The Gilded

The Republic

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a part of The Gilded, by Scarlet Loup.

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Scarlet Loup holds sovereignty over The Republic, giving them the ability to make limited changes.
558 readers have been here.
3,679 readers have visited The Gilded since Scarlet Loup created it.

Setting

Default Location for The Gilded

Minimap

The Republic is a part of The Gilded.

20 Characters Here

Silas Buchanan [12] "Against all odds, a seed rises from darkness."
Edmund P. Gray [10] "The True Work Of Art Is But A Shadow Of The Divine Perfection."~ Michelangelo
Canan [8] Please?
Xena Dawn [7] "Life shrinks or expands in proportion with one's courage."
Ren Truscott [7] "Never love anybody who treats you like you are ordinary."
Rosemary Eleanor Darcy [6] "Welcome to Eden, and I hope you enjoy your stay."
Meredith Joplin [5] "Originality implies being bold enough to go beyond accepted norms"
Luisa Dubois [5] "I crave touch, yet I flinch every time someone is close enough."
Amias Vennum [5] Veritas Nunquam Perit
Quartz M. Jones [4] "Poetry Is An Orphan Of Silence. The Words Never Quite Equal The Experience Behind Them." ~ Charles Simic

Start Character Here »


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Silas Buchanan Character Portrait: Ren Truscott Character Portrait: Luisa Dubois Character Portrait: Laurence Perry Character Portrait: Magnolia T. Krane Character Portrait: Edmund P. Gray Character Portrait: Rosemary Eleanor Darcy Character Portrait: Priscilla Johnson Character Portrait: Alanus McCloud Character Portrait: Meredith Joplin Character Portrait: Canan Character Portrait: Xena Dawn Character Portrait: Aris Lincoln Character Portrait: Quartz M. Jones

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The problem with having the wealth and power that he did meant that it often fell on Silas to host his peers and their over-the-top demands when it came time for holidays or any other celebration. One such holiday had always been welcoming in the new year in the dead of winter. Temperatures in Arcadia never reached above forty degrees in the winter, and a thin sheet of snow coated everything.

A unforgiving wind whipped through the streets that day, driving most Patricians into the cover of their automobiles to reach whatever party they would be attending. Silas's was only for the cream of the crop, of course. A man in his position could not afford to invite those who didn't belong there. Despite that, his home seemed packed to the brim. The manor stood on the edge of Arcadia, in the same place his mentor had begun its construction so many years ago. And now, here it was - a looming, multi-story thing of near-palatial quality.

It was Harvey who had requested the layout that, frankly, had no place among the most modern pieces of architecture. It seemed to glow in the moonlight, the white of the building reflecting the light like a beacon. A courtyard in the center stretched the length of the mansion, but it had been covered for the comfort of the party-goers.

It was in the courtyard that Silas stood now, engaged in a conversation with far too many people at once. Like most of the conversations that night, it involved talk about the recent protests that had sprung up in smaller, less significant cities across The Republic earlier that day. That was the problem with mass media, he found - news spread far too quickly. He hadn't even had time to be briefed before the concerned phone calls came into his secretary and the more influential Patricians appeared at his doorstep.

"It's outrageous, I say," blubbered a woman to his right. She was a journalist, he recalled, one of the first who had appeared on his doorstep that morning. "The gall of some...frankly, I don't see what they plan to accomplish." She turned quickly, facing Silas with a hungry look in her eyes. "What do you make of it?"

Societal change slips under our noses, suddenly integrates itself into life.

He had been watching Canan from a slight distance, having let her wander off among the flowers in the garden. Once upon a time, that could have - would have - been him. He had been so young then, but here he stood, a changed man. He could hardly imagine a life without the Gilded.

It was ironic that despite all of his schooling, he had seemed to forget one of the earliest lessons he had learned as a child, that there was an ugly side to the Gilded that the media, the endless commercials and promotions didn't show. He could hardly remember a time without the looming presence of the Gilded.

"We...owe it to the people of The Republic to let them speak for themselves," he began, his hand tightening for a moment on his tumbler of some drink he had long forgotten about. "But we will ensure their civil liberties do not infringe upon those of other citizens." He gestured about the circle, his hand almost hesitating as he gestured past a few of the Gilded that stood by their respective Patricians.

He looked to the journalist now, and she gave a slow nod, already pounding his words into her sleek cellular device with her thumb. They would be across the nation in just minutes. An urge struck him, and he downed the rest of his drink before excusing himself and walking towards the bar, seeking something else to calm newly frazzled nerves.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Silas Buchanan Character Portrait: Canan

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Stop Canan’s mind whined pitifully. She could feel those eyes on her, not Master’s of course. She kept her head dipped down, straight bangs covering her eyes as she tried to focus on the flower crown she was weaving, hoping to ignore it but knowing the Patrician would only come over if she pleased anyway. She was some media mogul, those ones were always the most entitled. Her fingers twitched a little as she brushed her thumb over the pale yellow rose petals, unable to help herself as she lifted her head, eyes lighting up at the sight of Silas looking back at her.

In the short little window they looked to one another, her gently rounded brows furrowed as she pouted just the smallest bit. She didn’t want anyone coming over and treating themself to her. As quickly as he looked over, he was back to speaking and she was back to her work, little bare toes wiggling into the plush grass.

It took Canan a few moments to even realize she had finished working when she blinked back to reality, coincidentally standing the moment she heard footsteps approaching. With a little hop in her step, she tiptoed over to her Master, skinny little fingers curling in his sleeve and tugging gently, holding the crown up and silently presenting it to him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Silas Buchanan Character Portrait: Magnolia T. Krane Character Portrait: Edmund P. Gray Character Portrait: Rosemary Eleanor Darcy Character Portrait: Priscilla Johnson Character Portrait: Canan Character Portrait: Quartz M. Jones Character Portrait: Amias Vennum

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Wearing an outfit that was both modest and sexy, Magnolia stood off to the side, playing with the satin of her dresses skirt. She had found the perfect spot to watch while her Patrician went and rubbed elbows, or instigate a fight by speaking his mind sense he was rather more open minded then most. Sense no one was really paying her any attention she was watching the going ons around her. Her jewel toned eyes focusing on the Silas Buchanan, the host of tonights extravagant party. Attractive, tall, dark, but totally out of her league even if she hadn't signed away her freedom to become a Gilded and potentially have a better life once she was released.

Not that Magnolia was complaining, her Patrician was kind and didn't really want her to do more then be herself, be his daughters friend, and of course better herself by using the resources he has kindly offered her. He, for the most part, left her alone and to her own devices unless he wanted to accompany him to parties and such. Now, though, standing on the outskirts of a beautiful party filled with beautiful people admired but ignored she couldn't help but feel a bit lonely. Deciding that standing in one spot was making her depressed she decided to move about, walking the outskirts. Smiling and nodding to people she knew and avoiding the reporters, all of them a hungry look to them that told her that they were searching to get a Gilded's point of view on the protests.






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"Priscilla, have fun dear. You know who you can talk to and who is off limits. Please avoid the reporters, Actually, im not asking. Avoid the reporters. By the way, have I told you that you look lovely? Because you do." Edmund said with a smile, he adjusted his tie as he handed his coat over to the attendant and smoothed a hand over his hair, smiling to a few of the men and women he knew he peeked at Priscilla from the corner of his eye, "Before you wander off, let us say hello to the host of tonights event my dear." he stated in his charming manner as he offered his arm to his Gilded. She did look lovely as he had stated but he only really kept a Gilded because it was expected of him. The last of the Gray line and all, he was rarely home and he truly felt awful that he basically kept this beautiful dove locked in a cage but it was the way of life.

Walking with purpose filled strides he made his way over to Silas, a wide smile on his lips, "Hello Silas, it appears that you have out done yourself once again." Edmund greeted, probably in a far to personal way. He never was one for propriety and often shrugged it off, much to the chagrin of his peers. His eyes only briefly flickered down to Silas's Gilded, Canan he believed she was called before he focused back on to his host, "Chilly tonight, isn't it?" once again interrupting one of the less prominent men that had been trying to speak to Silas. Tapping Priscilla's hand twice as if to let her know she could wander off he kept his focus and his smile directed toward Silas.

Edmund really wasn't one for fancy parties or get togethers sense it interrupted his few free moments that he wasnt working but this was one of the biggest of the year and they were a great way to get some extra business, that being said though he had always enjoyed the few talks he had, had with Silas in the past and in such he was hoping to pass most of the night having another.





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Quartz enjoyed having attention upon her, especially when she knows she looks good. Which of course she did, a tight fitted black silk dress clung to her tiny frame, accenting her milky skin and fiery hair just like the gems that had been implanted upon her flesh. Looking up at her Patrician, her friend, and her occasional lover she smiled "Shall we enjoy ourselves?" she asked, her voice soft and musical as her eyes roamed the room. Though she has been to many parties like this one in the past three years she has been with Rosemary, they never stop exciting her.

She wasn't as naive or as childlike as some of the Gildeds she has meet in the past, she was often referred to a mature and she had even heard a few call her undesirable because of it but she was wanted by Rosemary and that was all that mattered to her. She was perfect for her Mistress, or at least she was under the impression that she was, and together they were happy. Keeping on hand on Rosemary she followed beside her as they moved through the crowds that parted for elegant pair.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rosemary Eleanor Darcy Character Portrait: Quartz M. Jones

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Dialogue: #990012 || Thought: #C24641





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Rosemary looked over the party with a small smirk and a tangy of amuse in her eye. Years had passed and occasions like this never grew dull, only because it allowed her to to show off her worth. She looked over to Quartz, the walking embodiment of her wealth, and smiled. "Shall we enjoy ourselves?" To this Rosemary could make no argument; though the girl was a glitzy show piece, she was also the dearest friend of the Patrician. Rosemary took hold of Quartz's hand and gave it a light squeeze.

"You know me, Quartz, I love to indulge." As Rose spoke she lead the two of them over to a table full of drinks and food, all looked divine. She ran her fingers over small sandwiches and chocolates, yet got the chance to pick up any before a stranger walked up to her. "Ms. Rouge," a voice spoke to her, which she gave her attention, "you look exquisite, and so does your Gilded." The man reached out to touch Quartz, Rosemary held up her hand to the man to put a stop to this. she wouldn't allow for that, though Quartz was a Gilded she was more than just some object to be played with in the eyes of Rose. The man then smiled, nodded, and walked away. Once the man was gone Rose placed a small kiss on Quart'z forehead, "He was right though, I do look exquisite." That night she was dressed in a a blazer that only had the bottom two buttons done, that showed off her nice cleavage, and a fitted pair of black dress pants. Her makeup wasn't over the top, her foundation even, her lips cherry red, her eyelashes elongated, and a sharp wing. Rosemary wore no jewelry, besides pieces of diamonds sewn into her hair. "Though," she added after a long pause, "you look more divine than I" To this a small chuckle escaped her lips.

Now back to finding something to snack on." Facing back to the table she ended up picking up a piece of fine chocolate and dropped it into her mouth. It was soft and fluffy, within seconds it had melted in her mouth. "Oh my god, Quartz, you must try this." She picked up another one letting it melt on her tongue once again and sighed from the good taste. "Silas always has such good food."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Silas Buchanan Character Portrait: Edmund P. Gray Character Portrait: Priscilla Johnson Character Portrait: Canan

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Priscilla always loved it whenever the new year rolled around. It was a chance to start again, whether on life or just to start over in general. She also loved the festivities that followed, big or small and loved being within the presence of other people. Of course, she was a little bit on the quieter side of things but embracing her adulthood life have made her come to terms with being around other people and opening up to them, as well. Priscilla eyed the pathways that herself and Edmund traveled to get to Silas' place. She smiled at just about everything then looked over towards Edmund, still a smile plastered upon her face.

When they arrived to the little get together, she stayed close by her Patrician and linked her arm with his. As Edmund started to speak towards her, her eyes fluttered over to meet his and she let out a breath. Hearing his words and command, she couldn't help but nod her head while she responded to him. "Yes, Edmund. I will definitely avoid the reporters." She said in a delicate tone then couldn't help but blush whenever he mentioned how lovely she looked. "Thanks, Edmund. And you look adorable yourself. But of course you would because I picked off your suit." Priscilla couldn't help but chuckle after she said that and slapped his arm playfully before she linked hers back properly to his.

Before she trailed off away from Edmund, he wanted her to go over to meet and greet with the host, Silas. She had let Edmund speak first then she parted her mouth to speak, as well. "This is very extravagant." Priscilla offered the compliment towards Silas and ended with a smile as she felt Edmund tap her twice to let her know that she was now free to wander off. Before she wander off, she eyed Silas' gilded, Canan then she offered one more smile towards Silas and her Patrician, Edmund before she walked away from them.

With a slight sigh, she stood in the middle of the room for a moment, thinking about what could she do or where could she go. The house was really gorgeous she knew her place and not to really trail off too far from Edmund. But as soon as she turned around, a reporter was staring dead at her and coming her way. "I have nothing to say. Excuse me." Priscilla said before the reporter even got the question out good enough and ran in the opposite direction, standing upon a wall to catch her breath. She didn't want to seem like she was disobeying her Patrician because she really wasn't. But she just hoped that Edmund didn't see the reporter or get the wrong impression from that display.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Silas Buchanan Character Portrait: Edmund P. Gray Character Portrait: Alanus McCloud

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Xena sat with a glass of champagne hanging from her lazy fingers. Her light eyes looked around at the grand decorations and food strewn about. People were gathered in little pockets, discussing the latest technological advances, new Gilded, and other gossip. The distinct twinkle of joy was present in Xena's expression. Truly, she loved being in the presence of so much wealth and power.

The red hair that sat upon her head was neatly gathered in a bun. Long diamond earrings grazed her bare shoulders, and her face was uncharacteristically done up with fine make up. The dress that she was wearing was floor length, embroidered with real emeralds and made out of a shimmering deep green silk material. The fabric flowed effortlessly from her hips which were gracefully being shown off, from there the piece wound tightly up her body and made small fluttering sleeves around her upper arms. By no means was she the most attractive creature at the event, but her beauty was something to be noticed.

Ms. Dawn watched Silas with a keen eye as he made his way toward the bar. It wasn't obvious that Silas was irritated by the press by the naked eye, but Xena had noticed the grip he held on his drink. She wasn't one for exclusive people watching, but at events such as this it was a good strategy to start with. While watching the dark figure that everyone called Doyen, Xena thought about the amount of pressure he was having to deal with. Especially with the protests. For a moment Xena felt bad for Silas. He exuded such confidence, but she sense urgency in his body language.

Remembering that she ought to make it appear like she was keeping an eye on her Gilded, Xena scanned the crowd. She made Alanus only stay with her for one drink before letting him roam. Unlike many Patricians, Xena held no personal favor of the Gilded culture. Though the practice did remind her of her childhood and many fond memories of her parents' Gilded, Xena ultimately saw the drastic flaws in the design. They were people, after all; an idea that Xena didn't quite understand until she started working as a doctor. Xena didn't lack the intelligence to recognize that the Gilded's rights were warped, but she also didn't want to go against the status quo. It was hard enough keeping her own secrets, she didn't want to be fighting the whole of society as well.

Flowing from her seat like a powerful tidal wave, Xena made her way to Silas and Edmund. The same reporter that was annoying Silas stepped directly in front of Xena, trying to get a statement. Before a single word could escape the poor woman's mouth Xena's green eyes darted her. "Enough," she said coolly, taking an effortless step around the reporter and putting her hand up in disgust. This wasn't enough to deter the reporter though, aggressively the woman followed Xena while spouting out all sorts of questions. Unamused by this tactless move Xena whipped around the face the woman.

Quickly, Xena swiped the phone from the reporter's hands. She looked at it briefly, ignoring the fact that there was indeed a list of Patrician's names to find and interview. As the reporter tried grab the phone back Xena swiftly leaned over and slid it across the spotless floor. The phone made it through several parading feet before Xena lost sight of it. "Good luck," Xena said as she turned back to her original destination.

Upon arrival she gave Edmund Gray and polite nod with a sparkling smile. It appeared that the art curator was making small talk with the Doyen. "You're looking well, Silas." she interrupted with a bold amount of sarcasm.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Silas Buchanan Character Portrait: Ren Truscott Character Portrait: Laurence Perry Character Portrait: Rosemary Eleanor Darcy Character Portrait: Meredith Joplin

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MEREDITH JOPLIN

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REN TRUSCOTT






It was a bit cold for a party, but nonetheless Meredith had rarely been invited to drink in the presence of the higher Patricians in Arcadia. It had been a mere chance that an invitation to Silas's New Years Eve party had landed itself in her hands. One of her most recent clients that she had designed for asked if she would attended the party. A favor for the intricate, beautiful dress Meredith had spent countless hours stitching together. She nearly would've starved if it hadn't been for Ren kindly leaving plates of food at her work table while she stitched. 

Tonight however, Meredith planned to stick out. She had to, if she wanted to stick her nose out into the higher classes of Arcadia. It was her chance to spread her name and hopefully acquire a multitude of new clients. She had spent a week fashioning a silver, silk dress that had tiny crystals incased in each fashioned stitch. Every time she walked, a small little shimmer followed in her wake. She was proud of it, and tonight was her chance to showcase her talent. 

The ride to Silas's Estate was rather quiet, she had taken Ren along with her. A little part of her wanted his company, she was practically one of the youngest higher class members in this section of Arcadia, he was the only person she was comfortable with. Guiltily however, he showed her level of class, having a Gilded meant you had authority or wealth in this world. As the thought crossed her head her eyes strayed over to his spot next to her, she had fashioned a sleek golden suit that matched the intricate swirls of gold peeking out from his sleeve, and curling up his neck. Her eyes fell back down to her hands in her lap, which where etched with faint lines from where she had constantly been working and stitching. "There are going to be a lot of important people there." The sentence that came out had many meanings. She was nervous, he could probably tell, to her it was more of reassurance. Stating her trouble, and hoping that the words would make her feel better. It didn't. 

Ren took one of her hands in his own, rubbing his thumb along the imprints. "You'll be one of them," he replied simply. "You're more than ready for this." If he was honest with himself, he was more worried about how he would deal with that level of scrutiny than how she would. Being Gilded meant coming from the lower classes, and Ren was no exception. Parties in his hometown were less tailored suits and stunning gowns and more dirty jeans and faded shirtdresses. Living in Arcadia, with Meredith especially, had offered an enormous departure from any life he'd known before. Just the gold suit he was wearing now was probably worth more than his family's entire home had been. Out the window were sprawling estates that rivaled anything Ren had ever seen.

Each mansion was bigger than the last, and the one the car pulled into was the biggest of them all. The white walls glittered in the light of the moon in the same way every one of Meredith's steps did. It seemed that most of the guests had already arrived, and they were among the final few stragglers to show up. Maybe Ren was a biased, but he didn't see a single outfit that was better than the ones Meredith had designed, or even half as good. He had watched her slave away over each stitch, every inch of fabric until the constructions were absolutely perfect, and in his eyes it had more than paid off.

The mansion took Meredith's breath away. Compared to her flat, this place was a castle. There were big names everywhere, it would be a lie to herself if she wasn't a tiny bit intimidated. The quiet, hushed conversations could be heard all around her, about the various protests in the Republic. She wasn't surprised, there had always been various forms of protests against the Republic, but it had slowly been getting worse. She turned her head slightly to address Ren as they made their way into the courtyard. "Feel free to walk around if you like, just don't stray too far," she said quietly. She had noticed the other Gildeds walking around the courtyard, some right next to their Patricians and others roaming around. 

Ren stopped himself before he could furrow his brow at the crowd. Pasting a pleasant smile on his face, he offered, "Do you want me to get you a drink?" Waiters passed every few feet with trays of either hors d'oeuvres or champagne. A table against the wall held a punch bowl and a water pitcher. The other guests seemed to prefer the champagne. "I'd really rather not leave you alone," he admitted, "or try to introduce myself alone." Socializing had never been his strong suit, and he had never really seen himself fitting in well with other Gildeds. He'd only met a few, but they'd had very different views than he did on being a Gilded. It made him sick to his stomach. Reminded him of his 'training.'

Meredith gave him a soft smile and a slight nod, "I would love a drink." Something to loosen her up, and take away her anxiety sounded like a wonderful idea. As she watched Ren slip away to grab a drink her eyes strayed across the crowd, beautiful men and women surrounded her everywhere, she didn't even know where to start. She noticed Silas, one of the most influential men in the Republic, and quite intimidating. Then there was Rosemary, Laurence, she could go on. If it hadn't been for her parents encouraging lesson on some of the highest class in Arcadia she would've been lost. She was so lost in her own thoughts she didn't even notice a woman that approached her. 

"That is one of the most lovely dresses I have ever laid eyes on, you must tell me where you purchased it!" The women's voice was obnoxiously nasally, but Meredith didn't let it phase her. 

"Well, uhm, I actually made it myself." Her voice came out a bit unconfident, but she flashed the woman a bright smile, and hoped that it would save her failing confidence. 

After grabbing a glass of champagne and an Hors d'oeuvres, he made a beeline for the drink table, hopefully for something without alcohol. He took a sip of the punch he'd gotten for himself and nearly choked on the booze in it. Either someone had spiked it, or this was never really 'punch.' It reminded him of the jungle juice he'd accidentally had too much of at a party when he was 14. The appetizer, on the other hand, was a beef tenderloin on a fancy cracker with what seemed to be a garlic and merlot jam spread decoratively on top. He wondered to himself if he could recreate it at home and turned to see if Meredith thought he could. When he saw the woman talking to her, Ren decided to hang back at the drink table and watch, grinning to himself as the potential conversation played out in his head.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Silas Buchanan Character Portrait: Edmund P. Gray Character Portrait: Priscilla Johnson Character Portrait: Canan Character Portrait: Xena Dawn

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Silas pressed the glass into the bar's top, sliding it across the surface with a force he hadn't intended to use.

"Something strong," was all he requested as he lifted his hand and watched the bartender lift his glass from the counter. For a while, he watched as she began the makings of some sort of mixed drink, but Silas lost his focus quickly thereafter and looked upward, through the glass ceiling. Night had already fallen over Arcadia, but the courtyard was well-lit, made to look like it was perpetually just moments before sunset. It gave the garden more intimacy, but it prevented full anonymity. He enjoyed that - being able to see who addressed him throughout the night. It made it easier to keep track of his guests.

Silas looked over the courtyard now, his eyes scanning the tops of hedges for Canan. He turned just moments after she had tugged on his sleeve, calling his attention back to her. His eyes lingered on her as he took in her appearance which, truly, had never ceased to amaze him. How delicate she was, her two legs like spindles beneath a thin torso. It worried him sometimes, when he laid with her, that he would harm her. She was over a foot shorter than him, and the juxtaposition between the two was nearly comical.

He might have reached out and traced the swirls of gold that twisted about her body like an endless maze, but his reach was interrupted by the flower crown she presented, which brushed against his fingertips electrifyingly.

"It's beautiful," he breathed, taking in gently in his hands as though afraid of crushing it. Gingerly, he turned it in his hands before lifting it and placing it on her strawberry blonde tresses. As he let his hands fall away, he tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and leaned forward. "You look lovely, pet." Bending to her height had a tendency to be an ordeal, but he did so anyway and placed a kiss against her forehead. One hand brushed against the small of her back as he did so, but only to stabilize her.

A voice to his side brought him back into the moment, and he pulled away as he turned to face Edmund. His hand fell from her back slowly, hesitatingly. "Good evening, Edmund," he returned, picking up his drink from the bar. "Thank you - always a pleasure to share this night with such...lovely company." His eyes skirted back towards the reporter who had just harangued him, hoping Edmund would pick up on the gesture without him having to be blunt. He heard the approach of another man whose name he couldn't recall, but his presence was quickly shut down as Edmund continued to speak.

"Certainly," he continued, the force of his words convincing the man to look elsewhere for a conversation. "It seems colder each year, I swear." He enjoyed the presence of the younger man - he was talented and seemed to exude potential in a way that Silas could relate to specifically. It had certainly been part of the reason he owned a few of Edmund's pieces.

His eyes flitted to Priscilla, and he accepted her compliment with a smile as he raised the drink to his lips. The bartender certainly understood what he meant, and, for sure, the beverage burned sharply as it trailed down his throat. For a moment, his head swam as he gathered his words.

"Thank you, my dear," he returned, inclining his head in acknowledgement. He followed her for a moment before reaching out to Edmund. "Let's walk." He brushed the other man's elbow, guiding him after him in a friendly manner. He switched his drink to his other hand and reached down with one hand to take up Canan's hand as he led the two of them through the hedges.

It was as they walked that Xena intercepted the small group. "Do I?" He asked incredulously, raising an eyebrow dramatically to make it quite clear that he had caught on to her sarcasm but did not take offense. Even if he had, he wouldn't have conveyed it - there were certain things that he had learned to not fight. "'Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown', right? Proverbial crown, of course. And yet, still a very real weight." He gave a soft laugh at his own comment.

"However, you didn't hear that from me," he said, taking a seat on a circular bench, perfect for the group to converse without Silas having to worry as much about the invigorated reporters. The drink was certainly helping as well. "As far as anyone is concerned, it's all under control." He looked over at Canan for a moment, pursing his lips before taking another long sip.

"But you look well," he offered to Xena, looking back at her now. "Wonder if I would have done better in medicine - probably wouldn't have. Politicians aren't good for much more than talking circles." He paused, pressing his lips together for a moment.

"What a time we live in."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Silas Buchanan Character Portrait: Edmund P. Gray Character Portrait: Canan Character Portrait: Xena Dawn

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His words alone were enough to send little jolts of happiness through her, her face instantly splitting into a smile as she giggled, happily leaning up on her toes to reach the crown. Stepping nearer, she slipped her arms around his neck briefly, cheek squished against his as she smiled brightly. Her lips brushed over his jaw, just barely enough to be considered a kiss. “Thank you sir..” Canan murmured, lashes - covered with infinitesimally small diamonds - fluttering shut and brushing his cheek.

When his attention turned from her, she fell quiet, fingers absentmindedly curling against him as she let her eyes wander, simply nodding to the others of higher status than her when they approached her Master. Her ears pricked up at the mention of the cold, subconsciously pressing closer to Silas as she tugged her furs tighter around her lithe form, too susceptible to the cold even safe indoors.

Silas’ hand pulled her from her thoughts, pale eyes turning up to him as she followed blindly, hardly even acknowledging Xena before she realized she was being rude. Canan turned to her, leaning her head on Silas’ shoulder and giving a small wave, quickly distracted by the flowers. She knew nothing of their talks, of the protests, of the fact that people even thought there was something wrong with Gildeds. Her life was perfect. She grew up happy, completely blind to the abuse she was put through, gladly accepting it all.

Something as small as catching Silas’ eye again made her porcelain features light up, tucking her feet under her thighs as she curled into his side, carefully running her fingers over the collar made of sapphires.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ren Truscott Character Portrait: Luisa Dubois

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Luisa was used to be primped and tucked. After all, she was representing one of the most sought after celebrities in Arcadia. Tonight Luisa was adorned with dark colored diamonds and a sweeping purple gown. The piece was of a simple design,hanging elegantly on her curves, but it was made of fine threaded silk. The material was iridescent, changing with each catch of light, and just sheer enough for the golden itching on Luisa's body to be adored. On her feet were a pair of delicate black heels with pointed toes. Her make up was that of a young girl, just enough to accentuate her natural beauty but not enough to cover it with colorful smears.

Unlike many of the Gilded Luisa had met over the years, she was rather mature and knowing. In her previous life she was treated like an adult the moment she could speak. The old traditions of Thriskeía primed Luisa for a full-time life as a contributing member of society and well as being a mother. She was expected to have a natural grasp of adult concepts an be fully matured by the time she was seventeen. Thus, her level of independence was higher than most Gilded in Arcadia. Luisa was well beyond her years, which was both and challenge and a blessing for her Patrician, Aris. Luisa found no shame in being an intelligent, sophisticated, and independent Gilded. Deep down she knew that she was ultimately a slave to Aris and Arcadia, but she made up for this devastating fact by presenting herself as an independent being.

Her golden brown eyes scanned over the faces that littered Silas' courtyard. The Doyen himself stood with Xena Dawn, who Luisa knew very little about, and Edmund Gray, who was also an illusive figure. In the distance was Aris, getting the attention he needed. Across the way were some familiar faces with scattered names, but none of which seemed interesting enough for Luisa to go out of her way for.

Luisa spied a reporter but turned before making any eye contact. Normally, Luisa wouldn't have a problem making a statement about the protests. Being a Gilded was, in her experience, something pleasant. She was lucky enough to be treated well by Aristotle, and to get nearly everything she desired. They fought often, but they had never reached a height of disagreement that was extraordinarily violent or abusive.

However, Luisa didn't want to speak to the press tonight because of Charlie, her ex-fiance. It was silly for Luisa to think about being married at seventeen now that she was older, but her commitment to Charlie as a dear friend was still the same as the day she was taken to Arcadia. Against her wishes, Charlie was amongst the protestors. In fact, seeing as he literally could no remarry in Thriskeía, Charlie had made civil rights for the Gilded his life work. It was not well known that Luisa was betrothed to someone before becoming a Gilded, but she didn't want to make the situation between them any worse by making a statement.

She proceeded to keep a sharp eye on the party, sipping on a martini. It was then that she noticed something new and exciting. A young woman and a Gilded who was dressed in a suit made entirely of gold. After a few exchanges they parted ways, the woman conversed with elites while the Gilded gathered their refreshments. Luisa, near enough to take just a couple of steps toward him, noticed the Gilded watching his Patrician with deep admiration. A spark of jealously made Luisa's eye twitch. What if she was never going to experience what he was experiencing ever again? Letting out a soft sigh Luisa set her emptied martini on a wandering waiter's tray.

Regaining her confidence, Luisa interrupted his thought by looking at his Patrician and stating "She is beautiful." Luisa turned her head to look at the other Gilded. "You're new," she tilted her head,"My name is Luisa."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Silas Buchanan Character Portrait: Magnolia T. Krane Character Portrait: Edmund P. Gray Character Portrait: Rosemary Eleanor Darcy Character Portrait: Alanus McCloud Character Portrait: Canan Character Portrait: Xena Dawn Character Portrait: Amias Vennum

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Amias Vennum


Amias Vennum was used to going to parties for political or financial gain, but very rarely was he allowed to simply relax. New Year Parties were a time he would put the world’s problems away and if for one night just enjoy himself. However this party however was much more enjoyable for Amias as he listened to the bustling chatter and gossip about the recent protests against owning Gilded. Amias could only smile as he sipped a glass of Chardonnay and savored the vanilla like flavor. Amias had his fair share of reporters approach him earlier today inquiring on his opinion about the situation. Being known as a Gilded Civil Rights representative he told them he welcomed the opinions of others and would remain supportive of the protests so long as they remained civil demonstrations.

Though considered a wise representative Amias had his share of naysayers and was sure this would cause some gossip to circulate among the other Anti Gilded Rights Patricians. No doubt there would be some plots to undermine him, politically or financially, But let them come, Amias had faced much worse than backroom politics and he could deal with whatever they threw at him. For now he was content to just enjoy things and let the world be for tonight. Amias looked around the mansion which belonged to his host Silas. The antique design of the mansion did indeed stand out among the others in this district, but so did Amias whose design was more reminiscent of classical Greek architecture. As he admired the house he took in the guests whom had attended the party. Normally his daughter Antoinette would have attended with him, but this year she had wished to celebrate the new year at a friends party.

So tonight he had taken Magnolia with him as company. Normally he wouldn’t have considered owning a Gilded, but without a mother figure in her life Amias had wanted Antoinette to have some constant female company other than the maids. Not to mention Amias would like to have some female company just to laugh, talk and admire with. So he had entered into an agreement with Magnolia, companionship in exchange for a comfortable living. From a business perspective it was a deal most people would kill to have. Amias had given her a lavish accommodations, delectable food, even free education when he later found out her ambitions. All of this he gave her for next to nothing, just as long as she made herself at home as a companion.

Despite her multifaceted personality she fit in just perfectly with their little family. Antoinette had taken to her with enthusiasm and enjoyed spending time with her. She was like a sister and sometimes mother to Antoinette, someone whom she could talk with, spend time with and though he didn’t like it, confide in things she didn’t want to with Amias. Amias also enjoyed her quirky personality and found her quite beautiful to look at. He especially liked it when her temperamental side came out as she was so amusing to watch in this state. He also found her very attractive in appearance and if he had met her some twenty years ago he would have attempted to seduce her. But he was much wiser now and though it was not impossible for him to pursue her she was better off enjoying the romantic attention of someone more her age and Amias someone of his own age.

Amias sighed and pushed such thoughts aside as he continued to look around. He spotted Silas with his Gilded along with others. One he recognized as Edmund Grey, a well known artist and owner of one of the prestigious art galleries. The woman he didn’t recognize but she was quite the eye catcher. Deciding to intrude upon this congregation Amias began making his way over to the group, his wood cane announcing his presence with it’s clicking tempo. “Quite the party you have arranged Silas.” he said. “I suspect this will be a celebration to be remembered for quite some time.”

He looked to Edmund and nodded, “Mr. Grey, good to see you were able to attend the festivities.” Amias turned to the beautiful blond woman, “I do not believe I’ve had the pleasure of meeting you miss?” He asked.



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Alanus McCloud


The atmosphere was filled with giddy laughter, high spirits and everything short of drunken revelry. Here were people who lived the high life without a care for what others thought or even for the concern of others. It was revolting and sickened him to no end to see these pompous, arrogant creatures whom were the leaders of humanity’s last bastion of civilization. Alanus’ lips twisted in a disgust as he slowly roamed the courtyard outskirts, doing as much as he could to avoid drawing attention to himself. Alanus wanted to be among these people as much as he wanted to gouge out his own eyes. But thanks to his new Patrician he found himself now among the wolves. Unlike his previous “Master” as he was so fond of being called, Xena Dawn was more lenient and considerate. But Alanus didn’t let his guard down with her, he learned long ago Patricians were never to be trusted.

Alanus looked paused to look over the guests of the party, Patricians along with their Gilded were in large attendance tonight with some reporters. He turned his attention to the Gilded who walked among them, many of them enjoying the festivities, others just keeping to themselves. One girl whom he saw with what appeared to be an important man handed him a crown of flowers of which he put on her head. He basked in the affection this girl showered upon him like some giddy school girl as the circulated around. How could she be so at ease? How could she act like she was some girl with her boyhood crush and not like some slave? It was something Alanus could never understand, how one could willingly become part of a society that treated them as nothing but possessions. Alanus had been forced into his position and resented every moment.

His last owner had forced him into indentured service, forced him to be something he didn’t wish, branded him, humiliated him, practically tortured him. It was a time of Alanus’ life where he almost wished to die but his stubborn nature had forced him to live through it until his Patrician died. Ironic how he had died by the position of one of the creatures Alanus had trained for him. Though he had warned him many times a Black Manba was very dangerous but the man had dismissed his warnings and paid the price. There were still some who thought Alanus had somehow arranged for the man to be bitten or even poisoned him personally. But no evidence was found and as Alanus said, as much as wanted to he didn’t kill the man.

Though this didn’t stop such dark thoughts from entering his mind, such as wondered how many of the Patricians in this room a little of the snake's venom could kill. It would be as simple as spiking the punch and then just watch the results, but such thoughts were best left unexplored. A sound of footsteps caught his attention and Alanus turned to see one of the reporters approaching him, “Excuse me good sir, I’d like to hear your take on GAAHHH!” The reporter jumped back as a growling next to Alanus caused the reporter to turn pail, “Leave.” Alanus said. The woman didn’t think twice as she turned tail and ran away. He turned back to the creature to his left, “Good boy.” He said as he pet the creature. Himeji was a wolf pup Alanus had raised during his last tenure and it had become his most loyal companion. He brought him to the party mostly for companionship but also gave the excuse to Xena it would help boost her prestivue to be seen with a tamed beast like a wolf. And indeed it did draw attention, not just to Xena but to himself.

Himeji mostly kept him company but he also scared off the party goers who ventured close to ask him questions or interact with him. Of the few who managed to last more than ten seconds had assumed he was a Patrician. Now Alanus was dressed in a tailor made suit with a black tailcoat jacket, white starched shirt with waistcoat, black trousers and dress shoes. But it covered his Gilding marks and his gloves insured they remained hidden. This explained how he was mistaken for a Patrician but even so it didn’t make him any less annoyed when he was compared to those monsters. Alanus sighed, he was getting angry and it was best not to let that anger grow, maybe a drink was in order. Hopefully the non alcoholic drinks weren’t spiked yet as he didn’t like alcohol. As Alanus moved to leave the outskirts Himeji suddenly perked up, looked around and walked off in a random direction, “Himeji.” Alanus said firmly, trying to get the wolf’s attention. But it was no use as Himeji continued his search for whatever he was looking for. Alanus followed the wolf as he walked along the outskirts before coming up behind a woman in a green laced gown with a black skirt.

Himeji pushed his snout into the small of woman's back as he sniffed her intently, taking in her natural scent over her perfume, which Alanus could smell had a flowery scent to it, “Himeji, heel!” Alanus said before he came behind the wolf and pinched the wolf’s neck. Immediately the wolf stopped what he was doing and sat down on the spot. Alanus made sure Himeji wasn’t going to do anything before looking towards the woman, “My apologies, my companion must have been very curious to seek you out.” He said with a calm look. Alanus noted the gold gilding on the woman’s arms and thighs, indicating she was a Gilded.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ren Truscott Character Portrait: Luisa Dubois Character Portrait: Meredith Joplin

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Ren watched as the woman fawned over Meredith's gown.

"She is beautiful." The voice startled him out of his focus. Beside him had appeared a woman, another Gilded, with dark hair and a coy tilt to her head. "You're new," she said. "My name is Luisa."

"She is, isn't she? I'm Ren," he replied. "Is it that obvious? You must come to a lot of these then." He took a long sip of his punch, forgetting the alcohol content for a second. His face scrunched up before he fixed it into a friendly smile. "So tell me, Luisa," he said, pulling her name out half a second longer. "Should I trust the water, or is it just straight vodka?"

The crowd ebbed and flowed until Meredith was out of his direct line of sight, but he clamped down on the lump of anxiety that arose in his throat. His heart rate accelerated, but there was nothing he could do about that besides breathing steadily. Here was a chance to branch out beyond the apartment building, and Ren wasn't going to waste it by worrying about being ten feet from Meredith or saying the wrong thing.

"Any advice for a newcomer?" he asked, his voice turning up and a playful grin on his face. "I wouldn't want to screw anything up."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Silas Buchanan Character Portrait: Magnolia T. Krane Character Portrait: Edmund P. Gray Character Portrait: Rosemary Eleanor Darcy Character Portrait: Alanus McCloud Character Portrait: Xena Dawn Character Portrait: Quartz M. Jones Character Portrait: Amias Vennum

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Startling at the touch of something prodding into the base of her back Magnolia spun quickly, eyes wide in shock but jeweled toned eyes flashing with fire. Coming face to face, well chest, with a herculean man at least a foot taller then her and a huge wolf. Cocking her head to the side as she studied him, her lips slightly pinched and furrow had appeared between her finely arched eyebrows. “My apologies, my companion must have been very curious to seek you out.”, a small airy laugh escaped her lips as she shrugged elegantly with a small quirk of her lips.

"Well I feel I should apologize for distracting such a fine and noble creature. So please forgive me." Magnolia giggled lightly, her eyes filled with mirth. "Walk with me? Though I am treated well by my Patrician and I enjoy being his daughters companion, there are far to many Patricians here tonight who see me as nothing but a trophy to look at and in some cases...touch." she ended with a growl. Though the party was loud a distinctive clicking sound from across the room caused her head to snap in the direction as her eyes darted around before landing on Amias. It appeared he wasnt looking for her so Magnolia turned back to her unknown companion.

Raising her hand to her hair she fiddled with the flower clip before noticing the nervous gesture and jerking her hand down, "Im Magnolia Krane by the way." she told him as an after thought, the cool air fluttered through the room and made her shiver slightly. One would think that with the amount of people milling about that it really would be warmer but apparently not.





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Tilting he's head in understanding Edmund matched Silas's steps, "Maybe its our age, maybe we simply feel it more as we continue to age." he chuckled deeply. "Xena, dear, you look lovely and I am truly offended that all I get is a smile and nod. No kiss? Or at least a hug?" he oozed charm while wiggling his eyebrows with a laugh.

"You are quite right though Silas, what a time to live. Gildeds, the Elite, Riots... I haven't been able to catch the news only heard the murmurs. Do you think there will be more or that they will get worse?" Edmund asked with a sigh, his normally cheerful exasperation dull with worry before shaking his head. "If you had told me ten years ago that I would be sitting here, with you, with a Gilded in my care, running a Gallery, frustrated by Riots for Gilded rights. I would have called you a liar. Sitting here is unbelievable and though I had dreamed of it I never thought I would achieve it but I had never realized how tired I would be once I made it here. Sorry, guess im getting sentimental." he ended with a laugh before the sound of clicking filled his ears and looked up in time to see Amias Vennum approach. Nodding his greeting Edmund waved to a waiter for a glass of whatever drink they were carrying through.





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Quartz had flinched away from the man, it was one thing to be touched by Rosemary but it was a whole nother to be touched by someone else. Luckily her Mistress stepped in and didnt allow that to happen. "Thank you for not allowing him to touch me." she whispered in a slightly shaky breath. It was probably the one thing Quartz hated about being a gilded and being considered beautiful, it made people want to touch her, "He was right though, I do look exquisite. Though, you look more divine than I" Rosemary stated and it made Quartz relax and release an almost childlike laugh before turning to the table filled with food.

"We both know that, that is untrue Mistress. We are both divine just in...Different ways. You tall and graceful, with a wisdom that shines in your eyes." She said in a breathy voice for Rosemary's ears only, "I on the other hand, am considered tiny and delicate, childlike really." she finished with a shrug and smile.

Taking her Mistresses advice on the chocolate she dropped a piece in her mouth and released a small moan of pleasure. "That is just sinful, we should get tomorrow so we can enjoy it at home." she said in a slightly questioning tone as she peeked up and her Patrician through her thick dark lashes, playing coy in the hopes that Rosemary would say yes. Chocolate was a secret obsession of the flame haired girls, so it was no surprise when she gabbed a dainty napkin and placed a few more pieces in it as she popped another on her tongue.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ren Truscott Character Portrait: Luisa Dubois

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Luisa shook her head just enough for the man, Ren, to notice. "No, not obvious," she stated with utter confidence, "just new." Implying that it was not his attitude or behavior that made him a target, but rather that she had never seen him before. His patrician must be something up and coming, and specializing in some kind of fine art. That's generally how it worked for Silas' events; Those who were grounded in medicine, politics, and business were always invited. While those who were actors, designers, musicians, and so forth rotated into different social circles. Whoever was popular at the time was usually invited, sometimes even unknown individuals with great potential made it into Silas' parties. Luisa wondered where his Patrician was on the scale.

"Should I trust the water, or is it just straight vodka?" At this, Luisa laughed.The bubbling joy that ensued in her chuckle felt foreign to Luisa. It wasn't that she was without laughter in her life, seeing as she was constantly giggling at Aris' children, but she hadn't had an honest exchange from a joke in a long time. "You should be okay," she said lightly in response. As a waitress pranced near Luisa casually lifted her hand, the woman quickly approached and offered Luisa her usual martini. Luisa took the tall glass into her hand and gracefully lifted it to her lips. It was then that Luisa gave Ren a good look over. She had been so focused on the actual interaction that she failed to even notice what he looked like, but now she noticed his sandy brown hair and playful chocolate colored eyes. He reminded her vaguely of a boy she had grown up with, but not enough to merit worth mentioning.

When he asked his next question Luisa subtly flipped some of her dark hair back with a toothy grin. "Oh," she said, lingering on the word. "You're doing well so far." Though he wasn't the one to initial their conversation, it was important that he make some sort of relationship with the Gilded, as well as other Patricians.

"As much as you may not like it, you're going to have to let her roam," Luisa said, knowing that many Gilded grew anxious without their Patricians. "Especially if she's trying to find social capital, or do business... Or whatever it is that Patricians do at these things." she last remark was fluid and playful. Luisa smiled at Ren before ending her statement.

"You must learn to admire from afar." Luisa obviously didn't know the relationship he had with his Patrician, but she knew hard it could be to get all the attention you needed at home then be completely abandoned at a party. Luisa took another long sip of her martini, letting the alcohol seep into her system. She drank socially, which was regularly enough for her to have a decent tolerance of it, resulting in very few drunken stupors.

Sometimes it was hard to find common ground with other Gilded. Their backgrounds were so diverse that connecting on past experiences was uncommon. Their friendships usually spouted from feeling for each other's pain or from living for the wealth. Luisa wasn't keen on either of those things so she went with the former. It was strange to reminisce about the past with an unknown personality, but the way that they both were tugged away from their previous lives was enough to be curious.

"So," she mused for a moment, "where are you from?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Silas Buchanan Character Portrait: Edmund P. Gray Character Portrait: Xena Dawn Character Portrait: Amias Vennum

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"I won't tell a soul," Xena said in response to Silas while wearing a playful smile. She mimed zipping her mouth up and tossing the key aside, always a fan of being a little theatrical in her interactions. Her long legs moved in stride with the men. Like an elegant sailboat, it was almost as if she was floating across the courtyard. There were times and places for her broad and powerful walk, but tonight she was going enjoy filling her movements with grace and feminity.

Her tight red bun bobbed as she nodded her head at Silas' humble compliment. "Yes, I'm afraid you wouldn't have lasted very long in the medical field," she said. "One does need a heart and a brain to be a physician," Xena retorted with a spirited light in her eye. She chuckled softly at her own joke before being drawn to Edmund, who was fussing about her greeting toward him.

Edmund was charming enough that his comments didn't bother Xena. "Please," she oozed, ready to fire something back. "If you deserved a kiss and hug you would have gotten them," Xena said before grabbing a new drink from a wandering waiter. Normally, those sort of comments would rile out a couple of sharp words from Xena, but tonight she was determined to play nice with the boys. After all, she spent most of her days arguing with half of the men at this party. It was time to give her big mouth a rest for once.

Xena looked at Edmund with enough attention that most would be fooled into thinking she was actually listening to him. Instead she caught a glimpse of Alanus. The clumsy wolf of his was disturbing a Gilded. Xena instantly regretting letting Alanus bring the mutt. Regardless of how she felt about Gilded, he and his pet were still a direct reflection of her status. Xena watched the exchange, glad that the Gilded wasn't some spoiled brat and seemed to find humor in the exchange.

Drawing her attention back, an older man approached the group. He walked with importance, but Xena couldn't quite place his name. She knew that he was someone that she should know, but failed at grasp anything useful before he spoke. "A pleasure," Xena said to the man before reaching her hand out to be received by him. "Xena Dawn, CEO of Arcadia General Hospital," she stated almost mechanically. Her name and title seemed interchangeable at times, but she never failed to address both when introducing herself to someone new.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ren Truscott

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MEREDITH JOPLIN




The woman seemed pleasantly surprised at Meredith's comment. "I must say, it's quite interesting to see such a young artist here. What's you're name darling?".

"Meredith. Meredith Joplin".

She could see the recognition of her last name bloom across the woman's face. "A Joplin? How refreshing, do tell your parents to get out more their absence in the community is quite upsetting" She said an utterly fictitious smile across her face. The obvious jab at her parents threw her off but also irritated her. She had to bite her tongue to keep from letting out harsh retort, and instead let out a small laugh. "Of course, ever since they fancied themselves with skypool they never leave the house. They're practically prunes", the woman seemed to play into her subtle humor and laughed. Before she could open her mouth again Meredith was quick to speak, "Lavender would be such an alluring color on you, have you ever worn a shift dress? I have the most lovely design in mind". The woman seemed thrown off by the comment but seemed intrigued by her offer. "I can't help but say I'm interested. I'm Vera Nguyen, I happen to have a gala next weekend. I'd love if you called me and talked more about this lavender dress." Meredith offered the woman a satisfied smile and a nod, "Of course". The woman opened her mouth to say something but seemed to get distracted at something behind Meredith, after a moment she turned back. "I'm terribly sorry but I must cut this conversation short, don't forget to call and have a wonderful evening Meredith" With that the woman gathered the linen of her black dress and walked off towards a group of other partygoers.

Meredith couldn't contain her pleasant smile and she suddenly realized she had entirely forgotten about Ren. He would've been proud to hear of her conversation but as she scanned the party she couldn't find him. After a moment she realized she was trying to look for her Gilded instead of talking to a courtyard of potential clients and friends. Her brother would've scolded her. He was probably just fancying himself with the catering, or maybe he had found someone to talk to. Nonetheless she trusted him, and focused back on to the bustling party around her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Silas Buchanan Character Portrait: Edmund P. Gray Character Portrait: Canan Character Portrait: Xena Dawn Character Portrait: Amias Vennum

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He held an arm about Canan as she curled into his side. She was virtually dwarfed by a combination of her thick furs and Silas's presence in the circle. He moved his hand against her arm, brushing the furs into her delicate skin as if hoping to generate more warmth for the fragile girl. A finger caught in a strand of her hair, and he curled it about his index finger before letting it fall against her back.

"Age could most certainly be a factor," he remarked, smiling to himself. He would be thirty-five in less than two weeks, and the thought seemed to haunt him throughout the past however many days. In relation to his peers, he certainly was young, and he couldn't argue with that, but thirty-five seemed like a much larger number, like he should have done something by now and he hadn't. Or, at least, he hadn't done anything that he had planned on accomplishing. But now wasn't the time for some sort of midlife crisis.

He drained whatever remained in the glass, and his head swam once more as he looked up and met Edmund's gaze. "The murmurs are enough, I imagine," he replied, crossing one leg over the other. "I couldn't say how they will progress...I could hardly imagine they are...far from over." Edmund's own worry was reflected in his tone, but he quickly remediated that, aware that he was revealing too many of his thoughts at once. He couldn't create some sort of panic over this - not until he had some sort of plan.

"Unbelievable...is a good way to put it." And it was, truly, for if he had been told the same thing, he would have scoffed. A farm boy, hardly capable of affording a primary education, had no place in politics. And yet here he was.

But Xena's comment saved him from dwelling on the riots of his childhood, and he quickly turned his attention to her, grateful for the chance to speak of something less overwhelming. He laughed at her sharp retort, returning her smile with one of his own.

”And which would you say I do possess, Dr. Dawn? Or is it neither? I'd say that seems to be the case for most of my peers.”

He regretted saying that as quickly as it had left his lips, for Amias joined the group, accompanied by a gentle tapping from his walking stick. It was not Amias he had referred, but he felt like a deer in headlights nevertheless, caught in a faux pas. Perhaps he hadn’t heard, and Silas certainly decided to play it off as such.

”You flatter me, Amias,” he replied. Giving Canan a gentle pat on the thigh, he stood, hoping the gesture had come off as a warning for her to sit up for a moment as he stood and extended his hand to the man. As Amias likely took his hand, Silas pulled himself closer to the man and wrapped his left arm, still holding the empty glass, around the older man's shoulders. "It certainly already seems to be one for the books. What a day we've had already." Silas pulled back from Amias as he spoke and gestured to a seat nearby him as he began to sit back next to Canan.

He kept to himself as Xena greeted Amias. The brief reply gave him a moment to press a kiss into Canan's hair, a gesture that could be interpreted platonic to those around him but held more significance for the Patrician and the Gilded. It was over as quickly as he had engaged, and he turned his attention back to Amias and Xena.

"This is Amias Vennum, Xena," he interjected, feeling as though his responsibilities as host were being shirked. "Representative for the Republic, among other things. A fine man, I would say." Though he was still trying to make up for his flub earlier - which Amias, perhaps, hadn't even caught on to - what he said now was the truth. He did admire the man - a war hero, a upstanding example of challenging the status quo. It was quite easy to lose oneself in Arcadia, but Amias hadn't.

Satisfied with his introducing of the two, he settled back slightly into his seat. Quite swiftly, he was regretting his choice of beverage.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Meredith Joplin Character Portrait: Aris Lincoln

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Though he often timed his entrances to be fashionable, Aris was simply lucky to walk in before anything monumental had occurred at Silas's New Year's Eve party. Certainly, he would have already known if he had missed something, for the press notoriously infiltrated his parties and were quick to update those of Arcadia who were not fortunate enough to receive an invite to the most awaited party of the evening.

Aris's own evening had begun around eleven in the morning with a cocktail party for some premiere at the theatre. His children had accompanied him, and he attempted to keep them with him through the majority of the day, but by about five in the afternoon, the parties were becoming far too rowdy for the children, and he had sent them home for the evening.

And so his evening had continued, and without the presence of his children, he moved swiftly across the border from tipsy to hammered. Aris had ridden out this state, refueling with a martini or a shot here or there. Finally, the evening had brought him and Luisa to Silas's manor.

He had been there for not long at all when he was drawn into a conversation with one of his producers, an ancient woman, and a younger male actor. It was an awkward set-up between the three of them, for Aris recalled after some time that he had been briefly engaged in a prolonged tryst with the man across from him. The actor, at least ten years Aris's junior, shot glances at the director through heavy-lidded eyes, as if daring him to leave the party behind and join him somewhere slightly more private.

But Aris must have figured wrong, for the actor took off in a moment after a passing artist or playwright or something of the sort. Aris had long since stopped caring who was who, for if they were of any importance, he already knew them.

And yet, halfway across the courtyard, he caught a glimpse of Luisa conversing with two guests he hadn't met or even seen before, for that matter. Excusing himself, he made his way towards them, deftly maneuvering around the press even though he nearly lost his balance and pitched into a hedge at least twice. But he made it to her side eventually, snagging a glass of some brilliantly red wine from a passing waitress.

"Now, Miss Ngugen I know very well," he began, approaching the blonde from behind as he gave the wine a gentle swirl. "On the other hand, I can't say I've ever seen you before - one of Silas's parties or elsewhere." He didn't bother to introduce himself, turning to face her now so that she might see him and recognize him and gush over his presence. That was the beauty in newcomers - he could have cared less as to where she had come from, what she did. He wanted to see her reaction, hear her ooh and aah as she looked Aristotle Lincoln in the eye. "But I imagine there's a reason your here. You have the allure of a model - an up and coming actress, perhaps?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Laurence Perry Character Portrait: Meredith Joplin Character Portrait: Aris Lincoln

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Laurence was relatively late and he knew it. The new year had begun with a bang for him as he had just about sold almost all of the cars within his lot that afternoon. He took his team of employees out for a celebratory evening and now, he was getting out his limo and fixing the middle button of his blazer to snap it close as he looked at Silas' home. With a breath, Laurence closed the door behind him and proceeded to walk closer and closer towards the building where the party resided. The door opened for him and he stood there, smirking as his eyes danced around the place, from person to person, until he spotted the host of the evening, Silas. He was unfortunately surrounded by a horde of people so Laurence grabbed himself a drink from the bar and went over to where a blonde, who he heard many muttered about and her name being Meredith. The other person beside her was no other than Aristotle, or Aris, as he liked to be called someone who has made quite the name for himself.

Upon his entrance towards the duo, his eyes scanned over them both then went over towards Aris as he placed his hand upon his shoulder. "Oh, Aristotle, still using those same pick up lines?" Laurence mused in his presence as his gaze bounced over towards Meredith with a smile. "I am sure this young lady did not buy one word of that." His voice muttered softly as his gaze went over towards Silas now as he leaned against the bar gently. Laurence continued to eye Silas until he would look his way so that Laurence could raise his glass up towards him and give him a thumbs up, a signal for a great party. Even though Laurence had just arrived but that was something he was going to keep to himself.

A charming smile came over his facial features as he eyed Aristotle again. "So, are you even enjoying the party, Aris? Or just getting on everyone's nerves again?" Laurence took a sip from his drink after a small chuckle as he waited for a reply from Aris.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ren Truscott Character Portrait: Luisa Dubois

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It would be a great understatement to say that Ren didn't get out much. Approximately 99 percent of his human contact came from Meredith. Most days, he didn't particularly mind that, but it was still nice to hear someone new laugh with him. He'd worried that he wouldn't make a good impression on these people from the second Meredith told him about the invitation. He couldn't help glancing her way, every few seconds getting a passing glimpse of that blonde hair or that shimmering gown, but the crowd still kept her almost completely obscured from him.

Luisa's smile settled over him warmly. "You're doing well so far," she assured him. Logically, he knew she was right about letting Meredith go. It would never stop him from worrying, but she should be allowed to make business connections without him getting underfoot. They spent every single day together; one night spent 20 feet apart wasn't going to whisk her away from him forever.

"I guess she's finding clients," he said. "Wowing people with her designs and such. She's really quite talented, if I say so myself." Even he could hear the pride in his voice. "Afar. That's the hard part," he replied as he watched Luisa sip her martini. Ren took a pull from his own drink just as she asked where he was from.

His mind flashed to dirt roads and small, old-fashioned houses before he pulled himself back to the present. "It's this little city," he began with a wistful smile, "about 100 or so miles from here. Resurrection, it's called. Really tiny, actually. The nearest hospital was 20 miles away. What about you?" he asked, the need to deflect from his excess information rising in his throat. "Where are you from?"