Valardin Voice Hours
Dec. 13, 2020, 8 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Valardin Manor - Audience Hall
Comments and Log
As the arrivals have slowed down, or the Herald begins losing his voice (whichever comes first), a team of servants begins to filter out from the dining room and kitchens to set of fresh pots of teas and coffee, cream, sweeteners, and an array of finger foods so that business can be conducted while people entertain themselves with the food and drink and lively conversation (or prayer). Alis has seated herself at the audience table after milling around to offer introductions, and starts things off with the general information that everyone should be aware of. "Though we've made some official announcements prior, Princess Zara is here to help with financial and diplomatic requests, while Marquis Keaton assists with military and security concerns. And, I am available for any matter you'd like to speak on." She sweeps a hand towards the tables. "Welcome, help yourselves to the refreshments."
OOC: I'm going to start a line so that we know who wants to talk to people! Once one of us nabs you, we'll clear you from the line for the next person and so on. If we're all talking to someone, we'll know who we need to grab next.
Tiny. Tiny, tiny, tiny Georgine slides and twists and skirts through the gathered crowds and servants until she's closer to Zara; the redhead eyes the princess assessingly. Finally, she looks satisfied and lets her eyes and attention wander around the proceedings.
Taking a seat beside Alis, Zara is silent as her cousin speaks, her gaze scanning those who file into the hall, as though committing their faces to memory. There is a nod in Georgine's direction, an almost smile on her lips, before she lifts up her tea.
Zara has joined the an oval oak audience table.
1 Harlequin jongleur arrives, following Korka.
Kael, present and accounted for. He is also on the move to gather a little bit of this and that by way of refreshments. Once he has his bounty assembled (and to be fair, his plate is not overfull, for he is a modest fellow) and a drink required he is moving to take his place at the table. Note, this is before Alis' announcement. When he is pointed out, his head inclines politely, and he seems far more interested in any points brought forth than the refreshments present.
The unspoken but most crucially important role in any Great House bureaucracy is 'moral support,' and this is what Princess Katarina Valardin is here to provide for her sister, the Highlord. Katarina is seated next to Alis, having arrived early and, truth be told, gotten into the refreshments even earlier. There was, at one point, an entire tray of lemon squares. Then Princess Katarina showed up an hour before the Voices arrived. Then, there was half a tray. Now, there is half a tray minus three.
While Alis introduces the event, Katarina provides that much-needed moral support by sitting and looking at her with golden eyes, while eating ill-gotten lemon squares. The Eurusi-born stands up when Alis sits back down, and gives the Highlord an encouraging pat on the shoulders. She leans in and provides the best sisterly advice she can, murmured through her traditional Suj'abbati veil: "Those lemon squares are delicious~." And then Katarina abandons Alis to her fate so that she herself can go mingle.
A titan of a woman walks into the hall, one might almost think the Marquessa of Blackram has shown up, but the clothing is off, the features are different... and this woman is slightly taller. Just a bit. Wearing a (thankfully clean) set of travelling leathers and a long sleeve shirt, her hair is twisted up into a quick tail that keeps the length from her face as she glances around with an expression that could break stone despite the generic 'pretty' of the features. Taking a seat apart, possibly because she manages to smell of hay and stables and.. goats?, Ivy Blackram settles in to watch the proceedings.
2 Keaton Huntsmen, Sir Pupsalot, a polite, tri-color corgi, Oaken, an Oakhaven bloodhound, 1 Healer Guardian, Gigi, an apprentice physician with attitude problems, Merrygold, a human with many feelings arrive, following Reigna.
Korka slips into the hall without drawing too much attention to herself, first zeroing in on something to drink then finding a free bit of wall to lean against. Although as Katarina sings the praises of the lemon squares she takes a moment to go get herself one of those as well.
Georgine has joined the a square meeting table with dragon inlay.
Seated on the other side of Alis is Fiachra, who is there with Alis to greet the voices. Once business gets underway, however, the ranger quiets himself and settles his eyes on his spouse. He's already helped himself to the refreshments in the way of a few baked things and a glass of wine.
Alis grimaces a little when Katarina pats her shoulder, though she covers it with a smile. And only then does she notice that more than half the lemon squares are gone!!!! But wait - "I had them make two batches. You stay away from the second tray!" she tries to look stern, but can't quite manage it and settles for amused instead as she adjusts her arms a little. Smiles are provided for both of the Voices who are here. "Thank you, Princess Zara, Marquis. I was worried for a second that it would just be me and Fia up here. And we'd have to entertain people on top of answering questions. We both know I'm not all that entertaining." she sotto whispers. "Well, if there are no actual concerns people want to line up for - feel free to ask general questions."
Georgine settles into a seat with a nice cup of tea but no food. Her fingers tap against the table before she bounds up a little impulsively, her expression rather grave. "May I?" she says after curtsying to the table, asking to approach.
Georgine has joined the line.
"Well if there's anything people know of me, it's that I'm /quite/ the comedian." Zara murmurs, glancing around the hall, before furrowing her brows. "Cristoph can surely confirm that." Raising her voice when Georgine comes forward, she gives a welcoming gesture. "Goodwoman Georgine." She looks at her, attentively. "How may we help you?"
Kael has joined the an oval oak audience table.
Georgine has left the a square meeting table with dragon inlay.
Georgine has joined the an oval oak audience table.
"We have to entertain people?" asks Kael with a lift of his brows and a slight tilt of his head. His voice has a mildly wry tone to it, but the curve of his lips at the corner betrays amusement present. Amusement that is short lived, for his more typically solemn expression comes forth as he turns toward Georgine and dips his head to her.
Ivy has joined the line.
Katarina's mingling has taken her dangerously close to the second tray of lemon squares within seconds, because the diminutive Princess always has a plan. Unfortunately, Katarina's schemes cannot fool Alis, and the Eurusi-born woman stops in her tracks when she's warned to leave the second batch alone. Rather than lie and claim that she wasn't going to eat a positively disgusting amount of lemon squares, Katarina simply turns on her heel and walks as if she had intended to go in another direction all along. It's very... feline of her. This new path puts Katarina on the way toward Ivy: "Ah~. Am I mistaken, or does this soiree find itself attended by a representative of the Cloudspine~?"
Reigna arrives a bit late and with a pair of children in tow. Aeryn Squall holding her left hand and Talis Storm the other. The boys are far too tall for their ages of seven and six respectively. They walk with thier mother and take seats beside her, though, upon spotting their father, they start to vigorously wave to Kael. "Pappa!" Reigna laughs and shakes her head, "Shhhh. He's working, loves."
"But he's not here." Alis murmurs. "So we'll have to take your word for it. I mean, you /did/ start that rousing game of 'guess that sigil' once. That counts as entertaining." is spoken assuringly. "Goodwoman Georgine." she adds, keeping a solemn voice now, even as she steals one of the pastries from her husband's plate to start to pick at. That's why he got a few, right? Of course it is. And of course, she is listening attentively. SO attentively that the vigorous waving and shout of 'Pappa!' to Kael has her smiling. And, then smothering a laugh as Ellara who has been seated somewhere /watching/ tries to shush him. "Not s'posed to /yell/." and huffs a sigh.
Georgine approaches the table, hands folded before her. "I know that there is probably plenty of previous and pressing business..." She blinks. "That was a lot of aliteration." A delicate clearing of the throat, however, and the absentminded jeweller refocuses. "This report concerning the murder of Marquis Valerius Malspero... Most people are assuming it's Helianthus again. Highnesses, Marquis... What should we do if something breaks out? Not all of us are skilled fighters, but I doubt any of us would deny aid or effort. What should we prepare for? Though I suppose it's far too early for that."
Nodding to Katarina, Ivy looks distinctly discomfitted. Less by Katarina herself and more at... really any social interaction. Her eyes slide this way and that, unable to hold the Princess' gaze for more than a few moments and she offers gruffly, "I am. Uh, cousin to the Marquessa. Blackram." She pauses, frowning, then adds, "Ivy. Hrm. Lady Ivy. Blackram. Just arrived from the Cloudspine." She dares another quick peek at Katarina, taking in a quick sweep of the woman before dropping her gaze to her feet, "Your Highness. Just here to introduce myself and offer my services."
At Georgine's mention of the assassination, Zara's grave eyes shift to Kael as though waiting for his input. She takes another sip of her tea before murmuring something to Alis in the meanwhile.
Reigna has joined the a square meeting table with dragon inlay.
Kastelon idly strokes his beard for a few moments when there is discussion about the murder of the Marquis and... a steady gaze is directed to the voices to see what shape the response will be.
"If violence occurs in our ward, and you are a non-combatant I suggest locking your doors and staying inside and away from the windows. We have Knights and Guards who can see to the detainment and quelling of violence. Those who have healing skill would be encouraged to remain behind friendly lines, but be available to assist as the injured are pulled back to safety." Alis says plainly. She's not mincing words, but also not trying to scare anyone. "The Oathlands are known for their Orthodox views, so it would be rather foolish for Helianthus and his supporters to think that attacking us would gain them any tractions. But, sick and power hungry sycophants are rarely logical. We're as on guard as we can be." Next, she looks to Kael as well, and then murmurs a response to Zara.
Katarina trills in delight at Ivy's introduction. She doesn't seem put off in the slightest by gruffness or grunting, even though she has to crane her neck to try and meet eyes with the woman who's a full foot taller than her. (Katarina's fluffy sable ringlets add a few inches of height but those are pure illusion.) "A cousin of the Marquessa~! I am quite honored to be her patron, you know~. She assisted me so much with the recent Academy built in--" Katarina interrupts herself to listen to Georgine's question and Alis's answer, nodding along. Then she looks back up to Ivy: "When you have had your time with the Highlord and her Voices, come and speak with me more, yes~? I am going to ensure that no one is stealing an undue amount of pastries~."
"HI ELLARA!" So the no-yelling thing backfired as both Keaton boys wave furiously at their friend. Reigna murmurs to her sons and they settle soon enough. Reigna's expression grows serious when the topic of murder is the first addressed and she scoots a bit closer to her sons. Spying Kastelon, Reigna gestures for the tall Keaton lord to join her and the boys if he feels like it.
Oh, children. While Kael is flashing a smile to Reigna upon spying her with the boys, it does not take long at all until amusement is once more manifesting. He dips his head to the little Princess that corrects his son before shifting his focus back to Georgine. Make no mistake, that little light does not detract from the grave nature of his response. "We are one Compact," he starts with, which is likely no surprise for any that know him. "We mourn as the others do. Now, if something breaks out..." He exhales, slow and heavy. "We of course have been working relentlessly in defense of our people, our lands, across the Oathlands. Should aid be requested," and his gaze is flitting to Alis there, "we will provide it." He nods to her statement there, pausing in his words to take a sip of water. Afterward, he begins with, "Should the ward be attacked, much as Her Grace says. However, I additionally would suggest that if you are near - persay, Valardin Manor - you come here. I would not cross the ward, but go to the most secure place you are at." His throat clears and he looks a bit apologetic. "No set details, forgive me that. Did that answer your question?"
"As you like Your Highness. I will find you at the pastries," its spoken as if she's been given a grave quest of grand undertaking rather than asked to join Katarina at the food tables. Ivy darts a glance up to the princess briefly, then jumps her gaze away to look towards the Big Table, scanning those present, then back to her hands, her feet. "Thank you." Her fingers drum against her knees restlessly as she glances about once more. Clearly well outside her comfort zone and showing it.
Georgine inclines her copper head with another pretty curtsy. "It does. Thank you." And she gives them all a warm smile, almost beneficent, before turning back to her tea.
Turn in line: Georgine
Turn in line: Ivy
Winter, A Highhill Puppy arrives, following Kiera.
Kastelon takes more than a few moments to notice that he's being beckoned to, but that's not something that requires much thought to follow through on - the huntsman's hand dips down to pat at Resolute's side to have the hound in motion, and he makes his way over to where Reigna and the children are settled, before he's inclining his head with a smile, and perhaps offer a helping hand to rein them in a little while the official business is being conducted.
When Georgine heads off, Zara's gaze then shifts to the Blackram, straightening in her seat. "My lady." She says with an easy voice, not rushing the woman, and ensuring Katarina has finished the conversation with her first. "You have a question?"
Katarina does her best to unobtrusively head toward the baked goods. She dips her head in a deep, thoroughly royal nod to Georgine as she passes the tea-sipping woman, and glances over her shoulder to check for any watchful eyes from those who might stop her in her attempt to gorge herself on brioche.
Alis is watching you and those lemon bars, Katarina!
Fiachra is quiet at the table for the moment, though his attention does drift towards the children at the loud greeting to Ellara. A short, soft laugh emits from him that is muffled entirely when he takes a drink. The Prince-Consort still has his arm bound and has apparently been looking after it well. His eyes casually drift to Alis and he shoots her a quick smile before he looks out over the others present.
Korka has joined the line.
As she's called, Ivy fidgets a bit, staring at some middle distance spot as she gives a shake of her head. "No." She pauses, then adds, "I mean, I don't have a question." There's another lingering pause as Ivy plucks at her sleeves and looks everywhere, darting glances falling on Zara, Alis, Kael, then bouncing off to Katarina, to the children, over to Reigna. Kastelon's movement catching her eye briefly before the glint of copper from Georgine has her looking that way. "I am Ivy Blackram. I wanted to introduce myself an offer my services if needed." She halts, as if she isn't going to explain any further, then right as it seems she might turn towards the food tables, she elucidates, "I tend and train the war goats and kites of Blackram. I also heal through medical and herbal means. I can't say that I'm much of a fighter, but if you need extra hands to patch wounds, I can get the job done. Or to help corral and see to horses or dogs." She ends in that sudden manner, giving a quick bow before trying to 'sneak' towards the pastries. Its not the least bit sneaky. And likely looks more like a rushed escape. Strategic retreat to the baked goods!
Kiera has joined the line.
Reigna looks to Ivy as she speaks, and when she mentions her skills in healing and caring for animals, Reigna perks up. She writes a note and passes it along, seemingly heading for Ivy.
Meanwhile, at the baked goods: Katarina looks back over her shoulder and gives Alis this look as if she's trying to telepathically communicate to her sister: 'But if we don't /eat/ them, they'll go to /waste/.' It's a complex sentence to get across via facial expression, and Katarina's veil masks half of her face anyway, so she can only hope for the best and make brioche #2 disappear under that same veil.
Alis smiles warmly at Ivy when she makes her introduction, listening attentively when she expands on her abilities. "Well, welcome to Arx then, Lady Ivy. I think you'll find that any with an herbalist and healer's skill is most welcome. And, certainly by Marquessa Keaton." her smile dimples at that, seeing Reigna perk up all the way from her seat over here. But also, she still slides a glance towards Katarina. She still sees you.
Marie, chef of Keaton Hall arrives, delivering a message to Ivy before departing.
When Ivy comes forth and makes her introduction, Kael is turning his attention and focus to the Blackram. Just as he greeted Georgine earlier, he is dipping his head low and deep toward Ivy. "Well met," he says first and foremost, though there is no mistaking the fact that the Keaton is intrigued at the skillset provided by the woman. His gaze flits toward his wife and seeing her already heading that way his lips twitch just once in a most fond manner. To Ivy however he continues with, "I would be interested in having a conversation with you sometime regarding your animal training skills, if you are amiable. Ideas regarding defense." He leaves that, however, at that, and dips his head once more to the Lady Blackram.
An Unremarkable Associate arrives, delivering a message to Kastelon before departing.
Ivy accepts the note and unfolds it to read. Staring at it for longer than it takes to actually read before lifting her head and seeking out the Marquessa. A nod is given in her direction, as if marking Reigna for looking-for after the meeting. The note is folded and tucked away as she approaches the baked goods. She seems to pick out and immediately reach for a raspberry tart, pausing to look towards Kael briefly, eyes wide at being addressed directly. She glances around as if to say 'who, me?' then immediately nods. "Of course, my lord. At your leisure." She blinks, then quickly looks away and back towards the tart. CHOMP. Food makes things better. Then she doesn't have to talk. she does dart a glance towards Katarina, however.
Turn in line: Korka
Korka watches those that step up to ask questions and the crowd that they're asking them of, idly biting into a few of the lemon bars she's stacked on her plate. When her turn comes up she considers taking another bite, turning a bar around in her hand then setting it down, "If anyone knows anything of Marquis Valerius Malespero's assassination, the Inquisition will be looking in to it. So I'd advise anyone that might to come talk to me before you end up with an Inquisitor who wasn't born in the Oathlands and might not know to bring milk to an interrogation. Inquisitor Korka Glynn," she offers for those that might not know, giving a few pointed looks to the new faces in the hall before turning her attention back to her treats.
Rohm the Blackguard, Avalanche, a Snow Shepherd, 2 Valardin Knights arrive, following Caelis.
Georgine has left the an oval oak audience table.
Kiera enters the room very quietly and waits her turn. her brow goes up a bit at korka's words but nods her head slowly
"Should we consider putting together a primer, Inquisitor?" Alis wonders, propping her chin in her hand for a moment. "A guide to Oathlands 'conversations'? Always bring milk. And cookies. That would be entry one." she states wryly. "Thank you, of course, for speaking up. And may I reiterate that anyone with information is /expected/ to come forward. If you know something it's your duty to see that the truth is told."
"Oh? We have raspberry tarts?" Katarina asks Ivy. "Are they good~? If they are good, I must try one~." (Katarina tried two of them before the meeting began. The Manor staff all but had to shoo her out with a broom because she kept wandering up and helping herself to treats while they were still setting those treats out on the tables.) While she creeps toward those tarts, Katarina meets eyes with Kiera to give her a nod, and then sends her attention toward Korka.
Caelis slips in to the Audience Hall and looks over the group gathered. After a moment she finds a corner to slink into where she can watch from.
Georgine sips at her tea, violet eyes transfixed by something on the gold dragon statue. Unfortunatelty, that hyperfocus doesn't seem to allow the Inquisitor to be heard, but then... neither does anyone else. Gathering her teacup into her non-clawed hand, she rises from her seat and slips through the crowds again to investigate. "Excuse me," she murmurs as she slips around the dessert table. "Sorry... Excuse me..." She's -almost- there when Alis speaks; that registers, albeit through a delay, and she pauses, head popping up curiously.
Turn in line: Kiera
Alis waves at Caelis with her free hand when her sister enters, a bright smile offered. She then looks towards Kael and Zara to see if they have anything to add before looking to see if Kiera would still like to speak.
Kael nods to Korka and her statement, as easy and simple as that. A third nod comes forth to reinforce Alis' statement. That said, he is taking a bite from his refreshments swiftly. Even if he is saving that lemon and raspberry tart he has on his plate. When Alis looks toward him he shakes his head and afterward turns toward Kiera curiously.
At the mention of Marquis Valerius' assassination, Fiachra grimaces but then shakes his head to Korka to indicate that he does indeed know nothing. "I will come forward with any information that I learn," he says, inclining his head in a nod/bow.
"Princess Caelis~," Katarina whispers, a little too loudly. "Come try these tarts~." She's actually leaning /around/ Ivy to stage-whisper that at Caelis, as though Ivy is some sort of giant doric column, or possibly some sort of giant ionic column.
"Mff. Das marry gud," Ivy doesn't seem to recall that its bad manners to speak with food in her mouth, though she at least lifts a hand to cover her mouth while she talks. Swallowing the bite, she nods to the pile of pastries, "Raspberry are my favorite. Like a pig with truffles, I can always sniff out the raspberry treats." That may be the longest and most smoothly spoken statement she's uttered since arriving. That Katarina is using her as a piece of furniture seems only natural, Gods know the goats lean against her enough. She's sturdy enough to hang off of or peer around. It doesn't even stop her from taking a bite. The new entry of another Princess draws her eyes to Caelis, a brief glance, then she's quickly looking away again.
Georgine is tugged away by a messenger.
Korka watches Georgine as she heads away through the crowd with just the touch of suspicion, but then she's notting to Fiachra's comment and settling in to more of her lemon bars.
Kiera smiles "I admit I don't have any question but a hope i had hoped that prince fiachra would be in attendance and I might introduce myself properly as i missed the opportunity at the last gathering, i tend to get easily distracted at large gatherings and hoped this one would be smaller so i might do so properly
Caelis returns Alis' wave with a finger wiggle of her own and shakes her head at Katarina. "Just drinking tonight." She murmurs and gets herself some refreshment before giving others who look her way hollow smiles.
Attention perking when Kiera speaks up, Fiachra looks over to her with a smile and dips his head in a nod. "Well, I'm glad I came along then. What can I do for you?" He casts a quick glance over to Kael and then Alis, the latter getting a smile.
Katarina furrows her brow at Caelis's response, and doesn't hide that she does so. Even with a veil covering half of her face, the small Princess's look of concern is blatant. If slightly undercut by how she's eating a raspberry tart while looking concerned.
When Kiera is introducing herself to Prince Fiachra, Kael is taking a bite from that lemon tart on his plate, leaning a bit forward so that he can peer sidelong toward the prince.
"Well that's quite kind of you, Lady Kiera." And, it also means that Alis can do the same thing Kael is going - lemon bar. It's the lemon bar eating contest apparently, to see w ho can finish theirs off before they need to call on the next person that has a question.
Reigna eyes Kael as he eats that tart, giving him a pout as if betrayed. It's fake of course, she's grinning before she leans down to listen to Talis speak to her. She nods to him after a moment and he settles in. As Kiera introduces herself, there is a little curious study of the former-Wyrmguard.
Alis sends over a lemon bar to Reigna. And a raspberry tart of apology for her part in the pastry eating display of betrayal.
Reigna cheers up considerably as the tarts arrive and she happily breaks the lemon bar in two, offering a half to each boy and saves teh tart for herself. Mwahahahahaha.
Kiera drops a small curtsey to the prince "Kiera Wyvernheart, co-voice of high hill At present I simply wanted to say hello and reiterate that despite our small size we stand ready to serve the oathlands in any way necessary
"As a friend, of course!" Reigna bursts out in an almost frantic tone, seemingly out of the blue. She's looking at Kael as she says this non-sequitur.
"Oh!" Fiachra replies to Kiera and nods his head. "Well met, Lady Wyvernheart. Thank you for coming and for your support." After greeting her properly, he casts a sidelong glance to Alis before going back to his bounty of baked goods.
An Unremarkable Associate arrives, delivering a message to Kastelon before departing.
Korka glances between Kiera and Fiachra, one dark brow rising as she takes a drink, then she's blinking over at Reigna's outburst with a 'hmmm.'
Kastelon briefly looks over to Reigna, with a faintly apologetic look on his features, and smiles a little to the children, before he's rounding up Resolute and quickly following out on the heels of the messenger.
Resolute, an Oakhaven bloodhound leaves, following Kastelon.
Zara has left the an oval oak audience table.
Elena, a solemn knight attache, Alette, a discreet lady's maid, Isabel, a calm diplomatic aide, 4 Valardin Knights leave, following Zara.
Alis inclines her head politely towards Kiera, and looks out over the crowd to see if there was anyone else who'd already spoken up about having a question, comment, or introduction to make. She absolutely skips right past any outbursts; what outburst?? And, smoothly transitions to a, "I hope we've addressed everyone's concerns. We will, of course, schedule another open session so that we can address everyone again. Feel free to stay and enjoy the refreshments if you like."
Katarina is way ahead of her sister there.
Kiera nods again to the prince and high lord and makes her way over to the marquessa keaten to say hello
Kael is giving very solid side eye to Alis and Fiachra, but also turning his attention to his wife. In fact, his brow might have been raised *before* that little outburst of hers. When said outburst comes, he brings a hand up to his mouth to VERY POLITELY cover his cough.
With the end of the 'office hours', and people starting to disperse, Ivy seems to relax at least a touch. She finishes off her raspberry tart, dusting her hands off before glancing around and sending a brief glance towards Reigna. Now? Is now the time? Oh, wait, someone else is approaching. Ivy glances away again and instead reaches across the table for another tart, then looks around. Awkwardly. So awkwardly.
Alis looks absolutely innocent of any wrongdoing please and thank you! Except for pastry stealing. Which she does, indiscriminately now that the talking part is over.
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