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A Feast Without Explanation

Sometimes you just need to have a celebration. It should probably include fine foods, drinks, and company. Marquis Rymarr Deepwood invites a few guests over, those who wish to accompany them, and really anyone who knows the guests of honor - Prince Caius Valardin, Baron Norwood Clement, Dame Felicia Harrow, Sir Thorley Sandreef, and Dame Leola Allenatore. An opportunity to socialize for everyone involved while enjoying a few luxuries.

Date

Nov. 3, 2018, 4 p.m.

Hosted By

Rymarr

Participants

Caius Felicia Leola Norwood Thorley Violet Preston Calypso Marian Brogan

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Deepwood Manor - Banquet Hall

Largesse Level

Grand

Comments and Log


Warrior, a skittish pygmy goat kid arrives, following Felicia.

Marquis Rymarr Deepwood can be found just inside the banquet hall, near the doorway leading to the rotunda. The scent of roasted vegetables and meats hang in the air, yet underneath it all there is the faint scent of something sweet. Pie. Rymarr stands with one hand atop the pommel of his sheathed blade and the other casually resting at his side. Servants hurriedly from one place to another, performing the final preparations. One or two places at the tables still being set, the last of the chalices placed out, the good stuff brought out in preparation of guests. Rymarr though seems unaffected by the hustle and bustle, his only duty at present is to greet the arriving guests with...well, a smile may be pushing it.

The pair of Sandreefs have their own plus one as Thorley is currently handling the small bundle of Sorcha to give Violet a break. Plus the sling his arm is in makes a convienent holder for the sleeping infant as he offers a grim smile towards Violet. "I got your letter. We'll talk on it later." he promises her gently as he slips his free hand into hers.

As suggested in the letter, Leola arrives in ... what can only be described as a Lycene take on Valardin-styled plate armor. And blushes, lots of those. She gives a faintly apologetic smile as she mekes her way in, nodding deferentially at those she sees and knows.

Drawing in a pensive sort of breath, Caius angles his head subtly and says, in a sidelong murmur to Caly, "I believe I detect the dulcet scent of pie." A grin, faint though it may be, accompanies his words as his steps carry him to the banquet hall and toward Rymarr himself. Recognizing the not-smile that the Marquis wears, and adopting a similar expression, though laugh lines crease the fine skin around his eyes, "To bad George simply can't make it today," is offered to Rymarr along with one hand extended in greeting. His head angles subtly again toward Caly as he continues, "Thank you for the invitation and allow me to introduce Duchess Calypso Malvici, the Lady General of Southport."

The invitation said armor was okay, so that's what he's wearing as he enters Deepwood manor and bows to Rymarr. Others are doing introductions and such though, so Norwood will go and find a nice polite color to settle himself into.

Thorley went sans armor. Being injured means take some of the weight off. Plus, it also means that he and Violet can somewhat match as he waits his turn for introductions.

1 Templar Knight guards arrives, following Preston.

Violet is looking paler than usual and there are some shadows under her eyes. Arm in arm with her husband, she glances up at him as they cross the threshold. "I know I keep putting it off," She says and sighs, patting his arm with her other hand before moving to remove his cloak, then hers. Arms in slings make clasps funny to work with. Her skirts swirls around her and she is looking decidedly feminine this evening. "It smells amazing," She says softly into Thorley's ear before she spots Leola. The faint smile becomes a little tight and she bobs her head at the woman. "Evening, Dame Leola," She says in a voice that, for her, is unusually quiet.

Felicia is not late. Even if it might take just a littttle bit of rushing to insure that is the case. Dressing was easy for her. It's metal and it clanks and it's comfortable (for her) but making sure that Brogan was up to Valardin standards took a little while longer. The redheaded knight offering respectful salute to their host with an impish grin she can't quite suppress when their time comes, offering by way of introduction,"Marquis Rymarr, Lord Brogan Nightgold. Lord Brogan, Marquis Rymarr Deepwood... once Lord Commander of the One Hundred... the man who convinced me to sign up." she offers by way of introduction.

Rymarr's cold blue eyes shift around to regard Caius first, a solemn bow presented. The talk of George the Gargantuan though earns a slowly growing smile from the Marquis as he nods once, "I had considered putting an open invitation out there to him... but I felt that such humor could very well backfire. One should always been careful with their words, their invitations, and the rest". Then Rymarr's attention shifts to Calypso and a nod is given between both Caius and the Duchess of Southport, "We're familiar with one another. Though it has been quite some time. Thank you both for coming. Please, go have a seat and make yourselves comfortable". Rymarr's attention then turns to both Norwood and Leola, whom he offers a polite nod to. "Dame Leola, Baron Clement, thank you both for coming so that I may properly acknowledge your aid and willingness to display your bravery. Welcome and please, have a seat," he says as an armored hand gestures off toward the tables in the banquiet hall.



After that greeting and invitation, Rymarr's focus turns toward Thorley, Violet, and their trophy. He offers a soft nod of his head in acknowledgment of the trio before he lifts a hand to idly scratch at his beard with the tips of armored fingers - such a gesture may very well be a bit to conceal a smile, "Sir Thorley. It is good to see you again and amongst the living. I see you've brought your family along?" Rymarr asks with a glance to Violet and then to the bundle which Thorley carries. Or, of course, Thorley's just hijacked a random pedestrian and her infant. "Please, make yourselves comfortable, the food will be dropped on the table soon, I suspect."



Then onward to Felicia and Brogan does Rymarr's attention go and one hand rises up to curl his armored fingers against the lip of his breastplate, as though holding it in place to prevent it riding up. He offers Felicia a nod and then turns his attention to Brogan. He considers Brogan for a long moment in which his expression remains neutral. Finally he offers a nod and glances between both Felicia and Brogan, "It's good to see you, Dame Felicia. Lord Brogan? Welcome and I do hope that you'll enjoy yourself. Go," he waves a hand toward the hall, "mingle, socialize, be merry, all of those things."

Ender, a Silver Gyrfalcon, Ursa arrive, following Marian.

Preston steps into the banquet hall - and for all the world he looks like an overgrown lost common boy. Outside of his armour for once, Preston is a well toned young man but wearing simple white linen shirt and trousers, wrapped around with a wolf fur cloak. Spying Leola, Preston slips a little around the edge of the room to approach and smile "Leola. Sorry, I heard a dinner had you as guest of honour and others might come, I thought you might be in need of support and a reminder of the friendships you hold in the Rectory."

Calypso steps in beside Caius, looking comfortable enough with him to have her sword worn between them on her left hip. She looks around and hints a smile to her face. "Pie? You didn't tell me there would be pie. You're a vile man for keeping that from me." Moving with him, she nods her head to Rymarr. "Marquis Rymarr. Good to see you." There seems to be a level of respect there that goes beyond that due as host. It is certainly professional. She looks past towards the seats after words exchanged and seems to be waiting for Caius to lead the way.

"Right.. I'm used to everyone knowing my wife before me." Thorley says with a laugh. "May I present Violet Sandreef, Commandant of the Crimson Blades - and this is one of our daughters, Sorcha. Tala didn't want to come, so we let her stay home with the Blades." Because she has the best babysitters ever. His hand squeezes his wife's arm as he bows to Leola as well. "Dame Leola."

Marian arrives late to the party, handing over her cloak to show for once the warchief is in a dress. Her porcelain skin carries many scars, giving the appearance of cracked marble. The grey gown that melds into red bears the starling resemblence to blood, the small bells and shells making it sound like thunder in a storm when she walks. Once she finishes handing off her cloak, she starts to head to the host so she can greet him.

Norwood bows in acknowledgement of Rymarr's words, though he responds with, "It is the responsibility of those who can stand to do so. To do otherwise would have been dishonorable." Norwood just takes bravery out of the equation altogether with regards to himself. It had nothing to do with Norwood's decision. He does find a place to settle with a satisfying clank of armor. Pie? Where is the Pie??

Violet waves as she sees Felicia, but she is turning about to greet Rymarr. And she bows, even is skirts and low-cut dress, because she's a soldier at heart. "Marquis, a pleasure to see you again. Last time we had a most fascinating talk about history," She says as she straightens, turning to look at her husband and then the babe.

Leola gives Rymarr a very wan uncomfortable smile, and she bows her head once more. No word, as yet, before she moves further and out of the way, adjusting the heavy armor with a small grimace of uncomfortableness before she gives Preston a smile. Her voice is quiet, very subdued "Thank you, Sir Preston. It does mean rather a lot. This is ... still not something I'm used to" She gives a one-sided smile, before she bows politely to Thorley "Sir Sandreef" She murmurs

Obviously this one looks like a man who is trying not to appear that he is fidgeting at his current attire, hair and beard. As he approaches, Brogan manages to stop his mumbling and grumbling. Once Felicia introduces him, his head inclines towards Rymarr rumbling out. "Thank you for, well. Everything." His hand makes a vague gesture which could be indicating the surroundings, or indicating Felicia. His shoulders roll a bit under the formal bearskins. He looks to Felicia, and arches an eyebrow. "You're holding the reins tonight, lead on. Your trusty er, steed, is hungry?" Clearly he didn't consider his phrasing until he was using the words.

Violet adds in an aside, "Tala didn't want to come because I wouldn't let her wear her blue trousers. With all the holes and stains."

"She only asked you after I told her no. She had a proper dress." Thorley grunts.

"Your logic is undeniable," Caius angles his head, and accompanying grim, at Rymarr even as he gently covers Caly's hand where it rests on his armored forearm. "Did I neglect to mention there might be pie? How remiss of me," is said, one silvered eyebrow lofted subtly upward, a sly wink of humor shared with Rymarr, as he leads Caly toward the table and, along the way, offers a word of greeting to his fellow crusade-survivors. "Granted, the presumption that there might be pie and the reality of pie are two, distinct, and diverging realities. If I had promised you pie, and none were to actually be found, I would then need to go acquire pie. Granted, I such a challenge is within the range of my talents," all said in a low voice that is rich with amusement as they walk toward the banquet table.

Preston smiles warmly to Leola and inclines his head once more "It is a pleasure. And well. It is nice to see some others I recognise - Princess Marian" Preston identifies as he looks around the room "One of the Redrains who doesn't hate me. It's a select group. And Duchess Calypso I know from the days of the Ministry of Defense." Preston shifts on his feet, looking around "So, what is the dinner in honour of, Dame Leola? It is odd. Given the Faith, I only ever seem to see you in relation to the Lodge."

Felicia elbows Brogan just a little with a snort and nods towards the table,"Come and sit down. You know Violet and Thorley of course." she offers them a small wave as they head towards the table,"Baron Clement. Dame Leola. Most of the people here were with us at the Lodge."

"And you, Duchess Malvici," Rymarr answers with a shallow bow. When his posture corrects itself he answers on the topic of pie, "There should always be a pie nearby. Whether in the field or otherwise. Pie will make a poor situation just a touch better. If yesterday was a bad day? Have some pie come the morning. That day has already started better". Rymarr finally begins to move away from the doorway, though he pauses to gesture toward Marian, "Princess Marian," he announces firmly, "it is good to see you. Thank you for gracing our humble little feast with your presence". Rymarr moves to stand at the central table and he begins to chuckle quietly with a nod toward Thorley, "She and I have met previously, though it was a short-lived encounter. I simply hadn't known that you two were married, because, well..." Rymarr trails offer as he settles into a seat finally.



Brogan's final comment though earns a sidelong glance from the Oathlands-born Marquis and he offers a slow, steady nod of his head, "If her trusty, er, steed, is hungry? I do suggest that she put the spurs to him. Really get them in there". He continues to watch Brogan with a typically stern stare, but gradually tears his attention away.



Servants begin to move from the kitchens with platters, bowls, and other means of transporting the opening salvo of the meal. Drinks of hard cider, regular cider, wine, juice, water, and others are brought out and poured into chalices.

Violet gives Felicia a look when she even tries some kind of introduction. It's amused and she says, "Did you get hit in the head? We've been friends for well over a year now." The words are teasing though, gentle. She looks Brogan up and down and says, "You look nice. I don't think I've ever seen you so..." The Halfshav commoner clearly wants to say something else, "Dressed up. It's weird." She takes a regular cider as the drinks are brought out.

Marian tells her host, "Thank you for inviting me." She takes her seat near Preston and Leola, giving a smile as she overhears the Templars' comment, "And whatever made you think that Redrains hate you Sir Preston. You brought the Templars to Stormwall and helped defend our people during a time of need. I would think if anything most Redrains would think fondly of you." She gives a murmur of thanks to the servant that brings her hard cider." She gives a smile of greeting to Leola, "Dame Leola, it's good to see you." She starts to give silent greetings to the others at the table that she recognizes.

"Are you trying to say that I can't get my own pie? I will pull this horse over and turn us right back to where we came." The glower works with the deadpan delivery, but the humor is hidden at the edges. "Damned right you would get pie." Hearing Rymarr's correction about pie, however, she glances to Caius while waggling her finger towards the Marquis, "That man understands a way of life that people train and bake for years to even sample. He has it mastered." She hears her name from someone and looks to Preston and dips her head. "Sir Preston. Good to see you once again. Its been some time." Spotting Leola, a hand lifts to her waist to deliver a subtle wave with a smile. For those that have not seen the Duchess since the birth of her twins, motherhood seems to have tempered her, almost like it gave her a glimpse into a sense of humor.

There is conversation everywhere, but Norwood has chosen to remain silent in the face of the socialization. His eyes seek out the faces of those who were at the lodge defense before then finding their partners or friends. There's some serious introspection going on there.

Leola gives Preston something of a brittle smile "Well, the Lodge was originally founded, in part, as a devotion to Petrichor. Of course, that's no longer the case, but - I don't wish to get political" She holds up a hand, shaking her head "And any subject of the Faith is likely to, at the moment. Another time might be better for that discussion" She finishes nwith an uncomfortable bob of her head, and then she nods to Felicia "I know. And thank you. It - I can, once again, only apologise for the danger I've brought to Arx. It was not my intent to do so. So, those who have stood to defend against my ... folly, I can only offer my thanks for." To Calypso, there is a respectful and demure bow of the head, pausing to answer, settled and speaking slowly, picking her words with care

Something catches Violet's ears. Really she had been keeping a subtle attention on Dame Leola since she noticed her. Now her head turns and she frowns in concern at the woman, "You made you folly, Dame Leola. Alone all of those would have slowly and easily been picked off. You gave them safety and sanctuary and a place where they -can- be defended. I see no folly."

Felicia turns a couple of shades of crimson with a glance towards Rymarr, mouth slightly parted. Nope. A chivvying gesture made towards Brogan,"Come on then, sit." she insists,"And no, I said he already /knows/ you, Vi." she sniffs as she settles into a seat,"Granted, he probably knows everyone /here/ to some degree or another. Still." her attention goes to Leola with a slight shake of her head,"We lost a couple of good people out there, but all things considered it could have been much worse, too. What you've made with the Lodge is a fine place, Dame, and worth defending."

One hand pressed flat over his breastplate, Caius gives a subtle bow to Caly even as he's guiding her into a chair, his other hand withdrawing the chair from the table in a courtly gesture that is at least one generation out of current fashion. "Forgive me. Not only would you acquire pie, but pie of such variety and exquisite culinary offering that it would bring tears to the eyes of those fortunate enough to sample such treasures," the Valardin is in high spirits and such good humor that long-winded phrasing is the theme of the day. "Also," he leans in slightly and says, with a grin, "I absolutely believe you would acquire a horse, just to turn it around, to prove your skills," murmured with a wink as he takes the seat alongside Caly, carefully easing the angle of his scimitar so that it does not impede his ability to take a seat. He lifts one hand in a wave to Norwood and, not even remotely casually, gestures a invitation to Norwood to take a seat near where and Caly are seated.

At a gentle nudge from Violet, Thorley looks apologetic. "Baron Clement, have I had a chance to introduce little Sorcha Sandreef to you?" the knight asks with a smile to Norwood. That is before the comment from Violet has the knight's head swiveling about. "I doubt that this is your folly at all, Dame Leola."

Rymarr has joined the the center banquet table.

Caius has joined the the center banquet table.

Marian has joined the the center banquet table.

Thorley has joined the the center banquet table.

Felicia has joined the the center banquet table.

Violet has joined the the center banquet table.

Calypso has joined the the center banquet table.

Preston bows his head across to Marian, and he offers a sad smile "It was what the Gods demand, Princess. To preserve our ways against their enemies. We paid a heavy price - but had others ideas been taken over yours, we would have lost far more, just in bits and pieces rather than at once. And lost the land too. Still. I do not think Crovane and their vassals quite love me in the same way, your highness. And I understand. I am blunter than perhaps some. And the last time my order marched north before Stormwall, it was to subjugate." Preston's shoulders lift, a half shrug "But, memory is a funny thing." Calypso also gets a warm smile from the Templar before Leola's words eclicit a wrinkling of his nose, a frown even as she calls it a folly "The Lodge is an attempt to honour Petrichor. Yes. The enemy wish to end that, but if we stop trying to honour the Gods because of the threat, they have won without lifting a finger, Dame Leola. And, they would always come in the end. It is their nature. And sadly even if we win here, others gather already. Working in the long shadows this fight for the lodge casts." Preston trails off, clearing his throat "Mmph. Ailith tells me I need to practice my party conversation topics more. Maybe she has a point."

Preston has joined the the center banquet table.

He starts mumbling something at Felicia only after nodding towards their host, and his stern gaze, once more. Brogan's next roasting comes from Violet apparently. He heaves The Sigh Of The Long-Suffering Male(tm). His eyes roll towards the woman. "Yes. In a manner of speaking I was hit in the head." Brogan's gesture towards the King's Own Wrecking Ball is about as subtle as a rampaging grizzly bear. There is a sharp nod to Thorley, and perhaps a 'save me!' look in his eyes. Then he notes Felicia's crimson status and gives a grin worthy of a honey-fed bear. He does raise an arm to wave towards Marian as he too, settles into a seat.

Norwood makes no attempt to get into the discussion about the merits of the lodge. So not his business. INstead he sips at his drink until Caius gestures towards him and Thorley speaks. He'll nods to Caius - he'll be over in a moment. First though he looks at the baby. "I do not believe that I have been introduced." A tiny bow to the baby, "May you grow to be as stalwart as your parents."

Cocking her head, Leola nocds once to Marian, before she looks to Violet and Felicia, responding. She unfastens the clasps of gauntlets, hanging them to her belt, as she speaks, her smooth and sunburned hands moving with a practiced ease as she speaks again "That's as may be, however, it has been noted; it wasn't my place to create such a thing. At the very least, I should have worked more closely with folk and advised them more of what was being done with the Lodge, instead of using my best judgement" Her movements, in that plate, are muted and settled, aside from her hands. "Still. Thank you, for seeing it in that light." And she gives Preston that same, faint and quick smile "Regardless, I'm glad you've stood with me on this, Sir Preston. It does mean a lot to know that you do, that you see the value of what we tried."

The Duchess looks to Leola with her claim to folly. She does not speak to it in any verbal way at the moment, but the solemn expression she gives to the other woman is one of simple disagreement. Anyone can see it on her face and discern the meaning, that it is not offensive an idea but she seems to believe in Leola. Allowing Caius to lead her over to the table, she takes her seat and carefully slots the blade with the movement.

Brogan has joined the the center banquet table.

Violet considers Leola for a few long and unblinking seconds. "Well, everyone has their opinions. Now you know mine," She says simply and with a smile forming again. Before Thorley's nudge has her turning towards Norwood and the introduction. At his bow she can't help but chuckle even as the white-haired infant snoozes away in her shared sling, curled against her father's arm. "You should hear her when she is angry. Already as loud as me." Then people are sitting and she quickly scoots to take a seat across from Felicia.

Marian levels a smile to Leola to offer her silent support, "I think any place that honors the gods is of value." She gives a smile to Preston, "Just as following orders, even if it puts you at odds against others, while no easy thing, should not be held against you." She motions to herself, "With my history as a prodigal, I can not judge others for being on the other side of the sword." She gives a shake of her head and takes a sip of her cider, "Therefore I don't judge others."

"Louder.

Bartholomew arrives, following Cedric.

"Louder." Thorley comments dryly. Sorcha, for her part, stirs little. They made sure to fill her belly before leaving their home. The knight is paying some attention to things around him, but for the most part, the little bundle of wonder in his arms that he and his wife made. He's such a dork.

Felicia gives a slight shake of her head,"These are, in many ways... ancient problems come to revisit us in new ways... at least from what I've seen. The Lodge as others have noted, is a place of sanctuary and honor to Petrichor, and thus, absolutely worth defending. But moreover... those that lead that army would take choice from all of us, it's just that the Lodge was worth the price of attempting a strike." there's a glance towards Rymarr, blatantly measuring silently whether or not she should keep her mouth shut.

"I am sure such lungs will come in handy one day when she takes over Violet's duties." Because nepotism is totally normal and ought to be encouraged. That said Norwood makes his way over to Caius and the seat offered. There's a polite bow to both him and Calypso, but no attempt to inject himself into the ongoing coversation.

Bartholomew have been dismissed.

"Our host," Caius remarks as he tugs his gloves off and tucks them through the side of his leather belt, "rather handily lead our scouting party through the forest and then into combat against that gargantuan that was proving itself to be quite a pest. Dame Felicia," he angles a nod toward the knight with a glimpse of a smile, "and her skill with sword and pure grit - and determination - along with these brave others were able to bring down the creature until it was nothing more than nasty parts and rotting debris. For my part," and the old(er) campaigner leans back in his chair with a slight grimace, "I was a fitting distraction, and a noisy one at that, at times. I need to spend more time in the training ring."

Only a short moment after seating himself, Rymarr promptly rises up to his feet and takes up a small wooden cup of water within his leather gloved hand. He clears his throat and then loudly announces, "I would just like to speak a few short words, please". He pauses for a moment, his cup of water held aloft and his unblinking blue eyes to those gathered around, "There are some among my House's guests which rode into a particularly dangerous situation, recently. There were acts of heroism, truly desperate moments, moments that I have mourned due to sacrifices made by those who are unable to be present now. As was stated previously? It could have been far worse..." Rymarr's cup lowers and he places it to the tabletop. One armored hand comes to rest in a fist against the surface of the table, likely to support him as he presses against it, "... had we not succeeded, who knows if another patrol would have intercepted George. For all that we know today? It could have marched up to the Lodge proper and flailed about for a few hours before being put down".



Rymarr pauses for a moment before he glances around to each of the gathered guests, "I told Prince Caius, Baron Clement, Dame Felicia and Leola, and Sir Thorley of the dangers of the patrols I intended to conduct. They were not be within the range of siege weaponry, we would not be easily reinforced, and we placed our reliance on our steeds to carry us to victory should we encounter trouble. Retreat was not our goal and I suspect in the eyes of some? Not an option. If resistance was encountered, we would ride into it - it would then be either them or us."



Rymarr pauses for a breath. A few of them, it would seem. "When I told this to those I rode with? Not a single of them hesitated. They knew the potential price to be paid and that is why each of them have my admiratin, respect, praise, and more. Two among us right now very nearly made that sacrifice. Even when one of them was on the verge of a brutal end? He was still lobbing rocks in support of his fellow riders. To each of you? Thank you, not only for your willingness to make that sacrifice, but also for being willing to ride with me into what we knew could be great danger".

Violet takes a sip from her mug and chuckles at the comments about her daughter. Another glance down and then she says, "If that's what she wants. I won't force her to take the reins if her heart leads her somewhere else." And then Rymarr rises and she falls quiet, listening. As Rymarr seems to be finishing his speech she glances at Thorley and Felicia with a proud smile. Her hands coming together in firm applause.

"I cannot take full credit, Prince Valardin. The Queen of Endings permits that I carry Her sword at this time, and although I struggle to be worthy of the blade still, it definitely made a difference. That thing... was once many people. I didn't stop to count, but I would estimate in the ways of such things that it had been comprised of thirteen times thirteen souls. People who we still don't know where they came from, or how the masters of that army came to find them." she catches herself and clears her throat, turning faintly red,"My apologies." she mumbles.

Looking to Leola for a moment. Brogan shrugs faintly. "Action trumps inaction." It's spoken with the tone of man who does not have a horse in this particular race. His shoulders roll once again and he looks to the others as they seat themselves. Once Rymarr stands to speak, he gives the man his full attention. At the conclusion, he plucks up his own cider. Raising it he speaks to carry his voice without bellowing. "To those that won the day, and those that fell to make it happen." Then the cider gets consumed in one go.

"Sometimes we must do things the improper way, Dame Leola. I cannot say I have always done things the best way - the proper way - but I can say I have always had the intention to help the Gods in my heart. And for what it is worth, they have not yet seen fit to end me." Preston says to Leola before Rymarr speaks and stops from him replying to Marian immediately. He gives a thumping of his hand against the table to clap the Marquis as he speaks, sounding his approval. He then smiles across to Marian "If I were tempted to be a bit Tehomish, I would say that in telling you how they see you, you act as a mirror for their own desires and concerns. In the creation of you in others eyes, there is truth about them more often than truth about yourself. Perhaps it is so with those who are so concerned. I am certainly no threat to anyone who honours the Gods, and holds to the Compact." Felicia's words though now those are interesting "The Queen of Ending's sword? Hrm. It seems each of the Gods forge something of that type."

Violet's eyes fall on Felicia across from her. Whatever is in that glance, it's something between friends. But her cup is raised as Brogan toasts gladly herself. The cup is touch to Thorley's first and she turns to share a long look with him. Leaning against him in a tender moment as she sips her drink.

Norwood nods when Brogan speaks of action over inaction. It's something he can agree with and raises his glass (of milk, because gdi he's drinking milk) in a silent salute. Talk of Tehom has the strict Oathlander looking away though.

Calypso listens to Caius, looking over and up to him while he explains who had been involved and how. Nods of her head once more to Rymarr, and this time to Felicia. His last remarks have her reach out and gently pat his arm. "I'll ensure you live to regret those words, Caius. Two words for the post training: Warm Bath." The smile would be considered cruel if there wasn't humor to it. With Rymarr lifting his cup, she does as well. There's a certain admiration for what is spoken to, the actions behind it all. The Duchess knows well what it means to ride like that. "To the spirit of attack, born in brave hearts."

Rymarr is overheard praising Felicia: Stay on your horse next time, please? Either way, your efforts are beyond commendable.

Rymarr is overheard praising Norwood: Unflinching in the face of great adversity. Will ride with again; for leisure or otherwise.

Rymarr is overheard praising Caius: When the going gets tough, throw rocks at it until it decides to stop being a nuisance. He carries our luck on his face.

Rymarr is overheard praising Thorley: Despite his injuries he kept fighting. I suspect he knew a worse fate than death awaited him had he not returned home for burping duties.

Rymarr is overheard praising Leola: She seemed the most eager of us all to ride with the patrol. I'm not even certain that she realized my warnings, was her eagerness.

Marian sits there quietly, listening to others relay what they faced at the Lodge. You can tell the military strategist in her is soaking it in, perhaps to be used later in her own patrols.

Leola just bows her head, letting the others speak. Her hands fold to her lap, and she merely nods. She does not respond to the comments, save for this, but Rymarr's praise brings something of a faint grin to her lips, and she accepts the comments with a respectful nod

Felicia reaches to touch Wheelspinner's hilt briefly before reaching for her cider,"Wheelspinner once belonged to the general of the Queen's army during the period known as the Dance of Skulls." she offers before raising her glass for Calypso's words,"But even with Wheelspinner, if not for the brave people at this table... I would have died."

Violet takes a long drink of her own cider and set it down. The food being served is slowly picked at, but she seems thoughtful. Listening herself to the others recount of the attack. Felicia's comment causes her to raise a brow. "I'm glad you're not."

Marian gives an interested look at Felicia when she mentions the 'Dance of the Skulls', "Really? I was doing some research on the Dance of the Skulls, but sadly got diverted into the Lodge business before I was able to find anything substantial. If you have anything on that war, I would love to borrow those notes from you."

A solemn nod is angled to Rymarr and, once the Marquis has spoken, the Valardin lifts his glass, Caius's voice carries: "To the dead, and absent friends." He looks around the room, at those brave men and women at the table and the family who stand alongside, "To the living," and he turns to share a smile with Caly. "Lets try to keep them that way." He drinks from his glass before exhaling a chuckle, "Post training protocol challenge .. accepted," a grin shared before he nods to Felicia. "It was fitting that we ended this abomination before it could be perverted to do even more harm."

Thorley has left the the center banquet table.

Caius is overheard praising Norwood: Such absolute bravery in the face of a nightmare. Norwood may not be the sort of man for whom one buys a lot of drinks, but the sentiment is there all the same. This round's for Norwood!

Caius is overheard praising Thorley: This man has a combination of skill, determination, courage and fortitude that make him one of the best knights I've had the honor to fight alongside in ages.

Rymarr finally drinks from his glass of water, clearly in need of some moistening follow his many words. For the moment he seems to have exhausted his weekly word count, because the Marquis slowly eases himself down into his seat once again. It creaks beneath the weight of himself and the armor which he wears, but he seems self-assured that it would hold. He holds his glass of water near to his armored chest, his cold blue eyes moving throughout the hall. He doesn't interject on conversations, but simply watches them from nearby. Judging by the ease which he moves from one group to another, it's likely that neither was he seeking to eavesdrop. He just seems content for the moment to see others enjoying themselves; alive and mostly well.

Preston peeks over the table at Felicia and the blade and he lifts his eyebrow "Fascinating. I will have to ask Aureth about it - I fear my own research has been focused on my order and its past. Trying to understand all that is lost to us. Might I ask, does the blade have an inscription?" Preston leans forward a little against the table before his cheeks colour "Ah. Apologies. I am being nosy and over curious."

Caius is overheard praising Rymarr: There are leaders, those who want to be led, and followers. Men who appear to be brave, because they want the accolades, and men for whom bravery is not just a facade. Rymarr is a natural leader and it was my honor to be in his company for this mission. He also knows how to throw one hell of a party. There was pie!

Norwood is overheard praising Rymarr: Leading us, and then bringing us back together again.

"I'm rather grateful you're still around too, Fel." Brogan looks to the others being honored after. "The rest of you as well. I think we still have worse times to come." He has his cider horn refilled. Apparently content for now to simply observe politely, and apparently actually just listen for once.

Caius is overheard praising Felicia: She may not think she is as brave as she really is, but she's a champion and a hero. Only a fool knows no fear, because they are not smart enough to be aware of the danger. I'd rather go shoulder to shoulder with someone who knows healthy fear than a fool who thinks themselves invincible. Dame Felicia is a tribute to her calling.

Felicia gives Marian a solemn nod,"Not in a narrative form as yet, but it's a period of history that is of particular interest to me. The Dance of Skulls in a roundabout fashion led to the founding of Arx. But... well, yes." there's that flush of color again,"Probably not the occasion to bore everyone with history." she reaches over to clasp Violet's arm briefly with a solemn nod of agreement with Caius, not that the redhead needs much of an excuse to drink clearly,"I've been trying to find time to meet with the Archlector, but no. It's only marking is that of the Wheel. It is a deceptively plain blade to look at, but... well, when one watches it transform from pinwheel to sword... it's provenence isn't exactly in doubt." she can't help the grin, nodding in Thorley's direction,"Sir Sandreef was with me when we found it."

Caius is overheard praising Calypso: The threat of a warm bath as a post-training regimen?! She is a harsh taskmaster. How will I ever survive. This woman is glorious.

Violet's face grows a little grim at Brogan's words and she nods. "Oh, indeed," She agrees and this time refills her cup with one of hard cider. Despite the look from Thorley. "Stop it," She comments to her husband, who rolls his eyes and begins to eat. Violet returns her attention to Felicia and returns the grasp firmly, flashing her friend a grin that brings out the dimples briefly. "As I understand it, Fel, most everyone here is a fan of history. You may have just stpeped in it." She sounds sympathetic. Thorley grunts in agreement to Felicia's comment about being there, but he has a mouthful of food. And enough etiquette to not talk with it that way.

"You're not wrong," Rymarr breaks his silence in response to Brogan's prediction of the future with a solemn nod of his head. "But we will fight, because that is what we do when something makes the choice to fight us. Therefore it is important that we give praise to Gloria and the Pantheon". Rymarr's gaze lingers on Brogan for a moment before he looks away once again to return to his silent observation of those feasting and drinking. He shakes with a silent chuckle before he glances around the tables and with a slow nod of his head adds, "Gloria take the reins and may we hope that the Queen of Endings and Gloria see fit to honor Wulfwin and Terafina," he notes the two fallen.

Norwood bows his head when the deceased are brought into the conversation. "Their sacrifice will be remembered." It's a respectful murmur before Norwood returns to his silence.

Marian looks a bit disappointed when Felicia declines the history lesson, but makes it clear she understands, "Of course, I shall have to meet with you later on the matter." She takes another drink and looks across the table, silently letting Calypso know that she wants to talk to her after the party.

Marian adds to Norwood's words, "Yes, they will be remembered"

Bayberry, an Oakhaven juvenile bloodhound leaves, following Norwood.

Calypso sips at the water before reaching for a glass of wine. It isn't always whiskey for her anymore. The discussion of the sword holds her attention and she quirks a brow, but does not inquire directly. Perhaps the Duchess is not intent on being a master of conversation today. Violet's comment about being a fan of history gets a tilt of her glass in cheers to the remark. Seeing Marian's look, though, she dips her head demurely. There will be time.

"Gloria honours those who stand for the innocent, who fight with honour. Success or failure are not important in who she honours - a brave knight who fails is a thousand times more worthy than an unscrupulous knight who wins or who fights for an unjust cause." Preston says as Rymarr mentions his Goddess, bowing his head "To fight for the Gods, as those who fight at the Lodge do, as those who fought and died at Stormwall did, is the noblest. Because in fighting for them, you fight for everyone. Every orphan tended to by Gild's charity. Every sick person looked after by Lagoma's mercy. Every woodsman whose belly is filled by Petrichor's bounty." Well. Take a priest to a God-mentioning-thing I guess! Preston leans back in his chair and smiles. After a moment he nods across to Felicia, his voice lowering a bit "I am sure Legate Aureth would welcome the discussion. He has a close relationship to the Queen of Endings - it is easy to be jealous."

Rymarr is overheard praising Preston: He gets it. I mean, obviously, of course. But still - he gets it.

Felicia gives a slight nod of her head,"I'm always happy to." she agree's readily with Marian with a small smile before turning her head towards Preston,"She's never spoken with me directly. But I don't doubt Her hand in things." she clears her throat,"Still, when you speak to the Legate please let him know I haven't forgotten about meeting with him... just that matters with the Lodge have occupied much of my time of late."

Preston's words draw Rymarr's attention and the Marquis sits in silence while he pays his attention to the Grandmaster of the Templars. A solemn nod is cast toward Preston before Rymarr offers a response, "Very well said, Sir Preston. Well said, indeed".

"It's a shame there is no way to learn the names of those lives stolen to make George," Caius remarks in a low voice, his head shaking from side to side in a measured gesture of regret. "Those who volunteered themselves, those who were stolen, they are still lives lost. Names and families whose kin mourn."

"See, love? You're surrounded by those that love history." Brogan grins towards Felicia before turning it onto others. "But, it is such a large crowd for her to try to, well. Recite from memory unprepared." Then Felicia speaks up and he pauses to consider. On the matter of the pantheon and all these god-names thrown about, Brogan looks vaguely non-committal. If anything his eyes glaze over, and he ships from his horn as a distraction.

Violet glances at Caius and says, "We've lost the lore of the druids who could do such things, sadly. I wish we could too...the souls of whole villages. Villages sacrificed..." Something about the topic has her pause and take in a deep breath. "I doubt there are few volunteers who made up those creatures." She finishes and takes a bite of the delicious meal. Thorley puts his hand over hers and she glances at him, smiling faintly.

"Speak with Lord Grady of this House," Rymarr says with a nod toward Caius, "it was the efforts of himself and others that allowed us our victory. We did not do this alone. We were one part of an overall whole". Rymarr settles into silence once again.



Then the door to the kitchens open and out wafts the scent of something baked. Something crusty. Something bearing apples. Then out comes a pair of servants bearing trays. Apple pie rests upon those trays. Sweet, glorious apple pie.

"I have heard only an echo of Gloria's voice once. Those the Gods speak to, they are truly blessed. But it is a hard thing, many would claim such an honour falsely." Preston admits to Felicia, nodding at her request "And I will let Aureth know should I see him. I have not seen much of him since his elevation. You may also wish to speak with Legate Ailith. She is most well versed on the direct calls from the Gods." Preston's thumb rubs at the Templar signet ring on his finger, the old ring bearing a sigil of the Templars nestled between Limerance and Gloria's sigils "I have spent my life in the Rectory, m'lord." he answers to Rymarr as a grin spreads across his features "If I could not recite the natures of the Gods, I would think a great deal of very worthy peoples time has been wasted in my education."

Calypso watches Preston as he airs his thoughts on the matter of battle and honor. Her face betrays neither agreement nor disagreement. She listens while she sips her wine, politely, and listens to the direction of discussion. It be odd to see the former Minister of Defense so quiet, but perhaps there is a method to that madness. The delivery of pie is a distraction, but only momentarily.

"There is always one, is there not? One who seek glory or wealth or personal gain who gives up those who trust them, who turns lives into waste and ruin," Caius angles a nod to Rymarr, "Lord Grady? I'll seek him out," he makes note of this name before a sort of chuckle is exhaled. "A civilization that ignores it's own history has no past and no future."

Marian glances up from her conversation when the apple pie appears, a look of interest in the dessert giving the impression that this is possibly her favorite.

Violet's head comes up, in time with Marian's it seems, and her green eyes widen. Though her appetite had been middling during dinner, the reason may be revealed. The commandant was saving room for pie. Crusty, flaky, sweet and tangy pie. "It's my favorite too," She says in an aside to the Princess. Her eyes flicking hungrily to the trays.

Felicia dips her head in Violet's direction,"They used to enact great naming rituals to restore the names of the lost." she affirms for Violet's words,"I wouldn't claim to have heard the Queen directly." she clears her throat briefly, attention going towards the smell of the apple pie,"But... ah, it's... complicated. A Harrow helped build the Necropolis, and we've... always had a connection with Her, even when we didn't know Her name."

"Oh come on, Felicia. It can't hurt for people to know, can it? About the Harrow's being the first nobles," Violet says, looking only slightly apologetic at her friend. "There's plenty of proof. And you need to stop being so modest."

Demetria Arcuri arrives, delivering a message to Violet before departing.

Marian sadly can't stay for the whole party. Once she's done with her pie, she gives her well wishes to others, making sure the host knows that she had a good time for taking her leave. She does stop by Calypso's chair to murmur something to her before heading out.

Leola speaks up, to Violet and Felicia, giving a wan smile "It's always surprising to me how many have tried to ... not publicise their family origins. The Greenmarch's link to Petrichor was a surprise to us all" She says in a quiet, deferential tone, as she picks at food neatly

Rymarr checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 2 lower.

Seeming to listen intently to the Templar, Brogan works on finishing his food. As politely as a lord should, no less. There is a soft chuckle as folks focus on the apple pie. "You know, I don't think I've heard of people who do not like apple pie. I imagine there are some. Not everyone enjoy a good apple." Brogan swirls his cider horn when he mentions apple. He looks between Felicia, to Violet, and back and forth several more times before he just tips the cider horn back to drain it.

The arrival of Pie is greeted with much enthusiasm by Caius as he not-at-all-discreetly sets aside his other plate in favor of a empty plate upon which to have a healthy slice of pie deposited. He then cuts a /tiny/ sliver of pie and eases it onto Caly's plate with a broad grin, as though she'll be content with such a sliver.

Rymarr slowly begins to smile in the direction of Preston as he offers a nod in return, "Of course, Sir Preston. There's certainly no denying that fact. What I mean though is your views on knighthood itself and the behavior that should be expected of one. It isn't simply some vanity title to be applied for the sake of it". Rymarr goes silent once again as his attention shifts around to regard Violet and Felicia. Leola's comments draw a glance from the Marquis, but it does not linger. He seems unsurprised by the revelation made by Violet on behalf of Felicia. He sniffs quietly before his attention drifts away. Soon a hunched many steps over, a quiet giggle on his lips as he leans in to murmur quietly to the Deepwood marquis. A nod is given from Rymarr to Patsy, then onward Rymarr begins to rise from his seat, "Highnesses...Highnii? Ladies, Lords, Dames, and Sirs... everyone else that may not fall into those categories? A matter of House requires my attention. I invite each of you to remain, continuing enjoying each others company, and of course the food. Should I be able to steal away so that I return, I will. Thank you all, again, for attending and gracing me with your respective presences".



Rymarr lingers for only a moment before he begins to step away. He pauses however to collect one of the apple pies from a tray within armored hands, which he carries off with him without reservation. He is, clearly, not messing around.

Marian has left the the center banquet table.

Ender, a Silver Gyrfalcon, Ursa leave, following Marian.

Felicia does color for Violet's words, more as people start to rise,"Ah... this is good apple pie." she offers with a wry smile instead with a glance towards Violet.

Preston obtains some pie for himself - he is a priest, not a martyr after all. He looks along to Felicia and Violet, his eyebrow raising a little "That is interesting. History is quite fascinating in what we have lost. Do you know we had forgotten even what Carnifex was? We of the Orthodoxy remember Carnifex Alor Valardin as our founder, a great figure in the Faith, but....his title? We were unsure of it until recently when we went to the archives. And it in turn revealed more about a dark time in the Faith, around the work of Marach. All lost. All regained. And no doubt will be lost again should some have their way." Preston gently pokes at the pie with his fork "Not all who work for the enemy wear gruesome faces after all. Some are quite mortal. Some of quite noble." This is said quite matter of factly before he takes a bite of the pie, a small one so he can quickly swallow and proclaim "Mm. Good, my compliments to your team, Marquis."

Calypso tilts her head slightly as Marian whispers something to her and passes a note. The paper is opened and she reads it twice, quickly. Its quickly refolded and the two share rapid whispers between each other before the Princess departs. After she does, Calypso sits there very still, eyes distant as she stares at the space vacated by Marian. Suddenly she is very, very far away and not paying any attention.

Violet finds herself smiling at her friend and shrugging. "It's history. We shouldn't forget the follies and the triumphs," She says simply before diving into her pie. As Rymarr turns to leave she stands and bows, before glancing at Thorley. There is a quiet talk and it seems the two agree to slink off home with their pies. Especially as Sorcha begins to stir. "Thank you all for a wonderful evening. Fel, see you soon. You've not properly gotten to meet Sorcha yet." A wink and they turn to leave.

The Bear-Man enjoys the pie, clearly. Otherwise, he is behaving amongst all the faith-types. Just for once in his life, being quiet. Brogan does do a sharp wave towards Violent, Sorcha and Thorley as they move to depart.

Caius is overheard praising Preston: A man of the faith, and a man with a keen grasp of the challenges of mortal men when it comes to the quest for pie.

Calypso is overheard praising Rymarr.

Calypso is overheard praising Caius.

Calypso is overheard praising Marian.

Caius is overheard praising Marian.

Caius is overheard praising Brogan.

Leola is overheard praising Rymarr.

Leola is overheard praising Preston.

Leola is overheard praising Felicia.

Felicia has left the the center banquet table.

Warrior, a skittish pygmy goat kid leaves, following Felicia.

Leola is overheard praising Violet.

Violet has left the the center banquet table.

Erin, Crimson Blades Private, Jin, Cranky Crimson Blades Sergeant leave, following Violet.

Leola is overheard praising Caius.

Brogan is overheard praising Rymarr.

Brogan has left the the center banquet table.

Rising from the table, "It was pleasant to spend part of our afternoon with you," Caius says as he rises to his feet, one hand offered to Calypso as he does so with a great deal of noise. Armor is simply not the most stealthy of wardrobe choices. "My lady and I must take our leave, however. I do hope to see all of you again, and without the presence of a gargantuan to inspire the meeting. Do have a good evening, all, and enjoy the pie," he did polish off his piece before rising, of course. Because. . . pie.

Calypso has left the the center banquet table.

Caius has left the the center banquet table.

Adjutant General Vincenzo di Malvici, 6 Malvici Guards, Caius leave, following Calypso.

Leola stands, as well, and she gives a polite smile "It was good to see you all. Thank you, for the invitation, and your kind words" Her tone is ... careful, respectful, as she bows and effects her exit, wilting somewhat in that plate

Preston has left the the center banquet table.

1 Templar Knight guards have been dismissed.



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