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AoW: Winter Celebration

We survived! A Winter celebration hostes by the Academy of War for members, associates, and guests. It is a social event, to allow for the opportunity for our folks to get to know one another better outside of the discussion of threats to the Compact. Bring along happy stories of those who have fallen in the fights against the Compact's enemies (both in the defense of the lodge and in those previous conflicts) if you'd like to share them, particularly if they relate to why you're still alive to celebrate. Dress is formal, but nobody's going to get thrown out for dressing down, either. Party time! Food, drink, music, and dancing. Nobody will make you talk about non-military matters if that's all you're comfortable talking about, either.


Dec. 2, 2018, 7 p.m.

Hosted By

Natalia Kael


Kaia Maddox Norwood Reigna Valdemar Vanora Michael Sanya Carmen Lethe Cullen Shae Adalbern Adora Amari Gilroy


Academy of War


Arx - Ward of the Crown - Academy of War - Headquarters

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

Seryna, a charming Lycene handmaiden, 6 Grimhall House Guards arrive, following Vanora.

5 Grimhall House Guards, Gustav, a gruff Islander advisor, Vanora arrive, following Valdemar.

Nallah, a buff-looking tortie cat with green eyes, 2 House Mazetti Aspirants, Sirra, a very quiet maid leave, following Alessia.

Kaia steps into the Academy walking alongside Maddox, her own arm entangled in his. Her pair of Bisland escorts follow not too far behind. She looks around, others seem to be starting to arrive themselves, yet she doesn't recognize any of the faces that are already there. "Shall we take a sit by one of the accommodations, or perhaps head over to the refreshment table Lord Deepwood?"

There is food on the buffet tables (is there ever NOT food on the buffet tables, here?) and staff members with alcohol. Tables have been set up individually, rather than all clustered together for easy discussion, and there are actual musicians on the stage. There are even season-appropriate decorations, with lots of evergreen and spicy scents. It's **festive**, and this is of course helped out by the pretty, pretty snow that is falling outside. Natalia herself is hanging out up near the stage with her hands wrapped around a mug of something warm, watching as people filter in and looking much like the cat that has recently not just caught the canary, but is in the process of digesting it.

Maddox smiles to the Lady Kaia "Well My lady.. why dont we find a seat, and then I will get us something warm the drink.. And we will see how the festivities go from there?" he suggests politely "This is looking quite lovely tonight. I havent been here before."

2 Grimhall House Guards arrives, following Sanya.

This might actually be a habitual thing from one Marquis Keaton, being on the cusp of running late to an event. He is, as always (at least to these events), with his wife upon his arm. "You are looking lovely tonight, Reigna," he murmurs to her, offering forth a small smile. For those paying particular attention, they might note the fact that a small limp is evident in his step. It is nothing ridiculously evident, but still, it is there. Kael spies Natalia near the stage and he begins to move in her direction.

Armor is totally acceptable clothing for an Academy of War activity, right? Because Norwood is totally wearing his, though he has taken the helm off and it is settled off to one side. He's not attempting to get into the festivities particularly, but is here looking more-or-less welcoming in the act of it.

Kael is limping, and Reigna is fretting. The compliment does not go unnoticed and while it brings a smile to her red-painted lips after a moment it passes and she gives him a teasingly narrow eyed glare. "Do not think your flattery will have me forgetting about your wounds, Kael Keaton." Reigna can't hide the smile, breaking her mock sterness. "Be sure to sit when you are tired." As they move towards Natalia, Reigna gives the Whisper a big bright smile, "Natalia! You look radiant -- well. Darkly radiant? You look delightful! As does the Hall!"

Valdemar and his wife enter arm in arm, with the young Duke Grimhall looking as if he wore the Mourning Sea itself to the Academy tonight. "This looks more impressive than the last time I was here," he remarks to her as he looks around the large chamber, "But I heard that they have the help of a Whisper to help with the evening, so its not surprising, exactly." As he looks around and notices a few somewhat familiar faces in Kael, Reigna, and Norwood, he bows his head in greeting to them before leading Vanora toward one of the servants bearing drinks so that they can get some wine.

Brightening when she spies Kael and Reigna, Natalia's brow furrows a touch when she spies Kael's limp, and of /course/ she spies Kael's limp. Especially with Reigna fretting. The blonde narrows her eyes at the two of them, turning to take the three steps or so required to at least make it LOOK like she met them partway. "What did you do?" She's so polite. Of course, a beat later she is positively beaming at Reigna. "I found the most delightful tailor," she says. "Is he not incredible? Look at this!" Yes, she steps back a pace, turning just so, so that Reigna can see it. Because yes, it is a /very/ pretty dress. The Whisper (who also happens to be Diplomatic Chair of the Academy hosting this evening) is clearly quite pleased both with her dress and with her handywork. Also her whiskey. Well, that last bit is more of an assumption that can be made based on the fact that she takes quite a swallow of it.

"Does it?" Vanora murmurs back to her husband, looking around. "I've never been to the Academy of War. Though come to think of it, some of your colleagues here might have useful input on that project up next in Grihem's Point, yes? It would be a boon if we could find people to help get that first boost of momentum going." The newly minted Duchess carries herself with grace, handing off her cloak to a servant just as they enter. The gown beneath is suitable for the finest balls but doesn't look terribly out of place at a more casual party, a vision of aeterna fastened to a collar of iridescite, backless and thus only comfortable where it's well heated. "You will have to introduce me to those you've worked with or know, for I am not sure I've met any of the guests save you."

Kaia nods and displays a small grin. "Of course." she says taking a look around the establishment and taking in the decorations. "It is indeed a most delightful sight, the hosts have certainly outdone themselves, it looks wonderful." she agrees. "And neither have I my lord." she admits with a short chuckle. "Regardless, I do hope I get to meet new people tonight." she comments with a display of a smile, her blue-grey eyes filled with excitement.

Maddox chuckles and holds a seat for Kaia "Well My lady, I am certain that you will be the light of the party." he then steps away to get the drinks, warm alcoholic cider with cinnamon sticks in it are his preference. He carries one of these back to Kaia "here you go, a warm drink for a cold night."

3 Tyde Houseguard arrives, following Lethe.

Michael is sort of late. About as late as someone dealing with the abundence of snow and not being well versed enough to plan for it will be late. Apparently someone else from his family is already here. He dressed formally enough to not be an outlier. Where to flee, where to flee.

Michael has joined the a comfortable ivory leather and mahogany wooden sofa.

Norwood bows in return to to Valdemar's greeting, but he's not trying very hard to be social. This corner? This is HIS CORNER. He's just going to lurk here with his arms folded behind his back looking oh-so thoughtful.

Sanya Grimhal enters the academy of war headquarters, barely recovered from the cold. Folding her arms tightly around herself, and keeping her jacket on, she catches up to her cousin and his wife as they head for the drinks. Smiling kindly for the unfamiliar faces around her, she browses the refreshment table.

Running a bit late, Carmen Harol tugs out of her cloak as she casts the room a quick, assessing glance. Her knuckles are bruised and scraped, which really isn't important at the moment. What is important is that she's wearing a dress, one that somehow manages to be both demure and slinky at the same time and fits her 6'3" frame. Stride slower now, she steps further into the room and casts the refreshment table a wary look.

"Yes, it might. The original idea for the project actually came from my first conversation with Maruquis Keaton, after I joined the Academy," Valdemar explains in response to his spouse as he picks up two glasses and passes one of thm to her. Taking a sip from the one he keeps, he continues on to tell her, "I've not really worked with many of them, though. My schedule has kept me from attending many meetings. Though I did write to the Marquis recently to let him know that we were close to beginning construction of the school. And I did meet Baron Clement once ata gathering of house Swords." He then turns to face Sanya when he notices that she is approaching them. "Cousin, it is good to see you again," he greets her, smiling somewhat as he speaks.

Lethe steps inside and takes a long look around. She nods politely to those she sees as she makes her way to the refreshment table.

"A large, very angry -- wolf?" A pause then before Kael is looking toward his wife and tilting his head toward her. "Was it a wolf?" He makes a grand, sweeping sort of gesture with his free hand as though that should explain the size. It is very impressive looking of course. "It was large," he repeats, lightly and with a twitch of his lips. He catches sight of the arrival of Duke Grimhall and that bow of his head. There is an inclination of his head offered in turn and then a moment of hesitation before he is tracking them. That is likely what allows him to at least catch a tidbit of conversation yonder (he was not spying, not really) and is instead clearing his throat, "Duke Grimhall, I am pleased that you could join us this evening. Have you met my co-chair and protege, Natalia Whisper?"

"Did it? You'd not said. I think it makes perfect sense. As much sense as the school I was looking to have built, so we will work with this order. The better to honor your father and such, beyond just naming our new flagship after him." Vanora responds to Valdemar in a low, thoughtful voice. "That's too bad. Perhaps when he gets more involved in things, Ingvar could serve as a representative as well. Though Admiral Turo also surely could, presently. You wrote to Marquis Keaton you mean? Ah. That makes sense. I think you introduced me to Baron Clement, or else I'm mistaken and we made acquaintance elsewhere. Oh Sanya! Lovely to see you here too. "

Turning a bit when she's introduced, Natalia offers up a winning smile for Valdemar and Vanora. "A pleasure," she tells them both, right about the same time she spies Carmen over Valdemar's shoulder. Her face positively lights up, and she takes a step back. "It's very nice to meet you both," she offers, before noting to Kael, "I see my companion for the evening, I will be right back." Another smile, and then she is stepping away from the cluster of nobles to beeline for the mercenary. Apparently Kael is off the hook for the wolf. For now.

Michael seems to have joined Norwood's corner and delights upon meeting the man. "You're the Baron Clement, aren't you?" He'll step and offer a hand out towards Norwood.

Turning to face Kael when he approaches, Valdemar shakes his head at the question posed to him. "No, Marquis, I have never had the pleasure, though perhaps my wife has. Speaking of which, I don't know if you've met her before? This is Duchess Vanora Grimhall, and my cousin is with us as well, Lady Sanya Grimhall," he introduces his family members before facing the Grimhall ladies and adding, "And this is Marquis Kael Keaton, one of the founders of the Academy. You're right, my dear, my brother might do well to represent us as well, when he returns from Grihem's Point."

Angling away from the food and drink, Carmen continues to survey the room, green eyes lighting on Natalia before she smiles and takes long, silk-rustling strides her way. "Natalia Whisper." A hint of a smile as she tosses her artfully messy rather than ordinarily messy braid over her shoulder. "Thank you for inviting me. You're a worker of miracles."

Auburn hair and beard dusted with snow, Cullen quietly enters the Academy with a self-conscious glance, brushing off some of winter's mark upon him. Smiling at the people he knows after a bow, the Greenmarch knight makes his way to a table and takes a seat. "Marquis Kael and Marquessa Reigna, a delight as it always is. Whisper Natalia, so wonderful to see you. Baron Norwood, quite glad to find you here." If he missed anyone, it is undoubtedly due to his faulty memory.

"You as well." Sanya smiles as she pours a glass of wine. "I apologise for being scarce lately, although I assumed you'd have far too much on your plate to realise." Taking a sip, she offers Vanora a kindly smile too. "I knew you would be here, Valdemar being a member and all." Turning to Natalia, she dips her head, as she's introduced. "It's a pleasure to meet you."

"Natalia Whisper. Well met. I've heard such good things, and you are indeed a beauty, aren't you?" Vanora greets Natalia warmly once introduced, turning back to Kael as Natalia excuses herself away. "You must be the Marquis Keaton. My husband speaks of you now and then. I am Duchess Vanora Grimhall. Though I'm no one you'd want husband is the war expert, I'm happy and pleased to be able to support this Academy. It's work is important. We've been discussing something like it for Grihem's Point." She smiles to Sanya warmly. "Oh we always notice. We just don't say anything. You're entitled to be scarce, every woman has her secrets hmm." Vanora teases Sanya, but nods. "He attends dozens of these sorts of things when thrown by my kin, or my's the least I can do to return the favor and meet some of the respected warriors he spends his time with."

Cullen has joined the a walnut wooden table stained a red-brown.

"It fits as well as I'd hoped," Natalia says, lifting her glass in a little toast to Carmen. "Thank you for coming. I'm going to have to introduce you around, there are a few people you'd do well to meet. The whiskey is good, though. It makes up for it." She gestures with said whiskey back in the direction of the cluster she came from. "How comfortable are you at this sort of party?" The question is light and curious, nothing weighty behind it. When her name is spoken she does turn back some, raise her glass in greeting and flash a bright smile. One finger gets held up, before she turns back to look to Carmen again.

3 Tyde Houseguard leaves, following Lethe.

Kaia takes a sit and smiles. Once Maddox returns with the drinks, she takes a hold of the cup. "Thank you." she then looks around the room, taking sight of the new faces arriving. Among the crowd of strangers she seems to have caught sight of Michael's face just for a moment before he dashed away elsewhere. "Oh, there's my cousin." she commented briefly, before taking the cup to her lips for a sip. "Oh, but he definitely didn't see me..." she says with a bit of a smile. Her eyes then glance around across the room, only to pause over another somewhat familiar face (Carmen). If the lady ever caught sight of her she would offer a short wave, if not she'd simply wait for a while until they could properly meet.

When Natalia goes off to meet her declared companion of the eve, Kael is raising a brow and craning his head to take note of who said companion is. He takes note of Carmen, offers a little chin-up toward her and a polite smile before turning back toward Duke Grimhall. "I have not had the pleasure," he murmurs, inclining his head politely toward Duchess Vanora and Lady Sanya. "I am Marquis Kael Keaton, have you had the pleasure of meeting my wife, Marquessa Reigna Keaton?" He keeps his wife on his arm, though the limp likely has something to do with that. "Your husband," and he nods to Valdemar, "wrote of the naval academy. What we have here is a network and I am actually hoping to support his venture, and be able to speak with him -- or you, or whomever is appropriate -- about scholarships for those of the Compact, through our organization here. So that those that might not be as well versed on naval tactics can go through a specialized program there, if you are amiable. In turn, the benefits of perhaps woodland tactics, or through another Academy for those you would send over." Noting Cullen, Kael's brows lift and he sends a smile toward the man. "Speaking of special tactics, there is Lord Cullen Greenmarch."

Michael just grins at Norwood, "I can't believe she would have actually told you how she met me. And yes. Though..caught is a misnomer. It smacked me in the face. I have the reflexes of a cat though, and I caught it afterwards. As well as you can expect to catch something that is billowing against your face." At the word, 'Cousin'...Michael stiffens and his chin turns to catch the room. Zoey...zoey....No zoey. OH. Kaia. A hand lifts to wave towards Kaia.

Maddox settles into the seat next to Kaia "Im sure that in the movement of the crowd, they will make their way around." he pauses and grins as he spots Michael and he nods to him as well, "Your Cousin Michael has spotted you at least."

Carmen lifts her gaze to look past Natalia and then over the room at large. "KI can make it through my hello's and you look nice's well enough," she quips, adding, "Speaking of, you are pretty as a picture yourself tonight, Whisper." And then, more seriously she says as she drops her attention back down to Natalia, "Kind of you to ask, though. I think you're right, on the people I should meet. Even fancied up, it's a special group you've collected here by reputation."

Norwood and Michael have been carrying on a quiet conversation over there, and the baron actually is smiling for real. "I believe you call that 'catching it with your face'." He's a very literal man. "She was quite charmed by you."

"I've not, though we've written a few missives back and forth. Likely the sort that makes your wife thing I am quite the flake. As whimsical as whimsical gets." Vanora smiles ruefully, turning her attention towards Reigna and Kael both to incline her head respectfully. "Yes. A naval academy like none other we know about, on our lands on the Isle of Grihem. We're hoping to have it serve as both a school for preparing and educating officers, so that our captains continue to be the very best...but also as one for those newly joined troops, our young men who need to learn the very basics of sailing. We also want there to be a shipbuilding aspect, so that the art of shipbuilding could be taught to students and the academy itself could perhaps come up with innovative new techniques. Goodness, forgive me for babbling on about it, though I'd heard that discussing military matters was acceptable at this party, for those who are disinclined to small talk? Alas I'm perfectly comfortable with small talk and thus am simply being dull." Vanora chatters vivaciously, not convinced that she's dull.

"Welllll. I am quite a charming man, Baron. Its not a surprise. But you must be as well." Norwood gets thumped on the shoulder by an excessively familiar Michael. "Otherwise you wouldn't have hooked such a lady so soon after being ennobled. Though I have heard tale of /another/ woman...but I think she just likes the silver in a man's beard."

THAT has Norwood's head turning towards Michael and fixing on him, eyes narrowing. "I am sure I have no idea what you mean." There's nothing charming in his tone there, just a whole bunch of older stick-up-the-butt Oathlander.

"As Vanora says, Cousin, we notice, but I am sure you will send to us if you need us for anything. Though I hope you've been well," Valdemar tells Sanya, smiling in her direction before taking another sip of wine. He then returns his attention to Kael, inclining his head, "I was just telling her that the idea for the naval school came from the first conversation I had with you, Marquis. Once we get it built, I am sure we can arrange scholarships for those interested in learning more about naval warfare. And any assistance you might provide would be well-appreciated, of course, since it will also be serving as a monument to my father. We have not decided on exactly what to call it, but it will be named for him. Given his love for the sea, we could not think of a more fitting tribute."

"Don't you have a daughter? As well as Margerie? I wouldn't mind meeting one or the other. Or both. Should I send a family invite towards the Valardin Ward the next time Bisland hosts a something or other?" Michael has a sly smirk on his face. Like he is out to mess with the man. Poor Norwood.

"I am afraid not." Sanya says to the Marquis. "It's good to meet you both." She pauses as they speak of the naval academy. "I doubt many people /here/ would find it dull." She chuckles, as she gestures to the room. "I certainly don't. I was merely surprised it hadn't been done before. And this is the first I'm hearing of shipbuilding being taught there. That will gain a lot of attention, I should think." To Valdemar, she nods. "More so now, the more time I spend at the shrine by the beach, the better."

More comfortable now that he's taken a seat, Cullen sits with a stiff posture behind the table. Kael's acknowledgement of his particular specialization in warfare draws out a smile and a nod of his head. "I take it you heard from Princess Alis and Duchess Malvici about our talk, then. It was most informative, and something we are aiming to have more of in the future. Obviously, there are certain areas I could stand to learn much more about, like naval combat." Spotting Natalia, the general of Greenmarch makes a polite gesture, waving her over in his direction. "Could I impose upon you to point out those I don't know?" A hand comes up to hide a grin at Norwood's stuffiness, but fails miserably.

Michael is getting a serious stinkeye from Norwood as the Baron looks the man up and down carefully and with a different light altogether. "I do, in fact. I am sure if Adalyn wished to be acquainted she would make herself known to you. Shae also."

"Thank you," says Natalia for the compliment, and she nods her head in agreement about the group collected here. "I usually keep things structured when I get this group together -- for some strange reason, the military folks seem to like that -- but it does them good to put on the fancy dresses once in a while. They do good work. A number of them are familiar with your Commandant, so you won't be a complete stranger. She sponsors a number of memberships." She turns now to start back in the direction of Kael and the people around him, though she draws up when Cullen gestures, and she laughs. "Come here, who all do you not know, then? I'll just introduce you both to everyone. Lord Cullen, this is Lieutenant Carmen Harol, of the Crimson Blades. Lieutenant Carmen, this is Lord Cullen Greenmarch."

Reigna offers a bright and belated smile to Vanora and Valdemar as they are greeted by Kael, "Duke and Duchess Grimhall, how lovely to see you." She looks around the room and says, "Natalia has done an amazing job tonight, has she not?"

Kaia waves back at her cousin. "Seems so." she says with a chuckle. "Now, if you will excuse me Lord Deepwood, I think I'll go bother him for a bit." she says with a bit of a mischievous grin, as she set the cup on a nearby table and rose with the intention of making her way over to her cousin. "Oh, Michael~" she chimes "Dearest cousin, who are you bothering now?" she asks with a bit of a strained smile.

Cullen eyes the group quickly before admitting to Natalia, "No one who isn't an Oathlander. I suppose I am a little insular." Smiling at Carmen afterwards, "Ah, Lieutenant Carmen. I have met Crimson Blades before, I know your band by reputation. Well-met."

Maddox chuckles and seems content to sit, letting kaia go pester her cousin. His attention moves from person to person, listening quietly.

Clearly meant to follow, Carmen does so, trailing after the smaller Whisper as a momentarily gentled giant. For all of her cordial bravado to Natalia, Carmen's hands clasp behind her back, the formality of her dress aligning with the attentive posture. "Likewise, Lord Cullen." Her gaze drops to the hilt of his sword. "It's a lovely piece."

"Adalyn and Shae......./NOBODY/. I'm not bothering anyone." Michael is caught out and grins off towards Kaia as she wanders up to the small conversation currently ongoing. "Baron Norwood Clement, this is my cousin Lady Kaia Bisland. Who I have to catch out at small formal dinners to ever see." A hand grasps Kaia's elbow a second so he can lean over to plant a kiss into her temple.

Having heard Cullen ask for introductions, Vanora takes it upon herself to introduce. "I am Vanora Grimhall, and this is my husband Duke Valdemar Grimhall." A gesture to Valdemar. "We were the ones speaking of a naval academy opening fairly soon, a fine setting for exchanging some of those lessons in areas of expertise should one not might a little travel."

Kael is listening to Vanora with a keen ear, nodding his head toward her when business is mentioned. "Excellent," he says, and there is absolutely an undercurrent of excitement audible in his tone. "Anything that strengthens the Compact is beneficial to us. I absolutely want such a naval academy sponsored by us, and we with them. I know that it was when we were first establishing ourselves that Lor-- Duke Grimhall wrote to us. As to a shipbuilding aspect, do you know Baroness Blackshore? She is supposed to be quite the shipwright, though I admit I am biased as her cousin." To the latter of Vanora's words, Kael is offering forth a grin. He is nodding to Valdemar, to his words, and continues on with, "It would be a pleasure to assist you. I would actually be interested in a satellite of the academy to be placed in Oakhaven; we are working on our own localized Academy, and a small established school for skirmishes in the river, to train. Of course, that is Keaton business and not Academy." Thus, it seems, something he shies away from for the moment. To Sanya, he inclines his head with that easy sort of smile. Cullen has him nodding his head anew. "I did indeed hear of it, and was sorry to have missed it, Lord Cullen."

Sanya's eyes drift to the Oathlander as Vanora introduces herself and the duke. Inching closer, she dips her head, smiling as she does so. "I'm Lady Sanya Grimhall. Duke Grimhall's cousin." She gestures to Valdemar and takes another sip of wine. "Well met, Lord Cullen."

There is so much papa-bear eyeing going on towards Michael. So. much. But Kaia wanders over as a firm distraction and he unbends just a touch and bows himself towards the Bisland lady. "It is a pleasure to meet you Lady Kaia. I am sure Lord Kael Keaton and Mistress Natalia Whisper are both pleased to have you in attendance."

Michael mutters, "Baron ... seems ... ... bowing. I think its ... Oathlander thing?"

"She has, Marquessa. When Vanora and I first arrived, I was telling her how much different it looked than the last time I was here. She did a wonderful job preparing the place for tonight," Valdemar answers Reigna as he glances back and forth between her and his own wife. Looking to Sanya, he goes on to add, "Yes, shipbuilding will be taught as well. The ships you use in battle are almost as important as the skill of those crewing them." When Vanora goes on to make introductions to Cullen, the Duke inclines his head to the man. "Lord Greenmarch, a pleasure. As my Duchess says, we are going to be starting construction on such a school soon. It will have access to the sea for drills in addition to more scholarly officer's training," he explains with something of a smile before answering Kael, "I am somewhat familiar with the Baroness, met her a handful of times. When the time comes to seek out instructors, I had thought to talk to her about it."

"I do know Baroness Skye. Though we've not recently spoken on this in particular, I'm sure we will. She's well known for her talents, as are some of my old contacts within Kennex." Vanora responds to Kael. "Oh hmm. I can't even tell how much of this is Grimhall buisiness and how much is Academy business, for though the Academy may support, even help's ultimately an academy that will serve to train least I'd think so. I expect if it becomes what we wish for it to be, then it will educate the best of the best on the seas anywhere in the compact. From any fealty." Still, she's content to leave that conversation be for now, adding, "We should talk soon, you and I or you and Valdemar. Some combination." And then her attention drifts to Sanya and she smiles. "Oh I didn't mean to be rude darling, I ought to have introduced you sooner. Forgive me."

"Come now, you all are going to make my job too easy," Natalia chides playfully when introductions are offered forth, her smile warm. She draws up beside Kael again and settles in to face the group, gesturing with her glass to a few of the faces who did not beat her to it. "This is my patron and co-chair of the Academy, Marquis Kael Keaton, and this is Marquessa Reigna Keaton, Guildmaster of the Physician's guild. This is Lieutenant Carmen Harol, of the Crimson Blades." Gesture with glass, sip from glass. "That is Baron Norwood Clement, over there. I admit I don't know the people he's speaking to."

Kaia smiles. "I sure hope so. As you are /so/ well behaved." she says with a grin and a slight squint of her eyes just before he planted his kiss on her temple. Her gaze then shifts to the man being tormented by her cousin. "And you, Baron Norwood." she repeats with a small courtesy and a smile before her eyes dart back at Michael with a raised brow. "Well dear cousin, it wouldn't have to be that way if we weren't ever so busy!" she shots back teasingly. "I don't think I've seen you since the day I arrived, when do you plan to show me around?"

Cullen stands up when Vanora introduces herself and Valdemar, performing a perfect Oathlands knight bow - perhaps a little bit more than usual after hearing Michael's utterance. "Well-met, Duke and Duchess Grimhall. I have heard your names before - through Duchess Malvici, she has much positive to say. I am pleased to finally meet you in person." Then another bow for Sanya, "And you as well, Lady Sanya. It seems your family is well-represented here today, and I am quite happy to make all of your acquaintances." His brows perk up at the mention of a naval academy, "I would be very interested in learning how to lead troops and fight at sea. It is a glaring hole in my abilities as a commander."

Michael is getting so much eyeing from the stiff Oathland's Baron Norwood, so much eyeing.

Turning to look over the broader group conversing, Carmen dips her head to each in turn in greeting. Her smile is easy even as she casts everyone a quick, professional once over. It is to Kael, however, that she speaks, voice a calm alto, "Marquis, the meeting about the Lodge was very helpful. Natalia ran it well, despite having a room of big, well-armed people to manage. It was something to see. And to hear."

Vanora is overheard praising Academy of war: For hosting a lovely evening for members and their families.

Michael is overheard praising Norwood: A man of solid manners.

Michael is overheard praising Academy of war: A wonderful event

Mal, a devious raccoon, Daegmund, an Oakhaven Shepherd, Adalbern arrive, following Shae.

Reigna glances to Carmen and she inclines her head. "Hello there, Lieutenant Harol." She smiles at the mention of the Lodge meeting, and looks back to Kael, her smile a little proud as she nods, "It was a good meeting. Natalia was vital to such a successful endeavor as well."

Norwood is overheard praising Academy of war: A solid institution.

Sanya turns to Vanora and shakes her head with an amused smile. "No forgiveness necessary. You don't need to worry about me." To Cullen, she beams. "Well, we're supportive of our duke and the organisation that is so dear to him and many others in the city." Finishing the wine in her glass, she pauses before heading for the table. "Would you like a refill?" She offers to her companions.

"I just say /things/, Kaia. Promise. And I didn't know I was going to need ot escort you around." Michael shakes his head towards Kaia Bisland and releases her elbow. "Didn't I see you come in with a young man of escorting age?" A glance around before a hand waves off towards Maddox, to invite him over as well. "Are you a member of this institution, Baron?"

Kaia is overheard praising Academy of war: Splendid Event

"In your case, I do believe it is a bit of both and a fine thing. I would hope that most of our members would proactively hope to strengthen the compact," murmurs Kael, in an easy enough manner. With a passing attendant, he starts to reach for a glass of whiskey, hesitates, and instead is going for the water in the middle of the tray for a sip. "I agree, we should speak soon. I believe the conversation will be beneficial to all parties," he murmurs to Vanora regarding their naval academy. Ah, but there is Natalia with Carmen. "Lieutenant Carmen Harol, a pleasure to make your acquaintance." He takes on the role of introducing those near, pointing out, "Duke and Duchess Grimhall, Lady Sanya Grimhall, and..." He too is now looking to Norwood and his companions, momentarily at a loss. Whatever the case, when his protege is praised, Kael is inclining his head in a low manner. "This Academy would not be what it was, if it was not for her." He lowers his voice, though it is a mock thing, for it travels well to the group near him, "Natalia Whisper took pity on me, I think, when I broached her with this idea, and made it become a *reality* that was actually successful. If it was left to me alone, well -- no, I will not go there." He's grinning, from ear to ear, even as he lifts his hand to toast Natalia Whisper.

Maddox rises from his seat at Michael's call, he bows politely to him, and then again to the others "Lords, Ladies." he includes them all, "I am Lord Maddox Deepwood. " he smiles in a friendly way to the group. "Its a pleasure to meet you again "Lord Bisland." he offers back to Michael.

"We shall see it done." Vanora replies to Kael. She's a wineglass in her hand by now, something light and sweet and sipped at a few times. "I look forward to this mutually beneficial conversation." She smiles to him lightly, looking over when Natalia returns and listening to the names introduced. "A please to meet you, Lieutenant Harol." The Duchess says. When Kael toasts Natalia Vanora joins him, a clink of glasses and a sip. "Indeed, to Natalia and making things go flawlessly again and again."

Valdemar nods to Cullen when he mentions having heard of them from Calypso. "Duchess Malvici has been a steadfast ally. I am honored to know she thinks so highly of us. It is good to make your acquaintance as well, Lord Greenmarch. And though the resources we have access to for it here might not be what we have planned for the school, I would be happy to teach you something of naval combat. There are better teachers available, but I do know a fair bit myself, of course. Perhaps enough to fill in some of those gaps for you," he offers before finishing off the glass of wine he picked up earlier. As Kael and Vanora speak of meeting to discuss the school they are planning to build, he nods his head and offers, "I am sure we can arrange a time to discuss details soon."

See Michael?! Bowing is just what people //do//. Norwood bows as Maddox comes and joins their small group, because that's the THING. His answer is for Michael's question though, "Yes. I am an teacher for those who come to the academy for instruction. Lord Kael Keaton," a nod towards them, "And Natalia Whisper are our head and heart respectivly."

Shae slips into the Academy, likely not dressed as finely as she should be, but well it was Shae afterall. Amber eyes roving over the place as she walks with a very large man. Keen gaze moving from person to person as she carefully looks them over. Daegmund, her Oakhaven Shepherd walking along next to her on the opposite side of Adalbern. "Hmm, I've never been here before, but my cousin, Kael, is hosting this event tonight." She murmurs to Adalbern as her eyes continue to take stock of the place and those within it.

"Guildmaster Marquessa," Carmen answers first to Reigna with just the faintest of pauses, hesitating, "Hello to you, too. I'm jealous over your boots - and your Marquis is fine, too." There are more new acquiaintences to greet, more to assess, and then it's back to talking. "I think," Carmen answers to Kael, lowering her voice to match his, her smile a little too knowing and amused, "she takes pity on many people."

"I think someone heard that we put out the good whiskey, it's the only thing I can think," Natalia tells Kael with a playful note, her smile holding a hint of mischief. Her cheeks do color a touch when people begin saying nice things, and she clears her throat and takes a sizable drink from her glass. "Pity on you," she says, following the words with a scoffing sound and a roll of her eyes. "Hardly. It's kind of you to tell the story that way. Oh--" and there is toasting, and she sighs and ducks her head some, cheeks flooding with color now as she tries (and fails) to hide behind her glass. "Thank you," she says. "There is a great deal for _everyone_ involved here to be proud of. It's been a group effort." Carmen's comment about pity has her making that same scoffing sound a second time. "Not you, too."

"Were you interested in naval combat while in Greenhaven, my lord?" Sanya asks Cullen curiously, on her return with a refilled glass. "Or is it something that grew during your time in the city?"

2 Novice Keaton Huntsmen, River, a juvenile Oakhaven bloodhound arrive, following Amari.

Maddox has joined the a comfortable ivory leather and mahogany wooden sofa.

Let's be real. Adalbern doesn't look like he fit in. Formal dress? Ha! Grey eyes look over those present, and then down to Shae. "Didn't know it was one of those... Fancy things," he rumbles, reaching up to scratch a bit at his messy and wild hair.

Kaia grins. "Ah, cousin you're no fun~ I thought you'd be delighted to show me around the interesting parts of Arx." she rolls her eyes a little. "No matter I have indeed found someone to show me around." she says with another squint of the eyes before she glances back at Maddox whom her cousin had just called upon, and offers him a smile.

Kaia has joined the a comfortable ivory leather and mahogany wooden sofa.

"Also, thank you for the compliment on my sword, Lieutenant Harol. I designed it and Master Felix made it happen. He is a true artist in metal, and I was in awe when he finished." Relying to Carmen's words about the weapon on his hip, a bright smile is returned to Sanya. "I am quite glad to hear that, Lady Sanya. It sounds of great benefit to the Compact as a whole. And I appreciate you introducing yourself, I find it a bit difficult. And no, we're not on the water in Greenhaven...this is something I developed an interest in here." Bowing his head to Valdemar, he says, "Yes, Duchess Malvici thought I ought to meet you, so I am glad it happened so. If I should be able to help with your naval academy, do let me know. And I appreciate the offer - should you ever wish you or your troops to learn anything of forest warfare, I would be happy to instruct." Nodding at Norwood in agreement, "Bowing is indeed what we do."

Oh crap. Wait. BOTH of these people are bowing. "A pleasure to see you again as well. I wasn't aware the two of you had run into each other, though I should've guessed it might happen." Michael eases away to not be standing between Maddox and Kaia. "I've thought about applying to be an instructor myself. If I can dig out the time after I delegate a thing or three to this loveable bookworm." Thats Kaia, of course.

Reigna blinks at Carmen for a long moment, head tilted to the side. Perceptive eyes might note the slight tightening of her hand on Kael's arm before she says, a smile slow to form on her lips. "You have excellent taste, Lieutenant. My husband is, in my biased opinion, the finest man in all of Arvum." There is a hint of a pause and she adds, "I can tell you where to get boots like mine, if you like. As for husbands... As far as I know, Kael has no brother."

Oh, look, someone else who doesn't fit in. Norwood spies Shae and Adalbern entering, and so he nods to Michael. "I will mention your intentions to Marquis Kael, if you will pardon me? I see my step daughter and ought to say hello to her." With that Norwood steps aside from the Graysons. His armor clacks like armor ought to as he moves towards Shae and Adalbern. "Shae, it has been too long."

"I thought as much. But you'd be surprised, some develop interests in things they have little access to." Sanya responds before taking another sip of wine. Turning to Norwood, she inclines her head with a warm smile. "I apologise for not greeting you earlier. Sanya Grimhall."

Vanora hears Cullens words and beams brightly herself. "Lord Greenmarch we would deeply appreciate anything that you'd be able to do to assist. Even just an endorsement...or perhaps teaching a few of those classes on forest terrain as part of our grand opening celebrations. I think that we are hoping to begin with a bit of a bang, to get enthusiasm stirred up among our people and hopefully see the endeavor all that we hope it to be. All interest in assisting is more than appreciated, we are very grateful Lord Greenmarch."

There's a brief pause before Natalia clears her throat and slips over, leaning in awful close to say something quietly to Reigna. She offers up a quick but apologetic smile afterwards, reclaiming the spot beside Carmen. She's watching Norwood for the moment, her attention catching on him as he rises, following as he heads for Shae. Mostly still paying attention to nearby conversation, but still. Definitely watching Over There.

Hands still clasped behind her, Carmen clears her throat pointedly after Natalia's comment and makes an exaggerated glance down at her own violet seasilk dress. "Yes, me too. Sorry, Whisper, but no one is going to believe I had this hiding under my armor." She does look down and sidelong at Natalia at that moment, more humor rising in her eyes at Natalia's open embarrassment. She starts to pile on more, but takes mercy on her with Cullen's interruption. "You designed it? That's impressive. My ideas wouldn't go beyond making sure it has a sharp end." The bowing thing /is/ odd and Carmen takes unlikely refuge with Reigna. "Thank you, Marquessa. I wouldn't know what to do with things so fine except take them out to look at."

"We may wish to include Natalia on the discussions, as she is exceptional at -- what she does." Kael is moving his hand in a grand gesture once more, even larger than the aforementioned wolf he described previously in the evening. His name is caught from Norwood and he looks over, nodding toward the pair there, before turning back to his group. To Carmen's commentary there is a momentary pause, just a heartbeat, before he chuckles and says back in turn to her, "For the best, likely, for if she did not -- I would be short a sister. In all but birth." There, he deftly maneuvers with his hand to clink his glass of water with her glass of whiskey. To his wife's praise, well, there's a slight shift of his weight in an awkward manner. Then again, it might just be his repositioning himself due to his previous limp.

Adora stomps on in and after a quick glare at the sword bookcase makes her way directly towards the refreshment table. She starts preparing herself a meatwich with a few more layers than should be humanly possible and grabs a mug of something alcoholic from a table as she passes. "Happy birthday," she says without feeling to anyone that looks her way, raising the mug like she's totally here for the right reasons.

Adora has joined the the refreshment tables.

Formal dress? Fancy occasion?! There's Amari suddenly, gliding in as if formal and fancy are what she thrives on, a vision of dawn hued seasilks and snow white enameled steel edged in gold. Her hazel eyes sweep a gaze over the room, finding faces and potential destinations to aim for. First however, there's the closest of familiar people, Shae and Norwood. "I thought you'd vanished into the woods again." She'll say to her cousin as she slips by and around her with a light touch on the shoulder. Adalbern is nodded politely to on the way by and finally, Norwood. She smiles brightly at him. "Baron Uncle Norwood."

Norwood has left the a comfortable ivory leather and mahogany wooden sofa.

Maddox speaks more quietly at the table, but his eyes are often up at the others around, listening and paying attention.

The large man's brows raise as Adalbern sees someone starting to approach, but well, then Norwood speaks to Shae rather than himself and he seems a bit more at ease again. Standing almost behind the woman, as if somehow she'll help stay incognito. An awkward smile/nod to Amari, but he doesn't speak yet, having not been spoken to.

Reigna glances to Natalia and whatever tension had gathered in her shoulders is soothed. There is a nod to Natalia and Reigna's usual warm smile is soon enough back on display as genuine as ever. She looks to Carmen and shakes her head, "Nonsense. You deserve lovely things just as much as anyone else. Now... let me tell you where to find the most stylish shoes in the city. Oh, it's a waste now, with the weather, and of course there is always a bit of pain to go with them, but your feet will look amazing and well... that's pretty much it really."

Shae shrugs a little at the comment of it being 'Fancy'. "You're fine just as you are. Besides, it's what's on the inside that really matters, not what you wear." A little warm smile there as she looks up at the large man. Offering a bit of support and reassurance, "Besides, I am not all fancy either. So we are peas in a pod or well you know, we can stand out together!" A cheerful tone there, and then her head turns and she smiles warmly to Norwood, that perhaps deeps down just a touch. "It has... I have not been myself..." A faint small smile as Amari joins them now. "I did," she comments to Amari, "for a short time." Not really going into detail there, "This is an acquaintance of mine, Adalbern Rimeheart, he is a member of Redrain. And recently arrived to Arx." Introducing him, "And this is my Stepfather Baron Norwood Clement, and my cousin, Lady Amri Keaton."

"Actually, that is exactly what that dress is designed to do. Prove that you did in fact have that hiding under your armor," Natalia catches the words _after_ they spill out of her mouth, and she's prompt to cough, clearing her throat and turning all the more red as she brings her glass up to finish off what's left in it. She coughs after, but that's just from the alcohol (really), and soon enough she's regained her composure. Reigna's words have her chuckling, an appreciative smile sent over that way. "So, we were talking about the naval academy. How far along in the process are you, with it? I would definitely like to join in any discussions with this place -- I learned a great deal with this project, and I'm sure I could be at least somewhat helpful." When she spies Amari, she lifts her now empty glass that way in greeting.

Norwood is briefly distracted from greeting Shae when Sanya speaks to him. He bows to her, "Baron Norwood Clement," offered quietly in return to her, but then Amari is there and a real smile stretches itself on Norwood's features. "Amari, you look lovely tonight. Tomorrow, do show up at the field in your armor though." That's not ominous at ALL. A small pat on her shoulder before back to Shae and his companion. "I hope you are doing well for the visit Shae. Margerie will be well pleased to see you again." Certainty there, as Norwood mentions Shae's mother. "And your friend also," that said as the older man's eyes shift to focus on Adalbern, like he's weighing the man.

Cullen wanders over to the refreshment table for a glass of wine, rather red, lifting it at Sanya. "True enough, Lady Sanya. But at the time, I had no idea I would ever need to worry about such things. Now though, I do. And admittedly, I've developed a taste for the sea after a few sailings. This works well." Returning to his seat, the Greenmarch lord smiles humbly at Vanora and Valdemar. "Duke, Duchess. I would be more than pleased to be able to teach some classes for the grand opening of the academy or anything else I can do to help, really." Unsheathing the blade for a moment to show Carmen fully, the knight admits, "I have great ideas, but terrible skills at artistry itself." Hearing Reigna, he offers a quick wave, which in turn goes to Amari and Shae when they arrive.

Adalbern gives a hearty nod at least to both Norwood and Amari at the introductions, even if he's still looking around at all the people dressed in the fancy garments. "Evening, Baron Clement, Lady Keaton," the man rumbles. Noticing the baron's stare, Adalbern stares back watching the man. "The field?"

Oh man, two big free dinners at the Academy of War in one week? Gilroy was pretty sure that this place was gonna be nerd central, but anyone who keeps giving away food is a-ok in his book, even if they are unicorn weirdos. He aisles into the room with a pack slung over his shoulder and a diamondplate dinner fork twirling between the fingers of his left hand. He sings quietly to himself as he heads over to the food, "Ya da dee, dum dee doodle doo. Gonna get some free dinner and how 'bout you? Da da doo dee doo, tum tum turee, gonna shove where it belongs, yes, yes sirree."

It's the lift of a glass from Natalia that has Kael looking yonder and catching sight of Amari. Now, it might not be the most proper thing, especially with the young woman decked out as she is in her fancy attire, but ... Kael is Kael. Familial fondness outweighs all. "Little cousin!" he calls out, his eyes bright. He spies Shae near her, his brows lifting in unison before he lifts his water glass up and in her direction by way of greeting. Starting to turn back to the discussion at hand, Kael catches sight of Adora at the refreshment tables, regarding the woman briefly but soon enough he's back to just assessing the room.

"That'd be..." Carmen begins to answer Reigna on the topic of shoes and pretty things, only to trail off. Carmen looks down at Natalia, brow VERY lifted. Mouth twitching, she runs a hand down the lower half of her face before saying, in a reasonably composed voice, "Can I get you another, Whisper?" Cullen again saves her and Natalia both, and Carmen turns to politely examine the blade, hands back at her sides. "Compliments to Felix and you, then. It almost seems a shame to kill someone with it."

Sanya turns to the people addressing Norwood, smile remaining on her lips. "Looks like we aren't the only house well represented at this event." She glances at both lady Keatons and Adalbern. "A pleasure to meet you all."

Vanora follows Cullen's eyes to where he greets Amari and Shae, both of whom get a polite smile and incline of the head in greeting from her. "Duchess Vanora Grimhall, of Grihem's Point in the Isles. Lovely to see you both here. Norwood catches her eye and is given a nod of recognition, and she looks to Gilroy too as he arrives, chuckling softly to herself. "Beautiful song. One of the old classics?" She quips

It is a little ominous. Amari gives Norwood a long measured look, scrunches her face at him briefly, and then follows his lead to scrutinize Adelbern as he does. She's far less step-father-y about it, thankfully, her stare's not an unfriendly thing. Shae's words prompt a response and a bright smile, "I'm glad. I worry when you do that." To the big man of the North Shae's brought along, she says, "Hello, Adalbern Rimheart. You're very tall." And he is, compared to her, over a foot taller. His question prompts a few little nods, "Baron Norwood is going to make me run through snowbanks or hit me with stuff, I think. I don't know." She hears a 'little cousin' at that point and lifts her hand to Kael, Reigna and Natalia too when she spots them shortly after, calling out, "Big cousin!" So many people! Sanya is smiled to, Cullen given a polite nod and Vanora a proper bow of her head. "My Lady."

Adora pauses and then looks up at the ceiling like surely that annoying voice can't belong to the most annoying person in the world. In the end she decides not to look over and just puts a layer of cheese, olives, and some tomatoes between another layer of meat. When Kael looks her way she snaps, "Paint a picture. It'll last longer," then unhinges her jaw to take a bite of her huge sandwich. Not really, but man that sandwich is huge!

Adalbern gives Sanya a nod as well, and then looks down to Amari as she answers his query. "I've found I get that a lot," he rumbles, in reference to his height. "I hadn't known before I came to Arx that Southerners were so... Wee," he remarks. "Is that so? A good winter run sounds refreshing, actually."

Shae smiles a bit, catching the wave from Cullen, she lifts her hand to wave back. Amber eyes watching Kael and Reigna for a long moment. A rather serious look on her face as she does so, and her amber eyes light up as Kael waves. "Kael!" She shouts--cringing a touch afterward, realizing that was perhaps too loud. And then a silly smile follows as she shrugs at it. Nodding to Sanya as she introduces herself, and one to Vanora as well. Both of them given a friendly smile. Shae's gaze shifting back to Amari as she speaks to her, "It's like a second home, and it helps we think and not feel too couped up. But I am also happy to be back too." A warm smile there to her cousin.

Mouth opens. Mouth shuts. Natalia clears her throat again, eying Carmen sidelong. She's just going to pretend that she isn't blushing, still. "Please," she says. "Thank you." Of course, her embarassment is forgotten entirely when Adora snaps at Kael, her attention focusing over that way. She spends a moment -- just a moment -- watching the woman before she notes to those nearby, "I will be back in a moment." Her empty glass is set down and aside, and she starts over in the direction of the woman and her sandwich.

"What she leaves out is that she has agreed to be my squire for a space. You're welcome to join us Adalbern. It should be quite refreshing." Norwood says this dryly as Amari is dramatic. "Amari," speaking directly to the woman, "I do need to make my way out, would you be willing to pass on to Marquis Kael and Natalia that Lord Michael Bisland," he gestures towards the small Bisland/Deepwood gathering in the corner, "was expressing an interest in perhaps joining the Academy." If Amari agrees, Norwood will take himself out.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Carmen before departing.

"I might take you up on that, actually. I suppose it depends on if I get someone to watch Vigga," Adalbern replies to Norwood's invitation.

It is the sound of snide words directed at Kael, that has Reigna's attention following the sound to its source in Adora. The woman is stared at for a length of time. Studied. The typically friendly Marquessa goes quite quiet and somewhat cold eyed. Her black gaze which is usuall softened with warmth and accessability freezes as she continues to observe the woman. Natalia moving towards Adora offers no reprieve from Reigna's attention. No, the craftswoman is thoroughly fixated on her it would seem.

"Believe it or not, my lady duchess, I /just/ made it up right now! Though I can see how you might be confused given how very catchy it is. Perhaps I will write it down and send it off to the Bard's College. The Nightingale must be made aware of my rare genius!" Gilroy sizes up a whole chicken, considering where to make his cut, then stabs it through the back with his fork and drops the whole thing onto his plate. "So nice to meet you, though! So sorry for your loss. Gilroy Grayhope! My father's also dead, though he died trying to sneak rats into a restaurant to get a free meal."

Kael's response to Adora is actually a mild thing, his brow quirking a bit and there is a move of his gaze ceiling-wards. That's about as much stock as he puts in the matter, it seems. He's turning back to focus on his cousins and Baron Norwood, murmuring, "We should go say hello," to Reigna before Natalia is excusing herself. The Whisper is regarded and he gestures, making an easy sort of motion, as though to indicate the whole thing is of no consequence.

Carmen excuses herself from the group with a polite nod, turning almost in unison with Natalia moves to the refreshment table to pour a likely unwise drink for Natalia. Not her business, though. What is her business is not spilling any of the drink on the seasilk dress she's wearing, a feat she manages well, despite the interruption of a messenger. Accepting the letter with a perfunctory smile, Carmen scans it over, smirks, and walks to intercept Natalia on her way to Adora. "I think you'll need this. I have to make a quick exit - I'll write you on the things we were discussing. Thank you. Again. Really." Passing off the drink, Carmen fluidly steps her way to the door.

Hearing Natalia's question about their naval school, Valdemar explains in answer, "We will be breaking ground soon, Mistress Whisper, after we've gathered just a little more in the way of economic writs. We've already collected most of what we need, though, and have a place chosen not far from our capital in Grihem's Point. After that, I would guess...maybe a few months to construct the facility? Though building things is not my area of expertise, it could be longer." The Grimhall Duke then glances over at Gilroy when Vanora asks him about the song he was singing, nodding at the man in silent greeting.

Shae lets out a frustrated huff at being called 'wee', again! "I'm not wee!" She inissts to the Adalbern. A pause, and then, "Oh, I'll watch her!" Eyes bright at the chance to babysit, perhaps a bit (too) excited at the idea.

Finishing the contents of her cup, Sanya gives Vanora a curious look. Leaning closer to talk.

Adora appears oblivious to all the people now looking at her or else she's just really focused on that sandwich, which she is putting away faster than a person really ought to. She's risking indigestion or worse. When Gilroy spears a whole chicken she eyes him accusatorially like, why didn't she think of that? So, she looks around the table then grabs a whole pie and uses IT as a plate, putting the remaining third of her sandwich down on top as she chews.

Cullen tilts his head to the side and watches Gilroy and Adora shove massive piles of free food down their gullets with a heaping side of insolence, his brows crinkling in faint distaste. But he says nothing, instead waving at Adalbern. "Well-met, Goodman Adalbern. Gods but you're a rather towering fellow. What part of the North do you hail from?"

Disappointment floods Natalia's expression for Carmen's sudden need to go. Still, she takes the drink, offers up a smile. "We'll talk soon," she answers agreeably. Her attention follows Carmen until she's gone, and then the Whisper turns back towards Adora in time to see her with the pie. There are a few moments spent watching before she exhales a sigh and shakes her head, continuing her approach. "It's time for you to move along," she speaks up, looking directly at Adora for the words. "Please. You may take the food with you, but you need to go."

Is this what squires do? Amari listens to Norwood carefully and nods sharpish, vowing, "I'll tell them." She'll murmur a goodbye as well, and in the midst of that she sort of loses track. "We'll have to catch up tomorrow." She finally says to Shae, voicing no objections to Adalbern joining them on the field. The sandwich table drama playing out is given a moment's attention, Adora recognized and smiled uncertainly towards before her gaze slides to Gilroy, and further to Natalia and Kael. Her expression remains politely neutral, brightening only when she's caught sight of Sanya again. She realizes her faux pas and introduces herself quietly, "Hello, I'm Lady Amari Keaton."

Vanora steps over to Valdemar and murmurs softly, "I should probably take my leave. I'm feeling just a bit dizzy. Likely a sign to lie down."

Cullen is overheard praising Natalia: An excellent chair for the Academy!

Cullen is overheard praising Kael: A wonderful man to hold this!

Cullen is overheard praising Vanora: An excellent ambassador for her House!

Cullen is overheard praising Valdemar: A man with a truly praiseworthy vision.

Looking down at Shae, Adalbern seems almost confused at her outburst. "Wee means small, or short, I thought?" thinking perhaps it's an issue with his understanding of the language, his Northern Shav'arvani accent easy to pick up. "If you'll watch her though, that would be marvelous, yes." And then other people were speaking again! He looks to Cullen and gives a nod of greeting. "So I keep hearing," followed by "I made my way from the Bonespire, which guards the northernmost pass from the Everwinter." A glance to the sandwich table, "Does she not like your... Cousin, was it?" he asks to Shae about Adora.

Cullen is overheard praising Sanya: She also represented her House's interests well!

"Many happy returns on your wedding," Adora says flatly to Natalia, holding up her mug and then taking a drink. And then still drinking. And she doesn't set it down until it's gone, thumping the table. Then she picks up her pie with the sandwich balanced on it in one hand, then picks up a tray of deviled eggs in the other, gives a nod, and heads for the door.

Maddox is overheard praising Kaia.

Sanya nods before giving Vanora a worried look. "Do you need company?" She asks before smiling at Amari again. "Well met, Sanya Grimhall." She gives the woman a light curtsy before placing her empty glass on the table.

Sanya is overheard praising Natalia.

Sanya is overheard praising Cullen.

Sanya is overheard praising Vanora.

Leaning in when his wife approaches to listen to her, Valdemar nods his head at what she has to say. "Marquis, Marquessa, Lord Greenmarch, Mistress Whisper, it was a pleasure to see you all tonight. But the Duchess and I should be getting back to the longhouse. Hopefully we will have the opportunity to talk more about our naval school soon," he tells those they have been speaking with before they take their leave.

Reigna flicks her look away from Adora when Natalia speaks to her and she looks up at Kael, her smile slow to return, but return it does. It is about this time that she finally spies Shae and her companion, "Kael! Look, it is Shae!" Adora's departing shot causes a flash of confusion over Reigna's face, "Does that woman believe this is Natalia's wedding reception?" There is a lift of her brows accompanying her gneral quixotic tone.

Sanya is overheard praising Valdemar.

Reigna is overheard praising Natalia: A splended event, and your restraint, and grace are, as ever, appreciated.

Reigna is overheard praising Kael.

"Yes thank you for having us, it was lovely." Vanora smiles. To Sanya she adds, "Oh, no darling, by all means stay and enjoy for as long as you like. I'm in good hands." She grins at her Grimhall cousin, allowing Valdemar to lead the way home once she's made her proper goodbyes.

Natalia folds her hands together in front of her and waits patiently while Adora drinks, her expression unchanging. She does step back when Adora rises, watching the woman until she is out the door and only then turning back to the conversation. "Sorry about that," she offers as she returns.

"It was a great pleasure to have you both attend," murmurs Kael with a deep bow of his head toward the Grimhalls. "We will discuss plans soon, yes?" A smile is flashed to them before Reigna's commentary is caught and he is shaking his head. "I do not know," he murmurs, and with that, he is starting to take a direction toward the Keatons yonder. Natalia's returning however and his lips twitch once. "No reason to apologize," he offers her.

Adora has left the the refreshment tables.

No insolence over here! Just one common man sharing in the grief over a father taken too soon. Gilroy pours gravy over everything, then heads over to find something against which to lead. When Adora ends up being escorted out he leans over and says conspiratorially to the person next to him, "Some people." He shakes his head, eyes tracking the carpenter as she leaves. Once Adora is gone he adds to the stranger, "It's sad really. I think those were the last of the deviled eggs." A quick glance to the table, then, "Oh, no! There's some more. Happy endings all around."

Kaia's eyes seem to shift from a slightly jesting manner to one of more dire nature. "Michael, if you are serious on this...Maddox is right. Perhaps we should speak of it elsewhere." she says looking slightly around them and the crowd "But I assure you, I shall do my part. I will meet with Delilah as soon as I'm able."

Shae's brow furrows as she watches Kael and Reigna some, as the scene had happened. Her keen amber eyes perhaps a bit too hyperfocused on Adora, as her lips pressed firmly together. A slight uneasiness about how she watched the woman as she left, and then Amari, was pulling her attention away. "Yes, tomorrow, or the next few days for sure." A little warm smile there and she is looking back up at Adalbern. "It does." And then, "And of course I am happy to watch, Vigga for you. And... I'm not sure what that all was about, but it was--" She cuts herself off before she says something she shouldn't. But she perks up as she hears Reigna say her name, instantly a bright smile as she waves to Reigna.

"It's so nice to meet you." Amari replies with a gracious dip of her head to Sanya, but thinking she's making to leave, she drifts. Her feet take her straight for Kael, explaining, "That was Adora, the carpenter. The one with the adverts." Incase he was wondering, then lower and with a glance over her shoulder, "Shae is back and she's brought an Adalbern with her." Intel shared, she clicks her fingers, remembering, "Norwood wanted me to tell you or Natalia or Reigna something."

Cullen stands again, looking at Michael out of the corner of his eye, then bows at Vanora and Valdemar again, and Sanya for good measure in case she leaves. "Duke, Duchess, Lady Sanya. It was wonderful to speak with all of you, and I hope to do so again in the near future. Until that day, please be healthy and I hope all favors you and your family."

Michael's shoulders get shrugged, "Discussing bits and pieces of ancient history won't do any harm. Especially with what might be common knowledge." A glance around the room doesn't give Michael any further reason to curtail his discussion. "We can certainly find ourselves some time to meet in the study."

Maddox offers "I may not be much help, but if I can, I will attempt to assist. if you wish it." he then offers "I really could use another drink.. do either of you wish something?"

When Kael tells her there's no need for an apology, Natalia smiles and dips her head. "I am going to go check on the staff; if I don't see you before you go tonight, have a good evening. And you as well, Reigna. I'd like to talk with you sometime soon about the young lady I introduced earlier, if you don't mind." Not that there is actually any difference in the involved ages, here.

Sanya pauses for a few moments as her kinsmen take their leave. Turning to the other guests, she grins. "I am growing tired myself, so I had best be heading off. It was lovely meeting you all." And with that, she takes her leave.

2 Grimhall House Guards leaves, following Sanya.

5 Grimhall House Guards, Gustav, a gruff Islander advisor leave, following Valdemar.

Amari is overheard praising Natalia.

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