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In Praise of Liberty

Princess Helena Redrain and Lord Rysen Crovane invite all poets, be they amateur or professional, to a special poetry reading and publishing event. All members of the public are welcome to attend to celebrate a love of words and liberty alike.

The freedom-themed works will be read at the reading, and a limited-run volume of poetry will be offered for purchase. Each book will be signed by the poets and will be available for 10000 silver (though no amount is too large -- feel free to donate more!) and the proceeds will be donated to the Liberators of Skald in your name.

NOTE: Poets are requested this time to provide the poetry *in advance* so that the books will be available for purchase the day of the reading, rather than at a later time. Please contact Princess Helena with questions or to send her your best work (OOC: by March 15!). All poetry should celebrate liberty, freedom, and choice; reflect on the meaning or importance of liberation; or censure those who would take such gifts away from us.

Date

April 3, 2020, 2 p.m.

Hosted By

Helena Rysen

Participants

Rowenova Gogil Mabelle Nina Beatrice Ras Kritr Adalyn Raya Evaristo Aleksei Giulio Merek Kiera

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of House Redrain - Northlands Arena - Redrain Grand Library

Largesse Level

Grand

Comments and Log


Kritr has joined the an elegant Compact map table.

After a swig off her brandy, she offers the bottle to Krit when he joins her.

That was Rowenova.

"Did I miss it?" Gogil is heard saying as he enters into the library. He has a broad smile upon his lips as he glances about and seeing that he didn't miss the event moves to take a seat someplace, falling silent as he waits for things to start.

Gogil has joined the luxurious white couch with red and purple throw pillows.

1 Malespero guard arrives, following Beatrice.

Mabelle slips quietly into the library, as quiet as one can be with all the fluffies. She spots Helena and makes her way toward her, beaming at her privately, "Princess. I feel like I've not seen you in years, what a boon to see you today". She smiles to her but quickly vacates her side for the purpose of hosting.

The poetry readings Helena Redrain holds are usually in the Scholars' reading room, but today, for the reading praising all things free, she's chosen her family's library. It's cozy and warm, thanks to the crackle of the fire, and a lectern has been set up near the fireplace, facing the cluster of couches. Helena herself stands near, with a stack of freshly inked books on a little table. The low tables by the couches are filled with little finger foods as well as tea and coffee, though a sideboard has harder beverages for those who want something a little "harder."

"Lady Mabelle! Thank you so much for coming. Yes, I've been very bogged down in studies and other matters and not out as much as I would like. I hope you are well?" she says, reaching to squeeze Mabelle's hand, then greeting each person as they arrive. If they know her already, they get a warm welcome by name, and if not, she'll introduce herself and ask theirs.

Nina, the Bard who has attached herself to House Pravus with enthusiasm, comes into the reading looking happy and lively. She's in velvet, a long blue gown of a brilliant jewel tone with jeweled buttons, but also proudly displaying her Bard's College pin, which seems to match it well. She arrives at the library with her instrument case over her shoulder, and walks closer to the front of the event. She looks for a good place to sit, keeping her back straight when she eventually chooses to move to a table so that she can keep her skirts from sinking into the couches. The drinks tempt her, if her glance is any indication, but looks as if she may hold off until things have officially begun.

Shaking free of hood and snow, Beatrice slows to admire the Redrain library. Accepting a cup of coffee from a perceptive aide, Beatrice turns a courteous smile to Mabelle and Gogil. "Is this seat taken?"

Beatrice has joined the luxurious white couch with red and purple throw pillows.

Ras enters the grand library, looking fairly clean, except for his boots - which have clearly trekked up through the grime of the Lowers and across the slush and snow of the upper city. He's wearing nice clothes, but has paired them with a shabby coat of very questionable fashion sense. There's a quick, awkward glance around the impressive room before he notes Helena's greeting and offers her an uncomfortable twitch of a smile. Then he shifts to slouch against a side wall with a vantage point of the fireplace area where the Redrain princess has set up.

Kritr's presence can be blamed on Rowenova, as is obvious by the fact that he arrives with her, and sits near her. His grumpy face doesn't register delight at being present, or recognition for the presenters.

"I think you've just staked claim to it," Gogil says to Beatrice offering a respectful nod of his head and a smile upon his lips.

Nina has joined the an elegant Compact map table.

Adalyn arrives with little fanfare, slipping into the library and studying both the room and its occupants with a curious gaze. She offers a warm smile to Helen as guests are greeted. "Thank you for hosting. I don't consider myself much of a poet, but I enjoy hearing what others might come up with." She sidesteps then, allowing room for other guests to mingle and turning to search for a seat that she might claim as hers.

Rowenova always brings booze to the Faith conventions, so a second bottle is brought out from her Messenger Bag before she actually takes a cork screw (rarely done) to the green container. POP! Then, a little mist whisps away from the bottle top before she swigs down a good amount here. After, this is lifted up to help welcome Nina, "Greetings."

Raya makes her introductions to Princess Helena with quiet grace, then tucks herself into a space by one of the bookshelves. Her sleek aeterna robes gleam in the firelight.

While chatting with her new friends, Beatrice blows a warm kiss to Helena at the princess's greeting before pressing the hand to her heart, a modest salute.

Mabelle spots Adalyn and smiles to her, waving to her as she enters as well as to other familiar faces, including Nina, who's wearing velvet! So proud.

Evaristo is here and is lounging around with a glass, leaning up against a wall - but he's bowing and greeting people, winking and smiling and being his usual bard-self. He gives an especially deep bow to Berenice and murmurs something to her when she moves to sit down, before he finds a seat near the front.

Marius, Vladimir, 1 House Corvini Guard arrive, following Giulio.

"Hello!" Aleksei peeks his head in first before arriving with, you know, the rest of his body. And then a /second/ body, but -- not his. The second one belongs to a pale, auburn-haired child who looks about six or seven years of age. Fitz looks immediately taken with the large table housing the Redrain family map of the Compact, and he rushes over to try and peek over the edge. "I wanna see!" he tells his father, who obligingly hoists him up for a better view. "Just be careful with it," he tells him, before he flashes a bright smile to the others about the room.

Aleksei has joined the Redrain Family Map Table.

Aleksei drops Child Fitzcarraldo.

Evaristo has joined the Redrain Family Map Table.

Helena beams at Adalyn's words, and grins at Beatrice's gesture, before she takes to the lectern. "Thank you all so much for joining us today," she says, dark blue eyes dancing over the group of listeners and readers. "We are in such a busy time with so many pressing issues that we have a small group of the poets here with us today, but the books that will be sold have more works within. The books are still being scribed, but for this set," she says, gesturing to the colorful 'trilogy' beside her. "But will be sold at a later date with all the proceeds going to the Liberators of Skald." She smiles over at Aleksei and the scamp of a child with him.

Seeing Aleksei and the child brings a smile to Rowenova. She lifts up her booze bottle toward the pair before swigging back a more of whatever it is.

The slender figure of the Corvini count makes his way into the library, his dark eyes flitting about the room. He offers a warm smile and a bow of his head towards those present. His man Marius moves to pour him a goblet of some peculiar, pear scented liquor from a goblet and jug he carries with him.

Catching the movement of Mabelle's waving hand out of the corner of her eye, Adalyn turns and brightens as she spots the fellow Oathlander. Lips curving into an earnest grin, she moves to join her with a murmured greeting, trying to move quietly since the event seems to be getting underway. She settles into an empty spot on the couch and nods a polite greeting to the others already seated nearby.

Evaristo perks up noticeably seeing Aleksei and Fitz there and makes a few funny grimaces at the kid. But, he focuses then on Helena and watches her admiringly, nodding at what she says.

The hilt of a diamondplate peasant dagger glints at Ras' hip as he folds his arms, lean back against the wall, and watches the others. Although he mostly seems to be paying attention to Helena, there's a few seconds where he surveys Rowenova and Kritr, another as he looks towards Evaristo, and for a moment he studies Aleksei and Fitz. The whole time he's very quiet and unobtrusive.

Adalyn has joined the luxurious white couch with red and purple throw pillows.

2 Redrain Guards have been dismissed.

Lucien, a bright-eyed pine marten have been dismissed.

"Speaking of Skald," Helena says, eyes sparkling a bit, "my first poem, which I've read before, is a nod to the First Choice, for of course choice and freedom go hand in hand." The Redrain princess opens one of the little books to a page marked by a red-and-gold silk ribbon.

"Merry Wanderer of the Wood,
Shapeshifter, Mischief Maker,
Father to every precipice stood
upon by every choice made
since yours gave us free will:
How could you help but be a little mad
when we make ours unwisely still?
Merrymaker, Chainbreaker,
Mage and Wolf, God and Kin,
Thank you for the choice to choose
time after time, again and again."

Her cadence is a rhythmic, almost sing-song thing, making the poem a playful almost-song.

The poem is new to Beatrice. She blows across her skalding coffee, while she listens, pausing her hushed banter to attend to Helena. At its conclusion, she applauds with one hand against the edge of the couch.

Merek makes a way into the place, looking to listen to poetry as well!

Mabelle claps her hands enthusiastically, yet calmly, like a noble would. She totally understand poetry. She's not at all puzzled. She even listened too.

"That poem is amazing - I love that one," Evaristo calls out and he applauds enthusiastically. "I bet Skald is a hoot at parties. Does he do tricks?" he jokes.

1 Crimson Blades Sergeant, Rurik, a prodigal assistant, Aegis, a large red Oakhaven bloodhound arrive, following Mirk.

Fitz, it seems, has decided to respond to Evaristo's funny faces by beginning to display his newfound prowess at READING by pointing at cities on the map and reading their names. The easier ones, at least. Aleksei is listening to Helena, though, with a widening smile, and he applauds at the end with the others. "On the rare occasion," he says to Evaristo with a grin. "But, in my experience, only when he's not being treated like a jester. He does stuff when it's fun for him, not really to entertain other people."

Mirk has joined the luxurious white couch with red and purple throw pillows.

Evaristo's words make Helena laugh, and she shrugs, for she doesn't know. Aleksei's response makes her laugh. "Well, that seems fitting. I would love to meet him one day," she says softly, before finding another page to read from. "This next is more serious, and then I will let you be entertained by people more talented than I," she says, a nod to the other readers -- two of them musicians, at that.

Helena doesn't give a title -- titles are hard. The playful cadence of the poem before is gone as she reads this with a more solemn tone in her soft but clear voice.

@emit

"I dreamt what it is, to be a slave.
The world grew dim, despite the light
of the too-hot sun beating on my back.
Or else was it too cold, too far away

Evaristo is murmuring with Fitz, leaning over, but when Helena speaks up again he focuses to listen, an expectant air about himself and an encouraging, charming smile at the princess.



"I dreamt what it is, to be a slave.
The world grew dim, despite the light
of the too-hot sun beating on my back.
Or else was it too cold, too far away
as my blistered, broken hands
trembled over the stingiest of fires.

I dreamt what it is, to be a slave.
The world grew chill, despite the heat
of a hundred lashes upon my back.
Or else it was too close, stifling
and smothering my breath
in the too-small cage called home.

I dreamt what it is, to be a slave.
The world grew quiet, despite the din
of a million of my people's anguish.
Or else were they drowned out
by the deafening indifference of those
who could but would not help?.

I dreamt what it is, to be a slave
and woke in a world where I am free,
and now I strive to make a difference."

She closes the little book and steps away from the lectern.

Beatrice narrows her eyes fondly in Helena's direction at the conclusion of that thoughtful poem. "Lovely."

Mabelle nods her head as she heavily takes in the subject of the poem, not quite saying anything though.

Nina, at the table, gives a small not-too-cloud clap, looking bright-eyed at the poetess at the front of the room.

"And now, Mockingbird Evaristo for your listening pleasure," Helena says, seemingly too happy to get away from public speaking, though she at least no longer blushes while reading her own poems. She finds a spot on the sofa where she can watch Evaristo from a front row seat.

"Well done," Giulio says, offering Helena a warm smile and a tilt of his head. "Well done indeed." There is a moment of focus offered, his brows knitting. For a moment, his gaze goes distant, and he bobs his head, once.

Ras stays mostly still and altogether silent over by the wall, studying Helena somberly. Some of the initial wariness from his entry has faded away into a sort of grimness, and he lifts a hand from the crook of his opposite arm to tug loosely at the feather in his hair. From the short glance he cuts towards Beatrice, it's clear that 'lovely' is not the word he'd use to describe the poem, but then his focus shifts to rest on Evaristo.

Adalyn folds her hands in her lap, listening attentively and growing suitably solemn as she mulls over the latest poem.

The words of praise and the soft applause draw a demure nod from the princess, cheeks coloring a little now that she's done.

Evaristo's expression shifts to something more serious and most definitely contemplative as he applauds Helena's poem. He stands up and moves over to her, murmuring something before he steps behind the lectern to do his reading. "I have no idea what Princess HElena meant with 'let those more talented than her' take the stage, cause I am most certainly NOT one of those - but perhaps those that follow me? I have written a very short little piece, inspired by Seraph Prism. I did meet her once, and she... well, it is hard to explain what she inspires in people. But she is like a star. A Star of Liberation."

A star has come down from the sky
From warmth and safety above
She heard a desperate cry
'Let me free, give me love.'

The road will be hard and cold
But with Prism we have light
All those souls that were sold
Their freedom is now in sight

He delivers his poem with gestures and emphasis, like the bard he is, almost singing it.

Helena's eyes grow soft as Evaristo speaks, and she colors a little more at his words, shaking her head. She sighs softly at the poem for Prism. "I recently met her, and she is just brightness embodied," she agrees. "A perfect tribute for her, Mockingbird Evaristo."

Helena is overheard praising Evaristo.

Ras listens to Evaristo as the grimness in his expression relaxes slightly. There's even a brief tug of a smile at one corner of his mouth before he readopts a relatively tense mien.

She gives up. Tossing back a healthy mouthful of her still /hot/ coffee, Beatrice hisses and sets the cup back down on the table, the better to clap for Evaristo's recitation.

Nina watches Evaristo from her seat, also clapping when the poem has ended. She looks still cheerful, if only a bit nervous at having to follow everyone else at this event.

Aleksei listens to Helena's second poem with a growing sobriety, reaching over to quietly hush Fitz for a moment. He applauds for the poem once it's done, although with a more somber air than the first. When Evaristo takes the stage and states the inspiration for his poem, Aleksei can't help the smile that warms his features, and there's a distinctly fierce gleam in his eye as he applauds that particular subject.

Helena's blue eyes fall on Ras, smiling a little apologetically for putting him in this tense situation, perhaps. "Master Ras, please do share your words with us. These will be a surprise for me, as I did not see them before you sent them to Lord Rysen. I do look forward to hearing your work," she says warmly, reaching for a slice of apple from one of the trays.

Mabelle smiles to Evaristo as he reads his poem, her mind wanders to when she first saw Prism, all sparkly

Ras checked willpower at difficulty 15, rolling 12 higher.

Ras checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 9 lower.

Adalyn nods as Evaristo's poem comes to its end, applauding for his poetic work. As Helena calls to Ras, she shifts in her seat and turns her head, seeking to locate Ras with a curious glance.

Evaristo steps away from the 'stage' and beams at the audience, because he always loves attention. "Ras! I can't wait to hear yours," he encourages the younger man, and hee's given a broad grin and an inviting gesture to come up, as he sits back on his seat.

Raya's perfect eyebrows arch in surprise when Ras is called to participate, but it's just the briefest lift before her expression settles back into serene composure.

Ras shifts off the wall with a lift of his chin to Helena, and then nods to Evaristo as he passes the roguish bard. He stubbornly walks over to stand at the lectern, holding a grubby parchment sheet in one hand that appears to have been written on upon both sides in a blocky, tightly-spaced scrawl. He doesn't look at anyone while he reads, without any introduction. It sounds like he's gone to some ungainly effort to make his poem rhyme, and not without a legible meter, and the whole thing sounds rather stilted and not at all skilled.

"Learned early in life
In my hand a knife
Coin can make us free
But comes with chains on you and me
Another lesson I learned
When a lot of things burned
Is when folk're more free
They're free to be more mean, see
Between thralldom, greediness
And unchained meanness, neediness
There's a balance and that's where
We gotta try to be, we gotta care
Sometimes when I look at Arx
Want everythin to go up in sparks
And I got all these dreams
But take just a sec to think of the screams.
If it's bond and chain
That make us humane
We give oaths to swords
And swear fealty to lords."

Inhaling again, Ras turns the parchment over in his hands, clearly unfinished. He still doesn't look at the audience, and one corner of the page shakes almost imperceptibly.


"Folk say that's what you need
If you don't want other shit to feed
But greed is shit too, shit stains,
And we can choose our own chains.
Someone real smart
Told me this part
If you free all the slaves
It makes lots of waves...
But if you free them, and then
They make new bonds again
Like marriage or land
The city will stand.

There's more to these poems
But they're hidin in folk's homes
Or with folk who have no places
Who still got smiles on their faces
On frozen dirt floors and cold straw beds
Deep inside people's heads."

Ras lingers tensely for two seconds, then lowers the parchment and rapidly skulks aside to an edge again, with a nod towards Nina.

Kritr strokes his beard thoughtfully. He actually did listen to Ras' words.

Nina is watching Ras with thoughtful quiet. Her eyes slightly narrowed. She claps when the poem is finished, as she has for the others. But apparently, it did make her consider and think a bit.

After a swig or two or three, Rowenova finally seems to set the bottle down on the map table before her. She leans back and lifts her chin up toward Ras, quietly considering.

"Bravo," Beatrice murmurs gently, perhaps compassionately, at Ras's conclusion as she too applauds his contribution. Aside to her companions, she adds, "The princess draws such talent."

The Redrain princess listens, tipping her head now and then with curiosity, nodding here and there. When the poem comes to its completion, she smiles warmly and applauds quietly, a nod given to Ras. "Very thought provoking," she says, and it's clear it's not meant to be an insult of any sort but a compliment. "And finally, we have the bard, Nina Autumndale," she says, smiling to find Nina's place among those listening.

Aleksei listens closely to Ras's poem, watching him and noting those nerves with an empathetic eye. Even Fitz has decided to leave the map alone long enough to listen, sitting on the edge of the table and leaving his little legs swinging. While Aleksei's features remain intent and earnest at the subject of the poem, Fitz's brightens at something or other, although he's at least well-behaved enough to wait until the /end/ before he calls out, "Shit!" in clear, bright echo of the word's repetition in the poem. Aleksei's applause immediately falters as he instinctively claps a hand over his son's mouth with immediate mortification. "Shit, sorry!" Oops. "/Fuck/. I mean -- Sorry!" And then clearly attempts to entreat his son to /do as he says, not as he does/.

Nina has left the an elegant Compact map table.

Nina gets Carved Wooden Lute from Instrument carrying case.

Nina rises and retrieves her lute from her case, and stands at the front of the room. She gives a curtsey to all seated, showing off her skirt in the process of this polite gesture. "Hello, everyone. My poem is best with musical accompaniment, so I will also be playing on the lute for you today. I hope that you enjoy this work!"

"I am quite terrible at writing well about ideas in the abstract, so I chose to discuss freedom in the light of a specific tale, as told to me by my Patron, the Princess Gabriella. I hope you will enjoy my retelling of her tale, and the lessons it tells us about freedom, and about those who might fight to take it away."

She does make quick eye contact, with a smile, at Evaristo, as she knows full well there is controversy in her loyalties. And then she raises her lute, strumming a few notes as she begins the song.

It has both chorus and verse.


Evaristo's mouth opens and he just stares at Ras - his reaction is near comical, his expression blank-faced as he tries to parse that very deep and somehow still simple poem. "Brilliant," he breathes finally and snaps out of it, applauding Ras enthusiastically. Then he sort of loses it when Fitz and Aleksei reacts like that, but manages to not laugh out loud as he sits back down to listen to Nina.


"We sing the song of the City of Chains
Safe harbor for slavers and tyrants,
But we sing the song for the breakers of chains,
Who stood against slavers, defiant.

In daylight and under the heat of the sun,
The Chainbreakers came for the slavers.
The Sons of the Centipede routed and smashed,
By soldiers whose faith never wavered.

But lo, for the slaves, paralyzed with their fright
Had learned to be helpless and scared.
For physical freedom alone won't suffice
When the soul is so deeply impaired.

The chainbreakers hoped that the slaves would be freed
But their spirits were crushed by their masters
And lo the revenge of the City of Chains
Would incite such battles thereafter.

We sing the song of the City of Chains
Safe harbor for slavers and tyrants,
But we sing the song for the breakers of chains,
Who stood against slavers, defiant.

A hundred longships, and seven-thousand men,
They came in the daylight by water
Their gold and black banners awave in the wind
They used their slaves only as fodder.

They came to recapture the slaves they had lost
And punish those who fought for freedom
But bondage and suff'ring is fate worse than death
And Pravus rose up to defeat them

For Setarco, for Pravus, and for the Archduchess!
The cries of the chainbreakers rang,
And to the melee, the battle was joined,
To victory, now, they all sang-

As we sing the song of the City of Chains
Safe harbor for slavers and tyrants,
But we sing the song for the breakers of chains,
Who stood against slavers, defiant.

A sorcerer stood, with thirteen men slaved,
With yokes and chains tight round their throats,
And summoning horror, he slaughtered those slaves,
Reciting a terrible rote,

The magic called forth from the blackened spilled blood
Ignited a horrible fire
The legions of Pravus stayed bold in the fight
As the battlefield became a pyre

The Princess Celeste called tactical true
Sir Elio held back the flames,
Lady Gabriella, and her hungry blade
Then cleaved the dark wizard in twain.

We sing the song of the City of Chains
Safe harbor for slavers and tyrants,
But we sing the song for the breakers of chains,
Who stood against slavers, defiant.

Dark magics defeated the battle was won,
The slavers all driven and slain
Though casualties many did pay the price
For those who would dare cleave the chain

But still we rejoice, for those who were freed
Their bodies and souls liberated
Can guide their own fates, can make their own lives,
Instead of their futures dictated.

The freedom to choose is a powerful gift
And life so worth living when free!
And so we cheer - Belladonna is here!
To grant us that fine liberty!

We sing the song of the City of Chains
Safe harbor for slavers and tyrants,
But we sing the song for the breakers of chains,
Who stood against slavers, defiant."

Attention has turned from the hushed conversation of those on the couches to devote full focus to Ras's poem. After his voice trails away, Adalyn remains seated in quiet thought for a moment, hands lifted to clap for the young man. "Well written." Her gaze strays to Aleksei and his son, the edges of her lips tugging into an amused grin and -- is that a stifled laugh? -- but that another poet is stepping up to share.

Ras shifts uncomfortably as he settles against the wall again. This time the fold of his arms is tighter at first, and he draws up one hand to grip the feather in his hair pretty hard. There's a blink at Fitz's delight as if he doesn't understand at first, and a few more blinks at Aleksei's response, along with the near-laughter of Adalyn and Evaristo -- but thankfully, Nina's song begins and he turns his attention to focus on the lute music and the skilled work of the bard. He knits his brow and just listens, shadily thoughtful about the words.

The sudden repetition of vulgar language from first the child and then the father make Helena laugh aloud, a sudden silvery and merry tone in the midst of such somber poetry, and she claps her hand over her mouth and manages to settle down to listen to Nina. The music makes one toe in a silver slipper tap quietly, and when Nina finishes, she applauds. "Very beautiful," she says warmly. "Thank you for gracing us with both music and your lovely words."

Helena is overheard praising Ras.

Helena is overheard praising Nina.

Delight and humor war in Beatrice's eyes throughout, and not just from Aleksei's parenting woes. The applause she offers Nina is bright at the conclusion of her song. "House Pravus is fortunate to have such a promoter," notes the Lady Malespero-nee-Argento.

The Corvini count claps at this, grinning slightly at the whole endeavor. "Well done," he offers to both Ras and Nina, before taking a sip of his liquor, gaze flitting about the room.

Mabelle applauds Nina, clapping her hands pleasedly, whether is for the poem or the fact she's wearing velvet, who knows.

Nina lowers her lute, glad to have the song well received. "Thank you! I am so happy to be able to spread the story in my own way."

She gives Helena a smile. "And thank you, for the opportunity, for hosting, organizing, and suggesting the theme of the poems!"

Nina is overheard praising Helena: An excellent event!

Giulio is overheard praising Nina: 3

Rising from her seat, Helena throws a quick silent apology for laughing at Aleksei in his direction, before clasping her hands together. "Thank you all for coming. The books, with these and other poems, will come in a three-piece set and are available for purchase at 10,000 silver which will benefit the work of the Liberators of Skald." She gives a more solemn nod Aleksei to indicate his role in the organization. "The poets of course will receive their own copies as a thank you," she adds to those who read today. "Do enjoy some refreshments, and again, thank you for your patronage of our poetry."

Giulio is overheard praising Helena.

Giulio is overheard praising Ras.

Raya is overheard praising Helena.

Raya is overheard praising Ras.

Raya is overheard praising Evaristo.

Giulio is overheard praising Nina.

Raya is overheard praising Nina.

Giulio is overheard praising Evaristo.

Evaristo murmurs something to Fitz, then listens to the song and he too taps the rhytm and he looks quite impressed the longer it goes on. "Well, and are we not lucky, in the Bard's College? AN excellent performance, Bard Nina!" He applauds vigorously once more, beaming at the other bard.

After Helena has spoken, he stands up and raises a hand to the audience. "Just a moment! I wish to give special thanks to Princess Helena before we mingle," he says, speaking up with a grin. "I made you this star brooch, I thought it would be fitting. Not a unique design, though it is the only one I have made with a sapphire. I just want to thank you for all that you do for the city's poets, giving them a chance to show their work - and of course, for all the charity." He bows to Helena and gives her a brooch in silver, with a sapphire on it.

Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant, 1 Redreef Warden, Vagari The Cinder Cat, 1 Order of the Firebird, 2 House Crovane Guards, Biorna - The Protective Mastiff arrive, following Mikani.

Kiera arives very late to the gathering the promise of the stirring words of bards on the subject of freedom have drawn her hence into largely unfamiliar environs. mores the pity the the first thing she hears is a child's cuss. the young oathlander's face reddens but her eyes sparkle as she barely stifles a laugh in time to hear nina's tribute to the deeds of house pravus. she claps with appreciation but appears thoughtful at the words

With a flash of a smile, Giulio offers a bow of his head and departs.

Marius, Vladimir, 1 House Corvini Guard leave, following Giulio.

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

Kritr stands up as the event seems over. "Well. Congrats." He says to no one in particular.

Nina now helps herself, at last, to refereshments, now that her song is over and well performed. She gets a little bit of tea and a bit of cookie, deeping it simple rather than going for the hard liquor right away.

The sudden gift from Evaristo finds Helena wide-eyed and surprised, and she reaches for it, looking up to him. "Thank you! Truly, you do not need to thank me for anything. I am happy to do so, and it gives me such joy to bring together the voices of the realm," she says warmly, her hand tightening around his. "It's beautiful."

Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant, 1 Redreef Warden, Vagari The Cinder Cat, 1 Order of the Firebird, 2 House Crovane Guards, Biorna - The Protective Mastiff leave, following Mikani.

Rowenova stands up, too, with her bottle in her hand. She lifts it up in a salute around to each poet here.

Ras looks at Evaristo and then at Helena. He releases the feather and straightens from the wall, smiling a little at the bard's generosity and showy presentation. There's a look towards Kritr and an awkward nod that seems to encompass greeting, acknowledgment, and farewell all at once.

Merek is overheard praising Helena.

Mabelle is overheard praising Helena.

Mabelle is overheard praising Ras.

Mabelle is overheard praising Evaristo.

Evaristo smiles warmly at Helena, bows at her again, and then goes back to mingle and have some more chats with Fitz, cause who doesn't love talking with that kid?

Mabelle is overheard praising Nina.

Kritr returns Ras' nod. He may or may not have gotten anything out of this. From the look of him, he has no worship of Skald in him.

Mabelle is overheard praising Rysen.

Helena is overheard praising Rysen.

Evaristo is overheard praising Helena.

Merek is overheard praising Rysen.

Beatrice dips into an elegant bow in Helena's direction before turning with a swirl of seasilk and leathers to make a quiet exit.

Merek is overheard praising Ras.

Beatrice has left the luxurious white couch with red and purple throw pillows.

1 Malespero guard leaves, following Beatrice.

"Also, Lord Rysen would have liked to be here, but after so much excitement these past weeks, I do hope he's actually resting but I'm sure he's busy with tactics and strategy. He and his assistant designed the books, which are beautiful, so do send him your thanks as well. I could not have done this without him, or any of the poets, of course," Helena says warmly.

Gogil is overheard praising Helena: Excellent event!

Once up, Nova sets her bottle down then grabs ahold of both side panels of her direwolf cloak and ruffs it up over her shoulders a bit better before then picking up the booze bottle once more and meandering around the room here, doing so with a brief bow to Mirk before she pops up to full height plus the wolf ears on her fuzzy headdress.

Rowenova has left the an elegant Compact map table.



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