Rubino-Zaffria Family Dinner
Dec. 12, 2018, 9 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Lyceum - Palazzo Gemecitta - Dining Room
Comments and Log
Miranda grins a bit at Isidora, then looks to Grazia, "I am sure to add it to my list of accessories that I am in need of, my Lady." She might be kidding. She slips her arm through Isidora's and says to her, "My brother's absent so I will be your escort tonight, hm?" She smirks, "He'll be so sorry that he missed us both in our lovely gowns. Be sure to mention how every man gawked at you, true or not, so that he'll feel properly shamed for missing it."
Salvatore picks his way into the family dinner it appears relatively on time. He ducks his way in looking curious. He smiles as he catches sight of the two Duchesses. He nods to each and meanders vaguely Dafne-wards. He looks to the others nodding easily but seeming the sort to settle for silent greetings.
"It is a pity Fecundo could not come. It has been some time since I have had the pleasure of his company," Grazia remarks from her place next to her co-Duchess, the two sitting together in unification. "But we bid welcome to the many guests of the family and the newest member of our family, the Princess Isidora."
"How delightful," Giulio says with a smile for Isidora and Grazia. "And congratulations." He grins to Miranda, inclining his head her way. "Lady Rubino, I pray you are well tonight?" One brow arches, half in question, before he moves to find whatever seat would be appropriate.
Miranda giggles at something Isidora murmurs to her and she says, "Touche'" to her. A look to Grazia, "He's probably lost in the palace." Yes, always fun to make fun of her brother. She motions Isidora to the table, "Have a seat, Sister." Then, Guilio gets a nod of her head, "I am well, thank you. And yourself, Count? How're things with you?"
Miranda has joined the extravagant large table.
Miranda sits beside Isidora, wherever she chooses.
Isidora has joined the extravagant large table.
Giulio has joined the extravagant large table.
Isidora plays with the band on her finger for a moment as she takes a seat. "Thank you for the congratulations. I am glad our houses could come to an understanding and that I was invited to dinner." Isidora looks around her face it's usual calm mask.
Grazia has joined the extravagant large table.
Dafne has joined the extravagant large table.
"Count Giulio here is a good family friend. We have helped him achieve his County and his wife is my protege. We have also helped him with some infrastructure projects, with the understanding that he'll be helping us with ours, once we figure out quite what we're doing," Grazia explains, motioning towards the man in question.
Gregory, an unassuming disciple, 2 Templar Knight guards, Binky, an asshole crow arrive, following Aureth.
"Quite well," Giulio says, with a tilt of his head towards Miranda. "Though, there are always matters of various sorts that could shift it. But, for now? Quite." One corner of his mouth quirks in bland amusement, hand moving in an encompassing gesture. At Grazia's comment, the man offers an acknowledging nod. "Duchess Rubino has indeed been most, most kind," he says, with a soft smile. With one hand, he flags down a servant for a glass of brandy.
Aureth arrives mostly very simply clad in white, with only a fortune's display in jewelry to offset the apparent humility of the simple robes he wears. Escorted by a servant with his templars in full panoply as guardians, however, there's no way for a Legate to go anywhere without fanfare.
"A pleasure to meet you," Dafne murmurs toward Giulio at Grazia's introduction. Her face brightens--if 'brightens' is really quite the right word when it comes to Dafne--when Aureth enters. "Good eve, Legate," she calls out toward him. "It is good to see you."
"Ah, Legate, it is good to see you," Grazia agrees with a small smile for the man, motioning for him to join them at the table. "You see? You are like part of the family. We are very proud of you achieving legate, as well."
"It's good to see you too, my lady." Aureth gives Dafne his most elaborate bow, and then a crooked grin, which is more to form. "Thank you, I'm pretty sure I was a mere pawn in Aldwin's elaborate schemes, but now that I'm here and doing all the work, I appreciate your vote of confidence." He winks at Grazia, too, like a /dork/, and then claims a seat at the table.
To Guilio, Miranda chuckles, "Aye, take the good days when they come, my lord. They can be few at times." She looks to the newly arrived, glancing towards Dafne's greeting of the man. Her expression curious, for the moment, and grinning when he teases Grazia and winks!!! at her! "Legate, we have not met." A hand to her chest, she offers, "I am Miranda Rubino, Sword of Gemecitta." She then gestures to Isidora, "This is my new sister-by-marriage, Princess Isidora Valardin." She then offers, around the table, "Sister, this is our other Duchess Dafne Zaffria, Lord Salvatore Zaffria, and Count Giulio Corvini."
Isidora nods to them all. "Nice to meet you all."
"Likewise," Giulio offers to Dafne in reply. There is a bow of his head in Aureth's direction. "Legate," he says, respectfully, before offering a smile and word of thanks to the servant that brings him a glass of brandy. Taking a sip, he lets out a slow sigh. At Miranda's introduction, he nods.
"An elaborate scheme to avoid work and foist it off on you?" wonders Dafne at Aureth, with a quirk of a brow. "How very far-sighted of him. Most impressive."
"Well, no. When he retired from the Dominus's seat, I don't believe that was his aim." Aureth arranges himself fairly neatly in the seat, flicking his long loose hair back over his shoulder and then lacing his fingers together to prop his neatly bearded chin. "Thank you for the introductions. I'm Aureth Grayhope, Legate of the Lost, guardian of souls found and lost." His mouth twitches up at one corner. "Duchess Dafne is the First Harlequin of the Queen of Endings, so she and I have worked together for some time; and of course, when I was a less highly vaunted priest, Duchess Grazia was foresighted enough to sponsor me as her personal protege in society."
"You smell delightful, Legate. You should wear such perfume more often," Grazia observes to Aureth. "And I miss having you as a protege! You were spectacular! And then you had to go and do what good proteges do: get yourself promoted. Now I sponsor Countess Ilinca. She is still getting used to Compact society, but I think she will go far."
Miranda acquires a spiced wine for herself and sips it. She looks curiously at Aureth, then to Dafne, then back. "Legate of the -Lost-? What does that mean?" A look to Dafne, "And First Harlequin?" She shakes her head, "I am not overly familiar with the Queen of Endings, clearly. What exactly do these positions mean?"
"A custom blend a perfumier made for me a few years ago," Aureth answers with his smile pulling a little wider. "I was a hard project; how do you make a scent in honor of Death? But I think she did good work." His eyebrow arches, and he says, mild, informational, with an air vaguely reminiscent of a teacher at a lectern, "As generally known, Thirteen of the Pantheon are ordered into Triads; everyone knows the Triad of Concepts, the Triad of Creation, and the Triad of Arts. The Triad of the Lost, so called because the three were forgotten for a long time and are only newly brought back to the Pantheon, was created at the last Convocation of the Faith by Beloved Aldwin before he retired. I speak with the Voice of the Faith, on behalf of the Most Holy, and serve as Shepherd of the Faith, to guide those who might otherwise be lost and without guidance. The Harlequins are the Faith's Discipleship for the Mother of Beginnings and Queen of Endings. Dafne was essentially my right hand while I was the Archlector of Death. I suppose in ways she still is, but my job is much broader these days."
Taking a sip from his brandy, Giulio listens attentively, though there is a flash of a smile at the mention of his wife, a nod of thanks tilted towards Grazia. Casually, he takes a long sip from his drink, eyes distant for a moment, as he ponders the statement at hand, but makes little comment elstwise.
"You sound like you explain what you do on a regular basis," Grazia admits to Aureth thoughtfully, motioning over a servant to pour him a glass of something. There is plenty of food on the table; it is dinner, after all.
Isidora watches everyone talk of the Gods. At least this felt like normal. Valardins always spoke of the Gods.
Aureth helps himself to some of the food on the table -- mostly olives, cheese, and bread, because he is at a Lycene dinner and knows what he is about -- and says, "It so happens that when the Dominus invents a new Legate out of whole cloth and puts him in charge of basically everything, it is not a role that finds itself without frequent summation."
"It is not surprising that you are not familiar with the Queen of Endings," Dafne says to Miranda, adding to Aureth's explanation, "she was only restored to us a matter of years ago. I do believe I was one of the very first to become her discipline since her return. Some still do not believe in her as a 'real' god," and there is the smallest current of anger in her voice at that,
That? That gets a chuckle from Giulio, offering a nod at Aureth's description of things. The glass of brandy is lofted in the Legate's direction. Casually, he pops an olive into his mouth. "It is pleasant to see the lost gods honored," he murmurs softly. He takes a sip from his brandy, before setting it aside, gaze flitting to Dafne and Grazia in turn.
Miranda listens to Aureth, for the moment, food ignored. She looks curiously to Dafne at the tidbits Aureth reveals about her. She takes a moment, collecting her thoughts perhaps while filling up her plate with some food. She looks over to Aureth, listening as she cuts off a slice of cheese to eat with a bite of bread. She looks as if she's got quite a few questions, but asks of Dafne first, "Why do they not believe in her as a real god?"
"People fear what they do not recognize," Aureth says. "And some of them are foolish, and believe themselves experts." He pops an olive into his mouth and then reaches for his glass for a swallow to chase it. His eyes narrow with bright, pale humor. "Though anyone who truly thinks that is guilty of heresy, since the Most Holy has made it clear that She and the First Choice and the Dreamer are entirely recognized as part of the Pantheon, and have been since the beginning."
"We had forgotten her," adds Dafne softly, "and for a very long time." She spears a potato to transfer it to her plate. "We went to Sanctum once," she says, "and spent hours trying to explain the Lost Gods to the religious types of the Oathlands."
Isidora has left the extravagant large table.
Skiftfeather - an Elegant Snowy Owl have been dismissed.
Morigan Bradshaw - Nurse and Doctor in Training have been dismissed.
Fayre Wyrmfang - Excitable Champion have been dismissed.
1 Valardin House Guards have been dismissed.
Jaibrian - The Lovable Blue Roan Mare have been dismissed.
"I think the Lyceum is more welcoming to stray gods, especially gods about choices and such," Grazia remarks, sucking on an olive absently before devouring it. She takes a drink of her dry red wine. "We've worshipped the Thirteenth a long time."
"The Lyceum has been very welcoming of the message, particularly in Gemecitta." Aureth toasts to this in the lift of his glass. "Though even in Sanctum, I understand that the conservative canons will accept the doctrines Aleksei and I wrote in another ... twelve years now." He grins in a crooked flash, shake of his head slight. "We prayed with the Seraph of Sanctum for a very long time. How long were we in there?" he asks Dafne. "It seems like it was /months/."
A slight chuckle follows at Grazia's comment and seems poised to reply, before Aureth speaks. There is a slow twitch of his lips that follows. "... only a few months?" His brows loft in dry question, though that half-smile seems to toy at his lips in the process. "That seems downright hasty for matters of... Oa -- doctrine."
Dafne sighs, with a little hitch of her shoulders. "Two years," she pronounces decisively, adding more food to her plate. "At least. Although I was spared the worst of it, and instead wandered around scandalizing Oathlanders. Apparently you can do that in Sanctum just by daring to be Lycene. It's fascinating."
Miranda takes a sip of her wine and looks to each person as they speak. The mention of the Thirteenth draws her up slightly, but she doesn't comment. She shifts her gaze to Aureth, then looks over to Giulio and smiles lightly. She's left looking a bit thoughtful, really. Her food is touched here and there, as is her wine, her attention flickering back and forth with rapt interest. Finally, to Aureth, she says, "You said you guide those who are lost and without guidance. What does that mean?"
"What does it sound like?" Aureth returns, following a swallow of wine. "I am a teacher. At times, a missionary. At times, a reminder of the forgotten. At times, a surly middle-aged man with a questionable sense of humor." He smiles. "As a shepherd, it's my role to tend the flock, and to round up those who stray. And as a priest, to answer questions. As need be."
"I do hope Prince Fecundo Valardin is remembering his roots and scandalizing his new fealty-mates," Grazia notes dryly between sips of wine. "Else it's hardly worth marrying him up to the princess. Can you believe that he agreed to a fidelity clause? I would die. So would my poor duke, in love with his man."
Dafne nearly chokes on an olive, and glances about the dining room as if checking for spies hidden among the candles. "I always thought fidelity clauses a silly idea," she admits. "People are fallible, and relationships personal. Why risk a tie between houses and all other agreements that rest upon it on the chance someone might stray in the face of temptation, despair, or alcohol?"
After a few moments, Marius approaches, handing Giulio a letter. There's a brief knitting of the man's brows, as he breaks the seal. Reading it quickly, he nods to the man. "Please, forgive me, but, I apparently have a small matter to attend to. Please excuse me. And thank you for the lovely invitation." He offers a respectful bow of his head to the hosts and a similar one to the Legate.
Miranda looks over at Grazia, eyes a little wide at first at the topic. Then her gaze narrows a bit and flicker down to her plate a moment. She leans back in her chair for a moment, focused on the food on her plate. As Guilio makes his exit, she nods towards him, "It was good to see you again, Count. Be well."
Giulio has left the extravagant large table.
Marius, 1 House Corvini Guard leave, following Giulio.
"Ugh," Aureth says, "monogamy."
"I'm not trying to kill you with olives; be more careful," Grazia says to Dafne somewhat primly, though she seems in agreement with Aureth on the subject of monogamy. "Don't worry, Miranda. If I write a marriage contract for you, there won't be a sniff of a fidelity clause."
"Who -did- write Fecundo's marriage clause?" Miranda asks, ignoring the very real issue of one for her.. in the far far far distant time. Ahem.
"Isabeau Telmar did, as Voice of Valardin," Grazia replies, then sighs. "I asked the boy if he was sure that's what he wanted, but he's so in love at this point, he insisted it was."
"I have just crossed Valardins off my list of marriage prospects," decladres Dafne, nibbling at an olive more cautiously this time.
Aureth rolls his eyes toward the ceiling and says, "They like to do that to show how hardline they are about promises. Here's to hoping they won't regret it."
"I questioned him when I met Isidora. I wondered what he saw in her." Miranda glances around the table, "Then she proved to me that she wasn't a simpering fool." She shrugs, "And he wanted her, and now he has her."
"Love matches are rubbish," Aureth says with a gentle shade of humor in his blitheness, "and a very silly way to go about your life, but I'm just here to review the contracts and make sure no one gives away the Compact because of their gonads."
"I'd have preferred to marry her into Rubino, but we can't always get what we want, and who am I to tell Fecundo he can't be a prince? I mean, I'm exactly the person to tell him that, and no one would have blamed me for using that authority, but we have an alliance with Valardin now, Dafne, so you don't have to marry one. I suggest maybe Redrain or Thrax; we haven't collected one of those alliances yet."
Miranda mms, "Prince Peacock." She chuckles, "He's settling in fine, last I saw." She exhales a moment, "And feel free to take -lots- of time matching me up, hmm?" She smiles gently, "It's been an interesting dinner, but I should get going. I've got soldiers to train in the wee hours of the morning." She rises, "Please do excuse me." She looks to Aureth, "It was nice to meet you, Legate."
"Being a prince is useless," says Dafne, oh so delicate with her opinions tonight. "It is nothing but a title, and most royal houses are so populous individual princes become lost in the crowd." She shrugs lightly. "I think loving whom you are married to is a fine thing," she tells Aureth. "But marrying for love is foolish. Those are not the same things."
Details are still spotty, but news is spreading through Arx of a small battle in the Oathlands on Laurent lands. Apparently Duke Cristoph Laurent led a small force against bandits near one of his towns, Redsboro, and had a crushing victory thanks to the aid of Princess Alis Valardin, Marquis Kael Keaton, Lady Jael Laurent, and Baron Norwood Clement. Rumor is that the Abandoned trying to raid Laurent lands were heavily armored mounted knights, which feeds some wild rumors about an insurgent house trying to war on the duchy.
Miranda has left the extravagant large table.
"I love Aiden, in part because I have a child with him. He is a good man. I had little enough opinion on him when I married him save that it would be nice to have a political connection to Grayson," Grazia volunteers. "We're going to have to arrange sexual congress again when it comes time to have another child. We don't even share a room."
"Do you have to like, align your social calendars?" Aureth wonders with a crinkle of his eyes at the corners, smile crooked.
Dafne's mouth twists a little. She coughs delicately into her spider-embroidered handkerchief. "Alas, such things are unpredictable. Imagine if one had to clear one's social calendars for _months_ to achieve a result."
"Yes, and we just try to time things well and pray that the gods keep us from having to try too hard," Grazia replies with a little sigh. "He is a dutiful man, though. Very dutiful. It's almost romantic."
Aureth checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 15, rolling 0 higher.
Aureth opens his mouth to say something, and then drinks wine instead because he remembers that it's definitely super inappropriate.
Dafne coughs again. "I suggest reading different romances," she says, and then hastily drinks wine herself.
"Let me pretend it's romantic, you two!" Grazia demands, gesturing with annoyance with her wine glass.
"It certainly matches with the ideals and grace of Limerance," Aureth answers with pious assurance, and very carefully doesn't smile.
Dafne splutters into her wine glass. She drains the glass hastily.
"I AM WORKING WITH WHAT I HAVE," Grazia insists with a bit of fire in her whiskey-hued eyes, and she slams down the glass of wine somewhat sulkily.
"At least you don't have a dumb fidelity clause," Aureth says consolingly. "There are other rewards, after all."
"Indeed," murmurs Dafne. "You can schedule sexual congress with others for pleasure and romance."
"At this point in my life, it does seem to require scheduling. The pleasure part, not the romance part. I tried love and it burned me. Useless fools and their weird ways," Grazia grumbles, rather petulant now. "But there's nothing terribly romantic about most of the pleasure. Even the ones who say they want romance? In the end, they just want to get off."
"Who doesn't?" Aureth finishes off his wine and leans back. "Dinner has been lovely, ladies, but the hour grows late. I should probably be making my way back."
Dafne reaches out to take Grazia's hand and squeezes it gently. "Thank you for coming, Legate," she says to Aureth. "Hopefully we will be able to invite again at some other date, when everyone has learnt enough you will not have to explain your job."
Grazia looks somewhat mollified by Dafne's gesture and she smiles at her co-duchess then nods to the Legate. "You should stop by more often. Then the younger ones will get used to having you around," she says.
Aureth chuckles low in his throat, and gives Grazia a nod. "Why not?" he says. "I'm sure you'll hear from me soon, my lady." He sketches a bow again, once standing, and then he sidles off to fetch his templars and skedaddle.
Gregory, an unassuming disciple, 2 Templar Knight guards, Binky, an asshole crow leave, following Aureth.
Grazia has left the extravagant large table.
Gia the peregrine falcon, 3 Rubino and Zaffria guards, 2 Armed Confessors, Rary the Lycene beauty leave, following Grazia.
Dafne has left the extravagant large table.
Nightshade, a tiny black kitten, Penelope, Ariadne, 3 Rubino and Zaffria guards leave, following Dafne.
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