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Autumn Splendor in the Plaza

Come join House Fidante, along with their vassals, as they celebrate the change of seasons (something they are not quite used to being from the South and all). Sample delicious Torean treats with a Fall twist, observe the latest fashion, take part in a traditional Torean dance contest and drink until your heart is content.

Date

April 27, 2019, 9:30 p.m.

Hosted By

Calista Dante Inigo Lora

Participants

Josephine Evander Rowenova Thorn Grazia Thea Cambria Delilah Hadrian Calypso Vanora Mayir Mirk Vega Brigida Theron Giulio Marzio Raimon Willow

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of the Lyceum - Tor Plaza

Largesse Level

Extravagant

Comments and Log


What's autumn without a bit of snow? White frosts the nearby rooftops and laces the branches of the trees, picking up the magnificent colors of the lanterns and reflecting them in gentle candle-lit tones until it might seem like the entire world has been tinged in a palette chosen to capture the season as seen in the southern-most regions of the land. Gentler. Milder. Warmer. The entertainers are already geared up and in full swing, music and dancing giving the place a carnival air, and the first wave of servants have gone out with food and wine. Of course some of the hosts have filtered out into the plaza: it isn't a party without guests, and it's not difficult to find Lora Fidante standing nearish the center its center, ready and waiting to accept one of the first glasses of wine sent out into circulation. With it in hand she might in the first moments be but a lovely statue set out anew, poised and perfectly still, as if to capture the spectacle in her mind's eye as a bright memory to hold against the coming winter.

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

"Nothing good comes from water." Josephine raises her voice just enough to be heard by Lora as the cloak draped jeweler is making her way to Lora, a box in hand. "Worse if it's frozen." The cane is nothing flashy this time around. "Snow. Of course it had to snow."

It's snowing, and one of the new arrivals certainly wishes it were Tor's autumn weather, to judge by Evander's envious look at the surroundings. The Kennex Lord is hunched into his coat, visibly cold, though the crowd does much to increase the ambient temperature. He's casting around for likely hosts, not recognizing anyone.

Despite the conversation recently spake in a shrine far away, Scout Rowenova happily offered Delilah her good-not-evil horse to ride: a grey palfrey with black points (which includes dorsal stripe) and a gentle mien with brown eyes, plus a bitless bridle and a light saddle which comes with a few bags, too, to easily store what may be 'eventually pilfered party food'.

Walking alongside the newest duchess, the leather-armored, wolf-framed Nova fondly notes, "Some time ago, before we were married I used to travel this way to the Volkov camp almost every day to go visit Draven at his old laboratory." Memory Feelings! A soulful hound follows along, too.



Thorn stops in the snow to speak to a messanger before she tilts her gaze towards Lora, smiling a bit tightly before she shivers. Friggen cold.

"Now THAT is a good excuse to be out and about!" Dante isn't really one for stillness, contrasting rather greatly with Lora as he wanders amidst the dancers, musicians and other revelers eager to party. The Sword of Tor arrives clad not in armor, but umbra and aeterna, with the Rosethorn hanging from his belt. The man seems in high spirits, a grin on his face as he moves with that feline grace of his through the gathering crowd, till he reaches Lora and Josephine. "This is why we have wine! And whatever alcoholic beverage you most prefer. My Lady, Anklebane." he bows gallantly to the two women. "Let's not dwell too long on the snow, I'm quite sure we can stomp it into oblivion with enough dancing. Or forget its existence with enough drinking."

Grazia is dressed for the cold, in a thick furred cloak that covers her from her shoulders to her ankles in luxurious exotic fur, thick and warm. She seems not to care much for the snow, but she merely lingers near the edges of the party, watching the goings-on closely.

Thea steps into the plaza, grateful for her cloak. She casts her green eyes at her surroundings, really unfamiliar with most of the faces save one or two. She steps over to Calypso, bowing her head in greeting to people as she passes.

The Marquessa of House Mazetti, accompanied by her Voice and Consort, exit the manor grounds of their home away from home and into Tor Plaza. Together, the pair make their way to the event's center, in order that they might find Lora and offer her their greetings.



And, of course, to sample the first round of wine.

Seryna, a charming Lycene handmaiden, 6 Grimhall House Guards arrive, following Vanora.

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

The copper-haired girl on Rowenova's hoprse carries all the usual burning splendour of a fallen sunset, wrought in dusken tones. The leather she wears, holding her protected from the cold, gleams in the lantern light. Delilah takes in the fine details of the Fidante festival, a celebration of warmth and sparkling radiance. "This is something else entirely, isn't it? I can almost imagine winter might be bearable," she replies merrily. Eventually she can dismount, but not at the moment. "Was Draven's lab in the Volkov Camp? There's a story for me." Nonetheless, she waves to everyone she sees; nigh above everyone, anyway.

The work of a Duchess is never done, not even when one is hosting a party. While yes, it was supposed to be held at the -end- of the Autumn season, life happens and now it is snowing. Alas, Calista calls for more heat; torches, braziers, and even the fire pit are kept well stocked. In addition to wine, they are serving hot beverages; with and without alcohol. Calista arrives to the decorated plaza, quietly speaking with Santino. People are quickly filling the space and before she can miss out on a glass of deep cabernet, she snags one off a passing tray. "Welcome family and friends! I know we were not expecting snow for this affair, but, as most things in life, we welcome the unexpected. Please, make yourselves comfortable; Eat, drink, be merry... and of course, dance!"

Evander's throat tightens briefly as his gaze ticks over the crowd, as if he's visibly intimidated by the size of the gathering. If he is, though, he forges ahead regardless: unable to locate the hosts just by sight, instead claiming a glass of something that looks dark and strong enough to warm his extremities. He is, by coincidence, one of those that Thea bows her head towards, and he turns, brows ticking upwards in recognition. "Lady Malvici," he greets, with a half-bow, careful of his glass. "Good evening."

It should be obvious who's hosting the party, soon enough. Lora animates when she spots the jeweler and closes on Josephine to wrap an arm around the older woman, a squeeze delivered. "I'm so glad you came," she murmurs, not so quietly that it doesn't carry but in what may be her only lack of absolutely careful formality for the entire evening. "Of course it would snow." Louder then, because the Sword joins them, she says, "I'm convinced this is why we host the fire-eaters every year." And then she lets go so that she can go mingle. Grazia is spotted and she drifts in that direction, her smile pitching faint but warm, borrowing a curl of the latter from the aforementioned flame. "Duchess Rubino. How lovely to see you, finally, outside of some official capacity."

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

"And step...step...step...step," Hadrian voice can be heard from within a huddle of battles. Masked Guardians of Ostria which stand a little taller than the Marquis of House Mazetti himself have been clustered around him. Hadrian stands at the center of the huddle, directing their movements with verbal commands, "...and step left. Perfect. Step," he instructs as each careful step is taken in pursuit of Cambria. With the Marquessa of House Mazetti unburdened by such efforts to block wind and cold, naturally she outpaces his more purposeful movements. Pursue her he does though as the huddle of bodies continue the movement of their precise march after Cambria. "You're doing excellent work, Ducklings. I can only feel the most scant of cold breezes!" Onward the huddle shuffles forward while Master Luigi and Mario follow in pursuit of the larger mass of moving bodies.

Calypso comes gliding in, her usual leathers and swords swapped for a form fitting gown. Her gaze sweeps over the decorations and the area before she makes her way to the hosts and offers her greeting "Duchess, Lady Fidante. The plaza looks wonderful." Moving along so others can be greated, Calypso finds a spot outbid the way and indulges with a glass of wine.

Thea plucks a glass of red wine from a tray. This will go great with the whiskey she drank earlier. She takes the scene in before her. Everything looks quite amazing.

Thorn nods to the last of the messengers before she moves over to look at the wine, hopefully something is maled and warm. She plucks a glass off one of the waiter's trays and shivers a little more before taking a drink from the cup.

Pete, a Grayhope account manager arrives, following Mayir.

Thorn has joined the a large stone fire pit surrounded by sumptuous seating.

Vanora Grimhall makes her way in, reasonably warm in white velvet with long, lined sleeves. She looks for the obvious host of the party and makes her way there first, murmuring lightly. "Lady Lora, everything looks and sounds absolutely lovely, even a little snow doesn't spoil the effect." She greets with an airy not-quite-kiss to each of Lora's cheeks and then steps back so as not to demand too much of the host's attention. There's a warm smile of greeting for Josephine and one accompanied by a dip of the head in acknowledgement to Calista, and then Vanora is edging over towards the music.

Seryna, a charming Lycene handmaiden, 6 Grimhall House Guards leave, following Vanora.

Seryna, a charming Lycene handmaiden, 6 Grimhall House Guards arrive, following Vanora.

The box is passed over with a roll of her eyes. 'Of course I've come, but I know not how long I will stay." Lora's fleeing to host duties and Josephine looks to Dante. "Anklebane, is that what you have dubbed me? Something hot at least, to make me forget my leg. Come, you can be my cane for however long I am here hmm? Then you can go dance without me."

All the talk of the snow brings out a light grin from Nova, but she does not do any Northern banter with the Southern crowd about it, instead opting for a polite decorum, especially since her husband and patron happen to be Lycene. Glancing up beside her at Delilah atop the horse, Nova quickly nods, "Aye, indeed. One day, I can show you where that was if you like." Though, for now, they certainly have a party time here. She smiles brightly to Duchess Calista and waves enthusiastically her way. Then, there are a few more she knows, like Josephine and Hadrian and Thea and Cambria who are waved to, too. Oh yes, speaking of Josephine: Nova wears her crown from the fist fight between those triangular ears on her wolf pelt, it half buried in the fur of it all.

Trays of decadent finger food is passed around on silver trays by Fidante servants. There are trays of stuffed grape leaves, stuffed olives, prosciutto wrapped around melon balls, bacon wrapped scallops, dates stuffed with goat cheese and drizzled with honey, toasted pitas with hummus... and so much more

Thea has joined the a large stone fire pit surrounded by sumptuous seating.

"It is just a little extra decoration," Cambria says to Calista's reference to the snow as she approaches the Torean Duchess. Hadrian, not being far behind, does not appear to warrant Cambria's attention. Managing to grasp the stem of a wine glass from a passing server, noting as she does so, "It looks like it will be a busy evening. You really should throw these parties more often, Duchess."

"You know, it's comforting to see some who hate the cold even more than I do." Dante remarks as he watches Hadrian and his Ducklings make their entrance following Cambria. "Stand near the fire-dancers, that'll probably help!" the Sword calls in their direction, unable to hide his amusement at such a sight. "Or join them in a dance, that'd probably do the trick." Dante's attention returns to Josephine, and he laughs. "So, whiskey? Or perhaps vodka." he offers, before doing the same with his arm. "By all means. Do you intend to likewise use me to attack some impertinent individual's ankles? That might be fun." A cane he shall be for Josephine!

Thorn settles in near the fire pit, and turns a tight smile to Thea when the woman joins her. "I didn't know it was even remotely possible to be this cold..." She tells her before chugging back more of her wine.

Sooner or later, Delilah needs to get off that lovely horse, and she accomplishes that with greater ease than most would get on. The split-sided coat allows her tremendous mobility when needed, leg slid across the broad back of the equine with both hands planted flat on the saddle behind Rowenova. Leaping down to her feet, she manages a perfectly delighted smile for her companion's patient bearing, crooning a soft, "Thank you, friend," to the horse. Because even duchesses know the value of being kind to those who help them. In no mood to lurk in the chilly dark, she waits for Rowenova to find her footing before duchess and scout make their proper appearance. First off, finding Calista, albeit in a sea of dazzling flame and fire-bright brilliance, that takes little time at all. Languishing by dance is almost effortless. Sooner than not she claims a few of those stuffed grape leaves, for dolamathes are foods of the gods. Offering half to Nova, she steers her way. "Duchess Calista, as ever you make the casual sublime. Here we are to forget the cold, no?" Her inclined head and smile are peppered freely between Hadrian and Josephine, Vanora to Lora, whom she blows a kiss to. Why not? Grazia earns that shining uptick of a smile. "Good evening, and this is a delight to see you here, Duchess Grazia. Paperwork tends to chase us, no?"

Snacks? Don't mind if Mayir Grayhope does! The Grayhope underboss makes his way on into the Plaza, spying Vanora at once. "Duchess!" he calls out, going to offer her a kiss to the cheek and then a kiss to the other cheek, like she is an old friend. "It is good to see you." He snags wine. And something off a traay,.

Calypso has joined the a large stone fire pit surrounded by sumptuous seating.

Evander has joined the a large stone fire pit surrounded by sumptuous seating.

Calista begins to make her rounds. She spots Lora and Dante right away, greeting them with soft air kisses to either cheek in greeting. Next is Josephine for whom she beams a brilliant smile to rival the Summer sun. "Thank you for all of your help, Mistress Josephine. I cannot wait for the competition to see who might win these prizes." More air kisses are given and she flits about to say hello to Delilah and Rowenova. Grazia is also present. She and Vanora are welcomed with the gracious lifting of her glass of wine. "Welcome my ladies, welcome!" Charm easily pours from her as she moves through the throngs of party goers. She meets with Cambria and Hadrian, greeting them both warmly. "Yes, just a little extra decoration and thank goodness for the protection of fur." She tells the Marquessa with an inviting smile. "You both look exceptional. Thank you again for your offering. I am excited to see who will be the winner of your prize." She tells Cambria and Hadrian. And this is just the first round of people she is greeting!

Vanora ignores the passing trays of food but does take a mug of heated wine, letting the warmth seep through clay and to her fingers a while before taking a sip. Green eyes flick up and settle on Mayir whom she gives a light smile. "Mayir. How are you doing?" Her perfume smells somehow of the ocean. "How is your family and your..." But she seems to struggle with the last sentence, as if she's run through everything she remembers that she could toss in to the conversation. There's just another blank smile then, and a sip of wine.

1 Crimson Blades Sergeant arrives, following Mirk.

Glass in hand, though only taking a small sip, Evander follows Thea towards the pit, drawn by the heat offered there. He looks... very cold, like someone wholly unused to the Arxian winter. "I've never been this cold," he tags onto Thorn's address to Thea, "Is it like this all winter?"

Other greetings are exchanged too; Lora is easily snared by Vanora and leans in to trade those ephemeral kisses, left and right, before giving an ephemeral sort of smile there, too. "It will take more than a little bit of snow to do us in, I think. I am so glad you came. It's been far, far, far too long." Genuine, that. And there's Delilah as well, who wins a loft of her hand as though she might catch that kiss right out of the air. Other greetings are forthcoming. No one here will escape Fidante hospitality tonight.

Thorn nods to Evander as well and offers a tentitive smile. "They tell me it gets /worse/ than this." She tells the man with a shake of her red head like that's well beyond the scope of her imagination."

Vanora's greeting, Delilah's, anyone else who greets the jeweler. "I'm capable of smacking ankles myself boy." Here's Calista and Josephine offers the duchess a bow. "My delight and joy. It keeps me near the forge as an excuse, though the noise is greater than ever." There's a gesture around. "It is lovely Duchess, but I'll not keep you." Josephine dipping her head when Calista makes to greet others. "I tolerated the cold when I came here, barely. But after the market incident and my leg, the colder it gets, the less I tolerate it. There but for the grace of Whisper Juniper and Master Dravens tincture. You? Any war wounds bother you?"

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

The Wolfy Nova passes off the split reins to the soulful hound (Sir Flop) who dutifully holds them in his toothy maw. She pat pets him his flop-eared noggin before moving along with Duchess Delilah, leaving behind the good critters who must be trusted enough to hang out on their own. She gratefully accepts that halved portion of stuffed grape leaves, doing so with quiet thanks and then smiles brightly despite the muzzle shade of her wolf pelt. "Thank you for yet another celebration, Duchess Calista. Fidante parties are so fun, and so good: especially the food served." She wolfishly grins after having said so before a ringed wave is sent over Josephine's way once more. "I love your prizes, and even wore my fist fighting crown today, just because!" She giggles softly.

"Indeed it does," Mirk says as he arrives, offering Thorn a nod of his head aside. He's fashionably late, perhaps the only thing fashionable about him, from his simple wools and leathers and the shamanic charms tied into his beard. He offers Rowenova a nod of his head, as well as Delilah, those two being the most familiar faces in this place, at least for him. "This is nothing but a gentle prelude to a real winter. Even in Arx." He glances up at the snow dirfting down, casually.

In the free-for-all of a greeting, how difficult not to become overwhelmed. Picking targets constitutes a simple practicality, same as loitering near a brazier. Delilah nibbles at the edge of an oil-soaked grape leaf, not fully committed to popping it into her mouth when someone might signal a greeting to her. Being caught with chipmunk cheeks is a wholly horrific proposition. A light twirl stirs her in a circle with Rowenova in a mirrored dance, and she blithely delivers a brilliant smile to Lora. "An abject delight, darling!" Her acceptance of Rowenova's explanation earns a mused laugh. "Ah, that's how it is. Too many fabulous prizes, and that is that. Lord Mirk, a pleasure to see you. This still counts as winter, hush."

Once Hadrian and his retinue of wind shields draw ever closer to Duchess Calista, he slips from between two of his screens. He offers an elaborate bow before Calista as a hand sweeps up and plucks the crown from atop his head to prevent it tumbling away with the bow. He drapes the crown-bearing arm across his midsection as he bows. Upon rising up again to his full height, the crown is casually placed back atop his head and he finally offers a verbal greeting to the Duchess of House Fidante, "And you look impeccable as always, Duchess Fidante. Will my cousin be joining with us this evening?" Hadrian's gaze drifts away for a moment, harlequin eyes dancing about to the varied faces gathered within Tor Plaza. A smile is cast back toward Delilah. A wink is sent along toward Rowenova. A gloved hand rises up to curl a finger, as if it were a miniaturized wave, in the direction of Duchess-Consort Vanora Grimhall. Then Hadrian's attention abruptly rebounds to Calista as a broad, charcoal-whitened grin slides easily across his sharp features at the mention of the prize, "We too are excited at the prospect of who earn it!"

"Just fine! Everything is going well!" says Mayir to Vanora, untroubled by her lack of remembrance. "It is good to see you! As always!" And then he flits away, off to meet -- others? Or perhaps to drink more of his wine. It is really hard to say.

Thorn looks over relieved when she sees Mirk and waves him over towards the fire pit. "Elder, please come join us." She holds one of her hands out towards the fire, holding a mug of mulled wine with the other. "Ahh that cloak DOES suit you though had I known it would get like this I would have lined it with fur."

Fezzik the Hawk arrives, following Inigo.

Vega arrives, a bit late, but smiling all the same! She casts a glance around the plaza, seeking out the eyes of those she knows. Offering nods, smiles. Moving towards Calista to offer her greetings. Dressed well, if simply, she pauses in the crush to offer a smile of greeting towards Hadrian and Cambria. "Marquessa, Marquis. How nice to see you both again." Then she's motioning towards the Duchess of Tor and offering an apologetic smile while continuing on her way. Upon reaching Calista, she dips into a curtsy and offers, "Duchess, it is wonderful to see you. I apologize for my husband's tardiness, he will be along as soon as he is able. An armor fitting, I am sure you understand how those can go."

A -very- tall woman, dressed in more traditional Torean attire, silks and wool (to keep her warm) approaches Calypso and Evander where they sit and offers them both a rose each from her basket before she slowly, gracefully moves on to the next person she sees; Yes, she's walking on stilts.

"Of that, dearest Anklebane, I've no doubt. But chivalry, or plain amusement, demanded I offer nonetheless." Dante cheerfully answers Josephine. He waves back to Calista in the meantime before glancing to the other guests, watching the going-ons until Josephine speaks again, and he nods. "I dislike the cold on its own merits, rather than it bothering any of my war wounds. I've been fortunate enough that the wounds I've earned leave scars and memories rather than any phantom pain." he answers casually enough. Too casual for it to be the truth and only truth, but he doesn't leave much time to dwell on it, or be too concerned at being called out on it. "Aha! Hot drink, there we go!" Two glasses are taken from a passing servant and, after taking a sip as Lycene custom dictates, he hands one to Josephine. "I'm sure you'll love it." It is, of course, of the strongest alcohol.

"Ah, Duchess Vanora," Cambria calls out when she spies the flame-haired woman. "It has been too long since I have last seen you." She makes her way over to where Vanora currently stands, in order that she might place air kisses to either side of her face. Then there is Vega, and Cambria would be remiss not to greet the Thrax princess as well, which she does with a broad smile and a cheery, "Your highness, how lovely that you could attend this evening."

"Considering what my Duchess cousin deems 'armor', yes, I'm sure she can know how thorough a fitting session can be!" Dante calls out to Vega, while adressing his cousin Calista his most charming grin.

"Lady Delilah, the pleasure is all mine. But I beg to differ on that point," Mirk says with a wry quirk of his lips. "It's so very mild still." He offers her a slight bow, at being addressed, and then sits down closer to the fire pit. He holds out hand out towards it. "No worries, on that," he assures Thorn. "I have a cloak suitable once the cold really begins. This is very much suitable for autumn and early winter, not to mention the warmer months of the year. Perhaps less so if I traveled north, however." He raises an eyebrow at Rowenova. "And how are you, Row?"

"Marquessa Cambria. It has indeed, which we've written about but still not managed to solve. Soon, I make a promise of it." Air kisses are returned and Vanora glances at Vega curiously when Cambria greets her, dipping briefly in a curtsy when she picks up on 'highness' in the greeting.

Thorn looks at Mirk a bit horrified. This isn't REAL winter? She shudders at the thought. "I've decided, Elder Mirk, we need to go hunting and kill a bear or something. I am going to need something very warm."

Ah hah! Nova will not be the /only/ Northerner now! Mid lift of a grape leaf, the wolf-framed woman suddenly pauses and then raises it higher than her mouth because she waves with it in an energetic fashion to Mirk. "My Lord! It is absolutely wonderful to see you! I am doing quite well, thank you for asking. How about you?" As she lazily twirls within the falling snow, she catches the wink from Hadrian which is cause enough for a grin, and then she nods forth to Delilah near her with that same grin still going on... at least until Nova finally eats a grape leaf (now that she no longer speaks), not minding being the one to do those chipmunk cheeks!

Calista chuckles softly at Hadrian's words and naturally, she takes notice of his crown. "I do hope we get to see Inigo soon. I left him tied up...with business affairs." She hides her smirk behind the glass of wine then offers Vega a spirited waggle of her fingers. "Princess, no need to apologize. It is good to see you. Welcome! Please grab some food and drink. There is plenty to see and do. Check the sword swallower, there is one over there and of course in a little bit there will be an exhibition of knives."

Mirk has joined the a large stone fire pit surrounded by sumptuous seating.

Evander is standing, shoulder-hunched, near the firepit as he talks in low tones with the others present. He doesn't see Calista approaching (from above?) and looks momentarily startled when she offers him a rose. He looks a little confused, gaze tracking Calista's departure with a furrow of brow, and then a glance towards Calypso like she might have an explanation.

Grazia largely keeps to herself, though she does not look particularly cold. Her nose is a bit rosy perhaps, but her fur cloak is doing an excellent job of insulating her from the weather. She does seem drawn to the fire pit, however, the fire dancing in her whiskey-hued eyes.

Grazia has joined the a large stone fire pit surrounded by sumptuous seating.

Delilah has joined the a large stone fire pit surrounded by sumptuous seating.

Rowenova has joined the a large stone fire pit surrounded by sumptuous seating.

For a few moments Lora stands aside, once more a lovely statue, archly thoughtful, a whirl of jugglers passing around her like some fantastic sea breaking around a stone. She ignores them mostly, taken to observing the gathering, as if to make quite certain that nothing has somehow gone amiss, awry, or otherwise away from the path they've hoped to set the night unwinding upon. Vega's arrival is noticed and she lifts her glass in a long-distance gesture of welcome.

A contortionist, skillfully carrying a tray of sweet crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows slowly comes around to the people at the fire pit. First to Thorn and Mirk. S'mores anyone?

Wine to be claimed after a nibble of the dolamathes leaves Lilah dreamily regarding the others, her smile cast with a light ease. Everything is so very sunny despite the drifting snowflakes twinned to the smoke. "Without a trace of irony, I can say I have experienced worse. The bone-numbing cold this is not." Drawn to the firepit, she settles around the edges and watches Rowenova dance. "Wherever shall we turn upon this lovely evening? I have no expectations of my own success." Her glass makes an exceptionally good substitute for calling out greetings; thus, Vega receives the wobble of the Torean rose in salute and benediction both. Toasts made thus, she sips it. "Killing a bear? That sounds thrilling."

"Duchess Grazia!" calls out Mayir, spying someone new and moving over to the large stone firepit. She gets the same treatment as Vanora, the kisses to the cheek in greetings. "It has been too long, my favorite Inquisitor! You never write anymore!" Oh! Look! More wine!

"Lucky you." Josephine murmurs to Dante. Then there is hot and strong alcohol and she waits for him to take the sip before she sips herself to show her trust. "Dancing. It's been a long time since I danced. You should dance with Lora or..." A glance around. "Or dance with the Marquise Hadrian." A discreet gesture to the man. There's a smile for Rowenova and her crown from the people's tournament. "That was a journey to the Abyss and back, and I wonder how nearly anyone managed to do that on a regular basis."

Calypso gives a brief chuckle at Evander's reaction, "You are not use to the Lycene?"

Thea curiously wonders about Calypso's words but she nods her head in understanding. She watches as more people enter, then hears Calista. Thea bows her head to the woman, a small smile on her lips,"Nice to see you. It looks lovely here. I haven't seen you since--well, ever. But I'm Thea Malvici."

Thorn grins happily to the contortionist. Oh sweets! That's a good way to hide from the too cold eather. "MMMM thank you!"

"Tied up with business affairs?" Hadrian's gaze slips away from Calista and back toward Cambria. He almost seems ready to shout something across the short distance, at the Mazetti's marquessa, but restrains himself as he clears his throat and answers back at Calista, "I do hope you didn't bind him too tightly, then. Something, something, all work, something, no play, or something". Hadrian's grin slides smoothly back into place as he offers a bow of his head toward Calista. He begins to drift away however, not to monopolize the Duchess of Tor's time. The greeting sent his way by Vega results in Hadrian whirling about and his hands come together, fingers interlace, and he greets the Thraxian princess with an enthusiastic smile, "Princess Vega! A pleasure to see you again," he acknowledges with a dip of his chin in greeting, "Have you come out to enjoy some music, dancing, and things debauched today?"

"Yes, we shall remedy this soon," Cambria says to Vanora. "Alas, busy lives rarely allow for us to be as social as we might like. I am thankful to Duchess Calista for hosting this tonight. It allowed me the opportunity to get out from behind the desk for a few hours."

There are Malvici present! Calista shmoozes her way over to them. First greeting Calypso, then welcoming Thea. "Duchess Malvici, Lady Thea, welcome. It is good to see both of you and a pleasure to make your acquaintance, my lady. Please make yourselves comfortable. There is plenty of food and drink and entertainment. Anything you desire. Well, within reason." She says with a wink.

Calypso slants her gaze to Thea, exhaling at the cheery mouth Malvici, she introduces her to Calista, "Duchess Calista, this is Lady Thea Malvici. Lords Domonico and Martino's younger sister."

Is arriving past the hour of commencement considered fashionably late for one of the hosts as well? Regardless of what it's called, Duke Inigo arrives in a rather disheveled state, his cloak haphazardly tossed over his shoulders, his tunic fastened only just so. He makes his way through the crowd, smiles given to those he passes who turn an eye, beelining for his beloved within the throng. "You know I have a hard time with that particular knot..." Inigo remarks casually to the Duchess Calista as he pulls up to her side, a grin and a wink given to Hadrian, Calypso and his family, a dip of the head to the others.

Mirk eyes the contortionist, but he helps himself to a few of the crackers and chocolate. He spits one of the marshmallows and holds it out towards the fire, with a dip towards them and then Calista. "An excellent choice in refreshments, my lady. Traditional, in fact." There's a quirk of his lips, though he keeps his eyes on the marshmallow, watching it so it doesn't burn too badly. "I could arrange that," he says to Thorn in a dry tone. "Though I'm afraid I'm a little out of practice with the bow." He chuckles at Rowenova's enthusiasm and says, "I'm as well as can be expected, Row, and I'm glad to see you here. It's nice to celebrate the small things sometimes, hm?" There's a wink at that. "Have you ever hunted, my lady?" He asks Delilah, aside.

Mayir has joined the a large stone fire pit surrounded by sumptuous seating.

Thorn pops chocolate in her mouth and swollows it down before she grins up at Mirk, "Well that's plenty fine, I've never used a bow at all." She spots Mayir settling in near the fire and waves her fingers at him.

"As ever, Lord Dante, your wit and humor is a most welcome addition to any day!" Vega rejoins to Dante with a chuckle before dipping a nod towards Calista. "Thank you, Duchess. I do believe I'll go seek out some of that Torean wine I have come to miss." Moving beyond, she offers a smile towards Lora, lifting a hand in greeting towards her; sidling around the people to move towards those she knows, Delilah receiving a lift of a glass freshly plucked from a tray. Finding herself near to Josephine and Hadrian, she offers a faint grin to the latter and murmurs, "Enjoying what was left behind when we traveled to Arx, certainly. I will admit, the Lyceum never has a shortage of entertainments and intrigues to capture one's attention!" She dips a nod to Josephine and murmurs, "Good evening. I do not believe we have been introduced. Princess Vega Thrax. Its a pleasure." Looking back to the crowd, she chuckles, "This seems like a very good turnout."

"Ah, here is the Malvici who stole my heart." Calista turns to press against Inigo, greeting him with a warm embrace and a kiss to his jawline. She gazes up at him like a woman who is very much in love, still. "Drink and eat, you're going to help me announce the entertainment shortly."

"Lucky me." Dante agrees with Josephine, moments before taking a stiffening drink. "Mm, I should, shouldn't I? Though I fear I must contain my enthusiasm. It wouldn't do if I were to compete." Still, the notion has appeal. But who? Lora? Hadrian? "Very well, Anklebane. For you, I shall dance the night away. If, and only if, you drink enough for the two of us." And with that, after finishing his own glass, he walks away, heading straight for... Hadrian. "Marquis Hadrian Mazetti! I have been tasked with the most serious duty to have you dance. More, the crowd demands it! Will you deny our guests their most fervant desire?" he asks the man. "You should dance as well, Your Highness!" he calls back to Vega. "But not with this one, that just wouldn't do." he says, motioning to poor Hadrian.

Thea probably shouldn't mention the amount of alcohol she consumed earlier. She resorts back to masking her face to full serious. Hearing Inigo, she bows her head, sneaking in a small smile, her green eyes still shining with mischief. "Good evening." She directs her greetings to Delilah as well.

More nobles - surrounded by nobles - and Josephine removes her free arm so she can bow to Vega, then to Hadrian since the former has offered greeting. "Josephine Arcuri, Lenosian jeweler." And there goes Dante and taking both glasses now, Josephine regards the impending interaction between the Marquise and the sword of Tor. "Your highness, such a lovely fur." She offers to Vega.

There are so many pockets, a messenger bag, and hidden spaces in a long cloak from whence the sudden appearance of a new plate must have somehow originated. Right there, in Nova's hands. She gladly accepts a couple smores before then twirling around (carefully so) and settling down somewhere nearby Delilah, "Well, I merely mingle at such fine and fun Fidante festivities. Eventually, mayhaps, I will join the contests they put on. Eat, drink, and be merry. It is the only expectation, I do believe." She smiles up to Josephine. "It was an amazing tournament, and you did so well with it all. Thank you for it, too. Because of it, my life feels better in both visible and not so visible ways." Softening up after saying so, she soon looks to Mirk who might know more about what Nova goes on. "Good, I am glad you are. It is very nice, aye. I do like to get out for Lycene gatherings when I can, especially those up Draven's alley, and this is put on by Fidante, the duchy House to whom Volkov is a vassal."

Keski, a nervous disciple of Petrichor, Aletta, an even more nervous disciple of Petrichor, 1 Templar Knight guards, Oswald, the war pig arrive, following Brigida.

Vanora's pale green eyes turn to Inigo when he enters, and there's a smile and a little wave of her fingers, its been a rather long time. "It is a hard place to leave." The pale redhead picks up on a drifting of conversation about the Lyceum. "Princess Vega Thrax? I was wondering who you might be when I saw Lora making her greetings earlier. Duchess Vanora Grimhall, originally from Setarco. It's a pleasure to meet you I'm certain." Her smile seems to indicate so, and she watches Dante slip towards the dance floor with eyes bright.

Calypso gives a nod to Inigo "About time you returned Cousin. It is a pleasure to see you again." Taking in his stroppy dressing, she lifts the wine again. "It is a shame Lady Fiora is away. She must be glad to see you again."

Garibaldi, the Lycene swordbearer, 2 House Mazetti Aspirants arrive, following Theron.

Garibaldi, the Lycene swordbearer, 2 House Mazetti Aspirants leave, following Theron.

Garibaldi, the Lycene swordbearer, 2 House Mazetti Aspirants arrive, following Theron.

Some introductions might be in order. Lora trades out her glass for another one, a fresh prop for her hand before she circles back around into mingling with the guests. Dante's approach of the Mazetti is watched with visible amusement, which renders the smile on her face ever so very, very crooked. Inigo's arrival cannot but be noticed and she lifts the wine in silent toast to him as well from just over yonder before closing on Josephine, Vanora, Vega. There's an opening there and she's further introductions to make. "This particular Princess is nearly an honorary Fidante," she explains. "She married Nico's brother." It cuts both ways, though. As such, she tells Vega, "Josephine is one of the finest jewelers in the Compact."

"Hello, Love." Inigo replies as he laces an arm about her hips, slipping a kiss onto her forehead before returning her gaze. "Am I? Is the entertainment not all here?" His eyes slip to the entertainers and acts stationed aroung the plaza, an eyebrow creeping higher in wonderment of what might come. His sapphire regard drops to Thea and he grins, her mischievous sparkle reflected in his expression. "Evening, cousin and other cousin. I trust you both have been well?" His free hand lifts to return Vanora's wave, a nod of greeting given in accompaniment. "It is and it was nice to see her, she hasn't really changed that much. Still very sneaky." The duke adds with a wink.

Hadrian favors Vega with a smile, nodding along with her answer while his hands rest clasped together at his back. While his attention is momentarily snatched away by the arrival of Inigo, Hadrian's smile only seems to grow wider. Then abruptly his focus returns to Vega and Josephine. He seems prepared to address the latter, but then Lord Dante Fidante addresses him. Hadrian turns about on a heel to face the Sword of Tor and his head tilts aside. He seems lost in thought, pondering the proposition presented. Each hand moves from his back, while one lifts the crown from atop his own head and the other makes use of gloved fingers rake his cold black hair back from his forehead. The crown is deposited atop his head again and finally Hadrian offers a sincere dip of his chin in acknowledgment of Dante's words, "A dance? I would be positively thrilled, Lord Dante. I'll lead, you follow. When I dip you and go in for the kiss... just close your eyes and go with it". Hadrian says this even as he begins to walk in the direction of Dante, one hand lifted and his palm held out, while gloved fingers make grabbing motions at Dante.

Calista overhears some shenanigans are about to go down and she gestures to two of the entertainers to please wait a moment. The musicians cue up a song that is meant to get the blood pumping and the feet stomping; Something Lycene and passionate, of course! Calista waits to see what might transpire between Hadrian and Dante. "Inigo, I am going to need a stronger drink." She murmurs to her husband.

Delilah has left the a large stone fire pit surrounded by sumptuous seating.

"No. I'm perfectly fine walking this far by myself. I'm ^not^ so old and decrepit that I need a panquin yet! Oh... you mean ^your^ feet hurt? Well stop complaining Keski. You're barely a third of my age! Now shut up and go find me something to eat.



The voice of Brigida precedes her as the Archlector appears, two nervous disciples in tow as well a guard being led by a fat pig on a leash. The short older woman stops and looks around the Plaza with a squint, "I remember this song..." she mutters to herself.

Thea nods to Inigo,"I have been! Martino and Domonico both send their regards. Martino was disappointed he hasn't seen you yet."

Marius, 1 House Corvini Guard arrive, following Giulio.

"Marquis, you are a fiend! I see you'll be taking full advantage, but so be it. I shall lay back and think of Fidante." Dante sighs dramatically, raising his hand to his forehead as if he might positively swoon. "Be warned, however, you'll find sweeping me off my feet significantly more difficult than your other conquests." Whether the Sword is being literal or not is left to the interpretation of whoever might be listening. Still, a dance was requested, and a dance shall be had. "You'll lead, and I hope what I'll be following shall be nothing less than a tango, My Lord." he adds, the Sword's body ready... to dance.

Mayir has left the a large stone fire pit surrounded by sumptuous seating.

Pete, a Grayhope account manager leaves, following Mayir.

"Excellent, it will be good to see him once our paths finally cross. Perhaps after some manner of goings-on settle down." The duke replies to Thea before his regard shifts to the curious happenings in the make. Inigo nods slowly to Calista's sentiment, his eyes locked on the scene transpiring with an ever widening grin. "I believe I'll be joining you in that." He steps away to fetch what was requested, something a bit stiff for the both of them. The former Malvici smiles and gives a little wave and a nudge of the elbow to Lora as he passes, chuckling on his way to the refreshments.

"I intend to, my lord. I only seek a suitable partner for the dance," Vega resopnds to Dante with a small chuckle. Turning to Josephine, she smiles warmly towards the jeweler, "Lenosian jeweler? I am certain that we will become fast friends, then. I have a fondness for good jewelry, though admittedly less so in the winter when the metals are turned to ice against the skin." Her head lifts, turning towards the new voice and offering a polite smile of greeting, "Greetings, Duchess Grimhall. The pleasure is mine. I am Thrax born, but my husband comes from Tor. I am hopeful he will make it out still." Lora's arrival is heralded with a brief grin, "Ah, Lady Lora! Thank you for the endorsement, both for myself and Mistress Josephine. I was just telling her my weakness for excellent jewelry."

Thea watches, eyebrow raised. Obviously something is going to happen and she doesn't want to miss it. She takes a larger sip of her wine, talking to those around the fire as well.

Better late than never, as The Ostrian Sword essentially runs into the crowd of revelers that is swarming the Tor Plaza. "Oh. -That's- what the noise is, excellent!" This is said as if he is not dressed in clothing suitable for frivolity. Immediately Theron is beaming a smile and commandeering a glass of something. While his pleased smile is on display, those intense eyes of his are seeking faces to recognize. Though upon note of Hadrian and promises and or threats to Dante do nearly cause him to collide into anothers back. He calls out a friendly warning at Dante "Careful! Those hands love backsides!"

"I think I have created a monster Lora." Josephine regards the pair off to dance. "Or a nightmare..." Vega's comment on jewelry garners a smile. "Only if it's not close to the skin my dear." She assure her. "Or the right metal." Brigida's entrance garners a smile. "Blessed Brigida. Quick, over here. Bring your companion." A gesture to the pig. Not keski.

The slender figure of the Corvini count makes his way into the plaza, though, he ghosts to the edges, observing with dark eyes. He is trailed by his majordomo Marius and a single guard. He pauses for a moment in silent consideration, his gaze flitting from person to person. Meanwhile, Marius finds the man a glass of brandy. The Mazetti each receive a nod and a smile, as do the various Fidante, but, he seems more contemplative than anything else.

Coming to stand beside Vega, Cambria asides, "I cannot go anywhere without my husband stealing the show, and stealing the hearts of men and women alike." She jerks a thumb behind her, towards where Brigida and the pig stood. "Probably the farm animals, too." She sighs, watching the scene unfold with a gaze that is best described as admiring. "Is it the same with all husbands, I wonder? Calista?" She glances to Inigo, then awaits the reply from both women.



Upon hearing Theron's voice, however, Cambria turns and waves him over. "Theron! Don't spoil the fun. People need their surprises." She waves the Ostrian Sword over, but not before spotting Giulio, whom she also makes a beckoning motion, should the man spot it.

"On the contrary," says Lora to Josephine, turning about to watch the first dance of the night with unmistakable mirth. "I think you've created something splendid. Bravo. Honestly." For Vega she has that same smile, less tinged with humor, for all that it barely curves up the corners of her mouth. "Rest assured, the metal sings for her. She's responsible for the creation of the pieces we're giving away tonight, so best you find a good partner." Speaking of. It is about now that she spots the arrival of the Corvini, and thus murmurs her excuses to the princess and the jeweler before drifting off in Giulio's direction. "Count Corvini. I am so pleased that you could join us."

Yet another Ostrian Lord is soon to make a late entry into the plaza, this one in the form of Marzio Mazetti. The man is not exactly outfit in a manner suited to such an event, given the armor that he is clad in, but that does not stop him from offering a smile toward those people near him that may look his way. A wry smirk comes across his features as he notes the voices of a few of his kin, and he soon busies himself with finding a drink for himself.

Calista quietly and graciously thanks her servant for bringing her a glass of whiskey then looks to Cambria to silently inquire if she needs a stiffer drink. "Not particularly. Your husband, my dear Marquessa is quite the scene stealer. Inigo seems to be more laid back, at least for now, I think. One can never tell what brews deep inside a Malvici." She gestures to Hadrian and asides to Cambria. "I mean, look at his crown. How come he did not let you wear it? Let us be honest, he is a handsome man but you are by far more beautiful."

"Archlector! How wonderful to see you here," Vega calls out a greeting to Brigida, motioning her over in tandem to Josephine's urging. She looks to Josephiena nd chuckles softly, "I am afraid that it may be me, then. Gold, silver, steel... it all feels cold to my skin." Smiling to Cambria, she nods gently, "My husband is not nearly so... ostentatious as the Marquis, I suppose that would make me the 'Hadrian' of my marriage. Though I like to think I am subtle and its only next to Raimon's sheer stoicism that I seem positively rambunctious." She gives a nod to Lora, chuckling softly, "We shall see, my lady. It would seem the two best dancers have just waltzed off together." She motions towards Hadrian and Dante.

"Lady Fidante, it is always my firm pleasure to attend such things," Giulio says to Lora, smiling and offering a tilt of his head. His features are settled with the usual courtier's mask. "And, House Fidante is most known for it's revels." He offers her a tilt of his head. He glances towards Cambria and offers a smile and a tilt of his head to her. "But, a moment, if you will excuse me," he says to Lora, before starting towards Cambria and the not of Mazetti.

A young, handsome servant kindly brings Brigida a plate of all the different finger foods being passed around.

Brigida hears her friends voice and after a moment of searching for her she spots Josephine and begins making her way over there towards her. En route she overhears Cambria and she interjects with, "I promise that Oswald has far better taste than to be wooed by your husband. For one thing your husband is not a truffle." She eventuslly reaches Josephine and gives the jeweller a nod before a giving her a hug, "Good to see you again dear friend."Vega's comment gets a, "Don't lie, I'm only here to judge you all and make you feel inadeq- ooooh food!" The arrival of the plate derails her thoughts.

After some time Inigo returns to Calista with two glasses of, what one could presume knowing anything about the Duke at all, whiskey. Spotting the drink already in her hand, he shrugs and tilts one glass over the other, combining the two drinks into one large one. A passing server gets the empty glass deposited on their tray and the Fidante noble turns settles back at her side to watch the goings-on, a nod of the head to the Mirrorguard Head Honcho.

"But you do not know what he can /do/ with a few truffles, Archlector," Cambria says to Brigida airily. "Though I do not doubt your words concerning Oswald. He strikes me as very Oathlander." Sipping from her wine, Cambria regards the arrival of Giulio with a small, private smile.

As the music changes and Dante consents to the dance, Hadrian sweeps in like a storm. As he marches around Dante, his cloak of umbra and aeterna swirls about the pair. A hand reaches out, bound to take hold of Dante at the side of his neck. Meanwhile a passing servant with a tray of roses is robbed by a pair of plucking fingers. All while Hadrian's harlequin eyes remain fixed squarey upon Dante. The bulb of the rose is drawn toward Dante, threatening a teasing at the tip of his nose. Then as the music strengthens, so too does the dance. The rose is left to be clutched by Dante while Hadrian's arm aims to slip along his midsection to begin guiding him in the dance. Fingers splay out across his waist as Hadrian's feet abruptly stomp in quick succession. Together they swirl in one anothers presence. The most phantom of space between their bodies in some moments, while in others the space between them becomes utterly fictional. As they dance around one another, Hadrian's brilliantly green eyes seem to become lost in Dante's. The shifting, swirling, and spinning dance culminates in Hadrian sweep Dante in close to himself. Whether it a show of strength or skill, Hadrian seeks to lift Dante even fractionally from his feet to twirl him about until he's placed back down following half a turn, and then the dip comes.

To Vega, Cambria then says, "Some day, I shall have to meet your husband properly."

Calypso briefly stops talking at the fire pit to watch the dancing. She finishes her drink and takes some of the food as it comes past.

"Tehre's a chair in my forge when you get back from that journey north. Not a delightful one at all. I made it to past Avarions peak once. Into the Ever Winter. Even in the dead of summer you need full winter gear." Josephine, it seems, keeps an eye on -some- journals. "If Oswald needs a place to stay while you go, send him over. He can lay warm in the forge." Josephine leans in to murmur something before looking to the dance floor. "Well." She murmurs, the old jeweler looking appreciatively.

Inigo simply blinks, his drink hovering near his lips unsampled. It's quite a feat to snatch the Fidante Duke's attention away from drinking.

Thea watches the singing and dancing around her.

"I do not lie, Archlector. You could offer the sharpest of criticisms of my dancing ability and I would still count it a pleasure to have you here." Vega responds with Brigida with a faint smile, looking aside to Cambria with a smile, "He should be here any minute, Marquessa. You will be able to meet him." Glancing between Josephine and Brigida, she smiles faintly then turns to watch the dancing.

Calista stands back from hosting duties and making rounds to set her attention on what is happening right before her eyes. Hadrian sweeps in, and she reaches out to grab a hold of Inigo's arm. She holds back from her exuberant laughter, but this is exactly the sort of entertainment she was hoping for. "Oh, my!" She starts to clap with the beat of the music. The musician's find this entertaining as well and circle the Hadrian and Dante, letting them become even more involved with the dancing.

Grazia seems content to be silent and stone-faced, though she watches the dancing with great interest and drinks thoughtfully from a glass of wine that she occasionally gestures with. Finally, she breaks her silence to inform Vega, "That is a lovely fur you are wearing. You should ask for a bit of the Thrax family jewelry. I have heard that it is quite lovely."

Left behind by the Corvini, Lora once more resumes her duty as mobile statue, largely so that she can watch the dance in progress. And watch she does, brows ever so very, very slowly going up and the very barest little hint of color appearing in her cheeks. She drinks then. Finally. Because apparently it's finally time for her to have some, even if it's just a bracing little sip. Evidently their performance is well worth the watch, her amusement still in some evidence.

Then from the observers comes celebrant shouting, cheering for Hadrian and Dante. There's clapping of hands, stomping of feet; Whoops a plenty coming from the balconies of the houses that all face the plaza. Encouragement for the performance and a means to stir up more energy for the party. Their enthusiasm spills out onto the streets of Reflection Square. Does anyone even remember that it's snowing still?

Inigo is overheard praising Dante: Some of the best dancing I've ever seen!

Inigo is overheard praising Hadrian: Some of the best dancing I've ever seen!

Having been summoned in a fashion by Cambria, Theron obliges and joins the little group. He responds with a serious sounding tone. "There are surprises, and then there are surprises My Marquessa." But with his smile, he is likely not in the least serious. Though at all the talk of dancing he does make a little tiny face of discomfort, as if he'd rather go poke a bear in it's den. Weaponless... And naked. "Ah, Brother, good to see you as well." A quick grinning up and down. "You're looking well. Wife keeping you busy?" His eyes gaze towards Marzio in the crowd. "I saw Ostrian plate, but not the face attached to it, who did I miss?"

Calista is overheard praising Dante: Whoomp Whoomp! Dance Dante, Dance!

Brigida actually gives Vega a smile, wrinkling her face as she stands by her friend Josephine and mutters back and forth. "Vega. Stop flattering... even if it's true... " Cambria's comment regarding truffles gets a snort, "Oh my dear, I've seen things done with truffles and other foods that would make you blush."

Calista is overheard praising Hadrian: Whoomp Whoomp! Dance Hadrian, Dance!

And they're off! Dante lacks the formal instruction of a professional entertainer, and Hadrian's natural flair, yet what the Sword lacks, he makes up for it in innate agility. As promised, Dante follows the storm's steps, playing his role to the hilt, never missing a step even as the music picks up and the passion! The passion! At some point or another, the rose is clutched not by the Sword's hand, but by his teeth. The dance would allow nothing else, and indeed, it is almost an invitation to claim the rose back. And so it is, when green eyes gaze into each other, when the shifting, swirling and spinning is brought to its climax, after the Sword is even /twirled/, that the dip comes. And meeting it, is the rose, now taken out of Dante's mouth, offered. "Fine, you've my heart. Add it to your mantle with all the others you've stolen, you demon."

Looking through the crowd, Marzio spies Cambria looking his way from where he stands over by the drink table and lifts a hand in reply. Soon he is moving in her direction, offering a firm not of his head toward those he passes until he can draw near enough to say, "Good evening, Marquessa. It seems that I have missed out on watching some of the fun!"

Cambria considers Brigida for a long moment, then nods, conceding. "I can only bow to your wisdom and experience, Archlector." Shortly thereafter she says to Theron, "Did you spy Marzio among the party-goers?" She glances this way and that, though shortly afterward, something said by Giulio catches her attention. She offers him a quietly spoken response. Finally, to Vega, "Excellent. I look forward to the opportunity. A study in contrasts always fascinates me."

He shakes his head in disbelief and finds something to place his drink upon. Hands now free, the Duke applauds loudly for the spectacle, whistling and grinning with delight. "That... that was something else. I think I could have lived a million lifetimes and never known I needed something like that dance in my life." Inigo chuckles and retrieves his drink, placing a quick kiss on his wife's neck as he straights by her side.

He is late, which is a bit bothersome but sometimes things conspire against you to keep you from arriving as early as you might like. Still Raimon does eventually arrive, marching into the plaza. He turns his head left and right, looking over the various entertainment and decorations

Cambria is overheard praising Dante: The Sword of Tor has a sterling sense of humor, and a willingness to play games.

Calista shares the true joy of her laughter upon Inigo's arm and occasionally hides her face while leaning into him. Once the dance comes to an end, she claps for the couple on the dance floor. Guests and servants alike sing their praise for Dante and Hadrian's full on display of Lycene dancing. "Bravo! Bravo!!" She praises. "I do hope the guests are feeling quite toasty after that."

"And my duties, I fear," Giulio says to Theron, his smile a bland thing. "... and other matters, of course." His hand tilts outwards. "But, 'tis a pleasant thing to aid as one might. We shall see how matters progress." He considers those others present, glancing between Dante and Hadrian with a hint of amusement wrought on his features. A slow tilt of his head follows at Cambria's and he offers his cousin a kiss to each cheek, before looking about the gathering for a moment. A whispered word is offered the Mazetti Marquessa, before he glides towards Lora.

Calista gets a shimmering brocade rose from black and white cloth pouch with a green ribbon.

"I cannot help that the truth is flattering, Archlector," Vega resonds with a straight face and a twinkle of enjoyment in her eyes. She offers up a rousing bit of applause for the Marquis of Mazetti and the Sword of Tor, their dance will surely go down in legend! "I really do not know how anyone is supposed to follow -that- with any degree of confidence." Vega smiles to Cambria and gives a small nod, "Perhaps I should ask the Duchess Fidante to partner me in the dance in order to stand a chance."

Calista gets a shimmering brocade rose from black and white cloth pouch with a green ribbon.

Another drink for Lora as the dance finishes up. A slightly longer one before the glass is passed off, half-finished, to one of the servants milling about. There's no attempt made to refill it, either, before she swirls off into the crowd to greet... "Raimon. Or should I call you Your Highness now?" Her smile comes back but it's just a beat slow, fixed a moment too late. Possibly because the Corvini is coming back, but hostess duties continue anon anyway.

'WEll, I wasn't expecting that. I meant for the man to dance with someone else before he would insist I try and dance. What a show." Josephine mumurs to her small group, a look to vega and a smile, there's a nod for Brigida as well as something is tabled for later. her fingers tap on her cane as she finishes her hot drink and looks for another.

As the dance draws to a close and the rose is offered, Hadrian plucks it away with a wink cast toward Dante. He takes a step back, one arm slips across his midsection, while the other extends outward holding the rose by the stem off to the side. He bows before Dante and upon rising up to his full height once again, Hadrian flicks the bulb of the rose toward Dante, "You charm me, my lord," he remarks as the rose is brought up to his nose. From atop the brightly colored petals Hadrian's eyes bat playfully back at Dante while he takes a deep breath of the flower's fragrance. The rose soon lowers and Hadrian comments toward Dante, "I'm uncertain if the pace of my heart will ever slow, but I do know it will always hasten a touch in your presence". He tilts his head aside just-so and again his lashes flutter toward the Sword of Tor. A wink is sent along once the flutter has ceased and soon enough Hadrian twirls away and soon enough begins to march along toward Josephine. As he draws closer he remarks with a humored smile, "Please consider that additional payment for your stellar work on my crown, Mistress Arcuri".

Thorn checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 13 higher.

Calypso noting Evander's red face and his drink shifts slightly from his presence and focuses her attention on Nova, "A pleasure. The Baroness is a dear friend. It is good to know she has surrounded herself with good workers."

Hadrian is overheard praising Dante: I would do two things with this man on any given day. Dance and cross swords. One could very well lead to the other.

Brigida actually seems to smirk at Cambria's and Vega's comments. The Archlector quietly (well actually quite loudly) says to Josephine, "I imagine had this been an Oathlands party there would have been a few spluttered drinks by now."

Hadrian mutters, "... party? What's that?"

Raimon bows to Lora as she approaches him. "If you wish to refer as such to me you may. I hope that you are well, Sister." He turns his gaze over the crowd again, clearly looking for someone until he spies Vega. Marking his wife's spot he looks to Lora again. "It seems to be a rather succesful event"

Marius, 1 House Corvini Guard leave, following Giulio.

Marius, 1 House Corvini Guard arrive, following Giulio.

Hadrian is overheard praising Calista: Blessed are those who bring others together to dance and make merriment.

Hadrian is overheard praising Lora: Among the finest statues who has ever played host to a gathering of revelers.

Certainly not able to truly top the incredible dancing, Calista motions for the entertainers who were supposed to come out before, to please take their places. "If I may steal your attention for a moment, we have a treat! For those who do not like to dance, we have something spectacular to feast your eyes on." A stunningly gorgeous couple arrives to the main stay of the plaza. Space is made for them to have ample room to put on their show. On one side there is a large wheel made of wood with shackles for arms and legs and on the other side is a weapons stand. "All the way from Tor, Gisella and Lorenzo!" The raven haired woman moves to the wheel and with some unnamed assistance, she is set in the shackles. Lorenzo moves to her, kisses her cheek, then take a jaunty jog to the weapons rack...

Dante laughs even as he returns Hadrian's bow with one of his own. "Likewise, My Lord. I shall treasure the memory always." But alas, the dance is over, and Dante steps away from the dance floor to give the chance to other prospective participants. Rather than linger, however, Dante disappears amidst the crowd. No doubt still there, somewhere, participating in the festivities.

"If this had been in the oathlands, we'd be drinkign warm milk and sleeping roughly ten minutes later" Josephine laments to Brigida in agreement. "Pieter would have been the first one asleep." hadrian's comment raises her brow and dips her head. "A good tip. Thank you. Payment in full."

The wheel rotates, taking Gisella on a ride. Lorenzo sets out his daggers and takes one in hand.

Inigo samples some of the overfull whiskey in his glass, a quiet smile at the pleasant warmth that courses through his body. "Our parties simply are the best, you never know what's going to happen." As if on cue, the Duchess announces the next act and his deep ocean gaze moves over to the two about to perform. "This should be incredible." His attention holds fast, excited for the daring that's about to be done.

There is a long silent not-quite-stare at the Archlector in regards to truffles and blushing. He snaps his mouth shut. Looking to Cambria and her question. "Marzio! Yes, that fits what I saw." He couples the outburst of the man's name with a snap of the fingers and practically points a finger up the poor mans nose as he approaches to greet Cambria practically in the same moment. "Oops. Right. Sorry. I could see you from only here down out there." He gestures to Marzio's neck and gestures downwards. A glance at Giulio and mention of duties. "One of these days, we're going to find you buried under a pile of papers." With the dance of the Sword and Marquis completing with it's flourishes he does offer soft applause and an amused grin. "Never a dull moment with Hadrian around."

Fffffoooommmp! - The dagger is THROWN across the way and hits the wooden wheel between Gisella's left arm and left leg...

Calypso slants her gaze at the wheel. She remarks straightfacedly, "Lord Kennex, you should give that a try. A new experience and all."

Thea watches the woman tied on the wheel, the man throwing--daggers at her. Well this is new...

Hadrian's eyes widen a touch as the wheel is brought out, a body is shackled to it, and Lorenzo takes up a dagger. Idly the Marquis-Consort remarks while he continues to watch the wheel spin, "Accidents happen every day in the Lyceum". He can't seem to tear his eyes away, much like watching a pair of wagons on a collision course. A hand lifts and blindly reaches out to a passing tray, fingers plucking at the stem of a glass of red wine. Still his eyes do not trail away from the wheel, despite his voice reaching up and after Theron, "You know that's right". Again Hadrian delves into silence though to watch the impending disaster.

Vega offers a smile towards Raimon when he makes his appearance, lifting her glass towards him before murmuring an aside to Cambria, "There is my husband now, Marquessa. The tall man there, speaking with Lady Lroa." She nods towards him and sips at her drink before looking towards the show being put on by the pair.

Evander's mouth opens for a moment, and closes, as he watches the display. "I don't think the lady would welcome my-- ineptitude, my lady," he informs Calypso, carefully. "I'm not well-skilled in weapons," he adds, in case there was any confusion about what he was referencing.

"A thousand pardons, Lady Fidante, I fear matters of late have had me oft unable to have time for matters save my duties. 'twas pleasant to have a moment to speak with my family, even if for only a moment." The Corvini count smiles and offers a tilt of his head towards Raimon and a warm smile. "Your Highness," he offers, most politely.

"No," Lora answers Raimon, shaking her head. Her smile mostly rights itself, but it's faint, drawing only threads of warmth from all of the nearby firelight. "Though perhaps your lady wife will forgive us a dance later; I imagine I'm owed one or two, despite." Despite what isn't tabled for discussion, she but bows her head to him with painstaking formality and then draws away so that he can continue on, as she'd distracted next by the knife-throwing. Or by Giulio.

"It would be my pleasure, sister." Raimon looks curiously at Lora befor bowing as she departs. He turns toward Guilio for a moment inclining his head. "My lord, if you excuse me." He makes his way across the Plaza rowards his wife, watching the knife throwing with curious interest.

Fffffffffffooooooooommmmpp! A second dagger is throw; This one is between Gisella's legs. Perhaps coming too close to her right leg. This is dangerous and exciting! Lorenzo focuses and throws a third and then a fourth in quick succession. the third gets the space between her right arm and leg and the fourth... There are gasps in the audience as he hits a mark -right- beside Gisella's head. Lorenzo cheers and claps his hands to signal the end of the first part. Gisella is helped off the wheels and they meet at the center of the 'stage' to take a bow for now. It doesn't seem like it's over though. A basket of roses is brought out and Gisella takes one long stemmed rose and holds it between her lips. Lorenzo takes up a whip...

Thea notices the dagger -and- the whip! Her green eyes are already glowing with plots. She glances at Calypso, tortuous thoughts already beginning.

"Oh my. Do you think he intends to kiss the rose rom her lips with that?" Josephine asks Brigida, having tilted her head to the side in regards to the spectacle. There's a hot drink circling and Josephine takes that up, then a second or the Archlector.

Calypso slants her gaze to Evander, a slight smile on her lips "At least you have been blessed with one."

As Raimon makes his way over, Vega greets him with a smile, a hand laid on his arm, and a kiss pressed to his cheek. "My lord, I am pleased you could make it. If I may, Marquessa Cambria was interested in meeting you." She glances sidelong to Josephine at her comment and lifts a brow, "Now that -would- be a sight..."

Hadrian's chin inclines while he looks across the way to Inigo. The former approaches the latter and a quiet murmur is passed from Hadrian to the other with a nod toward the whip-wielding Lorenzo and his stunning assistant.

Casually, Giulio watches the various flows of blades while he speaks in hushed tones with Lora. He claims a goblet from Marius, before he takes a small sip. It is raised in slight salute to Vega, Raimon, Cambria and the various knot of guests in that direction, before he looks back to Lora.

Evander gives a mute nod to Calypso's words, and thoroughly, pointedly, avoids looking at what the man's doing with the whip and the woman, turning his gaze back to the fire.

Hadrian mutters, "The fine ... ... entertainment and foreplay."

Thea has left the a large stone fire pit surrounded by sumptuous seating.

Lorenzo cracks the whip hard and suddenly there is a spray of rose petals that flies into the air! People begin to cheer as the petals mixes with the flurries. Another rose is taken and the action is repeated. This happens a couple of times, enough to make it seem like it is snowing roses in the plaza.

Brigida takes the hot drink from Josephine, handing her now empty plate to a servant. "I've seen this act before at a... funeral... no wait it was a wedding... no... it was a funeral. A rather odd one but it was entertaining nonetheless as funerals go."

A quick round of applause is given to the spectacle of their first act. Inigo dances his attention throughout the crowd, pleased to note that the vast majority of party-goers are eagerly waiting for what comes next. Glass lifts to lips once more for another swallow of whiskey, bolstering himself against the chill of the night air. The former Malvici dips his head to the side for quiet words with Calista, a crooked grin catching his lips after a few exchanges. At the approach of his cousin, his head tilts the other way, the murmur from the Marquis causing a quick burst of laughter to erupt from deep in his chest.

Most of Lora's attention has been turned on the display, and it's possible that she's genuinely caught up in its drama because her expression drifts back to resting neutral. She murmurs something to Giulio, waits, then goes more or less entirely silent as Lorenzo's whip begins making it rain - or snow - petals. Finally she shakes her head, adding some reply.

Calista catches just -some- of Hadrian's words to Inigo and she quirks a dark brow in his direction.

"My Lady." Raimon moves to stand next to Vega, leaning slightly towards her as she rests her hand on his arm. He turns to Cambria and offers her a small bow. "A pleasure to meet you Marquessa."

Hadrian's gaze travels back to Lorenzo and Gisella while Inigo offers a quietly spoken remark back. He watches as the petals begin to spread into the air and flit about on the breezes. A solemn nod is given by Hadrian in answer to Inigo's words, then he mutters quietly back at his cousin and by virtue of her close proximity, Calista.

Gisella and Lorenzo finish their show amidst the falling rose petals and bow once more for the crowd before taking their leave. The musicians and other entertainers slowly filter back into the room once more.

Hadrian mutters, "I ... to get a whip."

Mirk has left the a large stone fire pit surrounded by sumptuous seating.

1 Crimson Blades Sergeant leaves, following Mirk.

"Well, that was quite lovely, wasn't it?" Grazia remarks to no one in particular, clearly appreciative of Lorenzo's whip work with Gisella. She licks her lips thoughtfully.

Inigo grins, his cheeks sprouting a light crimson flush with whatever words are being spoken between the three. A look of surprise and a chuckle precede more hushed conversation in the group. The Fidante Duke slips his arms about his betrothed, holding her close to provide a measure of heat against the chill of the Autumn night air.

Calypso excuses herself from the clumsy lord's presence and makes her way to Grazia, having only just noticed her.

Calypso has left the a large stone fire pit surrounded by sumptuous seating.

A dry laugh escapes Giulio's lips. He leans in to add something to Lora, before he takes a sip of his brandy, his gaze tracking from person to person.

"I'm not certain how I feel about all of that. The dedication to practicing and discipline needed though I imagine was not slightly." Theron comments as he watches the spectacle wrap up. He did applaud Gisella and Lorenzo. Whatever he was going say next is silenced as he turns to just stare at Hadrian a moment. Then a longer moment. A faint shake of the head and he finishes his drink. All at once.

"Oh," Hadrian remarks with a sideward glance to favor both Inigo and Calista. His arms trail down to his sides while he looks the Duchess and Duke-Consort of House Fidante over before he asks when Inigo's arms go around Calista, "Are we...? Are we group hugging now? Is that what's going on?" A lopside grin sprouts across the Marquis-Consort's sharp features before he sends a wink to the pair and begins to drift away again with a waggle of his fingers in the direction of Inigo and Calista. Once he's wandered away from their immediate vicinity, Hadrian anchors himself to a point in the plaza. He takes in a long breath, his cheeks still carrying the faint flush of his dance a short time ago. As the breath is left to huff itself out, Hadrian begins to move once again in search of a seat to enjoy the shows of entertainment. As he falls in a wave of aeterna and umbra, luxuriously collapsing into his seat, Hadrian calls out across the merriment of the plaza, "Someone dance, already! There's a whole horse on the line!"

Hadrian has joined the a sensual outdoors lounge nestled within an ivy laced alcove.

Calypso turns her attention to the plaza and Hadrian. She suggests "I heard earlier the Duke wished a dance."

Grazia has left the a large stone fire pit surrounded by sumptuous seating.

"Are you sure it wasn't a wedding, followed swiftly by a funeral? Poisonings at weddings can do that you know." Josephine murmurs to Brigida. But then there's dancing and Hadrian wants to give away a horse. "Shall we attempt to do this dancing thing?"

Grazia rises and drifts closer to Calypso, looking quite curious. "Duchess," she greets pleasantly, and she nods politely to the hosts as well.

Calypso smiles to Grazia "Duchess. I am hoping that perhaps Hadrian may steal Inigo for a dance. Care to help encourage the matter? "

"On behalf of Duke Inigo, Lady Lora, and Lord Dante, I officially open the dance floor. Prizes will be awarded for most creative as well as entertaining dances!" Calista announces to the crowd.

Perhaps it's Giulio's laugh that causes Lora's brows to lift. Whatever he's said seems to have eroded her smile and what's left is somber again. But this is likely the peril of talking overlong with the Corvini, and she doesn't even have the benefit of wine any longer. After a moment though she shakes her head and murmurs something else, then tilts her head at him. "Revel in something."

Even with a dramtic and overdone frown that settles on his lips, the prospect of the group hug fading away as his cousin disappears into the crowd, Inigo lifts a hand to wave to the Marquis. "Enjoy yourself, Hadrian." His eyes slip away from his cousin's departure and move through the crowd, an eyebrow lifting in question of who will be the first to take advantage of the challenge. "Most creative? Perhaps we should have announced the prize option before their stunning dance? I think they may have won hands down."

"Hadrian, I will look into having a fine leather whip made for you if you do steal the Duke for a most Lycene dance upon the dancefloor," Grazia offers, opening negotiations with a softly curling smile.

Brigida looks at Josephine with a sly smile and then holds her hot drink out for her disciple. "Hold my drink. Aletta... my staff." With that the Golden (oldie) Rose of Tor steps to the dance floor, holding a hand out to Josephine.

Thorn gets up from the fire and nods to Rowenova, "We shall see. Good night." She tugs her coat around her shoulders and hurries towards the warmth of the Fidante house.

Calypso impishly enjoy Grazia's words, she proffers for Hadrian, "I shall add a most dashing hat and cape to the deal."

Thorn has left the a large stone fire pit surrounded by sumptuous seating.

And Josephine, with her cane in one hand, takes Brigida's hand and the two elders of the gathering make thier way to the floor, Josephine's limp pronounced but none the less there's a smile on her face. "You get the horse." She tells Brigida. "You'll have need of it far more than I will." And off they go.

Cambria simply calls out, long and loud, "Cousins!"

"Please, do forgive me," Giulio offers to Lora, before he looks towards Cambria, starting the slow drift back that way.

"It wasn't me..." Offers Theron quasi-defensively at Cambria's call.

Rowenova has left the a large stone fire pit surrounded by sumptuous seating.

Intrigue, a sleek, diminutive raven with blue-black plumage arrives, following Willow.

Brigida checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 7 higher.

Brigida checked charm + intimidation at difficulty 15, rolling 29 higher.

Cambria, finally having the chance to step away from a knot of lesser nobles and courtiers who had grabbed her attention, returns to Vega and Raimon. "Prince Raimon," she says to the tall man. "Lovely to make your acquaintance. I have been hoping to put a face to the fellow who found himself wed to the lovely Princess Vega." Then, at the sound of Theron, Cambria grins. "Not you cousins, Duke Inigo and the Marquis, cousins. But now I do suspect you are guilty of /something/. Ah, here comes Giulio. Is that more wine? Superb." She snatches another glass. Mangata only knows how many she's already had.

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

With Giulio off and about, then, Lora once more goes into statue mode. Very briefly. It is a tranquil sort of a cover, the sort of thing that allows her to look around without being particularly obtrusive, and before very long at all she spots a new individual of interest. Evander. Before long she heads in that direction, less to corner him and more to offer a smile as ephemeral as it is tinged with careful warmth. "My lord. Would I be mistaken in guessing this might be your first time in attendance at one of our autumn celebrations?"

The smile on Giulio's lips would ne'er melt better as he glides towards his brother and his cousin. "'tis ever been my stern duty to keep my older brother from such failings. But, I fear I've been most lax on such." Yep, that's a wink for his brother. And then, he's swallowing from his goblet of brandy.

Hadrian's chin inclines while he looks to both Grazia and Calypso from his seat. He favors the pair with a silken smile as his harlequin eyes raise to regard the pair, "Thankfully Ostria has been blessed by Gild and I can buy those things for myself," he explains with a growing smile. He gestures off in the direction of Inigo while his focus resides upon both Grazia and Calypso, "Besides, I'm sure our darling cousin," Hadrian's gaze ticks aside to Calypso and then back to the pair that is Grazia and Calypso, "would be far better served dancing with an accomplished partner such as yourselves. I am but an amateur in comparison to yourselves."

Standing by the fire, an empty glass in hand, one glove off, Evander looks comfortable where he is, and definitely not like he's preparing to join those headed out to dance. His gaze ticks upwards when Lora approaches him, his smile brief, but enough to confirm her guess as accurate. "You are perceptive, my lady," he says, half-bowing -- there's a slight flush to his cheeks that might be the alcohol or indeed just the nearness of the fire. "It's been... enlightening," he decides is the safest, nicest word.

Brigida actually can dance and she takes account of Josephine's cane and limb and does most of the work, taking her time to do slow caresses of the jeweler's arms. The ladies don't move that much but each movement is filled with grace and... just a subtle hint of sensuality from Brigida, a smile never far from her lips here.

Josephine checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 14 higher.

Smiling towards Cambria, Vega inclines her head and looks towards her husband fondly. "I met many noblemen while in Tor, and any of them would have made acceptable husbands. But I do not settle for anything less than exceptional. And with Raimon, I found it." She plucks up a glass of wine and offers it to her husband with a smile.

Unassuming quiet and diminutive height leave Willow's late entrance less than notable. Wherever she wandered in from, the first thing she does is tell Cambria, "You look entrancing tonight, Marquessa." And then she is off into the crowd, searching out the best place to get an earful of the music. She offers Brigida a dip of her head in passing, and a nod to Rowenova.

"Oh, Hadrian, Hadrian. Have you seen me dance? I am a lawyer. When I dance, it is a pig's breakfast," Grazia purrs to the Marquis, arching one perfectly manicured brow. "Really, it would be much more sensual if it were you. I'd have to manipulate the audience into thinking I was somehow putting on a good show, and that sounds tricky."

Calypso chuckles at Hadrianvs cleverness "That is kind, but I fear I am only a master dancer with a blade. Still an amateur otherwise." Assessing Inigo and worrying for her toes, she encourages Grazia "Please show us how it is done."

Accepting the wine from his wife, Raimon inclines his head to her. "You do my far to much credit, My Lady. I am only happy to please you." He turns to Cambria and gives her a sharp nod. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Marquessa."

1 Saik Guard arrives, following Neilda.

And they're off. Salt and pepper with more salt and staff and cane. Josephine's only damaged a leg, she hasn't lost the knowledge on how to at least do some dancing. The sounds of cane and staff tap at each other now and then, seemingly at a highlight to movements as the jewler starts to get down with the Archletor. Arm with arm, surely a swirl of white silk on black silk as the official perhaps getting to geriatric entry of the dance competition has become official. Tap goes the cane again, attempting to make the limp part of the dance.

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

Fortunately for the Duke, and one might say for the dance partner who would be unfortuante enough to 'win' the plotting and planning, another matter requires his attention and he squeezes Calista gently before releasing her with a soft kiss to the crux of her neck. "I will see you later this night, my dear. I must be off for some measure but will return before the moon is too high." A wink followed by a press of his lips to hers is given in farewell, the blade master giving those around him a nod in kind before his boots steer him toward the Villa.

"It often is that," Lora agrees. Her tone is rather drier than her expression, which may make the hint of humor buried underneath extra difficult to tease out. She considers Evander for a moment though, surely lacking most of the smolder of the better part of the festivities: perhaps it makes her interest more genuine, perhaps it's just part of the house agenda that nobody regret their participation tonight. After another, further moment of study she offers, "I am Lady Lora Fidante. It seems that the best dances of the evening have already been claimed, but I'll never, ever... ever ...hear the end of it if my protege cleans up the dance floor and I do not even set foot upon it."

There is a lot of clapping and cheering for Brigida and Josephine! They prove age is but a number and if anything, dancing, like fine wine, gets better with age.

Brigida has rolled a critical success!
Brigida checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 15 higher.

Immediately becoming the Personification of Innocence, difficult given his eyes, Theron protests. "I am guilty of nothing, dear cousin. Well asides avoiding-" He flicks a hand in the direction of the dance area and dances. "-all that like the plague." He looks to where Hadrian is declining, or perhaps negotiating dance payment terms. "I. Never. Wish to hear the word Sensual used in regards to Hadrian again please, my dear Duchess."

1 Saik Guard leaves, following Neilda.

"Oh no, wait, stop," Hadrian weakly calls after Inigo while his gloved hand rises up to flutter his fingers after his cousin. He exhales a lamentable sigh while his gaze tracks back along to regard both Grazia and Calypso, "Most unfortunate that I've missed him. Perhaps you two should dance together then?" Hadrian's eyes shift expectantly from Grazia to Calypso, all while a pleasant smile drifts across his sharp features. Soon enough his attention drifts along to regard the unfolding dance between Brigida and Josephine, though. He even begins to lean forward in his seat, a bit of curios wonder etching itself into his expression while his glass of wine lifts and he claims a brief sip.

"Apologies," Evander straightens, like he's been abruptly reminded he's quite forgotten his manners, though there's not a trace of embarrassment in the gesture. "Lord Evander Kennex. It's a pleasure, my lady." He finds somewhere to set down his glass, carefully pulling on his glove again, gaze ticking downwards. Either he doesn't take her works as an invitation, or he's just being polite: "I shan't hold you up then, my lady. I'm glad you came to welcome me."

After handling a few messengers, Nova looks up with a smile to Willow who is passing by. "Why, Hello." says she with a fond tone to her Northern voice.

Brigida twirls out from the dance with Josephine, throwing her staff out to Aletta to catch (poor Aletta) before leaning back and plucking a rose from a display... with her teeth. Her hands rise above her head and she starts a slow clap, stomping her slippered feet in time with the sound, increasing the tempo as she stalks towards her friend.

Calypso shifts instead "Oh no. Much too sleepy. I shall dance another night." Giving a nod to her family and friends, she slips out. Her toes safe for tonight.

"I know how the importance in finding ones match," Cambria says to both Vega and Raimon. Theron and Giulio earn only a rueful shake of the Marquessa's head. "I believe I could find some place to sit for a while. I think I have stood quite long enough."

"I had to come, I try to make it for every Torean or Setarcan event my schedule allows," Willow tells Rowenova with a quirked smile tugging at one corner of her lips. "My Grandmother was a Pravus, after all." She lifts a hand to stroke under the chin of the bird on her shoulder even as the raven tries picking at one of the glittering opals on her earrings. Shiny!

Whereas Evander himself might not be familiar, his house certainly is. "A Kennex! We're just a few houses short of a full Thraxian invasion," Lora counters, the corner of her mouth edging up just a little bit higher. "House Fidante married me out of the Grim Hall and now I am consigned to this, evermore." She turns a bit to gesture at the spectacle, then tilts her head at him, almost birdlike. "I dare say *I* am not about to go bite roses out of my partner's mouth, and in fact would be very, very glad of someone who might manage a decorous pace."

And Josephine throws her cane- not. No. That cane remains, and as Brigida claps, Josephine is quick to tap her own cane twice on the floor and pivot on her good leg, then tap twice gain, pivoting back as the Archlector advance. Black silk swirling and if She heard Lora's comment, she doesn't seem to give indication. She begins her own move forward to Brigida though, tapping in time, sharply, in tandem with that faithful rose of Tor, twirling ans swirling as she goes.

"You chased off my dance partner," Grazia says somewhat accusingly to Hadrian. "Not that I intended to dance anyway."

Evander looks mildly surrpised and pleased with the tenous connection. That, or maybe he's surprised by the lightness with which Lora indicates her situation. He opens his mouth, pauses. It's about then that he realizes Lora's asking him, and his expression changes again. "Oh. No, my lady, I'm sorry. I'm a... I can't dance, I'm afraid. You'd be much better placed with anyone else, should you wish to win one of those lovely prizes." Because of course people only dance for prizes, especially in Evander's world. He lifts a hand, intending to hand Lora the rose he was given earlier.

Vega gives a nod towards Cambria, smiling faintly, "Indeed. Enjoy your evening, Marquessa." Looking up to Raimon, sheconfesses softly, "I have enjoyed tonight's festivities, but I think I have overextended myself from the events of the Confessional. Would you mind terribly if I returned to the Estate to rest?"

Hadrian's brow slowly drifts upward while he looks up to regard Grazia from his seat. He carefully folds his hands together atop his lap while his head tilts and a smile drifts across his features, "I don't know, Duchess Rubino," Hadrian says with harlequin eyes that slash aside to watch the retreat of the aforementioned dance partner. His eyes rebound to Grazia abruptly and his smile grows to a grin, "I dare say it may have been the description of your dancing ability given from yourself that may have delivered a fright to your intended dance partner". He offers up a playful wink toward Grazia before he gestures toward the location of the dancing, "I could of course be convinced to offer myself as a dance partner should you require recompense for your lost partner?" Hadrian falls into silence while he looks to Grazia with an expectant loft of a lone eyebrow.

Raimon turns to look down at Vega. "No, of course not. Do you wish me to accompany you?"

Willow has rolled 1 50-sided dice: 8

For the moment, Willow wanders off closer to the fire dancers to watch the spectacle.

Nova stands up with her plate in her left hand as she smiles to Willow. "Oh? Wonderful news, then! I have been coming to as many Fidante celebrations as possibly possible, since I married a Lycene man." She wryly grins about it but soon softens her current smile. She idly wanders after the Northern noble.

"If you wish to, but do not feel you must. If you would like to stay and speak with your cousins, I will understand." Vega smiles up at him, then adds, "And do not forget, you promised Lora a dance."

"It's my party; I can't win anything," Lora counters, tilting her head at Evander. She shakes her head at the rose, amusement still subtly evident in her gaze, but she tilts her head to him all the same, a formal little bow. "As you wish, though. Enjoy the evening, Lord Kennex." And then she's back in circulation, or gone again in search of some wine.

Brigida smiles and twirls around Josephine, the clapping getting faster as she does so, reaching a crescendo before she finishes with a flourish and a wide grin on her face, her features wrinkled and creased. "That was too much fun my dear!" she says, catching her breath and calling for her staff.

As the party continues in full swing, it appears Blessed Brigida and Mistress Josephine will be receiving prizes for their outstanding dancing!

Hadrian has left the a sensual outdoors lounge nestled within an ivy laced alcove.

"I suppose I could concede to that arrangement, Marquis," Grazia muses, considering Hadrian somewhat stiffly. She does not seem to be much of a dancer, truth be told, nor much of a smiler, either. She does nod to him, and purr, "And what would it take to convince you, exactly?" She crosses her arms across her chest under her fur.

With a parting bow towards Lora, Evander finds his way through the crowd and to somewhere quiet, slipping out.

Evander has left the a large stone fire pit surrounded by sumptuous seating.

"This is true I did." Raimon nods his head to Vega. "I will see you when I return home then." He takes Vega's hand in his, pulling it up to press a dutiful kiss to the top of it. "Go and rest well, My Lady."

Willow checked charm + performance at difficulty 25, rolling 17 higher.

Nodding, Vega squeezes Raimon's hand lightly after he's kissed it, "Thank you, my lord. I will look for your return." She offers applause and a smile towards Brigida and Josephine for their dance and their winning of the contest. Dipping a nod to Calista, she turns to head off, looking a bit drawn.

Brigida flourishes and Josephine stands, weight on her good leg with her cane punctuating the air above with a smile and a wink for Lora. She'll probably be feeling this later. There's no doubt. But her skirts die down to a sway instead of a swirl and she turns to Brigida, offering her arm to the other woman as they move off of the dance floor. Make way for others.

Hadrian rises up abruptly from his seat and both gloved hands rise up to smooth down his attire of aeterna and umbra. The question presented by Grazia earns a sudden grin before he offers a soft dip of his chin in acknowledgement, "Please, hold that thought. I've a prize to give out to those who rose to meet my demands without hesitation". Hadrian slips away and begins to cross the plaza. Long-legged strides carry him toward the worked gateway of the manor of House Mazetti. A call is made and after only a brief time the prize is gathered. Hadrian begins to walk with a pair of reins gripped within a gloved fist, his focus newly settled upon both Archlector Brigida and Mistress Josephine. As he crosses the plaza with the gelding led behind him, Hadrian's hand lifts to gesture and attempt to grasp the attention of both Josephine and Brigida, "One horse and two dancers. I leave the judgment to our two breathtaking dancers to decide who lay claim to your prize". Hadrian's free hand gestures to the gelding, indicating the prize, as his harlequin eyes bound back to both Brigida and Josephine.

Cambria watches Hadrian lead the Ostrian gelding towards Brigida and Josephine, looking amused. Farewells are said to Vega as she departs.

Brigida actually looks a little giddy for a moment before she puts on a serious face and she listens to Josephine before nodding to Hadrian and saying, "Well I can't refuse now can I?" She chuckles and adds to Hadrian as she takes the reins, "Your dance was outstanding. If I were forty years younger... well... " she giggles once.



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