May 5, 2019, 6 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Ashford House - Solarium
Comments and Log
Lygeia, a calligrapher and alchemist arrives, following Rysen.
2 Ashford Archer, Bethany, 1 Ashford Ranger, Faustus, the feisty, fluffy, three legged kitten, Rysen arrive, following Olivia.
It's a casual dinner for family and friends tonight, so it's in the Solarium, rather than the formal dinner set up elsewhere. The staff is bustling about, with finishing touche to the decorations. The meal is set up buffet style, with lots of choices, and casual dining the intent.
Olivia makes her way in with Rysen, her and gently on his arm as they walk in. She has a a bit of a mischievous grin on her face. "Brother. Sister." She lets go of rysen and twirls a bit. "I got a new gown for the winter. What do you all think?" She grins at Rysen. "Lord Rysen wouldn't even help me with the laces at the shop. Poor Bethany had to stop what she was doing to come help." Following them in is a bounding little fluff ball with blue eyes who is swatting at everything she sees.
2 Ashford Archer have been dismissed.
1 Ashford Ranger have been dismissed.
Lygeia, a calligrapher and alchemist have been dismissed.
Vim, the dragon corgi, Sir Danan, Studious Valardin Scribe arrive, following Clover.
Rysen bows to Harlan and Lisebet. "Duke Harlan, Duchess Lisebet, Good to see you both again." He grins at Olivia when she speaks of her dress, and says, "Poor Bethany got it perfect. You look amazing, Lady Olivia."
(OOC)The scene set/room mood is now set to: It's a casual dinner for family and friends tonight, so it's in the Solarium, rather than the formal dinner set up elsewhere. The staff is bustling about, with finishing touche to the decorations. The meal is set up buffet style, with lots of choices, and casual dining the intent.
Harlan checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 6 lower.
Lisebet is standing, by the bar, getting herself a glass of something to drink. For her part, she's wearing an outfit a little more reminiscent of summer, since she's not heading out to freeze in it. "Olivia, you look lovely. Lord Rysen, good to see you again," she says, with a hint of mischief showing on her face.
Lisebet checked charm + empathy at difficulty 15, rolling 47 higher.
Harlan checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 20, rolling 6 lower.
Harlan is wearing silk as usual, more in winter colors though. He smiles over at his wife, then blinks as he sees Rysen, "I wasn't aware you would be attending, Lord Rysen." He looks over to his sister with a questioning look.
Arriving with a dusting of snow atop her shoulders, Clover quietly slinks on over to the bar. "I'm not late," she lies to Lisebet with a lift of a lopsided smile. The Farshaw duchess finds a drink of her own; something watered down, probably, and she asks, "How are you, Lisebet?" Harlan earns a wiggle of her fingers hello. "It's been so long since we've gotten together!"
Olivia waves Bethany over and whispers her something to her. Who then makes her way off for now. She glances at Harlan, "Brother now. Be nice. He could be our next general you know." She grins wildly.
It's a dinner, and you can't chew your food properly without something to wash it down. So as he enters, Pharamond seems to be in good spirits, but he as usual makes his way towards the bar. Why? Because that's where the alcohol is. Holding out his hand he looks to the person who's tending bar and doesn't even ask. They'll give him something, he'll drink it, and it -will- be alcoholic or there shall be words. "Evening everyone," he offers politely. "Duchess," he says to Clover as she makes her way to the bar as well, though with Clover and Lisebet there, he lets them fight for the greeting. TO THE DEA--okay that or he can just make eye contact with both, "Duchesses...." he amends.
Lisebet turns, a brow arching lightly at Harlan's reaction. A hand reaches to gently touch his arm, and she smiles over at the group. "Lord Rysen, welcome," she says. "It's very nice to see you here. We're informal today, could I interest you in a drink?" She smiles at Clover and Pharamond, teasing with an "Uncle Pharamond, you look quite dapper." And to Clover, Lisebet offers a swift hug, if accepted, and then she says, "It has been too long. We need to do this more often."
Rysen blushes at Olivia's words. He turns to Harlan and says, "To be honest, My Lord, I did not know I would be coming until just an hour or so ago. I thank you for your hospitality, but I have no wish to intrude if you would prefer to be with your family undisturbed by Northerners." He smiles warmly at Lisebet and says, "I would love a whiskey, Duchess, if you are certain you do not mind my staying."
Olivia leaves poor Rysen to the wolves that are the Ashford's, as she makes her way over to give her Uncle a hug.
Elsbetta walks in her cheeks red from the cold walk. Snowflakes melting in her hair. She looks around the room and spots her sister and her husband whom she greets with a warm smile. "Hello Harlan and Lisebet - it is very cold out there." She says in greeting. Spotting Clover her smile widens "Hello Clover its been too long and I have no excuses." She nods in greeting to Pharamond and Olivia.
Lisebet checked composure + empathy at difficulty 50, rolling 20 higher.
3 Tyde Houseguard arrives, following Lethe.
Swift hugs are almost always accepted! Clover lifts her glass, careful not to spill anything, and she links an arm around Lisebet's waist briefly. "Wow. What a beautiful outfit! It almost feels like summer already." Peeling away, she addresses Pharamond with a wider smile; something a bit sweeter, and with dimples to boot. "Hellooo. Last I heard, you were considering marriage? Is that still on the menu?" Finally, she seeks Elsbetta out and steals a quick hug. Careful, again, to not spill anything. "It's been way too long!"
Harlan gives a wry smile and says, "My sister is ever surprising, Lord Rysen. Welcome to Ashford House." He turns to smile towards Elsbetta and Clover, "The same to the two of you, it's good to have you both here." He nods towards Elsbetta, "It's extremely cold. It's keeping me out of trouble and away from the snow." He looks over towards his wife and smiles at her, saying, "I'm hoping she doesn't get lost in the snow when she goes to the temples." He's teasing, of course.
Pharamond happily smiles to all, giving hugs, to those that offer them (okay, his niece Olivia) and then gladly encouraging people to the bar. Pharamond hates to drink alone, and is sure to help make sure that other people find something. Preferrably with alcohol but still. He also makes his way over to the guards present and while normally he'd antagonize, he makes sure to help see them to a place where food and drink and refreshment await them as well. Elsbetta gets a wink on arrival and he responds to Clover. "It is, though we may have to push the date back just slightly due to conflicts." <<Read, RL Mother's Day>> "But, we are excited to have our union and look forward to it. You are kind to ask and I hope you will be in attendance."
Olivia finishes her hug with Pharamond. She heads over to Rysen and whispers something. Then she is off again. This time hugs come for Elsbetta. "Lady Els. I need to come to Farshaw house more often so I may see you. I miss you so all the time."
"If I do, I trust you will come fish me out," Lisebet says with a laugh, not taking the teasing seriously. "Or else you may find yourself without a wife!" She finds that whiskey for Rysen, or at least a Servant brings one over to him, and Lisebet listens quietly to the conversation as it gets going, apart from that bit of teasing.
Tescelina's arrival is properly announced. Lady Wyrmguard. Knight of that honored House. Her walk into the Solarium is quiet, dignified with her fingers knit before her, shedding the wintry longcoat to reveal ornate silver and jewels which adorn her shoulders and fasten to her neck that accent the black of her gown, coupled with the white-gold of her hair adorned back with pretty star-whispered ribbons, she is a true vision of the open firmament. Peace tied weapons parted with, to accompany her coat, she is at once a dichotomy of gentle qualities and a strong knightly baring. Not in contrast, but harmony. Her smile is polite, if prettily framed, and her eyes hold a half-lidded mask of a dreamer stirring from her long slumber. She stays where she is presently, surveying those present, before slipping to Clover's view. Letting her cousin know she has arrived.
Lethe looks around with a cheerful smile. She says little as she takes in her surroundings and looks to see who is here, but she does not to her cousins.
Rysen tries to hide it, but looks very relieved at Harlan's words. "Thank you, My Lord," he replies. He makes his way over to Pharamond to with some whiskey and, overhearing the bit about the wedding, smiles and says, "Congratulations, Lord Pharamond," and holds up his drink in toast.
"I'm very much looking forward to it, congratulations!" Replies Clover to Pharamond in between a sip of her drink. "I will try my hardest to attend, but if I'm not able to -- things are crazy, always -- I will be certain to make it up to you. Promise." This, accentuated with a lift of her chin and a wider smile. The back and forth between Lisebet and Harlan earns a playful tut-tut from Farshaw duchess, and then her emerald gaze catches Tescelina. "You decided to come after all! I'm not certain if everyone has had a chance to meet my cousin before? This is Lady Tescelina Wyrmguard." And then she leans over to whisper the names of all her family and friends to Tescelina.
Olivia chimes in "Rysen tell my Brother and Uncle about that horrible monster you saved me from" Horrible monsters at dinner. This is what Olivia thinks is good conversation. "He got wounded you know?"
Pharamond looks to the other arrivals and smiles, "Come, be welcome...drink," he says teasingly, cause that's what he does but of course Harlan and Lisebet are probably far better (and less biased) hosts as they would likely point out there is also a whole spread of food with meal and snacks and all the casual things for picking. Pharamond himself thanks Rysen, "Well, it wouldn't be a story about Olivia if someone wasn't getting hurt or rescued," he says, with no venom, a bit of teasing as he winks over at her and nods to Rysen. "Thank you. I suppose we'll see how well this goes for you by if you're at the wedding or not," he says, teasingly looking back and forth in between him and Olivia. He nods his head in understanding to Clover, and looking at Tescelina, there's a moment that could seem horribly inappropriate as he looks to her and simply says, "Very nice...." before one realizes he's looking at the rapier and dagger at her belt.
Rysen checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 9 lower.
Elsbetta returns Olivia's hug and says "You are welcome anytime! Well met Lady Tescelina. Any family of Clover's is most welcome." She continues.
Next on the list is Lethe, now that Olivia has spotter her. She is on Lethe like a shark on chum. A solid hug. Olivia looks over her shoulder and stick her tongue out at Pharamond. "You are just Jealous you are too old for adventures uncle."
Rysen blushes furiously at Pharamond's words. Glancing over his shoulder at Olivia, Rysen smiles. He turns to Pharamond and Harlan, and says, "My Lady wishes me to tell this story of courage and daring, so I suppose I must. There I was, looking everywhere for Lady Olivia, who had climbed to very top of the tree house in the atrium. 'Lord Rysen,' she called, 'save me from that horrible monster.' My hand flew to by sword and axe, and then I saw it," he gestures to the cute but feisty three legged kitten meandering through the Solarium. "The 'fearsome monster' Lady Olivia scaled the tree house to escape was a three legged kitten. She's a little feisty, but she's extraordinarily charming, and when I picked her up, I received the most viscous bite a kitten can give - which was also kind of cute." He grins and winks at Olivia, saying "The other one is definitely not a good one for a dinner."
Lethe hugs Olivia. "It's wonderful to see you again, and it sounds like you've been up to some exciting things." She grins.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Rysen before departing.
Harlan grins at Lisebet and says, "Well, of course. Then I'd have to warm you up." He turns and then nods towards Rysen, "Of course, Lord Rysen. I was merely surprised." A smile towards Tescelina, "Welcome to Ashford, Lady Tescelina." He then smiles towards Lethe and says, "It's been too long, Lethe." -- he'll introduce her, "This is Lady Lethe Tyde, a welcome cousin."
Oskar, the grump arrives, following Malcolm.
Sweet Tescelina who would never assume other than that the good Lord Pharamond spoke but of her weapons, inclines her head and curtsies graciously to all those present with a smile that mingles a natural sadness off-set by the fairness of her features. Those instruments passed off to a servant, to liberate her slender waist from the burden of battle-ready weaponry. "Thank you so kindly, m'lord." Her attention than diverted with a passing smile at Clover toward Harlan with a deeper gesture. "Duke Harlan, a pleasure. Lady Lethe. So good to meet you both."
Following the story, Clover glances over at Vim to make sure that he's being an extraordinarily good boy and not scaring the Ashford folk up treehouses. Reassured with that, and considering the fact that she has a drink and stories are being shared, the Farshaw duchess slinks into a chair at the table. An inviting smile is shared with Lethe, but she quickly hones in on something Rysen had shared. "Wait wait. There's a second story? One that is absolutely 'No Good' for dinner?" Naturally, she sets her elbows on the table and her chin in her hands. Big and round emerald eyes stare at Rysen. Expectantly.
Olivia smiles at Lethe, "You missed me in top form at the Thrax family dinner. I was hoping to see you and your brother there. And I have been doing a few interesting things. We will have to catch up!" She grins wildly at Rysen, "I was more thinking the other tale." Olivia makes a quick stop over at her brother, Harlan. She glances at Rysen then whispers something, not sneakily at all to Harlan. Then she makes her way over to Clover. She offers Cover a hug rather than just doing the hug.
Lethe smiles as she looks to Tescalina. "It is very nice to meet you as well." She glances to Clover and looks to her with another smile before turning to Olivia. "I thought about attending, but I'm afraid I was busy with other things. I do hope you enjoyed yourself, and yes we will have to catch up."
Pharamond hmmms. "Your Lady? I had not realized that things had progressed so quickly," he says with amusement. "Though I am confused with your tale. Who is a little feisty and charming? The kitten or my niece? I couldn't tell whom you were speaking about." Yup, there's always that person who has to turn the screws when someone brings a potential suitor to the house, and Pharamond is well equipped for this. He grins a bit and says pleasantly to Tescelina. "A unique pairing. Perhaps someday you'll allow me the chance to see how that pairing works," he offers curiously, pleasantly, before grabbing a piece of bread with honeyed butter. Between the alcohol and the grain, the amount that Pharamond must spend working out and training is...definitely significant given his lack of waistband.
Shepherd Duke, present -- but the perpetually grumpy (grouchy, some say) retainer that accompanies the upjumped noble is less-than-pleased -- and he's offering a wide and apologetic smile to Oskar, giving him a tip ("Don't eat yellow snow.") Oskar snorts, leaving the Solarium. Malcolm waves, and offers a bow to the others in the room. "Ain't a Farshaw nor a Ashford, but, eh. I heard that the hospitality of the Ashfords is pretty legendary. Will be related distantly soon enough, that should count, yeah?" Malcolm's headed toward taking a seat for himself. Then, refreshment and something to nibble on.
Lisebet gestures to the food and the seats now. "Come, everyone, help yourself to the buffet, or if you'd rather, have a servant get food and serve the courses out for you. Please take a seat, and let us be comfortable. A toast to friends and family, may the warmth, joy and love they bring always be strong in our hearts." She pauses, takes a sip of whatever is in her glass, and then she smiles. "Duke Malcolm, welcome. Do you know everyone? If not, please do introduce yourself." Harlan gets a cheeky grin, but Lisebet says nothing more at this point.
Tescelina eventually makes it to a seat at the table, sliding into it gracefully, and straight backed with her hands in her lap. "It is most common in the south," she tells Pharamond, "Not so much in the Oathlands. But the principle of the buckler was a great help to the styling, as well as the circumference of a clock, to which its seventy two maneuvers were based. I cannot confess to full ownership of the style but soon enough, I shall be a master of it -- in time," she adds with a quiet humility." But enough sword-talk, there's a cute three legged kitten which has her attention. She bobs her head, those white-gold strands swishing with the delighted movement of her vision.
Harlan smiles towards Malcolm. "Good to see you, Duke." He winks at his wife, and chuckles at his sister, not sayhing anything else, "A toast, indeed." He smiles quietly.
Clover pulls Olivia into an embrace, squeezing the taller woman close to herself as she murmurs a whisper into her ear. And as she pulls away from the hug, she glances down at the wow-so-pretty winter gown. "Aww, how cute! I absolutely adore the snowflake pattern on this! How many people have properly swooned over the dress?" When Malcolm settles into a seat across from her, another smile is quick to blossom, which she shares with the Duke. "Duke? Oh. Ooooh! You must be Duke Malcolm, it's a pleasure to meet you! I'm Clover Farshaw, Duchess-Consort of Westrock Reach."
"Malcolm Shepherd, Duke of Graypeak. Pleasure, real pleasure to meet ya'all." He waves with his off hand toward the others. "Gonna be a cousin a'yer Uncle Pharamond in due time, I think, which will be a real treat on account I'm still deadset on makin him my first best friend to drink with. I'll have to see how he fights too, I guess, 'cause he can put away that honied bread much more easy than I. Since becomin Duke I've started to get real soft and squidgy around the middle. Dunno how --" a beat, and he waves toward Harlan and Lisebet. "Duchess Shepherd'll be along shortly."
Rysen stands open mouthed at Pharamond's response. He starts to try to explain and ends up laughing. He takes a drink of whiskey, and says, "My Lord, your niece is certainly both, as is the kitten." Turning to Clover he smiles and says, "The second story is far more interesting, Duchess, and I can say that it involves Lady Olivia saving a number of children, a battle with a monster on the roof with Lord Ian and Lord Quintin, and an ally throwing a dagger into my leg." He takes another sip of whiskey and says, "Luckily, Lady Olivia is very skilled in medicine, so no harm done in the end - but," he says, and his expression grows serious for a moment, and his grey eyes shift to Olivia, "we still must track down whatever it was that attacked." When Rysen notices Malcom. He bows and says, "A pleasure to meet you, Duke Malcom. My name is Lord Rysen Crovane of Stormwall."
Pharamond saw the Duke arrive and is already walking over to grab a new drink he had found, a berried brandy, and he puts a glass of it in front of Malcolm and he says, simply, "Try this," he says with a grin. "The fruit masks some of the bite, but it's a fun fight in your mouth," he offers with a grin as he pats the man on the back. "That's...true huh. I didn't realize we'd be cousins but that'll be fine. And you wound me, as I already thought I was your favorite person to drink with. I'm going to have to try harder." At the whether or not he can fight however, Pharamond just winks. He is a House Sword so one would hope but he's usually fairly cagey on what his actual skill is or isn't and rarely ever uses his best weapons or styles in the Sip'n'Spars so few have actually seen him. A way he prefers it though Tescelina's tale of her style does draw his interest and he nods. "I have a fond appreciation for the South..particularly the weather and their vintner ways but playing with the fighting styles would be fascinating." He seems content to walk around as people settle, picking at some food on a plate and taking care of filling drinks - eventhough there are servants Pharamond is one to keep a party going. Rysen's stumbling does make him smile more and he grins, "I could tease Olivia about much but not her healing skill. At that she is exceptional."
Olivia twirls a bit for Clover, "I just had it made, mistress Petal's apprentices do fine work." She smiles and stops a passing servant and grabs a glass of wine, thanking the young man. She whispers back to Clover and heads to the next one. She curtseys to Tescelina, "Lady Tescelina, I am the one they call..." She looks over to Rysen. "What was it Rysen? What was it you called me? Oh yes!" She turns back to Tescelina, "Olivia Ashford, The Whirlwind of Disaster. I am sure you have been welcomed whiled I have been darting along, but double welcome!"
Lisebet makse sure Elsbetta has a seat, a drink and then lets her sit and listen quietly. She twirls as she makes her way back over to Harlan, but her attention is drawn by Malcolm. "Excellent! I was very much hoping Duchess Delilah would join us." There is a bright smile and a laugh, as she hears Olivia. "Oh, I like that. Whirlwind of Disaster, is it?" She smiles gently, and introduces herself to those who she's not met - Tescelina and maybe Lethe. "I'm Lisebet Ashford. Very nice to meet you, welcome to our house. Please join us for dinner, drinks and casual onversation.
"This innit --" Malcolm scoops up the glass, giving it a sniffle-snuffle like an overenthusiastic dog. "-- It's not whiskey." Statement, not question. Paired with a slight wibble of his lower lip. He takes a quick taste, then, a much more careful sip in order to muse over the flavor of it. (Rather than slugging it down. This is an improvement on his manners. Maybe.) His dark eyes warm and widen, offering a grin toward Pharamond. "Didn't mean to wound your spirit, my lord. I'll owe you one, I think. In the future that is, yeah?" With a grin, he lifts the brandy up to toast Clover. "Pleased to meetcha, Duchess Clover." Then, saluting the Crovane with his glass, "Lord Rysen. Real pleasure t'meet new faces."
At the mention of an ally throwing a dagger into Rysen's leg, Clover glances upwards in thought. "That sounds like something I would've done, but..." The Farshaw duchess blinks a number of times, deeply considering this. "... I don't think I've stuck you with a dagger." With the way she considers Rysen, she truly doesn't seem to know. The conversation treads towards the more serious, so Clover takes this opportunity to enjoy her drink. A short lived thing, as she twists by the waist to speak to Tescelina. "I had no idea you drew from Southern influences, but... I suppose it doesn't surprise me none." The toast from Malcolm is reciprocated, and Clover returns to sipping away at her probably watered down drink.
Oskar, the grump leaves, following Malcolm.
Tescelina nods pleasantly to Pharamond, "I cannot speak to weather or vintners but their combat is very graceful. We shall have to dance soon, if you wish a demonstration." But there's introductions to be made and, after speaking to a servant to bring her a plate, she shifts her dreamer's eyes toward Olivia. "A pleasure, Lady Olivia. Duchess Lisebet, I am so grateful for the hospitality." She sounds immensely sincere, with a smile to match. Her drink of choice is -- water at present, while tea is being acquired. No motion made to anything with alcohol. Clover's words catch her ear and she looks sheepish. "It doesn't?"
"She is, My Lord," says Rysen agreeing with Pharamond with regard to Olivia's skill. When Olivia mentions Whirlwind of Disaster, Rysen's eyes open in surprise, and he almost chokes on his drink. He glances quickly at Harlan and breathes a sigh of relief at the social grace and charity of Lisebet. Rysen drinks a toast with Malcom just before a messenger arrives with a note for Rysen. He frowns and moves to Olivia's side, and whispers to her. He takes a last sip of whiskey and hands off his glass to a passing servant. He makes his way to Harlan and Lisebet and says, "Thank you again for the hospitality, Duke and Duchess. I'm afraid I must get back to the Black Hall." He comes to stand beside Pharamond, and bows. "Take care, My Lord, and congratulations again on your upcoming union. Depending on how things went, I may be there to congratulate you a third time." He smiles and makes his way out of the Solarium.
Harlan moves to take a seat and says, "It is good that everyone has come to visit. I hope you all have a wonderful time, and I look forward to getting to know each of you better, and seeing what everyone is up to." He nods towards Rysen, "Fare well, Lord Rysen."
Lethe looks to Lisebet. "I do enjoy when I come to visit. It has been a while. I think I will try some of that dinner." She smiles as she decides on something to drink.
Sandor, the Tree Scout Captain arrives, following Rhiannon.
Lisebet smiles to Rysen, as he departs, inclining her head politely. She turns her attention to Tescelina and Lethe, curiously. "It is always good to meet new people," she says easily. "Hopefully we will see more of you in future. And more frequently." She glances over at Clover, and then back to Harlan briefly, before she settles into a seat near her husband. "So, does anyone have any news or stories they should like to share? I'm afraid I've been well and truly boring of late."
Elsbetta is overheard praising Rysen.
Confident she has greeted everyone. And confident she has not say in a hot second. She heads over takes a seat with her brother and sister inlaw. Taking a moment just to sip her wine. A breather before round two.
Clover replies to Tescelina's remark with a shake of her head. "Not at all. You're good at what you do, so of course you'd draw inspiration from wherever you could." Tilting her head slightly, and smiling with a certain kind of fondness for her cousin, she adds, "That said, you are practically the exact opposite of Lycene." In an effort to answer Lisebet's question, Clover lifts her narrow shoulders briefly. "I... I mean, there's a lot of stuff. Like the House Decalmbre and House Fireside issue, which I'm aiming to fix in the near future. It's nothing exciting, though."
Elsbetta is overheard praising Clover.
Elsbetta is overheard praising Olivia.
Elsbetta is overheard praising Harlan.
Elsbetta is overheard praising Tescelina.
Elsbetta is overheard praising Lethe.
Elsbetta is overheard praising Malcolm.
Pharamond shares a bit. "I'll be gone for a few days," he offers. "Not too long. Every now and then I get roped into helping with things and with the snow and with some of the troubles on the Road lately, I've been asked to be part of an escort trip. I'm sure it'll be fine," he says casually, seeming unconcerned. The number of times he's ridden in a saddle and helped keep people safe is far more than any amount of times he's actually had to fight. "I'm more concerned about frostbite than I am any actual danger. Though the Knights can't be everywhere sadly so it's good to help out when people ask."
Elsbetta is overheard praising Pharamond.
Rhiannon walks in from the outside. She's so quiet that it could be that she's been here for awhile, just not noticed yet. She steps forward, stealing a roll off Olivia's plate without any issues whatsoever. She steps back behind the family and finds a spot to sit close by. She still hasn't said anything yet.
Tescelina's food arrives but she does not yet eat, laying her napkin across her lap. "Yes," she says to Lisebet sweetly, "It is always a joy. I should be happy to visit again." Her greenish-blue eyes look to Clover with a return of fondness in her smile. "Cousin, you are too kind." That she is the exact opposite of a Lycene makes the knightly young woman laugh softly. Before she corrects, with a reassuring hand to Clover's shoulder, "I would say that is quite important! Securing stability in the Oathlands is crucial." She adds, "I have begun a project, a reconstruction of the clock tower lost to us some time ago. It has been most fascinating research."
Elsbetta watches and listens taking small bites of her food as she enjoys her wine. She loves the chatter, the ebb and flow of the conversation around her.
Lethe shakes her head. "I haven't been up to very many adventures lately, but when I do I'll be sure to share them." She looks to Tescalina. "That sounds exciting. I once did research on the clock tower. I would love to see the reconstruction one day."
Harlan mutters, "... I'm hearing ... hunting trip ... me, ... Sunaia, Rhiannon ... ..."
Rhiannon tugs a little wooden cage from beneath the table and she leans over and puts it in front of Lisebet with no explanation whatsoever. She just nods at Olivia.
Lisebet blinks and tilts her head, looking at Tescelina. "That sounds like it would be most interesting, though I've no head for such work as that, intricate as it must be." She glances also at Lethe, with a smile. As the cage is set atop the table in front of her, Lisebet turns her attention to that new item. "Should I know what to do with this?" she asks, as she reaches a hand to pull the cover off the cage so that whatever is inside can be seen.
Pharamond quirks his brow at the clock tower comment, "Interesting," he offers, pursing his lips a moment, before he gets up and goes to refill his glass, looking to the Duke and Duchesses to see if they want anything while he's up, before he settles back against the wall as well, not sitting but staying part o the conversation as he listens. Looking over to Harlan, he cants his head to the side slightly as he picks up a hint of what was said but doesn't offer more yet. The cage does draw a whole new raised brow though. This is new.
After finishing up her drink, Clover places her drink to the side and spies the cage, observing Rhiannon acquire it from beneath the table. Her head tilts ever so slightly and she asks, "A new friend, perhaps?"
Harlan is seeming to be quite relaxed right now, sipping from a glass of whiskey (kept away from Lisebet) and nibbling on food as he mostly looks around and listens. He does, however, give a wicked grin to Olivia in response to something.
Rhiannon settles back into her chair. "Olivia and I went to the Thrax dinner the other night. Cause I hadn't seen my Grimhall cousins in awhile. They made us eat live octopi and tried to steal Olivia for Prince Jasher. So we decided that we should have a tradition."
Elsbetta watches the new item sitting on the table....
Olivia glances at the thing
Lisebet arches a brow, and watches Rhiannon quietly. Her gaze goes briefly to Olivia, as it seems she's in on whatever this is.
Rhiannon steals something else off Olivia's plate. "I thought about making you eat bugs or something. But I didn't want to be mean. So I brought you a squirrel. Any Ashford should know how to handle a squirrel. Do you want to eat it?"
Harlan looks amused at his cousin, and gives a faint smirk i nresponse.
Tescelina cants her head, studying the cage as its set on the table. She lifts her tea cup, taking a slow sip.
It is as Rhiannon says what it is, Lisebet pulls the cover off and there's a very alive and disturbed squirrel with a big poofy tail in the cage. AS the light hits, it starts to chitter, and Lisebet's eyes get mischievous. She gets to her feet, which is admittedly not that tall, but it allows her to find the catch for the cage door and open it without being in the way. Which of course means that the SQUIRREL darts out, and is suddenly on the loose. "Of course I know how to handle a squirrel," Lisebet says with aplomb.
The squirrel darts up to the top of the cage and then leaps at the nearest person and lands on Olivia's head. It starts to slide off and so grabs strands to hold on.
Olivia scoots away from the table and positions herself firmly behind Harlan as the squirrel darts around. "I am not sure this is what I had in mind Rhia. I said make her eat a bowl of sticks. That's what the rangers tell me they do."
Olivia checked composure at difficulty 99, rolling 93 lower.
Lethe watches the squirrel a shake of her head. "As much as this has been I really should be going. Have fun with the squirrel." She lifts her hand in a wave before turning to go.
3 Tyde Houseguard leaves, following Lethe.
Harlan adroitly steps aside as the squirel heads his way -- leading it directly to his sister. He still seems very amused.
As the /rodent/ lands on her head a loud squeal fills the solarium. Olivia makes a break for it. Over Harlan. Over the table. So much for decorum at dinner. She rolls off the other side and hits the ground. Squirrel still attached. That's when Faustus the little three legged kitten bounds over and baps the squirrel one. Which gets the squirrel to take off elsewhere.
The squirrel makes a screeching noise at the sight of the cat and then leaps off and dashes down the table, knocking food and plates all over before it goes to find the highest spot in the room.
Elsbetta laughs quietly and watches the small rodent with the lovely tail... She has had many many examples of how her sister "knows how to handle" animals great and small. Elsbetta stands and moves to where the poor squirrel is chattering excitedly. She reaches over and expertly scoops the poor animal up. Holding it firmly but gently - ensuring it can not sink sharp teeth into her fingers.
n the midst of all this, Clover simply leans towards Tescelina, murmuring an aside, "Oh gosh. I was afraid this wasn't going to be a regular Ashford dinner." As she reaches over to find some finger foods, the plate is swiftly knocked out of reach, in thanks to the Olivia-squirrel duo. It's hard for her to remain deadpan and casual about the whole situation, and she slowly lifts to her feet with a silly little smile on her lips. "Uhm. At any rate. I should probably be off."
Elsbetta looks expectantly at her sister and softly says "Would you like to try again love?". Still laughing she continues "Lis loves animals but they are not quite as sure of her.... So I have gotten very good at ..." she stops unsure of how to continue
Rhiannon watches Elsbetta capture the squirrel and then she grabs the cage and walks over. "You can put her back, or let her loose outside if you prefer. She lives in the tree above my treehouse."
Tescelina blinks as the squirrel and squeal begin the rambunctious of the dinner. She laughs after a time, covering her mouth. Attention slipping toward Clover as she rises to depart. "Did you need a companion to walk you home, dear cousin?" She asks, thoughtfully with a small smile.
Olivia rises to her feet narrowing her eyes at Faustus who rears up and bats the air in front of her. She turns to Rhiannon, "Well I am regretting having that built now..."
Harlan flails faintly and then shifts out of the way as Olivia flees flailing.
Lisebet raises her hands, not going near the squirrel. "Oh no. I handled it. I set it free," she says. "It's all yours now, Els."
"Olivia, are you okay?" Lisebet calls a little worried.
"She is lovely." Elsbetta says. "Its a pretty cold night would she do better warm and safe in the cage? You could let her out tomorrow." With long practiced hand she deftly deposits the squirrel back into the cage. "I really like animals ...." she explains. "Though if it were a bug I would have runs screaming ..."
Pharamond just...watches. "And people wonder why I drink," he says simply, a smile on his features as he managed to avoid the majjority of that instance but he just shakes his head, chuckling quietly. "That was exciting," he says, taking another sip and looking at those who are going to have to leave soon, moving over to offer good byes, and teasingly to Clover he whispers, "Take me with you..." that playflu sort of 'help me' type plea to the Duchess as he winks.
Olivia dusts herself off. Good thing the gown is Aeterna right? She smiles at Lisebet, "Yes... I think I will live. I was just a bit startled."
Harlan says blandly, "A bit."
"After the scary story you shared with me?" Clover pushes her chair in while considering Tescelina. "If it's not a problem for you, I would really like that. I'm -- about ready to sleep, anyways. It's been a very long day." Pharamond's whisper brings about the sweetest of smiles, and she asks, "I would ask for your company, but it appears as if the House Sword might be valuable for the time being. Next time?"
Tescelina rises to her feet and is brought her wintry coat and swordbelt with weaponry attached. She adorns herself in these garments, offering Clover her arm afterward so that the ladies can escape. "It is no problem, dearest cousin. Come, I shall defend you from the night and see you safe. We shall leave the care of this particular beast to Lord Pharamond's talents, as you say." She hints with wryness as they prepare to depart.
Rhiannon takes the squirrel in the cage back to a safe spot. "I did not cause it to go after you, Olivia. How's your cat? Seems to be following you around more now."
Elsbetta dusts off her hands. She moves towards Clover to give her a hug. "Hope we can enjoy some tea soon" she says.
With a knight at her side, Clover dips a curtsy for Pharamond. "I leave the Ashford house in your care. Be strong, brave warrior." There it is -- a dimpled cheek and a brief huff of a laugh as she secures a hug from Elsbetta. "Anytime, Els! See you around." Then, Clover slips her fingers over the crook of Tescelina's arm and is properly escorted out. Safe from the evil woodland creatures, no doubt.
Vim, the dragon corgi, Sir Danan, Studious Valardin Scribe, Tescelina leave, following Clover.
Elsbetta is overheard praising Clover.
Olivia narrows her eyes at Harlan and then sticks her tongue out. "So when is our hunting trip you had just promised me brother?" Then narrow eyes for Rhiannon. Everyone is getting narrow eyes today. "It is not my cat. She just follows me. I can't help that."
Lisebet just laughs as the squirrel is recaptured. She does get to her feet. "Thank you for coming," she says lightly. "Next time we do this, perhaps I might be a little bigger round the waist." She just leaves that there, quietly.
Vim, the dragon corgi, Sir Danan, Studious Valardin Scribe arrive, following Clover.
Lisebet just laughs as the squirrel is recaptured. She does get to her feet. "Thank you for coming," she says lightly. "Next time we do this, perhaps I might be a little bigger round the waist." She just leaves that there, quietly.
"I'm looking forward to it," chirps Clover, who is now, actually leaving.
Vim, the dragon corgi, Sir Danan, Studious Valardin Scribe leave, following Clover.
Still very much amused Elsbetta returns to her seat and takes a sip of her wine glass. At her sisters subtle hint her smile widens and she moves to give her a hug. "Congratulations to you both!" She says.
Whitley, who wants to get back to his books arrives, following Quintin.
Rhiannon checked perception at difficulty 15, rolling 2 higher.
Rhiannon grins and walks over to check on Olivia, sans squirrel, offering her a hug. "Well, at least the cat scared away the squirrel. Shall I fix your hair?" Then her head turns and she gives Lisebet a suspicious look.
Quintin trots up the stairs and into the Solarium, a couple of books tucked under his arm. "Sorry --- am I late?"
Lisebet hugs Els, and then grins at the incoming Quintin. "C'mon in, and have some dinner. We'll have to get perhaps some more food, given that the squirrel knocked a bunch on the floor." A very sweet grin at Rhiannon.
Pharamond is quiet, though as Lisebet makes her statement to Clover, he looks between her and the Duke. He says nothing, but it's clear that their little non-accnouncement has his attention. "Well then," he offers. "Any other wildlife expected tonight? Should we have the servants clear the tables so that no one ends up knocking anythign else over?" he is far from upset, however, as he clearly looks amused at everything that happened. He doesn't normally encourage her drinking, but he does bring Olivia a bit of something strong to help calm her nerves.
Olivia says to Quintin, "You are not the only one who is late."
Harlan merely smiles at Lisebet, not saying anything to add to her 'comment'. He does, however, sip some whiskey. Which again, is on the other side ofh im from Lisebet.
Quintin comes to a halt, blinking at Lisebet. "I'm sorry... the squirrel? There's a squirrel in here?" He casts his gaze about, noting the mess, finally spotting the cage. His shoulders slump. "...Why?"
Lisebet chuckles. "It's set free now, Elsbetta took care of it," she says. "But it did manage to jump on poor Olivia's head which surprised all of us."
Harlan adds, "Especially Livvie." He grins.
Sandor, the Tree Scout Captain have been dismissed.
Olivia smirks a bit, "Yes it was a scare. I am just glad I managed to not bump in to Lisebet... Can not be hurting the little niece or nephew in there." She beams brightly
Quintin eyes the lot of them skeptically, but recovers enough to incline his head politely to the only Farshaw he can spy, Elsbetta (Lisebet is Ashford now, after all). "Ah. Congratulations Lisebet, Harlan," he says with a smile. Good job!
Lisebet chuckles, amusement dancing across her face. "I think that it would be just fine, Olivia, but thank you for your kind and sweet thought." She nods to Quintin briefly. "Thank you." And then no doubt Cedric is on it, as servants come to clean up the squirrel mayhem mess, and bring more food, drink and dessert. "Let's go back to food, drink and fun," she offers, making her way back to the table and settling down, far away from Harlan's whiskey.
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