Ultima Ratio Regum, Scene I

Erin took a moment to meander over to the "refreshment table", pacing over to examine the blood dolls. She tilted her head this way and that, unblinking, as if she were examining some kind of merchandise. Then she slunk into a nearby corner, next to them. She remained there, eying the vampires, paying particular interest to any that looked like they would come near. One finally did, and Erin watched the Kiss with a rather intense expression. After which, she completely lost interest, and wandered off into the party.

She slithered up behind Alistair Niall, standing there in utter silence until there was a break in the conversation - a break probably caused by having a small faerie standing behind you and staring.

"Hello," she said, to Rajani. "You are very beautiful."

Originally Posted by Mack
"...If you ever need someone to talk to Father Birch or Alistair, you can ask me?"
Lauren smiled gratefully. "Thanks." It was pretty obvious that they would listen to Mack before Lauren.


Lauren made a brief stop at the refreshments, and with that plus the earlier toast, she was now feeling pleasantly full. She then made her way to the opposite end of the room, because her little snack had caught Eddie's attention, but he seemed tethered to the blood dolls.

"Good evening, High Sheriff," Lauren said with a nod and a quirk of her lips. "I haven't said so yet, so congratulations. How are you? Busy?" It belatedly occurred that the security might not appreciate being distracted... but nothing big was happening just yet, and Sheridan had yet to arrive.


"Busy enough." Anna Darlington said, watching over the general ebb and flow of people. Most of the casual guests had arrived by now, except for a few Invictus bigwigs that would arrive later. Anna herself was presiding over a security detail of four vampires, including herself, and close to a dozen ghouls. Mostly, they kept anyone from bringing in various lethal nastiness, and to take care of any unfortunate frenzies that might happen.

"But thank you." Darlington said. She looked much the same as ever, an elegant, short-haired woman in a long coat, which concealed, Lauren was aware, a small arsenal of lethal weaponry. She glanced at Lauren. "It is an honorable calling, even if I stand in two very great shadows."

The previous two High Sheriffs were Alistair Niall, and before him, Elizabeth Sheridan herself.



There was a momentary silence, and then Niall turned to regard Erin for a moment, bowing politely to her. He was dressed in a waist-coat, and he had a golden pocket-watch tucked into a breast pocket, with a chain. He had a single white glove on his right hand.

"Mrs. Lamothe, may I introduce Begum Rajani Ravindra, recently from Tibet." Niall said. He had been a military officer, after all, and had served in India. "Begum Ravindra, this is Mrs. Erin Lamothe, a local notable among the Faerie."

"Thank you." Rajani said, inclining her head to Erin, then fixing her eyes on the fey. They were a little like Erin's, almost like twin crystals, and they glowed faintly in the half-light of the Elysium.

Originally Posted by Anna
"It is an honorable calling, even if I stand in two very great shadows."
"I can't think of anyone else as well-suited for the job as you are," Lauren said, with another smile. It wasn't any secret that she preferred the new High Sheriff over the last one, but she did genuinely respect Anna's abilities. "How has the night gone so far? Nothing out of the ordinary?"

Underwood parted with Birch with the usual formalities, and shared a glance with Erin indicating that they should split up and work the room. Of course, Erin seemed to be wandering off to nowhere in particular on her own steam, so that worked fine. The reporter paused, cast about, and fixed his glance on one of the few other people in the room that he knew, striding confidently over and cutting in at a polite moment.

"Miss Morreluck! It's been too long. How've you been?" He looked around the rest of the circle, smiling graciously. "Oh, I'm sorry. Jack Thomas Underwood: writer, Court Reporter, and Ambassador from Hudson's Rest generally; Representative of the Freehold of New Jerusalem tonight. Glad to know you all."

Erin gave Rajani a pleasant curtsy, then turned to give Niall one as well. She offered her long fingered hand to Niall, though when he went to take it, she darted in on tip-toes and kissed the back of his hand. She darted back just as quickly, acting like nothing had happened, and permitted Niall to kiss her hand if he still felt inclined.

"A very good evening to you, Mr. Niall, and I hope it finds you most well," Erin said, graciously. She hmmed to herself for a moment, then fussed about with the sleeves of her dress for a bit, eventually presenting Niall with a small chocolate box. It smelled of dark chocolate and something absurdly alcoholic.

"I am pleased to make your acquaintance," Erin said to Rajani. "I am no more notable than any other, but I am here."


"Thank you." Anna turned to look at Lauren more closely -- certainly the younger vampire was decidedly more stylishly dressed than the High Sheriff tonight, but that was what came with having to work. She smiled, then, a brief but genuine smile. "So far, it has been a quiet night. No hunters, no werewolves, not even a frenzy. I hope it continues the same so far."

"And how are you, Lauren? Still one of London's more eligible political catches?" Anna said, the smile still playing at her lips. She was politely ignoring the Founder's Day fiasco.



Niall was nonplussed by Erin kissing his hand, sufficiently so that he just gave her a confused sort of bow, and then accepted the box of chocolate. Niall was, in truth, one of the very few Kindred in London capable of eating and enjoying mortal food, a remnant of his days with the Ordo Dracul. "Thank you."

"You are very beautiful as well." Rajani said calmly. She reminded Erin, a little bit, of Miss Bell, in that she had an unmoving face and an absolutely calm tone of voice, though where Bell had maintained an air of forced cheer and a mechanical monotone, Rajani had a more reserved, unsmiling expression on her face, and a calm, unruffled tone of voice. She was richly dressed, like a queen, and there must have been a good pound of gold hanging from her neck and wrists and ears, as well as a decorated lattice over her hair. It all went very strangely with her striking, shining eyes. "You are fond of moths?"

"Begum Ravindra and I were having a little impromptu veteran's circle." Niall said, having regained his composure. "We were both involved in the Indian Rebellion of 1857, regrettably, on separate sides however. Still, the hundred and fiftieth anniversary was not so very long ago."

"There is one more veteran in London. Or there was." Rajani mused.



"Hello Mr. Underwood." Lydia said brightly enough. She remembered him -- indeed, she'd been one of the first vampires he'd ever met, some time ago. Lydia was dressed, tonight, in something absolutely eye-searing, a concoction of black leather, burnished steel spikes, and elbow-length latex gloves, topped with her usual mop of bubblegum-pink hair. Whim might have been able to pull off that ensemble. Lydia, not so much. There was a red-eyed pigeon perched on her shoulder, also. "How've you been?"

"Underwood, eh? So, are you a faerie?" The leader of the group said. He, like Lydia, was an absolute horror. He was tall, with a long, comically thing nose, ears like a bat, and a drawn out face. He was dressed in an eye-searing velvet orange suit, with a broad-brimmed hat in the same color with an ostrich feather sticking out of it. Something was crawling underneath his sleeve, but Underwood didn't look. He grinned, his pliable features stretching out like rubber. "Name's Scratch, acting Worm-in-chief and part-time can-can dancer."

"Hi." The third vampire said, a glamour, blonde creature with an angelic face and a rainbow colored dress. She seemed entirely too pretty to be hanging out with Lydia and Scratch, but there was something boneless and floppy in the way she moved, something unnerving.

Lauren preened a bit when she noticed she was being examined. Since she wasn't as rich as many of the other kindred who liked to dress up, looking like she belonged there was mostly down to careful choice of color and accessory.

Originally Posted by Anna
"So far, it has been a quiet night. No hunters, no werewolves, not even a frenzy. I hope it continues the same so far."
"So do I," Lauren said, her smile falling slightly. She was fairly sure that it wouldn't, though. But what could she say? That she had a bad feeling?

Originally Posted by Anna
"And how are you, Lauren? Still one of London's more eligible political catches?"
"Apparently." Lauren glanced over in Birch's direction. "I just haven't found one that seemed... better than remaining neutral." She shrugged.

"I've been well. I've had plenty of work, lately." Lauren had recently decided to rebrand her freelance photography business. She now promoted herself as a specialist at photography at nighttime or in dim lighting, which gave her a good excuse to turn down outdoor jobs during the day. This had also lead to an increase in jobs she could take. While pleased with the results, Lauren wanted to slap herself for not thinking of it a few years earlier.

"How are you and David? And Die Katakombe?"

Originally Posted by NeoTiamat View Post
"You are very beautiful as well." Rajani said calmly. "You are fond of moths?"
"You think so?" Erin asked Rajani. "I do not. The clothing, perhaps, is quite beautiful. I am fond of moths, yes. They are like me - they hide in the dark but are drawn to the light."

Erin pulled out a metal flask, uncapping it and hitting the bottom, sloshing the contents out. Instead of spilling on the floor and making a mess, the liquid landed on her finger, spinning into crystal and diamonds. It formed a moth, its wings outstretched and upward as if praising the moon, or caught in flight.

"For you," Erin said, reaching out her long finger. Rajani could not see the wings flutter, or the liquid crystal slowly moving.

Originally Posted by NeoTiamat View Post
"We were both involved in the Indian Rebellion of 1857, regrettably, on separate sides however."

"There is one more veteran in London. Or there was." Rajani mused.
"Time has closed that divide, I pray," Erin murmured. "Was?"


"You value your freedom very much then, if you prefer neutrality over so many other prizes." Anna murmured, flicking a lock of hair from her forehead. One noticed that Anna's hair was carefully cut so that no stray strand could ever fall into her eyes, though whether this was a fortunate accident or something Anna had spent effort one was uncertain. "But then, you are American."

"The club is... prospering. Despite the efforts of certain individuals." Anna said darkly. Lauren had heard that there had been some inter-Invictus tiff between Anna and Silk Eddie -- David had talked about the offers of buying Die Katakombe from the Nosferatu. With Sophie's money, no less, Lauren knew, though Anna didn't. "And David is well, though I think he is avoiding your friend this evening."



Rajani watched with intense interest as Erin did her little piece of magic. This was a trick that Rajani did not possess, a skill at crafting illusions that was unfortunately foreign to the vampiric necromancer. Carefully, she extended her hand, holding her palm up. She had very long nails, Erin noticed, that were carefully painted with layers of red shades.

"A kingly gift, Mrs. Lamothe." Rajani said formally, turning her shining gaze onto the crystal moth in place of the living one. "You do not have beauty of form, perhaps, but it is a common thing. You have the talent to create beauty. This is less common by far."

"Ah, indeed." Niall said, deciding not to enter into this discussion, though he watched the crystal moth as well. "In either case, time does heal most divides."

"Most." Rajani said with a faint sniff. On her face, this counted as an extravagant gesture. "But there was another. When I was last in London -- after the Second World War -- I encountered another Kindred by the name of Jason Locke, who had been a mercenary soldier in the Great Rebellion. But I have not seen him since that time."

"Jason Locke." Niall mused. "Not a familiar name to me." This must have been rare.

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