One of the titled quality, the Marqusa Diana is the only daughter of the late Mad Marque and his third wife Giada. By her father (briefly the first aeronaute) Diana is descended from the Thirteen, the crew of El Clavel. Francisco Vigo the purser of that legendary ship, her ancestor, continued to see to the provision of food for the crew once they had secured themselves in the Sirenum Scopuli. He was the first indeed to live more permanently there outside of the caelum. By culture and responsibility the Victus ensures there is food for all, and now in Parquet.
So self-sustaining are the citizens that realistically the only important duties required of the line are now the valuable (and immensely important) caffe beans and grape vines that flourish on the immediate slopes seaward of the Looms. Even the grapes were the responsibility of the Marquesa Liber, until Diana managed to secure them for herself when that line was reduced to one very young scion some quarter century ago. The thought of what might become of the quality in the event that Parquet should ever be without its bowl of coffin, wine, and grappa is sufficient to have ensured that the Marquesa is the patron of the milicio that carries the same name, that of Victus. Diana was named by the Mad Marque, according to her own words, after the goddess.
Professing as her duty to live on nothing but caffe and wine, Diana is not as healthily fleshy as many of her peers, and disdains sleep as being the ‘nocturnal absence of good beverage’. If in the event that she is forced to her bed for mere slumber then she has servants to do that for her, whilst she is about more important business. That business for the most part being the social whirl, albeit in her case, most especially that found in the Grails. An attendant at every ball and many a salon in the Looms, still Diana is one of the most commonly seen of the quality in the Grails. Especially at the performances at the many teatro both grand and otherwise, and all of which she adores, many indeed she acts as the patron for. As a common distributer of coin in that bailiwick, then the many there that so value that wealth watch over her better than might her own milicio, the streets being cleared before and after her in a travelling bubble of squashed faces and crammed doorways.
Yet her popularity, her patronage, makes her less liked with the fashionable set. The dandies and the fops might well themselves frequent the Grails, but they ever have their eye towards the Looms, and so too the conservative (but to them important) balls of the caelum. No matter how revered, loved, and certainly admired are the fashionable, then they are unlikely ever to be counted amongst the true quality. So, Diana who appears so ill concerned regarding that to which they would aspire can be loathed by them. So too that she does not ignore their gossip, nor their clever insults, so much as will round upon them and quite against all good taste berate them without the accepted wit. Arrogantly superior when faced with such, it would be the cause for some for a duel (and damn what that might do for their standing) if she did not have as the capitan of her milicio the rough tongued and brutal Coira ‘curse thee’ Cullen. Coira’s style so brutal with a rapier her French style would be termed more English if not for her being a Scot, and so only increasing the likelihood of her cutting the miscreant far the worse for having said it. And if not the formality of a duel, the offensively fashionable might by chance encounter with a number of the milicio who (having taken offence at the slur on their marquesa) are apt to be demonstrative in defence of her name. The Milicio Victus never back down from a fight, and never stand to hear their patron’s name taken insultingly.
So, the Marquesa Diana, likely the last of the line Victus, for she makes no bones of having never taken a man to her bed. Instead and like some she adores and patronises a long line of what society would term nieces. Each of which young, each accompanies her dressed in the dandy fashion. Diana preferring those of common but native birth their manners often fail them. But there are ever more willing to niece for the Marquesa and all the balls and soirees she hosts, attends, or inspires in the Looms, but most especially the Grails.
A hard reed of a woman, duck butter stiff, sleep beneath her, she is rarely still. Always she is somewhere, on her way elsewhere, long pipe smoking and blinking, like a snake, rarely. Her drudge and servants follow in tumbling heaps with wine, fresh coffin, and apologies when feeling the toe of Capitan Coira’s boot up their flustered behinds. Perhaps her diet explains her mood, for when Diana Victus is happy all are happy, and when sour then unfortunate are her hurrying household. Yet if she is disdainful of the fashionable, unpredictable with her peers, and appreciative of the theatre and all its sickly inhabitants, to the citizens she is rarely anything other than the epitome of the celebrated quality. Her servant’s frustrations the crowd finds hilarious. Loving the Grails, so too is she likely to be the quality most known to many. There being no better way to join a teatro the impudent player, playwright, or orator might tightly ribbon their courage to ask for her influence, only to be told flatly to perform, to demonstrate, then and there.
Yet for one so often marble certain, Diana Victus possesses nothing of the cold patience that is cultivated by so many of the quality. It can take a considerable time to dress well, and time is something Diana expends like a miser. There are times in the Looms, when about her business, that the marquesa can be seen pursued, cornered, even ambushed by her servants as they dress, scrub, array, and paint her anew (and all whilst her coffin-drab keeps her topped to the irritable brim). Pipe, cup, and glass all constant and terribly necessary the Marquesa Diana Victus, hampered by a paucity of hands, is fortunate to have servants to see to all three for her.
And now, damn you!