Dec. 14, 2021, 12:30 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Lyceum - Malespero Tower - Grand Parlor
Comments and Log
Macario's Birthday has started at Arx - Ward of the Lyceum - Malespero Tower - Grand Parlor.
When the time of the birthday celebration comes and passes Pasquale steps down into the Parlor through one of the doors that leads out into the living areas. He gives Macario a small and slightly guilty smile for his tardiness before moving over to Camilla. "Thank you for performing today Camilla." he begins with before moving to the others: Macario "I hope you enjoy yourself brother". Martino "Dont drink all the wine Martino." and Anisha. "It was good of you to come today."
The appointed time has come for the party, and Camilla has arrived just a few minutes before the start time. She heads inside and offers a smile to Pasquale, and a brief greeting to whoever else has arrived. "I will need a place to change, if you do not mind. The dressmaker is doing some final alterations, it should arrive any minute."
Macario is, of course, in marvellous spirits. He had a short walk here, a fine goblet of wine already in his hand. "Brother," he inclines his head quickly. "Martino," another incline of his head as people enter. At hearing there are last minute, he nods, "It makes it all the more exciting. Thank you Suspire of the House of Silken Sighs." Refreshments are bountiful for the modest group, and Macario leaves space for others to enter while he enjoys his wine.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Camilla before departing.
The Radiant of Whisper House arrives exactly when she intends, and not a moment too soon. Fashionably late, but not so much as to be rude, Anisha wears her hair held up in an ornate bun and equally ornate fall of shadows, administered by two pairs of crossed hairpins. Her garb is, of course, umbra. Umbra and mirrorsilver, praseodymium and neodymium threads weaving roses and thorns alongside the star iron she wears. Sketching a deep curtsey as she is greeted, she offers a gentle smile, cradling a bottle of wine in her arm. "It was a delight to be invited. And a good excuse to see familiar faces. I am..." She looks about. "Quite thrilled to see Suspire Camilla's dance. I've heard very good things." She offers to Pasquale.
Spotting Macario, she inclines her head. "Lord Macario. Many happy returns to you." She offers up the bottle. "As you are from the warm south, I thought I should offer you something from the coldest north, mm? I have enjoyed many a bottle of Snowplum in my time. Thank you for your kindness in inviting me."
A messenger dashes in carrying a somewhat large bag, and finds Camilla. She peeks inside and thanks him, before looking to Pasquale. "I have to go change and prepare. Let me know when I am on." She gives him a quick peck on the cheek and vanishes.
"Oh my dear Protege, Lord Macario, my thanks. My thanks for the invitation." Following the steps of the Duke Martino Malvici is the his perfumed scent. Today's special that of salty ocean, water lilies and a final note of sandalwood. A late-summer's complement. Held in right hand, the Malvici Duke lifts a small wooden box to present out a gift. "A little something for you to... enjoy. To tempt and tease. A one-of-a-kin beard oil from the Messere Bonbon."
Gift delivered, Martino's chin is dipping easily to Pasquale with a low laugh, "Oh I couldn't even as my darling Kaia is looking after Arsenia this evening. Oh, Radiant Anisha. My it is good to see you."
"Radient Whisper, Anisha," Macario's voice is soft. "So nice for you to come, and thank you for this." He lifts the bottle so he might spy out the label. "I will enjoy it before the last of our summer is gone, before the dread of winter hits our space. And, of course, you do this event honor to be joining." Martino hands him the wooden box, and he's quick to grin, "Always thinking of me, thank you Duke. I'll use it well."
Pasquale gives Camilla a nod when she says she is off to dress. "You don't need to wait on us Camilla. You are todays star." It is Martino he ends up lingering near "Kaia has you completely tamed doesn't she?" lightly teasing. "We are glad to see you Radiant. Shall we all find someplace to sit?"
Anisha casts a glance and wiggles her finger at Camilla as the latter disappears off to change, then turns to face Martino and gives a curtsey to him as well. "Duke Martino. Well met. It has been far too long." She offers, with a small smile. "But always a pleasure." She exhales, softly, and gives Macario a nod. "I hope you will think of me - I am given to understand it tastes well served both hot and cold." The Radiant gestures at the bottle. "And so I found it a suitable temperament."
At Pasquale's address, she offers another bright smile, taking a glass of wine from a servant, and giving a nod. "I think that would be wonderful - and for the birthday boy, the finest seat in the house for the performance, mm?"
4 Silvershields arrives, following Sira.
"Oh please do put it to good use, please do. The Messere assumes me not another scent of that will exist, of course she has the recipe for when you want to refill it." Gesturing forth with his right hand to Macario's gift, Martino is leading himself further in to find previously mentioned wine. "Is it Kaia, or is it Arsenia? Since if I arrive and awake her, I will likely get no sleep at all." A quirk of his lips in a faint smile, those sharp green eyes of his crinkling towards Anisha as he replies while gathering up a glass, "Far-far-far too long. I hear, as well, our Gio may... be interested in the courtier's path?"
"That's fun." This, Macario says to Anisha. "You know me well. I will try in at both temperatures and test my preference." Another look to the bottle and the small box, and they slip away from his arms by a passing servant. With the goblet of wine retrieved, he nods to Pasquale, "Yes, let's all sit and enjoy the show. I have been absolutely kept in the dark," he notes. "Which, if anyone knows me, is a source of utter entertainment. Mostly good." For a lord that likes to be in control, mostly. He teases out a grin and gives Martino a good pat on the back.
The lights go out in anticipation of the performance. After a brief pause, a Malespero attendant lights a brazier in front of the spot and darts away, and the soft sounds of a klezmer begin to play. The music establishes a slow, steady, rhythmic beat, and after a few moments, a figure can be seen moving through the shadows cast by the brazier, behind the smoke emanating from it.
The figure moves fluidly back and forth, the occasional glimpse of a wispy trail of fabric visible. As the music grows louder, the figure approaches with a slow, sinuous movement, almost inhuman. But it is a human hand which punctuates the smoke, opening up as if to grasp at the clean air on the other side, and then it pulls forth a woman into view of the assembled audience.
Sira slips in as quietly as possible, seeking out Camilla. She's a little late, and so tucks herself against a wall to watch.
Anisha quirks her lips, and inclines her head to Martino. "You have heard correctly. He has joined the Courtier's Guild, and I expect he shall have a bright future whatever he decides to do with it. An interesting man, certainly." She offers, in a hushed whisper, as the lights go out. Giving another nod to Macario, in acknowledgment, then exhales and leans back, opening her eyes wide. Clasping her hands in front of her, and takes in the performance. Fully.
"Mmm I am glad, truly, Radiant. It gives him a path and, well, House Malvici aid not just through steel in hand for the Compact." Swirling his glass of red wine, Martino is lifting it to his nose for a faint inhale before finding himself space and somewhere to sit. His eyes upon the performance starting, a low gasp escaping his throat as the smoke opens up to present the performer.
Camilla checks mana and performance at daunting. Camilla marginally fails.
"Probably Arsenia." Pasquale replies. "Controlling your father is something of a tradition." He takes a seat on one of the couches arrayed especially for the performance and lets his attention go entirely to the puddle of light given off by that brazier.
With the performance starting, Macario clears the area so to offer room and otherwise stands with the others. He's certainly in a good mood, pupils dilating at the darkness, only to come alive again when the light returns in the form of a spotlight. To the music, his moves easily, with just that sway someone might barely be aware of. He's passively listening to the others, but his attention is to dancer ahead as she plays with the shadows.
As the figure moves with the smoky tendrils, there's a subtle change in the room. In the sense that there's a steadily rising vibrant mood in the audience as the performance proceeds. First it's the servants in the room that seem to be overcome with a sense of mellow, beginning to enjoy their work, serving the drinks with a bounce to their step in time with the performer. It's infectious. Watching her seems to alleviate many of those in the room of some of their fears and recent anguishes. Not all of these feelings, but enough to instill them with bliss while she dances.
Remaining amidst the wispy trails of smoke, Camilla's body moves effortless as if it were, itself, that smoke. The Setarcan smoke gown joins with the literal smoke, trailing behind her every movement. Following the dramatic eruption of her hand, Camilla leans forward, parallel to the ground, tilting forward on one leg as the other rises up to point to the sky. Her eyes catch the flickering light as she gazes out at the audience, keeping her head straight forward even as her body shifts, leg bending to point her toes out at them, the gown flowing about her form. Arms come reaching out, again, plaintively, as if sending out a cry for help to the watching crowd.
Anisha watches, all but transfixed; stem of her glass pinched between thumb and forefinger, the base resting against the bottom of her hand, utterly forgotten. Storm-cloud eyes take in every movement as Camilla dances; pupils flickering hither and yon. Her mouth remains just slightly open, just enough that she can suck in a breath of anticipation, just enough that she can let out a little sigh of relief, her cares melting away, her shoulders sinking. Bliss. Yes. Bliss. Take it all in. Taking it all in...
Leaning back within his seat, Martino is swirling his glass of wine once more with ease. Allowing the red liquor to kiss the edges of the glass, drawing it up to his mouth once more for a good sip before exhaling deep. A faint smile meeting his lips, a follow of Camilla's movements with his gaze as the flowing gown captures his attentions.
Macario is a fan of art. Especially the soulful type of art, and Camilla delivers the performance. He's lost the room and instead his attention is on the dancer. She moves between the smoke and shadows and calls to the crowd in a cry of help. A thief, Camilla's dance steals his tension away. Sure, he came in happy, but there are layers to happiness and moods and it's done with. A breath released, a wine sipped, and a breath taken.
Pasquale relaxes back into the upholstery. Tension he didn't know he was holding seeping away. He reaches for a drink, claims one, but doesn't drink. He's to busy watching Camilla move through the dance with genuine pleasure in his eyes.
Something in the darkness suddenly pulls Camilla back. Or at least, that is the appearance, as she darts backwards from the one foot planted on the ground. Her arms seem to trash for a moment, and she vanishes from sight behind the smoke, billowing about to replace the void previously occupied by her body. As the smoke begins to settle, a leg appears slicing through the shadows and taking up a firm plant. Slowly, a torso begins to emerge, bent backwards, and the smoke gives birth to Camilla. Trailed by her other leg, she drifts back in, her waist visible but nothing else until she slowly rolls herself up, midsection, abdomen, chest, and then her head rolls up from her neck. Her gaze is piercing as she regards the crowd, and slowly she bends to the side, one arm cast above her head. That trailing leg lifts up from the ground and arcs upward, counterbalancing her as she pitches in a lean to the side.
Camilla checks mana and performance at daunting. Camilla is successful.
Pivoting on that one foot, Camilla's body casts further to the side. The matching hand reaches out and with a quick and subtle movement, kicking up more whirlwinds of the smoke, she her hand is planted and her feet lift from the ground. Perched upon her one hand, a leg straight up in the air, the other to the side, counterbalanced by her free arm. The gown trails after her, a physical match to the ephemeral of the smoke, as she slowly rotates, strong fingers turning her entire body. The leg to the side bends back towards her body, her free arm doing the same, to maintain that balance. As she finds herself perpendicular to the crowd, her head looks up, eyes locking again to her audience. It is but a moment, and then her eyes close, as she once again starts to descend back into the smoke, carried by her hand. Her legs bend as she goes, as if some force were trying to hold them back from being devoured by the smoke.
One of the servers brings a drink by to Sira, which she happily accepts. The normally unsmiling woman finds herself at ease during the performance and smiling as she watches Camilla move through the dance.
A little shudder goes through Anisha's frame, a sigh bordering on a small groan of happiness. Biting her lip now, her eyes remain wide open, remain transfixed, as she, too, sways a little from side to side. Matching the movements, like a snake following a charmer's flute. Rising with Camilla. Falling with Camilla. Fingers furling and unfurling, her glass thankfully kept in place by her palm, as it is doubtful she'd notice if she spilled wine on herself.
"...Magnificent," She utters, casting, for just a moment, her glance out among the audience, her eyebrows perking, but she can't keep her attention away from Camilla for long.
The drama of the dance! Macario is here for it. Camilla's grace continues to draw his eye to the swirls of smoke and the flutter of her dress. Lost in the moments, he releases the goblet of wine to a passing server and continues to watch the performance.
"Mmm it is." A low murmur follows out from Martino's throat as his gaze continues fixed upon Camilla's movements. His glass of wine hanging slightly in his left hand as he continues to recline and relax. To wash himself in the comfortable mood of the room.
The spreading sense of bliss starts to shift to jubilation as the dancer starts to contort her body and flawlessly push the limits of her skill. Her sense of balance is impeccable and the audience are utterly intrigued. If she can manage such a feat, what are their own limits? Why should they despair and allow their dreams to die? If she can achieve such excellence in her field, they certainly can.
The servants seem to believe this to, since there's a fluidity to their movements as they maneuver around the room with purely euphoric smiles.
an immaculately dressed assistant named Johannes, a slightly embarrassed courier called Guido, Cosimo de'Malvici, the Southport banker leave, following Martino.
an immaculately dressed assistant named Johannes, a slightly embarrassed courier called Guido, Cosimo de'Malvici, the Southport banker arrive, following Martino.
There is a tempest rolling within the smoke. A shadowy figure darts this way and that, disturbing the floating motes of dust and soot. The occasional flash of pale skin, a finger, a foot, a hand. Waves of silken smoke cause the smoke to billow forth, or disperse. The music starts to build in rhythm and volume, as the motions within grow more frenetic. The cloud of smoke grows more turbulent even as it extends to fill more of the room, its central core weakening with the disturbances. Suddenly, it erupts as a figure clad in smoke itself flies through the air, legs first. Catching her feet, far enough forward that her body is clearly visible within the smoke, Camilla stands with a triumphant expression upon her face. The smoke curls to try to follow her from her exit, but she is not having it. An arm casts back, puncturing the cloud, sending wispy tendrils of smoke to the side. A leg lifts to the side, casting apart a gathered hang of smoke there. A swirl of her arms, the breeze driving the smoke away, dissipating it, as her body leans forward, perched once more on her toes. Swiveling with easy grace, she moves rapidly about, arms continuing in their spin, until finally the smoke is gone. The brazier had long since burnt out, and what smoke has gathered has been fanned to all corners of the room. Camilla's other foot comes down, body bent away from the crowd. She twists to look back over her shoulder, her eyes once again finding the audience for a lock, before she slumps over, falling to the ground, one leg crossed to the side, her torso stretching out away. The music abruptly stops - the performance has concluded.
Anisha all but holds her breath for the last bit, and audibly gasps when Camilla slumps over, collapses. Then the music stops, and the Radiant Whisper rises, catching her glass in hand just before disaster, setting it aside, and applauding enthusiastically. "Brava! Brava! Fantastic! Exhilarating! Incomparable!" She cries out, in joy and triumph.
Anisha is overheard praising Camilla: An imcomparable performance! Brava! Brava! Bravissima!
The performance is utterly enjoyed. Macario follows along with Anisha's applauds and calls of praise. "Well done, well done!" His mood lightened, he calls for another goblet of wine and claims that, and then he turns to the remainder of the crowd so that he can lift his wine up, "To Suspire Camilla, how fortunate we are to see such a performance!"
Macario is overheard praising Camilla: 10
"Oh truly wonderful!" Martino is gathering to his feet, glass of wine on side table, his hands applaud the performance with a low call, "What... joy and pleasure that was to see. Thank you, thank you for sharing such a gift with us." Inhaling deeper, Martino's nose is drawing in the smoke, a low exhale of whispered pleasure escaping his throat.
Martino is overheard praising Camilla: A dance for the ages
The light level in the room slowly increases as the bouyant servants relight the lamps and Pasquale is entirely still. His gaze fixed upon the lingering after effects of that performance. He might as well be alone for all the attention he's paying anyone else. His return to motion is almost abrupt. He blinks and raises a hand to swipe away unshed tears and repairs his posture all in a couple of motions. His expression still carries a measure of yearning though. Nothing he could do right now could wipe that away. "Astonishing Camilla." he joins with the others although he does not raise his own voice in the same way the others do. "Absolutely astonishing. I don't think any of us will ever forget a single detail."
Slowly, Camilla curls her torso back up, and slips one leg out from under the other, turning to rise up and face the crowd. Her face is flushed from the exertion, but a smile resplendent upon her face. She bows to the applause. "Thank you," she says, her voice momentarily sounding as if it is coming from some other place. Then the moment passes, and she steps slowly towards the audience, taking the time to drink of the praise and adoration.
Anisha quirks her lips, glancing to the others. "No," She agrees with Pasquale. "No, I think I shall etch this to my memory," She concludes. "And pray and hope for the day I may have an encore." She moves, then, as Camilla rises and steps towards them; the Radiant in her whispering umbra moving towards Camilla unabashed, to take her hand and kiss her knuckles. "Truly remarkable. Thank you. Thank you."
Sira doesn't join the press of people lauding - appropriately - Camilla for her performance. Once her drink is finished, the seamstress slips back out the door.
Camilla smiles warmly towards The Radiant, bowing her head. She pauses as she sees Sira try to slip out, and calls for her to wait a moment.
...but Sira is paused in her attempt to flee by Camilla.
"Please, also some applause for Sira, the artist that gave birth to this lovely creation!" Camilla says, displaying the gown for all to see, no longer obscured by shadow.
"Thank you all," Macario says with a grin. "We will long-since forget the occasion, but we won't forget the dance and dancer." Since Sira had silently snuck in, Macario takes the first moment to notice her and raises his glass in her direction. "Truly, it all worked perfectly." Plus, the staff has new vigour.
Pasquale is overheard praising Camilla: Quite possibly the most incredible performance i've had the pleasure to see.
A faint applause follows from Martino's hands at Camilla's instruction before he is reaching once more to his glass of wine. Gathering it to his chest, still stood, "Oh it truly was something delightful to see. Incredible and, well, I assure you it won't leave my mind." Sipping upon the drink, his fingertips tap against the glass in appreciation as well for the gown.
Anisha, too, applauds Sira and offers a bright smile to the seamstress. Moving now, with Camilla in tow (if she'll allow it) to recollect her glass. Taking in the gown as they go. "Truly a marvelous creation. I should see about hiring Master Sira myself," She concludes. Giving a little nod to Martino, and chuckling at Macario's words. "Mm. This does making everything seem... Much brighter. It's amazing what art can do for us all."
Camilla nods slowly as she seems to slow come back down to earth from the performance. "Thank you again," she offers to Sira. She turns her gaze towards Anisha, and smiles. "Thank you again for coming." She looks towards Martino and curtseys slowly. "A pleasure to meet you." She flashes a grin toward Pasquale as she walks over towards the birthday boy. "I told you it was a bargain." She winks at him, before turning her gaze back towards Macario. "Happy birthday, m'lord." she says, kissing the tips of her index and middle finger, and then stretching them out to place them on his lips.
"I never had the slightest doubt about that" Pasquale tells Camilla "But that was.." He doesn't have the words. In the end he just opts for a slightly awkward smile. "I don't know what to say. I'm not sure anything has ever made me feel like that did." he glances to Anisha and nods at her words on the dress.
A flush of color darkens Sira's cheeks as she hears Camilla call attention to her and the dress. "Please, the dress can only do so much without a person to give it movement." She gestures at the dancer, as if what she's saying is obvious. "I could hardly ask for a better person to create for." Macario is given a bow of her head, a murmured birthday wish and assurance she hadn't forgotten he wished for an outfit. Anisha is given a smile, "You'd be welcome to call upon me at any time, Radiant." Then, she begins to back away until she can finish her retreat from the party.
4 Silvershields leaves, following Sira.
Macario is naturally plotting how to make dance part of the staff's regular routine. Imagine the efficiencies one would achieve! But those thoughts are quickly forgotten. "I hope he paid you enough," he says to Camilla before the approach, after her comment to Pasquale. With the warm touch of her fingers, Macario bows his tall frame in returned respect. With a clasp of her fingers, he leans forward to kiss both cheeks in the Lyceme way. "There are birthdays I've drunk so much I barely remember them, especially in my younger years, and birthdays that carried on too long. Most birthdays, though, have been wonderful. This, though, has been life changing. Thank you for giving my brother this wonderful idea."
"Forgive me for saying so, Lord Macario, Lord Pasquale - intending no slight to your generosity..." Anisha offers up. Glancing to Martino, and then looking to Camilla with another smile. "But I doubt that any sum could be considered 'enough' for such an experience. Truly priceless."
"Pleasure to meet you once more, Messere Camilla." Dipping his chin easily, the Malvici Duke's voice is an easy roll of his Lycene tones. An agreed and wry curl of his lips following at Macario's voice, "Oh spoke truthfully Anisha. Spoken Truthfully. And, well, Macario, in time and age comes... hangovers when we drink so much we barely remember."
Camilla nods slowly towards Macario. "It was a donation, to the people of Bastion." She smiles towards him after the kisses. "Now if you all do not mind, I shall need to retire some. Please, enjoy the rest of the party." And with that, she slips back off to where she disappeared to before when she changed.
"My best hangovers were with the Duke," Macario says with a laugh, stepping away as Camilla moves to depart. "Well said, Radiant Anisha. Thank you brother!"
Anisha exhales and wiggles her fingers after the leaving Camilla. Looking about the group, she lets out a little chuckle. "Well. I don't know what my lords have planned, but I sincerely doubt anything can top that. I admit, part of me is tempted to bow out early and savour the experience in my mind. Plus, that would let you lot do... Whatever it is menfolk get up to when the women aren't looking."
"I agree." Pasquale says to Anisha. "I've always maintained that i got an absolute bargain and it was my priviledge to be able to gift such an experience to Macario." he smiles a bit when Anisha says that about nothing being able to top it again and takes another moment to discretely dab at his eyes. Nothing to see here.
"We usually end up looking for women," Macario observes in Anisha's direction. "But it is not that kind of birthday party. We have grown-up, you see, matured greatly from our younger years. There was property dancing. A polite sampling of wine. But indeed, I think letting the dance resonate within us is a proper good idea."
"My dear thanks Messere Camilla, truly. I shall not tell my dear wife in case she is ever-so jealous that I was able to be gifted such a performance." Dipping his chin lowly, Martino's crinkling his eyes easily in the corners before laughing wryly to Anisha, "Oh a good decision though. Else we end up talking of politics, and law even, on someone's twenty-fifth. Cards, cigars instead?"
Anisha shoots a sympathetic smile to Pasquale, and sips at her wine. Sampling, like Macario is doing. Exhaling again, no doubt reliving the transcendent dance they just witnessed. "Oh no," Anisha tells Martino. "No, no, no. The proper thing to do is to ensure that the Duchess-Consort gets to witness this miracle as well." She points out. "Though, I have never been one for cigars." She purses her lips, slightly, her smile thinning just a little, as she inclines her head. "Pray forgive me, Lord Pasquale, Lord Macario, Duke Martino. I find myself a little overwhelmed. I think I will need some fresh air."
Pasquale makes a sound of disbelief in the back of his throat after Macario claims he's grown up. "Yes. Perhaps another performance would be a good gift for your wife Martino." he nods then to Anisha. "It was quite remarkable. Thank you for coming."
"Thank you for joining Radiant," Macario says with a quick incline of his head. A laugh is thrown at Pasquale's direction, "Well, maybe you've just grown-up some. Either way, thank you all for coming."
Flopsy, an innocuous white rabbit, Tamorin, a bubbly Whisper Assistant, Evensong, a twittering songbird leave, following Anisha.
Laughing easily, a crinkling of his eyes, Martino's dipping his chin in acceptance, "Oh I would love to if the Messere Camilla would be avaliable to. My dearest heart has been ever-so busy in Southport." Dipping his chin in parting to others, all before laughing low to glance across to his assistant for cigars.
Oh and cards.
"Southport. Children. She is kept busy indeed," Macario says, sympathy for his friend. "And you, with your camping trips." He still can't believe that happened. "And my brother, going of to fight giant centipedes. Our priorities keep shifting. We can hope for peace, at least for a summer."
an immaculately dressed assistant named Johannes, a slightly embarrassed courier called Guido, Cosimo de'Malvici, the Southport banker leave, following Martino.
Nyx leaves, following Camilla.
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