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Delights of Tor - Summer Soiree

Join House Fidante for an evening of decadence beneath the stars; A social feast to taunt and titillate the senses with rich foods, intoxicating drinks, and sensual entertainment bound to leave one breathless and enthralled by the end of the night.


Dec. 7, 2017, 8:30 p.m.

Hosted By



Cristoph Costas Merek Eleyna Isabetta Enyo Ainsley Inigo Eirene Bianca Lethe Estaban(RIP) Alaric Caelis Calypso Petal Acacia Tikva Tallius Freja(RIP) Edward Samantha Agnarr Monique



Arx - Ward of the Lyceum - Tor Plaza

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

It is a sultry evening in the city of Arx. The Summer heat clings to these last days like a covetous lover and this plays perfectly with the Duchess of Tor's plans for emulating an end of Summer Soiree here in the Northern city. The party, which should have happened months and months and months ago as a Wedding Reception for Calista and Inigo is now more of a gathering; a night to enjoy and indulge in the finer delights of Tor. The Duchess and her Duke make their way to the recently renovated Tor Plaza and are greeted with flutes of champagne that have been filled by the nearby fountain. As guests arrive, they too are welcomed by the same offering.

Eirene has come to support Malvici Fidante relations, like her relation. And it's a Lycene party so she knows the food (and maybe drinks) will be delicious. So for the occasion, she dresses like a Lycene lady instead of wearing her usual mercenary styled leathers. Braids of ebon and silver hair pinned up neatly, red silk baring her summer-tanned skin, and a little flower nestled behind her ear. It's not hard to overlook her in the crowds dressed like this. Camouflage.

Painbow, a militant pygmy goat, Rupert the Laurent Archivist arrive, following Cristoph.

Merek has on his white linens with a white cloak and hood up that shows only his gaze and full beard. His sigil is with silver on the back and he also has a Fidante sigil upon waist linen he wears about his hips. His stygian chain still relaxes at his waistline though, and he looks around, before he inclines to the hosters, "Good eve," he offers.

With wide eyes marveling at the plaza's transformation, Inigo receives the flute of champagne and turns to his wife with a pleased smile, the glass held aloft to cheers her lightly. "You've outdone yourself, love. The place looks incredible..." Deep sapphire eyes sweep over the area, a quick grin and wink given to his Aunt as he spots her amid those gathered. "Truly incredible, and I'm speaking of your choice of dress as well, Eirene." The Duke's head turns at Merek's greeting, a bright smile given to the man as he speaks. "Good eve to you! Welcome and enjoy! How are you?"

Sombra arrives, following Edward.

It is a sultry evening in the city of Arx. The Summer heat clings to these last days like a covetous lover and this plays perfectly with the Duchess of Tor's plans for emulating an end of Summer Soiree here in the Northern city. The party, which should have happened months and months and months ago as a Wedding Reception for Calista and Inigo is now more of a gathering; a night to enjoy and indulge in the finer delights of Tor. The Duchess and her Duke make their way to the recently renovated Tor Plaza and are greeted with flutes of champagne that have been filled by the nearby fountain. As guests arrive, they too are welcomed by the same offering.

Cristoph makes his way into the plaza, receiving his flue of champagne along the way. He's not familiar with too many of the people that he bumps into in the plaza, but he does know Calista when he sees her. His free hand goes up and he waves in greeting as he crosses the distance. "Cousin! This looks absolutely incredible. Well done." And he gestures quickly to the decorations and everything else before taking a quick sip from his glass.

Eirene pauses to give a one-armed hug (because she's already taken a flute of champaigne) to Inigio. "Duke Fidante," she says with a broad grin. "Ain't this lovely. Good on you two kids," she says with cheerful warmth. "Duchess Fidante, a gorgeous night. And just perfect to end summer before fucking fall sets in and we all freeze in this stupid cold weather."

Lethe arrives wearing blue. She smiles as she looks around at the people and decor. She sees the champagne and takes one of the flutes.

Carlo arrives, following Stefano.

Edward's casual entrance into the plaza is with his shadow, Sombra in tow. He motions to her signaling her to step to the side and she goes to stand around out of the way of things and people. Edward gives a look around and snags a flute of bubbly from a server and then he holds it as he walks further into the room. He takes a sip from his glass and then gives a nod as he glances to it a moment.

Merek nods to the Duke a moment, "Your Grace, I am well enough, a bit tired," he admits, while he smiles from beneath his hood. He then adds, "I shall enjoy my time here, thank you." He then reaches for a tumbler he keeps with him and pours some champagne into it, enough so that he can take a sip from it and enjoy. He lets out a relaxed sigh. He notices Lethe and inclines to her, "Good eve."

"I am a bit impressed as well!" Calista says to Inigo with a brilliant smile. She turns her greeting to Eirene and Merek first, "Lady Eirene, thank you for coming. I've been hoping to grab some time with you and have some drinks. You look wonderful!" Of course both women are resplendent in red. "Master Merek, always good to see you." She says to her Master of Coin. But not to outdo the Duke of Laurent, Calista's attention flits to her cousin, "Cristoph! Good to see you! Welcome to my home away from home. Have you met my husband, Inigo?" She gestures to the man beside her. "Duke Cristoph, this is my husband Duke Inigo Fidante, formally of House Malvici and this is his aunt, Lady Eirene Malvici. This is my cousin, Duke Cristoph Laurent."

Soot, a gray foxhound puppy arrives, following Petal.

Petal arrives while adorned in leathers and toting her sewing basket. A hound is close at her slender legs.

Inigo chuckles and nods, squeezing his Aunt in a similar one-armed hug. "Winter always brings out your best moods though, Eirene... the season made all the more colorful by your language." He quips with another wink. The olive-skinned Fidante shifts his attention to Christoph. "Pleasure to meet you! She tends to out-do herself, every event more spectacular than the last."

Lethe takes a sip of the champagne. As Edward speaks to her she looks to him "Good evening." She sees Petal and looks to the woman with a smile.

Eirene knows Cristoph. "Your grace," she says formally, giving him a wink. She sips her champaigne and eyerolls at Inigio. "Just because it means I spend most of it inside by a fireplace screwing some hot guy," she mutters. Petal gives a lift of the chin in hello. Other faces, not as familiar, the Malvici matron just gives a polite tilt of her drink.

Edward gives a smile to Petal as she comes in and then he turns to take in Lethe and he smiles to her, "Ah good evening." he motions to those gathering, "A pleasant gathering so far, do you think?" he inquires while he takes another sip of his bubbly.

Lethe turns to Merek. "Good evening. This is a beautiful occasion."

Merek sips at his wine and nods to Lethe, "It is indeed, House Fidante always knows how to host an occasion," he tells her, with a chuckle. He looks over to Calista and nods a bit, "It is a beautiful occasion, and you and your husband both look great today Your Grace," he tells her.

Petal has a smile of greeting for Lethe, Edward and Eirene. She continues further into the plaza. "Oh.." She says and smiles. "Some of my work." She adds, looking over the arbor and then the swing. The crafter seems to be in pleasant mood.

"I still have not! Good to meet you, Duke Inigo Fidante, my long lost cousin-in-law." He grins brightly at the other man, lifting his glass of champagne in greeting. "Hopefully I'll get to see more of you." Upon the welcome from Eirene, he nods his head at her. "It's good to see you again. This is an incredibly nice night out."

Lethe nods to Merek. "I can tell. I am glad I decided to come." She turns to Petal. "It is good to see you again."

Calista offers a waggle of fingers in greetings to Edward, Lethe, and Petal when they make their arrivals. They are each greeted with champagne while entertainers move across the plaza; There are dancers with jingling bells on their hips, other dancers twirling fanciful ribbons in the air, and a couple of stilt walkers just to make things interesting.

Calista turns to Merek and smiles fondly, "Thank you, Master Merek. We have been terribly busy in our duties and finally have been able to find a bit of time to celebrate." She takes Inigo's hand and brings it to her abdomen before leaning in to grace his cheek with a kiss.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Edward before departing.

Eirene nods towards Calista as she replies to Cristoph. "She's done a wonderful..." Oh wait, she knows that kind of gesture. "Well fuck me. I mean, someone got..." The woman grins and raises her glass to the pair. "I'm not going to deliver it," she says firmly but with a grin.

The Duke is unable to contain a laugh that spills from his lips and he shakes his head from side to side with amusement. "Fireplace optional, if I recall from mentally scarring times of innocently happening upon you and your activities in a place where there is not a firepit in sight." Inigo grins and dramatically shudders. At Merek's compliment, he shifts his appreciative gaze to Calista, a true warm smile taking his lips. "Doesn't she, though? A true wonder sent to grace this city and my life with her beauty and light." After a few beats of sheer admiration, Duke Fidante smiles and nods to Merek, a lift of his glass to him, sweeping the flute to include Christoph in the cheers before his other hand is captured and placed lovingly on the Duchess's belly. He grins and cups the bump there with his palm, a blush accompanying the grin with the light kiss from his wife's lips.

Edward raises his glass to Calista and smiles to her. He takes a drink from his glass and then he turns as his shadow brushes his arm. He looks at the letter handed to him and then he wrinkles his nose and grumbles something to her quietly. The woman steps away again and then he turns back to the gathering.

Cristoph's eyebrows lift briefly at Eirene's reaction and then glances from her to his cousin. "Really?" His voice drops, "Will you be announcing that here at this party? I'm going to have to think of baby gifts to send." Which could include kits to build entire treehouses, you never know with crazy Oathlanders.

Eirene checked charm + etiquette at difficulty 20, rolling 5 lower.

Eirene shudders a little as she drinks. And then goes to refill from that lovely fountain. There's a forced nature to her smile and a terrified look in her eyes for a moment before she returns, smiling with the all too cheerful smile of someone who is trying too hard. She's avoiding looking at Calista now. Especially below the waist.

"Sounds like you all are already announcing it," Merek teases to all the folk commenting, then he looks to Calista and states simply, "Congratulations." Lifts his tumbler, and then takes a drink, as he hands a letter to Meeka to deliver someplace. He then notices that Eirene has walked off, and moves that way'ish, "Greetings, m'Lady."

Late? Maybe! But by the gods, Enyo is here, damnit, and actually out of her usual armor for a change as well. She hurries towards the plaza, hands giving her dress a twist and a tug, then her hair gets the attention. All so that by the time she's visible, hopefully, she looks like she didn't just crawl out of a ditch somewhere.

Lethe smiles and gives a nod to Calista before enjoyong some more of the champagne. She takes special interest in watching the dancers.

Eirene waves her glas at Enyo, knowing that discomfort all too well. She drinks, again, as Merek goes to join her. "Evenin'. Figured the Duke and Duchess deserve a hand for all this. It's like being back home briefly, though Southport and Tor have slightly different feels..."

Calista has very talented seamstresses that are constantly adjusting the Duchess' wardrobe. She does well to hide any sort of burgeoning belly, but it's getting to the point where it really cannot be hidden that well anymore. At least there would be people who would be looking at her strangely from this point forward. Her eyes narrow playfully upon Cristoph. "I am not making any formal announcements. I mean, you can clearly see everything you need to know." She winks at her cousin. "It would just be very strange to call this a wedding reception, all things considered. We wished to have a gathering and it so happened other things happened first." More or less, shit happens. There is a waggle of her brows as Eirene walks away. She murmurs something to Inigo about how when they first married, Eirene was the one to offer up 'how to get knocked up' advice.

Sombra leaves, following Edward.

Merek looks over to Lethe and then to the dancers curiously, though his attention is soon back to his wine. Aside to Eirene, "Mmm. Indeed, I am from around Tor personally, though more on the outskirts out a ways. But my family has lived there for a few generations," he admits, with a chuckle. "My sister learned a lot of her alchemy and apothecarist practices at the City-State." He nods a bit.

"It does seem that the news is in the process of being announced. I'm sure with the way word travels in this town, all will know of it by sun up. A filtering announcement, as it were." Inigo leans into Calista's whisper and laughs with a nod, recalling the time very well. His eyes light up at his sister's entrance, a raised hand in greeting and a waggle of the champagne glass, nodding toward an attendant or the fountain where she can claim her own. He returns his attention to Cristoph and smiles. "Other things indeed... as if Arx hasn't had enough happenings in the last few years to prevent any sort of event from occurring."

Petal seems a little overwhelmed and a little shy, but her cheerful mode remains. She makes her way toward Calista. "I'm Petal Penrose of the Tangled Skein." She says in the heavy accent of a Northern Shav. "It is a lovely party, Duchess. Thanks for having us."

Eirene comments to Merek as Petal introduces herself, "I think she made this dress for me," she comments dryly, glancing at the crimson and gold. "I've not been to Tor in ages but, well, maybe when I was little. Before shit happened." Like the war. Ahem. "I know they're supposed to be opening a wing of the Apothecary School here, I'm planning on sending my herbalists to study there."

Isabetta arrives, following Acacia.

2 Grayson Guardsmen, Alejandra, a snowy white hound, Planchet, a young valet, 2 Iron Guardsmen arrive, following Ainsley.

"No? That would be a delightful announcement to make. Compared to some of the other things that people feel inclined to proclaim all over the city." Cristoph gives a little wave of his hand with the champagne before finishing it. "However, congratulations. I'm very happy for you." He smiles and watches Eirene move off with a distinct look of amusement on his face. He tips his head toward Inigo and comments with amusement, "Arx doesn't seem to have any problem rolling with social events no matter what is happening. Siege? Pfft. Lets have some weddings and fundraisers!"

"Auntie Eirene!" Enyo calls when she spots her, lifting a hand to wave in her direction before she moves in towards the woman like she might just be the solace in the storm. As soon as she's within muttering range she drops her voice, "Will you check my back, make sure nothing is untucked? I feel like there's a breeze."

Merek notices Petal and waves a bit, before he nods to Eirene, "The Tor College is a very great school for alchemy and herbalism," he admits, while he takes another sip of his drink. "I'm Merek Black, by the way," he offers, with an incline of his head. He notices Enyo and waves a little bit, "m'Lady," he greets.

Isabetta arrives with Acacia, hardly in the attire for a formal affair, she looks ready to go hunting, but at least she's clean so she probably isn't on the return from a hunting trip. To her companion she says, "I'm not certain if this counts as crashing or not, but are we making an effort not to be removed from the party?" She tries to keep her voice down, but not very hard and asks the question in the neutral way that makes it hard to tell if there is humor to be had in the question or if she is seriously inquiring to this end. Though she's all too happy to accept a drink.

"Ah, the sassy sister is here." Calista announces with a wave to Enyo. Petal's approach has the young Duchess turning towards the seamstress, Jane of all Trades with a bright smile that touches her eyes. "Mistress Petal, it's a pleasure to finally meet you. Welcome!" She gives a grand gesture of her free hand to those who have gathered this evening. "Everyone, this is Mistress Petal if you've not met with her. She and her team of assistants helped bring my designs for the Tor Plaza renovation to life!" Everything from the Pergola, to the Arbor, to the swing... all the seating and arrangements were crafted in Petal's shop. "I am so grateful for your fine artistry, Mistress Petal. Thank you."

Eirene glances at Enyo with a shrug. "Some dresses, your ass hanging out is intentional. That's fashion. Fuck all if I know," she replies to her niece, giving a quick hug. "Merek, my niece, Lady Enyo Malvici," she says to introduce the pair. "Ask that one," she says with a pointed finger at Petal, "if you're wearing it right. She's the fashionista and shit." ANd indeed, Petal is to be applauded for all her hard work . Eirene taps her hand alongside her fluted glass in appreciation.

Petal smiles over to Eirene at her words. "Oh, I did. The dress that almost started a fight at the auction. Actually more like the woman in the dress did." She adds a moment later. Her words are warm and seems well intentioned, despite her lack of manners. She then turns to Calista. Her cheeks warm with a pink hue, but Petal seems flattered. "Thank you, Duchess. I was glad to help." She adds, before looking over Enyo.

Lethe looks back toward Merek and Eirene. She smiles to them as she looks at the group. "Hello again. I don't know much about fashion."

"I think the dress looks absolutely lovely on you, Lady Enyo." Petal says after a moment of study.

Merek looks over to Petal as she is congratulated and smiles, then he looks to Eirene, "You'd be amazed at some fashions I've seen. Some women just wear nothing. I've never understood the appeal of /that/ level of exposure," he states, and he seems to mean that quite earnestly. To Enyo he inclines, "Merek Black, m'Lady," he offers his name, then adds, after a moment, "Your dress looks nice." To Lethe, he shrugs, "Fashion is often what some people make it. I have my own style."

Enyo returns the hug, grinning at Eirene, "Sounds drafty." She observes, then gives Merek a quick nod, "Nice to meet you." A hand lifts to wave towards Calista before she gives her brother quick finger-wiggles in greeting, then she grins brightly at Petal, "Thanks! I hadn't had a chance to wear it yet, but it feels like it's missing something, or it's in the wrong spot."

The dark-haired, former Malvici smiles and nods at Petal. "Of course, thank you for coming and lovely work you've done. I'm Duke Inigo Fidante, Calista's husband, it's a pleasure to meet you." Inigo slides his attention to Christoph once again. "Thank you, we're rather excited ourselves... excited and terrified." He adds with a wide-eyed grin. "And no, it certainly doesn't. There were quite a number of weddings during the siege... quite a few indeed." He also takes a drink of his champagne, his deep blue regard sweeping over the gathering crowd, a waggle of his fingers returned to his sister.

She's likely a little late, but isn't that fashionable or something? Acacia Culler, long red tresses falling about her shoulders and happily dressed nothing that resembles an evening gown, strides into the event with an impressive amount of swagger and a cocksure grin. Halting at the door with a spark in her eye she scans the room. Seeing that Isabetta is set for drinks, she gives the woman a big grin and quietly liberates a glass of wine from a passing servant before striding into the thick of the party eager to mix and mingle.

Under the auspices of Archlector Madeleine's leadership, a large group of the Faithful make an effort to cleanse Mangata's statue. Various things are tried -- holy water, holy flame, rituals of prayer and beseeching -- with varying degrees of effectiveness.

Some of the Disciples involved claim the greenish-black algae squirmed and writhed like a living thing under the ministrations of the Faith, with others claim that even holy weapons couldn't cut the algae away from the statue. In the end, however, those involved manage between all their rituals to improve the state of the statue: Mangata's feet are revealed once more, though discolored where the strange algae slime once coated it.

Meanwhile, the rest of the algae remains thickly clumped on the base of the statue.

Petal has a gentle smile for Inigo. "A pleasure to meet you, Duke Inigo." She says in her heavily accented voice. She waves over to Merek.

"Ah, Mistress Petal. It's good to finally meet you. I've bought several things at your shop over the last several months. Very high quality work, I've always been very happy with it." Cristoph says to the young woman, giving a very brief bow at the waist when she's introduced. To Inigo, he snorts a little. "Someday I'll be in your situation. I'm sure I'll feel the same thrill of terror." A pause and he reiterates, "Someday."

Isabetta shrugs a little and splits off from Acacia to cross over toward Stefano once she's noticed he here there. "Stefano, I did not know you made it to parties anymore." She sips of her drink while taking in the sight and whatever he is up to. She would probably look much less out of place it she was amongst the various guardsmen right now, but does she look like this bothers her? No, totally and utterly shameless about her lack of proper party attire.

Merek looks over to Acacia and Isabetta, lifting his drink and wiggling his fingers to greet the new folk, then he looks back to Enyo and Eirene, and just contents with the drink he has sipping it. He watches the newcomers for now, "m'Lady, Mistress."

Dressed in gray silks of unremarkable but well make comes Ainsley. Two swords strapped across his hips on either side. He's got a rather dour expression on his face, and well, burns. Both hands are currently unwraps, and there's a raw burn that climbs up the side of his neck to his jaw. Gray eyes sweep over the plaza, and he brushes past Acacia, pausing briefly to murmur to her, "Aah, excuse me, my lady."

Lethe nods to Merek. "I think that your style suits you. It was good to speak to you, but it is time I head home."

Acacia gives a little shrug and carries on, turning to level a smile at Merek. "My lord," she replies with a little and then turns to catch a little look at the passing Ainsley. Another smile flashes across her face and she offers a bit of a wink. "Not at all," she offers back before turning to Merek again. "Lovely night for it. What did I miss?" she asks in a low voice.

Enyo finds herself a drink, letting her eyes flick back and forth from one person to another before she steps over towards her sister-in-law, "Duchess. Lovely party you've got here." She waves a hand at the plaza, then she waves in Ainsley's direction when she spots him before well, she just waves to everyone else. Might as well be friendly, right?

Merek blinks a few times at Acacia, "I am just a simple Commoner," he offers, as Lethe leaves, he waves. He then shakes his head a bit, "Not much," he offers to her and her companion on what they have missed, which is not much at all! He then sips a drink again.

Musicians begin to pick up the beat a bit, joining together for now instead of roving throughout the plaza. Their sound calls to mind all that is pleasurable in the world and their dancers come to the floor to express the sensuality of the music by way in which they move their bodies. They own those movements, take the rhythm and wind it about their limbs. Off to the sides, entertaining those who have ventured to more private seating are the pyro-performers; jugglers with torches set ablaze for shock value to ignite the soul with just the right amount of terror and delight. - as an example of the guitar work

Inigo gives a nod and a smile to Christoph, a genuine look of fondness settling on his features as his gaze finds his wife again. He watches her greet and mingle for a heartbeat before speaking, "You'll find your one. I truly believe we all have that one, no matter what crazy part of Arvum they come from." He downs the remainder of his drink, blue eyes finding Enyo as she approaches and greets Calista. "Heya sis, glad you could make it! Things been well for you since you arrived?"

Ainsley tips his head down toward Acacia and says, "Aah." A blink at her wink, one bandaged hand lifting he asks, "Can I get you a drink since I'm headed that way?" His smile is a little bit on the tight side, but that's probably just the burn across his face. A glance is given in Merek's direction and he greets, "Guardsmen Black."

Ainsley catches Enyo's wave a moment later, as his player is SLOW, and lifts a hand in return. One half smile tossed her way as well.

Eirene is making friends with that drink fountain.

Isabetta leaves Stefano alone after a moment or two and heads her way back over toward Acacia, but this time unobtrusively, perhaps just watch what trouble the redhead gets into. Meanwhile she takes her time with her drink, really sampling glass before leaving it on a passing tray in search of other luxuries. "There has to be some fine deserts around here somewhere." It becomes quickly clear that she doesn't seem to know much of anyone here by the lack of recognition in her face as she goes.

"Is anybody really simple," Acacia grins again, stepping up beside the man and turning to face the party. She takes a sip of her drink and scans the crowd. "And so, what shall I call you, then?" she asks glancing aide and back. "And who are the very interesting people I should meet tonight?"

Petal looks over to Cristoph, giving him a smile. "OH, thank you. I am glad that you like my shop." She says in his direction.

Cristoph laughs brightly and reaches over to clasp Inigo briefly on the shoulder. "I sincerely hope that one is my wife or I'm in... how do people put it? Deep shit." As Prince Ainsley enters the room, he nods once to his cousin and husband. "Good speaking with you. Expect something in the mail." He heads in the direction of the Grayson man, "Prince Ainsley! I heard tales of your heroics filtering through the city. The city of Arx truly owes you and several others for taking care of that issue on Merchant West." As Acacia is in his general vicinty, he smiles and nods at her. "Hello."

"Lady Enyo, I am happy you could make it as well! Look at the enthusiasm in this man's face." Calista takes a hold of Inigo's jaw and teasingly gives him a little happy shake. "It truly brings me joy to have the Malvici family join us for celebrations. It means a great deal to me. Inigo has done so many wonderful things for Fidante in the time he's become Duke of Tor. It is only proper to return the favor." She gives Enyo's gown a look and nods with approval. "Those colors look wonderful against your complexion, my lady. I think I might have to look at something in a similar palate for Inigo. The man loves his dark colors." There is a waggle of fingers in greetings to Isabetta, Acacia, and Ainsley.

"Deputy Commander," Merek offers to Ainsley, and then blinks at Acacia a bit. "I suppose not, in any case. There's Duchess Calista and Duke Inigo, who are expecting, then there is the Deputy Commander, then there are some others." He nods a bit, as he motions with his tumbler and takes a sip of the champagne. "I... Am Officer Merek Black of the Guard, also Scholar and Fidante Master of Coin." Yes, simple commoner! He then adds, "What do you think about fashion?" to Acacia.

Isabetta decides to also make friends with the drink l

Isabetta decides to also make friends with the drink fountain.

Petal looks over to Acacia at Merek's words. "Oh, Like your blouse."

Petal is overheard praising Calista for: Great party!

Calista is overheard praising Petal for: Exceptional artistry!

"I almost didn't, but someone reminded me it was tonight, so I made it." Enyo replies cheerfully, spreading her hands out with a bit of a shrug before she offers Calisto a grin, glancing at her dress, "Thank you. But honestly?" She points over towards Acacia, "I'm pretty sure that she would look better in it than I do."

Merek is overheard praising Eirene for: Beautiful Lady!

Merek is overheard praising Calista for: Congratulations!

Costas arrives, following Bianca.

Ainsley pauses when he hears his name, half turning toward Cristoph. He winces several moments but coughs into his hand before saying to the other man, "Thank you, my lord. Though I don't really deserve the praise. Others were far more instrumental in both defeating the foe and putting the fires out. I was just there." Then he's trying to slip away and get lost in the crowd, oh look a drink fountain! ...he heads over to it, coming to a stop near Isabetta. Tilting his head toward her, "My lady. Do you know what this is?"

Ainsley is overheard praising Calista for: For a truly stunning party.

"I tripped over a Princess," Isabetta tells Ainsley, totally unsolicited, "At the fire thing, I tripped over a Velenosa Princess, made her fall too, a big tumble of limbs. That was my contribution." She looks at the drink fountain and says, "Know, I would not say I know, I would say I know enough. It isn't water." She tells him and generously refills her glass for the sake of draining it. She's getting a very hardy start on that hangover.

Acacia pauses to catch Merek's thoughts and nods. "Oh, I know that face," she grins and turns to catch Christoph's greeting. "Well, hello. Have we met?" she asks. And then looking up there is Ainsley offering to get her a drink. "My hero! That would be so darling of you. Please. Whatever your having," she purrs with a grin. "But are you sure you can manage?" she ask taking a look at his injured hand "Maybe I should be getting one for you?"

Scamp the raccoon kit arrives, following Tallius.

Inigo shakes his head as his cheeks burn crimson, it seems he's been away from Arx for too long. The training with the military at Tor having taken up much of the Duke's recent time, he's woefully behind on connections in town and his blunder shows it. He gives a thankful nod to Duke Cristoph and is quite fortunately distracted by Calista's seizing of his jaw, a sheepish grin sliding across his lips as he straightens up beside her. The ebony haired man slips his arm about his wife's waist and hugs her against him lovingly. "It's a combined effort but this party was entirely you and a magnificent show... well done." He appraises his sister's attire and nods with a smile. "I agree, beautiful indeed and the colors are nice. Though, truthfully, I find myself wearing leathers more often than not... perhaps we need more occasion for fancy clothes."

Merek leans back a bit and relaxes at the table with the drinks while he takes a sip and seems to be in his thoughts after a moment and a nod to Acacia. He takes out a medallion and looks at it, then places it back while he sighs.

Ainsley says dryly to Isabetta, "Your contribution is far greater than mine was later. At least you did no one any harm." There's a rather dark, broody expression there. He eyes the fountain for a good long moment, before acquiring a glass and filling it about halfway. His gaze lifts and sweeps the crowd, "You happen to see a redhead anywhere? I'm looking for one."

Petal looks over to Inigo. "Leather is useful." She says and is leathers herself right now. She then turns to Merek. "Oh, there is one right there." She says pointing out Acacia.

There is a servant who is passing by Ainsley and Isabetta and overhears their inquiry. "It is the Rose-Gold Champagne from Tor, your highness, my lady. Please, enjoy. It is rather titillating upon the tongue." And then the handsome Torean man easily slips away once more.

Eirene says, "Leathers are just fine." She calls this to Inigo. "You should see my new steelsilk though. Best damn present I ever got." She taps her knuckles on her chest. "I feel weird without it now."

"Redhead? Acacia? She came as my date, or me hers, actually we never quite worked that bit out," Isabetta remarks then scans the party as if trying to spot her but quickly gives up. "You know this is clearly the way of things with dates and parties, someone ends up at the fountain with all the drinks - " She hears the servant, surely Ainsley does too, but she pretends like the servant said nothing and says simply, as though by way of explanation, "It is the Rose-Gold Champagne from Tor, your highness, my lady, that's me, Please enjoy. It is rather tittallating on the tongue. Or so I'm told, mine has gone numb." She finishes another glass.

Tallius slips in, no surprise to those who know him that the carpenter is late. He's pulled a clean tunic on over his armor though, and his wet hair suggests he's fresh from the baths, as he looks around and begins to drift through the crowd. He makes his way around seeking out someone, and spotting a small figure, approaches towards Petal from behind.

Eirene is just enjoying her drink. All the people come to also enjoy drinks are saluted with her champagne flute. Were it not for the black and white hair, it would be easy to mistake her for any other Lycene noblewoman in her fine crimson and gold revealing silk.

Reese looks over to Eirene as she speaks. "Oh, steel silk nice." she says. "I made steel silk gloves a few times." She says and doesn't seem to notice Tallius yet. "I don't have any myself though. Maybe one day."

"You're modest as well. Good for you, Prince Ainsley." It sounds like he means it! Cristoph waves to the other man as he moves away, seemingly oblivious to if he's made him uncomfortable or not. Acacia catches his attention again and he curls his glass of champagne to his chest. "We have not. I'm Duke Cristoph Laurent of Artshall. Who might you be?"

"I like my leathers." Enyo admits, grinning at her brother, then she glances at Eirene when she mentions steelsilk, her brows lifting upwards, "How did you manage to get yourself a present like that?" She shakes her head quickly, moving to give Inigo a quick one-armed hug, "Don't worry, we can find excuses to wear fancy clothes and leathers."

"Ah? No." A shake of his head is given and he glances through the crowd once more and says, "Not, uh, Acacia." Ainsley lifts the champagne to his mouth but doesn't drink just yet, inhaling near the glass but seems hesitant to drink it. Lowering it once more he says to Isabetta, "I'm-" He winces at Cristoph's words to him and leans forward to whisper in a hushed voice to her.

Eirene checked charm + etiquette at difficulty 20, rolling 7 lower.

Bianca stepped into the Plaza and the often mild-mannered woman was immediately overcome by the affair at hand. Brows lifted as the decor was taken in, senses caressed in every which way as was expected of a Lycene event. Granted, her step paused and arm lifted to take that of her escort's in a slight retreat, silvery glance lifting aside to Costas as she hung there in a mix of resistance as well as intrigue. Silly, Oathlander. Her smile then ticked a bit broader after a beat, falling into pace on his lead and better acclimating to the overflow of sensations.

Enyo's comment reaches the redheads ears and she looks over her shoulder. How could she not, "I think you may with to rethink that, my lady. I'm pretty sure we'd both be ravish," she says with flash of a smile. "I think I lost my drink. Ah well. And well met, Master not-so-common. Charmed to meet you. And you Duke Laurent. I've heard lovely things about you," she says with a warm smile. "I'm so glad to be able to put a face with a name."

Eirene laughs at Enyo's question, nearly spitting her drink out. "I screwed a guy," she admits with a cackle. "Totally worth it. Didn't realize I was that good a lay." And she's not drunk, yet. She's just crass.

Inigo laughs, his Aunt's voice coming in quite clear over the quiet chatter of the crowd. "You'll have to show me, sometime. The dress... not the... not anything resembling fireplace... things." He calls in response, a grin catching at the edge of his mouth, wondering if the attire is designed more dress-like that her usual fare. His other arm loops about Enyo, returning her hug, an eyebrow arching at her thought. "I'm intrigued, count me in for whatever the occasion be."

Merek looks to the entrance of more folk, and then looks at his drink while he takes a sip and swallows all of the champagne in the tumbler. He then sighs a bit and looks to Eirene and Enyo with a blink, then considers to the former, "Would you like a dance m'Lady?"

Merek checked composure at difficulty 10, rolling 4 higher.

Calista is briefly stolen by her stewardess to handle a few things that have come up. "I will be right back." She tells Inigo before slipping away to tend to those matters, whatever they might be.

It's good that Tallius isn't an assassin, as Petal doesn't seem to ever see him coming. He slips up behind her and says quietly, "I'm sorry I'm late love, did I miss all the fun?" in a slightly teasing tone. He'll give polite nods to anyone nearby to Petal, deep enough to almost be a bow. Or at least to get him by mostly politely, he definitely doesn't have the polish some commoners do when dealing with nobles.

Ainsley lifts his free hand toward Isabetta, one bandage tail sticking out slightly to dangle down. An inclination of his head is given to the blonde.

Cristoph looks briefly surprised at the response Acacia gives. "You have? Well, that's nice to hear. Better perhaps than it being relayed that people hate me and are planning to burn all of my beehives and meaderies to the ground. That would be tragic." His lips curl into a smile and looks briefly to Merek, nodding at the man politely even if it seems he's about to engage in some dancing.

Costas casts his gaze slantwise, peering down at the priestess on his arm with a heavy dose of coarse amusement. "Demurring already at the threshold, Archscholar?" The Malvici clan's kept blade clicks tongue against teeth in a gesture of mock disdain. "I suppose we won't be staying for the afterparty. Do stick close, some of the waiters look handsy." With a last wolfish grin, before she can register any more protest, the rogue leads Bianca into the plaza on long, swaggering strides.

"Seriously?" Enyo stares at her aunt for a moment, then she blinks, "Well fuck me I'm doing it wrong." She just seems stunned by this for a moment before she shakes it off, glancing towards Acacia with a laugh, "Nope. I'm a mouse, that hair.." She waves her glass towards Acacia's hair, indicating that is the whole reason that she figures the other woman would win in the contest of who pulls off the dress better. Her brother isn't forgotten though, as she shrugs, "No idea what it might be. Maybe we should celebrate Auntie Eirene's skills in bed? Because that is impressive."

Eirene looks at Merek and then at Enyo and then back to Merek. "Wait, asking me?" She blinks in surprise at temvuardsman.

Isabetta accepts the hand and moves to follow along, looking like she feels more terribly out of place

Petal blushes as she hears Eirene's words. She then is surprised by the sound of Tallius' voice. "Tallius." She says and spins around upon one small booted foot. "I am glad you could make it." She says in his direction. "Um, I thin you are just in time for the fun."

Eirene looks at Merek and then at Enyo and then back to Merek. "Wait, asking me?" She blinks in surprise at the guardsman. "Dance with my niece, she's better than me,' she says, throwing Enyo to the proverbial wolves. She raises her glass at Costas and Bianca, greeting the pair.

Merek blinks a few times at Eirene, but it doesn't matter who it is at this point, "Well, sure if you wish," he states while he looks over to Enyo, "If you would not mind a dance, m'Lady?" he asks to the niece, tilting his head a bit. He seems distracted a bit.

Ainsley, himself, doesn't look terribly comfortable. The burnt man tucks Isabetta's hand against his elbow and leads her slowly through the crowd. Moving in such a pattern that suggests the two of them are trying to get lost in it-- and end up tucked away under the grape vines cascading down a shady pergola.

Ainsley has joined the a shady pergola with a spray of cascading grape vines.

Isabetta has joined the a shady pergola with a spray of cascading grape vines.

A quick nod dosed with a flash of concern is given to Calista as she departs, his gaze trained on her departing form for a few moments before shifting back to Enyo, the eyebrow cresting higher at the party idea. "Hmmm... only if we get nice armor for hosting." Inigo's regard travels over his sister's shoulder, spying the approaching Merek with his request. As an older brother should, he nudges Enyo in the ribs with a teasing wink.

"Pfft. Hardly," Acacia gives Enyo a brazen wink and turns to back to Cristoph, "Burn your bees, well, that's just uncouth. I can't imagine what you could have done to be the receiver of such unbecoming behavior. That must sting," she shakes her head, her eyes glimmering with mirth.

Bianca looked about to offer verbal protest, but the long strides forced a break in her thought to instead move forward. Her own steps lengthened to keep up, leaving the silks of her robes wavering in their wake. As soon as Eirene's wave was noted, the lithe woman gave an attempted tug to shift direction toward the familiar Malvici and the group in company. "Lady Eirene." She smiled, "Where did you get your ---?" And she grabbed a flute off the nearest passing tray. "Nevermind!"

Tallius smiles at Petal, "Oh good," and looks around at the event, looking a bit confused. He leans in, whispering something to the seamstress before looking around again.

Petal leans in Tallius and listens to his whispered words.

Eirene answers the unspoken question by jerking her thumb at Petal. "She made it for the auction last year. Two years ago? I can't say." She also nudges Enyo but gives Merek a quizzical look. A 'whats your game" look.

White gloved attendants begin to flitter about the plaza holding silvered trays of delicious and decadent finger foods; Large Stuffed Olives, Scallops Wrapped in Bacon, Melon Balls Wrapped in Prosciutto, Crostini Bread, Drizzled with Saffron Olive Oil and a Light Bruschetta. Beneath the Pergola - more wait staff is bringing out more trays of food; Casseroles of Seafood Paella, Tortas de Patata, Succulent 'Drunken' Chicken Stew with Yellow Saffron Rice and Roasted Red Peppers, and of course trays upon trays of fresh fruit, cheese, and charcuterie boards.

"What, me? I'm a terrible dancer." Enyo shakes her head, laughing at that, then she peers down into her glass, "Not drunk enough to trip over my own dress yet, either." She offers Merek a quick, almost apologetic smile before she points towards Acacia, "You should ask her, she looks like she'd be a damn fine dance partner." She hip-bumps her brother for his nudge, then sticks her tongue out quickly at Eirene for her nudge.

"A while ago." Petal says toward Eirene. "And the bidding went nuts and there was almost a fight." She adds in her heavy accent. "Oh, this is Tallius, he runs the wood working shop next to my shop." She says.

Merek checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 15, rolling 6 higher.

Calista steals a melon ball with prosciutto as she makes her way back to Inigo and the small gathering around the Duke of Tor. "I hope you didn't miss me much." She teases. "I had to deal with a food situation. It is all taken care of now. I hope everyone is hungry."

Karrigan's Watchful Avalanche, a Snow Shepherd puppy of ultimate fluffiness arrives, following Caelis.

"That must sting... ahhh, I see what you did there, Mistress." Cristoph laughs and shakes his head. "When I'm old and grey, I'm going to compile a book full of jokes that people have made to me about bees. It'll be masterpiece."

Merek looks like he is about to have something that might pass as an honest smile, then he's redirected again. He looks over to Eirene and all he can do is lift his shoulders a small bit. He looks to Acacia, then he reaches for the champagne with his tumbler and takes some more into it. Then he drinks it all. That's right. Not even sampling the wine, but just drinking it all. Something seems to be on his mind, cheeks flushed a bit with alcohol as he hands off his cloak to Meeka who takes it. He then seems to be at a loss as he looks back to Acacia and then to his empty drink.

Aethelred, Dangerfloof, the Bearded Vulture arrive, following Freja.

Confessor Imori, 2 Grayson Guardsmen, 5 Armed Confessors, Confessor Warren arrive, following Tikva.

Jiacomo, 2 Velenosa House Guards arrive, following Eleyna.

10 King's Own Guardsmen, Zelda, the royal messenger, Freja, Tikva, Eleyna arrive, following Alaric.

Arriving to the party late, Caelis accepts a glass of champagne and does her best to slip in with minimal fuss. She's clearly always been here. Totally. Just another dark haired Lyceum lady in a seasilk dress.

"Dukes, Duchesses, Ladies." Costas greets the familiar group as he and Bianca close the distance. The warrior drifts to a stop just before the Archscholar, putting her just ahead of himself so as to make her more the focus of attention. "What a beautiful event. You know the Archscholar, I suppose? She was ever so curious about a Lycene party and I promised her something truly scandalous. I see we've arrived in time not to miss the real debauchery."

Inigo grins wickedly at Enyo, propriety the only thing standing between the escalation of the playful affair with a well timed noogie. His eyes sparkle and he leans in to give Calista a quick kiss before snatching a few bits of cheese off a passing waiter's tray. "Of course I did." He takes a bite of the cheese, a pleased expression washing over his face. "And excellent food as well... I hope the matter wasn't too troubling?" He smiles and waves to Costas and Bianca, seizing a glass of passing champagne to lift in cheers toward the two.

Isabetta'hides' in the shadows of the grapes, observing the arrival of the new entourage with particular attention paid toward Eleyna, but she remains happily absconds - or at least she seems to think she is, by the grape vines near Ainsley.

"Clever. I like you. I may keep you," Acacia grins again as she reaches out to snag a scallop and popping it into her mouth. She takes a moment to enjoy with a little sigh of approval. "You should. It should be the least you could to do punish them for the impudence. Sign me of ten copies, in fact," the redhead laughs. "So you do you attend a lot of parties like this, Duke Laurent?" There is a little frown as Merek tosses back the wine, "Easy, Master Black. You don't want to miss all the fun drinking like that."

Malvici camouflage- dress like a lady. Enyo and Eirene also use this tactic tonight. But Eirene waves her other niece over to join the fountain of booze party. Until the food passes then it's time to enjoy foods of home like bacon scallops. Mm.

Tallius continues to chat quietly with Petal, looking around curiously. When one of the attendants passes by, he snags a small plate and a few items off of the passing trays. Then a few more items. It all does look so very interesting, and he tries one of the scallops wrapped in bacon. "Wow..okay, I'll admit that they don't have those in the mountains," he says with a smile to Petal, holding the plate near her so that she can graze from his plunder if she decides.

Ainsley tucked behind the cascading grapevines of the pergola, though his laughter did briefly drift out of it. He can be see occasionally peeking out from behind the grapes. Waiting for something it seems. Or maybe just hiding.

Alaric strolls in with an even more impressive retinue than usual, arm in arm with Freja and chatting with the Archduchess and the Princess Inquisitor about this and that as they arrive. "Here we are," he declares brightly. "I'll leave you to your meeting," he says to Tikva, "and your Archduchessing," he says the Eleyna. "Thank you both again for coming by." With a personably grin, he turns back to Freja and looks up at her. "Best get to the pardoning before we're swarmed," he declares impishly.

Real Debauchery? Hey, whatever happens in the Hedge Maze Stays In The Hedge Maze...

Merek takes in a small breath and exhales it, as he motions a bit, "I'll be right back," he states. He disappears, and is soon back in his normal attire, it's fairly fast, the black he is so used to wearing. For some reason. He then looks to Acacia, "Was gonna... Find a dance," he then muses and looks towards Bianca and waves a bit, his cheeks tinted with the champagne's affect upon him. "Hey Archscholar! You look ravishing today." Oh my.

Striding over, Caelis greets her cousins with light punches to the shoulder-Malvici for an endearing and warm greeting. Eirene is greeted with a smile, no punches for the Auntest of Aunts. She stands tall, relaxed as she greets the host and hostess with a graceful curtsy. That seems to be princessing enough for now so she drinks her champagne and finds a seat to lounge in.

"Costas." Enyo greets, spreading her arms out before she turns herself around in a circle, careful to not hit anyone around her, mostly. Her brother isn't so lucky, he gets a bit of a playful swat during her spin. "Look, I remembered to not wear armor." She seems to be fairly proud of this fact, plus, Bianca gets a grin, "Hello, I don't think we've ever met, Enyo Malvici. Nice to meet you, the debauchery happens after we eat, otherwise it gets to be way too messy, way too fast."

"I try to make most of the major events." Cristoph replies to Acacia easily. "Duchess Calista is my cousin, so I definitely wouldn't be missing this one. We hold several events at our home too over the course of the year. I need to start planning the next one..." There he rubs his face briefly but he seems entertained enough that anyone would want a book filled entirely with puns and jokes about bees and grins crookedly, "I'll keep it in mind." His attention shifts briefly to the other clusters of conversationlists, eavesdropping a bit.

"Luckily, I only have arm candy'ing to do tonight." Freja drawls to Alaric with a lift of her scarred brow. "Yes, you must be pardoned and swiftly. No pain like a Northern woman scorned..."

Bianca immediately side-stepped back out of that focal position, falling in line with the circle of those gathered. "Hello." A little lift of her champagne flute given though soon after she was right on board with those bacon wrapped scallops. One was plucked from a passing tray and about lifted to her mouth before she stopped. "Lord Inigo? It's so good to see you!"

Tikva winks at Alaric -- a little like a dork, not least because she is one -- and says, "Thank you, Your Majesty. I'll catch you all later." Then, trailing a filmy silk scarf in her swirl of dusky violet silk velvet, she caromes off, peeling away from the main crowd with which she arrived with a laugh on her breath.

Petal is standing close to Tallius. She takes a one of the scallops from his plate. "No, never had this in the mountains." She then takes a bite of such before adding. "See there is a point to coming to these gatherings, free food and besides, look.." She says, pointing at the arbor and the swing. "The Duchess put my work in the plaza." A smile is given to Eleyna that touches her brown eyes.

Bianca turned to Enyo soon after, "Hello, Lady Enyo. It's a pleasure. Too me-- Ah." She chuckled.

Eleyna offers a now and a littly curtsy to Alaric as she murmurs with a grin, "Your escort was most appreciated, your majesty. Enjoy your pardoning." With a lift of her chin, she glances over the crowd. Isabette and Acacia each get a waggle of fingers in greeting as does the Malvici contingent and the ever-ravishing Calista. Petal also catches her eye and she gives the seamstress a low bow of her head before she heads for the alcohol. There has to be champagne somewhere...

Costas flashes a grin toward Enyo after her twirl. "Now that's the right gear one of them right-in-your-backyard adventures we was talking 'bout."

Alaric is given a flute of champagne upon arrival and takes it with an appreciative nod and then a little shrug to Freja. "I think that lounge ought to have the liquid apologies we're looking for," he declares decisively and heads down the green-lantern path.

Bianca missed so many poses. Merek was offered a nod and smile as well, "Thank you, Guardsman Black. Very kind of you to say."

Petal and Tallius are whispering and there is some pointing going on toward Tikva.

Alaric has joined the a sensual outdoors lounge nestled within an ivy laced alcove.

Ainsley checked composure at difficulty 20, rolling 5 lower.

Tikva checked perception at difficulty 15, rolling 11 higher.

Sharp barking laughter comes from that pergola covered in grapes. Uproarious. Like someone has just been told the funniest thing they have ever been told-- Yes that's Ainsley laughing. In fact his head can be seen peeking out because he's doubling over laughing so hard.

Freja has joined the a sensual outdoors lounge nestled within an ivy laced alcove.

One merely cannot ignore the arrival of the King with a retinue of beautiful ladies. From her place beside Inigo and other Malvici, Calista lifts her glass of champagne in greetings to Alaric, Eleyna, Tikva, and Freja. That's all who came with him, yes? Oh boy, the bubbles might be getting to her.

Isabetta Gives Eleyna a discrete little wave, though she's clearly trying to hide from something in the grapes, but for a scout, she's doing a remarkably bad job. Like if anything she's more conspicuous than normal.

"See that you do," Acacia grins again, "So the Duchess is your cousin and the lovely lad there is an aunt. Are you nobles all related?" she asks clearly teasing. "Will your party be as fancy as this," she asks, smiling to a passing sever and sampling a bit of melon next. "I have to be honest, I've not attended many of these. You'll have to be my guide through unnavigated waters," she muses scanning the crowd again as few strangely familiar faces are scene. She stops a moment as the King strolls in, "Well, fancy this. Only one day back and I've seen the King," she gives a little grin.

Pointing? At Tikva?! Her eye, scanning searchingly over the party, pauses briefly at Petal and Tallius, and she tips a cheerful smile and a wave in Petal's direction, but she has definitely had her attention arrested by a cackling maniac surrounded by grapevines. She puffs out her cheeks, hoists her skirts, and begins a march away from the cavalcade.

Merek offers Bianca a smile at the reply, and seems just a bit happier, if one can call a 'sad smile' happy in any manner. The man seems to not have much true enjoyment in his mind, but then he sees the King and blinks a few times, before he inclines his head that way, "My Liege! Snowball fight this coming winter again?" he asks.

Tikva has joined the a shady pergola with a spray of cascading grape vines.

There's a quick wink for Bianca before Enyo grins at Costas, "I suppose so." She then lifts a glass to wave towards the newest arrivals, the King and Eleyna, "Hello!" She calls out to them before she downs the contents of her glass before passing it off to someone within reach, not getting herself another one at this point though.

Freja salutes Calista from across the way before joining Alaric on the lounge in an alcove, a flute of champagne in her right hand. Nevermind the scouting leathers, she looks quite content and poised.

Tallius is subtle in the way only a commoner can be, which is to say that he's trying but bless him he's really bad at it. He blushes a bit then when a look turns their way, and tries his best to look like he wasn't looking as he gives a little bow of his head towards Tikva and says something else to Petal.

Petal's cheeks warm with a pink hue as she realizes that Tikva noticed the pointing. She gives her a smile and then parts her lips as wanting to say something, but words seem to fail her and she just stares a moment, before smiling sheepishly once again. "Oh, Princess Tikva." She finally gets out. She seems a bit star struck, but that might sometimes happen with Grayson royalty and commoners. She whispers some more with Tallius who she seems close to.

Inigo tosses up a half-hearted defense at his sister's attack and takes the swat with faked injury and a chuckle. He recovers and smiles at Bianca, "It's good to see you as well! It's been a while, I've been made a Duke in the meantime." He laughs and gives her a look of wonder, eyebrows raising in mock disbelief as if he couldn't believe it himself. As if on cue, an attendant slides up to him and whispers a few words in his ear before departing rather rapidly. Inigo, takes a few moments to process the information and looks to his wife, a shake of his head and a few blinks later, his own glass is raised to the King and his retinue. After the glass is lowered he leans in to speak to his wife. Some words are able to be heard, such as 'beds' and 'frogs'... or something like that. It is getting a bit louder in the courtyard, after all. Regardless, the Duke turns to the group assembled about him and frowns. "Speaking of the duties of a Duke, it seems I'm needed inside, please... enjoy the party and thank you all for coming." At that, and with the brightest of confused smiles he can manage, Inigo dashes after the departing messenger into the Fidante household.

Cristoph is thinking over Acacia's question before laughing and then shrugging his shoulders, "Yes, something like that. So many people are married across into other parts of the Compact, it creates a very tangled web of alliances." He looks around at the crowd and watches as the King and his group of comrades come in. "If you'd like, sure. I'm happy to answer questions. We'll be slightly less fancy. More of a seasonal festival for the fall, once it happens. We held one last year, High Lord Edain and myself let people dunk us into a tank of water. In hindsight, it was much too cold to do that." The remark on the king is met with a slanted smile and he comments, "I'm related to him too. The Laurents are really spread all over the Compact."

Fezzik the Hawk leaves, following Inigo.

Petal gives the king a delayed curtsy. It even is rather graceful. "Your Highness." She says in his direction, speaking in her heavy Shav accent.

Watching Inigo dart off, Caelis tucks into the the space she's found to wall flower and watch the party goers with as little fuss as possible. The distant calls about frogs and beds brings a smile to her lips at the familiar prank.

As an attendant passes by with flutes of champagne Costas plucks the near-empty one from out of Bianca's hand, replacing it with a fresh and one for himself as well. The business of making sure the holy woman on his arm was well-fitted with booze, he clinks glasses with her and then fixes his mischievous gaze on Eirene. Eyes sliding down and then back up to the Malvici noblewoman's face and finishing with a wide, toothy grin. "Found the slinky side of your armoire, Lady. I knew there had to be one."

With a champagne flute in hand, Eleyna turns her attention to the dance floor, gazing over it with a contemplative expression as she sips at the bubbly, golden liquid in her glass. The archduchess quirks a brow at Isabetta acting odd, but considering it's Isabetta, all she can assume is that this is either part of a bet she's trying to win or else she's involved in some sort of trouble. Nothing unusual in any of that.

Settling back now, Acacia takes a sip of wine and gives there room another scan. "Axr has gotten bigger I think. So many faces I don't now. I can't wait to meet all of them, "Though there are a few. Your highness," she offers to Freja as she passes by. "I hear you went and got yourself married. Lucky man. Congratulations," she offer with a little bow. "Many happy returns." Turning back, she liberates another drink. So much for the gallant offer of the drink. Taking as simp she smiles over at Caelis as she prepares to wall flower. "It's something else, isn't it," she nods to the soiree at large. "Who are you related to?"

Tallius checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 1 higher.

Bianca smiled with a gracious nod to Costas at the refreshed drink and clink of glass. Her attention returning to Eirene and more boldly taking in her apparel. "The scarlet suits you."

When the words frogs and beds reaches Enyo's ears, she suddenly finds somewhere to be not next to her brothe. She heads towards Caelis, posting herself up next to her cousin, flashing her a quick smile, "Nice party, isn't it? Drinks are great...just great."

When it seems that he isn't paid much heed on the mention of the dance for another time, Merek then turns his attention back to Eirene, "It seems no one else wishes to dance, but if you don't want to m'Lady, that is fine," he adds, full circle, as he just leans back where he was, watching the party.

Tallius might have been a little starey at the Grayson contingent, but the King he just looks upon with slightly widened eyes. Not the sort of fellow who usually ends up in such places where Kings tread after all. He manages to get his mouth closed, and offer a deep bow that direction when Petal curtsies, before immediately trying to look less conspicuously out of place. Which mostly involves shutting up, keeping from staring at anyone, and turning into Petal's shadow.

Alaric has settled into a seat on a couch in the lounge, chatting with Freja and apparently joining her in going straight to the harder drinks in true Northern fashion. Every so often during a break in the conversation he turns to the open entrance to the lounge area and gives a little regal wave to acknowledge the well-wishes of passersby.

Glancing at Acacia, Caelis blinks at the question and points to Enyo, and Eirene. "The Hawks." She answers and looks to Enyo. "I was practicing my habitual wall flowering." She mourns and considers her glass. "The drinks aren't bad." She agrees with Enyo and looks about. "Did the Duchess put in that champagne fountain she was considering?"

6 Malvici Guards, Adjutant General Vincenzo di Malvici arrive, following Calypso.

Tikva has apparently inhaled some wine and is trying to breathe it out through her nose over at the pergola. It's probably Ainsley's fault.

Isabetta watches Tikva helplessly, looking a little guilty.

Freja offers saltues and shots of whiskey where Alaric offers regal waves.

"Oh, yeah..." Enyo glances around, looking for the fountain before she points towards it, "Seems to be popular." She then crosses her arms over her chest, one hand lifting to tuck beneath her chin, "You really shouldn't wallflower anymore, though. My advice."

Ainsley has a renewed round of laughing at something, probably poor Tikva's trying to learn how to be Champagne Fish.

Calypso steps in to the party.. fashionably late? Or at least fashionably. In proper southportian sytle her stress is a mix of silk and steel. She takes a glance around to see where might be the best place to wander and mingle.

4 House Deepwood Guards arrives, following Samantha.

After being fortified with a few swallows of champagne, Eleyna threads her way through the crowd until she ends up just behind Costas and leans in to whisper something to him before taking a step back so she can once again sip from her champagne flute. She smiles at Bianca and gives her a nod in greeting, "Archscholar, a pleasure to see you in a less formal setting. How are you enjoying the party?"

"Arx is always getting bigger." Cristoph offers to Acacia before finishing his flute of champagne. "Oh, the king." He gestures over to where Alaric is regally waving to people from his bench. He waves over to the other man and then tips his head towards the red headed woman. "Time for me to get moving again, I'm afraid. Lovely meeting you." Then he's detaching and drifting through the crowd until he eventually disappears.

Acacia gives Caelis a little nod, "Ah, you'll have to pardon me. So many new faces and a big crowd set me back on my manners. And if you don't mind me saying, you are far too lovely to be a wall flower. Beautiful bracelet, by the by," she nods with a little smile of appreciation. "Jasper, bloodstones, malachite and moonstones? Pretty. Very pretty. I'm Acacia Culler," she offers looking between Enyo and Caelis. "Thanks for sharing the wall," she winks.

Bianca's attention turned to Eleyna, dipping her head in a partial bow. "It is a pleasure to see you as well, Archduchess. It's true, very rare I'm able to escape my duties to partake in such festivities, but I'm very glad I managed this evening. This is... something else all together. I've never personally seen such a vibrant display aside from within the confines of my imagination."

"I have made a tradition of it. If my husband were here we'd stand quietly together." Caelis notes, looking at Enyo with dark eyes. "We're more suited to battle." Her attention drawn to Acacia. "Nice to meet you. I'm the Valardin's admiral." She offers by way of introduction. "Always happy to share a wall. Oh, there's another cousin. She likes the fringes too." She notes, looking at Calypso.

Painbow, a militant pygmy goat, Rupert the Laurent Archivist leave, following Cristoph.

Calypso steps up along side Caelis when she spots her cousin in the crowd. She manages to snag a glass of whiskey on her way. "Ah are we holding up the walls? Nice to see you, Caelis." She nods to Enyo as well. "Enyo. Out and about. Good evening." She greets her other cousin and then nods to Acacia. "Acacia. No Niccolo with you tonight?"

"Oh! You related to Mae? Love her." Enyo grins at Acacia, glancing behind her, then between the two women before she wrinkles her nose, "I'm not much of a wallflower...I talk too much." She then glances towards Calypso when she turns up, "I'll give up my spot for her if she wants to hang around the fringes, and go try and convince someone to do something crazy with me..."

Better late than never, right? Samantha makes her way into the party, finding the color coded lanterns delightful and lettering her own steps turn her about in a bit of a fanciful twirl to take it all in. She spends a few moments in a pause, taking in the crowd and considering her options for joining company.

One is never truly late to a Lycene party, especially one of the Torean persuasion. Samantha and Calypso are both greeted with flutes of champagne. Servers are still passing out food while beneath the pergola there are trays and trays of mouthwatering delights. Musicians continue to play, dancers continue to dance. The fire jugglers and stilt walkers are still entertaining the crowd.

Costas does not need to look over his shoulder to identify the speaker in his ear. The voice is entirely familiar, and recognition pulls his grin wide as he turns round, calloused finger brushing Bianca's arm to encourage her to do the same. "Most Stunning Sovereign of the Southern Realm." The swordsman places a hand over his chest and executes an exceptionally rare bow to Eleyna, lifting himself back up to his full stature after a few heartbeats of demonstrated devotion. "Where is your consort?" He wonders, the edge of his lips twitching to restrain his devil's grin. "Have you come unescorted? This cannot be. You have not.." He drifts just a bit closer, one hand with fingers still curled lightly around Bianca's elbow. "You have not got into cups and wandered out into the night, chasing the sounds of merriment, I hope. Do you need us to escort you home?"

Calista does her best to do her rounds. She spots Bianca in her periphery and before the Archscholar slips away, she is greeted by the Duchess of Tor with a warm smile. "I thought that was you, how have you been? And thank you for coming."

"Get enough of us here we're going to run out of room," Acacia laughs, nodding to Enyo. "I am indeed. And I'm glad you do. There's much to adore about our Mae, aye. Still haven't laid eyes on her since I got home but I cannot wait to see. But then again, but the night is young and who knows what is in store." A bright smile is offered as the pageantry continues, and the redhead shakes her head. "Impressive," she nods, taking another sip.

Petal seems to have fallen silent even as she continues to stand close with Tallius. Now the party seems to have got a bit overwhelming. She does smile over to Samantha and she murmurs to Tallius. "Oh, I made her dress, she is the Marquesa of Deepwood. But, I should go. I think I am all peopled out right now." She says, before looking over Tikva. She rather shyly said. "If you want to visit us at the Tangled Skien soometime, Princess..please do." She says rather awkwardly, but she does smile.

Merek waits for a bit and when it seems Eirene is caught up in other business he looks around a bit. Something also seems to make him frown a small bit that he notices but it is kept to himself. Instead he looks to Meeka and motions, "Find someone that looks like they could use a dance partner?" Then his secretary does just that. He settles leaning back on the table for now waiting.

Tikva looks towards Petal and Tallius in some surprise from where she has been recovering from her nasal alcohol incident. Sniffling, she smiles, shifting just a little away from the wrap of her husband's arm. "Mistress Petal, thank you. I'm a fairly frequent shopper at your establishment, you know! Ever since you made my wedding gown, do you remember it? A lady never forgets the gown she gets married in, and all that."

Ooh. Samantha does love her a good spread. Maybe it's the commoner blood in her. But she plucks up an hors d'ouvre unashamedly, nibbling as she spots Petal and returns the woman's wave. And seeing who she's addressing, her brows lift in pleasure and she starts to make a beeline for Tikva and Ainlsey. "Petal, I'm so pleased to be wearing your couture." To Tikva, with a grin, "And I have a bone to pick with your husband, hiding himself away for so long."

Looking at Calypso, Caelis nods. "I like feeling the stone on my back. It's reassuring. One less side to watch." She murmurs and studies the woman at her side. "We're over due for some catch up, when you would like. Or just snag Costas." She looks to the man and back to Calypso with a quirk of a smile as Enyo pines for trouble. "There are too many people who could get you into a spot of trouble." She notes and shakes her head.

Bianca turned more fully at Costas' urging, having partially centered herself only to circle completely toward the Archduchess. As Costas interjected with all that sly charm she again fell again quiet... until Calista engaged her! "Duchess, this is magnificent. I have been well aside from a few hiccups here and there. Tumbled bookcases, broken bindings and all that. But what of you? It has been far too long."

Tallius sticks close to Petal, and when she mentions going he nods, "I'll walk you home love," he says quietly. He seems more than peopled out, crowds must not be his thing. He gives Tikva a smile at mention of the wedding dress, but says nothing, remaining quiet.

"If you'll pardon me, I think I may offer my services," the vivacious redhead winks as she pushes off the wall and begins slipping through the crowd to Eleyna's side. "Your highness,' Acacia offers as she arrives, offering a graceful bow and a roguish grin. "I knew I came back to the city for a good reason. Couldn't help by overhear you maybe in need of escort. May I assist?"

Calypso takes a drink of her champagne from one hand as she looks out over the crowd. And then a sip of her whiskey from the other. "Baron Stefano could get you in to quite a lot of trouble. So could Costas." She says towards Caelis and Enyo. Another glances towards Acacia then. "Though I'm sure she could find you all kinds of interesting trouble if you don't mind passing in to the lowers."

Petal looks back over in Tikva's direction, giving her a smile that touches her brown eyes. She reaches out for Tallius' arm and seems to be getting ready to leave soon. "Oh, I remember it, Princess." She says in her direction. "When you have time, you should visit our garden. It has lots of the wildflowers of the north. We would be very honored" She says, seemingly gaining some confidence. She smiles over to Samantha. "I am very flattered that you are wearing my dress, Marquesa. This is Tallius who runs the wood shop next to mine. Although, we need to go, we have lots of work to do."

"I am out and about, although evidently on my best behavior for the night." Enyo replies, sticking her tongue out at Caelis as she suddenly becomes the ruiner of a good time. Unseriously, at least. She then leans back against the wall, arms crossing over her chest once more, "You should try..." She starts to Acacia, then the woman moves off and she shrugs, glancing at Calypso, "Never met the Baron, and every time I run into Costas I get the impression he'd rather I keep out of trouble just because I've pointed out that I'd hide behind him if trouble of the pointy variety happened."

"Thank you, Lady Bianca. I am happy you are enjoying yourself." Calista's emerald eyes flit to Costas now as her lips curve into a dastardly Tehom-may-care smirk. "Both of you. Master Costas, it's been quite a while as well. You are also looking well. We are glad to have you with us this evening. I have been well." She tells Bianca. "I do have to come and spend some time with you soon for more business related things but for tonight, we are just going to enjoy ourselves. Have you had enough to eat and drink?"

"All work and no play makes life dull and colorless. And if it's color that you are seeking, then the Lyceum is where to find it. Amongst other things scandalous and delightful," Eleyna murmurs to Bianca with a little smile before Costas' bow and excessive flattery tugs her attention in that direction. Her brows arch into the pale expanse of her forehead as she says in response, "Some of us lack your ready charm and good looks to attract a suitable escort. Yes, I've been left to myself this evening and am drinking away my sorrows at my sorry state. So, no getting into my cups and wandering... yet. Give me about three more of these." She lifts her champagne flute and drains it pointedly. The familiar voice at her side turns her head in that direction. "Ah, Acacia. I knew you were bound to turn up again at some point. Talen will be pleased."

"Pleasure to meet you, Master Tallius, I think I've seen the interior of your shop as well," Tikva says with a laugh. "Good evening to you both!" and then she turns her wide-eyed glance to Samantha. "Hey!" she says. "Good to see you! He's hiding in the grapes right here right now, actually." ((But he just had to idle OOC for a phone call.))

"Aye, I cannot wait to see his tears of joy," Acacia smirks back, reaching out to snag two more glasses, and offering one to Eleyna. "Glad to be home. Can't stay away for ever. Sounds like I've missed so much fun," she says, offering a nod to the worrisome Costas and his companion Bianca. "I'm Acacia Culler, a pleasure to meet you," she offers with a warm smile.

"Who says I don't get into trouble?" Caelis wonders and arches a dark brow, a quick smile on her lips. "I spent my youth on ships and in port cities. You meet the most interesting people close to docks." She murmurs and nudges Enyo lightly. "I should be more like the Archduchess and socialize, but I'm utterly exhausted. The wall suits me better."

Ainsley steps out from the grapevines long enough to get some drinks. He balances four drinks in his hands approaching Samantha and Tikva and Isabetta again. Holding drinks out. Once his hands are unburdened he curls an arm around Tikva's back, after reaching out to ruffle Sam's hair. "Sammy." He tells her with a charming, brattish smile.

Scamp the raccoon kit leaves, following Tallius.

Soot, a gray foxhound puppy, Tallius leave, following Petal.

"There are better ways of making him cry. Like a punch to the kidney," Eleyna offers helpfully with an oh-so-sweet smile before she snags another flute of champagne from a passing server's tray and knocks back a swallow of it.

"I have yet to be disappointed by the Lyceum's seductions, your grace. It seems only Southern revelries can drag me from The Stacks." Bianca returned in matched subdued tone to Eleyna with another gracious dip of her head. As conversation again slipped to the man at her side her neck craned to further address Calista. "My doors are always open to you. Just send a messenger to be sure I'm not otherwise engaged... and oh, yes. I am quite fine on drink. I fear another one of these and I may be tipped over in that lovely fountain. I also must commend the scallops, though I haven't had an opportunity yet to try any of the other delicacies."

Costas watches Eleyna tip back her champagne, wolf's grin split wide and coarse before looking to Bianca at his side. "When in the Lyceum.." He advises the holy woman, again snatching a pair of fresh champagne flutes from a passing server and putting new full drinks in the hands of of the women. "To life. Vibrant, colorful, and full of unexpected twists." A short, measured sip of his own drink is taken before he glances to Acacia at her introduction. "Cullers everywhere in the Lycene ward these days. Is it an invasion?"

Kit, the grey fox, a tiny man with a BIG unpronounceable name arrive, following Monique.

Calypso grins at Caelis. "The luxuries you had sailing off on ships to who knows where. Everyone once in a while, only in my deepest reaches, I envy that life." She takes a sip from the whiskey hand. "But, we all have our callings. I should at least go and greet the Hostess." She raises the champagne hand now to Enyo and Caelis, before heading off to wherever it is Calista has ended up. "Duchess, you always throw such wonderful parties."

Bianca's empty flute was passed to a tray in transit, taking up the fresh one despite her words previous. A deep breath was inhaled, glass lifted and the tiniest of sips taken before she replied to Acacia. "It is a pleasure to meet you," she gestured to herself, "Archscholar Bianca."

Isabetta emerges from under the grapes, making her way for Eleyna and tells her, "Eleyna dear, I'm headed home. Forgive me for not offering to escort you too, despite that we live at the same place, but you look like you're having fun." She gives a little wave to Eleyna with her finger tips.

It doesn't seem Agnarr's bothered to dress for the occasion, being still partially harnessed and armored. He moves a little sorely, and several patches of his exposed skin are red, and occasionally peeling, like he'd been subject to some sunburn. His beard, too, is singed. The massive northman wanders to and fro, languidly exploring.

"You should. You can hang on to me, and I'll drag you around in my wake if you want." Enyo offers Caelis with a grin, taking a step away from the wall, her arms unfolding to fall at her side. If she was perhaps ten years younger than she is, she might be bouncing in place for want of moving around by this point.

Calista chuckles at something Bianca says then. "Admittedly, the bacon is from the Oathlands. I mean what a perfect way to pay homage to my parents than to have such divine scallops from the Southern seas embraced by the beloved swine hide from the Oathlands. My father was a Laurent."

"Indubitably, brace yourself for a wild ride," Acacia shoots back to Costas with a wolfish grin of her own. "But where have you been? We've been here all along, but maybe you're looking up too high to see us down here," she retorts back to Costas clearly teasing. "And to twists indeed, and many good turns," she gives a little salute with her glass and takes a little sip. "What's your name again?"

Carlo have been dismissed.

Samantha pffts at Ainsley. "Hello, dignity." she mock-reminds him, and then gives him the gentlest of hugs, mindful of his bandages. "Where have you been hiding?" To Tikva, "Where has he been hiding? Regardless, it's nice to see you both out and about." Petal is nodded to as she departs, and it seems like at least for the moment, Sam intends to loiter in the vicinity of the husband and wife.

Rolling her eyes in a very un-princess like manner, Caelis slides her fingers around the bend of Enyo's arm. "Alright, fine. I shall stay in your wake." She huffs and follows Calypso with her eyes. "I suppose we'll avoid telling her about what passes for rations at sea." She grins crookedly. "The bugs might put her off."

Late to the fray, Monique tosses herself in with a will, finding a glass of booze to play catch up. In the madness, her eyes fall of Bianca, and she turns her footfalls towards the white-haired beauty. "Archscholar!" the fiery Greenmarch calls out with a flashing smile.

Eleyna eyes Isabetta as she approaches and says with a wry smile and a jerk of her chin toward her guards and Jiacomo, "No worries, Isa. That's what they are for as long as they don't get too drunk. Regardless, I think I'll join you." She glances between Acacia and Costas, tossing out the introduction. "Acacia Culler, meet Costas Voducce. Forgive me, Master Voducce, but duty calls. You still owe me a dance, hm?" With a sly smile, she clasps Isabetta's arm and begins to walk with her for the exit.

Bianca's eyes turned anew to Calista, "Ah, yes. I remember mention of that... and I thought there was a familiarity to that flavor. I may seek y---" And then there was a Monique! "Lady Monique, your name has been on my lips multiple times today. Expect a few seeking your counsel with my direction." She chuckled.

"Crunch." Enyo replies, snapping her teeth in the air before she tugs her cousin in close, and then she's off, dragging her in the direction of the main knot of people. "Hello!" She greets, both family and people she barely knows alike. "Have you met my cousin, Princess Caelis Valardin?"

Tikva raises a hand in a very threatening swat that doesn't materialize, and then leans back into Ainsley as she reaches tiltedly for a passing servitor's tray. Stealing a stuffed olive, she pops it into her mouth, chews, swallows, and then says, "He was at Bastion. Probably being terrible, because he's a terrible."

Isabetta murmurs to Eleyna as the make their way out, "You know I had a little wager with myself that you would use me as an excuse."

Isabetta has left the a shady pergola with a spray of cascading grape vines.

Jiacomo, 2 Velenosa House Guards leave, following Eleyna.

Merek decides he would like to try some food, which he picks up some bread and buschetta. He seems to be content with the eating for now, and watching all the performers. Otherwise he is keeping to himself with his dark attire and brooding. Though with no cloak his features are much more noticable, as is his frosted hair that seems to be from age, granted he still doesn't 'look' that old, it seems different.

Estaban comes walking in slowly he has his armor on except for his shirt it is a lose silk shirt so that he did not disturb the bandages on his arms, hands and back. His blue eyes look around as he walks bepper into the party.

Monique's laughter swells as she comes abreast of Bianca. "Oh? That's an ominous note to a festive occasion," she teases the Archscholar. "I'll have to take care to stop being quite so useful. You look lovely tonight." The Greenmarch turns, eyes on Calista. "Everyone looks so lovely. Really, the whole thing is breathtaking! My congratulations on a wonderful soiree, Duchess!"

Ainsley keeps his arm curled around Tikva, bandaged fingers toying with her silk and velvet dress a little bit. A smile is given toward Samantha and he says, "I'm very dignified. I am, in fact, the absolute picture of pious and dignity." He manages to keep a straight face while saying this too. And then gives a beleaguered sigh at Samantha's question, "I was at Bastion... Tending to some matters in the forest."

"Might'a paid attention before now." Costas answers Acacia with a return of his own too-easy smile after having been introduced. "If they was all so interesting. 'Cepting Mae, but she never gets up t'here. Or at least she don't visit no more." His attention jerks sideways as the boisterous Greenmarch approaches, and he takes the moment of distraction to glance up to the sky, making a sailor's call of the time by way of stars.

Tiring, or perhaps in no mood for festivities, Agnarr eventually takes his leave - but not without depleting a good portion of the foods available. May as well.

"Only intones of the positive, my dear." Bianca chuckled, her glass lifting to her lips for a sip though drawn downward the moment she realized her action. "Yes, I was just commenting to the Duchess how I may need to seek out the recipes her staff prepared. If you haven't tried anything yet... the bacon scallops are superb."

Giving Enyo some side eye, Caelis resolves to put coal in her mid winter gifts. So much for tottering around after Enyo like a shadow. She looks at Estaban with an arched brow. Her expression wondering if he should be up and about before her focus goes to a passing full glass of champagne which she snags.

Calista lifts her glass to Monique. "Thank you, my lady! It is wonderful to see you here. Please have more to drink, have something to eat. Find a gorgeous Torean and steal them to the dance floor."

"Hello..." Enyo lifts her hand not attached to Caelis, wiggling her fingers at Monique, "Have you met my cousin, Princess Caelis?" She wonders, looking like she is unworried about the possibility of anything unfun being part of her mid winter gifts. Bianca gets the next look, and it's another gesture towards Caelis, "Have you met my cousin, Princess Caelis?"

Calypso finishes off the rest of her whiskey glass and decides to go on a stroll down the hedge maze for a while, finding her voice does not carry in the usual hustle and bustle of the crowded party. Champagne glass in hand, she heads down the path to enjoy the night air.

Calypso has joined the a verdant and lush hedge maze enraptured by a myriad of exotic flowers.

"I concur with your assessment, he is terrible." Samantha affirms to Tikva, then nods to Ainsley. "I'd urge you to brief Rymarr, if you don't mind? I think that he'd want to know about anything you've found that might be of benefit to Deepwood's on efforts." But this is a party, and Samantha swiftly changes the subject. "You'll have to come by and see Nara. And bring your son."

"Bacon, I'm afraid, lost its shine for me when I ended up hiding from the Valardin guard in a butcher's pen some time ago," Monique tells Bianca apologetically. "But everything looks unimaginably delicious and I will be sure to sample every little bit I can otherwise!" She offers a wave to Costas when he looks back down, but her gaze swings quickly back to Calista. "Dancing, though, that I can't wait to do! Ah," she turns to Enyo, "but of course. Hello, Princess Caelis. Lovely to see you here. Couldn't drag your husband?"

And speaking of the dance floor, a more lively song lifts from the musicians causing the dancers to kick up their heels a little higher. Alejandro comes before his lady and bows in a grand flourish. Calista's quirky grin splays across her lush lips and she hands her glass of champagne off to someone for now. "Well, if I must." She dips with a curtsey to her right hand man and offers her hand to him. Alejandro guides Calista to the dance floor and with a spin, her crimson skirts whirl about her long legs. The dancers hoot and holler, clapping their hands with the sultry rhythm of the guitars, tambourines, and drums. The steps are sharp and staccato. There is a lot of colors rhythmically swishing about on the dance floor right now and in the middle of it all is the hostess with the mostess.

Bianca's lips caught into subdued smile at a passing thought, though it grew further at Enyo's introduction. "I do not believe so. A pleasure, Princess Caelis." She dipped her head in greeting. Then to Monique, "That sounds like quite the trying affair, Lady Monique."

Ainsley smiles toward Samantha and says, "I'm sure the reports will be available to those interested in them when they are finished." A tilt of his head is given toward Tikva and he smiles a bit, "Do you want to dance, my love? Or have you had enough partying?"

Estaban looks around and spots Caelis moving over in her direction, he smiles to the Princess. "Your highness, it has been a while." he smiles looking to her, he just seems to be taking it slow.

"Oh, such wounding words. But the rest was dangerously near a compliment and you said pretty things about my Mae so I think I'll like you for now," Acacia smirks up at the man. She pauses and glances up herself. "I think I'm going to take my leave. Master Costas, I'm sure we'll meet again. You have a look of trouble. Archscholar Bianca, charmed. It's an honour to meet someone with such respect in the compact. I hope we meet again under less," she looks around and back smiling. "Busy circumstances" The curvy red head gives a little graceful bow and backs away and slips off into the crowd again, siddling up the the gracious hostess, waiting for a brief pause in admirerers, "Your pardon, Duchess Calista, but I just wanted to say that I have not enjoyed such great hospitality in quite sometime. It was a pleasure. I hope we can return the favour sometime. Goodnight, your grace."

Merek lifts up a hand and waves towards Bianca, "Archscholar, do you have time for a dance in your schedule tonight?" he asks when no one is talking with her, then lets her back to her conversation.

Looking for Calypso, Caelis seems to have realized the trap she has unwittingly sprung on herself. "You wee savage." She murmurs to her slightly taller cousin and to Bianca, Monique, and Estaban with a nod. "Hello. Nice to meet and see you respectively." She notes and looks between them all. "Oh! Baron Estaban, I forgot I ought to bring you that salve. I should go fetch it." She says brightly.

The smug smile that is cast towards Caelis says it all. Wee savage or not, she's as pleased with herself as a cat that just scooped the prize gold fish out of the bowl and ate it. "Lady Monique? Nice to meet you, I'm Enyo Malvici." She quickly picks up the name that Bianca uses, shooting the archscholar a quick wink before she adds, quietly to Caelis, "No running away."

Bianca lifted her hand in a minor wave of farewell to Acacia, having clearly become a bit overwhelmed with the sheer amount of sounds, sights and people. When Merek spoke up to her, her expression immediately morphed to the apologetic, "Oh, no thank you, Merek. I fear I have never been a very good dancer... but perhaps Lady Monique will take you up on the offer? Have you two met?"

"Tiber will be /delighted/, I'm sure. Or, well, he might be loud and obnoxious, but I'll tell him to be delighted," Tikva says with an easy laugh. "Come now, Ainsley, we've barely said hello to Samantha. Do you really want to dance?"

Samantha blinks at Ainsley's bureaucratic answer, and then his desire to dance with his wife. Brows raised, she smiles. "No, it's alright. I shouldn't take up all of your time, and harmlessly indulging one's husband is always a good idea. Go enjoy yourselves."

Merek looks a bit hurt actually, this time. Unlike the others. But he tries his best to mask it and shakes his head, "I... Don't believe I have met her," he tells Bianca, trying his hardest for a wan smile, and then relaxes a bit, looking around to see who is mentioned, maybe.

Estaban chuckles nodding, "I can take a walk with you, your highness I needed to get out being stuck in bed was sucking." he really probly should be resting.

"I think we have, though only briefly in passing," Monique replies with a bright smile for Merek. "Pleasure to see you again, Master Black. I'll beg indulgence for just a moment for this is a new face to me." She turns to Enyo. "And a lovely one. Good evening, Mistress Malvici. Have you been enjoying the festivities for quite some time tonight? Do you know Master Merek Black?" She turns, including him in the conversation.

The Dancers take a cue from a downbeat to head out into the crowds and persuade fellow party goers to head out onto the dance floor. Even if they don't know the steps, guests will be taught this evening. While folks start to fill the dance floor, wait staff clears up some of the food, not all, to make room for dessert and coffee. You know, the kind of coffee that has liquor.

"I'll show you a few steps on the way back to your doorstep." Costas promises Bianca, leveling the full force of a wolfish grin down at the holy woman. "Lycene dances are easier than those of the Oathlands, I warrant. Less steps to memorize, you simply /feel/ your way through your steps together." The Malvici swordsman lingers his stormblue gaze on her for a few heartbeats before turning to the rest of the small circle. "Lovely party, eh? If you've not been to one of these before, I recommend you stay for the after."

Ainsley pulls a small smile-- jaw still burned, smalls are hard. He leans his head against Tikva's and says, "Right, sorry, I'm being rude." His gaze settles easily on Samantha and he asks, "I'd be very happy to come see Nara, I'm really sorry I wasn't able to come see her shortly after her birth." There's a hint of something edgy in his expression, some inner turmoil.

Bianca's brow fluctuated briefly as the expression of the fellow Scholar caught attention, but when Monique interjected and Costas added in his offer her attention diverted. Small smile return and she set the barely touched flute of champagne aside before looping her arm with the Sword of Southport's and turning towards those he addressed.

"I think we'll do well at a small private dinner together, anyway," Tikva tells Sam, even as she slouches a little into Ainsley's lean. "Less noise and distraction. Duchess Calista's table /is/ amazing, though, isn't it?"

"Run? Me? I have never fled a party." Caelis sniffs. She always flees, but she's play it off. "Costas you wild flirt. How is it Lady Enyo towing me off the side lines?" She wonders and looks to Estaban with a nod. "As soon as you're done in I'll fetch that burn salve." She offers more somberly. Coffee is going around, she snags a cup of that and holds it close, like it can stave off any tiredness.

"I have...I wasn't going to come, but you" Enyo replies with a quick shrug of her shoulders, flashing Monique a quick grin before her attention shifts towards Estaban, nodding to him, "Lady Lucita not with you tonight? Will you please tell her I said hello, though." She then hip-bumps Caelis, grinning from her to Costas, "After, huh? You know...I would, but only if you promise that you'll be there. I couldn't stand it otherwise."

Merek nods to Monique a bit when she turns to Enyo and company for the time being. He then seems to wait as he adjusts his stygian waistchain about his hips and stomache, and looks to the folk milling about.

Calypso eventually makes her way out of the hedge maze, empty champagne glass in hand. Which happens to find her closer to where Tikva, Ainsley and Samantha are gathered. "Princess Tikva, Prince Ainsley, Marquessa Samantha. A pleasure to see you three. I hope you don't mind my crashing the conversation."

"Think nothing of it." Samantha insists, and then makes a fussy go-go-go gesture toward the couple. "Go on, dance. There are other people I need to say hello to, but I definitely hope to host you as a family soon."

Calypso has left the a verdant and lush hedge maze enraptured by a myriad of exotic flowers.

Costas chuckles coarsely at the pair of Malvici women. "Lady Caelis, good to see you despite your baseless besmirching of my good reputation. Lady Enyo.." He casts a glance about the party, perhaps evaluating the remaining guests for danger. "Be careful about your own." He simply decided to add in a warning that is half jest. With that the swordsman looks aside to Bianca, flashes a game smile, and leads the Archscholar out into the dark clutches of the Lycene night.

Calypso notices the shoo-ing gesture and grins. "Horrible timing as always. Enjoy your dance." She raises the empty glass towards Tikva and Ainsley before turning back to Samantha. "I haven't seen you for a while Marquessa. How are things in Stonehearth? Ever expanding I imagine."

Bianca leaves, following Costas.

Calypso is overheard praising Calista for: The Duchess sure knows how to throw a party.

Enyo nudges Caelis, "See? See what I mean...he keeps telling me to stay out of trouble." She shakes her head faintly, looking around to see if there is anyone in particular she should watch out for, but then she shakes her head, releasing her hold on Caelis.

The evening is not even close to being over. There is more music, more dancing, more food and drink, more people getting a little bit wild. Folks sneak off into the hedge maze, they find nooks here and there, they enjoy the champagne fountain in the way it was meant to be enjoyed and chances are only those brave souls who can truly party like a Lycene are here until the morning when more coffee is served.

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