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Freedom Art Show

The Liberators, the newly-formed discipleship of Skald, are putting on an art show titled 'Freedom'. Little is being said about the nature of the art exhibit, but there is word spread about an opening reception the evening the show begins at the Shrine of the First Choice. The artwork being presented is largely the work of Fortunato Grayhope with some other anonymous contributions.


Sept. 19, 2017, 7:45 p.m.

Hosted By

Fortunato Mason Aleksei


Eithne Aislin Saedrus Mirari Cristoph Tarik Lou Mydas Nisaa Shard Calista Leta Mayir Desiree Orazio Nash Aureth Doll Alarissa Driskell(RIP) Ferrando Denica Eirene Alistair Mia Esoka Cara Rickard Kieran Copper Mira Prism Lucita Donella Freja(RIP) Lydia Hana



Arx - Ward of the Compact - Shrine of the First Choice - Inner Sanctum

Largesse Level


Comments and Log


The art work was well executed, of topics related to slavery, and evocative, thought provoking. They were not something I would want to hang in my bedroom or dining room but powerful. The crowd was large and I only knew a few people who were there.


An absolutely phenomenal event. Master Fortunato outdid himself; I think every person that came into the exhibit was struck by the art. I am grateful for the efforts of Fortunato, Prince Mason and Aleksei to bring such a compelling evening together. Striking and unique, it was an evening with a message that I do not think could be easily brought forward by word of mouth alone, the harrowing and dreadful aspect of thraldom, of chains and slavery of which we do not always see but hear of, and the sort that has, for the most part, only existed in tales. Then of course, those chain we which we know too well.

Thanks too should be giving to all that attended, for those that were willing to listen, partake and that had something --even something small-- to offer in aid of the cause. There are so many names of so many people that have done so, and to each I am thankful.

An exceptional, though dauntingly eye-opening night.


The paintings I saw at the Freedom Art Show have stayed with me all week. They made me feel many things. Anger and dread at the Archfiend of Slavery, but a resolve to fight it as well. The images of Eurus and the chains so many of its people live in were awful, and I think Prince Mason showed great courage in having those images depicted. Even if we cannot change it from where we are, perhaps understanding it may help in the long.

As for the thralls. All I have to say is this. I would not want to be a thrall. If someone can honestly say it's a life they'd choose for someone they cared for, I don't understand that person very well at all. I gave a little to go toward paying off their debts. Not much, my means are not great, but I hope it will help.

These were not beautiful images, but they were striking and important, and not all things in this world are beautiful. They were true, and Fortunato Grayhope depicted them with a master's talent and courage.

The painting that most haunts my thoughts, though, is the one by the anonymous artist. Perhaps because it hits closer to myself than the others. The one of the figures in alaricite and diamondplate treading on the smaller figures in simpler garb as they fight things they consider larger. I wish I knew who painted this. I'd like to thank them, for the image will live in my mind and heart, even if I'm not sure exactly what I take from it yet. Perhaps just that I need to be better, too, at seeing the muck around me.

Some art receptions are quite an affair, with greeters at the doors, tables laden with snacks, music, comfortable seating, and an area for the artist being swarmed and regaled for their work. The Inner Shrine, however, has had no such accommodations prepared. There is almost nothing present save the space itself and each painting set up on a display stand. Since the sanctum is open to the sky, there is still the chill of winter in the air. There are no braziers set up for warmth and only a couple of hard, cold, stone benches are available for one to sit upon. No food or drink is present.
Near the door is a box with written programs that offer explanation of the show and at the end of the row of paintings is a donation box with writing on it.
There are also some black roses around the shrine, though not prominently placed.

    This might not be a party, but the party doesn't start 'til a Doll walks in. She does. Now it's started. She's sneering, her head twisting about, eyes racing past people and instead at art exhibits. Barely clothed and strutting forth like there was someone just waiting for a kick to the groin on the other end of her path, she stuffs a hand into the Program box and comes up with, you guessed it, a program. She opens and looks at the stupid thing like it had pissed her off in advance.

Within the Shrine of the First Choice, it's cold and quiet. Mason stands near the entrance, draped in a thick winter cloak and thin gloves, his hands clasped behind his back. He seems content to stand back and let people enter at their own pace, not pouncing them with greetings or otherwise.

Doll gets Freedom - Art Show Program from Program Box - Please Take One.

Lucita gets Freedom - Art Show Program from Program Box - Please Take One.

Aethelred, Dangerfloof, the Bearded Vulture arrive, following Freja.

1 Redrain novice guards arrives, following Kieran.

Fortunato is positioned, like Mason, near the door, a small, slight figure in darks and reds. Also like Mason, he is silent, examining the back of his hand rather than look to his own pieces. He gives the audience some time to look at the artwork, at least. All and any reactions unforced and unsolicited.

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

Mira arrives wearing a long, red velvet skirt, a black wool coat, and matching gloves. She's wearing a tall, black pillbox fur hat, a red scarf, and a red jewel on her chest. Dipping into a very light curtsey to Mason and Fortunato, she blinks and moves aside for Doll, eyes a bit wide as the woman marches past. Mira herself turns and wanders over to the depictions of Eurus, silently.

Unlike Mason, Lou is dressed for spring weather - wearing a newer gown to her that doesn't seem to resemble something that's stayed the night out in the woods somewhere, which is typically her preference for such things. She enters into the shrine and smiles warmly at Mason as she passes him, pausing only a moment to walk over and kiss his cheek. It might be a somber occasion, but he's her husband and she claims the right. Once that ask is completed she takes a moment to look around the room, and nods her head. "It is an impressive display," she tells Mason, her eyes going briefly over each of the paintings. "Is there anything I need to know, an order I should go in, as I look around? And, is the artist here?" she asks.

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

With Mason and Fortunato at the entrance, Aleksei hangs more around the middle of the exhibit, maybe even towards the end -- where the donation box sits. He's in his usual leathers and Archlector longcoat, cinched at the waist with his swordbelt and longsword. There's a sense of anxious anticipation to his gaze as he watches people start to arrive, a nervous energy that is nonetheless marked with excitement. Like Mason and Fortunato, he's silent to start with. He blinks briefly at Doll, but mostly watches everyone as they arrive.

Mason gives Lou a warm smile for the kiss and he'll briefly take her hand to squeeze it. "There is a suggested order on the program, with a brief explanation of various elements of each piece. Fortunato Grayhope did the majority of the work, this is him here." He says with a gesture to the slight artist. "Fortunato, this is my wife, Lou." He introduces quietly, voice soft-spoken and thick with Eurusi accent.

The Redrain arrives quietly, hands folded behind at the small of her back as she takes slow steps with her long-legged stride. Out of respect for the evening, Freja has switched out of the more runic Shaman attire for simplistic browns of scouting attire. A respectful nod is given to the hosts and artists, each in turn, before she begins to examine the pieces.

Alarissa has already eased in, grey fur coat wrapped around her, leather belt of tooled flora and fauna cinched tight. A matching hat, she;s been wandering in a slightly more stoic manner than she tends to be, stopping from piece to piece with a program in her hand. The newly minted Princess of Maelstrom taking a brief break from all that is going on and looking at the exhibits.

Desiree arrives to the event and looks eagerly around. She wears her usual type of gown and has her hair put up. She takes a program and looks it over.

    Reading the program - or, at least, maybe a line or two of it - that damn Doll rolls her eyes and looks around the area instead, tucking this one into her top and against her breast, then just reaching to grab a few more for some reason or another. Then she scowls and walks over toward the stupid Conquering Heroes piece, looking really unimpressed with it. She sets a hand on her hip and taps her foot, her grey eyes gradually narrowing into a squint.

Esoka gets Freedom - Art Show Program from Program Box - Please Take One.

Doll gets Freedom - Art Show Program from Program Box - Please Take One.

Doll gets Freedom - Art Show Program from Program Box - Please Take One.

Into the festivities tromps Esoka. She pauses in the entrance just to study the reception. The paintings. The other guests. She might spend awhile looking for free drinks, but their absence is just noted with snort to herself before she proceeds in. She takes a program, switching her pondering to that.

Ferrando was here all along! Mainly handling the 'genially looming at the door and greeting people as they come in' part. It's practically second nature to him at this point.

Kieran gets Freedom - Art Show Program from Program Box - Please Take One.

Fortunato raises a hand toward Lou in a light waggle, then he drops his hand and bows lightly instead. "It's my pleasure to meet you, my lady. Your reputation duly precedes you." He angles a quick smile at Mason, then is briefly distracted by Doll and her little nexus of minor chaos. His smile widens a little bit.

2 Faith of the Pantheon trained guards, 2 Faith of the Pantheon novice guards arrive, following Orazio.

Copper gets Freedom - Art Show Program from Program Box - Please Take One.

Mira's eyes widen a bit as more and more people arrive. Looking around in mild alarm, Mira drifts a little more to the edges of the Shrine. As people converge upon the Temple of the First Choice, Mira withdraws a small leather journal from somewhere secret and flips it open toward near the middle. turning back about toward Skal'daja, the fox-haired woman starts to...sketch something into the notebook. She seems to be copying the painting.

Orazio gets Freedom - Art Show Program from Program Box - Please Take One.

Lucita steps into the area and over to the side so not blocking the entry. Good thing she had done that prior to the entry of some of the others. Her cloak keeps her nicely warm. Her gaze slips over those attending, noting a large proliferation of strangers. When a familiar person or two are spotted, a hint of relief shows in the way she becomes a bit more at ease. She starts to glance at the artwork on display.

    "Yeah yeah." A Doll answers Fortunato, because he was clearly talking to her. She does this without looking at him of course. She moves to another exhibit. Or whatever they're called. She doesn't look like she cares.

Shard looks decidedly out of place for an art exhibit--although this one isn't exactly the usual sort. She's not wearing any finery, just her usual leathers, her usual dyed and patched cloak, complete with her usual weaponry, with her hair pulled back in its usual, decidedly Prodigal knot. She takes a program and glances over it, but she doesn't appear to be taking any direction from it for which painting to look at first, as she meanders in toward the first that catches her attention. That one seems to be the one of the Fiend--it's the one her eyes go to immediately, for certain.

Perhaps a little late, for a person that was generally always early, Saedrus arrives to the shrine in pitch and gold threaded silks. The courtier's hair has been left out, snowy-white and float down his back that might help shield his bare shoulders from the cold in the open shrine. With graceful steps he pauses somewhere central to the exhibits, head turned to consider all the art pieces before he steps off in Fortunato's direction once he'd spied the artist. There's a kiss to Fort's cheek and a smile, some quiet words whispered.

Opia, a fat unblinking cat, Miella, an apprentice arrive, following Mirari.

Kieran is wearing simple winter attire when he arrives, and he quickly falls in behind Freja to look at the artwork, nodding his head in approval. "I really like the red in this one. It's rather A connoisseur of art, he is not.

"Are they for sale?" This is called over Alarissa's shoulder, standing to the side of the Plaza of Fetters.

Orazio arrives in the general crush of things, in gold and white. His eyebrows rise at the simplicity of the room, but he takes a program, and begins to circulate.

Freja has paused before the painting "Magister of the Mirror" whereas the others had gotten a brief perusal. It is here she lingers, enraptured in her own silence.

Donella simply drifts from piece to piece, studying each one with a fixed expression on her dark blue eyes. She has come by herself, and amongst the glitz and glamor of the people collecting in the soberly, spartanly arranged hall, and so with nothing remarkable about her, she is comfortable to stop about midway along the first pass of the circuit, and lodges there like a splinter under a fingernail.

Lou inclines her head in Fortunato's direction. "So you are the artist that has been keeping Mason busy," she grins at him, her tone soft and light-hearted. "He has been very excited for the exhibit, and while we had planned a sneak peak of the paintings, unfortunately the Grayson family had some other plans for me with their patrols and missions. If you'll excuse me a moment, I'm going to start looking around." Lou tells both men, then takes a moment to look at her program and go around the room. Recognizing Shard, she nods in the other woman's direction and raises a hand in greeting.

Freja adds to Kieran when he appears, "The red. Shocking. Do you think any of these pieces are for sale?"

Eirene dresses like she always does. One might think she only owns the one set of black and red embroidered leathers. She pauses to take a brochure with casusal disinterest. She's here, but she doesn't look like she's entirely sure what she's lookin at or for. She gives the priestly types a faint nod of her head in greeting.

Copper steps into the inner sanctum, pausing in the path of trodding just long enough to glance around, a little smile touching her lips; wry amusement. She quickly hops out of the way so as not to be a nuisance, and takes a program in a gloved hand. The small woman wanders to the nearest painting, checking against the program to make sure she does it right.

Nisaa gets Freedom - Art Show Program from Program Box - Please Take One.

Eirene gets Freedom - Art Show Program from Program Box - Please Take One.

Mira leans over toward Freja, nodding a bit with a quiet murmur, "Nasty people, those. Or so I hear. I wouldn't stare too long." Turning with a swish of her long velvet skirt, Mira returns to the representation of the City of Chains, frowning as she compares her sketch to the painting before her. Copper's brilliant hair does catch her eye, however, and Mira looks over with a slightly curious expression, eyebrows lifted behind her brass glasses.

Two figures enter the inner sanctum, one a female wearing a rather beautiful crimson seasilk dress and the other wearing black flowing robes with the cowl pulled up over it. The two also wear mirrored masks, with the black robed figure silently taking a program with a gloved hand before moving further in.

Carissa, a Malvici bodyguard have been dismissed.

Orazio makes his way through the crush, program in one hand, to stop and study the first painting that catches his eyes - the one depicting Skal'daja. He takes a deep breath, and studies the canvas like he's going to be taking a test on it, later. He smiles, faintly, then looks around for Fortunato.

Denica gets Freedom - Art Show Program from Program Box - Please Take One.

Mason is largely watching the reactions of the people coming in and looking at the artwork, but Alarissa catches his attention and he blinks, "Oh... I'm not certain. We hadn't discussed it." The prince looks to Fortunato questioningly. Then he gives Lou a smile as she moves away, his gaze catching Donella. He bends a graceful bow to the Thrax princess should she look his way. Then he spies Copper and a bright grin grows on his face. He'll reach to touch Fortunato on the shoulder, murmuring softly to the artist.

Someone wearing A Dark Reflection Mirrormask gets Freedom - Art Show Program from Program Box - Please Take One.

    "Hey, you're blocking the view! Have some fuckin' respect for the artist." Doll hits Shard in the shoulder with her Art Show Program, probably causing some unpleasant and irreparable crinkles in it. She scowls and walks by without really waiting for an answer, looking at something else half-assedly. Oh. Great. It's a painting of some guy in a cloak.

A problem about being so damned tall? Freja has the habit of looking down at people by feat of stature alone; Mira being petite doesn't help. "Everyone is nasty, darling. Simply find the catalyst."

Eirene stops before the painting of slavery. She pauses to glance at the brochure and then back up again at the many headed-handed beast. Her reaction is hard to read on her weather-worn face. A slight twitch to her blue eyes.

Saedrus slips away from the artist of the hour, Fortunato, when he has had a moment to congratulate him probably. Taking a moment to bow graciously to Mason, a smile to Lou as well, "Prince Mason you have done a truly exceptional job," he congratulates more openly, "truly. Though most are harrowing, you have put this together excellently."

Esoka spends a //lot// of time reading the program. She then proceeds to the first item listed. With a military sort of precision. About her art appreciation. Which puts her at the fiend of slavery painting first. It is glared at, a low growl sounding her throat.

    Slips in, quietly, taking a program before starting to weave in an out of the crowd to look at the art of the display. Sneaky Denica, moving around in plain sight. She pauses to glance at various paintings - wide eyed.

Aleksei's brow arches for the question Alarissa and Freja both pose, glancing over at Fortunato curiously. It's clearly a question he doesn't know the answer to. He has small, warm smiles for those he knows when they enter. It's quickly replaced by a burgeoning surprise at all the /people/. It's a pleasant surprise, at least.

Ferrando is still greeting people as they come in with a smile, a gesture to the program box, and a general air of encouragment to unfetter one's artistic sensibilities and let them fly freely! Or he might just look like a fairly happy large muscular fellow standing by the door with no particular embellishment. The door greeter, like art, is in the eye of the beholder.

Mira parts her lips to reply to Freja but pauses, tilts her head, and nods a bit, smiling softly. "Fair enough. I suppose anyone can be nasty if you poke them enough." She wags her stylus, "It would be nice if some people could be poked more beforehand, though." She nods a couple times before her eyes widen, "Er, the Magisters, not you. Sorry."

Copper overhears something that makes her frown. Or, maybe it's the paitning she stares at, of the fiend of slavery. Next to, apparently, many others, she nonetheless seems lost in a staring contest with that beast, and her fingers tighten on her program, leaving a tiny crease beneath one tiny fingertip. The growl at her shoulder makes her start, and she glances up at Esoka.

Shard's ever-present frown deepens at something said, but whatever it was is unclear, because Doll smacks her with the program, and the other woman gets a sharp look and a return scowl. It's at least enough to distract her from the painting, and she spends a few moments taking in the crowd pressing into the Inner Sanctum instead through faintly narrowed eyes. Copper, being closest, gets a careful once-over, and then the masked figures.

Cousins. Alarissa spots Denica and gestures for the woman to join her. Tired looking that she is, she offers her arm to Denica to take as she starts to move around.

"That is the way of it." Freja agrees with Mira, nodding once. "If you had poked a Bear, you would know." A ghost of a smile plays at the edge of her lips, albeit briefly.

"Next time, Lady Lou Grayson. I'll try to give you a space more time. I hope you enjoy the exhibits," Fortunato offers with another small bow. A little restlessness bleeds into his posture, then. He smiles after Saedrus, swift and slightly uncomfortable, notes Mason's gaze direction and tries to firm the smile just a little. To the question of Freja and Alarissa, he pauses. He responds, "I would like to leave the exhibit altogether for a month. Then we can consider an auction."

Eirene glances at Copper and Esoka as they, too, stare at the slaver-beast. "Yeah, puts my hackles up too," she says with a scowl. "Wonder if that's artists representation or more literal. Screw us all if it's literal..." Her expression goes blank again though unsettled, clearly.

    "Who actually wears those fuckin' things?" Doll scowls at the painting of a cloaked figure in the stupid mirrormask. Someone wearing one walks in at about the same time of course. Not that she looks. Or cares. She rolls her eyes and moves to the next painting. Oh. Great. It's people in silk. From her sneer it's really apparent these are her favorite kind of people.

Mason's attention is caught by the two that came in with the masks, but after a moment of distraction and a frown pulling at his lips, he looks upon Saedrus, "Oh, thank you, but really it's Fortunato that deserves all the attention. He is the one that brought the ideas to life. I simply helped organize it." The Grayson explains softly.

Having studied the city for a time, Orazio moves on, through the crowd, to try and approach Fortunato. "They are exquisite," he says, when he gets close enough to be able to talk. He looks around at the crowds, gaze lingering on the crowd in front of the portrait of Slavery.

Someone wearing a stygian cecaelia columbino sashays along with the other figure in the mirrormask. Her hands are folded behind her back, her gaze flicking over the program in his hands. Her voice is soft as she murmurs, "What shall we look at first, hmm?"

Leta tips her feathered hat to Ferrando as he greets arrivals. She's an arrival, after all, strutting in as one does, though she hesitates a moment as she takes in the crowd. "Good day! That's a good few folk, isn't it?" she asks of the greeter, reaching out to grab one of the programs and looks at it, which involves some frowning in concentration.

"From what I understand," Aleksei pipes up to say towards Eirene, "it looks like -- or can, at least -- a giant centipede made up of regular-sized centipedes." Because everyone wanted to know that.

Mayir gets Freedom - Art Show Program from Program Box - Please Take One.

"I bet Great Demons are very personal, and subjective," Copper says helpfully to those at the painting of the fiend. "Like art!" She notes Shard's glance and offers a small, but friendly, smile before starting to scoot towards the next painting.

Esoka spends a little more glaring at the fiend picture. Then notices her growling has attracted attention, and turns her head. Chin dipping to Copper and Eirene. "Do not misunderstand. It is very well-done. Most evocative. I wish to kill that thing, here and now!" She quickly adds, "I understand I can't do that by attacking the painting, of course." She laces her hands behind her back. In an entirely non-threatening manner.

"Please do refrain from stabbing the paintings," Ferrando announces politely from over by the door.

Shard tips her head at the smile, though she offers no smile in return. But then, she doesn't look as though 'return smiles' are really something she does. Or smiles in general. She slants another look toward the Fiend of Slavery as Aleksei offers that explanation of its actual appearance.

Someone wearing A Dark Reflection Mirrormask holds the program in a few fingers, looking at it a moment before he hands it to Red, a gloved hand gesturing first at the Fiend before the hands clasp behind the back of the robes and the pair begin to slowly make their way with the crowd to look at it. Perhaps the black robed figure doesn't speak, but the golden eyes observe more those who are looking at the artwork than the artwork itself.

    Moving over, immediately, with a swish of silk and a patter of stained slippers. Denica takes Alarissa's hand into her own and links it through her arm, "It's well. All matter of thing shall be well, cos." She murmurs to her.

Mira smiles at Freja's reaction and curtseys playfully, "I think I'll not tempt fate then. Enjoy the show." She gives Freja a small wave and wanders off, heading for the Fiend of Slavery. Her journal is turned several pages back toward the front, and she starts to sketch that representation too...while occasionally sneaking peeks at Copper's amazing hair. After a few moments, she finally manages a quiet greeting toward the woman, "Does that mean they are just playing to their natures, like a painting?"

Donella has folded her arms across herself, guardedly. She mouthes a word of greeting toward Mason, Aleksei and Fortunato in turn, in conversation with those others who come with questions and compliments. She trails after her sister for a moment, until she sees Clarissa take her into the space of confidence. So she finds a bench and sits down.

Lucita's lack of smile and somber expression is likely just expressing neutrality. She says to Ferrando, who is serving as door greeter for the moment. "Did not expect to see you here, good evening." She glances from him back to the paintings. "Do you have a favorite among them, or have you had a chance to see them past some of the crowd here?"

Mayir wanders into the Shrine's Inner Sanctum, looking a little bit confused and a little bit eager. On the one hand, art is -- valuable? On the other hand, most of it belongs to a fellow with the name Grayhope, so there's that. He takes a program politely when it is offered, scanning it curious.

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

Lou smiles at Fortunado prior to walking off too far. "It wasn't your fault. Familial obligations," she gives a small shrug of her shoulder, then does move off. She seems to be, like most people, following the program. She stops first at the fiend of slavery and studies it long and hard, tilting her head this way and that. She then moves on to Skal'daja, and finally the grand vizier. She seems to be digesting the images she's seeing, and lifts a hand to tap delicately at the edge of her lips. She looks up as some people ask about whether or not the paintings are for sale, but then goes back to her quiet contemplation for the moemnt.

Desiree also stares at the fiend of slavery painting. She looks to Esoka, Copper, and Eirene. "I'm not sure what to think of it. I like how well it's painted, but I can't say I like what it's a painting of." She takes a moment to study it further.

Smokey, the Wolfhound Pup arrives, following Eithne.

Copper tells Mira, just as quietly, "Very few things can play against their natures, really. Just people." She says this quietly as she scoots past, circling behind the larger press of people to follow the program. Perhaps she's trying not to call attention to the apparently overwhelmed woman.

Fortunato notes, low-voiced, to Orazio, noting the direction of the crowd, "That's the one I'm most nervous about, of course, stylized as it is. Partly because it's so alien to me. You're kind to speak well of the paintings as a whole. You're never sure, until you meet an audience. And even then."

    Something - maybe the mention of centipedes, causes her to tense and shiver. Denica's expression, afterward, looks as though she ate a bug.

Eirene glares over her shoulder as she hears someone talking... a lot like her. She rolls her eyes at Doll and then looks back to the others by Slavery. "Centipedes. Great. Leggy little bastards. I think I like this version better; the symbolism of the chains binding -all- the world and her peoples." She slaps her program against her hand thoughtfully.

"I know Princess Denica." She answers, patting the other womans hand and moves further till eventually they are before the Thrall painting, murmuring to Denica as they go.

Someone wearing a stygian cecaelia columbino inclines her head to the Quiet masked figured. Her lips curled upward, visible through the stygian tentacles that lovely contour to her face. She drifts over to the fiend of slavery, shifting up onto her toes to peer over Esoka's shoulder. "Excuse me there, just wanting to look at this one." An inclination of her head is given... the red stones in her mask glinting almost wetly.

Orazio turns his head towards Desiree as he overhears her words. He smiles, and offers, "Not all art is meant to be enjoyed; sometimes, it is meant to reach inside your heart and squeeze." And a little bow to go with it, before his attention is drawn back to Fortunato. He reaches out to give the man a comforting squeeze on the shoulder. "Some of your best work yet, I think. Powerful, to be certain."

Mira's eyebrows lift at Copper's words, taking a moment to consider that. But the woman is already gone, and Mira nods more to herself than anyone else. Turning back to the Fiend, she continues to sketch its likeness into her journal, which has other writing in it as well. It seems as though the sketch is going into an empty space in the words.

Nisaa walks into the Inner Sanctum and smiles to anyone who is near. She first stops to take a program, looking it over carefully before starting to make her way inside. The Whisper is cloaked in umbra, her steps slow but graceful as she starts to explore the art on display. Her cloak is clutched tight around her, her verdigris eyes drinking it all in with a wide-eyed expression. Many of them seem to affect her deeply, but none more so than the magister of mirrors. Here, she freezes, staring.

Saedrus dips his head to those he is with; Fortunato, Mason and Lou, to excuse himself as he slips off in to the crow of on lookers. The courtier drifts away, evergreens catching on those wearing mask. He approaches Red as she slips behind Esoka and Quiet, smiling to Esoka first then the masked pair, "they are amazing, yes?" he says of the art with a smile.

Ferrando nods to Leta's hat tip. "Welcome!" He then smiles agreeably to Lucita, giving his door greeting duty a bit of a pause. Most of the people are in here already, after all. "Ah, hello Lady Lucita! How nice to see you here. I happen to be one of the Liberators of Skald, actually," he notes affably. "I didn't really have much to do with this event, though. I helped move the furnishings around, but that's not particularly artistic, admittedly."

Eithne gets Freedom - Art Show Program from Program Box - Please Take One.

Desiree nods to what Orazio says. "I do feel something, and you're right. It wouldn't be something I'd hang on my own wall, but I do appreciate seeing it here." She moves on to another painting.

Esoka keeps her hands behind her back. Totally not stabbing any paintings. The look she gives Ferrando is one of innocence. She turns to offer a little inclination of her chin to Desiree. "I've decided I like it. Not what it's showing, of course, but it is a bracing representation of the enemy and there is truth in it. So, I like that. I don't think I'd want it hanging in my bedroom, though. Painting of trees are better for that." She moves on, this settled in her own mind to the painting of Skal'daja. That one doesn't immediately inspire growling, but it is peered at curiously. Her head is likewise dipped to the figure in the columbino mask, as she shifts.

    Well, nobody said not to club the paintings. That Doll would have trouble stabbing them with a club. She scowls at the Slavery painting only after taking a brief study of the slaves following the silks. She tsks and remarks dismissively, glancing to one side, "Well at least somebody knows how this fuckin' city works." She probably looks at somebody in silks here for a second. It's Prism. She only grunts and moves to look at something else next. Oh. This one looks more like home. The Boroughs painting. She leans and squints at it.

Mayir is near the door and can't help but turn when he sees Nisaa come right up next to him. "Nisaa!" he says, whispering to her in a call that he tries to keep his voice down for. "Nisaa Whisper! It's me! Mayir Grayhope! From The Grotto!" He hopes that she remembers him. Maybe not. But he can try!

Shard steps back further from the painting of the Fiend as more people press in to have a look at it, particularly the masked pair. She gives them a closer once-over as well as she does so, then gives Mira a brief, baffled glance.

Freja nods to Fortunato. "I'll be in contact then. Fine work." Favoring brevity, but a genuine compliment all the same. Still, she remains in front of the painting of the Magister of Mirros.

Esoka returns Saedrus' smile warmly, when she spots teh man. "Saedrus Whisper! Hello. Aye, they're very striking. I feel almost transported by this one." She points to the City of Chains. "Though I'm not sure I'd want to visit there in truth."

Prism floats in through the doorway. Her eyes are wide and bright with wonder, so much wonder she can't quite remember to root her feet on the ground, can't quite remember there's a ground at all. After all, far more important than the ground is the art, and this she regards with all due awe. "Ohhh!" she breathes out, not a coherent word but definitely an impressed one.

Mason can't help but smile faintly at Orazio's words about not all art being enjoyed. He gives Fortunato a glance before looking back to the crowds. "Thank you for coming, Legate." The Eurusi man greets from beside Fortunato. His gaze occasionally flits back to the one in the mirrormask, the prince looking a touch unsettled by that. Then he hears someone call the name Nisaa and looks that way intently, his dark eyes watching the Whisper now.

Kieran leans over against Freja, "Whatchya so focused on?"

Eirene steps away so others can get a look at Slavery and wonders about some of the other choices. Her arms fold over her chest as she strolls, beating her pamphlet against her arm in thought.

Nisaa checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 1 higher.

Leta looks up from the the program and tosses out to Ferrando, "Can be, can't it? Just got to arrange them prettily - so it draws a picture if you see it from up on the ceiling or something." she points up. That's where the ceiling is. "But I suppose that'd be easy art. I'd been told this ain't easy art." She's unclear on the notion, but flashes Ferrando a grin before daring to step forward, program in hand, to cautiously approach the works on display, an eye on the crowd.

Orazio smiles at Mason. "I am happy to be here, Your Highness. You must be a very good storyteller, to have woven these sights so vividly and inspire Fortunato thus. I imagine that must have been somewhat difficult, as well," he muses, considering the other man, thoughtfully.

Someone wearing a stygian cecaelia columbino dips her chin toward Esoka once more and says, "Well met. You've decided to like it, yes?" A wave of her hand is given to the picture, and then she turns toward Saedrus, stepping forward if allowed to air kiss next to his cheeks. "Saedrus, my favorite." Affectionate smiles are given as she steps back and she asks, "What do you think of this painting?"

Mira blinks at Shard when she notices the baffled look. "...What?" Then she looks at the two masked figures...and slowly tilts her head. Red's wetly gleaming jewels are given a once over in confusion, followed by looking over Quiet. But the appearance of Prism causes Mira to gasp and turn, wandering over to the partially floating woman. "Thank you for the advice the other day. I think we should get along splendedly." She nods and bows just a bit to Prism, smiling.

Leta gets Freedom - Art Show Program from Program Box - Please Take One.

Perhaps she's a bit late for the event and it's not because she's fashionably late. The Mistress of Metal known as Eithne Thornburn crosses the threshold of the Inner Sanctum with a swagger all her own. She pushes off the hood of her cloak and gives her head a little shake letting wild red curls spring about. "That's a lotta people!" She murmurs to herself before making her way through the throngs of folks. Lots of familiar faces are met with a big, wide grin and some are offered a waggle of her fingers.

Fortunato clears his throat and notes a "Thank you," over to Orazio. He straightens to his full, if scant, height, marking Prism's entrance with a faint smile and checking various progresses across the exhibit. He scratches under his ear. "I think in many ways Mason has the more difficult role."

Desiree looks to Esoka and grins. "Or a painting of different colored fish." She takes the time to look over the Skal'daja painting. "There's a lot to see in this one."

Nisaa tears her gaze from the painting to look at Mayir. Her face, at first, wears an almost frightened expression, her eyes glassy as if she might have been about to cry. She takes a moment, eyes blinking away those tears, or trying to, and puts on a smile for the man calling to her. She lifts her chin higher, trying to be as poised as she normally is, and lifts her hand to wave to Mayir. "Mayir Grayhope," she says in her thick, exotic accent. "It is... good to be seeing you again." She still seems a bit flustered, but with one more glance towards the painting, she steps closer to her friend. "You are being well?"

Someone wearing A Dark Reflection Mirrormask glances towards Saedrus as the man approaches Red, but doesn't say anything. Glancing more towards those who are looking towards the Thrall and her child, the figure doesn't speak but does give a nod before letting the other masked figure speak to Saedrus. The black figure moves slowly through the crowd, heading towards the mother and child.

Lucita once more glances at the paintings not being blocked by people studying them. To Ferrando she speaks again in an amicable tone of voice. "Did not know that about you. These make you think, feel something. I'm not sure I would want one set before my gaze daily, for lengthy periods of time though they seem very well done. They are like a song that has emotion, meaning, and causes a reaction, but not a song you want to hear every few minutes.

"Why are you drawing it?" Shard asks Mira, seemingly genuinely confused. She follows Mira's glance, however, and then blinks at the /floating/ Prism. And blinks again. "Huh."

"It will" Alarissa offers a kiss to Denica's cheek before releasing the woman and starting to head to the entrance, a smile and dip of her head for Fortunato and then in turn for Mason if she manages to catch his eye before starting to depart.

Mason's eyes are mostly on Nisaa, but he does flick a glance back at Orazio, his expression briefly pained. "It was... important to bring back the memories. The cause is important. I hope people are willing to make donations, a way to directly help." He shares, words soft. Then he gives Fortunato a confused look, "How do gather that?" Though his attention does seem partially locked on Nisaa, some concern in his expression.

Copper peers at Skal'daja in painting form, her gaze admiring and a bit wistful. "How nice it looks, from afar. Maybe I should have the artist paint me, if he can do such flattering perspectives, huh?" Huh? She looks around, and realizes belatedly she's not really standing with anyone. Ahem. The woman falls silent, studying her program for her next destination.

Saedrus' attention turns briefly to the sound of the name, spotting Nisaa in the crowd and casting a bright smile the girls way, a welcoming or comforting look perhaps. He soon looks back to Esoka, "mm?" evergreens cast to the City of Chains and there is a small frown, though brief, to soft lips. "No, I would not wish to visit it either," he admits. To Red he dips his head to the air kisses, a curious smile. "My Lady," though it sounds unsure when he greets her properly, "It is harrowing, or daunting perhaps -- in a beautiful way. Though I think the beauty only comes from the skill of the artist. Do you have a favourite, my Lady?" Evergreens turned briefly to Quiet's nod. "Your thoughts, my Lord?"

Mira turns back about partially toward Shard, twisting at the waist to do so, "Well why wouldn't I? That's the closest I've ever seen to a representation of an actual Archfiend."

    "None of these have any balls." That Doll announces sharply after looking at another one half-assedly, her head turning rapidly until she spots Fortunato, who she then squints at and struts forcefully over toward, arriving with a swirl of her flimsy skirt across her firm legs before it settles. Her head tilts at him, "You just painting shit you seen or something?"

Hana gets Freedom - Art Show Program from Program Box - Please Take One.

There's a very particular kind of warmth of delighted surprise on Aleksei's expression when he sees Prism arrive. "Oh, you made it," he says.

Donella puts Freedom - Art Show Program in Program Box - Please Take One.

Someone wearing a stygian cecaelia columbino tilts her head briefly toward the Quiet masked briefly before he's melting away into the crowd. She turns her attention back toward Saedrus and she says, "Aye, this one is rather harrowing isn't it?" She steps to the side so she can make sure that she isn't blocking the view of the painting. "It makes the skin itch, doesn't it? It's very powerful."

Alarissa is overheard praising Fortunato for: Lovely

    A swirl of stars and alaricite catches the attention, if briefly, and Denica turns to look over - marvelling at Prism for a speechless moment. Then, away, again to notice Copper's brilliant amber hair. Or, the featureless Mirrormask's whirlpool eyes. She swallows hard, getting quickly overwhelmed by them. The others. The art. She offers Alarissa a nervous smile as her new cousin releases her and makes an exit. Next, she is seeking the stable presence of her elder sister, Donella. "It's all so much!"

Orazio bows to Mason. "Thank you, Your Highness. For sharing such memories. We need all the knowledge that we can get, right now. Sometimes, especially the painful knowledge." As he straightens, Doll comes over, and he turns a black gaze on her, his lips twitching downward, and expression chilling.

Mayir frowns at Nisaa's apparent emotions, perhaps not understanding where they come from. "I am sorry that I startled you?" He doesn't think that he startled her. And yet. He touches her arm lightly, trying to calm her some. "Are you okay?" His eyes flick this way and that, as if seeing what might have upset her. Or who, most likely.

Hana makes her way into the show, offering Aleksei a bright and encouraging smile as she crosses the room to select a copy of the program booklet. Whatever she sees in the program, however, earns a slightly bittersweet smile from the young smith. And then she approaches the painting of the First Choice's dark reflection, to begin her circuit of the show.

The painting of the Man of Mirrors is abandoned at last by Freja and she moves on silently to the next, thoughs and attentions kept to herself.

Ferrando glances around before regarding Leta more than a little dubiously. "I don't expect there'd be nearly as many people coming to see some tables arranged, artistically or otherwise," he admits before shrugging lightly and turning back to Lucita. "I haven't actually had a look at any of them yet in depth. I mean, I can see them from here but I was busy with getting everything ready first. I figure there will be lots of time for it after the show; they'll be on display for the next several weeks, after all." He spares a glance towards one of the walls before nodding a little at Lucita's earlier sentiment. "It's unsettling subject matter to be sure. But, there are unsettling truths in the world. It does little good to actively avoid confronting them."

Pellinor leaves, following Alarissa.

Someone wearing a stygian cecaelia columbino is overheard praising Fortunato for: Always lovely.

Mason is overheard praising Fortunato for: An incredible artist that commands the canvas with each stroke of his brush.

Eirene asks, nobody in particular, "Is that how I always fucking sound?" She's gesturing at Doll with her program in disbelief, eyebrows raised. The woman's black and white braids swing a little as she shakes her head. "Prism, hello again," she says to the practically glowing woman. She gives a weak smile and then goes back to silently studying the paintings.

Esoka nods to Desiree. "Your fish was much happier! Better than my trees. Though I do want to try again. Maybe without animals this time. They were not the right size and just ended up looking like monsters. This painting is less terrifying than the one of the archfiend, but still makes me feel a forboding from this place." She moves down, taking her peering to the depiction of the vizier, and the plaza of fetters. The latter, in particular, seems to trouble her. No growling this time, but it's regarded long with a frown.

"Crawl," Saedrus suggest quietly, "makes the skin crawl, I think would be a more apt description." said towards Red. He chuckles a little looking back to Eirene briefly, "I do not opt to turn you to white noise, and you do have a little more tact than some." He notes to the Malvici.

Denica is overheard praising Fortunato for: Being a Witness and an Observer.

Mira is overheard praising Fortunato for: Powerful evocations

Fortunato sweeps a little bow toward Alarissa as she moves to depart, and turns a smile on Doll, bright, if maybe a bit pressed. "Ah! It has been some time, hasn't it. The paintings are from description, experience, imagination mashed together as best as I can. If you think they lack, hm, balls, then I'd be fascinated to see your own work. Your perspective on canvas." His eyebrows sweep up. "Or hewn into wood, if you like." Something said through the crowd leads him to color, for just a second. It's a lot of crowd.

Shard's eyebrows draw closer together at Mira's response. "...That's largely why I wouldn't," she says, though it's in a tone that largely seems to be admitting that Mira might have a point more than anything.

Donella offers her hands to Denica, and invites her without speaking the works, to sit down on the bench with her. "The patrons, the paintings, or both?" she asks, and says after a moment's pause, "Have you looked on all of them, Denny?"

Someone wearing A Dark Reflection Mirrormask is slowly cutting through the crowd, silently making its unhurried way towards the Thraxan princess.

Someone wearing a stygian cecaelia columbino's eyes shift toward Eirene and she smiles beautifically through the tentacles, "No, my lady, there's intelligence to /your/ words." She returns to Saedrus a moment later and says, "Aye. But where does that skin crawling come from? Fear? Disgust?"

Mira beams at Shard, "Better consigned to a page than seared into memory, yes?" Her Lenosian accent lilting in briefly, she wags the stylus at Shard before considering something...and turning toward the distant Copper. Turning toward near the very back of the journal, Mira starts to sketch the copper-haired lady, making small notes swiftly in the margins.

Nisaa has not yet noticed Mason's gaze as she still tries to regain her composure, to portray the elegance Whispers are known for. She does, however, see Saedrus smile at her. To him, she dips her head low in greeting, turning that sad tinged smile to him before returning her attention to Mayir. Shaking her head, the tendrils of dark hair brushing against her cheeks. "You have not startling me. Or, I am supposing perhaps you did, but is good." Smiling at the touch to her arm she gives a little nod. "The painting... " She points over her shoulder to indicate the magister of mirrors painting. "It is bringing back many old memories and feelings. I am sorry."

Lou finishes looking at the grand vizier, then moves on to the next three paintings - plaza of fetters, magister of the mirror, and thralls. She's still quite quiet as she considers each one, keeping her thoughts to herself. She doesn't seem to have noticed many of the other arrivals as she looks things over.

"Though..." Prism says, and as she looks from painting to painting, she draws closer and closer to the ground. "...It's a sad thing to see. A very hard thing to see. Not beautiful, not wonderful, but ... that all of you are gathered here to see it..." She smiles, and her right foot touches the ground. Then the left. Then she's not floating at all, and the skirts of her gown settle around her in a soft white shimmer. "...Thank you," she says, and it seems a thanks given to all the room. Artists, and guests.

Hana stares at the fiend of slavery painting for a long moment, as if trying to decide what she thinks of it. She looks /unhappy/ -- but then, that's perhaps to be expected with a topic like that. After a moment, she shakes her head and moves on, first to Skal'daja, and then the vizier with his golden chain.

Desiree shakes her head as she speaks to Esoka. "Monstrous animals just give your painting a spooky feel." She laughs softly. "Besides I remember liking your painting." She looks to the vizier painting and just tilts her head as she stares at it.

Copper stands before the Grand Vizier painting, and gets lost in it. She studies the face of the man, as if it looks familiar and lingers just outside her memory. Her bright eyes track the chain, following it as it binds him and the chair and the painting and perhaps...the world? So fascinated is she, head tilted, that she even misses the beautiful, floating Seraph greeting the room. That's pretty engrossed!

    Denica nods, "If my eyes are open, Nell, I have seen them. I won't forget - couldn't, can't. I'll sleep tonight with the images dances behind my eyes yet. That's what it's supposed to do. Linger, fester, make you think and change. Otherwise, it's a pond. Not a river." She sits close to Donella, "It's both. Manageable when I'm sitting down. Mostly."

Mason focuses on Doll, opening his mouth to say something, but Fortunato holds his own more than adequately and the prince just grins faintly. "If the artwork makes you angry... perhaps that is a good thing? The topic of slavery is one that should make us all angry." He says, then gives the artist a brief glance before slipping away and approaching Nisaa. "Are you handling things alright?" He asks softly. "It was a shock when I first saw them."

Hana is overheard praising Fortunato for: He can paint images that are hard to look at, but vital to see.

Shard offers Mira a shrug. "Most likely both," she murmurs, although it's unclear if she means that for the other woman or not. She follows the look to Copper, looks, for a moment, even more confused, then shrugs again. Her attention shifts back to Prism. "...Well, Aleksei asked."

Leta moves to appreciate the art, and stops in front of the fiend of slavery, first thing, squinting at her program and then squinting at the picture. Her fingers squeeze the hilt of her sword, thumbs stroking a rhythm over the engraved textures there. She makes a face, leans in, takes another step back, makes another face, shakes her head, and walks along to the next.

Kieran walks by the donation box after viewing the painting and gives a few coins. He offers a dip of his head to Aleksei as he passes on hos way to the door.

"To look at any of these," Saedrus starts looking back to the Skal'daja and then the Fiend of Slavery, "and not feel some measure of fear would be, foolish. To feel disgust would be I think some measure humanity. For me, it crawls with dread." The courtier explains softly to Red, his evergreen eyes thoughtful as he looks to regard Grand Vizier some little while away.

1 Redrain novice guards leaves, following Kieran.

Aleksei is overheard praising Fortunato for: The best painter in Arx.

Mayir shakes his head in response to Nisaa, and then touches her arm. "No need to apologize. I'm sorry it upset you." He looks at the painting, tilting his head at it, perhaps not quite sure why it troubled her so. "Is there anything I can do? I mean, to make you feel better?" His eyes flick to Prism, confused for a moment. "Who is /that/?" he murmurs to Nisaa near him, and, by extension, Mason.

Someone wearing A Dark Reflection Mirrormask stands near the group that Denica is at, and gives a bow with the gloved hand touching the chest a moment before it gives a gesture towards the Thraxan thrall and her child. The gold eyes stare at the Thraxan princess brightly underneath the darkness.

Mira glances over furtively toward Saedrus...and frowns a bit. She wasn't being spoken to, but her sketching pauses, and she glances down at the delicate page of onion paper. Making a bit of a face, Mira slowly closes her journal, not completing what she was working on.

Orazio bows to Prism as her feet finally deign to touch the ground. "A pleasure to see you again, Lady Prism. I hope you are well?" His eyes flicker over to Doll again, then Fortunato, but as they seem to know each other, the Legate's shoulders fractionally relax.

"They did give the landscape a certain character, didn't they?" Esoka considers to Desiree, of her monstrous animals. "Maybe one rabbit monster. Just for effect. It was most relaxing, painting with you lot. Though I think making things like this would be...less tranquil." Before moving on, her head tilts to Copper. Watching the way she studies the vizier. "Do you know that man? I know little of Eurus and this...well, it does not make me want to travel there."

Prism wanders her way over toward the Grand Vizier painting (and by extension, Copper), and does that uncomfortable thing where someone stands right behind you but doesn't say anything. Instead, she throws herself into immediately becoming deeply and equally engrossed with the painting, until -- well, it's fair to say she's not equally engrossed at all, because she's immediately distracted by Orazio bowing her way. "Very well!" she says, and folds him into an unabashed hug.

Eirene smirks in mild amusement at the answers given, bowing her head to the pair in thanks. As Prism lands on the ground, she frowns gently to herself. "It is ugly, but we have to confront dark truths," she says gently as her eyes glance to the Mirrormasks. "Makes me sad and pissed and want to fucking punch someone; Not you, Fort," she says to the artist with a dry chuckle.

Denica glances up - and up - to make steady eye contact with the golden eyes. She doesn't see the golden eyes, she sees the whirlpool of those eyes. She nods, avidly, to the Dark Reflection without words.

Fortunato waggles a scant wave over at Eirene. "Appreciated! I can't take a punch."

"Please do refrain from punching other attendees," Ferrando announces politely from over by the door.

The vizier's painting causes Hana's expression to twist. "I want to /hate/ him," she murmurs to Copper, since the woman is standing there as well. She gestures at the painting, just in case there was any doubt who the 'him' is. "But the way uncle Fortunato painted it... it's almost like the vizier is chained, too, but he doesn't even know it. Maybe he's chained to..." And she trails off, as she glances back at the fiend of slavery.

Someone wearing a stygian cecaelia columbino smiles just a little bit more toward Saedrus and says, "Shall we look to another painting, my dearest?" I have not had a chance to look at this one yet. She points off to another painting, she points to the Skal'daja. She starts to drift in that direction, pausing to turn back toward Eirene, "Aye, we do need to face the dark truths, don't we?" Then her feet continue on again.

Copper feels THAT. She breaks her gaze with the vizier and glances over her shoulder. Prism gets a fond smile, though the smaller (and so much plainer, by comparison) woman doesn't interrupt the hug and greeting. She just looks pleased.

Mira plants her fists on her hips, turning to her cousin, Ferrando, "What?? What kind of art show is this, then?!"

Orazio blinks a couple of times, before chuckling and hugging the woman back. "Now, now. Public affection only makes people think that I am warm and cuddly, you know. It's cruel to set up such untrue expectations," he claims, amused.

Mason looks to where Mayir is and a wide smile grows on his face. "That is Prism. She is the Seraph of Skald." He explains, offering a deep bow in Prism's direction whether she's paying attention or not. He gives Nisaa another concerned glance before he moves to approach Copper. "I'm so pleased you could make it." He says to the woman, drawing up beside her.

Lucita replies to Ferrando. "Not saying to hide from them, or ignore unpleasantnesses. Keeping a knowledge of it, an awareness of it necessary, but" She tries to explain. "too much of it would affect what I try to do." There is a little shake of the head as she pulls her thoughts back to the event and says. "Perhaps better to focus on the artwork than a possible personal affect."

Donella falls mostly to quiet as the mirror-masked, silent figure comes near to them. She lays her hand gently on her younger sister's arm, and looking on steadily before craning her neck to see the object of their attentions.

Turning to look to Mason then when he approaches, speaking to her in soft tones, she again tries to smile and nod, to assure him. But then her eyes begin to water and she shakes her head. Taking a big breath, she says, "I am trying. I did not know what I would see here." She looks around the room at all the paintings, many of them striking very close to her heart. Surprised by Mayir's exclaimed question, she looks around, saying to him, "I am not knowing who she is." She does smile a little more and says, "your kindness is helping." Mason begins to explain who Prism is, but Nisaa is not fully understanding, then, he slips away.

Desiree nods to Esoka. "I had a good time too. I've always liked looking at art, but it can be fun to make too." She gives Prism a curious glance but then takes a quick look at her program.

Maybe that look from Mira left something burning on the back of Saedrus' neck, cause he turns about from Red briefly in search of someone looking at him. Evergreens settle briefly on Mira before his attention is pulled to the masked woman again. The courtier, like a good courtier, extends his arm to Red, "of course, my Lady." Willing to escourt her to the next painting.

Shard stares at the hug for a moment, plainly bemused, then looks down at her program. After a moment of study, she lifts her head, but she doesn't move any closer to any of the other paintings, apparently content to simply peer from her current position. In truth, from the frequent glances she's making, she's clearly people watching as much as art gazing. None of the others are grabbing her attention as clearly as the Archfiend of Slavery did.

Leta looks over the city landscape with interest, leaning as if hoping to make out some of the tiny figures. But she approaches the Grand Vizier, and stares at it with some sort of... appreciative expression. "Bit much, isn't it? Can't bloody move in that, can he?" She mutters half to herself, a hand rising to rub at the hollow of her throat and her chest, as if tracing some imaginary chain there. "But..." she looks towards Hana, considering the comment, then notices Prism nearby. The colorful soldier doffs her feathered hat and bows her head with a wide-eyed, earnest sort of respect.

    "Hear a lot of fuckin' people licking -your- balls over'em. But if I could paint, I'd just do it different. Real different." Doll says, waving a hand aside at some painting or another, glancing at it only afterward, probably the first time she even did. But then she looks at Mason, "It doesn't make me angry. This ain't angry." She laughs demonstratively, like that proves she isn't angry or something, but then goes back to casual scowling, "You listen to these types, it's just like people ain't seen art before. So impressed! I wanna see some balls in MY paintings though. Balls, Fortunato. Balls." She cups a hand toward groin. Balls. She waves a hand, "Best way I could put it. But hey, pick a painting, I'll tell you how to give it some balls."

Eithne moves from painting to painting, taking time to really appreciate the artistry. Many are images she's never come across before and the look of surprise and even shock is noted in her eyes. When she pries herself away from the paintings, she takes notice of a very familiar figure in the crowd and heads over towards Ferrando. "Heya." She greets casually. Her smile broadens when she tips her head upwards and gives the tall, swarthy man a wink. "These paintings are pretty amazing."

"Fortunato's painted nudes before," Aleksei informs Doll idly.

Tarik walks into the room and peers around a few moments to see if he recognizes anyone before moving further insider. Tarik realizes a few faces as decides to walk further into the room. He is bit surprised seeing the room this filled with people.

"Oh, sure, the Seraph of Skald," says Mayir, under his breath, when Mason heads off. "That explains so much." Like why she was just floating. He shakes off the moment of sarcasm to pay attention to Nisaa next to him. "You want to go together to see the paintings? Maybe it will be easier if you had a friend?"

Mira adds for Doll, in addition to Aleksei, "But I hear he doesn't do commissions." She shrugs, innocently.

Someone wearing A Dark Reflection Mirrormask lowers the gloved hand from the gesture to the thrall mother and child before the hands clasp behind the black folds of the robes, however the mirrored mask still watches Denica and doesn't move for a moment.

Fortunato folds his arms loose around his chest and maintains an easy expression Doll's direction. "I can teach you," he offers. "I can't paint what's in your heart, and there's no better critique than a good splash of paint on canvas. But let's play." He tilts his head toward the magister of the mirror painting. "How'd you improve that one? If you painted."

    Leaning forward, Denica's hands rest on her knees, knuckles paper white as she clenches seasilk into her fists. "Truth stares back from the Mirror. We aren't afraid of knowing that truth. We grow, we change, we turn. Better or worse. But, change is always good. I think. It takes that first step." An exhale, "Thank you for reminding me."

"You're a good man," Prism insists to Orazio. "Maybe not a warm and cuddly one, but ... affection is one of the greatest joys of freedom. To own your own heart. To feel, without strings attached." Prism smiles just as fond to Copper (if it's only an edgewise smile). To the rest -- to anyone looking at her, or bowing her way -- she waves enthusiastically, and not exactly with the kind of decorum polite society might reserve for art shows.

Ferrando sizes up Mira. "It's a Freedom art show, cousin." He pulls a program from the box and shows her the front. "See, it even says so on the front here," he notes helpfully. "It is wearying, confronting darkness without cease. If you do nothing else, it will grind down even the toughest spirit," he agrees with Lucita. Eithne gets a smiles as well. "Heya yourself. I haven't seen them! Well, I see them, but I haven't looked up close and all. Been too busy helping set up for the event."

Eirene arches her eyebrows at Doll's gestures. "Shit, it's like looking into a really dirty mirror," she says casually, impressed and horrified at once. "I really gotta clean up my language before I end up like that. At least I don't make obscene gestures in the middle of a temple." Or has she? Probably has in the past but not tonight. "Prince Mason," she says, changing her mental topics as she raises a hand, striding his way in her black and red leathers. "This is fascinating. I know the issues of slavery are important to you, but to tie it in with poverty and thralldom and shit. And the like." She amends. "And the damned reflection of Skald too. That and the mirror magister are going to haunt me when I try to sleep."

Prism whispers something to Orazio, and kind of elbows him. It's a half-hearted elbowing, but an elbowing just the same.

"I don't think it's about being practical," Hana remarks to Leta, in answer to the comment about the painting. Since Prism is waving to everyone, however, she turns her attention to the Seraph to offer a bright wave and a warm smile in response -- because waving and smiling is a lot more pleasant than dwelling on slavers, apparently.

Nisaa nods to Mayir and reaches for his arm. "Maybe that would be helping." She leans in closer to him and says, "many of these paintings, remind me of where I am coming from. My home. My old life." She starts to notice more of the people around them, and picks up on bits of conversation here and there.

Someone wearing a stygian cecaelia columbino makes her way over to the Skal'daja painting, settling her hands loosely to her hips. Diamondplate covered fingers careful on the seasilk she wears. Green eyes beneath the mask shifting ovre the golden sand of the painting. She glances toward Saedrus as says, "And how does this one make you feel? It's a beautiful city isn't it?"

Lou finishes looking at the final two paintings, then turns to look around the room and finally 'see' who is there. Her attention first goes to Prism, whom she's never seen before. Both brows raise at the other woman as she takes her in, not quite certain what to make of her. Then, she spies Saedrus and walks near to him. "I did not mean to seam rude earlier," she comments to the Whisper. "It is good to see you again, Master Saedrus," Lou gives him a brief smile. "I see there are quite a few people I recognize tonight. I did not expect that the exhibit would be one so well attended." She waves in Esoka's direction as well. For her part, now that she's seen the paintings, her expression is troubled.

Nash slips in through the crowd with a low profile to gesture with a thumb at Prism as he tells Orazio, "Well, you're doomed now. Hugs on you have been officially approved." He then looks at the paintings, losing his easy smile as he looks them over, "Well done, but hard to look at."

Mira scowls at Ferrando and tilts forward a bit, fists still on her hips. "I *know* that. I meant--" But she just huffs and turns, skirt flaring about her ankles. Marching over to the Magister Painting, she leans in a bit to peer at it, as if trying to puzzle out what others are seeing that she doesn't. Frowning more and more, she wrings her journal a bit in her hands, as if fighting the urge to open it again.

    "Balls on that one huh?" Doll tilts her head and folds her arms, giving Orazio a brief glance before she moves more firmly to studying the magister painting, "Make like, half the mask broken and underneath is somebody's face. Like, somebody specific. Somebody you don't like maybe." She glances back at Fortunato and raises her brows, smirking, "More points if it's somebody with a million stupid fancy titles."

Onto the next painting! Freja is certainly taking her time, but it doesn't seem like she is going to leave the one of the Fiend anytime soon.

Mayir takes Nisaa's arm in return, trying to be the graceful Lord he assumes that Nisaa must be used to, but can't quite figure out the arrangement. He's just a Lowers kid. So he just walks and assumes she can follow along. He looks at the Boroughs painting, looking thoughtful. "I guess this is kind of what it's like," he allows.

Mason gives Eirene a smile when she comes his way, "We wanted to capture people's attention, and thought a good way to do that is to bring it home here to Arx. That is my deepest fear in the end, that the corruption in Eurus will consume this continent as well." The man explains, worry on his face. "We cannot show everything that plagues Eurus, but... perhaps this small glimpse will help them to understand."

Esoka moves down, stopping in front of the picture of the thrall. Her reaction to that is not so visceral, but she studies it long. And the thin frown remains on the dark red of her lips. "I wonder what painting these felt like," she murmurs to Desiree. "Many of them make me sad. Or angry. I feel it took courage to put these things to canvas, but I'm not sure I could have put in the work to do it." She catches Lou's wave, smile relaxing into a warm smile for the woman. "Lou. Hello. What do you think of all this? I've found it very powerful so far."

"So you say," Orazio claims, in regards to Prism's enthusiastic statements. And then she elbows him, and whispers to him, and the Legate...well, his complexion doesn't reveal blushes very easily, but there's definitely a more ruddy hue under the bronze, now. He gives her a glare. Possibly a playful glare, but a glare nonetheless. "I assure you, I have nothing to complain about in that regard," he mutters. And then Nash approaches, and Orazio just groans. "If you hug me, Master Nash, I will be forced to make you pay for tea, next time."

Donella gets figurine of a weeping sea serpent from a matching hanging pocket with a whalebone toggle closure.

Ferrando calls after Mira cheerfully, "Sorry about no-selling your joke!" He pauses. "Mostly," he amends.

Eithne gives Ferrando a dubious expression. "Really? Didn't steal a moment to drink them in? Tsk tsk." She teases. When she takes notice of Mira, the armorsmith flashes the other woman a bright smile and sticks out her hand in greetings. "It's Mira, right? We met in my shop one night. Good to see you again!"

Copper offers quietly, "I like hugs." And then she offers her arms to Prism, turning from the Vizier painting and flashing a quick grin that edges towards impish. "Hello to you!"

"Rather apt," Saedrus remarks, "a snake in the dessert, an arid space and a serpent amongst it." Evergreens considering the depiction of Skal'daja, "it just looks empty. Even if there is so much within it. Hollow. I suppose that is it, it feels, empty. The beauty is gold, like the sands only goes so far for precious metal it mirrors, the whole of it though--" Whatever thoughtfulness is disrupted as he turns his head from his company of Red to peer off towards Doll and Fortunato. "I detest crassness for the sake of crassness," a mild hiss to his normally lilting voice. Bristled. Lou arrives and Saedrus bows graciously, "quite alright, Lou. There are so many here, you were not rude at all. I am glad it has had such an excellent turn out," he agrees.

Shard taps her program against one arm for a moment, then makes her way toward Aleksei with something of a purpose, though she has to weave her way through quite the crowd to get there.

Someone wearing A Dark Reflection Mirrormask bows its head to Denica once more to her reply, perhaps unaware of the white knuckles the princess has before it gives a tilt of the head to those with her in kind. A pivot on booted heels cause the black robes to flourish just a moment before a glance is given to Red, but the black robed figure moves on towards those near the Magister painting.

Orazio is overheard praising Mason for: A brilliant show and difficult stories to tell.

Aleksei catches Orazio's greeting of Nash, and he perks up. "Master Nash!" he says, clearly not recognizing the man beyond hearing him identified. He takes a few steps closer to him. "So good to meet you. Aleksei. Blessed Aleksei, I mean, well, you know what I mean. I loved that journal--" He turns his head to see Shard approaching him and offers her a warm smile. "I'm glad you could make it. I know art probably isn't something you'd think of as your /thing/. I guess I wouldn't think of it as my thing, either."

Someone wearing a stygian cecaelia columbino sweeps around until she spots Nash, catching his words. A dip of her chin is given and she asks of Nash, "What makes them hard to look at?" Smiling lips are visible beneath the mask. Green eyes flicking over Nash, before she looks back to the next painting.

"I'm only teasing," Prism says, laughingly, to Orazio. She spins on heel to face Copper and her open arms, and gathers her up into a proper bear hug. "Hello!" she says, brightening both visibly and literally.

Orazio is overheard praising Fortunato for: Exquisite work, that doesn't flinch from the subject matter.

Asheryn, a Gyrfalcon arrives, following Rickard.

Mira glances back over her shoulder at Ferrando, eyebrows high, "That's fine, it was a bit flat anyway." At Eithne's greeting, however, Mira smiles and waves, "Hi there, and likewise! Sorry about that...I'm not much of person. I'm sure my cousin can attest to that." When Copper turns around, however, Mira blinks, finally noticing the woman's eyes. A bit struck, Mira can't help it and she opens her journal, making a few quick notes with a quiet, awed comment toward Copper, "I *love* your hair..."

Desiree smiles as she looks up from the program to notice Prism waving. She is obviously amused and decides to wave back, but it isn't quite so noticeable. She then speaks more to Eoska. "I feel sad too and angry. I think it takes a good artist to make us feel these things." She looks to Lou with a friendly smile as Esoka speaks to her. Her face grows more serious as she gives the painting a long look.

"Well, if I wanted to piss off someone specific, I'd certainly do that," Fortunato offers to Doll with a faintly wider smile. "But there's a point to keeping identities indistinct. Then you can see anyone there. Even yourself." He slides a glance over to Saedrus. "She has her cant. I know the language." He turns a slow attention to Mason, his smile waking again. If he says, adds nothing.

Cristoph gets Freedom - Art Show Program from Program Box - Please Take One.

Nisaa studies the boroughs painting with Mayir. She looks from the dark waves at the docks, on up. "I have been walking in the boroughs. I am not minding them as much as others do. I like to have picnics at the river banks below the bridge." Turning to Mayir, she asks, "do you know where I speak of? I am liking it there, but people are telling me it is too dangerous all the time." She looks back to the painting and says, "there is despair in this painting, but too, there is the joyfulness of children sharing, appreciating what it is they are having and wanting to let another child feel the joy of their beloved toys. That, is of beauty to me."

Lucita finally, after a last glance around, turns and starts to make her way out, pausing to say to Ferrando. "Was good to get to talk to you again." And to the artist. "powerful work, very evocative. You are quite talented."

Ferrando folds his arms and lifts his chin high-mindedly. "I take my work for the temple very seriously! It was my religious duty to move tables out of the way so all these people can walk around, not waste time getting a sneak peek at the paintings. Besides, they'll be on display for a while, so plenty of time to have a look later," he tells Eithne.

Copper squeaks as she is squeezed, though it bears the tail of a laugh. When she's set back on her feet, bathed in the light of Prism, she turns a beaming smile at Mason. "I'm so pleased you told me about this exhibit! No one else thought to mention it." That is said loudly enough to be pointed, but whoever could it be aimed at? She catches Mira's compliment and actually blushes, a little, reaching up to tuck an escaping wave of it behind her ear. "Oh. Thank you! It just sort of grows in as it pleases."

"Definitely not my...thing," Shard agrees, as she draws closer. She spares a curious glance back toward Prism and Copper, before facing front. "This is a little different though. And there are a fu--" A beat. "A /lot/ of people here. I was wondering, with your donation box. Is there an average amount of debt thralls tend to be facing? I'm aware of the situation, obviously, but I've never looked into the actual cost."

Orazio turns to Aleksei as he approaches. And perhaps the hug from Prism has loosened the Legate up, for unless Aleksei ducks, he will get a brief, one-armed hug of greeting from the Legate. "Blessed Aleksei. This show was an excellent idea. You and the Liberators did a wonderful job with a difficult subject." He looks around at the bare room. "The simplicity works, for this situation."

Ferrando smiles and bows to Lucita. "Likewise, Lady Lucita! Thank you for attending our exhibit at the Shrine today."

Eirene nods back to Mason. "Just gives me more inspiration to fight the good fight. Against all -that- shit out in the world outside our walls; and inside too, with the poverty in our own slums." She hands him a small pouch and offers a broad grin. "So here, do something with this, eh?" She glances back at Copper as she looks in Mason's direction and gives a hesitant smile.

Nash looks long and thoughtfully at Orazio, "I'm only not hugging you because I'm cheap, Legate. The spirit is willing, but the pouch is not." He then, after hearing Copper's mention of a fondness for hugs quickly moves to hug her and murmur something into her ear. He then steps away with a smile as he moves to greet Aleksei, "It kind of -is- my thing. Well. Not that I have any talent at it, but I have a great admiration for it. But seeing the removal of freedom in art..." He nods at Red, "... that's what makes it difficult to look at. It reminds me of memories left behind and all that."

Lucita smiles and slips out.

Fortunato is overheard praising Mason for: Passion and storytelling, without which paint is meaningless.

    "Maybe just give'em blue eyes or some shit, and it's the week that you got pissy with some blue-eyed piece." Doll shrugs and tilts her head again, glancing at Saedrus when Fortunato speaks in that direction, not seeming to make a connection. She squints momentarily, but then looks back at Fortunato again, grunting and ticking her chin at the gallery, "Pick another one already."

"Oh! Sure! I know it. I mean, I wouldn't wear your best into some parts of the Lowers, but you're sort of foreign, and people foreign in the Boroughs are kin, you know?" Mayir considers as he talks to Nisaa. "But if you want to picnic with someone who knows the place and can keep you safe, you just send me a message, okay?"

Orazio is overheard praising Aleksei for: Providing a venue where difficult images can be faced and understood, and guiding the Liberators.

Fortunato inclines his chin toward Doll and then toward the boroughs painting. "I bet you could do that one with fire."

Copper blushes deeper and ducks her head, for some reason, her viewing of the exhibit momentarily paused as she trades greetings and words and a hug. She inclines that head further to Eirene and smiles in return. Hers is not hesitant. It rarely is.

    Denica is breathing again. Her hands untwist, fingers flex out the cramps that have started up, and she carefully watches the figure in the Dark Reflection Mirrormask start away. It's one part fear - one part curiosity. Either way, she finds herself smiling again. Thoughtfulness taking over that fear, growing more certain. "When he comes back, I need to talk to Victus. First, perhaps, to Alarissa."

Rickard makes his way into the room, just sort-of letting the winds carry him where they may. He casts his gaze about the room; perhaps someone in it is familiar to him. Perhaps not. Either way, he's here until fate decrees otherwise.

Mira smiles back at Copper, also blushing just a bit with a sheepish grin, "It's quite amazing." But, increasingly aware of the crush of attention focusing in on the painting, and Prism, Mira glances around at the small crowd of people and quietly backs a few steps away. Turning her attention sidelong toward the Vizier, she peers at the man, as if looking for something.

"Hmm. Well it is true. They got the best man for the job then." Eithne tells Ferrando. "You are the best when it comes to moving furniture around."

Leta glances to Hana, then to the vizier. "It's about showin' off, right? Or - well, it says here... each link... of the Golden Chain of Rule... represents a vizier that's..." she reads from the program, slowly, then just shakes her head. "Guess they're real proud of that. Can't see why, just means there's been lots of them." She draws a deep breath, adjusts the hat on her head once more, and takes a small step back, stealing another curious, wide-eyed glance in Prism and Copper's direction.

Mason gives Eirene a smile, "I'm glad to hear that, and... thank you. Any donation will be used to the best of our ability. I'm glad you could make it, Eirene." He says warmly. Then he gives Copper a grin, and will try to sneak a quick hug on the woman, "It means a great deal to me that you took the time to be here." Oh, and then he's looking curiously between Eirene and Copper. "Have you two met?"

Tarik walks over to Orazio and offers him a friendly wave, "Legate, it is always good to see you." He peers over at Prism, then back at Orazio. "Now, you cannot deny that you are pleasurable company. I recall this is the exact same woman I saw you with before." Tarik looks around the room. "I have never seen the sanctum filled with so many people."

Lou looks around the room again at Esoka's question. "It's enlightening. Especially in light of the latest Grayson mission, where we've asked alliances of some of the shav'arvani people. Many of them were being enslaved by their own people so they'd have to fight for the dark forces at work." She furrows her brow somewhat. "Eurusi is already this way... enslaved. I cannot imagine what life would be like here if we were forced to it, but I think unpleasant doesn't do anything to cover it justly." She smiles again at Saedrus. "I'm glad so many came. I think Mason was worried," she tells him. She nods her head to Desiree. "Hello. I'm Lou." She doesn't introduce herself as either a princess or a Grayson. She also smiles at Desiree.

Donella raises an eyebrow. "About your friend?"

"He told me too," Prism says of Mason, and wiggles her fingers at him in a far less over-the-top wave than the one she offered earlier. "And I'm so happy. You come to realize that you can be very sad about something, and very happy, all at once. My heart breaks to see these chains, and then is warmed anew -- to see so many people who feel the same hurt. Who would fight it! It gives you hope, doesn't it?"

Cristoph apparently subscribes to 'better late than never' tonight. While everyone else has certainly been here for awhile, he ducks into the art showing alone and simply hops into the crowd. The Duke of Artshall doesn't present a lot of fanfare, which seems to be the point as he drifts from one work to the next.

Gah! Aleksei is hugged! One-armed, at least, by Orazio, and he reaches to give him a squeeze in return. "Thank you. Fortunato and Mason deserve the real credit." He offers Nash a warm, curious smile for his response, then looks back to Shard. "That's -- well, I don't know about /averages/. It really depends. On the crime, and so on. We -- have some information and such, but I hadn't thought to look for averages and whatnot." He glances about the crowd, and then lifts his finger in a 'one moment' gesture to Shard, Nash, Orazio -- anyone who might be talking to him. He makes his way over to the donation box.

Copper nods at Mason. "We've met. Briefly." She offers no explanation beyond that.

"Thanks. Everybody's got a special talent, they just need to try things until they find it. I was lucky that I got to mine early in life," Ferrando deadpan-agrees with Eithne.

Denica nods once, "Yes. About the painting of the thralls. It's all there. She wanted it for the cathedral. But, it's less about the canvas. More about the lesson."

Mira wags her stylus at Prism, "If you want to fight chains, bring a spike and a hammer." She nods a couple times, making a poking motion like staking a mythical blood-sucking creature, using her small leather journal as the hammer. "But first you have to know how to forge them."

    "That one?" Doll points at the Boroughs painting, then looks from that one to the Plaza painting, going on snappily with a grunt, "I'd put some of the silk-wearing idiots from that one in one of the alleys getting his ass beat by locals. Maybe an idiot from all kinds of fuckin' places in each alley. One of'em, y'know, holding up his signet ring pointing at it like the thugs would really stop." Her shoulder shrug, "But we both know they wouldn't. Maybe it could be the next frame beside it too, where the thugs is fencing the ring."

"I would like that, Mayir Grayhope," says Nisaa. "Especially with the weather becoming a warmer feel to it. Spring, yes? The grass will grow, it will be pretty." She smiles, giving his arm a squeeze. "Am I only sort of foreign?" She giggles, lifting her free hand to her lips, then asks, "which artworking should we look at next?"

Someone wearing a stygian cecaelia columbino smiles toward Nash from beneath her marks, glancing back toward the paintings. "Does it? Just seeing the removal of freedom in art?" A gesture of her fingers is given toward another painting, diamondplate covered fingers glenting when the lights hit them. She smiles and asks, "Is it harder to see it in a painting, than to see a thrall in person?" She gestures to the mother and child painting, stepping up near Nash as she asks.

Mira quickly corrects, her eyebrows shooting up, "How to forge the spike and hammer, not more chains!"

Copper looks suddenly stricken. She takes Nash's forearm in gloved fingers, and whispers something to him. And then, she pulls away to peer over at the next painting.

Someone wearing A Dark Reflection Mirrormask nears the painting of the Magister, the eyes glancing at those here as the figure stands by itself for a moment.

Shard nods at Aleksei's gesture, crossing her arms over her chest as she turns to watch him move toward the box. Briefly, she glances over the room again, as if placing where people are in relation to where they were.

Aleksei gets set up near the donation box, raking a hand through his hair as he gnaws on his bottom lip for a moment, continuing his opener. He clears his throat, and then he lifts his voice to try and reach above the conversation without shouting. "Everyone, I wanted to thank you all for coming, and, uh, say a few words about what we're doing..."

Eirene just nods to Mason. "About right," she says. "Well. Nice work." She claps him on the shoulder with a gloved hand and draws away, suddenly akward. She looks as if she might just go but Aleksei starts to speak so she pauses, halfway to the temple exit.

Orazio smiles warmly to Tarik. "And to see you, as well, Master Tarik. How are you?" He laughs, and waves away the question of the quality of his company, not yet entirely ready to concede defeat, it seems. "And yes, it is good to see so many people here." His gaze roves a little, stopping briefly on Mira, before continuing to move on. It eventually comes to rest on Doll, listening to her thoughts on the paintings. His lips twitch. Luckily, Aleksei's voice sounds out, and he turns back to that man.

Hana nods to Leta, but the woman's already stepping away to join the crowd around Copper and Prism. The young smith watches the two for a moment, but then continues her circuit of the show, moving on to the Plaza of Fetters. And here, something in the painting causes her clear discomfort, for she turns her attention instead to Mira's remark about forging things to /break/ chains. That's a topic near and dear to her heart, after all.

Rickard thinks he spots a few familiar faces-- but then Aleksei's voice catches his ear, and he directs his attention appropriately, rather content to be the wallflower until and unless otherwise engaged.

"Well, when you're in the Boroughs, you're Boroughs, no matter where you are from," replies Mayir with the sort of hometown pride that people rarely have. He appears at the Crownsword painting, looking thoughtful. "What do you think this one is about? That's sort of strange."

Esoka nods to Lou. "Aye. The archfiend of slavery sits like a shadow of evil, in the Gray Forest and beyond it. These paintings bring that home most clearly. And the ones of Eurus..." She frowns. "I've heard the tales, of course, but to see it rendered like this is far more striking than the rumors about it." Her eyes briefly flit over the crowd, in search of Mason, before Aleksei begins to speak. Then, her focus is there.

Saedrus glances towards Red dipping in a gracious bow, as the woman moves off towards Nash and another of the paintings. There looked like he might have said something but he shakes his head and dismisses it. Bidding, "my Lady." As he leaves Red to explore the exhibit. Instead he turns his attention to Lou and chuckles, "he should never have worried. It is a rather stirring choice for an exhibit, it was bound to draw an impressive crowd."

Prism looks at Nash -- looks at Copper and Nash, the two of them -- smiles their way, a question in that smile, and then flounces off to ambush Fortunato. There's some doubt as to whether or not she can ambush anyone, but she does try, throwing her arms around him from behind. "Fortunato!" she enthuses. "Look what you've done!"

Mason gives a confused look between Eirene and Copper, a great deal of questions in his gaze. The man simply nods, though, giving Eirene a brief smile while Copper flits off, "Thank you, Eirene." Prism's wave is returned, a bit belatedly -- so many people! Then the archlector is speaking up. He turns his gaze now to Aleksei, drawing in a deep breath and holding it for a moment.

Desiree looks to Lou. "I'm Desiree. It's nice to meet you. You certainly know a lot about all of this." She looks from her to Esoka. "I like hearing what you have to say, both of you." She turns her attention to Aleksei.

Donella puts figurine of a weeping sea serpent in a matching hanging pocket with a whalebone toggle closure.

Nisaa spends a longer time looking at the Crownsworn painting. Verdigris eyes rove over the ruts and piles, the battered, tired peasants. "I am not knowing, for sure. Perhaps they are proud of the work they have done? What are you thinking?"

Donella gets sketch of Mangata statue and offerings from a matching hanging pocket with a whalebone toggle closure.

Mira blinks, turning from jotting down some notes to look up at Aleksei from over the tops of her glasses. Tilting her head a bit, one fluffed and arched red bang rises a little higher than the other.

Fortunato laughs, short and sharp, at Doll's feedback. "I will have to teach you. I'll insist. I couldn't paint it, I'm Boroughs, but I'm eating the beggars same as everyone else. And I can't throw a punch," he has to bring up again. "But think of the sketches you could sell! People love that sh--" And then Fortunato goes flail-armed, or tries to, when Prism surprises him from behind. "Aaaa---hi, Prism," he attempts.

Copper finds the next painting with her eyes, and of course - it is the Plaza of Fetters. Her face is expressive, and usually warm. Now, it cools. To blankness, and further, and further. She stares into that painting like she's staring into an unfathomable, shadowy distance.

Lou smiles again at Desiree. "I welcome the discussion." She glances from Diseree, Esoka, and Saedrus and says. "If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go stand with Mason for a bit..." And, she's off again to go find her husband. It doesn't take her long to find Mason, and when she does she slips her hand into his and squeezes it.

Nash shakes his head after he says something quietly to the redhaired woman beside him, before his attention is taken by the woman in the Red mask. "I don't think anyone would argue that the loss of freedom in truth is less terrible than the loss of freedom in fiction. I still feel for all thralls, but it troubles me less than a reminder of some others." He nods at the Vizier painting, and then at the fiend of slavery.

Denica smiles, looking over at Donella, murmuring a very quiet thank you.

Donella withdraws a thing from where she has it carefully rolled up and gives it to Denica. She says something quiet, smiles once, and then picks herself up to complete the circuit of paintings.

"Obviously, first I want to thank Master Fortunato Grayhope for his really -- I mean, really /amazing/ work with this series," Aleksei starts off. "And to Prince Mason Grayson for all of the work and worrying he spent organizing this show. He worried a lot. I sort of -- uh, well I sort of stole the show for the Liberators when they first started talking about it -- I stole Mason first, I mean, and then the show -- mostly because I wanted to be a part of it so much. Obviously the topic of freedom and slavery is one that's integral to the message of Skald." He looks around the room, drawing in a deep breath. "We're taking donations in support of this show for a very specific cause: the purchase of thrall debt. I know that this is not going to be applauded by everyone in the Compact, but supporting the freedom of thralls is integral to the work of the Liberators. We will not only be securing freedom where we can, but we'll be utilizing the resources of the Faith across the compact to offer freed thralls relocation if they wish it, room and board to start their new lives, and support in rejoining society, whether that's assistance finding work, an apprenticeship to learn new skills, or -- whatever's needed. This is going to be a core, official piece of our work as a new discipleship of the Faith." He clears his throat a touch. "Fortunato wants to keep the show whole and undisturbed for a month's time, during which we'll continue to take donations and support. At the end of that month, he's indicated that he's willing to consider an auction of the pieces, with proceeds of course to join the other donations."

Saedrus bows delicately to those about him, excusing himself as he slips through the crowd, somewhere nearby Aleksei as the Archlector lifts his voice to speak.

    "You could paint it. You oughta." Doll grunts at Fortunato, glancing past him at Prism on her approach, before the ambush," Just call it fuckin' 'anonymous' and say it ain't you. Then you can paint whatever you want." The hug that occurs makes her squint before Aleksei gets her attention.

Saedrus is overheard praising Fortunato for: Absolutely exceptional art. A breathtaking exhibition, well done, darling.

Shard listens to Aleksei, though her eyes move equally between the Archlector and those gathered, clearly studying both.

Mason feels Lou take his hand and looks her way, his face warming and he'll draw her closer so he can wrap his arm over her shoulders. There's a soft chuckle when Aleksei mentions how they ended up working together, then falls quiet again.

Someone wearing A Dark Reflection Mirrormask turns to face Aleksei as the Archlector speaks, but makes his way towards the boroughs painting slowly.

    "It's beautiful. It does make my heart happy, Nell --" Younger sister lunge in to give Donella a quick hug, hearing her words, nodding. "Thank you. I'll write." When her sister leaves to finish her circuit of the paintings, Denica springs up to her feet and darts out of the gallery. All that restless and youthful energy needs to be put to work.

Although he is mostly listening to Aleksei, and nodding with approval at the Archlector's words, Orazio leans over towards Fortunato and Doll, and Prism, and says, quietly and blandly, "I'll pay for the young lady's art lessons, if she's willing to take them. She clearly has a...unique vision and passion which should be cultivated." That all with a deadpan face as he straightens back up and turns his attention back to the front.

Mira drifts over and whispers something to Copper with a friendly smile before wandering on by at a leisurely pace. She looks back up at Aleksei's speech, nodding along with it quietly.

Someone wearing a stygian cecaelia columbino lifts a hand and draws her mask off of her face, shaking glossy black hair loose. A sly smile is given toward Nash and she says, "Indeed? I'd argue, good sir, that thralldom is just as bad as what goes on elsewhere." One hand lifts and drops and Mirari says, "But I place value on personal freedom above almost all else." She lifts her hands to clap toward Aleksei at his words and says, "Here, here!" And then she shifts away to go to the donation box.

Saedrus is overheard praising Mason for: A brilliantly put together art show, a dark theme but impressive feat.

Someone wearing a stygian cecaelia columbino is overheard praising Aleksei.

Someone wearing a stygian cecaelia columbino is overheard praising Mason.

"Hi, Fortunato," Prism echoes his greeting, and releases him. "This is beautiful. The world is heavy with chains. Overburdened with them. Sometimes, people need to feel the weight."

Eirene quietly slips out, uncharacteristically reserved.

"I only have 6000 silver on me, but let me be the first to donate to such a worthy cause." Tarik proudly announces as he makes his way to the donation box. "Come on, now, I know noone wants to be showed up by the likes of me.

Freja applauds the artist and the Archlector, otherwise remaining silent and still staring at her painting of the man and the mirros.

Cristoph finds his way to the painting of Conquering Hereos. His expression is often alert, interested and this is now different. His eyes take in the art with a troubled expression brewing on his face. Slowly, his arms cross over his chest as if he's warming himself from something. When Aleksei calls for attention, his blue eyes sweep that way and he's silent as he listens to the explanation.

Saedrus joins in with a delicate applause after Aleksei finishes, a small smile for the Archlector.

Binky, an asshole crow, Gregory, an unassuming disciple arrive, following Aureth.

Nisaa is overheard praising Mason for: Having Conviction and Determination to help others

Nisaa is overheard praising Aleksei for: Inspiring speech

Desiree listens to Aleksei before speaking once more to Esoka. "It's about time I head home, but it was good to see you again." She makes her way to the donation box to leave a little something before she goes.

Eithne waggles her brows at Ferrando but keeps hush for the moment while Aleksei speaks. She rises onto her toes to whisper a little something to the man.

Nisaa is overheard praising Fortunato for: Bringing back memories and tears.

Hana is still standing at the Plaza of Fetters painting when Copper arrives; she's listening to Aleksei's explanation of the show, but turns to offers the red-haired woman a silent look of sympathy. She opens her mouth, about to say that it won't happen here -- it can't -- but then her gaze falls on the painting of the thralls, and she falls silent once again.

Copper tilts an ear towards Mira as she passes. "No. I was found," she answers, but cannot tear her eyes away from that auction. After a moment, her arms come up to wrap around her chest in a light hug, as if her coat is not exactly enough to keep the wintry air at bay.

Lou is overheard praising Mason for: For finding a creative way to educate people on a topic dear to him.

Shard looks ceilingward for a moment, before her gaze sweeps the gathered crowd again.

Fortunato looks over-shoulder at Prism, his smile rewaking wide. "It's only a fraction of real weight--" His eyes cast, in turn, to Freja and the Dark Reflection mirrormask, and, held, Copper, and exhales. "But it's a weight we must remember, so we know what it feels like." He swifts an attention split between Doll and Orazio and his smile quirks. "Legate, I wholly agree that Mistress Doll is worth cultivating. She is a rose among thorns and I will never paint as she dreams."

Mira pauses and turns back to Copper, folding her arms under her chest. She nods. "Focus on the advance." Smiling once more, she lifts her eyebrows, "Onward and upward." Trying her best to look optimistic, she flashes a sheepish grin, just bordering on being cheeky.

Mason's attention wanders to Copper and concern crosses his features yet again. He keeps his arm tightly around Lou but calls out, "Copper, have you met my wife, Lou?" He asks, perhaps trying to offer some distraction for the woman.

"I don't know," Mayir says to Nisaa when she offers her view on the painting. "It is about slavery, but these people don't look enslaved? Or maybe this is freedom?" He's not a good art interpreter. But he smiles and looks at the Whisper. "I mostly came because my cousin is the artist."

    Orazio gets a glance from that stupid Doll. Her brow arches slightly, but she gives him no reply but a brief, uncharacteristically playful smile. Soon her attention wavers though. "Chains, huh?" Doll remarks, looking Prism's attire over with a squint, tilting her head, tapping her foot, "Yeah. Your... burdens look real heavy over there." She nods. Nothing about this looks or sounds convincing.

2 House Wyrmguard Guards leaves, following Desiree.

Leta wanders through the show, staring at each painting in order. She offers quiet nods to folk she knows, but seems averse to sticking her nose in any conversations. For the most part, she is thoughtful, as if trying to make sense of the various pieces, or perhaps the overall set. The creases on forehead face suggest she's not quite there yet. At some point, she stops to listen to Aleksei, mouth crooking slightly as she stands there in thought. One hand on her sword, the other fingers the pouch at her side.

Aureth has been late to the party like a terrible brother, but he has managed to arrive. He lurks at the back of the room, his arms folded in a loose cross about his chest.

Nash seems surprised as Mirari pulls off her mask, giving her an odd look as if he is trying to place her, "It's a sentiment I have a great deal of sympathy towards, my masked lady." He says after a long pause then finally adds, "But even among the most horrible of fates, there are degrees. The loss of any freedom is terrible, but I do feel that having most choices removed is not as terrible as having all choices removed."

Orazio inclines his head, once, gravely at Doll's glance. For the most part, though, his attention is bouncing this way and that. No riots, yay! He nods with satisfaction, then makes his way back towards where Aureth stands. "Blessed Aureth. It has been too long since we've spoken. How are you?"

Esoka offers Desiree a parting smile. "Be well, my lady. A pleasure to see you again." She heads toward the donation box herself, opening her purse and contributing. She approaches Lou and Mason, once that's done. "Prince Mason, I wanted to say that this was all very well-done. Much of it wasn't pleasant to look at, even if the art was well-done. But it made its point strikingly."

Prism looks back at Doll, silver eyes flying wide. "You cannot see it," she says. "Would you want to feel it? The weight of every chain in the world?" She hesitates. "Maybe ... no. That would be too cruel."

Tarik walks away from the donation box and scratches to himself as he wonders how much does it cost to free a thrall. He raises his arms in a shrug as he looks around the room for the person that was speaking to Fortunato. Tarik walks over to Prism and peers at her for probably a bit too long, he shakes his head a few times. He quickly blurts out in high pitch voice, "I am Tarik Morien. It is a pleasure to meet you." He rests his head in hand for a quick moment before speaking in his normal. "It is a pleasure to meet you."

Donella makes sure to deliver the contents of her coin purse straight away into the heavily chained box, and says in response to Mayir, "There are all sorts of slavery. You need not ever stand upon the block to be enslaved. I do not say so to minimize the suffering of those that do, for it is obviously unspeakable."

Copper snaps a look toward Mira, as if startled. Then, she laughs, and all that ice and weight is gone, replaced by sunshine in her eyes. "Onward and upward," she repeats. "Exactly! I love that." Catching up, she turns towards Mason's voice and blinks between him and Lou. "No! I have not! Oh, I'm so happy, to, though. Have you...mentioned me to her?"

"Is he?" Nisaa asks Mayir. "His work is evoc.. urr.. Evokingative.. urr.. moving." Nisaa smiles with a hint of a bloom of color against her cheeks. She looks back to the painting and says, "perhaps is freedom. Happy to be free, even if they are having no things else but their pride and their work? Freedom of the choosing to be Crownsworn? Perhaps they are leaving the chains behind, that made them so tattering, but we do not see them."

Evergreen eyes catch on Orazio briefly as Saedrus passes to approach Aleksei, looking across his shoulder he spies the Legates direction and sees Aureth. A little smile, greeting though silent, to Aureth but he continues on to Aleksei. "Very well spoken, Aleksei," he compliments softly.

Someone wearing A Dark Reflection Mirrormask stands somewhat behind Freja. A shadow behind the Redrain princess.

Someone wearing a stygian cecaelia columbino tilts her head toward Nash, green eyes briefly thoughtful. "Perhaps, perhaps not, good sir. In a just world no freedom would need to be cut off." Her mask dangles from her fingertips, lips curled upward. "And even though a shallow cut may be less severe than gut wound, both need to be treated; least they feaster."

Speech given, Aleksei shuffles away from the donation box a bit to try and -- indicate he's finished. He looks curious at everyone's reactions, but when there are no riots breaking out, his shoulders relax a bit. His smile is warm and a bit overwhelmed when Saedrus approaches him. "Thanks," he says. "There are -- a lot more people here than I expected."

Mira beams as Copper seems to have snapped out of it, and she wanders off merrily toward where Ferrando is standing guard. She whaps him lightly with her journal. "I've never seen you stand still for so long. How are you not exploding? Did you see that lady's eyes?" Her voice dropping lower as she leans in, her own dark blue eyes widen, looking amazed.

Mason gives Esoka a gracious smile, bowing at her compliment, "Thank you, Esoka. As Aleksei said, I was very worried, but... I think people understand what it is we were seeking to do here." He says quietly, then smiles as Copper looks his way, "I have mentioned your name one or twice." He says with a wry grin, giving his wife a smile, "After all, her and I would never have met without you, Copper."

Fortunato swifts another quick smile, this time, toward his brother. "Come and-- well, take a look, Aureth. You might enjoy a couple." With this, and a cautious glance between Doll and Prism, he treads after Hana to press something into her hands.

"That is good though," Saedrus points out looking towards the crowd of people still observing the art. "All of you have done wonderfully, for a noble cause at that." And! No riots, even better. One hand reaches out to briefly take one of Aleksei's own and give it a squeeze. "You should be proud."

    "Maybe I think somebody wearin' such value on their little finger mentioning the weights of the world's burdens in front of two Boroughs kids is real, real 'interesting'." Doll shrugs, tonguing the inside of her cheek, then setting a hand on her hip, "Maybe even fuckin' artistic." She rubs her neck and glances at Fortunato again, "Ain't gotta be low-key at me, even with your other company." Her grey eyes go to Orazio, "But once in awhile, throw some balls on these canvases. For the folks back home if nothing else."

Freja checked perception + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 11 higher.

Shard slowly unfolds her arms, letting them drop to her sides. After a moment, she moves toward Prism herself, although she takes it slow, almost ponderously slow, clearly watching those already around the woman as she approaches.

Donella cannot help but watch the masked figure, with the vortex represented upon his face in sparkling glass. She doesn't approach, doesn't seek to get his attention. But how she looks on, uneasily.

"It is very nice," agrees Mayir with a nod to the pictures, not even attempting the word that Nisaa stumbled over. "I think that's right," he finally says to her interpretation, though it is with the sense that he does not know himself. "Are you feeling better?" He touches the Whisper's arm again lightly.

Eithne gets out of the 'whapping' hand when Mira returns to where she is talking to Ferrando. There's a glance over her shoulder towards Copper then as the Lycene lawyer makes a comment about the other redhead's eyes.

Fortunato notes overshoulder at Doll, "Perhaps some balls, once in a while! Perhaps."

Cristoph spends a few more minutes investigating each of the paintings. Some he revisits. Eventually, he lifts his head back up to look around the crowd. There's somewhat decisive nod and he slips through the throngs of people while quietly but firmly saying, "Excuse me." ever so often. His destination seems to be Aleksei, way over there. He smiles brightly when he sees Saedrus there as well. "Softest Whisper Saedrus, it's good to see you again. Blessed Aleksei, do you have a moment?"

The curl of Freja's lips is slow and her eyes remain on the painting in front of her as a curl of her fingers beckons the man in the mask closer, to stand beside her.

Lou smiles at Esoka as she approaches. "Yes, it was very thought provoking, indeed," she seems to agree with the other woman. "It makes the work we've been doing in the Gray Forest lately feel all that more important." And, then Mason introduces her to Copper. Lou turns her attention to the other woman, finally getting to meet her face to face for the first time. She inclines her head to Copper, offering her a light smile. "A pleasure to meet you," she says, and then laughs lightly at Copper's question. "Indeed, he's mentioned you many times, for many different reasons." Her eyes seem to study the younger woman quite intently, as if, perhaps, she's trying to take her measure.

Someone wearing A Dark Reflection Mirrormask moves like a silent shadow but joins the side of Freja as the two look at the image of the magister.

Aleksei offers Saedrus's hand a quick squeeze, his smile warm and grateful, before he lifts his gaze to Cristoph when he approaches. His brows lift a bit, and then he nods. "Um. Of course, Duke Cristoph. Do you want to--" He tips his head. Step away and pretend like there's a little privacy to whisper?

Prism looks over at Tarik, with a cant of her head as she realizes he's been staring. "Hi," she says. "I'm Prism. I think I've almost met you a half dozen times before." She looks back at Doll, in the sort of unfocused way of a person who isn't looking at someone but through them. "There are many burdens in this world," she says. "Be glad you have only known some of them. Still--" Her gaze snaps back into focus. "I'm sorry you've suffered. Is there anything I can do for you?"

Saedrus bows graciously at Cristoph's approach. "Duke Laurent," he offers in greeting and smiles gently, "I will leave you two to speak." And the Whisper excuses himself to go consider Plaza of Fetters.

"Well," Copper says gamely, "It's an honor to meet someone with so much more rescue-competence than I have! I'm glad you were there to catch him." She offers a gloved hand, for a shake, with a sweet smile overtop it.

Esoka offers Mason and Lou a bow before moving on. She's winding her way gradually out of hte crowd but stops near Fortunato. "Master Fortunato. Were all of these works yours? They were very evocative. The archfiend of slavery in particular. I wish I could have killed that thing here and now!" It's a high compliment, apparently.

Ferrando regards Mira's whapping with amused tolerance. "You -do- realize my actual job involves a lot of standing around by the door looking authoritative and all security-ish, right?" he asks her before peering out into the crowd. "Which lady's eyes?" he asks a bit blankly. Apparently he's been focusing less on eyes and more on making sure paintings don't get stabbed.

Rickard keeps to himself for the most part as things happen around him. As he lays eyes upon each painting, a spark begins to smolder within him, slowly growing into a flame. The wick is lit, as they say. He remains quiet and reserved on the outside, however.

Hana glances up from the paintings as Fortunato makes his way over. "The paintings aren't... /beautiful/, but they're striking, Uncle Fort," she offers, with a slightly more subdued smile than her usual. The topic is hard to be completely joyous about, after all -- even celebrating that people want to fight it means acknowledging that it exists to fight against in the first place. Whatever he presses into her hand, however, earns a glance and a brief shudder, though the nod of thanks she offers her uncle seems genuine.

"Ah, no." He looks around at the crowded room and then back to Aleksei. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt." Cristoph makes a hand gesture as Saedrus moves off. "Well, anyway. "You'd mentioned in your speech that you'd be looking to place former thralls in places across the compact to start their lives over. I don't know how many would be interesed in a trip to the Oathlands, but please, contact me if you have someone that would be a good fit. Or even to work with us here in Arx."

Nisaa nods to Mayir as he touches her arm. "I am, much, yes. Thank you, friend Mayir. It is being of luck for me that you are here tonight. Otherwise, I might have had to leave in an undigni-fy-ing manner." A light, almost musical laugh bubbles from within her.

Fortunato glances up from whatever he's passing off, flicking up another of his quick, crowd-anxious smiles. "Most of them were mine. Not the, hm, conquering one, but most of them. You have Mason to thank for the subject matter, but the archfiend was largely creative license." He turns the tentative smile back on Hana, and it falters a bit for her shudder. He clears his throat. "They are intended to be striking. I enjoyed painting them. Largely."

Mira scowls, folding her arms. "I--" But then she blinks up at Ferrando. "...I guess I've never actually *seen* you doing your job, come to think of it. I always just kind of glossed over the idea that you actually stand around being serious most of the time. It's sort of like being told someone is secretly a dragon or a griffon or a fox when you're not looking at them. You don't really take it seriously." Then, to Eithne, Mira smiles with a light blush, "Sorry to interrupt. And..." She points for Ferrando, in Copper's direction. "Her, over there."

    "Sure." Doll says with a squint over Prism, up and down, then shrugs her shoulders and smiles at her coolly, "Get naked. I could use all that fanciness you're wearing." Her nose wrinkles and she looks after Fortunato, then spreads her arms, glancing toward Aleksei here while she goes on, "Even imagine how many poor mama-thralls and baby-thralls could go free just from your fuckin' outfit, eh?"

"Please do refrain from removing your clothing in the Shrine," Ferrando announces politely from over by the door.

    "Imagine if everybody in here did that." Doll adds with a sharp laugh and turn of her head, overlooking the crowd.

Nash nods in agreement at Mirari, though his eyes still look puzzled, as if he is trying to place her, "That's well said. Though I've known a few extremely well meaning individuals that became convinced of the rightness of their treatment, and used a torch that burned away too much rather than just the disease. Some outrage can leave me wary."

"Could you?" Prism asks, quizzical. "I've had it since -- I've had it so long. Since before there were even people. Before there was money. It's so very old, child." When Doll looks across the room at Aleksei, Prism looks over to him just the same.

    "But they won't." Doll concludes, turning back toward Prism more directly, "Cause for all the show and kind words, everybody in here ain't no different from me. They're out for themselves and if they're giving, it's all for the fuckin' show of it." With that, and an expression of pure, almost condescending skepticism, Doll turns and struts for the exit.

Orazio leaves Aureth, a touch hastily, and makes his way back towards Doll, Prism, and Fortunato. "I must second Disciple Ferrando's request. No removal of clothing," he says, gently as if he fears Prism might actually do it. He opens his mouth, as if to say something to Doll, but she is strutting off, so he just sighs, and rolls his shoulders.

"I think it was quite brave to render such images to canvas. I'm not sure I could live with such in my head," Esoka says to Fortunato. Giving him a bow before she moves on. Eyes taking in a last glimpse of some of the paintings as she departs. And narrowing at Doll as the woman struts off.

Saedrus checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 30, rolling 15 higher.

Mason laughs, lightly rubbing his hand up and down Lou's arm, "It's nice that you're finally able to meet, after all this time. Both my rescuers." He muses, "Copper, our daughter's birthday is coming soon. Look for an invitation for the party. We'd love for you to attend if you're able." He briefly glances towards Fort, hearing his name, but looks back after a moment. "Is there anything you need, my friend? Anything I can do for you?" Because it's a thing that will always be offered to Copper.

Mayir flushes a bright red under his brown skin when Nisaa compliments him so. For a Whisper to compliment him so, apparently makes the poor sailor boy quite chuffed. "Anything for you, Nisaa Whisper," he promises. "It's just nice being in your company."

Shard's upper lip twitches away from her teeth as Doll passes, but it's a very brief sort of gesture. She certainly doesn't try to stop her.

Mirari tilts her head toward Nash, glancing back from a painting toward the man once more. She catches his expression now and tilts her head to the side. "You look puzzled, messere." She drifts closer to his orbit once more, eyebrows lifted. "Is something wrong..?" Though she glances toward Doll and then toward Prism she says, mildly, "I wouldn't worry about her, lovely. Any time you try to show her kindness, she repays it by biting at you."

Lou glances over at Mason, then grins back at Copper. "Well... he did sort of squish me a bit," she confides in Copper, "but... I didn't hold it too much against him." She takes the hand offered by the other woman and squeezes it gently. "I guess I must also thank you for saving his life. I'm pretty confident that I can say that it was love at first... er... crash."

Aleksei's expression warms for Cristoph's words. "Thank you, my lord. The Faith has enough room throughout its parishes to house -- well, a whole lot of Templars, and we'll be utilizing that to get people started. But I have every intention of letting people travel where they want to go to start their new lives as free people. Throughout the Compact, not just in the Mourning Isles. I--" He blinks, attention suddenly tugged away by the sound of someone being asked to strip. Oh. It's /Prism/ being asked to strip. Or -- told to. He blinks. And then he shrugs a bit helplessly at Prism.

"I know," Hana remarks quietly to Fortunato, at mention of 'creative license'. But then she shakes off whatever uncharacteristically dark mood seized her, offering her uncle a smile. "I'm glad you enjoyed painting them, though; it's good when the things you /have/ to do are also the ones you /want/ to do."

Copper speaks up, and though she is a small woman, her voice carries. "Money doesn't free slaves. Especially not those enslaved by their belief in a system that says they are." Then she smiles apologetically at Lou and Mason. She tells them, "That sounds like a /lovely/, romantic story. YOu'll have to tell me the whole thing at Saffiyah's birthday. Did I..get her name right?"

"Yes, I have ran into you before." Tarik nods his several times like a happy child being asked if he likes candy. Tarik laughs nervously. "I did not know who you were. I thought you would be a lot older looking, but look younger than me.' Tarik continues to laugh nervously and is about to speak when he hears Doll's comment. "Wait, what?" Tarik peers at Doll then back at Prism. "Wait, what?" Tarik coughs a bit, "Just for the record, I do not know that person."

Saedrus looks away from the painting when Doll started her bit. Barely a narrowing of his eyes for the rant or tension of his jaw. "What an utterly helpful contribution," remarked mor to himself than anyone in particular apparently.

Ferrando looks back to Mira after issuing one of his helpful periodic doorperson security bulletins. "Well, it's not -my- fault you never visit the Whisper House," he points out before engaging in some Copper contemplation curiously as his cousin commands. "Ah!" he says once she's turned the right way for him to see. "She -does- have nice eyes. Two of them, in fact," he agrees complimentarily.

Mira adds softly, of Doll, to no one in particular, "Whoever she is...she certainly isn't one bound by chains."

    Soon enough, no words left to speak apparently, a Doll is out.

Aureth snoops around the donation box for awhile, and frowns a little as a cursory dig through his purse leaves him coming up short. He shrugs, empties his purse, and says, "Is somebody demanding nudity on general principles? I think I missed something."

Fortunato laughs, suddenly, at Esoka's words. "Oh, uh. They're not so bad, really. They're just pictures." He touches Hana's shoulder, brief. "I like painting horrible things. In a way, less pressure." He barks a laugh after Doll's exit. "She's a lively blade, that one. I really do want her to paint."

Mira huffs! and plants her fists on her hips turning back toward Ferrando. "Why are you always so contrary!" Her head inclines, looking up at the big guy, "And there is *research* to be done. Books to read! Laws to interpret. Words to scribe! I don't have time for massages and pedicures."

"Money buys comfort," Prism says. "Sometimes, slavery buys comfort too. Some chains, people choose. Some chains, they even love." The thought of that seems to unsettle her far more than the thought of stripping naked, and since Orazio has swooped in to champion her from any ill-timed stripping, she loops her arm through his and says, "I wouldn't, don't worry. I know it wouldn't fix anything." She smiles back at Tarik, in quick reassurance, "You just came up to say hi. I know. I'm not mad at you. I'm not even mad at her! She's not a bad person -- just a hurt one. Plenty of those."

Nisaa blushes in kind when Mayir speaks to her. "I have been enjoying the company of you as well. I am being glad we met." Looking regretful, she says, "I should be returning to my home though. Perhaps I can write to you soon, for that picnic?"

"Yes! Please! I thought I would need to come to the Whisper House and spend one thousand silver to have your company," confesses Mayir when she offers to picnic with him. "So, yes, please. I was saving and all, but I'd even like a picnic more."

Orazio listens and watches the various reactions across the room, and his lips twitch again. "I think her observation was a bit of a...veritable hit, in many ways," he muses. "Uncomfortable, yes. Rude, certainly. Entirely untrue? I think that would be unfair to say. And while not all slaves would be freed with endless funds," Orazio says, to Copper, "certainly a lot could be. We choose not to spend our money in that way, just as we choose to spend our money on alaricite and rubicund and," he tugs at his own robes, "aethera. I could justify my choices, or so I think...but they are choices, and I can't blame anyone who grew up in deprivation to agree with my priorities." He doesn't object to the arm linkage, and smiles at Prism and Tarik.

Freja continues to speak softly with the Mirrormask beside her, eyes steadfast on the painting before her.

Prism adds to Mirari, "Hurt people often forget kindness. It becomes a foreign thing to them. Like a word they can't quite understand. I worry when I see so much hurt -- but not for myself."

Lou inclines her head to Copper. "Yes, you did. We call her Safi for short." She pauses a bit, then says. "They're collecting the money for the thralls here in Thrax, who can buy off their debt. There are many who acquaint thralldom to slavery. House Thrax has thralls, though it sounds like they are at least trying to turn a new leaf and work out a system that eventually frees all or most of them. But, for the type of slavery represented in these paintings - no... money only goes so far and helps so much, and certainly doesn't change a belief system."

"Wounded badger," Shard says, though she offers no actual explanation as to why. She watches Doll depart, before returning her attention to the others. Tarik gets a brief eyeing, and a raised eyebrow.

Someone wearing A Dark Reflection Mirrormask turns its head a moment as it stands beside Freja and looks over a dark shoulder towards somewhere in the room and stares before it looks back to the painting. As Freja speaks, the figure unclasps one gloved hand and gives a gesture upwards to the Magister.

"Keep it in mind. We can find space." Cristoph smiles and his attention is taken by Prism as Aleksei is distracted by her. He blinks a few times at the woman, seeming... almost a little confused while he looks her over. Then he shakes his head and offers the Archlector another slanted grin. "Anyway, this was a moving experience. Please send me a missive if there's anything you need. I need to slip away, but please convey that to Prince Mason and Master Grayhope?" He'll dip his head forward in the world's laziest sort of good-bye. Not even a handshake or a salute or what-have-you!

"I gave a lot of money!" Prism says to Orazio, brightening. "It wasn't exactly /my/ money, but I repurposed it to a better cause. But I hope I will be forgiven the fondness of holding on to a few old things."

"Yes, Safiyyah. That is right." Mason says to Copper, his smile warming more as he echoes Lou. "I'm always happy to share that story." He can't help but look Doll's direction again, frowning, before he turns back to Copper and Lou. "I hope we can raise enough to change some people's lives for the better, at least. I do not yet know a way to make a difference in Eurus."

Leta does the full circuit of the art show, and ends up looking at the painting of the boroughs. She stands in front of this one, head cocked to one side, for a rather long while. Then she takes a step back, turning her head just to catch the tail end of the conversation as Doll departs. The sellsword smiles - if only slightly, a thin curve kept from drawing to wide. Turning around, and after a long pause, she walks over in Fortunato's direction, inclining her head politely, "It's - it's very fine art, Master Fortunato. Can't say I understand all of it, but uh - Blessed Aleksei did say it wasn't easy so - well, it's very well painted and everything, not that I know anything."

Copper nods at Lou. "It's a very good cause, I'll give what I could find. The hardest part of shrugging off your chains is...what to do next, I think. Some don't know anything but that life. Some birds stay in the cage, even when the door is opened."

Mirari dips her chin toward Prism and says, "Very true, my lady." A glance is given then toward Nash, head tilted slightly to the side.

Fortunato lights his attention over to Leta. He scratches the back of his neck, once, twice. "What's troubling you? Or what's hard to understand?" He adds, quieter. "I don't always understand it all myself. It's not always about understanding your images."

Eithne gives Mira a little smirk when she mentions how little time she has. "I'm going to check out the paintings again, maybe shmooze with some folks. You keep making that door look good." She tells Ferrando before slipping away again.

Aureth abandons the donation box to wheedle and slither his way through the crowd until he fetches up behind Fortunato. Dropping his hands on his brother's shoulders like a creeper coming up behind him -- he's going to get an elbow to the gut -- he goes, "You are making a killing in the audience department, little brother." He smiles and adds in an easy aside, "Hey, kiddo," to Hana.

Saedrus quietly continues his gentle pace about the sanctum, taking in each piece in turn as he arrives at them. Thoughtfulness probably explaining his silence.

"Of course," Aleksei tells Cristoph. "Thank you for coming." And then he slips over closer to Prism, expression somewhat apologetic. "Um. Sorry about that," he says. "She did give a lot!" he adds to Orazio. "A whole lot. I--" He blinks back at Prism. "Wait. Whose money was it?" he asks her, sounding a little concerned.

Mira gets a curious cant of her head and holds a finger up to Ferrando, "One moment. Well, two really. Maybe a few." Wandering off, Mira walks right up to Prism, "Excuse me, Prism, but may I ask you a question?" She motions over the lady, "You've had those clothes--and that figure--before there were people... But how? Why two arms, two legs, and ten digits? Two eyes? From whence did the form--and the idea of the clothes, and the other accoutrements--come from?"

Ferrando gives Mira a vaguely pitying look. "I hate to break it to you, but most people don't get off of work and then go right back to doing more of the same stuff they were doing at work," he points out. "Thus my general lack of doormanning outside the Whisper House." He grins brightly. "Excepting, of course, important Liberator functions for which I am pleased to donate my professional skills!" he concludes sunnily. "Anyway, maybe you'd be less wound up if you paid dues and hung out at the House now and then. We've got a really nice library. You could just plop in the corner and read books." He waves to Eithne. "This door isn't going anywhere while I'm on duty!" he declares confidently.

Rickard disappears out through the nearest exit, pausing briefly to offer gestures of acknowledgement.

Asheryn, a Gyrfalcon leaves, following Rickard.

Mason gives Copper a nod, "Yes, we are concerned about that, but the Faith is stepping in to help with rehabilitation however it's needed, so people can learn to embrace and enjoy the freedom they'll have." A pause and he adds, "And I hope, too, that the people that come and see this artwork will take a moment and reflect on the freedom they already have."

Orazio chuckles. "I'm...not going to ask whose money it was, but I am going to pray that it was a just reordering." He squeezes her arm, briefly. "And that's...I would say that isn't necessarily the sticking point. It's just hard, to see other people appear to feast while you live in famine. You don't know their burdens, their motivations, or what they had to sacrifice to do what they did - and when you're hungry enough, you don't care. It's not about lofty ideals of right and wrong, it's about right now, seeing everything you could do if only you had /that/...whatever 'that' happens to be."

Nisaa giggles softly to Mayir's exuberance. "I am not all work. I am no longer the slave I was." She gestures to the paintings around them, though now, she doesn't look at them, just him. "As Whisper, I am a free woman and can choose how I spend my free time. And soon, I shall be choosing to spend it with a picnic with you." She pats his arm lightly. "Thank you, for helping me tonight. Truly."

Mira did, of course, pause to listen to Ferrando before wandering off! She even smirks at him before going to Prism to ask her question.

Hana looks uncomfortable as she overhears Orazio's words about people spending money on fancy weaponry rather than on freeing the enslaved. After all, the young smith is the one who /sells/ alaricite and diamondplate weapons to those demanding them. But she shakes it off as her Aureth appears, offering him a smile in greeting. "Hey, dad."

Prism answers Aleksei with a vague wave of her hand. "People, schmeople," she says. "Think of all the chains you'll break! I just--" She looks very gravely at Aleksei. "'Liberated' the money." That grave look gives way to something entirely more pleased. So, so very pleased. "I'm ... not sure they were always in the form of clothes?" she answers Mira, though it's as much a question as an answer. "I think they just took the idea of clothes, at some point."

Prism adds, "Some if it isn't as old, some of it is from Skald walking off with wardrobes." Gosh, doesn't she look smitten when she mentions Skald.

"This is probably not the place, but whenever you have...the time." Tarik shakes his head and says. "I would love to speak to you about the Far Rangers and item that was given to me. Tarik dips his head to Prism and nods to Legate, "You have lost the argument that you are not pleasurable company. You are holding arms with Prism, and I have seen you entertain her. I believe I have won this argument without a doubt." Tarik laughs and begins to step away from the duo.

Copper listens to the other conversations flying about the 'room' as well, and she looks a little...abashed? "Don't forget that invitation," she tells Mason and Lou. "I'd love the chance to meet you both in a quieter setting." She says this, as if a child's birthday party is going to be any /quieter/. Perhaps she has not attended many of those.

Shard looks toward Orazio for a long moment, and her eyes narrow faintly. Thoughtfully, perhaps. Her jaw works, but words don't seem to quite form, because she doesn't actually say anything. After a few moments she looks back to Prism, and then to Tarik. She's very clearly listening to them all.

Lady Teldra, a Lycene noblewoman, 3 Grayson Guardsmen, 1 Armed Confessors, Buchanan, a Champion arrive, following Cara.

Mayir flushes again when the Whisper says she will be spending time with him, and touches his arm like that. He glances away. "Well. I will count the days until we get to picnic, Nisaa," he says, warmly. "Thank you for being my company tonight! How lucky most men would think to have a Whisper on his arm for this event."

Mira lifts her eyebrows high, tilting her head at Prism, "That makes a lot of sense, really. Do you know what the...function of your raiment is meant to be? A general covering? Something for modesty, or perhaps even a vague idea of modesty, before modesty was something thought overmuch about?" Her journal flips open, to a page with a sketch of Prism already on it.

Leta blinks at Fortunato, as if the question itself makes her have to think about the matter. "Well - just the - you got some that's of things, right? I understand those, that's easy enough. Then there's the others, that's got - well, folk don't just go around the boroughs with crowns above their heads, do they? So that means something, I'm just not rightly sure what." She points out and cracks a brighter grin. "But I like them anyhow. They're - well, they're interesting to look at, anyhow."

Lou has a few quiet words with Copper, even as they hold a more public conversation. Her expression is serious a moment, and her eyes flit to Mason, then back to Copper. At the end of her quiet words, she smiles at the other woman. She says to Mason, squeezing his hand again. "We start with the battles we know how to fight, so that we can learn the things we need to take them elsewhere. Is there a group of underground people in Eurusi willing to fight for freedom there? If not then, is it possible that things may have changed since you left. It has been a good many years," she asks, then she nods to Copper. "We will definitely remember you when we hold the party," she assures her.

Fortunato duly, expectedly, goes "Aaaah--" and tries to sweep his arms up when Aureth /grabs/ him. But he does managed a muted, cranky, "Thanks," over his shoulder at his brother. He takes a deep breath and settles enough to look back at Leta. "Oh, that's an easy one to explain, at least. Was how I was showing crownsworn. And how it works out for some people, but not for everyone. Sometimes, being crownsworn is just being alone, adrift, no support and easy to exploit. That's all." He quirks his smile. "Glad they're interesting."

Cara gets Freedom - Art Show Program from Program Box - Please Take One.

Aureth gets Freedom - Art Show Program from Program Box - Please Take One.

"I'd be glad to," Prism promises Tarik, with a smile. "I hadn't thought about it," she answers Mira, and as she considers it, she seems more distant -- less tangible. "Not modesty, no? Even without the gown, I have so many tattoos. A body's worth of them. I think it is maybe because I've always liked pretty things? There are some parts of me that are just -- me. Just my choice."

Orazio laughs to Tarik. "Fine, fine. I am /occasionally/ pleasurable company. With enough alcohol in me," he tacks on, with a smile and a wave of his free hand. Not that there is any alcohol here, and the Legate doesn't /seem/ to have sneaked in a flask. But then, with those robes, who could tell? He quiets, listening to the conversations, and occasionally whispering with Prism.

Donella closes her hands in the material of her skirt, intently. As she comes away from the place she had been standing, she crosses her arms and walks toward the image of the silk-clad man, with the chain running away, past the dark magister. Her expression is heavily clouded. Abruptly she turns, and makes an exit from the sanctum.

Aureth scratches his nails lightly at the back of Fortunato's neck as he moves out from behind him and favors brother, daughter and Leta with a fairly indiscriminate cheerful smile. "It's a great turnout for a great cause," he says.

Nisaa smiles and leans in to whisper softly to Mayir before she pulls away with a smile. Turning to wave to Mason before she goes, quietly leaving the Inner Sanctum.

Aleksei gives Prism a wry but fond smile. All right, then. Liberated funds. He leans a bit closer to Orazio, murmuring something in a low voice.

Mira smiles brilliantly, twirling her stylus through her fingers, "That sounds extremely /human/ to me, you know. Desires for desire's own sake?" She nods a couple times, bangs bouncing above her glasses, "And Skald just /walks off/ with stuff from wardrobes?" She smirks a bit, looking a bit playful. "That's new information--but not something that should surprise me, given what I've heard."

Cara arrives all bundled up in her winter cloak, a fluffy woolen scarf around her neck in pale green that promises spring. Someday. She's even got mittens, which she doffs in order to take a program to study. Her various minions make themselves scarce, save for her Champion, who follows her about a half a step back in case any of the artwork leaps off the wall to maul at the Grayson princess. (This is unlikely. One hopes.) Then she starts about the room, peering intently at paintings with the demeanor of one who actually cares about things like that.

Hana murmurs something quietly to Aureth.

Orazio laughs outright as Aleksei says whatever it is to him. He raises an eyebrow at the Archlector, and leans forward to say something with a grin.

Mason gives Lou a very curious look when she leans in to speak to Copper privately. Especially when she looks his way. Though, when she talks about underground movements in Eurus, the man can only shake his head. "If there are any, I do not know of them. But... yes, you are right. Start with things I know how to do." He catches the wave for Nisaa and offers one to her as she leaves, then notices Cara arriving and throws her a smile from where he's standing with Lou and Copper.

"Choice gives us the freedom to choose the things we want," Prism says. "And sometimes to choose the things we don't. That's the beauty of it. Of people, especially. Day after day, you choose your world over your own desires. To be greater than /want/." She laughs softly. "But I do what I want. Sometimes what I want is a pretty dress. Sometimes what I want is to save the world!"

Saedrus pauses in his circuit back in front of the painting of Skal'daja. He studies it for the longest time before he dips his head to whatever thoughts settling in his mind. It's then he pulls himself away and makes his way over to the group of Prism, Orazio, Tarik and Aleksei. A gracious bow to those present he smiles to each and looks to Aleksei with a quiet word.

As she moves about the makeshift gallery within the Inner Sanctum, Eithne comes across the artist. Greeting Fortunato with a swift and hearty clasp on the arm. "Sorry to interrupt, just wanted to say your work is great. Thank you for sharing your talents with us."

Copper slips away from Mason and Lou with the promise of a birthday party, to see the last paintings she hadn't viewed, yet. It's the Magister of the Mirror, and this one does not seem to affect her with anything approaching the emotional impact of the last. "Oooh," she murmurs. "Blood!" She has stretched out the o's of this word, making them sound both dramatic and playful.

Mira nods with a light frown, "I can definitely relate..." A hand lightly breezes along the side of her long velvet skirt. "And sometimes we choose to do something really dumb because it seemed like a smart idea at the time." Her hand lightly rises to her side. But she smiles again up at Prism, "Thanks for answering my question though. I'm sorry to just kinda poke at you with questions. It's hard for me to resist a mystery." Her hands go behind her back, stylus and journal both.

Leta tugs and toys with her pearl earring as she ponders Fortunato's words, "Huh. Goes for everyone, doesn't it?" She interrupts herself to bow her head respectfully in Aureth's direction, lifting her hat for a moment. "I mean, whether your Lord's the king or you got another in between. I wouldn't know, mind you. Anyhow, so that's the folk with the darker crowns, right? Makes sense. Not that I'm crownsworn anymore or anything. Anyway, they were," she confirms, with another glance towards the paintings.

Shard blinks once, and for a moment, her expression noticeably shifts to...something. As before, it's brief. She shakes her head after a moment, and glances toward--not the paintings of the exhibit--but the mural decorating the wall. Then she looks back toward the others, her frown a little more pronounced than before.

Hana continues to murmur with Aureth. But at one of her father's replies, she only shrugs; it's clear she doesn't have a good answer to whatever he's just said.

Mason watches Copper move on, brows lifting at her reaction to the Magister painting. Then he murmurs softly in Lou's ear while letting his eyes drift over the crowd.

Something about the quiet conversation with Prism has drawn the Legate's brow downward and put a frown on his features. Not an angry one, but his demeanor is visibly more concerned and even worried, and even Aleksei's quiet word to Orazio only draws a brief smile, and one that doesn't quite make it all the way to his eyes.

"That's right, the darker crowns," Fortunato says to Leta with a brisk nod. "I've no experience at all with being sworn to much of anything, so in this case, I painted what I knew, I suppose. You're right that everyone's situation can tangle that way, though." He turns brief, bright attention over to Copper. "Right! Blood!" He should not sound delighted.

Aureth mutters back to Hana and runs his hand back through his long loose hair. About to say something else, he laughs out loud in a bright crack and says, "Good gods."

Copper grins at Fortunato over her shoulder as she shuffles on. 'Thralls' gets only a tiny bit of attention, as she doesn't want to lose her smile, and down the list she goes. When she has viewed them all and reaches the donation box, Copper scrounges through the pockets in her pants, and her coat, searching for something to give.

Aleksei murmurs a quiet word in reply to Saedrus before returning his gaze to Prism and Orazio. His brow creases just a touch, Orazio's look of concern apparently contagious. He offers a few low-voiced words to them both.

Lou leans into Mason's whisper, and gives him something of a wry smile before replying back to him. She then motions over in Aleksei's direction, and then raises both brows at his return reply. She whispers once more.

"I've made many mistakes," Prism agrees, at Mira's mention of doing really dumb things. "But I don't always regret making them. I chose them, and they're mine."

"Have a lovely evening," Saedrus bids to Orazio and Prism, and Aleksei presumably. "And again, a remarkable event Prince Mason, Fortunato." he smiles to Mason and Lou, Fortunato soon after and the Whispers slips off towards the donation box before making his way out.

Lou nods at Saedrus. "Good evening."

Ferrando smiles around the room at everybody behaving. What a good art gallery you all are! Not that anybody was particularly looking for nonverbal validation from the Liberator/door greeter/perpetual bouncer, but there it is.

Someone wearing A Dark Reflection Mirrormask continues standing like Freja's shadow beside her, looking at the painting of the Magister although a gloved hand unclasps and is lifted in front of the figure, the palm up as if offering or gesturing. Maybe even taking something.

Mira smiles at Prism's appraisal of past mistakes and nods, curtseying to the woman graciously. Giving her a small wave, Mira starts to head off, "Thank you again, Messere Prism." Then Mira's wandering over to Copper, and she tilts forward, hands clsped behind her back and looking sidelong-up at the other redhead. "Want me to cover it? I was going to toss in some silver, but I've got promissory notes, too. Those are always useful to causes like this."

Leta plants her hands on her hips, thinks a moment, and enlightens Fortunato. "You go in a room, and there's a godsworn, and you say some swords, and there you have it. You're sworn." The explanation is simple enough, and delivered with a broad smile. "Anyhow, I'll leave you to talking to folk." she adds, inclines her head, and takes a step back.

Copper is pushing coins of some denomination, hidden by clever fingers, into the box. She all but jumps when Mira approaches, and gives her head a bright shake. "Oh! No, no, I...think I have it? I hope it's enough. I'm not sure what a decent donation for this much moving art would be." This, slightly sheepish. "But thank you! Gosh, that's so nice of you. I'm...Copper. Hi."

"Thank you, Saedrus." Mason says with an appreciative smile. Then he gives Lou a quick kiss on the temple and releases her, stepping back and looking around. He approaches Leta, "Thank you for attending." He says with the woman in his soft, accented voice.

Orazio bows to Saedrus. "Whisper Saedrus. It is good to see you again - we should talk, soon, about that message?" He clears his throat, and looks around. "At any rate, this was a very effective show, I think. I hope people will come and view the paintings throughout the month."

Lou makes her way over to Aleksei, and hands over some writs to him in forms of economic, social, and possibly even military. "Use these however you can for your cause," she tells him.

Fortunato spreads his hands. "Ah, Dame Leta, I hardly know how to talk in setings such as these. Thank you for coming over for a little conversation. And insight! I suppose swearing /is/ simple, in a way, but it feels so monstrously complicated to me."

Hana offers her father a rueful smile before she too moves to the box, placing a collection of writs within.

Mira beams, "Mira Matessi. I--" She stops dead. And blinks. Her eyes go over Copper once in mute surprise. She blinks again and continues as though someone had simply paused her for a moment. "I'm a lawyer. Pleased to meet you." Shaking her head a bit with a warm smile, she shrugs a bit, "I just saw you searching and thought maybe you left your coin purse at home. It's a terribly worthy cause after all."

Cara drifts towards the 'plaza of fetters' painting and her steps falter, her lips pressing together as she looks at the painting. In her hands, the program crinkles slightly as its gripped more tightly than the paper can bear -- before she realizes what she's doing and looks down, taking a moment to smooth it back out again. This time, she keeps her chin up as she moves to the next painting, studying it carefully, even as the line of her shoulders tightens.

Saedrus looks back to Orazio with a smile, "whenever you are free, Father Orazio." He assures, "excuse me." and off he goes.

Once Lou has given her donation, she then turns to leave the event - as it looks like she's pretty wiped from all of the socializing. She's a forest girl, not a people girl!

Aleksei turns his head from speaking quietly to Orazio and Prism to offer Lou a warm smile and accept the writs she offers. "Oh, thank you, your highness," he tells her warmly. His gaze flits curiously between Orazio and Saedrus for a moment.

Mirari swirls out in a swish of seasilk skirts. Out she goes.

Opia, a fat unblinking cat, Miella, an apprentice leave, following Mirari.

Someone wearing A Dark Reflection Mirrormask brings the gloved hand down, returning it in the folds behind its back.

Orazio's smile is fond as he slips out of the grips both companions have on his arms, then reaches out and ruffles Aleksei's hair, and then Prism's hair, unless one or the other duck away. "If you two will excuse me?" he says, quietly. And then he slips away, moving towards Copper. Although he remains at a polite distance for her to finish speaking and donating.

Leta eyes Fortunato a moment in thought, purses her lips, then nods, "The swearing's not that complicated, is it? Just makes everything else more complicated, that's the thing. For some folk. For others, I've learned, it makes things simpler." And that said, she shrugs, shakes her head, and bows her head politely to Mason. "Sure thing, your - uh, Highness. Blessed Aleksei told me to, so I did."

Copper tilts her head at Mira, momentary concern at the pause. "Ah, a lawyer." Perhaps, to her, that explains it. "It is a worthy cause. I'm glad to see so many people here, supporting it. Especially when the subject matter can be so disturbing." Pause, and then she gestures at the magister painting. "Except that one! I like the blood." With this inexplicable pronouncement, she turns her attention to Orasio. Perhaps she can feel the column of expectant Aeterna; waiting. "Good evening, Legate." She just picks a title and hopes for the best.

Tarik nods to Shard. "It is good to see that you are well. I saw you the other night at the Hart, and didn't get to congratulate you on your safe return. Tarik walks over to Freja and dips his head to her, "Your Highness, I am surprise and relived to see about. I had heard rumors that you had been injured, but I guess you cannot believe everything that you hear."

Prism's hair gets ruffled, shimmer shimmer. With the conversation at a natural end (or a pause, at least), she's freed to wander the exhibit and weigh each of the art pieces in turn, and does exactly that.

"I'll be back to catch up with you all later," Aureth says, dropping a hand to squeeze on Hana's shoulder, and then he filters his way through the crowd to catch up with Aleksei, Saedrus, et al. "Hey," he says, with a quick, sunny grin. "You better be making a killing with all this high society around," he says to Aleksei. "Was that Orazio? Crap, I was gonna ask him about that military stuff we apparently need. Oh, well, I guess that's terrible party talk."

Shard watches the whisperers for a little while longer, until Tarik pulls her attention away. She gives him a narrow, squinted look, but he's already moving away from her, and so his back gets the exasperated grimace instead. ".../Right/."

Fortunato dips his shallow bow to Leta. "For me, hm? Complicaton and simple at once, maybe. Like possibilities removed, and I'm greedy for all possibilities. But focus has its own power. I know. I'm told many times." With that, he bows again, deeper, and draws himself next to the boroughs painting as if catching his breath. Whilst, well, people-watching.

Aleksei watches Orazio approach Copper with a gnaw to his bottom lip before he looks over to Aureth with a quick smile. "Yeah, I have some of that for him, too. Thanks, though. I, uh. I think we /are/ making a bit of a killing." He lowers his voice to add something in a lower tone.

Mira grins nervously, as if a little embarrassed, "I try to be the good kind of lawyer... For commoners, mostly. Poor people who can't pay a noble defender." But Orazio approaches and Mira straightens up, looking more formal. "Legate! I apologize, but I *did* notice that hair ruffle. Two of them!" She lifts an eyebrow, tilting her head, "Decorum decorum--" she reminds, pretending to chide the Legate of Concepts. But she smiles, and waves to Copper, and steps back to let the two speak, regarding the Magister where she began the evening.

Freja turns to bodily face the Mirrormask beside her, eyes torn from the painting as she takes one step closer.

Mason laughs softly, "Well, I hope you found it insightful in some fashion and are not simply here one Aleksei's demands alone?" He asks, "All the same, I thank you for attending and taking the time to look at the artwork."

Orazio looms. He doesn't really mean to, perhaps, it's just that his usual waiting stance is all straight spine and squared shoulders, and he's both tall and wearing white and gold. It's like being stalked by a giant candle, in a way. He bows to Copper. "Lady Copper. First - I apologize for my rudeness on our last meeting. It was unwarranted, and certainly not deserved." He straightens. "Second, I hope that, at some point, you might be willing to meet with me again." His smile is brief. "I can bring cakes? Tiny honey cakes?" A quick looks towards Mira, and he offers a sheepish sort of smile. "You're right. Dreadfully rude of me."

"Please do refrain from styling one another's hair without first receiving permission," Ferrando announces politely from over by the door.

Aureth's grin widens noticeably and he reaches up to give Aleksei a hair-ruffle. He's probably not as good at hair ruffles as Orazio, but Aleksei just has that kind of hair, it's hard to resist. "Great! Wonderful." He mutters something back in a lower voice, and then laughs. "We can't all have your expertise as a barber, Ferrando," he pitches back at him.

Fortunato flashes a grin toward Ferrando, while obliquely watching the gathering near the entrance. "You're the best, Ferrando."

Someone wearing A Dark Reflection Mirrormask looks up to the Magister painting once more, and then when Freja turns to face fully the dark robed figure, it turns slowly on a booted heel to face her. The upturned hand is looked at by the gold eyes for a few seconds before a gloved hand reaches within the black robes and withdraws...the gloved hand hovers over Freja's and barely touches while placing something in her palm.

"Master Fortunato," Cara greets the painter when he passes near where she's bristling aggressively in the most composed of manners. "Your work is remarkable -- so passionate, yet so precise. It makes me want to stab things and also to give people money." (Her Champion, behind her, gives a slight look of alarm at the mention of stabbing things.)

Ferrando smiles modestly but evidently declines to take up the subject of his possible bestness.

"It's alright," Copper tells Orazio, with an easy, sunny manner that somehow conveys she has forgiven him not only for whatever nebulous rudeness he has apologized for, but perhaps for all his life's transgressions. All with that one simple headhsake and smile. "And..of course, I'm willing." At that, she looks a little uncertain. "Did Aleksei talk to you? I thought - well, either way. We'll have to do that. Soon?" Again, the uncertainty.

Prism does a full round of the sanctum -- a long, full, considering round -- and then plants herself in front of the painting of Skal'daja. She crosses her arms, as if to put up a barrier before herself and that great walled city.

Mira hrms, looking over the Magister for a time, focusing this time on the bottom of the painting. Her eyebrows lift a bit, and she flips open her journal to make a couple notes, toward the back, about 3/4ths of the way in. Her head turns briefly at the mention of stabbings, she blinks, and then she shrugs, continuing to jot notes. A glance is given to the Grand Vizier, and another note is added.

Leta eyes Mason for a moment and fidgets. "Oh, no, I liked it, your Highness. Well, it was interesting, see? I was just asking Master Fortunato what some of them meant, that's all, 'cause I wasn't too sure," she explains, with a gesture towards the art displayed on the walls, and another polite bow of her head. "It was my pleasure and all."

"I'm helping!" Prism calls over her shoulder at Copper, even if it doesn't seem likely she could be entirely aware of the conversation. Or -- good ears.

Shard finally moves herself, though it's to meander over toward Prism again. This time, however, she doesn't just lurk off to one side. She lurks nearby, anf after a moment of that, she asks, curiously, "When you want those things ever involve wanting very badly to fight someone?"

Mason gives Leta a smile, "Fortunato has a way of weaving many things into the artwork. I will be here as much as I can over the next few weeks if you wish to return. I can answer some questions on the Eurus art." He offers and bends a graceful bow to Leta, then approaches Prism, looking between her and the painting of Skal'daja. "I've never been there myself, but I think Fortunato has captured the intent very well."

"Aleksei talked to me," Orazio assures her. "And--yes," a rueful sigh, "so did Prism. So, yes, I'd like to speak to you, at your convenience, of course." He clears his throat. "With gratitude, I shall cease to interrupt you, either way. Be well," he adds, with another bow, and then sort of sidles away towards the paintings, looking...troubled, really.

Mira takes a couple, casual steps away from Shard. She doesn't even look up.

"Wonderful!" Fortunato brights to Cara. "If you could channel your passions toward money this time. I often want to fight things, with fire and blade and all, but it turns out I'm terrible at actually connecting. So I paint. I clearly should only paint terrors."

Orazio does speak up, to say, "And puppies," to Fortunato. "You paint magnificent puppies."

"Sometimes," Prism says to Shard, and makes a conscious effort to uncross her arms now that she's been engaged in conversation. "Sometimes, I do. It's not that I've wanted them to suffer. It's just ... I've wanted to keep them from making other people suffer. Sometimes, you have to fight for that."

Prism adds, "I sometimes enjoy a good bar brawl, too. I do!"

"I am very fond of your pup--" Cara begins, before Orazio beats her to the punch. She dimples briefly and nods, "That. Yes." She looks back at the painting she's near, this one of thralls, and says with quiet ferocity, "I have a lot of money. It will likely do more damage than I could with a knife, for certain."

Cara is overheard praising Fortunato for: The palette knife cuts deep.

"My hair is already perfect," Aleksei informs Ferrando. And anyone else who's interested. He smooths a hand over it, in fact. His gaze slides over to Prism and Shard, curious at their conversation.

"Oh," Copper says, and then starts and stops another sentence. She lets Orazio escape her failed conversation, though looks a bit deflated. Yikes, Copper. She wanders a few steps towards Fortunato, and tells him: "I think you connected a few solid hits, here." Her shoulder indicates the guantlet of art.

Leta nods again, takes another glance at the art, then starts towards the exit, looking pensive. That fades away as she walks by Ferrando and offers him an easy grin instead, "I didn't stab anything myself, just in case there's any holes in the artwork, it wasn't me."

"I don't want suffering," Shard says, although she's mostly looking at the painting, rather than Prism, and her words come slowly. "I don't think that's really the point. I think I do want the violence though. Just to one very specific person. And I can say what you just would stop other people from suffering? But if I'm honest...I really do just want them to die."

Freja glances down to whatever it is the Mirrormask has placed in her hand and curls her fingers, enclosing it in her palm.

Marquis Mydas Nightgold makes a very late, and quiet, entrance. He does so wearing his usual outfit of dark silk and umbra, though without, unlike some, his usual Mirrormask. Scanning over the crowd with his gilded gaze, his eyes fall upon Freja, and he makes his way towards the Princess. "I wondered if I'd find you here." he says upon reaching her, standing behind her.

Fortunato raises a finger to Orazio. "I will acknowledge the magnificence of my puppies." He looks back over to Cara. "Canvases are very fragile. I will grant that murdering them is certainly cathartic. I've burned my share. Perhaps I can have my apprentices make some passable copies." His attention then strays to Copper. He clears his throat. He does that often. "Thank you," he says, without looking at the indicated art. "Mason's vision, my depiction. Perhaps we should do more of these. Pick a vice."

Freja checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 5 lower.

Mira snaps her journal shut and wanders over to Mason, "Thank you very much for doing this." Mira looks a little conflicted as she says this--both genuinely grateful, and a little concerned, or sad. But she smiles, regardless. "Tonight has been wonderfully productive, even if that was not at all the intended outcome." She grins, sheepishly, "It is, how do you say..." She rattles off a foreign phase. But she curtseys, her smile warmer now. "But thank you, again."

Ferrando eyes Leta's two-hander before giving her a friendly nod. "Very good, then. Have to be a hole you could crawl through anyway, I imagine. Thank you for attending tonight!" he grins.

Mira says in Eurusi, "...Difficult for me to stop the camel already in motion."

Mason turns to Mira, smiling at her words. "If it helped you to learn a bit more than you knew before about the danger that threatens us, that is the only outcome I seek." The Eurusi man says in return. He offers her a graceful bow, "Thank you for coming."

"I can poke little holes with it." Leta assures Ferrando, thumb tapping the pommel of the two-hander. "It was interesting, wasn't it? I might have to come by and have another look when there's not as many folk around," she confesses, then winks and heads on out.

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

Tarik stops bowing and just waits patiently for Freja to finish her business with the mask person.

Hana pauses as a messenger runs in for her, and then quietly makes her apologies as she presses through the crowd towards the door. It seems the young smith is needed elsewhere.

That makes two people that have suddenly appeared behind Freja tonight, both Mirrormasks though one with the trappings of the vocation, this second shadow not. At the sound of Mydas' voice Freja pales considerably and turns sharply on her heel to face him. The positioning leaves her with her back to the painting and a triangle formed between the two men and herself. "I..I thought you were already here!" she manages.

After getting lost in a few of the paintings, Eithne heads back towards the doorway where Ferrando keeps guard. "This was seriously a very impressive affair. I don't want to bother the others at the moment, mostly because I'm ten seconds from crashing, but I'll make sure to seek out Aleksei and Fortunato later to give them my thanks." On her toes once more, she gives Rando a kiss on the cheek. "I'll see you later."

white-tailed eagle, other white-tailed eagle arrive, following Mia.

Orazio laughs at Fortunato's call back. "Just don't burn the puppy paintings. That would be inexpressibly sad," he claims. Then? He wanders, his hands clasping each other at the small of his back. After a little while, his brow furrowed, he also starts making his way to the exit.

"Why do you want them to die?" Prism asks Shard. "You don't have a hollow heart. It beats with so many, many reasons. Reasons for why you live, for why you fight! I don't think there's any such thing as /just/ wanting this someone to die. It takes an empty heart for that. One that isn't beating for anything anymore. Or that maybe never did."

Willen, Aurora, a small puppy arrive, following Aislin.

Mason moves over towards the door, perhaps taking a small break from conversation. He draws up beside Ferrando, clasping his hands behind his back again. He starts to say something, but his attention strays to Prism as he overhears her passionate words.

When told to pick a vice, Copper chooses immediately: "Optimism." She smiles sidelong, and then reaches out to squeeze Fortunato's hand. Just once, if she can. This not long before she aims herself at the exit, too.

Mira departs from Mason and starts to head over to Fortunato, curtseying to him as well. "Thank you, master painter, for the presentation. It was incredibly enlightening." Seeing Copper departing from Fortunato's presence as well, Mira offers a small wave and a small smile, her eyebrows lifting a bit, "Farewell..."

Aislin arrives late as all hell, and with the slightly-harried look of someone who's been trapped in meetings for most of the day. She beelines towards the donation box, dropping in a small pile of coins and writs to contribute to the cause.

Smokey, the Wolfhound Pup leaves, following Eithne.

Mydas arches a brow at Freja, before shifting his gaze back to the Mirrormask. "I shouldn't be surprised to being mistaken for another Reflection, I suppose." he remarks, returning his attention to the princess. "Though I would think that a scout such as yourself would be able to detect the differences between one mask and another." And for effect, Mydas puts on his own Mirrormask, to further his point.

2 Faith of the Pantheon trained guards, 2 Faith of the Pantheon novice guards leave, following Orazio.

When Mia arrived, it was in a flurry. Granted, Mia's arrivals usually were in a flurry, her brisk, hurried steps kicking up the hems of her long skirts. But in this case, her steps weren't simply purposeful -- they were hurried. Because frankly, she was ridiculously late. A frown tugged at her lips as a result, dragging down the corners of her mouth. It was still lingering on her face when she entered the room.

Ferrando smiles to Eithne and gives her a discreet little wave in parting, and then there's Mason approaching. "Ah, Prince Mason. I think tonight's event has been an unqualified success, wouldn't you say? Well done, indeed," he declares approvingly.

Fortunato returns the hand-squeeze, his eyes briefly closing. His chuckle is dark. "Optimism, huh? I'll try." With that, he releases Copper's hand and drifts back a step, back between paintings.

3 Fidante House Guards, Alejandro arrive, following Calista.

Aleksei blinks over at whatever's going on with Freja, Mydas, and the Mirrormask. "Marquis Mydas, thank you for coming," he greets him politely. And then his smile is a bit more warmly personal for Mia's entrance. "Countess Mia! Hello, welcome."

"I'm overwhelmed by the turnout." Mason says to Ferrando quietly, awe touching his voice. "Truly, I did not expect so many to come by. It is incredible and exciting. We will be able to accomplish so much."

Copper winks at Mira as she slips past the doorman. Does she poke Ferrando in the stomach? Surely not.

Seeing that Freja is preoccupied, Tarik decides to move away from her and makes his way to Aleksei. "Archlector, always a pleasure to see and speak with you." Tarik looks around the room. "Odd, my initial conversation with you was going to be about learning more about the Liberators, and now sometime latter I get to learn of their works. " Tarik leans forward to speak with him quietly.

"I think," Shard says slowly, "That I don't have enough heartbeats to list them all. I can't even know them all. Just mine." She looks sidelong at Prism now. "...You're right though. I can't /just/ want him dead. I want him dead for what he's done and what he'll do if he doesn't die."

After a brief arglebargle that takes place between Disciple Gregory and Aureth's asshole bird, the guest Archlector goes, "Shit." He claps Aleksei on the shoulder and says, "See you at home. Great job," before he slips off between people to head off for points elsewhere, presumably for reasons.

Binky, an asshole crow, Gregory, an unassuming disciple leave, following Aureth.

Mira places a hand silently over her stomach at something, probably not blushing. Taking a moment, and seeing that Fortunato has slipped away, Mira looks about drops her arms to her sides, and nods. "Who knew art could be so interesting?" Wandering off, she waves to Ferrando with a smile as she heads out the door. "Don't let any of those tables escape."

Prism pokes a finger right at Shard's chest, at where her heart beats. "See!" she says. "I always know the way a heart beats. I can see them, feel them -- the choices a person has made, and wants to make. And your heart isn't a murderer's heart, I'm sure of it. It's a protector's." She draws her hand back, and turns on heel. "This has been amazing, I'm going to go tell Skald all about it."

Aislin finishes making her donation, offering Aleksei a slightly apologetic smile; she has the air of one who can't stay too long, but felt a urge to show up nonetheless. Providing support -- and coin -- for the cause is evidently important to her.

Gaius, a Thraxian Confessor, Balanar, a shadowy Confessor, 2 Armed Confessors arrive, following Alistair.

Cara finishes her circuit of the paintings and exhales, carefully tucking her program into her purse. "I feel a need to visit the bank, I think," she remarks to her Champion, before offering quick waves to her friends and acquaintances on her way toward the door.

Lady Teldra, a Lycene noblewoman, 3 Grayson Guardsmen, 1 Armed Confessors, Buchanan, a Champion leave, following Cara.

Calista is late. Is very, -very- late but an appearance had to be made. She sweeps in past Ferrando, the bouncer with a polite curl of her lips and heads towards Aleksei almost immediately, greeting him properly. The Duchess waits a moment to make sure he's not taken by a deep conversation before gliding fingertips over his arm and murmuring a sweet and melodic, "Hello, Blessed Aleksei. I fear I've missed most of the fun for the evening."

Shard's mouth corners flicker. Not a smile, not even close, but there's something there. "Okay," she says. She watches Prism turn to go, seemingly content enough.

Mydas inclines his head to Aleksei in response to the Archlector's greeting. "Thank you, Blessed Aleksei." And then his attention shifts back to Freja. "Shall we postpone tonight's meeting, or are you done with the event, Your Highness?" he asks the princess.

Aleksei's greeting is met with a faint, fleeting smile of relief -- and a curtsy, her hands spreading her skirts out to the sides as she dips down briefly. "Archlector," Mia said, "I wouldn't have missed it for all the world. At least not if I had any say in it, which I didn't, until far later into the evening than I would've liked. Are there any pieces in particular you recommend?"

Someone wearing A Dark Reflection Mirrormask withdraws the gloved hand after placing something in Freja's hand, and with that, the figure takes one step backwards. There is a simple tilt of the head towards Mydas from the silent figure as the trio before the Magistrate painting are broken to become a duo, the black robed figure moving silently through the crowd.

Prism floats back out, probably to go, as promised, tell Skald all about it, but possibly just to pour herself a glass of wine. The beauty of choice!

Ferrando coughs and clears his throat. "It's been a very auspicious beginning, indeed! You should be quite proud," he tells Mason agreeably. "It certainly drew a very diverse crowd. I'd think word of our efforts should spread to all corners of Arx before long."

Alistair and some members of the Inquisition decide to make an appearance. Possibly to cross reference purchases with tax and tithing records. Though the Crown's order arrives a bit late, watching in stoic silence as most start to depart as the show comes to an end.

Aislin spots her cousin, and shifts direction over towards him to offer a greeting. "Mydas, good to see you here." One of her rare smiles is offered to Freja as well, and a slightly puzzled nod towards the mirrormask. "I apologize, I don't mean to interrupt; just thought I'd say hello before everyone vanishes off their separate ways again."

Shard's attention shifts from the departing Prism to the entering Inquisitors. She shifts her weight, standing up a little straighter.

"I hope people will be inspired..." The prince comments, smiling in spite of himself at the other man's compliment. Then he lifts a hand to Mia, "Countess." Mason greets belatedly from where he's standing with Ferrando.

Freja stands there, frozen for a moment with her palm closed about whatever the masked mirror had given her. She nods to him and then coming back to focus, turns her attention to Mydas. "No, I believe I can still make our appointment, Marquis. Shall we depart then?"

Aleksei offers Aislin a quick smile as she comes and goes. "Well, there's definitely been a lot of conversation," he tells Calista, "but the art's still here, and the donation box, and that's the important thing. Thank you for coming." He looks curiously to Tarik as he murmurs a quiet word to him, and then his brow arches. "Yes, of course, feel free to come by the shrine sometime," he tells him. To Mia, he says, "Oh, well -- there're programs in the box over there? And they have the pieces in order with little descriptions. Obviously I recommend all of them as being remarkable."

Freja adds because the player of missed the poses afterwards, "Aislin! No, no interruption at all. I'll need to speak to you in the next few days, have you the time."

Alistair's gaze falls upon those who wear mirrormasks, the Inquisition perhaps naturally wary or suspicious of such who move about in public. The scrutiny Alistair levies upon those is brief though, something else catching his attention as he moves through the ending art show with his arms clasped behind his back. He gives Shard a glance and stops before one of the pieces of art that was on display.

"Naturally," Mia replied to Aleksei, inclining her head. "Thank you. But... don't let me keep you, Archlector. You're obviously quite swarmed with guests." Her eyes then swept over to Mason, where he stood in conversation with an unfamiliar face. "Prince Mason," she greeted, offering him a bow. "It's been longer than I'd like since the last time I saw you. How are your lovely wife and daughter?"

Lydia gets Freedom - Art Show Program from Program Box - Please Take One.

"Cousin." Mydas addresses a friendly smile to Aislin in greetings, before responding to Freja. "We may as well, it seems I've missed a very interesting event. Most unfortunate." He glances at the retreating Mirrormask, his expression growing thoughtful. "Interesting indeed." And then he's focused back to his immediate vicinity. "Unless there are others you would wish to speak with, let's depart. As good a time as any to present my new estate."

Shard studies Alistair for a moment longer, before she looks over to Aislin, and then to the other late arrivals. Her brief, strange conversation with Prism over, she seems to be returning to mere observing again.

Mia gets Freedom - Art Show Program from Program Box - Please Take One.

Brianna gets Freedom - Art Show Program from Program Box - Please Take One.

Mason offers a bow to Mia in return, "It's been very long. They're both well, thank you for asking. How about your family? Still doing well?" He asks in return. "Thank you for coming, also. I appreciate the support. We all do."

"Time will tell! But I would think there's every reason to be optimistic," Ferrando tells Mason. "I hope you've enjoyed yourself tonight! You've earned it, after all." He smiles amiably to the new entrants, as a good door greeter ought to. "Welcome to the Shrine of the First Choice."

"I caught a brief glance of Prism before she slipped out. I imagine it has been a good night." Calista tells Aleksei before taking a few steps away to admire the artwork. "The room has never looked better. I like the way all the furniture is pushed out to the sides to make room for the art." The Fidante winks and moves now to check out some art by the famed Fortunato. Her shadowed emerald gaze sweeps over Alistair for a moment and offers a silent greeting with the nod of her head.

Lydia arrives as Mydas prepares to depart, by some coincidence. She smiles, "On your way out, Mydas? We simply have to stop meeting like this." She smiles to Freja and the others nearby, "Good evening."

"Thesarin has healed well since the last time you saw him," she said, idly turning the pages of her program as she considered its content. "And Vahari is doing quite well, though her lessons with the Marquessa have obviously been slowed since the arrival of her newborn daughter. My sons I expect to arrive before spring, so it shouldn't be long now at all." And then her eyes shifted towards the paintings, brow furrowing in thought. "As for the art show, of course. I wouldn't have missed it. In fact, I'm hoping to speak to the Archlector soon about spreading the doctrine of Skald at the Twainfort."

Alistair regards the Crownsworn painting... and the numerous ones clearly directed towards Thralldom. Alas even well formed art cannot break the man from his dour default state. He glances to Calista as she regards him, the woman working a response out of them that few can as he nods his head in greeting back to her.

Freja extends her arm to Mydas then, "At your leisure, Marquis." The retreating Mirrormask of similar golden eyes is given one last glance as he vanishes. "Good evening to you as well, Duchess Lydia. Aislin." The women get a smile from the Voice.

"That we do, Duchess cousin." Mydas answers Lydia with a smile, and a respectful nod of his head. "I'll find a way for the stars to align. Or make them, that much I promise." And with that, he takes his leave.l

Aethelred, Dangerfloof, the Bearded Vulture leave, following Freja.

Freja leaves, following Mydas.

Mason gives Ferrando another smile, but focuses on Mia now, "Perhaps I can meet your sons sometime, I've heard so much about them." He says with interest, then follows her gaze towards the paintings, "Please, go and see them. Take your time. The program is a suggested order. And I think Aleksei would love to see the doctrine spread further."

"She was pretty pleased," Aleksei says proudly of Prism's reaction as he talks with Calista. "I'm -- really happy with how everything has turned out. And now we're going to probably auction off the pieces in about a month to raise more funds. The amount we've gotten already has been pretty humbling, though." He looks over to Lydia, offering her a friendly and familiar smile of greeting before glancing towards Mason at the sound of his name.

Someone wearing A Dark Reflection Mirrormask begins to move towards the exit, the black robes moving gently. He does pause at the box however, and a gloved hand disappears within the robes to retrieve something to place in the box.

Tarik nods to Aleksei, "Wil do, Archlector." Tarik begins to walk out and notices Lydia. He dips his head, "Duchess, I am glad to run into you again. I was hoping to set up a meeting with you about improving trade within Redrain."

Aislin watches more and more of the event depart, and then offers Aleksei a nod before moving to do the same.

Willen, Aurora, a small puppy leave, following Aislin.

Lydia slowly makes her way down the row of displayed paintings, considering each in turn.

"I know that I certainly would," Mia said lightly, her lips pursing thoughtfully. But then her expression turned wry, and amused, and even affectionate. "As for the boys, you're welcome to meet them at your leisure. Though I should likely warn you -- having two under the age of ten in one house is a bit like having a pack of feral dogs that occasionally comes howling through your parlor. If you decide to take part in their games, you do so at your own peril."

"An auction you say?" Calista mentions to Aleksei just as she comes to the painting of Grand Vizier. "I look forward to knowing when it will be and will have to make a donation." Alistair is once more in her sights and she slips over to the Inquisitor, greeting him a bit more personally. "I am never surprised to find you in the strangest of places, High Inquisitor." Her eyes scan over the man's attire once before regarding him again. "You're looking rather inquisitorial this evening."

Mason chuckles, "Sounds interesting. I am still going to hold you to that promise of seeing Twainfort someday, as well." The man says, then overhears a bit of Calista's words and echoes for Mia, "Oh, yes, we decided to have an auction at the end of the show, if you're interested in any of the paintings. Though, don't let me keep you from looking at them."

Aleksei is given a look as the man speaks to the success of the evening, before his gaze turns to regard the piece titled 'Boroughs'. He seems to focus on this display of the lowest more then most of the other paintings. "The joys of my position. I now have a budget to afford a new outfit for every day so I always look Inquisitorial." he remarks. Its impossible to tell if every outfit is a different one, as the uniform always looks the same. It also doesn't help that the joke is delivered rather dryly.

Fortunato is by the painting of the boroughs. His posture's gotten excessively casual, as if he's quite forgotten his sacred surroundings. He glances at Alistair. "Why this one?" he asks.

"I'll make sure to let you know when we schedule it," Aleksei says with another smile to Calista. He glances at Alistair, curious, but doesn't interrupt their conversation. Now that things are quieting down a bit, he takes a deep breath and -- takes a moment.

Shard crosses her arms over her chest again. She's apparently back to lurking.

Ferrando does a little bit of pre-tidying around the shrine now that fewer people are coming in and a door greeter doesn't have too much to stay occupied with.

Lydia pauses by the first painting, as Tarik approaches her. She curtsies to match his nod, "You're welcome to visit Nightgold Estate, Tarik. In so much as We are but a small portion of Redrain, We'd be happy to discuss matters at your convenience."

"It speaks to rather dangerous ideas, does it not?" the High Inquisitor remarks with a sharp glance given to Fortunato. The painting puts to canvas the very idea of the down trodden and who trods upon them. Considering Alistair's nature though... he likely lived in the Lower Boroughs at one point in time.

"Hardly a threat." Mia shook her head, slowly. "It's a promise I look forward to keeping. But. As you say, the paintings." And with that, Mia offered another small curtsy and wandered over to the easels, pausing -- perhaps for too long -- to frown darkly at the first one. Her tongue pressed against the inside of her lower lip, causing it to bulge outward ever-so-slightly.

"I am quite moved by some of these pieces. Art holds a very special place in my heart. I may be in fact interested in a piece or two. Thank you for the information, Your Highness." Calista replies to Mason and then with a soft smile that reaches her eyes towards Aleksei. "Thank you, I would greatly appreciate it." Her attention flits back to Alistair now as he gives his impression of the piece entitled 'Boroughs'.

Fortunato smiles at Alistair. It's a bit hooked. "Think it'd be unfair not to depict the kind of constrained lives the poor of the Boroughs live. The way that even some fellow like myself may be treading on the weaker. But is depiction dangerous, High Inquisitor? I suggest no action, merely paint what I observe."

Mia is overheard praising Mason for: The show was spectacular.

Mia is overheard praising Aleksei for: The show was spectacular.

"Please, whenever you are free, I would be honored to visit the NightGold Estate." Tarik dips his head. "I will send you a messenger." Tarik steps away and looks at all the paintings one last time, before departing the sanctum.

Mia is overheard praising Fortunato for: Though I found the content more than a little disturbing, wasn't that the entire point? Art is supposed to inspire emotion; in that, he succeeded admirably.

Shard glances over toward Alistair and Fortunato.

Mason gives Mia a warm smile, nodding in agreement. Then as she moves on to start looking at the work, he gives Calista a smile and a bow, "I'm sure we'll announce the day and time soon." He looks to Alistair curiously then, listening in on the conversation between the inquisitor and the artist.

"Does your depiction tell the whole story...?" Alistair questions Fortunato after conversing quietly, a raised brow accenting his question. "One does not need to suggestion action... to form a narrative." And who would know better then that then an Inquisitor who has been with the order for quite some time.

Fortunato smiles wider. "Naturally, it doesn't tell every story, High Inquisitor. It tells one, and a true one. The purpose of this show is not to afflict the few and leave the many comfortable. We're all complicit." He glances at the painting. "I'll make no apologies for that. Gods know it's a mild enough painting to've offended the very destitute parties you fear it'll radicalize."

Mason frowns, slowly wandering over to the pair, "Inquisitor. I am Prince Mason." He greets with a smile, "Thank you for attending the art show. I never considered that angle when looking at this painting, but... I do see now how one could draw that meaning from it."

The Countess turned towards the next painting -- but not before she turned towards the last conversation in the room, taking note of what comments were being made on the last piece. Both of her brows arched and she craned her neck towards the last piece in the show. Too far to see, but no doubt she'd be lingering in front of it later.

"It is good to make the many feel uncomfortable with your artwork, Master Fortunato. That feeling you wish to provoke reminds us we are alive. That is a precious gift." Calista says softly, offering praise of his artistry. "Forgive me for having to step away so soon after I've arrived. I wished to offer my support to Blessed Aleksei and those who had a hand in this evening's show. It has been an eye opening experience."

"Consider it a compliment of your talent then." Alistair remarks. It seems Fortunato is not going to be arrested. Alas even the Inquisition can't make a charge based on art stick. They aren't that evil! Anymore. "It is simply commentary Prince Mason. I can assure you and the artists I will not be taking on a new position as High Critic."

Calista is overheard praising Mason for: Excellent show.

Calista is overheard praising Aleksei for: Excellent show. You never cease to amaze me.

Calista is overheard praising Fortunato for: For making me uncomfortable in the most delightful way.

Calista is overheard praising Ferrando for: A rather fine doorman at the Freedom Art Show.

"Ah ah, how can we know we're alive if we're breezing along, hm?" Fortunato notes over to Calista, and appends, "Thank you for dropping by." To Alistair, he returns the smile, the edge and spark gone. Maybe he wanted to be arrested. It would be a very dramatic statement. "High Critic would be quite the title. I'm glad you saw fire and threat in the painting, to be honest."

Lydia is overheard praising Fortunato for: A clearly talented artist, a possible social rebel.

3 Fidante House Guards, Alejandro leave, following Calista.

Shard continues watching--and listening, obviously--the conversation, though she's making no effort whatsoever to join in.

Mason chuckles at Alistair's response, "I'm not sure that's a title I would like to see anyone hold, I admit." The Eurusi man shares, then gives Fortunato a brief smile before moving to talk to others that are drifting in.

Lydia has to stop. Distracted by the art she nearly runs into Shard. "Please, excuse me," she says politely.

"I doubt anyone wishes for one to have such... sway and power..." Alistair jokes further regarding the 'High Critic.' "But I depart now as well.. Long days and Pleasant nights." he regards as he departs with hands clasped.

Gaius, a Thraxian Confessor, Balanar, a shadowy Confessor, 2 Armed Confessors leave, following Alistair.

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