29. A Curian Wedding
André, recovering from the bout in the Feral Bucket, accompanied Varris and Jester in their errands shopping. While in the Mystic Quarter, Jester acquired paperwork to enroll Edna in a semester of schooling at the Sophis Lyceum, paying a hefty price for her tuition as a wedding present. Then, they stopped at Flara's tailoring shop where André commissioned an ostentatious outfit for the wedding and also met with one of his friends, Louis de Crevier. The young nobleman expressed pleasant surprise at seeing the bard, which turned shortly into nervousness as André coerced him for money. Afterwards, the trio proceeded to a bookstore, Dr. Winston's Books & Bobbles, so that Varris may purchase a gift for Edna's wedding.
During that period, a group of acolytes from the local temple to Erevea visited Andraste while serving in one of the charity stalls in the Commons. Remarking on the cleric of Pelor's contribution, they encouraged him to establish a formal presence in Curieux, seeing as though their followings seemed to possess like beliefs. Though honored by the recognition, Andraste provided no definitive reply to the pursuit and the newly acquainted group of acolytes continued to provide aid for the rest of the day.
Meanwhile, Kent, under disguise, scouted out the Trow Estate for the following day. He observed the perimeter for a while before returning to the inn, and later, further used magic to scout the interior of the mansion. After the group had dinner together, Kent and André subsequently headed to the de Cranbierre estate, pulling off a ruse that Kent was a foreign noble to both Lord Cranbierre and his son, Ramsey. André then returned the wedding present to his father, who, as per their agreement, extended the wedding invitation to the bard.
With their affairs tended to, for that day at least, the adventures retired to their respective abodes.
The paladin mobilizes to find the missing bride, taking Kent along with her for assistance. They attempt to locate her via magical scrying and messaging, though to no avail. Varris, hearing of the scenario, turned to the skies. Using a magical ring, she charmed another canary to aid in the search. With time ticking away, the bird eventually returned with an apparent lead to Edna's whereabouts. The group, now with André and Andraste joining the search party, headed into the mansion, where they found the missing bride in an old, locked up playroom.
Given some time alone by the others, Jester proceeded to speak to her sister. The young bride found herself moved to tears upon speaking of her own plight but allowed herself to be comforted by Jester that perhaps meeting her husband-to-be may alleviate the blow of her situation. Trodding back to the ceremony site, Jester convinced an irritated Philip to speak with Edna. They returned to the playroom, just as Varris finished fixing the bride's makeup. Though an awkward meeting, the group gave the young couple some privacy. However, their time alone did not last for too long as both their parents soon arrived with Lord Beren Trow leading the way. After staring down Jester to move away from the door, the nobleman opened the room to the sight of Edna and Philip speaking, with a storybook open between them. The sight of the imposing lord put an end to their conversation, and the pair were succinctly marched back to the ceremony. Most of the adventurers returned to the wedding, though Kent and André took the moment to continue their infiltration of the Trow mansion.
With the bride finally present, the ceremony began with the procession of Edgar II, King of Conais, and his guests, then, at last, the bridal march. At last, the wedding came to fruition, culminating in a unique exchange of vows, by Curian standards, between Philip and Edna. The retinue was then ushered to the reception where guests further imbibed food and drink as well as socialized.
During the ceremony, Kent and André, invisible thanks to the latter's magic, conducted their search for the bust of King Edward II, conducting cursory inspections of rooms on the second floor. Their efforts did not return much success as they moved towards the personal quarters of the Lord and Lady Trow, and as strange little incidents began cropping up in their quest. Eventually, the two found themselves separated, by virtue of being unable to see each other. Kent investigated the personal quarters of Lord Trow while André found himself inside Lady Emma's bedroom. Both again looked for the bust in their respective areas and again turned up with nothing.
André conducted his search, he was shortly thereafter assaulted by something that kept pricking away at his legs. The bard, unable to spot his assailant, quickly teleported away, meeting Kent in the bedroom on the opposite hall. The two discussed their findings, or lack thereof, before the sound of a metal grate hinted at the return of their assailant. They hopped between the bedroom and a nearby room with various displays of swords, while remaining under attack by a creature which Kent identified as a quickling. André fell to the blade of the small fey before Kent attempted to reason with it. The quickling, introducing himself as Miln, ultimately agreed to providing the bust, though only temporarily. The two mages then had to work to retrieve the bust from the study, where Miln stated he had left it. They floundered slightly in the attempt, being spotted by servants in the rooms, but Kent managed to attain the valuable object before absconding from the house. In full sight of the reception, the two enacted a chase between them and the mansion's guards, ultimately using magic to escape from the premises.
Despite the occurrence, the reception continued in full swing. The adventurers had the opportunity to interact with a number of important personalities in Conaisan, and even Varian, high society at large; in some cases, they reunited with previous acquiantances, for good and bad. The celebration extended into the night, seemingly with no incident. However, as evening came, Lord Trow confronted Jester about the theft in the estate, accusing her of bringing the perpetrators into their midsts. The situational gradually escalated with Jester unable to provide much counter. When Lady Emma Trow attempted to calm her husband, the Lord Trow wrested away from her and, in the process, slapped her across the face. The pregnant woman nearly fell if not for the quick response from Andre catching her. With the enitre Curian upper class present, the incident put an effective halt to the reception. The king shortly after left the premises with Lady Emma Trow and her daughters in his wing, leading to the guests dissipating in turn.
After leaving the Trow estate, Kent turned in the bust to the Black Cats. Belinda promised to hold up her end of the agreement, informing him of the strange underground magical trade occurring withint he city as well as ending their harrassment of Kent. Before they parted, she gave him a final warning to stay safe. Kent then returned to Angramax's tower in the Mystic Quarter, where he and the dragonborn diviner spent the rest of the night playing a new game called Strabble.
As for the rest of the adventurers, they retreated from the estate after ensuring Lady Emma's well-being. Andraste returned to the Adjective Noun. Jester sought out a pub to drown her sorrows, only to be followed by Varris who then fetched Tycus. The other paladin, in nothing more than his shirt and shoes, followed the wood elf to Jester. Tycus provided an ear and a fellow drinking partner to Jester, though the two eventually returned to the Adjective Noun as well.
"I, uh, don't really know what to make of them. I think one tried to spy on me, and another was checking me out. Just a really, really weird group of people, to be completely honest...But that one, Jes-girl, my sister-in-law now, I think—Though, I can't say I'm not impressed that Edna has someone who cares for her like that. Guess being related now isn't so bad."
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