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Rubino-Zaffria Friends and Family Dinner

Duke Consort, and Voice of Gemecitta, Aiden Rubino, is hosting a dinner for family and friends, in similar tradition to other households, inspired by his cousin Princess Sabella Grayson. Fellow dignitaries and peers of Velenosa that he hasn't the honor of meeting face to face are also encouraged to attend. It will be a casual affair, though open to proposals for how Rubino-Zaffria can aid projects for those within the fealty.

Date

Nov. 13, 2020, 8 p.m.

Hosted By

Aiden

Participants

Quenia Valerius Monique Grazia Rosalind Medeia Ripley Rowenova Lucita

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of the Lyceum - Palazzo Gemecitta - Dining Room

Largesse Level

Grand

Comments and Log


Tonight Quenia is dressed in a delicately woven brocade dress in lycene fashion, with accompanying accessories. She's also dressed in her summer leaves armor, ever since the night of the attack on Arx. Her assistant Aspira takes her cloak and disappears into another room until dinner is over. Quenia thanks her quietly then makes her way into the dining room, her expression curious as she hasn't been hosted in Palazzo Gemcitta in quite some time.

The atmosphere might have been better for the dinner, had the invasion, assassination, and fires not preceded it. That as it is, the Duke of Gemecitta retained plans, regardless of the strain that's overcome the city. Less people than expected, but more than he thought, show, considering the recent events. The dining room is set for a grand dinner, with all sorts of wonderful aromas coming off the food, food that was ripe for the season they were in, but not extravagent that one could feed the entire Lowers with it. He's mindful of that sort of thing.

At the entrance of the manor, everyone was checked over by guards first. What happened at the Kennex ward, meant that peace-bonds were required upon entry. Aiden was within the room, glass of /brandy/ in hand, though bottles of whiskey and wine, are of course set out, among others, to cater to the flavors people wish to have on tongue. He's dressed comfortably, in a relaxed fashion, so not to make this dinner such a formal occasion, but it was. Vassals, friends, and family, were allowed to come forward if they needed help with whatever it was, they were doing. This was a night of exploration of needs and perhaps commitments to them. Otherwise, it was an affair to get to know those he hadn't met in person yet, although, with a quick drift of his eye over those who arrive, fit the bill. That will make it much less awkward at least.

After a couple of wrong turns and shouting through the completely wrong building trying to find the correct location, Rosalind and Valerius arrive to the /correct/ dining room for the dinner being hosted by Duke Aiden, a friend of Marquis Valerius after a particulary amusing night at a poetry event. Valerius is a mini explosion of color set onto an otherwise sea of black exotic leathers, most promiently displayed is a corset that is cut as vest in black and burgundy, and then this tailed over coat with embroidery of blues, greens, and purple seavines covering the black leather. Valerius goes to work with those in the room that he recognizes, introducing Lady Rosalind Ravenseye to each as they make their way through the room. Rosa is in a seasilk dress of greens and blues that mirror the ocean. While Valerius is happy in greeting everyone he is mainly heading for the drinks.

It doesn't /seem/ like Monique has any weapons on her, on a cursory pat down. The glint of steelsilk peeks from beneath the lavender silk off-the-shoulder gown though and the Minx of the Marches is far more somber than is her wont as she arrives to the Dining room of her patron. There's a wrinkle of her lovely nose at Aiden's brandy, like he's doing it /on purpose/, but she moves to greet him with a warmth regardless. "I'm glad you're all right," is murmured to the Duke.

Rubino's house colors are red, and so it is unsurprising when Grazia arrives clad all in red, looking serious and already armed with a glass of red wine; the odds of the source of the wine being her Granato vassals are very high. "Duke Aiden," she purrs in her husky if somewhat monotone voice, deep and almost sultry. "Thank you so much for inviting everyone to dinner tonight. It's been so long since we had a party of any sort. We've been practically shut-ins." She offers a vague smile to her guests; Quenia in particular gets a polite nod.

The tall red head that is Rosalind is quick with a sincere smile to those gathered. "Hello! Hi! Thank you so much for having me! I think anyway." She looks around, trying to find SOMEONE that she knows. "Lord Valerius told me I had to come and see a real Lycene dinner or something,"glancing at her own guard. She promises everyone about with a hushed sound, her accent thick and northern,"He won't be a problem, I promise!" Rosa demeanor is nothing BUT friendly as she makes herself comfortable with everyone.

A whisper of duskweave is almost all the sound that accompanies Medeia's quiet entrance to the dining room. The smile she wears is kind, but doesn't quite meet her eyes, which scan the room nervously. Her backless dress certainly makes a bold statement with a set of silver and moonstone accessories. Her assistant and guard have remained behind in the foyer. She is outside of Saik Tower unarmored and unguarded for the first in several days. She gives Quenia a polite nod in greeting before collecting a glass of brandy for herself and approaching Aiden to greet him. "Duke Aiden," she says softly, her alto voice warm, if subdued. "Thank you for having us. It is important to remember the things that we are protecting." Then she's greeting Valerius and ROsalind, giving the woman a hug, before saying hello to Monique as well.

There's someone who perhaps wasn't so invited. But the lanky man, beard in need of a trim but hair brushed back and a clean neatly tailored short and pants with shining boots, is walking in with a servant who shows the man through. He has a tin pot in hand and colorful socks can be seen when he strides forward and they're exposed for a moment. Ripley Thornburn is a familiar face to some. Fingers tap on the sides of the tin and he runs his tongue against the underside of his top front teeth as he comes to a stop to regard and try to account for faces and possibly names that he has to go with them. Party crasher. With an offering!

"Medeia," Quenia greets first amongst those there. "I did not get to tell you last evening that I am sorry for your loss. All of House Saik's loss." The Compact's too, but Medeia is a Saik and so was Orazio. "I've told Lady Eirene to put my name down amongst those seeking training, particularly in the aspects of how to dodge," she informs her, as if reiterating a point that might not have been heard at the Physician's meeting the other evening. She then looks to Grazia and Aiden, giving them both a polite nod. "Duke, Duchesss," she offers before wandering over to take a seat. A glass of wine is selected as she gets herself settled. The others get a curious look, as her brow scrunches and she tries to think if she's met them before. The Monique arrives and the minx gets a warm smile.

Aiden gives an appropriate nod for the Marquis and his guest, but it was Monique as she steps up to him that turns his eye, his mouth curving into a smile as he means to hug her in greeting, "Oh I was fine. I was no where in the districts that had been targets of the attack. Though, I had heard you weren't so lucky?" He looks over her, to ensure she's well, even ignoring the disdain for his drink. He was doing it on purpose, the glint in his silver eyes struck as much emphasis on it as he could. Turning his gaze then, to that monotone voice with the edge of sultriness to it, his head bobs to Grazia, "I thought it's been too long since we've had our home opened and I keep missing both Marquessa Igniseri and Lady Saik's parties. A matter I hope I can rectify eventually." He does laugh at Rosalind, "Oh I think the Marquis hopes for too much Lycene. I often do that much Lycene with a mask on, Lady...?" He inquires after her name. Waiting for a turn before it's supplied, "Good of you to come as a guest of my friend, Lady Rosalind."
His eyes turn on Medeia then, his sympathy quite open and honest toward the woman, "Indeed, we must ensure life doesn't stop and friends, gather, especially after such great loss. You have my sympathy, Lady Medeia. I hope you at least, can enjoy the night. I'm afraid I have no games planned, I thought not, perhaps, we can give a toast to the Dominus Orazio, this evening, if you'd be open to that." He leaves that up to Medeia, before his eyes flash upon Ripley. That causes him to draw his chin up with wonder, and an eyebrow, "Master Ripley..." he says with a toneless ring in his voice, unsure what to make of the other's presence, "Are you well?"

Sir Floppington the Soulful Hound arrives, following Rowenova.

Rowenova has joined the extravagant large table.

Rosalind feels the hug from Medeia and instantly hugs her back,"Oh! I'm so sorry about your--uncle right? So sorry,"she genuinely murmurs. She looks around, a bit awkward in her gown, but she smiles away. "Oh. You can all call me Ros or Rosa if you'd like,"she adds. There's a curious look to Ripley, her large hazel green eyes wide. "Hello uh---,"hearing Aiden. "Master Ripley,"noting his socks. She grins helplessly, telling him,"I love you socks!

They might be late, but they are here. Nova and Flop show up, in their usual everyday garb (but extra spiffy clean via alchemy means). Spotting the only other Northerner here, Nova migrates that way toward Rosalind and Medeia then attempts to hug them group style.

Valerius heads over to greet the Duke and Duchess directly, "Duke Aiden, thank you for the invite to your home. And Duchess-- ?" He pauses to be able to get a proper name.

When Quenia greets her, Medeia gives the Marquessa-sort-of-cousin a watery smile. "Thank you, Marquessa. I..." She swallows, nods, then moves on to the other subject. "I have been spending quite a bit of time in the training center as of late, pitting myself against skilled fighters like Prince Kenjay, Lord Drake, and Marquis Valerius," she gestures to the man nearby, "In order to improve such skills. It has been hard, but valuable work. If you would like, perhaps I can help you, as well?" Aiden's genuine care has her reaching a hand out to gently rest it on his forearm. "I appreciate you. And, yes, that would be lovely. And appropriate." Her eyes are drawn to the spectacle that is Ripley with curiosity, and she takes a sip from her brandy just before getting wrapped in a hug by Rowenova. "Scout Nova, hello. You're alright?"

Monique leans in to embrace Aiden, her warmth pressing for a moment and then withdrawing. "Nothing more than my pride," she admits to her patron with a wry-lipped smile. "At least I didn't go tumbling over the cliff's edge." She nods in return to Quenia, eyes catching on Medeia. There's a soft murmur as the Minx leans in to whisper something to the Lady, before pulling back. Her emerald eyes focus on Ripley for a long, long moment.

"Do you? Reid made em. Like five years ago?" He lifts a leg so the colorful socks flash. "There's uhh, a hole in the big toe though. I should probably let my mum darn them." Fingers still ratta tat tat upon the tin as his eyes meet up with Aiden and he moves forward, slinking a little, hunching shoulders over a little more and withering under Monique's look before he offers the tin out. "Uhhh, biscuits. Mum says when you go over for dinner to a nobles place, that you bring something so I nicked a tin of her biscuits. So if'n I'm found red arsed in the market tomorrow, you know why."

Rosalind hugs Rowenova smilingly,"Hi, Nova!"giggling as she listens to Ripley. "My mom used to do things like that. But that was because I putting snakes in my brothers beds things. Or not coming home from the woods." She goes to make herself comfortable at a seat, smiling, glad she knows people.

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

"Why is there a dog in my home? Please have the dog removed immediately," Grazia says with a wave of her hand, a little impatient at the idea, wrinkling her nose slightly. "It is a tragedy that we have lost the Dominus. So young, and so recently appointed to that position. Why, it's only been a couple of years now. But it is good to see that Legate Aureth continues to advance. He was once my protege, and he has long been a family friend."

Nova gives a wolfy hug which is buffered by niveous fur up top and mottled fur below the first one. To Media, she quietly yeahs, "I was not injured and finally got my cry out, so doing better. Worried for all you Saik people, though." Being that she is the protege of the Head of House at this time. "Hey, you." says she to Rosa before she releases everybody she hugged.

Micana, an efficient assistant, 1 Saik Guard arrive, following Lucita.

Lucita is late, but that is nothing unusual under the circumstances. She has a taut expression and a hint of anger glinting in her eyes as she tucks away a message then looks around the gathering.

"If you wish to come to one of our dinners, Duke Aiden, House Igniseri is having one next week. I felt it was time to bring all of the newly arrived together, or the newly re-arrived from Granato, as Yelana and Ariella are back in the city, or in Yelana's case has been for some time. All of Rubino-Zaffria is welcome and invited to attend." Quenia remarks to Aiden. She flashes Medeia a warm smile at her offer, saying. "Thank you, Lady Medeia." She seems to take it to heart.

Medeia gives Monique's hand a quick, appreciative squeeze at her murmured words and a similarly murmured response. She watches Ripley and, somehow, the man's gesture actually draws a smile that reaches her eyes. Still, she takes a deep, steadying sip of her brandy, then introduces herself to Grazia. "Duchess, I am Harlequin Medeia Saik, Minister of the Hearth for House Saik. A pleasure to meet you." When she sees Lucita enter, she waves, but she notices that anger and moves close to see how her Baroness is doing.

Nova sidles up to Quenia, "Good to see you, my patron's patron." And then, behold: the patron (Lucita) arrives. Nova looks to her with a concerned smile but does not ask just yet.

Aiden murmurs to Quenia, "Marquessa, thank you for coming. I need to return the favor, the next you host." Though he watches Valerius go to introduce himself, he otherwise shifts to Medeia, to whom he takes her hand softly in his own, holding it gently and squeezing it with an affection and comforting pat. "Then we shall do so," he makes note of that, about to turn toward the head of the table to make such an announcement, fondly smiling at Monique with a touch of relief, and a look to Ripley stills him. "Very kind of you," he reaches out to take the biscuits, "you are welcomed here Ripley. I hope your business continues as merrily as it did, before I attended your shop." He still looks horrified for that situation, but schools his features and walks toward the head of the table. "Guests--" he clings a spoon to the glass to get their attentions.
"Friends. Please can I have your attention for a moment?"

He pauses and waits until everyone's finished up their greetings with one another.

"I want to begin off by saying that as guests of our House, we are pleased to afford you all the luxuries of a dinner this evening, including ... an unfortunate selection of wine and whiskey. I do think, other choices, are better. Have that man-" he points to a bar tender, "-make you a Lycene Sunrise, it's probably the best thing you'll taste. But on a more serious note, Duchess Grazia and I, welcome you. We wish to welcome you but also take any matter of business, that you may consider important for us to support. I for one, wish to see endeavors that friends and family, here tonight, succeed. Of course, our attention, as House Rubino-Zaffria will be shifting to the conflicts on the horizon, and the very conflicts that came to us, into our city, into our homes, and into our lives. Yet, you, are the people that will be aiding that effort and likely in ways we have no ways of knowing, without you, telling us."

He looks over toward Lady Medeia, "Not many years ago, my friendship with House Saik began when the late Baron Estaban saved my life. We supported eachother in many ways, countless, that I can think of, by being open with one another and understanding the risks associated with the ventures ahead. I am moved and touched, to see both Lady Medeia Saik and now," as Lucita walks in, "The Baroness Saik here this night. Together, their presence shows the bond forged long ago, in life and death. And it is with great sadness, to hear that Dominus Orazio fell in the conflicts that struck at the very heart of us all. I wish to start this evening off, by officially giving the proper respect. If any wish to speak in turn, of their memory of Dominus Orazio, do so now. After, we will raise our glasses, in a moment of silence, to recognize our loss as a Compact."/n

{[g test/n

Oh good. The tin is taken. There's a bow to Grazia and as he rises, Ripley scratches at his beard and with a glance to Monique, the man seems t o freeze a little and then, with the same stop and go hesitation that brought him into the room, so does the jeweler start to slink off as speech from Aiden starts to happen.

Rowenova has joined the line.

Rosalind gives a little wave and smile to Lucita a little belatedly. When people go to speak, the tall Ravenseye goes quiet. She didn't know the Dominus but heard really nice things about him.

Monique squeezes Medeia's hand in return before she sets off to find herself a glass of whiskey, like any civilized once-shav. Once it is safely in hand, the Greenmarch turns to listen to Aiden's greeting, properly somber, though her eyes do slide, on occasion, to Ripley. Every so often, she moves about a foot in the jeweller's direction.

Quenia bows her head when Aiden speaks, lifting her glass and taking a sip at his words. "I did not know the Dominus, but my condolences are with those who did." Her expression goes a bit neutral with regards to the rest of what he speaks, about supporting others and such. She turns her attention to Lucita as she arrives and walks over to give her cousin a warm, solid hug. It doesn't matter of Lucita looks angry or not, she's getting hugged. "If you need anything, let me know," she tells her quite firmly.

Valerius has joined the extravagant large table.

Medeia has joined the line.

Turn in line: Rowenova

Grazia nods gravely to Aiden's words, and she lifts her glass. "It is good to be in the company of friends in these trying times," she says seriously, glancing around the room with her faint smile.

A look from Aidan has the jeweler arresting in spot and turn to face the dinner table, shoving hands in pockets and sucking in his lower l ip so he can chew on his beard and lower lip, eyes darting to Monique in the faintest hint of terror as he waits.

As per usual these days, Nova just gets some tea, and she briefly mentions. "Well, I would run into the late Dominus from time to time, and the last time was during Blessed Roran's Open House, and he was very kind and encouraging, saying it was good to see me at another gathering of the Faith. I remember before he left he approved of my desire to learn about the Pantheon. And then even before that last time, even in correspondence he was always good to me, especially one time I needed to do something in the Oathlands and gave advice about who to talk to which helped me do what I needed to. We were not close, but I will always remember that he was always a great help to me. Thank you." Those last two words she probably speaks as if to the spirit of Orazio, but doubly so to those who took the time to listen before she sits herself down.

Turn in line: Medeia

Aiden nods to Rowenova, "Thank you for your words." His eyes flicker around the room then come back to Medeia.

When it is her turn, Medeia drains the glass of brandy as eyes turn to her. "Ah." She clears her throat gently. "Thank you, Duke AIden, for being such a support to my fammily and for your kind words." She scans the faces around her, most of them friends. Yet, she's more nervous than she has ever been speaking in front of great crowds hosting events. "As most of you know, I am a Harlequin. That is, in no small part, thanks to my uncle treading, and forging, the path he did... On the day he..." She blinks hard a few times. "Sorry. I'm sure he would have thought it right that I happened to be there, to be the one to say his prayer." And then she makes a beeline for that bartender Aiden indicated earlier.

Quenia has not missed the exchange from Ripley to Monique. She leans over and whispers to the other woman.

Lucita looks at the others but is very distracted. It takes her a few moments to gather her thoughts and then she says softly. "I did not know Dominus Orazio as well as those of his Saik family did but we did get to know each other and work together. We shared meals, or a few drinks of wine. Did you know he used to carry a little pouch of his special blend of spices to put a pinch in his wine? He enjoyed music and sometimes would sit for hours listening to some of the entertainment at the Ambassador Salon. And he did not tolerate impoliteness. Once at the Queens Rest I was uneasy, kept my guard dogs close to my side and upon entering he chastized me soundly that it was rude, inconsiderate and not to be allowed, even if they were well trained. I was able to join him at his table, the special one that The Queen's Rest usually reserved for him, and talk. He was supportive of Saikland Greens, sent a thousand templars to intercede if diplomats were attacked by abandoned with whom they were negotiating. And he was openly proud and supportive, commending all those who helped clear the corrupted glass from Saikland's beaches." She gives a little sigh and lowers her gaze. "That... that's all I have to say."

Valerius has a funny smile on his face after having a quiet word with Medeia. Nods to the speeches, then gets a brandy and whiskey bringing them back to the table.

The line has been dismissed by Aiden.

Aiden quietly watches Medeia in a moment of empathy for the girls nervousness and sadness, nodding at her words. He does look to see if there was anyone else who needed to say a thing or two about the belated Dominus.

Then to Lucita's words he smiles at the matter of spices, shaking his head in amusement over that quirky detail. "Thank you Baroness. I'm sure there will be time plenty, to remember him and perhaps the wound is too fresh for now."

"If there are no further words, that wish to be aired in this setting of friends, let your words be spoken in prayer and fond memories be written in the Whites," he lifts his hand up, hosting the goblet of brandy, BRANDY, "To Dominus Orazio. May he find his way back to the Wheel."

Quenia lifts her glass at the toast and takes a sip. "Dominus Orazio."

"Im sorry I didn't get to meet,"Rosalind eventually says with a sincere regret. "How lucky you all are to know someone like that,"giving Valerius a brief smile as he hands her a glass. Which seems to be great timing, because there's a toast. Rosa lifts her glass, echoing,"Dominus Orazio."

Something Monique shows him as Ripley tilting his head, though hands remain in his pockets. He straightens when glasses are lifted and voices as well to the fallen Dominus and he, with no drink, just huts his chin up. "For the Domi- To the Dominus." Then hunches back down, letting shoulders slump forward.

Monique twitches her skirts and something shiny glints in their folds, coinciding with a whisper to Ripley. But the distraction of Aiden's speech makes her less cautious, and those who are looking that way might see the gleam of platinum before it disappears. The Minx lifts her glass in toast.

"To Dominus Orazio, a man of great Faith!" Grazia agrees with a little more enthusiasm than she usually shows, lifting her glass with the others.

Lifting his glass, "To Dominus Orazio--" Valerius pauses for a moment to silently mumble an additional phrase. "--May he find his way back to the Wheel."

With the moment spoken and aired, Aiden waves the friends to find their meals, a buffet style this evening rather than a served course, which allows people to grab and wander as they will. "Feel free to approach the Duchess or myself, should you have business needs. Please eat and drink, enjoy this moment. We have it, so take it for all it's worth. Don't waste a moment." He leaves his self proclaimed podium, loosening up his collar strings to give him a more Lycene flare of casualness, expression just as relaxed, a peacefulness in his persona as his gaze flickers over all those who have come. The man seems to recognize his great fortunes in having the company, a warmed curl settling on his lips, approachable.

Lucita joins in the toast. "To Dominus Orazio." After the toast she glances to Aiden. "Not much more I can say. Others have sopken eloquently of his faith and his dedication, his ability and leadership so I was just bringing his memory down to a more personal level.

Quenia's expression schools back to careful neutrality when the toast to Orazio is completed. She grabs some fruits and cheeses from the buffeet, but otherwise leaves everything else alone, seeming to prefer to nibble. She wanders over to the table with her plate and settles easily into a seat. "The only business I can think if is that of Eurus and the banners being called, but within Igniseri not only did we manage to replace the loses we had from the Gyre war, we also doubled out fleet of ships, so we're well set where that comes into play."

Once the bartender puts a new glass in her hand, she joins the toast, now drinking the strongest whiskey the bartender had available. The she finds herself wandering in the direction of Monique and Ripley. "Master Ripley, the tin of cookies was a nice gesture." To Monique, she adds, "Were you still willing to discuss the subject of your cancelled meeting sometime? I'd like to get those notes."

Aiden settles on over near to Grazia, side glancing at the red, "You look well." He takes a sip of brandy, his attention taken by Quenia as she speaks of the Eurus situation, "Yes. I would think that our attention is heavily taken that way now, despite any hesitation I suggested, in the matter of other enemies not yet seen. We've yet to hear if Velenosa is going to officially call their banners, but if so, we will see them off. I'm glad that the Count Domonico Magnotta, had us all train together for such situations." He looks over toward Lucita, giving her arm a squeeze, "I do hope we'll all be able to attend the negotiations, or at least, hear what the terms are. If you need support, I'll be there with you Baroness. My promise to Saik," even if Saik wasn't their vassal, some bonds are tighter formed. His gaze flickers over toward Ripley, watching the man, but then to Grazia again, "Where do your thoughts lie on the matter of Cardia?"

Monique finds a seat at the table, nursing her whiskey. To Medeia, the Minx nodds her titian head, a fraction of movement. "I'd be happy to, Lady Saik. The treatise is just being bound, but as soon as it's ready, you shall have a copy. I was sorry to cancel the event, but in light of all that happened, it seemed appropriate. Short of someone finding Helianthus' severed head between now and then, I cannot imagine many events of discourse around Eurus being welcome."

Oh good, Monique's stopped looking at him. For a moment he's staring at that ingot of platinum he was shown. But without the butterfly pinning gaze, there's a side step, a blush from Medeia's words and then the jeweler's taking another step, as if trying to stealth out of the room

"I am not entirely certain on the matter of Cardia as yet. I would like to see something written down. Something to analyze, legally, to see what is really being said and what is merely pretty words," Grazia replies to Aiden with a thoughtful nod between sips of wine. "I prefer to move slowly and with great care, when at all possible."

Rosalind leans down to murmur something to Nova with great curiosity as she takes in the conversation aroudn her.

Quenia raises a brow at Aiden's words and then it draws down in concern. "I had not heard about other enemies other than Eurus attacking. Just the rumors that the Archduchess was calling banners. And that everyone wanted to consider Lucita allowing the Cardian Ambassador build an Embassy on her lands that she just cleaned up of their last mishap that left their lands in ruins." She tsks her teeth together at even the thought of such a thing! She gives both Medeia and Lucita a supportive look when she says this. "I told the Archduchess that House Igniseri does not support slavers, which is what the Cardians are. I feel it would be bad business for us to do business with them."

Rosalind relizes then, speaking. "Oh! Redrain has already called it's banners. There is talk about using my family's shipyard as well." Is that a proper thing to say here. Rosa has no idea really.

Lucita says, "The Tribune has not replied to my messages to her as yet." She keeps her comments discretely brief and her voice tones and expression neutral. "So I will say that they did decide to not use Saikland as a potential site, wanting one more toward the heart of politics. Ane anything more I am refraining from saying t this time.""

"Ah, but a woman can wish for such, can't she?" Medeia asks Monique, her expression grim. She adds, "Thank you. I appreciate it - and everything you've been doing to help keep people informed." She's trying really hard to ignore the conversation about Cardia, so she just sort of... Stares at Ripley. But Quenia's words grip her. "Seems imprudent to employ the help of slavers in a fight against salvers, doesn't it?" She doesn't look to meet anyone's eyes. Lucita's choise to refrain is probably the best one.

Aiden looks between Quenia and Lucita, though Grazia's words have him turning to her as well. "I agree with the Duchess, I think, at this time, I will reserve full judgement until words are more than words. It makes no sense to create rifts now, over mere words." His attention sweeps to Medeia as well, perhaps having heard her response, "Whatever the Archduchess does decide, unity serves us better at this point, than division. Other Houses, fair worse than we, on that matter." He sips his brandy, his eyes pinning back toward Ripley, "Master Ripley, if you please?" He indicates a nod to approach him. NOT getting away!

"I suppose the first question becomes whether we wish to give them a foothold in our continent," Grazia murmurs, considering her wine for a moment, then looks to Aiden and nods. "Indeed. Will they be decent allies? Or will they cause problems? We must not proceed capriciously."

Quenia hrmphs softly about the comment on unity. Likely nothing will change her mind about slavers; that's her expression. "Those of Jaidaral just claimed a foothold without asking. I read in the Whites that Zulana is actively teaching the shav'arvani who accept writs magic."

Nova pulls around her Messenger Bag and gets out her wooden box with those leather straps buckled around it. She sets that down then gets out what is a second item (a leatherbound folio) which she passes over to Rosalind there.

His hand was on the lintel. So close. One foot out the door, one colorful ankle seen. But the matriarch of the Thurburn family instilled a modicum of manners between the ears of her middle child and so the jeweler ambles over as slow as possible before standing in front of or relatively in that area, of the Duchess and her husband and ginger bangs flop forward into his view when he bows.

Valerius nods to the conversation then leans to make a quiet comment to Rosalind. Getting up from the table to get a plate from the buffet, stopping for a brief conversation with the Duchess. He turns when Aiden brings up the banners, "Unity will serve us better. Without it Nilanza--" He pauses for a moment and takes a deeper drink of the brandy, "I hope that the rest of the houses see soon just how much we will do better together."

"In my -past- experience, it didn't go well," Aiden notes to Grazia, which outlines which way he'd lean, given his icy tone on the matter. Aiden achieving iciness was rare. Warmth flooded back into his tone, but his face pales a bit at Quenia, "Gods... writs?" he shakes his head, "Hm." That matter is left spinning in his head, since he has Ripley coming forward after he almost got away. "Master Ripley," he notes, "How has your business faired since I took my protege shopping?" Eyebrow arch. "Is there anything you need?" His sterling silver eyes flicker past Ripley though, toward Valerius, nodding once, "We will way out the costs and risks of that Unity, but my heart is always to give the best strength forward to the Compact, of that, have no doubt."

Monique's emerald eyes fall upon Ripley once more as Aiden addresses him directly. Poor Ripley. "There will be much to do here in the coming days, what with the efforts to restore the Cathedral. Prince Damik has donated a piece of platinum to be set in something to auction off for the reconstruction efforts. I'm not entirely sure what to set it in just yet. Any suggestions?" the Greenmarch asks of the dinner guests.

Rosalind frowns the more that Rowenova talks to her about whatever is written in her folder. "Really?!" though she does give Valerius a grin too. She listens though, asking,"How--do you--well what is needed to help rebuild?"

"It's uhh... I haven't sold a thing. Haven't made a thing. Half made this and that." He reaches up, scratching at the back of his neck. "I just uhhh, came to leave... the biscuits and then get back to the markets. Sorta... having at it with someone at the markets. Can't be gone too long. Uh... yeah. Yeah, it's not gone great since that night. Not... at all." His nose wrinkles, shaking his head. More scratching at the back of his neck, then the front, under his chin. Like a nervous dog. "Upset any other jewelers lately?" Ripley's not great at small talk. "Your house is lovely. I like the..." He looks around in desperation. "The sky." He gestures to the painting. "Such a lovely a lovely sky in that painting. Just.. really... blue."

"How despicable," Grazia says with a little shake of her head, though more to the subject of writs than to the idea of jewelry. "It makes me wonder if they will sandwich us between them: fight their war on our land. Trash Arvum for the sake of hurting one another." She looks to Monique thoughtfully then. "Perhaps a dagger? Isn't platinum known for its purity?"

Medeia turns away from whatever is happening with Ripley. Instead, she turns to ROsalind. "Sir Porter will be organizing the efforts and announcing the needs soon enough. However, High Lord Victus has already pledged a sum of two million silver."

A messenger arrives for Quenia, and after a few whispered words she rises from her seat. "If you'll all pardon me, there is another matter which I need to attend at home." Isn't there always? She dips her head to Aiden and Grazia. "Do have a good night and dinner was wonderful." She turns to go, hurrying after the messenger.

Captain Curls, an attentive, ebony guard poodle, Aspira leave, following Quenia.

Aiden looks troubled as the first words out of Ripley's mouth is that he hasn't sold a thing, nor made a thing. Then he looks respectfully guilty, "For that, I am sorry. None of what you did, was without mastership. I simply cannot bare the idea of you not having any funding because of my ill words made." He shakes his head, "I haven't visited other jewelers since... nor gone out to the market. I tend to realize I'm probably better nested away in here," he looks mortified even still, "Let me at least offer you some compensation." He grabs for the little pouch on his belt, "This should make a small dent in the losses." He considers the paintings then, smirking a bit, "Well, that one, with the birds, was painted of me, during one of the many Grey Forest adventures I made, when I was younger. Thank you for the biscuits." A beat. "Platinum..." Aiden sounds unfamiliar with the material, but equally impressed by the namesake of it, "A dagger might work."

There's a terribly horrified look on his face and a step back as Aiden attempts to give him silver. "No." The man yelps. "No... no, by choice. I'm not hurting for silver, gods. I've a couple mil-" He stops, as if remembering something told to him. "No. I'm good." A shake of his head, hands going up, another step back to divorce himself from the silver. "Newp. I'm good. Thank you though. No. I'm... I'm good. You can... you should go to the market. Buy some seasilk." A suggestion, a lift of his shoulders. "You know, for your wife." Hands gesture in Grazia's direction. "Whisper Nijah has some lovely aubergine bolts that would look... fetching." Searching for words. "Very fetching." Another step back, a repeated bobbing of his head to the titular pair. "I'm just going to go now..." Now a nod. And then the man's turning and swiftly running for the door. "Excuse me!"

Rosalind hears Ripley leave, calling out for him,"Can you make me some of your amazing socks!"hope in her voice before he flees.

"I'LL TELL MY BROTHER!" Is tossed over his shoulder.

The horrified look in Ripley's face has Aiden flinch, recoiling his offer almost as quickly. He's sort of left speechless by the whole thing and casually settles his purse back upon his person. Aiden doesn't even bother to stop the man from leaving, just drinks heavily and meanders awkwardly toward the food.

Lucita says, "A platinum belt buckle that could be used with clothing...like a belt or armor buckle, even boot buckle or buckle on a hat brim could do for man or woman and not be tied into one who has a weapon skill."

Monique listens to the suggestions put forth, tilting her crimson head in thought. "Not a crown?" she murmurs. "That was my initial thoughts. Perhaps twelve bloodstones set around, etched with the sigil of the gods, and the piece of platinum front and center, etched with Aion's sigil? Or is that too much?" There's a glance to Ripley, and then to Aiden, and the Minx murmurs to her patron, "It's fine. He will be /fine/. You've done nothing to be overly sorry for." She cuts a sharp glance to the fleeing artisan.

Valerius is taking an extra amount of time at the buffet, holding two plates and looking over the choices. One plate is covered in different fruits and cheeses, the other has meats and cheeses. Though the plates are mostly full, he is lingering.

After nodding back to Rosa, Nova has been taking her time to fill up her box, this box with the partitions inside to keep food she puts in there separated.

"Perhaps not a crown, but a circlet?" Medeia muses. "Or an especially fancy gorget." She looks to Monique. "Beautiful things can also be practical."

"I always find it gauche when commoners bid on things like that, even when they can afford them," Grazia notes to Monique with a thoughtful sip of her wine, pressing her lips together thoughtfully.

"Sorry, but what are bloodstones?" Aiden asks, to Monique. It was easier than to get lost dwelling on lost causes.

"Sorry, but what are bloodstones?" Aiden asks, to Monique. It was easier than dwelling on lost causes.

Lucita sighs as she receives a message of her own and with a soft spoken, gentle murmur she says "Pardon me please. Something has come up with which I must deal. I enjoyed the comany and the meal.

Micana, an efficient assistant, 1 Saik Guard leave, following Lucita.

Medeia looks at Aiden curiously. "Have you not seen one? They're stunning. Sangris, in the Saffron Isles, is pretty much made of the stuff."

Aiden shakes his head at Medeia, "No, I don't think so. The namesake sounds as bad as dragonweep. Please tell me blood isn't poured into the stone?"

Valerius finally makes his way back to the table with two plates that look pretty similar in food choices.

"I'm not really sure how it's made, patron-mine, but I bought several from Master Giorgio in the Pravus ward, and they're stunning," Monique answers for Aiden with a grin. "They're quite dramatic. They look like they /could/ be made from real blood, and I'm not sure I'd be put off as much as I should be." There's a roll of her supple, bare shoulders and her eyes slide to Grazia. "If they wish to bid, I appreciate their desires, and I'm sure the Pantheon wouldn't thumb their nose at the funds."

After strapping together the togo box, Nova sends it with a messenger to Tarik (who must be on Halfshav-estate watch), as per her words. She then goes forth and gets a plate for herself before sitting down at the dinner table again.

"That would be... an... Insurmountable volume of blood." Medeia's eyes widen as she considers it. "No no. It's just a deep red, sometimes orange-y stone. The city is practically carved right out of a mountain of the stuff. It makes for a surreal sight." She seems grateful for the distraction, thugh the mention of blood is... iffy. Her eyes look haunted.

"Just because it's a bit tacky for them to wear such things doesn't mean that one shouldn't take their money for the Faith," Grazia replies dryly to Monique with a little shake of her head. "The greater good and all that." She sniffs slightly. "Gemecitta is practically pink. We mine quite a lot of rose quartz. In addition to having diamond and ruby mines."

After watching her patron and her patron's patron depart, Nova awws softly before digging into her food and sometimes slipping a bite or two under table.

"Is ambition tacky?" Monique asks, a single titian brow lofting in Grazia's direction, and it's joined shortly by the second brow when the Minx catches sight of Rowenova and her box of to-go food. Her mouth drops open slightly, stunned. "I'm sorry but... did you just pack a box of food from the table and send it off?" She looks to Aiden. "Were we supposed to bring a box? I didn't see that on the invitation..." She looks confused, and slightly aghast.

"Oh, good," Aiden seems to be reassured, a little bit, about the stone's, "They come from the mountain. Good.... but what's the history of the mountain?" He grins a bit, "Sometmes, things are literally, what they're deemed to be. It's upsetting, but hopefully this is just a case of someone trying to be... creative with their description of the stone." He half blinks at Monique, "Who is Master Giorgio?" He looks at Grazia for a moment, then back at Monique, then back at Grazia. "Duchess mine, did you know that I took Lady Greenmarch as a protege? I... OH Marquis Valerius! Hi. Please, I haven't spent much time yet with your guest." His eyes respectfully draw to Rosalind, "Are you enjoying yourself?" He side glances back at Monique, confused at the whole food in a box thing, "Do I look like a soup kitchen?" That's a no.

One of the first times in a long time that anyone has spoke up, Nova looks up within the shade and frame of her wolf pelt headdress. "I did." She trails off but shifts her cobalt-blue/kohl-lined gaze from Monique toward Aiden then, and awaits judgment!

Rosalind pauses, mid cheese bite when Aiden is talking to her. "Oh! I am thank you,"she answers with an infectous smile. "It was very nice of you to let me stay."

"Yes. Ambition is quite tacky, in general," Grazia replies firmly to Monique, lifting one of her own mahogany brows seriously as she studies the Greenmarch woman with her whiskey-hued gaze. "But it is generally considered easier and more economical to invite the prodigals into the Compact rather than killing all of them." Her gaze then flicks to Rowenova. "Did I not inform you to get that dog out of my presence at once?"

Medeia rises and excuses herself after finishing her glass of whiskey. "Duke Aiden, perhaps some day I can intorduce you to my dear friend, Baroness Calla Vaevici of Sangris. She would do the story of her home's history better service. And please, pardon me, but I fear I overestimated my ability to to be out socializing." She dips a curtsy to Aiden and Grazia, bidding them both farewell. On her way out, she lightly touches Monique on the shoulder, leans down to give Rosalind a hug, inclines her head to Valerius, and sends a faint smile in Rowenova's direction.

Nova looks to the food upon own plate, not really wanting to waste it, but then she stuffs away all of her folios on Cardia into her Messenger Bag before standing up and donning the straps on her shoulders. She reaches down her Saikland-ringed hand to the good boy and then quickly departs for the door, doing so with him close at her side and without saying a word otherwise.

Rosalind hugs Medeia with a smile. "I'm leaving too. I should meet with Aella." Look at everyone, the Ravenseye says with warmth,"Thank you for having me. It was nice meeting you all." Rosa starts to head out the door, her long red hair practically floating behind her.

Monique's entire focus is on Rowenova, and it's still aghast. Grazia's response doesn't even register, for the moment. "Would it not simply be easier, and more polite, to ask the host to have the chef prepare something like that in advance? To receive permission?" There's a quizzical look before the woman is leaving and the Greenmarch diverts her attention away. "I'm sorry... what were we speaking about?"

Connal, a Northern Wolfhound, Honeymare, 1 Ravenseye Warrior leave, following Rosalind.

"Of course," Aiden tells to Rosalind, though the awkwardness unfolding behind him with the food boxes, the dogs, and all, has him wince a bit. He turns to Medeia and nods to her, "Thank you for coming. I will gladly meet any friend of yours, of course." Whatever he was trying to do, meeting Rosalind more than a name, fails him, and then more people are fleeing. FLEEING. He meanders toward the table and sits in it. Looking sullen. PEOPLE are hard.

Rowenova has left the extravagant large table.

Sir Floppington the Soulful Hound leaves, following Rowenova.

1 Saik Guard, Fortescue, a snooty and disinterested Lycene coxcomb, Fluffy, the wary wildcat leave, following Medeia.

"Duke, even though the conversation didn't follow directly in the path that you had hoped. You still pulled together an interesting group that would not have otherwise been able to meet." Valerius is still at the table sipping at brandy and eating some cheese.

"This is why I don't people anymore-" Aiden announces, for those who remain, "If it wasn't enough to get dragged around the city by my cousin Michael, this will go down as probably one of the worst dinners I've hosted. I don't think I'll do it again." He notes with a strain to his features, his sterling silver eyes coming up to hear Valerius finally speaking out, "Mm, best next time to stick to hosting masquerade balls, at least I know how to do those." He drinks liberally of his glass, eyeing both his protege and his wife, carefully.

"There was a dog in my house," Grazia notes to Monique with a measure of annoyance. "And that oddly dressed Northerner was feeding it food. Food for people. Ugh. And the Duke is sulking. Aiden, why are you sulking? This was a very good party, but people do have to leave eventually, darling. You did beautifully. You're the most charming host, and everyone seems happy." She presses her lips together in a line. "Except for me, briefly, because: dog."

"You realize I have a dog," Aiden notes to Grazia.



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