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Salon Discussion: Peas & Prodigals

The Salon gathers together to discuss the recent topic of Prodigals that has sprang up within a few white journals and public declarations. Join together to discuss social and philosophical views of those often referred to as Prodigals. As per usual the discussion is intended to remain civil and breaches of that expectation may result in prompt expulsion from the Empirical. While it is understood that it is a sensitive topic, there remains an expectation of decorum.

Spring has arrived and this discussion will take place outdoors in the Empirical's atrium! Pea seeds will be distributed to each attendee with the intention of Planting the Precious Peas for Peace! Attend, participate, and get your peas!

Along with those in attendance, a substantial shipment of peas will be provided to food banks operated by the Faith of the Pantheon in and around the Lower Boroughs, while pea seeds will be distributed for growing purposes (obviously). Peas for Peace for everybody!

Date

April 25, 2021, 7 p.m.

Hosted By

Hadrian Katarina

Participants

Shyanne Narcissa Alaric Rosalind Alessia Savio Kiera Calypso Tolv Patrizio Ilira Cirroch Denica Cambria Piccola Giorgio

Organizations

The Salon

Location

Arx - Ward of the Compact - The Empirical - Atrium

Largesse Level

Grand

Comments and Log


Afternoon in Arx. A fine spring day by all accounts, save for the relative chill in the air. Clear skies and sunny, which affords the atrium at the heart of the Empirical plenty of lighting. It is in this outdoor area that the latest gathering of The Arvum Philosophical Society for the Empowerment and Enlightenment of Curious Minds. This afternoon is another time for the group known simply and collectively as 'The Salon' to come together to discuss another topic. Duke Hadrian Mazetti resides within the atrium, his back to the trunk of the pear tree, seated on his rump, and his Ostrian black adder booted feet crossed over one another at the ankle. He's relaxed in his place, eyes half-lidded as though he could doze off for a nap at any moment. Or he's simply biding his time, awaiting the arrival of the next topic's participants.

One may note that throughout the atrium in seemingly random places baskets containing pea pods have been carefully placed. The staff of the Salon welcomes those who arrive, inviting them to claim a basket of peas (for peace) for themselves before making their departure at a later time. It may also be noted that there's a sense of heightened security throughout the Salon for a change. Whether that is due to the topic that is allegedly to be discussed, the safety and protection of the peas, Hadrian's own prerogative, or due to some special guest or another? Is much more difficult to determine.

Rosalind has joined the the southern benches.

Katarina checks charm and stealth at normal. Katarina is successful.

Perhaps it's due to the topic on the agenda that Princess Katarina Valardin is wearing an armored gown. Perhaps it's due to the chill in the air. Perhaps she's finally starting to take after her sister's fashion ideas. Or perhaps she's armored against the potential of peas. Whatever the reason, Katarina steps close to where Duke Hadrian is lounging, as she watches people filter in. Her golden eyes flit down to the Duke -- discreetly checking to make sure that he's actually awake. Once successful in that, she says through her veil to those who have entered: "Welcome, one and all~"

Shyanne looks about when she arrives she was not really dressed in anything fashionable, she simply takes her basket of peas and she smiles a bit as she looks to them. "what are these for?" she asks as she tries to eat one...

The Voice of Fidante appears and makes promptly for a quiet corner of the throng gathered after her polite nods and curtsies where needed. Her expression is one of the utmost neutrality, a practiced porcelain mask.

Narcissa has joined the the northern benches.

The mild brisk that complements the fine spring afternoon in Arx is one to be enjoyed to the fullest by the King of the Compact and his retinue of King's Own in accompaniment. His smile grand, there is an ease of charm to the familiarity in which he moves to greet Duke Hadrian and Princess Katarina. "Ah, Duke Mazetti. Your Highness. I'm pleased to see that you continue to tirelessly challenge our minds and perspectives. And with such an interesting and hot topic this time around," he observes in good humor, clapping his protege firmly upon the shoulder before stepping off to find himself a seat upon the northern facing benches.

Winter, A Highhill Puppy arrives, following Kiera.

Dressed completely in black leathers, her long red hair neatly braided for once, steps in Rosalind. A large scar is visible on her freckled face, but she offers a smile, regardless. Reaching for the peas, the Ravenseye greets everyone surrounding her. "Hi! Hello,"making her way to find a seat.

Khadija, a most lovely voice of reason arrives, delivering a message to Savio before departing.

Slipping into the room after so long away, Alessia settles onto one of the seats, keeping her eyes on her cousin as she rests back. "My duke, my ladies, lords, messeres, highnesses." In hopes of encompassing them all.

Savio's steelsilk attire catches light in the shades of the Saffron seas of his home as he wanders in, quiet with a demeanor that suggests both curiosity and wariness. The peas are eyed with what seems to be contemplation, but whatever the musings, they are interrupted by the discreet arrival of a messenger. He reads said message and murmurs something in response, then pours himself into an unoccupied seat. Politely waiting for the hosts to greet, and for the guests to settle!

As more and more begin to filter into the atrium, assuming their own places or simply electing to stand about? Hadrian begins to sit up a little straight, though he still remains seated at the base of the chair. A glance upward seems to indicate that the Duke is seeking some fruit among the tree's branches; but alas, it is too early in the year for pears. Soon enough Hadrian turns his attention about as he springs up to his feet once he's able to get his feet and legs under him. He hops up and promptly assumes his full height, dusting himself off as he does so. Soon enough his chin rises, his palm brushes weakly at the damask vest worn atop his honeysilk shirt as Hadrian begins to speak with a look throughout the gathering of bodies and faces, "I wish to thank all of you, each of you, for coming this afternoon," he begins with a soft smile tugging at his sharp features. Though Hadrian does pause long enough to cast a look in the direction of King Alaric Grayson IV. To the Sovereign of the Compact the Duke of House Mazetti offers a sweeping bow at the waist, before rising up to his full height once more as he remarks with a gesture toward His Majesty, "It is, as always, our great pleasure and honor to host Your Majesty this evening. We thank you for your attendance," Hadrian answers with a grin cast back toward his patron, though before the King can slip too far away Hadrian leans forward to offer a quiet word to the Crown or at least the one who wears it.

He continues on, one arm rising up, followed by the other, until the pair drift wide of himself as though spreading his arms in welcome to the gathering. His feet shift, allowing him to turn in a slow circle that he may eventually see in all directions around himself while he continues, "Today we've come to discuss the matter of Prodigals and the Compact. Your thoughts, your opinions, your philosophies. Understand that we are unlikely to change the tide of sentiment today, but this is - as often every discussion at the Salon is intended to be - an opportunity to hear the thoughts of others, express your thoughts to others, and hopefully find something that allows our Compact to function: common ground".

Hadrian's hands lower to his sides and, soon enough, move to clasp together at the small of his back as he offers a simple dip of his chin, "Allow me to begin the discussion by posing a question; to give it some direction and guidance," Hadrian takes a long moment to pause, consider the gathering, and finally present the foretold question, "Should the Compact be concerned at all about working with prodigals who bend the knee - particularly large groups of prodigals - to aid them in cultivating a culture that is acceptable by our Compact's standards? Does the Compact own some, or any, responsiblity to the acclimation of prodigals?"

Katarina's back straightens instinctively at the sight of Alaric. She then just as instinctively dips into a deep curtsy. "Your Majesty," she trills, in her most officious and royalty-respecting voice. "Please, allow me to help you to your seat while Duke Hadrian begins the discussion." And so, after a moment of eye contact with Hadrian as if to say 'go get 'em, tiger,' Katarina follows after Alaric with his guards, to pick out and offer /the very best/ bench among the northern seats.

Katarina has joined the the northern benches.

Kiera enters quietly, looking to find a seat among those gathered. her eyrs scan the room as she finds a seat

Shyanne looks over to the people Hadrian looks at, the King, and then the Duke, her attention moves between the pair before her eyes are back on Hadrain. Sheshifts into her seat curious of what theconversation shall entitle. She frownsa little to the question, beinga prodigal herself. "House Eswynd and others like us have provided the Compact serious service, why would you be conserned about working with those who bend the knee?" asks the chubby small healer.

"Why should the city be concerned,"Rosa eventually asks, her northern accent thick. "Trust goes both ways, doesn't it? We trusted you, should you not trust as well? A good many of us have more than proven our worth and then some....,"her tone nonthreatening. If anything, it's still friendly.

Calypso strolls in late, because of course she does. Her boots make a slow, heavy rhythm that cuts off once she gets to the soft grass of the Atrium. With a bottle of something already in hand, being held by the neck for easier drinking, she goes in search of a place to sit. There's no creeping around the edges of something as might be expected from someone who's late and knows they should have turned up on time.

Kiera hms "It is the mission of all disciples of vellichor to offer knowledge and tutelage to members of the compact and indeed the faith at large provides that. Indeed whenI'm studying a topic where I lack knowledge I seek out those with more. I see no reason why those who have bent the knee would not avail themselves likewise or be denied such

Like Rosalind, Savio's speech identifies him as indeed a prodigal, though perhaps one from the other end of the world. "By what means do Prodigal citizens cultivate a culture that is acceptable by the Compact's standards, if the Compact does not own some or any responsibility for this acclimation? Of course it has a responsibility. There is no other source from which to learn about the Compact, except the Compact, by which we mean both resources and citizens."

There is a gleam of interest within The King of the Compact's eyes as Hadrian sets the scene and builds the parameters for the discussion that is to take place. His is an affable smile aside to Katarina as the Oathlands princess accompanies him in the short procession to his seat, a murmured token of gratitude issue. He folds himself in, the King's Own scattering about to as not to impede the views of Salon participants seeking seats nearby. @line @line His presence remains a largely passive one for the time being, content to observe and hear the opinions expressed candidly around him, leaning forward with arms braced atop his knees.

Abraxas arrives late, but there's no sign of embarrassment or apology on the man's features. He enters, and then takes the closest, most convenient seat, without so much as a by your leave asked of the nearby occupants. Once seated, his dark eyes flick briefly around the room, seemingly far more interested in the occupants than what they're currently occupying.

Abraxas has joined the the northern benches.

Shyanne has joined the the southern benches.

Katarina's 'welcome' to the group should well have marked her as someone Not From Here -- her accent is from somewhere across the ocean. There's an almost musical cadence in the way her Eurusi accent puts strange em-PHA-sis on 'wrong' syl-LAB-les, and leaves vowel sounds either bored straight through or pulled as flat and thin as saltwater taffy... though there are definitely some Oathlandsy tics in her pronunciation these days. She takes a seat next to Alaric and folds her hands in her lap, but lets others begin the questioning. Really, even if she HADN'T greeted the room aloud, she's the only person wearing some sort of formal veil, which is definitely Not An Arvani Thing.

6 First Legion Centurions arrives, following Patrizio.

Each speaker receives Hadrian's attention while they speak, though he does not respond to their own questions; rhetorical or otherwise. Soon enough the Duke finds his way back to the trunk of the pear tree where he settles down beneath it once more and comes to rest with his back to the tree. Kiera's answer earns a nod from Hadrian as he shifts and wiggles himself into a place of comfort at the base of the tree once again, all while he offers a response to Kiera's words, "My thoughts exactly," and then to Savio he offers another nod in response to the thoughts given over to words, "Precisely, which is often how we see such things unfold. The Faith goes to great lengths to educate those who bend the knee and there are, through the Faith and other institutions, means to teach those new - or returned - to the Compact what is expected of us all".

After a moment Hadrian sits up and forward, permitting his elbows to come to rest atop his knees as his eyes turn about the atrium, "To what extent should Prodigal's own customs be regarded as peculiar or, in more extreme cases, wrong by the Compact's standards? If a custom among a group of prodigals originated from before their joining or rejoining the Compact that says it is dishonorable to wield a sword while barefoot; should the Compact-at-large seek to sweep away this custom or overlook it?"

Narcissa shifts her golden gaze between each speaker as the discussion begins. One meticulously manicure brow arches inquisitively, but she keeps thoughts to herself for now.

Calypso takes a long drink from the bottle in her hand (which may or may not have a chair in it) while she scans the area, taking in the various seating options. Then she homes in on the pear tree, and casually takes a seat in the shade.

Calypso has joined the a shady pear tree.

Patrizio arrives from without - that his detachment of centurions are with him, and perhaps a bit closer than is normal, speaks to the matter of how the prince of Pravus is considering the current state of affairs, though not perhaps a comment on the environs through which he walks. Though that he's shown up for an event to find out what it is that's being discussed.. has him perhaps lingering a few extra moments near the door, as if to get the lay of the land as he's late to the game that's afoot...

Shyanne scoffs a little her violet eyes move over Hadrain, she is shifting in her seat, listening to others for the moment. Her eyes look over the others that are represented here, lingering gaze upon the Princess. She lets her gaze watch Katarina for sometime before her attention moves back to Hadrian

Rance, a rebellious swan that likes to headbutt, 3 House Mazetti Guardians, Sirra, a very quiet maid, an indeterminate number of cats leave, following Alessia.

"All prodigals know that we are expected to limit our peculiarity and wrongness." This is Savio again, maybe a touch dryly. "All of us know not to walk around in the clothing of our homelands, speaking a language that is not Arvani. It is usually although not always obvious which of our customs will be considered laughable or contemptible by the Compact -- and contrary to what some might think, prodigals do generally try quite sincerely to fit in. We would not bend the knee if we were unwilling to try to assimilate. As such... yes. We are trying. It is gracious when the Compact expresses interest in our peculiarities, to share and understand them, rather than sweep away or overlook or censure them. To have neither wrong nor right but meet at a place of understanding, this is best."

Rosalind grins at Savio's words. "All that. You're better at words than me,"she simply says. Looking around, the red head says from her seat, looking quite proud by the way. "We do try to fit in with the compact and do--what it is required of us,"her eyes looking around at that those gathered. "We are not um..nor were we..uncivilized to begin with, contrary I think to what some believe."

Savio has joined the the southern benches.

Calypso stretches her long legs out in front of her on the ground, straight and crossed at the ankles, and leans her weight on one hand, planted a little bit behind her, keeping her in a sitting position. She doesn't seem to have anything to add, but she's probably listening. Probably. "How much of this disapproval is just people looking down on other people because they have the power get away with it?" She puts out the question without any implied answer, making it sound like she's really interested in the input of the people gathered here.

"I'm inclined to agree with the good lady about the matter," Patrizio says, gesturing to Calypso, his voice softer, a little more understated than he might ordinarily be, being the latecomer to the conversation. "I think that we have a society where we often look down on those who are different, who don't meet with our expectations for who they should be in their positions. Instead of welcoming the opportunity to have our points of view challenged, broadened, and perhaps strengthened through the experience." He does, for a moment, look askance at the baskets of peas... and then quiets himself again as he lurks on the outskirts of the conversation.

Katarina chooses this moment to stop watching the room -- with an unusually keen gaze, for whatever reason -- and to start saying words, with her mouth. "I cannot rightfully claim myself a Prodigal, such as those among us who bear this label -- though I have bent my knee and taken my oaths, I think I am from... too far afield such as to be considered a member of the Abandoned at any point~." She pauses in her speech, perhaps because she notices Abraxas staring at her, and then continues. "To those who do bear the title of Prodigal, may I please ask of you: what tension do you feel, between the ways of your time before, and the ways of being part of the Compact now? Does this transition sit at ease within you, or do you struggle still? I know that I most certainly did not make it easy for the Compact or the Faith to bring me to their breasts, until I was completely ready..."

"Of course," Hadrian answers at Savio with a few nods of his head to accompany his words, though he does not speak further. He simply continues to watch and listen while Savio speaks. By the conclusion, Hadrian's hands come together with a light clap, then another, and finally a third all the while that he nods, "You've hit the nail on the head, as they say. The place that I grew up, Southport? Merit carries a great deal of weight. Which is what has influenced my views a vast majority of the time regarding Prodigals or, well, just about anyone". The Duke's gaze shifts aside to regard Calypso for a moment, but soon enough it turns back to Rosalind, "Is this person loyal? Is this person reliable? Is this person trustworthy? Is this person qualified? These are the thoughts that tend to occupy my mind, rather than how someone dresses".

Hadrian pauses as his attention shifts to Rosalin, then to Savio, and then to the ground beneath his adder skin boots while he seems to offer further consideration to their words. When he does finally look up again, the Duke adds, "So patience is something that must always be remembered on a grander scale. Is it possible for an individual - not the whole of the Compact - to offer more precise assistance in assisting Prodigals in achieving the acclimation they desire? What would that assistance or guidance look like?"

Kiera hms "It is not possible or a good thing to amend custom to suit every taste and i think how the matter is handled depends on the intent of circumstance and the promises made when the knee was bent. Prodigals are at least in the case of the northlands allowed to continue their rieligious rituals as they so choose provided they also recognize the gods. discomfort of some nonwithstanding, this should be respected provided the practice does not transgress the values represented by the thirteen. this is different of course from blatant disrespect from our values. When this happens the situation should be addressed. however reprecussions should fall upon said individual and not the population at large. If I bring dishonor to my house, I would be censured, possibly stripped of titled, censured by my feallty and possibly the others, but my marquessa would not suffer such treatment. why cast aspersion on many when the private censure of one engaged in said disrespect would do

Calypso gives Hadrian a quick, sharp smile that's more than the sum of its parts, making it not easy to read. Then she takes a pull from her bottle.

Shyanne nods her head "you also must consider some gave up being Kings to simple Marquis, others gave up being Princesses to become Ladys so when you ask about acclimation, its all about where we came from is it not?"

With no apology in her stride, Ilira Whisper arrives late, her head held high and her steps measured by the economy of her movement as she passes through the doors of the atrium. She skims the faces present from beneath her dark lashes, pausing only a moment to note the king, his entourage, and a few other key members of the peerage in attendance. Something in her bearing echoes the calm before a storm as she glides around the crowd and approaches an unoccupied seat, the one nearest Savio. Grinning, she flutters her fingers at him in a little wave and then clasps her hands serenely in her lap, intent on the conversation around her.

Petroc, the most unassuming man you have ever met, 2 Sanna House Guards, Bear arrive, following Cirroch.

"Why?" Abraxas pipes up, seemingly without any prior consideration. "...Why any of it? If prodigals are unhappy with you, why spend time on making them happy? If you are unhappy with them, why should they spend time making you happy? Why work to be the same at all? And if you want to be the same, why care about being different?"

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

"Trust is earned,"Rosalind says. "That's still true, yeah? No matter matter where you come from? How do you learn that if you don't give the prodigals a chance." Large hazel green eyes watch every person in the room. There is no distrust in them, only curiosity. "There is been a lot of distrust about us--er-prodigals lately. Because that's what it all amounts to. Distrust, Trust. And like I said, it should be earned. It shouldn't be given, no matter who you are, but at point do you start to finally earn it?" She looks at Hadrian, head tilted. "Some have almost died fighting to defend the compact, that shows loyalty. And sometimes, that doesn't seem enough....,"her tone genuinely curiously.

Possum, 6 House Mazetti Guardians arrive, following Cambria.

Savio is over at the South benches with Rosalind and Shyanne, and clearly came here to Say Things, as at Katarina and Hadrian's prompts, he speaks up again! "The answer for Her Highness and for the Duke are one in the same, in my estimation," Savio answers. "The tension is because we know if we are in conflict with the customs of the Compact, we will lose, we are expected to yield, because we can under no circumstances openly question or criticize. The transition is a struggle, as are all changes. Even when we are confused and hurt, we are supposed to say, yes my lady, yes my lord, and we do. But there is an ache to yielding that the citizens of the Compact do not often find relatable. As for what can be done, by one individual, to offer precise assistance?" He squares his shoulders a bit. "Let us question your ways. Let us criticize. Give us somewhere safe to not understand you, and answer our challenges with grace and candor and patience. In public is not the place for this. But a trusted individual can be."

Spotting Ilira, Savio does wave a bit to her, and beckons her over to come sit by him!


Late? Noooo.
Cirroch simply has his own concept of time, and strides out to the Atrium, giving a nod to those that must have been on /time/. Taking up a spot to listen to what, or where the conversation is.

Denica is late. This doesn't seem to bother her, though she is still mindful enough to she slips in as quiet as one with an entourage can do. Taking a place towards the back, the young woman sits down somewhere that would provide an optimal distance to hear the conversation already underway. Her eyes scan the room, seeing some familiar faces, her shoulders drop and the settings into her spot. Fingers lace together, and her hand rests in her lap, she is curious to hear things unfold, though no doubt has a bit of catching up to do. Her expression is as neutral as it can be, given her eyes are lit with curiosity.

Patrizio finds himself a drink as he clearly choses once more to return to listening, rather than speaking his mind. Though Savio's words do draw his attention, and there's a faint, respectful inclination of his head at thew words spoken by the younger Pontelaeus, the faint turn of his lips in a smile at the words. Though far more of a smile when he sees he's not the latest to arrive, a smile that's hidden easily and quickly behind his glass as he takes a sip.

From her place sitting under the pear tree, more or less next to the host of the evening, Calypso watches the people drifting in late with a glitter of amusement in her ice colored eyes, and the very slightest upward quirk of her dark-painted lips, just at the corners. She shifts her weight off her hand long enough to wave at Cirroch, before planting it on the ground behind her again.

Rosalind and Savio seem to garner the majority of Hadrian's attention while they speak. He continues to watch and listen as he has for the past few moments, nodding along with one point or another. Eventually his hands shift, permitting them to cradle his jaw while his elbows rest atop his knees. By the conclusion of Savio's spoken views, Hadrian's chin dips once, "So you mean... what you're doing right now? I would be remiss in not offering each of you membership among the Salon, should it be of interest. We are here to talk beyond the seclusion of our journal pages. It affords us an opportunity to learn, be challenged, and all the rest. So, welcome to the Empirical". Hadrian's smile soon grows a touch brighter and broader. Though soon his attention turns along toward Abraxas and the Duke's head tilts ever so slightly while he views the speaker from the base of the pear tree, "There's strength in seeking common ground. Overcoming adversity, especially that imposed by differences, bolsters those who endure it."

Cambria also appears through the entryway of the Empirical's atrium, and, having instructed her own entourage to remain within the Empirical's main room, scouts out a place to seat herself for the duration of the discussion. She takes care not to cross before any of the speakers, nor willingfully obstruct the view of anyone who is simply watching and listening for the time being.

Ilira's blue eyes sparkle brightly with approval. She gives Savio a few appreciative snaps of her fingers and scoots over to join him at his bench, leaning in for a brief murmur once he says his final word. Drawing away, she lets her gaze drift briefly over the rest and catches Patrizio's eye, offering him a smile with a hint of hesitation.

Finn the large Northern hunting dog with icy blue eyes arrives, delivering a message to Denica before departing.

Ilira has joined the the southern benches.

Cirroch nods to Rosalind and Patrizio, heading to get a drink. The silk robe flows behind him as he strides, front panels barely tucked under his arms, as if he recently learned how to embrace the silk versus being constantly overheated in leathers during these warmer months. He'll give a nod to Cambria as well with little smile before taking a seat with Calypso under the pear tree.

Cirroch has joined the a shady pear tree.

Cambria has joined the the southern benches.

So like what they're doing right now? "No. Not quite." Savio is gently disagreeing with Hadrian here, though he dips his head a bit in deference so as not to sound confrontational. "This is good, and this is most welcome, as are events such as the Whispers inviting cultural sharing, song and dance, from all the peoples of the Compact. These forums are helpful. But I would not be comfortable here to discuss my more controversial views -- oh, not that I have any --" some wry humor there, "among so many honored persons. What we need are people to take us one on one and let us argue without it making the news the next day. To let us risk answering inelegantly. If there are prodigals among your acquaintance, invite them alone in confidence to express frustrations, and help them understand you. I should hope your prodigal friend will listen to you with an open mind in return. This is what mends the rifts, releases the tension."

There's no sense of any rush for the Pravusi prince to move from his spot - Patrizio seems quite inclined to be lingering where he is. Cirroch's notice of him gets a nod, and a... concerned smile, the brief lift of an eyebrow at the silk robe as if he's thinking he missed a revelation the other evening, clearly. Ilira, too, gets an inclination back and the touch of a smile when she's looking to him with some hint of concern. Though the jade eyes do sweep mindfully back to Hadrian and Savio in the heat of their discussion.

Shyanne talks to the table she sits with between the shared words. She smiles to Rosalind and then to Savio as she looks over to his words and she nods her head a bit seemingly to agree with what it is he is saying.

"Common ground," Abraxas repeats, in a tone that suggests vague agreement and little else. "But differences don't have to mean adversity. Or, maybe they do. There's nothing wrong with that, though. You're mad enough to make it work. Yes? Common ground, *and* adversity."

Cambria chooses...the southern benches! Of course, she offers a cheery wave to Cirroch as their paths cross. Naturally, there is a bow of respect for the King when she notes his presence at the northern benches. And yet she still finds herself taking up residence at the south benches, where she looks perfectly content, listening to both Savio and Abraxas as they speak their minds.

Rosalind offers Cirroch a slight wave of her hand, a smile appearing on her lips. There's also a welcoming smile to Ilira. "Respect,"the Ravenseye eventually says. "Respect in differences is something that is also helpful. Instead of being looked down on."

Denica loves a good debate and the young woman settles into her spot, relaxed and observant. Ink stained fingers pulls out a little sketch book and some charcoal. The first thing she does is write up a little note, which she sends off with a messenger. Then she starts observing and sketching. It appears today she is here to listen, rather than to give her opinions. Maybe. A pensive look finds its way to her thick eyebrows, she knits them together as the charcoal starts to brush against the paper, delicate at times, but others? Forceful and with purpose. Her lips curl from time to time, pieces of the conversation amuse her, and she lets it show on her face, but it seems it more the vigour behind them, than perhaps the exact words. Those wash over her, as she focuses more on the faces and features she observes while the debate ensues.

Denica has joined the the northern benches.

Kiera smiles at Abraxas "Oh the happyness of others is not to be achieved i will settle for mutual respect and stability and I agree our differences make us richer. Finding the truth requires looking beyond what you know to that what you do not. we are at a time when our history is being rediscovered and so any judgment past must be done with some amount of hesitation

Ilira has left the the southern benches.

Ilira has joined the the southern benches.

"To return home as prodigal daughters and sons should be seen as a honorable opportunity regardless of the cirmcumstance that brought you to bend the knee and swear fealty to your lieges; to the Compact," The King's perspective is personified in casual oration, voice drifting during a lull of passionate debate. "Before, you were our enemies. Now, you're our brethern; fellow citizens with all respects and privileges. Your vernaculars developed to strategize and coordinate attacks upon the Compact, we ask you leave behind, for it draws suspicion and invites uncertainty that you mean to hold true to the oaths you avowed to keep. We ask you take the time to immerse yourselves in a culture of the region as rich and nuanced as your own, to make every effort that you're appreciative of the grace and levity afforded to you rather than to live in a constant state of conflict and warring." There's a small irony that is not missed, evident in the crease of his brow, the mild quirk of his lips.

"None would ask you to abandon traditions that some of our very own are derived from, provided they are acceptable and decent and humane." Blood sacrifices. Demon worshipping, yenno. The bad stuff. It's implied, needing not said. "I believe it imperative to remember that."

Katarina, the woman wearing the Eurusi veil, is definitely looking at her fingernails for a moment when there's talk of 'acceptable and decent and humane' traditions.

"I would argue everyone has a controversial view or two. They just don't share them widely," Hadrian answers back at Savio with a soft chuckle. He nods once again before he accepts Savio's full answer with a casual gesture, "You make a good point, though. It can be overwhelming to have a truly open conversation in a crowd. If you'd like, should you ever wish someone to hear you out? Write a letter and see that it finds itself to me. I'll gladly meet you here at the Empirical to discuss one matter or another if it's your prerogative". Then Hadrian's attention drifts to Rosalind and the Duke's smile only grows further into a grin as he gestures toward Rosalind, "There is another fine point. Respect. Something that I insist on during these Salon gatherings," Hadrian explains as he sits up from his position leaned against the pear tree's trunk, "which I'm thankful for everyone present showcasing. Even enemies can be afforded respect, so those who deem friends or allies or compatriots? Are certainly deserving of it".

Then Hadrian's hand rises up from his side and his fingers flutter toward the southern benches, although briefly. Soon enough his bright green eyes travel toward Abraxas, whom he addresses with a nod of acceptance without argument, "I will agree that it's entirely possible to have those you hold differences with in rather pivotal ways, while still being able to work with them. Which is where the common ground comes in. A mutual goal can forge allies out of the most unlikely company. I think it's safe to say that literature, fables, and all manner of tall tales have shown us that is very possible."

When Alaric begins to speak though? Hadrian goes quiet in order to listen to the King of the whole Compact speak.

"As one recently said, it is a tenuous relationship between the Compact and those newly returned. One that requires compromise as enemies become friend anew. It is the prodigal who must prove themselves in the eyes of the Peerage if they are ennobled. And how does one prove themselves worthy? Through consistency of action that demonstrates how you honor your word genuinely and earnestly," The King adds on thereafter.

Calypso leans her head towards Cirroch and exchanges a few murmured words with him, with a hint of warmth softening her sharp, pale eyes, then turns her attention back to the group. "Just so we're not talking at cross purposes here -- are we talking about what it's reasonable to expect of prodigals and what it's reasonable for prodigals to do, or the reality of what people are actually doing and expecting? Most people aren't rational, and we all do things for bullshit reasons."

Narcissa produces her own mirror mask from inside the belled sleeve of her gown and intones softly, "Controversial views, yes, even from those born within the peerage of the Compact. That aside I believe a mutual respect and willingness to work towards mutual survival and improvement, a symbiotic relationshiop of sorts."


Piccola creeps in.

Kind of. She doesn't make much noise coming in, but she's hard to miss. Who else dresses the way she does? Who else is armed to the frackin' teeth like she is? That said, she may be missed; she does not walk far into the atrium before she finds a place to sit down, cross her legs, and listen in apparent peace.

Hood up; eyes open; mouth but a thin line.



Shyanne looks over to the king and rather boldly she directs a question to him. "exactly how dose one prove worthy, who is to make that call? What tasks, are needed, what outline do you have which you can measure such things? And who would be accountable for determining that someone has met the guidelines to prove themselves worthy.?" she asks off of the kings own "who decides that one has sufficiently demonstrated, how you honor your word genuinely and earnestly?"

Abraxas's smile is small, and can't really be defined as such beyond a cursory glance. It's slightly unpleasant, though not malicious, or even mocking. He makes a slight noise, the start of a laugh, perhaps, as if he finds something just a little darkly funny. No more comments at the moment, however. His gaze flicks between the other speakers, intent and intense.

Kiera nods to calypso "I'm finding that most of us here are in agreement with what /should/be said and done. the matter of disagreement comes with what is/ or /was/ said and done

Patrizio, too, listens when the king begins to speak - his attention riveted upon Alaric, as if he's not had enough opportunity to be around their liege. His lips press briefly into a thin line and then... no, the glass returns to his lips again for another sip. Which affords him the time, naturally, to hear the follow-ups from a few of the corners, before he gives voice to his own thoughts. "I think much of what's being said sounds reasonable to our ears. Maybe I'm coming simply from a different point of view, slightly more unorthodox as it were being from the most recently elevated Great House..." The prince purses his lips, as if gathering his words. "But I think that the important thing is demonstration of adherence to those things we hold most dear, and maintaining faith with the principles behind our Compact. Far more important than the tongues spoken or the like, in my book, especially in the face of the dark storm that's approaching our shores."

Cirroch nods to the points made, listening to what each has to say, or ask of others to what or who is to determine that honor has been demonstrated. With a smile, he offers to the group, "You show your worth in your actions. There is never an ending, or as you've put it," nodding to Shyanne, "sufficiently demonstrated your worth. Even as peerage, we're held to the same rules. My family took a knee long ago, and it is still upon me to be the best that I can be for the compact, peerage, our allies. When I fail that, I expect nothing less than one of my peers to point out that I failed to stand at the same level that I ask everyone else to be at." He turns with a smile from something that was said to him by Calypso, then turning back to continue, "No. The moment you're seeking for where your approval sits and if you've done enough? That's when you haven't."

Patrizio's words earn a nod from Hadrian before the Duke remarks, "Faith can act as a central pillar for all of us. No matter the differences, it still points the same way for all of us". Hadrian concludes with a little smile, his eyes alighting as he rises up to his feet and begins to dust himself off once again. He remains standing for the time being, hands moving to clasp together before himself, but he does not wander off. He's simply tired of remaining seated it seems. He's about two seconds away from beginning a long stint of pacing, more than likely.

Calypso takes a pull from her bottle of rum. "If we're all mostly in agreement as to what's the ideal, maybe the real debate should be how to make the reality better resemble it," she suggests. She still has yet to display any signs of actually being invested in any of this.

Denica remains silent, this isn't her debate, but rather she engages in her own way. Wild brows wiggle and waggle as she strikes the charcoal against the thin paper. There are times she is completely lost in her art, but it is fuelled by the passionate words that circle around her. The young woman's lips are pursed together in a thick line. Something in particular amuses her and those lips curl upwards, she is unable to control them now. Rather, she uses this opportunity to look down at what she's created and she shrugs her shoulders. "Indeed," she murmurs to no one in particular.

"Which begs the question," Katarina allez-oops onto Calypso's own question, "whether it is enough for us to merely lead by example and hope that others will follow such as we do, or if we must actively correct those who do not meet these same ideals~." Her tone of voice gives away nothing as far as her own preference, but she seems to be giving the conversation a nudge while Hadrian de-numbs his butt from all that sitting.

Luxe arrives, following Giorgio.

Luxe have been dismissed.

Shyanne frowns and she nods to Savio "you and me both".. she stands at the suggestion from Katarina

Luxe have been dismissed.


And then Piccola says something.

"How many of us enjoy being told what to do?"

That's all she says.



Savio is sitting at the southern benches next to Ilira, listening, though perhaps the time for comment seems to have passed for him -- there seems a reticence to speak now that was not there before.

Shyanne has left the the southern benches.

Giorgio Pontelaeus makes his way into the Atrium, certainly late to the party by any stretch of the imagination. His eyes shift around the interior of the space upon entering and eventually he spies his brother seated over at the southern benches. He makes his way in that direction, his eyes shifting across the various nobles and king in attendance, offering them all a respectful bow of his head on his trek.

Giorgio has joined the the southern benches.

Rosalind is really not sure how to say what she wants to say now. "Even..origional members of the compact are not perfect. What is the ideal? Who is the best example,"Rosa asks. "I thought that what makes the compact unique is it's differences."

Cirroch looks across to Rosalind, "That's my point. Shouldn't we always be growing in what the compact is seeking as the best or ideal representation? To stay stagnant in only one belief of what is best for the compact is no better than to declare that all prodigals are the same."

Calypso laughs under her breath at something that Cirroch says, and Rosalind's words only seem to heighten her amusement. "You know, that's a good point. I live my life not giving a shit what people think about who I am or what I do. I wonder how much of my ability to get away with misbehaving has to do with the fact that I'm born into the Compact. Maybe there's some implicit privilege there to be different that a prodigal doesn't have. If the case, that might be something that could be addressed somehow, even if by just pointing it out."

Kiera hms "I cannot speak for anyone else, but i mean the twelve virtues represented by the gods. it is more than slightly presumptuous to assume that in our position as nobles we have somehow mastered this. my position carries with ityit duty and privlege what it is not in and of itself is a virtue and should not be mistaken as such

Ilira rests her gaze upon the king as he speaks, burning with her thought before she speaks it. "But what of the simpler inconsistencies, my King? What of the minor expressions of our heritage that sleight you? Why, for example, do tattoos still draw scorn in the streets? Why might a scar or mark of some cultural significance make you balk from us? Why..." She presses her palms together, measuring the pace of her words with a breath. "Why must we quell every part of us, our history, our culture in the name of appeasing the Compact's comfort levels?" To Calypso's point, she inclines her head with an appreciative little nod.

Q-bert an Albino Possum leaves, following Shyanne.

6 First Legion Centurions leaves, following Patrizio.

6 First Legion Centurions arrives, following Patrizio.

"It is not to our fellow men that we look to for guidance on whom we strive for, but to the ideals embodied in the Pantheon that we model ourselves after," the King speaks again, long after others have voiced their own opinions and views freely. When Ilira turns to address him directly with her own question, he leans forward with elbows braced upon his knees, relaxed in his bearings as he allows himself time to consider what is asked of him. But when he speaks, it's to Calypso that he addresses first: "How curious that you say that, Duchess Malvici," he grins at his years long friend. "As one in a ducal seat of people marked by its preference for meritocracy, it's almost alien to hear its duchess say that she cares not for how she is viewed in the eyes of others. It's your actions that are the measure of your worth; how you comport yourself and model yourself to the expectations beholden of you not only by your Peerage, but that of the people you are sworn to lead. And how does a meritocrat best lead? Is it not by example? Or is it do as I say, not as I do?"

"Then perhaps we shouldn't look to the gods," Ilira remarks, almost to herself.

Calypso gives Alaric a broad, shit-eating grin, and taps her nose them points to him at his final question.

Abraxas glances in Ilira's direction, and now he definitely does seem to find something darkly funny. There's a slight breath between his teeth, the softest 'heh'.

Denica's attention starts drifting towards Alaric and then to the focus of his words and questions, unable to resist it, she watches with a curious glint in her eyes. Whatever she sees only encourages the work that occurs in that sketch-pad of hers. Fingers don't let up and the charcoal swirls around the page, long and short strokes, depicting something that occurs in the mind of an artist. Her hands are covered in the dusty black soot, but she doesn't give it much attention. Inspiration strikes when it does and she seems willing to jump right into that feeling and flesh it out on that black piece of paper. Her face shows little signs of what is going on internally, save for the amused smile that never fully leaves her lips.

Ilira makes direct eye contact with Abraxas when he looks at her, implacable.

Narcissa glances but briefly to Ilira, then back to those at her bench with an expression of neutrality.

It's on his next breath that he finally awards Ilira with his thoughts, having so congenially bought himself an additional moment to perhaps structure his words more precisely. "Because it is barbaric and looked down upon, Mistress Whisper. When one bends the knee, it is an expectation from the Compact that barbarism and ritualistic practices are left behind. But what's important to remember is that it differs from fealty to fealty. You'll find the Northlands rather tolerant of such practices, whereas the Oathlands and Mourning Isles would not. Expectations and what's discouraged differ so wildly from not only fealty to fealty, but barony to barony. A stone's throw away, which is why it is impossible to argue what an exact science of measurement of acceptance is."

"I would contend that everyone takes orders from someone. Whether they listen or not? Then the consequences, if any, are theirs to own," Hadrian answers back at Piccolo's question in the midst of his pacing. He regards Ilira while she speaks at Alaric. Hadrian considers Alaric while he addresses Ilira. Duke Mazetti comes to a halt in his pacing when Alaric speaks to Calypso. By the end of the king's words, Hadrian continues on in his pacing steps with barely more than a cough to accompany the interruption in his back-and-forth patrol. When Hadrian stops again his hands slip away from their union at the small of his back as he offers a reminder, "Don't forget to get your basket of peas. Keep them for yourself, give them to someone in need, plant some for a family you think is deserving, or whatever else. The Salon will be making a donation of peas - and silver - to the Faith of the Pantheon to further promote Peas for Peace".

Again Hadrian falls into silence, absorbing all of the discussion going on around him while he continues along in his pacing path.

Abraxas gives the baskets of peas a sudden, highly distrustful look, apparently only noticing them now that his attention has been drawn. Or, perhaps, he's only noticing the expectation that he should take one.

Katarina checks composure at daunting. Katarina is successful.

A terrible thing happens. The little piece of charcoal that Denica was working with, has dissolved to nothing through her focused efforts. At a point it isn't usable but so she continues to try, until there is nothing left but the stains left on her fingertips. Denica presses her lips together, looking at both of her assistants with questioning eyes. Each one shakes their head, almost fearful for her response. Yet, the young woman shrugs her shoulders and closes the sketch pad. Whatever happened there, is now lost to those around her, and the young woman starts to stand. "Excellent discussion," she comments to no one in particular, holding her hands away from her person, so not to spoil her dress. Hadrian and Katarina both get a content bob of her head in appreciation, while she remembers to curtsy to the King, before she makes her exit. Late to arrive and early to leave.


"I was not talking about taking orders, my Lord."

Piccola shifts a little, still seated on the ground. "I simply asked: how many of us enjoy being told what to do? It was a rhetorical question, but I daresay one which all would answer in honesty the same way." Beat. "I have never met a sellsword that liked being directed; however, they all will tolerate it depending on the coin or reward offered."

"I think the same analogy applies to the discussion being held."



Katarina has been absorbed in some side conversation in her area of the seating, and when her attention fully returns to the greater discussion, she looks a bit stirred-up -- maybe not so much as to count as 'upset,' but certainly not at peas. "The foundation of our society is both to lead and to follow with honor," Katarina adds to Hadrian's comment. "We may not always relish that which is expected of us -- but we sit here in the presence of our King, and so we cannot truly deny that it is responsible, honorable stewardship that allows each level of our society to thrive~." She then seems to overhear something and visibly almost turns her body so quickly that she nearly falls out of her chair -- nearly, but doesn't.

Denica has left the the northern benches.

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

Savio stands from his place at the southern benches with a touch to his brother's arm and a murmur for Ilira. "Kind hosts -- I thank you for your patience and wisdom, and to the open invitation to exchange ideas with such an esteemed mix of people. The inclusion is appreciated, especially so now in the current climate." He bows to them, with a separate bow for the king since... the king is here! Then he politely slips out, aiming to be unobtrusive about it!

Savio has left the the southern benches.

Alaric is overheard praising Hadrian: I believe Duke Mazetti to unnaturally talented in his ability to successfully host open forums on naturally divisive topics without passionate debat devolving into argument and blood shed. Truly, it is an artwork any intellectual or casual observer must see to believe. I look forward to the next one.

Alaric is overheard praising Katarina.

Alaric is overheard praising Patrizio.

Alaric is overheard praising Ilira.

Alaric is overheard praising Rosalind.

Kiera is overheard praising Hadrian.

Kiera is overheard praising Katarina.

"The circumstances dictate the level of tolerance," Hadrian answers back at Piccola with a nod of his head. He continues his pacing and turns about to consider the gathered souls within the atrium. He regards one from another, from Abraxas to Rosalind, with a sweep of his serpent's eyes. Finally his arms spread open and he offers a bow to the whole of the atrium before his voice rises up, "I thank each of you for your time, presence, and willingness to engage with what can be viewed as a subject that can easily become divisive". Hadrian's arms drop to his sides and his chin lowers, favoring each face with a charcoal-whitened smile as his eyes practically come to life with humor and fire before he concludes, "You can all stay here, discuss until the sun has gone down, debate and discuss at your leisure. Go if you wish, stay for a bit if you'd like, but for now? I take my leave of you fine people, both titled and untitled". He stands up straight, presses his palm to his mouth, plants a kiss to it, and then sends his hand out and away from his lips to toss that gestured kiss to one and all before the Duke of Ostria turns to make good his departure.

Alaric has left the the northern benches.

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

Hadrian has left the a shady pear tree.

Luigi have been dismissed.

3 House Mazetti Guardians have been dismissed.

Giorgio has left the the southern benches.

Calypso exchanges quiet words with Cirroch, and then gets to her feet and takes a pull from her bottle of rum. "An excellent event, as always," she says to Hadrian, once again with that smile that's a little more complicated than the sum of its parts. "I'm looking forward to the next one."

Rosalind climbs to her feet. "I think I should get going. I need a drink of my own." Looking around, the Ravenseye gives a polite, yes POLITE bow of her head. "Thanks everyone. Was nice talking to you,"and out she goes!

Rosalind has left the the southern benches.

Connal, a Northern Wolfhound, Honeymare, 1 Ravenseye Warrior leave, following Rosalind.



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