Feb. 19, 2017, 7 p.m.
Hadrian Darren Edain Jaenelle Niccolo Deva Alis Belladonna Isolde Ferrando Dagon Donella Valerius Drea Natalia Dominique Max(RIP) Rook Valencia Cassius Lydia Freja Khanne Reese Signe Sylvie Lark Anze Dominic(RIP) Julea Sigurd Valery Mydas Duarte Neve Tristram Bianca Cirroch Ford Octavia Demura Calathane Arcelia Shadow
Arx - Ward of House Redrain - Redrain Grounds
Comments and Log
Freja slips in quietly, dressed in her hooded dress that makes her visually akin to the nameless statue in the Hall of Memories. A polite nod is offered to any and all as she heads to the fringe, steadfast in her stubbornness to be silent unless stirred into conversation.
Duchess Sylvie Zaffria arrives clad in black velvet, her lips pressed into a soft line as her gaze sweeps over those gathered. It catches on Deva, dropping into a quiet curtsey from the distance she stands from the Voice of Redrain, but she doesn't press closer with so many others for the princess to greet. Instead, she moves to find a spot of her own, quietly.
Freja has joined the nook between the garden trellises.
Reese looks over to Shadow from where she stays perched upon the benches, giving the man one of her somber and sorrow pregnant smiles. Her attention strays to Deva and then to her cousin Lark. Blonde locks strain her hair net and nicked hands rest in her lap.
Lark offers an equally quick, sad sort of smile in response to Deva and Alis. It is gone soon after it appears.
Redrain servants have already seen to setting the fires, which roar up in tall columns that flank the path leading to the Villa, burning in strong hues of red and orange. The warmth from the flames blankets the area heavily, but not oppressively so; it is more comforting than anything else. Bench tables are set out, filled with bottles of whiskey, particularly brands that are known to hail from Stonedeep, like their famed white whiskey.
Darren arrives on the grounds escorting Lydia Nightgold, though he parts from her afterward and heads over to one of the tables towards the center of the room and hops up onto it. There is no pomp, no circumstance, just a clearing of his throat and a hold of his hand up to quiet the crowd. "Thank you all for coming," his voice is clear and his expression somber, as he speaks to those who have gathered. "Tonight, we honour those who fell at the Battle of Pridehall, specifically Duchess Nadia Nightgold. I want to stress however, that tonight is not a night of mourning. It is instead a night to celebrate life. Nadia's life. To eat, to drink, and to share stories. So that we can remember her fondly, and keep her with us always."
Darren pauses for but a moment, taking in a breath and exhaling it slowly, before he continues on. "Nadia Nightgold has been my friend since I was a child. I would go to Stonedeep with my father over the summer, and we would play as adventurers among the mountains and rose-gold arches. She always reminded me to take some time for myself, and though I rarely did as she said, I knew if I needed a distraction, she would come running with whiskey in hand and something fun in mind." He quiets, looks back to the fire, and then nods his head. "I will miss my friend. But she lived a good life. And that is all we can ask for in this day and age. Feel free to drink, feel free to eat. And please, share your own stories if you will. Thank you all for coming." Then, he steps down off the table.
Sigurd has joined the courtyard benches.
Octavia enters without a word, doffing her tricorn hat and moving to stand off near the other vassals of Thrax, where she might at least know a few people. Her expression is stern... but then again when is Octavia Kennex anything but?
Isolde makes her way in, her retinue along with her. She looks around the crowded area, before her eyes alight on Darren, listening to him as he speaks. She smiles, a quiet thing behind the mask, letting her eyes linger for a moment, before turning to regard the fire.
"I must give credit where it is due, your grace. My brother assembled all this," Deva replies to Edain, and reaches out to briefly pat his arm. At Niccolo's greeting, she twists to bow her head to him as well. "Thank you for coming, your grace," she bids the archduke respectfully, before moving to claim a seat as well. Catching Sylvie's gesture, she offers a quick, grateful smile and replies with a slight bow of her own before settling in.
Deva has joined the shaded garden grotto.
Signe is looking a bit out of sorts today, but what with all that's happened, it might not come as surprising. Thick, black silk shrouds her frame, heavy with mourning and the shades of midnight. There's a second where blank eyes search the grounds. Upon finding Sigurd and Mydas, a typical brightness is blinked back into her eyes as she moves in their direction, dodging folk left and right with much indecision as to whether to keep her head down or hold her chin up proudly.
As Demura leaves Alis to her thoughts, she means to head towards Reese but manages to almost bump into Shadow instead. She presents a smile and gives the man a nod. "How do you do?" She asks politely, holding that genuine smile. "Demura Lyonesse." She states as an introduction, not recognizing the man and naturally wanting to be appropriate.
Prince Dominic of Thrax enters the Redrain grounds to honor Nadia Nightgold at the bonfire. He appears to lack his guards and his animal companion. As the ceremony begins with Darren's opening statement, Dominic finds a quiet place to settle. He sets his gaze upon a couple benches under oak tress and approaches it after hitting the whiskey table. The giant Thrax pays his respect, nodding to the decease's family members and then to those he knew like Khanne. With his drink in hand, he listens quietly and watches the wake.
Dominic has joined the benches under the oak trees.
Sigurd grunts, nodding firmly at Darren's words and murmuring to all near him, "A fine sentiment, really. As one who grew up with Nadia, she definitely knew how to enjoy life to its fullest." He stands with his brother, gesturing quietly toward Signe as he spots her entering, motioning for her to join them and have all the Nightgold siblings stand together for a while at this.
Signe has joined the courtyard benches.
Mydas checked charm + propaganda against difficulty 15, resulting in 29, 14 higher than the difficulty.
Sylvie's gaze catches on Isolde as the princess enters, and she offers a graceful curtsey to the mirrormask as well as she moves towards her. "Good evening, your highness," she greets simply, though she leans closer to murmur quieter words. Even as her gaze catches on Dominic as he enters, staring only for a moment, before returning her attention to Isolde.
Rook treads into the grounds with his retainers in tow, the entourage of the lord courtier a clattering march and a softer pad of doeskin boots that support his tread of leather. The aeterna shirt that has fair skin challenged for bright white with its stainless appearance is opened at the collar. Clearly the bonfire will be welcome, though he does wear leather on the rest of his body. With a sweep of green, he scans the crowd and steps in the direction of Reese. "Your highness," he murmurs mildly, "how do you do."
Niccolo has joined the shaded garden grotto.
Rook has joined the courtyard benches.
1 Redrain novice guards arrives, following Kieran.
Mydas' face is stony as he steps forward, grief having robbed his visage of emotions. He looks upon those assembled to celebrate his cousin and the others that fell, till he sees their eyes stare back. Only then does he begin. "I remember when Nadia was a young girl." His words easily reaches those further back, the deep bass of his voice heard without him needing to yell. An orator's trick. "I remember how she would follow Dustin and I around, so eager to be like her older brother. As soon as she was strong enough to lift a practice sword, she insisted she needed to follow the same path as he. Like Dustin, she wanted to be a leader of men, to command our numbers and see them return home, safe and whole."
"This is what she died doing. Leaving without telling a soul, as was her way, she went to command the Nightgold soldiers she had loved and protected ever since becoming Duchess." A pause as a flash of emotions pass through his eyes, too chaotic to seperate. They fade nearly at once, contained. "Thanks to her, those soldiers have returned to their loved ones and children. Thanks to her, we count wounds rather than dead. Thanks to her, they live to fight another day."
"Because fight we shall. The Battle of Pridehall made us lose Nadia and thousands of others. Even on the day of our triumph, we learned eighty thousand Shavs are gathering to strike at Arx. We now face an enemy that by far outnumbers us. One dedicated to our complete and utter destruction. One aided by men who have given up their humanity and become monsters." Mydas' voice grows in strength, grief washing away and replaced with building anger, his eyes showing gathering storms. "And yet fight we shall! Because from the depths come courage. Because even in loss we marshal our strength. Because even as they strike at our heart, we rise up to defend it more than ever."
His voice lowers, but it's no less intense. "Gods guide her rest, Spirits guard her memory. But we are the ones who must defend what she died for. The time has come for us to protect the legacy of our ancestors, to see it preserved for the future generations. And so I say to you now, as we are gathered here to honour Nadia. Honour her in deed. Prepare for the day we fight. And when they come? Punish them for every harm. Hold the line, in heart and steel. Shed no tears but their own. And fight, to the last." And with these final words, Mydas steps back.
Isolde looks over at Sylvie as she addresses her, blinking for a moment, before shaking her head and whatever fog held it. "Duchess. It is a pleasure to see you. Has Duke Valkieri contacted you about our conversation today?" As her words lower, she tilts her head, smiling softly, a quiet chuckle.
Darren sets his hand on Sigurd's shoulder to pat him lightly, nodding in agreemen. "I think that means one of you will need to continue the tradition of her spa days." He quiets as Mydas speaks, nodding slightly to something said, before he makes his way among the crowd. There is a nod to Edain and Niccolo, both men being offered polite smiles that don't quite reflect his typical warmth, and quiet words spent. "Your graces. Thank you both for coming," he offers, before he makes his way over to Isolde, and tilts to have a quiet conversation with the Mirrormask.
Lydia is a pale figure, but that is nothing new. Today, though, she is unusually somber, swathed in a dark silk dress that is stiff and heavy and seems to weigh her slight frame down. When Darren moves to hop up on the table, she steps back, watching him and saying nothing. When he hops down again, she then steps forward to return to where he stands. her green eyes scan the crowd until she finds Mydas and she juts her chin in his direction, right before he stands to speek as well. then her head tilts and she falls quiet.
Pariah, The StormCrow, 5 Redoubt Buccaneers arrive, following Maximilian.
After Darren speaks, Niccolo's features relax somewhat. Seeing Deva claim spot next to him, he turns to her and speaks quietly. He looks at the gathering and spotting Isolde allows a touch of a smile in her direction and an incline of his head. He looks between her and Sylvie, before his attention turns back to his quiet conversation once more.
Reese lifts her delicate chin, listening to Mydas as he speaks and sucking in a soft breath. Her blue eyes are sad and yet still hopeful as his words fade to a silent ending. She then turns her focus to Rook, giving the Lord a polite nod of greeting. He is answered softly.
"Thank you, Demura. I appreciate you being here. And yes, we will absolutely avenge our losses." Alis agrees, in unwavering voice. "Your Grace." she offers politely to Niccolo when he greets their little knot of people. Then when Darren speaks, she gives a brief smile, and turns towards her brother to murmur something quietly to him. And dutifully, she looks horrified by the idea of a spa day; just as Nadia would have expected of her.
Shadow remains to himself keeping his distance from the crowd that had gathered to pay their last respects and to remember Nadia, The large man looking far apart from many there in his blood stained furs and with the dirt and grime holding to his face and hands, the smell of sweat and the wild clinging to the man as if it would never leave him. Should any get to close a low growl is offered despite the occasion in the large man's own way of showing displeasure or discomfort as he watches the proceedings.
Isolde looks up as Darren comes over, lightly taking his arm. "Prince Darren, you know Duchess Sylvie Raffia, yes?" She murmurs back to the Redrain, squeezing his arm lightly.
Sigurd turns slightly as Darren alights a hand on his shoulder. "Thank you, Darren, truly. And I suppose it /does/ mean the traditions must go on, eh?" In his haggard, tired visage, a glimmer of amusement shines for a moment before he casts his gaze elsewhere as the man moves along.
Standing over near Dominic, Octavia muses loud enough for the prince to hear, "I'm not sure if it's common to all members of the isles, or peculiar to Stormhold, but my people believe that our dearly departed are the wind in our sails." She tilts her drink around, adding, "Those you've lost never leave you. They propel you forward, to your next conquest."
Deva focuses on Mydas as he speaks, her expression one of grim determination. "To the last," she echoes as he finishes, giving him a sharp and respectful nod from her seat. It is then that she tugs a server aside for a very much needed glass of whiskey for all those around her.
Neve arrives with Calathane and keeps herself mostly hidden behind the larger man. She pops out to offer a quiet and somber hello to those she knew, however other than that she remains quiet, speaking mostly to the Drumenach Lord.
Sigurd turns his attention to Octavia, calling over to her, "In the Nightgold lands, we believe that the Thunderborn carry our spirits upon the winds, so..Similar. Thank you for the words," He tells her, raising a glass of whiskey he acquired from somewhere without seeming to have moved to get it.
Valery seems to be getting more and more unease as the crowd grows. She lets her feet sleep down the seat and she stands up. She gets her basket and steps quietly to the benches, approaching the Nightgolds. She seems to hesitate but she eventually stands on her tiptoes to whisper, after some thinking, to Sigurd.
Octavia lifts her glass in reply and nods once.
Darren nods his head to Isolde, patting her hand as she takes his arm. They exchange a few more quiet words, before he looks to Syvlie and offers her a warm smile. "I do know her, yes. It is nice to see you again, Duchess Sylvie," he offers, before looking over to Isolde and canting his head in the direction to where Deva and Niccolo sit. "Want to join me over there with your father and sister?" he asks curiously.
Hadrian enters quietly, with neither theatrics nor expression aside from solemn reverence for the departed. He simply lingers out along the fringe of the gathering, listening to tribute and goodbyes.
Maximilian steps into the clearin - pushing his cowl down. So. MAny. People. So many. He glances over to the grotto, shaded and reclusive and makes his way over.
Tempest the direwolf is led into the clearing by Atila, the former looking his usual brooding self and the latter being the happiest un-puppy in the world. He's gotten too big for that but he still looks like a half-moon noodle. Together, the two canines approach the Nightgolds catching up to Signe, whom the wolf circles around once before they go to greet the rest. One with mere stares and the other with sniffs on the hands and bumps on whomever's hands are lowered at the time. Valery is especially greeted as well, having come over too.
Maximilian has joined the shaded garden grotto.
As he nurses his whiskey, Octavia's remark draws his attention and the prince studies her for a moment before chuckling and nodding, "Tears in our wake, never at our wake." He responds, "Still, all of us have different truths and sharing a bonefire around loved ones seems like a pretty good truth for me. Come, sit with me and tell me who you are." Dominic says, motioning to the bench.
Freja catches the attention of a padding guard, claiming his flask of whiskey and filling her drinking horn with it. A few passing words and she leaves herself to stare at the roaring flames and imbibe the liquor.
Ford has joined the shaded garden grotto.
Calathane nods as he listens to all and makes thee rounds greeting one and the other, Neve in hiss arm. IT was a crowded place though and he finds he is heading over to where the food is for a rest, "Thirsty?" he says this to Neve first.
Demura regards the man with a simple raise of an eyebrow and shake of her head before simply turning and walking away to continue the search for Reese, whom she saw earlier. It seems that the woman is well concealed from where the Marquessa stands currently, so she goes about the process of cutting through the growing crowd.
Julea reaches up and grabs at her old hat, drawing it off of her head, she brings it in against her right hip. The left remains against the wall, fingers curling around her side as she listens to people talk, though doesn't offer any such memories or words of sympathy herself.
Sylvie shakes her head, a question in her smoky gaze even as she answers, "He did not, your highness. Not yet." As the question is posed, her gaze draws to Darren with a quick smile, tipping her chin in return. "A pleasure, your grace, as always." As the Highlord invites Isolde away, she offers only another polite nod to the mirrormask. "I am sure he will. Another day, Princess Isolde." Then she moves away.
Sasha, a smoke-gray mountain lion arrives, following Tristram.
Lydia waits a moment, long enough to let others respond to Mydas's words, and then she moves towards her cousin's table and places a gentle hand on Mydas's shoulder, bending over to murmur to him, "Well said, Cousin."
Arcelia heads into the memorial wearing a dark brown dress with grey fur. Her face is new and she knows few of those here but she is here to pay her respects nonetheless. Her vibrant blue eyes search the area as she stands off to the side quietly, for now simply taking in those present.
Shadow watches after Demura as she wanders away from him, that low growl finally subsiding as he gives a sigh of relief. Interaction with people avoided for the moment the man actually looks to relax at least partially as he sinks further back trying to make himself as small as possible with so many people present. His gaze drifting over those faces before he is focusing on the flicker and the dance of the flames of the bonfire as shadows are casted across the place with the shifting of the flames.
Mydas gives Lydia a slight smile. "Thank you. I hoped she might appreciate it. And if not her, encourage others." He looks back into the flames, golden eyes bright in the firelight. "We'll need it."
"We shed no tears for those we've lost, Prince," Octavia replies. "They never left us." She pauses for a moment, then moves to take a seat at the bench, crossing one leg over the other and setting her hat atop her knee. "I am Octavia, the voice of House Kennex. My brother should be arriving shortly, I'm sure. I twisted his arm, a bit."
Octavia has joined the benches under the oak trees.
Isolde nods a bit and she smiles warmly to Sylvie. "We will speak later, Duchess." She lowers her voice, murmuring to Darren once more.
In cutting through the crowds, it seems that Demura has come across the path of Cirroch, whom she doesn't know at all per the moment. She heard others addressing him with a similar rank and as she's not one to miss the opportunity to make an introduction, she approaches the man. "How do you do? Faring well I hope?" She nods curteously and presents a faint smile, though it doesn't convey happiness. More like something that is comforting to those that would need it. "I'm the Marquessa Lyonesse. Demura." She finally states, extending a hand.
Darren has joined the nook between the garden trellises.
Darren has left the nook between the garden trellises.
Darren has joined the shaded garden grotto.
Ford has left the shaded garden grotto.
Ford has joined the benches under the oak trees.
Khanne waits for those that speak to do so before she begins to make her rounds. She approaches Mydas and again shakes his hand in the manner she did upon her arrival, though this time, she also offers him a one armed hug. "Well said, Mydas. Very well said." She gives him a nod and then steps to Sigurd. She gives him a hug and offers him a quiet, "she will be greatly missed. I have some good memories... from before." She nods, releasing him and looking for Signe. She is quiet with the fellow shaman, but pulls her into a soft hug, whispering into her ear before stepping away. She approaches Lydia then and says, "as we spoke, you have my sympathy, and my full support, Lydia. We will miss her greatly, but will use our grief to make us stronger." She then hugs Lydia, giving her a bit of a tight squeeze.
Valencia stands alone like a shadow to the back of the crowd. Here expressive eyes are held straight ahead strangley without emotion and her jaw set tight, as though any show of emotin may cause her facade to crumble.
Sylvie moves towards shadows, and thus, finds a Shadow, hopefully not interacting his relaxing as she greets, "Do you not care for crowds or do you not care for memorials, sir?" She allows herself to become smaller in the shadows too, blending in darkly as she takes a seat beside the man.
Hadrian also remains out there on the fringes of the gathering silently, though he does try to catch Darren's gaze with his own as if to let the other know he hadn't skipped out on this event of respects.
Sigurd currently has a hand on each of his sibling's shoulders, but releases them to give Khanne a warm and lingering hug. "Thank you, Khanne. It means a lot for you to be here, truly." He gives her a bit of a squeeze before murmuring something quietly to her and letting go, his eyes wandering to the rest of the vast party with a shiver at the numbers.
Valery has left the benches under the oak trees.
Valery has joined the courtyard benches.
Darren catches sight of Hadrian, inclining his head to the man as he leads Isolde over to the grotto, joining his sister there on the benches.
Isolde has joined the shaded garden grotto.
Signe doesn't mingle with the crowd today, despite Darren's annoucements of it being a celebratory event. She keeps her gaze straight ahead, even if it does not focus on any single thing or person. Poise stiff, visibly trying to keep it together, until Khanne draws her out of it with an embrace. But no, she makes like an oak tree, not returning the hug but appreciating it with a simple nod and the faintest smile.
Sigurd has left the courtyard benches.
Blitz leaves, following Sigurd.
Blitz arrives, following Sigurd.
Sigurd has joined the courtyard benches.
Lydia is a hugger. It's true. So when Khanne offers a hug she responds by wrapping her arms tightly around the other woman and offering her a thankful smile. "Thank you so much for your kind words, Khanne. I only hope that they're true! We'll need it in the months ahead!"
Sigurd drops a weighted bottle of Black Velvet white whisky.
Mydas nods in thanks to Khanne. "Thank you. I'm glad you approve." he says as he returns the one-armed hug with one of his own. He then returns his attention to the general going-ons of the memorial, though quickly giving up, too many people.
Deva bows her head to Darren and Isolde as they come to sit, looking up from her quiet conversation with Max and Niccolo. "Isolde," she greets the woman with a grateful smile and bow of her head, briefly holding out her hand to the princess.
Isolde offers Deva a kiss to the cheek as she joins the others, squeezing her arm in a gentle gesture. "Deva, darling. How are you?" She murmurs to her, before joining the quiet conversation at the grotto.
Cirroch has taken some whiskey, drinking as he listens to the talk and stories around him with an expression that drifts between thoughtful and - depending on the story - amused. He turns his head to regard Demura as she comes through the crowds toward... him? He inclines his head to her, then... "Heh. We live, we who are here, and we remember those who are not. It is a good day." He reaches out his hand to take hers. "I'm Cirroch Sanna. Marquis of Giant's Reach. Well met."
Valery checked dexterity + stealth against difficulty 15, resulting in 19, 4 higher than the difficulty.
Freja drinks deeply of her whiskey, sharp eyes roving over the crowd. She sees Signe enter and beckons her over, lifting the drinking horn in open invitation.
Sigurd spots Freja motioning to Signe and pats his sister on the shoulder, gesturing to the Redrain princess. "Go on and enjoy, Ne-ne. Freja will do well by you." He himself stays near to his brother, turning slightly as Lydia whispers something to him and grimacing, but nodding in understanding as he murmurs back to her.
Not getting an answer doesn't seem to annoy the small woman much. Valery just steps back from the benches, trying to avoid the greetings of the animals, and she tries to disappear among the crowd as she makes her way to leave to the Villa.
"Aye, I couldn't have said it better myself, though for some it's a rather drab day. Still, I think that our thoughts should be on the inspiration that the Duchess Nightgold was instead of her absent presence." Demura sorts herself out a bit of whiskey and holds it up to toast the man before making it vanish. "Marquis Sanna, It was a pleasure to make your aquaintance. Should you ever be in need of anything, please, come by the Lyonesse Chateau. You would be a most welcome guest." She regards the man with a slight bow once again before sifting off into the crowd once again. Now isn't the time for talking business.
Valery has left the courtyard benches.
Boots, Chip, a small mouse leave, following Valery.
Ford made his way to the benches to join his sister and Dominic. Talking quietly among themselves.
Edain listens quietly as people speak of the loss of the Duchess. He bows his head to Mydas after he gives his rousing eulogy. After a moment he takes a deep breath and makes his way over to Lydia. He bows to her politely and says, "If there is anything you need Duchess Lydia. You have but to ask." He says in sincere tone, before steping back so she can continue to mingle and speak to mourners.
Hadrian returns the little incline with his own of gratefulness; he hates these things. They made him feel simply too... sad. But it isn't about him, so he attends nonetheless. The Saik woman, however, he could recognize by sheer genetic features. Slowly, he meanders a quiet path toward her, "Overwhelming?"
Arcelia takes a deep breath and steps into the gathering. The voluptuous lady takes her time watching people as she passes and greeting anyone who happens to say anything to her. She gracefully steps around people and keeps a smile on her face as she heads to find a place to sit quietly.
Tempest looks comfortable enough around Blitz that he gives his ears a sniffing and turns to lick him in the teeth. Safe to say he 'hangs out' with his fellow direwolf during a gathering like this, though he does not forget to keep his eye on Signe. The lass sucks her lips inward as Sigurd speaks to her, and she turns to Freja to give her a small smile, but nothing more.
Calathane walks over i a certain direction a glance perhaps something. Things were as they were in a large crowd, but soon he is close enoug to Valencia to be heard, "Hello your Highness." Neve next to him, but as shy as a well more than anything with so much nobility around. he walks over to stand more beside Valencia looking out over the place, "Care to talk?"
Khanne walks up to Edain and Alis then. "Thank you for coming. I.. know Nadia made an impact throughout the city. Did you two know her well?" Her eyes slide to Edain more directly and she asks, "I remember her mentioning having dinner with you, awhile ago... "
Freja is by both habit and well earned reputation, a woman of few words. Signe's lack is met warmly and as she joins her fellow Shaman she the whiskey is shared heartily. "To the last." The Redrain speaks her House's words.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Maximilian before departing.
Lydia murmers some with Sigurd, but then Edain comes close and she turns to him, giving her full attention. Lydia reaches out a hand to clasp Edain's arm. "Thank you. Seeing so many people here just speaks so well for her. I mean, I know this isn't /all/ for her, but..." Lydia cuts off, letting eyes sweep over the crowd again.
Passing from one person to the next it seems, Demura is now on the approach to Lady Arcelia, stopping short and giving a respectful nod before introducing herself. "My lady, I'm Marquessa Demura Lyonesse. A pleasure to meet you." She states in an elegant silken accent that is wholly British and committed with excellent poise.
"Some people have presence enough that they last a good long while," Cirroch says to Demura, with a smile before he turns his gaze to look at the surroundings. "Judging from the crowd... aye, she's still here in... a way." He returns is gaze to her, and lifts his own glass in a toast to answer hers. "Aye? My thanks for the welcome, Marquessa." He inclines his head to her once more, then... goes to get more whiskey, as she drifts away.
Ariadne, 3 Rubino and Zaffria guards leave, following Sylvie.
Mydas inclines his head to Edain in return, thanking him silently. "Nadia touched many people." Mydas remarks, upon hearing Lydia's words.
Sigurd swirls his whiskey quietly in his glass, watching his sister and Freja speak and adding in a voice that carries slightly the Nightgold creed of, "From the depths comes courage." He sighs, looking into the flames for a moment. "Well, she certainly had plenty of that to spare." He downs the rest of his glass then moves off to snag some more, bringing one for Mydas as well and shoving it into his hand, whether he wants it or not. "She touched half the city, if one can judge the crowd, really."
Lark has joined the benches under the oak trees.
Maximilian drops Fuckton of Rum.
Arcelia stops her search for a seat as Hadrian approaches her. "It is that." She offers the man a warm but sad smile. "How are you doing tonight My Lord?" She looks to Demura and politely dips her head to the other woman and then to Hadrian. "It is a pleasure to meet you both I am Lady Arcelia Saik."
Alis inclines her head towards Khanne when the woman approaches. "She was one of my closest friends here in Arx." she admits. "I'm just not very good at the whole.." a gesture is given towards the fire and the crowd. "She very much enjoyed doing whatever she could to nudge me out of my comfort zone, and help me do... fun things." A smile quirks the corners of her lips upwards.
Signe accepts the whiskey from Freja with a singular dip of her head. She whispers something back, but what Sigurd says has her looking to him and cutting herself off. Thusly, she takes a conservative sip and proceeds to scrape her teeth over her bottom lip.
Reese sucks in a soft breath after Sigurd speaks, nodding in agreement with his words. She shifts, seemingly getting ready to rise an speak herself.
Tristram arrives and takes a place near the bonfire, staring at the fire and thinking of times past.
Khanne nods to Alis as she looks out towards the fire and the crowd. Turning back to the woman she says, "I am not very good at the whole... either. Perhaps... you and I can try to do fun things together sometime, so that we can carry on her wish for us to do such things?"
Hadrian dips his head, "Aye, the Baroness'...?" But a new face has approached, and so the Duke falls quiet for the two women to meet one another.
Reese rises to her booted feet. She has black tall boots like Nadia used to sometimes wear. The blonde princess also has whiskey, a tumbler full "It is hard to say anything because there are no words that can really capture the true extent of the losses from last battle; Nadia is only one of those names and there were so many more. Words fail me. Her rose-gold hair is but a memory. Her ink stained tiny hands, a memory. Her voice, a memory. Her work in the archives, a memory. Her last heroic charge? It is now a legend. That memory is strong.
Nadia was strong. Her spirit is strong. Generations from now we will speak of her and what she did for us. We will speak of all the Nightgold warriors and what they have done for us all. The victory is ours and the victory is powerful. Victory will come again. The oncoming forces will be crushed, the siege thwarted. This is as much in thanks to Nadia and the Nightgold soldiers as it is to those forces that face the threat in the future. Our hearts break, but our children live and our land lives, because of what they did." She says, lifting her drink and taking not a sip but a gulp.
There's a slight smirk on Mydas' face as he nods to Sigurd's words, before he takes a drink from his glass. "Well put." He looks over to Reese when she speaks, listening without blinking, before giving a nod of thanks. "Thank you, Your Highness. That was well said."
The little princess looks sincerely startled by Calathane and Neve's approach and his question. So much so the icy candor drops for a moment. Valencia winces before she is able to regain icy composure, though she does lean closer to speak with the couple,
Julea has joined the benches under the oak trees.
Sigurd lifts his glass to Reese after her speech, seeming to appreciate the words. "hear hear, Princess." Something she says seems to trouble him slightly, and he frowns, but he sucks down a lot more of his drink after the speech regardless, murmuring something to his brother as he rocks back and forth on his heels.
Edain bows his head to Khanne, "We were friends, Lady Khanne. She was one of the first people to reach out to me upon reaching the city of Arx." Edain smiles fainly but it fades quickly. "She had decided that we would friends.. and it as near impossible to not be charmed by her." Edain bows, "She will be sorely missed."
Atila, the dominantly black husky, trots around the crowd with his tongue hanging out the side of his jaw. The perfect exemplar of a smiling dog, nothing at all is wrong with his little world. He is polite enough to listen to Reese as she speaks, even if it isn't clear that he understands her in the slightest. The dog moves in the direction of Cirroch shortly after, sniffing at his shoes before moving up to reach his hands, offering a lick of hello.
"I'd like that, Lady Khanne. I know we have yet to find the time to meet as we were supposed to. So maybe instead of tea in the dining room of terror, we'll go do something fun in Nadia's memory together instead, yes?" Alis suggests. "Perhaps we'll.. paint something." Sure, that sounds fun, right? Resse's words catch her ears as well, and with the glass of whiskey that was pressed into her hands, she lifts it up in toast at that and drinks it all in one gulp.
"Charmed, I'm sure, Lady Arcelia. It's a pleasure to meet you as well. I hope that everything is okay with you?" Demura silks out along with a comforting touch to the elbow. "I wasn't intruding on your privacy was I?" She has to ask along with the prior question as well.
Rook claps for Reese gently, a respectful sound as he nods to her words, face a blend of pleasant seriousness.
Julea eventually takes a break from her quiet brooding against the wall of the forge and instead pushes off, to make her way over towards some of the benches placed around one of the oak trees. She settles down there, hat in her lap and looking towards Reese as the woman speaks, her expression sullen.
Khanne lets her lips slide into a small smile at the thought. "I would like that. Do you paint? Alis? PLease, just Khanne is fine." She nods to Edain and says she will be. I am sorry for the both of you to have lost a friend, but glad that we all had her light in our lives while we did."
Reese takes another drink from her whiskey, draining the glass. She goes for another. With a new drink in hand, she perches back upon the wooden bench.
Edain bows to Khanne and leans over to murmur something to his sister and then quietly makes his way away from the bonfire.
Deva looks out from the quiet conversation at the bench, after taking what seems to be a much needed drink. Something makes her, at least briefly, sling an arm around her brother Darren's shoulders and tip the side of her head lightly against his own. She withdraws a beat later, resuming her drinking, and listening to all those speaking before the crowd with a small and wistful smile.
"She was great at that." Lydia's lips pull upwards into a small smile at Edain's words although it's touched with sadness, and her eyes then drift to Khanne. "That's what she did. She just decided the whole world would be her friend, and she never allowed people to tell her no, or accept anything less than full-hearted friendship."
"Nope. Not even a little. I sketch. But I know someone who will very much appreciate our artistic efforts." Alis decides, in a determinedly cheerful voice. "Aye, I have many memories of the Duchess I will hold dear. She was a friend, and a warrior, and a vibrant light when needed."
Tristram stands away from the fire and heads towards Reese, murmuring something in her ear.
Arcelia offers slight smile, a small thankful one, to Hadrian when he pauses to let the other woman speak with her. "I am settling into Arx one day at a time." She looks over to Hadrian. "I do not believe you intruding, no. I do not believe I have met this handsome gentlemen?" She asks to Hadrian.
Khanne bites her lip and watches Edain leave. "I hope I did not say anything wrong...."
Calathane nods to Valencia and stands there with her, more a solid base of something present, soft words a more intmate talk is happening now and again, he draws Neve closer still and lsitens to others too. Reese gets a nod and he draws back his cp to drink in toast.
Sigurd looks down at some roses and flowers tucked into his belt. "When the hells did I get these?" He squints at them, then shrugs a little, turning and calling out to Alis, "Don't let Khanne fool you, she is an /excellent/ artist, I have one of her works hanging over my fireplace." And then he's downing the rest of his glass, grunting at his brother in complete agreement to something he says.
Though he speaks quietly there amongst his little circle of people, Darren does lift his head to listen to all of those sharing memories. When Deva slings her arm around his shoulder, he snakes his arm around her waist, and squeezes her warmly.
Cirroch is already having to look down more than he's used to in order to see faces, but Atila... well, he's a bit lower than the rest here. Cirroch looks down at the lick, his face turning to a smile that sweeps away - at least for the moment - an awkwardness that was subtly there before. "Why, hello," he says in a pleasant greeting as he moves that hand to pet the husky-dog around the head and ears. "Well met."
Hadrian smiles, "Oh, we met, but we were children, I believe." Head dips again full of cold black hair, as the tall, broad-shouldered but slim man introduces himself, "Duke Hadrian Malvici."
Alis shakes her head. "No, neither of us are very good at these things. Another time I'll explain why." The reassurance is for Khanne, though she smirks at Sigurd's warning. "Good thing one of us is, then. Because I am no artist." And there's not an ounce of shame in her for it either.
Reese looks toward Tristram her blue eyes still softly somber and her expression holds a touch of bafflement. She speak softly back to him.
Lydia watches the departing high lord and then she finally flops down into a seat, one conveniently close to her other family.
Freja gives Signe a look, caught halfway between her habitual emotionless facade and empathy. "I am always here." is the simple reassuring she gives the other woman.
As people speak of their memories of the woman Shadow himself has none, the man from the mountains there to show his respects for the noblewoman from the north. His eyes following the dance of flames almost as if hypnotized before he is looking once more over the other faces and people there. The large man silent as he simply watches and listens.
Lydia has joined the courtyard benches.
Khanne looks to Sigurd then back to Alis with a nod. "It is true, I paint. I did one I am rather proud of for Cassius and Belladonna for their wedding as well." She smiles then and nods, "Yes, I am fairly certain he would love to see what we come up with. And.. I did paint something for Sigurd once upon a time as well." She nods again to Alis and says, "they are difficult gatherings.. yes.." She spots Neve then and says to Alis, "pardon me a moment?" And then she is off trying to weave through the crowd to find Neve. "Neve! Thank you for coming... how are you?"
"Ah, that is fortunate. I'll leave you two to it then." Demura states before offering another gesture of respect while turning to walk away. Yet again she is in search of her target and yet again she's coming up short upon the sighting. She is nothing if not persistent however. She comes to a stop near another lady as she tries to gain her bearings. Finally after panning the crowds, she looks over at Octavia and nods, "Oh, hello to you. I'm Marquessa Demura." She states as an introduction while shifting to better regard the other woman.
Asherah arrives, following Dagon.
Arcelia nods her head. "Yes, we were both much younger. I recall you by name mostly. Have you been well Duke Malvici?" She pauses for a second and considers Hadrian. "It is unfortunate we meet here when we have not seen one another in so long. We will have to meet for a meal some day soon."
To Demura she offers a kind smile and nods her head as the Marquessa departs. "It was nice to meet you." Then she turns her attention back to Hadrian.
Atila is used to being looked down on, if only in the literal sense. One might imagine that his bigger packmates already do so, being wolves of the much larger kind, but one questions whether he still realizes or not... The plush-furred dog generously wets Cirroch's hand with his saliva, affectionately given away. The petting is welcomed warmly, the canine bumping the man's leg before he shows the human his bum, big brown eyes expectantly waiting for him to... Lord knows what. Pet him there?
Dominic sits at a bench under a couple oak trees conversing with Ford and Octavia Kennex.
Alis smiles, lifting her glass up when someone stops by with a bottle to refill empty ones. "We'll speak again soon, hopefully!" she calls out after Khanne. Pardon her while she finds more to drink. At least Sir Rhys is here to drag her sorry arse home before she makes an embarassment of herself.
Octavia blinks a bit as she's addressed, then stands up, tucking her book into her pocket and catching her tricorn before it falls. "Marquessa, a pleasure to meet you," she offers, offering her hand as well. "Lady Octavia Kennex. May I also introduce my brother the Marquis Ford Kennex, and Prince Dominic Thrax."
Signe shifts her face in Freja's direction, acknowledging the few but meaningful words from the woman. She murmurs something in return, sad eyes forced to be more 'presentable' to the general public by an added wideness. Lydia is given a lopsided smile, albeit faint, but she says nothing to the woman.
Dominic stands up at his introduction and offers the Marquessa a polite smile and nod. He busies his silent greeting with a drink from his whiskey.
Ford rises upon Octavia's introduction, dipping his head to the Marquessa, "A pleasure, Marquessa."
Hadrian nods in understanding of Demura's words, and return of her farewell, before his harlequin hued eyes fall upon the young Saik again. "I am well. Glad to see another Saik out in Arx, actually."
Neve stands with her hand firmly held by Calathanes as she speaks quietly to Valencia and Calathane both. When Khanne makes her way over the Greenmarch turns and offers a sad smile "Khanne, hello" she offers. "I'm so sorry" she blurts out in graceless Neve fashion.
Dagon skirts his way around the two bonfires, the flames reflecting a flickering light off the black leather of his Thraxian garb with a stark contrast. His hair has grown longer of late, a mop of dark bangs that's in dire need of a good cut, but he's at least put together enough to cut a regal image.
As he squares up to Max, he doesn't say anything else. He just offers an arm out, to shake.
Freja tilts her head to hear what the shorter Signe murmurs to her. A nod is given, followed by a few quiet words.
Maximilian steps forth from the Grotto, slapping his hand against Dagon's forearm. Leather armor of both men slaps, and he tips his head to Dagon. "Prince Dagon. You look well. Come. Let me introduce you to my friends of the moment."
Khanne shakes her head and tries to sweep Neve into a hug. "Thank you. Did you know her well?" she asks the petite blonde before looking to Valencia. "Are you holding up okay, Princess?" Her eyes look to Calathane then and she tilts her head, noting the way he holds Neve's hand. "I don't think we've met. Khanne," she says, releasing Neve from the hug and holding her hand out to shake the man's.
After some time playing with Blitz, Tempest catches the scent of something in the air. Something enticing enough for him to leave Signe's side for the moment. He prowls between trousers and skirts, nose to the ground and sometimes held up, sniffing out SOMETHING.
Cirroch might think to dry his hand in Atila's fluff, though the very enthusiasm of the canine makes that... a challenging proposition. Even if he manages to rub off the saliva, he's likely to be stuck with a distinct doggy scent to his hand. Not to mention bits of shed fur on his clothes. If any of that concerns him, there's no sign at all of it in his expression; in fact, as Atila turns, he laughs. "Aye, you know you've got it," he informs the dog, leaning down to scratch at The Spot - that one on the back, just between the hips. The one that makes 'em dance.
Alis fades back into the revelry, drink in hand, until she's nudged along all the way out the gates and on her way home! Because the player really cannot keep rping with this stupid head cold right now.
Sir Rhys, a Valardin Knight leaves, following Alis.
Hearing Ford's name, Arcelia's head turns his direction briefly and she offers him a polite smile and dips her head politely. A breif look of relief crosses her features before she looks back to Hadrian and continues her conversation with him. "I am glad to be here and as always your family's hospitality has been far more gracious than I could ever hope for. I cannot remember your family being anything but kind to us all." She pauses. "I am very glad you are in good health and doing well. What have you been doing over the past handful of years?"
Dominic follows Dagon with his gaze as the prince darts across him and for a moment he is about to call Dagon to join them but refrains from when he sees the prince and Max join for conversation. He turns away to look at those near him, studying them.
Sigurd snickers at Lydia, moving off toward the quantum fucktons of rum and whiskey to snag Lydia a glass of her sister's vintage and pour a generous glass. "Now now, none of that, Lydia..And I grew up with Nadia, Rook. She was more a sister to me than she was a cousin, and she..She was special, for anything else she was." He spots Atila and then calls out toward his sister, "Your dog is bothering the good Marquis again, Ne-ne." He is then close to his family again, extending the liquor to Lydia.
Calathane nods, "I can't say that I have had the pleasure. I am Calathane." Titles seem a bit much at this point. And the man knows Neve as well. he takes the man's arm, gipping forearm to forearm instead of by hand.
Blitz, meanwhile, is following his younger sibling, sniffing curiously around the large party, seeming to be slowly circling around toward a rather small, innocent fox that is in somebody's company this evening, golden eyes narrowed slightly in the hunt for the small creature.
Signe puffs her cheeks out, thinking on something Freja tells her. Afterwards, she whispers something back before Sigurd calls her attention, seeing her brows hitch up on her forehead. Pale blue irises scan around the bonfires immediately.
Something seems to be settled in Dagon's mind. He nods, smile widening from a phantom trace to a sincere split. He follows behind Max, on hand resting on hilt of the blade at his hip.
Dominic's glance doesn't go unnoticed, either. The Thraxian hei-- prince raises a hand up to hail Dominic with a friendly wave.
Valencia blinks and pulls her eyes away from the bonfine as at Khanne speakse to her. She nods far too briefly for it to be the absolute truth. "And you?" she replies, her smooth honey sweet voice tense and controlled.
Dagon has joined the shaded garden grotto.
Reese has her whiskey. She takes another sip of such. It seems likely the blond princess will get drunk this evening, but she is okay so far. She sits close to Rook, listening to the Nightgolds and having a gentle smile for them. She tries to keep hope in her blue gaze.
Neve flushes a little and shakes her head no. "I came with Calathane. I think they are vassals." she explains. "I've met her brothers, and of course many other Redrain. I thought it would be good to share .." her cheeks burning hotly "And this is Calathane..We will be courting soon." she explains, using the funny Arx word. "Muiryn has to.. "she waves her hand dismissively, sure Khanne would get the gist.
Ford lifts a hand to wave at Arcelia.
Oh, yes. Cirroch reveals a hidden talent -- he might actually have a way with animals. The man's a natural, easily finding Atila's weakness. The scratching is good enough, it seems, as the husky's leg starts to thump on the ground all the way until his spine's twisted awkwardly enough to cause him to lay down, belly exposed. If ever the Marquis would stop, he'd get up and have his rump tickled again.
Khanne nods to Calathane. "Sorry to meet you in these curcumstances, but pleasure to meet you all the same. You are a friend of Neve's, which means you must be a friend of mine, since I adore her." She turns back to Valencia and says, "I am... " She nods and says, "determined more than ever to right the wrongs we must face." She nods, her jaw growing a bit tight with that determination, thinking ahead to the battles they might have to fight. She nods to Neve then and lets that grim expression slip away in favor of a smile for Calathane. "Redrain, huh? Then I am indeed glad to meet you." At Neve's further words she gasps with absolute glee, her emotions rising and falling so fast, rising again at this news. "Really? Oh wonderful, Neve!" She grins then leans in a little to murmur softly to her dear friend.
Hadrian follows Arcelia's gaze briefly to Ford, but cannot cut the distance enough to recognize who it is; his attention returns to the Saik. "This and that. But I'm afraid I should return to my duties -we will have to catch up soon."
Even with just two, direwolves -can- form a hunting party. They have done so now, circling around an arctic fox known to his owners as 'Tails'. Tempest takes the end opposite Blitz, sauntering around their prize and not once keeping his golden eyes off the pristine white fur.
Belladonna arrives, following Duarte.
Arcelia nods to Hadrian. "Of course, do not let me keep you. Please be well. I look forward to when next we meet." She offers him a warm smile and does not stop him from departing.
Mydas shrugs at Lydia before standing from the bench. "Ladies and gentlemen, your attention please! In honour of Nadia and the Redrain troops, it's time we give them a display worthy of song and memory. As such, I would invite all those interested in a match of wrestling to go forth into the fighting pit, till one of you triumphs over all other. The winner... Gets bragging rights and a barrel of whiskey." He glances at Lydia. "Good enough?"
Demura offers a warm comforting smile towards Octavia's introduction, "A pleasure then." She states and as the other two rise from their seats upon the announcement of their titles and the like. "Ah. Very nice to meet you Marquis Kennex, and Prince Dominic of Thrax. Always an absolute gift to be presented with the aquaintance of fine gentlemen such as yourselves." The martial marquessa is very liberal with her compliments this evening but she feels the cause is worth it.
The mention of wrestling matches and whiskey has Shadow shifting away from his spot against the wall, The larger man moving forward to begin making his way off in the direction of the fighting pits.
Prince Dominic Thrax stands up, using his spear like a staff and smiling politely to the conversation around him but not really enganging as most of it had nothing to do with him. Dagon gets a wave in response. Dominic content with his kin simply knowing that he was here. As the conversations rolls on, Dominic drones out his surroundings, fixing his blue eyes on the fire. He breaks his focus to drink. "The pleasure is mine." The prince says to Demura, "Have you been here long?" He asks her, trying to include himself.
Shadow has joined the wrestling pit.
Ford looks to Demura with cheekily narrowed eyes, "Compliments like that Marquessa will certainly get you nearly everywhere."
Maximilian slaps Dagons shoulder. "I leave you to their tender mercies. Mind the rum. I have to go wrestle for Nadia."
Valencia smiles softly at Neve and Calathane, and tears well up in her eyes. Realizing that she is soon ot lose her careful control she nods and quickly gives Khanne quick kiss on the cheek. She then turns and hugs Calathane and then Neve, whisper, "I am so happy for you. Please always be happy." She places a light kiss on each of their cheeks, gives Neve another warm hug, muttering softly, "I have to go. I'm sorry. I cannot stay here." She offers Mydas an Sigurnd a sympathetic nod and then pushes through back of the dense crowd to the exit.
Reese rises to her booted feet, seemingly like she plans to join the wrestling. She drains the rest of her whiskey, because this really calls for a drink. Uh-oh she is going to fight in her new silk dress. Rook is given a sheepish smile.
While Signe keeps searching around with just her gaze for her pet idio-- I mean, husky, she murmurs some things to Freja in a hushed exchange.
Maximilian has left the shaded garden grotto.
Maximilian has joined the wrestling pit.
Sigurd grins just a bit at Mydas' words, shaking his head slowly. "Well, Nadia would have loved that, for certain." He does not, it is noticed, move to the fighting pits himself. His enormous profusion of weapons shows that's probably how he shows his prowess, rather than his fists. He hums to himself though, taking a sip of his whiskey and noting aside to his brother, "Shame Morrighan isn't here, she loves to get a few good brawls in."
Lydia leans forward after Mydas's announcement, and she gives her cousin a light, playful shove, no more forceful than a kitten, really, "Way to wriggle out of it." Still, the new duchess seems to be smiling for the first time this evening, as she leans back in the benches again.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Ford before departing.
Octavia has left the benches under the oak trees.
Rook opens his mouth and then shuts it immediately, the vassal to his liege lord causing him a clearing of his throat. "Enjoy, your highness," he provides. "Do try not to soil the dress too much with the mud, it is an innocent bystander in this." A hand covers his forehead, shields his eyes and he shakes his head.
Deva is overheard praising Mydas for: Everyone loves a good fight!
Walking up the path towards the fires, Belladonna is holding onto Duarte's arm lightly as escort. She's got her expression settled into something calm, neither particularly bright or serious. She's quiet as they approach, and when she spots Lydia she veers in that direction, dragging her companion along with.
The Redrain Shaman's gaze looks a touch distant, her eyes staring into the roaring flames but seemingly unable to focus. She speaks to Signe softly, Freja having words only for the Nightgold beside her.
Octavia excuses herself from the conversation, heading for the table to grab herself another drink, just in time to watch Max head over to the wrestling pit. With a smirk, she heads over in that direction to see what's going on.
There's probably an analogy to politics to be made here. Something about how it starts with investigative sniffs, then proceeds to polite greeting-licks, and from there things... well. What's the political equivalent of bellyrubs? Cirroch's certainly giving the non-political version of them now, with a grin as he goes to one knee to work his way up and down Atila's belly. Now he's even harder for Signe to see! So much for being rescued from the neverending duty of providing huskypets.
The dress is way too pretty though. Reese hmmms. She isn't naked beneath. She has cotton bloomers and a camisole beneath. She pulls off the dress, leaving herself in the white cotton and her kick ass black boots. "Here Lord Rook, keep it clean, please." She says toward him.
Dagon nods to Max, taking the rum back in one hand. Those midnight blues follow the scoundrel count for a moment, tracking his progress to the wrestling pit, before he turns back to the current company at hand. When he smiles, it's with the ill-suited graces of one smiling because they've little to say.
So, instead of saying anything, he just takes another swig of rum.
As Reese withdraws, Tristram leaves her to her contemplation and heads his way over to Dominic and Demura. He says, "Demi, hullo; Prince Dominic, 'evening."
Mydas steps closer to the wrestling pit, peering over whom the combatants might be. "Well since we have already two eager to wrestle it out, it shall be Shadow and Count Maximilian Darkwater to begin with! Whenever you will, gentlemen, and may the one most eager for generous amounts of alcohol win."
Lydia's attention is pulled from the wrestling, though, when Belladonna arrives. Lydia is immediately on her feet, stretching out hands towards her sister-in-law. "Duchess, thank you for coming."
Tails the fox scurries and jumps into Isolde's lap, who mindlessly scritches it while she speaks lowly at the Grotto.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Tristram before departing.
Sigurd checked command + animal ken against difficulty 15, resulting in 20, 5 higher than the difficulty.
Dominic bows his head politely towards Reese, "Greetings your highness." He says, the wrestling match drawing his attention away for a moment.
Maximilian pulls off his armor as he walks, passing it off to Valgrim, his guard captain. Darkwater tattoos are a work of art in themselves, vibrant, detailed and well executed and Max's are no exception. A kraken curls up and over his back while Darkwater island itself marks his chest. Stepping into the ring, the smaller (Oh shit, so much smaller) Count looks at SHadow. "Well fuck." He mutters before nodding to Mydas.
As he nears the wrestling pit Shadow's hands move to peel off his jerkin tossing it aside revealing the scarred flesh of his torso, small lines worked over the muscular flesh in the form of claw marks, bites and interspersed cuts from weapons fashioned by humans not animals. The large man's hands moving down to undo his belt allowing it to clatter to the ground with his weapons before he is descending into the pit with a grunt.
Anze has joined the nook between the garden trellises.
"I haven't. To be honest, I've spent most of the time here searching for someone specifically -- but -- I think I'm about to give up that pursuit in order to better enjoy your company, Prince Dominic." Demura states with a sly smile crossing those rosy lips. She then regards Ford as well, "Both of you I meant. Naturally." She observes Dominic's spear before her own is handed over by a guard that accompanies her. "I admire your choice of weapon, your highness. As you can see, I share in the same love of polearm." She smiles, nice and pleasant like, while holding her own broad-bladed spear proudly.
Anze looks between the massive gathering of people as he arrives into the grounds, and takes a second to get his bearings before finding a place to settle in for a moment. He catches sight of his sister and moves to stash himself nearby.
Blitz just goes to circling Isolde curiously, although not hugely aggressively, sniffing toward the woman and her pet. He's not attacking anyone, but prey drive is pretty obvious there in the giant golden eyes that are still staring right at the fox from more than eye level to the enormous beast. That is until Sigurd whistles, calling his wolf back to side to be scolded firmly for trying to eat people's snack-sized pets. He quickly turns his attention over to the ring, waiting for people to get to wrestling with a fair amount of amusement.
Maximilian calls out... "Dagon! I'm gonna need that fucken rum inna quickness!"
Freja's gaze is still distant, but she does incline her head towards Anze as he approaches and gives him a one-armed hug of greeting.
Jaenelle is late, though she doesn't seem to mind being so, and doesn't exactly move to announce she has arrived. Skirting the outer edge of the crowd, and away from the fire itself, scanning those in attendance. She spots her cousin, veering towards Dagon directly. Standing before him, her eyes narrow slightly as she takes a moment to consider the man. She leans forward to say something quietly.
For Atila, nothing else exists aside himself, the bellyrub, and the Marquis Cirroch Sanna, his new best friend. After much rubbing, the human eventually finds another sweet spot somewhere between his navel and his inner thigh, causing his leg to thump in the air this time. He doesn't get up now, not after something as heavenly as this!
Reese doesn't enter the wrestling pit just yet, allowing the first match to take place without her interrupting, but she seems tempted. A smile given to Dominic. "Your Highness." She says in his direction.
In a smooth display of composure, Rook's hands claim the silk from Reese and gently folds it, laying it in his lap as he watches the building wrestling competition. "Oh my," he emits, "quite the display of prowess here."
Signe checked command + animal ken against difficulty 15, resulting in 42, 27 higher than the difficulty.
Releasing Duarte only when they reach Lydia, Belladonna steps in to take those offered hands, giving a squeeze before she lets go and steps in closer for an actual hug, a kiss to the young woman's cheek. She murmurs a few quiet words, following them with a warm little smile. "You are welcome," she says. "I have difficulty with these things, but I am here." Thanks be to Duarte for that. When she catches sight of Max taking off his armor she looks that way, smiling for the sight of his tattoos. Total distraction for a moment there. She does promptly look back to those nearby, though.
Deva is overheard praising Reese for: Go reese! Kick some ass!
Ford has left the benches under the oak trees.
Neve watches Valencia as tears of compassion brim in her eyes and she kisses the Princesses cheek. Loss and mourning were as important in life as love and celebration, but it wasn't easy to process their differences. She steps back so Valencia can go, her hand raising to wipe at her cheeks before she sniffs and nods to Khanne. "We can meet tomorrow maybe." she suggests and looks guilty happy for the congratulations. "And thank you. There are hurdles yet but..." she sends an adoring smile over to Calathane "Nothing he cannot handle"
Deva calls out occasionally from her bench, clearly enthused by this whole idea of wrestling. She still manages quieter conversation at the bench, all with a drink clutched in her hand.
Dagon's lips open with a laughter that doesn't quite catch in his eyes as Max calls over to him. He promptly sends his attendant, Asherah, to wait on Max with the rum. When Jaenelle leans in to whisper to him though, his lips fall into something much more reserved, and he nods, lips moving to impart some quiet words...
Isolde has slept in a room with a giant bear often enough that a direwolf circling barely catches her eye. Another day in the Redrain Ward. She looks up, nodding thanks to Siguard, then goes back to the quiet conversation.
Octavia leans against the edge of the wrestling pit, smirking at Max. She takes a sip of her drink, not saying a word, just watching for now.
"Gather round, gather round! Darkwater against Shadow to begin with, soon to be followed by more as our brave wrestlers find their courage, within their pride or their drink, whose to judge!" Mydas declares, before returning his attention to the wrestling match about to begin. "At your leisure, gentlemen." he tells Shadow and Max.
Tempest follows his older brother, his nose lifted to Isolde and the fox that had sought safety in her lap. Eyes fixed on the critter yet also watching Blitz, his current hunting partner, carefully. When he turns, he also looks in Sigurd's direction, finding Signe near him. The Nightgold lass spots her bigger canine and she, too, whistles him back. The direwolf is obedient to her, but he does not leave without another warning look at the fox as if to say 'I'll get you next time, fuzzbutt'. He leaves it in peace... for now.
Reese is lingering close to the pit, lured by the fighting like a moth to flame.
Rook says, "Punch them in the knees, your highness!"
Rook knows how combat works.
Lydia is also clearly distracted by the wrestling pit and the men getting ready to fight. Her eyes slide to Belladonna when she spots her looking in the same direction. She then scans over the room, "Let's find someplace where the three of us can sit and watch the matches? And don't worry, this is probably a bit different than most wakes..."
Dominic chuckles softly before taking a drink from his whiskey, as Demura is armed with her spear. He offers her a nod of appreciation for their similiar choice in weapons, "Yeah..." Dominic says admiring his own weapon, "This one proved itself in battle with my dogs at Pridehall and spears have always been my go to in ship to ship, especially when following the trail of hungry hounds as they score through the decks. A bit cubersome but with good planning I have not had an issue."
Calathane nods to the princess, "All will find itself well..." And then Valencia is running off. As NEve draws him back into the conversation, he nods, "Yes, I'm sure there is a way and I won't stop till I've found it. As simple as that really..." He draws Neve in more for a small hug as it seems there will be some Wresstling among the group gathered.
Lydia. Familiar face and as she approaches Belladonna, Duarte releases the Duchess's arm so that the two may embrace, Duarte offering his familiar flourish to Cassius's sister. "My lady." He offers up in a greeting. "I could confess to having dragged her kicking and screaming but we all know, she came with neither and with the utmost propriety." Duarte flashes the other woman a grin. "I still owe you a boat Lady Lydia. Duchess Belladonna, shall I gather you something to rink?
Meanwhile, Atila does not care at all for the fox, even if he is a canine that probably should be hunting such animals too. Signe murmurs something to Freja before she leaves the benches, wandering around the general public in search for her missing husky. Hopefully, he hasn't gone off to pee on the stone altar in the Grove again.
Max checked dexterity + brawl against difficulty 15, resulting in 44, 29 higher than the difficulty.
Shadow checked dexterity against difficulty 44, resulting in 20, 24 lower than the difficulty.
"Please," Belladonna tells Duarte with a smile, turning some and slipping an arm around Lydia's waist companionably, what with her suggestion. "Yes, let's find somewhere to sit and watch," she agrees. "It isn't often I get to stare unabashedly at such things."
Cirroch is at least somewhat more aware of the world beyond himself and the plush black husky than Atila, but... he is perhaps not entirely eager to return his focus there. Certainly, that would be one explanation for why he's continuing to pet over belly and, "That one, huh?" he asks the canine with a chuckle. "Seems fair." Maybe he's not entirely oblivious, but he's still far more likely to be found by Signe than actually notice she's coming beforehand.
There is a smile presented towards the words from Dominic as he explains his reasoning for preference, "I've trained with various weapons my entire life. I feel that the spear is but an extension of me now. It would be odd to show favor to anything else at this time." She states cheekily towareds the man before there is an attention shift and the spear is being passed back to ther guard. Demura turns at Tristram's voice and she regards him warmly, "Ah, Tram, how nice to see you here. Come to pay your respects as well?" She asks before finally noticing Reese as approached as well. "Princess Reese.. there you are, my dear." And instantly there is an arm wrapped around the woman, an attempted to offer up some understanding and comfort towards her. "I hope you are doing well." Demura states, not leading on that Reese is who she has been searching for ever since she saw her earlier, distraught.
Khanne smiles to Calathane and says, "any man worthy of her would say that. Glad to hear the words slip from your lips at that. Neve is.... not just a woman I adore, but one of my favorite people that steps foot upon the world. I don't think she knows quite how much I adore her. If there is anything I can do..." she looks between them. "Please, let me know."
Jaenelle is such a buzzkill! Killing the mood with whatever whispered words are shared. She leans forward and kisses Dagon's cheek lightly, turning then to view whatever it is which might be going on. She slips away from Dagon to approach Freja, letting the Thraxian Prince find some amusement in the wrestling for now. The Redrain is hipchecked by the much shorter woman, and given an upnod.
Sigurd checked dexterity + stealth against difficulty 15, resulting in 48, 33 higher than the difficulty.
Ford moves to join Octavia at watching the wrasslin'. Considering leaping in the fray next.
With another familiar face in view Arcelia heads towards Anze as he heads towards the nook and Freja. The young lady curtsies respectfully to the pair. "Good evening." Her eyes turn to the man she had only briefly met at dinner some days ago. "It is nice to see you again, though perhaps not the best circumstances to meet again. I hope you are both well tonight?"
Lydia has left the courtyard benches.
Shadow checked dexterity + brawl against difficulty 15, resulting in 18, 3 higher than the difficulty.
Lydia has joined the benches under the oak trees.
Belladonna has joined the benches under the oak trees.
Sigurd is apparently pretty damn effective at slowly slipping out from the benches and sliding through the crowd while they are all distracted by the start of the wrestling match and their own conversations. Blitz is a bit more obvious, but it's the Redrains, a wolf walking around isn't so odd, and soon he's out into the night in the direction of his estate, looking troubled and grim.
Sigurd has left the courtyard benches.
Blitz leaves, following Sigurd.
Lydia grins at Duarte. "You know, I quite believee that." Truly, the Pravus's arrival have seemed to cheer the black-clad Nightgold up considerably. That and the wrestling. And then her arm is twisted around Belladonnas as she leads them towards some benches. "Well, this is why you should come to Northern events more often. I feel like being married to Cassius has given you a rather distorted view of us!"
Anze nods at Arcelia "aye, you're Kima's cousin right? This is my sister Freja if you ain met her. An aye, could be under better circumstances I suppose, but, well, death happens. Given everythin thats goin on figure there is gonna be a lot of death, so, try to make tha best of things elsewise eh?"
Jaenelle doesn't leave Dagon much more worse off than he already was. His usually brilliant smile is left placidly frost-ridden, which leaves him looking less like the idealistic prince, and more like just any other furrow-browed Thraxian. The kiss, at least, softens him some into a much more sincere, if still miniscule, smile. He turns back to the grotto, listening to the words there with an idle listlessness while his fingers run circles around the hilt of the blade at his side.
Reese is near the wrestling pit while adorned in a white cotton camisole, white cotton bloomers and kick has knee-high boots. She leans into Demura upon noticing her presence. "I hope you are as well. I am glad you made it back safe." She says in her direction.
Dominic smiles again politely and nods in agreement with Demura, "Yes, I too find other weapons awkward. Bad on me because a true fighter is comfortable with an assortment of weapons. Still, if it works why change it." He laughs at the end, taking another drink of his whiskey.
Signe throws one more somber look in Freja's direction before she is completely lost in the crowd. "I've heard and seen it myself," she tells her, a wistful smile following before she disappears into the gathering proper.
After much walking and dodging those who have assembled around the fighting pit, she catches sight of Cirroch and her precious Atila who has given another large portion of his heart to this new human. "Sometimes, I think Atila has more friends than I do," she says to the Marquis as she pads closer. Reaching him, a curtsy is levied gracefully. "Do forgive my dog, if he had lured you away from human mingling. He tends to do that."
Duarte has joined the benches under the oak trees.
Duarte is on a mission then, to find drinks for all in their party and start to amble towards the nearest source of said drinks.
"I only like short swords and maces." Reese says toward Dominic, but she might not be a large enough fighter for big weapon, so there could be a reason for her preference.
Ford begins to peel off his long coat folding it up a bit, he was definitely going to get in there next.
Signe has left the courtyard benches.
Oh, Belladonna laughs for that. She settles in beside Lydia on the bench, her superficial attention on the wrestling pit. "I suspect you may be right," she admits, her tone warm with amusement. She does keep half an eye on Duarte, marking where he is in the crowd rather regularly. "This is what I want, when I die," she notes for the young woman considerably quieter than most of her commentary.
Neve a fresh wave of tears well up in Neve's eyes at Khannes words, touched and sensitive to the atmosphere in general and the words resonated in the girls heart. Her arms go around the woman again and she squeezes her. "Thank you. I feel the same, and I'm so thankful for it." she murmurs and looks up to Cal. "We both are, I'm sure."
brings her hand up to pull her angled fringe, that has overgrown an inch or two over the last month, over her right eye, obscuring at least partially the scarring as she draws forward on the bench and begins to watch the pair as they start to wrestle.
Julea brings her hand up to pull her angled fringe, that has overgrown an inch or two over the last month, over her right eye, obscuring at least partially the scarring as she draws forward on the bench and begins to watch the pair as they start to wrestle.
Within the fighting pit once Maximilian is down in the sand it doesn't take long for Shadow to rely on his size and speed to try and just bum rush the nobleman. The large shirtless man from the north giving a loud growl as he moves in on the man in that attempt, his beard shifting slightly as he pops his jaw while he moves in on the smaller man.
Calathane laughs softly and knows he is being looked at, even if he doesn't see it with his eyes, "I am thankful as well... I have found who I ws meant to be with. There can be nothing better than that."
Maximilian rolls his neck as Valgrim takes the rum. "Fooken big boy, ye are." Says Max, sliding ni to the cant of a Darkwater sailor as he limbers up for the actual fight. One hand comes up to brush back his hair from his features. His grin comes clean and pure now. When the fight is joined, Max isn't about to get pinned down by this big motherfucker.
Darkwater comes in for the grapple, then slides around the bigger mans side, spinning to avoid the north mountains grasp. Max is fast on his feet and his time on the docks brawling with his Thrax mates shows here, a skill and understanding of how men will move betrayed in his actions. Turning back to shadow, Max lashes out with a hand to snatch the bigger mans shoulder and then leaps atop his back, legs wrapping around his torso as he goes for a neck hold - riding the big man around the fucken ring like a pissed off Northwoods bronco. The firelight casts the muscles of both men - neither of them weak - in sharp, shining contrast.
"DARING!" Declares the Darkwater Count as Shadow tries to throw him. "IS NO VICE!"
Dominic grins to Reese, "A very versatile group of weapons. Crews are mostly armed with something like that due to the fighting in close spaces." His attention is split between the conversation, the wrestling and the gathering of people under the oak tree. Watching the Darkwater Count fight the Redrain bear.
Tristram remains quiet, standing by Demura, Reese, and Dominic, watching the wrestling match.
Max checked strength + brawl against difficulty 15, resulting in 48, 33 higher than the difficulty.
Shadow checked strength + brawl against difficulty 15, resulting in 26, 11 higher than the difficulty.
Lark remains quiet and subdued where she sits on the bench. The back of her hand briefly comes up to her mouth to touch away the taste of whiskey as she watches the wrestling, content not to move any closer to it.
Demura replies to Dominic before the resolve with Reese, "My lean tends to be towards the weapon's benefits rather than how it feels in hand. There just isn't another weapon that I quite prefer as much. I'm favorable of the advantages that it presents and the movements that it offers. My father would roll over in his grave if I didn't properly take to the longsword or great axe though. Still, as you say, there is something special about the spear when it's customized from it's simplicity." She nods her head towards him, hoping that she hasn't put him off conversation. She's trained her entire life however, as she never quite fit in with the other girls unless they had a like mind towards the pursuit of glorious battle.
Towards Reese, "Oh, highness. I'm glad that you are well. I can see that Nadia was someone important to you. If you need anything -- well, just feel free to stop by the Chateau and abuse my hospitality, okay?" Her voice is affectionate and full of sympathy and kindness. "I'm glad that you came back in one piece as well. I really am."
Arcelia nods her head as Anze speaks. "Yes, Baroness Kima is my cousin." She turns her attention to Freja. "It is a pleasure to meet you." Her eyes look over towards the wrestling for a second before she turns her attention back to Anze and Freja. "Your words are true, death is a part of life and man of the lives lost are being sacrificed so that others may continue to live. It would be a shame to discard that gift and life in endless grief."
Rook rises, in time, to wander across the way to Lark while keeping a hold of Reese's silk dress. Folded and held in his joint hands, he leans over and speaks at a reduced volumne to the high lord. There's a glint of amusement in his eyes as he observes the match, sans drink.
2 House Wyrmguard Guards arrives, following Bianca.
Khanne wraps Neve up in a comforting hug and smiles, holding her as long as the fae-like woman lingers. She nods to Calathane and says, "and -that- is one of the most wonderful feelings in the world."
Cirroch lifts his gaze from eager canine to Signe, with a laugh for her greeting. "He does have a ready way about him," he admits as he rises to his feet. "And simple, honest reasons for his friendship." He bows from the waist to answer her gesture, and smiles. "I must admit, he did. Though I'm as complicit in it as he, so I can hardly hold it against him. It was something of a joint distraction."
Rook has left the courtyard benches.
Mydas has left the courtyard benches.
"My philosophy has long been, i'm goin to meet my end at tha end of a sword sooner rather than later, so, that time I do have? Best spent tryin to enjoy things." Anze says in response to Arcelia "ain to say I ain sad, I liked Nadia a good deal, but friends die an its best to honor their memory than just be constantly sad. Easier said than done I imagine, but best to try I think."
"It is good for being close." Reese says toward Dominic, having a smile for the Thrax Prince. She then turns to Demura. "She is close to me." She says not using past tense, maybe on accident, maybe not. She then looks toward to the pit, trying to study their moves in case she fights one of them next.
"Death is a sacrifice, yes, but also a foundation of life." Freja opines to Arcelia before her somber gaze shifts to the other woman for proper introductions. "Freja Redrain of Farhaven - a pleasure."
Alcohol is flowing and it's not hard at all for Duarte to locate some, habitual sniff and swirl of whatever he's gotten a hold of in triplicate. Fingers slipping between whatever vessel that they are supplies in as the man takes the circuitous and scenic route back to his intended location.
Siggi arrives, following Drea.
With the monkey man of Thrax moving so quickly and slipping up onto his back the man actually gives a louder growl before yelling out, "FUCK TICKLES" The man trying to shake the other man off briefly before he goes with instinct and brings his arms to cross over his chest before letting his body fall back the man clearly intent on just falling out onto his back to try and dislodge or perhaps squish the slippery Maximilian.
Dominic has left the benches under the oak trees.
Whooo! "THEN I'M DOIN'IT WRONG, MATE!" Max's eyes are wide as the big man turns and tries to throw him, tries to claw the smaller Darkwater Barnical from his back. Max isn't having it though. There's a rough patch, when he almost comes flying off, his legs swinging free of the big mans torso, but he regains himself in time to understand what's coming next.
Dropping his legs away from the big mans back, he takes the ground with his feet, muscles bulging as he absorbs the weight of both men - pulling backwards and Shadow off his balance, to start the submission choke... He glances out over the stands, watching the crowd for a moment before he cinches tight to make sure Shadow can't break his hold.
The Kraken on MAx's back seems to flex and writhe as the canvas on which it is etched moves and stretches.
Max checked stamina + brawl against difficulty 15, resulting in 34, 19 higher than the difficulty.
Something over his shoulders brings a chuckle to Dominic. That laugh is heighten when he catches up with the fight and perhaps driven by the battle, the giant Thrax prince yells out, "FUCK HIM UP!"
Try as she might, it is difficult at a time like this for Signe to offer a warmer smile. She murmurs something that only Cirroch can hear in his proximity. "Distractions are very much needed lately," she later says aloud, eyes slanting down to her pet who lays on his back a beat longer, the dog half-wishing that the Marquis would give him some more love, but he figures out that the human's had enough of him. He scrambles to his feet and greets Signe by sniffing at her skirt. She may be hiding some meat treat in there. The yelling from the fighting pit gets his attention next and off he trots, eager as ever to watch and perhaps make more friends in the ring. Hopefully not. "Tsk, Ati-laaa..." his mistress calls out in 'that tone'.
Ford puts his hand on Octavia's shoulder as he starts to pull off his boots, using her to keep balance. Once those were off he sets them down next to her and begins removing his vest and shirt.
Lark draws her attention momentarily away from the festivities to regard Rook. Her lashes give a faint flutter as if pulled out of some distant thought. "Not particularly, but I am not /so/ averse to them," she tells him with dry amusement of her own, making no attempt at reduced volume herself.
Shadow checked stamina + brawl against difficulty 15, resulting in 20, 5 higher than the difficulty.
Octavia just stays stood upright, watching the match with a bit of a smirk on her lips, and sipping her drink. She seems to enjoy seeing the big man being taken out by a smaller man - that it's one of her family's vassals is just icing on the cake.
Reese decides to cheer for Shadow, maybe because she thinks Dominic is urging Max on or maybe for other reasons. "Show him what the north is made, giant! Kick his butt!"
Bianca finally had broken away to join the memorial, hooray! And of course the first thing she heard was 'FUCK TICKLES' and saw two seafarers going at it shirtless in a pit. Brows lifted and guards were instructed to hang back as she moved through the crowds. Mydas was actually her intended target of the moment!
Arcelia nods in agreement and understanding. "Arcelia Saik." She offers to Freja. "I am sorry for you loss. I did not have a chance to meet Nadi but I cannot imagine a friend not wanting their friends to be happy, even in death." She inhales a bit, eyes looking over to the wrestling again, she is curious enough to peek but does not seem to have a desire to leave the conversation, attention on Anze. "You seem like a man who lives by his philosophies. Both times I have met you now you have seemed to be doing your best to enjoy yourself."
Dominic laughs to Reese and says in a playful tone, "You want to wager, your highness?"
"I find them quite entertaining when they have some... finesse. The Valardin-inspired jousts, where each of the honourable riders are quite focused on their feats of beast mastery and talent with their polearms? It's a sight to behold, truly," claims Rook as he winces at the pass of the two broad men.
Reese seems tempted by the idea of a wager. Still she isn't so drunk that she fails to ask. "What would be wagering, Prince Dominic?" Her attention strays back to the fight. She is only more interested now.
Blitz arrives, following Sigurd.
Cassius arrives to the bonfires. He's dressed from neck to toe in steel platemail, the metal polished to a near mirror finish and easily capturing the flicker of the bonfires. He sweeps the gathering with a dark, agitated look on his face, before fixing on a particular set of someones and starting that way.
Cassius has joined the benches under the oak trees.
Blitz leaves, following Sigurd.
When Max lowers his legs to the sand and braces the impact and the weight Shadow's eyes widen as he gives a lower growl that is quickly choked off by the tightening of the smaller Thraxian's arm around his throat as the choke hold is secured. The large man from the mountains struggling as his hands lift to begin grabbing at the other man's arm to no avail. The man of the wild's eyes going distant as his face shifts from a pale white to begin gaining a slight bluish red tint through the lack of oxygen. Finally the man's eyes begin to slowly slip closed as unconciousness sets in with the expert choke hold placed around his throat.
Anze chuckles at Arcelia and grins "tha first time you met me was tha announcement of me an Calypso's engagement to her family. It is hard to not enjoy yourself at a time like that. I'm sure you'll catch me round tha Southport Square plenty enough in tha future. Might even look grim time to time."
Duarte notices Bianca, swinging by past the woman to offer another wink in passing, almost miss-able. But then he spot Cassius and snagging another drink. Duarte falls into step by the Pravus Duke, offering up one of the four drinks to the man as they make their way to the oak tree's and the benches that siblings and side and employer sit on. "Good evening Duke Cassius. Drink?"
THe battle is in its ending stages now - as Max continues to hold the bigger man, one arm wrapped around his neck, under his chin, cutting into his breathing and tiring the big man out. Exhaustion is the enemy on the battlefield, be it the deck, be it the broad plains north of lenosia or be it the grey forest's depths.
Max was in control the entire time, having set his strategy and executed it as best he could, in the situation. When the other man goes still, Max releases him and steps back, lifting his arms in victory. "WHOOOOOO!" He declares - and then turns to face the crowd. "WHOOOOOOOO!" Cause, you know. "Dat Fooker's huge! Someone wake dat man up an gettem' a fooken drink!"
Dominic chugs a whiskey, calling over a servant to bring more and handing a glass to Reese, "Hmm... Silver is too unimaginative. Well... I guess now is too late to wager." he laughs out loud.
"DARKWATER WINS!" Mydas announces, his deep voice easily cutting through the surrounding conversation. "Now while the Count rests, I need two new volunteers! Who dares, with a barrel of whiskey in contest? Come forth and claim your place in the pit!" He's standing near the pit himself, and is obviously overseeing the matches.
Ford whistles over at Mydas, "You got one volunteer!"
Reese watches as Shadow's consciousness starts to fade, the blonde princess in her white bloomers and kickass boots, looking concerned. She turns to Dominic. "Too late, your highness." She then climbs into the pit, maybe volunteering or maybe going to check on Shadow. It could be both.
Khanne lets Neve out of the embrace and looks to her and then Calathane. "Pardon me. I have to go say hello to someone." To Neve she says, "I do hope to get to spend some time with you soon." She smiles to Calathane and says, "be nice to get to know you too, since you have to be one of my best friends now." She grins before slipping off.
Drea enters the crowd quietly, working her way over to the wrestling pit to observe the match that seems to be going on there. Although the crowd huddled together seems to generate its own warmth, her arms are folded into her cloak. "Oh, my..." she says noting the man about to pass out. As it ends, she melts back into the crowd.
"The loss." Freja echoes, glancing to Arcelia out of the corner of her eye. "There were many that were lost, we are here for them all. It was a costly, but effective victory. We need to ready ourselves for those that march past the onslaught we gave them. The war is far from being done." Freja ventures before drinking deeply of her whiskey again.
When Max is declared the winner, Belladonna actually lifts her voice to cheer, no particular words to it. It's brief, but much louder than she usually is. Much louder. Then there's Cassius, and she's beaming brilliantly up at the fully armored man.
Tristram grins at Reese. Somehow, he knew she would be going into the pit.
Ope, NOPE. Nope, nope, nope. Bianca will talk to Mydas later. There is no way she's getting thrown into a wrestling match. Pace froze and she backpedaled two steps before turning and instead heading toward Ford and Octavia.
"The Marquis Ford Kennex takes up the call!" Mydas announces, turning to the pit when he sees Reese inside. "Good enough! Princess Reese Grayson, to face the Marquis! Gather round, gather all, we have another match awaiting us!"
Octavia catches Max as he exits the pit, offering him a clap on the shoulder, and leaning in to whisper to his ear as he passes.
Demura shakes her head and regards Reese with a pat on the shoulder. Seems she's getting along well enough and she isn't needed here by the looks of things. She leans in and whispers something the the Princess before turning to regard Tristram once again, "I'll see you around Tram. I'm going to -- mingle -- some more."
Ford has joined the wrestling pit.
Julea draws up to a stand from the bench she had been sitting on, one of her hands clasping a hat against her hip as she lets out a loud wolf-whistle, clearly approving of the wrestling fight and Max's eventual victory.
When he finally begins to waken on the sand of the pit floor Shadow gives a low growl as he sets his eyes upon the celebrating Darkwater. His hands moving down into the sand to push himself up from the sand to slowly raise up. His head giving a small shake as he frowns moving to climb up out of the pit. Embrassament showing over the large mountainman's features as he moves to gather up his things.
Cassius scowls at Duarte. That's what he earns for offering the man a drink! Still, he reaches out to snag one of the drinks from the man. He also hears 'Darkwater wins' and looks over thataway, long enough to send a scowl Max-ward. Scowls given, he continues towards the pair of Duchesses that are Lydia and Belladonna.
Cirroch inclines his head to Signe, with his smile shifting to a more wry one at her quiet words, then subsiding somewhat though remaining amiable in expression. "Aye," he answers her, with another nod. "Distractions, and reminders of love." His own gaze lowers to Atila as well, smile returning as he watches the husky sniff Signe's skirt only to shift more somber again. "It is not an easy time." Atila's cheer to the contrary.
A husky enters the fighting pit without a care in the world. Like a ring girl, he trots in a circle around the two sweat and grim-covered brawlers until Signe's voice reaches him. Immediately, he trots back out, tongue bouncing in his gait.
Maximilian turns to approach Shadow. "Oy! Bigman!" He declares, before thrusting two hands forward. One for a hand-clasp, the other with a bottle of rum. "Max Darkwater."
Khanne has joined the shaded garden grotto.
Octavia seems a little surprised when her brother's challenger is a princess, but shrugs and settles in to watch the match.
Ford wearing nuthin' but his leather pants, he heads into the ring doing some basic stretches, rolling his shoulders. He smiles when he sees Reese join him, "Go easy on me, huh?"
"Oh, and before I forget." Mydas comments casually. "Every participant gets a Stonedeep Whiskey bottle." And he walks over to give one to both Max and Shadow.
"Pageantry can be nice but there's something to be said for-" Lark begins to say to Rook but lets the sentence drift into silence as Reese's name is announced along with Ford's. Whatever complement she was about to pay the wrestling is lost as she takes a moment to dramatically roll her eyes. She tries not to smirk.
Reese has a gentle smile for Demura. She then is in the pit. She looks upon Shadow, concern in her blue gaze. Still she doesn't chase after him. There is a fight! She looks toward Ford, giving him an impish and confident sort of smile. "I am going to ruin you, Marquis. There is no going gentle in the heat of battle." She says, but her words are playful.
"Well done Darkwater!" Dagon throws his voice into the mix of cheers, from his spot by the grotto, and the much quieter conversation of the nobility.
"Five hundred silver on Marquis Kennex!" Well, he seems to have lightened up a bit with the onset of the wrestling. The rum probably helped, too.
"Ford," Octavia calls, "You'd better not let our house down. I expect as much from you as from Max."
Ford smiles wide, nodding, "Then I guess that settles it." Says the man sculpted from all the best bits of those renaissance sculptures. -Best- bits, you perverts. "I'm ready when you are Princess."
The introduction from Max has Shadow's head shaking, "No.." His right hand lifting to point at the man, "Squirrel.." A glimpse of a smile offered as his beard shifts slightly as it forms for only a moment across his lips before he is reaching out to take the bottle of rum that is in the man's other hand. The bottle brought to tap his chest as he adds moments later, "Shadow. Called Tiny once but not much sense so Shadow." His shoulders giving a shrug as he speaks in the halting method of someone not comfortable with the language in Arx or at the very least rather new to it.
Arcelia smiles warmly to Anze. "Yes, I remember. If I did not say so before, congratulations." She looks to Freja and nods. "I meant no disrespect, I appreciate them all." She takes a breath and looks over briefly to the wrestling again, her eyes settling curiously on Ford for a moment before her attention returns to her conversation.
Bianca stilled beside Octavia as Ford entered the pit. This was just not her day for catching people in transit. A smile was given to the woman and a dip of her head. "Lady Kennex, a pleasure to see you again so soon." Gaze soon after turned to the pit, "Oh, versus Princess Reese?" Her usual soft smile broadened to a grin.
"I will match that wager, five hundred silver on Marquis Kennex!" Prince Dominic Thrax says out-loud, seperating the silver or notes.
Freja manages a smile for Jaenelle when she hipchecks her, the tall Redrain woman making a dramatic show of being set off-balance. "oh, my pride, tis wounded." she flutters her lashes and laughs softly. "Jaenelle, we should meet soon. My wardrobe has suffered greatly in your absence."
Donella brings a bundle of clean-scented dried sage tied with silk thread to drop into the fire as she approaches it. She turns her head toward the betting, but stands by the flames instead.
Maximilian tilts his head to the side... "Sure. What'da'fook. Squirrel." He says, before clapping the other man on the shouler. "They called you tiny as a joke - because you're not." Says Max, leaing the other man out of the pit so the new pair can fight.
Darren has left the shaded garden grotto.
Signe sighs at her dog before returning her attention to Cirroch, though keeping half her body favouring the fighting pit where the action is going on. "It isn't," she agrees quietly, the firelight casting enourmous shadows that dance behind the visitors engaged in brawling, mingling, and just lingering in the corners. "Signe, by the way. Signe Nightgold," comes her belated introduction.
Rook chuckles richly at both Lark's words and expression before he folds the silk over his arm and stands slightly taller, watching the ongoing fight with a measure mor curiousity for the fight upcoming.
Octavia smiles over at Bianca and nods. "Lady Wyrmguard, a pleasure, and yes. You missed Count Darkwater taking down a mountain from the north... It was quite impressive."
Reese checked dexterity + brawl against difficulty 15, resulting in 21, 6 higher than the difficulty.
Ford checked dexterity + brawl against difficulty 15, resulting in 22, 7 higher than the difficulty.
"Mine too" Jaenelle tells Freja, sighing softly, "it still lacks leather. We need to make a day of it, I think" is said softly. Anze is given a smile from her spot beside Freja, and Arcelia a polite incline of her head.
Bianca chuckled, "I caught the tail end." She glanced over her shoulder toward the behemoth that was chatting with Max. "The Count certainly is a wiley one."
The mention of a joke has Shadow's brow furrowing as confusion shows across his features, the man moving out of the pit with Max making room for others to fight. His free hand moving to brush over his chest trying to push the sand free from his form. "Still not understand." His shoulders raising and rolling into a shrug.
Anze smiles and nods at Arcelia "thanks. I'm pretty happy bout it. I got lucky that everything works out without an issue politically. An now I guess i'm gonna end up bein turned into a southerner." Anze tilts his head and eyes Jaenelle for a moment. "Jaenelle? Whys that name sound familiar?"
Shadow has left the wrestling pit.
Reese charges at Ford, a nimble sort of grace about the blonde princess. She tries to sweep his legs out from him beneath him with a quick movement of her booted right foot, but the Marquis is likely able to stay upon his feet.
Rising from his seat with his smaller group, Darren starts towards the fire where there are tables of drink a'waiting. But as he goes, he spies Donella through the crowd. Swiping a bottle of whiskey off the table, he comes up to her, dipping his head in a nod to her. "I'm glad to see you here, your Highness," he offers the Thraxian princess a warm smile, dropping his voice to say something quietly to her.
Dominic Thrax stands by the benches under the oak trees but apart enough to not be involved with the crowd there. He watches the wrestling match and drink his whiskey.
"I don't think you meant any, but..well, we are in the midst of tough times." Freja remarks to Arcelia, commenting aside to Anze, "Jaenelle..is our cousin."
Ferrando trucks in unobtrusively, gazing up at the large bonfires venting sparks into the sky. It's quite pretty. His gaze turns to the tables with literal fucktons of rum on them, and those might be even more pretty. He stops over there to grab a cup and proceeds over to check out what seems to be some sort of athletic spectacle.
"Ah, one of tha Thrax cousins. I finally met Valerius. I f'an forgot we even had Thrax cousins." Anze says with a bit of a smirk to Freja. He grins at Jaenelle "pleasure to meet you cousin. I'm Anze."
Donella makes a very very proper courtesy to the host. "I apologize for my tardiness." She gestures toward the bout, and says, "It looks as though the cultural exchange has been favorable..."
Arcelia inclines her head and offers Jaenelle a warm smile before nodding to Anze, her smile growing. "That is lucky, I am glad everything is going well for you both and I hope it continues to." She pauses then and lets Anze speak with Jaenelle. Her gaze shifts to Freja and she nods. "Nonetheless, I apologize for any given." Her eyes look between the three and when the word cousin is mentioned she nods her head to the trio. "I will step away and allow your family to catch up." Unless one of them says anything to stop the woman, she steps away.
Drea finally pushes out of the crowd, making her way away from the pits. She walks towards the benches and some cooler air. Her blue eyes move to Dominic who is standing nearby, then over the crowds before she takes a seat on the benches. Sitting down on a nearby bench, she starts to people watch.
Bianca's smile only grew as Ferrando approached, gesturing him near and gesturing between him and Octavia. "Lady Kennex, may I introduce Master Ferrando of the Whisper House. Master Ferrando... this is Lady Octavia Kennex of Stormward."
Drea has joined the courtyard benches.
Anze glances back over to Arcelia "s'good to speak with you again Arcelia. Maybe we can meet up some time when there ain so many f'an people. Easier to talk an get to know each other an tha like eh?"
Darren smirks at Donella as she curtseys, shaking his head a little. "Yes, well. Nothing quite like death to bring people together. The wrestling pits are being used," he points his thumb towards them. "Think I saw one of your men in there. Count Darkwater, I believe," he remarks, before lookig around him. He promptly cocks his elbow to Donella, beckoning her to take his arm. "Come, I want to introduce you to somebody."
"It is odd where we find family, is it not?" Jaenelle says pleasantly to Anze. She doesn't seem so surprised about Anze. "It is lovely to meet you as well, cousin. Speaking of, where is my favorite brother?" Clearly she means Fergus. "I miss him a great deal."
Ford was ready for Reese's charge, when she came barreling at him. he dipped low and waiting until she was ready to tackle, then he used her speed and momentum against her, twisting her over in a sick judo flip. Once she was on the ground, legs coiled around hers to bind them up and keep her movement down to a minimum.
Dominic catches Drea's attention on him and the prince bows his head respectfully towards her. He is standing, using his long spear as a staff for support and watching the fight. They linger on the high shaman for a moment before returning to the match.
"Cirroch Sanna," he replies to Signe, and smiles wryly. "It is good to meet you, though... strange, in its way, that it is here and now instead of times before in places closer to Giant's Reach or Stonedeep. I have certain regrets for that..." His gaze shifts to one of the bonfires, with a shift of his mouth that doesn't get any words out before his eyes return to Signe.
Ford checked strength + brawl against difficulty 15, resulting in 9, 6 lower than the difficulty.
Reese checked strength + brawl against difficulty 15, resulting in 35, 20 higher than the difficulty.
"Fergus is being..well, as socialable as me." Freja remarks to Jaenelle before lapsing into silence, staring into the flames unless stirred - an easy task for her brother.
Arcelia nods her head and offers Anze another warm smile. "I think I would enjoy that, all of you be well." With that she heads off to watch the wrestling a bit closer.
Ferrando takes a sip of rum and joins the crowd around the edge of the wrestling ring. "Pretend he's an apple, Your Highness!" he cheers for Reese with a shout that likely makes no sense to anyone who wasn't at the Old Oak Festival. And just then there's a Bianca and a new person right there next to him. "Ah, Lady Bianca, good evening!" he says pleasantly before turning to Octavia with a precise bow. "Very pleased to make your acquaintance, Lady Octavia. Ferrando Artiglio, Whisper House remedial etiquette instructor-in-residence, at your service," he declares politely.
Freja adds to Arcelia, "You are more than welcome, fear no interjection nor interruption."
"S'good to know we have other family in tha city. Even if you lot are a bunch of Islanders." Anze says with a bit of a teasing grin at Jaenelle "there's another one right? Another one of you lot? Our Thraxian cousins?"
Isolde has left the shaded garden grotto.
Jaxon, Champion of the Reflection, Tails, the arctic fox, 5 Velenosa House Guards, The Mirrormasked Woman leave, following Isolde.
Maximilian shakes his head, clapping SHadow again. "Don't worry about it. Humor's hard. I'll catch you around, bigman!"
Lydia rests at her benches, surrounded by family still, but for the moment, she seems content to watch the wrestling matches and drink from the glasses that people keep giving her, the latest from Duarte.
Maximilian has left the wrestling pit.
"Well met, Cirroch Sanna. And uh... that might be because I'd be busy holding "meetings" in the woods while father held his banquets," Signe responds, her tone grey but there is an effort to be more amiable than she appears. "I was young. Though, I still hold such meetings even now." Her eyes narrow a touch in memory. "Unimportant meetings. With... trees. Wolves. Whatnot." She watches on as the crowd merrily rumbles about the fighting pit and the next rounds.
Taking Darren's arm, with a nod of her head to acknowledge what her tells her, she says, "People have their blood up. Grief and violence sharpen everything," she says, and walks with him. "Ah? May I ask who? And how, by Mangata's sweet airs do you know where ANYONE is?" The dancing shadows cast by the fire clearly are obscuring for her. She has to look twice just to recognize Jaenelle and Freja, waving a hand, though they may not see.
Reese is flipped into the ground, bringing a soft sound to escape from the princess. That doesn't stop her though, Reese is quite settled on upon trying to win. His legs coil around her's and Reese's tense in response. She sucks in a sharp breath, summoning all her strength. With her legs she tries to unbalance him and while struggling to sitting she shoves him with her arms, likely sending the Marquis sprawling. Her cotton garments are getting quite dirt-stained, but she doesn't seem to mind.
Atila chooses to keep Lydia company for now, hopping onto her bench and uninvitedly trying to squeeze himself onto her lap and have a taste of what is in the glass she holds at current.
From his spot underneath the shade of the trees in the grotto garden, Dagon watches the pit match with a keen eye. But keener still, he tracks Donella's movement within the crowd, charting the course she makes with Darren. He's a silent onlooker for now, and leans back against one of the oak trees to observe the crowd.
Maximilian has joined the shaded garden grotto.
Shadow's head gives a small nod hearing the words from Max giving a lift of the bottle of rum in his right hand in a wave of sorts before he is moving to his jerkin and weapons to begin gathering them up.
Jaenelle lets out a soft mhming sound, not taking the teasing bait. "Yes, I have a twin sister, Leona. I am sure she is doing something very important and probably with a sword in either hand." They are very different. She lets Freja remain silent as she turns to wiggle her fingers towards Donella, eyebrows arching high as she looks from one cousin to another, eyes landing on Darren.
A hand is raised to Donella as she passes, Freja touch distracted by a rare and unmasked scowl given Anze's way.
a touch distracted*
Lydia lifts her glass up and away from the dog, but otherwise seems undisburbed by the intrusion as she pets Atilla and turns her head to talk softly at her benches.
A misplaced grapple was all it took. Ford's game was thrown off for a moment as Reese managed to get a proper shove on him. It's enough to break his hold on her, for the time being, but his hands are still up and he's still in it! He twists himself to get up onto his knees quickly to retaliate.
Ford checked stamina + brawl against difficulty 15, resulting in 29, 14 higher than the difficulty.
Reese checked stamina + brawl against difficulty 15, resulting in 25, 10 higher than the difficulty.
"It's easy. You just have to focus on a few people, and pretend everyone else doesn't exist," Darren says to Donella, flashing her a grin as he leads her over to the courtyard benches, where Drea is sitting. "And we are going to see... her," he declares once they have arrived at their destination, a fond smile for his mother as he dips to kiss her on the cheek. "Mother, I wanted you to meet Princess Donella Thrax," he says in introduction.
Darren has joined the courtyard benches.
Atila finally understands that the glass is not for him, so he spreads his entire length of fluff and warmth on Lydia as he lays down, resting on the cushion she provides. Panting, still. That tongue lolling on the side of his jaw instead of the middle where it should be.
Donella has joined the courtyard benches.
Khanne looks about, distracted, quiet. "Pardon. I am going to slip away somewhere quiet... I hope to see you all soon." She reaches up to brush aside some stray hair and wanders off.
Khanne has left the shaded garden grotto.
Reese has left the courtyard benches.
Reese has joined the wrestling pit.
Cirroch chuckles to Signe, an amused rumble, and nods. "Someone must hold those meetings," he says, and for all he laughed, his tone now seems serious enough. "Much as with the banquets. I would not care to find the trees our enemies, nor have the wolves organize their raids." He turns his head to look at the fighting pit for a moment, then returns it back to Signe with a smile. "Still, I'm glad to know it was only a matter of conflicting schedules."
Arcelia turns back when she hears Freja's voice and she stops, heading back to the trio, her eyes looking over at the wrestling as it continues. "Thank you." She smiles at Freja for a second. "I know Marquis Ford over there. I am curious to see how this turns out..." She in fact might look a bit surprised that he is wrestling at all. "I have not seen this side of him." She adds as her eyes drift back over.
Ford springs up, taking a cue from Max, and slithering around Reese locking his arms under hers. He coils his legs around her waist and drops back onto his back and stretches back, making damn sure that Reese can't get out of that one.
Drea stands a Donella approaches with Donella, "It's a pleasure to meet you Donella." She kisses Darren on the cheek, "Very nice event, my handsome boy, very lively. I'm sorry I couldn't be here earlier, but this seems like it might run all night. Which is a good thing." She retakes her seat on the benches nodding to Donella once again in greeting.
"KENNEX WINS!" Mydas announces loudly once the result is clear. "Those who placed bets on the Marquis, well done! And to the combatants, a bottle of whiskey for each!" He gives them both a bottle before turning to the crowd. "Do we have another duo? Who else wishes to join the wrestling pit? Or are we to see Darkwater versus Kennex and see who wins a barrel of fine whiskey?"
Octavia slaps her hand on the railing - possibly the most emotional display Octavia has shown since her arrival to the city - and grins widely as she downs her drink.
Anze glances over to the wrestling when Arcelia points it out and then shrugs a little "I leave tha wrestlin to tha other side of tha family. They're tha ones into fightin bears an tha like." Anze grins a little at Jaenelle "take that to mean you ain tha sword swining type then?"
Belladonna rises from where she's been sitting with Lydia and her husband, the nearby Duarte. Cassius gets a little apologetic smile, and then she's turning away to start rather directly for the tree where Dagon is leaning. She's not _quick_ about it, but the trajectory is clear.
Belladonna has left the benches under the oak trees.
Reese struggles against Ford's hold, but she seems quite firmly trapped. It is only when Mydas announces the win, that she settles down, giving up the fight.
Shadow grabs up his belt and weapons refixing them around his waist before reaching down for his blood stained jerkin of fur and leather, The man slinging the jerkin over his shoulder as he looks over the area once more realizing just how many people were close to him as he begins to stumble back trying to get that distance from them like a confused and cornered animal might, Complete with a low growl.
Ferrando claps for Ford appreciatively. "Is M'lord Ford your cousin, M'lady Kennex? Or brother?" he asks Octavia curiously.
There's a good plethora of alcohol being exchanged underneath the trees of the shaded grotto, and visible for any onlookers, Dagon has made it a key to drink his fair share of it: he has a whiskey glass in one hand, and a bottle of rum in the other. But hey, the more he drinks, the less piss-poor depressing he looks. It's a mimicry of his usual youthful grin that he turns on Belladonna.
"Duchess. A pleasure."
"I am curious to see how long it lasts - will their ego or resolve die out first?" Freja drawls to Arcelia, sucking her teeth before draining the last of the potent whiskey in her drinking horn.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Bianca before departing.
Ford slides out from under Reese and stands to take bottle of whiskey from Mydas. Immediately he uncorks it and waterfalls that beautiful juice into his mouth before turning and hoisting up Reese, then pouring some into her mouth, "Well fucking done Princess. You gave me a scare there for a minute."
Maximilian glances back at Dagon, brow lifting just slightly as he reaches for his armor to put it back on. So he's not a GODLESS HALF NAKED SAVAGE when Belladonna Pravus gets to them.
Octavia looks sidelong at Ferrando, still smirking as she watches her brother's celebrations. "Younger brother," she replies before adding "And I'm not sure we've been introduced. You know my name, it seems."
Bianca totes introduced the pair Ferrando and Octavia, but it must have gotten lost!
The laughter from Cirroch sees a faint light grow on Signe's visage, but it does not last long. Regardless, the fleeting wrinkles on the corners of her eyes are achievement enough for tonight. "The wolves would make for a formidable enemy, so instead, we sought alliances. As for the trees, I'm just thankful that they have tons of patience." A pause. "And no legs." She casts another sidelong glance his way. "What matters is we have finally been acquainted. Perhaps this was the best time and place." There is another pause before she wonders at the bulkily built man, "Are you going to wrestle today too?"
Clad in loosely worn, poorly secured armor--as if the man had thrown it on haphazardly--is Valerius Thrax. A bottle of whiskey already in his hand, more than half empty, likely supports the fact that every few steps is accompanied by a stagger. Between that, and the red hue that marks his face, it's pretty clear this Prince is already drunk. He doesn't pause to look at those that have gathered, nor does he hesitate at all, upon seeing Dagon where he stands, the drunken Prince makes his way to join his cousin, slowly, and with great care as to not fall down.
Valerius has joined the shaded garden grotto.
Octavia looks sidelong at Ferrando, still smirking as she watches her brother's celebrations. "Younger brother," she replies simply.
"Ah, no. Thraxian women are usually discouraged from swinging anything" Jaenelle informs Anze. "It is the men who are charged with protection while the woman are to run the household. My sister decided to pick her own path, and I am very proud of her for that. Also, Victus said I was too pretty for scars, so he has informed me I should do more dodging than swinging." She offers a slight amused shrug, "plus, I have so many people who wish to protect me, I do not need to."
Reese is on her feet, looking rather messy now. Rook had her so done up for the memorial too! She opens her mouth, accepting the whiskey although some some does dribble down her chin. Oh, well more messes. "Thank you. Well done yourself, Marquis." She says, before scampering out of the pit.
Donella lifts a shoulder to the eyebrow-raising, in a casual sort of shrug. "Your Highness," she says to Drea, "The pleasure is all mine. I'm glad to finally meet you in person." She glances back to the crowds with a look of wary regard, "All night? Do you think? Yes, that would seem in character. But I suspect at least in my own ward there may be some well-earned pains."
Maximilian looks back to DEva, ten ahhs! "Yeah, I recall you now. Looks lke I have to go fight again. If you'll excuse me, Princess." He sighs as he starts to pull the armor back off. "Fer fooks sake." He mutters. "Can't even make nice with a princess without havn't to go beat the shit out of my Leige Lord...
Nyx, a black falcon arrives, delivering a message to Freja before departing.
Maximilian has left the shaded garden grotto.
Maximilian has joined the wrestling pit.
Oh, Max. Belladonna slows just a bit when she realizes Max is right there, but she shakes her head and finishes the walk over, seemingly just ignoring the whole half-naked thing. She does tip her head to him, but her attention focuses on Dagon. "Prince Dagon," she answers him. There is a long moment spent studying his expression, but she shakes off whatever it is. "It is good to catch up with you, even if I do not have too very long."
Reese has left the wrestling pit.
Belladonna has joined the shaded garden grotto.
Ford claps Max on the shoulder as he returns to the ring, "Give em hell or high water, my friend." Then he and his bottle of whiskey move to rejoin Octavia and Co.
Arcelia shakes her head as it is announced that Ford has won, her eyes linger on the men for a second and then she looks back to Anze. "I sa a bear once and got away unnoticed, I cannot imagine what it must be like to have had to fight it." She nods then at Freja. "Sometimes I fear ego is far too big a foe to slay."
Bianca turned to receive a missive from a passing messenger who'd patiently awaited her attention. Pale gaze fluttered over the page and if it were possible, the presumably albino woman went even paler. "E-excuse me." She stuttered, holding the page to her chest before she turned to hurry toward the edge of the festivities in a flurry of silks only to re-read the missive in its entirety with a little more privacy.
Octavia grabs her brother's bottle of whiskey from his hand, refilling her glass and then turning to watch Bianca scurry off with perhaps a bit of worry in her expression.
Natalia has joined the shaded garden grotto.
Dominique stands in the enterance for a half a moment taking it all in. There is a sigh. She ventures around trying to locate a familiar face. She tugs her cloak hood back getting a feel for the crowd.
Deva smiles a little at Max, shaking her head as withdraws for another fight. Falling into a pensive silence, she continues sipping her whiskey while focusing on the various activities going on in the pit. Her gaze is mostly distracted, although as Belladonna approaches their area she offers a polite bow of her head.
A black falcon arrives out of nowhere, dropping an UNGODLY stack of parchment Right. On. Freja's. Head. The Redrain curses anything but quietly, the long string of curses that follow being far from what a Princess should know - surely some of the more 'colorful' phrases picked up from her years in service alongside the North's soldiers. "REALLY?!" she bemoans as the falcon departs. Still, she gives a glance to the stack of papers with a quirk of her scarred brow, passing the off to a trusted Northern scout/guard in her retinue who scurries off towards the estate to see them to safety. To Arcelia she advises, "Ego is far easier to slay than some."
Rook soon steps forward to join Reese by the sidelines where she's chosen and it's with a near helpless look he studies before. After a second, a breath to steady himself and draw strength, the lord courtier calls over his apprentice. "See to her highness' cleanliness as best you can, won't you, Master Pawn? I'll fetch her a drink-- and myself. Here," he utters, passing across the silk to be given. A few steps take him to the side of the bonfire to where the booze is being kept. "Whatever did silk do in its previous life, Master Quiet?" he asks his champion, then.
"Catch up. Yes," Dagon's gaze ticks over Belladonna, a squint to his eyes in response to her own staring. He downs the whiskey glass in one hand and then hands it off to his servant with a quiet, "Thank you."
So that leaves a bottle of rum in his hand. This, he takes another swig from -- chaser for the whiskey -- and smiles at Bella. "I'd love to. But I think I'll take off my shirt and go get beat up by Count Darkwater in the dirt."
And even as he says this, he begins to peel off his vest and tunic -- moving towards Mydas, and the wrestling pit.
"Opening for one more?" He hands the rum to Mydas -- to hold, of course, in safekeeping.
Ford lowers his brow at Bianca's reaction, twisting his lip slightly in concern as Octavia snatches the bottle from him.
Skillet the bumbling baby bear have been dismissed.
Maximilian puts a hand to the barrier surrounding the ring - and vaults it with a smooth movement. "Oh, So I see howit is! WE're at a fooken Redrain contest, but all the fighters are Thrax!" Says max, gesturing to all the mighty Redrain warriors out there. "C'monnnnnnnnnnn!"
"Always!" Mydas replies with a grin, taking the rum, for safekeeping of course. "Prince Dagon Thrax, to fight Count Maximilian Darkwater! Gather round, ladies and gentlemen, Darkwater and Thrax are about to fight!"
Dagon has left the shaded garden grotto.
Dagon has joined the wrestling pit.
Ford nods and bends down to pick up his shirt to put it back on, somewhat. Only a few buttons bothered to be put on before he makes his way over to Bianca.
Anze hrms and shakes his head at Jaenelle "stupid customs. Think that bout a lot of things tha Islanders do. If we woulda followed dumb rules like that my family wouldn't even exist. Least you seem happy with how things are though." He mutters to Arcleia "f'an bears. I swear half tha family is mad over em. Darren even has a f'an pet one. I don't get it one bit."
There's a polite tip of her head for Deva in turn, but Belladonna's attention is brought back to Dagon. As he finishes speaking and begins to peel off his clothing, she bows her head to him. No words are even offered after him, she just turns to glance over those nearby. A quick smile for Niccolo, and then she's heading for Cassius and Lydia again.
Belladonna has left the shaded garden grotto.
Belladonna has joined the benches under the oak trees.
"My brother is disrobing. Why is my brother disrobing?" Donella wants to know. She sends one of her guards to check it out. Of course, Mydas has just answered that.
Khanne smirks towards Max's challenge. "I'm not dressed for brawling tonight." She's also not built for brawling, or good at it, but....
Nyx, a black falcon arrives, delivering a message to Maximilian before departing.
Ferrando smiles to Ford upon approach but seems equally concerned as the rest at Bianca's sudden departure. "I hope she's all right," he tells Octavia with a somewhat troubled look.
Maximilian calls out to Donella... "So I Don't get his fancy clothes all dirty, Princess! Thats why he's getting half naked!"
Dagon actually hands his rum to Valerius, in passing -- and claps him on the shoulder. "Talk later," he grunts, on his way into the pit. He's good and shirtless now, displaying a Roman body fit for posing to a painter, and probably not for beating the shit out of Max. But, crazier things have happened.
The Thraxian prince faces Count Darkwater in the ring, and assumes a low stance. "Figure I'd distract you somehow," he tells Max, grinning. He sways only a little, as the alcohol visibly gets to him.
Nyx, a black falcon arrives, delivering a message to Maximilian before departing.
Octavia nods to Ferrando. "Whatever it is, it's troubling indeed." She turns to face the pit and adds in a low voice, "That's why I suggested my brother go talk to her."
Darren lifts his voice up as he eyes the wrestling pit. "Why is there no Redrain in there?" he squints, before shaking his head. "I've got winner!"
Jaenelle tsks softly, shaking her head towards Anze, "and here I thought you were learning how not to say things that might offend people. Did you just call Thraxian customs stupid and dumb? That does not seem fair, to say such about a large group of people's way of life." She glances towards Freja afterward, watching things fall onto her head.
"Ain' a wrestler but I'd give it a shot." Julea says, sitting up a touch straighter, her voice rising in tone to carry across to Maximilian.
Cirroch nods to Signe. "Good thing, too. Their clubs are some of the most impressive I'm seen." He smiles, then nods again. "Aye. It's the time that is, which... makes it better than the ones which aren't." His attention slips past her for a moment, distracted by watching the smoke rise from one of the bonfires, but then he focuses back to her. "Mm?" Cirroch looks toward the pit again, and one corner of his mouth tugs to the side. "No. Not today." His gaze returns to Signe. "Are you?"
Reese looks up toward Rook, giving him a sheepish smile. She lifts her slender arms, tucking golden locks back into her steel hair net. There is just a little dirt from the pit mingled there, but nothing the grotto won't fix later. She then starts to brush off dirt from her bloomers and camisole, maybe not wanting to get the silk dress dirty. "I have whiskey, you can share it, Nightgold whiskey." She murmurs, handing the bottle over to Rook.
Maximilian looks to Mydas. "Lookit that! Got you a redrain girl. WHo'm'I fighten, Mydas?"
Anze grins at Jaenelle "I'm tryin, but, I just really believe that women should be able to do what they want. I don't think I'm ever gonna be much of a diplomat. Still, you're right, should probably try to think things through more."
Nyx, a black falcon arrives, delivering a message to Maximilian before departing.
"You're too kind," Rook replies with a short laugh as he accepts the whisky, once Reese has been dressed by his assistant, rejoining her. Schooling his expression of distress, he asks diplomatically: "Did you enjoy your time wrestling?"
Cassius has left the benches under the oak trees.
With Ford's match over Arcelia she turns her attention away from the wrestling, still interested but less so. She nods her head to Frejha. "Perhaps so. I have not done a lot of slaying of anything so far in my brief time." She smiles. "Best I leave that to those who know better what they are doing." She laughs a bit when Anze mentions the bears and jokingly... "If you give me names I may have to add them to the list of people to keep away from."
Cassius rises up from the bench he was sat at, offering an arm to Lark as he does. He exchanges a few words with his wife and sister, then, when Lark is ready, he makes a gesture and starts that way.
Lark has left the benches under the oak trees.
Sasha, a smoke-gray mountain lion leaves, following Tristram.
Bianca was reading over the note in her hands repeatedly, but as Ford approached it was folded and stuffed away in the beautiful leather gifted case. "Oh, no.. no. I'm fine. Thank you. Just unexpected news." A frazzled Bianca? Weird night indeed. "Thank you, Marquis Kennex.." She forced a smile to her lips and a bow of her head in response.
Mydas snorts and raises his own bottle of whiskey at Maximilian before speaking up again. Or yelling, really. "Change of plans people! Since we have two new challengers, Prince Dagon Thrax will be facing Misstress Julea Sanguine! Sanguine versus Thrax, coming right up!"
With a small hand, Jaenelle reaches over to pat Anze lightly. "I am a Velenosa now" the Princess informs her cousin. "I have all the time in the world to learn to swing a sword. It is my wish not to, I have made that decision. I am not strong enough, and most likely would hurt myself more than anyone else. I have a lovely sword actually, though it sits in a closet in my room until I decide to give it away or melt it. I havent decided."
Ford nods, he's not gonna press it, but he offers a smile and to lead her back to the others.
Maximilian moves to leave the wrestling ring now. "And I took my fucken armor off! Goddamn it."
Reese looks upon Rook. "It was fun. I would have enjoyed it more if I won, but I it was still fun." She says, now back in her silk and looking somewhat respectable. After all Rook's assistant is good. "Yays, Julea!" Reese says, taking sides once again. She always has to take sides.
Donella says, "Dagon! Put your shirt on before someone twists off something you need for later!"
"Don't act like you care, with the number of ladies present." Mydas replies to Max.
Donella is helpful.
Julea pushes up from the bench, and sets her hat down atop of her pack. Her cape too is drawn off and added to the pile and a few other excess layers removed till she wears simply the leather tunic, pants and boots. She rolls her right arm a bit, flexing, and then she grabs up her flask, tipping a fair bit of the whiskey down her throat. "Fuck me." Is all she comments when Mydas announces her opponent.
Julea has left the benches under the oak trees.
Julea has joined the wrestling pit.
Lark rises, at first leaving only a hand on Cassius before she affectionately links hers into his. Looking out around them with little in the way of expression, she pats him gently as if to comfort.
Signe skews her lips to the side and shakes her head at Cirroch. "I can't with this kind of mind. Maybe next month. Or next year," she returns in a murmur. She laces her fingers together over the front of her black skirts and releases a quiet exhale that makes her shoulders droop. Aware of herself, she pulls them back again and resumes a straight-backed posture fitting of one of her status. Unless the man speaks up again, it can be assumed that an awkward silence drops between the two, the shouts of spectators and a loud Maximilian to season the quiet.
Maximilian looks to Mydas - then down to himself - then back to Mydas - then just sort of Shrugs. Point.
Belladonna has left the benches under the oak trees.
5 Grayson Guardsmen leaves, following Lark.
Lark leaves, following Cassius.
Dominique ends up taking wallflower status and is content to people watch in her quiet repose.
Belladonna rises from the bench once Cassius and Lark have made to start their walk. She gives Lydia's shoulder a squeeze, and then she's starting to meander oh so very casually towards the path back out to the streets.
"If you need lessons in the slaying of ego - I know more than a few ways to humble a man or woman." Freja offers to Arcelia, her expression emotionless, but there is a certain fire to the woman's dark eyes.
Khanne while everyone is busy or distracted, Khanne takes a look around and slips off to find that quiet.
Anze grins at Jaenelle "well, I ain sayin you should pick up a blade. I'm sayin that you should be able to if you felt like yah wanted to." Anze gives Freja a playfull nudge and says to Arcelia "Frey here is great at killin ego. She manages to make me feel plenty stupid plenty of times."
Neve whispers something up to Cal before she turns and slips out quietly
"I feel I am no way near drunk enough to be doing this." Julea complains as she enters the fighting pits and takes a moment to side-eye Dagon. "If I rip your silks, don't send me the bill. I ain' afford to be replacing that shit." There's another grunt, and she's pulling her hair up, knotting it into a ponytail. "So, wrestling is like sex right? Just with clothes on?"
Deva murmurs a few goodbyes to those at her bench, rising and stretching then and sliding a hand to her hip. With one last look to the bonfire, her expression almost wistful, she begins to slip away through the crowd to take her leave.
Skillet the bumbling baby bear leaves, following Neve.
Maximilian looks to Julea - brow lifting speculatively.
Nyx, a black falcon arrives, delivering a message to Maximilian before departing.
Mydas checked composure + manipulation against difficulty 15, resulting in 29, 14 higher than the difficulty.
Ford moves up to the ring and calls out to Julea, "Here, get your strenght juice!" He waggles his bottle of whiskey at her, ready to waterfall it like he did himself and Reese
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Anze before departing.
"Something like that." Mydas responds to Julea with a straight face.
Calathane nods to what Neve says and gives her a peck on the cheek and a smile, watching he take off.
Duarte is moving, swift strides to catch him up to Belladonna's side and exit with her.
Octavia turns sideways and eyes Julea with an eyebrow lifted as well, then turns and bursts into laughter, her lips a bit loosened by the alcohol.
"Should get yourself a squire," Dagon suggests to Max, a grin twitching his lips. He turns to look out at the crowd, and his midnight blues pick out Donella from the group. "I think I'll survive!" He calls back up, before looking over Julea with a squinty gaze. He sways in place. There's a huge, barely scarring, wound that runs from his shoulder to the middle of his chest, where it looks like a sword nearly cleaved him apart.
"I... no. Wrestling is not like sex." His grin is dashed a bit more into the reserved at her question. He crosses his arms in front of his chest into an arm-bar stretch while he waits for Julea to stock up on alcohol.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Mydas before departing.
Maximilian eyes Dagon disapprovingly. The answer to: Is wrestling like sex, or 'are you a god' is always yes.
Duarte has left the benches under the oak trees.
And just like that, Lydia is left alone at at her benches. She leans back with her glass of whiskey, her eyes on the wrestling match in the pit.
Niccolo rises, and offers goodbyes to those he was sharing the space with. He passes his glass to a server walking by and lets his eyes linger on the bonfire. He starts on his way out of the area, with hands clasped behind his back.
Jaenelle holds up a hand as she watches Donella scream at Dagon. She turns to look at why, and her brows arch and she squints as she stares at him. Calling out to Donella, "I think he looks pale. Clearly he should be undressing more often."
Ferrando excuses himself absently from the wrestling observation and meanders away a bit in Dominique's direction.
Arcelia smiles at Freja again. "I am ever a student and would be glad to listen or partake in lessons offered." There is a certain passion in her voice that comes with those words. She lets her vibrant blue eyes linger on the other woman curiously while she replies Anze. "I will take your word for it."
Niccolo has left the shaded garden grotto.
Rook spends a moment to speak with Reese in a lowered tone before leaving her in the company of his apprentice, the champion and the lord courtier themselves retreating.
"Now as much as I enjoy a good conversation, these good people are here to see wrestling. And a big bloody fire. They're fine on the latter, now they want to see the former. May the best fighter win, for glory and whiskey!" Mydas declares, opening the fight.
Quiet, the Grayward champion leaves, following Rook.
Reese is overheard praising Darren for: He held a very fitting memorial, well done.
Cirroch nods to Signe. "Some find it clears the head, others... that they wish first for their head to be clear." He spreads one hand as he gives a slight shrug and then a half-smile. "We are who we are, each of us." Though he's not going to pursue the conversation if Signe's distraction by wrestling and her own thoughts continues, letting there be... okay, not silence, but the sounds of wrestling and various conversation that's only partly about wrestling.
Dominique smiles as Ferrando comes her way. SHe nods her head. "Good Evening."
Julea checked dexterity + brawl against difficulty 15, resulting in 29, 14 higher than the difficulty.
Reese is overheard praising Mydas for: Very moving words for Nadia. Well ran wrestling contest at the memorial.
Nyx, a black falcon arrives, delivering a message to Maximilian before departing.
"This is perhaps not the best time for it." Freja muses aloud to Arcelia, glancing pointedly to those that are still fighting.
Dagon checked dexterity + brawl against difficulty 15, resulting in 13, 2 lower than the difficulty.
Donella checked composure + etiquette against difficulty 15, resulting in 37, 22 higher than the difficulty.
Reese takes a drink from the bottle of whiskey. She glances over the grounds, trying to see if Shadow is still around. her attentino then turns to the fighting pit.
As people start to leave the benches he'd parked himself at, Valerius does as well. A glance is given aside to Natalia, and whether she follows or not he makes his way over towards Jaenelle, an armored hand held out to place heavily on his much smaller sister's shoulder. "Been tryin'--glad to see you, gotta talk to you, though uh... not now. Bad time," he pauses, looking around between the bonfires and those wrestling before he interjects further, "But s'important." Rarely does this particular Prince get drunk enough to effect his speech, and it's likely he's well passed that.
Darren rises to his feet to clear his throat, trying to get the attention of those in the near vicinity. "While the the party contineus, I'd like to have my cousin, Princess Freja, perform a short blessing. If you will, Frej?" he call over to his cousin, letting her do her thing while he sits back down at the courtyard, conversing quietly to Donella and Drea.
"Fuck me." There's another colourful curse, and Julea probably has some whiskey tipped over her, and she may even get a couple of mouthfuls before she moves back over to face Dagon. She's not immune to scarring herself, there's a nice gristly one that cuts down over her right eye. She keeps her tunic on though, and after another squint at Dagon, before she closes the distance between them and tries to make a grab for Dagon. She's not a wrestler. She has never wrestled before, not even a bear. But she's fast on her feet, and in this instance, faster than Dagon, and quick to duck around the clearly larger opponent in an attempt to bring him down to the ground.
Bianca followed Ford's lead back to the pit, a rogue wave to her cousin with small smile though there was still something a bit 'off' about the Wyrmguard. She was distracted, though clearly trying to be attentive to the goings on around her.
Since she has a death grip on Valerius's arm, Natalia has little choice but to follow his stumblingly drunk arse over towards where he wishes to be, her own whiskey sipped not slammed.
Arcelia nods her head to Freja and turns her attention to Dagon and Donella. "I agree, I imagine right now is the wrong time but I would be happy to see you again." She looks to Darren then and to Freja when he speaks about and to her.
Nyx, a black falcon arrives, delivering a message to Maximilian before departing.
Dominique waves to her cousin who is in the company of Ford. She looks a tad concerned for her. She excuses herself from Ferrando and goes to join her cousin Bianca.
If it does go heard by Signe, she would nod her head slowly several seconds later than when it should be. For a time, she continues to watch the fighting, with a thought crossing her mind to lead her to look Freja's way. It is a mere glance, however. With a hard blink, she gradually turns back to Cirroch to inquire, "Pardon me for only just asking but when did you arrive from the Northlands? I had been ill for a time and many things have happened in my absence that I am still not fully aware about."
Dominique has joined the wrestling pit.
Deva has left the shaded garden grotto.
As the memorial draws to an end, a few expectant glances are shot Freja's way as Darren speaks. The Redrain steps out from her hidden nook of the estate's grounds, a nod given to Anze who stands beside her as she steps towards the light cast by the roaring flames of the memorial bonfire.
Freja's voice rises above the din of those gathered, cold iron of the North carrying firmly and soundly over the crowd. "A soldier's life is bound, fettered in the service of that which we protect. It is knots which we tie willingly, knowing full and well what is at stake when we unsheathe the blade, raise the shield against those that would eradicate our loves, both in being and ideal. But we are here to remember the life they lived, not the life that they lost. "
The Shaman closes her eyes, murmuring a few soft words to herself in an antiquated Northern tongue before she opens them again, her gaze distant and unfocused. "Spirits guide them, keep them, so their lives and the loves they cherished, the memories they made, turn not to ash in our mouths, to deadened embers in our hearts. I pray I hear their cries, their joys, on the wind once more in hidden glens and oft' remembered groves." She closes her eyes once more, her voice raising in song that is unsettling, strumming the heart in somber, diaphonic euphony. ((https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2RHlXdG3N4))
Dagon sways, squints, blinks, and then breathes out a low exhale. It's just enough to hold him over in that span of moments before he's grappling with Julea -- and in a matter of a second, Julea's got him on the ground, and has control of the bout. Dagon tips up, trying to pincer Julea between his legs and flip her over to mount her.
Okay, it's a little bit like sex.
Freja checked mana + occult against difficulty 15, resulting in 13, 2 lower than the difficulty.
Freja checked mana + occult against difficulty 15, resulting in 30, 15 higher than the difficulty.
Octavia looks over at Bianca, her laughter tapering off and her face looking a bit concerned, and then she turns back towards the wrestling match to see if wrestling is at all like sex.
"So." Says Max, sidelong to Octavia. "I guess those are fuck tickles."
Julea checked strength + brawl against difficulty 15, resulting in 15, 0 higher than the difficulty.
Drea raises her arms to the sky, with her palms up and her eyes closed while Freja speaks. Muttering her own prayer quietly as well.
Dagon checked strength + brawl against difficulty 15, resulting in 21, 6 higher than the difficulty.
Anze stops speaking for a moment to watch quietly his sister make her speach.
Lydia is overheard praising Freja for: A wonderful tribute!
Darren is overheard praising Freja for: A beautiful tribute.
Maximilian turns his attention then to the prayer being offered. He's not ... you know, a big god-fella, but he closes his eyes in respect for their rituals.
Octavia chokes on her drink at Max's sidelong and spits a bit of it on the ground in the pit, laughing afterwards.
Lydia's gaze turns from the wrestling as Freja speaks. her head boys down, and the lightness that had been growing in her all evening is dampened by momentary sobriety again.
Signe is overheard praising Freja for: A beautiful tribute.
Lydia is overheard praising Darren for: A wonderful thing you did here. Thank you!
Arcelia is silent while Freja makes her speech, her bright blue eyes not leaving her as she speaks.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Darren before departing.
Donella is overheard praising Freja for: I could listen to her sing for hours.
Mydas bows his head momentarily at Freja's tribute, and grows momentarily somber until the fight takes back his attention, and it's back to showmanship for him.
Jaenelle reaches for the bottle in her brother's hand, confiscating it despite it being almost empty. "We do. You said." Though she falls quiet as she watches Freja and her blessing. When finished, she looks back towards her brother and smiles, "we can go somewhere to talk if you wish? I am sure Anze would not mind letting my brother steal me away."
Drea is overheard praising Freja for: Wonderful tribute to those that have fallen.
Mydas is overheard praising Freja for: A worthy tribute
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