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Salon Discussion: Limits of Love

The Salon hosts a discussion on the topic of true love. This isn't the standard case of twuest of twu wuvs and how wonderful they are. This isn't a discussion of Peers marrying commoners, nor the power of feelings and true love to overcome daily adversity.

This discussion is about the morality of love and, more specifically, the limits of that love. Does love have limits? What if it's discovered the one who is the truest of loved has been punching puppies every day for the last 50 years? Is it still sensible and acceptable to love the cruel and unusual? Or is it safe to say screw true love and move on?

In the end, what are the limits imposed on love? Does love have no limits and everything can be overcome with increasing quantities of love?

Refreshments will be available during this discussion. Those who show up just to drink and waste the time of others will be asked to leave or escorted out.

Date

Sept. 13, 2020, 8:30 p.m.

Hosted By

Hadrian

Participants

Merek Drake Calypso Korka Eirene Thea Cassandra Brianna Alessia Alaric Monique Lucrezia Macda Hamish Kiera Sorrel

Organizations

The Salon

Location

Arx - Ward of the Compact - The Empirical - The Salon

Largesse Level

Grand

Comments and Log


2 Halfshav skilled veteran guards arrives, following Brianna.

Zelda, the royal messenger, 13 King's Own Guardsmen, Brianna arrive, following Alaric.

Merek makes a way into the place, taking the time to pull the hood up of his attire while his beltcape sways along with him, then he settles about to watch and listen as well.

Typically, when a conversation of philosophical importance is about to occur, Drake Wyvernheart just shows up for the food. This was such a tremendous apparent problem that the organizers of the event put up a warning sign that no one was supposed to show up just specifically, for the food! And so, Drake will have to engage in some conversation... but, he somewhat considers himself a subject matter enthusiast... maybe even an expert.

And it isn't like there won't be some drinks, right? Of course not. Drake gets himself a glass of whiskey before he goes to sit on the slouchiest and most comfortable couch in the place. Before he does so, he takes off his sword belt, and slides the sword underneath the couch, for safekeeping.

The afternoon grows late in Arx and light flakes of snow fall from above. The Empirical itself is kept warm, with equally warm beverages beginning to circulate as more and more patrons make appearances, and the seating both abundant and comfortable. From the atrium comes a small retinue and at the head of it Duke Hadrian Mazetti. He offers a smile here, a wave there, and as he begins to sink down into his seat does he begin to speak even as he begins to fold one leg over the other at the knee, "First, allow me to express my thanks to each of you for your presence during this discussion. The weather is already beginning to turn sour and before we know it we'll all be snowed into our homes, feverishly writing our white journals about the weather," Hadrian remarks with a glance toward the aide at his side, Luigi, whom seems to give a look, "oh? They've already started writing about the weather? Oh, I see". Hadrian's attention shifts back around to the Empirical and he continues with a small smile continuing to tug at one corner of his mouth.

As if to punctuate a break in his statements, Hadrian's hands clap sharply together. Upon their parting a steaming mug is placed into an awaiting hand, though he does not drink from it immediately. Instead Hadrian continues on with the opening remarks of the Salon's impending discussion. His brilliant green eyes dance from face to face, settling only briefly on some, before continuing on to others, "Love has probably always been a hotly contested topic in the Compact. On one side of the topic, some believe it to be a powerful guiding force that more should adhere to. There are others who consider it a luxury held by many, but not those with an adherence to duty. Of course there are many, varied opinions between and beyond those stances, but I imagine those are the most frequently held". Hadrian's hand rises up as if to drink from his mug, he halts, before he continues, "Does love or even true love, have limits? Does love conquer all or does love conquer most? What do you, dear guests of the Empirical, believe are the lengths of the truest of true loves?"

Hamish has joined the a glossy walnut bar.

Calypso strides into the Salon right on time, to the second. She's all but swallowed by an extremely shaggy off white coat, about thigh length, that seems to be her answer to the frigid Arx winter. With a long, confident stride, she makes her way over to the bar long enough to have a glass of rum placed in her hand, and then, in a more leisurely fashion, to the chairs and tables, where she sits in one chair and uses another as a footrest. Hopefully nobody needed it for anything. Like, you know, sitting.

Alaric has joined the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

Alessia has joined the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

Brianna has joined the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

Korka got here a bit earlier and is sitting with Hamish at the bar, each into their second drink. She listens to Hadrian's query and then looks sidelong at the Archlector, "You first."

Korka has joined the a glossy walnut bar.

Eirene is more recognizable by her hair, the braids of black and shock white, than her dress. She's dressed like a regular damn lady and not a soldier. The baby she's carrying probably is to blame. She tosses a casual salute at Hadrian and goes to grab a seat by Calypso whether or not her niece and nephew like it. "Love is a blessing and a curse. You do damn fool things because of it and it doesn't always lead to happy endings."

Eirene has joined the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

Thea has slipped in quietly, unmistakable by the thick red mantle she's wearing. She's curious to hear what this will be about, honest. There's also drinks. Grabbing one quickly, she goes to sit on one of the couches, waving to her Duchess Cousin, Calypso as she does so. And Eirene. Other cousin. Hadrian is too busy for the wave. So yep. The mouthy Malvici is silent.

Arriving in the Salon before the discussion began, Cassandra moves to find a place to be settled. She was hoping that the Ilvin would be present, but alas, the Archlector is still away. And with Biance not present either, the Legate is deferring for the night, opting to listen instead of speaking up unless she is asked.

Brianna arrived with Alaric, though she saw herself to a chair as soon as she made her way in, settling in and trying to get comfortable. "I think before we can debate love, we should define it," comes her opinion. "There are so many different sorts of love. What exactly are we discussing? Or are those differences artificial?"

Already sat at one of the tables with a glass of untouched wine before her, Alessia offers warm smile to all who join, before her attention rests on the duke. "I'm sure there are stages of sorts to love. Everything has a limit, it's just that some types of love have lower thresholds than others."

Monique has joined the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

"How could we not resist the call to come together and take part in what I'm sure is to be one of the most thought-provoking discussions of this season yet," Alaric jovially calls to Duke Hadrian Mazetti as he files in with Brianna at his side, his contingency of Kingsguard dispersing so as not to disrupt the natural order of other visitors still finding their way to a seat. He enfolds himself into a chair after seeing his companions seated, turning his eyes up to take in the unfolding event with intrigue.

Calypso tips her chair back on the back two legs, making herself very much at home in her spot. And someone else's spot. She takes a sip of her rum. "If the discussion needs some direction, I've got a more specific question to pose to the group."

Arriving on the end of Hadrian's speech, Monique's eyes take on a gleam that's dark, but no words or response find her tongue just yet as she snares a chair at the same table as Alessia, leaning in to murmur something quietly to the Mazetti Lady.

"Lady Brianna makes a good point," Drake says, nodding in agreement with her. "One must categorize the types of love appropriately. There is the love for a family, the love for a sexual partner, the love for one's own children... and so-on. I'm sure if someone took a slate we could come up with a dozen varieties."

Lucrezia rolls in with her eye-catching gait and all but flops herself into a chair sideways, resting her arm over the back of it. Too bad there's no armrests, but she's as comfortable as a cat regardless. She listens to Hadrian with a hawk's rapt attention and taps her finger on the back of her chair as there seems to be confusion whether to answer his questions or to hare off in another direction.

Macda looks as if she might wanna sing, she looks to Drake then she looks around ... someone, anyone stop her... she smiles to Thea, her lips open, then close before she says "where is the damned Whiskey?"

Eirene gives Brianna a grunt in solidarity as she sips similar. No whiskey for her.

"Do feel free to define it yourselves. The question is asked and the discussion is is laid out," Hadrian answers even as his hands rise up in a bid to shrug with those same hands. He's holding a steaming mug of something or another, so that shrug is quite abbreviated and only half-hearted. "Does love have limits? That is the question. How each of you, as an individual or group choose to interpret it? Depends on each of you at the same time as all of you". Hadrian's hands lower again and he returns to observing and listening, offering a nod this way and that toward those whom cast their attention his way.

Thea is listening, nodding in agreement to Brianna. Scooting over for Macda, she indicates a seat for her. And possibly a flask.

"Yes," offers Hamish. After a moment, realizing more is likely expected, he adds, "Obviously."

Brianna gives Alaric a look that could kill. Hah. Can't block that with your fancy shields, King's Own.

Kiera sits down next to drake and thea and seems to wait for someone to lead off

"What about second chances?" Calypso asks, sipping at her rum. "If something goes wrong between two people in love, can it be patched up, really? Or do you just get one shot, and if it gets too fucked up, there's no going back?"

Macda hahahs "Love, well like I fucken love Thea but I am not getting out of my chair to go over there" says the Grayson Princess. She chuckles a bit as she shakes her head "like the seabreeze loves Kelp." she says all bawdy and so not looking over at her cousin the King as she speaks sailor talk.

Macda has someone pass her Thea's drink however and she looks mighty happy.

With a subtle finger lifted to signal a server for a glass of whiskey, along with a bottle, Alaric seems ready to engage the Salon fully as an active participant. He gives consideration to the prompt that is to be addresed, brows drawing together before he speaks, "I believe we all would like to buy into the fantasy that true love and its lesser forms conquers all, and makes all in the world great and sweet but that cannot be the case," he deigns. "We have responsibilities and duties to uphold, honor that must be kept, and those who depend upon us to be able to set aside some of the more selfish notions of love in order to do what's expected of us without hesitation, regardless of personal conflict on the matter."

Thea looks up to Calypso, her lips a faint grin. "Well depends on the situation and the person,"the younger Malvici says. "Like you--Did they kick your favorite soldier, break your bottle of booze, or stab your favorite cousin?" She continues still,"Or--was it matter of something simple(because the Duchess takes her booze seriously, guys.)"

"The limit of love, any kind of love, is when you no longer do anything loving towards the object of that love. Then it's no longer love on either side." Lucrezia tosses out her answer, tone somewhat bitter. If her eyes cut to the drink afterward, she is either far too lazy or unmotivated to fetch herself a drink.

Eirene says, "Everything has a limit. Even a mother's love for a child. There are some lengths you just can't go." She makes a shrug at that. "Sometimes you can kill for love. Otherwise the cost is just too high. And it will be heartbreaking but necessary. And sometimes love turns ugly and becomes something it wasn't..."

Eirene glances at her niece Calypso and offers a small frown. "Depends on how fucked the thing was, I'd say. Sleep around, maybe. Blood magic sacrifices? Probably no." Her answer is similar to Thea's apparently."

"Love does not have limits, society merely imposes some rules," Korka offers up, leaning an elbow back on the bar and looking around the room, "Love transcends even death in some cases. It has beginnings and endings but limits? Not in and of itself."

"But again, it comes back to the question Brianna asked. What love are we talking about? I have a deep love for my family and there is not much that I would do for them. But along that same line, my love of the Faith would offset that of my family if I found that the two of them would be in conflict with each other. There is a love for loyalty, there is love of the romantic sense. There is love that is simple and is childlike in it's wonder. Love is what you define it as. And when you define it, you decide what your limits will be." Cassandra decides to offer.

"Love is more than just attraction. Love, real love, is built on something real. A bond of blood. History. Goals. Romance and the like? Not necessary. There are people whom I love to my bones who I know better than to even think about fussing with romance." Brianna pauses. "But to me, I also think there's a difference between sex and romance, but that's another story altogether." She continues. "Everything has limits, but that limit is not the limit of love, but rather the limit of what you are willing to do for that love. Even if trust is broken, even if the person wounds you, that love will always exist, even if it is love for who that person once was."

Apparently, probably, in a discussion like this, you're allowed to question the King. Or at least, Drake does. Kind of. "So are we taking for granted this discussion is about the subject of romantic love only?" Not everyone seems to be able to settle on those terms. Drake considers what Korka said, and squints at her, as if not sure if he agrees but also not sure how to pick it apart either.

Calypso shrugs to Thea. "Let's make this as complicated as possible and say something went wrong between both parties. We've all seen relationships fall apart that way. It just falls apart, and people don't always know why." She casts a casual glance at Brianna. "I'm too old and battle scarred to put much stock in true love, so let's say this is the old run of the mill kind of love. Romantic or otherwise."

Macda looks to Korka and she mrmmms a little before she nods her head to Brianna "well maybe not of blood... but yes." she says quietly "love dose stay with one, forever" she looks then to Drake as she says that.

Perhaps Korka misinterprets Drake's look because she seems amused as she responds, "Don't worry, Lord Drake. I might've made you suffer a crisis of conscience for love at one time, but I'm not keen on your new name so no need to worry I'll cause you heartache in that way."

Kiera nods "Well I think that it is important to acknowledge that love and duty are often two different things but even they should have some similarities. Love is based on trust as our oaths. if the breach of trust reveals egregious or criminal behavior that was not disclosed upon making the contract it should be void

"One could even say that a political marriage is one born of love, because it is the love of your own family and duty to them that you accept the arrangement to the other person." Cassandra adds thoughtfully.

Brianna glances over at Kiera. "Except love does not follow the rules of our society. Just because something happens that should void that feeling doesn't mean it just disappears."

"Aw," Drake says, a little down-turn in his voice at Korka's comment. "But, no, I was merely seriously considering what you said." He sits up a bit straighter. "Love has to have some limits, if duty over-powers it. Or, there are times when... it must be set aside." He puts his glass down. He looks at Macda for a moment, when she looks at him. "Or at least allowed to become a memory."

Monique accepts a glass of whiskey gratefully, giving Alessia a distinctly adoring glance for her foresight. Then she offers, "Someone very recently told me Limerance knows there are many ways to love. And if there are many ways to love, then there is no singular true way."

Calypso regards Brianna over the rim of her glass. "So you're saying that the question of second chances is moot, because once love is present, it never goes away?"

"If it goes away," Eirene counters, "was it ever truly love? Or just fancy or lust?"

Brianna shakes her head at Calypso. "No, my lady. 'Second chances' are different than emotions. Second chances are action. I am drawing a distinction between emotion and action."

"I don't think Lady Brianna was suggesting anything of the sort," says Hamish to Calypso. "Only that there are certain factors that aren't going to affect love. The ebb and flow of love itself isn't necessarily one of those factors, though."

Eirene can occasionally be serious, or maybe it's the tea she's drinking having a literally sobering effect on her.

Macda scoffs "if it goes away truely, it was never true love." she tells Eirene

Hadrian's attention shifts to Alaric while he presents his own points, nodding along with them at regular intervals. Onward his attention goes from there, doing his level best to absorb each answer and given it all due attention. Cassandra earns an understanding nod, Eirene seems to earn a few nods of understanding or perhaps agreement, and so on. To Calypso, Hadrian's own answers is given with a mild shrug of his shoulders, "But then there comes to likelihood that a second chance becomes a third chance becomes a fourth chance and so on. Eventually, after enough chances have been exhausted? The sane choice three chances ago was likely to toss the relationship aside". Though the latest remark made by Cassandra seems to draw Hadrian's attention inexorably back to her, his lips bowing slightly with his thoughts on the words, "That is a reasonable point, Legate. A marriage based in the political arena would still, in its own abstract and conceptual form, have a kernel of love at its root".

There's a quiet sigh from Hadrian as he remarks with a faint smile, "I think next time I'll elect for a less ambiguous discussion that won't potentially continue on for three months, simply defining the discussion itself. Join the Empirical next month, fair friends, for our discussion on which is better: blue or red!" Hadrian remarks with a humored grin.

"Love doesn't go away simply because you can't marry a person," Korka gives all the nobles a bit of a skeptical look, "Noble duty asks only that you don't flaunt the fact that you're in love with someone else in your spouse's face. Too much. Trust me. I'm the commoner you all turn to in your loveless marriages," there's a pause, "Not literally me, I'm just standing in for her. She's had a long night already."

Lady Teonia Redreef, Aryka Wyrmfang, 3 Thrax Guards, Marquessa Pudding, a doughy dog, 2 Thrax Elite Guards arrive, following Sorrel.

Hamish snorts at Macda. "That's a ludicrous statement." He glances sidelong at Korka. "There's just the one? She must be exhausted."

"It's why schedules are so important," Korka replies mildly to Hamish.

Calypso's dark painted lips curl into a lazy smile as she listen to Hadrian. "Sounds like you've outlined a potential limit of love, brother." Then she tsks at Korka and shakes her head. "Don't tease," she scolds playfully.

"You can love more than one person," Drake says, rather direct about this matter.

"I don't believe duty is the -limit- of love, since as Mistress Korka says, your love can still thrive even when you're married to someone else." Alessia says with a smile, taking a drink from her glass. "I think what tends to make the love go away is slowly uncovering who the person truly is."

Macda laughs to Hamish as she shakes her head looking back to Korka before she nods her head to Drake "of course."

Sorrel slips in quietly so as not to interrupt the discussion in session. She listens to what is being said curiously but says nothing just yet.

"What if you love someone and they love you, but you are both to be wed to other people, live lives with other people, have children with other people? Does that change the love you bear for one another? Surely it must," Monique posits, with a deep interest in the topic.

"Love is not required for marriage, and, in my opinion, not recommended beforehand," Brianna opines. "Though Gloria herself may call me a hypocrite," she adds, referring to the duel over, among other things, that very assertion. "Love grows from a foundation of friendship. Shared goals. Shared blood, in the form of children. Marriage is an agreement between Houses. These two things may intersect over time, but they very well may not." She turns to Monique. "Does it /change/ the love? I should say so. Does it /lessen/ the love? I think not."

"It doesn't," Korka replies with some finality to Monique, taking a long drink from the glass she holds, "You just need to know to separate love from actions like childbirth and rearing. The situation changes, the love does not."

Kiera nods "I was more responding to the his majesty's comment that there were clear separation between love and duty. there are occasionsa when even oaths can be void. If not made honorably but of course love does not extinguish with a break in trust merely changes but that's the thing that the limits, the degree of change, the number of chances are individual were emotion is concerned legal obligation nonwithstanding

"The only true limits that exist on love are the limits that we, as people, put on it. We can say we will be faithful and fidelitius to our spouse alone before Limerance." Cassandra starts, lifting her small cup of tea to sip from it. "But I will tell you as someone that has read many marriage contracts, that fidelity is usually only towards the creation of a child. So what it comes down to is that love is what you decide to make of it. There is little doubt in my mind of my love for Gloria and Laurent and would lay down my life for either. I suppose that would be a limit." She pauses and glances over at Brianna and smiles wryly. "You can be a hypocrite before Gloria and still earn Limerance's love with that statement." There's a wink at the Halfshav lady before she sips her tea.

Eirene snorts in amusement at Monique. "I've been a mistress before. We were circumspect of their spouses wishes but it changed nothing for us. Made their life with their spouse happier for having me in theirs. We broke no vows to Limerance and were true to our hearts. " She wears a sad smile for a moment.

"It does for some," Lucrezia responds to Monique in opposition to those saying to positive. "For some that separation is too much. The duty is unreachable wall. Love whithers where it's not fed."

Macda looks to Korka then around she drinks more of the Whiskey before she passes it back to Thea murmering to her a moment

Sorrel has joined the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

Calypso looks to Cassandra. "Do those limits have to be consciously chosen?" She asks. "Do we have to decide 'this is the limit of my love', and if we don't lay out those boundaries, it goes on unlimited?" She leans forward a little bit. "And if that's the case, how does one choose to fall out of love?"

"Oh, no," Hadrian answers Calypso with a subdued smile, "I surely do believe that love exists and it is in possession of many limits. I do not, under any circumstances, believe that true love exists. From a statistical standpoint, there are far too many possible scenarios to put a limitation on that love for it to ever be described as true. Find anyone in this world who claims to be elbow deep inside true love? I'll show you someone that with enough time, effort, and consistent disappointment can be dissuaded from believing in that love". Hadrian's hand rises up, a sip is taken from the mug, and he makes a face down at it for a moment. Slowly Hadrian's eyes swivel up and aside to regard Luigi from the corners of their sockets. The stare is held for only a moment before Hadrian swallows and continues on with the discussion as he casts another nod toward Cassandra. Though as the conversations beginning sparking off between members and guests of the Salon; Hadrian simply settles into quiet to watch and listen, comfortably warm in his plush chair.

Macda nods her head a little to Drake, she leans in, kisses his forhead and she stands, out of her chair, the princess shifts a little and moves out of the Salon.

Macda has left the a cluster of couches around a low table.

Drake looks directly at Hadrian. He looks for a long moment. Again, it's a look of... not agreeing, but not being sure of a proper rational argument about it. "Effort and disappointment? Hm." He takes another drink.

Korka rolls her eyes just a bit, "You're all thinking of this in the wrong way, which isn't your fault it's just your nobles are taught to put yourselves before most other things. Love is love and it does not change. People can change, surely, but it's selfishness that dooms love more than anything else. Love transcends death," she repeats firmly, "Love doesn't wither, it burns. It can be pushed aside for selfish reasons--to want to be the only lover in your loved one's life, to want to have a family with them, but that love is still there. You may find a way to ignore it, but it's still there. And it will haunt your dreams into the next lifetime. Maybe two," she lifts her glass again, gaze sliding to Hadrian, "You're wrong. You need only listen to tales and songs that speak of historical loves that were larger than life to know it. Pangs that still run deep hundreds of years later, disappointments or no."

"So the answer is, as ever, yes and no, depending on the people involved?" Monique replies, wrinkling her nose as if this lack of definitive answer is displeasing to the Minx. She turns, as ever, to her one true love: whiskey.

Brianna nods slowly. "Love doesn't wither. It burns," she repeats. "But we have choices regarding feeding the flame. Banking it is harder to do, but we can make choices that do not feed it. Sometimes."

"People have done mad things for love," Sorrel observes, nodding slightly to what Korka says. "And we have felt those repercussions for years, in some cases, because of the power of the one who loved."

Calypso nods from time to time as Korka speaks, and adds onto the end of her statement: "Show of hands, who in this room has ever stopped loving someone. Really stopped loving them, even in your darkest, most inebriated moments. I have my doubts that it's as easy as my brother suggests, to convince someone who's in love that they're not."

Maybe significantly, maybe not, Calypso doesn't follow this up with a show of her own hand.

Brianna makes eye contact with Calypso and very decidedly does not raise her hand.

Cassandra chuckles. "My mother, for a long time, was convinced I did not love her when I renounced my position as heiress to take Godsworn oaths."

Eirene likewise, does not raise her hand. "They all died before I could fall out of love with them," she says dryly.

Calypso gives a low, humorless chuckle, and salutes Eirene with her glass. "Here, here."

Draining the wine in her glass, Alessia much like the others, doesn't raise a hand. "I've only been in love once. So perhaps that'll change in time, and I'll experience what my duke speaks of." She nods to Hadrian.

Korka's tone is dry as she says to Eirene, "I like to be the one that dies first. Far less messy that way. Usually."

Kiera hms "that's because love is not objectively defined. if i believe my love is true and the object of that love liewise. if you find ways to erode someone's belief yes you can change that. It doesn't mean it wasn't true. you're confusing true and constant not the same

"Lady Monique," Hadrian addresses her with a fond smile, "I have to disagree, personally. I think it's quite clear that there is a very clear answer. Yes, love has its limits. If a love can begin and end? Then it has limits. It is a thing which can be given a breath of life and just as readily stabbed to death in an alley". Drake's question though earns a glance from Hadrian and a solemn nod of his head, "Effort and disappointments. By which I mean the efforts that would cause a reduction in that love. Each offense is just a little more pour from the bottle that is love. That bottle can, through the actions of outside parties, even be tipped over". At Calypso's question of people showing their hands to signal having ever stopped loving someone, Hadrian readily raises his hand. He even sets his mug aside to reach over and lift one of Luigi's hands, because Hadrian doesn't have enough hands to raise apparently.

"It's not easy, but it does happen," says Hamish in response to Calypso's question. "Love burns, but sometimes love burns out. For most people, I am not saying all and let me assure you, listener, that if you find this notion offensive then I didn't mean _you_ or _your situation_, there is an easy love that can be had and that love lasts exactly as long as it does and then it becomes work. It's a fire, but most fires need to be tended. If people aren't willing to put in the work, or if they fail to recognizes that work is required, then the love cade gutter out. On one side or on both. That doesn't mean that it can never be rekindled, but that too will likely take work. Or an extraordinarily exciting adventure filled with danger and close calls on a deserted island while looking for their child, I suppose."

Lucrezia laughs wildly at the insistence of love burning and never dying. She raises her hand. "You who say love can't end were never betrayed on every point on which that love stood. You can stop loving when there is no reason to love anymore. You may wish for a time that wasn't so, but that doesn't make it love."

"So there's a story there," Drake says to Korka, looking at her. It's a matter he's been curious about for a while, really.

Monique does lift her hand to that question, impassivity claiming her sharp features like the drawing of drapes across her eyes.

"For the longest time, I thought myself incapable of love," Brianna admits. "Because I had never loved anyone in the way I understood romance to be. I have only been in that sort of love once, but the other loves of my life are no less meaningful and no less powerful. It took me experiencing the 'falling in love' type of love to understand the other sorts."

Eirene asks Korka, "wasn't it you who told the story about the dead guy with the big..." She breaks off to make a measuring motion with her hands.

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

Korka gives a wistful sigh and a nod to Eirene, "Sometimes all we're left with is dreams, right?" It's not that wistful though since she winks at Drake a moment later, "There always is."

Cassandra has left the a cluster of couches around a low table.

1 Templar Initiates have been dismissed.

3 Templar Knight guards have been dismissed.

Sir Geddyorf, a heavy-set snapping turtle have been dismissed.

Calypso flashes a quick smile to Alessia. "Very politic of you." But then, as the discussion continues, her smile flickers and briefly fades -- long enough for her to take a long drink, at least.

"What we come across then is the limits of talking philosophy about such a personal matter. Those brave enough to go into it," and here Drake looks at Brianna before looking at Korka again, "Well, you cannot really think about it in the abstract. Only about the experience."

Kiera hms "But isn' true love like the ideals of the faith tat to which we strive though not attain because we are not constant in loving does not diminish the attempt

"An entire separate discussion could be held," Hamish drawls, "on whether or not true love exists."

Calypso gives a derisive snort and tosses her head in a Drake's general direction. "Philosophy that doesn't take courage is nothing but naval-gazing and the occasional circle jerk."

"I mean, it does. I can just tell you," Korka shrugs one shoulder, "But I'm the only one without a title in here so no one's going to listen to me. I do have thumbscrews in my pocket, though, which should lend me some air of authority."

"Of course it does, Inquisitor Korka," offers Hamish in response to her comment, giving her a cloying smile.

Calypso raises her eyebrows to Korka. "I'm listening to you." Then she quirks a cocky half-smile. "... Mostly because I've agreed with most of what you've said so far, though. If you have a newsletter, I might even subscribe to it."

Drake sits back. "I'm listening too." He holds his whiskey in one hand as he takes the moment.

"Would you care to expand more on your thoughts regarding that matter," Alaric's gaze falls upon Korka, studying the Inquisitor momentarily before the corners of his mouth crease upward in a cordial smile. "Here, I believe that no voice is greater than the other. Personally, I am more intrigued to hear the accounts and experiences of one who's walked a path vastly different from my own personal experiences. That is, of course, if you were of mind to spatially expand my mental horizons."

Calypso gives a quick, sharp laugh and acknowleges Drake with a motion of her drink. "Nobles can be very attentive when someone's parroting our own opinions to us."

Lucrezia rolls her eyes.

Hamish's comments about the separate topic that is the existence of true love earns a respectful nod from Hadrian. A moment later and the Duke's attention drifts back to Korka, whose statement results in Hadrian's left eyebrow slowly angling upward as his head tilts aside. A shake later and again his attention drifts back to the gathering as a whole, "It seems to me that there is a division in the point of view, which isn't anything new or unexpected. It happens every time. That's why we hold these; to address a topic, discuss it, and simply expose ourselves to differing points of view in a peaceful, relaxed setting. It is healthy for the growth of our souls and our minds, I strongly believe."

Thea is leaning back, flask in hand. She looks to Calypso and smirks. Amused.

Korka takes a drink and just so happens to flip Hamish off as she does so. What a commoner. "I'm very agreeable, Duchess," she gives a nod to Calypso and appears to be about to say something to Drake when Alaric talks directly to her and she might be a commoner, but she knows better than to look at anyone else when that happens, her eyes drifting up to that crown of his before settling down on his face, "I'm sure everyone here knows that souls are sometimes sent back to the land of the living--and if you don't know that the Archlector is sitting to my right and can no doubt expound so thoroughly upon it that you'll find yourself joining the Harlequins in a heartbeat. This is not the first time I've walked the streets of Arx although hundreds of years have passed between. But the love I felt so fiercely in the past still burns in my very soul. It's actually really fucking annoying sometimes, but its there. The pangs come and go but its always there. So I know true love exists and I know love never dies. You might think it burns out, but the embers are there, scattered to every part of you. I died for it once, I probably will again. I'm certainly trying."

"Paired souls." Alessia says to herself, though probably not as quietly as she may have hoped, studying Korka as she speaks.

"I've wondered about that," Drake says. "If you miss someone in this lifetime. What the chances are of finding them in the next. I suppose that depends on how merciful Death is about the process."

Eirene arches her eyebrows slightly as she sips her tea. She makes no reply but looks as if she is mulling over her words.

Calypso takes a sip of her rum while Korka talks, and once she finishes, the duchess muses: "If you define true love as love that persists beyond all self-interest, logic, and reason, then I believe in it."

"Could you choose to ignore it? Could you choose to actively work against it?" Hadrian asks of Korka after a moment of silence. His head tilts to one side, though he lifts a hand to forestall an answer. Instead he offers another remark or two, before opening the floor to an answer directed at his original question, "Also? Thank you for that story," before he reiterates his original question, "let's say that for whatever reason, you decided you were tired of feeling that way. Could you change it? Do you have that... choice?" Hadrian's smile suddenly springs to devilish life as his brilliant green eyes practically alight with interest.

"All that proves is that *your* true love or true love doesn't die. Not all love is like that. Other loves die. It's not a yes or a no answer across the board just because of your experience." Lucrezia says sharply.

"'Non Omnis Moriar,' as they once said. 'I shall not wholly die.' And how can you wholly die when your friends remember you and love you? If love never dies, then let us have hope that we too shall not wholly die," Sorrel suggests softly, with a bit of a wry smile. "We carry our love for our fellows in our hearts, and though we mourn their loss, we know that Death will send them back to us on another turn of the Wheel, and we hope that we may enjoy their company and camaraderie once again." She looks thoughtful for a moment, then. "Imagine that you loved the world so much that you burned up your soul to save it."

Drake looks at Sorrel with a one-handed shrug. The other hand is holding his glass. "Is that something you're looking forward to doing?"

"Let's move past the eternal love across multiple lifetimes thing, please," says Hamish, giving Korka a look. "I'm trying not to be the faith guy right now, but as the only faith guy present there will be a point where I have to point out doctrine and start giving sharp looks." Sorrel gets a nod. "Such has happened. Though that would be a different kind of love than to which most here seem to be referring, I think."

"Self-destructive love is the best kind," Calypso comments to Drake, with a dry smile. "Or at least that's what I keep telling myself." She finishes her drink and rises for a moment to get it refilled.

Korka tips her head towards Alessia, "Eidolons. That's not what I'm talking about but that's something that's probably even more fucking annoying for the people that find themselves entwined in that. As for working against it," she shrugs to Hadrian, sipping her wine, "I've tried. When you don't know where you begin and another person ends it's...very trying. Are my choices my own or influenced by someone that lived ages ago who was just too interesting to disappear?" Hamish's comment gets a snort, "I died for the Compact before. I'll do it again. That's probably the whole point of sending me back. Is that more on point, Faith Guy?"

Sorrel eyes Drake and pulls loose the collar of her armor to show off the burn scar at her throat, white fading to pink. "He keeps trying to get me, but I have been lucky to survive this long. I imagine I shall die for humanity at some point," she notes quietly. "I do not expect to grow old in peace. We live in interesting times."

"I do think everyone was talking more at least about person to person love. Not that deeper, larger, undying love for the entire world, which is a bit abstract for me," Drake says. Then to Hamish. "I think we have reached the limitations of the choice doctrine. There's always been some problems with it. We're influenced by a lot of things."

"You will do no such thing as long as I'm nearby," Brianna says to Sorrel, very seriously.

"Of course," Hadrian remarks with a dip of his chin toward Hamish, "we of course mean no disrespect or question official dogma. This is nothing more than an elaborate critical thinking exercise, obviously. Though if you do have insights as a person of the Faith? We, as the faithful, would of course welcome those insights," Hadrian offers with a warm smile. Though as Korka's answer is given, Hadrian listens with obvious interest. Lips pursed, jaw set, eyes settled on her, and he nods along with some understanding, "As the Liberators are ever fond of saying? There's always a choice". It seems that is all Hadrian is prepared to say on that particular subject, as soon enough his attention begins to drift away and back to the discussion as a whole. "It sounds to me though that we will never truly answer the question of whether love has limits. It is truly a disheartening thing. Every complicated question that I ask, never has a clearly defined yes or no answer," Hadrian remarks with airily with a wry smile, "I can't imagine why."

Kiera hm "I think that love serves the end of helping us li leave the world better then we found it when we return to the wheel. Some are called in grand ways. most in smaller"

"What is love for people in general, if not love for individuals, writ large?" Sorrel asks seriously, and she eyes Brianna and winks with a measure of amusement. "What if I save the world because I love my children? What if I save the world because I love my husband, my friends, my lovers, my servants, my associates?"

"It's just the thing you do," Calypso remarks to Hadrian as she returns to her seat, refreshed rum in hand. "You've gotten a lot better at it since we were kids." She takes a sip of her drink. "I used to be a match for it."

"I think we still haven't defined our terms," Brianna grouses, even after all of the things she's had to say.

Monique chuckles wryly, offering, "You can save the land without loving even a quarter of the people in it."

Eirene says, "I'd prefer we save the world and NOT die, thank you." She snorts in amusement and turns to her niece and nephew. "You two never did shut up as kids, especially Hadrian." The duke and duchess are both given a wink of good humored teasing. "I don't think you can ever really define love, Bri."

Drake points to Brianna and nods in agreement. Then he puts his glass back down on the table, now empty. "Interesting conversation anyway," he says, and slips his sword back out from under the couch before he stands up, and puts the weapon away again. He gets up and walks near Korka, saying something quietly to her.

Thea rises to her feet, getting ready to leave. "I think that's a family trait." There's a slight wave to her family and a nod to Hadrian,"This was interesting. I'm sorry I can't stay for the rest of it."

"The terms of love were defined in the prompt," Alaric relays over to Brianna. "It is about the morality of love, and more specifically, the limits of that love in terms of loves had between people. It does not have to be romantic, I'd imagine, but familial or for a friend. Does love have limits? What if it's discovered the one who is the truest of loved has been punching puppies every day for the last 50 years? Is it still sensible and acceptable to love the cruel and unusual? Or is it safe to say screw true love and move on?" he seems to be reciting Hadrian's own words for memory, clearly having been paying attention.

"Undoubtedly." Alessia says to Monique's words, lips curling. "Personally, I believe love has limits. Even true love. Even the love between paired souls. Sometimes it can transform into hate."

"You shouldn't flatter yourself as my equal at any point," Hadrian remarks back at Calypso with a sudden, bright smile. Though Brianna's comment earns a quiet chuckle from the Duke of House Mazetti, though he does at least offer his thoughts given a voice, "I suspect that it's purely because it is exceptionally difficult to define, due to it being flavored to the individual". Hadrian's mug rises up, held high in salute to those present, "I do believe that the topic is beginning to wind down. Everyone? You are welcome to remain and discuss this until the snow begins to pile high and you're all trapped here, forced to huddle together for warmth, and all the rest? But I must be away. Sure, I'll just be going to sleep on some piece of furniture in my office here quite possibly, but that time has arrived for me". He goes quiet however as his mug lowers and his attention drifts around to regard Alaric as a quiet conversation breaks out between the pair for a moment.

Eirene asks Alessia, "If it becomes hate, was it really love or was it desire instead?"

Drake nods to Hadrian. "I appreciate it. It was enlightning, interesting to hear the stories of others." But he takes his cloak up and heads for the door.

Thea has left the a cluster of couches around a low table.

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

Drake has left the a cluster of couches around a low table.

Calypso sips her rum, watching Hadrian over the rim. "The gods forbid there be more than one Hadrian," she chuckles. "I just mean that I used to be able to see through it."

"I think there's something to be said for being willing to die for the people you love versus being willing to die for people you can't stand. Though that gets us well off of the subject of love in general." To Alaric Hamish says, "You can still love someone who has spent their life torturing animals, but you just need to be aware of what that says about you. It turns out that it's always who they've been, so now you get to decide who you are. What if instead you found that the person you loved was a Cardian spy? Or a heretic of some fashion? As abhorrant as I'd find torturing animals to be, that's not antithetical to being a citizen of the Compact."

"Love and hate are two sides of the same blade and its edge is sharper than even the most magic of blades," Monique says with a laugh. "I think that's what I'll be taking from this Salon, along with a number of other excellent points made."

A sudden recollection strikes her. "Nope, I admit it, I fell out of love once. THEN they died on me," Eirene admits with a scowl to Hamish. Triggered by something he said.

Brianna slides a glance over to Alaric. "Of all the things I had to say this evening, /that/ is the one you pick on? Curious, Your Majesty," she says over the rim of her mug of tea that she very much wishes was whiskey.

Kiera is overheard praising Hadrian: an enlightening event. i love learning about others and myself

Brianna is overheard praising Hadrian.

Eirene is overheard praising Hadrian.

"Can we really draw a distinct line between love and desire?" Alessia asks with an amused smile. "Sometimes it's difficult to tell which is which. Especially if the desire lasts long enough."

"If you don't know the person you're in love with, it's not love. It might feel like it, but it's not. There's a connection you have with someone when you know every piece of who they are," Korka shakes her head, finishing her drink, "But that's probably why there aren't songs about every sixteen year old that thinks they've been in love."

"I don't know." Calypso shrugs to Korka. "In the case of something like a spy -- someone presenting a carefully constructed face to you, an intentional lie -- I think it might be possible to love that mask, fake though it is. Even after you learn it was never real."

Brianna grins at Korka. "I think that most songs about love sound like they are written by a sixteen-year-old. They talk about the sparks, never the real thing that has to weather hardships."

Alaric slides a glance over toward Brianna, wounded. "You asked me for the prompt and I gave it to you, Lady Brianna. What more in Arvum do you /want/ from me," he intones dramatically in exasperation, eyes twinkling with mirth. To Hamish, the king opines, "I would say that there would be a sense of betrayal and hurt. Secrets and deceit, they have a way of making one second guess just who they were in love with to begin with. It's all too easy to be in love with the idea of someone, or the image they give you, rather than who they truly are. There is a line somewhere about how love can be blinding if you let it, even in its lesser forms. But that is why it is not a whimsy most within the Peerage can afford to indulge, as it threatens their devotion to their family, oaths, and morals. Loving love leads to foolhardy and dangerous consequences."

Eirene checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 15, rolling 6 lower.

"There are exceptions, of course, to every situation," Alaric adds diplomatically, as though sensing an objection.

"Of course, of course. I understood your meaning, but only felt it was an opening for some playful banter is all," Hadrian answers back at Calypso. Though he does of course turn his attention back to the gathering, nods once, and then begins to rise up with his mug in hand. That mug is raised up in salute to the gathering before Duke Mazetti begins to make his way from the main room of the Empirical and toward the atrium to brave the brief outdoor walk to his office.

Eirene nearly chokes on her tea. "Fuck, stop calling me out like this, did everyone fucking know? She had everyone fooled."

Alaric is overheard praising Hadrian: A phenomenal host and moderator of the Salon. I could not be more prouder as a patron.

Hadrian has left the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

Luigi, 3 House Mazetti Guardians leave, following Hadrian.

Luigi, 3 House Mazetti Guardians arrive, following Hadrian.



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