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Sultry Summer Soiree

Join House Fidante for an evening of wining, dining, and entertainment bound to leave one breathless and sated for days to come.


Jan. 11, 2017, 8:30 p.m.

Hosted By



Cicero(RIP) Calandra Anze(RIP) Barric(RIP) Niccolo(RIP) Esera Bethany Pietro(RIP) Juliet(RIP) Dafne Mason Calypso Eleyna Sylvie Gabriel Lark Deva Rymarr(RIP) Blacktongue Samantha Larissa Killian(RIP) Luca(RIP) Dagon



Arx - Ward of the Lyceum - Tor Plaza

Largesse Level


Comments and Log


**Tor Plaza has been transformed into an enchanting and magical space. Illuminated by a myriad of colorful paper lanterns hung with care across the courtyard, the gauzy spheres billow softly in the evening breeze with the illusion of floating gracefully overhead. The sultry Summer evening is filled with the intoxicating scent of gorgeous Torean roses in full bloom from both the gardens scattered around the plaza as well as from the large, lush, labyrinth at the heart of the plaza. The large verdant structure is known to house some of Tor's most famed flowers and provides a bit of privacy to anyone who might wish to wander through the maze.

Decadent delicacies, craved confectionaries and licentious libations are offered all night long by white gloved servants. Finely dressed tables and other seating frame the edge of the dance floor; Entertainers perform traditional Lycene dances while musicians set the tone of the evening with their sensual rhythmic beats.

Throughout the night, guests are treated to the breathtaking sights of stilt walkers, fire-dancers, sword swallowers, jugglers, and contortionists.**

How could I forget all the work our people did in such a small amount of time. It was nothing short of a miracle. The food was decadent, the drinks were flowing, people were dancing and engaging the entertainment. It was a veritable Who's Who and while I felt overwhelmed with the knowledge of what is to come my way, I needed to offer the people of Arx a moment of respite from the dark days. I believe for a brief moment in time, they were able to forget the horrors and remember what it was like to feel joy. It is these moments, small as they may be that will keep us going and keep us fighting.

There was also an afterparty but I think I'll be prudent and scribble a few words in my Black Reflections about -that-.

Whisper, Slayer of Mice arrives, following Killian.

Luca arrives, following Deva.

Eleyna arrives, following Niccolo.

Calandra arrives, following Larissa.

Sybilla, the Lenosian courtesan arrives, delivering a message to Eleyna before departing.

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

The Tor Plaza is exquisite this evening and the night could not be better for an impromptu social and casual party. Guests begin to arrive and are greeted by white gloved servants who offer Rose' wine with floating raspberries in the glass. It is rather feminine at first glance but the taste is wonderfully crisp and dry, perfect for humid Summer weather. Musicians gather to begin to play instrumental guitar pieces. This includes Calista's beloved personal guard, Alejandro. (something along these lines to set the mood -

Juliet is, of course, at Calista's sultry soiree. And true to form, she already has a glass of deep-red wine in hand, her hair set up in an elaborate coiffure of a stylised bun made to resemble the roses of which she is so fond, with ringling bangs framing her face and drawing attention to her earrings. She wears silk in blushed pink, one shoulder bared and the fabric whispering along her curvaceous frame as she idly moves along, talking idly to her Lady-in-Waiting while the festivities get underway.

Duchess Sylvie Zaffria arrives alone, despite her newly-minted status as a Whisper, with white silk drapped in transluscent layers over her sunkissed skin, leaving her arms and spine bare, revealing glimpses of her legs as she walks. She snags a glass of cool wine from a passed tray as soon as she has stepped into the square, a smile warming her lips, as she ventures further into the gathered crowd.

Cicero arrives to the plaza in his usual Velenosa purple silks and brilliant white aeterna cloak. He takes smiles as he looks about and snags a glass from a passing servant, though he carries it with him instead of drinking as he meanders through the growing crowd in search of the hostess Calista.

Niccolo arrives to the plaza his arm linked with Eleyna's. Uncle and niece walk together, and not far behind is the duke's usual retinue. The group of guards disperses the moment that he lifts a hand, moving on to do the things that guards do when not glued to their charges. He leads Eleyna through the place, taking a moment to admire the surroundings. "Impressive," he admits, the words aimed at his niece, before leaning in to whisper to her.

Samantha is in attendace of the soiree, dress well suited for a sultry summer evening. Shoulder-less and backless, it fascens at the back of her neck and the small of her back, pale cream at the top that gradually transitions into soft pastels as it drapes downward to its hems. She takes in the sight of the soiree, her hand resting gently on Rymarr's arm, entranced by the displays of the performers.

Larissa wanders into the Tor Plaza arm in arm with their newest protégé, Calandra Whisper. Layers of frothy silk billow around her calves and feet as she walks, stopping to point out the marvelous decorations and a few stilt walkers passing by. Her eyes are bright and her smile is wide and eager and contagious. "Lady Juliet!" she calls, motioning for Calandra draft to follow her over to the familar Fidante as she drops into a low curtsy "Good evening!" she offers warmly, offering a light kiss of greeting to her cheek. "May I introduce you to Mistress Calandra Whisper? Clandra, this is the insatiable Lady Juliet Fidante, a treasure of a friend." she demures, sighting Sylvie across the plaza and motioning her over "My Lady Sylvie, good evening!"

Barric is wearing some clothes. Ones that men typically wear when it's warm outside. They are well made. Probably neither transluscent nor diaphanous. Definitely not sultry. Certainly not backless. His shoulders are covered. The clothing is green. He wears boots and arrives alone. There is alcohol and he goes to get some so that he may drink it. In all likelihood it is delicious. The prince looks around at the people and he sees them. He does not interact. But he will soon. It is a party.

Bethany slips into the festivities with no fanfare, no escort, and no worries. She accepted a glass of wine from a tray without glancing down at it - just using it as a prop as a way to keep herself occupied. Twisting the stem of the glass between her fingers she drifts through the gathering in a cloud in glittery sky-blue silk.

Ah, now /this/ reminds Mason of home. Only the Lycene comes close to decadence of Ahj'on, so the sighs he sees as he walks in brings a perhaps fond smile across the Desert Prince's features. He is alone this time, no Safiyyah in his arms or Lou at his side. Likely the latter two decided to stay home while he made a stop by to take in things

It is with an air of curiosity and cheerful bemusement that Killian Ashford arrives, the young Knight drifting slowly about as he looks over the sights, grinning as he passes close to a fellow swallowing a sword. "I bet that hurts if you hiccup," he muses to the man, walking backwards a moment to watch before he heads further along. He's dressed very casually tonight, a pair of fairly tight leather pants clothing his legs with a loose and flowing white top tucked in. The top is unbuttoned and the Knight's hair is down, letting it flow in any errant breeze, as he wanders the plaza and looks about.

As Eleyna walks in on Niccolo's arm, clad in pale blue that makes her look pale and cold when surrounded by the richer beauty of other Lycene women. Whatever the duke says makes her actually smile and she leans in to murmur a few words in return before remarking in a more audible tone, "This really is lovely. Reminds me of home."

"...and that's how I knocked another knight unconscious using a small man," Rymarr says while his free hand rises up to flatten and press against his side at roughly waist height, as though to accentuate the size of the reported bludgeon. "The bout was short," he adds while maintaining his usual stern countenance. The knight of the King's Own walks at the side of Samantha, her hand atop his left arm. The hand which motioned to his waist lowers back to the pommel of the blade at his side in turn. For Rymarr's part in the evening's festivities, he's cast the steel plates of the King's Own aside for the night. Instead he wears a short sleeve silk shirt in glossy gold and excessively baggy ebony silk pants which provide extra material for movement, though they taper once they reach the knee and hug his calves until they reach the soft leather boots which he wears.

Calandra arrives while gently holding onto Larissa's arm. A pale linen dress is draped artfully over her slender frame and long dark curls rest over one shoulder. She glances over the party, her dark eyes bright with excitement. The songbird allows Larissa to lead her toward Juliet. Calandra gives the Lady a warm smile of greeting that brings forth her dimples and touches her gaze. "A pleasure to meet you, Lady Juliet."

Prince Dagon Thrax makes his way into the plaza, glancing around at the decorum and the dancers and everything else... and grunts. His dress is more martial than it is sultry or whatever other word someone might want to use for whatever is being put on display here. Catching sight of one of the sword-swallowers, he watches the performer do their performance, and shakes his head. "One wonders if they ever cut their own throats doing that." The words murmured to himself as he begins walking towards the hostess.

Nightshade, a tiny black kitten arrives, following Dafne.

Sylvie holds up one fingers to Larissa with a quick, apologetic smile. Then duty takes the auburn-haired beauty to Killian's side, leaning in to murmur something to the young man likely before the man even notices she is there. "Did you get lost on the way to a treehouse, Lord Killian? Do I need to send word to your cousin?" is her quiet words, in case anyone wants to know. Hardly scandalous. Given the known closeness between Ashfords and Gemecitta, it likely isn't so odd that she feels obligated to make this detour.

Calista weaves her way through the throngs of partygoers in shades of crimson and cabernet. She is everything Barric isn't; She is exquisitely feminine, her gown is every bit the epitome of Lycene fashion. It curves and clings to her body like a lover would. Every graceful steps brings her closer to the entrance where she meets her guests as they arrive. Long dark hair is piled up into a haphazard sort of styling that makes it seem someone had their hand in mussing it, but that is simply no so... or is it?

Juliet murmurs something to Fidelia, and the Lady-in-Waiting slips away, as Juliet begins offering friendly smiles and waves to the people she knows and even the ones she doesn't - and then her name is called, and she beams ever brighter stepping over towards Larissa, accepting the embrace and kissing the woman's cheek in turn. "My Softest Whisper," She offers, in a sultry purr. "How good to see you." Wrapping her arm against Larissa's own, she looks over Calandra with a bright gleam to the dark jade of her eyes, and offers a bow of her head. "Messere Calandra. Truly it is a delight to meet you. Larissa has told me such good things about you. May I offer you my arm?"

4 Grayson Guardsmen arrives, following Lark.

Surprisingly early for a pair usually prone to fashionable lateness (or ditching these things entirely), a certain feckless Champion prince of Velenosa and fiery-haired wild princess of Redrain are swaying into the soiree arm in arm, both clad in dark flowing silk and form hugging black leathers. Luca bears a pair of leather pants tight enough to seem poured upon his duelist forms, with silken shirt of darkest red that at once seems casual and yet elegantly frames broad shoulders in its drape. At his hip rests a saber bound in Velenosa purple attached to a matching sash. Given his usual lack of care for how he dresses, it's likely that Deva helped pick out his outfit to compliment her own. And given the joyful, somewhat glassy-eyed languidity to the pair, one might certainly wonder if the two have already been prepping for the party by way of inebriation. Pre-gaming as it might have been called in another world and time.

For his part, on his arrival, Luca is taking up glass of the somewhat decorative wine, peering at a little confusedly and the floating bits in it, before taking a sip and apparently deciding that alcohol is alcohol. "My but the did go decently all out didn't they? Well done Cali." Words murmured aside to Deva, but loud enough to carry to whoever may be near as they start to wander their way in towards mingling.

"It does, doesn't it? Calista has done a great job of capturing not only Tor, but the Lyceum," Niccolo admits with a faint smile to Eleyna as they walk together. Seeing Calista the duke lifts a brow, and there he decides to lead Eleyna first. "Let's greet the hostess." The duke leads the princess and reaching Calista, dips his head to the young woman. "Lady Calista," he offers in greeting. "You look as incredible as always," he glances around, "And you've done an amazing job with the plaza."

There's a flash of a cheerful, almost happy smile from Killian at Sylvie's questions. "I wish you would, your grace, perhaps it would pry her away from the paperwork and worries for but a few minutes, and remind her that there's a world of beauty and music and joy that we are fighting to protect.. I worry sometimes that it is too easy for us all to become grim and dark, focusing upon the threats and forgetting that we must ground ourselves in things such as this to keep ourselves whole.." he then glances as a firedancer passes close by, laughing, "besides, I haven't been in a tree house since I was twelve your grace..I'm the odd duck of the family I fear, I think they assume I was adopted at this point."

There was someone Mason was hoping he'd see and he sweeps on towards Juliet, the billowing trails of his thobe following behind him. "Ah, there is Safiyyah's favorite aunt." he Eurusi greets, all smiles for the Fidante. Of course, he'll wait his turn to greet her, seeing she's a bit preoccupied with other people doing much the same.

Calandra gaze sweeps over to party with a searching and excited sort of interest. She turns her attention back to both Larissa and Juliet, watching their interaction with a gentle smile and pink cheeks. Calandra's dark eyes brighten at Juliet's words. "Oh, I would be honored." She says, carefully taking the woman's arm. She then listens to Larissa's softly whispered words, giving her a smile. A moment she smiles over to the Lady Sylvie, a pretty smile that brings her dimples to bloom.

Dafne arrives clad in midnight blue silk, almost black in hue (but not quite black, Sylvie), dark curls loosely pinned up, her black kitten in her arms. The little Zaffria pauses near the entrance to the plaza to admire the roses, blue eyes wide.

Samantha lifts her free hand to her mouth, so she can cover up the very unlady-like snort of laughter that comes out of him as she glances askance at Rymarr. "You are awesome." she says. "The bout was short." She shakes her head, hair swept up in a curious sort of spiral bun that makes it look like a nautilus shell. "Have you tried food from Lyceum before? I've only tried a few dishes, but they were incredible."

Cicero moves along side Calista along with Niccolo and Eleyna and smiles to them all before offering his own greeting, ""Lady Calista, please let me echo Niccolo's praise. You have done a marvelous job with the soiree. It even managed to draw me away from my duties and work for a time to come."

Eleyna nods to the suggestion to greet Calista. When she approaches with her uncle, her smile deepens slightly and she inclines her head slightly, "You've really outdone yourself, Lady Calista. The plaza is almost as beautiful as you are tonight." Her pale eyes glance at Cicero, offering a nod as well.

It's a sleek, strapless number that Deva shows up in. With an arm hooked in Luca's, the pair manage to arrive in one piece. There's an airy laugh for what he says, a little lighter and more carefree than one might normally expect from her. "What is that?" she wonders, peering at his glass first before squinting into her own. With a shrug, she tips a gulp back, her face skewing up slightly. "I wonder if there's something stronger," there's a glance over a bare shoulder, off toward a passing server. "Great party, Calista," the Redrain calls out with a too-cheerful tone.

Lark's healthy hay-colored hair is braided up into her scalp and out of sight -- as is her way. A thin circlet-tiara crosses the span of her forehead before disappearing beneath her hair. Her style denotes authority, with structural cuts, sharp detailing, and warm metallic fabrics. A finely carved ruby hangs from her throat like a drop of blood. She arrives a moment after Dafne and, sharing a conspiratorial glance with the other woman, links arms with her to lead her confidently across the plaza.

Larissa slips her arm through Juliet's and leans in to murmur something in her ear. She smiles to Calandra and looks up into dazzling night - utterly charmed by the smooth extravagance of the party. She remains arm in arm with the Fidante noble, speaking quietly and happily to her chosen Companion of the evening... only falling silent when Mason approaches. "Good evening My lord" she murmurs, leaving proper introductions to poor Juliet.

"If I thought anyone had a shot of drawing your lady cousin away from the work she chooses and the duties she doesn't-- It would not be me. Perhaps if Lord Pietro were here, he'd have a chance," replies Sylvie lightly, her lips twisted into a soft, affectionate smile for the missing nobles. She snags another glass of wine from a passing tray elegantly, pressing it off on the young man. "I hope that you, at least, enjoy yourself enough for all of the Ashfords. Later, you can report back." With that offered, and a pair of Lycene kisses brushed against each of Killian's cheeks, she sweeps away to slide back through the crowd.

"Welcome, welcome everyone!" Calista's enthusiasm brings a glow upon her cheeks while the fire from the braziers illuminate the sanguine hue of her gown. She smiles fondly upon Niccolo, Eleyna, an Cicero. "Thank you, Your Grace. I am so happy you were able to come on such short notice. Princess Eleyna, it is always a pleasure to see you. You look breathtaking. Prince Cicero, thank you for your kind words. It has been a while since we last ran into one another. Please do make yourselves comfortable. There is plenty of food and drink to go around." Before moving from the trio to greet others, Calista murmurs something quietly to Niccolo.

Juliet beams bright as Mason approaches, a Whisper on each of her arms, and a glass of wine in hand. "Prince Mason. Are you familiar with the Softest Whisper Larissa? Or Messere Calandra Whisper, also known as the Nightingale?" Offering a nod to either of the ladies, then back to Mason. "My ladies, this is Prince Masun'al'ajionij Grayson, a good friend of mine." Gesturing towards Mason so he may come closer and receive a kiss on the cheek. "I hope darling Safi is well - and that Lou recovered? I got a copy of her recent journal entry, her spirits seem to have improved." Canting her head just a little, to listen to Larissa.

While Samantha's hand lifts to make an attempt at concealing her snort-laugh, Sir Rymarr offers only a stoic bow of his head in response to her parroting his own words. He makes a quiet sound of affirmation before he continues, "To be honest however, the competition didn't really measure up," he states in his usual stern, precise manner. Though he seems to so masterfully prevent himself from a smile, the mirth clearly reaches up to his eyes, which certainly ruins the severe manner of the King's Own knight. As the topic turns to food, Sir Rymarr's attention drifts away from Samantha to regard a sword swallower as he and Samantha pass by. He studies the blade and the person stuffing it into their gullet before his attention abruptly returns to Samantha in order to offer response, "Baroness Kima Saik invite me to dine with she and one of her retainers recently. The food was delightful, admittedly far different than I'm accustomed. The peppers, I admit she did warn me, Very hot." Following his statement aside to Samantha, Rymarr's attention turns to the gathering crowds, searching for familiar faces. Should eyes fall his way, he delivers a stern, but polite bow of his head to greeting.

Barric remains anti-social for the time being, a glass of wine in hand. His preferred large gathering typically involved more blood and crying out for one's mother. So the prince remains on the periphery, sipping his wine and people watching. It's not a difficult task over there on one side of the square. Gaze shifting about, he sees his sister. He stares at Samantha for a time, expression neutral. At some point, he finishes his wine and moves to take another glass of some southern red that he sips on more conservatively.

Juliet mostly manages to get Mason's name right. Mostly.

Dafne blinks at being so stolen, but makes no objection. She and Lark are of a height at least. It's a Tiny Terrible Twosome. Her kitten rests her paws on her shoulder and blinks emerald eyes at the crowd. Dafne tilts her dark head to listen to the Grayson princess.

Calandra keeps a gentle hold of Juliet's arm. She looks upon Mason as he is introduced, giving the the prince a warm smile that touches her dark-bright eyes. "A pleasure Prince Grayson." She says in a softly expressive voice.

Settling in, Bethany watches the dancers, the musicians - and, ah, then the real entertainment: the nobility. Hiding a smile to herself in her wine glass, bright eyes sharp and constantly appraising.

Killian sweeps a deep, florid and entirely overdone bow to Sylvie as she steps away from him, his arms spreading to the sides without spilling a drop of the glass of wine. "Your Grace," he says cheerfully in parting before turning and moving to continue his wandering, now armed with a glass of wine and an amused smile. Spotting Lark, he makes his way over towards the Grayson Princess, slipping behind her and passing to the side opposite Dafne to smilingly greet the pair. "Princess Lark, Lady Dafne, I trust you're both well this evening?"

Sylvie makes her way easily through the crowd to the periphery, until she slips to Barric's side, not allowing him to go anti-social for /too/ long. "Your highness, congratulations," she greets warmly, pressing a kiss against the man's cheek and then murmuring a teasing question quietly.

As guests make their way in and find their way through the 'carnival' experience, they will come to meet all the different entertainers. A sword swallower bows deeply before Dagon, grinning surreptitiously to the Prince. "Only one who does not know how to handle a sword risks injury. Lucky for me, I swallow steel with the best of them." Yes, it's rather lewd or is it? He is a sword swallower after all!

A sensational fire-dancer stops just before Deva and Luca leaving enough space between them while she swings the dual chains of fire around her body. Slowly at first and as the music picks up, so does the whirling of flames. It's terribly dangerous to her skin but when she finishes performing, they will find she is unscathed and with a flourish, she curtsies for the pair of royals.

Seeing Calista otherwise engaged, Dagon grabs a glass of wine, and goes to stand next to Barric, offering the man a friendly nod of his head. "Prince Barric. Hope the evening's finding you well." He settles in beside the man and takes a sip of his wine. After a moment he gestures to the crowd and all the festivities going on. He looks over at Sylvie, nods, then remains quiet, sipping his wine from time to time.

Larissa brightens immensely at the name that's offered "Prince Mason! I've been so eager to meet you. I've heard wonderful things. My sincerest pleasure. " she murmurs, before she looks up and notices Dagon passing by "Your Highness, good evening to you!"

Mason cannot help but laugh, bowing at the three of them. "My dears, Lady Juliet is the only woman in Arvum who has come so close to pronoucing my name in the classic Eurusi." And then he speaks again, but it is not in Arvani, it is the strange, but oddly flowing speech of Eurus, and clearly it sounds like that is the language he speaks so much better. It sounds almost rhythmic in a way. Stepping in, he takes the kiss from Juliet, then offering her the Eurusi greeting of touching his forehead to her's followed by a kiss on each of her cheeks. "Warm sun greet you and bless you, my dear friend. And these are friends of yours? You keep yourself in lovely company as usual, I see. Whisper Larissa, Nightingale Calandra, a pleasure." Juliet gets another nod. "She is doing well, as is Lou, thank you."

"Larissa." Dagon says, nodding to the Whisper in return.

Cicero smiles to Calista, "It has been some time, my lady.. Perhaps we should not let so much time pass next time between encounters" he suggests politely and takes a sip from his wine, "If you'll excuse me.. you've no doubt many others waiting to pay their respects" A small bow to Calista and then another to Niccolo and Eleyna, "Your Grace. Princess" and he steps away to head towards Bethany. "Messere Bethany! That dress.. so splendid on you."

Whispering in Dafne's ear, as confidantes are want to do, Lark pats her arm affectionately. With her free hand, she reaches to gracefully pluck a glass of southern red for herself. Like brother, like sister. "Lord Killian. You and Lady Dafne were acquainted? I had no idea that you had taste." Unsmiling and unexpressive, the blonde salutes Killian with the subtle lift of her glass.

Sylvie doesn't accept merely a nod in greeting! She moves to brush kisses against each of the Thraxian's cheeks as well as she offers, "Your highness, it has been too long. But your father has been quite charming in your place, at least."

"It was a breakfast." Samantha qualifies, "Which I think tend to be more mild, and sweet. It was beautiful to eat and look at - Prince Cicero hosted, actually. We should say hello, but I doubt he'll remember me." She then oh's, and gestures in Barric's direction. "I want you to meet a friend of mine. Remember how I told you there was a whole gang of us at Pridehall running about having adventures?"

Dagon accepts Sylphie's kisses, and says, "My father was murdered by House Tyde, but I assume you mean my grandfather? I am pleased to hear that he's being quite the charmer, Duchess Sylvie."

"If I can be frank, Prince Dagon," he can and he will, as is customary, "I prefer the brawls at Redrain events. But that's not to say I dislike Lycene affairs. They're very lively." Barric's gaze shifts to the sword swallower and the fire dancer, "Perhaps a little hazardous." the prince ignores Sylvie for the time being. or simply delays a response, though he smiles faintly at whatever she says to him, "Nothing at all, duchess! I am enjoying myself immensely." still smiling, he nods back at Dagon, "Usually, though, I'm not too afraid of a man whose first instinct when holding a sword was to swallow it. I'd love to face an army of them."

"Prince Cicero," Niccolo greets the young man with a dip of his head. He lifts a brow when Calista speaks quietly to him, and with a faint smile, whispers a few words in response to her. With Eleyna still on his arm, the duke continues making his way through the guests, looking for familiar faces. He offers a dip of his head to Mason, a faint smile to Juliet. His eyes then see Sylvie and there they linger, with the man offering a small dip of his head in her direction. "Come, someone needs to start dancing, it might as well be us," he says to Eleyna and unlinking his arm from hers, just to slide his hand to hers and take it, he proceeds to lead her to the dance floor.

"Indeed, great showing Cali! Sword swallowers and fire flingers are a nice touch!" Luca's adding to Deva's praise as they wander nearer to the hostess. Moving onward, sipping at the flowery drink whilst looking for something harder, he's murmuring aside to Deva regarding liquors. "There has to be. We Southerners love our wine, but not enough not to have brandy and rum about too usually!" Moving them through crowds, glancing to the talk of Whispers with some brief interest, the Champion prince takes them past more of his family, grinning a lopsided irreverant sort of fond half-smile to Niccolo to say. "Evening uncle! Look, I am doing the things! Be proud!" Not that partying technically counts as the sort of things the older men of the Velenosas have been harping on Luca to be doing, but still! Things! Eleyna and Cicero each get toast-raises of his already dwindling wine glass and a languid, affable "Cousins." in greeting before the one is being drawn off to dance by their uncle..

"My family dined at the Ashford manor and most of the family," explains Dafne to Lark. "It was quite the interesting affair. We only talked about murder a _little_ and orgies did not come up at all." That said, she inclines her head in greeting. "Lord Killian. Quite well, thank you."

"That pleases me." Juliet offers to Mason, "And warm nights, sweet wine, and much song to you in turn," She concludes, with a bright smile. Considering the little clusters of people, she smiles as Larissa greets Mason, murmuring in her ear and then slipping back a little, looking to Calandra. "You know, it's wonderful to have the newest Whisper on my arm like this. It will give me an excellent excuse to make introductions to everyone - like, aww.." She pouts a little as Niccolo takes Eleyna to the Dance floor, canting her head forward at the Duke. "Well, I -was- going to introduce yourself to Duke Niccolo Velenosa and his darling niece princess Eleyna, but I suppose it can wait."

There's another little sigh, and Juliet sips of her wine. Looking to the girl on her arm again. "Is there anyone that particularly tickles your fancy, messere Calandra?"

Bethany blinks once - twice in succession - emerging from her reverie to look up and over at the sound of her name. Chin lifts, head cants slightly, "Thank you, Prince Cicero. Your Highness ... unsurprisingly ... has immaculate tastes in his silks." She averts her eyes, then, tilting a wry smile. "I have no intention on blushing."

Calandra smiles over to Larissa at her brightening pleasure. She then peeks back toward Mason as he speaks, her cheeks pink and the songbird seems to be flushed with happiness. "Oh, dancing.." She says as Niccolo takes to the floor. "Do you dance?" She asks seemingly of Juliet. She then adds to Larissa. "I know you dance. You just have to. I am sure it is lovely." She glances over to Juliet a moment later. Her cheeks are pink at the woman's words. "Oh, there are many who do, Lady Juliet. What would tickle fancy the very most right now, is if you would dance with me. I would be so honored."

There's a wounded look from Killian, who raise one hand to clutch his chest dramatically, "Princess you wound me so!" he exclaims to Lark, "I thought you, of all people, would realize that I know absolutely everyone in Arx!" he asserts, leaving it hanging just a moment before adding, "that Lady Cara or Aislin has drug me around and introduced me to that is.." He winks and smiles, "as it happens, Lady Dafne came to dinner shortly after I arrived, along with much of Lady Cara's family, and she introduced us all." He gives Dafne a slightly reproachful look, "now now, you're going to get me in trouble," he says, "after all I think we weren't supposed to mention the mention of orgies.."

Another trio steals Calista's attention and she moves towards Dagon, Barric, and Sylvie. "Good evening." She offers the group with a smile that could melt a thousand hearts. "Prince Barric, Prince Dagon, Duchess Sylvie." She moves to kiss them each upon the cheek. "I expect to have a dance with each of you this evening."

"That breakfast sounds nice. Less spice, less heat. Less pain," Rymarr offers back to Samantha in a sidelong, distracted manner. His stern blue stare seems to have become enthralled by the fire dancer. For a brief moment one booted foot scrapes the ground, clearly the display had caused him to nearly miss his following step. He quickly snaps his attention ahead, then to the man which Samantha indicates. Barric. Quietly Rymarr comments aside, "I do recall you mentioning that. I've encountered Prince Barric before, though it was admittedly very brief. He advised that I should get an eyeful of him while he had his shirt off, but to be honest, I was more distracted by someone wrestling a bear," Rymarr explains at length. Passing by a tray of drinks, Rymarr pauses for a moment to collect first a glass to pass toward Samantha. Should she accept, he collects his own, and then nods for them to proceed onward toward Barric at Samantha's lead.

Duke Bisland arrives in poor attire for such a gathering, but certainly regal enough in his suit of blackened crimson steel with golden lions roaring upon it. His expression stoic and stern as ever, giving the odd bow of his head and a murmured greeting as he passes through those present, his steps guiding him towards Samantha and the gestured to Barric.

"Not many would think so, but I think he has developed some small fondness for me, at least, if only because he can appreciate my sense of humor," answers Sylvie with a tip of her chin, her smile quirking crookedly with only the hint of a wince for the Prince of the Maelstorm appreciating her humor. What does that say? Her gaze slides to Barric, as she adds pointedly, "Unlike some princes here! Who cannot tell a joke when it is said." Her gaze is caught for a moment by Niccolo's, drawn away from the men as she watches him lead out to the floor. But Calista steals it back with a bright smile. "Am I allowed to claim the first? I am not sure if these two are worthy."

"Oooh." Deva is transfixed by the fire dancer that swirls before them. Her attention seems more focused on the chains than the dancer herself, but her expression is nonetheless impressed. "Very cool. If I wanted to learn how to dance, that's what I would learn," she declares. With a look around, she spies Samantha and offers a friendly wiggle of her fingers across the way. As Luca hauls them over in Niccolo and Eleyna's direction, she smiles widely and pleasantly. "Doing the things," she echoes with a laugh.

Pietro drifts into the party in a flare of white silk embroidered with green leaves, slicked close to his lean frame and cut flatteringly. His trousers are black and also cut flatteringly, though the belt is of gold and green twining leather. Only the gleam of a little garnet pendant over his chest flashes one of his house colors. He watches one of the fire dancers with easy delight as he lopes through the clusters of people. Who does he see first? Hard to say. There's a lot of people in here!

Eleyna offers Calista a nod as she drifts off to the next guests. The princess looks around her in quiet delight as she views the spectacle of it all. Those she knows get nods, maybe a reserved smile. Sylvie, when she is spotted, gets an outright grin and a little bow of her head before Eleyna's attention is taken with Niccolo's request. A delighted smile, so rare on that still, cold face, blooms like one of the roses around them... until she spots Luca. She -barely- holds back a roll of her eyes as she says, "Cousin." Her hand tugs at Niccolo's gently to try and get him out on the dance floor. Surely not away from Luca, though. She does smile for Deva, though.

"My darling Calandra - how could I refuse you." She lets go of Larissa, with a small kiss of the cheek. "Prince Mason, if you'll forgive me and do me the great favour of keeping the Softest Whisper company while I dance with my lovely companion, I would owe you a debt of gratitude. My softest Larissa, would you please cover for my dreadful slip in manners and charm Prince Mason so he loses all sense of time and space, so I can entertain our beloved Calandra?" She offers to one, then the other - then drains her glass of wine so as to not leave her drink unattended, giving a quick nod to Calandra, and giving a waggle of her fingers to Mason and Larissa as she slips away towards the dance floor.

"Brawling is interesting, sure, but there's also a lack of elegance to it. A dance of swords can be more entertaining to watch, though at Thraxian celebrations, it's often to the death if there's some sort of blood fued between two men." Dagon lifts a hand to scratch his chin, looking at the sword swallower once again. "You know, the hells with that shit. The only way a sword blade is entering me is right through me and being held by someone else's hand and not my own." He looks over to Calista, smiling and accepting her kisses. "This is quite the party you're throwing here, Lady Calista. Some, ah, interesting entertainments." Sylvie receives a smile. "Just... don't kiss his mask okay? I've seen a few others do it and to be quite frank, I find it a little off-putting."

The expression on Mason's face turns fond, even as he slightly distracted by the familiar sights of sword-swallowers and fire-dancers. "You, dear Juliet, have been paying attention to when I talked Eurusi customs. You're going to make a little teary-eyed with how well you speak the old greetings." The smile is turned upon Larissa. "Have you? Who's been talking about this simple man of books and stories? I would be happy to speak with you if you had questions for me." Seeing Calandra's cheeks blush slightly, he just gives a friendly wink. "I may have to steal one of you for a dance, I think." He looks at the three women. "Any of you happen to be interested?"

When Juliet moves off with Calandra, Mason chuckles. "Go right ahead, I may steal you for one later."

"In truth, I had Lady Juliet help in suggesting the colors and the talented seamstress is largely responsible for the cut.. I merely described you and it was made to fit." Cicero says to Bethany with a broad smile, "And I see no reason for you to be blushing. You look stunning and there is no shame in that.." a glance over his shoulder and he extends a hand to the Mercier, "but instead, perhaps, you'd do me the honor of a dance instead?"

"I'd be more interested in seeing what's behind it than kissing it, I promise you, your highness," murmurs Sylvie, a thread of seriousness drawing on her words as she slides a look towards Dagon. "I was once told that none of us would laugh at the man's jokes if we did." The seriousness is dismissed in another moment with a warm smile to the Thraxian.

"Oh come on now. All Princes can tell a joke. Some of them just have sticks up their asses too far to laugh at them." Luca can't help but quip in passing to Sylvie with a rakish sort of smirk, having overheard that bit in passing. Well well, someone's in a cheeky mood tonight. A strange change perhaps for the usually laid-back and/or depressive swordsman. Duke Bisland's steel gets an appreciative pause from the prince, nodding his way before Deva's drawing him away again or else he spotted something shiney. Aside to Deva as they go, he's laughingly adding a teasing and belated comment. "I'd pay to see you try to learn to dance like that. I might even take pity and help you rub ointment on all the burns after."

There are so many people to greet, so Sam takes to it like she's plotting a coup; systematically. "Well, I should still formally introduce him." she tells Rymarr affably, "And we should really also say hello to Lady Calista." As their steps take them to that little collection gathered around the hostess. Deva is waved to, Gabriel smiled at with a cheery, "Your Grace," and then as Juliet and Calandra pass by, she blows a kiss to the former as they pass by. Upon arrival she chirps, "Barric! You've met Sir Rymarr?"

"Don't be charming," Lark sighs in disapproval at Dafne's orgies quip, lifting her gaze to the ceiling briefly. She remains arm-linked with her, however. "I'm sorry that I wasn't invited, but I daresay that I'll survive somehow. Lord Killian," she glances around them, "Please be a gentleman and assist me procuring Lady Dafne some wine."

Barric really brightens when he sees Duke Bisland make an entrance to the party. His enthusiasm is put on hold for the time being as Calista joins the trio to say hello, accepting the kiss to his cheek and returning it, "Lady Calista, a pleasure as always. As requested, I am here." he flashes her a teasing smile and bows his head to her, "Of course, a dance would be lovely." then he laughs softly at what Dagon says, nodding, "Yes, that's very stereotypically Thraxian. Blood feuds and duels to the death at a summer party. Though this seems too frivolous for a Thrax gathering. Duke Gabriel!" he lifts a hand - the one not holding a wine glass - and glances to his companions, "Excuse me a moment, please! My lord, good to see you." after pardoning himself, Barric is approaching the imposing Duke.

Niccolo does look in Luca's direction, adding a faint smile for Deva. "I suppose he is out and about, doing things. That is improvement of a sort," he muses, the words aimed at Eleyna. He looks to Juliet and Calandra as they approach the dance floor and actually now dips his head to Calandra as well, with a certain familiarity. Then his attention goes to his niece, as he slides his arm around her waist and then holds her hand in his. The duke leads Eleyna through the moves, deftly following the rhythm of the music. And while it isn't the most scandalous of Lycene dances, is still would probably be found to be a little so by non-Lycene, with the duke's body close to his niece, and the steps a little bit on the staccato side.

"I am not going looking for those sticks," Sylvie calls back lightly to Luca, lifting her glass in a toast. Hey, it's a Lycene party. Some inappropriate jokes are expected, right.

Calandra seems pleased by Juliet's response, giving her a pretty and dimple-framed smile. Her attention settles upon Larissa a moment later, her gaze warm as she looks upon the softest whisper. Calandra turns to Mason next, "Oh, I would love to dance with you later Prince Greyson." She says in a gently expressive voice. The girl then turns back to Juliet, with heated cheeks and bright eyes, she keeps ahold of her arm, getting ready for the dance floor. She then leans into whisper to the lady. "Would you like me to lead or would you prefer to?" she murmurs. Calandra notices Niccolo's greeting now, her smile to him is warm.

"I can tell you what was once behind it, Duchess." Dagon says, pointing at his face. "Many have told me I bear his image from when he was younger, and many times have I had to witness people in Maelstrom give me a second glance because of it. Maybe that's why I'm heir. Or maybe it's because all the better candidates got themselves killed somehow." He flashes her a smile that has a bit of warmth behind it. He turns to nod at Barric, then watches the Sword head away, leaving him in the company of Sylvie and Calista.

"Well. It remains a fact that the Lady Juliet's eye for beauty lacks appropriate words for my praise -" Bethany admits, setting the prop of her wine glass aside to rise and offer a hand out for Cicero, "Either way. My gratitude remains unchanged." Tone soft, manner mild, gaze shrewd. "A dance? Certainly, your Highness. The honor is yours. The pleasure is mine. Lead the way."

Pietro lopes towards the knot of people where Sylvie is. It seems like as good a place to start as any. "Duchess Whisper!" he says, announcing his coming with bright effervescence in his voice. "You look amazing," he says. "Lady Calista! What a lovely party. Aren't you worried someone will accidentally light some of your roses on fire?"

Larissa laughs at Juliet and waves her off, as if there could ever be insult where dancing was concerned. She happily holds her hand out for Mason in acceptance of his invitation to dance. "You never need invite a Whsiper to dance, you merely need show them the dance floor for if there is no music thrn they will make their own." she declares in a playful murmur to Mason. "And I always have questions, I am insatiable with them. I would love to hear of your travels, and your plans for future ventures. I fear may calling keeps me quite close to home, I travel vicariously through others."

"I think you pissed her off," Deva tells Luca with a look toward Eleyna, leaning close to her escort like it's something she would whisper, except her voice isn't quiet at all. "Have fun," she bids the Velenosas as they take the dance floor. "Lucky for me, I'm not easily bribed. You just wanted to say 'rub'," she elbows Luca with an amused roll of her eyes. "Hey, wasn't she at the bar the other day?" There's a gesture toward Calandra, eyebrows lifting high as a curious expression washes over her face. She wanders through the crowd, light on her feet and glassy-eyed, more distant than grounded.

"My lady." Gabriel bows his head to Samantha, even she gets little else tonight than formality, the Duke as stern as ever when it comes to matters of Arx. His attention does shift to Barric however, coal eyes lingering on the prince "Your Highness. It is good to see you as well. - Forgive me not meeting sooner." a hand clad in leather and rubicund offered forward.

Killian smiles to Lark, "Your every wish is my command, great Princess," he assures, before looking over to Dafne. "Well mi'lady, it seems I am at your service, quite literally," he informs her before his eyes turn to scan the plaza, spotting a table with drinks being poured. "Would mi'lady prefer a light white wine, or some of this excellent red perhaps?" he grins, "or something a little stronger if you would prefer, I imagine with the grandeur of this that they have failed to be certain there is a wide assortment of liquor on hand for the tastes of individuals.."

"Well, he has to get off the couch at least once a year so the servants can air out the cushions, I suppose," Eleyna says while glancing between Luca and Niccolo, almost grinning. She waggles her fingers at her cousin before allowing the duke to lead her out on the dance floor. She follows Niccolo's lead easily, providing the corresponding moves to his own with a sort of sensuous grace that few might expect out of a woman known to be rather cold altogether. She might be icy, but she's still Lycene after all.

"I wasn't trying to be," replies Dafne to Lark, with a slow blink toward her. "We are Lycenes. What else would we talk about poison and pleasure?" She glances about the party and lowers her voice. "I am disappointed, though. When I was too young to go to parties, I heard all sorts of whispers about what real parties were like, but now I am old enough to be a party guest I have yet to see a Lycene party that scandalized the rest of the populace even a little." She shrugs dismissively, but adds, "You shall have to come to one of our family dinners, though. Mostly we talk about demons and yell at each other." She considers Killian for a moment, pursing her lips. "I don't suppose anything made with blood or tears is on offer."

Calista extends her hand to Sylvie. "I would absolutely take you for a spin on the dance floor first, Duchess." She might give Dagon a little wink then when he mentions Donrai's 'old' face. "He told me something similar once. I cannot imagine you ever having to cover your face up, Prince Dagon. That would be a shame for all of us." She reaches out the to pinch the man's arm playfully. As others join the festivities, the young Fidante lifts a wave and throws kisses all around. Perhaps she's had a bit too much wine already. "I really wanted to have something where people could come and relax and enjoy the evening. Lord Pietro, welcome!"

Sylvie's gaze drags over Dagon at his answer, but she moves in to murmur something quietly to him. Only after does her attention drag away as Pietro approaches, gracing her vassal with a warm smile. She offers, "Or perhaps, truly, Lord Pietro here is the only one worthy of your first dance. I do not know of any better."

Mason tugs at the sleeves of his thobe, adjusting them slightly. "That so? You must be asked quite a bit then. Forgive my feet, it's been years since I last danced in the Sultan's palace." he compliments the woman, taking the offered hands. "The moment you stop asking question, is the moment your life dims. And what I could tell you would take far longer than one night. Even my wife does not know everything that I have seen Eurus and Ahj'on. I am nothing more than a scholar and an explorer. Knowledge is the greatest treasure, not the gems and jewels lost in the world. Treasure for the eyes, for the mind. For the soul."

Juliet blows a kiss at Samantha as she passes her by - offering a little laugh and a smile. "I'll be sure to talk to you, darling," She calls to the Marquessa, while she soon finds herself on the dance floor aside Calandra, accepting the customary position as she slowly begins moving with Calandra. "If you'd prefer to lead, my dear, then I will happily be whirling along in your path." Glancing to Niccolo and Eleyna again, with bright smiles. "Duke, Princess. I simply must make introductions to the wonderful Calandra Whisper when we're not otherwise engaged." And she shoots a smile to Bethany and Cicero as they join the dance floor as well, giving Bethany's dress an appreciative once-over, and giving the woman a sly wink.

While Samantha guides Rymarr toward Calista, Juliet and Calandra both pass by, whom Samantha blows a kiss to the latter. Everything seems to be whirling by so fast, Sir Rymarr only seems to have time to sip at his glass of wine, after giving it a tentative sniff. Then Barric's on the move to intercept Gabriel, leaving both Samantha and Rymarr to stand with Calista. He takes another brief sip from his glass of wine, before lowering it back to his side. Gabriel's address to Samantha is noted with a brief glance, then his stern stare returns to Gabriel whom receives a polite dip of the chin from the knight of the King's Own. Finally Rymarr's attention returns to Calista. While she seems busy with others in conversation, Sir Rymarr's attention swiftly turns aside to Samantha. He regards her for a moment before he states rather plainly, "I feel right at home here, like I never left the palace."

"I don't blame you hon." Luca calls back to Sylvie regarding sticks before he's spotting a servant with drinks that look something fiercer than the wine, leading him to suddenly dart through a parting in the crowd with Deva as if someone else were going to get to the brandy or whatever before him and drink it all. To Deva's comment about Eleyna, Luca's grinning over shoulder in the liquor chase to quip. "Sticks aren't just for Princes. Princesses can get their own." After pausing to accost and divest the servant of bottle of some hard liquor and a couple glasses (and extras in case they need to share), the Champion prince is leaning in to whisper something to Deva and head towards a corner a little more out of the way, cinnamon eyes peering out over the assembled before nodding and whispering something further.

Cicero takes Bethany's hand in his and smiles to her as he leads her towards the area for dancing and pulls her closer to him, his other hand moving to the small of her back to pull her close.. and the closer with his arm all the way across her back and his hand wraps around to the other side. "Are you familiar with Lycene dances, Messere Bethany?" he asks of the Mercier, "I am afraid you may not keep your promise not to blush" A glance to Juliet and a return of the smile before his attention is returned to Bethany.

"Lord Killian has been my constant shadow of late, and I must sadly confirm, I think he is incapable of shedding a tear. Or surely, I'd have drawn one out by now. --Red," Lark answers Killian for Dafne, nodding to Killian firmly. Dafne's eccentricities get little more than a single batted lash. "I owe your family much, but if this is the sort of conversation that goes on at a gathering of yours... well, I don't know that my sense of propriety could survive it."

Barric reaches for Gabriel's offered hand, clasping it firmly in a shake. It's clear the young man is pleased to see the fierce warrior Duke, his mentor and such, "No forgiveness needed, my lord! How are you? It seems there is battle to be waged and I look forward to waging it alongside you again. It will be a relief to rid the Gray Forest of those monsters." the Sword is rather confident. So focused was he that he didn't immediately see Samantha. When he does, he stares a moment, quiet and still. "Yes. Hello again, Sir Rymarr. We never did get that spar in, did we? Still, I'm sure there's time for it. Hopefully this week or next?" a brow arches slightly at the man, expectant. "And Marquessa. I should like to talk to you in private later when I have the time. In a few days, perhaps."

Pietro bows in a dramatic flair of shimmering pale silk, and grins as he straightens again. "Why, I would be honored. How not, my lady?" he says. His teeth flash in a wide and ready grin.

Esera is late to the party. She arrives without extravagance, without any sort of escort to announce her. Still, it is with presence that she steps into the Tor Plaza, each step purposeful. Her gown is iridescent, and shimmers as she walks, the colors shifting with each step.

At Juliet's wink, Bethany drops her chin to her chest and offers a very subdued smile in return - and the color rises in her cheeks with the flitter of a nervous laugh, "You were right, your Highness." Her free hand settles on Cicero's shoulder, just so. No - I am not familiar the dances overly so - but, you will find that I am adept at catching on. My foundations were in the dances of the Crownlands."

Following a couple of quick steps, Niccolo holds onto Eleyna with his hand, rolling her away from him, only to then immediately pull him back to him, their bodies almost crashing against each other, even as the duke then turns that into a pivot and he dips the princess. The dancing continues, with a glance to Juliet and Calandra when the Fidante noblewoman addresses them. "Indeed, although I'm familiar with Mistress Calandra. Her sister is my protege," he explains, taking a moment to twirl Eleyna around him.

Calandra's gaze follows the kiss to Samantha and a gentle smile is given in her direction. She listens to Juliet's words, her dark eyes bright as she starts to take the lead. Calandra knows how to dance. Her slender, fine-boned hands touch Juliet's waist as she starts to guide them in a spin. The talk of an introduction, brings her to brighten. She smiles with hope toward the princess and the duke in question. "This night is almost like a dream." She says gently to Juliet.

Dagon considers Sylvie's words for a moment, nods, then leans in and whispers something in return. When he pulls away, his eyes are cold and hard. He nods to her once, then looks to Pietro and Calista. "Dancing is it? Not exactly my greatest skill, but watching the Lord here may provide some education in it, I'm sure."

Samantha grins a little bit. "Well, you are very imposing." she tells Rymarr, "But you could make a point of introducing yourself." There's a gentle pat on his arm, as she calls out, "Lady Calista? This was beautifully done. I know now who to be inspired by when I plan events for Deepwood. When you have a moment to spare, can I make an introduction?" And when Barric's attention is gained, she peers at him curiously. "Of course...Your Highness." She seems puzzled by the stiff formality of it.

There's a grin on Killian's lips, "ah, but great Princess, you must surely realize that I weep upon the inside at your every displeasure," he assures Lark, before he slips away briefly. He's not gone long at all, after all, the servants are quite good and milling about with drinks, he merely catches three reds off of a tray as a servant slides by, offering the servant a rogueish wink as he takes the glasses. He ends up returning to Lark and Dafne with four glasses of red wine and a smile. "Ah, I wasn't sure if you needed a refill your highness," he says as he holds glasses out for either to claim." He doesn't seem to mind the eccentricities of Dafne at all as he asks, "lacking in tears, I suppose I could try to find someone to stab for you if you require a little extra flavoring."

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

"Gods, Luca, slow down!" Those are words that have definitely never come from Deva's lips before. It's a whirlwind to get to that bottle of alcohol, but she trails after his triumph and hands off her empty wine glass to the nearest passing servant. "They know no bounds," she replies, perhaps a few moments too belatedly. "Hi Esera!" she waves at the woman's arrival, far too brightly.

"Marquessa, it is lovely to see you again. Welcome to a little piece of Tor right here in Arx." Calista greets Samantha warmly and bows her head in kind to Rymarr. "This is Prince Dagon Thrax, Duchess Sylvie Zaffira, and Lord Pietro Igniseri."

Servants welcome Esera to the plaza with a sparkling Rose' and floating rasberries.

Sylvie's brow curves upwards but she smiles only softly when she nods to Dagon. She turns away as introductions are made, offering the same smile to Samantha "Marquessa Deepwood," she identifies. "A pleasure to formally meet you. I have seen you speak at the Assembly, of course."

"Of course, Prince Barric. Of course, your highness, simply send for me when you'd like to do so and I will answer that call," Sir Rymarr offers back to Barric with a polite dip of his chin. The hand holding his glass of wine then rises up to allow him a brief sip, before it lowers again to his side. He shifts his attention between both Gabriel and Barric, considers the pair for a moment, though makes no further effort to interrupt the two. He lapses again into silence, only sparing a brief glance to Samantha, coupled with a nod in response. He looks away again before he quietly murmurs back, "Yes, introductions. I've become to accustomed to being seen and not heard," he offers back. Though once Calista's attention is gathered, Rymarr offers a polite bow before her before he addresses her, "As the Marquessa said," he motions to Samantha before continuing, "this is all truly inspiring. A rich culture on display. I love it," he offers back honestly. Once Dagon, Pietro, and Sylvie are each introduce Rymarr acknowledges each with a nod before he offers back to the group, "Sir Rymarr Lyonesse, some of you I know, some of you I've even had the honor to see in battle. I hope each of you are enjoying yourselves."

"Marquesa Ivy, or Marquesa Samantha," Pietro says with a bright and beaming smile on his lips; apparently unsure which name to use he just plasters on both and careens blithely on. He gives her a ridiculously energetic wave, which lacks for all kinds of formality and dignity. "Good to see you again!" he says. "Hallo, Sir Rymarr, I promise I did not bring my dog to this soiree to hound your steps."

Esera lifts her hand to return Deva's wave. "Deva," she calls over to the woman, titles foregone. She heads that way, a glass of sparkling pressed into her hand as she goes. She pulls Deva into an immediate embrace, like it's been an age since she last saw her friend -- or at least, an age since she last hugged her.

"That's very kind of you," murmurs Dafne, accepting the glass. "But also possibly a trifle rude. I mean, for the person being stabbed." She takes a sip of her wine. "Does your sense of propriety often die?" she inquires of Lark. "I am very curious. I am not quite certain whether any Lycene possesses such a thing."

"Acacia." Calandra adds softly to Juliet as they dance. "She is by beloved sister." She says, bringing this up likely because Niccolo spoke of being her patron. Another smile is given in his direction. She seems to have gratitude for the patronage of her sister.

Eleyna listens idly to the conversation between Juliet, Calandra, and Niccolo as she dances with her uncle. Soft laughter erupts from her when the tug back toward the duke ends with their bodies colliding, though there is no loss of grace in the movement. She turns into the twirl and braces her hands against Niccolo's to stop, a little grin on her lips. She catches sight of Esera and murmurs to Niccolo, "It looks like the Archduchess is here."

Pietro's comment receives a brief sound of amusement from Rymarr, before he offers a nod in return and then an aside to the man, "Yes, thank you, your hound was a most ferocious addition to our little skirmish. It was an excellent show of the chaos and unpredictable nature of battle. So, I should thank you for keeping me on my toes."

Luca lets out a rich laugh to something Deva says as they're finding a wonderfully loungey little space where he can sprawl out with her beside him, pouring liquor for them both and keeping the bottle close at hand. "In that dress, darling? Not a problem." Even as he's taking a sip of the liquor and looking out on the dancefloor, the lazy prince is pausing in surprise at sight and pointing out to Deva the pair of Juliet and Calandra, grinning a toothy sort of grin. "And just look at that? Pretty Eyes already rubbing elbows on high as I knew she would. I wondered if she was the Whisper's new Nightingale when the proclamation went out. Quite the voice on her. She'll do well." When his cousin and archduchess arrives and Deva greets her, he's throwing up his own languid hand in wave to add. "Heya Essie. I didn't die from alcohol...well, yet!" He's adding to her as she comes over to take up his date into embrace while he remains sprawled comfortably.

Juliet quirks an eyebrow at the colour in Bethany's cheeks, and shoots a small grin to Cicero in turn. Glancing to Niccolo, giving a little nod, glancing to Eleyna. "Well, at least we'll get to introduce you, mm? And perhaps the Duke will be so kind as to introduce us to his protege some day as well." She laughs a little, and focuses fully on Calandra. "Only almost, darling Calandra? You'll have to tell me what's lacking, so that I may make this night perfect for you." Leaning into the hand on her hip, pressing her frame and ample curves against the other woman, leaning in to rest her head against the woman's shoulder. "I never had a sister, but I am very, very fond my brother," She assures the Whisper in her arms. "If your sister is half the woman you are, I should be pleased to meet her."

"These are troubled times, your highness. But I am well." Gabriel allows with a nod "It comes upon us soon. - I have no doubt the Sword of Bastion will cut through our enemies." his tone remains stoic, but there is a certain fondness, if cooled by his exterior to the Prince. He looks to Rymyrr and bows his head lightly "Sir." then back to Barric "I understand the High Lord have given you some responsibilites, your highness, monetary?" a single raised brow.

"Oh, there's the Marquessa and Sir Lyonesse." She notes, briefly bemused that she cannot wave toward them. Because: dancing. Bethany smiles, small, self-composed and murmurs to Cicero. "They look so smart together, hm?"

Calista slinks behind Dagon just then and carefully winds her fingers with his. Without saying much else, the young Fidante rightly steals the Thraxian Prince off towards a private alcove near the entrance of the lush labyrinth.

"Oh, good. I'm glad," Deva rolls her eyes at Luca, but her words are punctuated with a merry laugh. "That her? She is very pretty, haven't heard her sing yet. That's great," there's a nod, a grin, as she looks through the crowd toward Calandra. As Esera approaches, she jumps to her feet to accept the embrace. "Hi, I missed you," the Redrain hugs Esera so tightly, so warmly. Maybe too tightly. It's a very affectionate gesture. "I am happy to see you. I hope you have an amaaaaazing night."

"Your Highness." Samantha dips her knees in a curtsy to Dagon and Sylvie. "Oh, Your Grace," Samantha says, "I know you've sent me correspondence in the past months and I've been derelict in responding. I hope you can forgive me for it." And then, "Lord Pietro! My friends still call me Samantha, which means you should as well." Rymarr introduces himself, so she doesn't have to, not that she would have minded.

Sylvie's gaze slides to Calista, a smile catching at the corners of her lips and amusement dancing in grey eyes. She even goes so far as to tip her glass in a toast to the other woman and take a small sip before turning back to the others wordlessly. "Sir Rymarr, it is a pleasure to see you again," she greets.

Sylvie adds, to Samantha, "There is nothing to forgive. Think nothing of it. I only hope that you find yourself settled in to your-- new title well."

"I guess she doesn't want a dance, my lady," Pietro asides to Sylvie with good-natured humor as Calista spirits Dagon off, his eyebrows ticked up. "At least not the kind I was offering." He lays his hand over his heart, as if stricken, but the playacting doesn't last long. Claiming a drink from a passing servant, he sniffs and then drinks from it, and then beams at Samantha happily. "Gladly!" he says.

Larissa brightens as they dance, she and Prince Mason, arm in arm and matching the showy steps of the others around them. She is alight and alive in the music and hanging on every word and every moment as she is dazzled by the silk and dresses and voices swirling around her. "That's quite alright Highness, I've been told I'm an exceptionally patient woman..... When I want to be, of course." she teases. "I would love to meet your wife as well! Perhaps I can coax the pair of you out for brunch sometime soon. I'm certain the Lady Juliet would join me and we could make a small party of it." she offers , pausing when the dance comes at an end and offering a low and lovely curtsy. "You dance exceptionally. I am particularly keen to hear stories of your homeland."

"Marquessa Ivy." Dagon says, nodding to the Marquesssa, but then he's giving them all a nod. "Seems that my presence is requested elsewhere for now. Have a pleasant evening." And he lets himself be taken away by Calista. Can't refuse the hostess!

Calandra peeks over to Luca and Deva, maybe having heard their words concerning her. Her smile is gentle and her eyes are impish as she looks toward them. She is quick to focus back upon those near her, a soft smile is given to Eleyna. She seems flattered to be in the princess' company, her cheeks staying pink. She keeps her slender hands on Juliet's waist, brushing with one fingers in a kind of whisper-soft caress. "Oh, she is, far more than half." Calandra murmurs. Then her dark gaze turns thoughtful. "Oh, I do know what would make it perfectly a dream, but I am almost too shy to say."

Lark hardly looks very amused at Killian, despite finishing the shallow pool of red liquid in her own glass with a swift throw-back. She replaces it with one that Killian has offered without protest. "Let's avoid unnecessary bloodshed, shall we?" The corners of her eyes pinch in an almost smile. THERE YOU GO, KILLIAN. "No. It's made of something stronger than diamondplate." Her attention briefly wanders to Barric and Gabriel speaking, eyes flicking between the pair before returning to those in front of her. "Lady Dafne, please tell us, what have you been occupying your time with as of late?"

Cicero grins down at Bethany, her held close to him with a bit more emphasis on the right side... and then they start to dance. The dance Cicero and Bethany perform is not fast, but not slow. He leads her in a decidingly Lycene style of dance full of alluring smooth motions that emphasis curves and long lines. His head stays towards her though his gaze flick around the floor to be sure theydo not collide with anyone.. and he agrees. "They so... Hang on" he then warns and bends the Mercier down in a dip that bends her back at the waist, turns her in a sweeping loop and then pulls her back up to keep moving until the song changes to another and he smiles, relinquishing the close hold around her back and bringing the hand in his to his lips for a kiss to a knuckle. "Thank you for the dance.. I will not hog all of your time"

Esera escalates the hug, since Deva seems to be in need of it. Tight and warm are reciprocated in kind, and there's a little back pat there. Pat, pat. There, there. When she releases Deva, it is to give her a long, assessing look, and then to give Luca the same. "I'm not hefting you into bed to nights in a row," she cautions him.

Barric nods at Gabriel, pausing briefly, "Yes, she has." the pause continues and he shrugs a little, "Ainsley is your nephew so I presume the assumption was that you two would work together well on matters of war?" another shrug, "Regardless, we all have a role to play in upcoming campaign. Elvesbane has already tasted the vile flesh of the Bringers and it hungers for more. I'm certain there will be no shortage of work for us to do. Anyhow! I suppose we can delay such talk for more serious occasions." and then Barric is quiet for a while. Apparently there's nothing else to talk to Gabriel about. "Well...maybe not!" he laughs and shakes his head, depositing his half-empty glass of wine on a passing tray.

"Duchess," Rymarr replies to Sylvie with another shallow dip of his chin in acknowledgement, "as always it's a delight to cross your path." The statement is made with a brief twitch of a smile which is quickly reined into his usual stern expression. Dagon's departure is followed only briefly before his attention drifts back to his current conversational companions.

Sunrise, lilac breasted roller arrives, delivering a message to Dagon before departing.

Niccolo looks in the direction of Esera, when the Eleyna points her out to him. His eyes rest on his daughter, as she calls for Deva and inclines his head in her direction. His attention turns back to Eleyna, Juliet and Calandra slowing down his dancing, before he brings it to a stop, letting Eleyna rest against him while they converse with the still dancing Juliet and Calandra. He whisper something quietly to Eleyna, before turning his gaze to the gathering at large.

"My work with the research of many things doesn't allow me much time to really enjoy myself, so I must thank you." Mason replies. He's still a decent dancer when he wants to be, matching Larissa in step by step. "And I'm sure I could pull Lou away at some point to do just that. Juliet and myself have a few things we need to catch up on. I've just finished a particular project that I think she would be very intriguied by. And I'm sure you can be quite patient. Oh, and certainly. ANyone who wishes to learn more of Eurus and things beyond their own land I'm more than happy to help with."

"Don't hug her _too_ tight, firebrand, or I'll get accused of trying to plot my cousin's assassination by Northerner." Luca's tossing off-color quip Deva's way at her enthusiastic hugging of Esera, lazily watching out over the dancefloor again, curiosity evident in some of the faces and pairings, his cousin Cicero getting an appreciative sort of 'go you' nod for his dance partner. Esera's quip brings the reddish-brown gaze back to her, twinkling merrily, though already a little blurry with drink and festivities. "I'm sure someone will take pity on Deva and I and manage. I'd say Deva will carry me, but I'm predicting she's passing out first tonight." Oooh, a challenge.

"Then I order you instead to go find my dear cousin and make sure that she finds her way to the dance floor at least once, either with you or with someone else," Sylvie replies lightly even as Pietro loses his other dance party. Her gaze sweeps unerringly towards where Dafne stands, aware of her heir's presence. Her gaze only catches on Niccolo after, studying him from across the crowd for a moment, before she draws her attention back to her companions. "If you'll excuse me. Sir Rymarr, it is." But then she melds into the crowd.

"It shall be as you wish, Princess Lark," assures Killian with a slightly disappointed sigh. "I shan't keep the pair of you longer, if you've no further missions for me to undertake," he asks of Lark before slipping away. He still has two glasses of wine plus an empty, and deposits the empty on the first tray that walks by, downing the rest of his first glass and leaving it upon the second tray. Finally he ends up wandering up in the vicinity of Barric and Gabriel, offering a smile to the pair. "Your highness, your grace," he says in greetings to the both of them.

"The Lady Juliet would be delighted," the aforementioned Fidante offers, brightly, to Larissa as Juliet and Calandra come close at just the opportune moment. Though their proximity to Niccolo and Eleyna remain, and when Calandra gazes over at Luca and Deva, so does the Fidante, canting her head in greeting to the champion an the Redrain princess. Quirking an eyebrow as Niccolo and Eleyna stills, she bites her lip, and presses her forehead to Calandra's. "Well," She offers, her voice a throaty purr once more. "You could always lean into my ear and whisper it to me. I'm not a Whisper, but I do try to keep my confidences..."

"I suppose it is a new title." Samantha conceeds. "But at least it's a dance I already know the steps to." Oh, dancing. Right. Looking sidelong to Rymarr, she inquires, "Do you?" Adding for clarification, "Dance."

"Er," is Dafne's articulate answer to Lark. She takes a long sip of her wine. "Well. I have been reading a great deal. Poetry and tales of mystery, but some history. Learning about my family heritage, to some degree. My cousin named me Voice recently, so I have been trying to learn what I can of my duties. And, of course, following recent events."

"Yes, my lady!" Pietro presses his hand over his chest and bows. He smiles to the others in this circle. "It appears I must hunt a beautiful Zaffria flower," he says, "on the orders of my liege. I hope you enjoy the party." Then he turns and prowls off among the partygoers, hunting for a smallish figure he assumes will be dressed in black.

Hugs, tonight, seem to make Deva happy. Very happy. Her smile is radiant, to an unusual degree. She releases Esera, but not before she gives the woman's hands a quick squeeze. There's a look to Luca as he responds, an impish glimmer in her eyes. "My hugs are perfectly harmless, I'll have you know! But don't worry, we'll manage just fine. No hefting for you tonight. Don't lift a finger." Then her eyes narrow at the swordsman. "Excuuuuse me? Oh, it's -on-, sir. It's -on.- We're going to need more for this," she declares, commandeering at least one more bottle of something strong from a poor servant that sweeps by.

"... Thank you, your Highness." Beth, hushed, retreats a step before dipping into a low curtsy for Cicero. Rises, and she swishes off, as if for another tray, another glass of wine. She continues past, having had her fill of the festivities.

"It is likely." Gabriel allows "For now I send my reports to Prince Ainsley and the High Lord both." he remains standing, stoic, luckily unmoving as it'd make a bit of a ruckus if he did. "But you are right, it is not the occasion." there's a pause there as well "What news have I missed in the city of less dire nature? I was gone sometime." his tone formal as ever, and he looks to Killian as he approaches "My lord. I trust you are well? - I understand you were wounded during the betrayal." and back onto grim business they are.

Eleyna laughs lightly when the dance ends, but remains close to Niccolo for the moment as she glances at Calandra and Juliet, smiling lightly. She glances over her shoulder at the crowd and murmurs something in return to Niccolo before slowly putting a more proper amount of space between herself and her uncle.

Calandra smiles brightly at the talk of a brunch, seemingly quite interested in such. Her gaze strays over to Larissa and Mason, before turning to Juliet. Calandra feels her forehead touching against Juliet's and she lowers her voice to a soft whisper.

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

Samantha's question directed toward Rymarr results in his slowly leaning forward to peer down his own body; at the baggy golden silk shirt and the excessively baggy glossy black silk Hammer pants which he wears. He considers them for a moment before he looks back to Samantha and rewards her with a stern nod of his head, accompanied by a sincerely spoken, "Dressed like this? I feel I'll probably dance better than I've ever danced before. Of course, that is if you'd do me the honor of a dance, Marquessa?" he asks with a raised brow cast back toward Samantha. He sets aside the half-full wine glass before he motions Samantha toward an open space so that they may dance, should Samantha choose to do so.

Luca casts a lazy nod of some recognition to Juliet's from dancefloor, using it as excuse to make eye contact briefly with Calandra, whom he gives a roguish wink to with a little arch of dark brow as if to say 'oh reaaaallly?'. But it's an appreciative sort of thing. Almost proud to see her hobnobbing so well. When Deva's then taking up Luca's challenge, he's grinning a fierce, toothy sort of grin and calling out loud enough to carry. "And let the drinking challenge begin!!!"

Juliet cants her head, just so, presenting her ear for Calandra's lips and perhaps there's a slight shiver as the Fidante flutters her eyes closed while listening. Lips quirking into a pleased smile, she turns her head again, to return the gesture. Plush lips brushing against Calandra's earlobe as she speaks her soft words, a shuddering little sigh spilling hot air down the courtesan's neck. Then, she's idly distracted by Luca's call, and blinks. "Oh, I know him. And he apparently knows you. We should say hi..."

"I am not so easily broken, Luca," Esera says, but as Luca and Deva dive headfirst into a battle of wills, she slips back out into the party. She crosses the dance floor with the expectation that people will simply stop and let her pass, and for the most part her life experience has suggested they will. It is Niccolo she approaches now, and the look she gives him is somber -- all duty, even at such a fabulous Lycene party.

"Mhm, you're free to escape me," Lark purrs, arching an eyebrow before turning away from the direction Killian slipped off to. She sort of sighs in disappointment that Dafne is reading poetry. "Well, I shall congratulate you on your new position," she lifts her glass to clink against Dafne's, snaking to stand on her own. "I've actually just finished a... ridiculous and inaccurate book on the topic of Elven courting practices if you've any interest in borrowing it. It seems just strange and unusual enough to keep your attention."

Larissa laughs as Juliet passes by with Calandra at just that moment "I rather thought she might!" she twinkles back at the Duchess "And what are we whispering? Are you enjoying yourself Calandra?" she asks, wrinkling her nose into a delighted grin as the whsipers are shared between the ladies. "My Lord Duke", Larissa turns to Niccolo with a low curtsy "And Princess Eleyna, is it?" she asks of the woman "I beg your pardon if I mispronounce, I've heard your name in passing. I am Larissa Whisper." she introduces herself and turns back to Mason, clearly excited at the prospect of hearing what he has to teach her if Esura

Pietro turns up out of the thronged crowd to offer a smiling bow to Lark and Dafne over his wine glass. "Lady Dafne. Princess ... good gods, you have like a dozen titles now, don't you?... Princess Lark?" It is by this breach of decorum and the breadth of his grin that it is immediately apparent that this Igniseri is not Vincere.

Servers make their way through the crowds with more than just wine to serve. There is whiskey from the North in tumblers on serving trays for those who like a little hair on their chest. Entertainers weave through partygoers, graciously bowing to random guests before escorting them onto the dancefloor to teach them Traditional Torean dances.

Niccolo speaks quietly with Eleyna and dips his head to her. His attention then goes to Juliet, "Save some time for me in the next few days, my lady. There is something we need to speak about," he offers to the Fidante and then he spots Esera, approaching. Immediately he bows to the Great Duchess. "Your Grace," he greets her, when she is close enough.

"If that's the case, I don't suppose I could steal you, Juliet?" Mason smiles brightly once the dance with he and Larissa end. "Unless you've already been claimed." Though, Larissa seems to touch on something that bring a slow grin to Eurusi's face. "Indeed. What are you two doing? Whispering sweet nothings to each other? In that case, I'm feeling a bit left out."

Deva wiggles her fingers at Esera as the woman slips away. There's a defiant toss of her head as she takes her seat back, a challenging look shot to Luca with brows lifted high. She is quick to pour them both a shot, and she thrusts one in his direction. "Let's do this," she urges, before tipping her own back in one quick gulp. Her face scrunches slightly at the burn of it, but she squirms and shifts and leans back so she may survey the rest of the party. There's a casual nod in Barric's direction, and then her gaze flits around as she looks for familiar faces.

"Please excuse us!" Samantha says, clearly delighted at the prospect of dancing. She lets Rymarr lead her off so they can indulge, though there's a bit of laughter at the flaring nature of his pants.

"Well, there is all the obvious news, of which I'm sure you're aware." and apparently Barric thinks it doesn't bear repeating, "There was the first meeting of the elves, which was an interesting experience. Otherwise, likely a bunch of social events and gossip that I didn't hear and that I doubt you would be particularly interested in." Barric grins and shrugs wide shoulders, "I'm afraid I'm not the best source for information about the city. My focus until now has been quite narrow. And even now, remains focused very precisely upon House Grayson rather than the city at large. I'm certain that will change with my new responsibilities." as Killian arrives, Barric turns and nods and then narrows his eyes slightly, "were you behaving in a flirty manner with my sister? I think you were. You'd best tread lightly and keep your eyes firmly affixed on more appropriate things." there's a pause as he lets that sink in, then he glances at Gabriel with a grin and gives Killian a manful slap on the upper arm, "I'm just kidding. Hello, Lord Killian. Enjoying the party? You certainly came dressed for the heat. Very diplomatic of you, dressing to the Lycene tastes!"

Eleyna offers a nod and a faint smile to Larissa, "Yes, you'e said it correctly. Pleased to meet you, Larissa." Her pale, intense eyes remain on the Whisper for a moment before Esera's approach drags her attention away.

Cicero smiles as he watches Bethany go and removes himself from the dance floor to take up another glass of wine and have a sip of it as he watches the party.

Calandra's breathing softly elevates as she turns her ear to Juliet, listening to her softly whispered words. The flush upon her olive cheeks brightens, even spreading down her slender neck. Her dark eyes are brightly pleased. "Oh, Lady Juliet.." She says in a soft outrush. Calandra never finishes that sentence, but her slender finger brushes over the woman's waist. The songbird seems to feel if she were living in a dream. She looks over to Luca, Juliet's words bringing her attention that way. "Oh, we should. I know him too." She murmurs. Calandra's attention is then drawn to Larissa. She gives her happy smile. "Very much, Softest Whisper, thank you."

"Father," Esera answers Niccolo's greeting with less formality. "Cousin," she adds to Eleyna. "I had such a long day of meetings. I'm afraid my heart isn't quite in it, yet." But that glass of sparkling might turn things around, so she takes a drink. "Have I missed anything of great intrigue?"

Calandra peeks over to Mason, giving him a dimpled smile that touches her eyes.

Luca seemed content to flag down a third bottle of liquor while Deva was collecting the whiskey, such that they are now becoming a little hub of potential dire inebriation. Still, the Champion doesn't flinch the least from what he's begun and at the pouring of shots, he's giving Deva a fond, but playfully pitying sort of look. "Oh, darling, you are in so much trouble." It's clear he's trying to get the fiery-haired Redrain's ire up. He always has enjoyed her temper a bit too much. Tossing back his own shot with nary a wince, and just a contented hissing sigh at the heat, he moves to pour the next of the brandy instead. The pair seem quite content to their little challenge off to the side of things.

"I am merely suggesting that, as the Nightingale, the lovely Whisper might know ways to make me sing as well," Juliet offers to Larissa and Mason, entirely innocent. Well. Somewhat innocent. Certainly, no one would see fit to judge her. Have you seen those eyes?
%"As for stealing me, Prince Mason, I am sure you can. Will you and Larissa come meet Prince Luca the Languid Champion and Princess Deva Redrain with us?" Beckoning at the pair. And, pausing briefly to sketch a curtsey to Esera. "Your Grace."

There's a slight duck of Killians head, "Your Grace is not truth, I was nearly rendered down to so much dog meat against so many. Were it not for the heroics of Duke Fidante and half a score of the Kings Own, I fear no one would have won free of that place even to bear the tale. As it was, I'm no student of anatomy or healing, so I hardly even know what some of the things the mercies said I'd been stabbed or cut in are.. By the grace of Lagoma and the skill of her Mercies though, I seem to have recovered fully save a fine new collection of scars and having to be subsidized to replace the ruins of my armor." To Barric he smiles, "Prince Barric, I can assure you of few things in life, but amongst them is that I have no delusions of grandeur or aspirations upon anyone. I was made aware of my place in the world long ago, quite clearly," he is still smiling as he says it though it hardly seems the sort of thing a person might smile about, considering the implications. "I'll keep it in mind however, should I lose all sense of reality and start to think to rise above my place in the world..and it seemed that when amongst the Lyceans, one should do as they would it's bloody hot, I've been much in the snow and storm in recent years and the heat is still unusual to me I fear."

Calypso arrives, following Anze.

Calista slipping out of the alcove now with what appears to be a flower in her hair - maybe she put it there, maybe she didn't. Who can say when it comes to alcoves. Her arm still in Dagon's as she walks the Prince and heir of Thrax through the plaza. "Thank you for letting me steal you for a moment to catch my breath." Her words are still soft like a lover's whisper. Before she escorts him to the entrance, she pauses to see if he wishes to say goodbye to anyone prior to leaving.

"You met the elves?" That does seem to gain Gabriel's attention "We must speak of it sometime." he turns to regard Killian, a hand resting on the pommel of his sword idly, a thing of habit and praticality. Barric's jests earn no reaction from the Duke, but they rarely do. Listening to Killian there's something different, not quite a smile but a mild sense of amusement noticeable to those that might know the man well. "I commend you, Lord Killian, and I am glad to see you recovered."

"Not yet, but intrigue might find its place here yet," Niccolo reports to Esera, closing the distance between them and reaching to take her hand in his, leaning in to kiss her cheek in greeting. "I plan to return to the estate soon, I have many meetings in the morning, but you should take some time and see if your heart changes its mind."

Lark flicks her eyebrows at Pietro, "Yes, collecting titles has become something of a fetish of mine, as it so happens." She turns to Dafne with a pout, "I don't know what I'll do with myself once I've got them all. Probably not be desperate enough to read poetry."

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

Larissa brightens as Eleyna speaks, and she dips her head in a deep, respectful bow "Then it is my pleasure to meet you, Highness." she murmurs, just as Esera moves over to the small group. "Archduchess Esera, you are looking resplendent as ever." she offers the woman a nod of deep respect before lighting upon Niccolo with a tempting smile "Do you think, my Lord Duke, that I might tempt you with a dance before the night's end? I promise I won't step on your toes." she adds, pausing only to grin at Mason "Perhaps you and I should have our own secrets then?" she suggests to the Prince Diplomat as she leans in and whispers something in his ear, all whilst making tempting eyes at Juliet and Calandra. Clearly theirs is the best secret ever!

The event is a myriad of acts, so it is no surprise that the Harlequin of House Velenosa is drawn to the festivities. The man has spared no expense in his somewhat unsettling appearance. Oh yes, it is jovial, but his face is painted in stark whites and grays to cast shadows about his eyes and elongate the lines of his already venemous smile. In head to toe black, from his boots to his gloves, the jester has given color only to the verdant green of his beard. He wanders between the performers, small things vanishing from the jugglers in mid air only to appear on the contortionist's back when they aren't looking. As Blacktongue wanders between the wooden leg of a woman on stilts he glances up, arches a single brow and smiles widely enough that he seems a caricature rather than human in his cheshire smile. "Cobwebs." he utters and then joins the main throng of attendees.

Dagon lets Calista escort him to the entrance of the plaza. Glancing around the party once more, he nods, smiling. "You really did a wonderful job, my lady. Be proud." He leans over and kisses her on the cheek. "Let's speak again soon. I am sorry for having to leave you, but other business calls to me. Have a wonderful evening." And with that, he departs.

"Well, be it far from me to say no to a tease like that." Mason winks at Juliet, following along with the three other women. And that's around the time where he receives a messenger. Taking it, he reads it over, a frown passing his lips faintly before it's set away inside his thobe. "May have to take a rain check actually. Juliet, Larissa, Calandra. You are all lovely. But if you'll excuse me, work calls." Though he does spare a moment to whipser in Juliet's ear.

"I've been in trouble since the moment I woke up today. In fact, it's a perpetual state for me now," Deva tells Luca in a dry tone of voice, nose crinkling at him playfully. The next shot is downed in quick succession. At this rate, will they be able to stand by the time the party is over? Stay tuned. There's a friendly enough wave for those that approach, despite the general air of floaty distraction around the Redrain princess.

Dagon is overheard praising Calista for: Throws interesting parties.

Calypso comes in on the arm of Prince Anze. Contrary to popular belief, the Lady General does actually own a dress or two and has decided on a slinky seasilk number in crimson and pitch. Quite a few people here, most of which she seems to know! She looks to her escort first and asks, "Drinks first?"

"With the way the wine is flowing, I think the most intriguing thing that will happen is everyone trying to identify which clothes are theirs come morning," Eleyna murmurs dryly to her cousin and uncle, but not without a trace of humor. She looks at Esera, brows lifting, "Luca is out and about, though. I'm impressed. I mean, he's still well on his way to needing to be carried home, but baby steps, right?"

Barric shifts his weight from one foot to the other, nodding at Gabriel, "I did. To give you a brief summary - disappointed." that was very brief. A smile is turned from Killian to Gabriel and he claps the Duke on the shoulder, "My lords, please excuse me. I can come by the estate any time you'd like, Duke Gabriel. Just send a message and I'll be there. Lord Killian, good to see you." and then he is slipping away to fade back into the crowd for now.

Juliet leans in against Niccolo, to catch his attention at a spare moment when it won't be terribly rude to the Archduchess to do so. "I will absolutely make time for you, my lord," She murmurs. "It has been too long since we spoke." Offering him a coy little smile and a curtsey as well, before covering her mouth at the mirth that escapes, a small laugh pealing at Larissa's antics. Quirking an eyebrow at the Softest Whisper and giving Mason a pointed little look. Then she blinks, and listens to Mason, giving a quick nod. "Of course. And I'll owe you a dance, dear Prince Mason. Do give my love to her and to your wife and child, too, wwhen you see them.

Mason is overheard praising Calista for: For throwing an event that reminds me so much of home. Thank you so much.

Calista bids Dagon adieu and turns once more to rejoin the festivities. Another glass of wine in hand, she nearly bumps into Calpyso and Anze. "Oooh! Fashionably late. I like it. Welcome Lady General, Your Highness. Make yourselves at home. Eat, drink, be merry!"

"Governance never ends," Esera agrees, in aside, with Niccolo. Her gaze, though, is entirely upon Calista. That gaze is somber still, but fond, just the same. "Poor girl," she says. "So young." Even if Esera is still young herself. "I helped him in last night," she says to Eleyna. "He gets so bored. This city offers him not enough of anything, it seems."

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

While the traditional Torean dances are taught, Rymarr and Samantha stand in their own small clearing of other dancers. He fixes Samantha with a stern stare before Rymarr leans forward to quietly murmur to the Marquessa. When he leans back again he gives her a brief nod of his head before he steps back. With an eye cast toward the instructional dancing displays presented, Sir Rymarr attempts to mimic some of the movements. A hand extend forward to beckon Samantha toward him with a brief curl of his fingers, though his hand remains extended for her to claim as Rymarr begins to dance. His baggy silk pants swish and sway with his movements, the soft scrape of his boot's sole heard as he begins to move as best he can to mimic the movements of the Torean dancers.

"I do give singing lessons." Calandra says in her gentle voice. She even manages to look rather serious about such. She echoes Juliet and gives Esera a curtsy, after all she must be important! Calandra's dark eyes widen as Larissa whispers to Mason, the nightingale seemingly so very curious about their secret.

Anze is still shocked. SHOCKED. Not only is Calypso actually willing to go somewhere in public with him, but she's wearing a dress of all things. It puts a big dumb grin on Anze's face, not that it takes much to make him smile anyway. "Aye, a drink sounds great" Anze says as he glances around the party. He mutters something into Calypso's ear before bowing his head to Calista. "Thanks for havin us"

Blacktongue appears somehow beside Eleyna, within earshot, bemoaning with staged dramatics and gravitas, a single hand on his cheek. "Oh, alas, I have arrived just at the end of the festivities?"

Somewhere, probably, Sylvie's smoky gaze catches on Juliet for a moment. But otherwise, she is just another woman in the Lycene crowd.

Calypso nods to Calista. "Thank you, Lady Calista. I was just talking to Saedrus last night about how we haven't had a party for half a year it feels like. Low and behold, an invitation arrived moments after we spoke. Its as though you read our minds."

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

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

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

"Too true. Too true." Luca offers up to Deva's talk of trouble, saluting her duly with shot glass and then tossing it back eagerly again and letting her pour the next. When others look likely to come their way, he's greeting them affably enough, offering them chance to join in the drinking competition, if only for a single shot of one of the various liquors they've accumulated. For someone who gets so bored usually, the lazy prince certainly seems to be letting loose quite well. And will he and Deva be able to walk even the short way home after all this? Probably not, but that seems to be half the fun.

Niccolo turns his gaze to Larissa, adding a touch of a smile to his lips and a dip of his head. "Of course, Mistress Larissa," he offers, his voice deep, gravelly and ever gallant. When Juliet leans against him, he inclines his head to her as well. "It has been some time." He looks to his family once more. "If you'll excuse me, there's a dance I must indulge in," he says to both Esera and Eleyna. He offers his hand to Larissa, to take hers in his. "May I have this dance?" He asks.

Esera sighs at Blacktongue, and gives him a hug. He is just there. Just convenient!

Eleyna glances in Luca's direction and then back at Esera, brow lifting as offers, "I could make the rounds of the city's social scene, inadvertently insult some people, and have him fight for me? Anything to keep Luca busy." The sound of Blacktongue's voice makes the princess grin and she turns her head in the harlequin's direction, "No one's been stabbed, challenged to a duel, or passed out drunk yet, so I would say not."

Anze eyes the grounds a little, this is his first Lycene party so its important to take everything in, find out where the orgy is supposed to break out or whatever else happens at a Lycene party. Arm in arm with Calypso he heads towards a place to get a drink, and looks to see if he can grab himself a glass of whiskey.

Ariadne leaves, following Sylvie.

"It was really a last minute thing. I'm a terrible planner." Calista teases Calypso. "I hope to be able to have more gatherings. We need to remind ourselves of joyous times." She gives the Malvici a delicate caress of her hand upon the woman's arm before she slithers off to find Esera.

Samantha seems to find it delightful that Rymarr is willing to try (and possibly be a little embarrassing) something new amongst all these people just to please her. So she in turn does her best, and if she misses a step or turns the wrong way, the only thing it does is cause her to laugh at herself.

"Where is my nephew?" Blacktongue drawls in response to Eleyna's observation, a pointed raise of his brows at that. At Esera's hug, he returns it with one arm about her shoulders before dipping into a flourished bow, an imaginary cap doffed to the Grand Duchess. A flick of his wrist and some slight of hand and he remains bowed forward at the waist, a dark purple bloom offered to the Duchess with an apple held out for Eleyna. "Darling Doves, gifts."

Larissa grins a little wink over to Calandra at the smile on her face, her expression excited and indulgent all at once. Larissa cannot imagine what is going on through her head in this moment and she thinks she may almost be jealous of it. She pauses and murmurs something in Juliet's ear before her attention is captivated by Niccolo and she offers a sweet and easy smile as she drops into a customary curtsy "My Lord Duke, it would be my pleasure" she responds before taking his hand and allowing him to lead them to the dance floor as the new set begins.

"How do you know it's inaccurate?" is Dafne's first question to Lark. "But that does sound fascinating; I'd love ot read it" She turns in a flurry of midnight blue silk, and inclines her head to Pietro. "Lord Pietro! Good evening." She knows the difference between the twins. Or at least she pretends to.

Cicero sips at his wine with a smile as he observes the flow of people.

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

"You sound like Vincere, except that I think it eventually gave him indigestion." Pietro rests his hand briefly over his stomach, and then widens his gaze with his smile as his dark eyes light on Dafne. "Hi. Good evening. You're not wearing black! I almost didn't spot you. Are you both enjoying this wild swarm of people?" he asks. "I like the fire dancers. I'm surprised that nothing has caught on fire yet."

Deva leans to murmur something lowly to Luca, lightly patting her own cheek while she does so. There's a few more tentative pats, as if testing something. Only then does she lean to sweep up the next, nearest bottle to pour them another round. "Anyone else?" she wonders aloud, glancing up to see if anyone who has (or hasn't!) joined them would like a shot poured as well. "I hope I don't have any meetings scheduled for tomorrow morning," responsible realization suddenly dawns, bright green eyes going wide in near-horror. It only lasts a moment. Both shoulders rise and fall in a dismissive shrug. "Cheers!"

"My thanks your Grace," replies Killian to Gabriel, before bowing slightly to the Prince when he withdraws, "Your highness." Then he's looking around, "I won't keep you either your Grace, I know certainly you have more interesting conversations to have this evening," he says to Gabriel, smiling. "I hope you have a wonderful evening sir." And then he's melting off into the crowd as well.

Calypso grins a touch at Calista. "I've seen much worse planned in much longer a time. This is wonderful. Thank you for putting it together." She bids before the Fidante runs off. Grabbing a glass of whiskey for herself she leans in to Anze for a quick murmur.

Samantha's laughter seems to distract Rymarr from his steps. He glances away from the Torean dance practioners whom he had been attempted to follow and mimic the movements of, only to turns his attention back to the sound of laughter before him. And abruptly the front of his booted foot down on the toes of Samantha. Sensing the foot beneath his own, he nearly jumps as though he had just stepped barefoot onto some creeping and crawling thing in the darkness, so desperate is he to not bring his weight down onto the foot of the Marquessa. The moment he recovers from his brief moment of surprise and shock, Sir Rymarr begins to apologize as profusely and quietly as he can to Samantha, "Oh! Oh, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, I got distracted and...", he huffs out a quiet sigh at his mistake and quickly shakes his head. He seems to quickly recover and seems ready to continue in the dance that he and Samantha share, though he pays more attention now to both his own and Samantha's feet, now more alert to their spacing.

"Old friend," Niccolo greets Blacktongue as he leads Larissa not far from the group, and to a dance. He slides his arm around the Whisper's waist, his other hand holding hers. Once more, the druke dances with a certain amount of grace, definitely with skill. He follows the music without trouble, leading the young woman through each step and move. His gaze seeks to meet Larissa's as they dance.

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

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

Offering a curtsey to Esera, and a grin to Niccolo and Larissa, giving a quick nod to the Softest Whisper before she gives a small wave to Blacktongue and Eleyna, and finally moves along with Calandra to Luca and Deva, murmuring quietly to Calandra as they go.

"Languid Prince. I hear you've had success in the ring since last we met." The non-host Fidante offers cheerfully. "And Princess Redrain. A pleasure to meet you again. I think we briefly orbited one another at the gala in Prince Mason's honour?"

"I'll be sure to lend it to you," Lark assures Dafne. She bows her head to Pietro before a messenger arrives for her and with a grim expression, she excuses herself from the festivities.

Esera releases Blacktongue from his shackles -- or, at least, the hug she pulled him into -- to take the dark purple bloom he offers. She spins it, idly, between her fingers. "He's a knight now," she says to him. "I made him one. He's stuck with it."

4 Grayson Guardsmen leaves, following Lark.

Anze leads Calypso towards the drinking contest is taking place "Deva, have you met Calypso? An I think I could do a shot" he nods his head at Luca "Anze, an this is Calypso Malvici" he does for introductions, thats a thing you do right?

Calandra gives Larissa a warmly excited smile as she watches the Softest Whisper take ahold of the Duke's hand. She then looks upon Juliet with her bright dark eyes. She trails along with Juliet, toward Prince Luca and Princess Deva. The delicate songbird dips down into a graceful curtsy before them, before smiling one of her dimpled smiles. "Oh, a pleasure to lay eyes upon you both once again. Princess Deva and Prince Luca."

"Older friend." Blacktongue greets Niccolo with good humor as he rises from his deep bow, producing another apple from somewhere and happily chomping away on it. A chunk stowed away into his cheek, he glances to Esera. "Who is a knight now?" Juliet gets a glance over from the jester's unsettling gaze and then he bows politely to her as she goes.

Calista finds Esera then and slinks up to the Archduchesses side. There's a smile lingering upon her lips for Blacktongue as well. "Forgive me for not having greeted you sooner. You look radiant, Your Grace." There's a little tip of her head then for the man who accompanies Esera. "Blacktongue, welcome to the party, I hope you are enjoying yourself."

Calypso inclines her head to Deva. "I believe we'd crossed paths once or twice. A more formal meeting scheduled in a few days. How fortuitous to have seen you here this evening." She looks to Luca then and nods once more. "Good evening."

Eleyna accepts the apple from Blacktongue's hand with a smirk and a lifted brow. She cradles it within her palm and says, "Thank you." Juliet's wave catches her attention and she offers the Fidante a nod before turning her attention back to her cousin and Blacktongue. The princess offers Calista another smile as she approaches to greet the others.

Samantha just seems content to try her best, still occasionally chuckling at their respective foibles. But all dances come to an end, and so when theirs does, her smile is filled with mirth. "You're owed a break. Shall we get a bit more to drink? I could introduce you to Lady Juliet...if I can find her in this crowd. She heads the Salon."

Samantha just seems content to try her best, still occasionally chuckling at their respective foibles. But all dances come to an end, and so when theirs does, her smile is filled with mirth as she looks up at Rymarr. "You're owed a break. Shall we get a bit more to drink? I could introduce you to Lady Juliet...if I can find her in this crowd. She heads the Salon."

Anze grins at Juliet when she arrives with Calandra and Larissa "Juliet, wonderful to see you again, I have someone for you to meet, we need to schedule another meeting soon" He nods his head to the other women "Larissa, good to see yah again, an I don't believe we've met, Anze" introductions, lots and lots of introductions.

"Oh, um..." Deva squints long and hard at Juliet, as if desperately trying to remember. "Please don't hate me if I admit I wasn't there long and that night turned into something pretty terrible for me afterward, so I have kind of blocked it from my memory?" The Redrain princess is both deeply intoxicated, and terribly open. "But hi-- I'm Deva, and I hope this can be the 'official' introduction. Would you like a shot?" she asks of the Fidante, and then turns to regard the other company that has joined with a bright smile. "Hi Anze, here you go," she greets her relative sunnily, shoving a shot in his direction. It sloshes a bit, nearly too full. Pouring is not her strong suit. "It's nice to see you again, Calandra! I hear you're an amazing singer. Will we get to hear you?" she asks, hopefully. "Hey Calypso! Nice to see you. Do you want some too?" The bottle is wiggled in the air.

Dafne glances after the princess as she leaves, and then back to Pietro. "I don't always wear black," she says a little defensively. "Sometimes I wear white. Sometimes I wear red. Sometimes I wear dark blue." It's very dark blue. "I am easy to overlook in any case. Far too short."

For the duration of the dance, Larissa stills her attention upon Duke as she allows the rest of the glittering throng melt away. Her back is straight, her chin lofted high and her touch light as she melts one step into the other, matching every graceful movement of his with one of her own. She speaks quietly, low murmurs of sweet nothings that bring nothing but a smile to her lips, complimenting, perhaps the party, the extravagance, and the bold beauty that can only ever be the Lyceum. She lets not a somber word be spoken between them, no cause for pause or frowns. Simply a beautiful moment passed from one person to the other.

Anze nudges Deva as he takes the offered shot and mutters something to her

Left to his own devices Gabriel merely stands still for a few moments, coal eyes traveling amidst the crowd and chaos of colours and culture. Eventually he does walk however, the rustling of his armour following. Making his way towards the drinking group and Calypso "Lady Calypso." a slight bow of his head given, soon mimicked to Luca, Deva and the rest, but his eyes rest on Calypso "I trust you are well, it seems my nephew were mistaken, or the Council saw sense." his tone as stoic as ever.

"It is everything I expected it to be." Blacktongue says to Calista, his unnerving smile only widening and looking all the more grotesque than normal for the facepaint he sports. "Better than the last, by my standards at least." He warns Eleyna as she takes the apple.

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

"I just expect you in black, that's all," Pietro says. He drops to a knee before her with a great show of dramatics, like a knight seeking a favor, and grins up at her -- since at least, from this vantage, she is clearly above him. "I don't object to blue! You glow like a flower in darkness, or something. Sorry, I am not remotely poetic. Would you care to dance?"

Anze grins at Deva's response and lifts his shotglass "I agree favorite cousin of mine. Best possible choice"

"I kind of hope you do. If only for the amusement value of the holy terror you'd be for whoever unfortunate enough to catch meeting with you while you're hung over as heavily as you'll be!" Luca cheerfully retorts with wicked smirk. Following it with another "Cheers!" and tossing back of drink. A lean in to kiss the paler redheads cheek and he's adding. "I'm glad. It's good for us both."

Pouring another glass just as Juliet's arriving, Luca casts an appropriately languid grin up her way, giving a little toast gesture of his shot glass. "Heh. Luca the Languid. I wonder if Esera would let me change my title to that officially. In any case, well met, Lady Fidante, and you as well Pretty Eyes. I see you're risen high already, oh Nightengale." He does seem particularly proud of her, as if he had some hand in it. Going on, he pours two more shots, offering them up to the ladies whether they will it or no. Apparently this is a shots-required zone or something. Going on to Juliet, he adds reply to her comments lazily. "As to the other, a little melee. But I wish there were more like it to do. Though I suppose there's always the option of just drinking myself to stupor at parties between occasional fights, eh? So how is it you came to have a songbird on arm?" He'll give time to answer, before calling for the next shot with an upraised glass and tossed back liquor, whether the others follow suit or not is to them.

"Of course, Princess. It was a very busy night for everyone." Juliet replies cheerfully to Deva. "Lady Juliet Fidante, cousin to the Duke and the wonderful hostess of this gathering, and according to a certain guildmaster, the Walking Blossom of Scandal Herself." She takes pride in that, leaning on Calandra's arm. "This is the Nightingale of Whisper House, Messere Calandra Whisper." She offers, introducing the woman - sketching a small curtsey to Anze and Calypso. "My Lady General. Prince Anze. How good of you to come." She draws a deep breath, and nods - "I would absolutely love a shot, thank you." Accepting the shot, and downing it quickly, grimacing slightly. "If I do ever get offended, I'll make sure to call upon your services. So far any insults thrown my way have mostly been absurd."

Calypso turns her attention towards Juliet with another faint smile. "Good to see you Lady Juliet." To Larissa. "And Larissa of course. And..." She looks to Calandra for a moment and seems not to recognize her face. "I don't believe we've met. I am Lady General Calypso." She takes a shot from Deva and holds it as she addresses Gabriel. "Duke Gabriel, enjoying your evening? The council made an excellent choice. Leaves us free to do a bit more heavy lifting on our own, does it not?"

When Samantha doesn't offer offense to Rymarr's stepping on her feet, but instead they continue to dance for a moment longer the knight seems to do just that. Though when she finally draws the dance to a close, then inquires about drinks and further introductions Rymarr's body shifts. He dramatically whirls in place before an arm lifts and extends itself toward Samantha. He seems to adopt a regal tone before he solemnly states, "Of course, Marquessa Deepwood. Let us venture forth into the masses of our fellow dancers and drinkers. Let us encounter unfamiliar and uncharted faces and then meet them," he says with a tumble of his hand ahead of himself in a bit of a flourish, as though ushering Samantha forward with his arm presented for her to take once again. Shortly after the passing of the more outlandish behavior, the typically stoic knight again adopts his rigid posture and stern expression as he begins to guide himself and Samantha from their area of dance.

"You don't need me to forgive you," Esera says to Calista. She might look radiant, but she is beginning to sound tired. "A hostess has many duties, and greeting me is not the most important of them." She rests one hand upon Calista's shoulder. "Can you feel the weight of it yet?" she asks. "Looking out at them, can you feel it? The weight of what is about to be yours?"

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

Samantha is overheard praising Calista for: A magnificent triumph as a hostess, offering the best of Lyceum to all.

Eleyna lifts a brow at Blacktongue and then glances at the apple in her hand. "I'll be sure to keep that in mind the next time I'm feeling hungry." She almost laughs. Almost.

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

Juliet is overheard praising Calista for: Showing the finest that the Lyceum - and Tor - has to offer. And looking utterly divine doing so.

Dafne loves romance and poetry, and, yet, as Pietro drops to a knee, she blinks at him, and exclaims, "Sweet Tehom, what in the world are you doing down there?" She offers him a fleeting smile in the next moment. "I would love to dance."

Calandra smiles toward Anze upon hearing his words, her dimples appearing. She then looks upon Deva, saying. "Oh, Princess, I would not refuse you. I will sing for you sometime, just send me a whisper and I will come to trill sweetly in your ear." She murmurs, before turning to Calypso and giving her a smile. "I don't believe so, but is very much a pleasure." She says, dropping into another gentle curtsy.

Cicero sets his wine on a passing try for the purpose and makes his way out of the plaza.

Anze downs his shot and puts the glass on the table for a refill "Juliet, its a southerner party, when does all tha debauchery start?"

Killian drifts, mostly aimless, through the crowd as he wanders and enjoys the sights and sounds of the soiree. He passes close to Calista and smiles at the woman, offering a slight bow of his head and a raise of his glass, but not interrupting the swirl of people and conversation as he passes by.

Niccolo continues leading Larissa through that dance. And there's a faint smile here and there at each whispered words. He returns his own, speaking quietly in response to the Whisper, while they move to the flow of the music. There are twirls, and spins that end up leaving duke and whisper almost scandalously close against each other. Eventually this set comes to an end, and the duke slowly ends the dance. When it does, he offers a bow to Larissa. "Thank you, Mistress Larissa. It was the perfect way to end my might," he says.

"You have the most stoic face." Samantha tells Rymarr fondly, and despite the fact that she's a tall woman, goes up on tiptoe to try and spot Juliet in the crowd. "I do think you'll like her. Smart as a whip, which shouldn't be surprising at all."

Deva slips an arm over Luca's shoulders as he kisses her cheek, the gesture only making her smile big and wide. It's a fond gesture. "You're the best, even when you relish in my despair." Then she releases him, leaning back a little as she tosses yet another shot back. "Maybe this isn't the best idea," her face skews up, and she leans forward to slowly place the empty shot glass on the table. "I'm gonna wait a minute before another." Anze's lowly murmured words make her grin cheekily, and she slaps his shoulder in a cousin-ly fashion. "About fuckin' time." Spying Gabriel in the area, she offers a pleasant smile and gestures openly toward the copious amount of alcohol they have gathered in their little area. "Excellent. I know one of your cousins! Not both. Calista is awesome. You guys throw great parties." Calandra's offer makes her clap her hands together once. "I'll have you sing at our next northern gathering, maybe! Yeah!"

"Asking you to dance, obviously," Pietro says. He cackles a little at her reaction. He bounds up to his feet, careful not to overbalance himself, and offers her his arm.

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

Calypso kicks back her shot and leaves the glass on the tray of a passing server. She shakes her head a little at Anze's question to Juliet. "You have to be Lycean to see the debauchery portion of the evening. Sorry Northerner." She nudges him with a smirk.

"You have been warned." Blacktongue singsongs to Eleyna, clicking his black tongue as if to chide her. His rasp of syllables comes after a deep laugh. "Lady Calista, where did you find these...well, novices? If Esera will spare me, you must have me next time?" He looks to the Grand Duchess for confirmation in this.

Anze sighs elaborately and does his best to look forlorn "I thought I was seein you so I could get invited to all tha southerner things. Are you sayin I still dont get to partake in southerner debauchery?"

Luca looks on happily to Anze and Calypso joining the shots, grinning enthusiastically, but with a certain over-relaxed air of someone starting to feel the effects between the pre-gaming and the hell many shots in now are they? Well whatever, Luca's happy for more joining, and raises his own glass high, adding aside to answer Anze with wry grin. "Give it time. Just give it time." After which he's raising toast to them all for next round. "To our wonderful hosts of the eve and the many mismatched piles of clothes to be found scattered about tomorrow." After tossing his back, he's laughing as Deva's taking pause and calling out after her. "Does this count as forfeiture of the drinking challenge?"

"It does." Gabriel notes with a touch of approval to Calypso "And I thank you, again, for the word with the Duke. Our halls grow full of men preparing for the coming strife." such grim talk, even here. Deva's smile in returned with a nod, the Duke as regal and stern as ever. But he does accept the offer, a glass of wine taken.

Calista's attention briefly drifts around the room as she hears her guests offering word of praise and kindness. It truly touches her soul and as much as she does not wish to appear like a deer in ..torch light, those shadowed emerald eyes widen with Esera's words. "Yes. Actually, I will tell you a secret. I had to slink away just before with a friend so that I could catch my breath. Hosting a party is a piece of cake, but this, what is to come." The young Fidante doesn't even finish her words when Blacktongue draws her attention again. "Novices?" She's confused but realizes he's talking about her entertainers. Calista clucks her tongue at him playfully.

"I'll be sure to send a note so you can watch," Eleyna drawls to Blacktongue in that dry tone.

Calandra smiles with gentle excitement toward Deva, seemingly to like the idea of singing at the gathering.

"Well, mixed company and all," Rymarr quips as an aside to Samantha. He nods once in response to her statement before the pair cross back into the throngs of bodies gathered together for the summer festivities. While Samantha goes to her tip-toes, Rymarr likewise begins to scour the faces of the crowds. He of course did not know what this Juliet looked like, to his knowledge, so his attempt at assisting the Marquessa proves to largely be a formality. Though after a moment he leans aside and quietly murmurs something directly to Samantha, arresting her ear for a moment in order to share a quiet, but brief statement.

With a faint smile to Larissa, Niccolo returns to the group they were part of not a moment ago. "I should head back to the estate," he sees Calista and dips his head to her. "Thank you, for putting this together," he adds and with a glance around notes Anze and Calypso, inclining his head in their direction, a gesture her also extends to Gabriel. He looks at Eleyna next. "Will you be walking back with me, my dear niece? Or are you staying?"

Larissa has never been one to turn down the whispered hush of a scandal, particularly when dancing is involved. When the music brings them together arm in arm and body to body she melts fluidly against him, laughing at the sheer exuberance of it, and when he spins her she is a dervish with silks that fly like crazed petals lost to the wind. And when the dance ends, her cheeks are flushed and her eyes are bright and she drops into a last curtsy for him "Thank you, my Lord Duke. You make a very tempting partner and honor me greatly. May you enjoy the rest of your evening." she murmurs quietly before standing and moving over towards Juliet once more, pausing on her way to grin at Calypso "My Lady, don't you look just beautiful. Highness" she greets Anze as well. "I daresay next to her you almost look shabby. Almost." she winks.

"Very well, then, my lord," replies Dafne, taking Pietro's arm. "Lead on. Try not to step on my toes or eat met."

"I've already implied I'm going to eat at least one woman out, it's not my fault you're not paying attention," Juliet offers with a big grin for Anze. Which only grows bigger at Deva's cousins. "Calista is, indeed... Awesome. Inspiring. Splendiferous, and a number of other adjectives. I expect that she will be quite the Duchess, when the time comes." She notes. Looking to Gabriel as well, she sketches a curtsey. "Duke Bisland. A pleasure to meet you. I have heard very good things. I am Lady Juliet Fidante, and this is Messere Calandra Whisper, the Nightingale of Whisper House."

Murmuring into Calandra's ear again, she looks to Calypso. "Oh. Right. Yes." A quick nod to Anze. "Forget the bit about debauchery on my end." Shooting him a wink. Finding herself another shot, and raising her glass in toast alongside Luca. "Hear, hear."And with that, her voice may rise high enough for the Marquessa to hear - and to spot that fairly familiar rose-petal hairdo, over by the drinks table.

Calypso nods then to Gabriel. "I noticed Princess Lark had put together a meeting to discuss the efforts. Is that something you would like me to attend? I will keep my schedule open if so." Yes, her night off and she's still talking war-business. Jer gaze does turn to Luca though. "Oh was there a contest in play? Who was winning? Neither of you seem to have fallen over yet." She grins faintly at Deva as well. She nods to Niccolo as she notices his gaze from afar.

Blacktongue drops a decaying guard head.

Anze lets his shotglass be refilled and downs another shot. He nods his head to Niccolo "some time soon, a sparrin match Niccolo" He turns back towards back towards the group at hand and grins at Juliet "eating a girl out is debauchery? Thats disapointin, I do that all tha time, I figured thats standard how you do in tha Lycene."

Calista blows Niccolo a kiss before he slips away for the evening.

"I promise to be grace itself, my lady, second only to your flowing steps." Pietro swans Dafne out into the dance floor, with all the dramatic flair his ridiculous flowery language would suggest. She's danced with him before and has at least the familiarity to know he's not awful at it. Even if he is awful in other ways.

"I admit nothing! But I don't think it would be fun to be on the floor right now," Deva groans at Luca, briefly holding her face in her hands. "I had more than you did, so whatever," she insists, whether there's any truth to that or it's just the whiskey talking. Her face is all sorts of flushed, and she sits slumped and casual in her seat. "Great! Maybe you can learn some Northern songs, if you don't know any already? I couldn't tell you what they are, because I don't sing, because I don't want everyone to keel over and die." There's suddenly a very serious look toward Juliet, her expression comically thoughtful. "Splend-- splendiff-- that's a funny word," she laughs, giddy, trying to hide it behind splayed fingers. "I'm only letting him think he's winning," she not-whispers to Calypso.

Blacktongue quips in a blink to Eleyna, "Watch? No. I take notes. I offer help if it gets to -that- point. You lived last time." He tactfully points out before turning his gaze to Calista. "Yes, they are good for what they do." Cleary a jest, for his eyes -have- been wandering every now and again to the more skin-baring of the performers.

Anze laughs at Larissa "I look f'an terrible next to Calypso, shes tha most beautiful women I ever seen in leathers, in a dress? Well, it ain as sexy as armor but it looks pretty f'an good too"

"I wish you'd had more time," Esera says to Calista. "You went from having all the time in the world to having none." She leans closer, whispers to Calista. To Blacktongue, she says, "If it pleases you. Do as you may."

Blacktongue picks up a decaying guard head.

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

Eleyna looks to Niccolo when he asks his question and nods, smiling as she reaches to take the duke's arm with the hand that isn't currently occupied with an apple, "Yes, I think I will." She offers Calista a smile, "Lovely party. Hopefully, you and I can have a chance to take a glass of wine together sometime soon and get better acquainted." Another nod in farewell to Blacktongue and Esera as well.

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

Calista replies just as softly to Esera before bidding Eleyna adieu. "Thank you for coming again, Princess. Let us meet soon for drinks."

Samantha spots Juliet at last, and just as she starts to sink down on her heels, Rymarr is murmuring in her ear. The sudden smile that spreads across her face is accompanied by a flush of her dark cheeks. "She's by my foster father." She gives him a gentle nudge in that direction, trying to recover from the momentary heat on her face.

"Given she's had to flee, I think I can safely say I declare myself winner unless there are other worthy challengers!" Luca the Languid proclaims mightily to Calypso's question of winner, clearly saying it loud enough to carry to Deva, trying to get a rise out of the redheaded Redrain. Adding to it in reply to her complaints. "More than I did?! I was still drunk from last night before we even _came_ here! PFft!" Nearly swaying out of his sprawl on the comfy lounge from where he's protecting bottles of liquor, Luca goes on to pour more for whoever is still joining competition, adding aside to Calandra. "I do hope you'll sing for us though, Pretty Eyes. From what little I heard, and what more I got from reputation, it'd be a show well worth it."

Blacktongue places a hand over his chest, miming a heart attack as Eleyna moves to go before wagging a finger at Niccolo, clicking his tongue. "Thief in the night, this one." Still, he bows with his usualy flourish and bids them both a fond farewell before turning to Calista and Esera. "All proceeds will have to go to the Duchess, of course. I am not free nor a cheap date by any means. Some say even the wine doesn't take hold on me." A wink there.

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

Killian, having made his path around the plaza to take in the sights and sounds, is soon drifting back towards the exit from whence he came. His cheerful gaze flows between the entertainers, watching their performances, before he is headed out again and back towards the less entertaining portions of the city.

"Eating a girl out at a -party- is debauchery. You need to at least -pretend- to have some privacy, Anze." Juliet explains to the Redrain prince, before leaning in to take Larissa by the arm again, and proffer a gentle kiss to her cheek. Shooting Deva a grin. "It's just another way to say awesome, quite honestly." Still, as far as debauchery goes, she's at least back to having two Whispers on her arm. Giving Luca a dubious look. "And just how much do I have to drink to catch up to you?" His suggestion has her giving Calandra an enthusiastic nod. "I should so love to hear you sing."

Calista chuckles softly. "I would not dare think anything Esera holds dear is free or cheap, Blacktongue. I would very much like to happen upon you again some day soon. Thank you for coming by."

"Indeed, Anze," Niccolo agrees with the Northern man. Letting Eleyna take his arm, he adds a smile to his daughter. Blacktongue's words cause a chuckle and he lifts his shoulders. With a final nod to Calista as the hostess, the duke makes his exit.

Calypso grins at Deva and then nods to Luca. "Congratulations on your victory." She salutes him with the glass of whiskey she has in her hand before taking a sip. Her gaze shifts back to Anze with a raised brow. "Still prefer leather to silk hum? Good."

Eleyna leaves, following Niccolo.

"A pleasure, my lady, Messere. - The evening is to your liking?" Gabriel bows his head lightly to Juliet and Deva both. To Calypso he considers this for a moment in silence "I will inquire." he finally says "But keep it open, yes." he sips from his wine. Duke Niccolo gets a bow of his head in return.

"Flattered," Dafne accuses Pietro, swirling about the dance floor. She is not a bad dancer herself, for all her moves clearly came from a schoolroom dancemaster. "If you step on my toe will you challenge yourself to a duel in defense of my honour?"

A stern nod is passed from Rymarr to Samantha once she indicates their destination. He begins to drift toward Gabriel, commenting an aside to Samantha as the pair move, "Speaking of him, I need to speak with him soon. This isn't the setting for it however. Please remind me after we've concluded our business here to send word to him and the others, that'll remind me whom to contact," he says nonchalantly in an aside to Samantha. As the two enter orbit of Gabriel, Juliet, and others again Sir Rymarr releases Samantha from his left arm. That same arm lowers to his side, while the King's Own's right hand moves to idly rest his palm over the orb of the pommel sheathed high on his right side. He clears his throat quietly, though makes no effort to interject or otherwise intrude on the ongoing conversations.

Calandra smiles gently to Larissa as she draws near. Her cheeks heat up at Juliet's words regarding her plans. Then then are more introduction. "Oh, a pleasure to meet you, Duke Bisland." She says, nuzzling back into Juliet. At the talk of singing once again, Calandra gives Juliet a smile. "Oh, I would be honored. I am not sure now is the right moment."

"I mean," Pietro says, his hand braced firm and warm at her hip as he leads blithely through the steps, "that seems like the kind of thing that would get me in trouble with the priests, duelling myself. I could put my eye out or something."

Anze grins at Calypso "well, I can't help that I like beautiful women with swords in armor. Call it northernerner bias" He nods his head to Gabriel "I ain think we've met, Anze Redrain, s'good to meet yah. Calypso speaks well of yah." He chuckles at Juliet and shrugs his shoulders "privacy is so borin though"

"Blah, blah, not listening," Deva presses both hands over her ears, in childish protestation of Luca's declaration. Unfortunately, those hands have to peel away to accept a message thrust into her hands by a courier. She frowns mildly at the parchment, flipping it over and scribbling off a messy response that gets handed back to be sent away. "It's fun! Aside from the headache I feel coming on already for the morning. I'm Deva," she introduces herself to Gabriel, shifting a little straighter in her seat. "Are you having fun?" It's a very serious question, it would seem.

Whisper, Slayer of Mice leaves, following Killian.

Larissa returns to Juliet's side bearing gifts of fresh flutes of wine and and arm through the other woman's. "I fear, my darling, that I may soon have to retire as well. I have another meeting with your cousin in the early morning and I would hate to make a bad impression." she intones, looking up at the small gathering and grinning at Luca "Languid Prince Luca, Princess Deva is it? A pleasure." And while she knows she must leave soon, she is most loathe to do so and takes just an extra minute or two to enjoy a glass of wine with Juliet.

Calypso nods to Gabriel at his words. "I look forward to hearing from you then. It is nice to be out and talking about something other than..." She waves a hand. "Everything else." Her attention turns to Rymarr and Samantha as they approach. She inclines her head to the both of them. "Good evening." Between Anze and Gabriel she gestures. "Duke Gabriel Bisland... Prince Anze Redrain." Of course Anze is doing well of making introductions all on his own.

Esera takes her leave, with all due formality and courtesy, farewells offered where they're owed.

Anze continues to snag shots of whiskey when he can. All these southerners and silks, he needs something to do in the meantime.

Dafne considers this, lips pursed in thought. "You could arm wrestle yourself?" she suggests. "The odds of putting your own eye out are low."

"I've been very pleased to become a friend of your foster-daughter, the Marquessa Deepwood," Juliet offers to Gabriel, with a smile. "And I feel that her kind heart and staunch sense of justice reflects quite well on you, if you don't mind me saying." And, speak of the newly-minted Marquessa, there she is, with a King's Own in tow. "Samantha!" Juliet offers, cheerfully - though with Larissa on one arm and Calandra on the other, she is hard-pressed to offer hugs, so she instead makes air-kisses at the woman. "Have you met the Softest Whisper Larissa? And the Nightingale of Whisper House, Messere Calandra Whisper? And of course, Princess Deva, and Prince Luca and Prince Anze and the Lady General." She's clearly met Gabriel, so no introductions for him. "And I think I recognise you. Sir Rymarr, no? I trust you're providing ample protection and support for the lovely lady at your side?" There's a hint of mischief to her eyes at that, as she accepts one of the flutes from Larissa.

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

Calandra looks upon the Softest Whisper as she speaks of leaving soon, giving her a gentle smile. "You will be missed." She says warmly with affection. Calandra then turns to Samantha. "Oh, a pleasure." she says toward her.

The evening has been a success. As guests wane there are still the avid partygoers who know that Lycene festivities always have Afterparty.

"It would be an entertaining spectacle, I'm certain." As they spin and turn through the whirling energy of the dance, Pietro loses some of his will to banter, until finally it comes to the close of this particular song. He brushes a kiss to Dafne's knuckles and says, "I will be happy to make a fool of myself for you, my lady, but I think ... another time."

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