Prince Damik'uhl'daja's Wake
Jan. 3, 2021, 3 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Crown - The Dream - Midnight Ballroom
Comments and Log
6 First Legion Centurions arrives, following Patrizio.
1 Thrax Elite Guards, 3 Thrax Guards, Torsney, an attentive high strung law clerk arrive, following Natasha.
Fiachra gets Shifting Sands Fire Whiskey, in memory of Prince Damik'uhl'daja from an ashwood display boasting bottles of Fire Whiskey in honor of Prince Damik ii Please take one.
Drifting into the room looking especially solemn, as though dour memories have suddenly returned, Alessia quietly makes her way across the black marble floor. She studies the sandstone pillars, quietly standing by them for now.
Alis arrives arm in arm with Fiachra, murmuring quietly to him as they walk so she can point out the various features of architecture that she'd noticed in her last time there. There are quite a few, so she looks like a little chatterbox right up until they reach the entrance of the ballroom and she turns respectfully quiet as they get situated.
Raziel has joined the The only quiet alcove of complete normalcy.
Sydney cleans up well when she makes half an effort. The young pugilist's hair has been tamed with hairpins aplenty, but does look slightly damp. Little surprise, given how long it takes to dry. She strides in with nary a hint of bombast, all fluid motion, her eyes skirting briefly about. They linger on the display of Fire Whiskey, and she has to all but restrain herself from moving towards it, but base temptations are resisted in favor of keeping her own company.
Ian is wearing rather more than is called for given the summer heat... and the extra heat in the sweltering ballroom. He's from the southern-most of the Isles, but some combinations of heat and attire are going to make ANYONE sweat, especially when that attire could better be described as armor. He turns up along with Romulius and scans the room, intense blue eyes playing over the people and then the architecture of the room itself. He's marking exits, scanning the ceiling, noting placement of chairs and other objects in the room. He looks, in short, less like a mourner and more like someone's bodyguard. Probably not Romulius' bodyguard, though. That would be silly, and Ian doesn't carry himself like a man who is prone to outbursts of silly.
Natasha takes Shifting Sands Fire Whiskey, in memory of Prince Damik'uhl'daja from an ashwood display boasting bottles of Fire Whiskey in honor of Prince Damik ii Please take one.
Patrizio takes Shifting Sands Fire Whiskey, in memory of Prince Damik'uhl'daja from an ashwood display boasting bottles of Fire Whiskey in honor of Prince Damik ii Please take one.
Stepping just behind her brother and Emberly steps Thea. She's quiet in footsteps, respectful of course. Thea slips off somewhere quiet for the time being, watching.
The Midnight Ballroom is set for its first event, and the braziers burn brightly, the masked attendents circulating with fire whiskey, and the scent of spice indolent in the air. Monique is standing in the sand at the end of the hall, her gown reminiscent of the desert sunset, hair loose and fiery around her shoulders, her feet bare in the sand as she greets those arriving.
Malcolm takes Shifting Sands Fire Whiskey, in memory of Prince Damik'uhl'daja from an ashwood display boasting bottles of Fire Whiskey in honor of Prince Damik ii Please take one.
Nina is in a black gown - appropriate for a funerial event, but there is some sparkle and glamor to it with a bit of Eurus-inspired patterning. After all, it's a wake, and one in the heat at that. Appropriate for a Harlequin, she has a black veil over her hair. She currently is un-accompanied, treating this event with a somber sincerity. She does take a glass of whiskey - a stronger drink than she often imbibes, so she'll work with it carefully.
Raziel arrives alone, the disfigured Bisland slowly making his way inside, heavily reliant upon his twisted cane. He limps his way to where the whiskey is being offered before taking a long look at the rest of the room, scowling with a half-blind gaze to the platforms. They are entirely ignored, as well as whatever steps might be required to reach them, in favour of an alcove with its chairs, far more easily reached. Still, on his way there he nods in Monique's direction though he does not approach. Sitting in a chair is a higher priority.
"Well it makes for a delightful change from having the daughter tug on me." Chuckling hush to Emberly as the two are walking in, the Lord Martino's leading them to somewhere quiet to watch. Left hand resting on his chest and cravat, chin dipping low to the hosts.
Martino has joined the The only quiet alcove of complete normalcy.
Thea has joined the The only quiet alcove of complete normalcy.
Romulius's entry with Ian is marked by a similar businesslike demeanour, a somber enough look to his face the only indication that he may be here to mourn as cerulean gaze scans the ballroom. His armor, at least, has the coloration to serve well enough for a wake.
Emberly has joined the The only quiet alcove of complete normalcy.
Patrizio enters with little fanfare, though he's looking himself wary when the jade eyes keenly look about the room as he arrives to pay his respects. Possessed of nothing that'd perhaps harken to the land far to the east, he's instead dressed in his finest armour as he's escorted by his guard.
Nina has joined the a dance floor made of sand dunes, broken golden chains dangling from above, surrounded by thirteen monumental sandstone pillars.
Sydney has joined the a dance floor made of sand dunes, broken golden chains dangling from above, surrounded by thirteen monumental sandstone pillars.
Nina steps into the area that seems like a dance floor, though it seems also meant to be appreciated as a sort of art installation. Her eyes drift up to the broken chains above, and she looks toward the ceiling, sipping thoughtfully as she admires this choice of decor.
Rupert, the Laurent Archivist, 2 Valardin Knights arrive, following Cristoph.
Kenjay arrives with Bahiya on his arm, the two stepping into the room with quiet dignity. Both are clad in Eurusi-style garments, the scarlets and oranges of Kenjay's outfit - with the usual pieces of armour never designed by an Arvani smith - a counterpoint to Bahiya's Eurusi-style mourning garb of deep navy blue. The pair pause by the entrace, then move further in with warm greetings for others already present.
Malcolm accepts a bottle of the memorial whiskey, pauses, and he stoops down to undo his boots before he goes on any further and gets sand all up in those cracks and crevices. Bootlaces knotted, when he rises, he sets the bundle to dangle over his right shoulder and resumes walking in - just barefoot. Somewhere between there and finding a place to sit -- he not-so-discreetly ogles the architecture of the room. Taking a drink, he compliments, "This is keen."
Felicia is perhaps not here to actually party- given that the scarred knight is clad in armor and has found a quiet place in which she can watch the room. For once, she is forgoing so much as a drop of whiskey, even if occasionally when an attendant makes their way past her spot she stares at their amber offerings longingly.
Fiachra walks arm-in-arm with Alis, speaking quietly with her. Well, Alis is doing most of the speaking but Fiachra seems genuinely interested in her observations enough to quietly listen. There is quite a lot to look at and his spouse seems to be making a handy business of pointing it all out to him. He too ceases his questions and maintains a more somber demeanor.
Lore arrived quietly, possibly some time ago. She's taken up quiet residence behind and to the side of Monique. Dressed the nines in flowing umbra and iridescite, watching the hostess greet her guests, offering nods to those same guests. Out of the way but keeping an eye on the Greenmarch lady, just in case anything is needed.
Evaristo makes little noise of himself as he steps inside, uncharacteristically quiet and unassming as he circles the place. He looks very impressed with everything, especially the pillars, which he study with great interest as he circles around. He makes his way towards Monique, nodding around to familiar faces, but beelining for Monique where he stops to bow deeply. "I'm so sorry, Lady Monique," he says simply, but earnestly. "This place is amazing looking - it feels very right," he adds with a lopsided smile.
Brannen entered in polished armor, quiet and solemn, as he assumes is appropriate for this event. For now, he keeps to himself, joining Alessia's example of studying the sandstone pillars impressedly and with a stern expression on his face.
Sina makes her way to The Dream, and into the ballroom at the time of the Wake for Prince Damik'uhl'daja. The Archscholar is wearing a dress of airy black linen, and ornaments of brass with beads in hues of blue like the Mourning Sea. She has her prayer beads with her as well, an the three Templars who are her constant companions wherever she goes. There is a solemn expression on her features as she glances around the ballroom, and the solemn expression slowly shifts to one of appreciation as she sees the place for the first time. The caged birds at the center cause her to tilt her head thoughtfully, before she moves off toward Monique. "Lady Monique," she greets quietly. "Such a lovely display, and so fitting. Please accept my deepest sympathies. May the Queen's hand guide the Prince's soul to freedom and peace." She gives Monique's hands a gentle squeeze, if allowed, before withdrawing a little, to allow others to greet her in turn.
Malcolm has joined the the lowest platform, floating two feet from the floor, unguarded by rail.
Ian angles towards Kenjay and Bahiya, threading his way with care through the growing crowd. Even with his tendancy to watch his feet while he walks, he seems to have an almost instinctive sense of where people are around him in space, allowing him to flow out of the way of others without ever seeming to have seen them. Somewhere along the way, he acquires a glass of whiskey, but this seems destined to just be held, rather than drank. "Prince Kenjay. Lady Bahiya." His flat, accented voice is exactly the same as it usually is, but at least that calm solemnity isn't out of place for once, given the occasion.
Samira arrives alone, a solitary figure who does little to call attention to herself while she lingers on the outskirts of the gathering. The thirteen columns steal her attention first, the artist using her small stature to her advantage to duck through the crowd for a closer look at the images upon the pillars. Only once she has finished admiring the artwork does she turn to search the crowd for familiar faces, wearing an appropriately solemn expression.
Arm in arm come Thrax, Princess's Natasha and Alarissa. Navy on the Princess consort, the shades traditional for a funeral and guards left to mingle with the others from the various individuals who have shown up. She murmurs softly with the other woman as she looks for a place to stand, though releases arms enough to bend over, take off slippers and prepare for walking across sand if needed.
Brannen takes Shifting Sands Fire Whiskey, in memory of Prince Damik'uhl'daja from an ashwood display boasting bottles of Fire Whiskey in honor of Prince Damik ii Please take one.
Cristoph arrives at around the same time as everyone else, not early. Not late. Right in the middle. It's the most exciting of exciting entrances, he simply walks in. There's a nod to anyone that he recognizes and then he finds himself a place to sit, also situated by people that he knows. It's all incredibly surprising if one were surprised by things that are extremely ordinary and expected.
Caprice arrives alone, respectfully quiet, to join the queue offering greetings and condolences to Monique - taking no more time than is necessary to express them before moving on to make room for the next. Only then, and after accepting the whiskey in memoriam, does the woman seek an unobtrusive spot from which to observe.
Cristoph has joined the a stygian spiral staircase inlaid with rubies, leading nowhere.
Bahiya catches the sound of a voice the recognizes, the ribbon over her eyes catching the light as she tilts her head towards Ian. "Lord Kennex," the ambassador greets with a quiet smile. "Well met. It sounds like there is quite a gathering here today," she continues, warmth in her voice. "The Prince would have been both amused and flattered, and I daresay quite full of himself if he'd known." Her features turn to Kenjay and she murmurs something.
Caprice gets Shifting Sands Fire Whiskey, in memory of Prince Damik'uhl'daja from an ashwood display boasting bottles of Fire Whiskey in honor of Prince Damik ii Please take one.
Alis has joined the a stygian spiral staircase inlaid with rubies, leading nowhere.
Amazingly enough, there are two people already seated near Cristoph given his choice of sitting somewhere near others they know. Or, maybe they just mysteriously appear. But there are Alis and Fiachra there on the staircase. It's also totally normal.
Sydney makes little enough effort at mingling once she's on the dance floor. She quietly leans against one of the pillars and folds one leg over the other, quietly regarding the event as she nips into a flask of her own spirits, looking rather decidedly pensive. Of course, given the gravity of the reason for gathering, she's hardly alone in looking thus. Her eyes sweep the room and she singles out a few familiar faces to offer a quiet nod to, then secures her flask back at her belt.
Fiachra has joined the a stygian spiral staircase inlaid with rubies, leading nowhere.
Thea sits quietly near her brother, her eyes drifting near the column.
There are a few moments where Patrizio hangs back from the line that's forming to maneuver in towards Monique, before he too joins the cluster about her to give his regards to the hostess of the afternoon. "My lady," he says softly, lowly. "I don't know if you remember having met me, shortly after my arrival here to the city, and I know I did not have the fortune to meet the prince before his passing. But I /do/ know that my cousin Sebastian spoke very highly and well of the man, and I am so very sorry for his loss."
Always by her resplendent sister-in-law's side in such events, Natasha Thrax provides a taller and more austere escort to the lovely Pearl of the Isles, though today finds her in matching attire with her in the form of a navy blue seasilk gown in silent deference to relevant funerary traditions. Still high-necked and long-sleeved, however, in spite of the heat; even the Summer's most oppressive self has not been successful in pulling the conservative princess out of her preferred full-coverage silhouette. Listening to Alarissa's murmur, the young woman draws her fingertips over the Princess Consort's knuckles in a reassuring fashion, before solidifying her grip to provide her with the support she requires so she can take off her slippers. It is only then that she unlaces her boots, but doesn't remove them just yet. Dark eyes find someone else in the gathering, to whom she flashes a faint smile of greeting.
Monique bows her head in return to Evaristo, leaning in for a soft word before she turns to Sina for the same. Her soft voice carries only to that set of ears, and there is a glance spared behind her for Lore, a reassuring presence. Caprice receives a nod in return, a somber thing, and then she turns to Patrizio, offering, "I do, Your Highness, and I'm pleased for your presence here today in honor of Prince Damik. I bid you be welcome and at ease. Well," she glances around at all the armor, "as at ease as you can be."
Cufre also arrives alone. She's on the later side, which may contribute to her quickly resigning herself to the fringes of the grand room.
"Would have been better if the crowd was here for his wedding, though," Ian remarks to Bahiya. Rather than saying a few words and drifting past, he seems to be intent on hanging around near her and Kenjay, at least for now.
On studying the new additions to the place, Alessia drifts toward Monique steadily, her features still solemn. "Mo." She rests a hand on her arm, doing what she can not to overwhelm her with a hug.
Evaristo murmurs something back to Monique with an expression of a grieving man, giving her arm a little squeeze in comfort as he does - a good friend that is very obviously comforting her. Then he smiles and steps back to not be in the way, but remains near. He gives Bahiya a very deep bow of his head in respect too there.
Content to stand alone somewhere at the fringes of those gathered once Ian separates from him - the Sword of Stormward, it seems, did not in fact attend as his bodyguard - Romulius continues his quiet observation, a nod of acknowledgment offered to the assembled whom he might recognize.
Felicia's gaze can't help but pick out the other Harrow in the crowd from her spot people watching. Armor and weapons in evidence, for all that she's mostly maintaining a low profile by lurking at the edge of the room keeping an eye on things.
Nina wonders if this might be an appropriate time to mingle a bit, though the crowd is awfully quiet. She walks up toward Monique, looking at Evaristo nearby with a nod. "Hello... it's good to see you. I suppose this befits the duties of Harlequins here." She looks at Monique, and gives her a nod as well. "I did say a prayer to the Queen... wishing for Damik's safe return in time. I hope it brings you some comfort to know she will be looking after him."
The blind ambassador gives a gentle wince at Ian's words, Bahiya giving a soft word of agreement. "I was looking forward to some calmer years, with the Lady Monique and Price Damik'uhl'daja in each other's care. The world has changed for the better because of both of them and it is a sad end to such a grand tale." On Kenjay's arm, she shifts in her stance as her head tilts, searching for a voice through the crowd. "Speaking of, has she arrived? Lady Monique. She has worked very hard on this event, I would like to speak to her before it gets very crowded."
Monique puts a ringed hand over Alessia's and squeezes in silent appreciation, and leans in to murmur something to Nina, a sad smile touching her lips. And then she steps back, pitching her voice to the vast ballroom and the mourners therein.
"I could tell you that Prince Damik was a good man. That he was fair and just and kind." Monique pauses, carmine-stained lips curving into a wry smile. "But that would be a lie. He lived a life we would consider abhorrent, a product of his upbringing, a noble of Skal'daja where slavery is routine, human sacrifice is an everyday occurrence and privilege is only for those born to it." Another pause follows this particularly somber statement.
"Instead, I will tell you he was a man who embraced changed whole heartedly. When confronted with another way, he took it. He chose not to fight the Compact, but to help us save it. Prince Damik'uhl'daja worked alongside our forces, offering intelligence and aid freely," Monique says, her voice rising in passion. "In the end, Damik exemplified redemption and freedom. And that is how I will remember him, and that is how I will honor him. His redemption will live on through me." She looks down to a bracelet of twelve chains on her wrist and with a sudden charged motion, she snaps one of the chains. "And if it will live on through any of you, I invite you now to come and speak in his honor, to give in to symbolism in his honor. Perhaps, starting with the esteemed Ambassador Bahiya'al'mathali, in whom Prince Damik and I both place our trust."
Monique bows her fiery head, bare feet stepping aside in the sand in silent invitation, making way for others.
Monique says, "p bahiya=Well now you can REALLY hear her!"
Kenjay inclines his head to Ian. "Lord Ian," he murmurs in greeting, then looks over towards Monique. "Lady Monique is here, yes," he says to Bahiya; there's a nod for Ian, and Kenjay's free hand touches Monique's arm in the direction of Monique - and then there's a speech, and the direction becomes obsolete.
A bob of his head, and Patrizio offers not even the faintest hint of a smile at the comment about the armour, including his own. "I think it speaks to the times in which we live, but also honour for what he represented. May it be far more the latter than the former." An inclination of his head, and he gently withdraws a step or two to better allow others to come offer their thoughts.
Sina murmurs a soft reply to the words Monique shared just for her ears, her expression one of regret. She withdraws then, turning toward Bahiya and Kenjay next. "Your Highness," she greets, with a bow of her head toward Kenjay, "Lady Bahiya. I am sorry for the loss of Prince Damik'uhl'daja. I did not have chance to meet him, and I regret this very much. I thought I would have more time to do so. One never knows how short our time is," she murmurs softly. "If I can be of any help to you at all, please do not hesitate to ask." She steps back then, and finds a place among those gathered, turning her attention to Monique as she speaks of Damik, her expression solemn. She does glance toward Alarissa briefly, as she notices the Princess Consort of Thrax arriving with Natasha. She dips her head in their direction, making a gesture of apparent greeting with one hand.
"Hello Nina, good to see you," Evaristo says and gives his fellow bard a broad and warm smile. "AH... well, uh, about the Harlequins, I should probably talk about that - another time." He adjusts the collar of his shirt and then leans in to murmur something quickly to Lore before listening to Monique.
Sydney tucks her hands into the pockets of a coat that clashes terribly with her shirt, and fixes her attention on Monique as she begins to speak. She keeps her back quietly to the pillar so firmly that it's hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. The snapping motion of the chains draws her focus. The call to speak has her quietly folding her arms and waiting for more qualified voices than her own.
Malcolm has left the the lowest platform, floating two feet from the floor, unguarded by rail.
Alessia has joined the line.
Lore remains a still and silent observer and presence during Monique's opening speech, pehraps nodding here and there slightly at something said. In the end, Monique steps back, and Lore reaches out with a light touch to the back of her arm, just a brief moment of reassurance and then she's back to stand. Evaristo's murmur has her nodding and offering quiet response while they wait for the first well-wisher to step forward.
Nina looks at Evaristo... and nods, her brow furrowing a bit. She says something to Monique after the speech, though quietly. She is thoughtful for a moment, as if formulating the proper response.
Cristoph has joined the line.
Nina has joined the line.
With the initial words delivered by the Minx of the Marshes, Natasha dips her dark-haired head in quiet prayer, her hand remaining on top of Alarissa's while it is sandwiched at the crook of her elbow. Her devotions are quiet, shaped by the movement of coral lips. When she lifts it again, she catches Sina's movement, a silent greeting directed to her in the form of a smile ghosting the shape of her mouth, and murmuring softly to her sister-in-law to draw her attention to the Archscholar's greeting. There's nothing else said, for now, especially now that the line has been opened up for personal eulogies.
Bahiya twitches as Evaristo quietly speaks to her, suddenly there and speaking, one hand reaching out to brush his upper arm. There are many people here and she's trying to sort out who is who, but as he makes his murmured introduction, Bahiya nods gently. "Well met, Evaristo Arterius. I am of minor nobility in my homeland, but prefer the title of my merits: Ambassador Bahiya works well in such settings," she says to him, before tilting her head at Kenjay. Sina arrives and Bahiya bows her head in acceptance, after Kenjay makes a quiet comment in her ear to tell her just who is speaking to her. Bahiya smiles gently. She opens her mouth to speak, but then Monique is gracing the room with her speech.
Bahiya'al'mathali steps up after briefly squeezing Prince Kenjay's arm, the slender ribbon over her eyes marking the reason why she'd need such guidance. She laces her fingers together, features facing the majority of the crowd with accuracy. "It is as the Lady Monique says. To call the Prince fair or just would indeed be a lie. But as she said, he rushed to embrace change, sometimes foolishly so." Her lips twitch. "I was taken on as his diplomat to guide him through his mistakes as much as I was used to negotiate on his behalf. He was bold, delighted, child-like in his eagerness to pursue new adventures and fearlessly devoted to the new path, the next journey." She pauses. "It is this nature that saw us free and here on Arvani shores, that he chose to walk so boldly with the Lady Monique at her convincing. Which, I must say, was probably the greatest surprise of my entire life thus far." Her head tilts towards Monique and her smile grows. "She honors the Prince with her continued respect, and I thank her-" She leans towards the Minx. "I thank you. For this. You have truly honored us all."
Bahiya gives a fluid curtsy, then reaches back for Prince Kenjay, hand on his arm, to make room for those that have been waiting so patiently to speak.
Turn in line: Alessia
Kenjay, for his part, moves as one well-used to the duty of escorting Bahiya; he's there where and when he's expected, at the ambassador's side, and he doesn't try to say anything himself. Both bodyguard and aide, and good at the job.
Patrizio turns his head, listening to the speeches being made memorializing the fallen prince. But a breath, certainly, as he's leaning in to murmur to one of his centurions, and the turn of his jade eyes about the room which speaks perhaps more to the matter of his concerns during such a gathering.
Monique reaches out to gently press her fingertips to Bahiya's arm, leaning in to whisper something to the graceful Ambassador whilst she invites others to speak in the sands, to free one of the caged birds from their captivity.
The way Ian ambles, trailing after Kenjay and Bahiya as they move to where Bahiya can speak, makes it pretty clear that he's sticking with them, at least for now. He keeps himself in the background, however, and watches the gathering with electric blue eyes that move fast, taking in details.
"Thank you, Ambassador," Evaristo replies and though she can not see the smile, it is heard in his voice.
Evaristo has joined the line.
Stepping up to one of the platforms so she can scan those in the room, Alessia's features are completely devoid of joy. "I didn't know what would become of us when we first stepped on to Prince Damik'uhl'daja's ship a year ago. We could have died at the hands of his men and women. We could have enjoyed a short lived success before assassins had dispatched of us. But we were lucky, or blessed." Her eyes land on a furry thing by one of the walls. A cat, presumably, before she glances back toward Monique. "I felt the blessing slip away a few weeks ago. I felt like I failed my friend. That our previous luck had run out. That our efforts were for nothing." Then her attention shifts to Bahiya. "But it's not so. He may be lost, but his people remain. Those who won't cease the fight to free their lands. So we may mourn, but from tragedy, we can draw strength." She steps off the platform, her melancholy not quite disappearing.
Monique checks composure at normal. Monique is marginally successful.
Turn in line: Cristoph
Alarissa finds a place to sit, releasing natasha to the wilds as she listens to the testimonies about Damik.
Briefly closes her eyes amid Bahiya's speech, and murmurs something that's lost in the large space, but she's somberly nodding her head along with the gesture. When she reopens her eyes, she turns her focus to peer Ian's way, her brows lifting. By contrast, her gaze lazily traverses the room, watching reactions and interactions more than anything. She gnaws her lip at Alessia's speech, and grudgingly bobs her head, as if displeased that she appreciated it.
Having been seated on the stairs, quietly speaking with Alis and Fiachra, Cristoph moves to stand when it's his turn. He adjusts the sling over his shoulder and steps up to the appropriate place. "I won't stand up here and speak on Prince Damik's character over much. To be honest, I often found him to be a rather unnerving individual in that I didn't understand him and the process of attempting to do so left me feeling greatly unsettled and occasionally deeply concerned." Despite those words of doubt, Cristoph's voice remains inherently respectful in tone and cadence. "However to survive in this world, we sometimes find ourselves working with unexpected allies and putting aside personal feelings. I'm disappointed that a man who seemed capable of great personal change had his future ripped from him, that's a tragedy and should be mourned. I remain appreciative of the help he gave to the Compact and I hope that Lady Greenmarch can find justice for his loss in the weeks and months to come." And with that, he nods his head once to Monique, finishes up and steps aside for the next.
She may be released, but Natasha follows Alarissa once she decides that a seat is necessary. She waits until the Princess Consort of Maelstrom does so, before easing into the space next to her.
Alessia's words have an effect on Monique. It's not completely visible, but it's there in the sucking in of her breath, the hollowing of her eyes. She holds herself well, but the small details are there. And still she mouths a silent 'thank you' to the beautiful Mazetti. And to Cristoph, there is a deep nod of her crimson head. Maybe a promise of exactly what he hopes for her.
Turn in line: Nina
Sina has joined the line.
Nina checks charm and animal ken at hard. Nina fails.
Nina steps forward. She's an eloquent speaker, but she keeps it fairly brief, her voice clear. "Today we celebrate the life of the Prince Damik'uhl'daja." It's a difficult word for her but she pronounces carefully. "I will not say that I knew the Prince well. But I will say that when I did meet him, and did get to know of him, I knew a man full of grace, and with a kind heart. One who was willing to fight for those who had previously suffered. And one willing to reach out to strangers, even the smaller folk who had no birthright of nobility. He was an inspiration to those who wanted a different future. And I believe that with his inspiration to guide us, we can teach the people of his nation new ways of living - the possibility of freedom, and a brighter future."
She lowers her head. "May his return to the Wheel be gentle and he return to us in time, as his full story has not yet been written."
With this, Nina opens the cage and releases a bird. It seems to take her aback how fast it rushes out of the cage, zipping up to the ceiling with a manner so flashy she seems quite startled, but then she composes herself, and, her cheeks pink, steps aside for the next speaker.
Ian looks down at the glass of whiskey in his hand, which he has been carrying around without touching, and belatedly offers it to Bahiya. Or more, he starts to, then stops when he realizes she can't SEE him offering it to her. It's all hopelessly awkward. Finally, he clears his throat and says: "I have a glass here. Uh. In my hand. Which is about at your quarter past four. Here."
Turn in line: Evaristo
Evaristo steps up, his expression contemplative and serene. "I only met Prince Damik twice, and his joy for life was definitely felt. He spoke of so many things - customs so strange to us, but how he grew up, never knowing anything else. It was a stark reminder that there can be clashes of culture, but he also reminded so very much that there can be /change/. New beginnings. He reminded me that it is also up to us to embrace change. We lost a beacon, but the light is already spread and continues to shine." He nods after that and steps back to release the bird.
Monique leans in to whisper something quietly to Nina after she speaks, and then falls silent to listen to Evaristo, and offers in a low tone, that might even have a touch of humor in it. "You ought to tell them the joke he told you," the Minx murmurs.
Turn in line: Sina
Alessia has joined the a stygian spiral staircase inlaid with rubies, leading nowhere.
When it is her turn, Sina steps up to speak, but she is silent for a moment, gazing at the faces around the ballroom. After a moment, she reaches up, and loosens her long hair, pulling from it the decorative brass chain that she often wears, delicate links used for adornment. The long black tresses fall freely down her back, and she runs the length of chain through her hands thoughtfully for a moment, before she finally speaks. "My mother, I am told, was a thrall. I never knew her, because she was sold off when I was still barely able to walk." She glances up from the chain, and around the room. "Whether that is actually true, I don't know," she says with a soft smile. "It is just the story I was told. Thralldom is a form of slavery, if your life can be bought and sold on the whim of whoever holds your bond, with little regard for the consequences. And so I find myself standing with the cause of those who would break the chains of Skal'dajan slavery, the cause of freedom and choice. I stand with Prince Damik'uhl'daja, the Lady Monique, and Ambassador Bahiya. I believe that change can happen, by Lagoma's grace. That even the darkest soul may find redemption in change, and most of all, Choice. We are not in control of the circumstances to which we are born. But we are in control of what we choose to do, once we gain full awareness of who we have become. So I would like to believe that Prince Damik'uhl'daja has redeemed himself, from whatever choices he was brought up on, with his choice to do something different. That takes a certain kind of courage, and the dangers that choice represented eventually claimed him."
She glances around, drawing a breath. "Yet, that choice redefined him. From one who chains, to breaker of chains." She holds the chain in her hands up, and tugs it apart, the delicate strand snapping easily. "Though I did not have the honor to meet the Prince, I honor his Choice. It is my hope that we will all carry on the legacy he has sought to leave behind. Let us all be breakers of chains." She glances down at the chanins in her hands, one now riven in two, and lets it drop to the floor at her feet.
Once she is done, Sina steps toward the cages, studying the birds and then selecting one. She opens the cage, and steps back as the bird flutters free, up toward the oculus above, her gaze following it's flight.
Sina checked dexterity + legerdemain at difficulty 15, rolling 6 higher.
Ian looks distinctly relieved when Bahiya saves him from the ongoing comedy of errors he has put himself into by taking the drink he was offering her.
Emberly looks up to Sina as she speaks and she looks over her seated companions as she listens to the complex talk about him.
Nina checks composure at normal. Nina is marginally successful.
"Oh you mean THAT joke, sure," Evaristo says and nods at Monique. "How did it go... Why did the butcher always offer such terrible deals on his slaves?" Dramatic pause. "He tried to offer half-off." He doesn't grin. "It was pretty strange how ALL the slaves just laughed at the same time and stopped at the same time, too, but I guess they had little else choice. They do NOW though. They can laugh whenever they want, or at whatever they want." He chugs down some whiskey, smiling a strange smile. "Made my skin crawl, to be honest."
Nina steps back, and listens to the speech by Sina. As she does so, the bird she attempted to free a moment ago seems to come back, light, and stand on her head, as if nestling in her hair. This is the opposite of her intended effect, but... since there's a veil there, at least it is likely to catch any trouble that bird is otherwise likely to cause. She looks embarassed, but resolves to retain her composure, shuffling only a little.
Alessia has left the a stygian spiral staircase inlaid with rubies, leading nowhere.
Kenjay checks composure at hard. Kenjay fails.
The joke falls flat on the Princess Consorts ears, looking horrified at it.
Heading over to Monique, Alessia murmurs something quietly, holding onto her arm, her smile apologetic.
Ian s eyes get big when he realizes the joke that Evaristo is about to start telling. He coughs. Clearly he had something stuck in his throat. Gods forbid he have actually been swallowing a laugh. (He was swallowing a laugh.)
"Comedy, as it were, is often culture-specific," Lexir muses, to no one in particular.
Cristoph sighs over at the stairs, a hand dragging across his face as he remarks something to Alis in quiet tones.
Bahiya checks composure at normal. Bahiya is successful.
Kenjay glances towards Evaristo as the joke starts, and then he's turning towards the man. His teeth are gritted and sudden lines of tension stand out in his neck, and there's a sudden air of violence about the man in the scarlet Eurusi-style silks.
Incredibly, Monique smiles at the horribly unfunny joke. It's not a smile of amusement, but one of reminiscence for the imperfect man her betrothed once was. She bows her flame-bright head to the Mockingbird deeply. "My thanks. Sometimes it is good to remember the inhumanity. I would not want him to seem perfect, nothing more than a figurehead to hold up." She leans over to whisper something to Alessia in return.
Alis is looking over her shoulder at Cristoph to exchange a few quiet words. But, she is also squeezing her poor husband's hand so hard that if one could see her already pale skin turn whiter, her knuckles would be stark with it. And her gaze is definitely searching those gathered for someone specific. Primarily showing a look of concern at the moment.
Sydney's eyelids flutter and she raises a palm to her face as Evaristo recounts the joke in full. Yup. That's cause enough for her to dip back into her flask and pull a strong sip of whiskey. She murmurs, "...May our own final jokes be less directly ironic."
With a fond smile for her friend, Alessia slips out of the room, looking a little dazed.
Sina glances over to Evaristo as he shares the joke, and clears her throat slightly. She gives him a blank look. Clearly, she doesn't seem to get the joke. She steps away once she has had her say.
Sirra, a very quiet maid, an indeterminate number of cats, 3 House Mazetti Guardians, Lance, a rebellious swan that likes to headbutt leave, following Alessia.
Bahiya catches the end of the joke Evaristo gives and she doesn't react, but her features do go very, very still. As Kenjay moves, she is swift to react, reaching out to grip the Redrain Prince's shoulder, her other hand to his forearm. "Kenjay," she says, her voice as clear as water, resonating with calm. Her knuckles pale with the force of her grip but she otherwise appears to be steady and still.
Patrizio manages something of a smile when he's listening to those who're making the jokes, even as he's finding himself some whiskey to have in his hands, rather than meandering a little bit on his own as he's listening. And then there's the spotting of Lexir, before he's easing in beside the man, and an inclination of his head faintly in recognition. "Cousin," he murmurs softly. "And here, I'd thought that I'd be the only of us representing our House at this sad affair."
Lexir tilts his head at Patrizio, nodding deferentially despite obstensibly equal standing. "Well, I was there. I should see it through."
Sina has joined the a well-used longship.
Ian belatedly seems to realize that something is going on with the people he's been standing near. He shifts his attention to Bahiya and Kenjay, his stance still calm, his voice still flat as he says something in a low tone.
Samira remains standing off to the side, listening intently to each person speaking in turn although she makes no move to address the crowd herself. Her pensive regard lands upon Sina as the archscholar speaks, a nod of silent approval given for both her words and her actions. But then Evaristo's retelling of the joke - and his mention of the slaves' reaction - snags her attention, receiving a bewildered glance and slight shake of her head.
Monique looks over, idly hazarding a glance to Nina. Her eyebrows rise in tandem surprise at the lovebird perched on the woman's head. "I suppose that one chose a new life already," the Minx comments with a smile that fades only as she sees the impact of the terrible joke. Immediately, the smile is lost.
Patrizio cringes, just a little bit, before his gloved hand settles on Lexir's shoulder. "I'd not been aware," he says softly, and seriously. "And I commend you then for seeing it through." He takes a breath, and then a good pull of his drink.
Nina glances around, drinking a bit as she listens to this tale and watches the reactions of others. It's as if she's trying to figure out what an appropriate reaction would be based on others, but is still distracted by the bird. She clears her throat. "Yes. I suppose I'll teach her to sing, if she's made her choice."
Felicia doesn't even pretend that the joke doesn't make her wrinkle her nose, her lips pressing into a thin line where she loiters at the edge of the hall.
Lore shifts her stance a little after the joke from Evaristo, shifting towards and perhaps even in front of the Arterius man. Its all quite casual, not at all trying to put herself in front of the man, their movements just happened to coincide like that. SHe looks towards Kenjay, a long, level look with some osrt of silent eye contact communication happening.
Sina wanders over to inspect the longship, and she peers at it a moment, before a slight smile curves her lips. She clambers up into it, and sets to exploring it with interest, before finally settling into a spot near the figurehead at its bow, where she can observe the goings-on around her and admire the unusual decor of the ballroom.
"You should read the dispatches more closely," Lexir replies with a quirk of his lips, gently ribbing the other man. "And it's important for appearances," he replies. "We are, after all, to be the bulwark. It does good to honor those who would have assisted us."
"As jokes are not lawful causes for violence, I would be remiss if I did not give the usual warning that comes from breaking His Majesty's peace with something as impolite as a brawl, Your Highness." says Raziel, his raspy voice somehow managing to be heard as the Inquisitor addresses Kenjai, both blind and hazel eyes upon the Redrain prince and his reaction.
Evaristo takes a sip of his drink and looks quite surprised by Kenjay's apparent anger and similar reactions. "What?" he says innocently. "Surely, everyone KNEW he was a Prince of Skal'daja, city of chains, kept lots of slaves, seen as furniture and so on and so on? He was chosing to leave that behind, but as Lady Monique says - we should really stick to the truth of the matter."
"Ambassador Bahiya, may I request Prince Kenjay to escort me home." Alarissa's voice calls over softly. "I need to return to the Thrax Ward and could use his company." A glance to Kenjay
Kenjay eyes Lore, then Evaristo, then casts a long look around the hall. "I was going to keep my peace," the Redrain growls, "But no more. I knew Prince Damik'uhl'daja better than anyone here, and for longer. He was better than his brothers - but that is not saying much. He was a slave-owner and a slave-keeper and a slave-master, and I have heard that joke a thousand times and been able to react not once before. So fuck him, fuck his joke, and fuck all of you who found it funny." And with that, he turns towards the doorway, his jaw set and fire in his eyes.
"I probably should," agrees Patrizio, his expression both hinting that he's a bit abashed at clearly not doing such already, and that he's possessed of good reason for distraction from some specifics. His lips part as if he's about to say more, when Evaristo's comment and the apparent rising tensions once more draw his attention. And then those lips settle, as he brings his cup down.
Luxe arrives, following Giorgio.
Brannen checks composure at normal. Brannen fails.
Evaristo checks charm and manipulation at hard. Evaristo is marginally successful.
Bahiya tilts her head at the sound of Alarissa's voice. "As Prince Kenjay is my escort, I will have to decline your request," she says to the Princess. And then Prince Kenjay speaks his piece, and the Ambassador squares her shoulders. "Prince Kenjay," she says to her companion, her hand reaching for his now, the other on his forearm. "I thank you for coming with me today. We may leave now."
Evaristo blinks rapidly at Kenjay's outburst, his mouth slightly open. "My my," he murmurs. "WEll, glad to hear I am not the only one thinking that joke was terrible." He looks apologetic and steps back a bit and seems content to stay quiet now.
Raziel nods upon hearing Kenjai's response, apparently satisfied that a brawl is not to take place. The words themselves? He doesn't seem to mind at all, his attention moving away now that direct confrontation is less likely to unfold.
"I'm sorry, I should..." When Kenjay says his piece Alis nods a firm agreement with him, and even casts a small but grateful smile at Fiachra for something he says. She stands up from the spiral stairwell to begin a walk towards her uncle and the doorway so that she can catch up with him - or them? Them.
Though Bahiya cannot see it, Alrissa dips her head to the ambassador in respect, seeming satisfied that the Prince isn't leaving alone and remains where she is.
Sydney eases her back off of the pillar she's been so ably holding up and meanders her way toward the exit, pausing a moment to offer Evaristo and Monique a rueful nod - but nary a word - and she's on her way.
Emberly looks about and as some folk are leaving she moves a bit to the door herself
Emberly has left the The only quiet alcove of complete normalcy.
A beautiful songbird leaves, following Emberly.
Sydney has left the a dance floor made of sand dunes, broken golden chains dangling from above, surrounded by thirteen monumental sandstone pillars.
While silent during the whole event so far, Brannen managed not to show any emotion after Evaristo's joke. After Kenjay's outburst, his mouth opens in disbelief and he finds himself unable to react.
Martino has left the The only quiet alcove of complete normalcy.
Natasha's dark haired head inclines towards Alarissa as she makes that request of the Ambassador, though her steady eyes remain locked on the ensuing conflict and the Redrain prince's agitated state. She murmurs something softly to her sister-in-law from the corner of her mouth.
Ian steps back. He doesn't seem inclined to leave along with the others. Not yet, anyway. He does manage to find another glass of whiskey, though.
Sina watches the goings-on from where she stands near the bow of the longship, studying the discontent that was started after Evaristo shared Damik's 'joke'. There's a sense of mild disapproval about her as she sees the ruffled feathers of Kenjay and Bahiya. She watches as the wake descends into a bit of chaos as people begin to leave.
Monique looks around and then up at the sandstone pillars. There's a smile that drifts across her lips, unbelievably. "It is better, in this case, to have the truth." Her eyes turn away from the pillars and back to the sands. "Fuck slavers. I encourage anyone to free the caged birds." And she turns to do just that.
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