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A Taste of Arx - Velenosa

The Lyceum puts its many and varied talents on display in an evening of wine, revelry, and celebration. Compete in classic games of Lycene intrigue and celebrate all of the wonderful subtleties that make the Lyceum so beautifully, maddeningly unique. All are welcome to immerse and enjoy themselves!

Date

March 20, 2019, 8 p.m.

Hosted By

Berenice

Participants

Venturo Brianna Thea Sabella Victus Kaya Merek Reese Gianna Helena Beatrice Ophelia Agostino Alessandro Pasquale Nurie Calypso Corban Lethe Kaia Amari Lucita Gilroy Harlex Gretchen(RIP) Bliss Carita Kalivan Jaenelle Willow Arman Jeffeth Caith

Organizations

Velenosa

Location

Arx - Ward of the Lyceum - Velenosa Grounds

Largesse Level

Extravagant

Comments and Log


House Velenosa has spared no expense in this celebration of all things Lycene. Every inch of the estate grounds have been decorated to best feature the natural beauty already there, and an array of tables, offerings, games, and events are there on offer to those in attendance. All the many and varied houses of the Lyceum are featured in their own way, traditions highlighted, specialty crafts and foods on offer and display. Wine is in /ample/ abundance, and the delicacies offered by House Velenosa are as exquisite as they are varied: arugula salads with raddichio, pear, and walnuts; mushroom caps stuffed with spice crab; prosciutto-wrapped pears drizzled in balsamic; crispy slices of bread topped with chopped, marinated tomatoes; cups of puff pastry stuffed with goat cheese, honey, and cranberry; snails broiled in butter and garlic; lamb shanks marinated in red wine and mint; slices of mascarpone custard layered with whipped cream and a rum and coffee soaked sponge cake; fried pastry dipped in chocolate and filled with mascarpone cream -- it's an extravagant spread of food offered throughout the grounds. Musicians, dancers, and performers mingle throughout to showcase the most Lycene of arts and offer entertainment throughout the evening.



It is, to put it mildly, a spectacle.



And at the festival's center is its hostess: resplendent in a daring cut of fitted cloth-of-neodymium brocade and an open, split skirt of silk lace, she moves through the party every inch the capable, glamorous hostess. She has a smile for every visitor, it would seem, and a keen eye for every detail of the proceedings. "Welcome!" she declares to the crowd. "House Velenosa bids you enjoy all the Lyceum has to offer. Among the many offerings we have, House Igniseri and House Saik have set forth a large collection of wine and gifts that all of our attendees are welcome to take home. And we shall begin the evening's games shortly!"

Cecily, a coy secretary, Omero, a hulking bodyguard arrive, following Agostino.

Rodrigo, 1 Greenmarch Guard, 2 Greenmarch trained guards arrive, following Alessandro.

2 Novice Keaton Huntsmen, Barf, the Bog Dog arrive, following Amari.

It's a rather tired languor that seems to have consumed Venturo this night, shadows beneath the eyes. This malaise is further expressed in the slow rolling gait, yet despite it all? The man seems rather accepting of this particular mood. Passing by the collection of alcohol - wines?! - it is a few of the pastries that Venturo snaps up for his own benfeit before he continues on, angling to find one of the spots that isn't in the fore, but still provides a good view of everything going on.

Venturo has joined the shadowy corner of the gardens.

Sabella gets a beaded, padded pouch from Saikland Greens from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Kaya takes a beaded, padded pouch from Saikland Greens from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Sabella gets Black Cherry and Black Currant Wine from barrel of Igniseri wine from Granato.

Brianna arrives, all swirling reds and golds oranges, from the top of her head to the tips of her toes. She's definitely here for the amazing Lycene food, and she is enjoying herself unashamedly.

Reedy, a King's Own aide arrives, following Corban.

Reedy, a King's Own aide leaves, following Corban.

Reedy, a King's Own aide arrives, following Corban.

Helena gets a beaded, padded pouch from Saikland Greens from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Lucita puts Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine in a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Lucita puts Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine in a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Brianna gets a beaded, padded pouch from Saikland Greens from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Lucita puts Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine in a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Lucita puts Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine in a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Alessandro gets Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Beatrice gets Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Lucita puts Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine in a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Lore takes a beaded, padded pouch from Saikland Greens from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Alessandro gets Black Cherry and Black Currant Wine from barrel of Igniseri wine from Granato.

Lucita puts Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine in a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

(OOC)The scene set/room mood is now set to: [OOC: Welcome! Please make use of the Events channel for OOC chatter aside from direct questions about the games/competitions when they're being held. And everyone is encouraged to make use of places and tabletalk throughout the event! Have fun! :D]

Lore puts a beaded, padded pouch from Saikland Greens in Large Oiled Leather Rucksack.

Merek gets Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Lucita puts Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine in a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Lucita puts Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine in a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Reese gets Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Lore takes Black Cherry and Black Currant Wine from barrel of Igniseri wine from Granato.

Lore puts Black Cherry and Black Currant Wine in Large Oiled Leather Rucksack.

Reese gets pale peach wine from Granato from barrel of Igniseri wine from Granato.

Helena gets The Zephyrs of Spring, an opulent white wine from barrel of Igniseri wine from Granato.

Brianna gets The Zephyrs of Spring, an opulent white wine from barrel of Igniseri wine from Granato.

Kaia takes Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Thea nods to Kaia, Peering at room,"Of course

Agostino takes Black Cherry and Black Currant Wine from barrel of Igniseri wine from Granato.

Kaya gets Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Agostino takes pale peach wine from Granato from barrel of Igniseri wine from Granato.

Merek gets Black Cherry and Black Currant Wine from barrel of Igniseri wine from Granato.

Kaya gets pale peach wine from Granato from barrel of Igniseri wine from Granato.

Kaya gets The Zephyrs of Spring, an opulent white wine from barrel of Igniseri wine from Granato.

Agostino takes Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

"Princess Berenice, this looks utterly amazing," Sabella gushes as she makes her way past all the sights and sounds to find the hostess, beaming a brilliant smile, "And absolutely perfect. Not that I expected anything less. I hope you're ready for all the crowds, the other nights have been simply packed!"

Amari gets The Zephyrs of Spring, an opulent white wine from barrel of Igniseri wine from Granato.

Victus' entourage is never hard to spot. It involves a lot of grim looking reavers, one secretary and per usual one cat as well. The Claw of Arx was perched on the Prince's shoulder. Victus himself was still sporting his shorter hair, the longer lengths of his beard tied into fine braids. He wore his longcoat per usual, with a firm armor breastplate underneath it. He gives a few gestures toward his guardsmen, who 'disperse'. As in move a comfortable distance back while still being somewhat overbearing. Victus' first goal is to obtain a goblet of wine. So many to choose from. So many potentially spiked. Difficult choices.

Kaya offers Lady Kaia a wink and settles nearby to watch the event.

Merek has put on his black dress silks, while he has a vest on in brocade with the blue and black that decorates a floral pattern upon it. He walks to the place the wine is while he picks up some to keep with him.

Lucita checked dexterity + legerdemain at difficulty 15, rolling 18 higher.

Kaia takes pale peach wine from Granato from barrel of Igniseri wine from Granato.

Reese arrives at the gathering while adorned in her rosy tunic and ivory leggings. She has pink ribbon in her messy golden locks and a blade at either hip. A bow is strapped to her back.

Gianna strides onto the grounds, the fluffy black feathers around the neckline of her dress ruffling with every step. She makes her way toward Berenice, with the customary observation of the Velenosan princesses' outfit. A nod. "Fantastic," she declares. "I always like feathers." There's clear envy on her face and in her tone. Legendary!

Victus has joined the benches by the fountain.

Entering the Velenosa grounds, Princess Helena wears a dramatic gown of crimson and black that seems fitting for the Velenosian evening. She chats with Lord Alessandro. "You'll have to tell me all the secrets of the grounds. I've only been here once or twice. It'll be nice to have someone from the inside to tell me all the interesting things I may have missed the last time, or was too shy to ask," the fair Redrain says, before smiling when she spies the hostess. "Princess Berenice -- you are a vision in violet," she says brightly. "This looks just lovely."

Mingling through the crowds, Beatrice brushes invisible dust away from her long seasilk coat and studies equally performers and the non-Lycene taking in the spectacle. At least until a pastry on a tray floats by, which she cheerfully snatches up, alongside a goblet, spinning her way in stride into a quiet place to observe.

Ophelia Velenosa walks onto the grounds with her arm around Sir Corban's as the pair arrive together. Dressed in her autumn colored silks, the archeress looks the part as she directs she and her escort over to the wine. She needs a glass! And so does the First Captain, apparently. There's a wave to her cousin Berenice -- the prettiest hostess /ever/ -- as the search for a glass of wine continues.

Beatrice has joined the garden benches.

Ophelia has joined the garden benches.

Lucita gets Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Lucita gets Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Lucita gets Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Lucita gets Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Lucita gets Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Lucita gets Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Lucita gets Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Brianna is overheard praising Berenice.

Agostino slips into the gathering unobtrusively, if not exactly without notice, dressed in black with blue highlights Dark eyes take in the sights with curiosity as he seeks out a glass of wine, dipping his head in greeting to anyone he passes whom he knows. Smiling over at Berenice, he does not approach the busy hostess yet, instead wandering a bit to enjoy some of the entertainers present.

Merek looks over to Berenice, then he moves that way while he offers a lift of his drink, "To Velenosa! You look lovely, and that fragrance, I simply must know where it came from Your Highness," he says, while he bows to the woman and lifts up a little with a shift.

Beatrice has left the garden benches.

Beatrice has joined the shadowy corner of the gardens.

Merek is overheard praising Velenosa: Great!

Sabella is overheard praising Berenice: A fabulous hostess who never looks less than amazing!

Kaya has joined the shadowy corner of the gardens.

"Well, we certainly couldn't be /less/ than perfect," Berenice says with a bright laugh and a brilliant smile as Sabella approaches her. "I'd certainly be /disappointed/ if we didn't attract a crowd." Her smile is just as effusive for Giana and Helena as they approach. "Oh, you're /too/ kind," she says with playfully feigned modesty, even as she lifts her chin in /obviously/ preening pleasure at her new outfit for the evening. Her smile turns amused at Merek's question. "It is, in fact, an entirely unique scent crafted by Mirari Corsetina -- and the only bottle of it is among the evening's prizes. So I certainly hope you've a keen tongue for lying if you hope to win it."

Lucita has left the a table with inlaid Saikland glass tiles.

Micana, 1 Saik Guard leave, following Lucita.

Victus gets The Zephyrs of Spring, an opulent white wine from barrel of Igniseri wine from Granato.

Victus gets a beaded, padded pouch from Saikland Greens from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Adjutant General Vincenzo di Malvici, 6 Malvici Guards arrive, following Calypso.

Reese peeks toward Gianna, having a smile for the Nightingale. "You look as lovely as always, which is very lovely, Nightingale." She says before, waving to Merek. "Hi Sir Merek." She then smiles warmly to Sabella. Beatrice is given a blown kiss. She wave to Kaya nice. "Mistress Kaya, hi!"

Kaia takes The Zephyrs of Spring, an opulent white wine from barrel of Igniseri wine from Granato.

Reese has joined the shadowy corner of the gardens.

Thea gets a beaded, padded pouch from Saikland Greens from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Alessandro is also in red and black, which goes well with Princess Helena's ensemble, since of course one cannot clash with the person with whom one came to a party. That would be terrible. "I can show you a few," he replies to her, "though the real expert of the secrets of the grounds is Lorenzo. He was always much more trouble than me." Clearly. He spies Berenice as well, lifting a hand in greeting as he nods to her. "Cousin," he says, "a very lovely affair. You are to be commended." Sabella then catches his eye as well, and his wave turns into a greeting to her as well. "Sabella, so good to see you!"

Kaia has joined the pathway benches.

Agostino has joined the alcove by the archway.

Kaya smiles and curtseys to Princess Reese. "Princess Reese it is lovely to see you agai," Kaya says softly as Reese joins hee

"I'm as honest as the day I was made," Merek tells Berenice with a cheshire grin to the woman, then he shifts his attention to Reese, "Your Highness," he says, while he offers a bow to the woman, then he looks to some of the others, while he shifts the belt cape that he wears.

Pasquale strides onto the grounds of the Lyceum's high house with a sweep of his umbra cloak. It's an awkward sort of sweep, a touch stiff, but he gives it nonetheless. An occasional hello or bit of small talk is exchanged as he finds himself a place to lurk.

Kaia has left the pathway benches.

Kaia has joined the garden benches.

Pasquale has joined the alcove by the archway.

Thea has joined the garden benches.

Thea gets pale peach wine from Granato from barrel of Igniseri wine from Granato.

3 Tyde Houseguard arrives, following Lethe.

Reese goes to take a seat a nearby bench even as she studies the bottle of pale peach wine. "This looks so good." The girl says. She waves over to Thea. "Hi, Lady Thea" She then smiles to Kaia as well.

Reclining back onto a bench while chatting with Venturo and Kaya, Beatrice looks surprised - and then absolutely delighted - by Reese's greeting. "Princess Reese," she greets, reaching up to take one of Reese's hands and press a warm kiss to her palm, "you are simply full of surprises." She gestures with her glass to the benches.

Nurie moves with the rest of the common participants through the crowd, her eyes wide and a cheerful bounce to her step. She may be Lycene, but it is clear that she is raptly interested to taste, and see, the food and arts from the rest of the islands. Her crown of flowers sheds a few fragrant petals or blossoms in her wake, but she seems determined to take it all in.

"Alessandro!" Sabella beams her smile his way and heads over towards him, "How are you and Margret and the baby? I fear that my own will not allow me to stay here very long, but I wanted to at least make an appearance. Have you been to the other events? They've all been so fantastic I can't even believe it! And this one is sure to be stunning."

Calypso steps in. The characteristic click of her boots on the ground, along with the small personal army she brings with her announces her arrival. A brief scan of the people present brings her attention to Berenice. She makes her way over to the Princess, with an appropriate bow she greets her. "Your Highness. The place looks wonderful."

"Why, thank you, Princess," Gianna tells Reese, tilting her chin up and looking like she's on the verge of preening, too. Another flicker of a smile for Berenice, and a nod for Sabella as well. "Your Highness."

Corban walks along next to the Princess Ophelia, arm and arm with her, wearing, as promised, the cologne she had commissioned for him. The First Captain is in his tunic and trousers -- no clinky-clanky armor tonight -- and picks up a glass of wine for Ophelia before claiming another for himself. Here and here.

Lethe arrives with an eager smile on her face. She nods to those she sees while she looks at the different tables.

Lethe has joined the pathway benches.

Victus takes a few generous sniffs of his drink. Once its been confirmed that its probably not poisoned, he takes a liberal sip. Very liberal. With that, he's ready to mingle. The Prince glides over toward the gardens corners, a stony look on his face. "Princess Berenice. This is a nice gathering. I think." He opines to her. "I have been to few Lycene parties since the Archduchess and Archduke took their leave. It is considerably quieter already." He gives a nod of greeting to Princess Reese as well.

Victus has left the benches by the fountain.

Victus has joined the shadowy corner of the gardens.

Thea bows to Reese, a smile on her face,"Good evening your Highness." Straightening, she settles on the bench next to Kaia.

Lady Kaia finally takes a sit by the garden benches along with Thea. She glances over back at Reese and waves. "Lovely to see you, your highness." she says, before taking a look at her current collection of items. "These do look amazing.~"

Brianna swirls over to say hello to Corban, glass of some delicious wine in hand. "First Captain! You are looking wonderful tonight, and you /must/ introduce me to your friend," she says, extending a hand to Ophelia.

Helena has joined the alcove by the archway.

Corban has joined the garden benches.

Alessandro has joined the alcove by the archway.

Reese has a warm smile for Victus that reaches her blue eyes and brings her dimples to briefly bloom. "Greetings High Lord Victus" She says. Reese was just speaking quietly at her bench and she looked a bit impish for some reason or another. She waves to Brianna. "Lady Brianna, yay, we do need more fiery redheads here."

Frost, a Maelstrom Forest Cat leaves, following Lore.

Micana, 1 Saik Guard arrive, following Lucita.

Merek has joined the benches by the fountain.

"We are quite well, thank you," Alessandro replies to Sabella's question. "Margret is at home tonight with him. I offered to stay, but she insisted." He shakes is head, his smile twisting a little wryly, there, though not //too// much. "We went to the Redrain event the other night, which was lovely as well. What a good idea to put this series on." He moves toward the alcove than with Helena to sit down.

Lucita puts Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine in a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Lucita puts Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine in a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Lucita puts Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine in a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Lucita puts Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine in a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Lucita puts Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine in a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Lucita puts Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine in a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Lucita puts Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine in a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Lucita puts Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine in a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Lucita puts Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine in a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Lucita puts Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine in a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Lucita puts Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine in a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Lucita puts Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine in a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Gilroy takes Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Merek makes his way to a seat next to the fountain, while he takes some bread to have with his wine, while he takes a sip, letting out a sigh while he people watches.

Lucita puts Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine in a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Berenice is overheard praising Sabella: None of this would have come to fruition without her!

Lucita puts Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine in a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

"Princess Sabella!" greets Helena with a smile for a fellow blond princess -- Reese gets a wave, as well as Lady Brianna and all the rest of the people she knows by face and name. "These are so much fun. A stroke of genius, really, and just what we need in these times of tribulation, I feel," she says to the Grayson Voice, then moving away to find a place to sit and chat.

Amari wanders in, keen to have a look around. Like Reese, she's gone with a tunic and leggings ensemble, though hers are not the least bit pink. It's all Keaton colors for her; black and green. While her Huntsmen hang back out of the way, her big ugly dog tags right along. Wanted or not. The pair do a little circuit to check everything out, smiles and waves offered to quite a few. "Princess Berenice, everything looks lovely. Yourself included, of course." She compliments on the way by, nodding politely to Gianna as well, "I don't see a single tankard. You may have a fairer shot." She drifts on from there, giving a wave to Sabella before pointing herself at a clutch of familiar faces she spies.

Amari has joined the shadowy corner of the gardens.

Kaia takes Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Gilroy takes pale peach wine from Granato from barrel of Igniseri wine from Granato.

Merek gets Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

When Reese calls her name, Brianna sashays over to say hello. She offers a small hug and air kisses. "Afer all, I know your fondness for redheads," she says with a wink.

Reese smiles over to Helena. "Nice to see you Princess Helena." She softly says. She then waves to Amari as well. "And Lady Amari."

Gianna gets Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Nurie takes Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Reese gets Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

When Lady Brianna approaches him, Corban turns. "Oh! You are too kind, my lady. You look lovely as well." He turns and touches her arm, leaning in to murmur something to her. He then pulls away and gestures to Ophelia next to him. "Princess Ophelia, might I introduce Lady Brianna Halfshav, an old sparring partner? Lady Brianna, this is Princess Ophelia Velenosa."

After making the appropriate greetings, Calypso moves over to where Thea is sitting. She nods her head to the newest Malvici.

Thea bows to Calypso, properly of course"Good evening."

Nurie takes pale peach wine from Granato from barrel of Igniseri wine from Granato.

Perhaps there's a touch of delighted surprise in Berenice's dark eyes when she turns to see Victus before her. "Your grace, what an /honor/ to have you in attendance," she says with glittering warmth. "I'm certainly doing my best to uphold Velenosa's glamorous reputation in their absence. I shall have to make a bit more /noise/, then, if you think it's too quiet." Her gaze catches on Alessandro and Ophelia -- family among the crowd -- and her smile is positively brilliant.

Kaia checked dexterity + legerdemain at difficulty 15, rolling 3 higher.

Reese puts Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine in a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Brianna isn't rude! She flits back to Corban and Ophelia. "A pleasure, your highness," she says. Corban's murmur earns him a serious nod, and she leans in to say something in return.

Gianna sniffs once, and heads over toward Amari. There's a quick glance about for her gigantic dog. Is it here? "No tankards. Lots of wine glasses, however. At least I'm not wearing terribly new clothing tonight."

Sabella laughs and says to Alessandro, "I shall have to stop by on my way back to home. Maybe bring the children along to meet their newest best friend," she grins and then beams at Helena and Berenice, "I'm glad everyone is enjoying them, but I could not have done anything without the other Houses being so enthusiastically on board! And everyone nominated just the best people for the job, truly. I couldn't be happier seeing how it's all going!"

Ophelia takes a sip of wine from her glass and watches as Brianna approaches with a smile for the First Captain. She glances at Corban and then back to Brianna, accepting the offered hand with a cheery grin. "A pleasure to meet you, Lady Brianna." She then catches Berenice's glance from across the way and lifts her glass in greeting. Kiss, kiss!

Brianna has joined the garden benches.

Adjutant General Vincenzo di Malvici have been dismissed.

6 Malvici Guards have been dismissed.

Lucita moves quietly into the gathering and replenishes the gift bag contents as some of the items are removed. Once done, she turns and casts her gaze over the people gathered around the garden and gives them a warm smile, and a curtsy when close enough to royalty for that to fit. She moves over to the table with the inlaid tiles to take a seat and people watch.

"Please do," Alessandro replies with a firm nod at the idea of Sabella bringing the children to Greenmarch, as he sits down to greet the rest of the people at the alcove. Amari gets a wave when he catches sight of her, though, as well as Gianna, before he turns to the rest of those seated around him.

A Taste of Arx - Wines is now unlocked.

Berenice takes Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine from A Taste of Arx - Wines.

Berenice checked dexterity + legerdemain at difficulty 15, rolling 2 higher.

As the Duchess of Malvici makes her way over to the benches where Thea and Kaia were seated, the Bisland lady gives the woman a courteous nod, "Duchess Calypso, good to see you again." she says, with a gentle smile.

Lucita has joined the a table with inlaid Saikland glass tiles.

Berenice gets Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Berenice puts Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine in A Taste of Arx - Wines.

A Taste of Arx - Wines is now locked.

Nurie has joined the a table with inlaid Saikland glass tiles.

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

Venturo perks up a touch, just ever so momentarily, when Gianna speaks to Amari, with he being in close enough proximity to chime in, "Nightingale. A delight," His voice lacks its normal energy, but he seems to be taking it all in stride. It's a pastry he hefts up to give a salute to the woman, before he goes back to the conversation in his little corner.

Barf the gigantic dog is here, though Amari is kind enough to have him park himself next to her once she's found a spot to sit. She smiles up at Gianna once they're both settled, "Still too fine to be spilling anything on. Also, wine glasses tend to break rather easily..." Alessandro's wave is caught and returned enthusiastically.

Dolmen, a Crimson Agent arrives, following Harlex.

"Master Thayne," Gianna says, offering one of her quick, fast-fading smiles. "So good to see you, too. I'm looking foward to the next whiskey."

Gianna has joined the alcove by the archway.

Gretchen has joined the garden benches.

Gilroy arrives EXACTLY fashionably late. The fashionableness would start dropping off pretty quickly on either side, so he really nails it. He doesn't nail not looking like he got kicked in the face by a horse, there's only so much one can do about that. He walks along the various seating placements, not stopping 'til he's at the enormous pile of crab-stuffed mushrooms that he quickly makes his own before turning to find himself a place to sit. Gianna gets the ol' finger crossbows, totally pretending like his savage burn at the Redrain ward deeeefinitely didn't happen, and offers a raised hand toward the assorted people he recognizes. Beatrice gets what might be a wink, but it's kind of hard to tell and it might just be a wince, before he joins the alcove next to the Nightingale.

Gilroy has joined the alcove by the archway.

Harlex arrives with a motion from his jacket that implies he's recently thrown it on and there's only a small grit of his teeth. A vision of some finely done bandage work seen through the open collar of his shirt beneath that favorite leather garment. His swords are appropriately peacebound, wrapped each with the signature of crimson silk. His knife too, probably. Feel free to check. But arriving as he does, he takes in the utter spectacle. A low, sharp whistle cutting through the din. But he seems set on a particular spectacle he'd like to find first.

Thea glances between my bottles, curious. She answers Kaia,"I haven't, but I have no doubt they're delicious."

Thea kaia=Lol There was a brief mention of marrying off Thea >_>

As the evening continues to progress and grow in activity, Berenice takes a step up to a platform at the head of the crowd. "Ladies and gentlemen! It is a great tradition that those of the Lyceum grow up learning their poisons alongside their letters, but it is a talent that anyone can learn. And tonight we will be having a little wine tasting -- or poison tasting, as the case may be -- of our own." Her humor is bright and just a bit sly. "Now, do not fret: it is a most /mild/ poison involved, and no one will be harmed any more than a bit of flushed queasiness, and we'll have antidotes at hand." Reassuring, right? "In any case: if you guess correctly, then you won't have to worry! So for those who are daring and perceptive, I invite you to step up and join us for a distinctly /Lycene/ contest." And indeed, it seems that an array of servants are setting up collections of wine for competitors to inspect in whatever ways they might see fit to explore in order to identify what is safe and what -- is not.

Reese starts to rise from the bench at the mention of a poison contest. "What could possibly go wrong..." She says.

Gretchen has joined the line.

Merek stands up, making his way to the first festival thing of the evening. "I would like to join," he says, while he offers a wave also.

Merek has joined the line.

Kaya has joined the line.

Gilroy has joined the line.

Alessandro has joined the line.

Helena has joined the line.

Lethe has joined the line.

Nurie has joined the line.

Brianna has joined the line.

Agostino has joined the line.

Amari has joined the line.

Thea has left the garden benches.

Gianna has joined the line.

Thea has joined the garden benches.

Victus has joined the line.

Brianna gets up and sashays over to take part in this wonderful idea that couldn't possibly go wrong.

Gretchen arrives just after Harlex, perhaps using the man's shadow to keep her hidden until there's an opportune moment to step out into the light and slide into a seat nearby, "Did someone say poison?" She asks a little too cheerfully, "Now this is a party!"

Ophelia is seated at the garden benches with Sir Corban and is content to watch as people walk by, admiring outfits and saying hello whenever she spots a familiar face. Venturo is spotted from across the way and her glass is raised in greeting, then it's Harlex Valtyr that recieves a grand smile from the archeress. Once the game is announced, she's content to watch how this plays out.

Reese has joined the line.

Thea lifts her eyebrow subtly,",Poison?" Peering at Kaia, she asks,"Sounds like quite the party.."

Gretchen checked perception + alchemy at difficulty 20, rolling 40 higher.

"Perhaps for once I might have a chance, since there's no running or jumping or climbing involved," Helena tells Alessandro and Gianna as she steps away from the alcove to get into the line for the wine tasting/death by poison contest.

"I can see nothing going wrong with this." Said Victus, man of outraged abolition. "Count me in."

Gianna checked perception + investigation at difficulty 15, rolling 25 higher.

Victus checked perception + investigation at difficulty 15, rolling 18 higher.

Helena checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 39 higher.

Merek checked perception + alchemy at difficulty 15, rolling 7 higher.

Amari checked perception + diplomacy at difficulty 20, rolling 47 higher.

Nurie checked perception + investigation at difficulty 15, rolling 26 higher.

Alessandro checked perception + investigation at difficulty 15, rolling 43 higher.

Lethe checked perception + alchemy at difficulty 20, rolling 49 higher.

Reese checked perception + diplomacy at difficulty 20, rolling 2 higher.

Gilroy checked perception + alchemy at difficulty 15, rolling 8 higher.

Agostino checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 28 higher.

Kaya checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 4 higher.

Venturo lifts his chin a touch when he spies the Princess Ophelia, but her gesture gets a small scoff from him. No, not because it's her, for he lifts his pastry up to salute her warmly in return, but it is far more likely that she saluted him with a wine glass. In goes that tasty treat, before the showman's focus looks back over with interest as everyone starts to see if they can get htemselves poisoned.

Merek looks over to Thea and Kaia, "Yes, some of the best alchemists that make poison and wine come from the Cities," he offers to the conversation, while he moves to take a drink and all also.

Brianna checked perception + diplomacy at difficulty 15, rolling 6 higher.

Brianna checked perception + diplomacy at difficulty 20, rolling 15 lower.

5 Redoubt Buccaneers, Bengalo, the sneaky black cat, Luna, the sweet, studious assistant, Luca II, the laziest of the feline lot, Kalivan arrive, following Carita.

Gianna walks with Helena over to the newest game, seeming fairly serene about this whole poison thing. Then again... she does kind of sound Lycene.

When the game is announced, Alessandro grins, and stands up as well with Helena, moving toward the line. "I'm sure you will do quite well," he says to the Redrain princess. "Perhaps I will lose on purpose, and claim poisoning when anyone asks me to do anything for the next few days."

Gretchen heads over to the display of wine, green eyes sparkling as she surveys them, "I have to say, the time I spent in the Lyceum was some of the best times I barely remember of my life."

Jared, an overworked-looking, nervous Apprentice Whisper, Donatella arrive, following Bliss.

Kaia glances at the whole thing with a raised brow, "Interesting games...these of the Lyceum." she mumbles to Thea, and then chuckles. Her eyes shifting over to Merek for a moment with a bit of amusement due to the current game taking place. "I do hope none gets actually poisoned here..."

Nurie chats amiably and animatedly with Baroness Lucita at the table she's sitting at, though as the contest is announce she rises to indicate her interest in participating. There's that happy bounce to her step once more, as she move to the display, her forehead crinkling just a little in a frown of concentration as she studies the offerings.

This seems like a brilliant idea, so Amari follows after some of the others she was sitting with to see if she can avoid being poisoned. Hearing Gretchen mention the time spent in the Lyceum prompts a look of hope. "I'll be watching you carefully for hints, Lady Moore."

Agostino is not far behind Gianna and Helena in approaching the game, a wry grin on his face as he looks around at the other contestants.

After returning a less expressive but no less friendly hello to Ophelia, he sneaks one over toward Berenice as well. But like a good -- sellsword? Harlex lets her to her hostess duties and seems to find himself a table serving food of which he gathers a plate for and even helps himself to a bit of red wine. At least one glass, before he switches to whisky.

2 House Velenosa Guards arrives, following Arman.

12 House Velenosa Guards, Ibasia, the Velenosa Lady-in-Waiting, Arman arrive, following Jaenelle.

Thea actually straightens, interested with the game before her. "So mild poison you say?"

Better late than never, right? Well, fashionably late is what the Radiant is likely telling herself as Bliss arrives, dressed in vivid burgundy and lavender and with a smile on her face. She looks over a few spots, whistling to herself as she sees how full they are - and looking to Berenice, she gives her an approving nod. With that, she starts to walk toward some of the benches a bit nearby. There's some game going on with wine. The Tor-born duelist watches, seeing if it might kill anyone.

Bliss has joined the pathway benches.

Harlex has joined the pathway benches.

Merek is too drunk to really be doing poison testing, so as he does he looks around a moment. He does manage to guess, but it takes a moment. He's usually great with alchemy and such, but not today. He makes his way on a bit drunk to the bench he was at to settle and wait for the next game also.

Alessandro is in the midst of possibly poisoning himself, but when Bliss arrives he looks over at her, waving to her before he has to leave because of a stomachache. Just kidding, he's doing great.

Lucita watches the contest in progress. "More than I had expected have managed to pass this round."

The Countess of Darkwater arrives walking with Kalivan, the pair of them talking amiably as they enter. There's a pause, blue eyes taking in her surroundings and finding familiar faces, as she leans to murmur something to alchemist beside her, laughter lifting as she speaks to him.

"It's not particularly difficult to find poison in a drink, I feel." Victus announces to the group around him. "All Islander Lords should be well-versed in recognizing a deceitful weapon. Observe." With that, Victus takes a drink of one of the spiked beverages. And swallows. "... Oh, wait, I think I already fucked up." The next noise out of his mouth was something along the lines of a ghastly squeal as his stomach violently rejected what had just been introduced. Covering his mouth, the Prince retreated back toward the garden. "Nope. Not a game for me. No."

Poppy, a copper-haired young woman arrives, following Willow.

It is certainly a remarkably /Lycene/ game. The servants have a certain ease with it despite the seriousness of there being /poison/ involved. (What's the harm so long as it's not too dangerous a one and there's an antidote handy?) Groupings of wine are set out before all the contestants, leaving them to determine which they can drink safely. Lethe identifies her poisoned chalice with /remarkable/ speed, and Amari, Alessandro, and Gretchen are close behind. Helena, Agostino, and Nurie also manage to guess correctly in short order. Gianna and Victus do manage to spot the right chalice, but they take too long to make it to the next round. Gilroy, Merek, Kaya, and Reese all take far too long, and poor Brianna -- is almost certainly going to need that antidote. That flush is /particularly/ obvious on such fair skin

Willow gets Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Gretchen gets Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Agostino checked perception + investigation at difficulty 25, rolling 29 higher.

Alessandro checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 39 higher.

Amari checked perception + diplomacy at difficulty 25, rolling 19 higher.

Lethe checked perception + alchemy at difficulty 25, rolling 7 higher.

Brianna carefully inspects all of the chalices, drinking from ones she are absolutely sure are safe... yeah. About that. Her cheeks are burning, and she looks like she's about to vomit. An attendant rushes over with some antidote, and she staggers back over to the garden benches.

Helena checked perception + investigation at difficulty 25, rolling 37 higher.

Gretchen checked perception + alchemy at difficulty 25, rolling 51 higher.

Willow gets pale peach wine from Granato from barrel of Igniseri wine from Granato.

Nurie checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 17 higher.

There's a soft, wry sounding chuckle from Kalivan after Carita whispers to him, staring over at the lined-up wine glasses as he goes a little green around the gills for a second. He bends down a little to whisper back into the Countess' ear.

Gianna might be out of practice with this poison-spotting. She eyes the glasses, lips pursing together. A servant waves her out, and Gianna looks, for a moment, petulant before giving a more gracious bow and returning to her seat.

It is not hard to tell that the Archduchess Regent has arrived. The guards within the Audience hall all snap to attention which causes those on the grounds to repeat the motion as she leaves the estate on the arm of the distinguished Velenosa, Arman. These guards are given polite greetings, before looking towards her escort, "oh look, people may die on the grounds. The gardens will look lovely after."

Gretchen grins at Amari and maybe slightly inclines her head towards one goblet. But only after she's identified it apparently just by looking over at it!

Making little noise, Willow arrives just in time to watch the poison drinking contest, wandering off toward where the goodies are stashed to pick up a little something before longer study of the area.

Reese has joined the contest and she is a clueless Crownlands girl so she drinks the poison! She looks really confident, clearly thinking she got it right!

Lethe has left the pathway benches.

3 Tyde Houseguard leaves, following Lethe.

Merek looks about and notes Meeka is around. He nods to the woman and has her bring him all the poisons. Since all of them are the mild kind and only have a limited bit in them, he samples them, seeing if he can manage to guess each one personally.

Gilroy stands by Gianna, glaring at the glasses as if daring one of them to be filled with poison. But then he's told he's taking too long and he gives a sniff. "Well!" He turns and heads back toward his seat, twirling a nice rose gold chain bedecked with rubies on his index finger as he walks.

Helena's a little methodical, not quite as fast as some of the others, but she does choose correctly, before asking, "Which wine is this? It's quite lovely," before looping back around to take her place again.

Arman's lips curled in a small lilt of a smile that remained mostly hidden by his whiskers and never quite reaching the height of his gaze. "I am sure Princess Berenice has taken measures to insure none of our attending allies may overdose themselves." His free arm gestured aside to a less populated table, the one inlaid with Saikland tiles. "Shall we find ourselves seats and drinks to observe the festivities?"

During the first round, Agostino picks out the safe goblet after just a little bit of sniffing and examining the choices before him. He gives Brianna a brief, concerned look for a moment when he sees her reaction to what she drank, but it does not linger; she will be in good hands, no doubt. When the second round comes, he seems to have a bit more difficulty, though, and ends up sipping from an unsafe goblet. Only a small sip, but enough that he realizes it too late, beginning to look a little on the queasy side as he returns to his seat.

Reese is flushed and not feeling super good. Eventually she excepts she drank the poison and sheepishly asks for the antidote. Upon seeing Arman, the girl waves in his direction.

While it's not the shell game, there seems to be similarity enough that Amari makes her selection quickly and confidently - the first time. The second round is slightly more difficult, and even with the hint from Gretchen she's just a little too cautious in her choosing. The other leave her in the dust and though she chooses correctly, she's not nearly fast enough to keep up with the professionals. Gretchen gets a helpless little shrug and a grin before she steps away from the table, though Alessandro gets a loud whisper, "The glasses are marked."

Kaya spits the drink on the ground and joins Reese to ask for an antidote

Agostino, Amari, Nurie, and Lethe fail to proceed to the next round in the contest, either by case of not being as speedy as the other competitors -- or drinking from the wrong chalice. Berenice, of course, just looks delighted. "And three remain! Lady Gretchen Moore, Lord Alessandro Greenmarch -- a Velenosa by birth, no surprise -- and Princess Helena Redrain. And now the final round!"



She spots Harlex having slipped in a bit late, and her smile flashes wide and delighted enough to crinkle her dark eyes. "Oh, don't worry, your grace!" she carols over to Jaenelle. "It's only a /mild/ poison, after all. And we have antidotes!" EVERYTHING IS SAFE.

Alessandro takes a couple of seconds to decide which one he wants to take, and also chooses correctly, though at Arman's comment, he does reply, "And if not, she was very clever to do so in the Lyceum ward so that she might escape censure." He shoots a look at his cousin then with a wider grin, before Gretchen's words have him chuckling. "Don't give away //all// our secrets," he replies.

Jaenelle is overheard praising Velenosa: We have antidotes!

Alessandro checked perception + investigation at difficulty 25, rolling 29 higher.

Gretchen checked perception + alchemy at difficulty 30, rolling 39 higher.

Helena checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 35 higher.

Pasquale is overheard praising Velenosa.

Lucita spots Jaenelle and her escort and smiles toward them. She gestures toward vacant seating should they wish to join her though with so many options for a place to enjoy the gathering, and such a large group of people, such may easily be overlooked.

The next round proves a stronger challenge for Nurie. She gazes and hems and haws, though the Lycene tailor seems to have a keen sense of time--so she makes her decision well before the time runs out! Unfortunately it isn't the right one. It's written in her face just a few heartbeats after she swallows, her fingertips lifting to her lip briefly, as if she's not entirely certain they still exist. She applauds the remaining contestants and then makes her way (rather crookedly) back to her former seat!

Merek has drunk a lot of the other stuff, then he samples the antidotes, while he looks to some of the others there, from the bench he waves to Kaya and to some of the others.

The line has been dismissed by Berenice.

"Are you suggesting that those of free will, who volunteer to play the game, are some how murdered even after they know what the risks are?" Jaenelle muses to Arman, the barest hint of amusement in her eyes as she moves where he leads. "I think that our allies are smart enough to decide the risks for themselves, and should they choose to die here, then they have also decided to make the flowers particularly pretty." She grins towards Berenice after she speaks, "I have complete faith in your ability to only slightly poison people, this isnt a family dinner after all where we purposely attempt to!"

Jaenelle has joined the a table with inlaid Saikland glass tiles.

Thea gets pale peach wine from Granato from barrel of Igniseri wine from Granato.

Gilroy nods toward Gretchen and says to those at his table. "Tt. It is no wonder she is so good at spotting poison, as she sells it for a living."

Kaya nods politely to Merk. She watches the event silently

Kalivan perks his head up and stands on his tiptoes, doing a quick scan of the lovingly-decorated courtyard before leaning back down to Carita.

Gretchen smirks at Alessandro and then as the next round is announced, reaches out to take a goblet seemingly at random and dips a finger in it, swirling the liquid around the ring once before raising it up, "This one," she calls out, then actually sucks the poisoned wine off her finger with a grin. But only when it's clear the other two are a bit slower, "It's subtle, biting, and ultimately upsetting. A great vintage and a fun game. My thanks, Princess." She nods to Berenice, then flips off Gilroy. "Where'd you say you were from, Grayhope?!" She calls out.

Carita is overheard praising Velenosa.

The Redrain looks surprised to find herself still in the contest, but shares a grin with Alesssandro. "Spending time with you Lycenes must be rubbing off on me," she says brightly, before moving up to examine the glasses again. She tries to be quicker this time -- at least quicker than Al, Gods damn it all, and manages, but not as quickly as Gretchen. She takes her drink of the wine, waiting a moment, before suddenly holding her stomach, like she might be sick. She's not an actress, and laughs immediately, toasting Gretchen with her poison-free glass.

Carita is overheard praising Berenice: Wonderful Hostess!

Arman chuckled in response to Alessandro's call of retort, guiding Jaenelle along to find a proper seat which was fairly easy given most moved right out of the Archduchess Regent's way. Reese received a nod and another small smile of greeting in reply to her wave. He didn't reply to Jaenelle's words, simply warm in appreciation of the setting and her call to Berenice. Once she was settled he reached to a passing platter and took a place standing just behind Jaenelle's right shoulder. Rather than trust his guards with the matter, per Lycene etiquette he tasted the Archduchess Regent's glass with a small sip before offering it to her once satisfied. Was it a show? Maybe! Or maybe he's just paranoid as can be.

Arman has joined the a table with inlaid Saikland glass tiles.

Amari offers up a round of hearty applause for Gretchen, but something said by those she's seated with draws her attention back with an eyebrow arched.

Unable to repress an amused chortle at Jaenelle's words, Willow wanders off after some food, piling little bits of everything on it and passing the bottles gotten off to Poppy as she wanders off close to the shadowed alcove to linger near Reese and Kaya.

"And our winner: Lady Gretchen Moore! Tsk tsk, Alessandro." Berenice makes a show of such /disappointment/ at her cousin, only for it to be replaced an instant later by that delighted smile. "Lady Gretchen, you have the honor of winning this collection of absolutely safe and unpoisoned wines -- they're sealed, you can check. Some of them offered by the houses of the Lyceum, some of them donated from House Velenosa's own stores. Some are the only of their kind. And, if you like, the display case is also yours." She gestures to the case of wine that's been set out on display. To the crowd at large, she declares, "And soon we shall begin another treasured game of the Lyceum: one of truths and lies." ~Oooooooh.~

Reese peeks over to Willow. "Hi Lady Willow." She ays, before adding. "Congrats Lady Gretchen!"

Reese is overheard praising Berenice: Great event!

Reese is overheard praising Gretchen: Yay, Winner!

Reese is overheard praising Lucita: Great wines!

Berenice takes A Taste of Arx - Wines.

Helena is overheard praising Berenice: Lovely hostess!

Nurie claps enthusiastically for Gretchen, though it's punctuated now and then with hiccups. She spots something--well, hopefully someONE--across the grounds and waves enthusiastically! But then she takes her seat and takes a bite of a delectale appetizer from her plate--only to stare very suspiciously at it afterwards.

Alessandro laughs a little wryly as he guesses slower than Gretchen and Helena. "Well spotted," he remarks to the winner with a smile, before turning to Helena at her comment. "It seems you have, considering you have surpassed even me. I have been too long from the ward -- I should put my mind to practicing more." He applauds the winner, while shooting a feigned indignant look at Berenice.

"You /clearly/ are losing your touch in the dull safety of the Oathlands," Berenice calls back to Alessandro teasingly.

"It's like someone knew I loved drinking," Gretchen marvels, offering Berenice a curtsy and a wink and then...well there's no servant here to take the whole damn thing so she looks at it a few moments then says, "I'll just get it after the party." Somehow. "Don't feel bad, Lord Alessandro, Princess Helena," she says to her fellow competitors, putting a reassuring hand on Alessandro's shoulder, "I'm just too amazing."

Willow perks up as she looks toward Berenice on announcement of the second game. Smiling at Reese and Kaya, she says "Hi, Princess Reese...oh! I'm not too late for that one, am I?" she asks of the second game, nibbling on some custard.

"Then you should invite me to dinner more often, cousin," Alessandro retorts, though Gretchen's comment draws another laugh as he sits back down on the benches. Not for too long, though, considering there's another game on the docket.

Kaya smiles softly at Willow. "Hello Lady Willow," Kaya says softly

Thea takes a beaded, padded pouch from Saikland Greens from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Carita leans to speak with Kalivan, a hand lifted to point to various parts of the area, but she's shaking her head negatively at whatever it is she's speaking with him about. Luna, her assistant finds them both a glass of wine to drink and offers them up for the pair.

Helena laughs, cheeks a little flushed from the wine tasting. "Well done," she tells both her fellow finalists, before returning back to the alcove. Berenice's comment about the Oathlands earns another chuckle, and a sidelong glance at Alessandro. "For me, it's probably all the practice of making sure that Artur or Leif didn't put something disgusting in my drink when I wasn't looking at dinner," she adds merrily.

Reese loks over to Willow. "Oh, I think you were in time." She says softly.

Looking past Venturo to Willow, Beatrice offers a hand up to her in greeting. She also seems to have amassed a small collection of water glasses on her bench. "Lady Willow. Disclaim as you must, but you enjoy our company more than you will admit. You look lovely."

Jaenelle peeks over her shoulder towards Arman and accepts the glass of tasted wine as is customary, lifting it towards the man in thanks and silent toast. Taking a sip of it after, she observes Nurie from the edge of the glass carefully, and once the glass is lowered she leans towards the woman, "are you okay?" Because she isnt sure. Then she turns towards Lucita with a smile, "while I am sure you are well, I suppose the question is how well are you?" Turning towards whatever the woman quietly mentions, she smiles at the pouches, "what a lovely idea."

Venturo finishes off the last of his treats he had taken from the table, quiet but clear farewells given to those in his particular little spot of the garden. His path through the grounds is slow, a certain melancholy enveloping the showman, and soon enough he's slipping from the estates to head back out onto the street.

Venturo has left the shadowy corner of the gardens.

Zane, a tall and silent servant leaves, following Venturo.

Kalivan flashes a smile at Carita's helpful assistant, lifting his glass in toast to nothing in particular before having himself a sip. He knits his brow together a little as Carita whispers to him again, gaze flicking around to all the places she points to

Pasquale has left the alcove by the archway.

Carita has joined the a table with inlaid Saikland glass tiles.

Kalivan has joined the a table with inlaid Saikland glass tiles.

Arman tilted a bow of his head in greeting to both Nurie and Lucita, the latter receiving a reply. "I am blessed to share your company for another event, Baroness. And yes, I agree with the Archduchess Regent, that is a lovely gesture."

Eina, the Pearl's Own, Soot, a frenetic ferret arrive, following Peri.

Berenice waves a hand in gracious dismissal to Gretchen. "We'll have it sent directly to the Moore estate," she tells her, gesturing for some servants to start the process. Leave the guest to handle transport? ELYSIA FORBID. And now she turns back to the crowd, clearly bright with anticipation for the next game. "Of course, here in the Lyceum we are also known for our /careful wordings/. We are not, as the Oathlands might like to think, simply an entire region of /liars/. But it is our great love and tradition to value cunning and subtlety. And so we come to the Game of Lies: each competitor will present two truths and a lie. Those who manage to fool the judges will continue in the next round of the contest. Our prizes for the evening are two outfits of luxury cloth-of-neodymium tailored by House Tessere's most lovely Messere Nurie, a set of jewelry featuring Gemecittan quartz by Guildmaster Joscelin Arterius, and a one-of-a-kind Lycene scent crafted by the renowned courtier and once Sword of Lenosia Mirari Corsetina." A hint of sly humor there as she adds, "Which I have sampled just enough of to wear this evening, for any who have gotten close enough for a whiff. For those who wish to compete, please step up!"

Merek has joined the line.

Lucita says, "Thank you. It may help ones get bottles home intact, or when carrying them somewhere. I'm doing well enough, thank you. Am watching what I drink though since was sampling various ciders and ales earlier and knew it was not wise to mix too much variety or would suffer from that." There is a grin as she mentions that. She goes quiet to listen to Berenice a few moments and then smiles a greeting to Carita and her companion."

Gretchen has joined the line.

Amari has joined the line.

Alessandro has joined the line.

Lifting a brow as she smiles warmly at Beatrice, Willow feigns a look of shock, "Lady Beatrice, I /never/. I adore Lycene culture and peoples! Did you know it is the only fealty I told the Duchess Lydia I would marry out into?" She lifts a piece of toasted bread with marinated tomato to nibble before telling Beatrice, "And you are comely as ever, Lady." She waggles her pinky around the toast in a little wave of greeting to Kaya and tells Reese, "Wonderful!" before going quiet to listen to Berenice, nodding appreciatively as she listens before stepping up.

Willow has joined the line.

Beatrice has joined the line.

Gilroy has joined the line.

Helena has joined the line.

Agostino has joined the line.

Bliss has joined the line.

Reese has joined the line.

Merek stands up and makes his way on for the next, and he seems to be thoughtful also, "I hope to win such a wonderful perfume as that," he says.

Gianna has joined the line.

Brianna has joined the line.

Kaya has joined the line.

Reese rises to her slippered feet and joins the line. She has a smile for Beatrice and Victus who she seems to have been listening to. The girl then waves to Willow once more.

Kalivan pulls up a chair for Carita, then one for himself beside her at the table. There's a smile for Lucita as he settles in. "Hello there. Lady Lucita, was it?" He says, setting his glass on the table. "Pleased to meet you. Kalivan Greene, alchemist."

The queasiness seems to have passed, and Lady Brianna gets up for this next game. She's sturdy!

Kalivan then leans to the side a little to say something quietly to the Darkwater Countess.

Corban has left the garden benches.

Reedy, a King's Own aide have been dismissed.

After a while, both Thea and Kaia make their way off quietly.

Kaia has left the garden benches.

Thea has left the garden benches.

Kaya has left the shadowy corner of the gardens.

Kaya leaves, following Thea.

Thea leaves, following Kaia.

Beatrice checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 34 higher.

Alessandro checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 21 higher.

Merek checked charm + performance at difficulty 30, rolling 15 higher.

Reese has rolled a critical success!
Reese checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 70 higher.

Gretchen checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 15, rolling 25 higher.

Gilroy checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 44 higher.

Amari checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 26 higher.

Agostino checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 20 higher.

Bliss checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 37 higher.

Gianna checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 44 higher.

Brianna checked composure + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 1 higher.

Willow checked charm + performance at difficulty 30, rolling 23 higher.

Helena checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 15 higher.

Thea, Kaya arrive, following Kaia.

Thea leaves, following Kaia.

Jaenelle has joined the line.

Jaenelle checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 34 higher.

Kaya has joined the line.

Kaya checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 13 lower.

Nurie seems thrilled and on the edge of her seat to be watching the next contest, especially after partaking of a few more bites of prosciutto-wrapped pear.

It is, perhaps, surprising that a Grayson princess comes up with the most brilliant of lies among the competitors, but so Reese does. Gilroy and Gianna are noted for the particular deftness and subtlety of their truths and lies, which the judges are unable to correctly name. And Bliss, Beatrice, Jaenelle, and Amari both make it through to the next round with deft wordsmithing.



Willow, Alessandro, Gretchen, and Agostino's lies are found with care and difficulty, a respectable fate even if they are cut from the competition. Merek and Helena's lies are identified a bit quicker. Brianna's judge /barely/ has to think, however, and Kaya's judge doesn't even let her finish before identifying the lie.

Reese has this gentle smile and compete poker face that makes it very hard to tell if she is telling the truth or not. She seems more charming than composed and her cheeks are even a bit pink. She goes on to tell three stories of battles. One is made up and two are true stories.

Amari keeps her truths and lie to a single theme and each relatively succinct, which may be a strategy of sorts to not betray anything by meandering. She delivers each statement all with the same confident tone and amiable expression, as one does when they're telling the truth and nothing but. It's a solid effort! "I have one dog named Barf. I have another dog named River. I have a third dog named Oaken."

Gretchen raises her bottle of wine, which she's carrying around now, and takes a slug of it before moving to sit, "I thought it was clever to say everyone here had been poisoned. You just never know!"

Willow struggles with where to start, and then seems to ease into it. So well that it is guessed the opener was the truth, and so she goes to sit with her plate of food, and watch the rest.

Merek does his best to talk about the colors of his attire, but doesn't manage it well. He nods a bit, and makes his way on to the bench he was at to settle in. He picks up a wine and pours another drink. If you're drunk, you're always a winner.

"The secret to winning two truths and a lie is to only tell truths. The lie is that you're really playing two truths and a lie." Gilroy raises his eyebrows to Gretchen, then finishes off a glass of wine. "Honestly, I've never lied in my life."

Kaya is obviously not very good at lieing because she makes up a rediculous stroy about killing a dragon with a dagger.

Brianna steps up to the judges, clasping her hands in front of her. "For your perusal: I am allergic to cats. I have never touched a sheep. I once ate a slug." She lets out a disappointed sigh when her lie is identified, and her slug-eating past is on display for all to see.

Reese looks over to Kaya. "I did like your story about the dragon and the dagger." She says toward her. She then smiles at Gretchen's words, looking amused. "Slugs..well that is better than my eating past."

Casting Amari a wry look at something she says, Beatrice delivers her truths and lie quickly and fluidly. None of the statements involve whether her name has always been pronounced 'be-ah-tri-shay' or if she made that up and now forces everyone to say it like that.

"I thought poisoned apples were a thing, why would I lie about having one on a shelf? Its even purple" Jaenelle states, "Do you have a posioned apple?" she asks the people at her table, "because if not, I shall find you one. Or any fruit I suppose."

It's almost scary, the casual ease with which the Bliss Whisper tells her tales of three duels to the judges. Maybe there is some skepticism as to whether there were, in fact, only two truths and a lie - she named off two elves that she fought one-on-one, after all, and survived, but in the end the judges look perplexed enough to wave her on through.

It's not hard to tell when Helena lies because she glances down and a rose flush comes over her peaches-and-cream complexion. She laughs when the lie is easily chosen (she does not actually have a unicorn named Charlie up in Farhaven, alas) and she steps to the side to watch the rest of the brilliant liars lie -- taking notes, no doubt, of who to trust for future reference.

Alessandro leaves the competition, though good-naturedly, finding himself a glass of wine and sitting back down. "I suppose the lying has not rubbed off on you as much as identifying poisons," he remarks to Helena as he settles back. "I would be happy to practice lying with you, as it seems I have lost some of //that// ability, too. Luckily Marcus will have his First Liar soon and I can use them while pretend I'm making sure they are up to the task."

Kaya smile at Reese and Willlow softly. "I usually find I much rather tell the truth but atleast my story was entertaining," Kaya says softly.

Beatrice checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 24 higher.

Gilroy has rolled a critical success!
Gilroy checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 182 higher.

Gianna waves three short, fantastical scenarios, none of which sound very believable the way she tells them. The one that's a truth is something about a wardrobe malfunction as a child.

Reese checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 25 higher.

Bliss checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 22 higher.

Amari checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 20 higher.

Brianna has left the garden benches.

"I am a native of this fine city," Agostino begins his entry into the game, a charming smile on his face, "I am also a stone-cold assassin. And the first job I ever held was a messenger right here in the ward of the Lyceum." When the judges pick out the second statement as his lie, he bows graciously to them and once more makes his way back to his seat.

Merek has left the benches by the fountain.

Gianna checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 22 higher.

Jaenelle checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 37 higher.

Amusement again hung on the old statesman's lips as Arman watched and listened to the game. Something is said at the table that draws his attention. "If you've cracked the code on that particular mixture, Master Kalivan... you would quickly find yourself a man of great fortune."

"Oh, well, that's true. I'm sure I'm lied to more than I lie to them," says Helena with a grin at one of the Lycenes she's friends with -- that's not very flattering, is it? "Not that I think you lie to me, of course," she adds to Alessandro. "I do need to practice it more, but when you're practicing, you don't care, and when you care, you're not...practicing." More wine is in order.

Ophelia finishes what's left of her wine and then sets the empty glass down before standing up from her seat upon the garden bench. She murmurs something to Sir Corban before making her way across the grounds and eventually back to the manor house.

Ophelia has left the garden benches.

Robyn, an artful archeress, 2 House Velenosa Guards leave, following Ophelia.

Gianna, Bliss, and Amari fail to quite fool the judges well enough to continue forward, alas. Beatrice, Reese, and Jaenelle are both deft enough with their words to leave the judges guessing, and they all three move onto the next round.



But Gilroy. Gilroy's words are so precise, his lie and truths so deftly chosen, that the judges are /agape/. They are /agog/. They actually /argue/ with him when stumps them enough to have to reveal his lie, because /certainly/ he must be lying about /this/. But then, they accept it, and there is, after all, nothing the Lyceum loves more than expert subtlety: and so they rise to their feet, applauding his performance. Even Berenice is absolutely, delightedly struck.



"Messere Gilroy, I believe I have no choice but to name you the first place winner of this contest," she says, positively thrilled. "I don't believe anyone in the world could best what you've just done. But we shall play on to see our second and third-place winners."

Gretchen twists around at the mention of a mixture, "Hm? Has someone over there discovered a curative of some sort?" She asks Arman, standing up and heading over to sit down uninvited to smile at Kalivan, "Hi. Lady Gretchen Moore. Are you my new competition because the way Master Gilroy is lying makes me think I need to shift my focus or I might lose some business."

Gretchen has left the garden benches.

Gretchen has joined the a table with inlaid Saikland glass tiles.

Gilroy gets up, still twirling his gold chain, and looks over the judges. "I am not Gilroy Grayhope. In fact, I am an illegitimate son of Niccolo Velenosa, and I grew up friends with Gianna Whisper before she was Gianna Whisper." Then he just stares at the stymied judges, who aren't even entirely certain he said three different things. In the end he clucks his tongue and says, "No, no. I'm not really a prince in disguise. I'm actually Duke Arn's illegitimate uncle. It's quite complicated." before going to sit down. As he walks back to his seat he picks out Willow in the audience and gives her a wave as he pulls the bracelet on.

Amari is a lawyer, yay, but also an Oathlander, boo. Her lies are good, her tactics sound, but they aren't great. They aren't the result of a life long dedication to deception. She is good at judging other people's capacity for untruths though, so the more she hears, the more she realizes her chances are not good. There's some stellar lying going on. This time there's no marked glasses to blame, even jokingly, so she gives a nod to the other competitors and finds her way back to her seat, and Barf.

Beatrice checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 22 higher.

Reese checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 49 higher.

"And FURTHERMORE-" Bliss begins, but the excitement written on her face as she begins to speak - well, the judges immediately dismiss her. Pout. She lets out a long sigh, then, but then smiles good-naturedly and shrugs, walking back to her seat on the bench.

Jaenelle checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 27 higher.

Gilroy has left the alcove by the archway.

Kaya slips silently out

Beatrice murmurs aside to Reese, even as she applauds ruefully for Gilroy's performance, "I would tell someone this story, but they may well call /me/ the liar instead." Perhaps if she were paying less attention to Gilroy, she might be more persuasive at her own performance.

Gilroy has joined the alcove by the archway.

Merek looks up and seems to consider, "... That uh, alright. He might actually be onto something there," he muses about Gilroy. Perhaps he is some kind of royalty!

Arman has left the a table with inlaid Saikland glass tiles.

2 House Velenosa Guards have been dismissed.

Gianna has been cut. She arches her eyebrows at Gilroy and gives him a very dramatic bow before she goes back to her seat, the fluffy feathers on her gown bouncing with every step.

"Indeed," Alessandro replies to Helena, "But as with anything else, it gets easier the more you do it, whatever the stakes." Gilroy's performance, though, is so impressive that he can't help but applaud the man. "Perhaps I should see whether //he// would be willing to be Marcas' First Liar," he muses, though it's difficult to tell whether he's serious or not.

Jaenelle claps her hands politely in Gilroy's direction, both for winning the contest and for the prize he has decided to showcase. "If you ever need a job, Master Gilroy" she calls out after with a grin, "I am almost certain I can find one for you without hestitation." She thrn turns to her judge, leaning forward with a narrowing of her eyes, "or was that a lie?!"

In the end, Beatrice doesn't quite manage to convince the judges. It is Reese who is named most deft of the remaining competitors, with the Archduchess herself coming in Third. Berenice turns to Gilroy first once the remaining winners are named. "And so, Messere, you will have the first choice of our prizes. You may choose the two stunning outfits of brocade, the set of Gemecittan quartz jewelry, or the one-of-a-kind Lycene scent."

Willow checked composure + diplomacy at difficulty 15, rolling 24 higher.

Reese seems all happy with the win. She was remarkably good at deceiving, although not nearly as good as Gilroy! She smiles when the winners are announced and blows another kiss to Beatrice. She then looks to Gilroy. "You are quite incredible Master Gilroy."

"I do believe that is a person I will never trust," says Helena with a laugh and a nod to Gilroy. "He's quite a phenomenon," she adds to Agostino, "he won the Toast, Boast or Roast game I ran last night at Redrain, despite offending half the room. Somehow." She shakes her head, as if she still can't quite fathom it. "I find him rather intriguing but like maybe we should all check our coin purses when we leave." This isn't said too quietly, but it is said with a measure of mirth and good cheer.

Reese is overheard praising Gilroy: He is wizard with words and depception!

Berenice is overheard praising Gilroy: A truly stunning performance!

A Taste of Arx - Prizes is now unlocked.

Gilroy takes Autumn's Treasure Brocade Coat from A Taste of Arx - Prizes.

Gilroy takes Autumn's Treasure Umbra Shirt from A Taste of Arx - Prizes.

Gilroy takes Autumn's Treasure Brocade Breeches from A Taste of Arx - Prizes.

Does Willow look remotely surprised that Gilroy turns out to be the best liar? Not in the least. But she has the self control not to say anything at least. Instead she just chuckles at Helena and nods a few times as she continues nibbling, this time at the rum soaked cake.

Gilroy takes Beloved of the Vine Brocade Gown from A Taste of Arx - Prizes.

Gilroy takes Beloved of the Vine Brocade Slippers from A Taste of Arx - Prizes.

"Full of surprises," Beatrice repeats to Reese with narrowed eyed amusement as she bows over Reese's hand and presses to it a fond, courtly kiss. Jaenelle earns a more serious bow for her performance, gaze lowering respectfully - far moreso than the wry, disbelieving headshake she gives when passing by Gilroy to return to her seat.

Amari gets Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

3 Thrax Guards, Carys, a slight woman with ink-stained fingers arrive, following Caith.

Brother Chester, Caith arrive, following Jeffeth.

Gilroy jerks a themb to Harlex as he passes. "My secret was being beaten so badly no one could see my many tells through all the swelling." Then he plops down at his seat and starts shimmying his way into the gown. "Gods, I'm going to be beautiful."

"Princess Reese, you are next to make your selection of the prizes," Berenice says with a warm smile, turning next to their second place competitor. "You can select either the set of Gemecittan quartz jewelry or the signature perfume."

Nurie straightens just a little bit with pride, as the brocade outfits are the ones first chosen! It causes the tailor to fairly glow with happiness.

Reese looks over to Gilroy. "Oh, you will be Master Gilroy." She says and then smiles. "I would like to select the amazing jewelry since it is so beautiful and Mistress Joscelin's work is so great, but I would like to it give away, since purple is not really my color and there are so many would be so lovely in it here."

Harlex lifts a hand and waves toward everyone at Gilroy's gesture. "You too can be beatin' to a pulp for a reasonable fee," he calls.

Reese gets a pair of elegant gold earrings with faceted multi-colored Gemecittan quartz studs and matching briolettes from A Taste of Arx - Prizes.

Reese gets an elegant gold pendant with a faceted multi-colored Gemecittan quartz and matching briolette from A Taste of Arx - Prizes.

Reese gets a glittering gold cuff bracelet with filigree and granulation set with emerald-cut multi-colored Gemecittan quartz from A Taste of Arx - Prizes.

Beatrice calls back to Harlex, "I believe I just was!"

"Yes, he definitely has a way with words. The first time I saw him, he was promoting racers for Master Thayne's races several months ago, and he did quite the job of whipping up the crowd," Agostino recalls in reply to Helena, but then adds, "Though you're right, trusting him might be just a -little- more difficult after seeing this performance." He then gives Gianna a curious glance at her own comment, before raising his glass in her direction and taking another sip.

Kalivan lets out a low whistle as Gilroy starts to slip into the gown, a look Nurie's way after. "Your work, I'm assuming?"

Berenice gets Wine and Cunning, a Lenosian scent from A Taste of Arx - Prizes.

Willow laughs brightly as she looks between Harlex and Beatrice before looking back to Reese.

Reese turns to Beatrice, trying to give her the earrings. "Here, I would like you to have them, they will be far more lovely on you than me." She says softly. She starts toward Willow.

Nurie nods to Kalivan, her eyes sparkling with delight. "'Tis, Master Kalivan! I do hope someone tells Master Gilroy that I'd be happy to do some alterations as well to ensure he has the most comfortable and perfect fit!"

Willow has joined the shadowy corner of the gardens.

"A very generous gesture, your highness," Berenice says graciously to Reese. And then she steps up personally to the case of prizes, taking the bottle of perfume and stepping up to present it personally to Jaenelle. "And I think it particularly /fitting/ that the Archduchess of the Lyceum should be the one to wear this /particular/ scent." Her smile widens enough to gleam bright and pleased.

Gianna's feathery shoulders rise and fall in a faint shrug at Agostino. She looks like she's about to say something else, but Reese mentions something about giving jewelry away and Gianna perks right up.

The large form of Jeffeth Bayweather comes lumbering along, his deep blues dancing with delight as he makes his way into grounds of the celebration. Taking in the surroundings and sounds Jeffeth's smile is brilliant and luminous as he moves along the steps. On his arm is a particular Thrax princess that the behemoth occasionally beeends over to murmur to. Most of the exchanges end with the large man laugh--giggling, one large hand slapping at his massive chest as it convulses from the sudden laughter. As they make their way further in, Jeffeth glances around before looking down to his companion. "Should we get a seat? Anywhere you want to take a seat? Or a stand?"

Berenice takes A Taste of Arx - Prizes.

"A lovely gesture, Princess Reese, I am sure that those you give the pieces to will be quite appreciative of their beauty and the generosity behind it" Jaenelle tells the other woman warmly. Taking her own prize from Berenice, the woman gets a dip of her head in gratitude. "Thank you. For all that you have done this evening to showcase the pride of the Lyceum, and the true nature of the Lycene people."

Already drowning her defeat in wine, Beatrice turns back to Reese with a halting step, clearly taken aback. "Your Highness..." she murmurs with reproach, earrings sparkling in her palm. The reproach lingers in her eyes as she looks down to the ribbon princess. "If it is so, it is only because you know you need no adornment. I shall repay you in books." Beatrice closes her fingers around the earrings, then leans forward to give Reese a full hug.

Amari has left the shadowy corner of the gardens.

2 Novice Keaton Huntsmen, Barf, the Bog Dog leave, following Amari.

Gilroy calls out to Agostino from inside the gown. "I still don't know who Sir Corban is!" Eventually he squirms his way into the gown and pulls it down so his head and arms are out. "There was probably an easier way to get this on, but I'm mostly used to taking them off." He nudges Gianna with his elbow like eh eh, get it? so salacious! Then he pulls off his shadowmeld boots and sets them to the side, shimmies out of his breeches (under the gown, so there's no chance of him scandalizing the lot of them like a certain Oathlander at a certain wedding) before putting on the slippers. "Shit. Why am I wearing pants all the time? This is /so/ comfortable. The breeze is a delight." He waves over to Nurie. "Top flight work, Mistress Nurie!"

Reese has a gentle smile for her both Bernice and Jaenelle. "I think the scent will be perfect." She says softly. She then returns Beatrice's hug. "I do like books very much." She says. The girl then tries to hand the bracelet gently to Willow. "I should probably give the next to Whisper Gianna, she really is suited for pretty things."

Nurie is overheard praising Berenice: A dazzling evening of entertainment, and display of pride and joy in for the Thousand Cities!!

Berenice is overheard praising Gretchen: A delightfully perceptive drinking partner to have!

Harlex is overheard praising Berenice: This is the best Taste of Arx event, this is a non-bias opinion. Get a look at that hostess!

It really doesn't seem like it /could/ be possible, but Nurie looks a hundred times happier to hear Gilroy's words, her cheeks flushing as he seems to enjoy the gown. She blows him a kiss from her seat. "Why indeed, Master Gilroy! You cut quite a dashing figure! I hope you'll consider more updates to your wardrobe now that you've experienced it!"

Willow ooohs, delightedly and flashes Reese a grin, "Thank you, Princess, it is absolutely lovely," she says, slipping it on opposite the opal studded cuff on her other wrist. At Reese's words on Gianna she nods, and adds, "And her dress is just gorgeous."

"Shocking," Gianna tells Gilroy when she is nudged. "You'll make everyone blush." In the Lyceum ward! Sure! She flags down another glass of wine, seeming unafraid of getting poisoned... or perhaps wishing to be. At least until 'Whisper Gianna' is said in the same breath as giving something away, and she straightens up. "Oh, Princess Reese, you don't have to do that." Her hands are already coming up and reaching out to take the pretty thing. So shiny.

With bright eyes and a sparking smile, Caith enters alongside Jeffeth. "Oh, how lovely the decorations are," she lilts and gives the knight's forearm a bit of a squeeze. Bayweather is such a tall, muscled man and the petite Thrax royal looks all the more delicate standing there next to him. But as much as their physicality is a study of extreme opposite, their expressions and manner seem quite alike. The grins! The laughter! The pure delight taking in all they see.



To his question, she answers: "Let's just take a spin around the room and take it all in." Caith gives Jeffeth a wee tug and then tips her head in the direction of the food and drink. Or, more specifically: the wiiiiiine. Oh yes! They might be late to the party but she is fully committed to catching up.

Shaking his head slightly at Gilroy, Agostino comments in reply, "Now, Master Grayhope, you're just showing off." He finishes off his glass of wine then, setting it aside empty as he gives Helena an amused look at hearing the way she giggles.

Gianna favours Willow with one of her quick smiles, too. "Why, thank you!"

Gilroy flaps a hand toward Agostino. "That's not showing off." Then he gets up and shows off, heading over for more crab-stuffed mushrooms like the stylinest person to ever cram a crab-stuffed mushroom in his face.

Reese gives Gianna a length of Seliki pearls with emeralds instead of the purple necklace for some reason or another. "I think pearls would be especially great on you." She says explaining the switch. She then heads over to Nurie. "Did you want the last piece, Mistress Nurie, the necklace, purple is not really my color and Joscelin's work is too beautiful not to wear."

Berenice watches matters continue apace as the contest winds into the rest of the evening's revelries, a particularly pleased smile gracing her red, red lips. With the heaviest lifting of her duties done, and nothing left but to make sure the enjoyment and festivities continue, she takes some time to drift and socialize in a way she couldn't at the start of the festival. And, perhaps predictably, she first visits a certain sellsword sitting at the benches with a certain newly-appointed Radiant.

Berenice has joined the pathway benches.

"Do ladies' gowns come off? I plan to sleep in this. I have no idea what you're talking about," says Helena with a grin at Gianna's admonishment of Gilroy. She smirks over at Agostino, before adding, "It was lovely to see all of you. I am quite tired after two nights of two much alcohol, though, poisoned or not, and I think I need to head in soon." Her blue eyes find Berenice. "Princess Berenice, it was just lovely. Thank you so much."

There is very little prodding needed and soon the gigantic knight and the slender princess are elegantly striding-- Tripping over themselves to get over to the wine. Jeffeth has two glasses quickly poured, pushing one over in front of Caith before pouring another. A back-up. Just in case. Then what the hey. Four glasses. They can both carry two.



Soon Jeffeth is standing up straight with a glass held in each hand, beaming brightly. His deep blues set on a particular spot, a few people. "Over there. Let's go over there and say hi." The big man rumbles while taking a shallow sip of one of his glasses.

Willow smiles at Gianna and offers a little tip of her head, shaking out her skirts to ruffle the dark feathers decorating the blood colored silk. "You're welcome of course, Whisper Gianna. I have a love of feathers in general but the cut is exquisite."

When Helena says she may retire soon, Alessandro finishes his wine, setting the glass down on a convenient surface. "I shall accompany you," he says as he stands. "I have a lot of practicing to do." He nods to those at the alcove as he offers the Redrain princess his arm, and he finds his cousin, too, continuing, "Berenice, a lovely event, though that was never in question. Thank you."

Nurie rises as Reese approaches, offering her a deep curtsy. "Oh, your highness, thank you. What a kind gesture, I will treasure it greatly!" Her cheeks are coloring even more, but it seems as if this will be a very happy night indeed for the Lycene tailor.

Helena has left the alcove by the archway.

Alessandro has left the alcove by the archway.

Standing up, Agostino is the next to depart, as unobtrusive on his way out as he was upon entering.

Agostino has left the alcove by the archway.

Cecily, a coy secretary, Omero, a hulking bodyguard leave, following Agostino.

Gianna accepts the pearls from Reese with a smile. "You're too generous. I didn't manage to get myself any pearls at the Taste of Grayson event." Willow's garb is given an approving look. "That's a wonderful dress! Did you design it yourself?"

Jaenelle takes a beaded, padded pouch from Saikland Greens from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Reese smiles warmly to Nurie. "I have some of your work and I adore it very much, Mistress Nurie." She says and then turns to Gianna with a gentle smile. "I do like their pearls a lot. One day maybe I will visit Pearlspire."

Berenice is all gracious thanks to Helena and Alessandro and anyone else who might stop her to offer compliments. Her attention notes Jeffeth's arrival with the briefest of pauses before she's at the benches, interrupting whatever discussion or lack thereof is happening to lean down and steal an absolutely shameless kiss from Harlex where he's sitting. Don't worry, there is obviously some rule about -- hostess rights or something. This is totally appropriate.

"I do need one of those pouches" Jaenelle tells Lucita as she stands, and now that her escort has run away it seems she must do the hard work and make her way to where they are. On the way she removes the stopper to take in the aroma of her winnings and sighs, "Mirari does to beautiful work" she lets Berenice know between kisses.

Nodding at Gianna as she picks more at the custard, turning it into myriad tiny tastes, Willow says, "I did, yes. And thank you, such words from someone with taste as impeccable as your own, are all the sweeter."

Reese looks over to Lucita with this hopeful and slightly pleading expression. "Baroness Lucita..." She starts, sounding like a girl is going to ask for something. "Do you mind if I take one of the pouches, even though I already had the wine?"

Harlex looks up in time to see -- Berenice! He is caught up in that shameless kiss and, well, he's no less shameless about it; she has every right of course. As hostess and he even gives the affection of a brush of fingers along her cheek as it goes along. A successful theft on the Oleander's part.

Hey, Bliss is sitting right next to Harlex and Berenice and absolutely not looking offended but absolutely looking amused. Hostess right. Definitely a thing.

A slender brunette is making her way through the crowds toward Gianna; it's her assistant, Madialaena. "Please excuse me," she says, rising from her seat. "I imagine I'll have to be away shortly."

Gianna has left the alcove by the archway.

Yup. YUP. "Thank you," Caith titters lightly as she accepts the first glass of wine. This is how you do it, see? Roll in, bee-line to the refreshments and elegantly fold oneself into the festivities by sipping away on a -- oh! Jeffeth hands her a second glass and rather than express dismay (or, at the very least, politely decline), the slender blonde laughs and clinks her two glasses against each other. "Cheers!" she says to herself before giving her escort a wink. She taps her glasses against his as well and oh-so-gracefully takes a sip from the right glass, followed by a sip from the left.



When the knight indicates a spot where they should start socializing, Caith follows his gaze and then nods. "That sounds good to me," she answers before sip-one and sip-two'ing her drink(s). "It seems that we have arrived at the tail end of things but that doesn't mean we can't still have fun."

Reese has a glass of wine now and returns to her bench, sitting not far from Willow, Victus and Beatrice. She takes a sip of the drink and then another sip. Her cheeks are pink and her eyes are bright. Maybe she drank a bit too much. She seems to be in a cheerful mood though.

Jeffeth has joined the pathway benches.

Reese checked stamina + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 21 higher.

Caith has joined the pathway benches.

"Doesn't she?" Berenice is slipping onto Harlex's lap even as she replies to Jaenelle with a mischievous smile. "I'm terribly fond of my signature scent, of course, but I did love being able to wear this one just for the evening."

"I have one from her that I wear for special occassions" Jaenelle says regarding Mirari perfumes. "I havent actually worn it for some time, I clearly need to fix that. Though if you know of anyone who might enjoy some cologne do let me know. I have a small box filled with some of Talen's that he left and I have had them tested, they wont kill anyone." Turning towards those at her table, she dips her head, "it was lovely, thank you for the lovely company!"

Jaenelle has left the a table with inlaid Saikland glass tiles.

Gilroy finishes off his wine and his mushrooms and gets back to his feet. He picks up his jacket and digs through the pockets before finding a cigarillo, which he tucks into the corner of his mouth before gathering his clothes under one arm and heading to the exit. "See everyone in the Oathlands. Looking forward to the bee counting contest or whatever." On lighting his cigarillo he heads back toward the Compact ward.

Gilroy has left the alcove by the archway.

Lucita rises and curtsies to Jaenelle. "Time for me to return home. This has been a pleasant evening, indeed." And she starts to make her way out, bidding folks goodbye as she walks along toward the east.

Lucita has left the a table with inlaid Saikland glass tiles.

Micana, 1 Saik Guard leave, following Lucita.

Victus raises up from his spot at the garden. Dusting off his coat sleeves, his guards hop to his side as the Prince starts to make his exit. Somewhere along the way he pauses, gazing passed his retinue. "Where's my cousin...?" His eyes scan the foreground. They land on Caith... No, wait, the other cousin. "JAENELLE!" Victus calls, pointing toward his spot at the gardens. "I threw up in that bush over there!" And with that, he's gone.

Victus has left the shadowy corner of the gardens.

With hugs and farewells given then repeated to a laughter and, in one case, the protests of an irate cat, Beatrice slowly extracts herself from the quieter, shadowy corner of the gardens somewhere in the vicinity of a vomit-filled bush to leave the grounds... although, not without pausing for a pastry. Those things are delicious.

Reese gets a beaded, padded pouch from Saikland Greens from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Beatrice gets Flowers of Saikland - Blackberry Blossom Wine from a beaded pouch of gifts from Saikland Greens just take one.

Beatrice has left the shadowy corner of the gardens.

There's a discreet message passed to Nurie from a passing servant, and there's a little mote of regret that passes over the tailor's face. She too makes to rise. "Thank you so much for the most excellent company this evening," she says to those at her table, curtsying to Carita and Gretchen, and bowing her head respectfully to Kalivan. "I hope to see you out and about the city later!"

Merek checked stamina + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 20 higher.

"I suppose I could see if any suited Harlex for when I drag him to special occasions," Berenice says with a considerate air at Jaenelle's idea. "Perhaps Uncle Arman? He's terribly refined. Or Antonio. I don't want to reward any of my cousins who have /abandoned me/ by marrying out." She sniffs delicately.

Kalivan nods eagerly to Nurie, a bright smile her way. "Of course. I'd love to hear more about your adventures in tailoring, too! Have a good rest-of-your-evening, Miss Baseborn."

"Threw... Right, ok, Be safe going home" Jaenelle is all smiles for Victus as he begins to leave through the estate gates. Her attention shifts towards the bush once he is out of sight and she says softly, "I want someone to dig up that bush and have it delivered to the Thraxian estate. No, dont leave it in the yard, I want the bush and the dirt around it to be delivered to their audience hall." There is a laugh for Berenice, "I shall leave the box somewhere where those who wish to take what they want are able."

Merek walks around and finds all the samples of alcohol he can, shimmying to him self while he takes shots of each one, dancing through while he shifts his hips as does his belt cape move with him. He seems to be happy to drink and drink, somehow not quite fully drunk at the moment it looks like.

Reese keeps drinking the very yummy lyceum wine as she retains on the bench. "So good..too yummy to be poison." She says and then notices Kalivan, giving him a smile that reaches her blue eyes.

Reese checked stamina + survival at difficulty 50, rolling 29 higher.

Nurie has left the a table with inlaid Saikland glass tiles.

Nurie's next approach is toward Berenice, Harlex, and Bliss. She drops a deep curtsy to the princess, her knee almost touching the ground. "Thank you once more for the opportunity to serve, your highness," she says to Berenice, and her tone seems quite genuine. "It was a lovely evening. And then there is a respectful bowing of the head to first Bliss and then Harlex. "Radiant, Colonel. I hope you too enjoy the rest of your evening," she offers warmly.

Kalivan flashes a grin to Reese, followed by a quick but respectful bow of his head to her from across the courtyard.

Valor, a beautiful fan-tailed pigeon leaves, following Nurie.

Settling down next to Caith on the bench, Jeffeth smiles brightly over at Bliss, then to Berenice. Taking a sip from the glass in his left hand, then right. As Nurie approaches the rest of the group he quickly pops to his feet. Very carefully, he bows towards her, while holding two wineglasses aloft. "Sir Jeffeth Bayweather, Knight Commander of the Solace at your service. And this is Princess Caith Thrax. A pleasure to meet you." Jeffeth pipes down to Nurie before the behemoth is lowering himself back onto the bench next to Caith carefully.



Apparently somewhat irritated by holding two glasses, he downs the one in the right hand and places the empty glass next to him. "I can hold the extra for you, your highness." Jeffeth rumbles to Caith before a familiar voice has his attention. Looking to Jaenelle, Jeffeth smiles brightly. With his free hand he waves /wildly/ in her direction, possibly too much, hopefully not dislodging or disrupting Caith. But probably doing that a little.

Willow has left the shadowy corner of the gardens.

Offering Reese a last hug in parting, Willow says, "Much as I would love to stay, I want to get home and out of these boots. They pinch something awful," she explains with a pained laugh. "You are of course welcome to join me if you wish, Princess Reese."

Reese eventually rises to her slippered adorned feet and she has a bottle of wine in either hand. "I should get going, it was very nice to see you Lady Willow and Sir Merek and very nice party Princess Berenice." She then waves to Jeffeth. "Sir Jeffeth and Champinon Softest Whisper Bliss, take care."

Reese looks to Willow. "Oh, I would be honored to join you Lady Willow." She says, before adding after Rosalie whispers an update in her ear. "Oh, I mean Radiant Champion Bliss! An honor to see you and congrats."

Reese is overheard praising Bliss: Yay, a new Radiant Whisper Champion! Woots!

"Thank you, Messere Nurie," Bliss says to Nurie when she comes, smiling at her. "I plan on stopping by your shop soon, incidentally. Perhaps I will write you soon about something of a long-term opportunity, if you are interested?" Then her attention goes to Reese, and she smiles warmly at her. "Thank you for the congratulations, Princess Reese. I hope everything is going well for you, and have a wonderful evening!"

Willow curtsies to Jaenelle and Berenice, telling the latter, with a warm, amiable smile, "This was a night to remember. Truly, my respects to the Hostess." She offers Harlex a nod, and then echoes Reese's congratulations to Bliss before they move to depart.

Reese has left the shadowy corner of the gardens.

1 Grayson House Guards, Peaches, a lovely white war filly with a peach saddle, Deliverance, an albino falcon, Stormy, a silvery gray hunting hound, Rascal, a hyper terrier, Rosalie, a lady in waiting leave, following Reese.

Poppy, a copper-haired young woman, Reese leave, following Willow.

Merek checked stamina + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 3 higher.

Merek keeps drinking all the night, until he can drink little more. Revelry at its finest, he eventually makes his way on when other folk do also.

Jaenelle catches Jeffeth's wave and gifts him with a finger wiggle in responce. "I was heading in" she tells both he and her cousin with a soft pout. "Soon?" she asks her protege for a more quiet meeting to see one another. "But till then, do you need anything?"

Gretchen has left the a table with inlaid Saikland glass tiles.

12 House Velenosa Guards have been dismissed.

Ibasia, the Velenosa Lady-in-Waiting have been dismissed.

Rising from her seat, Carita smooths her hands down over her hips as she wiggles her fingers towards the group still sitting at the pathway benches, dips a curtsy, and makes her way out.

Kalivan snickers softly at whatever it is Carita whispers, leaning in to do the same.

Carita has left the a table with inlaid Saikland glass tiles.

Kalivan has left the a table with inlaid Saikland glass tiles.

5 Redoubt Buccaneers, Bengalo, the sneaky black cat, Luna, the sweet, studious assistant, Luca II, the laziest of the feline lot, Kalivan leave, following Carita.

The party certainly isn't ending anytime soon: the biggest contests may have finished, but there is still more than enough wine, food, and entertainment to fill many, /many/ more hours. It's the Lyceum, after all, and they know how to /enjoy themselves/.



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