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Improvisatory Inspiration

Crafting a fine poem can take a good bit of time and careful editing. Neither will be provided at this celebration of extemporaneous poetry. Poets and bards are invited to compose poetry on the spot with the inspiration provided by the judges. Non-participants are welcome to come listen, enjoy a drink and potentially help inspire the poets. There may be prizes! There may be punishments*! There will certainly be entertainment.

* Any potential punishments will be within the spirit of the event and not at all awful.

(Event 1 of 2 poetry-related events for National Poetry Month.)


April 29, 2021, 8 p.m.

Hosted By

Lianne Savio


Apollo Deva Ripley Khanne Joscelin Orland Rinel Crawfish Vitalis



Arx - Ward of the Compact - Raconteur Brewing Company - Taproom

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

Apollo is sat at the lounge, leafing through a stack of pages between writing some of his own. Doesn't he know this is an extemporaneous event? He... might be cheating. ALREADY. Gosh.

While the capital grows increasingly tense as the threat of war looms so dangerously close, the atmosphere within Raconteur remains warm and inviting. Intermittent laughter rises above conversations held farther into the old lodge, but the main taproom in the front, within full view of the bar, is set for tonight's poetry event, an empty spot on one side of the room serving as a makeshift stage for those bold enough to participate. Paper and quills can be found here and there along with notes encouraging guests to provide prompts for the would-be poets. And, of course, there's plenty of beer on offer, this season's staples listed on a large blackboard.

The hosts--and judges--share a table with a stack of collected suggestions, a very nice leather journal and an absolutely ridiculous hat. Really, it looks like a bug-eyed, floppy-tailed shark set to chomp down on the wearer's head. Lianne sits with a pint of Bitter Night near at hand, its lovely wheat color not nearly so dark as to easily evoke such a name, but her hands are busy elsewhere. While one taps at the shark-hat's tail to watch it bounce back into place, the other covers her mouth behind a loose curl of digits to conceal laughter otherwise evident in her verdant eyes.

With a big drink in hand, Deva gravitates somewhere closer to the action and ends up on a couch somewhere near Apollo. "-Lord- Apollo," she greets with more formality than she uses, ever, and promptly breaks into a grin. "Nice ring to it," she insists with a waggle of her cup. She doesn't reach for a quill or paper, oh no, she seems perfectly intent on drinking and enjoying everyone else's hard work.

It's ginger haired, slinks through to the door to the brewery like a cat that's creeping through a room of sugar fed toddlers and looking as shaggy and bruise-y as ever. Slinks in and tries to find a place to sit in some shadow.

Savio has beer. And no papers. No quills or ink! He is OFF DUTY, or perhaps... on duty? What would a poetry competition be without a drunk judge? He's been to exactly one competition -- there was a drunk judge -- Savio is doing his part here, people. Those who arrive are greeted with an enthusiastic wave and "Heey!" from where he sits, whether Savio knows them or not, and he is contentedly seated near Lianne. Apollo's greeted with an extra "HEEY!" and a raise of the mug on account of recent news, enthusiastic enough to slosh a tiny bit. "Oh, oops..."

Apollo glances up from a - oh. Less interesting than clandestine contraband poetry; it's a stack of missives. Currently working on something addressed to Grandmaster Preston. It takes him a second to ascend out of letter-writing headspace; he grins at Deva, gives her a dip of his head (proper) then an imperious sniff. "Thank you, thank you," he says. "Was that bells I heard? Is it time? I should find empty parchment. In the Stack Of Doom." When he sees Ripley, he lifts a hand waves vigorously. He gets to /explain himself/, see? He smiles broadly at Savio's greeting, gives a jerk of his chin. "Savio!"

It is to the bar to get a drink that Khanne first goes upon entering. She is one of those preparing to go to war and it seems to weigh on her, currently. There are darkened circles beneath pale grey eyes, and with the dark dress with flashes of silver lightning shining through it, her red hair rises up from her willowy silhouette like a bright flame in contrast. "Summer Storm... I want just for the name... but Rising Dawn please. It sounds tasty."

After procurring her drink, she heads towards the events, first to Lianne to greet her with a smooch to her cheek then a smile to Apollo. "Congrats, Lord Apollo." She moves on, letting the others file in and greet and what not, then sees Deva and chuckles. "So we meet again. Hello!"

Distracted as Lianne might be by shark-hat--truly, shark-hat is *very* distracting--the greetings turned toward Apollo pulls her attention up and over that way. And then right back to Savio with a light laugh and a little shift out of the way. She might've been one of the drunk judges at the last one, but her sobriety seems fairly well in tact thus far. Enough so that she catches sight of a slinking ginger aiming to avoid notice. But maybe not so much that she keeps the concern from her expression. Not immediately, anyway. That worry softens behind a bright smile cast toward the jeweler, but she otherwise lets him lurk. That smile warms further as she looks about the room to see so many fondly familiar faces. It's a good thing. "I see a few poets among you," she calls. "Don't think I'll let you sit by and watch tonight without testing your mettle."

Lianne certainly includes her cheek-smoocher in that count of poets present, a sly look trailing after Khanne.

Ripley's doesn't wave back to apollo. That the newly ennobled man gets a grunt is probably a miracle in of itself, as he curls in on himself and settles in to do... well, those who know him know there's pretty good odds Cary Thornburn applied boot to ass and kicked her son out of the house for a few hours to air him out. So the main in the pits of his despair, hands in pockets, sits ready to listen to some poetry.

Kethry is seated with Lianne and Savio, sipping a brew and smiling brightly, speaking quietly with her table-companions.

"Duchess," Deva smiles warmly at Khanne, waving the woman over and rising so she can offer/request a brief hug. She'll also just sit back down too, it's fine. There's clearly an anxious edge to her given current events, but she seems determined to wash it away for a little while.

Apollo gives Khanne a smile equal to her greeting. "Thank you, Duchess Khanne," he says, and glances back and forth between the northern ladies a moment. "Oh!" he says, and reaches for a bit of parchment - on which he jots down 'Sydney,'. Just that, just Sydney, comma. A reminder, maybe, that he needs to write to her. The power of red hair. "I may have to go sit on Ripley and see if my lordship will bear the indignity," he says, peering over at the despondent crafter, lips pressing.

Savio grins as Lianne says they're going to test the participants' mettle! He agrees, of course, in rhyme,

"Prepare your words and get all settled
We're here to fiercely test your mettle!
Impress us, distress us, do as we ask
Or else you may find your way to -- A HAT
Ominous, frightening, such a threat
Poets, we expect your best!"

A glance returns to Lianne. "You may have to explain the rules," AKA, he's drunk and maybe forgot them. He seems to be enjoying the company of Kethry nearby, and notes, "As are all good ideas, it was the Marquessa's, of course. I am here for decorative purposes only. I am a purely ornamental person."

"I think my mettle will crumble like rusted iron... but I will try," Khanne says in response to Lianne with a grin. Not normally a hugger, for most people... there are a select few she does hug regular, she nonetheless can't resist Deva's request/offer, moving in to give the Princess a brief embrace. "It's good to see you."

Kethry grins at Savio, nodding at the man. "You are very ornamental, I don't think I've seen a man quite as pretty as you in a long time," she agrees with a laugh, after applauding his playful rhyme. "There is a rumor you're a musician... is that true?" she asks, golden eyes alight over the edge of her tankard as she takes another sip, licking the foam off her lip right after.

There's a frown on Ripley's face, his head jerking back just a fraction and lifts his hands to rub at his eyes. Dig the heels of his palms into his eyes and he straightens a bit, looking around confused. But then there's Savio reciting words and the mercurial jeweler shoulders turn in again, but at least he's looking around at people now. Very confused. Terribly confused. Stick a finger in his ear and give it a jiggle and look to see if there's ear wax and then drop his hands to his lap again.

Lianne's laughter is bright, delighted, potentially ill-timed, arriving before Savio has even concluded his rhyme. Alright, maybe she's had more than just the one beer set before her already to find herself in such bright spirits already. She tilts in to murmur something softly to Kethry, eyes glinting with amusement, adding as she leans back again, "You should see his instrument," with a sidelong and awfully suggestive look toward Savio.

But there's been a call for instructions. "The competition tonight is simple. Provide us prompts--" With a gesture toward, well, probably the paper and quills around the room. "--and we'll pull a few from our toothy friend here--" The shark hat. "--to challenge and inspire. Incorporate those words or themes into your poem or suffer the consequences. Simple as that." She pauses a beat then wonders, "Do we have any volunteers to go first?"

Deva is handed a note that makes her slump into her seat and rub her face. With a few quietly murmured words to Khanne, she offers a small, apologetic smile for the room before ducking out while whispering some instructions to her assistant.

Apollo takes some of the parchment actually -meant- for writing prompts, jots down a few ideas, passes them in. There's a sidelong glance toward Savio, Lianne, and Kethry, a tiny, well-kept grin aslant; he quite likely agrees with the ornamental nature of the gent up there. He looks around... and flares a hand. "I will, if no-one else is inclined. Ice breaker?" A smile, for the hosts. He gives Deva an apologetic look - sorry-you-have-to-go style - and a little wave, looking at Ripley for a moment after, brow furrowing.

"Perfect! Wonderful! Who even gave you permission to be so lovely and clever?" Savio addresses the First Volunteer, capturing the Hat from Lianne and then offering it up to Apollo. "Select a prompt -- hand it to us, and we shall read it for you. Then, away you go, and may the odds be ever in your favor." Ripley over there receives a kind, thoughtful smile -- no words to call him out, but perhaps a look from afar that acknowledges without calling a spotlight on the man. Savio then offers prompts for Apollo to choose!

Deva has left the Storyteller's Lounge.

Jasper, an unflappable scoundrel, 2 Redrain Guards leave, following Deva.

Apollo has rolled 1 15-sided dice: 7

Lianne has rolled 1 14-sided dice: 2

Khanne leans in to listen to Deva, gives he a bit of a pout, but then nods in understanding. "Soon... hopefully... sometime." She then looks to Lianne and says, "I volunteer to go last."

Apollo dutifully pulls a prompt, hands it off to Savio, and attends, stretching legs under the table he's sat at. "Are we allowed to draft on paper, or is it better if we're tripping all over our words? I should have had something to drink, shouldn't I have."

Lianne lifts her glass toward Kethry and murmurs something short and soft before she drinks, clearly a toast. Her smile warms as it turns toward Apollo and his approach, the shark hat held out for him. "You can still have something to drink, darling." Brows loft high in challenge as she adds, "And no one will fault you if you need to scribble something down first." Oh, it's certainly a taunt, all sweet-spoken and gentle, but a taunt all the same. "The prompt is--" She peeks over at the unfolded paper held to her fellow judge. "--rise and fall. And--" And then she draws another. "--mm. The kindnesses of the shav'arvani."

Kethry looks absolutely delighted by what Lianne says, golden eyes alight. "Mangata's hips, I'm excited," she says cheerfully. She's immediately distracted though, by the prompts that are given and what it could mean for the poems given soon.

"This is an interesting pair of prompts, is it not?" Savio invites input from the audience. This is an informal sort of event! "And topical! Hmm... I can think of no one better to tackle it than you, my friend, Lord Apollo!"

1 Ivory Shields, Philippe arrive, following Orland.

Drunk poetry party is underway. The first VICTIM, Apollo, has been given a pair of prompts from which he must construct an extemporaneous poem. Lianne, Savio, and Kethry are seated as judges, and the mood is informal, bantery, inviting involvement from all and sundry.

Kethry starts snickering at 'Lord Apollo', but it's a pleasant kind of snicker, not a mocking kind. Especially as it's colored by the contents of her tankard.

And there are certainly drinks available. Nearly everyone has a pint. Lianne included. She drinks a bit more of that pale ale then murmurs something quietly to her companions as the glass, nearing empty, returns to the table.

Orland is late, but he does arrive in show of support of the night's events. He slides his hat off his head and hangs it up with his coat, since the room is toasty enough to go without. He settles up alongside the bar, ordering a drink, so he can turn to see what's happening up front.

Even Ripley's getting up, dragging himself to get a pint and then slinks over to where Lianne et al are sitting. Slump down with a flop in the alcove

Ripley has joined the The Weavers Alcove.

Orland has joined the Wild Wood Bar.

Savio has a strange instrument with him, as he always does -- a stringed instrument played with a bow, with bone keys that manipulate the frets. Although not here to play, himself (supposedly), he can't seem to resist picking the thing up, contentedly scooting back from the table a bit to settle it in his lap, absently meddling with the bone keys though not making any notes yet. "I should note that although this is a merry event -- we welcome all poems, of all sorts, whether they are moving, or sad, or silly. All of them are welcome." Orland gets a beaming smile and a little finger wave as he appears!

With Deva gone, Khanne isn't sure where to sit. She ends up resting her rear on/against a table, leaning where she stands, one arm crossed over her, the other lifting the pink hued ale for a sip. She waits for Apollo's performance, trying not to stare at him to give added pressure.

Apollo takes a deep breath. One prompt - his own! He could have done that, a meditation on words he himself thought up. But he snags a tankard, takes a deep drink, and starts writing. He's a couple minutes at it, and clearly not fussing terribly much; it's a very fluid porcess, this. And then, he stands up to speak, taking one long last swig before he does. As he speaks - particularly when he talks about gestures, wielding a sword, movement of hands, he speaks with his own hands; they are perhaps as evocative of that voice of his.

"At sun-fall, we are lost.
Out amid the brush we took a left
and that proved... not right.
Thought if we hugged the shoreline
we'd come to some place known,
legible match to maps,
but nothing shows. This place is
nowhere. This place is distance.
This place is never finding our way
back -

We brace ourselves against the dark.
Inevitable attack we we've long been
told will come when one wanders too far
into shav-lands. Sat back to back we
hold our breaths, deny our chests their
rise and fall. Listening. Listening.

A sound there in the black.

We raise our blades to meet attack but
none comes, it's -
kids. Children wondering at our
strangeness, our pretense at civilization
that dissolves in this place, where they've
found us.

We don't speak their tongue but the
language of the outstretchd hand, flared in
fright is universal. Water, they know.
Come. They say, and their pleas for peace stay
the same unease we felt in full-grown faces.
Safe, the night. Safe among strangers,
the dangers of nowhere dissolve when
all you need's a face to deserve a place
to lay your head.

We stay at the village til break of day;
we watch the sun rise. Go on our way."

Kethry's sharp whistle and applause is the kind of thing better suited to duels in an arena, but her enthusiasm is genuine.

Orland spots the beaming smile and the little finger wave, which he lifts his hand to acknowledge it with a quieter Orlandish smile on his own face, which means it's sort of not there, in most ways that a smile should be. All said, with a rum in hand, he takes a hearty drink as he listens to Apollo's poetry.

Savio listens carefully, still fiddling with the instrument, and unable to resist concluding Apollo's poem with a little congratulatory note from the weird instrument -- something that manages to sound both celebratory and melancholy, maybe as the poem itself does. "That was brilliant and beautiful and I am better for having heard that, Apollo. I do mean it. And made up on the spot! Perfect. Gorgeous. Love. A tough act to follow, but a wonderful way to begin for us! Perhaps I am biased for a subject close to my heart...? But well done, really."

From her perch, Khanne sips and listens, one brow arched in approval as Apollo recites his excellent, very swiftly written poem. When he is finished, she smiles and snaps the fingers on her free hand. "That was really, really good, Apollo." Looking to Lianne, she says, "I am prepared to give him the hat now. No way I will match that tonight. Though, perhaps others will!"

Lianne murmurs something to the others at her table, some other exchange between those present bringing a glassiness to her eyes which, well... it might have something to do with the poetry given how those tears brim over when she looks back to Apollo, smiling. A bit self-consciously when she notices her emotions have gotten away from her, a rough little laugh accompanying a swipe at her cheeks. "Gods," might muttered to herself. A brighter laugh, and her attention turns to Khanne. "The hat was /meant/ to be a punishment." Imagine that. Brows loft, and she wonders, "Will make your attempt, my dawn?" Toward the bar, she wonders, "Or you, Lord Orland?"

Savio can't resist a tiny little tune accompanying teasing the next poets,

"Who is next, who is next?
Grab some prompts and do your best!
We have happy, we have sad,
Might be stellar might be bad,
Don't be shy and step right up,
We have bravery in cups!"

Beer, bravery is beer.

Orland shakes his head as Lianne puts him on the spot, "After the Lord Apollo's poem, I would only embarrass myself, or I would very likely have the Bard's College strip me of membership! I'm very much intimidated by that." He does look toward Savio for a moment, studying the other, before he fakes a pull of his lips into somewhat of a snarled grin, that is soon hidden behind the lift of a glass.

Apollo, when he's done speaking, lingers standing up a moment. He might himself look a little lost, stuck in the nowhere he's invented - but perhaps also as infused with the certainty of finding something good out there in the world. He blinks, and there's a flicker of a smile, a little turn of his head, and then he catches on Savio's congratulations, Khanne and Orland protesting following. "What are you talking about," he says. "The poetry's in writing it, not in what you write. I want to hear you. Please." He means this, as openly and earnestly as a child himself.

He sits and... drinks his beer like a grownup, though.

Orland has rolled 2 15-sided dice: 8, 15

"I do that. Now and then. I empty my shelves and throw them out." He lifts a hand, scratches at the bald spot in his beard and then looks to the drink that's now appeared from Kethry. "Few people wrote to tell me they helped themselves and to make sure I was okay." Says the only a little bit mad man. "Keep it. Just.. I guess put it to good use." He chews on the corner of his mouth and then takes a sip of the brew that was passed to him. "I just get a little dark. But I'll be okay. I think I'll be okay." He looks at Kethy, confused. "You're awfully pretty"

Kethry just winks at Ripley, and refills his drink.

And then Ripley startles. In the middle of Savio speaking he leaps up, looking around. "Parchment. I need parchment." He looks to the brew, to Kethry and then starts to grab numbers from the hat, dig his hand in, fish out a piece of paper and turns it over and grabbing something to start sketching with on the back of that number, since it's the closest piece of paper. Sketching something in miniature.

Ripley has rolled 1 11-sided dice: 1

Khanne is startled when Ripley startles. She stands up quickly, the ale sloshing a bit in her glass, spilling just a bit over the edge and onto her hand. Grey eyes look around as if hoping no one, or perhaps a particular no one, saw her commit such a sin. It is in that look around that her brows furrow a bit and her head tilts just a touch to the side.... like she's listening, or something.... feeling? After a moment, she shakes her head and takes a sip of her drink.

Apollo finishes off his tankard, licks off his lips; he's giving Ripley the /queerest/ look. But Ripley's inspiration has never come in the same manner as his has, and he swings his head to watch Orland preparing his poetry before shoving to his feet to get more to drink.

"Are you feeling brave? Soooon?" Savio entices Khanne with a waggle of the hat full of papers! He has, of course, this whole time been making pleeeeease eyes at Orland. Who will of course participate, who could say no to that? Quiet playing of that weird instrument is interspersed throughout; he can't seem to leave it alone. Bards, what can you do.

Lianne's laughter has subsided for the moment, her demeanor more muted between poems, while waiting. Her smile seems to have dissipated, though there's brief flicker for Ripley's inspiration. Mostly, though, the marquessa seems to be staring at Apollo, lost in her own thoughts.

"Am I feeling brave?" Khanne asks to Savio with a twitch of a brow. "Usually." She grings softly. "I already said I volunteered to be last. Is that soon enough? I suppose I do not have to wait for last..."

Lianne checks composure at daunting. Lianne fails.

"It might be soon," Savio grins at Khanne, "I believe you may be up after the next, if you are ready for it. If not -- we will volunteer Marquessa Lianne to go before you and give you more space." He looks to Lianne, "I volunteered you. I'm a judge, I can do that."

Once Apollo has refilled his tankard, he weaves past where Lianne and Savio and Kethry sit. It's to give the Marquessa's shoulder a squeeze, lean to murmur something quietly, before he slips back, angling for his seat again.

Ripley's drawing. Sketching. Round objects, bugs, a cascading of... pearls. From ears, a cicaida emerging from a cracked pearl with delicate feet clinging to the edge of an ear. A cascade of pearls and gold falling off a neck, on and on he sketches before the man takes the paper and just bolts for the door without a by your leave to the group.

Ripley is overheard praising Apollo.

Ripley is overheard praising Lianne.

"IT'S A LOVELY POETRY READING MARQUESSA" Ripley yells over his shoulder. "CONGRATULATIONS APOLLO" The man running into a few people on his way out, lost in design, in thought, in his mind.

Marquessa Lianne doesn't immediately notice that she's being volunteered for anything. While the others banter, she's still and quiet, a furrow deepening between her dark brows as she watches Apollo. Her lower lip quivers before she presses her mouth thin, but it's no use, the emotion's already welled up and the tears with it, the hand that comes up to cover her mouth not hiding the right part. It's her eyes that are leaking as she tilts toward that touch to her shoulder. Whatever his words, they're answered with a breath of muffled laughter, a shake of her head. And, finally, a confused, "Mm?" toward Savio. Or maybe Ripley as she watches him flee.

Orland slams back his drink back, then marches toward the center stage, "Fine. Fine. Though don't you expect me to be all noble about this. At all." He ruffles a hand through his hair and moves up to the hat full of papers. His hand slips in and he comes out with two pieces of paper, one that makes him visably furrow his brows, as if going, what in the abyss is this?! He exhales his breath, shaking his head.

Lianne has rolled 2 13-sided dice: 1, 5

Ripley has left the The Weavers Alcove.

Orland turns to the audience, after mulling it over for a minute. "What am I supposed to do with this?" He sighs a little.. then moves up to clear his throat. "Right... worst poetry of the night... Here it goes:"

"I'll tell you about a curious little flower,
It's a red little thing, or pink, depending on what it devours
Paired with a stem, that grows tall and stiff
It will cause you to want to surely stop and take a sniff.

It's blossoms will bloom with a spontaneous croon,
That if you pluck just right and eat it with a spoon,
It will drizzle out its nectar for like honey for the bees
but be careful, that you don't skin your damn knees.

Oh what do we call this flower that's so well stocked,

Get your mind out of the gutter, we're not talking cock
We're simply here to eduacate about the Hollyhock."

Savio checks composure at hard. Savio fails.

Savio responds to Lianne's mm? with a quiet smile, and presenting her with the hat full of prompts. Here. Poems. Poems will make it better. Orland of course gets a broad smile as he agrees to step up! And then he GOES! Aw, poems, lovely little.... POEM... He listens and turns increasingly pinker in the cheeks as the verses go on. The degree of blushing where someone is eventually going to say hey, you're blushing! and make it worse. Both hands are pressed to his cheeks by the end, and then he just buries his face in his hands, helplessly laughing. "Orland WHYYYYY?" That sounds like approval, though.

Kethry looks to be in awe, her clap slow, measured, but very, very impressed. The bracelets on her wrists clatter merrily, her smile growing with the pace of her applause.

Apollo's feet slow in his retreat when he sees Lianne... /leaking/. Orland's poem that is definitely about hollyhock gets a sidelong glance - brows lifting, a smile, a furrow of brows, a look back at Lianne, brows up again. "See?" he concludes. "Not hard at a--" he chokes on the word, realizing belatedly what he's said, but finishes: "-all." Clears his throat, and sends a querent look at Lianne: unsubtly 'everything okay?'

He's usually subtler than that.

Khanne can't shake the feeling she has, despite her silent refusal to herself earlier. She begins to walk around the taproom a bit, looking up at the eaves and into corners, full of curiosity until Orland gets up to speak. She turns her attention to him, listening. She seems almost confused at first, a brow arching when her brain takes a turn from one direction to an entirely different one. When he finishes, she lets out a loud, "Ha!" Setting her glass down, she gives him a round of applause, though noticing Lianne's emotions, she gets a bit distracted with worry.

Presented with the shark's jagged-toothed mouth, understanding dawns on the bright-eyed and crying marquessa. Her resultant, "/Oh/," has a lean to it, all thickly italicized. Yes, she'll draw her pair and might even show them to the others at the table, but they go unannounced. After all, there's a performance to attend. Even with her cheeks wet, she seems to sit straighter, taller, chin lifted a little, her smile, even at its slimmest, undeniably persistent. Of course, the Orland's clever piece has that smile all wide and sly. Until it breaks at Apollo's comment, splitting into laughter, resolving into warmth as her attention resettles on the tanner. Yes, she's alright. She looks like she might even be about to say so, lips parting, but she thinks better of it, instead wagging one of the prompts she drew. She has work to do. And Khanne? Oh, her eyes may yet be a bit glassy, but that doesn't dim the mischief as she looks to the duchess, and informs her, "Mine, then yours, mm?"

Savio grins and praises Orland,

"Ah, these prompt slips can be daunting
But there's a poet bravely flaunting
His command of steamy rhyme
Might brag a bit, you know he's mine?
A subject to titillate and shock --
Yes of course, the hollyhock."

Again music with the little teasing rhyme, can't resist.

Orland keeps his face composed after he finished it, his eyes glancing toward the judges, a little shoulder lift to Savio. Sorry not sorry. Though something seems to make his own cheeks light up on fire, his eyes getting a glassy look over them, his smile suddenly there, one that's very private and very much related to a face you would never see, ever, without sharing... well... Too much about that anyway! He slides on over toward Savio, "Because someone put Hollyhock in there and what else rhymes with that?! Of course you did it better..." He ruffles his fingers through the other's hair, "Pink looks good on you, mmmm...." He's definitely breathless, his finger playing with Savio's hair, drifting around his cheeks, pulling Savio up from his chair only to replace the cushion of it and drawing Savio back down onto him.

Khanne has rolled 2 9-sided dice: 5, 5

Khanne has rolled 1 9-sided dice: 7

Orland has left the Wild Wood Bar.

Orland has joined the The Weavers Alcove.

Apollo, bewildered but apparently glad, reaches up to ruffle fingers through his curls, absently, already drinking by the time he's found his seat. "Very distressing," he pronounces to Savio; apparently if he's going to brag, Apollo gets to complain. He turns his eyes on Orland, a grin skewing, brows aloft. "Dear, sweet Lord Orland. Are you /really/ telling me you can't think of /anything/ else that rhymes with hollyhock?" Oh, he's calling him out. One hundred percent.

Savio does not resist the swap of where he's sitting to end up on Orland's lap. "I didn't put it in there! I don't even know what's in there," he protests, "Ooh, watch out for the instrument." Orland gets bapped lightly with the bow for said instrument and informed, "You're very bad." That tone is nothing but fondness, accompanied with a grin, and he settles and introduces to his tablemates -- to Kethry really -- "This is Lord Orland Amadeo, of course." Apollo gets a grin of his own. No comments. More blushing.

Savio has rolled 2 7-sided dice: 3, 5

Kethry grins at the others, watching quietly but beaming. Orland gets a bright smile. "Greetings," she tells the lord. "I'd ask how you're doing but-" And then Apollo gets a bright laugh. "What's distressing? This is an amazing night."

Orland looks like he's suddenly very high or at least just had the best sex of his life, that derpy almost sleepy content look softening his hard features, his brows even somewhat loosen up on his tight face, his lips don't have that stern line. He wraps his arms around Savio, resting his chin on the other's shoulder, blissful, wonderfully content. When Apollo calls him out for the rhyme, he announces back in a very laid back baritone that's unlike his normal pitch of deadpan, it's relaxed, chilled, in a state of complete zen, "Of course I couldn't! It's hard ... hard to get out of your mind, when paired with a string of hollyhock. Uhmmmm..." He slouches into Savio, probably gunna drool on his shoulder at this point. His eyes languidly float to Kethry, "Mmmm hii." Then he fills in even if Kethry begins to suggest she'd ask, "I'm soooooo good. Ugnnn... this... I am.. feeeling goooood..."

Khanne slips into a seat with writing implements provided, preparing herself. She seems to be tapping her thumb upon blank parchment for a long time, deep in thought.

Apollo shakes his head. "In jest," he tells Kethry. "I'm very happy for them." And... very amused at Orland's sudden demeanor. "I thought the Salon discussion on haze was last week, " he muses. His eyes swing around to Lianne, Khanne, and Savio; there's an up-down look of him, there, on Orland's lap, and he smiles a beaming smile. "You're not going to get any poetry written like /that/, are you?" he wonders, innocent airs; he knows Savio could probably find a rhyme or three on that lap, and probably none that match with hollyhock at all.

"Are you quite alright?" Savio laughs at Orland, but seems to take this in stride, "Clearly you should come to my poetry readings more often!" After Khanne and Lianne have a chance to get their prompts, he takes his own, and reads them out loud. "Yearning and Persimmon! Oh myy. Hmmm." Apollo gets an amused 'hah' from Savio, including a dramatic chord to go with it. "I am getting SO much poetry written like this."

"Was it...?" Orland says with a slower tone, very stoner like at that point, "Aww man I ... I missed it ... was it ... decent?" He's slowly turning his face into Savio's neck, probably getting lost in the other man's hair. "Hiiii..." he purrs into the other man's ear, suddenly the worst clingy sort of Orland anyone's probably ever seen! Then he har-hars at Savio, "Yes you are... tell it to me of yearning. It's soo good. Everything's so good." He sighs softly, his eyes fluttering half closed. Drool. Yep, there's going to be a wet spot on Savio's shoulder, right by his neck.

Lianne might've missed a beat or two. Urged to write herself, well... fine, yes, she's decided to scribble something down first before recitation. Nevermind how she'd taunted Apollo for doing so earlier. When she looks up, there might be a little tremble in her throat, but it's nothing a deep breath can't calm. She angles a look aside at Orland and Savio, and one of them gets a suffering look, but they'll get to pick which: the one who volunteered her or that, uh, hard act to follow. Either way, the marquessa stands and takes her place in that open space that serves well enough as a stage. Though she has her paper in hand, 'light' on the other side, she doesn't look at it as she recites:

"I thought to call them faceted,
the jagged edges of aspiration,
and aren't they? One edge gives way
to dozens, fractured glass casting
futures on the floor. Not mine,
but there's a brightness to that,
a reflection of a more collected
arrangement, his hands and mine.

I see yours there, in the prismed light
spread between us, never still. Colors
caught in creases, a whole city, mapped
upon your palm. I don't need to read it
to know the names of all the streets
we've already walked, the numbers to
doors we haven't opened.

It's all green.

And I know what makes it grow."

Not precisely smoothly. Not tonight. The poor marquessa is feeling an awful lot of things. Bright things that, though they're made of light, keep leaking out as water and air, tears and shaky breath, the poem no less steady for how her voice trembles at the end.

Atreke, a severe-looking scribe arrives, following Rinel.

Savio is impervious to suffering looks. And to drool. He remains perched on Orland's lap like this drugged(?) person is the finest and most wonderful throne. "I am so glad you're here with us," he praises Kethry, before turning his attention to Lianne with kindness for her unsteady state -- there is encouragement in his smile, and he listens carefully.

At the conclusion of the poem, he leans fondly against Orland, and speaks to the Marquessa in a tone that is quiet, but perhaps carries enough for others to hear as well. "That is a beautiful poem, Marquessa Lianne. I appreciate this, that is heartfelt, and I hear truth in it." A difficult act for Khanne to follow, but perhaps not in the same way that Apollo and Orland were hard to follow... all poems as different as their poets.

Kethry is smiling quietly, listening, golden eyes shining as she watches Lianne and the words she speaks, the rough beauty of words drawn, like unpolished marble or coveted sandstone. Her smile grows and she does not applaud, the warmth in her eyes shining. "Yes," she says, echoing Savio. "A beautiful poem, Marquessa."

Rinel limps into the taproom and settles down at an occupied alcove with a quiet rustling of fabric.

Rinel has joined the The Weavers Alcove.

Orland doesn't seem to be all that alert to many things right then, drooling on the back of Savio's shoulder as his eyes keep that half-lowered stage of contentedness, that keeps going and going and going.... never ending. He bites his bottom lip as he takes plenty of deep breaths, and is starting to make some very... obvious noises over here. It's not his fault, really it isn't. He must've been drugged!

Apollo has no judgement for the need to scribble something down, though he's unsubtly watching Lianne as she nears ready to - well. Not read. Recite. Weirdest thing: he's got glassy eyes by the time she's done, too, but his smile could light the room. "Lovely," he says - one word, and maybe he doesn't hazard more. At least he doesn't hide behind that beer of his, thoughts a-spin; he doesn't need to, the music of poetry affecting everyone in some way; why hide?

Kethry peers at Rinel as the new arrival takes a seat. The scarred, plump, pretty woman offers her hand. "Kethry Varis. Hello!" She slides over a full, pristine tankard. "On me."

Savio greets Rinel with a smile as she approaches and sits! The mood of the room is hard to pin down -- something almost dizzying about it, as poets and listeners are quite taken with particular aspects of what they've heard, or spoken. "Have you some to listen, or to speak a poem of your own? There are still more prompts left, if it's the latter..." Orland is -- poor Orland. Savio pokes him and murmurs a question!

Why hide. Though Lianne bows her head to the compliments from the table where she'd been sitting, she doesn't return. Instead, she crosses to where Apollo sits and settles in right beside him, taking his hand in hers. And, further, lift it to her cheek, knuckles against tears. It's not quite the affection shared between Savio and Orland, but they may well be the inspiration, their comfort with one another rubbing off. Once settled, she seems more content. And more aware of the rest of the room, smiling encouragingly--contetedly, really, gods does she look happy--at Khanne. Has Raconteur ever seen so wonderful a night?

Khanne sets her quill down when Lianne rises, giving her dearest friend her full attention. When the marquessa finishes, the shaman remains captivated a moment, still. Taking a breath, she exhales with puffed out cheeks, nodding slowly. "That was beautiful, Lianne. Beautiful." She rises up, sweeping the parchment she had written on with her, and goes directly to Lianne to envelop her in a hug for a moment. "Beautiful," she repeats, before making her way to the cleared area for speaking.

Glancing at the page, she shakes her head. "I should have went first... you are all so amazing. Um... anyway...." Her eyes shift down again, seems she needs to actually read hers.

"upon a cliff

Lianne has left the The Weavers Alcove.

Lianne has joined the Storyteller's Lounge.

Khanne sets her quill down when Lianne rises, giving her dearest friend her full attention. When the marquessa finishes, the shaman remains captivated a moment, still. Taking a breath, she exhales with puffed out cheeks, nodding slowly. "That was beautiful, Lianne. Beautiful." She rises up, sweeping the parchment she had written on with her, and goes directly to Lianne to envelop her in a hug for a moment. "Beautiful," she repeats, before making her way to the cleared area for speaking.

Glancing at the page, she shakes her head. "I should have went first... you are all so amazing. Um... anyway...." Her eyes shift down again, seems she needs to actually read hers.

"upon a cliff
she stands forlornly
looking out upon a
storm raged sea
hair whips and
around her
like lightning
in a darkened sky
she does not know
what fate lies
beyond the horizon
but there she will go
head held high
(mock) bravery in her
steel eyes
she will not falter
there will be
no coward's
she will defy fear
rebel against timidity
for to dare greatly
is to succeed phenomenally
with outstretched arms
she leaps
letting the wind
take her where it will"

Khanne looks up then, her face devoid of any smile. "Sorry it's...." It's whatever a shrug means, because that is what she gives before nodding and walking back to her drink. It is clear where her mind is this evening.

"No. Do not apologize. It is perfect," Savio reviews Khanne's poem, with a smile that is kind, a bit quiet, in respect for her poignant words. "I feel I am there on that cliff, I feel I am there in that storm... when you speak of it, I can taste the salt wind. You've done brilliantly."

He offers the hat (it's a shark hat!) full of prompts, and offers for Rinel to take it! "Select two prompts, if you like! Then you can think about it while I give a poem, and then it will be your turn to work with your prompts."

There's a look so sympathetic when Lianne lifts his hand to her cheek. There's a quiet moment there, just watching her face, but no murmur - nothing more than that watching. And then he takes his hand back, but only to drape it around her shoulders, tip his forehead against her temple. Where he stays, eyes closing, to listen to Khanne. When she arrives at "to dare greatly is to succeed phenomenally", a smile blooms on his face, and his eyes crack open, and he shakes his head. "It gorgeous, Khanne, don't shortsell yourself. Really lovely."

Rinel tilts her head slightly and raises a hand to her cheek. There's a brief moment of uncertainty in her eyes, and--for a moment, the sparkling of unshed tears. It passes. The theologian is silent. And then, she says quietly: "It is perfect, Duchess Whitehold." There's a long pause before she seems to come back to herself, and then she reaches into the hat to remove two slips of paper.

"I know for a fact--" Lianne starts... and then hesitates. Okay, it's been several months between what she thinks she knows and now, but still. "--that the last time you jumped from a cliff, it was a wonderfully sunny day." Hardly critique, especially not when delivered with such an affectionate smile. It's followed by the barest turn of her head toward the chair to her other side, invitation. Has she given up judging for the night? Has there been any judging at all? Who knows what will happen when the last poem is read. There's plenty of time to figure that out, right? For now, she's more than happy to snuggle in closer to Apollo and that arm draped across her shimmery shoulders. When Rinel steps up to take her slips of paper from the jaws of the very silly shark-hat, she applauds, delighted to see another stepping up to the plate.

Rinel has rolled 2 5-sided dice: 1, 4

Orland is basically in this weird state of ... drooly face moving a bit underneath Savio. There's a hot flush on his face and that derpy little grin. He seems to be quite content and not at all capable of really following conversation, let alone words. Let's just say, he's being very physical, enough to make onlooker's blush or get annoyed with so much public affection!

Savio's turn to poem comes after Khanne, and he notes, "The prompts were 'yearning' and 'persimmon'!" Being as he is a bard, he can't help accompanying the poem to music -- more like a song, though the haunting notes of his strange, bone-keyed instrument set the tone that it might be sweet, but won't be merry. It is melancholy music, even if it is played from the perch that is his better half.

"I have a precious garden
Far across the sea
There the sun shines brightly
On my persimmon tree

I have a precious garden
Filled with warmest fruit
I hold so close the memory
A longing wish, acute

I have a precious garden
And it's now lost to me
My world is dark and bloody
Far from my little tree

I have a precious garden
And here now far from home
I close my eyes and fade away
I know it's time to go

I have a precious garden
One I will never see again
I think of my persimmon tree
Alone here at the end."

Sad. Way to be fun at parties, Savio.

After draining most of the rest of her drink, Khanne stops and sets the glass down a bit hard on the table. Her eyes dart about the room briefly before she closes them, inhaling the scent of the air in through her nose slowly. her head tilts, chin lifting, her fingers flexing subtly. Opening her eyes again, she smiles to Apollo. "Thank you," Then to Savio, "I can too." At that, her smile grows. "Oh, Rinel! Hello, and thank you." She can't help though upon hearing Lianne's words, but to laugh. "That is true... that is true. Sunny and amazing." She then quiets to listen to Savio.

Kethry drops Crawfish.

Apollo smiles, though, at the sad poem; and he kisses Lianne's temple, then comments to Savio: "I might have a project I'd like to work with you, if you're willing to collaborate." And he sighs, and has a drink, and then looks at Lianne sidelong. "Always the best events," he says, and shakes his head. "I don't know how you keep doing it."

Kethry has left the The Weavers Alcove.

As Savio sings, there's a blanket of comfort drawn over all that listen. A softness to the melancholy; there are no edges, just a tugging memory of sweet sadness cradled by the comforting knowledge that it passes, that the joy that spikes so sharply softens into contentment. They all feel it now, here, this gentle joy, this inspiration to do more, create more, love more. It's a sensation that lingers long into the night, tucked about them even when they all rise the next day.

Kethry drops her hand from where it had settled on Savio's shoulder some time during his singing, or maybe it was before? Either way, the warmth recedes as her hand drops, and she's smiling, her cheeks wet. "Lovely," she sighs, and the woman looks ... weary, pleasantly so.

Was that sad? The way Lianne is smiling so bright and warm at Savio, she doesn't seem to have gotten the memo about the gloom. No, really, her hand lifts to her chest as she breathes deep, so very pleased with that loveliness. "I meant to tell you about a garden. Maybe I'll send you my poem about the garden." She sounds terribly resolute despite the maybe. "I think you'll like it." Brows arched, she notes, "It even rhymes." On the wake of those words, she nuzzles at Apollo's cheek, a brief, asymmetrical reciprocation of his affection. To Khanne, she murmurs, "It was a good day," but it sounds as if she might be talking about this one rather than another months past.

"I want to paint..." Orland says randomly, "more... and without a secret name...." He mutters still as if from a daze but he holds Savio close, whenever it's possible and Savio doesn't leave his lap! There's another long sigh and he looks over at Apollo, "I'm not even mad that you didn't invite me along too...!" Like it's a wonderful thing not to be jealous. HAH. What is this miracle drug.

Savio seems zoned out, in that song, in the -- whatever this strange effect is, along with it. Eventually he exhales a laugh, something like catharsis and surprise. "What. What?" He's struggling to process -- something, gripping the instrument with one hand and sort of clinging to Orland with the other for a moment, as though trying to anchor himself. "Of course -- yes -- of course," he manages to Apollo, and to Lianne, "I would love to hear of the garden, I hope you will share it with me."

To Kethry, something like hope mingled into -- something else, harder to say. "Please don't go." She's not going anywhere! Yet! Is she?

Apollo's brows leap at Orland's words, and he laughs a moment, shaking his head. "I would be more than glad to invite you /both/," he says. He probably even means for that project. "I wish I'd known you painted." The words! Yes, the words say project. He should just... look away and give them their privacy. Right. Right, he'll do that. Now. NOW. He clears his throat, and that unsticks the staring problem; there might be a little self-conscious glance at Lianne, but -that- he ducks behind his beer.

Kethry smiles at Savio, her fist under her jaw, her elbow on the table as she leans into it. "I'm not leaving yet," she says, quite content.

Rinel checks composure and performance at normal. Rinel is successful.

Orland on any given day would probably not respond the way he has. Something about him speaks of floating with rainbows, sunshine, and unicorns! With lollipops too, somewhere in there, or maybe just carmels, and turkish delights! The fact is, he's just enraptured by some euphoric drug that he cannot share. Sorry! His head wheels back a little as his eyes close, before his head rolls forward again and he one armed lazy gestures pointedly outward, "SEKRET...LY..." To Apollo's wish of having known. Oooh look, a neck to nibble on. Avert thy gaze!

If Rinel has heard or seen anything of what has been happening around her, there is no sign of it. She has been focusing on her quill and ink and paper the entire time, and now, with trembling hands, she picks up the hastily-written poem. Her leg pops and snaps with the sound of gristle against bone as she stands, and she has to lean hard on her cane as she makes her way to where people have been reciting.

"I fear," she says, her voice only slightly trembling, "that my attempts at self-reflection turn all too often into self-pity. I beg forgiveness if this failure extends into my writing." And then she begins to read. Her voice is stiller, now. It is no skilled declamation--it is simply calm, untroubled, and perhaps a bit too quiet.

"Do you see the crippled woman? Do you stop and stare?
Do you see the scars around her face where she was maimed?
She asks not for forgiveness; she asks only for your care.

The tragedy is simple--she desired a well-loved name.
Unwisely did the counsel of the Gods she failed to mark,
And earned Their ire with her desire to challenge and defame.

Judge now not her callous bearing, cold as iron, rough as bark.
For with every passing year she is given a new scar,
To mark her failures and her pains when cast out into the dark.

Where is the woman's home when she has strayed so far?
Ash has filled her heart where once love made its hearth,
And the kindness of the Gods lies dim and distant as the stars."

And then she is done, folding the paper nervously in shaking hands and limping back to where she sat.

Earl Peckworthy Flappington the VII, a blue and gold macaw arrives, following Vitalis.

Apollo pulls his arm snug around Lianne's shoulders, and - perhaps a little out of place - laughs at Orland's single-word answer, just as Rinel is starting to speak. He does hush rather quickly as she starts in on her poem, and when she's done, there's a little turn of his head. "If you feel it, you may as well write it. Either to give words to it, or be done with it." And he smiles at her gently; he too seems very content.

Given a recent conversation she had with Rinel, Khanne listens to her poem unfold. She bites her lip gently and nods, offering the woman a smile. "That was a very moving poem, Rinel." She rises to go nearer, to murmur to the woman herself.

Is Lianne supposed to keep Apollo from watching? Let's hope not seeing as she doesn't seem at all self-conscious about the fact that she is as well. She might not even realize she's staring. Even as she laughs, quietly, for that over-emphasized word from Orland. How very wide the smile that lingers after as, yes, she watches a bit of neck-nibbling before Rinel's rising draws her attention back to chaster places. Though her expression softens at its edges as she listens, her gladness remains. Something in that last verse sees her perking, hands lifting to offer prompt applause when the theologian is done with her recitation. "They aren't all that far, really." Possibly the sort of thing one should expand on, but she doesn't. Instead, she looks to Apollo and wonders, "Do I get to know about your project?" No, wait, that's not the question she should be asking. Looking back to Savio--so far away now!--she wonders, "Are we meant to award prizes?" Aren't they?

"No, no, there is no forgiveness needed here, no sorries, no apologies! And no judgement!" Savio assures Rinel, as she frets a bit before her poem. "There are no wrong answers here, only what we create, and the celebration of those who create it."

He's careful in his listening, attentive, and at the conclusion smiles to her, appreciative and thoughtful. "I think you were wrong to worry about self-pity. If there is grief in your words, then that grief is a place of power. Well done, and well spoken, and well written, truly."

Having accepted Orland's general state of being, he runs a hand with absent fondness through the other's hair a moment, considering Lianne's question. "I don't know if there is any prize greater than -- a certain extraordinary way this evening has been. The poems themselves. But someone is supposed to get the hat!"

Kethry is still seated, her chin on her fist, tilting to look at Rinel as the woman recites. Her brow furrows, witnessing the pain and grief, and she's moved. Her smile is tempered, smaller, there's understanding in her gaze at the end, and she nods. "Mmm. Quite wonderful."

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

Rinel gives Khanne a small and tremulous smile. "You are all very kind," she says, before taking a nervous gulp of the tankard Kethry had offered her earlier.

Rinel checks composure and survival at hard. Rinel is successful.

Vitalis arrives to the event, this seems one where a parrot welcome, his bright companion as splash of color at his wrist, stark contrast to dark leathers. He's unaccompanied, save for the bird, a rare thing. When they move into the room the bird rears up a bit and flaps, "AWK! Hat!" He's a quick study, Peckworthy is. Or he hears about hats a lot. Vitalis tips his head away from the flaring wing, buffeted, cane tapping ahead as he goes, head tipped, assensing the space, paused there at the margins until he has his bearings.

Rinel looks a little green as she realizes she has just swallowed a large mouthful of beer.

Beer. /Ugh/.

The woman sloooowly pushes the tankard away from her.

Apollo will fall on that tankard; his face shapes bright humor, and he leans forward, loosing Lianne a moment, to pluck it up, see that it doesn't go to waste. "I'm not sure there's anything that deserves /punishment/ I heard tonight," he muses. "It was all too lovely. Perhaps I should auction the thing off. Donate the proceeds to some... mm." He shakes his head, blinking away the tired as he settles his arm back around Lianne. "Shrine. It might be the most ridiculous thing I've ever made." He looks at the hat sidelong, shakes his head... and looks up, hearing the bird. There's a smile, there. "You can't have it, Peck," he lifts his voice to say, as Vitalis approaches.

The parrot fluffs and grumbles, bobbing its head. "Lo lo lo lo lo lo."

Lianne might find herself a teensy tiny bit smitten with Savio as he makes such bold declarations to Rinel. No apologies, no judgment, no wrong. Grief as a place of power. It inspires a comment aside to Apollo, praise that doesn't carry to its target. Louder, clearer, she calls back, "/That/ we all get to take home with us." Wait. "The feeling, I mean. Only one person gets the hat." Right, bird. /Hat/. "Someone /will/ get the hat." That, for Apollo, trying to auction it out from under them. "We can make our donation, mm?" Her stern look isn't as potent as it often is. "Lord Vitalis!" she greets, her voice familiar, but brighter, not possessed of her usual reserve. This is a brewery, though. Perhaps there's been drinking. "We were just about to distribute prizes, but if you've a poem in you, we could hold a moment to pick out prompts."

"Hey now," Apollo protests. "I was giving everyone a /compliment/." He's grinning, eyes slipping aside to catch on Vitalis' hands. "We've been having a lovely night of poetry. Just stunning, all of these people. Got - Savio Pontaleus, Lord Orland Amadeo - Marquessa Lianne here, next to me. Rinel Tern, yes? Mm. Duchess Khanne, and - I didn't catch your name." That's to Kethry, but he's very much half-attending the approaching blind man - introductions? The lay of the land? A bit of column A, bit of B. "Will you write a poem, then?"

"Yes, there are indeed prizes! The first of which, but perhaps the least exciting of which, is... financial compensation!" Savio laughs, "Ah, I am a Pontelaeus, of course it is. But still, a little token of appreciation." Unwilling to leave his perch, he waves at the helpful staff of the Raconteur, and one ferries out pouches of silver to deliver to the poets! As for the more exciting prizes, those are left for Lianne to explain.

Vitalis brightens at hearing Apollo, and laughs at the parrot bobbing and grumbling. He clucks fondly, a quiet cue and shifts the bird to his shoulder, dusting his sleeves and smoothing his ves.t The bird steps up to his shoulder and fluffs, still grumbling, but settling. "Lo lo lo," it says, quieter. He stops, grins, "Thank you, Lord Darkwater." His lips twitch, "Lianne. A poem, Gods. Mmh. On what shall I compose?" He's blinking, not having expected to perform.

Kethry waves her free hand at Apollo. "Kethry Varis," she intones, before she brings knuckles to her own mouth, smothering a yawn.

Savio's perch is back to shoulder drooling.

Lianne follows Apollo's round of introductions, attention settling warmly on Kethry, a curious smile turned her way, like there might be a question /she/ wants to ask, something more than a name, but it doesn't follow. There are words to pick from a hat, after all. "Meander and melancholy," she tells Vitalis. And though there's one last poem to write, she has an announcement to make.

The marquessa doesn't abandon her Apollo-ward lean, not while his arm is set so comfortably about her shoulders, but she does straighten a little, lift her head to find some measure of poise as she addresses the room proper. "Thank you all for coming. Every last one of you. It would not be an overstatement to say the evening has been perfect. There is, however, one bit of silliness left. A matter of hat distribution. We also have a journal for writing poetry or notes or what have you, and a pair of commissions, one from myself and one from the incomparable Savio Pontalaeus. Whether the hat is punishment or reward is yours to decide as we'll be letting you pick your own prizes." Looking to the man at her side, she tells him, "Beginning with you. If you need some guidance..." She doesn't point, but there might be a tip of her head toward her cohost. At the end, she notes, "We'll cook up something special for our final poet."

Orland is overheard praising Savio: Such a beautiful man. I love him!

"Well," Apollo says, and sighs. "I can't have my own hat, can I. And I've already got two of the three others; I'd better have the journal, then." He flares a hand, as if to say, see? Easy.

Vitalis takes the prompt promptly given and subsides, lost in thought to ponder those words. He rubs Peckworthy's chest and the creature nibbles at his finger while the Clement lord thinks. He clears his throat and awaits an opening.

"Mist and rain on cobbled stones
Damp and chill these winter bones
laid bare upon an altar gray
will I find it? I have lost my way..."

He concludes and flares his hands, Peckworthy flapping a bit, echo? "Did you say... Shark... hat?" He was composing, forgive him.

Orland grabby hands, "My shark hat!"

"I have a poem from Lianne I treasure. I will take the commission from Savio," Khanne says with a joyful smile.

Rinel smiles softly. "How could I resist an offer from the Guild's Speaker for the Dead? The Marquessa Malespero's poem would be a high honour indeed. Gods willing, it will not be my elegy come the battle--though I can think of none better should I return to the wheel.

Orland promptly puts the shark hat on his head and primps the sharktale like it was some long ass damn ponytail. "This is exceptional!" Orland notes, "I'm wearing it home." To Savio, as he waggles his eyebrows.

Lianne mumurs softly, "That was beautiful," to Vitalis, a thread of reverence in her tone. With all the prizes claimed, she looks to penultimate poet and bows ehr head. "While I could manage an eloquent lamentation, I hope you return that I might write of whatever you'd like, a topic of your own choosing." To Vitalis, she notes, "My cohost and I will conspire to create something special just for you, for providing something so lovely to close." But, for now, the night has plenty of loveliness left. Conspiring can wait a day.

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