(2018-04-27) Discussing Bladed Celebrations
After all, who knows what an Avicorsan woman does
amanda cosimo 
Amanda comes to visit Cosimo and Lorenzo to discuss Tizania.
Some discussion of the Heir.
Misc Info:
lorenzo {$name} 

Amanda's arrival at the palazzo was greeted warmly, and the sister-in-law of the Conte was escorted through the courtyard and towards the Tapestry Room where the Conte stands near his younger brother, Lorenzo, staring up at one tapestry in particular. "You know, my wife wants to replace one of these with something from Avicorse. I'm quite conflicted about this." He holds up one hand. "On one hand, there's the fact that it's something from Avicorse." He holds up his other. "But then again… it IS something from Avicorse so likely others in the city won't have anything like it. Why couldn't she have asked for something from Santos Corta or Navagerse." He sighs. "It would be a far easier decision."

He turns then to face their guest. "Ah, Signora Amanda, so good to see you. You remember my brother Lorenzo, yes? We were just discussing the finer details of tapestries." He smiles, then bows his head towards her. "I would ask how you are treating our dear sister Tizania, but I spoke briefly to your older sister yesterday and she tells me all is well. It is so good to hear that. Please, come have a seat. Some wine perhaps?" He gestures to one of the benches that are positioned along the walls and gestures for her to sit, while nodding to a servant to bring some refreshment.

Into the Tapestry Room comes Amanda Beatrice Capello. The younger sister of the Contessa is nothing if not strikingly beautiful, with a perfection that seems to come unnaturally naturally. Perfect hair, perfect make up, perfect dress. Not that the gown she wears is anything overly special, it is, instead, perfect for this very setting. Her smile is even perfect. A smile that she fixes first upon Cosimo, as he greets her. "Conte, it is a pleasure, always, to see you," she says. And then to Lorenzo. "Signora, it has been too long," she says.

The blonde beauty drifts further toward the men, as she gives a dip of her head. "Yes, wine would be appreciated, thank you," she says. She'll address that before her smile goes a touch playful. "I assure, your sister's suffering is as manageable as I can possibly make it. At present, she's working on a new piece that I am not allowed to see. I had to cover my eyes when I pushed into our chambers to deliver her a meal. She's positively /engrossed/," she explains. Finally, Amanda will step to the bench and effortlessly and gracefully seat herself.

Lorenzo stands with arms crossed, considering the tapestry in question. This is not something he's known for doing, appreciating the family art, though he's willing to entertain a discussion when it comes to changing a piece out for something more exotic. "I don't see the problem," he says after a moment. "After all, *she* is from Avicorse, so one could hardly be blamed for exhibiting the aesthetics of her kind." A brief smile if offered to Cosimo, then he turns his attention to Amanda. "Nice to see you again," he offers along with a gentle nod.

Cosimo gives Lorenzo a thoughtful nod before returning his attention to Amanda, smiling as he gestures Lorenzo to take a seat before taking his own in a nearby chair. "Yes, well, she was always quite protective of her work. It doesn't surprise me that she wouldn't want to show it off until she's finished with it." Two servants arrive, one carrying a with several glasses and the other holding a bottle. They go about pouring out wine and handing each a glass, starting with Cosimo, then Amanda, and then Lorenzo. Without a word, Cosimo swirls the liquid in the glass, breathes it in and then takes a small sip. Hey, at least it's not poisoned! "I do hope you enjoy this particular year. It was part of a shipment that came over with my wife."

"Where were we? Ah, yes, my sister. Yes, she is certainly talented." He glances towards Lorenzo, his eyes flashing with an idea. "Lorenzo, do you recall what port it was where we found those pieces of art made from clay? It was one of the Kataro Kingdoms, but I don't recall which." A glance back to Amanda. "You should have seen some of these things. The range of colors was actually quite well done. I wonder if getting Tizania something from across the sea might provide some measure of inspiration, what do you thing, Signora?"

Amanda sits, her posture impeccable, her legs crossed at the thigh, beneath her gown. When the servant comes with a glass of wine, she reaches out a delicate hand to take it, to whorl, to sniff. "That is quite impressive," she opinions, before she tries it. "Thank you for sharing such a treasure," she adds. She finally sips, a dainty little taste, before she murmurs out decided approval. Her smile goes a touch brighter. But then there's talks of gifts, her brows climb. "Oh, my-… well, my dear Conte, if you will forgive some terrible selfishness… Our wedding anniversary approaches quickly and I am entirely at a loss as to what to get her," she explains. "I do not even know if I should try to… overwhelm her. Or underwhelm her. I believe you know well that, to Tizania, disappointment is sometimes sweeter than honey," she says, her smile going fond. "All that to say… if I could help plan something? Or pay for it? I would cherish the oppertunity…"

Lorenzo accepts the offered glass and instinctively moves it around so that the wine might take a needed breath. He does not, however, sip any at the moment. "I would have to think on that," he tells his brother, glancing up as he tries to place the art in question. "I do not believe it was far from Qadari, however." That should do for now, he believes, and so he turns his attention on the consideration of his sister's upcoming anniversary. Since it was the Cosimo who was asked, however, he allows the head of house to offer his opinion. It is at this moment that he decides to take his from sip of wine.

Nodding, Cosimo casually takes another sip of his wine before responding. "The first anniversary is, I think, one of the more important ones. Perhaps overwhelm her this time around, and underwhelm the next time?" The question is as rhetorical as it isn't. The fingers of his other hand tap rhytmically on the arm rest. "I think that a small celebration with a lavish gift might work, but it would have to depend on the gift. Does she still care for knives or has she moved on from that particular passion." He glances over at Lorenzo. "What do you think? Knives or something more artistic? If artistic, perhaps we could reach out to a ship bound towards Qadari to see what might be obtained. Or…. there are plenty of knives that can be purchased from there or from other ports around the sea."

"That sounds like a far better plan," Amanda replies, nodding along faintly. "That is… underwhelm her with the celebration, overwhelm with the gift? I know that's not precisely what you said, but it is a fine idea," she says, looking a touch excited now. The look falters after a moment, and then she gives a soft sigh. "Knives," she echoes, with a grim nod. "I do not understand it. Not even a little. But she does care for them and remains, apparently, quite good with one," she explains. There's a delicate shrug that goes with it, like, what can you do?

Cosimo smiles. "Ah, perhaps not what I was saying precisely, but a good solution, I think. With your right hand, show her this small celebration, let it go on for a spell. Then pull out your left hand and dazzle her with something that will take her breath away. Yes, that would be something she would remember." The comment about knives elicits a laugh. "Yes, well, not much. Our parents tried to dissuade her from that particular hobby numerous times, but failed each time. Though, I don't really think it's that bad. Knowing how good she is with one would make me feel better if she were standing next to me in a fight, you know?"

"Yes, forgive me. But… that, exactly," Amanda says, holding that gracious smile. And then her eyes flash wide, and she laughs again. "It is … comforting, in it's ways. To know that should someone try something horrid… like a kidnapping… well-…" she stops herself. "I shouldn't talk like that. But! I will say… she it is an attractive quality," she says. Which might be an understatement. But she seems content to not gush about being attracted to the man's sister.

"Yes, well, we don't need to speak of -those- things." Cosimo says before taking another sip of his wine. "In any case, would you like to arrange for a ship to bring back an exotic new knife or two for Tizania? Since this is a gift for my dear sister, I won't charge any fees for acquiring the item, only the cost of the item. Same thing if you decide you want to acquire some paints or art pieces from one of the markets across the sea."

"That would be perfect, Cosimo," Amanda says, with pure graciousness in her voice. She even lifts a hand to her heart. "You are a life saver. The brother I didn't realize I needed so terribly," she adds, her look shifting to something more playful. "I spoke with my sister about this. Her tastes are… refined. But as for a gift, I don't know that she quite understands. I believe she's still struggling with the idea that Tizania and I are-… That we've learned to be so… That we are-…" Yes, she's struggling here. She finally clears her throat. "That I appreciate my wife as much as I do."

"Let us see how she likes it all before you heap such praise upon me, Amanda." Cosimo says with a laugh. "But you are welcome. You are practically family yes?" A pause before adding, "Aaaand I would rather keep my sister happy so that she keeps her knife hobby focused on training dummies and not me." He remains quiet and attentive as the she struggles to get her feelings out, nodding slowly when she finally does. "I see. Well, you two are very fortunate indeed if you both, ah, appreciate one another so much. As for your sister? I spoke with her yesterday actually, and you know, I think she can see that you are happy. She might not quite understand the gift, but I believe she understands the feelings behind the gesture."

"It is a good idea. Even if she doesn't like it," Amanda quietly insists. One might even be able to envision Amanda saying just that to someone who doesn't like their present. As if objective confirmation of good-ness would somehow make it better. There's a nod, then, and another smile. "Practically," she says. A pause, then she nods again. "I've no doubt she /understands/… in theory. More just… well." She pauses, then waves a hand, to dismiss the idea. "Enough of that. Tell me of you, dear brother? How fairs your exotic wife?"

"Fair enough." Cosimo says, lifting his glass in something of a little salute. "As for my Avicorsan bride? Well, she has certainly taken to the role of Contessa, making various plans for parties or gatherings. I suspect she will rather enjoy the social scene here in Matora. We get along rather well too, which I am grateful for. One never knows what to expect when entering such an arrangement." The corners of his mouth twitch upwards in a slight smirk as he gestures around the room. "She has her plans and desires about how to redecorate some of the rooms of the palazzo, but what can I do? I can't say no to everything, so deciding when to say yes and when to say no provides a measure of entertainment and amusement from day to day."

"That is quite true… Tizania, well. Our childhoods… our upbringing… the way we speak… all so very similar. There was very little I did not know about Gaspari, and very little she did not know of Capello. Neighbors as we are," Amanda says, considering her relationship with her wife as she speaks. Then she gives another soft, lovely, musical laugh. "That is very wise, dear Cosimo. Picking your battles is how you win wars, I am told."

"Neighbors indeed! And hopefully friendly ones for some time to come as well." Cosimo says, leaning back in his chair, folding one leg over another. "And yes, I too was told that picking ones battles is the key to victory, but I have to wonder… am I really the one picking the battles? Or is she picking them and I am merely trying to catch up. It's a question I don't like to ask too much, perhaps because I worry what the answer may be."

"We are not our parents," Amanda says, gently. "And we are family, now. Just as I serve my own, I will serve yours, Cosimo," Amanda says, her tone warm and loving. "Well. Almost. My loyalty comes first and foremost to my Contessa. But…" she makes a small gesture with one hand, palm upturned, symbolically extending that offer to the man. She's then quick to grin, and to nod. "Fortunately, marriage is a war where both belligerents can win," she says. "So long as bloodshed is minimal and the house stays in order… it shouldn't matter overly."

Cosimo bows his head. "I thank you, Amanda. And if you ever find yourself in a situation where you need help, I hope you and Tizania feel like you can come to me. You are my sister now too, and I look after family. Family is important, without it, we would devolve into barbarism." The bowing of his head goes slightly deeper for a brief moment before meeting her gaze once more. "Bloodshed?" His brows raise in surprise. "Do I even want to know why that would be involved?" He laughs.

"Truer words, Conte," Amanda answers, nodding along as he speaks them. And when he laughs, so does Amanda. "No!" she protests, in good humor. "No, it's /nothing/ like that. I was teasing. After all, who knows what an Avicorsan woman does," she says. A moment later, she puts on a very serious face. So serious, it's clear it's just a jest. "Are they truly all blood-drinking savages?"

"Mmm. Bloodthirsty savages? There may be some who are, but my wife is not." Cosimo lets out a sigh, a rather long sigh. "As loathe as I am to admit it, she has a good head for the finer things in life. So alas, I do not think you can take everything you hear about Avicorsans as literal truth." He briefly scratches his chin while continuing. "They do make good wine, not as good as some of the wines from the City States, but good. They also have some general taste and sophistication, but again, nothing like ours. No, Matora still remains a beacon of culture in this world."

"Well, of course," Amanda says, with a soft smile. "You go as far as Ganza lands and already the beauty and radiance starts to fade. People start to… talk funny…" she says, laughing once more. "Though… speaking of outsiders, have you heard this rumor about… the Prince of Mecurea?"

"Ahhh, the Prince of Mecurea. Yes, I have heard some of the rumors. That he is here with a small retinue of his guards. A curious thing." Cosimo says, glancing up at one of the tapestries. "I am curious as to what exactly is happening in the East. News has been sparse, save for the business about this heir and his guards, yes? It makes me wonder how much territory Katora must have taken from the Empire." He looks down at his wine, face going still. "I was hoping to talk to your sister about this. Do you know what her thoughts on this are?"

"Aren't we all," Amanda says, a touch grimly. She listens, then, and bobs her head faintly. When asked of her sister, she gives another nod. "I do. She's decidedly cautious," she says. "We are cautious. We are careful. And that is exactly how she sees this situation… through those filters. She pointed out that the prince himself may not even be here. That this may be…" And another delicate lift of thin shoulders comes. "A distraction?" she offers. "Or perhaps it is merely some dignitary? Or perhaps, or perhaps. There are simply too many possibilities. And Capello will not be taking any action until we know more."

"Well, it seems that Capello and Gaspari are in agreement on that, having more information is of importance." Cosimo says, gesturing idly towards the doors that lead to the courtyard and the city beyond. "I worry that some may be blinded to what it all might mean and act rashly. As for me? I worry more about what it all might mean for Matora. So I am quite pleased to hear that your sister is taking this cautiously too." He finally finishes his wine and leans forward. "I have tried to sniff out more about this, but was unsuccessful. If I do find out anything though, I'll be sure to pass it along to your sister."

"That some of the families might decide…" Amanda starts, then pauses. A faint frown crosses her lips. "That there's wealthy and glory to be had in retaking Mecurea?" she offers, as a possible option. "Is decidedly troubling. Sending mercenaries to a war is one matter, but if Matora itself decides to get involved… involved in a fight that, best I understand is already lost?" she just gives a grave nod. "Troubling, for certain." A pause. "I would be happy for anything. And I will let Amadea know that you are of a like mind. We wait, we listen."

Cosimo lets out a breath. "I certainly hope not. There might be wealth and glory to be had taking back those lands, but that fight is not going to be worth the price that we will pay in the long run. Certainly it would weaken us against those who would seek to do us harm. Or have people so quickly forgotten the troubles we have had with the Paragon States and the Divine Empire just a few short years ago?" He shakes his head, shifting his feet and then standing. "I must apologize though, I do have a few things I need to go see to at the docks, so I hate cutting our conversation short. We must have you and Tizania over for a dinner sometime soon though."

"I've not forgotten," Amanda says, faintly. Though it's clear she's just as worried that others have. Her thoughtful frown lasts another moment, then it's gone. She smiles once more as she rises up. "Thank you, Conte, for your hospitality, and for your lovely wine," she says. "We will surely be over for dinner soon. Send my regards to your wife," she says. Then, unless there's something else, she'll excuse herself.

"Of course, any time, Amanda. And please give my regards to Tizania." Cosimo bows his head towards her with one last smile before getting ready to see to his tasks.

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