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A Super Boring Birthday Party

Medeia is hosting a birthday party! For herself. And, most likely, her twin sister - Neilda - as well. Also probably Lucita, whose birthday is conveniently very close to the twins'. Just a very normal birthday party with music and dancing and sweet treats. Entirely boring, really. There will be presents for the guests. No presents are expected for the birthday gals.


Nov. 13, 2023, 8 p.m.

Hosted By



Patrizio Galatea Lucita Renata Thea Theo Valencia Viviana Apollo Lianne



Arx - Ward of the Lyceum - Saik Tower - Music Chamber

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

3 House Velenosa Guards, Renault, Timothe arrive, following Theo.

9 First Legion Centurions, 3 Setarcan Royal Shields arrive, following Patrizio.

Saik Tower has once again opened its doors to the public, welcoming everyone in out of the winter chill to be embraced by the toasty warmth within - being a Lycene house, the hearths are all going and extra care has been taken to block any drafts. At the door, guests are greeted by attentive and friendly staff who, in spite of the recent circumstances, are keeping level heads. Outerwear is taken and hung away with care to dry, weapons are secured, and then an escort provided on the short walk from the entrance to the music chamber.

Within the music chamber, the rustic yet refined charm of Saikland Greens has been elevated. Dining tables are draped with green silk cloths and gold-hued satin runners embroidered with grapevine motifs in an array of purples, reds, and greens. Stunning glass and gold candelabras, bowls of imported fruits, and sprigs of winter greenery accent the tabletops. Swags of more gold satin with greenery and crystalline glass baubles adorn the walls and hearth mantel. Extra chairs have been arranged for guests to dine or mingle in comfort. It is, overall, an inviting space.

Additionally, room has been assured for dancing, and a string trio is arranged off to one side to provide lively, upbeat numbers for the delight of guests. Servants in fine livery circulate to see to it that drinks are refreshed and empty glasses and plates are cleared away quickly. Food has been arranged buffet style, with all manner of confections and cake set out among the best southern cheeses, brined olives, pickled vegetables and preserved fruits, a variety of breads with butter and spreads, mini egg tarts, cured meats, and more.

Some guests have already arrived, and Medeia and Lucita have begun chatting in earnest. Medeia is keeping an eye on the door to greet people as they arrive, smiling brightly. "Hello! Welcome to Saik Tower, hank yu so much for coming to celebrate with us this evening. Please be sure to wish the barnoess a very happy birthday!" She does not note her own birthday.

Medeia checked dexterity + alchemy at difficulty 9, rolling 38 higher.

Medeia checked dexterity + alchemy at difficulty 9, rolling 59 higher.

Medeia checked dexterity + alchemy at difficulty 9, rolling 56 higher.

Medeia checked dexterity + alchemy at difficulty 9, rolling 30 higher.

Medeia checked dexterity + alchemy at difficulty 9, rolling 57 higher.

Medeia checked dexterity + alchemy at difficulty 9, rolling 40 higher.

Medeia checked dexterity + alchemy at difficulty 9, rolling 28 higher.

Medeia checked dexterity + alchemy at difficulty 9, rolling 42 higher.

Medeia checked dexterity + alchemy at difficulty 9, rolling 50 higher.

Medeia checked dexterity + alchemy at difficulty 9, rolling 34 higher.

There's something to being fashionably late, or upon the edge of it, and such is a Pravusi tradition at this point. So goes it with Patrizio Pravus, having arrived to the party with his rather cumbersome entourage in blue-and-steel, cloaked against the abyssal cold has blanketed the city without. Though once his cloak and gloves have been dispensed with, boots dried to not be tracking snow through the locale, there's that warm smile of his that's turned to the ladies of the evening as he comes to pay his proper respects. "Baroness, my lady," he says with warmth, to Lucita and Medeia respectively, the press of his palm to his chest as he bows his head to each. "Happy birthday to each of you, and may the gods favour us with many, many more for each of you."

Galatea isn't one of the earliest guests to arrive, instead only entering the room a short while after the posted start time. Elevated heels propel her already heighty frame to what is probably the tallest in the room, her figure swathed in a form-flattering steelsilk gown, accents of green jewelry glinting in the light of the candelabras. The most striking accessory to her person, however, is Viviana, the former princess and newly-minted Whisper. They arrive with twined arms, though it seems to be Galatea who is moreso leading the way. "I was of a mind to wholly disregard the instructions and get Medeia some kind of extravagant gift regardless, but I feel like she would make unhappy faces at me if I were to insist," she tells the woman beside her, a touch conspiratorially, "So I shall have to hope a little bit of extra company celebrating her name-day is gift enough." She doesn't immediately approach their hostess, instead taking a moment to examine the decor. "A mix of familiar and unfamiliar faces," she muses quietly.

Lucita laughs and lifts one finger to shake it in admonishment toward Medeia. "Not just mine, 'Your' and 'Neilda' both have birthdays to celebrate. Most years I rather ignore my own for the most part." She turns to greet each newcomer with a beguiling smile. Come, have fun. Plenty of seating and the ones playing for us are talented, most enjoyable!"

Renata arrived early and is currently in front of the Musical Instrument Display Shelves admiring the figurines while in soft conversation with Lucita. Looking around to make sure her assistant doesn't still have a few of the wreaths allowing for the party to go on, as it was decreed earlier only Good Memories are allowed moving forwards. A nod to Patrizio as he enters and then a linger of her gaze towards watching Galatea as she enters.

Thea strides in, brushing the snow from her cloak as she walks. "Happy birthday, Saiks,"she greets. There's a smile on her lips, because it isn't just for one it seems. "Finn, go find Martino. I'm sure he'd love to see you." And all the fur that will be all over his clothes. The Countess grins a bit at the thought.

Theo wanders in. He actually is polite and does not make a comment about the weather. Instead he wears a charming smile as he greets both Medeia and Lucita, "Milady, Baroness, the happiest of birthdays to you both." Once that is done he steps back and puts hands in pockets as he surveys the crowd, group in general.

It would so happen that even Valencia has made a rare appearance to celebrate the day. Arriving shortly after, the raven haired woman slips into the room with a bright and happy smile and a cheerful, "Happy Birthday, all!" Soon followed by a, "What a beautiful place to celebrate," as she gazes admiringly about the room before drifting off to say hello to those she knows.

Lucita gives Valencia a hug and cheek kiss when she passes near her. "Am so glad you came. Please relax and enjoy yourself!" Each of the others is cheerfully greeted in turn." She murmurs to Thea "Not going to sing tonight. Am resting my voice somewhat after doing a lot of singing and story telling today."

Medeia's smile brightens further at Patrizio's greeting, and she bows her head to him. "Thank you, Your Grace, and even more so for making the ourney here in the cold - I know how you despise this weather. It means more than I can say that you came." She's then turning to Galatea, laughing. "I have never made an unhappy face in my life," she lies with a wink, "And it is wonderful to see the both of you, I am so happy to see so many of my favorite faces tonight." She slips over to give Lucita a hug. "Yes, mine and Neilda's too. But this is why I am making a point of /yours/." Thea, Theo, and Valencia all get friendly greetings - Thea a hug, the other tow excited finger-wiggling waves. "This is truly a party. Now, remember everyone, we must keep it as boring as possible. I promised." Who did she promise? And why? She doesn' share that information. It seems like a joke anyway. "And, well, we do have another thing to celebrate, though Lyra and Filip are off taking care of what they must in Cedar Vale so he can settle. We are /so/ thrilled by the union between Byrne and Saik."

The duelist Whisper - former princess - serves as the cool ocean turquoise to Galatea's blue-flame steelsilk, murmuring in conspiratorial tones to Galatea from the corner of her mouth, soft-voiced. Her envy-green eye flicks away from the alchemist, toward another alchemist - the aforementioned name-day celebrant. Then, back in, fingers tensing on Galatea's arm with a squeeze. "Friends, all," she asserts.

Theo smiles at Medeia's excited finger wave and he can even be heard chuckling as he walks over to Valencia to greet his cousin, "It is good to see you once again. You look wonderful." Bowing his head towards Patrizio in greeting. He's all smile and cheers even if he's not a fan of outside. Birthdays are being celebrated. Boring or not.

Thea hugs Thea with amusement. "I just tossed some glitter in some areas in yours and Nel's rooms. It'll be fine." Lucita gets a nod of relief. "Good. But I brought you some teas anyway,"she says. There's a flutter of her fingers to Valencia, Patrizio, and Theo as well. The people she knows. Those she doesn't, there's a nod of her head. "I don't think think Deia knows how to throw a boring party if she tried."

Clearly Thea hugs Medeia.

A laugh slides from Patrizio at Medeia's words and he shakes his head. "I'd not let the cold dissuade me from coming out. We make efforts for those who matter in our lives." Lucita, if briefly, gets an eye as if tell of singing perhaps might be worrying to him, but only in jest from the smile that comes on its heels. To Valencia, he smiles warmly. "I'm glad to see that you came out this evening, your highness. Though for you, the winter's less of an obstacle."

"Though boring is all in the eye of the beholder, is it not, my lady?" He smiles warmly to Thea at her assertion of such, though he's already himself moving for a drink, as if to wet his whistle as if in preparation for things getting 'boring', subject to his own interpretation.

The little vixen fondly hugs Lucita back without any hesitation. Dark eyes dancing, Valencia smiles again. "I am not so sure with the company here any event could be boring," she winks and offers a grin.

Turning to Theo the smile doubles, though Valencia seems to struggle to contain her delight at seeing her beloved cousin. Catching herself, she delicately clears her throat and gives him her most courtly curtsy, though the grin remains. "My dearest Prince Theo, I am so happy to see you, too, and truly, you are too kind," she offers with a glimmer of playful mirth, pausing to happily return Thea's warm wave. "You look quiet dashing this evening. I hope you are in the mood for dancing.The music sings for such a thing, yes?" A smile is also offered to Patrizio. "Your Grace, it is beautiful to see your face, too," Valencia return with a spark of a smile. "I am very glad to see you, too."

Renata takes in a deep breath and heads across the hall to her cousins, first a pause beside Patrizio, "Lovely to see you tonight cousin." As she brushes his arm if allowed a small bow to him before seeking to offer Valencia a hug and greeting as well. As she turns to find where Vivi and Galatea went, Theo is given a small wave of fingers. In her steps of circling the floor she stops beside Medeia for a soft word.

Lucita says, "That is like someone might find it exciting to speak of a new paint pigment, or another of a rare spice for adding to mulled wine, or another a fancy needlework stitch and bore the socks off someone whose interest is in hunting or horses or dogs. Thankfully everyone here has something to talk about that others can enjoy thoroughly."

Galatea curtseys formally towards Medeia, beaming a sunny smile that's at odds with her wintry complection and the persistent gloom outside. "Happy birthday to you and your sister both; it is my pleasure to be here." She apparently assumes that Viviana will match her curtsey for curtsey without any forewarning, the two of them being together as a bit of a unit in the way that they are. "Let us hope that despite recent events, the next year proves more prosperous and peaceful than the last, for you personally, at least. Meanwhile, what's this...?"
From one of the attendants, in her free hand, she receives the luminescent liquid, one that seems to change colors based on how you swirl it. "Reminds me a bit of my own failed experiments with...glowing seawater," she murmurs, tinking a fingernail against the curvature of the glass.

So absorbed in her study of another alchemist's craft that she doesn't really notice the presence of her own extended family until they're right next to her. "Ah, Patrizio, hello."

Galatea checks intellect and alchemy at hard. Galatea marginally fails.

Galatea tells Viviana besides her, "Well, it's not poisonous, at least, though I suppose we could have assumed that. We'll just have to drink it and find out."

"Please, be sure to dance, eat, drink... dance!" Medeia encourages everyone, The servants make sure that everyone is given precisely what they wish to drink. The musicians keep the mood light. Medeia looks at everyone with at least some amount of adoration, though she does lean in to listen to Renata. She gives the princess a nod, squeezing her hand gently. To Galatea, she tsks softly. "You know I do not deal in poisons, the glow is from the blueclaw vine I helped to cultivate from Vaevici lands. Thea and I, both. Lord Titus and I were discussing whether the glow from the petals would persist after being meddled with. It does, sort of." She waits until Patrizio has had a chance to actually drink some of his drink before she approaches. "Speaking of dancing? I have owed you one for far too long. Shal we come even tonight?"

There is of course a wave for Thea from Theo. My oh my such similar names. Grinning wider as he listens to Valencia. It is apparent he enjoys his cousin's company and he is happy she is here at the party. Nodding at the talk of dancing, "Yes, I do hope you will be one of my dance partners?" This is said towards Valencia. Deep blue eyes yes, this prince is distracted when Renata comes in view and gives him that finger wave, his smile remains as that princess gets the same greeting she gave him.

Viviana bows, smooth as seasilk, with a flourish of her free hand. With a sidelong glance over - then toward the bottle that's proffered as a party favor, she gasps with awe. "It's so pretty. Must be a liqueur." She preens a little -- so sure of herself, of this strangely luminous cordial. "I'll taste it before you, of course." With lazy overconfidence. "It would a sin to suggest otherwise."

Thea agrees with Medeia. "That was quite the trip." She smiles as she remembers. "Hey Valencia. It's been a moment." Thea admits with a chuckle,"Ive been busy and at one point laid up a bit. I hope you've been well." Turning her eyes to Galatea, she lifts a brow a moment. "You're Galatea. Pleasure to meet you. I'm Countess Thea Wyvernheart. I've been told we should meet." The Countess amusedly regards Theo. Similar names indeed.

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

Fajra, Apollo arrive, following Lianne.

"Princess! I'm so glad you are here as well," Valencia thrills and returns the hug cheerfully, clearly glad to see Renata in attendance. Turning, she offer Galatea and Viviana a warm smile. "I see that we are gifted with the company of many of the House of Pravusi. This is very good, yes?" she notes offering a warm smile and incline of head to both Galatea and Viviana. "Good evening, both. I'm glad to see you. It has been some time. You are well?"

Theo's invitation is met with flash of a smile and a little nod. "Of course, my sweetest of cousins. Please. But I have a boon to ask, if I may," Valencia adds seeming ot temper her enthusiasm with a glance to Renata and back. "Would you see that the Princess Renata is partnered first. She is only now returned to the city and may be shy. I am she loves to dance," she suggests, every the helpful cousin she is.

Lucita says, "It reminds me of the moss that glowed along the walls in the Saikland Caverns. Not a bright thing but a soft glow." She reaches out, pours a little from a bottle and samples it in the Lycene manner, showing it is safe to imbibe, free of poisons. "It has a unique flavor."

Viviana has joined the a group of armchairs near a fireplace.

Medeia checked dexterity + alchemy at difficulty 9, rolling 47 higher.

Medeia checked dexterity + alchemy at difficulty 9, rolling 41 higher.

Galatea steers Viviana in the direction of the tables and chairs next to the dance floor, where any number of glasses and so on are presumably available. "I won't be needing you to risk mortal peril for me on this particular evening," she assures Viviana, carrying on with the fiction that the mysterious glowing cordials might in fact be somehow poisoned. "Instead, I'll face it alongside you. Pour enough for both of us, won't you?"

Conspiratorially, giving Viviana time to attend to the beverages, she looks out over the room. "A fairly august sort of company. I'll admit, sometimes I'm not entirely certain whether or not I belong at events like this, surrounded by so many persons of unambiguously and peerlessly noble blood. But they seem to tolerate me flouncing about in their company, so I'll keep at it until someone objects."

Theo listens very carefully to what Valencia is asking him when it comes to dancing. The Southern Fox did not turn him down so that is bonus. Looking over at Renata when Valencia speaks of her and he nods to his cousin, "Yes, I can see to it that the kind lady princess gets a dance in. It doesn't mean that I won't come back and ask for your hand to dance with me to." Moving in the direction of where Renata went.

Galatea has joined the a group of armchairs near a fireplace.

Playfully, there's a waggle of a finger by the archduke of Setara towards Medeia. "Ah, so this was a plot to even the ledgers, is that it, my lady?" Says he, in a tone that's very much not serious in the slightest about the matter, before a warmer laugh slips from his lips. "I would be honoured. Though as protocol would dictate, if your cousin wishes not the honour as the head of the house under whose roof we are..." He gives a smile to Lucita, before his voice loses that note of toying about it, as he offers softly, "And worry not. I shall not abscond without said dance, upon my honour. Because we have dan... circling about the matter for too long." Too many uses of the d-word, truly.

Would the Malespero contingent fail to show at such an auspicious occasion as one (1) Lady Medeia Saik's birthday? Well... yes. Particularly if they weren't in Arx, such as has been the case for several years now. But here, now? There are no piddly excuses like "being in a whole other place." And so here they are, whispering like grand conspirators, leaned close, Lianne's arm threaded through Apollo's. Once they've arrived at the music chamber, Apollo lifts his head from that conspiratorial whispering - which had _something_ to do with _red_ and _lace_, tones undoubtedly appreciative - to look about for Medeia. And the general attendees. A particular pair stand out, apart from the birthday girl: Viviana and Galatea, who might catch a smile springing to his features when he spots them.

Renata is quick to find a drink in her hand after circling and saying her hellos, slowly sipping on the drink as she overhears Valencia's ask of Theo. A small blush and quick to press to her skirts, a small breath taken as she nods to the Malesperos as they enter. A wave towards the Duchess before the princess is seeking to step over towards the hearth to keep warm.

Lucita says, "I get dances, too!" She laughs softly but becomes distracted by speaking with someone else. She mingles with those who have come to enjoy each other's company and spends a little time speaking with each in amicable conversation about pleasant, familiar things. "We needed time like this with each other!"

"I stand ready and waiting, Theo," Valencia nods dutifully, though her eyes glimmer with mischief. "Now go, go... quickly. Two dances just to make sure. For me.... I wish to enjoy the vision of it," she adds with an impish grin that she cannot contain. With Theo off on his quest, she turns to Galatea and smiles gently. "If you will pardon my over hearing, I think you are very welcome. Please do not feel so, for I am certain you are welcome," she nods to the woman sincerely. Thea's greeting draws her focus and she nods again. "Countess, it has been. It is so good to see you again. I hope what has been keeping you has been plasurable. You look lovely tonight."

Thea has left the a group of armchairs near a fireplace.

Medeia's attention drifts from Valencia and Theo to Renata before moving to those discussing the cordial. To Lucita, she nods. "If anyone wishes to see the vine, unchanged, there is some growing in the greenhouse in the garden. It could be worth taking a peek in on your way out." But then she's adopting a wholly offended look for Patrizio. "Your Grace, I would /never/ manipulate circumstances to allow me to balance the ledgers, as you say. How could you think I would be so..." Her thought trails off, pure amusement coming back into her features. She shrugs, and then is fully caught up by Apollo and Lianne arriving. "My dearest Malesperos!" She leaves the archduke, for now, to go and greet them both with offered cheek kisses.

"Of course --" she does pour a bit of the cordial into a pair of delicate glasses, swirling the contents of one in order to watch the colors shift and swirl. Viviana smiles, languid, and she extends her arm out - offering the second of the delicate glasses to Galatea, good eye hooded with an unapologetic amount of self-satisfaction. "I like being seen."

2 Saik Guard have been dismissed.

Micana, an efficient assistant have been dismissed.

"Two dances?" Theo looks over his shoulder to make sure he heard Valencia and he's laughing at her as he squints. He's amused. But it seems this prince will do most anything for his cousin. Even as he continues following to see where Renata went finally finding her by the hearth. He does nod towards the Malesperos when they make their entrance. Quiet words for Renata when he reaches her side. A touch to her elbow if she so allows as he murmurs in her ear.

For his own part, and there's that play of it, Patrizio looks equally offended, since it seems to be wholly in vogue. But a hand's offered up to Medeia to lead her out onto the dance floor with Lucita's fade into the background, and he bows his head to Lianne and Apollo. "My lady, my lord, if I might be so cavalier as to steal the birthday girl for... well, I shall not lie and say 'but a moment'."

Galatea takes the glass from Viviana with a lazy sort of grasp, inhaling the unique aroma of its peculiar mixture, before she drinks deeply over it. "I'm somewhat fond of being the center of attention, myself," she shoots back at Viviana brightly, before pursing her lips thoughtfully and taking a second sip. "Hmmm...some sort of...cirtus note...florals...honey? Feels faintly medicinal...but I don't think I'm going to be unexpectedly drugged like I was at the Lady Laurent's soiree." Apparently she simply can't turn off the professional part of her brain to just enjoy it as a drink. The glance from Apollo does have her looking aside over in his direction, however, lifting a hand to wave lazily, a sleepy sort of smile on her face.

Valencia looks to Theo and sagely nods, her expression earnest and only a hint of mischief showing.

"I'll introduce you to my tailor," Lianne murmurs to Apollo at the tail end of all that conspiring, her low-lidded smile tipping toward adoring. Her verdant attention turns toward the party, Renata's greeting the first she catches, promptly reciprocated, even her smile skews a bit inquisitive. When she spies Viviana, oh! She is not 19 anymore. She shouldn't feel the impulse to run up and swing her arms around her sister, but it's there, present in the shift of her posture, the brightness, the faint lean forward before she catches herself, tightens her hold on Apollo's arm. She can greet her sister like a grown-up. But first, the birthday girl, a warm smile for Medeia as she draws in close, free hand set briefly to the other woman's elbow. "If it were anyone else..." She'd be avoiding the cold, and maybe people too. The thought goes unfinished as she looks to Patrizio and bows her head. "Of course."

"Just a moment!" Medeia excuses herself, lying on behalf of Patrizio, to Lianne and Apollo. She takes Patrizio's offered hand and follows him to the designated dancing area. The musicians seem to be paying attention, as they wind down their current song and start one anew for those wishing to dance. The lady places the hand not in the archduke's at his shoulder as she looks around to see if others will be dancing, too. Satisfied, she leans in and allows Patrizio to lead.

"If you think I'll like him," Apollo answers, quick as that, and flashes a smile back at Renata, paired with a dip of his head. "Darling Medeia," he answers, and kisses her cheek, breezy. For Patrizio, another dip of his head, "By all means, your grace. I hope you know what you're getting yourself into. She's a remarkable dancer." He glances sidelong at Lianne, and says, "Shall we go see your sister, then?" Oh, he felt that impulse. What a brat.

Renata turns to something said softly in conversation with Theo, with a small sip of her drink appears to pull away and head to have a seat only to stop as she watches Medeia and her cousin take to the dance floor. Looking back to Valencia in that moment with a amused smile, changing directions from head of a seat to go talk with Valencia.

Valencia, for her part, simply smiles back to Renata and Theo before drifting back to enjoy to the music and conversations about her, happy to immerse in the delights that are found in an event with so many wonderful people around.

Viviana leans toward Galatea, interested in her tasting notes and professional observations - and she hums, as though she has been made more aware of the cordial that she's sipping and allows herself a moment to enjoy it. "--Lemon lightness, and there's a clean herbaceousness, that --" her good eye flicks, again, off to the side. Her smile tilts toward the sly, "-- My sister's here, Galatea," she murmurs. Then, she lifts a hand, wiggling her fingers in a little wave toward Lianne and Apollo. "Look at them. Beautiful and clever and so wonderfully fond of one another."

"I'm hardly a slouch at such things myself, my lord." Patrizio chuckles softly to Apollo at the comment, though his expression speaks to being quite aware of what he's 'getting himself into'. And that said, there's that ease with how he conveys Medeia out onto the floor, the glance to the musicians for a moment as one hand slips to the small of the Saik lady's back, his other taking up hers, before he moves smoothly with the melody and rhythm that the skilled artists are putting forth.

Galatea slings an arm wholly around Viviana, pulling the woman lightly against her side as she nurses the remnants of her glass. "Apollo made me some very useful custom alchemical equipment, you know, once upon a time, so I'll agree he's a clever sort," she tells her in soft-spoken approval. "He used one of my mixtures to accomplish a few things, so I suspect we both benefitted, in the end. Your sister, however, I do not believe I have met formally. At least not recently." She ticks her head to one side. "I'll agree with your overall assessment, however."

Yes, Theo just rolled his eyes at Renata as she walks away after he says some more words at her. Arms cross over his chest. Shaking his head and looking downwards for a moment so his laugh doesn't carry throughout. She might as well as have thrown her drink on him.

Lianne may have had a quip for Apollo, but all he gets is a sidelong look, a suggestion that she has /opinions/ on how well he and her tailor might get on. She watches Patrizio sweep Medeia away, soft smile playing at her lips, but her husband does understand her priorities, focus swiftly falling back to Viviana. She smiles far too wide, bright as a summer day, and doesn't even try to reel it in. They're heading that way. "Speaking of beautiful and clever. I've missed you." She extends a hand, but, really, it's a bid for a hug, and offer of embrace. No excited adolescent pouncing.

The archduke's lead is followed well enough, with Medeia maintaining a smile as they match their steps. Some quiet words are exchanged before she's looking out, around the room, appearing grateful for everyone she sees. Her attention then turns back to Patrizio, getting lost in the dance while the musicians continue to play.

If Valencia she has noticed this exchange between the Pravusi princess and the Prince of Velenosa, she does not seem to show it. Fingers laced, her smile warm and mild, she watches the dancers take their turns upon the dance floor for a little and the slips off to go explore the room a little more,offering a gracious nod to Lianne and Appollo as she passes and another friendly smile to Vivianna and Galatea as they chat.

"Of course," Apollo says, of Patrizio's dancing skill. He simply hasn't had as much a chance to observe the man on the dance floor. "Of the two of us, I think you'll find her the cleverer," Apollo says as they draw close to Viviana and Galatea. "A dreadful oversight that I haven't introduced you before. Darling, this is Galatea, a very talented alchemist I've had the pleasure of working with on more than one occasion. One of her mixtures turned out to Galatea, this is my wife, Duchess Lianne Malespero. Who I think is rather glad to see her sister." Galatea is getting the first of his attention only because he expects Viviana will be _wholly occupied_ for a moment, no slight intended; Viviana gets a warm smile with a solid twist of amusement.

Patrizio chuckles while he's drawing Medeia about, the shift of his hands and a brief separation between them, so that his hand upon her back can give her a twist and a turn, to let that gown of hers flutter about as she's briefly spun and again caught up with. And still, throughout, it's clear that he's speaking quietly with her while making a hint of a spectacle for and of the birthday girl.

"Of course," Apollo says, of Patrizio's dancing skill. He simply hasn't had as much a chance to observe the man on the dance floor. "Of the two of us, I think you'll find her the cleverer," Apollo says as they draw close to Viviana and Galatea. "A dreadful oversight that I haven't introduced you before. Darling, this is Galatea, a very talented alchemist I've had the pleasure of working with on more than one occasion. One of her mixtures turned out to be instrumental in a bit of, mm, tree removal. Galatea, this is my wife, Duchess Lianne Malespero. Who I think is rather glad to see her sister." Galatea is getting the first of his attention only because he expects Viviana will be _wholly occupied_ for a moment, no slight intended; Viviana gets a warm smile with a solid twist of amusement.

"Allow me a moment to greet her, Galatea --" with a dear look offered to her, then toward the Golden Heart of the Golden Hart, offering Valencia a smile of greeting. Then, focused wholly on Lianne with the entire force of her personality, Viviana is effervescent. "Li --" her hands open wide, inviting an embrace of her sister.

Not even half way in step towards Valencia and it's Theo's laugh that pulls Renata back towards him. Seeking to finish the drink completely as she holds a finger up to him to hold and wait upon the thought that has him smiling now. Looking for a place to put her drink, then a stare at the Prince. As she blatantly announces louder than she means to, "Fine. You get a dance." Her cheeks flushing as she realizes how loud she just spoke, "I mean..." A small shake of her head as she seeks to keep the blush from rising too fast, "Yes. You... We may have a dance." Holding her hand out to him and a stare to the dance floor where Patrizio and Medeia glide in ease of step.

Galatea is kind enough to remove her arm from Viviana before she receives the full force of Lianne's fond greeting and extended hug. "I take it the sisters haven't seen each other for a while," she muses to Valencia, before her gaze returns to Apollo. "Thank you, Apollo, for that gracious introduction. I do not believe we have spoken since your accession to the office of Duke-consort. Please allow me to extend my formal congratulations; I'd have never expected such a thing to be in your future. Did I correctly hear that you got involved with the Whispers as well? Truly a lot to get caught up on."

Did the Velenosa Prince just win against the Pravus Princess? Are they keeping score? Who knows! Just that Theo does get to have a dance with Renata after all. He's laughing outright now when she comes back in his direction and tells him he can have a dance. Oh the favor of a dance from the kind lady. All he says towards her as amusement reigns in his features, "Good." Taking her hand in his as he moves the both of them to join Patrizio and Medeia. Giving a wink to the pair as he takes the lead in this dance.

Valenica smiles back to Viviana. "Highness," she offers quietly so as to not interrupt her conversation with Apollo, Lianne and Galatea. Galatea's acknowledgement, too, is graciously received and the little Lycene moves on to the other part of the room to observe the happens. A glance Renata's way has her quirking a brow and offering a gentle nod of affirmation. As the Pravusi princess accepts her cousin Theo's invitation to dance and Valencia's smile, though still mild, returns.

Bright interest registers on Lianne's features when Apollo explains the aid Galatea had given him, and it would seem she's impressed. She's just a touch /distracted/ as well. The duchess disentangles from Apollo to, yes, wrap her arms about Viviana in a terribly earnest hug. Is this the same Lianne that left Arx four-ish years ago? Questionable. It's probably motherhood. Softened her all up. Whatever the case, she holds tight for a long moment then frees her sister, steps back to note, "Whisper," with some delight and surprise. Not quite a question, but not /not/ a question either. Belated, terribly delayed, she turns an easy smile to the alchemist, "A pleasure to meet someone Apollo speaks of so highly. And in such fine company already."

"It's been some years since either of us saw quite a number of people we hold dear," Apollo says, stepping back to give room for Valencia, who he's just caught was near. "Valencia. It's been an age." In truth, they've largely met in passing, but he has met her before. "You're very kind," he says, of Galatea's congratulations. "I was a Whisper, yes. Though I think when we worked together I was already at apprenticing with Whisper House. When I started I certainly didn't dream my work as a courtier would go as far as it turned out to. A rather long story. We can catch up soon if you like. " That's with a smile that seems best characterized as gentle. His eyes turn on Viviana, quizzical. "I'd heard something like that. What strange paths we take, mm?"

"Whisper," Viviana repeats with a tilted smile, good eye averted but briefly. "-- an enjoyable retirement for the former Sword of Setarco." With a laugh, easy: "It was not a strange path, but a deliberate one."

Turning to address Apollo, Valencia nods warmly. "It has, Duke Apollo. I am glad that we have had such an occasion to remedy this long overdue meeting. May I say that you and your beloved look very well. I am glad of it," she offers back brightly. "I hope that both doing very well," she nods to both the Duke and his Duchess before continuing on to inspect the most wonderful and intriguing clavichord with a mountain lion motif.

Valencia has joined the an elegant clavichord with a filigree mountain lion motif.

Galatea proclaims, to those who would be interested in hearing: "I can see why so many people are attracted to the position, but I'd make an absolutely lousy Whisper. Probably fall asleep in the middle of my assignments, trip over my shoes, and generally make a fool of myself dancing or anything else that requires the slightest smidgen of grace."

Viviana laughs with Galatea envisioning this, taking a step back once she's taken the proper time to greet Lianne. Apollo gets a grin. Back toward Galatea, she murmurs. "I don't believe this."

A smile from Patrizio, as he's easing back slightly from Medeia, the hand slipping from the small of her back as he bows slightly, and smiles, before conveying her back towards the edge of the dance floor at the settling of the music for the moment. "Thank you for the kindness of the dance - you indeed dance beautifully. And happy birthday once more, my lady." That twinkle to his jade eyes, as he bows as well slightly to the assembled. "I apologize for stealing the hostess for so long. Some things, however, cannot be rushed when done properly, I fear."

Medeia's all smiles as she catches her breath and dips a curtsy to the archduke. "Thank you, Your Grace, that was well worth the wait." Then, she looks to her guests, summons a servant to bring her a glass of wine, and wonders, "Is there anyone here who is /not/ related to someone else here?" Her gaze lands on Apollo. "You do not count, marriage is a relation."

Viviana has left the a group of armchairs near a fireplace.

Renata checks composure at hard. Renata marginally fails.

"Fairly certain nobody would much care for the advice I'd have to offer," Lianne empathizes with Galatea, less a matter of grace than tact. Looking to Medeia, she looks like she might argue, weighing the bond between Argento and Malespero, but... no, that's definitely near enough by her measure.

Galatea looks slightly bereft when her partner for the evening departs to busy herself elsewhere; she lowers herself down into an armchair to watch the proceedings from a safe distance which will, hopefully, not involve her having to do any dancing. She holds her glowing, still-corked cordial in one hand, staring down at it like some kind of witch considering an especially potent potion. "I'm impressed with this," she comments to Lianne and Apollo both, as she gets comfortable.

Renata's cheeks turn a shade of warm rosy red as she lifts her hand for Theo to take in dance only to stop with her hand lifted in mid air. A pause to whatever she was going to say to him only to now stand before him nearly frozen. Trying to catch upon a breath, she turns to look around her to catch Medeia's eye then grabs a glass of wine from nearby tray to come back and throw it in Theo's face. Turning with the empty glass in a nervous shake of her hand, "Lady Medeia, I hope you have a lovely birthday. Pressing to her skirts and a look around to the others, "Cousin." She dips gently towards Patrizio. Then turns and heads out the door.

Medeia shifts to rest lightly upon the arm of Galatea's chair, wondering, "Are you?" She looks about to inquire further when Renata is... Throwing wine in Theo's face. She stands quickly and hurries over to the princess' side as a servant hurries to Theo with a towel.

"Advice is, I fear, the matter of the right words at the right time. I find that it's always worthwhile to /get/ the advice from almost any corner - it's whether we choose ourselves to take it in the moment that may depend." Having caught his breath himself, and a glass of wine in hand, Patrizio smiles when he's hearing Lianne's words. His jade eyes drift over those assembled and conversing on the matter, and he seems about to say something further, before he looks with concern to Renata. "Cousin," he says, as if for the moment at a loss for what else to say, before there's a firmer look to the now-dripping Theo... and as he retreats a step, he murmurs to Galatea and Valencia, "What did I miss while I was upon the dance floor?"

"Very well, thank you," Apollo says to Valencia, giving a dip of his head. Galatea, though, gets a click of his tongue against his teeth. "Your brilliance lies elsewhere, it's true," he says, "but I think you underestimate your grace. If you'd like to not make a fool of yourself at dancing, though, I have provided lessons to others with _far_ less grace than you. I would be delighted." Once a Whisper...

His eyes turn on Medeia, brows aloft. "I wouldn't dream of such a claim," he says, as if she didn't need to single him out at all.

Does Theo look smug? Possibly? Was he expecting wine to be part of his features? Probably not. He sputters as he is quick to find a cloth of sorts to wipe at his face. Is he laughing? Yes. At Renata? No. Just the whole situation. Oh but there is a servant offering a towel and he takes it. "Thank you." He murmurs. Shaking his head as he gives the sodden towel back to the servant. Looking to Medeia he says, "My apologies." But he does seem determined to follow Renata. No fowl play here, honest.

Inspection of the fascination instrument complete, Valencia continues her investigation. That is until the explosion upon the dance floor that leaves Theo christened with a glassful of wine happens. The unexpected outburst is met with a quiet look. Tracing Renata's trajectory with a look of concern, the little vixen silently moves to Theo's side as Mediea rushes after Renata, offering Theo a silk handkerchief and a quiet word should he move from the dancefloor to a more appropriate place to converse.

Galatea startles at the sudden appearance of Medeia right next to her, nearly dropping the bottle. "Oh, ah, yes, as a matter of fact," she tells Medeia, tinkling the glass with the tapping of fingernails. "You did excellent work with it, and the fact that I'm not currently experiecning acute nausea would seem to indicate you came up with a balance that even my delicate digestion can endure."

She insists to Apollo, "I am hopeless. I don't even have two left feet; I have three."

Lianne's eyes narrow just a touch at those first words from Patrizio, the barest glimmer of mischief in her expression. She might have something to say. It probably isn't a careful, "As you say, Your Grace." She studies him a moment, but that wine-tossing /does/ pull focus. Whatever that is? She's missed it, too. She's not particularly curious, however. With Medeia and Galatea discussing drink, though? The duchess drifts off to get herself some.

Theo is overheard praising Medeia.

Apollo is overheard praising Medeia: A lovely dancer, as always.

Words shared, Valencia nods and turns to look to Renata, perhaps to measure her condition. Another glance to Theo and she nods again and retreats from his side once again.

Apollo, with a twist of humor in his expression, offers to Galatea, "I assure you there are dances in which third left foot would be /entirely/ to your advantage." But he's not pressing it; it seems like he's going to drift after Lianne, sort out a drink for himself. "I'll write," he says, as he steps off. "We /should/ catch up."

Renata speaks with Medeia as her assistant offers her cloak. As she is turning away, a quick turn back to hug Medeia then scowl in a squint at Theo as she looks to be laughing herself. "We can talk later. Only good memories, I'll see myself out so I don't cause more scandal."

Once Theo has had his quiet words with Valencia and gives cousin affection to her he looks to continue to be on his way. He can't be all that bad if he's trying to make sure Renata is okay. Oh Renata can squint away. They will be having a conversation soon enough if he's lucky.

Renata is overheard praising Medeia.

6 First Legion Centurions, Sparrow, an enthusiastic and bubbly assistant leave, following Renata.

3 House Velenosa Guards, Renault, Timothe leave, following Theo.

Medeia places a hand on Renata's shoulder after giving her a small hug. "Well..." But then the princess is gone. She turns to Theo, laughing. "Your Highness, you have a fan." And then /he/ is gone. The lady's attention to turns to Patrizio, offering a reassuring smile to him and Valencia both. "They will be fine." There's an amused, knowing twitch in her smile before she moves back to join Galatea, Lianne, and Apollo. "It does make me happy that I have so few introductions to make, tonight. What a lovely gathering."

"To be fair," says Patrizio with a breath, "Renata would be the /last/ of us that I would ever think to bring scandal. But perhaps that's a proud cousin speaking, even as much as one who knows her." He takes a sip from his wine, before there's a smile to Valencia, the drawing over to her to speak for a moment, albeit with still a glance in Theo and Renata's wake. Though Medeia's words get a chuckle, and the dip of his head. "It's a lovely thing to have everyone know one another. Even if just in passing in some regards. There've been gatherings where I have thought nameplates should be required."

A soft breath taken, Valencia smooths her skirt thoughtfully. As it is very unlikely that she is able to catch Renata's eye before she leaves, the little Lycene casts her gaze quietly to the ground for a moment. A warm nod to Lucita, Medeia and their gentle guests, and Valencia starts her own departure after the rest. "Thank you for the most boring birthday celebration. It was quite exciting," she grins warmly and nods.. "I look forward the next one." And then she is gone.

Valencia has left the an elegant clavichord with a filigree mountain lion motif.

Apollo gives a little turn of his head at the commentary. "It has been," he agrees. "Entirely lovely. Such a surprise to be surrounded by family and old friends." His eyes turn on the door for a moment, and then there's a smile. To Patrizio, he says, "Princess Renata is well known for being exceptionally kind. Certainly I found her so. She invited me some years ago to discuss patronage, an overture I certainly didn't expect."

Patrizio offers his farewell to Valencia, the smile lingering, as he takes a few more moments watching the door as if perhaps there's the chance Renata and Theo might return. But it's to Apollo he speaks as he brings himself back to the here and now, with a draw of breath. "No, she truly is, and I think deep down, it's that she's as kind and gentle as she looks. And patronage is something that's near and dear to her, seeing people build each other up."

Lianne, with an oddly colored drink in both hands, returns to Apollo's side, offering him one. "Was this meant to be boring?" she wonders, suggesting she hasn't found it so. Alright, compared to most Lycene parties, it has been on the sedate side, but she got to see her sister, wasn't entirely shunned by the rest of her family, and the drinks are surely pretty, if a touch concerning. Should this be glowing? Usually, she has somebody else to /lick the thing/ first, but she may as well take a taste.

Galatea looks a touch drowsy, all things considered, from where she is currently sprawled back into her armchair. "I believe 'boring' in this case is shorthand for 'not subject to the sudden appearance of ominous portent, unexpected violence, or other sundry misfortune," she explains to Lianne. "As there has, in fact, been a bit of that going around lately." What with the raining blood and what all else. "Perhaps we might reframe it as a 'pleasantly predictable' birthday."

"She is," Medeia agrees about Renata's kindness. "A bit... Uncertain..." She tries to be gentle about whatever it was that just happened a few moments ago. "But who among us has not felt our nerves tangle in the company of someone special?" Her smile is obscured then by the lifting of her glass for a slow, measured sip. To Lianne, she grins. "Entirely!" The confirmation is given enthusiastically. "I promise, the petals of the flower are entirely edible. I would never serve anything dangerous to my beloved guests." She winks at Galatea. "It has been precisely what I hoped." She looks around the gathering again, giving Patrizio a dip of her chin.

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