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First Feast of Spring

Spring has arrived it, and to mark it (as well as use the last stocks of Winter that can't sit for another year), the Lodge of Petrichor is announcing the First Feast of Spring. Come, eat good food. Dance, and be merry. Celebrate new beginnings, and commemorate the endings that have passsed. Remember the turning of the year, and be close to the land. Arrive with Winter's Cloak, and cast it off to show your spring raiment!

Date

Nov. 30, 2019, 4 p.m.

Hosted By

Anisha Leola

Participants

Marian Sydney Zara Dianna Nurie Amari Brigida Alessia Lucien Bianca Jules Lenne Thea Sylvi Theron Ophelia

Organizations

Lodge of Petrichor

Location

Outside Arx - Lodge of Petrichor - Grounds

Largesse Level

Extravagant

Comments and Log

Leola

The Lodge is preparing to host Spring's First Feast; the last feast of winter. It feels good to return to warmer weather, and feel the sun that isn't just chilled by rain. After the Whispers helped me sort my wardrobe, I now just need to find something suitable to the lighter weather. And get out that waxed cloak; spring showers are dreadful so far!


Anisha beams brightly, wearing her admittedly somewhat spring-fashioned cloak tightly around her body, stepping up to the central feast table, and clapping her hands together a few times to gather the attention of the masses, and perhaps quiet at least some of the buzz of conversation.



The Whisper offers up a pleasant smile, gathering her hands before her. "Friends. Arxians. Members of the Faith." She begins. "I am Anisha Whisper, and will be one of your hosts for this evening, alongside Dame Leola and the Lodge of Petrichor. Thank you so much for attending. Today, we gather to shake away the last of Winter, with dance and merriment. Today, we gather to celebrate the return of Spring, with songs and fine foods."



She exhales softly, and raises our arms. "We give our thanks to Petrichor, as the land awakens from the sleep of Winter. We give our thanks to Mangata, as her life-giving waters flow once more. We give our thanks to Lagoma, for the change of the seasons. And we thank the Mother of Beginnings - as the cycle begins anew."



She rolls her shoulders, cloak spilling back, baring the greens and floral motifs of her gown. "Today, we celebrate the First Feast of Spring, and I bid you to eat your fill and partake in the bounty and hospitality of these lands."

3 Tyde Houseguard, 2 Redwood Initiates arrive, following Lethe.

2 Keaton Huntsmen, Marigold, a cheeky pygmy goat, River, a happy Oakhaven bloodhound, Barf, the Bog Dog, Bandit, a dapple gray Duskshire feral arrive, following Amari.

Marian has shed her leathers and steel to wear a spring dress of white tulle and red petals. Her red slippers can be seen as she moves through the grounds, not bothering with a cloak since the North has hardened her from spring chills. Her porcelain skin bears the many scars of battles, served in name of the Crown and Compact. Like cracked marble, they only add to the effect of a blooming bushes on the tulle gown. She stands near where the Whisper gives her speech, raising her glass in celebration as Anish kicks off the event.

Sydney seems to arrive just in time to catch the tail end of Anisha's speech. The pugilist offers an approving smile, easing her way out of her cloak, which gives way to... well, her typical garb - the best she can do! She will not be making any splashes in the fashion community wearing functional leathers and some vicious-looking gloves, but that hardly seems to be the point. She meanders over to the spring's bounty, perusing what's available. Where to start, where to start.

Zara enters with the requisite entourage, although she directs her attendants off to entertain themselves shortly after they arrive. She can handle a party on her own. Probably. Anyway, they know where to find her: just look for the woman in the cloak of aeterna brocade, her hair dark against the white. The fur-trimmed cloak is just light enough that it is no burden for her to keep it closed until the moment of reveal, and then the white becomes a frame for armor reimagined in brocade of spring's pale and shimmering hues. Spotting marian -- it's the hair, it gives her away -- she moves to join her with warmth in her eyes. "Your highness, your dress is lovely. A blessed spring. How's the thaw in the North?"

Having arrived narrowly before Anisha made her speech, Arx's newest godsworn Sister, Dianna Godsworn (nee Mazetti), smiles as her friend introduces herself to the crowd gathered for the Spring festivities. Following Anisha's speech, Dianna - as always - dips into a fine curtsy and lifts with her usual grace to the crowd at large, then makes her way to Anisha - following a little twirling dance for the crowd to show off her fine clothes - and to let everyone know that she may be godsworn, but she is /still/ Dianna.



"Anisha, darling, that was lovely - /you/ are lovely," Dianna greets the Whisper warmly, embracing her and kissing each cheek fondly. Dianna beams, but those who know her may note a different quality to the woman: She exudes a sense of peace and tranquility in all she does.

Nurie gazes about in wide eyed wonder, clad in a lambswool cloak, that is quickly shed when others do as well, revealing a corseted spring weight linen gown, off the shoulders but with a long and probably twirly skirt. Flowers both real and porcelain decorate her unbound hair, woven into a circlet. Her expression is cheerful and bright, and it's hard to know where to look first--at the grounds, done up for the festivities, or the notables and their beautiful garments.

Leola steps forward, once Anisha speaks. Her voice is melodic, but it does not carry the same fluidity and ease; but it is heard, easily, rolling over the balmy spring air "We gather to celebrate another year; a year of growth and striving. The Lodge has much to thank the city for." She offers a slightly embarrassed, hesitant smile, letting the coat fall open over her gown "And we give thanks for the Granter of Dominion; for the Compact. What you see is the last of the old year" She gestures to the cart, to the table "So eat, drink, and let us begin once again"

Anisha returns the squeeze and kisses to Dianna, and beams bright to Alessia now that she's kicked things off and is free to mingle. "My lady Alessia. So good to see you, and your sister both." A nod back to Dianna at that. The Whisper glances to Leola, offering an encouraging smile to the Dame, and looks over to the varied folk attending. "I'm feeling pretty good about the feast so far. And I can't wait to try all of Winter's last remainders."



She pauses, when Leola speaks, and offers polite applause to the First Horn of the Hunt for her words.

Marian turns to Zara with a deep smile, motioning to the disciple of Gild with her ringed hand that bears the same like, "It goes well. The spring training camps have started to gear up and our new navy has launched with the assistance of House Thrax and House Kennex." She gives a shake of her head, "For me, it's one of the busiest times but I could not miss this celebration." She motions to the feast before them, "Put on my Dame Leola and Anish Whisper." She pauses as Leola adds her words and then politely claps.

Amari arrives a little bit late, but it's perhaps because she was taking her time. Her handsome dapple gray is plodding away, the pace slow to accomodate the cheeky pygmy goat standing on his haunches behind the Keaton lady. She's speaking to her over her shoulder when they appear, the goat being mildly scolded, "I told you it was far and that you'd tire yourself out before we even reached the forest." The goat bleats indignantly, then as they come to a halt, Amari dismounts and helps her down. As she does, her bloodhound and bog dog catch up and the entire gang then strolls in. They've missed Anisha's speech, but catch Leola's words at least.

Immediately following her greeting for Anisha, Dianna turns to her twin, eyes dancing with delight. "Lessi," Dianna happily purrs, enveloping Alessia in her arms and kissing both cheeks lovingly before leaning her head against her sister's and lowering her voice to a privately-murmured pitch.

Brigida has been watching the arrival of people with considerable interest, her Disciples keeping busy with helping with the food while Oswald the pig snuffles around the place freely. The elder Archlector coughs once following Anisha's welcome and begins to take of her winter gloves, then scarf and finally the torque.



"Forest Lord, King Stag, Monarch of the Soil.

Bless this bounty before us.

Bless your faithful who will sing praises.

Bless this Lodge and all those who hunt from here.



Petrichor, Lord of the Deep Woods, we honour you for sustaining us through the winter.



In your name, we pray to you."



She bows her head as she finishes her prayer.,

"Gods, that was amazing." Alessia says to the Whisper, impressed by her words. "Thank you for the blessing." She grins, before inclining her head to Leola. "And for holding this event." She extends to them both. She returns her sister's embrace with a chuckle. "I wondered if you'd be here." She says, before her expression seems to lose most of it's mirth at the murmured words.

3 Tyde Houseguard, 2 Redwood Initiates leave, following Lethe.

Lenne arrives, following Jules.



Prince Lucien Valardin arrives to the Lodge with a perplexed but humored expression, smiling at those who pass him by and always making sure that despite whatever crowds may gather no over-excited faithful bumps into him too hard. Ever polite, the man nods at those who look at him, wishing good merriment for the strangers at the Lodge.



There is a moment of quiet contemplation as he takes in on the festival, hands on hips, analytical and pleased to be here at last. For now, the man remains quiet, pacing about and noting all the Peers around, until his gaze finds Bianca and Zara. To Bianca he bows, respectul and reverential towards the Legate, but it is to Zara he goes to eventually.



"Princess Zara Valardin, I presume?" A winsome smile marks his features as he asks, hoping he does not have the description wrong, even if the Valardin signet ring does make it all to easy to distinguish her. When Brigida speaks, he shuts the hell up, listening with curiosity. He leans in to whisper to Zara with the corner of his mouth, "Never been to one of these. Not that I remember at least. What should I do?"

Dianna is overheard praising Anisha: Beautiful event, and lovely blessing

If likened to anything spring-related, Sydney resembles a squirrel, having swiftly dodged away from any and all socializing in order to arriuve at the spread of food. She is currently raiding the fine food that has been laid out, but she does pause to look up at the prayer to Petrichor, awkwardly shuffling her feet. It's difficult to take a solemn prayer with half a roll stuffed into one's mouth, but she does her able best all the same. A muffled murmur of approval is given to Brigida, and then she goes back to filling her plate unreasonably high.

"Oh, I'm a mere Mirrormask, the blessings I leave for the Blessed Brigida and First Disciple Leola," Anisha assures Dianna and Alessia with a little laugh. "I'm glad you all liked my little speech, though. What are you considering trying out?" She wonders. Spotting Sydney, she raises a bejeweled hand and waves to her. "Sydney! Over here!" Shooting another grin to Leola and Brigida. She doesn't quite give her the thumbs up, but it's in her gaze. She lets out a small sigh, content, and gestures to the other guests. "As a good hostess I should really go say hello as best I can. I am -terribly- pleased you both made it, though." She tells the Mazetti twins.

Nurie is respectfully quiet for the speeches, her hands clasped gently in front of her, and with silent curiousity for the blessing as well, her head tilted as she considers the words and perhaps adds her own thoughts as she too bows her head. Once it's done, however, she begins to wander again, looking at the offerings.

Following Marian's gaze toward Leola, Zara bows her head at the call for thanks, her lips moving in a murmured echo -- and then remains bowed, for Brigida's prayer, similarly echoed. Her eyes lift then, brighter as she looks to Marian. "I've heard something of the sort. The seas have been terribly busy, it seems. We've largely been insulated from it in Sanctum, but of course what troubles one troubles all. I'll pray for your safety, and for peace." However unlikely.



Hearing her name, Zara glances over to Lucien, her gaze sweeping over him in a thoughtful appraisal that lights in recognition. "Ah, Prince Lucien. I heard something from the household staff about your arrival. Standing around and looking agreeable is a good place to start. Will you both join me?" she asks, gesturing to the bench near the bushes. "I believe you have some shared interests and I'd be happy to introduce you."

Zara has joined the a pine bench near the bushes.

Oswald the pig has found his way next to the table of food and is shuffling at the edge of it.

Marian gives a pause as she listens to the words of Brigida, solemnly adding a silent prayer to praise Petrichor for the bounty before them. She turns to Lucien as he approaches Zara, giving a curtesy to the prince, "Your highness." She introduces herself as if meeting for the first time, even though for many years, she served as Sword of Sanctum after the death of her 1st husband, Prince Valen Valardin, "Princess Marian Redrain, warchief to the North and Voice to House Redrain." She gives a nod to Zara as she comments of the recent activity, "Ahh, yes...I fear that we may see more red this spring than last."



With the transition of seasons in full effect, it's probably no surprise to see the Legate of Creation at one of the first celebrations of Spring's arrival. Dressed in more formal attire for her station today, Bianca Wyrmguard has made herself comfortable in the familiar trappings of the Lodge of Petrichor, taking in the natural splendor that is so intrinsic to the lodge with bright eyes wide with thoughtful wonder. The ethereal legate makes small talk in between her wanderings through the gardens, the aged but imposing form of Sir Alren following just in step behind her.



It's an exploration that only lasts Bianca until the first clap of hands cuts through the ambient white noise of conversations surrounding her; stark white hair spilling over her shoulder as she turns her curious gaze Anisha's way, the snowy-skinned woman allows herself a small, appreciative kind of smile for the Whisper's speech before pressing a hand to Alren's forearm. A few murmured words, and the veteran knight gives a single, gruff nod before parting ways; left to her own devices, the Legate's serene attentions sweep the gathering, her brows lift in recognition as the Lucien's reverential gesture catches her notice. Wordlessly, she offers the man a small smile and a warm bow of welcome, hand pressed to her chest before, with a graceful rise, she turns her attention, for now, back to the rest of the party proper, scanning the throngs of people for familiar faces.



Jules enters into the lodge with Lenne on his arm and a broad smile on his face. He's talking softly to the woman he escorts and has raised eyebrows to lighten his expression more. As he pauses for a moment to assess, he lifts his hand up to check his hair, running the full length down to his pony tail. He leans over and whispers something to Lenne with a laugh...

Hooking her arm about her sisters, Dianna guides Alessia over towards the drinks at an unhurried pace, smiling and curtsying along the way to those whom they pass by. She pours a goblet of whisky, sips it and hands it to her sister with a gentle smile, then pours one for herself. "You look amazing; that gown, though... you stir my envy, Lessi." Dianna smirks, a twinkle in her eye.

For her part, Sydney looks mortified at being called over, just now. Especially given she's just finished making a plate of embarrassingly excessive portions. Clearing her throat, the pugilist winds her way through the crowds, a blissfully easier thing than in most parties with so much open space available, to make her way over to Anisha. She, with her heaping plate of food and practical, very unfestive attire, makes a comical counterpoint to the Whisper. Regardless, she politely bobs her head when arriving alongside her, "Anisha Whisper. A pleasure, as always."

Leola gives a small sigh of relief, having people seeming to enjoy themselves. She steps for Brigida, nodding seriously "Thank you for attending, Archlector" She says seriously "I hope it's what you hoped for?" And a smile, turning to face the group, clasping gloved hands together at waist height

Happily following Dianna to the drinks table, Alessia graciously accepts the goblet with a nod. "Yes, well with spring it doesn't need to be hidden under furs." She says with a faint smile. She glances around, perhaps searching for familiar faces.

Finn the large Northern hunting dog with icy blue eyes arrives, following Thea.

Lucien smiles widely, lips tight, as he nods, "Looking agreeable is one of the few things I have become exquisitely good at, my good Princess Zara. That I can surely do." One hand clasped on his belt and another relaxed by his side, the Prince seems quite interested in the Voice's words, as well as the party, sharing his attention between the two, though not in equal measure. Family first, after all.



Marian gets a nod, his expression stern at her not out of dislike, but due to the height of the honorifics she has reached, "Sword of the Sanctum. Thank you for your service, Princess Marian. I unfortunately was probably not around when you served in such capacity, but I am honored nonetheless. You must be quite the warrior." He smiles, them, the stern face he wore a few moments prior not agreeing with his features, not for long. He follows Zara with an easy nod at the woman, then.

Lucien has joined the a pine bench near the bushes.

Brigida bobs her head to Leola, "I've seen this many times before. You've done well so far Leola." High praise indeed from the Archlector before she pats Leola's hand before clumping over to the food, scooping several handfuls off to feed Oswald in the process.

Perhaps it's the mark of a kind heart or a soft head, but as Nurie nears the bounty on the food tables, and notes the rather well fed pig lingering near it, she can't really help but share a treat. It doesn't accidentally roll off her plate so much as is palmed and then gently shown at eye level, before it's placed conveniently nearby for him to take or leave as he sees fit. Or at least she might very well hope that no humans notice. Nothing to see here.

Nurie checked dexterity + legerdemain at difficulty 15, rolling 29 higher.

Lenne is likely to be quite an outlier with everyone joyously dressing in spring colors. She is dressed in snowy white with the occasional shock of Crovane black. She arrives, as always, at Jules' side. His whisper to her on entry earns him an exaggerated look of horror. "Oh, by all the gods and spirits, don't do that. I'm already an affront to things, given my wardrobe. Now, come on, there's the safety of people I know." She releases Jules' arm and heads in the direction of Sydney and Anisha, raising her hand in a wave. But her first words are less greeting than apology. "Don't say it. I'm gauchely out of theme. If anyone asks, this is absolutely the colour of spring all the way up in Stormwall, by the Everwinter."

Marian has joined the a pine bench near the bushes.

Anisha chuckles to Sydney. Wrapping an arm around her, and giving her a squeeze. "Sydney. So glad you made it, my messere. And I'm glad to see you embrace the spirit of the feast." She offers. "Oh, there are so many people to say hello to - I think I must greet the Legate and Archlector, at the very least. Have you met Dame Leola yet? I imagine you'll find in her a kindred spirit, she was raised on a farm in the Saiklands." She explains, gesturing over to Leola. "Dame Leola, have you had the pleasure of meeting Messere Sydney?" Bringing the Lowers scamp over, or at least attempting to, she offers a curtsey to Brigida. "Archlector, so pleased to see you. Thank you for a wondrous blessing." She proffers.



Busy as she is, she does spot the wave from Lenne, and gives her a wave in turn.

Lenne adds. "Also, if anyone asks, gauchely is indeed a word."

Nodding softly to her sister, Dianna agrees, "That gown hardly deserves to be sheathed in cloaks, Lessi. Do you know I've never been here before? Shall we wander a bit?"

Alessia has joined the nearby the creek.

Dianna has joined the nearby the creek.

Thea makes her way through the crowd. She's dressed in a gown as the weather is -finally- warmer, but she's got a cloak wrapped around her shoulders. Still cool! Giving proper greetings to everyone, she gives a small smile,"Good day!"

Sydney has to shuffle her plate to the other hand in order to accept the side hug from the whisper, glancing aside to Leola when she's introduced. The brawler seems helpless but to be scooted along by the insistent hostess. "I can't say I believe I've had the pleasure, no. A pleasure, Leola." As Lenne nears, Sydney offers a distracted grin, a Whisper on one arm, an embarrassing amount of food occupying the other.

Like a proper Oathlander, when the prayer is given by Brigida Amari stops and bows her head for the duration. When it's over, she wanders on and looks around without any particular destination in mind, with a pleasant half smile for anyone she meets. One side is kept relatively flat, owing likely to the red welts on her cheek which run down her neck as if she were splashed with scalding water or acid not so long ago. "Well." She says more to her small entourage of furry friends than anyone else, "Let's say hello." She begins with the princesses she knows, sketching a curtsey for Marian and Zara in turn, then there's a respectful dip of her head to Brigida and a friendly flash of a smile for Leola.

Leola smiles to Sydney at Anisha's words, as well, dipping a polite curtsy "I don't believe I have. I'm glad to meet you, and I hope you enjoy the hospitality of the Lodge" She grins at the food "And don't worry. That's the point of the day! To finish the last of the last year, and make way for the bounty of the next" She lifts a gloved hand to Amari, politely respectful

Marian follows the two Valardins to the pine bench near the pines, taking a sip of her white wine as she chats with the duo, "Ahh, I shed the mantle of Sanctum when I took my second husband six years ago." She has a fondness as she speaks of her departed love, "Prince Fergus Redrain. He was taken from me after the calling of the banners for the Battle of Stormwall. I took his place and have led the armies of the North since." When he asks about her warrior skills, she does admit, "I have proved myself rather skilled against the likes of High Lord Victus Thrax, and other well-known warriors." She does admit, "Since taking the position of Voice, I spend more time delegating rather than fighting directly." She turns to Zara's words from Mistress Tatienne, "Ahh, yes...the recent visit to an Abandoned tribe in the Oathlands. I'm afraid their time away from the Compact had seen them fallen in heresy of those practicing darker vices." She lightly rubs the recently healed scars on her palms, "It was by the grace of Gild we were able to find safe passage." She flashes a smile to Amari as she approaches their group.

Brigida bobs her head in a greet to Anisha, noting that Oswald seems to have found even more food from somewhere. "Whisper Anisha, you have done a fine service in helping to host this." She waves a blessing to her and then another for Amari when she spots her.

Thea has joined the by the stone water well.

Thea has left the by the stone water well.

Thea has joined the nearby the creek.

Jules with his bit of flowing step on inward with Lenne, Jules laughs at the woman and says, "So be it but I should be right to remind you that later. My own method is to look for those who may not be quite enjoying themselves especially." Although she releases his arm, he follows in to give his own greeting to Anisha briefly. He gives her a flourishing bow to the Whisper and says, "Thank you so much for your part in hosting the event. I shall need to be certain to thank Dame Leola as well!" His own voice having a hint of mirthful laughter behind it.

Anisha beams at Brigida's praise, bowing her head. "I am but a vessel, Blessed Brigida. And I am pleased to have been able to serve the lodge in this way." She lets go of Sydney with a final squeeze and a smile for the brawler, leaving her and Leola to make introductions, turning to Lenne and Jules and sketching a proper curtsey. "Lady Lenne! So pleased to see you. And I am entirely sure this is what Spring looks like if you go far enough north. You are fine, I say, and I'm one of the hosts, so I'm pretty sure that means it's ok." She offers with a bright smile. "Do you have any favourite dishes you are hoping to sample? I do hope your day is going well," She muses. Reaching out to give Jules' hand a comnforting squeeze. "As I told the Archlector, it is my pleasure and honour to have been asked to host."

Nurie moves next to the carved trunk that seems to be a central point, inspecting the carvings with no little delight, curious fingertips hovering almost as if to inspect by touch, though at the last moment she decides against it, gently correcting the fall of her skirts instead, closing her eyes briefly to bask in the sunlight. She does, however, let the ends of one of the streamers curl luxuriously through her fingers before she moves on to other wanderings and people watching, as if to take in a study of the whole in order to decide where to settle.



Lucien stands by Zara by the pine bench near the bushes, his countenance relaxed as ever, eyes narrowed and lips curved in a friendly smile. He nods at the Princess, and eyes Marian as information is shared about the woman. His smile diminishes, and the knight pays close attention to what is being said, noting it down and keeping the information away for later. He smiles faintly, then, and listens to Marian's own account of events.



"What Princess Zara means is that I am some old dragon who has gotten in his share of problems. If the Northlands require the Sanctum's help, then by High Lord Edain's command I will assist in any way I possibly can. Granted, I am quite useless in times of peace, so these news are bittersweet to me." To Marian's own story, he frowns lightly.



"I am sorry to hear about your losses. Life on horseback is not really easy for those out there in the field. You see things most people would not imagine are real." He smiles at Thea as the chipper girl comes declaring a good day, waving at her, before his attention is back to Marian. "One day you must tell me how you got these scars."

Sydney offers a return of that little hug from the side before being cast out to mingle, freed from the tried-and-true sanctuary of standing at the refreshment table. The pugilist's smile widens into a grin. "Yes, well, I do not suspect I'll go wanting, given what I've already managed to put on my plate." She takes an awkward forkful and place it into her mouth, crunching and chewing as neatly as she's able to, given that she's surrounded by finery in every direction. Even the thematically inappropriate Lenne gets a soft snort from Sydney from nearby, "Oh, and please. If you're out of place from yoru attire, what am I?"

"Lady Amari," Zara says, her gaze lifting to find her -- and her flock -- as she approaches. Her eyes warm in a welcome echoed in her voice. "Have you met Prince Lucien? I was just introducing him to Princess Marian." She gestures: look! They are getting along so well already. "Please, join us. He's only recently arrived, although apparently he's under the delusion he's an _old_ dragon. I've heard Legate Aureth threaten anyone under forty who says that," she warns Lucien in a not-very-serious sort of feigned solemnity. She then adds to him in further orientation, "Lady Amari is one of the Voices for house Keaton. Their Marquis, Kael, is now our Sword of Sanctum. To a one, I've always found anyone under Keaton to be worth knowing. I would recommend her to your attention."



Hands clasped behind her, Bianca's snowy white hair brushes from side to side as she takes in the conversing people on her trek through Petrichor's grounds. Her silvery gaze lingers for a moment on the benches beyond where several from House Valardin have situated themselves -- but her calm stride takes her on a straight and unerring path towards the hostesses of the day, a subdued smile gracing her pale lips.



"Dame Leola, it's good to see you again," greets the Legate, voice gentle but carrying crisply through the sounds of the feast. "And... Anisha Whisper, correct? It's a great pleasure to meet you, too." She dips in a bow here, a shallow but sincerely respectful thing. When she rises, she looks around her, lifting a pale hand to tuck a few stray strands of white behind her ear. "It's good to see everything so vibrant and active here." Bianca casts that silver gaze back towards Anisha, expression gentle. "You have my gratitude for making this happen. You and Dame Leola both."



Leola grins to Sydney, moving to the cart and musing, reaching in and taking out a small jar. She removes her gloves, and tucks them to a pocket of her coat, before she begins to eat lazily "You're not out of place at all. The Lodge is not only for the nobility; as the Whisper said, I'm a farmgirl from the southlands" She dips a respectful curtsy to Bianca "Legate. You're always welcome, of course. Thank you for attending."

"Ah, Mother Bianca," Anisha curtseys deep. "I am Anisha Whisper," In case that had been missed. "It is -such- an honour to have you. Have you met Lady Lenne Crovane, Messere Jules and Messere Sydney?" Making no attempt to introduce Leola or Brigida, assuming that those two at least would be known to her.

Brigida clomps up to Lucien, Zara and Marian. "If you want old you need to talk to my father. Anyone younger than he is but a child." She overhears Bianca's comments to Leola and Anisha and her lips purse briefly before she shakes her head to herself.

Alessia has left the nearby the creek.

Marian pauses as Lucien offers his sword to assist the Northlands. She reaches out to place a gentle hand on his arm, "Thank you for your offer. The Northlands have enjoyed a peace among our borders since the matters of the Great Road have been dealt with." She lightly lets go of his hand, "Just as I would come to the aid of High Lord Edain and Princess Alis should they have need of the North. While I no longer call them brother and sister directly since I remarried, they are still my family in my eyes." She laughs when Zara mentions that Lucien calls himself 'old' and gives a knowing look, "Well, if you are old your highness then I am as well since I believe we are close in years." She does admit to Zara, "Although, my daughter, Nia, does claim I'm rather out of touch with the needs of youth in one of her many bursts of temper." She salutes Brigida as she comes up and one again reiterates just how young both her and Lucien are, "I like to say that I've hit my prime these last few years, having shed the foolish antics of my youth."

Thea bows her head to Lucian, greeting him from afar as she's noticed his wave. Thea sees Marian as well and offers her a smile as well,"Princess Marian. Hello."

Lenne gives a slightly embarrassed wave to herself, to indicate her offending clothing. "I'm afraid the messenger sent to announcement to the family was waylaid. Along with my luggage. So nothing was prepared or ready. I've spent what seems like every spare moment trying to rebuild my wardrobe." Shaking her head to banish the thought, she smiles brightly to the host. "But I simply could not miss attending. Crovane and the Lodge of Petrichor have been so entwined, of late, after all. And I saw that you were hosting." Her eyes dart toward the food table with a certain envy. "I may have a bit of a weakness for smoked fish and dried fruit. I spent a lot of my time in travel, so preserves are familiar comfort." When Sydney comments on her own clothing, she gives the tall woman a considering looking-over. "Dark and earthy tones may be more autumn, but I say you claim it's an outfit to bring to mind rich, tilled fields." She turns on a foot when Bianca is introduced, dipping her head. "Hello Mother. A pleasure to meet you."

Though she had been there the entire time, Sylvi had kept herself mostly off to the side, watching all the activities as the night draws on, a book in hand occasionally stealing her attention away, gaze shifting from time to time to the more familiar members, a smile given to Anisha though for the moent she's not quite ready to throw herself into the fray. Watching a people mingle and talk, scribbling notes into the book, she gives a curious glance around, attention shifting then to Bianca as she speaks with Anisha, chewing on the end of her quill absently.

Amari gravitates towards the Valardin and Princess Marian, giving a slow shake of her head to Zara's question. "I'm not sure I have. Greetings, Prince Lucien. I'd have to agree with the general sentiment. You don't look that old." She smiles at Brigida's comment as well, "Archlector. It's lovely to see you."

Amari has joined the a pine bench near the bushes.

The title 'Mother' has Sydney immediately lifting her chin as though in recognition. Of course, there being multiple legates, it ends up not being the one she was expecting. Regardless, she's quick to offer a smile to Bianca when Anisha states her name, politely bobbing her head. As Lenne pauses to give her a look over, she offers a simple grin, "Oh, yes. It is exactly that." She gestures to the cinnamon colored wristwraps, "A wonderful palette of earthen browns, sure to spring forth into new life at any moment." There's obvious jest in her tone, but she does appear more than a little bit grateful to be 'forgiven' her attire by both Lenne and Leola both.

Leola gets Spiced Cherry Pie from a wooden wheeled pie cart.

Anisha chuckles just a little at Bianca's praise, and sketches another curtsey. "It is my pleasure to serve for Whisper House, and to be a vessel for Petrichor's hospitality. I was honoured to be asked to host," She assures her. "At the moment I am trying to do my best and ensure I speak with as many people as possible. Have you picked out a favourite dish to try?" She inquires politely of Bianca. Glancing to Lenne, she gives a small nod. "Oh, I love anything flavourful, and you can do some pretty amazing things with some smoked salmon and the proper spices, possibly in a solution or sauce... Mm, mm, mm..." She chuckles. She gives gentle squeezes to Sydney and Leola alike. "I love your way with words, Lady Lenne," She tells the Crovane. "I'm not sure if I could be as inventive, but it is exactly the kind of thing I would recommend that darling Sydney do use as an explanation," She offers with a wink.

Having made her circuit, and perhaps noticing an opening, Nurie begins to approach the hostesses, and once drawn closely enough she curtsies to Leola, and the bows her head respectfully to Anisha. "Thank you for opening up the Lodge and this event to the people at large," she offers, with a sweet smile. "I've only heard tales about things here, and it is lovely to see it with my own eyes."

"Mother Bianca." Alessia beams on spotting the legate, before making her approach. "It's been far too long. I am glad to see you could take time away from your busy schedule for this event." She appraises their surroundings. "Mistress Anisha and Dame Leola have done a wonderful job setting this up." She says, a wink given to Anisha.

Leola smiles a touch to Nurie, nodding her head gently "The Lodge is always open, offering hospitality and sanctuary to those that seek it" She says thoughtfully "But it is good to remind folk of that, and to throw open our gates once winter's snows no longer block them" Just a touch of an impish grin in her eyes, there "I'm so pleased you like it. There's a lot to take in - we picked one of the better spots in the forest for our little camp" A gesture to the stone walls, the tower, the low Lodge building



Lucien puts his hands before himself in a protective manner at Zara's non-threat, grinning, "Have mercy, I am new around these parts, Princess! I promise to behave." He goes back to gripping his belt with one hand, "I will say, however, the new crop of Oathlander warriors is fantastic. Young, strong and wild, I will admit that my skills would not be on par with nowdays' protectors of Arvum." He smiles, then, "Not that I am complaining. I feel so safe!"



The man smiles at Brigida, then, at her comment, and eyes Zara, "From old dragon to hatchling. I really should have visited Arx before, I feel so rejuvenated!"



He turns to Lady Amari, then, bowing before the woman and offering his hand for her to shake. "You may call me Lucien, my lady Keaton. And I am glad the Marquis is being of such service. That speaks highly of him and puts us on his debt where I am concerned," says the man, before he looks at Zara, "Although I do hope a Valardin becomes Sword at some point. That would be a sight to behold."



At Marian's touch, he eyes the Redrain, nodding, "No need to thank me for that. Our borders might not have always been peaceful, but those scuffles have always been momentary. The Northlands are a place of honor, and I doubt my High Lord would allow you to bleed alone." The winsome smile comes back, as the mood gets a little too somber. The mention of kids has the man pinch the bridge of his nose and say nothing. Nope.



"I agree, Princess Marian. I feel less stupid than I was when younger, but I sure hope I have not peaked yet. My judgment is still dismal everywhere not pertaining to the affairs of a knight."

From a distance away, Dianna smiles warmly as she spots Archlector Brigida, then resumes talking to Thea.

Jules catches himself at having been so enthralled in the senses that he only now realizes he's not aware of his surroundings. In this moment he quickly starts to smile, nod, and wave to random people. Have you been sitting by yourself or feeling left alone? He certainly just waved to you! He then turns his eyes around to attempt to determine where Lenne went to, now where is she ...

"Ah, well, I won't doubt the wisdom of your daughter," Zara says to Marian with wide eyes. "Or else I'll find myself exiled as well to the farthest reaches of elder ignorance." Zara's a whippersnapper. She has little to fear. As Brigida approaches, she nods to the Archlector in respect. "Blessed Brigida, I would not stand between you and Marian's daughter in determine where the line is drawn, but I'm glad to know your words have not only brought us the rejuvenation of spring, but the rejuvenation of Prince Lucien." Her sidelong gaze is subtly teasing, but she's perfectly earnest as she looks back to Brigida and says, "Thank you for your prayer earlier." Subject change?? Maybe. "It _truly_ begins to feel like spring."

Brigida prods Lucien in the chest, "Don't be so hard on yourself Lucien. You Oathlanders may be stuck up in your ways but there is something to be said for the reassurance that for the most part that you will behave yourselves and not getting into any scandalous troubles. For the most part." She finishes prodding the Prince with a wrinkled finger before she bows her head to Zara, ",You are too kind. I'm just an ol- just a woman doing her part in service to the Gods." She spots Dianna's smile from afar and nods once in response with a returned smile.

Lenne snickers at Sydney's commentary, when she gestures to her wrists. "Oh, yes. Those fists of yours that look to be able to punch clean through a wall. I'm sure they are very much prone to dishing out bounty and vitality." It might be a biting comment, were she not a Northlander. Given that she is, it's probably quite a compliment. Her gently teasing tone certainly doesn't sound at all negative. But when Anisha compliments on her dialogue, she can't help but laugh. "Me? If there is a skill I possess less of than eloquence, I'm sure I don't know what it is. But your own words are enough to make me hungry, so please excuse me for a moment. I can't resist the call of the food table any longer." She breaks from the group to head in the direction of the feast of preserves on offer. Time to take a page from Sydney's book.

"My home is more grass and fields than forest," Nurie replies to Leola. "Truth be told I'd not really seen any areas like this or even the sea before my lady moved her household to Arx. It is a wonder, that there is so much beauty in so many forms, just waiting to be discovered, isn't it? I'd love to see the mountains as well. Perhaps someday." She leans a little closer, and murmurs. "Is it true that some people have seen /unicorns/ here?" she asks. "Or a white hart?" she seems to think better of it though, blushing slightly. "I know it's probably more a fable than not. But they're lovely to think about. Though maybe they're mean. Some of the loveliest looking creatures can be quite so!"



"The honor's mine, getting the opportunity to see all the effort put forth from everyone in this feast," says Bianca, her attention turning towards the others gathered as Anisha indicates each in turn. Head inclining, the legate presses a hand to her chest, her voice warm when she speaks next. "I haven't, but there's no opportunity like the present. Lady Lenne, Messere Jules, Messere Sydney -- I'm very glad to be able to make your acquaintance today. I hope you're enjoying the festivities here?"



But if Bianca has more to say, she's distracted by Anisha's - very excellent - question. Her brows lift, a pale finger tapping against her chin as her lips turn towards a thoughtful frown. "Mm. I'm afraid I always get a terrible rash of indecision when it comes to matters of favorite foods," admits the legate with a self-effacing look of modesty. "It is a terrible weakness, to be sure. Perhaps I'll see if I can't conquer it today -- I wouldn't dare keep you any longer from your festive duties, after all. It seems like you have quite a few people here to meet -- I wish you the best of luck." Offered with a sincere little smile, Bianca's gaze turns briefly towards the direction Brigida has made off to before Alessia's voice catches her attention. Silver eyes blink, and she looks towards the Mazetti with a look of subdued elation. "Lady Alessia, it is -so- good to see you again. I wouldn't dare to miss this for the world." That smile becomes something a bit more wryly amused as her head tilts. "I suppose I wouldn't be much of a Legate if I couldn't make time to honor my gods once in a while, would I?"



Garibaldi, the Lycene swordbearer, 2 House Mazetti Aspirants arrive, following Theron.

Leola shakes her head "They're very forthright. They know their minds, certainly" Speaking easily in response to Nurie, serious and serene "But not mean. Never mean. They are generous when minded, and beautiful to the eye and the soul together. They walk in moonlight"

Marian smiles at Thea as she approaches, "It's good to see you m'lady." When Lucien mentions that he needs to update his skills, "You should join me in the Northlands Arena, take part in a few of our exercises." She motions to herself, "I still sometimes take on Duke Ansel's hospitality at the Gauntlet to run through the obstacles." As if noticing the reaction that Lucien has on children, she turns the subject to safer matters, "Well the borders should be safer with the death of Reaper last year." She nods to Amari with a smile, "House Keaton I believed assisted in taking down that threat." When Lucien speaks of the Sword returning to Valardin, "Well, I think Marquis Kael does well to serve Valardin. It would take a knight of note to bring the Oathbinder back to the fold."

"Messere Nurie!" Anisha exclaims, as she spots the woman talking to Leola. "So good to see you! Have you met everyone?" Gesturing excitedly to Nurie. "Messere Nurie is a most skilled seamstress, my Princess has comissioned her to provide us with matching outfits, and I shall be so excited to see them," She offers brightly. Giving a nod to Alessia. "Please bear in mind we had the aid of Blessed Brigida as well. And of course, the Lodge has the backing of the Faith as a whole," She declares, happily. "Ah, I look forward to settling with a meal, but I suspect there are still a few souls I should be greeting."



The Whsiper waves of Lenne's protestations. "Enjoy your food, and rest assured we will have lots of fun playing with words," She declares. "Mark my... Wrds." Repeating herself. Then looking to Bianca, to listen, and smile, encouragingly. "Well, as a Mirrormask, I am supposed to encourage you to embrace your weakness, no?" She winks. "And I encourage you to explore the dishes, as you say. Maybe one dish in particular will stand out for you."

Sylvi perks up a little bit towards Anisha and Nurie and studies her curiously. "You do commissions?" Sylvi asks. "If you're not completely overwhelmed I am in the market for some new clothes," She adds with a curious tilt of her head, as if she's studying the other woman.

Amari clasps Lucien's hand gently as she murmurs a thoroughly polite thank you. She seems a bit subdued today, but not unfriendly. As Zara tries to shift the subject of conversation, she quietly settles in on the bench and tilts her head and turns her marred cheek away. "Finally. That felt like the longest winter in years, aside from the one before it with the green snow." Marian's suggestion is given an enthusiastic endorsement, "Princess Marian is a very good instructor. She taught me the wisdom of not standing in the way of her fists."

Just as Sydney hopes fervently fade into the background and resume eating, Anisha is back again - ever the attentive hostess - forcing the Lowers brawler out of her shell kicking, and perhaps screaming into further mingling. Lenne is offered the full force of a vicious grin at the commentary on her armored fists, and she shrugs a shoulder. "I haven't tested them against a wall. Though, if I keep to housing in the Lowers when I attempt it, I'm sure that they might be able to do just that." She opens her mouth and closes it when Bianca thinks aloud, takes a steadying breath, and weaves her way closer to the Legate. "I'm having a lovely time so far, Mother Bianca, I'm afraid I'm not well-versed in the way the Legates conduct their affairs. To you often have cause to meet with Mother Cassandra? She and I are well-acquainted, if you would believe it."

Nurie sighs, quite romantically, her expression blissful as Leola tells her about REAL unicorns. "Are they cheeky too, some of them?" she asks. "Though I suppose that doesn't always go hand in hand with forthright..." She smiles at Anisha. "Some in passing elsewhere, Anisha Whisper. And it's good to see you again, I hope that you're enjoying yourself as well." She curtsies to Sylvi. "Currently I am quite booked," she tells her apologetically. "But if you would like, my lady, if you give me your name I will happily send you a messenger when I am able to take more on!"

"Princess Sylvi, I saw you there, but I didn't want to disturb. I'm so glad you made it." Anisha is quick to give the Thraxian noblewoman a hug, drawing her in. "Mother, my ladies, dame, my messeres, this is Princess Sylvi of Thrax, a curious mind and a lovely person. I encourage you all to get to know her, as I'm sure you'll make fast friends, as I did."

"Legate of creation and Archlechtor of Petrichor." Alessia says with a grin. "You couldn't have planned this any better, Anisha. Congratulations." She dips her head to Brigida, extending the same to her. "I do hope we have the chance to have another theological discussion some day in the future, Mother." She smiles warmly.

"You're welcome to bring your work to the Lodge" Leola offers to Nurie "We do escort folk to and from the city, and there are weaving and spinning tools in the tower, I believe. Should you wish to work and chance to see them" She smiles a little, chuckling "The young ones can be. We made them little things for them to wear, in thanks for their presence. Hornements, we called them"

Jules gives a bow to Biana at the introduction and says, "Oh dear yes, it is quite wonderful. A pleasure to meet you." He backs up a bit and then he blinks and spots something, something so unique there's only a 3 in 17 chance of seeing it if you looked in from the outside. It's a man! Jules slowly begins to make his way through the crowd and towards Lucien. He does not actually stop in front of him but he does give a bow towards the man and a smile to boot.

Dianna has left the nearby the creek.



Zara gets a narrowing of Lucien's eyes at the tease, all in good humor, as he nods at the woman. All is fair! Marian gets a look from him, as he makes sure he will remember the names and places where warriors congregate in Arx. "I have heard of this Gauntlet before, Dame Alexis talked to me about it. I would be glad to join you in the Northlands Arena, of course. Sparring does help to clear the mind." The subject of the Marquis has him nodding, "He would not be Sword of Sanctum if he was not formidable, especially after some of our former Swords were so spectacular." He motions towards Marian herself. "If there is a House that prides itself on its knights, however, is Valardin. I am sure one will rise up to the occasion."



At Amari's contribution, Lucien grins in a friendly manner. "Duly noted, my lady. Princess Marian's fists equals having a very bad day." He eyes the Redrain sizing her up, respectfully. "You go easy on me when we spar, Princess."



Looking around, then man then arches his brow, "So, about this Reaper, what can you tell me about it? I heard things, hearsay, but never anything from those who were there."

There is a bit of a moment wher she's about to asnwer, but Anisha takes over and she's being quite thoroughly squeezed in a hug with the whisper and she gives a bit of a bashful smile and a nod. "Oh I know Legate Bianca by reputation at least. I am going to be joining the scholars as a Disciple as soon as I can," she adds with a smile. She looks back to Nurie. "Yes, as she said, Princess Sylvi. Please do keep me in mind when you're ready, I do understand far too well how the skills of a skilled seamstress are constantly in high demand."

Stepping away from the creek, Dianna wanders to where her sister stands with Anisha and Brigida... and the as-yet-unknown Legate. "Blessed Brigida, how good to see you again. I regret I was pulled away so quickly at the ceremony, but I do appreciate so very much that you were able to attend," the newly-godsworn Dianna smiles, then turns her attention individually to each person standing around and greeting them appropriately with curtsy or gentle nod.

"It must have settled something for you to have that threat dealt with. I remember you mentioning her to me, when I first returned to the city," Zara says, studying Marian and her scars a moment. "I heard little more than you," she says, glancing at Lucien, "and I'd be curious to hear more, if it's worth sharing." She leaves an out: not all stories are stories fit for company, particularly in the midst of a celebration. She makes an effort to turn her tone lighter as she glances to Amari. "That is an _excellent_ lesson, Lady Amari. I'll note it myself. Baron Norwood has been overseeing your instruction as well, correct? I'm sure he must be pleased to know you've learned something so valuable. I've been impressed by what I've seen of his daughter, as well."

She can't help herself. The talk of fists and brawling is very quick to snag Sydney's attention. She turns her head to regard Amari, then Marian, and a flicker of recognition crosses her features. "Oh! You! I've seen you before. Oh, what event was it? The People's Champion, perhaps? No?" She's all but champing at the bit to have a conversation she can contribute to. Punches in the face! Her language! Her people!

Brigida nods at Alessia and Dianna's words before she says, "It's good to see you both here as well Lady Alessia and Sister Dianna." She waggles her finger at Alessia, "You had better support her better then my sisters did me when I took my vows.'

It seems like it would be nigh impossible to make Nurie's cheerful spirit glow even more brightly, but Leola's words do just with that. She manages to not clap out loud, but she can't help but bounce a little on her heels as if there needs to be somewhere for that delight energy to make it's way out. "Hornaments!" she explains, grinnning. "And perhaps I shall, my lady, if it wouldn't be too much trouble." She curtsies again to Sylvi. "It would be my pleasure, your highness," she promises.

Recieving a message, Thea folds it quietly. Bowing her head, she gives a farewell, excusing herself,"Pardon me. I have work to attend to. It was nice to see you all.."

"Dame, please, at best" Leola smiles to Nurie "And I'm a farmgirl at heart. The knighting was for my part in the Silent War" And she glances around the Lodge, her smile fading a touch "As this was meant to be" She pauses, and gives out another quick smile "I'd be delighted for you to find comfort and inspiration here. KNow that you're welcome."

Garibaldi, the Lycene swordbearer, 2 House Mazetti Aspirants leave, following Theron.

Garibaldi, the Lycene swordbearer, 2 House Mazetti Aspirants arrive, following Theron.

Anisha gives a little wiggle of her fingers to Dianna, and sketches a little curtsey, excusing herself from the group - a hostess work is never done. She trails across the field, some, saying hello and welcoming various people settled to enjoy their meals, before making her way to the gaggle of Valardins and acquainted folk - not far after Sydney, in fact. "Your highness," She offers to Zara. "So glad you made it. And Sir Prince Lucien as well." She beams. "I'm afraid there are some names I am missing. Perhaps I could lean on you all for an introduction?" She suggests to Zara. Sticking close to Sydney for now.

Marian gives a polite nod to Jules as he approaches, recognizing him as a member of Crovane. She takes another sip of her white wine, wetting her lips as the conversation continues. There's a deep laugh as Lucien mentions she should go easy on him when they spar, "That your highness is something that I never do." Her green eyes twinkle with amusement, "I approach each of my spars with the same brutal tactics as the field. It creates a more 'real' feeling in the ring." She pauses as Zara offers to speak of the matter of the scars on her palms and gives a thoughtful look, "Ahh yes, it's not really a conversation for polite company, but I'd be happy to get you up to speed on matters that I've seen on my side." The matter of the Reaper gets a silent look between Lucien and her, "Once again, I would keep the conversation a bit lighter, forgive me for bringing the matter up in polite company." She turns to Anish as she arrives, giving a curtesy to the hostess.

Lenne breathes out with a slow, steady exhale once she's away from all the bustle. She lets the tension drift away from her neck and shoulders. Being around so many people, with so much sound and furious activity is a strain on the nerves. She isn't at all used to crowds. Maybe it was because she spent so long away from home. Or maybe it's the other way around. Either way, she takes an achingly long circle around the table, plate in hand, oh-so-studiously examining every dish on offer. If just to buy herself another few seconds of respite.

"It might be slightly impolitic to keep suggesting my cousin be replaced as Sword of Sanctum while I'm sitting here in earshot, Your Highness." Amari quietly notes with a measuring look landing upon Lucien, her tone casual but not without a touch of firmness. "He's more than capable and fully dedicated to Valardin. I assure you. He serves with the utmost skill and honor." Zara draws her attention away, and a broader smile appears, "Lady Adalyn is delightful. She'd have to be, given how wonderful her father is. I've been his squire these last few months, and he's taught me quite a lot. The most really, but I'm thankful for the supplementary lessons Princess Marian and Kael have given along the way, even if they may have smarted."

With a soft laugh, for Brigida, Dianna tenderly regards her twin. "If anyone has supported me, it is my sister. I am so blessed to have her as my twin." Gently, Dianna's gaze returns to the Archlector. "I should like very much to arrange a time to speak with you again, for some discussions on theology. I regret I am lacking in what I would consider acceptable for a woman sworn to uphold the gods' wills and names."

Taking a moment to get his bearing on the grounds, Theron waves his Guardian Aspirants back as well as his swordbearer. Sworn to carry his burdens, Garibaldi has all but two of Theron's swords. Now unburdened by immediate subordinates the Sword of Ostria is free to slowly make his way through the gathering to mingle and eventually select a drink of some sort.

"Well, it's as my Marquis said. We all serve the gods, she just took it one step further." Alessia says to Brigida with a warm smile. "Only good can come from this." She says before her attention fixes on Theron as he approaches the grounds. Excusing herself, she makes her way over to the drinks table to greet him.

Thea has left the nearby the creek.

Finn the large Northern hunting dog with icy blue eyes leaves, following Thea.



"I'd like that, very much," enthuses Bianca, in that reserved way of hers, for Alessia's offer. It's more that twinkle in her otherwise tranquil gaze that suggests her interest beyond her words. "Hopefully, we'll be able to find the opportunity to sooner than later." Her attention tilts towards Sylvi, hands clasping in front of her as she dips in brief but respectful greeting. "Princess Sylvi. I'm flattered," she offers, before curiosity tinges at her expression. "The Scholars are a truly wonderful organization, though I may be biased." A hint of a smile tugs at her lips. "Some of my fondest memories are from my time with the Scholars, though. I am sure you will excel amongst them."



When Sydney makes her way into Bianca's field of vision once more, though, the legate turns that curious, crystalline gaze back on the brawler once more. For as impassive as she might seem, though, she's nothing if not engaging when she addresses Sydney, turning to face her fully and brows lifting with marked and sincere interest as she speaks. "You know Mother Cassandra?" she wonders, head tilting towards her left in a cascade of snowy hair. "We do have occasion to meet and talk, though not nearly as often as I'd like. But I do know her well enough to know she has excellent taste in friends." Her lips quirk upward, just a bit. "How did the two of you meet?"



Marian gives a smile to Amari and assures her, "I'm sure he ment no slight m'lady." She gives a knowing look to Lucien, "And there were those that spoke similar words even when I took the mantle of Sword for High Lord Edain, claiming that blood should wield the steel. But I find that it's more important to keep Oathbinder in the hands of those that shown their want to protect and serve rather than through ties of family." She does admit least she offend the prince, "My own origins were spent proving myself worthy to own father to lead. He never gave me quarter based on blood or birth order."

"I look forward to it," Sylvi adds with a bright smile, her gaze shifting around between the others. "It's lovely to meet you, I do believe I had intended to reach out to you before now in fact," she grins, shifting her attention back over to Bianca and she nods, brightly grinning. "I hope to do well at least. Finally getting a chance to see the archives firsthand is part of why I came to Arx in the first place," she smiles. "I trust you've been fulfilling your newer role quite well however."

Jules certainly grants Marian a broad smile and a bow when she acknowledges his presence, especially as his attention had been briefly diverted towards the man. But he gives a quick roll of his wrist as he takes his standing position. His eyes dart about for a moment and then he actually stops his moving around to try to assess the situation for which he seems unusually uncomfortable in.

Dianna checked perception at difficulty 15, rolling 4 lower.

"Whisper Anisha." Zara greets her with almost a hint of smile, largely set in the narrowing of her eyes and a suggestion of a shadowed dimple on her cheek. Her lips scarcely move but to talk. "My thanks for the lovely event. I thought your opening words carried a lovely note of piety, and the touch with the cloaks and spring--" She gestures. "Inspired. What called you to help host? Is spring a favored season? I can hardly blame you. I see you've met Prince Lucien, but this is Princess Marian of Redrain and Lady Amari of Keaton: two very fine women I'm pleased to know." It's easy to say that to be _nice_, but she seems to say it with an earnestness of feeling backed by her solemn features.

It's easy enough for Sydney to breeze her focus right back over to Bianca when she's more fully regarded. The young leatherclad woman, clearly of less-than-noble origins, offers a wide smile. "I had the honor of participating in the Rite of Gloria, and I believe my absolutely legendary performance caught her eye." She casually tugs her leather shirt up a few inches to show off a scar that runs along her ribs. "Some big fellow named Merek caught me with an axe and put a very, very swift end to my lofty goal of fighting through a tournament with live steel with only my fists and some tattered leathers. But, I suppose the audacity of it all caught Mother Cassandra's attention, at any rate. She's a mind to teach me to use a blade. I'm... resisting the notion a touch, but she's proven to be a sympathetic ear on more topics than I'd expected. Matters that would doubtless fatigue you to hear of, as I'm sure they've been worn to death on all Legates, so I'd not repeat them."



Lucien, although not a very used to the etiquette in Arx, does know when to recognize that certain subjects may not appropriate for a lovely celebration such as this, and so he does not pursue the Reaper stories. He simply nods at Zara with a smile, and that is the end of it. Sydney's outburst does much to make the man smile, as he sidesteps so she can join the circle and talk to the objects of her glee.



Marian's merciless sparring does get the knight to swallow some, teasing at a nervousness that isn't really there. "Well, I will say this: I am exceptionally good at taking punishment, so if nothing else, that should prove to be a long sparring session." The man winks at Marian playfully, and nods as she repeats Zara's desires to keep the talk of the Reaper for later. He does not press for that, or the scars.



At Amari, he arches his brows, "I never claimed to be even slightly politic, but do know that I would tell him the same, and that is in no way to disparage the Marquis' skills or commitment. It is, however, our House's honor he defends, and while I am very grateful for his service, he is not owed that privilege. No Valardin is either. Only the most honored knights should even be considered for such task. The Marquis has nothing but my respect." He motions at Marian as she adds to his thoughts, "Exactly. I mean no offense, my lady, but I am deeply sorry if I have caused any."

Brigida smiles warmly at the responses from Alessia and Dianna, "Excellent. That wonderful news indeed. Legate Bianca? Have you met the latest person to dedicate herself to the Gods? Sister Dianna formally of Mazetti."

Brightly, Dianna smiles to Bianca and curtsies gracefully. "Legate, it is my extreme pleasure to make your acquaintance. I look forward to working with you, and hope we shall become great friends - as I heard you say you are a scholar? I've so much interest in studying as much as I might."

"Dame Leola, your highness. We have spoken a fair bit and she told me of the tradition," Anisha explains to Zara. "I was simply enchanted, and, well. I thought it would be lovely to have the good folk of Arx participate in what is traditionally a more rural practice," She offers, with a bright smile. "Besides, who wouldn't want an excuse to wear flowery garb, mm? I should see about having a garland made." She sketches curtsies to Marian and Amari. "Your highness, my lady. Well met and welcome. I hope you are enjoying the feast, so far." She proffers. "And please, of course, let me know if I can aid in any way." She beams. Looking over Zara, she grins. "You look absolutely radiant once again, your highness. I am pleased that you are casting your light upon these proceedings."

Theron has joined the nearby the creek.

Alessia has joined the nearby the creek.

Having selected a drink at last, Theron picks a spot by the creek to look for some recognizable faces. He practically misses Alessia's approach until she's about next to him which causes him to double take before engaging in quiet conversation.

Marian hands off her wine glass to a server and takes another one as they continue their conversation. There's a deep laugh at Lucien's mention of being to take punishment, "Well, it's good to come from a humble place. Even with all my honors there are plenty of times I have found myself on the sand." She shakes her head, "I can't say that I don't relish such events because it teaches me something, makes me better." She turns to Anisha and lets her know, "Oh yes, I am enjoying the party." She nods in the direction of the food, "I have not had a chance to make a meal but I shall partake."

Amari seems mollified, giving a dip of her head to acknowledge Marian's wise words on the subject. Lucien in turn is offered a polite smile and that's where she leaves it. With Whisper Anisha being introduced she's readily and happily distracted, even if she ends up frowning. "Whisper Anisha. So nice to meet you. I feel especially bad now that I missed your speech."

Marian glances at the banquet table and lets her companions know, "On that note, I shall take my leave so I can explore the delights at the banquet table." She slips away as the others talk to the hostess, fading into the background as she finds a quiet place to eat.

Marian has left the a pine bench near the bushes.

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

Leola smiles as Anisha circulates, nodding to the Whisper. She retreats, drawing on her gloves once more, to the side of the Lodge itself

Nurie curtsies again, to the hosts. "Thank you ever so much, again. I must be heading back to the city proper now, though, to attend to other duties. But it will be with greater warmth and joy in having kept the company with those here, for at least a little while." And with that, Nurie will take her leave, moving away from the gathering.

Robyn, an artful archeress, 2 House Velenosa Guards arrive, following Ophelia.

"Ah," Anisha laughs. "I shall be sure to have a transcript sent, if it really matters, my lady." She assures Amari. "Besides, I am hardly the important part of this celebration. As long as you enjoy the food and drink, and get to have good company, I shall be more than happy." Spotting Leola's nod, she raises her bejewelled hand to wiggle her fingers in a wave. "So, Keaton, is it? I have heard wonderful things of your House. Is it true you breed dogs, or am I mixing you up with someone else?" She inquires ever so politely.

As Marian departs, Zara glances between Amari and Lucien just a moment before seeing them find peace. Her expression brightens just slightly, and she returns her attention to Anisha. "Well, a double helping of thanks to Dame Leola then, as both hostess and inspiration. It's a lovely tradition, nearly as lovely as your compliments. Thank you. A compliment on a Whisper's lips carries twice the weight, particularly one garbed so fittingly for the season."

Zara is overheard praising Leola: A lovely celebration of spring!

Zara is overheard praising Anisha: A lovely celebration of spring!

Jules makes his way towards the food table and gets himself a few items here and there and begins to munch while he stands near the food table. He does have a smile on his face and continues to nod here and there to those who happen to pass by.

Ophelia Velenosa appears to have just stepped out of the surrounding woodlands as she approaches the Lodge grounds dressed in her leathers. Her blonde hair has been done up into a braided chignon and she looks surprised to see so many people around. That is, until it dawns on her that this is a springtime a celebration! She knew that. Of /course./ "Oh! Hello everyone." Fashionably late, the archeress is. Or, well. Just /very/ late. There's a wave to a few familiar faces as she continues to stride toward the tables.

Lenne sighs and sets her half-covered plate aside. She has kept to the outskirts of the party. It seems lovely, and in other times she might conquer her nerves and enjoy it, but there really is far too much on her mind, given the events of the last few days. She isn't even really listening to all the potentially juicy gossip, and that much is criminal, given how often topics of interest show themselves in these events. She peeks around the gathering groups, picking the most opportune time she can, when nobody's eyes are on her (Especially Jules, who might feel he has to follow!), to (poorly) sneak her way from the festivities.

Brigida busies herself fussing Oswald and scratching his ears as she feeds him a few tidbits.

"I'll expect a full transcript at your earliest convenience." Amari playfully replies, but at the question of Keaton's dogs, she lifts her brow and looks around. She's lost her dogs. Only, no, Barf the bog dog, a brindled beast with a blunt face is sitting nearby with razor focus on the nearest table, watching for scraps. River the bloodhound she needs to whistle for, but she appears with her tail wagging. "Indeed, bloodhounds. Just like Reckless River here, and pygmy goats. I think Lady Shae is ultimately responsible for them." There's a pause there, and a nod for what Zara has said, "And I have to agree, that's a lovely outfit. I love seatouched wool."



"You joined the Rite without a weapon?" The very prospect has Bianca's bright silver eyes widening a touch in surprise as she dips down just a bit to inspect the scar running its path along the ridge of Sydney's ribs -- and then just a touch further still in recognition when the brawler continues on. "Oh!" exclaims the legate, briefly effusive with her revelation as a pale hand lifts to her lips. "I remember you! It would certainly be hard to have forgotten. It was a bold move, to bring only your fists to a tourney like that." She is sincere in her words as she rises again, subtly concerned though her expression might be. Brows furrowed, she falls into brief, pensive silence before her lips part again. "Yes. I know Sir Merek. I am glad to see you made it out of your showing relatively in one piece," and here, she finds a small smile again, "however audacious it might have been. I don't think you'll find a finer instructor than Mother Cassandra; if she's made such an offer, I'm sure she's seen great potential in you." One hand lifting to touch her collar, her head dips. "Worn to death though they may or may not be -- if you do ever have any concerns, I would be happy to lend an ear, as I'm able. Any who's impressed Cassandra so is worth lending an ear to."



And with an earnest look, the Legate of Creation's attention is pulled away as she hears Brigida speak. Turning her head, she utters an, "Ah! Archlector Brigida!" of greeting, turning fully to face the woman. "I'd been meaning to offer my gratitude, and appreciation -- everything's come together so well," she begins, before that silver gaze turns towards Dianna as she's introduced. "Sister Dianna," Bianca greets in turn, robes flowing freely around her as she dips in a gracious and grateful bow. "While I believe we've been on each other's peripheries at various events, I don't think we've met formally -- especially not now that you've taken the oaths. It's a grand step to take -- but I am so very glad to welcome you to the ranks of the Godsworn." Her head tilts, her smile growing just a bit more brightly. "I hope so too, Sister Dianna. Perhaps we can find the time soon to have a talk; I'm always grateful to find someone who has the same academic leanings as I do."



Jules happens to catch the tail end of the departing Lenne and sets his plate down and begins to make his way hurriedly behind her.

Leola bows her head to Zara, smiling a little as she finishes off the pie. A brush down of her skirts, and she smiles a touch to Anisha "You've made a great stir" She congratulates "Thank you, Anisha Whisper."

"You are far too kind, your highness," Anisha chuckles, giving another curtsey. "As I've said - I am but a vessel, today. Petrichor's Hospitality and the Lodge deserve the credit." She assures, even as she turns her attention to Amari again. "Oh, what lovely little lads and lassses!" She declares, about the hounds. Curtseying again, to both Princess and Lady, at the repeated compliments. "Messere Petal did the outfit, and the corset was a gift from Guild Mistress Josephine. The bead here is also from her shop. The mask a design of my own, which I had Radiant Emeritus Selene's apprentices turn into reality for me," She explains happily. "And I am quite fond of seatouched wool myself, it has been a lifesaver this winter."

Leola gets a smile and a curtsey as well, from the beaming Whisper

Observing with gentle but passive interest, Dianna takes note openly of the conversation between Sydney and Bianca, her lips curling upwards at certain moments. But the Legate turns now to greet Brigida, and to welcome Dianna as Godsworn. "My thanks, Mother Bianca. I shall write to you in the coming days, and would love nothing more than to sit and enjoy tea - or brandy, if you like - that we might discuss all manner of things - as I hear good things of you." Dianna's smile lifts a little more and she lifts her goblet to drink briefly. "What is your favorite topic, if I may ask, Mother?"

Sydney positively beams at Bianca's... praise? Concern? It matters little to the brawler, ultimately. She gently lowers her leather shirt and offers a wide grin, "I'll keep your advice in mind. Thank you, Mother - enjoy the rest of the fesitivites." She chances a glance over to Dianna, lofting a brow, but ultimately doesn't disrupt the discussions between the two. The commoner finds herself a quiet little place to start actually eating her food, and greedily works at her plate, doing her able best to finish it before someone drags her attention away again. Hunger!



Lucien smiles back at Amari, and is quite content at leaving at that. To Zara, he makes the motion of wiping his brow in relief, playful at the Voice, and as Marian leaves, the knight takes the opportunity to do the same, clearing his throat. "I must also take my leave, even if momentarily. I have not drank in a while, and I am positively thirsty." None too subtly, the knight pats his belly, and in contrast with the gesture, he bows to the ladies around him to take his leave.



When he arrives by Bianca's side, it is with two glasses of wine in his hand. Quietly handing the woman one of them, the knight awaits until the Legate is talking before speaking himself. He quite clearly sizes the white-haired Legate up, before arching a brow. "You have gotten used to these robes, I see. Pretty impressive feat for a Dragon Guard," he smiles then, warmly. "It has been some time."



Quietly, he eyes those around Bianca, nodding and giving a brief bow that is equal measures polite and brief.

Brigida smiles warmly as she bows her head to the praise from her (officially) superior. "Thank you Legate. I've been doing little more than keeping the Lodge running while Leola has been away recently so the praise is still for her. I am just as I said... A servant of Petrichor and the Faith." Her eyes shift to Dianna and she smiles, "You do realise that Godsworn are forbidden from drinking brandy?" she says with an utterly straight face.

Ophelia is sure to say a few prayers to Petrichor before grabbing some slices of fruit from one of the serving tables. There is a vacant wooden bench across the area and she makes her way toward it, nodding to Leola and Brigida along the way with a smile. She then takes a seat and crosses one leg over the other while enjoying those few slices of fruit in hand.

"I've never had the pleasure of having any crafted by the Guild Mistress herself, but her apprentices do remarkable work." Zara touches bits of her own jewelry with a light hand, particularly where dark leaves weave through her hair. "The beads I've found quite clever, particularly as she makes them for the Faith. I haven't seen her Gild bead, but I have my eyes wide looking for it." One of her attendants circles up behind her, catching her attention with a hand on her arm and a word in her ear. Zara bows her head and then looks up, regretful. "I'm called back to the estate. It's been a pleasure, Whisper Anisha. Lady Amari, so good to see you again, and Prince Lucien, I'm sure I will see you back at the Valardin manor." Making her farewells with quick courtesy, she then departs.

Zara has left the a pine bench near the bushes.

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

"The corset is spectacular. It's given me ideas I'll have to discuss with the Guild Mistress when I'm next at the shop." Amari enthuses quietly as she sets a hand atop River's head to acknowledge her standing right there, ever so obedient and drooling profusely. With a warm and friendly smile to the Valardin then, she starts to rise just as Zara departs, which gives her the opportunity to curtsey precisely and say her farewells before she's away. Then to Lucien, she nods solemnly. "I also think Princess Marian had the right idea. A drink would be just the thing right now." So off she goes, dogs and goat in her wake to enjoy the feast part of this gathering.

"Be well, your highness," Anisha offers after Zara, sketching a curtsey, and shooting a grin to Amari. "I will make sure you receive it in full, my speech." She agrees, with a smile. "Now, I realise I haven't actually partaken in the food yet, and I am famished." The Whisper confesses to Amari. "I do quite enjoy the look, though it can make some movements tricky. I take it as a challenge, personally." She grins, brushing her fingers. Letting Amari slip away, she moves towards the tables herself, grabbing a plate and a goblet, the latter to fill with honeywine, the former to put all sorts of foods on. Giving a smile to Ophelia. "Hello! I don't believe we've met. Anisha Whisper, a pleasure. I hope you are enjoying the festivities so far?"

Noting without any difficulty the Valardin prince, Dianna's gentle smile remains and graces his face when he arrives. With the elegance of a dancer, Dianna drops into a gentle curtsy, her head bowed respectfully before she lifts and resumes giving her attention to the Legate. However, it is with Lucien's mention of Bianca's former life as a Dragon Guard that Dianna's peaceful repose is broken: True to her usual form, Dianna's right eyebrow lofts, first at Lucien and then at Bianca. "You were a warrior, Mother Bianca? I, too, have been trained - in the art of using a glaive. You see: I was a glaivedancer for the Mazetti prior to being Godsworn." Dianna glances briefly to Lucien's eyes, her curiosity unrestrained.

Anisha is overheard praising Leola: A wonderful co-host for a wonderful set of festivities

Dianna catches Brigida's tone and she smirks wryly at the older woman. "Nonsense," the newly-godsworn speaks, her voice simple and melodious in contrast to her face.

Brigida checked command + intimidation at difficulty 15, rolling 39 higher.

Sydney sighs in satisfaction. The wonderful thing about being utterly starving is that even an absurd helping of food is polished off in relatively short order. The brawler hops right back up to her feet and deposits her cleaned plate wheresoever it's indicated to do so, and - emboldened by both good food and some recognition from a Legate, the young woman drifts over to Anisha's side for a change, thumping her shoulder against the Whisper's and regardin Ophelia, "Oh, thank the gods. Someone else just wore their leathers." It may not be a heartening comment coming from what appears to be a lowborn pugilist, but Sydney tries all the same.

At Dianna's "Nonsense", Brigida levels her steely gaze upon the new Godsworn, staring balefully at Dianna for a few long moments before she admits, "Yes. Quite so. I wonder if we would have less Godsworn if that were a rule.".

Amari has left the a pine bench near the bushes.

2 Keaton Huntsmen, Marigold, a cheeky pygmy goat, River, a happy Oakhaven bloodhound, Barf, the Bog Dog, Bandit, a dapple gray Duskshire feral leave, following Amari.

Sylvi is overheard praising Leola.

Sylvi is overheard praising Anisha.

Sylvi is overheard praising Leola.

Sylvi is overheard praising Anisha.

Anisha sees the sun setting on the horizon, and sets aside her plate, once more clapping her hands together. "My friends. Fellow Members of the Faith. Arxians." She begins, a variant on her starting speak. "The sun is setting, and while we will light lamps and fires and continue the festivites long into the night, the 'official' part of the First Feast of Spring ends here. Thank you all for joining us in honouring Creation on this day. Thank you for all you are, and all you will be in the coming year. Thank you, for sharing in this feast of plenty, and please - enjoy yourselves until the night turns to morning." She sketches a deep curtsey. "I am Anisha Whisper, and it has been my honour to serve as your hostess tonight, alongside the lovely Dame Leola and the impressive Lodge of Petrichor."



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