The baroness ruelli

chapter 1: the woman at the banqueting table

The summer's heat was stifling when the royal court first became abuzz with talk of the a Baroness- none of it flattering. The snide tongues of withered courtiers told improbable tales of a woman ruled by her appetites. They said she gorged herself night and day on the richest and least delicate dishes she find. They said she draped herself in obscene quantities of jewellery and dressed in overpriced silk. They said she was an inveterate drunk and an incorrigible harlot. Naturally, I was intrigued.

Sadly, I didn't meet the Baroness until approximately a year after rumours about her began circulating. In the meantime, her numerous detractors called the validity of her title into question and began to whisper that she had inherited through ignoble and occluded means. Yet, no matter how unutterable the reputation grew, I never seemed to spy the woman behind it. And of course, the more often I missed her, the more I desired to meet her. I had conceived a strange notion that there must be more to this Baroness than the wild rumours suggested.

I began attending the royal court more frequently and staying for longer intervals. Finally, one day in early July, my persistence paid off and I was rewarded with my first sight of the Baroness. By then, her critics had started to comment profusely on her weight. She had never been sleight, but after a year of continuous overindulgence, they claimed, she was the largest woman to ever hold a hereditary title.

I assumed these extreme claims were exaggeration... until I saw her with my own eyes. I walked into the vast hall where the monarch du jour held court at that time (it really doesn't matter who it was who sat on the throne, of course- one royal backside is much like another). As my habits dictated, I gazed about to see who was in attendance... and I saw her. She was unmistakable: she wore expensive-looking heavy silk and her fingers were covered in jewelled rings. On her wrists, golden bracelets hung and glowed like firelight. Necklaces of every precious metal known to man were draped about her neck. But the most striking thing about her was her enormous size. She was seated at a vast banqueting table and she took up three large chairs. In fact, her haunches overspilled her trio of seats and was obvious that, in a month or two at most, she'd take up four or five. I could see the outline of her body through her silken gown and realised that her gut would have spilled all the way to the floor if her vast thighs had not blocked it. Each of her breasts was bigger than her head and each of her arms was thicker than my waist. I had believed her detractors had exaggerated her size but, if anything, they had understated it. What they had failed to mention, however, was that she was sumptuously, indescribably beautiful. Her unblemished, cream-hued skin seemed to whisper of warmth and delicacy; her features were engaging and perfectly proportioned; her dark hair hung to her shoulders and seemed as soft as velvet.

As I watched her, the Baroness pulled a dish across the banqueting table towards her. From my position by the door, I could only estimate the size of the thing, but I guessed it was about 25 imperial inches. It contained a thick, sweet-smelling pie that was clearly designed to sate at least a half-dozen people. The Baroness consumed it in less than three minutes. Each slice passed her ruby lips in a bite or two and disappeared into her cavernous belly in an instant. As soon as she was done, she put aside the emptied dish and reached for another.

I believe I would have watched her do this for the rest of the day, had a fellow courtier not tapped me on the shoulder. 'Twas the Earl of Sussex- a man I knew from some years back.
"You seem hypnotised," he remarked. "I take it this is the first time you've seen the new Baroness?"
"Aye," I replied.
"She's a real puzzle, alright," remarked Sussex. "She's hated by most of this rabble, but the king seems to hold her in high esteem. It's got something to do with a service her father- the old Baron- once rendered him, I think."
On any other day, this bit of courtly intrigue might have piqued my interest. Today, it barely registered. My eyes had returned to the beautiful and capacious woman at the table.
"What's her name?" I inquired. "Everyone I hear from calls her only 'the Baroness'."
Sussex, who had clearly not spoken to the belle personally, searched his memory until he came up with the answer. "She's Baroness Ruelli Colsalt, of Oxford," he said firmly.
I nodded my thanks and walked slowly over to the table.

"Baroness Ruelli?" I inquired. "I apologise for coming to you without a formal introduction, but I've heard so much about you that I simply had to meet you myself."
The smile she turned upon me in response was so alive and so full of genuine human warmth that I was momentarily taken aback. In royal courts, people look at one another with guarded eyes and cinched-up faces. Seeing her open, delighted smile was like watching a lamp spring to life in a darkened room.
"No need for apologies," her voice possessed a playful and lilting quality. "take a seat and have a drink with me. I'll be glad of the company in this lonely place- the other gentry seem intent on ignoring me... for some reason." As she said this, her eyes glittered with mirth. She was clearly fully appraised of her negative reputation and found in it a source of sly humour.
"With pleasure," I quoth, and helped myself to a glass of wine.
"Now, I believe you have the advantage of me. Will you tell me your name?"
"Of course- sorry. I'm Redwell, Earl of Normandy."
"Well, Redwell, Earl of Normandy, will you do something for me?" she asked.
"Of course- anything!"
"Anything? Such chivalry! All I wish to ask is for you to pass me that trifle. Oh, and the chocolate cake right by it,"
I obliged and we soon fell to talking about courtly life and how absurd it was that she was shunned, just for enjoying life's more immediate and tactile pleasures. Every few minutes, she'd pause the conversation in order to get me to pass her some fresh delicacy, which would vanish down her throat before I'd spoken my next two sentences.

As the day wore on, I found it increasingly hard to keep my eyes from her body- particularly her expansive and swelling stomach. As she poured course after course into it, it filled out her silk dress to an ever-greater degree until, eventually, it was straining the seams of the garment near to their breaking point. In fact, I found myself hoping that they would break, for I longed to see her voluptuous physique without a barrier of silk obscuring it.

Her conversation and her body enchanted me in equal measure. In short, I was utterly captivated.

***

IN THE NEXT CHAPTER: THE BARONESS'S EXCESSES CONTINUE AND A MYSTERY EMERGES. TUNE IN TOMORROW FOR THE NEXT CHAPTER!
10 chapters, created StoryListingCard.php 7 years , updated 7 years
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FAbrit 7 years
(continued)... and Robert W. Chambers. They write a bit like that, so it's probably had an impact on my own efforts. smiley
FAbrit 7 years
Thanks for the positive feedback everyone! I'm glad you appreciate the writing style, girlcrisis: I was deliberately trying to immitate writers of that era so that the style suited the story's era and setting. Plus, I've been reading a lot of Lovecraft an
Noarthereonl... 7 years
Dude this is fantastic! I'm so hooked, looking forward to part 4.
Girlcrisis 7 years
(Continued)... Blackadder for a more recent reference.
Girlcrisis 7 years
Your style is so delightfully charming and unexpected. I love the light handed wit and slightly farcical tone, it reminds me of Augustan writers like Jonathan Swift or Henry Fielding (a sentence I never thought I'd be writing on this website) or, y'know,
Hurgon 7 years
Great start!