Thrax Family Dinner I
May 4, 2019, 8 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Thrax - Thrax Estate - Dining Room
Comments and Log
Dinner is a far less formal affair here. Members of the household free to come and go as time permits, thralls and servants keeping cups filled at will and ensuring there's food on the table at all times. The usual spots are taken up by Victus and Alarissa and there's quiet conversation happening between bites of food. It's far more relaxed, There's no multiple sets of spoons, but multiple bottles of rum. "The far side of the island is where we should probably seek to place the fortress. Central but not too central. Keeps it far enough away from Maelstrom as well. A mountain range between everything. I don't forsee objections, and it makes it an ideal place too for a deep water port. Not to mention good location to make aware of intrusion from the east."
Sandor, the Tree Scout Captain, Olivia arrive, following Rhiannon.
Vega enters the dining room with a faint smile for everyone already present, dipping a brief curtsy towards Victus and Alarissa before going to get herself a drink and fix up a plate. She quickly picks out her favorites and carries the plate and glass back towards the table. Finding her seat, Vega catches only the tail end of the conversation and offers quietly, "There is some good soil along the eastern edge of the island." She smiles fleetingly towards Alarissa with a dip of her head before sipping on her drink.
Sorrel is not really conversing, per se, because she is quite silent at dinner. Nonetheless, she looks quite radiant in her red ballgown, letting a live octopus run across her knuckles before catching it and making it dart across her hands again. She seems quite amused, much in the manner of a cat who has a mouse, though there's also the sense that she's listening quite closely to the conversation, if not directly contributing to it at this time. Set next to her plate is a slate with chalk, and just as she isn't speaking, she isn't eating either.
Jasher steps into the dining hall. The not-so-formality involved in this Thraxian dinner means the man's arrived in his leathers, dressed more for sailing forth than to have a communal dinner. He still offers a dip of his head for the people present before finding a seat to eat, notably one that still allows him to face the door.
Victus had been sat at the head of the table. The Prince having arrived in the city only a week ago after a long and arduous trip to Maelstrom and back. Both of his hands rest atop the pommel of Barathrum, the greatsword still residing in its scabbard, the tip on the ground and acting as a counterweight while Victus leaned forward. "The mountains will make assailable positions few and far between. The Mazetti's have struck me with jealousy something fierce. It will be difficult to recreate something similar without thrall labor. Though, a nice initiative to encourage freed work just the same." His hands repositioned to the hilt, so he might drag the sword back to rest against his shoulder. With the rest of the family arriving, Victus tilts his head toward them. A nod of greeting to Vega, Sorrel and Jasher in kind. The heavy greatcoat strewn over his shoulders casts a long shadow across the floor. "Good evening. I'm happy to say that some of this food is still alive." The stony expression is, of course, a look of elation.
Rhiannon steps into the dining room, looking around. She's covered in a large woolen cloak in forest colors. It isn't until she's all the way inside that the Ashford pulls it back to reveal bright golden hair, shorn almost ragged in a short mop atop her head. She looks around the room, the smaller Olivia at her side. "I don't see any of my cousins, Olivia. We shouldn't bother them."
Olivia smiles at Rhiannon who escorts her oh so often. "We can stop by and pay our respects to who is here. They are working hard to do good things. We will show Ashford support and then we can flee if you are keen to." She smiles and waves to the room once they make it in.
"That's good news then. I means that the outpost could be tremendously self sufficiant and could see to those who are willing to relocate there to see the area successful. With the focus on Thralls and their impending freedom, I want to ensure that the rest of the populace, the commoners do not feel like they are being neglected in this great change and that they and their wellbeing are just as valuable. As to Mazetti, well, no need for jealousy. WE let them build and now we know what worked and what did not so that we don't make those mistakes." Alarissa takes up her wine glass to sip, having nibbled at her own food. Sorrel playing with her own food brings about a smile. "Are you warming in up for Raimon when he deigns to join us?"
But there's an Olivia and a Rhiannon. A surprise. "Fleeing? No such thing. Thrax doesn't let anyone flee. We take. Alas Lady Olivia, Lady Rhiannon, you are now temporary prisoners of war during this feast. Join us?" There's empty spots. "Jasher could use company at the table."
Jasher's gaze flick upwards to regard the distinctly un-Thraxian guests. He offers a polite nod, though, and works on his plate, which is now laden with seafood. With a jerk of gloved fingers, he twists a shrimp's head off, clamps his teeth on it, and sucks out the inside. It's a rather viscerally barbaric sight.
"Which 'something' of the Mazetti's are we looking to recreate? If I may inquire, of course," Vega glances towards Victus with some curiosity before turning a faint smile towards her brother when he puts in his appearance. She watches Sorrel playing with the octopus for a moment, chuckling softly before looking up towards Olivia and Rhiannon. "Lady Olivia! Yes, do join us, I would love to talk with you and meet your companion," her stormy gaze turns to Rhiannon with a faint smile and dip of her head. Looking back towards Alarissa, she gives a small nod, "It would make an excellent place for a few fields of grain or root vegetables. I would be happy to help in that capacity when the time comes."
Rhiannon is brought back by the command to sit and she moves forward with a bow to the others, seating Olivia first. She nods at Jasher. "Prince Jasher. Good to see you again." She doesn't seem phased by the brutal devouring of shrimp, even as she sits. "We do not mean to interfere. Though if I might ask also what you mean about Mazetti. I was just recently in Ostria, if I can be of assistance."
Sorrel turns her gaze to Alarissa and smiles easily, then nods a little too cheerfully as she plays with her food. It very nearly gets away from her when she looks up, octopuses being wily things, but she's quite quick and has her wits about her. She catches it again and offers it, live and squirming, to Olivia with her brows raised as a question.
Olivia curtseys as she makes it to table. "Your grace and honored guests. House Ashford sends it's best, to send it's best. This is Lady Rhiannon, head of the Ashford Scouts.. Ranger? What are we calling them these days?" She shrugs a bit and smiles. "We had hoped to find her Grimhall cousins, as well as extend our continued support of House Thrax and the Mourning Isles in their current goals. If in anyway house Ashford can assist. Do let us know." She turns to Vega. "Speaking of assist. I am something of a savant at plants and farming, I would love to discuss things with you if it pleases you."
Victus raised a brow toward their new arrivals. The thought process was written keenly on his face as it swirled from suspicion to total lenience. It didn't take much. "Ladies of Ashford. Welcome." He plucked a goblet from the table to raise for their arrival. "House Mazetti completed a very impressive deep water port some months ago, as a joint effort of Lycene and Isles construction. Dedicated to their late Lord Valerio. Only just that he be honored so, after he fell in battle alongside me. So impressive that the Marin'alfar's royal procession made a stately visit. It is something worth stealing. And I fully intend to steal." The Thraxian takes a long drink from that cup. Though his eyes are settling somewhere else. Namely on Prince Jasher and his decimation of a shrimp. With his free hand, he extends an open palm toward the man. "Ladies of Ashford, as you can tell we have a fierce bachelor in our midst. Were either of you hoping to marry in the near future?"
Jasher was in the midst of cutting the recently decapitated shrimp's back open, so as to get at the vein beneath. The thin knife he was using for the task slips, the blade catching on his finger; only the fact he's wearing a glove keeps him from having shrimp with blood sauce right then and there. Heedless of the fresh nick on his glove, he stares at Victus with crooked brows. Hard.
Vega checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 6 higher.
Rhiannon checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 4 lower.
"Yes, absolutely! We did promise to speak again after that impromptu meeting with Archlector Brigida. And I would love very much to hear the details on your orangery, the concept is fascinating," Vega responds to Olivia with a brightening of her smile and a motion for the lady to join her. Turning her attention back towards Victus, she gives a small nod of understanding at the explanation, "Now that does sound like a worthy goal. Especially if you intend to expand on your deep sea capable ships. I will certainly be happy to look into the farming potential to help ensure that such a port would be self-sufficient. Certainly an excellent way to help employ newly freed Thralls." Eyes dancing back and forther between her brother and the HIgh Lord, her lips thin slightly and she quite studiously looks down at her plate. Focusing for a few moments on ehr own food in an effort to keep her mirth from showing.
5 Redoubt Buccaneers, Bengalo, the sneaky black cat, Luna, the sweet, studious assistant, Francis arrive, following Carita.
Olivia grins a bit at Victus' question. "Well as it were I think Lady Rhiannon had mentioned it to me. But I can not in good conscious send her out of the forest. How would the Prince feel about living in the woods?" She smiles at Vega again, "I shall send a messenger?"
Rhiannon checked willpower at difficulty 15, rolling 2 lower.
Sorrel helpfully puts the live octopus onto Olivia's plate for her, and it immediately makes a run for it, dashing across the plate as it looks for somewhere to hide. It ends up flattening itself under the rim of the plate because it doesn't particularly want to be eaten, and Sorrel permits it to hide, picking up her wine glass and regarding the High Lord with amusement.
Olivia checked composure at difficulty 99, rolling 85 lower.
"I know Lady Olivia intends to." Alarissa sotto voce's with a glance to the womain in question and a wink. "But yes, with a Caraval, and more in our future it's time to think about it. But to be mindful to not build it where the redwater has been known to emerge from time to time. Or so Prince Venteri warned." Vega's comment regarding thralls and it has her shaking her head. "The focus on it would have to be for those who are -not- thralls."
People are sitting around the massive table, food on the table and on sideboards, drinks freely flowing. Sorrel's playing with a live octopi as servants wrangle the others that try to explore outside of the little buckets.
Alarissa gesture to Sorrel's offering to Olivia. "Do you care to try? There's a tradition that was started some years ago. Those who marry in must eat an octopi, small one, very young, live."
The normally well-composed Tree Scout Commander freezes up at mention of marriage. It certainly doesn't help as Olivia just takes up the gauntlet. She won't describe her subsequent actions as her best moment. Her chair goes sliding out, rocking hard and almost falling over. Olivia's chair is pulled back several inches and Rhiannon tugs her cousin up. There's more tugging, even if Olivia is reluctant. "Oh! Look at that! We should be going! Things to do, people to see... trees to climb, you know how that is." Hands over Olivia's ears before talk of marriage can come up again. "I'm sure we'd love to come by again... sometime." Olivia might end up over her shoulder at this rate.
Jasher finally stops staring at Victus to stare at Rhiannon instead; not that he can help it, with the bit of clatter she was making. Then he looks back down at his glove, frowning at the nick on it, before sawing the shrimp's carapace down, teasing out the black vein to set aside before devouring the salty-sweet flesh.
Olivia looks down at her plate and Freezes. Just frozen. She looks up and around to everyone else... Manners state you need to eat it right? "I uhmm....oh.... The... the whole thing?" She is tugging back at Rhiannon. "Come now Cousin... it is a generous offer don't be rude."
Free of her octopus, Sorrel reaches for her slate and notes on it, 'I left my mountains and forest for a Thrax prince.' She holds this up where Rhiannon can see and smiles easily. She glances to Olivia and nods almost cheerfully. The whole thing.
There's fashionably late, and then there's just plain late. Carita's arrival has the air of a woman that had been rushing, but she arrives with a warm smile as she makes her way in, shown my attendants, to dip a curtsy for the High Lord and Lady -- theirs is the deepest and first. "I apologize for being so late," she dips another smaller curtsy for the table as a whole before she takes her seat. She laughs softly at the antics of the octopus, "What did I miss?", is said as she glances down the table, her brow lifted at the guests.
Olivia looks around nervously and picks the octopus up. Shutting her eyes hard she pops in in her mouth and starts to chew.... looks like this might take her a moment... or several.
Octopus are running around, the Ashfords are frightened and he's getting those looks from Jasher. To Victus, this is clearly all fine. The only reaction he gives is the slow uptick from the corner of his mouth, spreading out into a thin smirk across his scarred face. "I'm afraid forests are no easy place for a Prince. Especially a seabound Prince. Lord Archeron's gifts are a special breed, to be boat and tree bound at once. Wish I could speak more of how effective such a hybrid truly is. One of you would have to adopt a taste for... /that/." He jabs a fork at the octopus that's flailing for freedom. "And its death. As is tradition." Finally Victus starts picking at the feast set in front of him, starting by jamming the sharp end of his silverware into an oyster. He spares a glance Jasher's way and let out a lone, amused snort.
"I'm certain we'll need no shortage of helpful hands with our upcoming projects, however. Once I speak with Lady Iseulet, efforts on Maelstrom can begin..." Victus pauses a beat. "Princess Sorrel has her own project in the works at present, something she may wish to talk-" Victus abruptly stops and freezes a moment. "... interpret in however way she wishes. Apologies. And Princess Vega here seems to have a keen mind for the agricultural, I'm certain she has ideas as well."
Rhiannon checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 3 lower.
Clearing her throat, she gives a nod to Alarissa, "Of course, my mistake entirely." Her attention is, understandably, torn away by the comedy of errors occurring with their visiting Ashfords. Of course, Vega spares a few moments for her brother, murmuring, "Its really not as bad as you might think, Jasher. Marriage, that is. And our branch could certainly use a few more children running about to secure the line. I cannot be expected to carry the duty on my own." Is she teasing, serious? Hard to say! Vega slips a small knife into the shell of a clam, carefully prying it open so that she can tip it back to her lips and swallow the thing whole. Pausing to nod to Victus before dabbing at her lips with a napkin and offering, "Oh yes, many ideas. I am quite looking forward to getting together with Lady Olivia and seeing what we can come up with. Perhaps Baroness Blackshore as well? I understand she has some experience and interest in such things."
This certainly won't end well for either of the Ashfords. Though admittedly Olivia's consumption of the octopus has her stopping, mouth open and Rhiannon stares for long moment. "Wow, Livy. You really ate that?" Then her eyes dart around and she tries to pull herself together, straightening her hair that just returns to its jagged state again. "My brother took on the water gifts from the Grimhall side of the family, I am afraid. I did not. In any way. In fact, the thought of being without any trees to climb is rather... disturbing. How do you live without trees? I must ask Lord Acheron."
"baroness blackshore will -jump- at the opportunity. You should see what she and hers have done to bring life back to Blackshore after it remained barren for so long. She is a prime example of how one can take the ashes, literal ashes of their home and ressurect it. The same to be said for the Countess Carita." A gesture to Carita as she joins them. Guests at the dinner table today it seems. "Lady Rhiannon. I prommise, there's more that living octopi to eat. I can't abide seafood." Annnd Olivia's doing it and Alarissa drops her fork to the table gently to clap. "Well done Lady Ashford! I shall have to tell Lord Rysen!"
Olivia is still chewing, only making the slightest bit of a face
'Climb masts,' Sorrel suggests in large letters on her slate, giving Olivia a somewhat supportive and proud look before turning her attention back to Victus. She wipes her board clean so that she can write to him. 'Hit a snag. Fundraising. Didn't know I was going to need to when I accepted the assignment. Need military resources.'
Jasher lifts an eyebrow as he watches Olivia's determined act of cephalopod chewing, but it's a moment before he resumes eating. Soon, his plate begins to pile with the shells of shrimp and various shellfish.
Olivia finally finishes swallowing. She opens her mouth to prove it's gone, forgetting she isn't having dinner with her brother...
Rhiannon watches Olivia eat the octopus like it isn't that big a deal. She had more of a reaction about living without trees. A little smile for Sorrel, though. "I could swear when we went to the Saiklands, you were singing. Is something wrong? Didn't get hurt, did you? Anything that we can do to help? Olivia is great at that healing stuff." Of all the noble Ashfords, she's the one with the least etiquette, more often up in a tree.
Vega says, "I have heard, which is what made me think she might be interested in this. I am glad to know that my instincts are not failing me," Vega responds to Alarissa with a smile, standing from her seat and moving to the sideboard to fix up a drink. Not for herself, however, she carries the drink over and offers it to Olivia with a faint smile, "It will help with the aftertaste, Lady Olivia." The drink is left at the edge of the table for her before she resumes her seat and starts in on a few oysters."
Sorrel holds up a hand to Rhiannon and then fishes in her bag for a notebook which is helpfully labeled, 'Why Sorrel Cannot Speak.' She passes this down with a smile.
Sorrel gets Why Sorrel Cannot Speak from a deep garnet backpack.
Sorrel drops Why Sorrel Cannot Speak.
Olivia takes the drink and quickly drinks it to wash down the taste. "Oh my... That was... an Experience... You all do this often?" She says in regards to her last bite...
"Actually, we are awaiting the arrival of my husband so that he can undergo the ritual himself. All new Thrax must go through it," Vega responds with a small chuckle before sipping at her drink.
Victus manages to snap the oyster shell clean off with some exertion and brute force. "There are many forests on the Isles as well, Lady Rhiannon. Lumber is precious as silver when it comes to warships. Hence we ensure our trees are healthy, when they succumb to the inevitable." Rather than continue to dig away at his meal, Victus takes to dragging the oyster's interior with his teeth. A better show that way, at least. His head cants toward Vega. "Baroness Blackshore has done many things for Thrax with that bright mind of her's. She's a diligent one to bounce off of, and I'd say a very good introduction to the House's ministry. In case one wished to mould that potential, Princess Vega." Then onto the notes passed by Sorrel, which he drags forward with the same knife that felled the oyster. "Ah, I see. We've added some two-hundred new recruits to our forces, so my time spent drilling can lent entirely to your plan, Princess Sorrel. I'll see to that."
Once again Victus' attention shifts, landing squarely on Olivia. "I usually expect more people to throw up when they take on an octopus. It's only happened once in my memory, thus far. A testament to discipline."
Olivia grins a bit at Vega. "Does this mean I am honorary Thrax now?" She turns to Victus, "While it is not the usual meal for a forest dweller such as myself. Mother did teach me you do not throw up food offered to you in front of a High Lord. I do think that would be frowned on. Harlan might have some words for me afterwards." She smiles. All in good fun for her.
"It was me. It grabbed on the way down. It was a promise i made if his Grace could manage to go the whole of the white gala without swearing. He succeeded and when I arrived at Maelstrom after it's defense, I made good on my oath and ate one live." WHen Olivia's done, Alarissa lifts her glass. 'An honorary Thrax. Next we need to get Duke Harlan to try it." There's a wink again.
Sorrel watches Victus thoughtfully, and then nods and retrieves her slate, which she wipes clean so that she can write, 'I BLAME MORNING SICKNESS' upon it in large letters. Then underneath, she notes, 'But I kept it down a few minutes at least.'
In the midst of all the discourse, Jasher remains quiet as he eats, the plate occasionally swept of detritus by a servant. He's passed the seafood stage and is moving to lighter fare to wash it down with.
Olivia looks like she is struggling with something for a moment. "Rhiannon just whispered to me that she would like to try one. She claimed nothing can make her puke."
"Oh, Victus! pass her a good one!" Alarissa proclaims, a smile on her face.
"I will reach out to her then, and see what she thinks about my ideas for improving our own fields and foods. I would love to hear what she came up with for her own lands and see what can be used in Maelstrom," Vega responds to Victus with a nod and a lift of her glass. "Thank you for the endorsement, Your Grace." Taking the drink, she looks back to Olivia with a small chuckle, "Well you certainly have my vote, Lady Olivia." She takes up another oyster and detaches the meat before tipping it back. Rhiannon gets an appraisal from her before the smile spreads, "Well now, this is turning into an even more interesting evening than I had anticipated."
Rhiannon looks at the explanation passed to her from Sorrel. She's so absorbed by reading what's going on with Sorrel to realize that Olivia has just thrown her under the bus. She looks up as her name is mentioned, scout enough that she's able to pull herself away before passing the missive back to Sorrel. She's still standing beside Olivia's chair. Clowns, indeed. A tragedy to lose a gift such as yours, Lady Sorrel. If you need help from a scout to get it back, do let me know." Then she looks around the table again. "I"m sorry. What? I was reading the..." She looks at Olivia suspiciously.
Olivia says, "She says the biggest one you have"
Carita's been quiet as well, her attention between watching Olivia eat the octopus and the drink in her hand as it's lifted to sip from and hide her smile. There's an amused shake her head as her attention shifts from one speak to the other, but for the most part she seems content to remain quiet, even when she's mentioned, letting the conversation swirl around her.
"I'm not sure she said any of those things." Victus stated dryly while he was gesturing for a servant to make a move. To a bucket with the largest gathering of octopi they had available. Which, this being the Thrax house, was probably closer at hand than one would think. "But very well. I do hope Duke Harlan won't be miffed if either if you're strangled by a sea-creature on our property. That would be very awkward diplomacy in the future." Eventually the well-dressed retainer returns, setting down a bucket before Rhiannon with a beast at least twice the size of what Olivia devoured. And it did not look pleased. "Two. /Two/ lost dinners in that case. Oh well, so long as it's not a third, what's the harm?"
Alarissa's watching, a smile one her face though she signals for Maxene who is coming forward, murmurs and then heads off. Pellinor, poor Pellinor is standing off with other guards, looking a little exhausted. "That's right, wasn't that when Lilybelle went to eat what you lost, and Victus scrabbled across the floor faster than when I was hit by the Kraken, to keep her from eating it?"
But that's a bucket with a primo octopus in it. "YOu just quickly throw it in, with your eyes closed and just -chew- Lady Rhiannon. The crunch bit is the beak. Did you know they have a beak? They have a -beak-."
Olivia watches Rhiannon with great interest.
Jasher finally settles in his seat. His interest's now piqued; he watches Rhiannon and the bucket of destiny with the intent look of a snake eyeing a potential morsel.
Vega watches Rhiannon with great interest, sipping her drink and waiting to see what the Ashford lady does with the octopus in the bucket.
Raimon steps into the dining room, back straight. He offers a deep bow to the room as a whole. "My apologies." He straightens and does his best to blend into the room as he makes his way towards Vega. Though his best is pretty awful.
Victus dips his chin in regards to Raimon. "Prince Raimon, welcome to the party. We have acquired Ashford hostages." He deadpans toward him, swiveling his sheathed greatsword from its perch so he could point using its hilt. "The tree-climbing one has apparently decided to eat our largest octopus. I have no idea what convinced her to do this, but it must be some stroke of absolute bravery."
"She was volunteered dear." Alarissa gently corrects Victus. "Or is it.. voluntold?"
Rising up as her husband approaches, Vega smiles faintly at him and murmurs, "You are just in time, my dear." Leaning in, she murmurs something to him, motioning briefly towards the sideboard and the end of the table where the food and drink are being kept. Squeezing his arm lightly, she retakes her seat and nods to Alarissa with a faint gleam of amusement. "Shall we get Raimon's feat out of the way as well? Let them eat at the same time?"
Sorrel gets Why Sorrel Cannot Speak.
Sandor, the Tree Scout Captain have been dismissed.
The Ashford Scout looks into the bucket and then back around at the room. "You all did hear the part where my mother is a Grimhall?" Her eyes shift around the room and then she looks into the bucket. "Do you know, my brother got the Grimhall side of the family. Ran away at like 14 to go work on a ship. I may not enjoy the sea more than the trees, but I am not unfamiliar with such things." She looks over at Raimon as he comes over and then gestures to the bucket. "Let us see, then." She looks into the bucket. "Do you know, after 48 hours in a tree with only a bit of dried meat and fruit in your pouch, unable to move or you'd be found--you get to the point where anything edible would be something you'd do just about anything for."
Olivia makes a hand motion to Rhiannon as if to say 'get on with it'
"But you have not be in a tree for forty eight hours yes?" Alarissa asks. There's a gesture and soon before Raimon's spot is a similar bucket and it's contents is an octopus of the same size as Rhiannon's. "If you wish to return to ashford, the ransom is the consumption of the octopi!" Cheerfully states Alarissa. Though unlikely would they be barred from leaving. "Jasher, do you wish to show her how it's done?"
Jasher utters a flat "What." The first word he's spoken since he joined the others around the table!
'If she can eat the octopus, she'd make an admirable wife for Prince Jasher,' Sorrel writes helpfully to express her opinion. She declines seafood, however, and has a servant bring her red meat to eat instead.
"Does not that make Olivia suitable for Jasher as well? She ate hers right away." Vega points out with a faint smile, a touch sly, as she glances first to Olivia, then Jasher.
Olivia coughs a little, "Ah well... I recently was told I was known around Arx for being a Whirlwind of Disaster... I am not sure I should be allowed near boats..."
"Lady Olivia has eyes set on another. Though if that falls through I'm sure we could scare up someone to welcome an Ashford in officially instead of just honorarily." Alarissa's barely touched her own food and the plate is cleared, no octopi for her. "Octopus?" A gesture to the bucket nearest Jasher. "WE'll likely be leaving for pilgrimage soon. You'll be left to feast on whatever the commoners invite us to partake of."
Raimon looks down into the bucket in front of him. His eyebrows lift slightly as he shares a look with the octopus inside. Not being one for words he just reaches into the bucket, plucks it out and shoves it into his mouth.
Sorrel nods to Vega with an easy-going smile, apparently in agreement. She adds on to her little writing board, 'An Ashford-Thrax alliance could be quite fruitful.'
Olivia turns a bit pink, "Yes well... I am not sure on much of anything. I think prying me out the Ashford house would be quite the feat. If anyone were to convince Harlan of this I am not sure I could turn it down due to sheer skill and determination required to complete such a task. So alas, while I can hope as I wish, options are a tad limited, so I try not to worry about it too much presently."
Sandor, the Tree Scout Captain have been dismissed.
Jasher knots his brows as the others discuss his compatibility with marriage like a side of beef. With a resigned shrug, he reaches into the bucket to pull out a small octopus, barely the size of his palm. He stares at it in curiosity as it stares back at him in terror.
"Unfortunately, I am no negotiator." Victus mused, sitting up a little straighter. His silverware is abandoned so he might rest both hands upon his sword instead. Something that was becoming habit. "I'm most effective at telling, which good diplomacy does not make. Unless Duke Harlan wants to decide treaties by combat. Duchess Margot however is something of a matchmaker." There's a glance to Raimon followed by a raise of the Prince's brow. Investing plenty of interest.
Vega looks to her husband as he fishes out the squiggly little thing and shoves it into his mouth. Her lips twitch up into a proud smile at Raimon, squeezing his arm lightly and moving to fix him a drink. He's going to need it if he manages to keep it down! "Fruitful indeed, Sorrel. Though I could never force my brother into an unwanted marriage. I would at the least want him to be agreeable of his own volition. Which I suppose is part of why I am not in charge of Thrax marriages," she chuckles softly and glances towards her brother before looking up at Olivia with a faint smile. "Be at ease, my lady. We tease, but youa re perfectly safe."
"The Duchess isn't the only one." Alarissa murmurs, but doesn't say more, just claps her hands when Raimon gives it his all and consumes the octopus. "One down, two more to go." Rhiannon and it seems Jasher. Tentacles man. Tentacles. "Prince Jasher will not be made to marry unless he approves of the individual who he will bind his hand to. There's quite a few other eligible individuals in the house and the Thrax line is burgeoning as is."
Raimon makes a disturbed expression as the creature wiggles in his mouth. But then there is a tightening of his jaw and a loud crunching sound. The newly minted thraxian Prince crosses his arms over his chest and leans back in his chair as he chews thoughtfully.
Sorrel looks thoughtful as other people consume octopuses. She eats cow instead. It's safer and less likely to give one a sad look going down or upset one's stomach. She has nothing to add to the conversation except a smile, and she nods to what Alarissa says.
Olivia smiles at Vega, "Oh I am ok. I guess I just get a tad flustered about such talks." She looks at Jasher. "Besides I do not think the Prince thinks I would make a good Princess. He has been rather quiet about it all."
Rhiannon looks into the bucket and then over at Raimon as he is offered the same fare. "You know, after 48 hours in a tree with the dried fruit and meat in your pouch long gone and you can't move without being detected, something like this seems like a feast. Even if it is still wriggling. I have eaten bugs before. Though the crunch is less than desirable." She reaches into the bucket. "I think my Grimhall kin, not to mention my brother, would be quite upset with me if I did not at least try." Fingers curl around the octopus and then she looks over at Olivia. "We will speak of this later."
Rhiannon checked stamina + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 17 higher.
Clucking her tongue, Vega smiles towards Olivia, "Jasher is always quiet, my lady. He is a man of action, not words." Turning her attention towards Raimon, she reaches over and slips her hand under his arm to squeeze his fingers gently.
Jasher watches the octopus squirm some more before setting it back into the bucket, giving it a little pat with his thumb as he does so. The creature vanishes as far down the bucket as it can go while the man picks up a glass of rum and takes a sip.
Rhiannon looks up at Jasher as she pulls the octopus up and then her head turns to Olivia and she wraps the tentacles around the body and stuffs it in her mouth. She doesn't break eye contact with Olivia while she chews. Bold challenge to the Voice of her House.
Olivia watches Rhiannon. Obviously trying to hold back gags and keep her own octopus down.
Carita watches Rhiannon in awe, if others aren't impressed, the Countess certainly is. There's a little face made as the little octopus is wrapped up before Rhiannon puts it in her mouth, her wine sipped as if she were washing the taste out /for/ the Ashford women.
Damn things were chewy. Raimon continues to work at the meat in his mouth before he gives up. A rather focused expression crosses his face and he swallows the octopus down.
Vega presses the drink into Raimon's hand just as soon as he's swallowed the octopus. To help with the taste!
Olivia narrows her eyes at Rhiannon before chiming up to the room. "Too bad this is such a nice dinner, it seems my Cousin wants to have a 'who can eat more foreign foods' contest."
Chewy is right. And still Rhiannon looks right at Olivia as she tries to chew it to the point where she won't choke on it. It takes her some time and then Rhiannon leans over and she steals Olivia's wine. Out of her hand if necessary. Then she tips the glass back to wash it all down. Her eyes close a moment before she gives the empty glass back to Olivia. "Are you happy now?"
"She rolled it up." Alarissa looks to Victus. "I should have rolled it up in a ball." Alarissa shakes her head at the tactic, impressed. Her attention shuffles to Carita. "Countess. How are things in your end of the isles?"
"It wasn't as funny when it's not grabbing at their face." Victus deadpans back to his wife, swiveling to observe the table. The Prince is mostly silent, more so taking in all the scenery than speaking up. After all, things seemed content to descend further and further as time went on. "If the Ashfords wish to duel, I'm certain we have many, /many/ more delicacies lurking in the kitchen."
Raimon takes the drink from his wifes hands once he has mastered his food. He takes a small sip from it before taking Vega's hand. "It is very chewy. But the taste is not unpleasant."
Olivia hrmphs defiantly at Rhiannon. "I am up for the challenge."
Carita's intently watching the Ashford women so is caught off-guard as Alarissa calls her name. "Hmm?" She clears her throat, "I'm sorry, I..." she clears her throat, "I've been mostly occupied of late with Prince Luca's will," she begins, her posture a practiced one as she glances down at her plate, and back up at Alarissa. "I was asked to help House Grimhall with their naval academy, and the stewardship I did for House Halfshav went quite well, thanks to my Darkwater experience." She slides a hand through her hair, "I also just accepted His Majesty's offer to become my next patron." Her smile reappears, "I'm quite honored. I hope to do He, House Darkwater and Thrax proud."
Eyes narrow and then Rhiannon grabs the chair she was in next to Jasher and pulls it back in again, sitting down. "Do your worst," she challenges her younger cousin.
Jasher lifts an eyebrow towards Carita. "Congratulations," he replies, seemingly resolutely ignoring the culinary duel going on between the Ashfords. "You must have impressed him so."
"Countess, that is astounding. Truly? That is a high compliment. Congratulations." Alarissa lifts her cup to the Darkwater noble in congratulations even as there seems to be a gross food off happening between the ashfords. The nights entertainment is happening it seems.
Sorrel nods appreciatively to Carita, and the cheer on her face seems genuine. She is happy for the Countess securing such a patron. She lifts her glass as well in celebration.
Victus has a double-take at Carita's revelation. "The King? The King has taken you under his wing?" The Prince's expression briefly cracks with astonishment. "Congratulations on the monumental size of your clout, Countess. That's a high honor."
Carita nods, "Yes, that's right, the King. Things haven't been made official yet, but in the next day or so? So..." She dips her head gratefully, clearing her throat past humor at Victus' double-take. "..thank you, thank you." For Jasher she shrugs her shoulders just barely. "I hope I did."
Raimon falls silent, his eyes moving around the table as he observes the other diners. He takes a drink from his rum, looking thoughtful.
Rhiannon tries to stare down Olivia, but she's never been able to intimidate her younger cousin. "You are up to something," she mutters under her breath toward Olivia.
"Is she up to something?" Alarissa looks to Victus. "We need to have them over for dinner more often and not just accidentally."
Olivia looks all innocent, "Me?"
Back to list