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The Empyrean: Open Night

Social Night and Open House! Are you curious about what the Empyrean has to offer? Well, come on by for free drinks, entertainment, and atmosphere. This is largely informal, and the place will be open to exploration and enjoyment of the different amenities - some of which are usually only open to '(future) members only'. It begins at sundown (5pm EST) but will carry on until dawn! (ie whenever people start to wane).

Date

June 8, 2018, 5 p.m.

Hosted By

Iseulet

Participants

Belladonna Rook Sabella Bethany Duarte Ford Wylla Niklas Karadoc Tabitha Dycard Aethan Iseulet Theo Prisila Nilos Cullen Elloise Gianna

Location

Arx - Ward of the Crown - The Empyrean - Lunaris

Largesse Level

Refined

Comments and Log


Cale, the Highhill War Hound pup leaves, following Seth.

Iseulet is dressed in her finest silk dress, hair pulled up into a twist and secured with a pair of hairpins, sporting her golden Bard's College pin and while she is nothing but grace and poise there's a certain urgency to her feet as she bounces here, there, and everywhere, checking on attendants and right now samping the quality of the wine. She's a bit aglow, maybe even a little bit nervous but that's channeled into energy, it seems.

2 Grayson Guardsmen, Clark, an exasperated guard, Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting, Valor, a small brown and white corgi puppy, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting arrive, following Sabella.

Renault, the mustachioed Lycene, 2 House Velenosa Guards arrive, following Theo.

Bethany looks around with a curious gaze after she comes in. She's dressed respectably, not above her station -- or not TOO far above it, anyway. The pianist attracts her attention, and she smiles.

Is he on time? Oh. He is? Ford was hoping for that fashionably late. But he can always impress upon that punctuality. Either way, he makes his way in, spotting Iseulet and pulling his mouth into a grin as he approaches, "Well well, look at this place." He glances around, "Last time I was in here furniture hadn't even come in yet. Now look at it."

Nilos bustles about a ball of lively energy, the man seems to be 'sampling' from a glass of wine as well as he makes his way about making light conversation with those as he passes by.

Gianna sweeps into the parlour clad in red silk, her dark hair unbound. She holds her head high, as though she's far more important a person than she actually is.

When Bethany enters, Iseulet looks up and smiles, "Ah, the first visitor of the evening. Welcome, I'm Iseulet Blackshore." She is given a friendly dip of the head, "Feel free to come in and look around." And when Ford enters another dip though perhaps held for a beat longer. "Marquis Kennex, thank you so much for coming." And Nilos is given a little wave from across the room when she finally catches his eye. To Gianna a knowing smile - look! Iseulet is wearing the pin! "And Gianna Whisper, welcome."

Sabella is right on time like everyone else, looking up and around, turning in small circles to take it all in, "It's gorgeous!" she compliments to no one in particular, beaming a smile around, "Well worth the wait it seems! Mistress Bethany, Mistress Gianna, hello!" they each get a cheerful wave.

Theo steps into the lavish room, running a hand over his tunic to smooth out an errant wrinkle. Tilting his head up, e looks around the luxurious room, clearly impressed with decor. "I must agree, Princess," Theo replies, offering Sabella a smile from across the way. "You are as radiant as ever."

"I told you'd I'd be here." Ford laughs, giving Iseulet a wink before going to find himself a drink and somewhere to sit and enjoy himself!

Bethany folds her body into a smooth curtsy. The smile she has for Isulet is warm and admiring, perfectly arranged for the occasion, really, if one was willing to overlook the fact that it never quite touches her eyes. "My lady. You have a very interesting place here. Your piano sounds lovely." She greets Sabella as well. "Your Highness."

Gianna inclines her head to Iseulet. "Thank you. Congratulations, Lady Blackshore. It all looks marvelous." She turns in Sabella's direction when her name is called, inclining her head to the Princess as well. Their sportings of the golden treble clef pins are indeed noted, and a slight smile curves her lips.

Dycard, clad in midnight blue and black splendour, makes his way into the Empyrean. He hands his cloak over to one of the attendants, then drifts further into the room. He appears to be looking around at both people and interior decor, and smiling warmly.

It's a little bit late when Aethan enters -- fashionably late? Perhaps! It's probably the only thing about him that is really //very// fashionable, but he does look neat for the occasion, so that's nice. His expression is as impassive as ever, not really what one would expect from the expression of a grand opening night goer, but it might just be his face. He steps into the Lunaris, looking around, and there's a nod toward anyone whose eye he catches that he knows, before he starts toward Iseulet, perhaps to give first congratulations.

Ford has joined the sumptuous cabriole sofa with moon motif.

Sabella smiles brightly over at Theo, "You're just everywhere these days, aren't you, Prince Theo! How lucky for me. Where's the Lady Lis?" she glances around as if expecting to see her, "Or is it bad luck to see the lady before the challenge?" she grins. She waves to Ford, "Marquis Kennex. And here's another one, I swear you travel in packs! Which is also good for me since I like the lot of you."

"Thank you, Marquis Kennex." Her smile unfading she greets Theo and Sabella with a curtsey, "Good evening Your Highnesses." Iseulet's attention turns toward Bethany curiously, "Why thank you. All thanks to Alsandair's masturful touch."



From the side, Alsandair heard his name and turns a little to look over his shoulder to the crowd to give a wink!



"Thank you so much, Gianna. Again, not all credit can be mine. Again, Alsandair played a big part in helping me get it ready." Then, she turns her attention toward those gathered and begins to introduce people. "Gianna, I'd like you to meet Nilos Latsis, a fellow business partner here at the Empyrean. Sadly, not much of an entertainer, but a good friend of mine."

She waves to Dycard and Aethan as they enter, "Hello my Lords, welcome. Thank you for coming."

Bethany slips away from Isulet so that she can greet her other guests, and goes to offer her praise to Alsandair at the piano. ... And maybe get a little closer to the source of the music.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Dycard before departing.

Gianna finds herself a drink somewhere, somehow, and thus glides on over toward Iseulet with one in hand. She inclines her head to Aethan as she passes. She is looking considerably more upscale these days. "I'll congratulate him as well," Gianna tells Iseulet once she's arrived. She inclines her head to Nilos. "Well met. Gianna Whisper. What sort of business, if not an entertainer?"

returns the smile, taking a glass of wine from his servant Renault. "Perhaps, Princess, we both just have a knack for being in the right place at the right time?" He gives a loose shrug of his shoulders, walking closer to the Princess. "She's off getting into trouble somewhere or another, I'm sure. Starting a bar fight, maybe?"

Nilos is slipping up beside Iseulet no sooner then it seems his name is mentioned "Darling aren't you dressed exquisitely, that dress works /so/ well with your hair it ought to be a crime." the man bringing his glass of wine to obscure the grin that is spreading over his features, "Oh I do a little bit of this and that. A book binder by trade though my art is styling hair like no other can in the compact."

Theo returns the smile, taking a glass of wine from his servant Renault. "Perhaps, Princess, we both just have a knack for being in the right place at the right time?" He gives a loose shrug of his shoulders, walking closer to the Princess. "She's off getting into trouble somewhere or another, I'm sure. Starting a bar fight, maybe?"

Aethan nods to Iseulet returning the wave. Well, he lifts his hand, anyway, though a smile does touch his face briefly, and it's genuine. "Lady Blackshore," he says. "Congratulations. Seems like everything worked out how you hoped it would." He makes a somewhat vague gesture with the lifted hand, though probably meant to encompass the surroundings. He moves on for the moment to continue his greetings, though, returning Gianna's nod as he does, and there's a half-wave to Sabella, too, before his gaze shifts to the Marquis. "Ford," he says, "evening." His attention is caught by Bethany passing and he inclines his head to her, as well.

Jiacomo, the Velenosa seneschal arrives, delivering a message to Theo before departing.

Gianna's eyebrows arch gently. "Do you? I'll have to keep that in mind whenever I next require a flawless hairstyle, Master Latsis," she tells Nilos. "And I am sure I'll require one at some point for some performance of another."

Dycard returns Iseulet's wave with a half-bow. "Lady Iseulet," he says to the woman. "Thank you so much for the invitation, and congratulations on this magnificent place." And if his swordbelt and boots look far too old to be worn with his silk and velvet finery, he has self-confidence enough that it can be assumed that it's an affectation.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Dycard before departing.

Ford nods and lifts his drink to both Sabella and Aethan when they greet him.

Bethany dips a brief greeting to Aethan as he passes her; it's not a lot more than touching her skirts and bowing her head, but the feeling is there. Having spoken for a short time with the pianist, she resumes her stroll of the room.

At least Wylla hasn't brought her cat to investigate. The Archlector of Jayus heads into the Empyrean, her silk robes at least not paint-splattered for the occasion. She eyes the crowd a little uncertainly, quite clearly looking for somewhere to fade into the woodwork for as long as she's here, reserved nature clearly out in full force. Still, she manages a, "Hi," a little awkwardly, scanning the room to try and spot the evening's hostess.

Theo takes a thin roll of parchment from the seneschal, giving Sabella an apologetic look. "Apologies, Princess." He cracks the seal, then, rolling out the message and glancing over its contents. "I really must be see to this, Princess. Have a wonderful evening, hmm?"

"I'll try to swing back by, if I can," Theo adds, then turns to hurry out.

"I will just walk in and stay for a few moments, yes. There is nothing terrifying about being out in a social setting. It's all mind over matter and the matter is that - oh, what beautiful stone. It's surely marble." Elloise steps in, cutting her self-given pep talk in half in order to crouch and run her fingers along a marble tile. Out of the way, and all but engrossed with the geology of the Lunaris.

Renault, the mustachioed Lycene, 2 House Velenosa Guards leave, following Theo.

Sabella laughs and snags a drink from somewhere, "I'll drink to that! Especially since Lord Niklas isn't here yet. But yes, I find that going to openings and events like this is always a good thing to do. And go, go." she shoos him and then goes to catch up with Bethany, "Lady Mercier," she greets, "You are Tabitha's sister, right?"

Belladonna arrives to the soiree completely and utterly stag. She lacks even her usual entourage of guard and assistant, instead sweeping into the room on her own. Head held high, she moves through the room to aapproach Iseulet with a faint but warm smile, reaching out with both hands to graps Lady Blackshore's own, leaning in to kiss her cheek and murmur something to the woman before straightening to say quite clearly, "The whole place is utterly decadent and delicious. Congratulations on your success, Lady Blackshore. May all Arx celebrate with you tonight." Giving a last squeeze of her hands, Belladonna departs from the company of Sieulet to let her receive other guests, the Duchess instead moving towards Ford with a warm smile, "Marquis Kennex, a pleasure as always.. how do you fare tonight?"

Bethany notices Theo just in time to see him rushing out. She shakes her head with a small, private smile, and then turns her attention to Sabella. "I'm her cousin, Your Highness."

Nilos nods knowingly, "Of course, I mean can one ever not be in a place where a flawless hairstyle would be out of place." with a click of his tongue he shakes his head "Of course not, I'd say looking our best is a moral imperative."

Looking up from his seat and his examination of the completed surroundings, Ford smiles to Belladonna, scooting over on the couch, "Bella, good evening!" He gives the sofa a little pat pat, "I'm doing well enough. How are you doing? Have you gotten yourself a drink?"

"Apologies!" Sabella replies with an apologetic smile, "I knew you were related somehow! I just wanted to enthuse about what great work she does! She's such an amazing artist! Just the other day she sent me a painting of wildflowers and I swear I could smell them they were so realistic!"

Gianna smiles suddenly, with the hint of a dimple. "I like you," she tells Nilos, though she is almost immediately distracted by Elloise, whose gown she peers at quite thoughtfully.

"Thank you so much Nilos, and Lord Kennex. And yes, Nilos makes the most stunning wigs." Iseulet nods to Wylla, smiling broadly, "Now that I have you all captive here, those that aren't going to mind terribly, I have a little bit of an ice breaker game planned, so we can all get to know each other a little more, and quite possibly have a laugh... I think we're almost all strangers here - and that just won't do. I myself am a bit of a stranger here in Arx, when I arrived I almost entirely imprisoned myself here, so! It's a night to make acquaintences and ties. There's no pressure - I just have a series of silly questions or simple requests and those gathered whether participating or not can place a vote for who they think is the cleverest, funniest, wittiest, punniest answer or completes the request the 'best' - or worst... I realize, some of us might not be drunk enough for something like this." She lifts her glass up a little and takes a long draw from the flute with a little sigh, "But at the end of the night I have a little prize for whoever accumulates the most points."

Noticing more faces Iseulet waves, her smile broadening, "Good evening, welcome. I'm glad you could join us!" She says to Elloise and Belladonna.

Wylla's hand raises to her hair at Nilos' words, uncertainly, checking her own style. Her eyes widen. She starts to blush a bit. "I..." is all she gets out at first, before she hears the news about the icebreaker. "I..." she repeats. And then she moves for alcohol, with a disconsolate little flutter of her hands, looking more than a little trapped by having to be witty. A long drink follows.

"She's very talented," Bethany agrees with Sabella. "She sells a few things through my tea shop from time to time." Then she falls silent and turns polite attention to Isulet to listen to what she has to say.

His greetings finished for the moment, Aethan moves toward the couches by the fireplace, though when Iseulet announces an icebreaker, he turns back toward her, and his eyebrows raise slightly. A little huff escapes him, and whether it makes it to a laugh or not will have to be decided by the listeners.

"Oops, sorry. Are you looking at my gown? Yes, you likely are. I am doing nothing but crushing very pretty umbra while studying the composition of the floor." Elloise admits to Gianna with an utterly oblivious smile. She bows a little in place, "Lady Elloise Leary. Elly, if you please. I hope you are having a good evening here. At this place. Here." Watch her run of small talk, swiftly. "Are you a musician?"

Dycard makes his bows, greets those he knows, makes his presence generally known, and then quietly departs. Having supported his cousin publically, he is indeed become Lord Not Appearing At This Event.

2 Grayson Guardsmen, Clark, an exasperated guard, Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting, Valor, a small brown and white corgi puppy, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting leave, following Sabella.

Gianna listens to Iseulet, one brow arching again at the mention of party games. Hmmn. Then, she inclines her head to Elloise. "I was indeed looking at your gown," she confirms. "I'm having a black gown made with some feathers, actually. Pleased to meet you; I'm Gianna Whisper. I'm a singer and a musician."

"Juliana Pravus designed it for me. After, mm, I told her that I needed an umbra gown with pockets. Umbra is very forgiving. It hides all kinds of stains and it hardly wrinkles." Elloise offers helpfully to Gianna, "I don't know if musicicans deal with caustic materials the way that alchemists do, Mistress Gianna, but if so - I truly would not suggest conducting experiments in umbra. It does not withstand it. Unfortunate thing, really"

2 Grayson Guardsmen, Clark, an exasperated guard, Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting, Valor, a small brown and white corgi puppy, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting arrive, following Sabella.

"We do not," Gianna tells Elloise, blinking a few times but recovering well. Etiquette and diplomacy lessons at the Whisper House are not to be scoffed at. "So I am fortunate in that regard, should I ever come to own any garment made of umbra. I am unlikely to ruin it. Perhaps don't wear fine gowns when experimenting?"

Isabelle, who isn't happy to be doing this arrives, following Niklas.

Upon entering the Lunaris, Cullen gives a dip of his head in greeting, looking around the room briefly with a grim stare, then takes a seat on a couch near the fire. Pulling a server aside for a moment, the Greenmarcher is handed a glass of Setarco red shortly afterwards.

Cullen has joined the fireplace set about with a suite of decadent couches.

"Each room is just as beautiful as the last!" Sabella marvels as she looks around, disappearing for a moment and then reappearing.

"Common sense would dictate that, yes. However I needed to dress for this event that I wanted to attend and not be late. I was in the midst of an experiment while doing so. I really /can/ do more than one thing at once, and I didn't think I was going to spill the phial at all until. Oh. Excuse me, I'm talking too much. I will find something to drink now so that I can be quiet and titter politely at other people's terrible jokes." Elloise offers a bright, beamy expression to Gianna as she ducks away.

Bethany ends up, somehow, with a glass of wine in her hand, and drifts towards the fireplace, having taken an admiring circuit of the room.

Elloise has joined the sumptuous cabriole sofa with moon motif.

Belladonna puts Sanctuary's Avenger in small canvas bag.

Belladonna gets Setarco Serpentine Red from small canvas bag.

Gianna is left alone, blinking twice more. She gives a little shrug and has a sip of her drink, not seeming terribly bothered.

Ford leans back into the couch, sliding his arm across the top, lifting and draping his leg over the other. Happy to sip his drink and enjoy himself.

Wylla shoots Gianna a sympathetic look as she puts down her drink, a shy smile sent the other woman's way. She moves for the piano, clearly in hopes of hiding herself behind its bulk. She's not clumsy, though; no keys go accidentally pressed as she edges her way by.

Wylla has joined the exquisite ebony piano.

Aethan has joined the fireplace set about with a suite of decadent couches.

Cullen Raising an eyebrow at Elloise, Cullen looks rather intrigued. "Are you going to conduct experiments in here? I would like to see some of these. As long as you don't spill anything on me, of course. That would be rather vexing and a bit more than I need in a day." Nodding to Bethany given his intimate knowledge of the tea shop, Iseulet is given a smile. "Lady Blackshore, a pleasure. I am glad to see you got your project off the ground and quite well at that." Eyes turning to Gianna, "Congratulations on your school, Goodwoman Gianna. I look forward to seeing all of the talent that it shall turn out."

It would seem the Duchess has brought her own vintage tonight, a rather rare Setarcan wine that she gives to the sommelier with very precise instructions about how to open and serve the wine. That accomplished, she moves about the room more, waiting for the waiter to bring her a glass as she makes her rounds. Pausing by the couch Ford is seated at, she lets the fingertips of one hand fall on his shoulder, offering him a brief smile and a few murmured words.

Iseulet dips into the back into the room and is greeted by.. Cullen! "Good evening my Lord, it's wonderful to meet you. Welcome. You should join the game! I think we will do ten questions - or requests." Think.. truth or date! And pulls out a small box with a slot on top as well as a little bowl filled with strips of folded up paper, "Alright, so!" She places the box down, should anyone wish to cast their votes, along with paper and quill.

Ceremoniously, she pulls out the first piece and unfolds, reading it out loud. "What are you most self-conscious about?" She pauses a beat and places it to the side, "As host - I'll go first but I won't be accepting votes for myself.... Lets see. My absolutely obnoxious laugh. When I /truly/ find something funny and lose my conposure? I snort. Like a donkey." She looks up to the others and hopes that she isn't the only one to offer up something, lips curling into a little smile.

Niklas wanders in, looks around, then heads on over to Sabella to sling an arm around her waist and give her a kiss, "Good evening everyone!" He calls out, "Ford! How longs it been? I feel like it's been say, a month and a half?"

"Thank you, Lord Cullen," Gianna calls over to Cullen. Thankfully, she can project. "It's not actually a school, but I'm sure we can discuss that later." Because there is a game. One Gianna is not leaping to contribute to.

Aethan nods to Cullen as he sits down, settling back on the couch. He turns back to Iseulet then, though his attention is caught by Niklas' entrance, and there's a wave to his cousin before he turns back to the hostess. He does not offer his answer quite yet, though.

5 Silvershields arrives, following Rook.

Nilos thinks for a moment before chiming in "I am most self conscious about my breathing sometimes." tilting his head he looks around the room with a faux pained expression as if all those around him understand "Have you ever noticed that if you start to think about your breathing you won't just do it by reflex, each breath will be purposeful?"

Wylla admits quietly, "/Everything/," to Iseulet's question. And, yes, she's starting to redden again. But then the silver's dropped a bit, and she asks to pretty much nobody in particular from where she lingers by the piano, "School that's not a school: this wouldn't be that Bard's College, would it?" Niklas' entrance makes the Archlector smile, but she doesn't move to greet him. Clearly he's busy!

Ford cackles deliciously from the couches giving Belladonna a sly look, offering the seat next to him on the couch. When Niklas enters and calls out to him, "Oh. Well. I guess I'll cancel the funeral arrangements then."

Sabella is pondering the answer to Iseulet's question when Niklas is suddenly right there! She returns the kiss with a smile and leans into him a bit. "Most self conscious? Hm, my poetry. I am a dreadful poet. I still try from time to time but what I come up with is truly awful."

"Pardon, what? No - no, no. No experimenting at a social function. That's simply rude. I was only satisfying my own personal curiosity by studying the marble. It has a very pretty quality to the veining, glittery. That's all, my lord." Elloise remarks to Cullen, "Sorry." Next, she quickly fetches herself a flute of something bubbly and sweet and she perches restlessly on the edge of a sofa. "I am very self-concious about everything. I do not unders-" grey eyes flit toward Wylla, hopefully.

Planting an elbow on one knee and sipping his wine, Cullen offers forth fairly quietly towards Iseulet, "My terrible memory. Forgetting people, things I should be going to, appointments to keep, the fact that the Bard's College is not a school - I'm sure someone told me what it was at some point - basically...yes. Anything to do with my memory." A grin at Elloise is given, though. "Yes, the marble is quite beautiful. And I should like to hear about these experiments some time."

Gianna calls out, lightly, "My cloven hoofs?" That is a joke. That must be a joke. But her dress is long, is the thing. She nods to Wylla. "That very one, yes," she confirms.

Bethany curtsies to Cullen with a warm smile. "Good evening, Lord Greenmarch." Then Isulet is posing the question, and Bethany listens to the replies, coming one after another.

Belladonna looks back to Iseulet with a faint but wry smile, lifting her shoulders in an elegant shrug as she gives her own answer. "I'm afraid I must be -that- person, my lady. Nothing. There is absolutely nothing about myself that I am self-conscious about. I have wholly and completely embraced every aspect of myself. Its a truly.. freeing, experience." She takes up Ford's offer, settling onto the couch next to him, smoothing over the skirt of her dress briefly before the waiter arrives with her Setarco Serpentine Red. Holding the glass carefully by the stem, she takes an experimental sip, then nods her thanks to the sommelier for his deft hand with the bottle.

Belladonna has joined the sumptuous cabriole sofa with moon motif.

"Oh!" Wylla exclaims, as if Gianna's just hit her with a bolt of lightning. Or kicked her with a cloven hoof. "I, um, I'm Wylla. Archlector of Jayus." She looks back at Elloise, clearly a bit puzzled by the attention. But she summons up her nerve, adding, "I'd like to see the Bard's College sometime, if I could. When it's done. Whenever it's done. That's fine. Take all the time you need." A soft smile. And she adds, "If anyone is uncertain about their art," with a look to Sabella, "Feel free to bring it by the Shrine."

Gianna has joined the exquisite ebony piano.

Gianna murmurs something quietly to Wylla once she reaches the piano.

1 Crimson Blades Lieutenant, 9 Crimson Blades Private arrive, following Prisila.

"I'll have to steal Belladonna's answer." Ford says with a smirk, "With an amendment. Nothing I'm going to divulge in this room."

She laughs softly and dips her head in thanks to those that have participated, "Feel free to cast your votes now." And Iseulet gestures to the box, but does not cast one herself. "Ah, Duchess Belladonna, if only I could be so free. Time to go to.. round two! Those of you that have just arrived - we are playing a bit of a game to get to know each other a little better. I'm asking ten or so randomly chosen questions - but I'm armed with hundreds, just warning you all... feel free to answer, or to abstain, cast a vote if you feel someone has given a particularly creative, inspiring, funny, candid, punny - really any reason you'd like to cast a vote, you can. At the end of the night, I have a small surprise for whoever has gotten the most votes."

Niklas looks around as other people answer and shrugs saying, "I'm most self conscious about my position in my family, it's a family of sailors and shipwrights and I neither fare well on the sea nor am I crafty. Octavia is an accomplished magistrate and I will never be anything like that and sometimes I think they must all be happy I am becoming a Grayson."

Sabella gives Niklas' arm a little squeeze and his cheek a quick kiss, "Well now I'm self conscious my answer wasn't very good!"

"Good evening to you, Goodwoman Bethany," Cullen returns with a welcoming smile as he sprawls out a bit more on the couch, looking as sleepy as ever.

Aethan still doesn't answer the actual question -- though he does listen to other people's answers -- but when Niklas speaks up, he turns that way, studying his cousin for a moment or two before he speaks up. "Happy for you, Niklas."

Wylla responds to Gianna's words at the piano. But at the dire threat of hundreds of questions, she edges away slightly. "Surely that's a joke?" she asks, as if it were somehow in question.

Right during the beginnings of a new game does a large group of people that quickly fan out and blend into the background, as much as heavily armed and armored people can of course. Prisila tries to pretend like she doesn't know them as she slips away and grabs a drink while heading towards the familiar faces like Ford, who's given a wink, and Nilos who is embraced and given a kiss on both cheeks. The Duchess Belladonna is given a courteous bow and a gentle word of greeting. Now, to make the rounds.

Bethany says one word, once everyone is done giving their answers: "Existentialism."

Gianna peers curiously at Bethany, blinks, and then continues a quiet conversation with Wylla.

Nilos returns the kiss to each of Prisila's cheeks with an exaggerated 'mwah' noise telling the woman as she passes on to mingle with others "You are looking fantastic dear, I love the hairpins, they really tie it all together."

Cullen leans up on an elbow with his gaze fixed on Bethany for a moment. "Interesting. Wouldn't have expected that. More going on in that tea than I had suspected."

Having handed her dark blue cloak to an attendant with a polite smile and murmur of thanks, Tabitha moves into the room in her usual graceful, quiet fashion. Skirts of pale blue silk shimmer with each step she takes, and her cobalt gaze glides around the room with an artist's eye. Taking a drink from a server, she dips into a curtsy when she spies Iseulet, but does nothing to disturb her or take her attention away from those she might be speaking with. Sipping from her wine-glass, she looks around, giving a nod and a small smile to bethany, but not immediately making her way over to her cousin.

Bethany gives Cullen a small smile. "You pick things up from time to time, my lord."

The courtier, Rook Grayward, enters with a rather bright eyed glance. There's a little narrowing of his eyes as he surveys the interior as if trying to make out the details but he seems otherwise invested in meeting the others who have ventured forth. The Crown Minister of Coin tucks his hands behind him, clasped, as he wanders towards a seating arrangement and flags down anything sparkling and alcoholic.

Rook has joined the exquisite ebony piano.

Gianna's gaze flicks to each new person as they arrive, taking in their finery. Prisila. Tabitha. Rook. Like she's casing the joint?

Poor Tabitha trying to make a quiet entrance and then from across the room Sabella shouts, "Tabitha!" and gestures the woman over her way. "I was just telling your lovely cousin not five minutes ago how amazing you are!"

Rook has -divine- linens on. Gorgeous, but cheap, or at least compared to the silks. He's the old mobile phone you'd be offended if someone didn't steal it from you.

Eyebrow lifted in acknowledgement, Cullen replies to Bethany with a hoarse chuckle, "Apparently so. I'll have to listen closely to what else you speak of."

Wylla offers Rook a shy smile as he arrives. Something Gianna does, though -- because there seems to be a slight lull in the conversation --makes her laugh abruptly, before a hand raises to her mouth to cover it up. "What about the other one?" she wonders about something, and then adds something more quietly to Rook.

Iseulet greets Tabitha with a smile and a wave before she reaches into the bowl and fishes out another piece of paper, unfolds and reads outloud: "Who inspires you? Who do you aspire to be like?" She raises her brows, "This one's hard. It can be family, friends, fictional, a figure from history - feel free to get creative. Hmm. As host, I'll go first. I'm not sure of the person's name - but it's said that she was the most amazing, sparkling dancer, singer, playwrite, actress. S-something, I believe."

The Founder, Iseulet, is given another looksie before Prisila smiles and looks back to Nilos,"Always with the compliments Nilos, I appreciate it when it comes with someone who's got so much fashion sense. By the way..." A coy gesture to the coat he was wearing,"Cute. Really cute." The Seraceni slips an arm through his and takes the room in. Somehow, she'd managed to manifest a drink by sheer will alone. Or deft fingers, who knew? Rook Grayward is given a thorough once over as he enters and Gianna's gaze, was noted and appreciated, from the way she flashed a smile to the inquisitive woman.

Bethany laughs, a light and musical sound, unobtrusive. "I'm afraid that might wind up being a waste of your time, my lord." Then she hears Tabitha's name and gets on tip-toes to try and look over the heads of the crowd. She notes what direction Sabella is going, and waves over there.

Wylla then ohs at Iseulet's answer. This is her wheelhouse, it seems, because she's suddenly much more tuned in -- given her vicinity to that piano! -- than she was before. There's only a minimum of throat-clearing and hesitation before she puts forth, "Jayus, of course. Jayus inspires me. Jayus should inspire everyone, including friends and family and historical figures and, I guess, people in fiction. If anyone needs Jayus to inspire them, you need only look into your heart for the powers of creation; you need only dream up art for it to come to you." It's coherently and competently stated. But, just at that point, her words seem to slam into a proverbial brick wall and stop abruptly, lapsing into immediate silence. It takes her a few more moments before she can resume her conversation at the piano.

The second question has Ford leaning back into the couch a bit, running his fingers along his chin to consider this answer. Oh! It's time for another drinky winky.

OOps, Hi Sabella. A meek little wave from Tabitha as she lifts her free hand and wiggles her fingers in her patron's direction. And then she's quietly moves towards Sabella, offering another wave to Bethany as she moves over. Curtsy then, having reached the princess. "Princes Sabella! Hello." Peeking over in Bethany's direction, she then turns back to the blonde princess and smiles sweetly. "Oh, thank you! How are you?"

"Sabella inspires me. Her good nature, her amazing heart, these are virtues I wish I had. My cousins Wash, Aethan and Ian inspire me, each in their own way. Ian especially, who stands high when people said he'd never stand at all." Niklas considers for a moment, then adds, "Also Giovinazzo Pravus, the greatest diplomat in history."

Elloise has left the sumptuous cabriole sofa with moon motif.

Gianna considers this question while she has a sip of her own drink. She tips her chin up and calls, "Lianhan. I hope to be remembered as she is."

Latsis Solutions <LS> is now unlocked.

Wylla eyes Niklas from where she has finally resumed her quiet conversation by the piano. It's slightly pointed, or at least as pointed as the shy woman can do. " 'And Jayus,' " she mouths towards him.

Cullen sits up straight for this question before replying with a vaguely wistful expression. "Three of my cousins. Lady Niamh, Lady Eirlys, Princess Marian. Not as the same, but greatly inspired by all three. I cannot think of anyone else who I would prefer to follow."

"I am well, thank you!" Sabella replies to Tabitha with a big smile, "And you? we are playing a game of questions and answers and you must tell the room who inspires you! For me I think it is--" she pauses and blushes a bit at Niklas' answer, "My answer was going to be you and now people will think I'm just making it up! And Jayus." she adds for Wylla.

Just as she'd slipped in, once Prisila was taken in conversation by Nilos they began slowly milling towards the cabaret arm in arm.

A sable haired man with one eye leaves, following Nilos.

1 Crimson Blades Lieutenant, 9 Crimson Blades Private, Nilos leave, following Prisila.

Harlen arrives, following Duarte.

Harlen leaves, following Duarte.

Niklas gets a smile from Belladonna for mention of one of her ancestors before musing it through for a few moments. Finally, she looks up and offers simply, "My son, Lord Valkieri Pravus."

Aethan still doesn't answer -- he is apparently not in it to win it. However, he again listens to the answers, his gaze moving among those who speak. Niklas', also again, gets a little longer look, and after a moment, a small smile, and a nod, especially at the end. He stands up then, inclining his head to those he knows in farewell, and heads for the door.

Harlen arrives, following Duarte.

A sable haired man with one eye arrives, following Nilos.

1 Crimson Blades Lieutenant, 9 Crimson Blades Private, Nilos arrive, following Prisila.

Harlen leaves, following Duarte.

Harlen arrives, following Duarte.

Aethan has left the fireplace set about with a suite of decadent couches.

Prisila returns with a bottle tucked under one arm and a martini glass in the other. "...so then I shot him in the eye. It was sad but that's how it goes sometimes." Apparently coming in on the tale end of a story that seemed to have a happy ending, the lady and Nilos were still chatting quietly as they continue their tour.

A sable haired man with one eye leaves, following Nilos.

1 Crimson Blades Lieutenant, 9 Crimson Blades Private, Nilos leave, following Prisila.

"Very well, thank you," Tabitha replies with a widening smile towards Sabella. Frowning a little in thought at the question posed, she makes a small 'hmmmm' sound. Almost to herself, she considers, "Oooh. I would say any of my family members, really. They're all very inspiring."

Rook has moved towards the piano, found himself in conversation with Wylla and Gianna, his hands clasped in his lap or alternatively reaching for some champagne. All in all, he seems ready to play, but as yet he seems to be figuring out what the host has planned for the evening. If nothing else, he looks comfortable there, at that instrument.

Iseulet laughs, "Princess Sabella, Lord Niklas - if you two get any more adorable you'll be making me feel like getting married. Can't have that." She tsks playfully, her warm smile broadening. "Lianhan? I'll have to look more into her. I'm already familiar with Lady Niamh and Eirlys, Princess Marian. And the Archlector maybe can agree that Jayus places inspiration in many places, I bet. Different things inspire different people!" And when Rook enters, she dips her head to him in greeting and waves. "Evening Master Grayward." There's a beat, "Feel free to cast your votes now, if you like." And she begins to fish around the little fish bowl for a real good one. Digging deep.

Rook says, "Votes? What am I voting on? Do excuse me, I just popped in on the way back from the palace, it looked-- busy."

Harlen leaves, following Duarte.

At the piano, Gianna explains, "The Lady Iseulet is having us all answer questions so we can get to know each other better. If you feel someone has given a particularly good answer, you may vote for them."

Bethany doesn't seem to have an answer for this one. She stands next to the couch by the fire, with her hand resting lightly on the arm of the couch, while she holds a glass of wine in the other.

Harlen arrives, following Duarte.

Duarte sneaks out with a bottle of limited edition brandy....

Duarte checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 15, rolling 14 higher.

Niklas has joined the exquisite ebony piano.

Sabella has joined the exquisite ebony piano.

Harlen leaves, following Duarte.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Rook before departing.

Ford has left the sumptuous cabriole sofa with moon motif.

Ford has joined the sumptuous cabriole sofa with moon motif.

Belladonna has left the sumptuous cabriole sofa with moon motif.

Belladonna has joined the sumptuous cabriole sofa with moon motif.

Ford has left the sumptuous cabriole sofa with moon motif.

Ford has joined the sumptuous cabriole sofa with moon motif.

Ford test?

Ford has left the sumptuous cabriole sofa with moon motif.

Ford has joined the sumptuous cabriole sofa with moon motif.

Iseulet hopefully has greeted everyone and said hello and is now digging in the fishbowl for the next question! Round Three! "Do you have any bizarre talents or quirks." She gives everyone a little look, "I might have to ask for no demonstrations. Lets see. Hostess goes first... But sadly, I think I don't posess any unusual talents. It all feels 'usual' to me! But I can whistle and hum at the same time. Which I am told isn't the most common of talents." And she looks to everyone else, putting the piece of paper back down.

Gianna has left the exquisite ebony piano.

Gianna has joined the exquisite ebony piano.

Ford laughs to himself, "Oh! I can cook. Really fucking well."

Wylla checked composure + manipulation at difficulty 15, rolling 8 lower.

Wylla outright /stares/ at Iseulet's unusual talents question. Her mouth drops open. She edges back from the piano, an aggrieved little noise escaping her mouth. It's not a word, but it is very, very awkward sounding, and she turns absolutely crimson.

Bethany checked charm + etiquette at difficulty 15, rolling 37 higher.

When Wylla goes crimson and starts stammering, Bethany, still over by the couch, clears her throat. "I won't confirm or deny this..." She smiles, blue eyes sparkling. "... But I've been told I'm pretty good at redirection. And I can play the piano."

Rook has left the exquisite ebony piano.

5 Silvershields leaves, following Rook.

Niklas waves a hand toward Iseulet. "Banjo expert! Over here!"

Sabella looks thoughtful at the question then offers, "My strange talent is that people tend to tell me lots of very strange things. I'm not sure that exactly counts as a talent, exactly, but it's the only one I can think of. And your talent with the banjo isn't strange at all, it's inspirational!" She tells Niklas with a smile.

Belladonna sighs softly and offers up, "I can read anything in a language I know, whether its backwards, forwards, upside down, or flipped. I am also extremely proficient in the art of the fan." She pauses and then adds, "And Ford really is an amazing cook."

"I'm quite good at climbing anything. Trees, rock faces, you name it. All those years in the Greenwood," Cullen replies lazily to Iseulet, sipping his wine slowly.

Gianna sighs, puts her drink down for a moment, and then reaches up to pull her hair up away from her shoulders and ears. She then proceeds to wiggle her ears. "This." It may be worse than cloven hoofs.

She laughs, "Marquis Ford is a good cook? That /is/ quite surprising... And.. Hmm, Lord Niklas the banjo /is/ quite the unique instrument to play, but I bet it comes in handy on long voyages." Iseulet comments, but pauses a beat, "Alright, we'll vote, and let me search for the next question!" She reaches into the fishbowl to pull out the next one, while everyone begins to vote!

"Hey!" Ford calls out after taking a drink, "What's that supposed to mean!"

Wylla murmurs something to the piano, nodding at Rook as he goes. But when Bethany says what she does, she breathes a relieved, audible sigh, telling the other woman, "Thank you." Her distress slowly starts to ebb. A few moments later, she follows up with even more words for the Mercier: "That was, um, kind of you. Do you play piano?"

Gianna lets her hair fall loose again and picks up her drink and says something quietly at the piano.

Sabella claps her hands together and laughs delightedly, "Mistress Gianna, is there anything you can't do? How are you with poetry?"

Gianna laughs quietly. "Nothing that I've liked for more than three weeks," she tells Sabella.

Iseulet laughs, "Just that it's surprising. That's all, dear Marquis Kennex. I expected Babs to do it all for you, perhaps?" She teases and tilts her head to the side, "Alright! Round Four! If you were an animal - what kind would you be, and why?" A beat, "Flamingo. Because I'm fabulous. And I like pink."

Ford was laughing hysterically at something Belladonna had said, as he's dabbing the laughter tears from his eyes with the back of his fingers, "Who do you think cooks Bab's meals? Oh gods.."

Bethany arranges her features in a warm smile for Wylla. The smile doesn't touch her eyes, but at least her expression is pleasant. "You're welcome. And yes, I really do. The piano and the flute. I played my way to Arx, once upon a time."

"Unicorn!" Sabella calls out, beaming. There might be rainbows. Maybe that's just the twinkling ceiling.

Gianna murmurs to Bethany, "Interesting! I should speak to you about the Bard's College at some point." Then, more loudly, she says, "I'd say nightingale, but the males are the singers. Cat?"

"The majestic stag, of course." Confident in this response, Cullen then looks over his shoulder at Bethany and her answer with an intrigued expression before Sabella's reply brings a laugh.

Wylla smiles back just as warmly at Bethany. But her expression does reach her eyes. "Oh! You can come over here and play something if you want. The fellow who was here just before, Master..." She's uncertain of the name, and apparently wasn't listening. "... he plays piano. Maybe you can play something for us, Mistress -- ?" She's cueing a name.

Ford makes a gesture with his hand in front of his nose, "One of those big billed birds. Real long bill." He lifts his eyebrows to let that linger for a minute, "Because I'm compensating? Get it?" After a few more moments, "It's a small penis joke." Then he laughs to himself.

Niklas calls out, "Pelican!"

Wylla admits, "I don't know what sort of animal I'd be. I have a cat." Quickly, she adds, as if to forestall the suggestion, "I'm not a mouse."

"I despise animals... except, perhaps, the High Inquisitor's salamander. But only that precise salamander." Belladonna intones with far too much gravity, lifting her glass for a delicate sip.

Coral, a dour formal thrall arrives, following Karadoc.

She chuckles, "Niklas I have heard stories of Pelicans... I.. maybe I can see that yes. Duchess Belladonna, I can't see you being a Salamander though..." Iseulet begins going for the next question from the fishbowl... "Voting time! And then, round five!"

Ford shrugs, giving up on his absolute quality juvenile joke falling flat. Heavy sigh, heavy drink.

Bethany curtsies to Wylla. "Bethany Mercier. And I'm only a hobbyist. I'll only embarrass myself, playing in a room with so many musicians."

Niklas reaches over and pats Wylla's arm. "A baby bunny, archlector."

"I'd say a butterfly," Sabella says after studying Wylla a moment, "Often overlooked, but quite inspirational!" She reaches out to take one of Nik's hands and then leans in to murmur something to him.

"Please come play!" Wylla enthuses, though not too heatedly, to Bethany. Her smile is kind, though, and she motions to the piano, before looking towards Niklas. "I'm at /least/ ten years older than you, Lord Niklas," she points out wryly. But Sabella's suggestion makes her beam towards the other woman. "I can accept that. Butterflies come in so many colors."

Rest easy, various and sundry patrons. The rest of the party has not arrived, no. It's just Karadoc. He strolls into the Lunaris and looks up - up - up. Then around -a around - around. He sucks at his teeth, nodding his appreciation at the architecture. The ambiance. The color gradients. With a lazy hum of approval he continues in, pausing to retrieve a goblet of wine while on his way to enjoy the hearth-side seating. "This is nice. Are we, eh, making with the small talk? Or listening to music? Just in time. I adore a good party with pianoforte accompaniment."

With the votes being cast she turns to greet Karadoc with a bright smile and bow of her head, "We're just playing a game, my Lord. Please join us, we are getting to know each other a bit better. Have a drink, something to eat." And she reads from the paper, "You have to answer the next question in the best or worst accent that you can." And to accompany it, she fishes out another piece of paper, which happens to be the question, "What is your favorite cheesy pickup line? Oh this should be /wonderful/..." She clears her throat, attempting a more Northern accent, "Fer some reas'n, I was feelin' a lil off t'day. But when you come alon', you definitely turn'd me on." A beat, "No I'm terrible at accents."

"Isn't it amazing?!" Sabella asks Karadoc, looking up at the ceiling then smiling over at him. "Like they actually captured stars!" She laughs at the latest question. "Pickup line? I don't find that I often need to use those, but I think I did hook Lord Niklas when I threw my slipper at him. Does that count?"

Iseulet replies with a grin, "If you can do it again, and with an accent?"

"Eh-a! I'm-a a Velenosa Prince-a," calls out Nik. "Let's-a go-a fuck, ey oh ey!" Niklas frowns and looks back to his table. "That might actually be too accurate."

Ford groans from his seat, "Boooo! You're supposed to be a performer!"

Wylla takes another step away from the piano, just staring. Her gaze finds something to stare at that's not a person. Aren't one's own hands intensely interesting!

Niklas looks around, "Who was that? Their ghost accent is terrible!"

Ford cups his mouth with both hands, "BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

Niklas nods. "Better."

Cullen stares at Iseulet for a moment. And then stares some more. Saying nothing at all. Just....staring. Finally, he stops and drinks from his glass of wine.

Karadoc inclines his head, paying ever such close attention to Iseulet as she butchers and accent and a pickup line in a single go. He offers a light, courtier's clap, and then proceeds in his best overly formal Crownlands accent. Looking at Wylla as he says the following, "Are you a collector of antiques, milady? If so, I've got some junk that hasn't been touched in YEARS."

Iseulet checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 1 higher.

Wylla checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 6 lower.

Iseulet sticks her tongue out at Ford, "People have /never/ paid me to s-" Then Karadoc. And she bursts out laughing. Thankfully, no snort. Not yet.

What's the next color after red? Jayus! Where are you? The Archlector's hair is now not quite as red as her face. She stares at Karadoc. Her mouth opens. It closes. It opens and closes again, looking all the world like a fish scrabbling for food. One of those hands moves to shield her gaze, especially from Karadoc. Another tentative step back, as Wylla seeks the safety of a corner wall.

Gianna reaches up to cover her mouth with one hand, a little laugh escaping her. She pauses, turning the stem of her glass between her fingers. She opts for a Lenosian accent, which is actually pretty good. "Are you a candle? Because I'm going to blow you." She tosses her hair when she says it, straight-faced.

Gianna checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 38 higher.

"Oh here's a good one." Ford smooths his hand down the front of his shirt and ahems, prepping himself.

Ford has rolled a critical success!
Ford checked command + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 47 higher.

Bethany seems pretty stubborn about not playing an impromptu concert in front of a bunch of professional musicians -- not to mention a fair portion of the peerage of Arx. And then the change in subject scares Wylla away, so she doesn't have to anymore.

Wylla has left the exquisite ebony piano.

A sable haired man with one eye arrives, following Nilos.

A sable haired man with one eye leaves, following Nilos.

IN HIS BEST NORTHERN ACCENT, BEST MIND YOU, DID YOU SEE THAT ROLL. Ford says, "Great tits."

Niklas calls out, "You're supposed to do a pickup line, not what people matter to themselves when they see you and Wash walking down the street!"

Ford looks around for something to throw.

Belladonna looks over her shoulder, casual as can be, her sapphire gaze landing on Karadoc. Keeping her own Silken ISles accent, she purrs out, "Baby, are you a mortician, because I have a large bone that needs to be examined."

Wylla chooses to take this moment to go get herself a bottle of the special Empyrean drink. How very convenient!

Karadoc narrows his eyes, squinting hard at Iseulet, and he shifts to consider Gianna, "Good evening, my lady. You look like you are a musician. If so, I ..." he pauses with a shake of his head, snorting into his wineglass as he glances back, hurriedly, to watch Wylla change colors from red to ultra-red. "Beg your pardon, Blessed. I only meant it in jest." And then he hears Ford's pick-up line. And then, Belladonna's. He loses his shit.

"Well. It's great to know, in a rool full of such beautiful people not a single undergarment will be lost here tonight with those kinds of pickup lines." Iseulet tries to stay deadpan and restrain her smile but it isn't happening and she is still practically bubbling over with laughter - nay - giggles. "Alright. Votes! That was a great round. Let me get round six!" She reaches into the fishbowl of folded up papers!

Gianna raises an eyebrow at Karadoc's direction, curious.

"You'll simply have to wait in suspense forever, Whisper Gianna, my many apologies." Karadoc, earnestly, presses a hand to his heart as he bows his head.

"...have an instrument for you to play," Belladonna finishes the terrible line for Karadoc, asiding it to Gianna.

Gianna's lips quirk slightly at the corners; she inclines her head to Belladonna. Yes, that makes sense.

"Round Six!" Iseulet announces, "Oh dear." She clears her throat, "Do you have any vices? As in, naming them. Your guilty pleasure... Hmmm. Mine? A nice bath in milk and honey. While eating strawberries and sipping champagne." A beat, "That's why I never answer messengers on Sunday nights."

Niklas has left the exquisite ebony piano.

Sabella has left the exquisite ebony piano.

Niklas pulls Sabella away from the piano and starts tugging her toward the exit. "My vice is party hopping, my lady! I had a truly excellent time and I hope to see you again soon!" He waves to everyone else, "Gianna, we should talk soon! Ford, always embarrassing! Lord Karadoc, your sister once told me I reminded her of you and then immediately apologized! Archlector, message me! Duchess... bye!" And then he's out!

2 Grayson Guardsmen, Clark, an exasperated guard, Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting, Valor, a small brown and white corgi puppy, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting leave, following Sabella.

Isabelle, who isn't happy to be doing this, Sabella leave, following Niklas.

"I used to smoke a shit load of Haze when I lived in Setarco." Ford says nonchalantly. "So much..."

"No, I should apologize. Nettie's an acquired taste. If I admit to vices, all, they aren't truly considered vices on account of being Lycene. Too much alcohol, too much haze, too much excellent food. Pshaw --" Karadoc's lips quirk, offering a lazy smile, "-- so, I will admit to virtues. I donate to charities. I feed stray cats. I overpay my assistant."

"Haze." Nodding in agreement with Ford, Cullen leaves it at that.

"Extremely well-earned vanity," is Gianna's simple reply over from the piano. She looks at her drink. She could use another, and so she glances about with a vaguely plaintive air.

"Mmmmmmmmmm.. I occasionally indulge in the pleasure of needling people into making asses of themselves publicly," Belladonna offers up her 'guilty pleasure', albeit without any hint of guilt.

"Ooooh, that's a good one." Ford nods towards Belladonna.

Bethany takes a sip of her wine. "I think math is fun," she offers.

Gianna sniffs. "That's not a vice," she tells Bethany. "It just makes you a bookworm."

"Now, now. One person's vice is another person's chore." Ford says with a waggle of his finger.

Cullen considers Bethany before murmuring, "I ought to hire you to do my paperwork. It would make my life so much easier."

She gives Karadoc a playful shake of the head and a laugh, "Well. Everyone will enjoy the Sidereal Lounge then, I see." Iseulet's brows raise briefly, "Alright, vote for round six - because round seven is coming." She reaches into that fishbowl again!

Bethany raises her eyebrows to Gianna. "It makes me too boring to have spent my teenage years smoking haze with the bad boys," she points out with a smile.

Wylla returns from the cabaret, a bottle of drink in her hand, just in time to hear Niklas' words. She waves a hand towards the man, before blinking at the others. Their answers let her understand the question, and she points out, "I love painting. Sometimes I wonder if I love it too much, if maybe -- if maybe I should try other forms of art, but I love it more than the rest of them. I don't know if that's fair to say as the Archlector of all arts. But I prefer it." She tucks the bottle under her arm. "And sometimes I wish I understood other art forms more, but then I think, 'No, they're not painting.' That isn't right, is it?" she wonders.

Gianna's shoulders rise and fall in a shrug. "It's not as though you were missing out on witty conversation or anything," she points out to Bethany.

"But now I don't have any edgy vices to confess to," Bethany points to Gianna. "I just wasn't thinking ahead, I suppose." She idly swirls her wine in its glass, her other hand still resting on the arm of the couch she's standing next to. The one Cullen's collapsed in.

Iseulet takes the paper out and reads it, "Oooh a bit dark. What is the meanest thing you have ever done to a person that /didn't/ deserve it?" She looks around pensively, "When I was much, much younger - my sister and I were having a petty argument. Or maybe it was sibling rivalry - I don't know. I forget.. Mmm.. and I decided to get back at her. Put her hand in warm water while she slept for about three months." She takes a sip of her wine innocently, "All the rest have deserved it."

Wylla murmurs, "I didn't marry him. It wasn't his fault, but he was a good man, and I didn't marry him." It's barely audible, and she sighs heavily, moving back to the piano, giving Gianna a tentative smile.

Wylla has joined the an elegant rosewood harp.

Wylla has left the an elegant rosewood harp.

Wylla has joined the exquisite ebony piano.

Gianna inclines her head to Bethany - point ceded - and then wrinkles her nose at Wylla. "You're not obligated to marry anyone. I don't think that's mean." She, however, remains silent on the subject of people she may have maligned.

Karadoc sits before the rosewood harp, foot resting on the pedestal of the instrument, hunched forward and practically curled around the main pillar as though it was his new best friend. "No --" he drinks his wine, shrugging, "-- they've all deserved it."

Chewing on his lower lip for a couple of minutes, Cullen shakes his head before blandly stating, "Pass."

Wylla shrugs at Gianna. "Oh, I know, but it wasn't his fault. It was just... I couldn't. I was going to marry him, and I couldn't, because I couldn't paint, and it wasn't..." She shakes her head, swallowing, and for once seems to realize she should probably stop talking at an inopportune moment. So she does, falling back into her routine quietness.

Ford chimes in after Wylla stumbles and gets a liiiiittle too dark, "I think we've all done things we're not exactly proud of. Or regret. Perhaps a gimme on this particular question?

Belladonna merely shrugs and shakes her head, sipping at her wine. Pauses. Then sighs. "I wronged Joscelin Arterius." And that is all she says on the matter.

Bethany takes a sip of wine. "Marriage is overrated," she opines with a shake of her head. "You did the right thing, not letting him pressure you into giving up part of yourself."

The newly widowed Duchess looks over to Bethany and lifts a brow with a pointed look.

"Ouch." There's a light laugh, "Alright. Votes we can pass on this round, and off to round eight!" Iseulet fishes in the fish bowl and reads the next challenge, "We're almost done. Now. Ooh. A challenge. The next one you have to put in as many swear words into your response to the next question as possible." She reaches in again to find a good question to ask, "Would you rather be hideous or illiterate?" She pauses, shaking her head at that combination. "I'd rather be illiterate, can always get someone to read for you if you've got the 'talent'. Oh, and fuck." She puts the papers down.

Without a moment's hesitation, Ford says, "Hideous. Every time."

"He wasn't pressuring me," Wylla tells Bethany quietly. "But it was three days before I was supposed to marry, and I just -- I just knew I couldn't, and it wasn't his fault, and I tried to paint, but there wasn't anything that would -- " She stops herself short, and then looks up at someone she hasn't yet spoken to, focusing readily on Belladonna. "The Guildmaster? What did you do?" she asks quite directly, her eyes widening.

An amused expression upon his face, "I'd fucking rather be an ass ugly hideous motherfucker than an asshole illiterate bastard because ratfuck beauty fucks off with age. Motherfuckers," Cullen finishes up with a drawl and a sip of wine.

"Oh right, we were supposed to swear." Ford says after a drink, "Shit. Piss. Cunt. Fuck."

"I think that may be the opposite of what a marriage is intended to be, messere Mercier. Unless, color me a romantic -- for I certainly am not, but. But." Another drink of wine. Another. He slouches on the bench, leans into the harp, and continues to drink. "Sometimes they just ain't the right ones. Nothing more, nothing less." Another sip, "Fucking pissers, I would rather be so ugly that bastard babies get so fucking frightened of me that they go climbing up back into their cross-eyed, pigeon-tied, buck-toothed mothers."

Wylla revises, although she struggles a bit with the words, "What the fuck did you do?" It sounds a bit like a storybook talking bird trying to curse.

Pointedly NOT answering Wylla's question, Belladonna sighs and opines, "Motherfuckinggodsdamnedshitswilligncuntsuckingcockfuckingasslicking illiterate. I can fucking always learn to damned -read- fucking later. I fucking cannot shit-tickling make myself cumguzzling beautiful later."

Ford lifts his eyebrows and shifts to face Belladonna more directly. Batting his eyelashes at her, "Why Duchess, you always say the sweetest things."

"I suddenly feel inadequate in my ability to curse," Gianna remarks to no one in particular. She does manage to catch the eye of someone with drinks, however, and exchanges her empty glass for a new one.

Iseulet checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 7 lower.

"The point is that you stayed true to yourself." Then Bethany pauses, and corrects: "Fucking true to yourself." She can even swear and make it sound right and correct and proper somehow. "I'm with Duchess Belladonna, although she said it better than I could. I'd rather be illiterate. I've learned to read enough languages that I think I could do it again."

Iseulet laughs so fucking hard that there are tears in her eyes and she's gesturing to the box for people to vote and --oop. There it is. There's a snort.

Wylla twines a hand in her hair, just watching. She doesn't press Belladonna, but her chin lifts a little, as if marking the lack of reply. She smiles gratefully at Bethany, though, and then sort of steps back from all the cursing, looking for a drink. To Gianna, she adds, "Would you like one?"

Karadoc barks out the harshest laugh, sounding like an (jack)ass when he does so. Was it at the Duchess of Setarco's epithet tirade? Yes. Was it because that Iseulet snorted? Doubly correct. He thumbs tears from his eyes, gasping for a breath. "Gods within mirrors, I think I pissed myself a little." The Saik nobleman peers through his shaggy hair, down at his lap. "No. Just a spilled a tad bit of wine. Time for a refill."

"Just got one. You missed," Gianna tells Wylla, making a little face before taking a sip of her new drink. "But thank you?" she remembers to tack on.

Quill, the grunty little porcupine arrives, delivering a message to Cullen before departing.

She can't stop giggling for a long time, "Alright. My goodness." Iseulet clears her throat and eventually composes herself, wiping away some tears, "Alright. Nine..." Another clearing of her throat, "If you woke up tomorrow as the opposite sex - what is the first thing you would do?" She pauses a beat, "Other than the obvious! I would see if I could write my name in the snow. Provided there was snow. Or see how big of a bother it really is to find a good men's tailor in the city..."

Belladonna loooks over to Iseulet with a lifted brow, "Which 'obvious' are we talking about here? There are many potential options and I'd like to know my limitations before I give response."

Wylla blinks. "He would wear a skirt," she tells Iseulet, pointing to Karadoc, a thoughtful look stealing across her face. "But then again, he already did, at the ladies' supper a couple of months ago." Her eyes narrow at the man, and then she adds, "If I were a man, I think... I think I'd like to see how the clothes feel that they wear. I'd ask one of our tailors to make me a men's suit, and I'd see how different the construction is." It's the tamest answer ever, of course.

Iseulet grins very mischiviously at Belladonna, "No, that was my answer. Aside from 'THE' obvious that might take me a good five minutes to complete if past experiences have told me anything about the male bits and bobs."

Wylla adds, to Gianna, "Oh! You're quite welcome!" Where Gianna remembered to tack on, her own statement comes a little more belatedly.

"Yes, I would. But I can wear a skirt as a gentleman as well. PASS," Karadoc immediately dismisses that question with an exaggerated wave of his hand. Instead, he considers the rosewood harp with a little more seriousness, "Hm." Another drink of wine, and he twists to set the glass beside him on the bench. He rubs his hands together, flexes his fingers several times, and finishes by cracking his knuckles. Then, he nestles the harp closer in an attempt to coax proper sounds from it.

"I'd probably get really upset, expecting myself to be a lot hotter as a woman." Ford says rather matter of factly.

Karadoc checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 12 higher.

Gianna seems to have been distracted by the piano, and she walks around to seat herself on the bench, smoothing her skirt beneath her.

Standing up and dipping his head in departure, "Shave my legs and pits, I imagine. I'd be a bit coarse otherwise." Afterwards, Lord Cullen makes his exit, folding up a message and tucking it away.

Cullen has left the fireplace set about with a suite of decadent couches.

Wylla nods at Karadoc. "Of course you can. Maybe you could come to the Skirt and Gown Night, then, when it's next on?" she wonders.

"I attempted to weasel my way into the inaugural meeting of the, eh, Ladies in Dresses event --" Karadoc admits, drawling, slouching away from the harp once he has managed to not make it sound like he is kicking kittens. Heartless noble that he is. "I was turned away at the door."

"I would seduce a woman to feel what sex is like from the other gender's side," Belladonna states it matter-of-factly.

"Alright. Votes please, and last. Round. Double points for votes received on /this/ round - because it's a bit different." Iseulet grins, "Two truths and a lie. No, we won't be guessing or confirming which are which. It's to completely stay a mystery - left to vex our minds for the next few days. Make them 'dangerous' but not... /too/ dangerous. No... I secretly love.. romance novels or.. something." She laces her fingertips together, of course taking the lead. "My three statements are: I have a secret dungeon in the basement. I have six known sisters other than my twin, Thesbe. I have a vial of a strange liquid that will eat its way through anything."

"Skirt and Gown Night," Wylla corrects Karadoc. "Technically, there was nothing saying ladies only were allowed." She pauses a moment. "Surely that's why you went, to point out that the name itself should be changed?" Because how could anyone /possibly/ just show up to troll the event, says the tone of her voice. It would be positively unthinkable. She starts to color at Belladonna's words, a discomfited little chirp following.

Gianna shakes her head and says, "I can't. I just want to know what the prize is and who won it," she declares.

Drawing in a deep breath through his nose, Ford tugs the bottom of his button up shirt down a bit. He contemplates this last round, drawing his tongue across his lower lip before he looks up and addresses those present, "I pissed off a Goddess for brutally murdering five men inside my own home. I sometimes wish I never had the name Kennex." His eyes meet everyones in the room, just for emphasis, "I love one person in this room." Then he starts to grin wiiiiiide.

Bethany has finished her glass of wine, and apparently takes this as her cue to excuse herself and slip out. Which she now does.

Karadoc nimbly snaps his fingers and reaches out, pointing his pinky and ring fingers in Wylla's general direction. In her general direction and about a foot higher than her head. (He's drunk, okay?) With a crooked, trying just enough for it to look kinda cool but not really because Karadoc is still an ass smile, he agrees. "That's it, Blessed. That's right. I was going to point out that discrepancy. You're a brilliant ray of stardust to have noticed that." Aside, he contributes to the this round: "I have a rainbow-colored overcoat of seasilk in my wardrobe. I designed a gown entirely too pink in order to peeve off my protege. I'm lonely." Empty that glass, Karadoc.

Wylla considers about two truths and a lie, thinking hard for a moment. "I'm not sure if I'm a very good Archlector. I'm secretly a, um, princess, but I fled it to join the Faith. I have a painting which no one is allowed to see." A beat. "You didn't murder anyone!" she exclaims to Ford, shocked. Her eyes narrow a little at Karadoc, not entirely buying it, but she's still stunned by Ford's admission.

"I have been the author of no less than a dozen men's deaths, whether I held the blade or not." Belladonna considers her next statement carefully before speaking again, "I am in possession of knowledge that would mean my immediate death if it got out." Another pause, and a sip of her wine as she considers her final statement. "I have danced with The Prodigal at least twice in the last few months." She sips again and looks at Wylla.

Karadoc checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 15, rolling 24 higher.

Ford looks to Wylla with a curious smile. That's the one she picked out? Huh.

Wylla checked perception + empathy at difficulty 39, rolling 25 lower.

Karadoc's dark, starkly defined eyebrows lift high - so very high - and he rolls off the bench and to his feet. "I need to get the fuck out of here before I start asking questions and saying shit to folks that will get me in ten kinds of trouble. I'm a damned Voice now. I need an barebones attempt to be somewhat respectable." He drains his wineglass.

She chuckles softly, raising her brows high, "My goodness. None of you disappointed. Not even you, Archlector." Iseulet bows her head in respect to everyone here and turns to the box, "Alright. I count the votes. Give me a moment to count..." She begins, humming to herself, chuckling...

Wylla gazes back at Belladonna, thoughtful, before she smiles at Iseulet's words, bowing her head slightly. She leans over to Gianna, adding, "You should have said something. I... I don't think I'm a very good liar."

"Oh, you're terrible at it," Gianna tells Wylla with a completely straight face. "Especially for a princess."

Wylla blinks at Gianna, owlishly. "That wasn't true," she completely ruins her attempt at deception, in a stage whisper that's perfectly loud enough for the rest of the room to hear.

Gianna's lips quirk up at the corners with what appears to be genuine amusement; the warmth reaches her eyes and everything. "Of course, Your Highness."

Alsandair, Crom leave, following Iseulet.

Alsandair, Crom arrive, following Iseulet.

Iseulet proudly announces, "Duchess Belladonna is our winner and Gianna is our runner-up. They both win a cruise for two - separately, of course. To give away or to share with someone to go see the Northern Lights. You both get a bottle of Love Affair, an exclusive Raconteur alcohol, and Duchess Belladonna wins the 'grand' prize of a whole fortnight's worth of my personal Public Relations Service." And she gives a round of applause. And so does Alsandair, enthusiastically, as he passes through.

Iseulet is overheard praising Belladonna.

Gianna's eyebrows go up in mild surprise. She slinks to the edge of the piano bench and turns around on it to accept her prizes, examining the ticket with some interest. "Thank you," she says, raising her glass to the room at large. "Well done," she adds to Belladonna.

Smiling towards the room at large, Belladonna gives a nod towards her fellow competitors before collecting her prizes with a kis to Iseulet's cheek. "Thank you, my lady. This all looks amazing." Lifting her glass in response to Gianna, she smiles warmly, "To you as well." When she retakes her seat, she leans in to murmur something to him before straightening.

Coral, a dour formal thrall leaves, following Karadoc.

Wylla flushes a bit at Gianna's words. When Iseulet makes her announcement, she claps. "Well done!" she tells both of them, giving Gianna a smile. Belladonna, though, she's still watching a little warily. "What happened between you and the Guildmaster?" she decides to ask again, out of nowhere.

"Now. That was a far, far longer game than I anticipated." Iseulet laughs ((*GLARES AT THE ARX SERVER*)) and bows her head, "And I invite you all to stay and continue to drink and talk - but I myself am going to check on a few things upstairs and see about how my other guests are doing. I hope to see you all again soon - we have a number of very interesting events coming up I can't wait to see you all at." She returns the kiss to Belladonna's cheek and makes a quick and gracious get away.



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