Halfshav Family Dinner, Summer Edition
Dec. 5, 2020, 6 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Redrain - Halfshav Hall - Great Hall
Comments and Log
It may be the heat of the summer, but the Great Hall with it vaulted ceilings is blessedly cool. The great oak table in the hall is laden with summertime treats: poached trout and salmon, roast rabbits, lamb dumplings, a vast array of fresh fruit and fruit-derived treats, some apricot tarts (because Khanne loves her apricot), an array of cheeses, and a frankly stunning variety of beverages.
Brianna is fussing and making sure everything is just right while Caleb, the House's young ward, plays with little Lord Weylan.
Sir Rodrick, a Well Built Sanna Guard, Ein, an adventurous tan corgi puppy arrive, following Sasha.
Petroc, the most unassuming man you have ever met, Sasha arrive, following Cirroch.
Azova arrives, ironically enough, from the direction of the family suites and without being in the company of the the primary reason she's here for dinner at all. "Lady Brianna, everything looks fantastic. It's time to relax and enjoy all your hard work!" She greets the hostess with her usual warm smile and leans over to murmur something to her quietly. After which she does of course go look to see little Weylan. "Where is little lord angry potato. I have a lot of coos and ridiculous baby noises stored up to use."
Mirk makes a point of arriving a little early. He's seated and has a glass of whiskey poured for himself by the time others start to trickle in, though he's yet to show any interest in the food. He glances over Weylan and Caleb, and comments to Brianna, "Congratulations again on the birth, cousin, though you really shouldn't call him an angry potato." There's a nod to Azova. "And a pleasure to see you as well, my lady."
Medeia comes sweeping in to the familiar Halfshav great hall on the arm of Haakon, looking around for the hostess. "Lady Brianna! You look stunning! Thank you for having us." She looks around again, spotting Caleb. "Ah, there's my favorite helper!" Spotting Azova in the process, she also greets her. "Lady Azova, I hope you're doing well."
Haakon enters in fine wool and sharkskin, rather than his more familiar hides and iron. Entering alongside Medeia, he spares a moment to prompt Caleb, "Let's see those arms, boy." Only once he's addressed the aspiring oarsman do his eye and words go to the hosts. "Fair met, Ladies. Lords," with a short bow of the head and shoulders.
Rosalind comes rushing inside with her bright red hair trailing behind her. Kinda. It's braided this evening for dinner. "I made it,"she calls out with a natural laugh in voice. Seeing practically EVERYone she knows, Rosa gives a large wave and greets them. "Hi Brianna, oh and Elder Mirk! Hi!" Spotting Caleb and the baby, she smiles more,"Hey Caleb and baby. Caleb, you're getting really big,"the Ravenseye declares. Stopping to take a break, Rosalind sees Medeia too and waves,"Hi Deia and Haakon. And uh.."her large hazel green eyes looking to Azova. "Have we met,"slidding into a spot.
Cirroch and Sasha arrive to the great hall, Cirroch smiling as he has a quiet word with Sasha. Then heading to greet their friend, "Lady Brianna, thank you for the invite to your home." turning to the little one (Caleb) though still speaking to Brianna, "And who is this then?" Cirroch's smile grows for the young one.
Brianna drops Caleb, ward of House Halfshav.
Brianna huffs at somethng Azova whispers to her. "I can send Caleb to wake the lazy cat up, if you want," she suggests. But Caleb is too busy -- he hands the baby to Azova, then shows off his STRONK ARMS to Haakon, hopefully. "Lady Eirene says I can't go on the ship with her because people might need me at the clinic here," he tells Haakon, as if Haakon has any idea what he's talking about. She glances over to Mirk. "You've been congratulating me for four months. And why shouldn't I call him an angry potato?" she challenges him. Medeia and Rosalind get cheek-kisses, then she turns to Cirroch and Sasha. "This is Caleb, our young ward, and the baby he just handed to Lady Azova is my son, Weylan." There's a bit of a tensing at the corners of her mouth as she says this, but it eases into a smile.
"A pleasure to see you as well, Lord Mirk. It's lovely to be back in the city after so long on a ship. I expect word of the trip to Brightshore will be around soon. Princess Lou will have a lot to be able to tell everyone." By way of explanation for her lack of time seen by the rest of the family, Azova offers that information. And, looks thoroughly amused at his comment about angry potato. "Lady Medeia. Hello! Lord Haakon." she inclines her head towards both. "I don't believe we have, my lady." she replies to Rosalind then. "I'm Lady Azova Darkwater." And now her arms are full of baby Weylan and she is immediately making those cooing sounds and adorkable noises at him. "Look at you, so handsome. Doing right by the family, little man." A wink is given to Brianna. "It's quite alright. I'll tease him mercilessly later and none of you are going to serve me for dinner or something while he wakes his butt up."
"Has it been four months?" Mirk asks, blinking, and then rubs at his forehead. "My head is a little scrambled these days." He reaches for his glass of whiskey, takes a long pull from it. "For one thing, he's a little big to be a potato. For another, it seems a little rude," he says in a dry tone to Brianna. "You were on the team to Brightshore?" He asks Azova, his eyebrows rising. "I'll have to hear about it from you. I've been very curious ever since I heard about the place." There's a nod to the newcomers as they arrive. "Lady Rosalind. Lord Haakon. Lord Cirroch." To the last, he adds, "I haven't seen you in quite some time. How long have you been back in the city?"
Sasha nearly melts as she sees the baby, "Hello Weylan, you are such a cutie." She beams fondly as she looks over the baby. A nod of greet given to Mirk as she stands next to her husband.
Rosalind introduces herelf to Azova with a cheerful smile,"I'm Lady Rosalind Ravenseye. But you can call me Ros or Rosa if you want." This for Sasha and Cirroch too. There's a blink though at potato. "Wait. babies don't look like POTATOES!"
After returning Brianna's cheek kiss, Medeia gives Rosalind a hug in greeting while trying not to laugh at Caleb's response to Haakon. All the talk about Weylan being a potato elicits a laugh fromt he Harlequin. "Mm, that potato nearly ruined a gorgeous gown, thankfully umbra doesn't seem to be bothered by some blood." She turns and looks at Cirroch and Sasha. "Marquis and Marquessa Sanna, how lovely to see you!"
"When he was born, he looked like a potato. I think after all he put me through, I get to call him a potato for a while," Brianna counters. Weylan SMILES. "That's a thing he does now. It's better than the screaming."
"I was." Azova confirms, looking actually rather proud of herself for once at that. "It was an incredible place. I promise I'll tell you all about it." Perhaps not at dinner, but she'll certainly be happy to spill her guts about the trip sometime soon. "Are we going to play pass the Weylan while everyone arrives and settles in?" she murmurs to Brianna, with an eye towards the Saik and Eswynd couple. And she seems just to innocent looking too. Tsk. "Lady Rosalind, then. I'm glad to meet you. As is Lord Weylan I'm sure." She lifts one of his tiny hands to wave. "Aww, lookit that smile."
Haakon sniffs sharply back at Caleb. "Best heed her," he advises. "Else she'll skin you and have your hide in the wall. There will be time to pull an oar, after." Azova, Brianna, Mirk and the others are greeted in turn. He mutters aside to Rosa's protest that babies don't look like potatos, "Depends on the babe. Or on the potato."
Rosalind leans down to kiss the baby's forehead. "Nice to meet you!" She murmurs to Weylan and tells him,"I'll uh..teach you to climb and things. With Caleb." There's a grin, as she looks over at Haakon. "So you say potatoes are cute!Got it,"as she hugs Deia back. "Are we talking adventures? Where have people gone? I love hearing about others stories!"
Cirroch smiles and has a little coo for Weylan, kissing Sasha on the cheek before heading over to speak to others and grab a drink. After securing whiskey, he turns to Mirk, "Lord Mirk, I only just got back a few days ago. Business with the mines, and getting some things in place for plans that dearest Sasha is seeking to help grown our house with needed some sorting out. I hope all is well with you?" Cirroch turns to give a nod to Medeia, and a short greeting, "Lady Medeia, I seem to keep running into you over the last few days. I'll assume that this is a good thing?" Then to Rosalind, "Rosa or Rose? I seem to have missed that part."
"Please, pass the Weylan all you'd like," Brianna confirms, trying to hide her smile at Haakon's description of what Eirene might do to him. "It's lovely seeing so many people whose asses I've kicked together at one table, sharing a meal," she remarks.
Medeia moves close to Azova and gently taps Weylan's nose with one fingertip. "This little soul was the first I delivered upon my return to the city." Her expression is warm and proud. Her eyes are drawn to Mirk, however, when she hears confirmation of his identity. "Oh! Are you Mirk? I was recently told I should talk to you," she introduces herself, "Harlequin Medeia Saik." When Cirroch addresses her, she smiles. "I hope it's a good thing! Mm, Marquis, have you and your lovely wife made acquaintance with my betrothed?" A gesture is made toward Haakon. "Lord Haakon Eswynd; Haakon, this is Marquis Cirroch Sanna and Marquessa Sasha."
"I suppose I don't have too much cause to complain," Mirk says with a shrug of a shoulder at Cirroch. "I'm glad to see you back in the city, though. I've seen too little of my kin in House Sanna about lately, and here's both you and Lady Sasha." There's an inclination of his head towards the latter. "Lady Medeia. Now I simply to have ask: Who suggested it and why? Was it Lord Cadern again?"
Sasha smiles fondly at something spoken in her ear. Her hand resting over her stomach for a moment, looking joyful for a moment before her hand relaxes once more.
Rosalind squints at Brianna and laughs. "I don't think we've ever tried. Do I still count?" When everyone starts to bring their attention on Mirk, she grins more. "You're popular. Lucky you!" Then laughs more at the mention of her brother. "Cadern is good at that. I think he does it on purpose these days." There's a wave to the Marquis and Marquesa too,"Nice to meet you!"
Haakon turns his eye to Cirroch and Sasha when Medeia makes introductions. A short dip of his head and shoulders as the Prodigal quickly appraises the pair, greeting, "The Sanna, fair met. You carry a fine axe," he adds to the Marquis, in the next breath.
Brianna settles in to her chair. Her eyebrows quirk upward when Medeia says she was told to talk to Mirk. "Ahh, I see you are looking for someone who knows things. Mirk knows just about everything." She grins at Rosalind. "It's not too late. Could always kick your ass now."
Azova is happy to share the wealth so to speak, shifting the smiling baby boy over to Lady Medeia next since she's tapping the lucky lad's nose. "That's a lovely bond to have, Lady Medeia. Lady Brianna could not have been in better hands for the delivery." Finally, she drags her eyes from the infant to the others she may not know. And, inclines her head politely to the Marquis and Marquessa Sanna. "Really now, Lady Brianna. You'd make me heal someone at a family dinner?" she teases.
"Ay. I hope to be around much longer this time, the kids are growing fast and with another on the way." Cirroch responds to Mirk, turning to Medeia's introduction of her betrothed, Haakon. He puts his right hand to his heart and gives a half bow to the man, "Lord Haakon Eswynd, it is a pleasure to meet you." He smiles to haakons comment to his axe, "The harpoon is a difficult one to master, it is good to see someone as a friend carrying it."
There's an actual look of excitement in her large hazel green eyes. "Oh! We're goig to fight at dinner? I was telling Deia about the mud pit you know!" Rosalind is grinning as she is telling all this, chatting away. "Harpoons? How do you use a harpoon,"Rosa asks. "Ros or Rosa. Not Rose. I'm not not flower I don't think,"piling some food on her plate.
"Oh, no, it was Uncle Branimir." Yes, Medeia is claiming Old One-Eye as family already. "And... It's sort of Harlequin business." And then her arms are full of Baby Potato. Adjusting slightly, she tucks Weylan into the crook of her left arm without missing a beat. "Not exactly a conversation to have now, but I am glad to have made the connection today." While other conversations swirl around her, she collects a glass of whiskey and delivers it to Haakon before getting a glass of wine for herself, gently bouncing Weylan in her arm all the while.
Haakon accepts the offered whiskey from Medeia with a word of thanks, turning his attention back to Cirroch as his own favored weapon is discussed. "Worth the work, I'd say. Less apt in a pitched battle than a more common spear, but after facing a Deepspawn-" his thought is interrupted by Rosa's enthusiasm. How to use a harpoon? "Depends on your opponent. If you hung a whale, the line is locked, you bury the barbs in the beast with a good throw, and finish it with a lance once it's done fleeing. Against men? Handles much different."
"I'll inquire again in a more private setting, then," Mirk says with a nod of his head to Medeia, accepting that answer. "And I don't know everything, Cousin. I just know a little bit about most things," he hedges, making a wavering gesture with one hand. "I really ought to speak with Lord Branimir more often, but I've not been getting out much myself these days."
Brianna looks over at Haakon at the mention of whales. "I have always wanted to see a whale. It's a lifelong dream of mine. I've gone on a few voyages by ship, but no such luck."
Cirroch sips at his whiskey before turning to Rosalind, "Apologies for the misunderstand, you don't look like a flower, too much movement." He smiles a little at his joke. His hand returning to his heart with a bow to her, "Well met Rosa." He then turns for a moment to make another face at Weyland to attempt to elicit a smile before turnning to Brianna, "I second Rosa's idea, a fight with dinner sounds delicious." He smiles to his long friend, "I'm sure most of us are prepared for one if needed too." his smile doesn't waver as he quickly looks over the room and everyone being prepared in case makes him happier.
Rosalind is already asking with no shame whatsoever. "Can I learn? Who wants to me how to shoot a harpoon?" Oh yes she is asking this! It's a FANSTASTIC idea! With an whistful look to Brianna, Rosa tells her,"You can find them near Stormheart. Well, not in. Because you know, we live in the mountains. But I mean, when we take the ship out and things, we find them."
"Have you tried the Harpoon on a kraken?" Azova can't help herself, she has to ask. And somewhere between handing Medeia the baby and her question, she got herself a glass with some rum to sip at. A creature of habit.
Medeia nods her thanks to Mirk before seeking out Caleb. "Want to hear about the bird god I saw recently?" She asks the young ward. Her wine is set down as she settles into a seat, shifting Weylan to lay upon her chest and shoulder with her hand supportively on his back. She glances around at those discussing harpooning, but doesn't say anything - even when Haakon mentions it handles different against men.
"There's a whale that had asked me to come visit it again someday, once certain steps have been made," Mirk says after pouring some more whiskey for himself. "If you haven't seen one by that, I can always try to bring you along. Though the easier and faster way would likely be Lord Haakon." There's a chuckle lacing those last words. More seriously, he asks, "Deepspawn?"
Sasha curiously inquires, "Exactly what sort of fight as we discussing before dinner? Apologies I was thinking upon baby names."
Haakon regards Brianna. "Hunting whales is bloody and foul smelling work, but one beast will feed a village, entire." Seeing whales has a distinctly practical implication to the Eswynd. Risa draws a flat look. "Throw, not shoot. A busy throws a harpoon. And a kraken would be a bad mark for harpoons: they're so fucking big, a ship's best tack is to drive one off. Harpoons are for keeping foes you don't want to let escape." To Mirk, he nods. "When the Darkness rose in the Deeps, and the Marin brought his strength against us, he marshaled all manner of fell beasts. Kraken, great serpents, and the like. Deepspawn, born of waters so dark that no light ever found them afore they were summoned."
"I've heard of the glass shark at Setarco," Brianna says in hushed tones. "But I leave the whale /hunting/ to those more skilled. I just would like to see one someday." She looks at Mirk curiously. "The whale... asked you? Truly?" Caleb looks at Medeia, eyes wide. "A bird god? Was it a real god, like Skald, or one of the imaginary ones?" Brianna shoots the boy a warning look. "/Caleb/."
Medeia checks composure at normal. Medeia is marginally successful.
Ilyse, a potentially reformed troublemaker arrives, following Reve.
Azova remains conspicuously quiet as the Darkwater at the table when the darkwater is spoken of, though she may just tweak the position of her kraken inspired hairpiece a little and with a wry smile at that. "Now that is a whale I would be fascinated to meet." she decides, nodding towards Mirk. "Without a harpoon anywhere in sight, I think."
"He asked? Really? Can I come to see him too,"Rosa is asking too. Seriously shameless. To Haakon, she looks at him a bit inquisitively. "Ok. How do you throw a harpoon. Can you show me? I'll show you how to shoot a bow if you want." Fair is fair! Rosalind takes a drink of whiskey, taking a breath. FINALLY.
Mirk shoots a look at Brianna, at Caleb's question, but doesn't interrupt. "It was a rather special whale, all told; ancient and knowledgeable about a good many things. But that's a story best told in full another time." There's a slow dawning of comprehension at Haakon's explanation, followed by a quick nod. "I'd heard of some of those creatures, but I'd never heard the term 'Deepspawn' used to describe them. Interesting. Have you ever hunted such creatures yourself?"
The mention of the glass shark of Setarco makes Medeia's eyes cloud, but she doesn't otherwise react, instead, there's a smile aside for Caleb. "The clan of people I was with revered him as such," comes her diplomatic answer. She has one ear on the whale story, and then the question about Haakon's hunting has her turning her eyes on him.
Haakon answers Rosa, "If you've a spearbearer to manage the line, it's the same as casting a heavy javelin. Managing the line and throwing yourself takes more skill. If you want for the knowledge, I'll show you, but intending no insult, there are few folk alive who could teach me more of bow work." To Cirroch he grunts in bone-dry humor. "No, I've not hunted one. I've been hunted *by* one. I've fought with one, and I survived it where a goodly number of shield brothers did not, but I've never set out to hunt one."
Who looks as though he just woke up? That would be Reve! To be fair, this is not a disheveled look from him. Rather it is the fact that he looks absolutely put together, with attire pristine and most definitely unworn. His arrival comes forth with a bow upon entry as though this was perfectly acceptable with late entry and he saunters over to Azova so that he can select a chair near her.
Brianna gives her latecoming cousin a Look. "Do I want to know?" she asks him.
"Still, that's better than most people could say. Surviving such a thing is impressive by itself," Mirk says, raising his glass to Haakon as if in a toast. He's distracted a moment later by Reve's arrival. "Cousin. Nice of you to join us. I hope you rested well?"
Cirroch has a quiet word with Sasha, he puts his arm over her shoulder as he listens to the discussion of the sea animals.
Azova looks amused is what she looks, when Reve saunters right in without looking the least bit sorry for his late arrival. She's not going to rescue him from his family giving him shit, though she does murmur something quietly to him, and with the sweetest of smiles on her face. "Hunted /by/ a deepspawn? That sounds rather disturbing, my lord."
Sasha smiles up to Cirroch and softly murmurs back to him as she gently lays against his side.
Rosalind waves to Reeve when her ventures in. "Hi other Halfshav! I think you should tell Brianna!" There's a grin on her scarred face when she says this. Yep. Instigating.
Haakon raises his cup of whiskey back at Mirk, voicing, "East Wind, bear us home again," before drinking. Azova's observation is affirmed with a nod. "So it is. Worst fight I ever saw. Sea and Sky strike me down if I lie, it's the sort of dread that makes a body laugh at the arrogance of humanity to claim that we rule a world with such things in it."
Cirroch laughs loudly to something that Sasha has said to him and he pulls her a little closer in a side hug and kisses her forehead.
Medeia is lightly rubbing Weylan's back when Reve enters, but the man is unfamiliar to her. The continued talk about deepspawn keeps her quiet, along with occasional sips of wine.
Brianna looks over at Haakon at his toast. "Tell me, your people have a relationship with the East Wind. How do you relate to it? Speak to it? Hear it?"
"I did - exceptionally well, cousin," answers Reve before bowing to Mirk in a manner that is actually quite respectful. That said, he settles in and seeks to catch up without too much of a distraction at the table. Whatever Azova whispers to him, well, it has his lips twitching. "Tell her that I was most exhausted and needing my rest?" asks Reve in turn to Rosalind, smile bright and bold.
Haakon echoes Brianna's question, thoughtfully. "A relationship," he considers a moment, drawing a slow breath through the nose. "Not in the manner you mean. Not most of us. Branimir One-Eye hears it, but the rest of us? Nay. The East Wind is Mangata's breath, it is the power of nature itself. We speak to it, as it carries our prayers to the Goddess, but.. no relationship, really. A busy cannot prevail on the Wind, nor rage against it, for the Wind cares not."
Mirk echoes the toast with a look of curiosity, and then takes a pull of his whiskey. He glances from Brianna to Haakon at the question, clearly curious himself, though he doesn't interject. Instead, he merely comments to Reve, "Good." If he's being sarcastic at this point, it's hard to tell. "You know, I've been meaning to pull you aside for a while. Talk to you about the impending Crusade. We should get together soon, hm?"
Guileless, absolutely guileless is Azova at the bold and bright smile Reve offers to Rosalind when she prompts him to answer Brianna's question. "The crusade, that reminds me - will you be one of the Knights of Solace on the Hospital ship duty, Lady Brianna?"
"Have you ever tried? I've... had some curious experiences with the North Wind and I would like to compare notes at some point," Brianna says to Haakon. She gives Reve an amused glance. "Mmhmm." At Azova's question, she shakes her head. "I will be leading an honor guard from the Cascade Springs militia," she explains. "Unless duty calls me elsewhere."
Haakon gives a wry grunt of amusement to Brianna's question. "No. Now that you ask, I've never tried," he admits, taking a second swallow of his drink. The amusement fades as mention is made of a crusade. "What crusade is this?"
Sir Roderick comes to the Sasha and softly speaks with her. She offers a nod and looks up to Cirroch, "Seems Entreri is being a butt and wanting me to come and read him a story. I'll catch up with you back home." She looks to everyone present, "Apologies, motherhood calls. May the Spirits be with you all." A fond smile curling her lips before she is walking out.
Rosalind snickers at Reve. "Right. Got it,"hurrying to her feet. At the mention of the crusade, Rosa pauses. "Oh! I spoke to Gwenna about um...joining the crusade. It's a possibility." This directed to Mirk mostly, but for everyone too. Waving, Rosalind smiles and darts off. "Nice seeing you all!"
Sir Rodrick, a Well Built Sanna Guard, Ein, an adventurous tan corgi puppy leave, following Sasha.
Connal, a Northern Wolfhound, Honeymare, 1 Ravenseye Warrior leave, following Rosalind.
"I suppose you are new to the Compact, hm?" Mirk asks Haakon, raising an eyebrow. "To make a long story short, there is an Eurusi war fleet heading for...the Saffron Chain, we believe, to retaliate against the Compact for interfering with their operations there. The Faith has called a Crusade to repel them. The Great Houses have called banners, which means that Halfshav will sail to war - even if we don't have much of a navy to speak of." There's a low chuckle at that last, self-deprecating.
"Against Bellerive and Helianthus, I assume? Or Eurus. Or..." Medeie murmurs aside to Haakon. She might be a disciple, but the words all sound bitter. She rises from her seat and paces with Weylan.
Haakon looks to Mirk with visible relief, "Oh, good. Aye, I know well of that war.. had not heard it called a crusade, before." As nod aside to Medeia, on whom his eye lingers for a long moment.
Cirroch has piled a few items onto his plate and is beginning to eat as Roderick comes to pull Sasha away. He gives Sasha a kiss before she dashes off, as storytime typically means the boy is throwing a tantrum too. He then turns back to the discussion at the table, "While we don't have much of a navy, let them come to the shores. I'll personally send them to a different grave if need."
If Mirk is being sarcastic, Reve certainly does not seem to respond to it so. He does however dip his head and report an easy, "Of course. Call on me when you are available and I shall come." You know, he probably will even have his assistant wake him. He flashes a grin toward Brianna and settles in easily, dipping his head toward those that are departing.
"Against the Eurus fleet. Though we all suspect and expect that Helianthus and his supporters will use the opportunity to try something." Azova comments, taking discussion of this particular matter seriously at least. "The Physicians Guild and Mercies have suggested each lead ship have two healers onboard, and other ships as well if there are enough. Some of us will be on a caravel set aside for the injured." She could babble about this all day, guys. Red Alert.
"The Faith's proclamation of a Crusade was fairly recent, I think," Mirk says, his head canted. "Though I've been reminded once already today that I'm losing track of the passage of time, a bit." He shrugs a shoulder, nonchalant. "I'm a little leery of the prospect, myself. But then, the Northlands have been target of more than one Crusade in the past." He glances aside at Reve and asks, "What do you think, Cousin?"
Haakon's stony expression warms subtly with the ghost of a smile as he regards Cirroch. "I expect you and yours will have work aplenty. Either on your own shores, or theirs." He follows Mirk's eye to Reve, awaiting that opinion. Aside, he gives a quiet word to Medeia.
"Any time that I am trapped at sea," grumbles Reve, "is no particular joy of mine." Yes, he says this without even an ounce of shame despite the fact that he is settled near the Darkwater. "That said, I do not like it. I do not relish the chaos that war will bring. Yet it seems an inevitable thing." He glances there to Mirk, brow quirked, to see if that was what he was asking.
"I wonder if Lady Brianna is too large to go on a ship," Brianna asks idly, picking at some pastries. She pauses. "That must have sounded mad to half of you. The siege engine that Princess Sorrel and Prince Galen gave us for our wedding. I let Alec name it," she explains.
"You'd have gone stark raving mad on the trip to Brightshore. Even with the unfortunate island detour we had to make on the way there." Azova just tsk's quietly, obviously enjoying teasing Reve over his lack of enjoyment being trapped on a ship. "I am not sure anyone enjoys the chaos of war. Nor the injuries, death, and despair it always brings. And yet, what Eurus wants to bring to our shores is far, far worse."
Medeia leans in to whisper something to Caleb before helping the Halfshav ward get settled with Weylan in his arms. She smiles fondly at the boy and rests a hand on his shoulder before retaking her seat and shaking her head in response to whatever Haakon said to her. Her eyes flick around the table as people speak on the war. But the 'Lady Brianna' comment has Medeia smirking. "Note to self, do not let my husband name things."
Cirroch pauses in his eating to offer Brianna a smile and a laugh. "Mad? You? Ha!" He sips some of his whiskey before continuing, "Though it is helpful to know that when we speak your name that we could also be referring to a siege engine." His next comment is addressed to Mirk, even if he doesn't turn to him. "Cousin, I don't seek the wars. They seem to keep coming to me, and I don't really wish to be out on a boat if I don't have to be. Though you know where to find me if you need my axe."
Haakon turns a dry eye and wicked near-smile on Medeia. "And why not? We could be standing before a castle wall with a catapult, and say 'dread naught, one look at Deia's Tits and they'll be lining up to surrender'."
Mirk squints at Brianna. Evidently, this is the first he's hearing about the name. "Maybe one of the caravels," he suggests. "Though I wonder if the name was intended as an insult or a compliment." He chuckles at that, though he sobers as he listens to both Reve and Cirroch. He nods his head. "I agree with you, Reve. More's the pity. There's more dangers there than we know." He nods his head to Cirroch. "I'm sure House Sanna will be called to war with the rest of us, though we'll have to sit down and discuss specific plans closer to the date. I'll be with some of the Spirit Walkers, rather than our armies, unfortunately. Though, it will be in the Redrain contingent, so I'm sure we'll be close by."
Drysi, a young shaman apprentice arrives, following Khanne.
She tries, really, she does. But Medeia can't help laughing at Haakon's imagined example. "That!" Her cheeks turn a bit pink as the laughter fades. "That would be precisely why."
Brianna slides her gaze over to Haakon. "That's no way to describe your courtship, Lord Haakon," she says with a wry grin. To Mirk, she chuckles. "It's Alec. It's probably both. As for you going off to war, I'm happy to train with you any time you'd like. I know you're not a fighter, but I want to make sure you can defend yourself if you need to."
Khanne walks into the Great Hall looking well, but tired. She stops and looks around at the others there, and calmly takes a seat at the table. "Hello."
Azova pours more rum into her glass, yes. That's exactly what she does. And for the moment is perfectly content to not say a word. Except a respectful, "Duchess." when Khanne arrives, in greeting.
Haakon gives a small, brief chuckle as he gets a laugh out of Medeia. Brianna gets a brief smile. Any quip in return is delayed as Khanne arrives, greeting, "The Halfshav."
"More is the pity," repeats Reve, with an exhale of his breath. You know? He actually seems to be quite serious, solemn even, with that statement. Shaking his head, he moves to pour a respectable whiskey in his glass before lifting it to toast the Duchess. "Cousin," he greets. At least that toast is well matched with his head dipping. He side-eyes Haakon. "The Halfshav," he repeats, amused. "I am so very content to be *a* Halfshav. Not *the* one." His eyes sparkle.
"Cousin," Mirk says with a dip of his head towards Khanne. "Good to see you again. It's almost becoming a habit." There's a smile at that. "I had my assistant prepare a little gift for you." He doesn't elaborate on what that gift is, however, continuing to sip at his whiskey. "And thank you, Brianna. I'll probably take you up on that. I'm too old to make a fine soldier, but a little preparation might keep me safer when the time comes." To Reve, he adds, "You and me both. Well outside the line of succession and liking it that way, hm?"
Cirroch continues to shovel food into his mouth, though stops for a moment as Khanne enters. "Duchess. It is good to see you." Though he is more intrigued with the naming of seige weapons. "Lord Haakon, I should start naming our seige weapons in that manner. Our Sasha would have a laugh."
"Ummm." Khanne blinks once at Haakon and looks around herself. "The Halfshav?" She smiles to each member of her family. "Cousins galore." The others get smiles as well. "Vassals and friends. Welcome." And then to Mirk, "Right? You might not be able to forget my face for awhile..." She smiles. "I know I am late. Business is keeping me. How is everyone? How was the meal? What have I missed?" Pause. "Wait." She looks back to Mirk. "A gift for me? I like gifts..."
Brianna rises from her seat. "Khanne!" she grins, offering her cousin a kiss in the cheek in greeting. "I made sure Caleb didn't eat the last apricot tart." Speaking of Caleb, he turns to the nearest adult and says, "Can you please take Weylan? My arms are getting tired." Then he realizes the adult he turned to was Haakon. CAN'T HAVE HAAKON THINKING HE HAS WEAK ARMS. "I mean. You looked like you wanted to hold him." Smooth, kid. Brianna turns to Cirroch. "I love it. Our siege weapons named after the women of the North. I, for one, support this new tradition."
Haakon narrows his eyes at Caleb. "Tired arms," he echoes, warily. He will take a turn with the infant, but not before further needling Caleb, "Fine, I was getting hungry." Because lol, Isles Prodigals eat babies. Cirroch earns a sly half-smile. "If she laughs, then you ought do it. Sieges are wretched things, need every laugh you can get."
Realizing that she still hasn't introduced herself to Reve, and now Khanne is there - who is also unfamiliar, Medeia takes the opportunity to quickly introduce herself, "Harlequin Medeia Saik, well met." When Caleb seeks arm relief, she turns an eye to Haakon, one side of her mouth quirking up in humor as he teases the boy.
Mirk waves a hand, and his assistant - a heavily tattooed prodigal - produces a leather-bound folio for Khanne. Without a single word spoken, he passes it to her. His job done, the assistant is dismissed for the moment. "Sadly, I'm only good at giving one kind of gifts," he admits in a dry tone. Her squints at Brianna afterwards, but doesn't comment.
"Well, being in the *line* might be all right, but being *the* Halfshav likely requires a substantial amount of meetings," says Reve without missing a beat at all and somehow managing to contain his grin. Just barely. He takes a sip of whiskey and starts to come up with some commentary - undoubtedly smartassery - when Medeia is introducing herself. The woman is considered a mere moment before he introduces himself in turn. "Lord Reve Halfshav. Are you - or Saik in general - an ally of Halfshav?" he asks curiously.
"My midwife, and I hope I can call her friend, as well," Brianna adds when Medeia introduces herself to Khanne and Reve. Caleb watches Haakon for a while, just to make sure he isn't going to eat the baby.
"Don't sell yourself short, Lord Mirk. I bet you also give excellent gifts of liquor." Azova points out, when she sees the folio passed to Khanne as her 'gift'. Then she'll focus on her dessert, and try to look as bright eyed and energetic as she did when she first walked in.
Khanne accepts the cheek kiss from Brianna and gives her a side-armed hug. "Oh, thank you, Bri. That was very thoughtful." She looks then to Medeia, who is introducing herself. "Well met, Harlequin. I am Duchess Khanne Halfshav." Eyes look up to the prodigal, delivering the folio to her hands. "Oh!" she sxclaims after taking a peek inside. "Thank you very much. But, I disagree. You have given me a lovely oak staff to hit my brother in the head with." She winks to him then nods to Reve. "I was about to ask after the connection to us as well. I assumed friend?" Then, Brianna confirms. "Well then, thank you for seeing to the health of my cousins, both bearing and born."
Haakon needles Caleb a bit further. "Bring some salt, aye? Off with you," in the deadpan manner of his. He holds Weylan easily enough. If you've held one baby, you've held them all. A sharp sniff of humor at Khanne's oak staff quip.
Brianna beats Medeia to the answer for Reve, so instead she nods, with a gesture in Brianna's direction before bringing her fingertips gently to brush over Weylan's head. Her eyes meet Brianna's, "I hope so, too." She inclines her head to Khanne, then eyes Haakon again. "He's a potato, you'll be wanting a bit of butter."
Mirk laughs at Khanne and Azova's comments. "Point taken, then," he concedes. "Ah. A midwife. Well, then, I thank you for your assistance to House Halfshav. Even if you did deliver a potato, according to Brianna. Besides," he adds in an aside to Khanne and Medeia both, "I think Lady Lucita would consider her House friends of Halfshav, even if it has never been formalized through marriage or treaty."
Khanne nods to Mirk and smiles. "Very true point there, for certain." She looks about, probably for that last apricot tart. "How I consider us friends with the Mazetti and the Keatons."
Cirroch smiles to Medeia's comment to Haakon then adds in, "Salt, butter, maybe some extra meat. It'll make the potato a complete meal." He has a hearty laugh before looking to Caleb to assure him that his brother is safe. Looking back to Medeia. "Is this why I keep running into you? Has Sasha mentioned our fifth child and her want of a midwife?"
Reve nods his head toward the midwife and remarks, "Ah! Then I thank you for the fabulous job of bringing my cousin into the world, and..." Khanne beats him to it, so he gestures to her to just follow along. Mirk's commentary has him nod his head to him, curiously, though he gives some slight side eye to Azova there. His lips twitch and he leans in to murmur something quietly to her.
Azova lifts her glass again, perhaps abruptly, and murmurs something to Reve when she's done with that sip of the dark liquid. "Things to hit brothers over the head with are always welcome gifts I find. They so often deserve it, really." she commiserates, with a solemn glance at Khanne.
Brianna looks Caleb dead in the eye and, without looking away, passes Haakon a bowl of sour cream. As she does this, she remarks to Azova, "This is why I wish I had a brother. I have many cousins to hit over the head, but I'm told it's not the same."
"Have you met my brother?" Khanne smirks with a small snort as her eyes go to Azova. "He has been quiet and well behaved lately... but I used to threaten to stab him in the foot at least once a week..." She grins to Brianna then. "My cousins usually don't make me feel like hitting them over the head...usually."
"No, I have not had the pleasure. I do have an older brother of my own, though!" Azova understands, really she does. "I'm not sure I'd say he's been well behaved. But, brother. So..." Her shoulders lift. What can you do, right? "You can adopt someone as a brother. Well, not really adopt. But pretend. Then when you hit them over the head, you just say that's how you show your affection." See? She has the best advice for Brianna.
"Yes," Medeia says in Mirk's direction, "I imagine my baroness does, at that. Though, I also imagine a treaty would not be unwelcome." When Cirroch asks about running into her, she smiles a small smile. "No, Marquis Sanna, I don't think that's why. I am not sure she knows I am a midwife. I just happen to be everywhere." She inclines her head to Reve in acknowledgment before covering a huff of laughter with a hand when Brianna passes the sour cream to Haakon. "Mm, maybe it's time to give the baby back?" She stands and gently takes Weylan from Haakon, gestures for him to follow, and moves toward Brianna to return the infant. "Thank you for having us, my lady, it was lovely." She gives the woman a kiss on the cheek. "It was wonderful to see or meet the rest of you, as well," she says as she takes Haakon's arm and the pair exits.
1 Saik Guard, Fluffy, the wary wildcat, 2 Eswynd shieldbearers, an Eswynd warrior named Erik or Alric, Haakon leave, following Medeia.
Rising up from the table, Khanne has the tart in her hand. "I am sorry to make this a brief visit, but, I do have to go. I hope you all enjoy your evenings... and that I see you again soon." She smiles as Medeia and Haakon also prepare to leave. "Travel safe." Then... she takes her tart and heads back towards her suite.
Drysi, a young shaman apprentice leaves, following Khanne.
Cirroch winses a little as Khanne discusses hitting her brother, as if he's remembering his own sisters /friendly reminders/. He then sits back and drinks his whiskey, pouring a little more into the glass when it is low. He looks over to Brianna, "You've known me long enough, and have been beating me upside the head that whole time. You can consider me a brother if it helps you seek that feeling. I'm sure Tila would be happy to call you sister."
"Ari--" starts Reve. A pause before he amends, "Lord Arik is Khanne's brother," in an offering to Azova. Yet Khanne is leaving and thus, when she and the Saik also are leaving, he downs the remainder of his whiskey. "Great family dinner, cousin - cousins." Initial cousin is Brianne, Mirk however is included. "If you will excuse us, however, there is a matter that I must attend to."
"Then good evening, Cousin, Lady Azova," Mirk says with a nod of his head to Reve. "It was good to see you both, if only for a short while." He turns to Brianna. "And thank you for hosting, by the by. Sometimes we do get too distracted by our own projects, off in our own little corners; it's good to come together once in a while."
Cirroch nods in agreement to those that are leaving and stands up as well. "I should go check with Sasha, possibly give her some relief from lil Entreri. Thank you for having us."
Orion, a healer's surly Assistant, 2 Redoubt Buccaneers leave, following Azova.
Ilyse, a potentially reformed troublemaker, Azova leave, following Reve.
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