Roleplay - A Masked Ball in Padova

AuthorMessage
Pirate Overlord
Mar 10, 2009
6079
Anne Radcliffe on Nov 5, 2013 wrote:
(OOC: you did just right, Alura , no need to repeat their speech unless you are fitting something else in)

While initially shocked by Alura's outburst, Evalina and Katerina very soon smiled. Evalina's smile radiated pride and confidence in her friend.

"I told you she would help us," Evalina commented happily to the Unicorn girl.

Katerina's smile was tremulous with relief. "I can't thank you enough," she addressed Alura. "I love my grandmother very much. She is the only one I have left, you see. My grandfather died before I was born. My father and my aunt supported the Resistance. They weren't fighters, but they did what they could. A few years ago, my father was arrested for being allied to the Resistance. He... he was executed for treason. My aunt was never formally arrested, she just 'disappeared.' We all believe she is dead, too, however."

"People are polite. They pretend Grandmamma lost her children through accident, so as not to taint her with the word 'traitor'. My grandmother was questioned for her involvement at the time, but she had no links to the Resistance, so she was set free. But since then, she has often spoken against the growing power of the Armada and will even express the opinion that perhaps the Resistance is a good thing. Grandmamma is a bit of a 'firebrand'," Katerina explained, evidently torn between pride and embarrassment at this facet of her grandmother's personality.

"But Grandmamma is a member of the Council of Padova. Although her strong opinions are sometimes simply regarded as the cranky notions of the aged, people do listen to her. I have often feared for her open speech, but Grandmamma does not listen to me. She is not a member of the Resistance, but I fear some may see her as such."

"Then, in the past few months, there have been these... incidents. First there was this dinner at a Council meeting, where I fear she was poisoned --"

"Merely some kale in the soup that went 'off', I'm sure," said a new voice, aged and a bit creaky, but still having the resonant depth of a trained speaker. Evalina and Katerina rose again and curtseyed as the Contessa Beatrice Pergolesi gracefully entered the room.

The elderly Unicorn was black, like her granddaughter, but greyed with age, her beautifully dressed hair was pure white and needed no powder to achieve that hue. Giving a light curtsey in return after waiting for Alura to be introduced, Beatrice fluidly lowered herself into a chair and sat, her back ramrod-straight.

"I see you are a woman of action," Beatrice shrewdly assessed Alura in polite terms. "I hope you are not here on my account," the elderly Unicorn confided in a friendly fashion. "My Katerina does worry so."
OOC; Oh my, this is becoming delightful complex and full of such promising intrigue. Your writing is so picturesque, all of you guys are. I am having no problems imagining each place we have been and are in. Looks like I picked the very best team to support me in my inaugural role play. Thank you So much everyone for your treating me as an equal. x Gives a graceful bow with a wink at Anne and adds that renowned flourish. x

Admiral
Jul 27, 2012
1190
The Undead Obeah on Oct 30, 2013 wrote:
Omar was amazed at the busy hum of the preparations for the Doge's ball that be taking place already. This must be a ball of real extravagance. Already nobles were coming from their manors for a few day to enjoy the beautiful city before the grand masquerade takes place.
Then, this peculiar sensation came over him, inciting him to play certain notes. It wasn't until five measures when he realized he was playing Fortune My Foe and by then, Aloetti was playing along as well. Unable to stop now, he decided to lose himself in the tune. When he did so, the whole square paused a moment to hear the tune's mourning of loss and it's promise of happiness.
During the time he played the sad melody, he had a vision. He saw a group of partiers in masks, some of which seemed to spread to their whole selfs, all in need of a form of supernatural backing. He also envisioned a three card spread, the pictures blurry. A reading to be made. Finally. He foresaw himself surrounded by floating instruments playing a tune in front of a painting, that seemed to slowly start moving.
The song ended and there was a loud applause from the people. Many coins were thrown and both Omar and Aloetti bowed deeply to their audience. After collecting the coins, we were about to look for a place to stay when we heard the need for music at their dinner. The two boys glanced at each other, nodded, and walked towards them.
"Pardon fair Lady," said Omar respectively "but might ye be interested in some music to fill thine halls?"
Graziella hesitated, casting a sidelong glance at Chrissy. Chrissy, not entirely sure herself, but trusting to her own instinct, nodded fractionally. Graziella's face smoothly donned a remote smile. "Indeed," she replied to Omar and Aloetti. "I am weary with travel and long to have music such as your skilled fingers make." She gave Omar a card. "Follow the directions on the card to my townhouse, and show this to my butler, Salomone. He will ensure you have supper and prepare your room for the night before my own supper this evening. I have business to attend to first, but I look forward to hearing your music tonight."

She nodded to the musicians, and then set off again with Chrissy and Jack still playing the roles of her retainers. They travelled through the beautiful upper quarter of Padova's city until they reached the Doge's palace. Dona Graziella used a mixture of aristocratic arrogance, feminine pleading, and rational argument as she needed to gain an audience with the Doge, as it was considerably after normal visiting hours. The three were shown into a well-appointed study, the walls covered with many fine drawings and engravings by Valencian masters.

Soon afterwards, the Doge entered the room. As it was evening, he was wearing a gentleman's casual robe, but a fine one - a silk embroidered banyan. On his head he wore a cap beautifully embroidered with colorful flowers and playful insects.

"Dona Graziella," he greeted her with a small, polite bow. His eyes flicked briefly over Chrissy and Jack and then no more, evidently simply regarding them as her servants. "The hour is late, but I am of course, at your service."

"Forgive the lateness of the hour, Most Serene Prince," Graziella countered with equal formal politeness. "I would wait until tomorrow, but the matter is urgent. I was travelling back to Padova, when one of my fellow travelers, Maestra Lia of the University of Padova, was arrested by the Armada! They had no cause for her arrest! I beg that you have her released and end this travesty of justice."

The Doge looked mildly surprised. "Maestra Lia? I would not have thought her to be a Resistance leader."

"Nor is she, I am sure," Graziella replied firmly with perfect truth. Lia was not one of the leaders, persay. "She was arrested for the mere fact of being a professor, teaching students about plants, fungi, and... and 'animalcules', whatever those are." Graziella's voice rose slightly with her impassioned anger.

"From my son, who has studied with her, I am given to understand that 'animalcules' are tiny creatures in water that can be seen only with certain glasses," Nicolo Foscari replied coolly. "I too have heard nothing against her -- save, perhaps, her encouraging my son in his enthusiasm for studies of squid," he added with dry humor.

"So you will order her release?"

The Doge shrugged. "The Armada will question her, and doubtless find out she knows nothing. She should be released in a few days time..."

Captain
Mar 09, 2011
709
Anne Radcliffe on Nov 5, 2013 wrote:
The young pirates gazed upon the girls they were supposed to impersonate. They didn't look anything like the adopted children of the duke and duchess, really. The Vinaldi daughters all had olive-toned skin and dark hair of varying shades. Indeed they looked to be biological sisters as well as familial ones.

Alcina Vinaldi nodded at the unspoken question as Scarlet looked at her. "Yes, my daughters are all the children of a couple who were dear friends of ours. They perished about a decade ago, and we adopted them as our own. They know of their first parents of course, and their story..."

"All the more reason to fight the Armada -- ourselves," interrupted Kara, the 16-year-old. "The Armada killed our parents! We should be fighting them ourselves instead of running away," she concluded spiritedly.

Anne felt a jolt of unexpected kinship. The Armada had killed her parents too, about the same time. Had they known each other? Had they worked in the Resistance together? Not that she could remember her parents anymore; she had paid the price, perhaps a fair one, for the information she had so desperately needed. Still she felt a brief flush of envy for these girls, not for their wealth or even pretty gowns, but for their present loving family and their certain memories of their deceased birth parents.

The point that Kara brought up, however, seemed to have been part of a continuing argument. "Indeed," said the Unicorn boy, whose name they soon learned was Antonio, "it is not right for us to hide in safety when others come to take our places and perhaps face death thereby!"

"You all are brave, but you don't have experience fighting -- no, not even you, Antonio," said the other young male Unicorn. "A few fencing lessons does not make you into a skilled swashbuckler, not yet anyway. Besides, you are only 14. I'm older by two years and far more experienced," the boy concluded rather smugly, and turned to the newcomers. "Forgive our poor manners, ladies," he gave a graceful bow with a flourish of his hat. "I am Tazio, Resistance impersonator for Antonio here."

"And you have served in the Resistance as what, a messenger boy? I don't know that you are ready yourself to face these dangers," Isabella added worriedly. "I too think it wrong to ask courageous strangers to take our places."

"Not to mention we will miss the Ball," Mariella, the 13-year-old added practically, but with a rather dreamy air as she began to evidently trace out the steps of a dance in her head.

The youngest one, Violetta, had been gazing at the newcomers with wide eyes the entire time. Now she finally spoke, in a light, piping voice: "Are you really pirates!"
Lizzy curtsied politely upon being introduced to everyone, and listened to their conversation. Her smile grew when she saw Tazio tease his younger brother. "Hey, don't feel bad." She spoke up, directing this to Antonio. "I'm 14 too, age doesn't really matter, when it comes to defending others. What matters is heart, and the courage to do what you believe is right."

She laughed when Violetta asked if they were really pirates. "Yes, we are really pirates." She winked at the young girl. "But we're not the kind that you may read about in fantasy stories. We're not mean and scary, we're nice." Lizzy playfully tickled Violetta, making the young girl burst into giggles. "And we're here to help your family." She bent down a little, shaking the girl's hand. "My name's Lizzy, and you must be Violetta. It is a pleasure to meet you."

The blonde swashbuckler turned her attention to Isabella. "I appreciate your concern, but we're choosing to do this. If this doesn't go as well as we hope, then we are willing to put ourselves on the line to ensure your safety. And this is our choice, no one forced us to do this. I will continue with this mission until the end." Lizzy's happy expression turned into an unsure one. "Please, don't make me get cold feet." She shook her head and returned her expression back to a happy one, so as not to concern the others. Inside, though, Lizzy was terrified. Their mission had suddenly gotten real.

Gunner's Mate
Oct 11, 2012
283
Anne Radcliffe on Nov 7, 2013 wrote:
Graziella hesitated, casting a sidelong glance at Chrissy. Chrissy, not entirely sure herself, but trusting to her own instinct, nodded fractionally. Graziella's face smoothly donned a remote smile. "Indeed," she replied to Omar and Aloetti. "I am weary with travel and long to have music such as your skilled fingers make." She gave Omar a card. "Follow the directions on the card to my townhouse, and show this to my butler, Salomone. He will ensure you have supper and prepare your room for the night before my own supper this evening. I have business to attend to first, but I look forward to hearing your music tonight."

She nodded to the musicians, and then set off again with Chrissy and Jack still playing the roles of her retainers. They travelled through the beautiful upper quarter of Padova's city until they reached the Doge's palace. Dona Graziella used a mixture of aristocratic arrogance, feminine pleading, and rational argument as she needed to gain an audience with the Doge, as it was considerably after normal visiting hours. The three were shown into a well-appointed study, the walls covered with many fine drawings and engravings by Valencian masters.

Soon afterwards, the Doge entered the room. As it was evening, he was wearing a gentleman's casual robe, but a fine one - a silk embroidered banyan. On his head he wore a cap beautifully embroidered with colorful flowers and playful insects.

"Dona Graziella," he greeted her with a small, polite bow. His eyes flicked briefly over Chrissy and Jack and then no more, evidently simply regarding them as her servants. "The hour is late, but I am of course, at your service."

"Forgive the lateness of the hour, Most Serene Prince," Graziella countered with equal formal politeness. "I would wait until tomorrow, but the matter is urgent. I was travelling back to Padova, when one of my fellow travelers, Maestra Lia of the University of Padova, was arrested by the Armada! They had no cause for her arrest! I beg that you have her released and end this travesty of justice."

The Doge looked mildly surprised. "Maestra Lia? I would not have thought her to be a Resistance leader."

"Nor is she, I am sure," Graziella replied firmly with perfect truth. Lia was not one of the leaders, persay. "She was arrested for the mere fact of being a professor, teaching students about plants, fungi, and... and 'animalcules', whatever those are." Graziella's voice rose slightly with her impassioned anger.

"From my son, who has studied with her, I am given to understand that 'animalcules' are tiny creatures in water that can be seen only with certain glasses," Nicolo Foscari replied coolly. "I too have heard nothing against her -- save, perhaps, her encouraging my son in his enthusiasm for studies of squid," he added with dry humor.

"So you will order her release?"

The Doge shrugged. "The Armada will question her, and doubtless find out she knows nothing. She should be released in a few days time..."
Omar and Aloetti gave there thanks to the Lady Graziella and walked toward her home. As they drew near, everything the Lady said came to pass. They were fed, given board, and resting before the Madame returned home. As Aloetti slept, Omar tried to divine the Contessa's whereabouts with a mirror. He was better with cards and seances, he made due with with what he could at the moment. He saw an office where a particularly well-off Unicorn talking to Dona Graziella. He recognized the Lord's crest as the Doge's, and the name Maestra Lia. Curious, he sneaked out and walked towards the library to look up the name.
Then he heard voices in his head, but this time, it was far more annoying.
Oi, Omar! Do I come in loud and, just loud?
Allmost immediately getting a splitting headache, Omar slipped into an alleyway as to not look like a lunatic.
"Confound it Hobbes!" hissed Omar "You don't need to yell and ye knows it!"
I know, I just want to have a little fun with this. Maria never lets me do this. I wonder why?
"Great Spirits Hobbes, What do you want?"
To tell you that the people your supposed to meet those people in the Vindali Mansion. There hiding there and are meeting at midnight to discuss certain plans and stuff. By the way, What happens when…
"Hobbes," Warned Omar "You already told me this one. the punchline's 'Chopsticks'. Now why are ye telling me this when we could just talk face-to face?"
To obvious. Besides, I'm stuck in Sivella at the moment. I'll try to come, but I can't make the promise. Hide in the Music Room on the north side of the Courtyard. There is a little surprise for you there if you go. The'll never suspect. Ta!
"Hobbes? Hobbes!" yelled Omar, but he left. Suspicious, he sunk back in to rest his head. He didn't really want to go due to the fact That Alexander Hobbes was probably playing a trick on him as usual, but what did he mean by "A little Surprise". Tired, he slept forty winks before preparing his nicer suit of clothes for the Lady's supper tonight.

Petty Officer
Oct 29, 2012
56
Anne Radcliffe on Nov 5, 2013 wrote:
(OOC: you did just right, Alura , no need to repeat their speech unless you are fitting something else in)

While initially shocked by Alura's outburst, Evalina and Katerina very soon smiled. Evalina's smile radiated pride and confidence in her friend.

"I told you she would help us," Evalina commented happily to the Unicorn girl.

Katerina's smile was tremulous with relief. "I can't thank you enough," she addressed Alura. "I love my grandmother very much. She is the only one I have left, you see. My grandfather died before I was born. My father and my aunt supported the Resistance. They weren't fighters, but they did what they could. A few years ago, my father was arrested for being allied to the Resistance. He... he was executed for treason. My aunt was never formally arrested, she just 'disappeared.' We all believe she is dead, too, however."

"People are polite. They pretend Grandmamma lost her children through accident, so as not to taint her with the word 'traitor'. My grandmother was questioned for her involvement at the time, but she had no links to the Resistance, so she was set free. But since then, she has often spoken against the growing power of the Armada and will even express the opinion that perhaps the Resistance is a good thing. Grandmamma is a bit of a 'firebrand'," Katerina explained, evidently torn between pride and embarrassment at this facet of her grandmother's personality.

"But Grandmamma is a member of the Council of Padova. Although her strong opinions are sometimes simply regarded as the cranky notions of the aged, people do listen to her. I have often feared for her open speech, but Grandmamma does not listen to me. She is not a member of the Resistance, but I fear some may see her as such."

"Then, in the past few months, there have been these... incidents. First there was this dinner at a Council meeting, where I fear she was poisoned --"

"Merely some kale in the soup that went 'off', I'm sure," said a new voice, aged and a bit creaky, but still having the resonant depth of a trained speaker. Evalina and Katerina rose again and curtseyed as the Contessa Beatrice Pergolesi gracefully entered the room.

The elderly Unicorn was black, like her granddaughter, but greyed with age, her beautifully dressed hair was pure white and needed no powder to achieve that hue. Giving a light curtsey in return after waiting for Alura to be introduced, Beatrice fluidly lowered herself into a chair and sat, her back ramrod-straight.

"I see you are a woman of action," Beatrice shrewdly assessed Alura in polite terms. "I hope you are not here on my account," the elderly Unicorn confided in a friendly fashion. "My Katerina does worry so."
Alura turned her head to see a new Unicorn enter the room, amazed at the grace she did so considering her obvious older age. '' Uh, I'm sure Katerina is just taking extra precautions for your safety. '' She responded to the last question. Trying to make herself look a bit more proper, Alura rose from the floor unfortunately spilling a few drops of tea, but was kind of glad; she always thought tea tasted awful. '' Anyways, if there's something else you need help with I'll be glad to... oh! I'm sorry, I never introduced myself. The name is Alura, what might yours be?'' She said while extending her hand to grandmother, unsure if it was inappropriate or not.

OOC: Is it okay if I write Katerina's, Evalina's, and Beatrice's actions and voices as my own too; like make them say something I make up for them?

Pirate Overlord
Mar 10, 2009
6079
The Undead Obeah on Nov 8, 2013 wrote:
Omar and Aloetti gave there thanks to the Lady Graziella and walked toward her home. As they drew near, everything the Lady said came to pass. They were fed, given board, and resting before the Madame returned home. As Aloetti slept, Omar tried to divine the Contessa's whereabouts with a mirror. He was better with cards and seances, he made due with with what he could at the moment. He saw an office where a particularly well-off Unicorn talking to Dona Graziella. He recognized the Lord's crest as the Doge's, and the name Maestra Lia. Curious, he sneaked out and walked towards the library to look up the name.
Then he heard voices in his head, but this time, it was far more annoying.
Oi, Omar! Do I come in loud and, just loud?
Allmost immediately getting a splitting headache, Omar slipped into an alleyway as to not look like a lunatic.
"Confound it Hobbes!" hissed Omar "You don't need to yell and ye knows it!"
I know, I just want to have a little fun with this. Maria never lets me do this. I wonder why?
"Great Spirits Hobbes, What do you want?"
To tell you that the people your supposed to meet those people in the Vindali Mansion. There hiding there and are meeting at midnight to discuss certain plans and stuff. By the way, What happens when…
"Hobbes," Warned Omar "You already told me this one. the punchline's 'Chopsticks'. Now why are ye telling me this when we could just talk face-to face?"
To obvious. Besides, I'm stuck in Sivella at the moment. I'll try to come, but I can't make the promise. Hide in the Music Room on the north side of the Courtyard. There is a little surprise for you there if you go. The'll never suspect. Ta!
"Hobbes? Hobbes!" yelled Omar, but he left. Suspicious, he sunk back in to rest his head. He didn't really want to go due to the fact That Alexander Hobbes was probably playing a trick on him as usual, but what did he mean by "A little Surprise". Tired, he slept forty winks before preparing his nicer suit of clothes for the Lady's supper tonight.
Chrissy had always been good at observation and always had a 'knowing' of what people needed and one of her 'knowings' was an awareness of when ever magic was around. This sense had saved her and her crew many a time as she could shout out a warning for them to raise magical shields just in time. As she was waiting behind Dona Graziella she felt the hairs lift on the back of her neck and felt that familiar tug in the pit of her stomach. She stepped forward in the pretense of handing her lady a handkerchief as she was becoming quite emotional as she recounted Maestra Lia's arrest, she whispered quietly in her ear. "Have a care my Lady and guard your speech, I sense strong magic is watching and I do not know if it be friend or foe." She felt Graziella stiffen at her warning and saw her imperceptibly nod as she accepted the kerchief. Chrissy stepped back and having only knowledge of protection magic began chanting to herself to bring up wards to protect them.

Commodore
Feb 29, 2012
892
Just Add Bacon on Nov 7, 2013 wrote:
Lizzy curtsied politely upon being introduced to everyone, and listened to their conversation. Her smile grew when she saw Tazio tease his younger brother. "Hey, don't feel bad." She spoke up, directing this to Antonio. "I'm 14 too, age doesn't really matter, when it comes to defending others. What matters is heart, and the courage to do what you believe is right."

She laughed when Violetta asked if they were really pirates. "Yes, we are really pirates." She winked at the young girl. "But we're not the kind that you may read about in fantasy stories. We're not mean and scary, we're nice." Lizzy playfully tickled Violetta, making the young girl burst into giggles. "And we're here to help your family." She bent down a little, shaking the girl's hand. "My name's Lizzy, and you must be Violetta. It is a pleasure to meet you."

The blonde swashbuckler turned her attention to Isabella. "I appreciate your concern, but we're choosing to do this. If this doesn't go as well as we hope, then we are willing to put ourselves on the line to ensure your safety. And this is our choice, no one forced us to do this. I will continue with this mission until the end." Lizzy's happy expression turned into an unsure one. "Please, don't make me get cold feet." She shook her head and returned her expression back to a happy one, so as not to concern the others. Inside, though, Lizzy was terrified. Their mission had suddenly gotten real.
"Ohayou gozaimasu, tomadachis." Emma greeted the girls politely. "Or, shall I say, good morning, friends." The blonde had been spending a week or two clearing up some business in Mooshu, and she had grown accustomed to the proper language. "Hai, as Lizzy said, we are pirates indeed. Of course, most of us are the more honorable types." Emma was referring to herself. Despite what her friends thought, Emma was not entirely the sweetheart southern pirate her disposition portrayed her as. She was quite the smuggler. "Well, we pose no threat to you." She teased.

As Lizzy reverted her concentration to Kara, Emma turned. "Kara-San, I fear it is our assignment to deal with this. It is in our intrigue to assist you and prevent you from any risk." For a moment, Emma's hand shifted to her other, checking to see the iron bracelets that contained her claw retractors were still there. They were. Emma breathed with relief- she had spent months creating those.

Commodore
Sep 20, 2009
814
Anne Radcliffe on Nov 5, 2013 wrote:
The young pirates gazed upon the girls they were supposed to impersonate. They didn't look anything like the adopted children of the duke and duchess, really. The Vinaldi daughters all had olive-toned skin and dark hair of varying shades. Indeed they looked to be biological sisters as well as familial ones.

Alcina Vinaldi nodded at the unspoken question as Scarlet looked at her. "Yes, my daughters are all the children of a couple who were dear friends of ours. They perished about a decade ago, and we adopted them as our own. They know of their first parents of course, and their story..."

"All the more reason to fight the Armada -- ourselves," interrupted Kara, the 16-year-old. "The Armada killed our parents! We should be fighting them ourselves instead of running away," she concluded spiritedly.

Anne felt a jolt of unexpected kinship. The Armada had killed her parents too, about the same time. Had they known each other? Had they worked in the Resistance together? Not that she could remember her parents anymore; she had paid the price, perhaps a fair one, for the information she had so desperately needed. Still she felt a brief flush of envy for these girls, not for their wealth or even pretty gowns, but for their present loving family and their certain memories of their deceased birth parents.

The point that Kara brought up, however, seemed to have been part of a continuing argument. "Indeed," said the Unicorn boy, whose name they soon learned was Antonio, "it is not right for us to hide in safety when others come to take our places and perhaps face death thereby!"

"You all are brave, but you don't have experience fighting -- no, not even you, Antonio," said the other young male Unicorn. "A few fencing lessons does not make you into a skilled swashbuckler, not yet anyway. Besides, you are only 14. I'm older by two years and far more experienced," the boy concluded rather smugly, and turned to the newcomers. "Forgive our poor manners, ladies," he gave a graceful bow with a flourish of his hat. "I am Tazio, Resistance impersonator for Antonio here."

"And you have served in the Resistance as what, a messenger boy? I don't know that you are ready yourself to face these dangers," Isabella added worriedly. "I too think it wrong to ask courageous strangers to take our places."

"Not to mention we will miss the Ball," Mariella, the 13-year-old added practically, but with a rather dreamy air as she began to evidently trace out the steps of a dance in her head.

The youngest one, Violetta, had been gazing at the newcomers with wide eyes the entire time. Now she finally spoke, in a light, piping voice: "Are you really pirates!"
"Oui, we are most definetly pirates." Scarlet responded while laughing quietly to herself. I think Anne will have no problem pretending to Violetta, she seems as impulsive and Anne is.

"Je m'appelle Scarlet Kidd." Scarlet said, gracefully curtsying while introducing herself to the Vinaldi family.
"I believe I 'ave ze 'onour of portraying Isabella at ze ball." Scarlet continued, "I do not mean to be forword, but zere are some questions zat I would like to ask you, if I may. I would also like a tour of your beautiful chateau, I need to know my way around as if I 'ave lived here as long as you 'ave."

Admiral
Jul 27, 2012
1190
Ruthless Alura Bri... on Nov 8, 2013 wrote:
Alura turned her head to see a new Unicorn enter the room, amazed at the grace she did so considering her obvious older age. '' Uh, I'm sure Katerina is just taking extra precautions for your safety. '' She responded to the last question. Trying to make herself look a bit more proper, Alura rose from the floor unfortunately spilling a few drops of tea, but was kind of glad; she always thought tea tasted awful. '' Anyways, if there's something else you need help with I'll be glad to... oh! I'm sorry, I never introduced myself. The name is Alura, what might yours be?'' She said while extending her hand to grandmother, unsure if it was inappropriate or not.

OOC: Is it okay if I write Katerina's, Evalina's, and Beatrice's actions and voices as my own too; like make them say something I make up for them?
(OOC: Absolutely, Alura. It's much more interesting, I think, to make up dialog that has participation of the others in it)

The elderly Unicorn was at first a bit confused by the offer of a handshake, but quickly recovered and took Alura's hand into her pale, wrinkled one, soft with age. "I am Contessa Beatrice Pergolesi, my dear. I know my dearest Katerina has been worried that someone is trying to kill me, but why would anyone spend such effort on one so old as I, when nature is bound to take its course in not so very long a time?"

"Grandmama!" Katerina burst out, quite upset. "I hope that you will be around for many years yet."

Beatrice chuckled. "Calm down, granddaughter, and remember your manners. I too hope I shall have a number of years yet."

"You won't if you are almost run down by a mysteriously runaway carriage, or attacked by a gang of ruffians, both of which happened this past month!" Katerina argued spiritedly, but forced her posture to relax into a politely accepted mode.

"Those mishaps could happen to anyone," Beatrice steadily maintained as she lifted a cup of tea to her lips.

"My lady, please listen to Katerina," Evalina chimed in. "She genuinely fears for your safety. That's why we asked Alura to come here. There will be so many people at the masked ball, that we think it would be a perfect time for an assassin to strike. We thought you could ask Alura to be your attendant, and she could keep an eye on you..."

"It would have been better if you conferred with me first," the old countess replied with some asperity. She gazed into Alura's eyes. "And you, young lady, have put yourself into considerable danger by coming here, haven't you?" she added in a softer tone, with a keenly penetrating air.

Beatrice took another sip of tea and held the cup in silence for a moment, then laid it back on the tea tray. "But you are here, Signorina Alura, and I would not wish to have you endure all your trouble to get here for nothing. And it will do no harm to humor my dear Katerina," she said with twinkle at her granddaughter. "But you need not play the role of a servant, unless you wish it. You are Evalina's friend, and thus by extension, my granddaughter's friend also. Perhaps I could bring you out as a young lady attending her first ball instead? Of course we would need to get you a gown, mask, and all the necessary accessories, and the ball is only a day away, but it can be done. Seamstresses can do wonders when they look forward to extra pay."

Gunner's Mate
May 28, 2013
284
Sam Underhill on Nov 3, 2013 wrote:
Magdelena had to admit to herself, with 20/20 hindsight, that revealing her role to Sam was a weight off her shoulders. Of course, she hadn't told him everything, but it was enough to make her feel better.

"So we have someone following us who knows your passwords, can move silently, and knows all about your Resistance plan for tonight." They had settled on a bench in a neighboring plaza, where a tarnished statue of a former Doge reigned. Someone had made a half hearted effort to clean it up recently.

"This gypsy girl of yours probably only knows one password, and is fishing for more information. But we shouldn't take that for granted." They stopped a passing Yum vendor and bought two paper cups of a pathetic yum / pomegranate mixture. Across the way a pair of minstrels were strolling, playing a flute and hurdy-gurdy duet to great acclaim.

"Once we're inside the Palace, you leave me to find some important document or another, while I stand around looking suspicious, or gorgeous, but make myself be seen so you can wander off unnoticed."

"Si, caro mio. I regret using you like this, but..."

"That's alright. What shall do about the gypsy girl, try and find her, or let her go?"

"Let's see if she reappears. Why don't we meander around some more, maybe she'll be foolish enough to show up again. Besides, I wish to show you a few more things about Padova." So off they went, with Sam again playing the tourist while Magdelena proudly acted as the historian / lecturer / librarian she truly was. And Padova did indeed have some amazing sights to behold.

"So this is what you spurn me for, a man-child?" A tall, midnight black Unicorn stepped in front of them, dressed as a dandy and oozing contempt. He flipped his short cape back over his shoulder to reveal a long knife, although it was peace bonded. His threatening stance drew the attention of several passers-by, who continued hurriedly on their way.

"Leave us be, Michaelangelo," Magdelena sighed. "You are not welcome here."

"I have an invitation to the Ball, as no doubt do you," he sneered. Unsure how to break in on this reunion, Sam took Magdelena's arm and starting leading her away.

"Go ahead and run, boy, I'll find you later!" the black Unicorn called after them. He hurried away as an Armada patrol turned the corner and started marching down the street.

"Nice fella, I can see why you dumped him."

"He dumped me!!" Magdelena cried. "Of all the... he's an arrogant, overweening, conceited, egotistical, contemptuous, insolent, pompous..."

"I get the idea," Sam laughed. He attempted to cool her down with some ice cream. Sam assessed his chances against his rival should a fight ensue. Ha! Sam knew he could take the Unicorn, two others just like him, with a gaggle of Troggies thrown in before breakfast. But Sam didn't want to actually hurt anyone, and that might prove trickier to manage.

Neither noticed the blonde teenager watching them, casually hidden behind a cone of cotton candy.
"We have one last place to visit," Magdelena told Sam. "Enough of history, it's time for some fun!" And so saying she put action to words and led him off towards more fashionable end of town. The streets were becoming more crowded with partiers as the Ball neared, but navigating them proved no problem for the streetwise Unicorn, who led them unerringly towards a building with Museo di Libri emboldened upon the stonework.

"A museum of books?" Sam asked incredulously.

Magedelena turned an amused eye on him. "What else?" she asked back. "What could be more fun?"

"Anything about Marco Pollo in here?" Sam queried hopefully, not expecting a useful answer. He followed her inside anyway, resigned to his fate. The interior of the building matched the architecture of the city, overly ornate and ostentatious. Sam half expected the place to be ivy covered, with dusty professors droning on and on about ancient tomes of yore, or something similar.

"Magdelena, my love, benvenuto, welcome," an ancient Unicorn in full Professorial Regalia approached. He kissed her on both cheeks and led them into a side room where a literary party was in full swing. Not only Unicorns, but Guinea Pigs, Owls, Dogs and other denizens of the Spiral were chatting amiably in scattered groups. Even humans could be spotted amongst the guests. Sam was introduced to several, but there were so many people that names blurred quickly, although Magdelena knew them all. The librarian's world was a close knit one after all. Sam soon found himself alone on the sidelines, so he helped himself to a piece from the large cake shaped as an open book that was the centerpiece of the themed fare.

"Poetry game time," someone called out. The game consisted of producing a new second line to a famous poem. "I think that I shall never see..."

"A chicken with a PhD!" came some quick wit's answer. An indignant squawk from the corner of the room was ignored. "I wandered lonely as a cloud..."

"Did you have to say that poem aloud?" General chuckles met this witticism. "How do I love thee, let me count the ways..."

"Eight!" everyone called out in unison in response to the old joke. Now peals of laughter rang out from the assemblage. Sam had had enough and decided it was time to go exploring.

People were wandering about in the building, but it still came as a surprise when a voice whispered in his ear. "There's something you need to know about your girlfriend." Sam turned and saw the blonde girl from before, although now she was dressed in a decidedly more traditional Valencian style.

"Oh, really?" Sam shot back, annoyed at once again being taken by surprise.

"Shall we go for a walk?" the girl asked sweetly, placing her arm in his and leading him down the stairs towards the basement. "There's something I think you should see."

Intrigued despite himself, Sam allowed himself to be led along. This time it was a Unicorn's narrow gaze that followed, watching the pair descend.

Admiral
Jul 27, 2012
1190
Just Add Bacon on Nov 7, 2013 wrote:
Lizzy curtsied politely upon being introduced to everyone, and listened to their conversation. Her smile grew when she saw Tazio tease his younger brother. "Hey, don't feel bad." She spoke up, directing this to Antonio. "I'm 14 too, age doesn't really matter, when it comes to defending others. What matters is heart, and the courage to do what you believe is right."

She laughed when Violetta asked if they were really pirates. "Yes, we are really pirates." She winked at the young girl. "But we're not the kind that you may read about in fantasy stories. We're not mean and scary, we're nice." Lizzy playfully tickled Violetta, making the young girl burst into giggles. "And we're here to help your family." She bent down a little, shaking the girl's hand. "My name's Lizzy, and you must be Violetta. It is a pleasure to meet you."

The blonde swashbuckler turned her attention to Isabella. "I appreciate your concern, but we're choosing to do this. If this doesn't go as well as we hope, then we are willing to put ourselves on the line to ensure your safety. And this is our choice, no one forced us to do this. I will continue with this mission until the end." Lizzy's happy expression turned into an unsure one. "Please, don't make me get cold feet." She shook her head and returned her expression back to a happy one, so as not to concern the others. Inside, though, Lizzy was terrified. Their mission had suddenly gotten real.
Though Lizzy had returned her expression to a cheerful smile, she had paled and Anne could almost see what was going through Elizabeth's mind. Anne understood: she rarely feared her adversaries (probably should have more than she did), but images of the Armada filled her worst nightmares. Thoughts of Armada officers and Kane's Elites were positively terrifying.

She took Lizzy's pale, cool hand into her own dark, warm one. "As you say, Lizzy, what matters is heart and the courage to do what is right. And you have both of those in excellent supply," she comforted her friend determinedly in a soft voice. Then she turned to the Vinaldi girls. "It is as Emma says. We are honorable people." Anne thought of what her foster mother Mao Xue had once told her. "The name of pirate is what our enemies have given to us, so they can be justified in trying to take us down. But really, we try to do what is right." And sometimes fail with horrible consequences, Anne's conscience ruthlessly assailed her.

Duchessa Alcina smiled at the group of young people. "I see we will have much to discuss at supper tonight. And certainly, Captain Scarlet Kidd, you shall have a grand tour of our villa and we will give you all as much information as we can. We have a full day still to the ball, and we will make sure you are all prepared as much as possible. I only hope that the limited information and suspicions we received are wrong, and there is nothing devious planned for the ball. I would much rather have you young ladies enjoy yourselves than risk being put into danger, no matter how skilled you all undoubtedly are."

Admiral
Jul 27, 2012
1190
Chrissy Th'Blesser on Nov 8, 2013 wrote:
Chrissy had always been good at observation and always had a 'knowing' of what people needed and one of her 'knowings' was an awareness of when ever magic was around. This sense had saved her and her crew many a time as she could shout out a warning for them to raise magical shields just in time. As she was waiting behind Dona Graziella she felt the hairs lift on the back of her neck and felt that familiar tug in the pit of her stomach. She stepped forward in the pretense of handing her lady a handkerchief as she was becoming quite emotional as she recounted Maestra Lia's arrest, she whispered quietly in her ear. "Have a care my Lady and guard your speech, I sense strong magic is watching and I do not know if it be friend or foe." She felt Graziella stiffen at her warning and saw her imperceptibly nod as she accepted the kerchief. Chrissy stepped back and having only knowledge of protection magic began chanting to herself to bring up wards to protect them.
(OOC: Oooo! Does Chrissy sense Omar's magic or someone not so nice? Are you adding a new layer of intrigue to the story, Chrissy? You can if you want -- that would be cool!)

Dona Graziella checked herself at Chrissy's timely warning. She had been so concerned about her friend's fate that she had nearly forgotten indeed that in Padova, often 'the walls had ears' as was often said. But magic? Graziella swallowed. Magic was not a factor that she had considered. If someone with magic was listening, she sincerely hoped they were inclined to be friendly.

"Your Serenity," Graziella forced herself into formal politeness, although her tone was still heightened with emotion and anxiety, "You yourself have acknowledged that Maestra Lia was imprisoned for no good reason. In the Armada's hands... she will suffer. You know she will. Yet she is innocent of any crime."

Nicolo Foscari gave her a cool look. "Perhaps the Armada captain had a reason for her arrest which he did not choose to share with you. Though it seems unlikely, I admit. Still, whatever she has to suffer is unlikely to kill her," he added, quite callously in the view of his listeners.

Graziella searched her mind frantically for another argument she could use. The Doge calmly watched her, as if he knew exactly what she was thinking. He let the moment lengthen, then continued.

"However, I could arrange her early release -- if you do something in return for me," he added with smooth thoughtfulness.

"What is it you wish me to do, Most Noble Prince?" Graziella replied, very cautiously.

"Nothing strenuous, I assure you. But you frequently oppose my will on the Council, which -of course- is your right. However, it would greatly please me if you bent both your vote and your influence on the other Council members to favor my most recent request, the change to the search and seizure law."

Graziella inhaled sharply. "The new law would reduce the rights of the citizens of Padova even more than the 'crisis' acts have already done!"

The Doge shrugged. "Not by so very much. I would still require the Armada to make their arrests with genuine evidence," he retorted, and then looked like he could have bitten off his tongue, given the current situation.

"Like Maestra Lia's arrest," Graziella retorted acidly, a perfect hit to the sore point.

"That was outside my jurisdiction," the Doge shot back irritably. "But enough of these games. I have offered my price. What is your answer?"

Graziella was pale and silent for a long moment. Finally, she raised her chin defiantly, refusing to acknowledge her inward defeat. "I will do as you wish."

"Excellent. I will order Maestra Lia's release in the morning."

"The morning! But..."

"In the morning," Nicolo Foscari replied firmly. "This interview is hereby at an end." He bowed, and led Dona Graziella to the door, Jack and Chrissy perforce following.

Petty Officer
Oct 29, 2012
56
Anne Radcliffe on Nov 9, 2013 wrote:
(OOC: Absolutely, Alura. It's much more interesting, I think, to make up dialog that has participation of the others in it)

The elderly Unicorn was at first a bit confused by the offer of a handshake, but quickly recovered and took Alura's hand into her pale, wrinkled one, soft with age. "I am Contessa Beatrice Pergolesi, my dear. I know my dearest Katerina has been worried that someone is trying to kill me, but why would anyone spend such effort on one so old as I, when nature is bound to take its course in not so very long a time?"

"Grandmama!" Katerina burst out, quite upset. "I hope that you will be around for many years yet."

Beatrice chuckled. "Calm down, granddaughter, and remember your manners. I too hope I shall have a number of years yet."

"You won't if you are almost run down by a mysteriously runaway carriage, or attacked by a gang of ruffians, both of which happened this past month!" Katerina argued spiritedly, but forced her posture to relax into a politely accepted mode.

"Those mishaps could happen to anyone," Beatrice steadily maintained as she lifted a cup of tea to her lips.

"My lady, please listen to Katerina," Evalina chimed in. "She genuinely fears for your safety. That's why we asked Alura to come here. There will be so many people at the masked ball, that we think it would be a perfect time for an assassin to strike. We thought you could ask Alura to be your attendant, and she could keep an eye on you..."

"It would have been better if you conferred with me first," the old countess replied with some asperity. She gazed into Alura's eyes. "And you, young lady, have put yourself into considerable danger by coming here, haven't you?" she added in a softer tone, with a keenly penetrating air.

Beatrice took another sip of tea and held the cup in silence for a moment, then laid it back on the tea tray. "But you are here, Signorina Alura, and I would not wish to have you endure all your trouble to get here for nothing. And it will do no harm to humor my dear Katerina," she said with twinkle at her granddaughter. "But you need not play the role of a servant, unless you wish it. You are Evalina's friend, and thus by extension, my granddaughter's friend also. Perhaps I could bring you out as a young lady attending her first ball instead? Of course we would need to get you a gown, mask, and all the necessary accessories, and the ball is only a day away, but it can be done. Seamstresses can do wonders when they look forward to extra pay."
OOC: Um actually... I think I'll just stick to using Alura. I'm not sure I know these characters well enough to add different dialog.

'' Uh... a gown? I'm not sure I should-'' Alura stopped herself. Beatrice needed to be protected but Alura couldn't do it very well in a gown. Slightly lowering her head, she walked back to a corner of the room with her tea still in hand. '' Well, do you think it's possible for me to have a purple and gold dress with a matching butterfly mask?'' Alura said hesitantly. She had no idea how in the Spiral she would become a high class young lady in a day, but it was a task worthy of accomplishing.

Pirate Overlord
Mar 10, 2009
6079
Anne Radcliffe on Nov 10, 2013 wrote:
(OOC: Oooo! Does Chrissy sense Omar's magic or someone not so nice? Are you adding a new layer of intrigue to the story, Chrissy? You can if you want -- that would be cool!)

Dona Graziella checked herself at Chrissy's timely warning. She had been so concerned about her friend's fate that she had nearly forgotten indeed that in Padova, often 'the walls had ears' as was often said. But magic? Graziella swallowed. Magic was not a factor that she had considered. If someone with magic was listening, she sincerely hoped they were inclined to be friendly.

"Your Serenity," Graziella forced herself into formal politeness, although her tone was still heightened with emotion and anxiety, "You yourself have acknowledged that Maestra Lia was imprisoned for no good reason. In the Armada's hands... she will suffer. You know she will. Yet she is innocent of any crime."

Nicolo Foscari gave her a cool look. "Perhaps the Armada captain had a reason for her arrest which he did not choose to share with you. Though it seems unlikely, I admit. Still, whatever she has to suffer is unlikely to kill her," he added, quite callously in the view of his listeners.

Graziella searched her mind frantically for another argument she could use. The Doge calmly watched her, as if he knew exactly what she was thinking. He let the moment lengthen, then continued.

"However, I could arrange her early release -- if you do something in return for me," he added with smooth thoughtfulness.

"What is it you wish me to do, Most Noble Prince?" Graziella replied, very cautiously.

"Nothing strenuous, I assure you. But you frequently oppose my will on the Council, which -of course- is your right. However, it would greatly please me if you bent both your vote and your influence on the other Council members to favor my most recent request, the change to the search and seizure law."

Graziella inhaled sharply. "The new law would reduce the rights of the citizens of Padova even more than the 'crisis' acts have already done!"

The Doge shrugged. "Not by so very much. I would still require the Armada to make their arrests with genuine evidence," he retorted, and then looked like he could have bitten off his tongue, given the current situation.

"Like Maestra Lia's arrest," Graziella retorted acidly, a perfect hit to the sore point.

"That was outside my jurisdiction," the Doge shot back irritably. "But enough of these games. I have offered my price. What is your answer?"

Graziella was pale and silent for a long moment. Finally, she raised her chin defiantly, refusing to acknowledge her inward defeat. "I will do as you wish."

"Excellent. I will order Maestra Lia's release in the morning."

"The morning! But..."

"In the morning," Nicolo Foscari replied firmly. "This interview is hereby at an end." He bowed, and led Dona Graziella to the door, Jack and Chrissy perforce following.
OOC; Lol I did think about it. Something along the lines of Chrissy's knowing skills and doing a silent witchdoctor type fight that no one could see but her and the bad guy. The idea of an invisible but furious battle going on right under everyone's noses sounded fun but there are so many wonderful things happening now that I didn't want too many quills marring the parchment. I just made this one her sensing Ormar and the idea that her skills could unknowingly delay what he is trying to do out of cautious misunderstanding.

Admiral
Jul 27, 2012
1190
CdeWinter on Nov 9, 2013 wrote:
"Oui, we are most definetly pirates." Scarlet responded while laughing quietly to herself. I think Anne will have no problem pretending to Violetta, she seems as impulsive and Anne is.

"Je m'appelle Scarlet Kidd." Scarlet said, gracefully curtsying while introducing herself to the Vinaldi family.
"I believe I 'ave ze 'onour of portraying Isabella at ze ball." Scarlet continued, "I do not mean to be forword, but zere are some questions zat I would like to ask you, if I may. I would also like a tour of your beautiful chateau, I need to know my way around as if I 'ave lived here as long as you 'ave."
Isabella, who had been looking very serious up to this point, lit up to hear Scarlet speak in Polarian. "Enchante de faire votre connaissance, Mademoiselle Scarlet," Isabella addressed her in passable Polarian, with a fairly bad accent. "You are really from Polaris?" she eagerly inquired, at that moment sounding rather like her youngest sister. "Our governess taught us something about Polaris. Can you tell us more about the fabulous ice gardens and the grand Snow Balls?"

Admiral
Jul 27, 2012
1190
Ruthless Alura Bri... on Nov 11, 2013 wrote:
OOC: Um actually... I think I'll just stick to using Alura. I'm not sure I know these characters well enough to add different dialog.

'' Uh... a gown? I'm not sure I should-'' Alura stopped herself. Beatrice needed to be protected but Alura couldn't do it very well in a gown. Slightly lowering her head, she walked back to a corner of the room with her tea still in hand. '' Well, do you think it's possible for me to have a purple and gold dress with a matching butterfly mask?'' Alura said hesitantly. She had no idea how in the Spiral she would become a high class young lady in a day, but it was a task worthy of accomplishing.
The elderly countess smiled at Alura. "Of course it is possible," she replied indulgently to Alura's question. "We will call the necessary tradesmen and women in, and they will produce an ensemble worthy of your desires. You will find our local people to be most skilled," Beatrice added, with more than a hint of pride.

"And don't worry if you don't have precisely the manners of the other young ladies and gentlemen at the ball," Beatrice shrewdly guessed some of Alura's reservation. "Good manners are expected, of course, but one who is a known foreigner will not be expected to know all of our Valencian customs. We will put it about that you are a school-friend of Katerina's -- and of Evalina, of course -- who has come from afar to visit her. Anyone who might be watching you will find that this story agrees with your recent movements."

Ensign
May 31, 2012
28
Anne Radcliffe on Nov 10, 2013 wrote:
(OOC: Oooo! Does Chrissy sense Omar's magic or someone not so nice? Are you adding a new layer of intrigue to the story, Chrissy? You can if you want -- that would be cool!)

Dona Graziella checked herself at Chrissy's timely warning. She had been so concerned about her friend's fate that she had nearly forgotten indeed that in Padova, often 'the walls had ears' as was often said. But magic? Graziella swallowed. Magic was not a factor that she had considered. If someone with magic was listening, she sincerely hoped they were inclined to be friendly.

"Your Serenity," Graziella forced herself into formal politeness, although her tone was still heightened with emotion and anxiety, "You yourself have acknowledged that Maestra Lia was imprisoned for no good reason. In the Armada's hands... she will suffer. You know she will. Yet she is innocent of any crime."

Nicolo Foscari gave her a cool look. "Perhaps the Armada captain had a reason for her arrest which he did not choose to share with you. Though it seems unlikely, I admit. Still, whatever she has to suffer is unlikely to kill her," he added, quite callously in the view of his listeners.

Graziella searched her mind frantically for another argument she could use. The Doge calmly watched her, as if he knew exactly what she was thinking. He let the moment lengthen, then continued.

"However, I could arrange her early release -- if you do something in return for me," he added with smooth thoughtfulness.

"What is it you wish me to do, Most Noble Prince?" Graziella replied, very cautiously.

"Nothing strenuous, I assure you. But you frequently oppose my will on the Council, which -of course- is your right. However, it would greatly please me if you bent both your vote and your influence on the other Council members to favor my most recent request, the change to the search and seizure law."

Graziella inhaled sharply. "The new law would reduce the rights of the citizens of Padova even more than the 'crisis' acts have already done!"

The Doge shrugged. "Not by so very much. I would still require the Armada to make their arrests with genuine evidence," he retorted, and then looked like he could have bitten off his tongue, given the current situation.

"Like Maestra Lia's arrest," Graziella retorted acidly, a perfect hit to the sore point.

"That was outside my jurisdiction," the Doge shot back irritably. "But enough of these games. I have offered my price. What is your answer?"

Graziella was pale and silent for a long moment. Finally, she raised her chin defiantly, refusing to acknowledge her inward defeat. "I will do as you wish."

"Excellent. I will order Maestra Lia's release in the morning."

"The morning! But..."

"In the morning," Nicolo Foscari replied firmly. "This interview is hereby at an end." He bowed, and led Dona Graziella to the door, Jack and Chrissy perforce following.
"You shouldn't have done that," I hissed to Dona Graziella once we were alone. "We could have found a way to free her without you losing that battle. I won't pretend to know the intricacies of the Council, but there had to have been a better way." I closed my eye and sighed. "I just hope we won't have to give up anything else like that, any more rights, before we finish here."

Commodore
Sep 20, 2009
814
Anne Radcliffe on Nov 13, 2013 wrote:
Isabella, who had been looking very serious up to this point, lit up to hear Scarlet speak in Polarian. "Enchante de faire votre connaissance, Mademoiselle Scarlet," Isabella addressed her in passable Polarian, with a fairly bad accent. "You are really from Polaris?" she eagerly inquired, at that moment sounding rather like her youngest sister. "Our governess taught us something about Polaris. Can you tell us more about the fabulous ice gardens and the grand Snow Balls?"
"Merci, Mademoiselle Isabella. I am from Polaris, my parents were stationed zere as irregular captains of ze Royal Marleybonian Navy during ze Polarian War. Sadly zey disappeared on one of zeir final missions, Ma soeur et moi, we 'ave no idea what 'appened to zem" Scarlet replied as she and the other captains took seats around the Vinaldi's parlour.

"Et, as for ze Snowballs, I 'ave never 'ad ze chance of attending one, but I understand zey were spectacular. May parents 'ad quite a few adventures involving ze Snowballs. 'Owever, I did get to visit ze great ice garden built near ze Louvre, Every year at ze 'eight of winter zere is a great festival we call Carnival. [OOC: This Carnival is not based on New Orlean's Carnival, it is actually based on Quebec City's Carnival] Carnival is a celebration of winter, alzough, the differences between winter and summer in Polaris is razer subtle to an outsider. Ze main feature of Carnival is a great ice garden zat surrounds a castle made entirely of ice. Inside ze castle sits ze King of Carnival, ze living snowman Bonhomme. Ze garden is filled wiz fantastic trees, animals and beats all carved from snow and ice, and ze castle is entirely built of ice so cold and clear zat it looks like it is made of fine glass."

Admiral
Jul 27, 2012
1190
Serpent996 on Nov 13, 2013 wrote:
"You shouldn't have done that," I hissed to Dona Graziella once we were alone. "We could have found a way to free her without you losing that battle. I won't pretend to know the intricacies of the Council, but there had to have been a better way." I closed my eye and sighed. "I just hope we won't have to give up anything else like that, any more rights, before we finish here."
(OOC: Thanks, Jack, you gave me a perfect segue into the next bit! And, I made an error: the Doge should have said that Graziella opposed his will in the Senate rather than the Council, as she is a member of the advising Senate, rather than the ruling Council. I based this on the political system of historical Venice, of course. But I was getting my own inventions confused.)

`
They were passing though a lovely park, just then, now lit by many pretty little gas-lights, giving the artfully naturalistic expanse a fairy-like look. A number of couples and families were strolling by, enjoying the pleasant evening. Yet Dona Graziella seemed unaware of her beautiful surroundings, giving Jack an anguished look.

"I know. Oh, I know it was the wrong thing! I have put so many at risk for the sake of one person! Lia is strong-minded; she would endure anything for the sake of justice, for the sake of the Resistance. But... I just couldn't do that to her. Oh, I am such a fool!" Overcome, she sank down on a nearby bench, and burst into tears.

A Crab couple walking nearby paused. The female Crab patted the male's arm in gentle invitation, and he hurried over to Graziella's side.

"Ma dona, what is the matter?" His kindly but rough voice was characteristic of Crabs, bearing a heavy lower class Valencian accent despite his elegant clothes, then evidently recognized her. "Dona Graziella! What can be so distressing to you on such a beautiful evening?"

"I have acted the part of a villain and a fool, Guiseppi," Graziella sobbed. "But let me not forget my manners: Signore Guiseppi Zipoli, these are my attendants, Jack and Chrissy. Jack and Chrissy, this is Signore Guiseppi Zipoli, representative of Crab interests on the Council."

Signore Zipoli gave an awkward bow to the two pirates. "It is a rare aristocrat who would introduce her servants. But we Crabs appreciate such courtesy. Though we may hold lesser jobs in society, we feel we are the equals to the grandest noble. That is true of any who work."

"As it should be," Graziella laughed a little through her tears. "Without your labor, society would fall apart."

Signore Zipoli looked pleased, then got down to the business of sympathetically listening to Graziella's sad tale. At the end, he looked grave. "I can not fault you. We Crabs also look after our own. But what you say of the arrest disturbs me."

"I have supported the bill in question, as I am sure you know," Guiseppi continued somberly. "The Armada have been directly responsible for not only Valencian success, but also our sheer survival. My colleague on the Council, Duca Giovanni Bembo, is rightly known as a hero of the Polarian Wars. Yet without the Armada, his heroism would have ended in ashes."

"Lately in Padova, the Armada has taken on control of our jails and prisons. I felt this to be a good thing: the Armada is efficient and incorruptible. And if they are harsh, that is all the better to deter criminals. But..." he shook his head.

Admiral
Jul 27, 2012
1190
Anne Radcliffe on Nov 15, 2013 wrote:
(OOC: Thanks, Jack, you gave me a perfect segue into the next bit! And, I made an error: the Doge should have said that Graziella opposed his will in the Senate rather than the Council, as she is a member of the advising Senate, rather than the ruling Council. I based this on the political system of historical Venice, of course. But I was getting my own inventions confused.)

`
They were passing though a lovely park, just then, now lit by many pretty little gas-lights, giving the artfully naturalistic expanse a fairy-like look. A number of couples and families were strolling by, enjoying the pleasant evening. Yet Dona Graziella seemed unaware of her beautiful surroundings, giving Jack an anguished look.

"I know. Oh, I know it was the wrong thing! I have put so many at risk for the sake of one person! Lia is strong-minded; she would endure anything for the sake of justice, for the sake of the Resistance. But... I just couldn't do that to her. Oh, I am such a fool!" Overcome, she sank down on a nearby bench, and burst into tears.

A Crab couple walking nearby paused. The female Crab patted the male's arm in gentle invitation, and he hurried over to Graziella's side.

"Ma dona, what is the matter?" His kindly but rough voice was characteristic of Crabs, bearing a heavy lower class Valencian accent despite his elegant clothes, then evidently recognized her. "Dona Graziella! What can be so distressing to you on such a beautiful evening?"

"I have acted the part of a villain and a fool, Guiseppi," Graziella sobbed. "But let me not forget my manners: Signore Guiseppi Zipoli, these are my attendants, Jack and Chrissy. Jack and Chrissy, this is Signore Guiseppi Zipoli, representative of Crab interests on the Council."

Signore Zipoli gave an awkward bow to the two pirates. "It is a rare aristocrat who would introduce her servants. But we Crabs appreciate such courtesy. Though we may hold lesser jobs in society, we feel we are the equals to the grandest noble. That is true of any who work."

"As it should be," Graziella laughed a little through her tears. "Without your labor, society would fall apart."

Signore Zipoli looked pleased, then got down to the business of sympathetically listening to Graziella's sad tale. At the end, he looked grave. "I can not fault you. We Crabs also look after our own. But what you say of the arrest disturbs me."

"I have supported the bill in question, as I am sure you know," Guiseppi continued somberly. "The Armada have been directly responsible for not only Valencian success, but also our sheer survival. My colleague on the Council, Duca Giovanni Bembo, is rightly known as a hero of the Polarian Wars. Yet without the Armada, his heroism would have ended in ashes."

"Lately in Padova, the Armada has taken on control of our jails and prisons. I felt this to be a good thing: the Armada is efficient and incorruptible. And if they are harsh, that is all the better to deter criminals. But..." he shook his head.
Guiseppi Zipoli remained in sympathetic silence for a long moment. "I will be honest with you, ma dona. There is little I can do to help. But Crabs may do something. The Armada do not deign to deal with the necessary cleaning of their prisons, but it needs to be done if they do not want their prisoners to perish swiftly from jail fever. I will go see if any of the cleaning Crabs are known to my associates. I doubt they could even give a prisoner a cup of water -- but they can at least give a kind word, a sympathetic gesture."

Graziella pressed the hard carapace of his hand in a gesture of gratitude. "Thank you so much, Guiseppi." She looked like she would have said more, but their conference had attracted the attention of a particularly tall handsome Unicorn.

The stranger kissed her hand with courtly politeness. "Dona Graziella? Whatever is the matter that I see you in such distress?" his eyes slid curiously towards the elegantly dressed Crab. Like the Doge, he did not seem to notice Chrissy or Jack.

Dona Graziella managed a smile. "My lord, Conte Cesare Tori," she dropped a polite curtsey. "I seem to be pleasantly surrounded by members of Padova's Council this evening." After a slight hesitation needed to order her thoughts, she gave him the brief synopsis of the situation.

"So the Doge has ordered the professor's release?" he summed up the events. "That is good news. Usually he is so caught up in his own games of politics that little is ever achieved," Cesare commented the last with a bitter edge.

"Yes, but she will not be released until tomorrow!"

"Do you think then she has such information she could be forced to give the Armada in the meantime?" he asked with seemingly idle curiosity, but his eyes were watchful and penetrating.

"Of course not," Dona Graziella retorted stoutly, in an ingenious blending of truth and lie that made her words seem all truth. Graziella knew perfectly well that Lia knew enough to compromise the rescue of the Vinaldis as well as certain other missions, but she was completely confident in her friend's fortitude. "She is an innocent."

"Yet my colleague on the Council, Dona Elena Cornaro, who holds the Chair of Mathematics at the University, has openly argued against the Armada being put into any positions of authority. She claims that the Clockworks are inherently flawed by lacking the complexity of mortal intellect, emotions, and morality. Rumor has it that she may be a member of the Resistance."

Graziella smiled blandly. "It must be poor rumor then, or she would already be arrested. Besides, when has it been illegal to hold opposite views on the Council?"

Cesare smiled, a warm, charming smile. "Not illegal, but perhaps unwise. But you are, of course, correct. And I will see what I can do for this innocent professor of yours. I have many contacts. Perhaps I can get her released before the Doge decides to get around to it."

"I would be most grateful," Graziella replied sincerely.

Gunner's Mate
May 28, 2013
284
Sam Underhill on Nov 10, 2013 wrote:
"We have one last place to visit," Magdelena told Sam. "Enough of history, it's time for some fun!" And so saying she put action to words and led him off towards more fashionable end of town. The streets were becoming more crowded with partiers as the Ball neared, but navigating them proved no problem for the streetwise Unicorn, who led them unerringly towards a building with Museo di Libri emboldened upon the stonework.

"A museum of books?" Sam asked incredulously.

Magedelena turned an amused eye on him. "What else?" she asked back. "What could be more fun?"

"Anything about Marco Pollo in here?" Sam queried hopefully, not expecting a useful answer. He followed her inside anyway, resigned to his fate. The interior of the building matched the architecture of the city, overly ornate and ostentatious. Sam half expected the place to be ivy covered, with dusty professors droning on and on about ancient tomes of yore, or something similar.

"Magdelena, my love, benvenuto, welcome," an ancient Unicorn in full Professorial Regalia approached. He kissed her on both cheeks and led them into a side room where a literary party was in full swing. Not only Unicorns, but Guinea Pigs, Owls, Dogs and other denizens of the Spiral were chatting amiably in scattered groups. Even humans could be spotted amongst the guests. Sam was introduced to several, but there were so many people that names blurred quickly, although Magdelena knew them all. The librarian's world was a close knit one after all. Sam soon found himself alone on the sidelines, so he helped himself to a piece from the large cake shaped as an open book that was the centerpiece of the themed fare.

"Poetry game time," someone called out. The game consisted of producing a new second line to a famous poem. "I think that I shall never see..."

"A chicken with a PhD!" came some quick wit's answer. An indignant squawk from the corner of the room was ignored. "I wandered lonely as a cloud..."

"Did you have to say that poem aloud?" General chuckles met this witticism. "How do I love thee, let me count the ways..."

"Eight!" everyone called out in unison in response to the old joke. Now peals of laughter rang out from the assemblage. Sam had had enough and decided it was time to go exploring.

People were wandering about in the building, but it still came as a surprise when a voice whispered in his ear. "There's something you need to know about your girlfriend." Sam turned and saw the blonde girl from before, although now she was dressed in a decidedly more traditional Valencian style.

"Oh, really?" Sam shot back, annoyed at once again being taken by surprise.

"Shall we go for a walk?" the girl asked sweetly, placing her arm in his and leading him down the stairs towards the basement. "There's something I think you should see."

Intrigued despite himself, Sam allowed himself to be led along. This time it was a Unicorn's narrow gaze that followed, watching the pair descend.
"You realize you've never told me your name," Sam gently queried his new companion.

"No, I didn't," the blonde girl smiled back, as they reached the bottom of the stairway. Carved into the wall there was a oversized Panther's face . A small slit was hidden in the shadows of the Panther's maw. "This used to be a place where citizen's could contact the Council by feeding a note within, usually to denounce someone. No one knows who picked up the messages, but within a week or so, things might begin to happen to certain families whose political ambitions collided with others." She was no longer smiling, but looked concerned. "While these... communications are no longer in use, I have to wonder what would happen if a name was placed in its mouth."

"You would denounce Magdelena!" Sam was shocked.

"She has no need to, pirate," a deep voice came from the shadows. Sam could barely make out a figure standing by one of the columns. "Your Resistance friend is leading you on a dangerous course. You might find it wise to alter your plans and pass on this Ball. It is, of course, your decision."

"Is that a threat?" Sam didn't know how many others might be lurking down here, and quickly began weighing his options.

"By no means. You are free to choose your own path. But are you capable of choosing wisdom, or simply folly? Enjoy your visit to Padova, young pirate. Let us hope it not your last. Addio." The figure retreated deeper into the shadow. Straining his eyes Sam could see the beginnings of a large, underground, catacomb-like system of tunnels. Who needed streets, when you had these? Mind you it could make for an easier trip back to the Black Star if necessary.

"Shall I escort you back upstairs?" the girl asked. Yet again, she had materialized at his side without his noticing.

"I think I can find my way, thank you," Sam frostily retorted.

"You might wish to be careful. You could get lost down here quite easily. At least without a guide. Think on it." She gave a delicate curtsey, backed away several steps, then stood watching him. Disconcerted, Sam turned his back on her and returned upstairs.

Once at the top, he turned to go back to the librarian's party and ran head on into yet another Unicorn. "Careful, boy. You don't want to get hurt." The Unicorn stepped aside to let Sam through.

"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" he heard shouted out as he approached the party room.

"NO!" came the united response, followed by uproarious laughter. The party was in full swing now. Sam wasn't sure he could face that ordeal yet, so he found a bench and parked himself to think.

"So why are you doing this?" Sam actually jumped as he found the girl seated next to him. "You're not in love, you're not a member of the Resistance, although you do sympathize, and you don't know Professor Deluca. What is in this for you?" She looked puzzled and curious, not at all accusatory.

And worst of all, Sam wasn't sure what the answer was.

Petty Officer
Oct 29, 2012
56
Anne Radcliffe on Nov 13, 2013 wrote:
The elderly countess smiled at Alura. "Of course it is possible," she replied indulgently to Alura's question. "We will call the necessary tradesmen and women in, and they will produce an ensemble worthy of your desires. You will find our local people to be most skilled," Beatrice added, with more than a hint of pride.

"And don't worry if you don't have precisely the manners of the other young ladies and gentlemen at the ball," Beatrice shrewdly guessed some of Alura's reservation. "Good manners are expected, of course, but one who is a known foreigner will not be expected to know all of our Valencian customs. We will put it about that you are a school-friend of Katerina's -- and of Evalina, of course -- who has come from afar to visit her. Anyone who might be watching you will find that this story agrees with your recent movements."
OOC: *gasp* I forgot to respond

'' Uh... okay? I think.'' Alura said to Beatrice while jumping to conclusions about what she just heard. '' Did this lady insult me or am I too low class to understand half of what she just said. '' She thought the whole time Beatrice spoke of her lack of 'precisely manners'. Oh well, this is the price she needs to pay for helping a friend and that's what Alura was going to do no matter what. '' Anyway, I'm going to go get this new gear... uh I mean ensemble. I'll be right back.'' Walking out the door, Alura started her hunt for a new outfit but there was one problem. She walked back inside the building, hanging her head in embarrassment. '' Would you happen to know where I could find any of this junk... I mean uh... I got nothing fancy to say this time, sorry.''

OOC: Alura isn't really too happy about wearing any of this stuff and is a bit insecure so she might act a little more like Rowan in this roleplay... paranoid, hot tempered, and in addition to those quick to use actions without thinking too much, without thinking at all really.

Admiral
Jul 27, 2012
1190
Ruthless Alura Bri... on Nov 17, 2013 wrote:
OOC: *gasp* I forgot to respond

'' Uh... okay? I think.'' Alura said to Beatrice while jumping to conclusions about what she just heard. '' Did this lady insult me or am I too low class to understand half of what she just said. '' She thought the whole time Beatrice spoke of her lack of 'precisely manners'. Oh well, this is the price she needs to pay for helping a friend and that's what Alura was going to do no matter what. '' Anyway, I'm going to go get this new gear... uh I mean ensemble. I'll be right back.'' Walking out the door, Alura started her hunt for a new outfit but there was one problem. She walked back inside the building, hanging her head in embarrassment. '' Would you happen to know where I could find any of this junk... I mean uh... I got nothing fancy to say this time, sorry.''

OOC: Alura isn't really too happy about wearing any of this stuff and is a bit insecure so she might act a little more like Rowan in this roleplay... paranoid, hot tempered, and in addition to those quick to use actions without thinking too much, without thinking at all really.
No sooner was Alura outside, when she heard light steps behind her. She spun around to see Katerina hurrying after her.

The Unicorn girl took Alura's hand and gave her a concerned look. "Please don't go. My grandmother did not mean to offend you. She only meant to say that as a foreigner at the Ball, you would have more license than the rest of us, as no one would expect you to know all of our customs. And my grandmother means to purchase the items you need for the Ball. This is not her way of offering you charity, but out of gratitude for you taking a dangerous journey to come here and help me. She respects you for that, you know."

"Please, say you will stay and keep an eye on Grandmama at the Ball. I truly do fear for her, and she is too unafraid of potential assassins to take any decent precautions."

Petty Officer
Oct 29, 2012
56
Anne Radcliffe on Nov 18, 2013 wrote:
No sooner was Alura outside, when she heard light steps behind her. She spun around to see Katerina hurrying after her.

The Unicorn girl took Alura's hand and gave her a concerned look. "Please don't go. My grandmother did not mean to offend you. She only meant to say that as a foreigner at the Ball, you would have more license than the rest of us, as no one would expect you to know all of our customs. And my grandmother means to purchase the items you need for the Ball. This is not her way of offering you charity, but out of gratitude for you taking a dangerous journey to come here and help me. She respects you for that, you know."

"Please, say you will stay and keep an eye on Grandmama at the Ball. I truly do fear for her, and she is too unafraid of potential assassins to take any decent precautions."
Alura looked into Katerina's eyes and saw how concerned she was for her grandmother. '' Awww I can't let her down. I just can't! Even if it means being insulted. '' She thought with a growing urge to protect Beatrice. Alura took a deep breath and smiled at her new friend. '' I'll keep an eye on her no matter what, Katerina. I promise no harm will come to your grandmother at the Ball if I'm there.''

Gunner's Mate
Oct 11, 2012
283
Anne Radcliffe on Nov 16, 2013 wrote:
Guiseppi Zipoli remained in sympathetic silence for a long moment. "I will be honest with you, ma dona. There is little I can do to help. But Crabs may do something. The Armada do not deign to deal with the necessary cleaning of their prisons, but it needs to be done if they do not want their prisoners to perish swiftly from jail fever. I will go see if any of the cleaning Crabs are known to my associates. I doubt they could even give a prisoner a cup of water -- but they can at least give a kind word, a sympathetic gesture."

Graziella pressed the hard carapace of his hand in a gesture of gratitude. "Thank you so much, Guiseppi." She looked like she would have said more, but their conference had attracted the attention of a particularly tall handsome Unicorn.

The stranger kissed her hand with courtly politeness. "Dona Graziella? Whatever is the matter that I see you in such distress?" his eyes slid curiously towards the elegantly dressed Crab. Like the Doge, he did not seem to notice Chrissy or Jack.

Dona Graziella managed a smile. "My lord, Conte Cesare Tori," she dropped a polite curtsey. "I seem to be pleasantly surrounded by members of Padova's Council this evening." After a slight hesitation needed to order her thoughts, she gave him the brief synopsis of the situation.

"So the Doge has ordered the professor's release?" he summed up the events. "That is good news. Usually he is so caught up in his own games of politics that little is ever achieved," Cesare commented the last with a bitter edge.

"Yes, but she will not be released until tomorrow!"

"Do you think then she has such information she could be forced to give the Armada in the meantime?" he asked with seemingly idle curiosity, but his eyes were watchful and penetrating.

"Of course not," Dona Graziella retorted stoutly, in an ingenious blending of truth and lie that made her words seem all truth. Graziella knew perfectly well that Lia knew enough to compromise the rescue of the Vinaldis as well as certain other missions, but she was completely confident in her friend's fortitude. "She is an innocent."

"Yet my colleague on the Council, Dona Elena Cornaro, who holds the Chair of Mathematics at the University, has openly argued against the Armada being put into any positions of authority. She claims that the Clockworks are inherently flawed by lacking the complexity of mortal intellect, emotions, and morality. Rumor has it that she may be a member of the Resistance."

Graziella smiled blandly. "It must be poor rumor then, or she would already be arrested. Besides, when has it been illegal to hold opposite views on the Council?"

Cesare smiled, a warm, charming smile. "Not illegal, but perhaps unwise. But you are, of course, correct. And I will see what I can do for this innocent professor of yours. I have many contacts. Perhaps I can get her released before the Doge decides to get around to it."

"I would be most grateful," Graziella replied sincerely.
(Sorry if this thaws things out of whack. I had to renew my membership and this is a really good time to bring in Hobbes. Here goes…)

"Ahh, such compassion in these dark days. Especially for dear Maestra Lia." cooed a mysterious gentleman from behind them. When they spun around, they came face-to-face with a peculiar unicorn. he was midnight black with a ivory colors horn wearing what Jack thought looked eerily similar as to the W101 Tournament garment, but with silvery white baggy sleeves and a sword, pistol bat his side, but cleverly hidden in a Piratic sort of way. What drew Chrissy's attention was the crest of a sword, dagger and pistol in a six-pointed star that was engraved on the side of the strange music box.
"Oh, my apologies, but I have forgotten to introduce myself. my name is Alexandro Fonte from Siena. I have come for the same reason as many other nobles but I have noticed some peculiar things occurring in this beautiful place."
Lord Fonte quickly glances to check their privacy. Finding all to be well, he whispered "I know there is some one who is following your movements. Beware, the Court of Miracles is converging upon Padova this night. watch your step and beware the shifting pigments of pictures. Also, I was walking through the bushes and could not resist to hear that three might be some real danger for the Sivella professor. could it be you are apart of it."
"Coincidence?" grinned the Unicorn at their reactions, his voice becoming more serious and dark "For your sake I hope not. Watch your tongue and thoughts. Intrigue is unforgiving and could unravel what plans you have. Thing are never what they seem. And remember this: only confront powerful people when summoned."
The Lord then laughed a wee bit, like he was in on some joke
"I almost forgot," chuckled he with a playful, light monotone "The Hoodoo Queen, Jesting Lord, and Undead Obeah may cross paths in your plans, especially with those of the Vindali."
Alexandro's smile vanished . He had spoken too much. Then an Armada sentinel walked past them, not bothering to even notice them. When they turned back to the suspicious man, he was gone. only a penent of his crest and a black unicorn mask remained.