September Grayson Dinner
Sept. 15, 2018, 8 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Grayson Mansion - Dining Room
Comments and Log
3 Rubino and Zaffria guards, Sir Frances Flappington IV, an albino crow arrive, following Aiden.
A delicious spread is set out, servants stand at attention ready to pour or serve whatever, and a very pregnant Sabella is standing by the door to greet people as they come in with a bright smile and an awkard hug what with the huge stomach. "Please sit wherever and if you want more of something just let me know! You can start with dessert, no judgment zone here."
Scribble, a Delicate Social Butterfly arrives, following Delilah.
Alaric rolls in and duly collects his bright smile and awkward hug from Sabella before proceeding into the dining hall proper. "Good evening, my kinsmen!" he declares as everyone starts to arrive. "It's a joy to come together once again as it always is. My thanks again to our excellent hostess for making the preparations once again," he says with an appreciative nod to Sabella.
Although Aiden doesn't bear the name of Grayson anymore, he's definitely the blood of and that will never change. There's one rather tiny reason why he's here tonight, having missed many other events, and it would be the bundle in his arms, snuggly wrapped and presently sleeping. The child looks to have his very complexion and riot of hair, with typical chubby face of a newborn. Behind him comes a retinue to see fit to the child, since it's likely the babe will squall for mother's milk soon enough. At this tender age, they only do that and sleep and well... poop. His eyes flicker across those present, a quiet smile on his face.
Niklas should be by the door with Sabella, he should be shaking hands and smiling to people, he SHOULD be helping her by being a good host. Instead he's lounging in the only throne in the room, the one he asked an empty room 'hey, Tikva, I won a throne from Monique, if I can put it in the dining room remain absolutely silent for five seconds' didn't hear anything and had the movers drop it at the table. So he waves whenever people walk in and smiles and occasionally stuffs a handful of shrimp in his face.
Clack, clack, clack, and all that. The hobbling Inquisitor Prince makes his way over to his Spot and slowly takes his seat. His cane is slowly lowered and leant against the side of the table as Gareth looks down at all the food gathered. His gaze lifts up back over to Sabella and a light nod is given to her. GOOD JOB!!!! That's what the slight narrowing of his brows probably means. There's a deep bow of his head to Alaric's entrance.
"Princess Sabella, shouldn't you be relaxing off your feet while we bring you things?" This warm welcome originates from Delilah, a spectral figure awash in stars behind the presence of a newborn in swaddling and the king. She brings a rose, at any rate, the focal point of her braided hair and easily bestowed at any point. Carefully she maneuvers to provide the proper level of warm embrace. "I still believe you should have won that contest. At any rate, putting you both together as a united force of hugging diplomacy is a secret weapon." The sotto voce delivery intends for those plans never to originate very far. Soon enough she shall deviate away from Sabella, mostly in order to harass Niklas and wave at Aiden, though with the tiniest delivery in arms, she keeps a very certain, calculated distance probably measured by not-fully-maternal barometer. A dip to Alaric and she slips past to Niklas. "Are the shrimp good? Do they have that zingy sauce with them? Also hello!"
Gianna steps in. Hopefully, someone invited her. She doesn't seem at all discomfited being here or arriving on her own. Until she realizes there's hugging. Sabella is hugging people. A tiny line appears between Gianna's brows for a fraction of a second, and then she's stepping up to Sabella and slipping her arms around her. Do they make Whispers practice hugging? It's brief, like a butterfly, and then she steps back. "So good to see you." Then she says something more quietly.
2 House Deepwood Guards, Mortimer Ridgewattle the Third arrive, following Grady.
2 House Deepwood Guards, Mortimer Ridgewattle the Third leave, following Grady.
Luca's here. He's been here. The Lycene Fox-turned-Grayson has that particular habit of drifting off for naps all throughout the width and breadth of the mansion, and it just so happens that a few hours ago, he sat down to have a think in the corner, on a chair, and never made it back up again. So that's where the hero of our story is, snoozing away peacefully - even through the setting up of dinner, it would seem! - until something staggers the man awake. He lurches out of his chair, rubbing at his eyes, "Oh, look at that. I knew I smelled something good..", he announces. The thing about falling asleep in your home is, you can do it just wearing nice leather breeches and a silken longcoat and basically nothing else and that's okay because you're in your home. But now people are here. So Luca goes to join them.
Aiden can't necessarily wave back, considering the small bundle of baby he's cradling, but he does loft his voice enough with a certain tone to it that it carries, "Lady Delilah, I am still searching for what you asked me for... Forgive me for my delay, between present living arrangements and birds who like sparkly items..." He looks crestfallen, before he side glances at the other Graysons. And gravitates to Alaric, "Cousin."
"If I'm off my feet any more than Nik already insists I am I fear you shall all forget about me," Sabella says with a grin Delilah's way, before barely concealing a shriek (a quiet one, that's a baby after all!) "Aiden! I'm so glad you came and brought the best plus one imaginable! If you need a break, I certainly could use the baby holding practice and she's gorgeous!" She glances down at Gianna's hand, "Are you sure your title shouldn't be Phoenix with how much you sparkle these days?" she teases, "That's quite a beautiful ring! Is it new?"
"They're marinated in dill!" announces Niklas with more genuine excitement than the shrimp could possibly really merit. But then? If anyone eats one they're a flavor explosion! So good! When Delilah whisper something to him Niklas gives her an eager nod and is about to respond, but then he sees the friggin' KING and rolls out of his throne, lands hard on the floor and springs up with aplomb! "Good evening, your majesty! It is a delight to see you!" And then he offers a wave to Luca. "Hi Luca."
Alaric has a regal smile for all the inbound bows, dips, springs, and other deferentials coming in but for the moment at least only has eyes for the bundle in Aiden's arms. "Aiden, wonderful to see you," he declares in a bit of a hushed tone like he's uncertain of how much danger he's in of waking up the bundle. "Well now, this must be little Aileyna. Congratulations, once again. Oh, she's just adorable," he enthuses.
"It was a gift," Gianna tells Sabella, lips curved up in a self-satisfied little smile. "Thank you." She can't stand around with the Princess all evening, however, so she steps to the side. "Lady Delilah, hullo. Prince Niklas." Her hand goes up to briefly touch one fingertip to the pin on her dress before she turns to Aiden. "Duke Aiden, hullo. Prince Luca." She pauses. Is that what he's wearing? That's what he's wearing. "Your Majesty," she greets Alaric. And then there's Gareth, and she almost-smiles again. "Prince Gareth. It's good to see you again."
Aiden's attention swings to Sabella for her barely concealed shriek, "Sabella... why of course. I may not be able to stay too long, because of the little Lady, but I thought to drop by to make a formal appearance with her." His eyes flash to Gianna then when Sabella speaks of a Phoenix, a brow arched, "Oh I did hear there was one flying around." He smirks with a curious expression on his face, prior to his greeting to Alaric, "Don't worry. She's very full. Sir Frances sings to her..." The crow on his shoulder. "Yes," he shifts the bundle so Alaric can have a look see, "They're really weird you know. But all babies usually are." He grins, "We still have to speak of a matter that's fairly important cousin and it's been my fault that I've been so tardy about it."
The hint of a smile drifts behind a cloud in the briefest of signs of disappointment, though no mist ever manages to drown Delilah for long. "I imagine you had slightly more substantial matters on your mind, something roughly the size of a bread box and about six pounds, perhaps?" The uneven balance smooths out to once more assert a proper crescent smile. "Thank you for thinking of it. Let me know whether I may help organise anything for you. I've a talent for attacking disorder." She eventually plucks two or three shrimp for a plate to herself while Niklas practically bursts like a comet across the room. Laughter glitters in her gaze, and she heads towards Gianna. "Whisper Gianna, you look radiant as ever. Princess Sabella is right; your ring is gorgeous. Cat's eye is gorgeously cut." Her gaze lifts with the addition of Gareth, whom she nods politely to. "Your Highness." It applies to a good sixty percent of the room or more, a safe appellation for the star-clad young woman. "Good evening, Prince Luca."
"Oh wow, is that a small infant?" Luca asks, wandering over toward Aiden. "That must be little Aileyna. Congratulations! She's just adorable.", he says, plucking his words right from Alaric and getting some mileage out of them. Surely, if anyone would know how to talk about babies in a charming way, it's the king. Before any vortex of talking about children can suck him in, he says, "Aiden, Alaric! Good to you see! Two of my favorite A names..", and then he's off, chasing by a winning grin. There are other people to schmooze. He 'accidentally' bumps into Niklas, giving the playwright a rough pat, "Watch where you're going, Nik..", in a playful way. A hand is tossed up to Gianna. It's got a kiss on it! He blows it to her, "The Nightingale!", and then more to himself, "I sure hope she sings..". In passing Delilah, he gives her a lingering look with his night-dark gaze, "This dinner must be an adventure, if you're here..", and she's offered a wink. Off to Sabella. The Fox-Prince becomes a hug-monster. It's all in the wrists. Probably.
Aiden smiles to Luca, "Yes, this is the little Aileyna, named after the Arch Duchess... and well, I guess the Grayson 'A' tradition..." It is totally a tradition right?! At least in his line of the family it seemed to be. "Thank you-" he says against the congratulations, the little bundle squirming a bit and worming her lips about before she seems to fall silent again. "It's good to make noise while they're this young-" he does note to those who are worried of making noise, "-otherwise they get too used to quiet and will wake up during noise." He looks to Alaric, then Sabella, whoever was closer, "Uhm, you're welcome to hold her if you like?" Sterling silver eyes flicker to Delilah, "Don't give up hope. I've asked the magpies for help. They know how to find bits that have gone missing."
"Nightingale Gianna, so glad you could make it!" Niklas looks around the room and enthuses for anyone who doesn't already know, "The Nightingale is my protege, though really I sometimes feel like she... is the one teaching me... but I'm the one paying her, so the patron-protege relationship stays where it started." When he finally sees Gareth, Niklas' eyes go wider than they were when he saw the king. He crosses over, returning Luca's bump, then says, "Prince Gareth! Please please please tell me you've seen the painting I did in the House of Questions! I gave it to Tikva for gee em gee gee oh, but it was really for her, you and Prince Laric!"
"Thank you," Gianna tells Delilah, placing her hand - the one with the cat's eye ring - against her collarbone. l delilah's dawnstone
A familiar clack-clack-clacking of kitten heels against stone flooring speed up into clackclackclacking as Ophelia makes her way into the grand dining room. She's not late, is she? She pauses in the doorway and doesn't look /too/ frazzled in the moment. The Velenosan princess straightens and beams a smile to all present, nodding to familiar faces and giving a grand curtsy to Alaric. She's then waving to Delilah, and Sabella, and oh look! Her brother Luca is over there, too. "Hi!" she says brightly. It might not be an exact beeline, but she does her best to get to Luca to take advantage of one of those hugs of his.
"Ah, good, good," Alaric says to Aiden, evidently reassured that he won't be the cause of a sudden wake and cry or anything of the sort and allowing himself a closer look at the baby. "Well, it is an unmitigated delight to meet you in person for the first time, Lady Aileyna," he proclaims warmly. "Nonwithstanding the fact you're asleep and are far too young to remember this anyway," he quips before nodding approvingly to Aiden. "She looks rather healthy to me." Gianna, Luca, and Ophelia all get a smile before he returns his attention to the baby. "May I? Well then," he says brightly and carefully takes up the bundle. "I see, I see. Do let me know when you are available, and I will set some time aside. I'd suggest here at dinner, but our last several few have been pretty rowdy," he deadpans. "Maybe not the time and place for serious discussions."
Tilting his head low to Gianna, Gareth waves one backhand in a lazy half-hearted gesture of greeting. Or that's probably what it is. Then he's looking in the general direction of children and people shrieking about children. Gareth stares for a moment at the group in quiet observation before giving a placid nod to the baby. Hello baby. Then Niklas is shrieking at him, "All your work is suitably creative, Prince Niklas."
The wink brings a certain ephemeral laughter and a shake of Delilah's coppery hair, the rose immortalized through the briar skein allowing the spiced, heady perfume to fade away from the petals. "These things are such whirlwinds, aren't they?" she says to Gianna, and nods in approval to the gorgeously cut alexandrite. From one magpie to another, appreciation floats past. She balances the plate on her fingertips, easy enough for someone to pluck away. "I will give you my best wishes with your lovely daughter, Prince Aiden. Hope shan't die, I ascribe to pinning my star to it." She pirouettes in an easy turn towards the pattering of Ophelia's heels -- how can she recognize that gait? Does she? -- and dips her chin in greeting. "Hello, Princess Ophelia! Welcome to Grayson Mansion."
After everyone who wants a hug gets one, Sabella holds her hands out greedily for the baby once Alaric has had his turn. Gimmie! "For those of you that haven't joined us before, or for awhile, we play a sort of game every dinner so that we all know what's going on with each other. So you say something interesting that's happened lately or something you're doing that you might need help with or just some fun fact about you you'd like everyone to know! Then you name the next person to go. I'll start! I've been working with a lot of other talents in this city to do free plays in the Lowers again, mostly for the children, but really for anyone that wants to attend that might not get a night out at the theater often. I'm also helping Lord Grady with a fundraiser he's doing for the Lodge, so if anyone wants to fill a basket with goodies to donate for a raffle, or just something to raffle off let me know! And now I'll pick...Prince Luca! What have you been up to lately?"
Gianna makes no move to catch the imaginary kiss from Luca. She ain't playing that game, it seems. She just offers a faint almost-smile. Then she's inclining her head to Niklas. "Prince Niklas, thank you for inviting me. And thank you," Gianna tells Delilah, placing her hand - the one with the cat's eye ring - against her collarbone. "That's a lovely ring you're wearing, as well. Thank you again for your assistant's help, by the way." She inclines her head to Ophelia, unfamiliar with the woman, then quiets for the game.
Aiden looks rather f-ing proud the moment that Alaric makes to take the baby pass! It's a proud father look certainly, with a little bit of fealty love thrown in the mix. He doesn't even look to fret at all when the child is taken, well, maybe the crow does, with a little ruffle of albino wings. Either way, Aiden concurs, "She is. Her mother is a strong woman. One of the strongest I know. She's still resting but, I figured while she was she wouldn't skin me too badly if I were to introduce the little lady to her family." He grins, openly, nodding of the matters of serious nature, "Yes, I don't suspect this present room is ready for the news." He side glances at the antics of a few, "I never did like rowdy dinners, unless it was with Michael, so I shall probably leave before that all starts." He smiles at Delilah as he takes the time to stretch out his arms and flex them a bit now that Alaric has a hold on his daughter. Sabella's eagerness to share in baby cuddles has him laugh.
Salvadore, a fire salamander arrives, following Laric.
Prince Luca manages to snag a cupcake from off the table as he's dancing past it, and finds himself a bite of it too, which he's still got his mouth full of when he sweeps up to Ophelia and grabs her with one arm, the sort that's meant to lift someone right off the floor and spin them around, "O! I knew you'd come! Ha!", he says, clearly in fine spirits for the evening. Perhaps it was the nap he'd just taken. He turns, settling the Velenosa princess as he does so, and then announces to the room, "Everyone! This is my sister! She's come to Arx! Say hello!", but the game's afoot, it would seem. So he grabs Ophelia's hand, and drags her over to the table, considering he was just called on to talk about what he's been doing. "Well, I became the Sword of Bastion. A surprise, I know. Uh, I'm everyone's favorite infertile uncle now. That's fun. I saved all of Arvum last week, but that's pretty standard, isn't it? Nothing special there..". The Lycene looks thoughtful for a moment, pulling out a chair for his sister, "..I think that's it, really. I napped. I'm sure I did some other things..". He attention swings around, "Okay, I choose Gareth. Gareth, what have /you/ been up to?".
Niklas narrows his eyes at Gareth. "It's a unique and beautiful... you know, never mind. I only made it to honor the Inquisition, but whaaaatever." He gives a big sigh, then wanders over to give Sabella a kiss on the cheek and waves to the baby. "Are you going to be best friends with your second cousin? I think you are! Though if Alessandro and Margret would have a damned baby you could be their best friend, too. So let's all get to work on that. On encouraging them to have a baby, that is. Not... not helping with the process. That would be invasive. You know what? This is a lot to lay on a baby." He then turns his attention on Luca to hear what he's been up to lately. "Either he's recently dodged abyssal assassins while seducing the Queen of Cardia, or he got drunk and woke up in the river and then threw up on himself. It's not going to be in the middle." Then Luca actually says what he's done. "Huh. I mean, the napping was in there."
Alaric graciously does not hog all the baby time and after a sociable yet brief nonsense babble conversation passes Aileyna along to Sabella. "Well, do pass along my congratulations to the Duchess, it's always a wonderful occasion when a House extends into its next generation," Alaric tells Aiden. "Strong, stable Houses make for a strong, stable Compact. I'm quite proud of how well you've settled in with the Rubinos, you've been a credit to House Grayson all around." He glances out into the room in Luca and Niklas' general directions. Perhaps it's just a coincidence. "I have no doubts the rowdiness will start at some point tonight," he quips.
Reedy, a King's Own aide arrives, following Corban.
Corban arrives, following Avalia.
Sabella with infant in arms, someone grab their chisel or their paintbrush. That simply shall not be Delilah, though the reflective consideration cast that way leaves a distinct sensibility of framing the moment. "Thank you. Dawnstones and duskstones are a favourite of mine, though the rare splendour of an opal or alexandrite should never be overlooked," she asides to Gianna. "I am delighted to lend the assistance. Depending on my schedule, I may offer more directly." Her fingertips lace around her skirt to narrow its profile as the room invariably fills, and in time, she nibbles down one of the shrimp whilst no one appears to look. Hopefully not with Ophelia wrapped up in the limelight as it would. The ghostly sheen of a smile dances over her lips, lasting there for a moment or two. "Napping is a significantly heroic act. Ask any bear." Everyone worrying about children, oh goodness."
Avalia makes her way into the Dining Hall with wide eyes. She's looking around, her mouth slightly open. "Oh look, Corban. It's all so - is that the King? /Is that the King/? I'm all aflutter! Do you know he's the most popular person in all of Arx. All the best gossip is about him." She pokes Corban in the side, but of course him being armored that makes her frown. "You should have worn regular clothes if we were coming visiting. Or your best regular clothes," she adds, sotto voce, "because /the King is here/," she reiterates.
Gianna just happens to be nowhere near the baby. She's not at precisely the farthest point from the baby. No. Why would she do that? The baby is also not between her and the exit. But it's just coincidence. Gianna is given a glass of wine, which she thanks the servant for. Her gaze flicks over to Corban and Avalia, and she inclines her head to them both. Though she does arch an eyebrow.
Aiden now seems a bit more alert with where the infant goes, not necessarily because of Sabella but because of perhaps the man she's married too, his eyes hawkishly watching over the man. There's a brief look of tension around his lips before Alaric's words call his focus back, "I most certainly will." His smile returns, looking bigger around the chest as he puffs up under the praise, "Thank you cousin. I hope to do plenty more and soon." As for the matter of rowdiness, he nods, "I don't want to stifle anyone's fun. A baby certainly can make people... weird." Yep. Weird. He's going with that.
Ophelia is used to Luca Hugs and braces for that one arm swing around of his. She knows how to cling and when to let go once their spin is complete, which has her set down on sure footing. "Hi, everyone!" she says after the quick introduction. Her hand is snagged and she's then dragged toward a table and sitting down before she knows it. Whew! For once, she's silent while listening to the news in her brother's life and she doesn't seem entirely shocked about the nap part, let's be honest. With the game passed onto Gareth, the limelight is off of her and that red tinge to her cheekbones can finally fade.
Corban enters the Grayson dinner with Avalia on his arm. The Knight of the Hundred Sworn Swords is in his silver armor of his station. He turns towards Aviana when she pokes him, remarking, "Well, it was on such short notice that I could hardly get out of my armor after my shift at the Clock Tower. But we make do, do we not? But yes, that is the King. I am familiar with him, seeing as he is my only liege and such."
"Who is the sweetest baby?" Sabella asks Aileyna with the biggest smile, rocking back and forth a bit, "Oh, Aiden, you are so lucky! Well, it's not exactly luck, you're wonderful so of course your daughter was going to be amazing!" she beams at the new father, "And I think everyone can behave themselves for one dinner." a glance to Luca and Niklas then back again to beam a smile at Corban and Avalia, "Please, come in and help yourselves! Or have a servant heap a plate for you."
"You missed the last dinner, your majesty," says Niklas as he guides his very pregnant wife back to the table. "Princess Tikva and I had a..." He slows to a stop here and for a moment looks utterly lost, like someone trying hard to remember the color of their second favorite childhood instructor's eyes. "...lute off, I guess? It was... it was pretty rowdy. I think." He shakes his head to get the webs out, then says, "Hey, where's Lumen? Zoey told me about some rumor I /need/ to hear more about!" Looking to Aiden he says, "I do hope the new mother is doing well, Duke Aiden." He actually sounds genuine.
Delilah orbits around Gianna to put her emptied plate somewhere for a servant to whisk away, or otherwise cause trouble. She drifts in slowly next to Ophelia, though she inclines her head to Corban and Avalia. "Sir Corban, good evening! And to your companion," she adds. The serpentine path brings her meandering to a spot out of the way, directly, and turns those grave, wide eyes up on Gareth in expectation of an answer of some kind of another. "Exciting, isn't it?"
Gareth gives a wordless nod to Niklas, lips starting to move as if he were to say something before they pull back and he is glancing balefully across the table at Luca. "Unfortunately most of my activity lately is not suitable for discussion at a family dinner. I'm afraid it would bore everyone, any matter. I have been keeping busy with my work. Sad to say I have few details beyond that. Aside from having an entertaining game of stones here or there." The Inquisitor glances over to Corban and Avalia's entrance. The Inquisitor's lips thin a little. "Sir Corban, may your guest and you please be welcome to the Grayson family dinner." The Inquisitor states flatly before turning towards his food. His eyes flick up and rest on Ophelia. "Newly arrived to the city, Princess Ophelia. A pleasure to see you again. Please, why don't you liven things up after my droll performance."
"I don't think it's possible to stifle the fun at one of these dinners, don't worry. Even Augustus can't do it," Alaric quips to Aiden before regarding Corban and Avalia curiously. Is it him? He glances at himself briefly. Seems like it. "Ah, Sir Corban, how nice of you to drop by," he declares regally before regarding his companion. Any question he was about to ask is preempted by a sudden turn to regard Niklas. "I was there for the lute-off! It was a very nearly musical affair. Unless you've been having multiple lute-offs," he quips.
It's funny... babies make people weird alright, most of all the fatherly types. Aiden actually shuffles forward when Sabella is being guided to the table with baby in arms, hesitating a few steps later as his cheeks sort of darken from realizing what he was doing. An overly protective hovering. He chews his bottom lip and then remarks to Sabella, "That'd be a bore. People came to have fun." He licks his lip, showing some anxiousness and instead goes to scritch the crow on his shoulder. Yes, he brought a bird with him. Catching Niklas' glance he nods appropriately, "She's doing wonderfully for what she just went through, thank you for your worry." He side glances to Alaric, nodding once at the matter of it being impossible to ruin fun.
"Ah, thank you, Prince Gareth. But I am really more the guest than Goodwoman Avalia here, who so kindly invited me to accompany her." Corban plasters on a smile, nodding over to the woman at his side. Ah, but then there is Delilah! "Lady Delilah. So fine to see you again. We are overdue for taking a cup of tea, are we not?"
Scribble has a word for Delilah, and she inclines her head to him. "Oh, it is?" With those luminous eyes narrowed, the Whitehawk girl practically uncoils from the seat into a standing position, the advantage of that star-shot dress lending very little definition to her lower half under a galactic shimmer. "Forgive me, I shall be right back. Something is finally complete right now. Princess Ophelia, please don't go anywhere, I shall be right back." A wink to her and she clasps her hands together. "Nor you, Sir Corban. We are overdue, but I have one thing that should be done in a few minutes. Forgive my absence."
Avalia murmurs softly to Corban, "He's so -grumpy-," her eyes a little wide at the Inquisitor's flat welcome. "But it said it was open to vassals of Grayson and anyone somehow connected. And you work for the King and I'm a Grayson too! I mean, not a Grayson-Grayson, but a commoner Grayson who lives on Grayson land, at that. I think you'll find Princess Sabella invited everyone, right?" She glances over to the very pregnant Sabella and positively beams at her. "I'm really quite desperately impressed by her," she says. And then she's turning as Corban greets Delilah, and her hand tightens almost imperceptibly on his arm, and there's a flash of something in her eyes but she just smiles. "Lady Delilah? You look so familiar. Like I've seen you somewhere before. Hmm. Weird." Of course, it might be said too that Avalia is somehow eerily familiar to a few people at the table as well, but she hasn't mentioned that at all.
Scribble, a Delicate Social Butterfly leaves, following Delilah.
Scribble, a Delicate Social Butterfly arrives, following Delilah.
On that cue, Ophelia nods and beams a smile at Gareth, even if the familiar red tinge to her cheekbones returns in full force. "Oh! Yes. I've been in the city for almost two weeks now and I've been busy reconnecting with old friends and making new ones." She thinks for a moment. "I've been keeping the songbird population under control with a brand new bow that was gifted to me, much to the chagrin of my cousins. OH! And I recently got a puppy! Well. I'm sharing a puppy with a friend." A sheepish look is then cast toward Luca, though it's short lived once she regards Delilah with a bright smile. "Lady Delilah! Might you share next?"
"Ah." Gareth's mouth snaps shut as he looks over to Corban and then Avalia. His eyes flick to one and then back to the other. "I'm sure she did." The Inquisitor states, going to take a small cut of meat. "We could most certainly accommodate every Grayson sworn commoner and their guests to family dinners." He flicks his gaze over to Sabella for a moment. Then back to Ophelia, he gives a distracted nod to her words. Going to pick up his wineglass.
Gianna is making a plate for herself, setting her wine glass aside to help herself to various morsels of delicious food, and of course to be helped by various servants. Ophelia's comment about songbirds makes Gianna arch one brow.
Prince Luca resides in his chair, next to his sister, watching the dinner go on around him with a bit of a languid demeanor, quite underdressed for such an event, but at least /dressed/ and that's always something. That night-dark gaze of his drifts over to Corban and Avalia with their arrival, and he tosses up a hand, "Sir Corban! Welcome to dinner! And your friend too!" Does she have a name? Did I miss it?! I was looking at the cupcakes..". He does lean forward and pluck another one from the table.
Aiden absolutely stares at Ophelia for her proclamation of keeping the songbird population under control. His back straightens and his eyes narrow a bit, his mouth tightens further and there's actual anger registering on his face. He moves then to collect his child from Sabella, "I do need to now cousin. Thank you for hosting this."
When Aiden takes the baby back she gives her up without fuss, but does give Aiden a kiss on the cheek, "Thank you for coming. And I did!" Sabella confirms for Avalia with a smile as she has a seat, "And you are quite welcome here. A family dinner is made all the better by distant relations and friends dropping by who never have before! It brings us all closer and I always hope it inspires deeper friendships between all of us." Gareth gets a laugh, "We'd manage somehow, though I suppose I do hope they don't all show up at once." She leans back in her seat as a servant presents a nicely piled plate that's more mashed potatoes than anything. When Ophelia shares she grins her way, "Just take care with the Nightingale over there," she nods to Gianna, "I think we all enjoy her singing."
"Ah, yes, this is Goodwoman Avalia," says Corban, gesturing to the woman next to him, clarifying for Luca. "But Prince Luca, it is good to see you. We have been meaning to get together, haven't we? I haven't forgotten your message. Sometime soon, then, yes?" A flash of a smile from the Knight Lieutenant.
The departure by Delilah takes little more than a round of conversation to find her once more escorted back into the dining room, the stodgy, redoubtable Scribble ensuring her orderly reappearance. Her dragonfly approach veers about the tables and groups of conversing participants smartly, considerable efficiency applied in her movements. Once more she seeks the chair close to the Velenosa pair, an appropriate perch for the Whitehawk girl. Aiden's expression does not go without notice, and her teeth worry her lower lip. Pausing to exchange a few soft words, she will eventually find her path into Avalia and Sir Corban's location, Luca and Ophelia bestowed a more direct smile. "A puppy? That sounds quite thrilling. You would put me on the spot with such a question. What a thrill, my life! Transforming a wall into a somewhat accurate starscape, trying to fashion a glass map of constellations, endless research to all manner of curiosities. I may be inventing a language, I'm not entirely sure. Other than riding off into the woods with a possible highwayman, keeping myself somewhat preoccupied for the moment. That was mostly Thursday and Friday, for the most part." She offers her hand to Ophelia, palm downwards, fingers curled. A subtle motion. Back to Avalia, she says, "Forgive me for dashing out. Have you been to Hawkhold, perchance, or Bastion?"
"I, for one, am quite pleased to welcome any enterprising visitors amongst our Great House's vassals," Alaric declares approvingly. "It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Mistress Avalia." He give Aiden an empathetic smile. "Delightful to see you and your daughter, Aiden. Do be in touch with me about that other matter, we'll address it as soon as we can. Have a good evening." He turns to regard Gianna. "Indeed, I must say it's an unexpected pleasure to have Mistress Gianna here tonight. Welcome, welcome."
Niklas gives Gareth a slight frown. "We're pretty lenient, here. Proteges have shown to dinner. Cousins of diners. In fact, maybe I'll ask Octavia to the next one!" Niklas collapses into his throne and adds, "I'm not going to do that. I don't hate anyone THAT much." He offers Avalia a wave. "Welcome! Eat up! There's plenty and more. Try the shrimp! They're very dill-y." They might be a little too dill-y after four or five. Then, "Well, that's great to- wait, what? Overpopulation of songbirds?" He leans over and whispers to whoever is fortunate enough to sit next to him, "Is that a thing?" But, ever distractible, Niklas waves to Luca, "Did /you/ see my painting in the House of Questions? Tikva said she put it there! It was a gift for her, but really for her, Gareth and Laric! You too, but I gave you a knife. And Ian tells me you killed two people with it. So it's been a busy few days. But, no, my painting!"
Gianna bows toward Alaric arefully, so she doesn't upend her plate or spill her wine. "Thank you, Your Majesty. Prince Niklas invited me, as he is my patron." A nod to the playwright Prince; Gianna moves over to the table and seats herself, with a little nod Sabella's way. Yes, please don't hunt the nightingales. Looking from Delilah to Avalia, she says, "Does this mean it's Goodwoman Avalia's turn to share news?"
Hmm, who next. Delilah inclines her head to Avalia. "If you do not mind, Mistress Avalia, would you care to tell us how your week has been?"
The (rest of) the Inquisition arrives, go figure, two Inquisitors preceding Laric's arrival. They're very small Inquisitors, looking to be no more than three years old apiece and probably belonging to its junior division (does the Inquisition have a junior division?). Definitely Inquisitors, though. They've got red coats and tiny badges and they're already interrogating the dinner guests. Squinting and wearing her best Gareth impression (it's not very intimidating), Kieri Grayson marches towards Luca, Ophelia and Delilah, attention apparently drawn by one word, which is apparently her first question of the evening: "Cupcakes? Where are cupcakes?"
The servant minding her (and her more placid sister too) quickly swoops in to direct them elsewhere, and probably towards more nutritious food, making a hushed apology to the three.
Laric, armor off and busily cleaning off his ink-stained fingers with a handkerchief, is just a minute behind. "Good evening, everyone," he remarks amiably, beelining for the food.
Aiden does slip the little bundle of joy back into his arms, seeming soothing a fair bit, before he kisses Sabella back on the cheek, "Be well cousins all." He says to the table, nodding to those on his way out. "We should meet as soon as we can, your Majesty," he bobs to Alaric, but he's definitely on the way out, eyes still heated. There's another sparky little glare sent to Ophelia before he makes his exit, muttering with a growing heat, "Senseless waste of allies." Then the Falcon Duke is gone, with the little babes in his arms, cooing at her as he goes.
3 Rubino and Zaffria guards, Sir Frances Flappington IV, an albino crow leave, following Aiden.
"Oh. Oh! Avalia Woodford," Avalia states. "I'm so sorry I should have introduced myself. But I forgot for that one small moment that we aren't all old friends. It's so comfortable in here and welcoming." She smiles at Sabella. "You've done a beautiful job setting things together." And then there's Luca snagging a cupcake. "Oh! The Sword of Bastion? The most famous Champion of the Champion's Guild? It's like the stars came to have dinner." And then /Alaric The Fourth Himself/ is greeting her and she bows, though it looks a little awkward, like she doesn't spend a lot of time bowing. "Your Majesty!" As she stands, she runs her hand through her hair, and there's a twinkle in her emerald eyes. And then Delilah's asking her how her week was and she looks a bit startled. "Well enough," she says after a moment's thought. "I've worked very hard all week, and so then I heard about this dinner and thought I would come and see who was here. I was bored, you understand? And I hate being bored. And I'm fairly certain I'm going to do something to help the trouble at the Lodge but I'm not sure what yet. I can't do anything special, but I didn't want to just not help. None greater than Grayson, after all! So that's my week. And also I got to see /His Majesty/ who greeting me /personally/ and then there were all these famous people here so I imagine I'll be talking about this for weeks and weeks."
There's about six sure methods of getting on Luca's goodside, and without actually being in the midst of a nap, Avalia seems to be in possession of a good three of them, after what she says to him. He nods along. Yes, the Sword of Bastion! The most famous Champion in the Champion's Guild! "That's me! Welcome, welcome. Feel free to eat with us! We love our commoners! I definitely love our commoners..", he assures, laughing, though rather than eating, the prince seems to be searching out the alcohol. Surely it's somewhe-.. ah! There it is..
"You get to pick the next person to go," Sabella prompts Avalia gently, "You came in after we explained it all, I should've warned you. It's a game we play every time we have one of these to keep people updated on our lives. Once you share, you oick the next person. So far myself Prince Luca, Lady Delilah, and Princess Ophelia have gone I think, so pick anyone else! And Lord Grady is collecting things to raffle off for the defense of the Lodge if you'd like to contribute! I'm having people put together baskets of their favorite things to raffle off. But there's lots of other things people are planning, I know." When Laric's kids come in she gives them a big smile, "There's cookies too!" she tells them helpfully.
"And I did not even know there was a Grayson dinner tonight," says Corban, pleasantly, from where he is standing next to Avalia, not partaking of the cupcakes or even really anything else at the moment. Just the excellent plus one. "But Goodwoman Avalia just /insisted/ that I come along, and I could hardly say no." When she mentions the Lodge, however, he casts a long look her way.
"Oh, of course! I will certainly take care with the Nightingale." Ophelia says to Sabella with a grin. That bright grin, though, is short lived when she catches sight of Aiden's glare as he makes his exit. She finds her pulse quickening. "I... If you'll excuse me." Sliding back in her chair, the Velenosa princess stands up and gives a curtsy to Alaric and the table in general before making her way out of the dining room with a clackclackclack of her shoes against stone flooring.
Alaric evidently can only hear dilly so many times before investigating for himself, strolling over to shrimp and popping one into his mouth with a tentative chew that becomes a nod of approval. "Seems a fair reward for a week of hard work to me," he calls back to Avalia's tale of her week. "I don't know if I believe that an acquaintance of Sir Corban would be bored, however. Surely his industry rubs off on everyone he meets," he quips before looking over to Niklas. "You were right about the shrimp! These are delightful," he declares while grabbing a cupcake to surreptitiously pass to the first mini-Inquistor he runs across.
"Lord Grumpypants," Avalia says after a little thought. "Prince Grumpypants? I missed introductions and he didn't say," she says as she points at Gareth. "But he scowled at me, so he has to liven up the party next," she declares.
Niklas helpfully calls out, "Prince Grumpypants! But he went already. But first lieutenant grumpypants would be Prince Laric, I think."
The scarred inquisitor gives a little dismissive wave of his hand to Niklas' assurance at how inclusive they are before giving a nod. He leans in somewhat to Niklas to murmur something quietly before sitting back up straight to glance over to Avalia. "Unfortunately, Goodwoman, Lord Grumpypants has already taken his turn this evening." Gareth explains, canting his head somewhat. "I apologize if you thought I was scowling at you. Most of the time that is just my face." Prince Grumpypants explains with a small gesture towards his face before motioning back to Avalia. "I'm afraid you'll have to choose again. According to the rules of the game." A light nod is given to Laric and Gareth is taking another sip of his glass.
Gianna reaches up to brush her fingertips along her hair when Avalia mentions 'famous people'. Preening? Laric's arrival is greeted with an inclination of her head; not so much the children. Her attention settles there once Gareth names him to be next in the game.
"I apologize for putting you upon the spot, Mistress Avalia." The Whitehawk girl dips her head, a tinge of rue to offset the herbal sweetness of a friendly reception all around. Accepting that burden of a sort, she clasps her hands together. "Though this dinner has given a fine opportunity to be introduced and known. Certainly you won't be bored here, not wth excellent company and interesting people all about." Like a tiny Inquisitor inquiring, as one might ask, about cupcakes. Someone else fielding that option brings forth a laugh from her, gentle and mercurial. "And a lovely capstone to a week of work, isn't it? There rather are a number of luminaries about, and I shall leave you to them." In that notion dismissing herself among that starry magnitude, she easily slips back a step. There goeth the Velenosa princess, and Delilah casts a thoughtful look after her. Ophelia's departure brings a sprig of worry to her honeyed countenance, and eventually that fades. Over to Corban, then, for a fleeting statement.
"We're catching people up on interesting things that have happened to us or that we are working on," Sabella fills in for Laric. "Like, I shared how we are doig free plays for children and families in the Lowers again! Then you name the next person to go."
Avalia looks at Niklas and now she laughs, and then claps her hand over her mouth like she probably shouldn't "Definitely the First Lieutenant Grumpypants then. Is that an official title?" She looks at Laric expectantly.
Niklas nods to Avalia. "Anything's a title if people say it enough. People keep calling me prince, for instance!"
Delilah stifles a soft laugh in Niklas' direction. "I have the feeling they may continue doing so!"
Gianna slips a morsel of meat into her mouth and chews, trying not to look amused. But not trying too hard.
"Oooh." Petra is delighted with the cupcake Alaric sneaks her, but she's already trading it with her sister who - somehow, someway - stole a cookie. She doesn't eat it though, instead moving up to Sabella's chair and breaking off a piece to offer up to her in a little hand.
"No," Laric drawls mildly, giving Avalia a skeptical look as he piles up his plate. "I'm afraid it isn't, Mistress Woodford." He raises his brows at her and then begins another plate. "Nothing too interesting that I can share, but that's nothing new," he tells the room apologetically, smiling briefly. "Although I am waiting for a metalsmith to finish making the finest teacup I daresay the Most Holy will ever own. Happened to have a bit of platinum laying around, and I owe him for a gold coffee service last year. Ah-- who hasn't gone? Sir Corban?" he guesses.
Corban has been murmuring to Delilah some, and so he seems a bit caught out when Prince Laric mentions that he has not gone. "Ah! Well. Let us see. I have been working hard on organizing the defense of the Lodge, of course. The King's Own had an excellent planning meeting on that earlier this fortnight. And making final preparations for a missionary journey to the Oathlands to spread the Faith and the Code of Chivalry that all knights subscribe to. And then." He gestures next to Avalia next to him. "I had the good fortune to be able to join all of you."
Sabella nearly melts at being offered a cookie and pushes the little plate of them that she already had away towards Niklas so that she when she says, "Thank you! These are my favorite!" it is all the more genuine for not having any within arms reach. "And you'll be getting used to a different title soon," she pats her stomach and grins at Niklas before saying to Alaric, "How are the twins? Did you find it strange to have the new title of 'dad' bestowed on you once they could talk? Or did it feel like the title you'd been waiting for your whole life?" There may be a romantic sigh there. Then she asides to Corban, "Make sure you pick the next person! His majesty, Prince Niklas, and the Nightingale have not gone yet."
Corban then realizes when Sabella prompts him that he ought to pick someone. "Well, I suppose I will pick His Majesty. He is, after all, my superior. And how good it is to be able to share the evening with him not looming over the side of his chair." That is what Corban's thirteen colleagues are busy doing at the moment.
"If Aiden was still here, I'd tell him I told him so," Alaric notes serenely, looking very innocent with regards to any participation in cupcake contraband. Laric's mention of platinum teacups quirks his interest, however. "Is that so? Remind me to call on Orazio for tea afterwards, then, I'd be quite interested to see that." He regards Sabella thoughtfully. "The Crown princess' official title for me is 'babo', as it turns out," he quips. "I'm sure I would have made a fairly decent 'dada' as well, through." He glances to Corban with a cheerful smirk. "Ah, saw that coming."
Delilah shall take the point of helping herself to a cupcake while Corban speaks. She lacks for tea in her vicinity, so something sweet will be ideal. She plucks that up and taps the frosting with her fingertip, the better to sample how sweet it is before a commitment to place on her nose. The romantic sigh from Sabella she cannot help but smile at, honeyed skin more than capably hiding the early onset of a blush. Strategy to distract herself on that tiny cakelike creation involves regarding Laric for a few moments, then turning her bright eyes upon Alaric. "I have at least a little idea of what His Majesty might say." She can't help but grin.
Gianna's eyes briefly close at the mention of platinum. On teacups. They open a moment later. "Why, Your Majesty. You didn't name the next person. I'll just take a turn, then, shall I?" Gianna says. She tosses her hair and looks them all over. "The Bard's College is nearing completion; we're very close to being ready to open, so I've been quite occupied with that. So many little details to be taken care of. We've gone so far, so quickly. I hope to see you all there at the grand opening. And now for you, Prince Niklas?"
Avalia pats Corban's arm as he picks the King. "I should have done that but Prince Grumpypants would scowl at me so. It's really quite distracting," she murmurs, though she laughs at Alaric's comment about the Crown princess' name for him. Then Gianna's talking. "Oh, I do love a good bard. Do you have the grand opening scheduled yet?"
"She's not just a good bard! She's one of the best!", Prince Luca seems encouraged to announce in the wake of Avalia's words, and it seems like perhaps he's been quite enamored of that bottle of brandy he'd found himself earlier, before it's taken his attention and he is just now getting back to family dinner. "That's why they call her the Nightingale, I think!".
Alaric regards the room and takes up his public speaking stance by reflex. "Well then, inasmuch as it makes a poor tale I do apologise, but apart from the regular and routine meetings of keeping the nominal functions of government flowing smoothly, I've not got much else to speak of. I caught up with Nicholaus at the Salon, it was good to see he's back in Arx. I managed to get stuck in traffic on the way to the bank one day, but made the best of it with my fellows halted in place, Lady Delilah among them in fact. And I've been doing quite a bit of swimming as of late to stay fit! Mark my words, I'll turn the twins into Marin'alfar by the time they've turned five or six, I think. Can't be a proper Grayson monarch if you don't own the pool like you were born there," he declares brightly. And then for simplicity's sake let's just say he handed it off to Gianna and stitch around the order a bit.
Gianna seems pleased by Luca's praise. She inclines her head to him and says, "I am the best." She's apparently quite confident. In response to Avalia, she says, "We'll be announcing it soon." Then she's turning her attention to Niklas, because nothing went wrong in the order and she gave her news and directed it to Niklas. That was easy!
There's just a light rolling of Gareth's eyes as he takes another sip of his wine. Remaining mostly silent now as his gaze follows the conversation at large.
Delilah takes a polite, neat bite of the cupcake, just in time to nod smartly at the traffic jam-causing powers of the monarch. The quick flash of a golden smile for Alaric tapers off slightly. She wrinkles her nose at the relative thickness of the icing, and dabs the tip of her nose with her pinkie finger just in case. It wouldn't do to be graced by icing sugar by accident. "The grand opening, if it features any of your singing, will be remarkable." Soft praise given to Gianna, it isn't meant to be spoken to everyone. "I can't wait to hear of it."
"Well, thank you Nightingale!" Niklas glances toward Avalia and stage-whispers, "Speaking of titles that become titles of people say them enough." Niklas rocks back in his throne, then lunges to his feet. "So! I had a very good gee em gee gee oh!" He holds up one wrist, "Luca got me this bracelet," and then the other wrist, "and Lord Alessandro got me this one! I have a new protege in the form of Marquessa Simone, who I'll have to have come to one of these since she is a delight! I wrote an unflattering song about ... you know? Just believe me that it's great. Nightingale Gianna named me the Mockingbird of the Bard's College." He pauses and tilts his head toward Sabella, "And my beautiful wife was named Voice of Grayson, which she humbly did not say." Then goes on, "I also have a new assistant, since Isabelle keeps asking me to spend more time with her husband. Sam, say hello." Sam, who is definitely a boy, waves. "And, let's see, oh! My next play is finished as of this morning, so once the current series Sabella and I are doing is over we'll be putting that on. And..." He thinks for a moment, holding up a hand. "...that might be it. I won a dance contest with Sabella? I sang a song about Pena that won me a nice medal. Hm. I think that's it. Let's have more shrimp!" And he is served more shrimp as he flops back into his throne
Niklas has joined the Throne of Pena Stormryder.
Corban gives Avalia a very small smile when she pats his arm like that, nodding his head at her. "Well, this is a rather enjoyable gathering, isn't it?" he asks. "It is fascinating to hear what everyone is up to."
"I do like that throne, by the by. It's from Monique's last gala in the Whisper House's ballroom, is it not?" Alaric observes curiously to Niklas. "And I'm looking forward to a very remarkable opening for the Bard's College. An institution specifically for the performing musical arts will be a fine addition to the culture and prestige of Arx."
Gianna arches an eyebrow at Niklas when he mentions that bit about titles, but her expression smooths out again by the time Delilah praises her and the King announces looking forward to the College opening. "I'll be sure to save you a good seat, Your Majesty," she tells Alaric.
"It really is," Avalia says brightly to Corban. "Charming company, and the most delightful group of people, all so busy doing interesting things around the city. I haven't had so much fun in days. But I think we probably should not overstay our welcome here, because these lovely people have been absolutely dear hosts. Especially Princess Sabella." She beams at the very pregnant lady.
"That throne /is/ from the Gala! He even let me sit in it for a bit, while we were there! It was some event, that's for sure.", Prince Luca tells King Alaric, with a laugh, "I thought I was going to win that whole climbing game, until I saw Jeffeth Bayweather hit the wall behind me. Gave me that feeling, like a sword right in the gut. Knew I would lose!", he adds, letting a fox-like grin curl his lips. "That man's a legend. Let's not ruin dinner with talk of him, though.". He tips back his brandy for another long drink.
"I told him he couldn't keep it in our room," Sabella says of the throne with a laugh, "He's already bad enough with that writing desk if his. But thank you for coming, Sir Corban and Mistress Avalia! Please take some cupcakes with you or I will finish them all myself."
Delilah presses her fingertips to her lips, the smoothed arc of her smile settling in again. "The throne is lovely. You were climbing rather well, Prince Luca. Sometimes it seems that man apparently has wings stored under his armour and sticky feet, clearly." A quick laugh blithely sails into the aether, skimming the waves and dipping out of sound. Smiling to Corban, she adds, "It's good to see you. Don't forget to send word when you want that tea." A seat is easily enough claimed at the table, somewhere she settles in.
Corban turns his head when Avalia announces it is time to away. "Ah, well, I suppose I cannot deny my date her leave, then," says Sir Corban, bowing his head to those here. "Thank you all for the hospitality and the conversation. I greatly enjoyed it."
"Oh! Also Marquessa Samantha has given me her support to open up a Crown Arts Center! Now all we have to do is secure a location and find some art." Niklas nods to Alaric. "The theme was legends. Sabella was a fine Queen Alarice and I was such a good Tyrval the actual Tyrval didn't feel any need to actually talk." He looks to Sabella, "Would you like to turn in a bit early, my love? There has been so much excitement!" When Luca mentions Jeffeth Niklas points at him. "No saying anything bad about Jeffeth! He was my champion against Lady Micaela and..." He stops and glances around, confirms that Aiden is gone, and finishes, "...Duchess Grazia. With whom I certainly did not have words at the menagerie ball. So we only say nice things about Sir Bayweather!"
Avalia pauses on her way out the door as she hears Niklas' comments and she looks back with a big grin on her face. "I hear he's very tall," she says. "But he's no Prince Luca!" And then she's giving a wave and they're heading out the door.
Gianna has a sip of wine before saying, "I still have Prince Cerdic's throne. It's quite awkward and I have no idea where to put it. It's in my room at Whisper House." She inclines her head to Corban and Avalia as they leave.
Reedy, a King's Own aide leaves, following Corban.
Corban leaves, following Avalia.
Niklas waves a hand. "I've seen taller. Though Lord Geralt is exceptionally fat, so it makes him look just huge."
Delilah returns the wave with a light roll of her wrist, rotated from side to side. She looks to Gianna. "I'm sure it's a beautiful throne all the same."
Luca can't help cut add, in Avalia's wake, "Is he tall? I heard he was a short man with a moustache.", and he gives Niklas a skeptical look, before going back to his brandy. "Well, who knew we had such a lovely commoner woman under Grayson? Lucky her! Getting to come to dinner and everything, with us." He poaches another cupcake, which seems to be all he's eating tonight, but this one he doesn't eat. He just.. brandishes. Thoughtfully.
"Thank you kindly, Mistress Gianna," Alaric declares appreciatively before glancing over to Luca. "He is something of an athletic phenomenon, is he not? The Knights of Solace are rather fortunate to have him as one of their own. I'd certainly feel rather safe traveling around under his auspices. I've met him a time or two, he's quite an upstanding fellow. Still! That you nearly beat him says quite a bit about you as well, Luca. I daresay you might just beat him out next time." So much confidence! He glances back at Niklas. "Ah, that's excellent to hear about your Center project. Might I suggest near the Jayus gallery in the southwest part of the Compact ward? I think the area would quite easily become a hub of artistic expression, between the existing gallery space and the Blackrose."
The corners of Gianna's lips quirk upward; she inclines her head to Alaric. She then tells Delilah, "Oh, it's absolutely lovely. Just... large. Doesn't fit well at the desk, and it's not made to be comfortable for hours and hours. I'm proud of it, though. And the token I earned that led me there."
Sabella rubs her stomach and nods to Niklas, "While I hate to leave such a lovely gathering of people, I am pretty tired." she pushes back from the table saying with a laugh, "Party planning is just so exhausting!" she gives everyone a wave, "Do excuse me, I seem to be requiring more and more sleep of late as people tell me to get it while I can."
"Of course, Sabella. Thank you again for all that you do for the House, it's certainly appreciated," Alaric declares. "A good night to you and Prince Niklas both." He glances back at Gianna and Luca. "I'm starting to feel I erred by not trying to claim a throne of my own at that last party. I mean, I have one already, but why stop at one?" he quips.
"I do wish you very well, Princess Sabella. Thank you for a lovely evening, as always. Terribly enjoyable, and you put such effort into making everyone feel welcome." Delilah smooths her fingertips along the contour of her dress, finally deigning to drop into that chair. One leg crossed over the other at the ankle, she projects a certain delicacy and decorum suitable to a lady. The faintest tinges of rose still blossom at her cheeks, fading out with the onset of the hour. "Good night to you, and you as well, Prince Niklas. Your throne is splendid, naturally."
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Gareth before departing.
"Thank you, Princess Sabella. And thank you for inviting me, Prince Niklas," Gianna tells the pair. To Alaric, she says, "You can't have all the attention. You had such a lovely dress, as I recall. The dress and a throne? Tsk. Too much."
"I had a lovely -gown-," Alaric notes sunnily to Gianna. "But I suppose you're right. It's unbecoming a monarch to seem too acquisitive. After all, you can only sit in one throne at a time, right? Stockpiling them is probably not the greatest of looks," he quips impishly. "Our society does rely on the King to set the appropriate tone and provide a good example."
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