[i]The dining hall of the Brass Embassy was lavishsly decorated, there where wines lined with tastefully arranged mushrooms and lanterns with infinity symbols on them, slightly buzzing form the luminous beetles stuck inside. Across the hall where an impressively long table, lined with all manner of Neathy delicacies, some of it even imported from the surface. Waitors where circling the table, making sure that the mushroom wine was flowing freely. At the end of the table, a gentleman with chestnut hair, wearing a scholarly robe and sporting a rather impressive handlebar mosutache, signalled silence. He rose from his chair with a glass in hand, its content moving slightly.
[/i]Laidies, gentlemen, beings of indistinguishable gender, he said, I trust you all had an enjoyable Festival of Endless Action? This have been a bust few days for all of us, fortunes made, fortunes lost, and friendship forged in the fires of ambition and hardship. I am sure we all have out stories to tell, and I promise to listen patiently to every single one, be they true or fabricated. This have, more than anything else, been a festival of oppertunity, and how you’ve spent your oppertunities, that’s your story. Did you feel like you got things done like never before, or where you paralyzed by indecision? Did you waste it away on a streak of bad luck and bad decision, or did fortune smile for you? Whatever happened, that is your story. Ahem, that is all from me.
He seated himself again to the sound of polite apllause. The festival of endless action was over, but the warp-up party had just begun.
[i]The blonde… person in the midnight blue dress downs their glass in one gulp. Something is on their mind. They smile, and a flash of something red stirs in their eyes. A corresponent glyph. “Betrayal by silver.”
It is their turn to speak. “Remember always: A gift with purchase is not, technically speaking, freely given. Nor is it something purchased directly. And it is certainly no wager. Pearhaps only a few of you will understand, but those that do would do well to ever keep this mind. And never trust a winemonger before a game of mahjong.” They sit among a murmur of confusion and the rare understanding nod. A mystery, then? What a perfect way to begin an evening.
[/i] edited by Patrick Reding on 2/4/2012 edited by Patrick Reding on 2/4/2012
The lanky nobleman is a disheveled mess, with dark rings around his eyes and unkempt hair. He’s idly tending to a bottle of some yellow liquid, and he’s more than a little jumpy at the moment. It takes him a while to realize that a question has been asked, but he replies with enthusiasm.
Oh, yes, the festival. You know, a festival is most enjoyed with others, that is what I’ve always believed. Much fun with my peers, lots of sparring. Lots of chess. And other things I shall not mention. Found a nice business partner as well. Started exploring the forgotten quarter and the flit too. I think… I think I’ll need a nap when this is done. A very long one. Like, maybe a day.
A gentleman stands; his clothes, perhaps, not the finest in the room–obviously intended to be good clothes, but obviously purchased with limited means. Yet something about him seems…smooth, immaculate, polished. A consummate socialite and orator. A charmer.
"Prisoner’s honey. An addict I knew from my time in the Veilgarden has kicked his habit, and he has warehouses of the stuff–nearly as much as it took for my reservation at the Royal Beth. I’ve been doing a little…exploring…with this new excess of his; publishing love stories. All perfectly legal and aboveboard, I assure you. I also hope to depart Fallen London soon…I intend to travel the world. But first, a toast.
To the worlds behind every mirror, every eyelid, every door and every page. To mysteries waiting to be solved. To secrets waiting to be discovered, horizons waiting to be charted, and wonders waiting to be harnessed. To Fallen London and environs. Deep, dark, marvelous!"
A Lady grins from the bar, dressed in sensible clothes from her shoes to her cap and her hair up in braids; those with a keen eye would note two black ribbons.
Oh the Festival was a delicious and daring time! I met many a dueling master, sharp of wit and sword! A deal was made and access to a labyrinth granted. Many a parcel exchanged, new challenges for chess, and have you read the news? simply exciting! All in all a deliciously exhausting venture!
I’ll join you in that toast good sir! To Fallen London and environs. Deep, dark, and deliciously marvelous!
With that she tosses back the last of her wine and makes her way to the door murmuring a line and then humming the melody as she sways her way out into the night. edited by MaurnaFrost on 2/4/2012
An academic sort of gentleman, just slightly disheveled-looking, is still stuffing himself with surface delicacies. He arrived at the party very late, still swaying a little, like someone who has been at Zee for a long time. He doesn’t take the time to raise a toast but those standing nearby hear him muttering to himself…
“Festival, what a laugh! Oh, let the dotards feast! They wouldn’t know better… would drop dead, permanently!, if they had but the slightest idea… hm! delicious!.. that bastard Orthos! Ha! Won’t bother me for a while… went too far north this time. Long way back from there, if at all… still, no time to waste. Have to find His Lordship… shouldn’t be hard, place like this. Just follow the loudest laugh…”
With that, he broke away from the buffet and plunged himself into the midst of the party-folk, hardly glancing at anyone, hardly drawing a glance to himself. But those who’d heard him say “North” found themselves feeling peculiarly hungry…
A quiet, mannered gentleman… Well dressed but not lavish, elegant but not dandy, [i]pleasant to the eye but not handsome, he seems to lack any real distinctive features. He’s sipping a cup of hot, spiced mushroom wine.
[/i]What can I say? Just before the Festival I severed the ties that still got me hooked to the Surface… And during the Festival I severed the ones that got me hooked in the Neath. Unfinished business, old sentimental affairs, a forced retire in the Marsh… All is behind me now. Not only that, I finally found a source of revenue that could allow me to easily pay for my little leisures without having to depend on selling poetry… That’s it, my friends, I can start writing for pleasure rather than just to pay for my wine! As such, I’m already arranging for new lodgings, so that my townhouse in Concord Square may be used only as the head office of the Pragmatic Poets Society… I’m having a sign made. And of course, when it’ll be ready, you’re all invited to the inauguration. Cheers - to future!
edited by streetfelineblue on 2/4/2012 edited by streetfelineblue on 2/4/2012
[i]A long-haired young bohemian chap, wearing an unorthodox dark frock coat and an elaborate waistcoat with his dinnerwear and soft silk shoes, chats excitedly with some artistic and scholarly acquaintances near the fire.
[/i]"…funny, to have a festival devoted to work and achievement, but perhaps that’s the exception in Fallen London! I did get a good lot of research done - consulting with Antiquarians and Fabulists and visiting some digs out on the Archipelago - but my new project is compiling a series of Nocturnal poetry - quite unmetered verse, regulated only by the natural rhythms of breath - in praise of free thought in the five cities. The Duchess has expressed interest in a copy - so kind of her, dear lady! I did meet one writer whose work you must see - funny business with her group and a vicarage; marvellous that they were able to come to a compromise. Oh, they’re calling a toast - cheers!"
[i]The door was opened and an urching glanced inside the dining hall. He was carrying an envelope and a caged messenger bat. Instantaneously a waitor approached in order to send the little man away. But the urchin showed the envelope signed with ‘Timotheus’ - one of the invited guests, a scholar who invested his time and money for science and for charity. The waitor took it and gave the urchin silken table napkin to leave. Additionally to the name there was another writing on the envelope: ‘To be opened and read out aloud’. The waiter followed this orders:
[/i]“Dear friends, I’m sorry I couldn’t make it here. Most recently I have finished my marvellous boat - it’s an underwater vessel! - and I just had to start an expedition across the Zee. And what things I have seen, simply magnificent! Corpsecage Island and Bullbone Island. I visited both of them - digging and shoveling, dusting and bagging. All in the name of science! I will return soon, but not empty-handed. My experiences and research is well documented on hundreds of pages! It will be a great advancement for several branches of science! Maybe I have used a little too many explamation marks, but I think the University will oversee this fact in face of the voluminosity. This might bring me back into the ranks of academics. For science, my friends, for science.
Marvellous! I myself have developed a taste for the more modernistic aspects of Neathy poetry. There is a harsh window of revolution blowing across our society, and poetry, if nothing else should reflect that. But I heard we had a rather Pragmatic Poet among us, maybe he has a different take on the subject?
The urchin was about to leave, but Owlfisher leaned over and whispered something to one of the waitors, who nodded. And soon after that the urchin found himself on a tall chair at the table, with a variety of luxurious dishes to choose from. Do not mistake this for kindness, Owlfisher remarked, but you and your friends have helped me greatly when investigating the wild words, and I may be a scroundel, but I always re-pay my depts.
allright, fascinating stories everybody. The festivities may have started but there are still a few people missing. Don’t worry, thouh, I am sure they will show up before the evening is over.
A soft chuckle escapes the painted lips of a woman sitting by the wall. Her bowler hat is tilted forwards, leaving her eyes in shadow, their presence only betrayed by her head’s slight turns to look at whoever is taking the moment to speak. Her dress and corset are a startling red, while her gloves are snow white and spotless, almost glowing in the dim atmosphere of the dining hall lanterns. Her bat has left it’s usual shoulder perch to hang under the stool she’s taken up, gratefully letting the blood rush back to it’s head.
My, such extravagant ventures you all have, she says breathily, I myself can only speak of frivolous things for my time of the festival was spent in a more scandalous than productive ways. My festival was one of romance, conquest and satisfaction. Sinning Jenny herself would be jealous, if I may be so bold. But my, I shall not regret the delicious time spent supping with the Affetionate Devil, though he might when he gets my answer. Nor will that sumptuous night with that charming tattooed beauty be ever forgotten. I found my missionary is fond of the theatre, and my theif and my heiress have met each other and there may have been a spark, but I snuffed it. Both will be mine. Such balances to keep, I nearly missed my jewel delivery to the constant visitor of that lovely dark woman who preyed so many times on my glim.
She swirls her wine in her glass slowly, and sniffs it, before smiling and taking a slow sip. Such fine Morelways, this is.
The smartly-dressed brawler tosses back his leonine mane and raises a small glass of absinthe prepared in the french method, inhaling the blooming vapours.
You wouldn’t know it to look at me, he says, glancing down at his fine frock coat and adjusting a semiotic monocle with one calloused hand, but I’ve recently been dabbling in the Game. A… friend of mine is missing, and she was last seen in the ruins there. Thankfully, a number of urchins and other agents answer to me, and I’ve diverted most of my resources to finding her. In addition, I believe I’m one step closer to my lifelong goal of proving the existance of the Vake, although that ambition has had to be put on hold whilst I continue my work as a gentleman assistant to the Velocipede Squad.
He laughs and throws back the absinthe, pausing for a moment to allow the subtle flavours to linger on his tongue before swallowing.
The work suits me. They say you can take the thug out of the gutter, but you can never take the gutter out of the thug. Well, my straightforward ways might have seen me thrown out of the Universities, but half the criminal community of the Neath hides when I walk the streets, and the other half answers to me. It may not be grace, but it’s strength, and I know which I’d rather possess.
He takes a glass of wine from a passing waiter.
Ladies, gentlemen - to power, in whatever form you pursue it. edited by Tharrick Lawson on 2/6/2012
The woman in red raises her glass with the brawler, and brings it back to her lips, draining the liquid expertly in a flash. Turning her head towards him as she places her empty glass on a nearby table, she addresses him directly.
So is justice your one love, sir, or is it the tantalizing calls of retribution and violence? I find I can’t bring myself to flirt with danger as much as I hope to, but it does sound to be a path those passionate follow. Do you agree?
[i]A feral smile, a gleam in the eye, a slight tensing of the muscles, and for a moment the illusion of respectability drops away before sliding expertly back into place.
[/i]Justice?A mere byproduct, my dear. No, I’ve spent my life fighting for whatever I could grasp, for it is only when one’s life is on the line that one truly feels alive. This is why I hunt the Vake - one day I will stand before it, leaving it no avenue of escape, nowhere to run or to hide from me, and I will meet its charge with my fists. And if I fall or if I rise, the world will know that for that one brief moment above all others, I was alive.It’s a feeling only those who have stared true death in the eye can understand, and once it’s found its way into your heart, all other passions pale.[i]
He reaches down absentmindedly and runs his fingers through the fur of the tigress that lounges at his feet.
That’s the Italian Epicene – Narciso, sometimes Narcisa. They say he came down the Cumaean Way, and he wears the skirts of a gentlewoman as often as he tips the hat of a gentleman. Sometimes exquisite white, sometimes emerald green, but tonight he’s in a suit of midnight blue with the spotless gloves of a magician.
I? I went across the zee, to feast on foreign dainties. I’m not a zailor – I know I don’t look one – but I’m a gambler and a lover, and to resolve a quarrel with a sweetheart who doubted everything, I resolved to deliver the impossible. I sat with Mr Apples, a tiger, and a defrocked priest, and won us a ship. My sweetheart’s gone, alas! Back to surface and sunshine. Back to a sea that’s blue. But our ship’s still in the harbor, and the black zee calls.
To Hunter’s Keep! Redolent with sweet-smelling lavender and thyme. I met three sweet sisters – Charities, I called them, goddesses of charm, beauty, and creativity – and they told such stories! Such secrets, which I stored in my heart – then twisted later into tales of terror, to make genteel people swoon in their parlours. It’s a wonder, what you can make in Fallen London, if you’ve a few secrets to start. Even silk whispers. Even a dull diary can be transformed thrice over.
Ah, but don’t let me distract myself. A pathetic fate awaited the last Narcissus to distract himself. We’re toasting, aren’t we? To beauty! To artifice! To persuasion, and the power of a story. As the man said: to everything deep, dark, marvellous.