So. Fourteen weeks into the Tapani year, there’s a holiday between months. Then another normal month of seven weeks, and all of a sudden LOOK OUT! It’s CAPITAL SEASON! For a third of the freaking year, the newsreels have a segment dedicated to who wore what, who went with whom to what, and who didn’t get invited. And what they’re doing about it. And who’s behind on their obligation to return the favor by hosting an event (or six!) for those who’ve previously footed the bill.
And, oh, the bills.
I’ve actually gotten some side work, what with being the onlywho doesn’t think credits come from the Credit Fairy, in doing background checks on potential suppliers of novel food/decor/entertainment/clothing for a still-distant Vor shindig. Oh, and let’s not get into The Potential For Causing A Scene.
Capital Season can be divided into two mostly-separate, simultaneous series. Most of what hits the news is what I call the Beautiful People track: Danar Vorpadaran probably attends a lot of these, as I gather he’s considered a nearly ideal example of the Beautiful People in question. He’s young, he’s well-featured, he’s from a good family, he’s charming and entertaining, and he dances well. He knows when to tell stories and when to draw a dinner partner out.
He looks good on camera, which is pretty critical. In fact, I suspect that’s a primary consideration on the guest list for a lot of these events: who’ll look good on camera at all times, without outshining the host or hostess. Or, rather, the person who actually arranged the soiree, which may not have been the person named on the invitations at all.
Being invited to an event is a Big Deal. Choosing one event over another is also a Big Deal. An entire family’s reputation can be altered by what dinners are attended by the young adults, what they wore, with whom they danced or chatted, and whether they looked better than the Vorjonzzes.
Beautiful People events are almost always spectacles. Extravagant performance art pieces will serve as entertainment. Exotic, dangerous foods appear for jaded tastes. Gowns look like other things entirely, to the point of being costumes and maybe even puppetry. The trick is to be a pre-approved part of the spectacle without actually causing a scene oneself.
Other than the meat market aspect and the peacock aspect, I suspect these events are training for the second track: Serious Vor, Serious Business. By the time Vor are attending these events, their political and military careers are well-established, their reputations have a sturdy basis in history (if not anything remotely related to fact), and they’ve probably paired off somewhat permanently. A lot of the business of government seems to get done behind the scenes at these events, voting alliances forming and compromises hammered out long before anything is proposed in the actual Council Chamber.
It’s very important, apparently, to be able to hate each others’ guts civilly.
I’m more likely, early in the season, to be drafted into attending the latter than the former; I tend to catch myself doing my bodyguard impression, which is a problem. It’s more of a problem later in the season, when I get ordered off to the Beautiful People events, along with all the other minor diplomatic attachés. Also, since I wear essentially the same outfit to more than two events, I deflect a lot of offers to introduce me to a decent tailor.
Items still to explore:
Too many to list. What is a “town clown”, is drunkenness a required condition for said archetype, and are they good to invite to parties or boors who should be ashamed of themselves? Why do four invitations show up for a single time slot when they’ve all left me alone for several weeks, and why did they ask me, and what kind of statement am I supposedly making if I turn down all of them? What about the statement when I wind up going to one? Why can’t they just ask Lady Skywalker to these things? She does nifty things with her hair that take two days to arrange. I show up clean and untangled, and call it good.
As you know with the recent acknowledgment of the Council of Counts to the sentiency of the Clones it has become even more difficult than usual to get on the social calendars of the various other Counts this Capital Season. I wish to thank you for helping me bypass many high ranking members' social secretaries by arranging for me to escort their daughters to the various social functions that will be occurring. I must say that I had forgotten exactly how much time one spends with a lady's father while awaiting her to finish preparing for an event and I promise to use this time to the fullest on behalf of the Imperium. That being said, I have noticed that my calendar isn't completely filled, so if you have need I can give you a list of lady's with whom I would be happy to fill those slots.
Forever in the Emperor's Service,
Count Tsu vorBocioni