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Deepwood's Garden of Spring Delights Party

A celebration of the joys of spring, held on the grounds of Deepwood Manor. While not a masquerade per se, participants are asked to dress in honor of the elements found in a spring garden: flowers, animals, insects, etc. Food and drink, music, conversation, and perhaps a contest or two. Animal companions welcome.

Date

Feb. 10, 2019, 8 p.m.

Hosted By

Samantha

Participants

Ysbail Lailah Evonleigh Willow Gunther Anabelle Petal Kincade Cillian Thesarin Sebastian Rymarr Elsa Juliana Vercyn Malcolm Delilah Brady

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Deepwood Manor - Manor Grounds

Largesse Level

Grand

Comments and Log


a massive cat with long black fur arrives, following Willow.

Ysbail arrives quietly, Gruffudd shadowing her steps. A bright smile offered for the Deepwood Marquessa. "Marquessa it is wonderful to see you again."

Lailah arrives and heads straight for Samantha, "Sam." She greets very familiarly, reaching out to embrace the Marquessa with a hug. "How are you doing?"

1 House Lyonesse Adept Guards, Jean, 1 Lyonesse Trained Guards arrive, following Anabelle.

One of the ubiquitous Whitehawks, if one less these days, Evonleigh enters, bedecked in a springy-looking floral gown, a headband echoing the flower motif and also keeping her golden waves off of her face in the too-humid air. She beams when she sees the festive decor of the garden, and gives a little dip of shoulders, ankles, and head, to Samantha when she sees her. "Thank you for hosting. I can tell already it's going to be a beautiful event," she says warmly, nodding to Ysbail and then to Lailah, as well as others nearby. "Lady Bisland, so good to see you," she says to Lailah, who she knows, of course.

The butterfly halfmask Willow is wearing does nothing to obscure her appearance, and the sound of faint tinkling as of windchimes arrives before she does tha ks to the skirt of her dress. She walks over after Ysbail to offer a smile to Samantha, and says, "Marquessa, thank you for hosting. I'm Lady Willow Nightgold, I don't believe we've met properly."

"Everyone! Please take a moment to help yourself from the bag you'll find marked with Petal Penrose's sigil. A token to remember the party, and a way of sharing her exquisite craftsmanship." Samantha is all smiles, "I'm pleased to note she has accepted my patronage. So please, help yourselves." Ysbail is beamed at. "Lady Ysbail, it's lovely to see you. I hope you enjoy yourself, and we will certainly talk soon." She moves on then to Lailah, wrapping her arms around her foster sister. "I'm so glad you came."

Evonleigh gets a wildflower parasol from Petal's delivery bag.

Lailah gets a wildflower parasol from Petal's delivery bag.

Willow gets a ladybug spring parasol from Petal's delivery bag.

Anabelle takes a wildflower parasol from Petal's delivery bag.

Gunther attends and has large leaves tied to his shoulders with crude rope. He has put yellow die all over his head and he looks like a sunflower in the crudest cheapest sense of the thing. "Sorry." He rumbles over to Samantha and the others, "Hullo, Gunther Crownsworn." The man beams and grins, "Ain't got much, my Sally was the one what did the sewin' and the mendin'. 'bout as fancy as I can do on my own I reckon. Thank you for hosting an lett'n fellas like me in and what not. Promise not to get at your silver or linens." He grins, "No, really. Onna account Sally would never stop yappin' about it when I see her again. Woman could peel paint with her disappointment."

Gunther gets a protective blue parasol from Petal's delivery bag.

"Lady Evonleigh, you're very welcome here. It's an honor and a pleasure." Samantha flits to each person like she's a hyperactive butterfly. "Lady Willow, I don't believe we have met, but welcome to Deepwood manor. Master Gunther, you are very welcome. Will you take a parasol then, to bring home to your Sally? I'd be well pleased if you did."

2 Ashford House Guard, Bethany arrive, following Olivia.

Ysbail shifts her attention to the garden space itself, offering Willow and Olivia small smiles as they arrive.

The arrival of the man dressed roughly like a sunflower makes Evonleigh smile and she gives him a small dip of her head after he introduces himself to the Marquessa. "Master Gunther, well met. You are the very picture of sunshine, truly," she says brightly, before nodding to Samantha for her warm welcome. "Thank you. Lady Nightgold, good to see you again as well," she says to the next newcomer, before turning to snag one of the drinks from one of the servants orbiting the guests.

"Of course I came, Sam. It's not like it's a long walk to visit you." Lailah answers, releasing the Marquessa after a moment and looking around for the others, "Lady Evonleigh, a pleasure as always." She glances towards the other, less familiar faces, but takes a step back to collect a parasol and give Samantha space to greet the others.

Gunther goes a little red when Samantha speaks to him. "I uh..." He coughs and the squat little balding man looks down for a time at his feet. "Oh, very beautiful." He states turning over the parasol in his mitts. "Thank you. If you don't mind I'll pass it on to someone in one of them temples in her name. My Sally is gone, won't be able to take it to her in this life. Gods knows I would if I could." He answers and then offers a sheepish smile. The elder and squat man heads off to go look for viddles at the affair.

Coming to the party alone, Anabelle wanders in wearing a dress of blush pink, the layers of her skirts curled at the bottoms to look like rose petals. Topaz blonde hair is pulled to one side with a comb decorated with matching pink rose buds. As she sees others picking out favors, she picks out a wildflower parasol for herself with a softly impressed exclamation, "Ohhhh, how pretty." Spotting her sister-in-law, she smiles brightly and swishes over in that direction to say hello. "Wonderful party! And these favors...Wow!" She twirls her parasol for emphasis.

"Thank you, kind of you." Gunther tells Evonleigh, "You are awfully pretty too." He gives the compliment with innocent enough genuine nature behind it. He makes eyes with the viddles then, "Excuse me, belly is rumblin'."

1 Crimson Blades Sergeant, 1 Crimson Blades Lieutenant, 1 Crimson Blades Private arrive, following Cillian.

The breeze over the grounds keeps a perpetual faint tinkling coming from the glass glazed petals cascading from Willow's waist to the ground and covering every inch of her skirts. The corners of her eyes crinkle as she smiles behind the lace butterfly mask. Looking up at Evonleigh, she leans in for a beat after the breeze carries hints of the other woman's perfume for her to catch. "That perfume is /fantastic/. The peach smells positively juicy." Her cat, hot on her heels, seems flummoxed by the dots on her ladybug parasol, trying to swipe at them as if they might be prey.

Chilled teas and fruit juices, along with the famous Deepwood cider circulates amongst the servants. It appears to be a social gathering more than anything else. A quick murmur of Ysbail's is met with a firm not of assent, and then oh's softly. "I'm so sorry. Yes, please do, in her honor." She doesn't linger on Gunther; she has a sense when crownsworn folk may be a little uncomfortable.



There are vittles indeed. From delicate petit-fors to sandwiches with meats and cheeses, to crackers topped with veg and cheese and all sort of things.



Samantha lets out a little squeak when she sees one of the recent arrivals, in this case, Anabelle. "Ana! I'm so glad you came. Rymarr should be down in a little bit. Before the party ends, I need to introduce you to Lailah. I have two younger sisters, now."

"Clearly a man of fine taste," says Evonleigh, looking quite charmed, putting a hand to her chest and grinning as Gunther makes his way off to find some food. She too selects one of the parasols, a wildflower one that seems to suit her floral motif well. To Lailah she smiles. "I do always like when all I have to do is cross the plaza to attend a party. It's very convenient. And we do have lovely parties in the Grayson ward." She turns, then, to Willow's voice, smiling at the compliment. "Thank you! It was a gift. I am not sure which perfumer they bought it from, but I believe it was custom made. I'll pass on the compliment to the gift-sender."

Soot, a gray foxhound puppy, Violet, a shopkeeper, 1 Crimson Blades Lieutenant, 3 Iron Guardsmen arrive, following Petal.

Giggling at the squeak Samantha makes, Anabelle beams in the Marquessa's direction. "Oh, good, haven't seen my brother in far too long." She replies before nimbly snagging a cup of cider from a passing server and taking a little sip. "Ohhh that's refreshing." Her eyebrows hike up a bit as she ponders Samantha's last, "Lady Lailah Bisland? I believe I met her last autumn maybe..." she trails off thoughtfully.

Petal arrives at the gathering while adorned in her simple clothing and toting along her basket. She peek over the area, getting at sense for things here.

Kincade strolls into the area, puffing on his pipe surveying the area. As he wanders he sees Willow barefoot in the grass and he approaches her.

Cillian comes walking up behind Petal, a hand moving to touch her shoulder. He is dressed in leathers except for his shirt he is dressed in a nice silk shirt this time around, he leans in to whisper something to her with a smile as his eyes look around to see who has gathered.

On Kincade's approach, Willow flashes a grin and extends an arm to hug the rather larger man. "You came! I'm still getting my bearings."

white-tailed eagle, 2 House Riven Soldiers arrive, following Thesarin.

Ysbail smiles at Cillian, moving over to murmur something to the man.

Seeing Willow, Kincade picks up his pace a half step and swoops the tiny woman up and spins her around before placing her on the other side of him. Smiling he embraces her.

Kincade says, "Indeed? I have no bearings"

"Well, I hope you two get on." says Samantha earnestly to Anabelle, and gives her a little salute. New people to greet. "Everyone!" she calls out "If you've been enjoying the party favors, please allow me to introduce the lovely and talented Petal Penrose, whose quality craftsmanship is represented in these fantastic parasols. If you ever have an opportunity to own one of her amazing coture pieces, seize it."

Petal smiles over to Samantha at her words, seemingly flattered. "Thank you Marquesa." She says in her direction. She then smiles warmly to Cillian, leaning in to listen to his whispered words and saying something softly to him.

Vercyn arrives, following Elsa.

2 Pravus Honor Guard, Juliana arrive, following Sebastian.

Thesarin makes his way into the Deepwood grounds, at his typically slow, almost ponderous stride. He looks as serious, and as much a shav in a Grayson lord's clothing, as he ever does, but he offers his low nods toward Samantha, Evonleigh, and other familiar faces among the partygoers.

Willow is thoroughly caught up, the petals of her skirt sounding like a rainmaker when she is lifted and spun by Kincade. Throwing her head back, she laughs delightedly. On hearing Samantha's introduction of Petal, she smiles from the Marquessa to the woman and back again, one of Petal's ladybug parasol's hooked over her arm as she claps a few times.

A small collective of musicians strike up a lively tune. Rather than remaining stationary, they walk in a group throughut the grounds, as if to encourage folks to dance along with them. Some of the children immediately abide, holding up sticks with long trails of bright ribbons.

Petal peeks over to Willow, having a warm smile of greeting for the Lady. "Lady Willow, nice to see you again." She says in her direction.

Cillian smiles at Petal at her soft words then his eyes spot Ysbail coming over and his lips part into a grin and he leans in to hear what she has to say.

Duchess, a gorgeous fluffy white angora kitten with odd eyes and a pretty pink ribbon, 2 Bisland pride guards, Luella Sedna, an influyent pearl trader arrive, following Kaia.

Anabelle moves on when Samantha is caught up in her hostess duties, paying attention to the introduction of the maker of the lovely parasols with keen interest. Then she begins strolling idly around the garden plucking various nibbly things from any tray she encounters, savouring each bite with relish in her aimless circuit.

Someone wearing a regal and wild lion mask checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 9 higher.

Fashionable late, as perhaps appropriate for the Lyceum, the Pravus twins arrive -- Sebastian bearing his raven mask, and Juliana with her blue rose. The music attracts Sebastian, and though he glances at the dance floor, he seems apt to do their due diligence and head instead, for the hostess, approaching Samantha. "Marquessa Deepwood? What a lovely set up. I don't believe we've had the pleasure -- I'm Lord Sebastian Pravus. And do you know my sister, the lady Juliana Pravus?" he gestures to the woman on his arm, with a smile.

Someone wearing a regal and wild lion mask wanders onto the grounds with hands clasped at their back. They walk with a leisurely stride, surveying all that the party has on offer. Eventually the lion masked individual begins to angle a path toward the hostess that is Marquessa Samantha Deepwood. A deep bow is offered up to Samantha, held for a moment, and then again the masked individual lifts their maned head up to continue an inspection of the grounds. As the musicians strike up a lively tune, the lion-headed individual steps away in order to dance a merry little dance. All by their lonesome. They're no Whisper, but they don't break their leg at least.

Petal smiles over to Cillian. "I will you dance with me, Cillian?" She asks of the sword. The girl speaks in a heavy accent.

Kincade walks with Willow on his arm following the band smiling and listening to the music, his toe can even be seen tapping from time to time.

Willow checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 34 higher.

"Count Thesarin, how good to see you. Where is your lovely wife tonight?" Evonleigh asks Thesarin, when she sees the man arrive and nod to her; she dips into a graceful curtsy for him as well. She turns to clap for Petal. "Truly, everything she does is so lovely," she murmurs. She nods to the newcomers who arrive if they look her way, taking a sip now and then from whatever alcoholic cocktail she has in her hands.

Galina, the majestic Graypeak Mountain dog arrives, following Malcolm.

1 Inquisition Confessors, Scribble, a Delicate Social Butterfly, 1 Bisland pride guards, Malcolm arrive, following Delilah.

Arriving on the arm of Vercyn Halfshav once more, Elsa Shepherd enters the Manor Grounds in an eyebrow-raising gown. She smiles up at Vercyn as they arrive and murmurs, "We should have brought Argos, I completely forgot that they were encouraging folk to being their animals..." She glances around, smiling at those she recognizes before spying Thesarin amongst the guests. "Shall we go say hello to the Count?"

Willow tries to turn Kincade's tapping toes into a full on dance, curling an arm up over his shoulder and hooking one around his back. She even manages to keep from getting tangled up in the skirts of her gown as she does so.

Ysbail watches the masked individual curiously, one brow lofting higher. Finally watching the dance solo she makes her way over. "Any particular reason for the mask?" She queries before leaning in closer to murmur something.

Blinking in surprise when the person in a lion mask makes an appearance, Anabelle is decidedly intrigued, and changes course to skip closer to them with a bit of a tilt to her head. Observing the dance for a moment, she stiffles a giggle on the back of hand before taking another sip of her cider.

Juliana walks at her brother's side, as dark haired and blue eyed as Sebastian and with her slight heel even manages to reach the man's height as he leads them towards the hostess of the evening. A bow of her head and smile given to Samantha. "Good evening, Marquessa. I don't beleive we have had the pleasure. It is nice to meet you. Your home is lovely."

Kincade twirls Willow, allowing her free roam to dance, however, the tall lumbering knight is most decidedly not dancing. No swaying hips, only a tapping toe ... but only sometimes. A pillar of fortitude, allowing Willow to display her grace would be a much more apt description.

"Perhaps, but he did not seem willing to leave the comfort of the rug quite so soon." Vercyn speaks to Elsa, a smile on his face. Vercyn is dressed in armor, as is his usual attire. Fortunately, it rarely goes out of style. His eyes survey the party curiously for a moment before looking back to Elsa with a smile. "Why yes, I think we should. Fortunately he is near our hostess as well."

Cillian leans into Ysbail before she departs and whispers something to her, then he looks to Petal and smiles, "I would love to." he tells her when he speaks he has a thick northern shav accent he moves to take Petals hand.

Malcolm Shepherd, herder turned sell-sword turned Duke arrives to the Deepwoods garden of untold delights in the company of Lady Delilah Whitehawk, and the pair seem to be in conversation about nothing at all in particular. "Was gonna call her Queenie, y'see, until I figured that namin her Galina might be a little better. Suits her more." Malcolm drops his free hand to scruff behind the ears of the aloof, regal Graypeak Mountain dog that's padding at his heel. "She was a Thrax princess, I heard. I'm thinking to do a little more research into Shepherd's history to learn some more."

"The Countess were kept with work, sad to say," Thesarin rumbles out with a nod toward Evonleigh. "And with... concerns." He gives a short nod, and there is--yes, that is a genuine smile on Thesarin's face, as a pair of small children go running off around his feet toward the other youngesters. "How's the day find you, Lady Whitehawk?" The arrival of Elsa and Vercyn, and then Delilah with Malcolm, catach his notice, and Thesarin looks over toward both pairs with an upward incline of his head.

Petal has a gentle smile for Cillian that reaches her brown eyes. She allows Cillian to take her hands and then tries to dance with him. She is not really trained at dancing, but she does her best.

Petal checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 3 higher.

Samantha offers the lion a little curtsy in turn, before moving on to the Pravus twins. "I regret if I have, it was only in passing. But I'm honored by both of you attending. If you haven't already, please help yourselves to parasols. Thank you so much. We try to make it a place of comfort." Thesarin is greeted with a warm smile - in truth, Samantha's a little shocked that so many people chose to come. Shocked, but pleased.



The musicians continue to wind through the party. The children with their fluttering ribbons dash to and fro, and one child - Rymarr and Samantha's daughter Nara, is proudly trotting about with their Lyonesse guard hound, Judge. He is somehow maintaining his dignity despite the floral crown on top of his head.

Someone wearing a regal and wild lion mask doesn't answer Ysbail's initial question. The masked individual simply continues to dance about in their own little circle, swinging their arms and raking at the air with clawed hands all while their feet continue to dance their steps about in a ring. Something said though results in the lion masked individual spinning about and extending heavily scarred hands toward Ysbail. The hands offered seem to invite Ysbail to join in the dance that doesn't seem to have any official steps or even a genuine purpose, other than to dance.

Cillian checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 2 higher.

"It is, truly, beautiful," Sebastian murmurs in response to Samantha. Her mention of parasols has him glancing at Juliana -- and with a last nod towards Samantha, steps out of the way to let her greet other arrivals, heading over towards the collection. He seems content to let his twin choose a parasol -- for both of them -- while blue gaze roves around the garden, skipping over people.

At the edge of the party, a young man appears by the mouth of the maze garden, in brightly colored clothing. He takes some equally bright colored balls from a pocket, and begins to juggle.

"Queenie puts a certain amount of pressure on a lady, after all. Suppose her temperament proved to be lively and playful, not at all mannered? Would it be right as a name if she had a taste for boots?" Purely intended as a kindly statement, given the hound is right there, Delilah nods at Galina. "I think her name suits her beautifully. It's a kind of stone, too, as I remember. Though a Thraxian princess as well? Then you have not only the lovely name but an honoured history there too." A vision in iridescence found only in the rarest of flowers -- one that might bloom only to the favoured light of the stars -- she seems to have stolen the fire of the night sky and made it her own. The copper-haired girl smiles at Malcolm, and then her gaze cuts to a familiar face; Thesarin recieves her blithe nod, daring not even so much to wave. Manners have to go somewhere. The other Lady Whitehawk, her golden sister, is easily spotted and she smiles in Evonleigh's direction. There will be time to bounce over there soon.

Willow wrinkles her nose, grinning faintly up at Kincade and laughing, eyes warm. "/Dance/ with me, my Lord!" she implores, eyes sparkling with mirth as she tugs at Kincade's hand, perhaps in bid to get him moving more with her. Feet bare, ribbons in her hair moving with every twirl and step, her cheeks are rosy below the edges of the lace and silk butterfly halfmask running from temple to temple across the bridge of her nose.

Delilah's arrival earns a smile from her sister, and a nod for Malcolm, who she's only met once, before Evonleigh turns to smile at Thesarin, catching that little fleeting smile from the count. "Oh, it started with some tedium but it is ending prettily enough, I dare say. Do give your wife my best regards. I hope the concerns are fleeting, at worst," she says, though her tone hints she knows that that's probably too optimistic for the times they are living in. "Tell her to let me know if there's aught I can help with, of course."

Ysbail chuckles, accepting the invitation, and perhaps it is better that ther are no official steps though she tries to mirror as carefully as she can without stepping on the poor individual's toes.

Juliana nods to Samantha, then turns her attention back to a quiet conversation with her brother as she scans the gathering. Pausing to pick up two parasols, one for each of them the both remain closes and hanging from her hand.

Cillian moves with Petal he is not the best at dancing but at least he is not stepping on her toes, he leans in to whisper something to her a smile on his face as they dance about.

Juliana gets a wonderful spring umbrella from Petal's delivery bag.

Juliana gets a protective blue parasol from Petal's delivery bag.

Someone wearing a regal and wild lion mask checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 20 higher.

Petal dances along with Cillian. She is a bit clumsy, but not so bad considering. The girl is adorned in a simple linen blouse, kid leather pants and wooden shoes. While she is tiny it might hurt if she stops on Cillian's feet in those shoes. So far she does not.

When the person with the lion mask dances away, Anabelle's brow furrows a little bit before she sashays off towards some more of those finger foods, pausing to waggle fingers at her little niece Nara and her furry companion. As the musicians do their thing, Ana sways a little bit in place, toe tapping in time with the beat as she quietly observes the party around her.

Chuckling, Elsa gives a nod, "Yes, you seem to have found his weakness with that rug. Did you know there's an impression in the pile of the fur now?" As they approach their hostess, along with Thesarin, She dips into a curtsy, "Marquessa. A wonderful party, and an excellent turnout!" Seeing Malcolm and Delilah approaching, her smile brightens, "Ah, Malcolm! Lady Whitehawk! A pleasure to see you both. How are you?" To Thesarin, she smiles, "Count Riven, its awlays a pleasure to see you again. I'm sorry that the Countess couldn't get away to join you."

Ysbail checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 5 higher.

"Drinks," Sebastian murmurs to Juliana once she's selected the parasols, leading them across the garden. "And then perhaps some dancing? Though -- anyone you want to talk to?" He seems at ease, holding the raven mask by his side, tapping his leg with it as his gaze roves over the crowd.

Malcolm's the one that waves, yes, to Elsa and Vercyn - the Thesarin - to Evonleigh who he has only met the once. To anyone, really, that catches sight of the broad grin and the overly enthusiastic gesturing. "Evenin, all. Well met and all that. Thank you, Marquessa Deepwood, for your excellent hospitality." Afterward, Malcolm seems to remember the next step - perhaps - because he offers a dip of his head that blends into a well-practiced bow, looking every bit the nobleman in his summer blue and gold finery and spotlessly white aeterna. He clears his throat, smile tilting toward Delilah as he asks, "Shall we settle 'neath that apple tree right there, my lady? Then, seein perhaps about makin some more introductions. I've met Count Riven once 'fore, but I keep meanin to make it more than just in passin."

"You're both very kind." Samantha says warmly, but a hostess' work is never done. "Please enjoy yourselves." And then it's on to the next set of folks. "My lord," she offers greeting to Malcolm, but seems loathe to interrupt his conversation. Likewise a greeting offered to Elsa. Samantha seems inclined to touch base with her partygoers to insure their good time.



Servants continue to mill about, offering tall, chill glasses of Deepwood cider, both the classic press as well as the berry flavored.

Malcolm has joined the beneath the honeycrisp apple tree.

Each time Willow passes Kincade a hand is raised and the Lady is guided passed. The Gentleman's eyes keeping careful track of the graceful dancer's position. Kincade insists "Oh but I am dancing" - He is not dancing - "can you not tell? Do I have it wrong?" Kincade feints confusion and starts looking around him at the ground like he's missed something.

Someone wearing a regal and wild lion mask continues to dance along with Ysbail. Thus far no harm has been brought to either parties toes. The lion masked individual leads them, prancing and dancing about in their ring until they pass by closer to Anabelle. A scarred hand reaches out for her, Anabelle, in a bid to offer her to join the pair in their little playful dance about the grounds. Wordlessly the masked individual continues their playful, energetic romp among the other guests.

Brady arrives late, wandering in with the swagger of someone who owns the place, and the outfit of someone who surely doesn't, common cloths and messy hair. He lingers near the edge of the grounds, slow to mingle.

The Duke chuckles softly. "Yes there is. I just need to get him off the rug for a moment and I can have it brushed out." Vercyn offers a bow to Samantha. "Marquessa Deepwood. Thank you for your hospitality." He turns to Thessarin and inclines his had. "Count Riven, a pleasure to see you again." He looks around the party again, offering a nod to Duke Malcolm as well.

Brady gets a wide silver band bracelet etched with perching birds and touched with opal from a leather backpack.

Malcolm takes a wildflower parasol from Petal's delivery bag.

Anabelle isn't one to pass up a invitation to dance, smoothly handing off her empty cider glass to a passing server, she joins in with a raised brow of curiosity at that scarred hand. It doesn't take long for the Lyonesse girl to be twirling and skipping along with the music, soft giggles bubbling up from her lips as she loses herself to the motions of the dance.

Ysbail has not committed crimes against feet yet, but the fun of the game lights up the whole of her expression, and she offers hands out to Kincade inviting him to join in as well. Laughing as she does.

"Duke Vercyn, welcome to the Deepwood home." Samantha's gaze falls then on the lion man, a brow arching, and then quite unexpectedly, she bursts into laughter.

Petal looks to Cillian. "Do you know Marquesa Samantha?" She asks the man while still trying to avoid stepping on his feet.

Juliana slips her hand back through Sebastian's a nod as he suggests a drink. "I am afraid there aren't many I know personally though there are a few I recognize. Duke Shepard." pointing out Malcoml to her brother then glancing back to see another Duke entering "We could simply wander and see who is who?" replied softly. Waiting as Bas retrieves a

Thesarin takes a cup of the cider that's passing around, and a loe noise at his throat toward Elsa and Vercyn. "Duke Halfshav, Lady Shepherd; fine see the pair 'o you again. How find you lot?" Another nod toward Evonleigh, and a faint smile. "I'll send on your regards, Lady Whitehawk. And the offer, if needs be." The Prodigal places a hand on his chest and dips his head low toward Samantha. "Marquessa."

Cillian continues to move about dancing with Petal, he nods his head. "I have meet her once before yes." he says softly to her as he tries to not trip up on the dance thing.

Occasional soft-spoken commentary aside, Delilah takes in every facet of the party, from the children tumbling together to the guests mingling together. Wide summer-sky eyes dance with laughter and she dips in a curtsy back to Elsa. "My lady Elsa, do you know how many Ladies Whitehawk there are right now? We're practically currency of a kind in the Crownlands," she replies, laughter riming her voice. "It's delightful to see you." She dips again for Vercyn's sake, deeper there. "Duke Halfshav, a pleasure." Introductions widen for Samantha once she falls within their scope. For the Marquessa, the delight of her smile conveys appreciation and gratitude both. "Thank you for such a thoughtful and lovely evening. This is the sort of summer event that begs the evening to stretch on, simply to enjoy the beauty of your garden." With her copper hair gleaming by moonlight, she returns her focus back to Malcolm. "Let's, and make the most of it. Beautiful in here, isn't it?"

Petal checked dexterity + sewing at difficulty 9, rolling 72 higher.

"Oh, look, my betrothed," says Evonleigh with a fond smile for Brady when he enters the party, but she's quick to add "All in a game, lest anyone get *upset,* or anything." Her smile is a bit wry on that point; Gods forbid another commoner marry another neo-noble, after all, at least in this ward. She smiles for Brady, before making her way to her sister. "You look lovely, though you always do. Those colors are amazing on you," she tells Delilah, reaching to squeeze her hand.

Not content to twirl and treat Kincade like a Maypole, Willow, caught up in the exuberant dancing, simply takes his hand, brings it to her lips and pulls away. Turning stalking steps to graceful strides that bring her close, she has not missed Brady's arrival and each one brings her closer to him. She holds a hand out in silent offer when she reaches him.

Petal seems to be enjoying the dancing as she spins along with Cillian. "Oh.." She says in the man's direction at this words. "She is my new patrol now." She adds, still speaking in her heavy accent. The girl seems to be in a happy mood.

Someone wearing a regal and wild lion mask continues in the swirling dance, merrily dancing about with both Ysbail and Anabelle. The attentive eye may very well take note that their path seems to be drawing closer and closer and closer to the pond. There is no laughter from the lion-masked individual, though their enjoyment and amusement is quite evident in the energy of their movements.

Samantha manages to quell her laughter, wipe at her eyes a bit, and refocus on Delilah. "Thank you very much! That's exactly the kind of ambience I was hoping for. I realize it's not as grandiose as many events, but I've always felt like there's room for more relaxed events as well, that can still be beautiful."

Interestingly, Sebastian only bothers to collect one glass from a passing servant, taking a sip of the cider, making an approving sound before he offers it to his twin. When she draws his attention to the Duke, his gaze flickers over those nearby. "Oh, let's," he says, taking them in the direction of Malcolm and Delilah. "Duke Shepherd," he greets with a bow of his head. "Lady Whitehawk." Evonleigh isn't recognized, but he offers her a nod of head too.

Brady says, "Lady Whitehawk, a pleasure to see you here, maybe I'll find you atop a tower, later?" He grins almost wolfishly, until the young Nightgold in a butterfly half-mask finds him, hand outstretched. He slips a bracelet onto her wrist, and -then- takes her hand. "Willow, you look... wow! That dress, that mask. Jayus made you himself, didn't he?" He moves to lead her towards where others are dancing, eagerly.

"Very -- balmy n' warm, my lady Delilah. I'll fetch a cider or two t'sip from as I don't think I've had the pleasure of tryin out Deepwoods exports. Might be somethin else worth bringing to Graypeak 'long with their lumber." Malcolm grins, practically bouncing on the tips of his toes as he accepts glasses from a server's tray, and he doesn't hesitate any further - bringing those ciders along to settle beneath an apple tree. Cross-legged, without thinking, and when he does think it's a moment of gratitude that aeterna doesn't stain. Grass stains on his backside wouldn't do -- at all.

Plucking up a cup of the passing cider, she passes the first along towards Vercyn before nabbing another for herself. Smiling towards Thesarin, she gives a small nod, "Oh we're doing quite well, thank you. Its been a whirlwind of activity lately, its nice to find an event that's a little more calm. And how are you you faring?" Delilah's reaponse has her chuckling and winking towards the young woman, "Then I shall count my cousin lucky for having the good fortune of acquiring your company for the evening. Surely you are in high demand these days!"

^ Elsa

Delilah has joined the beneath the honeycrisp apple tree.

Unaware of their circuit taking them closer to the pond, Anabelle is continuing her spirited dance around with the mysterious person wearing that lion mask, honey blonde hair loose and fanning about her with each twirl and quick step. At some points she kicks off strappy shoes in favor of her bare feet in the soft grass, cheeks flushed pink with a smile beaming brightly.

"Hopefully not tonight, good sir," says Evonleigh to Brady, chuckling as Willow claims for herself a second dance partner. "I'll have to learn some of that one's moves," she asides to Delilah, eyes sparkling a bit. She smiles at Elsa. "We are common currency, though growing rarer, as we lost one of ours to the Acheron House. I amuse myself that one day I shall be the rarest coin left, at least until there are newly minted Whitehawk ladies to join us," she says, a smile for Sebastian when he joins their circle, along with Juliana.

Juliana just as oddly does not seem to mind that she does not have a drink, instead excepting Sebastian's to take a sip before handing it back to the Pravus lord as he leads them over towards Malcolm and Delilah. At Bas's greeting Juliana dips her head as if seconding the hail. "Good evening your Grace and Lady. Lovely evening."

Rosy hues suffuse Willow's cheeks at Brady's words and a delighted laugh escapes her. "I missed you," she says as she sweeps her arms up around him. "You always know just what to say to make my night." She takes his hands first so they can both spin round a few times before coming in closer. "And as graceful as ever. I trust you've been well?" she asks, before in pulling close she closes her eyes to press her cheek for moments to his shoulder.

"Are we to find the Archlector of Limerance for you tonight, Evonleigh, or is this a delightful moment for the stage on another source?" Delilah asks her sister, the slight inclination of her head allowing that oblique look of mischief to settle in with brilliant precision. Offering the sweetest of smiles, almost innocent except the darkling peregrine of the Whitehawks cannot possibly be that, she murmurs something with a laugh to Evonleigh. Sebastian and Juliana shall not be forgotten in the traipse over to the apple trees, either, a dip sketched out for the pair of them. The swirl of her gown languishes in the moonlight, hazy shadows entrapped and suffused with a certain brilliance. "Lady and Lord Pravus. You find me almost ready to step aboard a boat and sail away to Setarco." That still to be worked on, because timelines. It's only a few steps backwards and she drops down beside Malcolm, dainty as one gets.

"Evenin to you, Lady Juliana an' Lord Sebastian. Real pleasure t'meetcha. As you probably heard, eh, I am Duke Malcolm Shepherd. Ruler of Graypeak, out of the Crownlands. An' er -- just a my lord. I ain't a Grace nor graceful by any means. Though, thank you for humorin me so." He lifts a cup of cider toward the Pravus twins in a casual salute, drinking to them.

"...in fine health as can be asked," Thesarin answers Elsa with a slow nod. "Working at some needful but unhappy work. Little enough suited for talk at a time like this, as often it is." The Prodigal gives a faint, unamused-looking smile. "Might be I should've found a trade more suits talk at parties." He gives a slow shrug of his broad shoulders, and a glance between Elsa and Vercyn. "But wife and children are in good health, which is how I best ask for."

"Surely you can't think to do so without my aid -- to show you all the beauty Setarco has to offer? I'm sure there was a promise in there somewhere, Lady Whitehawk," Sebastian replies to Delilah with an amused -- and not at all offended air. "Unless you truly just want to see what a mere visitor might see of the Silken City's delights?" He tips his -- their -- mug towards Malcolm in return of the salute, giving a smile. "Indeed, I did hear. It's all anyone talked about -- at least until our foreign visitors arrived. I'm sure you're quite happy to be out of the limelight, though. I have come to know your... cousin? -- the Lady Jennyva quite well, Duke Shepherd."

Sebastian has joined the beneath the honeycrisp apple tree.

Ysbail continues the dance too, though she is mindful of the direction the path takes, She offers her hands out to others along the way, eager to drag others along in the dance with them.

Brady spins with Willow, holding her close and moving with grace in a waltz, "Fair enough, a bit too broke for diversions and dances, after Thursday's Child. I just got back from delivering some stuff the Soup Kitchen. Whisper Selene just had me spread word there that she's offering tuition to the Academy of War." He pauses in the waltz for the obligatory to push of his partner away, then pulling her back to him in, grinning down at her. "What about you? What adventures have you been on?"

Samantha has been chatting with the guests, though does take a brief moment to chat with Nara and make sure she and the other children are behaving themselves. When she returns, she smiles at the sight of Brady and Willow dancing before helping herself to a glass of cider as well. "Everyone! Thank you again for coming. It's been some time since Deepwood's held a celebration, and I'm so glad you all came. Please continue to enjoy yourselves."

Juliana arches a dark brow. "We returned not long ago, though my brother keeps trying to leave me behind and return." Jules eyes Sebastian then smiles to Delilah. "It is the best time to be going, the island is alive with the heat of coming summer. I would suggest if you do anything, find a crate of oranges and have the immediately shipped back for you." then a glance to Evonleigh and soft nod there as well. "Lady Whitehawk, greetings. May I say you both look lovely." then without a missed beat glances to Malcolm, you may not feel it, My Lord but you look very gracey."

Brady spots Petal from the paved patio, and offers a cheerful wave. He leans in close to Willow, and murmurs something softly, all the while wearing a broad and content smile.

Beams slightly at Elsa, selecting a glass of whiskey from a passing server. He looks to Thessarin and inclines his head. "I am doing well Count. I hope you have been faring well?"

Juliana has joined the beneath the honeycrisp apple tree.

Vercyn claims that

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

Mirth tinges Delilah's expression, her smile restrained from its full illumination -- and that's sufficient nonetheless to launch at least a baker's dozen ships, if not more. Depends, of course, on the definition of the ship. "Hence almost." Slight stress plies there. "It wouldn't do for me to ask whether you were prepared and leave you cooling your heels because I had scarce any idea whatsoever of what to do. The Silken City must be seen upon her own terms, through the eyes of one who passionately adores her and speaks to her charms and graces. Far be it from me to despoil a first impression through carelessness, and ruin a lasting engagement by a sudden act. Fear not, I shall take this all under advisement. Oranges?" A sigh of satisfaction thus, lingering touch of fingers to her lips in stilled silence. Her elbow gently touches Malcolm's, and she states to him and Evonleigh sotto voce, "I've been long overdue to flee to the Lyceum for a proper adventure." Dangerous tidings, surely. She wiggles her fingers Elsa-ward, just in case.

Someone wearing a regal and wild lion mask continues in the dance with Anabelle and Ysbail, until the lion-faced individual doesn't. The masked individual breaks away, releasing the hands which they hold. The summer has been a hot one, with one remedy in sight. The lion-masked individual continues to dance about, feeting lifting and falling as they twirl and turn, arms lifting and lowering to the music being played. That is until they come within a reasonable distance of the pond's edge. Only then do hands travel up before their torso, only to grip at the front of the crisply cut with the high collar that they wear. Buttons pop and scattering about as the jacket is torn open and off it is shrugged as the regal lion takes off at a charge for the pond. At the edge he leaps and moments later the splash can be heard as he strikes the water.

Cillian continues to dance along with Petal a smile on his lips, "If you like we can go say hello to her." he moves to spin Petal a little and then grins as he moves her about.

Someone wearing a regal and wild lion mask has joined the Deepwood Pond.

Ysbail laughs, halting in the dance as the masked individual leaps into the water, a round of bright appluase for it as she steps away to get herself a cool drink and make her way over to Cillian and Petal still chuckling the whole way. "Excellent party."

Willow pulls away for a beat, pushing up to bare toes, before coming back in, even as she's pulled by Brady. "Good to know I'm not the lone one funneling most of my coins there, though I was glad to hear about the effort to liberate and resettle the families of the children and reunite them with plots of their own to farm." She smiles up the lawn toward Samantha at those words spoken, head dipping quietly in response, before she tells Brady, "I met an Admiral and had a rather interesting time dancing with he and Marquessa Blackwood. He posed me a rather interesting riddle. Painted Harlex, though I am still working on the finishing touches of that. Am getting to know the Horselord of Chevalle a bit better," that indicated with her pinky toward Kincade. "And needing to get back in touch with a fellow spirit walker about an upcoming rite with Vala Khanne."

"Good health for the family is an excellent thing to have, though I'm sorry to hear you're having to deal with something so unpleasant," Elsa offers to Thesarin, giving a small nod towards the Count. She sips at her cider and lets her glance trail back towards the bower where Malcolm and Delilah are seated. She passes a smile and return of the finger waggle towards the Whitehawk lady before turning to Evonleigh with a smile, "I wouldn't call any of you 'common', my lady. Whitehawk has been distinguishing itself through the actions of its members, that includes the ladies of House!"

It takes a moment for Anabelle, so wrapped up in her dancing to realize that her hand has been relinquished back to her. Blinking, she takes a spin just in time to see them hastily undress and jump into the pond with a splash, dumstruck for a moment before she bursts out into riotous giggles and adds her applause to Ysbail's. Thoroughly flushed and a tad out of breath, Anabelle flags down another glass of cider from a passing servant, taking a long draught to quench her thirst.

"If I can be accused of anything, loving the Silken City is amongst the greatest of my weaknesses," Sebastian admits, though his glance towards Juliana, rather than being wry as one might expect from his light tone, seems almost a mute apology for a moment. "Another Lady Whitehawk? It feels like every day there are more of you," his gaze turns on Elsa with an easy, effortless smile. "Well spoken," he nods approvingly towards Delilah, amusement apparent in blue gaze. "Actually, I'm headed there soon to begin work on our colossus. I need to be back in time for Juliana's wedding, but other than that -- I will make sure to make myself available to you, my lady," with a half bow in Delilah's direction. There's a quiet pleasure in the Pravus artist's gaze at Malcolm's words. "Most of my works are in private hands, truth be told, and my style isn't to everyone's liking, but it's very kind of her to say so."

Kincade smiles while looking on at Brady and Willow dancing. Kincade finds a seat with the best vista over the countryside. His toe ever tapping.

Brady spins slowly with Willow, commenting, "You painted Harlex? I imagine something -dark-." A soft chuckle, "Well it sounds like you've been having more fun than me. I kind of feel at a loss, mostly just waiting for Audric to reappear and tell us all in the Few what his plan is."



He squints at the pond, suddenly curious, "Are people going to swim? Is that... happening?" He gives Willow's outfit a skeptical appraisal.

Ysbail avails herself of a cool glass of cider murmuring something sternly to Willow and glancing about at the guests.

"Please do not melt in this summer heat, darling sister," says Evonleigh to Delilah with a laugh. "And do send me some oranges," she says with a smile. She turns to Juliana, "Oh, thank you. You do as well. And I believe congratulations are in order? Were you married recently or soon to be? I forget the news, forgive my manners. If I haven't properly met a person, the name doesn't always stay with me when I hear good tidings," she tells the other lady. "At any rate, we're happy to have you back in Arx so you could charm us with your presence tonight, Lady Pravus." She turns to Elsa to smile brightly at her. "Thank you. It's simply an ongoing joke and meant in good fun." And Sebastian's words seem to back her up, so she laughs, a tilt of head in his direction as if to say 'see?' "Trust me, we Whitehawks have plenty of ego to withstand a little self deprecation, I promise you!" she says with a merry laugh punctuating her words.

Setting his cup of cider down gingerly in the grass to avoid accidentally toppling it over and into the lap of anyone else sitting beneath the apple tree, Malcolm straightens up and scans the partygoers until he spies his cousin Elsa in her spring-scandal of a gown. If - when - if there's a chance that she's looking back at him, he sticks his tongue out at his cousin. Playfully, mind, he razzes her. And her escort, Duke Vercyn. At the party. Following this he breaks into a rumbling peal of amused laughter until he clutches at his sides.

"Unpleasant comes with the work, Lady Shepherd. How I said." Thesarin raises and lowers his broad shoulders, giving a faint snort of something like amusement. "Made my own bed, as folk here have it." He glances over toward Brady with a faint frown, and then looks toward the man in the lion mask splashing around in the pond. He's quiet a moment, and just takes another long pull off his cider, only glancing over toward Malcolm when the Duke razzes the Lady Elsa.

Merril, an Assistant Page, 3 Bisland pride guards leave, following Lailah.

Evonleigh has joined the beneath the honeycrisp apple tree.

Samantha blinks as the lion masked man jumps into the water, biting on her bottom lip. Shaking her head and restraining a smile, she returns her attention to the guests. But she also keeps glancing at the bathing lion. Looking over at Evonleigh and Delilah, she notes, "We have lovely parasols to provide shade and nicely chilled drinks. I've considered putting a hammock between the trees, but we do have the pavillions."

Catching sight of Malcolm, she doesn't quite stifle the chuckle over his antics, smiling fondly at the man even as she shakes her head. Elsa waits for an opportune moment, waiting to catch him glancing her way again, then presses the pad of her thumb to the tip of her nose, waggling her fingers at him in return. That bit of silliness done, she looks back to Thesarin and lifts a brow, "Made your own bed? This sounds curiously like something other than the usual County duties, my lord. Is everything quite alright?"

Someone wearing a regal and wild lion mask continues his dance in the pond, twirling and splashing about. He understandably seeks to keep his head well above the water and thus he remains in the shallows. The precisely cut jacket with its popped buttons remains at the pond's edge, seemingly forgotten or disregarded. The lion continues to splash and play, sweeping his hand against the surface of the water to send it sloshing and splashing this way and that. If the pond was meant to halt his playful dancing, it's failing miserably. He spins and twirls, what little water that has reached the fur of the mane causing some of the hairs to cling to their fellows as the dancing continues onward.

Willow tugs Brady off closer to the edge of the water as her interest in dancing fades. "It /is/ dark," she says, with a nod, before adding, "But with fragile hope." Whatever that means.

Duchess, a gorgeous fluffy white angora kitten with odd eyes and a pretty pink ribbon, 2 Bisland pride guards, Luella Sedna, an influyent pearl trader leave, following Kaia.

Vercyn accepts the messenger with a small frowm. He opens the missive and looks at it for a moment before his expression turns dark. He crushes it in his hand and stoes it away in a pouch.

Cillian looks to Ysbail when she comes back over to where he and Petal are dancing, he smiles to her. Stopping the dance why its still good and him not tripping he moves to stand near her, "It is a nice party." he says to the woman looking to Petal.

"If anyone wants to take a dip," Samantha notes cheerfully, "They're welcome to." She seems to think the notion is quite grand, herself.

Ysbail looks to Vercyn with a frown, nodding absently to Cillian as she moves over. "Duke Halfshav."

Brady lifts his gaze to the sky, "Gods the moon is lovely tonight," before he nods to Willow, "That sounds appropriately like him." As Willow edges nearer the water, Brady hesitates. That is, until the hostess announces something, and he's already pulling off his jacket. To Willow, he grins, "I'll race you!"

2 Ashford House Guard have been dismissed.

Bethany have been dismissed.

Was Willow waiting for some sort of permission? A second taker on the swimming? Hard to be certain. In any case, within moments, she's pushing the sleeveless dress down. She won't win the race. That dress is cumbersome as all hell. And she isn't dressed for swimming under it. She simply isn't dressed at all. Though between facing away from the crowd and hip length dark curls, not too much is flashed to the party at large as she goes running and splashing off into the water.

"Ah. Well as can ask, Lady Shepherd. Reckoned it clever, some time past, to take up fighting; so when I've got County duties, it ain't like they're pleasant ones." Thesarin gives another slow shrug, and a faint smile toward Elsa. He looks over toward Vercyn, silent, but a question in his look. Ysbail gets a nod as she approaches from the Prodigal Count.

Willow has joined the Deepwood Pond.

Evonleigh has left the beneath the honeycrisp apple tree.

Samantha swiftly moves over to the nanny, and has a few quiet words with her. The children are herded back into the house for treats, and then Samantha's slipping off her shoes and headed toward the pond herself.

Ysbail beams at Thesarin, "How is your dear wife? I confess I've been meaning to catch her for some time, she's an expert in a great number of fields of research."

Evonleigh is overheard praising Samantha: Lovely party!

Petal is overheard praising Samantha: amazing hostest and patron!

Petal is overheard praising Cillian: amazing escort!

Soot, a gray foxhound puppy, Violet, a shopkeeper, 1 Crimson Blades Lieutenant, 3 Iron Guardsmen leave, following Petal.

Brady completely loses the race, left stunned in his tracks, watching the incorrigible Willow dash off. He looks around slowly, perhaps to confirm this is happening, then once certain it is, he cackles delightedly, holding his sides to keep from hurting. He jogs towards the pond, noticeably leaving his slacks on.

Thesarin is overheard praising Samantha: fine party

Delilah briefly extricates herself from conversation about the same time that Evonleigh does. The tree's a popular spot, after all. A quick ripple of her fingertips plays to Ysbail in greeting.

Brady has joined the Deepwood Pond.

Delilah is overheard praising Evonleigh.

Delilah is overheard praising Samantha.

Anabelle squeals as a splash comes a little too close for comfort of the girl's pale pink dress and she jumps out of the way with a playful glare in the direction of the lion-masked man. While others seem to be joining in the swimming, Ana is slipping further away from the water, not as adventurous as some it seems. She'll make another round of the refreshments, eyes darting here and there, perhaps in search of her elluisve brother, but when a second sweep comes up fruitless, Anabelle decides to slip away quietly, parasol twirling lazily against her shoulder as she makes her way home.

1 House Lyonesse Adept Guards, Jean, 1 Lyonesse Trained Guards leave, following Anabelle.

When she wanders into the pond, the dress removed, a well hidden tattoo of a crescent moon with bloodied ends and raven feathers dangling from the bottom is revealed, low on one of Willow's shoulderblades. Absolutely delighted at the chance to cool off in the oppressive southern (to her) heat, she dips her chin into the water for a mouthful, spitting it playfully at whoever is in the lion mask.



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