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Bard College Grand Opening

Commoners and nobility alike are invited to the grand opening concert of the Bard's College! In the aftermath of said concert* - hopefully the first of many - attendees will be free to eat, drink, and mingle. This will be an extravagant party to celebrate a great achievement.

* No concert emits. Nobody wants to sit through that. Just party. Yes, we're fudging the timeline here.


Oct. 9, 2018, 7:27 p.m.

Hosted By



Alaric Aahana Bliss Darren Elgana Niklas Perronne Porter Quenia Rook Sabella Wylla Hannah Agostino Tabitha Desiree Evonleigh Yasmine Modi Waldemai Mikani Berenice Amari Harlex Cristoph Aurora Berto Juniper Sparte Jeffeth


Bard's College


Arx - Ward of the Crown - Bard's College - Main Hall

Largesse Level


Comments and Log


The date is set for the grand opening concert of the Bard's College!

Music is for everyone, and so is the College; everyone is invited.


The Bard's College will be opening to the public tonight. Come for a concert, featuring myself and other talents, and stay after for the celebration.

I'm so proud of what we've accomplished. The building is beautiful. Be sure to look at the mosaic on the floor; there's always some new detail to notice.

It is good to be the Nightingale.


The grand opening concert of the College was a success, drawing visitors from Arx and beyond. I'm proud of the bards; they performed well. The Bard's College will only gain more prestige from here on out.

Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant, 1 Redreef Guard leave, following Mikani.

Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant, 1 Redreef Guard arrive, following Mikani.

Not having actually gone to many events, dispite how long she has been in Arx, Hannah has made her way here for music and seeing what's what and who's who. She looks about to see if she knows anyone, perhaps she does, if she could see them through the throng.

Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant, 1 Redreef Guard leave, following Mikani.

Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant, 1 Redreef Guard arrive, following Mikani.

Agostino walks into the Bard's College with curiosity in his eyes, looking all around the place. Occasionally, he bows his head in greeting to someone he knows as he seeks a place to sit down. Eventually, he makes his way to one of the couches and eases into it, a smile on his face as he continues to glance around the place.

Agostino has joined the couch seating.

There's another wallflower present in the form of Tabitha, who has managed somehow to work her way into the college without attracting too much attention. Blue dress, manner quiet, gaze observant.

The concert has just ended, with patrons spilling back out into the great hall after the performance. Servants circulate with drinks and finger foods. Gianna speaks quietly with her assistant, Madialaena, and looks ever so slightly grumpy. She performed, of course, and she did well. But she could have done better. Clad in her blue Nightingale's raiment accented with sapphires, she nonetheless holds her head high. Her pride is almost tangible.

Desiree takes a look around with her usual confidence. She smiles when she notices Hannah and waves to the other Wyrmguard. She makes her way through the crowd. "Hannah, I thought that was you."

Once the concert is over, Evonleigh makes her way to where she spies her cousin standing quietly. Touching Tabitha lightly on the shoulder, Evonleigh hands her one of the pair of drinks she's just taking from a servant's platter. "Fancy meeting you here, stranger," she says warmly. "We could've walked over together." She clinks her glass lightly with the one she's bestowed upon Tabitha. "Lovely isn't it?"

And in sweeps Princess Sabella Grayson and Prince Niklas. Or at least they kind of wander in, her waddling, him helping her along. For the first official day of autumn the pair are awash in reds, oranges and browns, and atop Niklas' head is the coronet about which the whole city is abuzz. Canonically so! It's a defining cultural moment, right there on his head! "That," says Niklas, "was a fantastic show. As is expected, of course. The Nightingale never fails to impress." He looks around and waves his hand toward the Whitehawks. "Lady Tabitha! Lady Evonleigh! So good to see you both!"

"Desiree! Oh I am so glad to see you." Hannah greets her cousin with a bright smile, "I admit I am lost in a sea of people here, what a fantastic crowd! I had heard so much about the College, I admit I am incredibly excited to experince what they can do. How have you been?"

Yasmine and Rook exit the performance hall arm in arm, with the Ravashari garbed in pristine white aeterna with accents of neodymium. She slants a glance at Rook, her arm tightening against his as her cheeks flush and a wide smile curves her lips as if he's just paid her a compliment. In a low voice, she murmurs, "It should. I probably spent too much on it, but I wanted to make something special for the opening. Anyway, wasn't the performance marvelous? Gianna's voice is spectacular." She glances around, reaching up to absently pat the pearls in her hair. "I keep saying we should do a collaboration. Remind me to actually work on that, hm? Do they have champagne, you think?"

Shadowing the Ravashari performer Yasmine is her protege, Modi the umbra-clad prodigal. Despite his height he seems to do an infallible job of blending into the background. The dark and void-like coloration to all of his clothes besides their glittering stones aided in that much. Though whenever he stepped toward the light, every gemstone and luxury piece of metal entwined with his outfit would sparkle just a bit. As if the man were a walking imitation of the night sky itself. Modi's aging face has a look of curiosity on it as he takes in the expansive college, his steelsilk clad hands joined together behind his back as he waded through the crowd and company with surprising grace. "It would be remiss for any organization housed in the Crown's own ward to skimp on their alcohol."

[Fashion] As Yasmine models 'neodymium outfit' around Arx, word spreads like wildfire over the city about their incredible fashion choices, attracting attention even beyond the city and gaining Champagne momentous acclaim as well.

Waldemai waves the finger foods away and snags a glass of something that smells powerful from a passing tray.

As the concert comes to an end and everyone is making their way from the concert hall to the main one, Elgana links arms with her lady Lille and tugs the brunette close to murmur something in her ear before letting her go. "Thank you, Lille," she says as the other woman slips off then and out of the Bard's College. Clad in that rich darkly green gown of hers, the Redrain moves about taking in the other patrons who are about to see if she can't pick out a familiar face or two. As her gaze slips about she notes Gianna and makes her way toward the Nightingale. "That was an absolutely stunning performance," she says once she gets close, but doesn't crow as others have made their way over to pay respects to Gianna as well. Niklas and Sabella get warm smiles, "Your highnesses, lovely to see you both." Elgana shifts to the side to stay largely out of the way of anyone else approaching, her smile soft.

Desiree smiles as she looks up at her taller cousin. "I am happy to see you too Hannah. I have been fine even if I have been a little busier than I would like. How have you been?"

"Grace Way will be abuzz for days," Rook replies somewhat more mildly, reaching to run his fingers along her arm, before he guides her off in search of the champagne. As heads of House Champagne move to fetch that very same, he glances over his shoulder, smiling at Modi and saying, "Do you want some too, Master Modi? You drink, yes? Sparkling wine is extraordinary." he prompts in query. Then, on the topic of the Bard's College, he utters, "I am glad to see it flourishing so. We'll mingle in a moment, speak to the Nightingale, and perhaps you can make mention of that very desire to be a part of one of the performances. I spy Prince Niklas over there, and he made mention of your desire to star in one of his own, and soon?"

"The acoustics in here are even better than I remembered!" Sabella enthuses, waddling her way over to one of the counches, "Do you mind if I sit?" she asks Agostino, "I find if I stand too long people get nervous and also my feet hurt." she waves enthusiastically to Evonleigh and Tabitha, "

At the touch on her shoulder, Tabitha startles a little, but relaxes when she realises it's Evonleigh. With a sheepish little smile as she accepts the offered glass, Tabitha clinks back gently. "I stayed at the back of the audience," she admits. "I didn't want to be a bother." Whatever she means by that, her smile grows warmer as she looks around with obvious admiration. "It really is, so lovely. And a lovely performance too." She dips into a curtsy next at Niklas' greeting, the smile still on her face. "And the same to you, you highness! A wonderful show, indeed."

Of course there's alcohol! Quite a bit of it, circulating with the servers as well as occupying one of the tables. A fledgling bard stands ready to pour drinks. Gianna raises her own glass to her lips for a sip of sparkling wine, tilting her head to take in the various finery. There are people dressed less finely, for everyone was invited, and even some commoners made their way up from the Lowers. Gianna smiles at Elgana, the grumpiness dispelled for a few moments. "Thank you. I'm so glad you came. You've been such a wonderful supporter to the College, Princess Elgana. I'm very grateful."

Mikani enters and goes to get herself a glass of sparkling wine. When at Bard College do what the Bards did? She took a sip as she looked aroud the room taking it all in.

"Princess Elgana! I thought I saw you in the audience, wasn't it delightful?" Sabella comments to the Redrain Princess.

Tabitha also curtsies to Sabella!

Seeing the familiar Elgana, Hannah waves a greeting then replies to Desiree, "If you need any help or anything please let me know. To be honest I have been hermiting a bit too much. I thought I might come out and take in the city, something I hadn't done before to my shame. What an experience!"

Sabella has joined the couch seating.

Agostino smiles in Gianna's direction briefly, but seeing the crowd around her, remains in his seat for the time being. At least until Sabella approaches him, causinig him to stand up immediately and bow to her. "Your Highmess, of course I don't mind. Please, make yourself comfortable," he answers her, gesturing to the seats near him. Only once she has settled does he return to sitting down himself, relaxing once more.

"Perform in, not star," Yasmine says with a little laugh before she tugs Modi to flank her on the other side, swapping from clutching Rook's arm (so he can go get the drinks, of course) to doing the same to Modi's. "It always better to mix and mingle with a bit of lubrication, my friend. Have you ever considered performing? You have presence. It could be interesting, you know."

Rook says, "Oh, do pardon me. I sometimes forget the vernacular."

"It's the least I can do for this dream of yours," Elgana says warmly to Gianna. "I'm always happy to do anything I can to support you and the Bard's College." Her smile shifts back toward Sabella as she nods, and says with a soft laugh, "It was but I think that is to be expected. I've never seen Gianna give a terrible performance ever before. She lives up to her title and more." As her head tips to the side movement catches her gaze and she shifts, her smile warming up further as she spots Hannah's wave and returns it. "Lady Hannah, it's been ages!" she calls over. "Come chat with me if you get a moment." And then with a nod to Gianna she adds, "You were spectacular, truly." And then she drifts off toward to mingle.

Evonleigh flashes a bright smile to the prince and princess when she is greeted. "Pleased to see you both as well, your highness," to Niklas, "your highness," to Sabella. She laughs a little at Sabella's request. "I promise not to look worried, but definitely make yourself comfortable," she tells the princess.

To her cousin, Evonleigh shakes her head. "You are never a bother, silly thing. And while I never mind a walk alone, I am always happy for your company as well, and you should know that, darling cousin." Her stormy eyes take in others as they mill about, but return to Tabitha. "I do wish I could sing like that. The most I can do is keep on key and with very little range, more's the pity."

Dolmen, a Crimson Agent arrives, following Harlex.

Benvolio, a beleaguered valet in search of a better job, 2 House Velenosa Guards, Harlex arrive, following Berenice.

Modi raises a gloved hand to rub at his chin in thought for a moment, then holds that same hand tattooed palm first toward Rook. "I partake. Mildly though. I think one glass would suit me. Just the one." The man almost seems unsure as his words pour rather quickly with that thick northern accent. "I have sampled wine, but never a proper champagne. How do they make it sparkle? The intricacy is lost on me." His face takes on an inquisitive expression as his attention turns then to his patron. "Performing for entertainment? I suppose I could tell stories, but I am unsure I have many other... 'marketable' skills." He looks to Rook again. "Marketable is the word, yes?"

Desiree nods. "Of course. I'll always turn to you when I need help. Right now I'm doing the same as you Hannah. It has been too long since I've done something fun. I think I'm going to get a drink and mingle a little."

Gianna inclines her head to Agostino with a pleased air about her, perhaps still radiant from the praise Elgana's just given her. It's always good to be appreciated. She speaks quietly for a few moments with one of the visiting dignitaries before they move along to mingle more.

Desiree has joined the couch seating.

"Marketable is probably Rook's second favorite word," Yasmine chimes in helpfully.

Evonleigh is overheard praising Bard's college.

Evonleigh is overheard praising Gianna.

Tabitha is overheard praising Bard's college.

Tabitha is overheard praising Gianna.

"A solid plan cousin, enjoy the evening." And letting Desiree go about getting drink and mingles, Hannah heads over to Elgana to take her up on that catching up thing. "How can I resist such a beautifully expressed invitation? I think I shall indeed find and use that moment. It has been ages, ages and ages in fact, how have you been?"

Elgana has joined the couch seating.

Hannah has joined the couch seating.

Rook plucks a few glasses, then in turns passes them off to his companion and her protege, before finally keeping the last for himself. As he holds it just so, he leans over to Modi and says in a stage whisper, "You could pretend to be something fierce even if you don't want to actually employ of the unnecessary skills to enact upon it. I, after all, am terribly unable to appear a true warrior. That said, I've had a little practice carrying a sword, and wearing armour." A pause, as if he's about to annoucne he can pull it off, then he admits, "It was quite heavy," in no sudden revelation. Finally, he addresses Modi and Yasmine and says, "The bubbles are made with love, if nothing else. I don't really know, I just enjoy it so very much. Now as for my favourite words, I have so many. Like 'discombobulate'." A little jaw exercise, as if the syllabels were satisfying to form. "Oh, yes." What a nerd.

Niklas laughs at Yasmine's correction. "This is going to be somewhat more of an ensemble than the last performance, so it will be up to each individual to 'star'. That said, as a premier dancer I have no doubt that you will light up the stage, Mistress Yasmine." Niklas helps his wife to sit, then leans over to kiss the top of her head. "I am very fortunate that so many seem so keen to get in on this new theatrical experiment. I know it will be brilliant." Looking to Evonleigh he says, "I do hope that you will consider joining on as a singer and actor. I would love to see a new talent take the stage alongside Arx legends like Mistress Yasmine and new favorites, and significant personages, as Radiant Lumen. Hm. With Sabella, Sorrel, Tikva and Lumen in perhaps I should see if King Alaric or Dominus Orazio are interested in small roles."

Gianna makes her way toward Niklas and Sabella, raising her glass of sparkling wine. "I'm so glad you're here," she says, and she seems to really mean it. She also seems quite smug. "It's all gone so very well." She inclines her head to the rest on the couches by Sabella - Agostino, Desiree, Elgana, and Hannah.

Sip sip sip at her wine. Though seemingly a little overwhelmed by the crowds in the main hall, so full after the performance, Tabitha smiles with affection at Evonleigh. "Thank you," is all she says, but the two words convey deep gratitude. Then she listens to what Niklas has to say, turning back to her cousin with a lift of her eyebrows in agreement. "I think you'd be wonderful. You should definitely consider it, at least."

If there's a party, it's more likely than not that Berenice Velenosa will be in attendance. She's swathed in layers of umbra and wine-red seasilk tulle, stygian at her neck, iridescite in her hair, her eyelids darkened and lips reddened with a touch of cosmetics. That is: she is dressed for the occasion. The concert was a delight, and now the party is at hand, and she /seems/ to be, strangely enough, in the company of a certain commoner mercenary, one Harlex Valtyr of the Crimson Blades. Berenice snags a glass of champagne from a passing attendant that she doesn't even look at long enough to be able to identify if they turned around and stabbed her. "Gianna, darling! I made it! And you were /resplendent/!" she calls over on her way to greet the Nightingale.

Amari certainly takes her time leaving the performance hall after the concert, but she does eventually wander out in absolutely no rush. She looks quiet and subdued, as if still savoring her memory of the Nightingale's song and walking on clouds. Her meander takes her to the edge of the mosiac which she stops to regard for at least the second time tonight. She's probably not sure which part of it she likes best... yet.

"If marketable is the second, what is the first?" Modi poses to Rook with a tick of his brow, his hands coming to join together one again at his front this time. As he walked, the steelsilk boots he wore gave off the fabulously shiny glint of the goblet that had been bedazzled upon them. "I do not know that I would call you entirely inept at the warrior talent, Master Rook. Many in my clan possessed very jutting jaw-lines for and broadest shoulders. Yours are..." He takes a moment to size Rook up. "Perhaps not naturally long but could easily possess an illusion within a thick suit of armor. Your jaw, very pronounced and strong. If imperfection exists, there exists many-a-clothing that can easily conceal it in a veil. It is an artform in itself, no?" The prodigal hefts up a long glass of sparkling champagne, taking another long look at it. "Fascinating..." And then he drinks. So conservatively one would hazard that the liquid hadn't even lowered an inch. "... Stinging. But flavorful."

Desiree looks at Gianna with a polite smile. "I'm very glad I could attend. This is an occasion to remember."

"It's the process of fermenting. How do I know more about this than you do?" Yasmine looks quizzically at Rook, her beaming smile brightening just a little as she wrinkles her nose at him and takes a sip from the glass he offers her. Upon hearing Niklas' voice, she turns in that direction and grins, giving a bow to him and Princess Sabella, "Truthfully, you had me at 'dancing role'. It's been far too long since I had a chance to perform like that. I think it will be great fun." She tilts her head toward Modi. "Your highnesses, please allow me to introduce my new protege Modi. He's very charming and let's me dress him as I like, so I think I'll be keeping him around. Modi, this is Prince Niklas, a very clever playwright, and Princess Sabella, an impressive performer in her own right. I remember our dancing lesson!"

Berenice is overheard praising Bard's college.

Berenice is overheard praising Gianna.

Evonleigh turns to Niklas when he addresses her again. "Oh, I would love to perform in your next venture, your highness. I'll happily audition or if you have a part in mind for me, send me the script and I will endeavor to bring the character to life and to justice as you write her and direct me," she says. "It will be an honor to perform among the likes of such talented legends, truly," she says, with a smile for those nearby. Tabitha earns a warmer smile. "Thank you, sweet cousin. If you have need of painting for sets, Tabitha is so talented in that realm as well, your highness," she tells the prince."

"Mistress Gianna, you were amazing tonight. Congratulations," Agostino tells the Whisper with a warm smile once she comes closer to where he is sitting, his attention shifting to her from the conversation going on around him for the time being.

Agostino is overheard praising Bard's college.

Agostino is overheard praising Gianna.

That so-called commoner mercenary, in the presence of the princess, Berenice, wrapped in her darkly silks, seems to follow at a certain unhurried gait and he tongues a teeth when he watches her effortlessly snatch a bit of champagne. He gives an up-nod to another attendant and orders a whisky and to 'put a fire under it' referring to the speed at which it's brought. He is not dressed to the nines. His leather jacket hangs open over an open collared linen shirt and he wears roughened riding boots and a sword belt and--Gods--a /sword/. He looks very disreputable and wolfish beside the Southern belle. Harlex does incline his head toward Rook and Yasmine while he gets his drink. How did he feel about the performance? He doesn't say, but he was attentive the whole time.

Mikani finishes her drink and slips from the college.

Mikani is overheard praising Gianna.

Having arrived by himself, Cristoph begins to circulate through the crowds with the kind of aimless wander that's associated with someone who doesn't have a particular destination in mind. With a glass of wine in hand, he starts to walk around the edges of the mosaic on the floor. It catches his attention enough that he's mostly looking down at it as he casually mills about the floor. In the process however, he spots the bottom of a pair of shoes and ends up trailing his eyes up to the face the shoes and body belong to. "Ah, Lady Amari Keaton. Good to see you again. It's only been what, half a day or so?"

Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant, 1 Redreef Guard leave, following Mikani.

Gianna favours Agostino with a smile, a genuine one. She seems to be in high spirits, the grumpiness from earlier having eased. "Thank you! I think I love performing in that hall. The acoustics are amazing. And hello, Princess Berenice," Gianna calls back. "You made it. Wonderful. Oh, I love feathered garments. I suppose I have to admit to a slight affinity to birds. Songbirds, at least." She inclines her head to Harlex before taking a deep sip of wine. "Welcome, both of you. I'm glad you enjoyed the performance."

Sabella laughs, "I'm only any good because you and Itzal are amazing teachers," she gives Yasmine a smile, "And I think I won't be attempting to dance for at least another month until this one arrives," she pats her stomach. "How is your little one doing? You're so lucky to have had a girl! It's what I'm not so secretly hoping for." She gestures to the couch where people are assembling, "Please, if there are seats everyone should take one so we can gush over how amazing that performance was! And I hear that the College offers lessons to those that might want to hone their skills." she gives Modi a bright nod, "It's nice to meet you! Are you an actor?"

Rook checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 30, rolling 6 lower.

"I am not sure whether I should be insulted or assauged of any worry," Rook informs Modi as he shakes his head, laying a brief hand to Yasmine's back to steadily guide her around the room, so he might continue that ever sharp green eyed look to faces of persons. It's unhurried, leaving plenty of time for himself, her and Modi to move as they speak and respond to each other and those within. "Stinging, no. Tickling. It's a similar word, I think you'll find, but one is pleasurable and one is painful. Stinging is unpleasant," Rook imparts to Modi with a smile. Ever the teacher of linguistics, even without the tongue, it seems. "Ah," he utters then, when Niklas addresses Yasmine, and pauses to bow deeply. There's expectation others will follow suit in his small party of courtiers. Blissfully silent while Yasmine introduces her protege just in time to tick all boxes of etiquette, he looks almost proud, and sips his wine. Just then, spying Harlex, he lifts a hand and turns it on its pivot to wave. That he's with a Velenosa? Oh, my, he looks possibly traumatised. "I've heard about her," he whispers to Yasmine. Cryptic, perhaps.

Gianna smiles at Desiree, too. She might actually be preening a little.

Modi balances the glass with as straight-backed posture as he could manage. His free arm folds behind his back as he gives deep and proper bows to Sabella and Niklas respectively. "Your highness Princess Sabella, your highness Prince Niklas. A pleasure. As my patron tells, I am Modi. Modi Blackpelt." There's a bright smile for both of them as he's on the uptick back to standing, his arm still right where he left it through the process. "I am afraid not, Princess Sabella. I am a prodigal of recent entrance to the city and my talents solely rely on my spoken word at present. But I assure I am quite good at speaking, though I've much of the Compact's lexicon to fold away in my mind." He dips his chin. "I appreciate your curiosity."

Yasmine, briefly, turns her head to look in the direction that Rook indicates when he leans in to speak to her. She eyes Harlex and the princess that accompanies him with a little smile before shifting her gaze to Rook, saying, perhaps, a touch too loud for an actual whisper, "Or maybe she is hanging out with a 'bad boy'? Harlex is fun, but he's naughty." She nods as if she just -knows- these things before glancing to Modi and Sabella, smiling as he bows and says to Sabella, "Yelena is doing very well. She's -crawling-. Like, one day they are just these helpless little things and need you to do everything for them and the next, they crawl around and make noises and -smile-." Yasmine beams in her excitement as she says wistfully, "You guys are going to have so much fun. Parenting is great."

Berenice laughs, warm and bright, at Gianna's reply. "/This/ one was based on a long-tailed widowbird, which I don't /believe/ is particularly known for its singing, but it /is/ a remarkably beautiful creature." She smooths a hand down her skirt at the hip, eyes gleaming. "Do you know -- ah, well, I'll do introductions anyways. Messere Gianna, Lieutenant Harlex Valtyr of the Crimson Blades. Harlex, Gianna Whisper, Nightingale of the Bard's College." It all flows with such eloquent ease from her tongue. Her gaze flits briefly over to Rook and Yasmine, perhaps catching Harlex's greeting to them, and offers them a smile positively made of trouble.

"It feels like only yesterday, Duke Cristoph." Amari replies to the wandering Duke as she looks up from the tilework and slowly remembers to smile. Her head slowly tilts as if finding something about his appearance frankly odd, or just curious, "I'm a little surprised to see you. Are you a patron of the bardic.. arts?" She tries while moving from her spot to stand more comfortably alongside the Laurent.

2 Crimson Blades Sergeant arrives, following Mirk.

There are times when a person looks completely at home whereever they go, there are times when it looks completely natural for them to be there and none would question it. Aurora is not that person and today is not that day. She is here, give her credit for that. With a deep breath, almost as if to find courage in the very act of walking itself, she moves away from the door to enter the crowd. As a glass is offered to her, her brows furrow and she takes it, sniffs it, and the first chance she gets returns it to another server. She looks rather proud of this quick thinking as she heads towards Rook and Yasime.

"What a miracle time is..." Cristoph drawls to Amari with an amused tone, taking a sip from his glas of wine and glancing once more down at the mosaic. "This is rather nice, isn't it?" he asks, tapping the ground with one of his feet to indicate the artwork. When she gives him such a curious look, he furrows his eyebrows and looks just a little confused himself, "Am I not supposed to enjoy the bardic arts, as you put it?"

Harlex holds his whisky glass in hand and clears his throat at /something/ that he perhaps hears. A sip is taken and he scratches at the corner of his mouth with his thumb. "It is a very fine dress," he agrees in Berenice's direction. Radiant eyes shift to Gianna though and he says, "We met a few times. Good to see you. The performance was beautiful." See, he's capable of compliments. The sellsword stands at a half-lean. There is, to his chagrin at present, the aura of danger about him. All scarred and mean looking, cold in the eyes.

"I believe we met briefly at the Raconteur," Gianna tells Berenice and Harlex. "And thank you." She gives him a curious once-over, then leans in to add something more quietly to them both. Once that's said, she raises her arm to greet Amari and Cristoph with a wave, eyes bright.

"Your protege is doing you proud, as you've done me proud, time and time again," Rook tells Yasmine. Right up until she takes a subtle murmur and spreads the theme of his whispered words right out there. There's no mortified look, just smitten exasperation. Then, he adds, "I look forward to seeing you celebrate the birth of your newborn accordingly, your highnesses," he shares for Sabella and Niklas. "You're one of the most notable couples in all of Arx, it'd be hard not to hear of it, so I shall make a note to write a letter to bid you both speedy recovery." To Niklas, he says, "Ensure you insure your writing hand for the period in which you are supporting your lovely wife. That hurts, too." There's a theme here, him avoiding his own physical distress. Then, when Berenice smiles their way, he is all cordial and brilliant in show once more. Bright eyes, green fierce with exuberance. A bow is given, before he rises to find Aurora. "You made it," he chirps suddenly. "Look at you. It's like you're not even sewing. You didn't bring any materials with you, did you? Please don't do this to me, Aurora," he insists, as he flees from arms and entanglement to provide her a comfortable squeeze and kiss to each her cheeks. In southern style, despite his initial unrest at the presence of one of the south's own princesses.

Berenice laughs brightly at whatever it is Gianna leans in to tell her and Harlex. She offers a similarly quiet reply, her eyes gleaming with amusement, with a fond glance to Harlex next to her. Her eyes catch on Rook when he bows, and her smile widens as she offers a graceful, if mirthful, inclination of her head in turn.

"I knew you were a collector of fine and not so fine arts." Amari smiles, especially at the mention of the not so fine arts, probably meaning donkeys, climbing mountains, painted by rank amateurs. "I just didn't realize you liked music and song as well. It does make sense though. Did you drag anyone else along? Lady Jael? The Duchess? Baron Norwood?" As she's looking idly for more of the Laurent gang, she notices Gianna's wave and lifts a hand in return and smiles warmly. After that, she slowly leans more towards Cristoph and nods down towards the mosaic, "Which part do like best? I like the colors."

Harlex combs his fingers back through his rich, black hair. Whatever was said between the three of them, or whatever is being said, has him somewhat looking aside. He makes a 'tch' at the corner of his mouth; hard, bitter lips framed into a slight smile then after and he drinks some. He looks to Berenice and there's a soundless laugh.

Gianna follows Berenice's gaze to Rook and Yasmine and inclines her head with a bright smile. It's actually a little weird to see Gianna so... enthused. "Minister, Mistress Yasmine. So good to see you both!" She makes a sweeping gesture. "I hope you like the results of your confidence and support." She definitely gives Yasmine's attire a once-over, calculating. So costly!

"We should head to the dinner," Evonleigh murmurs to Tabitha, after a few moments of chatting among other guests. She finds a spot to leave her empty glass. "It was lovely to see you all," she says to those nearby. "A lovely performance, Gianna," she adds to the lady of the hour, before linking her arm with Tabitha's and making her way to the exit, careful to dodge any servers with canapes and beverages as she goes.

Laudine, a stern middle-aged maidservant leaves, following Tabitha.

Tabitha leaves, following Evonleigh.

"I even left Meandre home" Aurora assures Rook as she accepts the hug and kisses from the man. She doesnt even look as if the very action is sufficating, but instead returns them with amusement. "I assure you I am not going to sew anything this evening. I wont even look at the tablecloths or curtains to see if there is a hem which needs assistance." Has she ever done this before? Yes. The answer is yes. "I wont do anything to you" she adds helpfully, a roll of her eyes as if she is even capable of such shocking behavior. SHe then looks him over before nodding in approval.

Sabella beams at Rook and Yasmine, "I can't wait! Although at this point, I am getting a little anxious for the end. In all ways." She grins at Niklas and reaches for his left hand, "That's good advice. I will try to remember to grip this one when the time comes. Although the two of you have certianly had tongues wagging as to your amazing fashion sense and your lovely new house." To Modi she gives an impressed look, "You don't sound like someone so new to the city, so I look forward to seeing how you soar here. There is so much opportunity!" she gives Aurora a bright smile, "'Mistress Aurora! I feel like it has been forever since I've seen you. How have you been?"

A very excited guest passes quite close to Cristoph, so he tucks the wine glass close to his chest and watches the other (rude!) person in mild bewilderment when they don't apologize. While he's watching them move on, he catches Gianna's wave out of the corner of his eye. The hand with the glass is uncurled from his chest and he lifts it in the air to give her a long distance greeting. "I'm afraid that I came here alone tonight. But yes, I do enjoy music and song," he remarks to Amari when his attention swivels back to her. "I actually like dancing too, except I'm wretched at it. Nicia and I lose every competition we enter. Usually in the first round or second round." And yet, he sounds helplessly fond of the past time. When she turns his attention to the mosaic again, "I'm mostly fascinated that someone could take all these very tiny pieces and put them together into something so brilliant. I would never have the patience."

Niklas shakes his head at Rook's praise, but his expression is totally one hundred percent him just eating it all up. "Well, I do thank you, Master Champagne. I certainly consider us rather notable. Though you and Mistress Yasmine have done a fairly impressive task in Champagne House. I truly applaud the work and look forward to seeing the talent your shepherd." He looks over to Aurora, "Oh, and speaking of. Mistress Thornburn, you do truly hate messengers, don't you?" Niklas squeezes Sabella's hand when she takes it. "I will see to it that all of these bones are available for you to shatter as labor demands."

Yasmine gently guides Rook to one of the nearby couches and pulls him down with her before beckoning Aurora and Modi to join in. She gives Gianna a little wave and calls out, "This place is splendid, Mistress Gianna. I'm so impressed." Quickly, she she sinks down on the cushions and gives Harlex a Look. A shift of eyes to Berenice. And then what she believes is a -very subtle- thumbs up. So subtle.

Yasmine has joined the couch seating.

Modi's smile only widens further at Rook's praise. His reply is a slow raise and shake of his champagne glass. How fancy! His other arm finally whirls around from his back and he outstretches the hand to Aurora next. "Mistress Aurora, I presume from what I've just heard and the odd look upon Master Rook's face?" He inquired with a subtle cock of his head. "I must give ample 'props' to your seamstress abilities. This umbra fits far better than any hide I've had to endure through the elements. And this silky steel as you call it, very firm yet so loose at the same time." He admires the back of his own hand for a moment and all those glittering gemstones as well. "I feel extravagant and decadent. I must thank you for lending your aid to my patron for it." Onto Sabella once again, his head bows respectfully once more. "Mistress Yasmine's generosity was the first opportunity I succeeded at in this city. It was only some weeks ago I continued to sleep beneath the canopy in the Lower's street. Beds are much easier on the back. Especially when one must stand up straight for so very long in these etiquette lessons."

Modi has joined the couch seating.

"Mistress Aurora! You're here!" Gianna enthuses, smiling at Aurora. "My very favourite tailor. I had my gown made at your shop, and it's quite lovely. I wear it to anything where I'm acting in an official capacity." That said, she's heading toward Cristoph and Amari. "Hello! Isn't the mosaic lovely? Every time I look at it, I see something new. I'm so pleased you both made to the show."

"I never had a doubt, not one, not since I knew you were handling it all," Rook insists to Gianna in the best easy tone he can manage. "I look forward to seeing your creation grow and flourish, and with that, so too shall the strength of my support." When Aurora mentions Meandre, he presses his lips into a fine line, and quirks the edges. "Oh, really? That's an improvement. You know how the scales get everywhere." It sounds like a line adopted from dogs to snakes. "Happy with your works?" he wonders of the seamstress, smiling broadly, extending his arms then. "If you weren't, I'd call to daft, for I looked in the mirror myself and you know I don't miss a stray thread. Now, come," he says, opening his arm, confident that Yasmine will find her own arm if he doesn't supply it. Signalled by Sabella herself, he draws his former protege across, the seamstress given an upfront and center position for the Grayson couple. "House Champagne likes to show off, but that doesn't just extend to us two, we seek to enrichen anyone that has the drive and passion. You've met Modi, but I'll take at least partial credit for getting Aurora out here. The full credit to her skill, however, comes from her." With a brilliant smile shared, he then finishes to the Grayson pair, "I believe many moons ago we talked about sitting down for a joint effort. Perhaps these days might be the right time for that. Leverage some of our support behind," a gesture to Gianna, "wunderkind."

Harlex gives a much subtler wink Yasmine's way at the gesture. He shifts his eyes toward Berenice as she leans toward him and his smile, once subdued, eases into something wry. He breathes through his nose and nods. There's an unhurried gait, steady though, as he guides the princess toward the couches where, "Master Rook, Mistress," for Yasmine, "Do you know Princess Berenice Velenosa. Ain't she a sight?" Then from Berenice, he gestures to the Champagnes. "Princess, this is Mistress Yasmine Champagne, and Master Rook Champagne. And," he looks between Aurora and Modi. "Friends." He nods, pleased with himself. But he does offer his firm hand to both of them. "Lieutenant Harlex Valtyr."

"I like jousting." Amari reveals, but she's about as good at that as Cristoph is at dancing. Probably worse. "Sometimes the fun is in the attempt... I wonder if we should try creating our own mosaics." She says that as if she thinks it's a grand idea and she's very seriously considering it, at least up until the point Gianna wrests her attention up from the many, many tiles. "Oh it's lovely. You're lovely. The performance was also, lovely. Congratulations, Gianna. I can't believe it's all done." It being the college since she sends a hand out in a little sweeping gesture to encompass the hall.

Berto makes his way through the crowds, shuffling and weaving in the particular manner of a man who can't quite see across a crowded room but can't exactly swim through the crowds. Sidling, that's the word for it. Peering up to see a familiar face, or at least torso, in the crowds. And pausing to snatch up offered finger foods in the precise manner of a man with little in the way of graces and a philosophical stance against passing up a free meal.

"Your Highnesses" Aurora greets Sabella and Niklas. "It certainly has been a bit of time since we last spoke, it is lovely to see you again Princess Sabella. You do look beautiful, I believe the word is radient that most call expected mothers? You are certainly that." Smooth. And then she takes a deep breath and turns to Niklas. She offers the brightest of smiles. She has been working on that. "Prince Niklas. It is not that I hate messengers, it is that sometimes I lose them. Sometimes they disappear and they are gone forever. Sometimes I set them down and forget to respond and think I did respond but who knows" and she lifts her hands up in a full body shrug. "There there are sometimes that I dont open my workroom door to collect them and they pile there at the door for weeks only to be rained on and swept out to the streets where just about anyone might be able to read them if they were interested in wet, smudged, drippy correspondence." And here, after all that, does the small woman take her first breath. This all leads to, "I am sorry." Then its followed with another breath and she gets upset and looks after Rook, "Meandre does not get scales everywhere, she is beautiful and I am going to let her eat the aeterna." She does move towards where Yasmine has decided they should all be then.

Berenice flashes a last little smile and wiggle of her fingers to Gianna before Harlex is leading her off towards Rook and Yasmine. She looks positively delighted at him /making introductions/ for her. When he says 'Friends,' she offers up introductions of her own: "Messere Aurora Thornburn and Messere Modi Blackpelt. Messere Aurora is one of the greatest tailors in the Compact, I am /sure/ of it. I have /all/ of my gowns made at her shop, although I don't think I've ever had the pleasure of an extended introduction with her." Her smile is warm with admiration for Aurora. "Your work is /exquisite/." And then she's looking back to Rook and Yasmine. "I believe we've crossed paths at a function or two, but not since you took Harlex so /firmly/ under your wing." There's something curiously assessing in her gaze as she takes a sip of her wine. "Your new family is practically all anyone can talk about!" she adds.

"I like jousting as well," Cristoph confides in a conspiratorial tone. "But I suspect Baron Norwood will not let me on a horse again anytime soon." Because Norwood is apparently his keeper. When Gianna arrives in their vicinity, he gives her a quick bow at the waist. "Whisper Gianna, the concert was spectacular. Thank you for such a lovely performance, your college looks fantastic as well. This is all very well done." He looks down at the mosaic again, "It's excellent work."

Berenice has joined the couch seating.

Aurora has joined the couch seating.

Gianna is not standing on the mosaic. Quite a few people are inching their way around it, actually. Anyway, she's stopped just short. "Isn't it? Everything has gone so well," she tells Amari and Cristoph. "Now that we're officially open, we can start the next projects - a trip to the Lowers with drums for the children to have some music lessons, and gathering music-related lore." Spying Berto and his acquisition of food, her lips quirk a little at the corners. She inclines her head to him in greeting, seeming pleased.

Harlex has joined the couch seating.

Rook doesn't keep Aurora from fleeing from his arm to Yasmine, even though she did announce that the precious, precious aeterna will be -eaten- by a -snake-. To Niklas and Sabella, he does a far better job of excusing the departing seamstress, saying, "When one is so wrapped up in their craft for what we prize them for, we must forgive them their eccentricities. I know this too well. So, should you ever have a missive for her that is not received, lost, or left to dampen in the rain while she sews for weeks-- do let me know. I will go there personally for you each." With a brief bow of his head, he then says, "I'll let you mingle once more. Do excuse me." On his way towards his family, he does of course notice the trajectory so similar to that of Berenice and Harlex, so soon is making small talk there. "You're too kind," he says on behalf of House Champagne, "but as for Harlex, he always has a place amidst us. Of course, should some wonderous temptation overcome him..." He smiles so wide, it's almost cheshire. "I couldn't stop him from departing for far more bountiful waters."

Rook has joined the couch seating.

Modi bows his head for Harlex's appearance, placing his tattooed hand for a firm shake of the mercenary's own. "Charmed to make your acquaintance. You may call me Modi. Modi Blackpelt. I see you have brought with yourself exquisite company as well. I must commend you on your choice of..." The prodigal pauses in the midst of his spiel, eyes narrowing as he searches for the right word. His mind having encountered a blockade that just cannot be bypassed easily. "Your... choice of... entourage!" The word comes to him at last and he raises a finger in the air in triumph. He gives an apologetic smile after the fact as his gaze turns upon Berenice. He bows to her deeply. "Your highness, Princess Berenice. A pleasure to make your acquaintance. I see you are familiar with my betters and company of the evening. I hope I might make the same impression in due time."

Rook has left the couch seating.

Rook has joined the couch seating.

Jeffeth arrives, following Juniper.

"Well then!" Niklas waves to his assistant, the typically sour-faced Isabelle Miller, who walks over to hand him a sheet of paper. She rolls her eyes while he writes something then gives a beleaguered sight when she looks at it, then turns to walk out the door for seconds before walking back in.

Rook has left the couch seating.

Rook has joined the couch seating.

Isabelle, who is just so tired of everyone's nonsense arrives, delivering a message to Aurora before departing.

Berto has joined the couch seating.

Fashionably late and tardily fashionable, Juniper arrives on Jeffeth's arm, eyes bright and smile /just so/. "Isn't it grand? Oh, these /floors/." The knight's effort to shepherd inside are going to have to be put to pause: the Whisper stops dead in her tracks and lifts up her umbra skirts, the better to see the pattern beneath her fang-decorated slippers. They must be properly admired and others will simply have to shift around her, unless Jeffeth manages to find some champagne with which to distract her.

Sparte lifts a hand politely to Rook, just in time for him to head off. He lowers his hand a bit awkwardly.

Rook waves at Sparte from across the room, "I found them!" he insists. It's closure.

"Musical lore..." Amari repeats to herself with a look aside at Cristoph as if he's probably hiding some and if she could somehow pick him up by the ankles and shake him, it would fall out of his pockets. "...I'll have to dig some up. Perhaps you might ruthlessly critique a song I've yet to write, but will be." She belatedly grins about the other initiative, adding, "And I'm sure the children would love drumming lessons. Pardon me for a moment?" She excuses herself with a vague gesture towards the drinks, since she hasn't a glass of her own yet.

Aurora offers a curtsey towards Berenice as she does the introduction. "My assistants tell me each time you come into the shop and it is lovely to hear of all the designs you have for them. I, of course, always make sure that their work is up to my standards though if you ever find need for anything or find their work is not, do let me know and I will be happy to make sure to send the garments back better than given." Then Isabelle moves up to where the group has gathered and hands her a piece of paper and points over towards Niklas. With a sigh, she is clearly forced to read it right there. "It would be pointless not to as I did it before and still have the clothing from the first time we did it without the music. So, yes" she calls out across, waving the paper like a flag of surrender. She loosk towards Rook then, her personal schedule keeper, "he wants me to do a thing. I said yes."

Amari is overheard praising Gianna.

"I had heard that you were preparing to gather new information for your music," Cristoph begins conversationally as he takes a sip from his wine. "My sister is planning on gathering a group of people together to spread stories and music throughout our duchy. We have some information that we plan to base it on, if you know of anyone that might be interested in that, would you send them our way?" Amari is giving him a rather particular look and he looks briefly concerned, perhaps he thinks she might pick him and shake him by the ankles.

Striding in with Juniper, the large figure moving beside her is arguably just as distracted. When Juniper comes to a stop there is an exaggerated jerk from Jeffeth's body as he finds there is suddenly resistance. Jeffeth was looking up rather than down with a rather slackjawed expression, looking up at the ceiling wide eyed. He looks down as if he hadn't heard Juniper, brows arching up as she is hiking her skirts up. "Did you get mud on-- Oh. Oh!" Jeffeth lets out, his eyes widening as he looks down at the ground. There's a moment of stunned silence as the big man looks all around. "It's floor art." He lets out in a quiet tone down to Juniper looking suitably impressed at the floor art. He doesn't try to pull Juniper along. He is also distracted and will be standing here, in the way, staring at the ground.

Rook tells Aurora easily, "For his highness, I'd say do it, he's a wonderful playwright and I have a sneaking suspicion you'll enjoy it. If not, sue me." Rook then adds, "But I have the best lawyer ever."

Desiree has left the couch seating.

2 House Wyrmguard Guards leaves, following Desiree.

Berenice sweeps in closer to the couch with her chosen company for the moment, her voice falling to companionable levels, her manner and expression bright with warm humor. She does spot Jeffeth and Juniper's entrance, and she brightens even further, lifting a hand all the way up and wiggling her fingers delightedly at them.

2 Novice Keaton Huntsmen, River, a juvenile Oakhaven bloodhound leave, following Amari.

Gianna inclines her head to Amari as the other woman departs; she nods to Cristoph. "Please, I'd love to collaborate with your sister's project," she tells him. "And send anyone with any tidbits my way. Hopefully better than that thing with the shell." Her nose wrinkles briefly. She is distracted then by Juniper and Jeffeth's distraction. "Sir Jeffeth, hello! And Whisper Juniper. Welcome."

Harlex stands near Berenice after by the couch as they speak with the bousie Champagnes. His bright eyes follow the wiggle of fingers and he follows suit with a half-lift of his glass toward Jeffeth and Juniper at their arrival. Though they seem utterly fixated. He gives them time to adjust and goes back to listening, drinking, standing about looking very much like himself among so much finery.

Niklas grins at Aurora. "Good! Well, I think that's settled. Now I just need about thirty more singers and dancers and we're ready to go!" He considers her for a moment more, then says in a tone he probably imagines to be shrewd, "Have you seen that scholar Oswyn is back in the city? I am so glad he wasn't killed by a bear or eaten by a bear or ended up marrying a bear or whatever else might happen to someone who visits the northern coasts. I understand he found some very interesting rocks!" He looks over for a moment and starts somewhat, "Sir Bayweather! It has been FOREVER!"

"Floor art!" Look at that: a courtier has deemed Jeffeth's turn of phrase delightful, by use of her tone of voice alone. Social benediction granted, Juniper tilts a grin up at the big knight. "It's almost too pretty to walk on-- oh, there's the princess." Berenice's wave is a lure whose hook finds its mark and earns the return of a finger-wiggling wave-- and a tug on Jeffeth's arm to steer the large man in that direction. Not unlike a trained poodle leading a lumbering mastiff, their progress through the crowded chamber. "I love your floors, Giana! Kisses!" These are both named and flung from her fingertips before they arrive at the couch. "Your highness, masters, mistresses, Lieutenant and any lords and ladies I've missed, hello!" is a rather breathless recitation.

Jeffeth doesn't see waving. He's staring at floor art. There's an audible gasp when Gianna approaches them and Jeffeth is suddenly looking up with wide eyes. "Hello Gianna." Jeffeth pipes brightly, going into a bow even as Juniper starts to tug. But he doesn't unentangle his arm, forcing Juniper to do a weird kind of bendy-crouch before he is straightening back up with a bright smile. "It's very pretty floor art. Or is the professional term ground art?" Then Juniper is tugging at him. Jeffeth is reluctant at first, remaining steadfast for a moment as he looks down at the ground with consternation. "Don't step on anyone." Jeffeth cautions as he slowly relents to Juniper's guidance. There's a big over exaggerated wave over to Niklas and his greeting. "Hello, your Highness!" The big man booms as he's guided to.... Where is he going? The big man looks up and gives Harlex and Berenice a bright smile. Time for another bow...

Cristoph laughs and ducks his head, "I didn't think that was too terrible. I think I handed you some notes on a man named Sir Jonathan, a lot of our focus will be on him. But I'll pass your name along to my sister and she'll be in contact." Amari makes an escape and he gives her a quick wave, "I have some people that I should say hello to before the night is too late. Will you excuse me, Gianna?" he quickly nods at her before departing across the room and heading in the general direction of Rook and Yasmine. "Master Rook, Mistress Yasmine. I'm glad to have caught you in person, thank you for the generous gifts you sent to our home after our daughter's birth. They're much appreciated."

"Is he?" Aurora asks Niklas. "I wonder if he brought a new rock for my collection with him this time. Should you see him before I do, let him know that a rock is not required to see me, and I wont hold it against him should he not have one. If I see him before you do, I will be sure to tell him the same. I also played a wonderful tree once during a Mummer's performance, I was very convincing. But no singer."

Berenice seems to be in the midst of a bright laugh at something Yasmine has just said -- and Rook looking immediately scandalized by it -- when Juniper tugs Jeffeth into range. "Darlings! Always such a delight to see you. Did you miss the concert, though?" She says it as if it might be the greatest tragedy in the /world/ if they did, because what's the point if she's not being a drama queen about it.

Harlex in the midst of "playfully" slapping Rook on the shoulder and laughing /a little/. As much as he is able. He looks toward the giant knight and the not-so-giant June. He gives them both a nod. "Evenin you two."

"Of course," Gianna tells Cristoph. He is excused! "t's a mosaic," she adds to Jeffeth with a faint smile that is nonetheless warmer than usual. "I'm glad you both came." This is to Juniper and Jeffeth both. Gianna takes the opportunity to have a long sip of wine, pausing after to enjoy the bustle and chatter of the crowd. Eyes alight, the Nightingale basks in the moment.

Sabella pushes to her feet and gives Jeffeth a big smile, "Sir Jeffeth! Where have you been keeping yourself?" she then pats Niklas' arm, "Now, now, my love, no one theatened me with marrying bears to make me interested in you. Let's not force the match of the century, I'm sure it will happen in its own slow, awkward time."

Rook wasn't particularly busy at his place at all, because really, everyone's saying something that makes the merchant prince somewhat scandalised. It's a rarity, save when he drinks perhaps. To his credit, despite his pale complexion, he doesn't get pink. No, he just tartly places his champagne glass down and rises to address Cristoph, who has timely given him reprieve, "I've had enough with your shenanigans," he annoucnes to the table. "This is inappapropriate, all of you. You all know better. Except maybe you," he points to Yasmine, "you," he tells Berenice-- with a bow-- and then a wavering finger, he lapses in any last accusations around about Harlex's position. "Y-- ah, Duke Laurent, how do you do. Of course, a pleasure, always. Your wife is a firm friend, and I hope despite your absence at dinner, you feel yourself one too."

Berto raises a hand in greeting toward Jeffeth, from his spot at the couches, but for now he seems happy to eat on someone else's silver, working through a perhaps-unseemly collection of the refreshments.

Aurora checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 5 lower.

Rook checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 50, rolling 3 lower.

It requires hauling Jeffeth /down/ from his lofty place in order to address a private comment into his ear but this Juniper does before turning back to the assembled. Hints of blush pink and the taste of scandal brewing in the air lives her piqued, and far too curious. "Evenin'!" she chirps in a passable imitation of Harlex's own accent. "I did unfortunately miss it but I can imagine it was glorious. Gianna Whisper never offers anything but. What terrible comment did I miss?" she inquires as she fluffs her skirts about her and takes a seat on the arm of the couch, near Berenice. "Someone tell me so I can be embarrassed too."

Juniper has joined the couch seating.

Rook turns briefly, with a very polite excuse for Cristoph to buy him three seconds, to say to Yasmine at her latest quip, "Absolutely not. No they do not. "

Elgana has left the couch seating.

As Cristoph approaches, Yasmine's eyes are bright as if she's been laughing a great deal. "My lord, it was a pleasure and I am so happy to hear that Duchess Nicia and Lady Annalise have recovered. Did she at least enjoy the pastries?" Then, she pauses. "The Duchess, I mean. Not the maybe. She doesn't even have teeth yet, probably. Unless she does, in which case, congratulations! That's out of the way."

Agostino has left the couch seating.

It is at this point that Aurora's face turns bright red, the crimson of her cheeks all too visable that there is no hiding it. "Your Highness" she tells Sabella, "I am sure that is Oswyn wished to marry a bear, it would be a lovely union. I am also sure that Oswyn and I are friends and there is no slow, awkward time in which we will become a match of the century. We are quite comfortable as friends who save one another from sitting alone at parties we attend."

Rook seems to be scolding all of the adults in the immediate vicinity and so Cristoph turns to look at them, blue eyes widening briefly. Then he makes a very mature 'tsk tsk children' motion with his index finger (accompanied by a half smile) before returning to the conversation at hand. "My absence at dinner?" he queries, looking briefly confused. Which doesn't seem an altogether unusual expression for him tonight. Yasmine coaxes a laugh out of him, "Could you imagine if she had teeth this early?" he shudders. "But no she doesn't and yes, Nicia enjoyed them. She's doing very well and the baby is in good health too."

Niklas's eyes go wide at Aurora's words as he just goes ahead and hears whatever he wants to hear. "Mistress Thornburn, I will absolutely let him know!" He looks down to Sabella. "Would you like me to get you something to eat, my love? There's... you know, I helped the Nightingale arrange all of this and I have no idea what there is to eat. It's possible I stop paying attention to things when I get bored."

Elgana rises from the couch after a few departing words to those gathered and then starts to make her way out. She pauses, fingers waggling toward Jeffeth in greeting and farewell, and then toward Gianna whom she calls out to, "Lovely event as always! I'm looking forward to the next!" And then the Redrain is slipping out into the city once more.

Lille, the dauntless companion, 2 Crimson Blades Private leave, following Elgana.

Rook says, "The dinner which we will schedule, in the future, that we haven't as yet. So I can get away from nonesense and remember briefly what bliss it was to enjoy the Oathlands. Though, I do wonder if you've been subject to opposing forces, from the Velenosa... but no. Duchess-Consort Nicia is a saint. Yes."

Rook is in denial, it is true.

"It's very pretty." Jeffeth rumbles lowly to Gianna, letting out a quiet gasp as his eyes return to the floor. Juniper gets a nudge as Jeffeth leans in to murmur something to Juniper while pointing at the floor. But then she's murmuring something to him, which causes Jeffeth's brows to arch and the big man to stand up straight and slowly look around the gathering with widened eyes. At Sabella's greeting there is a broad smile curling up his lips. Jeffeth is finally pulling his arm free from Juniper and taking a step forward to Sabella. A deep bow is given, fist pressed to his chest. "Your Highness." And without waiting the big man straightens to take Sabella into a light embrace. Just a gentle hug. And then his massive arms are thrown around Niklas to choke the life out of him. Or just give him a very fond embrace. "Your Highness. It's so good to see both of you." The big man glances over his shoulder and without letting go. "Have you two met Juniper Whisper? Juniper, these are my friends, Prince Niklas Grayson and Princess Sabella Grayson. They're married. Not cousins." To clear anything up.

Modi raises a brow slowly. "Master Rook, do you require a lay-down? I'm certain that I might find a pillow somewhere... around here... with enough skill. Tracking in an urban environment is not so much different from the woods. In fact it's easier with so many less wolves."

After Elgana leaves, Agostino stands up as well, stretching for a moment and looking around. He gives a wave to some new arrivals that he seems familiar with, Juniper and Berenice in particular, but then makes his way to the exit as well.

Cecily, a coy secretary leaves, following Agostino.

Rook says, "Oh dear heavens."

"And you're already anticipating that I won't be at the dinner?" Cristoph is looking //even// more confused, which is fairly amusing if you're into that sort of thing. His eyebrows furrow up quite a bit. "Resistance from the Velenosans?" What? What's happening right now? Does Yasmine know, he looks at her.

Gianna watches for a time, and waits for the right moment, a lull in conversation. She seizes that moment, perhaps providing some respite for some awkward conversations. "I'm so pleased you're all here," she announces, her voice ringing out clarion-clear. The woman can certainly project. "Attending the College's very first concert and celebrating with us. We've come very far in a very short span of time, and that is thanks to the wonderful support this city has given us." She raises her glass high. "And so I thank you all; let us celebrate, for this was the first of many performances to come!"

Yasmine just smiles at Cristoph and makes the universal signal for drinking too much and then points at Rook with a regrettable shake of her head.

Berenice's voice bubbles in another laugh as Cristoph approaches, speaking of his wife with Rook. "Duke Cristoph, your wife keeps sending me food and drink that she /insists/ aren't poisoned. I've never even had the pleasure of meeting her!" She looks over at Gianna when her voice cuts clarion-clear through the hubbub of conversation, and lifts her glass in toast. "Hear, hear!"

Sabella gives Aurora a bit of an applogetic look, "Of course. Scholar Oswyn is an amazing friend and I am glad he's found such good friendship with you." she then leans over to Niklas, "Did I not understand something? Did she actually mean rock rocks?" and then Gianna is giving a speech and she perks up, reaching out to take a glass offered by Elizabetta, "To many more!" she calls out brightly.

Juniper's eyes lift to Rook. "What a /gentleman/," comes her declaration. They are saved from anything more-- thank the gods-- by Jeffeth's intervention, and the need for the Whisper to slide off the couch's arm in order to make her courtesies to Prince and Princess. "From the auction, though we weren't formally introduced. A very great pleasure, your highnesses," she murmurs beneath Gianna's call, following it with effortless flow into a raised toast to their hostess. Where did she get that glass? Whisper magic, maybe. "Every note a gift!"

"Hear, hear!" Berto looks Gianna, raising his (mostly empty) glass in her direction from his seat at the couches. "And to thirteen more, thirteen times over!"

Sabella also gets hugged by Jeffeth and totally didn't forget to pose hugging him back.

Waldemai has left the couch seating.

Modi seems firmly unaware of what this huge deal is between his patron and her husband, if anything he's more concerned by the Lycene invader in their midst and just how he can worm his way toward making an actual graceful move. But Gianna saves the day with her announcement and he's quick to turn his attention to her. Lifting one silken clad hand up, he rattles his still full glass of champagne in praise. "To the Bard's College and its wonderful festivities!"

Waldemai waves and hits the cobbles, only weaving a little.

Cristoph looks from Yasmine to Rook and then nods in understanding. "Ah, I see. Yes, of course then. We will still be friends even when I don't go to this dinner you're hosting in the future," he winks at Rook. Then he turns to Berenice and proceeds to outright laugh, "Does she? I explained the lipstick marks on my cast but first I made her promise she wasn't going to poison anyone along with several other things. I'm sure the food is perfectly safe to eat." Probably.

Teonia Redreef, Aryka Wyrmfang, 3 Thrax Guards, Marquessa Pudding, a pudgy puppy, 2 Thrax Elite Guards arrive, following Sorrel.

Rook may have been able to recover, until he realises he's the one making the scene, and then he has the internal loop of 'oh god I am making a scene', before he finally says, "I think I'm having a panic attack." That said, he doesn't freak out anymore, he just levels looks at Yasmine as she convinces Cristoph he's drunk. Whether that's true, one has to decide. "I'm going to play on the piano." Then, he's off, to the piano wherever it may be. He needs peace, god damn it.

Her speech done, Gianna downs some wine and wheels off to accept a few more congratulations. She adores the attention.

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