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Wardove's Rumble in the Jungle

Game Master Laithoron

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Isaac was glad that Jaro backed down and apologized in his own way. If there was one thing that was always hard for Isaac, and many other half-elven children, it was the fact they were half-breeds.

Isaac shook his head and waved Jaro off, "It's alright, just be sure to watch how you word your venting next time." he said, smiling at him to show there was no hard feelings. "The king can't be everywhere at once, and I personally think the Princess is a lovely person, she'll be fine and hopefully things will start to calm down here."

"Be buried in paperwork, or forced to nod your head and smile to noble small talk? paperwork seems less of a chore." It was a joke, there were so many other things that he could think of to be doing at the moment. "Definitely in the same boat today." He said, really wishing he could be home right now.

"Alright, you two can head inside, it'll be nicer in there than out here for sure. I have to wait for the princess to finally show up, then I'll be inside." He said motioning to Jaro to follow the old man who had taken the initiative to head on inside.


Harbormaster

"Heh," Jaro got a good chuckle from Isaac's assessment of the work situation. "Well I don't know about this being more of a chore, but then I wasn't the man in charge of the security detail."

The sturdily-built human clapped the taller half-elf on the shoulder as he passed, "If you need a strong drink after this you know where my office is..."


Back inside...

Amhranai wrote:
"I like my cloak right where it is, thank you." She relieved Gelik of the offered glass and took a small swallow. "Without it, I might melt in this heat. And I hope you don't hear a great deal more about me; that would mean I'm not doing my other job well enough. You probably know all that might be important anyways, nothing more to see now." She flashed what she hoped was a disarming smile at the gnome.

"Ah well there you go making it sound like I'm trying to talk you out of your clothes!" The dapper gnome returned Amhranai's wink and tipped his glass toward the significantly taller elf. "As for hearing news, we gnomes excel at brokering all the good gossip. It's we're uniquely suited for keeping an ear to the ground."

"Speaking of which," he put a hand alongside his mouth and whispered, "you wouldn't believe some of the dirt I've overheard about our esteemed guests! Wolves in sheep's clothing, all of them!"

Taking a sip of wine, he shook his head at Lureene's predicament and commented, "I tried to run interference for her. Had them all spellbound with tales of adventure from Reaver's Shiv, but nooo... she didn't want me to continue. Now she's even gone and hushed up poor Sasha! Well, she's on her own now, care to place a bet on how long before she breaks and runs?"


Countess
Sasha Nevah wrote:
"Oh ok, I'll just save my stories from little old Colottina for later then."

"Ah would that happen to be the tale concerning why our good Lord Gallo now resides in our humble port city rather than in Malatesta?" Turning her head to the side, Lureene could see Naiobe approaching with Major Isaac's little sister, Lilyana, by her side. The older half-elf gave a sly smile and commented, "It is an amusing tale to be certain, one that I have little doubt you will find intriguing. Tell me, what are your thoughts on how we should address the deteriorating relations between Elf, Patrician, and Zuck?"

Even as all eyes turned to the succubus to await her reply, it was the gaze of Lilyana that Lureene felt the most intently, dark green eyes boring into her left temple.


In the carriage

Darvesch wrote:
"I never thought I'd have this much difficulty conquering this subject. Fiends, giants, and undead are one thing.. but romance?"

I wonder if it would be appropriate to point out to her Highness that the persistent tongues effect on my person renders the details of their private discourse plain. Well, perhaps better to play it off...

As the royal procession traveled alongside The Green for which this district of the city was named, Ieana squirmed uncomfortably. Although it was brief, the glance she exchanged with Arion that hinted that the conversation between the honorary cousins was not as private as they might have liked.

"I must confess a similar... apprehension involving social engagements lacking a clearly defined objective." She turned to look at Alis, "Perhaps an objective then is what's required?"

Rolls:
Bluff
Arion 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (9) + 15 = 24
Ieana 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19

Sense Motive Checks:
A 1d20 + 25 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 25 + 4 = 32 alertness
D 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (20) + 20 = 40


The meaning of Ieana and Arion's glance was no more lost upon Alis than it was upon her Frændi.

Well, I suppose it was rude of us anyway. Guess I should give Ieana an out at least...

Alis smiled warmly and nodded in agreement, her manner disarming any notions that she might have guessed Arion and Ieana's secret knowledge of Dwarven.

"That's along the same lines as what we were thinking. I hear there are a multitude of specialty shops and cafés in The Arcade. Perhaps your 'objective' could be a leisurely attempt to locate the reagents necessary to imbue dear Grimnon's axe with greater power. No doubt Ieana would be happy to provide you with a list of items to shop for, isn't that right, Professor?"

Rolls:
Bluff Checks
A 1d20 + 25 ⇒ (11) + 25 = 36

Sense Motive Checks:
D 1d20 + 20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 20 + 5 = 27 familiarity


Ieana seemed to relax somewhat, the Princess' unnoticed ruse putting her at ease. "Why yes, I would be happy to, your Highness. Now then, exactly what are your intentions for that axe, Darvesch?"


Even as Ieana and Alis helped Darvesch to plot his romantic agenda, and Arion quietly transcribed a checklist for the dwarf, the carriage in which they rode turned off of 7th Street, passing thru the gates of the Sempronius estate.

"Oh, well that was fast," Alis commented, looking over her shoulder. The palace's eastern steps were a mere quarter-mile distant and she could still make out individual guards patrolling the walls. "If it wasn't for ceremony's sake we might well as walked!"

She gave a soft sigh and double-checked her hair and make-up in a small mirror. With a meticulous eye, she brushed one lock of hair aside, tucked another to accentuate the perceived length of her ears, and took a deep breath to ensure her dress was laced with the correct tautness. A slight tilt of her wrist brought her blue-violet gaze to rest on the delicate platinum tiara that perched atop her perfectly coiffed hair.

Well at least I look the part. Now to make a good impression without coming off as nervous...

Alis lowered the mirror and gave Darvesch a smile as much to cheer him up as to put herself in the right frame of mind.

Inspiration and unity... that's what this place needs most, inspiration and unity...

Even as the Princess was lost in thought and the roundabout where Major Hlokenar awaited them came into view, Alis mused to no one in particular, "I wonder how Lureene is handling things, poor Tut seems so nervous..."


Naiobe Sempronius Eldarion wrote:

"Ah would that happen to be the tale concerning why our good Lord Gallo now resides in our humble port city rather than in Malatesta?" Turning her head to the side, Lureene could see Naiobe approaching with Major Isaac's little sister, Lilyana, by her side. The older half-elf gave a sly smile and commented, "It is an amusing tale to be certain, one that I have little doubt you will find intriguing. Tell me, what are your thoughts on how we should address the deteriorating relations between Elf, Patrician, and Zuck?"

Even as all eyes turned to the succubus to await her reply, it was the gaze of Lilyana that Lureene felt the most intently, dark green eyes boring into her left temple.

Lureene hides a smile at the thought of hearing Sasha'a tale then pauses as she feels Lilyana staring at her, repressing an inward sigh. Really, I have to deal with her? I think Baron Bonati would be preferable...by FAR! I mean, it's not like Isaac has even been around me lately...

Putting the mercurial young lady out of her mind, she mulls over in her mind how to answer the Lady's question.

Patrician? There are three factions in Port Eldarion? All I am familiar with is that madman's O'beilumanji's grievance against the elves, and I hardly think his view is typical of ALL Zucks...hmmm...this must be a test of some kind.

Clearing her throat she smiles and allows a vacuous look to cloud her eyes, her dark lashes screening the view of her pupils from those around her (especially Lilyana), as if she was possibly bored by such talk, "Well, it seems to me each side has their own grievances which need to be dealt with." She pauses and dabs her face of a bit of moisture which had accumulated on the side of her glistening lips, careful not to smudge her lipstick. "Of course, without knowing all of the details of of the various parties grievances, it would be presumptuous of me to pass judgement on any or all sides here. However, it seems to me each side needs to be at the very least willing to listen to each other and work towards a common understanding. I think that is what Princess Alis hopes for as well."

Rolls:
Bluff 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (18) + 20 = 38
Diplomacy 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (3) + 15 = 18


Baroness: Textiles

"It's true," Lady Lammontari agreed with a twirl of her wrist, blue eyes casually assaying Lureene's posture, "talking with someone is the best was to learn more about them..."


"Who is going to speak for the Zucks though?" Lilyana piped up, frowning slightly as she looked at Lureene.


Lureene turns her gaze to the younger lady, "Lily, that is a very good question. I believe the Zucks to need to have someone who has their best interests at heart." She pauses for a second, eyes lingering over the Baroness, before looking back to Lilyana. "Who do YOU think should represent the Zucks?"

She must have her own opinions on this as her brother deals with the Zuck citizens on a regular basis, I am sure....besides, I hate being put upon by her!


Dwarf Lightbringer
Ieana d'Adora wrote:
Ieana seemed to relax somewhat, the Princess' unnoticed ruse putting her at ease. "Why yes, I would be happy to, your Highness. Now then, exactly what are your intentions for that axe, Darvesch?"

"I'd like to bless the weapon with Kahn's divine wrath." He says with true dwarven bluntness, hoping (or expecting) her to understand his meaning. "I'm just not sure I, or we, have the resources to do such a thing.

Alis wrote:
Even as the Princess was lost in thought and the roundabout where Major Hlokenar awaited them came into view, Alis mused to no one in particular, "I wonder how Lureene is handling things, poor Tut seems so nervous..."

[b]"I trust she can handle her own. It's Sasha I'm worried about.." Darvesch trails off in thought, imagining all the things she could be doing right this moment to get herself in trouble. Darvesch chuckles to himself.


Darvesch wrote:
I trust she can handle her own. It's Sasha I'm worried about..."

Alis drew a deep breath and smirked at Darvesch's comment. "Well, maybe she'll help to lighten things up a bit for Lureene. Although judging by the way Tut is fretting..." she shrugged her slender shoulders, "well, I guess we'll see when we get there. It should be a good show at least."


"Divine wrath... Divine wrath..." Ieana mused as the Princess joked with her cousin.

At length she straightened and wagged a finger at Arion to take notes. "Well be as we are talking about imbuing an existing weapon, it logically follows that it should be inscribed with verses and edicts of power. I would suggest an ink made from a magnetic liquid that shavings of blessed, cold iron might adhere to it. Naturally, the quill used to perform the inscription should be offered by a creature of surpassing virtue such as a Lammasu or a Couatl..."

Even as Professor d'Adora went on and on, the royal carriage drew to a stop in the roundabout outside Villa Sempronius' central manse. A few feet away, Major Hlokenar was standing by in his polished ceremonial armor, servants and guards bustling to make way for the Princess' entrance.

"Oh, and let's not forget, if the weapon was washed in a heated bath of nitric acid and pure quicksilver, that might help to empower it with the ability to act as a conduit between Heaven and Creation. Have you also given thought to what scriptures you might consult for the actual blessing itself?"


While Ieana continued to fill Darvesch and Arion's ear with conjecture on practical applications of mysticism and alchemy, the double doors to carriage were swung wide and a set of elegant steps were set down leading to a lush red carpet that had been laid out. As guards drew themselves up to attention along the route, halberds held by their sides, trumpeters standing by for their cue, Alis beamed a teasing smile at Isaac. "Why Marshal Hlokenar, you as nervous as soldier expecting review. Didn't you hear, this is just an informal little get-together."

Dainty as could be, she held out her left hand, palm downturned, that he wouldn't mistakenly walk on her right. "Tell me, have all my guests arrived?"


Wait, wow did she– Hmmph! I knew she was a sneak!

Lilyana put on her best smile, hands clasped at waist height, and lifted her chin as she said, "Well, the peoples of the Zucktol Wildlands are traditionally tribe-centered, with chieftains or elders holding authority. If their own leaders contributed to a concensus then the other tribesmen would certainly have to follow what their leaders said."

Although most of those assembled failed to notice it, Amhranai could tell that the General's daughter felt very pleased with herself, as if she had just executed a riposte after countering a jab by the succubus.

Rolls:
Sense Motive 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (10) + 11 = 21
Bluff 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (17) + 11 = 28
Diplomacy 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (5) + 11 = 16

Sense Motive Checks:
M 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (17) + 12 = 29
L 1d20 + 2 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 2 + 5 = 12 dislike
S 1d20 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 + 2 = 12


Countess

There were a few moments of silence in which Lilyana beamed triumphantly before Naiobe gently raised a point, "While that may be how my father originally negotiated with the Dafari, the issue we now face is... more complicated, than it was two centuries ago. I believe Lady Mondracus has some notion of what I speak of, do you not, Carlina?"


Baroness: Livestock

The Baroness nodded knowingly, dark eyes heavy with the truth of it. "The problem is that not only are the Dafari historically rivals of the Obanohi, Qungolo, and other tribes, but that thousands of Zucks from a dozen tribes have abandoned their roots and now crowd about the city seeking work or charity. They would no more obey their old chieftains' edicts any more than a herd of cats a shepherd."


"Well..." the young Lady Hlokenar pouted slightly, arms crossing as she contemplated the matter, "if they have abandoned their old leaders and now live in the Outer Quarter then why shouldn't the nobles on whose land they live represent them? You, Lady Mondracus, and Lord Bonati."


Guildmaster: Cartwright's

"Heh," the handsome cartwright gave a smile to the beautiful Baroness by his side before nodding to the black-hair, tattooed elf not far behind him. "Care to answer, Amhranai?"


Talk me out of my clothes? Something more to that, perhaps? Amhranai's ears perked up when Gelik professed the superior information gathering capability of gnomes. Could be helpful having an outsider sworn to Alis gathering information. A nice counter to Sin if she proves less than reliable. "You needn't tell me about the not-so-savory nature of those gathered here, Gelik; I am well aware that most of them would as soon stab you in the back as speak with you. For yours and Alis's, sake, I hope you remain vigilant. And don't be so hard on Lureene, I'm sure she's under an enormous amount of pressure. I would have already taken off by now were I her."

Movement from the corner of her eye brought the elf's attention to the growing crowd surrounding Lureene. Lady Eldarion herself. This should be interesting. That half elf looks familiar...Isaac's sister? She looks quite different all cleaned up. Which reminds me, I need to speak with Lureene about Isaac; maybe together we can examine him to make sure everything's okay. Amhranai laughed to herself as a self-satisfied look subtly spread across the half elf's face. Maybe I should just examine him myself, she doesn't seem to like Lureene too much.

That silent laugh burst out a moment later when Lilyana explained her understanding of the state of affairs, and was then cut short when the elf noticed that those gathered had turned their attention upon her. Amhranai exhaled sharply, turned towards the others. Eyes narrowed as she quickly considered what to say, taking in each face before her and lingering upon Lureene, Sindariel, the cartwright and then Carlina. Her head bobbed (whether to the baroness or herself was impossible to determine) as she spoke: "To be honest, with the way Bonati treats those living on 'his' land, the Zucks would be better off representing themselves. Lady Mondracus here does what she can, but her efforts are only one part of a much larger puzzle that few seem to be willing to engage. Each faction has their grievances and concerns, but not many are interested in doing more than agreeing something should be done-as long as it doesn't affect them.

"I'm sure all of you heard O'beilumanji's charge not a few days past of the slavery to the north. He wasn't lying. Look around Port Eldarion-for the Zucks, they don't live much better than slaves thanks to most others believing they are no better than savages or exist only to make themselves more rich. That line of thinking and treatment, as well as the slave trade to the north, need to end before Zucks would trust others and thus feel they are on equal footing to further this nation as a whole, rather than a few enterprising individuals." Happy now, Sin?


Isaac was relieved that Alis was finally there. A smile on his face as he walked up to her and she held her hand out. "Nervous isn't quiet the word I'd use My Lady, relieved and glad you finally made it is more like it." he said taking her hand to help her down to his stand on his right side and gave her one of his charming smiles. He was glad that she wasn't like the rest of the nobles that showed up, and she had to be the first noble that he actually enjoyed being around for an extended period of time.

"May I escort you inside, Princess? And yes, the rest of your guests have arrived in a timely manner."


Isaac Hlokenar wrote:
"Nervous isn't quiet the word I'd use My Lady, relieved and glad you finally made it is more like it."

"'My Lady?'" Alis asked, arching a golden eyebrow. A faint smirk of mirthful amusement painted her features as she decided to have a bit of fun with his faux pas.

"Oh Major," she said dreamily, eyelashes fluttering, "I'm sure you say that to all the well-born ladies."

Rolls:
Bluff (Innuendo)
A 1d20 + 25 ⇒ (7) + 25 = 32

Sense Motive Checks:
D 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (17) + 20 = 37

Arion 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (8) + 21 = 29
Ieana 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3


Even though Isaac got the hint and Darvesch picked up on the playful reminder too, the hidden message was lost upon the pale-blonde agent now playing the part of her scribe. In a quiet tone, the movement of his lips barely perceptible, Arion whispered, "You shall address the Princess as Your Highness or Her Royal Highness."


Alis feigned a gasp, covering her mouth with the tip of her fingers, eyes wide open. In a whisper, she replied, "It will be our secret, Isaac!"

Isaac wrote:
"May I escort you inside, Princess? And yes, the rest of your guests have arrived in a timely manner."

"That would be lovely. Let's go rescue Lady Ourson now, shall we?"


Isaac was highly amused, he always enjoyed when others played along with him, it kept things from being too stuffy. "Only to the best."He said and gave her a playful wink.

Though while the two of them were having fun with their game, her assistant didn't seem so amused. He desperately tried to straighten his face, and be more serious, but it wasn't going to happen. "Of course, your highness." He whispered back.

Giving the the pale-blond agent a grin, he agreed with Alis and started to lead her inside, "Sounds like a good plan, she probably needs some assistance if I know your guests, and I know a few of them."


Although the humorless Arion kept his silence, Alis accepted Isaac's hand. With an expression of utmost seriousness, she nodded and whispered, "Right. Time to save the beautiful maiden from the scheming nobles!"


Theme: Princess of Hearts
Artwork: Alis' Luncheon Gown

With that, Alis stood, and the swell of violins and trumpeting arose with her. In a slow but measured pace, the Princess descended from the mithril-inlaid carriage, one section of her honor guard saluting with halberds crossed in the air as a second section fell in behind the musicians in the color guard.

After the Princess and the Marshal had proceeded forth, the 'scribe' nodded for Darvesch and Ieana to follow before taking his place behind them. Once he had passed, the second section of the royal guard fell in behind them, elven armor gleaming in the sun.

Inside, the nods and murmurs regarding Amhranai's commentary fell by the wayside, and Lureene finally was given some relief as all eyes turned from her to the main entryway. Just before she came into view, the herald leading the procession held aloft his baton and in a loud, clear voice proclaimed, "Her Royal Highness: Alissariel, Princess of Silverwake, and Vicereine Appointee of the Greater Dafar Protectorate!"

No sooner was the herald's clarion introduction completed, than did the honorguard take up position along the entryway, halberds held in salute as the Princess entered, Isaac at her left in escort.

The dress the young royal wore was a long, red gown that brushed the carpet as she walked. With its voluminous pleats and shoulderless corset, it blended both Elven and Patrician couture. Even though this made the ensemble somewhat simpler than what Alis might normally have worn, the gold accents, lace trim, and the bunches of of jasper 'grapes' securing her wine-colored shawl bespoke a practical elegance just as the fabulous Tear of Sumalya and diamond tiara offered no doubt that she was a daughter of royalty.


Lureene hears the trumpets sounding the arrival of the Royal Highness, and mentally sighs in relief. Certainly she had felt like a target while the Princess was absent, and while she had not minded drawing the attention to herself, it HAD been quite stressful.

I hope I did all right there, dealing with all of these nobles...or SHARKS as they really are. I suppose I will find out...Giving Lord Bonati his comeuppance, and Lily hers, felt good...

As Alis approaches her and her party, she mentally reviews the proper greeting for the Princess...and panicks as the proper phrase escapes her mind.

Uh Oh....I forgot the correct way to address her! She recalls a party several months earlier where she had made a similar Faux-Pas. Relax, Lureene, you can do this!

Taking a calming breath, she smooths her dress in order to compose her thoughts. Hoping she has it right, she waits until the Princess has arrived and then cursties deeply to her, greeting her with a beaming (and relieved) smile "Welcome, my Lad--uhh...your Ladyship! It is a pleasure to see you again!"


Alis gave a small sigh, her head shaking almost imperceptibly at the uneasy silence Lureene's gaffe elicited.

Honestly, did she not even listen to the herald?

Donning her best smile, her Highness extended a hand towards the oft-confused retainer and seemingly made light of it as if it were a jape. "My dear Lady Ourson has always had a talent for understatement, graciousness, and humility. Indeed, she quite often bestows humility upon those she finds lacking."

Yet if she were offended, even the most perceptive of attendees were unable to discern it. Only Lureene, for whom Alis' true message was intended was the wiser.

Lureene:
Innuendo: It's humiliating when even my retainer understates my station!

"Now then," she turned to cast her gaze about the crowded atrium, "who should like to introduce all of my esteemed guests before we take our repast?"

Rolls:
Bluff Checks
A 1d20 + 25 ⇒ (16) + 25 = 41

Sense Motive Checks:
M 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (3) + 12 = 15
D 1d20 + 20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 20 + 5 = 37
I 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (9) + 11 = 20
L 1d20 + 2 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 2 + 5 = 14
S 1d20 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 + 2 = 21 human

Arion 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (19) + 21 = 40
Sindariel 1d20 + 22 ⇒ (7) + 22 = 29


Nearby, there was a sharp intake of breath, and a familiar face stepped forward, her brand new monk's robes granting her the freedom of movement to curtsy even more deeply than Lureene.

"Your Highness," Lilyana said sweetly, "it is a joy to see you again! Please, might you allow me that great honor?"

So earnest and graceful was Lilyana's request that with the exception of the Princess, her cousin, and her scribe, all others took the young woman's request at face value. Even her own brother and the woman who had come to see the meddlesome girl as her own personal tormentor failed to notice any cues to the contrary.

Rolls:
Diplomacy DC 16 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (7) + 11 = 18 (friendly)

Bluff 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (19) + 11 = 30

Sense Motive Checks:
A 1d20 + 25 ⇒ (8) + 25 = 33
M 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (16) + 12 = 28
D 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (15) + 20 = 35
I 1d20 + 11 + 5 + 10 ⇒ (1) + 11 + 5 + 10 = 27 familiarity, far-fetched
L 1d20 + 2 + 10 ⇒ (11) + 2 + 10 = 23 far-fetched
S 1d20 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 + 2 = 9 human

Arion 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (15) + 21 = 36
Carlina 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (13) + 11 = 24
Sindariel 1d20 + 22 ⇒ (3) + 22 = 25


My she's good when she wants to be...

As Alis quietly considered Lilyana's offer, she weighed her options, ruefully noting that no one else had either the temerity or boldness to request the same.

If Lureene can't even recall the proper form of address for me there's no way she's have memorized everyone's names and faces yet. But Lily...? If I were to choose someone who has not volunteered after I made such a statement then I would seem arbitrary. Still, what an embarrassment that would be to poor Lureene — even if she might deserve it right now.

Glancing up at Isaac for a moment before spotting Councilor Eluchíl, Lady Sindariel, and Amhranai in the crowd, she chided her guests, "Come now, am I so fearsome that only the daughter of my General has the courage to step forward, or have the vineyards of Rivermarch taken their toll so early already?"


Amhranai smirked at Alis's challenge. "The wine, combined with the heat, certainly has robbed more than a few of their wits, Your Highness; then again, the existence of those wits beforehand is ever in question." The sarcasm in the elf's voice was thicker than the leaden air that had settled lazily throughout the courtyard. The broad smile on the woman's face conveyed that she didn't care if anyone picked up on it, either. "If I may, a suggestion: Lureene, for all her awkwardness, is uniquely equipped to make the introductions. True, she has been hard-pressed to this point, but who else here knows you better that can also claim to have met some of the fine folk here? Certainly not me-I do not think most of my introductions would go over well anyways. And, looking around me, there aren't any other suitable candidates, except Lureene."

Diplomacy:
1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24


Her Highness...I should have remembered that...

Lureene feels a flush on her face as her own faux-pas came to light. Still she could not help but notice Lilyana's look of satisfaction on her face. She knew she had flubbed things pretty badly, but still she knew she could handle the role assigned to her. Amhranai certainly thought so.

Thank you Anhranai for your confidence in me.

She smiles in gratitude to the elvish woman and turns to look at Princess Alis, her eyes lowered in a show of respect. "Forgive me, your Highness. As Miss Amhranai has stated, the wine does have a strong effect on me as I am sure you remember all too well! But, I shall not let that keep me from performing my assigned duties. It would be presumptuous for me to shirk my responsibility here." She turns to look at the crowd of nobles watching her (and enjoying this spectacle, no doubt) and fixing each face in her mind and the proper order of introduction, before facing Alis.

"With your leave, your Highness..." She pauses waiting for Alis to give her acknowledgement.

Rolls:
Diplomacy 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (7) + 15 = 22 add +1 for Charming trait.


Isaac did his best NOT to roll his eyes at everyone. People were nervous and fumbling up so instead of Lureene and his sister having a cat fight in the middle of this, he decided to step up and clear his throat.

"Your highness, please allow me to introduce all of your guest this afternoon." He said, his voice loud enough so everyone could hear him, but not in an unpleasant way. He mostly wanted the woman who were ready to start a fight to pay attention to him and stop their bickering.

With a smile on his face, he tried to take Alis' attention away from the girls and motioned towards the guests as he introduced them all to her.

Diplomacy:
1d20 + 14 ⇒ (2) + 14 = 16
Alis' bit of luck 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (7) + 14 = 21


While the speeches of the four did not sway the crowd overly much, Alis noted the reactions to each with interest...

Lilyana, one of the darlings of the nobility, had come across as sincere yet also presumptuous — like a child who did not know her place but enjoyed a certain amount of leeway due to her charm and enthusiasm.

Conversely, with many of the onlookers already holding an unfavorable view of Amhranai for her wild mien and unkempt appearance, her open mockery of the guests followed by an endorsement of Lureene did the succubus no favors. Even though Alis was certain the tattooed elf wasn't acting upon some vendetta against Lureene, one simply did not call attention to another's failings like that amongst in front of such peers. Had the priestess not been totally foreign to affairs of state, the Princess might have deemed it a calculated jab at her character rather than a well-intentioned attempt at support — and poor Lureene had gone along with it.

Amh's right, even if she can't recall forms of address, El has been hard-pressed and she's out of her element. No one here would have presumed it the duty of a retainer, much less a Lady in Waiting, to introduce so many strangers. I can see why Sindariel would not have stepped forward, but why not Councilor Eluchíl? Well, no matter, Luck will find a way...

With a flip of her hair, Alis' tresses had just faintly brushed Isaac, and the clearing of his throat informed Alis that her brief prayer had been answered.

Isaac wrote:
"Your Highness, please allow me to introduce all of your guest this afternoon."

"I would not insult my Lady in Waiting by asking others to volunteer for a duty that was rightfully hers. No. Lady Ourson and I are newly arrived in Port Eldarion, so such a duty would fall to those who have called Dafar home for far longer."

Turning to Lilyana, Alis gave a slight nod of her head and replied, "Lady Hlokenar, your courage and enthusiasm are a model for others, you are an honor to General Aurvandur."


Lilyana blushed and gave Alis a second curtsy, "Thank you, Princess Alis, that is very kind of you."


Alis raised a hand indicating Lilyana could recover, before gesturing to Isaac beside her. "As a gracious Lady in my court, I would ask that you in turn honor the request of your elder brother, Isaac. Would you do that for your Princess?"

Rolls:
Diplomacy DC 14 1d20 + 19 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 19 + 5 = 31 (helpful, counter-request) | diviner's insight


The young woman was given momentary pause, her green eyes blinking at the unexpected request. Mouth slightly open, she looked from Alis' soft yet regal visage to the rougher, more chiseled features of her dear brother's face. If Lureene even entered into her thoughts, it didn't show.

At length, she beamed a smile and replied in a chipper tone, "How could I refuse?"


Alis gave her fellow priestess of Súmalya a warm smile of thanks.

"Marshal?"

And so it was, with a nod from his Princess that Major Hlokenar began to introduce to Alis, Lureene, Darvesch, and Ieana the many power players who called Port Eldarion home.


Male Sky Elf Game Master lv 20

It took some time for Isaac to not only introduce everyone to the Princess, but to Lureene, Darvesch, Ieana, Gelik, and (at Alis' request) Amhranai as well. For the most part, things had gone smoothly. With the royal guards in place, Sasha had been given leave to go check on King Tut and Princess Jasmine — a task she was only too happy to perform.

That had left Amhranai as the only real wildcard. While the Marshal had done his best to paint her in a favorable light, the revelation of her part in saving the city could only aid her so much after the first impressions she had made. While telling Lord Bonati off had no doubt won the petite woman points with a few people (gods knew Naiobe didn't care for the man), it remained to be seen whether her cavalier attitude would win any influence for her cause or squander the opportunity her heroics had afforded her.

For now though, the festivities had moved from the front atrium to the rear of the villa — a large, ornate dining room that opened onto the column-lined portico surrounding the interior gardens. It was there that the true agenda for this 'informal' luncheon would be revealed...


Nobles, guild heads, and heroes milled about in the shade, cool drinks and light fare a welcome reprieve from the growing heat. Within an ornate exedra at one end of the room, Alis and Lureene sat upon a curved marble bench, arms carved in likeness of lions. On the low table before them, the Princess' tiny fennec fox lay nursing her young atop a plush velvet cushion that Sasha procured.

The delighted cooing of more than a few ladies wafted thru the air leaving little doubt that they were enamored by Princess Jasmine's delicately taped snout,large, pert ears, and bushy tail. That King Tut was gently petting the fennec's heat and doting on the young kits was almost too much for them to bear.

Nearby, her voice breathy, Lilyana asked, "Your Highness, how did you teach a monkey to care for a vixen? She's completely docile!"


Alis' smile was as sly as it was warm, "Well if you want to know, then you shall just have to ask him, my dear Lily."

Even as the excitable young woman blushed, her elders amused at the notion of talking to a monkey, the Princess used the act of sipping her wine to mask a quick survey of the room.

Surrounded though she and Lureene were, the exedra in which they sat was elevated above the main floor. Indeed though there were a total of five exedra lining the walls, one in the east, one in the west, and three in south wall (facing towards the gardens), this western-most alcove was loftier than the rest — reserved for guests of honor.

Unlike in the noble estates of many other nations, where tables were arrayed in large halls, Villa Sempronius, like most of the Patrician Quarter was designed and built in the Malatestan fashion. In their style, a guest's importance was not necessarily reflected by how close their alcove was to that of the guest of honor, but rather if their exedra granted them a good view of the head table.

Being as this was her childhood home, Naiobe would rightly be seated in the exedra directly facing the Princess, yet there were five barons present and only four other exedra. For this reason, and to honor Port Eldarion's history, the Princess had instructed Council Eluchíl to have the city's 'First Daughter' seated with them at the head table.

Then, to witness the interplay amongst the city's elite, the Princess had engineered something of a game. Rather than assigning tables herself, Alis had each guest place their name into Gelik's hat, and the gnome then drew, in order, those guests who would each 'captain' a table. While she had presented it as a novel idea, Alis' true desire was to see who would toady to whom.

On the first draw, Lureene had won claim to the desirable exedra immediately adjacent to Alis' — a stroke of luck that raised a slender royal eyebrow. "[smaller]And how exactly did my lady in waiting's name get in Gelik's hat, El?[smaller]" she had whispered thru a forced smile. Yet a whistle of feigned innocence from Sasha had answered that question.

The next draw, this time for the center-most exedra, saw Amhranai's name rise to the top, while the unenviable southeast table had gone to the city's Marshal, Major Hlokenar.

Finally, the most prestigious alcove on the east wall was won by Baron Bonati — a fortune that seemed to have Lady Bonati equal parts relieved and anxious.

"Now then," Alis had said some minutes ago, a coy smile on her lips, "I invite those of you who have won to invite guests at your liesure, and those of you left standing to entreat Lady Ourson, Ms. Amhranai, Marshal Hlokenar, and Lord and Lady Bonati for hospitality!"

Cam, Eric, Rob: You're up! :)

Rolls:

Amhranai
Angrem
Carlina
Darvesch
Elendreth & Poe
Ieana
Iole & Melianna
Isaac
Jaro
Lilyana
Luca
Lucio
Lureene, Gelik, and Sasha
Poe
Rinaldo
Sindariel
southwest exedra 1d16 ⇒ 13

Amhranai
Angrem
Carlina
Darvesch
Elendreth & Poe
Ieana
Iole & Melianna
Isaac
Jaro
Lilyana
Luca
Lucio
Poe
Rinaldo
Sindariel
south central exedra 1d15 ⇒ 1

Angrem
Carlina
Darvesch
Elendreth & Poe
Ieana
Iole & Melianna
Isaac
Jaro
Lilyana
Luca
Lucio
Poe
Rinaldo
Sindariel
south central exedra 1d14 ⇒ 7

Angrem
Carlina
Darvesch
Elendreth & Poe
Ieana
Iole & Melianna
Jaro
Lilyana
Luca
Lucio
Poe
Rinaldo
Sindariel
south central exedra 1d13 ⇒ 6


Lureene sat in the exedra assigned to her, her wings folded behind her, and watched over the crowd of the elite nobles and the power players of the city glancing behind her at Sasha and Gelik who, she had no doubt in her mind, had both arranged this placement.

I am going to strangle both of them, should I survive dealing with these sharks...

She sighs inwardly and scans the crowd, looking for someone to bestow the 'honor' of sitting with her.

I know Lilyana would love to gain some influence with 'Lis here, I wonder how she would like being stuck with me...or possibly Lucio, that strutting cock having Sash hovering over him. THAT would be completely worth it...

She continues to look over each one of the eligible people, allowing a look of shyness mixed with curiosity to pass over her face. I wonder who wants to sit with me? Let's find out...

She waits for one of the other supplicants to show an interest in claiming the honor of sitting next to a succubus...

Rolls:
Bluff 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (16) + 20 = 36 add +1 for attractive


Male Sky Elf Game Master lv 20

Back by popular demand...

MAP: Villa Sempronius, (Dining Round 01)


Isaac's introductions and the procession of Alis's party that followed were observed disinterestedly by the priestess of Iscandu. However, the elf closely guarded this disinterest, having noted the effect of her more open scorn earlier. Probably could have gone about that a bit better. Bah! Too much going on lately. As the others hastily fell into the procession's wake, Amhranai waited til their numbers thinned, eyes rolling. How long until the scraping and sniffing and interminable gainsaying begins? Eyes rolled again, this time flavored with a mischievous smirk. Maybe I do belong in the forest.

Standing at the edge of the crowd, Gelik's hat took some time to reach the elf. She dropped her scrap of paper in amongst the others, blank, and crossed her arms after passing the hat along. She tracked its progress briefly, then turned her attention to the courtyard once again, studying the somewhat shadowed exedra from her new vantage point. The wheels in her head turned, instinctively wishing her back were against one of the alcove's curved walls where she would feel less exposed.

Silence resounded around her as, out of the corner of one eye, Amhranai noticed that many of the others had turned towards her. Heat suffused the woman's body, realization slowly dawning that her name had been announced. Daedelhach's poisoned spear! I didn't put my name into that gnome's hat! A hiss escaped her lips, the only outward betrayal of the churning maelstrom within.

Black cloak fluttered as she sharply turned and made for the assigned exedra, where the elf swiftly placed herself against the deepest portion before returning her gaze to the courtyard beyond. A serene mask descended across Amhranai's face as she sat at the table, calmly awaiting the crowd's migration.

Move to CT177


Young Noble

"Auuuntie," Upon seeing Lureene and her companions take their seats, a high, nasal tone was audible over the murmured voices of the other guests. "We should sit with the Princess!"


Lilyana frowned slightly at the unenviable position in which her elder brother was now seated.

At least that Lureene won't be able to fawn over him. Uugh, is she making passes at everyone else too? No shame at all!

The sound of Poe's voice however distracted her for a moment.

Hmm... Is he going to try and butt in now too? Wait a minute...

"Oh! I almost forgot!" Lily looked up from the fennec fox and met Alis' gaze with a smile, "Your Highness, my brother asked me to present you with this..."

Turning, she motioned to a servant who approached with a carefully wrapped package which Arion took from her. After the disguised assassin received a silent nod of approval from his royal mistress, he set it down softly on the low, marble table. Though he was careful not to disturb Princess Jasmine, the perceptive little fox seemed to be aware of everything around her and looked on with apparent interest.

Rolls:
Diplomacy on Alis 1d20 + 11 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 11 + 5 = 33 gift


There was a twinkle of good-natured amusement in the Princess' eyes. Amhranai looked like she had just received a vision of her own death, Lureene was doing her best to play the part of a vacuous blonde, and the consternation of the nobles was entertaining to say the least. Meanwhile, Lilyana was doing her best to try and impress.

I wonder if this is what hero-worship feels like...

"Well now, what have we here, Jasmine?" With a smile, the Princess gently plucked the silk ribbon from about the carefully-wrapped gift before gently tying it into a bow about the fennec's neck.

Even as the tiny creature pawed at the odd decoration, the end of it soon in her mouth, a few deft flicks of Alis wrist revealed a beautiful crystal vase. Its surface was inlaid with silver in the pattern of entwined, thornless roses, ruby-red flowers etched into it.

"Why it is beautiful, Lily," she glanced briefly to Isaac noting that he seemed somewhat surprised to see the vase. "Tell me, did this come from your estate?"

Lifting it as if admire the work in the light of one of the chandeliers, the Princess' keen eyes quickly spied the inscription on the base, 'To my beloved Isabel. —Aurvandur'

Rolls:
Sense Motive Checks:
A 1d20 + 25 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 25 + 4 = 41 alertness

Bluff Checks
A 1d20 + 25 ⇒ (14) + 25 = 39

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