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Disappointment on Display

Eidolon Gallery is unveiling its new multimedia collection on the theme of Disappointment, a thing universally felt and yet experienced so differently by each of us. In addition to revealing the remarkable pieces contributed by several of Arx's finest artists and artisans, the opening event will also feature a unique brew creatured by Venturo Thayne tailored to the theme. The event is open to the public, and the collection will remain on display for a few months.

Date

Jan. 12, 2021, 8 p.m.

Hosted By

Lianne

Participants

Venturo Monique Apollo Fortunato Ripley Alessia Caprice Mayir Vitalis Svana Vanora Piccola Samira Khanne Lark Amari Giorgio Duarte Deva Niklas Sabella

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of the Compact - Eidolon Gallery

Largesse Level

Refined

Comments and Log


The main room of Eidolon Gallery tonight--and, likely, for the next few months--has been dedicated to Disappointment, showcasing eleven pieces in various media. The atmosphere is fairly low-key with a special cider worked up by Master Brewer Venturo Thayne on offer at the bar along with other libations served up by Zane and Elim, neither of whom are precisely personable, but at least that fits the theme. Lianne fusses over a few final details, making sure everything is just so, before turning to greet guests, her smile comfortably bright. It's going to be a good night. Not a disappointment at all, surely.

Khadija, a most lovely voice of reason arrives, following Svana.

Nestled in one of the gloomier parts of the gallery, which seems ever so fitting for the theme, Venturo is present and accounted for already, no doubt in giving a hand to get that completely adequate alcohol setup for the others to serve. But here now, it's a fair share of attention cast to the artwork that is present, while in the edges of his view he keeps a watchful eye out for familiar faces as they begin to filter in.

Caprice gets Exclusive Cask of Raconteur's Curiously Satisfactory from A Raconteur Gift Box of Alcohol.

A ladies night out sees Monique and Alessia, the latter resplendent in molten gold and the former wearing shades of black and gold in complement and contrast, arm in arm and arriving to the Eidolon Gallery, ready to soak in some incredible culture. "Do you think any of the works will be for sale?" the Greenmarch asks of the stunning Mazetti, before spying Lianne and murmuring, "Shall we go preemptively congratulate? Because from what I can see, this is /incredible/."

Apollo Oakwood is here to see what there is to see, and among those things, observe the reception of his own art. Does his vanity know no bounds? Well, at least not where two things are concerned: his art and that curly mop atop his head. He ducks over into the gloomier bit, out of the way, and asides to Venturo, "Appears anything can inspire."

Fortunato settles himself near the back, arms loosely folded. He's a small man in umbra, slight, and slightly graying, his dark eyes skimming over the pieces. He smiles slightly.

Piccola takes Exclusive Cask of Raconteur's Curiously Satisfactory from A Raconteur Gift Box of Alcohol.

Monique gets Exclusive Cask of Raconteur's Curiously Satisfactory from A Raconteur Gift Box of Alcohol.

Vanora gets Exclusive Cask of Raconteur's Curiously Satisfactory from A Raconteur Gift Box of Alcohol.

Skimming around the edges, looking clean and smelling only faintly of the forge beneath the simple soap scent, the ginger haired Thornburn lurks. Hands in pockets, eschewing alcohol, he looks like a cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

On the arm of her resplendent friend, Alessia's eyes brighten when she takes in the fabulous pieces on display. "Maybe. Were they for sale in the last event?" She tries to recall. "Oh, we should." She grins, lifting her free hand to wave Lianne's way. "I love the topic. It's... real."

A gleam of amusement comes across Venturo's features as Apollo ducks in close by, a soft 'mmm' escaping him. "What is life without a bit of disappointment, yes? And you are supposed to create from what you've experienced in life, so..." One shoulder hefts upwards, and out a finger extends to the cider at hand. "from anywhere."

Arriving alone, consumable souvenir acquired, Caprice tucks the cask beneath one arm to serve as her date as she starts her rounds along the pieces on display - occasionally observing other observers as much as the paintings and sculptures.

Mayir Grayhope comes on in to gawk and maybe have a drink. (He always has a drink.) Upon spying Vanora, he raises a hand. "Duchess!" She gets an air kiss to the cheek. "It is so very good to see you. Come out to support the good Marquessa?"

Vitalis enters, led by his aide Feisel, head tilted in such a way that sugggests he's listening attentively. The two speak quietly, the aide's eyes scanning the crowd pointing out faces familiar and unfamiliar, steering them towards that gloomy corner and the most familiar of the gathering. His attention quickens, smiling at Apollo's statement, "Contrasts abound, mmh? What is victory without its opposite?"

Svana is more than happy to be dressed up and out for a night of art. Despite not having been able to put anything in the show herself, her eyes are immediately drawn to the exhibitions that have been put out, and she roams that way, looking at the star iron statuette first. Mirrorsilver glints in her hair as she winds her away around the gallery.

Khadija, a most lovely voice of reason have been dismissed.

Apollo takes Exclusive Cask of Raconteur's Curiously Satisfactory from A Raconteur Gift Box of Alcohol.

Vanora arrives on time but unaccompanied, noticing the guests less than the works themselves which she gazes on one at a time. Mayir's boisterous greeting surprises her and brings a smile to soft lips. She accepts the air kiss and returns one in the same fashion, perfume lingering just a touch. "I do love my cousin and support her endeavors, of course. I'm also rather fond of art in general, so I don't even have to feign interest."


No one invites Piccola out.

She looks like the epitome of disappointment. Clothed in her dark wool cloak, even in the summer, she arrives to stare at the works of art in turn with those intense, baleful green eyes of hers. There's a scowl on her face, but this one is just a little deeper than her normal scowl. Otherwise, she is silently and substantially the same: small, quiet, and armed to the teeth.

She ends up in front of the large, unsigned painting, staring up at it.



Samira takes Exclusive Cask of Raconteur's Curiously Satisfactory from A Raconteur Gift Box of Alcohol.

Svana is more than happy to be dressed up and out for a night of art. Despite not having been able to put anything in the show herself, her eyes are immediately drawn to the exhibitions that have been put out, and she roams that way, looking at the star iron statuette first. Mirrorsilver glints in her hair as she winds her away around the gallery.

Lianne's verdant gaze tracks a particular ginger where he lurks, brows pitching high in warning like she might call him out. But she doesn't. There are others approaching. Of course, the blind man making his way through the room might also pique her curiosity a moment, but she turns her bright smile to Alessia and Monique. "I'm so glad you could both make it. And really, Caprice Artiglio gets credit for the theme. After the last event, we were discussing whether /all/ art can evoke emotion, and I made the mistake of suggesting that some does not. She corrected me, and so I wondered if art can inspire disappointment, can disappointment inspire art." With a quick glance about the place, well. It's pretty clear she got a resounding answer. "I'll be curious to know which pieces you both find most intriguing."

Apollo turns to find Vitalis by instinct and voice. "Triumph, I suppose," he says. "There's stuff to claim victory over that doesn't require anyone's defeat." A pause, then, "Sort of." He smiles to Venturo, lifts a shoulder. "I get asked to make stuff all the time that isn't about -my- experience. Listening goes a long ways."

Quiet footfalls bring Samira Culler into the art gallery, a detour taken to accept the cider being given away to guests. That done, she seems content to blend in with the crowd while she moves to admire the other works of art on display. Every once in a while, her attention departs from the works of art long enough to scan the gathering for familiar faces.

"I know which ones I'd want to steal," Monique replies to Lianne with a cheshire smile drifting to her lips. "Steelsilk on a work of art is a work of art in itself! Makes my fingers itch. But they are all incredibly evocative. It would be so difficult to choose." She turns aside to Alessia to see what the Mazetti thinks and spies Apollo as she does. A hand is lifted in warm greeting.

"Well. Sure. I like art. Uhm. Drawings. And such." Mayir is trying his best here. But hey! Look! A drink. He takes the drink, taking a sip. "I hope you are well, though? It's been too long since we have had time to talk." He touches Vanora's arm. "Perhaps we will fix that sometime soon."

"I suppose the benefit of my engagement with the Marquessa as a patron. I name and brew based upon the stories I've lived." Venturo's attention shifts briefly towards the woman in question, a dip of his head offered silently towards her. It's the catch of Caprice's name for the inspiration that has him scanning the crowd, she's followed as she begisn to make her rounds of paintings and observers.

It is rare for Khanne to arrive on time. This is not one of those rare moments. She arrives dressed in silks of muted blues and black, lit with stars of gems flecked without. Her red hair, some braided, some twisted, some left alone, is all gathered up off her neck for the summer heat, held in place by a pair of hairpins made to look like paintbrushes. Upon her arrival, she heads straight to Lianne, waiting off to the side until she has a moment to greet her. A smooch to the cheek and Khanne smiles to her friend. "This is bound to be fabulous. I cannot wait to see all the pieces!" She wiggles her fingers in greeting towards Venturo and Apollo, nodding to some others she knows in the crowd.

Vitalis overhears Lianne's comment, recognizes her voice and straightens, steering that way, a bit, "I've attempted painting. I assure you... there's no question." A quiet aside to his aide...

Vitalis mutters, "... there any I ... touch?"


One can only stare into blackness for so long.

Piccola does seem to linger at the unsigned painting for an inordinate length of time. Even she, however, moves along. From under the hood, she resumes looking around the gallery, but she seems to spy someone she wishes to speak to and makes a detour in her path. This brings her on an intercept course towards Samira, to whom she holds up a hand in greeting.

"Signora Culler," she says upon approach.



Khanne gets Exclusive Cask of Raconteur's Curiously Satisfactory from A Raconteur Gift Box of Alcohol.

Svana looks over at Mayir, cousin-in-law at large, and chuckles quietly. She moves to sit at the bar by the entrance, deciding that while the artwork is especially stunning, people watching is better. She crosses her legs and eyeballs the room at large with a grin.

Khadija, a most lovely voice of reason have been dismissed.

Vanora's laughter surprises her, sudden and bright until she quiets her voice to a murmur more appropriate for the setting. "I'm sure you have better taste than you know. Or interesting taste at least, which always makes for engaging conversation. People spend as much time talking about art as they do looking I'm sure. I'm better with appreciating music I think, or the art of high fashion, but I am learning." A drink is summoned her way as well and sipped on. "I'm well enough, and it has been too long. We ought remedy that as soon as we can." Her smile warms.

Apollo sees Monique's wave, lifts a hand, gives her a crooked smile and raised brows, as if he /heard/ that. No stealing the artwork, AHEM. To Venturo, he glances sidelong, nods. "I've made art of stuff I've lived, too. Just isn't -all- of it." He watches Vitalis go off to find accessible art, and shoves his hands down in his pockets, stepping roughly Khanne's direction. "Duchess Khanne," he greets. "Have you got a piece on display? Or do you still insist you're not an artist?"

Giving the room a lingering gaze, Alessia looks thoughtful before a smile reappears. "I do like the large one. The unfinished bridge." She shakes her head. "Unfinished tasks often lower my spirits." She turns to where Monique waves, smiling Apollo's wave. Though her eyes almost seem to glitter when she notes her cousin with him, right before he heads off.

"I do appreciate your restraint, Lady Monique," Lianne answers with a playfully worried smile. "That's Andrina Thornburn's contribution. Utterly remarkable." Catching some mention of herself, she glances back toward Venturo and those in his vicinity, calling over, "Is that the nature of our relationship, Master Venturo? Curiously satisfactory?" Her smile flashes faintly wry before spilling into laughter at Khanne's arrival. "My dawn." She snags the duchess' elbow, loose and light, easily slipped to let her mingle. She knows the answer to Apollo's question, but doesn't answer. In part because she's distracted by Alessia's comment. "It's a strange ache, isn't it?" sounds as if it might be personal.

Fortunato speaks at apparent random, responding to a voice in the crowd. "Unfinished works are full of possibility. An unfinished work is a path to a thousand ends."

1 Culler Boatswain have been dismissed.

2 Culler Midshipman have been dismissed.

As Khanne casts her wave their way, Venturo lifts his hand, offering a blwon kiss towards the Duchess and then a flutter of fingers. "I get the benefit, I suppose, of mass sales. One drink created, but several dozens of casks sold, if not more. Not that it is precisely like art here," His chin gives an upnod towards the pieces, and those masks in particular, an appreciative look cast their way. "Oh, of course not Marquessa. I believe that drink? Was called Fortuitous Instincts. It paired well, as I remember, with Measured Skill."

Lianne comments to Fortunato, "And sometimes there's no possibility at all. When the world falls away and the planks, as it were, are left hanging."

"Excellent," says Mayir to Vanora as she promises to catch up with him soon. He then spies his cousin-in-law and takes his leave so that he can visit with Svana. "Hello there," he murmurs, leaning in to kiss each of her cheeks in turn. "How are you doing? Thank you for coming out tonight. It's an interesting show, isn't it?"

Fortunato hums at Lianne. "The drop is still a possibility."

Ripley slips off, a mod to Apollo and Caprice before slinking out and taking the forge scent with him.

"We're associating me with disappointment, now," Caprice drifts close enough to lament in Lianne's general direction. She pats lightly against the cask's side as if to comfort it, already rolling on, "Well, we learn, we grow. We can enjoy a break from commissions, I think, if that particular accolade catches on."

Monique catches Fortunato's comment and the Greenmarch nods her fiery head in agreement. "If something has no end, it has a story left to tell. Those sorts of things always make me curious. Where will it go?" she muses, emerald eyes turning to the painting in question. "I suppose it could go nowhere. Where do you think it goes, Alessia?"

Svana slips off of her barstool to go find Caprice, having seen her earlier. She sidles up to the other woman and upon catching onto Lianna's last words, she murmurs quietly to Caprice, "Strange aches usually go away for me with chocolate and plenty of time to mope." But then Svana is caught on to by Mayir and she laughs, kissing each of his cheeks back. "Yes. I don't think I would have done it justice by contributing. I could have submitted a very large painting of Jules, I believe he was my first large disappointment." She sniffs the air for a moment. "It's good to see you. I was just musing how I should let you meet your two littlest cousins the other day."

Lianne answers Fortunato, "And so I fall," with an oddly hopeful smile. To Caprice, she assures, "In only the best of ways. Credit toward unexpected success." With a nod toward Svana, she taps her temple for the thought of chocolate.

"Oh, but I am not," Khanne says towards Apollo with a smile. "I just dabble. I do have one.. it is uncreatively titled, Disappointment." She gives a nod of her head towards where her painting is on display. "And you? I am sure you have something here.. I hope." SHe hears Fortunato's voice then and looks up, smiling and waving to him with the arm not snagged by Lianne. "My dusk. I'll be around... looking... talking." She waves a hand in the air. Lianne can easily find her if she wants as she flits about. She turns just in time to catch a blown kiss from Venturo and heads off that way for a bit.

Khanne has joined the gloomier view of the gallery.

6 Grayson House Guards arrives, following Lark.

Feisel is entirely certain which pieces of the gallery he thinks would be tactilely enjoyable, but not which are permissible to touch and parts from Vitalis a moment to find the hostess and beg her attention briefly. When he has it, "Marquessa, a marvelous event. Thought provoking." He bows, "Which of these, if I may, are permissible to touch?" He gestures at Vitalis.

Hearing her name spoken by a familiar voice draws Samira's attention from the painting she stands admiring. A brief smile appears, adding a flash of warmth to her previously solemn expression as she spots Piccola's approach. "General Piccola. It's good to see you. This is a thought-provoking collection, I think. Does any piece in particular catch your eye?"

There's a look of contemplation before Alessia lets out an exhale, her smile growing. "Sometimes there's peace to be found in finality. If it goes nowhere, hopefully that's the end of the journey." She hesitates, though doesn't seem inclined to expand beyond that.

Mayir laughs at Svana. "You ought to have me come by! I mean, I love hanging out with Pie, but I need to see the rest of the Grayhope future generation, too!" He nudges his cousin-in-law with an elbow. But when Lianne looks over at the female Grayhope, he waggles his fingers at the Marquessa in greeting, but not cutting in.

Caprice turns from the painting she stands before, her smile for Svana turning curious as Mayir steps up; she listens in to their conversation, briefly looking away to flash a smile and grateful nod back to Lianne's response.

Fortunato bows toward Lianne. "Perhaps. Or perhaps there is a handhold, a foothold. A cliff is a kind of path, haha!" He waves back to Khanne and inclines his head toward Monique and Alessia. "It's odd I'm not inclined to see ends. Though they do come for us all."

"Who is P--


The dour General just makes a noise in response.

"I am familiar with the sentiment. I'm not sure I want to be surrounded by it." She falls in to stand next to Samira, rather than in front of her. The two make for a watchful pair. "I've seen enough death first-hand to know despair. If I did not, I would be worried to step onto the field: a commander without a sense of compassion is a tyrant's lash cracked against those she should be sworn to protect." She lets out a breath slowly.

"I wish I had more of an eye for this sort of thing."



Apollo watches around gallery a moment, eyes turning back to Khanne when she answers. "Dabbling is the heart of an artist, my lady," he says. There's a gesture of his chin toward the case with masks in it; one composition, many individual pieces. Certainly a set. And he drifts on, going to look at smaller pieces, sketches, poetry - the stuff that can't be taken in from a distance.

Lianne blows a kiss to Khanne as she departs, following her movement in that direction, toward Venturo, to whom she nods agreeably. Had she a cider--why doesn't she have a cider--she might toast his way. As it is, she turns her attention to Feisel, murmuring, a quiet, "Thank you," before considering the room. "I believe only the statuette is appropriate for touching, though the cider tonight is something of a contribution as well. There are also poems--" She indicates a couple against one wall, the one upon another. "--which can be read aloud. Should Lord Vitalis wish to return on a quieter day, I would be glad to take the care to describe each piece in turn."

"Who is P--" Svana starts out saying a sentence but doesn't quite finish it, instead giving Caprice a big sidehug. Then she finishes her thought and grins over at Lianne, bowing to the Marquessa. "Who is Pie?" She asks. "At this point, I'll be divorced from Asher and on my third marriage before I meet all the Grayhopes!" She says, rather scandalously. She turns to Caprice and smiles at her. "Have you met my cousin, Mayir Grayhope? He's one of our best business men. Mayir, this is Caprice Artiglio. I treasure her dearly, so don't try anything funny."

"One ending is usually just the start of something new," Monique observes with an easy smile, her eyes roaming the works of art, constantly catching on the very shiny works. "Even the artists will likely have started on their next works by now, or very soon at least, I would imagine. What will be the theme of the next show? Ecstasy? I'd love to see that show," she adds with a sparkle to her eyes, even as she gestures to the bar, to the custom drinks being served. "Shall I fetch us some refreshment, 'Lessia?"

Leaning in briefly, her smile turning fond after she exchanges quiet words with Monique, Alessia's eyes drift to Vitalis when Lianne mentions him again. "He's very perceptive. I'm certain he'll make do." She eyes the masks with intrigue, before chuckling. "Oh now, those are delightful." She nods to Monique. "You're definitely getting us whiskey aren't you?" She grins.

Apollo has left the gloomier view of the gallery.

2 Keaton Huntsmen arrives, following Amari.

"I know the feeling," Samira admits in response to Piccola's first remark. "But strangely it's the disappointment and regret and despair that tends to make its way into my artwork quite often. A poor attempt at trying to rid myself of it, maybe." The diminutive artist shrugs, her gaze flickering from the artwork to the woman beside her and back again. "I've read your Whites. There's so much about warfare that I don't understand, but I think those under your command are lucky to have such an insightful commander." Her lips purse in thought for a moment. "As for the art, I think it doesn't matter so much if you understand what the artist was feeling, so long as the piece makes /you/ feel something. Or at least that's how I view it. Even if it's 'oh, gods, her artwork is terrible'." The hint of a smile tugs at the corners of her lips as she adds the last.

"Pie is Harper and Magpie's adopted son! The oldest of the youngest Grayhopes!" And if that somehow is supposed to make sense to Svana. Mayir swats her arm and shakes his head. "My nephew! Sheesh." He shakes his head. "I need to get you study the family tree harder. Which is really more like a family bush all knotted up with branches overlapping and ..." His voice trails off, losing the metaphor. At the introduction to Caprice, he bows his head deeply. "I wouldn't dare to anything but try to be as charming to the fine artist as she deserves."

Lark slowly strolls in to the gallery and takes some time to browse the collection, smiling silently as she reads some of the poem exhibits before halting at a specific piece and stares at it with interest. Lark turns to one of her nearby guards, "This one is truly interesting. See how the duskstones depict a night sky? Stunning."

Apollo is on a vector to view a purple-gray ombre-looking painting called 'Disappointed' - but hearing the comment about the masks, he leans toward Alessia, murmurs her way. A smile is offered before he moves on.

"I was planning on getting both whiskey /and/ the signature drink of the evening, in fact," Monique informs Alessia tartly, scowling in her friend's direction, suggesting that possibly she wasn't but she is now. But she's waylaid by the masks and caught up in their creative splendor before she can step away for drinks. "Gods and spirits, why must I be so tempted!"

"Messere," Caprice tips her head in greeting to Mayir as they're introduced. His greeting earns a tiny smile and a quiet admission, "Oh, good start! I can feel the wool being pulled over my eyes already. Good to meet you; I'll endeavor to be worthy of Svana's high opinion. Do you have a piece on display? Supporting a friend? Or are you simply a man of good taste?" Aside to Svana, she offers cheerful admonishment: "Are you actively competing with the artwork for attention or is that just an unintended side effect? You look lovely. Hm-! New scent..?"


Piccola draws a breath through her nose, and looks to the side to Samira.

"I envy the artist's skill to inspire." Beat. "I never learned to create anything. I have tried: my drawings seem clumsy to me, and I'm never satisfied with them." She looks back to the crowd, particularly to Lark as she passes by. "I suppose I know disappointment well that way." That might have been a joke, were she less deadpan. "I instead learned to take things with my hands. And to be honest and frank, Signora Culler, I grow weary of that life -- " She lets out her breath. " -- even if it is one I have learned much from." Her eyes gravitate towards Alessia after.

"Ah, yes, the Queen of Cats," the General murmurs, mostly to herself.



Luxe arrives, following Giorgio.

Amari slips into the gallery as discreetly as it's possible for a lady dressed in a very, very red dress of Artshall velvet and ironwool. It's sort of like, pop, and there she is, perusing the art and glancing about for familiar faces between stops. Pleasant smiles are on offer from the Keaton, even if she's meant to be disappointed by the art.

Perhaps a touch late to the event, Giorgio Pontelaeus makes his way into the gallery as silently as possible. His eyes slip around the room, perhaps hunting for someone that he might know, even as he begins to shift off around the room to study the art on display.

Lianne offers greetings to the new arrivals, her smile bright and easy. "As a reminder, Master Venturo has brewed up a fine cider for the night, available, along with a selection of other refreshments, at the bar. Should you have any questions..." Well, she's probably the person to talk to, but she doesn't actually finish the thought. Instead, her gaze travels about the room to get a read on the crowd, where everyone is, if anyone needs anything. Maybe to get a gauge on what she could use herself.

Svana grins at Mayir. "This one is a keeper!" She pauses and shakes her head at her cousin. "No, no. I do not need to study your family tree when I barely have a grasp on mine! But I guess now they're one in the same, aren't they?" She asks, laughing. "I'll have to come by and meet little Pie." She levels another grin at Caprice this time. "Oh, please. I dressed in a hurry... and I bought this scent from Mirari at Works Obscura! My own new scents are sold out, I think. I have clothing commissions for the first time in ages, which is exciting... I should probably be home working on those instead of being here! Caprice, which one of these things is yours?"

"Mirari's scents are always a delight. I always keep a vial or two on hand as a gift and the like." Mayir keeps close to Svana as they chat with Caprice. "Me? The Marquessa is a friend of mine, and I would not want to disappoint her by not coming to support her show. It is always such a curious set of pieces she has. You find nothing like it anywhere else in the City!"

Apollo lifts his brows in acknowledgement to Alessia. "Funny," he says, "that an event dedicated to disappointment can be so instrumental in defraying my own." And he smiles warmly, and moves to consider the piece signed with 'KH'.

"I'm sorry! I just sensed a pattern." Alessia says, nudging Monique with a smile. "The signature drink sounded intriguing. I did enjoy the ale from the last event." She turns when she hears 'queen of cats', as if somehow suspecting it's aimed at her. She raises her brows before grinning. "Official title? It's better than the alternative."

"But it's never too late to learn. Come by Rabble sometime and I'll give you some pointers if you'd like. Although I'll warn you, I think most of us are rarely satisfied with what we create." Samira's tone turns certain, although there's amusement there too as she acknowledges this part of most artists' nature. "Always an ache to do better, be better." The sidelong glance she turns toward Piccola betrays curiosity. "What would you wish to do if you could choose to live your life differently?" Her gaze traces the other woman's to land upon Alessia. Is that the faintest wrinkle of the Culler's nose? But she says nothing, quickly shifting attention back upon the artwork.

"Hmph," is Monique's reply to Alessia's cajoling, the Minx looking put upon as she turns to fetch drinks for the two of them. And as she moves, the Greenmarch spies both Amari and Giorgio and there's a greeting for them both. "Lady Keaton, Director! I certainly didn't expect to see either of you here, but what a pleasant surprise. I know I'm meant to contemplate disappointment, but you're making it very difficult. Have you met each other?"

With the world seemingly in order, Lianne sets to motion, moving first toward the painting in violet and grey and the guildmaster studying it. She steps in beside Apollo to murmur something bright and brief, her eyes on the art, and then seems ready to drift right on her way.

Harlen arrives, following Duarte.


Piccola calls back to Alessia: "We should speak sometime, your Majesty."

Must be an in-joke? The General turns her attention back to Samira, looking to her as she contemplates her response to the question. "In faith, I'm not sure if that were something I have ever heard of." She shrugs, then, helplessly. "I learned of battle and warfare as a way to eat and survive. And when such skills are so fundamental to who you are, you might as well ask me, Signora Culler, if I would rather be anyone but who I am." She smiles briefly, looking back out to the crowd. "So, I do not complain. Whenever I feel as if life is being desultory, I simply hop on a horse and ride."

"Have you gone riding before?" she asks of Samira.



Giorgio's face brightens as Monique makes herself known to him, a smile coming across his features that almost comically drops away at the mention that he is supposed to be contemplating disappointment, and he tries very hard to make himself look at least somewhat disappointed. "Lady Monique, it is good to see you as well," he says with a warm voice. "I was starting to think that I may not really know anyone here..."

Turning his gaze on Amari, Giorgio shakes his head and says, "No... I don't believe we have been able to meet yet. Good evening, Lady Keaton. I am Giorgio Pontelaeus."

And slinking back in comes Ripley, like he found some secret reserve of courage, though once again, he's off to the edges of the room.

Apollo hears the name /Keaton/ and turns, looking up - attention snagged, briefly, by Lianne's passing comment. And there he goes, drifting over to greet Amari with a smile. And Giorgio, too, since he's right there. "Lady Amari," he says, brightly. "It's wonderful you came." Genuine warmth, in those words. "And Master Giorgio - nice to see you again. I hope you've been managing to get things in order for yourself. I know I haven't been much a help."

Svana leans in and whispers something to Caprice, then smiles at Mayir. "I'm feeling a bit tired suddenly, I'm going to duck out. You all have fun though."

"Oh, nothing for this collection, regrettably," Caprice remarks to Svana with a faint shake of her head. "I'm honored to have a piece in the permanent collection, though. As for your commissions," she leans in for a conspiratorial stage-whisper, "You can just tell them they were unwitting participants in live art," her hand moves in a gesture meant to encompass the current exhibition. "I might need the excuse, myself, with a few of the people here. Good to see you," she concludes with a smile for the other woman as she prepares to leave.

Svana gets Exclusive Cask of Raconteur's Curiously Satisfactory from A Raconteur Gift Box of Alcohol.

Amari gives a polite nod of greeting to Monique and Alessia, but the Greenmarch's question has her stop and turn to regard Giorgio. While her once over of the man is direct, there's nothing aggressive about it. She smiles even and lifts her shoulders in a very slight shrug. "I don't think we have either, but I'm quite sure I've heard the name. It's nice to meet you. You're the one who procures bloodstone from the Saffron Chain?" The last she's not entirely sure about, but goes fishing anyway. "And you two are friends, obviously." She means Lady Monique and Giorgio, even though she shifts neatly to greet Apollo without much of a delay. "Master Apollo. You must have art on display..."

Khadija, a most lovely voice of reason leaves, following Svana.

Feisel bows, with a murmur of thanks to Lianne, stiffening at Alessia's cavalier comment. Vitalis' head swivels her direction, or where she was when she spoke, at least, "Your words of encouragement are a balm, dear Alessia." Rather a lot of teeth there in that smile he returns. He and Feisel withdraw to examine the statuette.

Samira spots Caprice amongst the crowd and offers a wave if she should happen to catch the other woman's eye. Piccola's answer receives a nod of understanding, a moment taken to contemplate it. "That's fair. When you've relied on skills as a source of survival, they easily become a part of you. Can't say I've had many occasions to do so, to be honest. I'd be likely to spend my time attempting not to fall out of the saddle. It does sound freeing though, being able to hop on your horse and simply ride."

Lark halts once again at a painting marked 'You Should Have Come', tilting her head with curious interest as she gestures with a gentle motion of her hand, "And this one. Perhaps the disappointment does not stem from a failed appearance of; I don't know... a lover, soulmate or friend. Perhaps that half open door represents a lack of emotion or feeling from within the artist. We can disappoint ourselves just as much as others disappointing us." the princess continues to explain to one of her guards, "Interesting piece indeed."

Lianne, slipping into the role of shadow tonight with the event running smoothly without requiring too much immediate oversight, slinks over to the returning Ripley. Without word, she holds out a hand in offering, brows arched with unspoken invitation.

"It's wonderful to see you, Director. I hope you haven't been slaving too hard?" Monique replies to Giorgio with a warming smile. "Master Pontelaeus is the Director of The Dream. He does all the work and I reap the rewards," she teases lightly. "Lady Keaton is someone I consider a bit of a wise old soul. I think there's little she doesn't understand. Rather like Master Apollo, in fact. Who of course must have something here. Do you, Guildmaster?" the Greenmarch echoes.

There's a lingering look cast Piccola's way, one of intrigue, though her smile only grows. "You can count on it, my lady." She assures her, before her attention turns to Vitalis. "I know." She says in response, her brightened tone unchanging. "Lady Amari, how lovely to see you." She greets the woman before heading toward Monique, eager for drinks.

And there's Lianne, with a hand. Ripley frowns and nods and without taking the womans hand, his own still shoved in his pockets, he's following alongside the Marquessa of Maelspro to where she guides.

When Svana prepares to go, Mayir gives his cousin-in-law a half hug and then turns back to Caprice. "You are usually a tailor, though, aren't you?" remarks the Grayhope. "How wonderful it is that you have reached out to other media. What does the Eidolon mean to you? It is an unusual place to show your art."


Piccola's expression eases.

"I have known few other passions as satisfying as riding. With my helm off and the wind in my hair -- I imagine that this is what it must feel like to fly." The General seems to be daydreaming for a moment. But then her ears and eyes are drawn back to Lark. Is she listening to the other woman's musings? "We all have our ways to survive. But I suppose survival is not enough, is it?" Beat. "Perhaps I have not risked enough, Signora Culler. Perhaps I should dare to venture to the Rabble to put my paltry skills on display." There's a moment of silence.

"Thank you for the offer, my friend," Piccola says finally, looking back to Samira.



Duarte strolls in, alone, and soon finds himself weaving through spectators as he drifts to a spot where he can view the first piece in rotation. After a handful of 'sorrys' and 'excuse me' for stepping through some lines of vision he finds a spot where can be content viewing.

Duarte has joined the well-illuminated perspective.

Overhearing Lark, Monique glances aside to see the painting that has caught the Grayson Princess's attention. There's a long, pensive study. "Interesting how the darkness encroaches in the eyes. That's not usually where I would expect to see it. Usually it's in the heart, isn't it?" the Greenmarch muses, handing over a cider to Alessia as she rejoins them.

Lianne breathes a quiet laugh as Ripley frowns at her, a she takes the lead along the edges of the exhibition, around the attention others are paying to the art. Tilting the ginger's way, she murmurs, "You know they'll be on display for months, mm? You could come by when it's quieter." Nevermind that she's leading him deeper in, off to the corner where Fortunato's keeping himself. To the Whisper, she wonders, "Have you two met?"

Apollo dips his head in answer to the question from Amari and Monique. "I do, yes. Group of pieces, actually -" he turns his head, gestures at the case with masks in it. "The Grump series. Which I sold as a set to a single buyer, and - aside from the masquerade being canceled, the one they were made for - I learnt that the buyer doesn't intend to wear them. Don't want to damage them." The further he gets into this explanation, the more his grin grows, tips, wry. "I'd have liked to see them worn by performers. Embodied, for a night. But once the art is out of my hands, it's not mine anymore. Unless someone is gracious enough to loan it back awhile, which - thankfully -"

Giorgio offers Amari a smile and respectful bow before he says, "Calderan Bloodstone, yes. I have been sourcing it and the black gemstone known as Malissite that are both native to the Chain." As Apollo makes his way over, Giorgio smiles warmly toward the Guildmaster and offers a hand for a shake before he says, "Nonsense Master Apollo, I know that you must be terribly busy with orders given the current events in our lives. I've been settling in well enough, in any case. I've been offering a few gems from the Saffron Chain, and most recently dabbling in selling Steelsilk to those in need."

Turning his smile on Monique then, Giorgio says, "I have been swept up in attempting to make sure my brother settles in now that he has come to the city. /That/ is more work than you know."

Fortunato pushes himself off of the wall to approach Lianne and Ripley. He bows slightly, then shakes his head. "I have not made the man's acquaintance. Nor he mine! I am Fortunato Whisper. Whisper Fortunato? Of the Grayhopes."

"I'm a Disciple of Jayus," Caprice replies, as if that alone explains her broad artistic horizons. And maybe it does! She answers Mayir's question with a question of her own - sincerely interested, not evasive. "Unusual how? Is it not a gallery? A house for thought-provoking expressions of concepts, emotions?"

Caprice lifts her hand just a little belatedly, gaze turned from Mayir long enough to connect with Samira's and offer the silent greeting over the heads of others. She sends a smile after it, brief but flashing in genuine delight for having spotted the Culler amongst the swirling crowd.

Deva may not be (or may be!) dressed for the occasion in well-worn leathers that have seen better days, but she certainly seems curious to be here. Her entrance is a reserved one as she slides a step to the side and out of the way of anyone entering after her. There's a familiar flutter of her fingers for Fortunato across the way, but any attempt to join is put on hold as a server with drinks crosses her path. "Thank you," she plucks one up with relief evident in the relaxation of her shoulders.

Venturo has left the gloomier view of the gallery.

Zane, a tall and silent servant, Vaeri, a Prismed Scarab Marine leave, following Venturo.

Accepting the cider with a grateful smile, Alessia nods to Lark, though there's little familiarity in her gaze. She studies the painting that they address, her features mellowing it as her eyes linger. She says something quietly to Monique, before taking a sip.

"Sounds like quite an escape." A wistful quality has worked its way into Samira's voice after listening to the way Piccola describes riding, a moment devoted to trying to envision it. "No, there's not much point to life if it's only ever about the struggle to survive. That's a big part of it, but I'd like to think there's more to it than just that." The other woman's words draw another quick smile and a pleased bow of her head. "I hope that you do."

"I could. But then, it's the first night and if anyone wants to ask the motivation, then what will you do?" Ripley is quietly replying to Lianne till they are in front of whom she was dragging him to meet. "Whisper Fortunato Grayhope." And then Ripley's offering that calloused hand with it's minute scars, the slouched shoulders with their ever present turning in. "Ripley Thornburn." He's lacking his usual exuberance but the nervous tick of scratching at the underside of his jaw at that little scarred bald spot is in full swing.

Vitalis checks perception at hard. Vitalis marginally fails.

Apollo does, in fact, shake Giorgio's hand, a steady hand-clasp. "Malissite," he says. "I'd be interested in seeing that, if you've time to spare. The Calderan bloodstone is intriguing, but I haven't found something to pair with that I like for my own work yet."

Lark shifts her gaze to Monique and smiles softly, a quick nod, "Mmm. Indeed. The painting could be taken in so many ways but art is interpretation" another smile and incline of her head is given to Alessia.

Vitalis and Feisel find the statue on its plinth. The Clement lord's hands mapping the sculpture from plinth to the tip top of the tiara, from the outstretched posturing of magnamity, to the bent posture of devotion. "This is ... two figures. One... praying? The other-" his brow furrows, "Turned away from Faith?" He lifts his head, seeking feedback from Feisel, who hrms thoughtfully. Vitalis adds, "Who is the artist? Are they in attendance?"


"Then one day we should go riding," suggests the General quietly.

"But first, perhaps we should mingle. There is at least one person that I have not seen in too long." Piccola offers Samira one of her hands, as if to lead the other woman. Not that it's needed? But the hand is offered. Her path takes her to where Lark, Alessia, and Monique are, but the small soldier brings herself closer to the latter. "Lady Greenmarch," she says to the Minx in a low voice, but one that is tinged with a note of anxiety. "It has been a while."

"And, if you would forgive the intrusion," adds Piccola, looking to the other two nobles present and close-by.



"Malissite?" Amari is intrigued, but at Apollo giving a rundown of his art and his good fortune selling it, she looks between the pair. "I've not seen any malissite, but the bloodstone is quite gorgeous. You should try to incorporate them into one of your works, Apollo... speaking of. Those?" She guesses the Grumps and indicates them with a tip of her head. "It is a shame they won't be worn. I'll have to take a closer look before they're whisked away and into someone's private collection."

"I'll tell them motivation doesn't matter once the art is on display," Lianne counters to Ripley, bright-eyed and direct. Of course, then she's angling a somewhat rueful and certainly self-aware look toward Fortunato and noting, "Which means unfinished bridges are permitted to be possibility no matter the artist's thoughts." Looking between the pair, then, she notes, "I have found you share similar energy. Very different, but the highs and lows, the fits of inspiration." Beat. "The tendency to lurk at the edges?" She flashes a small grin and leaves it at that, a glance cast to Fajra elsewhere in the room.

Fajra follows her marquessa's attention and falls into step beside Feisel and Vitalis, noting of the Princess of Plenty, "This piece is by Andrina Thornburn who is not in attendance at the moment, my lord." She offers no thoughts on his interpretation.

"I had the pleasure of meeting your brother recently," Monique tells Giorgio with a wry smile. "And you have my full sympathy, Director. /Full/ sympathy. But all said, at least your life will never be boring, hm?" Whatever Alessia tells her has Monique's brows drawing together, a frown touching her eyes for a moment as she whispers back. But it doesn't last long and her attention is snared by Lark once more. There's a deft nod. "Do you have a piece here this evening, Your Highness? And, ah! General Piccola, it has been /far/ too long. Will you be dashing headlong into danger soon, my friend?" she asks of Piccola, concern shading her brow once more. "Join us. We were discussing art and perception with Her Highness, Princess Lark."

Fortunato waggles a swift few fingers over in Deva's direction, then shakes Ripley's hand with his own. Calloused in turn. "Ah! Ever pleased to meet a Thornburn." He slants a smile to Lianne. "Similar energy? Is it that we're both of common stock, too, hm, hm?" This is clearly not a serious question. He looks back to Ripley. "Well met, then. Always happy to meet another spark-and-recede, another scribbler in margins, another who is duly horrified of crowds."

"I'd like that," Samira answers to the suggestion of going riding. Piccola's suggestion to mingle seems to remind the artist that they are indeed in the midst of a crowded function with mingling the proper thing to do. She reaches out to accept the offered hand, allowing the general to lead them onward. "Lady Monique, Lady Alessia," she greets with a polite bow of her head as she realizes that's the direction their steps are carrying them.

(OOC)The scene set/room mood is now set to: Where the art is uncredited, staff will provide insight into the artists' identities where they can. The exhibit includes art by Ripley Thornburn, Lianne Malespero, Khanne Halfshave, Fortunato Whisper, Samira Culler, Apollo Oakwood, Graziella Pravus, Andrina Thornburn, Zyanya Lir, Vanora Grimhall and an unnamed artist. Of course, Venturo Thayne's brew qualifies within the theme as well, but it won't be included with the ongoing exhibit; once supplies are gone, the limited run is over.

Giorgio offers a nod to Apollo and Amari as they both express interest in malissite. "Ah, yes. The malissite is a beautiful stone. It is black and almost glass-like," Giorgio says before offering aside to Apollo, "I would be happy to let you look at them sometime to see if you might be able to make use of them." His eyes follow those of the others standing nearby to the various pieces of art, looking them over from where he stands, even as he smirks at what Monique says and adds, "AT least you are right in that. Savio does have a way of making sure life is not boring."

"It's just so noisy." He shifts to stand beside, so his back is to the wall and he can look over the horde. "And they want to touch, and there's nobles. Everywhere. You have to remember who to bow to, and then there's names. So many names and I've probably met half of them but I can't remember the faces much less the names." Ripley scratches at the back of his neck. "Spark and recede... I like that. That's... I guess that's about right." He looks at Lianne and tries to give a smile to her before looking at the crowd. "Which piece did she convince you to give up?"

"No interruption at all, my lady. This is a place to mingle after all. And appreciate various depictions of life's deflating moments." Alessia grins at this, glancing around the room again. She seems to fixate on the opulent statue for a moment, first in admiration, then an attempt to decipher it. Through a noble-lense.

Lark giggles softly, "Oh no, I'm not at all able to express myself, or others for that matters, through the medium of my creativity. I lack such talent, unfortunately." she turns from the painting in question and smiles to both Monique and Alessia, "That doesn't stop me appreciating it however."

Apollo lifts his chin, shakes his head. "They're already in someone's private collection, my lady," he tells Amari. "They were simply loaned back to me for the duration of the display. Were they anything other than masks, I would have put a placard to indicate the generosity - but if they change their minds, decide to wear them, I won't have their anonymity compromised." He smiles, then nods to Giorgio. "Do you do business anywhere in particular here in the city?"


"The call to action is worse than a kitten's cry," replies Piccola laconically.

She inclines her head to Alessia, with a murmured greeting: "Lady Mazetti." And then, she turns to the Grayson Princess. "Your Highness: I could not help to overhear your impression from the paintings, so I thought I would get a better listen up close. Then, you ran into my friend." She looks back to Monique. "With whom I should catch up with soon." Beat. "Before the chaos, I suppose." A self-deprecatory smile.

"By the by, my condolences to you," the General adds.



"Born artists," Lianne answers Fortunato, meeting that teasing question. She follows his waggle of a wave over to Deva, regarding the woman curiously, smile briefly dimming. Before Ripley's comments pull her back to the conversation at hand. Her expression flashes innocent for the way he phrases his question, but... she doesn't object. It's accurate enough. Instead, she considers the crowd again, looking for any other connections she might make.

"I suppose one need not be of common stock to be born an artist," Fortunato hums to Lianne, then releases Ripley's hand to point at paired poems. "It's a joint work with the Marquessa, unless I entirely misremember. Ebbs and flows of memory, haha! And which is yours?"

"Well, just because so much art presented is usually cheery and light and this is all quite ... different," says Mayir with a shrug of his shoulders to Caprice. "But I suppose that makes sense." He doesn't seem like much of an art person. "But a disciple! How exciting. Well, you are beautiful in every way, so it makes sense your art would be, as well."

Whether less garrulous, or simply in his 'this is how I attend gallery shows' demeanor, Duarte finds himself staring at the large unsigned painting. He then looks about the crowd, then back to the painting. He says to himself, "The greatest disappointment will be if I do not suss out the author of this piece."

"The half destroyed head piece." Ripley gestures to the Stygian and Star Iron piece. The poems though, garner his attention. "I read them. They're nice. You did good work. Both of you." Scratch, scratch, scratch. "Not a lot of disappointment in this room after all"

After a lap around the room, Deva slips out as quietly as she arrived, with mental notes of artists to pester in the near future.

Isabelle, who is just so tired of everyone's nonsense, Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise, Roland, the worst bard in Arvum arrive, following Niklas.

6 Grayson House Guards, Maureen, an unflappable nanny, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting, Clark, an exasperated guard, Niklas arrive, following Sabella.

Monique greets Samira's arrival to their group with an easy smile, stepping aside to accommodate. "Mistress Culler. Which remarkable work is yours? For I know one must be. Having been the recipient of one of your creations, I am looking forward to another. It wouldn't happen to be the Depths of Despair, would it?" she asks, after an aside with Giorgio, and a crimson headed nod. At Piccola's condolences, she barely flinches. Maybe just a blinking. "Thank you, General. Life is... unexpected... at the best of times."

"Ah! Yes. I like that one greatly. That melted visage, the mix of darkness, glitter, dusk," Fortunato's hum, this time, is pointed at Ripley. "And come now. One is always disappointed in one's work, is it not so?" He laughs. "No masterpiece masterpiece enough."

Lianne follows Ripley's gesture toward Unfinished Night with a small smile, faintly proud. To his latter comment she notes, "There truly isn't," skipping past all commentary on the poetry. "Now, if you gentlemen will excuse me..." With that, the marquessa slips away, sneaking up behind a particular count at a painting all in gloomy hues. "It was delivered with a note signed only in a press of red lips," she tells Duarte. And then her words fall softer, nothing that carries across the crowd.

Lianne has joined the well-illuminated perspective.

Lark looks over to Piccola with a faint smile and a little nod. "What is your interpretation of it, my lady?" she gestures to the painting softly with a hand motion.

'She's abandoned us. She does this." Ripley notes to Fortunato as Lianne departs. "I don't really get disappointed in my work. Disappointed in how it's received. Disappointed in the... behavior of people who come expecting I churn out things for them." He gestures back to the piece. "That, I wasn't even disappointed in. It was the... the letter that came at the time. That was the disappointment and I just... started to shove it in the forge before the Lady Medeia Saik made me stop." Ripley shrugs and stands there thinking then frowns. "Or I guess... yeah. Maybe sometimes. But not always. Are you always disappointed in your work?"

The whispers of new art to be seen and admired was more than enough to bring out Niklas, The Grayson Prince entering the gallery with his wife Sabella on his right arm. The man laughing at something his wife had said just before entering only to fall silent. His eyes growing wide with a look of een interest seeing the pieces displayed and so many at that, His head dipping in as he murmurs. "I know the theme is dissapointment, But I have to say so far..thrilled love." Niklas guiding his wife deeper into the place as his eyes flit between faces and works.

"I suppose you could say that I have done much of my business off of my caravel in the Jolly Harbor," Giorgio says in answer to Apollo, though he adds, "But I have also done a lot of business traveling about the city. I am not too picky. I'd actually been thinking of sending a few stones free of charge to prominent crafters in the city in an effort to attempt and spread awareness for the Saffron gemstones. I'd like to increase their desirability."

Duarte, rather transfixed, starts with a small jump when Lianne's voice breaks his enthrallment. He looks the wrong way to see who it is but the Marquessa is soon enough found with just a turn of his head. He smiles and replies.

Fortunato laughs at Ripley's light accusation. "She is a host with many guests. Tonight, she does her duty. And I will do mine, I suppose." He tilts his head, ducking his chin low. Then, "The art is exquisite and its maiming makes it no less interesting. Art takes time, ah? It is not meant to be churned out like butter." His smile glitters toothy. "I am always disappointed. It is an unfortunate fault of mine, I fear. I can't imagine people are often disappointed in your work."

"Well. I'll go have a look while they're not hidden away," Amari says after she's been corrected about the masks, "Before I get too caught up in socializing." There's a polite dip of her head to Giorgio and the rest of the group and a 'I shall return' spoken under her breath to excuse her.

Samira offers a polite smile to Lark, noting the woman as part of the group mingling nearby. Monique's question draws a grin, although the glance she sends toward her own artwork appears rather critical. "I'd like to know which artist created the Depths of Despair myself. I find it evocative, but I'm afraid I can't lay claim to that one. Mine is the painting of the maelstrom. I'd created it back when the whirlpool was in the harbor, but when the theme of disappointment was announced, I thought it might be fitting."

Sabella smiles a cheerful smile, set upon the arm of Niklas as they enter the gallery. "Someone told me there was a painting I simply had to see." A small twitch of her lips suggest a frown, but doesn't last. "Beloved, the theme is so... Dreary. But," Her cerulean gaze skims the room. "It does seem well done."

Apollo gives Amari a brief bow as she slips off, then considers the notion Giorgio suggests, and nods. "I'm sure plenty of our artists would be interested in working with it," he agrees. "Would you like me to inquire with the guild, find out if anyone's particularly keen? I could send 'round a list. That way you don't send to someone who hasn't the time. Arrange a bit of a showing, perhaps." He scans the room, peering - spots Caprice. "Master Caprice - just there in the white-and-ink silk?" He gestures to her. "She's been most vocally in support of holding more events as a guild and showcasing our works. Have you met? I could introduce you."

A bit of quiet conversation later, Caprice seems to be parting from Mayir's company a little lighter in step to resume her study of the displayed work.


Piccola loooks at the painting as suggested by Lark.

She pulls her hood back from her head. "It reminds me of a time long ago." Beat. "The last time I saw my mother. I had worked the day at the nearby baker's, and I had done well that day, he told me. He gave me an extra silver and two loaves of bread to bring home." She smiles in spite of herself, but it is a brief smile. "My brothers had all left the house by then. I was the only one left with mother -- " She trails off, only to return a second later. " -- so I waited and waited at the room we rented together." Beat. "I learned that she had knocked herself senseless by falling drunk off the railing of a local tavern." And that's the conclusion of the story.

The General looks back to the Princess, and murmurs quietly, "I will lose myself in it if I keep staring."



Fajra slips over to Samira and Lark and quietly notes, "The Depths of Despair is a piece by Princess Graziella Pravus," before slipping back toward unobtrusive attentiveness.

Vitalis straightens from examination of the statuette at the tread of feat near. Fingers trail on the base of the sculpture, "Ah, Messere Thornburn, I've not had the pleasure of her acquaintance." A smile flickers, "Save this." He presses fingers into the base. "Exsquisite detail. Such contrast." He squints, accepting that interpretation is left to him, that is the thing with Art, no? "Did I hear the Marquessa say I could return another time? I would love to hear her perspective on disappointments. Please offer her my congratulations on what-" he tips his head listening to the lively conversation, "-seems a great success." He inclines his head to Fajra and resumes escort by Feisel, "Now. I hear there are refreshments."

"Rarely. But sometimes. Usually more with the person who made it." Ripley shrugs. "Unfortunate Fortunato." Ripley singsongs. scratching at the spot again, the smell of the forge barely lingering around him. Then he spots Sabella and freezes. "Oh this won't go good. This won't go good at all" And he's holding his breath.

Fortunato laughs. "Yes. Fortunate and unfortunate. Every weave of fortune. That's me." He glances between Ripley and Sabella. His eyebrows arch lightly. "You fear the princess?"

The response from Sabella has Niklas giving a quick nod, the man moving along with her deeper into the gallery. When he spots Apollo there is a nod given in the other man's direction, "Should we go say hello before looking things over a bit more closely?" The man asking as he focuses on Sabella. Moments later though his focus is drawn to some of the paintings and he can't help but murmur, "I should have leant them the boot." The pair making their way ever closer to the statue of the Princess.

3 Black Fleet Reavers, Moonsilver, the pale-feathered raven, 1 Iron Guardsmen arrive, following Raven.

Duarte leans a touch back from Lianne, looking at her bemused. He then turns fully toward her and takes a step forward. Spreads his hands.

Dipping his head in a bow toward Amari, Giorgio then follows Apollo's gesture toward Caprice and he offers a smile and nod. "Indeed, I have met Mistress Caprice not too long ago, actually. She is quite the skilled artist in her craft," he says with a nod before bringing his gaze back around toward the Guildmaster. "You can certainly put out feelers if you'd like. I just think that it would be helpful to get the word out regarding the goods that can be found in the Saffron. Such an event like you describe could be just the thing. Especially if we can attract some of the prominent models within the city to help display the Crafters' creations."

"Oh, me, no. She's got lovely tiara's. Okay no, that's a lie. I'm... listen, I don't do good with nobles. I really don't do good with nobles. I have a meeting with the Queen at some point, and I'm already sweating buckets about that. No. I.. no, not afraid of her, not at all." Nervous, yes. Afraid? Not at all. "I sweat like a horse, and then I just blabber, and then I just sorta freeze up because then everyone starts to look at me like I grew a third head or like they want to devour me, I should go." He's gesturing to the door. "Yeah, I should go. I should... yeah, I should..."

"You could go," Fortunato says low to Ripley. "Or you can stay and I will stand with you and we will practice. The worst that can happen is a little awkwardness, ah? Quickly forgotten. The Graysons will not eat you for awkwardness. Usually."

Monique's gaze slides sidelong to Samira's piece and her footsteps follow, the Minx crossing to the painting. She can't repress the shudder, sliding through the steelsilk and snakeskin with a visible ripple. "It's like you've crawled inside my worst nightmares and made them real on canvas, Mistress Samira. I cannot imagine anything scaring me more."

Lark simply stares at Piccola for a brief moment in mild surprise, "What an awful experience that must of been for you. I'm very sorry to hear that and I can see why this piece would stir up such powerful emotion for you." the princess agrees with a series of quick nods, "And in honesty, that is exactly why I only drink wine on the ground floor. I have a balcony, which I do enjoy to use but it's really not worth the risk." Lark tuts softly, placing a sympathetic hand on Piccola's arm briefly "I'm sorry you found yourself in such tragic circumstances so young."

Lianne arches her dark brows at that look from Duarte. When he turns to face her, she reciprocates, a half-step to pivot around to face him. Then another half-step to draw closer, to lean right into his personal space. Closer still. If she means to kiss the count, her lips are off-center, drawing close to his cheek instead as she murmurs something. And lingers a moment.

Apollo catches the entrace of Sabella and Niklas, and the air of greeting, and lifts a hand, smile spreading on his features. There's a little murmur to Giorgio, smile brightening further, and turns toward the Grayson pair in welcome.

3 Black Fleet Reavers, Moonsilver, the pale-feathered raven, 1 Iron Guardsmen leave, following Raven.

"Oh, what caught your eye?" Sabella asks Niklas, giving a friendly and polite wave to Apollo. She steps along with Niklas until she sees the statue. Her head tllts, and she begins to inspect it from every angle.

"I have dreams of them unhinging their jaws and swallowing me whole" His hands emulate that action. And yet, the man doesn't move, rooted into spot. "I am most certainly, not my sisters. Do you have any siblings? Surely you have siblings, grayhope and all. You must have like, a bunch. Grayhopes, they breed like rabbits almost as much as the Thornburns or the Cullers or the, the, the Ulbrans." Scratch, scratch, scratch.


The General responds by inclining her head respectfully.

"Thank you, your Highness, but, as my Marquessa once told me, the strongest blades have been bent and beaten, but not broken. What has happened has provided me, I think, with an insight my soldiers appreciate." She offers the Grayson Princess an arm. "Did you want to move to the next piece? I think that the Lady Greenmarch has taken my friend with her to another -- yes, there they are." Just nearby. "No doubt, that is Signora Culler's piece."

Oddly, for a soldier and a former scullion, Piccola seems to have impeccable manners.



"You're right," Fortunato confirms to Ripley. "Grayhopes are rabbits. My brother is -- well, never mind him. We grew up playing with cards and mirrors and bowls of water. But mostly I have cousins. Lots and lots of cousins." He clears his throat. "I've never seen anyone unhinge their jaws like that. Your dreams are cruel!"

Niklas releases his wife's arm when she begins to examine the statue, The man himself stepping back looking to it before giving a glance to Apollo. "Evening Master Oakwood, A lovely event. And seems something has caught my loves eye." The man's eyes settling on the name of the statuette. His brow inching up just a touch as he looks the thing over before turning his focus to Apollo, "I was just remarking to Sabella perhaps I should have offered up the boot, A painting of perhaps the greatest threat to fashion that there ever was."

Vitalis takes Exclusive Cask of Raconteur's Curiously Satisfactory from A Raconteur Gift Box of Alcohol.

Lark nods enthusiastically, linking her arm through Piccola's. "Indeed! What doesn't kill you makes you- never mind. Let's move on." the princess gestures to the general exhibits, "Which one catches your eye? I find 'Unfinished Night' most interesting."

Duarte has left the well-illuminated perspective.

Harlen have been dismissed.

"My dreams are horrific." He confirms. He watches someone he knows heading for the door and there's a discreet lift of his fingers in that direction. "You're a whisper. Meeting the Queen. What should I do to make sure I'm not a disappointment?"

"I spent far too long wondering about the horror of being sucked into the whirlpool, no way out, doomed to drown. And worse yet, no one knowing or caring." Samira's lips curve into a lopsided grin, uncharacteristically sheepish, perhaps faintly self-conscious. She glances to Monique, tilting her head toward her in acknowledgment. The noblewoman's reaction is high praise for one such as Samira whose highest hope is that her artwork elicits strong emotions from people.

Duarte has joined the well-illuminated perspective.

Apollo murmurs a bit more with Giorgio, but smiles, bows, when Niklas approaches. "I think its rumored home in the Grayson dining room might be the finest place it could have found," he says. "I was tempted to make you a truly hideous orange and teal jerkin to go with." He turns eyes toward Sabella, hesitates, then tells Giorgio: "Pardon me." And gestures toward Sabella, the statue she admires, invitation for Niklas to accompany that way.

Lianne issues a quiet, "Mm," to whatever Duarte remarks in reply. Amusement, perhaps? Disagreement? Hard to tell. Whatever the case, she presses a kiss to his cheek before slipping away with a helpless expression and no parting words of her own. Onward, then, to greet other guests. Namely, she moves toward the statuette to greet, "Princess Sabella. I'm so glad you could make it."

Eventually Caprice makes her way out again, expression thoughtful.

Lianne has left the well-illuminated perspective.

The People's Princess, Sabella Grayson, has inspected the thing and is now staring at it, stock still, a pensive expression on her face. "Niklas." Her voice is soft and barely carries. A hand reaches out for her husband, to draw him near, to link her arm in his again. "This is... quite the statement." Appreciation suffuses her tone, even as she quickly falls quiet again. Her eyes cant to Lianne, and a new cheery smile lights her face. "Marquessa, hello. Your gallery is always so interesting."

Monique leans in to murmur something quietly to Samira, and when the Minx steps back, the smile on her lips is wry. "Though I do wonder if you might entertain the notion of a commission. I'd like a painting odd beyond belief, to grace the Hall of Dreams in The Dream. Would you consider it, Mistress Samira?"

All sorts of state business - dry, staid agenda items, really - were likely being whispered between Duarte and Lianne who share an intimate closeness not really associated with trade agreements. It seems to end well enough with a kiss to the cheek and a departure of the Marquessa. The Count spends some moments watching Lianne drift away before the unsigned painting sirens his eyes back to it.


Piccola eyes the Unfinished Night, as suggested by Lark.

After consideration, she responds to the piece. "I cannot tell if it reflects the disappointment of the artist or if it is to inspire a sense of disappointment in the audience." Beat. "Certainly, it looks like it could have been a grand work; yet, I wonder if the artist thought so. If so -- " Her lips wrinkle. " -- I am uncertain." Beat. "On a battlefield, one must be wary of a feigned retreat. The inexperienced see it as surrender; the experience know that it is more often a trap." She gives the artwork two seconds more of her silent contemplation

"What do you see, your Highness?"



Giorgio offers a bow toward Apollo, then offers his goodbyes to a few nearby him before he begins to step toward the exit.

Niklas is already following Apollo back to the statuette when he hears that soft spoken name of his falling from Sabella's lips, The man quickly moving to take her outstretched hand into his own. His other hand moving to cover it as he gives a gentle squeeze. The man smiling softly to her before he is looking more closely at the piece, After a few moments it is subtle but there is a nod given. "Seems so..." His words trailing off before he is looking to the approaching Lianne.

"I haven't met the queen," Fortunato admits to Ripley. "But the king's more tolerant than you might think, and I've never heard anything but kind things about the queen. You won't have to work too hard. In fact, you probably -- shouldn't work too hard." He tilts his head. "Anything help you relax? Anything quiet your thoughts?"

"That is the intention," Lianne answers with gratitude, head bowing low as she watches Sabella's expression. "I hope the pieces are understood in their context, appreciated for their commentary." There's softness to her own features as brows arch, her smile a gentle thing as it turns to Niklas and Apollo as they approach.

Pete, a Grayhope account manager leaves, following Mayir.

Samira's brows lift, a quiet remark murmured to Monique in return. The talk of a commission earns an eager nod of acceptance, an amused grin brightening her expression. "I'd be glad to create something for The Dream. And I'm entirely intrigued by the subject matter: odd beyond belief. Do you have any specific ideas in mind or do you wish to be surprised?"

Apollo gives Sabella a warm smile. "I find much of the work here to be provocative," he agrees. "Have you ever written poetry, your highness?"

Lark listens intently to Piccola while musing in her thoughts over the piece for a brief moment, "I don't know. I get a strong sense of frustration emanating from this piece." a soft shrug of her shoulders is given, "I believe it's all about interpretation, my lady."

Sabella leans against Niklas as she looks at the statue intently, Lianne's commentary pulling a low 'mm' from her. She doesn't appear to be interested in looking away from the gem encrusted thing. Apollo's question, however, gains her attention and her head turns to look at him. "I have, certainly. Niklas is truly the writer between us."

Luxe leaves, following Giorgio.

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


"Maybe that is why I do not think I have an eye for art."

Piccola explains in a quiet voice. "Men and women depend on my insight not my interpretation. If I am inaccurate, people may die." Beat. "Also, I am perhaps, a little dour. I have been told that I need to -- " She searches for the words. " -- brighten up." Huff-snort. "If I am ennervating, your Highness, please let me know. I would not want an otherwise-pleasant evening to turn to stone."

Then: "Where to next?"



"Nothing probably appropriate speaking about in here." Scratch, scratch, scratch. But then he offers the hand he's not scratching with. "Whisper Fortunato. I'll try not to forget your face. I should leave you to keeping the wall up and I'm just gonna go chase after Caprice before she gets too far and go lounge on her floor so she can pet my head. That seems to help. Usually. It was nice to meet you. I hope.... I hope you don't spark and recede too bad and that your dreams are less... interesting?"

There is a nod of agreement from Niklas hearing mention of the art being provocative from Apollo, "Indeed. It certainly does make one think some of the pieces." The man moments later looks to Sabella. "I like your poetry love.." Niklas assuring Sabella before he is looking to Lianne, "Art is always appreciated, Especially when it provokes thought and conversation."

"I would dearly love to be surprised by the strangest thing your mind can come up with," Monique replies to Samira with a wicked grin. "The odder, the better. Have you been to The Dream yet, Mistress Culler? If not, you should come. Be my guest for a day, see what you think of it, hm?" She leans in to add something else, quieter.

"I do love the wall," Fortunato says with a touch of mock-mourning. "Well." He shakes Ripley's hand again. "Go sit with Caprice and I do hope we meet again. You're a talent, ah? I want to see what you make next. Or burn next. Good luck. Contact me anytime," says he, and withdraws.

At some point during the evening, Khanne slipped out quietly. Who is to even know when.

Khanne is overheard praising Lianne.

Khanne has left the gloomier view of the gallery.

Drysi, a young shaman apprentice leaves, following Khanne.

Monique is overheard praising Lianne.

"Maybe..." Duarte murmurs to himself before adjusting his perspective as he ostensibly tries to 'get' what one of the pieces is 'saying'.

Duarte has left the well-illuminated perspective.

Duarte has joined the gloomier view of the gallery.

Sir Floppington the Soulful Hound leaves, following Rowenova.

Monique glances aside to Duarte, and there's a low chuckle. "Maybe?" the Minx murmurs, obvious amusement in her tone. "Which one is confusing you, Count Amadeo?"

"Mercurial Metallurgist. Caprice has the companion piece to that one. You can always ask her if you can see it or visit her loft. She likes when other artists visit. It's very sunny. Perfect for laying about like a cat." And with one last shake, Ripley's skimming the edges, heading for the door. He pauses on the threshold before shouting.

Ripley shouts from nearby, "HEY PRINCESS SABELLA, I LIKE YOUR EARRINGS!"

Apollo slips his hands into his pockets. "I was curious," he says, "in part because I think poetry is a medium I most often turn to as a response to works of art. When moved, that is."

Lark smiles softly to Piccola, "Not at all! Your interpretation is personal to you and you alone and is neither right nor wrong." the Princess clasps her hands in front of her politely, "I'm afraid I must take my leave now but it's been lovely discussing the exhibits with you."

Lianne listens to the conversation without contributing much further beyond another gracious dip of her head and a murmur, "If you need anything..." before she slips off to drift among those remaining, to drift among those remaining. The night seems to be winding down. Time to collect a cider for herself and breathe.


"And I have enjoyed the time you gave, your Highness, thank you."

Piccola inclines her head respectfully. "I should get back to the others," she says as a way of farewell. "I trust that your guards will take you safely. So, I hope that you are taken quickly and well." And then, she gives the Princess a bow. "Again, thank you."

Once Lark has stepped away, the General turns and walks to where Monique and Samira are.



Amari circulates around the exhibit in her own little bubble of silent contemplation, never intruding on the clutches of people in conversation, nor lingering where she may be in the way of one. It helps that she doesn't stop to really soak in any one piece. It's a once over, a full read through, maybe a tip of the head to regard the art from a slightly different perspective and then she's moving on to the next. Whether or not she likes, or dislikes anything, she doesn't reveal. Her expression is dreamy and neutral until she's reached the last piece. Done, she allows a smile and slips out as quietly as she arrived.

"Challenge accepted," Samira answers, a gleam of excitement in her eyes. It appears the artist has already begun brainstorming ideas for this delightfully odd painting. "No, I haven't had the opportunity to visit The Dream yet, but I'd love to take you up on that. I can't possibly imagine what the interior is like, but I have a feeling it won't disappoint." The quiet remark receives a knowing nod and another murmured reply.

Oh! The red Minx! Duarte looks to her, breaking his concentration on the art. Now he's embarrassed. He gestures to the Depths of the Despair. "It is captivating but 'disappointing'?" He looks to it and shrugs. "Over there it seemed well predicted. But looking at it from /here/ I suppose there was an expectation that something could be grasped."

6 Grayson House Guards leaves, following Lark.

Vitalis checks composure at normal. Critical Success! Vitalis is spectacularly successful.

2 Keaton Huntsmen leaves, following Amari.

Vitalis enjoys a tipple with Feisel, glass tipped appreciatively to the man as the two stand and discuss the event. But, then it's time to go. To Lianne, as they pass, "A lovely event, and I'd very much like to take you up on the offer." He pauses by Apollo, "We'll have to talk later, I hope this went well." He'll reach for a hand to grab and squeeze, before he and Feisel make their way out.

That hand absolutely gets a squeeze in return, and Apollo murmurs to Vitalis, "It was lovely." A pause, then, "I'll leave the key with the Marquessa, see that the case can be opened when you come back."

Lianne straightens a little at Vitalis' words, unexpected perhaps, and nods unnecessarily as she murmurs, "Of course, Lord Vitalis. At your convenience." She turns to watch him go, observing the brief interaction with the guildmaster as she sips at her cider. She might catch what's said for how she smiles, but her attention turns then to others, and she sets to drifting again. The night isn't quite over yet, but near enough to satisfy. Hardly disappointing at all, in the end.



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