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Fortune Favors the Left-tea

Apprentice Whisper Gio is taking tea and idling with a deck of fortune-telling cards. Would you like one read? Join him at the Mercier's Tea Shop - for a cup and a conversation over tea and cards.

[ ooc: Player will be drawing cards at random from their own deck and their own interpretations for the sake of fun RP with others. ]

Date

Jan. 14, 2022, 1 p.m.

Hosted By

Gio

Participants

Gianna Keely Eirene Mabelle Cassiopeia Mattheu Sonnet Macario Cesare Monique Baldessare

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Mercier Tea Shop

Largesse Level

Small

Comments and Log


It's a cool, clear, autumn afternoon. Save for a few clouds. And the ever ominous moon. For his part, mellow - generally serene - Gio sits with a deck of cards and a tea that's set for more than one. There's a hand-knit, ridiculously cheerful cozy keeping the pot of tea toasty, even if the tea at Gio's elbow has gone completely cold. He still sips from it - wetting his lips, coating his throat - and he continues to rustle through the cards, taking notes in the opened folio beside. Quiet work save for the scratching of quill, the soft sound of shuffling. He glances up, sleepily, and considers anyone that's entering the shop - either on their own, or to join him.

Eirene, Mabelle, and Keely are all present - and as evidenced by the trio of discarded cards to the right of Gio, he has read their prospective fortunes.

Gio glances up, smiling a little, relaxed. "Aye - if you like, Nightingale, you are more than invited to join us. You're welcome to shuffle the deck and allow me to draw a card for you," Gio offers. Then, listening to Eirene explain it all - clearly, at that, he nods.

"Lady Mabelle, Princess Keely, Lady Eirene. Messere Gio, well met." Order placed, Gianna accepts the invitation and claims a chair, turning the seat around to sit straddling it. That's the joy of pants. "Yes." She reaches out for the deck with manicured hands.

The admiration in Keely's smile for Eirene is evident as the woman explains how she came to read tarot cards. "That is just fascinating," she murmurs over the rim of her teacup before availing of another sip. "I wonder why it is bad luck to purchase your own cards. And what sort of bad luck. Whether one would just have bad luck reading, or in general." She lowers her teacup, her smile now shared with Gianna. She openly marvels at the way the woman sits, her lips parted subtly and wordlessly. Finally she remembers herself. "Most Glamorous Nightingale," she murmurs in warm greeting.

Mabelle is overheard praising Gio: For offering the rarity of hope.

Eirene says, "It's hard to say why it's bad luck. Some people think the decks won't read as well. Or the deck is 'insulted'."

The apprentice Whisper, Gio diMalvici, passes the deck - the edges of the cards are already starting to curl up from the handling - into Gianna's manicured hands. "Shuffle the deck, Nightingale, and do not tell me a single word of what worries or concerns you. Shuffle, reflect. Take a sip of tea -- " a pause, Gio pauses to remark, "I like that sweater."

6 Proscipi veteran guards arrives, following Cassiopeia.

Mabelle gazes interestedly at Eirene, "The cards might be insulted? That's... see? That's why I should stir clear of that", she laughs. She drinks her tea to completion and rises, "I'll make room here for those wanting a reading", she moves to another table to sit in.

Mabelle has joined the a round table draped in embroidered lace.

"I did not know cards could have opinions," voices Keely to Eirene, barely above a whisper so as not to interrupt the reading in progress at their table.

Violeta Emili, a Ravashari smuggler dressed as the wind, 2 Rivenshari Clan Guardsman arrive, following Mattheu.

Gianna is seated straddling a chair at the fortune-telling table. She takes the deck of cards and gives Gio a pleased look. "Thank you. It's a favourite." Then she shuffles. There's nothing particularly skilled or unskilled about it. She's quiet as she does so - perhaps reflecting, as asked - and finally sets the cards down again in front of Gio. "There."

One of the six silk-draped guards that amass around Cassiopeia holds open the door as the young woman dashes in. Cheeks flushed with a rosy hue, she is bundled up like there is a blizzard outside. Cloak up, pulled tight around her, shivering slightly. The door is quickly closed and she takes a few steps into the tea shop. Not entirely unfamiliar, it is still a newish place to her, judging by the expression on her face that scans the room. No doubt here for the tarot reading, her eyes are curious while she relaxes and fixates her warm smile on her features. When a guard offers to take her cloak, she politely declines. Her attention shifts as she sees mostly unfamiliar faces, though Gio and Mabelle get a quick nod of recognition and a friendly grin. Not wanting to be disruptive, the very tall woman, slips in and takes a look to see what is happening.

Jingling bells from the door as a not completely dressed for the weather Mattheu finds his way into the tea shop and wanders towards the counter requesting the largest and hottest tea available as he shivers a little and looks around those that are here.

For the Nightingale -" Gio pauses, leaning in and over the drawn card, reaching absent-mindedly toward his cold cup of tea. "It's the Wheel of Luck. Skald's balls, these cards are unfailingly cheerful today. Mm. They were acquired, which, may just be as good as having been gifted - perhaps. Perhaps not so much. Your luck is set yo change, Nightingale, and for the good. A positive card. New starts, new opportunities, new choices and new luck."

Eirene slips away to let others have Gio's attention. She continues her whiskey-tea and finds a corner of the shoppe to skulk in silence. The black clad Riven-Malvici only peers over to see the cards. Gio's cursing makes her laugh out loud.

Eirene has joined the a round table draped in embroidered lace.

Sonnet has joined the a round table draped in embroidered lace.

Mabelle wiggles her fingers to Cassiopeia and Mattheu as they join them as well as the woman who is walking toward their table, "Marquessa Cassiopeia, Lord Rivenshari, good afternoon". Her eyes divert to Eirene as they have a small chat at the table.

Gianna's brows loft; she leans in to examine the card. "Hmm. Well. That's unexpected," she admits. "Thank you. We'll... have to see if that pans out. It would be nice if it did." She drapes one forearm across the back of the chair she's perched on; glancing to the door, she inclines her head to the new arrivals, Cassiopeia and Mattheu.

The sound of jingling has Keely's head on a swivel, and then the rest of her, eyes lit up from within. When the find Mattheu, a brilliant smile follows, and she extends a delicate hand to tug out the chair beside her. Or attempt to. It only moves about an inch, but it's the thought that counts.

Sonnet slips into the tea house and then in next to Eirene, the darkly-clad woman's arms piled with treats. She carefully lays them out on the table, then sits back in her chair and crosses one leg over the other. She orders tea, then looks at her table companion.

Eirene arches her eyebrows as the Nox'alfar comes over to join her. Respect for the black leather outfit is given. "Settle in. Have you ever seen a card reading before?" She leans forward to look over the treats.

After a pause, Gio glances up, tucking the cards back into a tidy pile - just so. After Gianna's reading, he scoffs, "The Moon, ever present, slips out --" he mutters at the cards, tamping the deck down and evenly before he glances back. "The next, please. Marquessa Cassiopeia? Then, yes, the Rivenshari Lord, Mattheu?" A look, then, toward Sonnet. Gently, bewildered, but mellow. "Apprentice Whisper Gio, a pleasure."

Blonde brows lift upwards as Gio seeks a next and says her name, a smile forms. "I would be honoured," she says, taking a seat at the table, offering a warm smile. "I always find these things curious, my cousin does readings," she says explaining her familiarity as she slips into a chair. "I heard about the reading and thought what a lovely reason to get myself out of the ward." As a server passes, Cassiopeia orders a cup of tea, sweetened, extra sweet, maybe extra, extra sweet to be on the safe side.

The Moon - Gianna reaches up and tugs her cloak more closely about her. There's a sidelong glance at Keely, then back to Gio. The Nightingale is quiet. Sonnet is given a curious look when Gio directs his attention to her. "Nightingale Gianna Delvecchio of the Bard's College," she announces, seeming to gather herself to make the declaration. She also says this in a tone that seems to indicate she thinks she is, in fact, important.

Cassiopeia has joined the a blue rose table of fortunes.

Sonnet murmurs at Eirene, her expression thoughtful, and then answer her question: "Divination comes in many forms," she replies lyrically. As people look at her and tell her their name, she blinks, owlishly.

Keely smiles gently to Gianna. Encouragingly, even. And she leans aside to murmur something quite softly to the woman, her teacup held between her hands for warmth.

Someone came in with treats, that is unavoidable to get Mabelle's attention. She introduces herself to the woman, "Lady Mabelle Laurent of Artshall", sizing those treats from afar but her eyes are still resting on those getting their cards read and the reader who preforms them.

Eirene spreads her arms in a shrug to Sonnet. Who knows. She's not introducing herself.

"Lord Savio - mm, and if he is the one, yes. I am his protégé, Marquessa, and it's more an honor to meet you. Now - a quick shuffle, yes, and you will not tell me anything of your problems. You reflect, inwardly, and draw --" Gio pauses and will take the top card while Cassiopeia takes her tea. "Queen of Coins," Gio smiles. Sly. "A pleasant - powerful being of means, with money to spend and time to while away. You will notice - among the pile of coins, the duskstones. All in total thirteen. The Queen of Coins has the notice of the gods - a reminder of material wealth and spiritual wealth."

"Princess Keely Grayson," blurts Keely softly and belatedly as everyone starts saying their names aloud, her dark eyes swiftly flicking to and fro in attempt to discern who the names are being said to. Eventually she musters a flustered smile for Sonnet, while listening to something Gianna has murmured to her simultaneously.

1 Malespero Guard arrives, following Macario.

Sonnet appears to be picking at the many treats and desserts, muttering to herself. Now and then, she pokes at a pastry. One time, she says, 'too still'.

Cassiopeia quirks her brows again, receiving a cup of tea as she listens intently to Gio and his reading. There is something about the card that strikes a chord within her. Her lips curl into a smile, clearly it's a positive reaction. "How interesting," she says as she mulls it over. At the mention of Savio, she nods, "yes, he is very talented," she praises her family easily. "Hopefully he will bring you round the house for dinner sometime and we can get to know each other more," she muses, not monopolizing their hosts' time.

Gianna tilts her head toward the counter. "I believe my tea is ready," she says. "Excuse me." She rises, extricating herself from the turned-about chair, and pauses to say something to Keely before returning to the counter. The Queen of Coins card is given a curious look.

Gianna has left the a blue rose table of fortunes.

Eirene grins a little and leans forward to grab what looks like it could be a chocolate coated mouse. Or a chocolate shaped like a mouse. Could be either. She lifts it to her gaze and studies it before giving it an experimental bite. She hmmms thoughtfully as she chews, uncertain if she likes it or not yet.

Dolente, a mourning dove, Dolce, a collared dove, Appassionata, a trumpeter swan arrive, following Cesare.

Gio is sitting at the blue rose table of fortunes, and after he has read for Cassiopeia, he pauses - with the kind of serenity that's only given to religious fanatics or hazeheads - he offers the deck of cards toward Mattheu. "A shuffle of the cards. Focus. Center those intentions into the cards - not a word of what worries you, less I gain a unfair advantage, my lord. Then -- draw." A pause, then, to greet others. "Lord Macario. Softest Whisper Cesare. Welcome."

Despite what Pasquale might insist, the more handsome and taller Malespero brother enters the tea shop. He's not often in these parts, there's too much sobriety and whatnot, but he casually sips at a flask before opening the door and walking inside. The booze would be barely evident on his breath, his charming roguish grin easily receives Gio's kind welcome. "Thank you Gio," he inclines his head. "Ah, Softest Whisper Cesare," he greets with another tilt of his head, and then he scans the audience. "An excellent turnout," he observers, and his gaze lingers on Mabelle before he nods about the card thing. "Right, right, yes my fortunes are deep in my thoughts of late. I look forward to the reading."

Mattheu looks happier as a large steaming hot mug of tea is handed to him and he cups it in both hands. Looking over top of the mug at the crowd gathering within the shop. The offered chair by Keely finds a smile on his lips, then a nod to Gio as he's told his turn in the list of readings. "Oh... I might ruin the run of everyone's good luck if you read for me." Looking back to Keely for a moment, then a smile for Mabelle as well. As Macario is addressed by Gio, the young Rivenshari lord looks at the man for a moment, though is caught holding a broad smile for Cesare. He takes the offered seat from Keely, kicking at the legs with his foot and dragging it out loudly across the floorboards then sitting down in a loud cascade of jingling bells each seeking to chime out in his motion. Making another soft blow across the top of his tea before a long and noisy slurp of a sip is taken.

Cesare slips in quietly, trying despite his BRIGHTLY COLORED ENSEMBLE not to make a spectacle of himself, but everyone is greeting him anyway, and he politely returns said greetings, before gliding over to murmur something to the Apprentice Whisper, and then settling into a booth, hands folded, to wait for his own pot of tea and observe.

Gianna collects her tea; she inclines her head to Macario as he enters, her gaze flicking to Cesare. An inclination of her head to him, too, and she raises her cup toward her mouth to blow across the top of her tea.

Keely simply flashes a little grin after Gianna, shaking her head gently and lifting her tea for a sip before her attention returns to Gio and the cards. As the production that is Mattheu taking a seat unfolds, she closes her eyes briefly, pressing her slowly curling lips together to suppress the laughter that is visibly rising within her. She leans aside as he murmurs something to her, then smiles broadly, turning her head to reply.

Mabelle spies in horror as Eirene is biting on a mouse. Who shapes food like animals other than bees? So weird. Her fingers wiggle to Mattheu and Macario, the latter gets a greeting as well, for she already greeted the first, "Lord Macario, it has been an hour. Or two", she jokes.

The plumes of the tea rise up from the hot surface, dancing around in the atmosphere before they dissipate. Blowing off a few, Cassiopeia takes a sip, listening to the other readings as they unfold. Her thoughts are still elsewhere, but mostly she is just curious. The sip is met with a subtle grimace, like when someone bites into a lemon. Cassiopeia is looking around for something, probably something to sweeten it up more.

Eirene checks composure and etiquette at hard. Eirene is successful.

"Ach, Lord Mattheu - you draw the Fifth of Staves. You will notice, in the center, the being that is surrounded on all sides - as if trapped - by staves. Events beyond your control are working at cross-purposes to purposefully cause delays --" Gio pauses, lips thinning, and he glances up from the card to nod thoughtfully "With potential difficulty. However -- your nature, like your bells, is constantly flowing. You are water and you will not remain contained for long."

"My reputation precedes me," Macario replies all too quickly to Mabelle on the topic of duration, his roguish grin only dying down upon the first sip of the tea that is offered. "Lady Belle. Always a pleasure. Lovely coat-dress," he notes and steps further into the tea shop and closer to Mabelle so he might clear the entrance. "Ah, Gianna Delvecchio. How I adore singing your name. Good evening." There are others in the room, but he sort of settles through while the event begins.

Sonnet watches Eirene, eyes narrowing. She huffs. "Tease."

Mabelle gives Macario a stare that can only indicate that somewhere, in her mind, she's choking him. But she's not violent, she's a lady, so she smiles.

Keely's dark eyes flit across the fortune table and consider Cassiopeia for a moment. Delicately, she nudges the honey pot from near her within the Marquessa's reach, offering a gentle smile before her focus is drawn back to Mattheu.

Whether or not she enjoys cinnamon and chocolate mice, Eirene is able to enjoy or at least, feign enjoyment. "Never has this before, it's very different. No wiggle though, I think I'd pass on the wiggling one." She looks at the crowd and grins. "Nephew," she calls to Gio, "you're quite the hit today! Did not know such a crowd wanted a read."

"Honey," Gianna tells Cassiopeia, apparently having caught that look. "It is a very musical name. Thank you for noticing." She tells Macario, raising her teacup in a sort of salute. She's leaning against the wall by now, tucked out of the way of commerce but still watching.

Mattheu nearly spits his tea as he starts to laugh. "I had said..." A shrug, "Oh, I've been in worse situations before, the wind will lead me to something interesting eventually." There's a grin towards Mabelle as he hides his face into the mug again. Listening and sharing in a quiet conversation with Keely, looking to Gio with a raised eyebrow. A jingling nod, "Thank you Gio. Hopefully the rest of the fortunes return to their joyous news as they were before I stepped in."

Mabelle quirks her lips at Mattheu, "Lord Rivenshari, difficulties are opportunities to grow, it is the best way to look at it, trust me. Besides it could be worse, my card suggested I might be happy soon", she laughs. Macario is getting a bit of an elbow, "Behave and you can share my table"

Sonnet gives Eirene a dirty look and mutters at her, but the Nox'alfar seems more irritated with her dessert than Eirene herself.

Macario naturally adores the look Mabelle gives him. It's easy to see their playful nature. "But yes, twice in a week, a rarity," he says in addition. To Gianna, he nods, "A perfect name, indeed." He sets his place, drinking his tea oh so properly for a Lycene. He must be pretending it's whisky.

Seeing that the cards have been read for most in attendance, and there is no one presently waiting, the Softest rises and moves to take his place at the table across from Gio, teacup perfectly perched in one hand. "Will you do three for me?" he wonders. "Past, present, future? If it's not too trying, of course."

Eirene holds up her hands to Sonnet in defense before saying something quiet.

Sonnet pushes all the little cakes and treats across the table, towards Eirene and the others at other tables. "Please eat these. They're quite normal." She says that like it's a bad thing.

"Lord Macario Malespero - mm, would you like a card read - while you properly take your tea. Once I have read for the Softest Whisper." A dip of his head, "A moment, yes Softest Whisper Cesare." Gio offers with a lazy smile, offering the sharp-dressed Whisper the deck of fortune-telling cards to shuffle. "Reflect on what worries and concerns -- channel that into the cards, aye, and we will see what they reveal in three cards." In the offering, of course, Gio murmurs. "Because you asked."

Cesare checks dexterity and performance at normal. Cesare is successful.

"Of course," Macario replies with ease toward Gio. "I can only imagine what the results might be." And he quiets down for Cesare's reading.

Cassiopeia has left the a blue rose table of fortunes.

6 Proscipi veteran guards have been dismissed.

Mabelle teases Macario, "I'm not sure if to consider it a curse or a blessing". Her fingers collect on some of the cookies she had served her earlier.

Cesare takes the cards and goes through some sort of elaborate ritual of shuffling them extravagantly and flourishingly, although the matter-of-factness with which he does it suggests that someone simply /taught/ him this was how to shuffle cards and he didn't know any better. He sets the neatly-squared deck down in front of Gio and then inquires, "Do you draw, or do I?"

"No. These. These I'll draw. No undue encouragement." With a twitch of his lips, Gio draws a card. "The past - Fifth of Coins, an affluent life lived that could not continue as it was. Five coins escape the being's grasp. A sense of loss prevailed." Another. "The present. Queen of Staves. This queen is holding a stave - you see, that is lit. A torch, perhaps, and is symbolic of one that has an fiery nature. Active - sometimes overly so - but with a good head on their shoulders. Lastly, for the Softest Whisper - the Star. Many dreams, many aspirations, many ambitions. You reach. You need to remember to reach and grasp -- otherwise you will always be left wanting."

Mattheu looks to Mabelle with a radiant broad smile, "As it should be. Be surrounded by the pressing matters of the day, either kick them in the shins, or find a means to dance out of them. Yes?" He sips at his tea a little longer this time, and appears to have some color rising back to his cheeks. /must be good hot tea./

Kit, the grey fox, Primus, First of Monique's Assistants, 1 Greenmarch Guards, Tertius, Third of Monique's Assistants arrive, following Monique.

There is a smile that forms on her lips as she sees the honey pot and she reaches for it with long fingers. A head bobs to both Keely and Gianna. "Thank you," she murmurs and proceeds to add a few healthy spoons to her cup. Enough to make the liquid thick, no doubt. Then she takes a sip, another spoon is added, another sip and she seems content to drink her honey with a spot of tea. Her attention drifts back to listen to Gio read others their cards.

Mabelle squints at Mattheu from afar, "And when will you hold a dance lessons for us who cannot dance?", she grins at him from her end, well into her third cup of tea which she likely will spike with some honey whiskey rather than just honey.

"An affluent life," Cesare replies, his brow knitting for a moment, one finger tapping at the coin. "Certainly not /my/ life. I will have to think on this. I have a suspicion that perhaps the reader's personal knowledge of me may have influenced the cards, but the intuition is always appreciated." He rises from the chair opposite Gio again, and gestures to Macario to take his place. "Please, Lord Macario, let's see what the cards hold for you."

"Could be a bit of both," Macario suggests toward Mabelle with a shrug. He leans as a short few words are whispered between them. "Had you had your fortunes told? I am sure it was of sweet pies and fluffy cakes and handsome men?" His attention shifts to the Softest Whisper Cesare. He considers the man's comment and chuckles, "We shall see what my future holds." And with that, he walks up toward Gio now that the way has been cleared. "I'll have what he had," he tells Gio.

Eirene lifts her tea as she nods, agreement with Sonnet clear. "A toast, then, to Queen Symonesse. More than we deserve. And to our host Gio, for showing us what the future may hold."

Eirene is overheard praising Symonesse.

Eirene is overheard praising Gio: Card readings are fascinating.

Sonnet looks at her teacup. It's empty. She looks at a pastry in front of her, eyes it like it might be the most disgusting thing she's ever seen. She considers Eirene and her toast, takes a deep breath ... and stuffs a muffin in her mouth. All at once, mumbling, "FOO EE-O 'n MIMOMESS."

Sonnet is overheard praising Gio.

Sonnet is overheard praising Symonesse.

Sonnet is overheard praising Eirene.

"The three -- of course. And, also, three for Lady Monique Greenmarch. Because it's to be her birthday, isn't it." Gio passes the deck across the table and into Macario's hands. "Shuffle. Reflect."

Lady Monique Greenmarch enters the Valardin tea shop not quietly but like the autumn wind swept up from the sea, a force of nature that very little can truly stop. It's to Gio the Minx is aimed, placing her path towards Savio's esteemed apprentice and the court that he holds, preceded by the insistent click-click of those pyreweave boots over the floor. "The future? Gods and spirits, yes, I'd like to see what Lord Macario's future holds." There's a private smile that dances over her lips.

Keely chokes on her tea, her gaze flitting up at toward Sonnet's... noise. She turns her head, facing away from those with whom she is seated for a moment while she regains her composure, suppressing coughs behind her fingertips. Eventually she turns back to the fortune table, and her conversation with Mattheu, her cheeks bright red now.

From whatever Mabelle says, causes Macario to stutter-step away from her and he turns around to face her. "No, no, they wouldn't think that. If that was so, they'd think that for well..." he pauses, "Nevermind." A lawyer knows when an argument is a losing one. "I'll be better about that," he adds. He turns then, and sits at the table with Gio. He overhears Monique and laughs, "Yes Gio. Let's make a good show of this."

Macario shuffles and reflects!

Mabelle nods to Macario indeed, "Handsome man, yes. Pity I do not see any", she winks to him but then rolls her eyes at him yet once again . Those are quite the eye muscles. "Lady Monique", she focuses instead, "Happy birthday! I will have a cake delivered to your party, I'm sure its not your heart's desire, but it will do in my stead".

"One never knows, Lady Laurent," Monique replies to Mabelle with a soft huff of laughter. "I certainly prefer cake to pie. Maybe I've been yearning for a good cake. A whiskey cake? A cake shaped like a dagger? But my gratitude for your well wishes. I never thought I'd reach thirty and celebrating with cake seems somehow fitting. Indulgent."

3 House Velenosa Guards arrives, following Baldessare.

Sonnet checks dexterity and stealth at daunting. Sonnet is successful.

"For the past, my lord, you draw the King of Cups - an older being, cup full of red wine, sits at their table. They, in their cups, act with emotions rather than intellect - with wild abandon, where, usually - caution would be advised. The figure wears aeterna, you see, knowing that if the wine should spill - they remain. Stainless. Now, forward, into the present. The Lycene. You are grounded to a person - or a situation by sheer instinct, and there's a call - toward power, toward wealth, toward ambition --" he pauses, wets his lips with a sip of tea. "Stay the course, my lord, because you are being led to a Queen of Swords. They will be an equal, with abilities beyond yours - to either bring people together, or tear it all apart."

Gio sits back, after the reading for Macario, and finally refills his cup of tea.

Gianna sips her tea, leaning against the wall like a gray and black clad shadow. A very conspicuous shadow. She's watching the card readings going on, her face about as impassive as usual. Well, cold. Resting bitchface, it's sometimes called.

Sonnet has left the a round table draped in embroidered lace.

Mabelle quirks her lips to Monique, "Well then perhaps I should have it personally delivered to the Dream another time, since unfortunately, I did not have any of the layers drown in cake. But cake is good to celebrate with in every age, so do believe it. Also I have no idea what you mean, I've not aged a day since I reached the city", she winks to her.

"Thank you for this wonderful reading of cards, apprentice Whisper Gio," murmurs Keely quite softly as she shifts to rise from his table after a quiet conversation with Mattheu. She turns, slipping around her chair, and is about to say something to Gianna before abruptly lifting a hand to her mouth to muffle a shower of giggles. What has caused this? The RBF? Something else? No one will ever know. She then slips around, murmuring a warm farewell to Mabelle on her way to the door, gaze flitting back to the Rivenshari Lord when she nears it.

Arriving in the shop, Baldessare looks around with a smile at the large gathering, seeing many familiar faces, new and old. He steps in quietly and glances over towards what the hub bub is, and sees the fortune teller. He pauses as he sees Keely approaching the door and offers a brief bow of his head to her. "Your highness," he says in greeting. Then he continues his way inside, meandering over in the general direction of Cassiopeia.

Macario listens to his fortune with some intrigue. It's unclear if he believes in this or if he's here just for the entertainment, but be damned, he will be entertained. "My past, a stainless mess! That's quite lovely of a thought." To the present he nods as well. "I mean," he asks the room, as through there was any other way to live. "Ah, excellent. Adventure for the future. Chaos, of sorts. I love it. Thank you Whisper Gio. I'll make the appropriate donation." And with that he stands from the chair and clears the way to the next.

Mattheu is apparently oblivious to what is causing everyone else to take a moment, and gets up from his seat in a loud jingling of bells. Grabbing at his mug of tea and heading for the door without much of a goodbye to the others beyond a nod.

Monique looks to Mabelle and there's a speculative air. "Not more than twenty, I'd say, judging by that perfect skin. So young still, a babe in arms. And yet with all the mature wisdom of someone who has the best intentions for others. I look forward to the cake, my lady." And then Gio's reading for Macario distracts the Minx and a brow pops up. "Interesting." That's the sole comment given and distracted further by Baldessare's arrival.

Mabelle wiggles her fingers to Keely as she departs and leans in to whisper something to Mattheu, while inclining her head to Baldessare upon his entry, "Prince Velenosa", she greets him. The reading Gio provides for Macario is attempted to be heard, but failed.

Gianna maybe looks impish for about half a second, but it passes. She inclines her head to Baldessare when he arrives, though she remains silent.

Cassiopeia lifts the mug of honey to her lips and sips it, there is some tea in there somewhere. As the door opens, she looks up to see the next set of arrivals. A warm smile is offered to Monique, no doubt catching the exchange about cake. Baldessare is smiled on and Cassiopeia nods to the chair next to her, murmuring something to him when he does settle in it. Otherwise, she is mostly quiet, listening, taking things in as she enjoys the social gathering.

Mabelle fans her face dramatically at Monique, "Spot on. Give or take", she winks to her.

Gio's lips twitch, again, in a passing amusement as to Lord Macario's reaction. Then, for Monique, the deck of fortunue-telling cards is neatly tucked into a deck and offered out as a whole to the Minx of the Marches. "Lady -- for you. Please, take the deck, consider it. Shuffle. For you, if you like, I will offer a three-card draw on account of your special day." With a easy-going smile, Gio offers a greeting to Baldessare. "After Lady Greenmarch, your Highness, I can read for you."

Eirene continues skulking at her table. The elf is mysteriously gone.

Keely has left the a blue rose table of fortunes.

Violeta Emili, a Ravashari smuggler dressed as the wind, 2 Rivenshari Clan Guardsman leave, following Mattheu.

6 Grayson House Guards, Wyla, a small wisp of an assistant, Mattheu leave, following Keely.

Cesare quietly sips his tea, watching Gio and the cards hold court with his face a perfect mask of peaceful impassiveness. No comment on the cards or their interpretations for the moment, simply observing.

Macario does not depart too far from the table. He manages to do a half-turn to pour some of the whisky from his flask into the tea, but beyond that, he continues to drink nonchalantly. "Your Highness," he greets quickly with a bow and he distances himself from Gio as he does the next reading. "Ah, Lady Monique. I will pretend subterfuge as I listen to your reading," he notes with an incline of his head.

Monique waves in the face of Cassiopeia's smile. "I hope you're well, Marquessa? Any word about the mysterious event of the Duchess Helianthus'?" Deft hands reach out to accept the deck from Gio and when Monique shuffles, it's with all the flair of someone well used to fixing decks. Nimble fingers dance the cards gently but expertly until some predetermined point that feels 'right'. And then she stops, returning them to Gio with a bow of her head. "A birthday present such as I've never had before, Gio. I don't know that anyone has ever been brave enough to offer me a glimpse of my future." Her green eyes cut sidelong to Macario and one corner of her lips tilts up. "I'll judge you on how well you pretend to it then, my lord. You know, my protege speaks very highly of you."

Arcing slightly over towards the counter on the way, Baldessare retrieves a few small sweet items form the proprietor. Carrying the plate, he resumes his journey over towards the seat indicated by Cassiopeia. He inclines his head toward Mabelle, "Lady Laurent." The his gaze turns to Gio. "Why thank you, although I do have reason to believe that my fortunes are pointed up these days." replies Baldessare. "I am eager to hear from an expert." He nods to Monique as well as she is being read, and then slips into the seat next to Cassiopeia, placing the plate of treats between them. "If you would like something to off-set the tea," he explains.

"For the past, my lady Monique, you draw the Second of Staves. There was a - a partnership in hand, or, rather in both hands. This being carries both. A staff in each world, truly, provided much in the way of stability. All were focused toward a shared goal. A balance between seeking a fortune - and aiding those to improve the fortunes of others. Now, present, you draw the Second of Swords. They, like staves, are crossed. The being glances down, as though focused or pained -- there was a parting of ways." Gio's quiet, contemplative, and he taps the third card that was drawn. "Now, the future. The Emperor. They sit, enrobed in the sky, a garment lined in violet and gold -- symbolic colors, mm, and keeping the company of eagles. You are on your road toward claiming what your heart most desires."

Placing the cup down and cradling it with her hands, holding to soak any last bit of warmth from it she looks up at Monique with a smile. "I am well, already missing the summer months, but life continues on, in it's ever changing ways." A beat, "I have not heard anything, though I remain curious," she says to her, then going silent as Gio begins reading the other woman's cards. As Baldessare sits down with treats, Cassiopeia snags one immediately, "that was thoughtful, thank you," she says to the prince. The cookie is dunked in the tea, letting it absorb some of the liquid. She is quick to eat it, before it crumbles onto her fingers.

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

Mabelle rises from her seat quietly after settling her tab, "Thank you for the reading, Gio, it was fascinating and a nice escape for an afternoon". She wiggles her fingers to all the familiar faces, which is everyone, and slips out.

Mabelle has left the a round table draped in embroidered lace.

Toffee, a fluffy pomeranian, 2 Laurent trained guards, Cupcake, a cookie girl, Taffy, a sweet and gentle Mistward Labrador, 1 Laurent veteran guards leave, following Mabelle.

Gianna receives a messenger; she writes a quick response, giving the room in general a thoughtful look over the rim of her cup of tea. After finishing it off, she returns the cup at the counter and makes her way toward the exit as well.

Macario sips at the whisky-spike tea while Monique achieves her reading. A raised eyebrow, but nothing more as a reaction. "Camilla of the Silken Sighs is quite kind to my benefit. Her generosity in words does not come easy," he says with a nod. But after the words are said, he ponders Monique's reading and her reaction to it.

Monique listens to Gio with the gravity of someone giving full weight and consequence to what another says. Her green eyes are fastened, rapt, lips ever so slightly parted in anticipation. She watches each card as the apprentice Whisper draws it, and her expression doesn't give much away until that final card. There's a flicker of something there, something darker and older, if one is intent on watching the Minx while she watches the cards. It's just a flicker and then gone. She pushes a smile to her lips that is light, easy. "Just in time for this evening's festivities. I think your cards are wise, indeed. Thank you, Gio. This is one of the most interesting birthday gifts I've ever received. If you come to the party this evening, which I hope you will, perhaps you'll bring your cards?"

"Of course, my lady, and I have to thank you for the invitation. If I am well enough to, yes, I will attend." Genteel. Finally, for Baldessare, a single card is drawn. "You are very confident, your Highness, so - for this - only one card." Which Gio does. Setting it down on the table, face up, and he brightens -- "Ach, it's the Thirteenth. Tehom's Advocate. You'll see card, yes, painted black -- edged with gold foil. The simple of words writ here, read -- Who are you really?" Gio glances up, grinning. "You know yourself, your Highness."

Monique shakes herself of visions of the future to focus on the present, her green eyes and regard finding Cassiopeia once more. "Will you be travelling home, Marquessa, come winter? I've noticed it is a habit of your kin to escape the chill and cannot blame them at all. I would love the opportunity to see the isles, if you are happen to be," the Minx says, inviting herself with no shame. She glances back to Macario. "Have you been to the Saffron, Lord Macario?"

"I try," replies Baldessare, offering a smile towards Cassiopeia. His attention is turned to Monique's fortune being told with great interest. Being next in line, of course, he wants to not cause too much delay in the process. He nods as a few others depart, and then settles into his seat. He does not take any of the sweets from the plate for the moment. His gaze resting upon Gio, and then his face alights when it is his turn. As the card is drawn, Baldessare awaits for the interpretation. When it comes, a large smile breaks out upon his face. "I would indeed suggest that I do. Thank you for the reading." He settles back into his seat.

As the final card is drawn, Cesare rises again, drifting in a cashmere cloud back to Gio. "Beautifully done, Apprentice Gio. My compliments. Once you have finished your tea, will you allow me to walk with you?"

"I have only dated the women of the Saffron," Macario says with ease, a hearty grin that is polite enough where one assumes he could be kidding. "That is the nearest I've come. Although! I was near, and have heard a great many things. Anywhere where the weather is warm this time of year would be a welcome thing. This snow, it's a pity so much of it arrives in the winter time. I enjoy the cool air, but the inconvenience of it is terrifying." Only a lawyer would be terrified by inconvenience. He approaches Monique and tilts his head, "I have much more research to do, but you'll have everything request, you realize Lady Monique. I too appreciate a challenge."

Gio sweeps the cards up into his hand, straightening edges, practicing a shuffle. He draws a card for himself - last - glances at it, and puts the entire deck away without any further comment. With a smirk against those thin, pale lips, Gio murmurs. "Thank you, all, for attending. I may do this again. May you all be incredibly fortunate."



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