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Thursday's Child: Auction of Dinners

Thursday's Child presents an evening of auctions. Not of objects but of dinners. Various notable or infamous individuals have so graciously offered a dinner with themselves in the name of raising funds for Thursday's Child. Bidding will open with plenty of choices in the next few weeks. A evening spent discussion theology with the Dominus? Perhaps brunch with his majesty? Discussing the finer points of trebuchets with the Grandmaster of the Templars? Or perhaps you'll take a chance and bid upon dinner with a mystery guest? A full list of dinner volunteers will be posted soon, so save your coin and maybe you too can have a nice dinner with the Keatons while the baying of pygym goats helps you digest.

Ooc: Auction information to come, including a dinner with a mystery guest. Silver or resources will be accept as tender.

Date

Jan. 12, 2019, 7:30 p.m.

Hosted By

Alarissa Monique

Participants

Gianna Lou Etienne Mirk Victus Caspian Bliss Sorrel Sophie Teagan Lore Delilah Duarte Ilinca Sabella Jeffeth Hana Sparte Mikani

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of the Compact - Arvum Botanical Gardens

Largesse Level

Grand

Comments and Log


1 Crimson Blades Sergeant arrives, following Mirk.

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

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

"Oh dear, no. I mean, if I needed someone tall to reach them, I'd ask someone tall, not you. Like my husband." Alarissa smiles at Caspian, a gesture to one of the tallest towers that should be within his reach. "But maybe Princess Lou might wish one?" A glance to her fellow ivy swing mate.

Gianna sweeps in amid a swirl of blue-marbled seasilk, unaccompanied, and considers a place to seat herself.

Jared, an overworked-looking, nervous Apprentice Whisper arrives, following Bliss.

Lou grins over at Alarissa. "I am very much endeared to my dress," she motions down to her murder, death, kittens dress. Yep! Murder Death Kittens! "It is one that I shall always have in my wardrobe, if only to taunt those that try to taunt me into buying new clothes." She grins, offering Alarissa a quick wink even as she dithers in the swing where she's seated.

It is a moments pause, as Archlector Etienne and Lady Monique Greenmarch enter the gardens, a moments pause because that is all it takes the blond man to notice the array of pastries and head directly toward them. Without fail, however, he is reminded by the stunning woman that accompanies him that certain pleasantries are due first.. and so they make their way through the gathering.

Mirk slips into the gardens quietly, dressed in simple clothes rather than his more typical traveling leathers. He nods his head to those he passes, with brief smiles for those he recognizes, though he heads towards a bench and claims a seat without engaging anyone in conversation. He's here to observe, more than anything else, it would seem.

Mirk has joined the an wobbly pine bench.

1 Blackram novice guards arrives, following Teagan.

Victus was hanging back for this one as he's letting Alarissa take center stage for mingling with guests and attendees. The High Lord in the meanwhile finds himself a corner to nest in just on the outskirts of the bustling crowd. His coat is buttoned up and strapped, giving no hint to what he was wearing beneath besides his leather pants and boots. Sometimes when the light was right, someone might catch a faint glint of metal.

Victus has joined the an old wooden bench.

The botanical gardens is enduring spring well and little glass balls of oil hang down and well out of reach of those who might want to reach up. The noise of people milling about to bid, mingle, enjoy an evening out make for a steady noise. Music waxes and raise in it's levels depending on how close to the small groups that work at maintaining the same songs but spread out. There's more than a few people bustling over certain dinners and all seems to be going well within the gardens.

"What about it Princess Lou, you need help reaching the top?" Caspian asks Lou with an amused grin at her. He looks over to Victus, then back to Alarissa, nodding his head, "I am tall. Your husband is just ridiculously tall. I hope this event goes well. And I'm curious who the mystery guest is."

Gianna inclines her head to Lou and Alarissa on her way past to sit down next to Mirk, crossing one leg over the other and twitching her hem so that her skirt falls in the most attractive manner.

Gianna has joined the an wobbly pine bench.

Gianna inclines her head and says, "Lord Mirk, I hope you don't mind if I sit with you." She has the air of someone who expects he won't mind.

Rather less ostentatious than she often is, wearing a dress of simple, thin silk in a gradient of purples and red that seems to cling to the body with every movement, and slippers to match, Bliss Whisper arrives in the Botanical Gardens on the arm of one Princess Sophie Valardin. Her head is leaned in to murmur something low to the woman, some private conversation as her hand rests on Sophie's elbow, turning her head to look at her partner with a thin smile as they walk in. She gives a small shrug after, then looks around the room, motioning toward a currently unoccupied bench which she guides the other woman over to, settling on it and adjusting the elaborately peacebound weapons that are at her hip and back.

Monique does, in fact, steer the handsome Telmar Archlector away from the food with a fond exasperation and assurances of some still being left by the time they greet Alarissa. Over to the Princess-Consort the fiery Greenmarch guides Etienne, dipping her a curtsey, offering up a greeting. "Weathering the scandal, Your Highness? It's none so terrible once you get used to it. Everything looks incredible though. Lou," Monique greets the Grayson princess. "Beautiful dress. Way to show them," she winks an emerald eye.

Bliss has joined the an ivy covered ancient bench.

Sophie has joined the an ivy covered ancient bench.

Sorrel looks as if she's had a bad day. She's wearing a dress, but her sword is at her hip, just in case, and she wears an expression that suggests that she's not afraid to use it if necessary. What she might deem necessary is up for debate.

"Only the winner will know. Or those who guessed right." Alarissa taps the side of her nose, looking to Lou and with a press of her lips to the other womans cheek, is rising. Her destination comes to her though and Alarissa dips her head to Monique. There's an even deeper one for Etienne but back to Monique she offers that small smile. "I have already remitted myself to the Dominus, and I await guidance on how I can continue to walk in the path of the gods, regardless of my stumble. Blessed Etienne, you look wonderful." A glance over her shoulder to Caspian brings a snort. "Think how I feel standing next to him."

Sophie raises a brow at Bliss' whisper and she shakes her head before she slips into the seat next to her. Sophie settles in as she murmurs, "That is...." Then she draws in a deep breath and leans in to whisper to Bliss.

It is no new outfit that Lady Teagan Blackram wears. For all that she models from time to time, the Voice of the Cloudspine is not one that fusses over having something brand new for every occasion. Perhaps she simply hasn't the time for it. The dark-haired woman has an air of looking tired. She arrives not with a specific escort other than her guard; no specific Lord or other noble Knight on her arm... Shortly into the gardens, however, she casts a look around, taking in the decorations and the flowering of spring; breathing deep the scents of flowering plants.

"Oh, no, Master Caspian. I'm good," Lou says after a fashion, though she can't help but wince at all of this princess stuff. She inclines her head in Gianna's direction, and also waves at Mirk - recognizing him from the various scholar's affairs. She smiles at Monique. "Monique," she offers. She laughs softly. "It's a favorite. Fast favorite when I first received it." She smiles at Alarissa as she rises to go do hostessy things.

Alarissa has left the The Lianne Pravus Ivy covered swing.

Etienne follows suit as he is greeted, a growing red tinge forming at the tips of his ears. "Thank you." he mutters quietly. "A journey filled with missteps allows us to grow, in ways that the more unfettered path does not." His words are light and his smile warm, though his eye is often straying towards the food.

Alarissa murmurs something and Monique's laughter is bright, as vibrant as her hair. She nods to Alarissa and Lou, and then guides Etienne away towards the table with the food, leaning in to murmur something to the Princess as she goes.

There's a smile and then Alarissa's off again with a wriggle of fingers to Lou, smoothing and adjusting her dress before striding off with purpose. "Whisper Bliss, Princess Sophie, have you met the Lady Teagan Blackram?" A gesture toward the tall woman in question. "Whisper, a dinner with you seems to be going for quite a fair amount of silver. I am impressed."

Brother Chester arrives, following Jeffeth.

"So you are not announcing at the end of the auction who it is? Oh come on. You could at least whisper it in my ear," Caspian says back to Alarissa with a hopeful smile given her way.

As Alarissa approaches Sophie's chin lifts and her attention turns to her. Her warm smile spreads quickly and she says, "I fear I haven't but hopefully that will be rectified tonight." Sophie tilts her head and says to Bliss teasingly, "I told you that you're a popular lady."

As Alarissa approaches, Bliss breaks the quiet conversation she is having with Sophie to give the host a bright smile, sitting a little more upright and giving her a small shake of her head, her eyes going to Teagan. "No, I don't believe I have, though I am good friends with her cousin, Mercy Estelle. If the rest of the family is like her, that is rather promising indeed." She dips her head toward Teagan in greeting, before saying to Alarissa, "It has been a pleasant surprise for me, as well, to see the bidding go so high. Now I suppose I'm just going to have to make the dinner worth the price."

Sophie gets a playful nudge from Bliss's elbow, as well.

Sorrel stands by herself, hand on her sword, uncharacteristically sulking. Her darkened evergreen eyes scan the crowds, but no one seems to appeal to her, and so she continues to haunt her little corner.

Lore comes running into the Botanical Gardens with a bright smile and a glance around the area to see if she can spot... ah! There he is! Moving along quickly, she slips her way through the gathered folk to head for Caspian, pulling him in for a quick hug and kiss, "Hi there! Excited to have dinner with a mystery bidder? I have a few bids in myself, its going to be fun to see who wins!"

"Oh I have no doubt that you of all people, can make a dinner interesting. But, I had to come and greet my cousin, and you and say thank you again for your willingness to spend a few hours in dinner. More than a few children shall see their economic bondage absolved through this small action." She reaches out to lay a hand gently on Sophie's forearm. "And I have no forgotten our lessons. I'll send some tomes over in the meantime for studying."

Caspian is kissed! He grins to Lore, holding his lips against her as he smiles, pulling away as he says, "Of course you have the highest bid for me. I'm gonna have to think about our dinner to try and make it interesting," he says to her, grinning her way.

People are being ushered away from the small tables scattered away, as bidding seems to have ended and the papers are squirreled off to start recording names.

Apparently disfavoring staying antisocial forever more, Victus eventually raises up and makes his way over to the pair of ladies, Bliss and Sophie. He's not smiling but he's also not a grimacing sourpuss either. That means things are a-okay for the moment. "Champion Bliss, Princess Sophie. Nice attire. Nice sword." The latter spoken to Bliss as he sits down.

Victus has left the an old wooden bench.

Victus has joined the an ivy covered ancient bench.

Sophie's smile widens and her hand moves to rest atop Alarissa's. We are both very busy women. I have no doubt we will have the lessons when possible, though I certainly hope you add time for tea and catching up. It's been far too long." Then she is turning her attention to Teagan, "It's a pleasure to meet you. I hope one day we can do it at a time that lends itself better to getting to know one another." Then Victus is approaching and her smile remains. She's wearing non-Mercy attire for the first time in ages and she says, "Thank you!"

1 Inquisition Confessors, Scribble, a Delicate Social Butterfly, 1 Bisland pride guards arrive, following Delilah.

Winking at Caspian, Lore chuckles and offers, "Guess you'll have to wait to find out! Bidding is still open, I think. I could still be outbid!" She slips an arm around his waist and moves him along towards the refreshments table so they can get something to drink!

1 House Corvini Guard, Claudia arrive, following Ilinca.

Harlen, Ilinca arrive, following Duarte.

When her name is mentioned, Teagan looks away from the gardens themselves towards Alarissa and company. She adjusts her heading to join them, dipping her chin in greeting. "Your Grace," she offers to the Thraxian Princess first. "It looks like the auction is going to bring quite a bit in for the Thursdays Child charity." To the other two, she provides: "A pleasure, certainly. All of Blackram is quite proud of Mercy Estelle and her recent appointment. She is always a joy to be around, even in her frequent fussing over our health." There is, briefly, a flash of a smile. There's even a touch of warmth to it; a true fondness for her cousin. To Sophie's words, she gives a nod: "I would like that as well." She sidles aside a step as Victus makes his way over in turn, providing a more respectful gesture to him.

Sophie says pointedly to Teagan, "I a

Turning her head to look over Sophie's dress at Victus' compliment, Bliss gives her a smile before looking back to Alarissa, saying to her, "Oh, I certainly think I can come up with plenty of things to do. Is it still your husband who is in the lead for my attention?" she wonders, giving Victus a playful grin at that before saying to him, "And thank you - it still feels a little unreal to have finally gotten it back, but it's nice being able to turn my eyes forward instead of backwards after so very, very long," she says, shifting her shoulders and adjusting the strap of the heirloom blade on her back. She then smiles at Teagan, and nods at her, saying, "Mercy Estelle rather likes to chide me for not taking things easier with my shoulder, but she seems to understand that I really /can't/ just sit around and do nothing."

Sophie says pointedly to Teagan, "I am quite pleased with her recent appointment as well. It frees my time up to attend more events like this." Bliss returns the attention to Alarissa, "It is a noble cause you're raising funds for. Anyone would be honored to contribute."

Caspian shakes his head to Lore, taking her by the hand, "No, looks like they just ended bidding." He laces his fingers with her's as he wonders, "Oh wait, you are planning the dinner, or am I?" He wonders to her with a lift of his brows.

Blithe motion marks Delilah's arrival, stars flickering on a night-dark backdrop where she chooses to join the verdant grounds. A look over her shoulder through the lilac-dappled path she takes deeper into the gardens proper marks a certain degree of distraction, as though she might well be looking for something or someone in particular. Whatever the case, she soon enough picks up her pace, easily finding the heart of it all, where a curious look marks the state of the auction.

"I believe...." Alarissa's being handed a sheaf with names on it and she smiles. "The lovely lady upon your arm." A gestures politely to Sophie. "If you pardon me, I should see to announcing the winners."

Lou wiggles fingers after Alarissa, and goes back to enjoying the swing. She does eye the guests curiously, wondering if perhaps any of them are this mystery person. She nods in Victus's direction when he comes out of hiding, but seems rather content to sit by herself and be unsocial.

Duarte floats in with the aeterna clad Ilinca on his arm as if carried here by clouds, such is the smoothness of his gait. His broad smile comes to him so naturally one might think he was wearing it well before he arrived, and not just acquired within a split-second of arriving. Upon seeing the decor he pats the top of Ilinca's hand. "Something about outdoorsy decor I find humbling to large gatherings..." he eyes particularly the festooned lanterns. "Hopefully one doesn't fall!" He rewards Ilinca's arrival to the destination with his departure from her side as he acquires two wine glasses and hands one over to her. "Now. Where is the princess?"

"Ah, perfect! Then it seems I shall have a busy schedule soon. As long as more of those children go free, it should be rather fun!" Lore grins towards Caspian, passing a glass towards him before picking up one for herself. She takes a drink, then grins, "Oh no, you get to choose the time, the date, the place... its all in your hands, I'm just paying for the pleasure of your company."

Delilah has joined the The Lianne Pravus Ivy covered swing.

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

and off Alarissa goes to a dais, black umbra and leather, the coronet of the Princess of Maelstrom nestled in all that blonde hair and the music lowers to near nothing as she gives a signal before speaking up. "We strive, his Grace and I, to see the end of a childhood in bondage, and one of that like any other prodigal child within the compact. To that end, I have made it my legacy, to see them freed. It is a long journey, so very long, that I take and I temper my impatience with the knowledge that this journey is even longer for them. But for some, for a great many this night, it ends." There's a gesture to the present populace. "Some of these lovely people, have graciously given their time, a few hours out of their life, to sit and have dinner with some of you who bid and bid for very generously. And so, with bidding done, I will be announcing the winners. I hope that they bring as much joy, these dinners, as the freedom for these children will bring to them and their families."

Jeffeth has joined the an old wooden bench.

By the refreshment tables, Monique perks up, her attention commanded by the announcement that bidding has closed and people being moved from the bidding tables. "Exciting," the Minx smiles aside to Etienne. "Far more exciting than the food, no? And for such a worthy cause."

Caspian grins to Lore as he notes, "I'll have to make it extra romantic then." He says with a grin her way. He turns to Alarissa next, then back to Lore, wondering, "Did you win all the bids you were hoping for?"

"Ah, did she?" Bliss asks, looking at Sophie with clear amusement in her eyes. "I suppose it's a good thing I let her know I was on auction, then." She then looks toward Victus, saying, "Well, your grace, I did not miss your willingness to help the cause, and I have often felt it a shame that I have not had opportunity to spend more time with you. Perhaps we can find some other excuse to dine together soon?"

Ilinca's long fingers curl gratefully around the offered glass, cradling it so gently it seems she fears she may break it. "I have been wishing to see the Botanical Gardens for a some time -- since I am arriving in Arx, in truth. But the kind lady who offered to escort me was not heard from again, and there is no joy, no interest, in a garden in the winter, ne?" she poses to Duarte, wrinkling her nose ever so slightly at the mention of winter, a subject on which the lady very clearly has opinions. Unkind ones, at that. But then her bright green eyes trail over the crowd at his question. It does not take long to identify the Princess-Consort, given the timing of her arrival. A gesture of her glass to the dais. "She does not hide well, Conte Amadeo."

Delilah has left the The Lianne Pravus Ivy covered swing.

1 Inquisition Confessors, Scribble, a Delicate Social Butterfly, 1 Bisland pride guards leave, following Delilah.

Etienne is holding at least two pastries, though he might be offering one to his companion. "It's very good." though he says this with a bite in his mouth some might wonder what piece of Monique's question he is answering. "Do you think you would hold one large dinner, or many separate ones."

"You are not alone in finding yourself being chided," Teagan confides in Bliss with a brief wink. "If I do not get enough sleep, she will fuss when she stops by the Blackram holdings. It is how she shows she cares." To Sophie, she adds: "I am sure she is more than happy to be able to assist. She loves supporting people." When Alarissa takes to the stage, the Blackram woman leans back on her heels and clasps her hands before her to await the list of winners.

Sabella slips into the gathering, giving those she knows discreet waves and smiles as Alarissa speaks, heading over to the closest seat she sees to sit.

Sabella has joined the The Belladonna Wysteria Arbor Path.

"I can't say I've seen you not covered in white. And if I have it's usually when you're wrist deep in someone's wound." Victus muses over Sophie's way as he leans forward, immediately assuming a posture that lets him tilt his head this way and that to watch the crowd. Which he's doing... quite a bit of, actually. Though he does pause long enough to glance back at Bliss. "Horribly drawn out, that. Hind-sight is the clearest but goddamn, weeks and months of wait? Deliberation on settling debts and spoken agreements annoys the ever-loving fuck out of me." When Alarissa comes by to tally the bids, it seems Victus doesn't quite hear her at first. "Wait, what? I lost? Who did I-" He snaps his gaze over to Sophie. "Oh damn it all. I had /two dozen/ books on Isles tradition lined up at home. Now they gotta go back in alphabetical order. Bah." There's a glance over to Bliss once again. "Yes, suppose now it will have to be a /normal/ dinner too."

"I don't know, I put in bids on a lot of people and pushed up the bidding on a few more just to get Thursday's child some more money," Lore chuckles as she confides to Caspian with a grin. Looking up, she lifts a hand towards Duarte and Ilinca, smiling warmly towards the pair.

Sorrel continues to sulk like a little rain cloud hangs over her head. She keeps fingering her sword and watching the crowd warily, as if she's expecting something bad to happen.

Sophie smiles as she leans in to exchange a few quiet whispers with Bliss, and then she looks around Bliss to grin at Victus. "Perhaps you and my cousin would like to join us for the dinner? I'm quite curious about Isles traditions, myself and I would love to spend more time with you both." Then she says to Bliss, "You wouldn't mind terribly if I shared you, would you."

Duarte follows the motion of Ilinca's glass to spy Alarissa giving her little speech and accolades. He golf claps for the generous bidders and the 'goods' upon whom were bid, but it's toward Etienne that Duarte drifts with his companion. "Archlector! Happy to see you again. I hope my sculpture is being well tended to?" He steps aside a touch and makes a flourished sweep of his hand to Ilinca, "Have you had the distinct pleasure of meeting Countess Ilinca Corvini?"

Sheaves are shuffled. "Alphabetical order, of course. Definitely not an assassin-" Alarissa pauses. "And I can vouch that it is not an assassin, has paid one hundred and twenty five thousand for dinner with his Majesty." The next sheaves are swiftly gone through. "Prince Aiden Grayson gets dinner with Prince Artur Redrain. Who has matched his pledge to bring it to seventy thousand. Mistress Lore Artiglio will be dining with the Baron Audric de Lire for twenty five thousand. Lady Teagan Blackram will be dining with the Duchess Pravus for twenty six thousand. The beloved Champion Bliss Whisper will get to dine with Princess Sophie the Mother Mercy of Arx who has claimed that dinner for sixty five thousand and beat our my dear husband. No pouting." She wags a finger at Victus. It would seem as well-" More shuffling. "Mistress Artiglio will be dining with Guildmaster Caspian Wild, another twenty five. Well done Mistress Artiglio."

"However, they honored their obligations, and I have no resentment toward the family any longer," Bliss says to Victus, smiling softly and shrugging her shoulders. "It was a terribly difficult decision for them to make, but they made it, and should be commended for that." Her thumb continues to idly stroke at the strap over her chest, before she glances at Sophie and whispers, overdramatically and loudly, "You saved me," with a wink before - the betrayal! The gasp, and the hand going to her lips, before she shakes her head and chuckles, saying, "I don't mind at all. I suppose I will actually have to learn something." She looks back to Victus, then, telling him, "It seems I am at the Mother's mercy here. Does she look good in red? I've yet to see it."

Lou sits up on the swing as Alarissa starts naming off who won the auctions, her eyes taking in the various people in the gardens as each name is listed off.

"Separate dinners, I imagine," Monique replies to Etienne with a curve of her lips. She breaks off to smile at Duarte's arrival. "Good to see you again, Count Amadeo. Any new books written lately, m'lord?" She extends the smile to Ilinca in greeting.

"The sculpture continues to be a welcome addition to the shrine." Etienne replies to Duarte, "And of course, the tale of its arrival is often an entertaining bit of conversation, which is welcome in these times."

"Master Sparte Fatchforth will be having an interesting dinner with Princess Coraline and a squirrel named Doreen. One hopes the stoats will behave hmm? Fifteen thousand silver. The Lord Commander of the Kings Own, Dame Eleanor Allentore will be dining with Sir Jeffeth. I will be matching his bid and bringing it to fifty three thousand. Lady Monique Greenmarch takes the cake that will likely be served at dinner with the Blessed Etienne for twenty thousand. A hand please for the Lady Monique who assisted me in bringing this evening to fruition and making my vision come true." She lifts her hands to Monique and clapping in her direction.



"Lady Ouida HArthall claims dinner with the Marquise Hadrian Mazetti for twenty thousand. That shall be utterly delightful. I am perhaps envious. A Master Modi has won dinner with the Guildmistress Joscelin Arterius for seventy five thousand. High praise to her as well for her skill in crafting the rings that the winners of our guessing contest will be getting. They are very lovely. Very lovely." A gesture to a servant who holds the two boxes. "Lady Monique will be dining as well with the Marquise and Marquessa Keaton! Be sure you don't leave with three or four hounds and a goat hmmm? Twenty thousand there."

There's a measure of silence from Teagan as matters of the sword are discussed. However, when the Isles books get brought up, she does lean in a bit to inquire: "Why were they out of alphabetical order, Prince Victus? Might I ask what order you had them in in preparation for dinner? Was it by year or specific personage? I'd be quite curious to know how you intended to present them." She does keep her voice pitched low enough not to speak over anyone who might be listening out for the winners.

A brief flutter of her fingers is aimed Lore's way before, it seems, she's being whisked off towards Etienne. "...There is a sculpture of you in one of the great shrines of Arx?," Ilinca asks him, and between the faint lifting of her brows and the tone of her voice, she's plainly skeptical. "I am thinking you have played a terrible joke on one of the Seraphs, my friend." But then she is being introduced, and she dips into what is clearly a very practiced curtsy for Etienne's sake. It is not a gesture she is accustomed to making to others, it seems.

Perking up at the mention of Dame Eleanor. And himself, Jeffeth looks up with wide eyes to Alarissa and cants his head to the side. Leaning back into his bench, the big man folds his large arms and lets out a quiet grunt.

Duarte chuckles and replies, apologetically, to Ilinca. "No, not of me my lady. The sculpture is a glittering representation of Gild's symbology." And then more pairs are announced! And Duarte claps again. He motions to Monique, "Countess, Lady Monique Greenmarch and Archlector of Gild Etienna..." he gives a gentle look to Monique, "Afraid not. Writer's block, you see?"

"Duke Malcom Shepard has so graciously bid upon Princess Lou Grayson. Twenty five thousand. Caution, she shall drag you to the never winter. Pack warmly." Alarissa winks at her cousin. "Princess Elgana Redrain has wind dinner with Prince Luca Grayson for forty five thousand. Bring something to remove the cat hair. But no doubt it will be delightful. He is a lovely cad." Shuffled papers. "Dinner with the Lady Monique Greenmarch has gone to one names Agon for one hundred thousand silver. For those who do not know, the debt of a child is bought with simply a thousand silver. So right there, one hundred children find a far more sublime childhood that shall lead to becoming a productive member of the compact as they learn a trade and advance in the world. A delightful though."



"It would seem a Mazetti, one of them, will be dining with the Dominus. My advice, find a good fire to sit by and let him suggest the drinks. Thirty thousand raised with that dinner. Princess Reese Grayson will be dining with the Grandmaster Preston of the Templars. I promised to match and so forty thousand has been raised there. Whisper Solange will be dining with Princess Sabella and Prince Niklas Grayson. Fifteen thousand. Make sure they put on a personal production of the Good Duke hmmm?" A look to Sabella and a smile.

Hana slips into the botanical gardens, pausing as she looks around. This is an awful lot of nobles -- a bit richer of a party than she usually attends -- but she steps inside anyway, to listen to the results of the auction. But upon spotting Jeffeth, she brightens and offers the knight an enthusiastic wave in greeting.

Victus cants his head a moment with Sophie's offer. "Very generous of you Princess. Allow me to say yes, I would very much like a dinner and a chance to ramble. It was my plan all along in fact. It's simple stuff, really." He gestures over to Bliss. "You see, the Champion here is something of an anomaly to my culture. Because if someone put her down in the Mourning Isles one day, she would be like a roving hole of taboo in the Dream that would make nobility and commoner alike faint. I'm fascinated by weapons of mass destruction." It's half a joke, though certainly half serious with the cutting dryness to his voice. Teagan's comment causes his brow to raise. "Well we would go in order of the pinnacle figures, of course. The High Prince who attempted to shout down Queen Alarice in her own Assembly, for one. Another being the woman responsible for Thrax's long line of law and administrators being women. How Donrai's father had his own brother killed over a matter of honor. Fascinating stuff. They don't label history by the alphabet however."

Lou grins widely at Alarissa. "I think I've already promised to bring Malcom on an adventure. Alas, it cannot be to Everwinter though, as that trip is full up. But, I do have some other mountain in mind."

Monique dips a curtsey to Ilinca and by extension, Duarte. "Lovely to meet you, Countess." There's a nod of gratitude to Alarissa's announcements and applause for whoever Agon is. "I'm sorry to hear you're not inspired, Count Amadeo. I pray you find your muse soon! My bookshelves miss your work."

Dame Tommelisa Thistlefur, 2 Iron Guardsmen arrive, following Sparte.

Maybe noting the silence from Teagan, Bliss waits until she has finished speaking before saying, "So if I understood you correctly earlier, Lady Blackram, then I should never let Mercy Estelle know how little I actually sleep?" There's a quick iwnk from her at that, but her attention seems to be mostly on the auction, listening curiously as Alarissa lists off the names. She turns her head then to Victus, listening to what he had planned for her, before a blink is given to something Alarissa has said, her attention being grabbed a moment, and her face falling a fraction as she looks back. "Is there wine here?" she asks, looking around, before her attention goes back to Victus. "Your Grace," she says, the smile starting to creep back onto her face. "I was something of a destructive anomaly in /Tor/, and we all know how my years in the Oathlands went. I think I would have fun in the Mourning Isles - the looks I've gotten when I dueled in Maelstrom were just /delightful/. But those figures actually sound fascinating."

"It is a pleasure to be meeting you both, and an especial honor, Archlector," Ilinca offers in her richly accented voice. Distinctly Lycene and yet not-Lycene, as though she spoke some exotic or ancient verson of the common tongue. Her curtsy is held a moment or two longer than truly necessary before she rises. Whatever else it is she was about to say, it is interrupted by her need to applaud, at a politely low volume of course, for the string of announcements that are falling over the crowd.

The papers not shuffled and handed off are growing smaller as the list starts to dwindle. "Sir Andry bayweather has claimed the dinner with the Archscholar Sina. I imagine plenty of dust and perhaps the freshest ink to write in his whites. I can personally vouch, that dinner with her is and will be exciting. Twenty five thousand. Lord Cosimo Tessere will be dining with Princess Sorrel. Princess Sorrel, do make sure to regale him with tales of your adventures. She has so many, all of them delightful to hear. You'll gasp. Twenty five thousand as well." Lou's remark earns her a laugh. "There's always more mountains for you to climb. You've yet to meet one that you won't. But, back to the list. The last makes Alarissa smile so very wide. "Prince Tyrval Ael'Noctis will be dining with one of the finest crafters in the compact and perhaps Arvum, Mistress Petal Penrose. Four hundred and seventy five thousand silver." She looks to see if she can find petal. "My deepest gratitude. Now, the last few. Mistress Artgilio again will be dining with his Grace the High Lord of Thrax and myself. I promised to match that one as well and so sixty thousand raised there. The Archlector Roran will be dining with Master Sparte Fatchforth, twenty thousand. That shall be enlightening I am sure."

Eyes slowly falling, they perk up once more at the enthusiastic waving from Hana. Immediately lighting up, the big man gives a luminous smile, waving one massive arm back and forth in a violent and exuberant arc which thankfully no one is caught in. Jeffeth then waves Hana over to his bench earnestly.

Etienne returns the greeting to Ilinca. "Please, call me Etienne. This event is going quite well, I'm pleased so many children are finding their way to a better future." he is reaching for another pastry. "Can I get anyone anything?" he asks, midway through his gathering.

"History is often labeled chronologically. You store yours alphabetically. But you would retell it by notables." Teagan considers Victus with an arched brow before she plucks a glass of something or another from a passing volunteer's platter. She looks impressed. "I like the complication of it all," she decides, with a flash of a grin. "It's quite a tangled web." She looks sidelong at Bliss and considers the query before nodding. "Quite likely. She has been rather distracted of late with my brother, the Marquis, for I fear he is working himself half to death, but soon as she tucks him into his bed for a week she might set her sights on someone new!"

Sparte steps into the gardens, his helmet hanging from a hook on the side of his belt. Dame Tom is riding along inside the helmet, like it were a tiny sidecar, and looking as imperious and fancy as a tube of white fur can manage. It seems Sparte got here just in time to hear his name called, smiling at the news.

Sorrel looks up when her name is called, but she doesn't smile. She just looks uncharacteristically sullen and wary, her hand on her sword which she's wearing with her dress and jaunty hat. She continues to scan the crowd as if she's expecting trouble.

Sophie can't help but laugh at Victus' evaluation of Bliss and she says good naturedly, "I do believe there are even some families here in Arx that might result in Mercies being summoned if this dear Whisper were to attend a family dinner." Then she gives a quick glance to Bliss and she adds laughingly, "Including my own!" A hand rests lightly on Bliss' back. If there is no wine we can certainly find something to your tastes when this is over."

Hana has joined the an old wooden bench.

Monique casts a mock glare in Sparte's direction. "You stole my dinner, Commander Fatchforth!" she calls out without quite maintaining anything but warmth for the Iron Guard Commander.

That leaves just one piece of paper left and it's handed off to the servant, no need to look at it, it's been looked already. "And to Mistress Hana Grayhope, for three hundred and twenty thousand silver, a dinner with the mystery guest. To whom only two others have guessed right and will be receiving their prizes. Mistress Hana will get to know who it is, but needless to say, it is a very... well, there are no words. But thus concludes the auction, a total of one million, seven hundred and twenty one thousand silver. Tonight, one thousand, seven hundred and twenty one children will wake within the next few weeks with no proverbial shackles about their ankles and enjoy a brighter childhood. Thank you all for helping me to make this happen."

"It is almost poetic, ne? Bidding upon the wealthiest and most prominent of Arvum, for the sake of the poorest and otherwise forgotten," Ilinca says softly. "If I am not misunderstanding this, I mean. There have been many changes to the workings of the Compact, and it has been a very short time to learn so many things." Then she smiles, a touch wryly, as she adds, "But I expect all Scholars are saying the same, even with an entire lifetime to read their histories."

And with that done, Alarissa's stepping down from the Dias, taking up a glass of wine and making her way through the crowd toward Hana.

Hana makes her way across the gardens, taking a seat beside her friend eagerly. Yay, familiar faces! It's always easier to converse with someone you know than someone you don't. She pauses in her progress towards Jeffeth's bench as her own name is called, however, and turns to offer a warm smile and a nod towards the hostess.

As Hana arrives over at the bench, Jeffeth is smiling brightly though his smile falters significantly as Alarissa heads over their way. Standing up from the bench, the large knight stands at Hana's shoulder, giving a thoughtful frown.

Duarte tsks as the final 'award' of the evening is announced. Was that a grimmace? Maybe.. Maybe... But he is soon back to present company. "Whiskey, if they have it, thank you," comes his reply to Etienne. A dip of his head to Monique, "Complimentary coaxing is my muse, love. And perhaps your cajoling does much to get the creative juices flowing." He offers her a grin. "Give me a week to set quill to paper and see what comes of it."

Sparte dips his head politely to Monique as he makes his way further into the room. "I can't be ashamed of winning if it meant I gave more coin to this cause." Sparte glances around. "I was a bit late, I bit on some of the others though..." He looks back to Monique questioningly. "Did you happen to catch the full of it?"

1 Redoubt Buccaneers, Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant, 1 Redreef Warden, 1 Thrax Guards arrive, following Mikani.

"Sire Jeffeth. A pleasure to see you again. I shall interrupt but only one moment." Alarissa gives an apologetic look to the hedge Knight before murmuring with Hana.

Mikani enters a bit late but happy to see all those that were in attendance. She subconsiously presses a hand to the skirt of her dress. Smiling she moves to greet people she knows.

Sorrel has joined the The Belladonna Wysteria Arbor Path.

Monique's smile for Duarte is blinding, and the epitome of pleased. "Whiskey, too, love," she tells Etienne with a squeeze of his hand before turning back to the Count Amadeo. "As ever, I look forward to seeing what comes of your writing, my lord, for if it is anything compared to what I have seen thus far? My eyes will be fortunate to behold it." She gives a deep nod of welcome to Sparte as he joins. "I was hoping to have a dinner of Archlectors. Perhaps we might combine? I'd be happy to play hostess and share the Archlector of Gild's company. And I can fill you in on all the happenings, of course. Princess Alarissa has done an incredible job here tonight."

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

Etienne flags down someone who happens to be carrying the appropriate number of glasses which are filled with the required substance. He makes a small show of passing them out to Duarte, and Monique, takes one for himself and of course offers one to Ilinca.

Duarte shared a brief murmur with Ilinca, and the woman's response brought his hand to his mouth to suppress a grin and snerk. He carries that grin to Monique and dips his head favorably, "You are very flattering, my lady. Not as unctious as I, however, and so perhaps the trait better employed by yourself." He takes the whiskey and thanks Etienne, "Gracious of you, Blessed. I shall return the favor at the next shindig."

Alarissa murmurs quietly to Hana before departing, drinking -very- heavily and emptying the glass of wine and presses it to an empty salver of a servant collecting cup and looks about.

Remaining at Hana's shoulder, Jeffeth gives a tense bow to Alarissa before standing up straight and regarding the Princess Consort with a tight brow. His jaw tense until Alarissa steps away.

"I didn't order the books, I just ordered them. You know, the other kind of ordered." Victus retorts with /total/ clarity to Teagan. His attention moves as the final bid is called and the tally is ended. For a moment, there's a staunch grimace on his face. It's only for that second though and then it's right back a brick-wall of neutrality. "We have quite a long and storied history, you know. It's not often gone into on account of being so bloody but there are nuggets of brightness in there. And there's pride to be found in battles won, as I'm sure you can all understand." He gestures between Sophie and Bliss. "We'll call it a dinner date then. I'll bring a board that can be written on. And ink."

Mikani walkes to Alarissa after getting a glass of whiskey. Mikani smiles at the Princess-Consort. "Good turn out." Mikani praises.

Mirk rises from his seat at the bench, an unreadable expression on his face as he glances over towards Hana and Alarissa, but he merely holds an arm out towards Gianna and says, "By all means."

"Well," Bliss says to Teagan, "I hope that he manages to handle things well. I know that recent events must be stressful for him." Her eyes trail toward Hana and Jeffeth for a moment, curious briefly, before she sees someone passing by with glasses of wine - signalling to them, rather than reaching up to just take one, she is handed a glass - and drains it nearly immediately, before motioning for another. This one, at least, she just holds for a moment, her smile starting to relax. "That mystery guest..." she begins, then trails off, shaking her head with clear distaste before she sighs and smiles at Victus. "Bloodiness doesn't really bother me, your grace. Particularly in the Mourning Isles. After all," she says, motioning to the blades on her side with a soft laugh.

Lou quietly slips out after the names are called and winners announced. She wiggles fingers at those she knows as she does.

Lou has left the The Lianne Pravus Ivy covered swing.

Willen leaves, following Lou.

The expression on Duarte's face draws first a shrug from his companion and then, however faintly, a wrinkling of her brow. But there is a drink to be had, and she accepts it quite gratefully from Etienne. Whatever the reason, it seems that Ilinca has little concern for the Lycene traditions regarding glasses being offered, and offers the man a warm smile that is a touch feline at its edges. "Many thanks," she says, bringing it curiously to her lips for a small sip. "But, it is only fitting for the high priest of Gild to be a generous man, ne?" A look towards her escort at the last.

Gianna slips her arm through Mirk's and walks out with him.

Alarissa looks to Mikani as she settles beside her. "A lovely turn out. We should cross the threshold of ten million before the year is out. Twenty percent of the children saved. I think, that is a good thing. Yes indeed. We shall have to meet with the others, Lady Delilah and Princess Catriona to start planning the auction and get a very good head start. I wouldn't mind aiming for twelve million honestly."

Gianna has left the an wobbly pine bench.

Mirk has left the an wobbly pine bench.

1 Crimson Blades Sergeant leaves, following Mirk.

Mikani nods and smiles, "Sounds like a good goal." Mikani looks at Alarissa, "A very good goal." She sips her rum softly as her dark eyes move across the room.

"My brothers, both, are warriors. Most of my cousins, as well. I am a rare diplomat in the family and even I have a preferred weapon," Teagan explains to Victus. "It is what comes of the Cloudspine being the remote location that it is." As tall as she is, the woman has more a build of a warrior, really. "There is nothing wrong with a bloody history. It is often full of lessons and anyone is remiss in not learning from them." She tilts her head to Bliss and offers a smile. "I will pass your well-wishes on to him. We have a lot to work on and did even before war broke out with one of our fealty houses, unfortunately." At the mention -- briefly -- of the mystery guest, she looks towards Hana and Alarissa: "I admit I had a curiousity. I did not have the time to spare for the riddles. But that is simply because I enjoy puzzles and mysteries. But I found myself buried in a lot of work and matters of House come first. It seems a lot of people are... less than enthused? Usually mystery guests bring joy."

Sparte smiles at Duarte, giving them a friendly nod. "Lord Duarte, it is good to see that Lady Monique is in excellent company tonight." Sparte looks over to Etienne and gives a respectful dip of his head. "And you are always a joy to cross paths with, Blessed Etienne." Sparte straightens to look back to Monique. "But I must go divest myself for the cause, so please excuse me a moment." A glance around, and after politely stepping back he turns to make a straight line for Alarissa.

"A compliment I shall happily accept," Monique tells Duarte with a flash of a grin. "Though I rather fear you'd have many arguing against it, Count Amadeo." She accepts her own glass of whiskey from Etienne with a fiery bow of her head to the handsome blond. "One of the most generous men I've ever had the pleasure of knowing," the Minx agrees with Ilinca. "Truly, you will not find a man more willing to give of his time, his knowledge or his grace. Just ply him with snacks first," she winks an emerald eye and offers a fond wave to Sparte.

"If you'll pardon me?" Alarissa murmurs to Mikani. A servant comes up, the small velvet bag in hand and Alarissa makes her way to Sabella. "The first and one of the only two. Your prize awaits inside. Do enjoy it, and thank you dear cousin. I appreciate your bidding." The smile on her face wide. She would say more but Sparte appears and she turns to the man and offers her arm to him. 'Walk with me?"

Victus seems to be getting comfortable, a modicum of relief having softened his expression. "Oh it's quite alright. After all, our mystery guest was... shall we say, out of our hands? That would be a good way to put it, yes." He replies aside to Teagan after some murmuring between the Princess and Champion. "Ah so Cloudspine /is/ a location. I was wondering that you know. I've heard so many different things about the Cloudspine that I wasn't really sure what it was, if it existed, or if it wasn't some elaborate joke. The Blackrams are a family I admire though. Fine stock. Giants with martial history. Everything to be respected about that."

"My father is - or was, I'm not really sure - the master of arms at Tor," Bliss recounts for Teagan. "I pretty much grew up with a blade of some kind in my hand from the moment I was old enough to hold one. And we had that war when I was young," she says, nodding at Teagan. "Do let Whisper House know if there is anything we can do - these sorts of situations are our specialty, after all," she notes to her warmly. She considers Alarissa again, then says to Teagan, "Some things, I think, are better left mysteries. I cannot blame those who wish to speak with them, I suppose." She looks at Victus, then nods. "I still have a hard time believing people can get that big so consistently."

"I wish I had been wrong," Sabella admits, though she takes the bag from Alarissa with a bit of a smile, "But I am happy to help the children."

Drifting away from the drinks, Lore carries a smoky bourbon in a short glass around with her as she slips through the crowds and ends up near the grouping of Duarte, Ilinca, Monique, and Etienne. SHe spares a smile towards Alariss when she collects Sparte for a walk. Looking back towards the group, she offers up a broad and sparklign grin, "My ladies, my lord, Archlector. Apologies, I don't mean to interrupt, I just wished to say... Lady Greenmarch, this event was entirely too fun and I can only hope the next one has as many sparkling personalities in it! I can't wait to bid on a whole new crop of people!"

Mikani finishes her drink and slips out.

1 Redoubt Buccaneers, Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant, 1 Redreef Warden, 1 Thrax Guards leave, following Mikani.

Sparte is in the midst of checking one of his pouches to see if he brought enough coin when he notices the offer of Alarissa's arm. He tilts his head with an expression of brief confusion before doing as requested, taking Alarissa's arm to walk with her.

Duarte chuckles for Monique's words. A smile is offered to Sparte, "Master Sparte! Have you met Countess Ilinca Corvini?" He motions aside to his guest. "She is singularly delightful, and quick!" He looks to Ilinca, "My Lady, Sparte. He is a wonderful conversationalist."

"My lady," Ilinca begins in a very serious tone. Solemn, even. Grave might be an appropriate term. "You are not asking my opinion, and so I will offer it unsolicited, as so many do. It is not wise to freely give away a man's secrets, and in his own company, no less." And then her eyes, the color of deep green seas, sparkle with mischief equal to Monique's. "It is far better to get paid for informing on the weaknesses of your friends."

There's a young anxious looking Mercy in training that enters the gardens and rushes to Sophie. Sophie's smile fades rather quickly and she stands. "I must go." She leans in to kiss Bliss' cheek softly and she says, "Thank you for a lovey evening." Then she nods politely to Victus and Teagan as she says, "It was a pleasure to see you both." Then she's rushing off. One last glance is given toward Bliss as she moves out of sight.

"I am sure a great many were hoping much the same thing." She answers SAbella. "The book will be sent shortly when it's done being scribed." And with that, she's moving away, or about to swan off with sparte when her protege speaks up and Alarissa turns in his direction. That same smile she's been plastering all over her face tonight is right there though there's warmth for Duarte and Illinca. "Countess. As always, a delight to see you and I do so love your hair. Duarte, you scamp, how did you squirrel her away from Giulio? I can indeed confirm that Master Sparte is a wonderful conversationalist."

"I can assure you," Teagan says with a brief, rare laugh, "that Cloudspine -is- indeed a place, in spire of how far west and north our lands lie. Though we have perhaps had a bit of a lark with ourselves. When your Sword is the -Bite- of Cloudspine... well, this-" she gestures at her gown, "is the Delight of Cloudspine." There's a wink to the High Lord of Thrax. To Bliss she gives a small shrug. "Perhaps it is because we all strive to touch the clouds in the Red Mountains. As for the offer, I will keep it in mind should we have need. As steward and a diplomat for my house, I do hope to find a resolution, but it may be that all fealties involved may not be so capable and a clear, unbiased mind may be needed down the road." There's a brief pause and she looks down to her wine. "No pun intended." To Sophie, she offers a nod. "Have a good evening."

Duarte laughs as Alarissa arrives and speaks. "Easy, your highness. I simply waited for an ellipses in his sentence and walked out with her in the space of silence."

"Mistress Artiglio, your presence could never be anything but a welcome interruption," Monique tells Lore, stepping aside to welcome to woman into the little circle that has formed for conversation's sake. "And thus, be welcome. Especially when you come bearing compliments. We do like them here," she teases lightly. "It was for a very worthy cause, and I'm glad it went off without too much drama." She glances back to Ilinca and laughs. "I feel certain the Archlector will forgive me, though if he demands penance, I shall bake him a cake he'll regret for the rest of his days." She dips a curtsey as Alarissa joins their gathering.

Sophie has left the an ivy covered ancient bench.

Dame Rosario Nevarre of the Oathlands have been dismissed.

Anouk Ardennes have been dismissed.

Anais Ardennes have been dismissed.

"He lies. It was the mustache, Principessa," Ilinca retorts. "I could not resist." And then she sinks into a curtsy -- once again that stiff, practiced gesture that, although not quite lacking in grace, it is clear she is not used to offering to others. "Maestro.... Sparte?" This, almost a question. "My congratulations."

Sparte looks relieved that Alarissa's path brought him back over to Duarte and Ilinca, allowing him to smile to Illinca. "It is a pleasure to meet you Contess Ilinca." Sparte glances over to Alarissa before looking back to Ilinca. "The Count and the Princess Consort are both very kind... But, please, just Sparte." A grin. "It always warms my heart to help this cause."

Duarte drains his whiskey and discards the glass in the platter of a passing tray. He sinks into a courtly bow - over the top and flamboyantly flourished for all. "I have had a lovely time but fear I must depart." He smiles to Ilinca, "My gratitude for attending, Countess - and with me, no less!" He gives a pleasant wave to the others before stepping away.

"That would make sense," Bliss says to Teagan, just nodding once. "It also keeps you further away from the snow, which, gods, that's so important there," she says with clear distaste, her nose wrinkling. "I trust you can find a solution, though, and meant to aspersions to your own abilities. We have ways of making people listen to good sense, if it becomes necessary, though." She gives Teagan a faint smile at that, a bit of a dangerous look in her eyes. As Sophie leaves, Bliss lets her go, though her eyes follow the woman out with clear interest.

Teagan is overheard praising Monique.

Teagan is overheard praising Joscelin.

"Of course, my lady! I am Lycene, we always have compliments at the ready, it is one of our defining traits!" Lore responds to Monique with a grin and a chuckle, sipping at her bourbon and glancing to Ilinca, only to laugh and give a nod. "I could believe that. Moustaches are powerful on the right men, they can have the power to make a woman do just about anything." Turning her attention back to Monique, she stage whispers, "Should he ever demand a true penance from you my lady, you come see me and I'll make sure to take the sting from the silver. Perhaps a nice gold kneeler padded with aeterna for his shrine." Lore tips a wink and chuckles once more.

1 Blackram novice guards leaves, following Teagan.

There is nothing but the warmest of smiles for Duarte, followed by what appears to be a flourishing imitation of his bow. An interesting display, surely, what with her long aeterna skirts to flutter at all that motion. "Conte Amadeo, I am honored and delighted, and will be sure to tell my husband every salacious lie I can imagine to raise his jealousy for your entertainments."



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