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Pallas placed the plate of food on the table before his brother, giving Lady Varda a brief nod.

He was quickly made aware of a problem. Oh dear. He only had two cups of soda, which meant either he, Pallas, or Lady Varda, would be going without one.

After a moment's thought, he placed one of the cups of soda before Lady Varda. "Here, Lady Hildebrand. There's a good chance you haven't tried carbonated drinks yet." He took a gulp from his own cup, grinning at Lenore, who gave him a look of mock betrayal. Hey, if she doesn't like it, you can have it.

The young man sat down, digging into the small pyramid of assorted snacks he'd piled on his plate as he discreetly observed the other guests.

He and Lenore exchanged a flat look after the kiss between Red Dress Lady and Wilder. Disgusting. Though the pun - both had their mother's skill of lip-reading - is worse.

But we might want to try that sort of thing, soonish. Pallas contemplated the topic of physical affection. Not many nobles here, little risk of growing an unwanted reputation...

With who? Lady Varda's obviously off-limits. Aveline? One of the Sheathes?

The corner of Pallas' mouth twitched upward. He crammed a final handful of chips into his mouth, eyes following the half-orc that entered. After a moment, he was off again, padding with quiet purpose towards Mr. Wilder, his gaze locked on the gun.

As he neared Aveline, he slowed, altering his path. He tapped the woman on the shoulder. "If you don't mind me asking, who's the guy with the gun? I'm guessing he's from Taen since mom would've known about him. He seems like a person worth taking note of."

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He wasn't very sure what to do the moment he stepped into the party. 

Say hello? His eyes darted around the room, and found that nearly everyone had been indulging in their own private conversations. Run up to them and then say hello? A bit awkwardly, Pluto found that Holiness Sheathe was here, so he glanced at her direction and tried to smile at her and her ladies. If she found the gesture funny, he may have to apologize.

He really means no harm. 

As if to further make him look even more awkward, he glanced to his side and saw an intimidating man decorated in scars, and a rather sultry woman in red, sharing an intimate moment. He looked away as if naturally, as if he hadn't seen anything. Pardon me, he excuses himself, not paying mind. He shuffles away from his spot and tries to blend in. Somewhat. He didn't know what to do. Nobody here he knows. The seneschal pouted and stood there again, like a lost child in the middle of such a peculiar crowd. Though he wasn't able to recognize most of the people gathered here, it'd come quite clear to him that nobody knows him either. 

A part of himself wanted to run to the buffet and try to look more casual. Get some food, maybe? Is that normal? Not saying hello and going straight for the food? 

Then. His eyes settled on Varda. Right, he told himself, Lady Varda. He didn't forget because he was nervous, nohe did not. He just.. forgot. 

He took his hands out of his pockets and walked straight to her. Slowly, do not run. He moves his silent feet and narrowly misses a shoulder against his: placing a hand ontop theirs as if to apologize with a kind gesture. A cold gesture. He will try to remember to keep a somewhat calm demeanor. If he could.  

"Hello my lady," He muses with a hand on his chest, materializing before Varda, the damned ghost he is. His gentle eyes, deceptive and uncanny, move to her companions. A grey, six-limbed fox, a pretty thing. A young man, who stirred a strange feeling in his gut. Now knowing she already had company, was Pluto's presence really necessary? Nonetheless, he smiles ever so lovingly. "I see you have found friends." 


Edited by SweetCyanide

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Lithist thought about the party and all the guests and listened in to the conversations. However he was more curious about the two men who looked similar. Something about them seemed a bit... off. Quietly sipping his soda he eyed them intently. 'Those two are definitely brothers. Twins for sure. But what are they... they don't seem human. … I'll figure it out eventually.' He walked over to the chips as he grabbed a plate, putting a few small handfuls of them on it. 

As he let his thoughts go to himself again his hat whirred quietly. It was a quiet whir but it alerted him of something. He looked around the kitchen and eventually saw what Capri was whirring for. There was a clay jug of what smelled like alcohol in it and glasses to go with it. Without much of a thought he grabbed a glass and poured himself some of the alcohol, taking a quick sip he realized it was moonshine. "Dammit Capri. Couldn't have led me to whiskey. Had to be moonshine?" He spoke under his breath as he walked out of the kitchen to the group of (now) four people and a six-limbed fox. Not wanting to intrude with anyone's conversation he sat down and stayed as silent as he could manage, keeping his moonshine in its cup and the chips on the plate. The only problem with being silent is the awkward sound of gears from his suit clinking about. 

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12 hours ago, Csl said:

"If you don't mind me asking, who's the guy with the gun? I'm guessing he's from Taen since mom would've known about him. He seems like a person worth taking note of."

"Oh, that's John Wilder," Aveline replies, careful to pronounce his last name with a short "i" instead of a long one, "he's a "legitimate" businessman." Aveline definitely put "legitimate" in air quotes. "But he's about as legitimate as La Cosa Nostra, or the Blackspear Cartel." Of course, she isn't going to tell one of Rozharon's children that Thurgood is part of this "legitimate" business, but then again, she doesn't really need to.

When John steps away with his date, Thurgood immediately closes the box and heads downstairs "i know just where to put this," he thinks as he passes Vivian "Get up there already. Nobody's gonna bite, well, except maybe your sister, but that's another matter entirely." The box and spellcaster pistol aren't going into the armory where he'll barely be able to see it, no; this gift is getting a place of honor in his office, along with a framed note from Rhoslyn Vernal (where he entrusts Thurgood with the reconstruction of Puerto Diablo), and that one intricate angelic demon-slaying sword. Though upon thinking about the note, he can't help but think about the Black Sand Bar back on Gaia Prime, and some of the adventures he had there, especially the first time Aveline provided sniper support in an actual battle. If only Rhoslyn Vernal could see them now: major nobles in a rising power, and would become a true superpower if Thurgood is able to build what he wants, including a true, modern, blue-water navy.

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Varda ends up holding a glass of water, a faintly bemused expression on her face when she is eventually approached by a fair number of people later on.

"Greetings again, Lady Hildebrand. Are you all right? Do you mind if I join you?"

She glances up at the man with the tousled dark hair: one half of the twins who claim to be the Empress’ sons, if she is remembering this correctly, and should that be true, this invitation of companionship must not be cast away so haphazardly. “N-no, not at all, sir,” Varda ventures, not yet knowing whether this generic title would best suit this stranger or perhaps a more formal one. “I do hope not to bore you with my company.” 

Lenore Paralios, he introduces himself to Nadia, and she finds herself about to interject when—

"Here, Lady Hildebrand. There's a good chance you haven't tried carbonated drinks yet."

His brother breezes past their area, placing a cup of bubbling liquid on the table, taking a few moments to take a seat, and then hustling away before Varda can steady herself and get so much as a word in to greet him. Here, she finds herself caught between two choices: water or this carbonated drink, whatever that means? There is no harm, however, in trying something new, and so Varda attempts a sip of soda, and then promptly purses her lips, eyes wide with surprise at the fizziness lingering on her tongue. “Goodness. I’ll—have to try this again later on,” she chuckles to herself, shooting Nadia and Lenore amused looks, not noticing the Golden Crow’s approach until his appearance right before her.

"Hello my lady. I see you have found friends."

It is then that the Lady Hildebrand’s face brightens, warmth emanating from where there had been naught but polite coolness and fickle unease. “My dear Pluto, it’s lovely to see you here. Did Iyalon send you to keep an eye on me?” The words are teasing, light, and Varda extends a hand to draw the seneschal closer to her, fingers outstretched in an offer of reassuring touch.


@Csl @SweetCyanide @notmuch_23

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Sometimes enhanced hearing was a curse, but sometimes it revealed interesting things. Of course, he had only known to turn his hearing in that direction when he had seen the young man walk over to Aveline and whisper to her while looking at him. He took no offense at what was being said of course. Everything she was saying was true; or at the very least, not entirely false. There were currently no laws in Taen prohibiting the sale or purchase of drugs, or firearms for that matter. Prostitution was also legal so long as nobody was being coerced, and all his girls were there of their own free will. 

Of course, murder wasn't looked fondly upon, and the Wild Hearts had been founded upon quite a few corpses. But those corpses had been cut up and fed to jungle predators, so he wasn't to worried about anyone finding evidence to support the rumors that floated around Lunaris. Also, while he was alright in Taen, his business in UM and Terrenus beyond were completely illegal. 

Intrigued, John sauntered over to the pair and smiled, "Come now Aveline, you compare me to such unfriendly people when I'm such a nice guy!"

@notmuch_23 @Csl

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"Oh yeah, you were sooo nice to those guys in... what's that place called now, Everrun?" Aveline replies with as much sarcasm as she can muster, "knocking down their gate and slaughtering them was such a kind gesture."

Vivian then plods towards the three.

"Oh, hi Viv, this is John Wilder, a "legitimate" businessman," Aveline says, again using the air quotes, "and this is Pallas Parálios, one of Empress Parálios' sons. John, Pallas, this is Vivian, one of our two radar fox "furbabies" so to speak."

Then Thurgood comes back upstairs and right back into the pit to fetch the rest of the barbecued pork and prepare it for consumption by his guests, then likely move the other cuts one chamber closer tot he firebox.

@danzilla3 @Csl

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"I feel there's a bit of revisionist history at work here," John laughed, "While I did lead a raid on a village named Everrun, but it was to help the citizens who had been displaced by bandits take back their homes. I don't deny the slaughter part though. As far as I'm concerned, that just means I did my job well."

At the appearance of Vivian, John knelt down, eyes sparkling with curiosity. While he did so, he absentmindedly shoveled food from his plate into his mouth, somehow never messing up his clothing.

"Aren't you just a fascinating creature!" John marveled, "Would you like some meat my little friend?"

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38 minutes ago, danzilla3 said:

"Aren't you just a fascinating creature!" John marveled, "Would you like some meat my little friend?"

Vivian starts to bring a hand up to turn the converter box on, but remembers that Nadia took it when they were in the armory. Vivian is just as nervous as Nadia right now, sitting right in front of an angel, but her main concern is how to communicate on her own, in a way that John Wilder can understand, and not three concurrent RF sine waves in the decameter band.

<"Could you come over here with that box?"> Vivian asks Nadia in their RF language.

<"No way! I'm using it right now!">

<"Then how the fuck am I supposed to communicate? Could you at least bring me that magic pen?">

<"Catch,"> Nadia replies as she retrieves said pen and throws it across to the kitchen. To John, Pallas, and Aveline, the amount of time between Vivian looking at Nadia and retrieving the pen would be less than two seconds; one advantage of light-speed communication.

Vivian has to push up with her middle pair of feet and stand on her hind pair to catch the pen. then she uncaps the pen, and writes legibly in midair:

I appreciate the thought, but if I want some, I can get my own, Go ahead and enjoy yours Mr. Wilder.

Anybody looking at Vivian would immediately be able to see her brown gradient coat. It's very dark, almost black at her spine, and gradually lightens to a light tan at her paws. Nadia has the same coat pattern, but her vest is covering most of it.

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Lenore noted Varda's hesitation. "I'm sure you won't.

He turned to the fox, dipping his head in a short bow. "Hello, Nadia. It's nice to meet you." He briefly considered shaking the creature's hand, but decided it probably wasn't a thing they did. He considered the offered glass of water. "I would, actually, thank you."

He took the glass, took a sip, then laid it on the table before them. There was a stranger standing at the door. Lenore kept him in his periphery as Pallas appeared, deposited a cup of soda before Varda, finished off a plate of snacks, then waltzed off.

Lenore returned his attention to Varda. He watched as she tried the soda, grinning at her reaction.

“Goodness. I’ll—have to try this again later on,”

"Fizzy, isn't it?"

The silent stranger finally made their way to them. Lenore turned his head, fixing him with cool gaze. "Hello,"

Varda's reaction was significant, the discomfort at the party (from me?) fading. He hid his disappointment, kept the pleasant expression fixed on his face. Still, he couldn't hope to gain familiarity from her in the space of a few minutes. Iyalon. Lord Protector of Hildebrand. But who's Pluto? Lenore filed these names away for future investigation, allowing a welcoming smile to cross his face.

"Hello Pluto." Something's off about him. Stiff movements? Socially awkward?

Pallas nodded. "Cool, cool." What's La Cosa Nostra? Rozharon knew of the Blackspear Cartel, but they were too insignificant to Veluriyam affairs for her to care about, leaving Pallas with little knowledge of them.

In conclusion, this guy's a criminal.

His plan of inspecting the gun was quickly derailed when Thurgood closed the case and went downstairs. Oh well. Now, though, the aforementioned "legitimate businessman" was approaching. Pallas met his gaze, beaming a sharp, but not altogether unfriendly smile. "Hello John."

He listened as Aveline described John's activities in Everrun. Huh. His smile remained.

A six-legged fox approached. Pallas looked down, giving Vivian a nod. "'Sup."

Wilder gave the fox a more patronizing greeting. She doesn't have the box thing Nadia has, Pallas thought, watching Vivian's hand reach up. Mere seconds later, she stood, caught a pen, and wrote a reply.

Pallas' grin grew wider. He turned back to John. "Anyhow, nice to meet you, Mr. Wilder." He extended a hand. "I make it our business to know people. Are you new to Ursa Madeum?"


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Stormbreaker took her time to get the party. She was originally going to try and convince Aspen to come along but her friend didn't want to come. Stormbreaker was slightly saddened at the fact but nonetheless, she went. She had taken along Skittles, Aspen's beefly and her own Beefly, Stormy to the party. Wearing a black business suit at usual and some shoes along with her light brown hair being tied up in a pony tail, Stormbreaker entered the room, looking at how nice it was. Stormy was nearby, carrying Skittles on his back, keeping her safe.

Stormbreaker noticed Varda and went over, going to get those soda and some food for the beeflies as they sat down next to her, enjoying the food that was given to them. Stormy put Skittles down on the chair, giving her food and making sure she's fine. 

"Your mum will be happy to see you've tried new experiences!" Said Stormy in his telepathy that was able to be heard by everyone.

"Thank you, Uncle Stormy! I love you!" Came the reply back from Skittles.

Stormbreaker was sitting there watching the two before she turned to Varda. "Hello, Lady Varda, how are you doing? It's been a while. Your sister has been keeping me busy. She's great!"


Edited by Metty

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Holly Sheathe

Soon the party was well underway and Holly had found herself separated from her two unwelcome guest. It was a wonderful feeling to be free from babysitting such unwanted personas. Unfortunately, her secretary Vinny also lost sight of their ward leaving the poor thing in such a conflicted mood. It won't be long before the poor girl cried out of shame and possible fear of Holly's punishment for her failure. Well, Holly isn't a tyrant so she can let it slide. Probably. She might remember it later though. 

Whatever it was that plagued secretary Vinny's mood, Holly could care less. Her earnest efforts in avoiding Thurgood has unfortunately led Holly to drift towards where Varda and the others are. It seems that Holly has lost her chance to evade social interaction. Grumbling, she strode towards the little group of esteemed individuals in hopes of making small talk as was expected of a noble lady such as herself.

"Hello, Lady Varda," Holly started, "A pleasure to meet you." More like pleasure at seeing you enjoy the taste of civilization. "It pleases me greatly that you are alive and well. Stories of your previous injury has greatly worried me." Hah! Crybaby! That was a tiny flesh wound. I've had worse.

Shifting her attention, Holly now addressed one of the twins. "Ah, Sir Lenore. So glad to see once more. "

Moving on to Pluto, worry filled Holly's face. "I don't think we have met so...Hello."

Then there was a familiar face (Lithist), "I believe we have met once. Back in Port Sun. Holly Sheathe, pleased to make your acquaintance."

Lastly, Holly's finally gaze landed on Stormbreaker and those two things sitting beside her. I did not expect that pests were also invited. I feel out of place now. "Oh, hello stranger. I hope your wounds have long since healed after our rather fateful encounter." But you ain't fooling me Arashi. I see that you have aged physically but I do have to wonder if your mental age caught up as well.


@Csl @vielle @Metty

@SweetCyanide @notmuch_23


Edited by Thotification

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If Holly wanted to avoid Thurgood, she didn't need to try that hard. For the last few minutes he's been in and out of the pit, shuttling different cuts of meat to the cutting board before moving the others up a chamber and stoking the fire. The ribs have been cut and pork pulled, Aveline is trying to make things run smoothly, including the 40-nozzle pop fountain set in the wall between the kitcen/living rooms and its own little room behind the table for the carbon dioxide tank and boxed bags of syrup, along with supports for the ice maker above it.

Aveline notices another guest with a couple of... fuzzy insects? Nadia is so intrigued by the beeflies that she trots up and starys sniffing them. "What are these?" she asks through the RF converter box.

By now, the CD changer carousel turns and starts reading another CD. It's a burnt one: Aveline's Fleetwood Mac mix.


Edited by notmuch_23

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((A little timeskip, but I think it's time for these events to happen.))

It's been about an hour or so, but it seems all the important guests that will arrive already have, so Thurgood and Aveline lead Vivian and Nadia to the focal point of the living room, and pause the CD player that has gotten to Thurgood's Rush mix by now.

"Hey, everybody," Thurgood shouts, "I'm glad y'all are enjoying our party, but we wanna make a couple announcements while y'all are here."

"We've been researching the political workings of Ursa Madeum," Aveline says, "especially about what constitutes citizenship and how one obtains it. As far as we can figure, it's either being a vassal of a higher entity, or a member of a guild."

"We initially didn't want to accept any vassals," Thurgood says, "because we didn't want that kind of relationship with everyday Madeans. But, unfortunately, being a vassal, like we are to the Veluriyam Empire, secures the rights of people and gives them the ability to more freely participate in the economy, and participate government at least on some level."

"So, it is with much reluctance," Aveline says, "that we will start accepting vassals. It won't be an authoritarian relationship like the system biases to, but a more casual one: one that preserves the wider independence and potential of the individual."

"Well, now that the smaller announcement is out of the way," Thurgood says as he holds up a couple pieces of paper, "these are final adoption forms; the end result of over a year of bureaucratic navigation and who knows how much in fees and "additional contributions" just to get the paper pushers to do their jobs."

"If ya think your bureaucratic situation is bad," Aveline says, "try adopting outside your own species."

"Fuck, we're adopting outside our taxonomic ORDER!" Thurgood adds, "but Vivian and Nadia have been our near-constant companions and helpers for at least the last five years, including time on Gaia Prime."

"If we're going to expand our family, and by extension our house," Aveline says, "I can't think of any better people right now. So it is our pleasure to finally sign these forms, officially submit them, and welcome Vivian and Nadia Singlance!"

Thurgood signs both forms with an ultra-fine tip black Sharpie (so the signatures cannot be chemically washed off), as Aveline says that, then passes the forms and marker to her, and finally, to the radar foxes.

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"That's the place." Oxidus could see the house in the distance, and he also picked up on the sound of music playing and the smell of cooking meat. If any two things in existence rivaled his love of nerdy tech stuff, they were listening to a good bop and eating meats of all kinds. He could never pass up an opportunity to do both at the same time. He even changed his outfit, trading his usual all black clothes for more colorful attire. A t-shirt with horizontal stripes of neon yellow and lime green emblazoned with an odd symbol, blue jeans, lime green sneakers with yellow strings and soles, and a dark blue baseball cap which he wore backwards.

He covered the rest of the distance with a single leap, landing loudly on the concrete. As he was about to go inside, he noticed Lithist's bike and Thurgood's trucks, and curiosity got the better of him. He looked them all over, intrigued by their appearances. Vehicles of their designs were entirely new to him, having wheels instead of insect-like legs to move on. The stoppage of the music and Thurgood's shout caught his attention, and he remembered what he actually came for. He shuffled inside quietly and listened to Thurgood and Aveline make their announcements. The part about vassals was completely lost on him, being an alien concept, but he did understand what adoption means, at least to an extent.

When the papers were signed, Oxidus approached Thurgood and Aveline. "Congrats on the adoption. Sorry you had to deal with so much shit in the process, but good on ya for sticking with it. Real nice place by the way."

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