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Valardin Family Dining

Dinner for Valardin family, friends, and allies. Bring something to shade your eyes from the magnificence of the walls filled with every sigil, crest, and coat of arms our ancestors could fit there.


June 15, 2020, 8 p.m.

Hosted By

Alis Zara


Adrienne Aureth Sophie Philippe Korka Katarina Gaston Tesha Verity Kiera Emlyn Bianca




Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Valardin Manor - Dining Room

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

It's the last of the cool spring evenings before summer takes hold of Arx. Enjoy it. Freshly cut flowers -- stems and boughs -- decorate the tables and scent the air. The (relatively) casual, servant-served buffet is appropriate to a (RELATIVELY) casual gathering that is still after all held in the Valardin manor: that means that each and every person who arrives is greeted by an armsman in full plate who announces them with full rank, title and honors. So, you know. _Relatively_ casual. A lesser-armored servant shows visitors through, where Zara's near the door with a cup of tea -- jasmine! delightfully fragrant! -- to deliver welcomes as people arrive.

Atramentous, The Highhill War Hound arrives, following Tesha.

"Hello Zara," Adrienne greets her cousin with (relative) ease at the door. She presses a hand to the table in passing, pale eyes narrowing fondly before she slips inside to greet family and friends. A glass of water is her drink of choice tonight, and she's dressed appropriately for a Valardin dinner: chainmail (and chiffon - it's a relatively casual affair after all).

Aureth arrives in the shimmering white of the priesthood, bedecked, his hair bound up with hair combs like a golden rose. Maybe he couldn't figure out how to mesh "Valardin" and "casual". He has never made an appearance at one of these things, but then again, he has never hitherto been the protege of a scion of House Valardin. He bows to the room as the arsman announces his full titles - a list which has grown over the years, though not to Nox'Alfar proportions. He says, "Good evening."

Sophie raises a brow as she's announced, and can't help but chuckle slightly. She steps into the dining room, wearing her white robes. There's warm smile for those Sophie happens to make eye contact with. She steps toward Adrienne and Zara first, smiling warmly, "It's beautiful outside. What a shame we can't have an outdoor dining room, though I imagine how troublesome that would be. Bugs. Birds." She shrugs and leans in to give each of them a squeeze on their forearms.

It's the one big bonus of living at the Manor - there is no point in introducing you! Alis revels in the lack of introductions for the family, even as poor Herald Steve has to drone one and on with every arriving guest. "Fresh flowers! Nice touch, Zara." Her cousin is given a kiss on the cheek before she passes through to find a seat and start greeting the others that arrive too. "Sorry everyone, there's no hard liquor today. But I promise the wine and mead are good!" It's Valardin, come on. That had to be expected right?

Count Philippe is an old man set in the old ways. He bows courteously to Zara. "Your grace," he says, after he is announced. He is led to the table and given a glass of wine. The old count eases into his seat with a wince. Per the springtime customs of Blanchard, Philippe is wearing lighter earth tones and has taken care to clean his boots thoroughly before arriving. "Agreed, the flowers are quite lovely," he says. Oaty would probably eat them without a moment's thought.

"Ooh," Zara says, which is how you know it really is casual. Her eyes brighten as they sweep Adrienne's chainmail couture. "Adrienne, that's lovely. Good evening, Legate!" She's a touch less guarded within Valardin manor, but this is largely conveyed in a deeper expressiveness of voice and eyes. Also: exclamation points. She still has resting serious face. "Flowers as close as we can get to bringing the outdoors inside, Sophie," she says, glancing after her with a smile in the narrowing of her eyes. "A compromise," she suggests.

Archimedes, the Grim Face of Owlish Judgement, Sir Alren, Scholar Duran, a perpetually put-upon assistant, 3 Templar Knight guards, Clementine arrive, following Bianca.

Korka snags herself a glass of wine upon entering, taking a sip and then giving nods to people she recognizes like Count Philippe and Princess Alis. Then it's off to peruse the food, which she was told was totally free so she's not going to let that go to waste.

Distracted by the flowers, Adrienne looks up at Sophie's greeting with a smile to her eyes, returning the gentle clasp to the Mother Mercy's forearm. "Nothing good comes without cost," Adrienne answers her with a wistful breath as she, too, looks to the windows - before Zara steals her back with a complement. "Why thank you, Zara." She clears her throat and runs a hand down her hip over the delicate fabric there. "A gift." She clears her throat a second time, seizing on Philippe's arrival as an escape. "Pardon me. Duty calls."

It always takes a while for Katarina to enter, at these affairs. Part of it is just that she has little short legs and so her land speed isn't exceptional. Another part of it is that she stops and greets everyone she possibly can -- holding both of their hands or going in for a hug or air kisses or whatever is appropriate on a person-to-person basis. The Eurusi woman is in a luxury brocade blazer-and-trousers outfit, looking sleek and chic and knee-high to a pencil.

Casual is something that Gaston is very familiar with, it's the 'relatively' adjective that is the tricky part. That means the tall Blackram basically ignores it and comes as he is usually attired, comfortable leathers. The Bite of Cloudspine is properly peace bonded, showing that he has no intention of using it, he just has it with him as he is the House Sword. With him is one of his cousins, Emlyn, who is also tall, just not quite as tall as Gaston. Upon entering though, there is an awkward look from the taller of the two Blackrams when their arrival is properly announced by the armsman. A quick glance to Emlyn is given before Gaston quietly thanks the arsman before proceeding further in, where the others are.

Lady Tesha Telmar arrives with her oldest Highhill pup, Atramentous, but, he is going to wait outside. Otherwise the woman is alone and without guard. The redhead waits quietly to be announced and all that jazz that comes with it. Quiet greetings are given to the hosts before she finds a seat where she will be able to hear and see everyone. She settles herself down and gives a smile to whoever she is seated next to.

Philippe has joined the Dining Table.

Verity Locke enters with Count Philippe, as is often her duty. She trails at the side of her liege and assists him with his seating -- though not too obviously, as that would be impolite. Her clothing is unobtrusively plain: a simple linen work dress tied with a sash at the waist for a bit of fashion's sake.

Verity doesn't mingle as of the moment, and instead lingers near Philippe while the guests enter.

Sophie grins at Zara and gives a playfully dramatic sigh. "I suppose I shall have to live with that compromise." She gives her cousins a warm smile and wanders toward Alis. She rests a hand on Alis' arm as well, and leans in to kiss her on the cheek. "It's been far too long, Alis. We need to have tea." Then she pulls away and wanders to a seat of her very own.

Sophie has joined the Dining Table.

Adrienne has joined the Dining Table.

Alis stands next to Katarina whenever possible, so that together they don't look as short. So that's what she does now, though an extra enthusiastic wave is given to Sophie. Yes, yes, she approves much of the guards that follow her cousin. And also returns the kiss on her cheek. "We do, Sophie. Let me know when is good for you, hmm? I will duck under the guards and sneak over to your office."

Alis has joined the Dining Table.

Katarina has joined the Dining Table.

Kiera notes Count Phillippe's presence with an audible sigh of relief with the air of someone in new environs, thouhh a chance meeting with the Princess zara previously makes her a little less tense. she nods to everyone politely but seeks familiar compant as she moves to the table

As people begin to find seat, so does Zara, abandoning door duty. Sorry, latecomers. She looms over Alis and Katarina -- unfair!! -- as she sweeps by them, touching Katarina just briefly on the shoulder: "If you have a moment later?" For now, she settles one table over.

Zara has joined the a round table draped in embroidered lace.

Emlyn looks to Gaston and simply grins. "I told you this would be fun," he says to his taller cousin. He chuckles quietly and moves over to a seat, pulling out one for Gaston. He doubles back to his cousin, only to quietly say, "You're lucky that Teagan isn't here. She'd be trying to set you up immediately. I don't want you to get married either, for the record. After you're married, I'm sure I'm the next matchmaking target." Emlyn moves back to sit in his seat, looking rather expectant at Gaston.

Bianca Wyrmguard's arrival is an unobtrusive thing, made without much fanfare or noise; the pale legate slips in with an unassuming quiet and a polite smile, bright silver eyes sweeping the familiar sights of the dining hall. Fingers toy briefly with the prayer bracelet hanging off her opposite wrist, before she makes her way toward the dining table, slyly and discretely plucking up a single glass of wine as she goes.

Robes swirling around him as he moves, with hints of silver flash beneath from the variegated seasilk, Aureth moves to claim a seat with eyebrows swept high. Following Zara's cue, since she is his meal ticket (so to speak), he takes a seat at the slightly smaller table, or maybe the lace just goes with his hairpiece. "I'm certain if you were desperate for a Valardin picnic, there are places in the city that might be used," he says amiably. "I'd avoid the menagerie generally, and the Harlequins use the graveyard beyond the walls but I understand others might find that setting a bit," he pauses, considering. "Gauche?"

Aureth has joined the a round table draped in embroidered lace.

Aureth has left the a round table draped in embroidered lace.

Greguin, an organized priest have been dismissed.

3 Templar Knight guards have been dismissed.

Sophie's smiles warmly to Alis. "I'll make time for you whenever you have a spare moment. You need only ask." Then her eyes begin to move over the other people present. She smiles as Bianca approaches, "Legate, it's good to see you." Sophie settles in at the table while nodding politely to the others she knows.

Aureth has joined the a round table draped in embroidered lace.

Crossing to a table, Adrienne greets Verity first, tone warm. "It's good to see you, Verity Locke. All well?" Her attention is mostly for Philippe, however, as she takes a chair at his side, legs crossing. "Hello Uncle. You look well." She adds a few words for the table, conversing more quietly.

When his cousin mentions how this event would be fun, Gaston can only gives Emlyn an incredulous look, "This is the further thing from fun, cousin..." Spoken in a very low whisper, not wanting to offend anyone with his more basic taste of fun. He does express his thanks to his cousin as they sit, though on the subject of marriage, the Blackram can only smirk, "Teagan didn't tell you? One of the conditions of me accepting the position of House Sword, I don't have to get married. So you're next, cousin."

Even though Katarina maintains solidarity with Alis in terms of being wee tiny little Princesses, Katarina still cheats. She wears wedge heels, and her hair is teased out to add tremendous volume to her curls. It does make her taller on paper, but it doesn't make her LOOK taller. She just looks like a tiny woman in heels with big hair. When Zara touches Katarina to get her attention, the Princess nods to her. "Of course, cousin," she murmurs in response. Unfortunately, Zara's distraction interrupted Katarina's train of thought just as she was about to greet Bianca, and so Bianca is the only person at the entire dinner Katarina does not greet in SOME fashion.

Philippe nods to Adrienne as she sits. He replies to her in a similarly low voice, inclined not to stand out as more (relative) youngsters come into the room to greet each other.

Bianca has joined the Dining Table.

"We do have all those picnic tables stored in the stables, Zara. I mean, if you really want a picnic." Alis pauses. "That isn't in a graveyard. I mean, a graveyard seems like it would be a peaceful spot. Hopefully." The thought that it might not, gives her pause. And she clears her throat to address the entrance of Bianca. "Okay, how'd you do it? How'd you sneak by Herald Steve without being announced." she wants to know, already pouring herself some tea as servants begin asking people which soup or stew they might like.

Kiera has joined the Dining Table.

Tesha acts like she doesn't hear talk about marriage, since the woman had the worst luck with it she wasn't even going near that conversation. She gives a smile to one of the Valardins she hasn't seen in a bit, making small talk with them as she does. Because talking was good. Sitting here quietly would get her in trouble no doubt. There is a look around to see if Isabeau or anyone else from Telmar has arrived yet, but alas.

Emlyn has joined the a round table draped in embroidered lace.

Gaston has joined the a round table draped in embroidered lace.

Korka has joined the a round table draped in embroidered lace.

Verity turns to look over her shoulder to watch those coming in. Her gaze lingers on Bianca, and briefly finds Kiera as the other woman crosses her field of view. Then Adrienne approaches Philippe's most restful of chairs, and Verity favors the princess with a smile and a bow of her head. "Every day of spring is well enough for me, your highness."

"You lie," Emlyn simply says, casting a very discerning eye at Gaston. "There's no way. She wouldn't let you get off /that/ easy..." But there's some wavering doubt in Emlyn's voice. He eyeballs Gaston for a long moment and leans back in his seat, looking at everyone. "I suppose I should mingle..." Though at that very moment he sounds like he enjoys it exactly as much as Gaston normally does. However, he smiles at the others already at their table. "I hope we're not intruding."

Saying something in a quieter voice to those at the table, Zara doesn't so much _lift_ her voice to answer Alis as she just -- projects. That's totally different. "Next time," she says. "Picnic, out by the chapel. Then Sophie will be happy, _and_ we'll _twice_ the flowers."

Adrienne addresses Philippe with quiet dignity, tone lowered until Verity answers her. Her features brighten marginally. "Do you know if the Legate is coming tonight? I should return- ah!" Adrienne follows Verity's gaze to the newest arrivals and greets Bianca with a gentle lift of her chin. "There she is now."

"It's good to see you, Legate Bianca," Aureth calls amiably from the other table, "rather than simply scribbling long letters at you from down the hallway."

Gaston's only response to Emlyn is a shake of his head as if showing that he isn't lying at all, that what he says is complete truth. No other words are needed. Then his attention is to the others at the table he and Emlyn just sat down at.

Sophie gives Zara a brilliant smile and she nods. "Fresh air is good for the humors, you know. It balances them." She hears Aureth and turns her head toward him, giving him a smile and a polite nod as well before turning back toward her own tbale. She sees Verity and gives the woman a smile, "It's good to see you again, Verity." Then her attention moves on again, to Tesha. "Things are going well in the Telmarch? I hope Ansel is well. I'll have to stop by the tower soon to visit little Sophia. Issy is so busy, it's hard to catch her still long enough for a visit."

"She knows when she's needed," says Verity to Adrienne, with a conspiratorial look that's entirely sincere probably. Verity shifts her attention to Sophie when addressed, again bowing her head in deference. "And good to see you, Mother Mercy."

With the esteemed personages of the room settled, Verity takes a seat that's left over. She remains near Philippe.

Verity has joined the Dining Table.

It's a familiar voice the draws Bianca to a pause just as she sets a hand on the back of her future seat. Silver eyes turn towards Sophie, and that smile of Bianca's turns from one of polite etiquette towards something more genuinely pleased with the subtlest of shifts. "Sophie," she offers, foregoing the titles in favor of an edge of warmth. "Much the same to you. It feels as if it's been an age."

It's when Alis speaks to her that Bianca's brows lift, and her head tilts. She lifts a hand, a pale finger tapping at her lower lip. "Hm," she exhales, before she offers an apologetic look. "I would hate to ruin the mystique, so let's say I have had a considerable deal of experience with sneaking." She offers the briefest glance Verity's way, with a small smile, before she takes her seat -- pausing just before sipping that wine to looks across the table, Aureth's way. She can't help the wry turn of her expression. "You as well, Legate Aureth. I feel at this point I have become more familiar with the face of your Binky. We should fix that." A second passes. "... Speaking of which, I do apologize if Archimedes has caused any problems when delivering missives. He can be," she looks to find the right word, "... complicated."

Tesha gives a look up when she is talked at, and there is a smile, but it doesn't reach her eyes. "The Telmarch is as well as can be expected. I have not spoken to the Duke in quite some time though given he's been in the Telmarch." she admits. "And I just converse with The Duchess via messengers when there is a bit of time." she states. "I'm sure that they would love to have you at the Tower though should the Duchess find time to host something." she nods to Sophie. "How have you been?" she asks the Mother Mercy.

Aureth laughs out loud and lays his hand over his heart. (Relevant to his table conversation, spiderwebs feature notably in the tunic he wears beneath his robes, peeking out around the collar.) "I am certain your Archimedes is a fine and helpful creature compared to my terrible bird," he says. "I beg that if Binky has ever done anything hideous in your presence or stolen any of your jewelry, please inform me. Disciplining the bird does nothing but I can usually get earrings back."

Sophie watches the exchange between Bianca and Aureth and then returns her gaze to Tesha as she speaks. "Ah.. me? I'm fine I suppose. Busy. Very very busy, but then that's the life of a..." Sophie's words die off as she sees a young Mercy in training at the entrance to the dining room. She gives her family an apologetic smile as she rises. "My apologies, please.. I'm being called away." She holds her hands up and smiles good naturedly, "This is the life I chose." With that Sophie is rushing off to stitch someone up or do some sort of healery thing or another.

"Don't be a stranger, Sophie! I'll see you soon!" Alis calls out, before her cousin can flee.

Sophie has left the Dining Table.

Dame Rosario Nevarre of the Oathlands, Anouk Ardennes, Anais Ardennes, Triage, The white dove of Mercy, 2 Valardin Knights, 1 Templar Knight guards leave, following Sophie.

"Excuse me," Zara says to those at her table as she rises, brushing her skirts in place. She crosses to the others, waiting for a break in the conversation to lean and say something briefly to Bianca.

Katarina gets up more than once to return to the buffet set-up. Not so much for seconds or thirds of things she's already had, but more to try a little bit of everything on offer. It's this constant coming and going that allows the party to have a good look at her brocade outfit, which is easily one of the most legendary outfits ever worn while standing at a buffet table.

"What is that saying?" Bianca wonders. "'Whatever doesn't kill us only makes us stronger?'" She casts Aureth a sidelong look and a small smile. "If nothing else, your terrible bird has done wonders in sharpening my alertness. And for that he has my most sincere gratitude." A second passes by before she adds, off-handedly, "--I shall send you a small list, though."

With that, Bianca looks Zara's way with the curious heft of her brows, leaning in to exchange a few quiet words and a single nod.

Aureth is overheard praising Katarina: What a terribly marvelous pair of shoes, I must say.

A hint of a dimple shadows Zara's cheek as she nods to Bianca with a grateful smile, and then she takes her seat again.

Aureth is overheard praising Valardin: The most excellent of hosts.

Katarina checked dexterity at difficulty 30, rolling 3 higher.

Tesha has joined the Dining Table.

Breaking away from the dining table with a few more exchanged words with the people gathered there, Bianca Wyrmguard plucks up her glass and a single fork, chiming once, twice, to call attention to herself. Straightening out, she offers a warm look to those gathered.

"I would like to beg a moment of your time to offer a small prayer of gratitude," begins the legate, and that quiet, calm voice of hers still somehow manages to carry; she must have some grand powers of projection. "Events, of late, have been turbulent, even at the best of times. But it is heartening to know that there are - and always will be - bright patches, even in the darkest moments. Even when it is something as simple as sharing good food, and better drink, with those truly dear to you. I am grateful to the Gods for the feast we have today, and to the people who have made it possible through their endless and tireless work. And I am grateful to you all, for your fine spirits, and finer company. May this day be blessed."

And with those words offered up, Bianca will - of course - follow it up with a more conventional prayer, a fine one to be found in a lovely prayer book about one of the better gods, like Lagoma, or Mangata, or Petrichor. No bias here.

Aureth has left the a round table draped in embroidered lace.

Greguin, an organized priest have been dismissed.

3 Templar Knight guards have been dismissed.

Binky, an asshole crow have been dismissed.

Arms crossed and holding a glass far more elegant than the plain water it contains, Adrienne listens with grave respect to Bianca, head bowing with thanks at its conclusion - "Here, here," she murmurs. Not that she's technically one of the hosts but the Valardin name comes with a healthy dose of princess privilege. Then something Verity says at the table has her flashing a mirthful look her way.

"Thank you, Legate. Whatever we have left over here this evening will be going to the Lowers so that we might help some of those in need." Alis follows up on the prayers with that quiet promise.

As Bianca stands, Zara quiets and glances toward her. She murmurs an echo of her blessing, an echo of her prayers, with her hands held crossed in her lap. "Thank you, Legate."

Philippe pauses in his conversation to look to Bianca. He sets down his glass and listens, and then takes time to pray as sincerely as he has since his earliest days. Philippe ends with an affirmation to Gloria before returning to his conversational partners at the table.

Aureth has joined the a round table draped in embroidered lace.

Gaston also falls silent when Bianca rises to speak to all that are present. There is a nod of agreement from the Blackram and then he closes his eyes as the prayers are spoken.

Emlyn bows his head during the prayer, nodding a bit. "Thank you," he says, taking a sip of his wine afterward.

Aureth has left the a round table draped in embroidered lace.

Greguin, an organized priest have been dismissed.

3 Templar Knight guards have been dismissed.

Binky, an asshole crow have been dismissed.

Aureth has joined the a round table draped in embroidered lace.

"It truly warms me to hear that, your highness," Bianca offers to Alis, head bowed with respect, "thank you." And with that, she straightens, and a small smile touches the corners of her lips, offering, "I won't keep you all from that fine conversation and fine food any longer. Please -- enjoy yourselves to your utmost," before she settles neatly into her seat once more.

Kiera bows her had arms folded in her lap as prayer takes place, lips quirking just a bit at the juxtaposition of horses and marriage with such a solomn moment and loks to gaton as he rises to speak with some relief

Tesha pays attention to prayers when they happen and there's a dip of her head at the end and quiet words of her own. Then one of her guards sneak in just a few seconds after Bianca is done. There is a soft exchange of words and a nod from Tesha. "Apologies, I need to be going, it was nice to see everyone though." she tells her tablemates. Then she is rising and leaving as quietly as she had entered.

Aureth quietly applauds Bianca's prayer, before turning his attention back to his meal an the conversation at his table.

Tesha has left the Dining Table.

Atramentous, The Highhill War Hound leaves, following Tesha.

Zara has left the a round table draped in embroidered lace.

Elena, a solemn knight attache have been dismissed.

Alette, a discreet lady's maid have been dismissed.

Isabel, a calm diplomatic aide have been dismissed.

4 Valardin Knights have been dismissed.

Elena, a solemn knight attache have been dismissed.

Alette, a discreet lady's maid have been dismissed.

Isabel, a calm diplomatic aide have been dismissed.

4 Valardin Knights have been dismissed.

Zara has joined the a round table draped in embroidered lace.

Emlyn has left the a round table draped in embroidered lace.

Verity has left the Dining Table.

The dinner continues through the evening, pleasant and orderly and CASUAL, but like VALARDIN CASUAL, so there were prayers and nice orderly lines and heralds shouting titles for every late arrival. Spirited games involve delights like TELLING THE TRUTH and NAME THAT HOUSE SIGIL, and a perfectly sensible amount of tea is polished off by the time the last people leave the table.

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