Dec. Grayson Family Dinner
Dec. 15, 2020, 9 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Grayson Mansion - Dining Room
Comments and Log
As usual the dining room at Grayson Mansion is hopping tonight! Just about every meat one could want is set out on the overly long table and there's Princess Sabella standing by the door to greet everyone, "Welcome! Please come in and find a seat and something to eat and drink, maybe not in that order!"
Harlan makes his way in. He looks rather lonely tonight, since Lisebet isn't with him. He bows to Sabella as he enters, his usual big goofy smile on his face. "Your Highness. My better half could not make it this evening. I hope I am still allowed."
Felicia's among those filtering in, though this time sans her usual armor and most of her array of weaponry. Offering a respectful bow to Sabella before making her way towards a seat.
Niklas enters a bit late given that he lives here, but showing up is better than the alternative, right? As he walks he holds up a beautiful (well, uh) bib embroidered with a very colorful pig which he ties around his neck. To his assistant Sam he chatters away, "...gave me this bib and I thought well surely this means that they recognize my love for delicious ham and other products of our friend the pig, but mostly the ham obviously, and was truly appreciative of a beautiful gift. Not sure why it has to be a bib, but I suppose that it just makes certain everyone knows whose side I am on at the dinner table. Like a tabard, but for dining."
Draped in finery and silks the color of amethyst, Princess Elizabetha glides into the chamber with her head held high and face alight with smiles for all she passes. The burnished cascade of her sleek, golden hair flows down her back in waves, swaying at her hips with each motion of her willowy frame. "Cousin!" she brightens to see Sabella and sweeps up the other Grayson into an embrace, releasing her with a playful grin. "Good to see you, my dear." Airy as a swan in flight, she breezes over to the table laden in delicacies and selects a few onto her plate, settling her attention to the newcomers as she moves down the line. "Hello!" she warms to Harlan and sketches a smooth curtsey, balancing her platter in one hand. Only upon third glance is the shadow of fatigue apparent, writ across her features in the darkness beneath her eyes and the slight wear in her smile.
"Do make sure to try a little bit of everything tonight! The boar is from a hunt just this morning and I'm told the pies are truly delightful this evening," Sabella points out, laughing at Niklas wears his tabard, "My love, I don't think anyone has any misgivings about what side you might be on--and I always do make sure to set the ham down by the throne there," she grins and then says to Elizabetha, "Do make sure to have some of the cupcakes as well! There's so much sugar in them that you'll be running around the room in circles much like Relara does. All the time. And we'll be sure to keep you company, Duke Harlan, so you aren't lonely! I know that there was a big war council this evening so our numbers might be slim."
Felicia can't help but eye Niklas' dining tabard, a smirk crossing her face briefly before she rises to collect some whiskey and fill her plate with generous portions of several kinds of meat... and some vegetables mostly for coloring. Content to people watch for now among the smattering of nobles.
Harlan smiles and gives a bow to Elizabetha as well. Then Niklas too! So many people to greet at these things. He turns hist attnetion to Sabella for a moment, "How kind of you your highness. I do often feel lost without her at these social gatherings." He says with a grin before he starts loading up a plate, "Well, looks like we have a small intimate dinner. We can all be best friends after this and have a joke only we know and the others will have to be sad they missed it."
"No Duchess Lisebet," says Niklas of Harlan with some horror. "Well, I suppose we do have to take you with her, don't we?" Ignoring that that's not quite how that works, Niklas offers Elizabetha a bright smile and wave. "Princess Eliza! We just had someone the other day ask us to pass on his greetings to you. I couldn't say who it was as I have since forgotten, but it was fairly recently and I assume that he was quite handsome or she was entirely lovely, whichever would make this story better. So hi!" Felicia gets a wave. "Good evening, Dame Felicia! How goes Harrow house? Hale, hopefully!"
Felicia dips her head Niklas' way, waiting until she's swallowed before offering wryly,"Indeed, your highness. I do like your bib. I'm not sure I've seen it's like before." her recommendation to Harlan offered in the form of,"I mean, we could simply say it was a boaring event... in honor of his highness'... dining... tabard... thing, and the boar?"
With heed to Sabella's words, Elizabetha snags a few cupcakes for her plate and steps away from the banquet table, fluttering an excited wave to Niklas as she moves to her seat. "Oh, who am I to discriminate!" she laughs with a bright beam to the prince as she settles down, setting her plate in front of her upon the lace. Side by side with Felicia, she flashes that sunny smile and dips her head, "Good evening, Dame! I am glad you could join us tonight. The dinner is..." her eyes sweep the space with laughter in their depths, "A touch sparse on this one." Lips quirked, she nods her warm approval to Harlan as she spears a morsel on the tip of her fork.
Sabella grins at Harlan as she has a seat at the table herself, accepting a mostly filled already plate from Elizabetta, "I think that's a wonderful idea!" she says to Felicia with a laugh, "And I would be quite sad if we all left this table as anything less than best friends! But I suppose we might as well start the evening off with the little game that we play where we each share something interesting that we've done or are about to do and then choose the next person to go. I think we ought to be able to get through that rather quickly even! So I will begin! Lord Jyri and I were able to, with the help of everyone in the city who donated items and bid on them, raise over a million silver for the rebuilding the Cathedral project! There have been several fundraisers so far and I think that Sir Porter has his hands--or at least his pockets--quite full figuring out what to do with all the silver!" she picks up her wine glass and looks towards Harlan, "Duke Harlan! What have you been up to of late?"
"Sadly no Duchess today your highness." Harlan says with a bit of a frown to Niklas. He perks up rather suddenly though, "Oh I could go get the mini-duchess if you are missing her that much. She is quite adorable too after all. Although not quite as good at conversation I find." He grins at Felicia, "I think it would be more fun to make them all think they missed out on something huge. We can tell them Princess Sabella gave us all free steelsilk." He finally takes a seat and wields his utensils. He is mid bite when Sabella calls on him, which earns a surprised look from the duke. He takes his time to chew and swallow, likely trying to buy himself some time. "To be honest your highness, I have done nothing new since last we played this game, other than prepare my people for war and the hardships that will follow." He takes a drink of his wine. After he swallows he smiles again, "As for plan to do? Well the second annual Bovine Grand Prix in Ashford Keep is fast approaching. I am hoping it comes before the horns of war are sounded. Something like a nice festive thing to help my people forget the coming hardships, even if just for a day." Seems the mental well being of his citizenry is something that weighs on him.
Harlan adds in at the end, cause he totally remembered. "Princess Elizabetha? How about you?"
Felicia inclines her head respectfully to Elizabetha,"Your highness." she offers with a smile,"The problem with that, your grace, is that in my neck of the proverbial woods, everyone would want to see the proof. And my sister would kill me if I spent that much from the family coffers." she offers wryly, perking at the mention of the Bovine Grand Prix curiously as she steadily makes her way through her plate.
Ippolito, a highly trained personal guard, 6 Grayson House Guards arrive, following Roxana.
None Are Greater Than Grayson At Attending Family Gatherings! This is a true fact and yet one Grayson who isn't super Great in this (and only this) regard is the Princess Roxana, who arrives to dinner very likely after the first courses have already been served and consumed, yet there's still wine and a game, apparently? She waves towards a servant for a glass of something rich and red and beams at the family. "Sabella! Niklas! Everyone! It's delightful to see you."
Elizabetha beams at Sabella's telling and nips a bite of meat from her fork, stifling a smirk. "Duchess Lisebet is rather mini herself, if I recall correctly," she grins to Harlan across the table, eyes twinkling in good humor. "Mm," she clears her throat, "I'll admit, my days have been somewhat indolent as of late. I returned to Bastion for a time, to see a few old friends! And to take some space away from the city." She falls quiet a moment, considering. "I have been painting, and have a sketch in progress for the outfit I am designing for myself! Oh, and my room here at the mansion is under a bit of renovation," she adds with a sly curve to her lips. "I look very much forward to the finished product. Beyond that, I'm afraid I've little to share in regards to productivity," she admits with a laugh, eyes skimming the faces before her and lingering on Felicia. "And you, Dame Felicia?" she beams and tilts her head conspiratorially toward the knight, "What has kept your focus recently?"
"Well... my team and I recently returned from Whitepeak... and unfortunately it appears that something happened there that we cannot remember." Felicia admits simply,"However, I've spoken with Ambassador Kathivor, and he has advised that he's willing to attempt a blood magic ritual to restore them. He assures us there's only a mild chance of death." she offers with dry amusement,"Beyond that... preparing for the upcoming war. Where I'll go where needed, of course. My family and I have collected the sum requested by the Greatharrow clan, so when the time comes, we will be able to convicne them to join the Compact." she chins in Niklas' direction,"Your highness?"
Harlan laughs gently at Eliza's comment about the Duchess. "She is indeed pretty mini. Not quite as mini as our daughter though." He takes a drink of his wine, the pace of which slows as Felicia speaks, "Dame Harrow. We should speak at the Ashford house when you can get a free moment to spare for me." He doesn't seem like he is going to elaborate much further for now. Roxana's entry gets a smile from the duke as he raises his glass to her.
Roxana beams at Harlan and raises her glass to him in return. It's an excellent excuse to take another sip. It's not that Roxana /needs/ to be slightly tipsy at family gatherings but it helps. For all kinds of gatherings really. Or being alone.
"Ah. Well. Night elves and blood magic. How can you go wrong? I hope you do it somewhere where things won't get too messy. I could speak with Princess Liara about you doing it in the gardens, so if we do end up losing someone we at least nourish the flowers." Niklas sits up and offers Roxana a wave as she enters, then turns his attention on laying waste to his ham until his name is called. "Aw beans." He thinks for a moment, then shakes his head, "Honestly, for the first time in some years, I think I have nothing happening. I have plays to edit and a whole bard's college anniversary thing to help the Nightingale plan and occasionally I put in a modicum of work on the thing I'm doing for my brother, but mostly I play with the kids and try to remember which is which. Oh. The painting I did of Skald kicking Duke Ivan Helianthus in the dick was the second highest selling item at Sabella's recent auction. Considering that first was something I actually bought I have to be fairly proud of _that_ result." Niklas looks around the room, then waves to Roxana, "I believe that leaves you, your highness."
"Ah well. I of course have been devoted to my continual efforts as Minister of Civil Welfare for our noble House. My recent activities have been focused on stimulating the local economy, as I believe so strongly that regular patronage of our merchants and craftsmen is essential to the well being of the fealty, and of the Kingdom as a whole. It is a duty I take very seriously as you all know." Roxana answers in her loftiest voice, explaining that she's spent most of her time shopping.
Elizabetha's lips curl wry at Felicia, her warmth lingering in her eyes. "I wish you the best of luck," she offers with genuineness. The entry of her cousin, bold and radiant in finery, draws Eliza's attention from the conversation to the woman draped with jewels. Cheeks dimpling, she brightens with a beam and lifts her glass of water to Roxana in a wave, "Hello! I do not believe we have met, your Highness. I am Princess Elizabetha--but it is easier to call me Eliza in short! Welcome." Her grin crooks to Harlan as she adds, "Marginally!" As the flow of talk picks up once more, she returns to her food for a few more delicate bites and listens.
2 Eswynd shieldbearers, Klavdiya, who is definitely a handmaiden and not a pirate, an Eswynd warrior named Erik or Alric, Fluffy, the wary wildcat arrive, following Medeia.
Niklas nods to Roxana. "Yes, I recently placed an order for my September and October outfits as well. I do hope they come out well. I honestly spent far too much of this summer wearing black. Not certain what I was thinking. It's what I get for not listening to Mistress Aurora. If one employs an expert one should listen to them. Taking absolutely no initiative not suggested to me by very earnest and hard-working but plain-faced and boring nerds is why this fealty is as spectacularly wealthy as it is."
Roxana nods at Niklas with a very convincing expression of duty and humility that looks as if it has been perfected for hours in front of a mirror. So humble. So dutiful. "Yes, Niklas, it's obviously one of the most important parts of our duties as nobles." Shopping.
Medeia sweeps in, very late - which is quite unusual, and scans the table quickly. She spots Harlan and slips into a seat beside him, resting a hand on his shoulder in greeting as she does. "My apologies for my terribly late arrival, Harlequin duties." She offers the explanation quietly in Sabella's direction.
Felicia dips her head respectfully towards Harlan,"Of course, your grace." there's a smirk at Niklas,"At the embassy, of course. I've been advised that the Culture minister has been sporting a very large grin about it ever since... that shouldn't be concerning at all, should it?" there's an entirely too mild blink of her eyes,"I just hope to recover what information we've lost. I have a feeling it will be important, but... well. That, and I truly don't like the idea of someone messing with my mind."
Harlan turns his head at the touch on his shoulder and smiles big for Medeia. "Lady Medeia. It is quite fantastic to see you. I am sorry I missed all of the celebration. Sadly no one told me being the duke meant I had to do things I did not really want to do." He grins and offers a hand to her to help her take a seat. He looks over to Roxana, "Buy anything cool recently?" He asks rather simply taking a drink.
"Back when the Dominus was just an Archlector he hosted a pet show in the botanical gardens. I didn't participate since at that point my pet was a pelican whose only trick was throwing up half-digested fish on princesses. Steve had an impressive aim, but all it takes is one vomiting pelican too many to turn a Princess Caith into a regular Princess Saoirse. Still, I did attend and I stepped in more poos than I'd care to remember. As a Lord Niklas I dressed a bit less nicely than I do now, still it was a formative experience." Niklas considers where he was going with this story and how he got here, looking momentarily uncertain before putting things together and say, "Ah. Yes. Sorry. You said Harlequin doodies and I just got to thinking. Good evening, Lady Medeia!" Felicia gets a nod and a cheerful, "Gross! Well, just remember that elves are mostly awful and if you die they'll feed you to the giant spider they married earlier that day!"
Roxy beams at Harlan. "Why yes. Or I'm in the process. I was given a piece of dragonweep as a gift and am working with a jeweler on how I want to use it. I can't decide whether I should have another tiara made, or do something simpler like a pendant. What do you think?" She asks the Duke as if she completely respects his fashion sense in every way. To Niklas she adds, "I've never had a pet, though one of my housemates has a rather large number of cats...they don't come into the house. I've pondered a pet but I'm not sure I'm the animal type. Maybe an exotic bird..."
"I actually find them entertainingly pleasant myself." Felicia chuckles,"And aside from the obvious difficulties regarding potential heirs... I mean, who wouldn't want to marry a giant spider?" the redhead asks with a loft of her brow,"I've lost track... whose turn is it?"
Medeia takes Harlan's offered hand and squeezes it appreciatively. "I am certain someone /did/ tell you that, Duke Harlan, you just weren't paying attention." She nudges him gently with her elbow before looking toward Niklas. "Quite the story, your highness. Good evening." A few whispered words with Harlan catch her attention while she looks around the table.
"Well, she's not exotic but if you'd like Steve she is usually in the pool at Kennex Kay. Its why I never go to swim parties there. I know what she gets up to in those waters and I think to think of myself as too pious a man to enter into that sort of befouled pool." Niklas finishes off a helping of pie. "I'm sure no one would be sad to see her go. She's constantly pulling off Ian's mechanical legs and heading off to make nests in them. She laid a bunch of eggs in them a while back and then he went and did some sailoring things, came back with his legs full of omelettes. I'm not sure you ever come back from something like that." He points between Michael and Medeia. "Tell us something you've been up to! Make it interesting! You are being graded!"
"One big ass ring your highness. That way it is both beautiful and functional. Think of the righteous backhanded slaps one could do with such a piece." Harlan replies to Roxana, he can't help but grin. "Second choice? A pendant necklace I think would be good." He takes another drink of his wine and sets the glass back down. "As for pets. I have a rabbit you can have." It's definitely a Raccoon, no matter how many times Harlan calls it a rabbit.
"Graded?" A look of concern flickers over Medeia's features as she responds to Niklas. "Well, no pressure, I suppose! Hm. I am working on building a birthing center at the Saving Grace hospital and, potentially, the Lowers Clinic as well. I've received a substantial donation which should cver the initial building, furnishing, and several months of supplies." She rolls her shoulders gently, continuing, "And for my lateness, I'll add another: I am in the process of making a custom stout for my new husband as a gift."
"Duke Harlan!" Roxana feigns shock. "I would never righteously backhand anyone, no matter what ring I was wearing. That's simply unseemly. I have Ippolito for that." She gestures to her silent and super-bored looking guard.
"Punches work better anyways." is Felicia's contribution to Harlan's suggestion, draining her whiskey and setting the cup aside with a nod towards Medeia,"The work of the Harlequin's is always appreciated. Let me know if there's anything Harrow can do to assist."
Harlan shrugs overly big, "Juuuust a suggestion."
"Ah, a birthing center!" Niklas muses on this for a moment. "Well. In my home my mother had a room for that in the back of the keep so no one would have to hear any unseemly shouting or crying, so I guess a place specifically for all the shrieking and weeping would be good for those with smaller homes that don't have a special room with a hole in the floor for all the unpleasantness and the occasional overly impertinent looking baby." Niklas nods. "Good on you! That's the sort of helping out the little people that more peers should really be doing."
"Sabella would definitely suggest a tiara, so I'll take this as one vote for a ring, one vote for a necklace, and one vote for a tiara." Roxy muses. "It's even so far then, and thus I've not decided, you are no help the lot of you."
Harlan smirks at Roxana, "At least I gave evidence and reasoning behind my choice. That should count as at least half a vote, which puts me in the lead." He takes another drink of wine before turning to Medeia, "Have you spent time with my sister yet? I am sure she would have promised you the entire Ashford Family estate for such a project."
Medeia turns to Felicia with a warm smile. "Oh, thank you! I will. If you would like to meet sometime to discuss it? I'd be glad to make the time." She smirks at Harlan, shaking her head. Niklas's words catch her attention, and for a moment, she's staring at him quite a bit dumbfounded before blinking, smiling, and nodding. "Yes, plenty of nobles in larger homes are able to provide safe, comfortable places for birthing. However, that is hardly the case for all people - even nobility. It is my hope that such an option will ensure comfort and safety for mothers and their babies." She turns back to Harlan, then, shaking her head slightly. "I haven't seen Olivia in some time, unfortunately. But, I do have need to speak with you on another project. Do you have time now?" Her eyes dart around the table, apologetic, before landing back on Harln. "I wouldn't ask if it weren't important."
"My darlings!" Roxana addresses her family and friends. "It's been an absolute delight to dine and drink with you, but I'm afraid there isn't enough wine left at the table for me to discuss...birth, and babies, and..." She skittishly sets her glass down and rises from the table, offering a kiss on the cheek to whatever kin or near-kin accept one. "Until next time!" fingers wave.
Felicia gives a small nod of her head,"Or my sister Cufre, if you can't find me. She is one of the Harlequin's herself, and well... will be my future castellan, so." she gives a brief flash of a grin before her attention flicks towards Roxana with a laugh.
Harlan smiles at Medeia standing and offering her a hand, "I do have time. Likely everyone has grown wary of me by this point. They only keep me around to see Lisebet." Clearly can't be the truth, but Harlan says it with such certainty. He bows to the table, "Highnesses. Dame Harrow." He pauses quickly "Dame Harrow, I will send a letter though. We should speak soon. Should be mutually beneficial." He takes one last drink of his wine, finishing the glass and sets it down, "As always, quite a lovely meal, I can't wait till I get to ruin the next one too."
"I will look forward to it, your grace." Felicia assures dutifully.
Klavdiya, who is definitely a handmaiden and not a pirate, Fluffy, the wary wildcat, 2 Eswynd shieldbearers, an Eswynd warrior named Erik or Alric leave, following Medeia.
Toffee, a fluffy pomeranian, Medeia leave, following Harlan.
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