15 Nov 1998. Brishen throws a Harvest Tide party at the Babelite Embassy. Many attend, and trouble abounds.
(Brishen) (Darkside) (Ophelia) (Rephidim) (Roho) (Wynona)
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Brishen floats amongst her guests, albeit in a figurative fashion accentuated by dark wings held slightly open and back; a contrast to the pale hues of a dress pleated in such a fashion that at times it appears to be a slender orchid that reaches down to touch the floor. As is the custom amongst the younger Eeee of Babel, her back is bare.

Brishen casts a sidelong glance at the sculpture in the midst of the punch, and smiles. Not a bad job, really.

A blue Vykarin lumbers by, then stops and bows to the ambassador. "No Rongroof!" he barks to her.

Brishen bows as well, smiling. "Very good." She pats the armored lupine's head. "You and your brothers are doing a wonderful job."

A golden vixen makes her way through the group, dressed in a glittering evening gown, with several gauzy drapes flowing from her neck and shoulders. She pauses to daintily sample from the hors' d'oeuvres platters she passes, then moves along to the next.

Roho sniffs curiously at a small hors d'ourve which a young Eeee was quite insistent he try. He pops the morsel into his mouth, and chews. Definitely not bad… the Eeee do things in style. This was definitely worth the evening, even if it meant leaving Naomi in charge of the patients.

The Vykarin's tongue lolls, but he's well-trained – he doesn't wag his tail. (That tends to cause unwanted disruptions in gatherings such as this, should anyone be walking nearby.)

A mousey bat makes his way over to the fennec. "Oh! Master Roho! So glad to see that you could come!" The fennec's paw is shaken up and down several times in an attempt at Rephidim custom.

*bing!* "Oops!" The golden vixen bumps into the overenthusiastic mousey bat. "Oh! I didn't see you moving so quickly!" she squeaks, helping to steady the ambassadorial assistant.

"Ah, the apologies are mine," the mousey bat says. "Terribly sorry. I'll be more careful next time." He nods and smiles. "Ah, Master Roho, my apologies for not introducing myself. Degarde, assistant to Ambassador Kara."

Roho smiles and shakes the paw, "I wouldn't have missed it. An honor to meet you, sir. How is the ambassador?"

Brishen grins at the Vykarin, then turns as her ears catch the sound of chimes. The golden vixen she does not recognize, but the Zerda to whom Degarde has applied himself has quite a familiar face. There are quite a few people in between her and the group, however, and it may take some time for her to get there. She is the Ambassador, after all, and there are many, many formal greetings to make.

Degarde says, "I do believe she's doing just fine, Master Roho. In fact, she looks positively STUNNING, if I do say so myself. But don't tell her that. I'm just saying that for your benefit, of course."

"Or, that is, don't tell her that I SAID so, I mean," Degarde stumbles, then shakes his head. "Ah well. Quite a busy night. Have you sampled any of the xochocolatl beetles? They're not too sweet, not too bitter. My personal favorite."

Roho smiles, "I will bear that in mind, sir, thank you." His ears swivel towards a familiar *bing*, but he discounts it. It couldn't be her. He smiles, "Yes, I have, and I am trying my best to maintain decorum. Not to mention that my assistant would never let me live it down if I made myself sick on sweets. But your chef is to be highly commended."

A tall black bat wanders by, and stops just in time to avoid the absent-minded, chattering (and obviously famished) golden vixen. She *bings* again, squeaks in mild alarm, then makes some quick apologies … before moving on to the next tray of consumables.

Degarde smiles and bows. "I shall pass that commendation along, Master Roho." He then looks up, his ears swivelling as he scans the crowd. "Ah. I do believe I see Ambassador Kara over THAT… " He pauses as he realizes that he is pointing. "… ah … if you should care to meet the Ambassador, I would be most pleased to lead you to her."

"*achoo!*" A white bat with platinum gray hair, dressed in robes of sky blue, covers her face with a hankie, holding a glass of some sort of continually bubbling drink (which would otherwise look like plain water) in her other hand. Her ears blush slightly.

Roho smiles, "Thank you, I would appreciate that." He follows the younger bat, a step or two behind, to avoid running into anyone in the crowded hall.

Countess Ophelia enters the party quietly, trailing a small assortment of unobtrusive servants in her wake. She's dressed for Autumn, in a loose caftan of flame orange, with brown and yellow silken leaves appliqued along the hem and sleeves. She greets a few acquaintances in passing, but makes a reasonably straight line for the food.

Through the front door, a regal-looking bat enters, with a lavishly-dressed lady bat on his arm. The herald at the door looks to the new visitor and raises his horn to make an announcement, but stops at a gentle hand from the noble bat on his arm, and a whisper. The noble bat looks about the room, until an aide spots Brishen for him, points – and whispers into his lord's ear. The noble smiles and nods, and begins to make his way through the crowd.

Degarde at last reaches Brishen. "Ambassador Kara? I would be most honored to introduce to you Master Roho, the Wandering Doctor of Ur, and Hero of the Territories." He bows, gesturing to the fennec.

The clumsy golden vixen ALMOST bumps into Ophelia, but is intercepted by one of her aides instead. "Oops! Sorry about – Oh! That is positively the most WONDERFUL dress I have ever seen!" She makes a gasp of awe as she admires Ophelia's formal attire.

Brishen blinks once, her attention scattered between the zerda in front of her, the bridge officer near the punchbowl and the newly-arrived noble. She smiles, taking Roho's hand gently. "Hello, Master Roho."

Ophelia gives the vixen a well-practiced warm smile. "I'm glad it pleases you. I'm the Countess Ophelia – most pleased to meet you."

The vixen smiles widely. "You can call me Maza." *bing!* "Oh, this is the BEST Harvest Tide party I've ever been to!" She stuffs a fried something in her mouth and crunches noisily.

Brishen nudges Degarde, gently, and whispers in Eeee. "The one who just entered. He is who I think he is, isn't he?"

The mare tries her best to repeat the vixen's name, adding the *bing* onto the end as a phoneme. She does a less than sterling rendition.

The golden vixen's jaw drops, and she blinks twice … then breaks out in a fit of the giggles! "Oh! That was – " She makes a dropping gesture with her held out hand. " – simply OUTRAGEOUS!"

Degarde looks to the door, then to Brishen, and gulps visibly. "Yes, Ambassador, I do believe so! This is an unexpected honor… "

Roho smiles, and gently takes Brishen's paw, "Good evening, ambassador. I see you've taken on some more responsibilities since we last met. I think it suits you."

Brishen nods, whispering. "Make sure the finest room in the Embassy is ready for him, if he wishes to stay." Then, she figuratively gathers Roho in the arc of a wing. "Thanks. It's quite different than delivery. The High Prince is here, incidentally."

Degarde bows to Roho and to Brishen. "If you'll excuse me, I'll go see to some of our newly-arrived guests."

Ophelia smiles at the vixen again, trying not to look as puzzled as she feels. "A lovely party, indeed."

The mousey bat makes his way over to some servants, whispers into some ears, prompts a few startled looks, and they rush off to make preparations. He then does his best to straighten his attire, stand as tall as he can, clear his throat … and walk calmly over to the High Prince.

Roho's blind eyes widen quite a bit, "He is here? I thought I recognized his wife's perfume, but it had been so long ago… " He regains his composure, "Well, it shall be good to see how he has fared."

The golden vixen giggles again, then gasps loudly as she sees the High Prince and his bride. "Oh! High Prince Boghaz, and his wife, Saraizadze!" She lowers her voice just a bit, asiding to Ophelia, "He's a good friend of the fennec doctor over there, you know! That's Master Roho. Quite a well-known hero in Ur. Oh, what a turnout tonight! There are more stars in here than in the Procession!" She giggle-snorts, then covers her muzzle with one hand demurely.

Brishen nods, then straightens up a bit, looking out over the crowd towards the High Prince. Her wings draw in, slightly, and she takes a deep breath.

Ophelia fans herself a bit. "Yes, I've met Master Roho before, I'm quite sure. or someone quite like him, at any rate. Do you know him too, then?"

"Oh, I've met him," the golden vixen says, "but I don't mean to be a name-dropper." She looks around. "Oh! There are some candied wiggly-worms! Please excuse me, I MUST get some before they're all gone. Pleased to meet you!"

Roho munches on some sort of pastry, as he waits for Boghaz to enter the party. Meanwhile, he starts to gravitate towards the sound of the batlike sneeze he heard… wondering if it's who he thinks it might be.

The High Prince makes his way over to Brishen at about the same time that the golden vixen takes her leave of the noble unicorn. "Good evening, Ambassador Kara," he says with a head nod. He looks around. "You've done wonders with the place that the Temple alloted to us. I would have never thought it possible."

The mare waves the vixen away toward the candied worms. "Nice to meet you. Enjoy the party, dear."

Another "achoo" helps Roho zero in on a white-furred bat with platinum gray hair. She is still holding the same cup of bubbly liquid, which hasn't diminished a bit … and seems to be too busy with her handkerchief to bother grabbing any food. She sighs audibly.

Wynona looks sideways at the departing golden vixen and at the unicorn, then notices the approaching fennec. "Oh! Hello there, Ro-… -ho – ho – HOCHOO!" (sniffle) "Pardon me."

Roho smiles, approaching the poor bat, "Sneeze still hasn't cleared up, Ms. Windcaller? I'd hoped it might've."

Brishen bows, her smile radiant as she looks up at the High Prince. "Thank you. This part of Rephidim is very old, but it was not without its potential." She tilts her head slightly, an ear canting at the sound of a distant, familiar sneeze. "I was not informed of your arrival."

"No, you were not, Ambassador," the High Prince says with a nod. "I did not want any fanfare. I merely wanted to come by to take a look for myself, and to give you my thanks for a job well done. You have done much to repair Ashdod's image in Rephidim in such a short amount of time."

Wynona smiles at Roho. "Yes, that's me! And, yes, that's still my nose." She sighs again.

Brishen's ears would redden if they were not already black, and she smiles again. "Thank you. I've asked my attache to prepare a room for you, if you would like to stay the evening. I and my staff would be deeply honored."

Roho smiles, "You might consider stopping by my hospital, Wynona… due to some rather generous contributions by Prince Boghaz, we may be able to narrow down the problem further, or even cure it."

The tall black bat in a long purple robe, which is unmarked save for the gold star-and-anchor brooch at his collar, sips from a glass goblet of wine. He says to a curious poodle dressed in foppery, "No, the Temple has not forgotten the war against the Sabaoth, but we recognize that new powers control Ashdod now. The process of… building trust… must begin somewhere."

"That will not be necessary," the High Prince says to Ambassador Kara. "In actuality, I have time in my schedule only to drop by to pay my respects. We have some important business to tend to, and – truth be told – only chance in our travel plans made it possible for me to make this stop along the way. In any case, this is a wonderful party, and I regret not being able to stay longer. A good night to you, Ambassador Kara."

Wynona's eyes widen. "Really?" she squeaks to Roho. "Oh, that would be wonderful! Yes, yes, I will most CERTAINLY stop by! Ah … when are you next open?" She lightly bounces on her toes.

Roho smiles, "We're always open, but generally prefer that people refrain from showing up at all hours unless it's an emergency." His ears perk at the sound of the conversation with Boghaz, "If you'll excuse me a moment, I think I may go pay my respects before he leaves, it sounds like he will not be staying." He starts heading towards Brishen and Boghaz.

Wynona murmurs something about wishing fennecs were nocturnal, but she's soon out of earshot (even for fennec ears) thanks to the crowd.

Brishen's smile is once more radiant as she arcs her wings out behind her. "I hope then, that your next visit will allow you to stay." A pair of ears catch her attention, and she glances at Roho. "I believe, sir, that Master Roho would like to speak with you, before you leave."

The High Prince looks toward the fennec with a look of surprise that turns into a smile. "Doctor Roho! You're looking better than ever!"

Roho smiles and bows to the Prince, "And you certainly sound good, highness. I just wished to thank you for the contributions you made to the hospital… it has made an incredible difference. We're now attracting the attention of clinics all over Rephidim, and our patients could not be happier."

"That is good to hear, Doctor Roho!" the Prince says with a smile, "though I had hoped that the contributions would have been a little lower profile. Ah well … no harm done, I suppose."

An aide clears his throat next to the High Prince.

"Ah. That would seem to be a reminder," the High Prince says with a frown. "I'm afraid I really must be going. It is good to see you again, Doctor! I hope to see you again soon – with more time to spare, surely."

Roho nods, "Well, it was hard to maintain a low profile once a few patients had come through. I have tried to keep your involvement a secret, as you wished, and I think the secret is still safe." He smiles, "Unless the ambassador here decides to gossip, that is."

Roho bows again, "Good health to you, highness, and a safe journey."

The poodle makes wise noises to the apparent Temple officer. "Ah, yes. Trust is such a wonderful quality. So abusable. Why, I remember the time last Guy Fox day when we came across this poor Nohbakim obviously down on his luck… " The story is not quite fit for delicate ears, alas. The black bat shows no emotions, save for occasionally sipping his wine.

Brishen bows as well, smiling, and for a moment she loses the formal edge she had so painstakingly constructed. "Farewell, my lord. May swift winds return you to us soon."

The High Prince says, "And may the Procession shine upon you." With that, he takes Saraizadze's hand again, and leaves the party, with his retinue.

Brishen remains still until the High Prince departs, then turns to look at Roho, her eyes lingering for a moment on the sturdy stone doors that slowly close behind the winged pair. Expensive doors. But at least there is little sign that Master Tooth once cavorted where the punchbowl now rests. "I heard a familiar sneeze, somewhere."

Roho smiles to Brishen, "Indeed, Wynona is somewhere in here. I lost her when I came to thank Prince Boghaz… shall we go find her?"

The Eeee air mage can be seen just an arm's length away from the nearest member of Ophelia's retinue. She occasionally thinks to try to take a sip from her drink, but is repeatedly interrupted by a passing guest … or by her merciless allergies.

Brishen grins. "I haven't seen her in a long time." As the pair walk back into the crowd, she gathers the attention of a nearby Savanite, a messenger perhaps, given that he carries no food for the guests, nor a broom. "Please let Degarde know that we will not need the room after all. He'll know what I mean."

Roho smiles, "Nor had I. She seems in good spirits, though her poor nose is still as it always was. Ah well, some things never do change. And some do, ambassador." He grins.

Brishen crosses her arms as a grin traces across her muzzle. "I can still circle the flags better than anyone."

The black bat listens to the poodle natter with inordinate patience, then raises his hand. "My regrets, do Varr, but my presence is required elsewhere. Please give my respects to your father. His son follows in his tracks."

The poodle looks quite pleased with this apparent compliment.

Roho grins, "I don't doubt it, you always were quite the aerialist… but I should've known you'd given up the courier business when you stopped showing up at my place with various twists and bruises."

Brishen brushes a lock of hair from her eyes, "I've certainly not had much of a chance to. It seems most of my day is spent here." She sighs, "A lot had to be done to make this old house habitable again."

Roho nods, "I had never been here before… was it quite different before it became the embassy?"

Brishen's ears dip. "It was… astounding." Her ears perk again as she catches sight of Wynona.

Wynona makes a sputtering noise as she stifles another sneeze, then looks up at Brishen and Roho through watery eyes. "Hello again, Doctor! Oh! And… " She curtseys. "Hello, Ambassador!"

Roho smiles, "Hello again, Wynona. Enjoying the party?"

Brishen smiles, nodding. "Hello, Wynona. It's been a while." Her eyes twinkle merrily. Well, I'll have to hold parties more often. I may not get out as much as I like, but I can certainly bring the world to me.

Wynona says, "It's a fabulous party." She sniffles. "I'm enjoying it as much as I could ever hope to enjoy a party." She smiles.

Roho tilts his head, "Do the allergies affect how food tastes to you?" He suddenly realizes what he asked, and his ears redden a little, "Er, sorry, I shouldn't bring up medical stuff at a party, excuse me."

Brishen furls her wings and grins. "That's good to hear." She pauses, then squeaks, "How has Aaron been? I haven't seen him since I left for Ashdod."

Wynona says, "Actually, I haven't seen him for the longest time. I do believe he took off on some sort of journey."

Roho tilts his head, "Aaron… the Lapi? Where did he head off to?"

Wynona shrugs. "Honestly, I have no idea. At the time, I think he was heading north. I MIGHT have heard at some point, but … if so, I've most certainly forgotten." She frowns.

Brishen furrows her brow slightly, then nods. "I hope to see him again, soon." Her smile weakens, slightly, "I imagine a lot of people were worried, when I vanished, but there wasn't time to tell anyone."

Roho scratches his chin, "North… I had some people talking to me about an expedition to the north recently, they wanted information about the desert. Of course, expeditions out of Rephidim are fairly common… but that would be a funny coincidence."

Wynona nods, then makes a grimace, quickly turning her head and hiding her face in her handkerchief. There is a whiffling noise. "Ah … egskuthe me … " She quickly makes her way for the front door, several cut-off sneezes emitting from her along the way.

Brishen raises a hand to her mouth, stifling a smile. "Well, some things don't change."

Roho chuckles, shaking his head, "Poor Wynona… well, perhaps someday I'll be able to help her. If she doesn't sneeze and blow away the hospital, first."

Brishen's wings rustle as she tries very hard to maintain her formal countenance. "Indeed." She can't help but smile, though. "As for your hospital, I would be honored if you would enter into a contract with the Embassy, to provide medical services. You certainly have experience treating Eeee, and we have our share of twisted ankles."

Roho smiles, "That would be an honor! And I've certainly treated my fair share of Eeee… but are you certain that's such a good idea? I think some feel that I may be untrustworthy, since I treated The Sabaoth… "

A mousey-looking Skeek (mousey because that's what Skeeks ARE) timidly navigates his way around the typically much taller guests, as if afraid he'll actually get stepped on. (It's a remote possibility, as this Skeek is about three feet tall … but thankfully no one has invited any Titanians.)

Brishen furrows her brow, slightly, opening her mouth as if to say something, then shakes her head. "I do not think it will be a problem, nor do I think the High Prince would object to the contract."

Roho nods, "As you feel best… I would be happy to enter the contract, and of course, any of your people are welcome at the hospital any time, regardless." He chuckles, "And I've already seen many of them."

A feather bobs up and down amidst the guests, occasionally revealed to have a four-foot tall foppish fox underneath it. (That is, the feather is attached to his floppy-brimmed bard's hat.) He helps himself to munchies in much the way that the golden vixen did (Perhaps it's a "fox thing".) though he's far less chatty about it.

Brishen grins, faintly. "Recently? I'll have to tell you why, some other time." It's about then that she gets a good look at Ophelia and blinks. Well, I haven't seen her for ages. I wonder if she even remembers who I am, or who I was.

Roho nods, "There's been more, recently, yes… " He looks curious, but doesn't pry any further.

Brishen's walk over to Ophelia is suddenly interrupted as a tall Eeee with chalk-white fur and dishwater-blonde hair (in a Tower of Babel hairdo) interposes herself between the Ambassador and the unicorn. "Oh! DEARRRR," the Eeee says, showing off as much gums as teeth. "So GOOD to see you again!" She extends a hand limply.

Brishen fixes her smile and takes the proffered hand. "It's good to see you again as well, Bryanna."

Bryanna keeps that overly large smile on her face as she says, "My, my, my … you have come SO far, SO quickly! Of course, it always helps to make the right friends at the right time." She makes an exaggerated wink.

Bryanna looks around. "And what's this? A nice little party for all your nice little friends? So good of you to treat them now that you've come up in the world."

Brishen clasps her hands together, primly. Her chin lowers slightly, but it appears that no nod of agreement is forthcoming. "I believe, Bryanna, that the Prince's entourage has left. You may want to catch them before they leave the island."

Roho raises his paw to his mouth, covering a grin with a small cough.

The chalky bat doesn't seem to notice the question. Instead, she looks around. "Such a darling little fixer-upper! The plaster doesn't quite match the original stone, of course, but I always say, 'It's the thought that counts.'" She smiles again – or actually, never stops – and looks to Brishen. "So! you must tell me all the news about Rephidim? I'm sure you're in on all the latest gossip, closeted as you are with such close friends as the dear doctor who does such wonderful charity work for the indigents, and that scampish-looking little Keitlyn. She's so pretty that she could be an … " She looks up, her smile relenting for just a fraction of a second, then she looks back and grins, "… actress."

Brishen's smile gains the faintest hint of danger. "But, if you wish to stay, I'm sure we could arrange alternate passage. And I would so much like to show you the Embassy grounds." Something in the tone of her voice suggests just what part of the Embassy, beyond the walls, she'd like to show her cousin.

"Oh, as much as I'd love to," Bryanna says with an inward breath through her nose, "I've already made arrangements."

Brishen continues, quietly. "And, I think the new additions blend quite nicely with the old. Mind you, I don't quite have the eye for such things, but my assistants are quite helpful, and I've always been good with form, if not color." Her bright brown eyes remain firmly fixed on those of her cousin.

Bryanna nods. "Well, if you should have need to contact me before I see you again, you can find me at the Savoir Faire." She pauses a moment, to let the name sink in of the fanciest (and most expensive, of course) hotel in the Noble Quarter. "After all, there may be, from time to time, some report that you might have for the new Secretary of State." Her teeth disappear briefly in a smug grin.

Bryanna looks about. "I was planning on only making a brief visit … but I just WONDER at what state things might be in here. You might be just a tad bit in over your head. Perhaps I can persuade the High Prince to let me tarry in Rephidim a while longer. I'm CERTAIN that it wouldn't take too long to clear things up."

Degarde emerges from one of the corridors adjoining the main room, and sneaks up to the fennec and bats. He holds his tongue, though he looks visibly agitated about something.

Brishen remembers, clearly, the rooftop of the hotel in question, but little else since couriers rarely entered the upper floors. "I will certainly keep that in mind. As for assistance, I do not think it will be required, though I am honored by the offer." Her smile, when she manages one, is worlds more genuine than her cousin's. "It is late, Bryanna. You will want to return to the Prince's entourage soon, lest his airship leave without you."

Bryanna tut-tuts. "Yes, I suppose I shall be taking my leave now. But do keep in mind the High Prince. Surely he would like to know why he has not yet had a report about what commercial interests of ours can be salvaged here. … But perhaps his dear, DARLING ambassador, who looks so cute in her ceremonial uniform, was merely distracted with fixing up her adorable little embassy and throwing a nice house-warming party?" She makes a faint whistling noise as she sucks air in through her nose. "Ta ta!"

Brishen almost, but not quite, grinds her teeth. "Goodbye." Her eyes glitter as she adds. "And have a nice walk." She then turns to fix her gaze on Degarde. "From the looks of you," she murmurs, "we can talk about this somewhere else."

Roho nods, "Shall I take my leave, ambassador?"

Degarde doesn't look terribly relieved when Bryanna leaves … but every little bit helps. "Ambassador, there has been an … " He looks both ways, before concluding in a whisper, "… incident."

Brishen takes a deep breath, then smiles at Roho. "No, I think I shall take my leave, for a while at least. Enjoy the party while I'm gone." And with that she works her way down one of the corridors, with Degarde in tow.

Roho smiles and bows a little, "As you like… take care of yourself, ambassador." He heads back towards the tables, catching a whiff of a goldvixen. He grins… might as well re-introduce himself

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GMed by Greywolf & Lynx

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Today is 13 days after Harvest Tide, Year 25 of the Reign of Archelaus the First (6124)