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Redrain Autumn Bonfire

Autumn is upon the land of Arx, making it a perfect time to have a bonfire. The wild pigs have been caught and roasted on an open pits set up to celebrate the victors of the Wild Pig Truffle Hunt (see +events 2888). Enjoy some roasted pork and local cuisine made from truffles. Since there's a bit nip in the air, guests are encouraged to dress warm, stay near the fires and enjoy each other's company.


April 7, 2019, 4 p.m.

Hosted By

Marian Helena


Merek Aethan Nurie Brady Martino Thea Monique Kaia Etienne Arcadia Kalivan Azova Ailith Arman Brianna Dariel Petal



Arx - Ward of House Redrain - Redrain Grounds

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

It's autumn, the waning dusk creates a waning orange glow below. A chill is in the air, encouraging people to see the warmth of the bonfires burning on the Redrain Grounds. The scent of roasted pig is in the air, roasting over three fires. A banquet table has been set with local truffle delights for visitors, compliments of the hunters from the Wild Pig Truffle Hunt. Redrain servants move about the crowd, bringing whiskey, mead or wine to those that are thirsty. There is an open bar for those that don't want to wait for their drink. A string quartet plays light melodies, celebrating the harvest with a few happy tunes.

Marian is standing by one of the bonfires, a glass of whiskey in her hand. She is dressed warmly for being outside, the woolen gown providing protection from the autuman air. She's still wearing a bow but the rest of her weapons are set aside for the evening events.

Merek has put on his dress attire, with vest, while he walks to the grounds where the bonfire is, looking around a bit. He smooths out his attire while he finds a place to settle in and relaxes at.

Lille, the dauntless companion arrives, delivering a message to Helena before departing.

Kaia arrives, following Martino.

Benny The Beaver arrives, following Acantha.

When one participates in catching the dinner, one probably cannot forego attending the dinner. Thus, Aethan is here. He's apparently taken the words to heart, and has dressed in layers, though that's sort of Thraxian anyway, generally. He has his hands in the pockets of his coat, and he starts toward the bonfire where Marian is, inclining his head to her. "Your Highness. Twice in one day."

Nurie is wrapped up snugly in her very smart woolen coat, though the autumn night air still has the tips of her nose and her cheeks just a little pink, and she seems to greatly enjoy the warmth of the bonfires. She isn't shy about selecting a delicacy here or there from the banquet tables--it is all quite exotic to her, it seems.

Having scrubbed all the mud off of her and found a clean gown to wear, Helena meanders out to the grounds for the bonfire. She's a true northerner, so the autumn chill isn't enough to bother her, with the heat of the bonfire to keep her warm, so she is still bareheaded and uncloaked. And if she decides it's too chilly, well, she's not too far from the villa to go grab a cloak or a fur to wrap herself in. "Evening," she says to those already present, a nod for her Voice and the hostess of the bonfire as well.

Marian nods to Aethan, saluting the warrior who won the Wild Pig Truffle Hunt earlier, "Yes it is." She points to one of the three pigs that are being slow roasted, "It appears that we shall all be partaking in the generous bounty you..." She salutes a few others who participated in collecting truffles, "And others who helped."

Brady wears what he always wears, adding his winter cloak, hood up to partially obscure his features. He lingers on the edge of courtyard, hands pocketed, quietly scanning people's faces. His attention switches from afar between Helena, with recognition, and Marian, the Hostess, though he delays approaching.

Dandy, the red fox, 1 Templar Knight guards arrive, following Etienne.

Kit, the grey fox, Primus, First of Monique's Assistants, 1 Greenmarch Guard, Tertius, Third of Monique's Assistants, Quartus, Fourth of Monique's Assistants, Etienne arrive, following Monique.

Stepping in from the pathway, the Lord Martino Malvici and Lady Kaia Bisland enter arm-in-arm. Martino laughs low to Kaia's left ear as he says, "Well, my sweet heart, you did perform so well to start in the ring. We shall - have to - again soon." He brings them both further into the event, bowing low to the hosts with Kaia's curtesy, he smiles with an easy curl of his lips, "Princess Marian. Good morning and my thanks for hosting such an event."

Thea strides in, dressed in her usual attire of armour. Accepting a glass of wine from one of the servants, Thea scans the faces of those present quietly.

Marian gives a nod in greeting to Helena and Brady, motioning to the servers that are getting people drinks, "Please...have a drink." She smiles to Martino and Kaia, "Thank you for coming." She motions to the pigs that are roasting, "The pigs are almost done. But there are other truffle delights to be had at the banquet table." Thea gets a nod as well.

Wrapped against the autumn chill in a cloak of deep green, Monique arrives with Etienne, the Minx boasting rosy cheeks and good spirits, possibly due to the flask in her hand, or possibly because of the handsome Archlector at her side. Either way, she spies Marian easily - blood calling to blood - and tugs the blond Telmar in that direction. "Mar! Marian!" Clearly, she's elated to see the Redrain Princess. Or slightly drunk already.

Kaia says, "Thank you, your highness. Everything looks wonderful.~"

Brady gets a wax paper bag filled with strong-smelling herb from A rugged leather pouch.

Orion, the surly healer's assistant arrives, following Azova.

Azova arrives, following Kalivan.

"Master Grayhope, good to see you," Helena says to Brady on the periphery. "Come join us. We don't bite...much." She smiles at the approach of others, Martino, Kaia, and Monique a nod for them as well as they approach the hostess Marian. "Lord Aethan is our truffle champion today, the hero of the feast," she says to the crowd at large.

Nurie likes the bit of crusty bread buttered and topped with tiny truffle slivers so much that she moves to claim another as she continues to wander about--especially noticing the dress of the nobles in attendance, studying their designs, with the pleasant half smile of someone enjoying peoplewatching.

Helena has joined the courtyard benches.

Martino bows his head, appreciatively, to Marian, "You are quite welcome and, yes..." He smiles supporitvely at Kaia's comments, "Truly this is lovely." After such, he leads Kaia with his presence to the large bonfire and Helena, "Oh well played Lord Aethan! Well played!" With such, Martino presents forth his free right hand to Aethan, "Lord Martino Malvici... and this is Lady Kaia Bisland."

Martino has joined the courtyard benches.

Thea spotting Marian finally, Thea smiles a little,"Good morning. It looks very nice here." She steps over to the fire to warm herself, content right here.

Kaia has joined the courtyard benches.

Marian spies her sister and has to give her a hug. She takes her firmly and pulls her close. After a tight squeeze, she lets her go, "It's good to see you sister." She gives a bow to Etienne, "Archlector..." She nods at Helena's words and tells the crowd, "Yes, Lord Aethan took the prize for the largest wild pig." She takes a sip of her whiskey.

Kaia offers a smile and a courteous nod to both Helena and the lord to whom she's being currently introduced to, Aethan. "My lord, and lady."

Aethan nods to Marian before he looks at the pigs roasting, a small but noticeable satisfied look on his face. "I'm sure it will be delicious," he says, before he starts toward Helena, nodding to Monique and Etienne as they pass. "Well," he says as he gets to her, looking from her to Brady and then back, "beginner's luck, probably. But pleased to meet you, Master Grayhope." Martino's extended hand is taken and shaken, and he replies, "Thank you. Lord Martino, nice to meet you. Lady Kaia, I think we may have met in passing." Then he sits down in the courtyard as well, settling in to wait for the fruits of their labors.

Aethan has joined the courtyard benches.

Etienne returns Marian's greeting. "Princess." he says, "A wonderful gathering." he adds suspiciously not looking at the assortment of foods available, smiling warmly and being attentive to the party, exerting some effort to do so.

Arcadia has followed her nose. The smell of the pigs is tantalizing. Her mouth is already drooling. She almost shimmies in anticipation, but knowing she needs to wait, she heads to the bar instead.

Martino creases his eyes, pleased, to the Lord Aethan, "Truly a pleasure to meet one of such hunting prowess. We aught, some time, venture together my Lord Aethan." He supports Kaia down onto the bench before settling himself upon it. Afar he spies his sister, Thea. Avoiding him.

Monique snorts at Marian's proclamation. "Taken out of context, that's exceptionally humorous," she offers, returning Marian's hug with one of her own before stepping back and looking to Aethan. "Congratulations, Lord Kennex. On that, and your elevation to Voice of Kennex. I know it was something you had ambitions over before. Well deserved!" She turns to spy Helena, and her smile grows. "Princess Helena! It was my great misfortune to miss your last poetry gathering. I hope you'll have another one soon? I'm working on some particularly terrible prose." And she adds, "You look lovely tonight, by the way."

Brady approaches Marian and Helena, bowing deeply to both,"Warchief Marian, Princess Helena, good evening. I've been taught to bring a gift for my hostess, and as a new Servant of House Nightgold, I wished to pay my respects." He discreetly passes a cloth bundle to Marian, before telling Aethan, "Well met, my Lord, and congratulations. Your modesty is charming, I've heard wild boars are actually quite dangerous to hunt." He offers a warm smile.

Kalivan walks in side-by-side with Azova on their way into the Redrain grounds, a blanket slung over one shoulder. "You know, I've lived here all my life, but I've never actually came out to the Redrain ward before." He says to her, taking a brief pause to drink in that crisp autumn air and the pleasing view of the courtyard. "It's kind of nice." He continues on, leading them both over to the benches over by the tree.

A servant checks the main course, noting that the pig is ready. He signals to Marian who straightens and then motions for Aethan to come with her, "Since you caught the pig, you can get to carve the first slice." She stands near the banquet table as they get the pig off the spit and brings it to the table so Aethan can carve it. She accepts the gift that Brady gives with a smile and thanks him softly, "Thank you for the gift."

"Pleased to meet you both. I am sure we've been in the same places at the same time, as I knew your faces and names, but where I am not sure," Helena says with a smile to Martino and Kaia. Monique's call to her earns a smile. "You are only terrible because you are wicked, Lady Monique; if you used your poetic skills for good instead of evil, they would be beautiful and profound rather than satiric barbs, but I love them just the same. I do intend to have another, perhaps in a couple of weeks. I'm trying to choose a theme, so if you have any suggestions... though I fear to ask for them, to be honest." Her eyes sparkle a little before she nods to Brady. "Congratulations on your appointment to Nightgold, sirrah."

Kaia smiles at the man and her eyes widen slightly in surprise at the mention of having met before in passing, "Oh, is that so? I'm afraid I don't recall. Nonetheless, lovely to meet you, yet again?" she says with a chuckle, and then adds, "--and, also, congratulations!"

Azova strides in at Kalivan's side, her hands moving out from behind her back to swing casually from her sides. "I like the northern ward," she agrees, reaching up to tuck some loose hair back behind her ears. She adjusts her hairpins in a moment of pause before she jogs up behind Kalivan and sets herself onto the bench by the tree. "You've been to the north outside, haven't you? Just not to the north end of the city."

Azova has joined the benches under the oak trees.

Kalivan has joined the benches under the oak trees.

Nurie makes her way over to Marian, and once she gets closer the dainty Lycene will drop into a deep curtsy, her knee almost brushing the ground. When she rises her smile is warm, and brightens her eyes. "Thank you for your hospitality this evening, your highness," she offers her. "I greatly enjoyed the hunt earlier, and the scents from the roast had my tummy grumbling for quite awhile before I even stepped foot upon the grounds!"

"I wouldn't say prowess," Aethan warns at Martino's words, shaking his head, "but I managed it today. But I'd be glad to go out with someone more experienced than I am." Monique's congratulations have him turning to her, and he nods again, not an effusive display but genuine. "Thank you, Lady Monique. Your congratulations are appreciated." There's a look to Brady again then, as he continues, "They can be, but luckily no one was harmed today. It was fun." He does stand again when Marian gives him the honor of making the first slice, beginning that way again, though he does answer to Kaia, "Briefly at Ian and Zoey's wedding, but I stood mostly in the back, so you may not have seen me." If it's a joke, it's in a very admirable deadpan. He continues on to Marian then, and gets a knife, not wasting time before he cuts it. People are hungry.

Brady confides to Helena, "The work of Lady Willow Nightgold. As soon as it's official, I'll be leaving the Valorous Few and perhaps attending the Academy of War." He flashes a small smile, keeping his voice low in his attempt to be unobtrusive. He doesn't drink or partake in any food, just yet, merely watches.

Martino inclines his chin to the Lady Arcadia as she enters, he leans to murmur low to Kaia, "Ah... it seems the scent of the roasting pig has drawn in quite the crowd. Truly, that is not a surprise." A cider is brought across to the Lord from a servant before he turns his chin to Aethan, "Ah and nor would I call it beginners luck. You do yourself a diservice." After he returns back to murmur to Kaia, "Might I... get you anything Lady Kaia?"

Marian smiles at Nurie and motions for her to stand, "Thank you for attending the event earlier. It was a joy to see so many enjoying the fall." She stands back as Aethan cuts the slices, getting the pig ready for their hungry visitors. She watches his skill and notes, "Not bad...first pig roast?" She motions for the musicians to slow the music to something nice and relaxing for dinner. She does mention to Brady, "I teach at the Academy, you might see me there."

"Of course," Monique replies to Aethan with a chuckle. "It's been so long, but I don't forget. I hope the House Sword is holding up well?" she adds, before murmuring something quietly to Etienne at her side, an explanation of sorts from the lightness of it. She turns back to Helena then, offering, "I'm already thinking of words that rhyme with cheese. Darkness prevails."

Kalivan pulls his blanket off his shoulder, folding it up and setting it beside him as he comes to rest next to Azova. "Three years or so, give or take some weeks and months. In a way the architecture's kind of, well, almost kind of homely - in a good, familiar way, not plain, I mean." He lifts his nose up a little, sniffing as the scent of roast pork wafts to him on the breeze, "Come out much this way, Lady Azova?"

Kaia's eyes then shift back to Helena with an amused expression, "Ah, yes, surely.~" she chimes in agreement, with Helena, "Nonetheless, it's lovely to meet you, or rather see you again, your highness." she says with a smile.

Aethan's explanation has her thinking for a moment, "At...Zoey's and Ian's wedding..." wait what?! She has no time to reply, the man is already heading off to deal with the pig, and her attention is pulled back to Martino and his query. "Indeed, it smells amazing." she agrees, "--and a drink would be nice. I'll have whatever you are having." she let's him know, before leaning in to whisper back a quiet answer to something he had asked before.

Dame Marra, a limping fennec fox, Disciple Ismay, Disciple Fulgence, 2 Templar Knight guards arrive, following Ailith.

Azova turns up her nose at Kalivan, showing off a smirk. "Give or take some months," she repeats, with a teasing laugh. Her own upturned nose twitches as it catches the pleasant scent. The lady crosses her legs and folds her arms, as well, hiding from the chill that scented breeze brings with it. "I haven't come to visit Mirk or Arik yet, though I wish I had. All work and no play," she laments. "And more work to come." Her eyes scan those present, chewing her lip as she considers each face. "..Do you know anyone?" she asks aside to her companion.

"Somehow I'm not surprised at that," says Helena with a grin at Willow's mention. "Good luck in your endeavors." She finds a drink, something warm to stave off the chill a bit. She turns to Monique and feigns a pained look. "Cheese will not be the topic, but somehow I am sure you can work it in somewhere. If anyone can, it's you, Lady Monique." She chuckles at Kaia, adding, "Lord Aethan is Lord Ian's brother. You can tell by the very similar serious expressions they wear."

Marian is standing by the banquet table as Aethan carves the roasted pig that was taken off the fire. Two more pigs are roasting but clearly they'll stay until they're needed. A soft music soothes those wishing to relax. The alcohol flows. There are the gentle sounds of laughter as folks enjoy the autumn bonfire.

"Not the first," Aethan admits to Marian, "but the first where I've been called to carve. Thrax barbecues generally involve more fish." There's a tiny smile at the end of this as he cuts a few more slices, then hands the knife off to someone else and steps away from the table, turning to Monique. "It is," he says, a more solemn look coming over his face, though not really a frown, just for a situation that he seems to feel requires some gravitas. "It's serving us well, and being well-wielded by my brother." There's another nod for her, before Kaia's, and then Helena's words find his ears. "I am," he confirms. Shocking.

Kaia mutters, "Before ... sparred; I had a match ... both Thea and Ajax. ... ... me ... ... the ... with his sword's pommel ... knocked me right out of it. ... was terrible..."

Nurie doesn't take up more of Marian's time, though Marian's return smile makes her light up even further. She turns though, to seek out a seat when it's apparent that the serving of that delicious smelling roast will begin soon, looking about discreetly for a place that will not impose upon others.

Martino gestures forth for a servant to bring forth two prepared servings of the pig for himself and Kaia, along with a cider for her also. While gone, he turns on his rear to gasp at Kaia's voice, "Truly? Well... well yes! You should have said! I would have gone more defensive against you!" He turns his sharp green eyes to Thea, narrowing them at her. Blaming her.

The brisk breeze of autumn whips at garments, tugging at stockings to produce a light shiver from the Legate whose smile warmly reinforces when stepping closer to the main gathering. Ailith pivots at the waist to study those present and in finding the host, Princess Marian, bows her head in recognition. The succulent aroma of pig on the spit, the juices richly bubbling and crackling above the flames, produces a tiny grumble from her stomach. Her cheeks pinken as she discreetly adjusts her robes, smoothly over at the waist ties and quickly seeking a place to sit at one of the tables. Trailing behind her is a fennec fox, who lifts her silvered muzzle to sniff at the air. Dame Marra yips once, then leaps to join Ailith, curling on the bench to snuggly fit and wait for a taste of this autumnal bonfire and feast.

:laughs softly as Azova repeats his words, "Well, it was a strange time. Ended up taking a lot of detours than ended up going longer than I'd thought - what was a day trip to this one shaman's turned into a whole, two week... thing." He struggles a little as he speaks, a bit of uncertainty in his tone. "The Darkwaters and Halfshavs seem to get along pretty well - what're they like?" Noticing her shiver, he unfurls his blanket and offers it to the Mercy, "Oh, here you are. Can't have you catching a chill, now." He smiles at her, then cranes his head up and looks over the other attendees, nodding a little to Azova, "Just one. I met Nurie at the taste of the Lyceum. Only briefly, mind."

Kaia grins sheepishly at that, "But what fun would /that/ have been?" she queries, and then her attention shifts back to Helena's statement and Aethan's confirmation. "Oh, really?!" she stares at Aethan for a long moment, squinting for a moment, as if to confirm this herself by just glancing at him somehow.

Marian does make a point of breaking away from those at the banquet table so she can bring a plate to Legate Ailith personally, "It's good to see you." She motions for a servant to bring Ailith a drink, "Thank you for coming." She motions to the music, the hearty banquet, "If you need anything, please let me know.

Monique preens in the face of Helena's compliment. At least, the Minx seems to be taking it as a compliment, judging from her wide grin. "I'll do my best, Your Highness," she offers, and nods in acknowledgement to Aethan. Her regard slides to Etienne, nudging him with an elbow. "Shall we get some food? I've tormented you long enough, I think."

Kalivan laughs softly as Azova repeats his words, "Well, it was a strange time. Ended up taking a lot of detours than ended up going longer than I'd thought - what was a day trip to this one shaman's turned into a whole, two week... thing." He struggles a little as he speaks, a bit of uncertainty in his tone. "The Darkwaters and Halfshavs seem to get along pretty well - what're they like?" Noticing her shiver, he unfurls his blanket and offers it to the Mercy, "Oh, here you are. Can't have you catching a chill, now." He smiles at her, then cranes his head up and looks over the other attendees, nodding a little to Azova, "Just one. I met Nurie at the taste of the Lyceum. Only briefly, mind."

Etienne nods at Monique. "I thought you'd never ask." he says with a wide smile. "Find us a comfortable place to observe the party? I'll return with an assortment." he assures her.

Brady scans the faces of the crowd, bonfire illuminating the shadows caused by his hood. He frowns, remarking with obvious disappointmemt, "I'm surprised her Highness Princess Drea did not attend. I was hoping to... meet her." He looks to Marian, offering a graceful dip of his head, "It's precisely for the Compact that I wish to learn more." He studies the outer edges of the courtyard, and spots something that catches his attention. "Please, excuse me a moment."

At last, a servant does return with a cider for Kaia and food for both her and the Lord Martino. Martino dips his chin to them before they turn to leave and serve others, tisking the Lady Kaia he lifts his own cider to her, "Well... true. But you concern me still." His sharp green eyes cross the room as he asks Kaia, "Have you... met many here?"

Brady has joined the nook between the garden trellises.

There is a certain resemblance between Aethan and Ian, though the former is probably ten or so years older. "Yes," he says to Kaia. "The stoicism is hereditary." It seems like a joke, though, judging from the very slight smile that touches his face again. "Good to see you," he continues, this directed at Monique, before he sits down again, settling back again.

Azova takes the blanket and drapes it over her shoulders as a cloak, leaning back against the bench. "We'll have to grab some food soon," she notes. "The Halfshavs? Charming, if a bit strong in the head. But that's the way of the north, so I've been told," she notes, with a mischievous smirk. She selbows Kalivan sharply and points to another among the ones present - Aethan. "That's Lord Aethan - he won the knot tying. Look at his necklace, it's the one Skye made. Remember?" She seems to realize that openly pointing and speaking about someone's garb might come across as rude, so she gives a sheepish smile and an apologetic look who any that might glance her way.

"Are you a fighter?" Helena asks Kaia. "I keep meaning to learn a little since my failed attempts a few years ago to be like my sister Agatha. No one should give me sharp objects, truthfully." She smiles. "I may learn some small weapon, since I own a chest full of Dame Ferron's hairpins." She touches the set in her hair, to feel them, as if to remind herself which ones are there at the moment. "I prefer to use a pen to fight, I suppose." She certainly doesn't look up to fighting anyway, the dark circle beneath her eyes hinting at a want of sleep, her skin just a bit too pale, though the golden light of bonfire helps to obscure that.

"Princess Marian," Ailith alights as her furry companion props her nose over the table's edge -- another yip, but this in greeting, too, of the young Redrain warrior. "Many thanks for the spread. Why there's so many delights to see this afternoon and many, I observe, truly are won over by your hospitality. Since there is a roast pig, the hunt surely was a success. Should you have a moment to spare from your duties, I'd welcome your company and insights." As she glances over to the motioned servant by Marian, she extends her request of Farhaven whiskey to accompany the platter of pork, hearty smoked potatoes and onions, drizzled by likely a whiskey enriched gravy, and topped by radishes and glazed carrots with naturally, on the side, fresh slices of bread, cheese, and jams.

Monique has joined the benches under the oak trees.

Nurie has joined the benches under the oak trees.

Etienne has joined the benches under the oak trees.

Monique spies a likely bonfire near the oak trees (though not too near, of course) and moves in that direction to await Etienne, smiling in greeting to those already there; namely Azova and Kalivan. "Beautiful night for this, isn't it?" the Greenmarch says easily, taking up a place on one of the benches, leaning in to warm herself by the fire.

Brady lights himself a smoke, and peers up at the sky, expression dark and hard to read.

Hearing his name spoken from somewhere, Aethan turns, just in time to catch Azova pointing. His eyebrows raise slightly, but he nods to her as well, lifting a hand in greeting. He doesn't seem to have heard everything she's said, though. He turns back to those seated where he is, saying something more quietly.

Nurie gets her plate, perhaps many years of lady's maid practice making themselves apparent as she is able to balance a very hearty helping gracefully as she finds a seat underneath the oaks. She offers a smile to the others gathered nearby, warmly, but clearly she is quite excited to dig in.

Kaia glances around at Martino's query and shakes her head. "Not quite, no." she admits. "But everyday is a good day to make new aquaintances and friends, right?" she notes with beaming spirits, before taking a sip from her cider. She looks Aethan for a moment, and chuckles at his remark, "I see. Yes. I can see it now." she points out, after that bit. Then her eyes shift over to Helena at her inquiry, "Oh, no, not a fighter. Although, I am determined to learn the arts of the bow and arrow." she states, then moves a strand of hair covering the bruise by the side of her delicate face, "This however was the result of a terrible choice I made, while attempting to learn how to use a sword." she explains with a bit of a shy grin.

Kalivan lifts an eyebrow at Azova's smirk, then fidgets a little at the woman's elbowing, "Oh, right." He nods, looking to where she points, "I feel a little silly forgetting, it's rare seeing a bit of jewelry that catches the imagination like that." He looks up at Monique and Nurie as they approaches, a smile and a little bow to both as he remains seated there, "It's perfect, really. It's the loveliest time of the year, it's a shame it's so brief."

Marian waits till everyone has a chance to sit down with their meal. She then gets up and welcomes everyone formally, "Thank you for coming to the autumn bonfire tonight to sit down and enjoy the bounty of our land." She gives a look around, making sure that her friends and family know that she appreciates them, "The days are getting shorter, the sun shall be out less. As the chill from the North grows, we welcome the change of season." She pours herself another glass of whiskey, "The fruits of our labors are to be enjoyed and the last minute preparations for winter. Color in all its forms decorate the forest. Giving way so winter may follow and later spring were rebirth occurs. It is this time of year the smell of leaves becomes sharper. Bringing to focus just how lucky we are."

2 House Velenosa Guards, Matteo arrive, following Arman.

Martino chuckles low to Kaia, leaning to peck her temple as he says, "I shall be back soon, I shall range out to see who else I might know or get to meet." With that, after finishing his food, he brings himself up to his feet. Listening to the Princess Marian, he lifts his glass to her to declare back, "Well spoken, good Princess. Hear. Hear and for the Compact."

"Here, here!" Nurie calls out cheerfully, raising her glass. "To the turning of the season, and the hope of a warm hearth until winter's end!"

Azova turns her grimace onto Monique, the pain in her eyes soon fading as she composes herself. "Very much so," she agrees. She shifts, scooting closer to Kalivan and depriving him of much room to move in order to make space for the newcompers. She gives them a nod and a smile each.

Arman stepped onto the grounds right at the tail end of Marian's speech, dark gaze flitting from the familiar Princess to the surrounding blazes and decor. Through the crowd, Martino was observed and rather than finding his way to the hostess just yet he instead moved at a slow gait toward the fellow Lycene. Matteo skulked along the outskirts of the festivities, a watchful eye darting this way and that while Arman's house guards were left to linger near the entrance to the grounds.

The Legate of Concepts heartily raps the butt-end of her tankard of Farhaven whiskey upon the table -- the thump-thump of applause to Princess Marian's words -- and she echoes, "Among the greatest sights across the Compact I have witnessed and experienced were the mountains which cut through the lands of Redrain. One may easily pass over the snowcaps and think the chill signals a time to remain enclosed. I found the land invigorating, a reminder of Petrichor's and Mangata's touch upon the land and the signal of Lagoma's ever-changing of seasons to represent the endurance and rigor of those born of those lands. Such a wonderful tribute by your House, Princess Marian. Thank you for including us to be a part of this experience."

Kaia grins at Aethan, "Truly so." she says in agreement, raising her glass of cider, before taking another sip. A nod and a sweet smile given to Martino as he means to go off to socialize. "Speaking of siblings, I just came from a party at the Hart. Lord Ian was there; and strangely being quite sociable. I must say, it was almost a rarity." she says with a chuckle.

After a few others echo the cheer for the Princess, the Lord Martino lifts his mug of cider to her first, and then to his lips for a mouthful. After he lowers the mug to his chest, his sharp green eyes brought across to the presence of Prince Arman, "Good morning, your Highness and a pleasure to see you." After, he bows low to the Prince.

Brady has rolled a critical success!
Brady checked willpower + survival at difficulty 10, rolling 55 higher.

Ondine, a red-breasted sparrowhawk arrives, following Brianna.

Arman offered Martino a small bow of his head in return greeting as he approached, subtle smile coming to his lips as a signifier of the aged statesman's amicable mood. "Well met, Lord Martino. Taking in the bountiful hospitality of House Redrain? I am disappointed my arrival is latent." His hands fell to rest in a light fold behind him in a relaxed gesture, eyes straying to the unfamiliar array of food items.

The toast is met with a lift of Helena's glass, which she tips back daintily. "It's perhaps my favorite time of year. I admit I usually love the snow and the perfection white it paints over everything. I confess I'm not really looking forward to winter this year, after last year's strangeness. I hope autumn lingers for as long as she can," she says to those near her.

Helena is overheard praising Marian: Hostess!

Marian is overheard praising Helena: For taking over hosting

Brianna shows up fashionably late, taking a glass of whiskey as she wanders through. She meanders up to Marian, offering air-kisses. "Excellent work in the melee. It was good to fight at your back."

Ender, a Silver Gyrfalcon have been dismissed.

Ursa have been dismissed.

2 Redrain Guards have been dismissed.

Brianna is overheard praising Marian.

Brady stubs out his smoke, and crosses the courtyard towards the tables. He weaves a seemingly aimless path between servants, tables, and guests until he stands behind Ailith. He lifts a hand, expression hesitant, before he attempts to lay it on her shoulder.

Martino curls his lips to the Prince, formally pulling his lapels over his chest and smooths them, "Oh quite. Might I get a drink of the cider, or have something bring you forth a helping of the pig?" His head tilts as he asks Arman further, "And how have you been, your Highness?"

Following a long draught of whiskey, the tankard lightly thumps upon the table and the Legate selects her fork and knife. Dinner is ready. She carefully cuts a thin slice of the pork before dangling it to plop upon the bench top. Dame Marra eagerly clamps teeth upon the portion, gnawing and consuming, up until her ears flicker. A growl echoes at the fox's throat as her back tightens. Ailith, focused on eating, peers down at her companion curiously before a yelp -- this by the woman herself -- escapes and she twists about on her seat to discover the origin of the hand upon her shoulder. A blink. And she carefully asks, "May I help you?"

"That would be amenable, thank you." Arman replied in a gracious lilt of baritone, inky gaze drifting briefly before returning to Martino to voice his reply to the following question. "I have been as I always have been. Matters of state keep me well entertained." He chuckled, chin lifting a touch. "And what of yourself, my lord? It's been some time since we have had the opportunity to speak. How have the days treated you?"

Martino has left the courtyard benches.

Martino parts briefly from the presence of Prince Arman, stepping to the jug that he previously poured his own cider to ready one for Arman. Gathering it in his free left hand, a nod aside to a servant to bring forth food. "Ah I am pleased to ehar so... and I have been very well. Inspired, honestly, by the recent Grand Melee to try my own hand at swordsplay." He laughs a moment as he presents the freshly poured cider to Arman, "Fought thrice, lost twice."

Brady tells Ailith, his voice soft in contrast to how sharply he pulls away his hand, surprised at the reaction, "Oh, forgive me. I merely wanted the Triad of Concepts blessing, not to disturb your meal." He gestures towards the feast with a placid, sleepy smile, gaze lidded, "My apologies..." He takes another couple steps back, giving Ailith distance.

Brianna is an unapologetic eavesdropper, and slips into Armand and Martino's conversation. "Of all the ways I could describe affairs of state, 'entertaining' wouldn't be my first choice," she remarks, sipping her whiskey. She eyes Martino. "If you ever want your ass kicked into the dirt, let me know. Always happy to train with someone new."

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

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

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

Dariel looks about and spies Kaia. He storms his way over to her and leans in to whisper something to her while his arms gesticulate about.

Petal arrives at the gathering while adorned in simple clothing and while carrying a very large sewing basket. She peeks over the area, trying to get a sense for things here.

Kaia nods, "I did, yes." she replies, and then after listening to his explanation, she nods. "Ah, I suppose that makes sense." she agrees, with a smile, before digging into her food, "Oh, my, this is delicious!~" she says after having a small taste of the pig roast. Then after a moment, her eyes catch a glimpse of her cousin Dariel rushing over to her, "Cousin, is everything alright?" she wonders, and leans in to listen to what he has to say.

Dariel mutters, "... I can't ... I had to come all this ... to find you! ... sent you so many messages about invites about tomorrow's gathering ... wanted ... make sure that Danae was totally not on any ... them!"

Arman reached to retrieve the mug from Martino's hand as the man returned, but there was Matteo intercepting it amidst the hand off. The prince of Lenosia didn't seem much bothered by the man taking his mug and the reasoning was quickly revealed before Matteo tested the cider then handed it onward to the royal with a brief but apologetic look to Martino prior to fading back into the background din of festivities. "One out of three for an early learner? Based on those who you may have taken up a spar with I must say I am quite impressed. I was never much good with a blade, myself." Arman's head turned as Brianna chimed in, "Ah, my love of paperwork is not one often shared, my lady." Then he fell quiet so as to let Martino and the woman discuss potential spars!

A snort from the fennec fox, the elder of the two quite expressing her displeasure at a meal interrupted. Ailith, however, smiles softly and motions to Brady to the seat opposite of her at the table. "Godsworn are not in the habit of freely handing out blessings like they are breadcrumbs for the lost in the woods. But please, join me, and perhaps you can share your conundrum and why the need of such a blessing?" The platter is neatly nudged aside by the Legate, attending to the request of the Faithful. "And pardon Marra, she can be testy when her meals are interrupted." She leans down to scruffle the top of the fox's crown, leaning close to murmur. Those beady black eyes of the fox raise to stare at Brady, blinking twice, before the fox hops off the bench with meat in her mouth, veering over to a quiet spot.

Martino lifts his cup of cider to the encrochment of Brianna, "Lady Brianna Halfshav, yes? Your display in the Melee was quite something. I... would truly have to ready myself for such a battle but, well, we aught to sometime. You only improve but testing yourself." He bows his head, assured, by Matteo's presence as he replies to Arman, "Well. The one I beat is a similar position as me..." He glances obviously over his shoulder to Kaia as he adds, "And they still inflicted quite a few hits."

"I do so enjoy hearing about what people love. What is it about paperwork that excites you so?" Brianna asks Arman, a glimmer in her eyes making it clear that she's teasing, but just a little. She favors Martino with a winning smile. "Yes, I am. I do believe you both have me at a disadvantage, my lords."

Dariel's whisper has Kaia's eyes going wide and a chuckle escaping her lips. She sets her barely touched plate of food aside, along with the now empty glass of cider and brings herself to her feet. She galnces at the ones gathered there, (Helena and Aethan, maybe others?) and she excuses herself, "Please excuse me my lord, your highness, but it seems my cousin requires me to sort some things with a bit of urgency. I'm glad to have both met and seen you. Be well!~" she says, before grabbing her cousin's hand and walking over ti where Martino was at.

Brady offers Ailith a warm smile, "Marra is of course pardoned, I had no intention of interrupting... But I know how dangerous simple gestures have become lately." One hand touches his stomach as he eyes all the food available, and he reaches out with the other to grab a small chunk of seasoned bread, showing it to the Legate of Concepts, "This will do, for me." He gestures vaguely around with his bread, "This isn't really the time or place, but thank you for your offer." He dips into a deep bow, and moves to leave, taking a small bite of the bread.

When Kaia takes her leave, Aethan looks up to the aforementioned cousin, nodding to Dariel before he looks back to Kaia. "Of course," he says, lifting a hand in farewell. "Have a good afternoon, Lady Kaia. My lord." This last to Dariel.

Dariel's loud whisper has Helena chuckle, and she nods to Kaia as she extricates herself from their group. She murmurs something to Aethan, and then gets up to stand on the bench, so she can be seen a little easily over the flame of the bonfires. "Continue enjoying your food and drink. I do have a game or two to play -- nothing dangerous around a fire, nor anything too exerting. Some of us already ended up in mud with pigs today, after all! Please cluster around if you'd like to play, and one of you will be our first player."

Arman shifted his stance slightly to peer beyond his conversational company and take in the sight of the woman Martino had not so discreetly looked to. His feathered brow lifted a touch, but amusement still shined in his visage though it never quite scaled the height to his eyes. With Brianna's question, his polite reply to Martino fell to the wayside for the moment, "What it represents. A collection of willing and hardworking men and women proceeding in unity toward the prosperity of their hearth and home." And then immediately after he tipped a nod to her. "Prince Arman of House Velenosa. A pleasure, Lady Brianna."

"Rarely is there time or a place, but as you did build the gumption to head this way, please do join," Ailith encourages once more as her hand slips about the tankard to grasp. "We needn't discuss the blessing asked, but can partake of the hospitality that House Redrain has presented. Do try those potatoes," she notes with a jut of her chin toward the bowl of seasoned and roasted potatoes and onions. "They serve with stuffed in the middle of the bread and won't upset a stomach that's on meals less rich than these." And her voice pitches lower for Brady alone.

Brady has joined the line.

Kaia has left the courtyard benches.

Aethan has joined the line.

Ailith has joined the line.

Brianna has joined the line.

Martino welcomes the Lady Kaia and Lord Dariel with a dip of his chin, "Ah my sweet Lady Kaia, Lord Dariel. Good morning." He chuckles easy to Brianna as he comments, "We aught to then some time." After finishing his drink, he bows low to his collected group as he murmurs, "Please do excuse me, I aught to collect something a moment."

Monique has joined the line.

Dariel catches the nod to him from Aethan and returns it with a dip of his head before Kaia drags him off with his free hand still waving a little in the air. "Ah, Lord Martino.. hello!"

Etienne has joined the line.

Brady pauses to hear Ailith, and is persuaded to indeed take a seat. He lifts a palm to decline the food, though, "It's not the richness of the food, it all seems so delicious and hearty, I've just been a bit... sick, of late. My stomach unsettled." He does find a glass of wine though, and takes a compulsory sip.

Kaia with Dariel being pulled right behind her walks closer to Martino; and, when the moment is right, setting her free hand on his arm, she goes on her tiptoes to whisper something to his ear.

Petal continues further inside and goes to find a place to perch. She peeks over the gathering and tries to catch what she can of the conversations.

Nurie has joined the line.

Whatever Helena says has Aethan nodding, and he stays seated for a moment while she speak, before she calls for players. He looks around at those gathered, before he stands up, starting toward the bench that Helena has called them to join should they wish to play whatever the game is.

Kaia, having whispered what she needed to, to Martino, then proceeds to depart. Dragging her loud cousin, Dariel, right behind.

Brady has left the nook between the garden trellises.

Dariel leaves, following Kaia.

Once a few people have gathered, Helena continues. "So this game is called How's Yours. We'll pick a guesser, who will not be in the know. The rest of you will be given a topic -- something that everyone has something of. For example, Eyes! And when the guesser returns to the group, I'll start the session by asking, 'How's yours?' You'll then answer with something true about yours -- but not enough to guess. Something like 'bloodshot' would probably give it away. 'A little small' would not. The guesser has three chances to guess before they're out. Any questions? Does anyone want to volunteer to guess first?" the Redrain Princess explains.

Monique leans in to press a kiss to Etienne's cheek, laughing at something he's said by the fire. "Mm. Fair point. Shall we play? I do love games!" she extends the offer to everyone at their place in equal measure, but holds her hand out to drag the Archlector away from his food bodily.

"The pleasure is mine, Prince Arman," Brianna says with a dip of her head. She considers his words for a moment. "That is an excellent way of looking at this. I'll have to keep that in mind when I start to get restless," she says sincerely, then her attention is stolen by talk of a game. "If you'll excuse me," she says, heading over.

"All the more to seek out the potato and bread. Although," Ailith glances down the length of the banquet table, "there may be mulled and softened apples or I thought I spied raisin or plum bread pudding." The healer in the Legate's heart speaks out in concern for the young Brady's troubled stomach. "The pudding may be better. Less on the spice and richness. And it is a treat after a diet of bread to combat any sickness." Their other words pitch lower as the Legate's head angles in curiosity and interest toward Brady, listening intently, as she spares herself a brief moment to sip on her whiskey, then take a solid single bit of the pork.

Etienne takes the offered hand of Lady Monique and joins the gathering of games. "How can I say no to a bit of sport?" he replies.

Petal peeks over to Helena, having a smile for her as well. She then turns to Brianna looking upo n her with curious interest. She waves Ailith a moment later.

Seeing as Matteo hadn't dropped dead or anything, Arman finally braved a taste of the cider. There was no outward reaction at first, but after a savoring beat he did take another sip. He merely nodded to Martino's apology and departure, turning attention back to Brianna. "Of course, my lady." Another gracious bow of his head was granted to Brianna and with Marian retired it seemed now was an excellent time to sneak back out as the rest gathered for further revelry. Granted it was a slow walk to the gates. He had cider to finish.

Ailith perks in seeing Petal, purposely half-rising, which for the Legate is rather-rather tall and noticeable, to wave in return. She mouthes a few words to the young petal-tender.

Petal has joined the line.

Brianna gives Petal a grin and a wink before speaking up, waving to Helena. "I volunteer to be your first victim!"

Brady snaps his attention towards some part of Helena's instructions, and he finds himself rising. He tells Ailith, "Brady Grayhope, well met, Legate. I should go..." He points at Helena and moves to join the volunteers.

When Brianna volunteers, Helena beams. "Thank you, Lady Brianna! Please step away for a moment while we confer. She then huddles with the rest of the players of the game, to give them their topic. "Feel free to go back to sit comfortably and eat, now you know our topic," she says aloud, stepping back.

Helena takes a sip of her warm mulled cider, before looking to the other players of the game. "How's yours?" she asks brightly.

Brianna steps away, busying herself by putting together a plate of food. Once she finishes this, she wanders up to Petal and asks, "My dear, how's yours?"

Ailith reacts, "Ah. Grayhope. I understand. And well met. Shall we vo--" And Brianna is swifter than the winds themselves it would seem for the warrior is selected first. A slight warmth to her cheeks rises and she sheepishly says to Brady, "Oh now we must think of a topic." A servant arrives with the Redrain sigil, delivering the news from likely Princess Helena. Her eyes widen and she coughs into her hand. Flushing a bit and seeking escape momentarily by drinking whiskey. Such a sensitive topic.

Nurie indicates her intention to play by raising her hand, looking to see if any others from the oak tree are joining in, and following Monique and Etienne's wake!

Petal looks over to Brianna and seems all thoughtful. "I made mine myself." She says softly and in her heavy accent. The girl still seems to struggle a bit with Arvani. She then gives her a dimpled smile.

When Helena explains the rules, and gives them a topic, Aethan lets out a little huff of amusement, but he nods, tipping his head to the side as he thinks about what he could answer. He looks from Brianna to Petal when the former asks her, waiting for the reply, perhaps to figure out what he should say if he's asked.

Brady resettles into his seat, sipping from wine. At the query, Brady tells Brianna, swirling his glass, speaking softly, "Mine is on the floor."

Brianna hmms in response to Petal's reply, picking at the food on her plate. Brady's reply earns a nod. She sees Aethan's reaction and heads over to him. "And how's yours, my lord?" she asks, eyeing him carefully.

Aethan listens to the answers without speaking. When Brianna asks him the game's question, though, he still hesitates, because clearly even though he's had time to think about it he hasn't come up with anything good. Finally, however, he does answer. "Mine is plain."

Ailith calls out to Petal, "Oh dear, Goodwoman, now you have my own thoughts churning to envision this skilled masterpiece." The Legate clears her throat, pondering a while, before offering to the game itself -- "What once was firm upon the floor, now is plump and loftier." And in aside, she chortles with Brady.

"Is it," Helena says to Aethan, before she thinks for a moment. "Mine is empty at the moment." She grins a little and takes another sip from her glass, as she watches the conversation.

Petal looks over ti Ailith. "Mine is simple, but I do make some very fancy ones." She says, dropping more clues, but it might be on accident. She ha another smile for Ailith. She then ohhs at Helena's words.

Monique waggles her crimson brows lasciviously, calling out, "Mine is bouncy."

Nurie settles back into her seat, thinking carefully. But then she calls out, "Mine is hidden from view with a curtain of silk!"

Etienne thinks for a moment, a hand resting on his chin. "Well, mine.." hands go to his hips, and finally he figures out. "Mine is full of fox hair!" with a glance to the small red fox circling his feet.

Petal looks over to Nurie. "That sounds very nice." She adds.

Aethan looks over to Helena at her reply, a smile pulling up the corners of his mouth, but Monique's answer makes him let out a genuine laugh -- short, yes, but amused. He looks to Brianna then, waiting for her guess.

Brianna furrows her brow, shaking her head. "You could be talking about... shoes?"

"No," says Helena with a shake of her head. "Two more guesses!

Petal looks down at her wooden shoes. "Oh...that would make sense.." She says softly. "Um..I made some that are in almost every major house in Compact.""

Merek says, "Beds?"

Monique scowls aside to Etienne. "Yes, well, if you actually cleaned up after our pets, it wouldn't be," she informs him pointedly, glancing down at her own companion, foxily romping with his.

Brady offers Ailith a lopsided smile, managing a chuckle, listening to all the hints offered. "Oh, man." He looks to Merek, shaking his head.

Brianna gives Merek a sour look. "Shhh, it's my turn. Uh. It's not beds, is it?"

The Redrain princess glances at Merek, then Brianna when she 'guesses' right on her second try. "It is in fact beds. What an amazing guess, Lady Brianna!" she says brightly, as if the Halfshav came up with that all on her own. "Do we want another round? Your turn to pick the guesser and the subject if so," she says with a smile.

"Oh, my apologies, I've no idea what we're doing," Merek offers apologetically, while he just settles back and out of the way.

Nurie offers Petal a bright smile. "'Tis," she agrees with the other crafter. "And it keeps everything snug and less noisy too!"

Dame Marra swishes her bushy tail across her muzzle as those enormous ears flick and twitch in listening. Two yips in hearing Merek before the fennec fox drops to a seated position alongside Nurie.

The Legate smirks behind her tankard of whiskey, affording a moment to nearly finish this first draught. It raps on the table upon conclusion and Ailith grins brightly at Brady. "This is true. There was a time I chose such a place out of familiarity and comfort." Then puzzlement shapes the furrow of her brow and she leans in closer to murmur.

"I volunteer Mother Ailith as our next guesser," Brianna declares, waving everyone else over to give them the topic.

Ailith shouts from nearby, "Gods bless, Princess Brianna!"

Brianna shouts from nearby, "I'm not a Princess!"

Petal smiles when Ailith is announced as the next guesser. "Oh, this should be fun." She softly says still in her accent. She peeks over to Nurie once more. "I'm Petal, crafter of the Tangled Skein." She says introducing herself.

Brianna finishes telling everyone the topic, and sashays over to Ailith, setting her now-empty plate aside. She puts an arm around her and says, voice low and sultry, "Mine is silky and full-bodied."

"My is non-existent," Monique calls out, wrinkling her pert nose in disgust when she hears the topic. "I have /much/ better taste than that." She leans aside to mutter something to Etienne, perhaps a diatribe, poor Archlector.

Merek finds some whiskey and something to eat with it, while he takes a drink and listens while he watches the game. He seems to be trying to figure what the game is about, and is content to watch.

When Brianna voluntells Ailith that she's going next, Aethan's eyebrows raise, but he listens to the topic, again thinking about what he's going to say. After Brianna, his smile pulls a little wider, though it looks somewhat wry. He looks to Monique when she answers, and there's a nod before he says, "Mine is better left untouched."

Petal hmms softly "Mine is wild and spicy like the mountains of the North. Done in the old tribal style and sold sometimes at my shop."

Nurie seems to be truly full of joy (and now delicious roast too!) at both the game and the fact that the most beautiful floofy fox is sitting so elegantly next to her, and is occasionally allowing her gentle scritches and pets. But then she listens as Brianna whispers the next subject, her grey eyes narrowing in concentration as she considers her own. "Mine is sweeter after the first frosty kiss!" she laughs, eyes sparkling.

The warmth remains when she turns back to Petal. "Nurie, proprietor of Thorn and Scale. It's a pleasure to meet you, Messere, you have a most beautiful name."

Etienne stands a little taller, "Mine is fruity with a hint of old woods." he nods, satisfied with his vagueness.

Ailith drops the fork with a loud clatter upon the platter. An illicit cry of protest to Brianna is exclaimed as the young Legate's face starts to turn shades of the sunset. Her conversation with Brady momentarily breaks as she sheepishly smiles at the Grayhope before rising to her feet. She stands to her fullest height, shoulders set, and bows deeply toward Brianna and Helena. Her calm voice, gentle and hopeful, releases as she claims, "I shall do my ever best at this entertainment, but my weakness is with guessing." She chuckles, no harm made by any, and slips away briefly so the group may discuss the topic at large.

Ailith's return is met by the yapping of Marra, the fennec fox, having nudged Nurie at her ankle, then proceeds to do the same with Petal. She listens to those who presents answers, curiously observing their facial expressions and heeding their tones. And she slinks into Brianna's side, chortling with a gulped-squeak when that whisper carries. She gently bats at Brianna's wrist, shaking her head, then stands puzzled. Thinking. Hope restores in those faded blue eyes when Petal speaks, followed by the usefulness of Etienne's answer. To them, she mouths thanks, before stating aloud, "Perfumes or colognes?

Ailith drops the fork with a loud clatter upon the platter. An illicit cry of protest to Brianna is exclaimed as the young Legate's face starts to turn shades of the sunset. Her conversation with Brady momentarily breaks as she sheepishly smiles at the Grayhope before rising to her feet. She stands to her fullest height, shoulders set, and bows deeply toward Brianna and Helena. Her calm voice, gentle and hopeful, releases as she claims, "I shall do my ever best at this entertainment, but my weakness is with guessing." She chuckles, no harm made by any, and slips away briefly so the group may discuss the topic at large.

Ailith's return is met by the yapping of Marra, the fennec fox, having nudged Nurie at her ankle, then proceeds to do the same with Petal. She listens to those who presents answers, curiously observing their facial expressions and heeding their tones. And she slinks into Brianna's side, chortling with a gulped-squeak when that whisper carries. She gently bats at Brianna's wrist, shaking her head, then stands puzzled. Thinking. Hope restores in those faded blue eyes when Petal speaks, followed by the usefulness of Etienne's answer. To them, she mouths thanks, before stating aloud, "Perfumes or colognes?"

Helena looks a little thoughtful after Brianna's whisper, before she turns to Ailith. "Mine sparkles in the sunlight, the color of sunshine." She shakes her head at the first guess Ailith gives. "Two more guesses," she says brightly.

Brianna shakes her head. "Good guess. Try again." She gives the woman a little squeeze.

Brady curls his fist, bowing his head slightly, tone dark and dramatic, "Mine flows from a murder most foul, buried underground in a secret tunnel, poison, piss and pure, mine is myriad and hoarded, but free wherever I go."

Petal smiles over to Nurie, seemingly more interested in her after hearing the woman's greeting. "Oh, I heard of your store and your work, it is very nice to meet you. We should talk sometime, both having shops and all. Thank you, it sounds different in Northlands Shav." She says of her name. She then hmmms softly. "Mine is best served warm."

Brady looks to Ailith, grimacing slightly, "I may have hurt more than I helped." He glances to Helena and shrugs lightly.

Petal hmms softly. "Mine is even more red than Lady Monique and Lady Brianna, very red."

Helena is laughing a little, giving Ailith a sympathetic look, then smirks over at Brady. "Probably," she says. "But very poetic and foreboding, Master Grayhope." She looks to Ailith and adds, "They say it's best in Lenosia," she adds, also helping with Petal with another clue or two. Perhaps to offset Brady's dark musings.

Brady drains his cup and searches the table before finding a jug to refill the dark liquid. He tells Helena, confidingly, "I'm going to have to steal this game from you. It's pretty clever." He looks towards Ailith with anticipation.

"It is very clever. I don't think I would be able to guess very well, but I wonder if I could." Petal says softly. She has a smile for Brady.

Nurie has left the benches under the oak trees.

Ailith laughs into her hand, dipping her head toward Brianna as she mumbles a question. All the while, she is listening to responses, twisting a bit observe each person as they reply. "Lady Brianna, if Bliss were here I'd be turning greater shades of red. Both of you are so incorrigible," she teases gently before her brow deepens and furrows. "And it is distracting from the poignant poetry of these hints. You'd want me to think of hair and lips, but that does not answer to Lady Monique's response, let alone Goodwoman Petal." She taps her finger upon her own lips, then curiously blinks at Helena. "Wine? Although, I could have sworn Lady Monique appreciated wine."

Brianna gives Ailith another squeeze, then releases her. "Yes! Wine! Well done. Your turn to pick a topic and a victim," she says with a playful grin.

Petal gets mulled red wine from a woven willow basket lined in white wool.

Monique gives a dramatic shudder and a shake of her flame-bright head. "Only Nightgold's Finest for me! If it's not whiskey, I've little taste for it, I'm afraid, Legate."

Aethan listens to the clues, though he doesn't give another himself -- he watches Ailith as she thinks about it, his hands sliding into his pockets. The last guess, though, brings a smile, and he echoes after Brianna, "Well guessed, Legate." He quiets again then, as though he's taking time to come up with his hints in advance. It's unlikely he's able to do that, though, unfortunately for him.

The praise from Brady earns him a smile from Helena. "It's not one I've made up, but I'm glad you're enjoying it," she says, before clapping for Ailith's second guess that alights on the right answer.

Petal smiles warmly at Ailith's response and she gets a bottle of spiced Shav red wine from her basket, trying to hand it over to Ailith. "It is meant to be served warm though." She says cheerfully. "I didn't have a bed in my basket though for Lady Brianna."

"If you had a bed in there, I would be quite impressed," Helena says with a laugh to Petal, before turning to watch for Ailith to choose her victim and her topic.

A messenger arrives for the Greenmarch Lady and Monique tips her head to listen, a furrow claiming her brow. She whisper-relays the message to Etienne at her side and then offers up, "This has been such fun. Give my sister a big hug for me, Princess Helena? And thank you for the excellent game!"

Petal is overheard praising Helena: Woot, great party and hostest!

Petal is overheard praising Ailith: Always wonderful!

Ailith breathes out in relief. "Truly it's the answer? Oh gracious, I must send thanks to those at the Court and especially the Whisper House. Their riddles mainly whiz past me as I blush and chuckle. What great answers by all. Thank you for them!" Joyfully, she exclaims her gratitude, then touches a hand to her heart when Petal steps over. "Oh dear one, this is very sweet. I have missed the taste of mulled wine. It reminds me of families by the hearth in winter -- cozy, friendly, and safe. Thank you. And I'll only accept if you come to an evening at my hearth. I think I may host such a night of storytelling and good company. So thank you for the idea." She accepts the bottle, before turning to approach Princess Helena. To her, she whispers a clue, then motions to the unsuspecting NEXT person. BRADY!

Etienne nods at Monique as she relays to him. "One moment." he asks, and plucks a small snack from a near by plate, to cover the long walk home most likely. "Alright, and yes, an excellent game indeed. I enjoyed it."

Monique has left the benches under the oak trees.

Etienne has left the benches under the oak trees.

Dandy, the red fox, 1 Templar Knight guards leave, following Etienne.

Kit, the grey fox, Primus, First of Monique's Assistants, 1 Greenmarch Guard, Tertius, Third of Monique's Assistants, Quartus, Fourth of Monique's Assistants, Etienne leave, following Monique.

Azova is overheard praising Helena: A lovely hostess at a lovely event.

Petal smiles happily to Ailith and seems very flattered. "I would be honored to come visit you sometime Legate Ailith." She says still in her accent.

Kalivan is overheard praising Helena: A fine hostess and clever maker of games.

Brady is caught stuffing a piece of bread is his mouth, and he hurriedly washes it down. "Alright, it's only fair I embarass myself as well. I should wear a mask to more events." He strokes the light stubble shading his chin, then looks around the banquet table, "How's Yours?"

"Of course," says Helena to Monique. "Be well, Lady Monique, Archlector," she says with a smile, before gathering the remaining players to whisper Ailith's chosen word to them, after Ailith whispers it to her.

Brianna is overheard praising Helena.

When the last topic is given, Aethan pauses again as he thinks of a reply, looking around as though for inspiration. However, this time he doesn't take as long as some other times. "Mine is lower than Princess Helena's," he says, looking to the Redrain with a little smile.

The topic makes Helena think for a moment before she looks to Brady, tipping her head. "Probably annoying?" she offers, the word lilting into a question before she peers over at Aethan as if for clarification. She chuckles at his answer.

Ailith confidently answers Brady, "Some say mine has the farthest reach."

"Mine can be either warm and inviting or utterly terrifying," Brianna declares, taking a glass of whiskey from a passing servant.

Petal hmms softly. "I have tried and tried to make mine like the nobles and people of Compact, but it stays forever and always Mountain Shav."

As the game continues, more food is brought out to the banquet table, including apple tatin and pumpkin pies, fresh whipped cream and berries, and tiny tarts of marshmallow and chocolate that have been lit afire for a few moments, to caramelize the sugar.

Brianna's clue has Aethan looking at her again, and he lets out a little huff of amusement for some reason, though it sounds a bit wry. Perhaps hoping not to be on the receiving end of the latter of hers. However, Helena's answer makes him shake his head. "It is not," he says. "That's not a fair hint if it isn't true."

Brady looks between Helena and Aethan, expression already befuddled. As more answers flow, he looks to Ailith, then back the others, "It could be Family, but that wouldn't explain all the answers. Certainly not.." He nods towards Helena. "It's not accent, as Petal's answer wouldn't live up to that, and makes others' answer absurd." He blinks, looking back to Ailith, "Reach..." He eyes Aethan, then gasps, "Is it Voice?"

Brianna catches Aethan's glance and huff and walks over to him. "Hm? Do you not agree with my assessment?" she asks, him, canting herhead.

Ailith applauds loudly for Brady! There's a brightness to her eyes and complexion as she elates. "Bravo, O Unweaver of Riddles. Quite, my reach must be heard to the far ends of a shrine when sermonizing."

"Not fair?" Helena says, thinking for another clue, but Brady finds the right answer despite her terrible clue. "Well done, Master Grayhope!" she says, clapping for the young man. "Very well played." To the group, she gestures to the food. "Fill yourselves up and take some home with you as well." She smiles at Aethan. "Thank you for not finding mine annoying. I only hear it in my own head, you see, and it sounds annoying to me."

Petal looks over to Brady and she seems very impressed.

Ailith turns to claps Petal's hands in hearing a request. "Of course! I have wanted to do so for a long time. Or rather, I have had a thought about similar, um," she flushes and whispers to the young woman.

Brady's guess gets a smile from Aethan, and he nods, before looking over to Brianna again. "I don't know you well enough to judge, my lady," he says, "but I wouldn't like to be the subject of the utterly terrifying version." His smile widens a little bit at that, "But I believe you, and won't try for an in-person experience." His gaze shifts to Helena then, and he adds, "We are never the best judges of ourselves, but rest assured, it isn't annoying."

Brady looks a bit surprised himself, before he nods, mumbling, "Bed, Wine, Voice. Interesting topics..." He looks to Petal, grinning, before he rises. Slinking around the table, he leans in to whisper to Helena.

Azova whispers conspiratorially back and forth with Kalivan, iggling until the answer is revealed. "Well, looks like I was right. Though your answer was more amusing," he murmurs.

Kalivan shakes his head, tsking after whispering something into Azova's ear, "Whenever I play games like this, I never play to win. Just for whatever gets the most giggles."

Helena leans her head to hear Brady's murmur, and smiles, before nodding, and murmuring back. She then moves to one of the servants to speak with him, and he nods as well.

Helena returns with a smile to Aethan. "That is true. We are our own worst critics. I am glad that yours was true, at least," she says with a grin.

Zelda, the royal messenger arrives, delivering a message to Brianna before departing.

Helena is overheard praising Ailith.

Helena is overheard praising Brady.

Helena is overheard praising Brianna.

The bonfires continue to crackle and glow, with food and drink enough to sustain anyone who wants to sit fireside to enjoy the night for quite some time.

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