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The Salon Meet & Greet

The Empirical is opening its doors to The Salon and prospective members for an informal meeting. Refreshments will be provided in abundance, so come meet your fellow intellectuals and hear what The Idle Mind has in store for the upcoming months.


Jan. 5, 2019, 8 p.m.

Hosted By

Katarina Lilia


Beatrice Felicia Jeffeth Samantha Niklas Bree Ysbail Macda Dominique Sabella Octavia Sparte Isobella Alessia Cullen Carita Sophie Sorrel Rinel



Arx - Ward of the Compact - The Empirical - The Salon

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

A steaming cup of tea in hand as though defying the heat, Beatrice reaches for a chair at one of tables. She murmurs to the group seated beneath the singing, her head tilting respectfully.

Beatrice has joined the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

Felicia was listening to the song, sort of, if the way her foot and hand tapping while she was staring out into space says anything. She doesn't elect to join the singing, lost in her own little world for a while.

Jeffeth glances down with wide eyes as Bree goes around him spinning. As the next event seems to be starting the big man blinks a few times. And in between yelling about that old breastplate, Jeffeth urges, "Maybe we should, hurry, Oh-- a breastplate of gold! Dame Bree, they are starting a-- oh the breastplate of gold!" Gleaming smile.

Dominique has joined the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

Samantha looks rather rueful as she arrives, aware that she's missed a discussion she had every attention of attending. Her brows lift at the singing, but she uses the revelry to her advantage by discreetly seeing her way in.

As a heavily attended discussion wanes and the amassed intellectuals have found some brief reprieve, not an ounce of momentum is lost on the part of the Moderator in attending to the fresh arrivals who come for the open bar and mingling hour. "Welcome, welcome," her greeting encompasses faces both new and old, her smile bright and infectious. "As I promised, the floor is now open for enjoying ourselves and making new acquaintances. I see a lot of faces that're new to the Empirical tonight, so I'll take a moment to introduce myself properly."

"My name is Katarina Valardin, nee Al'Muraq-Sabbat. As that little mouthful suggests, I was not born here in Arvum. I came here only some years ago, full of hope for a chance to start anew here in a new land. And in that journey, I found myself as a member of the Salon. A lot of my experiences came from here, attending discussions and listening to the different views of those the topics attracted. And so, I found myself as a firm advocate for growth of not only knowledge, but one's self through learning an open mind and considering the view points of others. And now, here I stand, hoping to inspire others to take the same journey with me as Moderator of the Salon and Empirical."

" done with rearranging and rewriting. We're finished. I have the Song of Tala Everfree to work on." Niklas is speaking to his assistant as he enters the Salon. When he sees there's singing going on he stops and says, "I didn't realize we were doing a concert. Oh, I just wrote a new song about Princess Caith and her substandard hugs which can- oh, never mind, then!" He sweeps over and settles in at the couches beside Sabella, putting an arm loosely around his wife.

Niklas has joined the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

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

Oh, but they're hardly to the best part, anyhow! Bree goes skipping a small ways away from Jeffeth, making him chase her with his warnings of timeliness, and she wends her way through the assembled tables, giving a gesture of blessing to Felicia, to Beatrice, to Dominique and Sabella as she goes around, singing with a sturdy soul and love of GILD fluttering in her heart.

Their grandfathers' fathers had once held hands fast

In the bonds of guest-friendship, and guest-gifts had doled

upon one another, until this, the last--

His forefather's favor, a breastplate of gold.

Hey-- oh-- a breastplate of gold!

The cuirass of iron and a breastplate of gold.

Though time had turned favor, and favor turned wealth

between the two families' states as of old,

they stopped there, mid-battle, and sang to their health,

these guest-friends, in breastplates of iron and gold.

Hey-- oh-- a breastplate of gold!

The cuirass of iron and a breastplate of gold.

The war's din died down in the awe of GILD's grace

And they stripped off the armor, laid bare in the cold,

And they gifted each other, in a guest-friend's embrace,

A cuirass of iron for a breastplate of gold.

Here Bree stops by Katarina, giving her the last blessing for being so good-natured as to let them hymn GILD in the hall.

Hey-- oh-- a breastplate of gold!

A cuirass of iron for a breastplate of gold.

There's an apologetic smile glance to Katarina as Jeffeth starts shuffle-shuffle stepping away from the front following Bree and hopefully coralling her away from the front as Katarina makes her introduction to the room.

Katarina is overheard praising Bree.

Katarina is overheard praising Jeffeth.

Ysbail perks up considerably at the name, turning to study Katarina more thoughtfully, as though trying to recall where she's heard it. At least until another round of the song has her nose wrinkling faintly. The Blackwood woman moves back to speak with the Princess more quietly.

Bree bows before Katarina and steps backward away from her under Jeffeth's guidance, there from some distance to listen to her story.

Bree also punches Jeffeth playfully in the ribs, giving him a big grin. What a hymning!

Alessia has left the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

Nallah, a buff-looking tortie cat with green eyes, 2 House Mazetti Aspirants, Sirra, a very quiet maid leave, following Alessia.

"Also, many thanks to Sir Bayweather and Dame Harthall for their gracious performance of the Sixteenth Canticle," Katarina gives high praise to Bree and Jeffeth, a warm smile curling over her lips. When Ysbail approaches with a quiet question, her brows lift almost comically high before she turns to speak hushedly to her.

Nallah, a buff-looking tortie cat with green eyes, 2 House Mazetti Aspirants, Sirra, a very quiet maid arrive, following Alessia.

Alessia has joined the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

Macda couldn't resist the hymn, and joined as voices rose together. She applauded Bree and Jeffeth's performance as they started to shift away from the front and Katarina spoke in gratitude. An unexpected performance that went off beautifully.

Macda is overheard praising Bree.

Macda is overheard praising Jeffeth.

Dominique does her best to smile and NOT TRIP ANYONE as Bree comes by with her blessing. Yes, that is the best thing, being still and not interrupting. But she does smile, apparently appreciating the religious nature of the performance. "That was lovely," she offers, bringing her hands together for a very measured bit of applause.

Isobella is overheard praising Bree: There is much to be said for enthusiasm, and I'm sure many others will say it. As for myself, I'll say 'Well sung.'

Isobella is overheard praising Jeffeth: There is much to be said for enthusiasm, and I'm sure many others will say it. As for myself, I'll say 'Well sung.'

Ashe, the studious Stormward paralegal, 2 Kennex corsairs arrive, following Octavia.

Katarina steps away from Ysbail after a whispered exchange, looking over the gathered lot with a warm smile. "Now that Sir Bayweather and Dame Harthall have started us off on a rather vibrant note, why don't we break things up a little bit?" she suggests, setting down her wine glass to head right for the gathering at the tables. A soft cluck of her tongue, and she's gently attempting to tease Sabella and Dominique apart from the fray. "Your Highness, Marquessa, might I borrow the pair of you? I have an idea in mind, if you'll aid me?"

Lupin, a small wolf pup arrives, delivering a message to Dominique before departing.

Smiling brightly as Bree gives him a happy kidney punch, Jeffeth claps his hand over her shoulder. Leaning over and murmuring to her quietly.

Felicia elects to request a whiskey from the bar, still mostly interested in eavesdropping it seems. There's applause for the Canticle but the redheaded dame seems content to perch and listen.

Dominique looks a little deer-in-the-lamplights when Katarina suddenly calls her out, and even glances briefly from side to side. How many Marquessas are sitting there? "Ah- of course Princess, if I can be of some use." The woman in armor is not precisely the greatest of social butterflies, and it shows. But then again, to deny a Valardin Princess? She rises, straightens her corselet, and then steps forward. "How might I be of use, your highness?"

Samantha offers a lift of her hand in greeting to Katarina, and it looks as if her previous conversation partner is the person she's seeking. She ambles her way over to Ysbail, but doesn't interrupt any conversations the Lady may already be engaged in and simply awaits a moment of the Blackwood's time.

2 Harthall house guards, Niall RedTree, adorably awkward page leave, following Ouida.

Ysbail smiles broadly as Katarina steps away, and catches Samantha's waiting face with a curious lift of both brows making her way over. "Have we met?"

Sabella laughs at something Isobella says and then nods to Katarina, getting to her feet after giving Niklas' hand a squeeze. "Of course! Does it involve more singing?" She actually sounds a little hopefully as she heads over towards the other Princess.

Bree is pretty much glowing at how well the hymn seems to have been received, and, after a nod to Jeffeth when he makes his excuses, she herself will only fall back into a state of quiet prayer, giving thanks to GILD for haing been able so well to spread HER praise.

"-getting sick of him wasting the Court's time," Octavia says at the tail end of a conversation as she pushes through the door of the Salon like she owns the place. Handing some notes back to her ever-present clerk, she adds, "Tell him to take it up with the Inquisition if he's so concerned." She stops, pauses to reset herself, then offers an open-handed gesture to Niklas as she teases, "Dearest little brother, if I had known you'd be here tonight, I would have brought a playbill for you to sign."

Katarina gives Sabella's hopeful suggestion quick consideration. "Why not," she concedes with a vibrant laugh. "I think it'd be such a travesty to let the momentum Sir Bayweather and Dame Harthall began to just go to waste." A contemplative look passes from the Grayson princess to Dominique, her smile suddenly broadening with well-intentioned mischief. "Sing or Drink for a round of introductions, what do you say to that? Marquessa, you could do us the honors of picking a victim to sing their introduction with one interesting fact about themselves, or take a shot of the Philosopher's Libations. It's a particularly savage and unapologetically *rough* spirit, I might add. Bound to turn a few people loose quickly."

Felicia perks up at the promise of rough spirits. Indeed, that seems to warrant tipping back her whiskey with less propriety than she'd originally intended. There's definitely a more avid, or perhaps... entertained, attention being given to the gathering now.

Ysbail takes a moment and then shakes her head. "Marquessa Samantha, I am so sorry I've only recently gotten back from the March, and I don't quite remember a lot of things that I should."

a small twilit kingsnake, Thistleton, an elderly and devoted manservant leave, following Macda.

"It's entirely understandable, Lady Ysbail. So much has gone on, it's easy to lose track." She lowers her voice and offers a quieter query.

Niklas sits up and watches with mock display as Katarina takes his wife away from him. "She's always threatening to do that and now she has." He turns, ready to say something to the people at the couches when Octavia approaches. There's no hiding the surprise on his face, but he offers a somewhat uncertain smile. "Well, it's good to see you too, Tavi. I do mean to come by the Kay soon and see little Uriel. Given his parents I imagine him as a grim and quiet baby, glowering at everyone and not quite getting the jokes of other babies."

Already this is sounding a daring challenge to Dominique. However, in a way, that sort of 'trial' aspect might make it a little more tolerable for the Wyrmguard woman, than if more of a task or spotlight was placed upon her directly "I'm just to pick someone?" She inquires, before spending a moment looking around and offering: "Princess Isobella? I will admit I do not know her well and thus am a bit more curious."

Ysbail studies the Marquessa before falling into quiet conversation.

Sparte was momentarilly distracted reading a missive sent him and penning a reply at his table, but that matter sorted he looks up to Katarina with a smile. "I'm doomed either way it sounds." He looks over to Dominique as she chooses, eyes shifting to Princess Isobella with curiousity.

"Oh pish, I wasn't going to box your ears,

Much like a deer in torchlights, albeit with a glass of wine in one hand, Isobella glances over with eyebrows arched in surprise. "Me?" she wonders, a polite yet wary smile gracing her features as she realizes that she is, in fact, the one being addressed. "I'm sorry, I missed what I was being called upon to say?" she apologizes.

Ysbail has left the a cluster of couches around a low table.

Gruffudd, a ridiculously fluffy large cat have been dismissed.

"This should be interesting." Alessia comments as the two women are taken by Katarina. Leaning forward, she listens as they're given intructions. "I was... not wrong." She says to her companions, chuckling.

"Oh pish, I wasn't going to box your ears, Nik," Octavia teases as she walks up to him. "I have been up to my own in civil disputes over who owns which rocks in a road I've never seen. It's good to get out and see family again." His comment about Uriel gets quite the laugh, and the elder Kennex responds, "Oh, he's definitely not mastered the uptake of jokes yet, but quiet... That's not an adjective I would use." Striding through to her destination, she deposits herself with a rather unladylike flop onto one of the couches.

Octavia has joined the a cluster of couches around a low table.

Sabella gives the room a quick, apologetic look, even as she bounces a bit on slippered toes to see what might happen, "You have to sing an introduction of yourself with one interesting fact OR take a shot of Philosopher's Libations, which I find burns quite a lot." She tells Isobella. She gives Octavia a big smile and a wave from where she stands with Katarina.

Katarina gestures for attendants to bring out an abundance of the aforementioned HARDCORE spirits. Shiver me timbers! The bottles are sat upon the occupied tables with several shot glasses for guests to collect should they choose death by Philosopher's Libations. "The game is Sing or Drink," She informs Isobella with an encouraging smile. "You sing your introduction with a silly fact about yourself, or take a drink of the Philosopher's Libations - and burns... a lot. A terrifying amount. I'm morbidly curious to see if Dame Felicia will like it." Yeah, Felicia. That's a challenge.

Cullen heads straight to the bar, waving to Ysbail and giving her a motion of the head in the same direction. A generic, genial bow is quickly dipped to the rest of the room before he hits his refuge.

Cullen has joined the a glossy walnut bar.

"You mean I don't have to refuse to introduce myself to try it...?" Felicia enquires with amusement,"Even better!" she proclaims, rubbing her hands together and waiting to snag one up rather than even wait for the introduction circle to get around to her.

Felicia checked composure at difficulty 10, rolling 6 higher.

Isobella checked charm at difficulty 10, rolling 8 higher.

Isobella checked charm + performance at difficulty 10, rolling 28 higher.

Gruffudd, a ridiculously fluffy large cat have been dismissed.

Sparte sniffs at the air a bit, looking over towards the Philosopher's Libations. "Reminds me of something..." He sniffs the air again even though he is nowhere close to it. "A tannery, maybe?"

Ysbail stands conversing quietly with Samantha, but Cullen does get a wide smile and a flash of teeth in a friendly grin.

Looking a bit put on the spot for a moment, Isobella's polite smile doesn't falter at least, and she lifts a finger for patience as she finishes off her glass of wine with an air of finality. Setting it aside, she bites her bottom lip for just a moment, then sings with, if not much in the way of talent or enthusiasm, at least she's got decent pitch.

Isobella Velenosa, that's the name they chose.

It could have been something else, perhaps Violet or Rose.

I'm not much of a singer, it's not how I was made,

But seek me out, if e'er in doubt, if you'd like to discuss trade.

She finishes singing quickly enough, then asks, "Do I pass? I really don't want to drink that," she says with a crinkle of her nose.

"You could certainly use it to pickle a horse." Felicia offers in a hoarse voice, squinting first one eye, then the other and giving a shake of her head. Apparently it's neither killed her nor put her under the bar... yet. Even if it does get comparatively demure sips compared to her whiskey.

Dominique stands by a little stiffly. There is some small worry that she has subjected a stranger to something terrible, and yet as Isobella takes it up with some enthusiasm and talent, she looks a little more relieved. And because she made the poor woman endure that introduction, she gives her a thorough applause for getting through it. "That was very well done, your highness. You enjoy trade?" See? She's even learned something useful. Then there is a concerned glance back to Katarina. "Must I keep picking victims? Or does she pick the next?"

Carita laughter lifts at something said at the table, a hand lifted to wipe a tear as her eyes track someone in the room, before her voice lowers and she turns her attention back to the table she's sat at.

Alessia claps as Isobella finishes her rhyme, although she gives a wary glance around the room before stopping. "That was good." She calls out, seeming impressed by the womn's lyricism.

"That was AMAZING!" Sabella enthuses, "I think Princess Isobella ought to pick the next person since we put her through that." She glances to Katarina though to see if that's how she saw this game going, grinning. "This is a great idea! Though if some people want a shot before they sing, I think we should let that happen too."

Dame Rosario Nevarre of the Oathlands, Anouk Ardennes, Anais Ardennes arrive, following Sophie.

Octavia smirks a bit at Sparte's note after his sniff and quips, "Certainly you've arrested someone with poison before, master Sparte." Following Isobella's song, the magistrate offers a polite bit of applause, a wave for her sister-in-law, and a pointed look of 'do not even dare' at Niklas.

"A fair point." Samantha says aloud to Ysbail pleasantly, at the tail end of their conversation. "After the meeting, then?"

Ysbail nods, gently guiding Samantha's Elbow and making her way over to the bar, "Marquessa Samantha Deepwood, have you meet Lord Cullen Greenmarch?"

Isobella laughs lightly at the commentary. "I don't want to read about this in the whites," she warns with some amusement. "And if I'm picking the next person," she happens to catch Octavia's pointed look at her poor brother, and apparently this decides it, as she singles the Chief Magistrate out. "I don't believe we've been properly introduced," she says ever so charmingly. "If you wouldn't mind?"

Sparte glances over to Octavia with a grin. "Perhaps that is it." Sparte lifts his hands, giving some applause to Isobella. "Well sung, Princess Violet or Rose!"

Cullen sits up straight at the bar, clutching a glass of whiskey. Clapping quietly for Isobella's intoduction, he adds a review to it. "That was very well done, Your Highness." A nod is given to Ysbail, his cloak hung upon the back of the stool where he sits. Smiling at Samantha, he says in a weary, if friendly manner, "Well-met, Marquessa."

Sophie enters looking slightly vexed, but only slightly so. She's rushing, as usual, and when she does enter she stops to catch her breath just inside the door while she glances around the interior. Her lips spread into a warm smile as she spies someone in particular and she makes her way to the bar and sits. She's curious about the goings on, and that's apparent by her inquisitive glances around the room.

Sophie has joined the a glossy walnut bar.

Niklas laughs when Isobella picks Octavia. "Oh, Princess Isobella, is this how the Lyceum declares war against the rest of the Compact? I believe this may be considered a crime against humanity."

It seems that Isobella is happy with the idea of making it a bit of a chain of responsibility, letting Dominique off the hook for at least the present moment. She uses that excuse to promptly escape back toward her seat, at least unless Katarina calls her out for any more nonse. Relief.

"Only briefly and some time ago. I could not blame him if he did not recall." Samantha says with a nod of thanks to Ysbail. "Well met, my lord."

Octavia looks to Isobella, then towards Niklas with steel in her eyes. Taking a moment to gather herself to her feet, to some dramatic effect, the magistrate opens her mouth... then grabs a shot of the drink from a nearby tray and knocks it back.

Octavia checked composure at difficulty 10, rolling 5 lower.

"I'm fairly certain I saved you," Isobella points out to Niklas from behind her newly filled glass of wine. "Nothing quite like a rousing war to distract a sibling."

Cullen says apologetically to Samantha, "I'm afraid my memory isn't what it used to me. Thank you, and a pleasure to meet you again." Sophie's entrance and stepping over to the bar has him smiling. "Mother Mercy, I am quite glad to see you here. There are a great many people and I may need the help to survive." His eyes fix on the liquor that has been both described as horse pickling and tanning fluid by Felicia and Sparte.

...and that didn't go down right at all. All of her show of it leaves Octavia coughing on what she'll later describe as "being brewed from a leviathan's blood", and she has to prop herself up on an arm of the couch while she chokes it down. With tears in her eyes and a hoarse voice, she responds, "I would never commit an injustice like that, Niklas." The magistrate then points wordlessly at Carita as she slumps back down.

Katarina has left the a cluster of couches around a low table.

Quiet, a Valardin champion have been dismissed.

A dutiful Valardin aide have been dismissed.

There's a brief, conspiratorial smile sent Beatrice's way, before Isobella shifts her attention toward Octavia, still speaking quietly at her table.

Sparte winces at he watches Octavia go through the brew, digging at his belt. He slowly sets up a quill and a piece of paper with ink, beginning to work on some lyrics. If someone points at him he certainly isn't drinking.

Sophie laughs quietly and says to Cullen, "Lord Cullen, I am fully prepared to do as my training bids. I will patch you up enough to throw you back into the fray." She teases as she eyes the drink in front of him dubiously as well.

Ysbail smiles at Cullen, oh so sweetly. "You'd best survive, because I swear if I enter negotiations with Lady Margret only to have you belly up because of a strong drink." Reaching over to snag his glass of whatever this substance is is and drink it herself with her eyes squeezing shut. "Well. If I die now it's on you." Her attention shifting back to Samantha. "This unfortunate thorn in my side - may have the distingushed honor of marrying our head of house if he manages to avoid anymore fiascos." An almost affectionate smile tossed at the Greenmarch knight.

Felicia grins broadly at Octavia,"Tried to warn you, but, well, I suppose that is the point.." she chuckles, definitely not rushing through her own, maybe in order to try and stay sober enough for her own effort when the time comes.

Samantha lets out a look of pure delight. "Really? Then I am especially pleased to meet you, my lord. The Marquessa and I, we're practically family."

Beatrice sits with correct posture, innocence incarnate and drinks her tea. Octavia's experience with the shot merits, however, a calculating, rueful glance.

Carita's eyes glitter with amusment up intil Octavia points her way, and then they dare to narrow at the formidable Kennex judge. "I'm no singer," she clears her throat, "so I guess I'm to drink the ... what was it again?"

"Drink!" Alessia suggests aloud, with a smile, taking a drink from her a own glass.

Octavia coughs slightly again, accepting a flask from Sparte. Whatever's in it does seem to help, and she murmurs her gratitude as she hands it back. It's certainly hard to be a fearsome magistrate when you're choking on whiskey - or maybe that's the power of the hell brew.

"No drink shall kill me, at least none that hasn't been spiced with a shot of something one shouldn't drink to begin with. Although that..." Sniffing at it, Cullen is more than happy to push it in Ysbail's direction. "I have no intent of dying. Or your dying. I imagine the Marquessa would be displeased." Smiling at Samantha after that, he says, "Oh? I was not aware of it, but that is a pleasure to know."

Carita checked composure at difficulty 10, rolling 0 higher.

Sophie rises, and she steps away from the bar with an apologetic smile. Something had her flustered, that much is apparent.

Sophie has left the a glossy walnut bar.

Dame Rosario Nevarre of the Oathlands, Anouk Ardennes, Anais Ardennes leave, following Sophie.

Ysbail has joined the a glossy walnut bar.

Accepting her drink of Salon spirits, Carita eyes Octavia again and doesn't -bother- smelling it as she lifts the glass to hover near her lips. Her eyes close a moment, as if in preparation, and the shot glass is lifted, head tilted back and the alcohol is downed in one go. There's a deep inhaled breath through her teeth as her eyes well up with tears, a hand lifted to point Niklas' way before it -slams- down on the table, palm down, fingers splayed. Her feet kick under the table as she bends her head, something girlish and high pitched escaping her.

Ysbail blinks and glances in the direction of the departing woman, "I wonder if she is ok." Shaking her head and shifting her attention back listening to the game that is being played with a laugh. "The negotiations at least should be opening within the next two weeks or so."

Fingertips touch Isobella's lips lightly. Is it empathy? Or is she holding back laughter at the high-pitched keening coming from Carita? No one knows.

Niklas looks up with poorly feigned shock when he's chosen. "What? Me? Oh, goodness. I... I..." He pushes himself to his feet and looks around, snaps up a glass of the Philosopher's Libation and considers it, then shakes his head. "Um. I guess my name is, uh, uh, Prince Niklas Grayson, and, um, goodness. I just don't know what to sing. This is all such a surprise. I'm utterly unprepared to-" Then he strikes a pose and sings!

"Well, I'm P N G and I'm here to say

It's fun to sing in a playwrighting way!

Sure, I can sing and I'll dance any card

If it wasn't for Gianna they would call me the Bard!

But it's writing up plays that turns my crank

To the Prince of Stories for my talent I thank

I write the comedies that'll make you laugh

When it comes to my work it's all wheat, no chaff!

Yeah I write the tragedies that'll make you cry

And I write the verse that makes the ladies sigh!" Niklas points both index fingers at his wife here and follows it up with a wink.

"At this point I find it's hard to stop my flow!"

Niklas sniffs, knocks back his drink and says, "But I'm stopping now, I'm the Playwright, that's all you need to know." and tosses the glass behind him to shatter on the floor as he drops back into his seat, arms thrown out behind him. He points at Bree and adds, "And now it's you, goodwoman, who gets to go. You already sang once, so it's time to glow."

Octavia smirks and snickers a little bit at Carita's reaction, despite empathizing with the woman's struggle in keeping it down. Niklas, however... her little brother gets a rude gesture that one would expect to see in the Lower Boroughs, with the smirk still apparent on her lips, and then a shake of her head.

Alessia applauds the prince when he finishes. "That was amazing." She says, giving Sabella a grin. Glancing at Carita, she chuckles. "You handled that very well, I must say. How does it feel?"

Ysbail applauds the songs, because you can't buy tickets for this kind of entertainment settling in one of the seats at the bar and ordering another round.

Sabella laughs, putting a hand over her mouth and beaming at Niklas as he sings his tune, maybe to keep from blinding people with the brilliant pride it shows. "That's my husband," she asides to someone nearby, then makes a motion for Elizabetta to clean up that broken glass on the down low.

Isobella watches Niklas' performance with something akin to fascinated shock. She turns to Sabella immediately, forgetting for a moment to compliment him at all. Women-talk. "Does he just turn on like that any time? No wonder he was able to win your family around." Only then does she remember to offer applause to Niklas himself, not the polite smattering offered to more reluctant showings like her own, but genuine appreciation.

Cup down first. Then applaud. Fighting back her laughter by biting down on the edge of her lip, Beatrice murmurs aside, "I'm feeling compelled to throw coins? Flowers. Something."

Niklas checked charm + performance at difficulty 10, rolling 38 higher.

Dominique looks fairly... gobsmacked, might be the proper word, following Niklas' performance. "My word." She glances around at the table, and nods along with Beatrice. "That was an astounding performance. Now I know, for a fact, that I will have to drink. I couldn't follow that in a hundred years."

Alessia is overheard praising Niklas: He's quite the composer.

Isobella is overheard praising Niklas: If more songs painstakingly penned over days and weeks were as interesting as what he offers without even any preparation, I'd stay awake through them on purpose.

Octavia stagewhispers to Beatrice, "Coins, definitely throw coins. Make it hail." She flags down one of the staff and orders something soothing for herself, and something for Carita as well. Perhaps she feels slightly guilty.

Octavia is overheard praising Niklas: Could you maybe stop showing off for five seconds?

Felicia nods her head in approval, tapping the bottom of her much-depleted shot on the bar rather than applaud as she looks towards who is next to drink or sing.

Carita's fair complexion has taken on a pink sort of glow as her head lifts again as well as a hand to wipe away a few tears as she laughs. "Feels?" comes out with a bit more laughter. "Oh, it was /nothing!/ I just always look like this when I take a shot," she jests. As Niklas performs she watches with lifted brows, and when he finishes she stands to clap. "I would scream my praise for you, Prince Niklas, but that's not possible at the moment. At the drink offering from Octavia there's a suspicious narrowing of her eyes at it before it's accepted, her head dipped respectfully in Octavia's direction.

Sparte speaks with Octavia at the table, taking a moment to rub at his eyes as though getting tired and nodding several times. Looking over to Carita he grins at her. "If I ever see you with a tan, now I know it wasn't the sun but a drink that did it."

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

Looking back to Octavia, her accent playful, Beatrice answers, "I'm done with hail until next winter.". Pulling, however, a silver doing from her purse, Beatrice flips it to Niklas's side of the table.

"He's never off," Sabella tells Isobella with blatant pride, "I love it! He's always writing something. It used to be just plays, but now it's stories and music as well. He is constantly surprising and amazing me. I have a book of little poems he leaves for me every morning. I sometimes think he must be a favorite of Jayus and while I should be soothingly jealous, I just adore him too much to be anything but proud."

Atreke, a severe-looking scribe arrives, following Rinel.

Sparte pens his doom

Sparte checked charm at difficulty 10, rolling 7 higher.

Beatrice has left the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

Ysbail has left the a glossy walnut bar.

Gruffudd, a ridiculously fluffy large cat have been dismissed.

Sorrel waddles her way in, looking like she's about to give birth any day now. She glances around at the gathering and heads over towards Carita, Sabella, and Dominique at the tables. "Cousin," she says warmly to the latter as she moves to sit down heavily as daintily as possible under the circumstances. "Ladies. Highnesses."

Dominique finally stands up from the table and... walks resolutely forward to where the 'punishment' drink is sitting. Because if she's chickening out early, it's only fair and honorable that she imbibe! A glass is taken, she makes a 'screwing up bravery' face, and... sips.

Ysbail tips her chin in greeting at Sorrel's arrival grinning as she watches the game continue.

Sorrel has joined the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

Rinel follows behind Sorrel, cane clicking along easily as the lean woman strides quickly in. She looks around the room and moves toward the game of roulette, eyebrows arched.

"Princess Sorrel, how delightful to see you," Carita enthuses before quieting so as not to disturb the game at hand.

Rinel has joined the a cluster of couches around a low table.

"Ach," is the somewhat undignified and pained response Dominique gives, a few moments after drinking the dread beverage. Her eyes water a little, as well. "Gah. Cousin," she croaks back at Sorrel, who has apparently come in at an odd moment in all of this. "Sorry, we're just," cough, wheeze, "missing each other, as it turns out. Oh my, this is terrible," she finally says, with a laugh.

Isobella has left the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

"You know, based on the Marquessa's reactions, I'm not going to follow my dear cousin's example," Sorrel remarks brightly, winking at Dominique. She shakes her head in amusement and lowers her voice to chat at her table.

Sparte picks up his paper, taking a deep breath as he looks over to Niklas. "It seems I have to follow the master playwright here. It had to be someone who did, I will fall on the sword for the next singer." Sparte smirks as he looks to the paper, resting a hand on the table to do a little drum as he sings like a sailor's shanty. He drums like that for a few seconds longer, reading his lyrics and slows. He lifts the paper up to look at more closely and stops drumming altogether. "On second thought this is terrible. I'll try something else."

I work too hard and never drink

%My bed won't write me back

My hair is often messy and my socks they never match

I'm a ready friend to any soul

And a quill fast if not discrete

Though I often end up chewing. On my... Feet

My name is Sparte Fatchforth

I'm a guard, a scribe, a squire

If I had a hat for every task

I could sell them and retire

But take to heart my gift to you

As you suffer through this song

I didn't. Make you sing... Along

Sparte gives an over affected bow after the song, slumping back into his seat and fishing out his flask. "It is nice to meet everyone. May I never do that again."

Rinel just stares at Sparte. "This... this is the Salon's introductory gala, correct?" she asks nobody in particular, looking around herself in some confusion.

Felicia grins at Sparte and drains her drink, using the empty to point at Sparte and notate,"You're not off the hook yet, you need to pix the next one." she advises as she pushes her empty across the bar and elects to take up a fresh one, like the sucker she is.

Ysbail applauds Sparte. "I don't know, you could do worse as far as verse goes Sparte."

Sparte looks at Rinel and levels a finger at her. "Correct, and after we either choose to sing an introduction or drink the mystery drink as part of our introduction, we choose someone else to be the next victim." Sparte smiles at Felicia, finger still leveled at Rinel.

e "Wise... choice," Dominique croaks out back at Sorrel, her eyes still a little teary. And with that, well, she'll make her stumbling retreat. She'll be feeling that drink in the morning!

Dominique has left the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

Alessia claps as Sparte finishes his performance, giving the man a smile.

Rinel checked wits + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 5 higher.

Octavia laughs a little, having finally properly regained her voice (and perhaps loosened her inhibitions). "That wasn't bad, Master Fatchforth. Maybe you can study under my dear brother and be a singing guardsman." She looks towards Niklas and adds, "Fight crime and boredom in the Lowers." Knowing Octavia, she is 100% taking the piss right now.

Sabella laughs and applauds for Sparte, "Let it never be said that an Iron Guardsman can't think on his feet! Or sing on them!"

Niklas adds, "Or chew on them!"

Niklas snorts at Octavia's suggestion. "Is this where I advertise the fine teachers we have at the bard's college?"

Sparte grins at Sabella, then nods to Niklas before removing the large cap on his flask and taking a swallow from the bottle. Sparte looks over to Octavia and says something quietly with a grin.

Octavia snickers at whatever Sparte whispers, then replies to Niklas, "No, of course not. That would be self-serving and absurd, dear brother." Perhaps that barb was sharper than she intended.

"You've described me to a t, Tavi," says Niklas cheerfully.

Octavia tsks and chastises, "Do I need to get the playwright a tutor? Your name doesn't have a T in it."

"I'm one of the fine teachers at the Bard's College," Sorrel pipes up with cheerfully, holding up a little hand helpfully.

Rinel looks at Sparte pointing his finger at her. She sighs. "Poetry. I despise performing poetry." But she stands, and rests her hands upon her cane, and begins to recite. She is no skilled bard, but her performance is sufficient, her oration clear, her intonation strong.

"Arvum-crossed now come am I, who writes with cane and pen

on parchment or on dusty plain hist'ry of where I've been.

From frozen mounts of Oathland march to sunny elfin shore,

I drift as dust upon the wind and all I see, record.

For I was born of Pacton town, and come now I to land of Crown,

where what I shall have written down will in the dream of Aion sound."

Rinel points to Sorrel and sits down wordlessly.

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

Samantha looks around a few moments and then lifts a hand. "May I try? It seems an excellent exercise of intelligence."

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

Sorrel rises to her feet, having been chosen to sing. Because of course she's going to sing. She can't help herself.

"The Singer of Heroes they call me

But spellsinging's where I made my name

A bard is what many people see

Being the Bladesong's really my game.

"I married for love and they call me princess

I'll name baby two for a hero, too

I teach performance without getting much rest

I'll teach performance to them and to you!

"My favorite animal's the dragon

I have armor to match should I feel inspired

This song is my worst but it's quickly done

I can't help it; baby makes me tired."

And with that, she pats her baby bump and sits down again.

Sabella claps for Rinel, "That was lovely! And yes, Marquessa, please go next! The rest of the room breathes a sigh of relief at you for volunteering!" She says with a bright smile for Samantha.

Sabella also applauds for Sorrel, "I don't think it's surprising to anyone that the recent composer of the Metallics operas can rise to a singing introduction at a moment's notice," she teases with a grin.

Messengers. The second seems to prompt Felicia to elect to drain her glass again, but the rising is a little more unsteady than she'd clearly planned on, no matter how neatly she upends the glass and sets it upside down. There's a salute offered in the direction of Cullen and Ysbail as the message is tucked away and it seems she's going to escape without introducing herself after all.

Felicia has left the a glossy walnut bar.

Octavia applauds to Rinel and Sorrel's songs, sitting back and sipping on her beverage as she continues to deal with the effects of not summoning the abyss with an attempt at singing. Leaning over to Niklas, she murmurs a question in her brother's direction.

Samantha takes a few step outwards to regard the group. Her furtive look makes it clear she is not an expert at this, but she wants to put her wits to work.

"To the north of Arx, there rests a place

Within the Crownlands, wood's serene grace.

Where once was Ivy climbing high,

A Marquessa stands, and that is I.

Samantha I have been so named...

She pauses a moment, trying to find a fitting rhyme, and with a snap of her fingers, the verbal challenge is completed. "And Peers' Conscience I have been so famed."

Alessia applauds as the performers complete their songs. She drinks from a newly filled glass of whiskey, leaning back in her seat, comfortable.

Ysbail applauds for Sorrel's intro, and tips her chin to Felicia in farewell. Grinning to watch the next, and claps for Samantha's introduction as well.

Rinel claps politely at the introductions while she gives Sparte a look slightly short of withering.

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

Sorrel winks at Sabella, but applauds for Samantha politely. "And thank you for self-selecting so that I didn't have to figure out who here hadn't gone yet," she says brightly, lounging like a Luca in her chair.

Sparte sets down his flask - which smells of chocolate - and claps along with Rinel, giving her a look of badly feigned innocence.

Carita receives a few messengers, though discreet, are surely noticed when they're one right after the other. She speaks low for the table, lifts a hand to those she knows, and slips out.

Carita has left the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

5 Redoubt Buccaneers, Luna, the sweet, studious assistant, Francis leave, following Carita.

Samantha admits rather sheepishly, "Well, that was rather awful, but I did try. One could make a game of it. Pick a topic, and have people create spontaneous poetry. A sort of duel, or contest. Let the crowd decide who is better."

"Would it be insane of me to ask for a shot of that mysterious liquid?" Alessia asks with a wry smile, holding a glass of whisky, likely contributing to her questionable judgement.

Rinel clumsily nabs Sparte's chocolate-smelling flask. How could an Iron Guardsman not notice a crippled scholar's awkward attempt at theft? She takes a greedy gulp.

The resulting greenish tinge to her face indicates that perhaps said Guardsman thought a successful theft would be its own deterrance.

Ysbail smiles, "Not so bad Marquessa, I think I've heard far worse." Watching as Rinel changes colors.

"That was lovely!" Sabella applauds for Samantha and laughs, shaking her head at Alessia, "Absolutely not if you'd rather go next! Just steel yourself for it burns very badly on the way down!"

Sparte nods in ready agreement to Samantha, leaning forward on the table in such a way as to pointedly ignore the scholarly theft of his canteen. "I think I'd go to more honor duels if they were fought with lyrics."

"That wasn't any more awful than any attempt I would have made," Octavia notes to Samantha, offering a dip of her head. Alessia's question turns her head, and she quips, "I'm pretty sure it's brewed from the blood of a Leviathan, given the flavor. That said, I wouldn't mind seeing someone else choke it down."

"I am going to sneak out before someone calls upon me," Sabella admits, rising from the table, "But those who have gone so far have been brilliant and I am in awe at your amazing talents for thinking so quickly on your feet! I am really only any good when I have lines in front of me. But if you like games like this, do think about joining the Salon! I'm sure its members will give a better pitch later," she gives waves and then heads for the door.

Sabella has left the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

2 Grayson House Guards, Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting, Clark, an exasperated guard leave, following Sabella.

Alessia checked composure at difficulty 10, rolling 12 higher.

Alessia checked charm + performance at difficulty 10, rolling 27 higher.

Alessia rises to grab a shot, pausing before taking it. "My name is Alessia, they call me a glaivedancer,

But right now, all I wish is to seek the answer,

To all of life's mysteries,

Such as what's this made of? Berries?."

Muttering apologies for her misguided attempt at poetry, she takes a shot from the glass. Taking a seat, she turns to Octavia. "So that answers my question." She chuckles, leaning back against the seat, though her movements are noticeably less smooth.

Ysbail grins, "Is it made of Berries?" Relaxing back at the bar equal parts amused and relieved.

"What ever it's made out of, I won't be imbibing," Sorrel says in a most Oathlanderly way.

Niklas has left the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

Isabelle, who is just so tired of everyone's nonsense have been dismissed.

Octavia looks over as Ashe approaches her with a message and gives an exasperated sigh. "Well... that took longer than expected, actually. I fear I must take my leave. Gods keep." With that, she rises carefully to her feet and departs.

Octavia has left the a cluster of couches around a low table.

Ashe, the studious Stormward paralegal, 2 Kennex corsairs leave, following Octavia.

Samantha looks over to Ysbail. "Perhaps we might step out and speak to that matter I inquired about?" she asks politely.

Ysbail nods to Samantha, and Cullen, "Lord Cullen we will speak again soon. Good night everyone, thank you for what was a night of odd entertainments.

Gruffudd, a ridiculously fluffy large cat leaves, following Ysbail.

5 House Deepwood Guards leaves, following Samantha.

Cullen looks as if he dodged a crossbow bolt, finishing his whiskey and putting the glass upon the bar. "Right. Very good to see the rest of you." And then he slips out the door with a agreat deal of relief.

Cullen has left the a glossy walnut bar.

Alessia has left the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

Nallah, a buff-looking tortie cat with green eyes, 2 House Mazetti Aspirants, Sirra, a very quiet maid leave, following Alessia.

Sorrel has left the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

3 Thrax Guards, 2 Thrax Elite Guards, Teonia Redreef, Aryka Wyrmfang, Marquessa Pudding, a doughy dog leave, following Sorrel.

Rinel gives Sparte a small smile. "I will pray that justice be done, as I always do. I would tell you to stand firm in your convictions, but I think you need no encouragement in that regard." She sighs and stands, wincing slightly. "I fear I must go inform my patron of yet another impediment. It is remarkably difficult to get whispers to /schedule/ things."

Sparte rises up, closing his flask and tucking it away. "I'm going to go think about my song and whether I should actually spend some coin on good socks. Have a good evening."

"Good woollen socks stop blisters!" chimes Rinel, as she limps towards the door. "Telmarch wool is, of course, the best. Good evening, Guardsman."

Rinel has left the a cluster of couches around a low table.

Sparte has left the a cluster of couches around a low table.

Dame Tommelisa Thistlefur leaves, following Sparte.

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