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The Oleander Ball

The ballroom of the Velenosa Estate has been transformed. Oleander blossoms are everywhere to be seen amidst the decorations, giving the entire room a heady, floral scent, and among those blossoms are hundreds of neodymium lanterns casting a warm light across the evening. A fountain has been constructed towards the center of the room, just off the dance floor, that bubbles with not water but sparkling rose wine that servants or even guests themselves can fill a glass from. Throughout the room are models and performers, clearly selected for their particular beauty, serving as living statues, dressed in vines of oleander blossoms and little else, their skin dusted with some metallic powder so that they shimmer and gleam in the light. There are musicians, of course: a full selection of them offering a consistent flow of music, more suited for background enjoyment at first as the guests arrive, but soon to offer pieces for dancing once the party truly begins.

Date

Dec. 1, 2019, 1 p.m.

Hosted By

Berenice

Participants

Talia Evaristo Zara Merek Ophelia Sabella Sanya Harlex

Organizations

Velenosa

Location

Arx - Ward of the Lyceum - Velenosa Estate - Ballroom

Largesse Level

Legendary

Comments and Log


The ballroom of the Velenosa Estate has been transformed. Oleander blossoms are everywhere to be seen amidst the decorations, giving the entire room a heady, floral scent, and among those blossoms are hundreds of neodymium lanterns casting a warm light across the evening. A fountain has been constructed towards the center of the room, just off the dance floor, that bubbles with not water but sparkling rose wine that servants or even guests themselves can fill a glass from. Throughout the room are models and performers, clearly selected for their particular beauty, serving as living statues, dressed in vines of oleander blossoms and little else, their skin dusted with some metallic powder so that they shimmer and gleam in the light. There are musicians, of course: a full selection of them offering a consistent flow of music, more suited for background enjoyment at first as the guests arrive, but soon to offer pieces for dancing once the party truly begins.



And the hostess? Not yet appeared, and not to be seen where she might greet the guests. But it's fashionable to be late to one's own party, right?

Talia steps into the ballroom of Velenosa Estate, dressed not as the simple seamstress that she is. Her gown could compete with the creations that she makes for the nobility of the Compact, in aeterna and diamonds. For all that, the woman still tends to fade into the background, moving to the comfort of the wall to carefully pick around the perimeter with a quiet murmur to herself.

2 Grayson House Guards, Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting, Clark, an exasperated guard arrive, following Sabella.

Maxene, the steadfast ladies maid, Elegance, a Velenosian Greyhound, Pellinor, 3 Thrax Guards, Honey Snuggle, a Velenosian Angora cat, 2 Thrax Elite Guards, Tracker, a Kite of the Cloudspine leave, following Alarissa.

Benvolio, a beleaguered valet in search of a better job, 6 House Velenosa Guards leave, following Berenice.

Robyn, an artful archeress, 2 House Velenosa Guards arrive, following Ophelia.

Evaristo wouldn't dream of coming late to this particular party and is one of the first to arrive, bedecked in a dark pruple outfit with silver details. He carries a parcel under an arm, tucking his shirt in properly before he takes a look around and gapes at the decor. "Amazing," he breathes and finds a drink. Spotting Talia there, he double-takes and almost bows - likely because of that outfit. "Miss Talia," he greets, smiling widely. "You look absolutely radiant!"

Benvolio, a beleaguered valet in search of a better job, 6 House Velenosa Guards arrive, following Berenice.

While any one element might be unobjectionable, even a charming accent, the assembled _whole_ of it nearly fractures the serenity of Zara's composure. _Nearly_. As she enters to come face to face with the wall of ... everything -- of so much; it's just so much -- she spends a moment studying the extravagance. The way her gaze lingers might as well be admiring, and then she's handing a gift off into the hands of one of the servants to gather with the rest for the absent hostess. The blushing edges of the brocade blossoms and petals that form the not-very-protective silken armoring of her garb just hint at the lush hues of the oleanders. "Mistress Talia, Master Evaristo," she greets in passing on her way to ... yep, okay, that's a sparkling rose. She presses her knuckles to her jaw and accepts a glass from a servant. "Will our hostesses be wearing something you crafted, Mistress Talia? I find myself very much looking forward to it."

Talia's lips catch into a frown, her gaze sliding over Evaristo as if trying to determine if he's making fun of her. But she only catches her bottom lip between her teeth, tipping a nod. "You as well, Master Evaristo," she offers in turn. Her gaze slides away, around the room. "I am sure she has a gift table around here. Or maybe you're supposed to give it to a servant? I sent my gift ahead, for her to wear."

Merek makes his way into the Oleander Ball while he takes a moment to pull his cloak about him, looking around to see the place, and taking a moment to adjust his scarf which shifts about. The cloak is offered to Meeka who takes it for him, then he has on his dark attire which is tattered a bit in exotic ways.

Dolmen, a Crimson Agent arrives, following Harlex.

There'll be a lot of bowing, but Evaristo is used to it and does so with practice - Zara is bowed to and given a bright, happy smile. "Your highness, you are spring incarnate, fresh and enchanting," he tells her. He'll be busy if he's going to find compliments for all, but he'll give it a good try. "Oh," he says and turns back to Talia, and eyes his parcel. "Alright," he agrees and goes to find a servant to hand it over to.

Talia curtsies as Evaristo bows to the Valardin princess, nodding her head and murmuring with her head still ducked, "I did. It was my gift for her birthday, her gown this evening. With a little extra surprise."

Ophelia Velenosa arrives and stands in the entryway for a brief moment as she takes in the beautiful decor of the Velenosa ballroom. It practically takes her breath away and she beams a smile at how stunning everything and every/one/ looks. Clack, clack, clack go her pointy heels across the floor to get a better view of the special fountain -- it what? It has some /bubbly/ flowing in it? "Oh, how perfect!" Now she just needs a glass. But first, a servant with a tray. She pivots to see where the nearest one might be.

"That's a very fine compliment. Thank you. I find spring such a blessing after winter," Zara says to Evaristo with a bow of her head. At Talia's answer, the curiosity in her expression grows a touch sharper, dark eyes gleaming bright. "A little extra surprise from you is likely to be interesting. Perhaps a hint? We shall guess," she says, gesturing between herself and Evaristo, "with the very best prize for the winter: being right." Or right-er.

Evaristo perks up noticeably - there's a chance for a 'game' here. "Alright," he says, amused and thoughtful as he thinks it over. "My guess, there's a hidden pocket on the gown with a nice trinket in!" He bows at Ophelia as she walks by, and a few other nobles.

"Everything looks so beautiful!" Sabella exclaims as she comes into the ballroom, eyes wide as she turns this way and that to take it in, also looking for the birthday princess, "I really don't get down here half as often as I should! Princess Zara! Mistress Talia! Hello!" She gives them a bright smile, "Isn't this just lovely?"

Well, she couldn't stay away forever. Berenice arrives -- where else? At the top of the staircase. It's not actually true that umbra dominates her wardrobe, but tonight she is dressed in dramatic darkness touched with pinpricks of color: pink diamond, red dragonweep, dark duskstone. And not so colorful, but remarkable in its rarity, even a hint of onyx amid the dramatic ballgown. She is on the arm of the Sword of Lenosia himself, Harlex Valtyr, who is dressed even darker -- but that's how he always is, isn't he?



Berenice pauses there at the top of the staircase, preening a bit playfully as she looks down at those who have arrived already. "Ah! Look at all of you! I am so marvelously blessed. Welcome to /all/ of you." There's a gleam of amusement as she adds, "Happy birthday to me, I suppose!"

Talia opens her mouth, but she is saved from spilling secrets ahead of time by the arrival of Princess Berenice. Her hands still free, she claps for the arrival, smiling at the pair as they descend the staircase. Only after does she turn to curtsy to Sabella, greeting, "Good evening, your highness. It is lovely, yes."

Berenice is overheard praising Velenosa: 10

Berenice is overheard praising Velenosa.

Entering the ballroom of the Velenosa estate, a little later than the rest, Sanya beams as she glances about her before heading straight for the birthday girl. "Your highness, you look stunning. Congratulations, and may the next year be as extravagant as the last." She grins before retrieving a box. "From House Grimhall." She says, before handing it to her. Then she inclines her head to the others. "Princess Sabella, it's wonderful to see you. Master Evaristo."

Evaristo is overheard praising Velenosa.

"Princess Sabella," Zara says, turning to greet her with a warmth of welcome in her voice. "I should have known that where high fashion will inevitably strike I would be seeing you. It's so good to see you again. I find I rarely get down here, as well. But no one puts on a show quite like Velenosa, do they?" She reaches to a nearby blossom, just touching the edge. She shakes her head in a sort of mute admiration and turns back to Evaristo and Talia and -- oh no!! The birthday girl is here!! She guesses very quickly, "The entire _gown_ is just one large dragonweep," which can't actually be a real guess, and then turns to regard Berenice's arrival. "Mistress Talia, lovely work as always."

Ophelia receives a fancy glass of rose wine from a passing servant and manages a polite curtsy in response to Evaristo's bow. It's nothing short of a miracle as she manages /not/ to spill anything from her drink! She smiles at a few other familiar faces and soon her attention is drawn up to the staircase where Berenice and Harlex are standing, which has her bouncing a little in place. The movement might actually slosh her wine, but it doesn't /spill/ it. Gods, she's doing so good. "Look how pretty she is! Isn't she /pretty?/"

His presence is an utter contrast to the Oleander, as is his expression. Where she is warm and welcoming, he is cold and distant. It suits them, in a way, a dichotomy of night. Harlex Valtyr stands with a soldier's bearing, dark attire cleaned and polished to its blackest hue with Mirror Blade resting on the slant of a swordbelt off his hip. But in a break of that glowering demeanor, Berenice's birthday wishes unto herself earn a slight smile at the corner of his mouth. There's an inclination of his head to everyone who looks their way, he looks more than comfortable however being arm candy (he'd probably be a jawbreaker or something).

"I am rarely known to pass up a party invitation of any kind, but certainly not one where I'm sure the hostess will dazzle us with her outfit," Sabella replies to Zara with a grin, right before Berenice appears at the top of the stairs. She audibly gasps, putting fingers to her lips a moment as she stares in awe. And is that a flicker of jealousy? Probably just the light. "That gown is exquisite!"

Evaristo's chin lifts to look at the birthday princess, and he just stares at her, captivated and entranced for a moment. Then he blinks rapidly and calls out; "Happy Birthday, Your Highness! You look like a dream and a vision!" before starting a spurr of the moment applaud that hopefully will spread out through the room. He'll still do it - because he wants to. He then bows to Sabella and gives the princess a wink. "Your highness, you are stunning." Whew, this is getting harder and harder.

"Happy birthday!" Merek offers, then he's finding a place to settle in to get a drink.

Berenice journeys down the staircase with a hint of a sashay in the movement of her skirts, clearly pleased to have all eyes on her, chin lifting just a bit. "Ah! Isn't it divine?" She looks down at the gown in question once she's reached the floor of the ballroom, a hand smoothing delicately along one hip of the skirt. "It is the most remarkable work of my protege, Talia Baseborn -- who is /also/ in an absolutely gorgeous gown of her own creation! My darling, you look stunning!" Her gaze drifts throughout the guests as her eyes widen. "/Everyone/ looks stunning. It will be so /difficult/ to choose my favorite outfit!" Her breath draws in as Sanya approaches with that gift. PRESENTS. "Lady Sanya, thank you! Gods, so many of my favorite people are here! Princess Zara, Princess Sabella, my darling Ophelia! And /another/ of my treasured proteges." Her smile lingers on Evaristo at the last. "I'll be terribly curious to see if anyone can make one of the living statues break their concentration. They have been given /explicit/ instructions not to do that." And so obviously the thought of people attempting is delightful! Right?

Talia nods, ducking her head in the company of both Sabella and Zara for the compliments to the gown. "Her highness wears it well," she murmurs, agreeing. She only flushes more as Berenice remarks on what she is wearing. She curtsies, for anyone who might look, and then offers quiet excuses to slip away from her companions. Indeed, slipping away all together from the party. It seems that what she came to see is over, and this shy seamstress is gone.

When Evaristo brings his hands together to applaud, it would be rude for Zara not to: she adds her a light scatter of applause, and nods to Berenice as she approaches. "Princess Berenice. May the gods bless the year to come," she says in INEVITABLE Oathlandery 'happy birthday'. No, can't just say 'happy birthday'. "You and Mistress Talia make for a powerful combination. You wear her more exquisite creations so graciously." She only closes her eyes a moment as Berenice all but flags a challenge to torment the poor statues. She glances sidelong at the nearest in study. She, of course, does nothing in attempt, but she does study those near to see who will.

Evaristo gives Harlex a respectful nod in greeting but isn't otherwise bothering the Velenosa Sword. He finally gets his act together and greets Sanya with a bow, a broad smile and another compliment; "Lady Sanya, you are like a blossom newly sprung tonight." Then, all focus on the birthday girl, his grin widening and his bow deeper. "Thank you, your highness. I woudln't miss this for anything. This place is ABSOLUTELY splendid and I will absolutely try to make the living statues break their concentration. That is, by the way, so... so brilliantly decadent. Also impressive - they must be VERY well trained to stand still for so long."

Ophelia lifts her glass in cheers to the birthday girl while watching her descend the stairs in that /gorgeous/ dress. A sip of rose wine is taken and then she does her best to delicately applaud along with the rest of the guests -- still, not a drop is spilled! A record for the archeress, surely. "Living statues?" She blinks and then pivots to look at the one she is standing next to. "Oh!" Taking a slight side step, Ophelia looks up at said living statue and sees their very /focused/ expression. "Ohhh. Yes, I see! Well, atleast no birds will land on /these/ statues." Twinkle.

The living statues are not /entirely/ still, but their movements are so slow in shifting between shapes of their bodies that it almost seems that way. They are professionals. It's honestly really terrible that anyone is considering harassing them while they're working.

"I don't think anyone could truly blame you if you crowned yourself the winner, your highness." Sanya says with a sparkle in her eyes as she appraises the Oleander's gown. "It's like a black rose." She turns to Evaristo, with a chuckle. "And you look as handsome as ever. Thank you for your words, they're as poetic as one would expect of you." She beams.

Harlex eyes the living statues suspiciously, but he doesn't look like he'll be harassing them just yet. Instead, he claims a glass of something coppery. Evaristo is given a slight but attentive nod to echo his greeting. After that he takes a drink, observing the statue people again. "Hm," he growls a bit.

"Evaristo! Did you help in the planning of this? And Lady Sanya, it's always a delight to run into you," Sabella seems very distracted, looking around with big eyes at everything, "I should have known that it was a work of Mistress Talia's, it's absolutely amazing!" She gushes to Berenice, "And all those dragonweep! Amazing! Clearly this is already a very happy birthday for you, but do accept my well wishes for an exciting and fashionable new year."

"Well, I /could/, I suppose, and gift myself the prize," Berenice replies to Sanya with a bright laugh. Talia is there one moment, then gone the next, and Berenice actually glances about in minor consternation. "She is /always/ doing that. I don't know why she's so terribly shy!" Berenice is very empathetic. "I have no idea what their training is; I just told the steward I wanted living statues," she adds carelessly. She casts a somewhat forlorn look to Sabella. "Yes, I had two stones left from before the price rose so dramatically. I don't know /when/ I'll be able to purchase another." She heaves a sigh, almost swooning on Harlex's arm. "Evaristo! You will perform a song or two at some point tonight." It could be a question, except it's -- not. And to Ophelia, in a surreptitious aside, she adds, "I /did/ think about having birds, but I thought matters might get a bit /bloody/ with you in attendance, and that didn't seem to suit the theme of the evening."

Looking chuffed, cause Evaristo likes a compliment as much as anyone, he beams at Sanya and adjusts his coat slightly. "Oh no no," he tells Sabella. "Not involved in this one, I don't think I could ever come up with something as brilliant as this," he says and once more makes a sweeping look around the place, all awed. He's eyeing one of the 'statues' speculatively now, no doubt considering ways of distracting them but then he double takes on Berenice with widening eyes. "I am?" he replies, quite surprised. "I suppose I am," he adds with amusement.

"It was a terribly dramatic rise, wasn't it? I'd just traded my last -- but as it was to Mistress Talia, and I was fortunate enough to receive one of the gowns in her fealty collection, I can't begrudge it," Zara says, her gaze lingering on the wealth of jewelry that Berenice so casually displays. She follows the turn of Berenice's attention to Evaristo, studying him a moment. "I believe I missed your performance at one of Mistress Talia's showings," she says to him. "You were just getting started as I had to step out. But I noted, just recently, that she's framed the verses and hung them in her shop. I'll look forward to actually hearing you perform, rather than simply reading it."

"You as well." Sanya smiles to Sabella, watching her gown. "That's a lovely dress, your highness. I very much look forward to the raffle." Then she turns to Harlex. "General Harlex." She greets him with a warm smile, before accepting a glass from a server. "It's a shame you didn't join us in Stormwall, Master Evaristo." She says. "I would have loved to hear your voice."

Ophelia siiips her rose wine and then helps herself to a tiny bit more from the elegant fountain. A smile curves her lips and she waves away the idea of having /birds/ at this party after Berenice mentions the thought. "I would've called a truce!" A temporary one, but. That goes unsaid. Now she begins to walk toward another living statue to observe their slow movement as one of them changes position. "I would be sooo distracted. I could never do this." Clearly, she is impressed!

"You are /here/, and it is my /birthday/," Berenice answers Evaristo, as if this should all be /very obvious/. Her voice brightens in a laugh at Zara's addition. "Yes! You must sing the song you wrote for Talia. And, since you've been so eager to hear /me/ perform, I suppose we could find a song or two we're both familiar with." Her eyes are dancing with mirth as she drags Harlex over to that champagne fountain to fill herself a glass. (This is usually a job for SERVANTS, but the act of it is an amusement in and of itself.) "Does anyone know /why/ the price of dragonweep rose so swiftly? It must be /someone's/ fault." And clearly if she LEARNS WHO IT IS, there will be CONSEQUENCES.

"Probably because like alaracite, people buy it all the time, like me!" Merek offers, helpfully, because. Why not really.

"I am sorry I missed it, indeed," Evaristo says and nods at Sanya. He laughs, nodding at Berenice, then oooohs at the idea of singing with her. "Well, I do have a song written specifically FOR you that everyone should hear, and I will sing the Fealty Gown song - and it will be a dream come true to sing with you, surely a gift to /me/." He follows the birthday prinecss and leans in to murmur to her, perhaps to conspire on what song to sing with her in a duet. He takes his chance to fill up the glass in the fountain as well, delighted by it. "Oh, maybe the dragons stopped weeping?" he jokes.

"A smith told me that most of what had been out there was a forgery," Sabella tells Berenice, although there's some doubt to her tone. Totally not because she's wearing two pieces of it right now, "So I wonder if there was some kind of raid or the person who was responsible was caught? That might explain it." She reaches up to casually adjust her tiara, which most certainly is completely and totally real don't even think it! She beams at Sanya for the compliment, "Thank you! And I am looking forward to it as well! I've been trying to get a piece of dragonweep to offer but I am running out of time. Still, hope is eternal! Or at least, until tomorrow night."

Ophelia finishes what's left of her drink and deposits the empty glass upon a passing tray. The server receives a smile and she soon she is giggling at Evaristo's quip. "The dragons have stopped weeping..." She then clears her throat a tiny bit and straightens as this is clearly /not/ something to giggle over as the birthday girl is so very /distraught/ over the shortage. Instead, Ophelia will flag down another servant to get a fresh glass. Off she goes!

Robyn, an artful archeress, 2 House Velenosa Guards leave, following Ophelia.

"I really couldn't say." Sanya says with a shake of her head, brows furrowing. "We never knew of the location of the source, if I recall correctly." She turns to Sabella with intrigue. "Is that so? I wonder how one can tell the difference." She smiles. "I'm sure in the event that you can't acquire any, you'll have many wonderful things on offer. Really the fun is all in the anticipation." She chuckles.

"Oh, that /can't/ be right," Berenice says with a frown to Sabella, for she too is wearing dragonweep, and obviously it is NOT FAKE. "I've never /actually/ heard about dragons weeping, but I suppose it would be far from the strangest thing. Honestly I hear more about them being rather proud and temperamental." She tosses her hair in a careless sort of way and then cants her head to better catch Evaristo's whisper. Her smile curves slowly, and she nods at whatever he's suggested to her. "Yes, I think that should do just splendidly."

Evaristo checked dexterity + legerdemain at difficulty 15, rolling 38 higher.

Evaristo likes this fountain so much he stands around filling up glasses for people, doing a bit of a legerdemain show of it, glasses being juggled in recklessness before filled up, but he's doing it for his own entertainment as much as anyone else's - and he has his own drinking to do so he keeps the rest of the glass-ware safe. "Shadowmeld also went up in price. Not /terribly/ much, but a little." This is likely not something most here would find much of a bother, apart perhaps from Harlex - and Evaristo.

Harlex is studying the champagne fountain he's been dragged to and finds it, for lack of a better word, suspicious. The Sword empties his whiskey glass, scooping a serving of champagne for himself and studying the contents. He drinks it down after a second. At the juggling, he glances aside and moves away from the situation. "Markets ebb and flow, like public opinion," he comments on the subject. Mercenary at least has taught him this valuable lesson.

"I suppose it's not a bad thing if things become rarer," Sabella opines, accepting a glass of champagne from a server, which she sips slowly, "Then those that wear it just look all that more unique! Although it does mean that my outfits going forward will be fewer and further between. The very fancy ones, that is." She looks between Evaristo and Berenice with a smile, "I can't wait to hear the entertainment for the evening and would love to hear you since, Princess Berenice. And yes! There are so many things! People have been very generous. And I may just throw together one or two more baskets just of alcohol. Perhaps rums?"

"I think the price shift was a /bit/ dramatic for the usual ebb and flow of markets," Berenice opines, although there is also the edge of something /slightly/ unsure in her voice. (How do markets work??) She takes another swallow of her wine and then hands off the glass to a servant before peeling away from Harlex so that she can take Evaristo's arm and draw him over to the musicians. "Well! I can hardly deny my gracious guests the entertainment they desire," she says brightly.

And so it is that Evaristo fumbles away his glass to a servant, and his lute is brought over (staff here are truly efficient). It's a new lute, for those that have seen the one he usually has, still gleaming and not a spot or mark on it. "Perfect chance to try out my new lute!" he exclaims. "My old one got destroyed in an unfortunate event with a spider-hater," he explains, narrowing his eyes a tad at the memory. "Would you like to start with me, your highness? Or should I sing your praises first?"

Finishing her champagne, as the conversation on markets proceeds, Sanya hands the empty glass over to a server, before retrieving another - newly filled. "I fully approve of a basket of liquor. Rum especially, as an Islander." She grins to Sabella. Then she turns to Evaristo and Berenice, keen to hear them perform. A cheer is given before they begin.

Berenice checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 36 higher.

"Oh, I think we ought to start together," Berenice tells Evaristo with a warm laugh as they make their way over to where the musicians are seated to take their place in front of them. "I cannot even /imagine/ how one loses a lute in that manner," she adds. Her gaze flicks back to the guests with a warming smile, and then she looks back to Evaristo to await his cue.



When the music starts, it is likely a recognizable tune to any of the Lycenes at the party as a well-known song throughout the south. The duet is well-suited to the pair: it features a noblewoman of the Lyceum being kidnapped by a dashing highwayman, only for the two to begin a scandalous affair. And, naturally, the noblewoman joins in on securing a ransom from her family so that they might run away together. It's full of delightful intrigue and scandal, and Berenice's voice is a clarion mezzo that performs brilliantly in the hall.

"One simply uses it to smack someone with," Evaristo responds with a playful wink at the prinecss, before he takes up position, standing up as he plays - first striking a few test chords to make sure the lute is tuned correctly. Indeed, the song could be made for them, with Evaristo's own voice shifting from boisterous highwayman to the charming lover, always with the distinctive raspiness despite the strength and well trained performer as he is. His eyes glitter with good cheer and most of the song he looks at Berenice. The end of the song has a most appropriate ending; the couple receive their money via a cunning and daring plot and travel off to celebrate - only to realise a week later they both are now entirely bored of each other now that they are safe, rich and without any troubles...

Zara stirs from where she's found company near the back, just long enough to add her compliments for the singers -- but maybe not for the _song_. (How terribly inappropriate. Or -- appropriate, for the setting and performers.) At least the singing's nice.

Zara is overheard praising Berenice: Lovely voice, lovely gown, lovely celebration.

Zara is overheard praising Evaristo: A wonderful performance!

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

Sabella stands with Lady Sanya, listening with rapt attention to the song, laughing at the parts that require it and otherwise seeming greatly amused and impressed with the duet, "They compliment each other very well, don't they?" She comments to Sanya, before Elizabetta is stepping in to whisper something, "Ah, it seems I'm required back at home. Do let them know I thought the song was a tremendous success?" she says, before giving the singers a bit of a wave and then hurrying out.

2 Grayson House Guards, Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting, Clark, an exasperated guard leave, following Sabella.

Sanya is overheard praising Berenice.

Sanya is overheard praising Evaristo.

Merek takes a moment to incline to others, then makes a way about!

Harlex sets his glass of champagne aside as the song plays out to the cheer of the ground. He whistles sharply, the type of noise suited for reaching someone across a battlefield. It cuts above the din of applause before he joins in clamorous praise. When he's done, he retrieves his drink and stands beside one of the living statues, almost out-doing them in the stoic department. Though there's much to say about his gaze, fixed on the performance of the princess.

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

"That was wonderful, your highness, messere." Sanya says to the two with a beaing smile when the song ends. "As Princess Sabella had said before leaving, a tremendous success." She finishes the champagne in her glass. "I should be heading off, but thank you for holding this lovely event." She inclines her head, then curtsies, before heading off.

The duet comes to a close, and Berenice glories in the applause with good humor, leaning to murmur something in Evaristo's ear before brushing a kiss to his cheek. She slips away from the musicians then, plucking up another glass of champagne on her way back into the crowd. "Well!" she says cheerfully. "I suppose I shall have to end up choosing the winning outfit in part from memory."

3 Grimhall House Guards, Ivan leave, following Sanya.

Evaristo smiles warmly at Berenice, leaning in for that kiss. "Thank you," he says quietly and then he stays up there to sing the songs he promised he would, one of them being Berenice's own song called 'Oleander of Lenosia' and then the fealty gown song which is a short joyful piece, lyrics repeated twice between musical intricacies on the lute.

Harlex has found his statue-act is far lesser than the professionals and has not stopped a drunk guest from bending his ear about the time HE was a commander in the Velenosan cavalry and HE had a special way of having horseshoes made that allowed his destrider to -- the Sword tunes it out like a quiet buzz. He takes a sip of his drink, staring off as the retired militant noble goes on and on and on. Eventually, rather rudely, the dark-clad swordsman just walks away to find Berenice again. "Beautifully done," he compliments to look aside to the musicians.

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

Berenice draws up to Harlex's side to snug in against it when he ABANDONS the guest trying to talk his ear off in lieu of the Birthday Princess. "Thank you, love," she says. The party continues on unabated into the night, a grand and extravagant affair that will surely be the cause of /numerous/ hangovers in the morning. As every good Lycene party is.



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