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A Springtime Buzz: Malvici Open Garden

With springtime cheer soaking through the city more, after some extentions were made to the Malvici gardens - at last the time to open the doors is here. With archery targets, decked area for cooking upon an open fire and a luxurious hot spring. Nothing say mid-spring relaxation in the city like slightly warm weather, outdoor food and aiming arrows at targets. Plus hot springs.

Food, drink and entertainment provided.

Date

Jan. 1, 2020, 2 p.m.

Hosted By

Martino

Participants

Zoey Skye Fiora Appolonia Thea Verity Philippe Bianca Tarik Silvio Domonico Dianna Merek

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of the Lyceum - Malvici Hall - Southern Gardens

Largesse Level

Grand

Comments and Log


Nunia the discreetest handmaid arrives, following Fiora.

Zoey arrived at the party early, wanting an opportunity to explore the place before it was crowded with people. Now she lounges near the hot spring, watching other guests arrive.

With the fanfare of the thin red ribbon being cut, the Malvici Lord Martino is stood beside it and claps lightly. "And... well I declare the Southern Gardens within Malvici Hall quite open!" So much pomp for a small extention off of the main garden. With a crease of Martino's sharp green eyes, he greets guests as they come in though - while others have already found their positions of comfort elsewhere within it. The archery targets, a small crowd gathers around them, the spa steaming hot - and the fire pit churning out a rich meaty smell across the southern part of the Lyceum Ward. "Mmm. A pleasure to see you." Martino speaks with a faint smile as a commoner steps through and makes their way, with drink in hand, to the food table.

Archimedes, the Grim Face of Owlish Judgement, Sir Alren, 3 Templar Knight guards arrive, following Bianca.

Skye arrives at the party, a vision in pink with her diamondplate bow in hand. She gives a gentle smile to Martino as he opens the gardens for everyone. Then makes her way over to the archery targets so she can jump in and try her hand at the contest. She glances about to make sure she's not cutting anyone in line.

Certainly not a creature designed specifically for spring, Fiora is an individual much more complimentary of winter. Her frosty gaze and impassive demeanor practically causing flowers to wilt as she glowers her way in. The Other Malvici Voice makes her way into the Southern Gardens, looking among the space with what may likely appear to be tepid disapproval. However on approach to Martino, Fiora simply gives a light nod. "You did well." Flat and without affectation, it's a remarkable compliment. And without waiting for her cousin's response, she heads, silent of step to loiter around the archery area.

Fiora has joined the a set of three archery targets with markings and arrow stacks beside.

"So kind of you to show me my way around these things, this is really the least I could do - you understand that I'm repeating myself, but that's one of our little tricks," says Appolonia to Verity as she approaches from the direction of the Seraceni manor. "Ah, we're just in time!"

"See, Mother Mercy, naught to fear," Appolonia says to Bianca, clasping her hands together. "And it is the least I can do, Count Blanchard, to introduce you around after your great kindness." This is probably over the free cheese. And that said, Appolonia steps forwards, calling out cheerfully as she comes in, "MarTINo, hello there. Have you met Count Blanchard, or this charming young lady in their service?" She indicates Verity at the latter. (Bianca presumably needs no introduction.)

Skye has joined the a set of three archery targets with markings and arrow stacks beside.

Thea ventures in from the Malvici Hall, probably from the study, Finn at her side as always. He makes his way sniffing his way to Fiora and Martino--his Malvici family before he struts his way about, bushy tail wagging.

Thea however bows her head to those present, a brief smile on her lips,"Good evening." Dressed in a two piece dress, dagger more than lightly hidden on her person, she drifts from person to the next. The youngest Martino plucks a glass of wine quickly. Yep. Needed.

"As far as payment goes, this is much more than I was expecting!" says Verity, following along after Appolonia. From her wide, eager eyes and open expression, it's not difficult to surmise how much she's enjoying just looking at the festivities. Never mind the prospect of imminently joining in.

"It's so much better than silver. Money can be impersonal sometimes, don't you think?"

She looks over her shoulder to give Philippe and Bianca a grin, but her attention is soon drawn to Martino when she is introduced. She curtsies for the lord's benefit.

"This all looks so amazing, my lord! I'm thankful that I was invited to experience your hospitality."

Skye doesn't take any time before she's drawing her bow to take her shots. She aims carefully, lining up the target and then in quick succession shots five arrows. Her first shot by far is the best, hitting the middle of the target. Three other arrows hit the inner ring. Only one arrow doesn't make it's mark which causes the young baroness to frown for a moment. Then she brightens when she realizes how the other shots went.

Seeing that a line is forming to try the archery targets, Zoey picks up her bow and slowly makes her way over there, hoping to keep her pregnant waddle from being overly pronounced in her gait.

Zoey has left the a luxurious hot spring and lounging area.

Zoey has joined the a set of three archery targets with markings and arrow stacks beside.

Bowing his head as guest-after-guest steps in, Martino's lips twist into an easy smile as Skype makes her way through to begin ranging against the targets. A pleased nod to himself, a subtle glance over shoulder at the sight of of the corset gown. "Mm? Oh! Lady Fiora!" Martino's eyes widen for a moment as his wintery fellow Voice steps beside and murmurs to him. "Why... thank you. Oh. Please. Do enj--" Off Fiora goes, perhaps fully aware of Martino's gaze for a moment before.

"Ah Lady Appolonia. A pleasure to see you after so - very - long! A delight you are in Arx at last." Martino's left hand rolls out to greet Appolonia before his gaze drails across to welcome both Verity and Bianca first with a bow of his head. Sharp greens of his own eyes, watching as Verity dips for a curtesy "A delight Messere Verity. Legate Bianca. How unfortunate for me to have not crossed paths with such delights beforehand. Oh... Count Philippe. To see you also. Welcome." Generally Martino repeats welcomes, smiles and clicks a servant across to pour red wines. "I assure you. Not from the same seller who sold my wedding wine.

While Fiora is busy ignoring people she certainly does not ignore Finn. "Hello there." Come words that sound positively sweet, in spite of their origin. Going to one knee, the woman goes to give Finn a plethora of scritches and pets before he eventually makes his way on to sniff at all the new people. For her part, Fiora stands back up and immediately becomes an icicle amongst the spring garden once more, giving a sharp gaze and speaking quietly with those over at the archery targets.

Skye moves towards the target where she shot her arrows so she can remove them from the target. She is careful not the damage the shaft as she pulls them out. Then she moves out of the way so other archers can take a shot.

Count Philippe Blanchard is not regularly given to hosting garden parties, but he certainly will go to one. Lady Appolonia didn't need to twist his arm (too much). Besides, it's an opportunity to upsell new nobles on horses. The old count nods when introduced, bowing as appropriate to his hosts. "My thanks," he says. The talk of red wine briefly prickles the hair on the back of his neck, but not to worry. He'll just need to get a larger pour to be absolutely sure. For the ladies' sake.

Zoey checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 45, rolling 27 higher.

Zoey checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 45, rolling 32 higher. Zoey rolled a critical!

Zoey checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 45, rolling 15 higher.

Zoey checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 45, rolling 3 lower.

Zoey checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 45, rolling 25 higher.


"It's been a while, since I've been out to the Lyceum Ward. Too long, really." Mother Bianca Wyrmguard's quiet musings fill the spaces in between the growing sounds of revelry and party goers as she slips into the expansive Malvici gardens. Bright silver eyes ever-so-slightly wide with subdued wonder, the legate clasps her hands in front of her as she takes in the luxurious scenery, her eyes straying towards the archery targets beyond. Her bow is with her today, Forbearance slung at her back and glinting off stray motes of light.

"Thank you for the invitation, Lady Appolonia," Bianca enthuses warmly and sincerely; she looks towards Verity, sharing with her the tiniest of smiles in answer to that more energetic of grins, before her attention strays towards Martino. She takes hold of her robes, dipping in a deep, respectful curtsey. "Lord Martino; it is an honor. These gardens look truly grand -- you've outdone yourselves." Her silver gaze strays towards the archery targets again, for a quiet moment of thought, right hand rubbing mildly at her left forearm.


"It does have a certain detachment, though that has its advantages... but I could quote the 'things are good, but sometimes bad' litany to you all day," Appolonia murmurs to Verity, before beaming at Martino. "THANK you so much. Yes. I feel much better now. I needed some time. I'm glad to see things thriving so much!" She steps aside so Martino can meet the others, raising a hand to waggle fingers at Thea in passing.

"Uh oh," she says. "Remind me of the tale of the wedding wine, cousin."

Finn gives a happy bark to Fiora as she gives him all the pets and then away he goes, expecting the same from Martino. Thea meanwhile is over by the spring, because well--water. She sees Appolonia and smiles,"It appears you are at my home now, welcome,"as she turns to greet Philippe,"Count Blanchard, hello. Nice to meet you. I'm Lady Thea Malvici." Her introduction to Bianca and Verity as well. Sip of wine following. Yep. This is usually Martino's thing.

Verity's expression warms at Martino's reply, and she makes a token effort to put some demurral in her smile. Being a delight among delights suits her just fine. She takes wine from the servant when it is was offered to her, and -- perhaps out of solidarity -- she is effusive in thanking the server.

The dark-haired woman looks over her shoulder to observe the source of the arrow-thunking sounds while taking her first sip.

"Oh, this is good," she murmurs. Immediately after, Appolonia reinforces the subject of wedding wine. Verity furrows her brow.

"Was the wedding wine... better, or worse?"

(She flips instantly into gracious mode again to curtsey, glass in her hand and all, to Thea. "A pleasure to meet you, my lady! Verity Locke, sworn minister to my lord Count Blanchard.")

Fiora checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 45, rolling 36 higher. Fiora rolled a critical!

Fiora checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 45, rolling 9 lower.

Fiora checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 45, rolling 21 higher.

Fiora checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 45, rolling 13 higher.

Fiora checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 45, rolling 89 higher. Fiora rolled a critical!

Tarik didn't come for the archery, but came to get some free Malvici Spiced Red, and perhaps take a dip in the pool. Tarik takes a look around to make sure that someone else has tried the wine first and is still standing before pouring himself a glass. Tarik takes his glass and walks towards the pool. Tarik does a quick nod to a couple of people as he makes his way there.

Tarik has joined the a luxurious hot spring and lounging area.

Murmuring hushed with the gathered few by the entrance still, Martino shares with them while others are off by the archery targets or stepping further in. "Since that was never /my/ thing. Might I delight you instead with the fire pit or perhaps a lounge in our dear pool?" Reaching down as Finn barks as his knees, Martino pets the large dog of Thea's while smiling a reply to Bianca, "Quite welcome Legate and you honour us with your own presence." A fleeting smile to Appolonia is shared as she steps further past, a comment aside to her hushed. "Oh true. And, well, one cannot relive our youthful times in Ischia." A devious twist up of Martino's lips before distracted with questions on wedding wine from Verity also. "Oh I can share more on that tale later but... well. It rendered all those who attended poisioned. Unable to move with speed. While arrows were shot at both wife and I."

Philippe efficiently keeps hold of his first glass of wine as he gives Lady Thea a bow. "My lady," he says. "We appreciate your kind hospitality on this day." At the mention of poison, the old count, perhaps in an effort to provide visible support, takes a long sip of his wine.

Silvio sways into the garden with a smile already on his face, and his long, elegant curls boinging.

Domonico marches into the south gardens, dressed as he usually is... which is to say armoured in his sculpted leathers and armed, his hand resting on the pommel of Warspite. His gaze sweeps around the area and he nods to those he knows before moving up to his brother. "Bolts. They were crossbow bolts fired at you. Not arrows." A pause, "Not that it made much difference." His face frowns as he adds, "I'm sorry I was not fast enough to take the bolts for Lady Kaia. I would have rather I shot than either of you."

Watching Zoey with a rather sharp eye and looking unimpressed while simultaneously muttering, "Impressive." The Malvici archer takes up her own bow and does her paces away from the targets. Glancing around at those gathered, Fiora lets off her first shot which cleanly takes the bullseye. There's a little grunt before Fiora aims /away/ from the target and takes another shot. This arrow just clatters off into the dirt, because she wasn't aiming at the target and that's what happens, stupid Fiora. There's a grunt, and another two shots at the bullseye.

For her final shot however, Fiora once more aims away from the target. Off to the side. As if aiming at poor Thea just standing over there enjoying the party. There's a knit of her brow and Fiora lets loose her arrow. The arrow flies out, but rather than killing her cousin the arrow /curves/ midair, flying first out towards Thea but turning inward and finding its home neatly in the center of the bullseye. With her head lifted just a touch smugly, she goes to make her way away from the range and the garden as if she did what she came to do.

Thea has joined the a raised, wooden decked area with a fire pit central.

Verity reflexively glances down at the wine she's holding, then, realizing the faux pas, gives Martino a sheepish smile.

"I'm glad you and your wife were not shot by arrows while incapacitated by poisoned wine, my lord."

Things that Youthful Country Verity never would have expected Future City Verity to ever say.

After Domonico cuts in, Verity amends herself: "Shot with bolts. Um... shot, ah, fatally, with bolts."

She downs more of the wine to shut herself up.

Thea has left the a raised, wooden decked area with a fire pit central.

Thea has joined the a luxurious hot spring and lounging area.

Zoey overhears talk of the attack on the wedding and her smile falters. She looks around and silently notes her younger sister's absence.

Server Announcement: Server Message of the Day: Happy New Year's. End of action and investigation break likely soon, and OCs and +requests are okay. Not doing secrets for OCs, however.

"Well I've gone and put my foot in it, haven't I? Please forgive me, Martino," Appolonia murmurs with a deep bow of her head. With this she pivots to march towards the wine, pausing only to give Domonico a look that combines 'oh hello there' with 'I need alcohol to overcome being the pooper of the party.'

Silvio wiggles his fingers at Domonico and Thea, then the rest after that, giving himself a turn about the garden before he decides to settle anywhere. He eyes the archery with some interest, as well.

"Oh, I assure you Lady Appolonia, amends can be made in the dear furture." Bowing his head, Martino's lips are touched with a faint smile to her before a dismissive laugh escapes Martino for Domonico, "Bolts. Arrows. They are the same except you either hold them upright or flat. Either way. It is words that do the most damage. But, well, your dedication is truly appreciated as always." Finally escaping from the doorway, Martino scoops his right arm into the elbow of Verity to assure her away from the door. "Not fatally. I am alive and Lady Kaia recovers still. Come on now. Pool or fire?" A broad smile touches Martino's lips for Silvio as he enters on in.

Skye stands by the targets, watching the other archers have a go. She clearly is impressed by the fine shooting for Zoey and Fiora. Every once in a while she claps her hands to celebrate their fine shooting.


For a time, Bianca seems to lose herself in thought as she watches the others let fly their arrows. Her brows furrowed into the smallest, mildest knot of consideration one could imagine, the legate exhales a soft "hm" before her crystalline gaze returns to Martino, brows raised. "Ah, I heard of that. I am so sorry, my lord, that such a joyous occasion for you and your families was so marred by someone else's contempt."

Verity, of course, summarizes things much more succinctly, at first, with many a very carefully placed correction, as is her truest gift. Bianca clears her throat softly, before offering Domonico a small look of reassurance. "You have a noble heart; I'm simply glad you are all in one piece."

Placing a pale hand on Verity's shoulder, she offers a modest, "I suppose it's time to see how rusty I am at this," before making her way towards the archery range, quietly unslinging her bow as she goes.


Bianca has joined the a set of three archery targets with markings and arrow stacks beside.

Thea turns toward Martino and tells him and corrects him,"It was a poison per se...It was a numbing agent." If it was poison, Thea would have known. She does however agree with the rest and twitches at rest. But then Fiora has an arrow aimed at her, leaving Thea to lift her eyebrow. She's sure--at least she thinks so, her cousin wouldn't kill her, but still. And then the arrow hits the target. Whew! Seeing Silvio, Thea smiles a bit at her friend and nods.

Bianca checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 45, rolling 4 lower.

Bianca checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 45, rolling 16 lower.

Bianca checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 45, rolling 10 lower.

Bianca checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 45, rolling 8 lower.

Bianca checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 45, rolling 18 lower.

Fiora has left the a set of three archery targets with markings and arrow stacks beside.

Nunia the discreetest handmaid leaves, following Fiora.


Bianca Wyrmguard frowns a very very tiny frown as she lowers her bow, her arrows all having magnificently missed their mark.

"... Well, I suppose even rust can't account for that," she decides, very solemnly.


Skye straightens a little as Bianca arrives at the archery targets. She gives a bright smile which dims a bit as the arrows all miss their targets. She still feels the need to celebrate the good effort and claps for the Legate, "Oh good try."

"Trust in yourself," says Verity to Bianca, in a soft, reassuring voice.

She turns her attention to Martino as he hooks her arm and leads her off, which she finds charming enough to smile about.

"Which do you like more? I feel as if I must impose on your expertise to find the best path."

She looks back to watch Bianca have a go at archery and ends up cringing enough to tuck in her shoulders. Maybe she should have trusted in something else.

"Better luck next time," Zoey says with a nod, her tone implying assurance rather than a wish.

Domonico acknowledges Bianca's words with a nod and Silvio's finger wave with a half bow of his head. "I would recommend the Southport Spice Red. Fortified and tasty. My personal favourite." That last bit was to Appolonia before he comments quietly to himself, "I have yet to see a word decapitate a man on the field of battle." He settles to a position to the side, able to see the entirety of those gathered, eyes flicking over everyone and everything.

Faintly smiling across to the archery target as arrow flies through the air, the Lord Martino is quietly pleased to be away from them all murmuring hushed to those he steps away with. "Well... I for one am pleased to be aware from the arrows." A defensive laugh added to his voice before he lopes with Verity off to the pool. "Currently it is the pool. I have been - forced - to practice the blade more by the rest of the Malvici. Forced! So I need the soak" There is an air of drama within his voice before he pauses by the edge, nodding to a servant to bring forth a few boxes for clothes to be stored within.

Martino has joined the a luxurious hot spring and lounging area.

Silvio has joined the a luxurious hot spring and lounging area.

Verity has joined the a luxurious hot spring and lounging area.


To her credit, Bianca at least is nothing if not possessed of exemplary sportsmanship; her smile is a gracious one as she looks Skye and Zoey's way, carefully bringing Forbearance back to its proper place at her back.

"Very kind of you -- both of you. But I feel like I'll need a bit more than luck, the next time, to compare to the exemplary efforts of everyone else here today," says the legate, warmth of her voice undimmed as she dips her head. "It's encouraging, truly; it means I have that much more room to improve myself." She looks back towards the archery targets, promises a simple, "Next time," to them, before departing once more from the range, watching from a respectable distance with a still-fascinated eye.


Philippe continues to watch the archers. The old count has never been good with a bow, but he appreciates the artistry of the competition. It's also a good reason to drink wine on a warm day.

Silvio checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 9 higher.

Bianca has left the a set of three archery targets with markings and arrow stacks beside.

Appolonia has, at this point, gotten a big ol' glass of red wine, which she takes a heroic swig from before stabilizing. She presses her hand to her forehead for a moment, but it passes, and she breathes out. Her attention turns towards the archers for the moment, even as Bianca moves in to take her tilt (?) at the lists (?? appolonia needs to learn these words better, she resolves)

"Yet," she murmurs to Domonico. Then she has more wine.

"I try to stay away from sharp flying things as a general principle," Verity confides, quietly, to Martino.

She turns her gaze to the hot springs with renewed interest as Martino speaks of them and their ability to mitigate the rigors of forced combat training.

"It looks so inviting," she says, with a sigh. "What is the etiquette? I am afraid Chevalle does not have a great culture around hot springs, so I am woefully unfamiliar."

Contest over, Zoey makes her way back to the hot springs, slipping out of her shoes once she gets close.

Zoey has left the a set of three archery targets with markings and arrow stacks beside.

Zoey has joined the a luxurious hot spring and lounging area.

Skye accepts a glass of white wine that's brought to her and then glances to see if anyone else is going to try their hand at the targets. She does look longingly at the springs, "I didn't bring the appropriate clothing."

Skye has left the a set of three archery targets with markings and arrow stacks beside.

"Chevalle does... pardon?!" Martino's almost aghast at such before glancing back to Philippe almost with utter shock and back to Verity as she speaks of the baths. "Well some in the Lycene don nothing. Some wear a towel or brais to wrap around their... modesty in." Fingertips of Martino's lift up to touch his chest as a servant brings across a clothes box for him to deliver his cassock into followed by knee breeches. "Oh, now Baroness Skye. There are towels here." Martino's right hand doffs out to the white stack before adding aside, "Otherwise, well, I am sure the servants can find something amoung either Kaia's or Thea's clothing." Martino glances to his sister then realises actually, "Well. Maybe the first one." Down, wrapped in his brais, Martino enters the pool.

Thea lifts her eyebrow at Martino. Is her serious? Not looking at all embarrassed, Thea admits,"I'm afraid I don't wear anything in the water."

Domonico calls out to Martino from his position off to the side, "Get a good soak and relax brother when you can. We'll be doing some more training soon. This time with live steel as opposed to the wooden training swords."

Skye gives a gentle smile at Martino's kind offer, "Oh no, I think I'll just send one of my guards to get my bathing smock." She then sends her servant on his way so he can get the necessary item. As she waits for the smock to arrive, she takes a moment to try some of the lovely cheeses to go with her wine.

"It is true!" says Verity, seizing on Martino's aghastment. "Instead, we have horses. The horses are very nice, I must admit, though a little dumb. They cannot help it."

She finishes off her wine and offers the glass (with another smile and murmured thanks) to a passing servant. As Martino explains further, and undresses, she purses her lips while considering.

"While I must confess I was never properly taught modesty -- a terror of my common upbringing -- I would not want to scandalize the esteemed nobility present."

Lifting his left hand from the dripping waters, the Malvici Lord offers it to Verity with a slight crease of his eyes. "Oh, I assure you Messere Verity, I have seen terrible etiquette regardless of the person's station. Scandal is what we Lycene trade on." A hushed laugh following before Martino hears Domonico's voice about training and privately groans to himself, sinking needfully down into the warm waters.

Philippe takes a bath when it is required of him. Hot springs aren't native to the county, so such things are only known to him as lore rather than emotional realities. He glances between his party as the procedures of the hot springs are explained. A slight eyebrow twitch, the closest the old count gets to showing surprise most of the time. Another longer sip of wine. "My understanding is that scandal is a form of entertainment in the city," he says, so evenly and casually that most people might not pick up that it was intended as humor.

Thea glances at Verity,"I assure you, you wont be. I dont wear clothes either." She sips her wine and hears Domonico with Martino,"You realize I can train him as well. Probably mend him as well." She exhales as she finishes her wine and begins undressing, looking to Philippe for a moment,"Depends how good the scandal,"a brief grin on her lips. She is of course joking. She finishes undressing and simply sinks into the springs.

Skye gives a smile when her smock arrives and then slips into the house so that she can change outside of the eyes of others. When she comes back, she's in a cream bathing smock that modestly covers delicate areas. She comes over to the pool where everyone is bathing and will lower herself in.

Skye has joined the a luxurious hot spring and lounging area.

Appolonia drinks more of her wine. "Essentially, essentially," she answers Philippe. As she does this, she advances towards the hot springs. Sitting in the bath probably is more interesting than failing at shooting arrows, at least in her view. You can't lose in a hot spring, unless, of course, it's very hot and you fall asleep, but then, Appolonia thinks, you'll have made a nice broth.

"Did I say that," she mutters to herself, before realizing she didn't.

Appolonia has joined the a luxurious hot spring and lounging area.


As the rounds of archery dwindle, Bianca takes her leave of the grounds entirely; robes shuffling in a dance of white fabric around her legs as she moves, her silver eyes sweep the grounds before falling in the direction of the springs. Her head tilts -- and the pale legate makes her way over, stopping at the precipice of that waterfall to look up at it in wonder -- but not yet moving to take a dip in the heated waters beyond.

"Truly beautiful," Bianca decides, looking around as everyone makes themselves comfortable. It's Verity where her gaze ultimately falls first, offering a self-effacingly wry aside of, "Trusting in myself did not seem to suffice," before her attention turns towards Philippe.

"It is a very different place from Chevalle, isn't it, Count Philippe? Even from Blancbier," muses the legate; even so, her gaze turns towards the fond. "It took me quite some time to adjust to the way of things here... but it is like home, now, in many ways."


Bianca has joined the a luxurious hot spring and lounging area.

Verity clasps her hands together and beams at Thea for her vote of confidence. "Then I won't be the only one! There is power in numbers, isn't there? Though there is something romantic about a loner forging a solitary path."

She reaches up, hooks her thumbs around the straps of her dress, but then pauses. Slowly, cautiously, she looks over her shoulder to cast a glance at Count Philippe.

She notices the eyebrow twitch.

Her eyebrow also twitches.

Domonico has joined the a luxurious hot spring and lounging area.

Philippe attempts to clarify. "You have my leave to soak," he says to Verity, adding a gesture with his off-hand.

Domonico joins the others at the hot springs, patting Martino's shoulder before he nods to Thea, "Yes. Yes you can train him too. If you do I expect you to be as ruthless as our old instructor Syrio when we were younger. He was a task master indeed."

Skye makes a happy noise in the warm waters and finds a comfortable spot to soak. She gives a curious eye to the others joining and sends Zoey a bright smile when she sees she's not the only one choosing to use a coverup. She does admit, "My mother was Lycene but I'm afraid I've been more raised with the traditions of my father." She stifles a giggle at the exchange between Verity and Philippe.

Lifting his glass of red wine to those gathered about, the Lord Martino's lips curl further as a hoist a toast up. "Well, my dear friends. Curious ones and well-wishers. A glass raised to the continue turn upon the wheel we go. As Spring will becoming Summer and finally we can enjoy the city's charm once more." Yes. Summer. A /real/ season for the southern Lord. A shared chuckle after as Skye giggles at what Martino also notices with his gaze. "Oh Lord Silvio... you say that as she has long hair like your own. I know." A defensive laugh touching Martino's lips before sighing slightly at the discussion of Syrio from Domonico and the topic of training. "Oh, Count Philippe. Horses... do you. Sell horses?"

Philippe is far more interested in talking about horses. The old count will talk horses until he is hoarse. "It is my family's business, my lord," he says, moving in closer to Martino. Business -- always business. "Are you interested in a fine Cob? Our winter was productive. Fortune smiled on our mares."

Verity abruptly abandons her trepidation when Philippe gives her leave.

"Finally, approval from my betters," she singsongs, pulling her dress down from around her shoulders with one clever gesture. Clever and experienced, but, the meaning behind this is best left to imaginations.

Once her clothing is safely stored in a box, Verity slides into the hot springs to ritualistically cast off her Oathlander recalcitrance and embrace Lycene scandal. Or, she gets into the pool. Fortunately, her hair is already up.
%"Ahhhh, we should install one of these in the Valardin Ward. How do you install a hot springs? Is it expensive?"

Thea hears Philippe and the mention of mares. Her gold-flecked eyes are already on Martino, a slow grin appearing on her lips.

Domonico sits by the edge of the pool and dips a hand into the waters, feeling the warmth and smiling softly half to himself at the talk of the horses. "Aahana would have loved to discuss that. She could ride before she could properly walk so she told me."

A curl of Martino's lips follows as he draws the Count Philippe across to him, "Well two private Cobs but... mmm..." Martino leans from the edge of the pool, water dripping for a moment as he brings his hand to murmur hushed with Philippe. After delivering his word, Martino snakes back down into the pool and turns his lips into a faint smile as Verity joins forth into the pool, "Well from paying part attention with the builder here, this was done by digging far beneath to lay something hot below to cause water to rise. Something like that."

Skye smiles brigthly at Zoey as she sits close to her and they have a private chat. The young baroness looks very comfortable in the waters, the warmth teasing out the tension in her shoulders. She gives an idle ear to the conversation about horses but the seafaring lady doesn't seem too keen to discuss any horse business.

Philippe is briefly diverted by thinking about how one digs down to find something hot beneath the ground. It is not horse or sword related, so he struggles to consider it. Fortunately, whatever Martino whispers to him puts him at ease, and he nods in affirmation. "Aye," he murmurs, and leaves it at that.

Appolonia has to undo a bunch of lacing and this is hard to do with one hand and without a maid, so she is briefly delayed. "Ask him about the small horses," Appolonia says to Domonico before getting things loose enough to let her spread her arms a bit and allow things to fall loose. A thin shift is similarly disposed, and she totes it over to the storage box before sliding her legs up to the knee in the springs. Her hands are occupied holding the wine glass as she aims to drain it first, like a proper lady. "Oh," she says finally to Martino, "coals, then? I mean - I would imagine if there was a volcano beneath Arx, someone would have noticed. Though would it not just figure?"

"What hot thing did you lay below the pool?" Verity asks. She wrinkles her nose while thinking of the answer before it's given. "A basement underneath with a furnace sounds so devious to build."

Zoey chuckles at the volcano comment. "If there is a mountain of fire beneath us, then the city of Arx is truly a layer cake of danger."

Domonico frowns, "Small horses?" he says quietly as he continues playing with the water, letting it flow through his fingers and swirling eddies are created in his wake."

Trini Albricci, an attractive young Lycene woman, Hilja Toivonen, a reticent, delicate young woman arrive, following Dianna.

Philippe gets more wine. "There are no small horses yet. Perhaps there will be small horses later."

Skye shakes her head in agreement with Zoey, "Oh yes, I would be afraid if such a thing existed." She does remark that, "Certain elements that heat in sunlight can be used to warm a spring. It's not natural like what was described but it could still have a similar effect...I think. I haven't tested it so I'd have to try first." She perks up at the mention of smaller horses but then deflates when Philippe says he doesn't have any.

Privately drawing his lips further across his face, Martino sinks once more into the pool after hearing word from Philippe. "Mm? Oh it think it would be coals beneath a layer of sand with glass upon it. I must admit I drew the plans, and paid for them to be done." A faint laugh touching Martino's lips as he speaks with Verity and Appolonia. "Well, Messere Verity. We are a Duchy. But I suspect even our Duchess would drag me across the war table if I was to do so. But... small horses?" Martino's voice is curious as he sips upon his wine, nodding a servant to make their way around the hot springs and top up.

At this point, the majority of the party has disrobed or taken their modest parts to sink within the new hot springs in the Southern Gardens. Some folk still around by the fire pit for food. Others by the archery targets. Paper and celebration ribbon dotting the grass floor.

Silvio rises from the Hot Springs, and makes his way out. He grins pleasantly enough as he does it, but doesn't say any farewells.

Silvio has left the a luxurious hot spring and lounging area.

Verity drifts to the deeper part of the springs, seeking the fuller sensory experience offered by larger amounts of water. Soon, only her head and shoulders are visible. The tension drains from her face, but it is an impalpable thing, as she did not look tense to begin with. Truly the springs clean deep.

"I suppose a war table would be the most appropriate kind of table to be dragged across, at least," says Verity to Martino. "I still can't fathom how you'd keep the coals hot without having to dig them up over and over, but perhaps it's not for me to know. I do like a good mystery."


Left to her own thoughts, Bianca just listens to the surrounding conversation for a handful of quiet moments before breaking away from the edge of the hot springs. She takes hold of one of those towels, slipping away somewhere with more coverage for the sake of modesty. It takes a bit of time -- but eventually the legate reemerges, a white towel wrapped around her snowy form as she makes that calm, measured walk back toward the spring. Tilting her weight onto her left foot, she dips a toe into the waters testingly; eyebrows shoot up, and soon enough she is sinking herself into the heated waters, palms pressed into the edges of the spring. "Mm," she exhales softly, eyes shutting. "This is surprisingly relaxing."

Stepping into the gardens, arm-in-arm with two resplendent beauties and beaming radiantly, is Sister Dianna Godsworn, looking altogether self-satisfied. She murmurs to the darker-haired woman (known to many as her assistant, Trini) and impishly smirks, winking at the paler woman. The trio pauses at the entrance, surveying the grounds and curtsying - and, in doing so, Dianna reveals, beneath the fluttering, opalescent plume cloak, the long expanse of her sculpted, bronze legs, swathed only in a criss-cross of wine-colored ribbons from slipper to gods-know-where beneath what is either a short dress of dewberry silk or a long men's shirt. She spots Martino and Thea at the hot spring right away and beams, notes Zoey and waves, then dismisses her assistants and directly bee-lines for the Malvici hosts.

"Lord Martino, Lady Thea - gods, how are you both? The gardens are spectacular, simply beautiful. I'm so glad you've hosted this - and that I've not missed the party."

Dianna has joined the a luxurious hot spring and lounging area.

Domonico chuckles once, "I doubt the Duchess would drag you over the war table. Picking up all those pieces would take quite some time." He offers Dianna a nod when she enters, his free hand still playing with the waters.

"Dianna! I wondered if I might see you here," Zoey greats the Godsworn with a bright smile. "You missed a majority of the archers though, I'm afraid. The the Sprout hadn't kicked me in the fourth round, I would have had five center shots."

Philippe will be trying to figure out the engineering of the hot springs for days. He decides to consider this while he gets something well-peppered from the fire pit. Perhaps an underground billows? A great furnace??

Dianna has left the a luxurious hot spring and lounging area.

Trini Albricci, an attractive young Lycene woman have been dismissed.

Hilja Toivonen, a reticent, delicate young woman have been dismissed.

Chuckling slightly, Martino's sharp green eyes crease across to Verity as she disappears further on into the pool. "Well, Messere Verity. Let me be the first then to re-invite your delightful company back to House Malvici to find out just how. I can have the Master Builder make themselves known to you." Creasing his sharp greens, Martino attempts to pass off he was somehow involved rather than just the Nobleman paying commonfolk to do it. "Baroness Skye, however, is quite the Lady Scientist I have heard." Ah! A deflection for him before turning his lips to grin slightly to Domonico, "True. And those would just be on our side of the table."

"Isn't it?" Appolonia says to Bianca. "They had dugouts out on the slopes near Morisco. Some of them were near enough to the sea to catch the tide - once in a while, anyway. Very droll."

She wriggles her way into the bath in general, now joining various distant kin and fellow compacticans in the joy of gently marinating. "I can guess how it works, but I don't want to spoil Martino's scheme."

Skye blushes at Martino's compliment, "Oh you flatter me." She notices her skin pruning and then tells the group, "I should probably be heading out. My skin is very sensitive." She thanks those there that kept her company and then makes her way to leave the group.

Skye is overheard praising Martino: A wonderful party

Martino has left the a luxurious hot spring and lounging area.

Johannes, A tall and red cloaked gentleman have been dismissed.

A slightly embarrassed courier called Guido have been dismissed.

Skye has left the a luxurious hot spring and lounging area.

2 watchful Blackshore guards leaves, following Skye.

Martino has joined the a luxurious hot spring and lounging area.

Dianna has joined the a luxurious hot spring and lounging area.

Thea sees Dianna. She smiles at her friend and gives her nod,"How have you been?"

Dianna has left the a luxurious hot spring and lounging area.

Trini Albricci, an attractive young Lycene woman have been dismissed.

Hilja Toivonen, a reticent, delicate young woman have been dismissed.

Silvio returns and heads back to the spa, but this time he has a bundle with a dry gown in it. He sets it down before entering the water in his current one. Once wet, the thing is practically see-through anyway, but maybe its for aesthetic? "Sorry about that. So...do you still need a tour, Tarik?"

"We meet again, Explorer-to-be," says Verity to Tarik, offering the man a friendly grin. "Did you ever come across hot springs like this on your trips?"

She turns her grin on Martino afterward, for it serves the same purpose. "You are so indulging, Lord Martino! I think that is a fabulous trait in a host. I cannot say no to you. Should I bring something in return to make it an equitable exchange? As Legate Bianca can tell you, the Oathlands overflows with fine chocolate. It is our primary method of winning good will with our neighbors."

Silvio has joined the a luxurious hot spring and lounging area.

Domonico straightens up from his seat beside the pool and offers the assembled peoples a bow before he says, "I had better get back into the Hall. After all I believe I need to play a training session for my brother." He pats his brother on the shoulder once, "Well done with the party brother."

Martino laughs with a wry smile upon his lips, fingertips touching his chest as he airs innocence to Appolonia, "A scheme?! Whatever... would you mean? Oh dear! Lady Appolonia. You would chaperone the Messere Verity?" With his eyes creasing, the sharp greens consider back to Verity before he dips his chin, "Oh... yes. Let us see some of this fine chocolate then, it seems suitable. Usually I take wines, but chocolate sounds... excellent" Leaning slightly to Silvio, Martino utters a hushed word for him - "I tried Oathland White Wine." A broad smile greets Dianna as she joins forth to the pool, fingertips wiggling to his brother in parting as he relaxes back in the pool.

Her amber eyes sparkling with delight, Dianna beams aside to Domonico, then makes her way to Zoey, "Oh, well - aside from watching you in your glory, I'm not sure I'd have been worth much, Zoey." The dark-haired Lycene priestess kisses Zoey's cheeks, then bends forward and kisses Zoey's belly, "Hello, Sprout. When are you coming to see your Auntie Di? Not right now, but come /soon/, please?" She stands, smiling warmly at Thea. "I'm /wonderful/," she purrs - and certainly seems to be quite wonderful, a glow radiating somewhat from her smiling visage. "How are you and - gods, so many people I don't know? Will you do me the honor of introducing me, Thea?" Dianna smiles at Philippe, Silvio, Verity, Appolonia - then creases her eyes familiarly at Tarik. "Hello again, Messere. Pleasure seeing you again."

Trini Albricci, an attractive young Lycene woman have been dismissed.

Hilja Toivonen, a reticent, delicate young woman have been dismissed.

Domonico has left the a luxurious hot spring and lounging area.

Dianna has joined the a luxurious hot spring and lounging area.

Philippe is acknowledged. He momentarily sets his wineglass down on a nearby table so he can bow properly to Dianna. Propriety matters. Even when most people are naked in a pool nearby. That's why the wine is there.

Zoey returns Dianna's cheek kisses before sitting back down in the pool. "The Sprout is staying put for now, at least until I've had a chance to make arrangements with Lady Lethe."

"I will gather chocolate that does well with wines. I am sure some exists," says Verity to Martino.

She floats in the deep end, her gaze losing focus as she drifts in a lazy spin. It is like a tiny sightseeing tour. Eventually, her gaze settles on Silvio. She presses her lips together while she considers the man.

"Excuse me, but you are Lord Silvio, are you not? Sibling to Lady Cadenza?"

Dianna has left the a luxurious hot spring and lounging area.

Trini Albricci, an attractive young Lycene woman have been dismissed.

Hilja Toivonen, a reticent, delicate young woman have been dismissed.


Beneath the waters, Bianca crosses one leg smoothly over the other; closed eyes crack open into bright slivers of silver as she hears Appolonia's voice, a little, luxurious sigh escaping her lips like a preface to her words. "Oh? I freely admit, this is a first for me. It's magnificent, though I fear I might get a little too swiftly addicted to it." That calm gaze slides the Serasceni woman's way, curious. "I imagine you must have seen some remarkable things, on your own travels."

But when she's called upon by Verity, Bianca blinks. Her head tilts forward a bit, looking between her and Martino for a quiet moment before she sinks back against the edge of the spring once more, one pale hand resting on the top of her soaked towel. "Blancbier is renowned for its chocolatiers, Lord Martino. I promise you will not be disappointed." She pauses, for just a sliver of a moment. "I have a small fondness for them."

Lifting his chin, Martino's eyebrows hoist up as he hears Cadenza. Glancing as if she may be about in the springs. "Oh Blanchbier is known for chocolatiers and for the horses? A unique mixture that I am curious to visit and see now." A swept smile drawing upon Martino's lips to Bianca before it holds, thankfully trained, in reply to Verity "Oh how lovely. Oathland Wine." A flicker of ughh in his voice, smothered in light chuckles before turning his chin to greet Zoey. "Oh, Lady Zoey and now sister-in-law. How is little Uriel and now the child to come?"

"Oh, you've decided upon a midwife, then? I do adore Lady Lethe, though I've truly only spent a little time with her, she left quite the impression - so gentle a lady," Dianna purrs to Zoey, then glances around. "Lord Martino, have you anything stronger than wine?" Her amber gaze dances back to the host's eyes and she smiles charmingly at him and gives a playful wink, "Not that I don't adore Malvici wine, but. You know my heritage." A warm smile lifts Dianna's lips once again, smoothing the playfulness she donned for Martino. "Legate Bianca, so lovely to see you again."

Rather than waiting for Thea, Dianna turns her gaze to Philippe and curtsies in return. "My lord, I presume? I am Sister Dianna Godsworn, priestess to the Thirteenth - primarily, though not exclusively, by any means." Having introduced herself to him, Dianna turns her gaze inclusively to Appolonia and Verity, smiling warmly to both of them.

Thea amusedly hears Martino as he is forced to be diplomatic about the Oathlander wine. She is simply relaxing and quiet for now, pausing and inwardly smirking at Silvio.

"Uriel is well and eager to get back into the pool again," Zoey answers Martino. "And the Sprout is constantly practicing footwork on my insides." She leans toward Dianna and replies, "I have, and I'm arranging to meet with her some time after the party to make arrangements."

"It is not a 'small' fondness," Verity says to Martino in a stage whisper. "But, it is Blancbier for chocolates, and Chevalle for horses. They are very near each other, only separated by a few baronies, so it is easy to confuse them."

She returns her attention to Silvio when he answers, clasping her hands together with a small splash. "Aha! Lady Cadenza is magnificent! I have never met someone who could drink so much and still form mostly-intelligible sentences."

A pause. She glances between Silvio and Tarik. "I am interrupting crucial negotiations. My apologies!"

Fortunately, Verity feels eyes upon her and looks over her shoulder to find Dianna looking her way. She returns a warm smile to the other woman out of habit.

"Oh, have I," Appolonia says with a sigh. She rests her elbow on the side of the pool, loosely curling one hand (she didn't take off her rings) to rest her cheek against her knuckles as she answers Bianca. "But travel, in a sense, makes you realize where your heart really rests. There, that's an aphorism to put on the slabs, isn't it. I should get up and go write that in a journal. If I don't put my gown back on everyone will surely read it."

"What of a chocolate horse?" Appolonia asks Verity. Then to Zoey, she says, "You both must be eager to be done with this!" To Dianna Appolonia calls, "Charmed! Forgive me, I'm in a tub with six other people. Possibly seven."

Merek makes a way into the place!

"Oh we can see to that... port, La-- Messere Dianna Godsworn?" Martino turns his chin to nod Johannes off to gather about Malvici Army Strength Port. "I had a cask brought up for Lady Thea a while ago and, well, she can tell you all about the chocolate port and it's proof." A faint laugh touching his lips before he glances once more to Thea. "Oh... dear. Footwork? You think they may be born a dancer? I am glad to hear about Uriel doing well." A smile touches Martino's lips as he hums a slight tune before eyes lift up in some surprise on his correction from Verity, "Oh! My deep apologies. I must admit the Fealties of the Oathlands, well, I have visited there little. Except for peace efforts but that is within Malvici borders. Truly."

With a faint inhale, Martino lifts himself from the pool, brais truly soaked causing him to reach to take towel. Additional protection wrapped around his frame before crossing to the fire pit. "Good, guests. I shall bid you a farewell from the pool while I finish cooking and preparing something of a feast for you all when done." With that, Martino takes prime spot by the firepit. Poking roasting meats, commenting on how they look browned. How they need to be tossed several times over.

A short, startled, stifled chuckle breaks from Dianna's lips, her eyes widening at Verity. "Have you not met the Mazetti, then? I shall direct you to my sister, Lady Alessia... or, frankly, to /any/ Mazetti - native-born. My sister once won a drinking contest with... gods, I forget. A prince and a princess, if I recall correctly, of Redrain. ...Oh, I do hope I remember correctly; but, regardless, you will find that a Mazetti - particularly my twin - can certainly drink." The priestess smirks slightly, refraining from a brag of her own abilities, though her eyes do dance with delight as she murmurs to a passing server and lifts four fingers, then nods. Noting Silvio belatedly, Dianna drops into another elegant curtsy. "Pardon, so many people here - I don't know /how/ I managed to miss you. I am Sister Dianna Godsworn, but please call me 'Dianna,'" she introduces herself with fluid grace, then turns to Appolona and smirks wryly, "But, it looks like so much fun! Forgive me, I failed to catch your name."

Martino has left the a luxurious hot spring and lounging area.

Martino has joined the a raised, wooden decked area with a fire pit central.



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