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Wager of Hearts Wrap Party

The newest play in Arx, "A Wager of Hearts" by Lady Evonleigh Whitehawk, has closed its final curtains after several successful performances. The public is invited to join the cast and crew at the Bard's College for the wrap party of the controversial but highly acclaimed drama.


July 9, 2019, 8 p.m.

Hosted By

Gianna Evonleigh Zara


Kenna Haptenna Tabitha Sanya Gwenna Harlex Saro Aethan Berenice Mikani Gaspar


Bard's College


Arx - Ward of the Crown - Bard's College - Main Hall

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

Sanya gets A Wager of Hearts, a play program from a large lilac bag.

Sanya is overheard praising Evonleigh: A wonderfully written script and the stage direction was marvelous.

Mikani takes A Wager of Hearts, a play program from a large lilac bag.

Gianna is, of course, circulating around the room and hobnobbing, playing gracious hostess with all the skill one might expect of a Whisper. She's so proud seeming that one might think she put in a lot of work here; she didn't. Don't be fooled! This is Evonleigh's doing. Gianna at least looks pretty, and she's taking every opportunity to show off her lovely brocade gown in that very specific shade of bard blue. Also: sapphires. Just a ridiculous amount of sapphires.

Kenna has come to support her sister, absolutely not dressed to the hilt, but at least she's put the accouterments of her Iron Guardness away and left the animals at home? Excuse her as she just tucks herself in a corner.

You know, Haptenna is here.

You might be fooled into thinking she's not, though, given that she's essnetially been /wallflowering/, hanging back, and trying very hard to be less than noticable immediately. And given the high fashion on display, and more, she /might just be able to pull it off/. Those who've worked with her here on the play would certainly know that she hasn't exactly taken to the sudden limelight falling on her from the play with the most... grace. Of course, she is openly gawking at Gianna.

The final performance ended merely a couple of hours ago -- enough time for the cast and crew to go home to clean up and change -- it's back to the Bard's College to celebrate. The main hall has been transformed, and many of the actors seem to have been as well, from their characters back into their 'actual' selves -- if their best dressed versions of themselves. Evonleigh is among these in a new gown evoking white-feathered birds and blue skies, her cheeks a little flushed from the excitement of the final curtain and the anticipation of the celebration ahead. She has one hand lightly on Aethan's hand when they walk in. and she beams at Gianna. "Blue is the color tonight, I see. You look amazing as always," she says warmly to the Nightingale. "Thank you for hosting us, and of course the entire play."

Tabitha's made an effort with her dress, as it happens, but her hair is falling out of various pins and ribbons as fast as she can hook it back into an updo again. She makes a little canter into the college, still fiddling around with her hair, and also finds a quiet corner. Waves and smiles and curtsies on the way, though!

Sanya Grimhall, having arrived early to help out where she could, walks among the people in the hall, greeting those she knows. Stopping by Gianna, she looks at the gown with awe. "Your gown is breathtaking, Nightingale." She seems transfixed by all the gems.

Tabitha has joined the couch seating.

Mikani takes A Wager of Hearts, a play program from a large lilac bag.

As more people begin to gather, Gwenna ceases her slow appreciation of the wonderful decor. Making her way toward the programs, she takes one and she can't seem to keep from grinning a bit as she reads it over. The Redrain is dressed in pale gold and bronze seasilks, which clearly pale in comparison to the Nightingale's attire. "A /vision/, Gianna Whisper. You are truly a vision in blue," she offers before dipping her head in greeting. Espying Kenna, she sends a cheerful wave in the Acheron's direction before tucking the program under her arm to clap when Evonleigh arrives. "A brilliant production, my lady! I'm still so thrilled to have been a part of it."

"If he was a better rider, that wouldn't have happened." Harlex notes as a quiet aside to Berenice when the Sword of Lenosia escorts the princess into the hall. His outfit certainly is making a statement; one of menace and promises of danger. Weapons, of course, are bound appropriately for the festivities. The only one visible is the sword of his station, in fact. He has his arm crooked, walking in step, like a big glowering shadow to juxtapose the very exceptional beauty of his companion. "I'm always sayin' horsemanship is a discipline more folk need to consider."

Saro peers out from the doorway of the College workshop, almost as if she'd half forgotten what was supposed to be going on out here and just ducked her head in to see what all the commotion is about. She makes a brief purse of her lips, then ambles her way out into the hall, wiping her hands on a rag that smells of varnish and turpentine. Pausing to one side of the room, she surveys the glorious spectacle of the assembling cast and crew, decked out in their finest.

Gwenna gets a finger wiggle from Kenna from across the room, a sparkling smile showing forth. There's a vague gesture inviting her to come over and join them as she makes her rounds.

Gianna accepts a glass of some light wine and looks very, very smug. "Why, thank you," she tells Sanya and Gwenna both, inclining her head in a regal manner. A nod to Evonleigh as well. "I love your gown," she tells the noble playwright. "I almost always like feathers, and it suits you so well. You should be so proud tonight. I'm proud of you." She inclines her head to Aethan as well. "Lord Aethan, good to see you again."

Aethan is not one of those with new fancy clothes -- yes, very surprising -- but he does at least look presentable, is more like a backdrop for Evonleigh. He nods to Gianna when they arrive, and then Gwenna when he sees her, before turning back to Gianna. "You as well," he says. "It's been a while. This is nice." He gestures to encompass the room; something of an understatement, but he does sound sincere.

It is certainly not the first performance of A Wager of Hearts that Princess Berenice Velenosa was in attendance for -- she is a well-known patron of the arts in Arx -- but it is, sadly, the last -- for her and everyone. Her gown is properly dramatic for the occasion with its layers of tulle, aeterna blending in seasilk, and the elaborate curled updo of her dark hair is adorned with a gleaming iridescite tiara featuring her signature oleanders. (And the star iron and dragonweep ring, of course, that also evokes her namesake blossom.) Her hand is settled warm through Harlex's arm, and she's laughing aloud at his quiet aside. "Do you want them to put horses on the stage, darling?" she wonders brightly. Her gaze is keen in its study of the room, finding the woman of the hour there in Evonleigh, and aiming her drift in that direction but allowing the journey to be a relaxed and casual one; she undoubtedly has a host of well-wishers vying for her attention.

Sanya turns to Evonleigh with a warm smile. "I enjoyed your production immensely, my lady." She comments, with sincerity. "My lord." She inclines her head to Aethan, smile still on her lips.

Zara awaits the arrival of the cast with an idle air that sharpens as they enter. Her expression brightens to warm welcome, and she joins those moving to Evonleigh to add her own, "Congratulations. It was a pleasure to see all of your work come together." She gives her a 'we'll talk later; I'm gonna go mingle' nod -- look, it's a complicated nod -- and then moves on. She can't move past Gianna, though, without an asided, "You look as lovely as ever, Whisper. The bardic color truly favors you." Then she searches out some of those other names listed in the program. Her eye falls across Tabitha first, and she moves toward her: "You helped create the sets, correct? It was Lady Tabitha? I don't believe we've met; I'm Princess Zara Valardin."

Gwenna starts making her way toward the table where Kenna sits, though pauses a moment when she hears both the famed Kennex navyman's name as well as voice. The Redrain's smile broadens even more. "Lord Aethan! How lovely to see you. You must think me the most dreadful, truly. Between the ledgers, research, and the play, time has been so hard to find." A little lift of her shoulders follows the words even as the smile remains. "I'm going to go sit with Lady Kenna and have a much deserved glass of wine, I think. Come sit with me if you'd like? After you catch up with people, of course."

Gianna leans toward Zara when she's addressed and murmurs, "I know. I picked it to match my eyes." So. Very. Vain. "I like your gown, too. Champagne silver is a favourite, and the chainmail is a lovely example of Valardin fashion." Her attention sweeps over to Berenice - how can it not, with that dress? - and her brows arch approvingly. An inclination of her head to the Princess, and to Harlex at her side.

Gwenna has joined the couch seating.

Sanya has joined the couch seating.

Evonleigh beams at Gwenna and dips a quick curtsy for her fellow actress. "I'm so thrilled you wanted to be in it. I am humbled by the talents on the stage; everyone did so brilliantly to bring my little vision to life. I can't thank you all enough," she says warmly. When Zara and Sanya joins them, she dips into another little curtsy for Zara. "Thank you both. I am so glad you enjoyed it." She smiles at Tabitha when Zara speaks to her. "She is my cousin, and so very talented, is she not? Have you met Lady Kenna? She is my sister," says Evonleigh, with a nod and a bright smile for her younger sister.

As does Kenna, Tabitha waves to Gwenna. There's a sweet, shy smile given to the Princess, which is then turned towards Zara when she approaches. Dipping into a slightly self-conscious curtsy, she nods. "So good to meet you, your highness. And I helped, yes, along with Mistress Saro. She created such exceptional work."

Having watched the grand entrance of so many Arxian luminaries, Saro proceeds to drift about the hall in a manner that has nothing whatsoever to do with mingling, and more with finding whatever there is to eat and a place safely out of the way to consume it in and watch. Her not-quite-aimless passage past the table produces a plate of tiny pastries in one hand and an equally tiny cup of coffee in the other, and finally leaves her in the vicinity of an unoccupied cluster of seating, where she perches herself rather indecorously on the arm of a couch. Apparently the view is better from the arm than the seat. She begins to nibble a pastry, looking on at the spectacle.

Saro has joined the couch seating.

A click at the corner of his mouth is Harlex's response. "Would be a sight," he concludes to Berenice with the hint of a grin. But the dark swordsman is following beside (or along) toward the playwright as they wait for their moment to bid those well-wishes. Catching Gianna's attention toward them, he nods steadily to that sapphire-clad Nightingale.

Zara has joined the couch seating.

Gwenna's words have Aethan looking that way, and a small smile touches his face as he replies, "I don't, but I'm glad to see you." The offer of sitting gets a nod as well, and he continues, "Thank you," though he doesn't go over there quite yet, instead nodding to Sanya at her greeting. "Lady Grimhall," he says, and then Berenice and Harlex's approach catches his eye. "Your Highness, Master Valtyr."

"I do have a small token for those who were involved," says Evonleigh, moving to a little copper-hued chest she had stowed in the hall hours before. "I wish they were made of precious metal and not merely wood, but hopefully they will remind you all of my gratitude." The Whitehawk smiles as she nods to the cast and crew present -- Haptenna, Saro, Gwenna, Mikani, Tabitha. She hands a copper wooden sculpture of a couple embracing, symbolizing the star-crossed lovers in the tragic play they had just performed. Gianna and Zara each receive one as well. "Thank you all again for being part of a little dream of mine... and here's to no one throwing tomatoes at us." She finds a glass of something to lift in a toast at that.

Sanya raises a hand to Harlex and Berenice as she spots them in the hall, before sitting on one of the couches, seeing the familiar face. "Lady Tabitha." She joins the ladies where they are sat. "My lady, your highness. It's wonderful to see you all here."

Evonleigh gets Wager of Hearts, a small copper-colored statuette from a copper colored wooden chest.

Evonleigh gets A Wager of Hearts, a small copper-colored statuette from a copper colored wooden chest.

Evonleigh gets A Wager of Hearts, a small copper-colored statuette from a copper colored wooden chest.

Evonleigh gets A Wager of Hearts, a small copper-colored statuette from a copper colored wooden chest.

Gwenna gives a bob of her head to Aethan and grins. "You are kind, but I know I've been terribly unavailable. Hopefully I will see you in a bit." She then turns to the playwright. "I'm so thrilled you let me," Gwenna replies to Evonleigh. "It was my first real turn on the stage here in Arx. You truly made the tale come to life and I hope we'll see many more plays from you yet." Smoothing out her dress, she settles at one of the couch seating areas. And oh! A present! That even matches her outfit perfectly at that.

Evonleigh gets A Wager of Hearts, a small copper-colored statuette from a copper colored wooden chest.

Mikani smiles at Evonliegh as she gets the statuette. "Thank you. I'm just glad to e part of it."

Evonleigh gets Wager of Hearts, a small copper-colored statuette from a copper colored wooden chest.

Evonleigh gets Wager of Hearts, a small copper-colored statuette from a copper colored wooden chest.

Berenice doesn't wait /too/ long; there's a sense that she doesn't really bother with /lines/, per se. So as soon as her winding journey with Harlex draws her up to Evonleigh, she is there and offering a brilliant smile. "Lady Evonleigh! What a /remarkable/ production you put together. I had to /drag/ Harlex to the theatre for one last night in the audience; he's so stubbornly uncultured sometimes." She pats Harlex's arm fondly, and then leans closer to whisper something in a lower voice to Evonleigh. And then her smile is turned, humor glinting, to the others nearby. "Whisper Gianna, /stunning/ as ever. Lady Sanya, a pleasure to see you again." There's a particular warmth to her smile, a specific amusement, as she says, "Lord Aethan, always the very /center/ of the party."

Gianna does seems a bit surprised when she's presented with the statuette, but it's a pleased surprised: Gianna loves presents. "How kind of you," she tells Evonleigh. "I still regret that I couldn't play Sylpha. Perhaps your next play will have another suitable role?" HINT HINT.

"You're too kind, Lady Evonleigh," Saro says to that woman as she receives the statuette, a small smile curving her lips which reveals only the barest hint of her missing front tooth. "I was glad just to get the chance to do my small bit to bring the world of your drama to life. And I'm sure the painter deserves most of the credit there." She gives a vague nod across the room, which is probably directed at Tabitha. Then it's back to pastries and coffee again.

Eina, Soot, a ferret arrive, following Peri.

It's not that Haptenna doesn't appreciate the statuette. She clearly does, given the bashful smile with which she accepts it from Evonleigh, but she's clammy and a bit sweaty and clearly stressed out by the environment... more so when the attention and eyes are squarely on her while accepting it, no doubt. It's right thereafter that she retrets a bit further, clutching the statue in a white-knuckjled grip.

Turning to Berenice and Harlex, there's another graceful curtsy on Evonleigh's part for the Velenosa princess. "I'm so glad you made it for closing night and the party," she says warmly. "I hope it wasn't too torturous for the Commandant Valtyr," she says with a smile for the soldier, eyes sparkling a little at whatever it is Berenice leans in to murmur to her. As for Aethan, she smiles over at him and adds, "Well, hopefully not the very center, or he may never come to another. Perhaps just a little center-adjacent." she quips, then to Gianna she nods. "Of course. I will be sure to have a role perfect for you in the next one, though I think you would be perfect for any role you wished to undertake." She's not a sycophant, not really -- there's a little turning up of the corner of her mouth to suggest she might be teasing the Nightingale a tiny bit. To Sanya, she offers her hand. "We haven't met -- I'm Lady Evonleigh. Thank you for coming," she says warmly, then smiles at Saro's words. "Your work is beautiful and we couldn't have done it without you."

Berenice's comment has Aethan letting out a little huff, a hint of self-deprecating humor there, perhaps. Though it's hard to tell. "Well, you know me," he says in a wryer tone -- and indeed, he does not seem quite at ease, but maybe that's just how his face looks generally. He murmurs something to Evonleigh as well, before letting go of her arm and starting toward where Gwenna is sitting, to perhaps remove himself physically from the center of anything. Including the couch, since he sits on the end.

Gianna raises her statuette up by her head and uses it to salute Haptenna, something of a playful move for the Nightingale. Spying Saro, she sails over thataway. "You've emerged from your shop. Goodness."

Aethan has joined the couch seating.

Peri takes A Wager of Hearts, a play program from a large lilac bag.

Sanya rises from the couch to take Evonleigh's hand. "The pleasure's all mine, my lady. I regret that I hadn't congratulated you earlier. On creating a story with such cultural impact." She elaborates on her praise. Turning to Gwenna, among the couches, she beams. "I know, your highness. The statue is well deserved indeed."

Harlex stands very tall and rather grim faced as Berenice recounts her /efforts/ to pull him to the show. Those hard features very set in their ways. "It was a fine show," he says politely to Evonleigh and nods his head, as if to make certain the fact is clear. To those others who greet them he returns much the same gesture, something steady and pointed. Let them know they've been seen or accounted. He lacks that military stiffness, in spite of it all. Not refined enough. There is a brief, "Lady Tabitha," as she passes before he returns his attentions to the princess(es). Or, more accurately, the servants circling with the drinks like boozehound vultures. He snatches a red wine glass first, for Berenice, before he indulges a swipe of bourbon.

"Shocking, isn't it," Saro agrees with Gianna, grinning idly. "Only for such a grand production as a party thrown by you, though. For anything less I couldn't bear to waste the daylight." Casting another glance around the hall, and then looking the Nightingale herself up and down, she adds, "It's all quite lovely. You've outdone yourself, as always."

Gianna has joined the couch seating.

Tabitha, though clearly happy to be here, has the sort of mousy kind of jitters between smiles that indicates that larger groups are not something she's particularly adept at handling. And so it is that she murmurs conventional little pleasantries, eyes wide and expression earnest. Harlex in turn gets a nod and a pleasant quirk of a smile in greeting. "Commander Valtyr."

Evonleigh has joined the couch seating.

And then Tabitha goes back to sitting RIGHT next to Kenna, letting the talky people do all the talking.

Eina, Soot, a ferret leave, following Peri.

Gianna takes her drink and statuette over toward Saro to talk more quietly with her.

Despite the fact that she seems to prefer looking on to participating in the social hubbub, Saro looks perfectly at her ease as she perches on the arm of the sofa, and she has a ready smile for Gianna as the woman stops to speak with her.

Berenice swats the offered red wine dismissively with a delicate little scoff. "It's a /celebration/," she tells Harlex, as if this should be /clear/, and instead plucks up a glass of sparkling wine. Which is, apparently, for celebrations. "Lady Evonleigh, I do hope you'll think of me the next time you're preparing for a production," she says. "I'm always /delighted/ to offer my patronage and support to the arts. I've mentioned it to our resplendent Nightingale as well, and I hope that any production the Bard's College hosts will at least give me the chance to find the time to support." With the offer extended, she seems to consider one of the couches a bit overfull to add her company to just now, and so draws Harlex along to one of the others where Gianna and Saro sit.

Berenice has joined the couch seating.

Harlex has joined the couch seating.

Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant, 1 Redreef Warden, Vagari - Cinder Kitten, 1 Order of the Firebird, 4 Byrne Mountain Men leave, following Mikani.

Harlex quite clearly does not understand, his eyes narrow a bit at the red wine then he drinks it all and sets it down on the edge of something precarious. With bourbon in hand, he is drawn toward the couch. This is all so /confusing/.

"Oh, I will keep that in mind. Thank you, your highness," Evonleigh says to Berenice. "Any support is appreciated, and now that this one didn't fall flat on its face, which was always a possibility since I wrote it," her grin turns self deprecating, "perhaps the next one I will look for more sponsors and support. Just your attendance is a gift, of course. We do what we do for an audience, after all," she says, with a gesture to the bards present.

"When Prince Niklas's last show was coming up, I made a game of seeing how many noblemen I could convince were going to be escorting me to opening night," Berenice says with a bright laugh over her shoulder back to Evonleigh. "It was Harlex who did, of course." Now settled at one of the couches, her attention draws to her seatmates with a sociable warmth.

Haptenna has joined the standing harp.

You know, there's a big standing harp. Right over there. Haptenna has put herself by it. It's very convenient place to hang out and be almost invisible if one looks at it in the right way, what, with the harp between her and others.

She continues to clutch her statue, laughing nervously at those who approach her and nodding. "Yes," she tells one of the more random-attendes whom she does not know at alllll, "Lady Evonleigh's direction was amazing ahahahaha yes and the Nightengale looks AMAZING, right?!" Shrillness, they name is Tena. At the end there.

She's a nervous wreck, okay?

"Much like the plot of my story -- perhaps you inspired me," says Evonleigh back to Berenice with a grin.

Sanya turns as Haptenna takes her place by the harp. "Right!" She raises her voice, beaming, encouraging the woman as she speaks.

Tilting her head slightly, Gwenna espies Haptenna over by the harp and offers a wave. "Your musical talents are to be commended. Truly, it helped me feel so much a part of the story when on stage."

And then there's Gwenna on her way over to her and she gives her her best smile which, at the moment, is more like 'oh my god I'm going to die before the night is through'.

"Th-thank you, my lady. I am very, very, very honored by your compliment," and want to die RIGHT NOW because a PRINCESS is talking to her again is written all over her face, "But it was not my composition -- I only served to bring to life the visions of others and, uh, yes! Ha. Well!" Her hair is sticking to her forehead. "I am glad I could be counted on in some small, /very/ small way to aid in such an amazing moment for the day."

Gwenna makes a bit of a snort at Haptenna's words. "To take a composition and bring life to it is like reading a tale from a book and giving it energy, I think. Your part in this was not small at all. Isn't there some saying about that? No small parts, only small people? Or...something?" She grins.

Evonleigh has joined the line.

Kenna has joined the line.

Berenice has joined the line.

Zara has joined the line.

Kenna is overheard praising Gwenna: She gets it.

Evonleigh rises, smoothing the skirt of her gown. "Here's a fun little game to play. I'll start by saying something I got from a store. There will be a secret rule that I won't say -- for instance I might say I bought a purple parasol, and the rule might be that it has to be a two-word item, or perhaps that it has a color. Or perhaps a ladder, and the rule is that it has to have two of a letter. Each person will say something they bought and if they don't follow the rule, I will say "they're all out of those today" and the person will drop out of the game. After a round or two, someone else will be the leader. Any questions?"

Kenna is overheard praising Evonleigh: The after party is rocking~

Gwenna has left the couch seating.

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

Gianna has joined the line.

Once Gwenna departs her, Haptenna blinks her eyes in Gianna's direction and offers her a big plastered on smile. She's totally enjoying herself, right? TOTALLY.

Kenna tilts her head as Evonleigh starts describing the game. "I'm in," thoughtfully said though there is a vague sense of confusion that hangs over her.

Berenice looks up from her chatting with her seatmates, eyes brightening at the mention of a /game/. "Oooh! That sounds delightful, I love games!"

Gianna sets her statuette down for the moment, glancing at Berenice and then back to Evonleigh. "I'll play," she calls. She mentions something quietly to those nearby.

Turning to watch Evonleigh, Zara's quick to approve, her voice warm: "That sounds like a charming game. I'm in, of course. I haven't heard of this." She glances back at her seatmates -- Kenna, in particular. She meets her confusion with a sympathetic twist to her lips.

Evonleigh waits for any questions, and none seem to be asked, so she nods, thinking for a moment. "I went to the market to buy a sapphire gown," she says, with a grin in Gianna's direction.

Aethan has been talking quietly to his seatmates -- however, he looks up at the explanation of the game, though he does not get up to play it.

Turn in line: Evonleigh

Turn in line: Kenna

"That's a fascinating concept." Sanya seems intrigued by the idea, her lips breaking into an ethusiastic smile.

Sanya has joined the line.

Kenna runs a hand through unruly blond curls with a tilt of her head. "Hum. Alright, I went to the store and bought a.... squirrel outfit." That's not weird at all.

"They're all out of squirrel outfits today. Poor Sally." Evonleigh grins.

Turn in line: Berenice

Kenna snaps her fingers. "It was a long shot, alas. That means I'm out, right?"

Evonleigh nods to her sister. "Hard to be second! You're a brave soul."

Berenice's lips twitch in amusement at Evonleigh's choice of starter. There's a pause for Kenna's answer, and then she offers, "I went to the market to buy lavender slippers." She stretches out a leg to wiggle one slippered foot.

"Oh, no, they are all out of slippers today as well," says Evonleigh with a dramatic sigh.

Saro seems to have been distracted from whatever conversation she was engaged in over at her seating area, and is now staring in the direction of Haptenna and the harp. Gulping down her tiny fraction of coffee and setting the diminutive cup on a table next to her empty pastry plate, she jumps lightly off the arm of the couch and makes her way across the room to the woman who is SO, SO enjoying herself, CLEARLY. Reaching Haptenna and edging around the side of the harp, she gives the bard a puckish, gap-toothed smile and says wryly, "Amazing party, isn't it?"

Saro has left the couch seating.

Saro has joined the standing harp.

Turn in line: Zara

It's with a very serious and measured tone that Zara says, "This does not seem to be a very well-supplied store. I went there for a ruby coat."

Zara's response makes Evonleigh laugh and she shakes her head woefully. "Too true, your highness. They are out of coats as well."

Turn in line: Gianna

Gianna settles down on the other arm of the couch. Saro's not the only one that likes to perch instead of sit! The Nightingale crosses one leg over the other, arranging her skirt to her best advantage. Her eyes have narrowed as attempts are made to continue the game; she's trying to puzzle it out. She watches Zara as the princess guesses. When it's her turn, she says, "I went to the market to buy... opal... hairpins." Her lips press together.

There's a tip of Evonleigh's head as she considers the answer, then grins. "They were mostly out of hairpins, but you found one singular hairpin to purchase," she decides. "The clue was that the object ended in N -- a gown -- so one hairpin is all you get." She grins. "So you can start us anew for the next round, and choose your rule, without telling us."

You know the kind of laughter where you're laughing because you have no idea what else to do? That's Haptenna right now. She totally laughs when Saro says that to her. "Very amazing," she agrees. It's plain to see she doesn't feel like she belongs in the midst of things, statuette still white-knuckled in her hand. Her hand is probably gonna cramp soon.

Gianna tips her chin up, eyeing Evonleigh for a moment. "Hmmn." She reaches up to touch one of her earrings, thoughtful. "Alright. I went to the market to buy sweet summer melons," she announces.

Turn in line: Evonleigh

When Gianna more or less wins with the single hairpin, Zara reaches up to the opal hairpins threaded into her hair to offer one teasingly to Gianna. The coil of her hair, dark and heavy, scarcely moves: it's too well-pinned by smaller, invisible pins. "Well done," she congratulates Gianna, and then sits up to listen attentively to those that follow.

Evonleigh's eyes narrow and she considers her answer. "That's a tricky one," she murmurs, thinking a moment. "I went to the market to buy glimmering green earrings?" she says, brows lifting with the upward lilt of her query.

Sanya chuckles at the revelation. "Clever." She comments to Evonleigh with a smile.

Gianna leans over to pluck up Zara's hairpin, because it's pretty and shiny and why not. She inclines her head to Evonleigh. "Yes. The market has those. What happens now?""

"Oh, nice." Evonleigh smiles. "Next person!" she tells Gianna, gesturing to Kenna.

"N, for no, and for not-very-good-at-this." Kenna says with a grin. The next game starts and she furrows her brow. "Hum. Okay. I went to the store to buy weird winter boots."

Turn in line: Kenna

Saro folds her arms over her chest and settles into a slouched attitude, despite the fact of there being nothing to actually slouch /against/ by the harp. She quirks an eyebrow at Haptenna, speaking to her in a voice that doesn't carry in the midst of all the other racket.

Gianna points to Kenna and says, "Also yes. My rule is apparently much less complicated than the Lady Evonleigh's."

Turn in line: Sanya

Sanya looks thoughtful when it's her turn. "I went to the market to buy a slender silk dress."

Gianna is distracted by the pin she's examining, but she does catch Sanya's answer, at least. "Ah, yes. You're in luck. The market has slender silk dresses today." Gianna leans over to present the hairpin back to Zara. "Dame Ida?" she ventures.

Turn in line: Berenice

Berenice purses her lips, considering Gianna's clue with careful thought. Party games are serious business, after all. Her gaze narrows on Kenna with a hint of a pout, as if perhaps she stole her answer -- or at least one of the words she was planning on using. "I went to the market to buy -- blossoming spring flowers."

"Also available," Gianna tells Berenice, and she flicks her hair over her shoulder, a hint of a frown appearing for but a heartbeat.

Turn in line: Zara

"Dame Ida," Zara says, and if she seems relieved to have the pin back to match the first, she hides it well. "She does such remarkable work." She's still seating the hairpin in her hair when Berenice speaks, and she pauses a moment, considering. Berenice seems to have thrown her off, slightly, and her tone has a quality about that suggests a test: "I went to purchase Dame Ida's hairpins." Because she totally did. Who hasn't.

"Oh, I'm not sure," Gianna says, tilting her head at Zara. Her gaze flicks to Evonleigh. "But the princess is the last, in any case? My rule was that the item had to be three words. Who's next?"

Evonleigh is overheard praising Gianna.

Evonleigh is overheard praising Zara.

Kenna rises from her seat laughing. "That's actually pretty good. I thought it had something to do with two letters similar but." She smiles to all, gives the obligatory good byes, and then takes herself away.

Kenna has left the couch seating.

"That seems to fit! And yes, a successful round for all," Evonleigh says with a smile. "Do we want to call that a draw, and close the game? Well played, all. I wasn't sure if it was the double letters or the alliteration or the three words, so I did all three," she confesses.

Leaning toward Berenice, Zara says, "I was nearly certain the rule was more complicated than it was before you went. Boldly done." She rises from her seat, settling her skirts with a sweep of silk and silver. "Excuse me," she says. "There's someone over there I wanted to speak to." Who is it?? Don't ask. It's someone. Over there.

Zara has left the couch seating.

Elena, a solemn knight attache, Alette, a discreet lady's maid, Isabel, a calm diplomatic aide leave, following Zara.

"How /does/ one /win/ the game?" Berenice wonders, asking the /important questions/. "I mean the /final/ winner."

Sanya is overheard praising Gianna.

"Good question," Evonleigh says with a grin. "I don't think anyone ever lasts that long! I suppose until there are two people left, and then they are co victors, perhaps, or it might go on forever. For the sake of camaraderie, we'll call this one a friendly draw and applaud ourselves on all being winners, hm?"

Sanya excuses herself, offering the group farewells as she departs the room. "Wonderful party, my lady. Thank you." She says to Evonleigh, gaze drifting to Gianna as well. "And you, Nightingale."

Sanya has left the couch seating.

2 Grimhall House Guards, Ivan leave, following Sanya.

2 House Velenosa Guards arrives, following Gaspar.

2 House Velenosa Guards have been dismissed.

Berenice heaves a sigh at Evonleigh's response. /Everyone's a winner/. "I suppose," she says, the wistful words of the vicious competitor. "It's a very gracious and pleasant sort of ending."

Haptenna's face screws up at something Saro tells her and she lets out a breath before turning to address the other woman in a quiet, back and forth conversation. Her eyes stray towards Gianan, though, and she gestures at her vaguely.

"An interesting game," Gianna announces. "I imagine it would be popular at a women's night. When was the last time one of those was held, anyway?"

Aethan has been watching quietly -- not to say he was not enjoying it -- and Berenice's question gets a little huff of amusement as he regards the princess for a moment or two, but he stays quiet for the moment.

"I never went to one of those," says Evonleigh with a smile. She glances at poor Aethan, and perhaps takes some pity on him. "I think perhaps it's late and after our long successful stint of performances, I will look forward to tomorrow without having to get up for rehearsal or a performance for the first time in months," she says with a dreamy look at the very thought. "Would you care to escort me home?" she asks the Admiral, offering a hand to help him up -- as if he needs it. "Nightingale Gianna, Princess Zara, thank you for your support and for hosting us tonight," she says warmly.

Gaspar arrived far more fashionably later than he intended. His clothes were finely tailored, befitting of a prince. The silks clung to him in all the right places and he looked the part of a noble, aside from that mop of freshly wash, deep umber curls that grew wildly. With a bottle of red wine in his hand, he looked to those that remained, long after the show--and most of the after party--had finished.

Gianna rises smoothly from her perch on the arm of her couch. "Of course, Lady Evonleigh," she says. "One last round of applause for our talented playwright and the cast and crew members!" she prompts, having set her glass aside so she can raise her hands to lead the applause.

Evonleigh is overheard praising Haptenna.

Evonleigh is overheard praising Saro.

Evonleigh is overheard praising Tabitha.

Evonleigh is overheard praising Gwenna.

Gaspar tucked that wine beneath his arm and smiled at the departing lady, smiling politely to those that seemed to be a part of the show.

Berenice rises from her seat at the couch, her smile warming once more for Evonleigh when she announces her impending departure. "Lady Evonleigh, my congratulations once again for your remarkable artistic victory," she says, drawing in closer. She claps as delicately as she can manage with a champagne flute in hand, and leans just slightly to murmur something in a lower voice to Aethan before he's stolen away for the evening.

"Your highness," Evonleigh murmurs, a quick but graceful curtsy for Gaspar as he enters the room. "Thank you for coming. I hope you enjoyed the performance as well," she says. The applause from Gianna and Berenice makes her smile a bit brighter. "Thank you. I would say it was nothing, but that would diminish the time and energy put in by my amazing cast and crew. We do appreciate it, and I will surely include you," to Berenice, "in any upcoming ventures, theatrically speaking, your highness."

Saro's attention is briefly caught by the round of applause, and though she clearly hasn't been paying a bit of attention to what's going on in the world beyond the harp -- barring a sidelong look at Gianna -- she joins in the clapping.

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

Haptenna continues to talk to Saro, it would appear, gesturing from time to time at GIanna before she too is clappng.

"Ah! Gaspar!" Berenice catches sight of her cousin a touch belatedly -- but he is belated himself, after all. "You are /sinfully/ late!"

Gianna offers one of her quick, flickering smiles to the group assembled. "Please, feel free to linger and enjoy the food, drink, and music," she announces. Her clear voice carries well. The acoustics in here are amazing, after all.

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