Twin Princes 1st Birthday Party
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Oct. 7, 2018, 2 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Redrain - Redrain Gardens
Comments and Log
Dandy, the red fox, 1 Templar Knight guards arrive, following Etienne.
In the picnic area of the Redrain Gardens, blankets have been laid out for families to sit out and enjoy the day. An obstacle course, built with toddlers in mind, has been laid out for children under three to explore the world around them. A series of tables have been set out with finger sandwiches, fruit, veggies and refreshments for parents to bring to their wee ones. A gentle soothing lute player makes his rounds, teasing smiles from the children as jugglers and acrobats entertain the guests.
Marian is dressed rather casually for the party, in a loose tunic with breeches and boots. Her blood red hair is up and out of the way. Her two 1 yr olds, Valen and Fenris are dressed nicely for the event. Nia stands nearby with a sour look on her face, it's clear this 2 yr old is not okay that this party is not about her. The little Redrain family greets parents and toddlers as they arrive at the event.
Alis has two small children in tow with her. One that keeps running ahead of her, accompanied by a, "Slow your roll, Ellara! You've got to watch out for your sister!" And the other, perched on the Princess' hip and exactly the same age as the twin princes. This one is quiet, legs kicking back and forth as she looks around everywhere. Curiousity and caution clearly taking precedence over her older sibling's rush to DO and PLAY. All are dressed for a play day in the gardens of course. Not a scrap of silk between any of them. "Aunt Marrrriiiiiiiiiii. Niiiiiaaaaa" Yes, that woul be Ellara, attempting to hunt down Princess Marian and Princess Nia in the least subtle way ever.
Primus, First of Monique's Assistants arrives, delivering a message to Etienne before departing.
The Keaton horde arrives with a surprise, a passel of puppies gamboling around the group that is Reigna, a seen-but-not-heard Kael, with two year old Aeryn in a smart little black and green jumper, his three year old companion, Kata in a spring green dress with darker green ribbons, while Talis is perched on his mother's hip. Aeryn hears the dulcet tones of Ellara and shouts, "LAAAAARA! Kata, 'Lara is here!" He grabs his sister's hand and rushes forward, causing the puppies to start baying and chasing after them.
Eurion arrives... childless and alone. So sad. But he is bright-eyed and smiling as he makes his way to the children's party as if he has all reasons for being here. Even so, with all the toddlers around, he looks completely overwhelmed, stepping out of the way as Reigna Keaton arrives as to not be in the way. He watches the children with a slightly nervous air and sort of sidesteps over towards Marian.
Prince Kyrios Thrax is a little younger than the hosts, and as such, sits on his mother Sorrel's hip, gnawing on a stuffed mountain lion that has been masticated upon enough that the tail is out of shape and a little filthy. The little boy has storm blue eyes which look around at all of the many stimuli in the garden, completely wowed and being a bit shy about all the new humans. Sorrel heads over to where the adults are gathering, a warm smile on her face. "Hello, your highnesses," she greets Marian and Alis, and she winks at Reigna. "Everyone's growing so fast!"
Despite having no children, Rowenova shows up to the kiddie events, doing so with her wolf pelt (recently cleaned) around her. Walking beside her is the Soulful Hound, Sir Floppington, who tail wags. They both follow Reigna and those adorable pups into the Redrain Gardens.
"El-La-Ra," Nia calls back out with excitement, losing her immediate foul mood when her favorite playmate appears. She looks to her momma to see if she can run and go play, and Marian tells her daughter softly, "Not till we greet the guests love." Nia scowls again, stomping her feet but she doesn't leave the greeting line. Marian calls out to Alis with a smile, "There you are sister, it's good to see you." She motions to the twins in her arms, on her hips in a similar fashion, "Fergus and Valen are glad to see you." She then gives a greeting out to Reigna, "The whole family is here I see." She smiles at the little one on mother's hip, while keeping an eye on Nia to make sure she doesn't run off. She gives a nod in greeting as Sorrel brings her little one, "Oh yes, aren't they just getting so big." She smiles at all the little ones that are being brought to the party. She glances above the crowd and nods to Rowenova, sending her a silent signal to keep an eye out for the bigger ones that are playing with the pups.
Although he has neither family nor children, Marcas is here, thudding his way through the gardens. He's not wearing his furs in deference to the weather, though he probably resembles nothing short of a bear regardless. Glancing over the crowd, he grunts, focusing in on Marian for a moment, watching her and her children, and the people around her with a sharp eye -- as one might expect from a bodyguard. He doesn't try to step closer yet -- not with Marian doing her social thing -- just catching her eye for a beat, before he moves on. Rowenova and her two pups are noticed, and he veers that way, greeting the scout with a grunt, and eyeing the two dogs with interest. "Where'd you get them from?" he asks, instead of a greeting.
"Ellara will stand with you, Nia." Alis leans over and lowers her voice as though she's imparting a secret. "Kata? Kata too?" Hearing Aeryn, the bright eyed little dragon princess waves and tries to make a little posse of kids to keep Nia company until she has been released from the family duties. "And you, Marian." Flashing a bright smile at the Redrain woman, Alis hoists Eirlys further up in her arms so the one year old can reach out and pat Marian's face. "Oh, this will be such fun. Is their whiskey and wine for the adults?" she quips, lifting a free hand to wave in greeting to Reigna and Sorrel and the others. "And look at that handsome hound. And all the puppies..."
Reigna laughs as her children gather up around Nia and Ellara. Talis reaches his arms out towards Alis, smiling at her, as Reigna bobs her head and grins to Alis and Marian, "Your highnesses! So good to see you, thank you for the invites. Aeryn has been talking about this all week." Spying Sorrel, Reigna beams, "Cousin! So good to see you as well."
"Your highness, I'm delighted to be here," Eurion greets the hostess, bowing deeply. "Even if the children faintly terrify me," he jokes, looking down at the 2-year old and giving the girl a playful wink. "Is there something I can assist with?" he asks immediately, stepping aside as to not block others from greeting the hostess as well, giving charming smiles and polite greetings to everyone.
A fox and a templar arrive at the party, they don't quite look like they belong together. The templar appears to have a weary look on his face that emphases he doesn't care what people think of him, and he carries a large flat box with a ribbon attached. Moments later, Etienne follows behind, his pale golden hair a striking contrast to the dark umbra he wears which is embroidered with sigils of the Faith. He motions towards Marian and the templar and fox follow him. "Princess Marian, I bring well wishes from your absent sister, and in addition to a small donation to the Knights we bring this.." he glances back at the templar. ".. somewhat unfortunate box." he leans in for a moment. "It's full of candy." he says quietly.
Sorrel has a very clingy child now, hiding his face against her shoulder and clinging fiercely to his mountain lion. Apparently, he's not too big on large social engagements just yet, or he hasn't warmed up to it. Either way, Sorrel looks thrilled to see Reigna. "Cousin! It's good to see your growing family as well. Have you met Kyrios? Eventually I'll let him just sit by himself and he'll be a happier boy, I think."
After Marian's signal, Rowenova up nods then dutifully proceeds to watch over the bouncy pups and the bigger toddlers, making sure to gently assist them in playing kindly with the young canines. Although she does not look away from doing so, she smiles brightly as easily seen from the side view when Marcas curiously inquires. She merrily replies, "Most of these are from the Keatons, but Sir Floppington there, he saved my life from thugs with knives, and then constantly follows me. He is family now, of course. I love him dearly." Yes, Sir Floppington happily wags to get right in the very midst of all the kids, and because he is a Very Good Boy Indeed, he is well mannered and very kind.
"Yes, there is whiskey and wine for the adults," Marian confirms to Alis with a wink, "I would not hold a toddler party without the necessary fortifications." She sees the children starting to gather around Nia, and then tells her daughter, "Okay, I think there are enough older ones here for you to show them the obstacle course." She gives a glance over at her bodyguard, grateful that he's there, and gives a nod to him as if asking him to keep an eye on Nia as she converses with the adults. Since Eurion offers to be put to work, she tells the man, "You might want to go over there and start helping the older ones get familiar with the obstacle course." She gives a greeting to Etienne as he arrives, "Monique didn't make it?" She gives a deep smile at the mention of candy in the box, "Not till after cake..." Nodding to a servant to come and relieve it from him. She tells Sorrel with a smile, "Maybe once the bigger ones get occupied, things will spread out a little for him."
Marcas frowns down at the pups as Rowenova -- but he's not really frowning at them so much as considering, gaze flickering from one to the next. "I'd considered getting a Keaton dog. Sent a message to their trainer, haven't heard back yet. Ain't sure if it's the season." For puppies, that is. He crouches down, holding a hand out to one of the dogs. This leaves him open for one of the children to climb onto his back -- which a boy promptly does. He looks nothing if not resigned to being a makeshift part of the non-obstacle course.
Alis leans over so she can give Talis a kiss on the forehead and grasp one of the reaching hands playfully. As does Eirlys of course; her pudgy little hands are making the grabby motions. "Perhaps he will enjoy sitting by Eirlys then, Princess Sorrel. She's far more quiet then her rambunctious older sibling." ... who is busy jabbering at the others closer to her age and making expansive arm gestures before she zeroes in on the puppies and hounds. Alis, however, hears 'candy' and might pale a little beneath already porcelein skin. In this family's case, it's Sit Rhys that steps up to wander over to the obstacle course to keep an eye on Ellara. He's armored, and that's a requirement when dealing with her.
Eurion rubs his hands - he's been given an Important Mission, his back straightening and his smile radiant and rascally. "Yes, Your Highness - I shall escort the young ones safely through this course of obstacles! Excuse me," he says and bows again and then wanders on over with the toddlers, like one gigantic child himself. "Wooah now, no no no, you can't just crawl /under/ it," he begins and then proceeds to show them how to go down that slide. "Follow my instructions- wait, what was that? 'Nanananalllllla?' I'm afraid I don't know what that means.... no wait, you really should not eat that, I don't think that's very good for you at all..." Eurion glances back in some panic, is anyone close enough to help.
"Unfortunately she is otherwise occupied" Etienne replies to Marian, watching various children scramble, tumble, frolic, and play. "But she was able to convince me to deliver her questionable idea of candy to a large group of children. I think perhaps as a survival of the fittest contest." he smiles lightly again, stepping back to avoid a small pack of running children and dogs.
Rowenova helpfully relocates a tiny hand from a pup's ear onto the pup's back, "Well, Marquessa Reigna is here." She points out the noble woman before then turning briefly to Marcas, to whom she gives an esteemed smile due to his current situation. She is proud of him! She goes back to her bidden task, that which is not really work, per say. Rowenova briefly glances toward the candy talk but then goes back to helping out the young humans and pups. Meanwhile, Sir Floppington bounds sideways a little bit and happily bays to the smaller hounds before bounding back to where he was before.
Marian gives a smile as Marcas starts letting the kids climb on him, and Rowenova herds the animals chasing after the kids. She gives a laugh as one of the two babes in her arms start to get restless. She leans down to put Fergus down who immediately starts crawling after the bigger kids. Valen seems content to stay with his mother, sucking on his fingers and watching the world around him, "Valen is my quiet one." She motions to where her 1 yr old is crawling, "Fergus is always after his sister." She calls out to Eurion as he gets a taste of the choas of toddlers, "If it's grass, it's fine. There's nothing on the ground that should be a problem." She gives a smile to Etienne as he describes how Monique is busy, "And yes, I'm sure my sister would be here if she could." She gives a wink to Alis as if sharing a private joke since they both know how Monique feels about toddler parties.
"If Princess Eirlys were MORE rambunctuous than her older sister, well. That would be dangerous. I predict structural damage," Sorrel laughs, grinning at Alis brightly. "I mean, they'll be building their own seige weapons before you know it, but no need to rush that, right?" She looks amused at the idea of Monique at a toddler party.
Eurion's expression of relief is almost tangible as he's reassurd that eating grass is fine. "Ah, very well then," he tells the toddler, and accepts a handful of grass from the child, trying it out himself. HE chews thoughtfully. "Hmm." Then throws the grass away and dives towards one of the other children that he suspects might fall down. Of course, them being like two years old, if they fall on their behind - they won't even be bothered. But Eurion doesn't quite realise this and is very serious about his protective role. "Got ya!" he says and is on the ground now, having 'saved' the girl. The child is not impressed.
Sir Rhys shall come to your rescue, Eurion! Sort of. He lifts up the object the kids are trying to crawl under instead of over and raises an eyebrow at the offenders. "All young knights must learn the /proper/ way to scale enemy defenses when required." he intones, as Ellara runs over to fling herself at something to climb and he has to scoop her up under an arm. It prompts a peal of laughter though, so they obviously do this often.
When the scout points, Marcas looks over his shoulder towards Reigna with a blankness that suggests he doesn't recognize her in the least. "Ain't gonna hound someone about dogs at a kid's party." Wait, was that a joke? If so, it's delivered in such a bland voice as to be missed, as he looks back towards Rowenova with the dogs. Marian's look earns a wry one in return: /she/ has the harder job herding children, after all. He just has to sit there. The boy on his back is gripping his shoulders, feet on his belt for balance, giggling loudly. The laughter draws a young girl, staring curiously at this new game.
Aeryn is puffing up his chest and grinning at Nia, pointing to one of the bigger puppies, "That's Boogie. He plays! How much longer do we have to be in the line?" Kata just shakes her head and looks to the other girls and leans in to whisper into Nia's ear, clearly this is a super special secret that needs to be passed to Ellara. Reigna smiles to Kyrios and offers a soft smile to the little one, "Hello Kyrios! Perhaps Eirlys, Talis and Kyrios would like to play? I think they are all about the same age."
"That... Gods, Princess Sorrel. That would be a disaster in the manor, at the very least." Alis breathes out, looking truly terrified at the idea. But then, also truly amused at the idea of Monique at a toddler part. "Perhaps a toddler party involving fashion. Somehow." is suggested, before her nose crinkles up in distaste. No fashion parties for her. "Let's see what they do, shall we?" At the idea of Eirlys, Talis, Kyrios and... maybe Valen finding something more quiet to do. She sets her one year old down on a blanket, and keeps eye on her.
Marian looks to the obstacle course and then tells Sorrel, "I was assured by our crafters that it could withstand my children and their friends." Nia happily passes off the secret from Kata to Ellara. She gives a conspiring look to the adults and whispers back to the other girls. Marian isn't paying attention at first as Eurion is catching children that fall until Nia decides to climb up the obstacle course and throw herself off the platform to see if the knight or Marcas will catch her. Meanwhile Fergus is right behind, ready to follow his sister's insanity, "Nia...damn it!" She shouts at her daughter, seeing what she's doing, "You stop that right now!" Too late. Little toddler is in the air just as her mom yells at her.
Rowenova lets out a little laugh at Marcas's joke as her right hand pulls down her wolf pelt until the lupine's face completely covers her own, except at the eye sockets (where her cobalt-blue, khol-lined eyes can be seen). Then, the wolfy scout gets down on all fours, playfully growling in the midst of all these kids and pups with Sir Flop who happily plays, too. She hears Marian, though, and looks up toward the obstacle course and the lemming children.
Eurion has gained allies in Obstacle Course Watch and he shoots Sir Rhys a very thankful look. He climbs to his feet and the girl he 'saved' wanders onwards to another part of the course. "That's right," he informs helpfully, "you now grab that bar and pull yourself up." He moves closer and helps the girl grab it, lifting her slightly and carefully, like he's afraid he'll break the child just by touching, expression nervous. But all goes well - this time. He takes a step back and looks around to see who else could use some help - right on time for Nia to throw herself off like that. He doesn't think, but just dives right towards her, either to catch her or at least make her land on him and make any fall less jarring.
Even with half an eye on the princess' kids, Marcas is too slow for Nia's sneakiness. He's got a child on his back still, and another gripping his belt, so his instinctive surge to his feet as Nia throws herself off is aborted pretty hastily. Something crosses his expression quickly -- gone seconds later as Eurion dives for Nia.
"I'm pretty sure that Monique is allergic to toddlers, and is even more allergic to grubby little fingers touching her," Sorrel jests cheerfully as she settles Kyrios down on the blanket next to Eirlys. He wavers like a drunk, being about ten months old, and then he shouts, "TEEMO!" at her while gesticulating wildly with his mountain lion lovey. Sorrel's big white pudgy puppy, who is about as old as the children on the blanket, comes to sit protectively on the edge of the blanket, watching her small person and his new friend Eirlys.
Rowenova suddenly leaps to her feet and dashes over to pick up Fergus before the young boy can launch himself off the obstacle course, "Hey now." says the fur-clad woman within the wolf face!
Sir Floppington takes over herding duty!
Kata can roll with Princesses and squeals with delight as Nia jumps, "Now Ellara! Me too!" Kata scrambles up on the course and looks for a good place to jump. She gives a battle cry as she jumps, while Aeryn looks on, mouth open, "MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMA! Kata's gonnna faaaaall!" Reigna looks over and blanches, "Kata!" Talis is set down on the blanket, but Kata is safe, given the figure that is Kael lurking around for just such a reason, catching his foster daughter in his arms.
Etienne watches for a while, the chaos and joy in all quarters. His errand completed he makes his way to the edge of the party before slipping away quietly.
Ellara sees Nia, and obviously MUST show that she can do this thing too! She tries desperately to squirm away from Sir Rhys so she can follow suit. "Not without your armor little princess." sternly, he keeps a firm grip while her little legs flail and her face scrunches up in annoyance. "She's going to get even later, Your Highness. Best prepare the nanny now." he singsongs. Which, coming from the somewhat stocky man... well. And when Ellara finally /is/ freed she promptly starts running to the pillow pit to drag pillows over to where Nia was projected to land before being caught. "Safe now! Go again!" Gods help them all.
"Teemo." Eirlys is so much more sedate. She repeats the word, and looks between Kyrios and the dog. "Teemo?" She speed crawls like a mutant monkey over to the dog to try and pet him. "You were saying you had whiskey, Marian. I believe now would be a good time to break it open." Alis murmurs. "Fiachra said he'd be here soon, so he can help, uhm, herding. That poor man over there obviously needs even more assistance. Is he Nia's portable cushion?"
Dandy, the red fox, 1 Templar Knight guards leave, following Etienne.
Marian squeals with laughter as Eurion manages to catch Nia before she lands herself into certain injury. Fergus cries when Rowenova stops him from following what is sure to be great fun from the kiddie perspective. Marian stalks over to where her laughing daughter is and gives her a growl, "Not good Nia...not good at all." She points over to a blanket and orders her daughter, "Time out! Now! You go and sit there for a minute and think about what you did. That was very, very dangerous." She looks at Fergus who is looking at his mom with big eyes, "No jumping." He gives a deer in headlights look at mom, not daring to cry at this point. She gives a groan as other children start to try to kill herself, "Obstacle course...this is bad as Nia's mud pies."
Much more deliberately, Marcas extricates himself from the children climbing on him one by one. He stalks, deliberately, towards the obstacle course, grimacing as he leans against one of the support beams, eyeing Eurion with a kind of sympathy only those put upon by children can share. "Good catch," he says, quietly -- approvingly, while he eyes the other children.
The servants start bringing out the whiskey and wine for the harried parents who have daredevils as children.
Rowenova carefully adjusts Fergus into her armored arms and looks to him through the eye holes on the wolf pelt, "See, Momma says no jumping, because you might hurt yourself." She pats his back and then moves back toward Marian next to whom she sets the little one.
Eurion is rather dazed and is holding a two-year old up above him, lying on his back. How that happened, he has no real idea - just pure luck. "Oh thank the gods," he breathes and sets the girl down as Marian comes over to give the toddler a stern talking to, once more climbing to his feet. He is looking quite disheveled now, with grass stains on his clothes, his hair coming mostly lose. But he keeps his good cheer. "I suppose it would be a bad idea to commend her for such excellent jumping techniques, right?" he murmurs to Marian. He turns a bright smile at Marcas and bows a little. "Thank you," he says. "I am not entirely sure how that even happened."
"Yes! Exceedingly bad idea!!" Alis calls out helpfully.
Reigna is marching up and following Marian's parental form. She does not need to say a word, however, her look alone is enough to deflate Kata's giggles. Reigna points to the blanket and Kata kicks a clump of grass and marches over to sit on the blanket with the babies. Aeryn looks up at the course, looks to his mother, looks to his sister and then promptly throws himself into the pillow pit, bumping into anotehr child and knocking heads.
Marcas, though not a parent, is definitely sneaking in some of that whiskey action when it's brought around. "Children," he grunts at Eurion by way of answer.
Marian gives a nod in confirmation that complimenting Nia after her bad behavior would not be a good thing. She motions for Fergus to go try the course after Rowenova returns him, "No jumping..." The little guy starts taking to the course, which of course gets a few sniffles from Nia since he is going to get to use the slide first. Marian is standing right there now so her son is not going to try anything funny. Valen watches all of this with his calm cuddling against his mom. She takes a whiskey with her free hand, "Yes, children..." She commiserates with Marcas.
Reigna moves over to join Alis and shakes her head, "You know, we spoke about how our children were going to be holy terrors, but I never really thought about how bad that was going to be. Should we start a pool on how many broken bones there will be? I mean, I thought the first wouldn't be until they were seven or eight. Children are quite bouncy and bendy, you know.."
Since the mothers have taken charge here, Eurion gets a bit of a respite - he has himself to blame anyway, thinking he could handle this. He is so out of his element, but he means well. "Ah, children," he says but sounds kind of hopeful anyway. He does however quietly and subtly grab himself a whiskey now and downs it immediately. "Would they appreciate some stories about my times on the sea, or are they too young?" he says, still eager to be helpful. He adds, since he realises he might not be known by most; "I am Lord Eurion Ashford."
Alis grabs a glass of the whiskey as it's brought out, stifling her laughter with a drink of the stuff. "Ellara, you won't be able to play Knights and Dragons with Uncle Edain later if you hurt yourself now." Her persuasion technique is somewhat different than others. But, knowing that her eldest daughter is the miniature version of herself, also knows that even a stern look or a screaming match will make no headway. "I'm going to say at least two broken bones before the age of 7. Each." she decides, giving Reigna a sympathetic look. "I give Ellara credit for thinking of the pillows though." she admits. "Stories are an excellent idea, Lord Eurion. I'm Princess Alis Valardin, and the little mini me with the white hair is Princess Ellara."
Alis nods towards Eirlys then. "The quiet one, not causing any trouble, is Princess Eirlys."
Marquessa Pudding, Kyrios's dog, takes to Eirlys warmly and cheerfully begins licking her in the face. Kyrios finds this hysterical; he doesn't mind sharing his doggy with his new friend, and he shouts his one word again: "TEEMO!" The Thrax prince laughs and laughs, waving his doll around.
Meanwhile, Sorrel is trying to keep up with the flow of the party, and it's quite stimulating for everyone involved. "Only two?" she says to Alis.
Marcas answers Eurion consideringly: "Maybe if there were pirates involved?" He's already downed the contents of his glass, and glances towards Marian with a little twitch of lips, before he amends, "Marcas," he says, simply.
Sir Floppington bounds this way and that way, nosing kids and pawing pups into some semblance of chaotic order... if that even makes any sense. Meanwhile, Rowenova briefly watches the youth of all species then moves away to the offered drinks from which she picks up a whiskey cup. "Thanks."
Marian motions to her little boy on her hip, "Oh Valen loves stories, I'm sure he would love to hear your pirate tale." She does seem to agree that pirates are needed. She leaves Nia on the blanket for a little bit and then motions for her to rejoin them. The wee princess is a bit more subdued as she comes back but perks up at the mention of a story, "Story, story, story." She is making a beeline for Eurion again. Fergus at this point has made it down to the pillow pit after taking the slide and seems content to crawl and roll over pillows at the moment.
Accepting a glass of whiskey, Reigna clinks her glass to the Princess' before she snorts. "I think you're liable to be right." She looks over to Eurion as he makes the introductions and her brows lift, "Oh! Hello! I am Marquessa Reigna Keaton, born Reigna Wyrmguard. My father was Erik Ashford." There is a friendly sort of smile given to the man, before she looks over to Talis who is taking wobbly steps towards the fluffy white Marquessa Pudding. He is careful when he pets her, having plenty of experience with dogs in Keaton Hall. He looks to his mother and warbles, "Shhoosht!"
Eurion is quite charmed by Nia - it's hard not to be by a child that begs for a story after all. "There can be pirates," he nods at Marcas. "Honored to meet you." He turns a smile and a wave at Rowenova now too - those two are acquainted since before, clearly. Realising he has a relative right here - he grins so widely his lips threaten to reach his ears. "Cousin Reigna! No, my apologies - Marquessa Keaton, of course." He bows towards her; he has a sort of natural charm to himself and there's not a manipulative bone in his body. "Excuse me, it is story time." He does down another whiskey quickly though, just to get some strength and goes to find a good spot to sit down to tell a story about pirates and princesses that saves princes from evil mermaids...
"You're right. At least three." Alis sighs, but lifts her glass towards Sorrel. "Ellara, come join us and your sister for storytime." She leaves Eirlys where she is, petting the dog and looking generally fascinated. And then, grabs the child who runs at her like a charger, picking her up before she can leap and then finding a spot to sit for stories. The white haired toddler does, however, lean over enough so that she can find Nia and give her a toothy, mischeivous grin and a giggle.
As all the children begin to gather near Eurion for story-time, Marcas eases back out of the way. The look he gives the knight is pretty clear: Sorry, you're on your own, buddy. He still lingers nearby, keeping an eye on things.
There is bright smile for Eurion and Reigna says, brightly, "*Cousin* Reigna is quite perfect." She offers a happy smile to Eurion before calling to her son, "Aeryn Squall! There's about to be a story!" Aeyrn looks to Fergus and offers his hand. "Story!" Talis is happy to keep petting Pudding and Kata joins Nia in moving over to sit near Eurion. "Story!"
Unlike the last kiddie party, Rowenova does lift the wolf face from her own, pushing that back a ways until it is atop her head and not over it. After, Rowenova drinks down the full amount of whiskey from her cup before then lifting up said cup to Eurion before she picks up a sandwich plate then meanders closer to stop near Reigna as she watches Eurion tell his story.
Fergus makes his way over to where his sister is, and Marian puts Valen down so he can listen to the story too. It's very clear that all three of Marian's kids loves stories. And coming from Eurion's deep voice, it holds their extra attention since they're used to hearing stories from their mommy. Marian takes the opportunity to have the servants be instructed on how to hand out the C-A-K-E. She's smart enough not to use the actual word. It's pretty clear that the happy birthday song will be sung after story time. Once that's all done, she spends times with the other mothers to enjoy a few seconds of quiet.
Pudding has turned into a couch for toddlers, just sprawled out and allowing them to lean on her. She's a patient pudgy puppy, used to having her fur tugged and small children using her as a pull-up bar. She is a licker, though, and she makes an effort to lick everyone who comes in range in a friendly sort of way. And also potentially because they may have spilled something on themselves.
Seryna, a charming Lycene handmaiden, 6 Grimhall House Guards arrive, following Vanora.
2 Grimhall House Guards, Gustav, a gruff Islander advisor, Vanora arrive, following Valdemar.
Eurion proceeds to animatedly tell a story about a pirate princess and a prince that needs to be rescued from bad mermaids. It's quite simple and hardly exceptionally plot-heavy. But then, these are 2-3 year olds. Even he realises he can't make it too intricate. He focuses on the characters instead, and answers questions if there are some, about the sea and its creatures. He does try to make them laugh by making silly noises and crawling around on all fours to act out a sea creature of some kind. And, if the children wants, he will play out a storm and spin them around one by one, holding them steadily and not spinning TOO fast. It will leave the parents free to socialise for half an hour or so.
During story time, Sir Floppington catches a break enough to return to Nova (who sits down with him and adoringly pets him, even sharing her sandwich with the greying dog as they both watch/listen to the story told).
"I wonder if I might abscond with Lord Eurion for an hour or to every night?" Reigna says, sipping her whiskey as she watches the Ashford's way with the children. It is a a solid count of five before she realizes how that might sound and sputters, choking on her whiskey. "To entertain the children! The children!" Oh, how she blushes, looking around for Kael to make sure he did not overhear THAT.
Marian gives a deep chuckle and gives a nod, not teasing Reigna for her remark on Eurion. She gives a nod and tells her softly, "Aye, the man is the toddler pied piper with is deep voice and funny antics. They are loving the tale." She points to Nia, Fergus and Valen who are all sitting on the blanket, happy to listen about the bad mermaids being defeated by the princesses. She has a glass of whiskey in hand as the servants move about to get the cake ready for the happy birthday song.
Not all of the children present are two and three...one set of twins are not quite shiny and new anymore, but sleeping through the night is thus far their biggest accomplishment. Still Vanora and Valdemar Grimhall pay respects to the little Redrain's, with Vanora offering a bobbed curtsy and occasional nods of acknowledgement to the peerage around her, mindful of manners even here. Pale green eyes look around, scanning for the familiar before pausing to listen to the sea-creature story. "Oh look...what is he? I think maybe a mermaid. A scallop? You don't think a kraken, do you?" The young mother coos at one of her own twins, who has been pulled onto her lap to watch the story in the grass. Or droll and appear to watch, they're not even a year yet.
Alis ducks her head at Reigna's exclamation, to hide her expression. One might be able to tell that she's firmly pressed her lips together. But then the explanation, oh. That just undoes her and she laughs aloud. "Reignaaaaaaa." Which is obviously when Ellara looks up all curious; she was rather engrossed in the story mom. Why did you have to ruin it! "Why are you laughing?" Which, sets Alis off even more. Sorry. "Because momma had no idea Marquessa Reigna enjoyed pirate stories so much, sweetheart. That's all." Clearly.
It is a good thing that Sir Floppington is there to hold up the wolf scout (Rowenova) as she almost falls over due to her innane laughter after what Reigna just said!
"No one enjoys pirate stories as much as Marquessa Reigna, apparently," Sorrel says with a twinkle in her evergreen eyes, nudging her cousin fondly. "I mean, they are good pirate stories, but..." She laughs and laughs, somewhat grateful that the dog is babysitting!
The embarrassment is real! But if Reigna can do anything, it is laugh at herself. She starts in when Alis does and her giggles only make her blush all the harder, which makes her laugh harder, earning her a withering look from her own children before they pointedly return their attention to Eurion. "You know what I meeeeeeeeean!" Reigna wheezes, wiping tears of laughter from her eyes as she looks to Alis and shakes her head. Though when Sorrel jumps in, Reigna leans that way and is set off once more. Her hands go around her stomach and she groans, "Oh it hurts! It huuuuurts!"
Eurion does not hear Reigna, or he'd likely to have teased her endlessly about that. He's so focused on his theatrics (of which he could use some training to be honest - and actor he is not and to entertain in his amateurish manner, he does not hear that. He is obviously not the least worried about making a fool of himself, laughing when he gets himself entangled into a plot hole and has to make something up fast. Truly, pretending ot be a monster or a sea crature is the most fun anyway. "And so it was, that the prince was saved and he and the Pirate princess sailed off together to go on many adventures together on the sea," he finishes.
2 Grimhall House Guards, Gustav, a gruff Islander advisor leave, following Valdemar.
Rowenova barely has enough wherewithall to offer up a clean kerchief which is pulled out from one of many pockets on her leather skirt then offered up to Reigna. She might soon need one, herself, though, as she rolls around on the ground below and Sir Flop snatches up a fallen sammich.
Marian chuckles but doesn't add to the teasing of Reigna. She shooshes her kids and motions back to Eurion. They turn back to watch the daring ending that includes a happy ending. She gives a big round of claps and then calls out, "Let's sing folks. Happy birthday!" She motions to the cupcakes on the trays of waiting servants, "Let's sing for Fergus and Valen and then you can have CAKE!"
4 Thrax Guards arrives, following Galen.
Marian is overheard praising Eurion: For his storytelling
Reigna is overheard praising Eurion: For being an admirable distraction.... FOR THE KIDS!
Marian is overheard praising Rowenova: For helping out
It looks like Volcica is arriving just in time! The Bonespire shaman is just stepping around a bend in the path she'd chosen, appearing from the gardens to take in the sights of the party. It brings a smile to her often cold face, and she lifts a hand in a wave as she approaches.
"I do! I promise I do." Alis insists, taking in a deep breath and trying to hold it in so she stops laughing. And, can clap heartily for Eurion and his storytelling. And she will happily join in with the Happy Birthday singing, as will Ellara. Both terribly off key, mind you.
Alis is overheard praising Eurion: For the party entertainment!
Marian checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 5 lower.
Volcica is overheard praising Eurion: Entertaining kids is no easy task!
Sorrel checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 20 higher.
Rowenova checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 0 higher.
Volcica checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 4 higher.
Eurion checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 8 higher.
Reigna checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 9 higher.
Sorrel can sing, and she sings the birthday song with aplomb, cheerful and quite musical. But that's probably to be expected from someone who sings during combat.
CAKE! This definitely gets the Keaton kids attention and Kata and Aeryn are up on their feet bouncing and clapping, and chanting, "CAKE CAKE CAAAAAKE!" Reigna shakes ehr head and joins in the singing, and for once she's not bad! She won't bring any houses down, but she manages to carry the tune enough that her children pick up the cues and chime in.
Galen is late to this here party! But he's likely here to watch Sorrel perform anyway, so he claps loudly for his wife! "Well done!"
Rowenova sits up and back pats Sir Floppington, doing so as she sings aloud and actually carries that tune all the way to the cake table as she gets up and wanders along with the hound baying behind her.
"Prince Galen. It's been quite some time. Perhaps for the best, though we will no doubt be called to work together again int he future, eh?" Alis offers the newly arrived Thrax Warlord a smile of welcome. And both Eirlys and Ellara fix the man with a curious gaze. If mom talks to someone, they pay attention. But, it is also CAKE time, so not /too/ much attention. And Ellara joins the Keaton crew in shouting happily about the confection. Eirlys, however, tries to immitate Sir Floppington's baying.
Eurion does near stumble back, as exhausted as if he'd been sailing through a storm, and oddly satisfied with all this. He looks quite dazedly proud as he joins the adults to raise his deep voice into song, not doing a too awful job of it - he also sneaks himself some more strong drinks while that happens. He studies the party then, stepping aside for a bit just to get a breather before making new introductions, polite bows offered to those he has not talked to yet.
"Princess Alis, hello! And indeed. Though I'm not directly involved in the Lodge dealings, there might be a time we will be called to duty together once again, and soon." Galen says to the Valardin Princess, in turn, smiling back at her. "Do you know if they have rum here?" That's asked in a more conspiratory tone, but the Prince is ever prepared, and lo and behold, he produces a bottle of aged Thrax rum from a bag, unstopping it, and offering it to the general of Valardin armies.
Sir Floppington wags his way over to Eirlys. With a grey muzzle, he noses at the baying child with much happiness before baying again!
Marian gives a smile to the newcomers and does her best not to ruin the song, even though her singing voice is just horrible. She does make a point of clapping for Sorrel and the others who had much better singing voices than her own. Then the CAKE is given out to the kids, little cupcakes so they don't have to share with anyone else. Of course there is plenty of icing so many opportunities to get the cake all over themselves while shoving it in their mouth. The adults are also offered cake as well.
Volcica lifts her voice in song as well, wishing birthday wishes to the little ones. She doesn't do a terrible job, either! The shaman lingers around the edge of the crowd, finding herself near Eurion as she lets the children get to the cake long before she will. A little smile is cast towards Marian, at the very least, and anyone else who glances her way.
Pudding is excited about cake and children having it and children spilling it, because she is a pudgy puppy and she didn't get that way by being oblivious of cake. Her ears are perked and her tail wags, and she sniffs Sir Floppington in a curious doggish way.
Kyrios screams, "TEEMO!" because everyone else is making noise, and then, "Mama, Teemo?" Sorrel crouches next to him to give him a few bites of his cupcake, half of which end up in Pudding because the Thrax prince likes feeding the dog and there are dog tongues everywhere.
Eirlys claps happily when Sir Floppington joins her, and leans against the hound with no shame in her at all. So they can bay. A pleased and amused Alis just eyes the two, and Ellara is content to stuff a cupcake in her mouth and chomp happily; icing on her nose after the first bite. "Mmm. I'm helping a bit there. But... ah, thank you. There /is/ whiskey here too." A nod of her chin toward the bottles. But she also won't refuse some rum thanks! A drink gratefully taken before she hands it back. "No Ellara, you can't have rum." Before it's even asked.
Eurion is now quite content to be in the background of things and after securing some cake for himself, he lingers there with Volcica; she is given a friendly smile and a curious look. Thuogh, to be fair, his attention lingers quite wide-eyed on Galen's amazing armour, those sea creatures stirring up quite a lot of inteest from the Ashford Captain. "Wonderful event," he tells Volcica conversationally. "I am Lord Eurion Ashford," he introduces himself, giving her a bow.
3 Thrax Guards, Freja the long suffering, Dame Cupcake, the most elegant, Behemo, a towering man with humble eyes, 2 Thrax Elite Guards arrive, following Coraline.
"Volcica Stahlben." She doesn't prefix her name with 'Lady', even if it is her right. Nor does she mention her title of Voice. She's quite clearly Prodigal, and still not used to the Compact's ways-- or just not willing to bend that far. "It seems to be quite the wonderful birthday party, yes." She smiles to Eurion, though her attention shifts to Galen's armor as well.
Sir Floppington helps steady Eirlys and has a grand time with their baying song after which he sits down and still remains a supportive pillar, one which swooshes his tail a bit in the grass during Pudding's inspection, but the silent conversation between the canines is quite amiable. He likes her, too. Meanwhile, Rowenova heartily laughs due to what all Sir Flop has going on before gratefully accepting a couple pieces of the birthday cake after the younger folk have already gotten their own.
Fergus digs right into the cake, getting it all over his mouth and his hands as he double fists the cake. Valen is far more conservative, taking careful bites of his cake. Nia is much more like Fergus, eating in a very unladylike way. She is shoveling it in. Marian knows there are some battles that are just not worth fighting, so she eats her cake and then sips her whiskey in between.
Cora is late, there is no denying she is late, but she brings presents! Poor Thrax guards are being used as packing mules today carrying several packages of varying size, most of which go to wherever the presents are being held. One however is kept in hand. As she arrives Cora heads straight to Marian, "I am so sorry I am late, this is what happens when I think I will just have a quick peek into the clinic and suddenly hours pass by and I realize I am well and truly late." she is eyeing that cake however, but manners matter.
The Keaton children are in their element! They have cake, there are dogs everywhere, a mild amount of chaos, and they are in heaven. Aeryn, half his piece of cake already inhaled, looks to Kata and purses his cake-smeared lips. "Not as good as Marie's." Kata shrugs and says, "Cake." Aeryn nods at this salient point being made and goes back to filling his face. Reigna has Talis in her lap and is offering him bites of cake that he still manages to get more plastered to his cheeks than in his mouth. Reigna looks to the others, looks to the children and cannot help but laugh. "These are the moments that I think I will remember forever and cherish."
Offering a nod to Marian, along with a smile, and then tilting his head to Eurion when the man seems to appreciate his armor, Galen introduces himself to the party at large, "Warlord of Thrax, Galen Thrax, at your service, ladies, lords, Highnesses. I see the children are slaughtering their birthday cake, which is good. If only they'd do the same to every kind of food, not just the sweets."
"Better late then never as they say, Princess Coraline." Alis gives her greeting, arms holding one child in place while her eyes keep the other one in sight. It's the only way, honestly. "The children have been having quite a good time running their minders ragged, getting into everything, and now... mashing cake into their faces." To the delight of everyone. "You are quite right, Marquessa. I haven't had this much fun in ages."
Eurion's uncertainty is quite stark there, as he stares at Volcica in fascination. "Lady Stahlben," he decides, since he can't fathom anything else with that last name. The newcomers are given bows - he barely has time to eat that cake between all the politeness but he does it with rascally cheerfulness, a little smile always dancing on those lips. "Wonderful and terrifying. I am sure that one day I will have children, but maybe not for, oh.... at least fifteen years sounds good." He turns rapt attention on Galen, and perks up. "Warlord Thrax," he greets, "your armour makes my heart beat a little faster, perhaps because I Captain a ship. That is exquisite. I am Lord Eurion AShford," he says and says this loud enough for anyone else to hear should someone else be curious.
Pudding boldly walks over to Reigna and Talis and offers to help with the cleanup by licking the baby in the face. Meanwhile, Sorrel is still trying to get bites of cake in Kyrios, who is eating them more consistently now that the dog is distracted by someone else's cake. "I do like that armor on you," Sorrel says to Galen with a grin. "Of course, I had it designed for you, so that helps, too."
After securing a few pieces of the lovely cake, Rowenova turns forth to those new arrivals and rattles off her own intro, doing so with vocalized fanfare. "Greetings! I am Scout Rowenova of the Ranging Wolves under the direct command of Lord Arik Halfshav, for whom I am the 'perfect retainer' and for whom I am the messenger and scribe when in Arx. Halfshav Servant, Sanna Protege, and Redrain Clerk!" After she rattles off all those, she wolfishly grins before stealing away from the cake table to sit down near Sir Flop and Eirlys.
Avery, Cora's six year old ward is currently using her as a shield to observe the proceedings, but cake is simply too great a pull to the little girl and she is off like a shot after the treat. "Avery! Manners...." Cora sighs and shaks her head, "Ah well, clearly we need to go over how to act at a party again." Alis gets a warm smile, "Oh! Very true at that. It has been quite a while, how are you Princess Alis?" Everyone gets a cheerful wave and Eurion a warm smile at the bow then Cora is off to get cake.
Marian waves to the little girl that Coraline brought with her and makes sure she had cake. She gives a nod and has the servants discreetly remove any presents for now so the focus stays on the cake. Oh look, here comes out Monique's big box that has candy for the children as well. It's pure sugar time for the crazy kids to revel in. Marian does make a point of warning Rowenova and Eurion, "After everyone has eaten, it will be round 2 of the obstacle course."
Reigna looks over to Galen to inspect his armor and she beams, leaning over to Sorrel, "You have exquisite taste cousin. You always did." There is a note of humor in Reigna's eyes, and she nudges her cousin playfully. "Have you seen the armor I had made for Kael? The Rubicund set?" When she spies Cora there is a cheerful wave, "Cora! Wonderful to see you as always!" Talis is squealing with happy delight as Pudding licks his face free of cake residue.
"I always do trust you to help me with such things, Sorrel," Galen grins at his wife. "Though I can't exactly claim credit for your newest blade, I do hope you enjoy my gift, in turn." With a wink to the Bladesong, he moves to stand beside her, slipping his arm around her waist and planting a kiss on her cheek. "You could always ask Sorrel to design you a suit if you want, Lord Eurion," he goes on to add to the man. "A pleasure to meet you."
Volcica is quiet. This is a whole lost more.. -Compact- than she's really dealt with, so far. She's used to Redrain, but now there's just so many more princes and princesses around, it's a bit overwhelming. She keeps up a strong front, though, and just comes off a little more cool than is really required. "The armor is exquisite, Warlord. She doesn't correct Eurion, either. Being addressed as Lady is apparently something she'll suffer.
Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting, 2 Grayson House Guards, Clark, an exasperated guard arrive, following Sabella.
Roland, the worst bard in Arvum, Sabella arrive, following Niklas.
From where she sits, Rowenova nods up to Marian in obvious understanding with a sincere smile. "Sound good!" Then, she happily shares cake with Sir Flop, and they eat it, too!
Volcica is overheard praising Marian: She throws an excellent children's party!
"Scout Rowenova reached out to me when I was looking for training in the use of a medium weapon," Eurion explains to the group at large, "and introduced me to Lord Halfshav who then kindly proceeded to teach me some invaluable lessons in fighting with a sword." He gives Rowenova a very thankful smile. As Galen adresses him and speaks about that armor, he looks to Sorrel with hope lighting up in his gaze. "That would be... quite amazing," he says, a bit overwhelmed as well.
"I'm quite well, Princess Coraline. Thank you. At least, I am for the moment. Though no doubt once round two of the onstacle course begins I will need more whiskey." Alis pronounces, with a meaningful look given to the wriggle worm Ellara who is already racing towards the pillow pit again. "I have never been more fervently glad that Eirlys enjoys canines. Thank you, Sir Floppington." Gravely, she nods at the hound.
Eurion is overheard praising Marian.
Alis is overheard praising Marian.
"I don't think I have, actually. I should look and see next time I see him," Sorrel says to Reigna with a grin, then sighs faintly. "I need to get Galen a nice new suit of rubicund. Maybe I'll just refit the pattern of the high quality steel for him. It's mostly just if he takes a hit, of course; being a field commander doesn't allow him much time for actual combat."
Rowenova swallows down this cake bite then smiles happily to Eurion before the wolf scout and the soulful hound both look up toward Alis. The latter one is holding up a paw for shaking toward the princess woman after being thanked!
Now armed with cake, and looking a little terrified as Avery inhales it and goes after the giant box of candy, Cora settles near everyone and smiles warmly at Reigna, "It is always a pleasure to see you Reigna, how have you been? I swear I have been a near hermit far too often recently, I need to drop in on you and yours and bring my resident trouble maker along." Cora grins at Alis, "I suppose whiskey will do indeed. I swear a six year old is a better workout than the King's Own training." Cora waves to Rowenova as well, another face she hasn't seen in a while.
Marian smiles as her children protest as their nannies clean them up from eating cake. Once they're good to go, Nia and Fergus rush off to enjoy the obstacle course, under the watchful eye of their mother while Valen lifts his arms to go back into momma's arms. She smiles as the children start playing again. Overall, it's clear that she's enjoyed hosting the party for everyone.
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