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End of Spring Fling

Summer is nearly here! Let's gather for the first of hopefully many wonderful nights filled with fun and good company. '

The Princess Valencia affectionately invites one and all to come and welcome the return of another sweet summer with a wonderful evening of friends, fine entertainment, excellent food and drink and the many secret (and not so secret) delights of the Hart.

As always, the Hart is open to explore, including the vast hidden gardens, grand arena, starlight rooftop gardens and more. The Hart's magical stone pools are warm and waiting for those hoping for a little swim under the stars and the dance floor is ready to receive.

A selection of libations and light fare will be available for you to enjoy.

Dress: Come as you are. Your kind and lively company is all that is wished for and required.

All are very welcome to attend!

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OOC:

This event was created to have some fun and offer more chances to RP.

As always, the Hart is open to everyone in Arx. All are welcome to attend. If you are new to the game or looking for RP, please be welcome. If you have questions, you can @mail Valencia.

Look forward to seeing you! <3

Date

Jan. 26, 2019, 9:30 p.m.

Hosted By

Valencia

Participants

Malcolm Ian Reese Jan Zoey Monique Ysbail Evonleigh Willow Rowynna Eilonwy Niklas Quenia Sabella Kenna Olivia Pharamond Rhiannon Danvir Felicia Brogan Brady Waldemai

Organizations

Golden Hart

Location

Arx - Ward of the Compact - The Golden Hart Social & Gaming House - Hidden Courtyard

Largesse Level

Grand

Comments and Log


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

Gruffudd, a ridiculously fluffy large cat, Inka Bramblethorn arrive, following Ysbail.

Vraxese, a Kennex Corsair guard arrives, following Jan.

Jan, Zoey arrive, following Ian.

Gruffudd, a ridiculously fluffy large cat have been dismissed.

Malcolm's arriving with Reese, offering his arm to the Grayson princess as they pair step out onto the Hart's hidden gem of a courtyard. He leans in, drops his voice low, and mutters: "You're all blue, Highness. Thank you for humoring me."

Inka Bramblethorn leaves, following Ysbail.

1 Crimson Blades Lieutenant arrives, following Eilonwy.

Ian keeps a careful eye on his feet on the uneven ground of the Hidden Garden, marking his own footsteps. He's walking more or less with Zoey and Jan, but the focus turns to walking precludes a real sense of his being here with them, at least right now.

Reese takes Malcolm's offered arm while lifting her blue eyes and giving the duke a smile that briefly brings her dimples to bloom. "I feel like an entirely different person, Duke, but not in a bad way. It is fun." She says toward him. She peeks over those just arriving. "I think there is going to be a good turn out tonight." The girl adds and she waves in direction of Zoey, Jan and Ian. Reese seems in a cheerful mood and her cheeks are warmed with a hint of rosy pink.

Walking a bit ahead of Zoey and Ian, Jan is wearing a tired but alert look. Her gaze sweeps around at all the people, but she doesn't offer anything more then greetings that are expected. Even those are the bare minimum and she sticks close to her escort. Not that she is trying to be rude, she is simply acclimating to the city after a year long absence.

Zoey walks in beside Ian, looking just this side of tired as they move along the pathways. She glances over at Jan. "You remember Princess Valencia, right? From the sips and spars."

Inka Bramblethorn arrives, following Ysbail.

Into the Hart sweeps Lady Monique Greenmarch and if the flame-bright hair didn't give her away, the spectacular drip of dragonweep would. She comes up behind Reese and Malcolm, attempting to sling an arm around the Grayson Princess and definitely not to steal her lovely jewels. "Beautiful Reese, " she attempts to give a squeezing hug. "It's been too long. Duke Malcolm. Pleasant to see you again so soon and with such charming company. "

Ysbail arrives late, making her way over to Valencia with a wide smile. "Princess you have truly outdone yourself again."

Dressed like spring herself in a gown that shifts between all of the season's prettiest hues, Evonleigh Whitehawk arrives -- on no one's arm, because as Michael Bisland likes to tease, she's one of the 'Spinster Whitehawks' at the ripe age of 23. She smiles as she looks about at the bonfire and the softer glow of the paper lanterns, at those already arrived in their beautiful gowns and silk shirts and jackets. She drops elegant curtsies to those of royal blood, and a nod for those she knows. "Lord and Lady Kennex," she says with a smile for the pair. "How is your little one?" she asks, and she includes Jan in a smile for the trio.

Willow arrives all on her lonesome but seems content with it, smiling as she looks around and offering a wave in greeting to Reese after flashing Valencia a beaming grin and dipping her head in greeting. Surprised at seeing Ysbail she bounds over to offer a "Hey."

One of the two doors swings open as a woman arrives. Rowynna peers about herself before eyeing those gathered, stepping onto the path. It looks as if she is looking for someone for a moment or two before shrugging to herself. The lady seems curious at the goings on but remains quiet for now.

Entering the garden of the Hart, Eilonwy looks around and clasps her hands behind her lightly. She's a little behind Ysbail and looking unsure about wearing a dress that isn't all green but she puts on a nice smile to greet the Princess.

Niklas sweeps on in with Sabella on his arm and their usual retinue in tow. "I'm certain that this will be a lovely celebration, but I hate the end of spring more than just about anything else. In another month or so I'll be missing the weekly blizzards of this past winter." Niklas gives a long, drawn out, oh so pained sigh. "Summer is a terrible season."

Quenia steps into the Hart, alone. Always alone these days. And, for a brief moment, there's even a touch of sadness that touches her eyes. It's been just over a year since she's stepped foot in the place, for reasons of her own not doing with the Hart itself. She takes a breath and steps further into the room, dressed in delight of fiery passion in her 400flame licked aeterna dress. She makes her way over to the secret arbor, and settles in.

Quenia has joined the secret arbor.

The Hart's hidden courtyard buzzes with anticipation as the finest of Arx make their way inside for a final fling of spring and to say hello to a rather interesting summer to come. The little vixen arrives with a big smile, her southern silks rustling about her as she stops to greet one and all and see to their comfort.



Waledmai is offered the first of her bright smiles, the Master Smith well known and well welcome to the Hart. Next is it Reese and Malcolm that are spied. "Your Highness, your Grace, how wonderful you look!" she calls out, giving Reese a warm hug and a light kiss upon the cheek before turning to offer Duke Malcolm a delicate hand in greeting. Lord Ian and Lady Zoe also receieve warm greetings as well and the Valencia smiles enve more to see Jan arrive, too. "My dearest Lord Ian and Lady Zoey, I see you have brought a wonderful surpise to my Hart," she beams to the trio before focusing on Jan. "My lady! Welcome back to the city. You were missed."

Sabella beams a smile over at the Kennex clan, "Zoey, Ian, and is that Jan! I feel like it's been forever since we've seen you! It was, what, back when I won that dance competition? Duke Malcolm! I was so sorry to miss your party the other night, but Relara's been keeping us up with her teething and I fear I've been sleeping through most of the engagements lately, so I knew I simply must come out to this one and I am ever so glad to see that you're here!" Reese gets an enthusiastic wave. "Princess Valencia, this was a delightful way to end the spring although I am terribly sad to see it go, as Prince Niklas was just saying. As an islander I'm afraid he rather melts in the heat. I think I've finally broken him of his habit of wearing a wool coat throughout it though," she gives her husband a fond smile.

Princess Sally Acorn, an acorn toting red squirrel arrives, following Kenna.

A soft sound escapes from Reese as she notices Monique reaching out her. The sound is followed by a smile and one that touches her blue eyes. She returns the hug. "Lady Monique, nice to see you again." She says in the redhead's direction. She smiles over to Willow as well and then waves to Valencia. The girl then peeks to her sister. "Hi, Princess Sabella." Reese then returns Valencia's hug and nuzzles her cheek into the kiss. "Thank you for holding this Princes Valencia." She then glances down at herself. "Duke Malcolm picked it out." She says, speaking of her blue gown. She seems to like such.

2 Ashford House Guard, Bethany arrive, following Olivia.

Ian stops walking and looks up when the greetings start coming his and Zoey's way. He nods to Evonleigh, leaving the answer of her question to Zoey (who apparently knows more on the subject than he does), and nods to Valencia, as well. "Yeah. We're glad she's back. Prince Niklas. Princess Sabella." His tone is so flat and unwavering that this could be a greeting, or just him remarking to himself that Prince Niklas and Princess Sabella are here.

Beautiful faces and lovely smiles seem to arrive in abundance now and Valencia is determined to greet everyone with the most warm of accord. "Pardon me, I should say hello," she nods to her current companions before slipping off to greet others as the arrive.



"Lady Monique," the little vixen beams. "I'm so glad you are here. Thank you for your missive and my apologies for being late in reply. Yes, I would love to host something with you. But for tonight, you are my guest and my Hart yours. Please enjoy, yes?" Valencia offers warmly as she turns to offer Lady Ysbail a warm hug and a light kiss upon the cheek. "Again you are too kind, Lady Ysbail," she laughs. "Tell me to you know the lovey Lady Monique Greenmarch? Lady Monique, the wonderful Lady Ysbail Blackwood," she introduces and turns to greet yet more of her guests.

Trying to keep up with the greetings, Jan dips her head, nods, and murmurs some pleasantries that are a bit foreign coming from her mouth. She does have a genuine smile for Sabella however. "How could I forget? You are glowing. I see my cousin forgot to mention he put another child in you." She glances to Niklas, but winks at him in a teasing manner. "I might be a bit slow. Still acclimating."

"Seems like it's going to be quite the shindig, yeah." Malcolm's keeping a tone conversational, bringing Reese toward one of the seats surrounding the fire, he offers her a shallow bow of his head. "Cider? Before you get too caught up in the hub-bub." The Shepherd Duke offers another, still a little awkward sort of bow to Monique, "Way too long, Lady Monique. When was the last time -- just the other day at the Clearlake Lodge, was it?" He asks with an impish grin, onto the same joke, and he nods to Waldemai. "Good evening, sir." And, yes, another bow toward Valencia as hostess, taking her hand as he does so. "Thank you, Princess Valencia." Lastly, Princess Sabella, with a shrug. "Happens. Almost missed it myself."

Ysbail smiles to Willow and Eilonwy, "Oh come on dressing up for parties isn't so bad." Moving to get behind Eilonwy and gently nudge her further into the room. "Lady Willow, an absolute pleasure to see you." Valencia's greeting is returned in kind, "I believe Lady Monique was kind enough to help me sort through the mess of clothes that were left over from my last sojourn into the city, though I admit at the time I did not realize she was a member of the esteemed house Greenmarch." Offering a wide beaming grin to Monique.

Kenna, alas, is probably not long for this. Mostly because she's wearing her armor and her Iron Guard cloak is tossed over her shoulder. It's a drive-by party-ing. First order of business, try to hug her sister, Evonleigh, because that ALWAYS goes down well when one is wearig a layer of steel.

Olivia enters the room and notices the large gathering, giving her a bit of a surprise. She looks through the crowd and sees a few familiar faces, to which she offers a somewhat reserved wave of greeting before she slinks off to the perimeter of the gathering

Sabella and Niklas get a quick curtsy and then a bright smile from Evonleigh. "A pleasure to see you both," she says, a quick wave to Monique who she sees quite the center of attention as well. To Valencia, she adds her gratitude as well. "Thank you for hosting us tonight, Princess Valencia. I too am a little sad to say farewell to spring, but at least we shall send her off in style." When Kenna comes by, she squeaks at the cold and stinky-armored hug, but kisses her sister's cheek. "You'll snag me," Evonleigh says with a pout, pushing Kenna lightly. "Why are you not in a pretty thing? I know you own them!"

A beautiful smile is offered to Lady Evonleigh as she arrives and joins Ian, Zoey and Jan and another to Rowynna as she arrives as well, "Good evening," Valencia chimes with delight. "Come, please be very welcome," she nods gently, ushering a pretty little buxom barmaid with a tray of drinks towards the new arrivals. To Eilonwy there is another warm incline of head as the little princess arrives at her side, "You look lovey," the little dark eyed vixen smile. "Such a pretty dress. Come and enjoy a drink, yes?" she invites.

Zoey is dressed rather simply, actually. Rich umbra falls in a marriage of Crownlander fashions and Thraxian sensibility. Gold and diamonds, nothing fancy. But she is nothing if not well put together. At least -one- of the Kennexes has to be. She smiles at Valencia and leans down to press a light kiss to the woman's cheek. "Your Highness. Oh I've missed having your smile around."

Reese allows herself to be guided toward the fireplace seats. She sits down with perching grace, smoothing her pale hands over the folds of her skirt in a way that make it seem like she is not all that used to wearing gowns. "Oh, cider would be great. It is my favorite." She says to Malcolm. A smile is given to Ysbail, Kenna and Olivia as she notices them. She seems cheerful, bright-eyed and pink-cheeked.

Quenia has left the secret arbor.

"Princess Valencia, lovely party as always." Eilonwy offers from Ysbail's side before looking to her adopted sister. "It is not good camouflage." She remarks of her un-tree like colors before touching the skirt lightly. "But it is very soft." Eily flushes a little but twists a bit to show Willow she's wearing the dress.

Willow looks surprised and does a double take before her entire face lights up wirh her smile at Eilonwy. "You wore it! Oh, it looks so lovely against your skin." She comes in to offer Ysbail a hug. "Pleasure is mine, Lady Ysbail. How have you been?"

Monique unentangles herself from Reese to essay a curtsey to the nobility. "Oh, Princess Valencia, you're too kind and you've set my own heart to soaring, which means we both must be above Elyssia right now. Send me a messenger when you're able, and we'll meet to discuss the details of it? We ought not to give anything away tonight," she says with a green-eyed wink. Her attention is distracted then by Malcolm and his quip wins a laugh from the Minx of the Marches. "It was, and far too long to be far from your charming company, Duke Shepherd. Have you met Lady Ysbail? I did have the honor to do some sorting for her. Quick fingers, you know," she flexes them with obvious wicked delight, pairing them with a wave for Evonleigh in return. "Lady Whitehawk! Beautiful!" It's a single exclamation, but full of emphasis, called out to the other woman warmly.

Sabella laughs and nudges Niklas, "I quite think that he believes if he doesn't mention it it might not be happening. Which is not to say that he is not happy for another," she adds quickly with a smile, "But I think he thought there'd be more time between. Lady Evonleigh! I was quite hoping to see you here. I miss everyone so much since the Good Duke closed. We shall have to put something else on again quite soon." Lady Olivia gets a bright smile and a wave as she enters and then she's dragging Niklas over to sit, "I need to get off my feet before they burst from my shoes! Could you get me something to drink, my love? And perhaps a bite to eat," she gives Nik a knowing look. Bring the buffet to her!

Sabella has joined the table by the fountain.

"Alas! A Snag!" Kenna says dramatically, a smile tugging at her lips. "I'll just have to buy you a new dress. But I don't have time to come here and then report for my watch so....." She trails off as she looks down at her gauntlets. The others about get a greeting from Kenna also, "Lord Ian, Lady Zoey - it's well to see you both again. I feel like it has been a bit, but I think I saw Ian in passing earlier this week."

Reese looks over to Eilonwy, looking over her dress and having a smile. "Oh, it is very lovely, maybe like a rainbow after a spring rainstorm." She says toward the marquesa.

Pharamond makes his way in having gone with the purported 'come as you are' appearance, having forgotten until nearly the last minute that the fling was happening today! And so, in his typical leathers with comfortable clothes beneath, the Ashford House Sword makes his way in to join the festival. It should be fun, or so he hopes - it is rare that the events that Princess Valencia hosts are anything but! So he is optimistic and glances about, giving a smile to the faces he knows and perhaps even more of a pleasant look to those he does not as of yet.

Rowynna wraps her arms around herself, a pensive look appearing on her face briefly before returning to a neutral position. After a moment's consideration, she moves closer to the bonfire. As Princess Valencia greets her with a smile, the lady smiles back in greeting, with a shy wave. She then takes a finger to the strip of white hair that contrasts with the rest of her sable locks, calling out. "Hello, your Highness." She pauses, as if trying to find the correct thing to say. "Thank you for having such a lovely gathering."

Olivia notices Uncle Pharamond come in and a mischievous grin comes across her face. She does her best to sneak around the crowd to catch Pharamond off guard. She keeps her head low and for cover, must be quite the sight to see a Noble Lady acting such a way, but at least she isn't acting as reserved as usual. As soon as she is within striking distance she pounces on to Pharamond's back!

Moving lightly through the crowd, Valencia finds Quenia. Gently she takes the woman's hands and smiles softly. "My sweetest lady, welcome back to my Hart. You look stunning tonight. I'm glad you are here. Let me know if you should want for anything, yes?" she nods earnestly as the music begins to play.



Turning, the raven haired little princess offers a grateful smile to Princess Sabella and her escord Prince Niklas as they join their family. "A sad farewell indeed, but a beautiful hello to come. Though I know some do not like the heat. Please feel free to use our stone pools this summer if you find the heat to great, yes?" Valencia invites cordially.

Reese has joined the table by the fire.

Reese smiles over to Pharamond as the Ashford Sword arrives. She listens to Willow's softly spoken words and murmurs something back in return.

"How quick are the fingers -- likely as quick as the wit," Malcolm almost-asks Monique, trying to look very serious even while grinning so wide that his eyes are happy little crescent moons, creased at the edges. He leaves Monique to her hint, hint conversation with Valencia. "No, I haven't. It's a pleasure to meet you. Duke Malcolm Shepherd, at your service -- or whatever I'm supposed to say to sound all courtly, right-o? Have you met the Princess Reese Grayson," he makes the introduction with a pleased nod, adding toward her, "Cider. Certainly, your Highness. A moment, please --" Time to slip away from making the formal talk in order to secure pints of cider.

Ian nods to Kenna. "You may have," he agrees. "I've been around." He definitely is not well put together, and the gods only know the last time that jacket has been cleaned. "Another kid?" He asks... sortof the space between Niklas and Sabella, so that the question could be pointed to either.

"She is," says Evonleigh to Monique with a grin and a nod to Kenna, dressed in her armor, because the Whitehawks are ubiquitous. "Thank you," she adds, "and you as ever." She turns to her Sabella and nods. "I quite miss the camaraderie of rehearsals -- which I can only admit now that they're over, of course!" she says merrily. To Kenna, she asks, "How long are you here for, sister mine? Shall we find a drink?"

Ysbail wiggles her fingers in greeting to Reese, before her attention is returned to Eilonwy and Willow. Grinning. "As well as can be expected, quite pleased to join a party. Though I confess Eily quite a picture in that gown, is it your work Lady Willow?" For Monique's introduction of Malcolm there is a broad smile. "I Confess I've met the good duke only once before, he managed to wander into a gathering of prodigals." Ysbail grins. "Princess Reese, yes, she's positively lovely."

Eilonwy beams at Willow and carries the smile to Reese and Valencia. She nudges Ysbail lightly. "The other one has all those knives. I didn't think it'd work for dancing."

Pharamond has made his way in, and blinks for a moment as he looks about. "Huh, I though...." and he is pounced. Asaaulted. Molested even! And so his hands go to wrap around the hands of whoever has jumped upon his back. Fortunately, he's sturdy enough that Olivia doesn't take him off his footing and he looks back over his shoulder, then the other before he catches sight of who it is. "Well I never," he says as he looks over to Valencia. "Princess, what kind of place are you running where a purely and completely innocent House Sword is accosted in such a way!" His tone however, despite the actual words, is completely and utterly entertained. "Well....I think I can fix this." And with Olivia on his back, he starts walking towards the fountain. Surely nothing bad can come of this at all.

Reese looks up to Malcolm as his introduction is given. "Very official sounding." She says with a light touch of teasing to her tone. The girl then looks upon Ysbail. "Oh, we have met. I have been blessed to spend some time with the Lady Ysbail." She cheerfully says. When Eilonwy speaks of dancing, she ohhs softly. "I might actually dance at this party." The Grayson says.

Valencia bows her head and graciously welcomes Lady Olivia, Lady Kenna and Lord Pharamond in kind, her large dark eyes dancing with delight. "Ladies, my lord, I do hope you enjoy our litte event," she nods warmly and offers him a delicate hand. She blinks at his accusation and then looks concerned, "My lord? My Lord?! Please allow me to intervene on your behalf," calls out the little vixen who dashes through the crowd to save poor Olivia a possible soaking. "If it is swimming you wish, sir, perhaps our stone pools might offer a better venue?" she suggests with as smile..

Niklas offers Evonleigh a smile and a wave. "So glad to see you, Lady Evonleigh. I don't believe we've run into one another since closing night. Thank you, so much, for helping to make The Good Duke of Gemecitta such a sensation. I hope you'll grace me when it comes time for my next show." He looks between Ian and Jan and holds up a hand defensively. "Hey, hey! We were busy talking about bloody revenge! Talking about the baby would have been bad luck. But!" Niklas pats Sabella's tummy and nods. "Definitely still a boy." And then his wife is asking him to get some refreshments, so off he goes for drinks and piles of food.

Seeing Pharamond and Olivia on his back, Jan smirks. She watches silently as what appears to be a devious plan starts to come to fruition. Just because she has a soft spot for the girl doesn't mean she'd jump in and save her from a bit of water. She even goes as far as to try and aid in the ruse. "Olivia, you've got something crawling on you.."

Willow nods at Ysbail as she lingers near the Blackwoods. Her nose wrinkles as she laughs brightly, nodding at Eilonwy. "Although, if you could hammer the blades thin enough, and dull the edges enough..." she lets the thought hang for a beat as if picturing it, before offering a deep nod to Ysbail. "It is, I was trying to get a feel for how dye works organically on fabric versus paint or woven pattern, but the colors came together such that I could not imagine not using it."

"Not for long alas, I doubt that Princess Valencia," Kenna bows to the princess as she says that, "Would prefer I not snag this armor on her //other// guests either. But I didn't want to let spring fly away without a proper good-bye." Ian's comment about getting about has Kenna laughing, though she does try not to leave Zoey out of her words. "You do. And you are distinctive when you do it, always. There are so many pretty flowers in the city - like Zoey - that you just //stand out//."

Ian doesn't seem to know how he's supposed to take Kenna's words, so he just gives her a confused look.

Olivia seems to take notice where she is being carried, but the idea of vugs on her again planted by Jan sends her squirming trying to escape from Pharamond's back. She flails about wildly and then her eyes get big at the sight of the fountain and she seems to freeze in defeat, juat as this happens she catches a glimpse of Rhiannon, and a look of desperation is given to her cousin.

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

Felicia arrives, following Brogan.

Rhiannon steps in, looking out of place in her scouting uniform. It is the most formal thing that she has, though. Lady or not, Rhiannon is no debutante. She is trying, though.. to be.. what's that word? Social. Yeah, that one that her mother is always complaining about. And so, here she is, ducking into the event in the garden and her eyes go immediately to the surroundings. She's looking for something. Likely a tree. Instead, she sees Olivia and her predicament and seems to unfreeze. She strides over to her cousin, nodding at people as she passes. "Pharamond," she asks her cousin as she gets close. "What are you doing to Lady Olivia?"

Ysbail grins at Willow, "I believe they do make weaponized hairpins, I would personally love to have a set, never know when sticking someone with the pointy end might be important." She grins at the new arrivals.

Sabella gives Rowynna a bit of a smile from where she's sitting, hands clasped on her stomach, "Hello, I don't think we've met yet! I'm Princess Sabella Grayson. That's my husband, Prince Niklas Grayson. You might've heard of him, they call him the Playwright these days!" She beams with pride, then waves over at Zoey, "Zoey! How is motherhood treating you? You look absolutely wonderful!"

Monique has joined the table by the fire.

"Now hold on a minute," he says to Rhiannon. "I"m walking simply and innocently towards a table by that lovely water feature there, my niece wrapped around my back, and somehow I am the one doing something?" Yeah, the innocent victim look is not one that Pharamond wears well, nor convincintly. As Valencia is coming over to help he grins and lowers himself enough for Olivia to easily slip off his back before he takes his niece's hand and kisses, it smiling, "Off with you, before I finish the lesson I was about to teach you," he teases, smiling to Rhiannon as well and looking to Valencia with a wink. "My hero, Princess," he says, bowing to her before giving a look for a proper place to sit and, more importantly, much needed food and drink...albeit it not necessarily in that order.

Did someone say Weaponized hairpins? Kenna is firmly distracted from Ian's confusion by the comment. "Dame Ida Ferron!" Because Ysbail and WIllow totally need some random weirdo in armor yelling a name at them. "She make the best ones. She makes enough variety to go with any outfit and they're sharp enough to get the job done."

"Thank you. I'd be thrilled to, of course. You'll be happy to know I've joined the Bard College and am working on my singing voice," says Evonleigh with twinkling eyes to Niklas. "I may pen something smaller myself one of these days and I do hope that you both," she nods to Sabella, "might honor me in joining the cast. It will not be anything as grand or ambitious as the Duke, by any means." Malcolm gets a smile, for she's aware of his title, if not properly met yet, "Either the play or present company." To Kenna, she laughs. "I think you are welcome no matter what you are wearing. Plus we all feel safer."

Danvir comes in and stops just inside the door and looking around the room taking everything in he carries a bottle of fire whiskey in one hand an a rocks glass in the other.

The little vixen's cheeks flush and she shakes her head up at Pharamond. "You, sir, I will have my eye on," Valencia teases playfully. "Now be my hero and see that these lovely ladies have a very good time. Drinks for all!"

Looking about, Eilonwy turns more than she really needs to just to make the skirt on her dress swirl a little more. Seems she has her entertainment for the evening. Noticing Danvir, Eily waves. "Look! Not in a bath this time!"

Malcolm offers a friendly wave of one hand - and a toast of the other hand. Yeah, the one holding a cider. Toward Evonleigh in greeting. Or toward anyone in greeting - it's all offer with the same level of joyfulness.

Willow lifts a hand at Kenna, offering a wave and beckoning her over. She shakes her head at Ysbail and says, "I was thinking more like hundreds down a skirt like fish or snake scales." Delighted as she pictures this, seemingly. "How they would /glitter/!"

Reese is perched upon a seat by the fire while speaking with Malcolm and Waldemai. She peeks over to Danvir when arrives having a smile for him.

Danvir grins at Eilonwy and winks at her then says "Much to the chagrin of everyone I am sure. I must say m'lady that you look ravashing this evening." When he sees Reese he breaks into a huge grin as he looks at her.

Olivia runs over and hugs Rhiannon tightly as well, clearly she missed her family during her time at Ashford Keep. "Dear Cousin, if you have time after this party, I have need of a bit of your time if you do not mind?" She is smiling nice and big, this is clearly the most relaxed she has been aince returning to town.

The lady, noticing someone speaking to her, smiles before clearing her throat. "Ah, a pleasure to meet the both of you, your Highnesses." Rowynna pauses for a monent. "I am Lady Rowynna Blackshore. I haven't really been out much as of late." She shrugs. "I've been a bit ill." Eyeing a spot to sit, she sees the table where Quenia is sitting. "I think, if I may take my leave, I will have a seat over yonder. Have a good evening, Princess Sabella and to your Playwright." A chuckle bubbles up from her before moving away from the hustle and bustle.





Water feature swimming averted (for now anyway), Valencia sweeps off to take her place upon the dance floor. A bright smile kisses her lips as she loosk about her, the warm faces of friends old and new chatting and laughing as the music dances through the air makes her smile all the more. A breath is taken and during a lull, she speaks, offering a warm and gracious incline of her head and radiant smile to those gathered for the celebration.

"You should feel safe. I actually managed to beat some of the newer guards today." Kenna should probably not brag about beating raw recruits but... she really is that bad with her sword. Taking Willow's wave as the invitation she makes her way towards Ysbail and Willow only clanking a LOT as she goes. "Hairpins as scales? Sorry - just butting in. Forgive me? Lady Kenna Whitehawk."

"My lords and ladies, misseres and madams, dearest friends, please be welcome to my Hart. As ever, tonight is a night to raise spirits, relax and enjoy excellent company with wonderful entertainment, good food and a strong drink or two," Valencia smiles playfully, her honey smooth voice ringing clearly across gathered crowd.



"Thank you for joining us this evening. Tonight, we celebrate the return of summer, a season of growth, ripe and rich hope and opportunities. It means so much to us that you would join us here. For it is your kindness, generosity and joy that makes our Hart beat stronger, and your strength and spirit that ensures that our city thrives. I hope that you will fill our Hart for many, many summers to come."



"And now, let us all come together to enjoy the evening," she offers raising her glass to one and all in toast. "Wishing you and yours a beautiful and fortuitous summer of light, life, luck and love. Please enjoy the evening."

Rhiannon looks startled, regarding Olivia for a moment. "Of course I do not mind, Olivia. You have only to let me know when you want to meet and I will endeavor to be available."

Rowynna has joined the secret arbor.

A bell chimes and the first of the courses of the summer's best offerings begin to appear on beautiful platters and laden on long banquet tables for all to enjoy. Buttery and rich caramelized onion tarts and lemon and dill creamed goat cheese with spring onion and chives on crisp crackers are followed by roasted sweet peppers drizzled with olive oil and balsamic, an assortment of cured meats, cheeses and flavourful olives start to arrive along with a blush-coloured alcoholic punch laden with brandy soaked fruit and all manner of drinks and libations to be indulged in.

Felicia prowls the gardens with Brogan, the former King's Own dressed in a gown rather than her usual armor, though with it's black-on-black scale she might have missed the idea of 'spring'. But well, efforts were made at least to honor the social nature of the event.

With a whoop and a whistle - Malcolm's calling out to agree with Valencia. "Wishing you an equally fortunate - or whatever - summer, Princess Valencia. Thank you for your gilded hospitality this evenin'."

Ian heads, hopefully with Zoey, to the table by the fountain to join Sabella. He eases himself into his seat, keeping his cane close to him.

Ian has joined the table by the fountain.

Zoey has joined the table by the fountain.

Olivia finally lets her 'death grip' hug of Rhiannon go and she steps back. "Excellent. Now. Let us make Uncle Pharamond serve us drinks and make us plates of food." She grins widley as she takes Rhiannon's hand and tugs her towards a table, making aure Pharamond was in earshot of her comments.

Arriving late is a common sight for Brogan. Currently he at least appears sober, and in his dress leathers. His spring, summer, fall and winter motif, as always, is looking like a ranging bear. Said bear has on his arm a gowned Felicia. "I should make you dance. What could possibly go awry? of course bets would have to be made over whose feet take the most abuse in the process." He pauses in his stride. "Just n time for food, though." Speaking of bear-like appetites.

"Absolutely!" Sabella enthuses to Evonleigh, "I would be completely honored that you'd want me for a part! I have to say that being on the stage was absolutely intoxicating and I cannot wait to do it again!" When Rowynna says she's a Blackshore she laughs, "I absolutely adore your Baroness! She is a complete joy to be around and so inspiring! Always working on something or other. I can only hope to do half the things she accomplished in a day in my entire life!"

Brady arrives, underdressed and outclassed by the company. Despite this, he seems comfortable to find a nearby servant to hand off his backpack to... and boots? How odd. He moves further in with unearned confidence, wearing a casual smile. He takes a glass from one of the tables and fills it with brandy laden punch. He lifts it in cheers to Valencia, on his way over to her.



With a sly smile, he tells her, "An honor to be at another one of your events again, your Highness. I hope you'll save a dance for me?"

Ysbail grins to Willow, "I at times wish I had the good sense to haggle, or sew. It would be lovely to put the things you imagine into being." Kenna gets a smile while the young Blackwood racks her brain trying to place the name.

Zoey does, of course, go with Ian to join Sabella, looking grateful to be seated at last. "Bella, love, how are you?" she says.

Niklas returns to his wife with a heaping pile of everything, already munching away on a forkful of cured meats and onion tarts. "Try the goat cheese, Sabella." Classic pregnant woman fare! "It's fantastic. And these onion tarts?" Oh, wait, did she just introduce him to someone? He turns to Rowynna and offers her a brief bow. "'My Lady. So good to make your acquaintance."

Pharamond watches his cousin and niece, and so he raises a glass seeing that all are entertained, and while he follows Olivia and Rhiannon, setting down a sample of drinks and food alike, he doesn't sit as he makes his way towards Malcolm's table after the toast. "Your Dukeness...." he offers playfully before affecting a more proper bow for the Shepherd head of household! "I hope you're having fun. I actually just wanted to extend my thanks to Lady Elsa in a more formal fashion. She helped me avert a crisis the other day that would have likely harmed me and efinitely have harmed my horse. She was, quite literally, a life-saver."

Danvir approaches Reese's table and smiles at her "how is my favorite knight tonight. May I join you?" he sips from his glass as he speaks to her.

Willow grins at Kenna and shakes her head. "Ah, no. Knives, hundreds of insanely thin knives with their blades layered to look like polished and glittering scales, on a skirt or a dress." For whatever reason. And then on spotting Brogan and Felicia she lifts a hand to offer a wave. She snares an onion tart and some delicious looking brandy and fruit drink before shaking her head at Ysbail. "Haggling is... " and then she spots Brady and smiles, "Not my thing," she tells Ysbail. "Sewing though... is an extension of painting if the right eye is applied. Merely making art you can live /in/ rather than alongside."

Rowynna laugsh quietly as she stops in her tracks as Sabella responds, turning to face her again. "Ah yes, my dearest cousin. She does keep quite busy, doesn't she?" She nods to herself. "The work never ends. Though I suppose it's better to have too many things to do than too few."

"Evonleigh Whitehawk," the older of the two Whitehawks add her names to Kenna's when introductions are made. She beams at Sabella. "I love it too, and cannot wait, so I am yours should either of you need me for anything theatrical. I will send you invites and scripts should I do anything -- you will not need to audition, as I know you are talented and up to any role." She smiles at Malcolm's nod of greeting, at the same time Pharamond does, and offers the jovial man a smile. After a moment, she murmurs something to Kenna softly.

Jan follows Ian and Zoey in a mechanical fashion. Finding a seat close by, but she is not only under dressed, she plain is our of her comfort zone. Despite the short distraction teasing Olivia. Now she is trying to take in all the fancy dress and nobles that speak like they are working with Niklas on his next masterpiece. She reaches into her rucksack for her best comfort. Kennex Cartugan.

"Oh -- there's m'cousin Elsa AGAIN. Doin', like, good things and continuing to be an excellent example of House Shepherd." Malcolm looks like he's going to sigh, but his eyebrows lift and he grins broadly and starts to laugh. "She's good people, my lord Pharamond. Glad to hear that she were there to save yer ass. She's good at that." He lifts his cider to toast the Ashford Sword.

Ysbail grins, "Either way Lady Willow it is a skill I admire."

Jan gets Cartugan - Kennex Brand Rosewater Vodka from Canvas Rucksack.

Valencia's cheeks flush pink at the praise and she offers a deep curtsy to Malcolm for the kind words. Reaching up, she takes a glass of rich Lycene red from a passing tray and takes a sip. Large dark eyes lift to notice Felicia and Brogan arrive. A warm offer of a delicate hand and a bright and cheerful smile is offered to the couple, "My Dame. My lord. Be welcome. My Hart is yours,"she nods gracefully and moves aside for them so that they might enjoy the festivites. "You look lovely," she smiles sweetly to the ex-King's Own.



And then Brady is there at her side. "My missere, please be welcome. I'm so glad you could attend. With luck, perhaps we might have a gem of cards or dice later, if it pleases," Valencia nods cheerfully to the Grayhope as she looks out to her guest with a warm smile.

Jan has joined the table by the fountain.

"My father taught me to haggle when I was younger but since I joined the peerage I've had to forebare. People tend to have really strong opinions about nobles getting their hands dirty with that kind of thing." ALAS. Kenna sighs, but then gets animated again when Willow brings out her imagining. "Oh my.... that would look AMAZING. It would be a bit heavy though," She pauses when Evonleigh speaks to her and the Whitehawk laughs. "I AGREE." With what Evonleigh just said. "What kind of fabric do you think you'd underlay it with?" Back to Willow and Ysbail.

Rhiannon is pulled along by Olivia. She does allow it and then she watches Pharamond wander off. "I think he is busy, Olivia. We can get our own drinks. We certainly don't need your uncle to wait on us." She smiles at her cousin and then goes off to get drinks.

Sabella has left the table by the fountain.

Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting have been dismissed.

Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting have been dismissed.

2 Grayson House Guards have been dismissed.

Clark, an exasperated guard have been dismissed.

Rowynna has left the secret arbor.

Felicia raises her free hand Willow's way with a brief wink before turning her attention towards Valencia and dipping her head gracefully,"Thank you your highness. It's been some time since I've had the opportunity to stop by, though I'm hoping, with any luck... to come to the Sip'n'Spar tomorrow for once." she grins.

Eilonwy walks over to the food table. The food must be sampled. She picks at a bit of this and that. Yummy snacks.

Sabella has joined the table by the fountain.

Niklas has joined the table by the fountain.

The lady seems a bit overwhelmed with all the goings on, and so Rowynna steps away, this time to the path towards the gardens.

"I should like that very much, Dame Felicia. Seeing your skills upon the sands is always a wonderful thing. Thank you," Valencia replies warmly and lifts her glass to the prospect of another excellent Sip n'Spar event. "I trust that you are well. You look so very so. Please, do not let me keep you from the good conversation. Enjoy!" she nods again cheerfully.

Olivia kind of stops in her tracks as Rhiannon wanders off to find drinks, she looks around again and finds Jan. Olivia wanders over to her, hoping that Rhiannon will find her way back, but clearly the poor girls attention span is being put to the test, she appears unable to focus for more than thirty seconds at a time. She smiles at Jan and says, "Hello Lady Jan! Do you want to meet my cousin?!.... Mayhe my uncle?" Olivia looks a little confused as she peers around the crowd.

Brady bows deeply to Valencia, "You -know- that it would." With that, he slides away, sipping at his drink. He finds a discrete place to set it as he snakes through the throng off people, towards Willow. With only eyes for her, he bows deeply and extends a hand. Voice deep and lips curled with secret amusement, he asks, "Would you care to dance, Lady Nightgold?"

Pharamond laughs just a bit, "Indeed. The nerve of some women, bring good name to their families. You'd think that you would have taught them better." He smiles though, taking a bow and a look over to Evonleigh, returning the warm look, and he says, "But for now, I have family to attend to and will trust that you will break your cousin of these awful habits of good deeds," he says with a clearly amused tone. With that he bows back to the Shephrd family Duke and makes his way over towards Olivia and Rhiannon and friends. "Wonder if she'd stay standing if I jumped on her back," he teasingly offers on the way back over there.

Ysbail nods to Kenna, "It is hard to justify spending a fortune on dresses and costumes when there are obligations to the house and to our people, but every once in a great while I admit there is a kind of thrill in getting all decked out. Given the opportunity." Felicia's arrival gets a wide smile from Ysbail, and a wiggle of fingers in greeting.

Someone delivers whiskey to the table Ian is sitting at. Almost like they know him here or something. There's a bottle. There are a bunch of glasses.

There is a big exuberant wave and smile towards Willow from Brogan. For the most part, he is behaving. He sighs softly and looks longingly toards the various drinks and mumbles something under his breath about being a Voice. Felicia beats him to responding to Valencia. He gestures to Felicia while speaking at Valencia with an eloquent.... "What she said." There is a nod and a grin to the Hostess, and Brogan is steering Felicia towards food to not keep Valencia tied up from others.

Rhiannon returns after a moment with several bowls of soaked fruit, able to carry all three of them ad she finds a table and sets them down, looking around for Olivia. "She wandered off again. I swear, I need to put a bell around her ankle so I can find her."

Danvir has joined the table by the fire.

Willow nods a couple times at Kenna and says, "Probably. I want to imagine it would weigh about the same as metal armor of equivalent size." She tells Ysbail, "Ah, then, my thanks. I could teach you a little if you cared to." And then there is Brady and she's looking up at him, smiling like a fool and nodding. "It would be my pleasure," she murmurs, as she takes his hand.

Again the bell chimes and yet more sumptuous delights are brought! Carried by pretty, buxom little serving girls with flower crowns upon their head are platters of finely seasoned slices of braised beef in a spicy light sauce, tasty bite-sized herbed potatoes drizzled with truffle oil and lemon and kissed by herbed cream, a summer kale and savory cheese tart, plump sweet morsels of summer salmon wrapped crisp filo packages and earthy mushroom caps stuffed with cheese, shallots and garlic roasted to perfection. she laced with served with a rich red Lycene and a light wild flower honey mead from Valardin now arrive.

"Need to keep in practice or I'm going to get rusty." Felicia responds to Valencia with a chuckle,"And yes, we've been preparing to reclaim my family's lands, though the troubles with the Great Road and our foreign guests have delayed it a little." there's a slight shrug of her shoulders,"What about yourself?" she enquires even as she's being steered towards the food and spies Ysbail,"Lady Ysbail! My apologies that I haven't gotten back to you yet... I haven't forgotten, I promise."

"So good to see you, Dame Felicia," says Evonleigh with a smile, before she turns to the sartorial discussion between her sister and the northern ladies. She smiles as Willow accepts Brady's hand to dance. "I try to only spend a fraction of a fortune on costume and dresses, myself," she quips. She finally moves to take a seat to partake of the beautiful food being served.

Kenna taps a finger on her nose in absolute agreement with Ysbail. "I don't think there is anything wrong with puttin in place a saving plan and then sticking with it to get something //nice//." Like armor-skirts. The Iron Guard absolutely thinks that a skirt made of knives is an AMAZING idea. As Felicia comes closer Kenna spies something on her finger which makes her gasp. "FELICIA." That tone would be way more proper for someone who is wearing a gown than armor. "THAT RING IS AMAZING." Finger, point, Iron Guard Ring.

Ysbail laughs brightly at Kenna's outburst and Felicia's commentary. "It is quite ok Lady Felicia, I confess I have my own troubles at times keeping track of all that goes on in the world.

Brady leads Willow out to the open area, where several couples and very sad, very lonely assistant, is dancing. There's a natural parting to make room for them. He holds her close, hand on hip and shoulder, and whispers something in her ear.

The little vixen smiles brightly as Brady invites Willow to dance, her eyes sparkling with calm joy at the sight. Soon others begin to find partners and seek a dance themselves under the beautiful night sky. Valencia watches for a time and then slips to see to her guests.

Getting her snackies on, Eilonwy wanders back towards Ysbail careful not to get anything on her dress. She decides to linger near Ysbail again and offers her some small bites.

Olivia climbs on to a chair and begins scouting the area for her family. She manages to spot Pharamond first, followed by Rhiannon. She begins waving wildly to catch their attention.

Brady checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 25 higher.

"Sorry. But. Food." Brogan mumbles and points. He is held up again, as others converge on Felicia. This makes him chuckle, though there was a look of confusion and shock on his face over exclamation over a ring. His eyes track to Ysbail, and grumble good naturedly enough. "Too many people as well as things, yes." This is followed by. "Bah. Cities."

Willow checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 6 higher.

It seems that Lady Rowynna's walk did her better than what may have been expected. She returns to the main courtyard, smiling to herself as she sees the couples dance. Even with this lighter countenance, Rowynna still bee-lines for the secret arbor, perhaps to get a calmer feel of the goings on, or at the very least watch the other folk have a good time.

Rowynna has joined the secret arbor.

"And you, lady Whitehawk." Felicia offers distractedly with a grin for Ysbail's words,"At least I'm not the only one, then." but there's a Kenna, and the volume alone can't help but make the Harrow whip her direction with wide-eyes, only to laugh at the comment that follows,"It belonged to my grandpa, Stone, and I believe he got it from his grandpa, Fantir, who started the tradition of service in the family." she offers by way of explanation before there's... ohh... food, but more importantly... whiskey, and of course that's the first thing that she goes for.

Olivia has joined the table by the fountain.

Pharamond has joined the table by the fountain.

Willow curls an arm around Brady's shoulder as she is pulled out onto the dance floor. Whatever he whispers leaves hints of rose flushing ivory pale cheeks as she smiles up at him, offering her own quiet words.

Zoey laughs brightly all of a sudden and leans over to press a kiss to Ian's lips in a rare show of public affection. She says something quietly at the table and shakes her head.

Rhiannon has joined the table by the fountain.

"I think I'm going to have to find a way to get a copy similar..." Kenna says, oh-so-entranced by it, before she shakes her head. "Okay, I shouldn't get distracted. Evonleigh, you should go dance with........" Kenna skims the room and chooses a random male. "Duke Malcolm. He was nice last time we spoke." A firm nod from KEnna before she turns back to return to what she WAS doing a moment before. Trying to speak to Zoey.

Kenna has joined the table by the fountain.

Pharamond makes his way over to Olivia and Rhiannon both, eyes sparkling with amusement and as Olivia is on the chair he just gestures down to the floor, "THIS...is why we can't have nice things," he says, only teasingly chiding as he helps the woman down with a hand, cause it's a lot more graceful and far less embarassing than just putting her over his shoulder and setting her down. We're in public people, he has to act like it! He sets though, grabbing a glass and some alcoholic apple beverage from a passing barmaid - which is good cause he's confused both drink and barmaid before, having grabbed the one when he meant the other (on accident assuredly) so it is good that Pharamond gets only the drink this time.

Ian did not seem to be expecting that kiss, not that he objects once he gets back the surprise. He slips an arm briefly around Zoey's waist.

Barefoot, Brady dances with Willow, spinning her a couple times before dextrously dipping her, offering a quiet mumble. He rights to waltz in a circle, separating to slide away, then back, grasping her firmly. A laugh of delight escapes him, the two in their own world for a moment.

Rhiannon sets the boozy fruit on the table in front of Olivia and then looks at Pharamond. "Maybe I should have brought her something with no booze in it. It might not be safe if she drank anything else."

Evonleigh sighs when Kenna speaks aloud, as she often does. "You're the worst," she says fondly after the sister.

"Huh - what - I heard my name from somewheres," Malcolm mutters, looking over his shoulder for a second, all wide eyes and wild hair. "Oh yeah. Heard it for sure. Beg pardon, Lady Monique, if you don't mind if I borrow Princess Reese and myself for a moment. Dancefloor - dancin'. Or, we gonna play a game." He brightens. Wait. He was already bright, this is just more of the same.

"I'd be happy to loan it for the purpose." Felicia offers to Kenna with a smile,"It's been passed down through the generations to help remind us we owe service to the Compact as a whole. I've been meaning to pass it on to Amantha seeing as she's the one upholding the tradition now."

Speaking of Felicia's choice of whiskey. It becomes liberated, by Brogan. Apparently a pre-emptive strike against their never ending war of stealing each others drinks. "See? Dancing. It could be a good challenge." At least he savors the drink intsead of his usual all-at-once approach. "You catch up, love. I am going to get something tasty, and gain some mass. Or something." But then... a contest? "Tug people about? Wait, does this mean I can tug Lycene's around? All too easy."

Kenna, squirrel like first to Evonleigh, "You know you love it!" then to Felicia, "YES PLEASE. I'll messenger you!" Don't mind her, just doing talking quietly at a table and yelling across the room.

Brogan has joined the table by the fire.

Ysbail grins to Felicia and Evonleigh, "This is probably a terrible IDEA. But I could not help it."

Rhiannon hugs Olivia and then steps back and looks out over the garden. "Yeah, we should .. play in the game." And yet as the family walks toward the tug of war, Rhiannon is suddenly not there. If there are trees here, like as not she's climbed them and is already gone.

Rhiannon has left the table by the fountain.

Reese seems to be in a cheerful mood as she stays perched near the fire. "Dancing.." She says sounding exciting about the idea of such and Malcolm is given a dimpled smile that reaches her eyes. She has a similar reactions to games. "Oh, a game sounds fun too."

Kenna has left the table by the fountain.

"EVONLEIGH ENJOY YOURSELF!" KEnna, one last yell across the room at her sister.

Princess Sally Acorn, an acorn toting red squirrel leaves, following Kenna.

Seeing Ysbail angling towards playing tug of war, Eilonwy hangs back and looks about for a seat to watch the dance floor.

Willow is stopped in her tracks with the dancing at something Brady whispered.

Evonleigh rubs her face and blushes for all of the Whitehawks and Merciers in Arvum on behalf of her sister. "Dame Felicia, let's see if we can do this again!" she says merrily as they move on to games.

It could be that Rowynna is restless tonight, or perhaps the lady needed a better vantage point. In either case, she gets up from spot in the arbor, this time making her way over to the fire once more. Smiling in greeting to those assembled, she sits down. Maybe she was just cold?

Rowynna has left the secret arbor.

Rowynna has joined the table by the fire.

Ysbail grins as she goes to group with Evonleigh and Felicia= I think this will only instill further in me the need to train athletics.

Waldemai raises his mug of mead to salute the valiant contestants.

Brady chuckles mirthfully, waggling his brow at Willow as he steps off the dance floor. His cheeks are reddened before he turns away to hide them, though. He approaches the table with the libations. Fixing himself a drink, he shoots a smile back towards her and fails at pretending to mingle.

Felicia chuckles, though there's a brief wobble to her smile before she looks over at Brogan,"Well, Lady Blackwood, I dare say you're more lovely than the person who pulled with me last year. Though Lord Valerio did give it his all." lucky Brogan with his purloined whiske, she squints his way with a gesture at her own eyes and hikes up her skirt in an unladylike fashion, rubbing the palms of her hands together,"Okay, so... let's do this... would you like to be the point and I'll be the anchor?"

Felicia has rolled a critical success!
Felicia checked strength + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 49 higher.

Space is cleared and a long flaxen rope is brought into the center of the courtyard as the teams for the Lycene Three Way Tug-o-War prepare. The little vixen stands in the center of the space. "My dearest friends! A contest of skill, strength, will and inspiration. I bring to you, the famous southern delight, Lycene Three Way Tug-o-War! Dearest contestants, please take your places. "

Malcolm checked luck + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 8 higher.

Ysbail checked luck + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 1 lower.

Reese checked stamina + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 23 higher.

Willow checked luck + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 16 higher.

Olivia checked luck + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 8 lower.

Monique checked charm + propaganda at difficulty 15, rolling 19 higher.

Evonleigh checked charm + propaganda at difficulty 15, rolling 47 higher.

Monique rises with Team Ruffian, because that's clearly what they're going to be called, she and Reese and Malcolm. The Minx of the Marches takes her place at equidistance from her spectacular teammates, affecting her most 'come and get this' pose. It's mildly come-and-gettable.

Ysbail is not strong. She's about as physically capable as a newborn colt on shakey legs, blame the heels. So when Felicia tugs and tugs hard, she all but lands on her hindquarters. Scrambling quickly to get back to her feet. No one saw that right?

Niklas clucks his tongue. "Lycenes and three ways. It's a thing." He shrugs and raises a glass toward Reese. "Go team Grayson!"

Reese rises to her slippered feet. She glances down at her blue dress and has a playful smile. "I didn't think I would be playing tug-of-war in such." She says toward Malcolm. The girl then goes to join the rope, taking up one end with her small pale hands. She waits for Malcolm and Monique to join her. The Princess then will pull and it is a pretty good pull although nothing like Felicia's amazing work. She smiles to Niklas as he cheers for her.

Reese checked stamina + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 39 higher.

Reese checked stamina + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 27 higher.

Brady has rolled a critical success!
Brady checked charm + propaganda at difficulty 15, rolling 55 higher.

Malcolm checked stamina + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 7 higher.

Willow grabs onto the tug of war rope behind Olivia and proceeds to give it a pretty decent yank for someone five feet nothing tall. Unfortunately she probably weighs less than a wet saco of flour and is easily drug along despite her attempts.

Olivia tries to pull her target towards her and falls flat on her butt

Malcolm checked strength + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 30 higher.

Ysbail checked luck + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 1 higher.

Ysbail checked luck + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 8 lower.

Felicia checked strength + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 45 higher.

Willow checked luck + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 5 higher.

Felicia checked strength + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 15 higher.

Willow checked luck + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 18 higher.

Olivia checked luck + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 6 lower.

Jan stands. Finally something she can wrap her head around. Instead of waiting to be invited, she paces to where Olivia struggles. She plants both feet squarely and a single hand grasps the rope, and Olivia, discretely giving the rope a yank while helping the girl up.

Olivia checked luck + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 2 lower.

Jan checked strength + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 18 higher.

Evonleigh stands and calls to her team. "Come on, ladies, you are amazing. We've got this. You get right back up, Lady Ysbail, that ground isn't good enough for you to lie on it!" she says, laughing, hands beckoning both, the clapping, then beckoning again. "You're stronger than that rope. You can do it!" She's a tall coltish lady with long limbs that look strong, but she also knows her strengths lie elsewhere -- plus, she doesn't want to get blisters on her pretty hands or fall on her pretty dress. Sorry, Ysbail!

Ian shifts his attention from the conversation at his table to the tug o war.

Brady calls out to Willow and Olivia, "C'mon, pull! Pull! Look, I'm already barefoot, so the closer you get, The More I Will Take Off!" He pulls off his cloak, tossing it to the ground, still cheering for Willow and Olivia.

Malcolm checked strength + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 9 higher.

Brady checked charm + propaganda at difficulty 20, rolling 23 higher.

Olivia struggles with the rope, her flats unable to grip the ground her legs just flailing

Felicia is strong, the gown and the diadem and even the lovely bat-cape can't really conceal the fact that the former King's Own is a woman build for strength. Broad shoulders, powerful arms. Any effort at ladylike delicasy is out the window the second that competition is called, skirt shoved through the loop of her swordbelt to keep it out of her way and the flat heels of her boots to her advantage for leaning into the pulling with all the strength of a rampaging bull even when Ysbail slips, focused on reaching Evonleigh with blind intensity.

Malcolm checked stamina + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 34 higher.

Monique checked charm + propaganda at difficulty 20, rolling 27 higher.

Olivia checked luck + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 10 lower.

Felicia has rolled a critical success!
Felicia checked strength + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 85 higher.

Reese checked stamina + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 39 higher.

Felicia checked strength + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 11 higher.

Malcolm checked strength + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 25 higher.

Felicia checked strength + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 22 higher.

Helping Olivia up and pretending not to help with the tug, Jan says, "There you go."

Reese checked stamina + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 31 higher.

Ysbail is tall, it's true but dexterity is more her avenue. The tripping over herself again. "Well, I think I've learned a valuable lesson here? Always have Felicia on your team.

Monique is overheard praising Felicia: Somebody call a plumber, those pipes are gonna burst!

Reese is doing quite well at tug-a-war. She is energetic and athletic about her endeavors. Her palms a bit a pink from the rope, but Reese doesn't let that bother her. She bends her knees and tugs tugs along.

Evonleigh is overheard praising Felicia: best teammate always

Ysbail checked luck at difficulty 20, rolling 6 higher.

Willow checked luck + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 14 higher.

Malcolm's following Reese's example, pulling his heart out - all fake growls and expressive eyebrows see-sawing up and down as they pull on that rope at Monique's behest.

Evonleigh is overheard praising Ysbail: determined effort!

Seeing that it's working, Monique turns up the charm... and the bribery. "I promise you both something very shiny should we win this! Come on! It's /shiny/!" As if there's not really anything in the world more important than that.

Olivia checked luck + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 8 lower.

Jan takes her seat again, a hint of mirth in her face. Best not to overdo it though. Before someone notices. She watches now with interest.

Willow has rolled a critical success!
Willow checked luck + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 22 higher.

Reese checked stamina + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 46 higher.

Willow checked luck + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 7 higher.

Olivia checked luck + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 4 higher.

Ysbail checked luck at difficulty 20, rolling 19 higher.

Ysbail checked luck at difficulty 20, rolling 7 lower.

"Cheater," calls Evonleigh over to Monique with a grin.

Brady is overheard praising Willow: Motivated!

Monique tosses a green-eyed wink Evonleigh's way. "A shiny thing to you if you switch teams," she promises the beauty.

Jan is overheard praising Olivia: You got this. Show them those muscles.

Evonleigh checked charm + propaganda at difficulty 20, rolling 45 higher.

Ysbail checked luck at difficulty 25, rolling 10 lower.

Ysbail checked luck at difficulty 25, rolling 18 lower.

Ysbail checked luck at difficulty 25, rolling 16 lower.

Willow yanks furiously at the rope, cheeks burning at Brady's offer but damned if that isn't the only moment when she makes any headway. Otherwise? Tiny Nightgold holds firm on the rope and gets drug around like she weighed nothing.

Zoey winces as she watches poor Ysbail get dragged around.

Malcolm checked strength + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 8 higher.

Malcolm checked strength + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 2 higher.

Malcolm checked strength + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 23 higher.

Reese checked stamina + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 41 higher.

Reese checked stamina + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 29 higher.

Reese checked stamina + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 21 higher.

Monique checked charm + propaganda at difficulty 25, rolling 16 higher.

Willow checked luck + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 8 lower.

Olivia turns around and tries to walk forward pulling the rope behind her, but hsr flats still betraying her she slips and slides

Willow checked luck + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 8 higher.

Willow checked luck + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 0 higher.

Olivia checked luck + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 0 higher.

Evonleigh checked charm + propaganda at difficulty 25, rolling 22 higher.

Olivia checked luck + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 6 lower.

If she had dignity. She lost it a long time ago. She makes a nice paperweight maybe, but she is absolutely no help to poor Felicia. "SORRY."

Brady calls out, "You've got it! Don't focus on the others, just try your best! You've got it!" He applauds, seeming ready to remove another article, but... He watches in anticipation.

Brady checked charm + propaganda at difficulty 25, rolling 5 higher.

"She's promising shiny things, Highness," Malcolm mutters through gritted teeth bared in a wide smile. "That's good - enough - motivation for me. Though, gonna be honest with you, I'd do it even for good glass of whiskey. I met that the Greenmarch stuff's like to be tasty."

Felicia doesn't have the focus to spare the attention for Ysbail right now, she either has blind faith in her teammate (likely) or she's just... well, trying to hold the line solo. Certainly there's no complaints from her about it. The sorry manages to elicit the focus to give a strained kind of chuckle,"You can do it." she asserts in a low tone, primarily focusing on trying to keep her own footing and pull against the other two teams.

Olivia checked luck + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 17 lower.

Felicia checked strength + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 13 higher.

Felicia checked strength + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 11 higher.

"Oh, my, you make me blush," Evonleigh says with a grin at Monique, before looking at her ladies, and reaching her hands out to them. "Home stretch, ladies! I promise you Lady Monique will buy you something shiny if we win, too!" she says with a grin, which is probably an empty promise, but who knows. "I'll tell you all Prince Niklas' scandalous director habits if we win!" That's also probably an empty promise.

Felicia checked strength + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 9 higher.

Reese continues to tug tug away on the rope. She seems to be doing quite well.

Jan stands again from her seat. "Plant your feet wider apart!" She demonstrates, "Like this Olivia! Pretend the center is a dog!"

Olivia slips and falls completely losing the rope falling flat on her stomach

Malcolm yips like a courtier's lapdog dog in order to emphasize Jan's suggestion.

Jan checked command + war at difficulty 25, rolling 19 higher.

Monique is on fiyah! Or maybe that's just her hair. Whatever it is, the Minx is extoling the virtues of winning to her team in great, emphatic detail. It involves prizes and shiny things and kisses of gratitude.

Monique is overheard praising Reese: Team Ruffian 4 LIFE

Monique is overheard praising Malcolm: Team Ruffian 4 LIFE

Ysbail dusts herself off, looks at the postively ruined dress and sighs. "Maybe I should turn in my resignation to the Explorer's society." Frowning sharply.

Waldemai cheers for the champions! "Hurrah, Team Ruffian!"

Willow at least manages to stay standing. Until it looks like Brady's taking more clothes off. That is just enough distraction for her to lose her footing while being drug around, and she proceeds to spill over with a heavy grunt.

Reese looks over to Olivia with some concern. "Oh, Lady Olivia!" She says toward her. She stays standing herself through the whole contest and smiles as Malcolm yips. "Yay, I think we won!" She says. Her palms are pink with rope burn and the princess is all flushed and happy. "A fun contest." She says.

Sabella glances at Niklas while applauding for all the teams, "Want to play this one?"

Reese blows Monique a kiss. "Very inspiring Lady Monique." She says to her.

Brady has found a drink, and he hides his grimace with it, taking a long swig. Helpfully, he calls out, "Uh, we all have different virtues!"

Olivia stands herself up and dusts herself off

Waldemai bows politely to all and staggers off in the direction of Southport Square, weaving slightly as he perambulates.

Waldemai has left the table by the fire.

When their opponents win, Evonleigh laughs. "Well, at least Niklas' bad habits are safe from the public grapevine," she says with a smile, reaching to shake both of her teammate's hands and then congratulating the winners. "Nice effort," she adds to the other team as well.

"I feel, honest, as though I were really carryin' our team toward our victory, Princess - Lady. Not like I was jus' here or anythin'. No - jus' in case you're thinking I am, I am not bein' at all serious." Malcolm rubs his hands against his side, forcing the feeling back into them. "That was fun, weren't it? Thanks for being part of a great team. I'll pass on the next game though, 'cause I've a thirst."

Olivia slinks back to her table silently and finds a refilled glass of whiskey, which she downs, looking a little frustrated at her performance

Monique applauds her teammates, and then all the other teams, grinning brightly. "Oh, another game? I'd gladly play, if I can find a partner." She glances around, eyes searching out some unsuspecting target.

Niklas nods to a Sabella. "Let's!" He waves toward Valencia. "Sign us up for general domination, please!"

Show of solidarity, Willow walks over closer to ask "You alright, Lady? Care for some willow bark?" Even as she offers this to Olivia, she is trying to fix her dress and look like she wasn't just drug across the ground.

Felicia is dragged back by the other two teams, determinedly trying to make progress but inevitably sliding back until the win is called and finally she straightens, laughing and offering Ysbail her hand with a tap of her knuckles on the carapace of its top,"You're fine, lady Ysbail, though if you ever want some tips in that arena... that's at least something I'm good with... even if shamanism I'm hopeless about." she assures with a flex of her fingers to try and get some feeling back,"I definitely need whiskey though."

Reese looks over to Monique. "Oh, I will be your partner, Lady Monique, if you will have me?" She asks. She smiles over to Malcolm though. "Cheer us on?"

"You know I will!" Monique grins at Reese with a wink of an eye. "And gladly."

Ysbail laughs, "I'm all for making a fool of myself, but I think I would not find a partner for this one."

Brady gathers up a couple more drinks and carries them to Willow and Olivia. To the former, he smiles warmly, "There'll be other tug of war games. I'm sure of it. Drink?" He looks to Olivia's whiskey, and sets the punch-brandy beside it. "I think you did great. I wouldn't have been able to do any better, honestly. I'm Brady Grayhope, well met."

Valencia smiles to Pharamond, Niklas and Sabella, and writes their names upon the list as the floor is cleared and a rather impressive set of obstacles are laid out, inluding tall towers that would make the most avid of climbers perhaps take note.

Ysbail nods to Felicia, "I may just take you up on that, but that was quite shameful. All told, thank you for trying to cheer me up."

Jan says, "I'll play. Who wants a teammate?"

"From my comfortable seat, Princess? Yeah - cheerin' and drinkin' - provided that neither one of you'll not frown too much if I've got to head back to the Manor. 'Cause I might, soon." Malcolm mutters, hitching his shoulders up high and looking boyishly pouty.

"If I can get a minute for some whiskey, Brogan and I will compete." Felicia volunteers without bothering to consult with Brogan,"We all have bad days, I certainly have done, I don't think I won last year, either... did we?" that last question directed to Evonleigh.

Ysbail says, "Eilonwy, I think I'm going to go home and ice this. Enjoy the evening.""

Brady tell Valencia, "I'll play, your Highness. You know me, I'm always game."

Willow flashes Brady a grin and laughs brightly. "And in the future I will probably watch! My hands are killing me!" Hardly plaintive, she is grinning ear to ear even though her hands look close to bloody.

Ian has left the table by the fountain.

Evonleigh has found a glass for herself and takes a drink -- she did so much work, didn't she? -- before looking to Felicia. "If I'm not wrong, we came in second, I think? I forget who beat us. I was still so newly in Arx, I didn't know many people. Monique might remember."

Pharamond gives Olivia a hug as she comes over and he was considering joining, but he looks at Ysbail and Jan and he gestures. "The two of you can pair up," he says with amusement. "I was toying with joining but, it looks...." and then he realizes that he and Jan are partners so he smiles, making his way over after hugging Olivia and gesturing. "Shall we? For the record, this can only end badly, just so you know."

Jan shrugs lightly, "Let's hope." She flashes a smirk for a moment.

Reese looks over to Malcolm, giving the the Duke a smile that seems to soften her blue eyes. "Thank you for escorting me Duke Malcolm. I had lots of fun and well thank you."

Olivia looks to Willow with a smile and takes the bark, "Thank you, I did not mean to drag the team down". She then turns to Zoey, "I do not know much about them currently, but if you were to take me to them, I would know more about them than you care to know.". Finally she turns to Brady and curtseys,. "I am Olivia Ashford, Duke Harlans baby sister."

Ian has joined the table by the fountain.

Ian has left the table by the fountain.

Ian has joined the table by the fountain.

Rather than taking a place in the tower like a proper damsel, Sabella gives Niklas a kiss and makes her way to the starting line, "This ought to be very interesting!" She says brightly, though she gives the course a bi of a dubious look.

Reese heads over to the starting line of the contest while adorned in the blue silks. She seems to be having fun. She blows Monique a kiss.

Malcolm will take his bottle of something apple-flavored and cider along with him back toward the Grayson ward. He rises to his feet, offers the party a bow, and then he offers his em-blued princess escort another. "Pleasure was all mine, Highness. Look forward to another opportunity, Princess Reese. Take care. You too, Lady Monique." To the others at the table by the fire he offers a wave, a grin, and he heads out.

Ysbail left. Eilonwy's standing and looking around. She clasps her hands in front of her and starts to slide towards the exit.

Malcolm has left the table by the fire.

Monique waves to Malcolm's departure. "Don't worry, I'll take good care of Princess Reese," she offers with an innocent smile, which slides to Reese and she captures the kiss, presses it to her heart.

"So long as I don't have to climb anything, I can volunteer, if the young Grayhope needs a partner," Evonleigh offers. "Unless one of the other ladies would like to instead." She grins in the direction of his former teammates.

Pharamond grins at Jan and says, "Just remember. I'm not sure if I've ever been accused of being much of a lover or fighter so I'll get to you eventually..." he says with that chuckle as she gets to head up to the tower and he gets out there onto the floor, getting ready to 'rescue' his sweetheart from the tower.

Brady bows deeply to Olivia, "We all worked together. I'm not worried about the outcome." As Valencia starts counting groups, he glances around curiously, lifting his voice, "Anyone want to partner up with me? I'll take anyone!"

Pharamond checked strength at difficulty 15, rolling 9 higher.

Reese checked strength at difficulty 15, rolling 2 higher.

1 Crimson Blades Lieutenant leaves, following Eilonwy.

"Valencia did!" Felicia snaps her fingers with a laugh,"With... uh... Theodoric Ulbran, off of memory, though I don't recall their third." she's not terribly concerned, she's listening to instructions, and with a 'ha!' she goes to snag a whiskey from the table and elects to carry it with her towards the tower, twitching her rumpled dress back into some semblance of order. Apparently the big bear man gets to handle the pole this time around given the impish smirk thrown his way.

Sabella checked strength at difficulty 15, rolling 2 lower.

Brady takes Evonleigh's offer, and moves to the starting line, flashing her a cheeky smile.

Brady checked strength at difficulty 15, rolling 23 higher.

Brogan checked strength at difficulty 15, rolling 13 higher.

Pharamond is overheard praising Reese.

Reese lifts up the pole. She seems to struggle a bit, but she does get it lifted up and in place.

The first challenge proves a bit too much for Sabella and she strains at trying to lift the poll, "Maybe you should've done this!" She shouts to Niklas with a laugh.

Willow favors her hands...by nursing more brandy. She grins warmly at Olivia as she watches Brady from the sidelines.

Jan checked stamina + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 19 higher.

Niklas calls out to his wife. "Come on, Sabella! You can do this!" Then she drops the pole. "Well. There's me wrong."

"Come on, Reese!" Monique calls out from her tower, which just happens to be a couch she's climbed up on, precariously close to the fire. "You're the strongest person I know! Maybe even stronger than Marian, but don't tell her I said so!"

So much for not climbing. Evonleigh makes her way up into the tower. "Good job, good Master Grayhope! You can do it. Come rescue me -- I'm just a girl standing in a tower ... asking a boy to lift his pole." No, not even Evonleigh can keep a straight face at that. She snickers at Niklas nearby.

Sabella checked intellect at difficulty 15, rolling 2 lower.

Even in light armor, and with several weapons dangling from her belt, Jan hoists herself up the tower like there is an infinite supply of Cartugan at the top.

Reese has rolled a critical success!
Reese checked dexterity at difficulty 15, rolling 18 higher.

Brady easily lifts the pole into place, glancing self-consciously about to gauge how he's doing.

Willow bursts out laughing at Evonleigh, lifting her glass in a toast from the sidelines.

Handle the pole he shall. Brogan actually still has his shirt on for a change too. Alas, he is Whiskey-Less. At the signal he does rush in, and Snag the pole, it slips in his grip slightly on his way to set the pole in place properly which does take a bit of doing. Thud. "I should have taken off my shirt!"

Pharamond checked dexterity at difficulty 15, rolling 8 higher.

Brady checked dexterity at difficulty 15, rolling 8 higher.

Sabella finally gets the Limerence poll up, huffing and puffing away and then turns to go gather the colors representing their house! But she pauses at the table, "Uh, wait. Is it just Grayson or is it--is it the colors of our joined houses?" She asks, picking up quite a few more ribbons than she actually needs.

Jan Looks a bit confused. She might have drank more then she thought. From atop the tower (where no one else is) she calls down to Pharamond. "Ugh.. You got this! "

Felicia might be dressed more like a merry widow than a blushing bride, certainly there's delighted amusement at Brogan having to do the work for this one while she perches on her table-top 'tower' and sips her whiskey,"Black and purple, dear, in case you forgot!" she calls,"And if you think being shirtless will help..." she's not about to complain about shirtless Brogan gathering ribbons.

Brogan checked dexterity at difficulty 15, rolling 19 higher.

Brady can't help but laugh at his Sweetheart's encouragement. "I've got it up, but what to -do- with it?!" He scrambles to gather the ribbons, and quickly wraps the pole in a weave of the, running around it. Not the fastest, but it's done!

Reese gathers up black, grey and ribbons that represent both Greenmarch and Grayson. She weaves the ribbons together with an agile sort of ease, her fingers quick and nimble. It might make sense that the Knight of Ribbons knows how to weave together ribbons. Monique is given another smile.

"Yes, yes, you should have," Evonleigh tells Brogan, taking a sip from the glass she had the foresight to bring with her into the tower. "Wrap it up! Blue and gold," she calls down to the young man who probably doesn't know her last name let alone her colors.

"You're supposed to be encouraging /me/!" Brogan bellows up at his sweetheart as he is sorting through ribbons rapidly. "How about /you/ go shirtless?!" This thought apparently helps him sprint and speed about the post rapidly enough.

Pharamond is quick to try to gather th eribbons, now that the pole is in place. Not nearly as fast as he'd like, mind you, as others are clearly far faster but he looks over at Olivia, and raises a brow as she takes another drink, losing valuable ribbon time. But he doesn't say anything just smiles. Kids have to learn how much to drink and how much not to somehow She'll get to learn the hard way.

"If you don't know the colors of my House, we'll have our very first fight," Monique calls down to Reese, wobbling on the couch top. But she is mollified when Reese selects one of the correct colors and cheers her on, not that she needs it, so incredibly efficient she is!

Niklas watches as Sabella does an amazing job at ... looking fucking fantastic. "Beautiful!" He claps for her beauty. And if people assume he's clapping for her performance, WELL!

Niklas calls out to Reese, "The colors of Greenmarch are green and march!"

Monique snorts her laughter at Niklas. "Like Gray and son?"

Reese hmms. "I don't see any March or Son ribbons..."

"White and hawk... they go together with everything," says Evonleigh with a bright smile. "Well, except not so much field mice. At least from the field mouse's point of view," she quips.

Brogan checked wits + etiquette at difficulty 20, rolling 9 lower.

Pharamond checked wits + etiquette at difficulty 20, rolling 1 higher.

Reese checked wits + etiquette at difficulty 20, rolling 30 higher.

Willow laughs merrily as she watches the various contests going on. The alcohol helps numb the raw palms and her cheeks grow flush with it, pink on pale.

Brady checked wits + etiquette at difficulty 20, rolling 1 higher.

There /isn't/ an infinite supply of Cartugan up here, so Jan slides off the tower and rejoins the moral team. She stops to get her glass though, hiding any embarrassment she might feel with a long drink. "Pharamond, Pharamond, he's our man! If he can't do it.. Shit!" She calls as her way of help.

Sabella checked wits + etiquette at difficulty 20, rolling 34 higher.

"I don't think so." Felicia declines, draining her glass and setting it aside,"I tell you what, you do good and I /wont/ steal your whiskey later." she offers him, rubbing her hands together with a laugh,"And if you win, I'll take it easy on you in the sparring ring next time."

Sabella is so far looking just a little frazzled. Still smiling, but clearly she knows she's behind! But when she races over to the table with the posies she visibly relaxes and picks up the ones she needs quickly, "You like pink, right?" She laughs and calls back to Niklas, avoiding picking up any of the poison ones or yellow, running back with her bouquet of pinks and whites to arrange them perfectly and quickly.

Willow raises her glass to Jan, echoing "Shit," as if in toast. The word sounds funny from her, as someone who doesn't curse much. "You tell 'im, 'Licia!" she cheers on the Dame against her uncle.

Reese gathers up flowers to stand for Monique and herself. She makes sure to choose some firey tiger lilies for Monique. For herself she chooses pink lilies. The princess weaves them together with a bit of small white blooms into a pretty arrangement.

"Yes, beautiful, I like roses and rosemary and -- not the rue -- oh, no!" says Evonleigh, "that's oleander!" She sighs a little. "Well, he was sweet while he lasted," she says over her shoulder to Monique.

Jan has rolled a critical success!
Jan checked wits + etiquette at difficulty 20, rolling 27 higher.

Pharamond looks silly. Completely, totally silly. He's got ribbons and flowers - no part of him looks like the House Sword - he instead looks like a house party planner, and it's not going to be much of a party!

Reese checked stamina + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 31 higher.

Brogan checked stamina + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 17 higher.

Pharamond checked stamina + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 7 higher.

Brady move to the pile of flowers, staring at them with abject confusion. "What the... are these?" The language of flowers has never been spoken by this man, and he's clearly confused. He looks up at Evonleigh, asking, "Are those flowers names, too? White and Hawk? Field Mice, what?!" Despite this, he knows what to do, and just completely copies Sabella.

Sabella checked wits + propaganda at difficulty 20, rolling 20 higher.

Zoey is eying Olivia. She motions one of the staff members over. The words 'carriage' and 'on call' can be overheard.

Niklas checked wits + propaganda at difficulty 20, rolling 18 higher.

Monique is laughing helplessly to Evonleigh's quip, but her breath is stolen by Reese's flower arrangement, in truth. Minxes love beautiful presents! She is well and truly on her way to having her heart stolen, it's visible. "Oh, Reese..." she wavers on the top of that precarious couch perch.

Jan seems to have entered a rare, very capable state in her drinking binge. Maybe she thinks of what Catalana would pick. Maybe she just did this by accident.

Jan checked stamina + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 4 higher.

Brady checked wits + propaganda at difficulty 20, rolling 5 higher.

Reese seems all encouraged by Monique's reaction and she gives her smiles that brightens her blue eyes. The girl then offers the flowers to Monique. She peeks over to Jan, seemingly impressed with her flowers. "Nice."

Pharamond looks at Jan as she's made her way down, and so to keep up with the rules, he looks at Valencia. "My sweethrart is now the lover, so, I'm going up to the tower," he says with a grin, looking to Jan as she's down and participating int he challenges so Pharamond goes and joins all the other 'sweetherats' up in the tower, letting Jan take over the competitive part because, well, she's been drinking!

Reese checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 41 higher.

What Brogan makes with flowers looks more like an apothecary's herb bundle than a crown for the pole. He yells up to his sweetheart. "You're terrible at motivation, woman!" The Bear-Man scrambles to do something. ANYTHING to make up for his lack of artistry, so he starts his climb upwards. "You'll steal my whiskey anways!" But the Nightgold Voice does succesfully climb.

Brogan has rolled a critical success!
Brogan checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 31 higher.

After arranging the flowers, Sabella moves to sweet talk the guards to just let her get to Niklas, "I understand that you are supposed to keep me from him, but we're already married," she pats her stomach with a big grin, "And it just wouldn't do for me to go through the rest of the night without him by my side! I mean, I could have a baby at any moment! Would one of you lovely gentleman like to be there for when--oh, yes, thank you." She then moves on through.

Sabella checked charm + seduction at difficulty 15, rolling 39 higher.

Danvir has left the table by the fire.

Reese climbs up the tower and is close to Monique now. She is pretty nimble about leaning forward and trying to claim a kiss from the minx.

Jan has rolled a critical success!
Jan checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 24 higher.

Brady looks a bit frazzled by the end of this, smiling but joyfully confused. He sweettalks the guards the best he can, "There's a Grayhope in the garden! You need to leave and check it out!" He climbs up the 'tower' to sit by Evonleigh, grinning cheekily.

Brady checked charm + seduction at difficulty 25, rolling 8 higher.

Monique happily accepts the stunning flowers and the kiss she gives Reese in return is anything but chaste. It's enough to set cheeks to heating and tongues to wagging. "You deserve it, darling warrior."

"Come on, young man, these guards are nothing compared to you, you can take 'em!" Evonleigh calls down to Brady, then laughs as he makes his way up to the tower. She takes the flowers and leans forward to offer her cheek for him to kiss. "My hero!"

Rowynna has left the table by the fire.

Sabella leisurely makes her way over to Niklas and drapes her arms around his shoulders, "Excuse me," she says, batting her eyelashes, "Are you the famous Playwright? Otherwise known as the Golden Quill of Arx?"

Evonleigh is overheard praising Brady.

Willow beams at the kiss between Reese and Monique, clapping /twice/ before she remembers her hands and winces.

After getting up from her table, Lady Rowynna scans the area, smiling to herself as she watches the antics of the game one final time. Quietly, she leaves the folks to their fun.

Felicia laughs at Brogan, unrepentant about her failure in encouragement. She snags a fresh whiskey for a sip, offering both her lips, and the glass when he reaches her with a bright grin, taking the opportunity to grab a fist full of his leather top for a tug,"Good thing you're an excellent climber, because you're awful at picking flowers. Or is that good at it? Even /I/ know those carnations are usually for funerals."

Jan hauls ASS. Her first accidental climb seems to have left her with an edge. That or the vodka, one might never know. In any event she scales the tower a second time with ease one would expect someone to have walking. Though she might not be walking very well. In the interest of securing her bravado, she takes Pharamond and dips him like woman, planting a sloppy drunk corsair kiss right on his mouth and thumbing her chest once.

Niklas cheers for the guards to let Sabella through, then hops up and gives his wife a sweeping bow. "Indeed, they do call me The Playwright, but you may simply call me yours. Metaphorically. Not literally." He hands over the apple, then leans in for his very enjoyable kiss.

Pharamond checked stamina at difficulty 25, rolling 7 lower.

Reese checked stamina at difficulty 25, rolling 22 higher.

Sabella checked willpower at difficulty 25, rolling 10 lower.

Brogan checked stamina at difficulty 25, rolling 8 lower.

Brady leans in and plants a chaste kiss on Evonleigh's cheek. "I had a blast, my Lady. Thank you for playing with me, 'sweetheart'" He takes the apple, ready to move to the Limerance pole.

Brady checked willpower at difficulty 25, rolling 3 higher.

Jan checked stamina at difficulty 25, rolling 2 higher.

Pharamond is le-dipped, turned onto his back somewhat, face up, and he even goes the whole nine yards to lift a leg up and wrap it aroudn Jan as he is soundly kissed and completely kissed, before he's brougth back upright and he gives Jan her prize...well her second prize - I mean she -did- get to kiss Pharamond. Doesn't that right there make her the winner?

Reese is all flushed from the kiss. She darts off to get the crown her limerence pole and seems to do a pretty good with such.

Sabella laughs and kisses Niklas again. And then again. Well, now that she's there it seems silly to leave. "Okay, okay, I have to go put this on the pole!" She says finally, pushing him away, then turning around for another kiss, "You're just so wonderful," she sighs romantically.

"Well done, lover, minus some flower fumbling. We know you cannot quit your day job to become a florist any time soon," Evonleigh says with a grin. "Now go and finish the game," she adds, pushing him toward the finish line.

"Fitting for you then, yes My Love?" Brogan makes with The Might Fine Smoochy Smoochy. As well as a little shirt-covered Pec Pop of Love, and is off again. Part of his prize though was stealing her fresh whiskey in addition to the other items needed. Now it is time to crown the pole with something resembling weeds with some petals.

Monique is flushed too, and grinning from ear to ear as she cheers on Reese!

Brady leaps to his feet, almost the last one of the Lovers to crown the pole. He looks about, flustered, "I need my drink."

Sabella checked wits at difficulty 25, rolling 13 higher.

Reese checked willpower at difficulty 25, rolling 10 lower.

Jan checked wits at difficulty 25, rolling 4 lower.

Brady checked luck at difficulty 25, rolling 14 lower.

"Fair point, fair point." Felicia can't help but laugh, reluctant to let him go so he can continue, and not just because of the stolen whiskey. The 'don't go astray' can't help but get a slightly more narrow squinting of her emerald eyes his way, for all the mildness of her smile.

Zoey winces as Olivia puts her head down on the table. Her eyes find Pharamond, waving at him to catch his attention. It might be hard under the circumstances. She's gently stroking the other girl's back, murmuring soothingly.

Brogan checked willpower at difficulty 25, rolling 3 lower.

Brady has rolled 1 20-sided dice: 13

Jan has rolled 1 20-sided dice: 11

Reese has rolled 1 20-sided dice: 17

Jan has rolled 1 20-sided dice: 3

Brogan has rolled 1 20-sided dice: 16

Reese checked willpower at difficulty 25, rolling 1 higher.

Brogan checked wits at difficulty 25, rolling 15 lower.

Brady checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 1 higher.

Jan checked wits at difficulty 25, rolling 9 lower.

Brogan has rolled 1 20-sided dice: 11

After pulling herself away from Niklas after a series of kisses, Sabella races over to put the ring on the pole and then turns around, cheeks flushed, to head straight back to him, "After a terrible start I think we're doing a lot better!" She laughs, moving to sit in his lap and drape her arms around him yet again.

Jan has rolled 1 20-sided dice: 16

Brogan checked wits at difficulty 25, rolling 12 lower.

Jan checked wits at difficulty 25, rolling 10 lower.

Brogan has rolled 1 20-sided dice: 4

Jan has rolled 1 20-sided dice: 12

Pharamond calls down to Jan. "Damn it woman! Focus up here! I'm a fine piece of ass. This doesn't just happen by itself. I work hard for ALL of this," he says, his hands gesturing down to his athletic frame, as he looks down and calls out, giving that piercing wolf whistle for her to hear. "Come get some!"

Jan peers around. She must have lost her train of thought. "Who is yelling at me?!"

Brogan has rolled 1 20-sided dice: 5

Jan has rolled 1 20-sided dice: 13

When poor Brady is beset upon by the Hart staff, Evonleigh pounds a flat surface in front of her. "Over heeeere!" She sighs heavily. "Men are so very fickle. The second a younger, prettier woman walks by..." she laments loudly, only to laugh when he finally starts heading back in her direction.

Zoey looks up at Pharamond yelling at Jan, shock on her face. It doesn't take long, however, before an earthy laugh bubbles up from her.

"Not just men," Monique laments to Evonleigh, as Reese gets a /little/ distracted by the admittedly very charming staff.

Completely distracted by everything like a kitten and a ball of Yarn, Brogans heading for all the enticing staff members. At once. Literally wandering back and forth like some sort of indecisive human pinball.

Jan finally starts using the skills she can always rely on. It might not be part of the course, but she begins tossing people out of her way, shouting, "Pharamond?" Her eyes finally see him and she frowns, quickly trying to make up the pace she has lost.

Sabella checked charm + propaganda at difficulty 20, rolling 39 higher.

Reese does get a bit distracted by the charming staff and it seems to take her some effort to disentangle herself from the company of one appealing brunette, but she eventually does.

Reese checked charm + propaganda at difficulty 20, rolling 39 higher.

Brady checked charm + streetwise at difficulty 20, rolling 34 higher.

Brogan checked wits + seduction at difficulty 20, rolling 10 lower.

Jan checked wits + streetwise at difficulty 20, rolling 10 lower.

Brogan has rolled 1 20-sided dice: 2

Jan has rolled 1 20-sided dice: 7

Felicia is apparently not going to take it easy on Brogan next time they are in the sparring ring, given the cat-twitch way her foot taps and she folds her arm across her chest. There's a loft of her brow at him and his distraction, blatantly waiting for him to actually turn his attention back to her. There's no pretending in that 'oh yeh, remember /me/?' she gives him with pursed lips.

Brogan checked wits + seduction at difficulty 20, rolling 0 higher.

Jan checked wits + streetwise at difficulty 20, rolling 1 higher.

"This seems a silly question since I'm already wearing a ring, but! I guess it was you asking me last time so, will you do me the honor, Prince Niklas, of marrying me all over again? Just think of the party we could have! You'd get to be princed all over again. Perhaps a new coronet?" Sabella asks with a grin.

Huffing and puffing now. This is the demon in drinking. One minute, great success, the next, blind confusion. Jan finally makes it to Pharamond, all but falling over in a kneel. "I got parts. You got parts. They probably match up. Wanna be my man?"

Monique shakes her fist in a tantrum-like waggle at Reese when she gets distracted by a brunette, of all things! "Fickle warrior!" she shouts, trying to keep from laughing. "We're supposed to be engaged by now, Reese!"

Willow looses it, giggling drunkenly at Jan's proposal and lifting her cup as if to toast.

Niklas reaches up and adjusts his beautiful coronet, all star iron and stygian and iridescite. "Hmm. I could certainly use something to replace this dowdy old thing." He grabs ahold of Sabella's hand and pulls her in for another kiss. "I accept, my love! Again and again and again." He turns back to Zoey and says, "I believe this means Kennex owes us another five hundred economic writs. As the Grayson minister of coin you can go ahead and pay me directly."

Giving it his best shot at this point, Brogan eyes Felicia and her mood. He looks down at her tapping foot to ask. "Nice shoes. Wanna do it?"

Reese looks over to her sister, seemingly pretty amused. "Yay! Second wedding!" She is quick to focus on Monique and she gives a proposal of her own. "Lady Monique Minx of the Greenmarches will you do me the honor of making me the most lucky Princess in all of Compact by agreeing to marry me and be my wife. If you say yes, I will have so much passion and fire and trouble in my life. I will try to be a good wife and well imagine just how jealous the men are of Compact are going to be and that might just appeal to your impish side a bit? and Fireweave wedding gown, that too."

Pharamond opens his mouth closes it. He looks at Jan, and her rather practical reaosns for them to get hitched, as it were, and he says, "You had me at hello," a playful chuckle from him as he looks over to Jan and just, he just chuckles and hops down the tower, laughing. "At least you didn't pull rank on me," he says with that bit of a laugh. "Come on. I think drunky mcdrunkerton over there is going to need my help getting back to the house. IF the fact she can't seem to lift her head is any indication."

Brady returns to Evonleigh, his voice taking on a quite serious tone, as if the game is over, or some emergency has sprung up. He takes one of her hands, "Lady Evonleigh Whitehawk, I am no Noble, no important, not even a man. I'm merely a soul who has witnessed a miracle. There is a path on this Wheel that leads me next to yours, for all my numbered days. Never before have the Shining Lands been so true and clear, in this life, right here." He glances away, a split second, then back, teary eyed, "Will you me the honor of giving me your hand, so I might walk the rest of my days beside you, content?"

Zoey tilts her chin at Niklas and shakes her head gently. "We gave you away once, your Highness. Second dippings are at your own expense."

It's the last bit that does it for Monique. She practically melts. "I accept, and consider myself the most fortunate of Minxes, to be well guarded for the rest of my life. Though," she adds, "I might have to keep you away from brunettes! We can ask Etienne to officiate," she teases warmly, grabbing Reese up in a fierce hug, murmuring something quiet to the Pink Princess.

Felicia just snorts at Brogan and shakes her head,"I'll remember that, when it comes to finding a husband for real." she shakes her head adamantly at him,"Gods you're lucky you're attractive." muttered all but under her breath.

Reese seems amused by Monique's response and she returns her hug. She says something softly in response.

The sudden serious tone makes Evonleigh's eyes widen, even as she was about to turn and quip at someone else's funny proposal, but the poetic nature of the commoner fauxprosing to her makes her lips part slightly. "Limerance and Jayus, if I get half as pretty a real proposal as that in real life, I'd be ecstatic," she says, touching her chest quite touched by the man. "Prince Niklas, sign this one up for your next play, because he is a heartbreaker and quite the thespian to put on that much of a show for my tired and jaded heart," she says over her shoulder, before taking Brady's hand. "Of course I will fake marry you, I would be quite honored," she says, bringing his hand to her mouth to kiss it lightly.

Zoey hesitates at something Olivia whispers. She inhales, murmurs quietly in return. "Allow me to fetch your uncle, my Lady."

Evonleigh is overheard praising Valencia: Great hostess, fun games

Brady waves a dismissive hand at Evonleigh's remark. "Nah, I'm no actor. I've never done a lick of it before. I'm just at making myself believe what I want. -That's- the trick." He winks at Evonleigh, smiling, "That was so fun. Lady Valencia throw the best parties." He wiggles his bare toes and hops off the couch.

Zoey lifts her voice. It carries fairly well, focusing towards the back with clarion diction. "My Lord Pharamond." She motions him over. "I am in need or your assistance, please."

Valencia cheers on with the rest of the crowd, eager to see such spirited competition. The little vixen beams cheers even louder as the lovers rush to propose. Such a romantic at heart! Delighted, she steps forward to happily address the crowd. "I knew Arx had many great lovers, but those here tonight have show even more heart than most. Quite a feat! Thank you all," she smiles to Pharamond,Jan,Niklas,Sabella,Reese,Monique,Felicia,Brogan,Evonleigh and Brady.



"And now, with happy heart, I would like to present our first winner of the Limerance Lovers' Challenge, Princess Reese Grayson and Lady Monique Greenmarch! Congratulations! And thank you again to all that particpated. Now, if you please! Dessert is to be served."

Niklas laughs and looks to Brady. "A Grayhope with a romantic heart? Who knew?"

Once more the bell sounds and the courses slowly the food offers change to things lightly sweet and more palate cleansing - fresh seasonal fruit, cream scones with tart red currants, a striking display of lavender cream cakes kissed with lemon icing and with threads of caramel and candied violets, whiskey-laced sweet cream cups piled high, freshly minted green spring melon, and an assortment of cheeses and the first of the summer berries harvest are served along with sipping whiskey and a satisfyingly dry dessert wine to wash it all down.

Monique gives Reese's strong hands one last firm squeeze as they are announced the winners of the challenge, casting a wicked wink the Grayson's way. "Meant to be, hm? I'd better get home and break it to the Archlector," she adds with a low chuckle, sketching a curtsey. "Thank you for being the best partner I could have asked for tonight, Reese. I shall be sending you and Duke Shepherd shiny things and dinner invitations soon."

Zoey is petting Olivia's back with one hand and piling fruit onto her plate with her off hand. It's steady as a rock, but lacks somewhat in grace. "I have been wanting fruit all day," she murmurs to Ian.

"Well, that is something of what acting is," the actress tells Brady. "Thank you for being my partner," she says as he departs, and then Evonleigh stands to depart her 'tower.' "Well played all," she says warmly to those present. "Thank you, Princess Valencia, for another charming game!" She does take one of those lavender cakes, because they look delicious and spring like, and it would be very rude not to take *something,* wouldn't it?

Reese looks over to Monique. "He is going to be so broken hearted and I really can't blame him." She says, sounding amused. She then adds a moment later. "I look forward to invitations." She then adds. Reese tries to kiss Monique's cheek one more and then searches out some of the cake. She looks over to Sabella and to her belly with a smile. "Oh, another Grayson Warrior Princess on the way."

After all that excitement, Sabella stifles a yawn, "I think we'd best be headed out," she tells Niklas, "Or else you'll be carrying me home at this rate. Too much excitement!" She grins over at Reese, "I think it's a girl, but Niklas swears it will be a boy this time! And is there nothing you can't do, Reesey? Congratulations on your win!"

The little raven haird vixen smiles to Evonleigh and curtsies deeply, her delicate hand pressed upon her breast. "Thank you, my lady. I'm so happy to see everyone here having a lovely time. Truly. It is my honour."

Valencia claimes that

Brady tilts his head, gazing at Niklas. He sounds disappointed, let down somehow as he asks, hopefully, "Aren't we all? I mean the Grayhopes... romantics?" All night he hasn't sounded as young as he does now. He shakes his head faintly, casting off the doubt when the bell sounds. He rises to approach the offered dessert with a slowly returning smile. All he can manage to say is, "Oh. Boy."

Monique happily claims a kiss of Reese's cheek in return before curtseying low to Princess Valencia. "It was a smashing success, Your Highness, and I look forward to working with you soon. Thank you for such an enjoyable evening!"

Jan rejoins the table after a bit of wandering. Her spirits seem to have lifted a bit though. She pours another glass of booze. Time to level out hangover with drunk again. "To Valencia and her games." She murmurs, probably not nearly loud enough for everyone to here, and then begins on the leveling.

Pharamond is overheard praising Valencia.

Monique is overheard praising Valencia: A smashing success!

Reese smiles over to Sabella. "It was nice to see you. " She says toward her sister. She then takes a big bite of lavender cream cake.

Willow pushes unsteadily to her feet and smiles up at Brady after grabbing about four of the whiskey cream cups and neglecting the other desserts. She puffs out her cheeks and grins sillily up at Brady. "You're killin' me here." At least she manages to look delicate while eating the /heap/ of sweets.

Someone might be in trouble, at least, the redheaded Harrow doesn't seem too pleased with Brogan still for some reason, though there's only the pursing of her lips and the fold of her arms to expose that as they chatter quietly, then there's a snort as the black-clad Felicia slips off from the table and heads for the door, possibly, probably, pursued by a Brogan.

Jan is overheard praising Valencia: A very good time.

Brogan has left the table by the fire.

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

Felicia leaves, following Brogan.

"And I, you, my lady," Valencia returns with a little flush of cheeks. "You are a master hostess and I look forward to seeing you bring your magic to our venture," she nods warmly. The blush grows even deeper as Jan calls for a toast and she looks incredibly shy but so very grateful. 'Thank you, my Lady! Welcome back to Arx. I hope we will see plenty of you in my Hart from now on, yes?" she calls out cheerful, lifting her own glass.

Monique has left the table by the fire.

Primus, First of Monique's Assistants, Tertius, Third of Monique's Assistants leave, following Monique.

Pharamond has left the table by the fountain.

Ian looks to Zoey. "We'd better be getting back, too. It's getting late."

Pharamond stands as well, his arm about Olivia's waist and he bows to Princess Valencia. "I'm going to get this one home before your barmaids have more than just glasses to clean. It has been a treat as always," he says with a playful smile and he whispers, "ANd I hope you enjoyed the view...you know, since you were keeping an eye on me." Yes, he can be an ass sometimes, but it's a jestful ass and not a mean one!

Jan smirks, eyeing Olivia. "Drinking takes time to master. Just like anything else. You'll get it, just don't quit!" This brings her into full laughter.

Zoey nods at Ian. "You're right of course. I need to check on Uriel anyway. Serissa probably needs a chance to eat." There's some humour there.

Olivia curtseys, sloppily rather than her usual grace, and falls flat on her butt

Willow smiles warmly at Olivia and offers her a hand.

Brady pulls out a chair Willow, stating playfuly, "Well we've got to have dessert, right?" Waiting for her before he takes his own seat, he picks out an assortment of everything, including a glass of wine. "I had so much fun tonight." He lifts his wine, joining in Jan's toast, "Let's hear it for Lady Valencia Velanosa, the best Hostess I've ever known. Period." There's a glance towards Olivia, and a smile but no snicker.

Sabella has left the table by the fountain.

Niklas has left the table by the fountain.

Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise leaves, following Niklas.

2 Grayson House Guards, Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting, Clark, an exasperated guard, Niklas leave, following Sabella.

Ian braces himself on the table and pushes to his feet. "We're heading out," he says to Jan.

Zoey starts forward when she sees Olivia wobble, but she's a little too late. There's a wince. But she's looking exhausted and Pharamond is there, so the Kennex lady bids her farewells to Valencia and follows him out.

Reese smiles warmly to Valencia. "A very wonderful event Princess Valencia, thank you."

Olivia holds a hand up her eyes closed unaware of what is going on around her

Another curtsey is offered to Pharamond in return, "Thank you for coming, my lord. I hope you will visit us again soon," she smiles. Her cheeks flush even more at Brady's words and she lowers her eyes. "Missere Brady, truly, it is all of you that makes my Hart beat so beautifully. I am honoured for your company and good grace. Thank you. I hope you will join us as often as it pleases."

Jan stands to help Olivia, but she seems to have forgotten she in on dry land. She begins to sway at the hips, and looks rather confused for a moment. "Oh right.." she murmurs. "Have to get used to drinking on solid ground again." She grumbles, taking her seat again. "You're on your own Olivia."

Zoey says, "I'll send the carriage back, Jan."

Olivia has left the table by the fountain.

2 Ashford House Guard, Bethany leave, following Olivia.

Olivia leaves, following Pharamond.

Ian has left the table by the fountain.

Jan has left the table by the fountain.

Vraxese, a Kennex Corsair guard leaves, following Jan.

Zoey has left the table by the fountain.

Jan, Zoey leave, following Ian.

Willow flushes a bit and smiles at Brady, nodding. Before that seat is taken though, she lends modest strength to pulling Olivia to her feet, taking the offered wine with her other hand and raising it to toast.

A breath. Finally a breath and a sip of wine. The little vixen bids adieu to one and all as they happily depart, their voices and laughter carring through the courtyard and into the main hall of the Hart. Valencia smiles, perhaps a little sadly, and takes a deeper sip of her wine as her staff quickly into action.

Reese is still enjoying her cake. She smiles over to Willow, Brady and Valencia, seeming to notice those still here. "You did a good thing tonight, getting everyone out and having fun, Princess." She says to Valencia.

Valencia smiles to her friend and gracefully takes a seat beside her, the cup held delicately in her hand. "Thank you for coming," the little southern princess smiles. "I'm so glad everyone had fun. Much needed, I think," she nods and takes a little sip.

Brady finishes off his dessert and then some, telling Valencia, as he rises, "Oh! Oh Gods, I hadn't once thought about our looming threats, my quest, or my money problems. I didn't even realize how much I needed this." He releases a surprised little laugh.

"Sometimes something like this is neccessary to remind us of what we are fighting for. It reminds us of who we are fighting for," Valencia smiles to Brady. "And sometimes we all just need a moment to breath and laugh in good company."

Reese looks to Valencia, giving her a smile. "I think it was much needed. Everything has been so heavy and well this was a nice time for people. I even had a date, which is sort of new for me. Anyways, it is very appreciated. I think you might much to Compact."

Willow nods and smiles as she looks between Brady and Valencia. "This is the best party I've been to since arriving. To Reese, she says, "I need to see your tower first, but I think I know what the painting will be now."

Brady bows to those present, as skilled servant arrives just in time with his backpack and shoes, looking none too happy about the duty. To Reese and Valencia. "May the Gods bless and keep you. I'm afraid I'm almost due for an appointment." He arches a brow at Willow, saying no more before he heads out. To the secret gardens.

The little vixen nods to Reese and smiles. "Very true, my dearest friend. Raising funds is not all the Hart does. Being a place for all to gather and be welcome and lifting spirits are two of the most important things we do."

Reese smiles to Willow. "Oh, would love to have you over at my tower sometime, Lady Willow"

"Be well, my missere. My lady," the little vixen nods gently and raises her glass. "To light, life, luck and love. Here's to our city having heart!"

Willow rises to her feet, curtseys to both Reese and Valencia, and hares off after Brady, looking smitten.

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

Valencia looks to Reese. "And so we march on. With good people like this, I feel heartened already. Thank you," she nods again. "Thank you so very much."



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