Farewell and Hello
Dec. 2, 2019, 9 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Lyceum - Mazetti Manor - Sepulchral Glade
Comments and Log
Maxene, the steadfast ladies maid, Pellinor, Tracker, a Kite of the Cloudspine arrive, following Alarissa.
Within the garden of the Mazetti manor there have been made some incursions into its fresh-budding and new-blossomed serenity in the form of bustling servants and various tables set up to accomodate food and drink. They would not be the only intruders, however, as their purpose was to serve the arrival of a great many guests, some of whom had likely never trod the grounds before, and perhaps never again would. For that, the old garden could likely be thankful, if one was of the mind to think gardens had feelings at any rate. The air is fresh and crisp, its scent that of new growth above and beyond that of the food. Birds chirp and flit from branch to branch, and a swan floats gracefully through the mirror-like surface of the pond.
Near the the impromptu dance floor, a few musicians tune their instruments and make final adjustments in preparation for the day's festivities. Of course, there is a low murmur of chatter among those who work, even those Guardians who are already on the scene. Cambria's personal assistant just so happens to be standing near the pond, arms folded and head tilted downward in thought. Further away, the captain of the House guard laughs gruffly with a comrade. Young maids titter and giggle as they complete the last of their chores...And during it all, the Marquessa of the House watches while seated at the old stone table. When guests begin to filter in, she is ready to greet them.
5 Grimhall House Guards, Gustav, a gruff Islander advisor arrive, following Valdemar.
3 Tyde Houseguard, 2 Redwood Initiates, Fireball, a fluffy cat arrive, following Lethe.
Vitalis is tuning up with the musicians, lute in his lap, laughing as he turns the pegs, strums, listens, turns again. He’ll follow along and support the soloists, his skill is a modest one, and this a pleasant way to play, a sendoff for his cousin.
Vitalis checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 19 higher.
Hadrian's face is front and center on the cloak that's draped over a shoulder, that absurdly jovial pin that keeps the cloak closed. Though after a moment, with an adroitness she's learned fast, Alarissa's unfastening it, the face covered and passing it off to Maxene who helps her shrug it off and fix her dress, making sure everythings covered and that the other arm is set just right. What keeps it aloft hidden beneath folds of fabric. "And now you get to know my own sorrow as you give away someone beloved to the faith." Alarissa calls out to Cambria. 'His grace sends his apologies and me in his stead. Something something, High Lord business."
Alessia enters the gardens of the manor in fairly good spirits, swiftly approaching the marquessa with a beaming smile, extended to the princess. "Your highness, it's lovely to see you." She offers to Alarissa, with a curtsy.
Strozza looms, dour and stern at a corner of the dance floor, staring down at it with a quiet air of general grumbliness that seems to follow him. Wrapped in his cloak with Kuhlai D'Mahn close by to provide him beverage, the Mazetti sailor already has his first drink of the night, at least that may be the hopeful assumption. Long tall and gloomy is nodding to something his rotund aide is murmuring to him, brow knitting or smoothing dependent on what he's being told.
2 Kennex corsairs arrives, following Zoey.
Merek makes his way into the place to watch and listen, though keeping to himself with his dark attire on, and scarf pulled about while he looks to those about, and settles about.
The guest of honor, led by one of the Mazetti House servants into a garden that she is quite familiar with, chats casually as they enter. Sister Dianna Godsworn, nee Lady Mazetti, pauses upon arriving to embrace the older woman and peck her cheeks - it appears they were quite close. "Thank you, so very much," Dianna quietly speaks, gazing into the older woman's eyes. "I have always loved your cooking. Need I beg you to stop by my new home and bring me some of my favorites?" Dianna smiles, her eyes creasing brightly. Another deep hug and more kisses - how could anyone ever think that Dianna was anything more than filled with love and affection for those she loves?
Releasing the woman, Dianna turns her amber gaze over the gardens, smiling with pleasure at the way it now looks. Dianna beams at Vitalis, smiles warmly to Strozza and grins at Hadrian and Cambria - walking to greet the latter. "My lady Marquessa; Marquis" Dianna curtsies deeply before the pair, her eyes twinkling with delight. "The gardens are glorious, thank you."
"Truth be told?" Hadrian begins as he draws himself in the direction of Alarissa, a prominent smile adorning his face, "I'm fearful of what His Grace would choose to do to the dance floor. Listen, it's wood, okay? He gets a splinter? There's an axe nearby? What then? No more dance floor". It's clearly a joke, particularly judging by the way that Hadrian's smile lights up his expression as he steps across the crunching grass and toward the Princess-Consort of House Thrax to deliver an air kiss toward one cheek before Hadrian takes a half-step back and offers a look of pure delight at the presence of a particular sword cloak as it is taken into Maxene's custody. Looking back to Alarissa he offers her a polite dip of his chin before he continues, "Thank you for coming and joining us in this little celebration, of course. Please, make yourself comfortable and should you have a need? One of the household staff will seek to fulfill it".
2 Kennex corsairs leaves, following Zoey.
Felix arriving without fanfare, and dressed in such a way that one might mistake the smith for someone else entirely as he isn't wearing the typical forge wear, and he's managed to ditch the majority of the acrid forge smell that often comes with him. Bearing the glaive that accompanies him everywhere, without escort otherwise, he pauses to take a look around the place before he slips over to one side, out of the way so others can enter behind him without trying to push through the smith. Taking a moment to locate those he knows, before approaching the hosts to give them a short bow.
"With thanks for being the hosts this evening, Marquessa, Marquis. Brother Felix, as I do not believe we've had the opportunity to meet when I was serving Pravus."
5 Grimhall House Guards, Gustav, a gruff Islander advisor leave, following Valdemar.
Lethe arrives to the event with a tired eyes but she still smiles as she look around. She looks to Alarissa and a nod while she takes in her surroundings.
Renault, the fluffiest Velenosan cat, Athenais, a dreamy apprentice Whisper arrive, following Selene.
Overhearing Hadrian's comment to Alarissa, Dianna cannot help but laugh, brightly and full of mirth. "Who is this with such violent temperament, my lord?" Dianna's smile graces the princess and she curtsies deeply to her. "Yes, thank you so much for coming - particularly as we have yet to meet. I am Sister Dianna Godsworn, formerly Mazetti."
Cambria offers Alarissa something of a smile, nodding as she says, "Yes. So I do." Yet there comes nothing else. "I am happy to see you here," Cambria says instead. "Though I naturally lament the lack of your husband's presence. I would be grateful if you passed along my well-wishes to him." As Dianna enters, however, Cambria diverts her attention to her. "Ah, the woman of the hour." Yet the Marquessa's blue eyes flick towards Strozza, and then Alessia, before concentrating upon Dianna once more. "We are happy to host this here, for you."
Cambria cannot give her attention to one person for long, however. With the arrival of Felix, introductions are made. "Brother Felix, a pleasure to make your acquaintance. We thank you for coming today. Please, do enjoy yourself. We have much to eat and drink, and there will be music and dancing."
"He is a little more respectful of other people's things. Now, the war table in the cross halls though, has a few grooves put there not by the original carpenter and is the third one that I have had to have made." The air kiss is returned and she nods to Cambria. "I'll relay such to him. I think we should prepare for another dinner. I don't suppose you have -lawyers- in your family hidden somewhere do you?" Maxene guards the cloak with care and Alarissa smiles and lifts a had to Lethe to say hello. Dianna's questiont hough, gets a raised brow. "My lord husband, his Grace the Prince of Maelstrom. Never get between him and a cake." And then she's moving to find a place to sit. "My congratulations sister Dianna. Is there a particular god that you are hoping to serve?"
Dianna's arrival draws Strozza's attention and his head lifts to nod and offer a sad smile that quickly deserts his features to become something more mournful. Brow up, and then the bottom of his glass following, he holds the goblet out for Kuhlai to refill without looking, nodding to something whispered in his ear once more. Attentions go to Cambria, Hadrian, and Lessi in turn, but ever he remains sternly silent.
With a quick hug for Cambria before she saunters off, Dianna turns her gaze back to Alarissa, though she does not forget to beam warmly at Felix's arrival, nor to proffer a grin for Merek, as well. Lethe, though, is unfamiliar; but she, too, wins a smile from Dianna before the newly-godsworn's attention focuses on Alarissa.
"And my thanks, princess, for your attendance. Indeed; I serve Tehom, as a Mirrormask - perhaps unsurprisingly, as I am Lycene. Your husband, though..." Dianna smirks and teases, "Perhaps one might ensure that there is always cake for exclusively him, upon his arrival?" Dianna's eyes twinkle merrily as she grins at the princess and moves to chat with her for a bit.
Finn the large Northern hunting dog with icy blue eyes arrives, delivering a message to Dianna before departing.
Though lacking her mirrormask of earlier in the day, so enters the Radiant Emeritus in the same blazing dark gown. Chips of glass dance on a burgundy skein. Pick a favorite red wine and surely here it applies. Admiration for her surroundings holds Selene fast. Light upon her feet she goes, seeking first among the Mazetti their marquis and marquessa. Hadrian and Cambria will receive her curtsy first and foremost, that picture-perfect dip from the knees. Afterward she can marvel at the other guests, a warming smile offered up with grace and ease. "Such a remarkable sight."
Alarissa has joined the stone table.
The music stand is a good perch to observe the comings and goings. Vitalis is sitting in with musicians, and listening with most of his attention to the lead among them, a viol player of some note (pun intended), from the west of the Lyceum by the way his accent slews to cadences of Oathlands. Still, ever-watchful, he nods greetings at those he knows among the guests, all of them, at least in passing.
l felix' glaive
Cambria laughs of a sudden, full and loud. "There are a good many of them in Ostria. I do not think I could bring them up here in time to matter, though." She makes her way to the old stone table, seating herself in a spot that offered her the best view of the garden. "At least not for anything happening in the near future." A servant swings by to offer those choosing to sit with Cambria refreshments. One of which the Marquessa takes for herself. Then Selene arrives, and all due courtesy is extended to the Radiant Emeritus as should be expected, which includes a warm greeting.
"It has become the trend yes, to make sure there's something ferocious for him to cleave at weddings. Though he always accedes to bride or groom if they wish to do it instead. He takes great pride in that small tradition that has started. Alarissa doesn't remain standing, carefully easing down into a chair and crosses her ankles, feet just to the side. "So to serve Tehom as well as the others." Cambria's words have her looking back toward the Marquessa. "Oh, it's nothing immediate. A little project, but I need to tend to templar matters first. We'll speak of it later." Alarissa lifts her hand and wriggles them in a greeting to the former Whisper.
Ostrian brandy, of course, is Dianna's first and only choice for this evening; she beams to the server and lifts a hand to beckon Felix over. "Marquessa, Princess, are you aware of how skilled is my new brother, Felix Meadson? And how generous? He has, since I have been godsworn, gifted me with a fine new glaive, that I may not lose my skill." Whether Felix arrives or not, Dianna beams at him. "And, that I not forget the family that I love so very much, who have released me to my vows, he has carved the shaft into nothing else but a /hydra/," Dianna grins at Cambria. "It is truly the loveliest thing."
"Uh, hello?" Hadrian gasps in the direction of Cambria. Then a hand lifts up and a finger points, singling out Luigi, "It's literally one of the ways I introduce him, my dear Marquessa. 'My lawyer, confidante, made man, body man' and all of that". He exhales a sigh before a smile plucks at the corners of his mouth again and he's off. He moves away toward Dianna, his smile growing into a grin as he presents Sister Dianna with a polite dip of his chin, "Sister Dianna. I wonder if I could make a request of you, as one of the Godsworn among all of us. Would you be interested in saying a little prayer for this gathering and... well, all of Arvum, really?" The smile persists while his head cants to one side. His eyes widen and his head continues to turn to the side, the smile only serving to grow as his head bends more and more comically to the side. Though the sight of a curtsey from his peripheral vision finds his attention shifting to Selene and his hands rise up, promptly, to his chest. They press atop one another as he inhales a sharp breath as his hands press over his heart, "It's the Radiant Emeritus..", he breathes out.
Felix is only glad to go and partake of the offerings, with one more bow towards the hosts and letting others to give them greeting. A bow, too, for Alarissa when he sees her, but he moves to partake of the offered food and drink. A small plate made so that he can stand to one side and watch the procession of arrivals, taking a bite here and there and making up for not having had dinner before coming.
Merek offers a light smile back to Dianna, "Congratulations again!" he says, then he nods a bit, while he takes a moment to take a drink from the flask with him also!
Chase, a Silent Reflection in grey hooded robes, 1 Templar Knight guards arrive, following Vayne.
3 Tyde Houseguard, 2 Redwood Initiates, Fireball, a fluffy cat leave, following Lethe.
"Brother Felix made my own sword that was sadly... lost to a place that I am unlikely ever to see it again. But it protected me fiercely." Alarissa dips her head deeply to Felix.
The swish of her skirt against the ground is a notable sound from Selene, muted to the shimmering of buried glass beads and shards. The poured notes follow her in a soft melody easy washing into the background. "Marquessa, the favor House Mazetti shows to the seasons and celebrating Sister Dianna is every bit as I might have expected. To be among the Hydras for but an hour or two," she enthuses. "How spoiled am I!" If Hadrian is going to draw oratory blades then she is more than pleased to match him riposte for riposte. Her hands rest together, shorn of rings and other baubles. Only a twisting element of paint, in lieu of henna. The bend to acknowledge a score is almost enough to send her rippling veil over her face. Not fully, it's not meant to cover that. "I must agree, Brother Felix's art is renown. He is almost convincing me to take up something, so I might do it justice." Another quarter turn and she curtsies again to Alarissa. Headed nearer then, she bestows that warm smile. "Princess."
Strozza has left the outdoor dance floor.
Who can help but laugh at such a spectacle, or at least to chuckle at the bizarre and amusing plea from Hadrian? Dianna truly cannot, for she giggles, chuckles, laughs then as Hadrian's head cants further and further to his shoulder. "Careful, there, Marquis, or you will topple over," Dianna quips, her eyes twinkling. "Of course I will; of course - although I am quite unprepared. Dianna beams aside at Merek, "I thank you, Sir Merek, for coming, and for your well-wishes." Dianna turns again to Alarissa, "Surely, he will make you another. He is, I'm sure, the best smith in all of Arvum."
Dianna turns her gaze to Hadrian then and gazes, murmurs, "As I am sure you wish to embarrass me, putting me on the spot like this." Her eyes twinkle, though and she promises, "Let me just ... pool my thoughts, and you can find a way to get everyone's attentions, Marquis." Dianna smiles to Cambria and Alarissa, curtsying gently, "Do pardon me a tick or three." She steps to the side and throws back her glass of brandy, finishing it all before taking another from a passing server. Brandy, yes, will do the trick - steel the mind and let it slow....
"Mistress Selene." Alessia says with a grin on spotting the woman. "I'm so glad you came." Then she turns to watch the dance floor, almost wistfully.
"Alarissa specifically asked if there were any in our /family/," Cambria counters. Then, seeing Luigi's expression, hastily adds, "But you are right. Luigi practically /is/ family." She leans forward to murmur something like, "There, there, dear man, you know how much I value you!" Shortly thereafter, Cambria is waving over Strozza, whom she perhaps spied lurking on his lonesome.
Strozza checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 4 higher.
Alarissa goes to open her mouth then closes it when poor Luigi is strung out and flapped about verbally. "I suppose he'll do. We'll speak later." Dianna's remark about having another made has her looking down to that false arm then back with a smile. "I should learn to ride a horse once more first hmm before wielding a sword." But there's beckoning with that one good hand, to Selene. "I sent that burgundy dress that I bought, to Tribune Livy. Because when in Arvum..." There's a coy smile. "She loves it. They have heard of you in Cardia it would seem. Expect to see it on her soon enough."
Strozza blinks and looks to Felix, Dianna, then the Marquis and Marquessa when he is being being summoned over. As he nears a pleasant and polite smile is affixed to his features, matched by Kuhlai who follows at his elbow, carrying a bottle on a tray. Disturbingly red filled. The essence of red. All that has ever been known and wondered of, of the color red - now there, in liquid form. In that bottle.
Strozza is drinking some.
How red is he now, within?
"My Marquessa, how may I be of service to you?" bowing low as he approaches. "It's a fine turnout for such an event, hopefully one that shall be long remembered as a show of solidarity towards decisions made, no?"
Has the Red made him pleasant? Is that the secret.
"Embarrass you? Not at all. I'd simply hoped to offer you a moment to flex your newly Godsworn muscles," Hadrian answers with a quiet chuckle, "but if it's an inconvenience? Please, don't feel as though you must rise to the ocassion". Promptly his attention drifts back to Selene though and his smile grows yet further, "Spoiled? How fortunate and truly blessed we are to have *you* make an appearance. All the places in the city, all the places in the Compact, and you are *here*. That's..." Hadrian simply shakes his head, likely on account of there being no words to properly express how wonderful that is. Instead Hadrian drifts away and moves to observe the musicians, with Vitalis seated in among them. He folds his arms across his midsection, where his hands move to cradle his elbows while he listens and simply enjoys the music for a moment.
"I fear that if you did, Radiant Selene, it would be hard pressed to forge a blade that would be a match for your person. But I would certainly be welcome to the challenge presented." Felix does make sure he doesn't have a mouthful of food before he begins talking, with a bow towards said Whisper before he settles back in. "And with my thanks, Princess Alarissa. I'm glad it served well."
Vayne arrives, perhaps late, to the party. The Archlector of Tehom pauses to scan the room briefly, and he offers a smile to those he recognises, or anyone who catches his attention and seems to know him. He speaks quietly to his assistant and the Silent Reflection and they go off to be furniture somewhere. He moves on into the room, pausing to say hello here or there, but the man seems to be making his way more directly toward Alarissa. When he nears, Vayne seemingly ignores anyone Alarissa happens to be speaking with and simply tugs her to her feet and wraps the Princess up in a hug. It is fierce, and while it isn't objectively long, it might seem a little longer than what one might expect from the usually stoic Archlector. He says /something/ quietly to her before he releases her, and even when the hug is over, his hands are on her shoulder and he looks into her eyes intensely for a long moment. Whatever he intends to communicate seems to have been done, as Vayne then nods, and turns his attention to the others in the room, letting the Princess get back to whatever she was doing.
Vayne heads through the room more freely, then, greeting people here and there. There is perhaps a slightly special smile for the mirrormasks in the room, but then, he never claimed a lack of bias when it comes to pleasantries.
Engaging in a quiet discussion with the Marquessa, Alessia pulls away with a thoughtful look before a growing smile appears on her lips. She heads on over to the dance floor, taking a glass of wine from a passing servants before gracefully dancing in time to the beautiful music being played.
Alessia checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 43 higher.
Alessia has joined the outdoor dance floor.
Alarissa checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 23 higher.
Vitalis ’s brows loft at Hadrian’s approach and he turns from close regard of Strozza to his Marquis, straightening. Hadrian gave him some of his earliest lessons in performance, after all. Lessons he hasn’t taken much farther, but he makes a game effort...
Vitalis checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 18 higher.
Merek nods a bit happily for Dianna, and makes a way back to settle in and partake of the drink he brought with him.
Merek is overheard praising Dianna: Regal!
Many a face and name to be introduced to. Alessia and Alarissa being relatively equidistant for the petite Whisper, Selene utters a stifled sound of pleasure. "You do me an honor I do not have words for. How to properly convey my thanks, your highness. I shall not forget." Mark something in the mind, even as she puts her fingers to her throat. "Sooner than not you will have me setting the balance for the rest of the high lords and ladies." There might well be ideas already in motion. "Lady Alessia, you have put me to thinking about something uncommon. I will need to request your presence one day in a garden to test if my ideas are plausible. A fashionable duelist, Lycene style, that's all I will commit to here."
Her gaze takes in all. Dianna and Strozza with his lovely choice in wine. Marked approval there; it matches the dress. "You will convince me to try a blade, one day. Something small. And oh!" She steps back for Vayne to finish that hug.
Merek is overheard praising Hadrian.
"I would like to try that ferociously red concotion you have there, coz," Cambria says to Strozza. "I would also like you to sit with me." However, where she had previously been smiling, it as though a sunny day has become overcast. Something is spoken lowly to Strozza thereafter, but, once the exchange is made, the Marquessa is all smiles again, and she chats amicably with her cousins and those others nearby.
"I shall rise to the occasion, Marquis; only... give me a moment? I promise you, I cannot step away from such a challenge as this," Dianna says to Hadrian from the nearby foliage. A second brandy drunk and Dianna smiles gently to those who speak to her, but she is truly lost in thought for quite a time. She reaches for a third glass of brandy and hardly notes Vayne's entrance.
There is squeal of surprise at being tugged up out of her seat. Eyes widening and an apologetic look to everyone around her. It take s split moment to realize who it is and that she -doesn't- need to scream for Pellinor. Though to be fair, Alarissa's not a hugger. The good arm though, reaches around to embrace the Archlector of the thirteenth. When he releases her eventually and murmurs, there's a strained smile, a wash of sadness and a deep breath. Something is murmured back and when he heads off, Alarissa's once again carefully easing back down into her chair
"Oh?" Alessia doesn't stop dancing though her attention shifts to Selene, intrigue in her eyes. "I won't force you to elaborate, messere. But you can probably guess, I'm amenable to whatever you have in mind. Even if it requires me to stand still while being studied for an hour." She says with a wink, though she seems to mean it.
"You've all the time the evening can provide," Hadrian offers back with a chuckle in the direction of Dianna. Following her words though, Hadrian's focus returns again to the musicians. Arms folded, harlequin eyes scanning the collection of artists, he nods his head along with the music. When his attention settles onto Vitalis, a reassuring nod is offered as though to urge him to continue doing his best among the other musicians. Eventually Hadrian must step away and when he does turn away, his gaze drifts out over the gathering of bodies. The sight of Alarissa being seemingly forced into a hug results in an eyebrow dancing upward. He watches for only a moment longer before he calls out suddenly, turning about with a whirl of fabric. He turns with such intensity that even the crown which decorates his head shifts a little, "EVERYONE! I HAVE AN ANNOUNCEMENT TO MAKE!" His voice carries, loud and clear across the springtime glade. One could be left to wonder just how well his voice could project across a military parade plaza in the heart of Southport, "Soon Sister Dianna will be offering a prayer to the Pantheon, by my request. When she has prepared herself, let us be ready to give her - and the gods - our full attention. Thank you!"
A glass poured for Cambria of the Kuhlai D'Mahn's Punch with a cheery smile from the man as Strozza leans to listen to Cambria - nodding towards her and lifting his glass in toast to her before his eye goes back out to the crowd once more. Even as he sips, his expression returns to stony neutrality. When Hadrian starts shouting he stills and stares, listening eyes to Dianna now, expectant.
Nodding as the Radiant-Emeritus speaks quietly to her, Alessia grins before murmuring a response. Then her eyes shift to the Marquis as he makes his announcement and she goes silent as she awaits her sister's prayer.
Vayne moves through the crowd until he circles around to Dianna, slipping easily in beside her. "I see they've decided it's time for you to earn your vows," he teases her gently with a smile. What else he says is lost to the noise of the room, as he leans in and whispers quietly. But that smile doesn't fade one bit.
Selene's silence settles in rather like a fan closing. She puts her hands together in a calm manner of repose, the lines of her body articulated to a watchful stillness. There are statues showing more animation at times. Dark, shadowy hair gathers beneath the moonshadowed veil and she dips her head in respect of Hadrian's call. Dianna's time to sparkle commands her full attention.
Stepping to the fore of the dance floor, Dianna's repose is gentle, radiant, peaceful. Yes, four glasses of brandy likely helped with it, but still - she was born Mazetti, and she can hold it, knows how well it eases the mind so one may yet perform.
She lifts her fingers to her chin and lowers her head solemnly, Dianna's voice gentle but resonant.
"Mangata, we pray to thee and thank you for such beauty - of sea and air, of light within this spring day; we are so grateful for what you give to us - and thank you so much for what we all now drink.
Petrichor, how could we exist without the bounties you bless us with? We thank you for all manner of things upon this great earth, with which we may build and enjoy life as we know it - clothes, our very homes.
Lagoma, goddess of seasons, we thank you for this lovely spring, and ask your forgiveness for what seasons we might less enjoy; it is not you we do not appreciate, but find in ourselves weakness that we cannot seem to overcome what lovelinesses you bring in /all/ seasons, warm or hot or dreadfully, dreadfully cold.
Jayus, we thank you for our dreams that guide us, for leading our craftsmen and women to make such joys to our hearts and ears - particularly for those so skilled as our talented Brother Felix, here, who melds craft and usefulness.
Gloria, we thank you for such leaders as those here - the Marquessa and the Marquis, the Princess, my cousin Strozza - who guide our blades faithfully. Without them, all would be lost; and we give back to you, to them, our honor and our love; and pray upon them your blessing that they may continue in their guidance.
Guild, we thank you for the bounties of our lands, of our people, of this great Compact, and dedicate ourselves to you through what works we may do.
Great Vellichor, we are so grateful for the ability to learn - for what would we be but terrible lumps of dullness should we not have your blessings? Of all, I am personally so grateful for blessing us with this, with knowledge, and with our history.
To Limerance we pray, with thanks for those who bind us to our words - and who, with love, release us yet to love and duty towards one’s highest self; we beg forgiveness for what hearts and bonds we break and seek your guidance that we may never have cause to sever those most important.
Skald, without the freedom that you grant, I should never be yours - nor may any of us have the chance to choose what direction that we take. We thank you for this most blessed gift, and pray that you will ever guide us away from the temptation to take such freedoms from any.
Aion, Great Dreamer - without you, we are truly nothing; we grant to you ourselves and dedicate to you our very lives for this opportunity to be in your ineffable Dream.
Gloria, Mother, we love you for what embrace we find ourselves in at the end of our lives; for it is not an end you give us but a coming-home. Bless those who mourn endings with the knowledge that all is not over, and we thank you - I, particularly, for the return to this great life, of which my passing into your service is but a honored privilege.
Sentinel: May you judge us fairly, and teach us to judge as you do. We thank you for blessings of order, justice, that we may live without chaos.
And to Tehom, my favored god, the one who has led me here into the service of all: Grant us all the knowledge, the truth, the love and rest I have found in self-reflection. We thank you for guarding what lies unknown to all, and thank you for the opportunity to face our greatest fears.
To all, we are grateful, for with all, we are loved, and may love, and may be." With a deep breath and a moment of silence yet, Dianna raises her face and smiles. "Shall we not all enjoy ourselves, now?"
Felix falls silent with the prayer, giving both Dianna, and the words spoken - and each of the Pantheon in turn. There is, however, a small shake of his head when his name is mentioned directly, though the small smile on his lips doesn't fade. A deeper bow once she finishes, "Well spoken, Sister." and then he goes back to eating. Adding a bit more to his plate so that he can keep people watching as he does.
Alarissa's words echo Felix's, finding a drink and lifting it up. "Well spoken indeed."
Vayne smiles at that prayer and then nods his agreement with it. He lets the newly minted Sister bask in the glory she's earned, and moves through the group. Spotting Felix, Vayne heads his way, speaking quietly to him when he nears.
Sipping from her punch, Cambria listens to Dianna as she leads them in prayer, eventually deigning to bow her head until the newly sworn Sister has finished. Afterwards, she gives the nod, and the muscians strike up a somewhat more lively tune than the soft one that they had been playing but moments prior.
"Thank you! Sister Dianna, so very well spoken and you do us all a great honor in leading us in our prayers to the Pantheon," Hadrian answers only after Dianna's prayer concludes and her question is asked, "Now, yes, let us enjoy the night like it's an orgy party before a Donkey Knights bout! Just, you know, this isn't an orgy because... there is no small person in a dragon costume and cousins, and, yeah, just no". Hadrian's lips smack together for a moment before turns away and begins to move off to gather up a glass of wine, specifically from the awaiting hand of Luigi. There Hadrian settles in at the side of his shoelace strategic binder, sipping his wine and enjoying his time.
Felix gives a bow of his head to greet the Archlector, listening to what he has to say before he adopts a considering look, before a nod follows. The reply is a low whisper in turn.
Selene follows every beat of the sister, her voice a kind of music. She nods in kind and then raises her hand to push a diaphanous wave of fabric from her shoulder. "I say this is what we have been waiting for. Cheer and good fortune to all. Mark, it is coming." She stands poised on her toes, bending fully in twain for a deep, daring flourish. "The Thirteenth favor us all."
Smiling with pride, Dianna steps from the dance floor and makes her rounds to Hadrian, embracing him fondly - whether he likes it or not. "Thank you for the challenge, Marquis. Now, I need a drink. Or five more," she says with a wink.
After a quick kiss upon his cheek, Dianna slips away to greet Vayne and Felix properly.
"Felix, thank you for coming. Blessed Vayne, you honor me; I thank you for all you have done to bless me, and am so very glad you have come." Dianna beams at her new family, her gaze flitting from one to the other man.
Strozza's punch is sipped as well... it was a good thing Luigi and Kuhlai had collaborated. You can't even taste the alcohol... His glass briefly held by his aide so that his gloved hands may be used to quietly clapped, the sailor watches Vayne, Di, and the others. Expression stiff and fixed, even when his drink is back and he is taking another swallow.
Merek nods a bit at the words by Dianna, and smiles.
Felix gives an incline of the head towards Vayne, as Dianna is approaching. "Of course. I would be glad to come by the shrine, or invite you to my shop at your leisure." and then turning to smile at Dianna in return, and giving a bow of his head to her as well. "With my thanks for the invitation. I don't often have good reason to depart the forge."
Moving first to Felix, Dianna presses her lips to his cheek. "You look amazing, by the way; you clean up well. I must greet a few others, but please enjoy the party. I shall return as soon as I may. Oh, and - if you've never tried them, Ostrian cheeses are divine - truly, extraordinary." She grins at Felix, then turns, her gown tinkling merrily, to gaze up at Vayne; her gaze lingers on his eyes openly, lips touched with the smallest smile. "Have you met everyone?" she asks, her voice quiet, softened. "Would you like to? I will be happy to make introductions." Dianna breaks her gaze from Vayne and turns again to Felix. "Have you, Felix? Do you know everyone?"
Alarissa has sat quietly but with the benediction given and perhaps whatever was whispered having taken some air out of the sales, Alarissa's rising. "Marquessa, Marquise, thank you for letting me intrude upon this joyous time. I should be returning to the ward." The glass passed off to a server. "I'll send word soon, till then, as always, you are a delight."
Vayne turns his attention to Dianna as she nears and says, "A wonderful prayer, Sister Dianna. You've more than exceeded what I offered the first time I was asked to pray as a godsworn. I believe it was more of a treatise on theology than a prayer. One fellow fainted from lack of stimulation. It was a debacle." Vayne's grin couldn't be more self-deprecating if he tried. "This is a fine event. I'll have to speak to the Marquessa and Marquis about it, to thank them. Thank you for the offer of introductions. Let me collect a beverage and I just might take you up on it. In the meantime, go and mingle. Revel."
"Until next time," Cambria says to Alarissa with a nod. "Again, thank you for coming. It is always a pleasure to see you, even if only for a short time."
Dianna is overheard praising Felix: The best weaponsmith in all of Arvum, certainly.
Alarissa has left the stone table.
Maxene, the steadfast ladies maid, Pellinor, Tracker, a Kite of the Cloudspine leave, following Alarissa.
"Your highness," Hadrian smiles back at Alarissa, "we always look forward to your presence. Thank you for granting it to us". He offers a polite bow of his head, but before he can drift from the brief conversation he adds, "Also? Yes. The four of us, dinner sometime". Then she's on her way and Hadrian turns his attention back to the gathering as a whole, then to Cambria, and he lifts a hand to cover his mouth as he stares hard in her direction.
"I would love to stay and have the most lovely Sister introduce me around, but I've pushed the amount of time I might be able to stay as is. A last minute order came into the shop that needs something of a rush, and the apprentices were getting the basic pieces worked while I came here." a smile, and a return kiss to Dianna's cheek. "So I will hopefully see you sooner rather than later. Archlector," with another little bow before Felix moves to make his way out.
"It may well be remiss of me to attach someone fainting to your name," Selene replies in Vayne's direction. "You cannot possibly have drilled them to such lows." Shaking her head, she whisks up her skirt slightly to ease movement among the various attendees and approaches Dianna. "Congratulations and beautifully spoken. If we can look forward to such things, the shrine will certainly not lack for grand attendance."
With a bright smile and a warm laugh, Dianna nods to Vayne. "Yes, very well; have the brandy. It's best, of course," Dianna beams. But Felix is about to leave, so Dianna hugs him affectionately and kisses cheeks once more, promising to come by the shop again. And soon.
%Dianna steps, at last, to Selene, smiling graciously. "I thank you for coming; and apologize for taking so long to come and give my thanks to you. It is an honor to have you in what was once my home - and for this lovely occasion. Another time, when we've both more time, I should love to discuss with you the origin of your creations - the gowns, I mean. I have so many in mind, myself."
. Family, unfortunately, is greeted last; Dianna curtsies lightly to Selene and moves to her sister, hugging her fondly and kissing cheeks; curtsies to the princess before she leaves and smiles a winning, grateful smile. "Lessi, thank you for the use of the wrap; it's absolutely stunning." Then moves to where Strozza broods... She gazes up into his eyes with a gentle smile. "You should smile more," Dianna suggests kindly. "But, what is that you're drinking? I've yet to claim something new, and find myself curious."
A gaunt young man with oily black hair and ice blue eyes, 2 House Mazetti Aspirants arrive, following Braith.
Garibaldi, the Lycene swordbearer, 2 House Mazetti Aspirants, Braith arrive, following Theron.
While Hadrian's busy staring at Cambria, his eyes widen ever so slightly. Then they flash open. Then he glances to the west. Then back to Cambria. Then his eyebrows bounce upward. Then a hand rises up from his side to casually rake his long fingers back through his cold black hair while he stares at the Marquessa of House Mazetti.
Cambria appears to ignore Hadrian. Instead, she focuses on her cousins, even the one formally removed. It would appear as though their interactions with and around one another were what intrigued her, though she did little to impose on their budding conversation as yet.
"Psssshhhhh," he practically hisses out through puckered lips before he turns away from Cambria. However, something catches his eye and he turns back to regard the Marquessa. Then he looks aside to Luigi. A smile dances across Hadrian's sharp features and he inclines his chin toward the man standing at his side, "Luigi? I think it's time for me to excuse myself. Go fetch your razors". With that Hadrian Mazetti begins his extraction from the gathering, which mostly means his puts his head down and begins to wander back toward the courtyard with Luigi in step at his side.
At Dianna's question Kuhlai pours a glass, sips it, and offers it to Dianna after a set number of seconds. "I am smiling." Strozza notes as he watches her reaction, "It's Kuhlai's punch, he's perfected it. Have some?"
Renault, the fluffiest Velenosan cat, Athenais, a dreamy apprentice Whisper leave, following Selene.
Stepping in side with his wife, Theron take pause once within the garden to look about for familiar faces, family and of course alcohol. He turns his head to whisper something to Braith briefly and once again sets them on a course into the garden. Aspirants and Garibaldi the Swordbearer trailing behind as always being sworn to carry his burdens. He inclines his head and torso first towards Camrbia, an incline towards Hadrian, and turns his attention to seeking the guest of honor.
Cambria is overheard praising Dianna.
Braith leans in to listen to what is said to her and she can not help but grin. Whatever is said has thusly earned a kiss to the corner of his mouth as the trouser wearing northerner turned Mazetti nods. "A drink, definitely need one of those." As if they never are without drinks. She can not help but eye the assortment as she brushes dark curls from her face and back behind her ear. Her eyes sweep over Hadrian and she inclines her head and another is offered to Cambria.
"Theron, Braith," Hadrian greets with a smile and harlequin eyes lit up by the enthusiasm of seeing them. He does not pause in his movements though. Luigi and Hadrian are on a mission. Therefore the pair pass by Sword of House Mazetti and his wife, in pursuit of their objective.
With a bright laugh at the absurdity of Strozza's suggestion that his brooding appearance is a smile, Dianna smirks and takes the glass from Kuhlai. "Thank you, Kuhlai," Dianna purrs with a smile, then sips the glass. "It's... interesting," Dianna decides. "A touch sweet for my tastes; is there any alcohol in here?" she asks the aide skeptically. Wrinkling her nose a touch as she speaks, "I truly do... /need/... a drink. Of alcohol. But... it's ..." Dianna pauses and decides for honesty, "Really too sweet. For me. But, thank you; as long as cousin Strozza enjoys it," she gently smiles. "You enjoy it, Strozza?"
But there is Braith, the lovely Braith -- and her husband. Dianna quickly kisses Strozza's cheek before handing her glass of punch off to a server with a platter of brandy, taking two, and stepping to the couple. "Braith, Theron," Dianna greets them, smiling happily. "Your hair looks /wonderful/," Dianna pointedly tells the woman, then sips and extends one of the glasses of brandy to Theron - pausing to inspect his hair. "Brandy, Braith?" Dianna sips the second glass and extends it to her while speaking to Theron. "/Your/ hair, though... looks like the gods themselves blessed it just this morning. How do you do it, cousin?" Dianna smirks, her eyes twinkling.
Luigi, 2 House Mazetti Guardians leave, following Hadrian.
Cambria gives Braith a nod as well, though it is followed by a bright smile for her Sword and his wife. "Glad that you both could make it," she says. "You know we all appreciate it." By all, she naturally includes Dianna as well as the rest of the Mazetti.
"I do, it's actually quite strong." Strozza starts before Dianna moves on to Theron and Braith. His expression remains polite neutrality at the kiss, nostrils flaring slightly as he watches her flit away, sipping his drink once more and accepting a small bit of cheese fried up with what looks like a bit of game pheasant on flatbread.
Vayne moves over toward where Dianna is, saying, "I should be going, Sister," with a friendly smile and a nod. "Thank you for sending word about this. It was a nice break from the research I am doing. However, they don't give me a tabard just for attending parties." His smile is wide and bright and warm.
There is a 'what the hell man?' open palmed gesture at Hadrian as he makes his way out. "Is he becoming a lightweight in his old age?" Theron asks of Cambria with a grin. "You know.. he did look tired..." Just going to stir that pot. For reasons. "Cousin Marquessa, I could not miss such an occasion. Not willingly at least, I apologize for being late." The latter is addressed to Dianna even as he plucks the brandy glass from her hand once the sip has been taken. He fixes that stare of his upon Dianna. "Thank you, Sister Dianna. The hair? Ah well. It is mostly a secret, the likes of which I do not even share with my wife. The other part is that my face is just so damned pretty, it forces my hair to compete."
With a soft chuckle, Dianna smiles to Vayne and curtsies, then gazes up at him again. "Did you at least meet the Marquessa, Archlector? If not, please let me introduce you before you go."
"Oh, not to worry, cousin," Dianna smiles warmly to Theron, then listens to him and nearly snorts in laughter. "Gods did bless you with beauty, cousin - even if she must always be upon your arm." Dianna smirks helplessly and breaks into a grin, "Thank you both for coming."
There is a rather loud snort - unladylike and altogether amused in a scoffing sort of way as Theron speaks about his hair and face. "Dianna..." she hesitates at the offer of brandy. "I suppose I could suffer through some brandy but if there were to be some whiskey..." her voice trails off in an upwards tone and inviting notion of such a fortunate occurence. Her gaze slips to Strozza and she grins, giving him a nod of her head. "Admiral." She greets him before the dusky skinned noblewoman watches the approach of Vayne. "Ohhh //Sister// how fashionable!" She glances at Theron and looks like she might slip away to sniff out the whiskey.
"You know what they say about the elderly and the Lyceum," Cambria says in such a way that assumes everyone /does/ know what they say. She leans in against Strozza, and shares something meant only for him to hear. Then she's taking another sip from the punch, apparently quite pleased with it, as she has nearly finished it and said no wrong word against it.
Vayne nods to Dianna's offer and says, "I'd appreciate the invitation. But then I do have to go." He nods politely to Cambria and says, "Marquessa," in greeting.
With a look of pure confusion on her face, Dianna cocks her head at Braith. "Yes?" Her gaze lingers on Braith and she flutters her eyelashes, turning to look at Theron. "Theron, this is Archlector Vayne, Mirrormask and voice of Tehom. Archlector, my cousin, Lord Theron Mazetti," Dianna gently gestures to the taller man beside her. "Pardon us a tick, as the Archlector must be on his way and I would like to make introductions to the Marquessa."
Dianna leads Vayne to Cambria and gently introduces the man. "Marquessa Cambria Mazetti, this is Archlector Vayne, of the Thirteenth. Blessed Vayne, my cousin, Marquessa Cambria Mazetti."
Strozza stands to Cambria's side, head turned at first but lulling to silence when Dianna comes to make the introductions to the Marquessa. His glass is held up for Kuhlai to refill, and the smiling man in red and white stands then at Cambria's elbow, the bottle lifted slightly should she wish for him to fill it as well.
"Archlector," Cambria says plainly. "Please, do not let me keep you. You have pressing matters to attend. As so stated, parties are not where you earn your tabard." She pushes her drink away, and folds her hands together before her. "That said, I know it has meant much to Sister Dianna that you were able to attend, albeit for a short time." A slight nod lets Kuhlai know she woul accet a refill.
Braith's acknowledgement of Strozza by title actually draws a corner of his mouth to rise and the man turns slightly, bowing at the waist, "Lady Braith - it's good to see you. We may see more of one another more often as well with my recent induction into the Bard's College, yes?"
"That she is." Theron agrees with Dianna's assessment of Braith. Then he heaves a long suffering male sigh over the fact his wife is a heathen who prefers whiskey over brandy. "You wound me deep sometimes, darling." Then there is a bark of laughter at Cambria's comment about the elderly, he does know. "Archlector." He inclines his head
Chase, a Silent Reflection in grey hooded robes, 1 Templar Knight guards leave, following Vayne.
"And my cousin, Admiral Strozza Mazetti," Dianna gestures to Strozza, not neglecting him. "But, let me walk you out, if I may, Archlector? It can be difficult, at times, to find the way."
Dianna curtsies to Cambria and smiles faintly, a touch of worry upon her brow. "Pardon me but a brief moment, Marquessa, and I shall find my way back as sure as I show the Archlector his way out."
Dianna walks with Vayne in silence, and is back briefly.
"Wounded. You really need to learn how to parry my hits, husband," Braith quips at him and then smiles as she centers her gaze on Strozza. A brow arches and she blinks. "You...are part of the Bard's College? I had no idea you were an artist. Congratulations is in order." SHe says faintly, perhaps still a little surprised as she tries to ferret out some whiskey just to truly wound Theron with her choices this day. She stops a servant to make her request rather than delay the procurement any further.
Alessia has left the outdoor dance floor.
Nallah, a buff-looking tortie cat with green eyes have been dismissed.
2 House Mazetti Aspirants have been dismissed.
Sirra, a very quiet maid have been dismissed.
Smiling still as Cambria has her glass refreshed by Kuhlai who turns soon, with goblets of RED wine offered to Theron and Braith. "Recently... yes. I actually write poetry, but years of sea singing allows me to help others learn cadence and harmony, as well as methods of writing prose, yes?" his expression slowly returning to his normal dour impassiveness, setting in iron.
Puff, a dainty yellow-green canary arrives, delivering a message to Strozza before departing.
It is nearly only family now - only Merek is left of the guests; and so, Dianna's demeanor relaxes. She has finished yet another glass of brandy and taken up another as she moves back into the garden, stopping - at last - to make a plate of food. Familiarly, the former Mazetti walks to touch Merek's arm - to see if he is still awake, then steps to the table and sits with Cambria and Strozza nearby. Dianna more than nibbles, but less than relishes her food - as she would normally do. "I have been reading your poetry in the Whites, Strozza," Dianna mentions between bites. "It's quite unusual, but evocative. And rather cryptic; one can only wonder what you mean by most of it."
Dianna has joined the stone table.
"I was following your example on how to parry and dodge, my wife. Ineffective, I know." Theron flashes his most brightest smartassed smile at Braith. "No no, she's kidding." Theron goes to gesture from servant to Braith. Only it's with the drink and, and he connects with Braith wasting brandy upon them both. Theron actually falls silent as he contemplates what just happened, he looks to be mourning no less. "I did not even get a chance to taste it..." He looks from glass to wife and realizes he was regretting the WRONG action. "Oh. Er. Oops? Before you say anything, stay calm, and let us go back and change?"
Merek blinks a bit when he's checked upon, then he offers a nod to Dianna, while he takes a moment to consider all of them, "I think I will be on my way, now that it is mostly your family, I think you deserve to enjoy this time with them. You will be a wonderful Godsworn," he says, then he offers a light smile and incline. He also seems to be a little bit tired!
Vitalis has finally met the end of what he can bear to play. At a lull, the dilettante gives in and rises, exchanging words with the musicians, a few rueful words and thanks for their indulgence. He sets the lute in its case out of the way and joins the festivities properly, snagging wine with his strumming hand and wincing at the fingertips of his left hand. Moving to the stone table, what was scattered gathers... He bows to Merek, "Good evening, Sir Merek, thank you for coming."
Vitalis has joined the stone table.
A gaunt young man with oily black hair and ice blue eyes, 2 House Mazetti Aspirants leave, following Braith.
Garibaldi, the Lycene swordbearer, 2 House Mazetti Aspirants, Braith leave, following Theron.
Rising, then stepping to Merek, Dianna hugs the man and kisses cheeks. "Thank you so much for coming, Merek; you honor me with your kind words. Be well, and rest well; it is lucky you haven't far to walk," she smiles, then returns to the table before the rest of her food is gone.
Wine suddenly appears before her like magic, nearly hitting her nose as she does not quite stop moving in time. She blinks and reaches her hand out to grasat the glass that is just before her. She curls her fingers about it and sips. "I had no idea," she says to Strozza moments before there is brandy and then some wine all over her. She gasps! She stares. "I am sorry ..you are worried about your brandy!" She stares at her clothing which drips brandy and wine to the floor as she moves to follow her husband. "Be back soon..I hope." But she's got little in the way of clothing that will suit the occasion.
Turning back to Dianna, Stro nods slightly "Poetry should be something that can be interpreted by the reader. It should mean something to the reader as it did when the author penned it." The sailor drains half his glass at a go now, quiet again.
"I have never been good at poetry," Cambria seems to lament.
Merek offers up a little kiss back on the cheeks, the traditional greeting and all, then he offers an incline and a wave!
Dianna has left the stone table.
Vitalis sits at the table and looks at his fingertips, "Whole different set of calluses." He bares teeth at a blood blister forming. No bard, he.
And suddenly there are many fewer people. Vitalis blinks, reverie over his fingertips apparently absorbing that he missed a flurry of departures. "...what was gathered blows away." Huh.
Puff, a dainty yellow-green canary arrives, delivering a message to Strozza before departing.
"I can't say I'm very good at poetry - or, at least, I've never tried it. Perhaps now," Dianna shrugs, plucking an olive and popping it into her mouth, then slipping fingertips between lips to retrieve the pit from her teeth. "Your playing was lovely, Vi; thank you," Dianna says, glancing over to his bloodied fingers. "Oh, but the things you do, Vi...." She pouts, gesturing to a server. "A serviette, please?" A napkin is brought to Dianna promptly and she extends it to her bleeding cousin. "A little brandy on it should help, too," Dianna suggests.
"I would be honored to give instruction... if you so wished. You could find it a means to express yourself further and in such regard." Looking between Dianna and Cambria now, "Admittedly it's why I'm good at honied words when I wish to flatter - but then also there is truth in flattery - no matter how much of it is exaggeration. One must have a basis to build on or it collapses." Perhaps even now Strozza is giving a lesson of sorts?
"I have thought of it - although the move is yet taking more time than I anticipated. And lessons, so many lessons in theology - and yet, I still feel I have but an inkling of understanding. ...Granted," Dianna pauses to take a deep drink of brandy, "I am still new to all of this." Dianna's gaze travels from one to the next of her remaining family members here, taking note of the fact that it is three who most disagreed with her decision. "I love you all, you know. Very much."
Strozza checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 15 higher. Strozza rolled a critical!
Vitalis waves off the serviette, "No need, thank you." They're not burst, the blisters, just threatening. He nods further thanks at Dianna for the thought, "You don't know the half. Sister." Vitalis' lips purse as he considers her over his glass, lifting it marginally in toast. In truth, Dianna doesn't know a thing about what Vitalis thinks of her choice, other than he attempted to talk her out of it. He takes a deep breath, nose in the bell of his glass, a sip, the wine rolled on his tongue. He licks his lips and turns attention to Strozza, eyes narrowing, "I don't have much use for flattery when the truth suffices."
"And we love you," Cambria says. "Which is why we act the way we do. It is perhaps a contradiction, but such is the life of man." Cambria pushes to her feet, smiling faintly to her cousins that have gathered, including Vitalis, who had just finished playing a tune. "A fine observation, though, Strozza. Perhaps some time in the near future, I will try penning a poem and you can tell me what you think of it."
Nodding solemnly in agreement with Vitalis, Dianna repeats, "No. Not even a tenth, truly. Much less a thirteenth." The quip rolls off Dianna's lips dryly, but her lips quirk into a small smirk. With Cambria rising, though, Dianna follows suit. "It is not a contradiction at all; not when I have come to understand so much of reflection. You love me, and I am gone - and not just gone, but gone of my own doing. It... is as with me, of course; I love you, and this is why ... I have chosen this. For me. For you. As little as that may make any sense to anyone but I."
Dianna curtsies first to the Marquessa, then moves around to give her cousin a lingering hug and kiss on her cheek. "Bless you, truly. And bless the Marquis, too; I love you both so dearly." Dianna releases Cambria, then smiles gently. "Rest well, and thank you, yet again. It was a lovely party."
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