Arx's Biggest Boast
The grandest of tales, as determined by Pasquale and Thea, will win a prize of 50,000 and a customised wall hanging to commemorate their unlikely victory.
Improbable events that can be proven to be true will be especially favored.
Aug. 4, 2020, 6 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Compact - Menagerie - The Amphitheater
Comments and Log
Tanith arrives quietly, more curious than resigned, grimacing as she steps in and she sees the place all nicely set up. She lingers by the door, hesitant, gnawing on her bottom lip.
Calla also lingers by the door as she enter the ampitheatre, craning her neck to look around and see if she sees any familiar faces. In her search, Tanith is noticed and given a warm smile. "Hello, do you wanna brave going in together?"
"Not -everyone- likes wine,"Thea can be heard quietly telling the servers. That said, bottles of whiskey are produced to be added to the trays. She looks and sees Tanith, giving her a smile and slight wave. "Messere Tanith, good evening. Were you wanting to participate?"
Jayne, Burly Sailor, Oakshed, an aged and white haired valet arrive, following Wash.
Wash is talking to his companion Jayne as he enters. "I don't know why this is even a contest. It's clear that Arx's biggest boat is the Candlelight's Promise. I put an extra six feet on the bowsprit specifically so there couldn't be any argument as to whether Domonico's was bigger. And even if someone built something bigger, they couldn't bring it to Arx because of the whirlpool. They should have just messaged me the prize money."
Tanith looks to Calla and offers the young woman a bright smile. "I .... alright!" she laughs, offering the woman her arm. "I think I might have a decent boast, but we'll see! I'm Tanith Grayhope. Well met...?" she coaxes, stepping into the room.
The pillows that have been set up start to move. They shift and they sway for a moment before long arms pop out from beneath one. "Aaaahhhhh yesss." comes the happy and content sort of sigh. "I needed that," is muffled by the pillow. The arms disappear below the pillows and suddenly the pillow is pushed away in a sudden bust, causing it to fly away and flop to the ground. "How in the world?!" comes the exclaimation as a brown haired man pops up from beneath the pillows. His hair is a mess, but that's to be expected after an apparent nap, but with a practiced ease his long slender fingers push his hair back into place and all is seemingly right in the world. "Oh yeah!" The tall man says pulling himself out of the pile of pillows and rising to his feet, a large smile forming on Gogil's lips. It fades somewhat, as he realizes that he's not alone. "Oh.. this aren't meant for napping?"
Pasquale and Thea are up on the ampitheater stage in an area marked apart by seating cushions. He shakes his head, looking amused at Thea's donation of whiskey to the drinks, and then steps forward to make sure he's fully visible. A gesture towards the seating cushions added in invitation. "Come share your greatest stories with us. Messere Apollo has promised a tapestry to commemorate the greatest tale."
Pasquale casts an almost amused smile in Gogil's direction. "If your story is very good you can keep one."
"Pleased to meet you. Baroness Calla Vaevici," she replies, accepting the woman's arm casually with another smile, before Thea is noticed with a bob of her head. "Lady Thea! Lovely to see you again." then back to Tanith, "I don't think my tale of throwing a party that lasted a week nonstop will match up to others' boasts, so I think I'm just here to spectate myself." A server with a tray is noticed nearby and she manages to snag a glass of wine, before looing for a place to sit.
Tanith grins at Calla, pausing to wave at Thea. "You never know! My particular boast involves knowing all parties involved very well. It might be too niche." She chuckles. "Hello, Lady Thea! I think I heard Guildmaster Apollo was throwing this event?"
"I don't have any stories though," Gogil says cocking his head to the side to study Pasquale a moment. His smile doesn't waiver before he gives a shrug of his shoulders. "So, what did I wake up to this time, anways?"
Thea casts a smirk at Wash,"Comparing sizing of anything is something I don't think I want to know." She's joking of course. When the pillows beging moving, she watches as Finn makes his over and BARKS! His big furry self starts nosing his way, looking for the voice. When found, he barks more, quite proud of himself. Thea laughs a little and agrees with Pasquale. There is also a shrug regarding the whiskey. "You'll see which is gone quicker,"as her gold-flecked green eyes take in those that enter. "Baroness Calla, hello."
"Master Apollo will be gifting..an amazing picture depicting the prize winners li-"pausing, Thea corrects herself,"Boast. THey're boast. Tall tales! The LONGEST tale!"
"Lady Thea Malvici. I wonder how that could be true considering how accurate your anniversary gifts were. You must have made some very discreet inquiries about the size of my ... boat." Wash counters, completely nonplussed by Thea's intimations.
Tanith is already shaking her head at Thea, smiling. "Then mine will not win. It's quite short."
Calla smiles at Tanith and Thea, "I think I'm going to find a seat before all the benches fill, I don't think I can sit on the floor in this dress. Looking forward to hearing your tale, however short it may be." She politely disengages and heads for a bench to find a seat close to the improvised stage, flashing a smile in Pasquale's direction if she can catch his eye.
"Everyone has something to boast about." Pasquale answers Gogil. "Even children. The only thing that changes is the believability and tallness of them." He nods to Thea and against lifts his voice in an attempt to achieve announcer status. "Thea's right. We want to hear the most unbelievable things you have ever done rather than simple stories. Even if its just that time you stole an apple from your uncles orchard and got chased through a field of terrifying goats." he lifts a hand and gives a little cough. "Something that absolutely never happened to me." The cough replaced by a bit of a smile he gestures to the cushions. "Come. Be Comfortable. Who's brave enough to go first?" He smiles to Calla as he goes to take his own advice and find a floor cushion to sit upon.
Wash asks: "Is it still a boast if it's true then?" He asks. "And no one believes it anyway?" He comes forward to plop himself down on a cushion. "Hello. Hello. I'm Wash Kennex and I've been to the Abyss and back."
Thea doesn't know if she groan, gag, or laugh at Wash's comment. "It was a scientific guess, Wash. Of endless days spent at your House. But don't be too proud,"she teases. Looking around again,"Boasts can be the most outlandish stories. Like the time I shoved a giant seal head in my brother's closet.."(You choose if she did that), or that one time I-"pausing to snort at Pasquale.
"Make it believable,"Thea tells the Kennex with a nod. "We've all seen the unbelieable."
Apollo is here - at least initially to listen, making notes with his assistant, Siri. He's quiet and attentive, and nothing seems to particularly surprise him, today; he seems... very tired.
"Nice to finally meet you Lord Wash. I've heard that tale I think. I may have been drunk so it's possibly not true at all but something I just made up." Gogil says flashing a smile towards Wash. He tilts his head towards Pasquale and rubs his chin in consideration. "Okay. I guess I have a few stories. Oh I'll go first."
Wash looks at Gogil thoughtfully. "Mayhap. Mayhap. It was rather recent though, for the record. You might be thinking of the time I -almost- sailed to the Abyss." But he removes his boots and crosses his legs to listen to Gogil's story.
Pasquale smiles to Wash. "Surely the best boasts are the ones that are both unbelievable and provable?" The look he gives Thea when she snorts is filled with false innocent. "Not mine Thea. Not mine." He looks to Tanith now and says "Guildmaster Apollo is providing our prizes but its Lady Thea and I that are hosting today."
Pasquale's eyes go back to Wash with interest. "Lord Wash Kennex goes first." He claims some wine from one of the Malespero liveried servers. "Do tell us."
Calla settles upon a pillowed bench, one leg crossed over the other carefully in her red mini-dress, leaning forward to prop one elbow up on her knee to cradle her chin in her palm. Wash's introduction is given a bit of a nod even though it wasn't directed at her, before a slightly thoughtful expression takes over. Amber eyes turn to Gogil when he offers to go first.
Pasquale adds "And our sleeping friend." a gesture to Gogil who he apparantly doesn't know. "Goes second."
Tanith plops down on a pillow and gets comfortable, ready to listen.
"I do?" Wash says. "Well. Believable. Believable." He scratches the patchy facial hair he calls a beard. "Okay. Well... in order to believe this story you need to know why Stormward's walls are twelve feet higher than the king tide. It was in the year 998, I was not yet married, but I had been given command of my first vessel, a longship named the Pridesman out of Stormward. I was on an Eastward sweep of the domain, anti-clockwise to take advantage of the currents. The sky turned sour, and a storm swept in. Now, 98 had some particularly strong storms, but if you're from the isles and you were alive in 98, you know the one I meant. It scoured Grimheim and lasted clear down to the Southern isles." Wash is talking about a well-known hurricane of course.
Not going for the wine, Thea is claiming the glass of whiskey. "That's what they all say Pasquale." She now goes to sit on stage, waiting to listen. "Alright. Wash and--,"her eyes squinting at Gogil. "Who are you? I'm sorry, I don't think we've met." Thea gets comfortable, nodding,"This as good as the mammoths and the time I watched Martino get chased by a hoard of angry women?"
Thea takes a large drink from her glass, already eyeing the Kennex man.
"I remember that one! I think that's the one that sent me to Blackshore Island!" Gogil exclaims with a smile and a clap of his hands. He covers his mouth and says, "Sorry, carry on." He misses Thea's question in his outburst. WHO IS THIS SMILING FOOL?!
Tanith leans over to whisper to Thea, something in affirmation.
"Now, the right thing to do in such a situation is run before the storm, hope it peters out, but the lee of Stormward gave me no wind, so the the blasted thing was on us before I could properly get a run. So I turned the oars in, lowered the sail and thought we'd weather the storm. But here is where you need to understand about Stormward's walls. A storm like that pushes a massive amount of water in front of it, the sea can rise much higher than usual, six or even ten feet. We weren't at a king tide thankfully, but we were at high tide. I found that, as the storm got closer, the tiller bit deeper when we took a southerly tack, as if the ship were falling down the waves as fast as the storm surge was rising it up. Taking advantage of this, I kept the Pridesman on the cusp of capsizing for a solid hour as we crossed fifteen nautical miles, from the straights North of Stormward to the isles to the South. And that's where things got dangerous."
Pasquale nods a few times along with Wash's story, clearly paying attention. He does however lean aside at one point to murmur "To the southeast of here." to Calla. Gogil's outburst raises a smile and then he tells Tanith "I cant wait to hear your offering."
Calla is literally on the edge of her seat, leaning forward to intently listen to the man's story, Pasquale's murmur gets a flickered look, a smile and a thankful bob of her head.
"See, southeast of Stormward there are more than a few atolls, lowlying isles unsuited for habitation but perfect for fishing. During a king tide, the islands would be entirely submerged in a few feet of water and only their sharp knifelike flints would protrude above the water. Nothing to hold onto, no protection. Naturally I knew we'd want to sail around the atolls, but due to visibility and other conditions, including my own exhaustion, I had no bearing on them in the storm. Not until I sailed clear over the only structure on the island, a stone pillar built some twelve feet tall on the island, it's signal fire completely extinguished." Wash gestures helplessly. "Couldn't have saved us even if it had glowed, it was completely submerged. And that is how I came to sail over the Devil's Comb, sometimes called the Devil's Fingers, an island in the Mourning sea. I guess it depends on how the Devil wants to style his hair that day."
"Ohhhh.." Gogil says obviously impressed.
Thea grins at bit at Calla as she listens to Wash. When he finishes, her brows knit together. "Impressive,"she tells him with a nod of her head. "No size needed!"shifting her weight more. "It's a wonder you survived that. Lady Catalana is lucky you made it..."
"We weren't married yet." Wash says. "Some would say the opposite is true."
"Thats going to be hard to beat." Pasquale seems to agree with Gogil's opinion. "But I think it can be done." he looks to Gogil. "Your turn. Tell us your greatest achievement." a small smile. "And be sure to tell us all your name!"
Leaning over to Pasquale, Thea murmurs,"Think we should get him a pillow with his name ON it.."
"Well," Gogil says right when Pasquale asks his name, totally missing it, and starting in on his tale. "When I was 12, I was sent to go to Darkwater to visit cousins and learn things from them." He purses his lips, his smile dropping away from his face, which seems to be a rarity. "We were harried by pirates, and made for deeper water, since their vessel was meant for the shallows." As he speaks, his hands move about, apparently he's a talker with hands. "We sailed southward, and our navigator got sick and we got lost out there on the sea. I threw up. Alot." He shrugs his shoulders and continues with his tale. "The time on the sea wasn't kind, we were listing and taking on water. Long days and nights we wondered if we'd make it. We did. Well, we found a cove on an uncharted island and was able to set about repairs." He doesn't even pause to take a breath just continues right on speaking. "It was the third night we realized we weren't the only ones on the island. There was a duck! We heard it night and day. Quack Quack Quack." Yes he quacks. "Well, I decided to find the duck, and I did! It was a gold duck and it was trapped in a ravine and it looked like its wings were broken." He pauses now and smiles as he takes a breath. "And, I climbed down there and pulled him out. He bit me a few times but I did it. When I got out, I was surprised to find that we weren't alone, twice! A savage tribe had captured my friends and was about to capture me. But they saw the duck and the most amazing thing happened. THEY RAN AWAY!" He smiles and nods his head. "I know right?! Amazing. So yeah, me and the duck became friends and we made the repairs and sailed home. The End." And at that he turns and walks away.
"That was good too." Pasquale says after Gogil's done. His tone genuinely impressed. He chuckles at Thea's muttered suggestion. "I agree." and then smiles to Tanith. "Ready to take your turn?"
Calla offers soft applause to Wash's story, before the next particpant gets up. She's quiet throughout the tale, eyebrows creepign higher and higher as he goes along. When he gets to the climax of the story, she just blinks widely, chuckles under her breath and offers a "Well told!" to the man's parting form.
There's a helpless laugh at the mention of the duck. And the tribe. "I don't even have anything to say to that. I'll have to meet this duck." Not even surprising." As Gogil goes to run, or waddle perhaps, Thea waves,"Thank you for sharing. "Messere Tanith? You wanted to go next, yes?" Theea's eyes move toward the woman with a nod.
Tanith looks quite impressed at Wash, and then squints at him a bit. She wags a finger, having the look of a woman that recognizes someone, but then she's listening to Gogil. Entertained, she laughs at the description of a duck, a rescue and then- .... he's leaving? She blinks, then turns to Pasquale. "OH! Ah, yes! I can go next."
She clears her throat. "So! It's common knowledge I think, but I'll say it anyway: my husband, Raymesin Ulbran, is a man with a particular set of ... skills. His whole life, a fighter in the shadows, self taught as a youngster and honed into perfection as an adult." She gestures to Apollo. "Ask the Guildmaster, as most commoners. The name 'Raymesin Ulbran' strikes fear into many and chills the blood. Because he is very skilled," she adds.
"Is the duck gold-colored, or made of gold?" Wash wants to know. "Because I feel like that's really important information."
After leaning over to have a brief word with Pasquale, there's an attention shift to Tanith. Thea nods knowingly at this information. "I've watched him in the ring once or twice." And she's more curious about him than anything. For OTHER reasons. Taking another drink, she peers off to Wash. "Why? Would it make it a better friend?"
"I dont think we will ever know." Pasquale says to Wash. "Which is a terrible shame. I would have liked to have heard more about the duck." He asks a whispered question to Thea but Tanith's promise of a story makes him fall silent as he listens with the same quiet focus that he did with the other tales. He nods when she speaks of her husband but looks curious, as if he's not sure where the story is heading.
When Tanith takes the stage, Calla resumes actively listening to the tale being told, but chiming in at the golden duck debate, "Well a duck made of gold would simply sink in water, so that would be most inconvenient to a water fowl." Calla notes in her softly exotic accent.
Tanith presses a hand to her chest. "I have no such skills. My weapon of choice is a barstool. I've thrown out more drunks from the Murder before I was eighteen than I want to count. Fists and leverage, that's what I do, but my husband is a honed serpent compared to my blundering mess. It's only recently I've taken up work with an axe, trained by the very brilliant Lord-Commander Eleanor Allenatore. I'm a student, she'll tell you; I've only just started." Tanith looks a bit nervous. "Ahem. Anyway- .... recently, we were given gifts. My husband, a beautiful dagger to use with his other many daggers. Myself... a medium-sized axe. So, I suggest that I test my new skills and newer weapon against his new weapon and much more experienced, seasoned skills. I figure it'd be an easy spar, with my axe edge covered in leather and his skill reassuring me he'd never cut me on accident. We go to the Training center that day. We limber up."
She clears her throat. "I don't know what happened. We were facing each other, ready to go, he took his stance, I took mine, very, very defensive, mind you, because I wanted to last longer than ten seconds and-" She gestures. "I stepped in, swung- ... and Raymesin Ulbran down, flat on his back. Out cold. From alert to a goose-egg on his temple. One hit."
Wash frowns thoughtfully. "Rayray went down in one hit?" He does seem to find it hard to believe."
Apollo, who has looked impassive through tales of the high seas, glances up looking /very/ skeptical at Tanith, at this. He reluctantly suggests that Siri write it down /anyway/, mind, but still. Those eyebrows are talking.
Pasquale gives a low chuckle as Tanith reaches the end point in her tale. "Now that one is a great boast as well! How many people can claim to have beaten Raymesin Ulbran in a fight?" He looks at Calla. "Are you sure you dont want to add your story Baroness?"
Thea whistles lowly at Tanith. "That's actually really a bit impressive." The Malvici is also a bit wide-eyeded. "One hit? Where did you hit him with that axe?" The medic in her is truly curious right now.
Calla claps appreciatively at Tanith's tale, the lead up really adding to the payoff. "Wonderful tale!" she calls aenthusiastically. Pasquale's query causes her to sit up a bit in her seat, cheeks pinking up slightly as she answers a touch shyly. "I don't have anything with which to top any of the tales told tonight, but I'm greatly enjoying listening to them."
Tanith gestures at Thea. "The blade had a leather blunt on it, it was a-" She demonstrates a feint-upward-thrust-side-swing with her hands. "Decades of throwing people out, I learned a few things about caring for injuries, even if I'm the one that caused them," she adds. "I got him awake, he was up, knife out and completely confused. He has no idea what happened." She coughs, points a thumb at Apollo. "Those leather trousers you made me, I think they're to blame. Something. But he was looking right at me, same face he'd get when sparring with anyone else, all business!"
Tanith grins at Calla, the barkeep blushing a bit. "Thank you!"
Pasquale nods at Calla's answer. "In that case we need a moment to decide who wins today. All three boasts were better than I could have imagined." he gives a brief smile. "Feel free to shout your opinion at us."
"They were,"Thea agrees with Pasquale. Nodding her head to him aside as he lowers his voice. "I'd be proud if I was was you,"Thea promises Tanith. "And Wash, I'm curious about that island..."
Wash applauds. "As a man who has let Rayray beat him head and shoulders around the ring, I feel that the only explanation is that Miss Grayhope is being honest, or Rayray is in love with her and was struck down by his own infatuation."
Tanith eyes Wash, amused. "Oh yes. The sticker. That's you. Also," she taps the bracelet on her wrist. "He's something with me, as we're married."
The group are gathered around the stage of the ampitheater, chuckling and generally enjoying the aftermath of a story told by Tanith. Apollo, Thea and Pasquale seems to be discussing something although Pasquale can't help but chuckle at Wash' interpretation. "Both interpretations just add to the story."
Pasquale gets Honorable losing drinking mug from a black leather sword belt.
Apollo, yes dithers with the hosts over the winner, quietly, and reaches up to rub his head, gestures at Siri's notes, nods again.
"Yes. I'm the sticker. With a stick. What do you expect though?" Wash asks. "I'm an sailor, not a fighter."
Pasquale nods when Thea says she wants to hear more about the island. "As do I. I'd like to hear the tale of the abyss as well at some point. We will have to get a bottle of whiskey and gather again.
He clears his throat then and pauses for several moments before announcing "We have decided." Pasquale says after another quiet comment or two with his companions. "The best boast is the last one we heard where Raymesin Ulbran, famed warrior, is felled by his wife in a single strike." he smiles then. "Second we have the story of the golden duck that caused shav's to flee before it and finally, the wonderfully told story of the day that Lord Wash sailed right over the devil's comb. I loved them all and wish I had more rewards to give." He looks to Tanith. "Guildmaster Apollo has promised to immortalise the best boast in leather, thread and dye, so I'll leave that to him but I also wish to give you this purse. We've decided that the man with the duck-tale will get his very own personalised floor-cushion and Lord Wash." he presents a mug to Wash. It might actually be the most muggiest of mugs ever to exist. "This is for you."
Pasquale is overheard praising Tanith.
Pasquale is overheard praising Wash.
Pasquale is overheard praising Gogil.
Calla sips slowly at her wine as the organizers discuss the winning tale. She smiles brightly at Tanith. "Fantastic telling. I wish I had something to share, but I nothing interesting enough came to mind." Then Pasquale announces the winner, and she's clapping softly. "Congratulations! Well earned!"
Lena enters the Amphitheater late in the event, catching the dregs as it seems. She picks a place to listen among those gathered and watches with some interest - after skimming by the refreshments. Unabashedly skimming. Maybe twice. What? It's late in the event. Refreshments are fair game. She settles and enjoys the bounty, even if she missed the boasting.
Wash salutes with the mug. "This would be worth twice as much if you filled it with actual liquor though." Wash drolly points out.
Tanith is given money and told her little story is going to be immortalized in leather and thread. She gapes. She gapes at all of them, and then turns very pink "Oh. Oh no. Oh, Raymesin's never going to let me live this down-" She laughs, helpless. "Oh, thank you. They were all great stories!"
"Use your imagination," Apollo says to Wash, drily. He pushes to his feet, stretching a back that is unwilling today - then flashes a brief smile at Tanith, starts toward the food.
Pasquale gives a quiet laugh at Wash's comment and snags one of the bottles of whiskey Thea brought along. He goes as if to literally pour the golden liquid into the mug but stops just short with a small smile and simply offers Wash the bottle instead. "You earned it. You all did. I'm beyond impressed with the quality of the stories. You in particular Lord Wash are a very talented story teller. If we had been judging based just off that I think you would have easily taken the prize."
Thea greets Lena with a salute,"Sorry you missed the--stories, but feel free to drink." She too says,"I wish we had more prizes for everyone, but I liked all of them too." There's a slight snort at Wash,"You and Dom can get together, compare and all." Thea murmurs to Pasquale,"This wasn't a bad turnout or idea, considering how the idea started."
"I'm a sailor." Wash says uncapping the bottle and sniffing it before filling the mug with a splash. "We spend a lot of time talking."
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