Polish Summer Ball: Lazienki 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 Lazienki Palace! Witamy w Łazienkach!
The staff, Princess Karolina, and Prince Fryderyk are expecting you at Lazienki Palace.
Kyle Nyquist, Renly Lamington, and Tristan Larsen landed in Warsaw. None of them had ever met each other before, so the plane ride had been spent in conversation. Kyle had never heard of the House of Larsen and had grilled Tristan over its affairs, especially upon seeing its heirloom (a lapel pin with the family coat of arms in blackstone inlaid in a background of whitestone). No ordinary house could afford something like that. Tristan was relieved to get off the plane with his true identity as the youngest Devoy brother still a secret.
Both of them had come to envy Renly's sense of culture and cosmopolitanism. As a singer and composer, Renly had traveled around the globe performing. Neither Kyle, nor Tristan had ever been to Poland, but it was Mecca to Renly, home to many of the world's greatest composers. However, both of them had things that Renly envied, namely Kyle's social gregariousness and Tristan's freedom of a life outside the 6 great martyr families. He was completely unaware that Tristan was a Devoy.
As the group entered the terminal, they expected the usual obscurity afforded to Duxburians abroad. However, random people recognized Renly and welcomed him. His Polish was very good, but to Kyle and Renly's surprise, it was Tristan who could really speak the language without an obvious Duxburian accent and who handled their limo service.
The ride was pleasant and not plagued with traffic, as the driver really knew the city and how to reach Lazienki Palace on less-traveled roads (Kyle tipped him extra). All three fell in love with the palace on first sight, what they saw here was so different than at home. Instead of trying to blow people away with size and elegance, Lazienki was immersed in nature. The scene was refreshingly tranquil.
The Duxburians appeared to be the first guests to arrive. Renly and Tristan were a bit nervous to meet royals for the first time, but Kyle, being a Nyquist and very excited about the whole trip, led the group to the waiting hosts.
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The Royal Delegation from Prussia arrived a bit after the Duxburian Delegation, Charles had forced the group to go sight-seeing, even though they had all been to the city multiple times over the course of their lives. But as Charles pointed out, and constantly proved, the city had something new to offer each time. Eventually, the limo driver reminded the group they had to be at the palace by a certain time so that they could be ready for the fun events to come.
They chose the Lazienki Palace because it had the most beauty out of all the Palaces or Castles, the beauty was also not derived from man but from nature. Plus due to earlier visits they were well accustomed to being in the Palace. Victoria was the only one who knew polish in any manner that was intelligible and not offensive to the native speakers introduce the group to servants waiting outside the palace.
The servants stated the Duxburian Delegation, Princess Karolina, and Prince Fryderyk were already inside, one of the servants gladly guided the group over to them.
While the Absolutist Queen and her brother were smoking weed and drinking polish vodka in the escorting car, Henry Von Cavill has been forced into going to the Lazienki Palace alone by the teaseful siblings, having the man turn up on his feet and walk his way through the Palace until he has found the Prince and the Princess, with both of them being familiar and friendly figures to him - this alongside fact that they've decided to personally welcome their guests -- intriguing him greatly.
However, despite the fact that the man has come alone, he has not come empty handed, and instead he brought a small, elegant box and a bottle of wine to the two, the box playing host to a elegant silver necklace decorated with rubies the queen wore to her coronation party and the bottle of wine being something that every rechroatian citizen must've at least tasted once in their lifetime, so even though it wasn't the finest brand, it was most certainly a symbolic one, both gifts which Henry explained as; "The ruby necklace is something that the Queen has wanted for the Princess to wear to the Ball, while the wine is something that I wanted for you both to have. Initially, I thought about purchasing some vodka for you, but it would never match the one you gave me the last time we met."
Fryderyk and Karolina looked really happy to see Henry Von Cavill at Lazienki.
'Thank you so much for these gifts. They're magnificent,' Princess Karolina said, starting to blush slightly. 'Will you please help me find the Queen when she shows up. I don't think I've ever seen her before.'
'I have,' Prince Fryderyk said to the two. 'It was in a magazine I used for....reading....yes....reading....' Princess Karolina rolled her eyes, blushed some more, and then laughed awkwardly.
'She'll be helping me with the Duxburian delegation as well. They're all rather lovely, from what I can tell. The staff even told me a couple of them speak fluent Polish,' Princess Karolina replied. She, Henry Von Cavill, and Prince Fryderyk walked to the entrance hall, where the Duxburians were still standing.
"Well, the Absolutist's Queen's specialty is diplomacy. She has done a magnificent job in preserving peace in Red Croatia and has been a memorable face in the European Union, even though her brother is much less popular. She decided to bring him 'out of his cage' and show him off to the world, so act like you're honored." he then laughed at Fryderik's magazine comment, "Hasn't every red-blooded man, my prince?" And after that, he followed the woman and her brother to the infamous duxburians. Knowing that upon making it there, it was not his duty to welcome the duxburians, he simply blended in with the background, a smirk present on his face while he waited.
In the meantime, Aleksandra and Adam have finished up their arrival preparations, but decided to continue being lazy in the car for a while, "Do you think that Henry is hot, Adam?" the Queen states prior to her brother's response, "Well, kind of.. why are you asking?" - "Well, I have told him that he should totally screw Karolina if he gets the chance. We rechroats could totes benefit from one of us marrying into the polish royal family..." - "..You're crazy, you know that?" - "No. I just get what I want. And in this case, Henry gets what I want. So yeah... You go out now and follow Henry's footsteps. I have to change my clothes. I really like the princess according to what I've heard about her, and I won't be able to have her get along with me while wearing this." the Queen said while wearing a shirt that said 'I LIKE PONIES' and jean shorts, successfully having her brother get out. And even though she didn't really mean what she just said, she wanted to corrupt her eldest sibling into thinking that way. It would benefit her for a while, and she loses her biggest competition to the throne. She knew that Adam must've had some agenda..
Princess Karolina sized up the Duxburians and remembered that warning her father gave her. Everything in Duxbury is another power grab, no matter what. Even if it seems simple, especially in the kinds of families that she was dealing with. Still, they didn't look evil by any stretch of the imagination.
She walked up to Renly.
'Witamy w Polsce, Renly. Wiem będziesz zadowolony aby zobaczyć nas już dziś,' Karolina said to Renly. He smiled, ready to answer.
"Dziękuję za ciepłe powitanie, księżniczka Karolina," Renly responded. "Od chwili, kiedy po raz pierwszy odwiedził Polskę wiele lat temu, czułem specjalnego połączenia z twojego kraju. Byłem na całym świecie i mogę powiedzieć, polski ludzie, polska kultura, polska muzyka, są bezkonkurencyjny. Jestem naprawdę zaszczycony, że tw?j gość."
Renly's honesty was disarming. He spoke warmly and articulately with an accent belonging to no nation or ethnicity, rather, the sum of his international experiences.
"I have a gift for you, I tried to find something you'd really enjoy and I know that music is one such passion, so I got you this."
Renly reached into his jacket pocket, pulled out a concert ticket, and handed it to the Princess. But, it was no ordinary ticket, there was no information printed in the middle, everything except the decorative border was blank. The back was stamped with the seal of the Office of the Aelir.
"This is a blank ticket. It entitles the bearer to request one free concert for up to a full house worth of any guests you see fit to invite, at any performing venue in the Duxburian Union, from any artist, on any date, subject to scheduling availability. There is no expiration date and no cash value. Money cannot buy such a thing, I had to beg and beg for this until the Aelir wanted to pull his hair out. I really hope you like it."
After several minutes spent walking, another rechroat makes it to the Lazienki Palace - Prince Adam Van Lorraine, making his way to the fellow inheriting royalty, the Prince and Princess of Poland, the only thing that prevented him from falling him down through the ground out of embarassment being the fact that his sister was even more late then he was. But he barely showed it on himself, entering the welcoming hall with a flawless - perhaps too flawless to be appealing -- of a smile, immediately involving himself with the conversation after hearing that the duxburian man has stopped speaking, this having Henry facepalm.
"My princess, my prince," he bowed his head down to both of them in a rather well exercised fashion, "I must apologize for being late, and the same goes for my sister. But you know how women - and, well, men like me -- from Red Croatia are. We tend to over-complicate things to the point of forgetting that there's a whole wide world around us, which is after all - the reason behind us remaining isolated for so many years." The man's smile from then on only turned brighter and he spectated the castle, quite fond of slavic architecture. "Now, I assume that we are waiting for others to arrive before we proceed with what you have planned for us? Henry here bragged about how you polish people like to welcome your guests, and I'm a man who loves to be spoiled." he exclaims bluntly to the two, but in a somewhat passive, positive manner, which would make it hard to take his words offensively.
Princess Karolina thoroughly enjoyed the attention she was receiving. She had never found herself the attention of men before, and never as attractive as the group who came to Lazienki.
'Yes, we are waiting for all of our guests, but I think we've got just about everyone at Lazienki. It's time to have a few drinks, dinner, and entertainment. Today, we have the exquisite Vitamin String Quartet providing us with background music. They are, perhaps, one of Poland's greatest treasures as they are able to take classical music and apply to pop and rock music,' Princess Karolina said, leading the guests into the dining hall, where the quartet was parked, playing Adele's Skyfall.
Karolina did not plan for anyone to sit next to her besides Prince Fryderyk. And was a little surprised when Henry Von Cavill also sat down next to her on her left, and Renly to the right of Fryderyk, with the rest of the Duxburian party.
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Prince Tommy entered the Dining Hall. It was full of such attractive people, all of whom he thought were straight, yet was adamant to flirt. Prince Tommy drank his Royal Icholasen Wine (the only alcohol he drunk) which he had imported. He walked over to Prince Adam Van Lorraine, his name sounded "sexy" he thought to himself. He walked over, he was confident and knew he was going to have a good time, the alcohol loosened his lips and he was already a lose soul. He was ready to party. He was ready to win.
"Did it hurt?" Prince Tommy said to Prince Adam.
While Henry simply hopped onto the dinner, not being able to contain himself - being a slavic man near delicious-looking polish delicacies, Prince Adam has obtained a royal pain in the ass - with the term possibly expanding towards two meanings -- to deal with, and it's name was Prince Tommy. At first, not quite sure how to respond to that, he chuckled and rubbed his hand against his beard, but after he thought of something to say, he simply whispered back; "No. It did not." he then looked away towards the food and grabbed some wine with a confused as hell expression on his face, knowing that alcohol is the only thing that holds an answer.
In the meantime, the Queen has yet not made her arrival, and instead bothered herself with walking around the Lazienki lake, enjoying the calming sights, considering them to be much more precious then anything the poles could prepare. So she just wasted her time there, while her brother and one of the more influental men in her life were representing her country. But it wouldn't stay like that for long, because the Queen knew how to cause a scandal.
Princess Karolina took the bottle of Sobieski from the footman and simply walked around, waiting for Fryderyk. She decided to return to the Duxburian contingent. She didn't feel as comfortable navigating this as she did an Ysaye Violin Sonata, but she still knew that she could get the job done. She realized she hadn't said thank you for the ticket from Renly.
However, she was cut off by a different member of the Duxburian party.
Prince Fryderyk wandered outside, seeing the moon shine on the glassy lake and the sounds of wildlife mingled with Warsaw's bustling activity. The normal activity that was a park around the palace was shut down for the festivities, and he was glad of it.
This was mine to run thought Fryderyk but Karolina gets to inherit the throne. Mom and Dad never really thought I could do it, in the end.
He looked sadly at the lake and threw a rock or two off of the surface, trying to take his mind off of his troubles. He took out a bag of white powder, and formed a line on his wrist and hand. He snorted it quickly, and the jolt he felt seemed to numb the pain of everything else in his life.
His world felt like it was crashing down on him, but not with this stuff....
He nearly swung when he heard a few branches crunch underneath the heel of the Queen of Red Croatia, who hadn't arrived yet.
'Your highness, shouldn't you be in Lazienki right now?' Fryderyk asked, almost embarrassed to be so vulnerable, and slightly paranoid.
"Good evening, Princess Karolina," said Kyle. He lowered his head with his right hand over his heart, a Duxburian gesture of deeper respect rarely used outside the House of Nyquist. "I am Kyle Nyquist and am delighted to finally meet you. This is my first trip to Poland, it's very exciting. Like my compatriots, I have brought a gift for you."
Kyle brought his left hand out from behind his back and revealed a live bird of modest size, but exquisite color.
"This is Anazio, a baby Drammen that I found injured in a park and nurtured back to health. Aero drammeni are a near-legendary species of songbird now tottering on the brink of extinction."
Kyle instructed the bird to sing. "Anazio, plez kalinar vor Karolina!"
The bird bowed its head to the princess and gave its primary call, a surprisingly grand, playful, and beautiful bit of music.
"Anazio is just a baby, state biologists estimated his age at only 16 years, making him the youngest drammen found in Dairghazbury in centuries. A healthy, happy drammen like this guy can live for 120 years and reach a level of intelligence unsurpassed by any other Duxburian creature. Anazio sings loudly and proudly when you're happy and cries with you when you are sad.
At this age, he is readily trainable. You can teach him songs as long as 3 minutes in any human language and he will learn their melodies. A drammen's diet consists mainly of mosquitoes, but they will go for biting flies and no-see-ums as well. Anazio can eat half his weight in mosquitoes in one evening.
This amazing creature is going extinct because of pesticide poisoning and how few people understand how to breed them in captivity. Drammens, like humans, mate for love and are bound for life. Just being a strong, healthy, attractive member of the opposite sex is not enough,"
Kyle winked at Karolina.
"They must possess something like a human soul. Drammens fly around the world in search of a soulmate, not a mating partner."
"The reason I want you to have Anazio is because he chose you. Urban Dairghazbury with its skyscrapers and pollution is no place for a wild Aero drammen. He reacted to this specific place, this palace and its grounds, like I have never seen him do before. He would be happier here. Even if such a bird is not your thing, he will be perfectly happy to live around the grounds in the wild. You can always call him back by name, the species has lifelong loyalty and intercontinental range."
Kyle realized that he was talking too much and relinquished control of the conversation.
Princess Karolina was stunned by the sheer sincerity of the gift and the tenderness of Kyle Nyquist's words. She loved Anazio very much, and his gift was beautiful. She held out her finger, and the bird fluttered over to her, landing gently on it. Princess Karolina beamed a radiant smile, one she hadn't used all night.
'It is a beautiful gift, and you seem to understand Poles very well, Mr. Nyquist. We love nature and music, so the two most beautifully intertwined like this is something to behold and treasure,' said Princess Karolina. 'This is my most favorite gift I have ever received. Such a beautiful creature.'
She paused, realizing she may seem too keen on Kyle Nyquist, and brought back some restraint.
'I'm glad you are enjoying Poland. Would you care to explain a little about your life in the Duxburian Union?'
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Tommy saw that Adam was fruitless and so moved on. It was a shame, Tommy did like a beard. He clutched his Icholasen Wine and drank, drinking was a nice way to forget you're lonely. Being gay in this world was difficult enough, but being lonely was in a sense worse than everything else. It was this he disliked. Not the relentless bullying, the loneliness. The lack of someone no one came out, it was like finding a needle in a haystack. He was attracted to people he couldn't have, he was a minority, a loner... A freak... He thought he would be alone for eternity and then some. Someone suggested a certain Social Network that was something to do with grinding, but a Royal should not stoop to that. It was unfortunate that no other members of Nobility or of his Social Class were gay, because people who were gay didn't get to that social class... He was lucky. He was lucky not to be dead. He was also unlucky, unlucky in love.
While Henry continued enjoying the food, eating so much that one would question how does he look so fit, Adam didn't hesitate to comment on the wonderful gift granted to the princess, "This has to be the most original and fitting gift that I've seen in a while." he then smiles at Karolina, "He's more certainly a keeper, trust me, because not everyone is lucky to be recieving gifts such as these. Take me as an example. My sister buys me a pack of condoms every year for my birthday and then tells me to 'fuck' off from her castle." And after that, he grabs a fork and stabs the steak on his plate with it, making a rather unpleasant noise, "But of course, she does so in her playful manner. I'm sure that it's just one of her ways of expressing her love."
Meanwhile, Aleksandra was having a much more exciting experience, "Who said that I have to be in the palace, my prince? And besides.. I don't think that you're in the position to ask me questions. Quite the opposite, in fact." she then stared down the white dust he was snorting, quite entertained by the sight, "So, tell me. It has to be quite stressful to hear that your sister is the belle of the ball, mm?" she says as she sits next to him, crossing her legs and staring the lake down afterwards.
Kyle, normally very socially composed, blushed a bit. Nobody ever asked that question to the youngest of 6 Nyquist brothers. His life was always overshadowed by those of his older, more illustrious brothers.
He looked around nervously to see if any Inimicans were in attendance.
"Go ahead and laugh, I'm an?environmentalist, actually. The term came out with a wince, like it was something deplorable. But, this was Poland, and no laughs were forthcoming.
"I am founder of the National Park Association, a non-profit organization equivalent to a national park system in other countries. We preserve spectacular and sensitive natural places across the Duxburian Union, for the public to enjoy in their pristine state for all eternity. I hope to reintroduce my people to the great outdoors, before it's all lost to development. The Duxburian Union contains hundreds of amazing animals found nowhere else on the planet, and 83% of them are endangered or critically endangered.
What I do day-to-day is serve as the public face of the association, talking to the media, leading tours of our most iconic locations with domestic and foreign dignitaries, holding fundraisers, that kind of thing.
It's certainly not been an easy life. I'm the youngest of 6 brothers and the odd one out with a different mother. The eldest gets the heirloom of the house and the youngest gets literally nothing, although none of us got any special help from old man Nyquist. This is the kind of father who tosses you in a swimming pool so you learn to swim in 30 seconds, with failure not being an option.
I had to blaze this career path pretty much from scratch. I created the degree of Environmental Stewardship at Blackstone University, built the Park Association through sheer determination, and everything worked out in the end."
Kyle's eye caught Tristan Larsen drinking and minding his own business.
"Hey Tristan, stop being shy and come talk with us!"
Tristan wasn't being shy, he was just floored by the revelation that the members of the House he resented most for its privilege and wealth actually had life harder than him in a literal sink-or-swim meritocracy setup. But, rather than quit and try something else, Kyle had made his dreams come true on his own terms. Tristan's worldview was being shaken now that he was getting to know the younger members of the 6.
He composed himself and greeted Karolina with a gesture that instantly confirmed Kyle's suspicions that "Larsen" wasn't his real surname.
"Hi, I'm Tristan Larsen. Like Renly, I like to live life through experiences and have few possessions. Like Kyle, I love discovering the beauty of nature. One day I found something incredible and what it led to was even more incredible."
Tristan reached into his pocket and took out a huge key, made entirely of Duxburian whitestone. Etched into the shaft were the words, "Property of Kaleigh Aelir am Lamington".
"If you want to see what it unlocks, then you'll need to get to know me more."
With that, Tristan walked off to get food.
'Well...,' Princess Karolina said to Kyle, who still hadn't left her side. _'I'm not sure what to make of that invitation...'
'I am glad, dear Mr. Nyquist, that you are an environmentalist. It takes a very beautiful soul to want to care for the environment and find the inner beauties of the earth. It explains your gift, and your sincerity.'_
Princess Karolina looked stunned. She was not one to be impressed with the kind of display Tristan put up. She actually liked pursuing every once in a while, and it seemed as though her heart was stunned by the kindness of some of the men that came to Lazienki.
Did she dare think that maybe, even though she felt herself more sensible, she was falling in love with more than one of them.
She knew that she would still need her guard up at least for a little while longer.
Meanwhile, Prince Fryderyk was caught in a situation outside where he did not mind exactly where it was going. However, he knew that Queen Aleksandra had a reputation. But this was a woman he fantasized about, and she was standing there in the flesh, more radiant than ever. And he couldn't do anything but gripe.
_'Yes, Your Highness, it is very difficult. I was the eldest born; this whole empire should be mine to rule, but she has taken it from me. She never appeared to have leadership qualities in her. In fact, she seemed far from a leader.
'My parents simply wrote me out of inheritance for having flaws. It isn't fair.'_