Merriwether Fawkes moves about the rooms and small garden of her townhouse that shall be open for guests shortly, double-checking decor and refreshments with a critical eye. Foxfire candles are lit and set about in elegant wrought-iron candleabra, twined about with wickerworks of dried reeds (alas, there is little else easily available here). Mushroom cakes laid out amid drops of Prisoner’s Honey and Greyfields 1882 and bottles of Madam Gebrandt’s Superior Laudanum. For the more temperate of her friends there are full coffee and tea services, of course, with frozen puffball creams and toadstool sorbet (bless the urchins for their enterprise and generosity!).
Esther and 6 of her numerous nieces and nephews are liveried for service, looking entirely too serious and formal but they’ll relax once the guests arrive and the real work begins, she’s sure of it.
Music… she cannot be sure whether the Commodore will return in time for his show, which in all cases is most preferable; but, if he is not returned, then it seems best to have something to fill in the odd moments of silence that will happen even in the most successful of events.
She catches her reflection in the glass of an interior doorway — not a mirror, too many Fallen Londoners have nightmarish associations with them — and studies it as closely as she has done the setting about her. A midnight blue gown, perhaps the loveliest she’s ever owned, tinting her eyes with blue like… topaz, she supposes, just a touch… moon-pearls in her hair, an elegant coiffure… and a new moon-pearl and diamond necklace, tastefully understated, adorns her throat and décolletage. That is what is what can be seen. What cannot makes her smile mischievously — it is her party, after all. She’ll play if she so wishes!
Be welcome, gentle guests and dear friends. Leave your cares at the door, enter, and be merry!
As opposed to being Merri, of course. I am she, and that’s likely quite enough for the city to be going on with, at the moment.
If you have not been here before, it may take me a moment or two to make your presence known, but fear not! You may be a new friend here, but rest assured you are a dear, delicious friend — we adore you already!