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Saffron Opportunities of the merchantile kind

Drusila of Setarco invites captains, merchants and others with merchantile interests to join her for a get together at the Pravus Mansion where there will be opportunity to discuss the means for mutual profit that will open up as part of the Pravus offensive on the Saffron Chain as they prepare to move on from Pieros.

Setarco Commons->Pravus Manor(PM)->Main Hall(MH)->Walled Garden(WG)

Date

Jan. 12, 2020, 1 p.m.

Hosted By

Drusila

Participants

Ryhalt Evaristo Rowenova Tatienne Martino Gabriella Verity Mikani

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of the Lyceum - Pravus Manor - Walled Garden

Largesse Level

Extravagant

Comments and Log


Johannes, A tall and red cloaked gentleman, A slightly embarrassed courier called Guido arrive, following Martino.

Haurchefant, an unassuming assistant arrives, following Tatienne.

The Walled Garden of Pravus which is always a sight for sore eyes has gone through a small transformation in light of the talk to be hosted by Drusila. The hot water pool is steaming with fresh water prepared by the servants and countless small tables offers a wide assortment of exotic confectionary and treats for the peckishly inclined and near the pools there's even a modesty booth where servants stand ready to offer towels and bathrobes to those wanting to take a dipp.



Behind the Gazebo a large and somewhat fantastical map of the Saffron Chain has been erected, depicting the exotic islands as filled with colourful pirates wielding fierce cutlasses and strange many-toothed green lizards.



Drusila herself is at the Gazebo, greeting the guests as they arrive with waves and curtseys. "Welcome to the Pravus Garden and what I hope to be a lucrative relationship for us all."

Fiore the Sarcastic Attendant arrives, following Gabriella.

Ryhalt smiles at Drusila as she welcomes them, having settled himself comfortably where he can see the map. "Thank you for inviting us. I am interested in hearing what opportunities are available."

Evaristo makes his way through the house, escorted through to the garden - he seems to know the way, like he's been here at least once before. He smiles wide and bright as he looks around, enjoying the place and being particularly interested in that pool, his eyes widening in delight seeing that. But, first to greet the hostess, so he saunters over while studying her curiously. "Miss Drusila - you look stunning, this garden is divine, and this is a brilliant idea. I am Captain Evaristo Arterius."

Although it might seem a bit odd, a Northern woman with a wolfy headdress and direwolf cloak around her silken clothes shows up, doing so with a quick bow toward Drusila's direction. A greying hound with soulful eyes moves alongside the Northern lass who strides deeper to the shad(ow)y corner. (Rowenova)

Bells chime as Tatienne comes in, and when the prodigal merchant greets the room by dipping into a bow. She heads for the hostess of the night. "Goodwoman Drusila, I believe?" The woman asks, uncertainly, taking a quick glance around to see who else is present.

Martino Stepping smooth from the doorway, guided in by a Pravosi Guard, the Lord Martino Malvici sips his chin to the various gathered visitors before a crease of his sharp green eyes greet Drusilla. "Mmm. Messeres. Duke." Stepping across to the gazebo, Martino tucks himself down to sit.

Martino has joined the the gazebo.

Evaristo has joined the the gazebo.



Curiosity is largely what brings Gabriella Pravus to the ostentatious walled gardens of her family's estate today. Insinuated comfortably at the perimeter of the gazebo, near the stone encirclement of the dance floor, the Setarcan knight watches as merchants and interested parties of Arx filter in, a warm smile dancing at her lips. She offers a respectful bow of greeting for those who enter, but for now -- Gabriella remains wreathed in a comfortable silence, taking a seat and crossing one leg over the other to watch the proceedings in, for now, unobtrusive but fascinated quiet.

After picking up a few treats on their way, Nova and Flop settle down into their selected spot at the shad(ow)y table. For now, they people watch, while Nova happily munches on the Lycene treats.

Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant, 1 Redreef Warden, Vagari The Cinder Cat, 1 Order of the Firebird, 4 Byrne Mountain Men, 2 House Crovane Guards, Nephelae Ebonwood - A Nursemaid, Biorna - The Protective Mastiff arrive, following Mikani.

Drusila seems to practically preen underneath the flattery offered to her by Evaristo and moves subtly to the side to offer her guests a better view of the artistic map behind her. "In essence, the Saffron Chain offers the opportunity of a lifetime, perhaps even several. These islands have always been known for their exotic climate that allows them to grow spices and fruits the likes of which we can't even find in the Lyceum, not to mention their other treasures including those beautiful black pearls." The young woman explains, indicating the map with a sweep of her dragonweep adorned arm.



"For centuries the houses of the Compact have been turned inwards, too busy with matters of Avrum to direct little more then the odd raid towards the chain. Under the direction of Duchess Belladonna that has changed, civilization is about to be brought to these untamed lands and with civilization comes trade." Drusila clasps her hands at the small of her back, leaning ever so much forward as she smiles towards her assembled listeners. "Trade can't be done alone, it requires partners and it's my goal here tonight to convince you to join us in this project. To send your merchants, establish warehouses and allow all of you to take part of the Saffron treasures."

Turning his neck, Martino lifts his sharp green eyes to the map. A slight smile brushing his lips as he notes the location of these islands. "Thank you also for opening it up for us to hear." He speaks with refined Lycene tones before reclining back on the gazebo's seat.

Verity Locke is out of her element. In her defense, her typical workdays involve the Valardin Ward. When one compares the doughty stoicism of Oathlands sensibility to the luxurious touches of the Pravus Mansion, one may forgive her that she enters with her gaze lifted and darting about to take in every sight -- except where her feet are taking her.



Somehow she manages not to trip. Call it a special skill.



When she hears Drusila's voice, speaking of the very opportunities she came here to hear, Verity's attention is focused. Her gaze lingers on the gathered group, particularly on Gabriella. Eventually, she hurries over.



Verity ends up at Gabriella's side, clutching her hands together. It's not a great flex of the imagination to immediately file her away as a commoner: her court dress is pretty, but made of sturdy light wool, lacking even the subtle finery of someone going for an understated look.



"Lady Gabriella, do you mind if I stand near you? I'm so nervous! But our merchant couldn't be here so I must stay in her stead."



She glances to Martino as he speaks. If he notices her, she will smile, but otherwise she falls quiet.

Evaristo makes room for everyone, stepping aside while he studies the map curiously. He nods around, and offers more introductions from himself, hand offered to shake to anyone who wants to, or bows to the nobles. He listens with rapt attention to Drusila and nods along with those points - he seems to agree. "Not to mention that building a new civilization requires goods to be taken /there/. Surely those that settle would want the same comforts as over here. Wines, fabrics, foods..." He blinks rapidly seeing Verity, and perhaps he's not helping her when he gives her a wink and a rascally grin in recognition.

Tatienne's voice is measured and calm. "That is all well and good, but there are reasons why the compact has been focused on Arvum. After all, while the compact claims the entirety of the continent, the reality is that most of it is under the control of groups who have not bent the knee." She answers, "And while I am delighted at the mercantile opportunities that establishing a permanent presence in the saffron chain offers, I must admit that this leads to some concern that these ventures will be..." A pause, "... more complicated than advertised. Be honest, give us your best and fairest assessment of the risks not just the rewards." She is all business.

Curious, careful Ryhalt listens to Drusilia's proposal. "Yes," he glances to Tatienne, inclining his head to her concern, "it seems rather early for there to be much safety for trade, let alone established areas for such."



Gluttony resting comfortably at her side, poise impeccable in a way that suggests she simply refuses even a moment's relaxation, Gabriella laces her fingers together to net them against her upraised knee as she listens to Drusila's opening preamble. Those sky blue eyes of hers are sharp as they fall on the map so generously displayed, but for now, she continues to play the part of eager observer, absorbing the knowledge offered with the respect of not intruding with things outside her station.



And it is there in silence she'd likely linger, if it weren't for the arrival of someone imminently familiar. Gabriella's brows rise as she takes sight of Verity Locke, her expression painting a portrait of something questioning before that warm familiarity takes over in the welcoming tug of her smile. Far from shunning the woman, she welcomes her with a beckoning sweep of her hand, pearly white teeth exposed briefly as her smile becomes a grin.



"Mistress Verity, it is so good to see you here! Of course -- please, stay near me." Gabriella's gaze turns back towards Drusila, her smile a sly one as she notes, conspiratorially, "Perhaps we can both find consolation in being in the company of someone else outside their element."

Nova lifts up no concern of her own. For now. Though, she does lift up a greeting hand to all those who might look her way. She cannot quite speak, since she currently entertains chipmunk cheeks full of Lycene delicacies. Meanwhile, Sir Floppington sits down like the good boy he is.

Verity tries her hardest to focus directly on Drusila's dragonweep-dripping dialogue. She must remember every word.



But, inevitably, her attention drifts. She cannot help it. What makes her an assistant of eclectic talents also makes her a poor study.



Her gaze shifts to Evaristo. Her icy-blue eyes settle on him for a long moment, bemused by his grin, but then her expression lights up and she returns the wink with an eager little wave (about chest-high, rather than arm fully raised, so as to not interrupt).



"I thought the same thing," she says to Gabriella, trying to keep her voice low. "I know some people here, but I didn't want to distract them."

With the slightest of creases of his eyes, Martino acknowledges Verity with a dip of his chin. Folio of his lays across lap while a metal stylus in hand as he marks a note.

Drusila dips her head in recognition of Martino's words and smiles faintly as her gold-flecked eyes follow Verity's nervous journey towards the relative safety of the Harbringer of the Evening. She first addresses Evaristo. "It's exactly as you say. The isolation that these islands have suffered under until now have left them dreadfully short of countless goods that we simply take for granted and I'm sure those who choose to live there will come to appreciate everything Avrum has to offer."



Tatienne's measured question earns her a lingering look from Drusila, those flame-like eyes taking her measure before she speaks to address the concern raised by both the merchant and Ryhalt. "We are as you point out in the early stages of this venture and it can be hard to predict the twist and turns that await us. The largest risk factors are the locals, interference from foreign powers and interference from domestic powers and I can assure you we will be working diligently to address all of them."



Drusila closes her eyes briefly as she takes a breath to prepare for her next sentence. "It's my intention that we start simple with the most crucial part of any sea-bound venture. Building a deep harbour that can serve as the hub and the seed of a potential new center of trade and as our influence over the islands expand, it can serve as the springboard for all future projects in the region."

"I've sailed the Saffron chain for YEARS," Evaristo says cheerfully - he doesn't look very concerned. "It's quite fun, you never quite know what to expect making contact with the locals. We did fine! We only lost the ship once to abandoned pirates. You can do that anywhere."

Whenever the serving staff come around, Nova happily accepts a second plate, quietly thanking them with a soft rumble of pure pleasure from her last bite before swallowing down that one... then chowing down on yet another one!

Tatienne is oozing the confidence of someone who knows she's got a good opportunity, "Yes. That is a good start. Of course, no trade can happen without people to trade with, but as a start it's good." She glances aside to her assistant, and raises two fingers. The assistant comes over with paperwork, "This is a list of assets I have, some or all I am willing to expend on helping you build this harbour, provided you make it worth my while. I am willing to take risks and think in the long-term, but I am not here for charity, I'm here to invest in an opportunity. So tell me, provided this venture is met with success, how will I profit?"

Mikani enters a bit late. She looks about curiously before taking a seat by Rowenova. She smiles as a plate is placed before her.



"I do not blame you," Gabriella notes quietly to Verity, head tilting in her direction like one commenting on a thrilling show in progress. "There is a certain beauty to seeing people in their element. I may not understand the particulars myself," blue eyes look towards Drusilla as she begins to address the questions and concerns of those gathered, a small smile of sharp fascination on her lips, "but I do know and respect a staging ground when I see one."



And it's with that bright, intensive gaze that Gabriella continues to observe, leaning forward with a certain, rapt interest that one might see in those watching thrilling competition as Drusila takes to addressing the concerns of her audience. "Hmm," she murmurs, half to herself, before leaning back once more.



"Your merchant friend would do well to know the risks that come with the rewards of a venture like this," she notes to Verity. "We stand to gain much, but only as much as we are willing to put in. I hope they have a bold disposition."

Mmming low to himself, Martino notes and drags the metal stylus against the vellum paper. "Starting simple makes sense. Following on from the Messere merchant's question..." Martino's chin indicates across to Tatienne while continuing to speak, "Who also would be taking on management of such a dock."

"So you are looking for investors." Ryhalt says, to make sure he is seeing what Drusilia is expecting from them at this point. "As you are not prepared to offer a place ready for the building, but expecting us to help build it for you."

When Mikani joins her, Nova smiles as much as she can (without showing off her chewed foods). She soon swallows and quietly whispers a welcoming greeting before reaching out and hopefully petting the huge mastiff if he seems keen. Meanwhile, Sir Flop would touch noses with him, too.

Verity splits her attention between Gabriella and Drusila, periodically glancing to the woman sat behind her when she speaks. The last question, though, gets Verity's full consideration.



She bites her lower lip and tries to moderate her cringe.



"...maaaybe?" She buys some time to think by fussing with her hair. "Do you expect it to be, ah, dangerous? Militarily speaking, I mean. I expect you would know better than most."

Mikani smiles at Rowenova before whispering something back. She listens to the others.

Mikani gets a messenger and leaves after reading it.

Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant, 1 Redreef Warden, Vagari The Cinder Cat, 1 Order of the Firebird, 4 Byrne Mountain Men, 2 House Crovane Guards, Nephelae Ebonwood - A Nursemaid, Biorna - The Protective Mastiff leave, following Mikani.

"The management of this new harbour will be handled by myself and Lady Valentina, on all matters of finance and trade you can always approach either of us and we will endevour to see you satisfied." Drusila lips form a subtle smile as she walks down the length of the Gazebo. "In the short term I won't be able to promise you any great profits, our control of the islands is still limited and we're laying the groundwork for things to come. But I can promise you that I will work tirelessly to ensure that anyone who invests their confidence in me will come away satisfied. Once the wealth starts flowing from the saffron chain, it'll be through your warehouses, with your merchants and on your ships."



She turns to address Ryhalt. "We could build this harbour entirely by ourselves but it would be an empty and dull thing compared to the potential I can see in my mind. More then just a harbour, I want it to be a centre of trade, a potential bridge between Avrum and the rest of the world and for that I need a multiplicity of merchants."

Evaristo gets himself some of the snacks and something to drink, now sitting down. Legs stretch out and cross at the ankles and he munches contently as he listens; he's got no more useless commentary to add, it seems. His gaze darts about to watch everyone though, curious and mischievous.



"Mm." Gabriella steeps in stoic silence for a few seconds. She considers Verity. And then, her fingers unlacing, the Setarcan knight threatens her perfect posture so that she may rise and lean in towards the woman in front of her, to whisper something in her ear.



Soon enough, Gabriella is once more taking her seat, hands settled comfortably in her lap and her radiant gaze turned towards Drusila as she speaks of a trade bridge to the rest of the world. Her brows furrow.



"Still," she notes to Verity, "as Mistress Drusila notes, it represents great potential indeed, for the merchant and the House they represent, to be on the ground floor of such an endeavor. Names are often written in stone on the backs of times like these."

Lowering his stylus across the paper, Martino notes aside to Ryhalt in further comment with Druslia's own, "If it was a place ready, building done, then this would not be the first meeting. Ultimately this is the opportunity to shape something far from our own fealties. With a priority then for future work, future opportunity. Sitting and waiting for the Castle to be built would mean no Dukes or Duchesses after all." Considering on futher with Drusila's comment, Martino nods satisfied on the ownership. "As I thought Messere Drusila. Mine thanks for the answer."

Evaristo does have a question now, raising his fork in the air. "So, let's say we invest. Our names get lauded for a week, maybe two. There's a fancy new big harbour, that everyone can sail into, trade will pick up heavily in the area, to and from Arx, the Lyceum, the Mourning Isles... well, from everywhere, really. But ANYONE can do that. What do WE get back, from investing? Can you garuantee that we get first dibs on certain trades for example? You don't go empty one way - we bring something there, we want guarantees we bring something the other way too and that the prices are to our benefit."

Ryhalt meets Drusila's eyes, earnest, answering both her and Martino's comment. "I am aware, but you asked us first to send our merchants and build warehouses as if you had a place ready for them. I am just clarifying that the first thing House Pravus desires from us is the capital to build such a place and *then*, if it is successful, to send our merchants. There isn't anywhere except certain death to send them now. Along with investment, are we expected to help protect this place? Right now it sounds very risky to be involved in this venture, though I am interested. I don't want to spend money on what sounds like confusion and loss."

Tatienne frowns at the answer. "Or in other words, you have no plans by which you expect us to be able to profit, and no desire to provide them." She folds her arms and adds, 'Very well, then here's my conditions for investment. I want a formal guarantee by house Pravus that at no point will trade done under my banner be subject to any import taxes, docking fees or other levies for entering that port. I want a cut of all profits raised by that port commensurate to my degree of investment until such a point that this amounts to thrice the value I'll have invested, whether that takes one year or a hundred." A pause, "If you're not willing to make a deal, then just admit that you're begging for charity and stop wasting my time."

Nova swallows down this particular bite then gets out her writing supplies: beige paper, a black quill already inked (via a belt vial), and a back panel which will ensure no bleedthrough happens on the Pravus table. Via left hand (whilst her right one continuously feeds herself those lovely treats), the scribing scout writes up a new note.

Verity leans in to hear the terrible secret of Gabriella's answer. She makes an 'o' with her lips afterward.



A moment later, she straightens her poise and clasps her hands together in front of herself.



"There is something romantic about the thought of being at something from the beginning, isn't there?"



Evaristo's gestured fork and sharp questions draw Verity's gaze. Her smile flattens into something more subtle and more sly as he goes on. She makes a small, amused noise under her breath.



Ryhalt's continuation on the subject holds Verity's attention further -- there's no trouble with her keeping focus now that the heat is turning up. She sways her weight from one foot to the other for a moment, as if she might break out into dance.



"They are all very shrewd dealers, aren't they?" she asides to Gabriella. "No swords, but cuts and thrusts all the same."

Drusila lets out a short laugh as Ryhalt talks about the merchants being sent to their certain death and shakes her head dramatically. "We have secured what is now known as the City State of Pieros and currently serves as our military headquarters in the isles. While it may not provide the same comforts as the great city of Setarco, I can assure you that no merchants sent there will have to die in the jungle. There's no question if the harbor expansion will be a success, it's simply a question of whom will have warehouses and docks reserved for their merchants." She explains while taking drifting steps down from the Gazebo to join her guests in the garden proper. "Now I'm sure all of you have ideas and concerns about how you personally can make the most out of the opportunities presenting themselves in the saffron isles and rather then bore you with more public speaking, I want to extend my invitation to all of you to meet me in private at your convenience."

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

A subtle twist of Martino's lips follows as Drusila reminds about Pieros' state and he follows with a nod of his head. Turning his sharp green eyes across the garden, after she steps forward and makes the final pitch, Martino replies. "Guido shall bring forth my diary to you later today, Messere Drusila. Here, one hopes, that is the start of true prosperity."

After writing her note, Nova gets up. She must be writing because speaking is nearly impossible to do. She hands off the written words to Drusila before heading back to the shad(ow)y corner where she continually consumes ALL THE PROXIMAL FOODS.

... within arm's reach, at least. Not to be TOO greedy.

"What, so you can waste my time on empty platitudes and begging for charity masqueraded as an opportunity some more?" Tatienne answers Drusilla, calmly but coldly. "I am interested in making deals, concrete plans. If you're willing to acknowledge that a deal that resembles my demands can be made, I am willing to talk, but so far you've given me no reason to believe that this was anything but a waste of both my time and yours."



"Romantic? Hmm. ... Yes. I think I like the sound of that," muses Gabriella, fingers lifting to cup her chin in consideration, gaze downcast. "There is something quite thrilling about it, isn't there? Delving into the unknown. Though I suppose some might find the prospect intimidating."



The warmth of the smile on Gabriella's lips lingers for a moment as her gaze turns back up towards the ungoing discussion. Like one watching a duel between champions, her gaze moves from speaker to speaker, lingering for a moment on Evaristo as he brings forth his first, pointed question. Her brow lifts. A smile tugs stubbornly at corner of the knight's lips.



"No less sharp than any blade I have ever wielded," is Gabriella's quiet response to Verity, eyes shining with interest as she leans forward. "Perhaps sharper still. One need not wield an obvious weapon to know how to fight." Her gaze turns back towards Evaristo, head tilt. "As in the battlefield, I find the ones who know how to wait for their opening the most interesting. And the most dangerous."

Evaristo is lazily eating, sipping wine, looking like this is all great amusement; even his pointed questions were delivered with a certain flair and cheer, like he's taking part in a game. He focuses his attention on Tatienne and stares openly and admiringly at her - she's given a playful wink, and a raise of his glass in a little toast.

Ryhalt fields Drusilia's laughter with a smile which does not meet his eyes. "A newly founded place does not have proof that it will stand. One outpost in the middle of hostility does not promise peace and safety. Perhaps, if this were to be build deep within held territory, you can have right to laugh at and mock our concerns. You aren't promising that, however. So, I am open to speaking later and look forward to hearing from you." After leaving where to contact him and such, he heads out of the garden and on his way.

"I'm not asking for charity, I'm asking for a commitment and if you don't believe my word when I say that you'll earn your investment back to your satisfaction, we can put something in writing but it won't be the terms you propose, simply because they would undercut the management of the port and that is in none of our interest." Drusila explains to Tatienne as she drifts closer to the Rivenshari merchant. "If you have no confidence in my ability to deliver, there's no reason to invest."

Martino gathers up to his feet, folio of his closed after making the final note before handed back to Guido with his stylus. "Mine thanks." A hushed word and nod to his courier before an easy crease of sharp-greens follows to Drusila as he steps down from the gazebo.

"He does have a delightful sense of timing," Verity says. Though she has not looked at Gabriella to trace the other woman's line of sight, she seems to know the person at which the lady knight is looking.



She reaches out to place her hand on Gabriella's forearm. "Thank you for keeping me company, and for the insight."



After, Verity steps forward -- not enough to approach Drusila, but enough to indicate her intent to get the other woman's attention. She curtsies with a bow of her head. "Thank you for your offer, messere. I will bring word of it to my lord's chief merchant."

Now back at the shad(ow)y corner, Nova simply devours like a metaphorical eater -- of tasty treats!

Evaristo seems interested in lingering on for awhile, standing up. "I'll think on it," he tells Drusila. "HArd not to be tempted - it is a great opportunity," he admits, smiling wide at her. He does move over to Verity and Gabriella though, the latter eyed with much curiosity. "Good evening! Verity Locke, it's nice to see you again - it's been awhile! Too long, if you ask me." He inclines his head respectfully, introducing himself properly to Gabriella. "Captain Evaristo Arterius - I own a cog named the Webbed Wheel. Dabble at this merchant thing between other adventures."

"I'd have confidence in your ability to deliver if you had outlined a credible path to profit." Tatienne answers Drusila, eyes staring straight at the woman. "You're the one looking for investments, it's your job to sell us on how this will be worth investing in. Since you're not offering anything beyond vague promises, there's only three possible explanations. Either you're confusing charity and investment, or you're plain incompetent, or you're a snake trying to take advantage of us deliberately" The merchant remains cold, but calm. "In the interest of charity, I've been assuming it's one of the first two; but some here might not be so generous." A pause, "And if your venture is so fragile that my offer will not undermine it, then your venture is doomed to begin with."

Drusila inclines her head to Verity when she delivers her message. "I will look forward to hearing from them, I'm glad you could make it." She smiles faintly and offers Evaristo his own nod of recognition before finally addressing Tatienne.



"Exempting any flag or banner from all taxes, fees and levies is an unsecured liability that invites corruption and unbalanced ledgers. Even the flagship of the Black Fleet is not exempt from its proper dues and if you insist on nonsense of that kind I will have to doubt your sincerity as a merchant." Drusila explains cooly. "I'm not here because we need money, I'm here because I want partners that can help establish the trade routes that the Saffron Chain will sorely need and I have no need to indulge nonsense."



A touch to her arm. Gabriella looks toward Verity as she provides those words of gratitude; her smile is a friendly and infectious thing that does not affect the shine of those sky blue eyes in the slightest.



"You have my gratitude as well, Mistress Verity. You are intriguing company to keep." One of those dark blonde brows lift, just so. "And very charitable, to provide solidarity in my mercantile ignorance."



And as Verity leaves, Gabriella rises back onto her feet. Her right hand taking hold of the hilt of her great weapon, her left presses to her chest, to provide a gracious bow for House Blanchard's Minister of Loyalty. It proves to be a serendipitous action, at that -- as soon after, she finds Evaristo joining her, her smile blooming once more as she extends that bow of farewells to one of greetings. "Ah! A man of the sea. My sister is quite taken with seafaring, herself -- I suppose you could say I have acquired a taste for it, thanks to that. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance," she offers as she smoothly rises. "Lady Gabriella Pravus. The matter of the Saffron Chain is one of personal interest to me, as you might imagine -- I profess, I am markedly ignorant in such matters as these, but I appreciate the form of it in action nonetheless." Her gaze drifts, for a moment, to the back and forth between Drusila and Tatienne, head cocked in interest. "It is not too dissimilar to a duel."

Verity stands and turns away as if to leave, but this brings her into position to encounter Evaristo instead. She greets him with a warm smile -- and one that turns a bit cheeky when her expression sharpens as Drusila's attention moves away.



"Evaristo. It has been some time, hasn't it? I went to visit Chevalle and have only been back in the city for a few weeks."



She moves past him, but touches his shoulder as she pauses by his side. "We should have drinks sometime and catch up, yes? I wish to hear more of your adventures, and I can tell you some things as well."



Verity leaves, but not before delivering a final wave to the gathered as she goes.

So many have left without fully indulging in all the food finery here. Alas! But, not Nova! She flags down a passing server (who has yet to learn ... yet) and politely requests a 4th... or is it 5th?... food plate. With much thanks! Of course, she waves farewell to the departing Verity!

That's what negotiations are for, goodwoman. To flesh out such details and concerns." Tatienne answers calmly, "Perhaps, for example instead of accusing me of wanting to cheat you, you could have given it some thought and acknowledged that of course I would be open to working out how to prevent any potential abuse. I know I will not make use of such to any degree that will cause issues; and as such would be glad to entertain strict limits on that privilege to prevent such corruption." There's a pause, "Or you could have made a counter-offer. The only reason I even brought such up is because you've offered nothing and this seemed like a reasonable starting point for negotiations. But clearly you're not interested, so I'll be going. Do not contact me unless you've got a counter-offer ready so we can start negotiating."

"Truly, which lady or lord of name Pravus does NOT have some sort of link to the sea?" Evaristo says with a little grin, bowing properly now that it's clear who Gabriella is. "Setarco is one of my favorite places - a city with the most interesting history, beautiful, lovely weather, a fantastic harbour, and that statue... It's astonishing," he says and looks a bit wistful, like he'd be happy to be there right now. He looks at Tatienne and Drusila - it IS very entertaining, this duel of words, but he makes no commentary and seems content to not get further involved there. He's said his piece. "We should! Soon!" he agrees with Verity. "I got so much to talk about too, it'd be a whole night of drinks, we'd get terribly drunk and disorderly and then don't remember what we talked about," he suggests rascally. "Till then!" he calls after Verity.

"As I said, I encourage anyone who is interested to meet with me in private and we can work something out that suits your particular needs. I'm sure you all have your own particular priorities." Drusila tells the remaining guests and puts on a brief smile before raising her slender arm in a sweeping gesture across the garden. "Enough talk about business, you are in our fabulous garden and you should enjoy yourselves."



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