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Salon Discussion: The Importance of Unlawful Activity?

The Empirical again opens its doors to a discussion to take place in the Forum! Refreshments will be available, as per usual. The topic of discussion for this gathering being the significance - or the insigificance - of unlawful activity in civilized society. Iron Guard are welcome. Criminals also welcome - just don't steal any of the Empirical's shit. A whacky brawl between Iron Guard and less reputable figures also welcome, so long as it remains confined to the Forum.


May 19, 2019, 1 p.m.

Hosted By



Lottie Peri Henrick Narcissa Ouida Preston Lethe Merek Cambria Raymesin Keyser Angelo Lore Mayir Irisa Martino Alessia Mikani


The Salon


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

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

Lottie stepped into The Salon, drawing the rather garish tricorn hat from her head as the flittering of spring green gaze darted about with a curious twinkle. She had passed the place twice, that unassuming exterior having missed her notice at first, but what was revealed to be inside truly was a wondrous thing and the little baker's thoughts to this effect were clear by the slight part of her lips, wide eyes and lifted chin. Tricorn settled against the fore of her coat, both hands holding it now as she sought out a place to sit.

Balian, a Templar squire, Guy, a hunting kestrel, 1 Templar Knight guards arrive, following Preston.

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

Cold. Too damned cold. Snow falls outside the Empirical and for once the door actually does close, because if it doesn't there's at least one person to interrupt the usual quiet of the establishment with a roared, 'Close the damned door! Were you raised by shav!? Hot air in, cold air out!' Once within the Empirical though the drinks have began to flow and the room has adopted the tell-tale buzz of a mounting discussion, refreshments are carried about by the establishment's waitstaff, and overall the atmosphere is one of luxury and relaxation for the evening.

At the appointed time Marquis Hadrian Mazetti arrives from the courtyard and, presumably, his office beyond even that. He lifts each of his gloved hands up high as a stocky man with a nearly-shaved hand steps forward to remove the cloak which rests draped over his shoulders. Hadrian's raised hands are those of greeting and acknowledgment as he asks with his voice pushed higher by the pipes of a natural orator, "Greetings, one and all, from the high to the low, to another discussion hosted by 'The Salon'!" He pauses for a moment as his harlequin eyes cast over the chamber as he stands near a gathering of couches, "Crime!" he says as though it were the latest development in the world, so full of splendor and wonder and scandal, "Is it a necessity? Yes or no? No elaborate answers for now! Just a simple yes or a simple no". He looks to the gathered bodies expectantly.

Peri is already seated at the bar, reading, when the discussion starts. With the start of the discussion she takes out her quill and inkwell ready to take notes on this important matter. She upnods to Ouida and others she knows, and turns to watch the host. "Yes," She says.

"Yes!" Henrick triumphantly toasts to crime at the bar, raising his goblet high and drinking. He spills a drop of the red stuff onto his leathers, and laughs.

Narcissa enters on the tail end of the crowd, quietly slipping towards a seat near the edge. Dressed in a myriad of shadows, blacks and charcoals her forte, the Fidante seems content to play audience rather than partake in the impending spirited discussion - at least for now. Manners are not forgotten, a polite nod given to those that pass or meet her eye.

Frost, a Maelstrom Forest Cat arrives, following Lore.

Lottie seemed a little hesitant with her reply, debating it before finally bringing it to voice, but after a beat and a glance around the room she gave an affirmed: "No."

Jason, a valet arrives, following Angelo.

"Aye," Ouida laughs in agreement with Henrick's latter words. "Coming to the field well rounded makes for a better chance of survival." She winks at him. "I know Lady Violet and Commandant Valtyr," she explains. "A few others in passing. Lady Violet runs a tight ship. I would say that anyone who expects no intellectual prowess on the part of the Blades is likely to be quite unhappy at their mistake." The Harthall knight chats amiably at the bar with the sellsword, though she settles as Hadrian makes his way into the room, lifting her glass of whiskey in a warm salute to him. At his question, though she looks thoughtful. After a moment, however, and perhaps surprisingly, she gives a nod.

Lottie has joined the a glossy walnut bar.

Preston steps into the Salon, quickly sliding the hood of his cloak back, the withered wolf's head in turn r eplaced by Preston's short blond hair. He stays close to the back, watching others for a moment. As Hadrian presents his question, an eyebrow lifts and arms fold across Preston's chest before he speaks up "Necessity? No, never." But well, was anyone expecting anything different?

Lethe takes a look aeound the room and nods once. "Yes."

"Aye, she runs a tight ship." Henrick agrees with Ouida, drinking down the rest of his goblet and pushing it forward for a refill. "That's why I get my drinking in while I'm -off- duty, m'Lady. I have some smarts in meself, at least." He laughs heartily, casting a glance toward Lottie as she votes no. There's a slight grin that crosses his lips.

Merek makes his way in and takes a place to settle in and relax, in his black leathers while he has his cloak shifted to Meeka, then he takes a moment to adjust his Eurisi scarf while he looks to some of the other folk also.

When Hadrian makes his entrance, Cambria follows shortly thereafter. Her eyes roam across the room, taking in its occupants in a quick survey. One individual at the bar catches her attention, and while Hadrian kicks off the start of the discussion itself, Cambria slips away in order to approach Ouida. She exchanges a private greeting with the other woman, before turning to face the room at large and extending one hand into the air as she calls out, loud enough to be hear within the crowd, "Yes!"

Raymesin arrives a few moments after Cambria, taking off his own tricorne as he ducks through the doorway. He offers a nod to the assembled before making his way over to the bar, taking little part in the discussion as yet. The extra-tall man in the scuffed and scarred black leathers - possibly representing both high /and/ low at once - gets himself a drink ordered before turning to listen to the start of the discussion.

Keyser saunters in, the plump redhead with the missing teeth looking about with abject, unadulterated interest. The finery is gawked at and she lingers near the exit, head bobbling with each new arrival, split between newcomers and those speaking up. Whatever her position, it remains mum in favor of staring with barely repressed glee.

At the Mazetti Marquessa's approach, Ouida rises from her seat to offer her a courtly bow, and a bright smile, and will offer a kiss to the other lady's hand if it is permitted. She murmurs something back as well, quietly, though her gaze flits through the room as well, to see what answers others are giving to the simple starter.

Angelo is flanked by his valet, Jason. Angelo is wearing an extra layer and seems particulary uncomfortable by the cold, his hood still on his head as he and Jason chat softly. As they enter the Salon Angelo looks across the room, an almost far off look about him. Jason seems to say something Angelo finds humourous as he looks to him with a tight grin. After a quick scan of the room they make there way towards the bar, only soft murmers heard between them as they go.

The voices that speak up in answer draws Hadrian's gaze. He looks to Henrick and then to Peri, offering each a shallow dip of his chin in response. Then onward he goes to Lottie. He stares at her for a moment as he purposefully removes one glove, all in the interest of snapping his fingers so that he may point toward the renowned baker. Then he gestures toward Preston as well, "No? There are some who would say that thinking for yourself, expressing your individual opinion, is a crime. Yet we consider it a freedom". Hadrian offers a bow of his head toward both Lottie and Preston though, "It is their answers that I target, not themselves. Nor do I even disagree with them... to an extent".

Hadrian takes a step forward and aside and his charcoal-whitened smile draws like a silken drape across his sharp features as one hand - the one still sporting a glove - rises up to gesture to the world around himself as his gaze falls to each of those who have answered thus far, "Crime is a part of civilization. Without it the world would be nothing more than some imaginary utopia, where nothing bad ever happens and nothing ever changes. Stasis, unchanging and... well... some would argue not worth living in". Hadrian pauses for a moment as his attention drifts around to regard Preston, the senior Godsworn among the discussion, "...isn't crime then a vital part of civilization and thus a vital part of Gild? In turn, if nothing bad ever happened, wouldn't the Sentinel find itself at risk? And if a fate were to befall the world that nothing ever changed and it became some utopia... wouldn't then Lagoma be at risk?"

Pete, a Grayhope account manager arrives, following Mayir.

Narcissa comments from her perch ever so softly with a, "Yes."

Lottie set her hat to the bar counter, gently brushing the thick white plume of a feather that topped it to straighten its disarray before beginning to unbutton her coat. A little smile and nod was offered in company around the bar area before her coat was dismissed beside her hat and she heaved herself atop a barstool. She was nervous. It wasn't really hard to tell. Callused hands straightened the layered linen of her skirts. She looked as if she had a reply for Hadrian's query, but looked to Preston as he seemed the one addressed.

Keyser has joined the a glossy walnut bar.

Lore enters the Empirical to resounding cries of 'yes' or 'no', pausing a few feet into the salon with a bemused expression on her face, hands on hips. "Well, its seems I've arrived a touch late and missed something polarizing. What was the question to provoke all these cries?" She offers a brief but warm grin before sliding farther into the room to find herself somewhere to sit. Commoner or Noble? You decide! She's dressed in exquisitely fashioned umbra and is decked out in jewels, carrying herself well across the floor to find a couch or chair to sink into. Rummaging through her rucksack, she comes up with a bottle of something or other, and a glass to pour it into. Fixing herself a drink as Hadrian speaks, jade green eyes bouncing curiously between the ones being targeted by his response.

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

Is Mayir a little tipsy? It is hard to say. Why else would a Grayhope come to a discussion on crime? It is hard to say. But in any event, the Grayhope spies Lottie and swans his way over towards her to peck her on the cheek. "Lottie! Lottie!" He whispers under his breath to her. "I bought a ton of things from your shop! It's going to be the prize for the darts game at my party tonight!"

Mayir has joined the a glossy walnut bar.

By Peri's wrinkle of brow one might say she is disgruntled, or confused. "I hope he will explain what Lagoma has to do with this. If people commit no crimes I don't see how that would stop the seasons."

Angelo has joined the a glossy walnut bar.

Cambria smiles widely at something said by Ouida, and replies in kind. She then makes it a point to claim for herself a proper drink as one of the servers strides past. The glass is lifted to Ouida before she takes a sip. "If you'll excuse me for now..." There's a wink sent the knight's way before Cambria slips from the bar - which is understandably becoming ever more populated - in order to play meet-and-greet with a few others. Eventually she will make her way to where Hadrian has taken up residence. At Peri's question, Cambria answers, "Lagoma, Goddess of Change. Rather the antithesis of stasis, no?"

Lottie turned after speaking something quietly in reply at a volume those at the bar area could hear, and with that turn she landed a cheek to the man's peck. "Mayir..." She eased a little at the familiar man's presence, gesturing to the stool beside her and keeping voice low. "You did? You should have told me. I woulda' made something special. Tell me next time, yeah?"

Angelo and Jason find a seat at the end of the bar. Any eyes he meets he returns with a tight but friendly smile. His attitude appears reserved, but not unfriendly. As he orders himself a drink, he seems, for the moment, content to just listen to the coversations around him.

"And that's assumin' all crime is bad," Raymesin points out, turning to lean against the bar and look out into the room. "Wouldn't be much Cardian Snakeskin or Steelsilk for all your fancy outfits, without crime somewhere." His accent is definitely from the Lowers, but it's perhaps a little less dense than it used to be.

"All about balance, isn't it?" Keyser takes a perch at the bar like an overfed sparrow. "But you can't stay balanced. Life would be boring if you did! And then it would tip to one side. Folk'd see that, and then it would tip to the other side." She wobbles her hands back and forth in explanation, almost upsetting herself on her perch. She doesn't speak loudly, though her motions are loud enough.

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

"Crime holds just as much variety as those plants that we would consider weeds," Ouida says thoughtfully from atop her barstool, after another sip of her wisky. "Some are ugly, some poisonous, some irritating and inconvenient, others we might well cherish in other areas and call them wildflowers so long as they do not sprout in /our/ garden. In any case, they flourish where the environment is ripe. If there is a great surge in people stealing in my domain because they cannot feed their little ones due to raids and banditry, it is as much my fault as theirs." She smiles at Cambria as the marquessa settles, however, her mood still bright.

"Crime is not vital." Preston answers to the Marquis, his eyebrow raising once more "Civilisation is, and often it brings forces that then will commit such acts. Failure to adhere to honour may force another to crime. Failure to be just may force it. Failure to be charitable. Failure to tend to your lands. Failure to hold by your oaths." Preston reasons, ticking off on his fingers one by one "Crime is not a necessity were all to obey the commands of the gods and their tenants perfectly, Marquis. Thus, it is not a necessity. However, is it at times necessary? Perhaps. If one of your people lost their senses and killed a Godsworn, and you forgot your obligations to the Faith, to Limerance and to the Sentinel, and failed to punish that man. Would it not be murder by your law if I killed him or ordered him killed? Yet, I would say it was just. I was restoring proper order."

"To this man's example," Cambria says, gesturing to Raymesin. "I would like to add: And what about those who live and work, only to discover in the eyes of another, they are criminals?"

"But he hasn't convinced me that people obeying all laws would stop the Spring or cause statis. " Peri says of Hadrian's claims. "And what could any law I declare for my domain have anything to do with a forest fire." She follows closely what Preston says and write her notes on that. "What if we are invaded and occupied and then become criminals just by following what we know to be just beyond any invader's laws," She asks him. Turning aside, she murmers something about trade to the man who mentioned steelsilk.

"At least it's no crime to drink and be merry." Henrick drains his second goblet, setting it again forward for a refill with a comical wink to the barman.

Hadrian's hand rises up and he gestures toward Keyser then and he offers a firm nod of his head without his harlequin eyes ever traveling to her, "Precisely. A balance. The Thirteenth," he faux gasps loudly as his hand rises up to clutch at his chest, "holds as much sway in this conversation as another. Brother Driskell was so very kind in the past, may the Queen of Endings treat him well, to explain the importance of balance to me. Which is why I have to wonder at the necessity," Hadrian's gaze again slips sidelong toward Preston and he favors the other man with a playful wink, "of crime in civilization. Because it is a matter of balance. Law versus Unlawfulness. Order versus Chaos. And so forth. So that is the question that I ask of you, to discuss here in the Salon," the Moderator of the Salon proposes, "is crime a necessity to civilization? Is it a vital component in the building blocks that makes a civilization? Is it the eggs to the flour and venison and the rest to bake a cake?" Someone may not be entirely sure how cakes work.

"This from a master baker," mutters someone in the crowd.

Irisa slips inside and looks for someone in particular while the discussion gets into full swing. The topic definitely catcher her attention and Hadrian delves deeper into the proposition. Seeing Ouida, though, she sneaks over to settle in beside the other Knight.

Hadrian mutters, "... Get ... chalkboard ... chalks."

Ouida sips at her whiskey and listens at the bar to the conversation flowing around her. she perks up at the mention of cake, however, even venison cake. Soldiers, what're you going to do about their appetites. "Have there been civilizations founded without crimes in the eyes of those who came before?" she asks, quietly. And it does indeed seem to be a legitimate question. As she sees an Irisa, she smiles brightly, leaning over to speak to her quietly once she's settled.

"Look, this is all silly," says Mayir, speaking up. "People need things, right? And every lady gets to make her own laws in her own lands, you know? So what if you love Lottie's chocolate brownies but you live in a county where the countess got all blothcy once eating chocolate and outlaws chocolate brownies?" All hypothetical, of course. "It's breaking a law, I guess, but you /need/ your brownies. So people make sure you get them. Simple as that. With a markup, of course. For the risk." So the Grayhope has heard.

Cambria mutters, "I will break ... chalkboard and ... ... and you won't ... able to ... ... ... ... me."

"Well, it isn't crime unless someone says it is, and someone saying it is doesn't make it so, in and of itself. It's like arguing if nobility is necessary for civilization," Keyser muses, flashing a smile missing some teeth. "What's a noble but an accident of birth? What's a crime but an accident of circumstance?"

Lottie gave Mayir's hand a little squeeze as he reached to touch hers, though truth be told her hands are more like sandpaper than smooth flesh. "I'll whip something up." But then a mutter touched her ears and something roused her attention to the conversation at hand. "I agree with you, my lady." She spoke toward Peri, "...but the question was is it a necessity. It was first stated that in a utopian world perhaps it would not be, and I think that's where the truth lies. If we treat such an idea as an impossibility it will remain one forever." Her brow squinched somewhat. "Crime can be used to bring light to injustice in the law, but it is not the only way to do so should we strive to adhere to the tenets Sir Preston mentioned as a society."

Hadrian's attention drifts about to regard Peri and he favors her with a soft smile, "Convince you? I asked a question. No claims were made or stances taken. I asked a question for the consideration of the Salon". He pauses for a moment and his smile only serves to grow while he considers Peri, "Also, Lady Peri? Congratulations on your recent appointment as Admiral of your House and territory".

Angelo says something to Jason who laughs, possibly a bit more loudly than he should have, his eyes widening slightly as he quickly stiffles himself, Angelo then looks over to Hadrian, taking a short swig of his drink, his eyebrows rise slightly, is that an almost mischievous look on his face? "If not for crime, than how would those in power impose their rule? If not for fear of others, why would anyone submit themselves to the rule of order?" Angelo smiles wrly as he puts his drink to his lips once again.

"If we are invaded..." Preston says, beginning to answer Peri "Then resistance may be necessary. But only because of anothers actions. Were it not for that invasion, such acts would not be required. To take a historical example, the Faith did not raise a hand against Darius Thrax until he raised one against the Faith. That is how we entered Crownbreaker. Crime was not necessary, for us, until he breached sanctuary. But. I think war is difficult anyway - I have never seen any taking notes, evidence or attempt arrest on a battlefield. And of course, if we speak of an invader such as Cadia who reject the Pantheon, there can be no crime against their rule because their rule does not stem from the Gods. They can call their system laws, but without the Sentinel how is it just? Without Limerance what binds you to it? Without Gloria, what honour is there in obeying it?" The mention of Driskell by Hadrian gets a small amused harumph from the Templar "Brother Driskell was an interesting man, but I am quite certain you do not expect one of the Orthodox to suggest your answers will be found solely in the Thirteenth? It is a mirror for you to consider your own actions, to check they hold to the values of the twelve."

Ouida seems to be very into the conversation at hand too, though perhaps the tall knight has seized onto a different thing than some of the other people. "Dame Irisa." She greets her friend. "Have you heard there are such things as.../venison/ or meat cakes?!" Her eyes are wide. Apparently, mind blown at the gloriousness of this potential thing. Perhaps in her eagerness, she says it a little louder than intended, since it carries beyond the bar.

Irisa leans back to listen and watch. The arguments a few certainly draw her gaze. There is a lot going on there, particularly at the mention of difficult to gain items. And the talk of wars. There is a gentle tilt of her head to Ouida when Irisa is addressed quietly, but the loud exclamation of the meat cakes gets a mild snort and she looks over. A quiet nod like a gentle pat on the shoulder. Yes, dear. There are a few whispered words before she looks back to the conversation.

Raymesin settles back in to listen again, ale in one hand and a glass of whiskey in the other. He sips from the glass rather than drinking from the tankard. "I reckon as crime is part of civilisation. Civilisation means some have got lots and some have got little, and there's both kinds will want more than they got."

1 Redoubt Buccaneers, Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant, Vagari - Cinder Kitten, 1 Obsidian Order, 4 Byrne Mountain Men, 1 Redreef Warden, 1 Thrax Guards arrive, following Mikani.

"I confess," Peri replies to Hadrian, "Questions often convince me of things." She smiles at his congratulations. "Thank you." Everyone's answers - and questions - has her dipping that quill she holds to make endless marks on her paper. She is engrossed in this discussion and in all the concepts of the pantheon and what crime actually is. "Sir Preston's explanation of laws in war, and" she gestures to the entire room, "convinces me how tricky this is!" scritch scritch. She peers at the crowd, raedy to listen more. and take names.

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

Mikani has joined the a glossy walnut bar.

Raymesin has joined the a glossy walnut bar.

Narcissa waves a fond farewell to Lore as she leaves the couches, "It was a pleasing talk, and I do love the act of leaving before the other has a moment to respond. Yes, I have, but you did not ask of my history and made a presumption. A good day to you as well, My...still did not catch your name. Lady Narcissa Fidante, a pleasure. I look forward to our talks in the future."

"Meat logs. Big old thick, robust logs of meat," Hadrian states loud and clear in the direction of Lady Ouida. Then his attention dances back to the discussion at hand. He settles down and into a seat among the group of couches and one leg readily bounces up and over the other. It drapes at the knee and his hands fold among themselves in his lap while he continues to observe the discussion as it unfolds. He nods absently toward Raymesin and then turns his attention back to the gathering as a whole, "If crime is not a necessary part of civilization, then what of law?"

Johannes, A tall and red cloaked gentleman arrives, following Martino.

Cambria slips behind Hadrian where he sits, her eyes flickering between speakers as they make their opinions known. "Avarice builds cities," she quotes from...something. "Or so I once read. Some people may not be willing to countenance the role the Thirteenth plays, but to ignore it is to invite peril. We must all acknowledge we have the capacity to do both good and bad, to /choose/ right from wrong. The ability, the liberty to make those choices, is how we grow. There can be no growth if there is the absence of options." One hand slashes through the air. "Do not mistake me, I do not mean to say that by choosing to do good, that there are no other alternatives. I propose the idea of a world in which, as Hadrian originally spoke of, there is simply nothing else. Stasis. We make no choices because the very idea no longer exists. Breaking a law, just or unjust, is expressing ones ability to make a decision for themselves. There may be extenuating circumstances that bring a person to that point, even those in where they feel they /have/ no other option." Hadrian then brings up another point, to which Cambria nods, saying, "Just what I intended to bring up next. If crime does not exist, then neither does law. One requires the /mirror/ of the other, does it not?"

Martino has joined the a glossy walnut bar.

Narcissa glances aside to Hadrian, "As I was just speaking to our recently departed from our seating sect darling, it is a law of nature, the criminal and the guard like every other dichotomy in nature. It just...always will be, but does that make it a necessity if it just simply -is-. It seems akin to asking if breathing is a necessity to me...though, I suppose that is a more rudimentary and terrible parallel to draw. Forgive me, I know my books, but nothing of the criminal world and its executors of law and punishment. I am curious how either party sees it themselves." she says with genuine curiosity.

Stepping across the floor, battered by the wintery night, the Lord Martino Malvici gathers in behind other patrons at the bar. A faint smile, a nod, to several he knows and those greet him before listening on.

Alessia silently sits beside her cousins as the others exchange well articulated opinions. She listens intently, but is quieter than usual.

Angelo looks to Martino as he arrives at the bar. He gives him a tight nod, a friendly smile and a quick raise of his pint, welcoming him.

Hadrian remarks aside to Narcissa with a amused grin, "I consider breathing pretty vital personally, yes. I once had someone choke me while we were making with the fun-times and..." he exhales a breath, " was wonderful, but it certainly made me appreciate breathing!" Then once he's offered back his point of view on the importance of breathing with a charcoal-whitened grin, Hadrian's focus returns to the gathering as a whole.

Irisa flits her eyes about the room as points are brought up once again. Something seems to tug at her mind, though. Her eyes go back to Hardian before she speaks up, "Is there an assumption that the criminals are simply just that? People who break the law but are otherwise.. not terrible people? I heard some discussion of war and that was leading into the direction of traitors which I would put into a very different lot. Are there assumptions that criminals are basically good and loyal people other than breaking lesser laws? And leaving out violent offenders and the ill from this."

"Quoting the arch-heretic Marach is probably not the wisest choice." Preston chides at Cambria "He is the example of what happens when you go too far down that path. Many died because of his foolishness." But he nods still, a soft smile starting to appear "I would suggest ignoring any God is a bad way to approach things, and would not advocate it. But each must be taken alongside the other when we speak of the generalities of life." Preston tilts his head though as Hadrian and Cambria make their point about law and crime "Does a rule need to be broken to be proven true? That you can only not kill if someone else kills? You can only not steal if someone else steals? If I say do not sit on the chair because its paint is wet, is the paint only wet if someone breaks my rule and sits there? Or is there an objective truth? We can worship the Gods without the need for heresy, we can obey law without the need for crime, we can rule without the need for disrule."

Ouida is absorbed in thought. "I think pies are just as delightful as logs," she observes, quite introspectively, trying to picture a venison roll up cake now, clearly. Though discipline wins out and somehow she manages to realign herself back to the discussion at hand. "I am only learning a little more about such things beyond my childhood education," she offers quietly. "But I do not know that I would term law and crime themselves to be reflections of each other, so much as any individual act might well be reflected as one or the other, depending upon the angle and shape of the mirror. I suppose that is not a metaphor that really works, however."

Cambria definitely was not currently sliding her arms around the back of Hadrian's shoulders, to encircle his neck. In fact, as he speaks, the Marquessa pauses, eyes shifting left and right as though making sure no one has yet caught on. She does not, however, have the decency to stop. That's a degenerate Lycene for all you Oathlanders out there.

"Crime exists out of either greed or the /failure/ of law, in my opinion. It is not synonymous in its existence with it." Lottie caught on something Cambria said, speaking up from the bar and seeming to get a wee bit more courageous with her opinion. "On the topic of the Thirteenth, the dogmatic teaching of reflection via discourse is what drove my initial response. We do all have the capacity for both good and evil, but... well, we should strive toward the good, yeah? We should hold ourselves and the world we live in to a standard of fairness and kindness. Will crime still exist? Yes. Will people still be greedy? Probably... but like I mentioned earlier, rationalizing a utopia of peace as fiction makes it impossible to bring it to a reality. Like my ma used to say, gotta' reach for the stars if you ever want to touch the horizon. I think that applies here. Saying crime is a necessity (in that line of thinking) would then be false. Crime is not a necessity unless we as a people make it so."

Merek seems to be listening, but hasn't input a lot, then he looks to some of the others. He's not good at all this talk it looks like, but he does nod to Preston, "All evil is, is disobedience of the gods, I would imagine, their concepts exist, therefore the opposing concepts, are in of themselves, against them. So therefore, even if people choose not to do bad things, the opposites still exist, it's better to serve willingly with good, in a utopia, we'd have no free will."

Narcissa snaps her fingers and points at Lottie, "A very good culmination of reason. A very good point. What was your name?" she asks with a bright smile.

Martino has a drink of the house red brought across to him by the assistant Johannes. A nod for the help first before lifting it to toast the smile to Lord Angelo and following on with his own. Stepping closer to lower his voice and catch up. His eyes creasing to Lady Peri, a boyish wiggle of his fingertips for her.

Lottie's smile edged bashful and she rose from her stool to dip a curtsy to Narcissa. "Thank you, my lady. My name is Lottie Parkins."

Mikani agrees with Narissa. Though she stays quiet.

Irisa listens to the voices speaking, but stares at Lottie for a moment before looking down. She turns her eyes to Ouida and settles back against the bar area, elbows on it while she looks back.

The smile of the Fidante only widens, "A beautiful name it is, to match the beautiful mind. I do hope we get to talk more at length in the future." Narcissa says with a lift of her wine in silent toast to Lottie.

"Hasn't that Undying Emperor everyone's been talking about done away with most crime by magicking it away?" Keyser asks, squinting her green eyes around in uncertainty. "Locking folks up and making it so they can't do anything bad? Doesn't seem like he's met with too much success in the court of popular opinion, stripping away free will. If choice is necessary in the eyes of the Gods, then it seems like crime ought to be, too. And everything else, for that matter."

"It's not about necessity, it is simply a by-product of free will that some will choose to do bad, it's not inherantly a requirement they do," Merek offers.

Mayir has left the a glossy walnut bar.

Pete, a Grayhope account manager leaves, following Mayir.

"But you can't have one without the other," Keyser posits to Merek, lifting a shaggy red brow in his direction.

"I, Grandmaster Preston," Hadrian offers back with a smile, "believe that since the beginning I have been advocating upon the building blocks of the Pantheon. That for the Sentinel to function in a balanced state, Gild is a necessity, and for much of it all to function as necessary, that Lagoma's involvement is equally as vital. No singular aspect of the Pantheon is of greater or lesser importance than any other. It is an unending cycle among the Pantheon, where each aspect feeds into another continuously," Hadrian offers back to the Grandmaster of the Templars with a solemn bow of his head. He takes in a deep breath and his hands come together before himself and his gaze slips out over the gathering of the Salon, "I don't think anyone..." Hadrian pauses for a moment to drift his eyes about in amusement as he takes in the presence of some, "...I don't think everyone is condoning crime. I think that for the sake of philosophical discussion, that some are acknowledging that it is a part of life that makes life what it is. For the world as we know it, right now, that the Gods have given to us, it is a part of that tapestry. It is relevant and necessary. We don't have to like it, we don't have to condone it, but we have to acknowledge that unlawful activity has as important a part in the overall structure as law and order."

Peri answers Keyser, "Platinum has taken away free will to keep people from doing what he deems wrong. His empire'd be what Lady Ouida perhaps refered to early, though I may have missed that." She gestures to her quill so to indicate how distracted she's been at times.

Lottie bobbed her head brightly to Narcissa before climbing back up onto her stool before gaze went back to darting about to the various speakers.

"I'd have to agree with Mistress Keyser. It's not a requirement, just inevitable." Alessia shrugs, taking a drink from a glass of rum.

"To my people, I act in honor and uphold the laws of my family's demense," Ouida points out. "And yet, were you to ask the shav'arvani that live within those borders, they would see me as a criminal, I would think. I have committed murder, stolen lands that did not belong to my family in their eyes. I believe it is possible for the same act at the same point in time to be seen very differently depending upon where one stands. And the law means very little if only attend the letter, and never consider anything else. It does not mean that we should stay the hand of justice, necessarily. It often make that enforcement painful. Mercy is not always possible or wise. But I think we fool ourselves if we do not recognize the larger picture. I believe that is possible for a vibrant society to take place without crime. I just think that usually we are too fallible and selfish to make it be so, instead focusing our ire anywhere but our own role in it."

"Just so!" Peri says at Lady Ouida's words.

Lottie bobbed her head in agreement with Ouida's words along with Peri's exclamation.

Cambria nods in acknowledgment when Ouida speaks, but otherwise remains silent for the time being.

A swirl of the glass, a lift to his chin to smell the bouquet of it. Another swirl and then a sip. Lord Martino's meticulous routine to savouring the wine first before commiting his opinion forth, "In a fictional utopia I imagine there would be no crime for, there would be no sadness, no jealous and no want. Merely smiling, happiness and cheer. That is, a utopia in which won by the good." Martino sips the red before lowering it and finishing forth, "As for the topic of today, in our world, is there will be moments where unlawful activity will and must occur for the betterment of the realm at large."

Irisa nods to Ouida's words and lifts her voice once more, "And I ask what of the people who have no choice in the matter. Are they greedy criminals or people who just deserve to be caught by failures of law? What about the people who have fallen on the worst times of their lives? Those who must do crimes in order to survive. Or those of mental illness. Or those born into poverty who have little other choice. As Lady Ouida has said, would others not be the criminals in their demise if a person's only crime was trying to survive unfortunate circumstances?"

Raymesin nods to Irisa, lifting his glass to her with an ever-so-faint smile.

"But if we didn't have crime, where would be the reflection in society, as is happening right here and now?" Keyser offers up to Ouida. "Where would people pause and think about the necessity of change? Crime is a drive for change. For realizing what is bad in order to make it better. It's relative, of course. But if everything is perfect and nothing changes, then you have stasis, which is equally damaging, as was brought up earlier."

"And I think that's a great place to call this discussion to a close," Hadrian pipes up cheerfully after Ouida's answer on the topic. He glances about, this way and that his harlequin eyes go. The former Duke of Southport straightens with a little wiggle in his seat, then his head abruptly snaps to the side and his eyes lift up to regard Cambria while her arms snake around his neck. He begins to wiggle away, one hand rising up to secure the crown atop his head as he remarks back at Cambles, "Top, not here, not now. Later. Gosh!" Hadrian springs up to his feet and his hand lowers from the peak of his head. He claps each palm - one gloved and the other ungloved - together and incliens his chin, "The discussion of course can continue on! That is your choice to keep on going and working to be the most right of all the people who are right! But the official ledger of the discussion will be closed". The announcement is made and somewhere a great book can be heard slamming closed before Hadrian's hands part and he gestures to the gathering of a whole, "I love you all and hope that your travels home, when you make them, are kept safe and warm. Don't forget to make a donation to the Pantheon, the Knights of Solace especially, and others. Without them? Civilization would crumble," he says with a bright smile that reaches up to set his harlequin eyes alight.

"Let me put it another way then, Marquis Hadrian...." Preston starts "The suggestion is that no crime means no free will - but the option of something can exist without any choosing it, hrm? If I offer to make you a delicious roast boar, or indeed one of your strange vennison cakes and you pick one. Let us say the roast boar. I am not going to make your cake, yet the choice was there. You had free will, and yet the cake does not exist. Balance is to be found across the Pantheon, but not necessarily within commands at one time. In battle you do not balance the commands of Gloria against some other desire to survive or win, or suggest that might do some dishonour in order to have honour. But. Again we speak in ideals. As you framed the question. Necessity. Essential. Required. And I think you will know that I am bound to see things as ideals, because that is how we live our lives." Preston smiles once more at Hadrian, offering a bow of his head "My knights and I do not march for coin, for our children or for our family. We do so entirely for an idea, for an ideal. But that does not mean we do not recognise the world as it is - it is because we recognise that reality that we fight to pursue the ideal. Is crime a necessity in the world as we have made it? That is a harder question. And if it is indeed, then it is because we have failed in our mortal ways to build what the Gods demanded. But that is all right, they know we will fail. It is that we keep trying." Preston nods his head across to Lottie "As the young lady says..." Of course, Preston looks pretty young himself "We must always accept the ideal is possible."

Martino is overheard praising Hadrian: A superb discussion held on behalf of The Salon. Fascinating and well organised by him

Peri is overheard praising Hadrian.

Peri is overheard praising Preston.

Peri is overheard praising Ouida.

Peri is overheard praising Lottie.

Adjutant General Vincenzo di Malvici, 6 Malvici Guards arrive, following Calypso.

Martino is overheard praising Lottie: Made an excellent point that the room seemed to light up and enjoy

"Okay, Grandmaster," Hadrian chimes back at Preston, "those are some fine points and I will acknowledge them now. I will think about them in greater detail while I'm having a bath when I return home. I'm going to make it extra bubbly and think about you and your words."

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