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An Evening at Malespero Tower

It's Pasquale Malespero's birthday and he has decided to celebrate. Come join him as he breaks open a cask of Nilanzan Red to mark the occasion.


Feb. 4, 2021, 8 p.m.

Hosted By



Thea Sunaia Caprice Apollo Emberly Macario Lianne Deva Duarte Amanita Calla Arion




Arx - Ward of the Lyceum - Malespero Tower - Grand Parlor

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

Finn the large Northern hunting dog with icy blue eyes, Rocco, the rascally assistant arrive, following Thea.

Conall, a huge, friendly sable Wolfhound with bright platinum eyes arrives, following Sunaia.

Pasquale is leaning against the stones of a dramatic fireplace with a glass of the black-blood colored Nilanzan red wine in his hand and some stylishly lycene clothing gracing his tall frame. He smiles when first Thea and then Sunaia arrive and pushes away from his warm corner to approach them both. "Thea." He leans to kiss her cheek. "Sunaia." he leans to kiss hers. "I'm glad to see you both."

Thea walks into the parler with a slight smile, Finn at her side. "Like I would miss your birthday,"she says with a smirk, her eyes lit with mischief. "So you're old now. What are you pushing, Martino age,"Thea teases, going to pat Pasquale's cheek with a smile.

"It's good to see you as well, my lord, and I hope you have many natal days to follow after this." With a slight sweep of seasilks and lace, Sunaia dips into a bow. "Lady Thea. Glad to see you as well." She straightens, sets a hand on the top of Conall's head, and the pair drift past on the way toward a glass of wine before she prowls the peripheral of the grand (Grand) parlor. There's a lot in the room to draw the eye and she's _curious._

"Every year I get a little closer to it." Pasquale replies to Thea with a little smile. "Every year it gets further away." Warmth is in the smile he gives to Sunaia "Are you hoping I get silver and dignified Sunaia?"

"Mm --" she blinks suddenly, looking up. Over. Pausing for a headtilt and a thought. "Already dignified." Offering a small smile. Sunaia responds to Pasquale in a just-so fashion, and she continues her study of the Eurusi rug.

Caprice steps in alone, arms crossed as much to guard against the chill outdoors as to hide some sort of object tucked under one side of her jacket. It's Thea she notices first, the sight earning the flash of a bright smile which extends to the others present, paired with a simple, "Hello! Where's the gift pile?"

Thea looks over to Sunaia and offers her a little wave. "Lady Sunaia. Hello, how are you,"the Malvici General greets with a smile. She's already reaching for a glass of wine of course. "Messere Caprice, hi,"Thea greets with a chuckle. "It's been a bit!" Pasquale gets a snort, nodding to him. "Tell that to my brother---though he'll likely be aging more now that he has--two more crying babies.."

Caprice's arrival causes him to head over to greet her with the same kissed cheek that he gave the others. "I wasn't expecting any." His gaze goes to her jacket with obvious curiosity. "Did you bring something? Come. Join us near the fire." He heads that way himself, leaving the task of handing wine out to whichever unfortunate staff member was standing closest when he decided to open the doors tonight. "You all know each other I think?" He casts an almost smile in Thea's direction. "He's only a year or two older than I am Thea."

"Modiste Caprice, I -- think -- that I have a full outfit of your make in my wardrobe and it's one of my favorite things ever." Sunaia brightens. "The one with the dark green, corbeau, that's the color of some birds feathers." A pause. "I think." She offers a tilted smile, impish. "It's a pleasure to meet you." A glance over, the same vaguely crooked smile. "Well enough, I think, Lady Thea -- thankyou very much for asking."

"Terrible way to refer to your brothers," Caprice admonishes Thea with a grin. "Oh- you mean the twins! Hmm..." Still grinning, she turns towards Pasquale to accept the greeting, a murmured 'happy birthday' offered alongside it. She drifts after him in response to the invitation, somewhat distractedly drawing the unwrapped gift out from beneath her jacket as her attention shifts to Sunaia - first in curiosity, then delight. "I'd wondered where that had gone off to!" she admits to the noblewoman, laughing softly. "I recall the purchaser mentioning it was a gift. Ah, yes... I do imagine you make it positively stunning, my lady. I'm pleased it's found favor with you."

Siri, an attentive apprentice, Paris, a charming mercenary, Nomius, a deeply skeptical bloodhound arrive, following Apollo.

"Oh--you don't want me to get started on them,"Thea says with an innocent look. Complete. Innocence. "Messere Caprice has made me quite a few outfits,"Thea tells Sunaia with a nod. "If ever you want to search my closets----,"she offers. Wandering over to the fire, Thea sits with her glass. "I think I over work her." Maybe. Kinda.

Nomius, a deeply skeptical bloodhound have been dismissed.

"Mmhm, I would most certainly raid your closets, my lady Thea. If you're offering, I'll accept it quickly. Mostly everything I own is black. Mostly. Save for the couple of seasilk gowns from either Whispering Words or, or -- it's in the Lycene ward. The other shop. I'm terrible with names and making fashionable smalltalk is a lot of work." Sunaia finally sips her wine. Dry throat from what could've been a long, long run-on sentence.

Apollo comes out of the library, reading over a page that Siri is handing him with a distracted air. He shakes his head at her. "This is fine - didn't you already show me this?" He looks vaguely confused, then says. "Oh, no - that was - yes. Go ahead and -" he pauses, looking up. /People/. He slows his feet, smiling vaguely after a moment, and dips in a bow to the nobility present, looking at Caprice after a moment like to say: what in Arvum have I stumbled into.

Conall, a huge, friendly sable Wolfhound with bright platinum eyes have been dismissed.

Pasquale accepts the lovely box from Caprice and immediately bends his attention to examining its interior. Eventually he remembers that he's supposed to be paying attention to the guests and not the fit of ink bottle to quill-case. "What a clever gift. Thank you Caprice. This is extremely generous." He gestures to his hand. "This, and everything I need for a new sword, are my other gifts. I'm not sure what I did to deserve so much." He glances up, smiles a fraction, and heads over to greet Apollo with the same kissed cheek he gave the others. "Its good to see you Apollo. Join us for some wine?"

"Donatti's Imports and Exports," Caprice supposes towards Sunaia and Thea, presenting a small golden-brown case towards Pasquale before she takes her own seat. Most of her focus shifts towards the nobleman, curious for his reaction - her own smile coming easily in response to the thanks. "It's my pleasure of course, my Lord; thank -you- for the invitation to celebrate your birthday." Perhaps that last part is just a little louder in volume for Apollo's benefit. As Pasquale sees to greeting the newest arrival, she notes to the noblewomen, "I poke in frequently to spend all my money expanding my personal liquor cabinet's collection. I believe I saw a certain vodka you should be credited with, Lady Thea..? What's the story there?"

Thea winks over at Sunaia,"Donatti's. Also known as DIE." Thea grins, also mentioning,"You may borrow anything if you'd like,"before her eyes drift over to the voice Apollo. "Why Whisper Apollo. I've meaning to drop by your shop, but you've just saved me the trip." Not really, she'll still be stopping. "How are you?" Then her attention drifts over nosily to Pasquale's box, scoping that out. "Oh, yes,"she responds to Caprice as well. "I have a--tastes for vodkas you see. It's one of my favorite drinks. When I was home, I started playing around with different flavors. All the citruses we had---" She takes a drink of wine, a smile appearing. "I gave out small samples at my birthday last year..."

Sunaia's sending Conall away to lay beside the hearth with a huff-sigh. The pale ranger agrees, huff-sigh. She watches the exit-entrance of Apollo and her smile crooks her lips, brightens her eyes. "Whisper Apollo. An unexpected pleasure. I was told that there would be no dancing, so, I decided to show up and help celebrate Pasquale's natal day." With a distracted glance over, then drawn toward Caprice with a grateful nod, "That's the one. Yes. Thank you for filling that space."

A beautiful songbird arrives, following Emberly.

Apollo greets Pasquale with a cheek-kiss in kind on reflex - glancing between him and Caprice. The answer! It makes so much /sense/. He breaks into a bright smile. "Lord Pasquale, happy birthday," he says. "Sorry I overlooked it, but - " he glances at Siri, nods at her; with a curtsy, she slips off to do her messenger-erranding. "I'm glad to celebrate with you, sure." He lifts his brows at Thea. "Have you?" he asks. "Lovely to see you Lady Thea." And to Sunaia, a furrow of brows. "Lady, Sunaia," he greets, "I would think given your lovely performance last we danced, you'd welcome an opportunity."

Caprice has joined the a cozy stone fireplace.

"Dont be." Pasquale tells Apollo. "It is not something I often mention often." He gives a soft chuckle when he notes Thea's fascination and offers her the box before asking Sunaia "But what if I want dancing Sunaia?"

The grand parlor has been setup for guests with blood-red wine on tap and plates of snacks conveniently laid on nearby tables. There is a fire in the hearth and the stone fireplace seemss to have become the focal point of this small group of nobles and well respected commoners.

"I need to work on my timing. It was meant to be a jes--" wine sup "-- Apollo is correct, I did improve my step since the last time. So, with that, my lord Pasquale? If you want dancing, you'll have dancing." Sunaia laughs, muting the sound behind her raised hand.

"Whiskey's my first love," Caprice remarks, even as she's being handed a glass of the Nilanzan Red. "But I can't say I've ever given vodka a fair shake. I've always assumed arranging a tasting is a little pointless when the quality is found in its -lack- of taste and there's only so much you can try before you're waking up the next day." Talk of dancing perks her interest, but she busies herself with sampling the wine, and listening in on the others for a while.

Sunaia ducks her head, lidding her eyes, and her smile is smaller -- turned inward, momentarily, and then she blinks. Red wine makes her flush. "Music is the harder to acquire. Can't hold a tune either." A beat. "Whiskey is any self-respecting drinker's drink of choice.

Thea pauses, lifting a brow. "Wait--dancing?" Nope. Thea will contently sit -right here- with her drink. "Sorry Pasq. Your birthday gift will be me. Saving you the the sight of my doing such." Truuuuust heeeer! Handing the box back over, Thea tells Caprice with a sincere nod before she remarks too,"This is very---it has a citrus taste. We even added it to my cake. I have a bottle if you want to try it."

Emberly moves into the area with a small envelope in her hands, she smiles a bit as she smiles to the others, a gentle shift of her fingers as she moves a bit closer "I have something for you Lord pasquale"

Apollo moves over to collect a glass of wine, flashing Sunaia a smile. He moves over to settle by the fireplace, properly greet his friend. "Caprice," he says, as he settles. "I don't think I knew you were acquainted with Lord Pasquale." He stretches his legs, has a sip of his wine. "You're right about vodka, of course. Only flavor it has is if something was steeped in it. Like that gods-awful black pepper stuff."

"Wine, supposedly, is for parties. But the noble I was speaking to said it was an arbitrary rule that they made up where they stood. So, I told them there would likely be some outdated book on etiquette that would have such stringent rules regarding alcohol." Sunaia's paused, flashing a grin. "If dancing, definitely music." A pause. "Vodka's not for me. It's definitely for someone, though, and therefore it can't be entirely forgotten. Like gin."

"I know a surprising number of people for someone so adept at social gaffs." Pasquale tells Apollo in an amused tone. That same tone and look is given to Thea "I think my gift will be to watch you dance now." A nod for Sunaia. "It would please me if you all enjoyed yourself enough to relax and dance." He approaches Emberly soon after she makes her appearance and kisses her cheek. "Welcome Emberly." he takes a step back to a more normal distance and gestures slightly at the others in the room. "Do you know everyone?" Only then does he eye that envelope with curiosity. He claims "There was no need." but the envelope still earns a smile.

Pasquale hasn't seemed this cheerful in weeks.

Jasper, an unflappable scoundrel arrives, following Deva.

Fajra, Deva arrive, following Lianne.

"I'm going to be sending you BOTH a bottle,"Thea declares with a straighten of her shoulders to Caprice and Apollo. "Wine is good for say--breakfast. Whiskey, vodka--those are good for the rest of the day." Looking over to Emberly, Thea bows her head in greeting,"Good evening." There's an amused look at Pasquale as well, shaking her head. "It was a great try...but----,"her words trailing with a sip.

"Lady Thea, we lack the music, but the steps are a simple square, with some to and fro-- and the rhythm is easy to keep time to. I'll not step on your feet and I am fully confident that mine toes will also be spared." With a wicked smile. "Simple reason. Steelsilk." She rises from her seat, setting aside her wine. Dipping a bow toward the Malvici noble, the Ashford offers her hand. "Care for a dance?"

"Who's Lord Pasquale?" Caprice's brows lift high in exaggerated confusion. "I heard there was free wine..." But of course, the nobleman is giving up the ruse; she slants an amused look towards the birthday lord before offering towards Apollo, free hand briefly stretched across to touch near him, "If you remember my piece for the Marquessa's soft reopening? I've him to thank for that opportunity. Godawful black pepper- ha," Caprice cuts herself off suddenly, flashing Apollo a grin and glancing back to Thea, then Pasquale. "Wasn't Lady Jan Kennex giving out peppery drinks? I couldn't stay long enough at the archery exhibition to mooch one." But on the subject of mooching, she mentions aside to Thea, "I'll look forward to trying it. Think you'd enter it into a contest if Princess Lustry holds more of them?"

Ah parties. Macario looks quite comfy as he walks inside the grand parlor. There's a glass of whisky in his hand and an air on informality, the sort one has at their home. After a few steps in, his eyes easily glide toward Pasquale, "Brother. Happy birthday. I have a gift. I'll send it later." A pause, and he adds, "I know that makes me seem like I forgot. But I really haven't." Realizing that might still be hard to believe, he adds, "It's a flask." There.

Emberly looks about, "I know a few people, yes thanks for having me Pasquale, enjoy your gift yes?" she asks before she moves quietly over to get herself a glass of wine

Apollo lifts his chin at Pasquale in acknowledgement. "Are you adept at social gaffes, my lord? I hadn't heard that." His brows lift at Caprice. "Oh, I'll have to introduce you -" he starts, seeming entirely serious - and then breaks into a broad grin. "Ah, I'll take a bourbon or a brandy, if you're taking requests," he tells Thea. And back to Caprice: "Who's this? Ah, yes, a Kennex. I wasn't going to name names. But honestly, it isn't horrible - I just drank too much once and got terribly ill. It's resentment that spoils it."

Harlen arrives, following Duarte.

Lianne and Deva arrive arm in arm from somewhere at the back of the tower. Those more familiar with the place might recognize the hall which leads back to the orangery which, in turn, opens out into the gardens. The pair seem to be quietly catching up on little details of how the city's changed and how it hasn't as they make their way toward the celebration. The marquessa looks about, quietly indicating Pasquale, "That's my brother celebrating his birthday. Pasquale, my Voice and General of Nilanza's army. The taller brother there is Macario, Mirrormask and lawyer." Onward toward familiar faces, "Are you familiar with Caprice Artiglio? Lovely voice. Good conversation." Further, "And Apollo Whisper, Co-Guildmaster of the Crafters' Guild, likes radishes." The important details. "Do you care to venture out on your own or shall we face the crowd together?"

Oliver, the noble ragdoll cat arrives, delivering a message to Caprice before departing.

"Ah, a lawyer? I may need one of those," Deva quips, amusement gleaming her eyes. Unlike the lovely and well-dressed Marquessa Lianne, Deva is wearing faded leathers that have seen far, far better days. The rest of her looks weary and gaunt too. And yet, she maintains high spirits, her expression pleasant as Lianne points out some notables in the room. "Radishes..." It's a one-word question, accompanied by a lifted brow and a brighter, curious smile. "Let us go wish your brother a wonderful birthday, then?"

Thea grins over at Caprice. "She was handing out Kennex pepper vodka. I have that too." SURPRISE! "I have quite the collection of alcohol." No one should be suprrised. Watching Sunaia, Thea is about to answer, but she is SAVED by a message from Rocco. "I'd love to--but uh. I'm needed at home. Not that I WANT to go, there's screaming babies there now-not my brother either." Looking to Apollo, Thea laughs. "No. Vodka only. You will like it,"going over to hug Pasquale. Yes. Hug. Birthday wishes DO come true. "Happy birthday, Pasq. I'll see you soon, yes?" Stepping out, Thea hurries out, giving a wave to everyone. "Lord Macario, good to see you again. Sorry I can't stay however." She passes Lianne and Deva as well, a brief smile appearing. "Marquesa Lianne, Princess Deva, sorry to miss you as well. I think Pasquale is looking for dancers. You should get him to sing.." And with that said, the Malvici slips out.

Emberly listens as she is introduced, "ahh I do know Caprice, she helped me with a beautiful brocade gown a few months back." she looks over to Macario and she smiles to the brother as he is introduced

"I wasn't expecting any gifts." Pasquale tells Macario. "Just having you here as a brother is plenty." he inclines his jaw in Sunaia's direction. "Sunaia wants to dance." He looks back to the envelope Emberly gave him after making that statement and takes his time opening it. After a few moments he tucks it away into a belt pouch, looks for her, and mouths a "Thank you." After that he looks to Apollo to tell him "Only you can judge that Guildmaster."
But now there are new people to greet and he moves to where Lianne and Deva appeared. "Lianne." he offers a cheek kiss that never touches and then turns his gaze onto Deva. "A pleasure to mee.." Ack. Thea's hugging him.

Emberly is overheard praising Caprice.

"Setarco Fire's like that, Apollo. It was terribly rude to me that one time, and I'll never forget the slight," Sunaia's lips twitch, amused, and pull thin at the edges. There are new (meaning familiar voices added to the din of conversation -- and then new-new voices (complete-not-really-total-strangers) -- and chews on the inside of her cheek for a moment before she offers Deva a wave. "Deva -- just Deva. From the training grounds. It's a pleasure to see you again." Then, Thea needs excuse herself and now -- aaaah, she's dancin' with herself. Conall's a very unimpressed dog. "Good evening, Marquessa Lianne."

Finn the large Northern hunting dog with icy blue eyes, Rocco, the rascally assistant leave, following Thea.

"Are you looking for dancers, my lord?" Duarte asks from suddenly behind Pasquale. "Is it true? I so love to dance." But can he? No. Not really.

Emberly has joined the a cozy stone fireplace.

Lianne offers no explanation on the radishes. What explanation could radishes possibly need? The departing Malvici gets a half-amused, half-concerned, "Lady Thea," with a dip of her head and a breathy laugh, but she doesn't ask after that fleeing whirlwind. Instead, there's progress, movement toward the gentleman celebrating his birthday. "Pasquale." With Sunaia seeing to the introductions first, she echoes, "Deva," for her brother's benefit. "Lady Sunaia. It's a pleasure to finally meet." A sly look toward the count offering to steal the birthday general away, she greets simply, "Duarte," and then slips free, off to find drinks.

"I would love to see the floor used for dancing." Pasquale says to Duarte. "There are at least three women here who would love to have a partner. I leave them in your most capable hands." His mouth twitches in amusement. "Thank you."

Emberly has left the a cozy stone fireplace.

A beautiful songbird have been dismissed.

Amanita Whisper glides into the Grand Parlor of the Malespero Tower with wide eyes, looking for familiar faces. Spotting one in Duarte, she smiles briefly in the man's direction and waves. Licking her lips contemplatively and bumping into her departing cousin on the way out, the denobled Malvici flips her long hair over her shoulder and steps into the parlor, seeking refreshments.

"Ah, hm... now there -must- be music," Caprice remarks to nobody in particular, as Thea makes her way out and Sunaia dances anyway...and more people arrive. She straightens a little, scanning the room for instruments - a lute, in particular, in case there happens to be an arrangement she's missed on her way in.

Deva waves after Thea, watching the woman with curiosity. "Singing? Oh wonderful," she laughs, waving as the Malvici departs. "A pleasure to meet you, Lord Pasquale. I hope you don't mind an absolute stranger wishing you a happy birthday," is added with a playful grin. Recognizing Sunaia, she lifts her chin and wiggles fingers after the Ashford. "Likewise! I hope you've continued terrifying people in the training grounds since we last spoke." There is a grateful nod for Lianne after those introductions are made, and she takes a moment herself to wave her own assistant over and send him off with a hastily scribbled note.

"But gifts are lovely," Macario chides Pasquale. He pats the man on the shoulder and nods, "Happy birthday. I'll go and enjoy myself as you do yourself..." A quick smile flashes toward Emberly in return, but his gaze drifts toward Pasquale's guided direction. Sunaia is spotted! The tall lord easily buy Pasquale and a few others and he glides his way in her direction. Which isn't all that far, so he twists around and sort of finds himself in between Lianne and Sunaia. "Sister! Princess. Duke." The titles, he glances about briefly, and inclines his head, "And of course Lady Sunaia." He reaches to exchange kisses on her cheek.

"Good to see you, Lady Thea," Apollo says, even if he can't see the credit in Vodka. The recollection of his fondness for radishes has him lofting a brow at Lianne - but then he rises from where he's settled by the fireplace to mingle, eyes following Caprice in her quest for an instrument. People he doesn't know! There's one he does; he moves over, offers Duarte a bow. "Count Duarte," he murmurs. "Good to see you. Have you everything in order for the upcoming event?" A polite clearing of his throat, then: "My own contribution aside?"

"Lord Macario, a pleasant surprise." A pause, sketching both he and Duarte a bow, and Sunaia (flees! no, there's no running in trailing skirts) slips away for her abandoned wine-glass in a haste of restless energy and seasilk. "An honor to finally meet, Marquessa. I have heard things -- good things -- about you, from, well. Many. From many." She sips at her wine, offering Deva a true bark of laughter. It's sincere and loud. "Always. In addition, I can add terror of the dancefloor to my various skills now."

Seeing Macario, Amanita's eyes crinkle faintly and she purses her lips. Her expression is unreadable. She moves to find a glass of wine, looking to Pasquale. Over six feet over with the low-heeled boots she wears gracefully steps over to greet him. "I believe you are Lord Pasquale? It would be hard to miss the fanfare. I saw you with my cousin's wife, Lady Kaia the other day. Happy birthday. It is a most joyous occasion, and I hope you have more." She manages to /not/ spill her wine while bowing to him. "Amanita Whisper, formerly Malvici."

"Of course I dont mind." Pasquale tells Deva. "If I didn't want to meet new people I would have barricaded myself in the cellar." He glances briefly around the room and then tells Deva. "Excuse me a moment? The duty of a host never ends." He turns to focus on Amanita then. "Thats right. Pasquale Malespero." he nods. "Kaia is a popular Lady. Its a pleasure to meet you."

Someone gives Caprice an instrument.

Sir Mayhem, A silvery marmoset arrives, following Calla.

Sunaia has joined the a cozy stone fireplace.

Deva tosses Macario a friendly wave in passing as her title is referenced. After her assistant scurries off, she begins approaching Sunaia and offers a grin a beat later. "Oh? A woman of many talents then, since you multitask so well. You are a role model for us all," she adds, mirth crinkling the corners of her eyes as she toasts the birthday Pasquale with her glass. "I've done that before! It's never as fun as one might think. Of course," she bobs her head as he continues his hosting duties.

"You tease. I dare say you..." Duarte thinks. " No. I won't dare say that. But Happy Birthday!" To Pasquale.

He smiles to the guildmaster, "Everything else indeed, Master Apollo."

"I certainly try my best, Deva," Sunaia lifts her glass, echoing the toast to celebrate Pasquale. Turning to glance in that Malespero's direction before she drinks.

"Charmed," Amanita says to Pasquale, tilting her head at him. "A pleasure to meet you too. Thank you for being kind enough to invite the public to celebrate with you." She looks over at Deva, her lips curling into something /like/ a smile. "Legendary Princess, a pleasure to see you again as well. And for a prolonged period this time." She steps away from the group to sit somewhere she can people-watch, her eyes lighting on Macario and the white-haired, pale-skinned woman that he's chatting up, sipping her wine genteely.

That cuts down on the search time considerably. Caprice murmurs thanks for the help and, at least briefly abandoning her seat by the fireplace to find somewhere closer to the floor, a few soft notes following after her as she adjusts a peg, tuning en route - and promising (warning?) would-be dancers they'll soon have accompaniment.

Caprice checks charm and performance at normal. Caprice is successful.

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

"Legendary? Gods, not me," Deva looks confused, and tosses a glance over her shoulder as if Amanita must be referencing someone else. A beat later, she grins sheepishly and thin shoulders rise in a 'what can you do?' fashion. "It is lovely to see you again too for longer than passing by through the door. How are you enjoying the city?" she wonders between gulps of wine. There is very little refined about her, from her leathers that have seen better days to the sharpness in her gaze.

"Good," Apollo says, and gives a dip of his head to Duarte. "I'm very much looking forward to that event." He gives the count a smile, then sips his wine, shifts attention toward Amanita. "You're Amanita Whisper, aren't you? I think I've seen you - hadn't the chance to say hello, didn't want to interject myself. Apollo Whisper." He glances over the way she'd been watching, has a drink of wine.

"I truly dont Duarte." Pasquale responds to the Count as Amanita slips away to people watch. "It would warm my heart to see you dancing." He finds his way to Calla and gives her a kiss on the cheek in greeting before drawing her back towards Lianne and Deva. "Sister, Princess, I'd like to introduce you to Baroness Calla of the Saffron Chain." to Calla he adds. "Princess Deva Velenosa and Marquessa Lianne Malespero."

As Sunaia flees to greet Lianne, Macario lifts a glass, the way one would to a soldier going to battle. Or something like that. Glass lifted, he takes a sip of the whisky. He does not dare step out into the dance floor, though, and instead walks the parlor floor. A quick well-practiced smile is offered Amanita when she looks his way. He sort of heads back around toward where he entered.

Decent accompaniment, at that! Not wide-traveled bard-level, but 'I've learned these six songs backwards and forwards' level, at least. Caprice certainly fusses with positioning enough to give away she's no lifelong musician, and her focus rarely leaves the strings once she's begun, but slender fingers used to weaving silk do a fair job of plucking out a merry melody - cheerful and moderately-paced.

Sunaia's right hand lofts her wineglass to shoulder height, her left hand curled over empty air to approximate another shoulder, and she dances through a practiced pattern that (probably) has a name that she (likely) forgot -- with an imaginary dance partner. "Easier than socializing, right? Dancing."

Calla is beyond fashionably late as she enters the parlor in her grey sweater dress that almost matches the little silvery marmoset who is sitting on her shoulder as she wanders in. Warm amber eyes set to searching for Pasquale, though when they alight on Macario, she will offer him a little wave and a smile if she manages to catch his eye before finally spotting her original target and making her way over to him with a smile accepting the kiss to her cheek warmly. "Dearest and best patron ever. Happiest of birthday wishes to you this day." And she leans in to kiss him back on the cheek before she gets introduced, dropping into a curtsy. "Marquessa, your Highness, a pleasure to meet you both."

First, Amanita addresses Deva and smiles briefly - blink-and-you'll-miss it. "The City is beautiful. There is so much to see and do that without Softest Whisper Anisha I would be lost." She looks at Deva, then winks. "If she calls you legendary, then it must be true. She only speaks the truth." Apollo's introduction makes her smile just a bit longer. "Apollo Whisper, a pleasure. I have heard much about you too." She offers him her hand, then gives Macario a nod - with something of a small smile for him before sipping more of her wine.

Apollo dips in a bow to Deva, refined or no. "Your highness," he greets, after clasping Amanita's hand. "I should go correct an unfortunate circumstance." He smiles at them both, and drifts back a step, sets his wine aside, then moves over to Sunaia, dancing solo. A bow is offered. "Lady Sunaia, would you dance with me?" he asks. There's music and everything! She shouldn't have to dance alone.

Pasquale is overheard praising Apollo.

Pasquale is overheard praising Caprice.

Deva offers a quick but polite bow as Pasquale introduces her. "Good evening to you, Baroness. Nice to meet you. You must be very busy," she wonders of Calla with a tilt of her head. Aside, to Amanita, her expression is both warm and sheepish. "The Softest Whisper is a wonder, and I would never question her judgment. So I shall accept it from her and your esteemed House with the honor that it is." A hand gestures broadly for good measure. "And I'm glad to hear it - I hope the city is everything it should be for you." Apollo gets a grin and a brisk bow in return, and the man is waved off to the floor with a lighthearted air.

But Duarte doesn't leave from the vicinity of Pasquale. The count hovers, amused, and whispers.

"Huh, no, this was --" Sunaia offers a bow to Apollo in lieu of curtsy, "-- thank you for asking, yes Whisper Apollo, nothing would give me more pleasure in this very moment."

"Ah baronness..." Macario arrives within a few steps, meeting her gaze. There's a drink in his hand and an easy step to his feet. "The sweater dress! I've always said, it is the best part of autumn." Macario offers a kiss on either cheek. His gaze flashes toward the marmoset. A quick nod, the primate gets a lift of Macario's whisky glass before the lord's attention turn toward the dance floor.

With attention called directly to her, the distracted marquessa returns to the moment. Without drinks. Weren't there supposed to be drinks? Hm. An empty-handed Lianne smiles brightly at Pasquale and Calla, head dipping low for the latter. "Baroness Calla. A pleasure to finally make your acquaintance." Her greeting concludes in airy laughter, an answer to Macario's comment. Gaze casting out over the crowd, she may be taking a moment to reorient.

Amanita checks dexterity and performance at normal. Amanita fails.

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

Apollo moves into a proper hold with Sunaia, giving a beaming smile. "I think this is nicer, don't you?" he comments. "Largely surrounded by friends." The dance is simple - mostly side-to-side steps, circling slowly, nothing fancy about it. But capably executed, and with company one enjoys - well. There's something quieter murmured her way, but he's largely content to simply dance with her.

Pasquale glances to Macario when he arrives to welcome Calla, glances back towards the place where Sunaia and Apollo are dancing, and then turns his gaze back to Deva. "Would you like to dance Princess?"

Duarte's amusement deflates at Pasquale's quiet response. He sighs and now drifts away from the Malespero lord.

"Yes quite busy indeed, which is why I am so dreadfully late to this little gathering." Calla replies with an apologetic smile aimed at her patron. "But I fianlly managed to tear myself away for a bit." When Macario approaches, her smile brightens and returns the cheek kisses when they are offered, giggling a bit at his comment on the sweaterdress. Then to the Marquessa she grins brightly. "I agree, it has taken way too long to meet. Your home is lovely by the way." though the marmoset on her shoulder eyes Macario a bit, he is behaving, for now.

"Ever so much nicer, Whisper Apollo, and I appreciate your derring-do in my time of dancing need. You are, truly, a hero. Mending those social gaffes." Sunaia murmurs, mouth pursing with amusement. Then, her eyes drop -- as though watching her steps -- and she seems to be counting them now. Very softly.

When Duarte starts to drift away Pasquale reaches to catch his arm briefly so that he might whisper a response

Without a partner, Amanita heads to the floor. She's not wearing a dancing dress but she has come prepared for any 'wardrobe malfunctions' with the use of dancer's shorts underneath her dress. She starts out gracefully, her long limbs clearly trained to perform intricate movements. And she does just that -- for a while. Amanita twirls gracefully by herself as though she's holding a partner's hand before losing her footing and managing to trip several steps backward in a dramatic lurch that looks /much/ like performance itself - right up until six feet of Whisper clatters into several chairs.

Duarte gasps!

"I'd love to," Deva smiles at Pasquale, and extends an arm so they may make their way to the dance floor. "I must apologize in advance, I'm still very, -very- rusty. I nearly squashed General Piccola's toes at an event a few weeks back, and that was the first I had danced in at least six years." The wayward princess is more gaunt than one might expect, in the way of one who has spent much time away from the filling meals found in the city. "Oh, goodness! Are you alright?" she worries after Amanita, brows bouncing higher as she looks toward the Whisper and the scattered chairs.

What does a novice musician do when they reach the natural end of a song? Only slightly mangle an improvised bridge and start that song over again! Maybe it works in Amanita's favor, even, as Caprice is concentrating too hard on her chords to catch the tall spill - so there's no dramatic end to the single instrument's cheery background accompaniment.

Without hesitation, Fajra, who'd been lurking at the edges of the gathering, approaches Amanita to, should she require, help the Whisper to her feet and see to anything she might need to ease her recovery back to social okayness.

Duarte listens to this new business Pasquale has for him. It is very unadventurous, whatever it is, and Duarte responds with a prim nod. Meanwhile, his eyes are surveying the chaos on the dancefloor, but ease when it appears the matter is well in hand.

There's an earnest softening of Apollo's features at some of the quiet conversation with Sunaia, and just a pause in his steps - eyes turning first toward the crash of Whisper into chairs, well in hand, then toward Caprice as he sorts out the shift in rhythm, resuming. He smiles at Sunaia, gives a dip of his chin, moves them around. Murmuring all the while.

Macario clears his throat, and turns to Lianne. "You two have never met?" Observant gaze spots Lianne's empty glass. "Let me get you a drink, sister," he says all too quickly before inclining his head. A quick nods pleasantly to Calla. There's a Whisper that bursts through chairs, and that has him turning his head yet in another direction. "Now it's a party," he concludes. Thankfully drinks aren't far. A server has an entire tray of them, in fact. How convenient. Macario hands out drinks to those around him. Well, he sort of does, with one hand already holding a glass, and he makes assumptions that Lianne and Calla would both like whisky. A server, he is not, but it's the thought that counts.

"I too am terrible." Pasquale tells Deva as he accepts her arm and accompanies her to the dance floor. "But I think avoiding your feet should be possible." He releases Deva's arm as Amanita tumbles but soon decides that politely ignoring the incident is the most appropriate thing. Theres a brief curve of his lips as Duarte quietly calls him a rapscallion and then he once more offers to take Deva's arm. The dance technique he chooses to employ is basically just a dance hold and a bit of shuffling.

Not too proud to let people help her up, Amanita smiles at Deva and Fajra, letting out a little 'hee' that is thinly veiled in embarrassment judging from the redness of her rounded cheeks. "Thank you, I'm fine. Nothing is wounded but my pride, I assure you. Perhaps my job tonight is to sit and drink wine." She resumes her wine glass and enjoys the music instead, tapping her foot in time with the beat.

Arion arrives late, dressed in an elegant dress of green and gold with matching sandals. In his dainty hands he holds an elegantly wrapped package, a mass of extravagant paper folded in the shape of a lotus flower. Peeking into the parlor he blushes a bit, the crimson hair male padding in timidly. "Hello? I heard there was a birthday party. I brought a present..." He looks around shy but warm in expression, smiling gently and observing those around him curiously.

Social okayness, it's the unspoken theme - mood - entire being of Sunaia presently. She's okay - her dancing partner's great - there's murmuring. Her moonsilver eyes widen a fraction, sucking in a breath through her teeth. Teeth, bared briefly, into a grin. Or a grimace for Amanita. Solidarity. Now, shift, listening. She smiles again, in a quick flash, and she nods. "Thank you for dancing with me, Whisper Apollo." Pausing, "Let me introduce you to -- ah -- Lord Macario."

"Mutual foot avoidance. Done," Deva cracks a wider smile at Pasquale. "You have quite the showing for your birthday. How good to have such friends," she compliments warmly. She's more than fine with simplicity on the dance floor, and while she has the figure of a dancer and seems relatively graceful, there's a briskness to her movements that affirms that dancing has been off the table for her for a long, long while. She smiles back at Amanita, hopefully a more reassuring gesture than not.

Lianne does, indeed, prefer whiskey, and she accepts the glass from Macario with a murmur of thanks and a quiet wonder of, "We who?" Which is to say there are a few people she hasn't quite properly met in attendance tonight, the baroness, to whom she murmurs, "You should see the orangery," with more warmth than pride, a loved location, abandoned that she might be social instead. Ah, and there's another one on approach as Sunaia spies Macario. The marquessa eyes her brother as she sips at her whiskey, awaiting the incoming conversation.

Fajra, meanwhile, sets quietly to righting the chairs as if nothing at all worrying happened, the world resuming to normal after minor, well-weathered disruption, a credit to the Whisper's grace.

Apollo's brows lift at Sunaia, and he gives a dip of his head, offering Sunaia his arm. "The pleasure was mine," he says to her. "And I'd be delighted. Strange I haven't had the chance to meet him yet, actually." He lets her lead, despite his escort, in approaching the Malespero lord.

Calla smiles brightly when she's handed a drink by Macario, "Thank you, Mac." She doesn't comment on the poor woman who lost her footing, but she does shoot her a look of sympathy. When others are dancing, she shoots a little pout up at Macario. "Can I steal you for a dance?"

Arion looks around to see where his present can be handed off. He leaves the little perfectly wrapped package where it can be opened by the Lord at his leisure. He spots Amanita in the crowds and smiles gently in that direction, offering a polite bow of his crimson haired head. He peers through the crowds curious, but a tiny bit unsure.

Arion drops Lemon Tree, an herbal perfume with a note of fresh lemon.

"I am blessed." Pasquale tells Deva with a polite smile. "But I suspect the wine is responsible for at least half of my popularity." He waits for the dance to end before attempting to get Deva and Duarte into the same place. "Have you both met?" Rather than waiting for an answer he excuses himself with "Duty calls." and then heads over to Arion. "Welcome. I'm Pasquale Malespero."

When Sunaia and Apollo come near, Macario clears his throat a second time. "Marqueesa Lianne. Might I introduce Lady Sunaia Ashford, and her companion." He beams, because see, he can take a hint!

Pasquale gets Lemon Tree, an herbal perfume with a note of fresh lemon.

Arion curtsies to Pasquale with grace that puts some women to shame, never mind men. He smiles beautifully. "Well met my Lord Pasquale. "Arion Harrow at your service. I made something for you. I will understand if it is not to your taste. If not, I ask that you give me a chance to make something better suited to you hmm?" He smiles hopefully and bows his head respectfully. Offering the package up.

"Wine always helps," Deva laughs. As the birthday gentleman drops her off by Duarte, she shakes her head in amusement and waves after Pasquale. "Deva," she adds for Duarte's benefit, fingers wiggling in a hello. Then she waves her assistant over again, exchanging notes before she drifts further toward the edge of the room and the exit.

"Guildmaster Apollo Whisper," Lianne provides where Macario leaves off, a warm smile offered to the gentleman which brightens as her attention settles on Sunaia. "I've heard so very much about you," sounds suspiciously like a question, helped along by the curious arch of her brows, expectant, though who knows for what.

Sunaia accepts Apollo's escort, keeps her pace unhurried, moving off the dancefloor and in the direction of whiskey-wielding Marquessas. She gently releases the Whispers arm to offer Lianne a smart bow. "Sunaia Ashford. A pleasure. Nilanzan red is good -- but Northern whiskey's better. Drink? We can finally meet." A glance sidelong, she smiles. "Lord Macario Malespero, may I introduce Apollo Whisper."

Pasquale accepts the package and lifts it curiously up. "A scent?" He asks before carefully taking the stopper out and sniffing at it. He hesitates a moment because, you know, Lycenes and their poison paranoia, but then simply dabs a bit into place. "I think it is interesting and expect you will have quite a few orders." he glances at Lianne here. "In fact. You should come and meet my sister, the Marquessa." he gestures for Arion to follow and approaches Lianne.

For the most part, Amanita seems largely unbothered by stumbling -- though she does thank Fajra quietly for his help. She notes Arion and gives him a smile, waving as she moves to stand up and finish her wine, putting the glass aside. She starts for the door quietly.

There's a flash of amusement written all over Macario, like a good song playing in his head, when Sunaia and Lianne meet. "Time to learn if I'm intuitive, Baroness," he says to Calla. "I'd love a dance, thank you. Though I warn you, I've not danced since the raiding parties of.. well, never mind." A quick nod, "Apollo Whisper, fantastic to meet you!" He offers Calla his hand, and he grins a bit of a grin, "I'll leave you to alone mingle." Undoubtedly, Macario will fall, and thus his obnoxious behavior will have a dramatic ending.

Duarte finger waggles back to Deva. "Duarte." And then she's departing and Duarte is floating away from the center of things toward the fireplace.

Apollo likewise offers Lianne a bow. "Marquessa," he says, warmly. The same is offered Macario. "Very good to meet you properly, my lord." Though he's likely been seen in passing. Seeing Macario thus engaged, he takes a step back. "I've abandoned my wine somewhere; I should go find it." And he gives Lianne and Sunaia a margin for the moment, because wine lost would need a proper funeral.

Arion beams at Pasquale and nods. "Of course Lord Pasquale, lead the way." He glides along after the lord towards the Marquessa with grace and a warm smile on his lips. He brushes dainty hands down the front of his dress and curtsies to Lianne with that same easily given grace.

Pasquale offers Lianne the bottle of perfume. "Messere Arion brought this as a gift Lianne." He gestures to Arion in a gesture that somehow implies Lianne, Arion, Arion, Lianne. "Isn't it delightful?"

Jasper, an unflappable scoundrel leaves, following Deva.

"Intuitive?" Calla looks a bit confused though that passes quickly when he accepts her offer to dance, her expression brightening considerably. "Don't worry, I'm not the best dancer myself, but you don't have to be good to enjoy yourself." She says as she reaches out for his hand when it's offered, tugging him a little towards those dancing.

Duarte has joined the a cozy stone fireplace.

Lianne holds her tongue on the matter of Nilanzan red versus northern whiskey, but the fact that she's holding a glass of the latter might say... something about something. She sips at that whiskey as she watches Macario depart for dancing, as she tracks the movement of Apollo's bow, her dipping in shallow answer. "Impossible to keep him still for more than a moment," is more likely for her brother than the Whisper, even as they both slip away. She glances to Sunaia and, from the woman, toward the seating near the fireplace, a subtle invitation which is preempted by more introductions. She studies Arion curiously for a moment, distracted by the perfume handed off. With a breath of laughter, a smile, she wonders, "How did you know?" of how perfect it is. "We've met before, haven't we? A poet, perhaps? Or did we correspond about philosophy? Gods, it was years ago." And she might be misremembering.

Sunaia's flustered, finding a place to sit, ( finally ) and allow her the inner wallflower to take root and bloom. She has a drink to hand, convienently, between standing - bowing - and taking a seat.

"A short story that would take too long to explain," Macario replies. He is tugged toward the dance floor, though he glances back between Lianne and Sunaia for another moment, before he turns toward Calla to proceed to explain the short story in whispers while they dance.

Arion smiles warmly and blushes a bit. "I merely went with my instincts. I had no idea it would be such a perfect fit.

Arion smiles warmly and blushes a bit. "I merely went with my instincts. I had no idea it would be such a perfect fit." He laughs lightly. Considering a moment he furrows those elegant red brows. "I think we might have spoken before yes, but it was so long ago I do not recall about what. My apologies. I'm opening a shop in the Ward of the Compact. Its called the Crimson Rose Salon." He looks proud.

Pasquale has joined the a cozy stone fireplace.

Since Arion is now in conversation Pasquale once again excuses himself so that he can play host and make sure nobody goes without company for too long if he can help it. He looks for Deva first, frowning a little to note she's slipped out, and then goes to join the group by the fireplace. "I'm really enjoying your playing Caprice. Thats two gifts you gave me tonight."

Ever curious at his cryptic reply, Calla lets Macario take the lead in their dance, even as they exchange soft murmurs back and forth, the occasional burst of giggles bubbling out of the Baroness as they dance.

Apollo goes to pluck up his wine glass from the table where he left it. Unfortunately, it's gone; he turns in a circle, wondering where it wound up, until he spies Fajra, in the margins, enjoying a glass. Slipping his hands into his pockets, he approaches, murmurs a few words to her that shift the front of a mild pique into a bright grin. Which promptly disappears with a few more words.

"I've only the barest inkling of recollection myself," Lianne assures Arion with a dip of her chin. "Only a spark a left, a recollection that our conversation was interesting. I've one of your perfumes still. And this be a fine addition to my collection, even if it was meant for my brother. I keep a pet lemon tree. And whole orangery more. Fairly certain you might find some lemon cookies around somewhere, if you look." A house specialty, perhaps? "I'll be certain to visit your salon when it's opened. Such talent demands appropriate patronage." Glancing about the room, she wonders, "Might I introduce you to anyone?"

Fajra is the very picture of innocence and diligence... with maybe a side of indulgence and minor theft. She meets Apollo's grin with an attentive smile of her own, an expression which clearly reads 'how may I help you?' A small smirk follows when the unvoiced question is answered, before she provides an inquisitive reply of her own and takes another taste of her wine.

A third time is not so charming for a song, and so, Caprice transitions to something a little slower. A little softer. Better for conversation, and keeping furniture where it belongs. And probably for making cow eyes at one's partner, if one is so inclined... Those whose ears are tuned to such things possibly catch a moment or two of fumbly fingers as Caprice is distracted from the strings by Pasquale. "Three," she corrects him, teasing grin lost as she shifts focus back to recovering the melody. "But I'm pleased to hear it, my Lord. I've been-" well, that note -sort- of worked there in the song... "..practicing, but I suppose I might have sent off to the College for a quartet if I'd thought on it longer. Is that you..? The lemon?"

"Three" Pasquale agrees when Caprice corrects him. "The lemon? Yes. A gift from the red haired man talking to Lianne right now. Arion."

Duarte is basically draped across one of the sofas with a whiskey in hand. He motions Harlen over with some paper and he jots some things down. He shoos the boy away and watches with some rakish delight as Harlen crosses the room to Fajra and hands her something.

Pasquale looks at Sunaia when she asks something at a volume intended mostly for him. He looks contemplative but soon moves up to his feet and offers her a hand. "Of course"

Fajra watches Apollo with a smirk decidedly undermined by the hint of color rising to her pale cheeks. She's about to take another drink of her wine when Harlen approaches, inspiring the glass to be set down so that she might accept the letter. She looks at it, looks past to Duarte then over to Lianne. And it goes in her pocket for the moment. Unburdened by either beverage or, clearly, responsibility, she accepts the Whisper's hand and says simply, "Alright then."

"I meant -- not now, but then -- rhetorical. Soon. Sit." Sunaia's still using her words. Good Ashford.

Foiled by the dutiful attendant, but Duarte's nosey amusement is now wrapped up in Sunaia and Pasquale going to dance - it seems....not!?....oh! He takes another sip of his beverage as he plays observer to these twists and turns.

Sunaia checks composure at hard. Sunaia is successful.

When Sunaia tells him to sit.. Pasquale actually sits. "Yes." he answers. "Of course I would."

Lianne has joined the a cozy stone fireplace.

Apollo Whisper, apparently him that turns smirks to blushing, takes that hand of Fajra's, and the turns to offer her an elbow. It's all of fifteen feet to where they'll dance, but a proper escort is both instinct and habit. And he takes her to the dance floor, and dances that slower dance to the slower song Caprice is playing. Similar to Sunaia, he has a muted conversation with her; he may not be making cow eyes, but whatever he's saying, it seems entirely earnest.

Macario manages to do the standard 'highschool' two-step with Calla. They whisper for a time, not overly consumed by the dance, but more so by the conversation. When the music hits the next beat, Macario steps away and bows, "Thank you Baroness. Again, the sweater dress, just sensible. May it be all the rage this season." That's likely wishful thinking.

Calla is sporting pink cheeks as her dance with Macario comes to an end, and she curtsey's politely in his direction. "And thank you, Lord Macario. You are a much better dancer than you think. I do believe I'm going to go get myself a drink after that" The Baroness goes off to search for that glass of whiskey she had been given.

With the perfumer in emerald off drifting off, Lianne finally makes her way toward those gathered by the warmth of the fireplace, a smile turned toward Caprice for her playing. And maybe another for the dancers enjoying the music. She finds herself a seat, a hand sweeping over her hip as a matter of habit, and takes a moment to gauge the tone of the conversation here.

Fajra isn't dressed for this, her leather and wool entirely functional, but that doesn't keep her from playing the part of proper lady on the Whisper's arm. She trusts in him to lead, following his steps with practiced empathy. Despite her blush, a smirk returns as she offers her answer, seemingly matter-of-fact.

Sir Mayhem, A silvery marmoset leaves, following Calla.

Macario has long since forgotten the location of his whisky. Thankfully, he finds another. Glass procured, he heads toward the space by the fireplace not long after Lianne does.

Macario has joined the a cozy stone fireplace.

Apollo dances with Fajra, that earnest scrap of conversation drawing to a close as he glances over, notices that the party has shifted over toward the fireplace. A puff of laughter to Fajra, and he murmurs an excuse - though, should she like the escort, he'll simply bring her over with him.

Apollo has joined the a cozy stone fireplace.

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