Polish Summer Ball: Wilanow Palace Thread
((OOC: This is going to be a different RP, with so many of us coming here. The residences will have their own threads, while all the events where we must come together will take place in a Main Events thread.))
Welcome to Wilanow Palace! Zapraszamy do Pałacu Wilanowskiego!
Those who have made their arrangements to stay in Wilanow Palace are expected to arrive today.
Queen Marlena and King Janusz were waiting for their guests. King Janusz had recently made headlines in Poland with the sudden announcement that he would abdicate soon, but he had not set a date for that. However, with Princess Karolina looking more and more ready to take on the responsibility of leading the over 300 million citizens of the Imperial Commonwealth, he felt safe to hand over the reign to his daughter.
'Marlena, I hope that Karolina does not get too far ahead of herself at this ball and find a husband that is wrong for her,' said the King.
'I don't think she will; trust your eldest daughter,' Queen Marlena responded. 'She's not Fryderyk.'
Both were eagerly awaiting their first guests.
Archpresident Baltar and his wife Minerva had spent the flight reading about the Polish state. They were amazed and captivated by its historic and strong historic sense, they knew they made the right decision in regards to staying at the Palace. Unfortunately, the Archbishop was diagnosed with lung cancer and decided to remain in Altha in order to start his Chemo Therapy. After they landed at the airport, they drove through the beauty that was Warsaw, the couple made a note to complement the city and the nation to the King and Queen.
It seemed they were the first to arrive at the Palace, which was a tad bit awkward. The Archpresident hated to be first at events, it always made him uncomfortable.
"Good evening, your majesties," Baltar said after making his way to the King and Queen, while respectfully bowing.
'Good day to you, delegation from Altha. We thank you very much for attending the event,' said the Polish King. He smiled, and greeted them.
'The first event won't be for a little while, but it will be an informal outdoor lunch at Lazienki Palace,' explained Queen Marlena. 'We do hope you don't mind a little outdoor dinner with riparian entertainment.'
Jade Lamington, Adrian Nyquist, and Kendra Torvald arrived at the palace OOC after scrambling to get ready to go out of town that morning and waiting for a phone call that could make this post go up hastily before it's done.
Adrian rather enjoyed the flight, having been sandwiched between two young women of his age and status. Although, they were looking forward to primarily flirting with international guests. Kendra secretly fancied Adrian, but Jade kept her romantic distance. The Lamingtons and Nyquists were already a bit too close, more like family than political allies.
Everyone's thoughts switched to Poland when they saw the palace. It was quite impressive and Kendra insisted on taking group pictures, which Adrian knew would (annoyingly) end up all over social media back home.
They greeted the Althanians with the usual handshakes, but gave the King and Queen a more formal salute-like greeting. It was against Duxburian law to bow to anyone.
"Seems like we've never been away, eh?" the High President remarked to no one in particular. The rest of the car's occupants, which consisted of Marie and a few carefully selected aides, nodded somewhat at Solomon's attempt to start conversation. It seemed no one was taking the bait of small talk. Most of the journey here had been like this. Sitting in relative silence. It appeared to have been instigated by Marie, who was acting quite strangely ever since he got back from his last trip to Poland. The High President had learned from three failed marriages that it was best not to ask what was bothering her. No doubt it was his fault...again.
"None of us have been here before Michael. We don't all live the high life flying from place to place, leaving our spouses for days on end", Marie said sharply.
"Now? We're going to do this now?", the High President responded with slight irritation in his voice. The two aides which were accompanying Solomon and his wife squirmed awkwardly in their seats. Marie opened her mouth and was about to reply, but was cut short by the cynical and sarcastic voice of the driver from the front seat.
"That's us just coming in now. Maybe we could save the domestics for the next coronation, eh?"
Solomon was stunned by the drivers audacity. He didn't say anything though, because he was of course right. Best to make a good impression. He'll talk to Marie later, straighten things out. This had happened before, no doubt it will happen again. The car came to a halt in front of the palace. As always, the High President was impressed by the look of the place. The Palace was truly something to behold, and he smiled when he saw Marie take note too. She wasn't normally one to appreciate these sorts of things, but it was always nice to see her take an interest in some of the finer things in life.
The party exited the car and made their way into the palace itself. It appeared the Duxburians and the Althanians had already arrived. Excellent, Solomon thought to himself. He was eager to meet with the hitherto somewhat mysterious Duxburians. If he could impress them, he thought, he could impress anyone.
The High President and Marie moved to their hosts, the Polish King and Queen. He bowed slightly as he began to speak.
"An absolute pleasure to be back here, your highnesses. Even though I've only been away about a week, I was really looking forward to seeing your country again. This is my wife, Marie", she curtsied a little as she was being introduced. "She's been so looking forward to meeting you, haven't you dear?"
"Oh yes. Michael has been telling me so much about his last visit. Sometimes he just wouldn't shut up about it! You know what men are like", Marie said to Queen Marlena, with a small giggle.
'Oh, no doubt of it. Good to see you again, Mr. High President, and Mrs. Solomon, it is an honor to meet you,' said Queen Marlena. It seemed to jar Mrs. Solomon that she had a mostly English accent with a very light dusting of Polish on top. 'Well, it would be rude of us to exclude our guests from partaking in some fine drink and dinner before we begin the festivities of tomorrow.'
The Queen looked bubbly and the image of a perfect hostess, while her husband seemed much more subdued and less robust than the previous time the High President saw him. The two men shot each other quick looks of welcome before he led the party to the ballroom, where it was decorated with Polish flags and Coats of Arms everywhere.
Every drink imaginable was laid out for the guests, as well as the finest glassware in the entire kingdom, engraved with the royal family's coat of arms. Queen Marlena poured herself a glass of Chablis, while her husband went for the high quality pilsner named "Kr?lowie Piwa (King's Beer)".
Laid out in front of the High President and his wife was one of the largest assortments of various drinks he had ever seen. There was everything from his favourite of bacardi and coke, all the way to fine, Northern Caesarean wine. Marie of course went straight for the cider and babycham, a somewhat odd combination that she seemed to enjoy. The room was filled with the sounds of clinking glasses and bottles, mingling with the idle chatter that was taking place.
The High President poured himself a bacardi and coke and moved over to Marie, who was staring intently at a family portrait that depicted the royal family from centuries past. The King, who seemed to share the High President's fondness for a moustache, was seated next to the Queen on an ornate couch. Surrounding them were several children, all of varying ages.
"It looks perfect, doesn't it?", Marie said, without taking her eyes off the painting. "A happy couple, surrounded by their loving children. It seems so...so natural. Maybe its not too late for me", she said quietly, more to herself than anyone in particular.
"What is dear?", the High President asked. He had been distracted by the plaque on the picture frame, which named the King as Stefan I.
"Oh...nothing", Marie replied with a smile. "Just talking to myself! Shall we go and mingle?"
Anastasia was wearing a lovely outfit. "I love it" She thought, looking into a mirror. It doesn't show too much cleavage... Anastasia sat down as her trip had been long and tedious. She drunk a swig of Martini and sat down. "Where's Tommy" She thought to herself, she didn't let it drive her crazy as it was only her rainbow brother. After her alcoholism, she walked over to the High President and his Wife, she could see they were out to mingle.
"Hello High President and Marie." She curtsied as a sign of respect, as Queens rarely do so.
Queen Marlena looked on as her guests mingled, and knew that she would have more opportunities to entertain, but this felt very final to her. She found King Janusz silent in the corner.
'Come now, darling. You only have Sjogren's syndrome. I know that you are handing the throne to Karolina earlier than you would like, but is the right thing to do,' Queen Marlena said to her husband, pecking him lovingly on the cheek.
'But it's as if God has taken the duty of leading my country away from me out of spite,' King Janusz said sadly. 'The hunting in Lithuania showed me that I can't do it anymore. It was not stressful or very physical, and I felt drained.'
The two watched as the Queen of Icholasen entered, and King Janusz had a small tear in his eye.
'Darling, do you want to go upstairs?' Marlena asked.
'No...' the King said in a small whisper. The dinner was ready. 'I will just begin the diet the doctor prescribed, and hopefully start to feel better soon enough. But there will always days where I can't feel as strong as I used to.'
Queen Marlena smiled. She watched her husband take her on his arm.
'Darling, that sounds just like old age catching up,' Marlena grinned. She steered him over to his seat, and the two sat down at the dinner table.
((OOC: Alright, the next day in this RP is about to begin. This is technically 6 July 2014, because people just now arrived, etc. etc. I will post links in each of the palace threads when it is time to start an event where ALL of us must be present. Remember, it is now 6 July 2014 in this RP.))
Anastasia awoke early, she quickly got dressed as she wished to speak with her parents. When she finished getting changed she rang her parents.
"Yes darling, it's your mother."
"How are you?"
"Fine, I need to know how... She... Is."
"What do you mean escaped?"
"She got out!"
"HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?"
"It's alright dear, everyone is looking for her. We need to stay here to reassure the public. Just don't let the news agencies, or other people know."
She hung up, more worried and confused than before. She mustn't tell anybody but her brother.
THE TIME IS NOW 1:00 P.M., THE INFORMAL LUNCH REQUIRING ALL TO ATTEND. WE WILL ONLY BE POSTING IN THE SCHEDULE OF EVENTS THREAD, HYPERLINKED IN THIS SENTENCE.
6th July 2014
The High President had woken after a night of somewhat broken sleep. Thoughts of his marriage, coupled with his desire to impress his foreign counterparts, had kept him from getting anything more than a few hours sleep. Still, it seemed Marie at least had slept soundly. No change there then. No matter what was going on in her life, Marie Solomon always got her beauty sleep. Not that she needed it, of course. The High President looked over at his wife. She really was quite beautiful...he shook himself awake and got up from the bed, moving over to the en suite as quietly as possible. As he went though his morning routine, he recalled the events of the night previously, events he was able to recall with substantially more clarity than those of the Anastasia's coronation. He spent most of the evening with Marie by his side, which he was sad to say was an strange sight in recent weeks. The Polish King and Queen were of course perfect hosts. He was quickly becoming firm friends with the monarchs, and thought he really should invite them to Halsberg at some point. Altha's Archpresident Baltar and his wife had been somewhat quiet. No doubt the circumstances regarding their ascent to power still played on their minds. Icholasen's delegation had been pleasant enough too, and he was grateful to chat to them in a more formal setting than the now infamous coronation.
Solomon finished trimming his near perfect moustache, and returned to the bedroom. Marie had awoken, and was sitting on the bed reading something on her phone.
"Looks like the folks over at the Lazienky Palace had a fun night. Apparently the Duxburians got a bit smashed and wandered out. No one has any idea where they've got to. And don't even get me started on that Prince Tommy one from Icholasen. You'll love him", Marie said with an exaggerated smile.
"How'd you know all that?", the High President replied tiredly, the early morning jumble of thoughts still ever present in his head.
"Welcome to the 21st century, dear", Marie said sarcastically, waving her phone at the High President. "Plus, I have my sources in the other palaces. Not much went on at the Old Warsaw one, incidentally."
"Hmm...", the elder Solomon exclaimed, with what some might term disapproval in his voice. He had hoped that the ball didn't turn into the Coronation Part II, but what Marie had said had dented that hope a tad. Still, always time, nothing had gotten too...there was a knock at the door. Housekeeping or something, no doubt.
He opened it to find an extremely out of breath Billy, his recently promoted PA.
"Billy?! When did you get here? I told you you could have as much time off as you needed...", the High President said with disbelief.
"Sorry...High President...but I needed to come. The aides....the ones they gave you...they're dead."
"What?! Have they had an accident or something?", the High President asked, alarmed.
"No, I mean the aides that were registered in the government's database were both killed, one last month, the other a year ago. According to the police records, one Brictrys Clinton and Raedrys Arundel were found dead, apparent suicides.", Billy explained quickly, still out of breath.
The High President's eyes narrowed. "...and yet here they are, rubbing shoulders with some of the most important people in the region...good god", he said worriedly. Still in his dressing gown and slippers, turned towards the interior of the room and Marie, who had been busy picking out and outfit for later on. "I'll be back in a minute..." He stepped out into the hallway of the palace, closing the door behind him. "Lets move", he said sharply to Billy. The two men proceeded to walk down the palace corridor at a brisk pace, one in a hastily put on suit and the other in a dressing gown and slippers.
They turned a corner, reaching the section of the palace devoted to assistant's sleeping quarters. "They're in that one", Solomon whispered to Billy whilst pointing at a door.
"Right. I'll go and get the palace security", Billy said. It was an odd sight, Billy thought. The High President of Halsberg, wearing nothing but nightclothes and a burgundy dressing gown, crouched down staring intently a door across the hallway. Nonetheless, he quickly turned and started running down the hall, towards the main lobby.
Once he was sure Billy was away, the High President stood up and started walking slowly towards his "aides'" room. "No one makes a fool out of Michael Solomon", he muttered to himself as he approached the door. He had no plan, no weapons, nothing to justify taking a risk like this, but still he kept walking. He knocked as naturally as possible on the door and told himself to appear as casual as he could. The 'aide' known as Raedrys Arundel answered. "High President, what can I do for you?"
"Mr. Arundel...I have urgent need of both of your services, but it is of a somewhat private nature. May I come in?"
"Oh of course, High President" Arundel and opened the door wide to admit the High President. Sitting at a desk inside the room was the other "aide". He stood to welcome Solomon.
"Thank you gentlemen, please have a seat", Solomon gestured towards the two armchairs near the window. The High President remained standing.
"My first question is simple. Who are you?", the High President said coldly. The charming veneer that had accompanied Solomon into the room vanished. The two 'aides' exchanged nervous looks. Could this buffoon of a leader, one which wants to be taken seriously while wearing a dressing gown, really have figured it out.
"I'm not sure what you mean, High-", Clinton was cut off by Solomon's gruff voice.
"Don't bullshit me son. This room is surrounded. The games up..."
A brief pause followed, with the 'aides' seemingly unsure what to do. Solomon himself was unsure if his bluff had worked. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Arundel move slightly, before he flat out lunged at the High President. But Solomon was ready for him. He quickly moved out of the way, allowing Arundel to smack right into one of the posts of the four-poster bed. Clinton rose and dealt a blow to the High President's face. Dazed, Solomon fell back. Clinton moved forward, preparing to punch again. The look of anger and hatred in his eyes roused a fear the High President hadn't known for a while. But this time, he was ready for Clinton's attack. He grabbed Clinton's arm as he lunged forward, twisting it as hard as he could. Clinton yelped with pain. He kicked forward, aiming for Solomon's abdomen. Once again, the High President dodged, with Clinton's foot going straight through the glass cabinet that occupied most of the wall. The sound of shattering glass filled the room. Arundel, who hadn't quite recovered from a concussion, ran towards the High President, his eyes filled with the same hatred that fueled his accomplice. Solomon dealt a powerful blow to the man's neck as he ran forward, before coming around for another hit with his other hand. The High President heard the crunch of Arundel's nose breaking as his fist made contact. Solomon grabbed the man's shoulders, spun around and pushed him violently towards the window. Arundel, still dazed, was unable to stop himself crashing through the room's large window. He fell, a sickening crack of bones announcing his impact with the ground, a storey below. The High President was looking out the shattered window at his fallen attacker, who's leg twitched a little. He was still alive then. Clinton had recovered his composure, and had quietly picked up a candlestick from the mantelpiece. He raised the candlestick above the High President's head, who turned around moments too late. The candlestick came crashing down, and Solomon truly thought he was done for. The stupid old man had thrown away his life. He heard a bang, and he it was as though time had frozen. His attacker was still. Clinton dropped the candlestick to the ground, its loud noise echoing throughout the messy room. He crumpled to the ground, revealing Billy standing in the doorway holding a pistol.
The palace's security forces poured into the room. The High President was still stood in place, his face bleeding slightly. It was over. He tentatively stepped over Clinton, who had begun to groan in pain. Good, Solomon thought to himself. No one has died today, not like...
"Michael!" Marie came running towards the High President and embraced him lovingly. "I could hear some noises coming from here then the guard came running past the room and then there was a gunshot and oh I'm so glad you're safe!" The words tumbled out of Marie in one, extremely fast sentence.
"I'm fine...I'm fine", Solomon said slowly. He turned to Billy, who had said nothing. He patted his PA on the shoulder, "Thanks...thanks a lot." He brushed some dust from his dressing gown, and noticed one of his slippers was missing. Turning to Marie, he saw the look of worry and anguish in her eyes. The High President took his wife's arm. "Shall we change for lunch?"