[Soirée] Pre-Gaming with Gifts

Nathaniel and Caius meet up to exchange holiday gifts just before the Charity Gala begins.

The seven Duchies of Central Rynmere and their respective baronies, cities, towns, villages, and landmarks each overseen by a Duke of one of the seven noble families and ultimately controlled by the King of Rynmere.

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[Soirée] Pre-Gaming with Gifts

Postby Nathaniel Endor » Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:30 am

He had arrived with just enough time to get cleaned up before the Soirée hosted by Lord Oliver Venora. The invitation sat on the small desk in his private rooms. Marshall was laying on the floor, spread eagle. The man had always had a thing for sleeping on the floor after long carriages rides. He often said that it realigned his back after sitting for so long. Being able to stretch uninhibited upon the furs was a pleasant experience. Nathaniel preferred soft beds and had never understood Marshall's strange habit. He stepped over the man's appendages as he moved about the room collecting his various items.

Zi'da was a time for celebrating the year coming to a close. It was also a time where friends would come together to celebrate their relationships and loved ones. One on the top of his list that he wanted to honor had been a long time friend. Caius Gawyne was a hard worker and Nathaniel had always admired his interest in books and creating print. Nathaniel hoped one day to see Caius using his abilities to help him propagate his mine's and the jobs that they could offer. Even criminals that had been reformed by hard manual labor might be able to learn to read and write with the papers printed by Caius' hand. Deep in his thoughts, Nathaniel nearly tripped over Marshall's foot.

"Careful m'lord."

"Do you have to be laying there while I'm trying to get ready?"

"I have nothing else to do. Besides, my back is feeling much better laying here," Marshall mumbled, rubbing his bald head absently. Nathaniel gave a crooked smile to the man, who did not see the slight affection that his lord had for him since his eyes were closed. He was a great manservant and was also a long time friend. "Who do you plan to meet tonight?"

"Well, I am sure I shall encounter Lord Venora and a plethora of other nobility. I hope to find Lady Velaine at the event. I'll be paying her entrance fee whether she shows up or not. I heard Lord Gawyne is present on the estate already. I am going to go look for him now."

"Alright m'lord. Stay safe. Do not drink to much."

"Who are you, Maderson?" Nathaniel grumbled. Marshall only offered a grunt in return as Nathaniel closed the door behind him.



It did not take him long to find Caius, who seemed to be preparing to enter the gala. Nathaniel was quite proud of his gifts which were tucked under his arm. One was a wrapped parcel in shiny red paper. The other was a cane. The head of it was hidden in the crook of his arm so that Caius would not be able to see it just yet. This would look like his own personal item and not a gift intended for the younger lord. The best gift was kept close to his heart, hidden away in a small envelope.

"Lord Gawyne! Wait a moment. I'd like to speak with you before you head into the gala."
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[Soirée] Pre-Gaming with Gifts

Postby Caius Gawyne » Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:56 am

Zi'da 49, 717

Caius was early for once, possibly for the first time in his entire adult life, but only by the saving virtue of having arrived in Bellesoir the trial before with Darcyanna Venora. He chose not to dwell on the rudely imposed sleeping arrangements from Oliver, aware that he was both a guest and attempting to make a decent impression, but playing nice still had rubbed the northern noble the wrong way and he was impatient to meet the blonde Venora and escort her to the Gala properly, very anxiously aware that this public appearance would irrevocably announce their definitive relationship to all who attended. Not that he sarding cared about any of their opinions.

It was as he stood in front of the mirror of his guest room for the thirtieth time, fussing annoyedly with ink-stained fingers at the fashionably simple cravat of his outfit that the knock came to his door,

"Lord Gawyne? Miss Nadia Harwyn has arrived."

"Oh, thank the Seven." The young Gawyne smiled, relieved, hand making an attempt to tame his perpetually unkempt hair before he turned away from the mirror and moved to open the door. The household servant stood with a smiling older woman, Nadia at least a decade older than himself with short-cropped hair and a decent hand with minimal make-up. She was dressed far more practically than most ladies attending the Gala, and yet Caius' father had made sure that she still looked eloquent for a commoner in order to make her appearance at such an event.

"Nadia! It's good to see you again. I trust your travels weren't too perilous?" He chuckled at her, taking her hand warmly before beginning to lead the two of them down the hall, aware now that he had to find Nathaniel Endor before he could meet Darcy. He wanted his moment with the delicate pianist alone before officially attending the party.

"You know how Corinth manages a carriage, my Lord."

"Yes, like a sarding maniac who thinks he's on a jacadon instead of driving horses. Thank the Seven you made it out of Umbridge—"

That cheeky bastard found the two of them first, Nathaniel's voice interrupting his conversation with the woman next to him. Caius turned and smiled broadly at the other man, blue irises warming into a welcoming green,

"Good timing, Hum—my Lord of Endor. How did you know I was looking for you as well?" The young Gawyne caught himself before he teased the older man with his middle name, taking horrible pleasure in embarrassing him with it. Here, at least, he knew his manners and while it obviously stung his tongue to do so, he tamed it for Nathaniel in front of the woman he stood with, "I have been patiently waiting for a gift to arrive for you, and now that it's here, I apologize that this sort of thing has to be done so informally at the Charity Gala and not elsewhere."

Nadia straightened next to the northern noble and turned her attentions on Nathaniel in a way that felt as though she was appraising him, sizing him up in a way that was much more analytical and calculating than at all flirtatious. Her smile was genuine and as Caius swept his ink-stained hand toward her, his introduction was formal and concise, unable to exactly ignore her presence and forego his gift giving,

"Lord Nathaniel Endor, on behalf of the House of Gawyne, allow me to present to you Miss Nadia Harwyn, one of the best architects and subterranean designers of my humble Dutchy. As a gift of goodwill between our Houses, Miss Harwyn is your servant for five seasons, ready to travel back to Endor with you."

Nadia curtseyed, "The pleasure is mine, my Lord. I have been researching your operations and I look forward to seeing them in person."

Caius beamed excitedly, quite proud of the arrangements he'd made with his father shortly after his previous, rather unorthodox meeting with Humphrey earlier in Vhalar,

"First, let me hear you say thank you. Just once. Second, what did you need of me, Nathaniel?"

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Holiday Soirée Gift:
NPC payment for 5 seasons 50gn


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[Soirée] Pre-Gaming with Gifts

Postby Nathaniel Endor » Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:03 pm

Caius had been looking for him as well? Nathaniel gave a side grin, appreciating the convenient timing the evening presented them. Caius was standing alongside another woman; the gift that was supposed to be presented to him. Nathaniel listened patiently before nodding his head politely to Nadia. "Ma'am."

Nadia Harwyn. He had only vaguely heard that name on the lips of some of his current architects and Endor mine builders. They had wispered that she was an up-and-coming designer. To have her present was certainly an honor and many of his scholars would love to pick her brains for advice on how to further their iron operation. When Caius mentioned that this would be a gift of goodwill, Nathaniel clapped the man on the back with his free hand. "The Kingdom will prosper as the houses come together. Between my betrothal with Lady Krome and our friendship solidifying House Endor and House Gawyne, we might be able to rebuild from the rubble created by this rebellion an arc ago. It will be my absolute pleasure to have Miss Harwyn join my production. There are some that have heard of her work, so her input will be greatly appreciated."

Nathaniel raised a brow at Caius' playful request. "What do you take me for? An ingrate? Thank you Lord Caius. We will take good care of Miss Harwyn while she stayed at Berengar. In the meantime, I have something for you."

Nathaniel handed over the parcel in red paper for him to undo. He only hoped that he was careful revealing the present. Once he was finished opening the mask, he handed over the cane. "I thought you might be attending the Winter Mist festival later this season. An intelligent bookworm such as yourself might need these to look dashing that night. Perhaps they will help you land a woman of your own."

Although these items were nice and thoughtful, the real gift was burning a hole in his breast pocket. Nathaniel reached into his coat pocket and withdrew an envelope. He started to hand it to Caius before pulling it back when he tried to grab it. "Ah ah! Not so fast. Before you can have this part of your gift, you have to promise not to call me Lord Humphrey in public. Ever. Period. No negotiations."
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[Soirée] Pre-Gaming with Gifts

Postby Caius Gawyne » Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:56 am

Nadia managed to keep a straight face through Nathaniel's compliments, hands clasped behind her back with a smile. Her green eyes studied her new employer and the older Lord's friendliness with the young Gawyne, curious and entertained.

Caius grinned lopsidedly when the older Endor placed a hand on his back, "Lady Krome, eh? I have my pretty face shoved in too many books these trials, for I seem to have missed that news. Congratulations." Looking to Nadia at Humphrey's compliments, he nodded in agreement,

"My father's put us at an interesting disadvantage to offer his goodwill by someone as talented as Miss Harwyn," He mostly teased, but agreed with the other man's sentiments, "But he trusted my judgement when I suggested that we could be of assistance to not only your House, but Rynmere as a whole—"

The young Gawyne chuckled, not bothering to embellish the written conversation between himself and the Baron Frederick. Unlikely situations had allowed the northern noble unlikely insights into Nathaniel, and he was confident that his choice of architect would serve the other man well,

"—oh, for me? Bogs, that's kind." Caius accepted the wrapped present and opened it with eager interest. The mask inside was striking, made from paper mâché book pages by the looks of it, and the printer's diri grinned, looking up in time to accept the cane curiously, "Thank you, Nate. That's an amazing mask, and I suppose I can't let it go to waste ... I'm not actually the party-going type, despite what you see here, but I'm somewhat obligated to be here this evening due to a certain Lady Venora—perhaps you'll see who shortly unless you'd rather me spoil the surprise?" His grin was sly, conspiratory, and yet bordered on the proud expression of unfiltered infatuation, "I would venture that obligation will also extend to the Winter Mist festival, regardless of how I sarding feel about rubbing elbows with too many of my own kind. But this is the sort of mask that will be just as much fun to take off as it is to put on, you know?"

As much as the young Gawyne wanted to stay sour about social gatherings, any mention of Darcyanna brightened his countenance and warmed his sharp blue irises toward an almost amber color, but he was distracted when the older Endor revealed he wasn't finished presenting gifts. The man taunted him with an envelope, and his price was almost more than Caius was willing to pay,

"Ever? In public? But, Humphrey isn't such a bad—oh, by the Fates, she doesn't know, does she? Lady Krome has no sarding clue that's your middle name. Bogs. You're a right proper bastard, aren't you, my Lord? Trapping me into such an agreement ... sard it all." He was laughing, but when the northern noble was finished making fun, hs cleared his throat and let his free hand toy with the silver buttons of his House purple long jacket, "That's an expensive request, my friend, but, fine. For the sake of your honor—and the honor of your future wife—I promise not to use your beautiful given middle name of Humphrey in public."

In private was still fair game, however,

Caius wiggled ink-stained fingers in the envelope's direction impatiently, his lopsided grin devious and amused, aware that Nadia was still standing there, clearly entertained by their boyish stupidities,

"You can still call me what you like, mind you—I don't sarding care. Satisfied?"

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[Soirée] Pre-Gaming with Gifts

Postby Nathaniel Endor » Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:46 pm

It was probably the best he was going to get out of Caius. If he had made the agreement more strict and forbidden the playful noble from ever calling him Humphrey, he might have blown the deal altogether. Once the agreement had been made, Nathaniel lowered his stiff shoulders a bit. At least he would avoid blatant embarrassment during the major events, such as this Charity Gala and the Winter Mist festival. Caius and him could be miserable together over wine and food while escorting their girls around. That was what real noblemen did. "Then we can share our misery together at these galas while the women have fun. As for me being a proper bastard and demanding such an expensive trade, it is for a good cause. This is an expensive piece of paper," Nathaniel chuckled, handing over the letter.

While Caius opened and read the sealed envelope, Nathaniel turned to Nadia. "Miss Harwyn. My manservant, Marshall, has taken up his residence for the evening. You are welcome to enjoy the festivities for the remainder of the evening or join Marshall upstairs in my small suite. He sleeps on the floor after long trips which leaves the bed and the settee. As a show of my gratitude, you are welcome to the bed. I am sure the settee will be plenty for me after a few glasses of wine."

"Many thanks my lord. I actually have had a long journey and would enjoy a bit of what produces those decadent smells from within. If you don't mind, I shall head in and mingle a bit."

"You have my leave. Here." Marshall had not taken him up on his offer, but he would not let Nadia pay for herself. He produce a nel from his pocket to pay for her entrance fee. She provided a lopside curtsy before whisking herself away to fill her stomach after a long day's carriage ride. By now, Caius would have completed the letter.

Nathaniel turned to look at Caius. Hopefully he was pleasantly shocked. "You have never taken to the finery and politics of being a noble. I have seen and see the ink on your hands. When you feel you are ready to start a business, you contact me and I will help you make it happen. This promissory note is just that - a promise between friends. I hope as an investor to see you make a proper niche for yourself instead of attempting to fit to your father's mold."

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[Soirée] Pre-Gaming with Gifts

Postby Caius Gawyne » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:40 am

An expensive piece of paper?

Nathaniel Endor had no idea the price paper could demand—or did he?

Caius wasn't greedy so much as curious, standing in the hallway in his finest House colors, reaching like a child for an envelope, "I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that I've been having a bit more fun at parties whenever Darcyanna is around, but don't tell her I said that." He could share secrets, too, though his were quite clearly of a more emotional, infatuated kind. Grinning as if they shared some kind of conspiracy, he looked down at the envelope in his ink-stained hands and opened it while the older Endor dismissed Nadia. Not looking up while he removed the letter, he spoke to the Gawyne-born architect before she took her leave,

"My father and I both thank you. We will catch up again in Cylus." He was reading while speaking, and his last words trailed into a sharp inhale, and yet the northern noble kept his face as calm as possible while she was still present.

"Yes, my Lord. I look forward to it. Good evening." The woman smiled and seized her moment to be dismissed.

He had, in fact, re-read the letter more than once in the span of time it took for there to be any conversation at all. Caius looked up, the expression on his aquiline features a mix of surprise and wariness, gratitude and suspicion. He had done very little to earn Nathaniel's real respect other than be himself, which was, perhaps, mostly a sarding arsehole who did, indeed, like to get his hands dirty when it came to actually doing the work instead of watching others below his station sweat it out alone,

"Nate—"

The young Gawyne took his previous oath seriously already, and his voice was quiet—less because he cared about being heard so much as because of how he felt, "—this is too generous, and I don't deserve such an offer, loan to be repaid or not, from you. Thank you. I, well, I have had some notions of business, though I can't imagine my father approving of me lengthening my stay in Andaris. Not that it should matter—you are right."

The Barony tempted him, with its library and whispers of the Labyrinth somewhere nearby. He loved his home, despite hating his birthright's obligations to it. There were things he still felt he needed to do, personally, professionally, before he felt ready to go home and assume responsibilities again. The older Endor's promissory note was a step in his desired direction and the warm color that rose in his cheeks was a wash of both chagrin and humility,

"I appreciate you sifting through the rocks to find the ore, so to speak. It is a breath of fresh air to be given such an offer from someone who calls themselves my friend instead of just someone interested in political maneuvering. Thank you, again." Caius was somewhat proud of his self-deprecating metaphor, tucking the letter away into his dark purple velvet vest before offering Nathaniel his hand in gratitude, "I can promise to keep in touch, which is perhaps slightly more reliable than me remembering not to use your glorious middle name at the wrong time. "

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[Soirée] Pre-Gaming with Gifts

Postby Nathaniel Endor » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:32 pm

Darcyanna? As in Darcyanna Venora? That was quite the catch and Caius seemed to be very enamored with her by how sticky sweet her name fell from his lips. He was so interested in this thought that he missed Caius giving his farewell to Nadia. Otherwise, Nathaniel might have caught onto the meeting that was mentioned. Right now, with the proposition of alcohol and entertainment on the horizon, he was far to preoccupied to think that Caius might be having this servant dabble in multiple pots all at once. When Nadia had left them, Nathaniel was able to bring himself to focus solely on Caius' reaction.

There it was. The sweet feeling of having won a little bit of dignity from his incredibly thoughtful gift. He was, generally speaking, terrible at gift ideas. He often relied on the maids to help him pick the right flowers out for his mother when he pissed her off. Once he had begun to get over the shock that the paper carried, Nate reached forward and clasped a hand on Caius' shoulder. "Your father can sard off when it comes to this agreement. Do as you will, Lord Gawyne. Besides, maybe one day your father might see this a benefit to the house. Whatever it is you do, maybe it can be fruitful to the knowledgeable House Gawyne."

Nathaniel laughed heartily, letting him go before dropping his hands behind his back. This conversation would wrap itself neatly with a bow shortly and he expected that he would see Caius later in the evening. He was particularly keen to meet him alongside Darcyanna. What kind of man would he become when in the presence of his chosen lady? Too curious to let it lie, he offered a conniving smile before saying, "Does your father approve of Lady Venora? Even that gift has political strands attached to it, but a marriage between houses? Ho, Caius, I did not think you were politically inclined at all!"
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[Soirée] Pre-Gaming with Gifts

Postby Caius Gawyne » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:11 am

Date Stamp

"Seven help me, does he—"

Caius' expression turned chagrined, incredulous, and sly all in a trill or two, his irises fading from a vibrant green to a much more defensive pale blue, like a garden covered in frost in Zi'da. He tucked the older Endor's letter into his vest because he needed something to do with his hand, the other still holding his other two gifts. Biting his lip for a moment, the northern noble paused, shaking his head,

"—No. He doesn't know. I, uh, I haven't written my parents to tell them a single sarding thing." The young Gawyne admitted, the smile that creased its way into his features one that belied the worry that hid at the edges of his warm tone of voice, "We met in late Vhalar, Darcy and I. Nothing formal, to be honest, just ... on the street one late break after midnight in mid-town. There's a story there, should you want it, but to sum up we've hardly been apart since."

Bogs. This was a situation.

He couldn't tell the Nate about the drugs or Pythera, about the strange realities hidden beneath the lovely surface of their relationship. He couldn't talk about the uncomfortable details or the beautiful changes. Not here. Not now. Probably not ever.

Fingers that had toyed with the buttons of his vest strayed to dig at an imaginary itch at the back of his neck, and then, just like that, Caius was blushing, looking away from Nathaniel to glance down the hall as if he was afraid someone—anyone—would be walking into their conversation. His smile faltered nervously for a moment as if the weight of the older man's words finally settled in like a fresh blanket of snow over the fiery infatuation in his heart, the realization that no matter what he felt or thought he felt or even wanted to feel, everyone else looking at their relationship would scrutinize every last detail for their own political or social gain.

"I—I'm—We're—It's not sarding political."

He sighed, narrow shoulders sagging under the weight, "I don't give a fekking fodsack about whose House or what's in such an arrangement for Gawyne. I just need her, Hu—Nate, and it's an odd, comfortable madness I'm content to brave the consequences for."

There it was again, that fuck you grin and a wink, ink-stained fingers curling into his unkempt hair despite his obvious embarrassment, which faded as he spoke, "Damn it, you bastard. You're going to make me late with all of these sarding feelings. Speaking of Darcy, I must go fetch her so we can give the rest of you lot an official show of us together. The real vision."

Caius hummed then, reaching to shake the older man's hand if not tug him into a completely non-awkward hug of thanks for his gifts, but also hoping to keep himself from saying too much too soon about the delicate pianist,

"I appreciate your generosity. I'll do my best not to embarrass you as a sign of my gratitude."

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[Soirée] Pre-Gaming with Gifts

Postby Maebella » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:51 am

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Rewards


Nathaniel Endor

Skill Points: 15

Knowledges:

  • Skill
    • Politics: Attending Galas
    • Politics: Accepting Gifts Humbly
    • Politics: Choosing Friends Over Superiors
    • Politics: Knowing the Affiliations Between Nobles
    • Politics: Dressing the Part
    • Business Management: Accepting the Expertise of a Mine Architect
    • Business Management: Driving a Hard Bargain
    • Business Management: Investing in Another's Business
    • Endurance: Living Through a Carriage Ride with Marshall
  • Non-Skill
    • Zi'da: The Holiday Season
    • Caius: Forever that Ass-Friend
    • Caius: Interested in Lady Venora
    • Caius: Future Investment
    • Caius: Bound to a Promise
    • Marshall: Likes Sleeping on the Floor
    • Location: Bellesoir
    • Location: Venora

Loot: Nadia Harwyn for 5 seasons. Congratulations! You have a new employee!

Injuries/Overstepping: No.

Fame: +7 (+6 for gift giving x3 and +1 for general good deed for paying Nadia's entrance fee)

Magic EXP: No.



Rewards


Caius Gawyne

Skill Points: 15

Knowledges:

  • Skill
    • Business Management: Negotiating with personal details
    • Business Management: Receiving outside investments
    • Business Management: Recognizing a good offer
    • Etiquette: Accepting a generous gift
    • Etiquette: Making difficult promises
    • Politics: Betrothal gossip
    • Politics: Giving the gift of an employee
    • Politics: Goodwill between Houses
    • Politics: Knowing you have a friend and a professional ally
  • Non-Skill
    • Noble House: Endor
    • House Endor: Close ally to Gawyne
    • Nathaniel Endor: Nathaniel Humphrey Endor
    • Nathaniel Endor: Doesn't like that gorgeous middle name
    • Nathaniel Endor: Clearly a good friend
    • Nathaniel Endor: Made you promise
    • Nathaniel Endor: Gifted you a hunk of cash to start a business
    • Nathaniel Endor: Is betrothed to Lady Krome
    • NPC: Nadia Harwyn, Architect from Gawyne
    • Nadia Harwyn: Your "gift" to Nathaniel
    • Nadia Harwin: Will meet with you once a season

Loot: A fancy mask, a fancy cane and a promissory note detailing that Nathaniel will invest in Caius' future business.

Injuries/Overstepping: No.

Fame: +2 (gift giving!)

Magic EXP: No.



Well, that was highly enjoyable! I love the interaction between these two and I certainly hope to have the chance to read through more of your stuff in the future. I look forward to seeing more of these two together and I wonder if Caius will manage to keep his promise; he seems quite attached to the name Humphrey after all. Great read, guys! They cute!

I can't see any sign of deductions for Caius' gifts or Nadia's entrance fee. Please do so.




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