August who she was meant to ignore until she was formally introduced to him, and asked, "Don't you greet people differently? How do you do it? And why's that man over there half naked?" referring to the Ottoman guard who wasn't in fact half naked, simply under dressed, an important distinction Raina didn't deem important enough to make.
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August (Yilmaz)
Male | -teen | Sultanzade / Mr.

Whatever Mrs. Clark’s intention had been in neglecting to introduce August, the insult was interpreted and taken already but swallowed down for the sake of proprietary and to be the bigger man. That was, until Lady Somers decided to make it a point, turning towards both guard and August as she dismissed whatever the mrs. Clark was trying to teach.

“Sultanzade Yilmaz Bey, you should not take this insult to your person,” the guard hisses in their mother tongue, to which August, sighs deeply, holding a hand up to signal the guard to stand down and not to pull out the hidden knife before turning to both mrs. Clark and Lady Somers with a sombre look.

“What greetings matter at the Ottoman court matters here not, for this isn’t my uncle's court,” August first addresses Lady Raina, his English, though somewhat fluent, still evidently awkward on his tongue. Turning towards Mrs. Clark, August addressed the next elephant in the room, hoping to calm the guard further. “My mother has passed her instructions, I believe, for prince August, but I prefer the address of mister August Yilmaz,” the male announces, hoping that this would dispel any tension in the room before he turns towards the guard behind him, never switching over to his mother tongue in the presence of all these foreigners surrounding him.

“It would do us all good to keep our temper, even when out of the Ottoman court,” he warns the man before making a mental note to request a switch in guard for the future, for the aggression displayed by this man had done his damage already, as evident from the paled features of mrs. Clark.

“I’m sure mrs. Clark meant no insult in skipping over my introduction,” the male smoothly ended with a diplomatic smile on his features, a rigid training of manners from a different culture and a court ruled by fear and intimidation on full display within the young prince presented today.
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Caleb had been very familiar with hushed aggression. The Irish were not fond of the British and he had seen the subtle and not so subtle ways that the common people as well as the gentry would express their displeasure, often in Gaelic. His ears picked up the tone of the Ottoman guard even before he had shown significant signs of aggression that had Mrs Clark grow paler, if that was even possible. While he had acknowledged the introduction to Lady Raina by raising his eyes away from his sketches and nodding his head politely, he did not go beyond that. It was obvious that the young Lady was equally displeased with the prospect and would rather focus on the foreign young man instead.

Caleb had followed the interaction both amused and highly curious. It was not every day that one got to see an Ottoman in London and Caleb was intrigued by who appeared to be a Prince and his guard. He was sizing up the soldier, taking stock of his gear and uniform. It was fascinating but quite lacking in warmth for the time of the year. “I’m sure Mrs. Clark meant no insult in skipping over my introduction,” The newly introduced Prince Yilmaz assured everyone with a pleasant smile.

"Even so, I would have expected our formal instructor to have paid better attention. I may be lacking in formal etiquette, but I do seem to recall that a Prince is above the third son of an Earl. Or is foreign royalty beneath our own, Mrs Clark?" Caleb questioned, closing his notebook while leaving his pencil in to mark the page. He smiled a more challenging smile than August Yilmaz had just a few moments ago as he straightened up. He was told to behave as much as possible during his lessons with Mrs Clark, but honestly, if the woman was willing to make such a blunder, was she even qualified to teach them about the finer ways of high society? "Whatever the case, I must say that I share Lady Sommer's curiosity on the subject at hand, Mr Yihlmaz." Caleb did his best to pronounce the other boy's name properly. Which, was not necessary very successful, but the effort behind it was obvious. His tone had a certain smugness, directed at Mrs Clark, yet it was honest in his curiosity.

If he was going to spend a significant amount of time in the presence of Ottomans, he might as well make the most out of it and learn as much as possible about them.
While Ms. Clark floundered - clearly she had underestimated the difficulty taking on these three particular elites - Raina grinned woofishly. She recognized the tone Prince-- Mr.-- August used while dealing with the rudeness of their teacher and his own guard. It was the same one Selene often used! Though she never had to reign in an Ottoman guard. Celeste often called her a snake for it, and perhaps she was, but she was a snake that treated her darling little sister to chocolate covered strawberries so Raina never paid any mind (it wasn't as if Celeste was the better of the two, she just went about baring her fangs differently).

"Whatever the case, I must say that I share Lady Sommer's curiosity on the subject at hand, Mr Yihlmaz."

"See, I'm not the only one!" She exclaimed with no small amount of triumph. "Okay fine, how about this, we can show you how we do things here in Britian, not that I find it particularly interesting," she grumbled the last part under breath, "and then you can show how you do it back at your "uncle's court"! This is the perfect opportunity for what my father might call a cultural exhange." She nodded, finding her own words wise.

Then an idea struck her, and she leaned in with the full intention of conspiring against their teacher and whispered to August with a hand raised, "Also, if your guard slips up with the knife I won't tell. Doesn't have to be anything life threatening, just a quick poke could get us out of here".
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August (Yilmaz)
Male | -teen | Sultanzade / Mr.

A natural curiosity to all what is foreign and exotic. August had met with that often ever since he set foot on the island. Not to himself alone, but to all that had seemed normal. In return he himself had marvelled at the peculiarness in which he found himself. Their manners and their food and language and now this.

“Very fine, that sounds like a proper exchange,” the male answered to Lady Somers. A glance of an eye was thrown into the direction of mr. Browne who had not much more to add than more sarcasm for the poor mrs. that was supposed to teach them all the manners to be had. It certainly set a tone within the small group as August wondered if his mother had deliberately put him within a class of outcasts, for even he could see that none of the behaviours expressed was proper, his uncle would have their heads a hundred times over, or if she had hoped that he could finally make friends, for so far the prince had none.

Leaving the guard unaddressed August thus sat back down when a maid entered with a tea set for three, oblivious as she was of whatever had happened just minutes ago that left their governess pale as a sheet. "If Lady Somers and mister Browne would be so kind," August beckoned for the other two to begin their part of this cultural exchange, ignoring that as well.
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With a lopsided smile, Caleb rose from his chair and assumed the most pompous air he could master without bursting into laughter at Prince Yilmaz's request. He gave a polite bow to Lady Somers and then turned to the Prince. "Mr. August Yihlmaz, may I have the honor of presenting Lady Somers, third daughter of the Earl of Gray." He said with an all self important tone, mimicking the adults perfectly but clearly not believing it. He bowed politely at Raina and waited for her to extend a hand he could kiss, before sitting down again.

He observed the reactions of Mrs Clark and otherwise waited for August to keep his side of the deal.
Raina curtsied in return, the stay her mother forced her into this morning assuring her posture was perfect, which made for one less thing the teacher Mrs. Clark could complain about. Her mother also had wear at least four sashes so as to be concidered cheap, and it was honestly a wonder Raina could move around so energetically at all. When it came to offer her hand she offered willingly this time. As much as she hated touch she was in light spirits and she wanted to keep that way.

A quick peck to her skin and it was over. She giggled before turning her attention back on the prince looking excited to see something new for a change. "You're turn!"

August (Yilmaz)
Male | -teen | Sultanzade / Mr.

When the play started, their exchange properly accepted, August wondered for a moment if the whole display was meant to come across so sarcastically, growing a little shy even at the idea of having to kiss a woman’s hand.

It soon occurred to him that the sarcasm came from a place of childlikeness, as miss Somers was quick to jump up and demand August’s turn who stiffened at first before getting up from his seat and bowing into their direction with his hands crossed in front of him.

“That would be a normal greeting,” August spoke, earnest in his demonstration and display of his culture before turning towards his guard, the man instinctively understanding August’s intent as the man bowed low from his waist down before August lifted his right hand, which the guard then proceeded to put on his own head.

“And this would be a greeting of respect, how I would have to greet my uncle,” the boy continued, before the prince and the guard straightened up and grabbed each other’s lower arm tightly, albeit the guard put considerably less strength into it than when the good man would do it with one of his comrades, and August's own was awkward, as he performed the greeting for the first time, ever.

“And this would be between equals, brothers, perhaps,” the foreigner explained, even if he had no real brothers to speak of and his brothers, or rather cousins, in court would never greet him as such either.
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