Forum Game: Win a Night on the Town for the Feast!

[[Hello, delicious friends! The Feast of the Exceptional Rose—one of my very favourite holidays—is upon us again, and this year, Vivienne and Ginneon Thursday have so very much to celebrate: his recent accomplishments with the Ambitious Barrister, her notable achievement pictured above, and, of course, our lovely couple’s first wedding anniversary! All of these delightful happenings have been commingling and conspiring in my writer brain, until it eventually coalesced into an idea for a little forum game, the goal being to ‘win’ a Night on the Town with the Thursdays during the Feast.

Of course, while they are very charming and make for delightful guests at nearly every occasion, your own goings-on needn’t have them at the centre of it all, but must be suitably entertaining that they agree to devote a few hours to such a splendid endeavour.

So, how exactly will this work? Those who wish to participate should make their pitch in the manner of your own choosing. (I’ll kick it off by letter below once all the details are explained, but the next person might continue it on by crafting little scenario whereby they encounter V&G gadding about the city somewhere or other, or perhaps just gracelessly running up and shouting in their faces, or whatever else moves your ingenious little soul.)

The more voyeristic sort of forum posters who wish to comment but not participate are also welcome to weigh in on the ideas, in character or out, as a sort of Voice of Society/peanut gallery/Greek chorus, which may or may not have any sway over what the Thursdays chose to do, until one (or both) of your hosts make a decision, and posts a reply. Successful bids will ‘win’ one of the Nights, and I’ll tick them off like a countdown, removing one from my inventory pool each time. (Of course, NotT are not actually transferable, so what you will actually get, beyond the forum post, is a gift box or some other sort of in-game token, or maybe the granting of a small request, like menace reduction, etc.) I’d like to do this for a least the two weeks of the Feast, but if it catches on and everyone is having a grand time of it, there are plenty of other Nights to be given away!

As Vivienne is of the firm opinion that rules are but pesky things meant for other, no doubt dull and uninspired people, I won’t impose any, but shall ask only that we try to keep to the convivial spirit of the game, the duration of an evening, and the general themes of topic, language, and politeness established by the Powers that Be here on the forums and in Fallen London on the whole.

Good luck, everyone, and my fondest hopes that you all feast long and well! :heart:]]

Intro post to follow!
edited by Vivienne Thursday on 2/8/2018

While the Spires of the Bazaar have unparalleled views, occasionally, living in a sentient dwelling presented unique challenges, such as remembering where it had placed the dining room from one day to the next, or, as had happened just the day before (which happened also to be their wedding anniversary), finding that access to the stairwell down had been removed all together.

Today, after a rather circuitous route past many rooms still bearing the marks of the Thursdays’ own particular brand of celebrating, Ginneon Thursday found his wife standing in front of a door he hadn’t quite recalled being there before today. New or old, the door, though made of the same durable, chitinous material as the rest of the building, was bulging rather alarmingly.

&quotIs that a new development, dear, or have I forgotten in the midst of all our celebrating?&quot he asked, leading them in a small but prudent step away from the scene.

&quotMmm,&quot Vivi waggled her head along with the hand that isn’t already occupied with a champagne flute. &quotWell, last I rightly recall, that was an antechamber where we kept hats—of the non-biting variety, canes, and any unwanted solicitors. Oh, and also our mail!&quot

Like a favoured pet called to the dinner bell, the fluttering movement behind the door grew only more agitated.

&quotAh, I think I’ve put it all together now, Vivi. Our social calendars were already such the very devil to manage—remember, we’ve gone through at least three infernal secretaries who’ve just stomped off in a huff over the amount of work it all is, but this year, we’ve not only chosen to spend the rest of our lives together in what will no doubt be long and wonderful marriage, but we’ve also joined… all our contacts.&quot

Her eyes grew wide. &quotOh. Oh dear.&quot She sipped thoughtfully, the bubbles a familiar reassurance. &quotBut it is still manageable, my darling. We’ll just have to be a bit more… selective. Maybe add an element of chance!&quot

&quotLike a game? he replied, grin widening. &quotAs always, I like the way you think! Good show. Now, if you’d grab my épée from over there, dear, if you can get a handle on the knob, I’ll charge the door and–&quot

&quotOr we could just pluck one bursting out from the gap there?&quot she suggested, which sounded less like something resembling work. &quotWhichever one you get ahold of first, love. We’ll go at this like one might devour a Lorn-Fluke: one bite at a time!&quot

A letter delivered inside a slim volume of lyrically lascivious mycological metaphors:

“My dear Vivi, I have a weekly standing reservation for a private suite at the Parlour of Virtue and I had the most splendid idea of how to make use of it this half fortnight! I propose that you and I arrange a series of edifying tableaux for Ginneon! For theme I propose the intersection of History and Religion, viz., we shall depict the most devotional rites of priestesses of the First, Second, Third, and Fourth Cities. I am no mean student of history, and I can assure you that costuming expenses for the Second and Third City arrangement will minimal. I am sure we can, with a bit of creativity, be equally parsimonious with the other two scenes as well. What say you? –S. B.”

The reply comes swiftly, by messenger bat. Aw, and he has a little tissue-paper rose tucked under his collar, scarlet as a dark-dewed cherry.

&quotSapho, dearest: did that last drink make my eyes got a bit funny, or did you just propose an evening with you, my beloved husband, and numerous costume changes of both the historical and ecclesiastical variety?? Darling, if you lock the lock behind, we may never leave!&quot

Vivi hurries to make find the next free day in their calendar, then smartly clears the day after as well.

A letter arrives, on a randomly found paper, which has unreadable scribbles on the back

&quotHey Ginneon. I just had an idea. But first, how is your wife? And, well… I thought, what would you say for a normal night out drinking? My last parties were odd, what with Christmas being crazy and well… best skip what happened afterwards. They still make me turn red. Was nice, though! And well, Halloween ending in a fire as I told you… I could use some normal time out with friends without fearing for my life, for once… nothing against Fleshy, but… well, sometimes my ears hurt after I am with him too long. And things go crazy with him usually. Though the last one was fun. He even taught me to impress my girlfriend with hunting! Back to the things… ah yes. Drinking. What would you say about the Medusa’s head? Feel free to bring your wife! I would like to meet her.

The walls of London are plastered three inches deep it seems with handbills and posters during the Feast of the Exceptional Rose, advertising all number of wonderful and questionable services. Urchins are hired by the score to put them up…and sometimes hired to tear them down. And the Debonair Sharpshooter is out as well, putting up a series of posters on the side of a Ladybones office with the help of an Urchin contact. While taking a break to wipe his brow, he looks across the street to spy a certain couple. He winks, and steps aside to reveal the enormous lilac poster he’s just put up.

The top of the poster boldly states &quotLET THE MARSHES BE YOUR PLAYGROUND!&quot while the bottom promises &quotAN EVENING OF LUXURY AND SPORTSMANSHIP AWAITS!&quot. The sideways sillhouette of an enormous Eremite Crab stands tall in the middle. Every detail, from the ridges on the claws to the flutes on the zee-znail zhell to the mounted rifle and wine bottle on the howdah is rendered in loving detail. More text winds around the side, looping up and down and around the crab: &quotSee BUGSBY’S MARSHES by way of domesticated land-faring EREMITE CRAB! Enjoy a private dinner for two in a Couple’s Crab FOURTEEN FEET OFF THE GROUND with a LIVE BLEMMIGAN BAND, or TRY YOUR LUCK at bagging YOUR VERY OWN FUNGUS-COLUMN with a GENUINE ELEPHANT GUN aboard our Sentry Crabs! Our EXPERIENCED TOUR GUIDES are always available to show you sights like the PERPETUAL WALTZ OF THE MUSHROOMS, the RUINS OF THE CENTURY EXHIBITION, the KNOT-ORACLE TEMPLE or the LIGHTS OF THE VIRIC BOG. Direct all inquires to the CRAB CARAVAN, WATCHMAKER’S HILL.&quot An address is conveniently provided.

&quotBut isn’t the Medusa’s Head full of Monsters and Criminals, dear?&quot Vivi asked, freckles standing out just a little more boldly upon the planes of her face as they had just a moment before.

Monster-hunters,&quot Ginneon was quick to reassure, &quotand I believe their public house now has a rule that all relics must be predeceased before they are allowed entry. Plus, no one has really seen much of the Cheery Man these past months, which has cut down significantly on the lethal drinking games.&quot

&quotVery well, my darling, I am suitably convinced! Perhaps in the green silk and that lovely, looping bracelet for me… to keep to the serpentine theme, and Derringer in your breast-side pocket.&quot

edited by Vivienne Thursday on 2/10/2018

&quotI’ve got some wellies for us both in the landau, darling!&quot Ginneon always does try to be prepared.

&quotThe handbill mentioned a rather exclusive dinner, but did not happen to mention refreshments, did it, my love?&quot Vivi asks, gathering a thick-hided seal-skin cloak over this evening’s more delicate creation. &quotNo mind, I’ve plenty room in my purse!&quot

[color=rgb(194, 194, 194)]&quotYes…&quot he says slowly. In his eyes a light begins to dawn. &quotFantastic. We’ve just procured new papyrus scrolls from Visage. Well - not new. Old. New for Benthic. But Professor V____ claims she’s traced them to the Second City. Says they shed light on the ritual adoration of a sacred bull. It involves rather a lot of masks though. Hard to tell where the Second City ends and Visage begins. I suppose I could compare the papyri to Manetho and al-Maqrizi. Otherwise…I really don’t know where to start.&quot Vivi opens her mouth to say something, but the opportunity is lost. [/color]

[color=rgb(194, 194, 194)]&quotAt least - blessedly,&quot he continues, &quotwe have a wealth of information on the Fourth City. Shouldn’t have much difficulty recreating those rites with more precision. Oh - but the First City.&quot He strokes his beard, troubled, down to its point. &quotWhere ever will we find 62 lamentation priests?&quot He scoffs, tossing the notion away. &quotThey probably post-date the First Fall by a good half-millennium. We have so few extant tablets from Uru-&quot[/color]

[color=rgb(194, 194, 194)]Vivi makes a shushing noise as she lays a slender finger against his lips, then points out a few of Lady Byron’s words that he seems to have missed: &quotParlour Of Virtue&quot and &quotcostuming&quot and &quotminimal.&quot[/color]

[color=rgb(194, 194, 194)]Ginneon fights a losing battle with a smirk. &quotYes. Well.&quot A sly arch infiltrates his brow. &quotI suppose in matters of religion historical accuracy is a lesser virtue.&quot[/color]
edited by Ginneon Thursday on 2/16/2018

Another letter arrives, in a very shakey handwriting and in crayon, as if written by a five year old
&quotMeow! I mean… Hello! I heard of your offer! And I have a trip for you, which could be fun! It goes to the museum of Yarn! I tell you! It is an offer worthy of Bastet! Yarn is fun and you are looking for fun, right? I also have more offers, like… a fishmonger’s stall! I saw one that had a nice, large tuna! Totally tasty! And then we could go and shop for cardboard boxes, go sniff some catnip and top it off by buying spinny chairs and spinning on them in front of a nice, warm fireplace!
I hope to get to meet you two,

P.S. You might have heard stories about me, buy I am not a cat, I assure you!&quot

&quotThe Museum of Yarn? How nice! It would be quite difficult go get lost there. don’t you think, my love?&quot Ginneon said, nodding appreciatively.

&quotOh, we could bring the kitten and made a day of it,&quot Vivi purrs. &quotYou know how much Monet does love a good game of pounce!&quot

As if it heard its name, the Parabolan kitten lept from the nearest mirror onto the setee, knocked over an empty-honey jar, and sauntered off in search of a snack.

edited by Vivienne Thursday on 2/10/2018

[quote=Rysiek]Meow! I mean… Hello! […] P.S. You might have heard stories about me, buy I am not a cat, I assure you!&quot[/quote]&quotBefore we go, dear,&quot Vivienne asks, &quotthis Kirsikka…one of your friends?&quot

&quotKirsikka…&quot he puzzles. &quotNo, not that I recall.&quot

&quotShe insists rather fiercely that she is not a cat.&quot

&quotI would never have assumed she was. Until she declared she was not.&quot

&quotSeems like a cat.&quot

&quotSeems like a cat,&quot Ginneon agrees.

Vivienne bites her lip. &quotCats are cunning creatures though…&quot

&quotQuite. If she were a cat…&quot

Vivi continues: &quotShe’d do better to convince us otherwise by not broaching the subject at all.&quot

&quotSo not a cat?&quot

&quotNot a cat.&quot

Ginneon strokes his beard. &quotBut then again…she suggests activities each of which produces a singularly feline delight.&quot

He sets pen to paper and composes a reply: &quotDear Kirsikka,&quot he reads, &quotwe would be delighted to meet you. And this will not affect the matter either way - but do be straight with us: are you a cat?&quot

Vivi rests a hand on her husband’s shoulder. &quotAre you sure that’s the best approach, dear? Cats and the cat-like are subtle creatures. Such directness might be mistaken for rudeness. Almost as though you did mind her being a cat.&quot

&quotI do not mind whether someone is a cat. I do dislike subterfuge.&quot

Vivienne breathes a gentle sigh. &quotIt’s a wonder you’ve lasted in this city at all.&quot

[quote=Rysiek]Drinking. What would you say about the Medusa’s head?[/quote]Ginneon and Vivi arrive in the Medusa’s Head, sidestepping two drunken brawls (that will undoubtedly converge) and a Clay Man arm-wrestling two Rubbery Men - not normally a fair fight, but the Rubberies seems to have been allowed the full use of all their tentacles.

&quotMaria! There you are.&quot The Thursdays join Maria at her corner table, make introductions, and swiftly order a round of drinks. &quotMaria is one of my mentees - and an eager one at that. Now that I think of it, darling,&quot he turns to Vivi, &quotI believe I have just enough time in my schedule for three more advanced students in the social, physical, and deductive arts.&quot He sips his ale. &quotOh, and let’s not forget dexterity.&quot

A stein from the nearby growing melee sails overhead seemingly straight into Maria’s hand. &quotDexterity…like this?&quot she says as she finishes its contents.

&quotJust so.&quot

[As a Paramount Presence, Ginneon can train three more pupils from level 100 to 200, giving lessons in two skills at a time. Perhaps these slots can be claimed by participants in our little game here, chosen by lottery.]

Maria smiles &quotI hope I didn’t really fail the exam.&quot she says, as always dressed in a turtleneck and a leather jacket. She looks at the brawl &quotMaybe… I should have chosen a safer bar.&quot she says, in hindsight &quotBut Fleshy likes the place… maybe because he can teach me brawling here? Helped a bit while hunting with Cosette.&quot

Kir gulps, as a response arrives &quotUhm… why do you ask?&quot she answers, uncomfortable with the answer &quotI mean. I could be a cat. But on certain points of view, we might be all cats. Or… we might not be cats at all…&quot her ears twitch. Good she has her tall hat to conceal them &quotSo, it depends on your point of view if I am a cat or not!&quot

[quote=Rysiek]I could be a cat. But on certain points of view, we might be all cats.[/quote]Ginneon whispers into Vivi’s ear, &quotI see our categories of ‘cat’ and ‘not-a-cat’ may have been too strict.&quot

The raven-haired woman behind the bar, has, as is her habit, been listening to every word. (There are many rumours as to who, exactly, this woman is at all, but for the moment, the role of publican will suit just fine.) Before any of the brawls can escalate further, she pulls a large, obvious, and very well-used blunderbuss from somewhere down around her knees, and lays it without comment upon the bar. The background roar softens to mere indelicate murmurs.

Kirsikka’s next drink is embellished with a spring of twining greenery, and their bartender waggles it back and forth beneath the Possibly a Cat’s twitching nose before placing it down. (That question, at least, will be settled soon enough.)

Before the Thursdays, she places an elaborate carafe, its contents glowing the same mournful blue as a distant lighthouse or a widow’s tear. &quotWell, there’s nothing I can say about either cats or bar brawls that hasn’t probably been said better before, but I will wager a bet with you. Since neither of the pair of you much looks like you like to get your hands dirty, tell me a tale that will give me a shiver, and the next round is on me.&quot

A letter arrives in a box sealed with a correspondence symbol. It reads as such:

&quotYou have been cordially invited to a secret performance of The Bell And The Candle, the infamous opera that caused all sorts of ruckus at the Shuttered Palace. Come and see what all the fuss is about! Bringing a friend is highly recommended. Make sure to be discreet.&quot
edited by Kylestien on 2/11/2018

Johnny Felix, while being in the study musing over his correspondence, was struck by the thought that he hasn’t seen his friends, the Thursdays, for quite a while. Now, he had the one or other idea what caused that absence, since he and his beloved Taimi had been newlyweds themselves not so long ago, but still, the occasion of their wedding anniversary seemed like an opportunity to meet up once again for a good old-fashioned double-date.
Johnny started to lay out plans for a night of restrained activities and decorous entertainment, but then he remembered to whom Ginneon and he were married to and started over again from scratch. Out with afternoon tea at Beatrice’s and the visit of the Imperial Opera, instead drinks in abundance at the Temple Club (Ginneon always showed enthusiasm for the Fourth City architecture) and musical entertainment (with dance) at the Singing Mandrake. The table for four for dinner at Dante’s could stay in place though as well as the merry carriage ride through the city in search for a proper bar for a nightcap afterwards. Johnny also took care of some minor precautions, like a donation to the Funds for Frequently Murdered Constables, just in case the ladies decided that stealing police officer’s helmets has to be part of a proper evening entertainment (again).
He presented his plans to Taimi, who only suggested some minor improvements, like a duelling session with the Major, or a quick monster hunt at Jekyll Gardens (&quotIt’s practically on the way of our carriage ride, my love, and we could work up some proper appetite!&quot), as she was of course excited to spend some time with her friends again.
So, Johnny wrote a proper invitation in cursive on vat paper to Vivienne and Ginneon and sent a messenger bat towards the Bazaar spire, hoping for a speedy reply. After all, he couldn’t imagine what would cause a delay in responding to correspondence in such a decent and proper household like the Thursday’s.
edited by Johnny Felix on 2/11/2018

Vivienne Thursday is talented at many things, and should one invite her to list them, they might find themselves occupied for quite some time. Frightening stories, however—those false or true—are not her forte, as she is far more bold than brave, but nonetheless, she squares her shoulders and meets the somewhat smug gaze of the woman behind the bar.

&quotYou may not recall, Miss Hawley,&quot Vivienne answers softly, noticing the woman’s hands, scarred knuckles and thick callouses long used to rough work, &quotbut I have seen you at your violent delights, ruling the leaderboards of the under-underground boxing circuit. Your opponents often underestimate you—a situation I have found myself in once or twice, though my feints and parries are nearly exclusively made with words. So I will take your challenge, and offer you here, the sad tale of one terrible night, when another found herself completely overwhelmed by the ferocity of her opponent. Let us call her…&quot the bow of her lips quirks as she considers and dismisses a few sobriquets, &quotThe Careless Socialite.&quot

&quotThe Careless Socialite traveled far and wide through lands awash in sunlight, always leaving all manner of chaos in her wake. None of it seemed to matter to her, you see. Things so scenic in the night-time grew cynic by the light of day. No one cared what she had to say, our belle, or even if she was happy. They cared that she was there, and that she was fair, and maybe, if they were very lucky indeed, that she might grant them her favour.&quot

Any good storyteller knows when their audience is hooked, their interest in her tale evident in their forgotten drinks, their intent gazes and open mouths. Vivienne sipped at her drink, mostly for the liquid courage would help her weave the rest of the tale, but a little anticipation never hurt anyone either.

&quotOne day, the Careless Socialite, having grown even more incautious than usual, left behind that lush and sun-lit world, hoping that perhaps, somewhere smaller, and a bit quieter, and certainly much darker, she could be… if not better behaved, than at least less obvious whilst at her indiscretions. It was there, in the dark, she met someone… let us call him… The Impassioned Academic, and our blithe heroine was not just surprised, but actually quite startled, to find that she now did care for something, for someone, more than she thought herself capable. And though this new place and this new circumstance were untrod and unexplored territory, she had every hope that together, they would find their way through any hardship.&quot

&quotNow that is a love story, and a fine one, but what you asked for, Miss Hawley, was a shiver, and here it is: The Careless Socialite, though in love, unfortunately was still quite careless, and the new place where they had made their home was a place quite fraught with danger. Some monsters— yes, a good tale always needs a villain, does it not?—stole away the Socialite, and buried her, very much alive, deeply in a hole in the ground. In that box, she had much time to panic, and that she did, and much time to cry. and she did plenty of that too. But eventually, she thought of a way out of her confinement, but it would hurt. It would hurt quite a lot.

&quotOur girl, plucky she is, used her head to find the correct answer, and so dug her way out of that coffin, bleeding and bruised, yes, but unbroken and perhaps just a little less careless.&quot

Vivienne’s head tilts just so, and at the part of her hair at its crown, the ginger strands are split by a deep and imperfectly-healed scar, which ends a fair few centimetres across the freckled skin of her forehead. &quotSometimes, our heads can do as well as our fists at helping ourselves out of trouble, Miss Hawley.&quot

edited by Vivienne Thursday on 2/11/2018