Tournament of Thorns, Path of Courtship
You've chosen the path of courtship to secure your claim to the Throne of Aildorich. Whosoever you choose as your intended will have the potential to strengthen, or weaken, your claim to the crown.
RULES - https://bit.ly/2xitro5
June 29, 2019, 8:30 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Compact - Place of Peers
Comments and Log
Gianna has joined the Caithness's Corner.
Marisol has joined the Contestants Cirle.
Lucrezia has joined the Caithness's Corner.
The wider area is divided into several sections by ropes, barriers and other crowd control methods. For those participating in the challenge a group of stewards are directing them to the collection of chairs, laid out in a wide circle all facing inwards toward two elaborate thrones. Placed directly next to each other, the thrones are joined with ribbons and with thick elaborately carved wood planks symbolizing the partnership of rule which is the theme of this contest. Spectators are ushered to tables of drinks and various foods laid out on the east and west sides of the circle.
Sebastian takes up a place, standing in front of the Throne, his assistant Briar somewhere nearby, waiting for the contestants to take a seat, and for his fellow committee member to join him, holding out a hand to invite Marisol to his side.
Denica takes her seat gracefully
Merek makes his way to a place to take a seat, not far from some of the others, while he smooths his longcoat about him. Even as a commoner he looks pretty extravagant in some of his attire, while he bows first before he settles to relax also.
Silas steps into the area carefully... and promptly gets ushered to a table full of delectable drinks and food. He doesn't protest, but makes sure he gets a good view of the ongoing contest. Dash positions himself near his feet, in the place more optimal to catch wayward table droppings.
Marisol brings up the rear of the procession to make sure no stragglers get lost and only then does she step past and towards the Pravus Lord. The Princess is a contrast to her counterpart who is in steal and blues and she in her copper and emeralds. Her smile grows as he extends his hand and she reaches out to place her hand in his and turn about to face everyone as her skirts flare a moment and then settles in their jade hue. Her gaze sweeps over the gathered and then up at Sebastian to take his cue to sit. Thus she will.
Gianna is already there and already seated; she's apparently here to watch. Resplendent in green brocade and blue-green sapphires, she's got one leg crossed over the other and is examining her nails. Pretty as a picture.
"Thank you," murmurs Evonleigh to those ushering her to the seats for the competitors, before moving to select one of them. She smoothes the brocade of her skirt as she sits, turning her steel-blue eyes on Sebastian and Marisol, looking the part of an eager student awaiting directions.
"Maybe we should switch. You compete and I'll spectate. You're handsome enough." Amari is murmuring to her enormous dog of uncertain pedigree. The brindled beast looks up at her, as he tends to whenever she speaks, tilts his head and does not seem to understand what she's on about in the least. He also doesn't understand sitting outside the contestant's circle when she reaches it. She whispers something about him being allowed provided he's on his best behavior. Again, he doesn't seem to comprehend, but when she finds a way to a seat facing Sebastian and the thrones, he parks next to her.
Nisaa moves to the section marked off for contestants and gracefully takes her seat, smoothing pink and purple skirts around her. Nods and smiles are shared to those who sit with her, followed by softly spoken, accented words of, "good luck to you."
After briefly conferring with the Princess, Sebastian moves into the center of the semi-circle the challenges have been directed to take up, lifting his hands to quiet the talking. "Welcome, Princes and Princesses of the realm," Sebastian announces, with a tip of head to the group gathered before him.
"You've chosen the path of courtship to secure your claim to the Throne of Aildorich. Whosoever you choose as your intended will have the potential to strengthen, or weaken, your claim to the crown. Choose which one path you will take, and choose wisely. Will you charm your intended directly to convince them of your suit? Will you outwit all the others clamoring for their affection? Or, will you choose the path of an arranged marriage and woo prickly potential parents to your cause?"
"Pick your path wisely, Your Highnesses." With a last, grand gesture, he indicates the clear space in front of the two empty thrones. "Those who choose the path of Charm, stand up and step forward."
Denica stands and steps forward
Merek stands up so he can make his way forward also as well.
Evonleigh listens, tipping her head in a pensive manner. When Sebastian asks who will be choosing to use their charm as their weapon of choice, she glances around, before also rising, and stepping forward.
Amari narrows her eyes, lets out a slow breath as she considers and then decides it after noting the others standing. "Charm it is."
Lucrezia stalks after other spectators, delayed for pausing to snitch a snack from one of the tables to the side. After finding a suitable seat, she half drapes herself over it sideways and eats her snack lazily as she watches the introduction to the event.
Barf gets a pat on the head before Amari joins the other competitors standing up and stepping forward.
Nisaa rises up after chewing on her lip a moment. "Charming, or parents. Which should I choose is a question." She lets out a breath and sits back down. "I think I will try for the parents."
Sebastian moves over to join those who have chosen to charm their potential bethrothed -- nearly all of the contestants. Blue eyes sweep over the crowd and a corner of his lips twitches upwards as he raises his voice. "First, we shall see how far those who have chosen charm will take them." His gaze turns to the competitors. Do you have what it takes to secure a Prince or Princess? A Duke or Duchess? It will be no easy feat! Seducing a Marquessa or Marquis will not be much easier, for those born to power must choose carefully. A Count or Countess might be a little easier, though their suit will not bring you as much power in your own quest. A Lord or Lady might be easy enough to secure matrimonial connections with, but you will gain little in connections and glory in this Kingdom. Now, should you dare to choose a commoner? It could be perilous to your standing in the Court. But the people of the land of Aildorich may love you for it. Who do you pursue?
Sebastian continues, "Consider your options -- look to the crowd for inspiration, tell us about your intended, and then make your pitch to your potential betrothed." He gestures, to invite each of the contestants to speak their pitches one by one. "Beware... those that fail to secure a match will be eliminated from the competition."
Harlen arrives, following Duarte.
Harlen leaves, following Duarte.
Denica checked charm + performance at difficulty 60, rolling 2 higher.
Merek checked charm + diplomacy at difficulty 30, rolling 2 higher.
Evonleigh checked charm + diplomacy at difficulty 40, rolling 24 higher.
Amari checked charm + diplomacy at difficulty 50, rolling 6 lower.
Marisol folds her hands before her, the emeralds in her crown catching the light as her dark eyes sweep over the gathered as they choose their poison as it were. She gives Sebastian the room he might need as she considers him briefly as he outlines what is available for pursuit. She brings her hands to her chest, drawing a breath a she waits for a moment to consider the contestants. Her gaze narrows a moment with a grin. "Good luck to you all," she intones warmly, the Valardin Princess' honeyed gaze gleams with keen interest.
Curtsying to Sebastian, Denica smiles lightly "Let me tell you about my Knight, Sir Jonas. He is a war hero and a man of the people, he will bring to us martial prowess, keep me safe, and the common folk love him and will follow him to the gates of the Abyss if he asked them to. With him by my side, the crown will be with a family of unquestionable skills and reach. I ask that he be married in for me, and that the benefits of him being enobled far outweigh the issue only some will take with it."
Merek seems to take a moment to consider about how he will approach this, then he nods a bit while he looks to... Gianna, with a smile, "Ah, this Countess here, she is well educated, and will assist in making sure that this all goes well." He continues on, with his speaking, it's theatrics mostly. He seems distant as he speaks, even if he manages success, he obviously has a lot on his mind away from the competition.
Amari goes big, trying to charm a fake prince and it's a valiant but insufficient effort with many words and actually very decently winsome and witty. She struggles when it counts though and is obviously trying to force the charm through a wet stifling blanket of exhaustion. Yawning through her words at the end sort of puts to rest her attempt, and knowing she's just flubbed it, she offers a curtsey to Sebastian, turns and sees herself out of the contestant's circle with her mammoth dog. "Come, Barf. I think you would have had the better showing. Let's go find you some treats. You've been very good about not eating anyone. Very good."
Amari has left the Contestants Cirle.
Gianna looks, for a moment, slightly puzzled when Merek gestures at her. She raises her hand to wriggle her fingers in a wave, a flicker of a smile on her lips.
Stepping back towards Marisol's side, Sebastian regards each of the contestants as they 'introduce' their spouses. Denica's introduction of her knightly intended earns a lift of brows. "Bold, Princess Denica. Ennobling a commoner -- especially to such dizzy heights -- is quite a challenge." Merek's espousing of his 'Countess' turns his gaze to Gianna with an easy smile.
Evonleigh steps forward, golden gown shimmering in the light, tipping her head until she finds one of the commoners, lashes not quite fluttering but dipping away, as if she's a coy and shy thing. "Marquis Lorien Almazon, son of warlord Albius Almazon and the Princess Eithne, nee Garidiel." She gestures to the commoner, curtsying to him deeply, a flourish of graceful wrists and another dip of those long lashes. "He is noble, intellectual, kind, and strong, all of the things a good marquis should be." Her eyes return to the man in the audience. "I am but an ennobled daughter of a merchant, but for all of that, I would make your house stronger, for I understand the people, being born among them. I can also hold my own in court with those of higher rank and birth, for I have the skills of a diplomat, a courtier, and a performer. Most of all, I have heart, and that is not something one can buy with money, as well he knows."
There's only the faintest furrows of brow when Amari tries -- and fails -- to secure her would-be-Prince, giving the lady-slash-fake-Princess a bow as she steps out of the circle. Evonleigh's contribution earns an interested focus, nodding along to her words.
"To those that failed to secure a spouse," his apologetic gaze settles on Amari, "I'm afraid this is the end of the competition for you." He gestures broadly. "For the rest of you -- congratulations to those successful at securing a spouse." Sebastian gives a half-bow to each of them. "Please take your seats, and those that wish to pursue wish to outwit their opponents please step forward." He gives a brief pause, gaze settling on the remaining contestant -- Nisaa -- allowing her the choice.
Nisaa looks up with large round eyes towards Sebastian and shakes her head gently.
A ready smile shows across her lips as Marisol listens. The Princess leans into Sebastian to remark on something quietly so as not to interrupt. She tilts her head in thought and then gives Amari a sympathetic look. She lwoers her hands back to her sides and follows Sebastian's gaze to Nisaa, watching her curiously to see what she will do. She gives an appreciative nod to Evonleigh. A wink follows before she arches a brow when Nisaa answers Sebastian and then makes a thoughtful sound.
With a nod to Nisaa, Sebastian continues. "It seems none of our contestants wish to battle wits! That leaves the most fearsome path of all, the path of the overprotective parent. Do you have the composure necessary to secure a betrothal whilst being stared down by the gimlet eye of Countess Arnicusa? We shall see."
"Approach the Countess," Sebastian gestures to Princess Marisol to indicate that she will play said part, "And make your pitch for the hand of her son or daughter."
Nisaa checked composure + performance at difficulty 40, rolling 9 higher.
Marisol quietly adopts her expression that is entirely unreadable. No smile, a focused stare and she waits for Nisaa to approach. That chin might raise just a bit higher as she waits for the Whisper to petition for the hand of one of her house. Surely not!
Amari promised her dog treats so walks off, giving Gianna a wave as she leaves and a light, airy laugh, "Oh, Countess! You look ravishing." Then she's leaving with a gesture at Barf like it's his fault somehow.
2 Novice Keaton Huntsmen, Barf, the Bog Dog leave, following Amari.
Nisaa nods towards Sebastian as she rises, taking steps towards Princess Marisol. Her chin lifts with pride, almost regal, and her steps are soft but purposeful. When she speaks, her quiet voice holds power not of volume, but of conviction, laced with her spiced accent. "Countess. Good evening and thank you for meeting with me. I am quite understanding of wanting only the best for your son, and perhaps, at first glance, all you see before you is 'a Whisper'." Nisaa dips her head out of respect. "I am assuring you though that though I am not noble of title, I hold myself to the highest of standards. I dance and dine with Kings. I have skills that would benefit your house, such as my talent in diplomatic matters, as well as the arts of socializing and entertaining. Should you allow me to marry your son, I would no longer be a Whisper, but a Lady, dutiful to your house, who was living every day to be the best I could be as wife and daughter-in-law." She gives the Countess (Princess Marisol) a curtsy then and begins to move back.
Marisol listens, Sebastian saying something that causes her to glance aside but then quickly refocus on Nisaa. A nod is given curiously, a brow arching as she continues to speak. The Princess looks to be unconvinced at first - only at first. For at the end she seems to be mulling over the offer. "I see your point. your view is valid and Whispers have married into noble houses before. You would be a much needed addition to our family. You are given leave to begin a formal courtship upon the acceptance of my son." She inclines her head regally and then lifts her hand to make a motion suggesting she has passed inspection. Her eyes then find Sebastian, "She passes muster."
Sebastian's lips twitch upwards as he watches the interplay between Nisaa and the Countess, nodding approvingly when the match is allowed by Princess Marisol. He steps back towards the center of the space, shadowed by his assistant who is taking careful notes. "Congratulations to all who made it to the next stage. You've secured a spouse, and thats no easy feat. But what you must decide now could very well determine your lives together and how successful your claim to the throne will be. Do you arrange the most grand wedding the people of Aildorich have ever seen? Do you throw open your treasury and spare no expense, trusting that the impression of wealth and riches will prove a success? Or is your strategy a more simple and exclusive affair, believing that the excess would be better spent upon the kingdom and the land, than on making a flashy, lasting impression?"
"Make your decision, Your Highnesses, then stand up and describe your wedding to the crowd."
Merek checked intellect + economics at difficulty 30, rolling 12 lower.
Denica checked perception + economics at difficulty 30, rolling 12 lower.
Evonleigh checked intellect + economics at difficulty 30, rolling 0 higher.
Denica waves her hand a little as she begins to describe her wedding, "Sir Jonas and I are going to get married on a ship out at sea of course. We shall deck the whole boat in white roses, and have a few friends and family there to enjoy the best food we can catch that day. It will be a rather simple affair I assure you. This is no time for big spending."
Marisol has left the Contestants Cirle.
Merek thinks about it, then he motions with both hands a bit, "I think we should invest in wagons, and oil. Then we'll sell a part of the country to a foreign nation, it is the best way to keep the economy safe," he says. "Now, the wedding itself? We're going to need some chickens. I'm just saying, all the best weddings have chickens, what do you mean they're... That much?" he asks as he blinks aside, "Oh well, I suppose that we spent the budget on chickens and accidentally starved a bunch of farmers."
Nisaa checked perception + stewardship at difficulty 30, rolling 16 lower.
Monique arrives on the scene as Marisol leaves, almost as if it's been somehow orchestrated that way! The Minx of the Marches slips over to the Tournament grounds, all smiles and excitement as she approaches the games. "How are my Princes and Princesses fairing?" she asks, as Queenly as she can manage.
Standing and smoothing her gown, Evonleigh lifts her chin. "A modest wedding is far classier than a big to-do, especially for a simple girl such as myself. We will have a small and intimate gathering in the Cathedral, with our closest family members and our closest friends, followed by a dinner that is a little larger, enjoying the food and culture of our combined houses." She glances downward, then smiles brightly over at the commoner. "I do confess I'd like to spend a little more than I ordinarily might on the gown, because you are only married once." She tips her head. "Limerance willing."
Gianna has been speaking quietly with Silas as they observe the proceedings. Now she's shaking her head with a bit of a laugh as she says something to him.
There's a brief murmur, and Sebastian bids farewell to Marisol, only to exchange her for a Queen. He bows to the redhead, leaning to kiss her cheek. How daring of him! "Dear Queen -- the contestants are describing their not-so-lavish weddings to us," he says, with a twitch of lips. He actually legit winces when Merek mentions chickens.
Silas also chortles from his neat next to Gianna. It sounds like he's in agreement with whatever it is they were talking about.
"I believe a modest wedding is being the most appropriate for us, given certain circumstances." Nisaa begins. "I believe my future husband and I would prefer a quiet affair for the family, giving the funds we do not spend on extravagance to those in need of food, shelter, and other goods. It will go further to please the people of the land."
Once the last of the contestants have made their wedding pitches to the crowd, Sebastian once more raises his voice, addressing all those who remain. "You've wed -- some of you in not so extravagant style," he observes wryly, "And now we find out how successful your marriage strategy has been overall. Are the courtiers, the Queen," he gives a nod to Monique, "And the people pleased? Who do they feel is the best candidate to put forth for the Throne of Aildorich?"
Making a grand gesture to the ground, the Pravus Lord states, "Time to seek the approval of your people, Your Highnesses. Address the crowd, seek their approval and praise, and you may just secure yourself the Crown."
Denica checked charm + propaganda at difficulty 30, rolling 24 higher.
Merek checked charm + propaganda at difficulty 30, rolling 13 higher.
Evonleigh checked charm + propaganda at difficulty 30, rolling 15 higher.
Nisaa checked charm + propaganda at difficulty 30, rolling 9 higher.
Denica stands and curtsies to the crowd, "Your Majesty, Graces, Highnesses, Lords and Ladies... I believe I have demonstrated with my choice of husband that I am not only the best option for the crown, but the boldest, and I would /like/ to think my choice of weddings was the smartest move I could have made. I stand before you, asking for your approval to be considered for the crown. I will do us all proud and make the most charming of Queens... well Most charming /after/ the current one of course."
Merek nods a bit while he seems to think a moment as well, "I uh, I think I would do alright," he says, as he lifts his shoulders a bit as well, and nods also to the others while he does also.
Benvolio, a beleaguered valet in search of a better job, 6 House Velenosa Guards arrive, following Berenice.
Benvolio, a beleaguered valet in search of a better job, 6 House Velenosa Guards leave, following Berenice.
Evonleigh rises, lifting her chin and looking out at the audience and then the queen, curtseying to Monique deeply. "Your Majesty," she says. "The people of today need a queen who understands them, and I do, having come from them and risen to the heights I have. I have shown my worth in my negotiations and dealings with those higher of me in rank, and that I can soar as high as I dream -- while still being grounded and focused on what needs to be done for my lands."
Zelda, the royal messenger, 13 King's Own Guardsmen arrive, following Alaric.
Zelda, the royal messenger, 13 King's Own Guardsmen leave, following Alaric.
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.
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 leave, following Reese.
"I am hoping that I have pleased them, at that my marriage will be a grand success." Nisaa bows her head gently. "If it is not my own head that shall wear the crown, I will hope for the best for the one that does."
The 'Queen' looks entirely pleased, flushed with pleasure as she watches the Prince and Princesses argue for their right to the Crown. Monique leans in to murmur something quietly to Sebastian, before devoting her attention entire to the contestants. She's swayed by many, but it's very clear that Denica knows the way to a Minx's heart. She preens with pleasure and vanity alike. But in the end, she defers to the Lord Pravus.
"What a challenge it has been," Sebastian states, amusement in his gaze as he regards the competitors once they've finished their speeches. "But only one can advance to the final competition to vie for King or Queen of Aildorich." He glances left, towards his assistant, Briar, who has been dutifully recording all the scores. She hands him a message, his eyes skimming over the contents. It can't be that long -- so maybe he's trying to build suspense. His gaze lifts. "It was a close competition, but... the winner of the Path of Courtship is... Crown Princess Denica!" He executes an effortless bow towards them, gestures towards Briar, who hands him a crown. He steps over, and gently places the iridescite crown on Denica's head.
"The final competition shall be held on the Judgement Green," Sebastian gestures northward. "Make your way there, and learn whom your Princess will be up against, and who will claim the Throne of Aildorich!"
Silas is overheard praising Denica.
Silas is overheard praising Evonleigh.
Sebastian is overheard praising Denica.
Sebastian is overheard praising Evonleigh.
Silas is overheard praising Merek.
Sebastian is overheard praising Merek.
Silas is overheard praising Nisaa.
Sebastian is overheard praising Amari.
Sebastian is overheard praising Nisaa.
Silas is overheard praising Amari.
Merek is overheard praising Denica.
Lucrezia applauds loudly for Denica, sounding her approval of the bold choice to marry on a ship. Nothing else could compete with that in her eyes! She smiles wild and gleeful to hear she also won this part of the competition.
Silas is overheard praising Gianna: For the marvelous commentary!
Denica princess waves at everyone, smiling sweetly, fluttering those eyelashes. "Thank you for the honor. I shall do us proud and be named Queen."
Monique stays long enough to watch the crowning before the 'Queen' slips back to the Judgement Green for the final game.
Evonleigh turns to smile at Denica, dipping her head. "Can't beat a real princess at this even in make believe," she says with a wide smile, clearly not too broken hearted at losing. "Very bold from the start. I was too nervous to go that route, so well played," she says, standing to curtsy. "Good luck in the final."
Nisaa applauds for Denica along with the others. "Good luck to you in the next portion."
Denica has left the Contestants Cirle.
Lady Snow, Stojan, the assistant, 3 Thrax Guards, Damaia, the assistant leave, following Denica.
Sebastian takes Path of Courtship - RULES.
Evonleigh has left the Contestants Cirle.
"You did wonderfully, Evonleigh," Silas says, purposely projecting his voice in her direction. "Next time!"
Nisaa steps up towards Sebastian and lowers her head to speak to him softly before she takes her leave.
Merek has left the Contestants Cirle.
Gianna applauds the contestants, and the winner, of course.
Lucrezia has left the Caithness's Corner.
Silas has left the Caithness's Corner.
Dash the Guard Corgi, 2 Iron Guardsmen, Lady Fairfeather, a white gyrfalcon leave, following Silas.
Gianna has left the Caithness's Corner.
2 Whitehawk Guards leaves, following Evonleigh.
Sebastian lingers as the spectators head north, bowing his head to listen to Nisaa's whisper. He smiles, leaning in to kiss her cheek, murmuring something quiet, before he settles a hand at the small of her back to guide her northwards.
Sebastian has left the Contestants Cirle.
Nisaa has left the Contestants Cirle.
Kalb, the chill bodyguard leaves, following Nisaa.
2 Pravus Honor Guard, Briar, a quiet young woman, Nisaa leave, following Sebastian.
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