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May Grayson Family Dinner

The next installment of the Grayson Family Dinner is scheduled for May 15th! Grayson family members are of course welcome, as are any vassals or anyone somehow connected to the family. It's just a way for everyone to all get in the same room and catch each other up on what's going on. Attendance is not required, but strongly encouraged and light guilt trips may be arranged for those who can't make it because family comes first, right? None Greater Than Grayson At Attending Family Gatherings!

Date

May 15, 2020, 10 p.m.

Hosted By

Sabella

Participants

Zoey Bedivere Rook Orrin Scythia Drake Niklas

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Grayson Mansion - Dining Room

Largesse Level

Grand

Comments and Log


The dining room is hustling and bustling with servants carrying food to and fro and making sure there are no blemishes on any of the silverware or dining platters that have been laid out on the main table. Princess Sabella, fresh from making sure a rose in the flower arrangement is set just so, stands by the door to greet those that come in, beaming a smile at everyone who enters, "Welcome! Please have a seat and help yourself to whatever you'd like!"

Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise arrives, following Niklas.

Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise leaves, following Niklas.

Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise arrives, following Niklas.

Niklas drops A Painting of a Pair of Truly Horrendous-Looking Boots.

Zoey arrives at the dining room and goes straight to Sabella, smiling warmly and reaching to give her a hug. "Sabella! So good to see you."

Already here, Lord Bedivere Whitehawk currently sits at the dinner table and greets Princess Sabella and Prince Niklas. "Greetings. Thank you so much for another Grayson dinner, Your Highnesses." Trusty sidekick Cabbit the cat is obviously perched upon the right shoulder of his Knights-of-Solace tabard.

Rook follows on the heels of peers, and is announced by the (lowercase) heralds, inclining his head to the august gathering. He makes his way inside, towards the hostess, offering an elegant bow, "Good evening, Highness. It is good to see you, though we've not been able to catch up of late." He smiles, all charm and - indeed - sincere, "I look forward to the opportunity."

Grayson dinner is a dog-friendly event, yes? Hope so! Orrin comes in with Sini - his dog - and Scythia, his wife, whose attendance is somewhat less in question. Fortunately Sini is exceptionally well-behaved; the very model of a canine citizen. Scythia, a model, full stop. And Orrin is the model of quiet, though he offers a bow to the assembled gentry when he enters, finds his seat.

Just as her husband is quiet, Scythia is as well too. She dips into a curtsy, low and deep, just as her husband is offering forth that bow of his. Now, if one is paying attention it might be noted that she does not seem to actually be acknowledging that dog there. Oh no, what dog? Nay, she simply moves as guided and offers polite smiles of greeting.


Drake is not a Grayson, but he has been doing some research in the Grayson library lately (he asked first) and Sabella told him that he was welcome to crash for dinner. It's looking like it will be a social event just for catching up and he's in favor of that as things in Valardin's way are a bit intense lately as it is. He also gives the Princess and Prince a bow when he walks in. Seeing the dog, he smiles. "Ah good, I was worried it was a very formal event." At least he didn't come in wearing his armor.

Sabella gives Zoey a hug and a kiss on the cheek, "Zoey! So good to see you! And Lord Bedivere I'm so pleased you were able to make another one of these! Count Orrin, Countess Scythia, I'm sorry I haven't replied to your letter yet, but I'm so glad to have you back in the city and hope that we can help to cheer you this evening! And Rook! I feel like it has been forever since we had a chance to chat so do make yourself at home!" She pauses when Drake comes in, clearly trying to place him a moment before she brightens, "Lord Drake! I'm thrilled that you accepted my invitation and you are always welcome here, formally or informally! Do you know everyone here?"

Purrched upon Bedivere's shoulder on the right, Cabbit audibly purrs and mewticulously washes his own right paw as his feline eyes purruse the scene. Mewnwhile, Bedivere replies to Sabella with the briefest/slightest of smiles, which does indeed include his hazel eyes, before he returns to being serious while directing the service of food to his plate via a servant of Grayson.

After releasing Sabella to greet her other guests, Zoey says first to Rook, "Good to see you again so soon, Minister. I thought it might be a while after our encounter at the Queensrest." And then to Drake, "Lord Wyrmguard, it has been a while! What have you been up to?"

Niklas walks into the room leading a pair of Grayson servants who carry between them a large cloth-draped canvas. He stops and looks around at the walls, which are pretty thoroughly covered with paintings of historical Graysons and important battles and maybe very patriotic paintings of griffins carrying Arvani flags while the gods weep with joy and pride in the background or something. Eventually he stops before a painting that says 'QUEEN ALARIEL GRAYSON - The Mongoose of Bastion' and gestures to them. "That's perfect. Pull her down." One of the servants takes a couple of shots at it before he gets it to fall down. Then both servants work together to get the replacement painting up. "Perfect!" With a gesture to the painting on the ground he says, "You can take Queen Pinchface and put her, oh, in the Valor Hall. I think she'd have liked it that way." Then he reaches up and pulls down the cover on the canvas, revealing a very beautiful painting of two truly hideous boots. Boots that Sabella and Zoey may recognize! "Gods, it is beautiful."

Orrin lifts a forestalling hand, glancing at the dog; apparently the beast knows well enough the difference between an absent gesture and a hand-signal. "Perfectly fine, your highness, I know everyone is very busy just now. I appreciated the thought behind your first letter." His eyes flick over toward the painting Niklas installs, and then to the prince himself, brows... inching... upward.

Rook slews away from Sabella as other guests arrive, smiling to Zoey as he is addressed while making a selection from the things set out for them to enjoy before the dinner proper. "I am making a determined effort to see the sun, as bid, my Lady." He smiles and bows, gesturing her to the spread before him. His brow furrows at the painting. "Oh. Very." Ahem. "Striking."

"Ah, not everyone, no." Drake gets a good assessment of the room, nodding to Zoey who he of course knows, and then looking at Orrin properly. "I don't think we've been introduced. Drake Wyrmguard." He gets into a seat, nodding to the others that are unfamiliar, and keeping a bit away from the head of the table as he's just a guest. "I usually just crash these things for the food." Back toward Zoey: "Sword training; I have a duel to prepare for."

Drake then watches Niklas with great interest. "I don't know much about art. But those colors are exquisite." He said it with a straight face.


Niklas points at Drake. "I know, right?!" He shakes his head and looks back up at the painting, pleased as punch. "I don't know why Wash and Porter have to be so down on them."

Scythia's offering an extra smile in turn to Sabella - just so, of course, when she acknowledges the Seliki pair. When the art is brought in, her focus shifts to that and her head tilts juuuust a bit. Game face though? Game face is strong in this one.

Orrin's eyes part-blink several times; he has no way to properly appreciate the work, clearly. He turns toward mention of his name - welcome respite. "Pardon, Lord Drake, very good to meet you. You're training for a duel?" He... must have missed... some things. If he had tiny birds flapping around his head, everything would suddenly make more sense. He glances sidelong at Scythia, gives her a grim sort of smile.

"Excellent! I am glad to hear it," Zoey says to Rook with a smile. She looks up at the painting. "Well, that is certainly an excellent likeness of the originals," she says before turning to Drake. "Oh, yes! The duel between Pr- Lord Alecstazi and Lord Rysen. I do not think I have ever seen such a concentration of verse in the whites at once."


"It's... a lot more dramatic than I thought it would be," Drake confesses. "I was simply doing Lord Rysen a favor and, doing my job as a Champion, but I hope the matter will be settled one way or another after the arena." But he doesn't want to be one to monopolize a conversation. "And you, Lady Zoey, what's kept you busy this spring so far?"


Bedivere curiously regards the new painting, "Is there a deeper meaning in this new painting of such boots than the Mongoose legacy?"

"Well if you need introductions to anyone just let me kn--" Sabella pauses as Niklas comes in and does his thing and then she stares at the painting for a moment, "Certainly no one can ever say that you are not a trendsetter who skews from the norm, my love!" She looks to the door to see if there are any more arrivals and then goes to have herself a seat at the table where there's a little bit of just about everything someone could imagine! Except whitefish chowder, which is just gross, "For those of you that haven't joined us before, we like to play a little game at each of these dinners to get to know each other and our interests better! We ask that each person share a little something interesting they have been up to or plan on doing so that perhaps you might find some assistance or support among those assembled! Once you share, you pick the next person that will go--that's the most important part so that it can all keep going! So let me start: For me, let's see, I've finally recovered from all the Taste of Arx events that were such fun and am now gearing up to help my husband with his plays in the Mourning Isles! And since Lord Drake just asked her--Lady Zoey I know you have big plans in the making, would you like to share?"

"Art can be beautiful for its own sake, Lord Bedivere!" Niklas just looks so happy with the painting, then rounds on the room and heads over to start making himself a plate of everything. "I've barely been paying attention to the whole drama with Lord Alecstazi and Rysen, but a lot of people are talking about it and there are some very unkind opinions of Lady Mikani out there. All I know is that Rysen is my friend, so I suppose I hope that he wins, but also I hope that people stop talking about it by the time my play debuts in the Mourning Isles so they can start talking about that instead." Sabella's very kind words get a nod. "I know. No one skews the norm like me." He pauses for a moment while he tries to decide if he just admitted to something bad. Or sexually weird. But ultimately he goes to plop down on the enormous throne in the middle of the table and turns his attention on Zoey.

When Niklas speaks of skewing the norm, Bedivere has to smirk at the notion before looking to Sabella then Zoey once more. He is quiet for the time being, eating with his fork in his left/only hand as he curiously regards the talk.

Just like that, Scythia's focus is moving on from the painting to Zoey quite swiftly when she mentions the participants in the duel, the Champion himself is appraised and then her focus shifts back to her husband. A few brief words are offered quietly to him - just a murmur in passing and a slight shake of her head to go along with it. The Princess however summons forth her focus soon enough once she begins, and lo, she's full swing back to focusing on Lady Kennex.

Rook appears rather... in his words, stricken by the paining, and moves off to admire it quietly. He may stay so transfixed for the duration of dinner. Or until Minsterly duties summon him back.

5 Silvershields, Jeeves, a sophisticated valet leave, following Rook.

"Certainly!" Zoey replies, beaming as she addresses the dinner at large. "I am excited to announce that we have broken ground on the new refugee center in the Isles, specifically in Kennex territory, which I have named Hospitalis Harbor. I have recruited a number of individuals from a number of orders and fealties to aid me in getting it up and running, and I have about half of the funding I need pledged already between the Crown, Thrax, and Velenosa. I will keep the details brief, as I know there are some here who have heard me go on about it before, but I am looking forward to seeing the good it will do for those who seek to begin new lives in Arvum."

She looks around. "I nominate Count Orrin to go next."

Drake is meeting new people, so just hearing a name is valuable. He turns his head toward the Count in question and picks up a glass of wine.

Orrin listens to his wife a moment, reaching as he does to fix a plate; there's a quiet murmur in return, but he largely listens to Zoey, a bit of interest in discussions of refugee centers. Of course he's interested in that. "Perhaps I'll have a chance to hear more about that from you later, Lady Zoey," he says, and there's a momentary smile. "We continue work on the fortification of coastal islands. And - soon, I think - we will embark on a pilgrimage, Scythia and I. To Mangata, led by Count Domonico Magnotta. I can't exactly decide if I hope the stop at Pearlspire is the crowning moment of the journey or that I find some new bit of sea to admire as much - but I certainly think a bit of devotion to the gods is what we need, this moment." He clears his throat, glances at Scythia - looks around the room. "Lord Bedivere, please."

"Lady Zoey's endeavor is very ambitious and would be a great help what with all the refugees that are coming in these days," Sabella gives her a smile then turns to listen to Orrin, "That sounds like a wonderful idea and quite timely. How is Count Domonico settling into his new title?"

"I will be happy to tell you all about it," Zoey tells Orrin with a smile. Then she remembers she should have more than wine for dinner and starts to make herself a plate.

Bedivere hears out Zoey as well as Orrin then sets down his fork and leans back while speaking of his activities of late. "A village near Hawkhold has been recently attacked by what we believe to be the same phenomenon which has been ransacking the villages in the North and Oathlands. Baron Silas Whitehawk, my favorite Nephew, and I along with a contingent of Solace and Whitehawk troops will go seek answers to what happened there. Lord Jyri Whitehawk as well as others in our House are going to investigate the whirlpool and try to discern exactly what is going on. I have been trying to learn all I can about the Reflection of Gild and its relatives, too. I also have a new protege now: Goodwoman Natalia Whisper. One of the best decisions I ever made in my life, along with recently joined the Academy of War, too. I held a party back at the Whitehawk Manor in her name, and we traded gifts, and she gave me this coat." Then, he stands up to show it to the guests and hosts before sitting down. "Lord Drake?"

Niklas sits back in his throne and happily munches on his pile of animals while the others tell the tales of their recent ventures and adventures. "I've spoken with Lord Jyri about the whirlpool. He has some well-considered ideas. I hope to hear news from him sooner rather than later, since the whole thing has been a damnable mess so far."

Bedivere nods back to Niklas. "I do, too. It has been. Favors are not worth what they used to be."


Called on as if in class, Drake is into the cup when he hears his name, and looks at Bedivere, putting a name to a face again as he explained his own projects. "Well. I'm not recruiting for any projects right now, as... public works aren't really my line of work, but, um, as fortune has it, I've been put in charge of the work to restore Highhill. Which is a public project of some size." He looks at Bedivere again. "As to the attacks in the Oathlands, I'll... be looking into that as well. There's a few tribes that have been spotted that way and we want to be sure we look into anything we can."

"Now, is that everyone speaking out, or should I be asking more about this play," Drake looks to Niklas again. "...And, incidentally, I also hope that Rysen wins, but you'd expect that, wouldn't you?"

Orrin starts to eat - sort of, slowly, like he isn't spectacularly hungry. Actually, though, the first bite headed for his mouth stops mid-air at mention of Bedivere's party. "I missed it," he says, as if he's terribly disappointed with himself. Lips press, frown incipient, and he says: "I'll have to send my regards." His eyes lift at Drake's question, and he glances sidelong at Scythia.

Sabella absolutely beams at Bedivere as he mentions Natalia, "Oh, that makes me so happy to hear! You've reminded me that I ought to write to Natalia to check in with her. And that coat is quite lovely! She no doubt will make you very proud she is a woman of many talents! And yes, Lord Jyri is quite clever, I've been very impressed with him of late," She turns to listen to Drake, nodding to the mention of Highhill, "I do wish you well in that worthy endeavor, I've heard it is a lovely place but have never actually visited it myself."

"Do be careful," says Zoey. "My husband went to the Oathlands recently to investigate those so-called animal attacks. I almost did not get him back. He is at home recovering now."


Drake looks at Scythia. "Did you have a particular project? I only hear your husband mention in passing. But I should ask everyone."


Bedivere nods to Drake, doing so a couple times about what he says, especially the attacks in the Oathlands. He looks to Orrin, "I guess that I will have to host another one, then! I can try to schedule when you can be sure to show?" Then, he looks to Sabella next. "Thank you, Your Highness! I love it, and yes, having her help has really spruced up our military in Whitehawk more than I could ever do on my own."

Scythia's darting a glance back to Orrin and - oh, there's the red wine. She is absolutely acquiring a glass so that she can take a drink. At least she's managed to lower said glass before the question is posed from Drake. "I think," and there's an amused curl at the corner of her lips, even as her Islander accent might flare for just a moment, "that my project might have to be looking into this matter with my patron." Note the sparkle in her gaze, amusement flaring, before she takes a sip of her wine. "I actually do have a project, however. I am uncertain who is familiar with Gold's Redoubt, a shav'avari village not far from Pearlspire. It is my hope, through initial contact has been made, that they might bend the knee to Pearlspire and rejoin us in the Compact." Glancing about the chamber, assessing who was asked and who was not, she lands on Niklas then. "Your Highness," she offers, as easy as that.


Drake nods to Zoey. He's actually beginning to dig in, and... well, this is a man with an appetite, as he loads quite a bit onto his plate before he gets to work on it. "I haven't heard of that village," he says to Scythia. "I hope you have good luck convincing them."

"/I/," says Niklas with the true joy that only those who love to talk about themselves can really muster, "was recently commissioned by Prince Victus Thrax to write a play celebrating tradition, change and freedom in the Mourning Isles. As it happens I wrote just such a play nearly six years ago, but it was quashed early on by a series of hand-wringing twits who no longer matter in any notable way! Normally I do not do commissions, but as someone who is Island born when his grace, the Prince of Maelstrom, asks you to do something like this, you do it. My veins run with salt and spray, after all, even if boats are awful things designed entirely to make me vomit." He pushes himself to his feet and gesticulates. "Our heroine, a thrall named Tala, earns her freedom on the field of battle against the Pirate King! The lord who frees her, Lord Chevron, is so impressed by her valor that he frees all of the thralls. She takes the name Tala Everfree and finds a quiet life of pride, with a home and land, a spouse and a child. But when the wicked Lord Phoebus has Lord Chevron murdered and makes a truce with a slaver Princess from the east Tala Everfree joins the battle against those who would enslave the entirety of the Isles! There are exciting sword fights, dramatic moments, witty banter and beautiful songs! You will laugh, you will cry, you will feel pride in the Compact and you will experience anger with those who doubt her. When you leave you may think that you deserve some of your money back, as you paid for a full seat but only sat upon the edge, but you will have gotten ten times the entertainment as your coin could have bought you anywhere else! We are going on a tour of every major fasthold in the Isles except for Whitefrost because no one wnats to go there because winter _just_ ended here, so no thanks, and Escuma, because Escuma is like the Leviathan's asshole in that we know it exists, it probably smells and nobody really wants to see it." He gives a firm nod. "After the tour we will put on a show at the Bard's College at his majesty's request. So I'm quite excited about the whole thing, even if I'm apt to spend the majority of my time on our ship painting the sides of it over and over with a tint similar to that of what I had for dinner an hour earlier."

Orrin nods at Bedivere and then listens to Scythia speak, giving a sharp nod to the talk of Gold's Redoubt. He sets to eating, listening to Niklas' talk of his play, pausing even the theater of food when the prince talks of Escuma, to which he can only blink. "It must be thoroughly exhausting to contemplate all of that," he says, not having a flair for the arts himself. "I'm sure it will be quite successful, though." A pause, and dinner-theater resumes. "Have you given a thought to security?" He was... ah - in attendance in Stormwall.


"Quite a story," Drake says, sitting back a little in his seat. "And on tour. I imagine it will be a good show."

Sabella looks with interest to Scythia as she mentions trying to get people to bend the knee, "I have been wondering if perhaps the Crownlands shouldn't lay the groundwork to prepare for more and more of those tribes bending the knee in our area. I've already talked a bit with Marquessa Mia and Lord Jyri about it, but I will look forward to hear about your success in that instance!" When Niklas starts to speak she tucks into her plate because she knows that it will likely be awhile. She still smiles with pride at his pitch as she does so, though, "I can't wait for it to be put up it's been a long time coming! And I do believe Prince Victus is aware that it might not be...entirely to the taste of some of the islands we'll visit."

"The Isles' traditionalists are not likely to be happy with a lot of what is coming there way," Zoey points out. "It is one of the reasons security is a concern for my refugee center as well."

Niklas nods to Sabella and Zoey. "I was surprised when Grihem's Point offered to play host. I really did assume we would have to go around the family and just put on the play in our own chosen location. However Lady Ingrid is putting us up at her own expense, so I'm quite enthusiastic about that. I imagine it may be a rougher show than in, say, Astarrea or Stormward, but perhaps we will shift some hearts and minds. I mean, it is a work of unparalleled genius written by what some have called a master of the craft the likes of which haven't been seen since the Lycene playwrights of the age of legends!"

Scythia's regarding the synopsis of that particular play with a keen amount of interest and in the end she toasts it with a loft of her wine glass. Which, of course, is followed by a sip. To Sabella she says, "It would be strategic to do so, and even to potentially highlight the beneficial nature of strengthening alliances across the crownlands for joint efforts. If we *all* succeed it is only of benefit to us. Do feel free to call upon me if you feel as though I might be of some use; I have courtier training and spent no small amount of time engaging in diplomatic efforts for House Grimhall with the more traditional Houses in the isles regarding thralldom. Which brings us full circle." She smiles, there, to Zoey and Niklas. Also full circle? Wine. Always wine.

Drake is also interested in more wine. "Modesty is your strongest suit, hm, Prince Niklas?" he says with a smirk.

Orrin glances at Scythia and - though he hesitates, looks in fact pained - he nods. "She would be a substantial help to /any/ task requiring diplomacy. Perhaps most especially with the isles." Not that he wants her to go. But: resolute? He nods again.

Although he has been quiet, because he has been eating, Bedivere casts his hazel gaze to those who speak, and Cabbit -- on his shoulder -- does so, too.

"Exactly!" Sabella beams at Scythia, raising her glass to the other woman, "It's so wonderful to find such likemindedness within Grayson and its vassals." To Drake's comment she laughs, "My husband is many things, but modest is not one of them. And in this particular instance I don't believe he needs to be for they do not call him The Playwright without reason. I feel like he's very much breathed life into the arts of Arx since he arrived here. He was certainly more successful in doing so than I was."

"Perhaps the three of us should get together for tea to discuss my refugee center then," says Zoey to the count and countess. "A skilled diplomat to help smooth things over with the locals would likely be helpful."

Niklas clucks his tongue at Drake. "I encourage people who know their worth to let everyone else know as well. And if I'm being honest, my lord, I spent many years being convinced that my worth was very little. Why should I pretend otherwise when I find out just how wrong they were." Niklas gives a big shrug and a tremendous smile, then drops himself back into his seat. "Zoey, your project is laudable. I do wish I had more time to dedicate to it."

Scythia's smiling in turn, a swift thing to Sabella, before it's turned on Zoey. "I would like that a great deal, Lady Kennex," she murmurs, even as her hand slides onto Orrin's forearm so that she can trace little designs of nothing. "I find that I do not enjoy sitting idle, even if there are some spectacular views around Seliki Manor." Maybe she sends Orrin a little bit of a cheeky grin there, lips curved just so.

"You are right. A good attitude to have. You have to stand up for yourself or else people will look down on you any chance they get." Drake seems to find some useful meaning in Niklas's words, saying as such and then thinking over it as he continues to deal with the food on his plate, slicing into a bit of ham with his knife and taking a slightly too large bite.

Orrin, drawn out of his distraction by his wife a moment, hums a thoughtful note. "Now that it's warmer, we'll have the diving terrace.' A thoughtful pause, like he might be contemplating a swim /this very moment/, though perhaps not; he seems rather sedate, sober. Needs more wine, but he hasn't taken a cup. Oh, yes - "Perhaps join us for a swim, Lady Zoey, and we can talk about it in a pleasant surround."

Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting have been dismissed.

Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting have been dismissed.

2 Grayson House Guards have been dismissed.

Clark, an exasperated guard have been dismissed.

Zoey nods to Niklas, "I wish you did too, but these are busy times." She grins at Orrin. "Now that is a fantastic idea!"

Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting have been dismissed.

Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting have been dismissed.

2 Grayson House Guards have been dismissed.

Clark, an exasperated guard have been dismissed.

Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting have been dismissed.

Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting have been dismissed.

2 Grayson House Guards have been dismissed.

Clark, an exasperated guard have been dismissed.



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