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Grayson Ball and Jamboree

A bright spring ball, dance party, and jam-eating contest, in honor of House Grayson, Prince Asharion's 3rd birthday, and the alarming realization that Princess Tikva's twenties are entirely behind her.


June 13, 2019, 9:30 p.m.

Hosted By



Reese Brianna Esoka Ian Rinel Alecstazi Lisebet Wash Harlan Merek Warrick Kaldur Calandra Zara Sorrel Cahal Mikani Rysen Elloise Jeffeth Nisaa Alaric Raimon Arcadia Thea Athaur



Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Grayson Mansion - Great Gray Hall

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

Long tables have been set up, full of small crumbly muffins, soft spongey bread, and plain, mildly sweet biscuits. Jams, and jellies, and preserves, line each -- some leftovers from the winter season, some early spring fruits. Peaches, and raspberries, and strawberries, and rhubarb, and really an exorbitant amount of fruit products that all the wealth and verve of a Princess brought to bear might summon. Musicians play sprightly dance music, and silk streamers festoon the walls and ceilings of the room, white and lavender and rose.

Tikva arrives in a swirl of golden seasilk and bright electrum, clearly clad for dancing. One of the nannies who works for the Mansion is carting Prince Asharion in a dark red smock that is probably colored so that he can eat as much jam as he wants. Tikva looks a little rushed and windblown, her short hair a little more wild than is strictly usual for someone hosting a party, but she swarms in nonetheless, smiling with brilliant energy. "Good evening, everyone!" she carols, flinging her arms in the air.

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

Reese arrives at the party while adorned in a pink tunic and ivory leggings. She has her weapons peacetied, but till present. The girl has pink ribbons tangled up in her golden locks. She glances over the area trying to get a feel for the gathering.

Ramona - A Guard in Ashford House Colours, Bigsby - A Thoughtful Looking Young Man in Nondescript Clothing, 2 Ashford Archer, 1 Ashford Scout arrive, following Lisebet.

Brianna sidles up to Tikva. "You've truly outdone yourself, your highness," she says, bowing her head courteously to the princess. Despite the common wisdom that redheads shouldn't wear pink, this redhead is not only wearing pink, she is making it her own. Her Lycene-style gown is made of silk, organza and appliqued petals, giving the impression of a drift of rose petals.

Into the hall strides Esoka. As dressed up in a silk green dress that, while it doesn't cover all of her intricate Abandoned tattoo work, at least plays them down for semi-polite society. There's a stiff attempt to curtsy to...the general assemblage. It's full of fancy people. Less stiff is muscular arm she throws in the air to wave big at Tikva. HELLO.

Ian arrives with Wash; apparently he's his cousin-by-marriage's 'date' for the night. He's not a 'walking and talking at the same time' kind of person, but that's usually fine, since Wash talks enough for both of them. He's not dressed for a party, but then again, he probably isn't going to be dancing.

Reese smiles gently over to Brianna upon noticing the Northern Lady. "You look lovely, Lady Brianna." She then smiles over to Tikva as well. "Thanks for hosting the lovely party." She says. She has a smile for Esoka as well that brings forth her dimples. "Greetings, Dame Esoka, I like your dress."

Into the mix is swirled one Rinel Tern, who, for once, is neither dressed like a poor vagrant nor scowling. She has relatively nice clothes on! There's even a smile! She is, however, still using her cane. Tippity tippity tap. She clacks her way over to Reese and bows deeply. "Your Highness."

Reese waves to Ian and Wash as well. "Hi Lords of Kennex!" She cheerfully greets.

Tikva beams back at Brianna with laughing cheer in her eyes. "Thank you," she says. "What a fabulous gown, my lady! I'm afraid if you participate in the game, you are _likely_ to get fruit smushed all over it. Hey, Reese! It's good to see you again, been awhile since our paths crossed." With a bright crack of a laugh, she rakes her hand back through the bright fluff of her short hair, and answers Esoka's wave with a vehement one of her own. "Esoka! Huzzah!"

Reese smiles warmly to Rinel. "Mistress Rinel hi, I am glad to see you here. Maybe you will dance with me later?" She then smiles once again to Tikva, her blue eyes brightening at the warm greeting.

Rinel laughs. "Your Highness would have to support half my weight, I'm afraid, unless there is a dance that relies on only having one leg."

There is a brief pause in the traffic at the door as a particularly tall and wide-shouldered man fills the space for a time. Sharp blue eyes take the measure of the Hall and Alecstazi steps through the threshold and into the party. He hones in on the hostess, a glance spared to the jam-spattered child, brief, assessing and then he moves back to the adults lingering in Tikva's periphery before he makes his way in that direction, waiting his turn to greet the hostess.

Asharion Grayson, meanwhile, is holding court with his nanny on one of the chairs. He looks bright-eyed and fascinated, looking around at all the color and life and people, many of whom are unfamiliar. Tikva never strays _too_ far from his eyeline, so he is fearless in his assessment of the world around him. For the moment.

Relic arrives, following Harlan.

Lisebet maybe can be forgiven for not wearing a lovely new dress today. The one she is wearing is nicely laced, and stretched. Not quite as far as it can be, but there, it'll have definitely done its duty. Still, Duchess Ashford enters, a content and happy look on her face at this point. She spies who she thinks might be the hostesses and heads over that way, entering just after Alecstazi. Oh, and the petite duchess is on the arm of her somewhat taller husband.

A nanny wearing Kennex livery leads a pair of children marked similarly, Rayne and Cerilla, Wash's son and daughter. They are here for the jams. But Wash puts in his greetings first. "Hello again Cousin!" He replies to Reese. "Princess Tikva." Wash greets. "Happy birthday to you and yours."

is coming in with his wife, of course, dressed ... well, not in anything new, but still nice clothing! Of course, while not being a clothes horse, he's at least somewhat fashionable. He keeps an eye on his wife as he moves with her, although he's obviously happy to be around her.

Harlan is coming in with his wife, of course, dressed ... well, not in anything new, but still nice clothing! Of course, while not being a clothes horse, he's at least somewhat fashionable. He keeps an eye on his wife as he moves with her, although he's obviously happy to be around her.

Reese looks over to Rinel with a bit of sheepish smile. "I could support you, but it was.." She says and her cheeks are even warmed with a touch of pink. "Maybe I shouldn't have suggested dancing." She then smiles over to Alectstazi, but she seems unfamiliar with the man. Reese waves to Harlan. "Greetings Duke Ashford."

Esoka flashes a grin to Reese, a bright and toothy expression. "Thank you, your highness. You look very lovely as well. The pink is always striking. I always feel odd in skirts, but they are fun sometimes, and tonight was such a time." To Tikva she yells back, "Huzzah! I thought about bringing Estara, but she's very loud in public places still, so I did not. I will bring her back some jam, though."

Merek has taken his time to put on his black and silver, while he has a cape that is adjusted about his frame also. He makes his way into the hall, then he makes for wherever the food is kept first thing.

Brianna grins at Reese. "You're too kind." Back to Tikva, "You'd be surprised what so can do with the judicious application of napkins," she says with a sly grin. Her attention is caught by Rinel. "So you're the one who caused the stir at the lecture," she drawls, nodding slowly. "Well done. More people should speak their mind." Her gaze drifts over to the children, a wistful half-smile on her face before she catches herself.

Tikva sketches a bow to Wash. "Lord Wash, thank you for the felicitations. It's been some time since but you are always welcome in your ancestral home!" Her eyes crinkle at the corners with the breadth of her smile. Like Reese, she doesn't recognize Alecstazi immediately, but there are clues in the prince's carriage and clothes to suggest his station, so when he approaches in his turn, she can perform a courtesy. "Tikva Grayson," she says. "Good evening, and welcome!" It is also impossible for her to not smile while Esoka and she are yelling at each other across the room, so her smile is indelible at this point.

Reese looks upon Esoka, nodding to her. "I have some dresses. I don't wear them much myself." She says, before smiling over to Merek. "Hi Master Merek." She then adds. "And Duchess Ashford." she gives Lisebet a warm smile.

Warrick is as charmed by Prince Asharion as he is by the spread across the tables. But he's going to resist just beelining over to stack up a plate. He waits, diligently, for his plus one near the hall's entrance.

True to his usual social butterfly self, Ian filters away from the main crowd of people towards the edges of the room. It's not an immediate thing, but somehow, that's where he ends up.

Lisebet inclines her head, offering a polite curtsey to the royalty in the room. "Princess Tikva, you've outdone yourself. Princess Reese, how nice to see you again." She miles a bit impishly, and says, "I do apologize for being scarce of late, but I've been somewhat ill for a bit. I am glad to be feeling better, so I could come out and dance."

Kaldur has three modes of dress: road-smutted grimy armor, polished and gleaming knight-in-shining-armor armor, and ready for a swim. He turns up today polished and gleaming, stepping aside as he enters to survey the demesne and not clog the door. Espying Grayson royals, he makes his way over. "Princess Tikva, Princess Reese, good evening," he bows, a hand folded over his belly, "Seliki regard to Grayson."

Reese turns her attention to Lisebet, giving her a thoughtful look and nodding. "I am sorry that you haven't been feeling well Duchess, but glad you could make it tonight." She says before smiling warmly over to Kaldur. "Hi Lord Kaldur, nice to see you."

Harlan smiles and slips a hand to stroke along Lisebet's back lightly, then nods towards Reese and Tikva with a slight bow, "Hello, Princesses. Glad to be here as always." He then asks Lisebet, "What do you think you can handle tonight for food or drink?"

3 Thrax Guards, 2 Thrax Elite Guards, Lady Teonia Redreef, Aryka Wyrmfang, Marquessa Pudding, a doughy dog arrive, following Sorrel.

Gwyndolin, Champion of Valardin, Isabelle, a lady's maid, Cahal, Sorrel arrive, following Zara.

When Tikva introduces herself, Alecstazi dips into a picture perfect bow. It is held for three seconds and then he is returning to his full height. "Princess Tikva Grayson, the pleasure is mine." The words are spoken just loud enough to be heard over the general hubbub, the Thrax Prince's eyes focused on the shorter Princess. "Prince Alecstazi Thrax of Maelstrom. This is quite the party."

Rinel bows to Brianna. "My lady," she murmurs politely. "An honour to make your acquaintance. Rinel Tern, at your service."

Perhaps Calandra missed the part where she was going to a birthday party, considering her not so bright attire for the festivities. But her smile is enough to outshine the umbra outfit as she glides on measured steps through the gardens to meet the pleasant guard who invited her. "Don't you look handsome." Dark eyes meet Warrick warmly upon reaching the hall entrance. "Shall we? I believe we have well wishes to give." A dainty arm is quick to slip around his arm, not giving him much say in the matter, to make their way to the princess as she welcomes others.

"Your Highness." Calandra greets their host, sultry voice pleasant as she bows low, though eventually rights to meet her with a delighted smile. "My well wishes to you. You've put on a marvelous event, as always."

Esoka attempts not to just yell across the hall for all her party conversation. For the moment. Maybe she'll return to yelling eventually. She also gets some food, sampling liberally of the fruits. Merek gets a, "Hello, Sir Merek. This all looks delicious. There's little I miss about living in a noble manor, but the cooking is one of the things."

Brianna nods politely to Rinel, offering a hand. "Brianna Halfshav. The honor is all mine."

Tikva's eyes widen very slightly. "I'm delighted you're here to attend, Prince Alecstazi; we haven't met before, are you recently arrived?" Her teeth flash in a wide grin, and she exclaims, "Ah! Whisper Calandra, no party is complete without a resident of Whisper House. Thank you so much for coming. I apologize in advance if you get jam on you."

A Thrax Princess and two Oathlanders walk into a party -- and no, it's not the wind up to a joke. Anyway, Sorrel gets partial Oathlander credit, too. But there's no punch line. It's just the next set of slightly belated arrivals to the party as Cahal, Sorrel, and Zara enter, complete with various and assorted attending retinues.

Reese makes her way over to the treats reading for a biscuit and spreading it with pink strawberry jam. "Oh, this looks like quite the yummy spread." She says half to herself and half to anyone who is nearby. She smiles over to Calandra as well. "Hi, Whisper Calandra and honor to see you." She then smiles politely to the arriving trio. She seems to be in a cheerful mood. "Raspberries.." Reese then adds and gets some of those too.

Sorrel arrives in the company of Princess Zara and Lord Cahal, wearing a brilliant red dress made of exotic leather and emblazoned with Thrax's sea serpent while smelling slightly of hay and horses, as if she's come directly from a joust. Which she has. She seems in a relatively good mood and drifts promptly in Tikva's direction, grinning broadly. "Tikva!" she greets brightly.

Rinel smiles widely as she catches sight of Sorrel. "Your Highness! How went the jousting?" she calls out, obviously quite happy to see the princess.

When the Thrax prince enters, Brianna takes a long moment, trying to place that face. Then it clicks. Once he has finished greeting the hostess, she sashays over to him, a glass of wine in her hand. "Prince Alec? Did they truly manage to drag you back to Arx?" Her tone is playful and good natured.

There is a distinct pull to one side of Alecstazi's mouth, the curl is a deeply satisfied thing. "No I have not yet had the pleasure. I came to Arx nearly a decade ago on a trip with my uncle." There is a faint trace of something that might almost be wistful in his voice, "But I have been in Maelstrom since. I should not monopolize the hostess' time. But I would love a chance to get to know you and your brethern of Grayson better."

Kaldur smiles at Reese, dimples on grand display, "Likewise, Highness." He eases back and spotting a gap in the crowd milling about the long table laden with jams and crumbly things, "My regards to his Highness Asharion as well, Princess Tikva." Now pardon him, please, there's a line to slip into. Whoosh. In a rasping of platemail, Kaldur is gone in a swirling of gray cloak trailing out behind him.

Lisebet grins at Harlan, and pulls him away from the receiving line, heading over to check out what is available. They can always return to the princesses, should there be time. "I'm not sure, let's go see," she suggests to Harlan. Only it turns out that Reese has the same idea, sort of. She offers a smile and wave to everyone coming in, and then pauses to greet those she knows. "Wait, raspberries?" Lisebet's face brightens, and Harlan may be searching out raspberries for the next three months, Thanks, Reese.

"Yeah?" Warrick looks pleasantly surprised by the compliment, looking down at his tunic. "I'm due for some new colors I think. If only I had fashion sense." When Tikva addresses them, Warrick dips his head. "Your Highness. And Princess Reese. I guess there's a jam theme?"

Into the sprightly music -- a springy, jingly tune, heavy on the woodwinds and the bells -- comes a similarly bright sound, as a three-year-old with waving fists shouts at the top of his not inconsiderable lungs. "JAM!" Asharion exclaims.

The word that best describes Tikva's response to this interruption is 'cackle'. She cackles. "Oh gods. I should be honored, Your Highness, but-- excuse me," she says to those whom she has been receiving at the front of the great hall, and she swirls out towards the middle of the dance floor, filling her bard's lungs. "THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR COMING EVERYONE," she says, "and as you have heard the guest of honor declare--" Obviously, the toddler is the guest of honor at this party full of adults. Right? Right. "--it's getting about time for the jam! As you can see, the Mansion's cooks and bakers have provided us with an embarrassment of fruity riches here.

"If you would care to compete for a chance at the prize, please start ordering yourselves by the tables. Don't worry, you don't have to compete if you just want to nibble, but if you don't join the game, you can't win the bauble!"

((OOC: The jam eating contest will be a skill challenge of a series of 3 stamina + survival rolls, one at 10, one at 15, and one at 20. If we're tied after that, we'll start with tiebreakers!))

After paying his salutations to the hostess and his less-visited family members, Wash finally escorts his oldest, Cerilla, to the jam table and gets her something to nibble. Rayne is barely old enough to walk at this point and stays with the nanny.

Ian winds up leaning against the wall and just... watching. His electric blue eyes are alive, always moving, flashing between people, taking in details. The touch of a hand. A shift of weight. Faces sometimes, but never expressions.

Harlan laughs and follows his wife, and then promptly goes to get a nice healthy amount of those berries. He pays attention, after all! He turns to listen to Tikva, and chuckles, "Well...." He nods towards Lisebet and asks, "Shall we?" He grins at her.

Lygeia, a calligrapher and alchemist arrives, following Rysen.

Reese smilee over to Lisebet as she speaks of raspberries. "They are very very good ones too." She says. She says before smiling over to Warrick, a smile that brings her dimples to briefly bloom.

"She rode absolutely splendidly," Zara says as she moves in behind Sorrel, addressing her words to Rinel in passing. No comment on the victor. "Your highness," she says to Tikva in the wake of that mighty bellow as others begin to line up for the competition. "Congratulations on the various and assorted birthdays." Her head tilts down -- down. To the three-year-old, equally grave: "Congratulations, your highness."

Lisebet laughs softly and nods. "Of course, if it's silly and involves jam, how can we go wrong?" She smiles at Reese and nods. "I suddenly have the most amazing desire for raspberries." That rounding tummy may explain a lot, as Lisebet moves by the tables as Tikva explains. "I am always willing to try," she says, "though I quite definitely make no promises other than that."

"Sir Jeffeth won for Princess Zara, but it went very well!" Sorrel calls to Rinel with a wave as she crosses the floor confidently. "Very exciting and fun!" She beams at Asharion and ruffles his hair fondly. "Yes, darling, jam. Happy birthday!"

Asharion beams and waves a smeary, jam-covered hand in the air as princesses surround him to give him attention. "Jammmmmmmm," he sings. His pronunciation of "Raspberry!" sounds a lot like "Wazby," but considering the smear of raspberry jam all over his face, it's clear what he is trying for. Probably.

Harlan checked stamina + survival at difficulty 10, rolling 44 higher.

For a moment Cahal peers around, looking for Brianna, and when he finds her she gets a warm smile. Oooh theres Reese. She gets a smile too. Even if she hasnt noticed. He hurries to catch up with Zara then, chuckling a little. "This is quite a party." A bright smile is given to Tikva. "Thank you for opening your house to us tonight Princess Tikva. You'll be glad to hear that Zara won I think, even if Sorrel did put up a glorious fight."

Merek checked stamina + survival at difficulty 10, rolling 29 higher.

Cahal checked stamina + survival at difficulty 10, rolling 18 higher.

Reese checked stamina + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 39 higher.

Kaldur slews around wide-eyed at Tikva's bellowing worthy of a diver of Pearlspire or a Seliki and fills a plate quickly before backing away from the table and excusing himself to a balcony to devour them at his leisure, scarcely getting to do so before he is summoned away via messenger, regrets offered to the hosts.

Sorrel checked stamina + survival at difficulty 10, rolling 42 higher.

Mikani slips in, yes she may be late but looking this good takes time. The umbra of her dress whispers across the floor as half of Mikani's hair has been pulled back into a loose bun with a silver hair comb securing it in place. Her dark eyes look around the room taking it all in.

Calandra asides lightly to Warrick at his address of his attire as they walk up, "Should you need an eye for fashion, I may be able to lend it." To Tikva, she places a few slender fingers upon her lips to quiet what may be a little laugh at the Princess' apologies. "I fear it wouldn't be a party if someone didn't end up with jam on them." To Reese's greeting, the Grayson is given her own graceful dip from the Whisper, "The honor is all mine, Your Highness. It's a pleasure to see you this evening."

Alecstazi excuses himself from the contest, with another, briefer bow to Tikva. He spends a moment just circling the party, observing for now.

Wash is busy keeping his two children sated for sweets without getting their dress gowns dirty. He declines to stuff his face at the same time.

Reese has lots and lots of jam and seems interested in joining the jam contest. She then smiles over to Cahal. "Oh, Lord Cahal hi, nice to see you. You have been well." She says and has pink jan on her face.

Rysen and Lygeia enter the Hall, and Rysen smiles to see the wide variety of fruit laid out. He picks up a plate full, along with a glass of something strong, as he looks around for Tikva and the young prince.

Tikva claims a plateful of crumbly biscuits and a great slathered pile of some of the jams produced by her kitchens. Although she has no intention of _competing_ for _her own prize_, apparently she feels it necessary to participate in the jam smorgasbord rather than witness it happening to her guests without her.

Brianna decides to opt out of the game, sipping her wine while she watches. Cahal gets a grin, but for now, she's content to observe the mayhem from a safe distance.

Tikva checked stamina + survival at difficulty 10, rolling 20 higher.

Lisebet checked stamina + survival at difficulty 10, rolling 33 higher. Lisebet rolled a critical!

Warrick beckons Calandra to follow him maybe just a little outside of what could be a splatter zone. "I think it's best on some bread or a cracker." He pauses to regard Calandra in her new dress. "You changed...! Swiftly. Wow. I like the insect motif. That's... not real, is it? The... the spider."

Cahal lets the general movement of the crowd draw him over to the game. "Hello Reese!" he calls back as he's drawn past. A grin for Brianna. Then he's leaning to Sorrel and asking. "I got the part about the competition involving jam.. but. what exactly are we doing with it?"

Merek moves to the place where the contest for jam will be, then he takes a moment to look at it all. He then begins to work his way into it, not looking to win, but having fun with competing.

Harlan laughs and follows his wife, and then promptly goes to get a nice healthy amount of those berries. He pays attention, after all! He turns to listen to Tikva, and chuckles, "Well...." He nods towards Lisebet and asks, "Shall we?" He grins at her. (reposed for Lisebet)

Zara ... passes on the competition, but does turn her attention to others nearby: "Princess Reese, correct?" It's the pink ribbons. She's guessing. "I'm Princess Zara Valardin. Not taking part? I understand you are ferocious in a competition." No swords now, though. Then she looks past Reese to Calandra, doing a subtle double-take as she takes a step closer. Warrick's words confirm it for her, and humor warms her words: "Whatever trick you have of organization -- or an exceptional lady's maid -- it is serving you well. My congratulations on managing so quick a change, and so stylishly."

Reese hmms softly. "I am going to need new clothing after this party." She gently teases.

"We're eating it," Sorrel says brightly to Cahal, sending off a messenger for someone from her house to bring her own children to come wallow in jam with Asherion. She licks a spoon good naturedly, polishing off some sweet sweet jam.

Lisebet laughs softly and nods. "Of course, if it's silly and involves jam, how can we go wrong?" She smiles at Reese and nods. "I suddenly have the most amazing desire for raspberries." That rounding tummy may explain a lot, as Lisebet moves by the tables as Tikva explains. "I am always willing to try," she says, "though I quite definitely make no promises other than that."

Washwore his best dress uniform to the party. He doesn't seem too disappointed when his daughter plants a sticky hand on his lapel though. He just decides he shouldn't be holding her standing up, so ventures over to a table instead.

Reese then turns her attention to Zara, seeming flattered by her words and giving her a dimpled smile. "Nice to meet you Princess Zara and congrats on your duel. I am pretty good at competitions." She says, before looking over to Lisebet and seemingly amused. "I don't know if I can beat the Duchess at this one though!" She says warmly.

Wash has joined the long table of polished wood with griffins rampant climbing its legs.

Cahal has joined the a round table with inset amber and glass badgers.

Lisebet has no children to bring. Yet. This will be fixed eventually. She grins at Reese, and adds, "I think you can blame someone other than me for that. Apparently jam will be a favourite."

Esoka checked stamina + survival at difficulty 10, rolling 36 higher.

When Wash sits down, Ian detaches himself from the wall and goes to join him. Er, across from the jam-covered children. With the table between him and them. Because sticky.

Ian has joined the long table of polished wood with griffins rampant climbing its legs.

Mikani smiles as she sees Rysen and Lygeia. She glides across the floor to greet him. "Hello." She says warmly.

Brianna has joined the a round table with inset amber and glass badgers.

Brother Chester arrives, following Jeffeth.

Noticing Mikani, Rysen grins and makes his way over towards her, but noticing young Asharion, convered in jam, the Crovane lord kneels down and smiles. "I hope you're having a wonderful time. I got you something fun. It's called a recorder. You can make /a lot/ of noise with it. I'm sure your family will love it." He winks and gets to his feet, as Mikani glides over. Rysen smiles warmly and says, "Evening, Countess. Planning on joining the contest?" he asks as he takes a sip of his drink, while Lygeia reaches over to unapologetically steal some berries from his plate of fruit.

Reese smiles warmly to Mikani. "Countess." She greets and doesn't seem to notice she raspberry jam on her cheek. She starts to arrange her jan for more eating.

Ah. Under Sorrel's instructions Cahal reaches for a muffin and spreads some jam onto the bready surface. Then he adds another jam. And another. Until he has an insane mismatch of flavors on that food item. A bite is taken which he immediately seems to regret. A glance is cast about the others and then he focuses his efforts on polishing off the disgusting food item in as few bites as is humanely possible. Why did he even think this was a good idea? Whilst doing this he tries to get Reese's attention with nothing but eyebrow waggles and taps of his cheek in the same place that her escaped jam is lurking.

Jeffeth checked stamina + survival at difficulty 10, rolling 42 higher.

Mikani takes Ore Perfume from Black Leather Holster Hip Bag with Crimson Accents.

Calandra is a little dismayed she'll have to watch the horror that is a messy food competition from afar, but she allows Warrick to take her aside for now, probably made easier after his stunning comment. "I'm surprised you realize it only now." She stifles an endearing, lilting little laugh behind a hand, only to grin sharply behind it while waggling her ringed hand near his face. "Maybe? Who's to say? Would you like to see?"

Unfortunately she attempt to spook is short lived when another compliment reaches her, a familiar voice heard not a few hours ago. Eyes fall upon Princess Zara and quickly light with intrigue, the edge of her lips ticking up as she bows politely for the royalty before her. "A Whisper has many tricks up her sleeve, Your Highness. And please accept my congratulations on the duel today. It was a fine show."

Mikani puts Ore Perfume in Black Leather Holster Hip Bag with Crimson Accents.

Reese has joined the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

Looking back to Reese, Zara smiles -- even if it be only with her eyes, narrowed in humor. "Sometimes the true victory is knowing you can't win a fight. Thank you, though. Lord Cahal was very gracious in his apology, and Princess Sorrel honored us both with her courage and skill."

Returning her attention to Calandra, Zara dips her head. "I will accept your congratulations, and pass them direction to Princess Sorrel and Sir Jeffeth, who fought so marvelously, and Lord Cahal, who was so gracious in his apology. I believe I saw you -- both? -- there." Her voice lifts _slightly_ on the both. She is maybe not entirely sure about Warrick. His clothes aren't as charming.

Elloise enters the fancy establishment with, and I count: burnt hair, signed eyebrows, a weird burn on her face where soot would NOT come off, VERY broken glasses hanging lopsidedly from her ears, and a remarkably fancy outfit. Sooo.... 1/12? She ALSO has a wee notebook and a pen; when Elloise enters, she says hi to NO ONE, but instead skirts the edges of the shindig while she -- your eyes are not deceiving you -- takes notes.

Reese joins a couch with lots of gryphons and she has treats covered over in pink raspberry jams balanced carefully on her lap. She seems to be in a cheerful mood and Cahal gets another smile. She then turns to Zara. "Oh, that is very very wise and very very true." She says. "I should even write that down." She adds, but her hands are not free for writing.

The musicians strike up another song, this one a little more brassy and bold, to accompany the eaters who are getting through as much of their jams and jellies and cakes as possible. Tikva tries not to choke laughing on a bite of muffin; she stands away from her chair, throwing her hands in the air as she swallows. "And so it begins!" she calls. "Keep up the good work, everyone! Asharion is proud of you."

"Wazby!" Asharion punctuates this, throwing a piece of muffin on the floor in his excitement, and then going "Noooo!" His face begins to screw up in horror at the lost of his food, but his nanny is quickly there with distraction in the shape of-- another small piece of bread with raspberry jam.

Mikani takes Rysen's arm. "No I don't think I will ... but I will spectate." She grins at Rysen as she pats his arm with her free hand.

A Thrax liveried servant shows up with Sorrel's pair of children, Prince Kyrios working under his own power and Princess Lilah being carried. Kyrios has a nasty gash on his forehead that probably ought to be bandaged, but he rushes over to Asherion and gives him a hug like brothers, eager to get into the jam partying with his friend. He hasn't been around more than seconds before he also has hands covered in jam. Lilah ends up in her mother's lap with a spoon in her mouth.

Sorrel checked stamina + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 19 higher.

Reese checked stamina + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 102 higher. Reese rolled a critical!

Harlan checked stamina + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 7 higher.

Cahal checked stamina + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 7 higher.

Esoka checked stamina + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 53 higher.

Jeffeth checked stamina + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 25 higher.

Wash brought enough biscuits, but only a couple of different jams to share. "Pepper jelly?" He asks Ian. "It's good. I promise."

Harlan has no problems inhaling jam in the first round, obviously having skipped dinner -- or maybe he's just hungry! He does slow down a bit though, after a while, and makes as if to put a little bit of jam on Lisebet's nose.

Warrick laughs Calandra and her waggling fingers off, but keeps flicking his gaze back to that spider she wears. "Ahm." Time to turn around and make himself an artful spread of that spongy bread with peaches and rhubarb. And a muffin, but it's more to weight the other side of the plate. "Your highness," he says to Zara. "Yes, I was... certainly there to support Valardin. No jam for you?"

Lisebet checked stamina + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 3 lower.

Merek checked stamina + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 27 higher.

Jeffeth went to take a bath. Which means he arrives a bit late. And... Just starts sitting and eating immediately. Does he realize he's in a competition? Unclear. He just starts digging into these biscuits, smiling brightly as he settles down next to Sorrel, murmuring quietly as he begins to eat happily.

Ian shrugs and takes the pepper jelly. He doesn't seem especially excited about jams, but at least he's not afraid to try new things?

Reese really really seems to know how to eat. This is epic jam eating! She puts down impressive amounts of the pink berry jam and even keeps her clothing clean in the process.

Esoka is pretty confident in her eating abilities. It takes a lot to keep her at knight-level energy, and so she happily supplies some of that via the jam. Her face is very messy as she gets into it, and she abandons some of her attempts at manners. Maybe presuming the occasion calls for it.

Merek keeps eating his jam, while he takes his time with it. He's doing alright, but he's not a master, while he offers a smile also.

Kalb, the chill bodyguard arrives, following Nisaa.

Tikva checked stamina + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 54 higher.

Kalb, the chill bodyguard leaves, following Nisaa.

Cahal doesn't make the mistake of creating a horrifying jam and bagel concoction this time around. Instead he opts to just eat the required amounts directly from their little pots. By the end he's eying the remaining pots in a way that suggests he doesn't actually want any more.

Kalb, the chill bodyguard arrives, following Nisaa.

"How INTERESTING," Elloise says, scribbling something down. Anyone near her would be horrified to know that it is a DIAGRAM of the competitors, complete with VERY SPECIFIC ratings of their performances. Poor Lisebet gets not only a -.231 but also ... a frown-y face.

The first round, Lisebet eats a lot of jam, she must have raspberry. As Harlan make to put some on her nose, she wrinkles said nose, and reaches to bat his hand away. Which might be where things go awry, as she finds her tummy kicked, and whatever that second jam is, it's quite obvious she doesn't like that one quite so much. She slows down significantly, and then simply sets her plate down, turning to run out of the room. Oh dear.

Rysen grins at Mikani, though its touched with sadness. "To be honest, I don't feel the least bit hungry after earlier," he says softly. "A bit of fruit is about all I can manage." He laughs a little as he watches Reese and Merek in the heat of competition.

Reese looks over to Elloise with a touch of concern and a touch of a amusement. "Greetings Baroness. I am glad to see you are alright, if just a little crispy." Sh then looks over to Lisebet with concern in her gaze. "Oh, I hope she is alright." She says.

Brianna catches sight of Rysen and Mika and waves them over to her table.

Sorrel has joined the a round table with inset amber and glass badgers.

Mikani frowns at the memory. "Me neigher ..." She says softly. Mikani's dark eyes fall to the floor and she watches it for a bit before catching Brianna's wave. "Shall we join Bri?" Mikani asks before waving back to Brianna.

Tikva licks some of the peach jam from the back of her hand -- how did it even get there? -- and sways backwards in her seat, which she resumed. "Whoof!" she exclaims. "There sure is a lot of fruit out there. HOW ARE YOU HOLDING UP, EVERYONE?" She emcees with far too much cheer, shaking out her hand as she reaches for another piece of bread. "I'm going to die from sugar!" she announces, and laughs. "Keep up the good work!"

Nisaa arrives to the Ball looking not exceptionally as joyful as she usually does at first, though as soon as her verdigris ayes alight on the people gathered in celebration, her smile spreads across her face and she holds herself in a more graceful posture. Those same eyes scan the crowd for a friendly face or two as she grows accustomed to the party atmosphere.

"I'm good, none hungrier!" Reese calls out.

"That's why I have my lady keep a book for me," Zara says to Reese, her tone playful, if one listens closely. "She writes down anything that I say is clever, and lets time eat all the foolish words."

Zara has joined the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.

Warrick has joined the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.

Jeffeth has joined the a round table with inset amber and glass badgers.

"None louder!" Wash calls back.

Cahal checked stamina + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 5 higher.

Reese checked stamina + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 36 higher.

Esoka checked stamina + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 37 higher.

Jeffeth checked stamina + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 48 higher.

Sorrel checked stamina + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 30 higher.

Calandra has joined the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.

Tikva checked stamina + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 14 higher.

Harlan checked stamina + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 39 higher.

Merek checked stamina + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 25 higher.

Reese looks over to Zara, nodding to her. "I would love a copy of that book one day." She says and rather than teasing, she sounds serious. Reese goes back to eating jams. She isn't as impressive this round, but she seems handle the extra treats pretty well.

Harlan looks worried as his wife runs out, but also sees a servant going after her. So...more jam! And he goes back to inhaling as much as he can while staying with the fun competition

SERIOUSLY LIKE FIVE MINUTES LATER, Elloise drags her gaze from her book and says to Reese, who is probably not hanging around waiting for a reply, "Oh! It was really neat! I THOUGHT that compound X was --" She shuffles through her book to pull up a really complicated diagram, "--going to be UNDERpotent but.." Blahblah she rattles off science.

Merek finishes up his jam, even though he did not win, he's thankful for all that food, while he keeps whatever he didn't need to finish as a condiment also.

Jeffeth is happily enjoying his biscuits as he sits amongst friends, chatting and chewing thoughtfully. It's only towards the end that Jeffeth looks up with slightly widened eyes. "Wait, is this a competition?!" H

Rysen waves to Brianna, and nods to Mikani. He beings to make his way over to Brianna's table following Mikani, grinning a little as he glances over Elloise's shoulder at her diagram. When he arrives he smiles, and says, "Lady Brianna - I thought for certain you would be competeing." He takes a seat next to the Champion of House Halfshav, and grins at Sorrel. "It would appear that Prince Kyrios has been having fun," he says, watching the boy play with Asharion. He chuckles softly. "I still remember that time you made me carry the poor Prince while I sprinted around the Training Center."

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

Washand Ian are at a table, instead of participating in the full on gluttony at the other table. Instead he's carefully sharing jams with his two children, because this -is- a child's birthday after all.

Rysen has joined the a round table with inset amber and glass badgers.

Tikva gives up in defeat about halfway through her third plate full of jam-slathered confectionary, and rises, laughing and napkinning her face aggressively. "Dear gods," she says. "I cannot! I am defeated! I yield! Fight on, friends, against the legions of fruit!" and she laughs, spinning in a swirl of golden seasilk as she heads towards the musicians to get them to play something with a little more pizzazz.

Reese seems to have a talent for eating lots of sweets. She has managed to eat so much jam and looks all pink-cheeked and happy, maybe having a sugar rush. "Best game ever." Sh says to the little prince, giving him a smile. She then looks to Elloise, still looking amused. "Now I want a copy of your book too one day, Baroness."

Brianna grins at Rysen. "In this gown? I'm quite happy to watch, thank you."

Elloise looks down at the scribbles in her hand and then back up at Reese. "THIS?" she squeaks, holding it close to herself. "These are my LAB NOTES! Oh no, I can't part with these."

Cahal figured that winning wasnt going to happen when he spotted Reese murder all that jam and come out the other side wanting more. Still. He slowly plods his way through every last bit of jam, grimacing occasionally as he forces his way through to the end.

Lisebet, having found a safe place to throw up, and being caught by that servant, makes her way back once she's sure she won't throw up again. Anyone just entering may have missed her running out, but certainly will see her returning. Hopefully she didn't throw up on anyone, near anyone, on anything important - she's not quite sure. But she does return, bravely, and looking mostly none the worse for wear. Except for a couple jam smears that she probably had before she suddenly had to run out.

Mikani has joined the a round table with inset amber and glass badgers.

Rinel looks at the competitors with a combination of surprise and mild disgust. She shakes her head and wanders over to Elloise. "Lab notes?" she asks, curiously. "May I ask what you are studying, my lady?"

Reese gives Elloise a sheepish smile. "Oh, I won't take them, I promise. Besides I probably wouldn't understand them anyways." She says. "I feel like I should work out, but.." She then curls up in the sofa, showing no signs of such. "Maybe later."

"Science," Elloise says, narrowing her eyes a little. She scribbles more notes. A figure that looks like Rinel goes in the book.

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

Ian is, as usual, sitting around like an Ian-shaped lump, like he doesn't realize this is a party. He chews on a biscuit without really seeming to feel one way or another about it and says a few words to Wash from time to time.

When the final plate is finished and it is clear who the last competitor standing is -- or, well, the last competitor sitting on a sofa and not looking like she is about to die from jam consumption -- Tikva approaches her at a march and holds up her prize in the air, epiphanite glittering on the thinly braided chains. "The contest is complete! The victor is plain!" she declaims. "Princess Reese Grayson has demonstrated that there is no tart she cannot crush, nor jelly she cannot reduce to jelly. Wait. Never mind. Anyway, Reese, may you enjoy your prize! And the rest of the party, obviously."

Esoka puts her whole //heart// into eating jam. Her face is very sticky by the end of it. "YES IT IS A COMPETITION!" she loudly informs Jeffeth. Though she only looks a little sorry when she's not the victor. Clapping her large, sticky hands together. "Well eaten, Princess!"

Sorrel sets the baby on the table and hands her a spoon. Lilah waves the spoon in the air and attempts to squeeze a fistful of jam in her little mouth. Her mother looks up at Rysen and grins. "Kyrios took a header into the fountain. Again. He did not catch any fish, though, and he started out with a bandage that he won't keep on. And now he and his friend Asharion are eating jam together. Now that the tears are dry."

Zara is overheard praising Reese: A remarkable appetite for victory! And a remarkable victory through appetite.

Tikva is overheard praising Reese: None sweeter than Grayson! Or, uh, stickier, but you know how it goes!

Calandra is overheard praising Reese.

Merek makes his way back to a place to relax also.

Merek is overheard praising Reese.

Reese puts the jam jar necklace on. "There now everyone will know much I love sweets. Thank you, Princess Tikva. It is very lovely."

Harlan continues eating the jam, but ... . he slows down as he begins to worry about his pregnant wife. It slows down his eating, although he gives Lisebet a warm smile, also with his own jam smears.

Alaric has apparently made a successful getaway from the interminable amounts of Crown business because several of the King's Own march in and part to make way for the King, as is done. A wave is given to the room along with a brightly regal grin as he looks about to take in the hall and see what all is afoot. "Well now. Looks like we've just missed a jam-eating contest," he observes brightly to his assistant before making his way to Asharion. "Happy birthday, Prince Asharion! Zelda, our present, if you will." The Princeling is duly presented with his own pint-sized King's Own tabard.

Rysen laughs, and nods to Brianna. "It is, My Lady, and it looks wonderful." He takes a sip of his drink and cheers loudly for Reese. "Well done, Princess! You've proven yet again that when it come to eating jam, there are none greater than Grayson!"

Rysen smiles warmly at Sorrel. "He has an adventurous spirit," he says of Kyrios, and turns to gaze with a degree of surprise glimmering in his grey eyes when Brianna asks something of Sorrel, and he smiles.

Rinel peers at Elloise's notes. "Is that me?!" she demands, pointing at the figure. "I don't look like that! What is it saying?"

When ALARIC enters Elloise scribbles -furiously- and then just CREEPY STARES at him. Her eyes are wide. Her expression fixated. Her pencil? POISED.

Reese looks to the king as he arrives, giving him a smile of greeting. "Your Majesty." She says gently. She then smiles as the present is offered. The princess then peeks over to Rysen. "I am very very good at seating lots of sweets. I am a regular at Lottie's shop."

Elloise mutters, "... ... do something do something."

Lisebet curtsies as the king comes in, and then rises. She moves back towards Harlan, but stops. "There's too much jam," she says. "I think maybe I should like some ginger tea if you have some?" A hopeful glance to Tikva.

Brianna rises respectfully when the king enters. "Convenient timing, your highness. Well done."

"Congratulations!" beams Tikva, and then swirls towards Alaric, Zelda and her child.

Asharion looks up with very large eyes at Alaric, and thrusts his very sticky jammy arms in the air. "Wazby birfday!" he tells the King and Zelda happily. There's so much raspberry on his mouth he could be a very messy vampire indeed.

"What an excellent tabard!" Tikva exclaims on the approach. "What a sticky, sticky King's Own he makes. -- Oh, of course-- Imori, will you go and brew up a fresh pot of ginger for the duchess Ashford? Perfect. Quickly now. I'm sorry about that, my lady. It was a hazard I did not consider!"

Harlan gives the king a bow as welland moves to slip his arm around Lisebet, saying, "Let's get you tea, love."

Kalb, the chill bodyguard leaves, following Nisaa.

Cahal rises alongside Brianna.

When Rysen notices Alaric enter, he also rises with Brianna and bows, blushing furiously and probably regretting yelling the words of House Grayson. "Your Majesty," he says softly, and laughs a little to hear Asharion pronounce a variant of raspberry birthday to the king. Turning to Mikani and resuming his seat, he says quietly, "Gods and spirits, the young prince is adorable."

When Sorrel hands Brianna the baby, she adjusts so she's holding the little princess on her hip. "Hello, little Lilah," she says softly, not seeming to care if the baby gets jam on her. She sits back down.

Mikani dips into a curtsy as the King enters. "Your Majesty." Mika says softly before taking her seat again.

Kyrios Thrax, only vaguely less sticky than his friend Asharion, looks over at the king curiously when the Grayson boy calls attention to him. "JAM!" he calls out excitedly to the king, then stumbles towards Asharion yelling, "HAP BIRFDAY!"

Reese is overheard praising Tikva: Great party!

Calandra is overheard praising Tikva.

Reese is overheard praising Elloise: Only a little burnt and science!

Ian finishes off his food and, bracing himself on the table, pushes to his feet. "I'd better get going," he tells Wash. "Still trying to help Aethan get his trip sorted out, so we can leave." And with that, he ducks out.

Reese is overheard praising Alaric: Great gift giver!

Rysen is overheard praising Reese: Greatest of jam eaters!

Reese is overheard praising Esoka: Can eat lots of tarts!

Ian has left the long table of polished wood with griffins rampant climbing its legs.

Esoka is overheard praising Tikva: JAM!!!

Esoka is overheard praising Reese: Excellent JAM eating!

Lisebet smiles, somewhat ruefully. "I cannot imagine how you might have, Princess Tikva, and thank you for the tea." she says, certain that the ginger tea will arrive posthaste. "I am sure I will get better at this, but at the moment, this being my first time and all, it catches me by surprise. Does that ever get better?" Hey, there are mothers here she can ask, so she does! Even if it's a party. Ahem. She leans against Harlan, for a moment, and then adds, "You still owe me a dance, Harlan Ashford. Just not too athletic so I don't throw up on your shoes."

Reese is overheard praising Lisebet: Raspberries! Charm and giving it a great try.

Washnods to Ian. "I'm going to stay for the dancing at least." He says, still managing his wards. Fortunately he has help.

Alaric beams approvingly before regarding Tikva with a cheerful grin. "Wazby all over, I see," he observes wryly before turning to the birthday boy's mother. "Tikva, good evening. Don't let me interrupt the festivities, now!" he declares before moving on to greet his other relatives. "Reese! Well eaten!" he cheers jovially. "Ah, and Washburn, you're here as well, wonderful. Duke Harlan and Duchess Lisebet, lovely to see you both. And Countess Mikani, too." There are a lot of people to welcome for one pose, so that's as far as he gets for now. Perks of being relations and/or Crownlands head-of-houses is that you get to go first. With a little gesture, he sends Zelda off to go fetch him a little liquid hospitality.

Reese is overheard praising Zara: Woots, won her duel!

Alaric is overheard praising Reese: Well eaten!

Harlan chuckles towards his wife and says, "Slow and sedate, Lis. Slow and sedate." He definitely wants his wife to talk to other mothers -- he doesn't know much about this either, after all. Even though there are servants involved, still, information is good." He smiles towards Alaric, "A pleasure, Your Majesty."

Cahal returns to his seat and gives Brianna and Lilah a look somewhere between bemused and charmed.

Bowing to his table, Jeffeth goes to clap his hand on Sorrel's shoulder before giving another bow to the room as he makes his way out.

Brianna finds a biscuit for the baby to gnaw on, watching as she shoves it into her face with her little sticky paws, then offers the soggy pastry to Brianna. The Halfshav lady gamely makes munching noises before offering it back to the baby. "She looks so much like you, Sorrel."

Jeffeth has left the a round table with inset amber and glass badgers.

Brianna is overheard praising Tikva.

"You're just in time for everyone to stop clutching their bellies and groaning so that they can get up and dance," Tikva assures Alaric with the crooked flash of a grin, and as he moves off to greet others, she turns back to Lisebet with her hand resting over her belly, beneath the shimmery fall of seasilk. "Honestly for me it varied, some, between each? I'm afraid growing a small person inside you is never pleasant or easy. But you do get a small person at the end of it, so there's that. Enjoy the dancing, my lord, my lady!" and then she turns to swirl off across the floor.

Wash greets the King, standing up briefly. "Your Highness, I am glad to be here. Just happened to be when I was in port."

As the dance music beings, Rysen rises from his seat, and bows ceremoniously to Mikani. "May I have this dance, Countess?" he asks.

Mikani laughs softly and takes his hand to stand. She dips into a ceremonial deep curtsy, thank you Emerys, before rising. "I would love to Lord Rysen." She says with her warm and calm voice. "Lead the way."

Rinel is attempting to read over Elloise's shoulder. "What is /that/?" she asks, pointing her finger at something in the woman's book.

Lisebet smiles at Alaric's greeting, a warm look on her face. "Nice to see you as well, in a nice relaxing setting. I don't think you've had enough jam," she says softly. And that said she certainly doesn't slow him down. Her gaze goes to her husband and then to the dance floor. "You may have to bribe Princess Tikva's musicians. Or Princess Tikva," she offers him.

Puff, a dainty yellow-green canary arrives, following Arcadia.

Rysen has left the a round table with inset amber and glass badgers.

3 Thrax Guards arrives, following Raimon.

Mikani has left the a round table with inset amber and glass badgers.

Rysen checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 25 higher.

Mikani checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 55 higher. Mikani rolled a critical!

Reese is still lounging on the couch. Maybe all that jam has her feeling a bit relaxed. She smiles as Rysent and Mikani start dancing. She also is wearing the jam jar. "Oh, wow, the countess can really dance." She says.

Reese is overheard praising Mikani: Woots, great dancing!

Raimon steps into the Grayson Hall, his hard gaze sweeping the room. He is still wearing his armor, though it has been cleaned and polished to shine brightly in the lights of the hall. He did at least leave his weapon at home. The big man gazes around for a moment before making his way furhter into the hall.

Rysen smiles at Mikani's reply, and he walks with her to area set aside for dancing. Together, they begin to move gracefully to the music (thank you Martino), with sweeping steps and the occasional flutter of a gown or long coat. As the two continue to dance, Mikani's movements begin to flow in absolute harmony with the music, and Rysen laughs softly, and does his best to keep up with the effortless skill and beauty of his partner's performance.

Alaric is duly presented a mug of cider and a fresh biscuit liberally dosed with strawberry jam upon his assistant's return, and therefore looks about for a place to park it and snack. "Well then, do tell me all about your latest trip, Washburn, I haven't spoken with you in quite a while," he declares as he heads over to the long table, adding a few more waves for Sorrel, Brianna, and others he knows. "How have Cerilla and Rayne been?"

Alaric has joined the long table of polished wood with griffins rampant climbing its legs.

Arcadia sneaks into the parry, more than just fashionably late. Hiding near the back, against a wall she watches as people mingle and dance.

Washpoints out the dancing to his daughter, though there isn't much that can distract her from sweetened biscuits and brightly colored jams.

Esoka does her best to clean off her face so she isn't too jam-covered. Just a little jam-covered. She'll have another pastry, and take a jar to take home with her, before slipping out the way she came.

Mikani smiles at Rysen as they glide across the floor. Mikani fought like a dancer and this just seemed an extension of that. Her movements were fluid as if her feet weren't even touching the ground. She closes her eyes for a moment to enjoy the sound of the music and the movements across the floor, letting Rysen lead in the dance.

Tikva approaches Elloise and Rinel at their corner of the ballroom in a swirl of golden seasilk and an easy smile turned just slightly quizzical at the corners; she hasn't met Rinel yet, but her smile is friendly enough for all that the angle of her greeting begins for the former Leary. "Baroness," she says. "I'm glad to see you're well enough to attend social events after your earlier adventure! Thank you for coming."

Reese has a gentle smile of greeting for Raimon. "Greetings Prince, how are you?" She says softly. She then smiles over to Arcadia as well.

Cahal leans back in his chair and watches Mikani and Rysen perform one of the best dances he's likely ever seen. His head tilted just a touch as he listens to the music.

Arcadia smiles fondly at Reese, "Good evening Your highness. I hope you're well?" Catching a glimpse of her sister talking to Tim's, she gives a little cringe and checks to make sure nothing in the room is on fire.

"Oh, I'm FINE. Listen, it was a foolproof thing --" Elloise prattles off all the reasons her wee experiment to 'make his potion better!' should have worked and then sheepishly adds, "but upon investigation it seems a '2' was ... not carried..." BLAST!

Brianna winces as the tiny princess grabs a handful of her hair. "Yes, Lilah, I'm fond of my hair, too," she says to the baby. "What did I tell you about this grip, Sorrel? I'm getting her a sword for her birthday."

Raimon bows slightly towards Reese. "Good day, Your Highness. I am doing well. I thought I might make an appearance." He shifts uncomfortably as he looks around, clearly out of his element at the extravagant party without his wife to hid behind. He adjusts his armor slightly before catching sight of the king. Bother... He fortifies himself with a deep breath and marches his way towards Alaric

Finn the youthful northern puppy arrives, following Thea.

Rinel points at Elloise's notes. "Is that a two or a three?" She peers scrutinizingly. "Your handwriting is hard to read." The woman bows to Tikva. "Your Highness. It is a most beautiful ceremony. I am grateful for having been given the opportunity to attend."

Reese nods in response to Raimon. "I am glad you did. You missed jam eating contest, but there are lots of treats and raspberries still. I can't eat another bite though." She says.

"Maths are _definitely_ not my strong suit. When we do financials, I basically have to sit there and make Imori check over all my figures over and over," Tikva says with an air of bemused sympathy. "Anyway, I'm personally just quite glad that you weren't hurt, and that the damage to the surrounding environs may be... correctible?" Tikva says with a high sweep of her eyebrows, though her eyes do crinkle at the corners with the threatof an unspent laugh. "Ah-- thank you, although I'm not sure I can really call it a ceremony so much as--" She pauses for a moment, staring towards the wreckage that remains of some of the breads and biscuits. "--Let's say a celebration. Of Petrichor's great bounty."

Harlan calls over towards TIkva, "Princess Tikva! Is there no music at this ball?" He smiles down at Lisebet, reaching to stroke her hair.

Alaric is drinking cider at his table and listening to Wash explain something. Raimon's approach gets a sociably curious glance and an absently permissive wave to join the table if he likes.

"I think," Elloise says slowly, "that it should be fixable. Perhaps my sister Arcadia can help procure the items that were lost. If you care to message her - don't stumble into her anywhere, she'll ..hug you. For some reason."

As the present song fades, and the musicians begin to transition to another, Rysen and Mikani slow their dance. Rysen bows again to his partner as he releases his her hand, and as he stands again, he gazes at her for a moment in admiration. "Thank you for the dance, Countess," he says, smiling. He leads Mikani back to the round table, and takes a seat again, grinning to see young Princess Lilah Thrax with a fist full of Brianna's flaming red hair.

Rysen has joined the a round table with inset amber and glass badgers.

Mikani curtsies lowly to Rysen at the end of the dance. Rising she grins at him, "Anytime." She takes his arm and heads back to the table. "Sword? Start with a dagger much more entertaining."

Thea comes stepping in, super late. Hopefully she's cleaned herself up enough. She bows her head and curtsy where needed.

Arcadia slinks to Elloise at the mention of her name "No. I hugged my sister who I haven't seen since she had her children. Not for no reason." She smiles at the others, "Hi. I'm Arcadia Leary, but please call me Cady."

Lisebet smiles at Harlan and tugs him towards the dance floor, as the song slows down. "Hopefully it's slow enough for you," she teases.

Lisebet checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 28 higher.

At the wave, Raimon steps forward, dropping into a low bow with his fist pressed do his chest. "Your Majesty. It is a privilege and an honor to meet you. I am Prince Raimon Thrax, formally of Fidante." He straightens stiffly, shifting nervously before looking towards Wash. He bows to him as well, though nowhere near as low as to Alaric. "Lord Wash, a Pleasure to see you again."

Reese looks to Thea, having a smile for her as well. "Hi, Lady Thea, nice to see you. Are you all totally better now?" She asks gently.

Mikani has joined the a round table with inset amber and glass badgers.

Wash greets Raimon in a friendly way. "Prince Raimon, a pleasure to see you again. Join us. Have you taken to sailing by chance after adopting the Thrax name?" Wash asks hopefully.

Alaric regards Raimon with more direct attention once he begins his introduction, nodding in acceptance. "Ah, one of Duchess Calista's cousins? Pleased to make your acquaintance, Prince Raimon," he declares regally before looking back to Raimon. "Is he one of your prospective

When Rysen overhears Reese greeting Thea, he turns and offers the Malvici a sad smile, and a respectful dip of his head from where he's sitting.

Alaric regards Raimon with more direct attention once he begins his introduction, nodding in acceptance. "Ah, one of Duchess Calista's cousins? Pleased to make your acquaintance, Prince Raimon," he declares regally before looking back to Raimon. "Is he one of your prospective captain material testers for this project of yours?"

"My what?" Elloise asks. "Oh. --wha- okay." Well! Guess we know how she feels about kids!

Harlan chuckles and guides his wife out to the floor for a slow and gentle dance. He definitely isn't going to go doing anything crazy with her on the dance floor. Still, he knows how to mnove -- if not as good as Lisebet.

Harlan checked dexterity at difficulty 15, rolling 25 higher. Harlan rolled a critical!

Then again -- sometimes people can be surprising.

"People do hug me sometimes," Tikva says without seeming to feel that this is a matter of much concern. "It's been known to happen." She turns a cheery smile on Arcadia. "Hello, Cady! Tikva Grayson." She lays her hand lightly over her heart. "I hope you are enjoying the night?"

Reese is overheard praising Harlan: The Duke can bust a move!

Raimon straightens slightly, wincing. "I have not yet begun my instruction in Sailing, no. I was waiting for warmer weather and then seeing if I could find someone to teach me." He looks towards Alaric and nods his head. "One of her second cousins. Pleased to meet you as well, your Majesty." He looks curiously at the mention of material testers

Thea offers Reese a familiar and usual wave,"On the mend, your Highness. Thank you. How are you?" Turning to Rysen, she offers a small brief smie,"Lord Rysen, hello."

"Her birthday is at the end of the month. I'm sure a small dagger is about the right size for her," Sorrel replies with amusement to Brianna. "She can't walk without holding on to something yet, but by all means, get her a sword. And her brother, too. He didn't get a jam party for his birthday. But I think he's having too much fun with Asharion to care."

The song is not as fast as the previous one but Lisebet moves gracefully and with a certain charm. She and Harlan make an adorable couple it's been claimed, and they do enjoy the dance, even if Lisebet's rounding tummy tries to get in the way. Certainly, judging by the smile on her face, she loves to dance.

Wash seems just as content to talk to Raimon as King Alaric. "I would consider it a privilege if I could share what I've learned with you. Who knows? You could take to it like a duck to water. They have ducks in the Lyceum I believe."

Reese looks over to Thea while still cured-up on a couch. "I am doing very well, thank you." She says toward her.

Warrick has left the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.

"Well, don't fret about it, there's plenty of time to learn," Alaric declares to Raimon with a sort of nonchalant confidence. "Besides, there's always the fine arts of boarding enemy ships and fighting on the deck if you can't keep your forecastles and yardarms and rigging and all of that lot straight." He nods lightly to Wash. "Oh, definitely. Ducks are everywhere, save for the far north."

"The Lyceum does have ducks, yes. Though naturally they are poisonous" Raimon responds, dryly. He inclines his head to Wash. "The instruction would be appreciated. I am more for fighting and boarding then actual sailing but I suspect that as a Prince of Thrax I should at least know my way around a ship."

Raimon has joined the long table of polished wood with griffins rampant climbing its legs.

"Her brother would think twice about picking on her if she had a sword from Auntie Brianna, wouldn't he?" The Halfshav lady manages to extract her hair from the tiny princess's fist, replacing it with a spoon. "Walking is important, though," she informs he baby seriously. "You really should get on that. Yes, being carried everywhere is fun, but think of the adventures you can have if you learn to walk and control your bowels!"

Thea strides over to a couch, a bit more graceful in steps. She green eyes take in her surroundings closely, watching a moment.

Lilah Thrax promptly smacks Brianna in the face with a spoon, laughing cheerfully at the stickiness she leaves behind. She bounces a bit in the Halfshav's lap, enthusiastic about being at a party with people.

Arcadia thanks Tikva, "Thank you. I am. But, unfortunately it was an appearance only. I would be happy to help with any projects my sister needs my assistance with. Please excuse me. " She dips her head before she heads out.

Cahal has just started talking to Rysen and Mikani when Lilah Thrax decides to show Brianna how she would use a lethal weapon. He gives a sudden chuckle, grins at Brianna and says "She's definitely going to be a warrior."

Puff, a dainty yellow-green canary leaves, following Arcadia.

Rysen nods in agreement with Cahal. "Definitely."

Warrick hasn't abandoned his plate. It's still packed with an assortment that's almost been... dissected? And examined. He brings it with him when he makes his way over to Tikva and the others gathered. When there's an appropriate pause in conversation, he says, "Your highness. I enjoyed the theme. A very unique party."

Mikani smiles and nods, "She already is ... a warrior is a mindset. She's already got it." Mika grins and wiggles her fingers at the baby.

Harlan is large enough and strong enough to not worry about Lisebet's growing stomach. He can carry her if he really needs to, but ... you know, her dignity and all of that stuff. He smiles down, obviously loving the woman he's with. The moment is wonderful, and all is well for now.

Tikva turns to face Warrick on being addressed with a bright smile on her face; her expression crinkles a little around the corners as her memory searches for recognition, in the flicker of her bright eyes over the young man's features. "Indeed! Asharion gave me the idea, but I've found that House Grayson are at our best when we remember not to take ourselves too seriously," she says, hand at her heart. "I beg your pardon, but though I think I recall your face I seem to have misplaced your name...? My companion here is the cleverest of us, Baroness Elloise Stormbreak."

Inquisitor Jonathen, Salvadore, a fire salamander, 6 Veteran Confessors arrive, following Laric.

Inquisitor Jonathen, Salvadore, a fire salamander, 6 Veteran Confessors leave, following Laric.

Wash has left the long table of polished wood with griffins rampant climbing its legs.

Brianna laughs after the baby smacks her in the face with the jam spoon. "That's a good girl." She sits the baby on the table, wielding her own spoon. "You go on and dance, Sorrel. I'll watch your little warrior." A spoon fight of sorts commences.

It is indeed one of those sweet wonderful moments between husband and wife, for a bit, there might as well be nobody else in the crowded room. Lisebet and Harlan on the dance floor, perhaps not as showy as the previous dancers but definitely doing better dancing than at jam eating contests. The music does come to an end eventually, and that ginger tea is ready, so Lisebet moves to have a drink, and settle her stomach.

Washleaves the table with his daughter, and after delicately cleaning her hands of any trace of jam, he carries her over to the dance floor and poses there with her. A daddy-daughter dance, their first at a public event, even if her feet don't yet touch the floor.

Kyrios Thrax, two-years-old and bold as anything, which might be clear from the gash on his head, wanders up to Tikva and tugs at her, holding up his arms as if he intends her to pick him up. "Aunt Tikva," he says plaintively.

Harlan guides his wife to said tea. After all, her not throwing up is always a good thing, for him (and the servants. Gotta be nice to them, after all, right?)

Warrick rocks once on his heels. Not /too/ obviously. "Warrick Morgan, of House Valadrin. Prince Asharion is very creative, then. Creative enough to attract the king." He dips his head at Elloise. "My lady." He lowers his voice, for no reason other to ask, "Who is your baker?" He readily steps back when Kyrios embraces the princess, and waits patiently.

Rysen finishes his drink and rises from his seat. He makes his way over to Tikva's side, grinning to see Kyrios asking to be picked up. "Thank you for hosting us, Your Highness," he says to Tikva. "My best wishes to you and your son." He bows to Tikva respectfully.

Mikani stands with Rysen and bids farewell to Tikva before heading out.

Raimon has left the long table of polished wood with griffins rampant climbing its legs.

3 Thrax Guards have been dismissed.

"Oh!" Tikva's momentary confusion clears from her face, blooming with understanding. "Right. Aleksei's other brother!" Aleksei's _other_ brother. I'm sure she doesn't mean anything by this. "Hello, Warrick Morgan! Oop--" She turns slightly, distracted from the question of bakers, looking down at her friend's child. "Kyrios, have you escaped your mama?" she asks, scooping him up and hoisting him high in her archer's arms. She smiles. "Thank you for coming!" she says sunnily to Rysen and Mikani. "I hope you've enjoyed yourselves."

Raimon has joined the long table of polished wood with griffins rampant climbing its legs.

Rysen has left the a round table with inset amber and glass badgers.

Mikani has left the a round table with inset amber and glass badgers.

Lygeia, a calligrapher and alchemist, Mikani leave, following Rysen.

Wash is overheard praising Tikva.

Reese rises to her feet, slowly like maybe had too much jam! She miles over to Tikva. "Thanks for holding this, it was a great party, Princess Tikva." She has smile for the other here as well. "Take care everyone. Nice to meet you Princess Zara." She then starts to slips out. She has a smile for Cahal as well. "It was good to you too, Lord Cahal."

Calandra is overheard praising Zara.

Calandra is overheard praising Warrick.

Cahal stands up from his table and offers Sorrel a hand before starting off towards the dance floor. A grin it given over to Reese on the way. "Im sorry its been so long since we met last Reese."

Reese looks to Cahal. "Oh, no need to be sorry at all." Sh says warmly. The girl then continues on.

Reese has left the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

"You as well, Princess Reese," Zara says, glancing up after her with a warm look as she rises. She says a last word to Calandra, and then says to her, "And we'll speak again," as she then turns to bring her greetings to a few others in the room -- and then, perhaps, move on.

Zara has left the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.

Cahal has left the a round table with inset amber and glass badgers.

Sorrel has left the a round table with inset amber and glass badgers.

3 Thrax Guards, 2 Thrax Elite Guards, Lady Teonia Redreef, Aryka Wyrmfang, Marquessa Pudding, a doughy dog leave, following Sorrel.

Gwyndolin, Champion of Valardin, Isabelle, a lady's maid, Cahal, Sorrel leave, following Zara.

3 Thrax Guards, 2 Thrax Elite Guards, Lady Teonia Redreef, Aryka Wyrmfang, Marquessa Pudding, a doughy dog arrive, following Sorrel.

Harlan smiles towards Reese and Tikva and inclines his head, and then bows to the King, "I apologize, I need to see my wife home, and see her relaxed. I wish you all well."

Ramona - A Guard in Ashford House Colours, Bigsby - A Thoughtful Looking Young Man in Nondescript Clothing, 2 Ashford Archer, 1 Ashford Scout leave, following Lisebet.

Relic, Lisebet leave, following Harlan.

Kyrios Thrax squeals in delight when Tikva hoists him up, and he clings to her fondly for a moment. "Lost mama," he explains apologetically to the Grayson princess, glancing around and sticking out his lower lip. "Had wazby jam with 'Sharion." Meanwhile, his mother, oblivious to his crisis, is taking Cahal's hand to dance. Sorrel is light on her feet as she moves to the music easily.

"Yes, Aleksei," Warrick says, and his smile never falters, despite the slight note of weariness to his voice. "Wazby... Oh, raspberry." Zara's departure catches his eye, and he looks back towards the sofa for Calandra. "I won't keep you, your highness," he says to Tikva. "Just wanted to say hello and offer well wishes."

Tikva hoists Kyrios high in the air, holding him up in a thrust of her arms so he can see the whole room. "Can you see your mama?" she asks, and cants her head to peek past her arm towards Warrick with a rueful crumple of her brow. "Did you ask about the cookery?" she says. "House Grayson's staff always rises to whatever challenge--" Whatever completely mad, random, jam-related nonsense challenge. "--we ask them to meet! Thank you for coming, Master Morgan!"

Cahal is not, it must be said, a great dancer, especially when compared to the earlier dances or the pure grace of Sorrel, but, how much skill does a basic dance require anyway? "I'm afraid." he says quietly to Sorrel as they work their way around the dance area. "That you'll have to get me very drunk for more."

As the song ends, Wash gives Cerilla a little spin flourish and then sets her on her feet and leads her over to their Hostess. "It was a pleasure to enjoy a party in the Gray Hall again." Wash says. "Cerilla wants to thank you too. Right?" He prompts his daughter on her manners.

Calandra has left the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.

Spoon-fighting was fun, but mama is returning, and Brianna hands the baby back to Sorrel. "I adore her," she informs her friend warmly, either not noticing the jam on her face or not caring. She turns to Cahal. "In my experience, drinking doesn't make the dancing any easier."

Alaric has left the long table of polished wood with griffins rampant climbing its legs.

Calandra is left a little starstruck in Zara's wake, though the only indicator is a slightly giddier smile upon her usually tamed and polite expression. Warrick's seeking has a small nod sent his way, but she'll return to him in a bit, hoping to seek a bit of drink, food, and a few other familiar faces first before the party winds down.

"As long as you're good with getting drunk with toddlers," Sorrel says, eyeing Tikva and Kyrios. "I think I need to go rescue our hostess from my son." She spins away from Cahal with a wink, heading over in Tikva's direction, putting an arm around her carefully. "I think you have something that is mine. Something that is lucky he didn't get himself trampled," she says to the hostess. "And a happy birthday to Prince Asharion, of course.

Alaric continues the old schmooze patrol and wanders over to the next table, mug of cider and half a biscuit in hand.

Alaric has joined the a round table with inset amber and glass badgers.

Raimon has left the long table of polished wood with griffins rampant climbing its legs.

Tikva hands off Kyrios to his mother, smile wide and bright. "Thanks," she says. "He's getting heavier!" She glances around for her own offspring, and finds that Asharion's nanny is already collecting him to cart him off to a room with less wild amounts of overstimulation, praise be to the gods. "I hope you're having a good time, too. I admit, I am probably never going to want to eat jam again. At least, for awhile."

Raimon steps away from the table, making his way over to the hostess proper. He bows to Tikva slightly. "Thank you for hosting, Your Highness.

Tikva takes Asharion Grayson, the Prince of Raspberry Jams.

Cahal smiles at Sorrel. "No need to worry about that. I don't drink anything stronger than cider around them." Since Sorrel is talking to Tikva he takes an opportunity to say "Thank you for hosting such a fun event." but instead of hovering around the hostess and Kyrios he heads on back towards the table and gives a grin to Brianna. "On the contrary. It makes it a lot easier." he gives Brianna a chuckle. "It just doesn't make you better."

Sorrel tucks Kyrios under her arm and gives Tikva a kiss on the cheek. "It's been a lovely party," she says brightly, then returns to where Brianna is trying to give her Lilah back.

Sorrel has joined the a round table with inset amber and glass badgers.

Cahal has joined the a round table with inset amber and glass badgers.

Wash and his children collect themselves and depart, pausing to wave one last time to those that are still remaining.

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

"For excessive wazby jam intake I think they're actually doing quite well," Alaric proclaims complimentarily to Sorrel. "Good night to you all! It was an honor to host you here." He regards Cahal with a nod. "Good to hear, good to hear. Far as the summer goes, I suggest lots of shade and finding yourself a favorite pool as soon as possible, but I definitely think you're on the right track meeting people. You never know who will be able to help you, or vice versa." He gestures towards Brianna with his mug. "Except her. Nothing but trouble, that one," he advises.

"Goodnight, Sorrel and brood. I'm sure I'll see you soon!" Brianna tilts her chin up, her eyes flaring in feigned offense. "I'll have you know I am a most demure and pious lady, Your Majesty," she lies.

1 Rivenshari Clansman, Lucky, the fishing cat, Patock, A clever Youth arrive, following Athaur.

1 Rivenshari Clansman have been dismissed.

Lucky, the fishing cat have been dismissed.

Patock, A clever Youth have been dismissed.

"I'm rather fond of the Lodge of Petrichor." Cahal says about pools. "Hopefully I'll be able to escape the heat in the groves and gardens there. Water does sound nice but I have to admit that I'm not sure about the sea yet." he grins across at Brianna. "I dont know. She's been nothing but a veritable font of reasonableness around me."

"The Grotto. You'll learn to love the Grotto," Sorrel says with a laugh, even as her tantruming son makes an attempt to get away, and she gets to her feet with her screaming daughter on her hip. Two cautious Thrax guardsmen who must have drawn the short straws come over to aid her, and one ends up holding the prince upside down before righting him, still howling angrily and demanding more 'wasby'. "Have a lovely evening, everyone." And with that, she and her escort make their exit.

The Jingling of bells seems to add to the music of the hall for a moment before Count Athaur steps in. He would be the source of the tinkering accompaniment, with bells braided through his hair and sewn through his clothing. He looks around for a moment, collecting a plate of biscuits with which to sample the jam. He makes his way over towards Alaric, Cahal and Brianna and drops into a bow. "Lady Brianna, Lord Cahal. Your Majesty. I hope that you are all doing well."

"Tell that to the rosebush you waylaid," Alaric deadpans back to Brianna, giving Sorrel a smile of parting before turning a bless-your-heart sort of look at Cahal. "It's probably just the buttering-up phase. Wait until she doesn't feel like she needs to be reasonable with you anymore," he observes ominiously. "I suggest having a helmet ready. High quality steel at minimum." He regards Athaur's arrival with a regal smile. "Well, it's Count Athaur. A good evening to you as well. Still some biscuits and jam about, I'm sure."

Sorrel has left the a round table with inset amber and glass badgers.

"The rosebush had it coming," Brianna says sweetly, her cheek dimpling fetchingly around the jam. "I have no need to butter anyone up. My magnetic personality and enviable humility do that for me. It's quite lovely being me," she says with a dramatic toss of her hair. She nods her head graciously to the count. "You missed a duchess eating jam until she vomited in a hallway. Fun for the whole family."

Cahal chuckles at Alaric's words on Brianna. "I'll take your warning to heart Your Majesty but I fear it will be a surprise no matter what I do." A smile of welcome is offered to Athaur. "Good day Count Athaur." and then he reluctantly admits. "I should call it a day. Between the duel and this ball I'm quite worn out."

"Thank you so much Your Majesty. I do intend to sample the jam." Athaur grins brightly. Looking towards Brianna he lifts his brows. "Truly? Which Duchess? And have a good day, Lord Cahal."

Alaric exhales lightly. Well, the custodial servants have got to earn their pay somehow. "I think that's a good approach. Sometimes being ready for recovery is a better tactic than trying to prevent a disaster. Delightful meeting you Lord Cahal, gods light your path," he declares before turning his own question to Brianna as well. "What was the duel about?"

1 Rivenshari Clansman have been dismissed.

Lucky, the fishing cat have been dismissed.

Patock, A clever Youth have been dismissed.

1 Rivenshari Clansman have been dismissed.

Lucky, the fishing cat have been dismissed.

Patock, A clever Youth have been dismissed.

Athaur history

"Now that would be gossiping," Brianna says lightly to Count Athaur. "Have a good evening, Lord Cahal," she says with a little salute with her glass. "Oh, the joust today? From what I understand, it was a contrived excuse to make Jeffeth and Sorrel joust for our amusement. One of the better reasons for a duel in recent memory."

Cahal has left the a round table with inset amber and glass badgers.

Athaur pouts slightly at Brianna. "Of course it would be. That's why I wish to know." He shrugs slightly and lets out a sigh. "Oh a Joust? That would have been entertaining to see."

"Ah, a jousting exhibition sounds like a fine way to welcome the spring. Have you ever tried it?" Alaric inquires to Brianna before regarding Athaur. "Sounds like the sort of experience that might put her off jam entirely for quite a while, whoever it was. Shame, that. In my royal opinion, jam's far and away the best spread." So stated, he eats the last of his biscuit with strawberry jam and washes it down with some cider.

"Jam is best baked inside a soft, ripe cheese," Brianna opines. "As for jousting, I've tried my hand at it, but I'm hardly horsewoman enough to compete with the Oathlanders. I think they all have a little horse in their bloodlines. It would explain quite a bit."

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

Athaur lifts his eyebrows slightly. "Well I can say for certain that I have no horse in my bloodline. I can barely stand the creatures." He takes a bite of his biscuit, making a soft, pleased noise.

"I always enjoy how you can speak of refined culinary creations like jam baked inside soft cheese and then segue immediately into fornicating with equines," Alaric observes low-key teasingly to Brianna before nodding at Athaur. "Horses aren't exactly the best river swimmers, it's true."

"What can I say," Brianna drawls, a mischievous glint in her eye. "I'm a rare creature. No horse in my background, as far as I'm aware. Bear, perhaps." She rises. "Your Highness, my Lord, I fear I must reluctantly part from your diverting company. Thank you both for the entertaining conversation."

Athaur chuckles softly and nods. "It's true. They are rather terrible swimmers. Decent eating though." He turns to Brianna and drops into a jingling bow. "Have a good evening, My Lady."

"There's a terribly inappropriate joke to be made about your possibly being related to the late Count of Fireviper, but it is far too late for me to bother with framing it," Alaric quips to Brianna. "A good night to you, Lady Brianna. It was a delight to host you tonight." He smirks at Athaur before glancing around. "Just making certain the Royal Stablemaster wasn't around to hear that. He would have -opinions- about that, let's say," he observes wryly.

"I should hope that came to mind, as I was delivering you straight to that joke," Brianna says with a grin. "Have a good evening."

Brianna has left the a round table with inset amber and glass badgers.

Athaur chuckles softly. "Oh I am certain several individuals who are fond of horses might have opinions about that fact."

"Well, as long as nobody's discussing eating dogs. Considering how many Peers are terribly fond of their pets around here, they might have to be smuggled out of the city to ensure their safety," Alaric deadpans. "Well then, how fares it in Riva? The Oathlands forests have had more reports of trouble than usual lately, unfortunately. I do hope that you haven't had too much in the way of ongoing issues."

Athaur lets out a sigh. "Personally we have not had to many problems yet. Just refugees fleeing the problem areas. But all reports say that there is trouble of some sort heading our way. We are looking into the situation, but we don't know for certain what it is."

"It's good that things are stable enough for you to take others in. But it certainly does seem evident that someone has been letting long-sealed ancient evils loose in the Oathlands, unfortunately," Alaric observes with a faint frown. "There are reports in multiple areas of Abyssal phenomena on the move. Further scouting will be necessary to better understand precisely what we're dealing with."

Athaur nods slightly. "Many of them don't want to stay though. They are just moving through, afraid of whatever is coming." He sighs heavily. "It is very disturbing. I am hoping we can gather some information on what we are dealing with."

"Hardly a good sign if they want to put as much distance between them as they can," Alaric muses. "Well, canvassing a large area and a transient refugee population unavoidably takes time. Little to be done other than to remain diligent and patient until the inquiries are complete."

"Exactly right, and I have scouts looking into things as well. We will see what we find." Athaur smiles slightly. "But I should be going I suppose. It was good to speak with you, Your Majesty."

"Delighted to speak with you as well, Count Athaur. Thank you for visiting this evening," Alaric replies regally before glancing over at the central table. "Feel free to take a few extra jars of jam with you if you like. We seem to have somewhat oversupplied."

"I will most certainly do so!" Athaur drops into a deep bow before collecting a few jars and slipping away

Alaric has left the a round table with inset amber and glass badgers.

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