House Valardin is hosting a truly grand harvest festival. More details to come.
Sept. 2, 2019, 2 p.m.
Outside Arx - Oathlands near Sanctum - Sanctum
Comments and Log
Good Harvest: a celebration of the turn of seasons, Oathlands style. That means ... prayers. That means _so many_ prayers.
The prayers are _lengthy_. You've gotta give Lagoma her due, first and foremost, then Petrichor, and Mangata, and you know as long as you've hit three, you might as well hit the rest. It continues until Oathlanders are satisfied and everyone else is desperate for the proceedings to move on.
It's a lovely day, in defiance of tensions at play elsewhere in the Oathlands. Festival tents stretch in a riot of color across the field, with the white dragon of Valardin side by side with the looped circles of the Faith. The godsworn, allowed to rest now after the exhaustive opening prayers, sit in the shadow of the Faith's protective tent. The rest of the celebration flows from attraction to attraction: a corn maze for the competitive; produce competitions for the also competitive; food for the hopefully not competitive, no one is getting a prize for how much pie they have eaten.
Zara's at the produce table, which is stacked high and wide with fruits and vegetables so large, so grotesque that they defy explanation. There's a pumpkin in the center of the table that's easily the width of the drafthorse that unfortunate enough to be doomed to drag it in. There's a tiny little blue ribbon on the pumpkin, hilariously undersized: First Place.
"THAT," Tikva declares as she approaches Zara in a long sweep of golden silks, "is one AMAZING pumpkin." Part of the Grayson delegation (or, well, the number of Graysons who detatched themselves from other adventures for the long trip), she is pretty devout but still didn't manage to make it through the whole lengthy prayer service without squirming a little like one of her toddlers. Still, she looks sunny and bright now that the actual festivities can be gotten on with. "Praise be to Petrichor, you could live inside it."
Mabelle arrives to the festival grounds just on time. As Autumn had fallen upon the city, so did it fall upon Mabelle's gown, a lovely green gown with a cape of autumn leaves. She takes a deep breath to inhale the scents of the food cooked in the area and flashes a smile to Zara, "Princess, good day! Such an impression setup. My that is a large pumpkin!", she echoes Tikva and offers the two a curtsy.
The advantage to a Valardin festival over a Grayson one is that at a Valardin one, there's far far less of a chance of Ronja's mentor making her assist in the running of things. Not a zero chance, but still much much slimmer. So Ronja is here to enjoy herself and to get fat off of starches. The red-haired sailor wench is off next to the food, chatting sotto voice with another sailor as she pours something into her cup: "--well, of course I brought my own, I didn't know if it was going to be all milk that's sat out in jugs in the sun all afternoon or what, really--"
Cristoph travels with his family to this Good Harvest celebration, sans a wife but with children in tow. Eadric runs around his legs and Annalise is on his shoulders. "Perhaps we could hollow it and use it to build a small shed," he comments as he drifts near to where the others are standing around admiring the GIANT pumpkin.
Sanctum is a second or third home to the Thrax nee Valardin, nee Grayson who has made the journey to the white walled city once called home. Bittersweet memories there for sure. A wrap looped about elbows that drags low against the back of her skirts and hair left pulled back from her face and loose, Alarissa's made the journey with two of the children. Thankfully, Danse didn't get subjected to the service and Alarissa sat patient through it all with chin lifted a little high and imperiously. But now she's meandering through the festival with the three year olds hand in hers as they stop here and there to look at this and that and Eleyna in her arms. "If his Grace were here, Prince Victus would surely be itching with his axe to cleave it." She comments.
"You _could_," Zara agrees, her usual air of cool reserve shocked to an open air of almost intimidation. "You absolutely _could_ live in it." She turns from marveling at the pumpkin to greet Tikva, arms extended to take her hand in a quick clasp. Help. Tikva. Save her from the pumpkin. She lowers her voice, so that her words are shared quietly with those nearby: "It's slightly unnerving. If Prince Victus wished to cleave it, I could only support him. A competition, perhaps: how many whacks to break through?"
Zara seems relieved to greet Mabelle, next, her gaze lingering over the sweep of her gown with admiration. "You look lovely, Lady Mabelle. Perfectly suited for the season. You seem to have made your peace with the cooler weather in style."
Mabelle considers the size of the pumpkin and wonders, "Who quick will that be over?". She smiles to Zara happily, "Oh I enjoy the weather! I was just underprepared is all. But thank you for your kind words, you look ever elegant and classy yourself". She offers a curtsy and greets Alarissa, "Princess, it has been long, I think last I saw you it was snowing". She smiles to her and sidesteps toward Cristoph and the children, ruffling Eadric's head, "Hey there".
Tikva laughs aloud. She turns her hand in the clasp of Zara's so that she can squeeze Zara's hand in turn. The pumpkin clearly won't get her with Tikva around; she'll shout loudly enough that it will ... terrify the pumpkin? "And then once it was broken, there would be pie for days and days and-- weeks. Gods. SO much pie."
Tikva is overheard praising Valardin: What an amazing spread! What an amazing day! The gods have truly blessed this harvest festival. PUMPKIN!
Having poured herself a cup of whatever strong stuff she saw fit to BYOB to the festival -- and drinking it discreetly, because this is still the Oathlands -- Ronja approaches the giant pumpkin and stares at it for a moment, looking it up and down as if it was a challenge to be climbed. After a few moments of silence, she has a slow sip from her cup and the famously loquacious Sandreef says: "Big pumpkin."
Cristoph is overheard praising Valardin: What a fine, fine, pumpkin. Gods bless.
"Was it snowing? I'm between the city and maelstrom so often at the moment. It's good to see you though." The smile is sincere, a dip of her head for Mabelle then a look to Danse. "How long till Astrid cleaves through it do you think. Should we get a big pumpkin to bring home to your father?" Ronja's glanced at, puzzled as if trying to place the woman.
Eadric promptly CLINGS to his older cousin (only older because he's a child so most people are older). "Hey Mabelle," Cristoph says to her, adjusting Annalise up there on his shoulders where she's patting him repeatedly on the head. Because using your father's skull has a drum is par for the course.
Zara casts a sidelong glance toward the banquet table, which already presents a wide assortment of pies. Chefs and bakers fight for pride of place for their offerings, but the _true_ pride is the first tin to stand empty. Zara glances from the table to Tikva and says, sotto vocce, "There's enough pie."
Zara greets Ronja with a twist of humor narrowing her eyes. "Big would be--." She holds her hands a reasonable distance apart. "My vocabulary strains to encompass this one. How do you do. I believe I've seen you around, but I don't know that I've had the opportunity to introduce myself. Princess Zara Valardin," she says to the unfamiliar woman.
Mabelle carefully handles Eadric's hands, "Now now, love. Its a brand new gown. Would you like to go see if we can find you a candied apple?", she regrets it the moment she says it. Sticky hands. Oh sticky hands, but she gathers the boys and leaves the group to show him around the tents.
Mabelle is overheard praising Zara: Lovely festival! What a huge pumpkin!
Tikva is overheard praising Zara: AND ALL OF THE PIE IN THE WORLD.
"I had better investigate some of that pie," Tikva says, even though there will not be a prize for competitive pie-eating. "And then I might have to see how my old scouting feet take me through your MAZE. I think Ainsley and the kids are already lost in there."
Lord Martino Malvici, his betrothed Lady Kaia Bisland, and her sister Lady Zoey Kennex arrive together. As they exit their carriage, Zoey and Kaia are laughing at something Martino said before the door opened, and it is clear that the soon-to-be in-laws are already getting on famously. "That could not have been true!" Zoey exclaims as she manages to reign in her mirth enough to speak.
Ronja looks over to Zara and her lips spread into a broad smile at the pumpkin size discussion. "Ronja Sandreef, at your service, Your Highness," the sailor replies with a curtsy that is incredibly awful but seems to come from a genuine place. It's as if Ronja never had a stern governess to instruct her in the proper stance and she just does it however she pleases. Also, she's doing it in leather pants besides. "Your sister, Princess Marisol, she's been quite kind to me over the past few months," Ronja adds. "Her and Lord Michael Bisland both. A fine pair of partners in crime, they are. Not, er, literal crime, I mean. Ahh... anyway, I'll never have a bad thing to say about a Valardin royal on account of her." She pauses, and then winks. "Hopefully, I mean."
"Ah, I see that- I guess my cousin is taking my child, this is fine." Cristoph watches as his son is led off into the crowd. He sort of shrugs, because apparently losing ones child at a big festival isn't unusual for him. She's family though, so he's probably okay! Also he has a spare.
'That's who you are." When Ronja offers her name to Zara. Recognition dawning on Alarissa's face. But there is Zoey and Martina with Kaia and Alarissa smiles. "Lazy Zoey. You made the journey as well.!" Alarissa calls out.
Shazza arrives at the celebration wearing a quiet smile and a subdued expression, the harvest wind alive in the short length of her light blue cape and her drape of red curls. The feather in her cap wiggles almost comically much in the breeze. After a raise of her brows at the pumpkin, she pays Zara a smile and a small bow, only hinging a little space at the hip. "Your Highness. A lovely way to usher in the fall." She seems to notice Ronja's horrific curtsey and curls a corner of her mouth up at the gesture, but the gentleness in her eyes suggests it's harmless amusement rather than mockery. "I could never do those either," she offers to Ronja. "I stopped trying."
"Well, have you not noticed they they do?!" There rolls a smooth laugh from the Lord Martino's chest as his left hand helps the Lady Zoey first from carriage and followed by his Lady Kaia. "But let us greet our fine hosts." With that, left arm locked around Lady Kaia's as the group of three cross the grass pathway across to the table and the Princess Zara. "Oh good Princess... fine Princess. My thanks for the wonderful invite. Apologies for our tardy display. Travel along the road.. well." There is merely a crease of Martino's eyes as the rest needs no speaking.
Cristoph is overheard praising Zara: For being the finest organizer of big gigantic praying religious holidays with lots of food
Alarissa is overheard praising Valardin: A wonderful festival!
Cristoph has joined the a corn maze with a banner that reads 'THE A-MAIZE-ING RACE'.
"Indeed, thank you, your Highness," Zoey chimes in before giving a quick wave to Alarissa.
Primus, First of Monique's Assistants arrives, delivering a message to Martino before departing.
Saying nice things about Marisol is such an easy way to slip into Zara's good graces: her regard, already welcoming, warms as she looks to Ronja. "I'm so pleased to hear you say so, Mistress Ronja. Be welcome." As Tikva's attention turns maze-wards, Zara wishes her, "Good luck finding them in there," and then turns her attention other recent arrivals. There's a wealth of welcome to warm her reserve as Martino arrives in an entourage, and Shazza not far behind. "Even the very best of road is still some distance to travel, Lord Martino. I'm so glad that you made it safely -- and Mistress Shazza, as well. Have you had an opportunity to sample the wines? There's a collection of Oathlands vinters trying their very best to live up to the Lyceum blends." Whether or not they _succeed_ is -- well, probably not actually that much up to debate, unless one is feeling very patriotic.
"Truly, everything looks splendid, your highness." says Kaia, before making a proper bow to the Princess - a glance and a smile directed afterwards to Alarissa once the greeting for Zoey is issued.
"Oh, Princess Zara, well..." Lord Martino's eyes gaze across the gathering to pick out that he is the only Lycene Noble, "Well. I am - sure - they have tried their very best. I shall thank them for that." A hushed murmur to both Kaia and Zoey follows as he asks them, "Shall we go about to mingle?"
After having given the giant pumpkin a proper inspection, Cristoph wanders off to the corn maze with his child. Annalise doesn't do a whole lot of intelligent talking just yet but she's good at giving orders. "RIGHT." Pause. "LEFT." Pause. "NO GO THAT!" Jael will be fine ruling the duchy in his absence, because he's definitely never getting out of there.
'Lady Kaia, it's good to see you as well." Alarissa's got the youngest in her arms and Danse is.. well he's off with a nanny as well to see to the maze and other things. Thrax guards mill about her and a tired looking Pellinor not far away. "You missed the service." Not necessarily a bad thing for those who are not used to the sanctum way of doing things. "Come for the pie?" There's an abundance of it. "Lord Martino. We still have not managed to have tea. I am so sorry for that."
"Oh. Wine? Well - you won't have to ask me twice. Mm. Oathlands wine..." Shazza says, sounding intrigued. Before long she has hold of a glass containing an oaked, mid-bodied red, these making their appearance as summer gives way to the harvest season. After a sip, she purses her lips and nods, brows bobbing once in appreciation for the vintage's flavors. "I like it," she voices, mostly to herself. "I wouldn't call it subtle, but not everything must be."
Brought across by Kaia's lead upon his left elbow, the Lord Martino Malvici is led to Princess Alarissa as he bows his head low, "No, no. I must apologise for it Princess. You are busy supporting Prince Victus' projects and..." Sharp green eyes from Martino turn to the babe in arms, "Who might this be Princess?" With this many children about, and some looking quite adorable, Martino steals a glimpse to Kaia and likely exhales.
"Yes, let's mingle," Zoey agrees.
Something about the way Martino struggles for the diplomatic thing to say draws the hint of almost a smile to Zara's features as he manages, even in the face of such obvious bait as a Lycene and their wine. "I'm sure they tried," Zara agrees, approving. That was very diplomatic!! She watches Shazza brave the attempts, and says, "I believe I tried that one. I thought it a very good start." Implication: they have farther to go. But good start!!
Zara has joined the a sturdy table burdened by an abundance of harvest fruits and vegetables.
"GO THROUGH CORN." Cristoph's voice is less loud than his child's, so he while he can be heard trying to calmly explain that no, he can't just go barreling through walls of solid corn, it's far less audible. But his kid is two and she doesn't care that this would be unwise. The debate rages on, no end in sight.
Martino is overheard praising Valardin: The wine wasn't terrible
Zara is overheard praising Martino: Incredible diplomatic talents!
"Princess Eleyna" Wisps of blonde hair the shade of Alarissa's but eyes that clearly come from Victus. A little on the small side for her age. "Our youngest. You were going to take pilgrimage yes? Through the oathlands or more ambitious and through the whole of the compact. There is the pilgrims path in the Mourning Isles. I would always suggest a journey through there. There is... a revival of the faith in the isles the last few years that has been good to see." She doesn't offer her daughter for holding, keeping the fragile girl close. There's a glance to the corn maze and the yell with a smile.
Cristoph has left the a corn maze with a banner that reads 'THE A-MAIZE-ING RACE'.
Taking notice of Shazza not too far away Kaia takes a moment to greet one of the Pearlspire's most known pearl merchants. "Ah, Mistress Shazza. It's good to see you. I trust the pearl trade business is going well?" She comments, not necessarily expecting a reply right away.
She nods to Martino, and then, it's not long before Alaraissa's greeting is returned with a sweet smile and a proper bow. "Princess Alarissa; likewise, it's always an honor to be in your presence. I've always admired your philanthropic endeavors, all, truly inspiring." Then almost in unison to Martino's own query for the child in her arms. "Oh, is this your little one? So adorable! ~" she chimes.
Oh dear, Lady Kaia said that word /adorable/ and probably is doing that clap. At least in Lord Martino's head she is, while he is standing there beside. "Truly, Princess Alarissa, if not the whole Compact. Does it count as a pilgrimage." Martino turns his head once more to Kaia as he curls his lips to her while speaking with Alarissa, "We would be honoured to visit the Mourning Isles as part of it. Say... have you met Lady Zoey Kennex? Sister to Kaia?" Upon that, Martino turns and gestures to the Lady Zoey.
Amari may have been "lost" in the corn maze during the prayers, which is very unfortunate. She's probably heartbroken she missed all that, on the inside. Deep inside. Maybe it was the debate raginging between Cristoph and his child that leads her to the exit, even if they somehow miss each other entirely. Mazes are like that. She looks vaguely confused once she's out in the clear, but then plainly pleased with herself. She bested the maze. Clapping her hands together with satisfaction, she strides off, to find a cup of milk or not terrible wine as a reward.
Zoey manages to maintain her composure around the princess when she spots the tiny child, but only just. "Hello, little one," she says softly before straightening back up. "My apologies, your highness. There's been quite a bit of baby talk at the Kay as of late."
"Oh, I think I've met the Lady Zoe. We often admire each others clothing." Eleyna's quiet, head tucked against Alarissa's though when fingers wriggle, she reaches out to grasp at them. "My own pilgrimage was through Sandreef where we settled in and made our way through the Oathlands. We were unable to journey through Laurent lands at that time. But we stopped to retrieve the bodies of the fallen faithful at the dreadfulness that happened up north between Archeron vassals and Blackram vassals. We brought them to Sanctum. Then out to Farwatch and through the Isles. So yes. Pilgrimage can be even remaining within the city and venturing to the shrines. It is, what you make of it. I suggest going in the late spring though. You can stop and help with the planting of the fields along the way." Kaia's graced with a smile from Eleyna and the Princess Consort looks to Zoey. "Oh really. You or another?"
"Everyone has to start somewhere, yes? No matter how unequipped they may think themselves," Shazza replies to Zara, with a humble smile alongwith. She nods to Kaia next. "Lady Bisland. Hello. The pearl trade - ah." She twists her mouth into a mildly disappointed configuration before sipping her unsubtle Oathlands wine once more. A smile after, thankfully. "The market for pearls here in Arx is less than we'd projected, in truth. Perhaps it's only the whims of fashion, and may change? At any rate, I've had success diversifying and pursuing other ends. At the least, it remains a brisk trade in the northeast. How are you?"
"_Or_?" Zoey replies with a laugh. "Catalana and I started rearranging the nursery, and I'm sure we can fit at least 3 more in there now."
Where has Ronja gotten off to? "Steady -- steady now. This is hard with only one hand, you lot. And I'm not going to trust you with my drink." It would seem she's corralled a group of impressionable youngsters -- barely CHILDREN, but not yet ready to be put to work in whatever station their birth brought them to -- to help her climb the giant pumpkin. "Oi! Keep the hands clear of THERE, you. You only earn that one upon marriage or a long voyage at sea, whatever comes first. Anyway, UP--"
"Oh Messere Shazza is that so?! Then... then I insist sending a few my way for coin. I cannot abide to see it not pay off. I will ask my Messere Jeweller to work it." Martino's sharp green eyes crease to Shazza as she speaks of the pearl trade before he shudders for a moment at the prospect of three more as he mutters hushed, "I suspect House Malvici might need to put the swords away." But, effortlessly easy, he curls his lips once more to Alarissa to speak with her on the pilgrimage, "Oh truly that sounds like what Kaia and I perhaps need. To ensure we understand the plight between vassals and return, ready after wedding. Or was it before?" Martino check with the Lady Kaia beside.
OH. A pumpkin climbing contest? Amari finds herself standing at the periphery of whatever is going on there with Ronja and the gaggle of children being pressed into helping her ascend. She stares. It's not an impolite stare. It's just, a stare and her expression is very much 'what's all this then?'. Slowly her head tips to the side and a brow rises.
Ronja checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 40, rolling 14 lower.
"I can't imagine the challenges of trying to predict fashion," Zara says with some sympathy to Shazza, although a greater distraction pulls her attention as Ronja attempts to scale the pumpkin. Her eyes widen in unsubtle surprise, before immediately narrowing in a winced anticipation of disaster. It's a very _big_ pumpkin, but is it a very _sturdy_ pumpkin? Is it a very sturdy _Ronja_?
After Martino's reply on the pilgrimage - Kaia nods in agreement. "We certainly would, your highness." A smile directed torwards her sister (Zoey) as she spoke to the little princess - and then to the little one as well. A glance given to Martino "Hopefully we'll have one just as cute one day." she tells him playfully, a gentle nudge given to him before along with a giggle before she turns her attention torwards Shazza. "Ah, I see. Notheless, I'm glad to hear the business is thriving through other ends. I am well. Soon to be married to my lord here." she says, and then adds. "I would adore some pearl jewerly, I believe it's quite lovely.~"
"To the left -- no, support to the left -- MY left, you're facing the other way -- no, my OTHER left -- Ah, no, no, no, no--" Perhaps Ronja should have enlisted grown adults to help her in her extremely childish capering. A shift in her base of support -- that is to say, the group of youths -- causes her to lurch to one side and drop the cup she was holding, spilling her BYOB'ed rum onto the ground. "No, no--" It's like a tree falling. There's that second of anticipation where you just know it's going to fall, and then it falls. So it is with Ronja, as the little knees of her accomplices give out and she ends up falling backward onto the earth in a pile with them. Ronja sits up, checking around: "All right, you lot? No skinned knees or chipped teeth. Er, none of you are Princes, right--?"
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Alarissa before departing.
Shazza gives Martino a nod and a brief smile. "I would be happy to send a choice clutch over." When Kaia voices her desire for some pearlwork, she adds, "A wedding gift, then. I'd be grateful simply for your wearing it. I'm certain the skill of Lord Martino's jewelers would elevate the material. And that your wearing it would spur a new demand for pearls." She turns her head to witness Ronja's topple. "Princess Zara - I think you might need to hire a guard for your gourd before it becomes...a squash."
Ronja's loudness and sudden fall has Kaia's attention shift from whatever it was the group was discussing. An expression of surprise at the climbing attempt, a gasp followed by both hands lifting to cover up her mouth, and a wince when they all fall. "Oh! Oh no...are they alright?!" she wonders, not really expecting a reply from anyone - but just a sudden fear being spoken aloud.
Danse. There's a prince. If he's injured, the boys not complaining and he's in that spill of children and a nursemaid checking him over. "I found pilgrimage very fulfilling, though am very glad I put it off until I was no longer great with child. I learned a great deal from it. The Legate Ailith still asks me to make her bread and eats it. Despite that it is most assuredly more solid than a rock." Zoey's reply has a bow up. "More Kenner's to the brood regardless. Even if it's Catalana. We Grayson are prolific." She's looking to the gaggle of children and the pumpkin. "Oh dear."
With a hushed lean to Kaia's left ear, Martino lowly chuckles and reminds her how they will become the new 'it' couple, "See... we start with pearls." A wry smile as he straightens once more to then laugh off-key about the notion of having a cute child, "Well, I thought the plan was three so we would have that part done then back to our lives as they are with nurses until ready." There follows a broad smile to Martino as he notes to Alarissa, "Perhaps tea is not needed after---" Then there is the crash from the pumpkin and Kaia's attention shifting as he lifts his chin up, "Is she okay?"
There's totally a prince in the lot. There's certainly a lord and a lady. You can tell, because the guards are absolutely more concerned with the state of the youths than the pumpkin-gourd-squash.
Zara fans her fingers across her features, veiling whatever passes over them, before her hand falls and she moves forward to help manage the chaos before it can turn into a mad scramble. Already some of the impressionable youths are eying the sides of the pumpkin like they might do better. Armsmen take place near the table, discouraging further attempts. "It seems that you've been rebuked already for attempting to conquer the unconquerable, so I won't add to the bruises to your limbs or your dignity, Mistress Ronja."
Amari is close to the pumpkin when this all goes down, so, it would be sort of rude to just stand there and shake her head at the result. She wrinkles her nose and moves to assist, picking up any unattended children not already being brushed off and cleaned up by a swarm of nursemaids. "Up you go. Did you eat an elbow? You'll be fine. So will your elbow. It's just a small bite. Where is your mother? You've grass in your hair, come here, you look like a turnip walking around like that." Eventually, when most are cleared away, she arches a brow again at Ronja. "How old are you?"
Ronja, like the children, definitely is more banged up in her pride than in her physical circumstances. There are grass stains all around but no broken bones or unsightly shiners. She tries to help, but ends up being (quite rightly) pushed aside in the feeding frenzy of nursemaids. So she's without a child-sized prop to defend herself with when Zara and Amari are on the hunt. "Er... right, Your Highness," Ronja replies to Zara, rubbing the back of her neck, looking as chastised as she feels, both by embarrassment and the fundamental force of gravity. Amari's question gets a response: "Ah... eight... teen?" The delay is because at every letter sounded out Ronja feels herself being drawn into the riptide of what she can only assume to be an incoming lecture.
The comments issued by one of the ladies (Amari) to the fallen kids, turn Kaia's worried expression into one of amusement and she attempts to hold in the bit of laughter. "Oh, dear..." it seems to echo with Alarissa's own recent words.
Shazza occupies her mouth with her wine glass as she watches the aftermath of Ronja's tumble, but her eyes speak the amusement her lips don't. She doesn't move a muscle to help the toppled gaggle of noble children - she isn't of the remotest relation, of course, and they'll be fine, and there's many other hands that rush to help besides. "What's a festival without a little foolery?" As the heat picks up, she removes her cap, revealing hair that's just a little damp under the day's heavy cloak of humidity. Surprising, as the morning was crisp, but that's the earliest days of fall for you. "I thought it was funny."
Zara does not lecture or scold. She lets the silence of reflection settle where another might pile on to the shame of gravity's chastisement. It's only after a moment -- just long enough to make Ronja squirm -- that she says, "Well, it's not such a bad thing to have ambitions." She gestures for Ronja to follow her, the conversation low key carrying her AWAY from any impulse to go back for round two. "With that spirit of adventure, I imagine you must keep quite busy?" Do tell her more. Do resist the urge to scale neatly arranged wine bottles next.
Martino flicks his eyes across to Shazza as a wry smile touches his lips, "You are so very right." Upon that, Martino lifts a glass of the /acceptable/ Oathland wine and sips it to gaze upon that pumpkin, "Truly. I am so shocked we are at autumn already. Winter Wedding, darling Kaia?" A wry smirk touches Martino's lips as he glances across to Kaia as he deviously suggests such in public.
Zoey buts in. "When in winter, exactly?"
'Winter weddings are lovely." THere's to be no bloodshed and so Alarissa looks a little less worried for Ronja's continued health. "It was a brisk autumn day when his grace and I stood in the water and wed. One hopes that the snow will be falling in a delightful manner on your chosen day."
"So," Amari begins, as though there is a long and painstakingly detailed lecture in the works that lays out in full, the wrongness of what's just happened, but no, "Old enough to know better?" That turns out to be the extent of it, and there is a trace of amusement in her eyes even if her tone is a serious one. She offers a hand to Ronja as she straightens, and after she's reached over to lightly brush the grass from turnip child's hair before he can skip away, looking like a vegetable. Zara takes over from there, so Amari offers a polite dip of her head and wanders elsewhere.
Kaia nods to Shazza. "Indeed." she says in agreement. A glance then given to Martino at his suggestion. She considers that and finally says: "A wedding during the time of frost..." a chuckle escapes her right after, she seems to find something about that idea slightly amusing or perhaps unsettling?
Zoey leans in and whispers to Kaia.
"Old enough to know I should have gotten some drunken uncles to come play, instead of their nephews," Ronja says with a shrug to Amari, though her tone keeps that chastised air to it, even if her words are glibly self-effacing. Ronja does take the hand-up, though, with a quiet thank-you -- and then she's spirited away by Zara. "Quite busy, indeed. Ah, though, I should ask, Your Highness. Are you a blusher? Princess Marisol asks me to tell my stories and then ends up turning red at most of them."
"Aww Princess Alarissa..." Martino's fingertips touch his chest as he comments to the Princess, "That sounds still truly beautiful with the brisk air." A faint smirk follows as he nods to Kaia, "Mm during the time of frost. We will be bundled up but, we will - have - to wow the crowd with our clothes beneath the thick cloaks." Considering the wine once more, thinking it is a Oathland harvest after all, Martino asks Princess Zara, "Why... Princess. Where can one get a cask of these wines? A few bottles even?"
Kaia seems somewhat nervous after Martino's winter wedding suggestion -- still, Zoey seems to catch on to it pretty quickly. She nods to her sister, and whispers something back. Martino's and Alarissa's exchange however get a bit of an awkward smile from her.
Fair as she is, Zara _should_ be a blusher, but she says, "My sister was unlucky enough to have inherited a double portion after that tendency passed me. Which isn't a challenge," she adds, giving Ronja a sidelong glance. LIKE SHE SUSPECTS IT MIGHT BE. As they rejoin the others, she catches the end of Martino's words, and says, "I've been neglectful in my congratulations, my lord, my lady. It's always a pleasure to know that houses will be brought closer through marriage. I hope you'll accept a cask as a gift from me if you promise to share it at your reception."
"Something tells me that your bride to be would prefer something not in the winter." Alarissa points out gently. "Perhaps a lovely spring wedding? Growth and renewal, rebirth and new starts. The symbolism and timing would be perfect I think, personally. If the war in our seas with the pirate King hadn't been waging so strong, I surmise we would have done an actual grand affair in the spring instead of just the faith and two witnesses and the lot of us knee deep in the frigid water." She looks to Kaia. "Spring or summer? Clearly winter is not ideal for you?"
"Thank you, your highness. I'm sure we would.
"That would give us more time to make the arrangements," Zoey points out.
Martino checked charm + etiquette at difficulty 35, rolling 79 higher. Martino rolled a critical!
There is a part of Martino that cannot stand this wine. That part makes up most of him. It is Oathland. It is a Lycene Wedding. But, still with absolute training and some sort of resolve that would have slipped he smiles a broad one to Zara with a bow of his head, "Princess.... Princess. You are far to kind. Far to kind... we would be so pleased to accept it for the reception." Martino hates himself for that before he turns his chin to Alarissa and, upon noting Lady Kaia's fidget he dips his chin, "Spring sounds truly lovely. A new year, a new union."
As she walks with Zara, Ronja leans in a smooth motion to take an offered cup of wine from whoever's offering cups of wine around this kind of a festival. "A challenge? I think I've had my fill of those today, Your Highness," Ronja replies with a knowing little smile both on her face and in her tone. "I think the rest of the party I'll simply mill about, socialize, say the odd prayer to Mangata, and be glad that for once I'm at a party where Lord Michael isn't making me go chase down the goat-tender for the ceremonial goat race or whatever his next idea for a bash is."
Shazza drains the last of her wineglass and, after setting it to rest on a table, moves to stand before the corn maze. A welcome breeze picks up to flutter her cape a moment as she contemplates the entrance. She glances over her shoulder at the festival's other merry attendants. To Ronja she asks, "you could mill about, or - put yourself out of range of any little princes and princesses for a while. Care to try the maze?"
"Plenty of time to have garments made and plan out everything. Pearls a plenty." Alarissa muses even as Eleyna starts to get that look. The precursor to an inevitable bout of harsh noise. Unlike Danse though, Eleyna's not passed off to a nursemaid or nanny. No. It's clear to see who is Alarissa's favourite and she draws the almost one year old close. "If you'll excuse me. I should see to the Prince and Princess. See to some food for them. It was a pleasure. Lord martino, I'd be delighted to help you plan your pilgrimage and direct you to places that were in want of assistance. Come by anytime."
"Oh, not at all. It's the least I can do. I'll be sure to pass your name to the vintners so that they can reach out to you with further samples of their wares." Zara's deadpan is so very good that it is a challenge to tell if she is teasing Martino or not. There's absolutely an _element_ of sincere generosity -- and she probably also thinks the wine is fine -- but she's gotta be teasing, right?? If so, it is gentle, and she pauses to add, "Truly, best wishes to you both," before she moves off to find those vintners. They are definitely going back to Arx with a cask.
Ronja glances over to Shazza and has a sip of wine. "Could do," she says, thoughtfully. "Though if anything, that's where I'd expect even more little knee-high successors to be roaming. Or some nursemaid looking for a chance to get me alone and whack me up the back of my head. Ah, hell. What's life without a little danger, eh?" Having talked herself into journeying the maze, Ronja gives another bad curtsy -- made worse by grass stains -- "My Lords, my Ladies, Your Highnesses," and then saunters off maize-ward.
Shazza has joined the a corn maze with a banner that reads 'THE A-MAIZE-ING RACE'.
Ronja has joined the a corn maze with a banner that reads 'THE A-MAIZE-ING RACE'.
Alarissa's suggestion for a spring wedding and Martino's realization of her current state and agreement bring her fidgetting sort of to a stop. "Ah, yes, I do think that might be best." she agrees, but says no more on the matter. Her attention has now being pulled by Ronja's mention on her cousin Michael; and, consequently there's laughter incoming. "That sounds like my cousin alright. Michael is quite...special; I truly admire Princess Marisol. She's far too good, far too good and far too nice. Still, I'm very happy for them.~"
Then she glances over to Alarissa with a smile. "It was lovely seeing you, your highness." Then, to Zara: "Thank you Princess Zara."
"Aww... that is a cute couple." There Martino slides in beside the Lady Kaia and then wanders to greet some of the good commonfolk about, inclining his head. Smiling now-and-then as he listens.
Zara is overheard praising Valardin: Astonishing pumpkins and tremendous wines.
Zoey decides to try the maze as well.
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