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Social Occasion

As the name implies, a social occasion where two people enter into a contracted arrangement that may or may not be commonly referred to as 'marriage'.


March 1, 2017, 8:30 p.m.

Hosted By

Laric Cara


Luca(RIP) Dafne Valkieri(RIP) Alistair Isabeau Aislin Barric(RIP) Niamh(RIP) Juliet(RIP) Tikva Lark Octavia Valerius Ainsley Reese Killian(RIP)



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

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

When Valkieri strides into the hall, it is not Sylvie on his arm -- as she so often is, at least for their moments of arrival -- but rather Lady Juliet Fidante. He's in the finest of his wool waistcoats and trousers, and he's substituted the black silk he's been wearing underneath since the death of Vincere and Pietro with crimson instead, stamping himself emphatically in Rubino colors.

Lady Juliet is conversing casually with Valkier, happy to lean on his arm. Wearing a form-fitting gown in fine, white wool, embossed with a floral pattern that shifts as she moves. Her hair styled in a long braid, woven around the pair of crossed swords into a heart-shape, then dangling down her back, an onyx whip, woven in with thirteen white winter roses, blooming. Offering bright smiles, and little waves of greeting, initially.

Lark sits alone on the couch, mostly looking away from the bustle of preparations that surrounds that has taken over the hall. As Killian steps away from her, she runs a quick hooked finger beneath her eye and gives a ladylike clearing of her throat. Her gown is a simple ghostly-periwinkle number but it's ...pretty clear she had more than twenty-minutes notice.

Reese is standing in the hall not far from Tikva. She wears a black silk dress and matching leather boots. A pink sword hangs at her hip, because one never knows when it might be needed. Golden blonde locks press against the constraints of her steel hairnet. She has a gentle smile of greeting for those who arrive.

Raking a hand back through the short bright fluff of her hair, Tikva looks momentarily confused at her own fingernails. Maybe she should have worn hairpins or something to try to tame that fluff. Oh well. Straightening the fall of her skirts, she says, "All the blessings of Limerance on this evening, my lady. The fresh snow is a good omen! Fresh snow, crisp new path -- you know." She flutters her hands a little and backs a few paces, freckled nose crinkling at its bridge.

Barbara, the stalwart Stormward secretary arrives, delivering a message to Octavia before departing.

Barric is dressed in some sort of wedding-appropriate clothing. He sits next to Lark once he comes downstairs, preventing her from being alone but not saying anything. Companionable sibling silence.

In what is a rather large depature from the norm for Niamh, the Greenmarcher shows up both in a dress, and seemingly without a weapon. Certainly no sword or axe hangs at her hip. She brushes her hands against the skirts of her dress, arriving a bit late, takes a moment to look around the gathering.

Upon his arrival in the Great Hall, Valerius immediately spends a moment looking at the impressive decorations likely fitting that of a Grayson wedding. Once satisfied, his gaze turns to those gathered here, eventually spotting the couch in which Lark sits that Barric moves to join her at. A smile crosses the Thraxian's face, and making his way through the Hall he bows his head towards the Princess, that easy grin never leaving him. Upon reaching his destination, he lowers himself into a seat next to her, leaning in to speak quietly before he settles himself down.

Octavia enters the hall and and takes a step to one side, smoothing her ankle-length skirt with her hands. Her expression looks like she hates the mere existence of such garments. With a word of gratitude to her brother's secretary, she takes a bottle and brings it over to the table that looks like it's for gifts to the party, setting it down and trying her best not to smooth that stupid skirt again.

Dafne has also, perhaps surprisingly, put away her black (of mourning and otherwise), and is clad in a dress that of the style more favoured by her cousin. In fact, it's quite possible it _is_ Sylvie's gown, albeit hurriedly hemmed for the shorter Dafne. It's of Zaffrian sapphire blue, backless, low-cut, with high slit cut in the skirt. Her dark curls have been piled atop her head, several trailing down artistically, sapphires gleaming in her ears. Upon arriving, she glances about the hall, with a smile for her friends and family. She looks startled to see Juliet on Valkieri's arm, but gives them both a brighter smile for it.

In honor of the wedding Ainsley is -not- in his mourning garb. He's dressed in a pair of gray leather breeches, and a silk tunic of gray color. His dark hair has been neated combed so it isn't going everywhich way. He makes his way down from the upstairs, his swordbelt on-- threnody on one hip. His gray eyes track those in the room landing on the Greenmarch Lady, watching her quietly for a moment.

Valerius has joined the Plush Couch.

There are as many wedding traditions in the Compact as there are peoples of the Compact - in reality there are more, for certainly the shav’arvani have their ways, too. But in the Great Gray Hall in the Crownlands, in the city of Arx, there are a few traditions one must observe when having a wedding. There must be an officiant - a godsworn clergy member, traditionally Devoted to Limerance. There must be an agreed upon contract, signed by both parties - paperwork which is completed well before the ceremony.

And there must be two people who willingly agree to be married.

The officiant is a matronly woman of middling years, gray-brown hair worn neatly braided, who upon completing a ritual set of three circles with a censer of incense approaches the recently-added dais at the front of the Great Hall. She stands upon it and asks in a loud, clear voice, “Who comes this day to make their oaths to one another, to be married in the eyes of the gods?”

Aislin is wearing a black (OOC: handwaved) dress with a blue silk tunic atop it; it's at least a concession to social norms for a wedding, if not perhaps the best choice. Then again, for someone almost always dressed in leather, it's possible she doesn't have that many suitable outfits. And at least the shadows beneath her eyes have somewhat faded, of late. The Voice of Ashford watches the event begin, though glances over to offer a nod to the Lycene contingent -- and a rare smile when she spots a Greenmarch arrival.

Aislin has joined the Emerald Couch.

Barric has joined the Plush Couch.

Juliet offers a pleased little smile to Dafne, and an upnod of greeting to Niamh, then Aislin and Luca. But as the officiant speaks, she's quick to pay attention to the ceremony instead.

Familiar faces are always something to be thankful for. Niamh casts a smile towards Ainsley, bowing her head to the Prince. There's a little wiggle of fingers, but no spoken greeting. Not with the ceremony beginning. Quickly she slips off to the side, moving towards the emerald couch and joining Aislin there.

Niamh has joined the Emerald Couch.

Octavia drops Oseyan - Kennex Brand Pineapple Vodka.

Killian doesn't move to any of the couches, but rather remains standing off to one side, near one of the walls and out of the way. He could easily just be another of the guards, were it not for the fact that his armor is more ornate and well made than is typical of the guards. He's silent and immobile, watching and listening for all appearances.

Valkieri's gaze sweeps over Dafne's distinctly Sylvie-esque gown with a hint of dry humor, but not disapproval. He turns his attention forward when the officiant begins to speak, although at her question his gaze slides away to find his sister.

Ainsley's eyes track Niamh as she goes to sit with Aislin. A hand lifts to rub at his sternum briefly, and aside from nodding his head toward Aislin should he look his way, he turns away from the two ladies. He moves to stand near the couch with Lark and Barric, but doesn't sit.

Ainsley has joined the Plush Couch.

You know what's gauche? Wearing the same outfit to two social engagements. But here Luca the Languid is, dressed identically to how he was dressed the last time anyone saw him in public. The night of the Velenosa Gala honoring his late cousin. Supple black calfskin pants tight enough to be like second skin, flowing silken shirt of house purple, and a brodade coat of black and purple, a diamondplate blade at his hip. Oh...and a volcanic glass hip flask in hand. Though at least the latter is being tucked away as he's striding into the gathering, having just tucked a deep bracing draught off of. He smells strongly of rum, but the Lycene prince seems to be steady enough in his stride. That may be just practice combined with Champion duelist grace though. Who knows. Either way, in he's coming, peering about looking for someone in particular, and then making a bee-line straight for a certain pink-bladed Reese, a half-hearted smile for her as he's leaning in to murmur something a bit too much into the blonde Grayson girl's personal space before catching himself and swaying back from her. At least he's not drunkenly making a ruckus as things begin. Hopefully he'll manage to keep that trend.

Lark looks up as Valerius joins her and her brother, shifting to politely accommodate the man. She does not smile but fights the onset of tears. Her misting is likely a product of this extremely well-thought out wedding. As the cleric begins to speak, she turns her attention to the woman.

Tikva keeps her hands composed before her with some kind of effort at will. Her smile is wide for the officiant, as it might be for somebody who spends as much time as she does hanging around in the Shrine of Limerance. She bounces a little on her heels and then manages, more or less, to contain herself. Her blue eyes slide curiously in amongst the other guests who people the hall, watching faces with avid interest as she picks out people she knows. She doesn't move towards any of the couches, although she does shift a little bit to her right so as not to get run over by the impending Luca. Her smile is crooked as she glances between Luca and Reese, and then she looks back towards the officiant, waiting for the guilty parties to come forward (more or less).

Barric watches Valerius approach the couch and Lark and then sit on the former beside the latter. Then he's looking back toward the rest of the room, watching others trickle and flood in. The matronly woman speaks and Barric listens.

Dafne hurries--no, you don't hurry in Sylviesque heeled slippers. You saunter, complete with hipswaying. Possibly you sashay. In any case, she makes her way over to Valkieri and Juliet, although any greeting she might have said is silenced by the beginning of the ceremony. She watches, rapt.

At the officiant's call, Laric enters the great hall from the adjoined Queenspeace hall, one of the few rooms in the manor that does not, in fact, have an ominous connotation pertaining to elven murder and/or wholesale slaughter. He's out of his typical garb - not mourning, certainly, but the Inquisition isn't a happy workplace. He's clad in apt, formal Grayson greens and grays befitting both his station and the occasion. He glances over the gathered crowd, a thin but otherwise pleasant smile fading from his lips.

"Prince Laric Grayson," he lifts his voice in answer, soon at the foot of the dais and pausing there.

In a dress of simplest white, looped with golden cord around her slim waist, Cara steps from the shadows of the Great Gray Hall's sides, where she's evidently been waiting. Her hair is twisted in a single coronet on the top of her head that feeds a long braid down between her shoulders, inky blue-black against the white silk of her gown. She walks calmly and without seeming to be nervous to the front of the room, head held high as she answers the officiant, “I, Lady Cara Ashford, born of the House of Rubino, do." She comes to stand next to Laric. (She does not run away.)

Reese looks up toward Luca as he arrives, giving him a soft smile. Her blue eyes hold just a bit of concern. She reaches out for his arm with a tentative sort of gentleness. The blonde princess then listens to his words, giving him another smile. She murmurs something softly back, before trying to lead him over to the emerald couch.

Reese has joined the Emerald Couch.

Juliet reaches out, taking Dafne on her free arm, giving the girl a smile as she watches Laric ascend to answer the officiant's call. And her smile, if anything grows wider as she watches Cara step forward as well, murmuring under her breath to her two companions.

Valkieri's gaze tracks Luca's unsteady gait with a certain narrowing that suggests he will be an early volunteer if any ruckuses begin. And then he looks back to Cara as she steps forward, and something quiets in his expression as he watches her.

Luca has joined the Emerald Couch.

Octavia moves to find herself a place to stand where she can watch the ceremony, though the towering woman really doesn't have too much trouble seeing what's going on. The real trouble is her attire, and how much the Kennex woman despises it. Force the smile if you have to, there's no grimacing at a wedding unless someone trips over caltrops.

The officiant steps forward, holding her hands above Laric and Cara’s heads, one on each. ”Then let your oaths be thus recorded. In the presence of these witnesses, join hands and receive the blessing of the Pantheon.

Ainsley turns his gaze toward Cara and Laric, a faint smile curling at the edge of his lips. Half there. He reaches out briefly to place his hand on the back of the couch he stands near. Silent in watching the proceedings.

Tikva continues to stand, though she gives the general impression that even were there seating space somewhere that she could claim, her vibrant energy would not permit it. Her teeth bite down hard on her lower lip and she holds her own hands.

Laric's expression grows all the more sober as Cara joins him at the dais, his attention locked up on the Godsworn woman overseeing the ceremony. At her bidding, he turns towards Cara and lifts his hands, one turned over to take hers and the other extended to be taken in turn. When he speaks, his voice remaining clear throughout the room and the respectful silence inhabiting it.

"In the presence of the gods and these friends, I take you to be my wife, promising with their assistance to be unto you a faithful and committed husband so long as we both live."

Cara checked composure against difficulty 15, resulting in 22, 7 higher than the difficulty.

While there might be some measure of tension between House Grayson and House Valardin, this doesn't deter one member of the latter from stepping foot into the former's great hall to bear witness to... a social occasion. Isabeau arrives unaccompanied, meticulously dressed and carefully coiffed, and takes up a place among the assembly where she might be afforded an unobstructed view of ceremony and its particulars. The Valardin princess isn't an obtrusive guest, but she's certainly an obvious presence... such is the consequence of arriving fashionably late.

“In the presence of the gods, and those here who witness us, I take you to be my husband, promising to you my aid and succor, and to be your faithful wife as long as we both shall live,” Cara responds, curling her hands in Laric’s so that her fingers are intertwined with his. Her voice stays steady and clear, without a hint of rough emotion or tears - though there is the smallest of pauses before she begins.

Ainsley lifts a hand toward his mouth, curling his long fingers there and against his jaw. There's a little shudder of his shoulders; gray eyes silver briefly before whatever emotion that was is blinked away.

There's no sound from Killian as he watches, silent and immobile, his attention upon the ceremony entirely. If anyone were to pay close attention though, they might notice the glisten of wetness upon his cheeks. He is, however, off to one side and back a bit, so likely out of the way so as not to bother anyone with such.

Her voice a soft hush, Tikva murmurs, her hands white with pressure as she contains them in their close clasp: "Limerance's blessings on you both, love and loyalty and honor."

The officiant moves her hands to draw a thrice-circled blessing over the clasped hands of Laric and Cara, speaking melodically, "By rite and faith, then, we beseech the blessing of the gods upon this couple. Here before these witnesses, I proclaim the union of these two Houses, sealed by lawful marriage. Go in peace and be fruitful."

Valkieri watches the couple -- no, watches his sister, really -- with a look of quiet reserve. Until his sister speaks, and there's a moment where his expression creases, his jaw hardening, and there's a moment of pain in his gaze before it's smoothed away with a slow inhale.

Reese watches the ceremony while perched on the emerald couch. She has a gentle smile as marriage is declared official.

With the peanut gallery on either side of her at the plush couch, Lark takes a few quiet and labored breaths. Dabbing beneath her eyes with a square of cloth, her attention remains resolutely fixed upon the ceremony.

Aislin sits beside Niamh on the couch, her hand atop the Greenmarch's. Her expression as she hears the proclamation suggests it's a bittersweet moment for her; the unquestioned joy of seeing a loved one make a good match, but tinted nonetheless with a hint of sadness at seeing a treasured member of the family leave Ashford. Still, the smile she offers the new princess and her husband seems genuine.

Ainsley lowers his hand from his jaw, and blinks rapidly at the pronouncement of the marriage. His chin lowers and he looks down to the ground; tears welling up and silently spilling. A ghost of a smile curls at the edge of his lips.

Luca sits at the same couch kind of bonelessly, an arm sprawled around behind Reese (and possibly further past her to Aislin or Niamh), just watching the ceremony and smiling a lazy, lopsided sort of smile, murmuring occasionally too closely to Reese's personal space. Still no ruckus or need for Valkieri to murder him yet at least!

Isabeau looks on wordlessly, but has brought out one of her more subdued smiles to wear for the occasion. Bride and groom appear to be appreciated both together as a couple and separately on their own merits in Isabeau's true blue gaze. There are neither obvious tears nor an outpouring of emotion from the princess; only that soft, subtle smile that delicately defines the line between happiness and sorrow.

Octavia smiles widely at the declaration, momentarily forgetting her resentment about her attire enough to offer a whoop of delight. She then pauses and covers her mouth with the back of her fingers. This is not Port Stormbreak, it would seem.

Juliet watches the ceremony with interest, occasionally murmuring to the pair offering polite applause as the ceremony reaches its conclusion.

Dafne's expression blossoms into a genuine smile as she watches her 'almost-cousin's' marriage pronounced. Her eyes glisten a little in the light.

Laric's brows begin towards the lightest of pinches at Cara's halted beginning, but soon relax. His dark blue eyes stay centered on her black ones while the woman speaks her vows, his wrists shifting slightly in their mutual grip. After the officiant bestows the blessing, he lowers his hands, not releasing hers, and steps in towards the newly minted Grayson Princess. He welcomes her with a murmured word, then a kiss.

Sitting beside Lark and Barric on the couch, Valerius watches on as the marriage is made official, his already big grin broadening further as he almost calls out in support as well--though he seems to manage to catch himself before hand. As far from a normal Thrax as he is, it seems some things carry over. Instead, he simply sits, waiting quietly for the quiet to break.

Alistair shows up late, but then he was likely fighting pushing rowdy undead back into the Pit or the like. The man has no fashion sense, clad in his Inquisitorial uniform. Its doubtful he even has another outfit. He likely soils the occasion with his very presence. He steps into the Great Hall, his passive features turned to a bit of questioning as he looks about. He goes silent, watching as he arrives at the most important moment. The kiss!

Cara tilts her head in to murmur something in reply to Laric after they kiss -- it's very decorous, really -- and her smile is actually bright and teasing, albeit brief.

Tikva makes a little noise. It's squeaky. There are a lot of people crying at this wedding, but it seems that whatever griefs assailed her later in widowhood, she is wholly a figure of enthusiasm and joy for the ceremony in the eyes of Limerance. She even clapclaps a little when they kiss.

Valkieri's posture is stiff, but his expression does ease somewhat as he watches Cara's playful smile. He draws in a slow breath and exhales.

A moment passes for Valerius as his gaze leaves the coupled and wanders over the others gathered. Noting the, save for Octavia, severe lack of bright and smiling faces, there seems to be a moment of conflicted hesitation from the Prince. But, abruptly, he murmurs something quietly to himself, sits forward in his seat, and stands, opting to provide whatever bright response he can. His armored hands clap together, his parts his smiling lips, and calls out to the couple following a pleased--if at least somewhat subdued--shout, "Congratulations!"

Alistair has rolled a critical success!
Alistair checked composure against difficulty 15, resulting in 31, 16 higher than the difficulty.

Alistair does not smile. Not a quiver of the lips. A squint of the eye. A little tear. Nothing. Perhaps the wildborn Inquisitor truly is heartless? Perhaps there is no emotions to him, robbed of them by the Faceless god he worships or perhaps stolen by some fiend in the Grey Forest. He watches to proceedings in silence, and then turns away for a moment to admire some of the wonderful decorations. Truly. Well done to the decorator. The moment is brief, and his gaze turns back to the happy couple. He starts clapping, even if others do not. He can at least give that.

Whatever Cara says to Laric has the man blinking at her and staring in bemusement for all of three seconds. Those seconds might have dragged on longer if not for his sudden laugh, genuine mirth plain as he releases one of her hands. "No," he tells her more openly, "I don't believe I've had the horror. Thank you for correcting me." He takes a step away from the dais and lifts the other pair, clearing his throat and flashing a briefer smile over the crowd. "Thank you," he says to everyone, though it might be meant towards the people who aren't in an awful mood or throwing around death glares. "From myself and Princess Cara. She's played no small part in House Grayson's successes these last few years and I can think of no living woman more worthy to join us."

Juliet checked composure against difficulty 15, resulting in 19, 4 higher than the difficulty.

Reese continues to stay perched on the emerald couch. For some reason she is blushing and giving Luca looks. Those watching closely enough might even notice that she pinched the Languid prince. She smiles toward the couple as Laric speaks of his wife, her blue eyes gentle and she seems happy for them.

Lark is impressed by anyone willing to sit beside Duke Valkieri that long without wanting to smack him at least a little.

As the ceremony draws to an end, there's kisses, and there's a presentation of a happy couple, Killian's face is by now dried and he looks for all the world as he did when people arrived. Silent, immobile feature of the wall, just another suit of armor decorating the hall after all.

Cara keeps hold of Laric's hand, looking equally bemused and flustered, and speaks quietly that she's probably a little hard to hear at the back of the hall -- well, for the first few words, at least. "Thank you all for coming -- I know it is terribly short notice, but events seem to be proceeding at a rapid pace these days, and I thank you for your kindness and patience both." She falls quickly silent again, cheeks pink.

Juliet merely beams bright, and goes from holding the arms of the two Rubinos on either side, to wrapping her arms around their shoulders. "Hear, hear!" She agrees with Laric's statement, squeezing the rubies a little closer. "May your marriage blossom in every season."

Octavia gives up on decorum. There's another whoop from the Kennex corner, followed by the loud applause of one woman. Hopefully she can get others to join in, so she doesn't look too much the fool.

Valkieri does not look particularly happy to be squeezed.

"Welcome, Princess Cara!" Ainsley manages, bringing up his face to smile toward the newly minted wife and husband. A hand raised toward them. He leans down to murmur briefly to Lark and then ... heads for the doors?

As other take over for cheering and applauding, Alistair's hands go silent and he slowly clasps them behind his back. He looks to those who are present, and then to the newly married couple. The man gives a slight incline of his head towards the two of them as he clasps his hands behind his back and watches as people start to filter out and the heralds depart to give word of the new marriage.

Still misty eyed, Lark brings up both hands to give a few successive faint claps. "Yes, welcome. Welcome, Princess Cara." Her smile is closed-mouth and heavy with emotion. She nods fairly to Ainsley, but does not look after her Voice as he takes his leave.

For whatever it may be worth, the Valardin princess maintains her small smile and process to pile some polite applause onto the entire experience. Isabeau may have soft hands, but she can still be heard as the assembly grows a little louder in their appreciation of the ceremony and its participants.

Dafne squeaks. That's an appropriate reaction to being squeezed. She applauds brightly for the married couple.

Valerius looks immediately relieved as the quiet crowd turns to congratulations, that clapping of his ringing out a little louder once others join in. With that out of the way, he lets out a relieved breath, settles back into the couch behind him, and turns to smile at the pair of siblings that sit alongside.

Tikva smiles wide and warm approval at Laric and Cara. She clapclaps a little more, her teeth grazing hard at the curve of her lower lip. She dawdles a moment, and then says, "Your highnesses, with your permission I should like to sing a hymn on marriage for you both. It's a song of new beginnings and open eyes, which was sung at my wedding."

Juliet cheers again, then leans in to plant a kiss on the cheek of either Rubino, before letting them go and sketching a curtsey. "Thank you for having me. And sorry for leaving early - a prior meeting I'm now terrible late for. But I have been delighted to bear witness to this union, and I'll try to make it back before the reception ends." the Lady Fidante promises. Blowing kisses to known and unknown alike before she hurries off.

The moment seems suitably distracted, and as all attention is focused upon the happy couple and the offering of Tikva's song, Killian steps back and turns, heading for the rear of the hall without either word or farewell, his movement quiet enough to go unnoticed as he slips out.

Ainsley pauses briefly by the emerald couch on his way out. Reaching out to gather one of Niamh's hand and press a brief kiss to her knuckles (nothing said), before he heads out the doors. Off to some business.

Ainsley has left the Plush Couch.

"Oh --" Cara glances to Tikva, "Of course, and thank you, that would be lovely."

Fidelia Fidante, A Lady-in-Waiting leaves, following Juliet.

"Please," Laric adds after Cara, his eyes still scanning along the crowd. His smile mellows somewhat as it catches on something near the back of the crowd.

Tikva checked charm + performance against difficulty 15, resulting in 23, 8 higher than the difficulty.

Alistair checked composure against difficulty 15, resulting in 23, 8 higher than the difficulty.

Valkieri startles a bit when Juliet presses a kiss to his cheek, and his expression creases in a faint frown as she leaves. With his escort gone, he steps forward to reach for his sister's hand and squeeze as he leans over to press a kiss to her cheek. He murmurs something quietly to her.

Tikva fills her lungs and lets her voice lift to fill the hall. It is not her finest performance -- perhaps there is a hint of quiver in her voice, a threat of those unshed tears that troubled the others who came to this event -- but there is little doubt of either her earnestness, nor the clarity and volume of her voice. The song is an old one, as described: on new beginnings, new paths, new loyalties. It is missing any exhortation to grand romance or overflowing passion. It is, after all, a song for noble weddings.

Alistair stands at attention, as he is to do. Its clear now that he arrived late, no hiding that. If Laric is looking to him, the man raises his chin slightly in recognition to the man.

Dafne raises an eyebrow at Valkieri, but asks no questions. Instead she steps forward, and waits after Valkieri to congratulate the bride.

Cara murmurs something back to Valkieri, still holding Laric's hand, because it's chilly and her hands are always cold. She smiles at her brother, quickly, and turns to Dafne, "I'm so glad you could come."

Dafne rises on her tippytoes, and gives Cara a hug, carefully around her handholding. "I'm so happy for you," she tells her. "And wish you all the best." She hesitates, and adds, "I suppose something nice has to come after beautiful tragedy."

Laric's eyes drag off of Isabeau, stopping on Alistair as he lifts his chin. He flashes the man a briefer smile and nods an easy acknowledgement, releasing Cara's remaining hand and stepping off just to the side whilst the Rubinos and Zaffrias speak amongst themselves.

Valkieri narrows his gaze on his sister, but there is, at least, something approving in his gaze at whatever she's said to him. He looks to Laric next, considering the man for a moment before offering his hand. "Congratulations," he says. "To both of you."

"It's true that it can be easier to find the light of friendship in darker times," Cara agrees, and leans down to give the younger Zaffria a kiss on the cheek. "I hope to be included in your next great story, cousin."

Reese smiles once again toward the couple. "Congratulations and we are so honored to have you in our family, Princess Cara." She murmurs softly. Reese then looks toward the three at her couch, her gaze lingering on Luca slightly longer than the rest. "I am sorry, I have to go. I forgot that I need to be at this meeting." She murmurs, but is being loud enough that everyone can hear if they really try. She looks toward the languid prince, thought and pensive. She then whispers something to him, maybe urging him to behave. At least she doesn't pinch him again.

As the assembly begins to thin, Isabeau offers the head of the hall where the happy couple stands a deferential display in the form of a careful curtsey that comes complete with a brief bowing of her head. Wordlessly, she then turns to make her way out of the hall with the others departing the ceremony.

Laric pauses, his attention turning straight back towards Valkieri, glancing down at the man's hand. No obvious knives. No obvious thorned rings. Contact poison? Laric takes the risk, accepting the man's hand and giving it a firm shake. "Thank you, Duke. I appreciate it," and (hopefully) his continued living.

For those who are looking closely, Alistair is peering a bit at Laric, as if saying 'I'm gonna have to jump infront of an arrow or a dark winged fiend of shadow to save you at some point in the story... Aren't I?' But he doesn't spoil the evening and ruin the mood, beyond his meer presence.

Dafne flashes a brilliant smile to Cara, and settles back down on her heels. She glances at Laric, and dips her dark head. "And congratulations to you, too, your highness," she says graciously. "I hope you will continue to deserve her."

There is no obvious attempt upon the groom's life. Valkieri just shakes his hand in a firm clasp and then lets it go. Clearly Laric is just being dramatic.

Aislin rises from the couch, though leans over to murmur something to Niamh as she does so. And then she moves over to Cara and Laric, offering the prince a respectful nod in greeting -- and a smile for the princess. "Congratulations, your highnesses. Though I think Grayson definitely got the better end of this particular bargain." Nods are given to the other familiar or semi-familiar faces surrounding the new couple.

Laric checked composure + etiquette against difficulty 15, resulting in 16, 1 higher than the difficulty.

Luca, for his part, rose up when Reese did, smoothly enough, albeit with a distinct sway at the top of the rise. "Congratulations indeed you two. And you as well, Valk! Always good to see your sister find someone, eh? I can only pray Phil will manage someone half as good for her." Oh gods, who let Luca off the couch? At least he's being good-naturedly cheerful in his cups rather than a surly Luca. He seems a bit put out then when Reese is making her goodbyes, but after a quick lean in to kiss the Grayson princess on the cheek and murmur something to her, he's sending her off with a smile and making his way back towards the couch, his apparent socializing used up in the congratulations to couple and misnamed sibling.

Tikva finishes her song, smiles a little more quietly with eyes dropping, and moves to collect herself a glass of golden wine, the little trickle of a sigh escaping her as her shoulders slump.

Valkieri checked composure + etiquette against difficulty 20, resulting in 25, 5 higher than the difficulty.

Niamh releases Aislin's hand when the Ashford gets up. And oh gods, but there is a moment of tension when Luca gets up. Niamh looks ready to spring into action and trackle the Velenosan Prince... but at least he's mostly behaved.

"Prince Luca, it's always a pleasure to see your clothes," Cara says smoothly, eyes bright. One might even say they were twinkling. "Thank you for coming -- it's good to see Princess Reese having company."

There's always delayed poison.

Laric does a fantastic job of concealing his wince in the wake of the handshake, taking it back and absently giving it a sore rub. He turns his smile towards Dafne and tips his head in easy acceptance of her words. "As do I," he tells her, somewhat wry, with a call towards Aislin afterwards. "I'm inclined to agree, Lady Aislin, but thank you nonetheless."

Reese looks toward Luca as he rises, having a gentle smile for the man. She then leans in toward him, listening to his whispered words. When Cara speaks, she has a smile for her as well. She whispers something back to Luca and then is darting off, moving quickly like she is running late.

Reese has left the Emerald Couch.

"Prince Luca, I apologize that my expressions thus far have yet to make it clear how annoying it is when you call me that," Valkieri says blandly. "So I now how to respectfully request -- /aloud/ -- that you refrain."

Luca's grinning as he plops back to couch over to the bride's comment, but thankfully not trying to making comment about his tendency to nudity or anything of the like. He's had enough practice being this drunk at social occasions to generally not get stabbed. Then again, there _was_ that calling of Valk, Valk. And the response to the man which just earns the man a kind of bleary-eyed confusion, follwed up with a thumbs up and nod. Yeah, Luca totally didn't know what he just agreed to, and probably won't remember it tomorrow anyways, but when in doubt, just smile and nod to people and they usually leave you alone. For his part, he's just settling to chat with Niamh a bit, smirking aside to her, Valkieri's prohibitions on naming forgotten already probably.

Alistair very slowly turns his gaze upon Valkieri and Luca. The man stares at the for a moment, waiting to see if some kind of violence erupts. But then Luca is Luca... and he turns his gaze away for the moment.

Servants make a point of offering refreshments to the guests, as Cara greets and thanks people personally. She seems to relax a bit the further away from the 'stand in front of a bunch of people and wear oaths' part the evening gets, working her way over to Aislin to grasp the Ashford lady's hands and squeeze them tight.

Tikva dawdles with refreshments, watching the partygoers with bright eyes, but making no immediate inroads on invading anybody in particular.

"Well, your agreement with me just confirms your intelligence," Aislin remarks to Laric, a touch dryly. "Still, congratulations to you both; I can think of no one better suited to take the Grayson name." But then, with one more nod to the new couple, she moves to go; it's only polite to let the new couple settle in, after all. Her path takes her back over towards the Emerald couch, where Niamh and Luca still sit.

Laric gives Aislin a look of muted amusement at her remark, his head shaking. He draws in a small breath and lets it out, accepting a glass of wine from a passing servant. Nursing it in one hand, he makes his way several feet from the dais, pausing near a certain redheaded noble to give her a fledgling grin. "Thank you very much for that. It was clearly heartfelt. Lady Tikva, was it? We'll have to speak in the next few weeks."

He heads on a bit further, though, and calls towards Alistair, "Inquisitor! Get over here and be less of a stranger, if only for a moment."

Valkieri exhales a slow, thin breath at Luca's response. But mostly now he is quiet. Like a person who is awkward at parties and has already spoken to the people he knows.

Smiling a crooked smile up at Laric, Tikva lifts her glass to him in a toast and says, "Prince Laric, thank you; yes, Tikva Riven. I wish you all the best luck and happiness in your new marriage; and I shall be glad to speak to you anytime." She turns wide, curious eyes from Laric to Alistair when he calls him out, sipping her wine.

Alistair clearly makes a face. He is perfect as the stranger, lurking in the back, away from all the happiness and emotions. Anathema to him, they likely cause harm to his very soul. He steps forward as bid though, unable to refuse the groom in this moment of happiness. "Rather... short notice, Prince Grayson..." the man remarks, addressing Laric as his title instead of his occupation. He turns to regard Cara, giving a slight bow of his head in greeting to her. "Congratulations to the both of you."

Aislin leans in to speak quietly to Niamh as she approaches the couch.

Sitting to one side is Valerius, accompanied by Lark and Barric. The Prince seems to be speaking animatedly to them, though his words are quiet, accompanied by that always-on smile he seems to never let disappear. After a long speech, he leans over to bump his shoulder against the Princess' beside him, smiling at her all the while.

Dafne joins Valkieri in being awkward. Apparently Sylvie's dresses do not confer magic social powers.

"Thank you," Laric has a gracious smile for Alistair as he steps to meet his fellow Inquisitor partway, just about forcing a handshake on the poor lurker. He leans in to say something more quietly to the other man, smile remaining in spite of the suddenly more serious cast in his eyes. When he finishes, he releases the man's hand and uses the same to give him a companionable slap on the shoulder. "And thank you, again, for making it." He heads back over towards the dais and his wife afterward, sipping at his wine.

Aislin takes Niamh's hand, evidently prepared to draw her up from the couch and out into the room.

Aislin has left the Emerald Couch.

Niamh stands after a few quiet words with Aislin, hand in hand.

Niamh has left the Emerald Couch.

There is cake.

Dafne focuses on the cake. Lifeline!

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