Valardin Fealty Dinner
Oct. 29, 2020, 8:30 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Valardin Manor - Dining Room
Comments and Log
It's a beautiful spring evening and the windows of the dining room have been thrown open to create a pleasant crosse breeze through the room. A long row of tables have been set up along one set of the room with a variety of dishes: roasted game birds, wild hog and venison along with all of the appropriate side fixings. The herald at the door loudly announces every.single.person that enters with a little toot of their horn to really punctuate the introductions. The leadership of the Oathlands house is scattered around the room, greeting people and saying hello as guests arrive.
Prince Greason, a porcine second to none, 2 Valardin Knights arrive, following Gwenys.
Kit, the grey fox, Primus, First of Monique's Assistants, 1 Greenmarch Guard, Tertius, Third of Monique's Assistants arrive, following Monique.
Sirra, a very quiet maid arrives, delivering a message to Preston before departing.
And speaking of people that are greeting guests as they arrive, Cristoph is doing that. Though he stands quite a bit away from the man announcing all of the guests, because he's very loud and Cristoph isn't about that life. "Yes, hello. Good to see you again," he says to someone. Anyone.
The tantalizing scents of grilled birds has assisted navigation for Mabelle who normally only smells baked goods. She steps inside clad in deep purple spring colors as she tries to escaping the tutting men, "Good evening, High Lady", she greets Alis and her cousin, "Honey Duke", she winks to Cristoph, spreading smiles about, before verifying the state of dessert.
And all of their titles. Horn toots and titles, you really get it all when you visit the Valardin Manor. Alis is just outside the door ushering people in, since she's used to the bellowing of Heralds. It doesn't even dent her smile as each person is greeted with a smile and a, "I'm glad you could make it. Welcome. Try to look at the table and not the walls." Those last few words are whispered as an aside to people being regaled by the dining room for the first time. "Lady Mabelle, hello."
Katarina checks luck at normal. Katarina marginally fails.
"Duke Cristoph," Korka gives the herald a little shake of her head as she comes in, no need to announce this one, walking past fairly quickly to greet the host, "Highlord Alis. This looks nice," she particularly looks towards the spread on the table and heads that way after pleasantries are exchanged.
Katarina has BEEN here. It has been a perfectly matched game of wits between the Eurusi Princess and the house staff preparing the tables, and unfortunately for Katarina, it has been a game where she can not claim success. Even people are beginning to flow into the Dining Hall, receiving their full announcements and attracting attention, the veiled Princess reaches out to try and pluck a strawberry section out of the frosting of a cake... only to have a watchful servant step in at the very last moment, to pick up the cake and move it to a different spot. No strawberry for little Katarina.
Monique arrives and revels in all the pageantry, vain Minx that she is. But it's to Alis that the Greenmarch makes her way to, leaning in to murmur something quietly to the High Lord as she does, though there's a low and deferential nod of crimson head first, to all the ranking nobles.
Bowing to Alis with a flourish and a wink as she arrives, Sorrel cheerfully makes her way in with the sort of familiarity that suggests this isn't at all her first time. "You do have good weather for this sort of thing, I must say. The cross-breeze is absolutely perfect. And dinner smells delicious," she remarks generally, or to the High Lady, as it may be.
Princess Gwenys arrives at the nick of time, some thick pig running after her noisily. The white-haired Valardin immediately stares at the animal, mortified, and just hiss-whispers at a guard to take the animal out, scolding him. Clearing her throat, the Princess tries to walk off her pained ankle, no-selling her pain with a big smile she casts even at the the announcing man. She waves at servants she knows all the way across the room and she gives a very poorly-practiced curtsy at Alis and Cristoph. "This looks amazing, really does! And the food smells great too, can't wait!" Like any good Princess would, Gwenys taps her belly to show her appreciation for the cuisine, before findng herself a place to sit, where her ankle won't murder her from pain too badly. She salutes and smiles people along the way, but does not serve herself just yet, not doing it before someone else does it.
TOOT-TATA-LOOT! Prince Talwyn Valardin makes his entrance into the hall along with the rest, his name called out as if any in this manor wouldn't already know who he is. Offering a dip of his head in respectful greeting to Alis as he passes her, he offers her a quiet greeting before slipping off to the side in an effort to skirt the outside of the assembly. Passing by Katarina, she may perhaps hear a chuckle as Talwyn passes her by, totally having seen her little mishap.
It's hard to keep Drake away from a gathering where there's going to be food. And what a spread this looks like! All the different types of meat. Just the thing to build some strength for any other upcoming duels. Drake gives Cristoph a little nod of greeting, but the man seems quite busy, so he doesn't linger by the entrance. He's properly announced... but he's already inside at the tableside, moving in like a shark on the spread. He takes a seat near the end of the table, since he represents a small-sized house, but there's plenty of space for everyone.
Drake has joined the end of the shield sigil table.
Preston steps into the hall, his usual armour replaced with the white aeterna silks with the tri-ringed symbol of the Faith. Of course, at his hip are still his two swords and his hand rests on the pommel of the uppermost sword to steady the pair as he walks. Glancing around the room, Preston finds himself just behind Sorrel and he lets out a gentle laugh "Princess Sorrel. It seems we are destined to bump into one another today - the fates in that are most kind to me."
Ryhalt enters with a smile, but without his wife. He returns Alis and Cristoph's greetings. Not to clog the door, he continues on into the dining room to admire the artistry of the spread.
"I took the fish down," Cristoph can be heard saying, having managed to catch Alis telling people not to look at the walls. What fish? Nevermind that. It's down! "Hello, hello," he offers to someone else. Mabelle is given a flash of a smile for 'honey duke'. "Inquisitor Korka," he offers when the woman passes him. "Good evening, Duke Farshaw."
Prince Greason, a porcine second to none have been dismissed.
"Welcome." Alis greets Korka, smiling at the woman and then inclining her head politely at Monique before leaning in to hear what she has to say. There is a quiet murmur back, and a bit of a brow furrow before she murmurs something back and offers a less quiet thank you to her cousin in law. Sorrel gets a cheerful wave and a blown kiss of course, and to Ryhalt a nod of her head.
A fairly late arrival, for someone who /lives/ in the manor, Zara's demeanor remains courteous as she walks through the dining room, taking a seat as close as she can to Alis. "Apologies for the delay." She nods to those arriving and those already sat down. "Mabelle, you look wonderful." Her eyes seem to liven as she studies the woman's outfit, her lips only slightly twitching. She turns to Preston when he arrives. "Grandmaster." She greets with deference, before settling down.
Gwenys has joined the end of the shield sigil table.
There are quiet greetings and/or respectful nods as appropriate for people who acknowledge Natalia Whisper, but otherwise she is finding somewhere to settle in and watch quite promptly.
Amari strolls in at an unhurried pace, and is stopped both by the unexpected herald trumpeting and Alis. She naturally, and almost reflexively curtseys and murmurs a polite sounding greeting paired with a 'Your Grace'. Everything is going well in the realm of etiquette until she flatly refuses to comply with the suggestion of the High Lady. She does look at the walls, and all the various sigils and crests hung upon them. Half transfixed, she wanders further into the room, saying, "It will be impossible to do anything else now."
Talwyn has joined the a round table draped in embroidered lace.
Mabelle collects a drink, momentarily stepping to stand next to Cristoph and murmurs to him, "Someone suggested I ink my scar with the house sigil, I told them if anyone is going to put a permenant bee on their body, it will most likely be you". A smile and wave is offered to Ryhalt, Sorrel and Drake as they enter and then her eyes settle on Zara, "Why thank you, Zara, but not as radiant as you".
Cristoph checks composure at normal. Cristoph marginally fails.
Alis squint at Cristoph. "Were you responsible for the dead fish on the wall? I don't even remember now." SIGH. She affects a quite put upon pose towards the Duke, not even catching things about bees and bodies, fortunately. And continues to murmur quietly for a moment with Monique.
For someone wearing armor, Irony can move surprisingly quietly; the squire is through the door and into the dining room almost before anyone can notice her arrival. But upon seeing so many of the illustrious of the realm, the nobles and the high and mighty, the young woman comes to something of an abrupt stop -- and, in fact, takes one step backwards -- as if suddenly reconsidering whether or not she actually belongs at this gathering.
"Just don't end up with a permanent necklace as I did," Sorrel replies with a measure of amusement to Mabelle, reaching up to touch her throat briefly with a wry look.
What did Mabelle just say to Cristoph? He's in the midst of taking a glass of wine off of a passing tray when he hears 'it will most likely be you'. Mid-sip he suddenly sputters and puts a hand to this throat. "Oh, don't be ridiculous. Do you really think I'd do something like that?" And then he takes a much deeper drink of his wine and is distractd by Alis' question. The High Lord is given a very INNOCENT look.
Cristoph has joined the a round table draped in embroidered lace.
Katarina has joined the a round table draped in embroidered lace.
Alis lights up at the entrance of her squire; making sure her voice reaches the young woman. "Irony! Come in, come in. I'm so glad you could make it. Princess Sorrel, have you had the pleasure of meeting Irony? My squire? Princess Sorrel is a protege of mine. I'm relieved I am finally able to have the two of you meet." she enthuses sincerely, with a more somber nod given to the Lady Greenmarch after that. "Let me know?"
Alis spots Gwenys and Drake next, giving a smile and wave. And there's Natalia! If she misses someone, blame it on her being so darn short.
Mabelle scans Cristoph from head to toe with a grin, merely replying, "Yes", not before taking a step or two to the side to avoid an incidental second splutter. She winces at Sorrel, as she marks her neck, "Oh I assure you that is not my goal in life", with an afforded wink in her direction. Traveling her gaze about the room and not the walls, Mabelle settles on Katarina, "Princess, what a pleasure to see you again, it has been so very long since our meeting at the tea shop".
Alis has joined the a round table draped in embroidered lace.
Mabelle has joined the middle of the shield sigil table.
Korka has joined the middle of the shield sigil table.
Drake looks up when Irony is introduced, and gives her a grin. "Ah. The squire! It's been a long time since I saw you about." With a glass of whiskey now filled, he raises it in greeting. "How has city life been treating you this past year?"
Ryhalt returns Mabelle's wave with a smile and a nod. He looks about as if hoping to see someone, but nods again to himself when he doesn't seem to find them.
Monique has joined the beginning of the shield sigil table.
Irony brightens slightly when Alis calls her name out, slipping through the crowd eagerly towards a more-familiar face. "Hello, your grace! Yes, I've met Princess Sorrel before, in passing. She sang some songs that I listened to. And there's a few others I've met as well." A nod towards Drake, suggesting that he is in fact one of them. "The city's interesting. It's very different than where I grew up, you know. So there's always still more to see -- and more to learn."
Monique tips her bright head to Alis and then casts about for a place to claim a seat.
Gwenys gives Alis a wink from afar when the High Lord acknowledges her, the young Valardin soon low-key filling her glass of whiskey to start the proceedures. As people talk, she smiles, but eventually, when people won't touch the food, she does so, and silently begins to fill her place, eager to taste what her Arxian cousins have been eating for the last few years.
Kastelon meanders in quietly without his usual companion - it seemed ill suited, indeed, for the hound to accompany him to such a dinner - but he lingers further back, as if to gauge the room when he's coming in...
Natalia flashes a quick grin and dips her head Alis's way when she catches that wave, lifting the glass she's managed to get hold of. Otherwise her attention is bouncing around, watching introductions as they get made, attentive to faces.
Natalia has joined the end of the shield sigil table.
Ryhalt has joined the beginning of the shield sigil table.
Preston inclines his head to Zara as she arrives "Your highness. I hope that you are well. We still remember that charity event with great fondness." He offers with a warm smile before he looks around to try and find himself a seat at the table so he can begin to enjoy the company. And the food.
Preston has joined the beginning of the shield sigil table.
Zara has joined the a round table draped in embroidered lace.
Drake is getting a filled plate now, since there's so much to partake of and he's only going to wait until the proper requisite time. But he gives a nod to Kastelon when he looks up toward him. "Hey there. Bit of a crowd today, but at least there's plenty of meat too." He makes brief eye contact with Natalia when she sits down nearby. "Hello there. Not sure if we've met. Drake." He affords a glance down to her gown, or at least, that's probably what he's looking at.
Alis waves both Irony and Sorrel towards the lace covered table if they like. Since it's not often she gets to catch up with either of them. And she's already set down a glass of mead there to claim a chair there as her own. "The city is interesting. It's much more lively than Sanctum where I grew up, that is certain." she offers, finally setting down now that it seems maybe most people have made their arrival and it's safe to do so.
Count Philippe Blanchard is glad that the winter has ended. He can switch from his heavier wool cloaks to his lighter wool cloaks over his standard traveling armor. He may be convinced to wear a color. We will see. The old man waits his turn to be announced, nods, and then moves into the room to retrieve a glass of wine and a chunk of boar. Philippe loves him some burnt boar ends.
Philippe walks up to start looking at Sorrel considering all the attention on her. He squints as he considers the scar.
"So what did you put onto the other one?"
Mabelle sends her girl to fill a plate for her and raises a hand gently to greet Kastelon from her seat at the middle of the table. "Sir Preston", she rises for a moment to offer a bow to the man she owes her life to, before settling again. Mabelle then turns toward Ryhalt, inviting him to share their table before settling on Gwenys, "Good evening, I'm not certain we've met. Lady Mabelle Laurent", she smiles at the woman.
Kastelon gives an upnod to Drake as well and meanders that way on having noticed he's been spotted. The faint shadow of a smile finding him underneath that beard of his. "Just a bit of a crowd, indeed," he agrees, when he's gotten close enough to be able to speak without raising his voice, a hand rising to give a little stroke of his beard. Mabelle's wave gets a nod in return, and a tip of his head in acknowledgement from where he's standing, and that half-smile of his as well.
After having said hello to the majority of the people who arrived, Cristoph finds his way to one of the tables and sits down while the guests collect their plates. It's something he also totally does on the way there, it's not like he misses his meals or anything.
"I'm so delighted that you have High Lady Alis for a mentor, Squire Irony," Sorrel offers with warmth, following along after Alis in a cheerful sort of way. "Arx is rather lively, and filled with such exciting people. Growing up in Blancbier, we always had Mercies coming in to train, which was interesting, but if you're not that excited about new medical techniques, it gets boring fast."
"Natalia Whisper," she answers Drake with a tilt of her head in greeting and a smile. "I do not believe we have met; it's a pleasure to meet you." She does have a delightful dress on; not that she seems to notice the look at it.
Irony has joined the a round table draped in embroidered lace.
While the white-haired Valardin girl is busy drinking, Mabelle speaks to her, garnering a smile while the Princess places her silverware down, and extends her hand to shake Mabelle's, leaning over the table itself a little to do so. "It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance! Da- Princes Gwenys Valardin, general of the Clop Clops Company. To whom I owe the honor?" She drops back on her seat, her eyes slowly drifting from Mabelle and to Count Philippe as the man walks in. Her posture gets better, and she subtly cleans her lips with the back of her h- a napkin. With a napkin. When Natalia introduces herself, Gwenys' eyes go wide for a second there, a smile on her lips but she doesn't say anything, focusing back on Mabelle again.
2 Valardin Knights arrives, following Sirius.
Lady Astraea, a provincial Oathlander, 2 Valardin Knights arrive, following Damiana.
Sorrel has joined the a round table draped in embroidered lace.
"I've never been to Sanctum," Irony admits, though she nods her thanks to Alis as she takes her seat at the table. "I'd like to, someday. It sounds interesting. Especially with all the history there. Well, the folklore about the history, anyway!" She grins, a little sheepishly. "I'd /like/ to believe it all, but who knows how much of it is true? Some of it seems like the sort of bedtime stories mother would tell, with heroes and dragons, and magic that was great and terrible and wonderful all at the same time."
Gwenys sharply whistles at Damiana, waving wildly at the blind Princess' guide and yelling Damiana's so her sister, and probably half the dinner, know where Gwenys is.
Ryhalt shakes his head slightly to Mabelle as he takes his food past her towards the beginning of the table and settles down there.
Natalia nods at Gwenys as if in answer to a question when the Princess looks her way, offering a quick smile. No further attempt is made to get the other woman's attention, though she does look in Damiana's direction quite curiously over the greeting that's sent that way.
Cornelius, a studious looking attendant arrives, delivering a message to Cristoph before departing.
Korka looks at each person as the names are being tossed about, otherwise speaking quietly to those on her side of the table.
Mabelle's wandering eyes scan's Natalia's eyes with an approving smirk before returning her attention to Gwenys, "Good evening Princess. Lady Mabelle Laurent - the Clops Clops company?", she asks very curiously before jumping at that whistle, smiling as she notices Damiana.
"Ah, a Whisper. Now that explains it, perhaps. I haven't been frequenting, though I did speak to Anisha recently about some diplomatic matters." Drake nods at Natalia. "Welcome to the Valardin dinner, then. Are you a friend of the family?"
Sirius comes traipsing by with a book on his left hand, it splayed open across its palm. While reading, Sirius maneuvers with learned method past the puzzle of table, chairs, and people, eventually finding that particular spot which he has unlawfully claimed as his numerous times in the past to sit his spindly and decrepit body down. His knotted expression presents an obvious fact: this one's appetite hangs on a thin balance, and he views the delectable selection across the table with pensive evaluation.
"You can join me next time I have to travel back there! I should meet with the Seraph again soon; he will know every bit of lore about Sanctum you could ever want to know I'm sure. And he is a warrior as well." Alis expression is almost wistful at mention of heroes and dragons and magic. "It's both very majestic, and exciting, but also solemn. Like there is a great weight expected of those who are there. At least, it always felt that way." she asides to Irony, and then towards Sorrel. "You'd be welcome too, of course. It has been ages since you've been there I imagine."
Entering quite late is Damiana with her lady in waiting, the eruption of voices filling the dining room causes her to pause at the doorway. But with the whistle by Gwenys, there's a grin that spreads to her face as she makes her way slowly over thanks to Astraea's help. "Hello General! I don't know if it's an honor to be whistled at or do I feel like a pet. I'll chalk it up that you didn't have Yilbegan on you to call me over." To others that are around Gwenys she can hear, she says "Hello. I was just enjoying late hymns being sung in the chapel. You can't hurry up something so beautiful can you."
Preston smiles back to Mabelle at the greeting and waves his fingers from his seat, using a napkin to wipe his first samplings of the food from his features. Catching the end of Alis' comment, Preston nods and raises his voice to add "The Seraph is most wise and considered, a great mind of the Orthodoxy. His caution and prudence have served us all well. I am most humbled to be able to count myself as one of the senior Orthodoxy alongside the Seraph."
Something about Drake's words has Natalia's head tilting a little further to the side at him, expression one of vaguely amused bewilderment. He's studied, she glances around those nearby before her attention comes back. She waits about two heartbeats then, and then lets out a quiet laugh as she ducks her head. "I would not presume to say so," she answers him. "But they were kind enough to include me in the invitation, probably given some of the work that I do in the Oathlands. I would not be too concerned that we have not bumped into one another, I...am not often spotted out in the wild, and I do not believe you are a member of the Academy of War?"
"I'd be willing to make the trip, though I did aid Princess Alarissa Thrax on a pilgrimage she made there to atone to the Faith for deeds now forgiven," Sorrel offers with an easy smile to Alis, nodding her head to this. "But I'll make the travelling more pleasant by never shutting up when it comes to telling stories and folklore and singing songs about heroes of myth. Actually, Prince Talwyn was looking to help me add on to the Metallic Cycle. We're very excited about a healer named Titanium who came from the venerable Oathlands family Ferron. I was so excited to tell Dame Ida. She made my sword. Have you seen it? It's //amazing//."
"Lady Mabelle Laurent. I love your whole style! Pretty... pretty!" She shrugs apologeticaly, unsure of how to define clothes other than that. "Clop Clops Company. Bunch of untested soldiers, kind of like me. We are going to crash against Eurusi and hope to come back in one piece. Good people," says Gwenys, selling her generalship with some bravado, even going so far as to nodding to herself and fist pumping her own chest. She's got this. At Damiana's arrival, Gwenys grins and gets more relaxed, "No Yilbegan, so whistles you get!" She stands up and mean-stares Lady Astraea so the lady in waiting lets Gwenys help Damiana with finding a seat to her liking. "You have to taste the whiskey, it is ~so~ amazing! Oh, and to your right is Lady Mabelle Laurent. Sweet like Laurent honey! The others are the Sword of Highhill, Lord Drake and Natalia Whisper, from the Academy of War! I told you about her." Speaking of which, she adds, talking to Natalia and Drake, "Yes she is a friend! She founded the Academy of War with Marquis Keaton. She is absolutely a friend."
Sirra, a very quiet maid arrives, delivering a message to Preston before departing.
At the table that Cristoph is seated with Alis, there's a quite conversation that develops between the two. It's interrupted only briefly when he accepts a messenger, reading the contents and chuckling to himself. Now is not the time for answering things, however! So he folds it over and tucks it away in one of his pockets. After which, he taks his fork and rings it against the side of a glass to gather the attention of those seated. It also involves him standing up to speak.
"Honored guests, thank you for coming and dining with us this evening. As we all know, High Lord Alis has called House Valardin's banners. There's no doubt in my mind that we'll see war again in the coming months. To steel our spirits against what may come, I'd ask that we share some stories of bravery that we've encountered in the field. I'll start," Cristoph smiles and raises his wine glass in Mabelle's direction. "I've seen bravery in the actions of Lady Mabelle Laurent. When battle was brought to our home, she wouldn't stand idly by in relative safety. She rushed out in to the field to tend to the wounded, with no regard for her own life." Then he sits down and while they wait for the next person, he accepts /another/ messenger.
Philippe has joined the end of the shield sigil table.
Cornelius, a studious looking attendant arrives, delivering a message to Cristoph before departing.
"I am not," says Drake to Natalia, but clearly showing interest in her comment. "So you are... a scholar-general of sorts." Gwenys confirms this, and he nods to it. "Ah, now I see. The Academy of War must keep you quite busy. You're the one I'll remember if I need to learn how to be a better leader on the battlefield, then, eh?" He nods then to Gwenys. "Clops Clops Company, I've heard of them. Do you believe there will be much call for mounted calvalry in the near future? They seem like the sort I'd enjoy a drill with."
Damiana has joined the end of the shield sigil table.
Preston has joined the line.
Sorrel has joined the line.
As the formal program begins, Philippe moves over to sit somewhere near Drake, perhaps to keep tabs on him. He nods to those at that end of the table as he settles in to listen to some stories.
Katarina has joined the line.
Mabelle catches tidbits of what Sorrel is saying far far away from her, making note to ask her about it late. A beaming smile is sent to Gwenys for the compliment. On that turns to laughter as she explains what the Clop Clop Company is, "A suitable name. I've met Princess Damiana, are you sisters?", she smiles, "A double pleasure then". But as Cristoph calls her out, she looks horrified and jokes, "So, not to raise a toast to staying in the carriage?". That's a private jokes and there are no other Laurents in the house. Oh boy oh boy.
Amari couldn't resist wandering the periphery of the room, looking at each and every family crest, sigil and device she passes. It's not until Cristoph addresses the assembled that she realizes just about everyone has already sat and are digging in to their meals. The nearest seat is found and she settles in unobtrusively with a smile to her nearest neighbors, Monique, Ryhalt and Preston.
Amari has joined the beginning of the shield sigil table.
Natalia does not even try to hide the grin she sends Gwenys's direction. No attempt is made. She grins, she lifts her glass to the Princess, and then she drinks again. Dinner = whiskey, apparently. She's picking at her food. "I am primarily a diplomat," she answers Drake with amusement. "A pleasure, Princess Damiana." While she doesn't stop talking, she does quiet down, lowering her voice to something more conversational for those nearby.
Alis raises her glass to Preston when he speaks of the Seraph in such glowing terms. "He is a source of strength and wisdom." is agreed, a nod given to Duke Laurent as he speaks and begins the call for stories of bravery. With volunteers already queue'ing up to offer their tales of bravery, she might even look relieved.
Turn in line: Preston
"Do the Whispers still teach on things like leadership?" Korka asks, tone mild as her gaze falls on Natalia, "I thought they were mostly doing dance lessons and throwing parties these days."
"It's diplomacy that will probably win things in the end," Drake confesses to Natalia. "As much as we knights love to draw a blade. I'm better at that, but I've been learning a bit of diplomacy on some missions with Count Philppe." Apparently there will be... some stories now, so he hushes a bit, looking back to his food.
When asked if she is Damiana's sister, Gwenys glues her scarred cheek to her sister's to smile, so maybe people will see the resemblance. When word of Mabelle's exploits is uttered, Gwenys raises her glass and takes a healthy sip from it. Gwenys is about to answer Drake when Count Philippe approaches, causing the Princess to clear her throat and changing her voice a bit to sound deeper, more heroic. "Oh, I cannot speak for mounted cavalry, but any battlefield like such as the ones that are wait us could benefit from Oathland knights charging against the enemies of the Compact, I daresay." She gives a sagely nod at the end so she looks even more serious and respectable, growing silent for the stories told.
The question aimed her way by Korka has Natalia looking that way, and she smiles and gives an easy sort of nod. "Whisper certainly does, yes," she says. "I hope that parties and dance lessons are not all that we do; if so, I make a very poor Whisper." She does not sound particularly worried about it. "It is always good to learn such things, to have more tools to draw upon," she tells Drake agreeably before she too hushes the rest of the way for story time.
Preston finishing murmering something in response to Monique, Preston pushes himself to his feet as his name is called "Your Grace, your highnesses, Lords, Ladies, guests. My apologies for I will abuse your patience with two tales but alike in their bravery. The first is of one of those who gave her name to one of the ships we just launched. Were it Dame Sugan, it would be a great story. But it is Little Sister. Dame Thena Grayhope. At Stormwall, when we were on the retreat, she had her horse and the only alaricite or diamondplate she had was a dagger. And when a large lumbering knight of the Gyre appeared and killed Lady Eirlys, so Thena charged still with us. For a righteous cause, to whatever result would come - to buy the wounded and the shamans some seconds more to escape."
Preston gives a heavy sigh after that "But. There is one other tale I would share. And that is of Dame Ida Ferron. Dame Ida is not a warrior. She is a smith. A damned good smith whose skill must make Jayus weep with joy. When we went to rid Blackram of an abandoned warlord, The Reaper, she joined us. Because the cause was good. And we fought, and all those fighting Ines Chevalle were badly hurt save myself. And yet, Dame Ida didn't retreat even one step in that fight. Because the cause was righteous. And she tried to punch The Reaper still, and distracted her so I could land the killing blow." A warm smile spreads over Preston's features "To them both, I owe my life, my friendship, and my respect. And I look forward to when we can all be in a hall together again."
Sirra, a very quiet maid arrives, delivering a message to Preston before departing.
Mabelle has joined the line.
Drake has joined the line.
Turn in line: Sorrel
"Let me tell you about one of my experiences at the Defense of the Lodge!" Sorrel says, standing up so that she can better tell the story with drama and emphasis. "Much of the bloodiest of the fighting was over by this point, but the enemy was still a threat. Their monstrous weapons were incredibly deadly, and many a brave man died facing them. They were quite tricky to defeat, frequently requiring the use of siege weapons in addition to other troops. Every clash with them was intense and nightmarish." She pauses for effect, pacing slightly as she tells the tale.
"And then," the Thrax princess continues in her Oathlands accent, "High Lord Edain came to me quietly, the battles largely won but not yet over. We cannot let them build more weapons, he said to me. We cannot let them start this fight again. We must cut them down now. And I have heard a rumor of where they are assembling these weapons. Will you bring your sword and aid me in stopping them?"
Sorrel grins at this, drawing her sword so that she can gesture with it dramatically. "Of course, I said yes," she notes. "And so the High Lord gathered a small group to him, a fierce and flexible group that could slip through enemy lines quietly, to get to the evil agents of the enemy who built the terrible machines, the weapons that destroyed so many lives. This group was bold and desperate, sneaking in secret, knowing that we needed to protect the High Lord's audacity to go after this group himself."
A pause for drama, and Sorrel sheathes her sword again. "We found them, right where His Grace had indicated. And he and I fought back-to-back, as he shielded me from blows, and I sang to the gods as we cut down the hateful agents of the enemy. They put up a terrible defense, and we were sorely wounded, but in the end, victorious! An incredibly brave man, the High Lord Edain, and ultimately willing to do what he must for the good of all, even to risk his own life to fight the enemy himself."
Sorrel smiles and bows to High Lady Alis. "And that is my tale of your dear brother's bravery," she says. "He is an incredible man and I am honored to know him."
Ryhalt has left the beginning of the shield sigil table.
After telling his own story, Cristoph has had another quick exchange with Alis. Though it seems for now other messengers aren't coming and he appears just a tiny bit relieved for that. He listens quietly and politely as Preston and then Sorrel go on with their own tales. He claps thoroughly at the end of each of them. "I had the opporunity to meet Grandmaster Thena a few times when I briefly worked with the Knights of Solace as a disciple, Grandmaster Preston. She was a remarkable woman."
Turn in line: Katarina
Alis stands so that she can return Sorrel's bow this time, a fond and affectionate smile on her face for the memory of her brother. "Thank you, Your Highness. I feel certain we will hear tales of his bravery all the way from Eurus soon."
Gwenys nods at the story told of the former Highlord, a smile of pride on her features and a nod given at the sight of Alis bowing in return of the story. She raises her glass in poignant silence in honor of the man, and drinks her whiskey. "Prince Edain was the man," she murmurs, before resting her head on Damiana's shoulder to better enjoy the stories.
Edain has another sister, as it turns out, and she's next in line. The way that Katarina's veil flutters slightly makes it clear that she's swallowing back Big Emotions, after the tale told of her brother's courage. "...I will keep my story short," the tiny, veiled Princess says.
"My arrival to the Compact was very nearly my death. When I was found, with what few remained of my ship's crew... my ship was less a ship, and more like such as driftwood with overzealous ambition." Katarina still speaks with her Suj'abbati accent, stressing odd syllables and making vowels sound strange in Arvani. "We were starving. Half-dead. Delirious, just about."
"It was High Lord Alis who found me," Katarina says, gesturing toward the woman as she names her. "It was she who decided to bring me aboard her ship, though I did not speak her language, and she who decided to bring me back to Sanctum... as a ward, rather than a prisoner. I would not be alive, let alone a Princess, or an Admiral, or a Disciple of the Sentinel, or any of these things that I am within House Valardin and our Great Compact, if it was not for the choice made by the Highlord, she who I am honored to call sister. Her decision took true bravery, to face down the unknown and offer it one's open hand, rather than the point of a sword. Though war clouds our horizon, it is that bravery shown by my sister that I will forever attempt to match, as I seek to do what is just~. ...this turned out to not be so quick. My apologies~."
Katarina gives Alis a little head-nod and then scurries back to her seat.
Alis checks composure at normal. Botch! Alis catastrophically fails.
Preston claps politely for Sorrel as she finishes her tale, giving a broad smile "That sounds like Prince Edain - and I am glad you all thinned things at the lodge as you did. Those of us in the last line, well. What made it through was quite enough." Cristoph's comments get another nod "She remains so, I believe, my lord. Wherever her, Dame Esoks and the others went, I have to hope they will return. I do not have so many dear friends I am minded to give up on two of them at once. It might make me look a little careless." But Preston hushes as Katarina gives her talk and he claps politely as she finishes, giving the table a suitable thump for the tales of Alis' braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Turn in line: Mabelle
Nope. Alis was not expecting that story. She's already one glass of mead in, and it's just been refilled when Katarina starts to speak. Obviously, she is going to be mid gulp when it's her name that comes off the Eurusi Princess' lips, and here she goes again with the coughing. This time not from laughing, but also fortunately not from poison so everyone stay calm! It's from surprise. And then maybe the one-two punch of a story about her brother, followed by the story about herself and her breath hitches. And shit, that's a... yep, a muffled sob behind her napkin. A swipe at the corner of her eyes as she tries to scowl at Kat for making her /cry/ in ftont of /people/. She doesn't do that, dammit! "Pardon me, I'll just..." She clears her throat, and grabs the whiskey glass of whoever has one at the table to drink down the whole shot. Sorry!
Mabelle rises for a moment from her seat with a filled glass in her hand. She casts a warm smile to the emotional Alis before directing her glass to Cristoph, if only to provide a distraction, "My Duke was flattering me and left out the best part of the story", she begins and shares with the diners, "The bravery I presented according to my cousin was perhaps notable, however some will say ill advised. I was a sitting duck, quite literally and was struck down, fell unconcious. If it wasnt for the bravery of Sir Preston", Mabelle indicates him with her glass, "Lady Adalyn and Lady Veronica forming a physical barrier between me and my attackers, I might not have been here tonight". A smile is cast toward Preston in enternal gratitude.
Before she sits, she does add, "And ever since whenever we go out to the field and I join as the house physician, I am firmly reminded to stay in the carriage". The glass is raised and she toasts, "To brave souls" and drinks it.
Katarina detours from taking her seat to discreetly come up behind Alis's chair and rub her shoulders a little during Mabelle's story. This is ridiculous, because Alis's shoulders are armored, but it at least makes it harder for Alis to hit Katarina with another glare.
Sirius quietly mixes the wine contents of a lowball glass in hand by a slow, but methodically cantilevered movement of his wrist. With his other, he occasionally plucks strawberries and grapes to flick them into his mouth while listening to the occasional tale with more-or-less attention. "I heard the battle for the Lodge was a bloody one," agrees Sirius, whose expression wanes a tad at the notion.
Turn in line: Drake
Preston is overheard praising Mabelle: It takes more bravery and courage to place glass before a hurricane than to place a rock before a blade. Knights find battle because it is our life, healers go to battle because it is their enemy but where they are most in need. That is good. That is courage.
"You'll never stay in the carriage," Cristoph remarks across the room to Mabelle, chuckling to himself. He drinks back the rest of his wine, settling in to listen to more of the stories. When Alis has such a reaction to Katarina's he briefly reaches over and squeezes her arm before returning to his meal.
Drake nods to Mabelle at her story, and then raises his his voice as it's his turn to speak. "I'd like to speak a little about my older brother." Drake sits back in his seat, for a moment, pushing away a mostly empty plate. He keeps his glass in one hand.
"Not many know I suppose the specifics of our reclaiming of the Highhill territories... save Sorrel, I suppose, who was there for it and did an important part. But she'll be one to tell her story. I'm no bard, so I'll try to be brief for my sake and yours."
He sits up straighter as he begins to speak with more detail. "There were those who warned us that the odds were impossible-" He doesn't look at Korka, but she can surely feel that he almost wants to, "But when the Thornweave began to surrender elsewhere we knew we finally had a chance to drive them back for good. We cut our way through deadly vines to a mostly destroyed building where the Thornweave had taken the strongest root."
"The thing we faced in there, I hesitate to describe. It was all I could do to drive away its wicked thorned blows. But my brother, Richard, ah, where I hesitated, he charged forward, driving Dame Katryn's blade point first into the eye of the plant-like beast, and doing what had to be done to reclaim the cathedral." Drake sits back again, and lifts his glass. "The now Count Richard would never be one to come to such a loud event and boast about his bravery, so I must do it on his behalf."
The line has been dismissed by Cristoph.
Ryhalt smiles light, bittersweet as he listens to the stories of bravery. He lifts his glass to toast at appropriate places, but no longer touches his plate.
When they get to the last person (Drake!) speaking on bravery, Cristoph claps his hands. "Thank you for telling us that story of Count Richard, you're right. If you hadn't been here to speak about it, we might never have known and that would have been the shame." A glance is shared over to Alis, checking on her disposition before he continues. "Thank you to everyone who decided to share with us tonight. I hope that you can enjoy the rest of the meal and feel free to stay as long as you like."
Amari listens to the stories of bravery and courage, mostly, to the point she doesn't even touch her food. Her hands instead stay together in her lap, save when she's giving a quiet round of applause to each of the storytellers.
Once it seems like everyone has shared Korka pipes up, "I once did a fact finding missions for Duke Arn when I didn't leave a room fast enough and returned the results to him in the same week. He then looked at me very sternly and told me that I was absolutely adequate in all ways. It's honestly my fondest memory of the man. Because otherwise he was a real asshole."
Drake is overheard praising Cristoph.
Drake is overheard praising Alis.
Shortly after Cristoph announces the official end of the dinner, Ryhalt is tapped upon his shoulder by his page. With a tightening of eyes that speaks of contained anger, he rises and departs, pausing only to make farewells as appropriate.
Kiera is overheard praising Scythia: a gracious hostess
Kiera is overheard praising Kalani: you did a great job of hosting
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.
After eating half the dessert table and magically not tearing her entire gown at the seams, Mabelle rises and bows her head to Alis and her cousin, saying some goodbyes before she departs.
Katarina has left the a round table draped in embroidered lace.
Juba'al'samara, a Suj'abbati royal guardsman, A dutiful Valardin aide, 2 Valardin Knights leave, following Katarina.
Elena, a solemn knight attache, Alette, a discreet lady's maid, Isabel, a calm diplomatic aide, 4 Valardin Knights leave, following Zara.
Mabelle has left the middle of the shield sigil table.
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