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Deeplight Coral Showcase

The Eswynds are proud to present a showcase of the exclusive deeplight coral that is found in the waters off the coast of Eswyndol. Join us as Caprice Artiglio, Samira Culler, and Cufre Harrow share pieces designed around this unique "living stone" and inspired by their trip to the island to learn the legend behind it, as well as collect the pieces they wished to work with. Additional works by the artisans of Eswyndol will be on display, with the opportunity for those interested in purchasing any of the pieces to do so. Refreshments and entertainment will be in abundance!

(OOC: Please note that this is a public PRP event! Low risk shenanigans may ensue. However, all are welcome!)


April 24, 2021, 2 p.m.

Hosted By

Medeia Caprice Samira Cufre

GM'd By



Haakon Norah Valerian Zoey Martino Thea Azova Leonel Denica Natasha Alantir Tyche Romulius Sorrel Deva Rosemary Ilira Kiera



Arx - Ward of House Thrax - Eswyndol - Main Hall

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

3 Thrax Guards, 1 Thrax Elite Guards, Torsney, an attentive high strung law clerk leave, following Natasha.

3 Thrax Guards, 1 Thrax Elite Guards, Torsney, an attentive high strung law clerk arrive, following Natasha.

(OOC)The scene set/room mood is now set to: Welcome all! House Eswynd is happy to have you here for this showcase event and public PRP! REMINDER: Low risk shenanigans will be happening.
To see the items made by crafters, look at the display cases (Artiglio, Culler, Eswynd, Harrow). If interested in buying a piece, speak with the creator (Medeia, for things in the Eswynd case).

Lady Lily, A young silver sea otter arrives, following Valerian.

3 Thrax Guards, an ostentatious curator named Sivas, 1 Thrax Elite Guards, a reserved assistant named Stojan arrive, following Denica.

an immaculately dressed assistant named Johannes, a slightly embarrassed courier called Guido, Cosimo de'Malvici, the Southport banker, Denica arrive, following Martino.

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

The hall has been arranged for the showcase with care, cases arranged to display items from a variety of crafters. The scent of fresh flowers and mint mingles with whale oil and wood smoke, a breeze coming through the open front and courtyard doors keeps the room comfortable. Guards are stationed around the hall to keep an eye on the guests and the items on display. Near the door, Medeia stands greeting people as they come in, directing them towards a drink station with servants to pour anything they might desire. The feast table has meats and cheeses, fruits, cookies and pastries out if anyone wants a snack. "Please, come in and take a look around! All of the pieces are amazing! Also, you can see another example in the necklace and earrings I am wearing today." She smiles brightly at everyone. "I'll give a little introductory speech in just a bit!"

Marquessa Norah Eswynd is present, but stays to the sidelines. She is dressed in seasilk, and is dripping with Deeplight Coral. One might think that is figurative, but the way it is draped along her gown and falling in teardrops from her ears and throat, one could be mistaken for taking it literally. While the traditional marquessa is very Arvani in many ways, she appreciates her house's Prodigal traditions: In this instance, not shutting children away in a nursery. She is holding her infant daughter, and a pair of burly reavers are tending to Haakon and Medeia's newborn twins. There are so many tiny Eswynds now. Arx beware.

Orion, a healer's surly Assistant, 2 Redoubt Buccaneers, Fernando, the pygmy bear arrive, following Azova.

Dragging himself out of his hiding and recent more secretive endeavors Valerian makes his way into Esyndol's Main Hall keeping largely to himself, the young man's eyes downcast avoiding eye contact as he murmurs softly under his breath to himself as if trying to calm himself with some mantra or another. As soon as he is able he is ducking aside making his way to the sidelines sticking to those fringes seeking out a small out of the way spot to sit before he is digging around in his satchel pulling free a small leather bound book.

Valerian has joined the stone firepit.

Jasper, an unflappable scoundrel, 2 Redrain Guards arrive, following Deva.

Deva arrives, following Alantir.

Zoey arrives from Crimson Square, her steps confident as she walks through the familiar hall. After giving young Valerian a reassuring squeeze on his shoulder she stops by one of the display cases to examine its contents.

Caprice lingers near the display cases to field questions should there be any, greeting those passing nearby with an easy smile but otherwise content to keep company with her drink and the other crafters, people-watching. Well. Clothes-watching may be more accurate, as her gaze tends to stray from faces fairly quickly while lingering over fabrics, metals.

Stepping in with the breeze, and the blend of creamy vanilla along with soft sandalwood upon his skin, the Lord Martino Malvici arrives with Princess Denica Thrax upon his right elbow. The shorter Princess wrapped in high necked umbra wearing a gold star pendant while the Malvici Lord steps with his cravat pulled up from his own umbra waistcoat. Leaning to her ear, the Lord Martino's voice is a low Lycene purr before making their way to Medeia, "Oh Lady Medeia, my dear friend. Thank you for this and, well, if you have not met already. The Devil, to some, of Thrax in Princess Denica. My is it /all/ for sale?"

Is Thea late? She could be late. Which shocks even her. "Sorry--I was stuck doing, well--,"nope. Never mind. "Hey Deia,"Thea greets with a wave and slight smile. "Hello Marquessa Norah. It's been a bit judging by the size of your daughter there,"drifting to find a drink. There's a wave to Zoey as well as a mischivious smile to Valerian. "Lord Kennex. It's been awhile. How are you,"the Wyvernheart greets him. Walking past Denica and Martino, she nudges them both. "Hey!"

Azova arrives with a curious expression in place, and an eye towards the displays of coral craftwork. Her first stop of course would be to give the Eswynd family hosting the event a greeting. "Such lovely pieces, Lady Medeia." Her smile is gracious, before she melts into the crowd to mingle.

Cufre stands, hands clasped behind her, near the Harrow display case. She's dressed in clean, but common clothing that is likely forgettable. That and her stance combined probably mark her as the artisan responsible for the pieces in the case.

That reassuring squeeze before he finds a spot out of the way has Valerian giving a small smile of thanks to Zoey as he glances her way, his head dipping slightly in greeting before he moves to settle in near the firepit dragging out that book and settling it across his lap. The book opened to a blank page moments later by Valerian's left hand as his right reaches into a pouch on his belt digging out a bit of charcoal. When he hears Thea's greeting any help that Zoey's shoulder squeeze had given was undone as the Kennex Lord flinches as if expecting something to strike out at him with the appearance of a wild Thea. The charcoal broken as his hand squeezes shut sending a small piece of it flying. With cheeks growing red the book is held in his left along the upper edge leaving one side resting on his forearm. His dark eyes wide and nervous lifting to look over the room as he gives a sigh of relief at Thea being distracted from his existence. His lips just barely moving as if the man were whispering some silent prayer to the gods thanking them for his respite from any pranks.

Zoey smiles to Thea and gives her a nod, an acknowledgment and a long glance as if to playfully say, 'I'm watching you.' She moves on from the Eswynd case to the Harrow one, and peeks inside. "Oh, I like the set with the pearls," she tells Cufre.

"Should you see anything you think you absolutely /cannot/ live without, talk to me first before dipping deep into the coffers, will you?" The newly minted Marquis of Inverno arrives, unsurprisingly with Tyche upon his arm and a playful word of warning for her on his tongue. It's the second time he's crossed this threshold into the unfamiliar territory of this home and his wide-eyed curious glances aren't any less frequent than they had been before. Although there's even more to gander at this time, Medeia's presence at the door doesn't go ignored and his feet do eventually, if only briefly, steer the pair in her direction, as they drift through the space. "Lady Medeia, thank you for the invitation." There's a crowd forming with bodies shuffling in through the door and so, he doesn't linger overly long. A tighter, comfortable squeeze upon Tyche's arm accompanies the cant of his skull, to try and draw the Marquessa's eye toward liquor. "Let's prepare ourselves for the amount of damage you're likely to do to our coinpurses this evening, hn?"

Denica arrives on Martino's arm, but she is by no means following the man. Denica manages to take a natural lead of the situation, as she enters into the room with him. The whispering silk she wears, leaves her mostly at the mercy of the elements, goosebumps on her arms from the walk over. There is plenty to catch her attention, her eyes drift around, bouncing from place to place, both discerning and enamoured with all she sees. As she is introduced to Medeia, she waves it off, as though they are familiar with each other. "What lovely events you host," she murmurs the formalities to the hostess, before her attention is pulled in so many directions. There are lots of people, and it's hard for her to see everyone. Despite the high heels, she is short, and that vantage point is limited. Instead she whispers something back to Martino, her tones hushed but eyes sparkle with a flicker of mischief.

As rare her appearances typically are in the glittering social engagements of Arx, those held by the Lady Medeia Eswynd tend to be some of the few that find a more regular attendance from the elusive Thraxian princess. While always on time, when Natasha Thrax arrives, her appearance is slightly a more harried one this evening; somewhat breathless, as if she had traversed from wherever on a brisk walk, the seeming lingering chill of a thawing Spring on her pale cheeks, and a haphazard curl loosed from her normally impeccable coiffure left brushing against the defiant cant of her jaw. Dressed in fine duskweave, in spite of the slight detraction from her usual dour austerity, her favored vintage silhouette remains with its high collar, albeit it's open today to highlight and frame the fine iridescite choker closed over her throat and dripping with sapphires.

She is also not unaccompanied; her pale fingers are securely tucked into the elbow of one Lord Romulius Blackshore, clad in black piped with silver; a regular presence by her side of late, if not their entire lives, his broad-shouldered shadow somehow eclipses the tall dark-haired woman by a few inches still, despite her favorite boots. Upon her other arm is the more resplendent figure of the Bladesong, the green-eyed Princess Sorrel Thrax, who the pair picked up at the Thrax estate on the way to Eswyndol. The trio moves through the hall's threshold, Natasha's smile delivered onto Medeia during her greetings, but waits patiently to greet their hostess. For now, however, she engages her company in quiet conversation.

Alantir and Deva are not late because they have arrived at the same time as some of the city's most notable personalities. An argument could even be made that their appearance fell well within the seven minute window afforded to most guests attending Arx's events, festivals, and celebrations -- which is apparently a matter of some significance to the Oathlander, at least based upon the tail end of their conversation. "...don't want to be rude, especially if they've put considerable effort into organizing the gallery," the knight asserts, pausing at the main hall's entryway to greet their host and convey appreciation for receiving invitations. And then the man spots Leonel and Tyche. Or, perhaps more importantly, he glimpsed what was just beyond them -- readily accessible (and free) liquor. Soon, the pair is off -- politely weaving in and out of the crowd with an end destination in sight.

Thea has joined the stone firepit.

Tyche laughs as Leonel advises her to show restraint, and she draws her hand further into the crook of his arm, her thumb brushing over his forearm as she leans in to murmur, "No." The laughter fades into a smile, easily turned on Medeia as they greet her by the door. "Lady Medeia. I look forward to seeing all that's on display today." When Leonel draws her attention to the table of alcohol, she bobs her head, "Yes. Some wine would be perfect to get me into the right mood for shopping." She's not concerned about their coinpurses, but her tongue wants for the sweet berry flavor, and so that's where they head. "And if something catches your eye...?" she begins, perhaps to caution him, but then she spies Alantir and Deva weaving toward them. "I believe we have company," her brown eyes spark with a certain mischief, and she leans in to murmur something appropriately devious to Leonel before she greets, "Your highnesses. How good to see you again."

"Mmm shall we see what we are bidding on?" Crinkling his sharp greens towards Medeia while parting with the host to be guide-lead by Denica to the cases on display. His right hand lifting to touch upon Denica's shoulder before crinkling his sharp greens as the muttered words. His gaze flickering down to her face for a moment, before indicating the Harrow Display Case to her. His lips curling to greet Cufre, "Oh Messere Cufre... my you - really - have done oh-so much here. As always your craft is so delightful to see."

Romulius's entry alongside the Thraxian princesses is no doubt owed to a lifelong friendship with Natasha - his own garb matches hers in its adherence to the traditional austerity the Isles are famous for, possessing his usual monochromatic palette and a similarly high collar. For how somber his attire might be, the Sword himself is all warmth, a smile upon his face even before the trio makes entry to Eswyndol. Seeing the Showcase's hostess otherwise engaged with the greeting of guests, he's quick to leads towards the outskirts of the hall, though there is a detour towards the drink table to acquire the lubrication necessary for these sort of engagements. Cerulean sweeps the hall, a nod and smile given to those familiar faces it finds, before falling into quiet conversation with his accompaniment.

With a glance toward her babies, Medeia smiles at Norah before issuing more greetings. An introduction is made to Valerian with her bright "hello!" to Zoey. Martino and Denica get a curtsy. "We have met, and she is a wonder that is always welcome here. Thank you, Princess, I'm glad you could attend." Thea and Azova get friendly hellos as well, before another curtsy is given to Leonel and Tyche. "It simply isn't one of my parties without the marquessa present, she is a staple among my guests. I hope that will soon include you, as well. Everything is simply incredible, you'll certainly find something you love." More curtsies for Natasha, Romulius, Alantir, and Deva, with an introduction made to the unknown prince. "Welcome all, please, come and enjoy."

Once she has personally noted the majority of the guests, she begins to move toward a spot in front of the display cases to speak. Her clear voice lifts above the crowd pleasantly. "In just a moment I will introduce our crafters and tell you about this wondrous 'living stone' from the home of my people. Unfortunately, Mistress Samira Culler could not be here today, but you are welcome to inquire about her piece by messenger and read her experience, included in her display case. Should you wish to discuss purchasing any of the pieces you see today, speak with the crafters!"

In the company of Princess Natasha Thrax, though far less traditionally dressed, Sorrel looks inclined to play both friend and bodyguard to her companions. She's wearing an easy smile on her face, and she's hard to miss, clad as she is in bright red. She nods to those she knows in a pleasant sort of way but permits the other princess to take the lead.

Chasing Zoey's words with a gaze into the case, Cufre smiles. "Thank you, my lady. That was the coral that drew me to work with it first. I hoped the pearls would set with them well, and I'm happy with how it came out." She turns her smile to Martino then, thanking him as well. "I was lucky to be given the chance to work with it, so I wanted to show my appreciation through the work, my lord."

"Oh wow," is Deva's admiring commentary as she arrives arm-in-arm with the Valardin. "See, we're not late after all," accompanies a triumphant (maybe also bragging) smile for Alantir as she gestures around the gathering with an upturned palm. There's a smile and a wave and a 'very nice' mouthed for Medeia as she follows the knight over to the Inverno leaders. "Looks like we all had the same idea," she grins at Tyche and gestures toward their shared direction of the refreshments. "Redecorating next on the list?" is wondered lightly as she steals a curious look around.

Amid the high nobles, renowned artisans, and affluent merchant-class commoners, there are a goodly number of curious Arxian peasantry here mostly for the spectacle. Several are staring around as if they've never been to the Thraxian Ward before, let alone an Isles Prodigal house. The rich showcase has drawn all sorts.

"Lord Martino, good to see you," Zoey greets her brother-in-law as he joins her in admiring Cufre's work. "And Princess Denica, good to see you returned to the city as well." She nods to Cufre. "I think pearls and coral make an ideal pairing, and if another does not get to this set first I may need to claim it myself."

Thea lifts an eyebrow at Valerian, her gold-flecked green eyes appearing amused. "I hope you've been well,"as she goes to look over the cases. "These are beautiful,"she mentions over her shoulder. "Princess Deva, hello,"Thea says with a slight grin. Stepping a moment to Zoey, she murmurs,"Your cousin in law is--nervous,"before venturing over to Martino and Denica. Innocent smile on her face, passing Natasha as well. "Princess Natasha. Good to see you."

"Mhn, I thought not.." Leonel's disappointment is palpable as his attempts to counsel caution or self-control fall upon deaf ears. If he's truly bothered by it, he doesn't put forth any effort to make this overly obvious -- quite the contrary in fact, he's in higher spirits still. A smile stretches out for miles upon his lips with a brief, and dull roar of laughter rumbling in his chest. Their progress is slow through the throng of guests but the promise of liquor is enough for him to stay the course, dodging and begging his pardons whenever, and wherever appropriate, and it's during this time that some fair few discreet words pass to Tyche in return for hers. In the wake of it, he greets Alantir and Deva bearing gifts -- a glass of something that'll scorch their throats present in either hand, and outstretched. "Prince Alantir, Princess Deva -- we did, and there's no time to waste. Here."

Winter, A Highhill Puppy arrives, following Kiera.

The sight of Martino Malvici escorting another of her cousins prompts a more visible smile from Natasha's features once led into the hall by her company, pale fingers lifting to catch his attention before dipping her head in silent greeting. Doubtless there'll be some congress there, eventually, but her attention is summarily pulled towards Medeia at her curtsey. "Another fantastic event, my lady, so I hope that you'll forgive my blatant lack of surprise," the princess quips to her hostess. "It's wonderful to see you again so soon, though I hope my lord Haakon isn't simply lurking around, sight unseen." Her pleasant expression lingers, and even intensifies, at the sight of the twins, but otherwise she doesn't engage the hostess for too long when she's clearly busy, moving away from the line once ushered by her escort, with an absent squeeze on Sorrel's arm.

Thea's greeting prompts a spark of mischief. "My lady Wyvenheart - it's good to see you as well and congratulations on your recent nuptials. I had hoped to exchange a few words with you during the Mirror vigil last eve, but..." Her expression dims in recollection. " was all very strange, wasn't it?"

The young Thraxian artist is more interested in the pieces on display, the coral itself, the craftsmanship of everything, rather than keeping up with all the conversation. Yet, she pulls herself away from the colourful objects shifting her attention back to Martino and those that come to greet them. "I generally know what I want without having to look. I don't seek things, they seek me," she says with a little shrug of bare shoulders. Her own interests seem to be at the winking coral set, but she makes no formal claim. Rather she offers a warm smile to Zoey, "thank you, I haven't been back all that long, and yet it's like I've never left," she murmurs before she sees another familiar face in Thea. It is an event where many folks are familiar, but one especially catches her attention, Denica lifts a hand and waves at Valerian should he see her, smile brightening briefly. Something dawns on her and she leans in to whisper again with Martino.

"Good afternoon, Marquessa Inverno -- and thank you, Prince Leonel," the knight replies, offering the pair a warm smile and polite dip of chin in greeting. He accepts the glass presented to him and not-so-discreetly downs it in a single swig. Yes, it burns. Yes, he grimaces. But one had to do what was necessary to make themselves comfortable in large social settings. Liquor certainly took the edge off. "We weren't late," Alantir says then, seemingly proud of this fact. "I slept in, but Deva knew I couldn't stay in bed all morning. Should've seen my hair. A wild mess." This story seems far from likely. Perhaps, though, that was the intent. "Pleasant venue. I can't say I've ever seen coral outside of the sea."

Rosemary is here just to see what all the fuss is about. She makes her pleasantries as she enters, not really knowing as many faces as she would like. She waves to those familiar but finds herself drawn to the case with the Blood of Mangata displayed on it. There is a detour for a few refreshments but shortly after that she is planted in place staring at the jewelry with googly eyes.

The only answer that comes from Valerian in answer to Thea's words comes in the form of three simple words, "" The young man's eyes narrowing slightly as he looks to the woman before his features relax and he is looking off, something or someone in those who had come to look upon the coral displays catching his eye. The charcoal in his hand moving down to brush over the blank page of the open book in his left hand. The Kennex Lord lost in his own little world as his eyes drift between the page and whatever had stolen his focus. When he catches that wave from Denica the younger Kennex Lord's lips drift into a warm smile that is given briefly as he lifts the charcoal up in greeting to her before returning to that task before him.

The whispered conspiracy has Tyche nodding, her LOOK sent to Alantir and Deva not at all innocent. And it remains as such when Alan speaks of his morning hair. "I think your hair looks quite dashing as it is, so I am glad you took advice from the princess." She smiles, and then looks back to Medeia, her compliments not missed, "I do enjoy a good party, Lady Medeia. You know me well." Back to the group she draws her attention, finally answering Deva, "Not redecorating, no, simply supporting commerce." That's a good way to look at spending too much silver.

Haakon has called for a check of perception at daunting.
TIE: Critical Success! Zoey is spectacularly successful. Critical Success! Finn the large Northern hunting dog with icy blue eyes is spectacularly successful.
Critical Success! Alantir is spectacularly successful.
Valerian is successful.
TIE: Natasha is successful. Kiera is successful.
TIE: Mykael is successful. Sorrel is successful. Fluffy, the wary wildcat is successful. Cornelius, a studious looking attendant is successful.
TIE: an ostentatious curator named Sivas is successful. a reserved assistant named Stojan is successful. Azova is successful.
TIE: Medeia marginally fails. 4 First Legion Centurions marginally fails.
TIE: 1 Thrax Elite Guards marginally fails. Orion, a healer's surly Assistant marginally fails. Deva marginally fails.
TIE: 2 Thrax Elite Guards marginally fails. Rocco, the rascally assistant marginally fails. Jasper, an unflappable scoundrel marginally fails.
TIE: Norah fails. Alariss, an angry fluffy grey cat fails. 2 Redwood Initiates fails. Aryka Wyrmfang fails. Marquessa Pudding, a doughy dog fails. Cufre fails.
TIE: Octavian, a silken spaniel fails. 2 Kennex corsairs fails. Loryk, a cocky but amiable reaver fails. Martino fails.
TIE: a slightly embarrassed courier called Guido fails. Cosimo de'Malvici, the Southport banker fails. 1 Inverno Captain fails.
TIE: Lady Teonia Redreef fails. 2 Eswynd shieldbearers fails. Tyche fails. 1 Thrax Elite Guards fails. 2 Redoubt Buccaneers fails. 2 Redrain Guards fails. Caprice fails.
TIE: Rosemary fails. Leonel fails. 3 Thrax Guards fails. Lady Lily, A young silver sea otter fails.
TIE: 2 Eswynd shieldbearers fails. Thea fails. Ilira fails.
TIE: Quilliam Forthwind, a stalwart valet fails. Ruslana Stormshead, an aide in Kennex livery fails.
TIE: Klavdiya, who is definitely a handmaiden and not a reaver fails. an immaculately dressed assistant named Johannes fails. Denica fails.
3 Thrax Guards fails.
TIE: Botch! Romulius fails completely. Botch! Torsney, an attentive high strung law clerk fails completely. Botch! Fernando, the pygmy bear fails completely.
TIE: Botch! 3 Thrax Guards fails completely. Botch! Winter, A Highhill Puppy fails completely. Botch! 1 Inverno Ensign fails completely.
Botch! 2 Prodigal reavers fails completely.

Azova checks perception at daunting. Azova fails.

Denica checks perception at daunting. Denica fails.

Natasha checks perception at daunting. Natasha marginally fails.

Ilira brushes past the doors into the main hall and sweeps purposefully through the crowd of nobility, commoner, peasantry alike, clearing her way to properly survey all gathered. Garbed in gossamer seasilk and nothing more, she is a bright note of simplicity amongst the silks and jewels that surround her, every step soundless on bare feet as she approaches the first familiar face she sees. "My darling patron!" she beams up at Zoey, appearing as if from nowhere at her side amidst the cluster of nobles in conversation. With a light touch to the Kennex's elbow, she smiles and adds in a softer murmur, "I wasn't planning to come, but better late than left out, aye?" Eyes warmly twinkling, she turns from her patron at last to regard the rest present.

Deva waves over at Thea, smiling brightly. "Hi Lady Thea, hope you're doing well! No surprise visitors with me today," she clarifies ahead of time, giving the medic a sly grin across the way. As Leonel approaches with alcohol, she sighs with relief and accepts without hesitation. "Just in time, Marquis. I was going to wilt without a glass in hand. Many thanks," she lifts it in a grateful gesture before holding it to her lips for a sip. Her eyes widen as Alantir tosses it all back in one big gulp, and she stares as if she can't quite believe what she has just seen. Finally, she cracks another smile and bumps the prince's shoulder with her own. "Yes, that sounds just like -you-," there's an odd emphasis on the word, as if his tale is absolutely about someone else. At first, she reacts to Tyche's LOOK with one of mild alarm, and then she glances between Leonel and Alantir and lets her shoulders inch higher. "It does look very dashing," she agrees with the Marquessa with a firm nod. "Commerce sounds more important than fun, but grand and good all the same!"

"Oh you know I would always appreciate your work by praising it until I tire or run out of silver." Chuckling slightly to Cufre, Martino's dipping his head to her and glances to Denica's preference, "Oh Cufre, one day I shall have to ask you to lay them all out and see which one jumps onto the Princess Denica Thrax. If you've not met." Gesturing between the two, introducing, Martino's dipping his head afar to Zoey to greet, "Ah and it is good to see you Lady Sister-In-Law." Flickering his eyes to Thea to check there's nothing missing on him, a-far there is a distant smile to Natasha and Romulius before lending his ear to Denica once more.

Azova is so quiet she may as well not even be there. But, she /is/ paying attention to her surroundings. Maybe. Or maybe just paying attention to the pretties. And contrary to others trying to be cautious with coin, she'd no doubt be more likely to spend IF her spouse was there. He's so good at being a 'bad' influence. So her next greetings are for Thea, Natasha, and Romulius. Quick hello's offered to each so that she isn't a bother.

"Oh, Ilira! Good to see you have joined is," Zoey greets the Whisper with a warm smile. "Are you acquainted with Princess Denica Thrax and Lord Martino Malvici? Her highness is a friend, and his lordship is family to me."

Finn growls menacingly at a merchant on a red feathered hat who had been standing near Thea. He *had* been standing near Thea because a growling Finn is scary, and the fellow backs away looking perturbed.

With those gathering nearby clearly in familarity of one another, Cufre limits her response to Zoey and Martino to a respectful bob. At the introduction of Princess Denica, the jeweler dips again, lower.

There's some greater forces at play, some scheme in the making as Leonel, too, has gone silent and turned a mischievous eye upon Alantir. There's a subtle wobble of his crown, pitching from side to side as if he's weighing something, and the creeping, crooked curve of his lips hints at something sordid. "I'm very proud of you as well, Prince Alantir. A fine accomplishment that they'll speak of for ages to come, you showing up on time." It's good-natured sarcasm that wreathes his words, and Leonel's own glass approaches the man's for a 'tink', with Deva's not far behind. "Have you had a chance to look at any of the pieces for sale, either of you? If only in passing? I've really no eye for these types of things myself so, I'm going to rely on the pair of you to guide me through this."

The smile on Medeia's face is vibrant as she scans the hall - so many people! Her excitement to talk about the coral and the fine artisans who have worked with it has reached a point where she can no longer wait, so she doesn't. One of the guards raps his spear against shield three times to gain the attention of those gathered. Once the general din of discussion has somewhat subsided, the lady speaks again. "Some of you may already be familiar with the deeplight coral, having seen it in a few pieces already, either worn by me or Marquessa Norah, given as prizes to Mistress Samira Culler, Lady Thea Wyvernheart, and Dame Felicia Harrow at the Prodigal Games, or from the Coral Ball auction piece that Master Ripley Thornburn made. However, it is likely that most of you don't know the significance of the coral to the people of Eswynd Rock or the legend behind it." She takes a moment to look around before continuing. "The coral comes in a variety of colors, each with a distinct shimmering, or glittering, quality that is unique to the coral that grows in the waters off Eswynd Rock. White, shades of pink, and red are common and well known. Legend says that the white is formed by the salt of Mangata's tears, and the red from her blood. The 'living stone' is a bounty my people are grateful for, and pieces of it have been used for generations. There is rumor that wearing it will prevent you from drowning - I bear no responsibility if you test this and fail." She laughs softly, adding another note. "Recently, black coral was discovered. With the help of Cufre Harrow and Caprice Artiglio, we determined that the coral isn't blighted, Abyssal, or otherwise dangerous. They're here to share the pieces they were inspired to make after their visit to the island, meeting some of our villagers. I've been enjoying seeing everything they made, and I hope you do, too. The pieces in the Eswynd case and on me were made by a jeweler from Eswynd Rock."

Thea snorts at Martino but focuses on Deva. "Awww. That's sad. He'd have made an excellent accessory for my brother,"her eyes looking at him once. "And I'm well, thank you!" Peering at Valerian, she hides her grin behind her glass, telling him,"I don't know what you mean." The Wyvernheart is about to answer Azova and NAtasha both, but Finn startles her with a---Is he GROWLING?! Lowering her eyes, Thea shifts her attention to her dog, who well well--HIS attention is focused on someone else. Finding the merchant, she lifts a brow. "Excuse me,"she asks. "May I help you?" Can't miss the guy. He looks terrified.

Kiera enters fashionably late eyes finding her sister-in-law in the crwwd, she slowly makes her way through the ever growing throng of people towds, bumping and scrabling her way to thea's as madeia relates the tale

Tyche parts her lips for further discussion, but Cornelius rushes up with a note. A VERY IMPORTANT NOTE. She opens it, drawing her thumb across the words, and then she looks up to Leonel. "Word from Trieste. Arturo is in the city. Will you come?" she asks, giving him the option to stay if he wishes. To Alantir and Deva she leans in, offering, "Buy something of Caprice's. She's a lovely artist in her work." And then to Alantir, something even quieter, only for him.

The merchant in the fine feathered cap and impressive mustache answers Thea, "Ah. My apologies, your Ladyship.. I seem to have offended your hound. Mayhap he smells another hound upon my clothes. Is he- safe?"

"If you will excuse me though, I do have other cases to see," Zoey tells those gathered around the Harrow case. "I think I'll visit with an old protege of mine, in fact." She dips into a brief curtsey, then moves on to the Artiglio display case and stands directly in front of it. "Oh, dear Caprice, would you come here a moment? I have a question about one of these pieces here."

Ilira clasps her pale hands before herself and bows her head softly in respect, eyes lingering on Martino and Denica from beneath her dark lashes. "Relatively!" she answers airily, the barest smirk flickering across her lips. "Our Lord here was amongst the first to greet me upon my arrival to the city, and the princess..." She flashes a quicksilver grin at Denica with a sparkle in her eye, "We've crossed paths, once. Remember me, Princess? I can't blame you if not--you and I both were on our umpteenth drink of the night, I believe." At Medeia's word, the Whisper lifts her attention from the conversation and falls silent as she listens, lips quirking with a smile at once brilliant and subtle to a few particular points. "How delightfully and suitably morbid," she laughs in a hush to her fellow bystanders.

"Ah. About time." There's but a sip missing form his glass before he abandons it on the table, and delivers some confirmation to Tyche's query with a bob of his crown. "After you, then. Let's see what's gone wrong this time." Alantir and Deva come into his sights and an apologetic smile arranges itself on his lips. "Prince Alantir, Princess Deva. Duty calls, as it were. Enjoy yourselves this afternoon, hm? A formal request from a friend. Drink too much, and spend too much."

A sweep of her near-obsidian eyes eventually finds the Artiglio display case, open marvel set on Natasha's features as she inspects the items there, but no sooner that she does that she comes across a familiar and welcome face. "My lady Kennex," she greets Zoey with a quick smile. "It's good to see you, quite the crowd, yes? The pin is lovely, and I know my lord Blackshore is fond of Messere Antigilio's work." She would have said more there, perhaps, but the hushed conversation among her companions draws her attention there, and then to the rest of the room. Eyes narrow faintly at a few strange glimpses, taking a step or two closer to both knights present in her proximity. Pleasantries tabled for now, the look of her is a pensive one.

1 Inverno Ensign, 1 Inverno Captain, Cornelius, a studious looking attendant, 4 First Legion Centurions leave, following Tyche.

Tyche leaves, following Leonel.

Alantir, for a moment, appears distracted. As a result of this, his response to Leonel, Tyche, and Deva are delayed. "Not an expert, by any means. If I like anything, I might be able to muster up enough coin to make an appropriate bid," the knight murmurs, gaze fixed upon two guests near one of the displays. And then the Marquessa Inverno has handed him something and whispered a message into his ear. "Of course. And thank you. I intend to repay the favor in kind," he asserts, offering the recently-betrothed another polite dip of his chin. "Be safe in your travels."

Rosemary paces the other displays to take in the fine works, though she continues to spare a glances toward the Tears and Blood of Mangata, keeping track of who lingers. Her outfit gives a clue as to which color she might have an affinity towards. Caprice gets a warm greeting, "You sure have the 'Jayus-touch'. I see why you were far too busy for fresh commissions!"

Thea agrees with Natasha, murmuring quietly,"It really was,"as she focuses again the man with the-mustach. Where's the razor?! Thea inches away from him a little before she dubiously watches him. "Or he doesn't trust you, Messere. Finn here, gets along with everyone. He is safe, unless you are messing me or someone else,"but stills Finn for now. "Did you--need anything? Admiring something?" Finding Azova, she smiles over to her. "Hey Azova. How are you,"listening to Medeia as well.

"And you, your highness," Zoey replies to Natasha. "I was just getting a closer look at the torc myself."

"My Lady," Caprice greets Zoey, inflection suggesting a question as she steps forward around the display case towards the Kennex. She slants a look aside to smile towards Rosemary, head dipping in emphasis of her words, "Ah, that's very kind to say, Messere, thank you! Flattery -does- earn a discount with me," she adds on a low laugh.

Natasha checks perception and investigation at hard. Botch! Natasha fails completely.

Deva shakes her head at Leonel. "Not yet, and I'm quite certain I'm the last person anyone should ask about these things. I just like what I like to look at, and it's all very subjective, isn't it?" She drops a hand to her hip and gives Tyche a concerned look as notes are exchanged. "She is incredibly talented, it's true. I hope all is well," she gestures toward Cornelius with scrunched, concerned brows. "Take care." She waves after the Inverno pair, watching them leave, standing a little on edge with the glass in hand barely touched.

Denica finds herself drawn to all the different faces, her mind no doubt circling with the information and details, trying to pluck out the important parts. As Martino introduces her to Cufre, her smile easily extends in that direction, "lovely to meet you and such exceptional work," she murmurs in a complementary fashion. Ilira's face seem vaguely familiar, but Denica seems to take the out she is offered and her lips curl into a little smirk. "I'm afraid, I am a bit fuzzy on the details, but as such I am sure it was an enjoyable night," she half-winks at the other woman. Attention drifting back to the man who's arm she is on currently, she leans into murmur something to him, a small smirk follows her hushed comments.

The approach towards the Artiglio display case sees more warmth still from Romulius, a nod given in greeting to Zoey and Caprice alike. "Lady Kennex, Messere Artiglio. The work is as lovely as ever." The last said with an indication towards the display case. Then, more directly towards Caprice, "It's been far too long, Messere - how has the spring found you so far?"

Playboy Minister doing what Playboy Ministers do. Murmur discreetly to their elbow-friends. Martino's laughing a low tone at Denica before clicking his tongue. Bowing his head in parting to Zoey, Martino's sharp greens widen as he welcomes Ilira to his presence, "My it has been quite a while Whisper Ilira. When are we catching up? I have bottles of wine that need to no longer exist after all."

Medeia gives Ilira a flutter of fingers and then a playful twirl - showing off the elegant, backless dress. She's finished with telling stories for the time being and finds herself a glass of wine and the opportunity to mingle, though she stays within a few paces of the Eswynd and Culler cases to answer any questions.

Kiera nods to thea in silent greeting as her eyes traverse the stranger to whom her sister in law is speaking

There's a hint of a smile when Romulius engages Caprice and Zoey, and after a few whispers exchanged with her protege, Natasha's regard lifts at the sight of Azova heading in their direction; her frustration for *something* is set aside for now. "My lady Darkwater, how wonderful to see you. I regret not having the opportunity to attend your nuptials, but I hope that it went well?" There's also a long look afforded to the merchant presently engaging Thea - *especially* at that mustache, as eye catching as it is. Where indeed *is* the razor?

Alantir takes Deva's arm and guides her in the direction of the Artiglio display for a closer inspection.

The mustachioed gentleman affects an amused smile when Thea points out that Finn doesn't trust him. "Perhaps he simply needs get to know me? Bayard d'Aurelian, at your service," he introduces himself, executing a bow to the Wyvernheart and offering a hand to her, palm up to invite Thea's own.

Deva gives Alantir a puzzled look as he delivers a few quiet words to her. She responds in kind, brows furrowed with a level of concern as she looks toward the Artiglio case and those around it. Promptly, she tosses back what's left of her drink just as the Valardin had not long before. Her shoulders square, a woman prepared.

Zoey whispers wot each Natasha and Caprice, and after a dip of the head to Romulius she says at a more conversational volume, "Good to see you again, my Lord. Enjoying the event? So many stunning pieces on display!"

Caprice checks perception and investigation at hard. Caprice is successful.

Sorrel seems inclined to keep a look out on the party guests, in part because it is difficult to get close enough to the display cases due to the throng. And there are people she might be chatting with, but there are so many people that she's a little distracted. Either way, she seems fairly content with things.

Thea checks perception and investigation at normal. Thea is successful.

"Lady Thea. I'm quite well, how are you?" Azova wonders, her smile turning to Natasha there as well. "Your Highness! It went wonderfully, and I wore several pieces from the set you gifted me. It was far too kind a gift, but such truly lovely pieces." Her thanks are profuse, and she reaches over to give the other woman's hand a small squeeze of thanks. "There are many lovely pieces here as well are there not?" The princess attention draws her own towards that merchant that Thea is interacting with.

Romulius gives a quick nod of affirmation in response to the greeting from Zoey. "I enjoy any engagement that the Lady Medeia is kind enough to offer invitation to - all the better that this one allows some marvel at such lovely artwork." Something said in a quieter tone, then, draws a look of concern, his own voice dropping to a similarly hushed whisper.

Caprice tips her head towards Zoey to catch some quieter words, brows lifting curiously before her smile widens a moment. "I wouldn't have considered that before, thank you," she offers towards the Lady, before her expression brightens subtly as she turns to address Romulius, "Lord Blackshore! Twice in the same week, how fortuitous. Lovely to see you. Anything particular catching your eye? You know I'm not above contriving a commission for an excuse to catch up sometime, as lurking in taverns hasn't coincided with your schedule lately. I'm particularly proud of this piece here," she begins to retreat towards her display case again.

Thea looks at the offered hand and with a smile, she simply says,"Lady Thea Wyvernheart, nee Malvici. I'm sure it's a pleasure. Somewhere along the line,"her gold-flecked green eyes lifting back to his face. "I think Finn knows you just fine,"she adds. "May I ask what brings you here,"nodding over to Kiera. "Hey Kiera,"she greets her sister in law. "Have you seen all the pieces? It's hard to choose, yes?"

"Something like it," Ilira says to Denica with the ghost of a smile. Her expression warms as she lifts her gaze to Martino and laughs like velvet, "Soon as you write me, dear distractable Lord. Messengers go both ways, mm?" Twirling to face the display case and the finery within, she at last has a chance to greet Cufre with her full attention. "Now, I wasn't here for the opening introductions," her lips quirk with a little grin, "But am I correct in understanding that these works are yours?" With slim, pale fingertips, she skims the glass of the display in an outline of the pieces behind it. Out of the corner of her eye, though, another sparkle draws her for a moment, and her entire being seems to light with a beam at the sight of Medeia in her gown. "Ineffable!" she mouths across the hall, eyes glittering with delight.

Valerian has left the stone firepit.

Lady Lily, A young silver sea otter have been dismissed.

The hand reaching for her is clasped by Natasha, and while her expressions tend to be subtle, as if hesitant to tread past a particular physical threshold, her face gentles and warms at such a sincere declaration. "It's the least I could do, especially for what you've done for me, personally, and not just for assisting with the efforts of saving my lord Blackshore's life. I hope to see you around more often, but talk of business can wait when we're in the middle of such a fine affair, and you aglow from your latest endeavors." She drops a quiet whisper to Azova, eyes trained to Caprice and her move around her display case. "Messere Artiglio, I had hoped to ask about your lovely pin."

"They are," Cufre claims quietly in response to Ilira, again turning toward the display case by her side. "Cufre Harrow," she adds, providing the introduction that had been missed.

Bayard laughs quietly at Thea's refusal to offer her hand. Rolling his wrist to turn the empty, extended hand into a small flourish, the mustachioed gentleman rises from his bow as Azova joins Thea. A short exhale. "If the noble hound has my measure and finds me distasteful, alas that I must depart your radiant company. I don't much fancy getting bitten. Bad for the profile, that."

One of Medeia's hands idly fidgets with the pink coral pendant hanging from her neck. She gives Kiera and Sorrel each a wave, having missed giving them greetings while she kicked off the event. "Lady Kiera, how are you adjusting to having Thea around more?"

There's an inclination of her head from the princess as she watches Thea and her present company, and Bayard's intention to depart. "So soon, Messere d'Aurelian?" Natasha wonders. "Though I suppose if the hound finds you suspicious, far be it for you to remain in the presence of something all too liable to bite you. Were you intending to look at the fine craftsmanship in display, or keep a bead on potential suppliers? I can't help but notice that you hadn't answered my lady Wyvernheart's question when she asked what brought you here today, and I'm *very* curious myself, in the event that you're also a fellow artisan."

"And we can argue over the futility of thanking a Mercy, too." Azova murmurs good naturedly, her eyes dropping to the display case showing Caprice's wares. "Oh!" she exclaims, looking startled before whispering something back to Natasha. And then, recovering with a smile. "That's a lovely tri-strand necklace as well." she offers, so polite.

Alantir approaches Medeia, leans in closely, and conveys information to her that he has deemed prudent.

Kiera smiles "I've just started looking but everything seems quite lovely" she answers thea, one eye watching Finn for a cue to relax as bayard moves off and her eyes roam the jewlry display cases'

Thea smiles at Zoey, not even surprised,"I've never doubted them,"before nodding her head in Bayard's directions. "Best be safe than sorry, though I'd look out. He'll likely be watching you now." Probably.

"Ilira Whisper," Ilira beams warmly at Cufre and brushes a stray curl mindlessly behind her ear, baring its delicate point. "What a wonder! I am... Friends, I think," she chuckles, "With Felicia as well. Glad to meet another of her lineage," she smiles. Brushing the glass, she indicates the scintillant ring on display, "This piece in particular holds my eye. I do like my sparkle," she winks.

Medeia checks composure at hard. Medeia fails.

"Oh then I shall have to write to you later this evening." Crinkling the corners of his sharp greens to Ilira, Martino's voice is chuckling slightly more. Dipping his head to Cufre, the Malvici Lord mentions, "Apologies but I need to see to some matters but, soon, you and I and Princess Denica here should speak about some of your finest craft." Gesturing his right hand to Denica's pendant as to indicate that she is likely a customer. A-far to the host Medeia and Eswynd, Martino's head is dipping before murmuring low to Denica as they quietly step around the edge of the room.

"You have a good eye, Your Highness," Caprice remarks to Natasha, a nod and warming smile directed to Azova in response to her polite compliment. She shifts a little aside to make more room for potential customers to study her wares. She's already familiar with them, after all.

Natasha checks perception and investigation at hard. Natasha is successful.

Whatever Alantir says to her causes Medeia to drop her wine glass in surprise. She does manage to step back and pull the prince with her to avoid the splash of the dark liquid, but her eyes are wide as she leans in to whisper something back to him. A servant comes to clean up the mess and bring her another glass of wine, but she waves it away as she looks around - reassuring herself that the twins are still safely attended to by Eswynd reavers.

Bayard turns a pleasant smile to Natasha, toward whom he executed a deep bow. "Your Highness, I had not intended to be rude. Do pardon my-" Finn growls at him, mid-bow. "Ahem. Pardon my distraction. Among my varied trades, I am a merchant. And how poor a merchant would I be if I had no interest in a gala such as this?"

Denica blinks a few times, coming to her limit for social niceties, but she offers a general smile of appreciation. As Martino speaks with Cufre, the young princess nods her head to the statement, "yes, I'd love to set up a time for us, should you be available," she murmurs. Then something else catches her attention, "but, I'm afraid my time has come to an end," it's an abrupt announcement, that has her leaving with Martino. Purpose flickers in her eyes as she meanders out of the busy event, remembering to offer a smile in parting to their hostess, before disappearing into the world beyond.

an immaculately dressed assistant named Johannes, a slightly embarrassed courier called Guido, Cosimo de'Malvici, the Southport banker leave, following Martino.

3 Thrax Guards, an ostentatious curator named Sivas, 1 Thrax Elite Guards, a reserved assistant named Stojan, Martino leave, following Denica.

"Reasonably certain, my lady," the knight replies, seeming unfazed by Medeia's shattered glass. "But I am not intimately familiar with the guests in question." If she wishes for Alantir to make this known to her guard captain, he will not object.

Thea pets Finn, amused as he growls at Bayard. "Good boy,"she simply says. "I think he wants you to stay,"she mentions to Bayard,"keeping him at bay for Natasha. "What are your other trades,"Thea politely asks, pausing to wave to Martino and Denica. There's a look to Medeia as well, a grin. "I've been on my best behavior since I've moved in. Pat only got out once more. I've also been working on the Wyvernheart's men." That should surprise anyone..Not really.

Azova is drawn in to listening to the conversation being had. And with her most earnest smile, proposes a curious question for Bayard. "Oh really? How marvelous. What type of goods are you a merchant of? I'm always so pleased to be able to support those who sell the type of supplies we need at the House of Solace." She doesn't like to spend her own money of course, but spend coin to help others? At least on the surface she appears to be eager to do so.

Kiera hms "I think i am most partial to Messere Artiglio's mothe of pearl pin but i have no doubt that i would have to save quite a few silver's to make a successfu bid on art of that calibre. she listens as thea engages once again with the merchant

Medeia nods, recovering her composure and putting a bright smile on her face. "Allow me to introduce you, then." She slips her hand in the crook of Alantir's arm and leads him somewhat circuitously over to one of the guards - the one who rapped spear upon shield early. "Prince Alantir, this is Grigor. He would be happy to discuss that with you." What is 'that'? She doesn't say! But the men are given the chance to exchange words while she turns to ensure everyone is having a nice time.

"I'll hold you to it," Ilira flashes a wink over her shoulder at Martino and his princess before they depart, then turns back to her fellow artisan. They exchange a few words before the Harrow has to step away and the Whisper slips around the display, brushing past a few meandering sightseers over to the Artiglio setup. Glass shatters, and her attention flits for but a moment to Medeia and Alantir, lingering only long enough to make brief eye contact with the Eswynd Lady. Smiling, she sweeps a delicate curtsey to the group. "Mind if I slip into your little contingent here," she murmurs to Zoey, Natasha and Caprice, her eye flickering once to the spurious merchant.

Her expression is an unreadable one, midnight eyes steady on Bayard and seemingly incognizant of the way Thea's hound growls at him. Ever the dog person, Natasha lowers her hand, pale fingers lightly turned up by the wrist in offerance to Finn to introduce herself to the dog properly; if he is friendly, she'll stroke his ears. "As you should, there are no weekends when running a business, yes? I hope you'll pardon my inquisitivity, messere - my sister-in-law, the Princess Consort, is familiar with most of the artisans in Arx and she tends to be generous with her commissions, but I don't recall her having mentioned you. Are you new to the capital, or just simply passing through? Is there anything specific that makes you so fascinated with deeplight coral, in particular?" Perfectly amiable, even if she *is* blatantly using her station to keep the man in place while the dog keeps growling at him. Certainly she wouldn't do that - would she?

Deva remains awkwardly lingering around the Artiglio case, arms loosely crossed. She glances every so often toward Alantir and Medeia, but seems settled for now on observing. Or maybe she's just really admiring the fine craftsmanship

Zoey nods to Ilira and murmurs back to her.

Ilira inclines her head in a brief exchange with Zoey.

Bayard's smile lingers, despite his clear concern at the prospect of being bitten in the backside. "I am a trader of opportunity, madam, as are so many others. I own a stake in a small ship, and move varied goods between ports." Natasha, who is currently petting CERBERUS THE GUARD DOG OF THE ABYSS, is answered, "Alas, I cannot claim to be an artisan. A merchant? Yes. A gentleman of adventure, a swordsman, sailor, and poet of some humble skill? Also yes. Chew toy for hounds, ideally not."

Finn sniffs out Natasha's hand and without hestitation, soaks in the attention. Like Thea said, he's generally friendly.

Ilira checks perception and investigation at daunting. Ilira fails.

Ilira's drift in their direction prompts an acknowledging nod from Natasha. "Of course, Messere Whisper. I was just engaging Messere d'Aurelian here - a self-proclaimed trader of opportunity, as many others, as he rightly claims. Not an artisan, though, it's a pity because I was hoping I could wheedle him into talking about his suppliers, if he was here for such things." Her gaze falls upon Bayard at that. "Though that does beg the question as to what opportunities you're presently seeking."

Bayard tips his head toward Natasha, "Such is ever the question, is it not? At present, I had hoped to catch a close look at what the next fashion might be. The first ship to carry the next fad turns the fattest profit, after all. Might any of you exceptional ladies presently be looking to transport any goods? As noted, I do own a share in an exceptional ship-" Finn growls again, derailing the gentleman's sales pitch with a start.

Ilira leans away from Zoey with a languid, easy smile and casts her gaze in a furtive sweep over the crowd, then mutters, boosting onto her tiptoes for a moment to better see past the shoulders of all those taller than her. After a few too many seconds spent trying to be tall and keep subtle at once, she huffs an irritable little sigh and turns back to murmur with Zoey, dipping her head briefly at Natasha in greeting.

"Do please excuse me," Caprice murmurs to those nearby, adding a separate smile of greeting for Ilira even as she's preparing her farewells. "I must attend to something; I'd be honored to consider offers by messenger, of course." She lingers just a little longer before angling to slip out of the Hall.

Trusting that Grigor and Alantir can manage their discussion without her watching them, Medeia makes her way toward the gathering near Caprice's display case, but she stops with Cufre first. "Harlequin, I'm so glad you were able to be here - look at all these stunning pieces! I may need to buy a set, myself." Her hand rests lightly on the woman's upper arm with an appreciative smile. "I hope others have shown great interest."

1 Culler Boatswain, 2 Culler Midshipman arrive, following Samira.

A few of the Eswynd warriors who had been avoiding the big social event move in from the courtyard, spreading along the perimeter of the hall, backs to the walls.

"And what about this ship,"Thea asks Bayard. "What is it called? Perhaps I know it. My brother and I do sail quite often,"she mentions. She makes no movement in control Finn at the moment. He's protective, what can she say. There's an amused look to Medeia, telling her,"There are quite a few pieces there I wouldn't mind owning to be honest. And you know me, I don't buy much.."

"You did mention that," Natasha tells Bayard with an incline of her head. "I had wanted to ask which ship it was, also, it seems my lady Wyvenheart shares my curiosity. I don't know whether I presently have goods that I need moved, but I'm always on the lookout for useful resources, and anything that occurs in the shipping lanes interest me a great deal." Eyes slip towards the activity occurring in her periphery, though she doesn't acknowledge them any further than that.

"You do realize that this is the Ward of House Thrax, and many of these people were born on the Isles? There's no shortage of access to ships in this room," Sorrel points out wryly to the merchant as she lingers at Natasha's side, and something seems to have amused her about the conversation. Something's funny, but it's difficult to tell what. "I'd guess that coral is going to be the next big trend. It's been trendy before, and I suspect its time has come again. Are you looking for suppliers? Of coral? You know, the Order of East Light provides knights to accompany merchant vessels, much like the Knights of Solace guard the roads."

After thanking the guard captain, Alantir returns to Deva. "We must leave shortly, else we'll miss the scheduled meeting," he murmurs, gesturing toward the several guards that had entered from the courtyard. "I suspect that Eswynd has this matter well under their control." He offers his arm to the woman and gestures toward the exit.

Samira enters the hall with quick strides, her breathless demeanor hinting that she ran most of the way here. Brushing back a few wayward strands of hair which have escaped her braid, she recovers from her (very) late arrival and begins to meander through the room, dark eyes sweeping across the gathering as though hunting for someone in particular.

"Samira! You made it!" Medeia catches the arrival of her friend and lifts her voice to draw attention to the crafter and away from the influx of guards.

With a wordless nod, Deva takes Alantir's arm and zips along with him. In passing, she cracks a smile and waves at Samira before they disappear out the exit.

Zoey turns her head at Samira's arrival, then crosses the hall to meet her. "Miss Culler," she greets her before a rush of hushed conversation.

Jasper, an unflappable scoundrel, 2 Redrain Guards leave, following Deva.

Deva leaves, following Alantir.

Samira's slight frown, a look of disgruntlement caused by being so tardy, instantly fades as she makes note of Medeia among the crowd. Her features warm into a fond smile and she immediately begins navigating her way through the crowd toward the other woman. "I'm sorry I'm so late! I was afraid I might miss all the chance to see all the lovely things the others had made." Her steps slow as she offers a bow of her head to Zoey, pausing for a quiet exchange.

"I don't doubt that you have," Bayard answers Thea on the subject of having heard of his ship. "It is called the 'Finest Venture'. Rather droll as names go, I admit, though the choice was not mine." Sorrel's approach provokes a short, terse exhale. "Alas that I am so redundant, then. As to suppliers, I don't enjoy the prospect of shipping raw materials. Let the coral be worked where it is found, the stuff is heavy and bulky, while finished beads and jewels are worth far more. I hardly expect artisans in the Oathlands will take interest in learning to work coral, whereas everywhere the affluent will pay a fine price for fashionable jewels."

"I got my own ship and profits to tote with it," Ilira smirks at Bayard as she at last settles her intent upon him. Leaning lightly against the display at her back, she laces her hands serenely against the silk of her gown and wonders, "How'd you come to hear of this particular coral, dear messere?" Her tone is utterly conversational, as fine a disguise as any Whisper's.

Azova may be paying attention to the conversation with the 'merchant'. But, she is also paying attention to entrances, and Samira is greeted with a cheerful wave and smile.

Natasha checks intellect and investigation at normal. Natasha is successful.

Kiera watches as the guards move into the room, wondering perhaps what else might be afoot as the suspicious gentleman her sister in law and others have engaged seems well and truly cornered despite having not been caught anything just yet but if medeia is within hearing she offers thanks to the hostess "another lovely gathering Lady Eswynd and congratulations on the birth of your twins"

Bayard looks to Ilira, taking a moment to note her perfume with interest before answering, "With such extravagance as this on display? Madam, it would take effort *not* to have heard of the event. I may not dwell in a palace, but neither do I live beneath a rock." A small smile and short bow is given to the Whisper, to whom he repeats the extended hand which Thea had refused, prior. "And whom have I the pleasure of addressing?"

Medeia departs from Cufre's case to go collect Samira, get her a drink, and bringher into the fray of the event. "Your case is over there, your adoring fans are all around, and you are marvelous." She presses a quick kiss to the woman's cheek before going to seek what all the fuss is with the Bayard fellow. "Messere, I am Lady Medeia Eswynd, how might I assist you with any questions you have about the goods of my house?"

"Me." Ilira's smile warms slow as honey to Bayard as she inclines her head, so smooth he could almost miss how sharply her gaze cuts. Her hands rest calmly at her waist. "Not the event, dear," she lilts, "The material. From where or whom did you learn of deeplight coral? I'm a curious girl," she admits almost ruefully and flashes a wink at the merchant, with so flawless a nonchalance it almost disguises the guarded stance she takes before the Artiglio display.

"Ah, manners. As always, it takes a Whisper to encourage one to be at her best behavior," Natasha quips, gesturing between Ilira and Bayard. "Messere d'Aurelian, may I present Messere Ilira Whisper of the illustrious Whisper House." Curiosity suffuses her mien as she regards the man. "You mentioned Oathlands artisans earlier, are you from the area, then, that you would be so familiar with how they would react working with raw coral - perhaps not a palace there, but there, regardless?" Brows lift upwards in faint inquiry.

Thea sees Samira from her stance with Finn. They're practically guards now. "Hello Messere Samira,"she greets with a grin. "Your work is beautiful." She does however watch Bayard's hand, controlling the wrinkling of her nose.

Kiera gives Thea a nod "I have some things to see to at home. Do be careful, sister" Oddly it's bayard that gets the last glance with these words as she moves to depart

"I'm pretty good at encouraging worst behavior, too, but glad I can be a good influence at least this once." Ilira's eyes twinkle incorrigibly up at Natasha, unminding the princess's offer of her name after she withholds it. She leans into Natasha's inquiry. "Yeah, I'd like to know where you're from in general!" she smiles at Bayard.

2 Redwood Initiates leaves, following Rosemary.

Samira leans in to bump her shoulder lightly against Medeia's in a companionable motion, flashing a grin. "It's all thanks to the people and material that inspired and they are just as marvelous," she answers with a wink. Thea's kind words receive another brief smile from the artist, who inclines her head to the familiar woman. "Lady Thea, good to see you. And thank you! I hope those who are lucky enough to work with deeplight coral in the future will enjoy it as much as I did." As she speaks, her attention shifts over the crowd until it lands upon Bayard, studying him with a watchful and curious regard.

2 Prodigal reavers have been dismissed.

Mykael have been dismissed.

Orion, a healer's surly Assistant, 2 Redoubt Buccaneers, Fernando, the pygmy bear leave, following Azova.

Cufre steps away from her case to mix into the crowd, interacting with some of the familiar faces from the Lowers who came to gawk.

"Curiosity. Such an endearing trait," Bayard answers with a knowing smile curling his mustachioed lip. As Ilira declines to offer her hand, the gentleman rises from his bow and voices further, "Of the material, I confess I know little. Simply that it is new, expensive, and sparkles. The rich do so love things that sparkle." To Natasha, he answers, "I am, in origin. Though it has been some years since last I passed among the Oathlands, Highness."

Medeia looks around, listening to Bayard as he speaks, eyeing the unfamiliar people who are present. If eye contact is made, she gives them welcoming smiles. "So do those who are not rich, Messere," Comes her murmured words, leveling her gaze on the merchant-sailor-possible-thief. "Adoring fine things is not limited to those of means. How can I help you?"

Seeing that her patron, protege, and hostess (among others) have things well in hand, Zoey slips out between two guards at the entrance of the hall.

"I've always wanted to visit," Natasha remarks wistfully, her fingers still stroking Finn's ears, though her dark eyes remain on Bayard. "Where do you make berth now, if I ask, if you've been so estranged from home?" With Medeia's arrival, there's a faint smile. "My lady hostess, I was just engaging Messere d'Aurelian in conversation - a trader of opportunity, or so he claims, and very familiar with Arvani supply and demand when it comes to jewels and fine things."

Ilira checks perception and empathy at normal. Botch! Ilira fails completely.

"Isn't it? Good thing I'm not a cat," Ilira says with a good-natured chuckle to the merchant, the twinkle in her eye darkening. She lets him address Natasha, watching, then pushes gracefully off the display case and asks with a smile, "You must've a sizable crew to tote all that trade with you, mm? Have any of them accompanied you today--or anyone not of your crew, for that matter? I should like to meet any fellow follower of fine taste and rising fashion." She stares directly into his eyes as she speaks, calm and startlingly unwavering.

Thea mentions to Medeia, clearing her throat a bit. "Finn doesn't seem to be a fan,"she helpfully mentions. Unhelpfully for Bayard. Being not a woman of fashion, Thea doens't even KNOW where to begin in this conversation, she just takes another drink, listening in.

Bayard's regard and small smile pass on to Medeia. "Your Ladyship," he greets with a short bow. "True, but the rich can adore *more* fine things. As for help, unless you've the power to change a hound's mind, I daresay I need no help. In truth, I feel almost guilty.. for hoarding the attention of so many fine and fetching ladies." Ilira is answered with that same small smile, "Though I own a share, I am not the vessel's captain, fair Whisper. The crew is not mine. Still, while they number a goodly ten, none cd tired with me here today. I regret to say they tend toward the uncouth and would be poorly suited to such august company."

Medeia stares at the man critically, seeing how Natasha, Ilira, Thea, and even Finn interact with him. "Hm. But Finn loves everyone!" To illustrate the point, she leans down and uses both hands to indelicately scruff around the dog's ears while making ridiculous noises of affection. Straightening, she makes a bold statement. "Messere, who else are you here with? Who among these others in the crowd are your associates? There are at least two, if my information is correct?" She raises a hand in a silent gesture to Grigor, a sign to have the doors carefully watched. "And which piece of Mistress Artiglio's so caught your eye?"

Ilira's eyes sparkle with her smile. "Mm. What's a man of such marked refinement doing in the company of ruffians, then, dear sailor?" Her eyes cut briefly to Medeia and she dips a barest nod of approval.

"Two associates you say, my lady?" Natasha wonders of Medeia, though her gaze doesn't stray away from Bayard even as she steps sideways so the lady of the house can pet the dog. "But Messere d'Aurelian has just indicated that he came with no one this evening."

Medeia's bold statement draws Bayard's eye "My only associates are wit and charm, madam. Thus, in your eyes, no doubt I am here alone," the rogue quips with a wink. Ilira us answered, "Ruffians is such an unkind word. ... Entirely accurate, I admit, but unkind..One cannot always choose one's company, fair Whisper. Circumstance shall have its say."

Natasha checks perception and investigation at hard. Natasha is successful.

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

Medeia checks perception and investigation at hard. Medeia marginally fails.

Thea checks perception and investigation at hard. Thea fails.

Ilira checks perception and investigation at hard. Ilira fails.

Sorrel checks perception and investigation at hard. Critical Success! Sorrel is spectacularly successful.

Ilira lets out a genuine snort of laughter at Bayard's play at witicism. "Oh dear! You /are/ good," she chuckles in a bright lilt, "Please, your Highness, my Lady, Messere--I'll just step away a moment. All this badinage has me parched," she flickers a quieter smile and slips out of the ring of conversation. Crossing to one of the laden feast tables, the Whisper plucks a large, weighty bottle of rum from the selection and then flounces airily back to the group, lingering on the outskirts.

It's not that Sorrel hasn't been listening to the conversation; she's just quiet. As she lingers near Natasha, she's angled to watch the door and the people passing in and out. Her hands are in her pocket and her grin is wry. "Your Highness, if the Inquisition would like to further question the man, I would be happy to help you escort him to the House of Questions. Unless he'd like to speak to the whereabouts of his accomplices here and now. You know. In a room that isn't soundproofed," she says a bit casually.

Thea snorts at Bayard's response as well as a nod of approval at Medeia. "I don't think I've had this much fun in quite awhile,"she admits. Is this even SUPPOSED to be fun,"she asks. Not even a serious question. Don't answer.

Ilira nods aside in agreement to Thea, matter-of-fact.

"I was told there was a group of three." Medeia says to Natasha, "And I am not going to begin questioning the trustworthiness of Valardin princes just now." A raised brow is directed at Sorrel, but then she shrugs. "I am happy to turn any further questioning over to the Inquisition, Your Highnesses. As long as all pieces are accounted for? I have no need of him in my presence."

Samira has drifted toward the display cases to admire the other works as conversations unfold around her. She may look lost in thought, but her attention is carefully focused upon the exchange happening nearby between the merchant and multiple familiar faces. The mention of the Inquisition draws a raised brow and a faint wrinkle of her nose, but she nonchalantly positions herself nearby, poised to stick out a foot should the man try to run.

Bayard gives a short bow to the assembly to acknowledge the appreciation, such as it is. Sorrel's offer earns a small sniff. "The Inquisition," he echoes dryly. "Well, that puts a damper on an otherwise enjoyable afternoon. I must decline, alas, and- unless any present have cause to believe I've committed a crime- which I assure you all I have not- I shall take my leave. The Inquisition does still require some shred of proof of some crime, I believe?" Aside, he mutters, "At least I damn well hope they do."

As her company engages Bayard, Natasha's dark eyes take a further sweep of the crowd in the event that the man is attracting too much attention, or is acting as misdirection. With nothing else standing out in the crowd, the words from Sorrel has her smiling ruefully. "It *does* seem I'm interrogating him in a way, aren't I?" the princess replies. "But no crime has been committed as all the pieces are accounted for, as Messer d'Aurelian has noted - still, considering the value of the pieces, I would recommend keeping a close eye on them, my lady Eswynd." Her smile is a faint one as she directs it to Bayard. "I certainly won't be keeping you, messere, especially when it seems that you're being called elsewhere."

Lady Lily, A young silver sea otter leaves, following Valerian.

Medeia narrows her eyes, but then adopts the sweetest tone and expression she can. "Messere, my deepest apologies," she says, stepping close to him and lifting a hand to press gently to his cheek, every ounce of her Lycene accent being played upon in the moment. "You have convinced me, how careless fo em to level such accusations! Please, won't you come have a drink?" There's a move to slide her hand to his shoulder, ready to lead him toward the drink station. But it's a clumsy move, brushing over his face.

Norah is overheard praising Medeia.

Norah is overheard praising Haakon.

Thea simply sits, looking like the good dog he is. WHERE ARE HIS TREATS?! Thea however takes a drink, going to back to look at all the displays. "I'm sure I can convince Drake to buy something as well,"she casually mentions.

Samira missed a large chunk of what started the exchange between the merchant and the others, but when Medeia seems to relax, so too does the artist. With all the deeplight coral creations accounted for and the man being invited to drink, she takes these details as a cue that all is well. "Another great event, Deia, as always," she calls to the hostess. With a waggle of her fingers here and an upnod there, she offers her goodbyes to the other familiar attendees and then slips out. Likely off to immerse herself in more artwork.

Norah is overheard praising Samira.

Norah is overheard praising Caprice.

Norah is overheard praising Cufre.

2 Prodigal reavers have been dismissed.

Mykael have been dismissed.

Ilira is silent as the rest assert their point, but in the end, just before the would-be thief makes his escape, she comments something. "We are all of us trying to climb, sailor. If you must steal, don't take from the ones with you on bottom rungs."

And it seems, just like that, whatever nefarious plans were hatched that day, at least the ones involving this particular event, were squashed. Or forgotten. Or never happened. Bayard is let go, the guards watch him as he leaves to see if he meets up with anyone else, and the party continues a while longer as guests get back to the purpose of the event: discussing coral and looking at pretty things made by talented artists. Servants keep the drinks filled, and by the time the last guest leaves, the only thing /most/ people remember is the art.

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