There will be no grand revelations happening. If you already understand events you're invited to come help.
Dec. 30, 2018, 8:20 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Compact - The Empirical - The Salon
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That is what drew the people here tonight. At least, that is what was offered to draw them here. A table is laid out with a copper-colored tablecloth upon it with drinks and simple pastries laid out.
There isn't a head to the table, there isn't anything to reflect who is in charge. The table is round, that would be opposed to the intent of the design. Yet there is that impression that Sparte, sitting there with his helmet on the table and a frosted glass of hot cocoa, is somehow responsible. It is maybe the look in his eyes that says he expects it to be a long night. "Good evening everyone. Welcome. For those who don't know me, I'm Sparte Fatchforth. I have asked, and received permission to use this venue because the Salon has always, in my heart, been about asking questions with a purpose. Tonight I'm going to try to answer questions with a purpose. If I succeed people will be less confused when they leave, if I fail they'll be talking about it in the whites and I'll probably have to do a penance or something." He gives a shrug, then straightens up in his seat. "Being the center of attention makes my hair itch, so let's get on with it. Who would like to start us off with the first question?"
Lisebet enters quietly, takes a look around, and then finds a spot to settle where she can listen. She offers a nod to those she recognizes, but since she's slinking in just a bit late, she doesn't say a word.
Khanne walks into the Salon just as things are beginning, it seems. No time to find a seat or mingle beforehand. So as not to interrupt anyone, she stands towards the back, giving quiet nods to anyone she knows who looks her way.
Erin, Crimson Blades Private, Jin, Cranky Crimson Blades Sergeant, Gale, The Mighty Pupper, 2 Crimson Blades Lieutenant arrive, following Violet.
Rowland arrives, following Thorley.
Lethe takes a quick look around before finding a place to sit.
Lethe has joined the a cluster of couches around a low table.
Silvio is benefiting from Jasher's guards this evening as he walks in with the Prince, and also another. He seems subdued and also troubled, and says nothing, and greets no one, opposite his usual self. He does come have a seat, trying to be near to Jasher, and crosses his arms over his chest.
"Definitely curious times," murmurs the Redrain princess to Ysbail, before she smiles at Sparte when he begins to speak. His hair itching gets a small laugh from Helena, but she quiets again, glancing around for who might be brave enough to field the first question. Spoilers: It's not her.
Violet arrives with Thorley and she scans the table. When her eyes fall on Sparte she moves to sit with the Iron Guard commander. Giving him a small smile and nod of her head as she settles at the table. "Afternoon," She says pleasantly.
Violet has joined the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.
Ysbail has joined the line.
Gilroy has joined the a glossy walnut bar.
Thorley has joined the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.
Dominique has been waiting on the event or some short while, by consequence avoiding some of the crush of the crowds as they come in and instead keeping a quiet vigil off in some corner of the room. A cunning strategy! Yet as the chamber starts to fill, she steps forward from her spot on the wall to find a place, and indeed to get a good seat before too many of them are taken. Her demeanor, as ever, is a little stiff, yet she relaxes some as Sparte starts to speak.
"Awww, the poor, shy little Sparte," Says Caspian over to Sparte with a teasing smile given his way. "Good on you to do this." He doesn't pose a question, though he does look around, looking for the first question giver with a curious look given to the crowd.
Dominique has joined the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.
Walking in with Violet, Thorley moves to settle with his wife at the table to listen in, not having much to add at the moment.
Beatrice has joined the line.
Sorrel has joined the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.
Turn in line: Ysbail
a small twilit kingsnake arrives, following Macda.
Sorrel sits down next to her cousin, looking a bit uncomfortable as she settles into a chair, her focus on the line and on the host.
Gilroy wanders into the Empirical, carrying a paper bag filled with fried balls of dough dipped in honey and dusted with confectionary sugar. He pops one in his mouth and licks his lips while looking around the room, then heads over and settles in at the bar.
Lisebet chooses to settle at the table with her family, rather than looking to meet anyone new today. She quietly moves to settle in at the table where Violet, Thorley, and Sorrel are.
Lisebet has joined the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.
Jasher heads into the place, taking a moment to glance around before finding a seat for himself. If he noticed Silvio benefiting from the benefit of his presence and retinue, he's giving it no more attention than he would a speck of dust on his shoulder. He finds a seat to make himself comfortable in, settling down with the creak of leather.
Jasher has joined the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.
Violet smiles and bobs her head as Lisebet joins them. However she keeps fairly quiet, focusing instead of those asking question.
Silvio has joined the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.
The princess looks around before spotting Beatrice, and walks over to hand off a brooch. She smiles at Jeffeth nearby and Gilroy who seems vaguely familiar. "Oh hi."
Lisebet mutters, "Good day. I hope ... don't mind ... ... join ... all. It seems ... right ... ... ... somehow."
Ysbail goes to get in line, and then flushes again to realize she's first. Oops. Clearing her throat and lifting Cobalt eyes to steady on poor Sparta, "There are signs that things that have been dormant for a very long time are stirring, especially since the tower feel, and stranger things appearing. Is the castle of Yesterday something brought about by copper or is its origin still unknown?"
Sparte rolls his eyes at Caspian, but gives the man a good natured nod before turning his attention around the room to scan the table. He isn't looking for familiar faces right now, he is looking for questions. When Ysbail speaks up he zeroes in on her, giving his full attention to her question. "For those who are unfamiliar, the castle in question is the one that has appeared outside of the city. It can be easy to forget a little thing like a sudden castle in the countryside when we've people flying steelsilk sails and using magic at the docks." Sparte shakes his head. "It has been suggested to me that the castle in question was under Copper's protection, which suggests it needed protection from something. I don't know more than that at this juncture." Sparte glances around the room. "If any wish to give a better answer to any of these questions, please do. I know there are others with a firm grasp of events that can speak better to some specifics."
Slipping to her feet, Beatrice accepts the brooch from Macda with a startled laugh and a deep tilt of her head, whispering to the princess beneath the questions and answers.
2 Rivenshari Clansman, Timbo, agile and cheeky rivenshari youth arrive, following Eshra.
a small twilit kingsnake leaves, following Macda.
Silvio has joined the line.
Lisebet mutters, "Thank you."
Ysbail mutters, "Your Welcome?"
Raymesin lurks quietly in the background, leaning against a handy piece of wall. He doesn't need any help to see over the crowd, and he wouldn't if they were standing.
Turn in line: Beatrice
"Sparte, if you wanted me to answer a bunch of questions about Copper, you could have let me schedule something at a time more convenient to me," Sorrel complains, shifting her pregnant body in an uncomfortable way. "I have someone's feet in my ribs, I'm telling you. Hrmph." She stretches a little, still looking grumpy. "The Castle of Yesterday was a day out of time, per Copper's doing. Copper's spell was broken at Copper's death. It contains valuable objects that our guests don't need to know about. In fact, it would be best for the contents of the Castle if no one went nosing about it for fear our guests do get wind of it. Furthermore, what it contains will be revealed in time, and until that time, should remain veiled in secrecy."
Brenlin, Aide-de-Camp, 2 Rubino and Zaffria guards arrive, following Miranda.
Lisebet settles in, listening, as she smoothes her skirts. She looks throughtful, but doesn't seem to have anything to add to the story. She's hear to learn.
Violet glances at Sorrel as she complains and manages to keep her smile from growing to large in amusement. The memory of feet in ribs is still reasonably fresh. "Try putting something cold where those toes are," She suggests softly. But she has no comment of the castle.
Sparte gives Sorrel an apologetic look. "I did not mean to inconvenience you Princess Sorrel. Thank you, though, for your guidance on that." Sparte glances around the room. "For the sake of that secrecy we will move on to the next question, enough has been said there."
Beatrice fiddles with her brooch and retakes her seat on the stool at the bar - just in time to realize that the next question is hers. She pauses to listen to Sorrel before saying to Sparte, her Lycene accent thick and tumbling, "Thank you, your Highness - and to you, messere, for hosting this. I'm new to Arx, and new to this story. Did Copper have a name? Some speak of her as a figure of myth, others as very human."
Miranda has joined the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.
There's a deep frown cast over to Sorrel. Jeffeth folds his massive arms over his chest and lets out a quiet sigh, leaning against the bar before looking back up to Sparte, quietly listening.
Miranda enters and looks about the Salon for a moment. Seating seems to be filling up fast. She quickly, unobtrusively, finds herself a chair and slides into it. She smiles to those near her and looks about to hear the question and see who is speaking.
Khanne does little more than watch and listen from her spot in the back. Mist-grey eyes shift from person to person as they speak, though Sorrel gets a smile when she speaks of her current state. The smile fades quickly though, a furrow setting into her brow.
Silvio glances over to Sorrel and he dips his chin, frowning faintly. Then, Silvio stands up and wets his lips, "What manner of creature was this Copper? Does anyone know how it died? Since there are others seemingly of it's ilk trying to take over our land, knowing how it died seems like it would be valuable knowledge. Then at least we are armed against further meddling in human business."
Khanne makes a small 'hmph' of noise and crosses her arms.
When Beatrice speaks up, Sparte's eyes shift to her, and he takes a slow breathe. "Copper... Copper may not be name enough to everyone, and she did have other names, but I'm going to redirect your question to what I think will do the most to alleviate confusion. Copper had a story. She was one of the Metallic Order, she had no master, she had freedom. True freedom, to do as she saw fit." Sparte takes a sip of his milk to wet his throat before continuing. "And she saw fit to spend that freedom here in Arx. She chose to save us from threats we will never know, and some we may yet with her loss. If you really need a name for her, if you really need a word for Copper that isn't Copper... I suggest referring to her by her legacy. I suggest calling her Hope." Sparte looks over to Silvio. "She was not a dragon or a cow, if that is what you're asking. Unfortunately figuring out how she died is a challenge we're still facing. Please do not call Copper an it, I mean really man."
Turn in line: Silvio
"Copper was human, and she was born a slave without a name," Sorrel interjects to Silvio's question. "She just was very very good at manipulating time. We don't know the details of how she died, though we do know that her death bought us time. Months, years -- we don't know how much time she bought us, but she bought us time. But she was a human, enslaved by the Rex'alfar, and given no name. She took the name Copper because that was the color of her hair. But she was HUMAN and she loved HUMANITY and she came to the concert in her honor, even though it was at an inconvenient time. But Copper, she had more time than anyone. Time was just an idea for her."
"Was by not giving her a name a way to keep her from being taken by the Great Enslaver?" Thorley asks curiously, though he shakes his head. "Nevermind, if she had control of time, that probably didn't matter."
Helena has joined the line.
Turn in line: Helena
Ysbail checked composure + diplomacy at difficulty 15, rolling 6 higher.
Dark eyes watchful as she listens to Sparte and Sorrel, Beatrice inclines her head in thanks and carefully avoids looking at Silvio. "You speak of her as a friend, your Highness. Our questions speak only to how little truly /is/ known by so many across all levels of our society. It is opportunities like this, those allowing us to be so transparent, that seem to best protect her legacy."
Ysbail shivers visibly at mention of the Enslaver, but remains quiet and intent. Listening to the questions and answers.
"I think it's a different issue entirely, Lord Thorley." Jeffeth rumbles over to him. "She was a slave to the Rex'alfar, the elves, before the Reckoning. Before the Archfiends were causing problems all over the place."
Miranda sits back in her chair, smoothing her dress over her legs before resting her clasped hands in her lap. Her honey-brown eyes flit about from person to person.
"The Great Enslaver, the one who takes names, is the Betrayer, is the Metallic who Betrayed the others. He came later. Not giving slaves names is a typical practice, and there were other Metallics who were born human slaves who had no name but their metal," Sorrel explains with a deep breath, shifting again as if the little person in her belly is making her very grumpy. "Humans didn't need names because they were just slaves for the convenience of elves."
Silvio sits back down. "There are so many questions. So she is a human that lived for years uncounted, and joined a group of others with similar names after metals?"
Lisebet smiles gently, but she still stays quiet, as she listens. Well, mostly quiet. "So fascinating," she murmurs.
Ysbail clears her throat. "For the sake of poor Sparte's Sanity and the rest of us, there is a line for questions. Please use it.
Thorley has left the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.
Rowland leaves, following Thorley.
There's a shiver from Helena at the mention of the Enslaver as well, and she glances at Ysbail with a wary look, before stepping up to ask the question, following the protocol set forth by the Salon. Her upper teeth rake over her lower lip, before she takes a breath, a shaky one. "Did Copper have children of any sort that we know of? Did she leave anyone behind -- I mean, besides us. I think we are all her children, who she protected, in her way, but... something more... something less metaphorical?"
"I've never heard of her having any children, but she did love that clock tower, which I happen to have built some replicas of in my shop. Bell Bookcases and Cabinets, for those who want to remember her in the privacy of their own sitting room." Adora pipes up from where she's leaning against a wall listening.
Khanne tilts her head and looks to Sorrel. "The Betrayer, the traitor of Metallics, works for the Enslaver. They are not the same...."
"She was good at time magic, Lord Silvio. Which explains how she has been around so long." Jeffeth rumbles. "The Metallic Order was a group of Heroes that did a lot of good for us. Copper was among their number. And Silver, and Gold. You can read about Silver at the Hall of Heroes." The big man pipes with a little smile over to Silvio. Turning to Helena the big man cants his head and then looks at the ground for a moment. "She had close friends. And a group that followed her closely. She had some she considered family, I know. No children, to my knowledge, Your Highness."
There is a sigh as Sparte slumps back in his seat. "I expected this. A bit of history..." Sparte gestures to the side. "Looooong ago, so long that we don't even know how long it was before the Reckoning, the elves as we call them rules from a place called Caer'alfar. The Rex'Alfar, as they called themselves, were divided on the fate of humans and on how magic should be used. A Rex'Alfar prince who believed magic should only be used for good chose to release certain slaves and gives them names. Names based on the alchemical properties of metals that he felt they reflected. For himself, he gave the name Platinum. That was the origin of the Metallic Order. The origin of humanity's freedom. When Platinum left Arx, he left it in the charge of Copper. Yet now she is gone, and stories change. Do not take what I said about Platinum to mean he is the same as he was then." Sparte turns his attention to Helena. "I'm sorry. I have no idea." He shrugs. "And I wouldn't want her children to be on display like menagerie animals for the masses if I did know."
Ysbail eventually stands, moving over to stand next to Khanne, murmuring something in a low tone. Attention still on the crowd.
Miranda rises from her seat and turns, beginning to head back out.
"Copper's children's privacy is something that I need to respect, be they biological or adopted," Sorrel says almost apologetically. "Just as I cannot tell you what is in the Castle of Yesterday. And it is important that our foreign guests don't spare a thought about that Castle, so don't even bring it up to them if you have the terrible misfortune to talk to one." She looks to Khanne and sighs. "Ah, you're right. Too many euphemisms and I get confused. They're not the same. Just close."
Miranda has left the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.
Brenlin, Aide-de-Camp, 2 Rubino and Zaffria guards leave, following Miranda.
Raymesin's smile at Adora's words is brief; should she look in his direction, she'll be given a repeat of it.
"Correcting a tiny bit what Jeffeth said, from what I've heard and read about, once you learn magic, it seems possible to extend your life beyond what normal people live by," Caspian explains to Silvio.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Violet before departing.
Pausing as she moves to sip from her wine, Beatrice looks in Adora's direction at the sound of her advertisement. Shaking her head, she sips her wine and resumes listening to the various explanations.
Rowland arrives, following Thorley.
Lisebet inclines her head, and she says, "I think that is eminently reasonable. I wish them all the best of luck, and they have my sympathy. From all I have heard, Copper was a wonderful woman. I am very sorry I never met her. That I know of." She wrinkles her nose, and then she says, "It helps to have a general idea what has happened, even without the details to protect the privacy as needed. It makes me even more determined to do what I can to honour her memory."
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Gilroy before departing.
With many people addressing her, Helena's blue gaze darts on each speaker before alighting on Sorrel. Her head tilts at the wording, and she nods once, before returning to her seat, picking up her quill to scrawl something in her journal.
Silvio pulls out a bit of paper to write down what he can of the matters they are faced with, and of Copper.
Sparte considers the room carefully for a short while, before deciding to speak again. "There seem to be no more questions, so I will leave you all with something to consider as we break for the evening. Copper's death has brought delegations from two of the most powerful empires in the world. Others are coming as well. These are groups who left us alone, that do so no longer." Sparte pauses for a moment. "We have a choice to make, each and every one of us, on how we will face this. Copper's legacy is one of freedom. Copper's legacy is one of hope. Yet her magic was only one of possibilities. That means what those people out in the bay feared, what those empires out there feared? It was us. Because there is the possibility, however slight, that we can come together. That we can do something that makes us every bit as formidable as they are." Sparte looks around the room. "But now we've no second chances. Thank you all for coming tonight, feel free to stay and discuss and eat the leftovers. Someone can even steal the tablecloth." Sparte points over to Adora. "Except her. Anyway, meeting adjourned."
"That you know of," Sorrel agrees with Lisebet. "We really should say a few words about our guests. The envoys are not our friends. They offer us slavery of one form or another. They would rule us, and either one could force their will upon us. But they won't, probably, because they don't want to start a war with the opposing faction. So we're caught in the middle. It's a dangerous position to be in. If you find yourself needing to be diplomatic with an envoy, remember that treating with them is above your pay grade and refuse to answer questions."
Violet has left the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.
Erin, Crimson Blades Private have been dismissed.
Jin, Cranky Crimson Blades Sergeant have been dismissed.
Gale, The Mighty Pupper have been dismissed.
2 Crimson Blades Lieutenant have been dismissed.
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