Fiona looks askance at Alips as she walks with her, standing slightly behind Alips as she speaks. She grows more and more concerned...this is a far cry from the warm, moist, sticky reunion she had been expecting (and fantasizing about).
Fiona now looks at Mathieus, surprise on her face[sup][size=85]1[/size][/sup].
Fiona rushes to Alips's side, sitting beside her on the divan and wrapping her arms around her, holding her if she lets her. She doesn't say anything, just lets Alips know that she's not alone. She looks at Stultus, wondering if he's related to Praxiteles and wondering if that's why she wanted to jump his bones.
"I am sorry my appearance caused you pain," Stultus says to Allips, his voice quiet and solemn. "Please rest assured that this was not my intention. I am very sorry for your loss." He takes a few steps back, letting Fiona comfort the woman as best she can.
After a while, he leans over to Mathieus, inquiring quietly "Out of pure curiosity, where did you find Praxiteles before you took him on as an apprentice?"
Alips just nods at Stultus, and takes some comfort from Fiona.
Mathieus turns to Sultus, "The Theban Tribunal. I doubt you are related, your face just has a similar quality to Praxiteles. It's an unfortunate coincidence right now, but I don't think this has anything to do with your ancestry."
Stultus nods, smiling. "All right. Like I said, idle curiosity, no more." He would have liked to locate his mundane family, but was never quite successful -- and he doesn't know what he'd ask his parents if he ever met them. "Did you lose a bet with God," perhaps.
(( Nah, a day or so, no more. Only thing I'd like to say was done is Stultus telling Mathieus more details about his playhouse idea (laid out in detail here and the two posts immediately following). Gloss over much mention of it serving as intelligence central, emphasize the possible artistic and monetary benefits. Other than that, Confluensis Ho![sup][/sup]))
[sup][/sup](( No, that expression does NOT refer to Fiona.))
Stultus, Fiona and Alips manage to make it to Confluensis without any difficulty. Upon arrival at Confluensis you're greeted by one of the grogs guarding the entrance onto the lily pads comprising the covenant's buildings.
"Ahh, master Stultus, I presume. Marcus informed of us of your pending arrival. Augustina has secured quarters for you and your retinue. She indicates you can join her for dinner, or take it in your quarters, as you'd like." The grog, who never bothers to introduce himself details another grog to escort the three to one of the lily pads and a hut surrounded by a beautiful garden.
Fiona is/has been watching Alips as closely as she can without being obvious or rude about, trying to gauge her feelings, her interest in her, and anything she can pick up[sup]1[/sup]. She doesn't try anything on the flight down, just holds onto Alips tightly to keep her from falling off.
Once they arrive, she stays at the size she had made her and Alips, and tries to keep up with the grog as best she can. At one point, she stage-whispers to Stultus, [color=blue]"Please don't take this the wrong way, my love, but isn't this incredibly frustrating for you, all the time?"
However, she does stop at the hut and look around at the beautiful garden, almost awestruck, and wanders over to examine it intently, oo-ing and ah-ing.
[color=blue]"I would be delighted," Fiona says as she pulls herself away from the garden. [color=blue]"What about you?" she asks Alips.
At the appointed time a page comes to escort everyone to dinner. Alips begs off, though, and wants to sleep. She's been generally listless and unanimated since leaving Paris, not that she was particularly animated in Paris. She does look rather tired, though. And while she hasn't been unreceptive to Fiona, she hasn't been particularly demonstrative in showing affection back to her. There is something wrong wit her, but whether it's some kind of possession or just a form of melancholia is difficult for Fiona to ascertain.
Fiona and Stultus are escorted to the dining hall, where a lavish feast is laid out, delicious smells of roasted game birds, a full boar roasted, and the sweet smell of spiced wine and desserts. Augustina is seated at the head of the table, with the other end left vacant, there are 9 other magi in attendance, 4 on one side of the table and 5 on the other. "Stultus, so good of you to come. Please take your seat opposite me, and Fiona can set at your side. We can now begin hosting this feast." The way she says 'we' is a bit inclusive sounding. A Folk Ken of 6 will indicate that she is actually saying she considers you her co-host.
"And why not?", laughs Stultus, stepping forward. "The boar[sup][/sup] has finally arrived -- oh, and the roast pig is here too. Let's get started." He clambers into the chair opposite Augustina, perching on the arm of it so as to be able to see over the table.
"Augustina, would you be kind enough to perform introductions, please? I know Marcus, and a few of the rest by reputation, but that's as far as it goes."
[sup][/sup](( Boar... bore... I don't need to explain that one, do I? ))
"All in good time, Stultus. Let us first enjoy this feast." She snaps her fingers, and the food disappears, not even the scent lingers, and bowls of gruel are before all the guests. Stultus and Augustina have roasted game birds and assorted vegetables on their plates. Goblets of wine have changed to plain wooden cups of water in front of the guests. Stultus and Augustina still have wine. Augustina smiles, "Enjoy."
Marcus chuckles a bit, and then everyone else in the table chuckles. Auguistina ignores the chuckling and tears off a drumstick and digs in.
Folk Ken rolls and Order of Hermes Lore rolls to determine who is who and who is really laughing and who is faking it.
"A very smart man once said that at dinner, one should eat wisely but not too well, and speak well but not too wisely." Stultus grins at Augustina. "Thank you for taking care of the first part, sodalis."
(( Per 1 + Folk Ken 4 + Clear Thinker +3 (keep forgetting that one) + [1d10] = 7 => 15.
Int +3 + OoH Lore 2 + [1d10] = 3 => 8, unless the Politics specialization applies, in which case it's a 9. Meh.))
Marcus appears to be the only one who enjoyed the ruse, all the other magi and magae are nonplussed and then show a bit of annoyance, but it is subtle. Everyone, strangely, begins eating their gruel, though, although Marcus started eating his first.
"This dinner is simply fabulous, Augustina. You've outdone yourself." About half a dozen of the magi and magae murmur their approval, some a bit less convincingly than others.
Herrit is one of the less convincing magi, and also one he recognizes, comes from Tranquillina's former covenant of Nigrasaxa in Stonehenge. The other magus that Stultus recognizes is not actually a member of House Tytalus, and may be a guest or witness similar to Fiona, and that is Rose Tremeris. Enough is know about Rose, that it is reasonable to believe she is faithfully executing the orders of her mater in observing this matter. ((I can't remember if Fiona has met Rose. If she has, then the recognition is automatic.))
A few moments in, Augustina appears embarrassed. "Pardon me, but some of you have the wrong meal. I am so sorry." But that comment is belied by the speed with which several covenfolk come in with prepared plates. They switch the meals around, and Rose, Fiona and another magus have fare equal to Augustina and Stultus. The remaining portion of gruel in the bowls before them is poured into the magi who have gruel before them, giving them roughly equal amounts.
Someone Stultus doesn't recognize thanks Augustina for the larger portion.
Let's say that Stultus's jokes lack that certain something, and it's noticeable. Of course, that's easily explained by who came with them and being absent from the dinner, "What's wrong Stultus. I was told your wit was much sharper than this. Something seems off. And one of the people accompanying you isn't here, is she a mundane who wished to avoid all of us magi? A servant of yours? I was told she didn't carry herself as a servant."
Fiona will check on Alips before she heads down to dinner. She tucks her friend in, and kisses her gently. [color=blue]"Sleep well, and I'll check on you later. Sweet dreams."
((I want to spont an Intellego Herbam on the door, R:Touch +1, D: Sun +2, T: Individual, that will tell her when the door is opened. I'm not sure if the base would be 1, "Gain an intuitive knowledge of a plant (for example, know whether a given action would harm a plant)" or 3, "Learn...a single specific fact about a plant or an item made from plant products". The Sun duration is so that she will know if the door is opened or closed until the next sunrise/sunset. Her target would be either 4 or 10. Her CT would be Sta 3 + In 5 + He 10 + Aura ? + die roll of 6 = 24 + Aura, halved, which should work.
I'm assuming this is after sunset, so Fiona can be her normal size. She grins as she takes in the vista. [color=blue]"Times like this, I'm glad I'm a giant." ((Per 0 + Folk Ken (Magi) 2 + die roll of 4 = 6. Barely.))