Devotions of Oaths - Dinner of Truths
Nov. 19, 2020, 8 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Crown - Queensrest Inn - Main Room
Comments and Log
Alis was definitely not here, and absolutely sees nothing. Even when she arrives, the height of her guards ensures she's well insulated from anything she doesn't want to see. It's a singular advantage of being on the short side. And if she happens to be early, it's only so that she can find a spot where she can wallflower if she so chooses.
Spontaneous applause erupts in the Queensrest Inn for the wildly famous visitor.
Lady Teonia Redreef, Aryka Wyrmfang, 3 Thrax Guards, Marquessa Pudding, a doughy dog, 2 Thrax Elite Guards arrive, following Sorrel.
"Respectable? Me?" Erik asks, though it is clearly rhetorical, and he takes a moment to look at her before he nods then and quirks a smile before he settles Esme back onto her feet and helps with a variety of setup tasks just as the guests begin to arrive. Its only then that he steps back, and ensures that Esme's free to greet her guests
The staff of the Queensrest drop their cool detachment and brighten considerably as they give cloying service to their newest guest.
Spontaneous applause erupts in the Queensrest Inn for the wildly famous visitor.
Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting, 6 Grayson House Guards, Clark, an exasperated guard arrive, following Sabella.
Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise, Sabella arrive, following Niklas.
Vern, 2 Keaton Huntsmen, 2 Valardin Knights arrive, following Kael.
Sorrel, who seems fairly intent upon wearing armor to all gatherings just in case, pauses to smile pleasantly at the servers here at the Queensrest, then makes her way in fully, glancing around to see who she knows and what is going on with this event. She does not attempt to be invisible, because she is tall and wearing shiny red metal armor, but she does slink over to wallflower next to Alis, offering the High Lady a slight bow of greeting.
Esme is getting put back down to her feet from where she was up in Erik's arms. There is a bit of laughing between the pair as Esme takes place near the entrance, pulling poor Erik with her. "Oh! High Lady Alis Valardin, how are you doing? Do you know Lord Erik Grimhall?" She looks up at the taller man. "Alis is the most interesting High Lady that has ever ruled the Valardin lands. We are one day going to have the most boring meeting." Then she brightens, "Lord Erik Grimhall, besides dashing, is a scholar and master of the seas." Her eyes slide towards Sorrel with a smile. She offers towards Erik, "Princess Sorrel Thrax. So I am sure you know of her. Her songs and singing are quite well known."
(OOC)The scene set/room mood is now set to: There are dishes set up around the Queensrest. There are roasted meats, desserts, drinks. It's as if they have gone all out. As well as places set for people to mingle. At the door, there is a 'don't forget your truth' nearby to remind those that are here. It just awaits for people to share a truth; be is secret or public.
Alis beams a happy smile at seeing Sorrel arrive, and links her arm with the red metal clad knight when she takes the seat beside her. "Your Highness. I wasn't expecting to see you, but I'm very glad to!" she decides, inclining her head polite to Esme and Erik while introductions are made. "Possibly also the shortest High Lady. But I definitely aspire to be the most interesting and hopefully ass-kicking." she quips. "I endeavor never to have a boring meeting, either. There is always the dining room to torment guests with if conversation gets dull." Though the words are for both, she adds a "And well met to you, Lord Grimhall."
The baron arrived looking a bit more chagrined than perhaps ever before. With his left hand bound, bandaged and in a sling, he eased into the room and found as quiet of a place to linger and watch in relatively painless silence.
Erik bows just ever so correctly, and with an added little flourish to Alis as he's introduced, a quirk of a smile is given as he says, "Your Highness, well met, and it's a pleasure indeed. " Straightening he stands a bit back, letting Esme drag him where she might, whilst doing his best not to get in the way overmuch.
Niklas walks in with Sabella on his arm, looking pleased as the cat that caught the canary when the staff of the Queensrest rush over to take his walking jacket and replace it with a drinking jacket. As the pair walk to a table where a light dinner of melon, meats and cheeses has been set out for them, a glass of brandy is placed in his hand and a glass of wine is placed in hers. Chairs are pulled out and by the time the prince and his wife are set down in their chairs they're snug as a bug. "I do love the homey touches one only gets at the Queensrest. Ah. Lady Esme! Princess Sorrel!
The door to the Queensrest opens and Kael steps in, pausing momentarily (and alas blocking the door momentarily), before he comes to his senses and continues on with a few more steps. The reminder to the side actually has Kael's lips quirk and he nods his head before drawing in further. It really does not take long until he spies certain familiar persons. He dips his head to Sorrel, a nod for his cousin, but the Highlord is the recipient of a bow. "Your Grace," he offers to her before flashing a smile to Esme.
"It's good to see you again, Lord Erik," Sorrel offers with a grin as she links her arm with Alis's in a fond and comfortable sort of way, protective of the more petite high lady. She glances to Alis and notes, "Please do not throw swords at people during weddings, though." And then Niklas and Sabella come in, and she grins. "Prince Niklas! Princess Sabella! Oh, and it's Marquis Kael! We've got a good crowd tonight."
Sabella beams at the attention but also at the very nice setup that Lady Esme has presented those that walk on, "Lady Esme, it looks lovely in here! And what a lovely idea for a party really! Princess Sorrel, Princess Alis, Marquis Kael! Lord Erik--and is that Baron Rane over there?" Someone is not going to let him sit in silence apparently.
Esme brightens as she sees Niklas and Sabella. She lets go of Erik for a moment to make grabby hands at them and attempt to hug them. Then she will return back to Erik's side. She's offering the titles and a fact about each person that enters for him. Her auburn hair is tossed behind her as she waves a hand. "This is just an amazing place. It is only made beautiful by the people entering it now." Her eyes slide over towards Rane for a long moment and then his hand. "It is good to see that you have lived. I was worried." A tease to her emerald eyes. "May I present Lord Erik Grimhall?" Then she looks at Kael and brightens more towards him with a bright smile. "Please all come get drinks.. have food."
Rane looked up at the hearing of his name and nodded once with an easy smile. "Princess Sabella. You look lovely this evening." There was a deferential bow of his head and perhaps a quick, thankful lingering to the way he held that smile on her before Esme's sweet words were given. He even managed a quiet chuckle. "I'm glad that I lived as well, but the worry hasn't left me yet. There's still a long journey ahead, if the physicians are to true."
Not one usually for crowds of such lofty nobility, or, well, for nearly so many people that aren't fellow sailors, Erik does not look so much overwhelmed as .. reserved. Still, as he's introduced to each person, or persons, they're given proper greetings and a smile that is met with a matching greeting in the depths of his eyes. Sorrel's given a smile, a nod and a "And you as well, your Highness." Niklas and Sabella too are offered appropriately deep nods in greeting and a pleasantly worded, "Your Highnesses, a pleasure and an honor."
"Marquis." Doubly pleased now, is Alis. And then there is Rane as well who is the recipient of a bright smile from the princess. "Ah, your Highnesses, hello!" The greetings for Niklas and Sabella are enthusiastic as well while she settles in nicely beside Sorrel. "I... throwing a sword at someone during a wedding. That's a tradition I can't say we've acquired yet. There's a lot of prayer, and kneeling, and then prayer, and kneeling... but no sword throwing."
Kiera enters the queensrest both pleased and unsurprised that those of the oathlands have made a good showing at a devotion to oaths. She give a curtsey to Ailis and a nod to kael "Your grace, Marquis a pleasure to see you again" then she gives Sorrel a wave "Cousin, I hope you are well. It's been some time."
Niklas is definitely a hugger. There's a bow first to Erik and then to Rane. "Good to meet you both!" To Esme says, "Thank you for hosting. I was just thinking to myself 'what shall I have for dinner tonight?' and then remembered that you were having a dinner for truths. I'm no devotion, obviously, but the oaths I have made are tremendously important to me." He reaches out and gives Sabella's hand a squeeze.
The vibrant smile from Alis was returned with a tighter, respectful one of his own, touched with companionship. Niklas' reputation and association with Sabella was legendary, after all. "Your highness, the pleasure is mine." He shifted as he found a seat near enough the gathered to be sociable, but far enough away to give him room to adjust that sling as needed. Which he did there and then. He fussed over the bandages a bit but otherwise seemed quite comfortable.
With that greeting from Sabella, Kael is inclining his head politely to the Grayson and offering a smile there - so too to her husband. "Well then," he says, his voice a low thing, holding a tone of amusement. "I certainly have found fine company." Kiera's arrival has him dip his head toward her as well, amiable smile cast her way. "I am also going to go find a place to sit." Out of the way, it seems, for Kael is moving around this person and that to acquire seating. Not that the Marquis actually sits.
"It's probably for the best, really. A Northern-Mourning Isles wedding seems like the most likely for sword-throwing, and it was His Grace Prince Victus who did the tossing. Completely by accident, of course. After we won the snow war," Sorrel notes with a measure of amusement to Alis.
"Well I hope that you find that you are well fed tonight." Esme winks to Niklas as she turns to look at Erik a moment. A light flush across her cheeks at something whispered between the two. Then she wraps an arm around his waist as she says something. "Marquis Kael it is wonderful to see you again. Have you brought with you a truth?" Her emerald eyes slide over the others.
"Marquis Kael, come sit with Princess Sorrel and I." Alis gestures him over, with an exaggerated look of 'really, as if you don't have a standing invite to sit with me' incredulity. She is thoughtful on the mention of a Northern, Mourning Isles wedding though. "Needs more bear wrestling I think. Or maybe... maybe, to go with a more Mourning Isles theme, kraken wrestling." she suggests to Sorrel, looking entirely serious. As she also does when she inclines her head just once to Esme to acknowledge she has indeed brought a truth with her.
Erik does his best to ensure that he greets all those that he knows, or doesn't, remaining at Esme's side as she outshines him by far. Smiles are easily given and he looks comfortable enough, given all the new faces to him this evening. The Grimhall Lord seems content enough to wait for Esme to finish her greetings and find a spot of her own for them to sit, when its time, otherwise remains close at hand.
"I typically do, Lady Fidante," says Kael with amusement in turn toward Esme, his head inclining toward her. "I have a few things to share, or that I might share, but I thought it best to see the tone of these truths. Certainly I would hate to regale the crowd with something too terribly dull." To her companion Erik, he inclines his head and remarks, "Well met. Marquis Kael Keaton." That introduction is spoken just before he moves to join Alis and Sorrel with a look of gratitude, despite the Highlord's exaggerated look. He even says, "Thank you," before pulling a chair to join them.
"Remind me to invite you to a Thrax family dinner sometime," Sorrel says dryly to Alis, but she cannot help but grin. She looks up to Kael and winks playfully.
Sabella will also never say no to a hug! "We're so happy to be here! It's just good to get away for a little bit, I even told Elizabetta to not send through any messengers unless it was an absolute emergency!" She gives Niklas an overly fond smile when he squeezes her hand, "Baron Rane I hope that whatever has caused you such injury won't bother you again! And that you'll heal quite quickly. And you are too kind, Marquis Kael! I don't think that whatever you could say would be dull in any sense!"
"Admittedly Elizabetta's idea of an emergency is rather varied. She once sent me three messages in a row when you stubbed your toe. None of them mentioned the toe, but two of them described the screams of pain. I assumed you'd been set on fire." Niklas shakes his head and enjoys a sip or two of his brandy. "Fortunately you weren't! You were wearing that umbra Lycene dress I like. You'd have completely ruined it!"
A thankful smile was given to Sabella once more and he dipped his head politely. "It was born of an accident outside the Cathedral during some of the cleanup yesterday. Thankfully, Princess Sorrel, Lady Esme, Dame Bree and Rowenova were nearby to free me and get me to the Physicians." A glance were given over to Esme to give her a thankful smile and dip of his head again.
"Why does that sound more like a threat then amusement." Alis mutters, ironically with amusement when Sorrel suggests she go to a Thrax fealty dinner. "I'll just have to drag a Voice or two with me. So we can share the pain of whatever it is." Kael is then the recipient of one of her more impish smiles.
Esme moves from the door and then sweeps her eyes across the room to see where Erik would like to sit. She will pluck up two glasses, pressing one into his hand. THen she offers, "Kael, you could never be boring. There is nothing that could ever spill from your lips that could be. Truth is what sets us free." She cants her head a bit to that as her lips curve upwards more. "A truth of mine.. for I shall start." She looks at Erik for a moment as she watches him put up with the crowd for her. A softened glance before she offers. "While I am a Devotion, I am most horrible at romance and poetry."
Kiera walks to a seat across from Rane "Bardon, Baron Moore would you mind sharing a table? "she asks softly
After a few moments to glance around, Erik gives a bit of a shrug, nodding in the direction of some seating that will put them where Esme can see all of those that arrived at her invitation, and should she agree, escorts her to the pair of chairs there and offers a "Well met to you as well, Marquis," to Kael as they pas by. Takeing one of the glasses Esmes's offered him, he settles in to listen as she starts off the sharing of truths.
A rueful look is cast Sabella's way by Kael before he's catching up, per say, about that particular Thrax family dinner. "I rather suppose that you might consider me drug, but it would be an honor to attend. I admit that I am rather ignorant about a great many things of the Mourning Isles, despite having blood of Blackshore in my veins." That is mere side commentary to his tablemates of Alis and Sorrel though. He reaches for some water set near and turns his focus back to the host. Yes, she is a recipient of a polite smile to the compliment offered to him, and amusement follows after. To those near, he murmur, "I would never have thought that such a thing was expected of a devotion. Truth though." He tips his head to Esme and afterward Erik.
Enter one small, surprisingly stealthy squire; despite the armor she wears, Irony moves exceptionally quietly. Upon spotting a familiar face or two, the young woman brightens and makes her way over; Alis in particular earns a warm smile, but also a respectful nod that almost turns into a bow. "Oh! Hello. I heard about this and thought it would be interesting, and I see lots of people here, but... I hope I'm not too late to start in, and won't be intruding?"
"Oh, it's so kind of you to have helped with the rebuilding but I'm so sorry that you were injured while doing so!" Sabella replies to Rane before turning her attention to Esme as she shares, "I suppose I can share that I am not always quite as cheerful as I seem! I just think that one ought to always smile for you never know what kind of day the person you're talking to is having and I think it a shame to not try to brighten the day of those you meet because of that!"
Alis always looks excited to see her squire, and today is no exception. She waves the younger woman over immediately and nods towards one of the chairs. "How nice to have you here." But, of course. There is the reason for the gathering and she rips that bandage right off, because sometimes that's just what you have to do. And nobody has ever accused a Valardin of not taking these religious events seriously enough. She keeps her arm linked with Sorrel's when she speaks decisively. "As a Highlord, when I speak I do so with confidence. But a truth..." she smiles faintly. ".. is that I weigh every day, every decision I've made and every statement. And I think of what my father or my oldest brother would have said or done. And I hope that even if it isn't the same thing, that at least it is something they would be proud of. Because I miss them all every day. My parents and siblings both."
Merek was about, came in a little bit while he tries to take a look around. He doesn't add anything along at the moment while he finds a place to settle in.
Niklas considers the question. "Is this a truth or a secret? I'd say my greatest weakness is that I occasionally doubt that I'm an unparalleled genius whose works will still be remembered a thousand years from now. Obviously that's a ridiculous thing for me to worry about." Niklas shakes his head. "An abundance of humbleness is unbecoming, really."
"A scholar I might be, but I really hate to write. Unfair of me, to drink in all those words of those before, and be so .. unwilling to return the favor in kind." Erik says after a few moments of quiet, bright eyes shifting around the room as the others share those little bits of themselves that help shape who they are. "A little truth, I suppose, in comparison to so many others - but a truth just the same." He leans back a bit in his chair then, relaxed more so than he was even moments ago as introductions were made and the like.
Rane looked to Kiera and nodded with a gentle smile, motioning to an empty chair with his good arm and welcoming nod. Sabella's words once more earned her an appreciative gesture from the Moore and anything made to offer towards it was buttoned down at the truths were being shared. Hers was listened to closely and he nodded all the more, a captive audience. When Alis spoke hers, there was a very different reaction as it was something he felt too, albeit on a much smaller level. The Oathlander wasn't sure whether to smile politely or not at Niklas' admission, but wound up doing so. "I intended to come with a different truth, but in light of--" He lifted his broken and bound hand with a not-small grimace. "--this, my truth is that I'm fearful. For..perhaps the first time in my life. Fearful that I will not be able to serve the Compact,--" He looked to Alis. "--the Oathlands, or my House."
"The truth is that I use my fame as a bard and my connections to do my research in the Library of Vellichor for me. My cousin the Legate Bianca was Archscholar. I know people. I have friends," Sorrel points out with a little grin, laughing a bit and reaching over to pat Alis's hand on her arm in a comforting sort of way.
Sabella listens to Alis and nods to her once, "I suppose another truth is that for a time I was quite upset when I learned my cousin had chosen someone else to be Highlord of Grayson as I had thought that perhaps he had been training me for the position for awhile, but honestly, I'm rather glad to have been passed over in that way for while I would love to help the Compact in such a way, I have seen how the decisions that need to be made weigh on each of you. It is no small thing to decide to send your people to war. Or to not."
Irony pauses, head tilted slightly as she considers Niklas' question. "That's an interesting question: what /is/ a truth? Is it just something /you/ think is important to who you are? Or is it something others don't know, or...?" Then she settles into a seat herself, looking thoughtful. "Because I guess my truth would be... every time I try to do a thing, I always worry I won't live up to how well my mother would've done it."
Alis looks really quite sympathetic to Erik's plight, and gestures towards her beleagured adjutant. "Writing really does suck. I pay her extra for it." she admits, smiling with amusement over at Sorrel and appreciating the pat on her arm. And there is sympathy for Rane's plight too really. "We have the very best healer's in the city." is murmured encouragingly before Sabella speaks. "It speaks to your heart and willingness to see to duty that you were ready to accept such a position were it to come to you." And for Irony? She lowers her voice to murmur something quietly to the squire.
Esme brings her drink to her lips as people talk and offer up some of their truths. She finds a seat with Erik, but she sort of lounges against him. There is tap of her shoulder to his arm to get it around her. Cuddled cat is a content cat. Her eyes slide the others. "You may offer truths, secrets, all of these things." She is quiet as if she's trying to think of something. "I have little regrets. However, once I was called to a place. There was a decision to make and I made the wrong one. Because of that, a child was killed. It is something that I carry with me. It is something that reminds me that every decision I make has a reaction and a consenquence to it."
Kael's eyes track Irony, curiously, when Alis invites her over. "Marquis Kael Keaton," he greets, keeping his voice pitched low in a respectful manner. His focus shifts appropriately to the Highlord when her truth is shared, frowning thoughtfully and nodding soon enough. Then one by one, as each truth is spoken, his attention moves from this person to that. He exhales a heavy breath and speaks up with, "One of my truths. Everyone that knows me knows that I adore my wife, my children, my family. What might not be known is that Reigna had to convince me with Kata, our...ward." And of course raised as one of their own. "Kata was found, barely alive, and there was the option to bring her to the Faith, to an orphanage, and so on." He gestures with a hand. "I was never so happy to be wrong and convinced otherwise."
"I was meant to be my brother's voice. The spare." Niklas holds up his brandy and looks into it. "It was my father's plan that should Ford fall I'd take his place. I sometimes feel very guilty that I am not Duke of Stormwall. Aethan is a good person and a strong leader and I am neither, but still. I can't help but think old Denholm Kennex is wherever he is, thinking that it's yet another way I've gone and failed him."
Irony turns to look at Alis, and offers her a silent smile and nod in thanks... even if she doesn't seem entirely, one-hundred-percent convinced of whatever Alis said.
This was a lot of truth sharing and a great deal of pouring out hearts. The encouraging words from Alis brought another thankful smile and dip of his head while he settled into deeper, respectful silence to listen to the rest of the gathered. He reached out for a glass in front of him, filled with water to take a much needed drink.
Erik is leaned against, and his arm encircles Esme as the talk continues a touch of a rueful smile and a nod to Alis in shared agreement on the terrible burden of writing. Then his eyes seek others around the room, listening quietly to the varied admissions as they are shared by such varied company. His free hand, or rather that one reserved for his glass, lifts it once more to take another sip in toughtful quiet
Kiera has been silently listening much of this time "Well I was first going to speak for my fondness for desserts and my studies but everyone has been so honest "I consider myself a scholar first though i love meeting. growing a new house is daunting though and speaking for my brothers is a duty I take seriously. my greatest fear is losing either of them I think"
Sabella gives Alis a grateful smile, then turns a more sympathetic one on Nik, reaching out to take his hand, "I think your father would never have dreamed of you reaching such heights as you have! Being a Prince of Grayson and perhaps moreso a famous Playwright known throughout Arvum! I have never met the man, and from what I've heard he would not have much liked me, but I think he would have been proud of you even if he had never said so."
Alis quietly introduces Kael to Irony then, in a quiet tone while others are speaking. "Marquis, this is my Squire, Irony." She does her best to be unobtrusive about the introduction though, and listens attentively to the revelations of others.
Esme's emerald eyes fill with compassion for each of the shares. Her eyes slide from one to the other as they all share. A murmured comment is given and staff is circulating with desserts. With great truths come great carbs. One hand comes up to run through Erik's hair before she stops and watches. "I like when you write, especially to me." Then she offers, "Thank you everyone for your ability to share what your truths are. Does anyone have anything else they would like to share as well?"
Esme is overheard praising Devotions.
"I do wonder what father would have thought of what became of the house. Becoming a duchy is grand, of course, but it's not like Kennex had a long history of manumission Ford had hoped to live up to. We weren't Malaeris in that. I was practically raised by thralls." Niklas sits back in his seat and finishes off his brandy. "Ugh. Too much truth. This is why I enjoy my very comfortable lies." Niklas reaches over and pats Sabella's hand again. "He would have loved you. Everyone does."
Alis is overheard praising Devotions.
When Alis is introducing Irony, Kael is turning back to regard the squire once more. You know, this is a bit of a lengthy study, his brows furrowing just slightly as though he was assessing her. Then again, she *is* the Highlord's squire so perhaps some scrutiny is a given. "I believe I have heard about you," he says. "It is nice to put a face to a name." When Esme is thanking them all for coming, he inclines his head deeply to her. Gratitude to the host, undoubtedly.
Kael is overheard praising Devotions.
"Yes," Sorrel volunteers after a moment. "The truth is... we have plenty of Hope for the future. The world is changing wildly every day, and there are strange and mysterious forces at work. But the gods love us and humanity is flexible, versatile, and resilient."
"I've heard your name before, from my sister," Irony notes to Kael, studying him with an intensity which suggests she's trying to convey something silently with gaze alone. After a moment, she adds more brightly, "Good things, though."
"Perhaps from Baron Kedehern and Baroness Shae. Irony was on a mission with us. Scouting." Alis points out for Kael, looking towards Sorrel when she speaks and taking real comfort in those words. "Of course. We can meet any challenge so long as we work together, too." is added.
Kiera is overheard praising Esme: an earnest and revealing evening in devotion to truth
"Well, there is writing, and then there's writing." Erik says with a smile to Esme, then looks up as the deserts begin to make their way around..snagging one or two from a tray as they pass by.
"Good that it was good things," says Kael, and his mouth takes on a shape that attempts to be a bit wry, though it's a little off. He lifts a hand up to the bridge of his nose to rub at it. Briefly, mind you. "Not Shae, no," he answers Alis. "Reigna actually. Which is part of why it is good that, well, good things were heard. It would be terrible if my wife was upset at me." At least there's a return of that rueful look of his, combined with a shake of his head. To Sorrel he adds, "Indeed."
"Oh! Well, Irony made a very good showing I think. But, later." Alis decides, because now just doesn't seem the time. "Oh, from the Marquessa? I didn't know that you were familiar with Marquessa Reigna, Irony... I don't think? So much slips the mind lately with all of the..." she gestures. "No mind, though. I'm glad you two have met. I hope to have Irony over for more of our events. And on more missions for us!" she admits in a somewhat excited tone, making sure also to dip her head in thanks to Esma for organizing the event. "Very well put together, Lady Esme."
Irony looks very slightly embarrassed at Alis' praise, but offers her a smile as well. But rather than continue the topic of her performance in the field, she offers Esme a respectful nod. "Yes! Thank you for holding this."
Back to list