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Songs and Secrets (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri)

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1 Songs and Secrets (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:56 pm

Sunrise and Ka'Ri are dressed in their very best when they arrive at Immeral Xiloscient's house, while Glen hangs at the back dressed in sharp livery.

Veshti sweeps into the beautiful home with her overwhelming presence, air-kissing the cheeks of several apparently-very-important people and introducing Ka'Ri and Sunrise as she goes. "Darlings, this is Councilman Amakiir. This is Secretary Meriele. This is..." There are not many guests, no more than 4 or 5 guests of any importance, but each are accompanied by family and valets of their own. Sunrise and Ka'Ri have been grilled in advance on their names, relevant politics, and defining features.

Immeral Xiloscient himself is a tall and imposing elf, and surprisingly solidly built for his race. His arms ripple with muscle under his fashionable tunic and his handshake is firm as he greets the young women. He has a grave solemnity about him, and both his speech and mannerisms are unusually old-fashioned as though he'd stepped out of an older time for the occasion. His wife is frail and lovely and very, very quiet; she takes the girls' hands with a whisper and then pulls back into the shadow of her husband without another word.

[Reaction before I bring Luther and Thorn in.]
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2 Re: Songs and Secrets (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:58 pm

Sunrise, through some miracle of cosmetics, manages to look exactly like her normal self except, somehow, more so. For the last hour she's been a ball of nervous energy, alternating between filling the house with echoing scales as she warms up her voice and flirting mischievously with Glen in his smart uniform.

During the carriage ride over, however, she settled into a sort of preternatural calm. It is that which carries her now, greeting Immeral with a gracious smile and squeezing his wife's hand warmly when she briefly greets them.
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3 Re: Songs and Secrets (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:03 pm

Aeran the valet sits up front with the driver for the second time in as many days as they ride over, looking very smart, clean, and proper. His face is a mask of calm and impassivity as he rides along with the driver. He does not make idle chatter. His shaggy hair is, for once, immaculately combed down. His shoes are shiny, as are the elaborate, decorative hilts on the twin shortswords at his waist. He keeps an eye out for trouble as they ride, but one who is not looking carefully would not know. A baby black panther sits in the carriage, dozing. He knows to stay, and will obey.

As they arrive, he alights from the carriage with remarkable deftness to open the door, bowing low for the ladies as they pass. He follows them inside, taking anything they may wish not to carry and holding it with a seeming infinite number of hands. Anyone who happens to make eye contact with him receives a polite if stiff nod as he returns to his duties. Aeran maintains a respectful distance; he will not intrude or listen to the private conversations of the ladies. Once or twice he steps just a small bit closer as someone passes, to at very least give the impression that he is keeping a watchful eye on the trio of women, but then returns to his usual distance.

When Immeral Xiloscient approaches, Aeran again takes a small step towards his charges but does nothing more. Should the councilman address him - which would take him by great surprise - he will give him a traditional and deferential bow and then return to giving everyone their space, almost hiding in plain sight so as to be both unobtrusive and vigilant.
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4 Re: Songs and Secrets (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:14 pm

Ka'Ri flows in Veshti's chosen outfit, her face wholly out of sorts from her usual elven countenance thanks to the twin combination of her ring and Veshti's expert cosmetic skill. She greets each of the nobs with grace and charm as Veshti helped drill into her and through vestige memories of her own youth. Infused in them is also the flirtatious edge of a young debutante. This is especially seen in how she lets herself be seen "covertly" eyeing up Aeran when his back is turned.

She scans over Immeral and his wife as she is introduced, their conservativeness a familiarity, but she lets none of it show on her face and greets them both warmly and with good manners thanking them for their kindly invitation to their lovely home.
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5 Re: Songs and Secrets (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:16 pm

Aeran is not acknowledged by their host, but this is not surprising; the help rarely is.

Thorn arrives last and only slightly fashionably late. He crosses the threshold dressed in a smart suit and leather shoes which shine after a fresh polish; he looks expensive, handsome, and full of young potential. His curly hair has been styled in such a way as to accentuate the curve of his ears, and the tailoring of his suit is pure elvish. Luther is on his arm, a rare wry smile on the man's face, and a ripple of murmurs and gossip bubbles up from the guests at the sight.

Luther has brought no less than ten valets, all dressed in black and staring professionally ahead into the middle distance as their employer leads them in. Immeral's eyes narrow both at Thorn's masculine dress and the excessive guard, but he folds the man into an awkward hug. "My... child," he says gravely.

"Father," Thorn returns, his own voice a complicated mixture of distance and warmth. The elves in attendance look faintly pleased at the reunion, despite Thorn's unmistakable green orcish palor.
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6 Re: Songs and Secrets (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:26 pm

Ka'Ri doesn't watch the reunion so much as she watches everyone else's reactions, trying to gauge the mood in the room and any particularly noteworthy reactions from the assembled guests and their entourages.

Perception roll:
19 (15+4), her wandering gaze is smooth but keen like a particularly hungry hawk.
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7 Re: Songs and Secrets (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:34 pm

Aeran sees the son of the councilman walk in looking very fancy and dapper, his hair styled and his dress impeccable. He observes the young man on the arm of the commissioner of the Feytower. Should either of them make eye contact with him - which, again, would surprise the humble valet - he will incline his head in a calm and respectful nod due to gentlemen of their station, although very slightly less stiff than previous fine ladies and gentlemen had received. It is only appropriate; Thorn is something of a guest of honor, having returned from being away for some time.

Only someone with a keen interest in Aeran and a very close, careful watch on him will notice something going on beneath the surface. The calm and collected exterior of Aeran the valet belies the deep pang of something that Glen feels on seeing them together. It's odd; he knows that this is part of the mission. He knows that this is a put-on. But still, there is something that clenches inside him seeing Thorn, looking remarkably handsome and dashing, on the arm of someone so rich and so powerful. There is no doubt that this is the sort of person who Thorn should be consorting with, so in that way, shouldn't it feel right to see it? That thought hangs in his head for a moment, as uncertainty creeps in about what types Thorn shouldn't be seen with as well. They're both playing their parts brilliantly as well, and Luther is a man he admired and respects, which seems to twist the knifelike pang in his gut.

He doesn't fully understand the feelings, but he has been tuning his ability to control his emotions since losing hold of them in Gwyn's bedroom a few days before, so it does not show on his face. He will fulfill his role with aplomb. Tonight is about the mission.
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8 Re: Songs and Secrets (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:39 pm

Sunrise doesn't intrude, but once the initial reunion is done and Thorn is free to mingle she makes her way to him and Luther, greeting them warmly. "How're you feeling?" she asks softly, wrapping the boy in a brief hug. "How are the babies?"
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9 Re: Songs and Secrets (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:50 pm

[The overall mood of the crowd is cautious. There is a sense that Immeral is not well-liked by the other guests, but that he is held with a distant respect. The reactions to Thorn vary from some outright skeptical hostility at the young man's obvious orcish blood, to curiosity, to genuine interest in him as a person. He is clearly an unknown quantity to the guests and everyone is interested in learning as much as they can about him before the others do.]

After the initial tense reunion, Luther guides the young man on his arm to mingle with the crowd, "meeting" the guests for the first time with his new name and revealed gender. Thorn is quite clearly very shy but manages well enough; when he does look up and see Glen, he flashes a warm relieved smile at the man before quickly stifling the expression so he will not break Glen's cover.

Sunrise receives a tight hug and Thorn can't help but smile at the question. "Oh my gosh, they're spoiled rotten," he whispers with a little laugh. "They have, like, one hundred servants at their beck and call now. People to feed them and change them and bathe them, all so I can sleep as much as I need. It's dizzying and I think Eryn in particular is going to be a little iron-fisted tyrant. She already has a favorite nanny."

Luther watches this with quiet amusement, careful not to upstage the boy on his coming out.
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10 Re: Songs and Secrets (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:53 pm

Glen suppresses a rush of heat to his face and a wide grin at Thorn's kind smile, remaining composed. He allows himself to give Thorn a respectful nod, as he intended. He remains the proper and impassive valet, attentive to his charges and their every need but nothing more.
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11 Re: Songs and Secrets (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:18 pm

Sunrise grins at the news. "Give them both a kiss for me?" she pleads. "Oh! Did you find the wet nurse I recommended? You look so much better rested, it's incredible."
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12 Re: Songs and Secrets (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:40 pm

"Yes! Verity is a sweetheart and I love her kids," Thorn whispers happily. "The little girl is a darling and beat Luther in a duel with a wooden sword. It was all very dramatic and I applauded."
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13 Re: Songs and Secrets (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:43 pm

Aeran continues to wait for anything that may require his attention, suppressing again a wide grin as he hears about the little girl defeating the commissioner of the Feytower in a duel.
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14 Re: Songs and Secrets (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:53 pm

She shifts teasing eyes to Luther. "Oh, I would have loved to see that. Okay. You still need to make the rounds, but I'll see you later? I hope you like my new song!"
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15 Re: Songs and Secrets (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:56 pm

Thorn chuckles and nods. "I'm sure I will. Uh, thank you for agreeing to sing at my debut." He glances at Luther, unsure if this is the appropriate form of courteous address.

Around them, people mingle, talk, and eat while moving to sit before a cleared space where Sunrise will sing tonight. Ka'Ri has a seat next to her mentor, Veshti Selmer--a seat she will keep at least through the first song until she has to find a restroom to use. Glen will be expected to stand against the wall with the other servants, leaving only to accompany his charges wherever they go.
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16 Re: Songs and Secrets (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:19 pm

As the ladies he is serving take their seats, Aeran finds a suitable place against the wall where he has both a clear view of and a clear path to them, should he need to attend to them or protect them quickly. Luckily, the place where he is standing is also close to a door out of the room, should he need to excuse himself to obtain anything for his employers.
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17 Re: Songs and Secrets (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:29 pm

Ka'Ri gladhands as she makes her way to her seat. While she does so, she lets her eyes wander, keeping track of the ebb and motion of the various servants of Immeral's house, especially surrounding the upstairs areas.

17 (13+4), Ka'Ri is slightly distracted by the attention needed to perform her role as a rich girl, but tries to do the best she can, nonetheless.
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18 Re: Songs and Secrets (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:31 pm

Sunrise sinks gracefully into a chair near the front, smiling but very still as the nervous energy of an imminent performance thrums through her. She waits, quietly, for the pleasantries and introductions to be done, listening with half an ear as she prepares for it to be time to sing.
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19 Re: Songs and Secrets (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:35 pm

Ka'Ri isn't certain, but based on the relatively small number of faces she sees moving in and out of the room, as well as the condition of their clothes and the house itself, Immeral isn't nearly as rich as Veshti or Luther--or he doesn't spend his money on his household. Most of the nobles in attendance wouldn't notice the cut corners, but Ka'Ri's eye for what to steal and fence is invaluable here. She has a strong impression that perhaps there won't be a lot of extra staff upstairs, if Immeral is running on a thin crew. (Then, too, there is the plague to consider--it is hard to find good help these days.)

The mingling and chatting winds to a quiet, anticipatory close as the guests drift to their seats. Veshti gives a quiet signal to Immeral and he nods. Clearing his throat, he rises and lifts his wine glass for attention. "Thank you all for coming tonight," he says in his grave deep voice. "My joy at being reunited with my child knows no bounds. And I am grateful to Veshti Selmer for arranging this private performance by her ward, Sunrise. Tonight is my gift to you, my dear and only child," he finishes, lifting his glass to Thorn.

Veshti nudges Sunrise; this is her moment.
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20 Re: Songs and Secrets (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:14 pm

She rises smoothly from her seat, moving to the front of the room. For a moment she just stands, hands clasped, head demurely down. A gentle wind moves through the room; for just a moment, candles flare.

Then, slowly, her voice rises.

The first song is wordless and relatively short, a melody of quiet joy and the peace that comes after suffering has passed. Her voice is low and soft to start with, but grows to fill the room, the tones pure and rich.

By the end her head is raised, an expression of rapturous exultation on her face as she draws the melody to a close. As the last notes linger in the air, she surreptitiously surveys the room to see how the establishing song has been received.
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21 Re: Songs and Secrets (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:40 am

Aeran stays standing, against the wall, hands clasped properly behind his back, but smiles warmly in spite of his attempts to be cool and impassive, moved to joy and happiness by Sunrise's song. He gives her a nod of respect and recognition of her brilliance.
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22 Re: Songs and Secrets (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:13 am

Several of the guests sigh in rapturous pleasure at the song, with a smattering of real applause at the end, and even several of the more jaded eyebrows in attendance rise with surprise at the very real talent on display here in Immeral's home. Immeral himself seems unmoved, but Luther claps very prettily and Thorn looks moved almost to tears, his hands clasping tightly together.

[OOC: Now is your chance to sneak off to the bathroom.]
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23 Re: Songs and Secrets (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:49 am

Ka'Ri whispers in a way able to be overheard by those leaning in for juicy gossip into Veshti's ear. "Excuse me, I'll be right back, I just need to freshen up."

She then made her way to Aeran by the wall. Again, in the same whisper, but more seductively, obviously intending not to be overheard, but definitely overhearable by those who are nosy, "so what do you say handsome, will you help a lady out finding a place to freshen up." Inviting slight scandal, she loops her arm in his, not as if he is a full equal, but definitely above his station and wanders off with him.

Looking for a gap in the flow of the servants, she leads him up the stairs when none are looking in order to get a good look at the hallway's layout in person and begin the night's real work.

Perception roll to check for servant pathways:
19 (15+4), she's a bit more back in her element
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24 Re: Songs and Secrets (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:04 am

Aeran's face and ears turn bright pink as one of his protectees loops her arm in his and whispers in his ear. He gives her a look of mild embarassment but also thinly-veiled excitement. He silently mouths baffled attempts to be gracious and deferential before being tugged away, and he takes a pace matching hers. As they walk, passing servants, he is still blushing but his face shows the nervous hesitancy and anticipation of one who is about to do something he wants to do, even though he shouldn't.

When they're alone (or close to alone), he leans close, whispering in her ear. "I looked at the diagrams - the room we're looking for is that way." He points furtively, disguising it afterwards by placing his hand on her arm.

Perception to spot anyone who may be watching them 22
Sleight of hand to hide the pointing 15
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25 Re: Songs and Secrets (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:07 pm

Sunrise pauses just long enough to let applause die down, then moves into her next song.

Her songlist is a variety, classics and popular favorites alongside lesser-known songs that Sunrise has either found, commissioned, or wrote herself and which the audience is unlikely to have heard before. The songs are about different things, but a theme runs through them of struggle, even grief, followed by relief and healing and joy - appropriately themed, for a gathering to celebrate a reunion of father and estranged son.

Then she begins a song she wrote herself, one that starts out slow and sad. It's the song of a mother whose daughter is missing, possibly lost for good. It dwells on the mother's grief, on the fear of not knowing her child's fate, and on the uncertain hopes for the future. The song is long and meandering and deeply emotional, and unlike the others does not end happily, only with the fragile hope of a happy ending.

The song is not the end of her performance, but it is definitely meant to be a highlight. As she sings, her voice throbbing with emotion, she uses her presence and stagecraft to keep all eyes on her and bring the listeners fully into the song. And as she sings, references woven into the song that might remind the listener of Laerdya... she activates Detect Thoughts, probing Immeral's mind for whatever thoughts this song might inspire.

Then - assuming the spell works for him - out of curiosity and a hunch, she casts it on Lady Xiloscient as well.
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