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Wedding Bells - IC Thread

Dice System
Exalted 3e
OOC
Here
Characters
Here
Lore
Here

Random Word

Two Thousand Club
Melati blushes at her grandmother's teasing, unable to meet her gaze until the enormity of the situation entirely eclipses her embarrassment. She casts a sidelong glance at Enathia, shocked grandmother would speak so openly of such a discovery with an outsider - either grandmother had negotiated a deep alliance with House Cathak, or Enathia was being groomed to marry into the family. She would have to marry a woman to be privy to house secrets - Melati belatedly realized that despite their letters she didn't know her friend's romantic proclivities. Well, that simply could not stand, but first she had more pressing business.

"Honoured grandmother, this is wonderful news, and I am honoured you would entrust me with part of this responsibility, but what of my duties and responsibilities in the Thousand Scales? Am I to be reassigned?"

---

The moment grandmother leaves the chamber she leaps to her feet and accosts Enathia, grasping her hand firmly as they walk out, eyes shining with excitement. "Enathia! You've been keeping secrets from me. Who are you marrying? You simply must tell me everything. Were you going to make me wait for an invitation?" she demands with mock affront.

---

"Oh, yes! We can have our own little gala tonight. We shall have so much fun the guests tomorrow will be ever so jealous. Dining at a teahouse in the city is so... patrician," she says with obvious distaste.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
"Honoured grandmother, this is wonderful news, and I am honoured you would entrust me with part of this responsibility, but what of my duties and responsibilities in the Thousand Scales? Am I to be reassigned?"
Before V'neef leaves, she says to Melati, "I have a few strings that I can pull to make sure you are free for the time that it will take for the wedding to take place. Think of this as a vacation for you." She gives you a final smile before heading for the door.
 

Rykon

Four Thousand Club
Earlier
Guro removed his helmet, revealing blond hair and a scarred, if mostly normal, face. A marked improvement from the last time he went without his iconic headgear. Regardless of his actual appearance, he knew mother disliked seeing him covering his head, we least when they spoke. He took a seat slowly, observing in the best level of respect he could muster. After all, he was the least prepared for Dynastic life among his peers.

He listened to his mother's explanation calmly if a little confused. Much of the traditions and expectations here on the isle seemed inverted from his normal life in a tributary in the Scavenger lands. At her request, he nodded reverently, still under the weight of his humble origins in a den of aristocrats. "As always, I'm here to protect my kin. You know that, mother."

Presently
Guro looked to Melati then to Enathia, confused and somewhat shocked at the mounting interrogation. He felt his face begin to flush red and suppressed the urge to place his helmet back on his head and merely looked away for a moment. "Another wedding? I swear none of this makes any sense anymore. I still don't even get why this prince is willing to ultimately part with his lineage, authority, possessions, and future windfalls to bind himself to another family that he does not know. Am I missing something here? Won't the prince's marriage Arissa make him part of our house? Also... I agree with Melati. I've heard nothing Cathaks making marriage plays here, but when were you going to tell us Enathia?"
 

jaydude

Four Thousand Club
Kasumi looked at Guro thoughtfully. "I would assume that the prince would become a V'neef through marriage as well. As for why he seems amicable to the match, perhaps he has been raised to believe that his duties to his family and nation outweigh his own desires. Perhaps he knows that his family stands to gain something from this marriage just as we do. I have no doubt that we'll have a chance to learn the reason for ourselves later on."

It was a fair question, she believed, especially for one still relatively new to the world of noble politics. And Kasumi herself certainly knew that if the prince was to join House V'neef, he would be abandoning his culture and homeland for one in which he would no doubt be a social inferior among the Dynasts, what with his heritage and mortal nature.

Essence: 2
Personal Essence: 13/13
Peripheral Essence: 23/33

Committed Essence: 5

Willpower: 7
Join Battle: 5 dice (5 successes for 5m through Breath and Essence Control)
Health Levels:
-0: [_]
-1: [_], [_], [_], [_], [_], [_], [_], [_]
-3: [_]
Incapacitated: [_]
Resolve 3, Guile 2

Attacks
Kirameku Namida (Withering Attack 13, Decisive Attack 10, Base Raw Damage 15, Overwhelming 5)

Actions
Rush: 7
Disengage: 7

Evasion 3, Parry 6
Soak/Hardness: 8/0 (Lamellar Armor, +5 Soak, -1 Mobility Penalty)
 

WlfSamurai

Maelstrom Engineer
Enathia turns bright red with embarrassment as Melati grabs her hand and asks who she's marrying. When Guro joins in—and blushes—a wave of confused emotion and heart-ache floods her head. Marrying ... Who am I ... marrying? She looks back at Melati. Can't I marry ... y— Enathia rips her hand from Melati's tender and electrifying grasp.

"Don't be stupid!" she cries. "I'm not marrying anyone, dummies! What are you talking about!? L—Let's get food! G—Good idea Moretta! I'm starving!" She stalks the wrong way down the hall. Then, turns back. "Wait, which way?"
 

Random Word

Two Thousand Club
"Thank you, Honoured Grandmother," Melati replies with a deep bow and a concealed smile. An all expenses paid vacation to the West that scored her brownie points with grandmother? Yes, please.

---

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks!" declares Melati, hands on her hips as she watches Enathia beat a hasty retreat, her grin at once victorious and hungry for more, "You are keeping secrets from me, and Grandmother is buttering you up for something, or someone. I will find out who. You can't hide it from me forever!"

She shakes her head in wry amusement as Enathia flees down the hallway, then returns. "Enathia, my knight in shining jade, this is not a Legion camp. You can't attend dinner in your travelling clothes." She gestures at a nearby servant, "Show Cathak Enathia to my suite at once, and have her handmaidens bring her evening wear," she pauses briefly, then flashes a brilliant smile at Kasumi before continuing, "And Kasumi's as well. You can both regale me with tales of your travels while we prepare for dinner. Not another word about secret marriages tonight, I promise." Her eyes sparkle mischievously, "I have an entire voyage for that."

She dismisses the servant and turns to give Guro a patronising smile, "It's simple, Uncle, though understandably not germane to the curriculum of Pasiap's Stair. Why do we all kneel before the Empress, and heed her wise counsel? Yes, some of us are her blood descendants and owe her filial piety, but we are all Dragons; we could each strike out on our own into the Threshold to forge our own dynasties. We do not because we each command far more wealth and power as a scale in a mighty Creation-spanning Dragon than we would as queen of our own muddy hill in the middle of nowhere. In forming a new branch family of V'Neef, this prince will rule his familial holdings for the rest of his years with a level of security and prosperity he could scarcely have imagined on his own, and suffuse his bloodline with the puissant purity of a granddaughter of the Empress. It is his duty to leave a powerful legacy for his children, and there can be no greater legacy than the blood of Dragons. As Kasumi says, he would be remiss in that duty were he not to leap at the chance to make this union. You must understand that - you, too, saw the wisdom in joining the family."

[Pass - Presumably we're on to the gala tomorrow next.]
 
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Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
The night passes on with much talking, dining and drinking; a low pressure preview for the gala tomorrow. Come morning, there are a few hangovers, but they are not too bad.

After everyone is up and mobile, you can already see signs that the servants have all been working at high speed from the wee hours of morning to get a jump on the prep work for the gala tonight. Extra staff has been brought on for the special event, causing quite the hubbub in the manor with decorating, cleaning and cooking. As it gets closer to time for the first guests to arrive, the various Exalts of our Circle are firmly ensconced in their dressing rooms with a gaggle of handmaidens working hard on making each of you look your absolute very best with regards to your clothes, hair and make-up. Soon enough, you look up at your reflections in the mirrors around you and see that you are ready to face the guests at the gala.

The delicate sounds of a string quartet can be heard wafting through the reception hall, and the fragrant smell of many bouquets of flowers combine with the tasty aroma of cooking delicacies waft through the building. Before long, the first guests begin to arrive.
 

jaydude

Four Thousand Club
Kasumi got up early the next morning, before breakfast was due to be served. She could probably have woken the manor's cooks and ordered them to make her something a bit earlier, but she instead chose to spend the time practicing her Even Blade Style katas in the estate's gardens, going through forms and motions that had by now become as second-nature to her as walking and breathing. A quick bath and change of clothes took care of any sweat that she had built up from her exercise, and then she would join Enathia, Guro, Melati and Moretta for breakfast.

Between then and the start of the gala, she took a moment to meet with her husband Laoming, inquiring about how he was doing, and telling him of her own wellbeing in turn. It was hardly an emotional lovers' reunion; the two of them were friends, and even felt a thin level of affection for each other, but they had both married solely out of duty. They had produced their first child not too long ago, and while they could put on a show of being a happy couple when necessary, each one saw nothing wrong with leaving the other to their own devices for the next two decades as they waited for their potency to rebuild.

For the gala, Kasumi opted to wear a set of navy-blue hakama, alongside a formal hakamashita of lighter blue with a white flower motif. Her black hair had been styled up into an elaborate topknot by the handmaidens assigned to her. It was her typical style; expensive and sophisticated enough for the formal occasions of the Dynasts, but also practical enough for the martial artist within her to be comfortable fighting in. Naturally, Kirameku Namida had been banished to Elsewhere; if combat started during the festivities, she'd have to find a nearby source of liquid large enough to draw it from.

Rykon Rykon
As the gala started to get underway, Kasumi looked for Guro. She was no hereditary Dynast, but she'd at least been fortunate enough to Exalt and get adopted back during her childhood, which was an advantage the masked Fire Aspect had missed out on. Between that, his upbringing prior to his Exaltation, and the questions he'd asked about Arissa's marriage, she figured that Guro might feel a bit out of place at this gala, and that the presence of a familiar face would make things easier for him. Moretta could probably be trusted to look after Arissa, and as for Melati and Enathia, Kasumi wasn't entirely sure what to expect from them.

Essence: 2
Personal Essence: 13/13
Peripheral Essence: 23/33

Committed Essence: 5

Willpower: 7
Join Battle: 5 dice (5 successes for 5m through Breath and Essence Control)
Health Levels:
-0: [_]
-1: [_], [_], [_], [_], [_], [_], [_], [_]
-3: [_]
Incapacitated: [_]
Resolve 3, Guile 2

Attacks
Unarmed

Actions
Rush: 7
Disengage: 7

Evasion 3, Parry 6
Soak/Hardness: 3/0 (Gala clothes, +0 Soak, +0 Mobility Penalty)
 
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Psychie

Princess Psychie
As Moretta rises from her nights sleep, she is quite looking forward to the evening's festivities. A lot of family, friends, and yes, even a few enemies all gathered together, listening to fine music, eating good food, and enjoying some of mother's signature wine selection. The sorceress looks over at the overstuffed pillow next to her where her familiar, Riku, is still snoozing, and she smiles. That silly cat, all balled up with his wings tucked in nice and snug. He looks so darned cute and innocent, hiding his inner rascal within all that fluff and feathers.

With the practice of many years behind her, Moretta starts the process of doing her hair and make up, knowing that it will take her some time to get everything just so. At least she doesn't have to worry about getting dressed; her amulet can take care of her clothing needs quite well indeed. After a bit of consideration, she decides on a blue and white dress that shows off her curves in just the right ways. With her outfit now selected, the sorceress spends a few moments to call upon her magic talent to summon forth her Virtuous Guardian of Flame and sets it to float above and behind her head. Its not like there is a real risk of coming under attack, but it has become a force of habit from her early days at the Heptagram to always be prepared.

Once her preparations are complete, she heads to the main ballroom to make her timely appearance, looking about to see the growing crowd. Moretta smiles in pleasant greeting to various members of the family that have already arrived, exchanging friendly inquiries as to how they are doing. She makes a mental note as to which people approach her first, looking to be polite to her despite the social stigma of being a member of the Heptagram. Those that regard her as family first and sorceress second are due a special place in her heart, and Moretta will look upon them with good favor.

Quickly taking a glass of wine from a passing waiter, she drifts through the room, looking to catch up on the latest gossip and rumor from around the Realm.
 

Random Word

Two Thousand Club
"It gives me great pleasure to present for our distinguished guests' listening pleasure an original solo composition by V'Neef Naura Melati!"

Melati bows deeply as she steps on to the small stage in the corner of the great hall, the beautiful sanxian her mother had commissioned for her graduation in one hand, its bow outstretched in the other. As the echoes of the master of ceremonies' announcement fade she rises, takes a deep centering breath, closes her eyes, rests the base of the instrument under her chin and her bow on the strings, gives a wink to the audience, and, after a suitably dramatic pause, begins to play. As the music begins to flow the flowers in her hair and woven into the green vine-like mesh segments of her shimmering purple leaf-patterned cheongsam bloom, gorging on the essence radiating off her. The music speaks of a harsh winter yielding into a joyous spring, of flowers struggling through the last snows to reach the warm light of the sun, nourished by snowmelt to bloom beautifully. She dances as she plays, small slow movements at first, transitioning into wide sweeping steps and whirling spins without missing a note.

Time flies as she plays, and all too quickly for her taste the piece, and her performance, comes to a close. She savours the last fading echoes of the final notes before opening her eyes, drinking in the adulation of the crowd, bowing low, accepting any tributes gathered by servants, and regretfully departing the stage to seek out important guests. She was expected to do more than play this evening.

Inspire Joy. 6m Audience Enthusing Display to add 3 successes and eliminate multiple target influence penalty. Leveraging the Minor Intimacy automatically created by Impeccable Purity Lavation.

Performance 5 + Charisma 5 + Specialty 1 + Appearance Bonus 3 + Stunt 2 = 16 dice + 3 Successes Excellency + 1 Success Superior Equipment; 9 hits

What a terrible roll! Spending 3m to re-roll 2 dice for one more hit.
 
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Rykon

Four Thousand Club
Rykon Rykon
As the gala started to get underway, Kasumi looked for Guro. She was no hereditary Dynast, but she'd at least been fortunate enough to Exalt and get adopted back during her childhood, which was an advantage the masked Fire Aspect had missed out on. Between that, his upbringing prior to his Exaltation, and the questions he'd asked about Arissa's marriage, she figured that Guro might feel a bit out of place at this gala, and that the presence of a familiar face would make things easier for him. Moretta could probably be trusted to look after Arissa, and as for Melati and Enathia, Kasumi wasn't entirely sure what to expect from them.
Early in the morning, Guro was in the kitchen preparing breakfast for the family. Aromas of various soups, eggs, pork, rice, spices, and even pancakes wafted out into the corridors from his workspace. The threshold exalt was industriously going about assembling a morning banquet on his own by the time Kasumi approached. "Mornin'." He greeted informally, still attending the woks and lit fires while breakfast was being prepared. "Somethin' on your mind?" His voice resounded from behind the mask.
 

jaydude

Four Thousand Club
Before the gala...
Early in the morning, Guro was in the kitchen preparing breakfast for the family. Aromas of various soups, eggs, pork, rice, spices, and even pancakes wafted out into the corridors from his workspace. The threshold exalt was industriously going about assembling a morning banquet on his own by the time Kasumi approached. "Mornin'." He greeted informally, still attending the woks and lit fires while breakfast was being prepared. "Somethin' on your mind?" His voice resounded from behind the mask.
Having gotten herself cleaned up following her exercise, Kasumi now wore a casual kimono of darkest blue, the kind that evoked thoughts of the ocean's furthest depths. As she stepped into the kitchen area, she raised an eyebrow at the fact that Guro was sullying himself with menial work, but swiftly masked it with a friendly expression.

"Not at the moment, other than a desire to just check up on you. I'm not entirely sure how used you are to our level of festivities, and suspected you could use a friend's company." she replied in answer to his question, before a twinkle appeared in the corner of her eye.

"You know, we do have servants for this sort of thing." she said, indicating the cooking he was doing.

During the gala...
"It gives me great pleasure to present for our distinguished guests' listening pleasure an original solo composition by V'Neef Melati!"

Melati bows deeply as she steps on to the small stage in the corner of the great hall, the beautiful sanxian her mother had commissioned for her graduation in one hand, its bow outstretched in the other. As the echoes of the master of ceremonies' announcement fade she rises, takes a deep centering breath, closes her eyes, rests the base of the instrument under her chin and her bow on the strings, gives a wink to the audience, and, after a suitably dramatic pause, begins to play. As the music begins to flow the flowers in her hair and woven into the green vine-like mesh segments of her shimmering purple leaf-patterned cheongsam bloom, gorging on the essence radiating off her. The music speaks of a harsh winter yielding into a joyous spring, of flowers struggling through the last snows to reach the warm light of the sun, nourished by snowmelt to bloom beautifully. She dances as she plays, small slow movements at first, transitioning into wide sweeping steps and whirling spins without missing a note.

Time flies as she plays, and all too quickly for her taste the piece, and her performance, comes to a close. She savours the last fading echoes of the final notes before opening her eyes, drinking in the adulation of the crowd, bowing low, accepting any tributes gathered by servants, and regretfully departing the stage to seek out important guests. She was expected to do more than play this evening.
Kasumi gave Melati's performance no more than a polite level of applause, even as she felt it joyfully tugging at her heartstrings. Once it had concluded, and her old friend had re-joined the rest of the guests, she assured Guro that she'd only be gone for a bit, and then made her way over towards the Wood Aspect.

"A most exquisite performance." she said warmly to Melati. "Truly, your company is one of the things I miss most while at sea."
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
The widespread applause is much more than merely polite as Melati wraps up her performance. It is a rare treat to hear the musical prodigy perform, and the entirety of the attendees are quite happy to show their appreciation of her musical creation, and several of the audience make their way over to Melati to speak with her and let their feelings be made apparent directly to her.

At this point, even V'neef herself is showering her granddaughter with praise. "My dear, each time I get the chance to hear you perform, you make my heart swell with pride. Your skills are truly wonderful. Its clear that you didn't get your musical talent from me; I can scarcely carry a tune in a bucket. But here you are, sharing your musical ability with all of us. I must say, I will miss attending your performances while you are escorting Arissa to Wavecrest."

A visiting Dynast from House Sessus hears this comment, then raises up an eyebrow. "I hadn't heard that there was a decision on which member of your House had been selected for the wedding to Prince Rupert of Wavecrest. With the disappearance of the Empress, I was wondering if the treaty that has been in the works for so long had fallen through the gaps."

V'neef gives a smile, showing no sign of any displeasure with the other Dynast. "No, the work on the treaty is continuing along uninterrupted, and my young Arissa will be leaving for her impending wedding in less than a month, along with her escorts. As the date draws closer, I will be heading to Wavecrest to attend the ceremony personally."

"I see! It was a real stroke of good fortune for your House when the Empress selected one of your daughters to marry this prince. Tell me, are the rumors that I have heard true that there is a recently discovered deposit of jade on the island chain?"

"I am sure I don't know what rumors you have heard, but I can say that when the treaty is ratified, it will be good for all of the Realm, and not to just this House." Only someone very familiar with V'neef can sense the hidden steel in her voice as she answers to the rumors of the ore discovery, but she is able to keep her temper under control despite the sideways dig at her own fledgling House.

The member of House Sessus either doesn't notice or, at the least, doesn't acknowledge the underlying tension after delivering his veiled insult. He gives a pleasant smile. "Of course, of course. Playing things close to the chest, I see. Most prudent. Well, I see that my wine glass has gotten dangerously low, so I shall go find a refill. If you will excuse me?" He turns and heads off to acquire a full goblet from a passing waiter.
 

jaydude

Four Thousand Club
Kasumi was with V'neef and Melati when the Sesus Dynast approached them, and kept an impassive look on her face during the short conversation. After the man turned and left however, she gave his back a faint grimace.

"It seems the other houses know enough to cause problems for us in the Wavecrest Archipelago." she remarked.

Essence: 2
Personal Essence: 13/13
Peripheral Essence: 23/33

Committed Essence: 5

Willpower: 7
Join Battle: 5 dice (5 successes for 5m through Breath and Essence Control)
Health Levels:
-0: [_]
-1: [_], [_], [_], [_], [_], [_], [_], [_]
-3: [_]
Incapacitated: [_]
Resolve 3, Guile 2

Attacks
Unarmed

Actions
Rush: 7
Disengage: 7

Evasion 3, Parry 6
Soak/Hardness: 3/0 (Gala clothes, +0 Soak, +0 Mobility Penalty)
 

Random Word

Two Thousand Club
If Melati was preening, awash with the adulation of the crowd, she's positively glowing after Kasumi's praise. "I wrote it for you. You protected me through that harsh winter before I cloud bloom. I'm delighted you enjoyed it." Some minute change in Kasumi's expression or posture alerts Melati to the coming danger, but still she jumps involuntarily when Grandmother speaks. It should be against the rules for matriarchs to sneak up on people.

She bows deeply at grandmother's praise. "You honour me, Grandmother, but I must respectfully disagree. I merely inherited some small measure of your legendary skill with the bow," she replies demurely with a small smile, the bow of her sanxian in her outstretched arm.

Melati's face is a saccharine sweet mask as the Sesus representative speaks, but as he turns to leave she catches his attention, "Ah, Lord Sesus, I fear you are confused. We have merely struck a well of red ink. It is so easy to confuse the two from such a great distance. And may I say Lord Sesus, your legs are looking particularly fetching this fine night?" She makes a show of admiring his legs and biting her lip, "All those stairs you've been climbing are simply doing wonders. My suite is on the third floor if you'd care to climb some more tonight and tell me all about all the other things your family is famous for."

[Melati is making a bitchy backhanded compliment about all the jade Sesus has borrowed from Ragara. To take a loan from Ragara is 'climbing the long stairs'. Even the most promising foreign entanglements can easily become a well of red ink (as in a money sink), but she also insinuates Sesus has so little real jade and so much red ink in ledgers they can't tell one from the other. The final line goes something like we have jade you desperately need and you have secrets; you can make us angry with idle threats/provocative advertising or, maybe, if what you have is good enough and you ask nicely we can cut a deal. Socialize 5 is fun! Let me know if you want me to roll for anything here, or if there's no angle it can just be throwaway witticisms to establish Melati's character.]
 
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WlfSamurai

Maelstrom Engineer
Enathia, uncomfortable as ever in the dress that was picked out for her, stands with the poise of a Cathak nonetheless. Her kin and ancestors would have no less from any of their relatives. It had been all but beaten into her.

The green material continues to snag her skin in painful spots under her arms and in her shoulders. The servants had stuffed her into this costume like a butcher stuffs sausage. Despite the work, it fits her toned form and shows off her assets well enough.

Now, if she could only make it through the night.

Enathia had entered the gala as best she could without too much fuss. Even now, she still isn't looking for attention. Mostly just to survive. But, feeling rather hungry, she finds a servant making rounds with horderves and takes two. It takes everything she has not to pile them up on her napkin. But, such behavior is meant for battlefields and war-camps. It is "not befit a lady of the Realm" she hear's in her mother's voice. Sighing, Enathia takes a bite.

And then...

"It gives me great pleasure to present for our distinguished guests' listening pleasure an original solo composition by V'Neef Melati!"

Melati takes the stage, looking radiant as always. When she raises her instrument and begins to play, Enathia gasps. The sound pierces her chest and she feels entranced. The performance is stunning. The marriage of music, Essence play in the flowers in her hair, and the dance is like nothing Enathia has ever seen.

"Beautiful," is all she can mutter to herself. She stares, unable to look anywhere else.

When the performance has completed, Enathia slips away to catch her breath outside. The evening air is cool and she drinks it in, taking deep breaths. When she returns, she finds Melati near Kasumi, speaking to some member of House Sesus. Enathia approaches and listens to the banter.
 

jaydude

Four Thousand Club
Random Word Random Word
Regardless of how V'neef and the Sesus Dynast reacted to Melati's verbal lashing of the latter, Kasumi would smile and gently take the hand of the younger Wood Aspect once the two of them had a chance to be relatively alone.

"For what it's worth, I most certainly enjoy watching you wound people with mere words." she said softly. "To say nothing of being beyond flattered that you would compose such a musical masterpiece in my honour. I already had no regrets in protecting you the way I did, but now I'm very glad I did so, if these are the benefits I can reap."

Essence: 2
Personal Essence: 13/13
Peripheral Essence: 23/33

Committed Essence: 5

Willpower: 7
Join Battle: 5 dice (5 successes for 5m through Breath and Essence Control)
Health Levels:
-0: [_]
-1: [_], [_], [_], [_], [_], [_], [_], [_]
-3: [_]
Incapacitated: [_]
Resolve 3, Guile 2

Attacks
Unarmed

Actions
Rush: 7
Disengage: 7

Evasion 3, Parry 6
Soak/Hardness: 3/0 (Gala clothes, +0 Soak, +0 Mobility Penalty)
 

Random Word

Two Thousand Club
Melati's smile blooms, "Flattery will get you everywhere, but I am certain our friend Lord Sesus cannot sufficiently express his relief that he was merely wounded by my wit and not your blade, for we all know which is sharper. I would have it no other way. I lament only that our guests have been so well behaved of late, for now, as at the academy, their manners are the whetstone that keeps your blade sharp - most effective when coarse. I fear you have taught that lesson only too well."
 

WlfSamurai

Maelstrom Engineer
Enathia fades into the circle to hear the honeyed poison flowing as words. Like scathing poetry that one couldn't help but listen to. She takes a glass of champaign from a nearby table and sips delicately. A bitter sweat taste to compliment the exchange.

Enathia can't help but smile at the misfortune of this member of House Sesus.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
The blowhard from House Sesus stiffens in anger at Melati's cutting remarks, and is about to make a retort when V'neef lets out a little chuckle. "You had best be careful crossing words with this one, Dotarax. She is more than capable of holding her own, and I would think it would be rather unbecoming to have yourself cut off at the knees by one so much younger than you, especially in front of so many of your . . . peers. Why don't you go soothe your wounded ego with another glass of wine? Soon you'll be drunk enough to make an ass of yourself in many other ways, and you can leave my granddaughter alone." V'neef gives Dotarax a shining smile, almost as if daring him to say something more.

This time, he does not take the bait, but instead glares around the room, calling out to his entourage. "Weston! Marcus! I think it is time enough to leave." He makes a point of sniffing the air, then says, "Things seem a bit . . . rancid . . . in here, and it is souring my appetite."

The three men turn and head for the doors, with the various members of the gala parting the way ahead of them as they stomp their way out.


For the next hour, there are no other outbursts that hint at scandal, with much dancing, drinking and carousing being done. It is getting to be the height of the party when V'neef and Arissa both take to the stage, with the elder tapping a spoon against her wine glass to call for the attention of the room. "My dear friends and family! I am so very thankful for the outstanding attendance tonight, just in time for me to make the formal announcement that my very own Arissa will be traveling to Wavecrest at the end of the month to meet her betrothed, Prince Rupert, solidifying their ties to the Realm with the culmination of the wedding."

Applause rises up around the room, and Arissa looks quite radiant as she faintly blushes at the news from V'neef. The head of the House goes on with, "As is only proper, several members of the House will be traveling with Arissa to act as her chaperones and escorts. They will be instrumental in making this momentous event happen, and I look forward to making the voyage to Abalone to attend the ceremony. I do hope you all join me in giving Arissa our warmest congratulations and best wishes as she prepares to take this great step into the future, not only for House V'neef but for the Realm as a whole."

More applause along with cheers and boisterous toasts can be heard from the guests as V'neef turns the party back to the guests and encourages Arissa to go forth and mingle.
 

Random Word

Two Thousand Club
Melati spends the evening taking liberal advantage of the Dragons' greatest gift to Wood Aspects: Inhuman alcohol tolerance. Pick your poison, indeed. She responds to the expected announcement with polite applause and a supportive wink for Arissa when she catches her eye.
 

WlfSamurai

Maelstrom Engineer
Enathia spends the evening keeping up her social graces by flitting between various groups. She's proper and dignified. Every so often she steals glances at Melati, Guro, and even Arissa.

By evening's end, Enathia has lost all decorum—having had too many glasses of wine. She finds Arissa and spends her time assuring the girl the trip will be wonderful and that Enathia will keep her safe.
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Moretta doesn't socialize as much as the others do, preferring to spend her time observing the ebb and flow of the guests, seeing what cliques form up. But that doesn't mean she is in any way rude. Those that choose to speak with her will find themselves in the midst of an engaging conversation and some witty repartee. Privately, Moretta is quite looking forward to the changes that will come with the trip to Wavecrest.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
The rest of the gala goes on without any further issues and no one breaks the peace to challenge anyone to a duel. All in all, it has been a good night.

After pouring a drunken Arissa into bed, the work of the manor goes to packing and preparing the Dynasts for their ocean voyage to Wavecrest. Three weeks soon fade away to two, then one. Finally, the day has come to head to the harbor for your relaxing cruise. Relaxing compared to the craziness of the past weeks, at least. Several weeks of sea travel will give you all a chance to catch up on your rest until you arrive at your destination.

The vessel you are traveling on is one of the finest of House V'neef's fleet, a First Age vessel named the Waverunner. It is a huge ship, with three massive masts filled with sails and a pair of Essence powered paddlewheels on the sides to provide propulsion when the winds are poor. But at this point, it doesn't seem likely that the Waverunner will need the motors, especially since it has sails made of the various magical materials, designed to help channel the winds along to speed its travel across the waves. A very cushy ride.

A whole line of carriages have been set aside to take Arissa and her escorts to the harbor, along with V'neef herself to see all of you off, with a small honor guard of fifty soldiers, all elite troops led by a combat veteran, sworn to offer up their lives to protect Arissa and the rest of the Dynasts onboard.

Even with all of the soldiers on the ship, there is plenty of room for all of you to have your own private rooms, albeit small ones, since you are supposed to be spending most of your time out in the common areas of the ship.

As everyone is milling about, preparing to board, the ship captain comes down to greet you. A burly Water Aspect named Bayle Domon, he offers up a polite bow to you. "Ah, honored guests. I am Bayle Domon, Captain of the Waverunner, and I wish to welcome you. Please, come on board. I will have your things taken to your rooms as we make ready to sail."
 

WlfSamurai

Maelstrom Engineer
Enathia climbs gangplank, eyeing the vessel as she does. It is awe-inspiring and a touch overwhelming. To think that something that old could have survived this long and is, even now, still in use. She stops to take in the ship's full size.

After taking a good look, she hefts her her weapon, armor, and a duffel bag back on her shoulders and finishes boarding the ship.

"Captain," Enathia says, putting her stuff down and shaking his hand. "Well met. Your ship is beautiful. Honored to be aboard."
 

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