Jan. 13, 2018, 2 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Lyceum - Velenosa Estate - Dining Room
Comments and Log
2 Igniseri scarlet phoenix guards, Philomel, the Nightingale, Micana, the efficient amanuensis, Golden, a juvenile Oakhaven bloodhound arrive, following Lucita.
Hiss, the Lenosian viper, Sybilla, the Lenosian courtier, 2 Velenosa House Guards, Eleyna arrive, following Talen.
Leana, an Igniseri Guard arrives, following Luis.
Nightshade, a tiny black kitten, Penelope, Ariadne, 3 Rubino and Zaffria guards arrive, following Dafne.
As Eleyna enters on Talen's arm, she is already rolling her eyes as she mutters, "Oh for the love of... you had to wait two hours because -you- decided to leave my hair a disaster and it took all that time to fix what you ruined, cur." As they step inside the elaborately decorated dining room, the archduchess is all smiles. Pale eyes glances over table settings and staff, making sure that her requests have been fulfilled, but she seems satisfied with that, so at least no one is losing their job today. As the former Sword leads her toward the head of the table, Eleyna offers a greeting, "Pardon being fashionably late to our own dinner. Someone, and I'm far too polite to name names, couldn't decide what to wear."
Olenna, Pellinor, 6 Thrax Guards arrive, following Alarissa.
Cicero arrives looking rather terrible. Thinner than usual, obviously sleep deprived, but damn, that outfit is on point. He steps in and finds a spot to sit before setting down quietly, eyes moving over the room very slowly and thoroughly like he is inspecting the decorations but ignoring its occupants.
Isabetta arrives looking late, or maybe she's trying to be a little late. Its especially surprising considering the short distance she needed to walk to actually get here. When she takes the general view of the room in she seems to frown, quietly, she pushes farther into the room.
The Marquessa of House Mazetti arrives with her husband striding just slightly before her (long-legged bastard), and her Sword respectfully and no doubt protectively at her side. Much like their moniker, the hydra, they never seem to be caught anywhere alone. While the expected pleasant greetings are shared with those filtering in, the trio does not linger and instead chooses to promptly get seated.
Cambria, of course, makes the two men sit to either side of her.
"I made it better, I did not ruin it. You cannot tell me it doesn't make you purr inwardly to see what a state I left it i-- oh look, guest," Talen is saying as he enters through the archway. Trophy Husband status is a go, so he walks in his armour as he was made to, a weapon on the arm of an Archduchess. The dry drawl of words are given to those who greet them, paving the way for actual progress rather than manners in every which moment. Carrying a scroll case in one hand, clawed rubicund wrapping it, he nods his serpentine-covered head to those within.
Theron settles down beside Cambria silently, once she does. In his capacity as a Sword, the Mazetti lord is quiet and watchful.
Leta is on time, though she's not straying far from the entrance. If she couldn't decide what to wear, she obviously decided to go with 'a lot'. A lot of hat, a lot of robe, a lot of silk brocade, a lot of shinies. A lot of sword. She bows her head as people come in, since pretty much anyone here's likely to merit a respectful bow from her, but doesn't move any further into the room, instead keeping her eyes on the entrance, teeth worrying at her bottom lip.
Marian arrives arm in arm with Princess Alarissa. Perhaps it's the influence of her former Valardin mate that has her dressed rather fashionable this evening. Cream colored silk clings to her frame, the material clinging to her silhouette as if it's pinned in place by thinly braided straps. The plunging neckline drops between her breasts giving a hint at the tribal tattoos that are underneath. Her back is without any lace, plunging backwards just above her rear. While those with a keen eye might notice the multitude of scars that mar the pale white skin there is nothing at all reserved about this party dress with paw print lace.
Breaking away from her guards once she's entered, Belladonna's steps slow only briefly before she circles around towards the table, offering a curtsey down towards the end where Talen and Eleyna are moving before she makes her way to find a seat, settling in. It is not long at all before Aida is right behind her, offering over a tumbler of something already sipped at. The Pravus Duchess begins drinking promptly. She is at least smiling reasonably pleasantly.
Luis, dressed in black and crimson silks and leathers that hug his form to question the usefulness of such armors though leading to possibly being a fashion statement, enters the room as his deep brown curls flounce upon his head with each step. He is not alone, having been blessed with the presence of not one, but two women, Lucita to his right and Juliana to his left, dressed as they are in such ways to perhaps encourage envy, however the Lord Luis seems rather pleased to be in such a position, an arm afforded to each of them while he continues the conversation that had been going on their walk to the dining hall, "And then I remember I took a wrong turn trying to get here one day, and ended up in the servants quarters. I had mistaken them for the Princess' so lush and well appointed. To think that our Marquessa does not have..." he pauses as he realizes they've finally entered the dining room, "Ah, here we are... and only after the fourth wrong turn. I'm getting better."
"Better you came and not Victus. Besides, it's been too long." Alarissa states to Marian as Thrax Princess Consort makes her way in with the Redrain Princess. All heavily beaded lace that lacks a back and shows off all that pale and flawless skin. Though she murmurs something to Marian with a frown, but party face is back on and she's smiling at the words that fall off Talens lips.
Dafne arrives just a little fashionably late, clad in shadowy black velvet, which possibly what she thinks is party dress. She is not alone--ducal title tends to come with an entourage--but she is, technically, unescorted. The little duchess dips a curtsy toward Eleyna, of the precise depth required of a duchess to her liege, and then slips toward a seat.
6 Malvici Guards, Adjutant General Vincenzo di Malvici arrive, following Calypso.
Lucita curtsies gracefully when close enough to others for that to be an expected gesture of respect. A beguiling smile is given and she lets her gaze slip around the room noting the decor and those who have gathered. She reaches out to tap Luis on the arm in a mock-admonishing gesture saying only "...rascal." Before she lets Luis lead them toward a seat.
As Eleyna's eyes sweep over those gathering, she offers the expected nods and smiles, yet a few within the crowd merit additional reactions. As Cicero's current state is taken in, the Velenosa's lips thin in an expression that can only be described as worry. Almost as if making a mental note to ask after him later, Eleyna moves on. Belladonna's presence earns a flash of surprise in those pale blue eyes followed by a smile as she says with a bow of her head, "Duchess. Thank you for coming." Talen hands her into a chair, into which she sinks gratefully. As she spots Marian and Alarissa, her lips curve into a smile of delight. "Well, well, well. Look at just the two of you. Come to be scandalized properly, have you?"
Isabetta sighs and goes to give Eleyna a curtsy and gives Talen the traditional and always entirely appropriate deeply disproving look, which is great for the Lyceum and thus also the world. Then she decides to sink deeper into the crowd to perhaps lose herself among st them looking deeply uncomfortable by the stuffy dress many people have on.
*just look at the two of you
Already seated near the head of the table, Isolde seems caught in a day dream. Dark eyes stare past a half-filled wine glass, glazed over and in another world. The first few guests arrive without catching her notice--the princess' gaze never moving--then something seems to knock her out of it. Straightening up, she coughs and rises as Eleyna and Talen sit down. A curtsy is given to both of them and a sheepish but warm smile to everyone present. "I didn't notice you come in."
Gino, a surly sailor, 1 Velenosa House Guards arrive, following Antonio.
Griza, 1 Velenosa House Guards arrive, following Serafine.
Juliana is lavendar silk, her shoulders bare and her dark curls pulled to one side, squeezes Luis's arm as she chuckles. "That okay, if you look closely at the floor boards in Pravus there are tick marks to get from our wing to the gardens. Otherwise I would wander forever." her blue gaze sliding around the room with a slight arch to her brow as they are shown to their seats.
Calypso steps in to the Dining Hall with her usual calm and steeled demeanor. She greets the hosts first. "Archduchess, Archduke-Consort. I'm glad we were able to find some time to come together socially for a while." She moves to take a seat at the table nodding to Belladonna next. "Duchess." She says cordially. A slight smirk curls her lips as Talen's words draw her attention to Alarissa and Marian. "We're being infiltrated."
"This is an informal event," Talen calls, as he seats himself alongside his wife, after seating her. "So long as you're respectful to a degree, enjoy yourselves and speak, don't hesitate you're going to say something wrong. If you do, we won't execute you-- I'll just punch you in the face and it'll be solved."
Talen adds, for Cambria's benefit, "Or, say, duel your Sword if it's about my wife."
"If you look close, you'll see that I have." Alarissa calls out to Eleyna. "I missed the last, and I promised you that I would attend the first darlin." Alarissa beams serenly. "And I dragged Princess Marian with me. I thought she might be more fun than Victus this time around. Less seak of ramming." Alarissa moves gracefully to her seat, releasing her arm from Marians. "Princess Denica raved about the last one." She catches Calypso's comment and grins conspiratorily. "Redrain and Thrax. We've come for your women, and your men. For we've family to wed off." There's a wink.
"We color code the candlesticks as well," Belladonna turns towards Juliana, Luis, and Lucita lifting her glass in their direction before she looks to Eleyna again. "I am glad that I was able to make it," she says. "Thank you for hosting." Talen's words draw out a chuckle, and Calypso's greeting has her offering a nod that way. "Duchess General," she answers.
Grumbling under her breath, looking a little frazzled, is Serafine. She comes in and stands just behind Leta at the entrance, reaching out to squeeze the blonde woman's hip from behind after a murmured word. She peeks around Leta at the dining room, a look of ... something ... on her face.
Quenia is a bit late, but she manages to make it to the Lycene dinner. She smiles warmly at everyone, even folk she doesn't know personally, and looks around to see where she might take a seat.
Marian gives Eleyna a wicked smile as she approaches her, "Well...normally I would have just worn my armor but this one..." She motions to Alarissa, her partner in fashion, "Convinced me to put on a dress and leave the swords at home." She gives a wink to Talen, "Was that a mistake? Should I have strapped a dagger to my thigh? Or worn my back sheath with my sword?" She gives a wink to Calypso when she mentions that they're being infiltrated. Then Alarissa's words has her peeling in laughter, "What no men Alarissa?" Then gives her a naughty grin, "Well yes, I suppose if we did come for the men there would be complications."
Cambria looks away from Theron, with whom she had been speaking quietly to, and addresses Talen, "Most kind of you, Archduke. As you can plainly see," she lifts a hand to frame her face as she smiles prettily. "I am much too delicate and beautiful to be punched. Let alone part with mine own head." She then flutters her lashes before her expression resolves into one more akin to the ever beloved 'resting bitch face.'
Luis nods his head to Lucita, "Guilty," he admits but then chuckles at Juliana's comments, "Oh, were that we under such duress as to worry about how to get around our own little Domus, Thankfully, it's mostly a circle so that as long as you keep walking, you'll eventually find what you're looking for," he admits with a soft laugh, before being noted by the Duchess and he bows his head, "Ah, thank you Duchess Beladonna, that too seems like an elegant maneuver." Luis pauses in the walk to look around and see if he can find a place at a table for them, "Ah, shall we sit, od di we wish to wander around and make greetings," he asks of his escorts, while listening to Talen give the formal informal speech. He grins as he catches Quenia in the corner of his eye, "Ah, Marquessa, how are you this evening? Did you spend time admiring the various chambers along the way? Or did you get lost as we did?"
Calypso chuckles at Marian's words. "Its a nice dress too. I was not nearly as considerate and decided to stick with armor, all things given." She settles in to her seat and grabs a glass of wine, which is probably mostly not poison. "I did gussy up and dabbed on a big of perfume though." She spots Cambria and Hadian next. "Marquessa. Brother." She raises her glass in their direction. "It is good to see you both."
"I will take the punch, in which case," Theron reassures the Archduke Consort, flashing him a bright, but brief smile. Marian's, and Alarissa's entrance have the Mazetti look to them. Bowing his head in greeting towards both, his focus is on the more familiar Redrain princess for a moment.
Cicero leans back in his hair and is half way through a sigh of relief before he spots Calypso coming in and he frowns before waving away a servant offering him wine.
Leta glances for a moment towards all the various curtsying and welcomes going on, just in time to miss Serafine's entrance. Finally feeling her, the rather flamboyantly dressed knight turns her head towards the far more modestly clad princess and blinks for a moment at Serafine, a few shallow lines etched on her brow as she murmurs something back.
Cambria inclines her head to Calypso when the Malvici greets both herself and Hadrian. "Duchess Calypso," she replies politely. "You are looking well."
Quenia quirks a brow in Luis's direction. "A kind servant showed me the way," she tells her cousin, and starts to walk in his direction.
Calypso spots Cicero's frown and gives him a little shrug in return as she tilts back her glass of wine.
Having finally been made aware that people have arrived and the dinner has started, Isolde reaches for her wine and goes to mingle. "Minimal punching please." She remarks to Talen, shifting to try and poke his armored side--if Talen doesn't move away. "I have enough letters on my desk to deal with, without complaints of my brother knocking people out." There is a teasing note to her voice. And then she's off, striding over to Calypso with an apologetic smile. "I'm so sorry I haven't been able to get back to you sooner on the matter of a shrine bench. Archlector Vayne has been too busy of late to discuss the matter with me."
A wry smile on his face, Antonio slips into the dinning room, trying his best to be unobtrusive. Odd, considering he usually doesnt mind making a bold entrance.
Hadrian settles into a seat at the side of Mazetti's Marquessa and once there he seems to pick up where he had left off with a quiet chuckle, "So then they wake up, discover they're now married, and apparently in order to get around some oath or another they'd been married by a shaman. The shaman apparently gifted them a pair of engraved ceremonial mugs to commemorate the event". A goblet is commandeered and then filled by the ever-present Master Luigi. He allows himself a brief sip, nods appreciatively, and then turns his attention back to the table as all begins to unfold. Though Calypso's greeting earns a glance, followed by a polite nod and greeting, "Calypso. Duchess."
Eleyna nods to a waiting steward and a stream of impeccably dressed servants emerge from a pair of doorways, carrying silver trays of the dinner's first course; a simple appetizer of salmon on baguette, seasoned with salt, pepper, and lemon juice to bring out the flavors of the fish without overpowering it with a lot of spice or sauce. They move as if serving were a dance and place a plate before each guest before gracefully retreating to leave the guests to eat. The Archduchess's eyes sweep over Alarissa's dress. Her eyebrows raise and she grins at Calypso, "On the contrary, Duchess General. I think we might be corrupting them. You both look so gorgeous that you now have standing invitations. You might not want it after you've actually been at one of these things, but it stands nonetheless."
Serafine tilts her head at Leta's murmur and shifts to lean against the taller, handsome, well-dressed woman.
Lucita inclines her head in a nod to Belladonna, a charming smile acknowledging her gesture. She has to check out the garments once attention was drawn to them. Calypso , Cambrian and her family and the others she knows are all given a smile and eye-contact in a silent greeting to them amid so many. As Quenia draws closer she lowers her voice to speak to her discretely a moment.
Belladonna has joined the Main Dining Table.
'We tried to steal one of their men Marian. It didn't go so well. Turns out, they didn't really want to go. So now, we steal thier princesses." A safe nod from Alarissa, she catches Theron bow and she dips her head in return to that Mazetti. But they take thier seat because food is coming. That sweep of brow from Eleyna has Alarissa raising her own brow, a faint tilt of her head but then back to the table at large.
"Uh," Talen replies promptly to Marian, "you're not allowed to ask me about your dress. If I comment on it, I will be poisoned. It's the way of a pregnant woman, as you well know. Plus," he adds, "I think Westerners always wear Lycene clothing far too conservatively for it to even be... well, Lycene." A pair of finger and thumb snaps at Cambria and Theron, as a pair, before he says to the latter: "I might take you up on that, depending on how drunk, high or annoyed I get, Sword of Ostria." Isolde's entrance gets a glance, then he growls idly, in mild complaint-- like a brother would a sister denying him some fun.
Meanwhile, Talen throws the scrollcase he was carrying onto the table in front of him, then reaches for a large goblet of wine. "Keep going, keep going, keep go-- okay, fine. Stop. Ta."
Eyeing Marian's dress, Serafine replies to Talen, "It's cold. Even some of us prefer wool knickers beneath the silk and lace. Snug wool knickers, mind."
"You know, I hear the Redrain just keep their wool on them, rather than shave it off. No need to borrow it from the sheep, then," Talen says. "Barbarians."
Talen raises his glass in salute to-- someone.
Serafine crosses her arms and glares at Talen. "Are you saying you make my sister shave her 'wool', even in this weather? And they're the barbarians?"
Calypso nods to Isolde. "Marquessa Vanora already gave me permission. I've not had them finished yet. But I have been spending a great deal of time in His shrine recently. You'll have to come test the next benches with me as soon as they are installed." Calypso says with a slight grin towards the Princess. "Congratulations on your engagement, by the way. Damn what the masses say, controversial wedding or not I think you made an excellent choice." Her gaze turns to Eleyna next. "Oh good. Corruption. You are a terrible influence in the very best way." Spotting Lucita she nods. "Soon to be Baroness. I am very excited for your wedding as well. I hear the Tower Gardens are being spruced up for the occasion."
Leta responds to Serafine with a subtle shrug and a slight smile, then gestures towards the tables with one hand as she speaks back to the princess in hushed whispers. And then she facepalms. Maybe it was something someone said.
Serafine gestures wildly. "It's cold and she's pregnant! Let her keep her wool!"
Belladonna is playing observer now, sipping from her glass and watching the others. Aida assists with getting her food situated, and then the little Duchess eats, though she's paying more attention to her drink. When she spotss Antonio she focuses a touch from her more general looks, lifting her glass in his direction if she can catch his attention and then gesturing to a nearby chair. No, there's no lifting her voice to try and call out.
Marian gives a smile to Theron, recognizing the Mazetti lord from the training center. She does make a point of giving polite nods to everyone at the dinner, even ones whom she doesn't know. pose does find herself chuckle at a murmured exchange that she has with Eleyna and nods with a twinkle in her eye, "I shall have to take you up on that." She holds up a hand to Talen when he claims he can't comment or get in trouble, "Oh no worries here. I shall take that as your compliment." She turns to Serafine and admits, "I find with all the time that I'm spending in the North, the colder temperatures of Arx have less of an effect. However, heat...now heat is no fun for me these days." She looks at Talen with a grin, "And there's nothing wrong with a little wool between the sheets...especially if the bleeting lulls you to sleep."
Alarissa checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 5 higher.
Quenia stops close to Lucita when it seems her cousin wishes to speak to her. She listens intently, smiles, then reaches out to squeeze her arm gently before speaking quietly to her.
"Oh? Vanora is always on top of things." Isolde says with a fond shake of her head. "And thank you, Duchess." A hint of a pink flush accompanies the princess' smile--almost as if she's genuinely touched and excited. How odd. "I hope to see you there for the occasion! I'm a bit worried that Alistair will outsh--"She cuts off, laughing at Serafine's comment. "Yes, do let her keep her wool."
Hadrian lifts a hand in order to wiggle his fingers in greeting to both Lucita and Quenia, perhaps a touch belatedly. Afterward his attention drifts around to regard Theron, then Talen, and then back to Theron as Hadrian remarks, "I knew you two would get along famously. One likes to punch people, the other likes to be punched. Match made in Elysia".
Juliana sends a smile towards Belladonna and a small dip of her head before arching a brow at Luis. "It seems I can get lost in my own room. Or at least that is what Bas tells me." grins, before slowly glancing around at those gathered. A nod to Alarissa when her eyes land on the Princess. "I am quite happy finding a seat but whatever you two wish is fine."
Cambria, meanwhile, just looks a bit disgusted about something.
Eleyna just eyes Talen, one her brows ticking up ever so slightly. This is a familiar expression to anyone who has ever spent more than twenty minutes of Eleyna and her Archduke-Consort. With the sigh that's been heard from every put upon wife in history, she reaches for her glass and scowls as she realizes it's water and not wine. "You know, in some part of the Lyceum, they not only keep wool, but they dye it as well. Just ask Blacktongue sometime." She pops a piece of salmon into her mouth and chews thoughtfully.
"Lady Juliana!" Alarissa smiles at the sight of the Pravus noblewoman, an inclination of her head to the woman. "We meet again, though a different party. How are you?" She calls over but not so loud to disrupt others, even as Marian's making ocmments about sheep in bed. Brows go up." Really Marian. Fergus isn't enough for you?" Alarissa's taking up her wine, though she looks at it very carefully, then to Talen before she's taking the tiniest sip.
Serafine winks at Isolde and moves to take a seat at the table, finally. "Sorry I'm late, sister," she says to Eleyna. "Severed heads to deliver. And honey is expensive to move this time of year."
Talen turns his head for a long, considering look to Eleyna as he arches his brows to let her speak. Then, after a moment, he glances back: "I do not make any such decisions, thank you. Do you think I would dare tell the Black Widow what to do? I'm a monster but I'm not going to fuck with that sort of shit." The starter course is already half eaten, yet it's consumed to the bare plate, now. "It is a real shame House Mazetti has not invited their lieges to dinner in recent days," Talen laments, "I've probably got the last shipment of Dust through before the smugglers stop for the Big Boats and Big Squids season." Oh, rue. "You'll just have to suffer," he announces, openly, to Hadrian, Cambria, Theron and co.
Luis gestures around with his nose as both arms are taken and he greets Quenia with a nod of his head when she comes close. "Right, well wine will be good, though someone's going to have to give me an arm, or hold it for me, and perhaps this isn't the place for such things, then again," he pauses, hearing comments of proper Lycene ways and the like and he chuckles, "perhaps it is." So the man headguestures to a servant to have them come by so that he can see them appointed with wine, holding the glass, but not having enough arm reach to actually get the glass to his mouth. He sighs and then looks around, "You know, I do not believe that I've actually been formally introduced to many of the people here..." he shares with Juliana and Lucita, oh and Quenia too.
Calypso grins at Isolde. "I wouldn't miss it for anything." When she spots Serafine, the Duchess General raises her glass towards the prodigal princess. "I've certainly missed our time in the training center. Will we see you out at sea?" She asks, and then glances to Leta with a nod. "Both of you."
1 Saik Guard, Gunther, a Rottweiler arrive, following Estaban.
"I have a vigorous appetite," Marian tells her friend, as she can't resist adding another little quip, "For dinner of course." She takes a sip of her wine and looks to Eleyna with a bit of sympathy as she watches the Archduchess take water instead of wine. At the mention of someone not knowing many, she kicks off her introduction, "Oh and I'm Princess Marian Redrain, the military liason to the Ministry of Defense."
Theron is amused by Talen's statement about taking him up on his offer, belatedly , grinning at the man. "Feel free to. Just do not touch the hair and try not to aim at the mouth. Broken teeth are never a good thing." He inclines his head to the Velenosan, though he chuckles at Hadrian's remark. "Nothing wrong with a little violent industriousness, my Lord. It keeps things interesting, after all."
Quenia smiles warmly once more in Hadrian's direction, and nods to acknowledge his greeting. That smile falters a bit, however, when Serafine mentions severed heads, and in so mentioning such a topic, she gets a rather curious look from Quenia's way. Luis quickly grabs her attention. "I know only handful of people," she admits to him. And, as such, she still seems to be considering where, exactly, she should be sitting.
"What a shame, indeed," Cambria muses in a melancholy voice, looking a bit put out. "One can only hope we remain after the season. I should hate to invite my lieges to dinner, only to die. It would be most inopportune." She gives a haughty sniff. "Not to mention rude."
Lucita's color rises slightly as Calypso speaks and she nods. "Baron Estaban is planning something special if the weather cooperates." She is in a group with Quenia, Luis and Juliana. Her gaze flits here and there as bits of conversation catch her attention, new greetings acknowledged with smiles and nods.
Belladonna does eventually turn her attention back to those that are actually sitting, attentive to the conversation and keeping that bit of a smile. Juliana's nod is returned.
Hadrian's brow shifts with Talen's comment and Hadrian's smile becomes wide and cheeky, "We've invited our liege a number of times. Unfortunately Duchess Calista and Duke Inigo are very busy people". Hadrian shifts slightly in his seat in order to face the Archduke a little more fully. He glances briefly to Cambria, then away just as quickly before his fingers snap and he gestures with a faint wave of his hand toward Eleyna and Talen both, "In lieu of their presence, perhaps you two would grace us with yours over dinner sometime? You really need to see the goblet."
"Your Highness, I am well thank you. I have something for you, that I did not get to give you at your party. When we have time of course." Letting go of Luis's arm so the poor man can take a drink from his own glass, she leans on to whisper something to him then glances around at his comment. "I haven't either but do you know Princess Alarissa? I can introduce you to her if you wish."
Leta accompanies Serafine to her seat, getting the chair for the princess before stepping over to the side. She hesitates for a moment, composing herself, and bows yet again, inexpertly, towards the head of the table, Elyena and Talen. Then she takes a seat, somewhat stiffly, and gives the plates a silverware an uneasy look. Leaning over, she whispers something to Serafine, then turns her attention in Calypso's direction. "I don't rightly know yet, m'Lady General."
Dafne raises a hand (and a spider-embroidered handkerchief) in Quenia's direction. The little duchess accepts a glass of red wine and tilts her head to one side as she listens to the conversation.
"Of course Blacktongue would know. Perhaps he dyes his facial hair to match?" Isolde says with a chuckle, winking at Eleyna. Calypso gets a bright smile and raise of her wine glass in a sort of toast. "I'll see you there. Can't let the "Big Squid" get you before then." With that said, the princess slides back into her seat not far from Talen and Eleyna. "Duchess Calista has headed back to Tor to have her baby, I believe?" She offers to Hadrian with a polite smile.
Antonio takes a quick glance around the room before deciding on a seat of his own- one will note that he's chosen to sit himself some distance from the Setacro contingent, his expression growing somewhat netural.
"That's your problem, not mine, Sword of Ostria. Nobody ever-- oh wait, yes, I remember now. I did once say 'not the face' to a certain individual. I think Kima of Saik, during an early duel. Did you know she has an impeccable ability to throw sand in your eyes while also making it appear like she didn't mean to?" Then, completely side struck by Hadrian, he suddenly smiles. A dark, twisted look at the corner of his mouth but it's certainly a Talen Smile (TM). "We'd love to," he says, with three words that speak three long paragraphs of 'you bastard, Hadrian. You smooth asshole.'
Serafine looks to Calypso and raises her glass to her. "I go where my Archduchess tells me to, if it is at sea, it is at sea. And... Dame Broadbent has many responsibilities. I've only been back in the city a few weeks; I haven't caught up to orders, and as I understand it, there are several fronts to consider."
Estaban slips into the dinning hall with his guard and dog at his side, he turns to speak with h is guard and has him leave with the large Rotti, turning his eyes scan the room it looks like he may have just gotten off patrol as he is in his Iron Guard black and red leathers. He spots both Calypso and Lucita nodding to them both moving to take a seat.
"I think you only say these things to test me, Serafine," Eleyna murmurs, though with a careful smile as she shakes her head at her sister. "Go sit down," she says as she playfully waves her in the direction of a cold. "You're missing the first course." To Isolde, as she catches just the end of her comment about Blacktongue, leans in to murmur to her cousin, "Haven't you ever wondered how he gets the dye on there? And why it changes so much? You should ask sometime. I promise you won't be disappointed." As Hadrian waves in her direction, the Archduchess just smirks, almost gleeful as Talen is outplayed in verbal sparring. Like she enjoys it. "Goblet? What goblet?"
Calypso nods to Leta and Serafine then. "Numbers will mean the difference in this fight. I hope all intend to heed the Archduchess' call to help the Compact." She nods over to Belladonna. "Duchess Belladonna will be outlining the needs and current thoughts on strategy in her meeting tomorrow though. I highly recommend you attend if you can spare the time." As she spots Estaban's arrival though she raises her glass towards him. "Welcome Baron Estaban." Back towards Isolde she nods. "She is yes. I'm sure she will be back around when she is recovered." Towards Cambria and Hadrian she inclines her head. "I heard of the preparations you've been making in your March. I hope that we can keep the fleet intercepted and away from your lands, but it was a brilliant move none the less."
Her name has been mentioned and as she finishes a mouthful of her wine, Alarissa's looking in that direction.
Cambria heaves a huge sigh when Eleyna asks about the goblet, and pointedly refuses to look at Hadrian. She mutters something low, however, and it might just be, 'his one true love.'
Someone wearing stygian black rose mirrormask steps into the dining room with a click of heels and a dramatic rush of dark silk, but all things considered her entrance could be more dramatic (if she had guards accompanying her, or servants, or anyone for that matter). She doesn't walk very far into the room, but lingers at the outskirts, leans up against one of those fancy walls, links her hands behind her back.
"Redrain will most likely be sending our fleet down to assist with efforts," Marian offers as she takes another sip of her wine, "In the midst of finalizing my recommendations for Fergus and Darren." She gives Eleyna a deep smile and assures her, "But of course, I wouldn't do such things with at least dropping by." She gives a smile to Calypso and Alarissa as well.
The guards announce the presence of the Inquisition, though Alistair is a bit of a familiar face. And he comes without his normal retinue of unpleasant looking Confessors. Of course the truth of their absence is likely more then most would tolerate at a friendly dinner. The High Inquisitor gives a stiff bow, stiffer then normal. Perhaps he is wearing a fresh uniform, a bit to starched. "Archduchess." he remarks to the head of the table and the others present before he steps behind his wife to be and places a hand upon Isolde shoulder, "I apologize for being late."
Isabetta being rather removed from the conversation, mostly just muses over the food. She muses aloud, though whose paying attention really. Just asking innocently questions like, "I wonder how well this food flies." While inspecting some of it with far more thought than frankly necessarily for a piece of fish.
Belladonna lifts her glass in greeting when she's mentioned, offering a smile down the table.
Quenia catches Dafne's wave, and seems to look relieved. "I think I shall go sit by Duchess Dafne," she tells Lucita and Luis. Or, if not by, at least within speaking range of the Duchess. Quenia makes her way over in that direction now. "Duchess," she greets Dafne as she finally slips into a seat.
Hadrian's attention shifts around the table for a moment, at least until his focus lands on Isolde. He fires a bright smile in her direction, though it's quickly obfuscated by his wine glass. When the glass lowers again he offers a greeting to the Velenosa princess, "Princess Isolde, Your Highness. I hope that you're being marvelous as always?" Though Talen's comments about Kima of Saik draws Hadrian's attention abruptly. He considers the Archduke for a moment, though a smile slowly comes to life once again as he nods along with the words spoken of the late Sword of Southport. Then Talen makes his acceptance of the offer, but Hadrian's smile still refuses to diminish as he offers a soft bow of his head in answer. Then the goblet is brought up. Hadrian's brilliant green eyes snap around to Eleyna and a quiet chuckle spills from his lips, "A birthday gift. I slept with it at my side for some time...", he holds his hand up to his side, nearly to his chest, "...giant goblet. It takes up a least a third of my desk. It's basically one of the best intentionally ridiculous birthday gifts ever". Hadrian's attention slides around to Calypso, whom earns a nod and a response, "It was. Lady Dianna is exceptional". Then onward his attention returns to the other conversations, particularly about the best goblet.
The guards near the door move toward the woman in the mask, seeming wary. One leans in to ask in a cool, but pleasant voice, "The Archduchess asks that all masks are removed in the Estate without expression permission from Her Grace."
Luis chuckles softly at the comments, but then nods to Juliana, "I would love to be introduced to the princess," he offers to her, looking to Alarissa and giving the woman a smile and polite bow, his head lifting, "Highness," he notes with a small tilt of his lips, though he is not being rude, merely noting the presence of one dressed with a mask and his eyes are taken to the entrance, "Ah, I had not realized we were supposed to come masked... should I be concerned?" he asks.
"Sand in the eyes? That is rather creative, indeed. I've gotten punched right in the face during a spar and that pretty much settled the fight. I'll say, I didn't see it coming, and it was a pretty good idea." Theron rubs his left cheek with a closed fist, though, even as he reaches for some food, while speaking to Talen. "But you make a fair point -- I suppose it's up to me to decide where the punch ends up. Lower my guard, get a tooth cracked instead of a rib. Not sure it's much better, either way, but, you know. One will probably heal. The other mars your smile forever." He nods once at Calypso's words, even if they weren't directed to him.
Serafine points a finger at Luis, the Knight taking advantage of the non-formal affair of dinner on the Estate. "That's the thing, unless asked, there are no masks allowed on the Estate. At least, worn ones."
Someone wearing stygian black rose mirrormask whispers an answer to the Guard, and though it is polite, and graciously given, she doesn't remove her mask just yet.
Sipping her glass of wine, Isolde tries not to laugh at Eleyna's comment. Instead she smiles wryly and shakes her head. "I think I'll let Blacktongue keep that secret. It adds to his mystery." Something catches Isolde's attention then--and it's surprisingly not Alistair. Her fiance gets a warm but distracted smile and then the woman rises. "You're fashionably late." She murmurs, leaning upwards to kiss his cheek. "Sit. I'll be just a moment." With a sly smirk, she gestures at the chair she once sat in and starts to move towards the masked woman.
"I know how he gets his dye on there and I don't think you want to know," Talen promises to Isolde and Eleyna both, of his uncle, while he leans back. Eyes glance briefly to Alarissa, as he hears the name, though is thoroughly interested in the topic without interrupting. I mean, that goblet interrupts enough. As for the topic of fighting, he watches Theron a while, before he smiles faintly. "The wounds keep coming, worse and worse, as a Sword. Look forward to all that comes," he utters, a tone unconflicted yet serious. "Or don't, yet steel yourself against them."
Calypso catches Theron's gaze when his nod passes her way. "You are unfamiliar to me. I'm afraid I didn't catch your name." She says curiously. Though as Alistair passes by, she nods respectful to him. The somber nature of the Inquisiton pulls her respect even in such a social setting. She catches the sight of the masked figure walking by as well, and after it, another respectful not for the mirrormask.
Leta nods to Calypso after a brief look towards Serafine, "One more's blade hardly going to turn any tides, but I'll go where - wherever I'm told to." She smiles easily, shrugs, then looks to the food and concentrates. It takes her a few moments to pick up a knife, glancing both ways down the table to follow the lead of others in how to approach dinner.
Estaban nods his head to Calypso, "Dutchess General." he smiles to her then looks to Lucita and moves to find a seat near her to sit down, he smiles and looks over to Hadrian nodding his head in his direction as well.
Alistair returns the kiss to his fiance, mumbling something about his fundamental opposition to the concept of Fashion. He is going to fit in so well here. He takes a slow seat, wincing as he settles into his chair. He glances over his shoulder as Isolde departs the dinner table to approach the masked woman, who has been asked to remove her mask. The High Inquisitor peers at the two for a moment.
With Serafina's pointing, Luis arches a brow, but then looks back to the masked person, his hand casually moving to set the glass down upon a nearby table as he turns, carefully placing himself between Lucita and the masked person. His hand rests upon the hilt of one of his swords, and he seems to be all sorts of wary in the moment. As none of the other guests seem all that concerned, especially those in charge of hosting the event, Luis looks around for some sort of indication that this is supposed to be normal.
"So, basically, the sort of goblet one uses when they really just want to drink the whole bottle of wine without the servants gossiping?" Eleyna says with a smile. The guard nods to the masked woman and discreetly moves to stand behind the Archduchess' chair to murmurs something under his breath to her. Her pale blue eyes drift in that direction and she grins as she gives the woman a nod. Distracted for the moment, Eleyna looses the thread of the conversation. Servants return to the room to remove one set of plates and replace them with another. It's a light salad of greens and some kind of tentacles, likely squid or octopus, braised in a spicy Lycene sauce. Because of course they would be eating squid at a time like this.
"Marquessa," Dafne greets Quenia, with a dip of her head and a lift of the glass. "We of the Lyceum are a little overwhelming en masse, are we not?" Her voice is wry, but her gaze lifts to watch the drama with the masked woman.
Juliana glances to the masked guest, head tipping then glancing towards Eleyna and Talen to gauge they reactions. "I wouldn't yet be worried, no." said softly then turns toward Alarissa again offering a smile. "Your Highness Alarissa Thrax, may I introduce Lord Luis Igniseri and his sister the Lady Lucita." pausing as Luis tenses, her hand settling against his upper arm but otherwise watching.
"Lord Theron Mazetti, Sword of Ostria; a pleasure, Duchess General," Theron angles his head respectfully to Calypso, with a smile to accompany it. "I do not think we have met each other before, no." He reaches for a goblet, then, raising it to the Malvici. "I am glad we've rectified it."
Lucita:looks up and smiles as Estaban approaches. When she notes the woman in the mask, it not being removed yet. Perhaps overly cautious in such a well guarded environment but done almost without thinking about it, she keeps the woman in her peripheral vision and nods to Luis and Estaban, so nicely protective of her. The introduction Juliana gives is given a nod though she says courteously to Alarissa. "It is good to see you again."
Talne's eyes find Eleyna's, then the masked guest, before he returns them to the guests. Pointedly, he pushes a scroll case forward to the center of the table. "I have a gift for our guests, your grace," he announces for his liege, but for the attention of the table. "One that might remain a gift and secret for the Arvani peoples, for a time. Assuming none have their hands on it already. A gesture of good faith." He waits, of course, for his wife to acknowledge it.
As Isolde walks over to the figure, it's almost as if her eyes are looking at something not quite there. They track a motion--then stop and return to studying the masked woman. The whole time, an amused smile tugs at the corner of her lips. Quietly, she whispers something to the woman. A chuckle might be heard. There is a brief glance back towards Alistair and her adopted sibling--but then she's back to whispering.
"Or two bottles, possibly three, and the goal to kill the one you're serving the goblet to," Hadrian answers Eleyna's inquiry with a soft, amused smile. Estaban though earns Hadrian's attention and for a moment the Mazetti Marquis' lips purse in silent consideration. He nods once in return before his smile returns, "Baron Estaban, good to see you again. How is Lord Vomas?"
Luis watches the comings and goings of the guards and the conversations and changes that happen, and then his lips turn into a smile as he notes the change in food at one setting. His hand relaxes and he moves to nods to Juliana and Alarissa, "A pleasure, sorry I just realized who our guest was, thank you for that, I did not mean to be rude." He gives a slight nod to Lucita and he lets out a breath he had been holding. "Right, well, we should probably find a place to sit then, no?" he offers, but seems distracted a moment longer as he leans in to murmur something quietly to Juliana.
"Princess Consort Alarissa Thrax." Alarissa offers up to Luis, though like others, her attention diverts to the masked individual but not for long as the barely touched salmon departs and is replaced with that salad. To which she takes a few bites of while nursing that glass of wine and whisper to Marian
"As am I, Lord Theron. A pleasure to meet you. Should you ever need it, consider the Southport Training Center open to you. I'm sure members of my family and fealty would be glad to run through a few practice spars and drills with you." Calypso says towards Theron.
Alistair's attention is pulled away from the masked guest to the sudden change of food. He blinks at the swarm of tentacles that are sauced with a southern glaze. He stares at it before shaking his head, glancing around and straightening his back a little bit as he looks about to the higher company. He is painfully out of place but he makes due. He reaches out to claim one of the utensils, pausing as if remember some etiquette lesson and shifts to grab the proper fork. Does the Lyceum have special squid forks? Maybe.
Marian makes a motion of her hand and assures Luis, "Oh you're fine. You were not rude at all." She is curious of the guest who's masked but since it is not her ward, she lets the guards deal with it. She pauses as Alarissa gives her a few words, draws back for a moment and then laughs, nodding as if she told her something very funny.
They're little cobalt tridents, this season.
You never know when that calamari is going to try and kill you.
Serafine looks down at her clothing after a nudge from the blonde woman at her side, looking up at Leta in confusion. "What's wrong with what I dressed in?" she says, not discrete at all.
Someone wearing stygian black rose mirrormask answers Isolde's murmur with a low murmur of her own, and though it is impossible to see any sort of smile behind her mask, there is the suggestion of familiary in her body language, in the gentle turn of her shoulders, the tilt of her head to better hear Isolde's whisper, and better answer in kind.
"Of course, Princess Consort." Juliana smiles to Alarissa, then a nods to Luis as tension eases and she offers him a smile. A last glance towards the masked guest and a moment to tip her head to his whisper before nodding softly. "Yes lets find a seat shall we?"
"I thank your hospitality, and it would be a pleasure to spar your kinsmen and vassals at the training center," Theron sips from his goblet once, settling it down and nodding to Calypso again. "We need all the practice we can get; one must never let their blade become dull, or their arm unpracticed, after all."
As Talen provides the perfect distraction to tug Eleyna's gaze from the masked figure to the party at large, a smooth smile curves her lips as she raises that husky voice to speak, "As you might now, we had this little project earlier this year. You might have heard of the Carlotta, I think?" She pauses briefly before continuing, "We've offered these plans to the Compact and, now that we've found means to protect them, we also offer them to you, our vassals. Look at the plans. Adapt. Innovate. We invite you to make our Carlotta -better-."
Isolde checked composure at difficulty 10, rolling 13 higher.
Estaban moves to take one of Lucitas hand in his own and looks to Hadrian, "Lord Vomas is well he is adjusting to things and I am keeping him on everything he was doing before the change." he nods his head his eyes looking over to the masked figure and tilts his head.
"Open innovation, we call it," Talen lies, having stolen it from some poor unnamed man, before he slides the scroll case across the table toward the Pravus group. "Duchess Belladonna, do us the honours of summarising?" he asks. "If you have a moment. A vassal will do as well," he says.
"Oh now Victus will be distraught that he did not come." Alarissa remarks as Eleyna offers up a new variation of the Carlotta. "Thrax will just have to build one three times bigger than that. And weaponized."
A slender hand moves to cover Isolde's mouth, as the princess muffles what might have otherwise been a laugh. Like that masked figure, her body language is casual and relaxed.
Calypso raises her glass towards Theron at his words. "Well said. The strength and might of humanity and the cold steel we wield is rather meaningless with out the strength, talent and sharpening stones behind it."
Dafne stabs her squid in a fork and glances up, a corner of her mouth lifting in a wry smile. "A wise tactic, your grace. However, as Gemecitta is landlocked, our first innovation will have to be wheels."
When the gift is mentioned and scrolls are put out, Belladonna's attention turns that way. As Eleyna's words about it sink in, her expression is touched first with surprise, and then with a very sharp interest. She sits up some. The scroll case is slid her way and the smile she sends down Talen's way is full of warmth and pleasure, something somewhere between joy and delight. Yes, she most certainly reaches to pick it up.
As Marian speaks to him, Luis adjusts his attention to properly address her, "Ah, and hello as well, a pleasure to meet you as well, though I fear I have not been properly introduced, "I am Lord Luis Igniseri, and well," it's all sorts of awkward as he tries his best to be polite while people whom he does not know address him. He turns to the princess whom he has recently been introduced with and he nods his head, "Princess Consort it is... thank you," and he nods to Juliana, gesturing towards a seat that he'll hold out for her if she wishes to stay near her company.
Gino, a surly sailor, 1 Velenosa House Guards leave, following Antonio.
Alistair has no interest in the scrolls and plans provided. The Inquisition likely stole them long before they ever reached Arx to be handed out at this dinner! Maybe. Or maybe he is just taking his time enjoying this squid. He glances over briefly to Calypso as she speaks of the fighting capability of humanity, his gaze holding on her for a moment before he looks back to his wife to be and her pleasant chat with the masked guest.
Isabetta knots her brows and turns to stare at the person in a stygian black rose mirror mask, practically a glare as she observes her. She's been busying herself with the food this entire time really and not paying attention to the conversation, so if she's not noticed, well it wouldn't be hard to imagine, but all the same she asks, rather abruptly, "Do I know you...?" Her eyes narrowed as if she's trying to place something but can't quite figure out what.
Marian glances at the plans with interest. Of course, knowing nothing about ships, it's just a big boat to the Northlander. She takes a drink and gives a smile to Eleyna, "Yes, I am sure that Alarissa will be much more helpful on that front." She shakes her head, "I should have asked Asger to come, he would have been thrilled but yes, thank you for sharing."
A nod is cast from Hadrian to Estaban following the latter's response, "Very good to hear. You should pay a visit sometime, bring him along. I'd like an opportunity to visit with him again." Then his attention turns to regard Eleyna and Talen as the news is announced. He settles back into his seat in ordr to watch and listen as the scrolls are brought out. Briefly his eyebrows twitch upward with obvious interest, "A most generous gift indeed. Thank you."
Leta shakes her head quickly at Serafine's question, "No - not a thing!" and spears a piece of squid with her fork. She gives it a brief look of doubt, but stuffs it in her mouth, so she doesn't actually have to answer the question. Hopefully, as the conversation in the room turns towards big boats, she won't have to. Her eyes wander from Talen to the plans, then towards the masked figure off to the side, and finally to the critter on her plate once more.
Juliana smiles once to Marian as Luis addresses her, her head dipping a little. "Lady Juliana Pravus." stated in way of introduction before nodding to Luis as he pulls out a seat for her. Sliding in to smooth a hand over the purple silk. "Thank you, my Lord." given with a smile over her shoulder to him before her gaze flicker to the door and those leaving with a bite of her lip.
Someone wearing stygian black rose mirrormask reaches out to tuck a loose strand of hair from Isolde's face, a gesture of habit, of reflex -- fondly offered, but unnecessary, because her hair is too perfectly coiffed to need it. There's another murmur, and then a gentle push back toward the table.
"Aye," Theron is in agreement with Calypso on this, as he nods once, though he notes to Talen. "I am no stranger to the wounds in question, Archduke, though I should say that being prepared will help prevent most of them." He announcement of new technology draws his interest.
"Oh I know very little about ships. I'm forever forgetting everything that I know about ships, so that victus can teach me once again how to do things like tie knots and which sail is which. It's a wonderful tactic when ones husband is moping." Alarissa's looking to Marian's dress, that one bear paw in the lace and reaches just beside her to draw a finger or two across the womans hip and the soft lace there. "Divine."
Whatever it was about the figure in the mirror mask that drew Isabetta's scrutiny, she seems to decide to dismiss the notion with a shake of her head and her attention back toward, well frankly, the food, or the wine, or whatever else is in front of her. Whatever her notion was she seems to have entirely cast it aside to return to her own company.
Belladonna is quick to pull the plans out, though she's careful about it. She only takes a moment before clearing her throat and briefly reviewing the information present (there is some turning this way and that so that everyone looking can see!), and even after she's done there's a bit of looking at it all with continued interest before the scrolls are once more returned to safety.
Marian gives a teasing smile to her friend and leans in to lightly murmur something in Alarissa's ear. She then looks down at the material on her dress, "It is lovely, isn't it." She will set her copy aside for now, to be studied later. She keeps a careful eye to those around her. Luis getting a belated smile at the mention of joining them. She lightly runs her finger down Alarissa's arm, "Shall we?"
Wending his way through the stream of servants, Costas peels off to draw up behind a chair seat at Calypso's right hand. As if summoned by the discussion of the great Lenosian Caravel. Or the offer of free drink; the Malvici clan's kept blade had already purloined a glass of wine and it hung loosely in a hand draped over the seat's back. "I should very much like to see someone rise to the challenge of improving our Carlotta." An insubordinate grin tugged the edges of the man's leathery mug upward as he addressed the comment mostly to Eleyna, leveling a warm gaze upon the Grand Duchess before edging his chair out to have a sit.
Luis has a gander at the plans as Juliana sits down and then he joins her, watching the others as they all seem distracted in their own attractions. He finds his cup of wine and goes back to sipping while finally seeming to get a grasp on the plans, "I'll have to remind Ariella about these later," he tells Juliana, though he settles into his seat. He smiles back at Marian, still not knowing who she is, but seems content to leave it at that.
"Wounds will come no matter what," Talen remarks, "armour or none. Experience or none. Just-- don't let them kill you, Sword," he tells Theron, with a bow of his head. With that said, he leans back, fingers clasped together as people look and read over the designs. "Now, I'm hungry. Eleyna, when are we eating proper food?" he asks, of the main.
Calypso inclines her head to Costas when he takes the seat beside her. "I can not wait to see the wonders we reach with such a ship. And hopefully, the improvements that will follow with so many holding her plans." Calypso agrees as she moves to refill her glass.
Isolde seems to lean into the unnecessary but affectionate gesture from the masked woman. A wry smile rests on her face and a note of wishfulness in her eyes. Another whisper to the woman and then she seems to obey the playful push, making her way back to the table slowly.
Serafine leans in to Leta and gestures to the squid on her plate.
Once the announcement is made, Eleyna settles back with a small, satisfied smile on her lips as she watches those gathered begin to glance over the scrolls, particularly Belladonna. Once Isolde returns to the table, she gives her a long look, brows arched, but says nothing. It's Costas that earns the Archduchess' smile now as she responds, "I've never been afraid of a little competition. Have you?" Perhaps the steward overhears Talen's complaint as the previous course is taken away and the next one brought out. The Lycenes will recognize this dish as a fish stew popular among Lenosian commoners, yet fancied up with better cuts of fish for the noble palate. The dish is remarkably spicy and comes with generous hunks of bread served along side.
Someone wearing stygian black rose mirrormask goes back to leaning against the wall, all kinds of quiet, now that Isolde has returned to the main table.
"Hmm? No, they're joining us." As Luis and Juliana take up adjacent seats. "Lord Igniseri." Alarissa has a slight flush to her normally pale pale skin . "This is the Princess Marian of Redrain. She was my sister in law." Something seems to distract the Thrax Princess, eyes flickering to something in Juliana's hair, iris's tracking movement and that serene smile on her face. She's not even distracted by the new dish. "How lovely." She murmurs.
Cambria gives the revealed plans all due attention and respectful gravitas. Once that is done, she sits back within her chair and frowns deeply. There is a sudden intake of breath, and with a tick of a finger she gestures both Theron and Hadrian to lean in as she launches hastily into a lowly spoken conversation.
"Thank you, and you are right." Theron smiles brightly to Talen. He reaches for a bottle of wine so as to refill his goblet, and then lifts it to the Archduke Consort, in an unspoken toast to the man. Then he'll get to the next course of the food, with no qualms about the way he eats in clear enjoyment of the morsel. He leans slightly to his cousin to listen to her while he reaches for his wine, sipping from it.
"I'd be glad of some real competition." The measure of his grin bloomed at Eleyna's quip, and Costas gestured vaguely after adjusting the heirloom blade that rested against his hip as he got comfortable. "In any arena." His stormblue gaze flicked indolently to the scroll cases that had been bestowed upon the vassals of Velenosa, and then turned aside to his employer with a short, martial nod and a quiet greeting for the Duchess General.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Marian before departing.
Alistair was not done with his squid when a well trained servant sweeps in and scoops it right away. The dour and emotionless man just stares at the table where his squid was, and then it is replaced by a fish stew. Lots of sea food. His eyebrows raise slightly as if to say 'Well thats not to bad' and then his fiance is returning to the table. He grumbles slightly as he pushes up out of his seat, pulling her seat out so she can easily rejoin them. He reaches down to take a glass, taping a knife against it to let it ring out. "I would like to make a toast... to the Archduchess... to thank her for blessing the marriage between myself and Princess Isolde. Your kindness and welcome will not soon be forgotten." The High Inquisitor remarks. Likely ill-timed and a bit to stiff, but then Alistair isn't going to take on those Lyceum traits overnight...
Juliana smiles to Alarissa arching a brow at her distraction before nodding to the other woman. "Princess Marian, pleasure to meet you." then a voice catches her ear and the girl tosses a look over her shoulder searching the room until finding Costas and sending a smile that way.
Returning to the table, Isolde places a kiss to Alistair's other cheek and then steals a seat beside him. "Don't look so dour. At least Talen isn't trying to poison you." She teases, settling into her chair. Eleyna gets a small smile in response to her arched brows. It seems as if she's about to say more but then Alistair stands to toast. The look on her face turns to a mixture of embarrassment and amusement. "I'm sorry." She mouths to Eleyna.
Calypso raises her glass a touch towards Eleyna at Alistair's words. "To generosity, kindness, wise choices and instigating a scandal worth the gossip." She says with a faint smirk before taking a sip of her wine.
"Ah, another Princess, hello your highness, I trust you are enjoying the evening?" he asks of Marian and then offers the most thankful of looks to Alariss for the introduction. "Ah, yes our families they do marry, don't they? Recently I had six of my cousins arrive, all of them having married out, but now returned home, or at least to the city as it were." Luis offers, bowing his head politely before looking to Juliana, "Has anyone asked you about the Pravuswaterbattle lately?" from the way he says the word with such conviction, it's likely the name has stuck.
Estaban nods his head, "I will do so, I am sure he would be more then happy to see you again Marquis Hadrian." he looks to Lucita and leans over speaking with h er softly a smile on his face.
Marian leans over to murmur something to Eleyna and seems satisfied when she listens to the answer of her question. She turns back to her friend, Alarissa, raises her glass and silently toasts both her and Eleyna, "To good friends..." And then takes another sip just before it's time again to toast to the engagement which Marian is more than happy to do, clearly wishing the happy couple much joy in their union. She turns back to Luis with a surprised look, "Six cousins...all married out? Now that is a feat of negotiation."
A nod is offered to Estaban, then Hadrian's attention turns aside to regard Cambria and her gestures. He grimaces in her direction for a moment as she beckons him away from the conversations at the table, but inevitably he leans aside so that he may listen and converse quietly.
Talen rises in amongst the others, glass in hand, to meet Alistair's toast. "To new brothers. Unpoisoned, for now--" and a quick aside, "though to be fair I won't poison you, Alistair, that's for the Velenosa. We're not them, so we'll find other ways to settle disputes." Then, clearing his throat, the dark prince's eyes wander before they return to the attention of the toast.
"Hmn." Costas grunts an amused sound alongside a subtly surprised glance at the tail end of Calypso's benediction, and lifts his own glass to join in the toast. While he silently waits for the full round of noble well-wishes to make its circuit, his gaze catches the lofted smile from Juliana; returning his own rakish grin across the table to the Pravus noblewoman.
Alarissa's attention diverts to Alistair as he stands and gives a toast. Alarissa lifts her glass in salute. "Here here, to a long lasting marriage, with no tea parties!" So light and bubbly spoken. The Thrax princess relaxed seeming and taking another heady sip of her wine, finishing it and looking to have it refilled.
Talen checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 30, rolling 8 higher.
Isabetta after another long look at the masked figure, she discretely slips from her chair to exit the room quietly, her expression thoughtful and a touch pensive the entire way.
Leta looks more at ease with the stew. Stew is stew. But she still makes sure to watch -how- everyone else is eating the stew before she makes any moves on it, very careful. She wouldn't want to get any stew on her fancy silks. As Alistair taps the glass, she looks over to listen. She frowns, clenches her jaw and fixes her eyes on her plate to pokes idly at the stew. It takes her a moment to reach out and lift her own glass to follow everyone else's example at the toast, glancing briefly towards the head of the table.
Luis nods his head at Marian's words and he chuckles, "Oh, were that it, then yes, it would be as you say," he gives a small smile, leaving the rest of that topic alone, and then as the toasts are made he raises his cup in turn, pausing afterwards to listen and watch. His hands rest on the table in front of him, clearly lost in a thought.
Talen doesn't quite smack the soup bowl out from in front of him, but he does smack the table beside it, before he breathes in heavily and then digs in with a spoon. With a vengeance. As if the soup offended him.
"Settle them in ways no one ever expects," Cambria says by way of toast as she lifts her glass. "It will keep the romance going. Push and pull, if you will." Seemingly pleased by her own wit, Cambria lowers her arm and nods once.
Lucita raises her glass to the toast when it is made. She returns Estaban's smile. "Cousin Leena should have been here to see the plans, she is always trying to sketch and draw, design and improve things." She murmurs to Luis. "Princess Marian and our cousins like in the same residence. I had a nice visit with her and Astraea not too long ago."
Ooh, a toast! Serafine lifts her glass.
Belladonna joins in the toast as well before she sets to her own soup, still attentive to the conversations ongoing.
Theron lifts his glass, joining in the toast.
Eleyna lifts her glass to Marian and Alarissa with a small, almost private smile for those two women before she straightens in her seat and raises her glass as well, lifting her voice in response, "I would stand, but as getting out a chair almost requires a small army to lift me, forgive me if I remain seated. Alistair, you are a welcome addition to our family. All I can say is that it's about damned time. I feel like I've been waiting for this -forever-." She bestows a bright grin upon the couple and says more sincerely, "It brings me joy to see her happy, Alistair. You continue doing that and you've won a friend in me for life." She turns her head from side to side to look down the table. "I would like to raise a toast to all of you, the vassals of the Lyceum; both noble and common. We face challenging days ahead that will test our strength and resolve. I have no doubts in the capabilities of my people. The Lyceum will stand strong against whatever foes come to challenge us. All of you make me proud to lead you, proud to serve you."
Alistair nods slightly towards Talen as he joins the toast, he manages a slight and brief amused look at the prospect of being poisoned. Alarissa is given a glance as she mentions tea parties. Is that a reference to the stuffiness of tea parties or to the penchant of the Inquisition to hosting tea parties. Of course little have to fear of tea as long as they are not pledged to any Pirate Kings. The prodigal man looks down to embarassed wife to be and raises an eyebrow. What? Isn't this what you do at these kind of dinners. He takes his seat, "I will leave the toasts to you... so you can apply the proper flare..." he concedes.
Someone wearing stygian black rose mirrormask lifts her glass in toast. It is possible that her entire conversation with Isolde was an unnecessarily long request for wine, because now she has some, a nice dark red in a clear glass.
Calypso raises her glass again at Eleyna's words. "Well said." She says simply this time before taking another drink.
Dafne raises her glass at the Arch-Duchess' words, joining in the oast.
Marian makes a point of tell Estaban after the toast, "Yes, she was wonderful company. Kept my spirits up when I was unwell." She gives a smile in Lucita's direction. She turns to Calypso and agrees with her, "Yes, very well said. With poise and grace."
Frowning, Isolde glances between Talen and the mirrormasked woman. The woman is given the sort of look you'd expect from a disappointed mother--who is also slightly amused. Then she scribbles something down on a napkin, wraps a bread roll in it, and the hands it to a servant. Her own toasting is belated, the princess finally raising a glass towards the tail end.
Estaban raises his glass to the toast smiling and then taking a sip from his glass looking to Marian, "I am glad that she was able to help you Princess Marian." he looks to Lucita giving her a soft smile.
"Estaban!" It as if Alarissa only just noticed the man. "It has been too lon-" Distracted. Alarissa's chasing something with her eyes again, urning a little in her seat to track it, lips forming an o. Stew all bu forgotten even as she's placing a hand on Marian's shoulder and murmuring.
Someone wearing stygian black rose mirrormask is presented with a bread roll, and a napkin. She reads the napkin, answers with a lift of one palm, and then eats the bread roll. Thanks!
As if to annoy some unknown person, Isolde also picks up a bread roll and eats it. Winking at Talen.
The High Inquisitor turns towards Eleyna's toast, rising slightly and bowing his head in recognition to her and the toast. And then a glance is given to the dinner games his fiance is engaging in. He leans in to whisper to her softly.
Hadrian's glass is lifted up before himself, though he doesn't speak up on the matter of toasts. Instead his attention shifts back around to speak quietly with Theron and Cambria, though only briefly before his attention returns to the table and the occupants of it. Soon enough his glass of wine is drained and passed away to Luigi, leaving Hadrian's hands free to clasp before himself.
Marian gives a laugh at what Alarissa says and murmurs something back. She takes another sip of her drink and looks so relaxed, so calm.
Talen seems to be trapped in amongst sibling rivalry, if Isolde's efforts are any indication. So, as all brothers do, he lifts his chin and chooses the most mature of rou-- nah, fuck that. A spoon gets tossed at Isolde, then he shouts at Alistair in pre-emptive strike: "She fucking deserved it and don't you start, you bastard Prodigal." Yet, it sounds familiar-- normal.
Leta looks lost. After the toast, returned to her seat, the knight's eyes travel around the table, trying and likely failing to follow occasional threads of conversation and shared looks. Instead, she just broods a little over her stew.
Alistair checked dexterity at difficulty 35, rolling 15 lower.
Juliana is quiet at the table for the moment, her attention flickering toward Alarissa with a slight arch of her brows and momentary intense study before she looks Lucita. "I don't think I had a chance to tell you that you look lovely this evening, my Lady." before leaning against Luis's shoulder for a moment, tipping her head to whisper softly.
Isolde has rolled a critical success!
Isolde checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 25, rolling 62 higher.
Theron acknowledges Hadrian's comment with a nod and a quiet reply, drinking his wine all in one sip. "Congratulations," is offered towards the Princess and her groom.
Annnnd, there it is. Eleyna's smile shifts into a scowl and she turns to look at Talen, widening her eyesas she takes in a short breath, "We don't throw the priceless silver at our sisters, Talen. You could put an eye out." She glances over at the steward who, politely, comes to remove -all- of the Archduke's cutlery from his place setting. Good luck eating that soup.
Calypso raises up from her seat after a moment. "While we are doing toasts and singing the praises of the Lyceum, I wanted to thank everyone who is helping Southport during our time of need as well. This heist couldn't have happened at a worse possible time, and we appreciate your dedication to seeing that the entirety of the Lyceum holds strong. Your outpouring of support has truly helped to renew the bond of friendship and loyalty." She says sincerely as she raises her glass to the hosts and then the rest of the party.
You don't throw things at a man's future wife. Alistair catches a hint of the flashing silver spoon in his gaze and reaches out a hand to grab it, missing the catch clearly. There is a very distinct wince and groan from the man as if he pulled a muscle - or opened a wound. At least Isolde is a deft little princess and dodges the projectile. Alistair delivers a withering glare in Talen's direction. Glare glare.
Serafine doesn't stop eating until she's finished her stew with all the dignity she can muster, drinking from the bowl with both hands cradling it. LIke a barbarian. She watches a spoon go flying and eyes Talen with distaste. "That was terrible, you should be ashamed. Even from there you should have at least grazed her."
Cicero gets up, gives a bow to Eleyna with a murmured apology, and leaves.
Audric's training must have paid off because Isolde manages to duck out of the way of Talen's spoon. "You're such a little troublemaker." She grumbles, promptly tossing her roll at her brother's face. "You're injuring my beloved and now I'm going to have to pay someone to duel you." There is just a hint of concern in her eyes as she turns to check on Alistair, murmuring something to him.
It starts as slight laughter but devolves over a minute to gales of laughter when Talen's throwing a spoon, Eleyna's chiding her husband, Alistairs trying to catch it and fails and Alarissa? You can't help but hear the laughter from the Thrax Princess as she's trying to cover her mouth with her napkin, eyes squeezed shut, unable to contain herself.
Someone wearing stygian black rose mirrormask is just here drinking her wine and doesn't know anything about anything about spoon throwing.
Marian murmurs to her friend, "It's a good idea to breath after a few laughs." She then smiles and shakes her head as Talen throws something at his sister. A look of nostalgia is given, perhaps throwing things at family is something she does at home.
Isolde checked dexterity + small wpn at difficulty 25, rolling 14 lower.
Talen cries out in a pained voice, "What the fuck, even my knife? It was just the spoo-- god damn it," he snarls. Calypso's praise is given to the Lyceum and he manages to look there, hearing it, literally bristling as it's said. He finds his feet, but uses the excuse to reach across and grabs his neighbour's spoon too, giving a pointed look at the servant. "Duchess General, we are pleased to have you coordinate our forces through Admiral Alrec and his liege," he says, before lobbing it down the tabl eat Serafine. "Fuck you, too," he insists of his sister-in-law, before levelling a clawed hand at Alarissa, Isolde and then even the poor masked woman. "You're all being watched, you hear? I'm watching you." Then he sits down.
Serafine checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 25, rolling 29 higher.
Serafine checked dexterity + small wpn at difficulty 25, rolling 4 lower.
Someone wearing stygian black rose mirrormask lifts two fingers to her eyes, points them at Talen. Classic 'I'm watching you' right back at him.
Belladonna watches the spoon as it flies, setting her own down a moment later. There is a warm smile offered up the table towards the hosts as she rises. Once she's on her feet she dips into a curtsey, then turns to make her own way out of the dining room.
Costas watches the antics at the table in quiet amusement, leaning aside to hassle a server for a refill of his glass. The former pirate levels a frank gaze when the glass is filled only to half, rolling his hand in a gesture to keep the pour coming and only letting up when he's reached a precariously-full measure that will keep him from having to wait for his next drink a while. Then the Sword of Southport glances aside at his employer, nodding sober agreement for her expression of camaraderie with those who have stood by the side of the Malvici.
Eleyna opens her mouth to say something to Calypso, especially since she's toasting the Lyceum and all, but then Talen throws -another- spoon, this time at Serafine, which basically means that this thing just escalated to war. The Archduchess throws her hands up, muttering, "Just once, I want to make it to the dessert course. Once."
Serafine dodges the throw deftly and plucks the spoon out of the air, tries to lob it back at her dumb brother-in-law but she's all thumbs with dainty weapons. It skims over his shoulder and she curses, looks for something bigger to through.
Belladonna has left the Main Dining Table.
5 Pravus Honor Guard, Aida leave, following Belladonna.
Estaban blinks and smiles, "Princess-Concort Alarissa, it has been some time." he smiles, "Have you meet Lady Lucita yet?" he moves some so they can see one another, "lady Lucita, Princess-Concort Alarissa Thrax." he looks up as well as shanangins start and he does his best to try and not chuckle.
Isolde casually offers Serafine her plate. To throw, presumably.
Leta eats and looks stoic, having decided not to pay any attention to anything going on around her, even when utensils fly past.
Calypso takes her seat again and guards herself from whatever flying bread may fly her direction. She smirks a touch and then shakes her head.
Marian eyes her spoon as if she internally debates on throwing it at someone but then Estaban is talking to Alarissa and she gets distracted from spooning people.
Eleyna checked command + leadership at difficulty 15, rolling 35 higher.
Finally, just as Isolde hands Serafine a -plate-, the very pregnant, very annoyed Eleyna manages to rise from her seat and raises her voice. She does not yell, yet there is a definitive note of steel in her tone. "Put. The plate. Down. Sit and eat your soup. All of you. Now."
Lucita looks toward Estaban and says with dry humor. "At least the spoons were empty." Alarissa is given a good-natured smile and she says to her amicably. "Such a nice gathering it is easy to miss when introductions happen."
Alistair watches as Isolde plays merchant-of-death in this escalating dinner war. He clearly does not approve!
Alarissa's not here right now Estaban. She's laughing, to the point of tears almost, shaking hear head before once again, the Thraxian princess is distracted. By Marian and Estaban. Namely, she's looking at Estaban and his armor, reaching across Marian, invadingpersonal space so that she can touch the shoulders of his armor, as if fascinated by it.
Serafine just sighs at her sister. "Yes, my lady." And hands the plate back to Isolde, mouthing a 'thank you' to the Mirrormask. And goes back to drinking her soup. "Soup's amazing by the way," she adds.
Sheepishly, Isolde turns to Alistair and gives him a quick kiss. "I'm sorry for my lovely, completely sane family. And my own, completely well behaved behavior" Wrapping an arm around his waist, the princess seems to settle down at Eleyna's prompting--at least for now. Serafine gets a quick wink. "Yes, the food has been delicious."
"My soup shit talked me," Talen complains, before he lifts the bowl, to eat the chatty chowder.
Talen says, "Genuinely not even sure if it's drugs or reality anymore."
"I'll have whatever he's having." Costas raises his hand and gestures toward Talen.
Quenia has long been quiet during the dinner, and she's still mostly quiet, but after a bit she does say to Dafne. "But our vassals are not land-locked. In fact, my sister Leena has arrived and she's quite the engineer. She's already working on a ship design of her own, but I think she might latch on to this and try to improve it as well."
Marian carefully manages Alarissa's invasion but moving her body with ease so the reach doesn't move any of the lace. She takes a careful sip, "Oh yes, it's very pretty, is it not?" And then Alarissa is carefully moved back where she was so Marian's not cut off from her soup.
Alistair peers at the wildness. "I hope this is simply one of Blacktongue's mind altering concotions..." He is suppose to be the Law. Though bust Haze dealers is probably more for the Iron Guard. Isolde's embrace and kiss though seems to settle whatever hackles that have risen on the High Inquisitor. "I am not sure if I can survive many of these dinners. Am I expected to attend everyone?"
Juliana blinks as things are flying for a moment wondering if she is in the wrong side of her family dinners. Managing not to actually try to reflexively duck, when Eleyna stands and puts a stop to the flying tableware there is a soft sigh before glancing towards Talen, arching a brow and then glancing to Costas with a smirk before pushing her soup further into the table. To luis she arches a brow. "Its been a while but these affairs seem a lot more active then I remember."
Dafne sips decorously at her spoon and only raises an eyebrow at flying tablewhere. She observes to Quenia, "We rely on you for our naval needs, of course. And, yes, I remember." She fishes a piece of fish out of the soup and adds, "I still think wheels are worth a try."
With an exaggerated sigh and a shake of her head, Eleyna sinks back into her seat and mutters to herself as she looks at her soup. She reaches for her own spoon... and realizes that it is gone as it was the spoon stolen to throw at Serafine. Her eyes close briefly and she calmly signals to the steward to bring her another.
"Yes," Talen calls to Alistair as though he was spoken to directly. When Eleyna puts her foot down, he sobers dramatically, then he leans back and lifts his chin to stare down the table at her. "I'm not even responsible," he lies, "but very well. Everyone, I trust dessert will be along soon," he says. The unspoken 'so Eleyna can have her damned ice cream'.
Luis nods to Juliana, "Indeed, flying cutlery, masked envoys, all sorts of interesting things to be involved with," he admits to Juliana, looking around the room again, and settling further into his seat.
Estaban blinks when Alarissa tries to climb over Marian to touch and pet his shoulder pads, "I see see that Princess Marian." he nods to her words at are whispered to him. He looks to the wine and soup and blinks then looks at everyone else around.
Oh, oh, She's being eased back into her seat and Alarissa's still flushed, smoothing the fabric on her skirt while Marian has access to her stew again. A forefinger tracing over some beading, tilting her head, canting it to the right as if fascinated by the way one specific bead seems to glisten. Then another bead. Then another bead. Razor sharp focus before something distracts and she's chasing something in the corner of her eye. "Eleyna. I'm jealous. I'm never would have thought to release butterflies. It's just a diner party, but they're so beautiful. WHere did you find them this time of the year."
Talen says, "Oh fuck is she high?"
Marian looks back at Talen, "Yes, she's fucking high."
"Every single one." Isolde says cheerily, resting her head against Alistair's shoulder. Talen gets the tiniest of glares when Eleyna isn't looking--even as the princess bites back a smile. "Eleyna deserves as much icecream as she likes. Cake too." Dark eyes glances towards Alarissa as butterflies are mention, then she sits up and glances at the mirrormasked woman with an arched brow.
Someone wearing stygian black rose mirrormask has just been sipping her wine, but sparks to noticeable attention at the word 'cake'.
Crow - Thraxian Steward arrives, delivering a message to Marian before departing.
Eleyna glances over at Alarissa and smiles pleasantly, "They aren't so hard to find if you know where to look." Whatever conversation is being had about substances is thoroughly ignored by the Archduchess as she signals for the removal of the soup course. The servants, as always, move through the dining room with grace and speed as the soup is replaced with decadent little lemon cake topped with a dollop of lemon-flavored cream. It's a small cake, but it's so rich that only a small bite is required.'
Lucita lifts one eyebrow slightly and glances from Alarissa to the wine and food before her. She sips her wine again, gaze watchful.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Theron before departing.
4 Kennex corsairs, Serena, the charming Stormward lady-in-waiting arrive, following Vanora.
Alistair has his typical bland look upon his features. A mask to make the Sentinel proud but not a true mask like others wear. Its like he just got sentenced to one of his own Panopticon cells. Even the seeming intoxicated and high state of Alarissa isn't enough to bring him out of his doomed to eternal Velenosa dinners state. And then some mentions cake. He perks up. Just a brief moment. Only those who are watching will notice. And then hes right back to being dour.
Flagging down a nearby servant, Isolde sends her own tiny lemon cake to the mirrormask woman along with a glass of wine. Then she glances at Talen and mouths, "Did you drug some of the food?". A slow, careful glance is given towards Alistair. "See, the dinners aren't all bad? The cake is always to die for."
"I'll remmeber that. When I want to- Ohhhhh." When the cake is put in front of her. Alarissa stares at it for a moment. Teeth graze her lower lip and she's lifting her fork so that she can take a bite of that lemon cake. "I'm perfectly fine." Is replied to Talen. "I'm absoloutely fine." Spoken through a mouthful of lemon cake to Marian, with that lapse in proper manners. Eye close and Alarissa seems to be savouring the cake, as if it's like nothing she has ever tasted before in her life. 'Hmmmm." She murmurs. "Gods I could eat this forever. Can I have yours?" This asked of Juliana.
Cambria appears to be contented by a single bite of the small cake.
Serafine eats all of her cake with all the moans of a wanton woman, and then, finished, licks her lips and looks for Jiacomo, intent on begging for another.
Calypso smirks a little as she catches Alistair perk up at the mention of cake. She hides her expression with another sip of her wine before she reaches out to indulge in the confections set out before her. Spotting Vanora's arrival she raises a hand in greeting.
Leta also drinks. Besides eating and looking stoic, she drinks, which is likely to contribute to the softening of the stoic look. Instead she lets out a loud sigh, and for a moment looks around in search of butterflies. There are none to be seen, so she slumps back into her seat and focuses her attention on the cake, which she eats with dainty bites.
Marian picks up her fork, ready to defend her dessert if Alarissa places any designs upon it and takes a careful bite. Now her reaction isn't as enthusiastic as Alarissa but she closes her eyes for a second, mmmm, lemon cake.
Someone wearing stygian black rose mirrormask pushes off from the wall just long enough to perform a half-turn, a spin of the skirts of her gown. It seems in response to something, if it is something unspoken, and in short order she's taking the cake and the wine she's been sent. Since she's not at a table, it's actually remarkably hard to both hold a glass of wine and eat a slice of cake, so the cake goes uneaten, if appreciated.
Talen replies to Isolde, "If I was going to drug anyone's food, consider this-- why would I drug anyone but my own? I have to sit through these too, you know," he hisses, not very subtly. Alarissa's ineractions hold his attention for a time, before he looks back to Isolde and Alistair both now, a chin jerked up. "You going to eat that? Alarissa hasn't eaten more than a bite in like a year-- yeah, kind of like Cambria over there-- so I think she's starving. Little Grayson bird needs to be well fed."
"I prefer meat," Cambria informs Talen in an utter deadpan.
Immediate restraint from Talen on the far side of the table, how he does it we'll never know: "I am not even going there because I am on my best behaviour."
A few hints past fashionably late even by Lyceum standards, Vanora slips into the room as unobtrusively as possible, Kennex guards hanging back enough to keep her in eyesight likely but not close enough to overhear dinner conversation in its detail. Pale skin is wrapped in a gown of azure seasilk and pearly aeterna, both which seem to enhance her snowy complexion. Vanora lifts green eyes to skim the busy dining room and notes Calypso whom she waves to with a warm smile, and then seeks out Isolde whom she also gravitates towards. "Hello beautiful." The princess is given a kiss on each cheek, the airy sort customary in the south that don't quite touch skin. "Is your betrothed here tonight? I'd been hoping I might make his acquaintance. At least in this particular role, that of he-who-causes-your-heart-to-flutter." The former Pravus teases, looking around yet again, frosty green eyes taking in the room.
Hadrian coughs quietly into his wine glass, "That's what she said."
Juliana looks from where she is talking softly with Luis to Alarissa then Marian with a narrowing of her eyes. "I think maybe you have had enough, your Highness." lips twitching a little as she reaches out to rest the back of her fingers against the woman's cheek. Then looks up to Marian. "She will good tonight." offered as a consulation before pushing her cake to Alarissa.
Serafine points at Hadrian while her other hand taps her nose.
Talen says, "I tried. I tried so hard. You had to fuck it up, didn't you Hadrian."
Serafine says, "Talen, my brother, you do that fine on your own."
"If I had a spoon," is the last he says, before he drinks and dithers long enough to let someone else get a word in.
Serafine rolls her eyes. "All you need is a belt, if I remember correctly."
Alistair rumbles out his approval as his attention is pulled to the cake. He takes a knife and cuts off a slim slice of the delicious treat. He glances to the others, primarily to see how the cake is affect them. He has no desire to eat drugged cake. Those who drugged cake are the worst of the worst. Probably up there with the Abyss. Cake is pure and must remain untainted. Alistair, High Inquisitor of Cake, aims to see it so.
Hadrian offers a shallow dip of his chin toward Talen, "I've got your back, Archduke," he remarks as he lowers his glass of wine once again. Then his attention drifts aside to Cambria, whom he considers for a moment, "...your face bothers me," he explains before he goes onward to turn his attention back to Eleyna and Talen. The pair receive a slight incline of his chin before Hadrian adds, "If you two would do us the honor of accepting our invitation? Would you please bring along Baron de Lire? I'd like to introduce him and Lord Theron."
"Victus thinks I don't eat enough. But he doesn't see the berries and cream that I have Olenna send for when I'm in the mood. I eat. I just don't eat as much as a fully grown Prince of Thrax does. Or a sword weilding-" Oh, Juliana's pressing the back of her fingers to Alarissa's cheek and the blonded seems to nuzzle it somewhat like a cat, marking the other woman. Though with less purring. Till cake is passed over and Alarissa delves into that one as well, though still with dainty bites, all with that rapturous look on her faces and contented sighs as she chews.
Vanora murmurs to Isolde in a low voice, "I managed to miss the entire thing and arrive in time for alcohol and dessert? Ah I did /not/ do that on purpose yet by accident my priorities were managed. What should I try?"
Just before she can tuck into her own dainty little cake, Eleyna spots the arrival of Vanora and signals for the steward to make sure the woman is plied with wine and cake as well. Discreetly, a servant approaches the masked woman and holds out a tray in offer to hold either wine or cake. Finally, Eleyna raises the fork to her mouth, but something distracts her down the table and, suddenly, the Archduchess is -blushing-. An actual, real blush right there on the Black Widow's face.
Marian leans over to murmur something to Alistair and then has another happy bite of her cake. She frowns for a moment when Alarissa starts nuzzling Juliana but then she stops and goes back to cake. She glances over at Vanora, "The lemon cake is divine."
Serafine meets Eleyna's gaze and smiles with all the sunny joy of a small child at the sight of the blush. Point: Serafine.
Calypso smirks at Vanora's words and then nods at Marian. "I'm fairly sure that one is not drugged. Probably."
Cambria gives Hadrian a look. A look that might suggest she was thinking of telling Theron to introduce Hadrian to his goblet in a very new and intimate way. Things do not improve when he informs her that her face others him, and the look deepens into a scowl. At least until she hears Hadrian invite the Velenosa couple to dinner. Then it's all smiles and sunshine and flying puppies...and cake. "We would truly enjoy it, if you were able to indulge us."
Cambria then leans aside to whisper to Theron.
Estaban looks to Marian, "Careful she may try and take it." he smirks and looks to Alarissa, "Princess Alarissa." he has a wicked grin on his lips, "For you." oh look he has a cake on a plate for her.
Leta methodically makes the cake disappear, and chases it down with some wine and another sigh. "That was pretty good cake," the woman announces in her broadest Boroughs accent, and pours herself some more wine.
Theron nearly chokes on his wine after Hadrian's 'backup', taking a moment to inhale slowly as he sets the glass down with a finality, glancing over at Alarissa and Juliana briefly before his attention returns to Talen, nodding once. "Those cakes are going to start flying, won't they," he quips at no-one at all before he leans in to listen to Cambria, nodding once.
Vanora's arrival grabs Isolde's attention and with a smile, she says, "He's here. To make sure Talen doesn't kill me with a spoon." Gently, she'll take Alistair's hand in order to show Vanora who she means. "Vanora Kennex. Meet Alistair soon to be Velenosa." Gesturing to any nearby and free chairs, she'll wave for her to sit. "You did arrive at the perfect time. All the fighting has ended and the sweets are here."
At the invitation of the Mazetti, he waves his hand, "We'll come, but Audric-- well. Invite him, we will. If he turns up, it'll only be because we're either paying him a good sum or calling on his oaths. I don't intend to do either. I might tell him there's going to be something fun happening though, that might buy me more of his attention for a second or so." The comment from Theron on the cakes, he eyes, before he sniffs. "We're not that uncivilised. Just sharp weaponry is thrown. Sometimes rounded. Normally only at family. If you really want someone dead, it's poison-- ask them." The rest of the table; Isolde, Serafine (unfairly) and Isolde.
Talen may or may not be kidding.
When Alarissa nuzzles against her, Juliana chuckles and shakes her head. "If you eat all those, you are going to return them rather violently I would think." When Estaban holds another out to her Jules frowns a little a look of concern flickering across her features.
Marian finishes up her lemon cake and then very calmly tells Estaban, "Too late. All gone." She gives a shake of her head when another piece of cake goes in front of Alarissa and she jokes, "Well...I figure let her eat cake. It's not hurting anything but her waistline."
Not just sending over a servant to give her a drink and a nibble, but the Archduchess instead assures that her plate is /piled/ with wine and cake? If ever Vanora allowed insecurity to make her nigh certain that Eleyna found her irritating a best, she's now just as certain that the woman must adore or. If jewelry and expensive clothing is the way directly to the Marquessa's heart, wine and sweets aim somewhere very close. A lung? Either way she drinks down half of the first wine goblet offered before cutting the flavor with a tiny bite of the sweet cake. Just in time for an introduction. "Mmmmhmm." A chew and dainty swallow and another sip of wine to wash it down, and then the redheads lips are free. "Alistair soon to be Velenosa. Congratulations on wooing the most beautiful and charming woman in all of Arvum. We will be locked in deadly competition for her attention and affection of course, but in addition I hope we can become fast friends. Welcome to the family, as it were, however extended." A hand lifts to gesture around the room, and she follows to sit down with Isolde. "Fighting? What was it about?"
With Marian's assurance and Isolde's praise Alistair takes his first bite. And then a second. Maybe a third. It is good! His face lights up just a tad, more so then most see. When Isolde introduces him to Vanora the man takes a moment to swallow the delicious treat. "Marquessa... a pleasure..." the man remarks with a slight bow of his head.
Costas pushes up from the table after downing the remainder of his wine, breathing out a few sighed words about sobriety while fishing loose a little brass case from the depths of his long-coat. The Carlotta's captain weaves unobtrusively through the glut of servants, guards and miscellaneous entourage and pauses by an oil lamp to catch light on a rolled cigarillo tucked into the crook of his lips. After puffing a glowing cherry to life on the end he wanders off down the halls of the Velenosan estate for a quiet break, leaving the faint floral scent of haze in his wake.
"I heard cakes can be considered sharp weaponry depending on how they're made," Theron offers, helpfully, to Talen. "But that sounds about right," he nods once, flashing the man a smile. He reaches for his cake and eats a spoonful, while watching Alarissa, Marian and Juliana as -that- unfolds.
"Something fun, hm?" Hadrian's smile surges to life once again as he offers a stoic nod of his head, "I've the perfect idea. I've heard from a group of people recently who would like an opportunity to indulge in some lighthearted, only occasionally fatal fun." Hadrian's attention drifts aside to Cambria for a moment, then back to Talen and Eleyna as his smile only grows yet more, "I believe that Baron Audric would be an amazing contender to take the Donkey Knights trophy this year."
Serafine looks perplexed. "Talen, I don't think laxatives count as 'poison', really." She looks at Eleyna. "Does it?"
"Ohhh thank you Baron." Those cakes aren't verybig and there's an absent nod to whatever juliana just said as Alarissa's following something out of the corner of her eye again, a little more flushed as she takes her wine and cuts the sweeetness of that cake with another mouthful. But then back to the cake, blue eyes looking around the table as she eats, still clinging to some modicum of grace and manners. "Maybe if I made it Lord Mazetti." A forkful is offered to Luis. "Would you like some, it's divine. Ignore th ebutterfly on it."
"He either makes an appearance, or he does not," Cambria says to Talen with a nod of her head. "I am quite certain we shall enjoy ourselves in either case..." Whatever else the Mazetti Marquessa intended to say, however...is lost. Instead, she's gawping at Hadrian and without realizing it before it is too late she blurts, "That trophy is MINE."
Someone wearing stygian black rose mirrormask says, "Hold this," and passes her glass of wine to the server with the tray. He keeps it on his tray, and waits there, so attentively, as she eats her cake, pausing now and then to murmur to him, every now and then to laugh softly. He looks like he could stay there holding a tray for her, forever.
Lucita watches the others, amusement showing in her expression and giving Luis a wink as he is being offered cake. She murmurs something to Estaban in a low tone.
When Serafine comments on it, that blush fades just as quickly as it sprang to life. Eleyna finally manages a bite of that cake and smiles in appreciation. She glances at the Mazettis and nods her confirmation, "I'll accept the invitation if only so I can see this 'goblet'." She sits back in her chair, watching as the cake seems to be appreciated. The smile on her face, as she watches what happens around her, is satisfied as she watches the results of what she's set in motion. A brief glance to Alarissa, Marian, and Juliana with a grin and then another, far softer expression as Isolde introduces Alistair. She looks between Talen and Serafine and says with unwavering calm, "Poison? I have no idea what you are talking about. What would I know of poisons?"
"If you will excuse me, there's someone I need to go meet." Quenia says to those she's seated closely - but mostly to Dafne. She then rises from her seat and prepares to leave.
Calypso raises from her seat not long after the Sword of Southport makes his exit. "This has been wonderful. Thank you for hosting." She says with an incline of her head to Eleyna and Talen before she makes her way out again.
Serafine rolls her eyes at Eleyna but just smiles, the Knight putting her arm around Leta's waist, tugging until her lover is more comfortable against her side.
Luis arches a brow as Alarissa offers him cake, watching her and then looking around the room to notice if anyone else has seen the way she's acting. "Ah, Princess, you are too kind, let me get my napkin," he responds, leaning in to take a bite of the cake that is offered and quickly wiping his mouth afterwards, for appearances sake. He sets the napkin down on the table beside him as he looks from the princess to his sister and shakes his head then gestures to Estaban and arches a brow. "It's... an interesting taste, very sweet, I am sure," he notes.
6 Malvici Guards, Adjutant General Vincenzo di Malvici leave, following Calypso.
"Gawping is unbecoming, or so I've heard," Talen tells Theron, "but you can enjoy it while it lasts, before you're married and get told off for ever gawping again," he says, with the full intention of Eleyna hearing him, no doubt. Hadrian and Cambria, though? That's attention-seeking behaviour right there. "Uhm, excuse me, I've twice been second place to only Edain himself in jousting-- except that one time I cheated and got disqualified, maybe. Anything with knights and riding, well, let's jsut s ay I'm in."
"Yes," Hadrian answers Talen's declaration with skeptical acceptance, "knights, and riding, and stuff. And things." Though soon enough his attention shifts around to regard the outburst from Marquessa Cambria with a quiet cluck of his tongue, "That trophy belongs to you, the title of Donkey Knights Champion however, belongs to the competition. You, just as those who have come before you, can be unseated from that most august of thrones." Hadrian's attention then turns back to Talen and a smile returns, "We'd love to have all of you. Spectating, competing, whatever you please. Rarely is the competition a dull affair. We had to move it away from seaside cliffs due to... unfortunate circumstances."
"No," Cambria states flatly, finger stabbing the table's surface. "I caught that dragon midget. Me. Out of all those people. I have a gold-plated trophy," said the way of someone who had their single shining moment in the martial arena. This being one that can only tenuously be called related to the martial arena, anyway.
"He has also told me that what I competed it was modified for families," Cambria offers helpfully. Then, as though coming to her senses, she says glumly, "I shan't compete again. I only did so last year because the teams were uneven. It is unbecoming of a host to partake in their own event, let alone win it. I would call it crass, except," she glares at Hadrian, and in a voice like a challenge says, "I. Won."
Estaban leans in to listen to Lucitas words blinking looking to her and responding.
Alistair raises a brow slightly as Vanora greets him and declares they will be in deadly competition for the attention of his wife to be. He rumbles out a slight sound of amusement, giving a glance to Isolde. "Ah well. That is a story just for me and her, though perhaps if you ask her she will tell the simple details." How in the world this dour Prodigal Inquisitor managed to win Isolde's heart could perhaps form a good bard's tale or two!
Juliana leans against Luis a bit watching the others, when Alarissa offers him a bite, she closes her eyes and lets out a soft breath. "How in the... did I become the responsible one?" mutters softly.
Dafne finishes her cake and dabs at her lips with her napkin. "A lovely dinner," she murmurs, with an inclination of her head. "However, I must be on my way." And the duchess slips.
Nightshade, a tiny black kitten, Penelope, Ariadne, 3 Rubino and Zaffria guards leave, following Dafne.
Cake is brought out for the guests as long as there is cake left back in the kitchens. The servants make sure the wine keeps flowing. After the cake is mostly finished, Eleyna rises from her seat. "I appreciate you all joining us here tonight. As always, it's been an experience. Please, stay and enjoy the wine and company. I think the cake might be gone, though." She receives a confirming nod from her steward. "Yes. Gone. Pity. Again, thank you all for coming."
"I'd be quite interested in seeing the two of you duel for my affections." Isolde murmurs, looking fondly between Vanora and Alistair. With no cake of her own, she sips her wine and tries not too look too amused by all of this. "Oh, if the rumors are to be believed? He climbed straight into my bed and I proposed on the spot. "
"Isn't it?" Alarissa replies to Luis as she sighs contentedly, putting down her fork, seeming to draw the line at three slices of that cake and letting her eyes wander along the table. "Well at least dead Eleyna, you didn't give birth here at the table!" She quips, happily.
"and things," Talen agrees, "that's the important part you can't forget." The invitation gets a bow of his head, to Hadrian, th en he glances sidelong towards the Marquessa. "Well, you should have the title then, but you clearly don't. Sore loser, much. I might enter just to take it from you," he taunts. Of course, she's far more proper than he, when she announces she won't compete. It takes all the fun out of it, until he realises how fucking far gone Alarissa is. "I wonder if I should tell Victus," he muses aloud, settling in for the long watch, even after the dinner is announced done, cake is gone... but there's plenty of wine, so he doesn't even move.
Alistair checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 21 higher.
"Oh, you know, when you noticed that people were drinking too much, or perhaps you were concerned that your friends are acting as though they've been taking some sort of drug, intentionally, or not," Luis tells Juliana with a small smirk, his glance going towards the head table and then the masked woman, before returning to Juliana.
Hadrian exhales a sigh, "Marquessa, you're being unreasonable and insulting the spirit of the competition. This is how championships work. You'll still be a champion, please, don't fret. You just won't be the _current_ champion. That will be someone else, because you refuse to compete." Hadrian lifts a hand as though to wave away the topic before he turns his attention back to Talen, "But yes, we'd love for you to attend. I've already at least a half dozen interested in the next competitition." Though his attention sweeps back to Cambria, whom Hadrian offers back, "Further evidence that you aren't the reigning champion indefinitely? Your trophy? It mentions, quite specifically, the year that it was earned. As they say in some fishing village up north: womp womp."
Cambria checked composure at difficulty 25, rolling 6 lower.
Hadrian is overheard praising Cambria for: Donkey Knights Champion. For now.
When it is declared all the cake is gone, Alistair manages to remain composed and not look completely devastated. Alistair grunts, "I have pondered if all these people who scrawl away in their journals believe I cannot read or write." he remarks with a little shake of his head and a glance to Isolde. "But then I guess I do find it bit amusing to see who is pondering about our love life... and can only imagine all the details."
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Theron before departing.
Talen lifts his hands to his ears for Alistair and Isolde's conversation.
"You are a dick," comes tumbling from Cambria's lips quite before she can pretend as though that sort of thing would /never/ be said by her. In public. She looks mortified by her loss of proper etiquette, with a hand clapping to her mouth. She even goes so far as to lean towards Theron, as though she were about to succumb to the Vapors.
Back to list