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Great Gray Ball in the Great Gray Hall III

Liara Grayson received a helpful reminder that now would be a great time for a party, so she's throwing one, even at slightly short notice. All welcome! There will be abundant food, drink, music and dancing. Games are always a possibility.

Date

Nov. 2, 2019, 5 p.m.

Hosted By

Liara

Participants

Erik Skye Alarissa Vicente Brianna Sanya Zara Videl Alaric Ronja Sabella Ailys Monique Calandra Preston Niklas Lou Jaenelle Arcadia Hadrian Lisebet Merek Delilah

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Grayson Mansion - Great Gray Hall

Largesse Level

Legendary

Comments and Log


12 Grayson House Guards arrives, following Liara.

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

Erik's scan of the already-arrived passes over Ronja, brows ticking up and head bobbing with a purse of his lips that might be equal parts surprise and approval. If each one of the inks had a story to tell, well, the stranger could likely be a trove of tales. Aside to Skye with a light heft of his shoulders, Erik muses brightly, "Easier, perhaps, but then how will we ever know -more-? There's a wealth of information out there, if we're just willing to learn from it."



Erik practically beams in his sister's direction when he spots and hears Sanya, offering a lopsided grin and a wink in reply to the tease. "A good thing that our cousin came through at the last moment, then, because I'd already been polishing it just in case."

Alette, a discreet lady's maid, Isabel, a calm diplomatic aide, Elena, a solemn knight attache arrive, following Zara.

Emerging from further into the mansion, one of the sundry liveried staff peeling away from her side to hurry on over to the orchestra with directions of some fashion, Liara smiles to greet those early (or timely) arrivals. "Welcome, welcome! Please, help yourselves to food and drink as takes your fancy." In some cases, considering the number of servants put on to staff the event, guests may find themselves a little close to but hopefully not quite inundated. The princess continues over to park herself near the door to greet further arrivals.

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

Serenade, a lovely nightingale arrives, following Calandra.

Skye smiles brightly at Sanya as she stands in the hall next to Erik, "Oh m'lady, it is good to see you." She motions to Erik who is currently by her side, "Your brother was kind enough to escort me to the ball." Her blue eyes twinkle as she confesses, "With the promise of course I would not monopolize his time while he's at the dance." She pauses as Erik speaks of collecting knowledge, "Well yes, I do think it's important to always want more information so one can make good decisions." She turns to the hostess, smiling at the grand highlady, "Your Grace, thank you so much for inviting us to your home. I am Baroness Skye Blackshore." She looks to Erik and Sanya, not being forward enough to introduce them, "This is my first time in the great hall of Grayson."

Alarissa’s arriving with little fanfare, a more severe dress on but none the less arriving. Thrax guards departed somewhere else between gates and here and smiles to the newly minted Princess of Bastion. “So when is it my turn to rule Bastion” The former Grayson teases.

2 Halfshav skilled veteran guards arrives, following Brianna.

Vicente walks into the great hall with a bit of a stiff half-march. His face has a stern expression to it but not mean. His hands are folded behind his back, left hand clinched by the right. When he gets in a few paces he manages to locate a drink and is quick to take a long but slow drink. His eyes shift about as he realizes he may have arrived just a smidge early. His eyes scan about for ... well, who knows. His expression remains unaltered as he takes another drink from the glass.

2 Grayson House Guards, Max, an emperor tamarin, Rosalee, The Champion arrive, following Ailys.

Brianna swishes into the hall with familiar ease. She accepts a drink from a servant with a gracious nod and starts making the rounds.

"Vanora?" Sanya steps back a bit, appraising his garb. "You can never doubt her taste." She says approvingly before her attention shifts to Skye. "Oh, indeed. My brother has recently rediscovered his -love- for dance. Or newly discovered." She watches him with an amused smile.



Then she turns to Liara with a grin, approaching her. "I am delighted to see that the esteemed hostess is here to stay, even with your new duties. Although, since you were Voice beforehand, you likely have become a master of balancing your work." She says. "Thank you for this lovely event."

Looking aggressively Oathlandsy in layers of silk brocade shaped as though it were a suit of armor, Zara arrives with her head bent close to Calandra's in quiet conversation. With Liara parked near the door for greetings, she returns them just as politely, with a warm nod to Alarissa nearby, as well. "Your grace," she greets Liara, bringing out the new address for her with all possible courtesy. "I know Grayson will continue to prosper. I will remember you in my prayers." She moves on then, moving to search out a place to seat and clear the way for the rest of the crowd making their way through and gathering around Liara.

Zara has joined the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.

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

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

Videl arrives fashionably late, and heads directly for the high lady. "Your grace, it is always lovely to be at one of your parties." She offers with an incline of her head, "Is there anything I can do to help you with this one?"

Alaric smiles to Liara as he makes his way in, "Princess....Cousin. High Lord...Lady...my goodness, so many things I could call you." Still, he affectionately would greet Liara before looking to the others. He decides to step in further then, him and the entourage a it were deciding to spread out properly. Still, at Zara's words, he smiles in amusement. "Continue? More like start to. I am fairly sure with everything going on they were politely planning to have me removed of my duties due to being far too distracted with the Kingdom as a whole. This will only be better for all," intones the King resolutely before moving to grab a drink and decide where to settle.

Liara offers a warm flash of a smile to the Thraxian group there - Skye and the Grimhalls. "How do you do? It is lovely to see you all here. And something really quite untoward would have happened were I to find myself unable to hold a party, Lady Sanya." Then she turns to reply to Alarissa, amused, with a little arch of her eyebrows, "We could take a ship upriver and I could have people follow your bidding for the day, although it may perhaps be deemed a little flippant." She offers Zara an easy smile. "Thank you, Princess Zara." Liara's parked by the door, greeting people, clad all in green and grey.



As more nobility and royalty and so on flow into the hall, Ronja seems to become just that much more lost. A passing servant offers her a drink and she takes it -- and then takes another, walking around with two glasses apparently just to keep something in her hands. "Okay, Sandreef," she says to herself, quietly but still aloud. "Go up, greet the hostess, try not to default into asking any of the other partygoers if they need any help with anything..."

There's an idly amused scoff at Skye's remark concerning Erik, and he shakes his head and rolls his eyes. "That may be for your own safety, Baroness. But I promise I've been pilfering whatever guidance I could from those of better skill than me to dust off my boots and try not to step on toes..again." He glances in the direction of Sanya with an amused, almost conspiratorial grin before offering a dip of his head and a more polite smile to the hostess, Liara. "Your ability to weave all of this into your packed schedule is nothing short of remarkable, Your Grace. Thank you for opening your doors." When he notices Alaric, there's a deeper, deferential bow in the King's direction, but he doesn't interject himself into any further conversation.

Brianna sashays up to Liara. "Princess Liara, darling, it's been too long since I was able to make it to one of your affairs. Congratulations on the new appointment. Your family could find none greater for the position." Alaric earns a courtly curtsy. "And you look well, Your Highness. Even considering the lack of whipped cream in your ensemble."

After waiting for the ten million guards to follow Alaric in, Sabella enters the party looking a little stiff on Niklas' arm and nearly immediately detaches herself after murmuring something to him to move towards where they are serving the drinks.



Ailys steps into the hall, making her way down the stairs from her room. It's easy to attend a party when it's in your own home! One hand rises to tuck a loose curl into a pin in her hair, and she pauses briefly to take in the sights of the lavishly decorated hall. And the orchestra! She smiles lightly, smoothing her hands over the front of her dress before plucking up a glass from a nearby servant and stepping further into the hall.

Skye spies the arrival of her patron, and is about to part from Erik's side to attend her when the King arrives shortly after. She looks torn for a moment and then greets the King since he's closer, "Your Majesty." She gives a deep curtesy to show her respect for the Crown, "It is an honor to finally meet you."

Liara offers Videl a warm smile then gives a quiet laugh as she replies, "Just wait till you hear the contest that I have in mind and see, then, how many people you can coax into it. I dare say it will not be too tricky, but then, some people can be quite shy about dancing." She offers a little incline of her head to Alaric. "All of them excellent, no doubt. Good to see you." Brianna's remark draws another laugh from the princess, though she offers no comment on the matter of kingly adornments.

"Your majesty," Zara says to Alaric, skirts sweeping to the side in a curtsy as she addresses him with a hint of humor in her eyes. "I hope you will forgive me for saying so -- and thus, disagreeing with you," she says, just a touch regretful that she must, MUST pick a FIGHT, "but you were at least wise enough in naming your Voices that Grayson prospered regardless. This is simply a new and greater age." She dips her head to him, humor fading in something a touch more serious: respect for his choices in the dip of her head.

"Oh, for a certainty. And Arx will be worse of for it." Sanya says to the princess of Bastion with a chuckle. "Princess Alarissa, it's lovely to see you here. This dress is a marvel." She gestures to the gown that once belonged to the woman with awe. "Thank you." Then her attention shift to the king. "Oh, your Majesty. I presume you'll be gracing us with the honor of witnessing your dancing skills yet again." She dips into a curtsy, on greeting him. "Perhaps you can give my brother a little boost." She winks at Erik.

Sabella has joined the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.

Lady Monique Greenmarch arrives in a gown the deep hue of malachite, shaking her flame-bright head free of snowflakes. They fall in her wake as she crosses to greet the hostess with a curtsey. The King might be included in that but it's Liara the Minx focuses on. "Incredible, as expected. I've come to see mastery at work and I am not disappointed." Rising from her obeisance, she steps back in an effort to join the throngs.

“no doubt it would offend someone. But all i have to do is take my husbands ship and then they’ll do much the same” There is a dmile fir Sjye then Alaric as he makes his way to greet Zara. She curtsy’s to him, for a moment theres a wobble as if she might go down but carries through successfully before she is off in search of a place to perch.

After a fleeting grin aside to Sanya, Erik's grey eyes roll and he bows his head to Alaric, offering with an easy mirth. "I promise not to fall on my face before you again, Your Majesty. At least not accidentally."

Alarissa has joined the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

Vicente somehow managed to sneak in just before Liara but with drink in hand he does move to make his way back towards the hostess. When he arrives, he gives a bow to her though not in any way as to push past people and not even moving to make any direct statement to her. He gives a weak smile to her and raises his glass just a touchabove stomach level but beyond that, he does not press for her attention.



Ronja still has two drinks in her hand as she approaches Liara, joining the crowd of those paying their respects. "Your Highness," she says. Her gown shows a LOT of skin, and ALL of that skin is crazyquilted with varying levels of declasse tattoos, including what appears to be a rendition of Ronja herself as a topless mermaid on her left arm. She moves like she's about to curtsy, and then realizes that she has two glasses in her hands. So she kind of fakes one, badly. It's horrible to watch. "Er, thank you, uh, thank you for this majestic fucking hell that's the actual King himself over there--!" Ronja's mouth moved faster than her brain there, and her eyes widen as she realizes she just swore both in front of the hostess and possibly within earshot of the King. Her arm moves to put her hand over her mouth, but again, there's a glass being held, and it just keeps getting worse.

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

Liara offers a pretty earnest reply, "Always a joy to see what you bring to a party, Lady Monique." She flashes Alarissa a grin as her cousin heads off. A cheery little flutter of her gloved fingers is given in a wave to Vicente. To Ronja, simply, no remark forthcoming on anything that might be somehow wrong: "How do you do? Splendid choice of drinks."

"Isn't it?" He is clearly teasing as he loosk to Skye and he gives a deep bow as well. "A pleasure as well!' Turning, he smiles to Zara. "Fair enough. The pworess of a Voice and the dependence upon them should never be underestimated," he says with a sincere tone. Stepping in and letting the King's Own disperse a bit as they're want to do, a few staying with him, he steps in further as he picks up a drink. Alaric seems content, as he purses his lips in thought and answers Brianna. "Fear not, the night is young. And...do not think that I had forgotten that though Princess Sorrel was the meseenger, that she was a hapless gift giver." As Erik however promises not to fall on his face any longer, there's a disappointed look nonetheless. "I am sorry to hear that. I had hoped it would become a tradition. Pity..." as said with a dramatic sigh as if experiencing a great loss before he hears Ronja's words. "The King? Where?" He looks around with a playful gaze before taking a drink.

Providing the perfect accent to Zara's arm is Calandra, entering the grand hall upon well practiced, flowing steps beside her patron with enough care taken to keep her ear close as they talk amongst themselves. Adorning her for the event is an outfit that positively gleams, the featherweight steelsilk that shifts gracefully with each step glinting like starlight among the equally shining alaricite and pale epiphanite. And though she glimmers, the Whisper doesn't forget her place, bowing with deep respect to both Alaric and Liara. "Your Majesty, it's wonderful to see you. And your Grace, my sincerest congratulations on your new position." Unless kept, she'll keep nearer Zara for the moment, though perhaps after grabbing a drink for the two of them if she hadn't gotten one yet.

Calandra has joined the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.



Ronja just sputters silently at Alaric's joke, clearly short-circuiting too badly to mount a witty response.

Ailys has joined the a magnificent map table of Arvum made of oak and marquetry inlays.

A chuckle escapes Sanya's throat at Alaric's words to her brother and she grins. "Well there may be another to provide that sort of entertainment. The night is young as you say." She dips her head to Sabella, expression brightening. "Princess. It's been a long time since I've seen you." She says on approaching the table for a drink.

To Calandra, Liara offers an easy, "Thank you."

Skye gives a bright smile to Alaric, "Oh yes, a real pleasure." She flushes at her fauning but can't seem to help herself since she's a bit starstruck at all the important people in attendence. She pauses as Erik murmurs a few soft words to her and that manic brightness dims as she manages to calm down her natural tendency to bounce with excitement over being in the presence of all these important people. She gives a quick nod, "Yes...you're right." She lightly smooths her skirt, checking to make sure discreetly that nothing is out of place, "They are just like us..." Then she realizes that she said that outloud. There's a bit of fluster but not as bad as before Erik's words.

Preston makes his way into the great hall, the little posse of Templars with him as he moves around the edge of the hall towards the drinks to search out a fruit juice and to turn and watch some of the gathered nobles. His cup is lifted to a couple that he recognises once his fruit juice is located. It seems when it comes to looking smart, Preston's solution is to go for a slightly stripped down version of his armour - his helm and arming cap safely held by his squire so his short blond hair and smiling face is visible.

Erik offers in return to Alaric with a broad grin and a low chuckle, "Fear not, Your Majesty, I'll do my best to make it up with something less catastrophic. Perhaps not, but I'll do my best." He offers a dip of his head and a smile before wandering off at an easy amble, clearly not intending to tie up the man's precious time.

Alaric has joined the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

Willen arrives, following Lou.

Sanya has joined the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.

Skye has joined the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

With the flow of new arrivals abating, sort of, Liara gives a brisk clap of her hands and speaks up above the noise of the hall. "If I might have your attention for a moment, please. You are all most welcome. The band shall start to provide some music to dance to presently, but I have a little competition to go with that. Simply put, the people who dance with the most other different people this evening shall receive a prize. I shall give ample warning of when the time for it is about to conclude, then I would like those who fancy themselves in with a chance to provide me with all the names of those they danced with. Proper dances, please!"

Niklas gives Sabella a nod at the whisper and watches her go to her seat after having snapped up a drink. He stops and gets himself a glass of brandy and a big plate of roasted root vegetables and all the best part of at least four different kinds of animal. Then starts to make the rounds of vague greetings for everyone he's ever met. "Baroness Skye, looking lovely as always. Princess Alarissa, ever a delight. Princes Ailys..." He actually stops here and narrows his eyes suspiciously at Ailys, then shakes his head and continues on to His Majesty. "Your Majesty, glad to have you back. Bastion is such a b- I mean, lovely place. So lovely you just want to go there and never leave. Not at all very boring."

Alaric makes his way to the couch, and settles down, contentedly sinking into the cushions. "Indeed..." he offers now. "The night is young and we shall see indeed what the evening brings." Calandra's greeting is also well met as he leans back, taking a sip of his drink while settling in near to Alarissa. "Good evening indeed, Princess." To Kilas however he laughs now, "Yes. Not at all. You have right of it my friend."

Skye glances at the dance floor with a bit uncertainty and then opts to go sit with her patron that's on the couch of majestic grphyons. She smiles brightly at Niklas who greets her, "Your highness...it's lovely to see you." When the king joins Alarissa, she straightens her posture so she's looking her best attempt at regale, "Your Majesty..."

Feeling perhaps a touch naked out of her exotic leather armor, the latest among Voices for the Grayson family makes her way down the stairs. Lou is dressed in a form-fitted silk gown with lavishly tailored ivy brocade, with matching cloak, slippers, and green topaz griffin necklace. She's late. Some might say fashionably late, while rumors might suggest she was likely not quite so cooperative to be stuffed in her fine evening gown for the night and may have argued that her leathers were perfectly acceptable. Not the most sociable, she is at least her and attempting to to be sociable for this evening, in support of her cousin's rise to High Lord. To say that balls and parties are not her cup of tea would probably be understating it. And then there's Liara, talking about people dancing with other people, and her usually tanned features pale considerably.

Erik almost immediately veers in the direction of Sanya through the crowds after Liara's announcement, calling over with a chipper lilt to his rolling baritone words. "Siiiiiiister, want to start us off?" A puff of breath and a wry shake of his head later, he's adding in a mumble, "I might've had a chance to win this sort of competition at the Clearlake ball, but here it may take some effort."

Sanya has left the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.

Sanya has joined the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

"Prince Niklas" Alarissa greets. But Liara's talking about a dancing contest and she smoothes the skirt of her dress, a look to Skye. "Will you be trying your hand at the dancing?"



Ailys has settled herself down at a table, sipping her drink slowly. Eyes skim over familiar faces, and catch Niklas giving her that weird suspicious look. Again. Which draws that blankly confused look back to her face again, forehead pinching together as she peers back at him.

Brianna bats her eyelashes at Alaric in feigned innocence. "I haven't the /slightest/ idea what you are taking about, Your Majesty. I wasn't even there." The game is announced and she grins. "Let me know if you'd like to dance." She finishes her drink and hands it off to an attendant, searching for her first victim. Er. Partner.

"By which I mean," Liara provides by way of addendum on the competition, "Running briskly across the floor to do a short circle about each person there may seem tremendously expedient, but it is not dancing." Then she gives a wave of a gloved hand to signal the band, which starts to shift from the gentle ambience to prepare for any would-be dancers - the music when they get going is standard slow-paced ballroom stuff, wrought large. Then Liara goes on to say, "I'll also offer up a prize to the /best/ pair of dancers of the evening."

Rising swiftly as her brother calls her, Sanya turns from where she was about to be sat and raises a brow. "Let's go." She says with a laugh. "Please do not fall on me." She turns to Skye. "I hope you join soon, my lady. I can lead the way." She grins before approaching her brother.

Sanya has left the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

Niklas has joined the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.

Erik looses a hearty chuckle at his sister's answer, but a hand's outstretched and a grin's offered all the same. "One big little splash and it'll be rippling through your memory for years." A puff of breath and a hike of his shoulders, and he heads out with his dearly departe--dancing, yes, dearly dancing sister for the first round.

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

Erik checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 22 higher.

Skye gives a nervous wave of her hand to Sanya, "Oh no, m'lady. It's probably best if I sit this out." She motions to her own little velvet boots, "These have points and they hurt when crossed with shins." She flushes a little brighter at something the king discreetly tells her and then further iterates, "I once hit a man...well in a not so armored place...out of clumsiness. And I don't think it would be fair to inflict those wounds on those lovely partners on the floor."

Brianna approaches Monique. "Lady Greenmarch, may I have this dance? Two redheads are better than one, after all."



Having made an ass of herself in front of not one but two royals in one fell swoop (plus assorted onlookers), Ronja uses the moment of the announcement as her opportunity to slink away and, as discreetly as possible, pound both glasses of wine, one after the other, knocking them back like water. Then she's lost again, moving through the crowd, looking around for any familiar face. "I really should have checked if Lord Michael was coming before I bought the dress and all," she murmurs to herself.

The prospect of a dance contest certainly doesn't draw Preston onto the floor, but he smiles as others do. He moves around the edge of the dancing area to try to ambush Alarissa, giving the princess consort a bow before he perches on the edge of the couch to watch the festivities. "Winter is quite the magical time, isn't it?" The Templar muses "How we use that time the weather buys us."

Preston has joined the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

Monique glances away from a set of ornamental badgers to Brianna and her lips curve. "Do you think the world could handle it?" Her hand lifts in offering, Greenmarch ring flashing. "I'll chance the end of times with you, Lady Halfshav."

"At the very least, the world will be mad with envy," Brianna replies with a grin, taking Monique's hand and settling the other on her waist. "Unless you would rather lead, my lady."

Brianna checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 37 higher.

Lou has joined the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

Monique checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 6 higher.

Lou very carefully makes her way over to the couches where the king and Alarissa are seated. She nods her head to Skye, and grabs a glass of whiskey off a passing tray before taking a hefty sip and doing her best not to plop down next to her fellow family members and friend. She gives each a light smile, and fidgets with the edges of her skirts, asking aloud, "So, no one is looking at me right?" A pause. "Announcements and all." Except maybe her sister, whose gaze she's avoiding at the moment. Another drink of whiskey.a

Monique laughs with pleasure and not drink. "I bow to your far superior ability, my lady. My skills lay in stealth and not open movement." She leans in, pitching her voice lower for a world of whispered exchange while she rests a hand on Brianna's shoulder with ease.

After striding out onto the Floor, as if there needed to be confirmation that he's most definitely received coaching from his sister, Erik 'falls' into motion with Sanya displaying a practiced, relaxed ease. There's nothing terribly embellished in his movements, but there's a level of certainty that he's at least comfortable with them, and a broad smile suggests he's happy to be dancing, perhaps even specifically with his partner. His steps are deliberate and there's the hint of a rhythm to his body, even if it's more akin to an underlying rhythmic sway in time with the tempo of the music - almost like he's rocking with waves.

Left to her own devices for a moment, what with people getting on with dancing, Liara seizes the opportunity to collect a glass of wine to sip at. Then, with a sudden grin, she announces, "A prize, too, for whoever dances with the most Graysons! Best of luck."

Brianna leads Lady Monique around the floor, carefully making her partner look amazing with precision steps and twirls. She laughs at something the other lady says, leaning in to reply softly.

Vicente has wandered about the great hall with a slow and methodical pace, occasionally changing out glasses as he goes along. Eventually as he's passes he comes by Videl and gives a bow to her and says, "Lady Videl, a pleasure to see you again so soon. I hope that you are enjoying yourself tonight?"

Ailys' eyebrows rise slightly at Liara's second contest, her head turning towards her cousin. She blinks a couple times before laughing quietly, sipping the wine in hand and leaning back in her seat to watch those already on the dancefloor.

In time to the music, Sanya seems to take the lead in the dance, deciding what their next moves will be with a relative ease that comes with such an affinity for performing.

12 House Velenosa Guards, Ibasia, the Velenosa Lady-in-Waiting, Ellani, the palm sized spider arrive, following Jaenelle.

Monique, for her part, keeps up and she manages to keep the flow of quiet conversation, but it's visible that Brianna is the star of this performance. Her grace and poise as she leads are unmistakable, and the Minx seems enamored of them as the dance goes on.

Niklas drops down next to his wife and hands off his plate of stuff. After asking her a question he frowns just a touch, nods and pushes himself back to his feet. "I'm a Grayson," he announces. "But I'm worth two points, because I'm a double Grayson. This is proven by the fact that I used to be a Kennex and now am a Grayson while my cousin Wash used to be a Grayson and now he's a Kennex. The math on this works out, but you need paper and some patience. So just believe me, because I've never lied in my life."

Niklas checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 57 higher.

Erik at least is competent at following along in time with Sanya, seeming content not to take initiative in the effort and use the opportunity to loosen up. From the sound of the competition, it might be a busy night, but at least he appears to be looking forward to it.



Ronja approaches Niklas, having downed another glass or two in the moments that no one was looking at her. The liquid bravery is starting to kick in. Reaching out with a tattooed hand towards Niklas, she says, "And I'm a Sandreef whose father is a Farwatch who used to be a Farshaw," she says. "Shall we make a headache-inducing equation together, Your Highness~?"

"What, what? She just said something about dancing with Graysons?" Lou glances over at Liara as she asks this question of those sitting at the couch. She looks around to see if her Eurusi husband is here to rescue her. Not seeking him, she lets out a soft breath, then remarks to Skye. "It really is a lovely dress, worthy of any Grayson ball. Murder Death Kittens goes with /everything/," she assures her.

Something Brianna says makes Monique miss a step with a sputter of laughter, devilish delight shining in her bright green eyes.

As the song winds down, Brianna lowers Monique into a dip, then gently pulls her back onto her feet. She gives the other lady a smile and a wink, releasing her from her clutches. Er, embrace. "Thank you for a diverting dance, my lady."

Sabella has left the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.

Not fully recovered from the dancing the night before, Sanya drifts toward the couches to rest her legs. Though her skin is flushed from the exertion, her smile is bright.

Sanya has joined the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

Leaving her couch, Sabella gets up and wanders over to her sister on the Gryphon one, "I'm not Mason, but I think I might be a better lead," she offers her hand and a faint smile to Lou, "It's fine, Lou. I'll show you what to do."

"It wouldn't be very entertaining without being ambitious." Calandra counters with a gentle chuckle as she leads Zara out amongst the dancers, slipping between them with ease. Nearing a cofortable spot, the Whisper takes the lead without much say in the matter, delicate hands taking their place at the princess' hip and hand with sureness before sweeping her along with a flutter of silks.

Skye doesn't look as certain as Lou that Murder Death Kittens would be a good theme for a dress. The sweet baroness doesn't dispute it. When Preston offers to dance with her, the young lady puts her hand out and then nods softly, murmuring softly as she arms herself to get on the dance floor and hopefully not 'murder' her partner's feet.

"Is that how that works?" Jaenelle asks Niklas as she makes her late entrance into the Grayson Mansion. "I am not sure sure what points we are couting to, but I am a produce of a Redrain Prince and a Thrax Princess, who is now a Velenosa. I am also Edain's cousin so that also ties me to Valardin. How many points is that?" One does not need to be there for the first half of a conversation to wiggle yourself into it.

Monique essays proper curtsey, mirth still shining in her eyes as she relinquishes Brianna. "I'll be watching you all night now," the Minx teases, stepping back.

Skye has left the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

Fresh from the dance, Brianna goes to join one of the couches, but before she does, she says to Monique, "Darling, /everyone/ watches me." A fresh drink finds her hand and she takes a seat.

Brianna has joined the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

Skye checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 10 higher.

Preston checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 30, rolling 5 lower.

Erik offers a dip of his head in appreciation to his sister and a smile as the song ends and the dancers split up, but then he's off again to play the game of the evening: looking for anyone who might be willing to take a risk on cutting a rug -or a Floor in this case - with a big bookworm of a Thraxian.



Waving lightly as if looking for a partner for the next song, he calls out in something nearly a laugh, "Open fellow here looking for someone to dance along!"

A bit sceptical, Liara wonders of Niklas, "Might you not just have Wash hidden under your jacket?" Her gaze flits from the Kengraynexson to Ronja and then over to Jaenelle, that last comment drawing a low chuckle from Liara. "I cannot possibly keep count of everyone like that."

Then there's Sabella approaching her, and Lou swallows a bit. She announces, "I'll give it a try if you really want me to, but do not blame me when I smash your feet to pieces. I climb mountains, not dance." Which Sabella knows. She takes another swallow of whiskey, then sets her glass in her seat to save her spot before rising to her feet.

Sabella checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 56 higher.

Lou checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 20 higher.

Having made his rounds about, Vicente now begins to make his way towards the exit with a subtle movement as he looks more to be trying a slight avoidance in general. He has no drink now, having set his last one down and placed his hands behind his back. His expression seems generally cheerful though as he makes a few nods here and there.

The dancing lures every last participant off of at least one of the couches, including Zara. She takes Calandra's hand with a subtle touch of humor as she moves onto the floor. "There's a fine line between ambition and hubris when it comes to dance," she says. And probably most other things.

Preston has been suitably bullied, and he carefully lifts from his perch on the edge of the couch with the Baroness. And, despite the fact he is in armour - which while spry and perfectly fine is perhaps not quite the most delicate and gainly outfit. While the touching of palms in the dance is something he can easily perform, with a warm smile to Skye. Unfortunately Preston also seems very conscious of the fact treading on Skye's toes in armoour is probably a bad thing and so his movements are hesitant, not matching Skye's skill, and generally he looks rather sheepish as he does his duty. "I'm sorry" he quietly mouths across at Skye, and an amused faux glare is given towards Alarissa.

Zara checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 48 higher.

Calandra checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 32 higher.

Sabella takes Lou's hands and then they're off! Maybe it's the twirling of their pretty skirts, but they seem to glide effortlessly across the floor. Or perhaps it's just the years of practice what with them being sisters, "You're going to have to learn a few steps now that you'll be politicking," she teases, giving Lou her first genuine smile of the night, "Although I suppose it's not a bad philosophy to approach every interaction as if it were a treasure laden with traps."

Niklas gives Jaenelle a sad look. "That's zero points, your grace. We're only counting Graysoness. Graysonocity. And actually, now that I think of it? I might be worth three, because Luca left me his Graysonation in his will. It came in the form of a magic potion. It tasted terrible and now that I think about it it might have just been something Tikva found in his room." Niklas turns on Ronja and offers her a deep bow. "Then lets go ahead and dance!" Without waiting for confirmation he grabs the Sandreef and pulls her out to boogie.

Skye manages to do the steps as prescribed by others. Her movements are a bit stiff, tentative. While Skye might have not stood out greatly among beginners, against the backdrop of all these skilled dancers, it's clear that this baroness has never had any formal training in dance. She smiles brightly at Preston as she starts to gain confidence. She murmurs a few words to him.

Ronja checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 12 higher.

Having no takers to his call, Erik seems unphased, and sets off in search of someone to ask regardless. The big man has a smile splaying across his beard as he wanders about, lips pursed, before setting off toward a location and potential partner that seemingly stands alone.

Erik has joined the a magnificent map table of Arvum made of oak and marquetry inlays.



Ronja lets out an audible yipe at the sudden pull towards the dancefloor. It's not so much the tug, as the way her free hand has to come and make sure that her plunging gown stays where it must. The wild hair, the tattoos, the cursing, the general... out-of-place-ness, it all adds up to someone who's probably more comfortable in leathers or a puffy pirate shirt. Once on the dance floor, she asides to Niklas: "Er, you lead, Your Highness. I mean, obviously, you would lead, you're a Prince, and all, and leading is what Princes do. Usually. I mean, not to slight you, I'm sure you're one of the ones who does lead. In life, I mean, and in your domain, not just on the dance floor. But do lead on the dance floor, please, because I really am not confident in my chances since most of my dancing experience is, you know, atop tables in the Lowers after a few half dozen too many you know what I'm just going to stop the story here and let's continue dancing." She didn't stop for breath, and even continued her rambling during a twirl.

"Princess Liara!" Jaenelle greets the woman with a warm smile before dipping her head in a respectful incline. "I look forward to working with you more deeply in the future." Turning towards Niklas than she muses, "but some of my best friends are Graysons. And Luca was once a Velenosa, so I should get a sliver for that. So really," she surmises, "I am more Grayson than you and they like me better." Now it is her turn to look sad at him. "I never got a chance to dance at the Mirror Ball the other night, sometimes it is the unfortunate effects of hosting, so I am going to attempt to guilt someone in joining me for one."

"Politicking? Liara will soon learn that I'm the person to send people to if she needs something disciplinary done so she can stick to that part of things. And, then, they'll soon learn just how creative I can be, so they don't need disciplining in the future." Lou replies to Sabella, paling quite a bit at the mere thought of politicking!! "We'll see how people look dangling over a cliff, yeah?" She's joking. Maybe? Possibly! Possibly not! There's no actual record of Lou ever doing this the last time she served as Voice. At least, none that survived. She dances around the floor with Sabella, and only seems to do so well because Sabella /is/ leading, her green skirts properly swirly for such things.

As their part of the dance brings itself to the end, Preston offers a more formal bow to Skye before he quickly scurries in retreat to his perch on the arm of the couch, reaching up to scratch at the back of his head "Well. I fear that I shall have to report that armour dancing is not something which will take off in the world of social events."

Lou cranes her neck at Niklas as they do a pass by, "Wait. You drank something Luca had in his room? You know he kept trophies of things we fought right? Gods, I hope it wasn't one of those!"

"And I with you, your grace," Liara says to Jaenelle, and then she notes, "I expect you will find an abundance of people willing to dance. I fancy one or two just departed the floor, and there are more at the couches."

Erik has left the a magnificent map table of Arvum made of oak and marquetry inlays.

Vicente's knee buckled out and he stumbled back into the hall. He blinks and catches himself just enough to look around for a moment to see if anyone noticed.

Skye gives a curtesy to Preston when they finish their dance and follows him back to the couch where her patron, the king and Lou are sitting. She seems well enough from her time on the floor, no shins kicked or toes broken. She pauses as she notices Vicente's troubles, diverts her course and then moves over to see if the man needs any help.

Arcadia caught Vicente's stumble, since she was entering at the same time. A hand reaches out to steady the older man, "Are you alright?"

To Calandra's surprise, this dance goes much better than their last. She may lead, but Zara certainly steals the show from her. It leaves her positively beaming, that songbird laugh filling the space between them as dark eyes glitter with pride. "I see the lessons have been paying off, Your Highness." Both compliment with a touch of tease when dipping head in closer so the words reach their ears only. Leaning back, the surrounding dancers gets a brief glance as they twirl and sweep acros the floor, perhaps picking out some people in particular, before looking back to her dance partner. "I feel if I end up switching off, I may not have a hope of winning without that grace of yours."

Erik has joined the a magnificent map table of Arvum made of oak and marquetry inlays.

Luigi, 2 House Mazetti Guardians arrive, following Hadrian.

"...please just remember I spent years building up our reputation as just, fair, and approachable," Sabella stresses, but not without amusement, twirling Lou back towards the couches since she knows that's where her sister will feel most comfortable, "But I'm sure you'll figure out exactly how to make being Voice your own. There's no one more capable and I know that because I am extremely biased since you're my big sister."

"Now now, your grace. I make them enormous piles of money, and that's what really matters," says Niklas breezily to Jaenelle as he swings out for some dancin'. When Ronja tells him to lead he does so, and if her skill is lacking his enthusiasm more than makes up for it. I mean, did you see that roll? "Don't you worry," there's a momentary widening of his eyes while he tries to remember if she's a mistress or a lady or a mistress or a lady or oh crumbs, "my new best friend, Ronja!" Whew. "My overconfidence will easily make up for your underconfidence, and nobody enjoys someone who might talk in paragraphs like I do!" As they pass by Lou he waves to her. "It was essence of Manticore King! I grew a stinging tail for two weeks! It was very weird, but I settled a lot of scores!"

Vicente happens to be rebalanced through the plethora of women practically fall out of the sky to help him. He glances around to Arcadia and he gives a quick nod of his head and says, "Oh yes, I just slipped the other day and my knee's just a bit bruised. I'm quite fine, thank you."

"You severely overestimate my skill," Zara says, humor in the narrowing of her eye and the warmth of her voice. She matches Calandra's pace through the dance's twists and turns, and if she _does_ look good, it's probably in part because she has a Whisper on her arm. Top tier accessorizing, there. When the dance concludes and they slow again near their seat, she releases Calandra as though uncaging a bird. "There. Now go hunt down a Grayson -- or ten -- and fulfill all of Princess Liara's goals at once by dancing with the most people, who are all Graysons, the most beautifully." She's probably teasing. PROBABLY.

Lou gives Sabella a grateful look for her words. It seems, perhaps, she'd been very worried about her reaction to such an announcement. She leans in to whisper something to her, before she goes back to being seated on the couch. She's then beset by messengers. "And so it starts..."

Arcadia gives Vicente a cheeky smile, her eyes suddenly bright. "Good. Because I was worried for a second you wouldn't be able to twirl me across the floor." Without waiting for him to reply, she leads him to the dance floor. "I heard a rumor that you are the best dancer in all of arx Lord Fidante."

"I enjoy those types of people as well," Jaenele tells Niklas with a grin before turning back towards Liara, "I have recruited someone to come dance with me who has informed me previously that he will volunteer for such services if I ever found myself lacking for company. I hold all Lycenes to their words and if he doesn't show it it simply means he is no longer my favorite and I will remind him often of such. It might make him pout and that is delightful."

Alaric has risen and appears to be bantering with folks near the couches while looking to the dance floor, but whatever the quietly shared banter is, the amusement on the face of the monarch is clearly apparent.

Skye looks at Vicente's leg but quietly blends back into the crowd when it's clear that Arcadia has it well in hand. She then wanders back over to the couches where her patron is sitting.

Skye has joined the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.



"I'm plenty confident, Your Highness," Ronja says. She has talent, but it's not yet been shaped into skill, so that while she keeps up with Niklas on the dancefloor, it's very much her KEEPING UP as opposed to trusting her own experience. "Put me on a boat, a ship, a raft, hell, a plank of wood if it floats, and you'll never see anyone more confident -- or capable. Mixing and mingling with the folks who get called things like 'Your Highness,' though... I think I slept through that tutoring."

Vicente's eyes go wide, he had actually escaped from the party - he was literally gone until his knee gave out. Now he's being lead along, he shouldn't be able to be pulled along by someone so small but he is indeed being dragged onto the dance floor. He draws his face back to his normal stern expression and says, "Of course I would be honored to dance with you but go easy on my left knee and ..." He thinks for a moment, "I think I would be closer to falling somewhere near the bottom quarter of dancers in town."

Lou gives Sabella an amused look as she takes up her whiskey glass and retakes hear seat at the couches. "Alas, I cannot promise that, sister. But, I can promise unimaginable wonder."

Cracking up with laughter as she overhears Niklas' description of the findings from Luca's room (however unlikely), Liara takes a moment to settle herself, and polishes off her wine. She remarks then to Jaenelle, "Sound incentive, I suppose, and it doesn't sound like it can go wrong either way." Then Liara takes herself a bit closer to the dance floor again, alternately watching dancers or glancing back to those at couches and tables.

Erik has left the a magnificent map table of Arvum made of oak and marquetry inlays.

Ailys has left the a magnificent map table of Arvum made of oak and marquetry inlays.

Alaric has left the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

Brianna leads Sanya by the hand to the dance floor. "I don't believe we've been introduced, my lady," she says, preparing to lead again, unless Sanya takes charge. "Lady Brianna Halfshav, at your service."

Brianna checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 24 higher.

Erik is smiling broadly as Ailys joins him with a rise from the map table with a hand resting in his, and the pair begin to move toward the edge of the dance floor, looking for a lull in the flow of human traffic to ease into step amongst the crowd.

Alaric starts to stroll about in search of a dance partner, a little amusement on his features.

Erik checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 31 higher.

A brisk stride carries Hadrian into the ball room, a prominent smile adorning his sharp features and harlequin eyes that are alight with excitement. He leans aside to offer a quiet word to a stocky, bald-headed man that's built like a stone outhouse. Upon shifting fully upright again though, the once-Duke lifts his chin and cranes his neck in search of someone among the dancers and ball aficionados. One hand rises up to smooth down the front of his vest while he murmurs something again to the stocky man, their efforts now joined in finding that particular face in the crowd. Judging by the fact that a brief comment is made and then Hadrian sets off with a smile that seems to grow greater with each step may very well suggest that he has located his intended target. In the direction of Jaenelle he goes while one hand shifts around to rest at the small of his back and the other remains at his side, ever ready to claim a hand and start a dance.

Sanya checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 37 higher.

Alaric turns as he hears what Alarissa said and he holds out his hand. "Come join me?"

Arcadia beams brightly at the older lord, "Nonsense Lord Vicente. I have faith in your abilities." She promises after she readies herself for the dance, "I promise I will avoid your left knee should I fall."

There's a deep inhale when Alaric intends to give it a try and Alarissa passes off her glass to a servant and carefully shifts to rise, her hand in his. "You'll be a far sight better than Victus." She assures the king. "Thought lets see if I can stay upright."

Alarissa has left the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

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

Vicente checked dexterity at difficulty 15, rolling 7 higher.

And just like a bird sent back to the wilds, Calandra flits back towards the dancefloor, but not before hanging back and answering Zara's challenge with another lighthearted laugh. "Now that would be something, wouldn't it? I should hope none of them are too tired by the time I get to them, though. Though who knows, I may get lucky with a dance from the King." Ah, but a girl can dream. Either way she's off to the crowd again to find a partner. This Whisper needs to dance, come on then!

Ailys checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 20 higher.

Sanya lets the Halfshav take the lead, curtsying before they start their dance. "I believe we met, many months ago. When my cousin and you sparred in the longhouse's courtyard." She says with a grin. "Lady Sanya Grimhall." She offers. "It's a pleasure to officially make your acquaintance." She's simply mirthful as they move to the music.

Vicente allows a smile that has a look of fear in his eyes though why is more of a question. As they get onto the dance floor though, Vicente takes Arcadia in hand and begins to dance with a bit hint of caution but moves along respectably enough but as goes along at several points says, "Not too quickly my lady."

"Ah, yes, that's right. I made Prince Alec eat grit and then your cousin pounded me into the dirt." Brianna grins broadly. "It was an excellent time, I recall now."

Alarissa checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 10 lower.

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

Ailys smiles warmly as Erik leads her out onto the dance floor, letting him figure out when they can join the group dancing. She turns to him easily enough as an appropriate lull in the music and flow of people appears, and her head bows slightly in his direction as she lets him lead the dance.

"Marquis Mazetti. Man who once was named the most beautiful person in 1010 AND 1011. Person who once walked a single mile just so he could say he walked a single mile in a certain direction" Jaenelle greets Hadrian, slipping her hand into his extended one. "Still my favorite" she informs him with an impish smile, allowing him to lead them to the dance floor. "As a child you dared to paint out of the lines, didn't you?" she continues to tease him even as they walk. "Ate the center of a pie first?"

Erik takes the lead step in the dance as he merges into the floor with Ailys with one hand held wide against hers and another close and low, motions deliberate in a manner that minimizes his own activity in an effort to accentuate his partner's, with a steady-tempo to the rhythmic shifting of his body in time to the band's song.

Alaric grins and smiles to Alarissa, "Worry not," he says with a grin. "I am pretty sure that there will be nothing to worry about," he says, offering a manly frame for the lovely Princess before he steps in and allows himself to be used for a bitmore balance than usual. Rather than a jaunty pace he sets something smoother, allowing them to not worry about keeping up with anyone else but instead enjoy their own time on the floor

"Mingling with people called 'your highness' is just like mingling with anyone else, except significantly more amazing in every possible way. See? Nothing to worry about!" As that dance come to an end Niklas offers Ronja a bow, then gives her a push toward Lou before he totally cheats and grabs Sabella for the next dance. "Come along, dear. We're so many Graysons. We'll have this contest won post haste!"

Arcadia has had enough practice to be able to see the hesitancy in her partner's eyes. She slows and allows him to take the lead after she briefly murmurs something in his ear. Her movements more swaying than real dancing. Still. She is happy enough to have stolen someone to dance with and is content with that. Softly she asks Vicente, "How did you hurt your knee?"

Skye sits perched on the couch, watching her patron dance with the king. She looks happy enough to be the wallflower, not minding at all that she's not one of the dancers on the floor.

"It certainly was!" Sanya says with a smile. "Have you been helping the prince with his skills since?" She asks, as they whirl around.

Vicente allows Arcadia to continue to slow down to what feels a more reasonable pace for him and says, "Nothing glamorous at all, I slipped on the ice while crossing a bridge. I'm certain it will heal up soon enough but bruises do seem to take a couple weeks anymore. It was not an issue the last time we met."

Some adjustments are made, and Alaric is indeed used as they dance for more balance than the normally very adept at dancing Princess would need. There's a reason that she wears slippers and not heels but Alarissa manages with care to move. But not quite the usual grace.

Brianna leans in to speak softly to her partner, challenging her with some complicated footwork.

Sabella smiles more easily when Niklas grabs her hands, "I'd make a joke here about the three of us certainly increasing the odds, but I don't want to cause you to faint and ruin the whole thing." She picks up a portion of her long skirts with the other hand and then twirls into Niklas' arms, "Let's go."

Sabella checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 38 higher.

Ailys doesn't do as badly on the dance floor as she expected she would. The Grayson Princess moves steadily with Erik, smile bright on her lips. She follows his lead easily enough, the fabric of her gown moving easily around her feet as she steps to the beat of the music, tilting her head slightly towards him to listen as he speaks.

Niklas checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 36 higher.

"First off, Archduchess-Regent Velenosa," Hadrian remarks with a hand that rises up and a lone finger which unfolds, "I eat the whole pie. Every time. Second of all, let's not forget the six-time winner of the Best Smile of Southport competition. Or the one-time winner of the Most Unbiased Person In Southport competition". The hand drops and collects Jaenelle's own, or attempts to anyway, to guide her off to the dance floor. As they go he continues with a glance aside to Jaenelle, "You are exquisite, as always, your grace. Your presence is enough to steal a partner's breath and hold it until you've decided to release it. I am here to dance though, so please allow me my breath". His smile surges forth again as he composes himself and readies himself - and her - for the dance. Once Jaenelle prepares herself, then Hadrian sets them off into the twists and turns of the dancing taking place across the dance floor.'

Arcadia admits with a laugh. "No. Last time was drinking at the bar correct? Though we were sitting, so you could of been injured and I would never of known." She admits in a stage whisper to Vicente, "I only just took my sling off. I tried my sister's new wheely-plank down the stairs and banged my elbow pretty hard."

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

Jaenelle checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 29 higher.

If anything, Erik's motions appear overly deliberate because he's casting glances in the directions he's moving with Ailys any time they go more than a foot or two away. While not the ease of following, he's at least making veeeery certain that he doesn't bump into anyone or step on toes. Who would've thought that? But invariably, his attention re-centers back upon Ailys, all bright grins and low laughs as he banters amidst the flow of bodies and the sound of music and conversation.

Vicente looks at Arcadia curiously and says, "Wheely plank? I'm not familiar with that but yes, it was at the bar. I think you were trying to get paid up for a bet from darts, correct?"

Though she never loses her sense of rhythm, Sanya isn't quite able to match her dexterous partner's footwork, though doesn't try. All the while, they're engaged in quite conversation, a light furrow lining the Grimhall's brow, though her expression remains placid.

"Once must always eat the entire pie. Everytime. But one should also start from the center of said pie. The edges are acceptable, but the center is where the good stuff is" Jaenelle tells the man as she moves closer between his arms to start the dance. "I would very much rather you did not die of breathlessness, I am not sure I would be invited to the Grayson mansion ever again if I managed to kill my dance partner on the very first dance. Please, breath as much as you feel is needed to remain upright." With the first twist of the dance, Jaenelle can't help but giggle as she finds herself once more facing Hadrian, "you do look dashing as always, beautiful, even. Perhaps it is not you who will find themselves lightheaded and swooning?"

Brianna guides her partner back over to the couch, carefully depositing Sanya there before taking a seat herself. "Thank you for the dance, my Lady Sanya," she says, making herself comfortable.

Arcadia lifts Vicente's arm and twirls carefully beneath him. No need to scare the man. Coming back to sway with him again, she answers "Likely. And it's a contraption she has built. It's a plank of wood with four wheels attached. It can go pretty fast."

Vicente continues to move about to the music with Arcadia.

Skye smiles at Brianna and Sanya as they return to the couch where she's sitting, "Oh you were both lovely out there on the dance floor." She motions where Alarissa is out there dancing with the king, "They're still enjoying the muse of dance."

Lou glances up when Niklas pushes a poor soul toward her, but then a messenger grabs her attention. She furrows her brow and rises from her couch, taking one last swig of her whiskey. "It seems I'm needed." Saved from dancing by the messenger! "It was a lovely evening, do please keep enjoying it!" she calls out to the others as she makes long strides to the door; the better to escape the dance with!

Vicente continues to move about to the music with Arcadia. His expression seems serious and focused. He does periodically speak with her in a softer tone. Generally speaking, he seems reserved and hesitant but proficient.

Liara offers a cheery wave in a parting gesture to Lou, then gets back to watching those dancing. Whether Liara herself is available to dance with is an open question; she does seem pretty content to let much of the party move on by itself for now.

Arcadia is the absolute opposite to Vicente. She is bright and happy and she speaks with laughter in her voice. She slowly picks up the tempo, forcing Vicente into a slightly trickier dance as she distracts him with murmured conversation.

Niklas swings Sabella around and gives her a grin. "I could always elbow you in the side of the head! That seems to have worked for us in the past."

Erik's motions may be deliberate, but they're doing a good job of preventing Ailys from crashing into any of the other dancers on the floor. Her own attention is mostly on her dance partner, trusting him to keep her intact. She grins back at him, conversing quietly as they move through the steps

Lou has left the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

Willen leaves, following Lou.

Vicente has a 'whoa, whoa!' expression as Arcadia picks up the pace but in form, he seems to be adjusting more to her than him. A rather comical site given the size difference between the two but while he leads, she controls.

Sabella and Niklas are pretty perfectly matched, moving in unison and as extensions of each other, Sabella always finding Nik's hand after a complicated twirl or two. Her eyes are shining and her cheeks are flushed when the song winds down, "I feel like we haven't done that in ages, but it can't have been that long ago, can it?"

Skye stands from the couch, giving a little wave in Alarissa's direction before making her way out of the ballroom. The little baroness seems a bit tired despite the bright smiles. It looks as if she's retiring for the evening.

Skye has left the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

2 watchful Blackshore guards leaves, following Skye.

Alaric grins to Alarissa as the dance finishes and he steps back, taking her hand and bringingit to his lips, before stepping back again and he rises. "Thank you for the dance, Princess," he adds before stepping back and he turns then to look about. His tone takes a slightly louder stands. "Now! Where's the woman who swore at me when I came in. I believe it's time she has a dance to make up for speaking to me that way." Yes...he's probably joking.

"Start on the edges and work your way in. It's a bold, effective strategy," Hadrian agrees with a dip of his chin. Hand-in-hand they spin and twirl, weaving an intricate path among the other dance partners. Jaenelle's giggle results in Hadrian's own laughter joining with it as he states with faux relief, "Oh, *thank you*, your grace. While sometimes not breathing in the heat of the moment can make it all the better? Dancing isn't one of those heated moments". It is on the thirteenth rotation that Hadrian steps out and away from Jaenelle, one hand shifts to the small of his back, and he extends his remaining hand toward her. The intent being to draw her in, intimately close following that thirteenth turn. A devilish smile flashes to life on his sharp features and the mirth is quite evident in his bright green eyes.

Seemingly having developed rapport and some amount of synchronization with Ailys's movements, Erik's own tempo picks up with he hears the 'Whoa' of protest from Vicente's direction at Arcadia's increasing maneuvers, managing a wink and a grin back to Ailys.

"Your Majesty." Alarissa dips her head, that sleeved half arm slipping back beneath the caped part of her dress as she turns and starts to make her way back to the couch that preston perches upon and the others, carefully easing down to sit as well.

Alarissa has joined the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

Arcadia gives Vicente a reassuring smile and does another twirl under his arm before returning to a more swaying sort of movement. She laughs at something he said and replies, a little too loudly. "Wouldn't be the worst thing I've had in my hand."

Monique detaches herself from the throng of dancers and follows after Alarissa, intent on coming up beside the Thraxian noble. She murmurs something low, bowing her crimson head to the rest of the couch as she does.

Monique has joined the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

Vicente allows Arcadia do move about how she wants to because, truth be told, she would anyway and this just makes things flow more smoothly. At her responses he winces a bit and leans in to say something to her...

As Erik picks up the pace slightly, her movements are a bit stiffer for the briefest of moments as Ailys adapts to the movements and pace. She glances briefly in Vicente's direction, following Erik's gaze only momentarily before her eyes return to her dance partner.

There is a graceful extention of her hand as Jaenelle stops after the thirteenth rotation, the sudden stop causing her skirts to continue their movements even after she does not. As she is pulled closer towards Hadrian, there is a more serious nod that follows as the conversation continues. "The heat of the moment may come in many forms, that is true. Like watching someone else do something that you know will be a mistake. Or reading the Journals of people you might not be familiar with. Both terrible ideas which make me stop a moment. I am sure I will see neither this very moment though, so we are safe."

Eventually, Calandra finds herself nearest Liara in her wandering of the dancefloor's periphery, once again a glass of wine cradled delicately in her palm. "You don't wish to partake, Your Grace?" Comes the quiet hum of the woman slipping up beside the newest head of House Grayson, a glance cast to her past weighted lashes while a tamed smile sits poised on her lips. "I've yet to grab another partner, if you'd like to join me. Or perhaps after the competition." Her head tips subtly her way, curious as she simply hangs on the sidelines for now.

Vicente has a grimace form on his face, most certainly listening to something quite unpleasant but continuing to move along with his partner, "Yes, that is much worse but I don't think either option would be that pleasant."

Amusement flashes across Liara's features as she hears Calandra's question and she looks aside to answer easily, "I would be just delighted to dance. It is a rare party where I find every guest so engaged that I am not seeking to match them up or steer them to certain seats." There's a beat of pause and she adds, "It would be remiss of me to win or facilitate the winning of my own competition, however, so this cannot very well count."

Arcadia has again returned to the soft slow sway with Vicente. Her attention now more focused on the conversation of her companion.

Rising, Sanya smiles at Alaric. "I can take her place for now, your majesty. I'll dance as an apology on her behalf." She says with a chuckle. "Whomever it may be."

"I don't think it's a mistake to read a journal from an unfamiliar source," Hadrian answers with his own seriousness, despite the smile and continuation of the dance with himself and Jaenelle drawn closely together, "Being open to ideas and opinions not your own is an important step toward not being that child in the corner, hands over their ears, violently shaking their head and screaming incoherently". A step back, a step forward, a step to the side. All the while Hadrian keeps his dance partner close, not leading her so much as working with her. To make it work and to make it have the visual appeal for an audience, the occasional flair is added to their movements in order to keep it fresh and exciting, but it is always with his dance partner's own movements in mind.

"Ah, so we have to swear at the king to get a dance? Good to know. I'll swear at him after you've finished with him, Lady Sanya," Brianna says with an amused twinkle in her eye.

As the dance slows to a halt Niklas steps back and bows deeply to Sabella, then stabs back in and very lightly taps his elbow against her cheek. "Thank you for the dance, my love. An event isn't an event if we don't share a dance or two."

Vicente laughs at Arcadia and says, "I won't say that I always remember a face but usually I have a decent mind for it." He sways a few times as he leans down while she stands on her tippy toes while he whispers something in to her...

Alaric nods to Sanya with a smile, "Alright then," he says though the King gives a look back towards Ronja. "I'm coming for you," he teases, threatens...threases? Regardless, an arm is fofered to Sanya as he leads her out to the dance floor, content now to fall into step after a moment with the Lady Grimhall. "Thank you for taking me up on my offer....eventually..." says Alaric as he looks towards Brianna before returning his gaze back to his new dance partner.



Where's Ronja been? Well, after very nearly dancing with Lou, the tattooed Sandreef disappeared for a little while. Perhaps someday, the adventure of 'a servant letting Ronja know that there's much, much stronger stuff to drink being passed around among a few people in the kitchen, and Ronja absolutely taking them up on it' will be recorded into history in some way. But not today. The redhead is visibly, let's say, warmer as she slinks onto a couch next to Monique and Alarissa. "My Ladies," she coos, sounding very 'warm' indeed -- and then she's noticed once more by the King himself. "I'll be here, Your Majesty," she says, aloud, and then lower, more to herself, "until the room stops spinning, anyway..."

Ronja has joined the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

"I'm sure it'll work wonders." Sanya says to Brianna with a laugh before turning to the king. "Lady Brianna was an excellent partner. I regret nothing." She says as she allows him to lead her to the floor. "I am afraid I missed this insult." She muses, her gaze shifting to Ronja for a moment.

Erik's steps trail off into a relaxed, consistent pattern that's not risky and is at least still considered as dancing as he makes another circuit of the Floor with Ailys, head tucked low and seemingly happy to chatter quietly between glances to and fro to make certain the pair aren't wandering into any more adventurous duos.

Sanya checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 55 higher.

Alaric checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 46 higher.

Jaenelle doesn't seem to mind the closeness to her partner, nor does she seem to faulter in each direction taken when the movements shift and the dance progresses. Her hold onto his hand is light despite the quickening steps, as if it is rather naturally done. "There is a difference between being the one who holds their fingers in their ears and admitting that you are not willing to learn and grow for the sake of your own stubbornly held beliefs, and those who find it irritating when they must listen to those same people in turn. I may read the thoughts of others and understand where they are coming from from their own experiences, but if those experiences are repeatedly called into question of being truthful then I could not be at fault for being so dismissing." It seems it might be a thing between these two to ruin perfectly fun activities with debates.

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

An all too pleased smile warms the Nightingale's features at Liara's acceptance, the roll of her wrist smooth as Calandra offers a fine-boned hand with palm up. "Absolutely, Your Grace. Though, if I may be so bold, having a dance with the hostess feels much more gratifying than winning." A coy sharpness creases dark eyes to match her smile while stepping out onto the dancefloor with Liara. As for who will lead, perhaps Calandra still feels bold from her previous dance, but her hands will find her new partner's hip with ease while the other cradles her hand with little pressure. A featherweight touch is all she needs while gliding along with the other woman, no need to be too flashy as they aren't competing. Just something to have fun.

Liara checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 21 higher.

Calandra checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 23 higher.

"Not at all," Hadrian answers before their direction changes again and his smile flashes to greater life, "but see, this is where I should have planted my hands over my ears and began screeching incoherently when you didn't agree with me in full. See? We are mature and responsible people. So, would you like to go get drunk after this?" That same devilish smile flashes to life and, for the moment, Hadrian goes silent as the dance continues on across the floor. But as their steps draw to a close, Hadrian's hand maintains a weak touch with Jaenelle's as well, "I don't disagree, though. If you smack yourself in the face a dozen times while reading a book in the bath and don't stop? The issue is with you. An optimist though? Will give it another chance."

Alaric contendedly spins and moves about with Sanya. She seems more the capable, so he in a way does his best to keep up with her as she's able to move at such a brisk and graceful pace, though he finds times to slow down and allow her to lean back, or arch a bit in a dip, so that she can show off that little bit.

Ailys continues to move through the dance steps with Erik, more subdued and relaxed though the movements may be. Really, they seem to be having quite the conversation as they move around the dance floor, careful not to hit anyone else.

Just as well that they're not competing because Liara, for all her love of dancing, proves merely fine at it this time out - not quite the level of flash or talent of certain other dancers. She's pretty content to let Calandra lead, not getting into anything too fancy, and comments as she moves, gloved hand pressed lightly to Calandra's, "I'm terribly glad that you think as much, Mistress Calandra; whether I am hosting or not, I tend to find that people can be quite reluctant indeed to ask the person hosting to dance. Thank you."

Enjoying the dance, Sanya allows herself to be dipped with ease, grinning when she returns upright, responding to the king's quiet words.

"Hadrian, my darling, would you please hire someone to read the book to you next time you are in the bath?" Jaenelle gives him a pleading look before grinning once more to match his own. "I am certain there is someone out there who wouldn't mind doing so, if not to simply save your face from too much trama." There is a quick laugh at the suggestion of what to do after this, "first I must find His Majesty and dance with him if he is free to do so. It is a tradition of sorts, and he is never the same if we do not dance at least once. I would hate to have him fall apart" she says with another nod, though this not quite so serious this time as she glances towards Alaric for a moment as he dances. "After though, I have at least twenty bottles of wine from our vineyards in Lenosia's last season that we should take a sip from all of them for quality control."

Lisebet shows up, quietly, dressed very oddly for a ball. But she's warm, and without her husband. Still, there is an Ashford here. In case there weren't previous ones. Or later ones. The duchess steps quietly in, finds a drink, and lazily regards all the dancers.

"I have Luigi," Hadrian protests casually with a gesture off in some random direction, presumably where the stock bald-headed man stands up against a wall and out of the way of the nobility. "But he's often occupied with the razor. It's a precarious time, but essential". The mention of His Majesty earns a nod and Hadrian finally allows his hand to slip away from Jaenelle's before he takes a step back and executes a relaxed, deep bow before the Archduchess-Regent, "But of course! I wouldn't dream of keeping you from another dance partner. We have to experience the things that life offers". As he begins to take a step back, pausing midway through it, Hadrian's attention drifts back to Jaenelle and his smile only grows wider, "That sounds like a dangerous game. I am most definitely in!"

Seemingly as much involved in the back and forth of quietly murmured conversation and low laughs as the movement among the dance floor's crowd, Erik spots Sanya after the motion of a dip by the King, and he offers a quick wiggle of his fingers in his sister's direction when he thinks she might notice the gesture before his attention flits back toward Ailys.

Alaric laughs at something said between he and Sanya. He gives her a hug as he shakes his head, clearly looking like he must have said SOMETHING foolish given the way he's laughing, and quickly starts to chatter more as they dance. Still...it does seem likely that this song is meant to be over soon too so he starts to slow and step back a bit after, just beaming. "Thank you for the dance. And your patience," offers the King to his dance partner.

Calandra finds herself as the same. Just fine, which she doesn't feel all too pressured to improve upon with their pace matched. "Such is the burden of status, I imagine." She hums gently, her velveted words not needing to go beyond the two of them. "People love, adore even, but they also fear those kinds, I find. But I believe fear gets one nowhere, so why not make the first move?" Features soften, the curl of her lips smooth and warm beneath hooded eyes set upon Liara, content to let the sights and sounds of the surrounding dancers fall away to focus on their footwork. "Besides, it's your party, Your Grace. You're due as much fun as the rest of us. I know my night has certainly been made."

"And you, your majesty." Sanya dips into a curtsy, her eyes glittering, her fatigue easily ignored the more she allows herself to dance.

At that last remark from Calandra, Liara breathes a low, quiet chuckle, and offers an earnest answer as the two continue their dance, "I /adore/ throwing parties. The people, the sound, the fellowship and good cheer. It is one of my very favourite things, whether I happen to dance or not." Then after that she offers in quiet and mild agreement, "Absolutely make the first move. Typically, I do so in the interests of putting two other people together, admittedly."

Brianna sashays across the ballroom, ending up at Alaric's side. "Damn damn shit damn," she says with an affected genteel Crownlander accent, masking her own Northern lilt. She holds a hand out, palm up.

Vicente gives a nod to Arcadia as they stop moving through the dance floor and says, "Of course, where ever suits you would be agreeable."

Arcadia and Vicente has been standing still in the center of the floor talking quietly. Finally, still holding his hand, so obviously the one in charge, Arcadia grins widely "Alright. You danced well for a man with a sore knee. I look forward to our next dance." She gives polite nods and drags the man along with her to create further mischief.

Vicente leaves, following Arcadia.

Alaric takes Brianna's hand and walks out to the dance floor, gladly settling into a pace once more as he tests to see how she's doing. "Did you hurt yourself," he asks bemusedly at her ... language, as she walks to the floor. "Are you in pain? Or is it just that much dread at the thought of having to dance with me?" There's a wry smile as he settles in.

Alaric checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 37 higher.

Lisebet catches sight of Arcadia heading out, and a smile crosses her face but she makes no move to interrupt her. Instead she continues to wander the sidelines, oblivious to whatever game is going on.



Ronja remains sat on a couch, looking either happily drunk or drunkenly happy. "I don't know if I want credit for starting this trend or not," she says, almost absently, as she watches Brianna walk up and swear at Alaric.

"Duchess Lisebet," Sabella greets the Ashford woman as she steps to join her on the side, "Would you care to dance? It's bonus points to dance with as many Graysons as possible."

A sly grin spreads across Brianna's face. "It's the distinct odor, Your Majesty," she says sweetly.

Sanya returns to the couches, her brows rising as she spots Ronja. "We'll make sure you have your turn with his majesty." She says with a grin. "Sir Preston, Lady Monique, were any of you looking to dance again?" She asks with a kind smile.

Brianna checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 32 higher.

"Then we shall have to work something out for future bath time activities. I am certain that reading is not the only difficult thing one may attempt to do while taking a bath, and now being shaved at the same time" Jaenelle tells Hadrian as she waits patiently, clearly deeply invested in this problem. "Like playing cards? Painting? Addressing the people of your land as you sit in a small metal tub perched on a rock."

Lisebet rather blinks, and then laughs, offering a graceful curtsey even dressed as she is. "Princess Sabella, I'd love to dance, especially as Harlan is not here tonight. Though I must ask - what is the game and the rules? Or is it just to dance with as many Graysons as one may?"

"That's part of it," Sabella confirms, taking Lisebet's hand to lead her to the dance floor, "But it's really about getting party-goers to mix with each other. There's a prize for the most partners and then the most Graysons. So, even though you are here later than others, you've got two points for your first dance," she smiles and then waits for the right beat to step out and give Lisebet a twirl.

Sabella checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 40 higher.

Lisebet checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 41 higher.

Monique breaks off of her conversation at the couches and she smiles up at Sanya. "I'd be pleased to, Lady Grimhall, unless Sir Preston wishes to fight me for the honor?" She glances aside to Preston, eyes alight. "He's rather more dressed to win such a challenge."

Merek makes a way into the hall after a bit.

Even in leathers, Lisebet is graceful and knows how to dance. She and Sabella make a pretty partnership, if somewhat unorthodox. Lisebet smiles up at Sabella, and inclines her head. "I've no objection to dancing with everyone who wishes to dance," she says with amusement lighting her face, "But I have no pretensions that I could possibly catch up on such a contest."

Preston inclines his head to Monique and then to Sanya "I am certainly not going to disturb anyone else with my dancing, please, my ladies. In fact, I had better follow others and make my paologies and find out what my people are doing back at the compound." As he stands, Preston gives a wry grin "When the cat is away, the mice get up to such games."

While Jaenelle offers up her own ideas, Hadrian hears them out with a brow lined with concentration and consideration. He nods along with her words as his arms move to fold across his lean chest. As his shoulders hunker in a little, he continues to nod along with her words, "Painting seems like a great idea. Maybe some seated fencing practice? Vigorous debating? I've had some fantastic formal meetings in the bath. The possibilities are truly open to the imagination". Hadrian finally offers an apologetic bow before Jaenelle before he rises up, "My services have been provided, but despite my offer and your acceptance? I have genuinely enjoyed myself, your grace. Thank you for the dance, but I've an appointment I must be getting to with Master Luigi. Lawyer things and stuff, you know?" Just when it seems that is all that Hadrian's farewell is composed of, he steps forward and extends his hand toward Jaenelle's again in a bid to take her hand in his own, stoop, place a kiss carefully to the knuckle of her third finger, and then begin his final withdrawal with a farewell, "Your grace, thank you for your time as always. You know just how much value I place on it. Now, go throw some elbows and get those other hawks away from His Majesty so you can get your dance. Or don't. You can do what you want with your life."

"You might be surprised," Sabella comments after a particularly difficult twirl that Lisebet navigates with ease, giving her an impressed look, "Some people partner up and then find they cannot tear themselves away from each other, even when a competition is running. You could still stand a chance if I spin you into someone else right now!"

"I'd like to see the games your mice play," Monique tells Preston with a laugh. "I can't imagine it. Perhaps soon." She gives her hand to Sanya. "We shall. I'll do my best not to stomp on your toes. Perhaps I'll dance atop them."

Alarissa has left the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

Maxene, the steadfast ladies maid, Pellinor, 3 Thrax Guards, 2 Thrax Elite Guards leave, following Alarissa.

Alaric laughs with amusement as he loosk at Brianna, as always the King whispers quietly with whom he dances, doing his best to give each person he's with his full attention, keeping those moments for them. It is why there is so much fun in making rumors and stories about what could have possibly have been said. Socialites and the rumor mill have the ability to pick every bit of phrasing they wish with no evidence to the contrary! Someone should probably teach him better but alas! He spins the red-haired Halfshav about as the song continues.

"It was my pleasure to passively accept your passively given offer to dance, which was not done with any passiveness at all" Jaenelle tells Hadrian with a warm smile, and dip of her head as he takes her hand to place a kiss upon it. "As always your company was delightful in whatever it is we find ourselves doing, even though this is really the second time we've met face to face. We certainly should do this more often. You are dismissed, and your duties have been completed with great success." She then laughs and shakes her head, "oh there is no need for such behavior! One should never throw elbows, unless your Niklas and Sabella. They make such look dignified.

"Well, why not try?" Lisebet says with a laugh. She continues to follow the lead she's given.

Brianna does a good job of keeping up with the king, her expression mostly blithe and genial as she converses with her dance partner.

Laughing at Monique's words, Sanya takes her new partner to the dance floor. "If only I was that agile. It's be quite the sight." She muses as they begin their dance, the Grimhall leading at first.

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

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

A genteel laugh flows soft and honeyed from the Whisper at Liara's admission. "That's quite a task to take on, especially if it doesn't work out. But I admire that ambition. It's quite the skill to read a person to match them up." Eventually the dance begins to slow as the song segueways into another, Calandra's easy sway settling so they might part. She truly hates to, the withdraw of her hand at Liara's hip slow, but she can't keep the hostess forever. "A lovely dance, Your Grace. Thank you for taking the time to join me." The hand grasping the gloved one refuses to release it just yet, Calandra first bowing deep to her partner and brushing lips fleetingly against the back of it before she lets go. Drawing herself back up, she meets the Highlord with a light, yet gracious smile when promising, "I'll be sure to attend your next event if they're as delightful as this one. Hopefully I'll be able to steal you away for another dance, even."

Preston has left the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

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

Sabella swings Lisebet about, weaving expertly through the crowd as she sees Hadrian and Jaenelle ending theirs, "What about throwing Duchesses?" She asks with a laugh, coming to a stop, "Are you up for switching partners?" She asks the two of them, gesturing to Lisebet, "The Duchess is too good for me to keep up with, and that's saying something since I have Prince Niklas for a husband."

"I've watched you tonight. You've been one of the better dancers to take to the floor," Monique tells Sanya with a sanguine smile. "I'm only sorry if my feet bring down your average. Still, I plan to enjoy every moment of it." And the Minx allows the Grimhall to lead, as she leans in to offer something in a quieter tone.

Scribble, a Delicate Social Butterfly, 1 Inquisition Confessors, Pearl, a Maelstrom Forest Cat, 1 Graypeak Aerie Warden arrive, following Delilah.

Calandra is overheard praising Liara.

Calandra is overheard praising Alaric.

Calandra is overheard praising Zara.

Niklas has left the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.

Alaric laughs as he loosk to Brianna and the song ends. "What if rather than betting against you I simply bet -for- everyone else?" He steps back and grins as the song ends, giving the woman a bow as he smiles and looks for the Archduchess, a beaming grin to his features as he regards those still about. He is enjoying the time dancing now, it would seem.

Alaric is overheard praising Liara.

With quite some certainty, Liara assures Calandra, "It works out the great majority of the time, sometimes for a dance, sometimes for longer. Sometimes not at all, but it would be a shame not to try." She offers the Whisper a wink, then withdraws as the dance comes to a close, and in response to the bow, she gives a little tip of her chin and a ready smile. Finally, she replies, "I look forward to seeing you and having the opportunity to speak, Mistress Calandra, wherever it might happen to be. I do endeavour to attend balls where I can."

Brianna curtsies low as the song wraps up. "I would know and you wouldn't like it, Your Majesty," she replies impishly to Alaric.

Lisebet has just wrapped up a dance with Sabella, who has broght her over to Hadrian and Jaenelle for a dance. "Throwing Duchesses?" she comments lightly. "Oh dear, I don't know if I should approve that. I'm likely the first duchess to be thrown, after all." Given her petite stature and all.

"Oh." Sanya shakes her head, as the Minx speaks of her skill. "You're doing very well for all your humility." She says with a grin, extending her arm to allow the woman to twirl before she smiles at her murmured words.

"We do need to speak, Princess Sabella" Jaenelle tells the woman though the song ends and Alaric is free, "and I would not mind doing so after I inform His Majesty all the money he needs to give me for something, and I have found that while he is dancing, it leaves him preoccupied and he will most willing to open the Crown's accounts for almost anything. In a moment?" the woman hopes as she turns to see Alaric approaching. He gets a deep curtsy, "Your Majesty."

"Farewell, your grace," Hadrian offers back at Jaenelle, "I'm glad you mentioned being here. So I could passively-but-not-actually-passively inquire if you wanted a dance partner". The arrival of Sabella and Lisebet earns a glance from Hadrian, his smile grows as per always, and her words cause that smile to falter. Ever so slightly. "While I would normally say, with great excitement, that we should definitely switch partners and enjoy ourselves? I must regretfully bow out. However? Both of you," he says with harlequin eyes that shift from Sabella and Lisebet, "now have one free May Insist On A Dance card. Redeemable at a future ball, gala, pre-game orgy, or whatever other event which features dancing as one of the main attractions. Terms and conditions apply". Hadrian offers both the Duchess and Grayson princess a sweeping bow, corrects his posture, and soon turns about to take long-legged strides back toward the one called Luigi.

"Grand Duchess," he says to Jaenelle as she arrives by him for their dance and he bows as deeply before he steps forward, holding his hand to her and heading out to the dance floor for likely one of his last, if not the last dance, of the evening as the time to leave for the Rite of Gloria nears. Setting a more leisurely pace, the King smiles down from his somewhat loftier height (physically!) and begins to dance.

Whilst Hadrian makes his exit, Delilah chooses that moment to slip into the great hall, a vision of duskfall shattered by a cloak of stars. Hood brushed back to reveal her starburst coronet of hairpins, she makes a quick nod in the departing marquis' direction. All those faces in action earn a sunbeam smile. Throwing duchesses might be somewhat more difficult than her fellow Crownlander in Lisebet, where her summer-sky gaze alights with a look of delight. She slowly maneuvers in that direction, Jaenelle and Sabella equally as easy to find. First up, however, giving Alaric a curtsy. At least it's easy for her to manage before they're all splitting into different places.

Jaenelle checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 37 higher.

Alaric checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 40 higher.

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

"Oh no! You musn't say that! I've not a drop of humility in my whole body, I assure you," Monique protests aloud to Sanya, sounding horrified by the very prospect. Something else, she adds in a much lower tone, looking pleased.

Merek moves back to dance on his own, cape adjusted about him while he takes his time to settle in, looking about to folk while he shifts about.

Merek checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 35 higher.

"I'm sure we should both remember to take you up on it, Marquis Hadrian," Sabella says, waving as he goes then looking around before she sees Delilah approaching, "Duchess Delilah! Would you care for a dance with Duchess Lisebet? With the two of you together no one would ever think of throwing either of you at someone else!"

Brianna starts to make the rounds of her farewells. "I'm afraid I need to get into my armor for the Rite," she tells this person and that person.

Brianna has left the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

2 Halfshav skilled veteran guards leaves, following Brianna.

Luigi, 2 House Mazetti Guardians leave, following Hadrian.

"We will conclude the opportunity to partake in the competition quite shortly, such that those who wish to attend the Rite of Gloria can do so. One last opportunity to get a last dance in!" announces Liara, drawing away from the dance floor herself.

Lisebet nods her head, as Sabella has said it all, in response to Hadrian. She promptly glances at Sabella and Delilah, and she laughs. "You have just beaten me to it, Your Highness. "Lilah, shall we dance?" And she holds a hand out to Delilah, before she adds, "The contest I understand is to dance with as many people, particularly Graysons, as we might. But it is nearly over."

Taking the King's hand after the curtsy, Jaenelle drifts towards te dance floor. There is a slight look of a challenge on her face as she strikes the first step of the Lenosia tango, a dance the two have most likely done a time or two in the past. It is a quick dance, one where the dancers remain close while the legs move in quickly, dangerous, well placed steps that if one were to stumble the other would as well.

"Well I will be sure to never make the mistake again." Sanya says with a grin. "Never humble." She winks.

As one song wraps up and another begins, Erik lingers at the edge of the Floor with Ailys. Instead of seeking out another partner, though, he stifles a low chuckle and grins toward his previous partner, and instead of parting they turn to head back out again. As they do, he lifts a hand and calls over to Liara, "Please count me out of the competition runnings, Your Grace, feeling rewarded enough over here to go for a repeat!"



And at that timekeeper's warning, Ronja looks over. "Ah, well," she says, in an idle tone, to whoever happens to be within earshot. "If I'd actually danced with a King, I'd probably have gotten my nerves all twisted up and accidentally called him 'Mom' or something horrible. Or flirted. Gods. Or both."

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

Ailys checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 12 higher.

Alaric does his best to not crush the leader of the Lyceum. It would not do well for relations between the Crown and everyone else for the King to just be taking out High Lords at whim. And so they are forced to just do the dance the right way, with no tripping or rolling or falling on the floor. Not that the other way isn't also just as fun. He smiles though and rolls his eyes lightly to something the petite leader says and he answers back.

"I have not a chance in that, darling," Lilah replies to Lisebet, though she offers her hands in a greeting. "When it comes to keeping the steps, I rely far more heavily on your guidance or Mal's." The mischief brightening her countenance accepts the ruin about to follow, though she's certainly light enough on her feet. No tango for her, something probably more easily rendered a comfort for the copper-haired girl. Leaning in, she murmurs a softer question rife with a laugh to the end.

Ailys' eyes widen a touch at Erik's words, a bright smile appearing on her lips. She seems pleased enough to remain as his dance partner, waiting patiently while the music is struck up again. When it is, she falls back into step with Erik, allowing him to continue on the dance.

Monique and Sanya glide over the floor, a study in smooth fluidity and lovely grace; at times one leading, at times the other taking initiative. Fiery hair and spun gold mingle with each turn, and poetry created as the song plays out.

"See. I can only imagine how delightful this looks to outside viewers." Sanya says with an approving smile, her reassurance of the woman's skill.

Erik slips out onto the floor with Ailys as the music resumes, already more grins and banter and sliding into the casual rhythm of dance that they had found through the course of the previous song. He's leading again, but the ease with which he keeps apprised of the presence of others and the synchronization with Ailys suggest a level of comfort in the process that was lacking at the beginning of the previous outing.

Lisebet is a very accomplished dancer, and easily leads Delilah into a charming dance that is reminiscent of, but far less dangerous than, the tango that the proficient folks are doing. Lisebet might be well be able to do that tango, but she concentrates on making sure that she and Lilah have a good time. She leans up as Delilah whispers something and then laughs, the light musical sound carrying briefly, before she whispers something back to her dance partner.

"And the time for the competition is up!" announces Liara. "I would be much obliged if people who fancy themselves in the running could let me know - aloud, if you like - the names of those they danced with, and also how many Graysons they danced with."



"Well, I danced with Prince Niklas, and by his own accounting, he was... eleven Graysons, I believe?" Ronja pauses, looking at her fingers as if counting on them. "Or was it twelve?"

Having spent more than his fair share of time eating a little bit of everything, Niklas walks around the dance floor and leans in to whisper something to his wife, then starts toward the exits. As he passes Ronja he says, "Twelve!" Then Liara gets a half bow, "Thank you for the delightful time, Liara. You do always throw a smashing party." And then the king, "Your Majesty, I think we are all happy to see you out and about again. Hopefully this means the paperwork has ebbed or else you've found someone very capable at doing it all for you."

Fluidly stopping as Liara makes her announcement, Sanya turns to the hostess, her hands gently parting from her partner, though she gives her a warm and gracious smile. "Lord Erik, Lady Brianna, King Alaric, and the lovely, Lady Monique." Her attention whips around to the Oathlander, her brows rising before she murmurs a response.

Monique preens at being described thusly, because vanity.

He chuckles, nodding warmly to Niklas amidst his dance as best he can, "It is good to be back. And I see you there..." he says towards Delilah before looking to Sanya. "Yes? Oh! You're recounting...carry on!" Alaric continues then his dance as the music winds down slowly

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

Not falling certainly counts for something, and it proves Lisebet to be an excellent lead indeed. Lilah might well gain by not paying attention, turning and revolving in time with a laugh on her lips and a glitter in her eyes. "We owe Her Grace thanks for putting together something so lovely, even if we had only a little while to take advantage of it." A merry nod sent in Liara's direction speaks of satisfaction there, even as she turns her gaze back to the other familiar faces. A wiggle of her fingers -- probably not quite freed from Lisebet -- is a playful greeting at that to Sanya, though the dip of her knees will do later when it comes to Alaric. Kings being kings and all.

Ailys steps out onto the dance floor with Erik, moving easily with him now that she's gotten used to the way that he dances. She seems happy, her steps coming easily as she moves around the room to the rhythm of the music, careful to not bump into other dancers.

Lisebet smiles as she glances over at the king, offering him a nod of her head, since a curtsey mid dance would be potentially disastrous. "Your Majesty." And then she grins over at Ronja. "A fair tally," she calls, letting her amusement show. And as the music comes to a stop, she brings the delightful dance with Delilah to an end, turning to listen to those who have been here more than 15 minutes as they tally their scores. She does a remarkable curtsey Alaric's way when/if she should catch his eye, and then turns to whisper something to Delilah softly.

Isabelle, who is just so tired of everyone's nonsense arrives, following Niklas.

Isabelle, who is just so tired of everyone's nonsense leaves, following Niklas.

"While I await any further replies," Liara starts, "I should mention that the best dance - I appreciate this is quite subjective in its way - was that of the King and Lady Sanya Grimhall. There were a number of particularly stellar and delightful dances to watch besides that, too - that of Princess Zara and Whisper Calandra, or my cousins, Princesses Sabella and Lou - who knew? - or indeed Lady Sanya and her brother, Lord Erik, who led us off. Not to mention Prince Niklas and Mistress Ronja, though I regret now that I did not announce a funniest joke category in advance."

Erik's attention only half drifts in the direction of audible tallying, dancing with Ailys until the song comes to a halt, and then himself not long after. Of course, even without the movement and music, it's only a moment later before he's back to angling his head in to mention something quietly with a grin.



Ronja lifts her hand to waggle her fingers over at Lisebet and wink. "You could announce it now, Your Highness," she notes to Liara. "I mean, it's your party."

"Would anyone further participating in the competition make themselves known, in case I have missed them? Otherwise it rather appears that Lady Sanya managed the most dances with different people, and Princess Sabella with the most Graysons," Liara says.

Sabella has joined the a magnificent map table of Arvum made of oak and marquetry inlays.

Alaric is overheard praising Sanya.

Confessor Imori, Confessor Warren, 5 Armed Confessors arrive, following Tikva.

Ronja is overheard praising Niklas: He dances like twelve men.

Confessor Imori, Confessor Warren, 5 Armed Confessors leave, following Tikva.

While the announcements are made, Sabella finds herself a drink and has a seat at the table with the map of Arvum, looking down on it as she drinks as if trying to memorize the entire thing in one go.

Ronja is overheard praising Liara: I'm pretty sure I was invited by accident, but she's wonderful for not throwing me out.

Merek makes a way from the place with the announcement of the Rite!

Alaric smiles and finishes his dance with Jaenelle, as he sees Liara announcing the awards, and he claps for the winners as he cheers happily, looking to Liara. "You know you didn't have to do that," he says with amusement, as he stands near the Archduchess, leaning down to whisper one more thing.

"I arrived too late, alas, or I'd have enjoyed dancing with everyone," Lisebet calls out. "But I do appreciate the opportunity to join in."

Monique applauds Sanya, dipping her head low in the direction of her latest partner. "Congratulations, Lady Grimhall. I do hope your prize is sparkly."

Erik looses a low, lilting whistle at the announcement of Sanya's win, clapping and smiling in his sister's direction.

"In the meantime, thank you all very much indeed for coming. I know I had a delightful time. The food and drink and band shall be here for a while yet for those who fancy staying on, though for those interested, I believe the Rite of Gloria is commencing imminently," Liara announces. Some notes are passed to various prize winners then. "Congratulations, then, to Lady Sanya on not one but two counts, and to Princess Sabella." A little pouch makes its way to the other Grayson, borne by a servant to the map table.

"It was delightful, thank you!" Delilah offers that friendly applause, standing on her tiptoes to catch Sanya's reaction. In all of that, she murmurs something back to Lisebet.

Zara rises with a soft scatter of applause, studying Sanya a moment with curiosity -- and approval, nodding to her, before she joins those moving on to the Rite. Big surprise, the Oathlander goes to the Faith thing.

Zara has left the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.

Calandra has left the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.

Serenade, a lovely nightingale leaves, following Calandra.

Alette, a discreet lady's maid, Isabel, a calm diplomatic aide, Elena, a solemn knight attache, Calandra leave, following Zara.

Beaming as she's named one of the winners. "Thank you, your grace. This was a wonderful event! I'm grateful to all my lovely partners today." She smiles warmly as she takes the notes graciously.

Scribble, a Delicate Social Butterfly, 1 Inquisition Confessors, Pearl, a Maelstrom Forest Cat, 1 Graypeak Aerie Warden leave, following Delilah.

Lisebet is overheard praising Liara: great party



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