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Courtier's Guild Gathering

A new Radiant of Whisper House also means a new Guildmaster for the Courtier's Guild of Arvum. Bliss Whisper is hosting a gathering of all of those who have been schooled in the courtly arts in the Elysian Ballroom of Whisper House - whether they are Whispers or not. Come by, meet with others, and help establish relationships between your houses. If you are not a courtier but interested in becoming one - or affiliated with Whisper House as a non-Whisper courtier - this is the place to do so.


April 14, 2019, 6 p.m.

Hosted By

Bliss Gianna


Gwenna Gesa Maja Kaia Drusila Nisaa Azolla(RIP) Yasmine Emrys




Arx - Ward of the Crown - Whisper House - Elysian Ballroom

Largesse Level


Comments and Log


I suspect I may not truly be considered a courtier, if only due to lack of experience and education, but I am beyond glad to have attended the Courtier's Guild Gathering.

Firstly, one would have to nearly be insane to miss an opportunity to spend time with Radiant Bliss, especially at the Whisper House itself. As always, every detail was absolute perfection and every sense enchanted. Secondly, I made a few wonderful new acquaintances while discussing all sorts of things of serious, romantic, and fun natures. While duties necessitated my leaving before the events conclusion, the time I was able to spend there was /well/ worth letting a few piles of papers sit unattended for a bit.

It's a bright afternoon in early December, which of course means that outside of Whisper House, it's freezing cold. But inside, the Elysian ballroom is kept warm and open, and a veritable feast has been laid out. Delicacies from the North, South, East and West are all served on silver platters with covered lids, and the wine and drinks flow freely while music plays. It's even the time of year where ice is in plentiful supply, and those who find themselves overly warm can easily enjoy a chilled drink or two.

Turning her head at the tap to her shoulder, Bliss smiles at Maja and says to her, "Of course you can, darling. As an apprentice to Whisper House, you're now part of the guild as well." She motions her to a seat. "Sit down and get yourself comfortable, this is just a networking meal for us all to get to know one another and get help if we need any - or forming those connections that we can keep going even after this. I plan on making this a fairly regular, low-stress thing." As the others come in, Bliss excuses herself from where she's sitting with Gwenna with a nod, standing and clasping her hands together. "Welcome, everyone. Please, make yourself comfortable, and let us know if there's anything that you'd like. If I don't know you yet, I would love to meet you and see what we might talk about, but feel free to just ... speak. I'm sure we all have some problems going on with the Great Road or something similar, hm?" she offers with a faint smile.

Duchess Cottontail, a gorgeous fluffy white angora kitten with odd eyes and a pretty pink ribbon, Colin Laurent, a quiet and serene companion arrive, following Kaia.

Bliss has left the Round guest table draped in lace and silk.

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

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

Bliss drops a marble fountain flowing with rich chocolate.

Bliss has joined the Round guest table draped in lace and silk.

Gwenna smiles and dips her head to Bliss as the Radiant stands and people begin to gather. There's a bit of a chuckle at the mention of the Great Road. "Unfortunate, most of that business, but certainly keep those with some diplomatic experience in demand," she says with a bit of dry amusement. "I'm Princess Gwenna Redrain," she offers kindly as she glances around. That's when she sees the fountain and it's a wonder she doesn't bolt for it just yet.

Gesa slips into the Ballroom just in time to hear Bliss welcome everyone to the meeting. Her eyes turn upwards to gaze up at the ceiling a moment and she lets out a low impressed whistle. Surroundings taken in she starts towards where the tables are and finds a seat. An easy smile is given to the other courtiers close to her as she reaches for the empty glass placed at her setting to toy with it idly in her hands.

Gesa has joined the Round guest table draped in lace and silk.

"I love your pendant," Gwenna says to Gesa when the woman joins the table. "My mother gave me a set of her silver jewelry with emeralds when she sent me off from Farhaven to Arx. I actually gave the ring from the set in a ritual to Mangata a couple of years ago, but they are still my favorite pieces. They just clash dreadfully with my umbra set," she says and laughs a bit.

When Bliss lets her know that apprentice Whispers are allowed to participate, Maja's grin grows into a bright smile. Her eyes crinkle up and she seems to glow from within. "Wonderful! Excellent!" She stands up a bit taller, breathing in deep and filling herself with confidence. The young woman is decked out in her very nicest attire -- already, she's come so far. From the orphanage to silks and gemstones? Nothing is going to stop her now! "By the way, I danced with the /King/ at the Grayson ball. The /KING/!"

She still can hardly believe it.

Breaking way from Bliss, she starts to mingle about the room, introducing herself to people with an easy, warm grace. "Hallo, my name is Majandra Darling. Most call me Maja, though. Some even call me Darling. How do you do...?" Once she's taken a lap, the curly-haired cutie takes a seat.

Kaia makes her way into the Ballroom, accompanied by a young man clad in blue and a gorgeous fluffy white angora kitten with odd eyes held in her arms. A beaming smile on her face as she approaches one of the hostesses, "Radiant Bliss, good to see you again, what a lovely gathering. Everuthing looks, truly, splendid!~"

The one thing Drusila has discovered she likes least about Arx in her admittedly short time there is, admittedly, the cold. Even without the season having fully turned, it's not quite to her liking, and the chill makes her sluggish. So no sooner than she passes from the world without to the bright and dazzlingly decorated interior of the Whisper House does she feel a tremendous relief. "Oh good, it's so nice and warm in here." That is probably murmured on the way in, as she meanders from the receiving room through the doors to the ballroom, gaze cast about as she goes. And while clearly out of her element, she seems... not as overwhelmed as some country bumpkin might be at the grandeur of the place, but more curious. And even mildly judgmental and discerning. "Hmm. It lives up to reputation, more or less," she declares, still more or less speaking to herself, before the actual gathering starts to convene. Here she wonders, "Is this... specifically a guild function, or more of an open house or forum?"

Nisaa walks into the ballroom dressed in a lovely cape-gown of garnet tones. Her steps are graceful and light, making her seem almost as if she glides across the floor. She heads first towards Bliss, waiting her turn in the line to great the Champion Radiant. When it is her turn, she approaches, smiling charmingly before making a small curtsy. "Radiant Bliss of the Whispers, I am being pleased to see you again. What a lovely idea this is being, inviting us all here to mingle and meet."

As more people come in, Bliss motions for everyone to come sit down and join. "Come, sit, have something to drink and eat," she says, smiling as Gwenna compliments Gesa, before Maja's enthusiasm catches her attention and she turns her head that way. "I do hope you didn't step on his toes, or else I'm going to have to deal with some very stern letters," she says with a quick wink, clearly joking as she looks around more. "Hm, maybe I should come up with a game or something for us to get to know one another better," she muses, before leaning in and motioning toward the chocolate fountain. "But that, I think, is where I'm going to be going soon." It's Kaia's greeting to her that has her turning back, and she reaches out one hand to allow the kitten to sniff her hand as she says to her, "Lady Bisland, wonderful to have you here. I believe I heard that you were also at the Grayson Ball last night, were you not?" More greetings and introductions as the brocade-clad Radiant turns and looks at Drusila's comment, saying to her, "Ah, welcome. This is a gathering of those in the guild, interested in it, or simply wishing to meet those of us who are. Any courtier in Arvum is welcome, or those who might have business with us, but it's really much more an open house or forum, yes. I didn't set much of an agenda for today." Nisaa comes up next, and the curtsey is returned with a dip of the head to her. "And Nisaa, welcome. I figured it was long since time since Whisper House reached out to those in the city of a like mind, yes. Has your work of late been going well?" She motions her head toward Gesa. "We've recently brought in another dancer as an apprentice, I was hoping you two would get a chance to meet."

Gwenna's brow arch and her expression takes on some delight at Maja's words. "A pleasure to meet you, Majandra Darling. What a lovely name. And you got to dance with His Majesty? That's wonderful! I've sat next to him a couple of times at official things, but never danced. I've seen him ice skate, though." She appears to admire no few outfits as several of those who have gathered come to speak with Bliss. The Redrain's brow arch a little again at the mention of a game, but then Kaia's kitten tugs her attention almost as much as the chocolate fountain had. "What a darling! Such intriguing eyes, too."

Gesa puts her glass down on the table and touches the little emerald pendant hanging about her neck when Gwenna mentions it. "Thank you." She says, and she favors the Redrain Princess with a warm and personable smile. "It was the first gift anyone had ever given me. And the first thing I ever owned that was beautiful for the sake of being beautiful. I absolutely treasure it." Her eyes sweep over Gwenna's outfit and she smiles broadly, "You look stunning, your highness." When Bliss mentions another dancer her gaze turns towards Nisaa. She lifts a hand to wave to the other woman.

Kaia nods at Bliss, and then smiles. "Ah, yes, that is quite correct, my esteemed Whisper. The Lord Martino and I managed to have most wonderful dance, before we had to regretfuly depart to sort the final arrangements of our soon to be taken trip to the south." she explains, "Nonetheless, the Ball was lovely, princess Liara is certainly an amazing hostess. But enough about that, look at this!" she says, taking a look around, "This is absolutely beautiful.~" she remarks, and then her attention is shifting towards Gwenna's reaction to her kitten, and she giggles,"Her name is Duchess Cottontail.~" she offers, to Gwenna, "Would you like to hold her?" she queries. "She's quite friendly."

"Oh. Wonderful. My profession is... of that nature, and as I am new to the city and the Compact proper, I was curious of the structure and functioning of such organizations," Drusila explains, and then looks around to find a place where she can sit without being too intrusive. A spot at the end of one of the tables seems to serve her puspoes, and she settles there, with her hands folded before her. And maybe she would just be quiet and listen other than overhearing another greeting. "Oh, Darling!" She flashes a grin and lifts a hand to offer a controlled finger-wave to Maja.

"Drusila!" Maja spots her new friend and gives her a friendly wave before shifting her attention back to Gwenna. "You married somewhat recently Your Highness, isn't that correct? I seem to remember hearing a proclamation about it. How are you finding married life? Congratulations on the union." Pulling her lower lip in between her teeth, she gives it a thoughtful chew.

"Radiant Bliss?"

She raises her hand to catch the Champion-Whisper's attention. "If you are looking for a good 'get to know you' game, may I suggest 'Two Lies and a Truth'? I played it the other night in a tavern -- well, a variation of it. Two Truths and a Lie is how we tweaked it. But it was fun and we all learned such interesting things about each other." Does she mention that it was also adapted into a drinking game? Naaah, she leaves that bit out.

"If it becomes necessary, I will certainly keep that one in mind. It's easy enough for everyone to pick up," Bliss says to Maja, giving her a nod before she says to Kaja, "I have heard many wonderful things about Princess Liara of late - I do need to find a time to make it to one of her balls soon. It is almost a mark against me that I haven't made it to one yet," she says with a little laugh, before focusing her attention on Drusila fully. She seems to have listened for a moment, before she asks, "Are you from Setarco? I believe I recognize your accent. But welcome to Whisper House, and as I'm sure you've heard, I'm Radiant Bliss Whisper," she introduces herself as she takes a seat near her. "I have been hearing more and more about Setarco of late, and I am always happy to bring in other trained courtiers as affiliates to Whisper House."

1 Nightgold trained guards arrives, following Azolla.

Gwenna, having gotten caught up in some thought or another, dips her head toward Gesa. "You are too kind, thank you. My husband, when we were courting, gave me the necklace as a gift. I just had to have a whole outfit made to match it." Turning back to Kaia, she makes a sort of 'aaaw' face. "Duchess Cottontail is such a fitting name. I would love to hold her, but maybe another time when I'm not covered in black? We have a few cats at the villa and I've gone to one too many parties with white cat hair all over my butt. So embarrassing." A laugh and roll of the eyes soon follow. She then offers a few nods to Maja. "We were actually married on a ship on the way back from Stormward, but held the reception only recently. Lorenzo and I have had a rather unorthodox way of doing things." Bliss' words draw yet more nods from the Redrain. "I've been hoping to go to one of the Grayson Balls as well, but never seem to put myself together in time, or duties keep me. They sound absolutely exquisite."

"Oh, yes. My work of late has been having some scheduling issues, but I am sure things will be lining up, as they say, when it is meant to. Thank you." She looks to Gesa and smiles, her eyes crinkling at the corners, verdigris color standing out bright against her dark features. "Gesa it is being? Hello, I am being called Nisaa Whisper. I am a dancer, of the Eurusi style primarily. I also sing, but am preferring to dance." Dipping her head she makes the introduction.

1 Silvershields arrives, following Yasmine.

"Yes and no. Until recently, I lived in Port Luciva, which -is- on the island but was, ah, beyond Compact control. As of recently, it was conquered by House Pravus and I have joined the family's service." As for Drusila's accent, Bliss is more or less right. She's clearly picked up something of the south, though it's not purely such. Nor does it sound like any sort of shav dialect. "Prior to that, well, I've been here and there. But I was very impressed with the Setarcan courtesan schools, and curious about the famous Whisper House. In any case it is a pleasure to meet the renowned Radiant and champion. I'm called Drusila." She dips her head.

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

"A wedding on a ship? That sounds romantic!" Maja says to Gwenna, laying her hands over her heart. "Well, assuming that the seas were calm. Throwing up on one's betrothed probably isn't ideal." She laughs at the thought, her dark eyes all crinkled up merrily. "When the King asked me to dance at the ball, I was afraid I was going to unload the contents of my tummy all over him, I was that nervous!" This seems unimaginable -- while the young woman's words are threaded through with a Lowers' accent, she exudes grace, calm and confidence. So her? Nervous? Unfathomable! "Don't worry though," she throws a glance to Bliss as well and winks at the Radiant. "I did not throw up on him nor did I step on his toes!"

Shifting her attention to Kaia, she coos. "Please allow me to say: your kitten is just precious! Are cats hard to care for? I have never had a pet but I have been thinking that a little companion might be a nice thing."

"Yes I am Gesa." Gesa confirms with a smile that comes easy to her face. She adds in an afterthought, "Uh. Whisper. Gesa Whisper. It's lovely to make your acquaintance." She looks over the younger woman curiously before she observes, "We have similar coloring and are the same height. What fun we could have with that if we decided to ever work together. I am not formally trained. I assume you are? What does the Eurusi style look like?"

Gesa says to Gwenna, "Your husband has good taste, your highness."

Kaia nods back at Bliss, "Oh, yes, you definitely must." she agrees, in regard to going to princess Liara's parties. Then her attention is back at Gwenna. "Yes I thought so as well! She's simply adorable,ah and yes, of course!" she says with a giggle, "Certainly, it would be terrible to have such a lovely dress ruined by this little fur ball." she agrees, with a smile. Then the last remark prompts her to laugh, "Oh, dear. Embarrasing indeed!" she says with a chuckle, "I'm Kaia Bisland." she says, introducing herself to Gwenna. "I don't recall having officialy met." she adds.

"Ah, yes, that matter," Bliss says to Drusila with a single nod. "I'm remembering the reports that came through now, very much an ... interesting sort of background, then." She turns her head to smile at Gwenna and says to her, "A part of me wants to go to every single ball and be at every single gathering and hold every single meeting - but I'm afraid that despite everything, I'm still rather human," she states with an exaggerated sigh, before looking back to Drusila and giving her a nod. "Well, it's a pleasure to meet you as well. Let me know if there is anything further that you'd like to know about Whisper House, or if you would ever like to come and talk with me about anything regarding our work, simply write." She watches as there is cooing over the kitten, and laughs. "Nicer than my pet, I'm afraid. Flopsy is --" And Bliss pauses, turning her head to look around the room, her eyes narrowing briefly as a tone of concern starts to creep into her voice. "Not ... here ... but he is rather the little monster. Where is he?" she asks, glancing toward her attendant, Jared, who is currently already overworked trying to make sure everything stays in order.

Azolla enters the Elysian Ballroom at a slow and steady pace. A serious looking guard trails her at a comfortable pace as she makes her slow progression in. Azolla offers a polite greeting to anyone who notices her and seems to try to figure out a comfortable place to settle in

A messenger arrives to the Ballroom, seeking out Nisaa and handing her a note. Reading it, she smiles and looks up. "Is there being a woman named Maja where?" Her voice is still heavily spiced with the accent of her homelands, though her Arvani is much improved over the years. Her eyes seek out a woman who might answer the call, but then her attention is back on Gesa. "I am from Petrioch, in Eurus. It is a performance style. I am hearing some call it a dance of belly wiggling? Or something like that. I call it Eurusi Style dancing." She smiles

There is a light arrival to the informal soiree. Yasmine steps into the ballroom with her hair neatly coiffed and a gown of understated beauty, ready to mingle with the courtiers. She collects a glass of wine from refreshments and cases the room, gaining a feel for its flow of conversation before she takes a path toward the Radiant of the Whisper House. "This is a marvelous arrangement, Radiant. I'd forgotten how beautiful the Elysian ballroom is. It simply takes my breath away," she pays her compliments in earnest to Bliss.

The cooing sound from someone nearby at her kitten had her searching around once more, and she spots Maja. A bright grin spreading on her face at the compliment on her kitten, "Aww, thank you!~" she beams, and then adds, "At times. She can be quite demanding, making her name, Duchess Cottontail, all the more fitting.~" she explains, "But overall, she's a most loyal companion and a dear. Well behaved --most of the time.~" she admits with a chuckle.

Chuckling and even allowing a bit of blush to her cheeks, Gwenna nods to Maja. "We were courting long after our courtship period already. There were concerns about the Lodge and we thought it better to wait to have a wedding when most of the Compact was not organizing a defense. Prince Lorenzo and I were part of a mission to bring any of the tribes near the Lodge to Stormward, for safety. When the danger was past, and with a Seraph and Shaman aboard, we had a quiet ceremony on the way back. Thankfully the seas were accommodating!" Again, the princess gives an inclination of her head to Gesa. "I will let him know you said so. I believe he used Mistress Josephine to design the piece. Her shop is in the Velenosa ward, if you've not been there yet? Velvet Box." She laughs along with Kaia. "Oh, no furball, by any means! We just clash today. It is lovely to meet you, Lady Kaia. Princess Gwenna," is offered in return introduction before she gives a sigh and nods to Bliss' words. "The same, but being at balls leaves the ledgers unbalanced and duty before pleasure. Still, I hope to get to at least one before winter sets in too dreadfully. I wonder if the snow will be like last season. Not that snow bothers me, of course, but we are probably a little better prepared for it in Farhaven is all."

As for 'that matter' in her former home, Drusila only smiles and dips her head slightly in agreement, and says little more about it. She definitely doesn't seem too heartbroken! "Thank you, Radiant. At the very least I might pursue some lessons; I have some training, but of course there is always room to improve." With that, her eager chatter wanes somewhat, although she glances over as Nisaa boasts of Eurusi belly-wiggling and other such exotic things! "I have seen a Eurusi performer once or twice, it's very beautiful."

A look of surprise flashes across Gesa's face as Nisaa describes her dance style. "It is like this?" She asks the Eurusi woman, and then she stands up from the table to demonstrate what this might be by undulating her belly in a manner that causes her hips to wiggle along with the soft music being played. Well, sort of along with it. This isn't exactly the sort of music for belly wiggles, as it turns out. "I always called it Setarco dancing because I learned it there. I didn't know it's origins were Eurusi." She sits back down and smiles to Gwenna, "I will have to have a look at the shop."

"May I pet her?" she asks Kaia, hovering her hand near the kitten but not going so far to touch the wee creature until she's been given permission to do so. "I've seen people with all sorts of pets -- mostly dogs and cats -- but some are truly bizarre! I think Prince Niklas has a pelican! I've heard that. I do not know if it is true because.." The curly-haired apprentice giggles. "I mean. A /pelican/." Flicking her gaze to Gwenna, she sighs dreamily. "It sounds like you both really love each other. Was it a love match? Or did you discover your feelings along the way?" It might be a bit of a faux-pas to ask about the state of someone's marriage -- especially when it is a noble pairing and there is a high chance of 'we're just doing this for alliances'. But what can she say? Maja is a dreamer.

And then, she hears her name. Perking up, she looks over at Nisaa and lifts her hand. "My name is Maja. Did you need me?"

Standing just partially, Bliss looks around once more, then says a little louder, "If anyone sees a white fluffy rabbit hopping around, please, give him some distance and let him do his thing, but also keep him away from any fabrics you might care about." With that said, she sighs and settles back into her chair, bringing a hand up to rub a finger at the bridge of her nose before looking over to Yasmine, smiling at her. "Messere Champagne, it's been entirely too long since I've managed to see you," she says happily, and at the same time, lifts a hand in greeting to Azolla and gives her a dip of her head. "I'd heard you were back in town and in business again. I hope everything is working out well for you there?" she asks, smiling as she watches some of the others start to interact with each other more, before telling Gwenna, "I leave the books to you. I just use a scale now and then to balance things," she claims with a small flick of the wrist in dismissal, and a wink to follow it.

Azolla finds a place to settle in slightly removed from the crowd after offering her polite greetings to everyone. The guard following her find his own place to settle in still at a comfortable distance while he keeps a watchful eye over the young lady

Azolla has joined the a marble fountain flowing with rich chocolate.

Kaia chuckles, and proceeds to make a proper courtesy to Gwenna, "Ah, well it is, truly, lovely to make your acquaintance, your highness. I'll be sure to bring Duchess here to visit you sometime, if we meet in town on a less formal ocassion.~" she offers, before moving closer to Maja. "Of course!~" she chimes, as the woman asks about petting the kitten. Then as she hears the mention of Niklas's pelican she chuckles, "Well, I can't say I've seen it...but he /is/ an islander." she notes, "I can certainly believe it." she says, followed by a giggle.

And that's about when Emrys enters the room, with bellydancing, love, and general discussion. The Eldest Whisper looks once around the room, before nodding to no one in general. "Hello, everyone." Clad in blue and grey, the man walks calmly across the floor, his face set in its usual polite and calm expression. "We seem to have an interesting gathering this time around." Brown eyes spy Maja among this number, and he nods to her. "Apprentice. It's good you're here."

Nisaa smiles towards Drusila and dips her head to her in a kind respect. "Thank you. I am finding it beautiful as well, and I feel most beautiful when I dance." Gesa rises and performs a small example of dance. Nodding, Nisaa says, "Yes, it is being like that sometimes. Yes. I actually first went to Setarco after my es- travels. I trained there to become a Whisper." Maja's voice then garners her attention. "Ah, Miss Maja. I am Nisaa Whisper. My very dear friend, Sir Jeffeth, said if I was coming here tonight, I should be looking for you. He said he believed we would become fast friends."

1 Silvershields have been dismissed.

Gwenna watches Gesa dance and gives a small clap when she finishes. "That's lovely. Really, I should expand my knowledge of dances. Thank the Gods and Spirits House Redrain has a contract with the Whisper House. I find it surprising how few utilize such a fount of knowledge. We had the reception here, even, and can all imagine how amazing it was, all thanks to the esteemed Radiant here," she says with a dip of her head to Bliss. Looking back to Maja, she can't help but smile. "I think we do love each other now. I can't imagine any partner other than Lorenzo in my life. We were actually somewhat set up by a Sir Jordan, who thought we should meet. And we just kept meeting after that, I suppose. We brought the match to our Houses and they agreed on it. Had they not, well..." She shrugs. "We would have honored that, of course." Again she laughs, this time to Bliss again. "I marvel at how well you balance so much and make it seem so easy, I admit." The Redrain looks over Duchess again and then to Kaia. "Really, I should have you to the villa some time for tea, surely." There is a subtle nod from Khaavren, a gentleman who seems to be Gwenna's assistant, and the princess gives a faint sigh. "Speaking of ledgers and duties, it seems I should be returning to mine." Standing, she gives a respective bow to Bliss. "As always, I very much enjoyed talking earlier and this gathering has been exquisite. I hope there will be more meetings," she says and sound genuine. "It has been wonderful meeting you all, too. I hope we catch each other around the city soon."

"It is certainly good to be back in the city. I've been slowly reacquainting myself with old faces, and enjoying quite a many of new ones," Yasmine returns Bliss's smile. "Which will seem to be the case even tonight," she realizes, after skimming over the faces of so many unfamiliar to her. "But ah, yes, everything is going very well. Even though Rook has not yet returned, he'll be pleased to know our businesses has not crashed and burned." A laugh of self depreciative humor leaves her shortly, eyes alighting to a deep water blue in the tones of Emrys's brocade coat. "That is simply elegant, Master Whisper. The tones within your brocade? Gorgeous," she compliments, sweeping away from Bliss's side to mingle in the crowd. Her hands come together in light applause for Gesa's dance as it comes to an end.

Kaia's attention briefly shifts towards Emrys's arrival, as he adresses Maja -to whom she was currently the closest to in the room, and offers a polite nod and a smile to the eldest Whisper, "Good day.~" she replies, before glancing back at Maja.

The discussion of the rather cosmopolitan collection of artistic styles in Setarco naturally draws a bit of a smile from Drusila as well. "It is not entirely unexpected, as the island, situated as it is, receives a great deal of foreign trade. Of course, Eurus is somewhat closer to the Isles, but there are some round-about routes and, of course, also quite a few smugglers and pirates who pay stops there as well. Luciva was such a place. It saw... an influx of people from all corners." There's a sympathetic look offered Nisaa in the last, and an understanding one. "Fortunately, with every day the pirates hold less sway and people are free to share their varied styles in the city proper."

Azolla is curiously inspecting the marble fountain of chocolate

Kaia smiles at Gwenna, "Oh, certainly! I would love to meet up for some tea. It is in fact one of my favorite things.~" she admits to the Redrain princess. "It was lovely meeting you, princess, do be well!"

Hearing her friend's name, Maja positively lights up from within. "Oh!" she responds to Nisaa, her expression overflowing with happiness. "You know Jeffy -- err -- Sir Jeffeth? He is one of my dearest, oldest friends. I have him to thank, in may ways, for putting me on this path." She gestures to the room they are in, the company they are enjoying and then a sweep over the fine garment she is wearing. The curly-haired young woman seems as if she's about to chatter on excitedly on the topic of Jeffeths and their role in making the world a better place. But then Emrys greets her and the solemn, dignified man has an effect over her which is..

Be on your best behavior, Maja.

She dampens her rampant enthusiasm, schooling it back into something more refined. She sits up a touch straighter, angles her chin just so. "It is a pleasure to see you, Whisper Emrys. I have been having a wonderful time getting to know everyone." But even though she is on her tip-top best? She's still going to pet and coo over Kaia's kitten. She strokes the little creature from head to rump and softly talks to the kitten. "Aren't you just the most darling thing?"

But Gwenna, she is leaving! Bouncing up to her feet, she goes to the princess and gives her a polite bow. "It was such a wonderful gift to meet you, Your Highness. You are a delight and I hope to see you again soon. Blessings upon you and your husband."

"I think we can certainly make this happen more often," Bliss says to Gwenna as she receives that request, dipping her head toward her. "I look forward to seeing you again, soon, Princess Gwenna, and thank you for the kind words about Whisper House," she says before shifting in place and looking toward Yasmine, before staniding more fully. "Many new faces here," she agrees, "But quite the collection of talent, I think, in so many different fields. Sharp business minds, those skilled in court and charm and diplomacy - I see us all here, and I wonder what could come if we all worked together on something. Rather a thought, isn't it?" she says, before allowing Yasmine to go off and begin to mingle more. Her arms cross around her waist as she watches and listens now, seeming comfortable in doing so.

"Setarco is the sort of place one goes to when they want to get away." Gesa observes with a knowing look to Nisaa, but she says no more on the subject. She smiles at Gwenna's praise, "Thank you, your highness. Do have a lovely day." She picks up her glass, now filled with water, and has a small sip as she leans back in her chair in a relaxed manner that may not be as prim or poised as one might expect a Whisper to be.

Gwenna is overheard praising Bliss: Wonderful Courtier's Guild Gathering and meet!

Gwenna gives a warm smile to the farewells and dips her head once more before taking her leave.

Gwenna has left the Round guest table draped in lace and silk.

Khaavren, a dutiful assistant, 2 Redrain Guards leave, following Gwenna.

"Yasmine Champagne." Emrys nods to the woman, though whether pleased or not by the compliment goes unknown, his manner hardly changes. "I trust you and yours are well, and will be all returned to Arx soon." Then it is Kaia's turn to be met by the Whisper's gaze. "Lady Kaia Bisland. And how goes the exploring in these times?" And then... Maja. Poor Maja. The change is noticed, how could it not? "It is sometimes better to stay true to onself, Apprentice Majandra, than to blindly follow what we assume are the rules. Etiquette does not require you to try and act quite so... like me. Especially if you've a kitten in your hands." There is no winning with the man. Never.

Nisaa smiles appreciatively towards Drusila with a dip of her head. "I have been to a few of the islands in my working since then. Yet still, Setarco most." Nodding to Maja, a tendril of espresso colored hair springs from its confines where it is held by hairpin and begins to bounce near the side of her face. "Yes, I am knowing Jeffeth. I would say he is one of my dearest friends as well. He is bringing smiles to me when I am in my most gloomy of days." But then, Maja is pulled in another direction and Nisaa's focus settles on Gesa. "I was happy to be there, for certainings. I spent a year's time studying various skills, learning to speak Arvani a bit better, and now, here I am. You said you learned the style of dance there. What other styles are you knowing?"

"It's a rather exciting thought, one to be considered and ruminated on. If a purpose came to mind to use so many gifted minds on, I would shudder with either fear or delight, depending on which side of the affected field I fell upon," Yasmine responds to Bliss through a light laugh, pacing herself through a light sip of wine. Emrys receives a graceful bow of her head, her smile light. "We continue to grow and flourish by the day. Thank you. Now, might I ask after the bright mind who thought to put such beautiful colors together?" she asks after his tailor, turning her glass up in toast to Kaia when the Bisland noblewoman is brought into her line of sight. "Lady Bisland, it has been quite a while. I hope you're well?"

While there is no winning with Emrys, is it really a defeat when the end result is that she gets to ooo and ahhh over a kitten? There are worse failures to suffer. Nodding to the Eldest Whisper, Maja's expression shifts from sedate back to beaming and she puckers her lips at the wee fluff ball. Watch out, baby-talk incoming! "I bet you have Lady Kais wrapped around your itty-bitty widdle paw, don't you? Don't you?"

So Emrys: do you want to rethink that 'just be yourself' advice? Ha!

The curly-haired young woman laughs when the kitten swats playfully at her. "Aren't you a fierce thing?" Looking from the cat to Kaia, she gives the woman a wink before she redirects her attention to Nisaa. "So, how do you know Sir Jeffeth? He really is such a wonderful man."

"Is it? Coming from there, at least most recently, it's hard to think of it as a vacation spot, but I suppose I can see how it would be for others," Drusila muses, still on the topic of the wonders of the island, even if her view seems a trifle more circumspect. And then she can't help but grin a little at Maja's signature enthusiasm on a particular topic. "He throws carriages three blocks, too," she chimes in, smirking at some bit of insider humor.

Kaia giggles at Maja's interaction with Duchess Cottontail before courteously nodding to the eldest Whisper, "Eldest Whisper, Emrys." she greets, "So good to see you, it's been a while." she notes, and then adds, "As much as I would adore to tell you about them, I'm afraid I cannot share the tales or experiences of my journeys with you just yet, my good sir." she replies, "You see, even though I did pass the test with stellar colors, I have yet, to embark on an actual adventure." she admits with a giggle, "Although, perhaps if you ask me in a week, I may have something interesting to share, once I return from the south." she notes, amicably. Then her gaze shifts over to Yasmine, "Ah, Miss Champagne.~ It has indeed been a while. I am well.~" she replies, "I do hope you too are well?"

Gesa continues to lounge (clearly it isn't a slouch despite it looking just like a slouch) in her chair and hold her glass up as she speaks to Nisaa. "I learned how nobles dance so I could teach it to their children." She adds dryly, "Although I don't think most would want me teaching their children outside of the Lyceum." She sips from her water, her movements slow and fluid as she considers, "I have a few tricks that are my own. And you?" She gives Drusila a crooked smile, "I did not say it was a vacation spot, m'lady. I said it was a place to get away." Her gaze goes towards where Emrys and the young women surrounding him are. She observes for a moment before she asks a little bluntly, "Do you like being called Eldest Whisper?"

Taking her seat once more, Bliss seems to be quite happy to just watch things move along for now, motioning to a servant to bring her a glass of wine and taking a sip from it as she turns her head slowly from one conversation to another, listening as she does.

"I'm afraid she is quite unknown in the city. You may notice the occasional outfit of her design here and there, but not much beyond. Should she ever establish shop in the city, I'll be sure to send word." Emrys tells Yasmine of his mystery tailor. His attention shifts then to Maja... and her very Maja behaviour. He doesn't comment, either a firm believer in one's ability to make their own mistakes, or because Kaia is speaking to him. "Then I'll await till you have such adventures to share before asking again. My congratulations on passing the tests." he says politely, before his brown gaze turns to... Gesa! "I don't care." he says with equal directness. "It is descriptive enough, and more fitting than most other Whisper derivatives than one could think of. But I've no special attachment to it. Searching for a nickname of your own, Whisper Gesa?"

I was meeting Sir Jeffeth sometime ago. He was a friend of a friend of mine. But it was not until more recent times I was able to be becoming friends with him. I am having to agree, he is a wonderful person to be knowing." When Drusila adds the bit about carriages, Nisaa turns a small smile to her. "I would not be being surprised in the least if that was true." Eyes turning to take in Gesa once more, she answers, "I am knowing how to dance the formal dances as well, but I do not enjoy them as much, so only do so when I must, or when I am truly wanting to attend a ball. I was once winning a competition in a more formal style once, but it was long ago now, in the Menagerie." The conversation Emrys and Gesa are having attracts her attention as well and she smiles with a hint of color to her cheeks. "I am sometimes being called the Quietest Whisper."

The island woman piping up about Jeffeth's ability to throw a carriage three blocks prompts Maja to tap the tip of her nose and point at Drusilla. "Yes!" she laughs. "He can!"

Narrator: he can't.

"I love telling people about all of his many accomplishments and kindnesses," she says, bouncing her attention between Drusila and Nisaa. "I forget, have you met Sir Jeffeth, Lady Kaia? If you have not, I would be happy to introduce you. He once righted a building that had toppled over using only his bare hands and a push!"

Narrator: he did not.

Obviously, Maja is telling tall tales about the giant Knight of Solace. It's also very obvious that she sees the man as a bit of a hero. But man, the more she talks? The more she's sure to get a talkin' to from Emrys when they do their post-event breakdown.

"Ah. Some Arvani idioms give me trouble still, it is my mistake for confusing the two," Drusila tells Gesa, bowing her head. "Nor am I lady of any sort. Merely a household servant." This is offered in a self-effacing manner more than anything. She smiles then at Maja's continued enthusiasm, reflecting her own exuberance, albeit perhaps at just a slightly lower level of intensity. "Admittedly, I did not actually see the carriage throwing. But at the very least, he did seem a very sturdy fellow up-close."

Kaia nods to the man and smiles, "Thank you, Whisper Emrys." she replies to his congratulations, before her eyes move over to Gesa at her query, a small grin forming on her lips at Emrys' reply. "I assure you I call him eldest with the upmost respect. I find Whisper Emrys to be a very respectable and wise man." she notes, "Ah, that reminds me, Whisper Emrys, when you have some time; I would appreciate it if you could help me better myself in the arts of etiquette?" she says, and then adds, "As you know, I do value your teachings very much; and would be honored to learn more from a renowned figure such as yourself.~"

Then at Maja's query she nods, "Oh, I have met him, but just briefly once or twice." she admits, "I do not know him very well."

Yasmine gives a noise of disappointment to Emrys's words. "T'is a shame, but it does go a long way in creating an air of anticipation for the moment she does," the actress says, turning her eyes upon Maja to regard her with keen interest. "I don't believe I've had the pleasure," she realizes with a smile. "Yasmine Champagne, also of the Rovashari Clan." Another sip of wine, then she's informing Kaia amicably, "The days remain quite favorable, blessedly. Now, are you a apart of the courtier's guild?"

"Quietest, softest, brightest, youngest, eldest, the list goes on. Either it is defined by one's actions or status, or I suppose sarcasm can be used." He glances Nisaa's way, observing for but a moment. "You don't seem terribly loud, so we'll be assuming it is meant honestly." Especially with the loud exemplar, Maja over there. Somehow the man remains calm, patient and composed. He might be evaluating how the apprentice handles introduction with Yasmine. Or he might not be paying attention, for he answers Kaia. "Of course. Will you be looking for some of the more basic lessons, or the higher tier ones? So I can plan whether I'll be having you walk into a crowd with a book on your head on a rainy day. Posture and poise, you understand." Is he kidding? There's really only one way to find out.

"There has to be more to you than just that you're old." Gesa says with a little wrinkle of her nose in distaste. She shrugs languidly then before she puts her glass down on the table. "But you are not offended, and so I should not be offended on your behalf. And no. I'm not." She adds dryly and with a crooked grin, "But I imagine I shall earn one that is probably not said often within earshot." She smiles very sweetly to Kaia, "I'm sure you do, m'lady." Nisaa's admission and the coloring of her cheeks earns a softer expression from her. "I imagine quiet is good for a Whisper." To Drusila she says, "Well, then Mistress instead of m'lady. And that's very understandable."

"I grew up in the orphanage here in Arx and Sir Jeffeth, he grew up there as well," Maja explains to Nisaa, providing her own history with the man. "He was already grown by the time I showed up but he always would come to visit. He'd play with us children, tell us stories, teach us how to be good people. He really is the best of us. And now, look at him! A legend and a Knight of Solace! He proves that no matter how humble your beginnings, you can achieve anything with determination." The young woman nods, her curls bouncing.

To Kaia, she looks at her and grins. "Oh, just crossing paths with him once or twice is not nearly enough! If you ever want an introduction, I can be your bridge. Just let me know. By the way, complete topic change buuut .. I meant to say it earlier: your outfit is amazing. Beautiful!" Before lavishing more praise on the Bisland, Yasmine catches her attention.

Oh, I know who you are, Messere Champagne! I imagine there are few who don't! It's a pleasure to meet you," she says, sweeping into a bow for the Ravashari woman. "I am an aspiring merchant and I would love the opportunity to speak with you on the matters of market fluctuations. Oh, and I am, of course, an apprentice Whisper." Another bow now and a quick, secret glance at Emrys.

Azolla seems lost in her thoughts while inspecting the chocolate fountain

Nodding towards Emrys, Nisaa smiles. "Yes, I am thinking it is honestly. I often tend to be more quiet and somewhat more shy than many others. I am being comfortable with it now. I used to feel quite a fair amount of, what is the term when one is not being fully confident? Not the insecure, but, the other one." She pauses to try to search her thoughts for the words, but shakes her head. "But, I am knowing it is just me, and perhaps the world is needing the Quietest Whisper sometimes."

Nisaa turns to Maja then and says, "he was saying in his note, this. That he knew you when you were in the orphanage. I can imagine him easily, playing with children there. He would be like a mountain to climb on for the youngest of them!" She giggles, lifting a hand to cover her mouth.

At Yasmine's query the Bisland lady shakes her head, "Not quite, although, I am interested in becoming a non-whisper courtier." she admits.

Then, Emrys queries have her letting out a soft chuckle, "I do belive we have already been over the basics, Whisper Emrys. Even if it was long ago, I still remember those lessons quite well." she notes with a smile, "Therefore, I do believe I am currently looking into more advanced lessons." she says.

A smile offered to Gesa in return, before her attention is shifted to Maja. A beaming smile on her face at the compliment on her dress. "Ah, thank you Maja. The lord Martino Malvici and I had a matching set specially made to honor the future union of our Houses. I was to dress in a Lycene fashion, and he in that of the Crownlanders." she explains, "I am quite pleased with how it turned out." she admits.

Standing for a moment, Bliss begins to walk toward a few of the Whispers as she sips her glass of wine, touching them on the shoulder before leaning in to murmur something to them. First Nisaa, then Gesa, then Maja, then Emrys, a warmth to her and at no point any kind of tension in her movements, before she steps back and looks around, spotting Azolla over there by that chocolate fountain. An amused smile comes up on her face, and she walks in that direction, taking a wooden skewer from beside it and spearing a strawberry that's in front. "There's someone inside there, you know," she tells the woman. "Turning the crank so that it keeps flowing. Either that, or it's magic," she says with a wink as she dips the strawberry in the flowing, liquid sweet treat.

"Oh yes. While I can't say I know him very well, compared to Maja, he did strike me as the very image of an Arvani knight. In fact, he was the first proper one I've met since arriving; I feel it was good fortune to come across such an exemplar of the breed!" Drusila seems happy to join in Maja's hype-train. By this time, she's had a few moments of quiet to enjoy all the fine food and other offerings the Whispers have provided, although Bliss' journey to the chocolate fountain - and talk of magic - draws her attention. Or maybe it's just her sweet tooth. "Ooh. How marvellously inventive." She soon hurries over to examine the thing, although her bet may be on the non-magical explanation for how she seems to attempt to puzzle out the workings of it.

"Of course. Such titles always bear more than the first layer the words would present. I am the oldest among the Whispers, yes. But what does that imply, Whisper Gesa? The more acidic tongues would say that it implies I am a relic of a by-gone era. Old bones and nothing more. Others would liken it to a grey eminence of sorts, venerable for my age alone. Another interpretation would have me be the Eldest because I have seen time and time again new Whispers grow and reach to the stars, changing the heavens with their presence, before ultimately falling. Over, and over." His is a polite smile when it appears. "It is up to every individual to come to their own conclusions." One bow. Two bow. Maja's glance is caught, the Eldest was watching. Was that slight curve of his lips amusement or approval? Or was it the remnants of that polite smile of before? "There are worse things than Quiestest one might be called. But as with every title, one must be careful not to let it define them." he points out to Nisaa. And then to Kaia, he nods. "Excellent. Then we can approach the subject over tea. Much better this time of the year."

Azolla chuckles at Bliss and asks, ?Is that so??

"It is," Bliss says to Azolla as she brings piece of the fruit to her lips, taking a bite, before picking up a skewer and passing it to the Nightgold lady. After a quick chew and swallow, she says, "I am trying to figure out what the most ludicrous thing to put in here that might still taste good would be. Do you have any ideas?"

Setting down her glass of wine in trade for a Lenosian white, Yasmine is content to float among the crowd of the brightest and most talented of courtiers and socialites. A smile readily upon her lips, she raises her wine glass in silent toast to Bliss once more before Maja's words snags her attention back unto the woman. "I find it humorous that I'm far more known for my work within the markets and the clientele I keep, rather than my better talents within the theater - my true calling and pleasures," she posits in jesting note to Maja. "But the pleasure is delightedly all mine. Have you only just begun your apprenticeship into becoming a Whisper? I can imagine you'll be a darling for all those who encounter you during your journey, if you're as energetic and infectious of presence like this." Her smile grows just a touch when the exchange of glances is caught between the apprentice and the eldest whisper, skirts swirling as she turns to engage Kaia once more. "I imagine you'd flourish well in the acquisition of the role, and your House would be pleased for the expanded contacts they gain through you. Perhaps I should consider. There are few places more prestigous than among the elite of the courts that House Whisper trains themselves."

Kaia nods to Emrys, "Certainly, Whisper Emrys. I do love tea.~" she affirms. Then, she proceeds to stroke the fur of her kitten, her eyes surveying the room for faces she has yet to know, and her eyes set over Drusila, Nisaa and Gesa, and she offers an aproachable smile, "Oh, I don't believe we have been formally introduced, I'm Kaia Bisland.~" she chimes.

Azolla take the skewer from Bliss and takes a bite. "Well it certainly tastes good so I am leaning towards it being some sort of magic."

Gianna strides in, the feathered train of her purple gown swishing along the floor behind her, gold and triple-hued tourmalines gleaming. A passing House Servant offers her a glass of something, and she takes it with an approving inclination of her head.

Then, in reply to Yasmine, Kaia smiles and nods, "Oh, surely and without doubt, Miss Champagne." she agrees.

Yasmine is overheard praising Gianna: That outfit? Colorful. She certainly put the peacocks to shame with that beautiful splash of color.

When Bliss nears to whisper to her -- HA! a Whisper whisper -- Maja cocks her head slightly to better hear it. At its conclusion, she gives the Radiant a lopsided smile as well as a nod; whatever she's been told, apparently it is something she agrees with.

Now. Back to Yasmine.

"Of course I know you as a skilled performer as well -- it is just that the merchant business is of particular interest to me," she tells the woman, tenting her splayed fingers against her chest. "I am just starting out -- as a business woman, as an apprentice Whisper -- and it is my opinion that one should seek out the best for guidance." Her gaze flits over to Emrys now, catching a bit of his conversation with Kaia and the mention of books balanced on heads.

"It is my feeling that I have all the best knowledge and experience available to me. It is up to me to be a good student and take every lesson to heart."

Whatever Bliss just whispered to Gesa earns a smile and nod of understanding. She murmurs something back quickly in response. Her attention shits to Emrys as he discusses titles. Her lips curve upwards into a smile that warms her cool colored eyes. "We could pontificate and discuss the philosophy of what people mean until the Queen comes to claim us and not be any closer to discerning the truth than when we started, Whisper Emrys." She looks amused as she adds, "But it seems you are a Philosopher, and so I shall call you the Philosophical Whisper or the Philosopher as I prefer it to Eldest Whisper. It reminds me of grandfathers, and you do not look like a grandfather." She says to Kaia, "I am Gesa Whisper." She then tells her teasingly, "If we're going by age you can call me the Oldest Apprentice Whisper. Or don't. I hate being reminded how old I am."

"Very likely not, my lady, as I have met very few of the cities nobles of yet. Drusila." As ever, the at least quasi-Setarcan woman introduces herself to Kaia with but the single name, and adopts a formality of posture not totally out of character for the setting, and bows her head upon the greeting. Of course 'strange things to put in a fountain' is a game that's hard to pass up. "Chocolate is already rather decadent, and sticky. You might use some sort of fruit sauce, that would have a similar consistency, and I've seen it put to some... decadent uses? You might melt certain cheeses as well, but that seems..." She wrinkles her nose.

"Nisaa Whisper," the Eurusi dancer says to Kaia. "A pleasuring to be meeting you, Lady Kaia of the Bislands." Bliss seems to stop by Nisaa to share a whispered word as well. Like Maja, Nisaa nods to her, smiling with a promise of, "I will. I am promising."

"I would love to see more theatrical work done," Bliss says over her shoulder to Yasmine, and she smiles in acknowledgement at the conversation between the Champagne Matriarch and Kaia, nodding to both in recognition of having heard what they said. Her attention turns back to Azolla, to whom she says, "Yes, the coating certainly helps things, I find - I like my chocolate a little more bitter than most do, though. And then it can actually work with some savory foods. Nuts in particular, and I've heard someone tell me bacon is worth trying with it, but I haven't quite gotten around to it. There should be some here, actually," she realizes, turning at the waist to look around the food laid out.

Kaia chuckles at Gesa's introduction and nods, "Well met, Whisper Gesa." Then her attention shifts to Drusila, and she nods, "Nice to meet you, Miss Drusila." Finally, her eyes set on Nisaa, and she smiles. "Likewise, Whisper Nisaa." she says, "Is Eurusi accent?" she wonders, the sound of it seeming strangely familiar to her.

"It is good that you have the foresight to look to experts in the field to guide your path. Here, you're among luminaries in an mix of fields. The opportunity is for the taking for anyone wishing to brush elbows with the right people," Yasmine says to Maja upon a short laugh. "I'd love to speak nuance about the markets and other mercantile topics, so long as we promise to keep it interesting and entertaining for both our sakes, hmm?" And then, out of the corner of her eye, the Rovashari espies the most lurid affair of colors in the form of Gianna's ensemble. Did she just swoon? She just swooned. Where's a chair? There. She sits, fanning herself delicately with a carefully cultivated air of theatrics to tease the Nightingale with. "Oh, GIanna Whisper, I knew it could only be you that pulled off such bold and beautiful colors gracefully as that. You put the peacocks to absolute shame, my darling. To shame!"

"Good. We can set the date at another time." Emrys tells Kaia, before his attention moves to Maja. It is, in the end, the talk about making the best of the knowledge and experience availible to her that earns her a nod. Clearly high marks, right? But his gaze does not linger, moving instead to Gesa. "As you wish. In the end, a nickname, or even title, is just that." He doesn't seem to mind Philospher, or the Philosophical Whisper, at least. Though the notion of not looking like a grandfather does seem to amuse him, up to a point anyway. A hint of a smile. But then it's gone again as he listens to the conversation around him, but says little more.

Vern arrives, delivering a message to Emrys before departing.

Renault, the fluffiest Velenosan cat arrives, delivering a message to Emrys before departing.

Gianna purses her lips for a moment, resting one hand on her hip and looking out over the assembled courtiers. But then Yasmine is complimenting her and she removes her hand from her hip, heading toward the entertainer. "Why, thank you!" she tells Yasmine. "You look lovely as well. I wanted to wear this gown out at least once more before the snow falls. You can carry the train but it's a bit annoying."

"It is, yes. I am being from Petrioch," Nisaa says in response to Kaia's question. She looks around the room, towards those she has not yet had opportunity to speak with, admiring their choice of fashion and sharing a smile if they look in her direction. After some time has passed, she seeks out Maja again. "I am gladdened to have met you. I believe I need to be returning to my home for the evening, but am hoping to be able to be speaking with you again soon."

The night continues on, with conversation and food and drinks, until late in the evening when people begin to filter out and the House servants start to clear the plates while the musicians take a well-earned respite.

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