Thrax Family Dinner: Something Furry This Way Comes
Dec. 7, 2019, 3:30 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Thrax - Thrax Estate - Dining Room
Comments and Log
"Dame Leola is coming. She apparently wishes to ask something of us." Alarissa is moving into the dining room, other people starting to settle in. Honey snuggles trailing in behind her and all his white fur sweeping the floor. Something under the table garners his attention and with a meow that's lacking in volume control, he's off. There's a glance around to see who all is at the table for the night as she shifts away to go take a up a seat at the -far- end of the table instead of her usual spot to the right side of Victus.
The great table is set with platters and trenchers of spring vegetables and four legged beasts as well as a behemoth of a red fish that has been unwrapped from the leaves that it was baked in and a giant curled up eel. As usual though, there's that small bucket that smells of saltwater and now and then, a tiny tendril flops over the side and a small mouth sized octopus looks to be making a break from it and avoid it's potential fate. Now and then, one even manages to sneak out and you might find it hiding under the lip of a bowl or a plate. Servants stand at the ready to fill glasses, take away empty plates and dishes. Resident animals mill about under the table, waiting for deliberate or errant scraps to be dropped... or run away octopi.
Skye arrives at the dining room, wearing the dress that her patron gifted her with. She has a bright smile as she glances about to see the lovely spread that has been put out on the table. When seeking her seat, she will of course try to find one close to Alarissa after she does a proper greeting to her high lord and high lady.
1 Blackram novice guards, Chessa, Dimples, a Kite of the Cloudspine, Jules arrive, following Teagan.
Sorrel has found herself a chair to sit in, and under her chair is her big white dog, who's not very bright but who is smart enough not to mess with any of the cats who live in this household. She avoids eye-contact with the bucket of octopus.
Leola is more or less on time. She has not mastered the art of the late entrance, it seems; dressed simply and demurely, her hair in a comfortable braid. She trails her fingers along the doorframe as she enters, lips moving silently, and smooths the heavy silvery fur stole she wears, entering and dipping a small, demure curtsy. Her eyes flick about, a slightly fixed smile "Your grace. Your highness. Thank you for the invitation" And her smile relaxes a little as her eyes linger on Alarissa's arm
An unfamiliar sight within the Thrax Estate, Alessia glances around with intrigue as she enters the dining room. "Your Grace." She offers Victus with a warm smile, before turning to Alarissa. "Your highness, thank you so much for the invitation. I look forward to the evening." She takes a seat on the table, notably wincing at the moving octopi, though she maintains a smile, offering greetings to the others at the table.
Per usual, the Prince of Maelstrom is sat on the far end of the table. There's a more formal name for Victus' spot, but 'the big chair' should suffice. The man does not present himself with a sense of regality when in the comfort of his own home. One elbow rests against his seat so he might prop his chin against his fist. The other is lazily hanging off the side. His greatsword is stood up beside him, near as tall as he is while he's at rest. There's glance to the bucket, then another to the assembled seafood platter. His attention soon moving toward their guests for the evening, which prompts him to assume something vaguely resembling 'normal' posture. "Good evening. Welcome." His voice is low, but deep. "Be cautious with the silverware. Much blood has been spilled by enthusiastic clam-cracking."
This is an altogether new experience for Teagan, but she won't be alone in it. The woman enters with Jules escorting her... something that might be a bit awkward for the poor man as she's got a few inches in height on him and that's -without- heels. She's brought Chessa along because of -course- the woman would want a visit to speak and visit with those she knows within Thrax. There is also, however, a white-tailed kite at her shoulder in a portion of her form-fitting dress that has been reinforced to deal with those talons. The creature is all black-white and shades of grey save for the reds of its eyes. And it has already spotted an errant cephalopod that it is carefully tracking. Once within the room, she waits for others to make their greetings before offering her own: "Your Grace, thank you for opening your hall. Your Highness-" a nod, then, to Alarissa. "Thank you for the invitation. May I introduce Master Jules Fabron. I believe..." this, to Alarissa, "you may already be acquainted?"
Jules enters in with Teagan on his arm, or on her arm. He does not seem bothered in the least by being the shorter of the two, in fact he does not seem to even be aware of it by the look of it. He is talking softly to her along the way. His shirt is pink, not salmon but hot pink. It flows about him and he seems to wear it with an easy confidence or enjoyment. As they reach forward to Alarissa he briefly draws his arm from Teagan so he may give an appropriately flourished bow and then moves to offer his arm back to Teagan if she wants it. With his smile to Alarissa he says, "Your highness, a pleasure to see you again. I've met you a time or two before but of little consequence to you I am certain." He remains genuinely pleased to smile.
There's a serene smile for Skye when she takes up a seat and Alarissa reaches over to squeeze the Blackshore Baroness's hand. "I hope all is well in your corner." But more people arrive and servants move swift to pull out chairs and seat people even as others are at hand to help dish out food on plates for those who rock like that. "Dame Leola." Alarissa's serene smile turns to a grin. "I left my seat beside his Grace for you." A gesture to that spot. Sorrel's avoidance of the octopi bucket garners a sympathetic look. Mazetti and Blackram are greeted too and Jule's particular arrival garners a dip. "Master Jules Fabron, of little consequence, hardly. With Mistress Helle's departure, he has been a boon to my dealings in the market. And, I invited him to show my thankfulness for that. Find a seat. Enjoy yourself."
Skye admits to her patron, "It's been a bit quiet around the manor since Dycard returned to sea but I am finding plenty of projects to keep me busy." She smiles at the other nobles as they find their seats. She gives a curious look to Leola when Alarissa mentions that she left her seat to her. She lightly places a napkin on her lap and happily takes the food that is offered. She does compliment her hosts, "This is lovely."
"Thank you for the warning, your grace" Leola smiles to Victus, taking a seat where Alarissa instructs, settling and smoothing herself out a little as she nods "I'm aware of the dangers of deadly crustaceans." A solumn nod, and she gives Jules a quick smile before another nod to Alarissa "Thank you, your highness. It's an honor I'd not expect"
"I imagine with such enthusiasm, they probably thought the blood shed was worth it." Alessia says with a wry smile, as she lifts a glass to be filled with wine. "But for fear of messing up what's been set up, I'll gladly heed the warning." She takes a drink, as she ponders what to try.
"He's done rather well in the market for me, as well, as time has permitted him," Sorrel notes, motioning from Alarissa to Jules with a small smile. She seems disinclined to eat at the moment, particularly the octopus.
*squelch* There's an arm over the side of the bucket and it's soon followed by a plop as one of the larger octopi starts to make it's great escape. It looks like it might be headed for Sorrel's plate, those arms slapping down on the table and then pulling itself along as swift as it can.
"Also --" Victus points toward the ill-fated octopus bucket. "Don't try sticking your hand in there. They stick, bite and ink. Sometimes in that order, sometimes not. Wouldn't want Duke Blackram nor Marquessa Mazetti to think you actually get attacked by sea monsters here." A beat. "Not on purpose, that is." That said, Victus sits up a little straighter. Stiff and upright by the time that Leola comes around to his end of the table. "Dame Leola. It's been awhile. Part of me, against all logic, hopes that our mutual allies the otter pirates are still alive. Even though they did stick fish in my backpack. It would mean our training didn't go to waste." An octopus is making its escape. Victus makes a vague gesture in its direction. "As I said, bite-stick-ink."
Jules reddens a bit Alarissa's comment and says, "You are too kind your highness, hardly anything." Turning to Sorrell there's a bit deeper blush in his cheeks, "Well thank you both for your attentions, I appreciate them very much." He is quick to give a bow to each person he passes and a smile to boot whenever Teagan departs the princesses or if someone passes by. He gives a broad wave to Skye, perhaps not the most aristocratic of actions but he is a commoner after all. His smile for her is broad and he seems to mouth something to her. Then over towards Leola his eyes lighten up and he seems to mouth something to her. He notices Alarissa modeling her gloves and he gives a little gasp and says, "How stunning!" He turns to Teagan and says, "What a delightful company they serve!"
Once the seating arrangements are revealed, Teagan releases Jules' arm (particularly so he can make more bows if he sees so fit) and steps up to a seat. She considers the spread of food before settling in. Dimples steps neatly off her shoulder and onto the back of the chair, claws clicking lightly as he passes from one side to the other in search of the runaway octopus he'd spotted before. "Assisting others does seem to be something Master Jules strives toward," Teagan says with a glance from the man to Alarissa. "And to a nigh single-mindedness as well." AS she considers the table she opts to begin with just a drink: whiskey, if available, because what else does she ever seem to partake of? She does listen to Victus' warning and spots, with his gesture, the octopus making its way across the table. "And what order do you recommend your guests go in?" She's already got a hand sliding towards the knife at her place setting, just in case any opt to aim -her- way. "Stick-then-bite, I presume?" She makes no comment on how her brother might react. To Jules, there is a sidelong look of those green eyes and a light rise and fall of her shoulders. "I have learned, in what brief encounters I have had with His Grace, to make no assumptions as to what may or may not occur."
Sorrel checked dexterity + small wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 1 lower.
"The Blackwhiskers thrive, your grace" Leola grins, and then blinks as the heavy stole around her neck stirs; head rising to blink at Victus closely, and then skitter down into Leola's lap and curl up tightly "As you can see" She offers a bright little smile. She smiles to Jules, nodding eagerly in response, and then smiling to Victus again as though nothing was happening and some soft squeaking was not coming from her lap "And thank you for the warning. For all I'm used to dolphins, my experience with octopuses is a little ... lacking" She admits with a wary glance to them.
Sorrel grabs a fork and makes an effort to spear the little octopus before it escapes, but she only manages to turn it so that it's trying to escape in a different direction now, possibly towards Leola now.
Drinking deeper as the octopus begins to make its way across the table, Alessia's eyes are fixed on the creature, wariness apparent. "I've never seen any so... small. Are they usually eaten so fresh?" Her gaze drifts to Sorrel, and echoing the woman's movements, takes a knife in a firm grip in case it ventures towards her.
About face. Tentacles cling to sorrels fork and let go at a moment when it feels it can get away and get away it does. that squelching sound as it hightails it to far less deadly places. Down toward Victus' end of the table. Where it will have to pass by Alessia, Teagan, Jules and the others.
Alessia checked dexterity + small wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 31 higher.
Jules turns his attention to Teagan and laughs in a rather restrained way, "You are too kind or perhaps pointing out a weakness, I'm not sure which is your intention!" His intention is clearly teasing. His attention redirects towards the escaping squid and he claps as Sorrel nearly stabs him and says, "Good show!" But then he watches as he changes direction and begins moving down the table. Thankfully he is at the end of the line so there are at least two other far more capable destroyers of squid than him.
"My suggestion would be a quick jab on the head and then a hard pull." Victus notes for Teagan. "Stick and pull. Then bite. An octopus' tendrils don't lose their suction upon death, however. They have a tendency to keep moving after they've passed as well. If you're not careful, they can strangle you on the way down just by clinging to the inside of your throat. If you're brave, you could try swallowing it live. But then add the fact that it's fighting you on top of all the other problems. Personally I find it fresher that way. And a bit more satisfying." The Prince interjects himself to clear his throat. "That was probably more than you were asking for. Eh. Stick, pull, bite is the standard." Swirling back around toward Leola after the grim imagery, his lips pull back into a thin line. The barest hint of a smile. "Good. Not that I care of course, don't go getting that idea. But... good." The smile quickly fades when he realizes the scarf she was wearing wasn't actually a scarf at all. It was /moving/. "... You... You brought one HERE?"
"Actually, your grace, he wanted to meet you" Leola says with a happy smile, as Scarf rises, and scurries down her leg. And then attempts to crawl up Victus's "He's quite the clever fellow, is Mister Scarf. You know how otters use rocks to open clams? He uses a hip flask" She grins "Anyway, ah, long and the short, your grace ..." Sne gestures to the otter, who is gazing at Victus with adoring little squeaks "I believe he'd like to assist you." And then she looks at the skittering octopi, swallowing and biting her lips and trying not to laugh. The laughter shows on her face and in her eyes, though.
Scarf, a sinewy, serious, shiny-seeking otter have been dismissed.
"Guests who have never dined with us are given the opportunity to do what those who marry in are expeccted by tradition to do. A small family tradition in truth." A gesture to the bucket. "To eat them as they are, at least one. To throw it in your mouth and chew and swallow and keep it down." She expounds upon victus' personal preference regarding them. A servant starts to gather food on a plate for Alarissa and chases one octopus back into the bucket before bringing the plate back to Alarissa and settling it down in front of her. Just enough to keep a mouse alive and everything bite sized. "Princess Sorrel did very well when she had the challenge. I barely kept mine down." But then the otter is sliding -right- off Leola's shoulders and there's a conspiratorial smile. "Master Jules, thank you. A gift from the Dame Leola. I find it breathtaking. The next one to be made is I believe Baroness skye's entry."
"I don't recommend eating them pregnant, though. Talk about make your stomach turn," Sorrel comments dryly from where she's sitting. She eyes the otter thoughtfully. "Aw, it has a hipflask. It's one of us!"
Skye gives a bright smile to Jules, acknowledging his greeting with a gentle nod. She gasps at the octipus making his escape, giving a glance to Sorrel as the creature keeps moving. Being on the other side of the table, there is little she can do so the baroness just sits and watches. At the mention of tearing the heads off from Victus, she gives a little shudder but manages to keep a polite smile in place. She gets distracted by the otter who's furry movements have her giving a delighted laugh.
"Perhaps both," Teagan tells Jules simply enough. She watches Sorrel and her attempt to stymie the octopus. Dimples, now, is watching it two and has hunkered down, wings cocked up just so. The Blackram woman notices this and turns to tut at the kite. "Not now," she tells him in a soothing voice, lifting a hand to brush a single finger over the side of the creature's head. The intent to distract and soothe is enough, allowing Alessia her opportunity without distraction. There is a look over to the otter as he makes his way to Victus- she doesn't seem surprised, but -certainly- amused. Then comes word of the challenge with the live octopus and the Blackram woman looks... uncertain. Very. "I had hoped that was merely rumor," she admits.
Jules checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 3 higher.
Beneath the table, Jules feels a twack, twack, twack of a tail of presumably a cat, ready to pounce and then it's gone and there's a tone deaf yeowl followed by the sounds of likely an errant octopi being eaten by one of the household pets under the table.
Above the marred wood though, here comes another one slipping over, making to a knot of wood in the table and thinking it might an escape route.
Jules is just barely able to keep that smile on his face as the talk of eating squid or octopi or whatever it is they are talking about. He turns to look at Teagan and just nods in reply as his mind and gaze drift back to the creatures in the bucket. He places one hand on his stomach when something catches his attention under the table and he looks down beneath to give a smile to the pleasant distraction. Dear, by there is an infestation of octopi! He just looks around and waits to see how this event unfolds.
"Oh good gods!" Victus recoils as the otter climbs right up his leg. The chair squeaks across the floor as he practically bristles from the creature. "What do you mean he'd like to assist me?! Its desires go beyond food?! IT /WANTS/ THINGS?!" He's half sitting, half standing on the chair. The leg currently occupied by the scaling otter being held as far out from himself as possible. But the creature is undeterred as it just keeps going. "Does it talk like that knighted weasel too? Or Laric's lizard-thing? Or Leona's lion with the headband...?" He grimaces. "Our society will collapse under the weight of these damned talking animals."
Dahlia, a confident red and white corgi puppy have been dismissed.
Winter, a juvenile Oakhaven bloodhound have been dismissed.
2 watchful Blackshore guards have been dismissed.
Leola gives the octopi a nervous look and Alarissa a tight smile "It's an interesting tradition, your highness" She chuckles a little, gently shifting to offer a hand to a skittering octopus, gently turning it to offer a small escape route "And a most generous one, to make us feel welcome. Thank you" And Leola looks back to Victus, looking perfectly calm and even "Your grace, most people don't think further than their next meal, either. I'm just lucky to find ones which do. I assure you, you won't understand a word he says. And of course he wants to serve you - you serve seafood" A click of her tongue, stating the obvious
Over here? There's a reason Alarissa is sitting on the -other- end of the table. She lifts her hand, looking to Sorrel and shoulders lift and fall as she can't control her laughter.
Once the octopus comes her way, Alessia deftly jams the tiny tentacles with the sharpened end of the knife, finally managing to stop it in its tracks.
'SANCTUARY!' or so says the little octopus that schlorps it's way into Leola's hand and the presumed safety. Alessia's octpus is not so safe and tentacles writhe as it's halted. A servant steps in then with some lemon wedges offered silently to the Mazetti noble.
And in the fracas, Dimples finally takes flight. Thankfully, for all involved, the kite does not dive the table and any cephalopods that might be skittering from glass to plate to unaware diner... but rather the floor where he captures a writhing, squirmy thing in his claws and swoops up to some high point to perch and tear into his catch. Teagan misses this entirely (and for the best, perhaps) because she is enraptured by Prince Victus and his otter woes. "I think he's adorable," she says of the flask-using creature, a grin pulling at the corners of her lips.
"Teemo. Teemo is the name of Leona's lion. We have a stuffed one. It lost its headband, though. The stuffed one did. You can't trust a three-year-old with things that aren't sewed down," Sorrel notes almost cheerfully to Victus. "Teemo used to babysit when Kyrios was very small and I'd visit Leona."
Jules turns his attention towards Leola and the creatures because they are cute and not slimy little creatures that he's going to need to swallow. He then gives an affirmative nod to Teagan and says, "He is! Something about fuzzy little creatures that warms the heart." His eyes turn about from one place to the next just listening silently for a brief moment then leans in to whisper something to Teagan.
Fear and loathing is quickly becoming grim acceptance of the way of things in Victus' eyes. As the otter manages to scale the mountain all the way to his shoulder, where it hangs beside his face like a second head. "How is he dry and yet still slippery? It's like giving fur to a slug." In similar fashion, the Prince slithers back down into his seat. Now with +1 odd companion joining him. There's a glance left and then a glance right. Cats eating octopus. Birds foraging on the grounds. "Thank you for this gift of a sentient tube, Dame Leola. I mean that sincerely. We appear to be hosting a zoo." the scarf-otter chirps happily. "Yes. Teemo. Teemo and now... Scarf. And Sir Matthew and... many other things, I'm sure." Something is dying inside. "... Did you say the /lion/ babysat for your child?"
Focused on the octopus for the nonce, Alessia may be lending an ear to the conversation at hand, though she says little as she ensures the thing doesn't start moving again. Graciously thanking the servants as they arrive with lemon wedges, she stabs the head, still keeping it a distance. "What's this usually good with?" She asks with a curious smile, now somewhat more settled.
Leola does not lift the octopus to her mouth, but she does lift it up to examine it, patting it gently and studying it "Fascinating little thing" She tells Alarissa gravely, with a twinkle in her eye as she watches Victus. Jules gets a bright smile, and a comforting nod "It's important to respect local traditions, if they don't contrast with your own preferences" She says seriously. And another bright smile to Victus "I'm sure he'll serve you well, your grace. I recommend letting him loose on a bucket of clams. He'll roll onto his back - and he carries a hipflask under his arm, and he uses it to smash them open. He's quite delightful" She takes a breath "And speaking of animals ... your grace, your highness, I hoped to ask you to take one of your Caravals to a trip to the southern ocean with me. There is something there I wish to see once more - the Balean."
Jules checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 1 higher.
"I cannot say that any of ours has been cared for by any of the fluffybottoms. And I might worry myself. But then, Astrid's more apt to prefer being taken care of by the brothers of clan don't go to the dark water what are you crazy than Teemo. Did your meeting in the library go well the other day? That was an... eclectic group." Alarissa still grins at Victus and his new companion and then to Jules. "You don't have to eat one. Guests have the choice. We will not think less of you."
Jules has a slight tremor in his hand as he holds it out and says in a somewhat shaky voice, "I say, how about one of those tasteful little creatures." Note, he did say tasty. His smile remains and is forced but it is there. He eyes over towards the to the otter in a bit of cheer. He then redirects to Alarissa with an attempt to wave away the excuse dismissively, "No thank you my dear highness. I shall make my effort, succeed or fail." There's something of a shaky grim determiniation.
"The lemon, squeezed over it." The servant murmurs as the octopus is spared with that spearing through it's small brain. The one in leola's hand moves around and around and around the hand, suckers making small popping sounds as it does and the beak deep within grazes a hand.
Teagan checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 1 higher.
"Yes, Teemo was quite the apt babysitter for the little prince, when his aunt and I had business," Sorrel replies to Victus, before nodding to Alarissa, as if it's perfectly normal to hand over small Thraxes to animals for safekeeping. "The meeting went very well. I think that Princess Sabella is going to work with Shard to have the Nefer'khet Embassy decorated with chairs for our next meeting. We collaborated against the Horned God. If you're interested, I'll invite you to our next meeting."
Now, as if animals all about the place are the norm, Teagan turns to Alarissa as she nurses her whiskey and ocassionally takes bites from what she's opted for on her plate (mostly scallops, let's be honest). "Your Highness," she says to the woman, "I have something of a more... sensitive nature I'd like to discuss with you if you have some time later." This said, she watches Jules in his decision and finally sits up, downs the rest of her drink, and decides to just go for it. Raw, living, squirming and all. Right before doing so, she can be heard to say: "Can't be any worse than a sheep's heart." Unfortunately, she's then too busy dealing with a -live creature- in her mouth to much weigh in on Sorrel's reply to Alarissa and the woman leans forward, hand over mouth. For a good, long moment it may seem as if she's not going to handle things -at all- but thankfully, someone smart refills her glass with more whiskey (or something equally strong). The Blackram woman grabs it and downs the whole of it in one fell swoop with a gasp to follow. Probably washing the rest of it down as much as saving herself from any lingering flavor. She sits, eyes closed, and just shakes her head. "Nope. Never again."
Jules checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 49 higher.
Thankfully for Victus, Alessia has asked a normal and rational question through everything else. "I would try a scallop alongside it. Or perhaps crack open a clam. A side of something more salty. It's a very savory taste so something to balance is quite nice." Scarf squeaks with affirmation. Oh no. It's already happening. "I didn't realize that Teemo could also watch children. I would have expected..." He breathes in and exhales over the course of several seconds. "Nevermind that. I really do need to see Leona sometime soon. Talk about things. Of a non animal nature." And then he's turning yet again, this time to face Leola. Her request drawing a sudden seriousness to his face as his brows raise quizzically. "Would this trip take you all the way to the Wastes? Or merely beyond known sea? I've not heard of this... Balean, you said?"
Jules stands from his seat and looks to the bucket when Teagan mentions the sheep's heart and gives a droll look, "You're not helping my lady." And then he bursts out laughing as the tension has broken perhaps in a most awkward way. He snaps a hand in as quickly as he can - it seems like he wasn't suppose to do that. He gives his wrist a few swift flicks in a circle, winces his eyes and chucks it down head(?) first trying to not even allow it time to grab anything or be aware of its new final resting place.
"Oh no, no, my days of venturing forth to deal with Heralds is ... I 'll leave that to those others. Call me curious is all. All the different people." But there's a request for a Caraval and Alarissa looks to Victus as it's his ships. But there but for the grace of Petrichor goes one small octopus down teagans mouth, and then there goes Jules. "Give it one bite. Before it can think to bite you." She cautions. But then back to Leola. "Balaen?"
Nodding at the high lord's suggestions, Alessia moves to get scallops and clams onto her plate, drizzling the lemon wedge over her kill. She turns to the otter with a laugh, taking another drink from her glass. "I--" She turns to the others on the subject of heralds. "The Slaver's herald?" She asks Sorrel with confirmation of topic.
"Yes," Sorrel replies with a nod to Alessia. "I have been studying various things that are important to him. Daughters, shardhavens, other Heralds with whom he might ally. It is in our best interests, I think, to act against him before he can act against us."
There's a cough after a moment and Teagan bids for more whiskey because she still feels that taste there in the back of her throat. Eugh. Terrible. She suppresses a shudder as she catches Jules out of the corner of her eye as he decides to go against recommendation and punge his hand into a bucket directly. Settling into quiet as she recovers, she opts to tilt her head Sorrel's way, listening for the moment.
"Not quite to the Wastes" LEola shakes her head "I've no desire to go there again. No, the Balean lives in the sea itself. It's ... quite a sight, and safe enough. I'm sure a Caraval would be able to make the trip safely, and I would introduce the High Lord of Thrax" She tells Alessia seriously, then nods to Alarissa "The Balean. A large ... as a dolphin, but about, oh, thrice the size of a Caraval. It's very old, and very beautiful. And lonely, I think. I believe it blessed of Creation - certainly, of Mangata and Petrichor both"
Alarissa looks to Victus, brows raised. "I don't see why not..." There's a pause then a look to Leola. "I won't need to swim will I..."
Jules threw the squid back too quickly and whether instinct kicked in and he bit it first, heavens knows because Jules sure doesn't! As the realization settles in and little squidward moves about, hopefully just the last flinching rather than live movement. He's able to sit down and looks around for something to drink, he really doesn't care what it is but he does ensure that it was his drink first. His palms rest on the table as he regains his composure and turns to look at Teagan, "Dear me, I don't think I could handle being pregnant. This feels quite disturbing." He takes another drink and swishes it about in his mouth this time before swallowing. Now he looks a bit more relaxed and unsettled at the same time with the worst of the day over.
Victus runs a hand along his jaw as he considers Leola's words. "Taking the ship further into unknown waters to meet with an ancient creature of the depths?" As he speaks, Scarf has begun the trek back down. Its little paws touching the table as it scours Victus' plate for food. "Equal parts exciting and dangerous as all hell. Though you say it's benign? It wouldn't pose a threat to the vessel or the crew once its been found?" There's a quick look toward Alarissa and those seated at the table. The otter has already begun cracking open oysters and clams with its hipflask, playing orchestra to Victus' thoughts. "Hm. Very well, if you can be sure that there would be no threat posed by the Balean, then I've no reason to object. Would this be the same creature you mentioned some time ago, when I was looking for information on sea serpents?"
"I didn't know he had daughters." Alessia says with a thoughtful look before taking a bite from the octopus hole. She glances to Leola with surprise. "You've been to the wastes?" She asks with surprise. "What was the mission?"
"You shouldn't need to" Leola smiles to Alarissa "It'll be a cruise and no more. I rather thought you'd wish to see the Balean, and should meet it. That's all" And a slightly bashful look, gently setting the octopus down and smiling uncertainly to Victus "That would be it, your grace. It's a thing of beauty, and I'd speak with it on some issues. I could ask others - but I felt the lord of Thrax should know the creatures of the waves" She pauses, nodding to Alessia "I have. I ... it was under the aegis of the Faith. For my part, I was there to find out more of the Thunderborn. I found a little. Their souls are now with the Cycle."
"What does that have to do with being pregnant?" Teagan asks this quietly of Jules, staring at him a moment. Unable, perhaps, to connect the same dots he has. She is looking back to the rest of the table, glancing over from face to face as this potential voyage is discussed.
Alarissa looks to Victus again, a small smile playing out across her face when he agree's, even as that octopus put back down by Leola is making a break for it, attempting to flee between Victus and the knight, tentacle going over the side ad then flipping itself over to hang there while it figures out where to go. But then it's -yanked- down by a white feline paw and that solves that. Alarissa looks to Sorrel. 'What does one wear to meet... a great... Balaen?"
Jules turns to Teagan and gives a laugh with a shake of his head as he pats his belly, "My Lady Mikani recently had her child and right at the end she mentioned it moving about. Right now I can feel this thing moving about and it's a little unsettling." He gives another shake of his head, "I don't intend to actually imply they are that similar." He gives a little squirm of his face, and then lifts to take another drink of the wine, "I shall send the good fellow something to possibly ease his passing." And it seems as though he has a bit of sincerity in it. He turns to Teagan and says, "It is rather odd to be so close to the sea going families being that I have a rather uncomfortable ... relationship with the water." A smirk on his face.
"Personally, I'd wear an exotic leather designed to get wet," Sorrel replies thoughtfully to Alarissa. "Like my Thrax-themed leathers. They're close fitting enough to keep you warm without dragging you down if you're in the water."
"If I'm in the water, I'm good as perished." Alarissa points out to Sorrel.
"Settled then. We'll take the biggest ship to meet the biggest monster in the ocean." Victus declares with a quick jab of his knuckles to the table. "And dress approriately. Whatever that might mean for ancient sea creatures. Details, details. We'll figure it out later." He spares another glance in Leola's direction. "I've found a hobby in documenting what I can about myths in the sea. I appreciate you bringing another to my attention. And an opportunity to see one in person. More than I could hope for." Finally, the Prince has some freedom to start scouring his own plate. What hasn't been picked by the otter that is. "I was also going to mention offhandedly for those in attendence, Princess Alarissa and myself are looking to establish distinct academies on Maelstrom. Dedicated to our long traditions of scholarly pursuits for Islander women and military ones for Islander men. It is only still in the planning stages, but if it catches the fancy of any of you tonight, collaboration is always welcome."
"I've read a little about them." Alessia says to Leola on her mention on the thunderborn. "The text I read was bleak... it's not something I'll bring the mood down with." She says with a faint smile. "Myths about the Marin'alfar perhaps?" She asks the high lord, while her drink is refilled.
Leola nods to Alessia "They're a particular study of mine. I'm sure you can guess why, given my interests shown this evening" She grins a touch, and then smiles to Victus "Thank you, your grace. I very much look forward to it. I'll see about arranging things" And a bright little sigh, settling back and eating slowly, letting the others chatter, looking from one to the other as she thinks
"Then wear something that won't show you naked if you get wet, and won't drag us down when we jump in after you," Sorrel says reasonably to Alarissa, buttering a biscuit idly. "Seasilk, instead of brocade, with an aqua fade into red for House Thrax. A fine bodice and skirt or pants. Brocade just makes a mess when it's wet. Aeterna and stygian both look good, and you could have them embroidered." She looks thoughtfully to Victus as she bites into her biscuit. "I have good standing with the Scholars of Vellichor. I am certain that I could get a number of them enthused for the idea, though. I certainly had quite a turnout for WALLOP. That is, our meeting regarding the Horned God. Women (and men) Against Legion's Legions of Prisoners."
"I am always interested in aiding with the creation and propogation of academies and universities," Teagan says, speaking up. Talk of going to sea certainly isn't up her alley, no. But intellectual pursuits? Yes, there she can find something to latch onto and so, with a scallop (not octopus!) poised to eat, she turns toward Victus.
Jules isn't very good about speaking of smart things, war things, war things, water things, and non-social things isn't something he can go very deep into but money things, well that's a new thing he's got a bit of a knack for but he he just smiles because he's happily at the side allowing squidward his last drink of wine, ahh time to take another drink from the glass. The old stomach is starting to calm down. He does give Teagan a smile as she mentions her interest and says, "I am not surprised to know you like to see the spread of knowledge."
"Marin'alfar too." Victus recounts toward Alessia with the faintest hint of cheerfulness. Very low, but still there. "I've had equal run-ins that were pleasant and close to death. First time being underwater in Queen Ayllish's temple. That led to us fighting to cleanse the place of taint and discovering some ancient murals. Didn't quite understand them. Second time at our embassy in Maelstrom. Third time at the spire of Mardomum. Fourth time, the rescue mission of Venteri. Then the fifth being at Mazetti's opening of Port Valerio..." He pauses a moment. "Ah. One time more pleasant than bad. I hadn't realized. Guess that means the next encounter will be another deadly one." His attention shifts toward Sorrel and Teagan then. "Nothing is quite set in stone yet. Though the idea is that a women's school where one can be taught the importance of law, diplomacy, scholarship and administration. Then the next for men, where they can learn the fine points of battling on the seas, the ground and command. We'll need help establishing a curriculum for each. And also the aesthetics, of course. For those who like fancy uniforms and well crafted, grim buildings."
Leola smiles a little "I'll be happy to assist in setting up schools of farming and agriculture, if those are needed. I'm afraid I don't have much else to otter, however. Offer." She corrects herself, sipping gently
Victus briefly twitches, violently.
"I will be handling the establishing in educational center for the more traditionally female arts in the Isles, though I am reaching out to speak with someone on behalf of Victus for his." What o wear on the boat is dropped to the wayside. If she goes down, she goes down. She raises a brow at Leola's turn of phrase. "Where's Jasher when you need a god pun. It's otterly ridiculous that he's not here."
"Ah." Alessia's expression becomes something a little bittersweet as she recalls the day of the port's opening. "Certainly pleasant. I didn't know you had so many run ins with them. I barely knew a thing about them a year ago." She drinks deeply.
"I could assist with certain things," Teagan says evenly, having fully recovered from OCTOPUS. "I am studied in law, economics, and diplomacy. If you need help with a curriculum, I would be more than happy to offer my input. I would also be glad-" she glances to Alarissa now, knowing who leads such matters, "be happy to aid in fundraising efforts." For Jules there's a look of amusement. "What gave me away?"
Jules is not fully recovered from his own incident with the octopus but he is moving right well. He takes a breath before his next drink of wine and then adds, "I'm not certain how much good I can be, hardly I think but I may be able to offer some small help here." He does not attempt to even remotely push his own voice into the chime of the people with actual power and influence but he does not seem to look as though he were compelled into it. He then turns to Teagan and says, "My Lady, you are like a book to an illiterate man. He may not be able to read you but he can at least look at the illumination on the cover to get an idea."
"I have to finish the fundraising for the Templar's fortresses, but most certainly Master Jules, that there is much that can be assisted with. That and I think that an alliance between Blackram and Thrax could be well nurtured in this." Alarissa looks to Alessia. 'I already asked to speak with the Marquise nad Marquessa, to see of further alliance, since Luigi is a lawyer of excellence. And I was reaching out to work with Blessed Sina as well. I could think of no other to see asistance with in that regard. She was once my handmaid." Alarissa lifts a hand to her hair. "None has ever worked my hair anywhere near as good as she did. I still mourn that I lost her to the faith."
Victus shares a nod for Alarissa and Teagan each. "Very good. As she's already eaten the octopus, she is clearly a respectable traditionalist. Her guest as well." He gestures to Jules. "Honestly, I can't believe people are still doing this. But we're more than happy to keep accomodating. Though next dinner must require less animals." He tilts his head to look beneath the table. "I believe our supplies have been decimated via cat, dog and bird alone." Scarf chirps. He is there too. "And this... new development."
"That's very flattering, but I imagine a far cry from the truth," the Blackram woman says to Jules with a flash of a smirk. "Sir Preston approached us as well regarding a fortress. I think it's a grand idea." Then, tap tap tap. Teagan considers for a moment as she drums a single finger away against the side of her glass. "I actually wished to speak with you, Your Highness, regarding... alliances." This, to Alarissa. "I think the time has come to avail you of your... well, abilities in matchmaking." Another beat. "For me, specifically." Something pains her to say it, but say it she does all the same. Speaking of bird, she does cast a look around for Dimples and- ah. Perched on a sideboard, preening. Well, at least he's not hassling (or being hassled by) one of the cats. That's for the best.
Jules gives a weak chuckle when Victus says he's surprised people are still doing this. -- He's been had again. None the less, Jules gives a nod to Victus and Alarissa and does add, "Always glad to be of service - whether amusement or otherwise." His lips curl and there's not sense of resentment, in fact he seems truly amused by it. When Teagan begans to speak though he allows himself to quiet down so he can listen to the conversation.
"I am good at it. It takes a little bit of time, but I always find someone for somebody. The greatest success thus far has been the Duke Ashford and his Duchess. He dismissed it at first, but I insisted he should look to her. She would make the -best- Duchess at his side." And Alarissa smiles deeply at that. "We'll sit and discuss what you are looking for, and we can go over the lists. Love will come, if it's meant to come. But Blackram needs someone good at your side." Alarissa's right ringers drum on the table in thought. Forefinger tapping. "One who will soar with you on the currents."
"We're so fortunate to have House Thrax as allies." Alessia says with a grin. "There is no end to our gratefulness for your aid. In what project were you hoping for an alliance?" She smiles warmly. "I apologise if I've missed something."
Victus raises a brow when talk turns to marriage and alliances. Not quite his wheelhouse, as he's content to let Alarissa field those questions. "House Thrax is always desiring more connections. Especially now with the abolition and traditionalist unrest. The outpouring of support from the Compact has been nothing short of tremendous. I worried originally that the instability would make us seem unattractive to deal with. I've been proven very wrong."
"I don't care about love," Teagan says easily and without shame. "I want someone who will craft a strong alliance for Blackram and be a benefit to us and-" she gestures, taking in what Victus has said, "whatever House is found. My concerns are largely economic. They always are. Blackram is stable, I intend to see it remain that way, but there's instability throughout the compact and I would strive to not see myself... supporting another house through a wedding alliance. Yearly raids make things difficult at times as it is." She glances to Alessia, with a brief smile, "In my case... a marriage alliance. It's time I stop avoiding it. And I know her highness, Princess Alarissa-" she lifts her glass to the woman, "is quite talented at helping people find their match."
12 Thrax Elite Guards have been dismissed.
Crow - Thraxian Steward have been dismissed.
Lilybelle - The Claw of Arx have been dismissed.
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