Participants:

Adeline_icon.gif Aelia_icon.gif Azaim_icon.gif Freyja_icon.gif Marie_icon.gif Varric_icon.gif

Scene Title Housewarming
Synopsis The Orlesian Ambassador throws a party.
Location Orlesian Embassy
Date 11 Haring 9:31 Dragon
Watch For Silly cats, Templar gossip.
Logger Marie

Outside, as night starts to fall, Kirkwall is hushed and white. Thick, fluffy snowflakes fall from the sky, and have been since the day began. Some may have hoped that it would burn off quickly, those people are sure to be sorely disappointed. It's sticky snow, the kind that lays down a proper layer to build on through a long, dark Winter. It's clinging to the corners of windows, frosting the streets, and piling at the edges of doorways. But tonight, the Orlesian Embassy is full of warm light. The fires are stoked high and full of spices that make the whole hall smell warm and bright. String music fills the hall, and people have already started to mingle. It's a fairly standard Orlesian party, really, whispering and drinking and dancing, though there are far fewer masks in the crowd than one would see in Orlais.

Flitting from group to group is the Ambassador and hostess of the evening. She is hard to miss, dressed in sparkling white. The gown bares her shoulders, but the bodice is rigid and the train that follows behind her is modest in length but shining with white stones. Half of her face is covered by her usual mask, silver and checkered, a bright topaz its focal point. She chats merrily, a glass of wine held in hand, but untouched by the dark purple stain on her lips. And today she has combed her brunette curls into submission, twisted neatly over her left shoulder.

Each entrance is greeted at the door. Coats and cloaks taken, drink offered, instructions given. Those that only seek the Ambassador have Marie pointed out to them, and those who are there to mingle are let loose to do as they will.

Aelia had regarded the invitation from the new Orlesian ambassador…. dubiously, unsure if she should be surprised, flattered or worried. But still, the least she could do is put in a show of good faith, until something was done to prove it undeserved. What's more things had been going well for the Altus as of late, keeping her more cynical impulses at bay. Aelia had arrived by herself, but dressed to impress. Clothed in the traditional robes if her homeland, layers of black leather and green cloth falling over her shoulders, belted at her waist, with the twining serpents of the Tevinter Imperium painted in vivid green ink over the black leather which covered her lower left side. Her staff is held over her shoulders by an ornate baldric the weapon itself a black hardwood with a serpentstone dragon twisting about the head. The final accent to the outfit are light gauntlets and greeves, which look to be made of polished stormheart, and more for show than serving as any kind of physical protection. Aelia had had her hair done in an intricate crown of braids. Making her way inside, the mage notes her surroundings with an impassive expression before sharp green eyes begin to seek out the hostess.

There's just nothing like family obligation, is there? Varric was perfectly happy in his nice, warm bar with its variety of drunks. Weather like this tends to drive them in, making gleaning information almost too easy. Still, it's not a bad place to be if you want to gather information and watch the upper crust, so he's not going to complain. Of course he's required to greet the host, but once that's done? He's free to blend in as much as a well dressed dwarf can.

The sheer number of layers that go into "proper" Ander court fashion is just… frankly, it's ridiculous. For Freyja, who is never happy without boots and pants and weapons? This is an exercise she'd once hoped never to undergo again. But it's important that the Wardens continue to be looked upon favorably and she's one of the few stationed here with both Weisshaupt court experience and appropriate attire… so here she is. And here she is. The Ander court does not fuck around. Her 'nice' cloak - lined with soft cream fur - she parts with happily at the door, overly warm already. Beneath that is a cream silk gown embroidered with pale gold in such fine designs as to be almost invisible save for the shimmer when she moves. That part's all well and good, but it wouldn't be considered "decent" without its overgown. That is lush royal blue velvet, off the shoulder and with long sleeves thankfully slitted high to let her bare arms have some air. This too has gold embroidery, but it is much bolder and in sweeping leaf and vine and floral designs - opulent and ridiculous, especially when one considers the train. "And this is a day dress," she grumbles down to the massive snowbeast padding into the room at her side (missing her skirts with his large paws only by virtue of much practice), the pair of them descending to the main floor with matching sour expressions. "I did not miss this."

Azaim follows dutifully behind Varric…well, as dutifully as a half frozen dwarf in leather can, wringing his hands for warmth and shivering from the cold of the relatively short traversal as he struggles to keep in line with Varric without bumping into anyone, "Stupid sky…bad enough how dizzying it is but now it spits ice to?" His muttering falls to an even quieter grumble as he slowly shakes off the cold and tries to fade into background like a good little guard.

Adeline had agonized for at least three hours over what to wear. She had her formal blues, but somehow that just seemed… Wrong. So, instead, as she follows Freyja in to the Embassy, it is her old Starkhaven fashions. Black and gold, with a fitted bodice that comes to a straight neckline, it's obvious that Adeline has even forced herself into one of her old corsets for this. The shirt and bodice are rich black velvet that drinks in light, but the overskirt and the cuffs along the sleeves are a dark gold damask that hints at the shape of chalices and griffins. The sleeves split open to reveal a starkly white chemise, puffed along the arms to a proportion that is a distinctly Starkhaven fashion. The Senior Warden has even dusted off old jewels, a string of pearls making up her belt, and hanging along the neckline of the dress. And in her pulled up dark hair, a simple golden band sits, something she has not worn in a long, long time. Notably, though, the Warden is without her falcon. Surely under those layered skirts there is at least a blade, but for all intents and purposes, she looks unarmed. Laughing a little, she shakes her head at Freyja, "And I thought we were bad."

At Freyja's entrance, there is a distinctive feline huff from the corner of the hall. From one of the chaises tucked away into one of the alcoves on the left side of the room, a lionette rises and stretches. Fur milky white, she hops from her chaise and goes to investigate a smell she had not been expecting. People were one thing, she smelled those all the time. But there was another cat here, and Regine simply had to go investigate that. Hello, Fjord, hopefully you don't mind getting sniffed at by lionesses too much.

Marie is easily found, the staff of the house readily pointing her out to those that ask. And when she is approached, she smiles warmly. "Altus, so glad you could come. Please, do make yourself welcome. Such fine weather for a warm evening in, don't you think?" She says, Orlesian accent musical but thick, gesturing with her free hand to the festivities of the evening, and when Varric approaches, he too gets a smile and a small nod, "Serah Tethras, no? I am glad to see the Guild having a presence tonight."

"Thank you for the invitation, Lady Ambassador." Aelia responds, those same sharp eyes taking Marie's measure shrewdly and efficiently. "I hope you have found settling into Kirkwall to be largely peaceful." She says, continuing the niceties. Bright green eyes sweep around the room again, landing on the pair of wardens to whom the Tevinter Mage offers a nod, with the corner of her lips turning up into something between a smile and a smirk. Once again Aelia thanked the gods that Tevinter had not embraced the idea of the corset.

That huff is not a sound this particular snowbeast has heard in quite some time. Before his human could even have a prayer of understanding, he's stopped forward progress altogether - ears perked and head held high to sniff at the overly warm, dry air. "Maker, no," Freyja answers her commander. "That's the kind of thing you wear to a family breakfast." She sighs, entirely wistful. "Don't ever get assigned to Weisshaupt, Adeline. The royal court is the worst." But for someone who's accustomed to the quiet warmth at her side, it doesn't take long to notice he's not there anymore. Fjord is not bothered at all by this sniffing business, save that he's twisting around a bit to try and do the same. She has no spots and precious little fur, which is concerning, but she doesn't smell sick… so there's this creeling little 'mrowrl' sound as he bumps his nose against her shoulder - the feline equivalent of asking after her health like any proper gentleman, to be sure. "Can't take you anywhere, can I? Come along, you great lummox. Leave the nice lady be."

"Lady ambassador." Varric greets all proper manners right down to the shallow bow. See? He only hangs out where the classless and crass gather. Once his greeting is finished, his guard earns a grin. "Give it some time, jitters. The weather's all part of Kirkwall's charm." But then there are the familiar faces of Freyja and Adeline. He's a smart dwarf, he knows when to not tease a lady, so they're given greeting nods before he slips back into crowd observation again.

Adeline knows bird noises very well. Cat noises are a little bit more difficult, so that huff catches her attention just enough to make her look up. Distracted, there's a moment where she just blinks at Freyja until she realizes that… Oh yes, they were talking about dresses. "Maker's breath, really?" She says, shaking her head, "This thing was my 'uncle is having a party and you have to be presentable' dress. I might die in the Anderfels." She likes being able to move way too much. The feline greetings happening, however, draw her attention again and she laughs, "Well, at least he seems like he's being polite." Then, though, sharp blue eyes scan the room properly and she manages to catch Aelia and Varric's nods, which she sends back.

Azaim straightens up as the ambassador approaches, his shiver dying down to a twitch. He doesint address her beyond a curtious bow of his head, not quite stupid enough to step out of line as a guard to the ambassador but he is stupid enough to give a quiet response to Varric, "Whatever you say boss, just so long as the roof holds at least."

Luckily for Azaim, it is a very well made roof. And so is the ceiling. See the mural up there? Very nice, but more importantly, painted on stone. Kirkwall and all of its stone. There would be no falling into the sky at this party. Besides, Marie might just stomp her foot and glare if gravity decided to quit, and it doesn't seem gravity is quite willing to face those kinds of consequences yet. There's a pleasant smile for Varric, and his guard, but the Ambassador lets them walk away without disruption. "Of course," She says to Aelia, "These parties are only any fun if a large selection of different sorts of people show up, after all." Her wine glass is set down on a passing tray, and she turns to face the Altus a little more properly, "Kirkwall has been most inviting, I think. Even was so kind as to provide the first snowfall on the day of my welcome party. I couldn't ask for better set dressing."

While Fjord may think Regine is lacking hair and spotless, these splotches on his fur confuse her a good deal. Besides, he is smaller than she is, and with that concerned mrowling… Well, the sound that gets sent back, a low almost chuff, is something one might hear her give to a cub. And with that, it begins, a pale paw raises to then push down right between Fjord's shoulders, and Regine is leaning in to start grooming him behind the ears.

"Yes, the snow is something I will have to get used to. Minrathous has a much more temperate climate." Aelia remarks, picking up wine from a passing tray as the ambassador sets her glass down. Once a vint, always a vint, it even sounded like vintage, it's all very kitsch. "I've found the city to be quite welcomeing as well." She says before taking a drink. "Which I'll admit was rather surprising at first." Her eyes have been drawn to the felines and their antics, bringing a smile to her face. "Your Lionette, I presume?"

Varric laughs. "Jitters, I've lived here all my life and you're in more danger from the people than the roof or the sky over it. Besides, look around. Not a frown in the place." He's not going to mention that if a fight breaks out, it probably won't be between a noble and his guard. "Go on, have a drink and relax a little. Just make sure you keep your manners in place." Aelia is given her own greeting nod before he turns his attention- at least visibly- toward the felines.

Azaim snickers, "Oh I know full well that people are dangerous, its what makes them safe cuz I know what to watch for. That sky though? Its plottin something, I can feel it in my bones…" He says with a bit of a smirk, implying either that he smuggly thinks he's smarter than everyone else, or that he's at least partially joking. Who can say? "And no thanks on the drink, I prefer to save em for after work, always goes bad otherwise…" He says as he longingly eyes the nearest assortment of booze.

Marie nods, lacing her fingers together in front of her, and stepping to lead Aelia in a small circuit of the room. Hostess, after all, she has to keep moving. "Snow is a lovely thing. Encourages everyone to stay inside and socialize more. It's in the Winter that the real work gets done." She says, and then glances to where Aelia indicates, "Ah, yes, that would be my Regine."

Speaking of Regine, she only licks at Fjord a moment before something else catches her attention. A different smell, though the source of it is not properly pleasant. Stepping away from the other cat, the pale lionette crosses over to Adeline and sniffs at the hem of her dress as though assessing her value.

Adeline laughs a little, turning her hip to make her skirt swish. "Hello to you, too, my lady." She says to Regine, even giving the lionette a small curtsy. Then, though, she steps away to cross the room over toward the two dwarves. "Varric," The Senior Warden says with a smile, "I hadn't thought to see you here."

"Back home we have libraries or the circle for that. Lavish to be sure, but in my experience the sociable will always find a reason to stay indoors." She watches Regine curiously for a moment, "She's quite the creature. You seem suited for one another." She remarks before returning Varric's nod. "Serrah Tethras, is it not? I believe we have met in passing before."

"Well, you know how it is. I was all set to spend the evening telling stories but then I heard my favorite resident Wardens would be here and I couldn't resist." Varric puts on his best winning smile, but there's no denying the humor behind it." Aelia earns another one of those grins. "That would be me, and I believe we have. I hope you're enjoying the snow."

Azaim offers the approaching Adeline and Aelia a tip of his improv hat, a hood, and fades into the background, possibly because having the attention of a pair of wardens is a scary prospect. More likely its that his player may be called away at any moment and doesint want to risk tying people up with dealing with his sudden disappearance.

"Oh yes, we do find a reason." Marie says, "But that is rather more work than the sky being kind enough to provide one." As they circle around toward the dwarves and the Warden, Marie makes a small clicking with her tongue, and reaches her hand down to encourage Regine over. The lionette's ears perk at the sound, and with a final sniff to Adeline, she trots to Marie's side to nuzzle against that hand.

With Varric's praise, Adeline laughs. "Favorite, are we?" She says, shifting her weight just a little as the lionette departs from her side, "Varric, I am flattered." Then, though, there's a small dip of her head to Aelia, and to Marie, more properly in speaking range then, and not just acknowledging from across a room.

"The books and the dueling circles provide adequate reason, I assure you." Aelia remarks to Marie in a tone of friendly banter before turning her attention to Varric. "I am unused to it, Serrah." She replies, "But I do prefer it to the rain." Someone had not been a happy dragon during the week of sky flooding. Azaim is met with an answering polite nod, and a quick appraisal from sharp green eyes before the Altus turns her attention to the wardens. "A pleasure to see you again, Senior Warden Vael. How have you been since our last meeting?"

"Of course! Even Bianca enjoys your company." Varric grins. "If we get enough there should be some sculpting going on." This is said to Aelia. "Maybe even a few competitions if the cold holds out." Of course, that would be all the children of the nobles and perhaps a few of the unmarried young adults trying to impress each other. That's the way it always works. In Lowtown, it's a surprise if the snow is actually white.

"Serah Tethras, that is a brilliant idea." Marie says with a smile that lights up her face, "Snow and ice sculpting competitions. How quaint. I'll have to organize something." Oh the ambassador is amused. Enough so, even, that she finally takes up a new glass of wine and actually drinks. Regine, though, she's curious about this dwarf now. So she steps forward and sniffs at Varric inquisitively.

Azaim snickers and adds in, "Until we got to Hightown, I didint know it came in other colors. Now I just need to find a blue pile and green pile and I can start work on my rainbow of sky dirt." He coughs a little and goes quiet, aparently having convieniently forgten and just remembered he's here to be seen and not heard.

Adeline laughs. "Blue and green, hm?" She says to Azaim, "I can help with those, actually." Of course the Warden has blue dye around. As for green? Look, she's been compulsively buying healing potions for months. She can spare one. "Does she? Well, that's good. I'm rather fond of Bianca." She says to Varric, grinning. She settles down a little, though, as she looks to Aelia. Not cold, just a little more composed. "Well enough. Yourself?"

Oh right. The last time Adeline and Aelia had seen one another she'd been party to a fight between Aelia and Hadrian… awkward. "I'm sure I have a vial of green ink I can spare from my stationary." Aelia remarks, because as the wardens are for blue dye, so are the Tevinters for green. Her smile twists into an amused smirk. "A sculpture competition does sound fun, though I think most people would call my methods cheating."

"You'll get plenty of interest in it. The adults might prefer staying inside and attending parties, but they're about the only ones. Some of the businesses even arrange things for the servants. Not a bad idea, since those are the people who do all the every day shopping." Varric knows a thing or two, mostly by watching it from a distance. "Green, Jitters? Well, I suppose those won't be the strangest colors that I've seen the snow turn in some parts of the city." No details, he's civilized. The feline attention earns a grin. "Well, hello to you too, miss." Aelia earns a laugh. "Only outside the Imperium."

"Bah." Marie says on a laugh to Aelia, "Magic isn't going to make the finished product any better if you have no creative vision. They can deal." She nods though, and turns her attention back to Varric. "Yes, well, I will definitely have to arrange something then. Can't spend all Winter indoors. That's just silliness." Regine, though, she's decided that Varric will do, as she flops down onto the floor precisely on the dwarf's feet.

Azaim tsk tsk tsks at the offer of dyes, "You cant dye, that ruins the natural charm! Gotta be fresh and pure or its no good, like magma." He gives a small smirk, "No, my plans'll have ta wait till I stumble across the perfect find, thanks anyway though." He tips his hood-hat to the ladies again and then his attention is drawn to the small thudding of the large cat creature flopping on his boss's feet, "Well…..Hope I'm not expected to tell that to move."

Aelia curls her fingers momentarily, a light wisp of cold energy dancing about her hand accompanied by a pale blue light. It seems to be nothing but a reflex on the part of a mage not raised in a society where her kind are taught to fear their magic, just a habit with no more or less intention behind it than any other tick. "I will admit that even despite my complaining shaping ice into anything other than a spear would take a particular amount of artistry. There are those in my home who do turn their maker given gifts to art, and then there are people who were in the legion."

"Her, Jitters. That lady can understand what you say." Varric cautions. "Oh, I don't know. I imagine you could make an artistic spear. One of those really fancy ones with the ivy carving around it." Varric is helpful, kids. "I look forward to what you come up with. You're not going to be short on interest. Any novelty in the Winter isn't something the people of Hightown are gonna pass up." No mention of the novelty of survival in Lowtown, but that's not the kind of conversation they're having.

Marie is just about to correct Azaim, when Varric helpfully supplies it instead, and the hostess goes right back to smiling pleasantly. Regine lifts her head, looks at Azaim, sneezes, and goes back to her flop of pale fur. Marie glances over to Aelia with that little moment of magic, and blinks. "Oh, dear, do try to warn me first, would you?" She says, glancing around, "I don't think any of them turned up, but a number of Templars were invited, and I would hate for there to be any misunderstandings that occurred before I could intervene."

Azaim looks at the cat, looks at Varric, looks at the cat…looks at Varric, "Well if you're fine with it I'll just leave it be. I like my face where it is." At the warning of templars Azaim perks slightly and thumbs over to the far corner, "Pair of em over there, out of armor. One of em's about a week overdue and the other is scraping for enough to get em by." He pauses for a second then quickly adds, "Not that I would know of course."

Adeline had been distracted for a moment with some bit of social dance occurring across the room. When she comes back around to this conversation, she blinks a little. Glancing to the indicated Templars, she looks at Azaim a little wide eyed. "That's… Quite a bit of gossip." She says, "They don't pay you enough to be quiet, then?"

Aelia's reaction comes in two stages. The first is to Marie whom she fixes a calm, completely unapolagitic smile. "I assure you ambassador, the knight commander and I have an understanding. Her templars are well aware that I am no apostate under their jurisdiction." As if to say, 'you can't decide to weild the order against me' between the lines. "If it is a more personal concern howeve, that is a completely different request." As if to politely accuse the ambassador of fearing a mage in the most demure way possible. Nobles and the games they play. The second part is a breif moment of shock at the truly pertinent piece of gossip, which is quickly schooled away and replaced with a calm demeanor. "Thank you for the warning." She says to Azaim, "But Meredith's boys do not concern me."

Varric looks over at Azaim as if he'd just declared Andraste a bald, talking monkey. "That's exactly none of our business." At least, it's not supposed to be. Apparently that's the only warning he's going to give because there is lionette on his feet and, truth be told, he's quite happy about that. "Oh, I don't think you have to worry about the Templars, but you know how it is in the South. Everyone gets edgy when there's casual magic use."

"Oh no, dear, no personal concern. Arguing with them is simply a headache." Marie says with a small laugh, "You know, I've got a couple of old heirlooms, enchanted things, no real power but lovely conversation pieces. I had to register them when I brought them into the city. Such silliness." More sipping wine, but she does glance to the two Templars. "My, my, such a housewarming gift that is."

Azaim takes the opportunity to look up to the ceiling and admire the artwork up there, is that real….paint? Yeah, that, totally.

Adeline just continues to blink, and then shakes her head. That'll cause a headache for someone eventually, she's sure. Shifting her weight again, the Senior Warden looks over to Marie and Aelia, quite interested to see how their little play will end up falling out.

Aelia regards Azaim for a moment over the rim of her wine glass as she drinks a small sound of agreement coming form her in response to Marie's housewarming gift comment. "Edgy they may get but I have no intention of not celebrating my Maker given gifts in harmless ways for the sake of the South's anxieties." Aelia remarks, her tone even but cold. "Do you know? Those sound quite interesting. Rare to find in modern Orlais, the Exalted age being what it was." The mage remarks to Marie, perfectly friendly and genuinely interested.

"They're just little trinkets." Marie says with a small wave of her hand, "Perhaps, if you like, you could come to tea sometime and I could show you. But I am sure they would be rather mundane to someone from Tevinter." It's all matter of fact, rather than self deprecating, too.

Adeline takes up a glass of wine from a passing tray and drinks deeply. This corset is really starting to get to her. It was made for her when she was sixteen and much more spry. And a lot less… Well… Womanly. Yes, we'll use that word. Nevertheless, she seems quite amused with her people watching.

"On the contrary it is the rarity and associated history that would make them quite fascinating, ambassador." Aelia replies. "You'd be surprised what Tevinters find interesting despite the comforts we have available at home." Seems she's done sparring for the moment, if anything she's walked away with that tidbit about the Templars and their Lyrium, which is good enough for her.

It seems Aelia is not the only social predator that is sated for the evening. Or, at least, the moment. "Very well. Then tea it shall have to be. I'll send you a messenger, yes? But I should flit about, a hostess' work is never done, and such…" She smiles, offers kind parting, and slips off to do just that. White dress making her stand out as she moves about the room checking on her guests.


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