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Poetry Reading: "Endings & Beginnings"

All poets, whether hobbyists or professional writers, along with all lovers of poets and poetry are invited to the next Poetry Reading hosted by Princess Helena Redrain!

This time, there is a theme: Beginnings and Endings. Or just beginnings. Or just endings! Take the theme where it wants to go, whether it's an ode to a certain goddess or a sonnet on the ephemeral nature of beauty.

Those who would like to be slated to read that evening are invited to message Helena in advance, though as always, impromptu reading is welcome, depending on the number of attendees.

Date

March 25, 2019, 7:30 p.m.

Hosted By

Helena

Participants

Donella Sparte Octavia Merek Beatrice Arthen Rysen Bianca Lianne Olivia Elgana Fiora Roran Reese Margret Khanne Alessandro

Organizations

Scholars

Location

Arx - Ward of the Compact - Vellichorian Academy - Reading Room

Largesse Level

Refined

Comments and Log


Donella has joined the Stately Sofa of Somnolence.

Fajra arrives, following Lianne.

2 Ashford House Guard, Bethany, 1 Ashford veteran guards arrive, following Olivia.

Olivia arrives, following Rysen.

Lille, the dauntless companion arrives, following Elgana.

Half-Mast, a surly-natured little person, Elgana arrive, following Arthen.

Donella joins Marquessa Kennex at her sofa, sitting upon one arm (the sofa's, not Octavia's) and leaning against the side of the back, restively.

The little reading room is a comfy enough place for a poetry reading, with two large sofas, provided the crowd isn't overly large - and it rarely is. Helena waits at her usual place at the lectern she's placed at the front of the study, her journal and a piece of parchment already laid out upon it. She nods to each person as they enter, greeting those that she knows with a warm welcome, and introducing herself with a handshake and smile to those she doesn't know yet -- but will after the evening's events. Small journals and quills are also set out -- in case she feels inspired to give a writing activity, as she is wont to do.

Sparte settles by himself on one end the couch, glancing around at the others present curiously as things get started.

Archimedes the White Horned Owl, Sir Alren, Scholar Duran, 2 Templar Knight guards arrive, following Bianca.

1 Templar Knight guards arrives, following Roran.

Octavia is quite glad that Princess Donella elected not to sit on her arm. She's sunk back into the sofa with a troubled look on her face - not at all unexpected considering recent events. Maybe the poems will help ease her mind a bit.

Merek has come to listen to others, while he has on his black dress attire. He finds a place to settle into a seat and relax while he watches.

".. and deny it to any who may ask." Conversing quietly, the two dark-haired Malespero arrive arm in arm, Beatrice escorting her Marquessa Lianne. Tearing her attention away from her companion with a pointed lift of her brows, Beatrice greets Helena with an instant smile and touches two fingers to her lips. "Shall we make friends?" she teases, guiding Lianne toward a most stately looking sofa.

Beatrice has joined the Stately Sofa of Somnolence.

As a man that's getting to look pretty comfortable at these poetry readings, Arthen Dayne.. well.. he looks pretty comfortable arriving. Here comes the Redrain Team Spirit. The Princess Elgana Redrain arrives with him. Or maybe he's with her. They both make it, though. "Heck, I am startin' to get to the point where I look forward to some poetry. Who knew it could be as fun as dusty maps?", he's asking the royal when they make their appearance. There's no need to hem or haw over which seat to take. He finds the same they'd settled into the last time. Safer that way. Already tested.

Rysen and Olivia arrive in the reading room, and make their way over to Helena. Rysen bows, and says to the Princess, "Thank you for hosting again, Your Highness." He makes his way towards the back of the room, and smiling at Olivia, says, "Please make yourself comfortable, My Lady. I can never sit if I suspect Princess Helena will allow me to present." His eyes pass over a few familiar faces on the sofa and he smiles warmly.

Lianne has joined the Stately Sofa of Somnolence.



Bianca has made her way here, struggling her way free of the work that's kept her bound to a desk for what seems to be lifetimes. There are signs of a lack of rest, but a soft smile creases pale lips as she nods her greetings to those that happen to say their hellos. As ever, she is quiet, apparently only here to take in the event. Not far behind her is Roran, and the two speak in soft tones back and forth, keeping their chatter to a minimum now that they've made their way inside.

"I make no promises," Lianne murmurs aside to Beatrice as she's guided toward that sofa, a bright smile turned toward those already situated. She sinks in rather comfortably, shoulder to shoulder with her seneschal, as she scans the room, head dipped once or twice to familiar faces, smiling growing a touch wider as she catches sight of Bianca.

Olivia smiles warmly and curtseys to Helena, "Lady Olivia, a pleasure to meet you your highness." She smiles over to Rysen, "I will wait to sit until people start reading." She keeps her arm around Rysen's.

"I did," Elgana quips to Arthen as they make their way inside, a quick wink given to the historian and all-around adventure-explorer. "But I am glad you are enjoying these readings." A quick wave is given to Helena at her lectern before a look is given over the rest of those gathered. Some familiar faces draw her smile brighter, particularly Donella who gets a wave. "Shall we find a spot to sit?"

Drysi, a young shaman apprentice arrives, following Khanne.

Rosalie, a lady in waiting, 1 Grayson House Guards, Peaches, a lovely white war filly with a peach saddle, Deliverance, an albino falcon, Stormy, a silvery gray hunting hound, Rascal, a hyper terrier arrive, following Reese.

Slipping quietly into the reading room, Fiora Malvici moves, light of feet and unassuming. Arms folded over her stomach, she takes in a light breath, peering around the room. A quiet sigh is let out as Fiora moves deeper into the room. She wanders near Octavia, dipping her head while taking a long searching look of the woman. She heads towards the sofa of somnolence.

Fiora has joined the Stately Sofa of Somnolence.

Merek offers a light bow to Bianca as he notes her, then he shifts his attention to some of the others coming in, while he takes a drink of some wine that he has with him.



Roran seems to have a bit of a spring in his step, head bobbing as his bushy eyebrows rise and fall, offering a hello here, a wide, toothy smile there. He doesn't chatter, nor even natter, because he's here for a poetry recital - and he perks up as he comes inside. He rocks himself on to his tip toes for a moment, giving himself another inch to get a good read of the room. It's then that he taps Bianca on the forearm, gesturing over towards the mostly un-occupied wooden sofa area.



Donella waves in return to Elgana, as she finishes saying something aside to the nice lady judge on whose arm she would not sit. "You won't promise to make friends? Ah, me. Then will you settle for nemeses?" she says to Lianne and Beatrice. "Its very hard to get decent ones of those."

Reese arrives at the reading while adorned in pink and toting her weapons. She peeks over the room, trying to get a feel for things here. She goes to look for a place to sit. Merek is given a gentle smile.

1 Greenmarch Guard, Soraya, the out of place Lycene lady's maid arrive, following Margret.

Octavia has a whispered conversation with Donella while she waits for the readings to begin. Her face is still troubled, but thoughtful as she responds. Must be something she cares about, like law.



A gentle nod is given toward Lianne, though Bianca does not move to approach. Merely does the Legate stand somewhere on the outskirts of the gathering, her hands clasped neatly before her, an expression of appreciation worn as she watches others come together for this sharing of art, and of the written word turned spoken. When her arm is tapped, her head turns toward Roran, leaning toward him as though she would hear a secret, but when he gestures toward the sofa she gives a quick nod and broader smile, brief as it is, before moving toward the seat indicated.

Bianca has joined the a comfortable ivory leather and mahogany wooden sofa.

Roran has joined the a comfortable ivory leather and mahogany wooden sofa.

"You as well," says Helena to Olivia, after a grin for Beatrice and a laugh for Rysen. "Allow you to? I would be heart broken if you did not, Lord Rysen. The people will demand an encore of you after last time, I am certain."



After people find their seats, she lifts her chin to address the group.



"Good evening and thank you for making it to our latest poetry reading! The theme tonight is Beginnings and Endings, and if you have something prepared on those concepts, we look forward to hearing them. If you have something prepared *not* on that theme, we will still listen -- after all, every poem has a beginning and an ending," she says, blue eyes sparkling as she speaks to the cluster of poets and audience members. "Unless it's unfinished. And there are some who might say no poem is ever complete."



She looks around. "There's quite a few people I think who are planning to read, so I won't make you write unless you are inspired to," she gestures to the quills and journals set around -- usually because she gives quick extemporaneous writing prompts. "Instead, I'd invite you to just take a moment and think what those words mean to you -- what those words mean *for* you, while I prepare to read a poem from someone who could not make it tonight."

Lianne grins delightedly at Donella, a nod offered in all too serious concession. "I do appreciate the /honesty/ of a good rivalry." It looks like she might be ready to settle into negotiations with her potential nemesis when Helena makes proper introduction of the evening's activities and draws her attention away.

Olivia looks to Rysen, "Seems you are very popular at these things my Lord. I look forward to hearing what you have prepared." She smiles warmly at him.

Margret slips into the reading room just as Helena begins speaking. A sheepish smile is thrown in the direction of the Redrain Princess as she is a little late. She stands in the back behind the couches. Spotting Elgana she lifts a hand to wave quietly but energetically.

Khanne walks into the Reading Room looking around with a nod. She is wearing, for her, a fall sort of dress. It is silk, yes, but it has fur... a little. And leather... around the waist. She is quiet as she enters, but lifts her hand to offer greetings to the several people she knows, which seems to be almost everyone. Some get a more direct greeting though. Bianca gets a bigger wave with a soft, "I haven't seen you in forever!" Rysen and Olivia both get whispered, "I have a thing I would like to talk to you about," though each is whispered to separately. Arthen gets a smile before she heads to Donella with a smile and then to Lianne for a squeeze. After all her hellos are made, she looks about for a place to sit, turning her attention to Helena.

Reese goes to take a seat. She listens to Helena as the princess speaks. The girl then peeks over to Lianne at words about rivalry, looking interested. She smiles to Khanne as well.

Helena straightens a piece of parchment, skimming the words once more, before she lifts her eyes again to the audience. "This is a poem from Lord Sebastian Pravus. I only hope I can do his beautiful wordcraft justice, as I am not a performer by any means," she murmurs, before reading:



"Out on the water, life ended

Connections severed

Hope died



The world continued, unchanged

Names forgotten

Cast aside



The dark of the night, welcomed

Solitude embraced

Safe; alone



Emerging from that stillness, unsteady

World still waiting

Alive; grown



Changed, by the memories of others, gone

Gone, not forgotten

Mourned



Emerging, memories and self, changed

Cast anew

Reborn"

Donella welcomes Khanne with an easy grin, mouthing, 'are you reading?' to her, rather baldly. She is trying to be good for Helena's sake. Good is relative one supposes. "You did both, your highness! Clever."

Rysen beams at Helena when he hears her warm words. He seems to relax a bit, uncharacteristically in situations like this. He chuckles at Olivia's words, and shakes his head. "Princess Helena is very kind, and she knows my heart beats faster to recite poems in public than it does to face death on the battlefield. She is a bright fire of inspiration around which all the poets of Arx gather." He smiles at Olivia, and turns to listen to Helena recite the poetry of Lord Sebastian with rapt attention.

Olivia snaps her fingers for the first poem read.

Khanne has joined the Stately Sofa of Somnolence.

A couple of out-of-the-way chairs, that's where Arthen Dayne escorts Princess Elgana over toward. Reading chairs, of course. Just in time for the poetry to fly, too. The explorer doesn't miss Khanne's welcoming smile, and he tosses up a hand to wave at her, shooting a smile back.

Watching Helena recite, Beatrice gives a neutral murmur at the poem's close, even as she pulls a quill and journal closer, features distracted.

There is a wave for Margret that is easily just as energetic when she spies that movement out of the corner of her eye. Elgana's smile all the brighter as she waves her best friend on over to where she's parked herself with Arthen at those reading chairs. As Helena starts to speak her attention turns toward her sister, quieting down as she listens to the poem. Once it is finished she offers gentle applause. "Lord Sebastian has a way with words," she murmurs to Arthen, catching his wave toward Khanne which prompts her to give a friendly wave as well.

Lianne's fingers snag on Khanne's arm as the woman settles on the sofa, but her attention is held by the recitation of one of her cousin's poems, her expression gone rather serious as she listens. Even as it's concluded. That thin purse of her lips seems rather somber despite the otherwise animated conversation nearby.

A hand is lifted toward Khanne and her soft mention of how long it's been, Bianca giving a toothy smile as her head bobs in acknowledgement, "We should speak soon." Her voice has a sort of clarity to it, like a blade stilled by silk, though she grows silent as the reading begins. She leans toward Roran to speak softly to him, before all her attentions are shifted back to the reader, a nodding of appreciation offered, her smile softening once more as she listens in.

Reese listens to the poem with close attention and then has a ghost of a smile. She peeks over to Bianac, giving her a smile. "Very nice to see you again, Scholar Bianac." She says, but only after the poem comes to an end.



For his part, Roran seems to be softly murmuring at the sofa after the first recital, his features animated, eyebrows rising and falling as he apparently seems to have some comment about it, overall positive if his manner has anything to say about it.



Margret listens, and claps enthusiastically when Helena finishes Sabastian's poem. While everyone claps she moves up towards the reading chairs where Elgana and Arthen are sitting. She smiles at Arthen and gives him a nod of greeting before she leans in to give Elgana a brief hug.

The hostess' eyes are a dark midnight from the tears the words of the poem draw to them, despite having read it several times to prepare to read it aloud. "He does," she says to Elgana, with a nod, and despite the somberness of the poem, she grins a little at the arrivals of Margret and Khanne and at Donella's efforts to be well behaved.



"Lord Rysen, you are too kind. Would you like to put yourself out of your misery and read now, rather than later?" she says warmly, stepping away from the lectern; she leaves her own journal there but takes the parchment, carefully folding it to slip into her gown's pocket (all her gowns have pockets, you guys.)

Rysen makes his way to the front of the room, and smiles a little, saying to Helena, "Thanks for putting me out of misery early, Your Highness." He seems a bit calmer than usual, but his left hand trembles with excitement. His voice, however, is clear and strong. "This poem was inspired by a recent conversation in the Black Axe Pub. In light of Princess Helena's theme for our poetry, I could think of no more fitting subject. The title of this poem is 'Falling Star.'"



Rysen begins to chant in a melodious voice:

"A girl one day beseeched the gods,

In her heart a dream she held:

To guide the world with starry light,

Though her fate her dream repelled.



"Yet her mind was quick and agile;

Her tongue was swift and sweet.

Aion heard her on His star-lit throne,

And called her face to face to meet.



"Though your birth is naught but humble,

Your soul is full of light.

You will shine with purest radiance,

And the lives of many guide.



"So whispered soft the Dreamer,

And He empowered all her grace.

She in the vaulted sky arose -

The brightest star yet made.



"And fair she ruled the heavens,

A woman bright and strong!

Though in time she heard some words again

From the dreaming god Aion:



"Another prays like you, He said,

And wants the brightest star to be,

But you must the decision make,

As we trust in your decree.



"I thank you, Highest Aion,

Came her kind reply,

Let another shine the brightest,

And I shall wander through the sky.



"The gods upon her smiled,

And she became a falling star,

Even fairer in her freedom,

Loved by every upraised eye."



Rysen ceases his chant, and bows his head before those in attendance.

Rodrigo, 1 Greenmarch Guard, 2 Greenmarch trained guards arrive, following Alessandro.

Smile delighted, Beatrice applauds softly for Rysen at the conclusion of the poem, a quill held loosely between two fingers. To Khanne and Lianne, she says aside, "A wish personified."

Khanne shakes her head to Donella. "I do not plan to." But then she is distracted by the poem Helena reads. She smiles and follows Olivia's lead by snapping her fingers before leaning closer to whisper to the woman. She then settles herself on the couch somewhere near Donella and Lianne. She gives a nod towards Bianca then looks to see who might speak next. Which appears to be Rysen. She pays close attention then snaps again in appreciation before turning to the others at the couch to speak softly.

Reese, too, is given a nod of Bianca's head as her greeting is given, "A pleasure to be seen," Bianca gives a bit of a scoffed laugh, "It's nice to not be hidden by the grand shadows cast by a mountain of paperwork." She speaks quietly, but never when others are sharing their craft. Her legs cross, her hands clasped in her lap, silvery gaze ever attentive. Her smiling fades as she watches Helena, more moved by the emotion of the presenter than the words themselves. Her brows crease, the corners of her mouth tugging downward in a vague frown. "Ah, the power of words fully realised..." She murmurs in subtle conversational tones to those seated at the couch with her. When Rysen begins to speak, she grows utterly silent. Her breath shallows, her head bowing and eyes closing as she listens. When he concludes, she takes in a quick breath and nods, "How they can lift our spirits and break our hearts all at the same time..."

Olivia smiles and snaps her fingers. That seems far more appropriate in a place of books, rather than thunderous applause.

Lianne laughs, abrupt and short and rather ill-timed, then quickly recomposes herself, a little crinkle of her nose angled toward Donella as if it were all her fault.

"It's so lovely to see you," Elgana murmurs to Margret as she returns that hug. "Do you know Arthen? If not, this is Arthen Dayne, historian and adventurer. Dayne, this is Lady Margret Greenmarch, my best friend" It's very quiet talk and it quiets all the way back down to silence once Rysen has begun to recite his poem, the Crovane Lord getting her rapt attention. Her smile softens as the poem goes on, almost wistful right up to the end. There is more gentle applause when it is over. "Beautiful work as always, Lord Rysen! Truly beautiful."

Reese adds to Bianca. "Scholars have so much paperwork. I couldn't even imagine. That being said, I would love for you to visit my library in my tower if you ever want. It has lots of books." She tries to tempt with.

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

Quickly leaving the lecturn, Rysen smiles at Elgana as he makes his way back to Olivia's side. He whispers, "Thank you," to Helena.

Donella is clapping her hands together, though to Rysen's poem. "I like the rhythm of that quatrain. Is the poet a stargazer himself in his free time, or is it just a fancy?"

Leaning against a bookshelf, Helena listens with rapt attention, her smile fond for the nervous but eloquent poet Rysen. She looks quite touched by the poem, though this time she doesn't get tearful -- perhaps she's met her quota for the day, or even the year. She beams and applauds softly. "So lovely, and very fitting of the theme. You do bring a certain dignity to the readings I do not bring on my own," she tells him, before glancing around. She notices Lianne glaring playfully at Donella, and her eyes alight on the Redrain princess. "Princess Donella, you said you had something to read?" she says -- maybe just to separate the troublemakers on the sofa.

@emit Alessandro slips into the reading room very quietly, luckily right as Rysen' poem is ending. He looks around, nodding to those he knows but being mostly unobtrusive as he spies Margret and starts over to her. When he gets there he lays a hand on her arm, murmuring something quietly to her before he straightens up to nod to both Elgana and Arthen, for once silent so as not to disturb the proceedings.

Arthen Dayne has a warm enough smile for Lady Margret as she makes her way over to the chairs where he's sat. His attention's on the poetry for the most part, though, at least until some introductions are being made. The explorer's baby blues return to the Greenmarcher a second time. "Pleasure's mine, Lady Margret.", he offers quietly. When the poem's finished, he offers a brisk applaud in appreciation for the artistry.



Roran, rather than speaking, instead rises from his sofa briefly and brings his hands together in soft applause after Rysen finishes his recital. The clapping continues, solo and proud, until he then finishes with one last clap. He settles himself back down, fixing his clothing as he brings one sandled foot over his knee, reclined and apparently satisfied by the recital as if it were a grand meal. "Beautiful." He sighs, resting a hand on his stomach. There's a moment afterwards however, where he leans over towards Reese, and taps his nose. "Legate." He stage whispers, before he leans back to where he was.



Rysen smiles at Donella, and says, "Very much an admirer of nature in all her forms. Luckily, by claiming to be a poet, I may claim the habit of wandering in her beauty as seeking inspiration, rather than mere idleness."

Reese peeks over to Donella. "Always a pleasure to see you, Princess Donella." She softly says. She then turns to Roran. "And you Legate, alway a pleasure. " She doesn't seem to know the man well, but he seems curious about him and he is given another a smile.

Princess Consort Donella rises from her place, looking appropriately (if not altogether) contrite. "I do, your highness, though nowhere near as skillful. The lines I conceived up on my last visit to Farhaven, as I convalesced with my son." She knits her fingers together behind her, and recites:



The Last Day of Autumn



Alone in the evening

When my toil was done

I took time to observe

the slow arc of the sun



And there in the dusk

I accounted it best

to lay quiet and watch

the day sink in the west



There lay the mountains

stones scraping the sky

and a canyon of clouds

a hundred miles high



The leaves of the trees

were a fiery red cloak

drawn round the glen

over willow and oak



From my place on the wall

I watched balefires glow

and heard strains of song

in the valley below



The wind sang an ode

as the light died away

and pin pricks of light

marked the passing of day



She finishes, and inclines her head politely.

"We met at the Taste of the Northlands, I believe. There was mention of sirens. Candy was offered." Margret says cheerfully. That cheerful expression remains on her face as she quiets to listen to Rysen, and when he finishes she applauds him. "Goodman Arthen. It is lovely to see you again." When Alessandro arrives she smiles a little at whatever he whispers to her before introducing, "Alessandro this is Arthen Dayne. Goodman this is my husband, Lord Alessandro Greenmarch." She quiets then to listen to Donella.

"Oh, that's /lovely/," Beatrice breathes out at the end of Donella's recitation. She taps out the poem's meter with the quill against her journal. "Bravo, your Highness."

Unlike the more refined company, Rysen claps heartily to hear Donella recite her poem. "Your words perfectly capture the enchantment of nature, Your Highness." He smiles at Donella, before he glances at Olivia, and quickly switches to snapping, blushing a little in recalling himself in an academy reading room.

Olivia snaps her fingers for the poem!

Again, Helena's gaze turns quite fond, and she tips her head as she listens, one hand moving to her heart in a gesture that seems quite touched. When Donella finishes, she claps lightly but enthusiastically. "You've captured the beauty of Farhaven well, your highness," she says softly, glancing at Elgana for confirmation of that. "I reject your preface that you are not skilled. You take it back or I'll find someone to duel you," she adds, grin returning, before she looks at the audience. "Did we have any others who would like to read?"

Donella jokes to Rysen and the others in reply, "I think it rather captures being exhausted after two full days of labor with an infant, but you are very kind."

Reese listens to the poem being read. "Oh, very nice." She says afterwards.

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

Oh that poem grips Elgana alright. There's a true look of longing in those dark eyes of hers as Donella recites her poem and when it is done there is a soft little sigh, content and warm sounding. "Home. You have quite the gift for poetry, highness." She catches Helena's gaze and she nods in agreement. "That she has and it makes me long for it terribly so."

Khanne looks up to listen to Donella, smiling as her friend recites her words. A warm smiles grows upon her features as she takes in the poem and when Donella finishes, Khanne forgets protocol and claps at first before remembering she should snap instead. "Beautiful, Donella. Beautiful."

Alessandro murmurs something to those in his immediate vicinity, though his attention is mostly on the poem, and when it's through he begins to clap as well, his expression obviously impressed. "Lovely, Your Highness," he says, in agreement with the others. "Very evocative."

Helena is overheard praising Rysen.

Helena is overheard praising Donella.



Roran brings his hands up to clap from his location, brief but loud, and then his hands come back down and he looks over towards Bianca, leaning to the woman to murmur softly at the woman, then back towards the recital space, waiting patiently.



Reese is overheard praising Donella: Great Poetry!

Reese is overheard praising Rysen: Great poetry!

Reese is overheard praising Helena: Wonderful Hostest!

Helena is overheard praising Sebastian.

Donella is overheard praising Helena.

Elgana is overheard praising Helena.

Donella is overheard praising Rysen: You gloriously suave man.

When Helena calls for others to take their turn, Lianne looks about the room to see if anyone else is rushing to the lecturn before rising to her feet to head that direction herself. She purses her lips rather disapprovingly at this situation she has rather voluntarily found herself in, straightens up, chin lifted slightly, and recites her poem at a comfortable pace, her accent Setarcan, softened by years spent in the capital.



"The hummingbird only looks fragile after it's fallen,

after it's flown into the window and broken its neck,

after its wings've stopped and stilled and stiffened,

after its colors have grown muted and matte and dull.



No matter how I might stretch its wings, clean its feathers,

try to remind it all that it knows of brightness and flight,

it can only be broken once pinned and pressed beneath glass,

it can only be a dead echo of the swift and clever creature



I had hoped to catch."



A small smile sneaks in as she finishes, seeming satisfied. With a dip of her head to the audience, she slips aside and retakes her seat between Khanne and Beatrice.

Roran has left the a comfortable ivory leather and mahogany wooden sofa.

1 Templar Knight guards have been dismissed.

Bianca has left the a comfortable ivory leather and mahogany wooden sofa.

Archimedes the White Horned Owl have been dismissed.

Sir Alren have been dismissed.

Scholar Duran have been dismissed.

2 Templar Knight guards have been dismissed.

Rysen is overheard praising Helena: An amazing host, and herself crowned with laurels.

Reese listens to Lianne's poem and seems all taken in by such. "Oh, wow, lovely."

Reese is overheard praising Lianne: Wonderful poem!

Roran is overheard praising Rysen: Such words bring joy to my heart. Thank you for the opportunity to hear them.

Roran has joined the a comfortable ivory leather and mahogany wooden sofa.

Helena is overheard praising Lianne.

Elgana is overheard praising Donella.

Elgana is overheard praising Rysen.

Donella is overheard praising Lianne: You speak Arvani with a funny accent and through your nose. But you are a wonderful poet.

A sad smile plays across Rysen's lips as he listens to Lianne. He nods, and claps only twice this time before remembering to snap.

Elgana is overheard praising Lianne.

Fondly, sadly, Beatrice listens to Lianne's poetry, taking the Marquessa's hand on her return to press a kiss to it. "Unusually jovial," she quips.



"It is a gift to be able to speak this way, to stir the emotions of others we must know those emotions within ourselves... a stirring thing, to know that others feel as we do, to know that these lonely burdens are shared by even the most unlikely of distant friends." Bianca speaks, her smile broad, her brows lifting, a true and purely hopeful expression worn on what was upon entering a tired and worried woman, her hands giving soft applause, muted by the leather that encases them. She, of course, quiets down once again to listen to Lianne, her lips pressing to a thin, tight line of frowning, but she applauds all the same. "Tragic, but no less beautiful."

Olivia snaps her fingers with a big smile.

Arthen is overheard praising Helena.

Alessandro is overheard praising Helena.

Rysen is overheard praising Donella: A peerless wordsmith and fellow lover of nature.

Khanne presses her hands together as Lianne rises to recite her own poem. She leans over to those she sits with and whispers, "Lianne herself is poetry in motion." She smiles and winks at Lianne who surely could not hear her. Quieting when she begins to recite, Khanne's smiles starts to slip downwards at the corners of her lips. By the end, she looks downright saddened, but after a pause begins to snap softly. "It was beautiful... but... now I hope you never want to catch me. Truly beautiful though... in a melancholic way."

"Oh," says Helena, her eyes looking like they might well up with tears again, and she begins to clap again. "That was quite beautiful, and quite sad," she murmurs. "Funny enough I have a hummingbird mentioned in one of mine as well... hopefully less broken."

"Tragic loss," Elgana says just softly at the end of Lianne's poem, her smile not as cheerful and her expression thoughtful. "But there is beauty there. A very thought provoking poem, my lady."

Rysen is overheard praising Lianne: There is great power in melancholy truths.

Lianne's curiosity piques at Helena's comment, and she notes, "I'd be interested to hear it." With an incline of her head to Elgana, the Setarcan poses, "It's a poem about a beginning," perhaps to challenge the easier read that it is an ending, an impish glint in her verdant eyes. Her shoulder bumps against Khanne's as she turns a smile toward Beatrice, the rest of her murmurings a bit too soft to carry through the room.



Roran can be briefly seen dabbing at the corner of his eye. It is dust, most assuredly dust. He blinks a few times, and then he smiles brightly.



Fiora checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 1 lower.

Elgana's thoughtful expression doesn't abate at Lianne's words. After a momentary pause, her chin dips gently. "A transition," she offers to that. "From life to death, and yet still into something else. Captured eternally, preserved. Unchanging." There's a small shiver there but she smiles warmly at the Lady. "It is a lovely poem."

Olivia smiles as she slips her arm back around Rysen's.

The Redrain hostess looks around, moving back to the lectern when no one else jumps up after Lianne. "I have two small things... hopefully I will not be the ending of the night's readings, because I am quite enjoying listening," Princess Helena says softly, though loud enough for her voice to travel through the room. "The first... we of course can't get through a night of endings and beginnings without a little romantic nonsense, so here is my offering on that topic. Note," she adds, "This is no one person, but could be the story of any tryst or fling that is both beautiful and short-lived."



She opens her journal to a page marked by ribbon, and begins to read. "Summer's End."



"When next summer ends,

I am sure you will have forgotten

how it felt to hold me and be held,

how quickly my heart thrummed

like a hummingbird captive in my chest,

my pulse like a thousand drumbeats,

my eyes shining like a thousand stars,

full of wonder for the longest night.



When next summer ends,

I am sure you will have forgotten

how the red berry wine on my lips

sweetened the whiskey taste of yours,

the way the silver reflection of the sea

danced to the melody of our voices,

the way we touched the sunshine

where it warmed our bed of sand."

Overhearing Elgana's words, Rysen's storm grey eyes darken a moment, as he seems lost in thought. He smiles warmly when he feels Olivia touch his arm, and turns his attention to Helena as she begins to read.

Khanne gets a charcoal sketch of a tree surrounded by rays of sunlight from a green leather journal embossed with a mountain.

More finger snaps from Olivia!

Beatrice is entranced by whatever conversation is happening at her couch, but does pause to observe Helena, smile curving at the poem's conclusion as she applauds for the Redrain princess. "The hypothetical lover is a fool," she declares.

Octavia smirks lightly at Helena's poem, sitting back in the couch and musing, "That one I liked. A little bit of wistful love not yet forgotten. Something to take you back to happier days, before you found yourself looking back on love lost and wishing you could have it back, just for a moment."

Giving up any pretense of containing his enjoyment of the verse he's heard, he claps, smiling at Helena. Turning to Olivia, he says grinning, "Surely she writes from imagination, as I cannot believe anyone would forget such a moment with the writer of that poem."

Donella is overheard praising Helena: You break my heart. In a good way. Is that possible? You do.

Lianne turns a smile toward Helena for her hummingbird poem, that look warm and pleased. "Our poems aren't all that different," she suggests. "Genuinely lovely."

"I am so happy I chose to get out tonight. There is so much talent, so much beauty here bound in books, but freed in speech." Bianca muses once more to herself, a calm smile, idle and pleased remains on her lips throughout it all. She softly applauds, letting her hands fall back to her lap to await the next.

The audible praise makes Helena blush, a grin for Rysen's words. "Surely!" she quips in his direction.

When Helena reads her poem, Alessandro listens with rapt attention, and when she's through he begins to applaud, enjoyment obvious. He looks from Helena to Lianne when she speaks, and he nods before looking back to the Redrain Princess. "You have captured the feeling of the end of a love exquisitely."

Lianne is overheard praising Helena: To our hummingbird hearts.

"Ah, sweet sister," Elgana says at the end of Helena's poem. "Romantic nonsense can be the best sort of nonsense." A beat. "Or the worst." But that just gets a wink. "Beautiful poem as always. This is why you are the scholar and not me!" Alessandro's words get a nod. "She has." And then it is back to whatever quiet conversation she is involved in at those reading chairs.

Lianne is overheard praising Rysen: Was I meant to see the mantle of beauty as a burden? I read joy in the moment it was surrendered.

There's a nod of recognition for Lianne's word as well, before Helena turns the page to another in her journal. Alessandro and Elgana each get a smile as well, as she considers the second poem. After a moment, Helena bites her lower lip, uncertainty clear. "This one is perhaps not finished, which is also keeping in theme, I suppose. I struggled with it a little... words sometimes fail, though they are so powerful at others. At any rate, this one is Paradox of the Spirits.



Ephemeral,

and also forever

our spirits pass through

canyons and valleys

life after life.



Like paper-thin wings

of butterflies,

they leave gilded dust

on everyone,

on everything

they touch

in their season:



Memory,

Both lasting and fleeting--

Ephemeral,

and also

forever."

Lianne is overheard praising Donella: Effortlessly articulate and clever. Insufferably lovely.



"I must second the Legate. Verily, my hunger for life has been quenched today, with the absolute feast those that have spoken today." Roran sighs in delight, his hand patting on his stomach. "I will end up with no need to eat or drink for a year. I might even sleep for a month or two." A beat, "In my dreams. For there is always more work, and the delight of doing it." He even manages to pat Bianca momentarily on the arm, a soft laugh escaping.



Khanne is overheard praising Helena: Beautiful Hostess whose poetry left me in awe!

Octavia looks at Roran and then just shakes her head. "Gods, I feel inadequate even in my commentary about the poetry. Perhaps I should stick to fiery verdicts and dismissive quips in my courtroom. Well done, all of you."

Octavia is overheard praising Helena.

Octavia is overheard praising Lianne.

Octavia is overheard praising Donella.

Octavia is overheard praising Rysen.

"No feeling inadequate. All are welcome," says Helena to Octavia, as she steps away from the lectern. "Do we have any more readers? If not, perhaps some suggestions for next session's theme?" she asks, closing her journal.

Rysen nods, and claps as he Helena finishes reading her second poem, but his face remains rather solemn and thoughtful. His gaze moves toward the Roran and Bianca, but he then turns to Helena and smiles, saying softly - probably too softly for Helena to hear, "Such are the lives of we who can imagine so much, but whose lives pass so very quickly."

2 Ashford House Guard have been dismissed.

Bethany have been dismissed.

1 Ashford veteran guards have been dismissed.



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