Right! You rush to the door and-
Holy shit, Quill-Weave knows parkour?
By the time you finish that thought, she is far out of sight. There is pretty much no chance of catching up with her before she reaches the castle.
You don’t know! This isn’t like the beard thing, where you just made it up to deal with some upsetting childhood event. You genuinely have no idea why you are afraid of royalty. You keep telling yourself there’s nothing to be afraid of, but that doesn’t make it any better.
[*] Before you go, find a mirror and something to use as a scepter. Pretend you are a queen. See? You’re not so terrifying.
[*] Imagine all the party-goers naked. Wait, no, that might trigger some bad memories for you, so:
[*] Imagine all the party-goers as babies. Totally non-threatening.
Okay, you can think this through rationally. You’ve just got to remain calm.
Skipping the dinner isn’t an option. You told Quill-Weave you were coming, and she even trusted you with her home. It’ll look terrible if you don’t show up. She’ll probably think you’ve done something horrible. You know full well that you’ve got to follow through.
Of course, you don’t want to show up only to embarrass her either. You’ve got to pass for a normal, classy person who can attend formal events and isn’t irrationally afraid of royalty.
You tell yourself that Katia Managan could do this. Being a new person means facing old fears. It’s just a couple hours with a countess, then you’re free to leave. Piece of cake. Maybe it will help if you imagine everyone in their underwear? You’ve never tried that before but you know it’s supposed to work. Does it work on… countesses?
It should! There’s nothing special about her. She’s barely even real royalty. She’s just an everyday person like you or Quill-Weave or Trevaia, but she lives in a castle. That doesn’t mean there’s anything to be afraid of.
I mean, this is one of the best countesses of Cyrodiil. You’re lucky you aren’t having dinner with Leyawiin’s countess. Oh, Jegus. I heard she kidnaps argonians in the night, and tortures them in her secret dungeons. Or it could have been the count of Cheydinhal who, as rumor tells, murdered his own wife by pushing her down a flight of stairs.
So anyway, royalty obviously isn’t dangerous.
YOU’RE NOT HELPING.
Wait! You’ve got an idea.
Aha! A deck of playing cards.
You’ll pull the kings and queens out of this and have some little practice conversations with them, until you’re comfortable. By the time you go to dinner, dealing with royalty will be second nature to you.
You’ve just got to flip through this deck and find all the kings and queens.
Yup, just gotta start looking through this for those harmless little pictures of royals.
They’re in there somewhere.
Actually maybe first you’ll take a nice relaxing bath and then deal with this deck of cards. The cards aren’t going anywhere.
Well that took a good fifteen minutes to set up. You’re pretty sure you did this right? You’re more used to the public bathhouses they had back home, but that doesn’t seem to be a thing here in Cyrodiil.
Maybe you can put something in the water that’ll give you a classy scent after you bathe? You think that’s a thing high-class people do?