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Party near the Elfblight Orchids

Liara Grayson is hosting a garden party! The Grayson gardens contain quite a number of the delightful and perhaps slightly unfortunately named elfblight orchids, which promise to make for a beautiful backdrop to any festivities. There will be food, drink, a band, garden-based games (something about hitting a ball through little hoops using a mallet, for one) and the opportunity to dance in the courtyard.

Date

March 2, 2019, 7 p.m.

Hosted By

Liara

Participants

Azova Donella Michael Helena Catriona Niklas Sabella Sebastian Lisebet Tabitha Sunaia Gianna Reese Zeriax Ysabel Rysen Vanora Alaric Mikani Malcolm Giulio Delilah Ilinca Arcadia Kaia

Organizations

Grayson

Location

Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Grayson Mansion - Courtyard Gardens

Largesse Level

Extravagant

Comments and Log


Liara lingers just inside the garden's entrance, there to greet guests as they arrive. She's in an array of bright yellow with white bits, accented with rose gold and dawnstone. Numerous servants move about to furnish arrivals with drinks as they like. Besides the usual garden furniture, one lawn has been set up with hoops, with a number of mallets resting nearby, while the side of the courtyard currently hosts an oversized Game of Stones set.

Azova scuttles in to the entrance of the garden, taking a moment to plant her feet down and make sure her slippers are on just right. A look at Liara confirms her fear - she's come a bit underdressed, in a simple but pleasant combo of gown and slippers in green. She gives the greeting Princess a polite bow. "Princess Liara," she suspects, showing off a glowing smile to help make up for the lack of striking fashion. "Lady Azova Darkwater. You look divine," she says, with an impressed nod.

Donella is stealth socialling, as is her wont to do. Sliding politely into a curtsy of greeting, her dark eyes sweep the hoop and mallet set up as she waves off the offer of drink politely. To their hostess (with the mostest), High Lord Darren's wife tucks her chin, and says, "Thank you for the opportunity to visit."

Princess Catriona Thrax arrives with a hand lightly resting on the inside forearm of one Michael Bisland who dressed far less well than she. Michael has eyes for mallets and terrain features, that seems interesting fun. "Elfblight orchids, Princess. Toxic to elves, supposedly." Was the ending of an explanation of the area.

"Princess Liara, how lovely you look," says Helena, one of those ubiquitous Redrains, as she comes into the garden, looking around with a smile at the festive array of decor and food and of course the beautiful flowers that serve as both decor and theme for the party. She's come in theme as well, in floral hues of soft, dusky peach and pink and hairpins (by Ida, of course) to match set in her golden hair. "Thank you for having us!" she says brightly, looking curiously at the mallet game she hasn't seen before.

Laudine, a stern middle-aged maidservant, 2 Whitehawk Guards, Cabbit, a nub-tailed tabby cat arrive, following Tabitha.

Catriona cants her head to a side, her brow furrowing. She takes a beat after Michael's final line. "I don't think I get it. Why is the horse talking to a Princess?" she asks, "Did you tell it right?" but she's still managing a grin. "Maybe we should just move straight to greetings and drinks, instead?" As she guides them toward the pack of attendees.

Brightening with a smile, Liara greets Azova, "A pleasure to meet you, my lady. You are most welcome." As to being underdressed, well, Liara /would/ dress like that for a garden party, of all things. She goes on to offer similar affable welcomes to further visitors - to Donella, "You are very welcome," and a "Why, thank you," in reply to Helena. Then she flashes Michael a grin, and remarks to him and Catriona, "Supposedly. They are rather beautiful, too."

2 Pravus Honor Guard arrives, following Sebastian.

Aside, toward Michael and Catriona, Donella comments, "They have an interesting care regimen, so I am led to believe by Crown Prince Tyrval. One that makes bringing them to full potency ... somewhat distasteful, at least in our ward. I have one in a pot at home, which was an engagement gift. Poor stunted thing. My lord, may I ask after your lady mother? Is she well?" She taps at Helena's arm warmly, nodding a greeting.

Ramona - A Farshaw House Guard, 3 Farshaw novice guards, 1 Farshaw trained guards, Bigsby - A Thoughtful Looking Young Man in Nondescript Clothing arrive, following Lisebet.

Rather than coming through the entrance of the garden, Prince Niklas Grayson, with his wife, Princess Sabella Grayson, on his arm, steps out through the front doors of the Grayson Mansion. "...would be surprised at how many people think Stormward has never had thralls." Niklas gives a slight shrug and pauses to greet the hostess. "Princess Liara, ever the one woman party. I do hope the evening finds you well." To Michael he says, "You could always invite an elf to the next party and see if you can talk them into eating one."

Azova bows her head humbly low to Liara, passing by her as she turns her attention to the other guests arriving. She takes in the sights of the garrden, stroking her thumb along her chin as she considers the many lovely plants present. She pauses near the arbor to admire the roses on it, reaching out to gently touch one of the buds with an appreciative smile.

"It was less of a joke, more of an allegory, Princess." Michael's attention flits over to Liara's approach and he dips his head in a nod to her. "Princess Liara Grayson, this is Princess Catriona Thrax." His hand gestures between the two as he does introductions that might be unnecessary. But they are at least polite. "Invite an elf? I'd need to find an elf first."

Sabella laughs giving a bright smile to those assembled, "I wouldn't recommend it. Even Grandfather Tyrval gets a look on his face when you mention them. Though he does for most things, it's true. Princess Liara this was an amazing idea for a party! I'm so glad you extended the open invitation to all. I love my new baby, but being able to be surrounded by adults is fantastic! And Michael."

Despite the extravagance of the event, Sebastian arrives dressed in silks -- probably no great surprise. His gaze is flickering around, but of course it's to the hostess that he makes his way first. "Princess Liara," he greets with a half-bow. "You've outdone yourself as ever. My apologies for missing your last couple of events -- I was otherwise indisposed," he says, with just a flicker of a grimace, there-and-gone, to suggest it's more than just a polite excuse. "Ah," he exclaims briefly as he catches sight of the game of stones set up.

Lisebet makes her way to the gardens, sans fiance. But perhaps that won't be held against her? She pauses to look around a bit, curiously. After all, she's not too often been to these Grayson affairs. Upon arrival, all tidied up with not a spot of paint to be seen, she starts by looking for the hostess.

A warmer smile still finds Liara's features as she greets Niklas and Sabella. "It is lovely to see you both. It seemed a shame not to get such use out of the garden in this weather." Sabella's quip regarding Michael draws a quick grin from Liara, then she turns her gaze back to others arriving. She greets Catriona easily, "A pleasure to meet you, your highness. That is a delightful dress." Then she gives a little flutter of a wave to Sebastian. "Always lovely to see you, my lord. Are you fond of game of stones?" she queries, following his gaze briefly.

Tabitha arrives in her quiet, understated way, dressed in blue silk that's embroidered with suitably floral designs for a party such as this one. This way she looks, that way she looks, with a hint of rabbity hesitation in her gaze and gait as she moves through the gathering, offering polite nods, smiles and little curtsies to those she knows along the way. She, like Lisebet, stands on the periphery for a while, taking time to admire the glorious orchids fanned around the courtyard gardens. Liara has many guests to greet, after all!

"Princess Donella," beams Helena to her house-fellow. "We could have walked together, had we but known. I swear the villa is a city unto itself, sometimes. I never know where anyone is or what they're doing." She smiles at each face she knows and those she doesn't. Her blue gaze dances along with the interactions, before she turns to look at the orchids with curiosity.

Azova has joined the a stately wooden arbor with a gently curved arch adorned in climbing roses.

"I find it provides interesting insights into one's partner," Sebastian replies to Liara with ease, a smile lighting his features as he half-leans to faux-murmur, "Though of course -- by Lyceum standards -- it's rather more a tame game than we often like to play." His gaze skips from the stones, to the crowd, recognizing a handful of people.



"Thank you," Catriona answers, shifting to a more sincere, less mischievous sort of smile. "I have to say, this is a lovely courtyard. I am afraid I won't get to enjoy too much of it. Other engagement have my evening limited to simply an appearance. But I couldn't resist the opportunity to peek inside."

Tabitha has joined the a stately wooden arbor with a gently curved arch adorned in climbing roses.

Sunaia strides purposefully into the garden, although her pace slows some as she takes a minute to just drink in the scenery. Once she's had her fill of that, she makes her way to the hostess. Once she's found Liara, she first makes like she's going to bow, but thinks better of it, pressing her thin lips thinner still as she gives the Princess an ill-practiced curtsey. "Greetings, your highness. Thank you for opening these lovely gardens up to us."

"You did get lovely weather for it. Has it even rained once this summer?" Sabella asks, glancing around the crowd and giving a wave to Tabitha then smiling at Catriona, "You're Princess Caith's sister, right? I utterly adore her!"

Of course, Lisebet doesn't have a difficult time finding Liara, so she heads that way first. "Your highness," she greets with a polite curtsey. "How nice to see you once again." She gives Sunaia a smile as well, as they arrive at about the same time. She steps back to allow Sunaia to speak to the hostess, instead turning and offering a small wave to Sabella and Niklas.

Gianna sweeps in, clad in purple luxury brocade and silver. She inclines her head to Liara, approaching the hostess with one of her flickers of a smile. "How lovely," she tells the Princess. "Just as I expected. Well done."

Reese has joined the a steel blue picnic blanket with a blackberry bramble motif.

Azova scans along with a level gaze, seeking a face she recognizes and coming up unfortunately short. Thuogh she doesn't miss Tabitha's hesitant steps as she floats past the other guests at the party. She casts off from her safe spot beside the roses, striding with all the courtly grace of a wolf stalking prey as she goes to greet the other wallflower of the garden. "Lady Azova Darkwater," she says, gesturing to herself as she delivers her introduction. "I haven't had the pleasure of meeting many of the people here.." She gives Tabitha a shy smile, quirking her head slightly to the side.

Reese is quietly here and curled up on the blanket. She has a drink in her pink gloved hands.

Though she wanders towards the stately wooden rose arbor, Tabitha lifts one in a wave to Sabella and Niklas, brightly smiling to them both. Soon afrerwards, however, she turns her attention to Azova, and dips into a little curtsy, smiling gently.

Donella smiles and says, "My son would have attached himself you your leg, and we'd have had to leave an hour early. Ah, well. The perils of a varied calendar. I am just as pleased to find you here as a surprise and delight." She nods toward Azova and Tabitha where they stand, and goes to find a place on the grass, generally out of the way of the play area, to sit in the shade on top of her trailing wrap.

"You are most welcome, my lady," Liara replies to Sunaia, then greets Lisebet with an easy smile too. "And you, my lady." She greets Gianna then. "Lovely to see you here, Mistress Gianna. It was initially planned for a while later than now, but circumstances contrived to bring it forward. If you fancy singing at some point later - if your bout of being a muse earlier did not prove unduly tiring - it would be most appreciated."

With well-practiced ease, Sebastian moves back from the crowd gathering to greet the hostess. His gaze flickers towards Donella and Helena, nodding to each of them with an upward curve of his lips as he claims a glass of something red. It seems to be more of a prop than anything, since he doesn't sip anything as he heads towards the roses, lowering his voice to greet the occupants there.

Sebastian has joined the a stately wooden arbor with a gently curved arch adorned in climbing roses.

"Its no wonder I asked you along, Princess Catriona." Michael is happy enough to check in it seems, especially when Sabella meanders off their way. "Princess Sabella! I am sure I might be able to drag Catriona your way again, sometime soon." It seems more likely that Catriona might be dragging Michael, considering they way they turn rapidly to head out towards Grayson Grounds instead of the garden.

Liara turns after a few more greetings to regard the courtyard and garden, and raises her voice just a touch to carry. "Would everyone who is utterly fantastic - or otherwise passable and enthused - at game of stones be so good as to indicate themselves to me?"

"And Princess Coraline's, of course." Niklas offers Catriona a smile and a slight bow. "Your highness. Good to see you back in the city. I do hope you'll be able to stick around a little longer this time." He glances back to his wife, grinning at the sweet burn she lays down on Michael, then he waves in return to Lisebet. "Lady Lisebet. Looking forward to moving over to this side of the city, then?" Gianna's entrance gets a sidelong glance, followed by a shake of the head when she strikes her pose. "Nightingale."

Donella says, "Cousin Sebastian. How well you look. Will you carry my love to your sweet sister?"

Gianna inclines her head to Liara and murmurs, "I can certainly do that. We'll figure something out. I'm afraid the modeling was less tiring than tiresome. Sitting so still for so long. My nose got itchy. It was terrible." The trauma. She raises her hand in greeting to Niklas and Sabella. "Prince Niklas, Princess Sabella. Congratulations on the birth of your new child."

Donella has joined the a large, outdoor Game of Stones set.

"Of course, cousin Donella," Sebastian returns with genuine pleasure. "I do hope we'll see you at her wedding -- it's not far away now." He settles in, almost leaning against one of the arches of the arbor.

Lisebet chuckles, acknowledging Niklas' words. "I am examining the parties to see which are better," she suggests. "So far, I believe it is a tie." She glances at Gianna and then adds, "Nightingale! I do hope you didn't take it personally - I did not paint you or Princess Roxana. My painting skills are not up to such beauty."

3 Thrax Guards, Olenna leave, following Catriona.

Catriona leaves, following Michael.

Donella says, "So I was hearing, from the 'wedding planner'. The baroness is going quite all out for the pair. However, its been so long since I've seen Jules, I've not idea what to get as a gift. I don't think she likes dolls anymore..."

Zeriax shuffled his way onto the Grayson Grounds, eventually making his way into the courtyard. He'd never been to the location to his recollection. Travelling to all the wards in the past week have really been something of an adventure, though currently, he didn't look like he was exactly in the shape to ''be'' adventuring. Still, he was certainly more crisp than he was earlier that morning, and strode in looking fairly confident. The first thing he did? Move towards one of the servants to pick some refreshments for himself. He had yet to settle in, and was going to take a look around before deciding who he should be hob-nobbing with. The Game of Stones ''did'' catch his attention...

Reese is quietly here and curled-up on the blackberry blanket with a drink in her hands. She has gentle smiles for her cousin (Liara) and her sister (Sabella). She also waves to Zeriax and then smiles to Ysabel and then to Azova. She seems to be in a cheerful mood, but a quiet one.

Sunaia gives Liara a small smile before she turns on her heel, ghostly eyes flashing wide as she finds herself face to face with Lisabet. That same smile remains for the shorter woman, before she continues on in search of the refreshments herself, collecting a wine glass off a tray, sipping at it in silence as she gives the garden another appraising scan.

Ysabel wanders in sometime after Zeriax wearing a simple but elegant yellow gown, her blonde hair tied in a messy bun with stands of it framing her face. Her curious sky blue eyes spot Princess Reese and she beams brightly. The youn Baroness's smile brightens up the area as she enters into the garden to see what is going on.

Rysen wanders in from the Grayson grounds, receiving, with a smile, a glass of wine from a liveried servant. His eyes scan the garden, and noticing Princess Sabella, begins to make his way over to her.

Niklas snorts at Gianna's congratulations. "I believe, Nightingale, you mean 'congratulations on not being pregnant anymore', but I'll take the congratulations for the birth of our child. Do let me know when you'll be available to do some sitting for us. Marquessa Simone, Lady Zoey and Connie have all taken their slots, but I believe there are some good ones left for you and Lady Tabitha."

"Thank you!" Sabella beams at Gianna when she offers her congratulations, "If I knew you'd be here I would have brought him!" with that threat l, she turns to wave to Reese and then says brightly to Sunaia, "Did I hear you say you might need introductions? or was I just hearing what I wanted to hear? I really love doing introductions!"

Azova looks away from the small group gathered at the roses to return Reese's wave, giving her a warm smile. She beckons her over, but doesn't wait to watch if she comes.

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

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

Liara goes to step up onto the edge of the game of stones 'board' - a low platform with all the pieces set out on it (rather large pieces, really). She clasps her yellow-gloved hands together, and adds a further bit on to her previous call for volunteers. "I will also take people who want to stand in for the pieces. I recommend that you bring a drink with you if you want to do that, though, especially if our players are of the cautious variety."

Liara has joined the a large, outdoor Game of Stones set.

"Quite alright, Lady Lisebet," Gianna tells the Farshaw (for a little bit longer, at least). "There were certainly some interesting attempts! Very interesting. It was a lovely gathering, though, wasn't it? I hope you enjoyed yourself." She manages not to look horrified at Niklas and Sabella's threats. Almost. It's there in her eyes. Babbies. Who needs them? Just a little noise of acknowledgment - 'mmmmn' - and she turns her attention to Liara and the Stones set.

Reese perks up at the mention of a game. "I would love to play, Princess Liara." She says, lifting her voice to carry.

Helena seems unsure for a moment, before picking up a glass of red wine and joining in the game, a bright smile flashed at the hostess. "I've never played before, so bear with me." She looks to Donella with a smirk. "No pun intended." Redrains. Bears.

Helena has joined the a large, outdoor Game of Stones set.

Zeriax caught Reese waving at him, and after having snatched some snacks for himself, waved back. At the mention of a game, however, the man quickly made his way towards Liara. "Hmm? What's going on here?" Was he going to play? Or be a piece? Maybe!

Zeriax has joined the a large, outdoor Game of Stones set.

"I have never played but could be tempted to learn." she follows behind the people headed for the game

Ba-dum-tum! Donella claps for Helena, and says, "I shouldn't mind being a game piece. We don't have to tackle anyone, do we?"

Ysabel has joined the a large, outdoor Game of Stones set.

Liara would click her fingers and point at Reese, but the clicking just doesn't quite work out with her gloves on. She grins then. "Very good then. Princesses Reese and Helena, unless I missed a volunteer, shall play the game. I invite those who wish to stand in for a piece to come along and do so. If the pieces end up giving unasked for advice to their players, well, it will be a first, I suppose."

Lisebet grins at Gianna. "I am certain," she agrees. "Too bad that I couldn't stay to see all the art on display." She finds a spot to settle with a glass of wine, content to people watch at the moment. "Congratulations on the new baby," she echoes with a grin at Sabella and Niklas. And then she raises her glass in a small cheer. That done, she gives Sunaia a long look. She might not have met her yet.

Reese goes to join the game, seemingly all happy to join such. She looks over the pieces with a thoughtful expression. "I love unasked for advice." She says with some seriousness. "I don't know were I would be in life without my wise friends who give advice." The girl then adds.

Sunaia returns Lisebet's look with one of her own, the faintest hints of a squint in her ghostly eyes. Decidedly, she takes a step forward, canting her head curiously as she approaches the smaller woman. "You very much resemble my cousin's bride-to-be, at least you match what the letters say." She lays a hand over her heart. "Sunaia. Ashford."

"Oh, wait," exclaims Helena, "let Princess Donella play before me!" She shakes her head and pushes Donella forward with a laugh, stepping behind her like she might shield her from having to compete against Reese, the winner of all games and challenges, it seems. "Really." She smiles when Ysabel and Reese make it to the board and gives Zeriax a nod. "Master Moonstone," she greets. "You're looking well."

The Grayson guards in the courtyard all immediately come to attention and salute the arriving Grayson highlord.

Zelda, the royal messenger, 13 King's Own Guardsmen arrive, following Alaric.

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

Ysabel moves to stand next to Princess Reese and asks, "What is this game exactly?" The young Baroness talks in her normal animated happy manner.

Approaching Prince Niklas and Princess Sabella, and catching the last of Niklas' words to Gianna, Rysen chuckles softly. "Prince, Princess, I was hoping to stop by to congratulate you on the birth of your son as well." Smiling at Sabella, he adds "they say in the North that childbirth is a battlefield, and I'm happy to hear that all went well."

Donella teasingly calls to Reese as she is shoved to the "board, "-Never wear white shoes walking through a pasture in April." So much for unasked for advice. She glances back at Helena promising swift vengeance at some unspecified time. "Its a strategy game. You capture the other player's pieces, in order to ultimately topple their king."

Sunaia's introduction gets a warm smile from the petite dark haired Farshaw. "I am most pleased to meet you, Lady Sunaia," she says, inclining her head gracefully. "I will assume your cousin is Duke Harlan, and if so, then I am indeed. Lisebet Farshaw, a pleasure to meet you and doubly so if you say you will be able to attend the wedding." It's coming really fast now. Time definitely does not move at a constant pace if you ask Lisebet.

Reese peeks over to Helena. "Oh, I can sit out as well, I don't really mind or I can volunteer to be a knight, rawr or well I could be a pawn too." She muses. The girl then smiles to Ysabel. "War, games, it is fun." She says before smiling over to Rysen. "Greetings." She says toward him.

Once Zeriax was on the board, he began to stretch himself out a little, gingerly, in order to not reopen any wounds. "This should be exciting...pieces giving advice, hmm? I wonder, can the pieces cheat themselves?" He uttered the words out loud, laughing to himself. When Helena made her approach, he quirked a brow at her. "Was that sarcasm, your highness?" He asked, before shaking his head and smiling. "Regardless, it ''is'' good to see you. I've been trying to think of a way to apologize for my behaviour the first time we met." To Ysabel, Zeriax turned. "It's a wonderful game. You'll see. Pick a spot!" Then, to Reese, "Ri...Princess! Come on, be a piece with us!"

Only slightly on the late side, Vanora Grimhall slips into the garden with green eyes bright and curious, skimming the garden for familiar faces and pausing to look at the Elfblight orchids. It is Donella she notices first, perhaps to some relief, for she moves quickly to greet the Redrain princess with a tight hug. "Donella...your Highness I mean, it's been an age. I don't mean to interrupt you at your games of course. I'm not sure I know the one that you're playing. Can I watch?"

A liveried servant shows up at the 'board' with a tray of drinks in hand. Liara claims a glass of red wine for herself, then turns to survey the field (such as it is), now complete with princesses Reese and Donella, maybe, or maybe someone else. She suggests to them, "You might commence play at your leisure - whoever wishes to, that is. People can stand in for the pieces as they fancy." She supposes to Zeriax, "It had occurred to me that the pieces might struggle against the overwhelming odds of the game's rules."

Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant, 1 Redreef Warden, 1 Thrax Guards, 1 Redoubt Buccaneers arrive, following Mikani.

Alaric strolls in all fashionably tardy and such himself, liberally distributing smiles to the guards that step to at his arrival. One of his knights seems to be 'carry around a freshly framed painting' duty. Since Liara seems to be where the tray of drinks are, there he goes as well. "Good day, Liara! This looks interesting," he observes breezily.

Reese seems all encouraged by Zeriax's wods and she nimbly rises to her slippered feet. "Okay, I will be the piece that fights Zeriax then." She teases. The blonde has a warm smile for Vanora. "Duchess." She politely greets. She then waves to over to Lisebet.

Sunaia smiles back at Lisebet, nodding swiftly to the shorter woman. "That's the big reason I'm back here in town. I'd never have thought our dear Harlan would settle down, but I am very happy for him." She raises her glass in a toast to her. "Congratulations. Must be exciting, hmm?"

"Thank you, Master Rysen! I've never been on a. battlefield, but I will say that I hope soldiers sleep better after a battle than a mother does in the weeks after birth. And months. Possibly years?" Sabella laughs and then says to Lisebet, "I was sorry to miss your party the other night, are the wedding plans going well?" She spots Vanora talking to Donella and sends a wave and a smile her way as well.

Mikani has joined the a large, outdoor Game of Stones set.

Ysabel casts Zeriax a glance and seems to stick close to Princess Reese. She glances around at all the unfamilar faces and continues to have a smile as she curiously tries to figure out what she should be doing.

"No sarcasm. Who's to say it's not an improvement?" Helena says to the bruised and blackeyed Zeriax, but she does relent, at his apology, it seems, and she dips her head. "No, no need to apologize. I acted poorly. I apologize as well. Friends, then?" she says, offering him her hand. "For our mutual friend's sake at least." There's a small smile there for the friend in question. She glances about, unsure of who is playing. "I don't know what I'm doing, so someone play instead of me, please. I'll try to catch on by watching and... I guess being a piece," she says, moving one of the pawns to take its place.

Gianna collects herself a glass of something on bordering on the tart side. She inclines her head to Alaric with another, "Your Majesty. Goodness, I usually only see you once every few months." A nod to Vanora as well. "Duchess! What a lovely circlet. I didn't realize pearls came in quite that colour."

Reese has left the a steel blue picnic blanket with a blackberry bramble motif.

Donella smiles brightly and says, "No, you must go stick your head in a punchbowl. Of course you can." Quickly, though, she does the other thing when there's royalty on deck... down she goes into the courtly curtsy. But also says, "Pawn 4, two spaces forward, please?" and looks for whoever it may be standing in for the opening pawn.

Reese has joined the a large, outdoor Game of Stones set.

Standing up on the edge of the Game of Stones board, Liara gives an incline of her head to Alaric, then replies with a quick smile. "It's just a big version of the game we play on tables. Although it appears that the commanders are currently in flux - Princess Helena just stepped down." That last comment's made with some amusement. "If they don't stick, we might need a fresh one."

At Liara's words, Zeriax snickered. "Don't worry, I won't ruin the game." He'd already took the position of...*Gasp*. The Red Queen! "You're going down, Princess Reese! We'll show you the power of the Red side!" He said, shaking his fist mockingly at her with a wide grin on his face. When Helena acknowledged him, he nodded. "Friends. I much prefer those. Though, please don't expect me to bow right now. What with the improvements." He said, gesturing to his face. "Who shall champion the Red side!?" Did Alaric just make his way in? "Your Majesty! Come play for Red! Show the Blue side who's who!" He called out to the King, wincing as he waved frantically to the man.

Lisebet tilts her head to Sabella, and then she smiles. "They are going well, it's only a couple days to the wedding." She glances over to Sunaia, including her in this conversation as well. "I am very excited, Mistress Petal has finished my dress, and it's lovely." She takes a breath, and then adds, "The party - My sister wanted to host something small, as she's not entirely used to such things. She still finds Arx significantly larger than back home. I appreciate your thoughts, it was a lovely intimately small party, though it would have been only improved by your presence." She pauses to offer a curtsey to Alaric - blinking as he walks in. And in so doing, she catches sight of Reese's wave, and returns one her way. "Princess Reese! What are you doing?"

Reese hmms softly when Helena steps down. "I can command. I am talented at being bossy if you want or I can fight, rawr." She says, seemingly good with whatever. She looks over to Zeriax with all this amusement. "There is not a snowball's chance in the abyss that I am going down, Master Zeriax!" She says, before smiling to Lisebet. "War games, do you want to play?"

Mikani enters the garden. She looks around and wonders where to go. Seeing Zeriax, she laughs internally and goes to join him at the stones. Softly she loops her arm around the man's arm. "Wolf Guide." She says with a grin and a soft teasing tone to her voice before she greets Reese. "Your highness." Mikani's eyes move to the King as the king is mentioned and she nods her head to the king.

Reese has a warm smile for Mikani. "Lady Whiskey Spice." She greets.

Vanora curtsies deeply and appropriately to the King, before rising once bidden to smile brightly at Gianna. "Gianna Darling, it's wonderful to see you. I keep meaning to stop by actually and talk about Bards College...things. Nothing's a rush though. As to the circlet, thank you. Grimhall actually rather specializes in them, the lavender pearls. We have grey ones for the most part, but in some conditions the grey turns to this lovely pale purple color. I adore it, when I can find it. They're on the rarer side. For you however...I'm sure some could be procured."

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

Niklas goes off to fetch some refreshments for himself and for his wife, pausing to offer Alaric a bow deeper than he gives most people, but still not on par with a Bayweather Special. "Your majesty." Then he heads back to Sabella, offering a wave to Zeriax as he goes. "I hope my useless response to you at least seemed marginally useful, Master Zeriax."

Reese looks over to Mikani. "Can you fight Zeriax for me? Someone has to defeat him..."

"Oh, well, thank you." She provides to Lisebet with a regretful shrug. "I would have loved to attend, but the road wouldn't have it. But, if nothing else, I am here for the big day."

Mikani looks Zeriax up and down. "I don't know he looks pretty beaten up. Seems unfair."

Alaric smiles cheerfully at Gianna as he snags a drink before they're all claimed. "Well, your odds are -slightly- higher to encounter the Highlord of Grayson in the Grayson mansion," he notes brightly. "But if you held a painting party, I daresay your odds are even slightly, slightly higher than that." He nods lightly at Liara's explanation and glances to the board. "Should I play a King? That's almost a little too obvious," he muses. Lisebet gets a smile, as does Niklas. "Ah, Niklas, having fun?"

"I can't wait to see it!" Sabella enthuses to Lisebet on the dress, stepping over towards her and Reese. "Oh, have the games started? Reese, who do you need me to play? I'm up for it!" she beams a smile at her sister.

Donella checked intellect + manipulation at difficulty 15, rolling 7 higher.

"I never make anyone bow, Master Moonsong. They may or may not as they like. I believe in choice, after all," says Helena merrily, then laughs as she hears others talking about her sudden desertion of her command post. "Sorry!" she says laughing. When her gaze alights on Alaric, she dips a quick curtsy his way. "Your Majesty. That would be playing to type, but no one would fault you for it. Perhaps one of the castle-thingies."

Lisebet gives Sunaia a cheeky grin, offering, "Do you suppose we should take the part of pieces? I've no idea who to play though," she adds, glancing over at Reese and Donella. "Who needs the most help?" she asks. "You probably want Lady Sunaia, as I am quite sure I am purely decorative."

Reese checked command + war at difficulty 15, rolling 52 higher.

Gianna's eyebrows arch. Pearls? For her? Yes, please. She smiles at Vanora, one of her flickers of a smile that are lovely nonetheless. Perhaps more so, for their rarity. "I would love that," she admits. "And you really should stop by the College again to talk. I learned so much last time." A nod to Alaric. "Ah, very true. You have me there, Your Majesty." If he's going to be anywhere... it's probably here. Turning toward the board, she examines Helena's gown with some interest. "Hmm." Gianna is making no move to join the game.

Donella says, "That would be me. I do not know how I shall ever overcome a trained knight and tactician." Blinkety blink blink.

Reese look over to Sabella. "You go be the queen.." She says cheerfully to her sister.

When Mikani rushed up to loop her arm through his, he sucked in a sharp breath. "Hello there, Spice." He leaned towards her. "Ever play before?" He asked, standing in the Queen's position on the Red side. "That's really sweet of you, Lady Redreef." He said, sticking his tongue out at Reese. "We'll just have to fight another time then. For now, I serve!" He said, gleefully. As Niklas shouted out to him, he waved to the Prince. Then winced. He had to stop waving. "Prince Niklas! Yes, it in fact was. Many apologies for the lack of a quicker response." To Helena, he nodded. "Phew. That's lucky for me then, that you're so gracious.

Sunaia shakes her head at Lisebet. "No. I don't particularly care for board games." She admits, looking over to all those clustered in and around the game platform. "But if you're wanting to, I'd say go right ahead."

Vanora grins at Gianna. "I'd like that very much." She glances up to see Sabella joining the game and flashes the princess a bright smile before returning her attention to the Nightengale. "I really should. I've learned a bit more on the topics we were discussing since then...and possibly so have you hmm? Or at least...well. There will be things worth discussing I'm sure." She glances to Alaric as Gianna addresses the King again, but looks away soon after. Donella's blinking makes her laugh, and she looks over to some unfamiliar faces as well.

Ysabel looks a bit bewildered and overwhelmed maybe by all the comotion but still had a sizable smile as she stands near Princess Reese.

Rysen begins to make his way to Gianna, and smiles warmly at Reese as he moves through the garden. Standing beside the Nightingale, he takes a sip of his wine, and, noticing Alaric nearby, he bows before the king. Turning to the Nightingale, he asks in a low voice, "In light of a recent conversation I overheard, will you permit me to ask you a burning question with regard to the Whispers?"

Vanora says to Sunaia, "Good day. I don't believe we've met. I am Vanora Grimhall." Her smile is bright and engaging.

Malcolm's a little unsure about the Grayson crowd, but, that's a discomfort that only lasts about as long as the punchline slips from his mouth -- directing some long, drawn out joke to his escort. Or, wait, he's the escort. The Shepherd Duke is accompanying Lady Delilah Whitehawk, garbed in the night-sky and glittering with stars. Malcolm appears to be a complement in dark greys, silvers, and burnished golds. He brings her toward an arbor, snagging refreshments for them along the way. "For a bit, yeah. Then - er."

Isabelle, who is just so tired of everyone's nonsense arrives, delivering a message to Gianna before departing.

Malcolm has joined the a stately wooden arbor with a gently curved arch adorned in climbing roses.

"Oh, a castle-thingy, that's an idea. Thank you for the suggestion, Princess Helena," Alaric replies brightly. "Do I get to sit atop a stepladder like a proper tower? I could be persuaded into that." He takes a drink of wine and gestures to one of his knights to set down the painting on a table. "Oh, Berkeley, you don't need to keep lugging that about. Just set it down over there." He glances back to Gianna. "Do let me know the next time you'll be available for a painting, though."

Alaric drops A Swinging Snooze With Umbra.

Sabella laughs and just about bounces to her place, head held high, "Reesey knows me so well."

Gianna is given a message; she reads it and rolls her eyes just a little. Just a little tiny bit. The note is folded and tucked away. There's a nod for Vanora, and she offers an inclination of her head to Sunaia as well. "Gianna Whisper, Nightingale of the Bard's College," she introduces herself. She has a sip of wine and arches a brow at Rysen. "Do go ahead and ask."

Mikani wonders what she has gotten into. Out of her normal leathers she feels a bit out of her element. Saying a silent prayer that her body stays within her bodice as she gets ready to jump into the fray.

Lisebet smiles to Sunaia, as she considers. "I have little to no idea how to play," she admits. "It's only that it might be fun but I am equally confident to settle on the sidelines and shout out bad advice," she says. As Vanora greets Sunaia, Lisebet smiles. "I shall leave you with Duchess Vanora, then? And perhaps I will go join Princess Reese's side." She just can't help herself, it's very fun to participate. She heads over and nabs a bishop spot, purely accidentally.

"I'm not drinking, your majesty, but the night is young." Then Niklas is off to see what game it is everyone is playing. Without having any real idea of what's happening he immediately volunteers to join a side. "I hope this isn't another tug-of-war. I nearly broke my wrists at the last one."

Reese starts to make a plan! She has Sabella be the queen. "You be the knight." She says to Zeriax. She then looks over Mikani very very closely. "You will be your secret weapon." She says very very softly and points to a pawn space. "Okay...Queen Sabella, why don't we start by taking down that that dangerous rogue." She muses, pointing to Niklas.

From the armor of roses, where she stands talking to Azova and Sebastian with great enthusiasm and bright smiles, Tabitha waves to Delilah and Malcolm. Either she has been drinking something really strong, or she's just feeling quite comfortable with her conversation partners.

"Good luck out there, whether it's as an advisor or a piece." Sunaia says as Lisebet heads off to the game board, then nods to Vanora and Giana, with an obliging smile. "Sunaia Ashford. Nothing to append to it." She smirks. "It's a pleasure."

Those volunteering find themselves largely standing about in their squares on the Game of Stones board having a chat or moving as the players (that being Reese and Donella) say. Liara, meanwhile, stands at the board's edge, sipping at her wine. She remarks to Niklas, "Unless you decide to resist whoever Reese sends to capture you, I should hope that all that is involved is a short stroll to the side."

Zeriax shuffled around to take one of the other positions, pulling Mikani along with him. "Don't worry. We're just going to be doing a lot of standing." He moved to take the knight's place, as commanded by Reese. "I'm so flattered, your highness. Does this mean you'll be calling me 'Sir Moonsong' from now on?" He began to snicker.

Donella paces out amongst the pieces to get a look forward after Reese's opening move, drumming her fingers on her hips. "Niklas, you may move king's side, if you would. And if you should happen to trip anyone passing by to capture, I won't complain too much..." She grins a little.

Mikani wonders how she will be a secret weapon. So she just goes along with it. Moving with Zeriax, she goes and stands with him. "No you shall now be dubbed Sir Wolf Guide of the Bear Prickles." She teases her friend warmly as she watches how the game goes.

Ysabel awaits any sort of instruction. Seeming to look around curiously as she does

Donella checked command + diplomacy at difficulty 15, rolling 38 higher.

Sabella grins at Reese then makes haste to intercept Niklas as he's directed to go for the king! Which king, who knows. "Wait just a second, since you became Prince you haven't had to bow for me and I think now that I'm Queen I want to see a really good one!" she commands her husband!

"Why in the Abyss," Rysen asks Gianna, "do they have a position called 'The Softest Whisper?' It sounds so sinister, does it not? Couldn't it be 'The Wisest Whisper?' Or 'The Profoundest Whisper?' The Softest Whisper sounds maddening." He grins slightly at Gianna, and takes another drink of wine.

Marius, 1 House Corvini Guard arrive, following Giulio.

Reese checked command + war at difficulty 15, rolling 30 higher.

Sabella calls out, "She'd tell you, Master Rysen, but you wouldn't be able to hear her!"

Lisebet stands where she is, drinking red wine and looking decorative. She listens to the conversations ongoing, quietly.

Alaric is overheard praising Sabella: Go Queen Sabella! Defeat your opponent and prove the arbitary superiority of your team colors!

Delilah has joined the a stately wooden arbor with a gently curved arch adorned in climbing roses.

The slender figure of the Corvini count glides into the Grayson Manor, trailed by a single guard and, as always, his secretary Marius. Something of a sardonic smile toys his lips, his gaze flitting from person to person. There's a nod to Marius, who goes about the process of finding his lord a goblet of brandy, as he looks about.

Helena smiles when Gianna looks her way, fluttering fingertips in a little wave before taking a sip of her wine, then looks to Niklas and Sabella's antics with a laugh. When Sabella makes another joke, she grins. "You're so full of wit today -- did the baby make some room for it, I wonder?" she teases. "Congratulations. I do like the name you chose after all. Maybe the next one can be Azure something." She grins at Niklas. "We'll watch the journals to see when she's on her way."

"'Soft whispers, harder hearts,'" Gianna quotes to Rysen; Whisper House's words. She has a sip of wine and then makes a little noise that sounds amused at Sabella's interjection. She clears her throat. "I suppose it sounds slightly better than Hardest Whisper," she tells the poet. "I don't love the title, myself, and I happen to bear it. 'Nightingale' suits much better, doesn't it?"

Niklas moves off to do as her grace commands, though when a bow is demanded he stands straight, "Of course, your highness. As you wish." Then he sets a hand to his stomach, flourishes his cape and just bows the hell out of the place.

Reese looks over to Zeriax, quickly nodding. "Sir Wolf Moonsong Guiding Star Zeriax. It is a lot to say, but it would be a shame to leave anything out." The princess says. She keeps playing the game and seems to lose some of her early lead. She then looks to Mikani. "Oh..so its Sir Wolf Moonsong Guiding Star Bear Prickles Zeriax." She seems amused as Sabella goes after Niklas. "There is no way I can lose sending my sister after her husband.."

Niklas checked charm + etiquette at difficulty 15, rolling 43 higher.

Crazy bow skills. Then Niklas touches Sabella on the shoulder and says, "I think I captured you."

Sunaia returns to wandering the gardens, and after a few minutes finds her way to the arbor.

Sunaia has joined the a stately wooden arbor with a gently curved arch adorned in climbing roses.

Reese hmms softly. "Now, Mikani, you go after the Baroness Ysabel." She says.

Unsure? What's that? Delilah has the stars to shine by and the hint of laughter on her lips to make the day bright. Or night, for that matter. Stellar splendours aside, she claims the drink one-handed and lifts the flute in a toast to Sabella, all full of laughter and amusement. A deep nod and quick curtsy for Alaric gives due honour to the king before she hides under an arbor to greet those present. Other introductions have to wait.

Rysen laughs merrily at Sabella's reply, though, in hearing Gianna's words, he nods a sincere agreement. "Truly, I cannot think of an appellation that could ever suit you better."

Ysabel follows whatever directions Princess Reese gave her all be it distractedly.

Mikani not used to this game, Mika idoly wonders if she should draw her daggers or not but figures maybe this isn't a fighthing game. So instead she just wanders over to Ysabel. "Baroness. We meet again." She says with a warm smile.

"By the end of the year, I'll have accumulated so many titles you'll have to take several breaths to finish speaking them all." Zeriax said, preening with his free hand placed delicately upon his chest. He watched the match continue, and cheered Sabella on. "We'll avenge you, Princess Sabella! He won't get away with capturing our queen!"

Donella has rolled a critical success!
Donella checked command + diplomacy at difficulty 15, rolling 248 higher.

Reese has rolled a critical success!
Reese checked command + war at difficulty 15, rolling 54 higher.

Is there any manner of order to the game? Are the rules being flaunted wildly by the unusually mobile pieces. Who knows? (Probably the players, if they are that way inclined) For her own part, Liara just laughs at the impending capture of Sabella, and then speaks up towards Zeriax. "If you can get there. You might yet get stuck in that square."

"Having the baby certainly made room for a lot more cakes," Sabella calls out to Helena, then looks very impressed with Niklas' crazy bows. When he sets his hand on her shoulder she laughs and throws her arms around him for a kiss, "Sorry, Reese, he's just too charming!"

Alaric gives Delilah a quick finger wave but she's already off to hide before he can speak a greeting. He goes back to drinking wine and observing the LARP of Stones, or whatever is actually going on.

Giulio has joined the a stately wooden arbor with a gently curved arch adorned in climbing roses.

Reese is playing well, but not well enough to even hold her own against Donella. It seems highly likely that she is going to lose this game. She sighs as Sabella is charmed by Niklas. "Oh, Oh, Sabella!" She says to her sister, but the real reason that Reese is not winning lies with herself. Her moves are no match for Donella's. It is not looking good. She gives Mikani and Zeriax a sheepish smile. "Um, Zeriax, can you go get our queen back, from Prince Niklas."

Ysabel beams at Mikani and says, "So we do!" Clearly the Baroness has no idea this game is anything to serious as she looks around awaiting more instructions

Zeriax grinned at Liara. "I shall! As a newly annointed knight, it is my duty to avenge Princess Sabella!" Zeriax called out. He turned and looked to Reese, giving her the cheesiest looking thumbs-up ever, before he ''galloped'' his way over to Sabella and Niklas. "Cease your charming ways, good sir! We have a game to win!" He leaned in to whisper to Sabella. "I have leftover pie. You like desserts, yes? Come on over to the Blue side..."

Donella shuffles this way, that way. She looks at the tower for permission to step up on his knee so she can see the position of the field. She rubs her eyes, blinks, and nibbles her lower lip. So much thinking! She walks back to her side, and has a seat. "Helena. Be a dear and go tell General Reese that I would like a breakfast sandwich. After you kick their king in the shin. That's check, I believe?"

Niklas clucks his tongue. "If I cease my charming ways, then I fear I shall cease to be."

Brenlin, Aide-de-Camp arrives, delivering a message to Mikani before departing.

"Get off the playing field, sir!" Zeriax called out to the messenger, before he returned his attention to Niklas. "I'll give you pie then too. You can charm the blueberries." The state of the game? Not looking so good for Blue team!

Mikani laughs and grins at Ysabel. "One of us is supposed to win. I'm not sure how that is decided." Mika looks over ath Niklas and Sabella. "I could nibble your neck but that does seem scandelous."

There's another flicker of a smile for Rysen. "Thank you," Gianna tells him, as though she picked it out herself. Spoiler: she did. She watches the goings-on on the oversized game board, her brows arching. "Hmmn. I haven't been following very well, I don't think. Is Lady Mikani on a team or...?"

Reese looks over to Sabella. "We do have pie..." She says as if trying to convince her. She then turns to Donella. "A breakfast sandwitch...." She says a bit sheepishly as if wondering where she get such. It seems that Reese is aware she is losing."

Vanora wanders over to Gianna and murmurs softly, "I should head back I think, there's too much on my mind to linger at a party, though I absolutely adored the chance for a break. It was good to see you again, we must do it soon." She looks to Giulio and dips her head in acknowledgement of something. "Be well everyone."

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

"If you keep sending everyone after him, it might eventually exhaust him," Liara supposes to Reese, then takes another sip of her wine. Then she chuckles as the messenger steps up onto the board. "A third party! Unforeseen outside intervention? No - no, off he goes."

Lisebet is standing in her square, watching the goings on quietly. Alas.

Ysabel humor glitter in her eyes as she speaks to Mikani, "I do love a good scandel." She seems unaware what exactly they should be winning at as she keeps trying to follow instructions.

"He won her with whispered promises of cake," Helena tells the crowd not on the board, tapping her ear. "I heard it," she says with a solemn nod. But then Donella is giving he a chore. "Oh. Hold my wine." She hands someone her wine glass and makes her way to the 'king,' to lightly tap it on the shin with her silk-slipper-clad foot. "Checkmate! I think. Is that what you say?" she turns around -- the scholar is bright when she's in her books, but this game is new to her. She heads over to Reese, as directed. "My commander demands a breakfast sandwich. Is that when you put your bacon between your pancakes?" she doesn't know. She offers Reese a consolation hug. "Good game."

Reese looks to Mikani. "Defend the king!" She says. The king seems to be Ysabel although things are looking good at all. They are about to be over-ran.

Gianna inclines her head to Vanora as the Duchess leaves. "Be well," she bids the other woman as she departs. "Oh, she is in the game," she says of Mikani, when Reese directs the Redreef woman.

Mikani looks at Reese, "Am I defending her or defeating her? All this and I have no rum." Mika teases Reese as she whirls the Baroness Ysabel behind her like if they were in a dance. "I shall defend you my king." She calls out hoping that was the right action.

Reese hmms softly. "Or between biscuits." Reese says to Helena. She returns the hug. "Good game. You are amazing Princess Donella."

Reese is overheard praising Donella: Amazing mind for warfare!

Reese is overheard praising Liara: Great hostest!

Helena is overheard praising Donella: commander of doom!

Helena is overheard praising Liara: lovely party hostess

Tabitha is overheard praising Liara: Wonderful party!

Gianna is overheard praising Liara: Hosting a lovely garden party!

Reese is overheard praising Sabella: A good queen, but could be less charmed by her husband and more charmed by blueberries.

Reese is overheard praising Mikani: A great game place of whiskey and spice

Malcolm has left the a stately wooden arbor with a gently curved arch adorned in climbing roses.

Laughing again at the antics on the board, Liara makes to step down from it as the game starts to draw to an apparent conclusion. "If anyone else wishes to give board a go, by all means." She speaks up to people in general as she crosses towards the lawn where all the hoops and mallets are (it's pretty much croquet), "The band shall facilitate some dancing presently for those interested. For those who would like another game, we have this." And for those wondering as to the technicalities of the rules beyond just hitting a ball with a mallet, there's a liveried servant to give the details.

Having offered nods and goodbyes and curtsies and smiles and whatnot, Tabitha leaves quietly, waving to people on the way.

Reese is overheard praising Zeriax: Sir Wolf Moonsong Guiding Star Bear Prickle Zeriax

All the way to the end, Lisebet gets to stand. Alas, the game ends and Princess Reese is defeated. That gets a sadface from poor Lisebet who did not get to move. "Perhaps I will fare better at dancing?" she says, mock mournfully.

Tabitha has left the a stately wooden arbor with a gently curved arch adorned in climbing roses.

Laudine, a stern middle-aged maidservant, 2 Whitehawk Guards, Cabbit, a nub-tailed tabby cat leave, following Tabitha.

"In the Thrax estate I used to play with my grandfather. When you play the Game of Stones, you win, or you die." YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaa. "You should beat me any other time, Princess Reese. I cede the field to the next commander."

Ysabel does not seems to mind Mikani moving her around and stands behind her looking on curiously and distractedly. She awaits any orders.

"Noooo!" Zeriax called out, reaching up to the sky with one hand, the other clutching his chest as he dramatically stepped out of his square, mock-stumbling before he fell to his knees. After the dramatic display, he rose back up, groaning. "Why am I ''moving'' so much. Ugh. I think I need to lay down." He turned to Donella. "It was a pleasure facing off against you, your highness." To Reese, "Apologies, your highness. Next time! Next time, we shall conquer all!" Beat. "But for now, I think I should...lay down." He shuffled over to Liara. "Thank you kindly for hosting this wonderful party. It's really brought my spirits back up to par, I think."

Donella is overheard praising Reese: A gracious opponent in defeat. And I really love her pancakes.

Reese is overheard praising Niklas: He plays a pretty good game, I have to admit.

"I'm sorry," Sabella tells Reese, though she's laughing and still hanging on Niklas, "Now you know Tikva and Ainsley's pain with this one! But did someone say there was pie?" She grins at Zeriax.

Zeriax is overheard praising Liara: She hosts a wonderful gathering, full of games and cheer. I'll probably leave better off than when I came, thanks to her!

Mikani is overheard praising Zeriax: Playing a masterful Knight while in pain.

Donella is overheard praising Liara: She made us so very welcome.

"You are most welcome," comes Liara's reply to Zeriax. She directs that the whatever-croquet-is-called is set up for play by those interested, and then gives a flutter of her fingers at the band, which strikes up some cheerful dance music.

Zeriax gets double crust strawberry pie from Blue Pouch.

Donella is overheard praising Niklas: When Island eyes are smiling, you punch 'em till they're black!

Mikani looks back at Ysabel and mutters something to the woman before looking back at the board.

Donella is overheard praising Helena: You made me do it!

Rysen smiles at Gianna, guessing the title of Nightingale was not bestowed on her against her will. He glances at the conclusion of the game and holds up a glass of wine in toast to the players. He chuckles at Zeriax's dramatic reaction, and smiles to hear the dance music begin.

Reese is overheard praising Helena: An amazing princess and always up for games.

Donella is overheard praising Zeriax: Why? Why?! All are punish-ed!

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

1 House Corvini Guard, Claudia arrive, following Ilinca.

"Apologies, Princess Sabella. I lied. It was a time of war, you see? But here, Sis made us a copy of Petal's pies. It's not quite as delicious, but for a replica, it's really quite something." He looked to Niklas. "Here, you as well. Try some! Fore now, I think I shall go and...lay down. For the moment."

Sabella is overheard praising Liara: What a wonderful idea for a party!

Zeriax has left the a large, outdoor Game of Stones set.

Zeriax has joined the a steel blue picnic blanket with a blackberry bramble motif.

Helena steps off the game board and finds her glass of wine again, cheeks a little flushed from moving around and being at the center of attention for a few moments -- well, near the center of attention. She is happy to step to the sidelines once more, tucking behind one dainty ear a strand of blond hair that's slipped out of the loose updo she wears. "Sorry for the confusion. I get nervous when anyone puts me in charge of anything," she says to Liara with a laugh. "Even pretend soldiers."

Helena has left the a large, outdoor Game of Stones set.

Ysabel is standing behind Mikani whispering with her and trying to play along with the game

Helena has joined the a stately wooden arbor with a gently curved arch adorned in climbing roses.

Niklas is overheard praising Donella: A great commander!p Sounds about right.

Gianna considers the board, and then the arbor. She beckons Rysen and begins to head that way. "Shall we sit?" Just as though she expects him to follow, she's away with a rustle of brocade.

Gianna has joined the a stately wooden arbor with a gently curved arch adorned in climbing roses.

Ilinca has joined the a stately wooden arbor with a gently curved arch adorned in climbing roses.

"Entertaining all the same, I hope!" Liara replies to Helena with a quick grin. "Perhaps I should put you in charge of leading off the first dance here, unless someone else volunteers?" She winks then, and steps closer to the area cleared for the apparent purpose of dancing - now by lamplight, with dusk having passed by.

Sabella looks completely enchanted when Zeriax hands her a pie, "Hold on, Prince Niklas, you might have some competition here."

Niklas shakes his head at his wife and says in a chiding tone, "Betrayal for some pie. Sabella, you are a princess of Bastion. I believe that means you can have pie any time you would like." He narrows his eyes after Zeriax, then mutters, "I'm going to have to learn how to do a pushup."

Rysen smiles, but shakes his head. "I'm afraid I must be going," he says to Gianna, and bids her farewell on her way to the arbor. He glances over to Reese and begins to make his way toward the Princess, but at the request for a volunteer for a dance he freezes, but, perhaps remember where he is, smiles and keeps walking.

Donella says, "But your highness. It IS pie. Doesn't the Faith tell us to be forgiving... and to share? The pie, not your wife."

When Ilinca arrives at the gardens, it is with the curious gaze of one who has quite clearly never yet seen the grounds. Directed by one or two of the servants along the paths, her eyes linger far more often on the greenery surrounding her than on the stones underneath her feet, and it takes at least two wrong turns (distracted as she is by running her hand along a hedge) for her to find her way to where the others are gathered.

Reese peeks to Lord Rysen who happens to be close at the mention of dancing. "Take care Lord Rysen, although if you want to stay for a moment and dance, I wouldn't mind."

Gianna sniffs faintly as Rysen declines, but joins the arbor nonetheless, arranging her skirts once she's seated.

Mikani since she isn't sure what she is supposed to do but was told to protect Ysabel, Mikani moves Ysabel back a space to a more defendable position. "Just stay behind me and we will make it through this. I promise I got you." Mikani looks back at the woman with a wink.

Donella has left the a large, outdoor Game of Stones set.

Donella has joined the a walnut wooden swing with a steel chain.

Liara has left the a large, outdoor Game of Stones set.

Zeriax winked at Niklas. "Worry not, fair prince. If you would like for me to whip you into shape, feel free to drop by the Academy of War anytime. I host private lessons as well, if you'd like to impress your wife with some one-handed pushups. Or perhaps hand-stand pushups?" Turning to Sabella, he nodded. "Do enjoy your pie, Princess. Remember to share some with his highness." He said, upnodding to Niklas. He turned to Ysabel and Mikani. "Game's over, ladies. No need to linger." Deciding that for the moment he's had enough excitement, Zeriax laid himself across the picnic blanket. Pulling a bottle of ''something'' out from somewhere, it's placed on his forehead. "Ahhh...this is nice." Were there other games? Oh, yes, there would be more games. A dance, even? "I knew I should have purchased some cosmetics before I arrived..." He muttered.

A gesture near the arbor soon draws Ilinca's attention and, gathering the long skirts of her aeterna, she moves towards it with both of her brows lifted in something that vaguely resembles surprise.

The Redrain princess is already on her way to the arbor when Liara volunteers her for dancing, and she laughs a little, glancing around, shaking her head a bit shyly. "There are Whispers and performers who would do that honor much more worthily than I can, I'm sure," she says. "Perhaps our royal couple of the stage," she says, gesturing to the Grayson prince and princess, before she moves to the arbor, cheeks a little rosy.

There's whatever-Arxian-croquet-is there for those after other games, though Liara doesn't seem quite inclined to impose it on the guests to the same extent as the game of stones with people for pieces. She replies to Helena with an easy smile. "I like to think of myself as an able dancer, too, and I so rarely get the chance at my own functions."

Rysen blushes furiously, but his gaze remains fixed on Reese. He holds out a hand to the Princess, with a warm smile. "If you care to dance, Your Highness, I would be honored."

Donella stops by the barrel swing, pushing herself into a gentle sway that she can dangle her feet in the commission of. "Take him for a spin, Ribbons!"

Reese has a gentle smile for Liara. "You are so very busy, making sure that everyone else enjoys themselves. The perfect and selfless hostess." She muses to her cousin in a warm tone. Reese then turns to Rysen, reaching out for his hand with a pink gloved hand of her own. "Thank you, Lord Rysen." She says. She smiles over to Donella. The girl then tries to dance.

Reese checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 31 higher.

Alaric is overheard praising Donella: Quite the comprehensive victory! Hopefully kicking kings in the shin doesn't become fashionable.

Mikani sighs as she hears the game is over and she didn't know that it was. She smiles at Ysabel before she wanders away thinking this is definatly not the place for her.

Mikani has left the a large, outdoor Game of Stones set.

Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant, 1 Redreef Warden, 1 Thrax Guards, 1 Redoubt Buccaneers leave, following Mikani.

Lisebet glances around, curious to see if she can convince anyone to dance. Or if she'll have to try it all on her own.

While it is obvious that Rysen has no skill in formal dancing, he follows the rhythm of the music and the movements of Reese as best he can. As the music floats through the garden, and he follows the graceful steps of his partner, there is a glimmer of sincere joy in his eyes.

Reese is quite skilled at dancing and she moves along with Rysen, seemingly with a nimble ease. The girl keeps place with him and seems be enjoying herself. Her cheeks are pink and her blue eyes are bright.

Gianna has left the a stately wooden arbor with a gently curved arch adorned in climbing roses.

Donella has left the a walnut wooden swing with a steel chain.

Gianna rises from the arbor, gathering her skirts as she stands. The silvery-white neodymium threads shimmer as she moves. She looks to Reese and Rysen, her expression thoughtful, and then to Lisebet and Liara, as if trying to decide something.

Delilah has left the a stately wooden arbor with a gently curved arch adorned in climbing roses.

Lisebet pauses, glancing at those who are standing by the dance floor. "We could just dance, your highness," she suggests to Liara. Her gaze goes to Gianna as well, amusement dimpling her cheeks. "Perhaps in a circle?" Since it seems the men are hiding from the flowers tonight.

Donella briefly excuses herself with murmured thanks to Liara. She takes off through the garden paths at a trot.

3 Last Watch Sentries, 3 Redrain Guards leave, following Donella.

Alaric seems to have reasonable dance potential from a cursory visual inspection. Admittedly at the moment he's talking with one of his knights and gesturing indicatively to his shins for some reason instead of actively looking for a dance partner, but even so. He's smiling! When has anyone been smiling but not up for a dance?

Niklas looks to Sabella and his expression lights up, then he walks toward her. And past her. And right up to the king. "So, your majesty, you look like you're looking for a dance partner!"

"I would prefer to see my guests properly accounted for first, my lady," Liara replies to Lisebet with a smile, and then adds, "I am sure that is readily arranged. Why, I don't know if Princess Sabella has anyone at all." The last with a wink for Lisebet, before Liara goes on and sips at her wine again.

"It's fine, I have pie!" Sabella says brightly, holding up the delicious whole pie Zeriax gave her.

Alaric regards Niklas cheerfully. "What an astute observation!" he declares, somewhat whimsically deciding to play along. "Shall we, then?" he offers.

"Absolutely, your majesty!" Niklas leads the king over to where all that good good dancing is happening. "You lead. Because. Well, you lead."

Lisebet stops at Liara's words, glancing at Sabella, and then her gaze finding Niklas and Alaric. That brings laughter to her, eyes dancing. "Ah, I see I have missed my chance," she teases. "Are you certain? I mean, I am about to dance on my own." Where did Gianna get toooo?

Rysen is overheard praising Reese: A talented and most graceful dancer.

Gianna to the rescue! The Whisper sweeps toward Lisebet, offering her hand to the Farshaw woman. "Please, allow me this dance," she says, her tone light. "I hope your husband-to-be won'd mind overmuch." It's a joke. She clearly does not expect him to mind. Gianna is also, it should be noted, perfectly happy to lead.

"I do, indeed," Alaric declares intrepidly, absently snagging an elfblight orchid and holding it lengthwise to bite down ont it before promptly leading Niklas along in the most tangoish sort of dance popular lately. "Ah haah raa haarra haa," he informs his dance partner knowledgably.

Alaric checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 35 higher.

Lisebet checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 10 higher.

Gianna checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 29 higher.

After nursing some of his more persistent wounds, Zeriax rose up from the picnic blanket. If there were festivities, who was he to let a few bruises and cuts stop him?! With a loooooong groan, he shook his limbs out, before heading back to the action. Cold bottle of whatever stuffed back into one of his pouches, the man moved to stand beside Sabella, watching the dances commence. "Seems like I might need to take some lessons." He said to her. "Prince Niklas does look pretty charming himself though, doesn't he?" Then he leaned in towards her. "Psst. Able to spare a slice?" Of the pie he'd just given her?

Niklas has rolled a critical success!
Niklas checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 79 higher.

"By all the stars under Elysia," says Rysen softly as he dances with Reese, lost in the moment. When the music beings to change, he gracefully moves with Reese to the edge of the dancing floor, and taking a step back from the Princess, says, "Thank you for the dance, Princess Reese." He smiles, and bows reverently. "I should make my way back to the Black Hall of Axes."

Gianna is overheard praising Niklas: What a marvelous dancer! He glides as if on a cloud, he dips as though gravity cedes to his will!

Lisebet curtseyes as Gianna arrives to the rescue, smiling brightly at her. "I am fairly certain he won't mind," she says easily, letting Gianna lead her off onto the floor, amused and glad for the dancing. She obviously likes to dance, and she is decent at it if not overly showy.

"He's certainly come a long way from the first time we danced," Sabella replies to Zeriax with amusement, handing the pie to Elizabetta with a bit of regret so she can slice it and it can be shared, "But there's a reason I fell for him. And not just because he hit me so hard in the head during a turn I lost all reason."

Whatever it was that Alaric said before it was made incomprehensible by his rose clearly inspires something in Niklas since the pair end up moving across the dance floor with the sort of skill and grace that all the storytellers and poets always hope to have the opportunity to talk about when referring to their king and their king's cousin's husband.

Zeriax has left the a steel blue picnic blanket with a blackberry bramble motif.

Gianna sweeps Lisebet onto the floor and executes the elaborate steps with her. They're a good looking pair, but just about no one is paying attention to them. Even if their skirts swirl prettily, they just cannot compete with the King and the Prince. "Lovely gown," she tells Lisebet. Catching sight of Niklas and Alaric, her eyes widen. She blinks. "Well."

Reese slows down her movements and then stops all together. She gives Rysen a gentle smile that reaches her blue eyes. "Take care, Lord Rysen and thank you for the dance." She says. Reese seems really impressed with Niklas' dancing. "Wow.."

Giulio has left the a stately wooden arbor with a gently curved arch adorned in climbing roses.

Ilinca has left the a stately wooden arbor with a gently curved arch adorned in climbing roses.

1 House Corvini Guard, Claudia leave, following Ilinca.

Marius, 1 House Corvini Guard, Ilinca leave, following Giulio.

Liara leans lightly against one of the tables at the edge of the yard and sips again at her wine as she looks on, attention somewhat taken by Niklas and Alaric for the moment.

Zeriax's eyes peered over the dance floor, and then to the other guests as he conversed with Sabella. "You wouldn't think it, the way he's clearly taken the lead. I don't think I've seen anyone dance so...''passionately'' for a long time." Then she mentioned he hit her in the head, and slowly, Zeriax's head swivelled around to look directly at her. "Was that just a metaphor, or were there really some strange circumstances involved in this romance?"

It sort of started as a lark, but now the King and Niklas have sort of gone all-in with the commitment to totally showing off. Since Niklas is feeling it, Alaric pretty much lets him take the metaphorical spotlight. One particular flourish causes Alaric to laugh and lose his flower in the process. So long, elfblight. You served nobly! "Well, we seem to have become the center of attention. I should go dancing with you more often," he quips.

Lisebet nearly missteps, as her gaze catches the show that is Niklas and Alaric. "Oh my stars," is her comment. She chuckles softly, smiling as she looks back to Gianna. "Thank you. You as always look spectacular, but I do think we could literally remove our clothing and paint the floor and nobody would notice." There's amusement there in her voice though, not any malice at all.

"I am always at your service, your majesty," says Niklas, who only considers how that sounds after a second, then adds, "You know. To a point."

Azova is overheard praising Liara: An excellent hostess.

Azova has left the a stately wooden arbor with a gently curved arch adorned in climbing roses.

"I am determined...," Gianna tells Lisebet as she guides her in a swirling step, hand on the small of the other woman's back. Her tone is light. "...To keep my clothing on, no matter how much attention it might gain me to discard it." Shown up by Roxana earlier with the painting, shown up by Niklas and Alaric... "I should sing. After this dance."

"We met at a masquerade and he asked me to dance. Only he was nervous and hit me in the ear with his elbow. We'd later meet up without knowing we had been dance partners and eventually figured it out," Sabella replies to Zeriax, accepting a plate of pie from Elizabetta, who also offers one to Zeriax, "So it was a bit of a strange courtship in the beginning. But it all worked out very well, Prince Niklas is now Grayson's Minister of Income!" When Gianna mentions singing Sabella looks her way, opens her mouth, then shuts it when she sees the look on the Nightingale's face. "I should eat this pie!"

"Worry not. While some might deny such a thing as Sabella's wrath even exists, I'll avoid finding out by enlisting your services beyond a point," Alaric quips unflappably before one last turn and pivot to end the dance in a total look-at-us! pose. "Well, that was fun," he grins brightly. "Thank you for the dance, Prince Niklas. I'll have to steal a few of those moves for myself, if you don't mind too terribly."

Reese has a gentle smile and goes to curl-up on the blanket. "I was going to leave, but I think I will wait to hear the nightengale's song." She says to Zeriax and Sabella.

"A wise choice," Lisebet opines to Gianna. "I am entirely with you on that one. I have no intentions of removing my own clothing," she offers. There's a moment and then she says, "I am certain if you sing, all attention will be yours, and rightfully so."

"It's not stealing if you own everything already, your majesty," says Niklas cheerfully. He then turns and looks toward Gianna before adding, "Ah, we must have truly taken the spotlight for the Nightingale to spontaneously offer to sing!"

Reese has left the a large, outdoor Game of Stones set.

Reese has joined the a steel blue picnic blanket with a blackberry bramble motif.

Gianna comes to a halt with Lisebet and bows to her dance partner with a serene look. Then she's making her way toward the platform with the stones game. There's a toss of her hair, and a glance Liara's way. Perhaps asking for permission. On the other hand, she's already going up, so...

Gianna gets Song - A Summer Night from repertoire.

"Truly?" Zeriax asked, looking like he was trying hard not to laugh. Mostly because it would probably just hurt, more than anything. "That's ''so'' romantic. I can see now why the two of you seem to make such a fine pair." He accepted the slice of pie, and turned back to the dance floor just in time to witness the finale. "I would clap, but you see, my hands are full! You both were amazing out there!" Hollering out, he finally noticed Gianna's look. His eyes went wide. "Erm, yes! We should certainly hear Gianna sing for us!" He saw Reese head for the picnic blanket, and nodded to Sabella he was going to head that way.

Zeriax has joined the a steel blue picnic blanket with a blackberry bramble motif.

Liara doesn't do much but offer Gianna an easy smile and lifts her wine-glass as if to say 'go ahead' or maybe 'hello, I have wine'. Her attention taken from Niklas and Alaric, she instead watches the Nightingale intently.

Lisebet curtseys to Gianna, and then she follows, but not to sing, just to make sure she has a good spot to sit and listen from.

Sabella has joined the a steel blue picnic blanket with a blackberry bramble motif.

Alaric nods with a thoughtful hum of agreement. "Well, as proper gentlemen it behooves us to generously share the spotlight, rather than intentionally bait anyone into progressively more extreme efforts in an attempt to wrest it away from us no matter how entertaining that might be," he tells Niklas reasonably with a glance at Gianna. "Also, I didn't bring my paints, so if her intentions did crumble I'd be a little put out."

Gianna turns and signals the musicians. Turning her face toward the crowd, the Nightingale raises her arms and begins to sing. Her song is slow, sultry, and it carries easily in the summer night, pure and true.

Reese is overheard praising Alaric: Dancing King!

Ysabel has left the a large, outdoor Game of Stones set.



I feel the breath of the summer night,

Aromatic fire:

The trees, the vines, the flowers are astir

With tender desire.



The white moths flutter about the lamp,

Enamoured with light;

And a thousand creates softly sing

A song to the night!



But I am alone, and how can I sing

Praises to thee?

Come, Night! unveil the beautiful soul

That waiteth for me.

Gianna checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 46 higher.

Alaric is overheard praising Gianna: A delightful song!

Reese is overheard praising Gianna: Woots, the song of the night song bird, we should get Niklas and the King to egg her on more often, more lovely music!

Lisebet checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 31 higher.

Lisebet listens to the song, feeling the words and the emotion as Gianna sings. She nearly holds her breath towards the end, being so quiet as she can, listening.

Sunaia rises up and peeks around the corner of the arbor as Gianna sings, swaying gently with her wine glass in hand.

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

Sabella finished her pie so she can politely stand and applaud for Gianna, "Beautiful! I always feel like it's an honor to catch a Nightingale singing in the garden."

Reese claps as well. "Very lovely, thank you Gianna Whisper Midnight Songbird."

Helena can also be seen watching Gianna sing, the words and beautiful voice drawing a wistful look from the Redrain princess, before applauding at its end. "I only sing in the bath," she says with a grin, "so I have only the bubbles to sing my praises... or critiques." There's a grin at that, before she calls out for Gianna, "Beautiful! Encore!"

The man was silent as Gianna sang, not even munching on his pie. He paid full attention, and when she finished? Zeriax began to clap ''extra'' loud, his big meaty hands easily amplifying the displaced air. Then he whistled. And cheered. "Yes! Way to steal the show, Whisper Gianna!"

Liara sets her glass aside for the moment and gently applauds Gianna. She then flashes an amused grin towards Sabella, and remarks, "What happy chance that there happened to be one."

While the conversation over at the arbor seems to be ongoing, Sebastian definitely stops to listen raptly during Gianna's peformance, clapping enthusiastically when she finishes.

The last note belted out, Gianna smiles - actually smiles - and bows graciously. The smile she wears after singing puts all the usual faint ones to shame. "Thank you!" She calls. "And thank you, Princess Liara!"

Arcadia excuses herself discreetly, like she was never there.

Lisebet stays quiet for several moments after the song ends, and then she claps along with the rest. Of course now there's time for another drink!

"That was splendid," Liara says to Gianna, with an easy smile. "Care to suggest anything in particular to the band for the next dance? That is assuming that anybody else can be coaxed to their feet."

"Try The Fox's Gambit," Gianna calls back to Liara and the musicians, in the process of collecting another drink for herself. It's a fun song to dance, and a forgiving one.

Alaric is compelled to grin himself at the energy behind Gianna's smile. "Well, that was a delightful cap to my evening here, but I do need to be returning to the Palace. Thank you all for attending today! It's always a pleasure to be able to host the notables of Arx here at the Grayson mansion, and all credit to Princess Liara for arranging another fine evening."

"Glad that you enjoyed it. And that painting is quite striking!" Liara comments to Alaric, and she offers a flutter of her yellow-gloved fingers in a wave.

Alaric takes A Swinging Snooze With Umbra.

Zelda, the royal messenger, 13 King's Own Guardsmen leave, following Alaric.

"I like that one," Lisebet says to the Fox's gambit suggestion. She curtseys as Alaric leaves, but then turns her attention to the dance floor. "Though if I am the only one with energy left to dance, I could I suppose take myself off to see if there is dancing elsewhere?"

"I can provide, my lady, if nobody else does. You have commendable energy." Liara flashes Lisebet a grin.

Perhaps he's now lovelorn for the king, since when Alaric makes his exit Niklas moves to Sabella and holds out a hand. "We should get back to the children, my love. If we miss Relara's first steps we'll never forgive ourselves. Also, Elizabetta's hair will fall out."

Sabella has left the a steel blue picnic blanket with a blackberry bramble motif.

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

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

The guards in the courtyard respectfully bow to the arriving member of House Grayson.

The guards in the courtyard respectfully bow to the arriving member of House Grayson.

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

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

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

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

Reese rises to her slippered feet. "I should get back to my Princess Tower and hoarder's paradise." She says, having a smile. "Thank you, Princess Liara. It was good to see you everyone." She then darts off.

Reese has left the a steel blue picnic blanket with a blackberry bramble motif.

Helena has left the a stately wooden arbor with a gently curved arch adorned in climbing roses.

Emerging from the little arbor, Helena moves toward Liara. "Thank you again for a lovely evening, and I hope we'll get to spend some more time together in the future," the Redrain tells the Grayson -- the two are quite alike at a glance, after all, in coloring and height and age, so clearly they should be friends! "I'm sorry if I ran off from dancing. You can't tell under my dress but I've two left feet. Truly, it's why I always wear long skirts." She grins. "Nightingale, that was lovely, as always, and lovely to see you." She makes her rounds, before making her way to the exit to head back homeward.

"I shall endeavour to get you dancing on the next occasion, your highness!" Liara informs Helena. "Lovely to have you here and I am glad that you enjoyed it. We should meet for drinks or such at some point." Then she offers a flutter of a wave in parting.

Quickly finishing what remained of his slice of pie, Zeriax rose up off the picnic blanket once more. There was more groaning. Taking care to adjust his clothing, the man made his way towards Liara. "Were I not so tender at this moment, I would provide for you a bow I'd normally reserve for the honor of being in your presence. For the time being, you'll just have to imagine I'm extremely flexible and graceful." He smiled, and bowed his head slightly. "This was a fun way to spend the evening. Thank you so very kindly, Princess Liara Grayson. While I should be heading out, perhaps sometime soon, I could be invited to play this 'lawn game' you've invented?"

2 Redrain Guards leaves, following Helena.

"Why, certainly," Liara replies to Zeriax, and then adds, "Although I would not venture to say that I invented it by any means. Perhaps I should arrange a little gathering for those curious about it. Truth be told, I am awful at it, but it is quite entertaining all the same." She goes on with a light smile. "I am glad that you enjoyed the evening."

Duchess Cottontail, a gorgeous fluffy white angora kitten with odd eyes and a pretty pink ribbon, 2 Bisland pride guards, Luella Sedna, an influent and renowned pearl trader, Colin Laurent, a quiet and serene companion arrive, following Kaia.

Zeriax looked around, and leaned in a little closer to Liara. "Honestly, I'm...a little shocked that one such as myself, particularly in my current state, is welcomed to events like this. I understand the policies, but that my mere presence brings notions of warmth and joy to those of higher standing is really humbling. Again, thank you, Princess." He looked towards the game. "And I wouldn't worry so much. I've never played, to my recollection. You might very well best me on our first round." With one more smile given to the host, Zeriax turned to shuffle his way out of the courtyard.

Zeriax has left the a steel blue picnic blanket with a blackberry bramble motif.

"You are most welcome," comes Liara's easy reply to Zeriax, then turns her gaze on about those still about the courtyard and garden - the party's winding down by now.

Extremely late, Kaia sways her way in, into the Grayson's courtyard gardens -with a fluffy white angora kitten held in her arms, and a beaming smile set on her face. She seems to be searching for someone, likely the hostess. When she finally catches sight of her, she immediately makes her way over, "Liara! Good evening, your highness~" she chimes, while making the proper courtesy to the royal.

Luella Sedna, an influent and renowned pearl trader have been dismissed.

Colin Laurent, a quiet and serene companion have been dismissed.

2 Bisland pride guards have been dismissed.

Lisebet moves to Liara, given things are winding down, and she smiles, offering a small curtsey, politely. "Thank you for the party, your highness, it was a lot of fun. I think I shall go find my fiance and see if I can coax him into a dance or two. The music and fun here have made me feel like dancing."

Liara brightens with a smile for Kaia. "Lovely to see you, Lady Kaia. Did you bring the cat to have a look around? We're mostly finished up here - a rather entertaining evening, I thought." Then she grins at Lisebet. "I would be most alarmed if you could not, my lady - I wish you a marvellous dance."

Ramona - A Farshaw House Guard, 3 Farshaw novice guards, 1 Farshaw trained guards, Bigsby - A Thoughtful Looking Young Man in Nondescript Clothing leave, following Lisebet.

Gianna puts Song - A Summer Night in repertoire.

Gianna has been circulating with her glass of wine, which is now empty again. Her last circuit brings her to Liara, to whom she bows. "A lovely evening, Princess. Thank you. The same sum as last time would be perfect."

"Certainly. I shall send you a note with that presently," Liara replies to Gianna, with an easy smile. "Marvellous as ever."

Kaia grins and looks down at Duchess Cottontail for a moment -ruffling its ears slightly with one hand, "I suppose so? Duchess is always eager to explore new places~ Right Duchess?~" she coos at the end to the kitten, before glancing around, "Shame I missed most of it. I'm afraid research and house matters kept me way too occupied to allow me to join you earlier, so, my apologies." She says, in an amicable tone.

Gianna inclines her head politely to Kaia as she passes on her way out of the garden.



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