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A Spring Equinox party Uptown goes horribly wrong.

The capital city of Anaxas and the seat of the government.
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Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:41 pm

The Perrault House, Uptown Vienda
On the 17th of Loshis, 2719, during the Early Evening
“Like the generations of leaves, the lives of mortal men.
Now the wind scatters the old leaves across the earth,
now the living timber bursts with the new buds
and spring comes round again. And so with men:
as one generation comes to life, another dies away.”


The Iliad, Homer (trans. Robert Fagles)
Alcide and Marie Perrault had spared no expense for the Spring Equinox. The night had come on early underneath a sheaf of rain-heavy clouds; despite the warmer temperatures – the first in months – a sharp wind rattled the windowpanes against their creaking frames, and a humid chill clung to the bones. Nevertheless, the inside of the Perraults’ fine, three-story Uptown home was warm and cheerily-lit, and the great ground-floor ballroom was a flock of vibrant dresses and flushed faces, clinking toasts, gaggles of finely-dressed men one minute arguing and the next bursting into cascades of laughter.

Incumbent Perrault and his wife were welcoming local officials, diplomats, and judges from each of the Six Kingdoms, and so a panoply of fashions could be observed in the ballroom, and one could even hear smatterings of Heshath and Mugrobi and more. Even the ambassador from Hox was present for the season's convention of the Vyrdag, looking somber and ascetic in black; a few representatives from Gior moved about, tall and pale and resplendent in white. Servants hurried here and there through the sea of galdori, hefting trays heavy-laden with apéritifs and assorted dainties. The Perraults must have been proud: the event could have been a painter’s rendition of a successful, respectable party, and if international tensions occasionally reared their heads, everyone was at least content to get along for the night.

Nevertheless, Incumbent Thaddeus Crawley found all of this insufficient.

He had just snatched another glass of port from a nearby servant, and it was already halfway-drunk; he had already had two, but even had he drunk everything in the Perraults’ cellar, it would not have been enough to transport him from the misery of the evening.

Truth be told, he did not want to be in Vienda. Each year, he tired more and more of the rainy season’s stuffy meeting halls full of judges, grasping crows perched in their black robes – parties and fundraisers – endless fawning. He felt a hundred arrows pressing at him from each side, though particularly from the southeast. The last place he wanted to be was here, at the head of the kingdom, when its phosphor-veined heart in the north lay so heavy on his mind.

“They’re all waiting for me to die.”

“Beg your pardon?”

Incumbent Crawley was tall for an Anaxi, and not even slightly bent despite his very advanced age. He had a spine like a ramrod, and he kept his chin raised. The fellow beside him, some Viendan incumbent with a weak, irritatingly erratic field, was a few heads shorter, and Crawley did not deign to look down. “Don’t play the fool. I’m too old for this liars’ game. Fawning and more godsbedamned fawning.”

The Viendan incumbent said nothing.

Crawley’s lips pulled into an even more sour frown, the spider’s web of creases on his face deepening. “I’ve represented Cerolyn on the Vyrdag for four decades, but everyone knows the Tors are in my pocket. Look around you. I would wager that every merry phosphor light in this accursed house owes its life to one of my mines. Where is the money in Anaxas? What are we to be known for, when we pass off the Symvoul?”

He heard an incoherent mumble, and for the first time, he turned to his neighbor. The redheaded incumbent peered up at him, brows furrowed; his mouth was moving, but nothing seemed to be coming out. His hand was twitching around his empty glass, in any case, and he looked as if he were itching to get away.

Crawley felt a burst of rage. “You’re going to have to speak up, he snapped. He saw no point in hiding the red-shift that bled through the mona in his field, and it seethed even redder as the other man paused to stare at him. “By the Circle, man,” he continued, “I did not devote my life to the study of Perceptive conversation, thus ruining the fine ears the gods so graciously gave me in my youth, so that I could be standing here, straining to hear your mumbling.”

Rather than shrinking back from the press of his ramscott, the idiot’s field continued to buzz against it, unmoved and unchanged. “Of course,” he replied, louder, leaning a little closer. “I apologize. I—”

“Never mind. I don’t want to hear it anymore.” Crawley peered down his long nose at the other galdor, eyes narrowing, then grunted and turned away. He finished off his glass of port smoothly and handed it off to a passing servant, the mona in his field still quivering with irritation. “I knew Incumbent Perrault when he was in swaddling-clothes,” he started again, “and his father would never have stood for this travesty of an event. What is this swill that’s being passed off as port?” He bit off the words, turning to his companion—

The Viendan incumbent was gone. As a matter of fact, despite the dizzying press of fields and moving bodies that was the rest of the ballroom, the area around Incumbent Crawley was devoid of galdori.

Clasping his hands behind his back and huffing under his breath, he wandered toward the nearest of the hall’s high, narrow windows. Usually, they gave out on the Perraults’ well-tended garden, with its creatively-trimmed shrubs and winding stone paths, but this evening, they were clouded with fog.

In the rest of the hall, the party went on.


Off Topic
The Perraults’ party for the Spring Equinox is open to any politically-involved galdor in Uptown Vienda. Feel free to enter and mingle as you will (and even approach Incumbent Crawley, if you dare). However, keep in mind that as the night draws on and events unfold, the party may prove to be unexpectedly tense – and dangerous.

The next post goes to Raksha, but after that, the floor is open. There will be no posting order, but we'll be posting updates regularly.

If you are Resistance and would like to be involved, DM Raksha or I.
word count: 1130

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Raksha
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Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:32 am

17th Loshis, 2719
VIENDA|EARLY EVENING
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"Oh Gods, I am not in any mood to talk to that dottering bastard.” Damen D’Arthe muttered under his breath, glancing down at the drink in his hand and moving with a slow meander away from the direction Incumbent Crawley was headed. Beside him, Julian Megiro chuckled and sipped on his brandy, bloodshot eye on the dreaded galdor as he passed them, muttering to himself.

“Don’t worry Captain D’Arthe, the man alienates everyone so he doesn’t have to talk to them. He’s a bastard and an ersehole to boot. One day, it’ll get him killed I swear it.” The salt and pepper haired Bastian laughed quietly, shifting through the people with nods of acknowledgement.

“Did you see the Gioran that came? Something-or-rather-Dahane? Dah Huwayne?” He asked, turning side on and pointing a little finger in the direction of the foreigner. Julian glanced inconspicuously, looking over the giant woman that stood in their midsts. She was close to seven feet tall, with thickly braided long white hair that ran down the centre of her back in line with her spine, wide set eyes so pale they were nearly white and skin glistening with a fine dusting of quartz. Her outfit was overly elegant, a pristine white silk dress that wrapped around her body and up over one shoulder, the hem of the fabric embroidered with silver monite and her waist cinched with a white leather corset. Her white eyelashes and eyebrows were not tainted with makeup, only her cheekbones and lips reflecting the iridescent dust made from ground cave-beetle shells that had been brushed there. On either side of the unsmiling, straight backed Da Huane were two Quartz Guardians, gripping their spears and shields with unwavering dedication.

“Joliken Da Huane. She’s the Kingdom’s leaders eldest daughter, and from what I understand basically the next in line to lead Gior. I would have thought you would have known that Captain, given your late wife was a Gioran.” The Bastian’s jaw clenched, and he sipped quickly on his beverage.

“Why would I? She might have been from Gior, but she came to Anaxi soil and as such we were Anaxi. I didn’t care about her primitive culture then, and I don’t now. It’s an archaic concept, family dictated leadership. The whole country is stuck in the past.” Lowering the cognac with a sound of satisfaction, Damen looked at Julian and waggled a pointer finger.

“The question is, Mister Megiro, why would Gior send someone so important outside of their country in the first place? I don’t know if you’re aware, but the tow-headed kensers believe they are superior to all other races. They supress emotions and rarely let foreigners inside the Kingdom. To have anyone outside of the Ambassadors attending this event is a strong show of trust. Perhaps its a play for sympathy. Perhaps it’s strategic, to remove the stigma of stoicness to the point of stupidness. Either way, I have no interest in speaking with a woman. She has no place in politics.” The disgust was rampant in his voice, sharp blue eyes turning from the woman to look around the rest of the room.

From the floor, Alyssa and Caina moved with unseen ease, hidden in plain sight with a clever outfit and carefully crafted stories. The two humans were passable as passives, with the assistance of a glamour of auburn hair color from a galdori sympathiser in their Viendan Freedom Fighter Cell and a strong submissive performance. A backstory about being hired from a private residence for the night, and a water tight alibi, the two woman were as visible as the bugs crawling in the dark corners of the potted shrubbery.

“That’s the Incumbent there, moving along towards the windows.” The master assassin breathed as they stood together stacking drinks on trays from a beverage table. Their backs were to the upper levels, but Alyssa seemed to know precisely where the old foul tempered galdor was. Lifting her tray, the woman turned with a slight inwards hunch, as though protecting herself from the oppressors around her. She looked as though her spirit was broken and her life forfit, blue eyes on the ground.

“We need to get up to him and take him alive. That window, if we can get him close enough we could sneak out the back, up the trelice and take him out with a simple elbow to the head. As long as we don’t drop him, we’ll be fine.” The commentary was almost inaudible, the Wisp turning her head just so that the sound traveled towards Caina with a clarity that could only be learned through years of practice. As though it was an unspoken agreement, Alyssa began her slow and careful migration through the people towards the staircase, eyes ever on the ground and posture non-threatening.

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