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Follow The Lyceum Leader

On the half hour the Crown is passed,
Upon the head the new leader laughs.
A single rule is shared with all
Follow without question or suffer the fall.
Heavy the duty, though the Crown might be slight.
You'll forever second guess if your decisions are right.

Come to the ball room, the power is yours.
Will there be peace or have you created wars?
The title is yours, till you give it away.
Though at the end of the night, it's Jaenelle's to stay.


Dec. 2, 2021, 8 p.m.

Hosted By



Cosimo Noah Baldessare Cesare Cassiopeia Khanne Sylvie Calista Saoirse Titus Dante Artorius Gio Alarissa



Arx - Ward of the Lyceum - Velenosa Estate - Ballroom

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

Andre, the messenger who can't even arrives, following Dante.

3 Fidante House Guards, Santino, Dante arrive, following Calista.

Cosimo steps into the ballroom, glances around, and takes a few steps off to the side, adjusting the cuffs of his shirt while he surveys the room. Anyone who's gaze he catches he offers an appropriate greeting - ranging from a smile to a bow.

While the evening was planned very differently than what is occurring, one should always make the best out of every situation. Instead of a coronation, a party is held, one in which Jaenelle offers a chance to lead the gathered and see if their peers turn on them or embrace them. One can never be too sure within the Lyceum. On a raised stage, Jaenelle greets all those who enter, allowing time for people to come into the ballroom and find drinks, and create alliances to survive your rule.

Noah is near Jaenelle but a step to the side, because of course he is. The man is decked out in his normal dark clothing and just sort of looks like he's bored. The true Prince Noah. Change a last name, but not the man. He will be cordial as people greet, but he's also eyeing them up and down.

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

Having arrived well before the crowds to oversee some of the final preparations, Baldessare has not stopped moving since. Slowly and carefully making his way about the room, this evening bearing the mantle that marks him as the General of Velenosa's Diplomatic Escort, his eyes seem to be scanning /everywhere/. Each person. Each place. Each spot. His orbit is not precise, but it seems to continue to keep him around to each corner of the ballroom.

All in dusty purples and shining iridescite tonight, the Softest Whisper would not miss such a fascinating event - he had, of course, planned to attend the original coronation, and it's only fitting that he's here to see what has sprung up in its place. "Archduchess," he greets, bowing deeply. "Archduke-consort. Thank you for hosting such an intriguing event this evening. I'm looking forward to seeing what you've cooked up, and how we all rise to the challenge."

Sorrel checks 'recovery check' at normal. Sorrel is successful.

The tall blonde Arakkoan arrives with the company of her guards, who are dressed in matching silks, colours carefully contrasting that of the Marquessa. The woman is wearing what can only be described as a party outfit. It moves easily like her, reminiscent of a floating cloud, with every possible adornment. Cassiopeia looks relaxed, her bare shoulders dropped in a casual manner. Though she is unfamiliar with the room, she moves with an inherent confidence irregardless. The woman doesn't temper the curiosity in her eyes, rather she lets it display openly, along with a well-rehearsed smile that is offered to anyone that passes her. A natural warmth gives it a more pleasing effect, while she slips into the room and immediately scans for any familiar faces, before offering a polite dip to Jaenelle and Noah before she saunters back into the background.

Does the redhead look out of place here this evening? Maybe. Yet, after an initial wide-eyed look around, the Halfshav Duchess takes a breath and exhales, replacing momentary awkwardness with a smile. After procurring a drink, Khanne makes her way to Jaenelle, greeting her with an air kiss near each cheek. "Gorgeous as ever, Archduchess. I am looking forward to the festivities."

Artorius has left the The Scandal Couch.

Ezekiel the Crownlands Shepherd, 2 Sea Rover Bodyguards leave, following Artorius.

Finally, finally: the clothes that Sylvie has on are not quite out of place. They are meant for a ball, with ruby satin and a large swathe of sunkissed skin revealed through her spine. Her hair reflects darker red in the depths of dark curls arranged artfully over one shoulder, where candlelight gets trapped like flame. Except, perhaps, for those fashionable and canny enough to notice that the style is out of date, and that she has been wearing this often, her wardrobe much reduced from when she ruled as a Duchess. But Lady Sylvie Zaffria steps into the ballroom with a smile on her full lips, delight obvious in her sharp, grey eyes as she takes a drink from a server as she moves through the ballroom, observing.

A pair of Fidantes arrive to the soiree... Wait, make that a Fidante and a DiFidante! Duchess Calista and her cousin, Marquis Dante show up in style. Their beloved roses are proudly displayed in various ways and in myriad forms, if anyone should ever question who and where they are from. The event seems to be getting underway and Calista gently guides Dante to Jaenelle and Noah to greet the pair first. They wait their turn and when they finally approach, Calista dips into an elegant curtsey. "Archduchess Jaenelle, thank you for hosting such a wonderful occasion. You look divine. Spidersilk suits you well, my dear."

Saoirse happens to emerge from a shadowy wherever for, it appears, the SOLE purpose of asking Dante, "Hey. Where are you from again?" while flicking gently at one of the roses.

The Warmonger Titus isn't too far behind Cassiopeia as the Southron holds a small white marble box held in his long pale fingers. A whispered decayed voice says to Jaenelle and the excellent Noah, "We have noted a star shine bright in the night sky marked by it's brilliance. A token beyond the Sea of Skulls from the Red City itself to mark a special occasion. May your house and allies grow strong." A bow from his head in respect is given before he moves away.

Indeed, it is doubtful anyone could mistake either of them for being Fidantes given the amount of roses and thorns festooned about their clothing. Dante (Di)Fidante is dressed, as he usually is, in comfortable aeterna and umbra since this is not an occasion that warrants plate armor. That does not prevent the Sword from wearing his swords, and an odd fashion choice in wearing the Roseward's coronet. Upon reaching Jaenelle with his cousin, the Marquis bows formally. "Archduchess! You look as lovely and splendid as ever. My dear cousin is right, spidersilk really does become you." Then Saoirse has to come from the shadows to poke at him. A bright grin appears with another bow. "Your Highness. Some say Tor due to the roses, but I don't see it. Do you?"

Saoirse takes a sharp little inhale through her teeth. "Tch, I don't know. It's too subtle to tell."

"Oh, you know, here, there. /Everywhere./" Calista adds to Dante's reply to Saoirse. "Your highness, how do you do? I did not see you. It was as if you materialized from thin air." Amusement touches her lips in a warm smile.

"Relax Baldessare" Jaenelle tells the man with a softness that indicates she is grateful for all he is doing to make the evening memorable. "Everything is fine," she assures him. A gentle dip of her head is given towards Cesare when he approaches, "we shall see! I am certain that all of you will make a fantastic leader of the Lyceum, and your time in the role not leading to the destruction of the entire fealty." Hopefully! Cassiopeias' approach is greeted with another dip of her head, "welcome to my home, the games shall start soon." There is a warmth when Khanne approaches, and the heavily pregnant woman returns the kisses, "I believe it is Noah's fault. He is very pretty to look at and in return makes me look better." Her eyes shift towards her husband with a grin before Calista and Dante step forward, "you would not believe how many times I was bitten in the creation of the cloth, Duchess Calista. More times that is healthy, I am certain. Thank you for attenting, please select a ring of your choice from the offerings." Because there are rings for the occassion, why wouldnt there be. "Dante, thank you for coming," and by her tone its clear she almost didnt expect him to but is grateful for his company. Her hands extend when Titus hands her something, and she takes a moment to look at it carefully. "I am honored by your gift, and I can only hope I am able to protect my people as she is her egg." Handing the totem carefully to her guard for safe keeping, she notes Sylvie arrive and offers the woman a smile.

As people start to actually approach, Noah steps a bit more upfront and center. His right hand comes out to encircle behind her waist and wrap around it. There is a feel that he might just as quickly push her behind him if the need arises. His blue eyes glance over each person as they arrive. A silent nod given as they are greeted. This is Jae's thing to do, not his. Although, when she blames him for something, the blue-gray of his eyes slide down to her form. "I cannot help it if I am just made of beauty. You are alright as well." The deep rumble of his voice and he smiles towards his wife. A full on and actual smile before lowering his head a bit to kiss the top of her head. The smile fades as soon as his eyes leave her and scan over the crowd.

Sylvie smiles back at Jaenelle from across the ballroom, tipping her chin in a respectful inclination before taking a sip of her wine.

"Yes," Saoirse confirms to Calista while... disappearing again. Back into those shadows.

Saoirse has joined the Shadowy Alcove.

Cesare's dark gaze makes a circuit of the room as well, cataloguing everyone here in, perhaps, a momentary curiosity over the subtle - but palpable - air of suspicion. "You always have the best party favors," he tells Jaenelle, praise accompanied by one of his faint smiles, before making his way to the refreshments to find himself a glass of wine and contemplate who among the guests here is worthy of suspicion.

A nod of his head to Jaenelle, and Baldessare offers her a smile. "I am sure it will be." Hearing the order to relax and complying are two different things, though. He does, however, allow his predatory pacing to come to an end, as he instead makes his way over towards the periphery of the gathering. Still a good vantage point from which to keep an eye out. Everything will be fine. But. Just in case. His gaze sweeps around the room, still, lingering occasionally here and there. Not quite allowing himself to "relax" just yet.

The Marquis smiles at Jaenelle in return, turning to follow his shadowy patron into her shadowy lurk. Before he joins Saoirse there, though, Dante spots Khanne and offers the Northern Duchess a respectful dip of his head. "A delight to see you here! I was up in your neck of the woods not so long ago. Really, the only place to get whiskey worth drinking. Anywhere else is just..." Nose wrinkling, a sad shake of the head expresses such disappointment.

Dante has joined the Shadowy Alcove.

Calista has joined the Shadowy Alcove.

Jaenelle tilts her head to accept Noah's kiss to the top as if it is a natural, familiar action. Her hand moves to lightly touch his arm, a silent gesture to show that she is fine before her attention turns once more to those in attendance. Her smile grows as she leaves her perch to move towards Baldessare, a crown from one of her guards is handed and then again towards the man. "The first Archduke of the evening." She offers a deep curtsey to Baldessare then, "all hail the Archduke. And now you must lead the party, so what is your first decree as the leader?" Then she looks towards the others, "and when the time comes, he shall pick the next, so I would advice you to bribe him well."

"Whisper Cesare!" Sylvie greets as she finds the man roaming through the party, doing much the same thing herself. She smiles, her gaze flicking towards Baldessare as Jaenelle makes the announcement. She claps, of course, a one-handed thing with the wine glass in the other. She asks Cesare: "What do you think a man such as the Prince might like as a bribe?"

After greeting Jaenelle, Khanne moves to Noah and gives him a wink. "Good evening to you as well, Archduke Consort, he of the pretty to look at and one who broke the mold. A pleasure to see you." After speaking with him, she hears Dante speak to her. A knowing smile curls her lips. "I have to agree with you there... unless I am visiting elsewhere that makes whiskey and they are trying to impress me, then I would have to say that theirs is... adequate." Khanne's eyes flutter a blink. "But I am sure even they know they are second best." She glances sideways to Noah and grins widely. "Much like the any man who compares to the Archduke." The grin is very mischievous and playful. Downright impish, really.

Calista fetches a glass or two of wine before slipping into the alcove with Dante and Saoirse. When Baldessare is announced first Archduke of the evening, the Duchess of Tor tips her head to him with a surreptitious smile. "I brought drinks. These are for me, Dante, you'll have to get your own." She teases.

As the first Archduke of the evening is crowned, Cesare turns attentively to Baldessare, sweeping into a low bow and waiting for the first proclamation. When Sylvie finds him, he tilts his head. "I think a man like Prince Baldessare has far too many ideals to be bribed. Thus those of us who maintain our honor and integrity are most likely to earn his favor. But I do not know him well - so my assessment is liable to be lacking."

There is immediate recognition when she sees Titus and once he has passed off the gift, she takes a step in towards him. "Cousin, it's been too long," she murmurs quietly to him. The young woman lets her eyes sweep about, before looking back at the Sangris Lord. "I trust you've been well?," she asks, letting her gaze drift back to the room, curious as to what is going to happen. Watching with arched blonde brows as Jaenelle appoints Baldessare as their first Archduke she seems curious as to what will happen next.

"Perhaps he can be seduced, then," murmurs Sylvie softly, warm humor mixed like honey with the forgotten Lycene accent buried in her words as she sweeps a look towards Baldessare under the dark fan of her lashes.

Sylvie checks charm and seduction at hard. Sylvie fails.

Noah moves like a silent shadow with his wife. He doesn't hold onto her, but she's not far from him as she moves. His eyes slide over to the first picked for the evening. He lowers his voice towards Jaenelle's ear, but the comment from Khanne gets his eyes upon her. There is a curve of a smirk for her. His deep voice borders on a growl as he offers, "I would be happy to show you how others don't measure up, but such is not the nature of this party." A wink before he glances back down to his wife.

"Whyever are we all competing for this?" Saoirse wonders from her corner. "Keep it!" she raises her glass to Baldy.

"Perhaps," Cesare acknowledges, but the look that Sophie gives - or tries to give - earns an expression from him which is trying very hard not to be raised eyebrows. It's sort of an eyebrow dance. The line between 'seductive' and 'constipated' can sometimes be a fine one. He knows this well.

2 Sea Rover Bodyguards arrives, following Artorius.

Ellani, the palm sized spider arrives, delivering a message to Gio before departing.

A bow of his head to Jaenelle as Baldessare accepts the crown. "Thank you," he says, "for bestowing upon me such an honor and responsibility." It is hard to look tense and serious now, finally a smile breaking out onto his face. "I am not sure it is wise to trust me with rule, but here we are." He turns his gaze out towards the crowd, considering long and hard before making the first proclamation of the evening.

"As Archduke, my proclamation is that henceforth, the snows that fall in winter shall never be colder than a brisk chilled wine!" He certainly has the authoritative voice to issue proclamations. He takes a moment to survey the crowd to obtain reaction to his decree. And perhaps to determine who shall be the one to issue the next.

It likely comes out more as resting bitch face than constipated, to be fair, but it certainly is a fine line. Sylvie will likely try her hand again, soon, as she seems to gesture to Cesare to walk with her and that walk seems to direct them towards Baldessare and the throne he claims. "Where do you hail from, Whisper Cesare? I do not believe I caught that when we met before," she asks with light interest. "What is your feelings on snow and winter?"

Cesare looks around. There are no priests of Petrichor here, alas, and thus nobody to invoke the god of nature for such a thing, nor Mangata's clergy, as snow is /technically/ water. Anyway, he lifts his glass and says "Hear, hear! The mountains may fall and the seas may rise but let it be so, for Archduke Baldessare has so proclaimed it." To Sylvie, following along: "Oh, I am from Setarco. Born and raised. But unlike many of my heritage, I've found upon my first turn of the seasons in Arx that I do not mind the winter, until it's nearly spring, when I become very tired of it. I like the change more than anything, and one can always put on more clothing and blankets, or soak in a hot bath."

Artorius is a scant late but he's on island time. Caer Morien is so far south west of the main island time runs on a totally different system. Though it's entirely lucky he got side tracked out in the hallway, as he comes in trying to fix up his shirt, not that the shirt can really be worn any way but loose and opened at the collar three buttons down. Quick to find his hand occupying a drink, he wanders in with a lazy smile on his face.

Jaenelle lightly claps for Baldessare as he determines how his rule shall begin and where it can lead from there. "Oh, that is a very good thing to decide," she tells him with a nod, "for it is not winter unless at least six different members of the South write a journal about it. Before six, it matters little, but six people concerned for the frost makes for a terrible day. You might have just won over the hearts of the Lyceum. For now. Except for those who like red wine and therefore prefer it tempered by the room. Those people are looking at you with concern that you will not allow them to live as they wish. How do you react!"

Titus has joined the The Misconduct Couch.

A tortured, shocked gasp comes from Dante as Calista attempts to deny him a glass of wine. Gently, he tries to pry it from her grasp. "What would I do to defend us all if I was denied wine by my own cousin? Likely stand here morosely as I could only stare in utter misery," he sighs out to the Duchess of Roses, giving Saoirse a sly wink to the side. Khanne's reply elicits a knowing smile from the Marquis, "Adequate is really quite kind in comparison, yes?." That weird flirting effort by Sylvie confuses him, wondering if she's taken ill. The Prince's declaration is met with a lift of the glass. "Quite right, Prince Baldessare! We need to just banish it altogether!"

At the question, Baldessare shrugs. "Some like wine chilled, some like at room temperature. There is room for all in the Lyceum." he says, continuing on with his bold choice. Then his voice hardens. "Except for those who drink it heated - they have no place among us, and should find the door!" He is slightly less convincing in his faux anger.

Titus says towards the newly minted Archduke and his particularly excellent declaration, "Long may he reign." To Cassiopeia's question on how he's been he says "I live and others die. Tremorus I hear has been rebuilding, excellent. Should you wish, I'd be happy to talk about building impenetrable walls but the upkeep needs to be paid."

"Mm, I am afraid, then, I am quite cliche, Cesare. One of the last winters I spent in the Compact, I escaped back to the Lyceum, to Gemecitta. There was business to be done there, but more importantly-- I did not have to deal with the snow of Arx," Sylvie replies lightly, her lips curved into an easy smile as she swirls her red wine in hand and takes a sip. As they draw closer to Baldessare and Jaenelle, she sweeps into a curtsey and greets: "Archduke, archduchess," she greets. And then she tsks, adding: "One cannot drink heated wine? Not even mulled then, my lord, on a holiday evening, with a lover, in front of a hearth?" There's faux indignation, as she lifts her hand to her heart.

"What is wrong with snow?" Noah inquires of Jaenelle. He's from Bastion. They have/had seasons! Then he looks at the others and hmms. "I would be trying to get favors for the next crown." He looks towards the throne and then Jaenelle. Every so often a soft word is given. There is a look at Sylvie for a moment and just a "Hmmm."

Speaking of soaking: Gio is late. His hair is still a little damp at the ends of those hastily dried waves, made fuzzy and wild. His hair's all kinetic, and his expression is heavy-lidded and tranquil. He doesn't walk, he strolls - he doesn't need to hurry, nor does he want to. Once he was entered the ballroom, a striking figure in metallic blues - a lazy wasp that buzzes along until he has a cup of wine in hand.

Sylvie grins at Noah, unashamed. She, it seems, understands the assignment.

Artorius looks particularly confused when Baldessare is giving proclamations and there are voices of 'long may he reign.' It's one of those long heavy blinks followed by a casual sway to obtain more drinks and down one promptly swift. Then he sways over toward the clustering of people around Baldessare, "What have I missed? He's the Archduke?"

Disgust appears on Baldessare's face as he hears Sylvie. "Are you sure you are Lycene?" he proclaims, raising a finger as if to cast her out for daring to suggest /heated wine/. "Go now, with my mercy, lest you be cast out among the swine!" booms his voice, strong enough that it may almost be forgotten that this is all a mummery. Notable, though, he is pointing her towards the wine, not towards the exit. The normal temperature wine.

Cesare spots Gio almost immediately, possibly because he's been driving himself crosseyed doing the embroidery on that particular outfit for the past week, possibly just because he's looking in that direction, and lifts a hand in a beckon-wave. "Gio!" Turning back to the conversation with Baldessare. "Gods. Listen to this woman. Trying to change the Archduke's mind when she should be supporting his policies. We will have to insist that each Lycene Great House have an ice bath installed so they can serve /chilled/ wine all year round, won't we, Archduke?"

"Just remember my request for second best," Khanne replies to Noah, lifting her glass towards him in a toast then taking a sip. The new 'Archduke' Baldesare's declaration has the Northern Duchess' lips turning down into a frown though. "No one appreciates the snow as it should be appreciated. So sad for those missing out..." She hmms thoughtfully then and grins with a wink towards Jaenelle. "Perhaps I am not meant to wear a crown in the Lyceum." She then grins towards Dante, placing a hand on his arm briefly. "Oh, indeed! But, in the name of diplomacy...." Once lifted, her hand then waves in the air. "One says such things." However, he is then trying to ban winter cold altogether and she outright gasps at him in shock and dismay, fingers pressed to her chest.

"Surely, surely, I will not go over there and plot against you," Sylvie promises, a warm laugh brushing the edges of her words as she smiles to Baldessare. She curtsies to him again, and then retreats to the refreshments.

"Heavy weighs this crown," Baldessare says, looking outward. "It takes a unique combination of strength and resolve to bear it well for any length of time..." He casts a gaze towards Jaenelle, and then back to the masses. "Who among you feels you have the vigor to take this up from me, as I can already feel my shoulders slump from the effort?"

"I asked a few people today if they could taste colors, or if they believed colors could be," Jaenelle tells Noah as she turns a bit more to face him. "Lord Titus and Master Gio were good sports in my curiosity. Apparently, if I am to understand everything properly Master Gio believes you most likely have had the pleasure of tasting colors." Because Noah is Noah. "Do you?" she wonders of her husband before she looks then towards Gio and his glass to see the color within when he arrives. Then her attention turns towards Baldessare once more as he is getting really involved. Its the crown, man. "I enjoy the snow. I have done my fair share of naked snow angels in the snow. It is beautiful and soft and calm. But, alas, the Archduke has spoken of snow, but it seems his downfall comes from the wine." Her smile growns when she hears Cesare attempt to win his good graces. "For now," Artorius is told with a very serious expression, as if it could all change soon. "Khanne, are you wooing my husband? Do you believe he holds sway on whether you get snow back?"

At some point or other, Cassiopeia lifts up a glass of wine, smiling at Titus and his remarks about walls. "I would always like to get your thoughts on security, dear cousin. I am glad to have bumped into you here," she says with warmth before she lifts her glass at Baldessare's proclamation. The woman from the Saffron Chain seems in favour of warmer snow and chillier wine.

"Mm - lowered inhibitions and suddenly names have flavors, your Gr --" Gio's chin lifts, smiling faintly, and he will amble over in the direction of the Softest Whisper, past Jaenelle and Noah - pausing to bow to the room, or some of the room - maybe just that part of the room, as he passes. If there are rules, he is not quite playing fairly by them - the wine of choice is a lovely rose. Or is it. "Softest Whisper Cesare."

Shad, a Kite of the Cloudspine arrives, delivering a message to Sylvie before departing.

Gio has joined the Grand Duchess Throne.

Khanne smiles warmly to Jaenelle when she hears how she enjoys snow. "Now /that/ is proper snow appreciation." However, when the Archduchess asks her if she is trying to woo Noah, Khanne is surprised, blinking at her. A very amused sort of laugh escapes her before she remembers herself, pressing fingertips to her lips. Shaking her head, she says, "I assure you, no, Archduchess. He is already married, after all. Just, recently, he was asking after single noble men, and I of course sent note to him, requesting he send any extras he might find worthy my way. We had a brief conversation about how they could not be nearly as great as him. I agreed, of course, and seem to not have heard from him since." Shrugging her shoulders lightly, she muses, "I guess he found no one worthy."

Artorius gets a masculine verdant sigil ring with a bloodstone crown from A trunk of rings.

Everyone want to see how an Archduke does politics? A real one? Noah looks over at his wife when she asks if he can taste colors and studies her for a moment. "When I'm high as fuck, I can." That right there. Politics! He then looks over at Khanne, over Jaenelle's head. "Of course she's wooing me. Look at that smolder she's sending." He knows full well the reason to it. He was going to hold out. Then Khanne goes and ruins it. RUINS IT.

Gio takes a wide champagne silver sigil ring with a bloodstone crown from A trunk of rings.

Jaenelle puts a thin verdant sigil ring with a cat's eye crown in A trunk of rings.

Jaenelle puts a masculine verdant sigil ring with a cat's eye crown in A trunk of rings.

Once the glass of wine has been removed from his cousin's grasp, Dante takes a sip with a hearty sigh of delight. Leaning a bit towards Khanne as she waxes on about whiskey diplomacy, the sudden shock at his own suggestion brings a crooked smile to the Marquis' lips. "Well, I usually just sit in front of the fire all winter long anyways, I suppose you can keep your winter cold and I'll keep my warm hearth if a cask of Farhaven whiskey is thrown into the deal.." A none too subtle wink is added, then he looks through the rings and plucks one out. "Oh I do like shinies! Thank you very much, Archduchess!"

Sorrel gets a slender champagne silver sigil ring with a bloodstone crown from A trunk of rings.

Dante gets a masculine verdant sigil ring with a cat's eye crown from A trunk of rings.

"Pragmatism has ever been our way, but it seems perhaps it is time for that to pass," proclaims Baldessare. "A new line of thinking may be just what the Lyseum needs, and if I think of how far one can travel, my thoughts the South." A finger is raised, pointing across the room, landing upon the Arakkoan. "The proper leader to bring us forth into a bold new direction, one brave enough to enter the tempesutous halls of the Lyseum and stand proud, to bear the Crown of Charm, is Archduchess Cassiopeia Proscipi! Long may she reign!"

Khanne gets a slender champagne silver sigil ring with a seraphinite crown from A trunk of rings.

Cesare gives Gio a smile that would be extremely legal under Baldessare's reign, but as to the next, we have yet to see. "Lady Sylvie Zaffria, have you met Gio diMalvici? Lately my neighbor at Seawatch Sanctuary and my erstwhile companion since he's been in the city - a clever creature, and a charming one. Gio, Lady Sylvie has recently returned from the Twilight Court, so if you need further proof that the Nox'alfar exist, I assume she can provide it for you."

Cesare takes a wide champagne silver sigil ring with a cat's eye crown from A trunk of rings.

Jaenelle puts a thin verdant sigil ring with a seraphinite crown in A trunk of rings.

Jaenelle puts a masculine verdant sigil ring with a seraphinite crown in A trunk of rings.

Sylvie claps, of course, as a new Archduchess is crowned. She cheers with the rest of the crowd, "Long may she reign!" Hopefully, with a new Archduchess, she can overcome her banishment and disfavor.

Artorius gets a broad rose gold sigil ring with a bloodstone crown from A trunk of rings.

Cassiopeia gets a slender champagne silver sigil ring with an amethyst crown from A trunk of rings.

Titus says "Excellent, then I look forward to helping." He's watching the Archduke have a succession problem. "Did you know many things that are celebrated as custom in the Lycene actually have roots from the Saffrons?" But look, there's a new archduchess! He bows his head to her to hear her first proclamation.

Artorius puts a broad rose gold sigil ring with a bloodstone crown in A trunk of rings.

Artorius gets a broad rose gold sigil ring with a cat's eye crown from A trunk of rings.

Baldessare takes a wide champagne silver sigil ring with an amethyst crown from A trunk of rings.

"I have not, I believe," Sylvie replies to Cesare, before smiling towards Gio. She does add: "Though, I believe-- I have heard of you. It has been some time, and my memory is foggy, but the name Malvici is a recognizable one to anyone born in the Lyceum and there aren't many that would bear it, nevermind DiMalvici. It is a pleasure to meet you, messere."

Artorius presents a confused but polite bow to Jaenelle and decides to pivot with an arm swinging out to find another glass of something to drink. Then he drifts somewhere with some swaying uncaring movements, not unlike Jack Sparrow. "Oh, lovely!" he has found the goodie bags. Artorius promptly puts on the rose gold crown.

Jaenelle turns when Baldessare's rule ends and another begins. She offers Cassiopeia a deep curtsey as another crown is produced and brought forth to the new Archduchess. Apparently people get to keep their crowns afterwards as a reminder how they faired. "Archduchess Cassiopeia! What is your first proclamation of your rule over the Lyceum, and how may we better serve?"

Gio offers Sylvie a partial bow, a beatific, heavily-lidded smile, "Pleasure is all mine, my lady. It is a pleasure to meet you - and your future stories of very large spiders - and that you have a fascinating history with the Whispers." The slouch-shouldered scholar steps up, and drapes himself into a seat that is not at all his to settle into. He does - sideways, in an effort to not lean back nor sit up completely straight. "Duchess Calypso - was my sister. Duke Hadrian Mazetti - my brother. It's truly the joke, you see, that they disowned me - but still let me keep the name --" Gio smiles, quietly amused.

Cassiopeia is certainly surprised to hear her name and any reveries are shaken from her head and she looks at Baldessare as she steps forward, rather unfamiliar with this game. If it is a known one. Her eyes are wide and she clutches the gored skirt she wears into a curtsy, "I humbly accept this offer and shall meet such a duty with conviction," she says as her cheeks inadvertently flush a rose-coloured hue, placing the crown in its proper place. Met with her first decree, the woman considers all the possibility. "First off, everyone gets a pony," she says, seeming to have a list ready. "Every street should have flowers blooming and there is always cake for breakfast." Okay, Cassiopeia has a few. Then met with the next question, the young woman considers, "you can better serve, by doing one unexpected thing, each day. Surprise yourself." Cassioepeia looks around, somewhat uncertain as to what the next steps were but smiling warmly.

"Hear, hear, Archduchess Cassiopeia!" Cesare proclaims, raising his glass. "Whisper House will provide funding for the food and housing of any ponies whose owners are unable to care for them, and they will be named Cassiopeia in the archduchess's honor, because no pony should go unloved." A very serious nod.

"Indeed. The Whisper Duchess," murmurs Sylvie, a soft smile playing on her lips. "But, no more. That was a different time. Now, I am merely Sylvie." She holds out an empty hand in a vague gesture before letting it fall to her side again. "Then, have you not considered taking a name of your own? You would not be the first, if you wished it."

Artorius has joined the The Misconduct Couch.

Jaenelle lifts on her toes to press a kiss to Noah's lips. Maybe its to shut him up diplomatically for his politics, or maybe she hasn't had any alcohol in awhile and was hoping he took a sip that lingered. "I believe Archduchess Cassiopeia just put money into livestock investments, infrastructure, and wishes to expand farmland to prodice enough wheat for cakes for breakfast. All good and strong decisions that will assist her people to prosper. What of taxes, Your Grace?" Jaenelle wonders of her second replacement. "How will you pay for all of these improvements, do you expect your people to pay for things that you wish to give them?"

From her shadowy alcove, Calista enjoys a bit of people watching. She also enjoys her glass of wine. As a new Archduchess is named, the Fidante gives a bow of her head to Cassiopeia. "I have always wanted a pony." Truly the mark of a great leader is giving away ponies.

Alarissa takes an intricately twisted rose gold sigil ring with amethyst crown from A trunk of rings.

Cassiopeia's brows quirk upwards at the question on taxes, her lips smile and she considers this. "The surplus flowers we will market, bouquets of them, leverage the request to surprise. Not sure what to do for your surprise today? Send someone flowers," she says and then bites on her lip. "That many horses, will no doubt lead to more horses, so again, we have a whole new area to market out, and for cake? We can showcase our cakes to the Compact, bring in more visitors each year..." The Marquessa quirks her brow, "the scheme pays for itself," she says to Jaenelle with a warmed smile.

"I hear names, once you misplace them, are monstrously hard to regain - but, this idea -- taking a name of my own," Gio murmurs this into his cup, and smiles. "Requires more thought, my lady Sylvie."

Applauding the rapid proclamations from the Archduchess, Baldessare makes his way from his perch at the wall. "It appears that my final decision may have been my best. Ponies for all!" He echoed with exhuberance. It is tempered however as Jaenelle intervenes with the criticisms of cost. "Oh dear," he laments. "Perhaps it is not so easy to lead after all." He decides to do what all former rulers do - find a drink. Find many drinks.

She's late. Though Alarissa would not declare herself as such. No, she's arriving just as she should. A slight bit breathless, no false arm for her left side, a bounty of the sea upon her head wrought in gems and metal and a dress like a tidal pool, devoid of her usual retinue, Alarissa's sweeping in off to the side to take stock of the room.

Calista gets an intricately twisted rose gold sigil ring with a cat's eye crown from A trunk of rings.

Noah wraps his arm around the back of his wife. It's probably from that very pregnant state to help ease her back or something. He glances tow the drinks and the guests, but for the most part he maintains where he is by Jaenelle. Silent. Brooding. But great hair and abs, so it's okay.

'Merely,' Sylvie," Cesare echoes with a warm amusement, before turning to consider Gio with a tilt of his head, dark gaze keen and sharp. He nods along to Cassiopeia's horses, flowers, and cakes scheme in approval. "Doubtless Archduchess Cassiopeia's policies will lead to diplomatic interest from the other great houses and perhaps even from without the Compact," he surmises. "And as she produces more and more ponies, as substantial pony calvary to defend her lands."

Titus says "Unless said ponies eat said flowers."

Baldessare has joined the The Impropriety Couch.

"They are," agrees Sylvie at Gio's assessment, inclining her chin softly. Her grey gaze studies the man, a soft smile playing at her lips for a moment. But she lifts a shoulder in a soft shrug as she murmurs: "It is something to think on, at least. The Compact is always looking for things to ponder, things to argue in journals and in proclamations." She takes a sip of her wine, looking to Cassiopeia and Jaenelle as more decisions are made for the future of the Lyceum. At least, for tonight.

"We raise very fine horses in the Roseward. Perhaps giving away ponies is something we ought to try," Dante ponders, giving his cousin a grin and a slight nudge. "What kind of gratitude would you show if I sent you some ponies?" The wine is mercilessly attacked, Saoirse asked politely, "Your Highness, would you care for a pony?" After picking out his new piece of bling, the Marquis slides it upon a finger with a delighted laugh.

"Ponies require food as well," Jaenelle notes to Titus' observation. "You might not have any resources left to sell. But I do approve of your ability to change and grow. To shift your thinking when something may need to be addressed. Your people are lucky to have you are their leader. It takes someone who shall bend with time to bring new houses into the Compact and to learn how to overcome and adapt to the things you might be unfamiliar with. Even if the Lyceum now has a horse population issue. But that level of poo must be good for the flowers anyway. A toast to you, Archduchess."

As she moves, Alarissa sips her head in respect to Jaenelle then Noah, a serene smile on her face as she starts to wend her way through to the side of Titus and his group, listening. "Ever does Vaevici show what is needed, Archduchess. They adapt and overcome and no doubt, they are the better for Lord Titus. Which is why I have given him the protection of my name. Though ponies." She looks to Titus, a blonde brow lifted. "The poor Caldera's waters, for all those ponies."

Raising two glasses in salute to the Archduchess, Baldessare belows from his post over at the Couch of Impropriety. "Your ideas were great, Archduchess Cassiopeia, until they weren't. Pass your crown, and then come drown your sorrows with me in the pen of forgotten rulers! I have a glass ready for you." He drops unceremoniously down into the couch, somehow managing not to spill a drink from either glass.

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

Noah glances up as his cousin (Alarissa) enters. He studies her for a moment but there is a comment made to Jaenelle. He sort of has a 'funny right' look. Sadly, he gets no reaction from his Lady Wife. Which causes him to smirk again. "It would behoove you to think about these things, Archduchess." This said to Cass. Then, thankfully, he falls silent again.

Cassiopeia seems to have enjoyed her brief stint in the Lyceum and is ready to pass along the honour to someone else. Eyes drift around the room, deciding where to divert the attention to. Her eyes eventually fall on Saiorse, with some vague recognition. "I believe that I would pass on this position, to that of Princess Saoirse Velenosa." There is a smile and she seems content to step out of the light and back into her observations.

Calista has left the Shadowy Alcove.

Dante has left the Shadowy Alcove.

Andre, the messenger who can't even leaves, following Dante.

3 Fidante House Guards, Santino, Dante leave, following Calista.

Cesare is overheard praising Noah: If only the Archduke did less horsing around and applied himself, he could really become something formidable.

Andre, the messenger who can't even arrives, following Dante.

3 Fidante House Guards, Santino, Dante arrive, following Calista.

3 Fidante House Guards, Santino leave, following Calista.

Dante has joined the Shadowy Alcove.

"Ah," Saoirse mutters, forced to slide out of her shadowy alcove. Goddamn. "Great. Thank you." And now she is your Queen.

Sylvie claps, as ever, when a new Archduchess gets appointed.

Poor Cesare, he wants to be a despot so badly! But all his ass-kissing is getting him nowhere, except in a corner with Sylvie and Gio, drinking wine. Probably for the best. Nobody here really needs to know what Cesare would do if handed the power of the supreme ruler of all the Lyceum; we've had one Procella, and do not need another. "Archduchess Saoirse," he toasts, raising his glass. Staring daggers at Cassiopeia.

"Archduchess Saoirse, long may she reign!" proclaims Baldessare, from the emeritus section.

Artorius has left the The Misconduct Couch.

2 Sea Rover Bodyguards leaves, following Artorius.

Sylvie gets a slender champagne silver sigil ring with a cat's eye crown from A trunk of rings.

"Why are you like this," comes Jaenelle's answer to his look. Thankfully Alarissa is here and she offers the woman a smile, "Lord Titus is a wonderful man, but he can not hold a candle to his cousin, the Archduchess Cassiopeia. Former," she adds as a guard moves over to present Saoirse a crown of her own and a deep bow. "Now we shall listen to the first proclamation from Archduchess Saoirse! Though I am sure I know what it will be. Something about books."

"Do not be predictable," Sylvie calls out in an advisory role towards Archduchess Saoirse. "/That/ is how they get you, in the Lyceum."

"Oh, you know my deepest heart very well," Saoirse says to Jaenelle. "And though a ruler doesn't reign with hearts and passions, you're not far off: I would... review the books to ascertain in what state I inherit the realm. I suppose that's not a proclamation, but how can I proclaim anything... without research." The princess fingers the crown on her head and taps it twice. Yeah, no one's getting this thing back. She turns and strolls, arms clasped behind her, toward a wall and leans against it idly.

"Questionable word choice," Gio murmurs, emptying his cup, leaving the last sip behind. The cup is left in the seat that he vacates, and with a momentary pause to preen - fingertip tracing the embroidery of a random wasp on his sleeve. "Make a name." His lips thin, "Ahead of time, I should say, I abdicate. In addition, I seek a throne that's not a throne." An aside, "It's a couch."

Cassiopeia has joined the The Impropriety Couch.

Titus bows to Alarissa that's coming over. "It's an honour to have you as a patron, your highness. As for ponies, I think we wouldn't have much use for them in Caldera, the jungles are too dangerous and the mountains far too steep and treacherous. They could go to a pool of nearly clear blue water only for them to be petrified with a sip. Not the place for noble beasts of Arvum."

Cesare looks to Sylvie and squints. He asides something to Gio, then swats him off on his way, and murmurs something to Sylvie as well.

As the new Archduchess is proclaimed, Dante steps to Saoirse's side with a hand on his sword's hilt, leaning next to her against the wall. Ever the faithful protege is he. "All hail Archduchess Saoirse and her one hundred year reign of wisdom and benevolence!" Booming it out from the depths of his broad chest, he nods in agreement. "Yes, we must ascertain if the last one's pony spree left it insolvent."

Gio has left the Grand Duchess Throne.

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

Sylvie laughs, a warm, bright thing as she smiles to Cesare. She offers him, not in a murmur, "I am quite used to co-ruling, as you know." She steps forward, towards Jaenelle as Saoirse retreats, and asks with mild innocence, "How would one seek to depose an Archduchess in this game? We need, after all, a decisive leader."

Noah looks at Jaenelle. "How would you have me be?" He rumbles deep in his chest. Then he looks over to the new Archduchess for a few longer moments. There may be a tick in his jaw but then he looks back towards Jaenelle. "Did I offer you food?" He will shift her (and himself) over towards the food. The question from Sylvie allows a moment pause.

Drysi, a young shaman apprentice leaves, following Khanne.

"Horse statues, a plenty." She offers her arm to the red eyed man, regarding the woman named as Archduchess now, to the two former rulers and then the words that spill from the mouth of her former protege. "If the previous Archduchess left it insolvent, one could simply just sell the ponies for meat. And horse hair to work dresses." Alarissa calls out.

"And there is your downfall," Jaenelle tells Saoirse. "Your inability to make decisions quickly and without question. Sometimes there is no time to research, no time to stop and question and consider every angle. Sometimes one must make a decision and lean against it. It is the one who wears the crown who often has to make difficult decisions without all the information, and only afterwards does one know when and if this decision was the best. It is only a blessing that humans do not live that long." Noah offers her food. He does like her, but his pause at Sylvie's question causes a grin. "Deposing of an Archduchess is easy. Most of the time we do it ourselves with little assistance from others. I have heard bridges work though, but only briefly." Now Alarissa is cooking the ponies left behind, and Jaenelle looks at Noah, "have you ever eaten a horse?" Sometimes one should know these things, especially if he is feeding her.

Saoirse has left the Shadowy Alcove.

3 House Velenosa Guards, Dreya, an older woman in Velenosan livery, Ailfryd, a tall, thin man with a haugty air leave, following Saoirse.

A crown is brought forth as Sylvie creates a ripple of question, the small seed of doubt can destroy even the most careful in the Lyceum. "To Archduchess Sylvie, may she not fall off things."

"I have eaten many things," Cesare says direly. "Horse is not among the types of meat I would recommend. It serves if desperate, but only then." He raises his eyebrows as Sylvie is crowned, looking tart, but politely says nothing else.

Noah shrugs towards Jaenelle to that one. "Who the fuck knows? I get a high a lot. I eat things." He shrugs his shoulders and then looks from one to the other. When Saoirse leaves, he looks towards Jaenelle. Then Sylvie gets crown. "Oh Gods, hopefully she doesn't state she's the best in seduction." He moves Jaenelle over towards the food. Do not deny pregnant women food.

The bold voice of Baldessare echoes throughout the hall from his spot in retirement. "Archduchess Sylvie, long may she reign!" He takes a swallow of wine and sinks back into the couch.

A soft breath of humor meets Jaenelle's answer as Sylvie inclines her chin. "Though, the person who employed a bridge did not fair well, in the end," she reminds Jaenelle. "And I, well, I would like to fair better." She now has the crown, though, and she slides a look towards Cesare, as she declares: "As ever, let us be strengthened by Unity! Archduke Cesare and I shall co-rule the Lyceum. He will make the rest of the decisions, but I will make this one proclamation," she announces. A smile sparks in her eyes, as she says: "Wanting anything for yourself is too selfish, utterly taboo. Therefore, talking about yourself should be abolished. No one can say I or me for the rest of our reign, or face our wrath."

Titus steps to the side of Alarissa and takes the offered arm. And yet another archduchess comes and goes, and a new one appointed as the great Sylvie. He bows his head slightly towards the new ruler of the Lyceum. "In Sangris, there are some blood feuds that are over one thousand years old. I'm unsure if they really understand how it started except for legend, but quite often we simply find another dead. Is it not an ancient Petrichoran saying, out of tragedy, strength?"

Titus gives himself a ceremonial strike on the face for being the first to fail Archduchess Sylvie's Law of I.

"Precisely," Cesare says, perking up a bit as promises made are honored. "And, for the strength of the Lyceum, for /our/ people, we hereby proclaim that the traditional manner of passing the crown is abolished: we will reign until someone can take the crown from us. Upon this foundation, our next act is to take the mountains of shit which have been left by our predecessor's ponies, and use them to build an island. The first new land, created by the Lyceum, upon which we shall settle, and raise crops, expanding our domain bloodlessly." He nods decisively. "Long may we reign."

Alarissa rests her arm in the crook of Titus. "How shall we take it from the co-rulers. Poison? Challenge?" Sotto voce and loudly. "Poison?" She revisits as she looks to the Whisper. "Or do we train the horses to trample them and fish the crown out from the mess left behind?" A glance to Sylvie.

"Whisper Cesare, how can you in one breath say to get the crown from you and then in another bloodlessly. You are to brash, encouraging and provoking those around you to challenge your words and rule," this said by Jaenelle who is lifting a piece of tart to Noah's lips after she has already taken a bit from it in the tradition of this is good, try some.

Sylvie has made her proclamation, and done her part. Perhaps if Cesare were Valkieri, if this were a true rule instead of a fake one, she would be stepping up to smooth the ruffles made by Cesare's decisions. She does not, however. She smiles, a laugh exhaled at Jaenelle's summary and a soft shrug made to Alarissa before she claims a new glass of wine and takes a slow sip.

"They rest on their laurels," Cesare replies to Jaenelle. "They think themselves brilliant." He points at Alarissa and Titus. "Co-conspirators against our good reign. They will be exiled to Pony Poop Island, from whence they will never return, but may spend their days working the land and thinking on their sins, and perhaps may one day understand what true fealty means. Who else has made a whole island? Who else has done our rule better?"

Jaenelle is trying to shut Noah up. Help. Help. He's being represssed! "Are you trying to silence --" Pause. He was about to say me. There is a pause that lingers. "--your husband? That is unkind to do. Besides, if you are going to silence him do it right. Since we are not ruling..." He shrugs his shoulders and dips his very pregnant wife to kiss her. They are just here for the food and the party. He does right her carefully to her feet and offer a few soft words.

Titus is apparently exiled to Pony Poop Island. He says to Alarissa, "Your highness, those who seek the path of no bloodshed live in a world of ideals and dreams. And I can say very surely that the world of the court with all it's etiquette and niceties is not the world that exists outside it. Nor the world beyond the walls. Ideals do not feed. It's not an ideal, hunger, nor need nor vengeance. But these things keep those who are abandoned outside the courts that are forced to fend for themselves and so by actions first steeped in good intentions, those plans now assist the great enemies that are waiting. I say we let them drown in bloodshed as they are soft in the embrace of ideals and dreams."

Princess Saoirse's hasty departure leaves Dante looking rather dismayed - there went the best chance for power by ingratiating himself with his patron. As things start to get dire - exiling to islands filled with horse excrement and all that - he begins to appear concerned. Andre slips him a letter with a whispered word, the Marquis nodding after reading it. Out of the shadows he strides up to Jaenelle to give her a bow. "Archduchess, I'm afraid I must leave and take care of some House business. Thank you again for the party and this fabulous ring." Afterwards, he heads out before he can be sent to toilet island.

Dante has left the Shadowy Alcove.

Andre, the messenger who can't even leaves, following Dante.

"Good thing he has left, otherwise this Archduchess might have had to consider banishing him for his use of offensive words," Sylvie offers in a light murmur.

"We're banished." Alarissa raises her brows. "Whatever shall we do upon this island." Letting them drown in bloodshed. "We agree then." Alarissa looks to the co-ruler. "We shall wait for your inevitable downfall, encourage your enemies to strike you, and then when they have done so and you are indeed, drowning in the blood of your ideals and dreams, we will stride forth to claim that which is ours. Your crowns."

"And we will wait for you to drown in pony shit," Cesare says blithely. "While we reverse our predecessor's proclamation regarding snow to strengthen our ties with our Northern allies, and expand our floral breeding program using the income from our newly formed Pony Poop Island, along with simultaneously tithing twenty percent of our calvary ponies to the Faith so they may outfit the Knights of Solace and Paladins of Gloria with our prestigious Lycene War Ponies."

Noah clears his throat and points over towards Titus and his use of I words. Snitch. Because he's not currently Archduke. "We await your wrath."

Cesare extends a hand toward Sylvie. Allowing her decision regarding Titus's punishment for FORBIDDEN WORDS.

"Oh!" Sylvie exclaims. The use may have gotten right past her, too, if Noah hadn't pointed. She pauses, frowning, telling Titus: "You have used a word that is expressly forbidden in the Lyceum. It is entirely too selfish. As such, you shall have to repent by showing your devotion to our Unity. You shall have to down an entire glass of wine, as quickly as you can, in as little gulps as you can!"

She adds, in a wry murmur, "Speaking of drowning."

Having retreated for some polite conversation out of the bustle of the room, Cassiopeia stands up having put down an empty glass. The young woman's attention drifts to the door, before she offers a practiced parting smile to those gathered. There is a little wave towards Cesare and Titus, a polite dip of her head to their hosts for the evening, before the Saffron Marquessa is eyeing the door for a quick and silent escape.

"The leader of the Lyceum knows some things as truth," Jaenelle begins as she listens to each side, shaking her head as she does. "Kindness is not a weakness. Kindness provied promises of favors owe. You keep banishing people you shall have no one to lead. Be generous but never stupid about such. Give when you are able to remind people that you can but never to harm yourself in the process. Show restraint, listen, wait, but never long enough that you are irrelevant and your power and position are never questioned due to time and distance. You have split yourself in two now, you no longer have the ability to rule over your subjects. Archduke Cesare, it seems like the island might break off and start anew."

Cassiopeia has left the The Impropriety Couch.

3 Proscipi veteran guards leaves, following Cassiopeia.

Titus the Exile glances to the tattletale Noah giving him a look. And now there's this punishment of probably poisoning. A gesture is given for a glass of wine which he takes with his free hand, the long white fingers clasping the base as he gives a wave goodbye to Cassiopeia. He drinks the wine slowly, savouring that redness but, those blood red eyes still are hungry and he still looks skeletal. "You've exiled your enemies to the very land you paid to build and then expect us to pay for your soldiers? Oh no. This shows that the lands are very valuable. We shall use these newfound riches to break away and pay mercenaries of mosquitos to pester you at night so you never have restful sleep. Always buzzing somewhere near your ear, but never in swatting range."

Titus checks luck at hard. Botch! Titus fails completely.

Titus is assassinated! Oh no! The wine, he looks at it as he drops to the ground with a clatter.

From the position where he stands regally, crown on head, Cesare arches a brow as Titus expires. "How unfortunate," he says, softly. Menacingly.

Noah pauses when Titus drops and looks around Jae to look at the bottle. It's not really concern so much as if maybe his poison did get into it. He then shrugs and goes back to eating tarts. "Glad this isn't our party. Death is always hard to come back from."

At the sound of clatter Baldessare leaps to his feet, his glass of wine discarded as he rushes into action towards the source, a hand moving reflexively towards his sword.

"Swear that was not meant to happen," Sylvie says, the phrasing slightly off as she avoids using certain words. "Quite sorry!" That is said to Titus, a smile catching on her lips. She introduces herself, clearly outside the bounds of the game, "Lady Sylvie Zaffria, pleased to meet you, my lord."

From the way he is moving, shoving people out of his way to cross the room, it seems abundantly clear that Baldessare had lost track of the narrative while chatting at the couch.

Jaenelle leaves Noah's side, taking a tart with her in the process. "That kiss was good," she tells her husband, "but these tarts are better." And if to prove her point servants come to package them incase she wished to bring them to bed instead of Noah. There isnt room for both. Moving towards the poisoned Titus, she places the last crown on his head, naming him the last Archduke of the evening. "Two Archduchesses have returned after being thought lost. I do not question the powers of the Lyceum leadership, for anything is possible in leading these people as they have reminded me over and over."

"Poison." Alarissa for a moment shows true concern when Titus drinks and drops, a look to Janelle then back to Titus as if unsure as to whether it is act, or poisoning in truth. These things do happen after all. But she moves forward as Baldessere moves to Titus's side. "A unity split, an act of aggression. Those who wished to rule in kindness, but kill?" Alarissa shakes her head. "We court those who would split. We whisper in their ears-" Her pale blue skirts slither over Titus' legs and ripple in her wake. "We turn those soldiers, we buy those mercenary's, we build the ships on our island of scat. "We show them what you would do to those who question you and cross you. You declare it can be taken by force only, not relinquished and so, we use the death of our Titus to seek revenge ten fold and bring an end to tyranny with man hands, swords, flaming piles of dried shit thrown from trebuchets. We make it the instrument of your demise."

She glances back to Titus then back to the Whisper. "We will keep, what we take and bury you in the warm shit." Though there's a wince each time she says the word shit.

Baldessare checks dexterity and athletics at hard. Baldessare is successful.

Cesare yawns, hand politely over his mouth. "Ruling is tiring," he says to Sylvie. "Or perhaps that's just all the - absurd amount of parties I have been planning lately. Apparently the beginning of autumn is the new season for parties. I can't say I disapprove. But I do, because it is taking up so much of my time!" That is on top of all the secret business which Sylvie probably also knows about.

Noah watches Jaenelle's rear quarters as she moves away to get tarts. "Hmmm?" Distracted tone before he moves in a more bored fashion towards Titus. His boot comes out to tap his ribs. It's /sort of/ light. Nudge. Nudge.

Death washes over the corpselike Warmonger who lays on the ground. Poisoned, there's whispers here being said. And Alarissa gives an excellent rousing speech for sure. And while Baldessare rushes forth, it's Jaenelle who does something as a crown is placed on the dead lord. Click, the blood red eyes open as new life comes. "And surely the rule we should take tonight is that we live lives worth living, for nothing in this life with riches or lands is taken with us except the stories we tell the great Queen who waits for us on the other side." He stands up.

"You have used quite a few forbidden words," Sylvie teases of Cesare. "Perhaps forgiven given your amount of tiredness. But let us accept that we've been replaced, overthrown by our own actions as we attempted to enforce our Unity. Long may Archduke Titus reign!"

Maybe it is just the tension of the current events, or anger at himself for letting his guard down despite being told to do so, Baldessare is charging into the fray at full speed. It is only at the last moment that he sees Jaenelle walking over to place a crown on Titus' head, directly in his path, and he achieves clarity. Somehow it must be Noah's fault. With all of his momentum bearing down on his much shorter, much pregnant liege, he has but one chance to avoid turning the night into utter catastrophe. He plants a foot to the side and whirls about in a sudden spin, pulling his momentum away as he glides past Jaenelle, leaping into the air from that planted foot to land on the other side of her, as if suddenly a ballet dancer. He allows himself a few more spins to wear it off before coming to a weary stop off to the side, somehow managing to keep his feet through the entirety of it.

"Oh no, I'll be exiled to Pony Poop Island to live a life of simplicity and quiet reflection," Cesare says mournfully. "How will I ever live among all the flowers grown by such amazingly fertile soil?" He clasps his hands together. "Perhaps I shouldn't have been such a desp?ooh ?" he watches Baldessare with an expression halfway between alarm and amazement, before applauding fervently for the smoove move.

And a crown brings back to life. Alarissa turns, offering a bow of her upper body to the new Archduke, faint relief that it was all playacting on his part and then brows lift as Baldessare's skilled twists and leaps keep him from bowling over her pregnant cousin. "All hail and long live Archduke Titus. Ruler of all." There's a wink from the Princess Consort.

Titus is overheard praising Jaenelle: The Lyceum is a place of subtle moves and wits sharp as blades, where bold moves come at a reveal that make you gasp like a last breath. It's in good hands.

"Alas. I shall have to exile myself now, as it were," Sylvie offers. Her gaze catches on Baldessare, surprised, but then she smiles towards Jaenelle. "Archduchess, thank you for this lovely party. We must meet soon, if possible." She curtsies to her, murmuring her goodbyes softly to Cesare, and then moving to leave the ballroom with a crown still on her head.

Noah notes the movements of Baldessare and suddenly there is movement from him. It's nothing short of quick too. The man moves when he needs to and it's very clear he's putting himself in position to be taken out by the Prince, or brutally take out the Prince. Even as Jae is safe, Noah's arms are wrapped around her and attempting to move her. There is also a very distinct growl emitting from him.

The spinning complete, Baldessare sighs for a moment, placing both hands on his knees as he exhales slowly. He looks up and spots Noah protecting Jaenelle, and nods slowly to him, putting up a hand as to beg pause as he catches his breath. "Sorry... thought that was..." He sighs. "I knew I shouldn't relax."

Jaenelle watches Baldessare run towards Titus as she is in the way, and then she isnt suddenly as Noah moves to stand before her as the human shield she married him for. Thankfully nothing happened and no one really dies, because Jaenelle is smiling warmly despite almost being run over at Sylvie, "anytime you wish, I am available." With the last of the crowns handed out, and the night coming to a close, the duty once more falls to the woman once more.

"Yes - it has been a wonderful party and you've given me such ideas for future Whisper House gatherings, Archduchess!" Cesare is back to his usual, non-despotic self. "And I too must adjourn to my home, as it's a long walk back across the city and I do not want to fall in a hole on the way there." He bows to anyone and everyone who looks like they need bowing to, and remembers just in time to take his crown off. "Thank you again, what a pleasure."

Titus adjusts some of his armour before he makes his way over to the side of Alarissa, a bow offered and silent offer to stand once more with her. "We have no actors in Sangris, but I thought one ought to commit themselves fully to the game to give it honour and the glory to those participating. If it was too offensive, perhaps I could offer a story and opportunity to go to the ruined but fabled rainbow caverns of Inder'danush and visit the regal palace of the Queens of the Coast."

Noah is overheard praising Jaenelle: Long Live the Archduchess of the Lyceum. There is no one that can capture the radiance of the sunlight like her smile. There is no one that is bold and powerful with respect. There is no other in all the world that can attempt to tame a Grayson Prince. It is only with the final breath that leaves my lungs that I will stop holding admiration for her. May that day not come for at least the next fifty years.

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