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Grayson Grand Festival

*_*_*_*_*_*_*GRAYSON GRAND FESTIVAL*_*_*_*_*_*_*

Bonfire. Games. Eating. Livestock Races.

The Grayson Grand Festival is confluence of fairs and festivities that occur through the Crownlands this time of year. This year, they will be combined and take place in the Grayson Ward as well as in the capitals of the duchies.

Livestock Race: Pigs and Cattle, place bets on who you think will win!

Eating Contest: We hope you love pies as much people enjoy baking them!

Bonfire Dance: There will be a large bonfire in the center of the grounds to dance about and warm yourself!

Skill Games: Archery, horseshoe flinging and bean bag toss!

Produce Contest: Bring your best fruits and veggies!

Prizes will be determined and readied in the very near future.

Please send messenger to Lord Michael Bisland or Princess Liara Grayson if you would like to assist, or be the bet-takers.


Aug. 24, 2019, 6 p.m.

Hosted By

Michael Liara Lisebet


Kaia Delilah Reese Delia Denica Sabella Evonleigh Videl Rysen Mirk Dariel Bhandn Rukhnis Aethan Ian Catalana Svana Zoey Ronja Rhiannon Harlan Wash Sebastian Niklas Monique Amari Sanya Isabetta Peri Merek Kalani Pharamond Thesarin


Grayson Bisland Ashford Shepherd


Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Grayson Grounds

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

2 Grayson House Guards arrives, following Liara.

1 Crimson Blades Sergeant, Aegis, a large red Oakhaven bloodhound, Rurik, a prodigal assistant arrive, following Mirk.

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

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.

Stojan, the assistant, 3 Thrax Guards, Damaia, the assistant, Lady Snow arrive, following Denica.

Reese arrives at the festival while adorned in in her pink and ivory. The girl has ribbons tangled up in her golden locks. She peeks over the area, trying to get a feel for things.

William, a taciturn quartermaster arrives, following Aethan.

Isabelle, who is just so tired of everyone's nonsense, Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise, Roland, the worst bard in Arvum arrive, following Niklas.

A couple paces behind Reese, Delia almost immediately gravitates to the Princess as her first greeting when she arrives. "Princess Grayson, it's good to see you again so soon!" She beams at the princess. Then her eyes skate across the rest of the festival ground, looking at each arrival as they enter.

Grayson Grounds is nearly packed to the brim! A large 'course' has been marked off with hay bales and nearby it stands a display pen filled with five different pigs. They look all ready, sort of, to run races! (Look pen, look pen's ham/back /knuckles/sausage/chops) Page Michael to select a pick, pay 5k to bet and '+check luck+animal ken at 10=Michael'. Winners will be selected by combined highest rolls and total money received divvied out!

Near the center of Grayson Grounds, a large pile of wood is built up and arranged. It is all ready to be set ablaze for the bonfire dance later in the evening! Nearby, tables are lined with signs along with produce for judging. (+check Intelligence+Agriculture at 10=Liara to compete)

To the south, at Defiance Hill, an archery course has been set up for the contest!

To the north, at Triumph Square, is bleachers and an arrangement of pies for contest-eating! (Sabella is in charge of this one)

Sandor, the Tree Scout Captain, Nibbles, the Ashford Tree Squirrel arrive, following Rhiannon.

Ramona - A Guard in Ashford House Colours, Bigsby - A Thoughtful Looking Young Man in Nondescript Clothing, 2 Ashford Archer, 1 Ashford Scout, Rhiannon arrive, following Lisebet.

Liara emerges from the Grayson mansion, the last members of an orchestra hurrying out ahead of her to take their places off to the side of a cleared area. She clasps her hands together as she pauses to survey those present already.

Denica arrives into the Grayson grounds, with watchful eyes immediately scanning the room in hope to find some familiar face or perhaps a poor soul in order to torment. For now, she's just exploring around, taking a look at the track and considering whether the pies are worth the shot.

"Parties on your own front lawn are just the best," Sabella is saying to Niklas as they step outside, "It means there won't be any trouble getting home if there's wine to be had since we are basically there already." She offers those already here a bright wave, "Michael, everything looks amazing!"

Michael did actually manage to show up to his own shindig. After roping in a cadre of others to 'help'. By help, they took over and managed everything and Michael gets to bask! "Oh, Sabella. I think we have you and quite a few other Grayson Princesses to thank for how well everything has turned out!"

Michael drops Grayson bracelet bag.

Michael drops Bisland bracelet bag.

Reese looks upon Delia, giving her a gentle smile. "Whisper Delia, I am very happy to see you again. You look lovely." She says the girl then peeks over to Denica. "Princess Denica hi, welcome." She adds, before looking around for her family. She wave to Sabella, Niklas and Liara.

Coming from the direction of Triumph Plaza (and thus the Whitehawk Manor), Evonleigh walks with one hand on Aethan's arm as she tips her head to murmur something in the Kennex Admiral's ear. Whatever he replies draws a laugh from the Whitehawk lady as they draw nearer to where everyone is gathering. She drops a graceful curtsy to the royals among the throng, but a warm smile is given to anyone who glances her way. "Almost as good as my own front lawn, though I did have a little longer to walk. It's fine, though. I have long legs," she asides to Sabella, having overheard the princess. "This looks quite entertaining. I wouldn't have thought of pig races."

As though it was timed, Videl arrives from the direction of the ward of the compact the very moment that the heralds announce things have started. She's wearing a new dress matched with some older pieces, and she heads for the nominal host of the party. "Lord Michael Bisland, right? My patron told me about this event, and I figured if it had her recommendation, I would be remiss not to visit."

Reese peeks over to Videl. "Lady Videl, hi, it is nice to see you." She says, before giving Michael a smile as well. The girl seems to be in a cheerful mood as she goes to find herself a mug of cider which is cradled in her pink gloved hands.

Rysen arrives into the Grayson Grounds with Rukhnis at his side. Gazing across the grounds, Rysen smiles at Reese, and noticing the wood laid out for a bonfire, turns to Rukhnis and says, "I'm looking forward to dancing around a bonfire - just not in this gods forsaken heat." He flashes his retainer a quick grin.

Lisebet comes over from Ashford house, dragging Rhiannon with her, it seems. "Let's go see what is going on," she says. "Before the Archery starts."

Mirk arrives in Grayson Ward, looking around curiously, as though unaccustomed to his surroundings. He stops by the pens, as the festivities begin, looking over all of the animals with a critical eye. "An unusual sort of event, Lord Bisland," he says to Michael with a dip of his head. "At least for the city of Arx itself. Do you host one every year? If so, I might have to return next year to place another bet." With the word 'bet,' he passes over a heavy purse filled with coin.

Octavian, a silken spaniel, Serissa, the equanimous nanny arrive, following Zoey.

Zoey arrives, following Ian.

Dariel ambles in at a leisurely pace from Triumph Plaza. He wasn't sure what exactly he was expecting when his cousin told him he should come but certainly pig racing was not amongst any of the ideas. He grins wide when he takes it all in. "Ahh cousin Michael. This looks quite the todo!"

"Thank you, Princess Reese." Denica says, flashing a quick smile to the pink Grayson as she looks over the stands just one more time, "Are you going to join one of the contests? I'm actually not sure whether I should offer a chance to the competition and just cheer for someone, this time."

Bhandn showed up dressed for a fight, which is to say his armor looks better than the alternative attire he would have worn if that was in absence. He's carrying his helm under his left arm, striding at a determined place, and it's straight to Lord Bisland that he goes to offer respects, but he stands off to the side to let others conclude their business with Michael first, eyes downcast and drifting off into his own thoughts.

2 Kennex corsairs arrives, following Catalana.

Rukhnis sweeps in like a silent shadow in Rysen's wake, closely observing the festive scene and the other guests beginning to gather there with the hosts. Dressed in her usual sombre black-and-grey, she has nevertheless made a great and striking concession to the festivities of the evening by tying back her thin queue with a /gold-embroidered/ black silk ribbon! She looks with especial interest at the pigs, then at the bonfire as Rysen calls her attention to that. "Indeed," she murmurs, with a doubtful glance at this prospect for the creation of additional broiling heat. "Perhaps it will blaze some of the moisture out of the air," she adds, more dubiously still.

Reese notices Rysen, the girl having a dimpled smile for him that touches her blue eyes. "Lord Rysen, hi. I think that dancing around a bonfire sounds like fun." The girl says. "It might be the best part." She adds, before laving Lisbet. "Duchess greeting." She murmurs, before adding. "And Lord Mirk." She then turns back to Denica. "Probably. I mean I probably will join. I am the best at the archery or with animals, but it never hurts to join and have fun. Are you going to join any?"

Aethan is even smiling, too -- sure, it's small, but it's a smile! It exists! That's the important thing. And what's more, it seems to have some staying power, which is saying something. He starts to say something else, but when he sees Sabella and Niklas, he stops, lifting a hand to them instead as his smile widens a touch. "Good to see you both back in Arx."

Ian comes in with Zoey -- or at least, he comes in walking next to Zoey. He never really looks like he's walking "with" people, even when he is, because of the way that he watches his feet while he walks. He doesn't look around until he's stopped walking. He's not smiling, but that's not an abnormal state of affairs.

"Contests!" Delia says with almost childish enthusiasm, almost held back. "Oh this will be fun. Please do join," she adds to Denica and Reese, who she is still near enough to overhear. "The more, the merrier! There is always room for more contestants." She looks at the pigs in their pen. So many choices!

People are coming Michael's way and he smooths the front of his tunic with some bit of nervousness. "Lord Mirk, most of the time these sort of fairs and festivals get hosted in the capital cities. Pridehall and Bastion, and in the smaller villages and counties around them. This is the first time I've forced everyone to combine them and have them here."

Videl gets a quick smile as well. "Your Patron? Ohhhh....I think..." Then he begins to glance around the crowds. "Princess Liara IS somewhere around here. I promise. Thank you for coming."

Catalana isn't late. No never. Catalana arrives exactly when she expected too. Fashionably late. She gives smiles and waves to those she knows and goes to join her family "Hello Kennexes."

Svana Svana arrives quietly, seeming a bit lost. She pauses at the entrance, glancing about and then moves off to the side as to not be trampled. She folds her hands before herself and continues to watch calmly as though waiting for someone or perhaps just to be entertained.

Is that a smile?! Sabella invades Aethan's personal space with a hug! "It's so nice to be back and see everyone! Lady Evonleigh I would hope nothing is taking you too far from your next work, I am anxiously awaiting it! And Whisper Delia--And everyone really--don't eat too much before the pie eating contest!"

Zoey looks around at the festivities. "The archery competition is not for some time yet," she says to Ian. "Where shall we start? Michael looks like he is being swarmed."

Rysen chuckles at a rare display of optimism from Rukhnis. He bows to Reese, and says, "I am looking forward it myself, Your Highness." Rysen smiles at Mirk when he notices his bag of coin. "I'm wish you the best of luck, Lord Mirk - but with my luck, I'd lose all my money on the slowest sow of them all." When Rysen notices Lisebet, he smiles warmly and says, "It is good to see you, Duchess. I hope the twins are doing well." He glances over to see the various members of House Kennex arriving, and waves.

"Your highness." Videl answers Reese, "Always a pleasure." She smiles, "I hope you're doing well." She turns her attention back to Michael, "I'm sure she is. I'll find her in due time, or I won't, that will be fine too. I'll have plenty other opportunities to meet her." She glances towards the arriving Kennexes, "Lord Ian, Lord Aethan, Lady Zoey. A pleasure to see you all once more."

Ronja's BEEN here. Where have YOU been? (Here also, presumably.) The auburn-haired sailor wench appears from behind Michael, dressed more for comfort than fashion, which is an odd thing to say when she's in tightly-laced leather trousers. "Do I need to save you yet, My Lord?" she asks, teasingly. "There aren't quite enough chandeliers hanging out-of-doors to swing away with you, but I'll do my best..."

"A pleasure, Your Highness," Mirk says with a dip of his head towards Reese. "I see. It's a very familiar sort of occasion. You get these sort of festivals in the Northlands, too, when it's warm enough that the weather won't kill half of the visitors," he comments, his tone utterly deadpan, leaving it ambiguous whether he's serious or joking. Probably joking. "If you're not confident, I can suggest my preferred candidate to you," he suggests to Rysen. "But it's good to see you again, Lord Rysen. How are you and your kin?"

Preoccupied with the orchestra - definitely a whole orchestra, almost absurd for a bonfire dance, but this is a /Grayson/ bonfire dance - Liara doesn't quite note some of the new arrivals for a few moments. Then as she moves away from speaking to the orchestra's conductor, it suddenly strikes up playing, a brisk and jaunty piece.

Lisebet drifts Michael's way as well, offering him a bright smile and a nod of her head. "Is there anything I can do to help, m'Lord?" she asks easily. After a moment, she is greeted by Rysen, and that brings as mile to her face. "Lord Rysen, a pleasure to see you. The twins are doing very well, thank you for asking. They are loud squawlly and often smelly, which I am given to understand is completely normal for babies." She arches a brow at Ronja, eyes dancing with amusement.

Reese look over to Delia, seemingly encouraged by her word. "Contests do tend to be lots off fun." The princess says, seemingly convinced to join. She then turns her attention to Bhandn, having a polite nod and a lingering moment of attention for the knight. She starts to dig in her belt for money, likely for the betting. The girl then turns Videl. "I am well thank you."

Rukhnis bows courteously to everyone Rysen greets, offering at the same time a murmured greeting according to their various titles, and otherwise being marvellously correct and proper while eyeballing the pigs and produce and other markedly rural trappings of the festival.

"I'll admit that archery isn't just my forte." Denica says with a soft sigh, "But perhaps I could do a bit of the dancing?" She shrugs, turning to wave at Delia as she approaches, "And then the pies smell quite nice, I might go and have a taste at them."

Ian doesn't look thrilled about trying to push into the crowd that's swarmed around Michael, but fortunately, there are people waving! He nods to Videl, and then to Rysen. "I can't remember if you ever got the chance to meet Zoey," he says to the latter.

"I have an idea for one, but it might be a touch... well. It won't be my writing, this time," says Evonleigh with a smile for Sabella. "I plan to meet with Nightingale Gianna about it, soon. It's an old work I'd like to reprise." She turns at the sounds of Catalana's voice, and smiles warmly. "Lady Catalana, good to see you," she says, adding a wave for Ian and Zoey.

Michael is overheard praising Liara.

The hug may not be totally expected -- though that's on Aethan, because come on, he does know Sabella -- but it certainly does not seem to be unwelcome. It is even returned, a little awkwardly perhaps and as though he is not really accustomed to hugging, but the sentiment is there. "How are the children?" he asks, though Videl's greeting has him looking that way, and he inclines his head to her. It's then he sees his brother, and he calls, "Ian, Zoey," lifting a hand if and when they look his way. Catalana then gets a wave as well.

Zoey also returns greetings with smiles and waves.

Rhiannon stands at the edges of the gathering, as is her way. A brown scarf is over her golden hair, tied at the back. She's keeping an eye on Lisebet like she's a personal guard.

Whisper Delia beams at Denica. "That's the spirit!" she says. "Princess Sabella, I might be offended under other circumstances." She winks at the Princess. "I promise not to gourge myself before I can taste all the offerings."

Sliding through the crowd, cowtowing as required to the nobles, Delia draws up beside Svana at the edge of the crowd. It makes her sad to see someone not in the thick of things, perhaps. Either way she offers the woman a warm smile. "Excuse me. I couldn't help but notice your dress," she says. "It's absolutely lovely. What is your name if you would be so kind?"

Isabelle, who is just so tired of everyone's nonsense have been dismissed.

Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise have been dismissed.

Roland, the worst bard in Arvum have been dismissed.

Rysen smiles and shakes his head, telling Mirk. "They are doing well, My Lord. Lady Mikani is settling in and my cousin and Duke Kaldur have made it back to Arx and seem most content." He laughs when Lisebet speaks of the twins. "I've heard the same, Duchess." When Ian speaks of Zoey, Rysen raises his eyebrows a bit surprised. "I don't believe I have." Turning to Zoey, Rysen bows, and says, "I am Lord Rysen Crovane, My Lady. It's very good to meet you. This," he says gesturing to Rukhnis, "is our Minister of Medicine, Rukhnis Al-Katibi."

Raising her voice to carry - and goodness, does she have a voice that carries when she wants it to - Liara informs those present, "If you fancy placing a bet on the livestock race, please do speak with Lord Michael. We have an array of different things due to be done, but first, those pigs are, I understand, going to make it from that pen to the end of that course without eating everything along he way."

The Grayson princess then adds on, pointing to the lines of tables, "And those who have an entry for the produce contest, please place it there; someone will be along to record your name for it, too."

People asking to help! Good! Michael turns and snags Ronja's elbow to pull her in aa moment. "Go and nudge at the pig tenders that we'll be running their race very soon!" Then Lisebet and others move in as well. Gasp! Zoey! Michael's arm flings into the air and waves frantically in that direction, long past what is polite or even expected. Definitely past when she saw the wave.

Svana turns her head when someone speaks beside her to look to Delia. She blushes at the compliment and swishes to show off the color of the gown for her. "Thank you. It was a gift. I am called Svana Kolur." Upon giving her name, the woman dips politely. "What shall I call you, lady?"

In addendum, Liara notes, "If the best that we get is a distressingly poor carrot, that carrot's enterer will still get a prize! So don't be shy."

Ian catches sight of Aethan just in time to see his older brother getting hugattacked by Sabella. NOW he smiles -- or half-smiles, at the very least, an upward twitch of a corner of his mouth that reflects the amusement in his eyes. He nods to Evonleigh as well. Then, returning his attention to Zoey and Rysen, Ian explains to Zoey: "Kennex has been working with Crovane to police the coast to the north. We've seen a lot of Lord Rysen while you were at Stormward."

"Oi, watch it--" Ronja starts to complain when she's grabbed, and then catches herself after only a meager THREE syllables of a commoner bossing about a nobleman escape her lips. "I still think the race would be more fun if you grew them big enough for riders," Ronja says. "Short people. Or especially brave children." She gives Lisebet a smile, and then she's off to go harass the poor hog-tenders about the race -- with a raised voice, from a comfortable distance, because she has no intention of getting hog-slop on her boots and walking around the party like that.

Zoey, of course, receives her own bow from Rukhnis, perhaps a bit deeper simply on account of this being a first introduction. "Lady Zoey," she greets the woman formally, in her soft husky voice. "It honours me to make your acquaintance."

Reese is placing her bets. "I am going to vote on Knuckles. I think she is the best of pigs." She murmurs softly softly. She heads over to Denica and Delia, lingering near them. Ronja is given a cheerful wave.

Catalana positively beams at Evonleigh "Lady Evonleigh! It's been forever since I've seen you. It's such a pleasure." She grins at Aethan, now scheming against her cousin. "You should grace Kennex key more often. Perhaps we should have another pool party before the end of summer. But, excuse me." Leaving her cousins she goes to mingle with Rysen and others "Lord Rysen. Thank you so much for the hunt. I am so looking forward to our next visit north now."

Now seems the best time, so Sir Bhandn tries to get in a word amongst the considerable turnout. "Lord Bisland," he offers to Michael with a bow. "You've got quite a turnout today, do you need someone to help keep order? Or if you need leather lungs, I can offer those as well. The orchid you offered me sends its well being also."

Lisebet gives a nod to Ian, and Zoey, and Rukhnis, and everyone else who is here who she's met. Which is most folks, truthfully. Though she's been off for a bit, what with the twins and all. "I am glad to be out and about again, and to see all my friends, relatives, and acquaintances.

"My dear Mistress Kolur, you put my things to shame," Delia says, watching the movement of the dress with eyes alight with glee. She turns in her own dress, the slight musical note sung by her earrings lost in the crowd and noise of many happy people. Delia doesn't care. Happy people are here lifeblood. Ending up facing Svana again she courtsies. "Delia Whisper. It's a pleasure to meet you! Will you be participating in the contests? I want to bet on those pigs, that's something I have /never/ done before!"

Lisebet gives a nod to Ian, and Zoey, and Rukhnis, and everyone else who is here who she's met. Which is most folks, truthfully. Though she's been off for a bit, what with the twins and all. "I am glad to be out and about again, and to see all my friends, relatives, and acquaintances." She grins at Michael impishly. "Thank you for affording me the opportunity." See? It's all about her, hah!

Zoey curtseys. "A pleasure to meet you as well. I'm sorry I was not present to make your acquaintance sooner."

"Much to the benefit of the people of Stormwall and the Northlands," adds Rysen, smiling warmly at Zoey. Turning to Catalana, Rysen beams. "I'm honored you enjoyed yourself, My Lady, and you are most welcome to visit anytime the weather is less than horrid," he says glancing toward Mirk. Turning back to Catalana, Rysen says, "I hope Lord Wash enjoyed himself as well - and I do hope you will consider hosting a pool party while it's still boiling. It sounds like a great way to bid farewell to this season, which" he mutters under his breath with a slight grin, "cannot happen to soon."

Relic arrives, following Harlan.

Reese has a gentle smile for Svana as well. "Greetings." She then peeks over to Delia. "I never bet on pigs either. This is a first. I feel like I might be a natural at it though." She murmurs. She then looks over to Delia once again. "Oh, wow, I love your outfit Whisper Delia. And Liara's jewels." She says, peeking to her cousin for a moment. "Such lovely outfits." She adds, looking over to Lisebet as if impressed.

Denica eyebrows furrow in thought, looking at the pig indicated by Reese with a puzzled look on her face, "What makes her so great?" She asks, lifting her eyes to watch the display of fashion from other ladies, "I should get a new dress."

Harlan heads into the grounds, followed by a couple of s ervants. He looks around for a moment, before heading over towards where his wife is. He waits until she's busy, before moving to put his hands over her eyes, "Guess what I've brought you, Lis?"

"Yeah, are the pigs ready or what?" Ronja can be overheard, calling to the hog-tenders. Her hands are cupped to her mouth to direct her shouting, though she breaks to wave back to Princess Reese. Then back to the hog-tenders: "What? No, don't-- Don't tell me that one's SAD! For one, it's a pig, pigs don't GET sad, and two, don't SAY it, you'll screw up all the betting lines if people think one of the pigs has its humors out of balance or whatever--" It goes on like this.

Svana moves her eyes briefly over the others near, but focuses her attention back on Delia, not wanting to appear rude. "I thought I might bet on a pig as well. I doubt I would be of any use in an archery tournament though... I might dance a bit so long as I can stay far away from the fire." Hearing Reese's greeting, Svana dips again, "Good evening."

"Has /anyone/ at all here ever bet on a pig race before?" Liara speaks up towards the whole gathering. "Even just one good pig race story?"

"I stand by what I said," Mirk informs Rysen, chuckling. "About Northern weather. Though, at least Northern summers have never threatened me with heat stroke unless I changed my wardrobe." He glances down at himself, noting the distinct lack of leathers, and then back to Rysen. He folds his arms over his chest, seemingly content to wait for the festivities to get underway, and less inclined to mingle with the crowd.

Catalana crinkles her crystalline blue eyes at Rysen's muttered comment. "Spoken like a true northerner. But yes. A pool party would be wonderful. Though, I suggest you stay away from Lord Wash's watermelon. I have never had a hangover so bad as after eating that at the barbeque the other week.

"I am sure you have had much important business to attend to," Rukhnis replies to Zoey. "I hope that you enjoy being in Arx once more, and find your time here equally well spent."

Reese looks to knuckles with the pig with this thoughtfully pensive expression. "She is feisty pig. The one who won't got to the butcher meekly and her shade of pink is the best." She then adds to Denica.

"Ask and you shall receive," says Evonleigh with a laugh when Catalana seems to scheme, but she waves again as the Kennex lady makes her way over to Rysen. "Did you choose a pig to bet on?" she asks Aethan, raising brows as she looks to him inquisitively. "I think I know my choice." She heads over to Michael to give the Bisland a purseful of coins and a name in his ear, before returning back to Aethan.

Lisebet is wearing a lovely Wisteria dress that shows a little leg, and she is indeed looking quite fetching. She might be about to say something else, but then her eyes are covered, and there's a Harlan taking advantage of his height. She squeaks only briefly, and then says, "Yourself? To the party?"

Wash sidles through the crowd. "Pig stories. I got involved in a pig -chase- once, not a pig race. But I regretted it afterward."

Kit, the grey fox, Primus, First of Monique's Assistants, 1 Greenmarch Guard, Tertius, Third of Monique's Assistants arrive, following Monique.

2 Pravus Honor Guard, Monique arrive, following Sebastian.

"We're glad to have her back," Ian says to Rukhnis. He doesn't comment on the subject of the pool party, having probably decided that party plans fall under the heading of 'someone else's job'.

"Oh, yes, dancing," Delia says. "Please Mistress Kolur, I would love to have a dance with you." Pause. "If ... you do partnered dances around a bonfire. I don't know!" A moment later she holds up a hand. "Oh, excuse me for just a moment."

Whisking off through the crowd, leaving Reese, Denica and Svana for a moment, she hurries up to within earshot of the sailor. "Mistress Ronja!" she calls. "Have you changed professions now, from sailor to hog-tender?!"

Harlan grins and leans down to kiss Lisebet's cheek while the servants come into view, bearing a number of packages, "Oh, jsut a few trifles. And myself." He grins down at his wife.

Denica turns to wave at Svana as she approaches her location, her eyes flicker back at the pigs as if studying them once more, "I should try and find a blue pig. At least blueish. The colour would just look better in the night."

Liara breaks out into warm laughter after she overhears Wash, and asks of him, "Care to tell it, dear cousin, or must we simply live with knowing that Wash engaged in a pig chase?" Hearing Delia, the Grayson says, "For want of an expert on bonfire dancing, I commissioned a ballroom orchestra. They seem to be doing a fine job of the faster pieces, all the same."

Reese looks upon Svana once more. "It is very nice to meet you. I'm Princess Reese, one of the Grayson princesses." She says before giving knuckles another study. She then adds to Denica. "I a blue pig. I didn't know there were any or any such thing, but maybe there is, stranger things have happened."

3 Grimhall House Guards, Ivan arrive, following Sanya.

Ronja interrupts her shouted argument with one of the actual hog-tenders -- it's fairly banal and both of them are talking in circles anyway so the reader is left to their limitless imagination there -- to turn and face Delia. Her expression changes gears from annoyance to a big smile so abruptly that it's really almost strange. "Lord Michael's wish is my command," she says with a laugh. "But, no, seriously, if his wish is for me to become a hog-tender, then he will live a long life and ages and ages from now die an old man whose one wish in that regard will have remained unfulfilled."

Rukhnis folds her hands, one of them inexplicably bandaged, neatly behind her back and resumes watching the activities around her with deep attention, while at the same time keeping an eye on Rysen in case he indicates a great and sudden need for something -- most likely a drink.

Aethan eyes Catalana for a moment when she says this, but even still his smile does not fade, and he even lets out a little huff of amusement at the words, lifting a hand again when she moves off. He looks back to Evonleigh then, shaking his head. "How could I choose?" he asks, his eyes widening just a little bit as though he's really wondering, though he might be joking. It's possible, anyway.

Dressed, as the norm, in silks -- with just a cloak of umbra for variety -- Sebastian enters with Monique on his arm. There's a visible kind of amusement in the Pravus' gaze, eyes bright despite the hints of lack of sleep in his features. "I would very much love for you to see what I did with those sketches you gave me," he's telling Monique in low tones, his gaze flickering over the crowd. There are familiar faces his recognizes, but his gaze doesn't stay too long on any one. "Drink first?" he suggests.

Catalana hears Wash and his pig story and sighs in an amused, yet not surprised way. Coming over to greet her husband she challenges him, "Pick a winner this time."

"And I'm Princess Denica, the best princess of the Thrax." Denica adds in after Reese introduces herself and turns back to comment on what the Grayson princess has said about pigs and colours, "Perhaps there's some kind of ink that stays on their skin and doesn't hurt. Similar to that some people use for their tattoos. I could paint a whole scenery in their backs, then."

Rysen laughs. "That tempts me to try it - though I'll do my best to take it easy," says Rysen to Catalana on the subject of Wash's watermelon. "I've had some miserable hangovers in my time - but nothing makes them worse than humidity and heat. Luckily, Rukhnis has this foul concoctions she's made for me that has helped a great deal. She claims it's a 'tea,' but it smells like something you'd find in that pig pen, and doesn't taste any better." Turning to Rukhnis, Rysen says softly, "Whiskey, please."

"A good choice it is, Lady Evonleigh." A warm smile for the Whitehawk . Michael seems to be the eye of the storm, for better or worse. But he is heading over towards the course made up out of haybales and seats around the edge. He'll pop up onto haybale near the individual pens at the start of the 'racetrack' as Pigs get led into them. "Last chance for bets! Come and have a look see! Ham, Knuckles, Chops, Back Bacon and Sausage are our five racers!"

Svana nods in acknowledgement as Delia goes to greet another. She turns to smile at Denica, noticing the wave. She dips into a polite curtsey once again as is her habit when she doesn't know who exactly everyone is. Her attention turns to Reese and Denica equally then, "The pleasure is all mine, Your Highnesses." Mentally, she thanks the woman for giving her title so that a social disaster didn't occur just then. "I am called Svana." She turns her attention to the pigs, pondering one.

Having followed Sabella in, Niklas held back initially to just absolutely manhandle the food on offer. Once he's got himself a plate piled precariously high he wanders over to his wife, pausing now and again to greet friends and family with the wave of a chicken leg. "Ian and Zoey, good to see you both! Wash and Cat! Aethan! It's been too damned long!" Everyone who isn't a Kennex gets a genial greeting.

"Oh no." Wash says. "I've bet on pigs before. And that went extremely poorly. Someone lost a finger." He wraps an arm around her waist. "You'd have better luck blindfolding me and pointing."

"Who even likes knuckles?" Liara wonders aloud. Not that she's disparaging the pig, probably.

Ian looks between Catalana, Evonleigh, and Aethan, having belatedly (REALLY belatedly) realized that there are Things Left Unsaid happening. Not that he seems to have any idea what they are, and Niklas distracts him before he can try to puzzle it out. "Prince Niklas. Good to see you."

Delia tilts back her head, laughing, full-throated, at Ronja's commentary. "Well, now. I think you look better as a sailor than as a hog-tender anyway," she says. "And it's good to see you again so soon. There are so many people I've yet to meet, it's good to see a familiar face!" Not that she's been having any actual trouble, flitting about here and there and greeting people as she sees them. "If you have any spare time from making Lord Bisland's dreams come true, do come and find me won't you?"

Catalana gives her husband's cheek a swift kiss, acting like a silly sixteen year old rather than a grown woman. "Lost a finger? Good gods, why do your stories always end so terribly? Can't one just end in happiness?" She then nudges Wash to look at Evonleigh and Aethan too before murmuring something to him.

Zoey grins at Niklas. "Good to see you again!"

Rukhnis raises her gaze briefly heavenward at Rysen's tirade towards her innocently helpful hangover concoction, and then bows to him in acknowledgement of his request, which clearly had been only a matter of (not very much) time in coming. She leaves his side and proceeds to eel her way through the crowd towards wherever the nearest drinks are to be found, managing somehow to accomplish this without ever having to give anyone a rude elbowing in the side.

"As if I would ever turn down a drink," Monique tells Sebastian with an indolent smile stealing across her lips. Entering with the exceptionally handsome and talented Pravus Lord, she too pauses to gaze around, searching among the crowd. "While you tell me what you did with them, or I'll die of curiosity. You know better than to dangle the unknown before me, scoundrel. Oh, look! They're racing pigs. Should we bet?"

"That sounds very amazing." Reese says softly in response to Denica as she speaks of painting pg. The girl is getting all ready to watch the race.

Lisebet tilts her head for that kiss on her cheek, and then her eyes widen a bit, as she spies the servants carrying things. "Goodness," she says, reaching her hand for Harlan's. Yes, still. Even though they've been married long enough to have very small babies. "I was just about to see if Michael was ready to announce the archery and help Rhiannon with it. It's over at Defi- Presents?" There's a pause, and a breath, and an amused glee on Lisebet's face. "You are very wonderful, Harlan, I look forward to opening those presents."

Rhiannon touches Lisebet's arm. "I'm going o go set up for the contest." She nods at her cousin and then turns to go back to the Hill and her unnecessarily complicated archery tournament.

Reese then adds. "Svana, that is a pretty name." She muses. The girl still craldes her cider in her pink gloved hands as she lingers near the pig pen. "Now, I almost want a pet pig."

"Oh, don't phrase it like that, or someone will repeat it out of turn and the doctors will have to be called in for a case of terminal blushing," Ronja replies to Delia with a broad, easy smile. As Michael approaches the hog-course, Ronja turns, sticks her fingers in her mouth, and whistles at the hog-tenders to get their racers in position. Then she turns back to Delia: "But of course I'll seek you out -- just cry out if you find yourself surrounded by friends and well-wishers and are in need of rescue." She winks.

"The same way you choose anything. With your eyes and your gut." Evonleigh grins at Aethan. "I just chose the one I thought was cutest," she adds, a shrug accompanying her words. "You'll have to tell us that story, Lord Wash," she tells the other Kennex, before watching Michael take the rest of the bets from the last minute gamblers.

Sandor, the Tree Scout Captain, Nibbles, the Ashford Tree Squirrel leave, following Rhiannon.

Liara catches the ear of a passing Grayson-liveried servant, who hurries over to the orchestra's conductor, who in turn suddenly changes the music. It's suspenseful, tense, and... considering the direction of Liara's attention now, related to the imminent pig race.

"I think I used up all my happy endings when you said yes." Wash replies. "I swear, it's like you set these up for me."

Harlan squeezes Lisebet's hand and grins, "I look forward to seeing you -in- those presents." He shifts to kiss Lisebet lightly and says, "You look astounding in this one though, to be honesatly." He moves to guide her over towards where Rhiannon is headed also, giving his cousin a smile. "Shall we?"

GRUNTING! OINKING! SQUEAKING! The Five Pigs are in their little booths and are getting FRANTIC about racing!

Catalana murmurs just loud enough for others to overhear, "A summer wedding would be lovely. Though, fall weddings are just as pretty."

Expertly, Sebastian steers himself and Monique into the path of a servant -- acquiring a glass of red for himself, and a whiskey for the Minx. He doesn't immediately sip at the wine, though, making a noise of amusement, leading them on towards the pig... races? "The Graysons are into such strange entertainment these days," he murmurs. "As for dying of curiosity... well, I'm keen to see what that looks like. Though I feel like it's more likely /I/ will die for your curiosity," he observes, amused. "Lord Michael," he greets the Bisland Lord as they approach.

Ian gives Catalana a puzzled look. "Is someone getting married?"

Amari has brought no potentially prize winning vegetables, just her curiosity which leads her onto the ground and around and through the crowd. There's plenty of pleasant, if tired smiles offered people she's familiar with, and a few she's not. She's polite like that. Some overheard talk of pig racing, and the commotion from the little pig booths naturally draws her that way, brow lightly arched.

Isabelle, who is just so tired of everyone's nonsense have been dismissed.

Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise have been dismissed.

Roland, the worst bard in Arvum have been dismissed.

Sabella beams at Wash and Catalana, moving to nudge Nik to say something utterly romantic, but he's off making love to a plate of food. "Ah! The races have started! Quick, everyone!" She gestures for everyone nearby to pay attention to the pig pen. Not that it's hard since it's rather loud, "GO SAUSAGES!" She shouts, which seems to startle her poor pig, "I have a way with animals," she preens.

Rukhnis quickly discovers where the whiskey is at -- probably she'd already had it marked out well before, prepared for the inevitable -- and fills a moderately sized glass full of it. On her way back to Rysen her path somehow meanders around to the pig pen, whose occupants she eyes with keen interest as she passes by the rail, and from there back to Rysen once more. She presents the drink with a bow, and then looks back to the pigs, which are now look to be ready to race and sound very enthusiastic about it!

Entering through the Grayson Gate, Sanya gives the grounds a sweeping glance with intrigue. Her attention shifting from the milling pigs to the food set up on the tables before finally settling on the orchestra. Seeing some familiar faces, she makes to approach some of the gathered. "Princess Sabella, Prince Niklas how lovely to see you here." She curtsies politely, giving Reese a warm smile. "Princess Reese." She settles in beside the Knight of Ribbons.

Lisebet smiles and glances at Michael, before she calls out, pitching her voice to carry. Amazingly she does seem able to do so, and be heard. "Everyone, we're going to be starting the Archery Contest shortly over at Defiance Hill. Anyone who is interested in shooting, please come join us there." It's already available information, but Lisebet sees no harm in saying it again so everyone hears it. And then she turns to Harlan, with a smile. "By all means, let's go give Rhiannon all the help we can."

"Niklas," Aethan replies, nodding to his cousin with a fond expression. Or, as much as he ever looks that way, which is admittedly not very, but for him it's probably a lot. "Good to see you." He seems to have missed any talk of weddings, whether truly accidentally or because of selective hearing. Instead, he turns to Evonleigh, and another little amused sound escapes him. "I suppose that's one way to do it," he concedes, but he doesn't seem to be playing a bet for now, though he does look over to watch.

"Indeed, it sounds unlike anything I've heard before. Being original is a good thing." Denica comments, flahsing a smile to Svana and looking back at the pigs, "I would get myself one if I didn't think that Lady Snow, my cat, would find a way to torment the poor creature."

Whether someone's taking this terribly seriously or not even remotely seriously is an open question, because the orchestra just keeps increasing the volume, still that suspenseful refrain, possibly building towards something. For Liara's part, she's content to gaze over towards the pig booths for the moment.

"Somehow i doubt that," Delia says to Ronja. "/You/ are more likely to make /me/ blush than the other way around." She smiles at the sailor. "You've already started. But I promise to cry out for help if I feel too smothered, and I trust that you will come to my aid immediately." Her eyes sparkle with the shared joke, but her attention is caught by the squealing pigs. "Oh, here we go. Off with you ... Back Bacon!" That really sounds terrible coming out of her mouth but by gods, she gives it her all.

"I agree. We deserve a second wedding." Wash says loudly. "Aiden! Aiden tell me which pig to bet on!" He casts a look around for his Grayson cousin regretting the man's absence.

Reese watches the pig and stars to cheer on Knuckles. "Knuckles go, keep running, go, be your feisty pink self!" She says and then looks over to Sanya, having a warm smile of greeting for her. "Lady Sanya, hi."

Rysen grins at the pigs seem increasingly excited. "How many bets are you allowed to place?" he asks Mirk. He gratefully accepts the glass from Rukhnis. "Thanks. Care to put a wager on which will be the fastest?" Rysen asks Rukhnis. "I'll back you, if you'd like to test your luck, foresight and powers of observation?"

Svana smiles at Reese's compliment, "Thank you, Your Highness." She swishes a bit to the music once more, seeming to bounce on her toes slightly as she watches the pigs. "I wonder if they all get so large. They must make an unholy mess as pets." She turns to Denica, "Is your cat so tempermental, Your Highness?"

"I never said /I/ would be the one blushing," Ronja says to Delia with a knowing little smirk, and then gives her a bit of a bow to move along to stand beside Michael, alternately watching the race and checking her boots for mud and/or hog stuff.

Eina arrives, following Peri.

"That sounds almost exactly right," Monique tells Sebastian, clearly quite pleased with the notion. "How have you come to know me so well?" She glances to the races and then catches sight of Delia with the aid of her shouting. It wins a laugh from the Greenmarch as she reaches up to cover Sebastian's eyes. "Maybe now might not be the best time for introductions..." But she nods to the Grayson as she tries to blind the Pravus. "Michael. Lovely event. I feel sure I will never forget this particular moment."

"Sausages and /bacon/." Bhandn offers those words somewhat on the heels of Sabella's assessment of the pigs, who has moved to take up space near where squealing frenzy is about to begin. "A few roasts of a whole pig probably isn't unreasonable either. I haven't had a spit pig in years."

Reese hmms as she looks to Svana. "You make a point, maybe I should stick to hounds, falcons and horses."

"Mistress Sanya! Do you need introductions?" Sabella asks with an aggressively cheerful smile, "If you do please let me know, I simply adore introducing people to other people even in crowds this large! For instance, do you know Lord Sebastian? You simply must if you have any interest in fashion for he is often the most fashionable person around! Or my cousin Lord Wash? He was once a Prince that gave it all up for love. You just must point out someone you don't know and we shall make sure you leave with new acquaintances!"

Zoey says, "First more babies, now a second wedding," Zoey says to Wash. "Sounds like a busy year ahead.""

Isabetta arrives fashionably late, she has a wave for Reese and then another for Ronja, Rysen.. So many people! She frowns and waits to see if she gets waved over to anyone.

Reese has a warm smile for Isabetta. "Lady Issy Berry." She says. "We are betting on a pig race."

Turning her gaze to Sabella, Sanya smiles warmly. "That's very kind of you, your highness. Thank you." She inclines her head to Sebastian. "I have not, I'm sad to say. Well met, my lord." She nods her head at Wash. "I've met my lord of Kennex and his lovely wife, though."

Denica uses her thumb to measure a pig upon Svana's comment, "I don't know, they look smaller than horses, but then you wouldn't invite a horse inside your bedroom even if it saved you in battle, right?" She says, smirking about the cat bit, "She might feel a bit territorial if there's someone else competing for attention."

Oh, it's a race, not dinner in the making Amari realizes as she gets closer to the starting line. Hearing favorites being called out, she considers the field and gives a solemn nod to the meanest, oldest looking porcine racer. "Chops. I believe in you. You have the experience and you look mean besides. Destroy them." Pep talk given, she hears Lisbet giving a call for an archery contest and that fully grabs her attention. The hill calls, and she starts off in that direction with a lift of her hand to the Duchess.

Rukhnis ponders the pigs for a time longer, then glances back to Rysen with furrowed brow. "Truly, I know very little about pigs," she admits. "They are a very Arvani thing. Though that one seems like quite a handsome fellow." She waves one hand vaguely to probably encompass Ham. "On the other hand, the grouchy looking one might win from sheer spite." She nods to Chops, tapping her chin thoughtfully, then shrugs to Rysen in bemusement. "I am not very lucky in any case."

"Too much exposure," Sebastian remarks wryly to Monique. "Over-exposure," he self-corrects, moments before she places her hands over his eyes. He makes a noise of surprise, and then shifts, not so much trying to make it difficult as totally cheating and trying to peer past. "What..?" It makes it impossible to see who might be addressing him -- or greeting him. At least he never dares to spill a drop of the red wine, even if he hasn't touched it yet.

Ian nods to Sanya when she joins them. "Did I ever get the chance to introduce you to Zoey?" Look at him, remembering introductions and everything. Almost like a civilized individual.

Catalana grins amusedly at Wash, "Well. It has been almost ten years of marriage." She then lowers her voice, conspiring with Ian and Zoey.

Delia happens to look over just in time to see Monique and her escort. She immediately goes very red, because shouting at a pig isn't very courtly, but her eyes are still laughing. She catches Monique's eye and courtsies happily, greeting her through the loud crowd without interrupting her chat.

Svana pauses, her eyes going distant as she goes all philosophical, "I mean I suppose that depends on what's /outside/ my bedroom. I wouldn't want a brigand to take my horse, if I had one, /especially/ if it saved my life."

Isabetta heads over to Reese and tells her, "I just lost a bet, I am sure I am good luck. Ronja! " She calls to Ronja, "Are you wagering too?"

Lisebet then makes her way over to Defiance Hall.

Niklas watches the pigs for a bit, quietly cheering for the one least likely to win before he makes his way over to the Kennex contingent and leans over to speak quietly with Ian.

"Chops is my favorite, as well," Mirk says, nodding his head aside at Amari. "He looks like a surly old bastard, and I think he has it in him to muscle aside the competition." There's a slight smirk, though he watches the pen with arms folded over his chest, waiting for the race to begin.

Ramona - A Guard in Ashford House Colours, Bigsby - A Thoughtful Looking Young Man in Nondescript Clothing, 2 Ashford Archer, 1 Ashford Scout leave, following Lisebet.

Wash shakes his head at Zoey. "I know, it's like we are newly-weds all over again." He fails to sound disappointed in the least. "Now, if you let me put one of the pigs in a catapult... I might be able to win a race that way."

"Lady Monique, welcome welcome. We're about to race some pigs." Michael is standing up on the bales of hay surrounding the racetrack with an arm up in the air. People still clamoring at him get a bit of a wave. Then his arm comes straight down and the minders lift the doors to the crates!

The pigs fling themselves out of their confinements and start the race! Lots of mad oinking and squealing as they make the first turn nearly neck and neck....except its too confined for them all to fit through the first turn! Something is gonna happen here!

Like Peri, Knuckles is easily distracted.

"You're kind of the opposite of lucky," says Rysen in agreement with Rukhnis. He waves to Isabetta when he sees her arrive, smiling warmly. "But," says Rysen continuing to Rukhnis, "you've enough skill to make up for it. Interesting analysis as well." Rysen hands Rukhnis his cup of whiskey momentarily to pat his bag of coins. "Might've spoke to soon," he says, laughing softly.

Sabella shakes her head at Mirk, "Sausages will definitely win! Look at that face. Look at that adorable face! And that little--oh, he's pooping. Er, don't look at him right now," she holds up a hand and waves it, looking away.

Evonleigh finds a hay bale to perch on to watch the race. "I thought of trying my hand at the archery but I don't know if I'm quite ready to try a contest yet, though I've come a long way since shooting paint targets at Delilah's observatory," she tells Aethan. "Oh, look, we're ready to start -- there they go!" she exclaims, clapping loudly -- maybe to drown certain chatter out.

"You are alway good luck, Issy." Reese murmurs while softly. She continues to cheer on the distracted Knuckles.

Ian starts at whatever it is that Catalana says to him and gets, for just a moment, a look that's very much 'deer in the lights'. He clears his throat and looks over at Aethan before replying. GUESS WHAT THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT. Oh, look. Niklas. He says a few words back, and then excuses himself for a moment, because clearly he needs to go talk to Niklas. Go over there to talk to Niklas.

Rukhnis grunts quietly in response to Rysen and simply fixes her attention on the heroically competing pigs.

"Definitely. He's a sure thing, Lord Mirk. It's in his eyes." Amari flashes a smile to the Halfshav before she's off and away to watch the archery contest.

Svana makes a small, excited noise when the pigs are let loose. She rises on her toes to watch as they race, murmuring, "C'mon Sausage. You have this..."

One might start to get the impression that Liara had a hand in this, if they're watching, because a little curl of her fingers in a gesture towards the orchestra has the suspenseful music suddenly change to something that... Okay, it's basically Arvani Yakety Sax, orchestral style.

"Lord Ian." Sanya greets with a friendly smile, before turning to Zoey. "I don't believe we've had the chance to meet. Lady Sanya Grimhall." She offers the woman in introduction.

Evonleigh is overheard praising Michael.

Relic leaves, following Harlan.

Evonleigh is overheard praising Grayson.

"Lady Zoey Kennex," she replies with a warm smile. "A pleasure to meet you."

For some reason, Monique jumps away from Sebastian, loosing her hand over his eyes and using it to swat the Pravus lord instead. "That's hardly sporting," she informs the man, indignant, leaning in to mutter something at him, before waving back to Delia, enjoying her visible enjoyment for a moment. "Are they the feast later?" Monique asks Michael, lips curving.

Catalana warns Ian, "I either work on that or demand you give me a neice or nephew." She excuses herself, "I am going to go draw up a contract." She then kisses Wash's cheek again and steps away.

"Oh! I need to get to that archery contest." Zoey heads off to do so.

Octavian, a silken spaniel, Serissa, the equanimous nanny leave, following Zoey.

2 Kennex corsairs leaves, following Catalana.

Wash returns Sanya's nod, and is abandoned to his own devices as his wife leaves. "Draw up a contract is probably a euphemism for something I don't want to know about." Wash says to those nearby.

Sabella laughs as she watches the pigs squealing and stampeding so, "Princess Denica, did you place a bet?" She calls out to the other princess, "I thought about asking if this was the sort of thing you might draw, but then that sounded like it might be somewhat insulting when I only meant that a skilled artist would be needed to capture the crazy ridiculousness of this whole scene! Do you still sketch? It's been so long since we've had a proper conversation. And now seems to not be that time either considering the squealing."

Weaving and bobbing through the crowd, one eye always on those racing pigs, Delia makes her way closer to Liara. "I don't believe I've ever heard an orchestra do this, Your Highness." She is still laughing, overcome by the enjoyment rife in the air, and insistant that everybody gets the compliments they deserve on such an intriguing night. "Nor that you conducted so expertly!" She beams up at the princess, giving her a polite courtsey without breaking her flow.

Liara permits herself a laugh as one of the pigs - Sausage - runs into a hay bale on the first turn. It's not /really/ Sausage's fault, except that Sausage just lacked the competitive spirit and drive to outdo his competitors, and so is left falling over. And then getting back up. Sausage gets back up! But he's not moving, not yet.

Aethan happens to catch the look his brother is giving him, and since he doesn't quite understand the //why// of it, his eyes narrow very slightly in what is partly confusion and partly mild suspicion. However, he doesn't have much time to dwell on it, since Evonleigh is speaking to him again, and he turns that way, saying, "I think you'd probably do all right." High praise, clearly, but hey.

Ian seems to be getting told lots of discomfiting things today. He gets away from whatever he wanted to get away from over with the Kennexes, and now whatever Niklas tells him has him staring and scrambling to figure out what to say back.

Sebastian looks /entirely/ unrepentant about being unsporting. "Why, Lady Monique, it's like you hardly know me," he murmurs, amusement evident. Her murmur earns a low-throated chuckle, his hand reaching out to settle comfortably at her lower back. He's noticed her gaze, following it towards Delia. "Is that her?" he asks, with interest, before Monique's question of Michael has him looking in that direction, head tipped. "Interesting choice of music," he observes dryly.

Attention aside for a moment - the people there know what they're doing - Liara offers Delia an easy reply, "They practised this anyway! I so rarely had the chance to play at my own parties..." The answer is left implicit. The princess certainly seems to be enjoying directing the music, in a way that only someone with far too much money can do in aid of pigs racing.

Denica taps alongside the music, unsure whether to cheer for a specific pig, the squeals only seem to add to her musicality. "Princess Sabella," The voice is recognised and met with a surprisingly polite bow of the head, "Not this time, I couldn't decide which one looked more like a winner. Though I'll definitely take on the dancing later tonight."

Ham! The handsome boar slows down and gets edged out of the first turn! And...gets distracted immediately by Lady Monique! He clambers uponto the haybale at the edge of the track to stare in admiration at her...or hunger. Because he grabs onto a bit of her gown and starts to gnaw on it.

Sausage, the sweetheart pig with a heart on its side, wiggle-waggles, manages to right itself and TAKES OFF ONCE MORE! Fiercely moving through the....the track that has already been raced in...and careens into the booth it started at. Grunting and asking for treats from the minder who are rolling their eyes.

Knuckles, Backbacon and Chops are scrambling through the second turn now, wheek-wheek-wheeking at each other and Chops is a madpig! Bumping into the others because he is in the middle!

"Good luck." Sanya offers to Zoey as she heads off before chuckling at Wash's comment on contracts. She turns to Sabella with an inquisitive smile. "What's the bet? I fear I may have missed something I'll regret."

Watching the pigs, Rysen says softly, "I suppose I should get used to all this squealing if I'm to be a parent." He takes a long sip of whiskey, and waves in greeting to Peri.

As happens in parties, the people Wash are talking to all find other people to talk to and he sidles over to another group to talk. "Dancing?" Wash asks Denica. "Who said there will be dancing?"

Svana utters a noise of condolence as Sausage plows into a hay bale and then into the booth. She frowns and claps anyways for the little porker, "It's alright. We all have bad days. Or, I do at least." She seems to have lost interest in the rest of the pigs, seeming to want to offer emotional support to the little meal having a time of it.

"Which pig will win!" Sabella answers Sanya with a laugh that turns into a grimace, "It looks like mine will not. I tend to not have luck in these kinds of things but make up for it in other areas, like dancing! Which will definitely be happening later, but after the pie eating contest, which we'll do after the races and the archery contest." She glances over at Svana with a grin, "Did you have the bad luck to choose the adorable Sausage as well?"

Rukhnis snorts very quietly at Rysen's words, and then her eyes follow the direction of his wave over to Peri. She nods to the Seliki woman, whether she's looking or not, and then resumes frowning at the race, and particularly at Chops, her one of two favourites still in clear competition.

Isabetta gives Reese a squeeze, "I am going to archery too."

"I hope you're having as much fun as you look like you are, then," Delia says to Liara, watching with one eye as her preferred pig remains in the race! Yes, she is perhaps more excited about this than she should be, but parties infuse her with glee she just can't contain. She stands on tiptoes, lets herself back down onto the flats of her feet and does her best to stand still. "Oh look at that, silly things. They deserve this music!"

"Come on, Chops," Mirk says, watching the race with avid interest. No secret about who he favors, and there's a hint of a smile on his lips as if he's getting exactly what he expected from that pig.

Peri walks through the festival crowd enjoying the ruckus. She is lost in the crowds until she she sees familiar faces. She walks near Rysen and Rukhnis. "Lord Rysen, Rukhnis." She follows Rukhnis's gaze. "Who are you routing for? I like the distractable Knuckles."

Svana grimaces as she looks to Sabella, "I did. I believe I'm really not the best judge of animals. He is the most adorable at least." She smiles, seeming a bit embarassed nonetheless.

Reese peeks over to Isabetta as she takes off to the archery, giving the Lady a warm smile. She then turns her attention back to the pigs, still seeming to have hope for Knuckles. "Knuckles...come on, you got this!" She say, before nodding to Peri. "She is the bet and hi, Lady Peri."

"After the pie eating contest?" Denica looks almost hurt now, "Okay, I can't do both without making it a show out of it or it wouldn't end up being the pretty kind of art." With her head, she gestures Wash to the bonfires, "There will be some bonfire dancing later on, it would be a crime if they got this whole orchestra and no one to dance for them."

Monique was /almost/ about to answer Sebastian but then there's a tugging at the hem of her gown and the Greenmarch redhead looks to see. And blinks. And blinks again. And then there's a dagger in her hands. Where did that come from?

"Well, you know me. I want to be the best, not just all right," says Evonleigh with a laugh. "My pig is still in the running," she says, pointing to Backbacon as it makes its way around the course with the other two pigs who haven't gotten distracted yet. "That's lucky. I usually pick terribly. Poor me." She doesn't seem so invested to call out to the swine she's wagered on, but does follow the creature with her gaze curiously.

Reese then adds to Denica. "Oh, pie eating. I am very talented at eating." She says, having a happy smile for the Princess.

Ditching the Arvani Yakety Sax - there's no sax here - after Sausage arrives home Liara instead proceeds, once there are three pigs sort of on the straight and narrow, to something brisk and bombastic, with plenty of percussion and a drummer guided to strike a cymbal every time one pig bangs into another.

There's a surprised lift of brows, and then a low-throated chuckle from Sebastian as one of the pigs seems to take an intent interest in Monique. "I think they heard you talking about feasting on them," he murmurs to the Greenmarch Lady. When the dagger appears in her hand, he regards her for a half-beat, before he adds something in a quiet undertone to her.

"You should try it!" Liara suggests aside to Delia, as if it's something one just gets into.

Peri waves at Reese. "Hi Princess!" She jumps just as a cymbal crashes. It's very startling.

Rysen grins at Peri. "Lady Peri," he says, "Good to see you. I can't say I have a pig in the race," he says, taking a sip of whiskey. "But I am rather enjoying the suspense of it all. And I'll admit Princess Liara's orchestral accompaniment has my heart pounding."

Rukhnis bows to Peri as she comes near, and replies with another glance out to the track, "I had thought perhaps the fierce and spiteful one might win. But then I also thought the very fine looking one might outpace the others with his health and vigour. And now only the former is left. I am not a connoisseur of pigs."

Sabella laughs again and replies to Svana, "Neither am I, it seems! I should probably start setting up for the pie eating contest. Someone let me know which piggie wins! It ought to earn itself a nice trip to some far away farm where it can live happily for the rest of its days."

Monique looks between the boar, her dagger, and Sebastian, judging, weighing, listening to whatever it is the Pravus Lord says to her. To Sebastian, she mutters, plaintive, "But my /gown/!" and tries to tug it loose from the creature. "Just a little prick is all it takes, I promise. It might even inspire him to win."

"I would love to try it!" Delia says to Liara. "If I knew how. Alas, I haven't mastered everys kill there is to master." She winks.

A glance across the grounds to the pig booths catches Monique with a dagger - she blinks with some surprise, now having something /else/ to keep an inquisitive eye on.

Eyes sparkling at the mention of the bonfire dance, Sanya smiles with delight. "Well I look forward to it." Her gaze shifts to the pig pen. "How do you know which one is yours?" She cranes her neck, trying to distinguish the pigs.

Niklas gives a quick laugh at Ian's response, then shrugs. "That's fair. We can talk later when things aren't quite so busy." He turns back to watch the pigs. "Pigs running in circles, never getting anywhere. I feel like there's an unkind joke in there somewhere."

Ian nods to Niklas. "We should," he says, very much not laughing. "I'd better go catch up with Zoey. We can talk later." And with that he, while watching his feet as usual, threads his way towards Defiance Hill.

Wash replies to Denica. "I was just going to ask, did you bring anyone to dance with. I haven't seen you in some time, wondered if you closeted yourself away with art or with a specific someone."

Svana laughs softly in response to Sabella and nods to her in farewell. Her eyes turn south, "I think I might go see the archery as well. Excuse me..." Svana curtsies again to those still around her and turns, her dress swishing lightly in her wake.

Merek makes a way about to the festival.

"Consider it an excuse to get a new one," Sebastian suggests to Monique, though her plaintive tone is sufficient to move him to set his still-full wine glass down on a passing servant's tray, before settling his hands on Monique's waist. It's a quick movement, lifting her up onto one of the hay bales that lines the 'track', putting her out of the insidious creature's reach. "I'm fairly certain his distraction with beautiful things will mean he'll never make the finish line, in this company," he points out.

After all the battering by Chops, the pig causes Backbacon to stumble, and the uninhibited Knuckles starts to pull ahead! The orchestral music changes to a brisker piece again, and then someone sounds a bugle as Knuckles makes for the finish line! Chops follows closely after, and the off-course Backbacon can't catch up. And, wait, there's Sausage! Sausage moves! Back out of his booth, to go and eat a bit of discarded food. Then Knuckles wins - comfortably first across the finishline, followed by a still-eager Chops, with Backbacon lagging. A trumpet is sounded, in triumphant strains, to signal the victory.

Reese watches the pigs with close attention, the princess seemingly very into this raise. She cheers when Knuckles comes in first, jumping up and down and clapping. "Knuckles, yay!"

Rukhnis purses her lips briefly, her expression more intrigued than disappointed as Knuckles ends up being the first to cross the finish line. "Well, it seems I have a great deal to learn about pigs," she says. She then gives the whole assemblage of pigs a single approving clap for their valiant efforts.

"Knuckles!" Peri cheers. She tells Rukhnis, "I know very little about pigs, but I saw a curious gleam in her eye and I knew she was the one."

Rysen gawks as Knuckles comes in first place. Turning to Peri, he gets a gleam in his eyes and says, "Up for a trip to Golden Hart later?"

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

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

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

"Well, third place out of ... five," says Evonleigh with a grin. "It's probably better than I would have done in the archery contest," she tells Aethan, clapping for the pigs. "Well run, Knuckles. Chops, you're a bully. Poor Backbacon. She was robbed."

Laughing as the pig leaves the booth to eat the discarded food, Sanya leans forward, applauding when the race comes to a close. "Congratulations." She calls to Reese before turning to Peri. "And you too, my lady."

"So do I," Mirk says with a slow shake of his head at Rukhnis. "Oh well. Second place isn't terrible."

Wash applauds Knuckles victory politely. "Does this mean that sausage will be part of the feast later?"

"Bacon," Sir Bhandn says from where he'd been watching in relative silence. "Bacon, roasts, maybe a hock or two." He'd given a bit of a rap to his carried helmet with one hand, instead of applause, symptom of not having both hands free.

"Indeed not," Rukhnis agrees with Mirk. "And he did put forth a most noble effort." She looks back to the pigs, nodding. "They are quite remarkable creatures. I enjoyed watching them very much."

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

"And how am I supposed to introduce you to my protege from up here?" Monique says archly to Sebastian from her new perch atop the hay bale. She lowers her voice to mutter something to the stylish Pravosi, a touch of humor in her tone.

Ham, the pig who likes gowns, releases Lady Monique's dress and meanders back out onto the racetrack. To plop himself along happily towards the end of the track too!

"Um, not really. I was thinking about doing a solo performance, initially." Denica tells Wash with a slight shrug, "Though yes, I was a bit busy with a few art pieces, even went back home for some special supplies." She adds, "What about you?"

A laugh escapes Aethan at Evonleigh's words, though maybe it's partly spurred on by the pig race finish as well. He applauds -- sort of, anyway. He does clap a couple of times. "Better luck next time," he says as he turns away from the pigs and back to Evonleigh. "I don't think I would have done any better, though."

Sabella comes running back in from getting things set up and says, "Who won?! Was it--oh, it most likely wasn't my pig, so congratulations to whomever had the lucky bets!" She beams.

"I've been doing a lot of Mourning Sea runs. Avoiding being in Arx very long at all if I'm honest. But now that Catalana is back, it seems tolerable." Wash admits. "You should meet Prince Baelos of Redrain. I think he'd like a portrait."

Directing a few servants around the place, Liara speaks up over the crowd, "Knuckles came first, Chops second, and Backbacon third! House Grayson has a modest favour for each of those who managed to select a pig which finished the course." And, right enough, some servants move through the crowd to distribute promissory notes.

"Thank you, Lady Sanya." Peri smiles at the lady. She turns to Rysen, "The Hart would be lovely. Perhaps after I walk around the hay a bit to get all prickly so that I can truly enjoy the Hart afterwards." She smirks.

Reese is still seems all excited that Knuckles won. She is all pink cheeked and cheerful. "I think the pie eating contest is next?"

Strolling back through the crowds at the festival, Delia shakes her head with deep amusement. "Third place isn't too bad," she says to anyone within earshot, nodding with mock gravity. She accepts her note from a servant with another nod and tucks it away, casting a wave back towards Liara, and one to Michael, in gratitude.

"Oh, Prince Baelos?" Denica makes a mental note of the name, "I will definitely message him! Portraits are quite fun and easy to do, it'd be a nice way to mark my return to the city. Besides, I haven't met him yet, so it's a nice way to start off a conversation."

Evonleigh is overheard praising Liara.

"I would advise those interested in watching the archery contest - or indeed participating, if the Ashfords still have room - to head on over to Defiance Hill!" calls Liara.

"Which one was your pig?" Sanya asks with a light chuckle. "One wondered off for a snack." She turns toward the Triump Plaza, preparing to head off for the pie eating contest.

"Yes!" Sabella adds, "Work up an appetite for the pie eating contest in a few minutes!"

Now that the Minx is taller than him by way of her new position, Sebastian is forced to look up at her. There's a gleam of amusement in the artist's gaze. "I'm sure she'll find you -- you stand out, in more ways than one," the Pravus murmurs.

Liara is overheard praising Grayson: None Greater at novelty races!

Rukhnis glances sidelong between Rysen and Peri as if wondering at the significance of this exchange between the two, but clearly deems it none of her business even to wonder too much at, let alone to question. With the pig racing done she turns her attention to the rest of the festival, but from something in her expression it seems that everything from this point forward has to be something of a let-down. After pigs, how can anything else measure up?

Michael is overheard praising Grayson: A wonderful festival!

Ronja claps Michael on the shoulder gently. "A successful pig race, my Lord," she says, airily. Then she pauses a beat, and adds: "I think. I don't actually know a successful one from an unsuccessful one, so I can only assume. Still. It looked like the hogs had fun, which I suppose is what's important."

"Well. I'm richer than I was when I started out today, and I don't think I want to eat pie and we've established I'm too proud to come in last in the archery contest, so how about I go buy you your evening pot of coffee?" Evonleigh says to Aethan with a grin, rising and brushing off any hay that's sticking to her skirts, then tucking her hand in the crook of his elbow. "Lord Michael, that was great fun. Please tell me all of those pigs are safe from gracing the breakfast table any time soon. They should all be studs and mothers for the next great generation of piglets," she says, as she begins to mosy toward Triumph Plaza.

"Something along the lines of the portrait you did of Galen and a shark. That is your work, isn't it?I know Galen was going to talk to you about that painting, but we were both very drunk and I never inquired after it until I saw it in the Ebb and Flow." Wash explains.

Peri is overheard praising Grayson: great festival traditions

Now that the racing is over, Delia does indeed seem to wending her way towards Monique and Sebastian. They're pretty noticeable, over there by the pig booths, with Monique up high. She pauses beneath the Minx to cast her a wiggle of the fingers in greeting. "You're so tall up there," she says. "I'll get a crick in my neck looking at you. My Lord," she adds, bowing to Sebastian.

2 Grayson House Guards leaves, following Liara.

Rysen chuckles, and nods to Peri. He throws back the rest of his whiskey and makes his way over to Michael and Liara. "A very fine race, My Lord, Your Highness. Even observing without placing a bet, I watched with bated breath." He offers a breif respectful bow, and makes his way back towards Rukhnis, "Care to see who takes the archery contest?" he asks, glancing in the direction of Defiance Hill.

2 Grayson House Guards arrives, following Liara.

3 Grimhall House Guards, Ivan leave, following Sanya.

Root, a ferocious badger, 2 Ashford Archer arrive, following Archeron.

Root, a ferocious badger, 2 Ashford Archer leave, following Archeron.

Monique looks to the dagger in her hand, and then over to Delia, and then back to the dagger, speculative. How to get her protege's attention without yelling... but then, fortune smiles upon them all when Delia turns her steps their way. The dagger disappears back where it came from, wherever that is, and Monique, from her perch, sweeps a hand magnanimously to Delia. "My incomparable protege, the Sweetest Whisper, Delia Whisper." She glances from Delia over to Sebastian. "Lord Sebastian Pravus. Hrmph." Clearly not forgiven yet for sticking her up there.

"For those of you that want to eat more pie than is normal, follow me!" Sabella calls out and heads north!

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

Wash offers Denica his elbow to guide her toward the Archery contest. "Shall we?"

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

"Wherever you wish to go, I am glad to attend you there," Rukhnis replies to Rysen. She also presents him another glass of whiskey, which evidently she's managed to procure in the length of time it took Rysen to pay his pig-racing compliments to Michael and come back. This done, she falls in step just behind and to one side of the Crovane lord and turns an expectant look off towards Defiance Hill.

"That's about the best we can hope for," Aethan replies, and when Evonleigh takes his arm again, he looks around, waving to Niklas and Wash, then expanding that wave generally to those near him. "Thank you," he says as he turns to Michael, inclining his head to the other man before he starts away with Evonleigh.

Niklas considers Sabella's offer. "I /do/ like eating pie, but more pie than normal sounds a bit ominous." Glancing around at the others he finally nods. "Sure, why not?" and goes to follow his wife.

"I've done quite a few paintings in my time, so I'm not entirely sure." Denica says, placing a finger over her lip as she assumes a more thoughtful position for a moment, "But then, it probably is!" She smiles, taking his hand, "Lead the way!"

Turning at the introductions, Sebastian's eyes fall on Delia, amusement still vivid in bright gaze, as he executes a half-bow towards her. "Whisper Delia? You're almost exactly how I pictured you'd be from the Lady Monique's description." The Pravus twists to look up at Monique, a low-throated laugh answering the expression on her face, before he glances downward. "I think your gown is safe from the pig -- he seems to have been distracted by some other shiny thing. Here," he reaches for her waist again, using both hands to swing her safely back down onto the ground.

Stojan, the assistant, 3 Thrax Guards, Damaia, the assistant, Lady Snow leave, following Denica.

Denica leaves, following Wash.

Rysen blinks at Rukhnis and accepts the glass of whiskey. "You are the greatest of retainers, Rukhnis Al-Katibi." He smiles warmly - but at the mention of pie eating, he turns his attention toward Triumph Plaza.

Isabelle, who is just so tired of everyone's nonsense, Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise, Roland, the worst bard in Arvum leave, following Niklas.

Isabelle, who is just so tired of everyone's nonsense, Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise, Roland, the worst bard in Arvum arrive, following Niklas.

2 House Crovane Guards, Rukhnis leave, following Rysen.

Isabelle, who is just so tired of everyone's nonsense, Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise, Roland, the worst bard in Arvum leave, following Niklas.

2 Kennex corsairs arrives, following Catalana.

2 Kennex corsairs leaves, following Catalana.

Peri is drawn towards the plaza of pies.

Eina leaves, following Peri.

Blushing a touch again at Monique's introduction and Sebastian's, Delia smiles up at the tall man. "She's very detailed," she points out. "And precise. I like that about her. It's an honour to finally meet you. She's spoken of you quite a bit." She glances after Sabella. "Though this isn't a place I expected to see either of you! Pig racing and eating too much pie ... which sounds like great fun, actually." She seems to ponder it, then look back at the pair of them. "Monique, I hope your gown isn't /too/ damaged."

"It's beyond repair," Monique bemoans sadly, feet firmly back on the ground. "I'll have to go home and change it. But since it's all Lord Pravus' fault," she exaggerates wildly, "then he shall have the duty of escorting you to the pie eating contest, I think, and making a better impression. Though I suppose we shall forgive him, for the portrait he painted for you." She offers it grudging, leaning in to press a kiss to Sebastian's cheek. "But you two, be good."

"You're too harsh," Delia tells Monique with a laugh. "I will have to smooth down ruffled feathers!" Like that's not what she's great at. She smiles at the woman and looks to Sebastian. "As the Lady says, so I shall do. Shall we?"

Quartus, Fourth of Monique's Assistants leaves, following Delia.

"I do like to attend an event or two now and then to remind everyone I still exist. It's very important for them to know that," Sebastian tells Delia with a twist of lips that might convey facetiousness. Monique's kiss earns a pleased smile, as he murmurs back to the woman, watching Delia's departure, with a twist of head to Monique as if to say 'shall we'?

2 Pravus Honor Guard leaves, following Sebastian.

The crowd disperses to other parts of the Grayson Ward, and Liara helps herself to a glass of red wine - just to sip at it, as she waits around near the food tables.

Michael meanders away as well, the pigs tended to, and everything else occuring a bit further away. He'll pluck a glass of the same red wine from a table and wink at Liara. "Princess Liara. Clearly you've outdone yourself tonight."

"I really rather needed to," Liara says to Michael. "I haven't had a proper party since last year, which is dreadfully remiss of me; I have let everything else become perhaps too distracting."

"Well, with so much space to spread out there should be enough to entertain the crowds for a good number of hours." Michael lifts his glass towards Liara before sipping from it.

"There is the mystery of dancing with a bonfire in the middle of the dancing area next," Liara says to Michael. "I am uncertain as to how to approach that one. And one hopes that we will get some more entries to the produce contest."

"I hope so too. I thought there were a number of gardeners who might've had something to contribute to the produce contest." Michael eases back to lean against the table. "I say, as long nobody decides to dance TOWARDS the fire, nobody should get set on fire.":

Mirk lingers, eyes drifting towards Defiance Hill and Triumph Plaza, considering both. At last, he admits, "I think I'm partied out." He raises an eyebrow at Michael. "When will the winner of the produce contest be announced? If I'm not interrupting. You two can have your privacy, for the moment, if so."

"Around, then. I shall specify around, and nothing fancy, because burning guests is really not desirable." Liara then offers Mirk a smile, saying, "At the end of the festival. I'll send the prizes along if the winners are absent - which was yours?"

2 Pravus Honor Guard arrives, following Sebastian.

2 Pravus Honor Guard leaves, following Sebastian.

"Well. Not burning guests /indiscriminately/. We would have to pick and choose which guests to burrnnnn. Oh Hello my lord." Michael glances off towards Liara and then is nodding with her explanation. "Ohhhhhh....I am sure it'll be one of the last things announced."

"I can remain for a little while longer. But a second competition..." Mirk glances off in the direction of the archery contest, squinting. "Well, that's a little much." At the question, he shrugs a shoulder. "I brought a few apples. It's still a little early in the year for apple season, but they ripened well, so I thought it appropriate."

Liara's response to Michael holds something of a wry note to it. "Perhaps that is better left for a Bisland tea party?" Then she nods over at Mirk. "They are tidily the most scrumptious-looking thing there so far."

Liara turns to call something over towards Triumph Plaza.

Liara shouts from nearby, "Those who have finished eating potentially inconvenient quantities of pie are welcome to come and dance!"

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

Eina arrives, following Peri.

Isabelle, who is just so tired of everyone's nonsense, Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise, Roland, the worst bard in Arvum arrive, following Niklas.

3 Grimhall House Guards, Ivan arrive, following Sanya.

2 House Riven Soldiers, Oura, a white-tailed eagle, Valor, a juvenile male Oakhaven Bloodhound arrive, following Thesarin.

Peri arrives from the plaza with suspiciously clean hair. She is wearing a different head scarf than the one she wore earlier.

Puff, a dainty yellow-green canary, 2 Leary House Guards, Sir Jesmond the Giant arrive, following Arcadia.

Puff, a dainty yellow-green canary, 2 Leary House Guards, Sir Jesmond the Giant leave, following Arcadia.

Sabella comes in arm and arm with Niklas and sporting a new hair style! At least, some of her curls have been pinned up in a...not so much stylish as slightly strange way. She also smells very sweetly of strawberries, "I heard a call about dancing?" She inquires as they move closer to the bonfire crowd

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, Isabetta arrive, following Reese.

"The set-up is such that those wishing to engage in ballroom dancing are entirely welcome to," Liara informs those about. "The best advice that I have received pertaining to the bonfire and its involvement in proceedings is that one should dance /around/ the bonfire and not /towards/ the confire, because nobody likes a charred guest."

Reese arrives back from the north while in the company of Isabetta. They are both covered in pie although the pie on Reese is mostly apple pie in hair and well Isabetta has lots of pie on her. She tries to lead Isabetta to the bonfire with the intention of dancing with the Lady.

Following the others to the main festival, Sanya takes a glass from a table to fill with rum. At Liara's words she chuckles lightly. "And what about -over- the bonfire? To the more athletic among us."

"I also invite those still interested in the produce contest to produce their produce to produce a better display on the produce contest tables," Liara says, pointing towards the selection of fruit and vegetables set out as is.

Isabetta follows along with Reese and is yes, covered in pie, more or less head to toe. Pie. It's in her hair, on her face, down her front. Her legs are the place where there is the least amount of pie, but honestly that isn't saying much. On the plus side she'll probably have a wide area around them when they dance. She turns to Reese, "You'll lead yes?

Relic arrives, following Harlan.

Svana returns from Defiance Hill after watching the archery competition, her stride as brisk as ever. She pauses, head tilting to listen to Liara's warning, and smiles. Touching the silk of her dress, Svana chuckles softly to herself, concluding that it definitely would not be a good idea to dance so close to the fire. She moves to find refreshment though, the climb up and down the hill having made her quite thirsty.

2 Kennex corsairs arrives, following Catalana.

Catalana arrives, following Wash.

Ramona - A Guard in Ashford House Colours, Bigsby - A Thoughtful Looking Young Man in Nondescript Clothing, 2 Ashford Archer, 1 Ashford Scout, Wash arrive, following Lisebet.

Zoey arrives, following Ian.

Not that they were eating pie, but instead the Archery contingent makes their way back to the main party.

Sanya checked intellect + agriculture at difficulty 15, rolling 10 lower.

Reese looks upon in Isabetta. "I can lead Issy. I was taught how to dance in Grayson Princess classes and Sabella ddid have me lead sometimes. "But first want to put some veggie on the table. I got a beet and an onion from the Grayson kitchen garden that the cook uses."

Reese checked intellect + agriculture at difficulty 15, rolling 19 higher.

Zoey sighs and lets herself relax in Ian's company. "I'm amazed it didn't get torn on that course," she admits. "If I had known it was more than just shooting, I would have dressed more appropriately."

Niklas checked intellect + agriculture at difficulty 15, rolling 11 higher.

Ian returns with the others from the archery tournament. He walks with Zoey, but watches his own footsteps. "Yes. That was a surprise." His voice is distracted.

"Who won the archery tournament?" Mirk asks idly, eyeing the returning crowd.

Zoey leans in and whispers to Ian.

Reese puts a large red beet on the table. The girl then looks to Mirk. "Oh, I wonder that myself." She says.

Sabella checked intellect + agriculture at difficulty 15, rolling 6 lower.

Catalana stays nestled on her husband's arm. "Will you be dancing?" But then she's distracted and peers at the table of food.

Isabetta watches Reese while following her along, looks at the beet on the table and cants her head. Absently some pie filling drips off her ear onto her shoulder.

A stranger to agriculture and anything associated with it, Sanya shakes her head. "Mine is a horror to behold." She comments mildly. She turns to the Kennexes at Mirk's question. "Oh yes, who won?"

Lisebet smiles, as she moves in, waiting for a good moment to say, "Lord Archeron Tyde placed first in the archery, followed by Lady Amari Keaton in second and Lady Zoey Kennex in third." She pauses to glance around to see what is going on now. "And that's my work done, so I am entirely looking forward to dancing."

Growing plants in soil is against Wash's religious and moral beliefs. He does lead Catalana past the tables, but is more interested in her company than that of vegetables. "I will. Country dances that go in a circle. You know the Peasant's Waltz? That'd be nice."

"That's quite a beet, dear cousin," Liara observes, of Reese's beet. She miiiight not have the very same reaction to absolutely everybody's offerings, though. Produce notwithstanding, she murmurs to a servant to go tell the orchestra to get on with producing some music: no pig racing type stuff this time, but instead the more refined variety of ballroom dance music starts up, albeit a bit faster than the norm.

Ian stops walking and gives Zoey a puzzled look. "Huh?"

After Liara's very confusing explanation Niklas' eyes go wide and he turns to disappear into the Grayson grounds. When he returns it's with a large, lumpy turnip. "Here. It's a turnip shaped like Queen Triscali. I call it the Black Rutabaga."

"Oh, one moment, I forgot I had something to contribute to the next contest," Sabella says to Niklas, kissing his cheek before going to grab a box and bring it over to the table. She opens it up and then very carefully takes out an absolutely beautiful red apple that she sets down on the table.

Reese smiles happily to Liara and the girl then goes to try to lead Isabetta in a dance. The girl seems amued by Niklas offering.

Peri checked intellect + agriculture at difficulty 15, rolling 21 higher.

Lisebet checked intellect + agriculture at difficulty 15, rolling 6 higher.

"You seem distracted," she explains. "Same thing as before, or something else?"

Harlan escorts his wife inj, and yes, the two are going to go dancing. After all, he has to show off his wife and her lovely dress (that he bought for her, so yes, he's going to show her off!)

Isabetta pulls up to Reese and lets the mess of pie on both of them mingle as they dance, her attention on the princess leading her.

Lisebet had a servant bring in a bowl of nice berries, perhaps a bit of a joke, though she's certainly not expecting to win anything. "Since I ate so many of them, I did try to grow some, but it didn't work entirely well," she admits.

Ian blinks at Zoey for a moment, and then -- give it about a count of three -- understanding dawns. "Oh. No, just trying to avoid missing a step ending up on my face." His particular brand of bone dry, humorless humor threads through that statement.

It's large, and orange, and coated with a fine and flawless layer of wax that makes it, unexpectedly, slippery to the touch and just a little more difficult to manhandle than anticipated. For all intents and purposes this large wheel of gourmet cheddar is bulky enough to make the most glutton of mice have a paralysing fit of joy. Between Peri and Kalani, however, they cart it to the table where the other agricultural items are on display. Kalani has a canvas satchel slung over one shoulder and is, rather excitedly, telling Peri about the shenanigans involved in getting the cheese wheel from point A to point B, and how they almost forgot the cheese knives and the cutting boards and all the variety of crackers that she's brought along with. Because, cheese and crackers, obviously.

Lisebet deserves something for putting up with ... things. She does pause long enough to put in her take on something for the produce judging, and then she's off to dance!

Lisebet checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 33 higher.

Producing the worlds inedible looking eggplant, Sanya silently places it on the table, pursing her lips to hide her amusement.

Liara does consider Niklas' turnip offering. It's from a reasonably safe distance, and she tilts her head a little, eventually saying, "I'll see the likeness eventually." Then she perks her eyebrows at the apple produced by Sabella. "That looks ripe." That's about all she says, before she gets to watching the wheel of cheese come along.

The Grimhall heads to the bonfire to join the dance.

Sanya checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 30 higher.

Reese checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 42 higher.

Catalana admits to Wash as he leads her to some seats, "I don't know that dance, but I'd be happy to watch you perform it." She glances over at the competition. "You should of grown something."

Isabetta checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 3 lower.

"And get dirt under my fingernails?" Wash asks. "That doesn't sound like me.

It's for the best that Isabetta is following, because she is not as graceful at this as Reese is. It'll be a miracle if she doesn't step on Reese's toes while she follows in the dance. She misteps and winces a couple times.

Niklas checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 44 higher.

Sabella checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 60 higher.

Zoey watches the dancers for a moment. "Funny. That's the same reason I'm not joining in on *that* contest." She nods toward the dancers.

Catalana peeks at Wash's hands "I dunno. Remember that time Porter convinced you and the boys that there was treasure?"

Reese leads Isabetta in a dance near the firepit. She tries to keep them both out of the flames if possible. The girl seems to be in a cheerful mood and even has an adoring look for Issy.

Ian looks over at the dancers. "Is it a contest? I think they're just dancing."

"Everything is a contest to some people," Mirk informs Ian in a wry tone, sitting down and making no move whatsoever to hit the dance floor.

"In a public space like this," Zoey started, before leaning in again.

When it becomes evident that dancing is next on the list Niklas drops his turnip like it's hot (which it will be later when he turns it into the Black Roast) grabs his wife and pulls her out with the other dancers. "Come on, my love. Let's show this crowd what we spent all of our time doing in Bastion to ease the boredom of the place." He thinks about that for a second, then says, "Dancing, that is. Dancing." Then he swoops her off into a delightfully risque waltz.

Svana, refreshed, wanders closer to the bonfire and dancers. Finding a good spot where she can watch both simultaneously, she sits down, smoothing her gown.

Ian looks between Zoey and Mirk. "Oh. That kind of contest."

Catalana glances at Niklas and Sabella. Grabbing Wash, she hauls him to his feet, "Let's show Nik and Sabella how it's done."

Zoey grabs a snack as they pass one of the food tables. "Want to watch them for a bit?"

Leaning her hip against the table and seeming fairly content to stay to the side for now, with her glass of wine, Liara speaks up, "Do all please feel free to jump right into the dancing. If you need a partner for it, wave, and then when you see someone else waving, that person is who you will be dancing with."

It doesn't take long for Sanya to stop and head back to the seating area, still not recovered from the stuffing her face with pie. "My lords. My lady." She greets the Kennexes and Mirk as she settles in, taking another sip from her glass.

Wash joins the bonfire circle and summarizes the energfetic peasant's waltz to Catalana. It is anything other than a waltz. It involves a lot of stomping, twirling and lifting. He does it with flair though, performing, rather than just exercising.

Wash checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 11 higher.

Catalana checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 5 higher.

Ian lingers at the food table for a bit, as well, putting together a plate. With only one free hand, that leaves him unable to also get a drink, but that's what his flask is for. "It should be entertaining," he acquiesces to Zoey before moving with her to find somewhere to sit down. Hopefully somewhere that's a chair and not just on the ground.

Isabetta is content for now to dance with Reese, which is good since no one else would probably want to touch her given how covered in pie she is right now.

Mirk gestures towards Catalana and Wash, looking at Ian with an expression that says his point has been proven. "My lady," he says with a dip of his head to Sanya. "Lady Sanya, isn't it? We met at Saikland Greens, but I'm afraid there was so much bustle that I can't be confident about anything more substantial than a name."

Sabella laughs at what Niklas says and easily falls into step with him, making all the twirls and fancy footwork look just so easy, "Give it a month and you'll be looking back on that time in Bastion fondly," she teases, leaning into him and turning her face away from the heat of the bonfire, "If only because we just had the two children then." She gives Wash and Catalana a smile when they dance nearby, "Besides, you can't convince me you didn't love being the center of attention every time you told a story."

"Are there any further entries to the produce contest?" asks Liara. "Otherwise, we shall commence judging shortly." When she says 'we', one might surmise that she actually means the Grayson-liveried woman who has recently shown up, and looks for all the world like one of the House's chefs purloined from the kitchen to inspect vegetables.

Catalana isn't anywhere near as good as Wash. Thankfully it's him leading and not her. She stomps and swirls and jumps whenever Wash tells her too.

"Indeed we did." Sanya smiles warmly at the man. "Lord Mirk, I believe? Well indeed, there wasn't much time for your typical introductions. There was more bustle than I had initially expected." She says before taking a drink from her glass. "It's lovely to be officially acquainted, my lord."

Peri slices cheese from the wheel and arranges cheese and crackers on the cutting board. She pulls a lobster out of a canvas bag and stares it in the face. "Do you count?" She looks at Kalani, "I think we should show him." She takes out a small leather leash and ties it to the lobster's harness.

Wash makes it all the way around the fire, bouncing and stomping. As he approaches Niklas and Sabella he calls out: "Are you ready? Switch partners when we come around." It's all part of the enthusiastic nature of the dance. At least it's around the fire instead of over or through it.

Zoey finds a hay bale with a good view of the dance area, sits down, and pats the area beside her. "It almost looks choreographed, doesn't it?"

"Tch. I'm the center of attention any time I'd like," chides Niklas, picking up the complexity of their dance and giving his wife a quick twirl before pulling her in to tuck her into his arms, then sending her off once more. When Wash and Catalana come by and the sailor calls out to them, Niklas replies, "Of course!" He looks back to Sabella, "You switch with Wash. He's so dashing!"

"I'm inclined toward yes," Kalani answers with a nod and a grin aimed at the Lobster on a leash. "Don't forget to give it lettuce, he's small but they have a really high metabolism so they're almost always, nearly constantly really, hungry." She's working the other side of the cheese wheel with another of the cheese knives, arranging slices and crackers in artistic fans and overlapping layers.

Ian takes a seat beside Zoey. "I never really got how people do that."

Catalana gives Wash a brief horrorified look. She calls out to Niklas are they get ready to swap, "I apologize for your toes already Prince Niklas." Swinging away from Wash and coming to Niklas she teases, "Step on my toes and I tell Sabella all those childhood stories you've neglected to tell her."

Kalani checked intellect + artwork at difficulty 15, rolling 22 higher.

"That would be me," Mirk says, nodding his head. He raises his whiskey, as if in a toast, nonverbally returning her sentiments. "You're telling me," he says with a wry chuckle. "I went on a couple of expeditions with Lady Lucita, before that, and it was a handful of us. Then I reached Saikland Greens again and there were multiple Archlectors in attendance. I kept to my own affairs rather than ruffle feathers, after that. Still, the rituals all turned out well."

"Absolutely not! I remember you dancing with the King as does everyone else! I'm not about to let you show up Liara and Michael with another one of those stunts," Sabella laughs, leaning in to get a last kiss from Nik before twirling over to Wash with a flourish, "Don't worry about Catalana's ears, I made sure Nik took dance lessons after the first time we met ended with a bit of hearing loss for me," she assures him with a grin.

"Like anything else, it's practice." Zoey takes out her flask and pours some whiskey into her cup.

Wash leans in an says something to Catalana before spinning past Sabella and takes Niklas as his new partner, as if he had planned it that way all along.

Lisebet dances with Harlan, perhaps not as showy as Niklas and Sabella but definitely more than competant, as the two glide by, dancing with each other in a harmonious and graceful fashion.

Catalana narrows her eyes at Wash as he whispers and spins her away. Regardless she laughs at her husband and waits to see what scheme he has in place this time.

"I'm not sure any amount of practice would have ever been..." Ian trails off when his intent gaze picks up Wash twirling past Sabella and... wait, Niklas? He gives Zoey an inquiring look, maybe hoping for some indication of whether this is normal.

Sabella laughs and throws up her hands, "These Kennex men and their glory hounding," She says to Catalana, holding her hands out to the other woman, "Shall we show them up so that we're the talk of the city tomorrow rather than them?"

"This was for the first cleansing, right?" Sanya tilts her head as she tries to recall. "I remember seeing you there, truly your help is a blessing. The only other Archlechtor I recall in attendance with Blessed Vayne, who I aided in sprinkling the holy water." She pauses. "Unless you were talking about another expedition to Saiklands of course."

"Oh, my night dancing with the king. Romance was in the air!" Niklas pulls Sabella in close and sighs. "It hurt me to break his heart so, but mine was already taken by another." Though when Wash comes by Niklas calls to her, "That can always change, though! Tell the kids their daddy misses them!" and then he swings off to cut a rug with Wash.

Wash is slightly more demanding from his new partner, not because he's better, but because he is wearing trousers.

Reese eventually finishes her dancing with Isabetta. "I need to get this apple out of my hair like now, but thank you, Issy." She says, trying to gently kiss her cheek. The girl then takes off

Catalana swings and swishes with Sabella "Oh yes! We are definitely going to be the talk of the town."

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, Isabetta leave, following Reese.

Zoey barely gets her drink down in time before Wash and Niklas start dancing together, and laughs. "Well don't they make a lovely pair?"

Sabella takes on the lead with Catalana, swirling and twirling her along and somehow neither of their skirts catch fire despite the voluminous skirts swishing this way and that, "I wanted to thank you for taking on my patronage! You'll have to let me know if there are any projects you're working on so that I can talk them up to everyone I ever run into."

Liara starts to make her way along by the assorted produce on display, though really, it's the chef she's pinched from the mansion that seems to actually do the judging, and they murmur back and forth for a bit.

After a time, Liara speaks up: "We have winners for the produce contest! In first place is Lord Mirk, with a splendid batch of apples, before season, I am led to understand. In second, Lady Peri and Lady Kalani, with this fine spread," - and the Grayson points towards the cheese wheel display - "While in third, Princess Reese has evidently taken up a new hobby, because I gather that this is quite a beet."

Kalani is overheard praising Grayson.

"I... guess?" Ian doesn't seem entirely sure what to make of this, although Zoey's laughter might have clued him in that it's supposed to be funny. He cracks a faint grin, anyway. He also slips his flask out of an inner pocket of his coat and has a good, strong drink, though. So.

Swirling past Niklas and Wash, Lisebet finds herself laughing as well. "You two look wonderful," she calls. And then there's Sabella and Catalana, and they get a nod as well. "Beautiful!" She and Harlan pause to listen to the produce winners, and Lisebet cheers for all the winners. "Well done!"

"Archlector Roran, too, if I recall," Mirk mentions, his head canted. "But then, I might be wrong. I wasn't involved with Faith affairs there, for obvious reasons." His hand brushes against the charms dangling from his beard, showing shamanistic symbols. He looks like he has more to say, but he trails off at the announcement of the winner. "My thanks. I hope the produce goes to good use here in Grayson Ward, or elsewhere in Grayson lands."

Catalana assures Sabella "I was delighted to take it. Especially with the Marquessa offering me a position as voice again. I have already warned poor Wash to expect lots of state dinners and balls. Perhaps we can plan one together? You do throw the most wonderful parties."

Liara dispatches a few servants to distribute promissory notes among those named, and she flashes Mirk a smile. "Inspiration and a goal for those with any sort of agricultural inclination, I hope."

With a happy laugh, Kalani leans to the side and high-5's Peri, "Second place! Not bad at all," she gathers up the discarded piles of waxed coating and uses the well honed edge of the cheese knife to curl the wax coating into tiny spirals, arranging those around the cutting board. Decorations!

Having swapped partners Niklas is less about grace than spectacle, just tearing it up. When Wash asks him something he gives a quick nod and gives a quick, quiet response.

Wash finishes the country dance around the bonfire with a daring strut, chest to chest with Niklas. He stares down Catalana and Sabella as he leads his partner over to them and concludes with a stomp and a shout.

Catalana glances over at the boys. Oh god. Once a Kennex troublemaker, always a Kennex troublemaker. She can't help but do anything but laugh at the two men.

"You realize that with our combined lack of dance ability, Uriel is lucky not to have two left feet." Zoey takes another sip. "Figuratively speaking," she adds.

"Ah, of course. Archlechtor Roran." Sanya nods as she recalls. "He did an atonement rite I believe." She takes another drink from her glass. "Gods how long has it been?" She ponders before she turns to watch Niklas and Wash dance, with little surprise on her face, though her lips quirk upwards. "Congratulations, my lord." She says to Mirk as he's named the winner. "And to you, my ladies." She offers to those in second place.

Ian puts his flask away and goes back to his food. "Won't need to dance if he's a sailor," he opines.

Liara also gives Niklas' turnip (effigy?) a mention, going on to say, "This, also, is apparently a respectable and edible vegetable, all immediate evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. However, the next item along, an apple, appears on closer consideration to actually be a cunningly disguised sphere of wax."

Catalana hears Ian and remarks to him, ready for the side eye "He may like politics. Maybe your next one will be a sailor."

"Don't be so sure," Zoey counters. "That sort of grace and balance could really help with rough seas knocking his ship around."

With the song over, Lisebet leans against Harlan, as she listens to Liara's announcements, and keeps an eye on the produce as it's mentioned. "Too bad we don't have Olivia's gourds here," she murmurs to her husband.

Niklas is about to reply to something Wash said to him when Liara gives the verdict on his contribution to the produce contest. With narrowed eyes he grumbles, "Some people just don't like turnips." Looking back to Wash he says, "Let me see what I can find for you. I have an idea for someone who might make a good fit."

Mirk squints at the indicated apple, and then at Liara, apparently resolved to take her word for it. "A close competition," he observes. "If we have a comptition next year, I doubt I'll win it. Especially if Lady Olivia turns up next time." There's a nod of his head in Lisebet's direction, at that.

Peri cheers with her cousin and gives congratulations to the others. Oh no. Oh no! She is out of food for Claus. "I did not bring enough!" She tells Kalani. She picks up Claus the Lobster and takes him home.

Eina leaves, following Peri.

Wash nods his head. "I'd appreciate that." He says to Niklas. He bows to the ladies, and then Lisebet. He steps aside and points to Niklas and applauds.

Over to Mirk, Liara assures him, "Not your apple, my lord. Another entrant's."

Pharamond is late as ever, but sneaks into the Grayson event as he looks about, wondering how the festival is going, apparently still going strong despite the earlier start. A smile on his features as he hops in, picks up something to drink cause...Pharamond...and then he decides who to harass first.

Ian rolls his eyes. "Just don't try to tell me that dancing is like fighting," he grumbles to Zoey.

"Oh, I know," Mirk says with a laugh. "I'm merely trying to remember whose it is - and how they might have pulled that one off. Surely, there's a story behind it being that...unique, hm?"

Catalana comes back to Wash, not wanting to leave his side for too long. "What are you two scheming?"

"The end of an era." Wash says with a straight face. "We've agreed to adopt a child between us and name it, him or her, our mutual heirs. The First Kennex-Grayson ever."

"Of course it isn't." Zoey waits a beat, grins, then says. "It's really more that fighting is like dancing." She takes another bite from her plate.

Catalana just stares at Wash. Blankly. Niklas recieves the same look straight after.

Ian snorts and shakes his head. He tucks back into his food.

Sabella gives a long suffering, dramatic sigh that is too over the top to be real, "We should never have allowed them to get together," she says to Catalana.

"Wiklas Graysex. If it's a boy. Nash Kenneson if it's a girl." Niklas gives a firm nod. Then turns and heads over to Sabella. "Well, we lost the produce contest and I lost the pie eating contest. I'm very disappointed from top to bottom. Would you care to head upstairs and undisappoint me from bottom to top?"

Pharamond comes over with a drink just as he hears the possible names. Graysex. Pharamond has earned a very important survival trait, and it's that if you are pretty sure anything you're about to say won't be popular, then you go ahead and take a drink. And so Pharamond does...a drink...and then after finishing that he takes a second for good measure.

Ian shakes his head and looks to Zoey. "Wash named his last kid after the weather. I wouldn't put it past him to do this."

Sabella sakes her head at Niklas, but her smile is bright and adoring, "You're absolutely insufferable and I love every moment of it," she laughs as she takes his hands, "We should probably get back. Liara, this party was absolutely amazing, thank you for allowing me to have some part in it. I'll send my thanks to Michael later. Lord Pharamond, I'm afraid we have just missed you, for we must retire. Give my love to your Tabitha!" And then she's leading Nik off towards the Mansion.

"It is a portmanteau of our father's names. Wayne Kennex, and Rician Grayson." Wash explains. In a loud aside to Catalana Wash adds: "Do you think they believe me?"

Rising to take her leave, Sanya smiles warmly to the princess. "Thank you, Princess Liara, for the event. It was wonderful." She inclines her head. "I am terribly sorry about the produce." She says of what she offered.

Wash is overheard praising Lisebet.

Wash is overheard praising Liara.

Pharamond bows to Sabella and Niklas. "I ever shall," he says simply, glad to see the pair as always. A wave of the good evening given fondly to both.

Thesarin lifts his chin toward Pharamond and the royal couple. He doesn't seem to be dancing, or making merry, or particularly enjoying himself--but Thesarin really never seems to be cheerful. Mostly, he seems to be craning his neck to keep an eye on a small pack of children looking toard the crowd.

Wash is overheard praising Michael.

Catalana waves to Sabella and Niklas, "Good night. We'll catch up again soon." Glancing to Wash she shakes her head "No love. Anyway. You can't have a baby with Niklas. You promised me all your babies."

Sanya is overheard praising Liara.

"Maybe I should gift him a baby names book," says Zoey. "We can at least say we tried."

"It was a pleasure, Lady Sanya, to formally meet another of those from that expedition. It was a special occasion, and one that I'm glad so many people had a hand in," Mirk says with a nod of his head towards Sanya.

Grinning at Sanya, Liara replies, "I am always /much/ happier for people to put something forward than nothing, my lady." Then the princess offers a cheery wave towards Sabella and Niklas. "Lovely to see you here!"

Wash says, "We're adopting." Wash assures Catalana. "It's fine. You can have all the babies. We'll want one that is old enough to change their own pants.""

Isabelle, who is just so tired of everyone's nonsense, Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise, Roland, the worst bard in Arvum leave, following Niklas.

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

Lisebet smiles to those leaving as well. "Nice to see you again," she calls. "Take care." She glances over at Liara and smiles, a little impishly. "This has been a lovely event. I am glad to have been able to help a little bit."

"And you as well, Lord Mirk. Until next time." Sanya smiles warmly to the man. Inclining her head to rest of those gathered, she takes her leave.

Ian finishes off his food and takes his flask back out of his pocket. "I wouldn't. He'd find the most ridiculous name in the book and then blame you if anyone complained."

"I'm going to be on my way, as well," Mirk says, rising to his feet not long after. "My compliments to both you and Lord Michael," a dip of his head to Liara. "For your part in organizing this occasion. It was a pleasure to take part."

Zoey shrugs. "I still think it's worth a try."

"Glad to have you," Liara replies easily to Mirk. Then she turns her gaze over the remaining attendees and speaks up. "It was lovely to see you all here and I trust that you thoroughly enjoyed it. I shall be withdrawing soon, but the band, food and fire shall remain for a good while yet, for those who wish to avail of them."

Ian shakes his head. "Don't say I didn't warn you."

Wash bows to Liara. "Thank you cousin." He says politely. "You've lived up to your reputation for lively celebration in every way."

Catalana curls Wash's arms around her waist as they stand near the bonfire. Calling over to Ian and Zoey she shares, "Wash doesn't need your help coming up with names." She too smiles at Liara "It was a wonderful day. Just wonderful."

Ian raises his eyebrows at Catalana. "Could have fooled me. He blamed Rahne on me somehow."

Wash says, "Rayne." Wash corrects mildly. "You don't really think we'll name the next one Thunder, or something, do you?"

"No, but Sunny is a cute name," Zoey chimed in.

"It was lovely to see you here," Liara offers in earnest reply to Wash. Then she flashes Catalana a smile, before laughing a little at Wash's suggestion. "Lightning. Or Bolt. Gosh - imagine that as a name."

Ian pinches the bridge of his nose.

Wash narrows his eyes. "Bolt. Sounds like one of those newfangled crossbow missiles. I don't want to get her confused for a Lycene."

Catalana agrees with Zoey "Sunny is nice. Sunny Kennex. It's cute."

Then, addressing Lisebet, Liara says, "It was all splendid, and I'm terribly glad the Ashfords were here for the archery. Thank you."

Zoey looks at her husband. "What? At least we're only naming babies for Catalana and Wash."

All that being said, Liara retreats towards the mansion, after offering a sunny smile towards those still about.

"YOU'RE naming babies," Ian corrects Zoey, still determined to stay out of it.

Catalana teases Ian, "We'll work on yours next."

Wash says, "There is a Eurusi word that I love. Sirocco." Wash says. "It means summer wind.""

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