Art Mural Unveiling
Anyone and everyone is welcome to come see, regardless if they are in the Thrax Fealty or not. This will be a low-key event, but Denica hopes to inspire conversation and looks forward to sharing this work with others.
Feb. 4, 2023, 9 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Thrax - Crimson Square
Comments and Log
It's a beautiful spring day in Crimson Square, there's a subtle buzz of conversation between those already gathered. Attention is drawn to a wall covered by the sails. It is an art unveiling, of course. While a simple event, there is something about her that says this important to her. Dressed in a strapless tweed gown, it's designed to look like a paint-splattered canvas. And, for the most part, it is. Incorporating all the colours of the rainbow, the Face of Maelstrom looks a mix of emotions as she waits for people to come. They are offered drinks while they settle in. "Welcome, we will get started shortly. Please, help yourself to refreshments, mingle, say hello to your neighbours.," the princess Thrax encourages.
Ian stands a little off to the side along with Lucita, out of the way, where the two of them have been having a quiet conversation for a while now. He's probably here for this unveiling, but nothing about his demeanor speaks to that.
Lucita is standing over at the side of the Square as she talks in low tones to Ian. Her expression is that calm, serene superficial mask in which only the worry in her eyes shows what she is really feeling. She shakes her head and gives a little sigh as people start to gather. Her attention turns back toward Denica and those who are gathering.
The spring weather is invitation enough for some to come forth from their studies and hearths, and one such figure is Patrizio Pravus, who's meandered forth to see what it is that is to be unveiled. There's a warm smile, and the press of his palm to his chest as he dips his head to Denica at her greeting to all, before there's equal acknowledgement for others he recognizes, the playful twinkle to those jade eyes while he's moving to make sure he has a refreshment in the interim.
Jan might be here on purpose. Or maybe she's just stepping out of the Kay on the way to elsewhere and stops noticing the big To do. There is a brief sucking on her teeth while she contemplates while her gaze seeks for familiar faces. Lucita gets a warm smile and wave.
Mayir Grayhope is here, of course. There are free drinks! And Princess Denica! The hostess gets a waggle of fingers. But then she tells him to mingle and so he turns to the fellow near him. "Lord Ian," he says to the Kennex. "Are you ever going to drink at a bar appropriate for your social station or just keep hanging around our dive?"
Taking a moment to meander through familiar faces, Denica is offering smiles and returning waves. But it doesn't take long for her want to do what she is here to do.
Ian raises his eyebrows at Mayir. "That depends on whether Aethan breaks out the lecture about my being a disgrace to my family that I used to get from Marquis Ford and Lady Octavia," he says, his flat voice showing none of the dry humor that probably ought to be there. Assuming that was a joke. It WAS a joke, right? "I wasn't great about listening to them, but he can usually boss me around if he wants to."
Once everyone is settled and ready for the main event, Denica takes to the centre of the square, near the covered wall. Though she's little, Denica speaks with confidence and and volume. "Some of you might remember, the dinner where I asked people to share their stories of the Mourning Isles with me. I wanted to hear them and take that inspiration for a make art for you. And though it feels like that was forever ago, today I share and give it."
A brief pause, while Denica takes in a breath and nods to the guards who assist with removing the sails. "There were a couple themes I explored with this piece. Strength. Resilience. Who we are today and our hope for the future." There's a lot of emotion in Denica, and though they make her eyes watered, she is empowered by them. "I love my home. But, it's not just about the landscape or the sunsets or the endless sea. What do I love the most? The people. All of us. I could talk about greatness and there is plenty," the young woman says, "but what I want to say most of all, is how grateful I am. I'm ever inspired by what others do."
Denica looks at the art she's created in this space, letting the world see how it impacts her and her lips curl into a small, but genuine smile. "Thank you," she takes a little bow and looks to see what she's made as though for the first time.
Lucita glances from Ian to Mayir, nodding politely to the Grayhope. She gives a warm smile toward Jan as she spots the wave in her direction. "Princess Denica does such lovely art-work, am anxious to see what her current project has been about.
Denica drops a large wall mural painted with Mourning Isles imagery.
Jan moves to join the crowd gathering for a closer look. Fortunately she's taller than most other women and even a fair number of men so she's afforded a fair view "I missed what the occasion for this was." she confesses.
Moments pass when the mural is unveiled, and... Patrizio's voice is stilled, even as the glass is lingering at his lower lip, the way those jade eyes switch back and forth, taking in the sight of the mural. Before there's a low sound that slips from him, the turn of his head, before he lifts his glass in salute to Denica. "A masterpiece, your highness," he says, with no shortage of awe at the work that's been given to public view. "May it long be savoured by those of the Mourning Isles for whom it's intended as an honour and commemoration."
When the sheet drops in front of the mural, Mayir immediately begins to clap and then let out a loud wolf whistle for the creation. "Beautiful!" he calls out, whistling again. Then he looks around. "Oh. Are we not doing that?" He may not quite know the etiquette for fancy art gatherings.
Lucita says, "It is wonderful." She has to step closer to examine the details. "I wondered where the last shipment of Saikland glass to market went, it sold out so fast. Now I know. And it is a remarkable work of art in which the glass is used! Beautiful!"
Lucita is overheard praising Denica: Wonderful artwork!
Mayir is overheard praising Denica.
Jan is overheard praising Denica.
Ian is far enough out of the way, and short enough in stature, that he doesn't really get a look at the mural right away. and doesn't seem inclined to push his way to the front to do so.
After the art itself is unveiled, there's a lightness to Denica and she is full of light. Her excited voice says, "but it's not done! And I want all of you to help me with the last part," she points at the buckets of seashells. Each one is painted to match the mural. "Please, take a seashell, there's some glue, and I'm hoping you can help complete the sea bed," she points to a section of the wall. "There's no right or wrong way to do this, but I'd really like it if you help me," Denica says with encouragement in her voice.
Jan says, "Why would you want to take a fine word like this and let our grubby paws at it, princess?"
Patrizio arches an eyebrow, the twitch of a smile finding his lips, before he contemplates Denica at her encouragement. "Clearly, you've not seen my last attempt at 'arting', your highness," comes his voice, playful and light, but there's the handing off of his glass to one of his soldiers, before he's smiling a hint to Jan. "Come, General, let us be good sports about this. I trust her highness' judgement in having all of us participate in this piece, and you should as well."
A smile growing, Denica looks at Jan and then Patrizio, "art is expression, it is in all of us. I have complete faith in your gluing and placing skills," she says with an easy confidence. To Patrizio she adds, "perhaps being around Sebastian, has rubbed off, and you don't even know it," she winks at him. The princess walks over to the bucket and picks up a shell, so she can demonstrate to anyone wanting to watch. A jar is opened and she grabs a small flat piece of wood and starts to put glue on the backside of the shell.
"Oh, I was never good at arts-and-crafts in the Scholars' schools," murmurs Mayir as he goes to go deal with it gamely, nonetheless. He goes to grab a jar of paste and some shells, moving forward towards the mural. "It's not about the result!" he declares. "It's about the art of creation!"
Anyone who expected Ian to throw himself into this passtime hasn't spent much time with him, lately. He hangs back and watches.
Jan turns and looks around and brandishes a finger "You." in a voice of authority "If I'm expressing myself in public. So are you. C'mere."
Jan's finger crooks in a beckon.
Lucita says, "Honor to Jayus for the creativity." She says this as she glances over the shells and picks one. With utmost care she gets the edges of the scallop shell coated with glue and she sticks it in a place that is rather obscure, to the side and out of the main focus of the mural. Once done she dusts off her hands and yields her place to others. "Next!""
"Exactly," she echoes Mayir's enthusiasm with a bright smile, filling the cracks on the shell before walking over to the wall. Her smile grows as she watches Jan speaks with authority and orders Ian. "There's all sorts of seashells, you can pick the one that strikes you the most.
"I'd worry about what marks would rub off from Bas on me, your highness." Patrizio laughs warmly to Denica, but he too is moving to help with the placing of the shells, gluing and placing, as he's shaking his head playfully. Though there's a glance back to the others, and he bobs his brows to Lucita. "I only pray then that Jayus has more to guide my hands than for most mortals," he teases a little, but he's throwing himself into it.
Ian raises his eyebrows at Jan. "Funny, Aethan, you're looking a lot like Jan these days. I did say that you only mostly got to boss me around."
Jan says, "I have been in this world longer than you which gives me seniority. Get your bony ass over here and contribute." Her chin lifts and her eyebrows waggle "Or I might be forced to get creative."
Lucita glances up as a discrete messenger approaches. She reads the paper and sighs. "Seems I need to get back to the tower. Thank you for sharing that wonderful mural with us, Princess Denica.
1 Saik Guard, Micana, an efficient assistant leave, following Lucita.
5 Grim Legionnaires, Gustav, a gruff Islander advisor, Vladimir, a shaggy brindle Grim Wolfhound arrive, following Valdemar.
Patrizio pretends he's not listening in on Jan and Ian while they're squabbling a bit about how they're going to go about these things, before he chuckles, and just shakes his head. That he's not the Artist of Pravus seems not to be stopping him much, though he does gesture to his soldiers to hand over the glass for 'inspiration' while he's working.
Ian makes a show of very slowly unbuttoning his coat and slipping his flask from the inside pocket. Rather than, you know. Obeying Jan. "Dressing up as our cousin isn't filling me with a lot of respect, brother." He takes a purposeful 'I'm staying right where I am' drink from his flask.
Jan liiiifts an eyebrow, "Both hurtful and disrespectful. well fine." She bows to Denica, "Well I respect and appreciate this work of good will you've made time to do, Princess." She ambles over and stoops to inspect the supplies before grabbing a brush and dipping it in paint.
Approaching the wall with her colourful seashell, Denica looks back over her left shoulder at Ian and Jan. Their banter delights her and she's probably placing internal bets on who will cave first. Crouching down, Denica is careful of her paint-splattered gown, watching Patrizio and Mayir take part in the art delights her. The afternoon sun will no doubt help the glue quickly, but the princess really presses on the shell, holding there as she takes a look around beaming with appreciation. "I took some shells and I ground them up and mixed them with paint, for the wall." Then she looks at Ian, "Do Jan and Thea know each other? I feel this would be a good connection to make," she threatens gently.
Mayir is trying his best to put on the glue carefully. He really is. But he gets some of it on his fingers. And then he is wiping the fingers on the wall, and then he is putting on a shell, but then he needs to put on another bit of glue, and then puts on a shell. There! A shell is on!
Ian narrows his eyes, mid-drink, at Denica's suggestion. He looooooowers his flask. "If you introduce them, I'm laying what happens afterward at your feet."
Valdemar arrives late, dressed all in blue as he gets there. The first thing that catches his attention is, of course, the large mural. Approaching the cluster of people gathered in front of it, he inclines his head in silent greeting to those who are present, but he doesn't speak up just yet, instead watching to see what is happening first.
A step back, with that glass in hand, and Patrizio's briefly considering that contribution of his to the mural, with a glance that speaks to his /not/ being an artist. "I don't think I ruined it, at any rate," voices he with a chuckle, but there's a glance to Valdemar, noticing the man's approach, and a gesture. "You might as well come and join, my lord, before her highness charges you more forcefully with helping to complete her work here."
Jan turns and eyes Ian "Iiiiiinteresting." She applies some shells as well, following the example of others "So what I'm hearing is that I should messenger this Thea person."
"I can't make any promises," Denica says innocently, watching the seeds she sow to take bloom and she winks at Jan. There's an encouraging smile as Mayir tries to get the shell on the wall, when it is a success she grins. "Nicely done," then she is looking over at Patrizio and gives him a resolute nod to his shell gluing skills. As he invites Valdemar to join, she waves her fingers at him. "Please join us, Duke Grimhall, pick your favourite shell and there's lots of glue," the princess says with a welcoming and warm smile. "I needed a bit of help to finish my art," she glances at the mural. "This is great!," she says energetically to everyone. "Thank you," she says suddenly struck by her storm of emotions.
Ian points a silent, accusatory finger at Denica before putting his flask away again, and re-buttoning his coat.
Jan says, "You brought this on yourself, cousin. How hard would it have been to come put a little bit of shine on this wall?" she grumbles "Lucky he's a slippery lil turd. He can'"
Jan says, "Can't outrun him but I definitely can't hold onto him."
Chuckling at what Patrizio has to say, Valdemar then nods at Denica's invitation to join in. "That didn't seem /too/ forceful," he tells the Pravus Prince with a slight grin as he steps forward to look for a shell. Picking out a broken piece of some sort of spiral-shaped shell, he begins applying glue to it as he looks toward the Thrax Princess, telling her, "The mural came out beautifully, your Highness. Thank you for sharing your talent with us." Once he has what seems to be enough glue on the shell, he sticks it to the wall.
"For the moment, she's being gentle about it. She's not threatened to glue you to it as part of her mural." This comes with a wink by Patrizio to Valdemar, and a glance to Denica, as if to invite such a threat while he's having fun with the helping of the completion of the thing. Though there's another glance over towards Jan and Ian.
There's something to be said for being beyond anything short of a small army's ability to bully. Ian seems unconcerned as he watches the final touches on the mural take shape.
Jan resists the urge to be cheeky and just tries to compliment the work of the others with clear evidence she doesn't know what in blazes she is doing.
Patrizio's comment to Valdemar makes Denica's thick eyebrows wiggle deviously, as though to play along with the ruse but she can't help but laugh. To the prince she says, "your Highness, that's art! Now we are really getting into it!," she encourages them all around. Her smile beams graciously and the compliment, "I think...I got more from this, than anyone," she says of the art. There's a quick breath as the princess feels a swell of emotion. Then she goes and gets another shell, "I've never tried to attach people to my art," she considers this further. "Though, I made people into living statues once, that was a lot of fun. I am surprised people continue to trust me," she shrugs with a good-natured smile.
"Did I already miss her making that threat? I wish I'd gotten away from the longhouse sooner," Valdemar asks with amusement in his eyes as he looks for another shell. Nodding slightly at what Denica says of getting more than anyone else from the mural, he finds another shell, this one smaller and whole, but dark enough in color to be nearly black. A laugh then escapes him at the talk of living statues before he begins applying glue to the shell he just chose.
Jan stops and looks over her shoulder "That either sounds really twisted or really..ah..." unable to find the word that she wants she simply says "Nice." She gives Denica a thumbs up before pausing to inspect her work. She ahaaahhs "That explains..." She looks over at Ian.
Swirling the glue with the stick, she creates a little swirl on the back of another shell, wandering towards the wall. "There's always a threat of something, when Thrax hosts," she seems certain of this. Denica is in her element, watching as people take part in the creative process she devotes her life to. The smile on her face is bright and genuine, it lights her up. "This looks really great," she admits the seabed that's formed at the bottom of the wall. Jan's comment gets a light laugh and she shrugs a little, "maybe, both?," she says uncertain but probably right. There's a good-natured tone to her voice and she holds a shell to the wall. "It's nice to spend some time together, it feels like," she looks at the mural briefly, "like ships passing on water. The storm is coming, I'm glad for this moment," she says to those gathered there, radiating her appreciation for it all.
A warm laugh slides from Patrizio, before there's that cluck of his tongue. "I think that this is perhaps my cue to abscond once more back to my offices, to see what it is that awaits me. Given that it is very likely /not/ art." There's another playful dip of his head to Denica, then to the others, before he murmurs, "Thank you all for having me."
3 First Legion Centurions, 3 Setarcan Royal Shields leave, following Patrizio.
The weather prediction given by Denica creases Ian's brow in a faint frown. He scans the street, like he expects said storm to happen just... right this second. Which it (hopefully) doesn't.
Jan steps back and ambles over towards Denica. She bows "Try not to worry. It does no good." she turns then and makes her way towards Ian "Besides. Everything that came before has failed to make mankind past tense. Apparently when you look at the timeline on grand scale their record is SHIT."
"That is one way of looking at it," Valdemar speaks up after Jan, while sticking his second shell to the wall, "We're a stubborn lot, humanity, and we've survived a great deal over the centuries. We will likely continue to do so for some time to come, even if they don't make it easy for us."
Having waved good-bye to prince Patrizio, it is Jan's words that catches Denica's attention and listens thoughtfully. "What keeps me from worrying, is living life so fully in the present. Each day, taking it for all it can offer.," she considers the art, taking a step back from the mural and the additional art they've collectively made. The princess lets out a slow breath, with shoulders relaxing then, having had just a little edge of nerves all afternoon. Now, she seems content and at peace. "I feel hopeful," she says glancing up at the blue sky. "I think there will always be a reason to fight, I don't think that will ever change, but I'm hopeful we will always keep fighting."
Ian quirks an eyebrow at Jan, but whatever prompted the expression, all he says is: "You're right, of course."
Jan fishes out a flask of her own "See? You know what's up." she lifts her flask towards Denica "Well said highness." she looks to Ian "What? I smell a but in there."
5 Grim Legionnaires, Gustav, a gruff Islander advisor, Vladimir, a shaggy brindle Grim Wolfhound leave, following Valdemar.
This is a good time for a drink, and of which there are plenty. Denica fetches a simple shot of vodka and a raw oyster, before she walks back to catch Ian's response to Jan.
Ian shakes his head solemnly to Jan. "If I'd meant to say 'but', I would have." After that, he takes a step back and leans against the wall.
A small smile forms, taking a moment to appreciate the interactions of family, she reaches for another shot.
Pete, a Grayhope account manager have been dismissed.
Jan looks to Denica "He thinks I'm an idiot. Well. And Naive. A naive idiot." She shrugs and sighs melodramatically "Family." before tilting her flask up against her lips.
Server Announcement: Server Message of the Day: The game has had a catastrophic data failure requiring a reboot from the last save, which was three weeks ago. All game data since February 4th has been lost. Please see the post on the News bb for more information. Staff is working to restore what we can from logs, but it will likely be a few days so any non-critical requests should be held until we can get that done.
Victory for the loyalists! But not without cost. The events of the second battle at Sungreet are sure to remain ingrained in the participants' brains for eternity, no matter how much they'd wish to scrub the memory. It had seemed an easy victory in the beginning, given the dwindling forces of the traditionalists thanks to the diplomatic efforts that had prompted a ceasefire from many traditionalists houses in the wake of Prince Dagon's death and numerous losses. Houses Dredcall, Nightcove, Lostlan, the Darkwater rebels and some minor baronies seemed willing to keep the fight going. Even if they were to lose, they would lose with honor knowing that they served a righteous cause...
While Waldo's arrival was not a complete surprise given many had expected a confrontation with the so-called 'Anti-Dominus' at some point. Very, very few had expected him to arrive heralded by a storm cloud (which no scholar had predicted) and few hundred ships bearing shavs with their unfamiliar emblems. What had come as even more of a surprise is that the shavs began to fire on their traditionalist 'allies' as well as the loyalists. What had proceeded was a blood bath. Some captains began to drop dead from some malady and/or drown, depending on who tells the tale. Some insist that the malady had caused spontaneous dehydration and that the were drownings due to the expelled bodily fluids but others are pretty sure this madness brought on by shock. Still, they do not seem inclined to rethink what they saw, even after the fact.
The shav ships did not fare much better as an unseen assailant, shrouded by the mist, tore many of their number to shreds in increasingly grotesque ways that many struggle to describe. The assailant seems to have seen the murders as a form of 'artwork' and no one has yet claimed them as their own.
A turning point came when numerous traditionalists, realising their hopes of an honorable victory were lost given their Anti-Dominus was allying with their dreaded enemies, were swayed to side with the loyalists to defeat the shavs and the anti-Faith. All but Nightcove. For while these impassioned pleas were being expressed, Countess Ember Redreef expressed her desire to butcher Admiral Anders Nightcove, followed by the man, along with his soldiers', subsequent drowning. Or as some more imaginative folk would claim, 'dehydration followed by melting into a puddle of goo'. The Nightcove forces, horrified by this turn of events, turned their rage to the Redreef fleet, keen on vengeance for their Admiral's demise. The strange Orazian Loyalists known as the Orazian Sentinels has snuck into battle with Waldo's fleet, only to turn on the man's forces for vengeance for their beloved Dominus.
With a majority of the traditionalists turning their attentions to the shavs and Waldo, Nightcove locked in battle with Redreef and Eswynd, the Orazian Sentinels attacking and overtaking the anti-Faith's fleet, luck seemed to turn around for the loyalists. After an extended and excruciating fight, the Anti-Dominus' ship was overrun and Waldo was brought before High Lord Victus himself. Between calls for justice (in whatever form) from the Orazian loyalists, a fair trial from some of the loyalists and a swift execution from others, Victus had quite a selection of choices. Admonishing Waldo for his acts that had claimed the lives of many, the High Lord swiftly brought his alaricite axe down and freed the man's head from his body, hanging the head on the prow of his ship on his return home.
Traditionalist forces were given the choice of kneeling and swearing to end thralldom in their domains or face a similar justice. Around 30% of their forces had refused to fully submit and were executed to send a message that the High Lord takes abolition very seriously. The surviving Nightcove forces had retreated, presumably to their domain, and seem to be the sole traditionalist house that refuses to submit.
All, in all, it was a successful, albeit costly and very, very confusing endeavor.
Given Arx's location so very near the sea, storms are not unusual, especially during the shift of spring into summer. So, at first, no one seems concerned when dark clouds gather out at sea. As usual, the citizens of the city hunker down and prepare to wait out the storm, which is usually mercifully brief.
Yet as the dark clouds sweep over the city of Arx, the strength of the storm is something of a surprise as heavy rain, strong winds, and rumbling thunder make the city streets almost impassable save for the bravest and most determined of travellers. Even worse, the storm lingers, leaving some ships stranded on the docks and preventing the arrival of other ships. Even worse, there are some ships that are missing and have not been accounted for, along with their crews.
The stormy weather is the most common topic of conversation whether it be lamenting a flooded garden or speculating on when the storm might end. Temples in the city see an increase in activity as some choose to beseech the gods to turn off the rain for a bit so that the city can dry out, particularly as the storm rages on and there seems to be no end in sight...
Arx endures the strength of the storm, but the longer that those dark clouds drop endless rain on the city, the more its people begin to suffer the consequences. Flooding and accidents are rampant. While the upper parts of the city also have to deal with the excessive water, no part of the city floods worse than the Lowers and, by extension, the Pravus Ward. Only the valiant efforts of the Lowers denizens keep that part of the city relatively safe while the organization of House Pravus and its vassals do the same for their Ward.
The closed markets, empty for days due to the storm, mean that many merchants and middlemen suffer the economic cost of the storm as well. They aren't the only ones. Dockworkers cannot work in the thundering rain and miss their wages. Ship captains with perishable goods in their ships' holds face financial loss, maybe even ruin. Even the highest eschelons of the city are not spared as the flooding leaves some of the great manors and compounds of the wealthy almost uninhabitable.
Many citizens turn to the gods in such a time. The shrines of Mangata, Gild, and even the Sentinel are crowded with far more supplicants than usual. The Faith may appreciate the increase in the faithful and their generous donations, but even the clergy begins to fear that if their prayers aren't answered soon, the people might begin to blame the gods for the deluge instead.
After a night of the strongest winds and fiercest rain yet in the course of the storm, the dawn comes with sun and the beginnings of blue skies as the dark clouds sweep back out to the sea. Now that messengers are able to reach out to the further reaches of the Compact, it becomes apparent that the rest of the kingdom did not suffer from such a storm. People might find it strange and, perhaps, privately wonder if this is the response of the gods to the recent conflicts that have rocked the Mourning Isles, but as the city of Arx begins to recover from the damage of the storm, most don't try to wonder too hard about the cause as much as cleaning up the aftermath.
Back to list