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Celebration of Arts

The Ambassador Salon will be home to the finest creators and performers in a showcase of Arx's talented artists and artisans.

Courtesy of Duke Hadrian Malvici, eat and drink the finest the Lyceum has to offer, browse the works on display, watch dancers, and listen to musicians. Rumor includes the performance of a Whisper or two.

There is no love more sincere than the love of beauty. Meet others who share your passion for the arts and keep the spark alive.


July 13, 2016, 8:30 p.m.

Hosted By



Calypso Isolde Gareth(RIP) Fergus(RIP) Talen Monique Audric(RIP) Niccolo(RIP) Freja(RIP) Kima Ophelia Fiora Delia Bliss Calista Nadia(RIP) Gustave



Arx - Ward of the Compact - Ambassador Salon

Largesse Level


Comments and Log


The Duke put on a gala for art appreciation. If I'm honest the majority of the people to populate it were fellow Lycenes, which I can't say is surprising. I mean, we're a people of wealth and taste, after all. It went over well, even if the ribbon dancer had a meltdown and fled the stage before wrapping Bliss Whisper up in her silk. Calypso seemed a bit disappointed no one was eager to tear out the throat of another.

I ask myself: what has she been getting up to down in Southport while free of her brother's shadow?

Anyway, good food, good wine, good art and artists. One may think I'm just saying that due to the obvious reasons, but it's the truth. After all, a Whisper was there to perform. And not just any Whisper, the Champion Whisper.


I was invited by cousin to attend an event he set up to showcase the artists of the city and their works. It was... interesting. Meeting new people made it difficult to sit back and enjoy the performances, but it was interesting to see I was hardly alone in being a socially-awkward wallflower.

Sometimes I think I should take up a hobby like dancing or painting, then I remember it requires creativity to do not often practice.


    Duke Hadrian requested that I perform at a Celebration of Arts for him. Never missing a chance to show off, and of course I enjoy the arts, I could not refuse (though I could not do it for free). I performed admirably, even for me. Praise for my work was abundant. Another poor woman, scheduled to dance after me, broke down on stage and ran off, certain she could not match my work. I felt a little bad. Only a little.

Delia arrives.
Fiora arrives.
Isolde arrives.
Talen arrives.
The Ambassador Salon has been rearranged. Many sitting areas are roughly where they were before, but the customary artwork, heavy curtains, and 'dignified' decorations have been shed in favor of minimalism highlighting the works on display. Near each conversation circle there is at least one sculpture and one painting, hung freestanding. The corners form display areas for other works, and the walls have paintings and etchings hung at different heights to draw the eye. A few scattered fabrics indicate the host, with their somber black and red.

Some of the Ambassador's usual staff remain - in particular, the ever-so-formal wine taster. The rest are Malvici servants, with a few armsmen arranged formally around the room as silent sentinels. More are outside.

The wines available are all from the Lyceum, though not all from Southport. Small tables are set halfway down each wall with various hor d'oeuvres, and quiet, brisk waiters ensure no one needs to travel to them if they do not wish. There is an off-central square performance area, marked for the changing entertainment of the evening.

Hadrian Malvici is standing towards the center of the room in an understated, uniform-inspired black outfit with red trim and gold piping, hands clasped behind his back, as the doors are opened. He has a smile ready, and he looks like he would bounce on his toes if that were not unbecoming to his station.
(OOC) Hadrian is trying something to make the scene more manageable: anything that ought to draw most people's attention will be blue (and infrequent), and if the performers wish, they will be using yellow so that they can be visually picked out as different from fellow partygoers' poses. Please use the 'places' code as appropriate, and if you want to look at a work of art and not concoct its story yourself, I can shoot some inspiration your way. If I miss your pose, it's not deliberate.
Delia has left the game.
Delia has entered the game.
Making her way in, perhaps a touch fashionably late, the decadent Mirrormask lingers near the entrance, taking in the modd and decore of the place. She nods to her trusty guard, making her way, winding through various conversational areas, not yet decided on a place to begin the socialization piece. She takes in all the art, appreciative and reflective (all puns intended).
When the Sword of Lenosia arrives it is on the arm of a woman of similarly southern heritage, the Lycene pair striding through the doorway with inherent finesse. The former-- and male individual of the pair-- is wrapped as usual in obsidian leather and gunmetal steel, while the latter is something else entirely. A near-iridescent sea-silk dress adorns the ballerina frame of the lass in question, a splash of contrasting colour against the somber backdrop of her escort. With slow steps the two make their way toward Hadrian, whereupon Talen's voice announces himself and his companion.

"Your grace, good day. I trust preparations have come and gone without too many stresses. This is the lovely lady that I was telling you about, Mistress Talia." With that, he lets the two swap pleasantries before the newly-introduced woman is left to go about her preparations in the far, subdued recesses of the salon for whatever performance she is due to make.
Monique has left the game.
Monique has entered the game.
Calista arrives.
Niccolo arrives.
Ophelia arrives.
Fiora steps into the salon with little fanfare, but dressed in something more befitting than her typical all-black ensemble: a simple dark red dress complemented by gold ribbon around the waist. After a brief survey of the area, she stops by the table of hor d'oeuvres to sample a few. She meets her cousin's gaze with her own briefly, but decides to simply watch his interactions with Talen and Talia nearby, as well as the entrance as others drift through.
Kima is not far off, though it could not be said that she was standing /with/ Hadrian in the form of a host. Her outfit is low key, a silken dress of simple quality; black, with a red sash around her waist. Through it is her sword, as if the knight could not bear to part with it no matter that the event was sufficiently guarded. A few flowers are artfully twined within her hair, though they are the only concession to adornment. Currently, she is speaking with an unusually tall, thin man. Together, the make gestures as if discussing placement ideas. However, once the guests begin to arrive, Kima shoos the man on his way, and he disappears behind a heavy curtain.
"I very-very much appreciate you speaking to her, Uncle. My deepest regrets are that it couldn't have worked out more to the favor of..." Ophelia nibbles upon the corner of her lip with dark eyes pouring upwards in pensive arrangement once she enters. "... every one." The polite curl of her left hand binds her with graceful accord to Niccolo's upper arm, not even tightly enough where it would disrupt the silk, and her mouth is quick to exchange its threatening pout for an expressive and dimpled smile, "But you didn't answer my question. My art would have been worthy here, if I could've brought them all, right?"
Arriving as well is the silk clad form of Monique, fiery red hair done up with elaborate side braids and a rather poofy on top. Her vibrant smile lights up as she steps into the room, her gaze wandering slowly as she manuevers herself in the direction of the wine being served, fetching a glass a priority it would seem.
Hadrian nods to the first arrivals with a broad smile. "Welcome, Master Artiglio, and you, Mistress Talia. I have heard only good things," he says, "And I can't wait to see for myself." After taking Talia's hand briefly, he looks back at Talen. "You have come through," he observes to Talen. "Many hands make the work light. Worry not for me. Do wander some," he says. "You can't see it all from only one place."

He sees Isolde enter, nodding towards her, but doesn't abandon his station to receive those who wish to greet before looking around. His cousin and Kima receive a bit less attention- he knows where they are supposed to be.
Delia arrives into the salon like a spray of seafoam atop a wave - quite literally in appearance, as she wears an elegant, tailored gown of thin blue silk. Worn over in a more opaque, shorter layer from the bust and upper arms (baring the shoulder) is an 'overdress' of fine white lace, here and there permitting a glimpse at the blue silk (and thus skin, in the proper light) below. The asymmetrical skirt slashes down towards her left leg at the knees, but leaves both feet and their blue and white heels visible, adding a few inches to her middling height. Her fiery red curls are done up in an elegant fashion, a few ringlets let to fall with a bounce about her face, framing the dangling lapis lazuli earrings she wears. Her expression is one of eager anticipation, restrained behind a modicum of propriety. She makes her way into the salon and towards the host, greeting him with a graceful curtsey. "My Lord, the salon looks spectacular. My thanks can hardly be enough for thinking of me to join you all this evening."
Gareth arrives.
"Of course I spoke to her, you are my favorite niece after all," Niccolo replies to Ophelia. "Or of of them," he muses and dips his head. "I also regret that she wasn't more willing to listen to reason," he admits. "But I'm sure you'll find the support you need, without her," he adds reaching over to squeeze that arm of hers linked with his. The duke then takes a moment to look around the salon, his eyes taking in the pieces of art in display. "Most certainly," the duke tells Ophelia. "Come, let's find us a drink," he says.
Isolde offers a brilliant smile to Hadrian with a dip of her head. Something makes her laugh quietly to herself, and she continues her wandering. She angles her seemingly random pattern to head over to Niccolo and Ophelia. "Papa, Cousin. Isn't this just a delightful atmosphere? I rather like the style."
Talen sinks a gloved hand under the weight of his cloak's heavy drape, throwing the bulk of it across his arm before he unclasps the pin from each shoulder. All the while, the sworn swordsman's pale grey-blue eyes flit from face to face within the establishment interior, his words for Hadrian continuing. "Purely selfish I'm afraid, your grace, I simply wish to watch her dance. Nothing at all to do with my utmost respect for you and your endeavor," he insists, dead-pan tone making it all the more edgy even as he bows. Widening the space between his hands then, Talen delivers the outer layer of clothing to an attendant to be placed within the coat room.

Turning with a brisk roundabout motion on a booted heel, he starts toward the refreshments and is forced stop short sharply, the sole of his shoe squeaking slightly as Monique moves in the same direction with dedication and authority. "Ah, do excuse me and my haste, my lady. Apologies," he exhales, bowing for her in turn, too. The man's gaze roams, curious and seemingly unfamiliar. "I don't believe we've met... might I ask your name, so I can remain ever informed as any good man ought for his betters? I am Talen Artiglio," he imparts, "Sword of Lenosia."
When Gareth enters into the Ambassador, he'll pause at the doorway, seemingly got off guard by the rather large crowd that has assembled before him. His hands will reach up to rub at his forhead then, his eyes just darting too and fro before and its clear the man is trying to compose himself almosti mmeaditly before stepping further inside. A few soft murrmurs here and there will sound out before the most awkward and creepy smile one can imagine creeps across Gareth's face as he tries to do the following. 1. That he remembered there was actually something supposed to be here, and arrived on purpose. 2. That he actually wants to be here, and not just.. immeaditly turn around and leave. 3. Three is likley classified.
Fergus arrives.
Unlike typical, Champion Bliss Whisper has arrived early today. Just before the majority of the guests, lingering present already as others arrive. Also uncommon for her is the red gown she's wearing, made of lighter fabric due to the dancing she'll be performing later, cut low and still a bit slinky as one might expect of a Lycean. Over her shoulders is draped a bit of cloth, like a shawl or veil about her. She stands near the host, for the moment, observing the incoming crowd rather than the art scattered about. "And you'll let me know when you wish me to begin?" she wonders of Hadrian.
"I love-love being your favorite niece," Ophelia sighs blithely, decorum only momentarily lost when that upper-arm squeeze gains enthusiasm and the question of whether or not she heard the latter musing goes unsaid, "Pick the wine, Uncle?" Her expression only brightens further at Isolde's appearance, abandoning her favorite-Uncle so swiftly to try to catch both of Isolde's hands for a similar embrace. "We were just now going to get drinks. You must join us. You will, won't you, Cousin?" Rocking forward beneath the pads of silken slippers, she half-bounces a bit in place and then looks towards Gareth, beaming to the creepy-smiling man, "Oh! It's the Prince. ... But his face isn't shiny anymore."
Fiora finishes the treat she was nibbling on shortly before her attention sets on Gareth, who was visibly having more difficulty than the other patrons gliding through the room. She inclines his head politely in his direction, still staying at the table. "Is everything alright, m'lord?" She projects her voice in his direction so it may be difficult to ignore.
Monique brings one hand lightly to her chest as Talen squeaks to a stop near her, an act of feigned suprise at nearly being run into. She then offers a bright smile towards the man and reaches to lightly, and briefly touch his forearm, "Oh, it is quite fine, I should have been watching where I was going, Talen Artiglio. I am lady Monique Greenmarch. The sword of Lenosia you say?" she then turns to reach for a glass of wine, offering it to Talen before fetching one herself. "Well it is a pleasure to meet you."
"Mistress Delia. Your company is more thanks than I deserve," Hadrian says to Delia, taking her hand in greeting. Looking at people dispersing through the room, he nods once in satisfaction. "Do spread your charm. It would be selfish to bring you about on my arm all evening. Though- first-" He pulls Delia's hand to the crook of his arm, so that he can lead the way towards what amounts to the Velenosa delegation- Niccolo, Ophelia, and now Isolde.

"Your grace; your highness; and your highness," Hadrian says, intruding with a carefully modulated formality. "Thank you for coming. I hope you find something to your liking, so that I may introduce you to the artist behind it." He smiles. "Also, may I present Mistress Delia Whisper. This serene man is Duke Niccolo Velenosa; this is Princess Isolde Velenosa; and-" he pauses. "-this is Princess Ophelia Velenosa, though we have not been formally introduced, ourselves. Do enjoy each other." He also offers a hand to Ophelia, once he lets Delia loose.
Gareth's gaze will settle upon Fiora then, as she adresses him, or he assumes it is him. Part of the reason the scarred inquisitors smile isn't exactly.. 'friendly' partly has to do with the burns sure.. the other half is the way that his eyes seem to just be utterly cold and don't match even the meagre warmth of his pleasent facade. He can't just seem to turn it off. "Lord? Yes.. I.." He hesitates for a momment as if looking about. "There is a lot of activity here." He'll observe before he turns to keep Ophelia in the corner of his eye, he might even raise a hand slightly to motion and acknowledge her presence- but the man just tries to focus on one thing.. or one person at a time.
Hadrian also turns to say to Bliss, "Now seems a good time. Whenever you are ready, Mistress Bliss." He nods encouragingly, and does his best to stay accessible.
News of an event at the Ambassador Salon makes it back to Calista who just can't keep from attending all different kinds of elaborate and fancy soiree's. Not to mention it is hosted by Duke Hadrian Malvici himself. No one knows how to party like the South. The young Fidante arrives to the salon resplendent in silks of deep violet that skim her sumptuous curves and leave very little to the imagination with its scalloped plummeting neckline. Yes, it's a bit much, but the Lyceum women always go big or go home.
Delia accompanies the Duke with one arm slid through his, the other coming around to rest a hand atop. She greets the three personages with a warm, honest smile, and once the Duke makes his leave of them, she gives the small assemblage a graceful curtsey. "Your Grace, Your Highness," she begins, leaving at last with a final and earnest, "Your Highness. It's my pleasure to meet you all, especially with so much loveliness about us. It's practically a dream here, is it not?" She speaks easily, kindly.
Niccolo moving with Ophelia on his arm, the duke finds two servers willing to part with two goblets of wine. He offers one to his niece. Seeing Hadrian, he dips his head to the man and waves in his direction. "My lord. It seems you have garnered a good amount of interest for this event, well done," he offers to the man. Seeing Isolde, he allows hints of a smile to show on his lips. He looks between her and Ophelia and nods in response to the former. He allows his niece to go over to Isolde, amused and brings his goblet to his lips.

When introductions are made by Hadrian, Niccolo lets his attention go to Delia, taking a moment to study her before he dips his head politely. "Well met."
The severe scarring on the inquisitor doesn't seem to phase her, smile or no. It may be in part because she has a facial scar of her own, marking the right side of her face. Part of the reason why she doesn't bother with cosmetics! Instead, his heightened nervousness is still what draws her attention, but her expression remains blissfully neutral. "Indeed there is. Forgive my intrusion; you simply seem... bothered, so I saw no harm in asking."
(OOC) Fiora puts her name in there, even if it should be obvious in context.
(OOC) Hadrian says: It never hurts to be as blatant as possible in a large scene. :)
"You're quite kind, thank you," Talen conjures in reflex for Monique, extending his arm to wrap his covered fingers around the stem of the glass so he might bring it to his lips for his first sip. "Greenmarch-- toward the Valardin lands?" he ventures questioningly, as if his grasp of the lands in that domain are somewhat challenged. "A pleasure, my lady," he insists then, inclining his head as much as he does his body, which is to say he adopts a diagonal slant for a time. "I trust this evening if going to be everything you're hoping for in way of entertainment. I should expect Duke Malvici's efforts in this will be more than satisfactory."
"You are so very radiant, Delia. Are you a great fan of the arts?" Ophelia expresses delightedly to the the woman at the completion of her curtsey, the sway of her slender physique lending her closeness to Isolde when she whispers with no deviation to her dimpled smile, "Can I keep her?" Amiably, she accepts the wine proferred from Niccolo with an appreciative bow of her head and then dips into a graceful curtsey before Hadrian, only to rise and immediately drink. Capturing his outstretched hand with her other, she says, "Duke Hadrian. I have heard..." She pauses with a flutter of her lashes and an impish smile, "... so much about you. I had no idea your tastes were so refined. Which is your favorite?"
Gareth has left the game.
One way for Northerners to show that they are not quite the uncivilized barbarians that everyone seems to think they are is to show up to social gatherings such as this. An art show is likely one of the last places that Prince Fergus would usually be found, but the large Prince steps into the Salon, clearing his throat as he sees the crowd already gathered. He has his armor on, it's the fanciest stuff he owns, his family sword, Demonslayer, is on his left hip, and on his right is another sword, a much newer looking sword. The prince pauses before pushing his way in. "Ah yes, quite... nice" Fergus comments in his growling tone, his face the usual annoyed expression as one of the serving girls near a painting asks for his thoughts on it. He is given a /look/ like he were the barbarian he likely is before Fergus moves on.
Gareth has entered the game.
(OOC) Gareth says: bleh
"Mistress Delia! It is a delight to meet you." Isolde smiles warmly as she's introduced, her mirror mask sparkling in the light. "There are few better places than this to meet another lovely face." She looks over as Calista arrives, waving to her with a bright smile. She looks over at Ophelia and tilts her head. "I would... have to consider duelling you for her, darling. Tsk tsk." She laughs and looks to Hadrian. "Really, darling, you just want to start a war between my cousin and I over the lovely Whisper? You rogue you." She winks at him, laughing, taking up a glass of win.
(OOC) Isolde says: Wine
(OOC) Fiora pats.
(OOC) Hadrian says: Oh, we _do_ serve win, you know.
(OOC) Bliss says: that's why I'm here
"Yes, precisely." Monique says to Talen, a wistful smile crossing her lips. "I rather enjoyed it out there, though that isn't to say it is not equally lovely and interesting out here." Her own wine glass is now lifted to her lips, a slight drink taken from the glass before lowering it again. "My sister is the Sword of Sanctum infact. She was always quite the warrior. I've heard we're in for quite the treat tonight though, I can hardly wait to see what performances we have in store for us, can you?"
Gareth's arms will cross over his chest, his fingers lightly tapping against his eblwos as his eyes drift closed, the smile soon faltering slightly. "I have no idea what you mean. I am.. just here, supporting.." He'll hesitate then as his left eye open slightly, as if taking in his surrondings again. "The arts." He'll nod then resolutley before giving a slight grunt. "I am afraid I do not know.. who you are however." Gareth will state then, "I am Prince Gareth Grayson, Inquisitor of the House of Questions."
Delia can hardly deny her pleasure at such a statement; she wears her smile easily, infectiously. Dimples show as she answers Ophelia earnestly, "I would say that a fan of life is a fan of the arts, and I do so greatly enjoy life. And company, like art, is so easy to enjoy in a group! I dare say we might forestall a civil conflict, take a glass, and enjoy civility." She gives the ladies a conspiratorial smile, full of mirth and good humor. "I adore this mask of yours, Your Highness," she tells Isolde earnestly, gaze following along the elegant outfit as she admits, "Though of course, the both of you are arrayed so finely, I could talk your ears off about your outfits all night! The art, though; have you two found a favorite piece yet?"
People meet and mingle; are served fine wine and snack upon expensive hors d'oeuvres; Kima watches it all with the lazy disinterest after the animal for which she took her moniker.
"It is indeed," Niccolo offers in agreement with Delia, inclining his head. He drinks from his goblet and spares a glance at the other faces he sees in the gathering. Noticing Calista, he offers a faint smile in her direction and a dip of his head. The question presented by Delia to Isolde and Ophelia causes the man to lift a brow in curiosity, focusing some on his family members as he waits for their response.
Nadia arrives.
Nadia has left the game.
Nadia has entered the game.
Fiora's brow creases skeptically at Gareth, ask if asking if he truly expected her to believe that. The sentiment remains unvocalized, however, in favor of continuing the conversation and introductions. She nods in return. "Lady Fiora Malvici, your highness. It is nice to make your acquaintance." There is a long pause as she studies him with her ice blue eyes. The lady in the red dress turns to pluck up a glass a wine as it's served. "I hope your nerves calm with familiar company. Or at least with consuming the fine drink."
Called upon by Isolde brings a smile to Calista's face. Her sauntering steps cause a swish and sway of silks around her legs almost giving her graceful movements the illusion of floating on air. The woman closes in on the gathered group, offering them each a bright and welcoming smile regardless if they are known yet or not. "Good evening, Your Highnesses, My Lord and Lady, Misstresses. What a splendid affair! I am so very impressed by the decor." Besides Hadrian, Calista gives a little wave to Kima whom she also spots among the gathered patrons.
A slow nod is given to Hadrian at the allowance to perform when desired. She lingers a few moments longer, observing the group gathered. Isolde gets a particularly lingering glance, then Talen slightly less so. Then soon, she starts towards the performance area, stepping quietly. She only pauses to speak with a set of musicians near the stage, mostly lute, dulcimer, and other strings. She doesn't begin just yet, waiting to see if anyone gathers to observe.
Hadrian's smile at Ophelia grows amused. "I won't ask what things you've heard. I would hate to implicate anyone in the telling of _truths_. The scandal would be terrific." He scans the room once before telling Ophelia and the group, "I favor music and dance. The two are inseparable in my mind. There is a time and place for each of them, of course - you can't hang music on the wall to cheer you when you walk by, or put a dance in a display nook in a hallway." He gives Ophelia's hand a gentle squeeze. "If I truly wished to cause discord among you, I would have asked her to serve as company only to the most beautiful. That decision must be hers, however, for I find myself unable to choose among you." With a broad smile, he steps away...

... to join the Fidante. "Lady Calista! So good to see you." He reaches out for her hand. "You don't need me to tell you you look stunning, but I will say that if any of my guards' attention slips tonight, I will be holding you and that dress personally responsible." He raises the hand to his lips and lowers it, taking a glass of wine from a server and passing it to Calista.
"I've yet to meet your esteemed sister but I am certain your praise is well founded, my lady," Talen replies with due respect, his attention flicking to the rest of the buzzing room before he bows his head in affirmative. "Any demonstration of fine arts is set to be interesting and when master-minded by one such as his grace, it can't be anything but a show. I have a healthy appetite for what is in store tonight, admittedly. Not always the case, admittedly, but today it is so." A toast is raised before he excuses himself, "My lady, Monqiue Greenmarch, I must go and mingle a little more now but I'm certain our paths will cross again. Arx has a way of ensuring that, you see."

With a bow of his head, he begins his departure, steps dragged backward as he maneuvers to twist and maneuver through the crowd next, his gaze caught by the first performer, a look of regonition on his face. Indeed, his attention is soon rapt, lingering in amongst the traffic to sip his wine and observe.
Gareth will grunt ever so slightly then as he moves a hand to rub at the back of his neck. "I will.. just watch for the time being.. Lady Malvici. That I can assure you.. These sort of things are not where I am.. let us say.. at home." Gareth will respond then as his head turns to look to the slowly gathering musicians and the like, though he doesn't move to approach. "Quite the crowd you have assembled here as well... most impressive." Gareth's gaze will start to wander, going over each person in turn, staring just a bit too long upon each person.. though the focus of his intense gaze ends up being Talen.. and Isolde in turn, giving them each the brunt of his cold gaze for overly long before returning to look to Fiora. "Did you procure any of the.. peices here yourself?"
Grabbing up a wine from a serving tray, Fergus stands near the area where the performers seem to begin to congregate. THe large sour looking Prince looks over the performers. Fergus seems to get the feeling that the spot he had found out of the way will soon be overrun by more people. "Well shit." He mutters and takes a couple of steps away, finding himself staring at a painting, which he seems to be giving a vacant look as if not quite certain he knows what he is looking at.
Kima waves to Calista, a smile upon her face. Shortly thereafter, however, she's pointing towards the stage, and Bliss, calling the young Fidante's attention that way.
"Oh-my-goodness-you're-just-perfect. _And_ you like art. _And_ you're cheerful," Ophelia enchantedly breathes towards Delia, all within a single exhale. Hadrian provoked a guileless smile from her, head dipping politely before he'd departed. Her shoulder brushes against Isolde's as the lower-lip nibble begins anew. Gauging her with a judging wrinkle to her brow, her shoulders dramatically deflate all at once and she nurses dejectedly upon her wine for a longer measure, and then perks, for some reason following a look at Fergus, "What if we find a bear for them to fight and bet upon them? We _still_ have yet to have a bear wrestling event and I was near promised," she exaggerates, tearing a lash-fluttering look towards Niccolo, "What do you think, Uncle?"
Isolde considers the pieces and she hmmms. "I am afraid I can't decide." She shakes her head. "I also fear I must retire early. There are some things I must take care of this evening." She laughs and shakes her head. "No bear wrestling in darling Duke Malvici's event." She kisses the cheeks of everyone in the group, and dips her head, making her way out.
Isolde is leaving Arx - Ward of the Compact - Ambassador Salon, heading for Arx - Ward of the Compact - Lords Lane South.
Audric arrives.
The painting Fergus has found near the performance area depicts piers and a busy marketplace just off the wharf. It is notable for its detailed representation of commoners as more than a pastiche. The Old Sailor staring wistfully at the ships in the bay and the Guardswoman in leathers keeping watch on the crowd with her hand at her shortsword are particularly vivid examples.
Nadia arrives a hair shy of fashionably late unto the scene, a bejeweled rose gold flask in hand. The vivacious duchess blends into the crowd of the aristocratic and wannabe have-nots, smiling brightly at the myriad of familiar faces until her moss green gaze catches upon Ophelia mixed among her kin. A delighted squee is lost amongst the din of the party, gracefully gliding the distance to clasp onto Ophelia's free arm delicately. "Your Highness, did you see that painting. It's an absolute work of art, and reminds me of a certain blissful little princess, ever delightful and teeming with optimism," she points through a part in the crowd with her flask-bearing hand toward aforementioned work of art, before turning her attention to the princess's present company. "Duke Hadrian, you've certainly outdone yourself. Everything came together beautifully, I think."
Delia offers the noblewoman her hands, wrists touching together as though she were giving herself up to the law. "Guilty," she assures Ophelia in her excitement, unable to adopt a wholly serious mien at the good-natured farce. She withdraws her hands again, curtseying to the departing mirror-masked woman, and returns with a motion back to her noble company. "I believe I might have an inkling as to Her Highness's preferred performance. What of your own, My Lord?"
Calypso arrives.
Fiora shakes her head softly to Gareth, finishing a sip of wine before she answers. "This gathering is entirely the work of my cousin and the artists. I was invited as customary." Outside of interacting with Gareth, she was notably doing much more observing. Fergus captures her attention, next, as someone who also wears his displeasure quite well! She exchanges a glance between him and the painting he was attempting to view, then at the performer. "Do you like the painting?" The Malvici attempts smalltalk.
"You know, I dare say you lot could do with some culture," Audric says as he arrives, followed by two not nearly as fashionable mercenaries. "Go, mingle! Make some new friends, see some new sights and don't take anything not on offer, my friends! If you do, well, I'll be unable to protect you." He gives the men a grin as they go off to mingle and he does the same, striding into the crowd and sweeping his gaze around.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Audric before departing.
...and, just as quickly, a messenger arrives and Audric turns on his heel to saunter out. Whoops.
Audric is leaving Arx - Ward of the Compact - Ambassador Salon, heading for Arx - Ward of the Compact - Lords Lane South.
With Fiora so distracted, Gareth is soon making his way away from the woman, trying to shuffle his way to a chair or table, something at the very least to help him take a load off and watch himself. The man seemingly content to let Fergus now be the the man attracting attention!
Gareth has joined the Bar.
"We can consider having one during the hunt," Niccolo tells Ophelia after a moment of thought. "Consider," he repeats for his niece's benefit, with amusement on his lips as he drinks from his goblet. He glances over at Gareth, offering a small dip of his head in greeting. Nadia's arrival is noticed by the Velenosa duke, and as the duchess approaches Ophelia, drinks once more. He inclines his head in greeting to her, letting her continue on to greet Hadrian. "Have you seen your brother lately, my dear?" He asks Ophelia.
He continues just staring at the painting, idly sipping at the wine in his hand when suddenly someone is right there talking with him. Fergus' annoyed expression turns on Fiora instead of the painting. "Um, they did a good job, I like... the old Sailor." He shrugs, it is quite evident he really has no interest in the painting. His attention is fully on FIora. "You are?" He inquires before shifting his wine from one hand to the other, and offers up a large hand to her. "I am Prince CHampion Fergus Redrain. Sword of Farhaven."
It's the kind of stare that Gareth gives that Talen has been trained to notice and so, when it's pitched at him, he's doubly attentive to it. Steely grey eyes switch in that direction and the Sword stares right back at the Grayson man for a while before, finally, he bows. "Your inquisitorial highness," is bestowed across the way. The affected title borders on proper, certainly enough to buy him a wrap on the knuckles had his etiquette tutor been present. She isn't though, so neener.

A moment later he's stepping toward the collection of Velenosan individuals, his natural obligation to present pleasantries provided in a slew of well-timed nods, bows and stringed collection of words. Niccolo, Ophelia, Nadia, Calista and Kima are suitably gathered and so receive the brunt of his siege of manners and then, with a more curious glance toward Bliss from across the way. "It is ever a pleasure to see fine examples of companions at these events, don't you think?" To who he asks, it's not quite clear -- open ended to the Lyceum collective.
(OOC) Talen says: Damn, girl.
(OOC) Nadia says: Ohshi
(OOC) Bliss says: I'm good.
(OOC) Bliss says: Apparently.
(OOC) Kima says: Prepare to be awed.
(OOC) Calista makes it rain.
(OOC) Nadia throws gold.
Gustave arrives.
(OOC) Kima says: Now we're cultured.
(OOC) Gustave is a malus to culture.

General Calypso Malvici arrives to much fanfare... or at least to the thumping of her own bootheels, which are black, along with all the other leathers of a crisp cavalry-style formal officer's uniform. Long black boots, long black gloves, a long black cloak emblazoned with silver hawks on the shoulders, and a snug, garish Malvici-red riding tunic. Her eyes go from side to side while she expressionlessly plucks her gloves off and hands them to a clean-shaven broad-shouldered squire before continuing further inside. Her brow furrows slightly. She squints, and her cold blue eyes hawkishly study Fiora, then Niccolo for a moment before moving onward to the performance area where the thing is going on. Aside, she snaps her fingers at a server in Malvici livery, and makes a wine-drinking motion with one wrist.
There is a briefly deflated slump in Bliss, barely detectable, before she gives a nod to the musicians. The background music until now changes to a light and cheery melody, clearly designed for a light dance rather than a merry jig or something more serioius or somber. A few beats in, and she starts to move, gliding along the performance area with ease such that it doesn't look practiced so much as innate. Movements she was born with, acting them out beyond second nature. The veil around her shoulders is pulled off with a twirl, bringing it low, then through the air the fabric bllowing like a crimson river. One side is brought up, concealing her form briefly before passing by. Then the other. Each time her gaze attempts to meet that of another member of the audience with a confident smile.
Hadrian is content to let his guests mingle among themselves, obtaining his first glass of wine and taking a sip before Nadia greets him. "Duchess Nightgold! My lady Nadia, I'm glad you came." He grins at her compliment. "It's all about the art, tonight. I leave the grace for those who have attended. They don't really need the frippery to inspire them." He reaches to clasp Nadia's hand briefly.

"Please, feel free to continue mingling - I wouldn't have it any other way!" Hadrian exclaims. "But let us do make sure to give the performing artists the proper attention. There are seats enough for all." With that, he himself moves towards the entertainment circle, nodding and giving Fergus a quiet, "Good evening, your highness," before assuming a position near the bar, where he can keep an eye on all the proceedings, be approached by guests or staff, and enjoy Bliss's performance. Calypso receives a small smile and a nod as she walks in.
(OOC) Bliss says: I should have made taht yellow...
Fiora lets Gareth escape, but a vague smile briefly tugs at her lip before she turns to regard Fergus. It is the first time she studies the painting, but she does a better job feigning genuine interest, tilting her head thoughtfully. "It is a thoughtful use of pale colors, I'd say. Creates a cozy atmosphere." She swirls the wine absently in her glass. "I am Lady Fiora Malvici, recently arrived in Arx. Pleased to make your aquaintance, Your Highness." She makes a mental note of how many princes she's found here already. "Champion?" She gestures at the impressive sword sheathed at his side. "I assume you are a man who is always ready, then?"
(OOC) Hadrian says: Don't worry about it!
Any forlorn memory Ophelia might've sustained from Isolde abandoning her is quickly smothered for Nadia's arm within her own, a renewal to her dimpled smile instantaneous and genuine as she similarly silently squees with potent delight. "Duchess, you are so-so-so stunning. I haven't seen the painting, but I'm sure it was wonderful. Princess Isolde and I were just speaking of how beautiful Mistress Delia Whisper is here and we were drinking wine with my favorite Duke-Uncle." Summarizing Niccolo's words completely incorrectly, she echos, "And we're going to go hunt a bear during the hunt. Yay."

A slow blink has her shaking her head towards Niccolo in regards to her brother, drinking heavily then on her wine and then greeting Talen with a cheerful smile, "They're all so-so lovely. It's the perfect place to ask people about..." And then her words cease as Bliss commands her attention, impressed, "Oh. She's good."
Delia turns at the call for attention towards the elegant dancing courtesan. Oh so quietly comes a whisper from Delia to her company, "Oh she's -so- perfect," and nary a word more for her admiring attention falls then on the performed veil dance.
Gareth will frown then as he settles down at the bar for the time being. He'll lean heavily against the counter, and offer only the vaugest of nods to Talen in response to his greeting. It seems for the time being that the INquisitor is just going to throw his prying eyes and ears over everyone in the room now, his lips drawing tight now across his face. Socalizing is apparently over for the man and his origonal role, one of observation soon takes precedent over his features and his behaviors.
(OOC) Calista has to slip out. Scene is a little too much for me to handle at this time of the evening. <3 Sorry.
Calista is leaving Arx - Ward of the Compact - Ambassador Salon, heading for Arx - Ward of the Compact - Lords Lane South.
Glancing down at Demonslayer, the peace knot tied about the sword makes it evident it isn't readily available to be drawn. "Well, I guess you could say I am ready, but not willing." The other sword that Fergus wears does not have a peace knot tied to it, but then again it is not quite the deadly weapon Demonslayer is either. "Everyone seems to be relatively new to Arx, it makes me wonder who lived here prior to the King getting put in a Coma."
"Talen," Niccolo greets the Sword as he approaches, gaze lingering on the man for a few moments. "That it is," he finds himself answering the general question presented by the younger man. That goblet returns to the duke's mouth and after drinking, the man peers into it to get a sense of how much he has left. Hearing Ophelia mention him, he raises his goblet up some to confirm the shared wine drinking.

Hearing Ophelia misquote him, Niccolo opens his mouth but the stops and seemingly decides against correcting her. He drags his gaze to Bliss and dips a head to his nice, in agreement with her point.
"A bunch of disinteresting bores, I am sure," comes Kima's voice from...somewhere behind Fergus. She's been manoeuvring in order to find the best place in which to stand so that she might still be able to observe the performance of Bliss while being both unobtrusive as well as not find herself in the shadow of a giant.
While the head of Talia-- a dancer scheduled for later in the eve-- peeking around the corner of a curtained area of the salon is subtle at first, less so is the sound of her voice. "By /Tehom/, Why did I ever think I could perform after a /Whisper/!?" she squarks, before capturing a hand over her own mouth and whisking herself right back into the partition, the muffled, if still high-pitched moment of drama only now discreetly heard from behind the curtained pane. There's probably hyperventilation and hasty fanning ongoing back there.
Nadia lifts a finger in discreet gesture to a servant, and a glass of Velenosan white is procured almost immediately. "I almost didn't make it," she expresses with displeasure to Hadrian, her hand robbed from the crook of Ophelia's arm to be clasped in his. "No," she voices. "But you inspire them all the same with providing a platform for their artwork to be shown, a diverse audience in which to indulge in the collective beauty unveiled tonight." Her every delicate gesture is exuberant, not a drop of wine spilt all the while.

"And you're quite the little exuberant little angel as always," Nadia sweetly pays Ophelia a compliment in kind, before the younger lady's words elicits a vibrant laugh from her. "Hunting a bear on a hunt, are we? That sounds dangerous, Your Highness. Will you be up for the challenge? They're nothing like those fiendish avian pests you've been dutifully ridding the world of as of late." When Niccolo speaks, the duchess follows his gaze toward Talen and raises her wine glass in toast to the Velenosan Sword before looking back to the duke. "My lord, it's good to see you as always. Have you found something that's caught your eye yet? I think I spotted a bust a few moments ago that I might buy as a present for my aunt's name day soon."
"Primarily commoners, is my guest. Naturally nobility would reside in their family holdings," she answers the Redrain prince. Her attention shifts from the blade to Bliss as she begins her routine, but both Calypso's arrival and Kima's sneakiness distract her from truly engaging in watching it. "Come now, they're interesting when you give them a chance."
(OOC) Fiora says: Guess not guest. :P

Soon enough, Calypso has her glass in-hand, but ah, she's Lycene, and so she wisely takes a moment to stare a demanding-enough hole in a nearby food taster before sampling it. Once deemed safe, the Lady General then sips her fresh glass of wine and takes her bootheels over closer to the performance area, gaze passing over Bliss briefly - studiously. A measured and minimalistic kind of smile cuts across her lips, but then she manages to spot Hadrian, speaking crisply on approach, "Was this party just for partying then, or was there a particularly good excuse for it?"
As Fiora answers and then begins talking with Kima, the Prince finishes off his wine and sets down the empty glass before eyeing the door out, as if contemplating his departure.
"I'm always up for the challenge, Duchess," Ophelia impishly relates towards Nadia, thereafter consumed by the appearance of a messenger who passes her a sealed vellum. Unfurling it with distraction, she promptly finishes off the exquisite vintage and passes it towards a nearby server, breathing two words, "... Purple feathers." Just like that, she's skimming to Niccolo to impart a fond air-kiss to his cheek, "Love you, Uncle." Without so much as a parting word goodbye, she folds the message with determination and strides out with her silken skirts held up for swifter passage, most certainly without guard.
Ophelia is leaving Arx - Ward of the Compact - Ambassador Salon, heading for Arx - Ward of the Compact - Lords Lane South.
The dance doesn't stop at the interest expressed. The drama backstage doesn't even seem to register for the Whisper. Even if it did, that confident grin couldn't get any more confident if she tried anyway. Instead, she continues her sweeping across the stage, trailing the red fabric behind her easily. Then, she brings it before her, draped over arms and in fromt of her neck to have little trails behind each grip. She gives a twirl, spinning multiple times to give the momentary impression of a crimson vortex to go with the music as it quickens in intensity. She stops short of the maneuver dragging on into unpleasantness, continuing her dance as before while feet mostly stay grounded upon the floor.
Freja arrives.
Niccolo spots Calypso and he studies her briefly, before turning his attention to Nadia. He drinks from the goblet and looks from her to the art in display. "I've spotted a few interesting pieces. One of them has been teasing me for a while, I'm still wondering what to do about it," he points out, and lifts his shoulders. He's about to say something else, when Ophelia disappears. Without her guard.

Finding a place to settle down his goblet at, he inclines his head to those present. "If you'll excuse me, I need to ensure my niece doesn't get in a lot of trouble."
Talen reciprocates Nadia's toast with a lift of his own glass, then subsequently drinks a measure of it. The Sword's attention lingers on Bliss' performance as he adjusts his stance for comfort; spare arm lounging with its gloved hand upon the hilt of Mirror Blade. Opting to mingle yet further, the leather-bound man treads the short distance toward Kima and and presents himself in a suitably humble bow. "My lady, good day to you. You seem to know everyone here and whether or not that's actually true, I don't suppose you'd do me the great favour of introducing me?" Looking over to Fiora almost pointedly, he bows a second time with as much grace as the first. "My lady."
Nadia hazards a glance after the princess in her brisk departure, faintly amused. "She is certainly passionate about her mission," she comments in hushed aside to Niccolo, her gaze soon turned toward the Whisper's performance. Her wine glass is tilted toward her lips, savoring the fragrant white with a pleased hum. "Take care, my Lord," she bids the duke before drifting through the crowd, silent steps leading her to Talen next, forcing the Sword into an early mingle.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Nadia before departing.
Delia clasps her hands before her around the stem of her wineglass, the lip of the vessel paused against her plump lower lip as she watches the other Whisper at work with admiring eyes. She drinks, and as she does, there's a subtle sway of her own hips to the sound of the music. She does not let those assembled depart wholly without a curtsey in farewell, though, soon after mingling through the crowds while the dancer on stage captivates.
With Nadia intercepting his passage toward further nobility, Talen's answer is to extend an arm in gallant offer to link with the Nightgold woman. "My lady," he greets, "good to see you. I'm trying my utmost to immerse myself into all who these people are. Rescue me from my own peril, won't you? You're so very well versed in this, I'm sure."
Gareth's gaze will be focused on the stage now, again perhaps a bit impolite with how intense he looks, but at least now he is actually SUPPOSED to be watching. A cup of tea has mysteriously appeared at his side, no doubt the order for it lost in the chaos of the festivities.. and Gareth just continues to sit and watch.
Niccolo is leaving Arx - Ward of the Compact - Ambassador Salon, heading for Arx - Ward of the Compact - Lords Lane South.
"I give every one I meet a chance," Kima says quite cheerily to Fiora as Fergus does his best to extricate himself from any social encumbrance. Not long after that does the blonde find Talen dipping into a bow before her. It elicits a crooked smile before she gestures to Fiora.

"Lady Fiora Malvici, cousin to the our host, the good Duke Malvici..." Turning slightly to address Fiora, she then says, "Fiora, allow me to introduce you to Talen Artiglio, Sword of Lenosia." Fiora herself would likely remember Kima only vaguely, as the blonde had left Southport to tour the Lyceum while Fiora was still young. Or young enough, anyway. "I trust you're both enjoying the performance thus far?"
At Calypso's words, Hadrian snorts with amusement. "Who needs an excuse to throw a bash?" he asks rhetorically, though his smile becomes a sly and knowing one. "You'll see, sister. You'll see. I think Jayus will approve. Bliss's performance alone is a worthy dedication, I think." He takes another sip from his glass, a deep-bodied Southport scarlet.
Freja So, a Barbarian Princess walks into a, well the joke has yet to be told or enacted, but here is Freja nonetheless as a fish out of water in this fancy southern salon, at an art event of all things. Still, she enters with an innate grace about her tall and willowy form, moving as easily in her Northern leathers as the Southern women do in their silks. A piece near the door is the first to catch her attention, a thin brow arching inquisitively.
Fergus was free to go if he desired, and Fiora takes a step back to allow the approaching Talen to make his greeting to Kima. She bows her head politely when she's bowed to. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Champion." Nadia then accosts Talen, but such things tend to happen at parties! Fiora looks back at the dancers sheepishly. "They're skilled, but I admit it's hard to pay attention amongst all... this."
Seeing his chance as Introductions are being made for Fiora and Kima, Fergus begins to make his way toward the exit. It is not exactly a very stealthy exit as he is a large armored Prince, but regardless, he is making a hasty exit, he made his appearance.
Fergus is leaving Arx - Ward of the Compact - Ambassador Salon, heading for Arx - Ward of the Compact - Lords Lane South.
Nadia presses her fingers delicately into the inside of Talen's acquired elbow, and hers is a well-humored smile. "I'll boldly confess that even I become overwhelmed, after some time, in crowds such as these," the Nightgold murmurs conspiratorially to the Sword. "But co--" Whatever invitation forthcoming dies upon her pale lips as a messenger appears with a wax-sealed letter, discreet in his delivery before disappearing into the crowd in the next breath. There is no accosting, more like tactfully acquiring Velenosans, from the duchess, even as distracted by her correspondence as she. "Let us... go Lord Hadrian's cousin," she decides, then, after a moment's pause. "I hear tale that she's something to behold personally, rather than through word of mouth. They never do the subject justice."
Kima leans in to Fiora, whispering something that ends in an unabashed giggle. Her gaze, however, remains upon Bliss. It is wrong to say that the knight is transfixed. More accurate would be to say that she is appreciative of the woman's talent and skill.
Delia alights upon Freja's approach into the hall, sidling up beside the woman at the piece she studies with her wineglass in hand. "I hope I am not being too presumptive, Your Highness, in assuming it is Your Highness. Blame it on leathers too fine and a bearing too regal," she greets the woman earnestly. "Delia Whisper, at your service."
"It's impossible to not find delight when in the proximity of our dear Champion over there, Bliss Whisper," Talen exchanges in answer to Kima before his stormy eyes roam toward Fiora. Measuring the information given for all its worth, he then nods in understanding. A side-long look is given to Nadia's missive and then he turns his face away, knowing well enough to pay it no heed. "Truly a pleasure, Lady Malvici. Pay no mind to the fact I've said that a dozen times this evening, everyone time has been entirely sincere. It's just that kind of gathering, with overwhelmingly quality company." Between Kima, Fiora and Nadia he chooses to open up his remarks, "If I confessed that my own talents with a blade are challenged by the Whispers own, will you agree to say the same for each of your own abilities to duel and dance so I feel better? I confess, I am feeling vulnerable," he lies, in mock-jest.

"I suppose a party's a party." Calypso retorts to the Malvici Duke a bit blandly, turning her head, long dark waves of her hair skating restlessly over the long dark length of her cloak, "This one seems to lack in poisoncraft or duel challenges so far, however. Hopefully a lack of corpses won't make us seem less Lycene." Her eyes narrow, if only slightly, "I don't think I've been in this city long enough to warrant an assassination attempt. Takes a little something out of my partying spirit." She shrugs and gazes back at Hadrian, her brows arching, "I could have my squire make like he's going at your throat." She waits a beat, then waves her wineglass vaguely to one side, "You know, a practice run of sorts."
Calypso goes on to remark, a moment later and a bit dryly, "I don't think anyone would even believe I'd try to assassinate -them- yet. Really, where does one plant the seeds for this sort of thing?"
"Princess Freja Redrain of Farhaven." she clarifies for Delia. "Not presumptive at all." Her eyes remain on the piece though she does nod politely, inclining her head towards the other woman. "There is nothing to blame it on, especially the leathers. Why, in the north the finest furs can go for as twice as much as a bolt of silk.." She finally turns her eyes to regard Delia, "Are you one of the artists?"
It is now that the music starts to slow, trailing towards an inevitable end. Or is it so inevitable? Yes. Yes it is. The Whisper on stage, Bliss, continues her whirls and spins, giving dips of one arm, then the next, crimson fabric trailing behind like a fan around her, then a final spin and she's drawing up one end of the fabric across her chest, smiling at the crowd. For a brief moment, that crimson fabric seems reminiscent of a sheet wrapped around the courtesan; mile for Lycean tastes, perhaps. Too suggestive for some more conservative sorts. But finally she gives a bow, letting it linger before drifting off the stage.
(OOC) Delia says: RL is going to strike me way too hard. Sorry Freja, you look awesome! I will try to catch you again soooon
Delia is leaving Arx - Ward of the Compact - Ambassador Salon, heading for Arx - Ward of the Crown - Whisper House - Suite 2.
(OOC) Freja says: Well, shucks :(
(OOC) Bliss says: Evenings are sadly pretty bad for her usually.
"You plant the seeds in soil far distant, Calypso." Hadrian's tone is equally dry. "While beauty and death are wonderfully dramatic together, let's confine them to the stage. I would hate for you to need to find a new squire- I know how exacting your standards are." He arches an eyebrow. "It would be a waste of a good man."

He then leads off the applause, announcing in a sonorant voice, "Champion Bliss Whisper," and beginning to show his own appreciation by putting his hands together.
Talen is overheard praising Bliss for: What a magnificent display of grace. Refined and talented company at its finest.
"The gods saw fit to keep the idea of stage performance from my head, Talen," comes Kima's droll reply. "Lest my ego grow too large and insufferable. Or perhaps to keep me from rivalling their places within the pantheon." She waves her hand idly, as if the truth of the matter hardly mattered. When Kima notices that the dance was drawing to its close, she remains silent for those next few heartbeats, and then claps at its conclusion.
The whisper she receives seems to amuse her and she snickers. "You don't say?" Fiora lifts her chin when Talen continues to converse with her and she studies Nadia, but answers Talen before saying anything. "I don't doubt your sincerity, and I'm inclined to agree with your assessment. You may very well enjoy the pleasure a dozen times more, at this rate." Her icy blue eyes drift back to Bliss as she enters their conversation. "Champions may be the busiest and talented court of people I've ever met. It's something to be envious of." She clicks her tongue. "And I'm sure you have your own numerous talents, even if they may include dancing."
Nadia excuses herself from present company regretfully, gracefully disappearing into the crowd as an explosive round applause resounds through the salon.
Nadia is leaving Arx - Ward of the Compact - Ambassador Salon, heading for Arx - Ward of the Compact - Lords Lane South.
Hadrian is overheard praising Bliss for: Her grace knows no bounds.
Monique returns from whatever piqued her interested, moving back to the crowd watching the dance in progress. Her eyes wander the room, landing on Talen and the Velenosa's about him, begining to make her way towards that little group, glass of wine still in hand, though now mostly gone.
Fiora is overheard praising Bliss.
Gareth is overheard praising Bliss.
Gareth for his part will join in on the applause at the appropriate time, but otherwise, still remain quiet, more content with observing than acting in any other means, his hands cupped around his cup of tea, sipping slowly, occasionally tracing his finger along the lip of the china itself, gaze probing.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Freja before departing.
Monique arrives just in time to see Nadia leave and in that instant Talen steps aside, presenting the open space to the Greenmarch noblewoman. "Ah, but my dancing is limited to rare occasions so I can hide the fact I am no-where near as graceful," insists Talen to Fiora, his amusement for Kima's words present in the brief gleam in his gaze. "My ladies Malvici, Saik - may I introduce the lady Greenmarch? I confess Iv'e only just met but there's a prime example here of the quality company I was just espousing," he insists. The glass of wine he has drank from up until now is likewise growing empty and he sets the crystal goblet onto a platter before procuring a second, the crimson liquid inside swishing mildly.
Freja watches Delia depart on the business that claims her. Clasping her hands behind her back and underneath her cloak, she moves on to the next piece with a weather eye kept on the interactions of the others. A messenger comes to find her and after a few quiet words, she sends him back along his way with her missive in retort.
Gareth has left the Bar.
Gareth has left the game.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Freja before departing.
"A pleasure to meet you, Lady Greenmarch," Kima greets in a voice best described as the perfect expression of professional politeness. "And I hope you'll both allow me to extend the appreciation of Duke Malvici for your attendance tonight, on the chance he has not had the opportunity to do so in person."
"You are all too kind," speaks Bliss to those praising her after the performance, giving another curtsy after she's off the stage. A gentle nod is given towards Fiora in particular at the words given, lingering nearby for the moment.
"Longer supply lines." General Calypso murmurs, gazing through the room back to where her cousin Fiora loiters with company of some manner - Talen apparently. After some moments' study, she speaks simply to Duke Hadrian, ticking her chin at the third Malvici present, "I can't recall the last time I'd seen our cousin in person. Has she been in Arx long?" Another sip of her wineglass follows, and she goes on with a smirk, "Mm.. a sword and black clothes. All leathers at an arts party, too. Doesn't appear to be assassinating anyone yet, but he may be our best hope." She indicates Talen with an extended fingertip.
"Hello Lady Malvici, Lady Saik. It is a joy to meet you both." Monique says, adopting a slight curtsey in greeting to the two other noblewomen as she slips into the conversation taking the space so conveniently presented her. "That young woman was magnificent, wasn't she? I dream that I were as graceful and elegant as her. And of course, I have not had the opportunity to thank him for hosting such a wonderful exhibition, though I did speak with him earlier. It is everything he promised it would be, and more."
"Grace is something more acquired than innate, usually. I suppose I'll just have to see when you're forced to dance to make a true assessment," Fiora openly muses. "Though I suspect Lady Kima isn't as terrible as she thinks," she asserts, remembering how the woman snuck around the place. A faint smile surfaces when she regards Monique. "A pleasure, Lady Greenmarch. I'm sure you will get an opportunity to thank him soon."
"Thank you," Hadrian says to Bliss. Then he turns to look the room over, his smile small and his gaze intent. "You all honor me by sharing this evening of cheer and beauty in my company," Hadrian says in a voice that resonates without being a shout. "We are here because we know a truth: art makes life more joyful. Music is more than a cover for awkward silences at soirees. Paintings and sculptures do more than set off a room's architecture and color. Dance lightens the spirit."

"The Scholars of Vellichor preserve our knowledge," the duke says, "An immense duty and high service. Today, I ask for your help. We have the means to preserve today's works of art for those of later times, so they know what moved us, and can be similarly moved. Right now, it is no one's responsibility. We can ensure that the art of today is saved and work with private collectors to ensure that the creations of today are available to enrich the lives of the people of Arvum for years to come."

"There is no better time than now to ensure that timeless works really do endure the ravages of time. Together, we can bring future generations not just the truths of history but our understanding of beauty." He finishes his plea: "There is enough power and influence gathered here today to make this a reality. Let us do so." He pauses. "Will the next performers please take their place."
"I don't think myself terrible at all, which some may see as the problem," Kima quips to Fiora while wearing a broad, thoroughly pleased grin. When Hadrian's voice is heard, the blonde falls silent. Then, to those gathered around her says, "If you'll excuse me, I've something to see to."
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Freja before departing.
Talen angles his head a marginal amount, as if he's picked up on words in the air that certainly catch his attention. At first the Sword's gaze remains on his proximal company, the three ladies present. When gaze turns to Calypso, however, it's with a mild twist of his lips and his upper-half is semi-situated to face the general in a bow. "Sadly I think I would be noticed and it would make for a very ineffective strike of subtlty, my lady. I would watch the wine, however," he offers, indicating her glass with a level look, then a bow of his head, conceding to his bold retort.
Looking away from Talen momentarily, Calypso smiles with a maximum of warmth and fuzziness, even giving a brief, wristy applause following Duke Hadrian's oh-so-eloquent praise of the arts and announcement of more performances. She glances back at Talen afterward though, and then at Fiora, squinting momentarily before her cold eyes move onward through the others gathered nearby. When Talen actually speaks to her, she looks back, narrowing her eyes slightly, "Oh? Am I to then gather that you would recognise the circumstances of an -effective- strike, then?" Her smile returns with a fair measure of bemusement.
Calypso doesn't wait for an answer, waving her wineglass vaguely, "Quickly. Tell me who would make a suiting target, if you -had- to assassinate someone here, at this very hour."
Freja quietly excuses herself, respectful nods given as the Northern Princess moves as quietly out as she entered.
Freja is leaving Arx - Ward of the Compact - Ambassador Salon, heading for Arx - Ward of the Compact - Lords Lane South.
"Apologies, for misreading your meaning," Fiora replies to the Lady Saik. She raises her hands to approvingly applaud the speech Hadrian gives and seems to be making a genuine effort to pay attention to the next set of performers. The conversation about assassinations is noted, but merely - and distractedly - listened to.
"I dare say I'm not known for my ability to be so effective in that regard, but rather trained to defend against those who are," Talen calls across the room, "but if I had to choose at your request, my lady, I would pick the coat room servitor. If there was nobody to remember whose cloak, cape or shawl was whose, it would cause more of an uproar than if someone happened to fall foul of a hastily poisoned glass of wine, I dare say. Everyone's so terrible self-involved that someone toppling down over there isn't a big deal." With the only free hand upturned, his gloved appendage seems to indicate his total guess and apparent dryly delivered jest.
(OOC) Gustave looks at Calypso's pose. Looks at the rest of the party. Sneeeeeeeeaks out.
(OOC) Kima says: Don't miss my music. >:/
(OOC) Kima says: (I kid).
"Oh, I do hope so." Monique says with a smile towards Fiora. "Perhaps I'll hunt him down and thank him once the performers are finished." She takes a moment to finish her glass, moving to set it aside. "Are there many parties here in the city like this?"
The Lady General's expression blankens, and then her nose wrinkles at Talen, her manner fully dismissive, "An entirely bland suggestion. Who would even want a coat servant dead? Some jealous commoner husband or the illustrious owner of a coat that couldn't be easily replaced? Tsk!" Calypso waves her wineglass again, even sneering a little, "Offing a Malvici servant at a Malvici party? The punishment would be severe and the payoff would be minimal." Her eyes openly wander lingering nobility, and then she directs the icy blue of her eyes to Fiora, "Really now, cousin Fiora, give me a properly scandalous assassination target in our midst." Her eyes go to Monique briefly.
"Lady Fiore has been here about a week, I believe." Hadrian gives Calypso a level look, after her exchange with Talen. "You really don't need to invite our guests to consider methods and means of murder. It's an all-too-real concern, and everyone here is under our protection," he points out wryly. "Your soldiers' training would be called into question in the event of an incident. I thought you would hold their regard in higher esteem, Calypso."
"You'll have to forgive my inability, my lady," Talen throws out without a second thought for his pride, certainly not finding the matter something he wishes to defend himself over. With a look back to Fiora and Monique then, he listens back into the conversation on hand.
Those who next take the stage are an interesting motley to say the least. Leading them is a tall, thin man with pale skin and long, lank black hair. His eyes are dark, and his mouth promises to be expressive though it is currently set into a stern, thin line. From his broad shoulders trails an ostentatious cloak of hawk feathers, though is outfit is otherwise boring black. Following this man is a buxom woman with bright orange hair, and after her stride two more men, these twins; each of whom possess mirrored tattoos on opposite sides of their bodies. Those three each possess musical instruments.

Upon the stage, the lead man takes the center, spreading his arms wide as he addresses the crowd, "Esteemed nobles - fine men and women across the Compact..." His voice is deep, rich, but curiously accented. "Tonight me and mine perform for you. We hope that you shall enjoy." He dips into a bow, and at that moment, the light of the candles surrounding the stage is snuffed out. (By small, clever little children. Spot them and win a candy. Not magic. Seriously.) The area of the stage thus dimmed, the beginning notes upon a gut-stringed instrument resonate into the air. Slowly, the other two accompany the first, and as they play the candles are slowly relit - one at a time.

Until, at last, within the hands of the singer is the last candle, which, when lit, is held before his face. He begins to sing. His voice is powerful, possessing something that reminds one of...the earth. As if, should it speak, it would rumble forth from this man's mouth. The song tells the story of a knight engaged in a tryst, of which his betrothed discovers. Noting that he wears not his armor when he claims to go hunt boar, the betrothed prophesies that the knight will return with his shirt stained in blood. The musical journey takes its listens deep into the woods, where the knight meets with his mistress - an elven maid. When he attempts end their affair, saying that he could never truly marry her, the elf poisons the knight. He manages to return home, though in the form of a corpse slumped over the saddle horn of his horse.
"Ah, but Duke Malvici," Calypso enunciates her brother's title with a warmer smile, "How better to keep them trained than supposing who they'd have to most likely defend, mm?" She shrugs a shoulder and glances back at Talen, "Relaaax. I jest. My brother is right of course." She winks at Talen, "Enjoy the festivities."
As the others speak and mingle, Bliss finds her attention drawn to the stange, clearly intrigued by this new distraction. The singing has her tilt her head, giving an appraising look. There is a wistful sort of smile, seeming to both enjoy the subject matter and be brought melancholy by it.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Hadrian before departing.
Fiora briefly tears her eyes away to look at Monique. "There may be more than usual, now. To keep our minds off more worrisome things." That was her conclusion, anyway, with only being around for a week. When Calypso inquires about what her choice would be, she ruefully shrugs. "I would make use of an open window." She leaves it at that, the sudden dimness catching her attention. The powerful song which follows has her frown slightly, but that was likely due to the ending more than a judgement of the talent involved.
There are many parties in cities like this, which usually means that if Gustave is not careful he'll end up serving more than a few platters of smoked meats and bottles of wine. The armor helps offset it somewhat, and he's even had it polished, though this highlights the dings and dents all the more prominent. Shoulders rollas as some minor snack and a glass of wine is procured. Fortunately Sigrun is busy at present and thus he is allowed to wander and marvel and not be steered to the Most Eligible or She With The Largest Unwedded Demesne. He raises a glass to the end of the music in silent commendation before his gaze turns to the other players in the room.
Hadrian receives a messenger who has been waiting patiently for most of the event, glances at the message, and dismisses the man. With a sweeping gesture, he indicates the musicians in the performance area, then begins to clap politely. "Thank you," he tells the four of them.

"We have one more central performance," Hadrian announces, "Though we have others to guarantee you will never lack for entertainment in the rest of the evening." He glances back towards the curtain.
The musicians depart with one more collective bow, clearing the stage for the final act.
Calypso of course is among the first to applaud, following the song's lyrically tragic conclusion, "A good lesson for anyone wishing to consort with such beasts, I'd say." Her eyes go to Fiora afterward, and she smirks, remarking aside at Hadrian, waving a finger at Talen, "My cousin has the right of it of course, being so purposefully brief." Her brows rise, "Really, such a question has so much potential to ruffle feathers. I would have been impressed had you gone and ruffled some, though." She breathes a sigh with much exaggeration, then just shrugs her shoulders, gazing about.
Kima had returned in time to listen to the song just past, though this time she lingers towards the back of the crowd that has assembled around the stage. There's a glass of wine within her hand, Southport scarlet. Her first of the evening, in fact.
(OOC) Monique apologizes, I have to go afk for a bit. :(
(OOC) Kima says: No worries, Monique!
There's a lengthy silence and then when finally Talia steps out from the partition, the graceful ballerina takes her spot upon the dance floor. Still wrapped in her sea-silk dress, the skirts are spread out in fashionable flair. The woman's hands are clasped behind her back and when she brings them forward, she wields two long strips of pearly white silk that flow, snaking to the ground. One can almost see the visible swallow she gives, the Lycene lass turning her eyes first to Bliss in the crowd and then a few others before she brings her hand to her mouth and shakes her head left-right-left, violently.

"I can't! I just /can't/. Champion Bliss Whisper, I'm /such/ a fan. I ... there's no way I can do better!" The woman runs over and twirls, skipping and dancing in leaps and bounds in what one expects would have been an amazing show in any other instant. By the time she's down, Bliss is left wrapped in a coil of silk.

Throwing her hands up then, Talia runs out of the door of the establishment in a dramatic flee. "MY. LIFE. IS. RUINED!" can be heard sobbed in a shriek, "I'LL NEVER SHOW MY FACE AGAIN!"

(OOC) Hadrian laughs.
Kima just...slow claps.
(OOC) Bliss says: I feel so bad T_T
Fiora says, "I'm sure there will be plenty of ruffled feathers to entertain you in the future, cousin," Fiora calmly retorts, eyes not leaving the dance floor. "But we should speak soon." Evidently she doesn't want to do so here. Then the girl about to perform freaks and flees the stage in a startling bout of color and movement. "Uh... huh...""
Talen clears his throat and snatches the arm of the nearest server, a half-whisper given, brisk and firm. Apparently not impressed by the display, he then leans back straight and looks to Hadrian with a gaze that tries to stream conciousness along the lines of 'I have no idea, either'.
Hadrian's eyebrows rise. "Perhaps I could have scheduled things better," he says. "I accept full responsibility." But it doesn't dim his smile. He's trying not to look _too_ amused. "Thank you all for coming. Though the central entertainment is finished, there will be music provided by a string quartet, and the paintings and sculptures aren't going anywhere."
(OOC) Hadrian says: Last call for reactions to the poor outclassed lady, before I close the event logging.
(OOC) Bliss says: writing
"Now that would have been a good assassination attempt, cousin." Remarks Calypso, waving her wineglass at the silk-coiled Bliss, then breathing out a sigh, "Trying to strangle her with the ribbons or somesuch. Even the best-trained soldiers can be stunned for some instant with pure ridiculousness. In the ballroom, silk and a smile beats steel."
Champion Bliss Whisper looks eager to see the performance. And then she looks stunned as the dancer gives up before even starting. "Thank-" she starts to answer when she's declared a fan, looking and sounding utterly bewildered. But the thanks is abandoned as the dancer abandons the place. And Bliss finds herself engulfed in silk. She just stands there. Silently. Dumbfounded. Then eventually she looks to Hadrian, "I, ah... could you provide me with means to contact that woman? I feel I should apologize, though I'm not sure what for."
Talen speaks then, "I wouldn't worry. Mistress Talia is a drama queen. She'll forget about it in a day. I imagine she was simply intimidated and didn't know how to handle it."
(OOC) Gustave says: Hit the pub afterwards, folks!
"Takes too long," Fiora asides to Calypso. Her gaze goes to the towering human mountain named Gustave and her eyebrows shoot up her forehead briefly in surprise. Watching him dance would have been an something to see. "Good eve, m'lord." She greets, so the staring wouldn't be so unnerving.
(OOC) Kima says: Thanks for dropping in, Gustave!
"It added to the night. If she were here I'd tip her." Calypso concludes, whistling toward her squire, then downing the last bit from her wineglass, "Aeryon, my cloak."
"We can speak of it," Hadrian says to Bliss (and Talen), "but I think she might appreciate it simply being forgotten. It is your decision." He nods.

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