Continues from Session 18: The Gala
As the official start time of the Fournius Remembrance Ball gets closer, a few more guests trickle in. Ren has to convince Ambassador Galnir's bodyguard to leave behind their weapons, while his brother Nieznane seems to have a much easier time with High Keeper Sidonia Sadafi and her retinue. Salan Cornys arrives fashionably late, and when asked about weapons, hands over a set of three throwing knives.
Amos returns from backstage, looking a little shaken after his conversation with Lady Zara fae'Fournius. Meriel, who was watching for Amos, hears a retching sound behind her. Glancing around, she notices the guards Jens (one of the guards of House Fournius under Captain Bertram) staggering into a bathroom. Tor'in follows the guard in to find him throwing up into the garderobe (that's the historical accurate term for a medieval toilet). Jens had had too much to drink and had lost his list in the toilet. Tor'in eventually learned that Jens was supposed to do the announcements of special guests, but was nervous and started drinking. Tor'in slyly suggested that Jens should make up for the loss by going someplace else and helping out there. Jens was only too eager to get out of trouble. Tor'in then went to Meriel and suggested she get the list of names from Captain Bertrand and do the announcements. Meriel approached Captain Bertram and told him about the problem, leaving out details about Jens. He agreed to put together another list and have her read it.
Amos went looking through the crowd for his family, and accidentally bumped into Lit'ta. He literally caused her to spill her drunk, but she was nonplussed and didn't seem to care for the sparkling beverage anyway. They talked for a bit, and once Amos realized who she was, he mentioned that there were Solari priests attending and he thought they should meet each other. He found both Kennick and Artellus conversing together. They were both eager to talk to Lit'ta, although Artellus's flattery seemed a little over the top. Amos's sister Laybeth finds them, and after Artellus tries flirting with her, she takes Amos away. She had been looking for him, because they were supposed to go up on stage soon.
Meriel gets the list of people for the announcements, and flawlessly reads them off loudly. Notably, Prince Tobias er'Ceasian and Karia Er'Fournius are listed together, which causes a stir of whispers throughout the room as the more socially informed members of the crowd remark that perhaps it means that their courtship is now official. Salan Cornys was also mentioned as a prominent donor. After an introduction from Lord Remius, Lady Zara gave a brief speech about thanked everyone for the new Trisa Crow scholarship, that would allow young future citizens of the Empire to follow academic paths into law, justice, civics, and the Vigilants. Tor'in carefully watched the crowd during the speech, and noticed one servant on the floor that was mirroring the movements of Lady Zara while Amos was on stage. With pre-arranged hand signals, Tor'in alerted Meriel and Ren. Meriel went to fetch the head steward Edmonde, who said that he was not one of the known Fournius servants. Ren started to converge on the servant. Salan meanwhile approached the stage, the usual smile on his face replaced with a more angry look. He demanded to speak with Zara.
Tor'in watched protectively over Zara as she stepped off the stage to talk to Salan. Tor'in approached close enough to hear a snippet of the conversation as Salan accused her of something: "You think I wouldn't have noticed?" Salan then turned and made his way to the same servant that Ren had just reached. Ren put his arm around the servant, not trying to cause a scene, but wanted to force the man back towards the entrance.
Continued in Session 20: Inchoate Questioning.