The Final Verse
Oct. 26, 2023, 8:52 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Lyceum - The Black Fox
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The Final Verse has started at Arx - Ward of the Lyceum - The Black Fox.
Jan chuckles softly "Many in this ward might disagree with you, Lady Medeia." she turns at the jingle of bells and offers a polite uptilt of her chin "You should try the spirits, they're good." She suggests to the unfamiliar arrival. She nods to Lucita "I imagine those who're lycene, indeed are tucked away." She looks past Lucita towards Darren and offers a grin and another uptilt of her chin in greeting.
Kanean looks to Medeia with his grey eyes, "I am Kanean Ironfoot." he gives a bow to her, "I am of house Rivenshari, but I am not a Rivenshari." he has a big ol smirk on his face. "I hope I have not come in to interrupt anything." he taps his chin with a gloved finger, "A story? Hmm."
Cold aside it really is a lovely evening. There's the soft whistle of a winter wind whenever someone opens the door, and small snow flakes flurry past the windows, lit only by the strange street lamps known only to Arx. Indeed, it is a very good evening for stories. The Black Fox is warm, the food is good, and only the faint hint of the now-always red tinged moon suggests otherwise.
Medeia continues to usher new arrivals into the bar and encourage them to try the new rum barrel-aged wine. Darren's arrival is thus noted with a beaming bright smile. "Your Grace! Hello! How wonderful you made it back to our ward." Then she's giving a nod to Kanean. "Well met, Messere Ironfoot. I am Lady Medeia Saik, this is Baroness Lucita Saik. We are friends of the Rivenshari, and we are happy to have you here tonight." She laughs to what Jan says. "I imagine so. Nonetheless! I believe there is at least one or two stories to be shared." As if on cue, one sailor guest stands and introduces himself as a captain based out of Southport. He begins to spin a tale about the biggest whale he ever did see, a whale that capsized a caravel!
Lucita says, "If it weren't for this being one of our Saik wines, I just might have been one of those people bundled up in comfortable blankets near a fire at home. " Darren gets a curtsy upon arrival and her smile widens. "Welcome, good to see you again." Her smile fades a little and she returns toward her seat while setting her glass of wine aside. She glances from person to person, blinking a few times, her hand raising briefly to her temple before dropping back into her lap. "What story is to be our entertainment tonight Lady Medeia?"
Jan nods to Kanean "Lady Jan Kennex, a pleasure to meet you, Master Ironfoot." She frowns gently and shifts to stand besides Lucita, leaning in to murmur softly "Are you feeling well, Baroness?"
Darren's first imperative seems to be to seek out the hostess of the party. "With you throwing so many interesting parties here, Lady Medeia, I doubt anyone could blame me for refusing to stay away." He smiles to her, and then to Lucita. He speaks a bit more softly when he speaks to her. "Baroness. Thank you for sharing your wines with us as you did your home, during the winter festival."
Medeia is not quite so caught up in hosting that she fails to notice Lucita. She looks concerned, but she gives Darren an appreciative nod. "It has been a while since I have felt so inspired to host, and so I am glad that others are enjoying the results." Then she slips aside while the sailor from Southport continues to talk about the whale. Softly, she asks, "Luc? If you have want, I can have a carriage come."
Carissa, a Southport bodyguard, Planchet the Lycene maggiordome arrive, following Eirene.
Stojan, a cleverly reserved assistant, 3 Thrax Guards, 1 Ulbran Thug, Sivas, an artsy ostentatious curator, 1 Thrax Elite Guards, Cato, a stealthy non-descript man arrive, following Denica.
Kanean looks out the windows for a long moment his grey eyes looking the streets over as if he was distracted for a moment then looks back, "It is a pleasure to meet you Lady Medeia, Baroness." he gives her a bow standing up. "Lady Jan." his eyes fall onto Darren then back to the Baroness.
Lucita color rises in Lucita's cheeks and she waves one hand in dismissal of the concerns of others. "Oh, I think just stood up too suddenly, perhaps. I did skip a meal today trying to get ready for this. Please, enjoy yourselves. It is nothing to worry about." A gentle smile is given Darren. "You are always welcome to visit, festival or not." She lifts her glass before her mouth but does not take a sip. Those sitting near her may hear as she starts to hum a little. Her gaze focuses in the mid-distance, not really upon any person.
"Perhaps I will take you up on that someday, Baroness Lucita." There's an understated tact about the way Darren bows his head and withdraws, leaving the two Saiks to see to Lucita's health without an outsider's interference.
Eirene shows up! She's moved through the freezing morning air with her coat bundled around her and a scarf up over her nose and face. There's snow dusting her hat and shoulders as she steps in through the door. "I fuckin' hate winter," says the Southern bred and born woman. "Deia! Sorry I'm late," she calls to their hostess.
A walk through the snow is pleasant enough, a rosy hue washed over her pale cheeks. The short princess is wearing a heavy winter coat that is dusted with falling snowflakes. Her hands are warm, kept hidden within the confines of her muff. A guard holds the door open, it takes a bit for the whole group to amass inwards, bringing with it a cool breeze. Ever ready for wine, the princess flashes a smile on her immediate arrival, dusting off the snow. Having arrived just after Eirene, she declares the opposite. "I love winter. Everything just sparkles. The city looks like one big blank canvas." There's a little grin for Eirene. Then lifting a hand out of the warm accessory, fingers wiggle at their host. "Lady Medeia-- I've no doubt the refreshments will be good."
Jan remains near Lucita all the same but lets her gaze wander. She beams broadly "Eirene! Do you know his Grace? How about Master Kanean Ironfoot?"
Medeia checked dexterity + alchemy at difficulty 9, rolling 44 higher.
Medeia checked dexterity + alchemy at difficulty 9, rolling 44 higher.
Kanean chuckles as what is said about winter, he moves in to get a drink and move find a seat near to the hearth. He brings his cup up to his lips and watches the group of nobles gathering, his eyes look to Lucita now and then but for now he is quiet
Medeia checks composure and etiquette at hard. Botch! Medeia fails completely.
It's seeing Eirene's entrance to the bar that goes the farthest towards bridging the distance in Darren's demeanor. He smiles to her, a broad smile that verges on a grin without quite making that leap. "Eirene, it's good to see you alive and well."
Alberico, the Malespero aide, 1 Malespero Guard, Louis, a Malespero Armsman, Mar, the Magpie arrive, following Pasquale.
Lucita glances toward Eirene and Denica as they arrive, bowing from where she sits rather than rising from her seat. The glass is set aside once again and she lifts a hand to wave in greeting though she does not speak, just continues softly humming as her gaze goes back toward focusing in the unoccupied mid room and her brow creases just slightly as if trying to remember something.
Whatever Lucita's humming, it's an utterly unfamiliar tune. Minor key. A little disquieting, as though she's hitting all the notes perfectly, but they aren't quite...right.
Medeia blinks once, twice at Lucita. Did other people come in? She's transfixed upon the baroness and seems not to have noticed that Eirene or Denica has said anything to her. "Oh no." Before she can stop herself, she's grabbing the baroness' arm, shaking her. "Luc. You are doing it. The thing! With the song! That you warned me about!" She looks around frantically, eyes landing on Jan and Eirene in particular. "/Clear the bar/." She's pleading, dread etched into her expression.
Pasquale returns a while after the wine release was due to start and begins to make his way across to where Medeia is. Or begins too anyway. When Medeia grabs at Lucita's arm and calls for the bar to be cleared he tilts his head a little. Pauses for a moment, and then gestures for his bodyguard Louis to play bouncer.
"Darren and I go way back," Eirene admits to Jan, giving the Highlord a friendly grin. "I got grazed, nothing that couldn't heal on its own. Lost a lot of good people though." The grin turns to a small frown. "But we held the walls, and that's what mattters." She stops as Medeia reacts to the strange music and pauses to listen. It's then that Eirene knows exactly what it is. "Come on, everyone OUT," she says to the civilians in the crowd. "Baroness needs space, clear the bar. Doctor's orders" She starts rounding up the other guests to shoo them out along with Louis' help.
The change in Darren is so sudden and complete that it might be a mask coming off, or the flip of a switch. He goes from a figure going out of his way to make no trouble to one in command of the space that he occupies. He calls his guards over with a sharp word, and after conferring with them, sets them to the task of clearing the various people hanging around out of the bar. They won't be able to do much about the peerage, of course; they're just common soldiers.
Jan has a glass of Saik's spirits though she is at the moment just holding it and Pasquale would recognize her discretely concerned and protective hovering near where Lucita sits. She tilts her head "Are you sure you're-" she looks to Medeia baffled. She looks perplexed and then reaches over and tries to pinch Lucita's nose because as everyone knows it's impossible to hum with one's nose pinched shut "Give me a good reason I should abandon you to whatever nonsense is afoot."
Bear, a war mastiff have been dismissed.
6 Last Watch Sentries have been dismissed.
Nils, an aging Northern steward have been dismissed.
Not exactly the reaction she was expecting, when Medeia tells people to leave and Eirene tosses them out, not for a moment does Denica think this includes her. Rather, she walks over and takes a step so that she can offer up her assistance. "It's best to let her experience what she needs to. Lucita is strong, she knows what to do. We are just here to keep her company and make sure she's comfortable. If something strange happens, we can help. Otherwise, we are a calm supporting force around her." Denica's tone is warm and cheerful, she offers positive vibes.
Lucita continues to hum a little louder, glancing toward Medeia and giving a little shake of the head, pushing a little at the hand on her arm that is on the verge of breaking her concentration. She looks back in the mid-distance as her lips part, the humming a little louder and projecting as if it is the preface to something more.
Kanean raises a brow from his seat, his cup is put down and he stands looking between them, "What is going on?" his grey eyes look at those who just entered and then the group that has been here.
"It always hurts her..." Medeia says, probably in response to Denica, as if anyone has any power to stop what is coming. But she does allow Lucita to push her away. Then she sort of stands there, a bit dumbstruck. "Uh." A glance to Kanean. "A song."
There's a lot of protests from the customers suddenly, inexplicably being evicted. Not a few of them stare towards Lucita, as if she might provide some explanation, given she seems to be the reason for the sudden change. Some of them blunder out anyway, grumbling irritably, and then the rest just...don't. Lucita's humming is beautiful, haunting. *Louder*. Even the bouncer stops, distracted. The air seems to vibrate - not unpleasantly - and it's as though they can all hear a song at the edge of memory. They've never heard it, and yet they have, haven't they? Or they're about to.
Lucita sings, clear and haunting:
Turn an ear, children of Choice
Listen now, this single voice
Look well and see the looming eye
It tells a tale none can deny
Kinslayer bends all wills to his
Ambition set to change what is
His vengeance near has made him blind
For vengeance cold is paid in kind
Where human kings have left their mark
In ruins deep and cold and dark
There Traitor goes, his sins laid bare
But of the Three he does not care."
Jan frowns "IF that's so why warning..." She ooohs "Right. Cause maybe if one sings the...oh, ok. Right. Sorry Baroness." She lets go of Lucita and loiters nearby, worried. She's not even noticed Pasquale's arrival yet. She smiles wryly "You are going to have to ask her after this I think." her tone distracted but still apologetic.
Jan shuts up as soon as the song begins.
Nodding to Medeia, with understanding, "it's a good thing she's not along, we can support her," Denica says reassuringly. Looking towards Lucita then, the princess offers a gentle and empathetic smile. But she goes silent as she hears the woman start to sing. The woman presses her lips together, listening to the words and feeling unsettled by it.
As soon as the air turns and the music flows through Lucita, Eirene gives the woman her full concentration. How can she not, the music has her enveloped. And when the song is done there's a moment or two of rapt silence before she turns to her aide. "Planchet, write that shit down before we forget," she orders.
Kanean stays where he is, his grey eyes widen as he listens to the Baroness sing. A deep frown comes to his face as he listens and watches, his hand moving up to his chest as he listens.
Lucita closes her eyes momentarily as if emphasizing the words and lifts her hand in a singer's dramatic movement as she sings.
Jan watches and continues to hover in that way of someone resisting the urge to fuss or interfere, remaining close at hand and attuned to Lucita's state while she sings.
Lucita rises from her seat, pouring herself, her talent into the words and music being sung, her eyes opening and her gaze moving from person to person as if singing to them personally, making sure they hear this song.
"The walls of time will still hold fast
A sister's madness drowned at last
But another sister's lost to fire
And Mania dark can still inspire
New voices brave have paid the cost
To learn and live what once was lost
Though all are gone one still remains
The chosen sing to break his chains
Cloak, crystal, sorrowed, shadow's glee
And old gray fox makes two sides three
In secret foes have forged alliance
But more may aid their bold defiance
Bring to light what lies unspoken
Of enemy bonds in trust unbroken
Forest scorned may make a vow
Dragon blood your time is now
No wars of blood can be undone
No true regrets bring back the sun
But human lives are not so long
Thus fleeting deeds can still be strong."
Lucita's words are clear, strong, with every note perfected. She's not done, either.
Pasquale listens to Lucita sing with rapt focus himself. His lips moving a little as he silently repeats many of the lyrics.
Eirene turns to look at the window. At the moon. Back at Lucita. She's going pale which is hard for someone with an olive lycene tan to her skin.
Concern remains in Denica's eyes while she stands silently watching and listening. Every so often, vivid blues scan the room, cautiously guarding. Then she returns her attention to Lucita, empathizing knowing it will take much out of her. Quiet.
Medeia continues to stand, but she's shaking a little as she listens. She is listening /intently/, as if the harder she pays attention the less Lucita might suffer in the end. At the mention of a sister lost to flame and Mania, silent tears begin to fall.
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