January Grayson Family Dinner
Jan. 15, 2019, 7:54 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Grayson Mansion - Dining Room
Comments and Log
The dining room has been prepped, servants are wandering around with trays of delicious appetizers and bubbly glasses of sparkling wine to offer those that step through the door. Sabella is standing nearby, beaming at those who arrive, "Isn't it wonderful that in the midst of all the exciting news we're getting we can all get together for a nice, home-cooked meal?" Somewhere, a cook that was certainly not her glows with pride.
2 Whitehawk Guards arrives, following Evonleigh.
Relic arrives, following Harlan.
Ramona - A Farshaw House Guard, 3 Farshaw novice guards, 1 Farshaw trained guards, Bigsby arrive, following Lisebet.
5 Redoubt Buccaneers, Bengalo, a sneaky black kitten, Luna, the sweet, studious assistant, Francis arrive, following Carita.
Harlan enters from outside, a cane in one hand, the clack-clack-clack announcing his arrival. His other hand, though, is in Lisebet's, guiding her into the room, "Welcome to your first Grayson dinner, Lis."
With Cabbit held against his knightly tabard on the left side by his only hand, Lord Bedivere walks in with Lady Evonleigh at his right arm (with no hand). "Hopefully, Lord Jyri and Lady Elora can make this one, too."
Lisebet glances over at Harlan at that comment, a smile on her face. "If it's anything like the Valardin ones, I am certain it will be interesting," is all she says, expression a little wry. She pauses to look around, taking in who is here already, and who she knows. Or doesn't.
Sabella barely contains a squeal when Harlan leans Lisebet in, rushing over to reach out for Lisebet's hands, "Lady Lisebet! I am so thrilled that you are here! It will be a nice sneak peek into all the future dinners and parties we will have together! Please let me know if you need to be introduced to anyone, I am more than happy to talk and happier to make introductions!" When Bedivere and Evonleigh enter she beams a smile at them, "Welcome! Please feel free to mingle or help yourself at the table!"
Alaric arrives with his usual energetic stride and big ol' retinue. It's pretty hard to miss. "Greetings, my kinsmen!" he declares brightly as he snags a sparkling wine and stops at Sabella. "Ah, Sabella, thank you for putting this all together once again. It is quite a wonderful occasion, I agree." He doesn't really get into the degree of excitement in regards to the news other than to add, "I daresay we might have some lively conversation tonight." He stops and turns to regard Harlan and Lisebet's arrival. "Ah, Duke Harlan and Lady Lisebet. Delighted to see you both, and to hear of your announcement as well. Congratulations."
Rhiannon comes in just after her Duke. She steps to one side, ready and at hand, but certainly not ready to jump into the social scene with the ease of one who likes social situations. She is nearly silent.
Giuseppe Gallo of Lenosia arrives, following Luca.
Luca arrives, following Niklas.
"I know Silas was planning to make it, but there's always some mess to sort out. I don't envy him all his duties, to be sure," Evonleigh says to Bedivere as she glances around the hall, nodding to those already present. Sabella's greeting is met with a smile and a curtsy for the hostess-slash-princess. "Good evening, your highness, so very good to see you," she says warmly, before another curtsy for Alaric as he enters. She turns to smile at the newly announced couple. "Congratulations, both," she offers to Lisebet and Harlan.
Willen arrives, following Lou.
Harlan smiles faintly towards Lisebet and motions towards Sabella, "This is Princess Sabella Grayson, of course." He inclines his head towrds Alaric, "Your Highness, and thank you very much." He leads Lisebet towards a nice place to sit, offering another smile towards Evonleigh as well.
1 Grayson House Guards arrives, following Liara.
That's right folks, Lou Grayson actually made it to one of the dinners! The last time was around..... oh who's counting anyway? In she walks, dressed in her usual gear, but with a light step to her gait.
Lisebet, unlike poor Rhiannon, is a pretty social creature. Her hands nabbed, she squeezes Sabella's fingers back, amusement flickering across her face. "Princess Sabella, it's good to see you as well," she says warmly. "Thank you for the welcome, it's very much appreciated." And then there's a king, which gets a nod from Lisebet, and a nearly automatic curtsey. Some habits die hard. "Thank you, Your Majesty," she says simply there, at least for a moment. She grins over at Harlan next, returning her hand to his, and moving towards the spot Harlan has selected for seating.
Bedivere dips his head to Sabella before he stands back up. Cabbit looks back with those feline eyes to the princess and purrs profusely. "Good to see you, Your Highness. Your Majesty." Then, he follows up Evonleigh's congratulations to Lisebet and Harlen with some of his own, quietly spoken.
Lisebet looks over to Evonleigh and Bedivere and inclines her head. "Thank you," she says. "Sir Bedivere, Lady Evonleigh, it is nice to see you both again."
Grayson Family Dinner, also known as just 'dinner' to the Grayson family, naturally brings the fox in their midst out to eat too. He works up an appetite from all of that napping around. He doesn't come alone, though. His protege, the Countess Carita Darkwater is there on his arm. He arrives in the wake of Lou, and not without words for her, "Princess Lou showed up! Hey! Did someone finally ruin nature once and for all?". He sounds curious, cautiously hopeful, and just a touch playful as he finds a pair of seats, the first of them pulled out for Carita. "Everyone, I brought my protege, Countess Carita! Everyone say hello to the Countess!", he announces, warmly.
"There is certainly a lot to talk about," Sabella agrees, giving Alaric a smile, "I am very glad you could take some time away, even if it's only a dinner. I know you must be very busy." When Lou comes in she brightens even further, "Lou! Do you know if Reese is coming? We need more of these gatherings just to get the three of us together! And Countess Carita, what terrible thing did you do to have Luca drag you out to our gathering?" She asks with a laugh. "Please, help yourself. Lady Rhiannon, do you know the Countess Carita Darkwater?"
Liara shows up! Depending on one's particular expectations, she's either dressed up or just dressed like Liara. Just about the first thing she hears is the request to say hello to Carita, so she does, from just behind, with a cheery, "Hello, Countess." Then she strolls on through towards a table to help herself to a seat.
Harlan smiles towards Lisebet as he sits down with a faint sigh, "Now that Sabella's seen you, she's going to be after you often, I fear." He grins a bit, and nods towards Carita pleasantly. Getting away from the cane, even briefly, is a relief.
Gianna sweeps in with the kind of smug satisfaction that comes from having a massive ego that's being fed. There are feathers at her shoulders and in her hair, and she's a black crow in this gathering with her dark seasilk gown. "Good evening," she announces as she enters.
Lailah shows up. She's wearing thin gloves for the occassion, and finding her way towards a seat, choosing not to great anyone for the moment, just heading for the food.
Rhiannon turns as Sabella calls out her name, following the gesture to the one mentioned. She tries to smile a little and dips her head. "I have not, Princess. It is a pleasure to finally be able to meet you." Harlan certainly doesn't need a guard here, but that doesn't mean that the Tree Scout Commander isn't more comfortable guarding than socializing. She has the charm of a shrimp salad. You know it could be amazing, but you'd have to get close enough to smell or taste it and could still end up horribly wrong in the end.
"I'm not certain," Lou says to Sabella as she walks into the room. "I only just decided to come myself a few moments ago." Because Lou is not one who succumbs to cajoling when it comes to large gatherings. She walks behind Sabella, and leans in to kiss her sister on the cheek if allowed, before moving to take a seat at the table. She nods in Alaric's direction. "I'm actually not sure how long I'm going to stay either. I have things to get together for my trips north to Everwinter, and west to Whitepeak."
Lisebet grins at Harlan. "Princess Sabella is wonderful. We've met more than once," she replies quietly. "Though things have changed a little bit." She waves to others as they arrive, flashing a smile their way. Mostly, so far, she's at least met folks. Some more than others. "Hello, Countess Carita," she greets, along with most everyone else. Mischief flashes across her features.
"You as well," says Evonleigh with a smile to Lisebet, then nodding to each newcomer as they enter. "Hello, countess," she chimes a little perfunctorily, as if doing just what Luca asked just because Luca asked for it; an impish smirk curves her lips upward at that. She nods to Bedivere and moves toward the drinks because any meeting in Arx requires alcohol, no matter how great or small, common or noble. She finds herself a glass of something red to sip.
Carita's normally a quiet woman, and on the arm of Luca she can remain as such, her smile curling as a seat is pulled out for her. She passes it to dip a curtsy for the King, "Your Majesty," but then circles back around to take up the offering. Her gown is smoothed out behind herself as she settles, a touch of color appearing high in her cheeks at the Fox's announcement. She clears her throat, Sabella gaining her attention second, "I think he just likes to pull me up from Darkwater from time to time." There's a wink before Liara gains her attention, "Hello there," comes warmly for her, and then she returns Harlan's polite nod with a finger wiggle in his direction. Rhiannon gets her attention next, "Lady Ashford, the pleasure is mine." and then, "Lady Farshaw." gets a dip of her head as well.
Alaric gives the inbound greetings and deference a regal gesture of acknowledgement while he drinks his wine. He's a multitasker. "Hello to the Countess," he tells Luca and Carita with a cheerful smirk. "Luca, Countess Carita, delighted to see you both. And I certainly hope nature isn't ruined." He glances to Lou for confirmation, just in case, but evidently doesn't see anything that warrants any further worry. "The Everwinter, you say? It just started getting warm again, it sounds like you're already looking for snow again."
"You can certainly keep the snow all to yourself, I like the spring!" Sabella laughs, giving Lou's arm a fond squeeze as she gets a kiss and moves on. "Now for those of you that have never been here before, we always play a game so that we get to know each other better. You say something you have been working on, a project that might be finished or upcoming, or something interesting that has happened to you recently! For me, I am still working on my fundraiser for families of those that have been lost to recent and not-so-recent conflicts. It will help put food on the table and warm clothes on the backs of those who need it most. We are also hoping to raise enough to perhaps secure some apprenticeships for the children who have been left behind. So, if anyone would like to be involved, please let me know! Oh! I also always forget this part, once you have shared your news, you pick the next person to go. And I will choose..." She looks around the room before saying, "Lou! Since I know you want to talk about your trip anyway!"
Bedivere replies back, "Likewise, Lady Lisebet." When Luca speaks of Carita, both he and Cabbit look her way. "Greetings. Countess Carita. Lady Rhiannon." says the greying lord to both who are introduced before moving along with Evonleigh's lead toward those drinks. He has to take back both his arms from the feline (who claw clings to his Solace tabard and is used to the old man needing to use his arms) and Evon. He helps balance Cabbit with his nubby arm whilst his left arm extends out and the hand upon it picks up his own wine, a white conversely. He lifts the fluted glass in a bit of a toast to his fellow Whitehawk.
Gianna inclines her head to Sabella. "Thank you for hosting," she tells the princess. Alaric is fixed with a stern look and a haughty little sniff, for whatever reason. And she greets others she knows as well - "Lady Lisebet, Lady Evonleigh, Countess Carita, hello. Princess Lou," a nod for the Pathfinder, and a flicker of a smile for Luca. "Prince Luca." Some faces are less familiar, but she offers one of her faint little smiles nonetheless.
Lou gives Alaric a wry look. "Indeed, following in the path of Norman the Explorer, and... perhaps... Brass himself, if my trip to the western mountain tall enough for a griffon aerie I told you about was any indication. We found a map from Brass himself up there as well, leading us to what might be," she pauses, then says, "the Dwarven kingdom. Or, what's left of it. After a bit more research, and deciphering another map from Brass himself, I'll be helping someone else that had been working toward the same path." She glances over at Niklas, saying, "And, if we find them, I'll give you the story to write and tell. But, you must leave my name out of it." For, if anything, Lou hates it when bards and such tell stories about her adventures that actually /include/ her in her adventures. She does give the others she hasn't addressed a wiggle of her fingers in greeting so they are not left out.
"I mean, she keeps me from waking up in weird places. The least I owe her is a good dinner from time to time.", Luca praises, seeming all too sincere about the importance of having a protege even as he settles Carita into a chair and then is quick to make friends with a second for himself, ever the furniture-whisperer. "King Al! Always a pleasure to see you still need sustenance like the rest of we mortal lot..". A wink for the king, while searching for some wine. It's around here somewhere! He snatches a glass of it and offers the first over to Carita before hunting down a second. There's other greetings to make though. THE NIGHTINGALE is given a grin, cheeky enough, by way of response to her mention of him. Mostly to everyone, he asks, "Why are we talking about snow? Didn't we just get rid of that stuff?". It's very family dinnery conversation.
Lou ohs and, ers, "Niklas!" she names after her news.
Harlan is mostly remaining silent. He's enjoying his food and drink, of course, but most of his attention is on Lisebet, and not the others -- although he is listening to Lou, and interjects, "Let me know if there's anything Ashford could provide. Sometime, I'm going to sneak away for a trip somewhere that isn't going into Ashford itself on duchal business." He half-smiles.
Lisebet grins as Evonleigh apparently has the same idea she did. "It still sounds cold," she suggests to Lou about such a trip. And then, "Nightingale Gianna! You look lovely as always." She quiets to hear Sabella tell of the game that is played, and then her attention goes to Lou as she fills in her bit. Cold. Definitely cold. But they grow coffee where she's from. Her gaze returns to Harlan swiftly. Her lips curve in a smile, but there's a very thoughtful look on her face. "Maybe we can take turns," she offers.
Alaric regards his stern sniff from Gianna with a bit of light bemusement. "Now what did I do?" he asks dryly before taking a thoughtful drink of his wine. "Actually, it's probably something I -didn't- do. I've been on a streak of errors of omission lately," he quips.
There's food, and Liara helps herself to such appetisers as she happens across, not being hugely chatty this instant, though she's paying some measure of attention to Lou.
Liara has joined the Dining Table.
Bartholomew arrives, following Cedric.
It might be easy to miss Niklas, dozing away on his throne as he has been since he offered to help the servants set up for dinner, got bored and sat down. The well-loved Complete Works of Dame April of the Vine sits on his lap and he snores just a little bit as folks serve themselves supper. Then Lou says his name and he snaps to attention, "Luca did it!" He glances around, lost for a moment, then narrows his eyes. "Isabelle was supposed to wake me up before anyone came in. She's getting to be a little much since she realized that she's unfirable." Assuming it's his turn to go, he regains his composure and says, "The Good Duke of Gemecitta is an absolute smash hit! The people have started simply referring to me as The Playwright, because when one is the best in the city one needn't specify." He pats himself on the chest self-importantly. As a servant delivers a snifter of brandy directly to his hand he natters on. "Also, I found a very nice cheesemonger in the Lyceum Ward that sells a nice veiny blue that I just can't get enough of. It's smashing with a bit of honeycomb. Their selection of runny cheeses is also rather good." He looks around the room, then points to Harlan. "You look like you've had a dull month, Duke Harlan, but I do hope you can think of something interesting that happened to tell us!"
"You didn't come to the grand opening of The Good Duke," Gianna tells Alaric. "It was utterly splendid. It's like you're too busy." Like there are emissaries from foreign powers around or something ludicrous like that. Gianna helps herself to some fine roast beast or another, spearing some vegetables to go with. "Thank you, Lady Lisebet. What a pretty gown!" She nods to Liara as well.
Cabbit crawls up onto the top of Bedivere's left shoulder and perches there, leaving the man free to use his arms and singular hand for food and drink. Whilst up there, Cabbit purrs to the random passerby before he begins washing one paw with his raspy tongue. The Whitehawk lord is a support structure for such shenanigans, and he steadily progresses with Evon through the crowd, listening in to the various conversations which are going on but not yet chiming in. Not yet.
Niklas has joined the Throne of Pena Stormryder.
Harlan looks over towards Niklas. "Dull, he says." He cocks his head and says, "Well, I've spent most of the month rehabilitating. I still need to have Prince Luca find me some time to put me through some work, I think. I'm not quite ready to handle a bow, though." He pauses, then motions towards Lisebet, "Of course, the biggest news is sitting right here next to me, of course. I sent out the announcement a few days ago that we will be wed in a few months." A pause and then he looks over, saying, "Lord Bisland, your turn."
Carita's smile is offered Bedivere's way as he notices her, her head dipped, before Gianna catches her eye. "Ahh, -the- Nightingale, hello, Gianna Whisper, so good to see you again." Then takes the offered glass from Luca. There's a soft tsk at the notion of waking the Prince up from odd places, her laughter just loud enough to be heard over the din of the room. She then lifts her glass to sip from as she listens to the news from one person to the next.
Alaric snaps his fingers triumphantly. "I -knew- it was a didn't-do," he declares before exhaling. "Too true, however. I'm deeply sorry to have missed the grand opening. Not just for having missed the event, but having to try and not overhear people talking about the play afterwards is a terrible bother when you don't want to be surprised," he observes to Gianna. Spoilers are an equal opportunity threat. "Everyone's been quite complimentary about the play, inasmuch as they can be without divulging any details."
Liara offers a flutter of her fingers in a wave to Gianna - being so good as to use the hand not preoccupied with a dinner knife - and offers over, "Good to see you. I'm mulling over a ball or large party of some sort for the next few weeks. If I decide on something, I might very well write to you about a performance."
Lou grins at Niklas. "So you missed the part where I told you that I'd give you the details of a great next story. Good to know!" She then peers over at Harlan and Lisebet and nods to each. "Congratulations on your betrothal."
1 Grayson House Guards, Thalia, a beautiful lady-in-waiting arrive, following Roxana.
Grayson Dinner is something that has to land on Michael Bisland's social calender. Granted, there is clear space above it, below it, and to either side of it. Being socially present isn't a high priority for the Voice. He is a late arrival, eyeing the gathering as a whole. Looking for someone he can stand next to and wait out the dinner.
Bartholomew have been dismissed.
And there's Lisebet's news as well, it seems. She grins, and nods to Lou briefly. Alaric's didn't do gets another smile, Lisebet relaxing as she listens to all the fun banter quietly.
"Oh, please do!" Gianna calls over to Liara, her voice light but carrying easily. The Nightingale accepts a glass of wine from an attendant and makes her way over to the dining table to take a seat. "Apology accepted this time, Your Majesty," she tells Alaric. "Don't miss the next, however." And the stern is back. Surely she is kidding. Surely. To Carita, she remarks, "Lovely earrings!"
Gianna has joined the Dining Table.
By the time Prince Luca responds to Harlan, he's already finished off two glasses of wine (they were small, really), and he's just made the most of some poor cupcake he's picked up off the table. There's a bit of icing on him. "Hey, no problem, Harlan! I'll miss a nap or three. We'll get you graceful again.". The man muses about his problem, "These cupcakes are here every month and I never make it past them to get to the food..". It's good to unload on your protege about these kinds of woes. "What I'm trying to say is, don't try one or you'll be forever cursed to want them more.". On that note, he offers one to Carita, while listening to people go on about their months.
"I wouldn't dream of it," Alaric assures Gianna, and as she goes to check out Carita's earrings he smoothly retreats before he gets sterned at any more in the direction of the Whitehawk grouping. "Lady Evonleigh, welcome to the Grayson estate. Delighted to see you all tonight. I don't believe I've been acquainted with your companions?" He smiles regally at Bedivere and Rhiannon. And Cabbit.
Rhiannon looks startled as she's noticed while holding up a wall. She bows toward Alaric, awkward, but definitely trying not to embarrass her Duke. "Lady Rhiannon Ashford, your Majesty. Commander of the Ashford Tree Scouts." She's dressed much as Lou. More about what she can wear climbing in trees than a pretty dress that can make her fit in better.
Niklas looks between Gianna and Alaric. "It /is/ showing through this weekend," he chides. "There really is no reason not to see it! One of my stars may very well have a baby in the middle of a performance! Can't beat that for building tension."
Roxana Grayson is right on time really. That others are early is hardly her fault, especially since most of them live right here in the manor. She on the other hand has...two entire blocks to walk before she makes it to the Grayson Manse. Yet before dinner is even halfway over, the former Malvici slides into the dining room, dressed in black and gold and moving with languid poise. She walks over to His Majesty first, bobbing a bit of a curtsy before greeting him instead with a kiss to the cheek. "Alaric darling it seems like it's been forever. At least since we had a pleasant conversation over dinner, not some important discussion about thus and such. I prefer pleasant, as you well know." A smile, and she finds a seat that isn't too close to the King, especially since Symonesse is already in bed obviously. "Cousins!" A generic greeting for the various and sundry Grayson royals, each that she pulls into eye contact is offered a wave of her fingertips.
The king calling on her draws Evonleigh's stormy-gray eyes his way, and despite her usually wry sort of demeanor, her brows shoot up in surprise and she laughs a little at her own startle and start. "Your Majesty," she says. She smiles when Rhiannon introduces herself, a nod for the Ashford, before turning to Bedivere. "Your Majesty, this is Lord Bedivere Whitehawk, Marshal of Hawkhold. We're very happy to accept the dinner invitation and see you all," she says, with a nod to Sabella as well.
A single brow of Carita's lifts as Luca offers her a cupcake, her blue-eyed attention turned down on it almost warily. "It sounds like how I feel about the butter rum tarts at the coffee shop," which means she's going to eat the cupcake. She picks it up and smile Luca's way, leaning to murmur something to him, laughing, which offers up the glittering pair of earrings for Alaric to look at. Her smile grows just a little more, now producing a rare appearance of the dimple in her cheek. "Thank you, Gianna, I *think* they were a gift." But the furrow of her brow denotes a bit of puzzlement before she dips a finger in the cupcake and, eats it off her finger. "You're right, Prince Luca. Will I be forever ruined now?"
Liara flashes Gianna a smile, then breathes a low laugh at Niklas's remark. She wonders of him, "Does the script provide for it? Is there a name for the baby's part or shall it be consigned to 'extra'?"
Lou looks back to Alaric as Rhiannon introduces herself, "She's also one of the newer members of the Society of Explorers." She smiles over at Rhiannon when she makes that announcement. "I am very much looking forward to what she brings to the organization."
Gianna looks from Alaric to Niklas and then shoots something of an alarmed look at Sabella, her eyes widening. She looks back at her patron, horrified, before telling Liara, "The script does not, in fact, call for it. I'm certainly not modifying the cast list in the copies of the script should said baby be so very inconvenient as to arrive during a performance." Roxana's entrance - and outfit - is given a calculating look. She inclines her head to the woman.
Rhiannon gives Lou a dip of her head as she's called out. "I am, indeed. It was time to join, I think. It will be my pleasure to be of some service to the Explorers."
Speaking of the Explorers, Willen comes in and taps Lou on the shoulder, whispering quietly into her ear. She frowns faintly and nods, rising from her seat. "It seems I am being called away earlier than expected. Good evening, all."
"Those are Ryhalt's favourite," Lisebet says with a laugh and a nod Carita's way. She has by now somehow acquired some appetizers and a glass of wine, which she is nibbling on and sipping, probably in that order.
Marigold, a cheeky pygmy goat arrives, delivering a message to Lisebet before departing.
Cabbit notices the attention from the King and purrs more, tilting his head. Bedivere moves with Evonleigh, constantly supporting Cabbit and committing to a careful bow at the slowest pace to let the cat walk all over his shoulders, compensating for the fact that Bedivere does not have enough hands to hold that helpful cat right now (what with the wine and all). Standing back up, with Cabbit climbing back up to his shoulder perch, Bedivere merrily greets, "Pleased to see you again, Your Majesty." It was a long time ago before the Lodge defense when they had met before. "I hope you have been fairing well?"
The Fox-Prince laughs at Countess Carita's shenanigans, amused entirely, "Oh sure, definitely ruined. I can see it happening right now. You can't say I didn't warn you.". He shakes his head a bit, succumbs to the temptation of his own cupcake enough to finish it off, then rounds it out with having another glass of wine poured for himself. Just to get in on what's going on, he calls out, "I definitely saw the Good Duke of Gemecitta. Opening night, even. The Nightingale can vouch for me! She winked at me! Twice! Best opening night I ever went to, really..". He leans back in his chair a bit then, watching, waiting.
Very late but never absent, Macda arrives to see quite a full room of guests. She starts to make her greetings from the nearest to the door towards Alaric. "Your Majesty," she says with a polite curtsy. She must be sober enough to pull it off well and without a wobble. Sabella and Liara are easy to spot and greet warmly. It almost might be she recognises nearly everyone this time.
Alaric smiles to Roxana at her approach. "Ah, Roxana, always a pleasure. Have you met our guests from House Whitehawk? This is Lady Evonleigh and Lord Bedivere. They're helpfully screening Lady Rhiannon Ashford from too much social scrutiny," he quips by way of introduction. "This is Princess Roxana, the Queen's lady in waiting." He regards the three anew. "Ah, you're quite correct, pardon me," he tells Bedivere. "Commander Rhiannon and Marshal Bedivere, House Grayson thanks you both for your continuing service and protection." He smiles to Macda at her arrival as well. "Macda, good evening."
Willen leaves, following Lou.
Harlan says towards Luca, "I'm sure you don't need as many naps as you claim. I've done quite enough sleeping for a good while, to be honest." He lifts his glass and nods towards Macda, "Princess, hello." He then sips at his own wine while sitting with Lisebet.
"Guests from House Whitehawk? No I have not, but I'm sure you will remedy that right away." Roxana beams at the king, stepping forward to make the introductions easier. "A pleasure, Lady Evonleigh and Lord Bedivere. Welcome to Arx and the Grayson Manor. If you are truly guests here you must let me know if there is anything you need. I'll make sure you are treated very well, I promise." She nods her head, glancing only sidelong at Alaric. "The Queen's lady in waiting and the King's dear and cherished friend...as well as the Minister of Civil Welfare for the Crownlands." But rather than letting her voice get snooty or snide, she seems to be teasing, herself the butt of the joke.
Liara flashes Gianna a grin. "Dreadfully inconvenient. Unique, though! Perhaps not in the desired fashion." Then Macda appears, and Liara brightens yet further, and offers a brisk wave from her spot at the table. "Macda! Looking good." Of course, she'd probably say that about her older sister even if she'd just fallen on her face.
"Messy," Gianna mutters in response to Liara, her nose wrinkled. She looks at the roast beef and presses her lips together, turning her plate to work on the steamed vegetables instead. The Nightingale inclines her head to Macda.
"I've been quite well personally," Alaric adds to Bedivere. "Very calm and relaxed since the Lodge affair was handled. It would be nice to be able say that of the rest of the Compact, but it's been a bit of a turbulent year, as some are. Still, I'm quite confident that the Peerage will rise to the various challenges of settling their differences as befitting Arvian traditions. And yourselves?" He eyes Roxana with a smirk. "I thought it was 'cherished and dear'," he deadpans.
"Your highness, a pleasure to see you," Evonleigh says, with a dip of her head for Roxana, and another for Macda when she arrives. At the praise and gratitude given to Bedivere, Evonleigh smiles at her not-quite an uncle with clear fondness. When Roxana addresses them, she smiles. "That is kind of you. We're both currently citizens of the city -- simply my first time to one of your dinners. I have terrible luck and timing but tonight the stars aligned for once."
"No babies," Sabella promises Gianna with a laugh, then she sets her sights on Michael, "Have you shared a recent accomplishment yet? Did I miss it? What fabulous things has Bisland been up to?"
Rhiannon gives a dip of her head to the King and then goes back to guarding Harlan's back. It does seem to be what she is most comfortable doing. She really can't just step into all this chaos easily, though she glances out a window, backing to the side of one. There have to be close trees.
"Ha. This is Tikva's doing, but I haven't ruined it yet." Macda says to her younger sister as if Liara should be proud. She looks like she's been training particularly hard lately, which might balance out to how much book dwelling she's also done. Gianna's visage catches Macda's eye and the princess waves back with a warm smile. Her expression lingers as it does sweep over a face she doesn't quickly discern, that of Evonleigh.
Liara upturns a hand to gently indicate Sabella and offers a mild, "There you go," to Gianna, with another flash of a grin. "I like it," she then offers to Macda. "Besides, if it's sufficiently hard-wearing, ruining might require some creativity."
Bedivere dips his head a bit to Alaric, "I am glad to serve, Your Majesty." Then, he looks up and turns toward Rhiannon with yet another dip of his head, before he looks to Roxana with curiosity then gratitude. "Thank you. says he with a bit of a smile for Evon before he becomes mostly neutral again and pivots back to the King. "It pleases me to know that you are well, and yes, there has been some turbulence, but I feel as though we will succeed, and am doing well. While we have a formidable army, I hope to see us use diplomacy, since we need all our members of The Compact as we deal with foreign powers."
Michael had meandered over towards drinks, not wanting to be served anything. Thats where Sabella spots him, pins him in place with that gaze and he looks back at her. "Fabulous things? Including helping with Kaldur's roads...Mostly difficult times in Bisland. Some new sickness has sprung up that seems to steal the memories from the sick and turns them into irritable reckless shells of their former selves."
Sabella frowns just a bit, "A sickness that steals memories? That sounds absolutely dreadful. Have the mercies been able to help? That sounds like something Marquessa Reigna would dive right into. Healing, that is, not catching."
Niklas has left the Throne of Pena Stormryder.
Gianna nods to Liara, but doesn't look very comforted. And she's still avoiding that roast beef. And wrinkling her nose. Sabella is given a bit of suspicious side-eye.
"I have intentions on borrowing Princess Ailys, and a few others here and there." Michael responds quickly to Sabella. "New cases seem to appear only after it rains, strangely enough." Brandy swirls in his glass tumbler before he lifts a chin off towards Evonleigh. "Lady Whitehawk, what has my favorite barony been up to?"
Harlan frowns over towards Michael, "I'd send a message to Lord Archeron as well. We've been dealing with something similar in Ashford. Not a disease, but .... definitely something related."
Harlan adds, "I'm interested as well, thinking upon it, Lord Bisland."
Lisebet is not commenting on babies from her current position of newly engaged. she does eat - veggies and roast beast is always a good choice. Well, mostly good? Anyway, Lisebet glances over at Harlan, keeping an eye on how tired he seems to be, among other things. She frowns a bit at the information from Michael, curiously. "How odd," is her comment.
"In the Bisland lands, you said?" Roxana finds herself drawn into Michael's conversation too, focusing green-gold eyes on him. "Can you tell us anything more...and is there anything that might be done to help. That sounds like the sort of issue of civil welfare that House Grayson has asked me to stay on top of, and provide funds for when they are needed. Please know I'll do all I can for you, and House Bisland."
"You did warn me, and then tempt me with /cake/ of all things." Carita chirps back Luca's way, laughter peppering her words. "Have this glorious thing that will ruin you, but don't actually eat it." She's still laughing when Macda arrives, getting a respectful dip of her head, and another for Roxana as she arrives. It's Michael that draws her attention next, a quick intake of breath causing her to cough a little, thanks to the cupcake she's eating. A sip of wine, and visibly swallowing. "That sounds a little like what we dealt with in Darkwater, during the Gyre war." Her brows furrow a little as she quietly picks at her cupcake. "The people turning in to shells of themselves, I mean."
"My goodness, Marshal Bedivere, you say that almost as if our various foreign delegations as here to pursue their own agendas rather than having the good of the Compact at heart," Alaric observes wryly. "We'll find out what they claim to intend soon enough." He glances towards the talk of sickness with a faint squint and sip of his wine. "Has there been much in the way of natural recovery from this sickness?" he inquires.
"Oh, this and that," says Evonleigh to Michael, her gray eyes narrowing a little at him, accompanied by an almost imperceptible shake of her head for calling attention to the little barony that could. "I think each of us is up to many things, all of value in their own way. I've been doing some diplomacy efforts and helping my patron Prince Lorenzo with his copper campaign," she says, a touch to the brooch she wears. "That does sound like a strange trouble indeed," she says, glancing at Carita and shivering at the description the countess gives.
Evonleigh glances about and nods to Macda. "Your highness, your turn," she says with a smile.
Harlan is listening, but keeping mostly quiet other than the before comment. He smiles towards Lisebet though, periodically. He's happy to have her company, it seems.
Bedivere replies back with a wry mien of his own, "Indeed, I do. Indeed, I do." Though, after Alaric's question, he moves to not take up much of the King and turn to witness the answer to that question. He listens to Evonleigh, too, giving a nod of greeting to Micheal before he sips from his white wine. Meanwhile, Cabbit the nub-tailed kitten is perched atop Bedi's shoulder, peacefully watching the dinner party from up there.
A messenger comes and makes a beeline for Gianna, handing her a missive. She reads it, arching a brow, and rises from her seat. "Please excuse me," she announces. "It appears I am needed elsewhere." That said, she makes her way toward the exit. She is not too elegant to pick up a cupcake on her way out, however.
Gianna has left the Dining Table.
Liara has left the Dining Table.
1 Grayson House Guards have been dismissed.
"There's a good lesson in there somewhere, I'm sure..", Prince Luca mentions to Carita, "I mean, with the cupcakes, that is. Something something, the worst things always come with icing?". He doesn't try very hard to find a lesson, really. He's half-listening to the mention of illness floating around the table, and to Carita's own addition to that conversation. He does refill the Countess's wine glass for her, since he's doing the same for himself.
Lisebet looks very thoughtful as the conversation continues. A messenger comes for her, and she looks at it, and then grins, amused. "Lady Amari sends her congratulations," she tells Harlan. It's just a short aside, in the midst of the serious conversation.
Sabella gives waves and smiles to those that are departing as Evonleigh picks Alaric as the next victim, "I'm not sure his Magesty hashad anything of interest happen lately. It's been so dull around here," she says with a smile, before looking to Carita, "Were you able to find a cure in Darkwater?"
Harlan nods towards Lisebet and smiles, "I've yet to meet her, other than the once, I think."
Cecily, a coy secretary arrives, delivering a message to Roxana before departing.
"Oh I'm terribly sorry." Roxana states after receiving a messenger and opening it. "There's been some kind of disaster with new decorating, I have to excuse myself early. Do be well everyone." With that she rises to her feet and slips away.
1 Grayson House Guards, Thalia, a beautiful lady-in-waiting leave, following Roxana.
"Ah, is it my turn, now? First thing that comes to mind is that we had our traditional swearing-in ceremony for new King's Own knights at the Crownguard Tower recently. Sir Austen's friends and family attended, and it was a proud time as it always is," Alaric declares regally. "Beyond that, I can't say too much out of the ordinary has transpired; the Crown has been paying attention to the news from around Arvum, as I'm sure we all are. Obviously we're preparing to lend assistance if asked, but I'm confident the local ladies and lords will manage the conflicts appropriately." He pauses thoughtfully. "Oh, and somebody bid quite a charitable sum for a dinner with me, but I've yet to hear who. Lord Commander Eleanor wasn't particularly pleased with their pseudonym, understandably." He regards Carita with a grin. "Well now, I think it's high time we induct one of our guests into our little dinner tradition. Countess Carita, what are you involved with as of late?"
Carita picks up her glass, taking a sip as her attention turns toward Macda, and then to Luca as she smiles her thanks. While she has a practiced posture, she does lean back, and while the conversation is lulled, and Macda finds herself stolen away, she glances Evonleigh's way. "I guess you'll have to pick someone else, alas. I was looking forward to Princess Macda's news, whatever it might have been." Then to Sabella, "Well,--" she gives the Princess an apologetic smile as Alaric calls on her, "I'll be happy to send you the information I have, Your Highness," said before the King wins her attention with a dip of her head. "Thank you, Your Majesty," she clears her throat and sets her half-eaten cupcake aside, a finger still in it's frosting. "I've actually been working on bringing some peace with Prince Laric and Father Aureth, at least, that's my hope anyway. We're planning a lantern ceremony, similar to the one held before, where everyone had a paper lantern? Sending prayers up to Death?" Blue eyes scan the table for anyone that might remember it, "This time, however, the prayers will be for both Lagoma and Death."
Rhiannon gets a messenger and then pauses to touch Harlan on the shoulder, nods to Lisebet and then the room. "Please excuse me. I must go track someone down. Let me know if I am needed."
Zelda, the royal messenger have been dismissed.
13 King's Own Guardsmen have been dismissed.
Carita sucks the frosting off her finger, "Prince Luca, it's your turn." and her cupcake is take up again.
Evonleigh smiles at Carita. "That sounds lovely. I hope I can make the next one," she says, before taking another sip of wine and glancing at the prince for his update.
Though his concerns seem to be running more into leaning and how he might keep that lean while also keeping his glass of wine full, Prince Luca looks suitably impressed when Carita mentions the festival with the lanterns, "Oh, that sounds like it will be something else to see. Death and Change, eh? Mm..". The thoughtful sound that escapes him leads to a bit of silence from the southern-born prince. It doesn't last long, it's just a bit reflective. Then he's adding, since he's been called on, "Well, winter's gone, so I can actually do things again. Mostly I've been catching up on sleep. That's been nice. I've been sure to keep some typical saving all of Arvum stuff in my schedule too, though..". That's all given to the table sensibly, while he finishes off another glass of wine, "I uh..", he grasps for, really giving it some thought, before he gives up, "You got me. I didn't do a thing this month. Not a bad problem, considering the state of everything right now! It's better
Though his concerns seem to be running more into leaning and how he might keep that lean while also keeping his glass of wine full, Prince Luca looks suitably impressed when Carita mentions the festival with the lanterns, "Oh, that sounds like it will be something else to see. Death and Change, eh? Mm..". The thoughtful sound that escapes him leads to a bit of silence from the southern-born prince. It doesn't last long, it's just a bit reflective. Then he's adding, since he's been called on, "Well, winter's gone, so I can actually do things again. Mostly I've been catching up on sleep. That's been nice. I've been sure to keep some typical saving all of Arvum stuff in my schedule too, though..". That's all given to the table sensibly, while he finishes off another glass of wine, "I uh..", he grasps for, really giving it some thought, before he gives up, "You got me. I didn't do a thing this month. Not a bad problem, considering the state of everything right now! It's better if I don't need to be Sword. It means it hasn't come to that..". Cheerful!
Prince Luca doesn't forget to choose someone to go next either. He just almost forgets, until Carita nudges him, "Oh, right!", and he gestures to Bedivere, "Let's hear it, Lord Bedivere! How's the month held up for you?".
Sabella looks impressed at Carita's mention of the festival, "That sounds gloriois! I can't wait to see it come about! Let me know if there's anything I can do to help!" she laughs at Luca's admission of laziness, "If only we were all so troubled," she teases before looking over at Bedivere.
Giuseppe Gallo and Elizabetta walk through the background carrying expensive flower arrangements.
Bedivere hears out Carita and Luca before glancing over to Evon then back to the group at large before saying, "My arm has been killing me, but then there was always family to make things right. Lady Elora and Lord Jyri have been recently married. May they be blessed. Meanwhile, Cabbit has been keeping me company as we teach others the strategies and tactics of leadership and war. Whilst I am seeking consultation in diplomacy and news to be more flexible. Meanwhile, we are working toward expanding Whitehawk lands, as well as doing whatever we can to keep the peace over the road. Lord Michael, you are up next."
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