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Velenosa Family MYSTERY Dinner

Welcome one and all (Velenosa family! Velenosa vassals! Anyone with a Velenosa connection whatsoever!) to a themed Velenosa family dinner -- a MYSTERY family dinner.

Princess Saoirse has been deep in the books and has uncovered an interesting little mystery she'd like to share with friends and family. When you arrive, you will be presented with a book (you're welcome!) and the party begins with ... quiet reading. Quiet. Reading? It won't stay that way long, despite Saoirse's absolute best intentions.

(It would be absolutely wonderful if you could send me an @mail if you plan to come so I can best prepare, but walk ins should be fine.)

Date

Jan. 5, 2020, 7 p.m.

Hosted By

Saoirse

Participants

Rowenova Dianna Katarina Nurie Merek Cosimo Locke Theo Fiora Vicente Jaenelle

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of the Lyceum - Velenosa Estate - Ballroom

Largesse Level

Legendary

Comments and Log


[ansi(hw,Saoirse Velenosa\, princess of the Lyceum\, appears from the shadows -- which is damn weird because she invited everyone here to this party that she herself is throwing. But hey\, **entrances**.



She slowly makes her way around the room\, wordlessly handing every participant a book. You thought you were going to chit chat? HA! No\, my friends\, this here is a: Sit Quietly And Read Party\, a true Velenosan event for the ages. They'll write about this party for years - mostly to bitch about it\, but infamy is a kind of fame\, right?!



Once the books have all been passed out\, Saoirse opens one of her own: an old\, thick tome that looks hard to hold. She stands in the middle of the party\, reading. Apparently that's the expectation. Reading. After a moment of boggled stares\, Saoirse sighs\, places a finger in the book\, and looks up.



"I've collected all of these from a far-flung region of the Lyceum recently. I am sure they are very interesting."



What an explanation.



If anyone talks\, the princess glances up and gives a soft glower then glances at her own tome meaningfully. *READ* she says without speaking. )]

Saoirse Velenosa, princess of the Lyceum, appears from the shadows -- which is damn weird because she invited everyone here to this party that she herself is throwing. But hey, **entrances**.



She slowly makes her way around the room, wordlessly handing every participant a book. You thought you were going to chit chat? HA! No, my friends, this here is a: Sit Quietly And Read Party, a true Velenosan event for the ages. They'll write about this party for years - mostly to bitch about it, but infamy is a kind of fame, right?!



Once the books have all been passed out, Saoirse opens one of her own: an old, thick tome that looks hard to hold. She stands in the middle of the party, reading. Apparently that's the expectation. Reading. After a moment of boggled stares, Saoirse sighs, places a finger in the book, and looks up.



"I've collected all of these from a far-flung region of the Lyceum recently. I am sure they are very interesting."



What an explanation.



If anyone talks, the princess glances up and gives a soft glower then glances at her own tome meaningfully. *READ* she says without speaking.

Despite being a Northern lass, Rowenova shows up swathed in Lycene silks, a rare sight for the young scout who still wears her wolfy helm, of course. along with a weapons belt which holds short knives, write-worthy quills, and several vials along her dress-clad waistline. Meanwhile, a soulful hound dutifully heels alongside her, doing so with what is an attentive aire but a charming wag for anyone who might kindly regard him, too. Eagerly accepting whatever book Saoirse might give, Nova (and Flop) have no problems with the 'being quiet', and a bright/grateful smile is her only reply before the enthusiastic opening of the offered book and the ultimate reading begins!

Ever the Lycene woman, Sister Dianna Godsworn will hardly ever be found in anything but silks or better - despite the apparently-common belief (perhaps due to Oathlander traditions?) that being Godsworn implies a relinquishment of fashion - which, thank Skald, it does /not/. She is, therefore, swathed also in Lycene silks - and this evening, she wears a flowing, off-the-shoulder vintage Lycene gown of apricot, moonlight and wine - and on her arm is Princess Katarina Valardin. Dianna curtsies to those within the room as she enters - and has no difficulty whatesoever with remaining silently smiling to Saorise - even if Dianna's lips curve in slight amusement.



Princess Katarina Valardin is indeed on the arm of Dianna! She maintains a respectful silence even as she dips into her own curtsy. Her fashion isn't especially indicative of the Oathlands OR the Lyceum, as she wears a seasilk and aeterna outfit that boils down to a blouse, a corset, and wide-legged trousers, with a seasilk lattice draped at her elbows like a shawl. Her golden eyes fan over the readers and their texts, and she looks over to Dianna with a cheeky little smile, as if to say that some kind of challenge has been accepted.

Nurie slips into the ballroom in somewhat of a fluster, though she looks well put together even so. She accepts the book with a deep curtsy, the long bell sleeves of her gown even touching the floor briefly, before finding a place to settle. She does open her mouth as if to say something, but after seeing the glare when anyone makes a noise, the young woman seems to think better of it, and closes it again, carefully opening her book and beginning to read. Though her gaze does drift towards the door now and then.

As Merek enters, he is handed a book by Saoirse Velenosa, a princess who doesn't look up from her OWN book. Welcome to a reading party, Merek.

Taking a pair of books from Saoirse, Dianna checks the spines - then hands one off to the Eurusian beauty at her side with a wry wink. She takes a moment to lean into the shorter woman's ear and ...yes, probably whispers after that soft kiss upon her cheek.

Nova would be the type to wander through the ballroom whilst reading, but then a small paper slips free from between the pages and flutters to the floor before being flipped back up into the air by Sir Floppington's wagging tail. Deftly now, the young scout suddenly snatches the escapee paper from what was a twirling flight and curiously reads it. Then, she suspicously regards her fellow readers before closing up the story book. She quietly excuses herself toward whatever direction the written building might be on the grand estate!

Merek makes his way into the place, while he looks about. There's a smile for Katarina and to Dianna, though he looks a bit thin and also tired while he settles about with a sigh in his black attire. Then he opens the book to read it also.

On her walk, Nova flips her paper over to the back as well as flips through her book as if she were looking for a lost bookmark in there.

Cornelius, the crested iguana, 2 Tessere trained guards arrive, following Cosimo.

Cornelius, the crested iguana have been dismissed.

Saoirse glances up as Rowenova starts off and lifts an eyebrow. A *disapproving* eyebrow. She says nothing and returns to her book.



Katarina accepts the book handed to her by Dianna, and fairly beams at the whisper and the kiss to her cheek. The Valardin Princess settles into a chair to read... then gets up and settles into it again, pulling her ankles up so that she's sitting on her legs and her hip, one elbow on the table to complete this comfortable -- perhaps TOO comfortable -- pose. She reads intently and quietly, her eyes tracking back and forth as she moves down one page, then another, then another... and after a while, she visibly pauses, wrinkling her nose softly and seeming to take on a much more intent stare at something she's reading.

Wafting her fingers in the smallest wave at Merek, Dianna opens up her book... on beans. Well, she /does/ have a garden, and perhaps the princess will allow Dianna to borrow it after? Of course, that's just a thought. With a quick wink to Katarina, the priestess begins flipping through the pages... looking for drawings and paintings, any kind of illustration. She pauses and cocks her head to the left, a curious expression on her face and she shows the book to Katarina, furtively peeking at Saoirse, /just in case/ it's against the unspoken rules to share what they're reading with one another. If the hostess glares at Dianna or otherwise shows her disapproval, Dianna will flick her gaze down to the book and swat Katarina's shoulder harmlessly, murmuring, "No peeking!" ...followed by a stifled giggle.

Cosimo steps into the grandoise ballroom with all the fanfare appropriate for a mild mannered nobleman, which is to say none at all. He is well-dressed and well-composed, however, as he drifts to the gathering after Nurie. He casts a curious look to the others, initially, before it settles on the hostess.

Saoirse makes no overtures to scold Dianna.

Saoirse wordlessly slams a huge book (where is she even HIDING THESE) into Cosimo's arms. She doesn't even look up at him.

Nurie turns through a few pages, of the book she's reading when something slips out from between the next few pages and flutters to the ground; a torn sheet of paper that she blushes and picks up quickly, looking it over with great curiousity. What she reads there makes her eyebrows lift, and she looks around the room at the others for a moment. It's just in time to see Cosimo enter, and she flashes him a sweet smile. And jumps, just a little, when he's assaulted with a book. Though she doesn't seem overly dismayed, maybe she knows he'll like it!

That disapproving eyebrow from the leading lady of their 'library crowd' ... only earns Saoirse equal parts bright smile (from the blue-eyed scout with perfect teeth) and wagging tail (from the greying hound with soulful eyes). Then, those two momentarily depart for an estate walk and brief inquiry with the Velenosan servants before that brief trek brings them swiftly back here, coming up with nothing local to really see... except that book slamming ... which ultimately earns a hearty laugh of Northern volume which might break the enduring silence!

Cosimo is more caught off guard by the -violent- manner in which the princess gives him his book - as though he was an approaching spider - and stumbles just a hint under the weight of the tome he is given. No arm strength in this one. He lifts one brow when he scans the cover, then he plops lazily on the nearest seat next to Nurie to crack it open. There's a low, amused rumble from him... but he maintains the silence.

Merek picks up a little piece of the paper which came from his book as well. He blinks a bit owlishly to Dianna and Kat, like he's about to peek at their books, but then looks to Saorise as if concerned she might literally wield a book. He smiles! Then he reads the paper.

With an absolutely comedic over-exaggeration, Saoirse ELABORATELY turns the page of her own book. Everyone else seems to be left to their own devices, though the princess notably doesn't shoot a Velenosan Ice Glare at people for whispering. Or talking. Or examining their bits and bobs within the books. It's like she doesn't even notice! ...but. You know she does.

Darting her eyes from her book and from the rather-comfortable Katarina, Dianna is rather caught off-guard by Saoirse's manner with the unfamiliar Cosimo. She /barely/ stifles a giggle, then takes a seat on the armrest of Katarina's chair, leaning over the comfy Kat to whisper something and neaten the princess' hair.

Cosimo mutters, "I got the 'The ... and Histories of House ... You?"

At some point, Nova laugh calms, but then there is Saoirse with that page turn and Diana with that stifled giggle. More glee breaks free, erupting heartily!

2 House Velenosa Guards arrives, following Locke.



When Dianna shows Katarina her book about beans, the Eurusi Princess looks up with interest. As she takes her peek, her fingertips drum on the open leaf of her own book -- perhaps a bad habit for idle hands, but in practice a way to make Dianna look down at Katarina's own book. Clearly, the two are comparing texts! Katarina doesn't even look up or over at Saoirse's antics, so involved is she in the fine art of reading.

With his charge laughing so much now, Sir Floppington the soulful hound takes a moment to let out a hound-dog baying if only briefly, at the wolf scout.

A sleepy-eyed and scruffy prince wanders aimlessly into the ballroom, likely upon hearing all the commotion... from the guards outside. Because nobody in the ballroom is talking. Mildly curious, Locke slings his overcoat across a shoulder, held up by two fingers, all the while scanning the room for the coziest couch to lounge on.



Katarina also leans up to whisper into Dianna's ear. Since she's not paying as much mind to what Saoirse is up to as the others, she's prime to be caught off guard with a book to the head or whatever other punishment befits wanton whispering.

Nurie gives Cosimo only a few moments to catch up, before she nudges him, and lets him see the the torn piece of paper that fell out of her book, so he can see what's written on it, and lifts a brow. When he whispers to her, she nods once, before whispering back. "A mystery to solve?" can be heard, though, lowly. And perhaps hopefully.

The other Velenosa in the room wanders over to Locke, nose in her book, and deposits a very tiny, very thin, almost pamphlet-like piece on his lap once he is settled. It floats lazily down to him, the title briefly visible to all in the room: A QUICK GUIDE TO COMMONERS, FOR DUMMIES.

At Nurie's words, the barest hint of a ghost of a smirk flashes over Saoirse's face. And then? gone.

Glancing up at the new arrival, Dianna warmly smiles - then catches the title of the reading material Locke is given - and cannot withhold a bright and startled laugh. She tries, oh how Dianna tries to withhold herself further - but oh my gods, that title.... "May I borrow that one, after you?" the priestess addresses Locke, lofting a singular finger and breaking the relative silence of the room.

Cosimo doesn't seem to need but a second to catch up, but it's not because he's suddenly read all there is to read! Rather, he seems to have lost interest in going beyond the first few pages, and he seems to be directing more of his attention to the other readers around him. He's polite enough to go through the motion of turning the page, though, pausing only to read what is written on the scrap and to continue murmuring to Nurie.

Despite formidable willpower, Nova catches sight of that leaflet title which has been recently deposited in Locke's care, and then there is Dianna and that request to borrow it! Now, Nova must stifle any potential laughter by physically holding it back with her right hand, over her struggling mouth!

2 House Velenosa Guards, Renault, the mustachioed Lycene arrive, following Theo.

"You know," drolls Saoirse as she turns yet another page, nose in her book. "If you're going to be loud in an environment where people wish to -read-," you know, like, PARTIES, "perhaps it would suit you better to discuss the very material you are ...reading."



As Dianna asks to borrow a text, Katarina rests her cheek on her palm and uses her free hand to brush some of her dark, curly hair away from her face. She takes the opportunity to once more scan the room, to try and guess at the 'temperature' of people's attitudes toward their texts. Her attention then fixes on Saoirse when the hostess speaks, and her eyebrows raise slightly. She glances to Dianna, like she's waiting to see if Dianna challenges or folds.

"Saoirse!" Theo calls out as he enters the ballroom fashionably late. But when he's handed a book he stares down at it. Others might stare at his new dragonweep (among other things) hat. "What exactly are we doing here again?"

It's not the best couch that Locke finds, but that's only because the best couch had already been claimed. So he settles for second best, getting entirely cozy by tossing his feet up on a nearby footrest and leaning into the backrest of his seat with a huff of a laugh, particularly because of the book that's been set in his lap. And to entertain, he flips open the first page, though not before nodding to Diana.



Katarina's eyes then settle on Theo's hat, and she leans over to murmur to Dianna, almost certainly about the hat. Without ever once taking her eyes off of the hat.

Katarina is overheard praising Theo: That hat...!

"Oh, I'll speak up, absolutely, Princess," Dianna replies smoothly - amidst a broad and amused smile as she gracefully rises from the armrest of the chair upon which Katarina is curled. "/My/ book is on /beans/ - specifically: Broad beans, green beans, /purple/ beans, lima beans, /white/ beans, red beans, ... and six people. By the names of: Physician Theresa Magioti, Catriona Riovelli, Nico Amadi, Paulina D'Agvello, the Lord and Lady." The beautiful Lycene woman turns her gaze around the room, "Is this interesting to anyone? I'd be happy to share it - as I'm quite finished with it, myself. Lovely illustrations in it, princess."

Dianna notes Theo's hat and groans, her brow creasing, "Oh my gods... another hat! Have you seen Marzio's, highness?" the former-Mazetti turns to pout at Katarina.



Katarina's eyes widen at Dianna's comment about the hat, and she whispers, just barely audibly, "There are TWO of that hat...?"

Nova finally manages to speak up with some strain (due to restrained laughs). Perhaps, it is that gaudy hat that Theo wears which helped distract her from keeping up the entertained giggles. Looking toward Dianna and Katarina now, "Lycene alchemy, as well as how there was some man who was found floating in some lake by some barn."

Merek blinks a bit to those about, then he considers a moment, "I mean, I only have a little bit on economics, you know, statements," he says.

"It's /horrible/!!" Dianna moans, her face contorted painfully. "Gods, but the feathers... oh my gods!! They go from here to the end of the earth...!" Apparently, the priestess has an issue with gaudy, obscene men's hats.

"My book is the entire detailed family tree of House Velenosa, and I dearly hope I do not need to scan it for any of those names..." Cosimo mutters dryly, but loudly enough for those nearby to hear, when Dianna pipes up and seems to lay it all down. "Can't say I expect to find the name of a murderous bean farmer within the pages." He checks the back cover, and where the tree ends, more for his own mental notes than anything else.

"... Nevermind, this is the entire Lyceum. Well, the ones that matter, anyway," he adds with a sigh.

"I have not, but I would greatly appreciate seeing his hat." Theo says before he stares down at his book. "My book appears to be about some farm's history? It starts with an A." he describes as he looks over the book, then eyes the letter once he opens the cover. "A man sent a letter to his sister, explaining that he found an untapped mine full of valuable minerals and gems, something worth possibly an entire fortune. But it says down here in the footnote that the sister never joined him..."



Katarina's own reaction to the hat seems to be more like that of an art patron regarding something powerfully avant-garde. She has to pry herself away from staring, and looks at her own book. "I have a letter in my book," she says, her airy, light voice perfectly suited for a party where people are meant to not disrupt each other's reading. "It's about a troubling situation at a farm." She looks up to Cosimo. "Could you look up the Amadi family~?"

Katarina checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 34 higher. Katarina rolled a critical!

Cosimo checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 10 higher.

Dianna checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 16 lower.

Theo checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 4 higher.

Rowenova's comment provides Locke reason to repeat, "A lake by a barn?" Briefly, he glances back at the title of his book, 'A Quick Guide to Commoners, for Dummies' and then back to Rowenova. And rather than make a joke about the obvious, as hard as it is, he replies, "... I have a map here, looks like one of the house kiddos drew it, I'd grade it a C- if I were in charge -- but it has drawings of fields, wine vaults, a farm house, and a large lake. Should also mention," he taps the page with his pointer finger, "That the wine vaults are starred."

Locke checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 1 lower.

Nurie checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 1 lower.

Wiping her fingertips delicately across her brow, the distressed priestess turns to Saoirse, "Have you any wine?" Dianna asks, then turns her gaze around the room, seeking a server - and missing whatever else is going on. "Or brandy? Gods, I could use a drink."

Rowenova checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 10 higher.

Merek checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 11 lower.

Saoirse casually, sweetly, points to the sideboard and says, "If you get any on the books, the wrath of Velenosa will descend on you and your loved ones!" Which sounds like a joke. It's probably a joke.

"Oh, I shan't. Though, I may drink all your brandy," Dianna admits - possibly joking. She's a former Mazetti - in distress over fashion, so... probably not. "Would anyone else like a drink?" the priestess asks, pouring a high glass already full and gulping it down in three swallows - and refilling it again.

"My book is titled 'Call of Domestic', by a Master Peitro Agoolio," Nurie explains gently. "Though it also contains a diary page stating that 'He suffered a blow to the head.' I don't believe we should assume that it's speaking of Master Agoolio, but perhaps there are other clues within. Perhaps we are uncovering the story of the man who didn't join his sister after all, and perhaps why!"

Nunia the discreetest handmaid arrives, following Fiora.



When Dianna gets up to hunt herself a drink, Katarina pushes up as well, and kisses Dianna on the cheekbone. It seems as though she might follow the Godsworn to the liquor, but then her path veers away, toward Cosimo. She seems quite keen to examine his book without actually asking him to relinquish it or do anything in particular. Instead, Katarina just walks up and gets in Cosimo's personal space to examine the book. "...are there any pages missing, do you think~?" she finally asks, softly.

The unspoken joke is obviously sensed, and Nova cannot help the wry grin which suddenly whelms her. She looks up after the drink offer, lifts up her left, "Please, and thank you." says she to Dianna before she looks back to Locke. "mmm perhaps that lake is where the man decided to float around, whether voluntarily or involuntarily remains to be discovered!" She looks yonder to Katarina who spake of the troubling situation at a farm. Then, to Nurie after her own words about the 'blow to the head'.

"I wonder who was struck by a blow to the head - and /if he was wearing a DREADFUL HAT/," Dianna asks, pointedly looking away from the hat and at Katarina. "That is. I'm sorry; I'm /terribly/ sorry, my lord; yours is nowhere /near/ as bad as cousin Marzio's," Dianna attempts to soothe Theo. "What may I get you, dear?" Dianna asks Roenova. "Pardon; we've not...- " Dianna glances first to Saoirse, hesitating just-in-case, "...introduced ourselves; I'm Sister Dianna Godsworn, priestess and Mirrormask."

Merek looks between the folk, while he looks to his book, "I'm not coming up with anything." He wiggles his nose amusedly with a little grin to those there while he smiles.

Cosimo looks over to Katarina. "I could -try-, but I think you underestimate how many surnames start with 'a'." Nevertheless, the skinny nobleman attempts to do just that... until Katarina comes up and seeks to peek over his shoulder. He seems marginally bothered by the violation of his personal space - it's not something he's used to, particularly when reading - but he ultimately shrugs it off and she's allowed to look. "So... a group of commoners, one of them made dead with blunt trauma." He looks over to Row. "The map may be more useful, however crude it may be."

Entering with silent step is the Voice of Malvici, Fiora's frosty gaze settles on those moving about. Her brows tense immediately as if skeptical or wary of whatever occasion is happening here. With a tight look, the Malvici woman starts to wander in the vague direction of the group.

While the others attempt to the solve this exciting mystery, Locke, the helpful fellow that he is, flips through the pages of his book. "Oh, how interesting." It's unclear if he's replying to Rowenova or simply the contents of his book. "Oh, imagine if this was an /actual/ scavenger hunt for the body." The prince glances past his book at Saoirse, mouthing, 'next time'.

Cosimo's book does that *thing*, you know, that some books do, where it just WANTS to flip to a certain page. You know? That thing?

Saoirse glances up in time to catch Locke's whisper and she winks at him before handing Fiora her own book. Her very own book!



Katarina rests her hands on the back of Cosimo's chair, leaning over his shoulder to watch as the book opens to the page it wishes. Reading over someone's shoulder! The peak of rudeness!

Nova hugs her book close to her silk-clad torso and then bows briefly to the Sister's introduction before standing back up to her full height once more. "Brandy, if you please. I am Scout Rowenova of the Ranging Wolves, which is a scouting party under the direct command of Lord Arik Halfshav. Also, I am the esteemed protege of Baroness Lucita Saik." After that quickly-spake intro, Rowenova smiles brightly. "Thank you, by the way." After Cosimo's suggestion, Nova nods his way then turns a smirk to Locke. "We're in the Lycene ward, so... well, you never know. It may well be a real thing!"

Nurie steps back from Cosi, to yield space to Katarina. "Is it the commoner who died, though?" Nurie muses softly to him, as she moves closer to where Dianna is pouring the wine. "Could I get two glasses of wine, please, Sister Dianna?" she asks. "I am Nurie Baseborn, in service to Lady Sabine Tessere, Marquessa of Irisical. She was hoping to join us a little later, though some last minute business called her away, but at least we have a Lord Cosimo Tessere in attendance." There's a hint of an impish sparkle to her eyes as she looks back towards Cosimo. At the mentio of real scavenger hunts for bodies, however, her expression fades into careful neutral.

"Excellent choice, Messere Rowenova," Dianna advises - then pauses to peer at Rowenova and smile warmly. "And, Baroness Lucita's protege? My. We'll have to get to know one another, after this." Dianna finishes the pour for Rowenova (a full, tall glass, as much as Dianna pours for herself), turns to walk the scout and sips the freshly-poured glass (Lycene-style) and extends it to her. "What have we found, Highness," Dianna asks Katarina, moving over to hover near the princess briefly. "Darling, hold this for me?" the priestess murmurs, handing her own glass of brandy to Katarina before returning to the sideboard to pour two glasses of wine for Nurie. "Oh, I remember you," Dianna purrs warmly to Nurie, then walks to her, sipping both glasses first before proffering them.

His amazing page-turning skills surpass even his own expectations, as Cosimo effortlessly finds the page they were presumably looking for. Or at least something notably more useful than the rest. Nurie's familiar voice tugs his attention in her direction again, when he overhears her making his introduction for him for the rest of the group. He nervously clears his throat. "Uh, yes, that's me..." He glances back to the text before him. "Hm. Some of the names are here. It looks like there may have been a complicated family feud? With distant noble descent..."

"My hat is quite excellent. I'm fashion forward, not fashion right now. It'll catch one." Theo explains, then listens to everyone's discussion, squinting as he tries to piece things together a bit. "So, the question is, can we build a chronology from our various books? A narrative?"

Saoirse sliiiiinks onto a couch, curls her legs under her, and leans in very close to her book. It's like she's not even listening to her party. Best party ever.

"Merek," Merek offers the name.

Nurie bows her head in both respect and appreciation for Dianna's sips, and then moves back to Cosimo, offering him one of them. Apparently he gets to drink something at the party too, just like a normal person! But then she listens, quietly. "Were all the books examined thoroughly for any other information? Or we can look again, keeping in mind the other information that's come to light?" It sounds like she's not a stranger to research, at least--though her gaze rests mostly on her brother.



"Oh! You see!" Katarina reaches from behind Cosimo to point at the book, very nearly touching it with a fingertip. "I think I understand this death!" Katarina can't hide her glee. She's about to announce her theory to the world when Dianna comes up and asks her to hold her drink. Katarina takes the drink graciously, and then looks back to the room at large. "Er, I am Princess Katarina Valardin, though it is apparent that my titles now also include 'darling,' I suppose?" Katarina shoots Dianna a look, but it's clearly a fakey, hammy look, and she's full of good cheer rather than actual criticism.



"In my book, there is a letter that is from, I believe, Paulina Amadi. She writes of Rogellio Amadi, her husband, and of Teresa Magioti, her physician, and of Nico Amadi, brother of Rogellio. But see! In this book, it is shown that Rogellio married Paulina, but it is crossed out... and Angelina, the sister of Paulina. I am thinking that Paulina was perhaps slain so that her sister might wed--!"

Rowenova pays attention and apparently appreciates the Lycene gesture before ultimately accepting the offered drink from Dianne. Although there may be a fierce look within those blue eyes, they soften up a little bit during the ongoing reference to her dear patron. "I would love to get to know you, certainly so." She meanders along after Dianna, moving closer toward where Nurie and Cosimo have been, nodding after Nurie's suggestion about the mysterious narrative to be. Though, she does not quite speak, too busy with drawing back a long swig of that lovely brandy. Though, Sir Floppington is a good boy and wags up to Nurie, looking up at her with those soulful eyes.

Of course, Dianna flashes a smile at Merek before returning to lean against Katarina and murmur quietly, then peeks with interest at the book in Cosimo's hand. "Pleased to meet you all, of course - Oh, I may have missed ..." Dianna beams cheekily at Katarina and winks, "And other names that I'm sure I could derive, should your highness prefer. Now, whats this we've found? Do you require a drink, highness? Or would you prefer to share mine?"

After placing a hand over his mouth to stifle a yawn, Locke idly scrubs at the stubble on his jaw. "Short read," he complains, turning the book to its back to look over that, and then back to the map that he had found in the front lining of the cover. "Prince Locke of House Velenosa." His introduction is mild, mostly distracted as he continues examining the map.

Nurie taps her lower lip with one finger, thoughtfully. "It's true, that perhaps even though the ripped page says 'He /suffered/ a blow to the head' that doesn't necessarily mean that he died. So if someone were slain it might not have been the person who was attacked in this entry." Sir Floppington isn't ignored, instead drawing back Nurie's smile as she strokes his long ears and scratches behind them. Such a good boy!

Slapping her book down on the table, Fiora glances around. "You all look very busy. I won't be able to stay, really but. Perhaps this will help?" PUshing the book forward it reads.



"For Angelina, with lo," the last two letters are crossed out violently, "affection. N." The book is a small book of pastoral poetry.



With a little grunt, Fiora just leaves the book there for anyone to grab and retreats away from the table.

"Thank you, Nurie," Cosimo says to his sister with a soft nod, when she procures him a normal person drink. He helps himself to a long sip, listening to Katarina's theory. "That... seems like it may be separate family drama, with the sheer volume of the content pointing towards a farming dispute. Considering how such things go, and that apparently there was a map with the vault highlighted, I think someone was more interested in the family treasure."

"Perhaps if we try to use our books to piece together a family tree, or a history. For example, in my book is about the history of a farm, and the letter is about a man discovering a mine, and his sister not going to it. So how could that possibly fit into one of your books?" Theo asks, holding his book up.

"Wouldn't it just be terrible of me to give you all books with absolutely no connection?" Saoirse muses from behind her enormous book.

Nova follows up what Nurie says with, "Indeed, and perhaps the man who was floating in the lake by the barn was simply there, doing so by free will and not dead. Perception being everything." She looks over to the written words which have been set down by Fiora. Meanwhile, the Goodest Bestest Boy Ever... (Sir Floppers, of course) happily rests his chin down beside Nurie and tilts that long ear into her touch, doing so as those soulful eyes half lid in a blissful way.

Dianna checked perception at difficulty 10, rolling 0 higher.

"And, what have you in yours, Prince Velenosa? Anything of interest, there?" Dianna asks from across the room. She lowers her gaze to the 'fashion-forward' prince and nods - then glances over to Saoirse. "Have you anything of interest in your book, princess, that may contribute to what we've been reading?"

Saoirse peeks up from behind her book and shakes her head at Dianna. "Alas, no."

Locke cuts a smile for Saoirse, pointing out, "That's how wars start." Dianna's question is met with a roll of his shoulder. "Just the map with the drawings of fields, a farm house, a large lake, and wine vaults that are starred."

Merek nods between them all, and listens for any information in case there is new things being said.



"If you assign me such titles, Godsworn, it is possible that people will repeat them with scandal in their hearts," Katarina replies to Dianna's comment about names, and then says, "I will share this drink with you," as if to encourage such scandal-mongering anyway without quite realizing it. She lets Cosimo have his personal space back. "So it is a man who has died? In my letter, the wife of Rogellio professes to miss him daily. Perhaps what I thought was a crime of passion is actually a murder of Rogellio, yes?" She moves over to Fiora's book, to look at it and rub her chin thoughtfully. "And there is love between Angelina and 'N' -- Nico! How shocking all of this is~," Katarina marvels, before having a sip of Dianna's drink.

Katarina checked intellect at difficulty 10, rolling 5 higher.

"Wait, at the lake by the barn?" Theo looks to his sister for a moment, then shakes his head. "That's one connection. A body found at the lake by the barn, my book being about the history of a farm... that's proof that our clues are connected, isn't it?" he asks, curious of other people's opinions. "And perhaps the A in my book is for Angelina... perhaps Angelina is the sister who received the letter."

Cosimo says, "Paulina is the sister of Angelina. Angelina married Rogellio. Rogellio and Nico Amadi are brothers. Nico never married, according to this," Cosimo reads off to the rest of the group, tapping at the page still being presented. "Any farm deeds connected to those names?" He glances back to Katarina. "And yes, there could be an affair mixed in." How very Lycene."

"Paulina is the sister of Angelina. Angelina married Rogellio. Rogellio and Nico Amadi are brothers. Nico never married, according to this," Cosimo reads off to the rest of the group, tapping at the page still being presented. "Any farm deeds connected to those names?" He glances back to Katarina. "And yes, there could be an affair mixed in." How very Lycene."

Nurie checked perception at difficulty 12, rolling 36 higher. Nurie rolled a critical!

Rowenova checked perception at difficulty 12, rolling 9 higher.

Nova curiously observes and raptly listens to the ongoing narrative whilst nodding along with a smile here and a sip there. After, "Sounds legitimate."

Theo immediately starts looking through his book, trying to search for said names. "One moment."



After looking at Fiora's text, Katarina almost trots over toward her own book, which had been left sitting. She has another drink (from Dianna's drink) and sits on the table to pick up the book. Sitting on the table isn't especially impressive, considering how small and slight Katarina is. If anything, it's more remarkable to consider how adorable it would be if she swung her feet as they don't quite touch the ground. "I will read my letter," Katarina announces to the room. "And I will fill in these names of which we now have knowledge~."



Katarina's Eurusi accent, still unshaken after however long in Arx, makes the reading seem more nebulously exotic than it might otherwise to ears used to Arvani. "Dearest friend, Catriona, I miss Rogellio daily. Sleeping alone haunts me -- I've started taking a draft prepared by my physician, Teresa Magioti. I think the most upsetting part of it all is that the great noble house of... oh, I do not quite read this one, does it say Amadi?... is ready to pull our lot on the farm. The lord and lady want to give it to another family. Rogellio's brother Nico urges me to sell what we own and move on. My sister... she's unhelpful, as ever. I do not know what to do. And I'm scared~." Katarina's delight in poking at the mystery puts a strange inflection in that last line, to be sure.

"Is there a record of one of the brothers dying?" Nurie asks softly, her tone thoughtful, but kept from being sad by having the goodest dog ever leaning into her stroking. "But I agree withe Messere Rowenova," she says with a smile towards the scout. "It seems as if everything fits into place thus far."

Vicente enters into the ballroom on the late side of things and moves silently along towards an empty seat, whoever that may be next to - he is not particular. His expression is emotionless. His eyes shift about as the group does there thing and he establishes the situation.

"Hmmn..." Dianna listens for a bit - then steps back to the sidebar to pour another glass of brandy. "Family histories were never really my forte." She returns, though, and lingers around the group gathered around Cosimo. It's a good thing Dianna poured another, for Katarina has trotted off with the other and sits cutely on the table.

"That is a bit depressing," Merek admits, while he looks to the books with a thoughtful look to his, "I have this uh, blood-covered uh... Statement about funds." He offers for folk to look at also.

Sitting down somewhere near Nurie and Cosimo, Nova crosses one leg over the other one as an after thought (since she is in different garb than usual now) and flips through a few pages of her own book with brandy sips in between. A soft smile is glanced over to Nurie, too, then Nova looks back to her book. Meanwhile, Sir Floppington happily absorbs the kind strokes from Nurie, and unless warded away, tries to move his chin to her lap.

Merek checked intellect + riddles at difficulty 18, rolling 1 higher.

"The bachelor who wanted to sell lived longer than his brother, for what that's worth," Cosimo replies to Nurie. "And we can assume that someone male suffered a serious blow to the head, according to what you've found. It looks like we have a clear cut land dispute. The only details missing are finding out who killed whom over it."

Merek also points to the place of the statement, "There is an R in that," he says, "An initial it looks like perhaps, or something that is useful."

"Wait a minute, the A is for Amadi, the farm must be the Amadi farm! Of course!" Theo finally realizes with a firm, confident nod.

Still from behind her book, which she is quite close to finishing, Saoirse pokes her head up. She looks at Cosimo curiously, says 'hm' very softly, and then awards her brother a half-smirk.



Katarina looks to Theo and nods. "I would like to try on your hat," she notes. "When Sister Dianna is not looking, as I would not wish to upset her." Katarina says this with the confident authority of a true Princess, and then turns her attention back to the mystery club. To Merek she says: "Is it a first initial or last? It could be Rogellio Amadi -- or Catriona Riovelli~."

12 House Velenosa Guards, Ibasia, the Velenosa Lady-in-Waiting, Ellani, the palm sized spider arrive, following Jaenelle.

"And the physician, Theresa Magioti, how does she play into all of this? Perhaps lover to the brother who wished to sell, and agreed to help do away with him so they could share the farm?" Dianna lifts her voice - then flashes a glance at Katarina. And chuckles. "Gods above, highness, you surely wish to turn my mind upside-down with such a thing. Why not ask him where he had it made - and have one for yourself?"

Cosimo wrinkles his nose, attempting to keep it pieced together in his head with some difficulty. "Alright, so... the farm was likely owned by Rogellio Amadi. Assuming the emphasis on A and R mean something." Cosimo squints at Katarina and Dianna, as they speculate on the potential love affair. "Wasn't she the physician?"

Better late then never, or perhaps fashionably late is even better when one almost doesn't make it? Regardless, Jaenelle arrives to make sure everything is going well with whatever this is. She really isn't sure, and one can certainly tell as she enters the marble entrance and glances around curiously. Obviously the correct thing is to find Saoirse, the hostess should be aware.

Saoirse is on a couch, behind a laughably enormous book.

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



When Jaenelle arrives, Katarina is sat up on a table, holding a glass of brandy in one hand and an aged tome in the other, with envy in her golden eyes each time she looks at Theo's life-changingly gaudy hat. "I could do this, Dianna, but it would be an imitation only. Before me sits the original whose artistry so bewitches me~."

Theo steps over a bit closer to Katarina, bowing deeply as he holds his hat against his head. Then he stands, smiling. "Of course, Princess." He removes the hat, then begins to very gently place it onto Katarina's head. It is quite the high quality hat, even its stitching. "It was made by the legendary Josephine. And I live to bewitch you, princess." Then, moving back to the clues. "But yes, this makes perfect sense. If there was hidden treasure on or near the farm, that would perfectly explain murder."

Nurie has a fluffy head in her lap to pet, which admittedly is a bit of a distraction--but when Jaenelle enters she gently gets to her feet so as to not disturb the dog too much, curtsying low to Jaenelle, her knee touching the floor briefly, before she rises and then retakes her seat--with an apologetic scritch to Sir Floppington's ears. "Land or treasure is a motivator to remove obstacles," she agrees. "Is there a record of who won the dispute over the land claim, who eventually posessed it?" she asks.

Saoirse turns the final page of her book over. That is it. She is finished. She slowly lowers the tome and closes it entirely. Oh, hello Jaenelle! A flicker of a smile to greet the fellow royal and she glances over the assembled people hashing out clues with each other. "Ah-" Saoirse reaches under her bench and hands Jaenelle a book of her own. To read. At a shindig.



"A hidden treasure!" Katarina has to set her book and her drink down to receive Theo's hat -- more because it's sized for Theo's head and not hers, and she has to hold its brim occasionally to keep it from drooping or tilting down over her eyes. Still, she seems like the happiest Princess in the world, to be sitting there, wearing this legendary hat. "Prince Theo, you have honored me so~. But of this hidden treasure -- did someone not speak of a mine to be found on this farmland~?"

"No, you should have one made of your very own, Highness," Dianna replies to Katarina as she steps over towards her - pausing to smile warmly and curtsy to Jaenelle before, in two more steps, the priestess is halted again by a messenger. A gentle nod to the man and Dianna cracks open the seal, missing Theo adorning Katarina's head with the illustrious hat.



Dianna softly frowns and turns first to Saoirse, "Pardon me, Princess Saoirse; it's been lovely - and such very interesting books. I am being called away, though," she apologizes. Then glances to Katarina and ...BLINKS. "Highness, you... are.... Mmn." Dianna clears her voice softly. "Stunning, as always. Pardon, but I must leave - and you are all doing so much better with this investigation than I. It's been a lovely time, and a pleasure meeting you all. Another time; another mystery will perhaps bring us together again."

Cosimo gives the page yet another once over. "A 'Catriona Riovelli' isn't here at all, and since Angelina referred to her as a 'friend' in her letter... mmm..." It's clear he was speculating in his own head, but was still reluctant to make any definitive claim. But that's what they're here for, so he tries. "I think someone got killed and someone got married. For a 'hidden' treasure, it wasn't very hidden if the map was correct." He looks to Nurie, then to Merek and Theo, who presumably had the farm statements and farm history. "Might be too much to hope for, but..."

Merek offers a little smile for Dianna, "And you be well," he offers with a wave, then he looks to Kat to peek at whatever she has besides a hat to also take a read of.

While Katarina paints a beautiful picture of luxe, Locke is lounging about, drowsy, and reading a book titled, 'A QUICK GUIDE TO COMMONERS, FOR DUMMIES.' "Can I get clarification on Rogellio's and Paulina's relationship? Were they ever married, or was that ALSO an affair?" Gesturing loosely with his free hand, he surmises, "The hidden treasure was probably in the wine cellar. The body of a man was tossed into the large lake. The beans were beany. Nico had an affair with Angelina D'Agvello, who was married to Rogellio, his brother who had expired early, both of which owned the farmland. Someone wanted in to get treasure. Beats me, I need something heavy to drink."



Katarina beams at Dianna from under this massive, beautiful, intensely flamboyant umbra-and-dragonweep-bedecked hat. "Sister, you will see me without this hat soon enough, do not flee only because I am decorated so...!" She takes off the hat and hops down from the table, to pass the chapeau back to Theo and move in close to Dianna for a murmured farewell.

Jaenelle does not seem overly surprised when a server is asked, and Saoirse is pointed out...or rather a large book is. As she approaches, just in time for the book to be finished and one of her own to be handed over, she smiles and takes it. Then those around her are given dips of her head in greeting, the hat is especially looked at when Theo places it on Katarina's head. "It does look stunning" she tells the other woman, which might be the truth? Who knows! Nurie is given a finger wiggle before she opens the book where there is a written clue of sorts? "Does sleeping draught mean anything to anyone? It appears to be a note signed T. Magioti, made out for such medicine."

Theo places the hat back onto his head, looking from Dianna to Katarina. "Surely every princess should experience a dragonweep hat, it's a level of decadence that I would gladly bestow upon a Valardin." he casually says before moving to pour himself a bit of brandy.

Merek checked composure at difficulty 20, rolling 7 higher.

Cosimo checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 1 lower.

Theo checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 31 higher.

Nurie checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 3 lower.

Locke checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 25 higher.

Katarina checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 13 higher.

"Alright," Saoirse Velenosa announces, now FINALLY participating in her own party. "I think you are all armed with quite enough information. Come - tell me. What happened at the Amadi farm?" Before she starts listening to everyone, she wanders by Jaenelle and plucks the clue from the Archduchess' book. She twirls it around, examining it. Interesting. Huh. She slides it back into Jaenelle's hands and then gestures for everyone to get in line.

Cosimo has joined the line.



When Dianna departs, Katarina seems slightly troubled by their murmured conversation. It's enough to cause the Valardin Princess to linger by the door for a moment and chew her lower lip gently... and then her attention is caught by Theo's words, and she wills her expression into brightening back up. "Such decadence is best for me only tasted occasionally, Prince Theo," she purrs. "In all things there must be SOME restraint, or those moments where the restraint is slipped become so much less special~." Moments like wearing a really, really neat hat!

Locke has joined the line.

Katarina has joined the line.

Merek checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 10 lower.

Merek has joined the line.

Nurie has joined the line.

Turn in line: Cosimo

Theo has joined the line.

"Hold on, this stionary is not a physician's stationary..." Theo suddenly holds up a hand. "This is a lord or a lady's stationary!" But then he's already gracefully found his way back over to Katarina, two drinks of brandy in hand, book under his arm. One glass is handed to her. "Don't be silly, restraint is for the church."

"Here's my guess," Cosimo announces, subconsciously projecting his voice more so he can be heard clearer. "Given the content we've been given surrounds farming and commoners - and particularly the details shared in Princess Katarina's letter - a land dispute was the catalyst for this murder. It is likely the victim - who I believe was Rogellio - was killed by a blunt instrument, if Physician Theresa Magioti's notes are correct. The farm, which was likely owned by Rogellio Amadi, was going to be sold - and his brother was going to lose from the deal. So he concocted a plan to stop that. The result was his brother's demise." Cosimo's brows knit together. "I'm not sure where Catriona Riovelli comes in, given there is no record of Nico marrying... but perhaps the tree is outdated. I'm not sure what happened to the land, untimely, but..."

Jaenelle watches the piece of paper slip away, and laughs when Theo gives the information she failed to. "Oh. Was that important?" she asks. "How was I supposed to know? Maybe I should have known? In any case, I have come late and therefore have deniability as to this obvious crime."

Turn in line: Locke

From his spot on the couch, Locke explains, "Typical Southerner shenanigans. Treasure, poison, affairs. Scandal everywhere!" It's entirely possible that he's just making it up as he goes. Still, he joins in with the rest. "I'm in agreement with Lord Cosimo for the most part, but I'd like to append that Angelina D'Agvello was prescribed a 'sleeping draught' by what she thought was her physician, but it was actually... someone else." He pauses a moment, noting, "I haven't gotten quite that far yet. I'm wondering if it was also the work of Nico, who tried to inherit?"

Turn in line: Katarina

"Angelina remarried into D'Agvello, it seems, after Amadi was killed," Cosimo adds. "For whatever that means."



Katarina chews her lush lower lip, very gently, as Cosimo and Locke present their arguments. She seems as though she's both listening, and not. When it's suddenly her turn to speak, she almost seems surprised! "Oh! Well. It is known that Nico Amadi had love for Angelina Amadi. Of whether this was reciprocated, I do not believe we can be sure. But he felt love for his brother's wife, who was in turn the sister of his previous wife. This Angelina, she is taking sleeping draughts from her physician. If we posit, and we do, that Nico is behind the killing of Rogellio, then we must also consider whether Nico's professed love for Angelina was true! But... that is another question, and not an answer. This mysterious Catriona Riovelli, whose family name seems to not exist... I believe that all of this is Nico. He killed his brother, and then arranged for these elements and friends and such to keep his brother's wife confused and unable to resist his designs on the land, and indeed possibly on her. And Angelina's own sister perhaps still smarts from Rogellio divorcing her, and so she cannot be relied upon to help... This is all so sad, the more I speak of it! Princess Saoirse, why have you arranged such a sad party...?"

Turn in line: Merek

Merek checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 4 higher.

Merek stands up, while he steps his way to announce his findings. "Alright," he takes a moment to find a little board while he takes a chalk to it, beginning to draw with little figures. "First, we need to find R, now Rogellio and Riovelli, both have R in them. R, is the 18th letter in our writing. Now take 18, and two R's, you will realize that upon adulthood, the two conspired together, but wait there was blood on the parchment. Blood? It's red, so you take the red, and you add it to eighteen, and R... Therefore, Nico and Angelica met together, and came to the others, therefore everyone was involved, it was all a plan to put the blame away from the House!" This is what you get with no sleep.



Katarina is clearly trying to follow Merek, but the more he goes on, the more she gets the look on her face like someone who speaks Arvani as a second language and isn't quite keeping up.

Turn in line: Theo

Cosimo follows Merek easily enough, and writes his skepticism all over his face. "Can't say I didn't do some stretching, but..."

Theo suddenly steps in the middle of the ballroom, drawing attention with his hat, brandy sipping, and book. "We've all been gathered here by my dear little sister, Princess Saoirse Velenosa. There have has much speculation, many clues, the introduction of decadence." he motions a hand to Katarina. "And of course the woman who makes my heart skip a beat whenever she enters a room." this time he motions to Jaenelle.



"However, it's time that I put this mystery to rest." He pauses to take another sip of brandy. "It's true, this stationary is of noble quality. These are no mere clues. Katarina is correct. This was all orchestrated by Nico Amadi, Catriona Riovelli was simply a red herring meant to throw us off from the truth of this all. The fact that all of these clues were carefully orchestrated to lead us in the wrong direction. And, in fact, if we were to successfully solve the mystery as intended, we would have the wrong murderer!"



"The true murderer..." He slams his book onto the table rather theatrically. "Is both Nico Amadi -and- Angelina Amadi, who surely met in the dead of night to orchestrate their plans together!!!"

Saoirse listens quietly and then walks to the center of the room.



"You came very close. In my research, I discovered that the long-ago murder of Rogellio was committed by his very own brother, Nico, with a blunt object to the head after a struggle. Rogellio was disposed of in the lake. From the book of poetry, it seems that Nico was in unrequited love with his brother's wife, Angelina. I found no sources indicating that the love was mutual; in fact, based on her letter to her friend Catriona, it seemed Nico was a bullying force in Angelina's life.



"The noble family of the time had an aggressive lord and lady who wished to seize the estate -- they knew it was valuable and that there were veins of fine minerals and gems on the land, see the note from brother to sister asking for her to join her on the land. The lord and lady paid the physician to administer sleeping draughts to Angelina to place her in a stupor while they either turned a blind eye to Nico or encouraged him.



"It does not seem Nico was ever caught for this crime, which I can assume is because the noble house shut down any investigation into it. Angelina herself seems to have faded into obscurity and very likely penury. Nico never did wed her and his whereabouts were unknown. My guess is that the lord and lady betrayed him eventually, but perhaps that's just wishful thinking."



After a long, sober pause, Saoirse inclines her head to Cosimo. "I believe Lord Cosimo got the most of it right. Prince Locke was very correct in southerner shenanigans, though I resent the stereotype. Jerk. The sleeping draught was given by the physician but at the request of the noble house. Princess Katarina was... confused with the names more than the events; there was no divorce and Angelina's sister Paulina was not involved with Angelina's husband Rogellio. There is no evidence that Paulina was involved in any murder or land grab either. Sir Merek was deeply confusing and I truly hope he is not in charge of my personal House security. And finally, my brother Theo should probably calm down his flirting with our Archduchess."

"See!" Merek points out that, he said those names together! Whether or not that makes any sense. Then he wiggles his nose to Saorise, "Hey, I'm in charge of a lot of things." CONCERN. He then takes a sip from the flask with him, replacing the cork after.

"I would never!" Theo puts a scandalized hand over his heart while sipping brandy.



At being labeled 'decadent' and then 'confused,' Katarina seems to not quite know how to respond, other than a thoughtful, gentle furrow of her brow. She nods along to the explanation of it all, though, and purses her lips. Then the Eurusi woman speaks: "Justice seems to have been ill-served, in this tale." That seems to be her takeaway, and it doesn't exactly keep her spirits soaring high. "Truth by itself must suffice at times... and though I misled myself in this seeking, Princess Saoirse, your party provokes thoughts as to why such truth is important~." Katarina seems to have drawn nothing short of a moral from the story...!

Saoirse turns verrrryyyyyy slooooowllllyyyy toward her brother and stares meaningfully at him.

Cosimo finishes the remainder of his drink, as Saoirse reveals the full extent of his rightness. And wrongness. "I missed the bit about the draught. I'm not sure how much longer it would have taken me to deduce it was the noble family who was responsible, but the motivation was abundantly clear. Hm." It's clear he isn't too pleased that he didn't get that bit, but he stands and dips a bow to the hostess. "But thank you, Your Highness. I've enjoyed myself thoroughly." He turns to the others who contributed - those who still remained, at least. "All of you were impressive in your own right, too. I had good help."

Cosimo is overheard praising Saoirse.

Theo is overheard praising Saoirse.

Katarina is overheard praising Saoirse: Hostess of a party that made us all really THINK.

Katarina is overheard praising Cosimo: A clever mind, keenly attuned to mystery!

Katarina is overheard praising Locke: A scorner of shenanigans.

Katarina is overheard praising Merek: I still am not completely sure what he was saying, but it was charming in being said.

Merek looks between the folk here, while he seems to think about it. "My apologies, I admit I am not great at these things. This was definitely a thing that makes me think. I am glad for also the history lesson, I'm a fan of conspiracies in writing and history."

"It was my pleasure," Saoirse says to Merek, and whoever else thanked her. "It's my hope that House Velenosa can continue to host educational, entertaining events for its vassals and its allies."

"It's an awful stereotype that I can't help but prepetuate," Locke replies easily to Saoirse with a loose lift of broad shoulders. Nevermind the fact that he only joined the house recently. "Either way, I had fun. The book was a good read -- it's mine now. Jerk." Without an ounce of remorse, he stretches out and stifles a yawn. "Thanks for hosting the event, cousin-in-law."

Saoirse musters an affectionate glance for her cousin. "I'm glad to see you wandering the halls again more regularly," she tells him as she meanders toward the other Velenosa in attendance. "You remember my brother? He flits back and forth from Lenosia."



Katarina re-settles her lattice of seasilks on her elbows, and looks to the door. Considering she attended as someone's date, and is now dateless in this present moment, she does seem a little, well, lost as all the goodbyes are being exchanged and chatter between friends and family.

Merek stands up, while he makes a way to Kat, then settles next to the woman, "Hey, I was looking to talk to you sometime when you're free, how are you, Your Highness?"



Katarina wasn't quite paying attention, and is almost startled when Merek addresses her. "Oh! Sir Merek~. You were looking for me--? Not for anything awful, I do hope." Katarina affects a small, slight smile. "Is there a way I can assist...?"

"Nothing so crazy, I was just curious about how you're doing, and all." Merek wiggles his nose cutely in thought, while he looks to Katarina, "You also looked like you could use company." The man himself looks thin and like he hasn't had his nap in a while. He does take a sip from the corked flask with him, while he sighs with a little stretch.

As Locke glances at Theo, he says, "... Briefly?" He could very well be lying, but he cuts a smile for the two either way. "Yeah, the halls are good stuff. There's stuffed animals of all sorts in front of my room, let me tell you you -- it's absolutely terrifying waking up in a drunken stupor and stepping out of your room to see a taxidermy turkey RIGHT there." A hand drags down the nape of his neck as he glances out a nearby window. "Ah, shit, it looks dark out. Might as well say hello to the turkey and bull before catching some sleep."

"Well, my sister's done it again." Theo says as he raises a glass to her. "While I prefer to find a reason to poke fun at her, I cannot deny the impact and success of her parties."

Saoirse glances around the room and, with false sourness, mutters, "I liked it better when we were silently reading in separate corners." She inclines her head to Locke as he leaves and then looks from Jaenelle to Theo and back again. Boy is her expression ...curious.



Katarina's golden eyes scan Merek up and down, and tense at their corners, very slightly. "Are you well, Sir Merek? You seem... ill rested." She frowns slightly. "I had company when I arrived, but my date for the evening was called away. It is... oh, the phrase eludes me. An occupationatory hazard."

"What?" Jaenelle asks Saoirse as she is glanced at, brows arching with the question as she finds a glass of wine and claims it. "I did nothing" she promises, though there is a sigh when she hears about the animals, "Ophelia I think. Went hunting. Her prizes are in the hallway."

Merek looks over to Jaenelle in thought, then back to Katarina. Noticing the tensing, he blinks a bit in thought, while he takes a moment to consider. "I apologize if I've upset... I'm just, a bit distracted since the slave rescue." A wan smile, "Yes, I saw her, she's a friend of mine, alas... All are busy often these days. If you like, I can accompany you for now, granted with my station it'd hardly be as your date."



Katarina reaches out to pat Merek on the arm. "I will ask one thing of you, Sir Merek, and tonight one thing only. With all of my titles and stations, my request of you is that you go and sleep. Rest. You have not upset me -- but you will if your lack of rest causes fate to turn against you. So. That is all."

Saoirse seems to drop whatever she was insinuating. "I was actually sad to see Lady Fiora depart so quickly - I think you would like her, Theo. She's ... thoughtful. I know how much Papa valued thought and intellect, you two seem much the same."

"I'll take it upon myself to meet her at a later time. I'll say my dear sister referred me." Theo finally heads for the exit, wiping his forehead with the back of his hand. "I'll see myself to my room, I'm painfully exhausted. But it was, yet again, a good party."

Merek waves to Theo, and to anyone else, then he nods to Katarina while he stands up. "I appreciate it, thank you," he says, while he offers a little incline. He then stretches a bit tiredly.

Glass in hand, Jaenelle pauses, "she is very straight forward, smart. You should." It seems it is decided that people should meet! "I should return to my rooms as well though, I need to figure out how to grow things." Who knows what.



Having given Merek his mission, Katarina turns and begins to follow in Theo's wake. "Princess Saoirse, it was an honor," she purrs, and then she slips off, to go be weird elsewhere.

A dutiful Valardin aide, Quiet, a Valardin champion leave, following Katarina.

Merek makes a way away and likely to nap.

12 House Velenosa Guards, Ibasia, the Velenosa Lady-in-Waiting, Ellani, the palm sized spider leave, following Jaenelle.



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