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Festival of Death - Tapestry Contest

It is said the soul is very much like a tapestry, each strand woven together to create a bigger picture. Each soul a collection of strands which makes up every aspect of life. Anyone who wishes to enter should create a tapestry reflecting the life of something; whether that be person, place, or thing. Tell a story, allow people to see the different pieces which make up the whole. You have until the event to finish your works, though you do not need to be present to participate (just send them to Jaenelle). Prizes will be awarded to everyone who enters.


June 22, 2020, 7 p.m.

Hosted By

Jaenelle Hamish


Apollo Lys Samira Oddmun Sapphira Raziel Adrienne Vitalis Amieli Ras




Arx - Ward of the Compact - Sanctum of the Lost

Largesse Level


Comments and Log


Festival of death is going on in the city.

Had a tapestry made to mark the occasion, as I have little taste for acting social and didn't want folk to think we Eswynds forgot to honor the Queen of Ends. Thought the Marin's cycle, from hero to damnation, and defeat in the greatest naval battle for a thousand years would be a fit subject.

I'll say this much for Arx, so many people in one place means work gets done in a bloody hurry. Weavers know their work well, and did in a few day what would have taken months back home.

Life, and death, and life again.
So it goes.

Jaenelle drops The Marin Cycle Tapestry.

Jaenelle drops reflections of a spider's life tapestry.

Arienne, the snarky d'Lire Steward, Bower, a barb-bothering butcher bird arrive, following Lys.

Standing outside of the Shrine of the Queen of Endings, Jaenelle is standing around a few tapestries who have entered the contest. There is no judging, allowing the art to speak for itself and the imagination of those who entered. "The soul is like a tapestry" the Archduchess begins, motioning towards one of them. "Strands woven with one another to create a whole story of a life. I asked people to create a tapestry to showcase the life or creation of something. Baroness Skye and Lord Haakon have offered two such words of art."

Siri, an attentive apprentice, Paris, a charming mercenary, 2 Keaton Huntsmen, Nomius, a deeply skeptical bloodhound arrive, following Apollo.

Apollo hurriedly rushes in with a large rolled tapestry, asks directions of an attendant - nodnodnods - and hurries over to hang his contribution. Given the deep dye stains on his hands (and the smudges on his face), it's not a far guess that he lost track of time at his workbench.

Apollo drops a hand-painted leather wall hanging featuring the Black Hound of the Shadowood.

Lys slips in quietly, dressed in crimson and rose hued neodymium hued clothing. She doesn't appear to have a tapestry with her, but instead peers around at any of the tapestry upon display. A glance is given in the direction of Jaenelle, and her smile is tentative-- perhaps shy.

Samira arrives to the event, handling her large bundle in her arms with reverential care. She eyes the tapestries already on display, admiring the work and hanging back uncertainly. And then some shift of attitude seems to occur, the Culler squaring her slender shoulders and abruptly moving forward to hang her tapestry alongside the others.

Samira drops a tapestry depicting life in the Lowers.

"I didn't know that there was such an event tonight. I don't know how to weave, so I assume that... we can just look and admire." Oddmun says, leading in Sapphira as the two of them are having quiet conversation as he looks around the shrine and towards the tapestries. He remembers to offer a bow to Jaenelle, however. "Good evening, Your Highness."

As Apollo finishes hanging his piece, he glances aside to see Samira hanging hers just there - and there's a pause, a smile. "Wow!" he says, stepping aside to study it. "I love that!" He studies it a long moment, then turns to Samira. "...I saw you at the Guild Hall, didn't I? Are you a member and I've missed it somehow?"

"Master Apollo" Jaenelle greets the man, looking towards his offering with her brows lifting in surprise. "That is terrifying and I love it. I would love to hear its meaning and why you decided to make it?" Then Samira is adding her own, and Jaenelle moves the step over to gaze at that as well, "if you would like to share as well?" She does not know the woman's name, but extends the invitation as well, voice soft as she takes in every detail of Samira's work. Oddmun is given a smile and dip of her head, "Lord Oddmun. We have been running into one another a lot havent we? And this is?" she asks giving Sapphira a smile and dip of her head in greeting as well.

Sapphira is following along with Oddmun, her arm looped through his, and a warm smile turning her lips upwards. "I don't know either, but it's something I wouldn't mind learning one day. I've always put my gifts more towards music." Though her eyes are wide with wonder at the marvels of the tapestries already on display for the event, she nevertheless offers a bow to Jaenelle, with a theatrical little flourish. "Your Highness, good evening! The night finds you well, I pray?"

Raziel does not arrive with a tapestry of his own. Indeed, the disfigured and crippled Bisland does not seem to carry anything save his cane whose regular tapping is a permanent companion to his shuffling steps. Still, he does arrive to the Sanctum of the Lost when the event is still ongoing, so huzzah for that! He looks with some curiosity to those already assembled there, those faces he knows, those he does not, and otherwise observes quietly with his one good eye, silent for now.

Wearing a high-collared coat despite the summer sunshine, Adrienne Valardin takes in the square with a curious and questioning look. Jaenelle, of course, busy with attendees receives a respectful tip of her chin in greeting while Adrienne crosses the square toward Apollo - or rather, Apollo's tapestry. She studies it with eyes narrowed without greeting her grandprotege. "I don't have much to add to what Her Grace has said. It is terrifying, and I love it." The corner of her mouth twitches.

Blinking a little as he's asked to make introductions, Oddmun offers. "Princess Jaenelle Velenosa, may I present Lady Sapphira Whitehawk, a member of the Bard's College and very talented songstress and player of the gittern. We met in the Gray Forest, both looking for solitude, but instead found that we are enjoy each other's company." To Sapphira, he offers, "This is Princess Jaenelle Velenosa, Archduchess of Lenosia." He's not sure how else to add to it--that title alone is enough to get people to go wow.

Vitalis should probably announce himself more, appearing silently (as is his wont) at Adrienne's elbow. "I think I'd jump out of my boots if that were hanging at the end of my hall." He nods at the tapestry Apollo has presented. There are greetings to be made, but this was all too tempting. "Good evening, Highness." Vitalis tucks his hands behind his back, demure.

"Yeah?" Apollo's praise of her tapestry pleases Samira, who offers a crooked grin. "Thanks! It turned out decent. Yours is really impressive." She juts her chin toward his own tapestry, eyes tracing the design there before returning to the Co-Guildmaster. "I was there helping, but nah, I'm not a member. I haven't really sold much of my art yet, mostly make whatever inspires me so far. Guess I hadn't really thought about looking into joining." Jaenelle's words momentarily divert her attention. "It's a commentary about life in the Lowers, the story of those who live there. How we're looked down upon and pushed down, but we still manage to survive, sometimes even thrive."

That's just like Apollo, to get distracted by the art and miss the er, technically correct order of things, etiquette-wise. He turns to greet whoever greeted him, cheery smile turning to a belated bow, laughter. "Hello, your grace," he says. "I, ah - thank you. Your highness -" that's to loop Adrienne in as well. "I - er. I thought it might serve as a replacement." A pause and a blink, and then he gives a little turn of his head. "Which - isn't to say I'd like my work to go stalking folk through the woods. But I wouldn't like the story to disappear, let its lesson be forgot, just because the wood has room for better dreams, now." He brightens a good bit at Vitalis' appearance, smiling, then attends Samira's explanation. "It's a really lovely to show that - I wouldn't have thought to step back the focus so much. You /should/ join the guild. This is good - it's really good." Encouraging.

Adrienne inhales sharply and snaps a look to Vitalis's jaw. "One empathizes," she notes dryly of jumping out of boots. Relenting, humor softening the tension wrought by surprise, Adrienne turns to greet Vitalis correctly, adding, "Are you unwell, Lord Clement? I didn't hear any questions posed." Apollo expands her circle and she accepts it, tone appreciative, "It's easy sometimes to focus on the pretty and happy things. I commend you for preserving the hard-won nightmare, too." She returns a look to the tapestry. "Where will it go after this?"

"That's the whole point of every fable and fairy tale that strikes terror in young hearts, isn't it? For their lessons to never be forgotten, and the costs made clear." remarks Raziel after Apollo has spoken, the Bisland's voice raspy, just as he approaches to look at the tapestries from a closer point of view. "Whose is the Marin one?" The man wasn't present for the beginning, alas. But still he looks interested by not only the skill displayed, but the choices that made them turn out the way they did.

Arienne, the snarky d'Lire Steward, Bower, a barb-bothering butcher bird leave, following Lys.

"I said that those who participated would get something for doing so" Jaenelle tells Samira as she explains, and then there is a pause for Apollo as he does as well. "It is not so much a thing as it is a donation in your name to an orginazation of your choosing. If you do not have a preference, I will offer the donation in your name to the Faith in honor of the Queen of Endings. I will let you decide" she informs both. Adrienne is given a smile when she arrives and a nod in greeting towards the Princess afterwards. To Raziel, "Lord Haakon Eswynd did that one, and Baroness Skye Blackshore did the one of the spider." Vitalis is given a smile and finger wiggle when he arrives after Adrienne, "how is the Oathlands?" Oddmun is given a grin at the introductions, "sometimes one finds company in the strangest of places. It is lovely to meet you, Lady Sapphira."

"Please, your Highness, the honor is mine." Sapphira offers a winsome smile, her cobalt blue eyes twinkling. "When one is not looking for something, that is often when it is found, and in the least likely of places. Though don't let Lord Oddmun fool you," she adds, winking at Jaenelle. "He plays his glass flute rather well. A bit more practice, and I think he'll do quite nicely."

Looking over to Raziel, Adrienne pauses then says, "Won't you join us, Lord Bisland? We're trying to make the Guildmaster blush and he is obstinate in his opposition." To Apollo, Vitalis, and Samira, she adds, "We all seem to be of the same mind. Yours is so intricate, good miss. Are you from Arx originally?"

While Jaenelle's question is addressed to Vitalis, Adrienne has her own, amused thought on it: "Warm."

"Good on Lord Haakon for adding the beginning of the tale. The end loses its poignancy without knowing how it all begun... and what led the man down the choices he made." Raziel remarks after Jaenelle informs him of the author. His gaze then moves away, yet not to another tapestry. Instead, he can be seen looking at Adrienne, even smiling (rather horribly) at one point. Worse, perhaps, is when he chuckles. The sound is harsh and unpleasant to the ear, though perhaps not as much as some might find his company which, with Adrienne's invitation to join her group, is assured. Thus does he move, or limp, their way. "What has been attempted to make the Guildmaster blush thus far?" he asks, even as his gaze moves to the man in question. "High and low praise, I assume?"

Amieli is also admiring the paintings, having arrived...sometime. Perhaps drawn by the gathering of people, or the intricacy of the new tapestries, the lady is smiling without guile when she makes her presence known:

"Terrifying maybe, but all the more beautiful for it?" The cast to the half-question is levelly hopeful. "As all of the tapestries are; working, striving, to be together, while being alone enough to have a self."

She shakes her head a little, then lowers it briefly in apologetic greeting. "Apologies for interrupting. Good evening, your Highnesses, lords, ladies, messeres." Quiet and unobtrusive appears to define Amieli, even to the timbre of her voice.

Umber, a bay courser have been dismissed.

A darling cremello Artshall mini horse wearing a red sweater have been dismissed.

"We thought to overwhelm him by sheer number. You think low praise?" Adrienne looks politely speculative between Raziel and Apollo, brow knit as though considering the suggestion deeply. "Adrienne Valardin," she introduces belatedly, adding for the others in turn, "My protege, Lord Vitalis Clement, and my grandprotege, Guildmaster Apollo Oakwood. These are among my most treasured gatherings."

Samira wavers between embarrassment and pride as Apollo offers his complimentary remarks. Ducking her head, she makes a show of peering down at her boot, scuffing dirt off the toe. "That's nice of you to say. I'll think about it. I could probably learn a lot from you lot in the Guild." She perks up at Jaenelle's announcement, arms folding over her chest as she mulls over the decision. After a moment, she draws close and mumbles questioningly to the other woman. When Adrienne speaks, she eyes the woman with the look she reserves for most of the peerage - a mixture of curiosity and wariness. "I am. Lived here all my life, so I've never really known anything else." She falters, unsure of what to say as she glances back to the tapestries and then adds, "Pretty wide variety of subjects, huh? It's interesting to see what piques artists' interest."

Vitalis smiles at Adrienne, looking chastened enough for startling her that it's believable. Mostly. "We all have our parts to play, Princess." Such as, greeting the Archduchess, as one does. Vitalis bows retreating from Adrienne, including Apollo in that salute, before straightening to go and greet, properly, Jaenelle. Three kisses, alternating cheeks, and then her signet ring, bowing low. He straightens, smile bright and aslant, "Good evening, Your Grace." He inclines his head, "I have said before, it suits me well to be a scandalous Oathlander rather than a pious Lycene." He looks to Adrienne, "And yes, the people are quite warm. A pleasant surprise, given my expectation."

Pardon him, though, when talk of making Apollo blush draws him up, a flicker of ... something in his expression. "Oh, good people, it is the easiest thing to do." Vitalis moves to stand with Apollo, he lofts a finger. "I can deliver it, but the price is: you can't know what I've said." Brows loft with finger, inquiry offered to those gathered.

Apollo gives Adrienne a bow for that, and - perhaps Vitalis too. Or perhaps it's for Raziel, who approached and spoke. A quick flicker of eyes, and then he answers: "Exactly, Lord Bisland. Thank you." He returns his attention to Jaenelle, head tipping, like he might be thinking if there's some alternative he'd prefer. A few seconds thought and he shakes his head. "That sounds perfectly lovely, your grace, just that. Very generous of you, thank you." Adrienne gets a belated answer: "I'll offer it to House Keaton, if they'd like to have it on display; if not, I don't blame them, they've got a lot of small children about. Always lots of small children. If they'd rather not, likely House Valardin, or - the Shrine of the Queen of Endings. Or - I've personal purpose I can turn it toward." He's giving Raziel an upturned hand, turn of his head, like to say 'I don't even know what they're referring to' - making him blush, really? - when Vitalis makes that offer. His eyes narrow. It's not the epitome of 'come at me, bro' but - you know, that. Blended with a skepticism that is perhaps put on.

3 House Mazetti Guardians, Sirra, a very quiet maid, an indeterminate number of cats arrive, following Alessia.

3 House Mazetti Guardians, Sirra, a very quiet maid, an indeterminate number of cats leave, following Alessia.

"You've already praised his art, might as well attempt it. Of course, if you only seek to make blush, there are other ways than praise, for which he has no doubt steeled himself against. See how he parries and redirects? Not that the praise given to the young woman there... Samira, was it? is unwarranted. Excellent craftsmanship, and grounding where the others reach for old tales and the fantastical." Raziel says, his attention moving from Adrienne to Apollo and then to Samira. It moves yet again when Vitalis speaks up and makes his offer, however. "By all means. These secrets you can keep." he tells Vitalis. "Though others might choose differently." The man smirks, which does little to improve his ravaged face.

"One can never appreciate where you end, without knowing the beginning" Jaenelle agrees as she turns once more towards Raziel. "The story, the whole story, is what matters. The soul remembers every memory, large or small, and it is those memories that weave and make up what is there, what returns to the wheel afterwards. We only borrow the soul, it belongs to the Queen." Samira's quietly spoken words are given a smile and nod. "Consider it done" and just like that another nod is directed towards one of her assistants and that is enough of an order to see how wishes done. After Vitalis greets her with all the passion of the Lyceum, Jae grins towards one of her Voices in the Mirrorguard, "you look happy. It is all I could ask for." That grin is shifted towards Adrienne, "it is hot everywhere, unfortunately. The only good thing about the heat is that the Northerns complain just as much as the rest of us do when it snows." When Apollo then requests his own donation droppage, once more Jae nods, "so it shall be."

"Samira Culler," Samira adds, Raziel's question finally prompting a proper introduction from the young woman. His kind words draw an honest smile as she bows to him. She's clearly not accustomed to such motions; the movement seems the sort of exaggerated flourish she's witnessed others execute, perhaps even some subtle sarcasm behind the gesture although her expression shows genuine gratitude for his remarks. "That's kind of you to say. If I can pull the viewer in, make them think for a moment about another kind of life, I've met my aim." Jaenelle's acceptance of her whispered remarks earns a bob of her head. "Thank you. That's really nice."

"Not so loud, Vitalis," Adrienne cautious with a flickering smile of the warmth of Oathlanders. She, too however, beckons him to demonstrate his Apollo whispering techniques. Studying Apollo with the same critical eye that she did his tapestry, Adrienne says aside to Raziel. "I've always found praise to be the most direct approach. There's a touch of Lycene mischief behind the boyish smile. I have less confidence that other approaches of my means might be more successful."

She listens to Raziel's commentary on Samira's tapestry before adding, "I'm new to Arx, relatively at least. There is no shame in being expert in something so vast as this. It's knowledge I wish I shared," offers the princess kindly, before Jaenelle's humor has her returning a fond glance. "I'm overdue in wishing you a happy birthday. I hope you'll forgive me. If I'd waited much longer I may have been offering you a snow angel in truth."

1 Templar Knight guards, Sir Daniel the Beardless, a somewhat hapless Templar arrive, following Hamish.

"Mm, borrowing implies that it doesn't truly belong to us, does it not?" muses Raziel after Jaenelle's own words. "That somehow who we are is different from the soul. Would it not be closer to say that who we are is just one among the countless ways we could have been? That the soul is akin to a lump of iron, with one life leading to the iron being shaped in a specific way, a sword perhaps, before being returned to the furnace and melted again to become that lump. Till the next life shapes it as an axe. Or a shield. Or whatever else." he shrugs. "The difference being that the lump has no choice in what it shall become. We do. Wouldn't you say?" He makes no claim to know. He is no Godsworn. But he does seem to enjoy such musings. Samira's introduction sees the man smile and though it is a horrible sight to be sure, it is not a malicious one. "In this you've achieved your goal, young miss. It leads to a new understanding, a new perspective, to something always seen from the outside. Perhaps I might convince some of the Confessors and other Inquisitors to take a good hard look at your work. Might lead them to start thinking." To Adrienne, he nods. "Each have their own ways. I've given up on charm a long time ago." he smiles again.

"You're not supposed to /notice/ how I parry and redirect, my lord," Apollo says, an accusing sort of slant to his mouth. Then, with a flatter look at Adrienne: "You're /certainly/ not supposed to notice any Lycene mischief, gods above, thank goodness my family isn't about." He's laughing by the time he finishes saying that.

Each tapestry, each work of art, draws Sapphra's gaze in a new direction, though she never strays far from Oddmun's side. Raziel's commentary catches her attention, the young bard peering over his way, and smiling softly. "Perhaps in that, tapestries and music can reach farther than one realizes. For if they, and other art like this is remembered, and passed along, future generations can listen to them, look at them, and bear the lessons with them from one life to the next." She shrugs, and her grin turns a bit sheepish. "But then, what do I know of such things?"

"Artistry should always be appreciated, Apollo," Adrienne counsels with a look both to him and to his tapestry, though her eyes narrow with humor at his indignation. "Jayus would ask no less of us." She starts to say more only to turn a curious look to Sapphira, considering her comments while murmuring aside to Raziel, "Have you? Given up on charm, that is." The corner of her mouth quirks.

"If I were to not notice when someone avoids or redirects away from something, I might be a more polite Lord, but I would be an absolutely worthless Inquisitor." Raziel remarks to Apollo. Yet his attention soon shifts to Sapphira as she speaks and though he listens seriously, her very last words has the man snort. "My Lady, you may not know of tapestries as intimately as those that have made them, but you know music. Let us not waste our time with the pretense that you do not know better than most, for having lived, breathed and created it, the effect of music and how it may touch the soul and that of which is around your own." To Adrienne, he replies. "Oh quite thoroughly. Who needs charm when my most average and charmless grin is potent enough to have ladies swoon? Or perhaps it's fainting. Mmm..." He smirks again. "Or will you take the stance that even that is charm, Your Highness?"

Raziel's reply seems to surprise Samira, pleasantly so. She turns her dark gaze back upon him, taking a moment longer to scrutinize him, looking beyond the disfigured face to whatever lies beyond. "I'd be glad for it. I've heard a thing or two about the Confessors that don't sit well. If my work could make some minds consider things in a new way, I'll consider it a true success." Her thoughts are interrupted by an approaching messenger who hands off a missive before hastily trotting off on his way. She reads, shrugs, and tucks the letter in her pocket. "Gotta go take care of something. I'm glad for the opportunity to share my art and admire the talents and creativity of others. I'll let my tapestry stay with the others and come collect it later. Nice to meet you all." Having actually remembered her manners, she nods politely to those gathered and then turns on her heel, moving off on her way.

The shrine of the Queen of Endings is one of the few shrines that is an actual building with a roof and walls and all of that stuff, so there's no wandering past when someone comes out. The doors swing open, the building disgorges Templars and then the archlector of Death himself, Blessed Hamish Farmer. He gives a squint when he looks around, then offers a nod and a smile to the archduchess of the Lyceum before making his way over to look at the tapestries. "Gods above, your grace, but these are beautiful. Astounding craftsmanship." He stops at the hound and stares at it for a long moment, then looks over the crowd before saying to Apollo, "You've a tremendous gift, goodman. We are all lucky to have you."

"I've known brutes, Lord Bisland, and you are not one," Adrienne counters with a smile to her tone. "You find charm to be a burden? We could find you an attendant to gather up those you fell in passing." Adrienne accepts Samira's farewells with a polite glance. "Thank you for sharing your work, Samira Culler." Adrienne's protests to the contrary, however, when she next speaks it is to address Sapphira in, perhaps, a kinder way than her noble companion, "Is it your wish to create such songs as those, my Lady? I heard in passing that you were a musician, I believe."

The Archlector is greeted with a respectful tilt of her head. "I second that, Blessed. Your lecture on the Queen of Endings a few weeks ago was well worth attending. Thank you."

"Alright, maybe /you/ are supposed to notice," Apollo tells Raziel, and laughs, giving Adrienne an agreeable nod. He gives Samira's arm a nudge with the back of his hand. "Come talk to me if you've got questions about the guild, I'll see you sorted." He cranes up, when he hears Hamish's voice. "Thank you, Blessed Hamish. You should come 'round, I've got something for you to see."

"I have always been informed that even if your soul has lived before, you are not that person. So how much does, or should you allow, that to affect who you are now?" Jaenelle asks Raziel, looking from him to, oh look, its Hamish! "We all have choices, certainly, and we can choose what to do with the time we have."

"There'd be no one to share it with if not for the willing audience," Samira calls over her shoulder to Adrienne, her words a sort of indirect thanks tossed back toward the nobleman. She nods to Apollo, pointing at him. "I'm gonna do that. Soon." And then she's off on her way, weaving easily through the crowd and disappearing to tend to whatever business has presented itself.

"Minds are sharpened and expanded through the confrontation of new ideas. When they petrify, follow one pattern, is when it is problematic. To say the least." Raziel nods to Samira. "Good day, young miss. Till next time, and your next work, mm?" And then Hamish is joining them! Huzzah! "Archlector." the ruined Bisland greets, his voice raspy, looking more like a particularly burnt and scarred corpse than a living man. Still, he speaks! "A good number of them were inspired to reach great heights of quality... and more importantly, thought." he remarks. His attention then shifts, turning to Adrienne. "Brute? I don't know. I rather quite enjoy bludgeoning others with my remarks. Does it not count? You're too kind, Your Highness." As to charm's burdens, he laughs. One might be forgiven if they expected him to fall to pieces, the harsh, rattling sound rather concerning. But he's fine. It's just laughter. "Attendants might be required, if so I choose." Apollo's acceptance is met with a nod from the Inquisitor. That's right. He should! "Does the lump of iron care that it was shaped in a bucket before it was shaped into a sword? You are not the bucket. Yet if you become aware you /were/ a bucket, will you begin to wonder if you are now? Will you have the temptation to embrace it? Or will you reject it? As to whether you should..." He shrugs. "If you need a bucket of water to put out the fire, but only have a sword, maybe the bucket would be more a propos, no?"

Raziel says the latter in Jaenelle's direction. Yes he just compared the Archduchess to a bucket.

2 Whitehawk Guards have been dismissed.

Hamish ducks his head toward Raziel. "My lord. I can see the inspiration. One would expect nothing but skulls and spiders, and while I am glad to see some spiders on display, I do like that we have all sorts of art." He nods, looking from one tapestry to the next. To Apollo he says, "I did not miss your messenger, goodman, though I can be blamed for not replying sooner. My apologies. Though I would be happy to come by soon. I'd hoped to commission a reward for one of the events in the upcoming folly." He he sees Adrienne he offers the woman a deep nod. "Your highness."

Apollo, here, looks sheepish; he lifts one of his dye-stained hands, scratches at the curls at the nape of his neck, smile sort of self-conscious. "Honestly, I couldn't remember if I'd sent you one back myself. It's been a mad-house. And I've been /very/ distracted lately. We'll talk." He smiles, there, at Hamish, eyes slipping from Jaenelle to Adrienne to Raziel, two whole circuits, Jaenelle a third time. Like maybe he'll like to see how she takes being compared to a bucket, actually.

"It is diverse," Adrienne realizes belatedly, taking in the numerous tapestries and their many themes, and trying not to be too interested in Jaenelle and Raziel's conversation. The healer in her must look concerned at Raziel's alarming noises; it refocuses her attention although her offer is simply, "Would you care for some water? I'm thirsty and was going to hunt some down." Read: get someone to find some for her. "While I do, I can decide whether earned cruelty can be charming. I honestly hadn't considered it, but I believe there may prefer to be insulted by some people more than I'd wish to be complimented by others."

"You will go mad, is what" Jaenelle tells Raziel with a grin. "You will question every aspect of your life and not actually live it. You will wonder of things you can not change, and it will drive you mad with insecurity. What ifs, and whys, and but should I have?" There is a slow shake of her head here. "If I were a bucket, I would have lived life as a bucket. I would have been the greatest bucket to ever bucket." Another smile, nose wrinkling, "but I am a sword now, and should a bucket be needed, I would find someone who is a bucket now rather than try to be the bucket I once was."

Apollo's brows twitch together, and - quite inappropriately - he blurts out: "A sword?" Like he couldn't possibly imagine something further from his conception of Jaenelle. "Er. Sorry. A sword, /your grace/?" Even he realizes the correction is preposterous, and he laughs, ducks his head. Oh, look, he's smudged up the back of his neck, too.

"I've never met a princess of Maelstrom I wouldn't call at least a bit of a sword," says Hamish mildly. "Being a princess of the Lyceum is only apt to sharpen the edge."

"I imagine it is heartening to know one's favoured Goddess is understood and worshiped as more than the Goddess of Skulls and Spiders. These are parts of Her, certainly, and yet..." Raziel says to Hamish. He motions with his free hand to the tapestries. "So much more." He looks distracted a moment, as he looks upon the tapestries. Distracted by a thought... yet it's gone, his attention suddenly back to Adrienne. "Mm... I suppose water wouldn't be refused. I have spoken more than I expected already." he nods in thanks to Adrienne. The man clearly is not going to go find some water. "Would you prefer to be insulted by one who has shaped the insult as a personalized arrow, or the compliment given to any and all that crosses their path? I do think I'd rather the effort in both cases. It shows dedication." he grins. Yet not as much as he grins when he listens to Jaenelle, though he waits to the very end before doing so. "Good, you didn't fall into the trap. To try to be everything is to end up being a lump. Better to choose to be a bucket or a sword, and to draw to you that which you are not. Otherwise? Madness, till you're pulled apart in all the directions you chased pointlessly." As to Apollo's surprise about the sword... He arches a brow. "Tsk. Surely the Guildmaster should look beyond all the pretty the Archduchess has going for her. Though I suppose he isn't the first one to stare at the allure and not see the steel beneath, mm?"

A smile for Samira when she departs; an inclination of the head and another for the Archlector when their paths briefly cross as Amieli sidles quietly away from the social gathering to reexamine the tapestries appreciatively one last time and, at length, vanish into the approaching night.

Ras walks along the darkening sanctum paths peacefully by himself before coming across the scene of tapestries hanging on wooden easels among contestants, judges, clergy, and guards. He pauses and changes course, skulking over to inspect the situation.

"Well. When I have earned a personalized insult, I shall now know to treasure it." Adrienne lifts a hand, scanning the crowd until someone looks helpful enough to assist in her quest. Princess privilege. "Is this a hypothetical conversation or one spoken to from experience?" asks Adrienne of Raziel and Jaenelle, a subtle shift in the direction of the conversation. The cups of water are simple fare but received with a grateful look from Adrienne before she passes one to Raziel. "Or do you drink in the Lycene style and prefer it sipped first?" She seems quite sincere in the question. Maybe he does.

A smile is flashed towards Apollo from Jaenelle, "admittedly, I have alwsays been more diplomatic, whereas my twin sister the more sword focused, but one can not help but learn a thing or two." She looks towards Raziel, projecting, "while still being true to your strengths and weaknesses" cause you know, buckets a bucket and all that. When Ras approaches, there is a dip of her head for the man, "Master Ras, welcome."

Apollo's eyes tug toward Adrienne a moment, then back to Raziel and Jaenelle, brows twitch together again; this time, his words are slower to come. "No, my lord, I haven't - I haven't missed - I haven't missed that, least I don't think I have." He opens his mouth, and /almost/ looks like he might say more - but perhaps the gods themselves whisper in his ear about what a /smooth move/ that would be; when Jaenelle greets Ras, he shuts that mouth of his, and then gives a little flicker of a smile to him, silent greeting.

Ras blinks, subtly startled by Jaenelle's greeting. It's clear that while he recognizes her, he didn't quite expect her to recognize him. Hunching both shoulders and burying hands in leggings pockets, he ducks his head in a nod back to the archduchess, and then his gaze slips towards Apollo. There's a flicker of a smile in return. "You made the leather one, yeah?" he asks the tanner, lifting his chin towards an intimidating painting of a black hound.

"The part about choosing your path and sticking to it, or the part about not being blinded by beauty?" asks Raziel to Adrienne. "Oh no, no need to sip for me. At this point I've ingested so many poisons and potions I'm quite certain you'd need to put effort into the whole poisoning me. Much like a personalized insult would be far more effective." he smiles. His attention shifts back to Jaenelle and Apollo, however, as he remarks. "A sword has many forms. It can be the naked blade, or it can be the threat of it. The Archduchess does not need to draw a blade herself for all to be aware that to go against her would mean many blades drawn against them." As to whether Apollo has missed it or not, Raziel chuckles. "I will be merciful in this, Guildmaster. I won't push you in the hole you were digging for yourself." He does add, however, to Jaenelle. "By all means, don't feel the need to stay true to your weaknesses. Actually that sounds like an absolute waste of time. Be aware of your weaknesses, certainly. But do try to work on them. There's always ground for improvement." And Ras is also joining them! Huzzah! Except... "Mm... I don't think I've met that one." And so it is that the Inquisitor turns his gaze, one eye hazel and the other blind white, to Ras. "Well met." the speaking husk says.

Hamish watches as Ras walks through, eyebrows raising marginally as he tracks the man past the tapestries, like maybe he expects Ras will snap one up and then run off with it.

Perhaps to illustrate the points being discussed, Jaenelle's greeting to Ras has Adrienne looking his way as well, intently as he goes on to address Apollo. "That'll do, Lord Bisland," Adrienne murmurs as he prods Apollo further, protectiveness in her manner as she sips her water and watches him with the same curiousity she did Ras. "Not all of us are so perfectly precise with every word. Certainly I'm not. As to my curiosity, it was regarding all of the above, I think. And of course on past lives," she adds with a deferential half-bow to Hamish.

Apollo's smile flickers - not out, but brighter - at Ras question, and he nods. "That's mine," he says, nodding yet. His eyes turn on Raziel, and there's a hesitation before he nods to him, too - sort of. Halfway between a nod and a bow, it reads as a manner of appreciation. Oh look. Adrienne has thrown him a rope. Appreciation for her shows in a much smaller gesture, a press of lips, smile in his eyes for a moment.

Ras gives Raziel a wary look. Those eyes are one thing, and the infamous badge isn't missed, nor the form of address granted to the man by Adrienne. He doesn't introduce himself, and instead returns Hamish's raised eyebrows. "Man, you keep givin me dirty looks," he mutters to the Archlector, as if this is any way to talk to an Archlector. "But you're the one who owes me. Nine silver knights, aight?" There's a rough headshake, hands still pocketed, before he glances back at Apollo's tapestry. "Yep, that's a dog."

Vitalis checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 7 higher.

"When I'm nice to you you glare at me and mutter about the structures of power and social inequality," says Hamish with a brittle smile. "So I'm treating you the way I have to assume you want to be treated. Glare glare." He reaches into his pocket and tosses a small pouch of coins Ras's way. "I'd have given you a tip if it didn't take you so damn long." He looks to the hound, then looks back to Ras. "Puppy."

"A fair point, but you've caught me on a good day, Your Highness." Raziel nods to Adrienne. And so it is that he also nods to Apollo. No more pushing towards that edge. "Though I think you'll find my precision has good days as much as bad, like any other. More so." Another smirk, though that one is tinted with darker, more bitter thoughts. Thoughts that are pushed aside, dismissed in favour of the now. "One does not need to reincarnate to have lived many lives. All it takes is great change. Still, on the subject of past reincarnations, I know little. Certainly not mine." he smiles. To Adrienne. And to Ras, especially when the man gives him that wary look. It does little to make his face, scarred and burnt as it is, look any better. "Structures of power and social inequality?" he asks. "Interesting. Have you many thoughts on the subject?"

The Valardin stands down with a smile in her eyes to Raziel before she downs the rest of her water. She really was thirsty. "And my day must be a good one for this company. Unfortunately, my time is not my own. Will you please excuse me?" She leans in to whisper something warmly to Apollo, giving his shoulder a squeeze, and does the same to Vitalis in passing before offering Jaenelle a curtsey that also encompasses Hamish of all people. Poor Ras will have to fend off the Bisland Inquisitor alone.

Vitalis was hailed away, urgently, it seems by his research assistant, who confers iwth him briefly before trundling off towards the Archives. What scholarly emergency could warrant pulling Vitalis away from the task of making his protege blush. He has yet to meet that challenge, but the conversation has veered away and he tips his head, assessing Adrienne's verbal mantle thrown over Apollo at Raziel's jest. He returns to the knot of folk gathering to admire the tapestries, eyes passing over everyone, nods and bows for those gathered, a single brow lofted at Ras, "Messere Ras," though now an Oathlander, he has not abandoned Lycene address. Any further thoughts he has about the man's presence are kept rather to himself, moving off to examine the other tapestries he hadn't given a proper look just yet. Straightening as he spies Adrienne leaving, he falls in step with her, "I'll walk you, Highness, if I may."

"Please," Adrienne agrees with a moment's surprise before she takes her protege's arm. "Would you like to hear another fairy tale?" she can be heard to ask as they wander through the crowds.

Apollo - when it seems Raziel will leave off and Vitalis isn't going to try to make him blush - gives a tip of his head and a crooked smile; in another life, that might come with a hashtag. #blessed. To Adrienne, he offers a nod, "A red, then," he says, and flashes her an impious smile, because if today is Getting Away With it Tuesday, he may as well.

"I don't," Ras contradicts Hamish defensively, but unpockets a hand to catch the pouch. He opens it and counts the coins inside, grumbling to himself things like 'when have you ever been nice to me anyway' and so on. Maybe he has a selective memory. Putting the pouch away, he looks to Vitalis with a slight nod of greeting, then shifts focus to Raziel's question. "Not uh, -many-," he replies cagily, gaze flitting around the company. "D'you got some?"

Vitalis leaves, following Adrienne.

"Of course, Your Highness. It was a pleasure." Raziel nods to Adrienne as she announces her departure. He does not bow, though with his hunched back and reliance on his cane, it might be assumed it would go badly. Thus does his focus turn to Ras, possibly to the relief of some. "Of injustice? I've many thoughts, none of them positive. Of the social power structure, positive and negative cohabit. Yet I'm always curious to hear the perspectives of others. Helps expand one's mind. Keep it sharp." he smiles. "Not to worry, this isn't an elaborate ploy to drag you to the House of Questions. For one, I'm not one to typically drag anyone anywhere." A grin, here. A joke? "That, and my time here is fading quickly."

Hamish is overheard praising Jaenelle: Hooraylequins!

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