Nov. 3, 2023, 8 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Lyceum - Embassy of the Scales - Cavaedium
Comments and Log
Alphonse, a long-suffering assistant, Maggie, an energetic Mistward Labrador arrive, following Adalyn.
Comedenti, the Calderan Bearded Vulture arrives, following Titus.
2 Pravus Honor Guard arrives, following Galatea.
6 First Legion Centurions, Sparrow, an enthusiastic and bubbly assistant arrive, following Renata.
3 House Velenosa Guards, Renault, Timothe arrive, following Theo.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Cynara before departing.
3 Black Fleet Reavers, Moonsilver, the pale-feathered raven arrive, following Raven.
Alphonse, a long-suffering assistant, Maggie, an energetic Mistward Labrador leave, following Adalyn.
Lianna, Berthold, 3 House Riven Soldiers, 1 Bisland pride guards, 1 Greenwood Tribe Blood Warriors arrive, following Mia.
Titus has joined the Ferocity Couch.
Half-Mast, a surly-natured little person arrives, following Arthen.
While the Embassy usually favors shades of red and gold in decor, the Tribune's preferred hues, today the Embassy is draped in white. White banners float from the glass ceiling and white ribbons are tastefully festooned here and there on statues and archways. Even the furniture has been covered in white silk drapong. Mourning does not mean a lack of lavishness, though. The chairs and furniture, white of course, are arranged near the center of the vast indoor garden and, even now, with Spring and Summer several dreams away, it smells of sweet and spicy exotic flowers and citrus tang of fruit-laden trees. Cynara stands just off to the side of where the gathering is meant to begin as an army of servants wait to fulfill whatever needs the attendees bring along with their grief. She is dressed in white as well, which makes the rich ruby red of her hair and lips even more vivid than usual. Burnished gold eyes sweep over those that begin to enter the Cavaedium, her own expression somber and, strangely, wary as well.
Angelica slips into the cavaedium, her expression somber. Even with the jaunty tilt of her hat and her fine clothing of Cloudspine cashmere, she cuts a serious figure at the edges of the crowd. Her whisky-hued eyes scan the room, taking in faces, those she recognizes and those she doesn't. The carved graven of her large sword (whose hilt juts out over her shoulder) catches the light as she shifts on her feet. There's a white ribbon tied just above her right elbow, the band wide and rich; an acknowledgement of loss and grief.
Katarina brings with her the regal bearing of a diplomatic attendee at a state funeral. The only signal that she might be feeling anything deeper than a carefully cultivated expression of 'what etiquette deems the /correct/ amount of somberness' is that she keeps bringing her hands together in front of her lap. Fidgeting. Playing with her rings. One hand gripping the other and gently squeezing. All of it's very discreet, of course. But it's there, for anyone who happens to look down as close to the ground as Katarina's lap is, situated as it is atop her stubby little short-girl legs.
Raymesin steps into the pristine white of the draped room, and rather stands out as he does so, as a tall and slender figure in neat black leathers marked with a spider-and-knife sigil. He inclines his head deeply to those already present, then withdraws to one side to contrast with the scenery, expressionless and more-or-less impassive. It is, after all, difficult to lurk in the shadows when all the surroundings are white.
Alphonse, a long-suffering assistant, Maggie, an energetic Mistward Labrador arrive, following Adalyn.
Galatea seems for now determined to be as inobtrusive as possible, at least as much as one can manage when bedecked in sparkling starsilk. Her eyes dart about the funereal splendor of the hall, holding eye contact with familiar faces to offer a nod--Sydney, Medeia, Renata, Raven, to name a few--but with the wholly resplendent and supernatural figure of Cynara yet to say or do anything, she rather looks like she's just...waiting. Waiting for something to happen. Perhaps with a touch of dread, like one couldn't imagine a memorial service not involving some fresh crisis or portent.
Lucita is dressed in warm clothing to help counter the wintery weather outside. As she enters the room, a glance sweeps over the white silken decor and finally travels toward Cynara. A respectful nod is given her, her expression solemn. She steps to the side as others begin to arrive and slowly starts to remove her gloves, one finger at a time before folding her hands one into the other at her waist.
The woman a few of the gathering have known as Talu stands next to and slightly behind Cynara, her own eyes - flat gray, mostly - regarding the entrants with a certain mixture of caution and mild suspicion that she can't entirely hide. She looks markedly different in one particular aspect from previous appearances: her gray hair, such a strange contrast to her obvious youth, is now shot through with streaks of brilliant silver, as if it were simply determined to *seem even older*...but there's a vibrance about it that hasn't been there before.
She too is wearing white, with two very notably exceptions: the first are the fireweave traveling boots that she's worn before. The second is the strange partial jacket that drapes across her shoulders and down her arms - a jacket seemingly made of alaricite scales.
Medeia did not get the memo about white. Instead, she has chosen an outfit that makes her look like a fire as she moves, light flickering like flame over the amber silk and neodymium brocade of her gown. Though she enters with her head held high, the Saik lady shares some of Cynara's wariness. Her hazel eyes sweep the room and, sighting the ruby-haired woman, her steps falter. She stops walking entirely. Then, almost as if nothing had caused her pause at all, she continues her path forward, closer to Cynara, where she stops a respectful distance away and greets her. "Lady Cynara, thank you for inviting us into the embassy to share in honoring the late Tribune. I am deeply sorry for your loss."
Titus represents the southern lands of the Caldera, dressed in formal military attire of white flames encasing a crimson drop. There is though an arm band worn of Livy colours. Here to show a physical display of support to one who has passed.
Nurie has opted for simplicity, a gown of pale silk that seems perfectly tailored to her willowy form, white silk gloves to cover her hands to the elbows, a simple shawl to drape her shoulders and cowl over her head. Her dark hair is pulled back into a draped braid. Her demeanor is calm, but she doesn't bother to hide the grief in her dark eyes. She takes in the room wordlessly, a measured breath taken in and then released as if to settle herself.
Medeia checks composure at normal. Medeia is successful.
Renata is slow to find a spot within not watching her step as she looks around to the white sheets only to stop mid step before soft word with assistant as a blush rises over her cheeks and she's fidgeting to press to the blue hued seasilk she wears. Taking in a deep breath to find a spot where she can listen and be unobtrusive.
Sydney picks her way around the fringes of the crowd to secure herself a nearby but unintrusive place. Her long hair a shattered memory, the intricate comb that she wears in her hair looks utterly out of place. It doesn't stop her from donning it, the gold gleaming against her scarlet hair. Two inset duskstones, shimmering with the starlit promise of twilight. Her demeanor is uncharacteristically rigid. Stiff. She does catch Galatea's glance and nod tightly, but her attention is quick to drift back to Cynara. Silence has a hold over the gregarious pugilist, today.
Faye filters in with the others who are arriving, giving a curious look around the room. She sees friends around and gives them a nod, as well as othes she might have seen out and about. When she spots Katarina, though, she steps over to the woman and stands beside her, glancing over to her with a knowing look.
Sydney takes an intricate comb of gold set with exquisite shimmering Duskstones from a pale dragon chest.
Theo comes in. Deep blue eyes take in the grouping that has come to pay their respects. He's quiet. For any who may recognize him they are given a nod of acknowledgement. He is also dressed for warmth and in dark. Studying Cynara as she has a commanding presence in the room it's not hard to want to look at her. Moving silently to find his seat.
Raven files in without fanfare in respectful silence. Her gaze sweeps the room and those gathered here with some interest as she tucks herself in somewhere out of the way.
Jasper is here out of equal proportions of curiosity and to offer his respects in a quiet fashion, even if he doesn't know the departed. He wears simple silk clothes, with the least worn cloak he posseses worn over his figure. With a nod in respect to their hosts, the Steelhart seems to prefer to give others precedence for the meet and greet component of this memorial, instead regarding the monument in marble with a contemplative look.
Caspian comes in quietly, also having missed the memo about color selection. muted browns and blacks are all he wore as he smiled warmly to those he knew. He looked to Cynara as he entered then, offering a bow before moving to the side to not crowd the doorway. He was by far not the fanciest, and clearly in the wrong color, but he did bear a somberness that matched the tone of the event, though it was the mourning of one who refused to let the loss diminish life.
Jaenelle slips in and moves off to the side to be a silent witness without getting in the way or requiring much attention. She nods towards those she knows in greeting as she walks towards a gathering of chairs in the back of the room.
Arthen Dayne arrives just about right on time, or as on time as a man like him can get, Half-Mast at his side, and before he finds a seat for himself he makes his way over to Cynara to have a couple of quiet words with a solemn look on his face. Only after does he pick a place to sit down, joined by his diminutive personal assistant.
Adalyn moves into the room, her green eyes taking it all in, she missed the memo about what to wear and colors. She is dressed in leathers of blue and black, her eyes looking over those who have gathered. She moves off to the side, moving over to where Medeia is and touches her elbow gently with a quiet smile letting her know she is there with a silent hello.
Once, many years ago -- almost a lifetime, it's starting to feel like -- Mia Riven served as one of the Crown's diplomats, send to far-flung corners of Arvum carrying messages on behalf of the King or convincing a tribe of shav'arvani to bend the knee. It's that old visage that she wears now, the calm diplomat thrust into the homes and courts of a people whose customs she knows better by books than by practice, here to mourn the passing of a woman she met only twice, but who meant a great deal to so many. But it's only her own Houses colors she wears now, the bright blue and white of Riven heraldry, the rich greens of the rivermarshes and the forest beyond. She's wrapped in leather, though, not in silk, and the sword at her hip is peaceknotted in the same white cord she has tied around her upper arm in honor of the late Tribune.
Nurie's gaze moves over to Sydney, and at that there's a ghost of a gentle smile. Dark eyes move to Cynara too, lingering there. She doesn't approach yet, but her expression softens a little, buoyed by some sort of internal strength, her hands clasping lightly in front of her, still gloved.
Lucita moves closer to Medeia to give her a reassuring touch on the arm then turns toward Cynara in a gentle melodic tone says. "I do not know your usual customs in such sad circumstances but must offer condolences." She has a quiet demeanor as she then withdraws to head toward a seat in the back near Jaenelle.
Jaenelle has joined the Cunning Couch.
Lucita has joined the Cunning Couch.
Cynara's eyes glide over those who enter, almost as if assessing them. Arthen is given a nod and a few words in return. Though she doesn't smile, something softens in her expression in the wake of whatever he says to her, regardless. She looks over her shoulder and murmurs to Talu before she looks back over those who are gathered and moves to the relative front of the group to clear her throat and say, "Thank you all so much for coming. I will admit, I am not sure how to hold a funeral. For my kind, we don't really celebrate death the way that mortals do. But we -do- grieve, contrary to what some might believe. Petraea was not the first Familiar I have ever lost." This time, she looks almost directly at Medeia, holding her gaze for a moment, before she looks away to sweep her eyes over the crowd once again. "I doubt she will be the last. But each of those losses, they were painful. I am sure that there are ways of forming such a bond without loving those who you claim as a Familiar, but I am incapable of it, as time as shown." Cynara almost smiles at that. "Petraea did not always make that easy. She was secretive. Moody. Prone to fits of temper. She was perhaps one of the most skilled liars that I ever met. Once, I asked her if she believed her own lies and she just smiled, winked, and walked away."
Cynara draws in a breath and continues, "But she was also brave, foolishly so. Selfless, but would never confess it. She loved The Compact more than she would ever admit to anyone. When we knew what was coming, what could happen to Arx, she told me what she planned to do. She wanted to buy all of you time by giving up hers. Not just for the battle, but for all the threats that you face. It was hard to allow it. How often was she met with suspicion? How often did the same people she wanted to save break her heart? In the end, how could I stop her? That she, of all people, would give her life for this idea of the Compact, for the -people- of the Compact... it tells me that she saw something worth saving. In honor of her sacrifice, The Scales reaffirm our commitment to the protection of the Compact. She bought all of us time. We intend to use what she gave us wisely." She looks out over the crowd once more, "If anyone would like to say a few words, please feel free."
9 First Legion Centurions, 3 Setarcan Royal Shields, Valencia arrive, following Patrizio.
Jaenelle has joined the line.
Dacian has joined the line.
Angelica has joined the line.
Thesarin follows in with Mia, walking by her side with a look of stern solemnity that, at least, can be said to come naturally. He's dressed in blue and white to match his wife, but while his wife has chosen a martial style, he's come in silk and linen with long sleeves and high collars that nearly hide the tattoos on his wrists and neck. He steps in as Cynara speaks, listening with the respect appropriate from a man at a stranger's funeral.
Sydney has joined the line.
Turn in line: Jaenelle
Katarina offers a sidelong look and a discreet nod to Faye. A funeral really isn't the place for hugging and oh-it's-been-so-long-how-ARE-you and the other social customs that tend to get compressed and crushed into things like glances and arm-pats under the weight of another's death. Her golden eyes cast back toward Cynara as she listens. She's still playing with her hands, still wiggling her signet ring this way or the other. Deliberating, within herself, whether to get up and say something.
Katarina has joined the line.
Tavalu tips her head just a little bit to what Cynara murmurs to her, and whatever that was, she looks over the crowd now, careful still, but with an air of assessment rather than her previous caution. It takes her a moment to respond to the other woman, but she does so, without looking away from the gathered.
Lucita has joined the line.
Raymesin has joined the line.
Medeia turns her attention to Adalyn, offering a faint smile and a quick kiss to the cheek of greeting for the Clement lady before she rests a hand on Lucita's arm in return. She gives the baroness a dip of her chin as she moves away. Then, the lady is looking back to Cynara, transfixed as she speaks. Gaze met and held. One hand lifts to press over her heart before bowing her head and retreating to give others room.
Jaenelle stands and clears her through before she speaks, "I had the pleasure of working with Lady Petraea. She and I created an alliance between the Lyceum and the Scales, and it was something I value and will continue to till I die. I admired her, and the way she conducted herself, she was one of the few people that I found intimidating when we first met as we danced around one another to come to the terms of our agreement. I fear that I, that the Compact, came out better in the end and without her and her people there would be much fewer of ours. We can never repay her, or those who died beneath her command, for all that they assisted us with in are darkest times of need, but we can keep fighting with the spirit and fearlessness that Lady Petraea showcased each time she faced anything difficult." She pauses and motions outside, "there is a momument for Lady Petraea outside. An eternal flame which will burn forever to remind us of all she did."
Medeia has joined the line.
Something Cynara says makes Nurie smile though her eyes still shimmer, and it widens as she mentions believing her own lies. She closes her eyes at the mention of buying time, and nods, that too bringing a soft smile lingering on her lips, even though when she opens her eyes and stubbornly wipes away tears with her gloved fingertips, there's a glimmer of resolve in her gaze too. Even a little pride, all mixed up with loss still.
Renata's gaze is transfixed to how Cynara moves and commands the room. Even as it's a memorial of a life she crosses her hands before her to bow her head before stepping back to watch further into the crowd than to stay out front.
Turn in line: Dacian
Tavalu has joined the line.
Sydney lowers her head at Cynara's words, and she briefly tugs the hood of her cloak up over her head. It doesn't fully obscure her from scrutinizing eyes, but it does allow her a modicum of privacy for the few moments she desires it. When she eases back the hood only a half-minute after, her jaw's set, head uptilted.
The tradition of those of the Pravusi line being late to things is, indeed, well-sustained by the arrival of Patrizio Pravus, clad in his house's familiar steel-and-blue, though favouring much the steel side of the ensemble for the evening as befits the somber occasion, as are those of the familiar guard that accompany him through the streets, and another figure with them to make fourteen for a change. Though on entering the room, the archduke does step to one side, conveying Valencia with him as if to give moments for proper respect and gauge the order of things for the evening.
Briar, the fleet and agile shrike, Alejandro, a gravely sober middle-aged Torean arrive, following Aconite.
Titus has joined the line.
Dacian is in the crowd to hear the farewell of such a Familiar as Petraea was to Cynara, and when the floor becomes open to speak, he presses forward to say a word. His hair is tied back in a tight knot at the back of his head and his clothing is refined in the way a man who doesn't have to worry about riches would be adorned, stylish, classy, a bit on the Cardian style side of things. He might be unknown to most, save for those who frequent the market, but he addresses the crowd, but most of all shows a deepened respect to Cynara for her loss, "The mercantile House Publius, who stand with the Scales, pays our respects, as they are owed." He fishes from his pocket a singular object, something that catches the eye, a gleam, a sparkle, the morbidity of a moment wept being held in a beautiful stone. "I was going to donate this to Lady Petraea to use for her causes, to garner a more genuine response of those who need to be moved so, but I feel it is right of me to offer it to you, now, to gift forward, to destroy in her honor, to impart on whomever. If it pleases you, of course." In his hand, as he bows his head slightly, is a precious thing, what the call Dragonweep.
When Jaenelle speaks Theo gives his attention there. His head bowed in respect as he listens carefully to Jaenelle's words. Hands clasped before him and nodding slightly.
Caspian nods his head as Jaenelle speak, her words echoing in the hall as he smiled softly. His hands folded behind his back and watched. his eyes flickered to the line, a hesitation there for a moment. Then he seemed to make up his mind, moving to join the line.
Caspian has joined the line.
Aconite slips in quietly so as not to disturb the current speakers. The Radiant Whisper takes note of the queue before making her way over to a quiet spot to watch, for now.
Aconite takes Shiraz at Sunset, a decadent bouquet from a simple perfume cabinet.
Briar, the fleet and agile shrike, Alejandro, a gravely sober middle-aged Torean leave, following Aconite.
Briar, the fleet and agile shrike, Alejandro, a gravely sober middle-aged Torean arrive, following Aconite.
Cynara whispers to Tavalu and then redirects her gaze to Jaenelle as the Archduchess speaks. Cynara bows her head before she lifts it to say, "Our alliance did not die with the Tribune, I promise. Thank you for the eternal flame. We will make sure that it is displayed where all can see." Dacian's approach is met with a curious nod that turns into a nod of respect as he gives the name of his House. After he speaks and offers his gift, she finally does smile, sadly, as she accepts the gift, "You have our thanks. House Publius has long had a fruitful and properous relationship with House Livy. Your presence here honors that bond."
Turn in line: Angelica
Angelica steps forward, the stoic woman speaking when it's her turn, voice of velvet and gravel, gaze level and calm as it moves around the room.
"Petraea and I had very little in common." Her lips quirk, dark eyes alight with warmth. "Not that you need to, to be lovers. As tempestuous as a forest fire in a windstorm, she was unpredictable, to me." A pause. "I think that is why I liked her and what we had; we always took each other by surprise, and whether it was conversation, disagreements, spars, or magic, it was never boring."
She goes quiet a moment, and then Angelica is pulling off her hat, her long, dark braid swinging loose to her hips. "I admired her strength and her passion, her clever mind, her focus on duty and her desire to bring people together to focus on a common goal. Our devotion to duty ... that is what we had common the most and understood about each other the deepest. She was willing to sacrifice everything to see it through, and in the end ... she did just that. While I only knew her for the flicker of a moment in the span of my lifetime ... the warmth she's left behind will last an age. I will never forget her." Her eyes move around the room, settling on Sydney's. "I hope you share her memory with everyone, so her message lives on."
Aconite puts a simple perfume cabinet and Shiraz at Sunset, a decadent bouquet in A nondescript bag.
Galatea doesn't have much to volunteer for the proceedings, apparently, given that she does not move to join the line to offer anything like memories or eulogy. Noting Sydney's moment of stoic self-centering, however, she leans over to (hopefully) reassuringly place a hand on the woman's shoulder for a brief, passing moment.
Faye listens quietly to Cynara's words, at once curious and respectful towards those who knew Petraea in all her complexities and in different ways from how Faye did. And the words that others speak are comforting as well, perhaps just knowing she will be held in others' memory.
Turn in line: Sydney
Adalyn smiles and returns the kiss to Medeia's cheek, she looks around and moves to take a seat. Her leg crossing over the other, gloved hands rest in her lap as she watches those get in line and speak.
Dacian is quick to ensure the gift is imparted to Cynara, in a delicate box that can hold it safely. He gestures in the way Cardian's do, "You honour me by accepting it in turn." Then he melts back, a solemn smile on his face.
Drifting lightly at Patrizio's side,Valencia arrives modestly dressed, her raven-black waves held delicately in place with simple silver pins Dark eye quiet and solemn as is appropriate for the occasion, she offers a silent nod to those she knows in an effort not to interrupt the proceedings and then proceeds to listen to those sharing their thoughts.
Aconite has joined the Magnificence Couch.
It's not difficult for any half-trained eye to notice the way that Sydney's hands are shaking. A stark contrast to the steely way she conducted herself in front of the Assembly of Peers. She has a piece of paper held in one hand. It's clear that an incredible amount of words have been fastidiously etched into it. She takes a shallow breath, and lets it out just as swiftly - not as deep as she would have preferred. Whatever composure was left in her needs to be rallied after Angelica's words. She clears her throat, and has a go of it.
"Often in life, we encounter people who have an outsized impact on our lives, and all too frequently, we don't even recognize it until they've passed. Anyone who's lost someone unexpectedly can attest to this. I count myself fortunate, because I at least had an understanding of the fact that the count of Petraea's year left in this Dream were limited, and it led me to seek out her council more frequently, to ask her questions, to learn more about her." She looks down, and presses a hand to her chest, her breath coming a little easier, now.
"There is never enough time, and even I was blindsided that her days ended more quickly than I counted on. It does not make what I learned any less valuable - the things that she cared for, the things that she regretted. The people she loved so deeply, and all the things she still had left to do. A near endless list, and not enough time to accomplish it all. I--"
She stumbles over the words she had prepared, and she lowers the piece of paper, turning her focus on those gathered. "...I have much and more I could say about her, but I'll say the only thing that matters. The only thing that mattered. She was the one who stayed. The one who… who didn't give up on me. And... and I..." She swallows an agonizing lump in her throat, and hoarsely grinds out, "...I loved her. And this Dream is emptier without her in it."
3 Thrax Guards, 1 Thrax Elite Guards, Gula, a fat gila monster wearing a tricorn arrive, following Fatima.
Turn in line: Katarina
Nurie's eyes fill with tears of empathy once more as Sydney speaks--and she doesn't turn them from her until the end. She brushes gloved fingers over her heart quietly in respect to mark them.
Patrizio has joined the line.
Fatima arrives quite a bit late, and slips quietly into the room. Her form is draped in a black silk shawl, pulled over her head and shoulders, though she pushes back the material to reveal her features as she enters. She sidles into a seat, green eyes glancing around briefly, before focusing on the current speaker. She settles back in the seat, crossing one leg over the other and casually bobbing a booted foot as she observes.
Katarina is still fussing with her rings when it comes her turn to speak. If her fingernails allowed for it, she'd probably be rotating them, too. She is silent for a long moment, considering her words. "Lady Cynara, I thank you for this opportunity to memorialize Tribune Livy," she says, first showing due gratitude to the event's host. Small details like this matter, if you're the sort of person who keeps track of small details. "Tribune Livy and I engaged one another as... mutually beneficial opportunities. We used one another. There is no shame in admitting that, for it is simply what politics /are/. It does not diminish the greatness of her actions, or their importance to the history of Arvum -- their importance in that there may continue to /be/ a history of Arvum. I am grateful that I will be able to remember more than that -- moments of quiet discussion, of learning, of negotiation over this or that, the times where our utility to one another risked growing from there, where respect for one another as /people/ was earned... nicknames that really rather annoyed me when they issued from the Tribune's lips will age in my memory to something that I will fondly regard. That's a strange bit of magic, isn't it? Or perhaps the most clever kind of lie -- the one you don't even have to tell, in order for another to come around to believing it. I think I should stop myself here. I'm already at the edge of sentimentality where I suspect that the Tribune would be embarrassed -- for me, that is. I will leave it at this: My gratitude will last as long as my life. And as the rightful heir of the Dune Kingdom of Suj'abbat, the City of Lies' debt to Tribune Livy will be honored." With that, Katarina returns to her seat, apparently having said all that she wishes to say.
Fatima has joined the Ambition Couch.
Turn in line: Lucita
Lucita says, "On behalf of House Saik and personally, our thanks are offered for her remarkable bravery and her efforts on behalf of us all. We fought against a common enemy at Pieros as well as in this last battle. Time was too short and too busy for us to get to know each other well though she did visit my home one day but that was interrupted before we had a chance to talk very much. We were in the process of coming to an accord. She will be missed." She draws a breath, lifts her gaze to Cynara and adds candidly. "I am not as eloquent or as polished a speaker as some, but do express appreciation, respect, and condolences."
Renata has joined the Cunning Couch.
Turn in line: Raymesin
Raymesin takes a step forward. "She gave 'er life fer us," the tall man says, focusing first on Cynara and then on the rest of the gathering. "An' th'common folks'a Arx - the ones as were there, anyway, an' many more besides - know it. May th'Queen'a Endin's 'old 'er soul in honour, 'cause we do." And then he's stepping back again, retreating to where the shadows would be if someone hadn't covered the place in white.
Theo has joined the Cunning Couch.
Turn in line: Medeia
Raven has joined the line.
"I might be an unexpected face in this crowd to some," Medeia starts when it is her turn to speak. Her expression turns guilty for a moment, and she lowers her eyes to the floor. "The first time I saw Petraea, I was barely able to contain my distrust - her only offense being that she was Cardian." She releases a breath, shakes her head gently. "The next time I saw her, she was rushing headlong against an enemy bent on our destruction, and the last time I saw her..." There's a glance to Sydney, a careful choice not to finish that thought. "I wanted nothing more than to save her in that moment, but I could not. Over recent years, I have been blessed to find that my distrust was... Come by honestly but held onto foolishly." Her gaze shifts, moving from Cynara to Tavalu and back. "I share Petraea's belief that the Compact is worth protecting. And I bring a commitment to continue to do my best to protect it, to carry her memory with me as I do, and to humbly set aside the fear that has driven my actions to this point. I regret not knowing her better. I can never fully express what her sacrifice means to me. I hope that I can be worthy of it."
Turn in line: Tavalu
Tavalu doesn't entirely follow Cynara to the front of the gathered crowd - she seems very content with giving the impression of a slightly quieter shadow, even if she is clearly trying *very* hard to keep from actually lurking - but she goes most of the way, and when it's her turn, she doesn't look at anyone at all. Instead, she looks distant, her gray eyes unfocused, and holds silence on the floor for several long moments. "We did not know each other," she says, almost ponderously. "We spoke briefly, to pass messages along. I know that she sent a gift to me - I know it - and whether or not it came from her or my sister," she doesn't quite look at Cynara, "It is one reason I am here." Pause. A finger trails idly along one wrist; there are ugly scars there, briefly visible. "That's not much to say." She stops again. Silent. Maybe she's done? "...This is what I say. Lady Petraea of House Livy, Tribune of Cardia, Familiar to Cynara the Dreamer, your flame was brief but hot as any dragonfire. Know that the Wheel may turn, but the stars always remember."
Turn in line: Titus
Mia has joined the line.
Adalyn has joined the Ferocity Couch.
Medeia... Wobbles. She gasps softly while reaching out for something to steady herself. Then she hurriedly makes her way to a wall to try to fade into the very white background.
Titus steps forward. The Warmonger looks around at faces he knows and those he does not with a stern, serious silence. The boots click as he brings his hand to the breastplate in a solemn salute to the gathered in Petraea's memory. While the voice is a decayed whisper, it has a firm resolve that can be seen in the red eyes.
"The Vaevici do not mourn the dead, we instead reflect and weigh their deeds on whether or not it has helped those who live on to be stronger, and celebrate those who have done so. With solemn reverence on behalf of the Vaevici, I'm here to honour the legacy of Tribune Petraea Livy of Cardia and those she represented from far away lands, whose spirit blazed with a fervor that illuminated the paths of those fortunate to cross it. House Vaevici reaffirm our commitments with the Compact and its allies, not in the shadow of grief, but in the light of gratitude for the inferno of courage she has bequeathed us. Tribune Petraea was not just a keeper of flames or secrets; she was a catalyst of an enduring conflagration, one that sparked purpose and valor in the hearts of her compatriots as well as those she helped unseen from afar."
"My interactions with Petraea, though infrequent, were profound. Conversations that stoked the embers of wisdom and kinship, and ignited a beacon of knowledge that will guide a lost people through further darker times. Her legacy, deeply rooted in the lineage she comes from, resonates with the essence of her being, a gift that she wielded with benevolence and might. A lesson we all can learn and try to emulate in the near future. I will miss her words and voice and looking at the stars."
"We Vaevici acknowledge not the dimming of a flame, but the inception of a legacy as resilient and as pervasive as fire itself. Her sacrifice, emblematic of the eternal dance of flames, has kindled a resilience that will carry on beyond the ephemeral. A spark that has now been lit in many others who live on from her death and they too will carry that fire elsewhere and burn just as brightly. With each act of bravery, every moment of altruistic choice we make, Petraea's essence is sustained and perpetuated. She lives on through us."
"In this moment of both sorrow and celebration, we embrace the spirit of Petraea Livy?a spirit that does not waver, a flame that does not falter even if it has faded to embers. May the embers of her spirit rise to the stars to help guide future peoples who might be wandering lost with her legacy to be found again."
"Historically, we have declared, "As Arx Endures, We Shall Remember." Yet today, in the spirit of endings and beginnings, and in the indomitable presence of the fire that Petraea Livy has left for a world worth saving no matter if they are kin or stranger, I "To The Last.""
With those words said, he steps back.
Aconite settles at a couch, watching the growing line of people wanting to speak. A hand comes to rest on her sternum as she listens to each shared memory, compassion written in her features. She nods with the sentiments in solemn agreement and support. She blinks at Medeia however an the Whisper stands to move over to her.
Turn in line: Caspian
Jasper has joined the Ambition Couch.
Jasper spots his patroness. After contemplating the words spoken with a stoic expression, he decides to make use of the pause between speakers to join her, greeting the Thraxian Princess quietly.
Caspian moves up and offers a bow, eyes sweeping those gathered before settling back on Cynara. "I, unlike many of the people here, did not have the pleasure of knowing the tribune well. I think i can count on one hand the number of times we spoke. Still, i held her in the highest respect... one could not help it when they were near her. Her poise, wisdom, and intellect were apparent to all, and many before me tonight have espoused this far better than i could." he shook his head slightly, "War calls on all of us to make sacrifices, to risk a great many things and to face our deepest fears. Every time a soldier goes to battle, they know it might be their last. But what the tribune did, and choose to do while knowing the cost.. im not sure many would have done the same." he offered a deep bow then, "i have no title or guild to offer thanks for, so i speak only for myself. Thank you, her memory will be held in the greatest respect, and may we all celebrate her life even as we gather here." With his words said, he stepped back to allow the next person.
Turn in line: Patrizio
Fatima has joined the line.
Theo has listened carefully to the speakers as they each speak their piece. Glancing here and there at certain individuals and even nodding a time or two to show that yes he's listening and may even be in agreement with some of the words shared thus far. A little frown in his features as if to process the words just a bit longer.
Patrizio steps forward, his jade eyes look over the figures in the room, lingering here and there for some moments, on some who've made heartfelt memory of Petraea. "Having shared but a few words on various occasions, with promise to speak more... that promise unfortunately will go unfulfilled. But of what I /know/ of the Tribune, through deed and through the actions and words of those closest to her. We, of Pravus, honour her and the noble sacrifice she made. One not of our lands, but who embodied the highest ideals of our Compact."
Briefly, he turns slightly, to face Cynara where she lingers, the press of his palm to his chest as he bows slightly from the waist. "May her memory and her story live on as inspiration to generations to come, for there is little higher honour than to be worthy of memory. And the Tribune has clearly shown that she is worthy of such." Straightening, he retreats a few steps once more to his spot off to the side.
Raven rises and draws in a deep breath “The Tribune lives on in tales of her bravery and memories of those who love her. While I did not have the honor of knowing her well I know those who spoke well of her and more than I have adequate words to express, am deeply grateful for all she did to safeguard the Compact and the city. To those of you she loved… while there is no balm I may offer to you in your grief, I would still dare to honor the sacrifice she made for so many. Be it those she served, or those she loved enough to make such a terrific sacrifice-if there is any need to be met or service rendered that I may offer, it is yours to demand of me. As long as I draw breath those the Tribune loved may seek what they require from me..” She lifts her flask “May we all prove worthy of her selfless sacrifice.”
Turn in line: Raven
Turn in line: Mia
"I cannot, as many of you can, claim to have known Tribune Livy well. In truth, I did not know her at all. If memory serves, I only ever even laid eyes on her twice. The first time was at an evening hosted by the Scholars, where the subject of the lecture was the Sky Kingdom of Cardia. She was accompanied by Praetor Sulla and, far more than I can recall of what she said was the impression that she gave me of a particularly clever playing with an especially angry mouse. The second time was at the dedication of this very Embassy." Here, Mia pauses. She dips her chin for a moment and her brows draw together. "What I do know - far, far better than I would care to - was the threat that she gave her life to spare us all from, the master which that threat served, and the horrors they would inflicted on the Compact, on Arvum, and the Dream itself if given the chance. Knowing almost no more about her than what it was that she fought, I say with all sincerity Lady Cynara: you have my deepest condolences on the loss of Tribune Livy, and more thanks than I have words for with every language I know. I will not forget the debt we owe her memory, nor waste the chance she gave us."
Aconite has left the Magnificence Couch.
Turn in line: Fatima
When her turn arrives, Fatima rises from her seat and steps forward, standing with the regal presence of one destined to one day rule a kingdom. She glances around, green eyes thoughtful for a moment, before she speaks. "I did not know the Tribune," she says after a moment. "But I certainly would have liked to. I was saddened to hear of her passing. Though I am not a Voice of House Thrax any longer, I do in turn offer my personal and deepest sympathies for this loss," she says, with an inclination of her head toward Cynara. "Though I did not know the Tribune, I can understand her sacrifice. Sometimes, we must do what seems best in our hearts to do. Sometimes, that involves great sacrifice, or concessions we may otherwise think to avoid. Such things fall within the duty of diplomacy, and dedication to a cause of great importance." She glances about, and finishes, "Though I did not know Petrea Livy, I vow to do my utmost to honor her legacy, by encouraging a continued dialogue and cooperation between those who would oppose the enemies of the Compact." With that, she withdraws back to her seat, arranging her clothing about her carefully. She turns to Jasper then as he approaches, and inclines her head, murmuring to him softly.
Katarina checks 'recovery check' at normal. Katarina is successful.
Through the words of each speaker, Cynara listens with a solemn attentiveness. In the moments that the speak, each of those who share a thought or a memory are given the entirety of the dragoness' focus, as if there is nothing else in the world to her but to listen. As Fatima finishes speaking, Cynara takes a moment to collect herself and squares her shoulders to look over those gathered as she says, "Thank you to all of you. The only words I have in closing is that she would have thought all of this was ridiculous, but, as I have been told, funerals aren't for the dead. It is for those of us left behind. Please stay to talk if you like. There is wine, whiskey, and, well, some things that I am probably not allowed to admit are here." With that, she bows her head and takes a step back, eyes scanning the crowd.
Valencia nods gently to Patrizio as he steps down, her expression solemn yet warm, before returning her gaze to hear what the Blackheart has to say, and then Marquessa Riven and the Princess of Thrax.
Raven looks vaguely amused at the mention of curious things Cynara makes. She remains and scans the crowd, making note of those who clearly loved the Tribune as if for future reference.
Katarina approaches Cynara for a moment -- with the requisite curtsying and all due dance steps of proper shows of respect -- to share a quiet word.
Theo is overheard praising Lucita.
Theo is overheard praising Jaenelle.
Lucita has left the Cunning Couch.
2 Saik Guard have been dismissed.
Micana, an efficient assistant have been dismissed.
Tavalu looks from Cynara to the crowd, and hitches one shoulder just a little higher. When Katarina approaches, she stares almost earnestly at the princess.
Patrizio nods gently back to Valencia, a faint smile offered to her before he's briefly moving from where he's been lingering after his speaking, while listening to the others. If briefly, he makes his way over towards Raven and Titus, allowing a dip of his head as he speaks to each of them.
Nurie listens attentively to all, her hands still laced in front of her. She drifts slowly towards Cynara as she steps back, though her steps are patient as well, and she defers to others who wish to speak more quietly as well.
Dacian glances around at the multitude of faces in the crowd, sipping from a drink he had collected through the various somber words spoken. His gaze strays toward Cynara and Tavalu of course, and to Katarina as well. He might inch a little closer to them, inevitability.
Aconite watches as people begin to mingle and she idly toys with her pendant. She leans towards Medeia, "Shall I grab us something warm?" She wonders of the Noble woman.
Medeia has found a spot to settle that is reasonably unpeopled, where she exchanges a quiet word with Aconite before allowing herself to watch the room. She gives a nod to the Radiant. "That would be lovely, thank you," she murmurs.
Raven bows her head respectfully to Patrizio and smiles gently, murmuring softly if briefly.
Sydney quietly reaches into her pocket. Wrapped in a napkin is a single lemon bar. It looks deathly stale. It makes a quiet snap as she bites into it, but she gamely chews her way through it. She steps toward Tavalu, and presses the other half into her hands, then steps away. She quietly stoops to set her pack on the ground, and pulls a half-drained bottle of Cardian Ice Wine. The stopper is removed, and she finds herself a glass to pour it into. Having so done, she drains the first glass in a single go, then pours another. The second she only sips at. Cautiously.
A smile's offered up to each of Raven and Titus before Patrizio bows his head anew to them, drawing back to get himself a amber hued drink while considering the others about.. and with a chuckle, meanders over to where Aconite and Medeia linger. "And what are the two of you conspiring about, pray tell, my lady, Radiance?"
As Katarina approaches, Cynara gives her the same sort of attentive intensity as she listens to the words that she murmurs. Whatever the Princess says, the dragoness nods and then says a few words of her own before she bows her head and she reaches a hand out, tentatively, as if she intends to shake it? Dacian's approach is met with a brief glance and a very subtle nod, with similar acknowledgement given to Nurie but the majority of her attention remains on Katarina for the moment.
Tavalu suddenly finds a lemon bar in her hands, and for a moment she just blinks owlishly at it, as though it up and decided to appear out of thin air with no explanation. She lifts it to her nose, sniffs it for a moment - her nose wrinkles a little - and then she eats it. All of it. It takes two bites at most to completely vanish. It's only after that that she looks at Sydney, and there's a sort of...brief perking about her that doesn't entirely translate to a smile, but does suggest some sort of meaningful lemon bar exchange has just occurred.
Aconite nods to Medeia and with a light to her shoulder the Whisper is off to find refreshement. There is much bowing and greeting the various nobles, waving to Caspiana and Raven while on her mission. She snags up a couple of glasses of wine and a generous bit of rum before making her way back, taking a route that gives her significiatly fewer greetings to try to navigate while carrying drinks. She arrives about the same time as Patrizio, "Your Highness. What a question to ask." She clucks her tongue.
Aconiteoffers the tall glass of rum to Medeia, holding the two glasses of wine in one hand.
Titus bows his head to his Pravus overlord and as words have been offered in support of Petraea's memory, his purpose here is concluded. He begins to make his way towards the exit.
Katarina reaches out to take the offered hand, and give it a firm squeeze. No elaborate secret handshake, just a show of unity and of resolute will -- and maybe a bit of the deceptive strength hidden within a tiny frame. "Thank you, my Lady," she says, after the grip is released, and proffers a particuarly deep bow. Her eyes travel to Tavalu, to Dacian, to Nurie -- and with nods and murmured niceties, she's on her way.
"Lord Titus," Jaenelle calls out to the man before he departs, offering him a warm smile before asking, "did you manage to find a taker for my crown?" Oh yes, she noticed.
Jasper exchanges words with Fatima quietly, standing beside her, off to the side of the couch. His expression doesn't change much from dour as he does so.
Caspian moves toward Cynara now that the words have all been shared and the crowd begins to mull amongst itself. He offers Cynara a smile and a bow "forgive me, i am not sure exactly what title to use when addressing you." Caspian's dark eyes study Cynara a moment, "i meant what i said, and i would honor the Tribune's sacrifice as best i can. I do not have authority or sway, but should i ever be able to be of service to you and yours, i would be honored to repay even the smallest portion of the debt we owe the Tribune Livy."
Medeia looks from Patrizio to Aconite, smiling fondly at them both as she accepts the offered drink from the Radiant. "Oh, you know, saving the world one beautiful dress at a time." She gives Patrizio a wink and then comments, "I was glad to hear you speak, Your Grace." She hesitates for a moment before leaning in to ask him something quietly.
Raven has given her gratitude and IOUs to those who survived the Tribune. She quietly begins to withdraw.
Katarina is overheard praising Cynara.
A dutiful Valardin aide, 2 Valardin Knights leave, following Katarina.
"The fun is asking the questions sometimes, Radiance," offers Patrizio as he's taking a sip for a moment, those jade eyes dancing, though there's that grin for Medeia at her words. "I fear that if we need to save the world a dress at a time, however, we're in great trouble, for I suspect that I wouldn't suit the cut of most offered up to me." Though there's the lift of a brow as Medeia speaks more quietly to him, and he answers in kind.
Dacian looks like he was going to interject something to Katarina, but he does not impede her when it is clear she is on her way out instead. That leaves him glancing to the dragoness, which he imparts a quiet word to, when he is given a chance to.
Titus nearly escapes. He pauses, as the archduchess asks him a question and he bows his head towards her. "I'm sure I don't know what you're referring to, archduchess but I believe some crowns still are patiently waiting for the right person to come so they might be claimed and used for the betterment of the world."
As the room settles into groups of people talking quietly, Faye goes to find herself a drink. Whiskey may not be the most Cardian of drinks, but it suits her fine. Silently, she lifts the glass skyward, gazing around at all the white draping the place in mourning. And the warmth of the contents of the glass, along with the memories that have been raised in the room, seem to adjust her expression a bit.
Tavalu leans in toward Cynara post lemon bar devouring and between various people approaching for a brief word. She murmurs something low.
Nyx the Charon Wolfhound, 3 Charon veteran guards arrive, following Magaen.
Jaenelle grins and dips her head towards Titus in response to his answer before making im watching you motions with her fingers directed towards him. "I look forward to seeing my replacement when the crown finds an owner."
3 Black Fleet Reavers, Moonsilver, the pale-feathered raven leave, following Raven.
Nyx the Charon Wolfhound, 3 Charon veteran guards leave, following Magaen.
Fatima lingers, chatting quietly with Jasper. She doesn't partake of the refreshments just yet, but she does seem focused for the moment on Jasper, rather than others lingering or departing.
As Nurie steps in close to murmur to her, Cynara whispers back in turn and even gives the woman a squeeze on her shoulder before she says a little louder, "You are one of us now." Then, she looks at Caspian, clearly assessing him before she says with a tilt of her head. "If you really mean that, I am having a meeting to finish what my Familiar started. You should join us." She holds eye contact for a second longer than is comfortable before Dacian's approach shifts her attention and she gives the man a nod as she says, "Write to me. I suspect there is a great deal that you can help with."
3 Charon veteran guards arrives, following Magaen.
"There's also fun in not answering them." Aco retorts with a small grin. Once her hand is free of the rum she transfers the second glass of wine to it, working on draining one. It seems the wine is for Medeia.. After the rum. "I'm sure we could come up with something, Your Highness." She muses while watching the stir of the crowd with the end of the memorial speeches.
Nurie curtsies to Katarina as she passes, keeping her head lowered until she does. Her stillness nearby indicates a patience that is a deeply engrained habit--when she finally offers a deep curtsy and quiet word to the dragoness, it's spoken almost shyly. But having done so, she doesn't try to impose any longer than necessary, though she does bring one gloved hand up to her heart in a gentle gesture of salute. The shoulder squeeze brings a little suprise, though by impulse she tilts her head so that her cheek rests against the dragoness' fingers for a heartbeat, her eyes closing for that long before she gazes up at Cynara warmly and says something quiet in return.
Titus says something a bit more quietly to Jaenelle and then says "In two night's from now, there will be an event to see in the sky. Also a reveal of a gift that wasn't able to be delivered to the late Tribune so it will be given to everyone. If you can brave the cold, you might find it an interesting event."
Sydney thinks for a moment, then pours a second glass of wine. She meanders quietly through the room of milling and chatting and departing attendees, finding Angelica in the crowd. The glass is offered, along with some private words.
Dacian nods at the offer to write from Cynara, "I will do that. Thank you." He then melts back, as the crowds gather and he turns slowly with a grace of movement.
Magaen's arrival tilts far into the unfashionable, timewise. And fashionwise, it would seem, as her dark grays and pinks take on a severity against the white of the evening.
Titus has left the Ferocity Couch.
Comedenti, the Calderan Bearded Vulture leaves, following Titus.
Angelica tilts her head to listen to Sydney, taking the glass the brawler offers. Her smile is small but sincere, and she gives a small nod. Her reply isn't quiet as low as Sydney's, saying quietly, "I didn't find her clumsy at all. She was ...." She takes a sip. Her smile deepens. "She was just right."
Caspian bows his head to Cynara, still unsure of what title to use, but clearly not THAT put out about it. His smile grows, "im not in the habit of making empty offerings. it would be an honor to be there and to help." he bowed his head, "thank you for the chance." he looked round to see if others were wishing to speak with Cynara, and seeing the number of folks who did wish just that, stepped back a bit to as not crowd the woman.
Raymesin steps over towards Sydney and Angelica, lingering just out of earshot until his presence is acknowledged.
3 Armed Confessors, Orva, a discreet assistant leave, following Faye.
Tavalu nods at Cynara, and her eyes briefly trace Sydney's progress across the room to Angelica. The latter appears to get her attention for the first time. She lifts her chin, eyes narrowing for a brief moment in interest, and then she settles back on her heels.
Nurie takes a step back, shoulders straightening a little more. Though her lovely dark eyes still glimmer a bit, there seems to be a weight lifted as well and she faces the room, not keeping her head quite so lowered.
Adalyn stands up as Titus leaves and looks around, her eyes fall on Cynara for a moment then looking to Medeia. Moving over to see how she is doing, "Are you alright?" she did not rush over as she saw the Radiant tending to her.
"No, indeed," muses the archduke to Aconite, with a salute of his glass. "And I would be disappointed if you couldn't come up with something to perhaps challenge that assertion about being up to something. Or to endorse it."
Medeia sips her room and looks up to Adalyn when she approaches. "Fine, really. Thank you." She appears distracted and gives a small apology before returning to a quiet exchange.
Fatima rises from her seat after a moment, finished with her conversation with Jasper for now. She turns then toward Cynara, and approaches, her green eyes focused. She waits, however, for others to speak first. "Your Excellency," she greets. "I am Princess Fatima Thrax, and this is my protege, Lord Jasper Steelhart," she adds, gesturing to Jasper. "Please accept my condolences for your loss. If there is aught that we can assist with in the coming days, please do not hesitate to reach out. We have all been touched, in some way, by recent events."
The retort from Angelica gets an immediate laugh from Sydney, and she nods her head. "...Just right. Yes. I like that, a lot." She turns her focus toward Raymesin when the soft-stepping shadow is in her periphery. She glances his way, a smile on her lips. "...Thanks for coming, Ray. And... for saying what needed to be said, and not an ounce more." A turn-step and she wraps an arm around him in a second-long squeeze before settling back. A companionable hug.
Angelica sips more of her drink, tilting her head just enough to get Raymesin in view of a single, whisky-hued eye. He's given a small nod, watching as the redhead gives the knifeman a hug.
Aconite smiles to Adalyn, "Gravid sentiments." She turns to speak to Adalyn while Medeia and Patrizio speak to one another. "I'm glad to see so many have come to remember who the Tribune was and what she and Cynara sacrificed. It was beautiful."
Raymesin finds himself getting hugged, and if he goes rigid for a few moments, well, that's Raymesin for you. "Yer welcome," he says to Sydney, once he's been released again. He nods to Angelica, then looks to Sydney, and says, "My condolences ter the both'a yer."
Renata has left the Cunning Couch.
6 First Legion Centurions, Sparrow, an enthusiastic and bubbly assistant leave, following Renata.
Jasper moves with Fatima, offering a bow towards Cynara when he is introduced. "Your Excellency." Allowing Fatima to speak for them, he adds, "My condolences. I feel for your loss, and hope that we can honor her sacrifice with our deeds of valor."
Cynara gives Nurie's shoulder another squeeze and, probably most shocking of all, draws her in to brush her cheek against the side of the woman's head before releasing her to attend to the others that gather. Caspian's words earn him a nod of approval as she says, "Good. I will see you there." Tavalu and Cynara exchange another brief round of murmurs, during which one or both of them start looking in Sydney's direction. As Fatima and Jasper approach, Cynara tips her chin to each before she says in a low voice, "You have my thanks, your highness. I appreciate your words. I offer the same. I think we all know what is coming, if not the specifics. I will go where there is need."
There are a few twitches at both corners of Tavalu's mouth as Fatima speaks, several furtive looks toward Cynara, and then a very, very valiant effort to push down whatever it is so that she can continue to play the part of solemn shadow. ...She abandons that effort after approximately five seconds, which gives way to a semi suppressed noise that manages to sound something like a snicker-snort.
Fatima inclining her head, Fatima offers Cynara one of her most pleasant smiles, before turning a green gaze on Tavalu. She studies the woman a moment, one dark eyebrow lifted, marking her and the snicker-snorting, then she turns to walk away. Her back is straight, her head held high. Whatever the snicker-snorting is about, she's choosing to ignore it.
Adalyn nods her head to Aconite, "It was very nice to see." she says in a soft voice, her green eyes look to Cynara. "If you will excuse me a moment." she moves to head in the direction of Cynara.
Sydney makes no apology to Raymesin and clearly takes no offense at the sudden rigidity that he shows. Too grateful. She takes another, longer sip of her wine, and skirts her focus about the room, landing nowhere in particular. Probably. She looks back to Raymesin and Angelica, and quietly dips her head. "Get somethin' to eat, Ray. And... Ange? Savor it. But there's more, if you ever want it."
After speaking privately for a long moment, Medeia finishes her rum in a fell swoop and begins to stand, to get more rum? To leave? Even she looks unclear of her intentions.
Cynara just -looks- at Tavalu and then at Fatima, "Pray forgive my sister, your highness. Her egg was dropped when she was a hatchling. I mean what I said."
Aconite curtseys as Adalyn moves off towards Cynara and takes another good swallow of her wine. Aco lifts the wine glass to Medeia if she'd like to take it. Otherwise she has no problems having two glasses of wine. The Radiant seems willing to wait her turn to speak to the Cardians.
Angelica takes a slower sip, eyes on Raymesin shortly after her careful swallow. "I'm not sure how to take condolences over the loss of Petraea," she says quietly. "To ... my knowledge, and what I knew of her, I can't see her feeling regret with how she passed." There's a pause, a flicker of something in her face as she recalls something. "...if she regretted anything, it was that she had to leave us behind." Sip. "But. She knew what she was doing."
There's a moment where Mia and Thesarin stand together, their heads bowed -- or rather, his head is bowed, while hers is tilted upwards to catch whatever it is that he's murmuring to her. She needs the once, then tucks her hand into his arm. A few careful steps carry them through the crowd as she navigates her way towards the small, ever-changing crowd clustered around their hostess. But when Mia stops on the edge of those assembled, it's not Cynara in all her gold-and-crimson glory that she's looking at. It's Tavalu and all her misty silver-gray.
Standing quietly, Valencia surveys the room happy to speak here and there from time to time. She smiles and shakes her head to the offer of drink, though soft words of thanks are offered as the room swirls about her in a dreamlike tizzy.
Theo has left the Cunning Couch.
"It ain't so much on whether she'd regret passin'," says Raymesin to Angelica, "Or on doubtin' if she knew what she were doin', 'cause from what I've 'eard she didn't really do doubtin' stuff when she'd made 'er mind up." He glances to Sydney, then looks to Angelica again. "But you've lost a friend an' more'n a friend, both'a yer. Least I can do is acknowledge that."
Theo begins to make his way out after exchanging some quiet words with Jaenelle.
3 House Velenosa Guards, Renault, Timothe leave, following Theo.
Magaen joins the queue to speak to Cynara, saying, when her opening arises, "I was on the field that day, Excellency, and bore witness, with many others who would not be here to give it were it not for the Tribune's sacrifice. And when she exhausted herself on our behalf, I do not think there was a one among us did not feel the weight of losing her."
As Fatima turns to leave, Jasper regards Tavalu with curiosity but listens to Cynara, angling his head deeply to her and moving away to allow other guests to speak. With a quick exchange of quiet words to his patron, he makes his way to the exit, himself.
Tavalu manages to look properly chastised - sort of, though there's a squint at the remark about her egg - then lifts her chin and looks toward Fatima. Fatima's back, anyway. "Sorry, sorry," she half whisper-murmurs. "Your words were very kind, and my sister is very excellent." She misses Mia's approach, at least momentarily.
Sydney quietly fiddles with the stem of the glass in her hand and murmurs, "...That was certainly one of her regrets. I..." Her voice squeaks a touch and she soldiers it back down with a cough and a sip of that obscenely strong wine that could make an honest liquor blush. Thankfully, Raymesin saves her from having to continue her sentence. She listens, her posture easing, expression warming. "No. No, she really didn't. Unmake Petraea Livy's mind? You'd have faster luck tearing the moon from the sky."
Fatima hesitates a moment, then turns to look back at Cynara and Tavalu. After a moment, she says, "There is nothing to forgive. If I have made some social blunder that I am unaware of, I apologize," she says. She turns to fully face Cynara and Tavalu once again. "I am unfamiliar with Cardian customs when it comes to the passing of a loved one. I do hope, however, to rectify that, by learning more of your ways in the future." Her smile returns. "I meant what I said as well," she murmurs, before drifting away once more to allow others to approach and speak with Cynara.
Adalyn steps in close to Cynara waiting her turn to speak with her, hands clasped in front of her. She wears a dragon hair pin in her hair that has been braided to the side. "When you have a moment." she says in a soft tone to Cunara.
Angelica nods to Raymesin, but something Sydney says sets the woman to laughing, the tall swordswoman's head thrown back, shoulders quaking with mirth. Her glass is held steadily, the pommel of her sword winking in the light as she shifts with laughter.
Nurie spies Sydney in the ebbing crowd, starting to make her way over. "Your words were wonderful, Sydney," she tells her sincerely once she's within speaking distance, when there's a break to do so. Though she catches the last bit of converstion, and for a moment it makes her beam for a moment, the expression lighting her eyes.
Caspian looks over and narrows his eyes a moment, studying the woman speaking with Raymesin and Sydney and moves across the room to join the small group. He gives a smile to Ray and Sydney, bowing his head slightly, "Raymesin, Sydney, its good to see you, though im sorry it is during such a sad occasion." he looks to Angelica then, "im sorry.. i feel we have met, Caspian wild, at your service." he furrowed his brow in memory "And for some reason my side is aching when i look at you.. didnt you leave me floored in the sands in the training center some time ago?"
Thesarin walks behind Mia, stepping slowly beside her, moving steadily forward through the crowd the way someone does when he certainly isn't planning on pushing through anyone because he's quite confident that they'll move before he gets there. The Prodigal Marquis hasn't met Tavalu, but watches her following Mia's lead, trying to give a simple nod if she happens to look his way.
"You remind me of our brothers. They also would have laughed at me." Cynara murmurs to Tavalu, but there is more warmth there than scolding. As Magaen approaches, Cynara shifts her focus and dips her head in appreciation. "Thank you, my lady. I was... otherwise occupied when she..." She trails off and hesitates, her face finally betraying a glimmer of pain behind the solemn mask of diplomacy. "I am glad there were others there to witness her last moments when I could not." Her gaze slips to Adalyn and she offers another nod as she says slowly, "I have plenty of moments."
Once the conversation with Theo is finished, Jaenelle stands from her seat and moves towards Cynara to patiently wait for there to be a moment to speak with the woman. There is a small grimace at the mention of the moon falling from the sky, but Jae's attention remains on Cynara. "Excuse me, I just wished to state that she will be missed. I hate to offer sympathies because I would never wish to lessen her actions or what she did because we all know she would have made such a choice a thousand times over. So instead, thank you for being in her life to have been able to assist her in becoming who she was. All of you," this includes Angelica, Tavalu, and Sydney.
Fatima has left the Ambition Couch.
3 Thrax Guards, 1 Thrax Elite Guards, Gula, a fat gila monster wearing a tricorn leave, following Fatima.
It's hard not to smile when someone is laughing so heartily, and Sydney cracks a smile in spite of herself. She turns as Nurie approaches, and the warmth of her smile is freely given. "...I'm glad you came. Thank you for doing so." She sound a touch more formal, there. Caspian's approach has her similarly bobbing her head. "It's... bittersweet. The sorrow ebbs. The memories take their place. I think that's the point."
Medeia doesn't take the offered glass from Aconite, instead shaking her head gently. To Patrizio, she reaches a hand out, hesitates mid-air, and then places it lightly on his shoulder. Just for a second or two. "Another time. Soon." Then she gives a slightly apologetic look to those around her before approaching Cynara. Her eyes look wet, and there is a slight tremble in her shoulders. She waits until there is a pause ao she can speak, offering, "Thank you again. I have one thing I would pass along to you and your sister before I leave tonight." She leans in to offer it quietly, smiling faintly as she does. Then, she curtsies to them both and makes for the exit.
Jasper has left the Ambition Couch.
Raymesin inclines his head to Angelica and Sydney, then turns towards Nurie and Caspian with a nod for each. "Wild," he greets the duellist politely.
Rather abruptly, Tavalu doesn't seem to quite know how to take Cynara's remark. She shifts a little, looking a tiny bit uncomfortable, glancing toward the rest of the room as though that might inspire some deep wisdom, and eventually says, in the same murmured tone, "I wasn't *really* laughing at you." Yes she was. The exchange between Cynara and Maegan seems enough to settle her back into reserved silence, though there's still a..*bit* of weight shifting. Medeia gets a mildly confused glance.
Finally, Valenica takes a little breath and politely waits her turn to offer words to Cynara, Tavalu and any of who may wish to hear. "Please pardon, but I wanted to offer my sincerest sympathies to all who loved and lost her. It is a hard thing. I am glad she was so fondly thought of and remembered. I am so very sorry for your loss," she quietly remarks before offering a graceful incline of head and slipping away into the fray once again.
Adalyn lowers her voice as she starts to speak dipping her head in a bit to speak with Cynara, her green eyes on the woman with red hair.
Magaen dips her chin at Cynara's show of emotion, maintaining a respectful quiet through the words that follow. "Some of us are left with regrets for only having the one," she offers before stepping aside for the remainder of the line.
And just as quickly, Angelica's laughter calms and she goes silent again. She looks down at her glass, brow furrowing. "Indeed," she tells Sydney quietly. "It is better to burn out, than to fade away." She sips the rest of her drank, taking as long as she needs to to give a slow, savored pull, licking her lips after. "We were both stubborn, but even I can concede to that." Raymesin is given a small smile, and then Caspian is speaking to her.
"Ahh," remarks Angelica. "Yes. I do recall." She looks to Jaenelle as the woman speaks. Angelica nods. "Petraea didn't need help to become what she was. Just as slow violence carves a gem, she was honed and hardened by her tragedies and triumphs. Would that through such painful circumstance or not, we would all be so selfless."
Patrizio offers a smile to Medeia, steady and reassuring when she's looking somewhat awkward, and there's that nod of his head. "Soon," echoes he, with certainty, before there's a smile offered to Aconite. "And we, Radiant, need to think of something to conspire about sooner rather than later, in a place where the mood is more suiting. IF you'll excuse me."
Taking his leave, there's the drift by to get another refill for himself and another glass besides from the same bottle, before he's making his way over to Valencia, the offering up of the newly acquired glass to her, even as he takes sip of his own.
Aconite watches Medeia and smiles supportivly. She takes a drink of wine from the second wineglass. She does move a bit close to those gathering around the Cardians. "Archduke. You know where to find me." She lifts both her glasses of wine.
As Jaenelle speaks to her, Cynara's attention strays briefly in the Archduchess' direction as she offers the ghost of a smile and says, "She would have rolled her eyes at all this, but it was needed. They will not remember her well in Cardia for this, so those in the Compact who will are the only balm against her loss." Whatever Medeia murmurs has Cynara chuckling, almost as if in surprise, "It is the first time I have ever been thanked for burning a city down. I could get used to it." But then, Medeia is walking away and the dragoness turns to look at Adalyn, murmuring apologetically, "Just one moment, my lady." Then, she is striding through the crowd to stop Medeia before she leaves, reaching out for the woman's elbow and calling out, "Wait!"
Cynara gives Medeia a long look, a wistful look as she says softly, "Do you remember now? You are the one that started all of this. The first Livy. The first of that family to ever devote themselves to me. My promise to you is why almost every familiar has been of the bloodline. I remember my promise, even if you don't."
Patrizio finds her and she smiles, her expression grateful as she accepts the glass. "It was a lovely ceremony. It is so very sad, but also so sweet to hear how many appreciated and loved her. I hope she knew this was so when she was here. It seems a shame that we sometimes feel more free to speak openly when those we care for are gone," she sighs softly.
Valencia claims that
Nurie offers a polite nod for Raymesin in return, and for Caspian as well. But with that, she offers a shyer smile. "I should be going now. Good evening."
Sydney takes a long breath and lets it out slow. She seems to fixate on something that Angelica says, and looks into the middle distance for a moment. Maybe the alcohol is getting to her already? Whatever that's about, her little slip affords her the time to be properly taken off guard by Cynara's words. Her attention is seized, and she quietly lifts a finger. "...Excuse me, friends."
She walks, finally, towards Cynara. Towards Medeia.
A sigh slips from Patrizio as he nods his head. "No, that's the truth of it, that sometimes we let words go unspoken. We should all be more open with those who matter to us," agrees he, as he's taking a sip from his glass, though his gaze tips upwards for the moment, as if to consider the dome overhead and the weather that's apparent through it.
Jaenelle has left the Cunning Couch.
13 House Velenosa Guards, Ibasia, the Velenosa Lady-in-Waiting, Ellani, the palm sized spider leave, following Jaenelle.
Tavalu takes advantage of Cynara's brief departure to settle herself completely - no more shifting around - and finally seems to notice Mia and Thesarin drawing closer. She stands a little straighter and lifts her chin.
"Often a difficult thing to do," Valencia nods and smiles again.
Medeia /does/ wait, stopping and turning when /an actual dragon/ grabs her by the elbow. "I..." She blinks. A few times. "Remember a field of wheat." Her head shakes. "Not me. /Her/. But..." She looks uncertain for a moment, eyes shifting to Sydney as she gets closer.
Magaen is well out of earshot of soft conversations, or she would probably be lingering closer to them rather than making her way to the exit, her respects paid.
3 Charon veteran guards leaves, following Magaen.
"No, it is at that." A breath slips from Patrizio as his jade eye come back to Valencia, and he nods as he's finishing his drink, the handing off of the glass to a server, before he's gesturing. "I think it is time to be on the way, before the snow gets better ideas that it should be coming down harder again."
Aconite pours one glass into the other and finds a place for the empty glasses. Her face remains pleasently impassive watching Medeia and the Dragoness, then tilts her head as Sydney moves that direction, brows lifting curiously.
9 First Legion Centurions, 3 Setarcan Royal Shields, Valencia leave, following Patrizio.
Adalyn blinks as she looks over to medeia and the others, her green eyes watching as Cynara stops Medeia watching them both. Her hands clasp in front of her as she waits, curious as to the out come of this.
Caspian is listening to the general conversations, but his eyes flicker between medeia and Cynara, his brow arching slightly. he follows medeia's gaze to Sydney, not saying anything and simply watching for the moment
Sydney downs the glass as she walks - it's true that she has no intention whatsoever of wasting a drop, after all. She sets the glass off to the side so that she can approach with her hands unoccupied. She doesn't butt in. She doesn't interrupt. But she does watch the interaction between Medeia and Cynara from a much, much closer vantage.
Raymesin would normally be blending in with the walls - or at least propping one up - at this stage; as it is, he's having to stand out and stand up straight. He watches Sydney depart towards Cynara, and watches events unfolding.
Galatea has been rather silent throughout much of the proceedings, but this exchange between Medeia and Cynara draws her out of being a thoughtful wallflower, he eyes narrowing, lips pursing, as she ponders Medeia more directly.
There's a flick of Mia's eyes from Tavalu as she shifts her weight uncomfortably at her sister's words, and then they trail after Cynara's back as she weaves her way through the crowd. A moment later, she murmurs, "Maybe another time." The words are meant for her husband, just barely out of her mouth, when turns away from an exchange she surely isn't meant to see in order to look back towards the dragoness who remains. Tavalu may even catch the last shape of them being formed on Mia's lips, falling from them right as she lifts her chin. The Marquessa pauses for a moment, as uncertain how to take the gesture, before finally decidding to simply speak. "It's been some time since I saw you last, Lady Talu. Six years, I think, though it must seem like hardly anything to you. I hope you're well?," she asks, and though it may seem nothing more than a conversational nicety, there's a weight to her voice that suggests... sadness? Perhaps guilt? At the very least, genuine concern. Enough to be the point of her approaching Tavalu at all.
Cynara's gaze lingers on Medeia, studying her before she nods and then releases the woman's elbow, as if just remembering that she was still holding it. "I know. Not you, but her, but... you must understand that I can barely tell the difference sometimes. The lines all blur together. I see you and I see her and I see every one of her children and their children and their children when I look at you. I made her a promise in that field. I never broke it. I never forgot it." Then, she flinches and looks around, as if just remembering that there are others present and acting as witness. Cynara takes a step back and says, "I'm sorry for... how did Petraea say it? Ah, yes. I am sorry for making it weird."
Has Medeia forgotten that Cynara is who she is? Certainly not. Does she reach out and clasp the dragoness' hands in hers reassuringly? Yes. There's a gentle squeeze, and a smile that crinkles the corners of her eyes. "I would love to hear more, soon, when you have the time. And... I know that I am not beholden to anything she was or did, but I am beholden to myself. If that promise continues? If keeping it honors Peteaea, as well, I wish to know of it and help if able..." Her smiles flares brightly, even as a few silent tears escape her eyes. "I am so very, very used to weird. This is fine."
Medeia is overheard praising Cynara.
There's a subtle little shift in Sydney's expression. An intensity in her scrutiny of Medeia that slowly melts into something difficult to parse. Rueful, but also warm. She takes a quiet step back, and sets her hands gently at her waist, one over the other. She turns so that she's not, well, staring hawkishly.
"Better," Tavalu says with sincerity, before she makes a wave toward her hair; presumably, and more specifically, the rather more dramatic silver streaks. "Duke Cristoph made a place for me, I've been sleeping there more than hunting." Pause. "I've been sleeping a lot since I was at Artshall," she semi-admits, "but that's what I'm supposed to be doing. The Betrayer's slaves haven't come very close at all."
Cynara glances down at Medeia's hands, nods slowly and then says quietly, "We will talk soon." She lingers for a moment, as if there might be more to say, before she returns to Adalyn and says softly, "My apologies." Her voice lowers to speak softly to the woman, though she glances at Sydney where she lingers.
Galatea checks composure at daunting. Galatea fails.
Galatea appears not long after this at Sydney's elbow, looking faintly awkward, as is sometimes her wont in large group settings. Fretting openly, in a way perhaps not appropriate to the occassion, she wonders: "How does one introduce one's self to a dragon? Does one introduce one's self to a dragon? Is there some special layer of traditional dragon etiquette of which I best ought be appraised?" She keeps her voice a bit low, but it'd probably wouldn't be too hard to overhear if one was of a mind to eavesdrop.
Aconite chuckles into her glass of wine. Letting her eyes cast about looking over the rest of the room and meanders a little closer to Adalyn. Not too close but within speaking distance and careful not to disturb the orbit of those before her wishing to speak to Cynara.
Adalyn smiles as Cynara comes back over, "It is alright, sometimes words need to be spoken at the moment and can not wait." she lowers her voice as the two lower their voce to speak. She does spot Aconite moving closer she nods nod to her while she speaks.
Medeia nods to Cynara and then glances again to Sydney. She takes a step that direction but pauses when Galatea appears at the other woman's side. Still, she approaches the pair, offering both a smile even as she looks, perhaps, like she might stop being capable of standing soon. "Galatea, I will do it." And then she does, taking the elbow of the much taller woman and leading her over. "Cynara, this is Galatea. Whom I wrote you about." Simple. She steps back to Sydney and leans in quietly to say something.
Sydney turns her focus to Galatea, and she tilts her head. The behavior's not quite what she's come to expect of the woman. Her brows lift, and she reaches out and sets a hand on Galatea's shoulder in a mirror of the encouraging one she was gifted a time before. She flits her focus to Medeia again, and looks... relieved that she doesn't need to muddle her way through trying to explain dragon etiquette. They're dragons! She is most assuredly not.
"Good," Mia replies plainly, directly. "The silver suits you." And then, "My offer still stands, if you have need of it. Whatever 'little trinkets' I have are at your disposal, for whatever good they may do you. It's least I can offer, considering, well...," she trails off. Does she have to say it? She seems disinclined to say it, and presumes that Tavalu must be equally disinclined to remember it. "What ought to be returned." That, there, will have to do.
"It's... well, that they've kept off." Thesarin rumbles out, and inclines his head toward Tavalu again. "They've been some trouble of late, but we ain
"but we ain't aiming to let them move so free as they'd hope," Thesarin finishes.
Sydney pauses as Medeia leans in. Words are exchanged.
Quickly after her exchange with Sydney, Medeia heads for the exit. She is /not/ fleeing! No. She is simply trying to leave before the last of her composure gives out and leaves her a mess on the floor of the Scales embassy. That potentiality looks rather imminent as more silent tears flow from her eyes.
Aconite is patient while she can occupy herself with her wine glass. Medeia's given a quick smile and Galatea is given one as well.
Celina, a dutiful physician's assistant, Giancarlo, a cooper and prize-fighter leave, following Medeia.
Tavalu regards Mia with an intensity she didn't have a moment ago. "I told you," she says, quiet, "there is *no* debt for you. None. Though..." Her shoulders lift, just so. "...I mean, if you do have some things you don't need, that's okay. But you do not owe me anything. Not because of him, and not because of--" Something shifts in her expression, and then immediately shifts back. "Nobody owes me anything." She looks toward Thesarin, and nods once. "Good. Though that will be hard, they get into everything."
Cynara shares a few more words with Adalyn before giving her a regal nod. As Galatea is introduced, the dragoness gives her a long look, her brows lift, then she says, "You must be one of the secrets that Petraea didn't tell me. She shouldn't have hidden you. Though, maybe it wasn't her..." Her gaze lingers before she says, "Sangular, you bastard. Be careful with yourself. I think we need to talk soon. I might need your help with something that could help both of us."
Adalyn nods to the Dragoness? Lady? she gives the woman a respectful bow, before she speaks softly again as she listens.
Galatea seems to derive a certain strength from both Sydney's reassuring hand and Medeia's take-charge offer of an introduction. After clearing her throat pointedly, she gathers unto herself the courtly etiquette no doubt drilled into her at some length earlier in life. Sometimes, it's the anticipation of the thing that inspires more anxiety than the thing itself. Talking to an immortal mythological being is, apparently, precisely one of those things. She lowers herself into a formal curtsey towards Cynara, with all the grace she can muster. "I believe that is more my fault than Petraea's," she says, unable to quite make eye contact for a few moments. "She is not the one who hid me." She is finally able to make eye contact with Cynara, a certain determination glimmering in the depths of her eyes. "The last missive I received from the continent told me that I would find a friend in Petraea, and in the Scales, but I was long terrified to approach her. I believe, hearing everything I did here tonight, that I may have made a profound mistake." She adds, "Is this thing in which I might assist you something to discuss here, or elsewhere?"
Cynara nods and gives Galatea another of those long, searching looks. "Given your circumstances, the instinct to hide is understandable, but I cannot protect you from those who hunt you if you hide even from me." She glances around at the lingering crowd and then says, "I have others to also speak to before the night ends, but we will speak soon. I think we can help each other."
Aconite has finished her wine so after Cyanra and Galatea speak the Radiant steps up quickly, flowing into a deep curtsey. "Thank you. You both sacrificed for the Compact and thought I suspect you'll have no shortage of allies I wish to extend to the Embassy the Whisper's assitance with whatever they can help with." She raises to her full height meeting Cynara's gaze if able. "Also, it may have gotten lost in the past few years but.. I will help." She seems to think the dragoness will know what she's speaking of. "Good night." She says with a quick smile to Adalyn and Galatea the Radiant hurries off.
"So don't consider it repayment, Lady Talu," Mia replies and there's a slow shake of her head. Though the gesture is a small one, it's enough to make the near-perpetual braid she keeps her hair in sway like a rope against her back. "Consider it a gift, one given just because I can, because I want to. There's a half dozen pieces of star iron that I'd been saving for the right moment, too many of which have already come and gone. Besides, it seems strangely poetic to give a small piece of the heavens to one of your people. If they'll suit, I'll have them sent to the Embassy for you by morning."
Galatea lowers herself into a low, formal bow towards Cynara. It is entirely more formal than the sorts of bows given by commoners to nobility here in Arx -- it's more the obeisance one pays towards an incredibly powerful mythological being. "You show me the greatest favor, and I will not keep you. The Pravosi shall protect me well enough in the meantime." She straightens, taking a few steps back to better facilitate Aconites entrance in the dragon's attention. "Farewell," she says to Aconite in the end, as she departs.
If there's any true regret for Sydney, it's the fact that now that she set her glass down, she has absolutely no idea what to do with her hands. Her fingers lace. They unlace. They move to rub at an opposing arm. Then, finally, she puffs a breath at her own fidgeting and she slips them into her pockets, straightening her back and taking a steadying breath. When Galatea moves to leave, Sydney takes a few hurried steps and speaks a few words to her.
Adalyn looks over to Aconite nodding her head, "Good night." she steps back from Cynara, then her green eyes look around and then moves to make her way for the door.
Raymesin steps up towards Cynara, inclining his head deeply. "My condolences on th'loss'a yer familiar," he says, then adds "Familiars." And then he's stepping back again, his moment taken.
"...They'll suit," Tavalu tells Mia, with a bizarre, grateful reluctance. "I stack them up, you see. It's better than draining them all, like I was doing at first, but it *is* a lot slower. Stack them up and sleep near them. As long as the Betrayer's slaves stay away and there aren't any dumb humans stumbling past that want to take some of it, it's not a problem."
Aconite is the second woman to say things and then scoot along this night, so Cynara takes a moment to watch her leave with a slightly baffled expression. But then what the Radiant says sinks in and she smiles. In fact, the dragoness looks -quite- pleased with herself for a moment before her eyes shift to Galatea, watching her as she walks away. It's a funeral and Cynara definitely doesn't seem -cheerful-, but there is something behind the golden gleam in her eyes as if wheels are turning and plans are being made. Eventually, both the targets of her attention have disappeared and Cynara is left to look around. She seems pleased to see Tavalu actually conversating with others. As Raymesin approaches, she gives him a long, puzzled look and says quite formally, "You have my thanks, Death's Child."
Adalyn has left the Ferocity Couch.
Alphonse, a long-suffering assistant, Maggie, an energetic Mistward Labrador leave, following Adalyn.
Briar, the fleet and agile shrike, Alejandro, a gravely sober middle-aged Torean leave, following Aconite.
Raymesin inclines his head deeply again to Cynara, then moves quietly towards the exit. And if the platters of food that he passes aren't quite as full as they were before he went past them, well, he's thin, and must be in need of feeding up.
Sydney draws herself back and looks about at the thinning crowds. The pugilist rubs fiercely at the back of her head. She reaches up and plucks the comb from her hair, slipping it reverently into her pocket. She approaches Raymesin and Cynara just in time for Raymesin to turn and make for the exit. It leaves her rather stranded. "...An eventful funeral, as funerals go."
"I'll hope there's none so foolish," Thesarin says to Tavalu with just the hint of a smile on his face. "I ain't can say I knew the Tribune, but I wanted to make my respects all the same. It's a loss, and sure."
Scarf, the violet serpent leaves, following Raymesin.
The reluctance gives her pause. For a second, and then another, Mia looks up towards Thesarin as if he -- for whatever reason -- may hold some answer she doesn't. "I apologize, if I've offended in some way. If star iron means something more to you than I knew, I assure you it was unintended. There are other gems, others rare metals, in the Riven vaults if you'd prefer. Or none at all, if I've overstepped." With that, she falls silent, so that Thesarin can say his piece regarding Petraea.
Galatea was in fact not in a hurry to leave, though it may have appeared as such--rather, she was bidding Aconite farewell. When Sydney stops to speak to her, she arrests her own movement through the hall, listening carefully before answering back softly. "My bit of it went about as well as I could hope for," she tells the woman. "I know you were very close to Petraea, so this can't have been easy. I thought you spoke very well and touchingly on her passing, however; you should be proud of yourself. I am sure she would be proud of you."
"There were no duels to the death. I have heard those sometimes happen," Cynara says to Sydney without seeming as if she is joking at all as she says this, as if maybe duels are just things that happen at funerals sometimes. "She left it all to you and your cousin. Her money, her properties. All it to be divided between you. We will need to discuss what to do about Joss. I don't think he is safe with Inspiration now." Then, she hesitates and says softly, "I'm sorry. I should have been here. I think she did this for you in a way."
In turn, Tavalu seems a little confused. "No, it's okay," she says. "I'm not offended, and it's a very kind gift. I just--" She rubs at her neck now, or possibly the scars there. "I don't know. There's nothing wrong with it at all. It's not your gift, it's just a strange night. I am just being strange. I'm happy to accept." She looks toward Thesarin. "Yes, it is. My sister--" and she lowers her voice a little.
It's difficult not to notice the fact that Sydney's eyes grow a little shimmery at Galatea's, but she keeps her composure in spite of it. "...I... thank you, 'Tea. I'm just glad so many showed up to pay their respects." She bobs her head. When Cynara speaks up, Sydney turns to face her. "...No, I suppose we should be grateful that there wasn't any of that. No one crashed the proceedings." The next words have her looking down for a moment. "...Yes. I'd like to find him as soon as possible. I promised her that I'd look after him, and I don't mean to break my promises." She glances off to the side, and then back. "...And some more things, that I can't talk about. Things to tell you. Things to ask you."
Caspian looks round from where he had been sitting, silently watching things unfold. he capped the flask he was drinking from, offering a smile and rose. "i think i should be off." he pressed his fist to his chest in a salute before bowing and slipping quietly out into the night.
Cynara watches Sydney with that same studious gaze that she's held for everyone that she's spoken to tonight before she says, "Even if we have to steal him, we will. He needs to know the version of her that you saw. The face that she showed you... that was his mother." She draws in a breath and sighs it out slowly, "You and I have a lot of speaking to do about a great many things. I have questions for you, too. And, I suppose, a very dangerous favor to ask. I'm full of those these days, but these are dangerous times. She wouldn't have wanted us to stall because we grieved her." Her voice lowers a little more as she murmurs a few quieter words.
Galatea confesses quietly to Sydney, "I had...my own reason for coming, at Medeia's recommendation, but I also felt like it was important to be here for you, as your friend, knowing the bonds between the two of you." She quite politely chooses not to notice the misty eyes, but certainly she notices, because she relents on laying any more heartfelt comments or earnest references to the departed. Her eyes draft towards Cynara. "The people of this city have faced one generational peril after another over the last ten or so years," she promises the woman. "You will not find our courage or ability wanting, hardened in the crucible of so many crises as it has been."
"After all I have seen of the Compact, I have no doubts that there is plenty of fight left. I think it was all in preparation for -this-. The world is changing. It won't be the same after this, after everything," Cynara says in response to Galatea before she says softer, almost to herself, "I wasn't sure if I would live to see it, but I am glad that I have. The Age of Wonder is on the cusp of being born. We only need to push a little further."
"I'll do what needs to be done," Sydney regards Cynara, her shoulders back and her jaw set. "She had a long list of things that needed to be done, as I mentioned, and if I don't manage to put a dent in it, how will I be able to face her, the next time around?" Her voice lowers briefly, then she turns to bob her head to Galatea. "Thank you. Truly. And..." Her eyes slip back towards Cynara, "...What she said."
Tavalu considers Mia for a long moment at something she says, before replying, simply, "We don't cry the way you do." And a much, much longer pause, before she adds, without emotion, "I will not do it again. Ever. Never again. It happened too much, that's why there's a hole in me."
Galatea flatters Sydney a little -- aiming to build up her stature in the eyes of Cynara, a figure of highest stature in the eyes of many, and perhaps Sydney especially. "And of all those with courage, I would consistently rank Sydney's in the foremost and highest reaches." Lacing her fingers together in front of her, she exhales lengthily. "You need but speak the time for me to come and attend you to hear of your...perilous requirements, and I shall do so. There are a great many questions I have turned over in my head for years, and I suspect you hold the key to their conclusive answers. In return for this, a bit of perilous work is only appropriate."
Something about what Tavalu says has her hand going fretfully towards her purse, though she stops herself from reaching inside of it.
Sydney's brow furrows for a moment, but at what, it's difficult to say. She glances back at Galatea and her furrowed brow lifts and she clicks her tongue, her posture taking a more confident set. She's not above flattery or being built up, really. "Really? Me? I don't know if I'd call myself that -- no, I wouldn't, and I hope that's what keeps me alive and well. To see through the things that I need to see through."
Galatea offers a rejoinder: "You have courage, not foolhardy disregard for your own life. It's an important distinction."
"And here I had always thought the names for those stones was some invention of the bards and the storytellers," Mia murmurs. There's a memory that flashes through her thoughts, then, of a particular piece of... a memory that makes her skin prick at the thought of what was really on display, without anyone in attendance realizing it. "Should I ever see another sitting behind a glass case in a jeweler's shop, I will remember how it was made."
"I have no doubts in Sydney's bravery or dedication. I also agree. There is a difference between being a fool and being brave." Cynara says to Galatea and then follows with, "My answers to your questions do not come with a price. For Petraea's sake, if nothing else. If you refuse what I ask of you, I will still give you what you need to know." She draws in a breath and then says, "I tire of secrets. If all I can give is truth, then I will. I know we three have much to speak of, but I should attend to a few things. Please excuse me." She gives each woman a bow of her head before backing away, turning, and drifting just close enough to Tavalu to murmur before she changes course to enter Arthen's orbit and murmur to him.
"Not a story," Tavalu confirms very quietly. "But not all tears are..." She pauses. "Not all tears are the same. Some are for good memories. But it's rare for us, if ever, and I-- No more for me." She hushes a little as Cynara draws near, as if she's embarrassed, but whatever is whispered, she regards her sister for a moment that's paradoxically a little bit hopeful. "Me too." Beat. "Can I come?"
Sydney stays and drinks well into the evening with any who choose to linger.
Wordlessly, Cynara beckons Tavalu to follow her as she weaves her way out one of the other exits.
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