The day after the banquet was sedate; people sleeping off the excesses of the night before. The palace was subdued as Princess Christina woke up and picked herself out of bed with Prince Matteo. She looked guiltily at the score marks in the wall, the broken headboard and the chandelier before dressing quickly in some of the clothes gathered on pilgrimage and went to the stables.
The horse was in a lazy mood, and it took some time to get to Christophers house. She stabled the beast bad temperedly, and went into be greeted with food and good company.
Three months of conversation takes time. It was later, after they had talked about his new fascination, one of the nursery attendants, Mistress Briony, that their subsequent conversation fell across the contents of his bedroom.
"Really? Here?" The princess looked surprised.
"Yes. He does come here sometimes. We were all friends together, remember?" He smiled fondly and tapped her on the nose.
They walked to his bedroom and stood on the threshold together. She sat on the end of the bed, whilst he threw open the cupboard. And there it was.
"Is it really it?"
"Yes. You know, I've always thought they looked good on women."
"Do you think so?" She tilted her head curiously. "Think I should try?"
Christopher burst out laughing. "If that's your wish. I can help you dress, too."
Ten minutes later Christopher stood back and admired his handywork as he finished the lacings on the sleeve.
"You know, I think it looks good."
The Princess looked at herself in the mirror, stood in Lord Stephano's dress uniform, hair pulled back tightly, and laughed.
"You know, I might have to wear this out one day..."
Lord Stephano toyed gently with the small strip of leather Cardinal Davido had just passed him. He caught Princess Christina's eye and smiled lasciviously, just for effect.
"Very well, your Grace, but it must be before the 31st. I'm afraid Rufus returns to his mistress at the turn of the year."
"That would be most satisfactory."
Lord Stephano smiled again and sank back into the soft upholstery of his chair. He was feeling most relaxed at present. It wasn't the wine - he'd only had a glass, and that had been watered - Stephano had overindulged somewhat earlier in the festive season and was determined, on the advice of his physician, to rest his weary liver and kidneys for a spell. Rather, he felt it may be attributed to the fact that, of late, he had been sleeping both deeply and well. A more cynical part of his mind wondered if it were not due to the fact that he had been sleeping away from Mal'Carre these past five nights and so missing the herbal draught the Duchess Virginia so lovingly prepared for him each morning. He quashed the treacherous thought quickly - no, she had nothing to gain by his incapacitation, and they were fellow-travellers in this. The Royal Couple looked happy enough at the moment, but then anyone would who hadn't held warm and supple flesh in the night for so long. Soon enough the crockery would be flying again, and then Prince Mattheo would turn to his sister and his political advisor, for advice on matters of the heart... And matters of the heart and matters of state could always be so neatly entwined...
Stephano was broken from his reverie by the pretty blonde thing at the end of the room coughing her last into her food.
"Shame," he muttered. "I thought she had potential, that one." "Except as a poet, m'boy," the Cardinal replied. "Perfect waste of a fine game soup that she's collapsed into, too." "Indeed, your Grace. Well, I suppose I should head off and raise the appropriate response. I'll put my best men on it. I'm sure they'll reach the... correct... conclusion." "I'm sure they will. Seems the game's afoot, then."
Stephano stood, excused himself from those around him, and stalked to the door. And a quick detour via the Embassy en route, he thought, hot guilt running through him. The warm weight of the letter he carried against his breast seemed to grow until he thought it enough to burst the seams of his coat and clatter like lead to the floor. And none any the wiser....
The charismatic Duke washed the last remnants of the meal from his fingers as the servant holding the bowl eyed his outfit with a suspicious galnce, wondering if in fact the colours there had a life of their own.
Warm eyes scanned the room, watching as the latest arrival flowed into the gathering, his eyes watching every cut and fold of the dress that clung to her. After all, fashion was important, and the right clothes said so much about the person.
he turned from the servant to take a wine glass from one of the prettier maids, critiquing her low cut blouse as he did so, and returned to the main throng.
Across the room his eyes met briefly with the Princesess Lady in waiting, his smile turning momentarily warmer as theirt glances touched, before looking away quickly.
He watched the throne as his wife rubbed her hands gently and sighed inwardly at the thoughts of what she may have done, grateful that he had carefully tested his dinner this afternoon.
"Roberto" an oily voice whispered. "You said you'd introduce me around..."
He turned to Simon and took in the watrel's appearence. gods, he needed some work, black was so out this season.
"And so i did, my friend. Unfortunately her soup did not agree with her, so we shall have to find you another."
His eyes fell upon the new arrival, and that extremely fashionable dress, chatting amiably to Serena and a gleam came into his eye.
"Tell me, have you met the Lady Serena? She is most... accomodating to newcomers."
Christopher stood awaiting as the coach with the princess completed its journey back to her home. He'd not wanted to miss it so he had made sure he turned up early rather than late. A noble plan but one that had left him kicking his heels for the last hour and a half. There was a bustle of activity around but none of it was able to interest him for more than a few minutes.
Bored he turned to look up the road that her coach was expected from and smiled as he saw her coach coming down the road. It seemed to be forever until her coach finally came to a stop and he moved forward to open the door and help her from the coach. He gave her a warm hug after she dismounted and as her released her saw Prince Mattheo striding forwards through the crowd, his eyes shooting daggers towards him.
He helped Lady Serena from the coach with a nervous embarassment and then went to help with some of the bags as Prince Mattheo welcomed his wife home. He looked up as they walked off together and she turned and gave him a big smile as she took her Prince's arm.
A carriage draws up to the palace, drawn by six black horses wearing green feather headdresses. The coach itself is painted black, decorated with gold paint, and contains furnishings that can only be described as 'opulent'.
The footmen spring to attention and assist from the carriage a woman whose gown makes up in the fineness of its material what it lacks in coverage. Mistress Sarita sweeps into the banquet hall, fashionably late as ever, leaving one footman blushing bright red behind her.
"My my," she said in a ringing tone, observing the disturbance around the murdered girl. "Am I late? How terrible."
Walking to the head of the table she curtseys to the lord and lady. "Princess Christina, I am so glad to see you have survived your voyages to foreign climates. Dare we hope that there is some hope of the new palace china surviving any longer than the last set?"
First of all, this is essentially silly. It is partly a rp game, and partly simply something created by an assortment of people for their own warped amusement. It is not real. It is not a reflection on you and your innermost soul. Please don´t take it too personally.
Secondly, this world is currently very much based around the London and Oxford Camarilla community. This means that some people have currently been left out. Hopefully this will change as we begin to detail the other city states of place such as Reading (currently ruled by the Outlaw Prince Rob), Edinburgh (a wild and dangerous land to the north) and maybe even far away places such as the land of the Skraelings. Until those are detailed do not be offended if you are not included in current write ups. Give us (us being Sally, Krys and Ginnie) a chance to catch our breathe and we will try and work you in. Or invent your own city state. We don´t have the monopoly on in jokes.
Thirdly, try not to just create your own persona. If you want to play you can make suggestions, but it is much funnier if other people have a hand in it. Krys wrote most of my write up, I wrote most of hers and we both wrote Ginnie´s. Get in touch.
Once we have slotted you into our world you can post stories, letters, whatever, and have fun with it.
Finally, I´d like most of this to stay public. Again, it is funnier. But if you see something up here that is set out in the format of a private letter between say, the Cardinal and the Duchess, then pretend you didn´t see it as your persona. Let them scheme. It keeps them happier.
What will happen next? Who killed the young lady at the banquet? Will Christopher survive the Prince´s murderous jealousy? Will Rufus survive the attentions of two men and their straps of leather? Who is Lady Serena attempting to draw into her tangled web now?
Tune in to the next exciting installment. Coming soon...
Lady Hildegarde looked outside the window at the retreating back of the delivery boy. It was so hard to find good help these days. Nearly impossible to give her sister in law, the Dutchess Virginia, the plaything she wanted to have.
Other factors, let's name them msn and murphy's law for general easyness, insisted on messing it up. So now poor Virginia is still stuck with an incomplete toy and the rest of the bits on their way, arriving on an undefined time or place. How dull and simply unacceptible. Nevertheless, neither Hildegarde nor Virginia shall be twarted by some silly pieces of entertainment