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Festival of Death Spider Petting Zoo

In honor of the Queen of Endings and Mother of New Beginnings, the Festival of Death hosts another event, this one for children and their parents/caretakers. Come see spiders of various sizes and even PET some of them! Children can craft spider plushies and bat plushies, or make spider or bat masks. Play 'Pin the Spider's Leg' - there'll be one game for children and one for adults, plus other fun activities.

OOC: Yes, this will be an event where people can bring their IC kids and RP them as much as they want, but there's plenty of corners to just have adult talking too.


Aug. 10, 2019, noon

Hosted By

Evaristo Saro


Josephine Helena Alessandro Artur Lethe Rysen Mabelle Edward Delia Preston Bree Jeffeth



Arx - Ward of the Crown - Bard's College - Main Hall

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

The Bard's College is filled with activities today of an unusual kind: a Spider Petting Zoo, honoring the Queen of Endings and Mother of Beginnings, or at least one of her favorite animals. It's an event that gives children many chances for a fun day and it costs nothing for anyone to attend, so noble children rubs elbows with commoner children today, and so do their parents. There's plenty of bards, Harlequins or volunteers from the crafting community here to help oversee everything.

Evaristo is greeting everyone at the large front doors, the doors fully open (and so are any windows), to let air filter through the building. He's dressed up for the occasion in his 'Harlequin' outfit, a proper Death poster boy in a sense. He's greeting everyone with charm and joy, playing his lute meanwhile.

Saro is perched on the edge of a table, surrounded by spiders, spiders, and MORE SPIDERS. The creatures are on view through glass-fronted cases everywhere, and there's a small jewelry box which she keeps close beside her with a careful and proprietary air, clearly occupied by something special. In addition to all these she also has spiders /on/ her, including a large and so friendly-looking tarantula, who occupies pride of place on her shoulder. The luthier looks as if she couldn't be more pleased than to be surrounded by and covered with creepy, crawly critters, and she waves cheerfully at people as they come into the hall.

Josephine is limping her way in today, a cane in hand more for just in case she needs it since the heat of summer if far better than the frigid corners of winter. Preceeding her are a spill of grandchildren in all ages, scurrying off to go interact with spiders and do what children of all ages do. Some of their parents too as the Arcuri family filters off.

Swiftwing, a sharp eyed, red-tailed hawk, Daan, the Fanboy Valet, 2 Redrain Guards arrive, following Artur.

Much less enthusasiastic about the spiders is one Helena Redrain. She'll wear them, artificial ones, in hair and on gown, but despite all of her love for the Queen of Endings, that love has yet to embrace the spider kingdom. She looks around, arms tucked close against her body and hands clasped in front of her, and she keeps her distance from Saro's collection of creepy crawlies. "This is so fun," she says warmly, and to her credit, she even sounds sincere. She looks a little wan, though.

What would a spider petting zoo be without some very excited children to pet the spiders? Sad, that's what! In that vein, Alessandro has arrived with //his// very excited children -- or at least, one clearly very excited little girl, and one baby who looks to be about eighteen months old, and we can't really count him as excite because eighteen month olds are excited about everything when they aren't anguished over the state of things.

"Can we really pet them?" the little girl is saying as she bounces up and down a little bit on her toes, and Alessandro replies, "I believe so; I doubt Captain Arterius would have called it a petting zoo if not." His expression is amused, but fond, and when he sees Evaristo his smile widens. "Ah, here he is. Captain Arterius, wonderful to see you." He nods to Josephine as well, "Guildmaster Arcuri, good day." Helena is spotted then, and he lifts a hand to wave at her. His gaze then moves over the displays, catching sight of Saro and the spiders -- his expression twists just a little bit wryly, but he bravely does not tell his children that that is enough. He may not be a big fan of spiders. Ah, the things one does for one's children.

"Spiders!" Saro exclaims with enthusiasm as the tides of rambunctious children come sweeping in with all the unstoppable force of the sea. "Who wants to learn about spiders? And hold spiders? And PET spiders?" Grinning at the chorus of "ooohs" and "ewws" and wordless shrieks of delight and delighted horror, she finger-wiggles her audience over to her side and proceeds to show off with allowable pride her impressive collection of eight-legged pals. "Here," she says, plucking up Alarice the orb weaver and offering the spider, perched on her palm, for the inspection of the especially eager little girl. "She's very calm, so you can touch her, or even hold her if you like. She's an orb weaver, named for the beautiful webs she makes. You could find others like her in your own garden, I bet."

3 Tyde Houseguard, 2 Redwood Initiates, Fireball, a fluffy cat arrive, following Lethe.

Artur checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 15, rolling 3 lower.

But it's creatures! And everyone knows that Artur has a love of creatures, and creature related lore. Having arrived at the spider petting zoo, the Redrain prince looked around and spying Helena, makes his way over - at least trying to be stealthy. Because she is all squished in on herself, arms tucked in like a spider in it's death repose, and of course, that means that she's just right for trying to terrify. Unfortuantely, he is about as stealthy as a moose in a glasier, and he ends up beside Helena just about to reach out to touch her and easily busted.

There's a wink over at Saro from Evaristo, he fully approves of spiders crawling all over you. Himself? Well, he has a big black tarantula perched on his head, but that's the only one. "Guildmaster! And the whole family of Arcuri, it seems like. Welcome, honored to have you here," he greets the renowned crafter, a respectful nod given. Helena and Alessandro are given a bow. "Your highness, my lord, my lady," he greets, the latter to the girl with Alessandro, whom he recognizes well. "You can pet almost ALL of them but some of them should stay in their glass cases," he explains, "cause they like to avoid all the attention." Or, they're poisonous. Maybe. Saro steps in and takes over there, and Valerienne is given a playful wink. He continues playing soft notes on his lute and mingles around.

Lygeia, a calligrapher and alchemist, 2 House Crovane Guards arrive, following Rysen.

Lethe arrives to the petting zoo without any children, but she looks around with a smile and finds a quiet place to watch.

"Goodman Evaristo. We do come forth from the dark depths of our forges now and then." Alessandro's greeting gets him a bow given his status as noble. "It looks like a sheer delight in here. Well worth time away from making things and perhaps, inspiration to make more, but something with spiders." And then she's off to look at the games.

The little Greenmarches get a fond look from the princess, and Alessandro too a wave and a smile. She's about to speak when Artur is skulking up next to her like a weirdo and she raises her brow and tips her head at her fellow Redrain. "Artie, what are you doing? Did you get a spider in your pants?" Helena asks, with mock worry, before reaching to give him a hug and a kiss on the cheek. "No bears to pet today, unfortunately," she says, then turns to smile brightly at Evaristo. "Captain Mockingbird Second First Harlequin, how lovely to see you. Or is it First Second Harlequin? I forget. Have you met Prince Artur?" she gestures to Artur, before moving closer to Alessandro to greet him and the toddler. "He's so big. How do they get so big so fast!"

Saro nods in agreement to Evaristo's words, explaining, "Some of them are a little shy, but none of them can really hurt you, except for maybe one of them, and she's right here beside me." The jewelry box beside her receives a pat on the wire mesh covering its top. "Spiders maybe look a little creepy, but they're actually a lot less likely to bite than even your pet dog! They save pretty much all their biting for things they like to eat, and you all are WAY too big for that. Even your little brother," she adds drolly to the little girl. "The only other time they might bite is when they're scared, like if they think you're about squish them or something. So you should always just treat spiders nicely, and they'll treat you nicely back." She nods with great conviction, /definitely/ believing this. It might even be true!

The little girl gasps in rapture at Saro's offer of the spider, and she comes closer, examining Alarice before she reaches out to touch the creature's back very gently. "She is so pretty," she says earnestly as she looks up at Saro. "I did find a spider who looked like that in the gardens, but Papa wouldn't let me bring him inside." She has clearly not quite forgiven Alessandro for that yet. She looks up to Evaristo then, and her smile gets even wider when he confirms that she can pet almost all of them. Then she's listening raptly to Saro's explanation, and her expression grows more solemn as she nods, in deference to the importance of the situation.

The call out from his daughter has Alessandro let tout out a little chuckle, and he shakes his head, shifting the toddler in his arms who clearly wants to get down and explore. "It is difficult to believe," he replies to the Redrain princess. "We have had to move everything up to the high shelves." It's then he notices Artur, though, and he continues, "Prince Artur, I should have expected you to be here. Wonderful to see you."

Rysen arrives into the hall of the Bard's College with Lygeia at his side. Two Crovane guards pass in behind them. He slowly begins to make his way to Evaristo, though he stops to smile as one of the children in attendance stops him, saying, "Are you going to teach the poems again this year?" Rysen chuckles and kneels down. "I hope so," he says, "though I'm not sure if Prince Niklas will ask me back."

"Well I had fun. My poem was about Lottie's cookies. They're the best!" Rysen laughs. "They are. What do you think of the spiders?" he asks rising to his feet. "They're kinda scary, but I like them," replies the girl. "That's the way I feel about people from the Lyceum," says Rysen laughingly. Lygeia rolls her eyes.

Tugged into the hug, Artur laughs, returning the kiss and then lightly ruffles Helena's hair - you know, not quite enough to muss it. "But there's a bear right here!" he teases her playfully as he grins brightly to her. "And you seem all skitterish, don't know know all spiders are amazing, eating all those stinging and biting insects." he makes a face, as she starts to greet others, the Redrain Prince grins slightly as Helena does her own.

Sombra, the subtle arrives, following Edward.

Cupcake, a cookie girl, Maple, a brown golden retriever, Toffee, a fluffy pomeranian, 2 Laurent trained guards, Truffle, an energetic mountain puppy, Edward arrive, following Mabelle.

There's already a few trying out the spin the spider's leg, of the children, and they all get little prizes afterwards - little spider trinkets of no particular value, but they hang off a thread so they make cute little ornaments in a window.

Evaristo takes the chance to socialise, bowing to Artur and grinning wide and mischievous. "Your highness, very nice to meet you," he says and slinks that lute onto his back for now. He lets Silk down from his head by letting her crawl onto the back of his hand and offers anyone to pet her - that spider seems quite comfortable with all the hubbub. "Lord Rysen Crovane! Good to see you here. Perhaps this will inspire another poetic work?" he says with a lighthearted tone, bowing to him too. "You should all speak with Miss Saro - the most talented luthier but also an EXPERT on spiders," he says and gestures at the spider-covered woman. "I like them but I admit I know very little ABOUT them."

"Her name is Alarice," Saro makes the proper introductions as she hands the black-and-yellow spider over to the little girl. "Named for the queen, of course. Don't you think she's a very queenly spider?" Of course she does. Anyone would /obviously/ think so. "It's just as well your papa had you leave her outside," she continues, with a kind voice and a smile. "Orb weavers like Alarice don't like to live inside like some spiders do, so she wouldn't have been very happy if you'd kept her in there. Alarice will go back out to the park when she's done visiting here, and then she'll be back to catching grasshoppers and horseflies and other things that aren't anywhere near as nice to people as spiders are."

What a terrible idea bringing the dogs. Terrible idea. The second Mabelle enters every guard and Cupcake all get to hold a puppy so they do not chase the spiders around. Then Mabelle makes her way in, accompanied by Baron Edward. Upon noticing all the spiders however, her body itches and she scoots behind him.

"Grasshoppers?" Josephine asks, having come to stand near some of the children from her family and listening to Saro. "Really? Something that big?"

Josephine checked dexterity + legerdemain at difficulty 30, rolling 22 higher.

The little girl seems to accept Saro's statement that orb weavers should live outside -- luckily for her family and the household. Of course, Alessandro might be the only one who doesn't like spiders. "She is," Valarienne -- for that is the little girl's name -- replies. "I think her web must be like a queen's dress would be." She touches the spider's back again softly, before she steps back to let someone else have a turn. Though she does stay close to the table and her new best friend Saro. You're welcome, Saro.

Alessandro gives a grateful look to Saro at the mention that spiders should live outside, before he finally lets the struggling toddler down. The little boy makes his way right to Valarienne, grabbing onto her leg and looking up at the spiders on the table with wide eyes.

"I know that logically. But I don't like things with more legs than a dog," Helena says to Artur. "I don't squish them at least, but yell for someone to bring them outside when I find them in my room." She turns to watch the little Greenmarch lady interact with the spiders and smiles at Alessandro. "She's so charming and gentle. I should learn to be like her when I grow up," she says with a grin. Rysen gets a wave. "I'm sure Prince Niklas would have you back, though you should host your own, perhaps, if he is too busy these days," she suggests. Mabelle's entrance is noted and she too gets a wave from the Redrain Princess.

Edward's not expecting what he sees when they pass into the college and the petting zoo. He takes a look around and then he glances to Mabelle as she shifts behind him as her own pets are picked up, "Not what you expected?" he asks with a half-smile to her. He turns his attention back to the room and begins to wander inside to take a look around. He motions to Helena who seems to be waving to Mabelle, "You've been spotted." he says with good humor.

"It's good to see you too, Evaristo" says Rysen warmly coming to stand near the Mockingbird of the Bard's College. "This is fascinating, and a great way to introduce the people of Arx to the handmaids and footmen of the Queen." Rysen's grey eyes are drawn to Saro and her spiders, and he listens as she speaks about Alarice. "I've always loved spiders - mostly because I've always hated flies. Nothing hurts one's ability to write or hear one's muse than the incessant and annoying buzz of a fly's wings - and the cursed things are even more of a problem here in the south."

At Helena's words, Rysen smiles. He places a hand over his heart and bows to the Redrain Princess. "That's an great idea, Your Highness. I'll write to him soon and see if they plan on another summer series. It seems like last year's was well received."

Rysen checked luck + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 16 lower.

"Definitely grasshoppers," Saro confirms to Josephine with an authoritative nod. "Sometimes, of course, the bigger grasshoppers struggle hard enough that they get free, and then the spider's got to fix all the tears in her web, poor thing. But you'd be surprised what her weave can manage to hold. She's a true artisan." She gives Alarice a fond nod where the spider is extending a cautious leg in the direction of Alessandro's enthusiastic girl, as if testing whether she might be a good support for a new web.

"I'm just working on getting used to being in social company again. I have an idea to host an event, but I'll need stuff made, and have to plan it and and.. ugh, so much easier to prepare for a hunt, don't you think?" Artur asks Helena as he gives a smile towards Evaristro and just works on taking everything in. "Though I already find the tug of adventure aluring again!" Though he's wandering closer to the game to watch others try before he gives it a turn himself.

Helena checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 14 higher.

Artur checked luck + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 3 lower.

Mabelle mumbles to Edward, "I dont like spiders, I came to support". She emerges from behind him and wiggles her fingers to Helena, "Princess, a pleasure to see you this afternoon". Mabelle's expression seems somewhat horrified but one cannot really tell if its the spiders or the children. A smile is flashed to Evaristo as the host, "Lovely! So many... spiders!", she strains a smile really hard. Josephine and Alessandro also being greeted

Mabelle checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 50 higher.

Evaristo mingles around with the same lazy attitude he usually has, everything care-free and simple. He bows to Mabelle and Edward and waves them in, to come deeper into the spider-infested area... "Hah!" he exclaims after Rysen's explanation. "He's right. Also makes barding a proper challenge, with flies and mosquitoes around," he adds on. He beams a smile at Mabelle and if he realises she's strained, it doesn't show - he's probably oblivious. Who does NOT LOVE spiders, after all? "Here, say hi to Silk," he says and holds out the big black tarantula on his palm, for her to pet if she wants.

"Lady." Mabelle's greeted, same for edward and there's sympathy on the jewelers face for Mabelle's discomfort. But there's a game of pin the leg on the spider and a grandchild is tugging her away and so Josephine follows so she might try her hand at the game.

Mabelle almost yelps as Evaristo holds a spider the size of her head in front of her and she slides back somewhat, "So cute.. it is.. cute". Is she itching? she could be itching, "Oh board game!", she exclaims and flees, leaving Edward with a huge spider extended to him.

Edward's easy smile doesn't waver as he follows Mabelle once she takes the lead again. He shrugs, "They're bugs. No more no less." is his remarks as he glances around. He smiles to Josephine in polite return before he glances back to Mabelle for her own reactions. He chuckles softly and he tucks his hands behind his back and shakes his head, "Nope. Noooooo. No thank you." to the extended spider.

With no children in tow, one could be forgiven for wondering why Whisper Delia is here, until they see the enthusiasm on her face. Though she makes no immediate move to touch any of the spiders, but she gravitates towards the most spidery person in the place, namely Saro, with an eye on the baby spider box. She looks fascinated. As she moves through the crowd she smiles and bows, waves, sometimes even salutes, catching people's eye and greeting them in their own manner. Mabelle gets a beaming smile as she passes, and she greets the host with a deep bow. "Mistress," she says to Saro in a lull when the other woman isn't showing off her many-legged friends, "Are these all yours?"

3 Tyde Houseguard, 2 Redwood Initiates, Fireball, a fluffy cat leave, following Lethe.

Valarienne laughs when the spider's leg touches her finger, and she holds it very still for the spider to climb on should she want to. Her little brother reaches a chubby hand up to try and touch the spider, too, and Valarienne says in a very motherly voice, "You have to be careful, Marcus, because spiders are little and you could break them."

Alessandro watches the interaction with that same fondness, before he turns to Helena with a little laugh of his own. "She is," he agrees. "But I think you are doing rather well at growing up yourself." He inclines his head to Mabelle when he sees her, though keeps the children in his vision at all times.

Saro waves as more people come into the hall, the welcoming motion encouraging her tarantula to trundle down her arm to rest in the crook of her elbow. The luthier strokes her pet lightly with one finger, holding her arm out so everyone else can see too, and, most importantly of all, admire. "This is Tickles," she announces importantly, because Tickles is very important. "She's a Bravuran tarantula, so she used to live on an island in the middle of the sea. But she's very adaptable and friendly, so she's happy to come with me wherever I go. Even inside!" So much for Alessandro's good favour. "She's kind of fuzzy and kind of scratchy, and she has little claws at the ends of the feet that tickle. You can definitely pet her, and you'll be her friend too."

Grinning at Delia as the Whisper approaches, she says, "Well, I caught them all. But a lot of them will go free again when they're done here. Some, like Tickles, will stay. And Nora, of course," she adds, patting the jewelry box at her side again. "She lived here before I did."

Rysen grins as he watches people line up to the pin the leg on the spider. "Ha! Watch how it's done," he says confidently. The lord makes his way over to an assistant of the Bard's College and takes up one of the legs. He closes his eyes (one of which seems to have deep bruises surrounding it), and allows himself to be spun in a circle, before moving in the direction of the spider, and pinning the leg onto a nearby curtain at least ten feet away from the intended target. "See," he says, looking back to Evaristo and Helena "I told you... damn," he says, as he looks at the spider's leg pinned sadly to the curtain, and a bit of color rises to his cheeks.

"Me neither," says Helena to Mabelle, and then she smiles at Artur. "Well, let me know if I can help, and both your sister and mine are very talented in designing prizes and the like. I'm happy to help as well," she tells him warmly. Alessandro's words earn him a fond smile from the Redrain princess as well. "It took me a little longer than some, I think," she says lightly. "Oh, she's so sweet," she says, watching Valarienne talk to Marcus. One of Josephine's brood draws her attention next, and she smiles at Josephine. "Mistress Josephine, your grandchildren are as adorable as your wares," she says, before moving to the game to take her part in it.

'I shall relay such to my children. Already half of them show skill with metal as the rest of us." josephine bow to Helena before she's taking her turn to play the game. And successfully, there's a leg on a spider and neatly done by the elder woman.

After utterly failing at pinning a leg to the spider, he laughs lightly, holding his fingers slightly apart. "That close!" he announces playfully, before someone's comment gives him a pause, and he turns his attention towards Edward.

"They're so much more than bugs." Artur hears Edward's remark and speaks up. "Look at the web they weave - the many threads of fate - and what they capture, it's what they bring in around them. Like the orb spider, when it makes it's own little perfect circle, it's a lot like the wheel, a reminder that we all go around." He seems at least a little passionate about it. "Spiders are pretty cool. Especially since they keep the blood suckers away." And when Saro is offering Tickles, the Prince gives a smile. "But they are definetly not large enough to make armor.

Mabelle belatedly spots the Whisper as she enters, she smiles at Delia, "Mistress, you love absolutely radiant. I was glad for your missive", she turns to introduce her to Edward, "This is Baron Stormbreak, Edward", she turns to him, "This is Delia Whisper, a new friend", she beams at her, but before she manages to say much else someone blindfolds her and spins her around. It takes a while but she nails it. literally.

Edward inclines his head as he keeps his hands tucked behind his back, "My apologies," said to Artur, "I have limited experience with such things and have just...," he shrugs and offers a light smile again, "The simple outlook of a sailor I suppose." when he is being spoken of his attention shifts to the Whisper, "Whisper." he greets Delia with a warm greeting, "A pleasure." he watches Mabelle get spun off prompting another chuckle from him, "And off again."

"Spiders are good animals to have around," Saro agrees with Artur, and for the benefit of her young listeners. "Besides catching lots of annoying critters, some people think they're wise, or signal good fortune." Her face take on an odd look, distant and dreamy, but then she smiles again as she looks down at the chubby Tickles, tranquilly braving the shrieks and pets of the children around her. "But how could you not?"

The arrival of the tarantula has Valarienne gasping in rapture again, and she looks back at her father with a wide smile at the notion of a spider who can come anywhere with her. "See? We can get one of those instead!" she announces, and Alessandro looks a little bit pained, though he manages to reply, "Perhaps, darling." Perhaps indeed. He has to laugh again, looking back to Helena as he agrees, "She is wonderful with him. We could not have asked for a better elder sister for him."

There's a blink at Edward and Mabelle as they don't want to pet his cute fuzzy spider, so he pulls Silk back up onto his shoulder so she can ride around and spectated. There's a laugh from him not a mocking one - he appreciates Rysen's pin-the-curtain. "Hey if we pin seven more legs to that curtain and paint a big black blob on it..." he suggests. "I'm sure Gianna would love the new decor." He turns to Alessandro, suggesting quietly to him so his daughter won't hear; "I suggest a tarantula. They're big enough so you know where they are, they're very social and they live just fine in one of those boxes with a glass front."

"All thanks to you," Delia says to Mabelle, stroking the seatouched wool at her hip with a happy gleam in her eyes. She bows to Edward. "Baron Stormbreak, it's such an honour. I hope you're enjoying this as much as I am!"

Possibly not, because Delia looks enraptured. She reaches out her hand to gently pet Tickles when Saro holds the spider out, laughing at the feel of the scratchy bristles on the creature's back. She averts her eyes to peer into the jewelry box with interest. "Does she prefer not to wander about?" she asks, with a glance back at the spiders covering Saro's form and quite free. "Why is she kept in there when the others can go where they like?"

Helena's turn at the game is not as bad as some -- she lands it on the board at least, but gives the spider a very lopsided look, with the missing leg on the wrong side, so he's got five legs on one and three on the other. "Oh, poor thing. At least he has the proper eight legs, if not in the right spots." She grins and moves over to where Evaristo holds Silk and reaches out to pet the creature lightly -- it's the spider she knows versus the spiders she doesn't, so less frightening. "They are amazing creatures," she agrees, but she still retracts her hand when the spider lifts a leg. She turns to look at Val with the tarantula and widens her eyes at Alessandro at the child's exclamation. "Maybe a kitten instead...?" she suggests.

Balian, a Templar squire, Guy, a hunting kestrel, 1 Templar Knight guards arrive, following Preston.

Mabelle is overheard praising Evaristo: Spiders. YaY.

3 Tyde Houseguard, 2 Redwood Initiates, Fireball, a fluffy cat arrive, following Lethe.

Mabelle is overheard praising Saro.

Artur is overheard praising Saro: For holding a lovely spider zoo!

Rysen laughs, and says, "I wish I had your confindence that my efforts would please the Nightingale. Something tells me if she were with us, I'd be financing some new decor." Rysen runs a bandaged hand through his dark hair, and pulls free the spider's leg. He returns it to the attendant, and comes to stand near Saro. "Have you always been interested in spiders?" he asks the luthier, as he watches the children touching Tickles.

Lethe returns after taking a moment outside and walks over to Evaristo and Saro. "I just wanted to tell you what a fun event this has been. I've enjoyed watching everyone have fun."

Swiftwing, a sharp eyed, red-tailed hawk, Daan, the Fanboy Valet, 2 Redrain Guards leave, following Artur.

Preston steps through the door into the Bard's College along with his small Templar escort. He does not run up to take part in some of the festivities and games, but instead stays close to the door for now. Perhaps Preston is ensuring security is up to snuff! Spiders must be protected after all. That and large heavy leather and steel gauntlets are probably not the safest bet for petting spiders with care.

Mabelle murmurs to Edward, "Alright, I think I've had my spider fill. I'm about to scream", she shrinks and returns to huddle. Delia gives her some amusement with her excitment, "Careful lest they think you are a bloom and climb on you".

Saro sighs a little at Delia's question, preparing herself to relate the sad prejudices of human beings against innocent spiders. "Well, Nora is a brown recluse, which are venomous spiders. So people are scared of them, and she's a little bit shy herself. I suppose they must bite, very rarely, if you.. I don't know, roll over on one in bed or something. Or try to kill them." She sounds very disapproving of this -- who would do such a thing! "But they're actually very common, and very well-mannered and quiet. They mostly just build little sort of shabby-looking webs in corners and catch all kinds of annoying things -- flour moths and ants and household pests like that. And they crawl over me all the time, and I've never been bitten yet," she adds. "Poor Nora." She pats the box gently. Looking to Rysen, she smiles and answers him, "For a very long time. I had a spider keep me company once when I was very sick and all by myself most of the time. She was my light in a dark time, and I've loved them ever since."

Edward watches and has been listening while he finally glances to Mabelle, "Of course." he holds his arm out to her with a nod, "When you are ready then." he gives a wave or nod to the others who are wholly enjoying themselves.

"She'd be fine with it, juuuust fine," Evaristo says - which is absolutely not true, and he probably knows it. "Hmm, I just realised I never even TOLD Gianna we're hosting the event HERE, haha, that's funny," he says and beams at everyone. "I bet she'll be SO surprised if she shows up," he says cheerfully. Seeing Preston, his eyes widen in some surprise. "Grandmaster, welcome!" he calls and waves him in.

Valarienne continues to pet the spider, and then she wraps her arms around her brother and picks him up so that he can do so, too. "Careful," she says again, and to be fair to him, Marcus //is// careful, or as careful as a toddler can be. He pokes its leg a little bit, 'petting' it, before he wiggles down again.

She may not hear Helena mention a kitten, but Alessandro does, and he looks at her with a grateful expression. "We may try that instead," he says with a nod, though Evaristo's assurances have him looking that way again, too. He looks thoughtful, before he continues, "Perhaps. I suppose a cage would be all right, as long as it did not manage to escape." A little shudder runs through him at the idea, even though he still sounds amused.

Lethe sighs as she's yet again overlooked. She takes a spot to sit by herself.

Lethe has joined the couch seating.

Mabelle smiles warmly to Evaristo and Saro, "This has been lovely and we've stopped by mainly for support" she winks to hosts, "Do pardon us, I swear I feel something climbing on me and no one will benefit me from losing my mind, I think". She wiggles her fingers here and there to Helena and Delia and the others she knows.

"Oh Mabelle," Delia says, her smile wrinkling the corners of her eyes and dimpling her cheeks. "If this fine woman can do it," this of Saro, "surely I can too! I'm sure she would never let any of them bite me." She lowers her voice to add more sincerely, "I hope to see you later, when there isn't so much to do."

She listens with curiosity to Saro's story, then asks the luthier, one hand extended palm down, "may I pet her? Will she object, do you suppose? She looks such a solemn thing, alone in there."

Cupcake, a cookie girl, Maple, a brown golden retriever, Toffee, a fluffy pomeranian, 2 Laurent trained guards, Truffle, an energetic mountain puppy leave, following Mabelle.

Sombra, the subtle, Mabelle leave, following Edward.

"I am just here to make sure everything is....proceeding without a problem, Harlequin Evaristo." Preston confirms, pulling his helm and arming cap from his head and passing it back to his squire "Given some of the...ah, shall we call it interesting comments in the whites of late? I tend to find people suggesting the Faith are hiding things results in silly adventures at our events. Or a large cadre of Oathlands knights who perhaps should know better turning up to surround the Rectory. Such things." But Preston does take a step further in and looks at some of the exhibits "I am sure Father Aureth is most pleased - The Queen still does not get all the attention she deserves. The new Legate post seems to help."

Primus, First of Monique's Assistants arrives, delivering a message to Delia before departing.

Lethe has left the couch seating.

3 Tyde Houseguard, Fireball, a fluffy cat, 2 Redwood Initiates leave, following Lethe.

Tickles takes the toddler's nudging with great stoicism, and in fact curiously marches down Saro's arm after him as he's lowered back to the floor, stopping only when reaching her wrist. Saro chuckles lightly. "She's actually the most curious and friendly spider I've ever known. A lot of spiders take some time to make friends with, but Tickles thinks everybody is interesting."

Giving Delia a regretful headshake, she says a little apologetically, "Nora isn't like Tickles, I'm afraid. She really is shy, and doesn't like to be touched. But she's friendly in her way. She comes out to see what's going on whenever I come back up to my room, and she likes music, and humming, and being talked to."

Helena braves getting a little closer to watch the spiders that Saro introduces. She waves to Mabelle as she exits, then turns to Delia. "That is a lovely gown. Did Lady Mabelle design it? I seem to recognize her handiwork," she says warmly. To Alessandro she grins. "Maybe a kitten named Spider. Split the difference?"

Rysen's grey eyes linger thoughtfully on Saro as she speaks. He nods, and his fingers pass over the marking on his left forearm. "It is good to have company when one is sick or feeling low," he says softly. When Evaristo admits not warning Gianna about hosting the petting zoo in the Bard's College, Rysen chuckles. "So long as nothing gets away, I'm sure she'll approve." Rysen watches as Delia moves to pet the spider, though his attention flashes towards Preston when Evaristo. The Crovane lord makes his way over to Preston, and, resting one hand on the hilt of his sword offers a brief, respectful bow to the Grand Master of the Templers. "Good morning, Grand Master. It's good to see you here in the Bard's College for such a pious occasion."

"Really? Silly adventures? WEll, surely nothing would happen HERE," EVaristo says and makes a sweeping gesture at the room at large, plenty of kids - and spiders. What could POSSIBLY go wrong, right? "Just harmless little fun, if someone wants to come HERE and mess with things, well, they wouldn't want the wrath of Aureth. Or Death. Or me, for that matter. I can make the most scatching songs and sing them everywhere," he says with good cheer. He points to the tarantula on his shoulder, a black one, palm-sized and cute and fuzzy. "Say hi to Silk," he suggests. "Oh and talk to Saro, she's AMAZING with spiders and knows all about them." He chuckles at the name idea for a kitten. "I like that. Maybe I should get a spider named Kitten..." He winks at Alessandro's daughter, conspiratorially.

Delia's happiness is barely dented by the knowledge that she shouldn't pet Nora in her fine box. She nods and leans down to study the spider, saying, "Well then, I"ll greet you, Mistress Nora, and let you to your own devices. Tickles looks to be more than happy to take all the attention we have to give in your place." She straightens back up. "I didn't expect such fun when I came here, Mistress," she compliments Saro. "Thank you for such a great array of creatures!"

She turns, smoothly, to face Helena and nods. "It is Mabelle's," she agrees. "It's lovely, isn't it? She was kind enough to design it after I complimented one of her bracelets."

Delia checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 1 higher.

"I'm glad you've enjoyed it," Saro says to Delia, sounding genuinely pleased with the compliment and the attentions to Nora. "I've got lots of other spiders too!" she announces then to the children and others still around her, as she nudges Tickles further back up her arm again. "Who wants to see a spider that lives in flowers?" Taking it for granted that simply EVERYBODY does, Saro picks up Florentine the crab spider and shows off this dazzling creature as it does in fact sidle crabwise across the back of her hand. "These lovely ladies sit on the inside of flower blossoms, being really colourful and even /changing/ their colours to match the flower they're in! But they don't just look pretty, they're expert hunters too. They don't build webs at all! They let out a line of silk, like a fisherman, and then reel in insects when they get stuck to it. It takes a lot of patience and careful observation, so they're very clever as well as beautiful. I think of them as Lycene ladies," she adds with a puckish grin.

The toddler squeals with delight when the tarantula seems to be interested in crawling on him, and he grabs onto Valarienne's dress. She reaches down to pat her brother's head, but //then// she does hear Helena's suggestion, and it seems to please her, judging by the smile. "Yes!" she says with a decisive nod, meeting Evaristo's wink with an even wider grin, though she's distracted again by the introduction of the crab spider.

"Thank you," Alessandro says a little more quietly to Helena. "That may appease her -- at least, I hope so."

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

Finn the youthful northern boy, with icy blue eyes arrives, following Thea.

Helena grins at Alessandro's thanks and gives him a small nod, before turning back to Delia. "Beautiful. It suits you so well," she says, then turns her attention to Saro. "You are so full of interesting information and facts about spiders! This has been so informative. I still don't want one for a pet, but I do appreciate their beauty and contributions a little more," she says to the luthier with a warm smile. "You have quite a way with them." She then turns to find Evaristo and murmurs something into his ear.

Evaristo gets gold pendant with black spider from a gray pouch with a black spider embroidered on it.

"Lord Rysen, a pleasure. Stormwall I hope progresses well? I was just thinking on it the other day actually, we are going to commission some art on our peoples honoruable battles for Gloria's shrine once we can re-open it. In various media, so metal work and tapestry and the like." Preston answers to Rysen, a warm smile offered to the Northern lord "It was a sad day, but many lessons there too - signs of hope for us as a people." Evaristo's comments though get an amused smirk from the Templar "Never underestimate others foolishness and you can avoid disappointment, Harlequin. And well, even Father Aureth's scowls seem to have lost some effect - House Beaucage thinking they can negotiate with the demands of the Voice of the Dominus." Preston does take another couple of steps forward as he looks to the small things "Do we know why the Queen so favours these creatures?"

"Thank you!' Delia blushes prettily at Helena's compliment, smoothing down the wool gown again. "I'm so pleased you think so." While Helena turns to speak to Evaristo, Delia walks away for a moment to try her own hand at the contest. It goes ... well, it goes okay. She pins her leg a few inches away from the spider's actual body, but in the correct place, more or less. Laughing merrily, she returns the leg and turns back to watch Saro show off the crab spider. "Can you match all of them to Great Houses, Mistress Saro?" she asks, making it a joke with the curve of her smile and the light in her eye.

Saro smiles at Helena's words and tilts her head at her in amiable thanks. "I'm glad. I don't expect everyone to like spiders, but I really do hope everyone learns to appreciate their place in the world and the good they do." She still looks a little sad and mystified by how anyone can not like spiders after all, though. She sets Florentine back down on her tray which is strewn with lily petals that match her perfectly -- or that she's matched herself perfectly to, one of the two.

Preston checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 18 higher.

The petting zoo is calming down a little, it's been ongoing for a couple of hours with people coming and going. Still very open and very inviting, Evaristo is waving to people entering or leaving. He leans in to listen to what Helena says and then nods very vigorously to her and smiles a wide grin. "Absolutely," he agrees. He starts digging around and takes out a pouch, asking a messenger boy to take it to Mabelle, who won the contest of the spider leg pinning. "Princess Helena puts up with me, and has had to put up with all the spiders too - she's the epitome of patience," he notes fondly of the Princess. He then walks over to Saro and hands her a pouch, murmuring something to her before adressing Preston again, looking a bit thoughtful. "No... I don't think we know per se. But the Nox'alfar loves them too. And bats. I think it might be because of the webbed wheels? Maybe spiders were created by Death, a long, long time ago," he suggests, quirking an eyebrow. "Maybe Aureth knows!"

Saro laughs softly at Delia, then looks thoughtful. "I don't know that I'd thought about it, but I'll bet it would come to me if I did.." She glances around the table as if searching for something, then snaps her fingers in disappointment. "I had a wolf spider that would have made a wonderful fierce Redrain warrior, but I think it ran off somewhere when I wasn't looking."

Brother Chester arrives, following Jeffeth.

Jeffeth arrives, following Bree.

Saro doesn't appear to have any notice for how disturbing this announcement might be, and only seems to feel regret for not being able to show her missing wolf spider off.

"It does, Grand Master," replies Rysen to Preston. "Painful though it is to recall at times, I look forward to seeing the tapestry when it's completed." He makes is way back towards Saro, and watches as she returns the Florentine to her tray. He smiles at Saro and says, "You've given me a much greater appreciation for spiders as well. I don't think I'd ever considered how diverse they are before seeing them in one place, under the care of one who knows so much about them."

Delia is by the table where Saro holds court, surrounded by spiders in cages and out. She spreads her hands and shrugs. "Perhaps it'll show itself again in good time," she says with a little chuckle. Continuing to circulate, she bows to Preston, and finally greets Evaristo, saying, "thank you for hosting such a unique gathering. I don't think I"ve ever had this particular pleasure before and I"m glad to have had the chance!"

Valarienne is still holding her brother and looking at the spiders, but she hears Preston's words, and she looks over at him. "She loves them because they're beautiful," she says, with all the conviction of a child who truly believes in what she's said.

Alessandro has to let out a little chuckle at what his daughter says, but he does add to Preston, "Please excuse my daughter; she has a fascination with spiders nowadays." Obviously. "But I think it is time for us to go home." He takes the toddler from her, who lets out a little noise of protest, but nothing too loud. Valarienne looks a little reluctant, but she doesn't argue, and instead turns to Saro. "Thank you for showing me the spiders," she says, and then to Evaristo she repeats, "Thank you."

"Thank you," her father echoes, and he lifts a hand to Helena to wave before the family departs.

Although neither of them has children, the draw of a spider petting zoo is enough to bring out the childlike wonder of the two Knights of Solace who come bouncing into the Bard's College. Well, Bree bounces - Jeffeth does whatever a Jeffeth does. "You're not afraid of spiders, are you?" the Butterfly knight teases the bigger man as they walk in, a playful grin to her lips. "I hope not!" She looks genuinely excited to join in the festivities, having even adorned her jaunty tricorn hat with the obnoxious feathers.

"I run off all the time when my guards aren't looking, so that might be a very Redrain thing to do," says Helena to Saro, after waving her hand dismissively at Evaristo's accolades regarding her. "The wolf spiders are the ones whose eyes you can see shining by torchlight, yes?" She turns to Alessandro and the littler Greenmarches, waving as they depart. "Spider the kitten!" she says with a wink to Valarienne.

Rodrigo, 1 Greenmarch Guard, 2 Greenmarch trained guards leave, following Alessandro.

Evaristo bows a farewell to Alessandro and Valarienne and her younger brother and now turns to Delia - he's not really talked to her before and echoes the sentiments from earlier. "That is an amazing dress," he says admiringly. "We haven't properly met - Second First Harlequin Evaristo Arterius, Mockingbird of the Bard's college," he introduces himself. Both those titles work today, in this circumstance.

Jeffeth /lumbers/. Lumbering in a bouncy type way though. The bright eyed behemoth moves next to the other knight with a brilliant smile shining on the festivities present. "No. Not of the ones that are the sizes that would be here anyway. I'm definitely afraid of one /particular/ spier. But.." He shakes his head. "Nothing here." He pipes happily. Following Bree along, his eyes dance around the room as the large knight shuffles behnd her, waiting for her to take the lead.

"Much was lost, Harlequin Evaristo. It's strange hrm? But then, with all that happened, with so many cut off outisde of Arx during the Reckoning, knowledge....was a difficult thing to preserve in some cases. And with all that has hapened since. It is a curious thing. I will be sure to ask Father Aureth." Preston inclines his head to Evaristo jovially, having tried his hand at pinning the tail on a spider - not easy when an armoured knight but, well, he has been told to be nicer. Rysen also gets a happy nod "I'll let you know once we have details - but first we need to deal with the, ah, yes. The problem of the shrine. Amazing how vandals can do such damage really. But. Some people are lost their respect of the Gods, I am certain in the ability of my brothers and sisters to guide them back onto a path of their love."

"Thank you!" the Whisper accepts Evaristo's compliment with a hand over her heart as if to keep it calm, and a smile. "And it is a pleasure to meet you, Master Mockingbird. I'm Delia Whisper - and I really must stop by the College more often if this is the caliber of entertainment I can expect."

Saro looks almost as sad as Valarienne to have her go, and she says quietly to her, "Thank /you/ for being so nice to my spiders. I hope you have a spider friend of your own one day." She then chortles at appreciately at Helena's comment on herself and the wolf spider. "Good, maybe I'll get it right for the other Houses too." She nods, adding, "And yes, wolf spider's eyes do glow green in the dark. A lot of other spiders' eyes do the same, but the wolf spiders are out hunting at night and they're fairly big, so people notice them more.

"You'll have to tell me about that spider some other time," Bree says, her feet having paused at the knowledge that there is, indeed, a spider out there somewhere that causes fear. She's not so easily distracted from the spiders which are here, though, and she turns, grabbing him by the wrist and tugging him over to one of the long tables with the display cases lined out. "Look, Jeffeth," she exclaims, releasing him only once they are near so that she can crouch down to make herself eye level with the little beasties, her blue eyes wide with delight. Something Saro says catches her attention and she looks up to the woman, brows lifting, "I think I've seen such spiders in the wild, then. Little green glowing eyes."

Rysen frowns and nods to Preston. "I'm glad for your optimism, and dedication to the gods." Turning to Evaristo, Rysen says, "This has been a wonderful time." The Crovane lord tosses his plushie spider and catching it in his hands. "And nothing's bitten me save my pride when I tried to pin the leg on the spider," he says chuckling. "I should be on my way. Take care, Mockingbird - and you as well, good Saro." He smiles and offers a bow to Helena, before heading toward the exit and seeing Jeffeth enter. "Greetings, Sir Jeffeth," he says in passing. "If you have no fear of these spiders, you'll be in for an interesting time. Tickles is very friendly - but Nora, I've heard, should not be touched." He smiles and then makes his way into the street, followed by Lygeia and two Crovane guards.

Lygeia, a calligrapher and alchemist, 2 House Crovane Guards leave, following Rysen.

"Don't forget your name," Helena teases Evaristo lightly, resting a hand on his arm and stepping on tip toe to give his cheek a quick kiss. "OH, that's true, most spiders are probably too little to notice; they'd look like motes at best, if you could even see them," she says to Saro's answer to her question. "I feel so much more learned in the ways of spiders, now. Unfortunately, I have some research to do that isn't about spiders, but still very important, so I must head back to the library. Thank you so much for educating us, Luthier Saro, and of course the Captain Mockingbird Second First Harlequin." She grins and makes her way to the exit, a nod for Rysen as he too makes away.

2 Redrain Guards, Lucien, a bright-eyed pine marten leave, following Helena.

"Really? Maybe we'll make this a regular thing. I'm sure Gianna would LOVE that," Evaristo says, perking up at the idea of having a regular spider petting zoo around the place. Like that's normal for a bard's college. "Jeffeth!" he exclaims and looks happy to see the large knight. "Welcome," he says and waves at him and Bree both. "So glad to see knights here, first the Grandmaster and now you two. I'm Harlequin Evaristo Arterius, Mockingbird of the Bard's college," he introduces himself. "This is Miss Saro Ulvieto, master luthier and spider expert." He glances between Saro and Preston, suggesting; "Maybe Miss Saro could help research this - why Death favors spiders. What do you think, Saro?"

But Delia just beams. "Music and spiders? What more can one ask for?" she asks Evaristo, before turning almost in synch with him to greet the incoming knights. "Sir Jeffeth! It's been too long, already! Won't you introduce me?" She glances at Bree, to whom she hopes to be introduced.

"I'm sure you have," Saro agrees cheerfully with Bree, seeming to find it an absolute delight that one should so easily be able to see zillions of little spidery eyes all around, glowing green in the darkness. "Spiders are everywhere, if you only pay attention." Also very reassuring, that. "I'm sorry you didn't get to see my own wolf spider, but maybe we'll find it by its eyes tonight." More reassuring still. She nods amicably to all those now starting to take her leave, adding to the lately-arrived Bree, "If you want to look at any other spiders up close, or have any questions, just ask!" She waves one hand around at the funnel weaver, the thorn spider, and various others in their boxes and tray around the table.

Saro then looks to Evaristo and Preston, frowning thoughtfully. "I don't really know, actually. I'm not sure why spiders are always thought of in relation to death. Maybe it's because the deaths and births they're responsible for are so noticeable -- the shells of their prey stuck in their webbing, right beside the silky egg cases of their young, ready to be born at a moment's notice."

The large knight is just a bucket of smiles for every greeting he receives. While he's /trying/ to move along with Bree, he's also bowing low with his fist to his chest to all who greet him. Which makes his walk with Bree a very interrupted and stacatto affair. There's a bright smile for Evaristo, the large man bowing low. "Evaristo." Jeffeth rumbles lowly, straightening up. "Have you met Dame Bree Harthall?" Gesturing with one hand to Bree, then to Evaristo. But Evaristo is doing quite a good job of introducing himself. He then turns to Saro and bows deeply, "Sir Jeffeth Bayweather, Knight Commander of the Solace. At your service."

If he's bright now, his features practically explode in radiance when he spots Delia. The brightest of blinding smiles gleaming her way. "Whisper!" Another bow. "This is Dame Bree Harthall, Bree. Delia Whisper." In all these introductions and smiles he has hardly looked at the spiders Bree instructed him to.

"Dame Harthall, it's a pleasure to meet you!" Delia inclines her head to the butterfly knight. "Isn't this captivating? You both must go and look at Nora, Mistress Saro has in the jewelry box there. Look aht the box too, while you're at it. It's a work of art in its own right."

And Bree has hardly looked at anything /but/ the spiders. How could she, when the creepy crawlies are so interesting? "Oh, so many questions!" she laughs to Saro's offer, before adding with a bright smile, "And I would love to hold one." But then introductions must be handled. She has some etiquette, at least. She straightens to a standing position and turns her own radiant smile on all those Jeffeth indicates. "Evaristo, Delia Whisper, Miss Saro," she beams at each, offering a little waggling of fingers. "Dame Bree, like he said." She indicates Jeffeth with a dip of her chin. "I know this event wasn't really geared toward us, but..." she shrugs helplessly, glancing back to the rows of specimen tanks.

Delia is overheard praising Evaristo: So welcoming and open, and with such a lovely array of spiders!

"Music and spiders... goes hand in hand," Evaristo agrees, and he gives his tarantula a little careful pet on his shoulder. He smiles bright and charming at Bree after Jeffeth's introduction. "Very pleased to meet you. Jeffeth and I, we're old drinking buddies," he explains helpfully. He gestures at the 'pin the spider's leg' contest nearby. "Give that one a try! You can win something nice!"

Delia is overheard praising Saro: She showed off her spiders like the finest fashion model!

Delia is overheard praising Saro.

"Nonsense!" Saro exclaims at Bree. "Spiders are for everyone!" She makes a flourishing bow from her perch on the edge of the table, replying to Bree, "It's a pleasure to meet you, Dame Bree. Sir Jeffeth!" She looks at that man keenly, then nods as if confirming something to herself. "I gave you biscuits once. Good to see you here." With a glance back to Bree, she looks thoughtful for a moment, then raises one finger in an "aha!" sort of gesture. "Here, you can hold Dot. She's always up for a good adventure." And reaching just behind her ear, she produces a tiny fuzzy black spider dotted jauntily in white, handing it over to Bree.

Preston bows respectfully to Saro at her explanation, as one does when receiving a gift "A very thoughtful insight. I shall have to suggest such to Father Aureth when next we speak - when it comes to the Triad of the Lost, we must all learn these things. And thank you for your work with the Harlequins for this event, it is most kind of you." As the large form of Jeffeth arrives, Preston makes some space but he smiles sidelong at the large knight "Sir Jeffeth, I hope that all is well across at the House of Solace? I have been meaning to come across and speak with Dame Thena - there are things to catch up on. Especially after Grayreeve."

"And then maybe you and I could be new drinking buddies?" Bree suggests to Evaristo with the arching of both brows. "Then you can tell me all the old stories of my Knight Commander that I can use for blackmail when I need to." But then Saro is bringing a spider around FROM BEHIND HER EAR. "Did you see that?" Bree demands of Jeffeth, going so far as to smack his arm in case he missed it, her expression filled with wonder. She extends a hand fearlessly, inviting the little critter to transfer itself over to her. "Dot is a fantastic name," she commends Saro, watching the spider crawl from one hand to the other. "Did you hold this one?" she asks of Delia, conscious of the woman's direction to look at a jewelry box, but too engrossed in this ear-spider to follow that instruction yet.

The Whisper gasps in a breath at the appearance of the tiny spider and leans in over Bree's hands to look at it. "Oh my! What a perfect tiny thing!" She puts out a finger delicately to touch the spider's back. "No, this one I hadn't seen, Dame Harthall - though I'm glad I stayed to see it." She turns her smile back on Saro. "And she's right - Dot is the perfect name for such a little spotty thing."

"I would love to be your drinking buddy," Evaristo says and smiles that charming mischievous smile. "The BEST thing about drinking with knights is that they hold their liquor very well and always get you home to your own bed when you can't walk yourself." He tips his chin at the three knights and at Saro and Delia, then gestures towards a corner of the room. "I'll be over there to mingle for a bit - you all have fun!"

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