Don Micheal and His Fabulous Cloak...
Don Micheal and His Fabulous Cloak…
Location: Gino's Sitting Room in the Royal Palace of Amber
Date: September 4th, 14 (OOC Year 2017)1
Summary: Veronica meets her cousin Gino when his mother, Princess Flora was unavailable to see her. On hearing about her hunt to find an iconic, multi-form, magical coat from Montevalno he shares with her a story about Don Michael, a legendary spy associated with a cloak that seems to fit the bill.
Characters: Gino and Veronica
NPCs: Gino's manservant, Lars, and a member of the palace staff

Hours after Amber shook, Veronica has changed into an outfit of white and pale pastels consisting of a skirt and bodice. The ivory colored leather ankle boots she wears in addition to some select jewelry would look out of place on most women but she manages to carry it off. She then goes to the palace and, using the Princess' ring as a pass key, asks to be shown to Flora or an appropriate proxy. When she is shown to the Citron Solar she expects to be taken to Flora's suite but her escort turns to a different door and knocks.

In that brief time between knocking and answering, Veronica asks the servant, "Who am I calling on?" and is quickly informed that this is the door of Ginovanni, Flora's son.

Lars, Ginovanni's mute man servant opens the door, towering nearly seven feet tall Lars looks down at Veronica expectantly. He frowns and steps aside after a moment, bowing his head and gesturing entrance upon seeing the ring.

Gino is reclined in a padded chair, a book in his lap, the favored son of Flora looks up as the door is opened arching a brow as Lars steps aside. His bright green eyes alight upon Veronica and he closes the book. "Welcome" he offers rising as he does so.

Before entering the room Veronica dismisses the palace staff member who escorted her to the door with a quite thanks so that they can return to their normal duties. To Lars, she nods a thankful greeting as she steps past him.

"Hello, Ginovanni," she says in return greeting and then announces herself, "I am Veronica Nayelenor of House Chantris and Montevalno. At one time I was hired by your mother but… well, I've been missing for a number of years. Since my return our schedules have prevented me from meeting with her. This was to be another attempt but… well, as you see I am not speaking with her still." This last is accompanied by a warm and friendly smile.

Lars closes the door and assumes a place out of the way and silent as is right and proper for a good butler.

"It is my great pleasure to meet you" he offers, "I trust Talia is well?" he inquires after the Chantris Duchess in the familiar. "Would you care for some wine? or something stronger…Lars makes the best martini in Amber" he grins "Aside from the ones I make that is…please, take your ease." he gestures to a sofa.

"Would it offend him or you to make me an appletini?" Veronica answers with a question of her own as she takes the offered seat on the sofa. Only then does she address the other question by saying, "The Duchess? I wouldn't know. Since I found my way back from being lost in L-space on the tenth of July I have seen the new Duchess as much as I have seen your mother, the Princess… that is to say I haven't seen either of them in that time."

Lars does not seem at all offended as he moves to the bar to begin mixing drinks, "appletini?" he grins "I never developed the taste for them, I will take mine dry Lars, and be stingy on the vermouth" Gino adds, "My mother can be hard to pin down" he agrees, "She can get very busy. Were you just wishing to reconnect? or is there something I can help with?" he sets the book carefully aside, a leather and brass bound tome. The author seems to be Dworkin but the title seems obscured.

As a librarian from a family of bookbinders and librarians, Veronica cannot help but glance at the book for a moment. "Although part of the reason I was looking for your mother was for reconnecting you are right that I have other reasons behind my looking for her," she explains. "I am from Fiorra originally and, during research in a library I have access to, I found information about an object of power associated with the lands occupied by Aventia, Paloma, and Serminia today that I hoped to see if she could provide additional information about." She pauses and then asks, "Perhaps you could help in her stead?"

Gino leans forward seeming interested "an object of power?" he asks with a slight smile. "I have spent a lot of time in Aventia, my sister Rose is a Countessa there, she saw fit to grant me a small holding" he pauses as Lars sets dinks on a small table between them. The tall servant drifting back as quietly as he arrived. Gino lifts his drink breathing in its aroma. "I can certainly try to help?" he offers

"Have you ever heard about a legendary mantle which could be turned inside out in a number of ways transforming it into a different sort of cloak, coat or jacket depending on how it was manipulated?" she asks, referencing those legends which she referred to.

There is a long pause as Gino considers, he takes a sip of his drink, "I recall the cloak of Don Micheal of Paloma a Master spy who could appear as a beggar or Prince nearly at whim…I understand it may have as many names as it has shapes and that the Black Collegia would pay salty for knowledge of its location."

Veronica smiles with the glee of a philomath at the presentation of this information. "I had not found any names associated with the item," she says as she leans towards the blond man. She then asks, "Do you know any stories about Don Michael that you could share with me?"

"Several" Gino frowns, "most of them get better with the telling I am certain" he grins setting his glass aside, "it has been some time…you have heard of the Aphious bull yes?" he smiles "there is a fight man vs bull to honor the gods…a great honor for the fighter." he begins settling back into his chair

Veronica leans back on the couch and shakes her head, "I can't say that I'm familiar with that legend… at least under that name." She takes a sip of her appletini and then says, "But I would love to hear it," as she relaxes into the cushions and manifests an air of attentiveness.

Gino rubs his chin, "Well the bull and combat are a sacred to the Lord of Storms" he begins, "every year a festival is held, and a bull fight happens, man vs animal." Gino grins "it is a one sided contest the animal always loses, his insides used to divine the following year, the meat prepared for a feast in the God's honor." He sips his drink, "The warrior who kills it is showered with every honor, the embodiment of the god on earth…"

Veronica nods, showing she has some familiarity with the festival, but adds, "Although I'm aware of it, my childhood friend and charge - - Lord Mikael Tanto's daughter, Rebekah - - never wanted to go because it bothered her sensibilities," before she sips at her drink some more. As she has nearly finished it, Lars is dutifully already preparing a second for her as he requires no direction from his master nor a request from their guest.

"I was the warrior on four occasions" Gino offers his most charming smile, "and once on the docks of Amber…bullfighting" he sighs, "back to the story." He holds up his glass and Lars takes it, even as he replaces Veronica's drink. "As I was saying. The Lord of Paloma had engaged in a trade war with a prominent Count in Montenegro" Gino grins, "trade seems ever the cause of conflict in Montevalno does it not?" he shakes his head, "Don Micheal was hired by Montenegro to steal Paloma's records to there by undercut their prices." he explains.

"And how did he employ his cloak in this effort?" she asks, obviously caught up in the tale to the point that she barely notices when Lars takes her empty glass and replaces it with a new one.

"He tried a number of ways, he appeared as a servant, one of the Ladies of court, a Palace guard but to no avail. Paloma was much to paranoid" Gino explains, "but fate smiled upon the Good Don, he met the warrior in a " Gino considers, "a Pleasure Den" he grins, "the two became fast friends…Micheal bought him drink after drink, and hired him one of the most expensive entertainers in the house" Gino smirks, "she had a special talent for knot tying if you take my meaning?" Gino accepts another martini from Lars. "So the Good Don appeared in the arena as the warrior, the embodiment of the Storm God himself!"

Veronica laughs and claps in that way only an experienced socialite can while holding a martini glass - - and managing to not spill a drop of the drink. "Of course he did," she says with a grin and then asks, "Do you know if he succeeded in his assignment?"

Gino chuckles, "I am getting to that!" he winks "A good story should never be rushed." he takes a sip and glances back to Lars giving him a nod, "perfect." he then returns to the tale. "Don Micheal knew even the warrior could not get into the Lord's chamber alone…unless he could create a diversion." Gino leans forward "I have fought and defeated those bulls four times, four times I was nearly mauled." he explains "The Bull Don Micheal battled was called Cyclone…beloved of the Storm God…during the fight Micheal managed to trick the animal into charging a door that led into the Palace…and the game was on!" Gino grins, "Cyclone lived up to his name, the enraged animal destroying everything in his path."

Veronica nods, properly chastised for having tried rushing the storyteller. His comment to Lars reminds her that her glass has been replaced with a full one but she waits to speak until the next natural pause in the story, listening closely like a dutiful audience aught. Then, at the pause, she leans away from Gino and says, "These are perfect," to Lars and then returns to normal and nods to her host to quietly encourage him to continue at his own pace.

"in the chaos Micheal changes his disguise several times until at last he donned the garb of the Lord himself, now legend says the cloak will not replicate specific people, he looked close enough that the guards, already having their hands full with an angry bull didn't take much notice. He got in, stole the records and escaped disguised as a Palace guard…as for the Bull?" Gino grins, "He lived the rest of his days in peace and plenty in a pasture controlled by the Temple…it was obvious the Storm God chose him as a pet you see."

Veronica nods as the story comes to a close and sips thoughtfully at her drink before asking, "Do you know when this happened and anyone who witnessed it?" obviously concerned about the story being apocryphal rather than factual, but just as obviously having enjoyed it no matter its status.

"It happened in the time my Grandmother seduced my grandfather and he took her for his Queen." Gino frowns, "but…the bull" he grins "The bull lived until well into the time when my mother walked the Pattern and beyond, "she saw the beast with her own eyes I believe…and I have one of its off spring at my vineyard…I could not resist asking for him" Gino shrugs "they forbid the warrior no reasonable request after the festival."

"Thank you for this tale, Ginovanni," Veronica says. "I wonder how much of Don Michael's ability was due to the cloak as opposed to the cloak and its abilities supporting and supplementing his natural acting ability and his learned skill with disguises, as this seems much more likely," she ponders out loud in true scholarly fashion before taking another sip of her appletini.

Gino lifts a brow, "My dear Lady, I believe in the power of the cloak." He holds out his hand, "I can walk you to places where the stuff of creation forms under my feet through an effort of my own will…the sights there would shatter lesser minds…is the idea of a cloak that aids it's master in something as simple as disguise so farfetched?"

Veronica blinks in surprise, not at the words but at her own thoughts being so well countered. "Oh no, of course not," she replies quickly and then explains, "It's just this is a different twist on the legends of this item when compared to the others I had found on my own."

Gino pats the book by his side, "Dworkin was Oberon's court wizard, a man of insane power if legends are to be believed, he speaks of magic as a reflection of the will of the person who wields it, seems to me, an artifact of power would serve to enhance the bearers own power in a particular way …if that makes sense?"

"It absolutely does," Veronica replies.

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