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Clearlake Snow Ball

Please join House Clearlake and others as the colder months are celebrated. The Snow Ball will be hosted by House Clearlake and there will be other things going on besides dancing. There will be games and prizes to be won. There will be exotic furs on display and also to win in the form of cloaks and other accessories.

Keepsakes for the event will be given out during the event, so please come and enjoy some of Clearlakes hospitality.


Nov. 1, 2019, 8 p.m.

Hosted By



Enri Mimi Dianna Mabelle Mirk Erik Morrighan Delia Merek Rysen Arik Brigida Rukhnis Mikani Liara Niklas Dominique Bianca Sabella Marian Sanya Alaric Sorrel Vicente Scipio Baelos Reese Korka Turo Athaur Zoey



Arx - Ward of House Redrain - Clearlake Lodge - Great Hall

Largesse Level


Comments and Log


I have always enjoyed events put on by Baroness Acantha and the Snow Ball didn't disappoint. She is such a welcoming host, and clearly spared no expense on the lovely decorations and gifts. Her musicians were as lively a group as I could have wished, and I believe I may be sore from the dancing for days!

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

Arik arrives, following Morrighan.

Enri comes into the Great Hall holding Mimi by the arm, it seems his attire has been carefully selected for the occasion, showing some rich detail and such careful sewing that it might as well have been bought not long ago. "Oh, trinkets." The knight says, picking up the cloak pin from the chest and turning back to face the woman besides him, "How do I look?"

Enri gets Snowflake Cloak Pin from Snowflake Chest.

The Great Hall of Clearlake Lodge has been moved around so that there can be a ball held! The once sparse hall has been redecorated for the winter themed ball being held here tonight. There are tables set up with drinks and food, consisting of one bite sweets and some small savory sandwiches made from the roasted boar that was prepared for the event. There are other foods that range from breads, cheeses and other easy to eat and socialize deliciousness!

Hanging down from the ceiling are shimmering snowflakes that have been strung and decorated with glass so that they sparkle when the light catches them. There are new benches and seating that has been brought in and there is a few bards that have been hired to keep the guests entertained and give them something to dance to when they feel like it.

At the entrance of the Great Hall is an open chest that holds trinkets for those that attend the ball. (OOC: get 1-snowflake from snowflake chest)

Baroness Acantha has been by the doors of the Great Hall greeting guests with her ever present companion, Benny. He's sitting on a little stool so his feet won't get overly cold. Benny is dressed just as finely as his owner is in his little black brocade coat with tiny white snowflakes made from aeterna. Much like Acantha's dress. "Welcome to Clearlake Lodge." she greets those that enter. "Please, make yourselves comfortable and enjoy the evening. We have a variety of drinks, both of the cool variety and hot ones like cocoa and cider. There's also wine that has been mulled." she offers as she makes note of everyone.

Mirk gets Snowflake Cloak Pin from Snowflake Chest.

Mimi looks around the ballroom with wide-eyed wonder and no small amount of trepidation. She tries not to look like she is clinging to Enri's arm for dear life. She mostly succeeds. "You look every inch a dashing knight," she tells him, and she means it. "There's just so much /food/," she says softly. "I've never seen what it all looks like once it comes out."

2 House Mazetti Aspirants, Merek arrive, following Dianna.

Archimedes the White Horned Owl, Sir Alren, Scholar Duran, 3 Templar Knight guards arrive, following Bianca.

Dianna waves to the room

Merek gets Snowflake Cloak Pin from Snowflake Chest.

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

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

Mabelle makes her way into the ballroom as she escapes the winter cold. Scanning the room delighted at all it has to offer. Her marmot fur stole is quickly discarded to reveal a magnificent ballgown, puffy and weaved with diamondplate threads around the bodice. She watches to room for anyone she knows and smiles first to the hostess, "Baroness, thank you for this lovely evening, it all looks very beautiful"

Mabelle takes Snowflake Cloak Pin from Snowflake Chest.

Mirk arrives to the ball, dressed in his finest umbra and fireweave. He stops to take a coat pin, immediately pinning the snowflake over his chest with a hint of an amused smile tugging at his lips, as if at a private joke. "Lady Acantha. My compliments, to you and to Benny," he peers down at the beaver. "He seems to be just as dressed up for the occasion. Hopefully he won't get splinters all over his coat." As he says that, he produces a small twig from his pouch and holds it out to the animal.

It seems Erik arrived early to take up a vantage point and watch the arrivals. He offers a smile and a dip of his head in reply to the greeting from Baroness Acantha. "Gratitude for the warm welcome, Baroness, and complements on the cool decor.", he manages with a chipper lilt to his rolling baritone words, before he wanders off back to his makeshift observation post and his grey gaze returns to studying the incoming waves of revelers.

Keski, a nervous disciple of Petrichor, Aletta, an even more nervous disciple of Petrichor, 1 Templar Knight guards, Oswald, the war pig, a lively Ostrian gelding arrive, following Brigida.

Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant, 1 Redreef Warden, Vagari The Cinder Cat, 1 Order of the Firebird, 4 Byrne Mountain Men, 2 House Crovane Guards arrive, following Mikani.

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

Arriving right on time with the beginning of the festivities are two Swords of the North, one Dame Morrighan, the Sword of Farhaven, and the other Lord Arik Halfshav, Sword of Whitehold. The former chatters softly at her companion as they enter, hand on arm, and the other occupied with keeping the full skirt of her aeterna gown up off the floor. It would seem the Northern seamstress has embraced the seasonal theme, with her bodice covered with diamond snowflake applique - there's diamond snowflakes and crystals everywhere, from attire to accessories. Arik's is much the same - with less razzle dazzle, he's not sparkling, but the Halfshav is impeccably dressed in aeterna, in the dame's own handiwork no less. Morrighan greets Acantha with a smile, hand letting loose of her skirt to offer a wave to the noblewoman. "Evenin', Acantha."

Morrighan gets Snowflake Cloak Pin from Snowflake Chest.

Brigida gets Snowflake Cloak Pin from Snowflake Chest.

Acantha gives a smile to Mabelle, "It's good to see you again, Lady Laurent. I do hope that you enjoy the evening." she tells her. Then there is Mirk and she gives him a bright smile, "Lord Mirk." she dips her head to him. "Thank you, Benny and I are always happy to see you." she tells him. Then there's a look to Benny, then back to Mirk, "I thought it would be a nice gesture." she tells him.

Benny himself reaches out and takes the twig from Mirk when it's offered, the oversized beaver giving it a little wave before nibbling on it.

Then she greets Erik, "You are welcome, my Lord." she dips her head to that. Then there's a look as Morrighan and Arik arrive and there's a smile, "Dame Morrighan, Lord Arik, welcome. Please have a drink and some food and have a good evening." she tells them.

"If you spot any of your friends, don't forget to introduce me to them." Enri tells Mimi, in fact he might have found some familiar faces already, for he dips his head in the direction of Rysen, fellow Inquisitor. "Have you found a place where you'd like to sit, yet?'

Mikani gets Snowflake Cloak Pin from Snowflake Chest.

Swathed in opalescent white feathers that fall over her body and flutter softly with every passing breeze is the beautiful Lady Dianna Mazetti, on the arm of Sir Merek Black - who, oppositely - is dressed entirely in black. The Lycene woman curtsies deeply to the room, a fragile indigo gown peeking out as she lifts the skirt and cloak - which she hands off to a servant near the door.

Now, it is the shimmering, obscenely-reflective collared necklace that surely garners attention on the tanned-and-dark-haired-woman, for, hanging there is a wealth of bluest sapphires amidst mirrorsilver, the effective result drawing the eye of anyone, near or far.

The fragile gown seems merely a shadow in comparison, draped from one shoulder across her chest. The Mazetti, if anything, looks like a windswept oceanic tempest, with birdfeathers peeking out from the floor.

Delia arrives clad in feathers and wool, which somehow still makes her look cold as she brushes snow off her hair. First stop: The hostess! She approaches Acantha with a broad smile and curtsies. "Lady Clearlake, thank you for opening your home again. This is lovely. The snowflakes are so real I feel I could almost catch them on my tongue."

Merek makes his way into the ball with Dianna, looking to those he knows, including to Rysen and to Bianca if he sees them, then he's shifting a bit, while he presents the woman with him like proper, his fingers shifting a bit while he smiles, "I suppose I look like ice if we put a little oil in it," he teases, his brocade with the umbra a curious blend.

Rysen arrives in the Clearlake Lodge, dressed in his black mantle overlaid with white fox fur, beside Mikani and Rukhnis. Rysen makes his way to stand before Acantha, bowing respectfully, and saying, "Good evening, Baroness." He glances towards Mirk and Benny, smiling to see the beaver accept the twig from the Elder of the Spirit Walkers. "Your cornet is very beautiful, My Lady," he says to Acantha, as the seraphinite gleams in the light. The Crovane lord bows his head to Enri, and says, "Good to see you, Sir Enri."

Arik dips his head to Acantha as the pair walk in, a wolfish smirk on his lips and charms clacking together in his braided hair. "Baroness Acantha, congratulations on the ball. Now let us see how many people were able to get their hands on marmot furs" there's a look out to the crowd as they come in before he remarks to Morrighan, "Lets give the Baroness some room to greet the guests." and then they're off towards the drinks because even northern balls need drinking.

12 Grayson House Guards arrives, following Liara.

"Oh stop worrying Aletta. I have told you time and again that you don't need to panic when we visit the Redrain Ward. They aren't -all- furclad barbarians you know that wrestle bears and smell bad."
he Archlector of Petrichor is heard before she is seen, leading her two Disciples and accompanied by the chubby war boar, Oswald, who is already sniffing for food. Brigida's path is preceded by her staff, swiping at ankles and shins to move offenders out of her path.

Leta, the student scholar arrives, following Ingrid.

Delia gets Snowflake Cloak Pin from Snowflake Chest.

"Lord Rysen," Mirk says with a nod of his head to Rysen. "A pleasure to see out and about. How is your family?" He nods his head to Acantha, at the tail end of the pleasantries, and suggests, "It is a nice gesture. Though perhaps cleaning up after him will make you reconsider." He only chuckles, at Brigida's comments, and glances over to where the Archlector had arrived. He helps himself to a glass of wine as he mingles, sipping at it idly as his gaze drifts from face to face.

From not so far away, Dianna Mazetti hears a name she recognizes - and looks in the direction of Arik and Acantha. If she catches the eye of either with her amber gaze, she curtsies deeply, with grace and elegance resembling that of a well-trained dancer.

The full skirts of Mimi's tea-length dress swish as she makes her way around the ballroom on Enri's arm. "Are there rules about who can sit where?" she asks, afraid of misstepping. "And why are there so many animals here? I wasn't expecting that." When they pass Erik, she spots something on his person that makes her tense a bit, but she tries to play it off. "I don't see any of my friends, but maybe you can introduce me to yours?" she asks Enri.

Mabelle spots Erik and Delia at the same time. She makes her way toward the first while wiggling her fingers to the other. Greetings and smiles are offered to those she knows in the room. A bright smile is sent toward the Whisper, "Delia, How lovely to see you, I've feel like it has been weeks. It likely has been weeks, and you look magnificent". She then scans the tables from afar in search of something sweet.

"Pity tae those tha' didn't," Morrighan quips aside to Arik while she briefly glances to the various faces as the crowd begins to thicken. "They were great t'work with, adds a nice lil' touch, dunnae you think? Glad I lined my boots with it, ain't likely they're goin' t'get cold, now," she says head bobbing into a nod of acknowledgment, venturing off wherever the drinks are located - and gives a wave to Mirk in the process.

Rukhnis follows Rysen up to the hostess of the event, offering a formal bow of her own and a respectful, "Baroness Acantha" in greeting. She is dressed with the usual sombre simplicity, dark dress and slippers complimented by dark hair braided tightly back, and even dark circles under her dark eyes. Having come to a rest just behind and to one side of Rysen, she folds her hands neatly together and gazes off across the room with a weary and somewhat abstracted air.

Ingrid gets Snowflake Cloak Pin from Snowflake Chest.

Mikani enters with Rysen with her arm around his. She looks like she is smuggling a ball under her gowns Though it isn't affecting her too much. Slightly her hand brushes over belly before she bows her head to Acantha. "Baroness beautiful night." She smiles softly before she bows her head to Mirk. "Good to see you again Lord Mirk. How are things in the Grove."

Leta, the student scholar leaves, following Ingrid.

Metzger, a great grey shrike, Jok, the muscley muscle knight, Maximus, the drooly Highhill Mastiff arrive, following Dominique.

Liara shows up to the hall, and brightens with a smile as she spots the shimmering snowflakes hanging from the ceiling - she's certainly managed something of a thematic match, being clad largely in umbra embroidered with lots of little snowflakes, each of them different to the next. She remarks towards Acantha as she passes near the hostess, "This all looks splendid, Baroness Clearlake."

Dominique gets Snowflake Cloak Pin from Snowflake Chest.

Merek nods a bit to Dianna, while he begins to drift guiding them to Mabelle, while he offers an incline to Rysen and Rukhnis on the way, grinning to them. "M'Lord, you look nice today," he then inclines when he's coming before Mabelle, "My Lady," he adds, as a greeting.

As Prince Niklas Grayson enters the great hall of Clearlake Lodge he chatters away at his wife, Princess Sabella Grayson, whose hand is set on his forearm so he can steer her into the room. As this is completely foreign territory for him he takes a moment at the entrance to absorb the place before he sweeps in, leading Sabella toward the middle of the room so he can look up at the night's spectacular decoration. "Now, Sabella, look at that!" He gestures toward the snowflakes. "Now isn't that a beautiful change of pace from the gloomy crimson moon?"

Erik doesn't seem to register the tensing of Mimi through the crowds, busy as he is sidestepping the tapping path of Brigida's staff from bludgeoning his shin and then swerving sidelong back in the direction of Mabelle. With a low chuckle he wonders to the Laurent, "Dressed for battle now!" With a wave of his hand outward, he adds, "Now go forth, and quell the enemy forces! -- Wait, would that be allied? Either way, you've your work set out for you, Lady Laurent."

Dressed in light blues with a cloak wrapping about her lithe and athletic frame, it seems that the Marquessa Wyrmguard arrives at the ball. Glancing about, she purses her lips seeing if she recognizes anyone while she idly runs her fingers through her dark locks.

Acantha gives warm smiles to those that are greeted at the doors of the Great Hall, Benny settles back on his rump on his stool and gleefully snacks on the twig he's been given. "Whisper Delia, it is good to see you, and welcome to Clearlake Lodge, I hope that you find everything this evening to your liking." she gives a smile to her. Then there's a smile and greeting for Dianna and Merek, letting them gather their cloak pins and things. Acantha then looks to Rysen, "Thank you, Lord Crovane." she tells him. "And I hope that you and Lady Crovane have a good evening." she states.

She then turns her gaze to Arik, "I am guessing more than a few might have." she tells him. Then Brigida is coming! The Baroness steps back almost instinctively, "Archlector is a pleasure to see you again." she dips her head to her respectfully. "I promise there will be no bear fighting tonight, unless someone drinks too much and ends up on the rug." she muses. Then there's a dip of her head to Mikani, "Thank you." she tells her.

Liara gets her attention as she passes her way and there's a curtsey to her, "Thank you, your grace." she tells her.

If nothing else, Bianca Wyrmguard strives for punctuality in when she can -- though given her host of responsibilities now, it's often a luxury she can't afford. Today, at least, the Legate of Creation arrives at the Clearlake Snow Ball with blessed promptness, winter winds nipping at her heels as she steps within at a calm, steady pace. Despite the cold of the day, Bianca is nothing if not a wellspring of warmth, from the generous serenity of her smile to the welcoming way she carries herself, offering brief greetings for anyone who stops to speak.

As her accompaniment of attendants disperse into the ball proper (minus one snowy owl, who clearly and severely disdains parties and has chosen to judge everyone from the safety of the skies), Bianca's silvery gaze sweeps the room with a twinkle of curiosity and subdued excitement as she sheds her soft gray winter coat to reveal the snowflake swirl of her frosted blue silk gown beneath, blue flame quartz shimmering catchingly and cooly in the light of day to make for an appropriately wintery ensemble. Pale skin and paler hair are an enormous help in blending in to winter festivities, Bianca's found; her choice of attire is simply icing on the cake.

Slitted skirts dancing at her heels, Bianca's attention turns Merek's way as she gathers her pin with a warm smile of recognition. She approaches, hand to her chest as she speaks with that gentle voice. "Sir Merek -- it's good to see you here, and in fine spirits, it seems."

"Thank you, Baroness," Delia says warmly to the Clearlake lady, curtsying again. Pulling soft white gloves from her hands to tuck away, Delia waves enthusiastically back at Mabelle and offers the woman a beam. "You look amazing! As if you ever looked anything but. It's so good to see you again!"

She spots Arik out of the corner of one eye, and her attention turns that way, eyebrows raising. "My Lord Halfshav, you look as fine as I think I've ever seen you! And I don't believe I have met your companion yet." She curtsies. Again. "Delia Whisper, My Lady."

Dianna takes a pinewood House Redrain roaring bear figurine.

Dianna drops a pinewood House Redrain roaring bear figurine.

Sabella looks up at the snowflakes as directed, seeming slightly distracted in the face of Niklas' cheer, "A nice touch certainly," she says in a quiet voice, taking her hand off Niklas' arm and moving to find a place to sit.

Mabelle flashes a smile to Merek and Dianna as they approach and compliment one and the other, "Sir Merek, Lady Mazetti, you both look splendidly wintery tonight". Her attention is caught by Erik's battle cry and she laughs, "Do you think I will prevail? I mean it is little old me against a battle of snowflakes". As Arik wonders, Mabelle does trail her stole and the neckline of her gown, all marmot. She's a good ambassador! An Embrace goes out to Delia as she sees her, "And you too as well. I finally wore your gift, it has been waiting for this evening for months", she points at her tiara.

Sabella has joined the Antique Clearlake Couch.

"Very well, My Lord," replies Rysen to Mirk, as he offers a wave to Merek when he notices the knight. Overhearing Brigida as she enters, Rysen chuckles, looks down at his furs, and glances and Mirk shrugging. "She's not wrong," he says softly. He kisses Mikani on the cheek, and at Liara's words, he turns, and bows to her, Prince Niklas and Sabella as they approach Acantha. "Evening, Your Highnesses," he says, grinning a little.

Rukhnis bows back to Merek as he inclines his head towards herself and Rysen, her gaze shifting over to his companion Dianna as she straightens up again. She stares at the woman -- or perhaps at that dazzlingly reflective collar -- for a long moment, a distinctly uneasy look passing through her eyes before she quickly looks away again.

Proceeding further into the hall, Liara helps herself to one of the boar sandwiches, and, happening to pass near, she remarks to Mabelle, "That bodice has worked out splendidly, my lady. My compliments. A sound source of inspiration." Liara's attention is then rather drawn by some of the outfits on show, though when greeted, she gives a little flutter of her non-sandwichy fingers to greet Rysen, asking, "How do you do, Lord Rysen?"

Mirk returns Morrighan's wave with a nod of his head, and an idle, "Dame Morrighan. Cousin. Using the promise of a date to convince Dame Morrighan to accept commissions now?" He comments to Rysen, "She's not, but any other occasion, and there'd be even more furs and leather. Even the Northlands dresses up a little for a ball, hm?" He hesitates, at Mikani's question. "Hopefully, spring will be a time of renewal, and will reveal the products of our labors. But if not, our efforts will continue."

With an elaborately elegant curtsy, Dianna greets Mabelle, "And you are lovely, Lady Laurent, as always."

Far be it for Dianna to take the attention of a woman so busy; she nods to Mabelle, flashing a warm smile to Delia before leaning her head towards her darkly-dressed Lycene companion, and head off in search of drinks.

"Not as far as I know." Enri replies Mimi, shaking his head and guiding her through the room, "Well, that's the spirit of the North. I guess we're more in touch with nature, in general." He sugggests, nodding to the last request and turning back at Rysen, "Lord Inquisitor, this is Mimi, the same artist who made that portrait of mine, back in the Spirits." He says, gesturing to the woman besides him, "And, this is Lord Inquisitor Rysen, who entrusted me with the task of looking pretty for the Inquisition."

Brigida bobs her head at Acantha's greeting and the old Archlector smiles, her face wrinkling as she glances around the area. "My my my. Just look at them all flouncing around in their finery. Like a whole clutch of peacocks strutting their stuff." Her head tilts at overhearing Rysen and Mirk and she quickly comments, "If course I am not wrong. I've made a habit of being correct with what I say."

Ender, a Silver Gyrfalcon, Ursa, 2 Redrain Guards arrive, following Marian.

Delia's eyes settle on the tiara, and light up. "Oh I'm so glad!" She rubs her hands together - partly to warm them up, and partly through sheer excitement to see Mabelle showing off such a fine piece of work. "I told you it would look perfect on you, and doesn't it just?"

She turns that bright look on Liara as she passes by, and raises a greeting hand. "Princess! Congratulations! I don't know if the duty you've been given is a blessing or a curse for you, but congratulations all the same."

Arik watches as Delia whisper approaches himself and Morrighan perking up his coppery eyebrows at her. "Delia Whisper this is Dame Morrighan, the Sword of Farhaven." and then he briefly look towards the entrance and steps to the side with Morrighan to one of the less crowded corner of the room. "Are you sure you've never really met her before." then Mirk is coming over and he nods absently to her.,

Arik has joined the Marmot Bench.

Marian gets Snowflake Chest.

Marian drops Snowflake Chest.

Morrighan has joined the Marmot Bench.

As Enri comes up and makes that interesting introduction, Rukhnis slants a somewhat dubious look between him and Rysen, then looks thoughtfully at Mimi. Whether any of them are actually paying her any mind or not, she nevertheless offers them a bow just as courteous and formal as she had given everyone else so far.

Mimi laughs at Enri's description of his duties for the Inquisition. "If looking pretty was all it took, there would be more inquisitors," she says, utterly amused. She releases Enri's arm and curtsies. "It is good to meet you, Lord Inquisitor Rysen," she says politely.

Merek offers a nod to Dianna, while he quirks a smile, "Of course," he says, following while he looks back to Bianca, "You look wonderful as always," he adds, nodding to the Legate, while he inclines, "You been doing well?" he asks, then he voices to Dianna, "Have you met with Lord Rysen?" he asks, he doesn't mention Rukhnis in that, probably noting the way she acted seeing the jewelry, in politeness for the woman.

Erik answers Mabelle from the fringe of range for conversation, words intermingled with a low laugh. "Your attire is of no avail if you cannot prevail, Lady Laurent, and that would just be a lamentable travail. You can have my faith, for the two coins that might be worth." Well, at least he can play random wordgames even in the middle of a crowd! Or, he just always tends toward strange banter. But either way, he at least seems in a decent mood, and his gray gaze flits back out through the swelling crowd with curious intent.

Mimi catches Rukhnis' look and returns it curiously.

A wry smile tugs at the corner of Morrighan's mouth, a low snort of amusement exhaled as she briefly eases away from Arik's side to procure a drink for herself. "He drove a hard bargain," she remarks to Mirk, her freckled nose crinkling. "He got a new set of clothing out o' it, though, an' I s'pose I got a new dress. He did'nae have much o' a say in what I made, though, he could o' ended up with worse an' I would have won." Her smile grows cheeky before the dame turns to regard Delia with a polite tip of her head. "Well met, though I'm far from a lady. Can pretend well enough for one night though, I reckon," the redhead notes with a faint smirk. "I dunnae think we've formally met but I believe I've seen you b'fore, at events here an' there in th'past."

Mabelle beams at Liara as she passes by, "Well a compliment from you, Princess is worth a hundred others", she winks to her and returns the gesture, "Those snowflakes are adorable and you look beautiful, as always". Dianna gets a wide smile and a note, "One must keep up with you, My Lady Mazetti". She chuckles at Delia and admits to her, "You are biased, but I love it". Her crystalline gaze begins to scan the room for unfamiliar faces, such as the giggling Enri and Mimi standing not too far. Pulled back attention toward Erik releases a hearty laughter out of her, "Well! You be witty and I'll be pretty. That rhymes too right?"

Marian steps into the entrance of the party, having shed her armor and weapons tonight for a blue silk gown of weeping stars. She takes a moment to survey the room with her keen green eyes before starting to make her way over to the hostess. As she moves through the room with confident strides, she gives polite nods to those in her fealty and allies of Redrain.

Merek also adds to Mabelle, "Pleasure to see you about!"

Metzger, a great grey shrike, Jok, the muscley muscle knight, Maximus, the drooly Highhill Mastiff leave, following Dominique.

Acantha gives a smile to Brigida, "They do strut fairly well." she states. The Baroness is still greeting a few people by the doors and she turns to do that when she sees Marian heading her way, "Princess Marian, it is good to see you." she greets the woman.

Rysen nods in agreement with Liara's comment on Mabelle's bodice. "Truly it's a creative use of materials, and looks lovely." Turning to Liara, Rysen says, "Busy, Your Highness, but well for all that. Rukhnis has returned from Stormwall and whipped the Black Hall back into order, and Lady Mikani puts up with my incessant questions. Congratulations on your formal appointment," he says smiling. "His Majesty has entrusted his House to one most deserving."

Rysen chuckles and nods to Mirk. "Some of them, certainly do," he says, glancing at Acantha. He chuckles when Enri calls him 'Lord Inquisitor,' and he shakes his head. "I'm only a confessor," he says to Mimi. "Sir Enri is too generous. He investigates, and I do the grunt work."

At Merek's introduction, Rysen bows to Dianna. "It's a pleasure, My Lady," he says warmly. "Have you known Sir Merek long?"

Acantha gets Snowflake Chest.

Pausing with Merek to greet Lord Rysen, Lady Dianna Mazetti's face warms with a pure Lycene smile. "My lord," her voice purrs smoothly, dipping into a graceful curtsy. "Sir Merek and I have been friends since shortly after I returned to the city, some number of months ago. He is well-admired by my family, of course, for his admirable skills - though my twin, Alessia Mazetti, has known him quite a bit longer."

Mimi's cheeks color when she's corrected by Rysen. "My apologies, Confessor. I'll admit, I don't know what either title does, exactly, so it's all impressive to me, my lord."

Delia's remark draws a low chuckle from Liara and she replies, "Lady Videl offered me her congratudolences, as I recall. Thank you, Mistress Delia." She flashes Mabelle a smile in reply. To Rysen, she notes, "I less than eagerly await the confusion from various quarters as to the distinction in roles. Thank you."

"I am awfully biased," Delia agrees to Mabelle, unashamed. She grins, and lets the woman melt into the crowd, turning to shake her head at Morrighan and Arik. "I'm ashamed that we haven't met before, Lord Halfshav. Let this be our official introduction then." She smiles at Morrigan, taking in the velvet and jewelry the other redhead is wearing, and says, "You look as fine as any one of the other ladies here tonight, so I can't help but lump you in with them." She waves a hand. "Might I join you at least for a few moments, until I feel a little less like I have been frozen from the walk here?"

The musicians pick up as the arriving moves towards settling in while the outside is cold and soaked in red light. The music they play is upbeat and there are people that start to move onto the dance floor to take a few twirls.

One bite appetizers are what you call a challenge, and Prince Niklas Grayson is up to it. Once his wife has sat, Niklas leans over and whispers something to her, kisses her on her temple, then sweeps off to make a show of making the rounds. "Lord Rysen, Lady Mikani, so glad to see you both. Mistress Mimi, still looking forward to seeing some of your work." Brigida gets a nod. "Archlector, you are a dazzling sight this evening!" And then Bianca. "Legate Bianca. I hope Creation suits you, and that when you go back to the Archives they don't pretend they don't know you." He stops and holds his hands apart when he sees, "Liara!" Then he's giving his cousin a hug as the next step on his way to the host. "Baroness Acantha, you keep a home as beautiful as your family name." At some point he's managed to accumulate a plate so high with sandwiches, cheeses and other assorted finger foods he might as well get a fork.

"I have never had the pleasure of meeting any artists in the Spirits," Rukhnis says to Mimi, looking at her with some measure of curiosity. "I draw a little myself, but I have a great deal of respect for anyone is truly an artist, as I surely am not." She then frowns a little as Merek begins an introduction between Rysen and Dianna while leaving her out of it, her eyebrows tightening slightly. But she only presses her lips together briefly and looks back to Mimi again.

Marian returns the greeting to Acantha, "Baroness Clearlake, it is good to see you." She gives a nod to the snowflake chest with a bit of regret, "It seems my lateness has worked against me." She winks at the hostess, "And here I thought I was being fashionably late." As the music starts, there's a glance to the floor as if Marian views dancing as one would a battle rather than a pleasureable activity, "But at least I haven't missed the festivities."

Mabelle wiggles her fingers from afar to Marian, wondering if she will remember her. If not, she will pretend to correct her earrings. She smiles to Merek and turns somewhat rosy at the compliments of her gown. She's pleased. Innovation is key, "Thank you Lord Rysen, it has been a while since I've seen your lovely wife", she winks to Mikani, "I hope you are well". Releasing Delia and Liara to the crowds, she smiles to them both in gratitude

"Is that right?" Mirk says, raising an eyebrow at Morrighan. "Perhaps he figured out the secret, then. I recall him wondering at how quickly and easy I got you to work on these." He gives a slight tug on one of his gloves, and indicates his cloak with a tick of his head. "And I wouldn't accuse you otherwise. But it did amuse me, all the same," he admits to Brigida, keeping a straight face. "How are you, Archlector? I don't often see you at these sorts of occasions. But then, I don't often bother to attend them, myself, so perhaps that's more about my perception than your attendance."

Judging by his gaze he's not spotting many, if any others he recognizes in the crowd, though they could just be obstructed from view. Passing in sight of Liara, Erik inclines his head and offers a courteous, "Your Grace.", though it's likely a picked-up observation from others using the mode of address. He carefully slides back in Mabelle's direction at the sound of her laughter and grins in return before answering, "That it does! Though the former may not be a word I've earned yet, I'll just have to play it by ear until it's true. Alternatively, two different faces to brilliance! One shining, one opining."

"I'm an apprentice, still." Enri clarifies, "So, in order to investigate I need someone following me to see if I don't mess up with the scene." He turns back at Mimi, "Oh, don't tell that to everyone, we don't want competition." The knight teases, following her gaze back to Rukhnis, "She's really talented. With only a piece of charcoal, she was able to make a simple sketch look exactly like me, albeit prettier."

Merek does look to Rukhnis, seeming to wonder if she does want the introduction. He nods a bit, "And Assistant Guildmaster Rukhnis, of the Physicians," he says, "My apologies." He does add, "It is good to see you again." Then to Dianna, "Lord Crovane here, he will tell you stories about me, all of them are true, and he likes to tell them," he teases, while he nods to Rysen, "Her and her sister are amazing people!"

Acantha gives a dip of her head to Niklas, "Your Highness, thank you for such high praise. Are you enjoying the food this evening?" she asks him with a grin as she glances to his stacking skills. Then there are more royals! "You did not miss the festivities, no, Princess Marian." she smiles. "They are just starting and I shall make a note that you did not get a cloak pin and have it sent over to you." she tells her.

Settling in at a table away from the majority of the crowd, Morrighan plops herself down into a seat, every now and again sipping on whiskey and occasionally chattering at her companion of the evening. "Ah, you flatter me, thank you. You're more than welcome tae join us, if'n you like," she returns to Delia before looking aside in Mirk's direction with a wry smile. "I think in your case it was the bribe o' free booze, but really your commissions were easy, an' I felt creative with 'em. It's a rare thing."

Mimi curtsies deeply to Prince Niklas. "I hope to see you when I hold my first show, your highness. Until then, my works so far are on display in Freedom Gallery." She waves off Rukhnis and Enri's compliments. "It's just a skill like any other. You practice and you get better."

Delia has joined the Marmot Bench.

Liara's definitely not the huggy sort, but Niklas gets one anyway, with particular care taken not to spill the contents of her as yet uneaten boar sandwich. She wonders of Erik, though it's much more casual greeting than the sort of question to expect a lengthy answer: "Lord Erik - how's the writing?" With the shift towards the dance floor, Liara meanders that way, taking the spare moment to get on with sandwich consumption.

Brigida gives Niklas a narrow eyed stare at his praise of her and swiftly answers, "Oh do stop trying to flatter me Prince Niklas. You are over two dozen years too late for such things and even then, you need to try harder to truly try and impress me." She smiles once at that before looking to Mirk, "I'm well. I thought I would swing by, make sure you are not trying to tempt anyone away from the Faith with your savage humanistic ways." She beams at Mirk as she says it.

Mabelle resting a hand on Erik's forearm, Mabelle's amusement is sheer and not hidden, "What if I wish to shine and opine? Will you take that away from me?" She then asks Delia, "Have you met Lord Erik Grimhall? He is new to the city, Lady Sanya's brother is you know her well". She turns to Erik and notes, "Delia is a life saving Whisper"

Upon Marian's entry, Rysen places a fist over his heart and bows in military fashion. When Niklas greets him, Rysen smiles. "The pleasure's mine, as always, Your Highness." His smile for Mabelle is warm and sincere. "She is lovely, is she not? I thank the gods and spirits she puts up with me." Rysen nods to Dianna, and says of Merek, "His skills are admirable indeed. We've been through some rather dangerous situations and so far managed to avoid the Queen's embrace."

When the music starts up in earnest, Rysen turns to Rukhnis and holds out a hand. "Care to dance, Rukhnis?"

Delia fetches herself a sandwich and drink of her own and settles in at the table with Arik and Morrighan, alternating with practiced ease between whatever conversation goes on at the table, and the passing, more confusing variety in the hall in general. She bows to Erik from her seat. "My Lord Grimhall, it's a plesure! Any of My Lady Laurent's friends are mine as well, and Lady Sanya is always a joy in herself."

Rukhnis dips her head towards Merek, looking faintly mollified, and gives a bow of greeting to Dianna, saying gravely, "Lady Dianna, your acquaintance honours me." Her eyes may skate skittishly across that mirrored surface around the woman's neck, but nothing is going to get in the way between her and formal greetings. This done, she looks thoughtfully back to Enri and Mimi, replying, "There is surely skill that comes with practice, but there is native talent as well. I should like to stop in and see some of your work one day. Perhaps seeing your technique will benefit mine."

As Rysen asks her dance, Rukhnis looks a little bit surprised, as if she wasn't expecting this. Nevertheless, she inclines her head and says, "If you wish it."

Marian smiles at Mabelle for her greeting, there's a glimmer of recognition that speaks to their acquaintenance. She continues her conversation with the hostess, "It is rare I get to social events these days. Luckily the winter months tend to free up my schedule to spend time with family and friends." She deepens her smile as Acantha mentions that the snowflake pin will be sent after the party, "Oh you're very generous. I look forward to receiving it." At Mabelle's mention of Erik being of House Grimhall and new to the city, the Warchief of the North turns to him, "Lord Erik, well met. It's been some time since I've spoken to Duke Valdemar, please send him my greetings." Rysen get gets a wink at the military greeting as he honors her in traditional fashion, "Lord do me an honor." Then she watches the pairing with Rukhis for the dance floor, "Ahh, I shall have to catch up with you later."

Chuckling softly as Merek compliments both Dianna and her twin to Rysen, she smiles charmingly, long lashes dropping with a hint of beguiling affectation. "You are kind, Sir Merek," she insists.

It is then to Lord Crovane that Lady Mazetti turns, proffering a graceful curtsy and a warm smile that alights her sunlight-amber eyes. "My Lord Crovane; I am indeed honored. Should you be able to pull yourself away from... whatever delights this evening may offer, I will be pleased to hear any stories - true or derived - of our fine swordsmith, here."

And lastly: Dianna departs from her companion's arm to set eyes upon Rukhnis. "My dear, how lovely to make your acquaintance," Dianna purrs with a gentle smile. "I did notice you admiring my jewelry. It is quite finely-crafted, do you not find? I am, naturally, but the model for it... and blessed to be." The twinkle in Dianna Mazetti's eyes is alluring, captivating, even sweet.

3 Grimhall House Guards, Ivan arrive, following Sanya.

"I could say the same of you. You and your companion make for a most striking contrast in style. It's remarkable." Bianca's compliments come with an understated sincerity to her tone, her smile for Merek a small but warm thing as her hands find their way to a clasp in front of her. "Things have been as well as they can be, of late. At the very least, there's no shortage of things to keep me busy. I do hope the days have been kind to you, as well?"

The question comes a few moments before Niklas' approach; serene silver eyes turn in the direction of the prince, Bianca's smile renewed in greeting as she is addressed. "Oh, I should hope not; there'd be no wound greater," she jokes mildly, lifting a pale hand to her lips to stifle a laugh. "I am happy I can be of greater service to the gods now, but I must admit -- part of my heart will always belong to the Archive and its tomes. At least, I have the opportunity to see it hopefully continue to thrive. What more could I ask for?"

"If there's one thing I've learned, it's that bribery is always acceptable when it comes in the form of a good drink," Mirk observes to Morrighan in a dry tone. He doesn't even blink at Brigida, and smoothly replies, "No, that's next week. Have to wait for it to get a little colder, so that certain Archlectors won't feel like weathering the cold to get to Redrain Ward, you see." A little more seriously, he adds, "I should probably host some public questions and answers for the Spirit Walkers, eventually, but if I do it will be in spring. It's been too long since our last one, I think, and people get strange ideas now anda gain."

"Never finished, and rarely worth reading!", Erik calls back at the question from Liara with the mirthful air of casual banter that can be afforded in the fleeting exchanges, his attention drawn back toward Mabelle's introduction on his behalf to Delia. There's an appreciative sidelong smile to Mabelle, before he provides a chipper grin to the Whisper along with a dip of his head. "I'm most thankful to see that my sister's reputation precedes me. A pleasure to make your acquaintance as well, Delia - and a new friend indeed."

Catching the offered acknowledgement from Marin a moment later, his head bows deeper. "It will be my honor to extend them, and you have my gratitude for your gracious welcome. Well met."

"Though not as much as you deserve, Your Highness," says Rysen to Marian with a grin. At Dianna's words, Rysen replies, "I will gladly take you up on that, My Lady. Though some are fairly tragic, there is a particularly good one I have in mind." He takes Rukhnis's hand, bracing for her inevitable discomfort with his touch, but walking with her to the dance floor in such a way that suggests a great deal of familiarity. He bows to the Eurusi woman, and steps into a position to begin to dance.

Acantha is overheard praising Niklas: For his dedication to stacking food!

Enri dips his head in a long bow upon noticing Niklas talking with Mimi, turning back and nodding in agreement to what Rukhnis says, "I agree, we all have our talents. Some people just take longer to figure out what they are." He says, stepping to the side to allow Rysen to take her dancing.

Lygeia, a calligrapher and alchemist have been dismissed.

2 House Crovane Guards have been dismissed.

Benny seems to tire of sitting on the stool of his and he hops off to go waddle and mingle. His little brocade coat tails whispering against the floor as he goes. He heads for Mirk and Brigida. The beaver looking from Mirk and then to the Archlector. He reaches out to gently knock on the wooden walking stick she carries and after a moment he bobs his head in an approving way before he wanders off for his next targe...we mean new friend.

While Niklas is busy making the rounds, Sabella received a messenger, looks around to make sure Nik is engaged, then quietly stands up and slips out.

Sabella has left the Antique Clearlake Couch.

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

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

Mabelle assures Rysen, "You are very lucky indeed", as she watches him trail to the dancefloor with Rukhnis. "Princess Marian", she hooks on that acknowledgement, "Its such a boon to see you in a public setting and a ball! I'm in awe", she grins to her. Curious, Mabelle's eyes flit toward Bianca and she introduces herself, "Legate. Good evening to you. Lady Mabelle Laurent. I am good friend of Lady Tescelina - if she is still in the city, I've not seen her in the longest of times".

Merek looks then to Dianna and to Rysen, bowing when both look to need to be on their way or be busy, then he offers a smile and bow to Marian. To Bianca, he offers up a hand, "I appreciate the compliment, you look as always like winter itself," he says, "Would you permit a dance, Legate? I don't often really get to," he admits.

There's a quiet laugh from Liara at Erik's reply, though she doesn't detain him further (yet), instead polishing off her sandwich, and then assessing those near the dance floor, or otherwise likely-looking candidates to subject to a trip to the dance floor.

Removing her cloak on entry, Sanya first approaches the hostess with a grin. "Baroness. Thank you for holding such a splendid event. The room is a vision." She glances around in awe. She then sidles up to her brother. "I found the time!" She says with a chuckle. "I'm sorely late though." She turns to Liara. "Your grace." She inclines her head respectfully. "Lady Mabelle." She greets her friend, warmly.

Arik seems to have settled in at a table with a marmot carved bench with Morrighan and Delia, sipping at his whiskey with some spare attention for the room at large even once the music starts.

Rukhnis can't quite repress the faintest curl of the lip as Dianna speaks of her interesting accessory, but she doesn't speak a word to dispute it, only nods solemnly. Appearing completely impervious to the Lycene's smile and twinkling looks, she then merely bows again and turns to follow Rysen out onto the floor. There is, in fact, a flinch at Rysen's hand, but only a small one, and as the two of them sweep out into a dance she settles into a comfortable whirl around the room, the two of them moving perfectly in time with one another and the music.

"A new friend? Certainly," Delia agrees, smiling at Erik. "Perhaps I can steal you away from Lady Laurent long enough for a dance later?" She bows to Sanya as she arrives and adds, "Lady Grimhall, hello! I didn't know you had a brother in the city. Lady Mabelle has generously been introducing us."

Acantha gets a note from one of her guards, well, the one that's not wandering! "Ah, the auction results." she smiles to this. Then she is greeted by Sanya and there's a dip of her head to the woman, "Lady Grimhall, welcome." she states. "Enjoy the warmth and the company." she tells her. Then she realizes Benny has wandered off to mingle and those sapphire eyes of hers are looking to see where he's gotten off to.

A tall man dressed in Mazetti House colors makes his way from the door to lean over Lady Dianna and whisper in such a way as to not be heard amidst the bustling noise of the ball. She nods and he returns to the door, Dianna Mazetti leaning over to murmur quietly to Merek.

Firstly, to Mabelle and Delia, Dianna flutters her fingers, touching her lips with the tips and blowing a specific kiss to Lady Laurent. Then, Dianna steps directly to Acantha, dipping into a curtsy. "My Lady," Dianna's tone is humbled, apologetic. "I am Lady Dianna Mazetti, of Ostria. I regret that I am required to attend to some urgent needs, but wished to thank you for generously hosting this lovely and well-attended event - and hope to have the opportunity to become better-acquainted." With a gently-warm smile, Lady Dianna drops her head and awaits a reply.

Marian laughs deeply at the her observation that the Clearlake ball if one of the rare occassions she's seen in a social setting, "A boon? I don't know about that. I do appreciate Baroness Acantha's invitation for me meet with family and allies during the rare opportunity when I'm not with my army or visiting neighboring lands." She turns at the mention of Legate's attendence and gives Bianca a deep curtesy, "It is good to see you Legate Bianca. It has been too long since I have partaked in your wisdom."

Erik takes no time teasing Sanya, with a whistle and a wink in his sibling's direction. "And hello, sister!" A playful 'tut' follows, and he shakes his head. "Not even wearing a mask, and still overlooked by my dearest, most delightful, and only sister.." Despite the words, the relaxed, warmly mirthful air suggests his true feelings on the matter.

When Delia mentions a dance, Erik quips back quickly, "There's as much theft there as the movement of my feet could be considered dancing, but I'll not deny the opportunity."

Brigida bobs her head in amusement at Mirk's answer before her attention is brought to Benny, her eyes watching his interaction with her staff. "Hmmm... at least he didn't chew on it." She comments before she sees her immediate 'superior' and offers the Legate a nod of the head.

2 House Mazetti Aspirants have been dismissed.

Mabelle almost whistles at Sanya, "And the gown so it seems, It is absolutely stanning". Benny does capture her attention for a few moments as she gazes at him in adoration. She does return her attention to Sanya and pecks her cheek in greeting, as she chuckles to Delia, "If I ever get my own", she winks to Erik, teasing. Her fingers wiggle to Dianna as she blows her a kiss. Chuckling at Marian she assures her, "A Boon, still"

"How do you do, Lady Sanya?" Liara greets the Grimhall, with a flash of a smile, and then - oh no? - she sort of happens to another Grimhall, even if he'd only been passing by. "Do you dance, Lord Erik?"

"Whisper Delia, it's a delight to see you here." Sanya beams when addressed by the woman. "I hope you've been well. Tell me all that I've missed." She says to pretty much anybody in close proximity as she glances around. "I'm doing very well. Congratulations on your new position." A wry smile appears on her lips when her brother is asked about his dancing, though she doesn't interject.

Leaning on the table, Delia is half-focused on the quiet conversation she is having with Arik and Morrighan - but not so focused that she can't bandy words with the crowds as they wander. "My Lord Grimhall, I take that as a challenge," she says. "I pride myself on never having had a bad dance partner, and I have no doubt the trend will continue with you." She winks at him. "But of course, Lady Laurent gets you first. I am quite patient and I have this drink to finish, too."

Delia's smile for Sanya is warm and genuine and she waves a hand. "Well it does seem there is a beaver searching for new friends ... if that's something your interested in." She has made sure to keep careflly clear of Benny, no matter how adorable he is.

Erik muses aside to Mabelle, "I do believe I already told you you were welcome to my humble and humiliating services in that regard, when you said you missed the opportunity of dancing with anyone at the masquerade." When the question arises from Liara, though, he offers with a merry, smiling explanation that's likely in jest, but delivered with an air of earnestness all the same, "It depends on how loose you are in the interpretation of the definition, Your Grace. I've /studied/ dance, but like many scholarly pursuits the study and the recreation are two wildly different topics."

When Lady Sanya walks by, Mimi is utterly transfixed by her outfit. She tells Enri she will be right back, trailing the lady across the ballroom. "My lady, I know this will probably sound odd, but your ensemble is just /stunning/, especially the tiara. I just wanted to--" and then she hears Erik call her 'sister'. The blood drains from her face. "Grimhall?" she asks weakly, freezing on the spot. "I'm sorry, I..." she licks her lips nervously. "Excuse me," she says, trying to make a quick exit from this situation she seems to have created.

"I'm sure he would if Lady Acantha wasn't around to mind him," Mirk comments to Brigida, watching the beaver waddle off through the crowd. "It wouldn't be the first time he's gotten himself into trouble, either." He squints over in Acantha's direction.

Several elegant turns around the room, and seemingly not a foot put out of place between the two of them. As their dance comes to an end and they step back into the crowd, the Crovane lord and the Eurusi woman bow to one another in finishing, and then Rysen receives a second bow from Rukhnis as he makes his excuses and departs. Left adrift in the sea of people once more, Rukhnis sighs slightly and makes her way over in Mikani's general direction again.

As Mabelle addresses her, Bianca turns that calm silver gaze her way. It crinkles a bit at its corners with her smile as the Legate lifts a hand to her collar, head dipping in respectful greeting. "Legate Bianca Wyrmguard," she offers by way of introduction, the formality of her poise not lessening the friendliness of her tone. "It's an honor, Lady Mabelle, especially so to meet a friend of Lady Tescelina." Her brows soften, just a touch. "Sadly, it's been too long for me as well -- but I'm sure she'll be more than happy to see you well, whenever she may."

It's then that Marian catches her notice; the greeting has her smile growing, a curtsy returned for a curtsy given, as deep as the gown she wears can realistically allow. "Princess Marian, it most certainly has been. With any luck, hopefully we might find the time to speak a while." She rises, head tilt, expression earnest. "I would very much like that."

And then, Bianca's attention returns to Merek, and that offered hand. She looks to Marian, in small apology. "... But for now, I think I owe someone a dance." And with that, one elegant pale hand reaches, to take Merek's in its winter-cooled grasp. "A dance, then. Don't worry, Sir Merek. You will have a graceless Legate to steal attention for you. You're in fine company."

Mabelle amuses herself as Delia eyes the beaver. She plots now, she plots. Mimi's awkward approach toward Sanya does gets noticed and wondered at but Bianca calls her attention, "Lovely meeting you Legate. Send her my regards if you see her. She often used to take me to your kitchens and treat with my chocolate. Oh the first days in the city", she chuckles. She then turns to Erik, "Shall we then? It seems you are creating a line", she winks to him

"Legate Bianca." Sanya says, turning to the woman, her eyes brightening. "It's been far too long. I'm glad to see you here." She chuckles at Delia's words. "I couldn't say no to such fuzzy companions." Then she hears Mimi call after her. "Oh, that's alright." She furrows her brows with concern. "Is all well?"

Marian gives a hopeful look when Bianca mentions they should speak but of course gives Bianca leeway to enjoy the festivities, "Of course. Enjoy the dance floor. I shall of course make myself available to you later." After greeting the Legate and Bianca moves to the dance floor, Marian turns to give Liara a greeting, "Your Grace, it is good to see you after all this time. Please accept my congratulations. I am pleased to see His Majesty's recognition of your dedication to the Crownlands."

Merek looks between the two, Mabelle as well as to Marian, smiling to them, though not bothering the conversation. When eventually, Bianca's attention is back to him, he inclines, then he takes the hand, with a smile offered, earnest one, which he rarely has, then he begins to lead, "Ah, I'm sure I can make up for both of us," he then sees as Sanya comes up to greet also. "I don't mean to take you from your conversation though," he does quirk a little smile, he doesn't like to impose, but should she be fine to keep with the dance, he begins moving into a waltz!

Merek checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 14 higher.

Enri watches as Mimi moves, carefully observing her from afar and lifting an eyebrow at the exchange. He can't listen clearly from where he is, though he stays put, especially when he notices she's moving away from the Grimhall lady.

"In its expanded form, my lord, my question really means 'are you amenable to actually dancing, at entirely impromptu intervals in the course of a ball, with whoever might happen to ask'," comes Liara's answer to Erik. "Though I dare say I shall have to wait till Lady Mabelle investigates the matter fully first, and whether theory alone helps." The latter with a flash of a grin to the Laurent. She offers Marian an easy smile. "It has been quite some time indeed, your highness. Thank you. I trust that recent weeks have passed reasonably peacefully for you?"

Mimi turns back when Sanya addresses her, torn between discomfort and not wanting to be rude. She clasps her skirt with both hands to try and mask their trembling. "Everything is fine, my lady," she says unconvincingly, keeping her gaze lowered.

Sanya checked charm + empathy at difficulty 15, rolling 39 higher.

Mabelle smiles to Merek from afar, unsure why he's smiling to her but well! She hates to be rude. A chuckle escapes her lips as she teases Liara, "Throwing me to the sharks then?", she shakes her head and supposes, "I shall test the theory for you then, easy".

Acantha gives a look towards Mirk and there's a bit of an eyebrow quirk. "He didn't chew anything. He's being extremely good this evening." she tells the Elder. But Benny's making his way back to her as she steps back from the doors since the incoming crowds have died down. The beaver looks up to her and there's a soft smile as she crouches down, "You are just on wood detail, I know." she tells him as she shakes his little hand.

Then someone is bring out the cloak that was being auctioned off. "If I could have everyone's attention for a moment." she calls. The musicians quiet down when she calls for it. Then she gives a smile to those gathered, "At first this was just going to be a night of celebrating Winter, but, something tragic happened and I wanted to do something to give aid to the Faith. The cloak here is made from the Clearlake Marmot's. The winner gets the cloak and all of the proceeds go to the Faith plus a personal donation from myself." she states. "Whisper Scipio had the winning bid, so it will be going to him." she claps for that.

Rukhnis seems to lost all her prospective social refuges and conversation partners, and in light of this she casts her gaze about as if wondering whether this might present a suitable occasion for escaping from the party. As she does so her eye catches on Mimi, and her brow furrows a little as she observes the discomfort of the other woman, though she's too far away to have any idea what might have caused it.

Curiosity piqued, Liara's attention turns from Mabelle towards Acantha as the music quiets and the cloak is displayed. She brings her gloved hands together to offer some light applause for the presumably absent Scipio.

"You may pride yourself on never having had a bad dance partner, but two things my friend Whisper.", Erik teases, "That says nothing about a horribly mediocre dance partner, and pride does come before a fall. Possibly over tripped feet."

He offers a nod and a broad smile to Mabelle, before offering out a folded arm for the Luarent to take and answering Liara in amiable affirmation. "Of course, your Grace. As a disciple of Vellichor I strive for any form of learning. Sometimes that even means learning my limits, and how to improve myself - in this case, with dance1" He cants his head in closer and offers a quick wink to Liara before letting his attention drift fully back to Mabelle. "But a wise decision in designating someone else for the ballroom vanguard." A point of his free hand's index toward the dance floor and there's a crooked grin sidelong to Mabelle. "Off we go so that I can make you regret your decision, Lady Laurent! At least it will garner you sympathy from one half the Ball, and appreciation from the other."

Erik has joined the Dance Floor.

Approaching the unnerved woman slowly, Sanya smiles kindly, her voice gentle. "Are you sure? Is there anything I can help with?" She touches the tiara. "And thank you, your words are very kind." She pauses. "Lady Sanya Grimhall." She introduces herself.

Marian nods at Liara's question with a twinkle in her eyes, "Ahh yes, it is more peaceful since the snow has fallen and restricted my movements to the city. I am enjoying the extra time with my children. Nia has taken well to her sword play and I shall be gifting her with her first steel sword in the spring when her fifth birthday comes." She winks at her, "With the promise of course that she won't use it on her twin brothers." She gives an interested look to Liara, "And you? Have you had a chance to enjoy the snow with all the activities around taking the mantle of Highlord?" She gives pause as the hostess steps forward and announces the winner of the cloak. She gives a polite applause at the announcement. Her keen green eyes admiring the craftsmen of the Clearlake cloak on display.

Delia stifles a laugh behind her hand. "I look forward to testing your words, Lord Grimhall," she says, before quieting for the auction results. Her applause is accompanied with a bright smile - and a keen pair of deep blue eyes peering about the room for Scipio. She doesn't find him, and sighs a little as the applause dies down, disappointed.

Marian is overheard praising Acantha: Stunning cloak. What fine craftmanship.

Arik is overheard praising Acantha: What a fine and admiral protege she is. So industrious and never pranks her poor patron.

Mabelle claps her hands for the winner of the aucition and moves to lace her arm around Erik's at the invitation, "Goodness, now my first dance in the city feels like an experiment. Bad girls", she playfully tisks at Liara and Delia, but the smile on her face conveys her mirth and good nature as she walks with Erik toward the dancefloor.

Mabelle has joined the Dance Floor.

Brigida casts her eye over the room before she finds Acantha and nods, "Quite the event. You have done well. Now I'll be off now and let you all have fun without me getting in your way. Just watch out for that one .." she points her staff at Mirk, "...he's probably up to something."

Mimi shakes her head when Sanya asks if there is anything she can help with. "No, my lady. Very kind to offer, though, my lady." Something in the lady's voice eases the sharper edges of her panic. "I'm Mimi, my lady. Just Mimi." The young woman's voice carries a thick Isles brogue. She dares to meet Sanya's gaze for a brief moment.

Mikani smiles as she watches those around her. The evening was wonderful.

"Probably," Mirk says amiably enough, nodding his head to Brigida. "A pleasure to see you, Archlector." He nods to Acantha, as well, and then takes a seat near his fellow Halfshavs.

Mirk has joined the Marmot Bench.

Mabelle is overheard praising Acantha: What a beautiful evening!

"Did I hear the Archlector was here?" Arik says from the table suspiciously loud. "I have to ask her how ways to improve my aim, has she left yet?"

"I'd be happy to, Lady Mabelle. Those sound like fond memories indeed." With farewells given, and a sincere note of, "I look forward to it, Princess Marian," given for the renowned Redrain warrior, the Legate follows after Merek. Making her way further into the hall, she only pauses as a familiar voice catches her attention. A small gesture of 'one moment,' and Bianca turns her attention towards Sanya, expression one of subdued but sincere delight. "It has, Lady Sanya. It's good to see you well. I wouldn't mind the opportunity to catch up, if the time permits."

With that, though, Bianca offers a small smile, and turns back towards Merek. "Don't worry; I believe I have time enough for one dance," she assures, before moving comfortably into that waltz. Far from the most outgoing of people, she might not be the best dancer; but she certainly, at least, puts her all into it -- at least, until Acantha's announcement begins, slowing to turn her attention towards the cloak with a look of wide-eyed wonder. "Marvelous," she murmurs.

Bianca checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 1 higher.

Acantha gives a smile to Matias as he lets people view the cloak, then it's taken back towards the private halls. There's a look to Brigida and she bows to her, "It was wonderful to see you again, Archlector and I hope to see you again." she tells her. "As for Lord Mirk, he is usually up to things. It's why Benny bugs him for things." she tells her. "Please be safe in your travels this evening." she adds to her with a warm smile.

Bianca is overheard praising Acantha.

Merek is overheard praising Acantha.

Merek checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 27 higher.

Acantha is overheard praising Brigida: We love hosting the Archlector at Clearlake!

Liara offers no further commentary on dance, though she does keep a curious eye towards Mabelle and Erik to see how it pans out. Her attention otherwise is on Marian for the moment and she replies, "I cannot claim to enjoy snow very much except from a warm vantage point, in which case it can be quite beautiful. Still, I did have this outfit made, so I cannot dislike it so much as all that." Then, curious, "A steel sword at five? I suppose I am not and was never raised to be a fighter."

Merek more than makes up for Bianca's skill, looking curiously to the cloak, and Acantha, while his attention is shifted between that, back to the dance. He then shifts his cape back a bit, so that he can spin the Legate slowly, and dip her, politely of course. He shifts through the moves, an experienced dancer, "You're famous, it looks like," he teases, but he seems content with the movement of them both.

Erik checked charm + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 27 higher.

"It's a pleasure to meet you." Noticing her accent, Sanya tilts her head curiously. "Where in the Isles are you from, messere?" She asks with a warm smile. Then her attention shifts once again to the legate. "I am keen for the opportunity, Mother. I will certainly clear my time for you." She grins.

Mabelle checked charm + performance at difficulty 50, rolling 16 lower.

Brigida pauses on her way out before she turns to call out back in the direction of Arik's voice. "As I understand it helps to hold it to improve your aim. It can't be -that- difficult can it? Unless one is too small to see or grip properly!"

Mabelle checked charm + performance at difficulty 25, rolling 23 higher.

Rukhnis making a small bow to Mikani, Rukhnis edges her way delicately through the crowd and slips out the doors of the hall.

"It is, indded," Mirk says with a nod of his head to Delia. "Get me one, too," he calls after Arik. "My glass is sadly empty." He sets that empty glass aside, shrugging a shoulder. "I've done my mingling for the evening. Care if I join the three of you for the remainder of the evening?"

Arik is walking from the marmot carved bench at a table to get drinks for the group when Brigida calls back and he wonders aloud in a rumbly voice, "I hear the company as well as the cold can cause those sorts of problems, I will seek to address both... Good evening Archlector!"

Acantha casts an amused look between Brigida and Arik, she doesn't have to save her Patron this night!

Delia is overheard praising Acantha: The host of a party as warm and welcoming as the winter is cold and dark.

Marian nods as Liara mentions that she's not a fighter by nature, "My own origins were rooted in warfare as well my departed husband, Prince Fergus Redrain, so I suppose it's only natural that Nia has taken after us." She does admit the highlord, "My son, Valen, who's four seems to be the only thinker of my brood. Fergus is much like his sister and prone to conflict." She turns her view to the dance floor, "Perhaps I shall have to lean on the superior social skills of Your Grace and others to make sure she doesn't turn out like me." She motions a hand to the dance floor, "I am completely out of step in matters of dance...such activities were not common in my childhood."

As the music strikes back up following the announcement, Erik heads out onto the dance floor with Mabelle. While he doesn't actually cause a calamitous fallout of epic proportions, there's certainly nothing notable about his movements. Instead, his focus is more on complementing the steps of Mabelle, avoiding leading when he can but more playing anchor and pivot to the far more graceful woman. Hardly a dancer in his own right, but he can work to showcase one who is. There might be a rhythm to his feet and hips, though if anything it seems like his broad frame is built for heavier, steadied strides than lithe gliding.

Brigida chuckles at Arik's response before she turns to leave as she comments to her Disciples as she leaves, "Oh he is a delightful man. Were I twenty years younger I would have..." her voice trails off as she heads away but both Keski and Aletta squeak and blush with embarrassment.

Arik checked perception + investigation at difficulty 50, rolling 12 lower.

Arik gets two bottles of Clearlake whiskey, one for each hand and walks back over to the marmot carved benches with the predominantly red-headed crowd... Except Mirk who is infact the brown sheep of the table, but a great beard. Award winning. He doesn't hear anything.

Grabbing the glass of fresh whiskey Arik has just given her, Delia raises it to the dance floor, catching Mabelle's and then Erik's eye with a grin as they whirl by.

Enri decides to act. The knight steps closer to Mimi and Sanya, greeting the Grimhall lady with a polite bow of his head, "Sir Enri, nice to meet you, my lady." He introduces himself, rather quickly. His head turns to the side, facing Mimi, "Would you give me the honour of a dance, Mimi?"

Mabelle has not danced since her wedding. And that's some years I tell you. But this puffy gown was made for dancing. She follows Erik to the dancefloor and carefully begins to dance with him, watching her feet because, those boots are white! But as it turns out, he did sell himself short. Mabelle's movements are graceful as her fingers barely touch Erik's arms, following his leadership as her legs cross under her gown and she is set out to twirl unexpectedly, only to return back to his arms. A "Woo" escapes her as she meets him again, eyes widening, she didnt expect that.

Acantha gives a laugh as she watches Brigida leaves. She wanted to be that woman when she was that age. She then turns to look over the crowd and there's a wistful smile as she remembers something. Benny breaks her from her reverie as she feels him tug at the hem of her skirt, playing with a snowflake, "Everyone looks like they're having a wonderful time." she tells him softly.

Keski, a nervous disciple of Petrichor, Aletta, an even more nervous disciple of Petrichor, 1 Templar Knight guards, Oswald, the war pig, a lively Ostrian gelding leave, following Brigida.

Liara opines mildly to Marian, "I have seen people find themselves pleasantly surprised when they try their hand at dancing with only a modicum of teaching - it becomes quite easy indeed to enjoy it, if not necessarily to excel at it." Turning from watching those dancing for a moment, the Grayson also adds on, "Dancing is a good one to start young, still, I fancy, and I'm sure you can find an abundance of fine tutors for it, even for a young child."

As the dance resumes, Bianca keeps up the pace; at least she won't be known for her cursed two left feet, but her words weren't just an exercise in false humility. Still, it's splendid the way she spins, the flame quartz of her dress sparkling within the flutter of her deep, frosty blue skirts as she rolls out, and then flows back in to that shallow, polite dip.

"Please, don't remind me," she remarks with a short, breathless laugh, tone only mildly overmodest as she rises once more. "Center stage is very far from my comfort zone. Maybe backstage, with a book. A big book. Very far backstage." Her brows raising as that waltz continues towards its end, her head tilts.

"But at least," Bianca notes lightly and quietly, "perhaps now I can be more famous for my unimpressive poise on the dance floor."

Marian shakes her head at the mention that dance takes only a modicum of skill, "Ahh, yes, I suppose it's never too late to develop a taste for such activities." She does perk up at the mention of tutors that might be available to teach a young princess, "Hmmm, I might have to ask for recommendations...if you have any. I shouldn't neglect Nia's education in this area."

Lady Teonia Redreef, Aryka Wyrmfang, 3 Thrax Guards, Marquessa Pudding, a doughy dog, 2 Thrax Elite Guards arrive, following Sorrel.

13 King's Own Guardsmen, Zelda, the royal messenger, Sorrel arrive, following Alaric.

When Mimi's knight in shining armor arrives, he is actually /not/ in shining armor, for once. "A dance?" she asks Enri, looking out onto the dance floor. "I suppose so, if you promise to be patient with me," she says, her expression brightening. She reaches out to take his hand.

Acantha looks to the dance floor and then down to Benny as he plays with the little bell she wears, "No, Lord Vano is not going to be attending. He had business in Riva." she tells the beaver. She is standing off to the side for the moment, making sure food is kept tidy and drinks are a plenty.

Alaric walks in with Sorrel on his arm, the lovely Princess looking far more radiant than he, but it makes the King a good escort as he grins. "So my big questoin is going to be, it's a winter ball right? Does that mean they'll have snow covered with syrup or such? Don't laugh but that was one thing I enjoyed as a kid...mostly cause I could get some molasses or such and make sneak some out myself. WHat I didn't realize was how sticky it left my hands. But still...the things we think are clever when we're young." So says the wizened old King as he looks about the Lodge to what all is about today. He seems to be in good, hale spirits and who wouldn't be when you have a party to attend!

Erik checked charm + athletics at difficulty 35, rolling 4 higher.

Mabelle checked charm + performance at difficulty 35, rolling 13 higher.

"I don't have particular recommendations for tutors specifically for children - it has not been a concern to date - though," Liara casts her gaze about, "Considering how finely she comports herself, I dare say Mistress Delia over there might be a sound start." She pauses to offer a wave over towards Alaric, then, gaze back to Marian, "Or I would guess as much; she might very well disagree."

Merek checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 28 higher.

There's a wink in Delia's direction and a crooked grin toward the grinning, whisky-wielding Whisper as Erik and Mabelle trail their circuit around the dance floor, and he's less leading so much as providing a stabilized countermeasure for Mabelle's swirls, twirls, and flitting skirts. With the pace of the Laurent's movements, it's all practically momentum - and mirthful laughter - from here.

As he manages to rein in one of Mabelle's mad-dash spins, he looses a hearty laugh himself, and counters Mabelle's "Woo" with "Oho!", sidestepping on the ball of one foot to send her spinning onward right down past him to the grip of his other hand with a broad, bright grin.

"They might, Your Majesty," Sorrel says agreeably as she walks with the king, wearing a very jaunty hat today. It's striking, this hat she's wearing, perched on her upswept dark curls, some of which trail down a bit to frame her face nicely. "I hope they do. I've had some very interesting frozen treats in Arx, I must admit. And played some very silly winter games. Though no snowballs to the face for the king, naturally." She winks at Alaric.

Merek begins finishing up with the dance, and he offers a lazy smile to Bianca, a nod to the woman. "Perhaps so," he says, grinning a little bit to the Legate. While he begins to shift back away, his fingers drift to twirl her to the side, leading her into a dip, while he smiles, then he's drawing the dance to finish. Afterwards he looks to meet her gaze, golden eyes thoughtful, "It was wonderful, I will let you be back on your way, I know your work has kept you pretty busy."

Marian thanks Liara for her recommendation, "Ahh yes, so keen of you to have pointed out. I shall have to seek her out later." She notices the arrives of the King and turns her attention to the ruler of Arvum. She gives a deep curtesy, and stifles a wicked smile, "Your Majesty." There is a fondness, a warmth to the tone that speaks to dealings in the past. His companion, Sorrel, also gets a warm greeting at her entrance.

Mabelle uses her Erik-pole wisely as she beautifully entwines herself around him, trying to embellish the fact she -has- been learning as a child. Her noise making makes her chuckle when countered by Erik, but the flow of her movements remain nimble and refined, completely avoiding feet and proving to be an excellent dance partner to her good pole. She laughs in private as they dance, trying not to lose focus as she takes in the enterance of King Alaric and Princess Sorrel.

Oh, crap. Who let the King in!

Acantha gives a bit of a blink as Alaric and entourage enter the Great Hall and the Baroness straightens a bit more, looking down to Benny, "Do. Not. Beg." she whispers to him. There's a dip of her head to the King and then Sorrel, "Your Majesty, your Highness." she greets them. "Please come in and enjoy the warmth and the company." she states to them.

"Your Majesty." Sanya beams on spotting the king make his entrance. She dips into a graceful curtsy before approaching. "How delightful that you'd grace us with your presence."

Delia has left the Marmot Bench.

Mimi goes wide-eyed when she hears that the king is here. She curtsies low, not quite sure when to get up, so for now, she stays down here.

Mikani bows her head to avoid curtsying in her pregnant condition. She smiles. "Your majesty." She comments before she moves to get herself some hot cider.

Enri himself is nervous, though he is trying to conceal it by making some larger movements as he takes Mimi towards the dancing floor, "Well, I promise I'll stay away from your feet." He says, beginning with slow moves, that probably don't match the rhythm of the music at all. The mentions of 'Your Majesty' are caught by his ears and the knight promptly turns to the side, in awe.

Bianca checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 2 higher.

Merek does peek from Bianca at the finish of the dance, and bows to the King, "Your Majesty, looking nice," he says. That. Well they were definitely words.

Delia is just leaving the Marmot bench and its table, and compliment of Halfshavs, when the King himself walks in! Not that that should be a surprise for a Whisper, but shedoes pause a moment to look up at him before her face splits into a beaming smile and she curtsies. "Your Majesty!" But he is so thick-surrounded with greeters that she lets it be at that, and instead ambles towards the dance floor, watching the dancers as they move. If she's heard Liara becomign her temporary hype woman, she doesn't make any show. So she probably hasn't heard.

Back aside to Marian, Liara remarks, "Doesn't Princess Sorrel have a most striking ensemble?" Liara's gaze turns towards the people dancing once more, and she speaks up towards Mabelle, "It is not so bad as all that! Well tested!"

He grins to Sorrel, "We'll see." reaching up, he taps his fingers against one of the snowflakes before smiling to those who seem to give attention. There's a grin at them, "I like these," he says, referring to the decoration before giving a pleasant wink to Marain. "Princess," he says before smiling to the others, giving a moment as he releases Sorrel's arm after kissing the back of her hand. "Let's get this out of the way shall we?" He turns to the room and bows, deeply, just once, and then stands up again. "There...that should satisfy etiquette and decorum, and hopfully no one will mention if I get any of those sandwiches or a bit of something dessertly on my shirt." As he looks to the Baroness, "Thanks for hosting." Then, in an almost plaintive tone, he sort of stage-whispers to Acantha as he takes Sorrel's arm once more. "You do have something dessertly I hope?" Everyone, Delia, the Lady Grimhall, he does his best to smile to each and every person who addresses him as he once again escorts the Thraxian Princess. As Merek says he looks nice, the King seems to be playful indeed as he says, "You too, handsome." A grin to Merek indeed as clearly the King is up for banter and shenanigans.

After the polar pivotry between he and Mabelle, the grand movements trail down and he flashes a broad, easy smile that splays against his beard, then puffs out a deep breath - is he winded, or was that relief that he managed to not drop the first person he's danced with of the evening? There's a shared chuckle a moment later, and the circuitous step continues, even if abating and heading toward the same place they started.

He manages to spare a sidelong glance toward the crowds gathered for the floor for a moment, and his brow furrows briefly, in what might be curiosity or astonishment.

"Princess Marian, hello. Baroness Acantha, we thought that we'd come dance," Sorrel offers to those who have greeted her personally, largely letting the gregarious and affable king fend for himself, though she does linger on his arm. "Dessert first, though, then dancing," she says brightly. To Liara, she says, touching her hat with her free hand, "Oh, do you like it? A Nox'alfar riding spider made me this hat as a gift!"

Mabelle departs from Erik's presence just a little to be able to offer him a a curtsy and a grateful smile, "I appreciate you taking me for a spin, Lord Grimhall". She grins at Liara quite belated. "Weirdest compliment ever". Formally turning toward Alaric, her curtsy lowers further, "Your Majesty. It is a pleasure to see you again on such a happy occasion. If you do find something sweet, do let me know", she smiles to him and apparently vacate's Erik's arms to the approaching Delia, murmuring to him, "Incoming"

Acantha dips her head to the King, "It is my pleasure to host." she tells him. Then there's a chuckle, "We do have a variety of desserts. I am sure you'll find something to satisfy your sweet cravings." she tells him. Then to Sorrel, "Dancing is indeed on the agenda. The floor is new and needs to be broken in, so please dance the night away." she smiles. The mention of a riding spider gives her pause, "Charlotte and Merimange?" she asks the Princess.

After breathing a low laugh, Liara wonders of Sorrel, "What position might people take on goods sourced from Nox'alfar riding spiders? I have never to date contemplated the idea. Still, it /is/ striking." Back to Mabelle, "Perhaps so, my lady, but I dare say a moment's contemplation will bring to mind stranger yet."

Delia has joined the Dance Floor.

Marian nods in agreement as Liara remarks that Sorrel has a striking ensemble, "Yes, it is striking. I find myself stifling my envy. My favorite piece is the purple spiderwebs. Nia simply adores spiders and would beg me for a similar look." When Sorrel tells Liara that she got the gift from Nox'alfar, she turns her admiration to the hat, "I was just telling Her Grace my admiration for your fine fashion sense." She glances at Alaric as he mentions his hungar, "If you wish Your Majesty, I can collect a plate for you while you greet everyone. I've been meaning to sample the delights but haven't gotten a chance yet."

She may very well not have the athleticism and grace of some, but let it not be said Bianca Wyrmguard doesn't at least make a sincere effort in anything she does, no matter how potentially embarrassing. At the very least, though slightly stiff, the Legate is far from abashed, taking to that twirl with and bending into that dip with a flourish of blue silk and sheer layers and a gentle smile. Drawn upward once more, Bianca is positively beaming in that understated way of hers, no small pride at having finished her dance unscathed --

-- after which, she promptly stumbles maybe two steps the second she's released from Merek's grasp.

"--I suppose it couldn't have all been a success," she confesses through a surprised huff of breath, her weak smile apologetic -- but moreso, appreciative. "And yet I still had a marvelous time. And one without stepping on any feet whatsoever." Her brows scrunch inward, just a bit. "...... I hope." Still; soon, that worried consternation gives way to a final smile as Bianca takes a step backward, hands clasped behind her back. "Busy, but content. Still, it's nice to have these little interludes, every now and then." Her head dips -- and she makes her way back to the crowds, looking pleased. "Thank you, Sir Merek. Truly."

Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant, 1 Redreef Warden, Vagari The Cinder Cat, 1 Order of the Firebird, 4 Byrne Mountain Men, 2 House Crovane Guards leave, following Mikani.

Vicente enters into the great hall, his hands are clinched behind his back and he has a stern expression across his mouth and eyes. Those eyes turn about the room slowly as he appraises the surroundings and people that are present. He takes a moment as enters to carefully move along to get a better view of one of the rafters. He lifts one hand up and scratches at his chin for a moment in an appraising look.

Acantha is stationed closer to the door just in case there are more arrivals as the evening goes. She gives a dip of her head to Vicente when he comes in, "Good evening, my Lord." she greets him, having to look up a little. "Please come in and enjoy the warmth and the company. We have a variety of hot drinks as well this evening." she offers as she is trailed by Benny.

"The very same!" Sorrel agrees to Acantha with a brilliant smile. She looks, then, to Liara and beams. "Oh, and congratulations! It's quite the honor, and I'm happy for you to be the High Lady of the Crownlands. I'm sure you'll serve your cousin well," she says brightly, then pats Alaric on the sleeve lightly, before looking back to Liara. "You are as strikingly fashionable as ever, of course. I follow your fashion moves closely."

Erik sketches as courteous a bow as he can manage in Alaric's direction as one dance partner departs and does something similar, then he's draining in a deep breath and stifling a quick laugh at the arrival of Delia. He offers an arm out to the Whisper at the edge of the floor, and dips his head in greeting, or acknowledgement."

"Riding spider..." he says. "Gifted it to you." Another pause. "Of course it did...." he says...because after all, who -hasn't- had a spider offer them a fine piece of attire? Alaric laughs and just shakes his head slightly, clearly amused as he looks after Sorrel and to the others, smiling at the dancing and the choices. To Marian's offer though he bows again a little, putting his hand over his heart as he nods, "That would be incredibly kind of you. If it is not a trouble I shall accept your generous offer."

Arik accepts Morrighan's hand and makes his way alongside the sparkling white winter dressed woman to Acantha. "Baroness Acantha, I can't say how proud I am that your ball has been such a success. You've even managed to snare His Majesty's attendence." he clucks his tongue quietly turning silvered grey eyes onto Alaric, the King getting a bow from the Halfshav Lord. "Your Majesty, I can say with the utmost respect you've made my night." there's a murmur aside to Morrighan and a heft of the whiskey bottle he pilfered from Acantha's stores. "I'm also taking the bottle Baroness."

Making way to Delia, Mabelle abandons the dancefloor a little flushed and smiles to Liara as she moves to stand beside her, "Worse? Well then I shall stick with not bad". She beckons one of the servers and instructs him to fill her plate with sweets of all varieties.

"You are welcome, it was wonderful, Legate," Merek offers to his friend. He then makes a way back into the place fully, seeming to content with finding a nice drink and settling in for a bit.

Entering into the Great Hall on the heels of Vicente comes Scipio Whisper. Arms crossing over his chest as he pauses just inside of the entrance to survey the party, he stands with a smile upon his features as his eyes slip about the room to admire the different festivities, as well as those present. Noting Acantha greeting Vicente, Scipio falls into line and when he is near enough to Acantha, he offers pleasantly, "Baroness Acantha Clearlake? I am Scipio Whisper. It is quite the beautiful party you have gotten together here."

Mabelle has left the Dance Floor.

Marian gives curtesy to Liara and Sorrel, moving away from the King to seek out desserts for the King's pleasure. This duty gives her an escape as she makes her way over to desserts to start collecting herself and His Majesty a fine selection of Northland desserts that are being featured at Acantha's party.

Liara takes a moment between chatting to purloin another boar sandwich, and she flashes Sorrel an easy smile. "Thank you, your highness. Why, the most recent 'move' has been to reintroduce an abundance of corsetry that had been absent for much of two years." Aside to Mabelle, she mentions, "I was just admiring Princess Sorrel's outfit. It is quite something, although all things considered, I may have rather more success in seeking something similar to your bodice for myself."

Acantha smiles when Sorrel confirms, "Charlotte was...terrifying, but very odd to watch. She set herself up on top of the Spirits last winter as she couldn't fit through the doors." she tells her. "She was not pleased." she points out. Then she looks to the doors, pondering if there might be a rogue spider hiding somewhere in a snow drift. That means she catches sight of their newest arrival, "Yes, I'm Baroness Acantha." she tells Scipio. She lights up though when he introduces himself, "Oh yes, you're auction winner. Thank you so much for the genourosity." she states to him.

Delia takes Erik's hand as Mabelle relinquishes him, the other hand on his other arm, as she's too short to reach his shoulder. The musicians strike up another tune and she tilts her head up to give him a smile. Whatever she says is too quiet to carry over the party's low din, but her laughter rises high and audible.

Vicente turns to face Acantha as she addresses him and gives a quick bow to her and says, "Thank you my lady." He allows a smile to her and turns to look around the gathering and says, "It does seem you had a wonderful turnout, it looks to be quite the success." At the notice of the line forming behind him, he makes note to move along so as to not hold up the hostess. He moves along and towards the surrounding crowd.

"Princess Sorrel." Sanya greets the Thraxian princess with the same warmth she regarded the king. "I hope the evening has been treating you well. You look lovely." She appraises the woman's outfit. "You're blessed to have such a companion, your Majesty." She says with a grin before turning to the dance floor, her brows rising as she sees her brother -still- dancing, her lips curling with amusement.

"It seems you've had quite the night," Mirk comments to Acantha, rising to his feet. He bows to Alaric as well, and says, "I hope you enjoy the ball, Your Highness. But watch out for Benny. He's trobule." Then, with that warning, he heads towards the door.

Mabelle wiggles her fingers to Vicente as he enters, "Lord Fidante". She gathers the plates of sweets as she watches the dancefloor and notes to Liara, "A most exquistive ensemble indeed", she regards Sorrel's attire. Conversing with Liara she notes, "In soothe, I just saw that diamondplate at the market, sparkling at me, and I had to do something about it. I plan to use it again, I just havent decided how". Complimenting Sorrel directly, Mabelle greets her, "Princess, I've not had the pleasure since my first days in the city, you look magnificent".

Erik checked stamina + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 35 higher.

Delia checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 20, rolling 28 higher.

As Arik addresses the king, one or two of the silver swords seem to bump elbows, like that 'hey loo--yeah yeah I see' but Alaric nods to Arik. "Indeed, Lord Halfshav. Have a good evening. The party simply won't be the same without you." Despite his obvious good humor the comment for Arik is shared with far less...a jovial nature as nods to the man before focusing more on the other events now. Specifically the dancing, and watching Marian avoid small talk by food browsing.

Smile lingering, Scipio dips into a bow toward Acantha before straightening and saying, "That I am. I will admit that I had thought it quite clever to drive up the bid, given the cause to which the money would be given. I did not expect to win the cloak myself, but you will never hear me complain about winning a new cloak. Especially one made as beautifully as the one in question. Thank you for setting up the auction."

Acantha gives a look to Arik and there's a smile to him, "Thank you for coming, Lord Arik. I hope that the rest of the evening goes smoothly." she tells him. Then there's a look to Mirk and she squints at him, "He isn't trouble." she gives him a look. "Have a good night, Lord Mirk." she chuckles to that. Then to Vicente there's another smile and a dip of her head, "Thank you. It was bigger than I had imagined, but I am pleased with it." she grins. Then she looks to Scipio and there's a bit of a chuckle, "Well, it is a good strategy." she nods to that. Once the cloak is brought out it is given to Scipio, "I hope it will serve you well." she tells him with a smile.

Merek is overheard praising Bianca: Wonderful dance!

Merek is overheard praising Acantha: Wonderful ball!

Arik has left the Marmot Bench.

Mirk has left the Marmot Bench.

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

Morrighan has left the Marmot Bench.

Mirk, Morrighan leave, following Arik.

Despite his tan countenance seeming flushed with either exertion or mirth, the Grimhall probably seems more like a Grin-hall at the moment. A rolling laugh rises up from the Floor at something Delia says, and then the pair are off. It's not the uptempo'd, twirling momentum of Mabelle's earlier movements, but faintly more reserved effort that is more of moving bodies and less of loping legs, interspersed throughout the rise and fall of the ambient music with slowing tempos, which Erik seems to be using to his full advantage. Even if it's a dance, it's a marathon, not a sprint!

Bianca is overheard praising Merek: Quite fleet on his feet!

Out on the dance floor, Delia and Erik begin Erik's /next/ turn on the boards - and Delia has clearly been watching his previous dances. She moves gracefully with his movements, playing to the strengths she has already spotted and chatting idly as they go. On her way past, she lifts her hand from his arm long enough to wave her fingers at Scipio and mouthe 'well won!' across the room. Then they're on again, and she dances comfortably close with him, keeping the movements of her upper body in synch with his. The quieter tone of the dance notwithstanding, she is grinning already like a kid on Christmas, face bright with the enjoyment of getting to dance with a partner for the first time in quite a while.

"Thank you, Lady Mabelle," Sorrel replies with an easy smile, checking the way her hat sits upon her head self-consciously for a moment, then glances to the Grimhall. "Lady Sanya. The king is a most pleasant companion, and I do intend to have him dance with me after we fill him with some fine Northlands desserts. In fact, I'll give a prize to anyone who can out-dance the King and I!"

As his prize is brought out, Scipio smiles in appreciation of the garment before he accepts it from the staff with a dip of his head. He spends a moment in which his fingertips run over the hides making up the cloak, admiring the furs before he twirls it around his body and brings it about his shoulders. He looks down at himself before turning his eyes on Acantha and asking playfully, "And how do I look? Does it work for me?" He chuckles then, the smile coming quite easily to his youthful features before his hand slips to his hip and comes away with a bag of coins which he offers out toward Acantha or her staff.

Vicente happens to see Mabelle and overhears her voice, which might have been easy to miss if he had not been moving the right direction and facing her. He makes his way along and towards her, proceeding to give a bow to her at his arrival and then along to those accompanying her conversation. He does reach down for one of the seats from the table but does not consume it at once and says, "Lady Mabelle, it is a pleasure to see you once again."

Liara tilts her head as she looks aside to Mabelle, inspecting the rest of the Laurent's outfit besides just the bodice. Then, quiet for a moment, the Grayson turns her gaze over to the dance floor again, watching keenly. The sound of someone offering a greeting to Mabelle prompts Liara to look back, and she flashes Vicente a smile.

Mabelle observes the dancefloor interestedly, only to have her mind wander to Sorrel, to offer her a kind smile. "Lord Fidante, likewise", she welcomes Vicente to join her as she introduces Liara, "Princess Liara Grayson, this is Lord Vicente Fidante". In lines of greetins she calls toward Scipio, "Well won, Whisper Scipio I presume? Well won!".

Bob, the chartreuse parakeet arrives, following Baelos.

Acantha gives a smile to Scipio, "It looks wonderful on you, really." she tells him. "I thought the white marmots would be the most popular, but the silvery black marmots are the ones that everyone loves. We used a few of the last pelts to make those." she smiles. "They are beautiful and warm, so it's not something that's going to sit around unused." she admits. "And the money goes to a good cause, so we thank you again." she dips her head to Scipio as she takes the bag.

Marian finishes gathering her plate of desserts for herself and the King. She does pause her return to Alaric to admire the fine cloak that is now in Scipio's possession. She tells the Whisper, "A stunning addition to your wardrobe. I am envious of your win to the auction." Acantha gets another smile as she compliments the hostess' good taste.

Though the vivacity of Erik's movements are coming in ebbs and flows now, there's no less hint of vivid enjoyment or mirthful air in his winded countenance, and another hearty laugh raises from something exchanged on the dance floor to carry out to the rest of the crowds. The Scholar might well look drunk at a glance, but he hasn't plucked up anything alcoholic so far. His attention, however, doesn't seem like it can extend any farther at this point than his dance partner and whatever hapless bodies nearby that he's risking colission with.

With the introduction, Vicente gives a second bow to Liara and says, "Princess, a pleasure to make your acquaintance." He then lifts the sweet and consumes half of the small sweet in that bite. His eyes turn about over the dance floor and then back towards Scipio. A hint of being overwhelmed can be observed, even if it does not seem excessively stressful to him. Turning back towards the small gathering he states, "It does seem that it is quite the turnout, astounding the heat that a crowd can generate."

"Oh wait, was there prizes, what can we do?" Merek asks curiously.

"How do you do, Lord Vicente?" Liara asks after being introduced. "It is good to meet you. A splendid turnout indeed, and a thoroughly enjoyable party. There are some really tremendous outfits around, too." The Grayson's gaze flits contemplatively back to the dance floor then.

Alaric grins and excuses himself as Marian gest waylaid, and so he makes his way over. If the mountain won't come to the King, then the King will go to the mountain...of sweets. He grins and peeks at the plate, before bowing, "Thank you Princess." Still, as he says it, while it's a formal title, there's clearly an affection there for the woman as he looks to the man with the cloak. "That looks warm indeed." Teasing he looks over to a dramatic sigh. "What a King must do to earn a cloak...' he says with that heavy breath of the labor of his efforts so far...which at this point exist much just having walked into the Lodge for the first time in a while tonight. He waves a teasing, dismissing hand after though and looks to Sorrel. "Did we get any takers on your bet?"

Delia has had a couple, and though she's not stumbling drunk by any means, it does perhaps lend a bit more of a sway to her movements with Erik than would otherwise be there. They end up being quite a pair as they swagger across the dance floor. A blush shows itself on her smiling face as they exchange a quiet few words and she shakes her head as they come close to closing their circuit of the floor. Nobody has even stepped on anyone else's feet, and they haven't been knocked over - so, disaster averted!

Baelos Redrain arrives at the event quite late, even for his standards. The tall Redrain's well-groomed beard has a winter-weight to it, and his long hair is pulled back out of his face. He is also roaringly drunk - not that this is surprising, but noticeable all the same. Luckily, he is a merry (if somewhat impish) drunk. He makes his way noisily toward the nearest drink table as he arrives, tossing around winks, and backslaps, and eyebrow waggles along the way.

Mabelle peers from afar as Alaric's plate of sweets fill up, contemplating her own choices.

Scipio offers a nod toward Acantha and offers, "Of course. I always am happy to participate in a good cause. Again, thank you for hosting the event." His attention shifts toward Mabelle then as she greets him and he dips into a bow toward her before saying, "Indeed I am, and thank you Lady Mabelle." And then toward Marian as well he offers his thanks before saying, "You are too kind, Warchief." And then as Alaric makes his way over the Whisper says, "It is, Highness. I can already attest to the quality of the Clearlake Marmot furs just from holding this garment alone, not to mention how beautiful they are. It is easy to see why they are reaching the status that they have within the city."

Acantha is fairly quiet but exudes warmth and welcome when she looks to people. Alaric's dramatic sigh makes her laugh, "Your Majesty, I am sure that we can have you a cloak made. I could send the pelts to do it with if you'd like to design it specifically." she tells him. She then gives another dip of her head to Scipio, grateful for his words, "Thank you, Whisper Scipio." she tells him. Then she's catching sight of a roaring drunk arrival and there's a moment taken for her and Benny to trail after the Prince, making sure he doesn't knock a table over.

"I'll take that challenge." Sanya offers to Sorrel with a chuckle. "Now to find a partner before you're full on desserts and ready to dance." She says glancing around the hall.

"Mmm, the wise shouldn't take my bet," Sorrel replies with a charming laugh, shaking her head slightly. She reaches over to one of his desserts and grabs a fingerful of whipped cream, which she dabs playfully right smack onto the king's nose. She whispers something to him and giggles in amusement. "Ah! We have a taker," she says, beaming at Sanya. "Let's see who else is up to the challenge."

"You really are too kind." Baelos remarks to a nearby Liara with a grin on his lips and a new whiskey now in hand, apparently in reference to her comment (obviously not to or about him) regarding tremendous outfits.

"There still some kinda competition or something?" Merek asks Acantha, he does look to folk, "Either way, this was a great ball."

Marian gives a rare laugh at Alaric's jest, "Ahh, yes, forgive me Your Majesty. I was distracted by Whisper Scipio's stunning new cloak." She hands over the plate of sweets. Now that her hand is free, she can carefully steal a taste of sweetness for herself. Baelos drunken arrival does chill the warmth that Marian was displaying. Her smile stays on her face but no longer meets her eyes. She turns her attention back to Alaric and those gathered around him, stepping perhaps in the king's preview so he doesn't see the antics of the Redrain prince. As Acantha mentions that she'll be having a pelts sent to the palace, Marian teases Alaric, "We'll have you outfitted for the Northlands in no time Your Majesty with such fine furs."

Rosalie, a lady in waiting, 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 arrive, following Reese.

Acantha looks to Merek, "No, not that are being hosted by Clearlake, Sir Black." she smiles to him. "I do think that Princess Sorrel was offering a bet on people out dancing herself and the King though." she tells him. Then she's back to watching Baelos.

Reese arrives rather late to the party while adorned in her pink and ivory. She is looking very much like Reese like normally does although she had a winter cloak worn over it all. She glances over the gathering, trying to get a sense for things hear and smiles firt th Acantha.

Alaric shakes his head to Acanthe in earnest. "No," he teases. "I was having a little bit of fun, nothing more. This is an important product, special to Clearlake. I would not have you do anything to change that in any way. Truly though you are mos--what in the..." and he looks at Sorrel as she dabs the cream on his nose and he seems about to say something, before she whispers to him and he looks down at it. There's another deep, dramatic sigh as his eyes go cross, studying the dab itself before he nods, letting out a nod, "Fiiiiiine." To marian he takes the plate and sets it to the side as he looks to Sorrel. "But now you're going to dance with me, while I wear this mark." And so, affecting his most regal of postures, he offers his arm and walks out to the dance floor with Princess Sorrel...looking every bit the noble and serious Monarch...if you don't count the whipped cream that's been dabbed onto his nose making him look just slightly less regal.

Vicente takes note of Liara's gaze and then turns to face her more directly and says, "If you would not mind being gentle on my left knee, I would be honored if you would allow me to accompany you to the dance floor." He has one hand that he has behind his back while he has the other extended out to the princess. His lips have an upward curl and he adds, "I will guarantee you that you will not win any prizes with me though."

Mabelle flashes a smile to Baelos as he enters, "Prince Redrain good evening", but her eyes turn to observe's Scipio's coveted cloak, "Certainly a piece of art, marmot furs are quickly becoming a favorite for me, I really use them on everything". She does. The stole, the boots, the gown. As Reese enters, she is beamed at, "Princess Ribbons, good evening", but her attention returns to Scipio, "I cannot say I ever met a male Whisper before, my interest is piqued".

"I've seen how he works on the snowball field, I'm not trying to match him in dancing too," Merek says then to Acantha with a little grin.

"Why, Prince Baelos, I took your suggestion regarding a ball quite to heart. I hope you will be able to attend." Liara offers the Redrain a quick smile, making no further comment on the tremendousness or lack thereof of his outfit. Then she spots the inarguably pinkest Grayson entering, and offers Reese a brisk wave. She replies to Vicente, "I dare say that of everyone here, I am least in need of prizes." She turns to proceed to the dance floor with the Fidante readily enough.

Liara checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 26 higher.

Marian laughs more at the sight of their king with whip cream on his nose, sending a wink in Sorrel's direction. The warchief is notablely not joining them on the dance floor. She's enjoying the plate of treats that she secured for herself. Reese's arrival does distract her for a moment while she pauses in her snacking, "Princess Reese, it's good to see you."

Sanya takes Mabelle's arm with a grin. "Another dance with another Grimhall, if you please?" She asks with excitement in her voice.

Reese has a warm smile for Mabelle that reaches her blue eyes. "Lady Mabelle, veyr nice to see you." She says softly to her and then smiles over to Marian as well. "And Princess Marian." She says, before smiling to Liara. "Princess Liara, congrats on getting High Princess. It is well earned." She says happily. "And ooo, dancing."

Mabelle unexpectedly blinks at Sanya as she laces her arm. She laughs then and gives her plate to one of the serves, "Of course, you're the prettier one, anyway", she eyes Erik from afar and winks to Reese on her way to the dancefloor.

Sanya checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 47 higher.

Mabelle checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 45 higher.

For the record, Baelos has yet to display any antics. All in good time. To Marian's credit, he doesn't appear to be interested in or even aware of Alaric at the moment. Instead he kind of sways in place for a moment, perhaps roughly in time with the bards' music. Leaning one elbow against a nearby high table, he adopts something like the theme-equivalent of a gangsta lean ... Lower Boroughs lean? Unclear, but he is steady! To Liara, he nods once. "How could I miss it?" He notes Reese's arrival and raises his glass in greeting.

Mabelle has joined the Dance Floor.

Reese smiles warmly to Baelos. "Greetings Prince Baelos." She says softly to him. Reese has recently arrived at the party and is already heading to the dance floor and heading there by herself. "I am a pretty good dancer.." She says.

"Is it?" Scipio responds to Mabelle moments before her arm is hooked and she dragged to the dance floor. He chuckles before dipping his head toward the departing lady and calling out, "Perhaps we can speak more later then? Good luck!" Left to his own devices, his eyes drift about the room for a moment, seeking out something to drink before he lifts a hand to flag down the nearest server bearing wine.

"You do look so dignified like that, Your Majesty," Sorrel says with a brilliant laugh to Alaric as he leads her to the dance floor. "Come, everyone! Let us all dance and make merry." She moves to align herself with the king and takes a moment to listen to the music, nodding thoughtfully before they start to dance.

Sorrel checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 36 higher.

Alaric checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 53 higher.

With her head held high and absolutely not dressed to theme, Korka makes her way into the crowded party, sticking mostly to the walls so she can survey the people that are here, taking note of who is sitting where and what conversational groups seem to be popping up. She finds herself a nice place against the wall to lean back, arms folded, to watch the parade of nobility go by.

Tugging Mabelle to the center of the floor, Sanya seems to move easily with the music, lost in the song, as she spins with her partner. Enjoying herself more than anything.

Bob, the chartreuse parakeet have been dismissed.

Reese has a smile for Korka as she joins the dance floor and spins around in a circle. She seems to be in a cheerful mood. She smiles to the King and Sorrel as well.

Reese checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 19 higher.

Acantha gives a smile to Alaric, "Oh it's no trouble." she tells him. Given Baelos is drunk, but not knocking anything over she retreats to her spot near the doors at the front of the great hall. That's when Korka enters and there's a smile to her, "Welcome." she greets with a dip of her head. Then she settles in to watch the gathered dance and have fun. Benny joins her, sitting on his stool beside her.

Marian watches the dancing for a time, enjoying her sweets as more and more nobles join Alaric and Sorrel on the dance floor. Once the group around her has thinned, the princess warrior takes the opportunity to slip out of the party before anyone is foolish enough to ask her to dance. She does make a point of saying her good-byes to the hostess before leaving.

Alaric is overheard praising Marian: Warchief and excellent dessert selector.

Mabelle is happy to dance freely and not to loop around anyone. Her movements are agile and delicate yet free and mirthful, as she slips around Sanya in graceful movements.

Marian is overheard praising Alaric: The center of every party!

Ender, a Silver Gyrfalcon, Ursa, 2 Redrain Guards leave, following Marian.

Reese spins about in a circle. She is a good dancer for a warrior princess, but she is mostly certain outdanced by many at this party. She is pink cheeked, bright-eyed and having a good time though.

Liara, on her way to the dance floor, has to speak up a bit to reply to Reese, "Thank you! I'm having a party for it all soon!" She flashes Baelos a smile in acknowledgement, then her attention is on to dancing for the moment.

Reese looks to Liara, having a smile for her that is framed by dimples and reaches her blue eyes.. "I will try to make your party, Princess Liara." She says in her direction, sounding respectful and friendly at the same time.

"Baroness," Korka greets with a nod and a small dip of her shoulders that might be a bow or might be an itch as she reaches out to take a glass of something alcoholic from a passing server. Reese gets a little waggle of her fingers when she sends a smile her way.

Delia checked charm + performance at difficulty 40, rolling 23 higher.

Vicente checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 1 lower.

At something said from Delia, Erik's grey eyes roll and his head shakes, though if anything it's in amused resignation, and after a quick puff of breath he's off, trying to match Delia's pace for another round. Third time's the charm! ..or is it?

Erik checked stamina + athletics at difficulty 40, rolling 3 lower.

When you dance with one of the most famous bards ever, it is easy to look as if yo uhave danced forever. The King is also in his happy place when he is amongst the people. "There is so much going on, nights like this serve as good reminders why we do what we do." He blends with Sorrel as if the two have done this over and over; as if they know the steps each other will take before they even do. He is less dextrous, less athletic, but his movements are like a performance and he smiles to his dance partner. "Have you seen anyone outpace us," he asks, almost sounding hopeful

Vicente makes his way out to the dance floor with Liara with hand. His steps are not horrible but he is far from graceful on the floor. His left knee does seem to give on the occasional step that places more weight on that knee. His focus seems just on his steps rather than on much of anything else that is going on around him.

There are roughly 4 categories of party drunks. Category 1 involves fighting, Category 2 the gangsta lean turns into a nap at the table. Category 3 usually results in a melt down of some kind followed by a hasty exit through the back. Luckily Baelos Redrain falls into Category 4, AKA absurd over confidence and lack of inhibition. This means the prince quickly follows Reese and others to the dance floor.

Mabelle lowers herself into a partial curtsy, holding her hand high as she holds Sanya's, allowing the Grimhall to playfully promandae around her. She chuckles at the absurdity of it all but mirthful at the way the evening turned out, as she slaps her hip gently for rhythm with her free hand

Acantha gives a smile to Korka, "How fares the evening for you? I imagine the moon is still messing with people out there." she sighs as she looks to one of the windows and sure enough, it is still crimson washed snow. Then back towards the others, "There's plenty of food left and the wine is still flowing." she comments to the Inquisitor. "I'm sure that someone will start making things interesting when we least expect it." she muses as she sips her wine.

Liara's hardly on peak form, but still amply able as far as the requirements of ballroom dancing go. She doesn't make to hurry Vicente unduly, and when there's something requiring any particular vigorous movement - spinning or whatnot - she throws herself into it without /quite/ dragging the Fidante along.

Dancing around Mabelle, Sanya grins approvingly at the Laurent. "Oh! That was a great idea." She says, somehow still keeping her bearings.

Reese smiles to all those dancing as she spins around, the ribbons on her clothing and in her hair lifting up bit as she moves.

Adam, A Young Apprentice, 4 Navegant Marines arrive, following Turo.

Baelos checked charm + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 62 higher. Baelos rolled a critical!

"Yes!" delia can be heard to cry by those near her, clearly considering it a victory to have lured Erik (or pushed Erik) into another dance. She takes a breath to steady herself, and then they're off again! Delia hasn't entirely worn herself out yet, and for a little while they look like they're doing okay.

Then they pass by the King, and she turns her head to smile and bow, without letting go of Erik's arm. That brings Baelos into her line of sight again, and she half-turns, making it part of the dance steps, to wave him over. And that does for them. One of her feet gets between Erik's. She is focusing such on Baelos and the King that she doesn't notice until a second too late, and the poor scholar steps on her toes. That might have been fine, but she instinctively pulls her foot back to keep it from happening again, lets her other foot slide too far on the smooth wooden boards, and performs an awkward slide-step out of the way of the other dancers that takes them /just/ close enough to the edge to be relatively safe when she lands on her butt. Hands still on Erik, she pulls him down halfway himself, and it's a graceless, red-faced exit from the competition for Delia and her hapless partner.

Korka's lips quirk up at the corner when Acantha addresses her, "I find it's more people messing with themselves and engaging in a game of trying to out-perform each other in hysterics than the moon itself. And Baroness," she clicks her tongue, "Things got more interesting the moment I walked through your door. You're welcome." She raises her glass in a mock toast and has a long drink.

Reese is spinning around on the dance floor by herself, weaving about couples and looking pink-cheeked and cheerful. She is not the best of dancers, but she doesn't trip or get off balance either.

Mabelle rises from her curtsy as Sanya's hand is still gingerly grasped and she sends her twirling, catching her in time back toward her before she collides against a princess or a King. Not sharing that fate is Delia and Erik, which collapse and evoke a hearty laughter from Mabelle.

Turo arrives perhaps fashionably late, but slips in without causing too much disruption to the dancing. The Marquis makes his way toward the drinks, staying out of the way of the action. He offers a proper bow when he nears the King, and then goes to find himself a beverage, to help facilitate him watching the dancing happening.

Turo has joined the Antique Clearlake Couch.

Acantha nods in agreement with Korka, "Sounds like it." she admits to that. Then there's a chuckle, "Thank you for coming. I was not expecting nearly as many this evening, but, it is a good thing to welcome so many." she admits. Then there is a new arrival and she rises, "Excuse me, duty calls." she smiles to Korka and heads for Turo.

Baelos is not exactly a trained dancer, but he more than makes up for it in sheer athletic ability and loveable drunk qualities. Having decided to dance rather than simply pound whiskey, he goes ALL IN and is having a blast, in the general vicinity of Reese, Liara, and others nearby.

Alaric is overheard praising Baelos: Dance is in his blood

Alaric is overheard praising Acantha: What a festival!

"Actually, I think people are at least keeping up with us tonight. You've quite inspired them, Your Majesty," Sorrel says with a wink, laughing brightly as she and Alaric move to the music together. "Look at Lord Erik and Delia Whisper! I think he's having a bit of a rough time of it there. Oh, and that gentleman there!" She nods towards Baelos. "He's really dancing tonight!"

Cornelius, a studious looking attendant arrives, delivering a message to Scipio before departing.

Korka has joined the Antique Clearlake Couch.

Well, it seemed like an idea at the time. Maybe not a -good- one, but more than likely a fun one!

The third round of dancing took off more like the first than the second, and already the winded Thraxian was hard-pressed to keep up, but putting on a broad smile through the effort and a bright grin. As a wave of other dancers came onto the Floor it did make things more interesting, but Erik wasn't built for nimble steps. And then no one's built for steps on toes, right? But there it was, and there it went - a few split-seconds of frantic attempts for course-correction, but the winds of change are blowing too hard. Delia falls back off the Floor on her rear, and Erik manages to catch a faceplant alongside the Whisper.

He lays there for a few moments, face down, before his form starts shaking, and then the shaking intensifies. Finally, Erik rolls over, and there's a boisterous laugh, but he still doesn't get up. "Well, I can't get any lower from here!", he calls out, a fist thrown into the air as if he'd accomplished something other than literally falling from grace. His head lolls to one side and he admits to Delia through sympathetic wince, "I should probably look into an instructor, shouldn't I?"

"Yes! Me!" Sanya calls to her brother, as she twirls around with Mabelle. "I can't believe he's forgotten me already." She chuckles. "As soon as he's having fun."

"Welcome to Clearlake Lodge, Marquis Navegeant." Acantha dips her head to the newly arrived man once he's settled down and has a drink. Though the faceplanting on the floor gives her a startle and she turns to see Benny quickly waddling over to see if Erik is alright, patting the mans cheek.

Oh Benny.

Reese continues her dancing and frolicing. She smiles to Baelos as he goes all out, looking impressed. She then looks to Erik as he face plants and a soft sound of concern escapes her slightly pouted lips. "Oh, I hope he is alright." She says before waving to Turo. "Marquis, come dance?"

Alaric sees Delia fall as it were, and he gives Sorrel a nice lift, some style and all the like, as he makes sure that in the close movements and proximity they do not get too close to something horrible like stepping on her! Still, as they make their way around the floor without stepping on each other OR people who have found their way to the ground, he does finally make his way off of it, whispering something to Sorrel as he moves to find a place to watch those doing so well. "I should consider heading back soon. Now that I don't have the excuse of running the Crownlands, I fear that people may actually have some expectations of me that I need meet. Did we have a dance off winner?"

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

Vicente makes his bow to Liara at the finish of the dance and says, "Princess Liara, your dancing was most graceful. Thank you, it has been quite some time since I last danced and even longer since I enjoyed it as much as I did this." He gives a quick kiss to her hand and adds, "But I do believe you may have a bit more skill than I am capable of exhibiting. I hope to see some of your skill on the floor later."

Mabelle gives Sanya a grumpy smile, "Tell me about it!" as she observes Erik laughing on the floor. She focuses on her dance partner, eager to outdance the King and Princess, Mabelle abruptly, and in oddly impressive strength for such a slip girl, lifts Sanya by the shoulders and twirls her in the air.

"Never that!", Erik calls across the floor from his prone position to Sanya, still not lifting his head up. Instead, he looks to be making himself comfortable for a breather. Both hands tuck behind his head, and the worn out scholar finally closes his eyes for a moment's respite.

Liara gives a little tip of her chin towards Vicente. "Much appreciated, my lord. I am always glad to dance, and gladder still that you enjoyed it so." Then her gaze is drawn by Baelos for a moment, a sight which elicits a quick, amused smile from the Grayson, and then over towards Erik and Delia, with a little intake of breath, though she says nothing.

Reese looks over to Alaric, giving him a smile when the King speaks about leaving. "Take care, King Alaric, it was good to see you." She says softly.

Turo is momentarily distracted from answering the hostess by the commotion on the floor, but he gets back to Acantha with a polite nod. His bass voice rumbles a reply. "Thank you. You must be the baroness. I don't believe we've met, but I see you already know who I am." Turo chuckles a little at that. "It looks like a fine event. You're to be congratulated." When Reese calls him to dance, the Navegant replies, "Oh, perhaps after a few more drinks, Princess. Or a dozen. I am afraid my footwork is better on a rolling ship than a dancefloor," but his grin is wide and his tone jesting. And then Korka speaks to him and Turo inclines his head in acknowledgement. "Thank you.... I'm afraid I've not been introduced to you. Who might you be?"

Merek is overheard praising Alaric.

Merek is overheard praising Reese.

Blushing a furious, deep red, Delia is nevertheless laughing when she straightens her spine, trying to brush ehr clothes back into place. "You did warn me," she tells Erik through laughter hard enough to make her eyes water. "Still, look! There are so many dancers better than us that they have barely even noticed." She groans a and scrambles to her feet, offering him a hand. "I don't know, you danced quite well up until I put my foot under yours. I would offer to teach you myself, but I think we've proven that would be a bad idea. Would you like a drink? Something a little more sedate to round out the evening?" She wipes hair from her forehead, then a tear of laughter from the corner of her eye, watching Sanya and Mabelle twirl inexorably past.

Reese looks over to Turo, nodding in response to his words. "The dance floor is probably like a ship after lots of drinks." She says in his direction. She does spar Erik another glance, checking to see if he is alright. She also tries not to step on him.

Reese checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 41 higher.

Benny returns after Erik is found to be alright. She then looks to the dance floor and there's a bit of a smile, but she doesn't comment on it until Benny's tail whap of approval happens and she grins down at him, "It's been a very good night, yes." she tells him. Then she looks back to Turo, "Ah, yes, forgive me I tend to people watch and listen to names." she smiles to him. "I am Baroness Acantha Clearlake and we're always happy to have our friends from Thrax visit." she dips her head to that. "And thank you. It turned out far better than I had imagined." she adds.

"I might be a lot of people," Korka drawls mildly, watching the dance floor rather than looking at Turo, "I might be a Princess or even the King if you aren't paying close attention to where the guards are standing. Or a nobody without title just looking for a free drink. Or something more, you never can tell with people. Especially those who, as you say, have not been introduced."

"I declare that Lady Sanya and Lady Mabelle have, as a pair, managed to dance at least as well as the king and I," Sorrel announces as she and Alaric move their way gracefully off the dance floor. They're a very pretty couple, and they dance very nicely, as it turns out, the king and the princess.

1 Rivenshari Clansman, Lucky, the fishing cat, Patock, A clever Youth arrive, following Athaur.

Cornelius, a studious looking attendant arrives, delivering a message to Scipio before departing.

Reese has a warm smile for Sanya and Mabelle. "Congrats, that is quite the feat." She says toward them.

Turo looks for a time at Korka at her response, his head canting slightly. "I suppose all that is true," he replies drily, "except not introducing oneself at a social event like this one is... rather rude, I would think. Especially when someone's asked rather directly who you are." There's a pause, then he adds, "But perhaps I'm the one lacking in manners and it's entirely acceptable behaviour. I'll have to ask around."

Although he has moves for days, the briefest break in the music as songs transition, plus Reese's well-timed comment about lots of drinks, stir Baelos from the moment. He dance walks his way back toward a table with whiskey. The table happens to be near Korka and Turo, and he smiles as he runs a hand through his hair. "A king to be sure." He advises Turo regarding the other.

Vicente gives his parting bow and then allows his step to take him back into blending back into the crowd where he casually mingles about.

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

Sorrel has her serving girl run out to the two ladies, to give them a prize of expensive seatouched wool. Perhaps an appropriate prize for a winter ball.

So much for the nap off the Floor but on the floor. At the mention of drinks, one of Erik's eyes cracks open, and he rolls himself upright, though waves off Delia's offered hand with a waggle of his own and a brisk shake of his head. Up to a knee first and unheeding of whatever may or may not have gotten on the white leathers of his coat, the Scholar hefts then to his feet before answering.

"Apologies all the same, Whisper.", he says with a fairly relaxed smile. Or maybe that's a wince in disguise? "You forget, scholar, learning what -not- to do is still learning.", and with the words there's a ghost of a grin again. "But yes, a drink of the sedative variety does sound wonderful right about now."

Erik spares a glance in the direction of his sister and Lady Mabelle as they're declared very fine dancers indeed, and he offers a loose wave, still smiling, before heading off in search of something with some kick.

Alaric is overheard praising Sanya.

Alaric is overheard praising Mabelle.

Mabelle pauses as she hears Sorrel's announcement and cheers Sanya, "We won!". A happy laughter escapes her lips as she turns to offer a curtsy to both Sorrel and Alaric, "A very difficult rivalry, I am honoured!", she collects the prize with a smile and returns to a victory dance with Sanya

With the jingling of bells, Athaur strides into the hall, a smile on his face. He picks up a glass of drink from a passing server and takes a sip from it as he makes his way into the hall.

Scipio is overheard praising Acantha.

Reese looks over the wool that is given as a prize, having another smile and now she stops her dancing. She looks to Athaur as he arrives with a smile and then goes finds herself a glass of pale wine and a place to perch.

"Did they?" He purses his lips as he looks to them. "At least as good hmmm?" He purses his lips, "Well then," he intones simply. "If that is the case, let us recognize them." Reaching over he picks up a gla--nope, that's a bottle. He picks up BOTTLE of fine alcohol and raises it, "To Lady Laurent and Lady Grimhall - huzzah!" He heers them both before bowing and looking to Turo. "Marquis Navegant. The Princess Thrax had me escort her here but I am afraid I need to depart sooner than I believe she wishes. Would you do me the honor of seeing that she is returned back to her ward safely?"

Delia applauds unrestrainedly for the two winners of the contest, beaming at them as she follows Erik from the dance floor. "Congratulations!" she calls over her shoulder. "Lady Grimhall, remember, what happened to your brother there was my fault!" Why does she say that? From the little smile and shrug she gives Erik, it's perhaps a joke of their own.

More quietly to the scholar she goes on. "Then let us by all means find some drinks and rest before we cramp up. I think I may step out and take some air myself. All this dancing has made it a touch too hto in here for me!"

Almost missing Mabelle's words, caught up in the music, Sanya takes a while before she stops. "Oh! Oh we did." She grins turning to Sorrel, -now- finally out of breath. "Thank you, your highness. You were all very stiff competition."

Korka tsks once, "You asked me who I might be," she corrects Turo, taking a sip of wine and letting her green eyed gaze fall on him after another moment, "But since my name is what you're after, it's Korka Glynn," She gives Baelos an amused look at his comment, "I might be. I've heard a Queen was recently surprised with a title at one of the Assembly of Peer meetings. Stranger things and all that."

Erik has left the Dance Floor.

Acantha perks up visibly at the sound of familiar bells and she turns to see who is wearing them. Her shoulders fall just a touch, but, she's still happy to see Athaur. Even if she was hoping to see Vano. "Count Athaur." she greets him with a wave. "It is good to see you again." she adds to him.

Liara offers some brisk applause for Mabelle and Sanya, even if it's somewhat muted what with her having gloves on and all. The princess seems to be on her way towards the door for now, though, but she does stop to speak up towards Acantha, "A splendid function, Baroness. Thank you."

Delia has left the Dance Floor.

Mabelle beams brightly at the room as she theatrically offers curties all around as if she won the oscars. She's soon to thank her mother. Athaur receives a smile from her as well, "Count, good evening!", she calls for him before nudging Sanya, happily

Erik joins in the applause for the acclaimed dance partners before offering a bob of a nod in affirmation to Delia. A moment later, he's ambling off perhaps stiffly, toward wherever something to drink can be found.

Turo nods to the King's request and says, "Of course, your Majesty. I'll see to it personally." There's another incline of his head to Alaric. When Korka replies, Turo says, "Ah... so you're into pedantry and semantics," with a slight smile tugging at his lips. "You'd get on well with my sister, Lady Estil."

Athaur drops into a deep, jingling bow to Alaric as the King passes by, only rising once he is clear. He offers Reese a small nod of greeting before bowing to Acantha. "Yes, Sorry to disappoint you my dear. It is good to see you though." He turns in place, beaming to Mabelle. "Lady Mabelle, lovely to see you as always." He takes a sip from his drink, moving over to clap Turo on one shoulder. "My lord Marquis"

"You'd need to actually be buying me drinks to learn what I'm into," Korka drawls again, shifting her attention back to the room at large.

Acantha gives a look to Baelos as he moves towards the couch that Turo and Korka are seated on and she's off to the side, "Good evening, your Highness." she greets him. Then Benny is wandering back to his stool and chews on his twig that was given to him by Mirk. When Athaur tells her he's sorry to disappoint there's a soft shake of her head, "No need to apologize. I just admittedly was not thinking he'd be back so soon." she tells him. "How are things in Rivenshari at the moment?" she asks him.

Erik squints, recognizing a voice now that he's not dancing for once in the evening. He looks in Korka's direction and offers in a simple deadpan, "Geese."

Bob, the chartreuse parakeet have been dismissed.

13 King's Own Guardsmen, Zelda, the royal messenger leave, following Alaric.

Turo looks up as Athaur claps his shoulder. With a bright smile, Turo rises and return the clap to Athaur on his own shoulder. "My lord Count," Turo rumbles in obviously friendly greeting. "Come, join us and have a seat. This is Mistress Korka Glynn. I'm telling you so that you don't have to waste the time in trying to pry it from her as though it was a pearl from an oyster. As for what she likes, apparently, she thinks that's another pearl and worth trading drinks to learn. I'm not inclined, but don't let that stop you."

Amused at Turo's speech, Mabelle turns to him, "Marquis Turo, congratulations for the elavation and it is always a pleasure to see you again".

Baelos takes a generous sip from his drink and then spreads his hands with a shrug, "Stranger things indeed, King Korka." He looks back toward Turo to add something before Athaur is arriving (and Turo is more or less oblivious as to the Redrain regardless) and Acantha greets him. To the latter, his grin widens. "Excellent party."

Octavian, a silken spaniel arrives, following Zoey.

"Inquisitor," Korka corrects Turo again, the gleam in her eyes suggesting she must live for those moments. She waves a regal hand to Baelos' direction, "Please don't stand on such ceremony, just Korka will do. For now."

Reese has a gentle smile. "Wonderful party, thank you Baroness." She says softly before quietly slipping out.

Reese is overheard praising Acantha: Great party!

Rosalie, a lady in waiting, 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 leave, following Reese.

Athaur smiles at Acantha. "Yes, he is still away. But I will let him know how hopeful you are to see him. Though I should hope he is aware." He grins, taking a drink from his glass before looking to Turo. "Indeed, I have met Korka before. She is short on manners, but perhaps she makes upo for it in other ways." He lifts his brows slightly at her confession to being a confessor. He turns slightly towards Mabelle. "Lady Belle, how are you doing this evening?"

Palamon, a supercilious eagle owl arrives, delivering a message to Mabelle before departing.

Octavian, a silken spaniel have been dismissed.

Mabelle curves her lips at Athaur, "I'm doing very well, but exhausted. It has been a very exciting night. You just missed Sanya and I win a dance contest", she beams and hopes, "You have been well?". The messenger arriving gives a wrinkle of a nose and a hint she might depart soon.

Zoey enters the Great Hall, and to her delight the event is still on. She looks around for familiar faces.

Acantha looks up to give Baelos a smile, "Thank you for coming." she tells him. "And I am sure that we will have more events to attend this coming Spring." she smiles to the Redrain Prince. Then she gives a look to Benny to make sure he's not chewing a table leg off. Then back to Athaur, "I'm sure he is, but, we're handling it as well as we can at the moment. He has his duties and I have mine." she nods to that. She then finishes off her glass of wine and then she gives a soft smile, "I am going to go see what is needed from the staff to help with things. Please, eat, drink and be merry." she smiles as she moves off.

Baelos is overheard praising Acantha.

Turo seems entirely unimpressed by the moments Korka lives for. "There. Was that so damnably difficult?" he comments drily. "Thank you, Lady Mabelle. I didn't know who to expect when I came here, but it's nice to see you again as well." To Athaur, Turo laughs a little and suggests with a grin, "Likely," but he doesn't continue, smirking into his drink.

Erik sidles up alongside Sanya, a drink in his hand and a perhaps overly warm cant to his words. "Siiiiister.", he intones, head lolling closer. He adds in a stage whisper, "I will be needing your help before I try that again."

Erik is overheard praising Acantha: A grand hostess!

Sorrel meanders over to the Grimhall siblings, looking amused. "Lord Erik," she says with amusement. "I thought your family did better with the dancing and the singing than you showed off this evening."

Catching her breath, cooling down with a glass of wine in hand, Sanya grins as Mabelle speaks of their victory. "Indeed you did. She's probably the best dance partner I've ever had." Hearing her brother's voice, she grins. "You know I'd be happy to, brother. So long as you don't break my toes."

Turo is overheard praising Acantha.

Mabelle flashes a smile to Turo and Athaur and turns to the Grimhall siblings, "I have been spending too long in your company today, but it was quite an amusing day". Eyeing Erik, she asks Sanya, "Oh please, for the sake of humanity and white boots, teach him", she winks toward the man and apologizes, "I should head out, prior engagements.. in the middle of the night. It is not as it sounds", she gives an impish grin.

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