The Great Temple of Virid, near the center of Vheshrame, holds the traditional First Day ceremonies. I suppose the auxiliary temples do too, but the one at the Great Temple is the important one, and not to be missed. Everyone who is anyone, or wants to be, and everyone who comes from Vheshrame, or wants to come, is required to be there. Everyone!
So, of course, I couldn't get anyone to go there with me.
Strenata is taking a swim and a nap; Thery and Yarwain are at the Countess Gloun's; Dustweed and Tethezai are nowhere to be found; Havune is introducing his fiances to his poor relations or some such; Spirshash and Tillissa are going to the auxiliary temple near the academy; Real-Eel and Vingi are strolling around, hand in hand, eating bits of pickled fish from street vendors, and looking so happy in each other that they don't have time to spare for a god. Oh, and Dubaille is trying to kidnap his children from his wife or something like that. He didn't explain really.
So I went alone, hissing about every friend.
But of course Dustweed and Tethezai were there -- where else would they be? Dustweed's family was there: the Baroness Bethony Grentian zirself, zir husband Greenthorn and wife Tormentille, Greenthorn's other mari and other wife, nine or ten other adults and children only a bit younger than Dustweed. One gets the impression that they are generally poor, by baronial standards. Greenthorn's other mari wears enchanted ribbons, and his other wife wears the emblems of seven mills, but the baronness zirself has cloth ribbons.
In any case, Tethezai was being ferocious in a very kind and innocent way to the Grentians. She was pointing out the notables and dignitaries to them, for she knew them personally and the Grentians did not, and with each one she told a bit of a story. The Cani gentlewoman there, indigo her ribbons and copper her earrings, is the Minister of Flowing, set in charge of it from last year from being an assistant minister of finance, and not a drop of water enters nor leaves the city that she has not approved herself, nor any other liquid either. Two months ago I sat next to her at the fish course at a dinner at Count Threnzianne's, when she was personally inspecting the flowing of the cuminous brandy, extensively. She complained greatly that Taloomp had tripped her that morning with his heavy swinging tail, and sent her to inspect the sewage pool from very close up indeed, but what could she do? Taloomp is a supreme Aquador mage, and there is no dismissing him from the Department of Flowing, and, as he has been there for so many years, there is no administrative punishment that she can apply.
The Grentians were suitably intimidated. Their hated child and heir has acquired a very well-connected and high-status lover.
I joined them, landing on Dustweed's shoulder familiarly, and smiling and introducing myself to all of them. Since this seemed to be an occasion to use heavy etiquette, so I gave my long name, with my parents' and grandparents' names, which fell upon them like the paw of the fire god.
And Tethezai gave me a quick huge smile.
I seem to have declared myself publicly as Dustweed's ally and supporter.
Next time I accidentally pour myself a big chalice of doom, I do hope it's about a cute Orren.
In any case, the ceremony is about to start...