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Grayson Family Dinner, Summer 1011 Edition

Are you a Grayson? Are you related to a Grayson? Can you make a good case for being related to a Grayson? Do you have an invitation from someone who matches the above characteristics? Come and enjoy a lavish dinner in the Grayson dining room. Catch the fam up with what's been going on in your life! There may be hijinx! There may not! Who knows?

Date

Aug. 15, 2019, 8:30 p.m.

Hosted By

Tikva

Participants

Harlan Lou Catalana Pharamond Lisebet Malcolm Sabella Ronja Reese Roxana Delia Delilah Niklas Wash

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Grayson Mansion - Dining Room

Largesse Level

Grand

Comments and Log


2 Grayson House Guards, Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting, Clark, an exasperated guard arrive, following Sabella.

Galina, the glorious Graypeak Mountain dog arrives, following Malcolm.

1 Inquisition Confessors, Scribble, a Delicate Social Butterfly, 1 Graypeak Aerie Warden, Malcolm arrive, following Delilah.

There are so many chairs in this dining room, there's really no reason _not_ to host an extravagant dinner for the family, and friends of the family, and occasionally just whoever shows up. Braised beef, roasted duck, sauced trout, spiced squash and platter upon platter of greens in a piquant vinegar, and the servants are busily stocking the table with drinks of every kind, for any appetite.

Harlan enters from outside, dressed mostly-casually, with his wife on his arm. One might notice that she's smaller than she was when last sighted -- however, it's just the two of them at the moment. If Cedric is here, he's out of sight.

Tikva's vibrance is a little lacking compared to the last time she hosted a party, but she appears to be attempting to pretend this is not true, smiling with an easy warmth as family and guests come in despite the fact that she has a slight worn and sleepless edge despite the fact that she technically does not have near so many responsibilities anymore and should totally be rested. "Come in, everyone! Come in and have a seat! And a drink! And some food," she says, waving both hand up and down the table. "I'm excited to sit down and break bread with everybody."

It's the sound of her boots that alert everyone to Lou's arrival. It's the rhythmic clomp clomping of her walking pattern. She seems to be in good spirits this evening, a bright smile on her face and such. She nods to people she knows, and keeps a careful hold on her backpack, where she's often known to keep a certain object recently discovered.

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

Catalana has comes sans husband. She's close enough to Grayson without him, right? Smiling fondly at the extended family as she comes in, she spots Niklas and Sabella and makes a direct line to them. She can hide with them until her token Grayson arrives.

Pharamond grins a little coming in and seeing the formality and such. He, like some, hasn't gone so much formal dress as much as formal armor. He likes it too much, and it's far too fancy, for him to not go out in it now and then, especially if he gets to show off with the Graysons as it were. Not that they don't have their own people with fancy armor but Duchy Ashford - gotta represent. He isn't in a hurry just yet though, waiting to see where people sit before going over tofill in an empty space or such. Prince Niklas and Princess Sabella are given a warm bow in both recognition and thanks for their wedding presents leading up to the event earlierin the year. It's been that busy.

Lisebet is with Harlan, and while perhaps not yet down to her starting weight, she's definitely down a significant two babies worth. She smiles, offering a graceful curtsey, because she can actually see her toes again, and then she says, "Good evening everyone. I am very glad to be able to join you all. Princess Tikva, it feels as though it's been a while." She gives the hostess a long look, but doesn't ask. It's not the time. Instead, she moves with Harlan to find a good spot at the table.

Malcolm enters, escorting Delilah, sharing a sort of gravelly and murmured joke that has a punchline that ends in the word "... a fish." With a soft click of the tongue and a gesture, Galina (who's the best girl) remains outside of the dining room when there's so much going on. She huffs, sits on her haunches, and stares judgmentally at Scribble. "Evening, all. Bless ya'll for showin us Gild's hospitality tonight." He removes a chair at the table for the the Shepherd Duchess, then, he throws himself into the chair beside her.

"Come on, I don't want to be late!" Sabella basically drags Nik into the room, beaming a smile at everyone there although the first person she flings her arms around is--"Lou! I might've told a pregnant woman seeking adventure that you and one of your children on the highest peak of Everwinter and barely broke your stride as you reached down to bundle you up so if people start talking about it that's why and really it does sound slightly probable don't you think and I am so excited to see you! And everyone else, of course. I've already run into Reese twice, but you must all tell me every little detail that has happened in your life since we've been away!"

Galina, the glorious Graypeak Mountain dog have been dismissed.



Who invited a common sailor? No, that's an actual (if rhetorical) question, not the start of a work song. Ronja Sandreef is in a dress that leaves her arms bare, which might be a tactical error because her arms are covered in rude sailor tattoos, including what appears to be topless mermaid that also appears to be Ronja herself. Her wild auburn mane is kept back out of her face with small braids, and beads are woven in besides, for style. All of this doesn't do Ronja much good, though, as she seems to be wandering around the party, looking around, like she's lost.

Reese arrives at the dinner while dressed as Reese normally is in her rosy tunic and sleek ivory leggings. She has pink ribbons tangled up in her golden locks. The girl is in the company if Delia. She moves with the grace of a warrior and has weapons at either hip. The girl peeks over to Ronja, having a warm smile for her. She then turns to Ronja. "So this is the family dinner. Thanks for coming with me."

Harlan moves to find a seat not too far from the head, but ... well, they're surrounded by Princes and Princesses. Still, he chooses a good spot!

"Of course." Tikva's smile is wide, and grows broad enough to crinkle the corners of her eyes as Sabella swarms the room and hugs Lou. She claps her hands in a few bright, sharp cracks. "YES I heard Sabella and Niklas were back in town!" she exclaims from her perch. "I feel a great sense of rightness in the world! Of course you're welcome, Duke and Duchess Shepherd, thank you for joining us! You too, Duke and Duchess Ashford!"

Roxana arrives right on time, dressed to the nines for there are None Greater Than Grayson after all, and there is no roast fowl better than what Tikva has served at this table. "It is lovely to see all of you, I hope everyone is doing well." In these times, really, but she does.

Reese glances over to Lisebet and Harlan, having a warm smile for the group. "Nice to see you and congrats on the twins. Princess Sabella just had twins too." She says warmly. She also has a dimpled smile for Tikva and then one for Lou. Reese waves to Roxana moment later. "Princess Roxana, you are lovely as always." The girl adds.

Confessor Imori have been dismissed.

Confessor Warren have been dismissed.

5 Armed Confessors have been dismissed.

"Well, I /was/ in Icefall in Everwinter not that long ago," Lou tells Sabella, grinning at her sister as she returns the hug. "So it's not entirely out of bounds." She releases Sabella from the hug, and waves over at Reese when she arrives. "I've also been other mysterious and wonderful places recently too. Lots of grand and wonderful adventures to talk about since you've been gone." Once she lets Sabella go, she seeks out a seat at the table and gets settled.

From her position at Reese's side s a Whisper escort should be, Delia courtsies every time somebody of rank catches her eye, and it becomes a wonder she doesn't get dizzy. Nevertheless, she moves with graceful ease and has a beaming smile for everybody who looks her way, including raunchily-tattooed Ronja. "You must be fond of bringing guests, Princess," she says to Reese with a chuckle, nodding to Ronja. "I'm Delia Whisper. It seems we are guests of the Princess together tonight!"

Fancy dress called for, and fancy dress received, at least to some extent. The ducal pair from Graypeak hardly give Bastion reason to frown in appearances. Lilah murmurs something to Malcolm moments before they enter, though her smile tips up with the sunny brilliance of a shared joke and relative comfort for their surroundings. Copper waves dance along the slope of her shoulder as she sighs, "A fish." The inclination of her head and a brief pause to curtsy inevitably has to slow Malcolm down to do the same, though she proffers a quick smile in Lisebet and Harlan's direction. The rounds of greeting are sure to follow, requiring a circuitous right to invoke hellos to everyone, from Tikva with a dulcet, "Princess Tikva! A lovely creation, this. You put such work into things, and thank you," and on to Ronja to rescue her from the madhouse alongside Reese. "I promise, few of us bite, Mistress Ronja. This is a welcome surprise!"

Reese looks over to Delia with a touch of pink warming her cheek. "I do love to bring guests." She says softly, trying to lead them both over to Ronja. "I mean, I feel like parties and dinners are more fun with guests and Princess Tikva is open minded to guests and.." She then trails off, smiling warmly to Delilah. "Greetings Duchess, it is nice to see you." The girl then adds. "Everyone this is Delia Whisper, a image consultant with House Whisper and Mistress Ronja a sailor."

Pharamond gives a wave to Lou as well, being as he's the low level explorer and she's...well...Lou. Still, he tends to be good at keeping Explorers alive so that's an important thing to do. When Delilah and Malcolm join the party as well, Pharamond looks in even better spirits. He doesn't hover over Lisebet and Harlan like he typically would, being as how they're well withing Grayson walls. He does of course have his blades and gives Ronja a curious glance, eyeing the woman with the fancy art, bu the seems fairly accepting, a smile crossing his features and in Pharamond fashion he finds a drink. Whatever the drink of choice is tonight, he is not overly picky on the matter. Delia is new and thus glanced as well, as is the rarely scene Princess Roxana. "Princess Tikva, you seem to have drawn quite the crowd for tonight." Reese, as always, given the warmest of smiles, Princess pigtails one of his utterly most favoritest people. "Delia Whisper...Mistress Ronja..." he offers, tipping his glass

"An image consultant! That is a unique job that I confess I've never heard of before." Roxana exclaims with interest between sips of wine. "What exactly does that work entail, if I may ask?" She turns to Delia.



Ronja walks alongside Reese. "Ah! I thought I'd lost you a moment," she asides to the Princess of Ribbons. "Or you'd decided to keep your distance lest people mistake me for your date." That's good-natured teasing, for the record.

Harlan smiles towards Reese, "Than kyou, Princeess." He looks over towards Sabella and Niklas and teases, "Had to beat us at it, did you?" He reaches to take Lisebet's hand in his.

Catalana hears Sabella and Lou. "That was you? I saw a pregnant blonde thing yelling that about Lou." She teases Sabella, "Back a day and already causing trouble."

Lisebet catches sight of Ronja and smiles, offering her a wave. "Ronja, you must come chat with us for at least a few moments, if you have time." Lisebet's gaze then goes to Delilah and Malcolm and she smiles, inclining her head as they arrive. She lets Harlan help her with her seat, and relaxes, accepting a glass of wine and looking around. She smiles at Reese, calling a "Thank you," to the Pink princess. She grins at Harlan's comment to Sabella and Niklas, reaching her own hand back over to Harlan. "Congratulations, Princess Sabella and Prince Niklas!"

"Ronja -- ha! I recall you as bein the sprightly house-guest that Bon-Bonnie brought to the manor - whenever -- whenever that was." Malcolm's incredibly enthusiastic. "Sit over here so I can see that mermaid skin-drawing of yours. Reese! You too. With your company, yes. Ronja! Can you make it move? I knew this sailor, see, and he had some kind of weird sea-creature with long arms and suckers on his -- well, the sun didn't shine there, yeah? He'd make the thing jump. Thought he was clever. I think he was shoved overboard for mooning the captain. I dun really remember how it all ended." Malcolm waves, "Evenin Harlan, Lisebet. Pharamond. Lookin REAL sharp, milord."

Niklas isn't really DRAGGED in by Sabella. He's coming. He's just very distracted by his assistant Sam, who is reading some no doubt ridiculously witty and brilliant thing Niklas wrote back to him. "Is that really what I wrote?" Sam gives a mute nod. "Well that's awful. I hate it. Set it on fire and go apologize to Jayus for me." Then he turns and, oh, look, family! Suddenly all gracious he's moving in with his wife. "Good evening all! It has been far too long since I have seen most of you, and just about the exact right amount of time since I've seen Reese, since that was yesterday."

Roxana takes another bite of the fantastic dish she's been enjoying, chewing and swallowing and having a sip of wine after. "So...how many new Grayson babies are there this last month or three? Are we aiming towards some kind of quota? I'm terribly sorry I can't participate, but perhaps if people keep having twins that can count for me."

Pharamond winks to Malcolm. "For the price this cost, I better be," he says. "Though looks aside, it's worked well." He pulls aside the neckline, showing a healed but fairly dangerous scar that in lesser armor might have clean severed his head. "Gotta remember to duck, apparently," he says, a story to that wound for sure but he seems pleased as he sips at the drink in hand, "I suppose though you can't really put a price on still being alive, right?" His glass is raised in cheers as he looks to the others "Apparently I need to get in on this baby making thing. And since I don't have to do the whole baby delivering bit...maybe I can talk Tabs into it."

"It's not much more than most Whispers do," Delia says to Roxana, turning a touch pink herself as she becomes the focus of attention. But her eyes twinkle cheerfully as she courtsies and explains herself. "I simply help the Lords and Ladies to be better understood, when perhaps they have been ... misunderstood to an unfortunate degree in the past. IN the whites, for example." She shrugs modestly. "I do preer when I have no work at all, because it means everyone is rubbing along just fine, of course." Not true, probably, because all her finery is rather dependent on her getting work, but who's going to take her up on that in this classy place?

Delia has joined the Dining Table.

Malcolm has joined the Dining Table.

"You must tell me all about it, I swear your travels rival even the most adventurous stories Nik dreams up for the children," Sabella turns her smile on Pharamond next, "Lord Pharamond, I was so disappointed to miss your wedding to the lovely Lady Tabitha! We shall have to stop by and see how married life has settled you," Catalana gets a grin, "I just wanted her to know that adventure didn't end with children! And can you even be considered a mother in Arx if you haven't had twins? My mother hated that joke," she adds hurriedly, with a quick smile for the twin-less ladies, "Having had three singular daughters. But congratulations Duchess Lisebet and Duke Harlan! Your twins are ever so much more important an announcement considering that they're your first. And second! Of course now our children are destined to be the best of friends and play pranks on us together and hm, I'm not sure I like where my imagination is taking this. Tikva!" She's next for a hug, "I see nothing fell apart while we were gone. I'm only slightly disappointed and my ego bruised just a touch, but of course we left everything in such good hands I'm not really surprised."

Pharamond has joined the Dining Table.

A flicker-flash of laughter hidden partly, Delilah navigates wherever Malcolm decides to go. Easier to follow in his wake, drawn ever closer to the familiar faces. She dares to extend a hand Pharamond-way. "Has your lady-wife been caught up in her painting again? I hoped I might see her, though you will have to bring her over for dessert and whatever we can procure from the cellars." Her gaze glitters brightly, marking the position of the scar. "You might well be encouraging us to all brave the heights and wilds, showing that off, Phar. On the other hand, you're quite alive." She gives a thoughtful look in Roxana's direction and laughs. "See, this is an important question. Someone should be counting." Getting round to the Ashford couple and Lou will happen, but not before offering Reese a murmured statement, quick and low, full of delight. "A pleasure to meet you, Delia. It's an essential role that you play, and many have need of it."

Harlan shakes his head in amusement, but doesn't really have anything else to say at the moment, so just squeezes Lisebet's hand, and settles in to prepare for dinner.

Harlan has joined the Dining Table.

Delilah has joined the Dining Table.

Roxana smiles at Sabella. "I only have the one boy...and he's turning into a teenager I'm afraid. Which is why he is deep in the Crownlands studying at one of the very best academies money can buy. We visit on holidays. I highly recommend it starting at age...mmm...twelve...thirteen at the latest. Especially with twins. Especially with girls."

Lisebet has joined the Dining Table.

"Duck -- or get your goose cooked, eh, Pharamond?" Malcolm offers a mirthful grin, eyes going wide, and then he shoots a sideways look toward Delilah when Pharamond mentions babies. Next, looking back at Pharamond with a quick little headshake. "Nah-uh. Too many adventures yet."

Token Grayson armcandy arrives, wearing a regal new jacket and vest. Wash pauses in the entry way, smiling broadly at all the familiar faces but really searching for just one in particular. Once found, he heads in Catalana's direction.

Catalana laughs low at Sabella, "I'm not sure her husband will appreciate you for it. She seemed to be throwing possibly a shoe at him as I ducked out. " She lingers by the door a little longer in hopes that Wash hasn't slept through and forgotten dinner. She assures Sabella, "I'm sure being a mother of three singles counts as a real mother. Imagine having twins for your third or fourth or fifth pregnancy? That's much too many kids."

Lisebet gives Harlan a wry look, and then she says, "I'm not sure if I will have any more, but at least there are two." Her work is technically done, right? Maybe. "I'd like to get in on some of those adventures, you see. If I can." She pauses, and then adds, "Though I am not so sure that diplomacy is best useful on adventures most of the time."

Tikva throws her arms around Sabella and gives her a squeeze, rising from her seat for this hug the first time she has gotten up since everyone arrived. "I'm so glad to see yoouuu," she sings out the final word. "Honestly, I'm not sure it hasn't fallen apart a _little_ without you. Congratulations on your -- I'm sure -- ridiculously beautiful children."

Reese seems a bit slow to respond to everyone, maybe just a touch overwhelmed by the size of the gathering. The girl looks over to Ronja. "I wouldn't mind if people mistook me for such." She adds and then goes to take a seat. She has a smile for Malcolm, one for Pharamond and nods in response to Delilah's whispered word.

Delia follows at Reese's elbow, smiling at Reese as she takes a seat in a reassuring manner. Why? Maybe she can see that the woman is a little overwhelmed. For her part, she bows her head at the praise for her job description, saying, "I wish they didn't need it, but sadly it is the case. Naturally I doubt any of you would ever need to call on me in that capacity," and offers the table at large, whoever is close enough to hear, an engraciating smile.



She leans in to listen to something Roxana says, and laughs aloud, turning to direct a shake of her head and a mirthful look at the Princess before murmuring back.

Lou grins at Sabella, "I'm certain you'll think I'm making things up with some of the stories I have to tell. Particularly about the discovery in Icefall. But the trinket I brought back from Whitepeak, when we rediscovered its location, is stuff made of legends." Her eyes twinkle a bit and she pats her backpack, seemingly ever protective of it. She looks over the table to see what she can throw on her plate, and ends up taking a little sampling smattering of everything and putting it in a tiny pile. She gives a nod in Delilah's direction, offering her a warm smile. "In fact, I drug Delilah along to Whitepeak with me when I went. She may have a story or two of her own to share."

Malcolm mutters, "No thank you. ... thank you. I like the kiddos we've got ... ... ... ... ... ... Not like small squishy packages ... wailing, ... and shitting."

"How do you manage being apart from him?" Sabella asks Roxana with a wine in one hand and a dessert in the other and absolutely no children to be seen, "Someone was asking me today how I will feel when my girls go to be married off and I could feel my heart already breaking as I hoped larger skirts came into fashion in the next few years to ensure they could always hide behind them! I can't bear to be far from them or not know what they're up to. Hm. Actually. Niklas were we supposed to send a carriage to pick them up from the park? Ah well, it's a lovely evening for a walk," she says cheerfully as she too has a seat, "They are quite good looking even if we were only expecting one of them. Lucia has a head of golden hair already while Clareese is mostly bald! But she has such a lovely shaped head I don't much mind! Of course we still keep her in bonnets so the other children won't tease her," she gives Lou an interested look but doesn't press for details right now, "But certainly more of you have been up to interesting things. I love Bastion but the most scandalous thing that happened there in the past few months was a missing apple pie and it turned out someone's loose goat was the culprit after an intensive investigation!"

Niklas steps back from Sabella when Tikva launches herself. Best not to be in the splash zone. Caith was enough hugging for the week. Though the byplay between Sabella and Tikva gets just a hint of a frown from the playwright, just a touch of creasing in his forehead. And then it's gone, because some people are very good at putting sad thoughts in a jar and pushing that jar into a box and locking it and shoving it way down deep. "I'm just glad to have missed summer. Though seven months in Bastion was a great way to spend seven months thinking about other places. So do tell about distant frosty lands. Best to enjoy them now, before Arx becomes one in a few months."

Reese peeks over to Delia as she sits nearby, having a smile for her. "I am glad you came. I am not the best escort. I get lost in gatherings this large sometimes." She says before looking over to Lou and listening to her with interest. "My sister is an adventurer." She says braggingly to both Delia and Ronja

Wash collects a glass of wine for himself and one for his wife and then returns to the door and offers a drink. "Thank you for this." He tells her, smoothing his vest with his free hand before offering Catalana his elbow. "If you are interested in cold places..." Wash says to Niklas. "You might talk to Countess Stahlben. She's heading to the Everwinter. At the very least you would end up with cold feet."

Roxana smiles at Sabella warmly. "Well, I manage being apart from him because the times I am not apart from him can be um...challenging? His father passed when he was eight, and it was...hard on him to say the least. Sometimes I think he resents me for being the one who remained. The not-actually-Grayson, not-a-brave-warrior, parent." Her smile is thin and almost sad, and then chased with wine.

Catalana smiles fondly as Wash comes up beside her. No longer the out of place Kennex in a room full of Grayson's. "Thank you." She flashes him a brief look of amusement "You cousin keeps telling me we won't be real parents unless we have twins. If that's the case, you may end up with a crew should we hope for twins." She moves over to the table and takes a seat.

Catalana has joined the Dining Table.

Delilah cannot help but to laugh at Reese's pride in Lou, and she shakes her head. "I assure you, I would not have wandered Whitepeak-way without Lou in the lead. She did wonderfully, and having Mason there made a great difference after all. It has it moments of sorrow, I grant you, though as much to keep the spirit warmed in the long winter to come."

Roxana has joined the Dining Table.

"Well, that's one reason for you to be Voice again! Then you can make sure your daughters just marry in suitable gentlemen that you actually like. I suggested it to Liara, but ... well, you know." Tikva laughs. "Welcome back to you too, Niklas," she says, her smile warm for all that when she finishes hugging Sabella, she flops back into her seat. "You have missed a few awful humid scorchers, it's true. There've been a couple of times it's been a bit like walking through a steam bath just... going out through town. Except for the smell, I suppose." She knuckles along her brow. "The smell is, you know, Arx in summer. Did you get a lot of writing done in Bastion? I hope Ainsley didn't make good on his threat to teach you about noogies."

Pharamond looks over to the Princess Roxana. "When he's back next I'd be happy to give him a lesson or two with the sword, and while we're at it, discuss how glad I'd be to have either of my parents back and to not let the time we have go to waste. Accented with very carefully placed thumbs of the training sword. If it would place Her Highness." Offer made, he looks back to the others, waving down the table to Lisebet and Harlan. He mouths something, before he calls it a bit louder, "Hi theeeeere..." he adds, exaggerating just a bit the length of the table.

"I'm happy to have been invited," Delia assures Reese with a warm smile, leaning away from her quiet side-conversation with Roxana to say so. She looks at Lou and Delilah and inclines her head. "You are all braver than I could ever be," she says. "I am in awe of the stories Explorers bring back from their travels."

"I forbid you to have twins." Wash imperiously declares, pulling out a chair for Catalana and then seating himself at her elbow. "Who is wishing this affliction on us?" He scours the room with a playfully accusing glare. "I can't possibly corrupt more than one child at a time."

Wash has joined the Dining Table.

Roxana seems startled by Pharamond's offer but also pleased, and she gives him a genuine smile. "I think I would like that very much my lord. Thank you. I don't mean to sound dire or to spoil the mood of dinner. He's a wonderful boy and I love him dearly. It's just a hard age, and a hard circumstance...but gods know others have larger challenges than I."

Lou hears Reese chatting about her, and grins over at her. "Oh! Reese! I invited father to go out into the Crownland with us when we go out exploring the Crownlands. I hope you don't mind. I figured it would be a good way for all of us to bond together. I haven't seen him much because I've been in and out exploring and such."

Reese looks over to Delia. "She is truly amazing and well, I figured you do might get on." She says cheerfully, before looking over to Lou. "I would like him to go. It will be nice for us to be together."

Harlan smiles towards Lisebet and says, "Diplomacy is an adventure in itself, really, in a lot of cases." He looks over towards Lou and says, "I'm going to want to make a trip soon myself. Somewhere. Don't care where." He grins. He works on filling a plate, and looks towards Lisebet, "You can actually eat things now -- or do you still want berries?" He grins.

Lisebet offers a small wave Pharamond's way, as he is being silly way over there. She makes sure that Malcolm gets the roast bird so he may choose his leg, and starts to put a bit of food on her own plate as she listens to the conversation. Harlan does get a bit of a frown and then she says, "Oh, gods, no berries, please."

Pharamond nods his head in earnest, "There's lots of distractions, and mouths whispering things; lessons from not always the best of places. I've found that the flat of a training blade is good at wiping away some of that extra 'muck' and bringing one back into focus on what matters. Especially when the force of the blade is tied directly to how good or how poorly an answer is delivered to the topic of conversation. But don't worry...a warm soak and a little sip of something to drink and he'll be fine and back in your good hands." He settles back and starts to snack at whatever is there while looking about the table once more.

Reese looks over to Lisebet with amusement. "Oh, probably are sick of them by now." She says softly. "I will have to come over and see the twins sometime." The girl says.

Catalana peeks over at Pharamond and Roxana, "I'm sure Lord Wash would be happy to take him sailing. I've found sailing helps the most troubled of boys turn into the best of men."

"Sabella isn't wrong. They held a trial for the goat and everything. Two sheep showed up as character references, but they couldn't pull the wool over our eyes." Niklas serves himself up a big plate of everything. "That part may be a fabrication, but really they found the goat guilty and he was quite tasty." To Tikva he says, "Ainsley kept offering to teach me things, but they all sounded like /so much work/, so instead I taught him a song on the vielle." He gives a soft sniff. "His energy and general volume more than made up for his skill. Deaf people across the Crownlands will remember me forever. Though likely not fondly." Wash gets a nod. "My dear friend Oswyn is likely off on yet another snowy winter. I'll have to chastise Countess Mia for letting him go."

Sabella reaches out to give one of Roxana's hands a brief squeeze, "He is lucky to have such a strong mother and I am sure he knows it and just lacks the vocabulary to say so. It's a hard situation, and I would not wish that sort of loss to anyone, but you've both come out stronger for it, no doubt." Then she leans back and has herself some delicious food, giving Tikva a sidelong grin, "Did you just say you volunteered me for more work? I've heard Liara has done an amazing job and that Lark has returned! I haven't seen her since that other time I wanted to get married and probably ought to thank her for having more sense than me and not passing it on to you!" And then when Wash looks around she puts on the most innocent face ever. It was definitely not her putting those twin thoughts out there.

Reese has joined the Dining Table.

Tikva laughs out loud and says, "Oh no. I see I have something to look forward to the next time I see him. Thank you? Maybe?" before she scours her hand over her face. After a beat, she turns her head to yawn, blocking her mouth with her fist. "Gods, sorry, sorry," she says, and flaps her hands as though to chase off any suggestion of lacking energy. "I didn't _volunteer_ you, I mean I just told them how much I relied on you when I was Voice! You can still say no! No is an option!"

Pharamond chuckles at Catalana. "In my experience I'm not sure if it's the sailing or the being part of a crew...a crew of people who on a long enough trip won't hesitate to toss one over if they're putting the ship at risk. There's actually as few things as impressive as seeing a well trained crew working in unison. I haven't had the chance to learn the skill but it's one I can admire when I see it." He was probably joking about the threat of being tossed overboard...but the compliment is clearly genuine as he nods. "Plus...who's mood isn't made better by some time by the water. Less ocean and more stream and river in Ashford lands where I've been but still great to see any time I can."

There's a smile for Catalana. "That sounds lovely too. Thank you, all of you, for being so kind." She is quiet a moment, taking a sip of wine and thinking, then squeezing Sabella's hand back. "You will move me to tears and I've worked so hard on my coiffure and this gown...it will spoil the effect. But thank you, Sabella. You are a darling in every way." She glances to Niklas. "Now. I'd like to hear more about this goat trial. Do you think you could make it into a musical? People need comedy."

Lisebet smiles and nods. "of course, Princess Reese, you are most welcome to visit any time and meet little Emilie and Brennan. As of course are you all." She inclines her head, before glancing back to the folks near her at the table and replying.

Wash narrows his eyes in Pharamond's direction. "This one." He says, "I like this one. If you want to escape Ashford and see a bit of the Mourning sea my Lord Ashford, I will be honored to have you aboard my vessel. Wash Kennex, nee Grayson, which is why they invite me to these things."

Demetria Arcuri arrives, delivering a message to Lisebet before departing.

Catalana encourages Pharamond then, "You should go out with Lord Wash. He has promised Countess Arcadia and Apollo to teach them how to sail. I'm sure you'd be welcome along for the adventure too." She checks with Wash after, "Can Lord Pharamond go along too? Is there room?"

Confessor Imori have been dismissed.

Confessor Warren have been dismissed.

5 Armed Confessors have been dismissed.

Tikva is overheard praising Niklas: Brightening up Bastion with terrible music!

"I'll throw someone overboard and make room." Wash assures Catalana. "Please say you will come Lord Pharamond. Even the Pink Princess will concede that I run a tight ship."

Tikva is overheard praising Sabella: Thank you for not murdering me for suggesting you do work!

Wash is overheard praising Pharamond: Has all his priorities in order.

Sabella has joined the Dining Table.

Settling into the flow of chatter, Delia's eyes shift up and down the table following the course of the conversation with interest. "Do it now, Lord Pharamond," she advises in a voice loud enough to carry to the Lord, apparently not minding about gently inserting herself into the chat. "When a sailor overboard won't freeze to death in the summer sea! If you wait too long, who knows?"

A message arrives that Roxana peeks at and frowns. "Really. During a dinner they /knew/ I wished to be present for." A sigh. "I'm afraid my darling family that I must leave you. I hope it is not long until I see each and every one of your faces again. Perhaps not all at once, but in general."

Roxana has left the Dining Table.

Reese looks over to Wash, giving him a smile. "You Do. You are a great Sailor, Lord Wash." The girl says softly.

Lou glances over at Harlan's comment and grins. "You should do that sometime, certainly! Life is always better with a bit of adventure in it," she assures him.

Reese turns to Lou. "You would know, Lou, having one of best adventure filled lives of anyone that I know. You have the right idea." She says and lifts her glass. "To Lou who I will not call Princess Lou and adventures!"

Pharamond can't help it. He just laughs...loudly, and he nods, raising his glass. "I would be a fool to turn down such a well spoken offer. Fortunately, I am short so...I take up little space. Let me know when," he says in earnest, smiling both to Wash and to Catalana. "And of course, let me know which alcohol goes best with evening stories," he says, smiling over. "A man's got to pay the fare, even an invited guest," he says with enthusiasm now. There is no doubt he would be more than happy to go sailing. Granted, he's got images of hanging from the lines and fighting like a swashbuckler which probably won't happen.

Reese is overheard praising Delia: Yay, Whisper going to dinner with me!

Reese is overheard praising Lou: Adventuring not a princess Grayson!

Reese is overheard praising Tikva: Great family dinner!

Sabella looks over to Delia at her comment about a summer sea, "I'm not sure, the sea always seems rather chilly to me no matter the season. However, I rarely do anything more than dip my toes and leave the sailoring to my cousin Wash there." Tikva gets another laugh, "You know I hate to say no! It's why everyone came to me instead of you! They knew I was the pushover Voice. I would've pardoned that goat and let Lord Michael marry it."

Sabella is overheard praising Tikva: I see what you did there

"I didn't realize that the goat was eligible!" Tikva exclaims, and laughs in a much brighter rush of breath.

Turning to Sabella, Delia nods in genuine agreement. "I can only relay what I hear," she tells the Princess. Leaning a bit closer she confides, "I'm afraid I get awfully seasick. So I don't have much practicaly experience..."

Pharamond is overheard praising Wash: For offering to take me sailing!

Confessor Imori have been dismissed.

Confessor Warren have been dismissed.

5 Armed Confessors have been dismissed.

Catalana suggests to Pharamond, "Anything but Vodka." She complains to Wash, "After that barbeque I will never be eating vodka soaked watermelon. I woke feeling like I was sixteen again. How much vodka did you put in those things?"

Confessor Imori have been dismissed.

Confessor Warren have been dismissed.

5 Armed Confessors have been dismissed.



As it turns out, before she could join Lisebet, Reese, Malcolm, and all of those other fine folk, Ronja got taken aside by another group, not important enough to use their actual names when describing them, and a merry caper ensued where one of the oldest and foggiest among that group of perhaps very distant relations kept mistaking Ronja for his granddaughter. Finally free of that, Ronja returns to where her group WAS, looking around, hoping she didn't just accidentally get herself ditched in the middle of this banquet.

Harlan looks over towards Lou and smiles, "Well, I ... had other duties, until recently." He grins. "I'll be sure to get involved with something soon though." That said, he's eating and that's where most of his attention is.

Lou nods a bit to Harlan. She finishes up her dinner and rises from her seat. "Sorry to eat and dash, but I promised the kids I'd be taking them to the park later this evening to catch some late night fireflies."

Lou leans over then and mutters something to Sabella.

The Whisper present seems to have given herself the title of Reese-and-company dogsbody though, because she has a chair pulled out for Ronja when she sees the sailor coming over. "That looked like a swarm," she observes of the group of Graysons Ronja has escaped. "Here, sit."

Lou mutters, "Let me know when ... want to hear some of ... stories, and ... go into great detail ... ... we found ... ..."

Confessor Imori have been dismissed.

Confessor Warren have been dismissed.

5 Armed Confessors have been dismissed.

"I can certainly appreciate that," says Niklas to Delia after overhearing her lack of love for the sea. "Of my many failures as an Islander, my tendency to greet open waters by giving it my breakfast second-hand is probably my greatest. That, and being so damnably fashionable." Niklas stabs a potato, dips it in butter and sets it on his plate as if he plans on eating it like a lollipop. "Good evening, Lou!"

Whatever Lou whispers, Sabella looks absolutely gobsmacked, "You didn't!" she gasps, eyes going wide and shining, "Oh, Lou you can't jus say that and leave! I'm going to come find you tomorrow for sure!"

"I did," Lou confirms to Sabella, a cheshire grin on her lips as she turns to leave. "I'll even show you my flying clockwork griffon later too."

"Have fun, Lou!" Tikva says with a bright smile. "Catch a firefly for me!"

Lou has left the Dining Table.

Willen leaves, following Lou.

"Ah, that." Reacting to one of Delilah's murmurs, Malcolm absently nudges his empty plate aside, wiping his hands on the knees of his trousers. "Dinner was excellent. Know what it needs now? Drink -- proper whiskey. Heart o'th' Glen, particularly." He lifts a pair of fingers to his brow, flicking the brim of his hat upward. "Been grand to see all sorts of faces around this table. Will be beggin pardon npw, as it's past the dogs time for a last walk and my bedtime cap."

"Prince Niklas is not entirely honest with you my good Whisper. Many good sailors suffer from seasickness." Wash tells Delia. "But it's a passing illness. Once you get used to how a ship moves, it isn't nearly as disconcerting to be disconnected from a solid surface on which to stand. Actually, I've found more than once that it is returning to land that feels strange."

Willen arrives, following Lou.

Rising from her seat as Lou does, Delilah says to Lou, "We should reconvene on that, soon. Send me a time when I can drop by your office." Too late, mayhap, but it's the thought that counts. With a blithe smile, she touches her fingertips to her brow. "Come to think, darling, that drink /does/ sound remarkably good," she adds to Malcolm. Offering him or hand, she falls in next to him. "Shall we?"

Willen leaves, following Lou.

Pharamond grins as he waves to Lou, "See you soon!" He's sure he'll be on some venture with her before he sits back, a bit of a grin as he looks betwen all the exchanges and whispers. At Catalana's advice, eh taps his noggin to show that he's made the mental note and then leans back, not forgetting to eat since he most certainly, and rarely, ever forgets to drink.



Ronja accepts the chair offered by Delia with a murmured 'thank you.' "The old one kept touching my braids," she kvetches in a tone of voice that seems like she's mostly talking to herself, but not really caring if anyone overhears. "Kept asking me what I'd done to my beautiful black hair." Ronja's hair is auburn. She does see in the corner of her eye Delilah and Malcolm preparing to leave: "Ah, hell, I missed the Shepherds. They know how to keep parties interesting. Well. More interesting."

Hand met with Delilah's, Malcolm gently guides it to his arm, curling his fingers over hers. "We shall and we will," he nods with a cheery smile.

Delilah has left the Dining Table.

Malcolm has left the Dining Table.

1 Inquisition Confessors, Scribble, a Delicate Social Butterfly, 1 Graypeak Aerie Warden, Malcolm leave, following Delilah.

Harlan smiles towards Lisebet and nods, "That definitely sounds like an idea. Where should we go?"

"You /are/ very fashionable," Delia agrees with Niklas with a grin. "All that star iron! Still I can almost be assured you are a better islander than I would ever be."



Wash she gives her full attention and even nods, but the woman still looks dubious. "How long before you get used to the ship's movement, My Lord?" she inquires with some curiosity. "And for that matter, are you telling me you get landsick?" She smiles, a touch lopsidedly, at this.

"I am indeed telling you that." Wash answers Delia in the affirmative. "There is such a thing, and if I spend more than two months at sea, I am quite useless for at least two days after making landfall. Most get over their sickness in a fortnite or less."

Lisebet gets to her feet, reaching a hand for Harlan, and turns to smile at the Grayson royalty and all, "Thank you for the wonderful dinner. It's been lovely. Ronja, you're wonderful, I look forward to catching up some more. Again. You too have to come see the babies. But it is time to head out for nightcaps." She glances over at Wash and Catalana, and offers them an apologetic nod of her head, as she takes her leave.

"I'm not much of a fan of anything that moves without my involvement. Boats. Horses. Honestly, I think this is why I was never asked to be a dragon rider." Niklas raises his eyebrows at Wash. "Though I do not doubt that there is no fool so useless that Wash Kennex could not make a fine sailor out of them eventually."

Reese is still at the table. She has wine and food. The girl peeks over to Delia and Ronja. "If either of you want a tour later of the Grayson mansion, I can show you." She says softly.

Wash waves a farewell to the Duke and Duchess. "I shall hope for another bar crawl with you Duke, when the Duchess does not have prior claim on your time." He glances at Catalana. "And I am equally free." He adds belatedly.

Harlan moves to stand up and goes to escort his wife off. He turns and towards everyone and smiles, "Be well, everyone."



Ronja lifts her glass -- or SOMEONE'S glass, in any event, but it is now Ronja's -- towards Lisebet. "We'll talk soon. Me, you, and the tiny babies. I promise." Then, before she can be sad about more people leaving, she notices the talk of sailing. Her eyes turn toward it like hunting dog locked on its prey. "Mm?" she says to Reese, having to pull herself away from Sailing Discussion. "Well. It could well be fun, if it's not too much of a bother..."

Confessor Imori have been dismissed.

Confessor Warren have been dismissed.

5 Armed Confessors have been dismissed.

Catalana glances between Harlan and Wash. Her imagination wild with what mischief those two could make. "I suppose now you are both married and with children you may have grown up and will only drink a sensible amount." But even she sounds dubious to that.

Reese looks over to Ronja, giving her a smile. "Oh, not at all. There are lots of fun things here like books, griffins, couches, paintings." She says.

Delia's brows shoot up. "Really?" She gives Niklas a lingering look, perhaps trying to decide if he's having her on. "I've known some fine fools in my time. As for making a sailor of them ..." she laughs, looking back at Wash. "If you could make anything but a hopeless landswoman out of me, I would be convinced you could do anything, up to and including miracles."



She turns the smile on Reese and Ronja. "I would love that!" she enthuses. "Thank you Princess, it would be a dream to see the Grayson house."

Harlan has left the Dining Table.

Lisebet has left the Dining Table.

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

Relic, Lisebet leave, following Harlan.

"We have some really great silverware," Tikva says with a slightly ridiculous grin for how great it is to ... have silverware, possibly. "From hundreds of years ago! I bought it off an archaeologist person."

"Ridiculous. What is the point of drinking sensibly? If I want to drink sensibly I'll have a glass of wine." Wash plucks his from the table. "And pretend it has alcohol in it." He nods to Delia. "In that case, for the sake of my mortal soul I better refrain from teaching you. I think the Gods would frown on a man like me doing miracles."

Sabella stifles her own yawn, hiding it behind taking another drink of wine, "Apologies, everyone, that I am not more of my talkative self, but I think all the traveling is catching up to me. I promise that I shall be more myself tomorrow and the following day." When Tikva talks about the silverware she picks up and admired her fork, "So, you're saying generations of dead people have used these very things?"

Catalana pushes her fork away with that. "I had never thought of that. Thank you." She warns Wash. "If the two of you end up hog tied naked at the marina, I am not coming to pay the fine to the Iron guard."

"Yes! Apparently they were going to be part of a groom's trousseau or something, for a Grayson who was marrying into the Lyceum, but they were lost to raiders who took them back to a shav keep! I bet there's a tragic romance involving this very spoon!" Tikva holds it up with a flourish, waving it about.

Delia's eyes follow Tikva's spoon, although she continues to trade chat with Wash around his own conversation with Catalana. It's a complicated table. "I'm grateful," she says. "I don't think either of us would appreciate me as a pupil of sailing, though I'm sure I would enjoy your company in any other situation."

"I hope that same archaeologist person is still keeping an eye out for some House Ashcrest antiques for me. Though disappearing for a few months might be seen as a sign of releasing someone from a job." Niklas eyes the spoon, saying hesitantly, "It /does/ look like quite the romantic spoon." He just gives Delia a significant look. Dragonmaster Nik is just one reality away, probably. Probably not.

"That was one time. And there were thirty other sailors in that same situation." Wash protests. "And anyway, it was Porter's idea. He's not around this time."

Catalana waves her hand, "I don't think you need Porter around for bad ideas. Remember that pub crawl you did when I was pregnant with Rayne? I didn't think your eyebrow would be back before his birth."



Ronja looks down at her fork, but her expression seems to betray a lack of imaginative fork fables dancing through her head. She glances back over at Reese, and shrugs gently. "The last time I saw thirty sailors in the same situation, it was a scandal all across the atoll -- specially when their spouses found out."

Reese look overs over to Ronja, giving her a smile. "Oh...thirty sailors romantically spooning?" She asks of her. "You seen that before?" She adds playful and wide-eyed.

Tikva almost snorts wine out her nose.

"I suppose it's better than them forking," Sabella muses.

Delia covers an unfortunately full mouth with a delicate hand. She thankfully manages to swallow her food /before/ she starts to laugh.

Catalana does snort wine out her nose at Reese's comment. Quickly dabbing at her nose she gives Reese the most incredulous stare.

Wash looks over at Ronja speculatively. "Do tell."

Tikva puts her glass down, and claps her hands, laughing. "Gods," she says, "what's next? Shall they plate? Is that a thing?" (No. No it's not.)



Ronja doesn't even try to cover her laugh -- when Sabella speaks, she just flat-out cackles. It's the kind of laugh that really works when sat in a crowded, antic pub in the Lowers, and really doesn't when sat at a table at a Grayson banquet. A few relatives from down the line look over at the loudness of it. "Her Highness just did tell," she replies to Wash. "In much more delicate terms than I'd have used, but -- basically accurate. It was a very strange atoll. I think they all tried to claim they'd been poisoned by some Lycene serum afterward, and for the sake of keeping the peace everyone just pretended to believe them."

Pharamond just looks back and forth, "I think we may need a lot more alcohol for this sailing trip," he says with a little chuckle under his breath, enjoying the gruop and the way the dialogue is going so far. Though still, as he hears Reese's comment and the reply by Sabella, it's not quite but almost too much for him to keep his drink down as he brings his mouth to his lips to make sure he picks up any bits that might have leaked out of the corner there when he was trying to swallow amidst the joke.

Reese looks over to Ronja, nodding. "I could see it. I was on a long sea trip, I might prefer to spoon than to sleep alone." She says, sounding amused. "Especially it was cold or there wasn't enough booze to go around."

Delia catches Pharamond's movement down the table and winks at him in a 'comrades in almost spitting out your food' way, still laughing. She clears her throat and sobers up. "That sounds like an absolutely fascinating island," she tells Ronja with a raised brow and just a bit of stress on the 'fascinating'.

Delia has left the Dining Table.

"It certainly sounds like it could be a thing," Sabella replies to Tikva, "I'd like to plate that! Hm. Well maybe not. We can workshop it, but right now I need to get back to the children. Or at least it would only be responsible of me to go make sure they got back before it got too dark." She stands up and takes Nik's arm, beaming a brilliant smile at everyone, "You know there was a time I longed for Bastion when I was here because it was where I grew up, but looking at all of you I feel so content because it is abundantly clear that Arx is our home now, thanks to all of you and I could not be happier for being here. Please do reach out to catch up in the next few weeks!" and then they're strolling off.

Sabella has left the Dining Table.

2 Grayson House Guards, Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting, Clark, an exasperated guard, Niklas leave, following Sabella.

Pharamond stands up quietly after a bit, and he finishes, "This has been lovely. Princesses, Your HIghness," he says to the Prince. "All other esteemed guests...it has been lovely to have a chance to see your faces again and meet some new ones. I hope all will be well..." he says and he makes his way over and refills his drink. As if anyone expected him to leave without one. "I'll make sure this is sent back, nice and clean once I'm done with it," he says. "Can't expect a person to walk home in this heat without something to drink." He grins impishly and with that, a Pharaomnd is off. And...assuming no one stops him...he reailly will have the glass sent back.

Pharamond is overheard praising Tikva.

Pharamond has left the Dining Table.

Confessor Imori have been dismissed.

Confessor Warren have been dismissed.

5 Armed Confessors have been dismissed.

Ronja has joined the Dining Table.

Reese eventually wanders off to go do princessy things of some sort!

Reese has left the Dining Table.

Lygeia, a calligrapher and alchemist arrives, delivering a message to Wash before departing.

Catalana is relaxing when a guard comes in with a note. Frowning a little as she reads she apologizes "It is seemed I am needed elsewhere. Will you excuse me?" She gives Wash an apologetic look.

Wash stands up when Catalana rises. "Of course. I'll see you at home. I'm going to steal this sailor away from Reese while she's not looking."



Ronja lifts her glass towards Catalana. "It was good talking with you. Hope you didn't think anything of that diplomat joke -- it was said with no malice, I promise." She then looks over to Wash and laughs. "Well. Brave words."

Catalana gives Wash's cheek an affectionate bump with hers and waves as she leaves "Alright. See you at home."

Catalana has left the Dining Table.

2 Kennex corsairs leaves, following Catalana.



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