Blackshore Clam Bake
Sept. 27, 2021, 6 p.m.
Outside Arx - Eastern Approach - Beaches
Comments and Log
1 Templar Knight guards, a playful black tortie kitten arrive, following Roran.
6 Grayson House Guards, Thistleton, an elderly and devoted manservant, Liza, a young and energetic bard arrive, following Macda.
Drink already in hand, Dycard pads up and down the northern edge of the beach, directing some of Blackshore's mariners in setting up some bizarre game. "No, no - go pull that bit up there further to the right, closer to the surf!" he calls. Whatever he is doing, he seems rather engrossed in the task - a feverish light shining in bright cerulean orbs - before he turns back as his bosun tries to indicate that people are beginning to arrive. He drifts back toward the main serving area where the various tables and drinks have been set up, taking no shame in refilling his own cup from a bottle of whiskey and running a hand through his hair. "Gods damn is it cold though - what was I thinking?" he asked as an aside to the mariners working about who offered either genuine or deferential laughs at the quip as the tide began to recede.
Mortimer is not paid enough for any of this! Except today, maybe he is, because Grady has brought him to an awesome clam bake where he will almost certainly only sometimes be expected to save his employer from himself. "So this is the storied beach." Grady studies the beach as the two of them approach it down the road, with the two guards trailing after. "I knew I ought to have brought my big winter cloak. I thought I would feel silly, you know - well, of course you do. But perhaps there's something to be said for being warm and feeling silly? Well! Nothing else for it. We shall have to make do." By 'we', Grady means himself, because Mortimer is both better dressed for the weather and also more suited to the cold, not being so incredibly thin. In the spirit of 'making do', Grady goes in search of a nice warm fire.
"Oh, it's really /not/ that cold," Cesare counters, which, coming from a native Setarcan, should embarrass everyone. His hair is everywhere thanks to the wind, though, that much is true. "Hello, Lord Dycard! Hello, Lord Grady! Oh, is there a game? How delightful!" He glides over toward the drink table to obtain a beverage for himself, and try not to get too much of his hair in his own mouth, or Dycard's in the process.
Zoey arrives with her regular retinue, a velvet cloak wrapped around her shoulders. From a distance she watches the preparations before approaching their host and those around him with a smile. "Lord Dycard! What is this I hear about a game?" she glances around, nodding to Grady and Cesare in greeting.
From beyond the beaches, where the tide hovers near a vibrant reef, emerges a shirtless man wearing only cloth trousers. He is tall and emaciated, the skeletal structure of his abdomen standing in stark contrast to sunken stomach, but somehow manages to carry in either hand the weight of two metal buckets. His skin, heavily scarred, is pallid and nearly translucent; the blue veins of arms snaking upward like the tentacles of a fabled kraken rushing toward an unsuspecting vessel coasting along the ocean surface. Secured between the waistline of his linen slacks and hipbone is a long knife with a wooden hilt. As he approaches the crowd gathered near the shoreline’s bonfires, what is inside of these pails becomes evident: living shellfish. Clams, oysters, and mussels. So too can be spotted the occasional soft-shelled crab, their spider-like legs and pincers scrambling helplessly against the confines of their prison. “Good evening, Dycard, esteemed guests,” Aedric Blackshore mutters, offering a polite smile and dip of his chin in greeting. “For those of you who would prefer to feast on something caught by your own hands, I would be happy to accompany you to the shallows.”
There's a rather unusual figure on the beach today, and he appears to be making his way towards the clam bake. Kenjay, clad in scarlet and orange silks of a decided Eurusi cut, and wearing a few pieces of armour never designed by an Arvani smith, has two Redrain-liveried guards with him and a cloak of fur and good red wool. Drawing close to the assembled he offers them a polite half-bow, and a quiet, "Good day to you all, my lords, my ladies," delivered in Arvani with a tinge of Eurus at the edges.
The rhythmic chimes of bells sing out from the city gate and over the trail towards the beaches, cresting over the hill eventually following the sound of bells is a tall young man with curling brown hair and a collection of clothing that creates a cascading spring sunset from the colors of flaxen cloth and jewelry upon him. A simply charming smile as he gets closer and nod to those that are already here.
Flashing a wild grin to Cesare, Dycard shrugs helplessly while tugging on the lapels of his sharkskin coat. "Doesn't matter if you're used to it or not, my good Whisper - cold is cold. I'll gripe if I wish," he quipped offhand, taking a longer sip than might be polite from his mug before turning to his guests with almost overtly polite formality. He offered a bow here and there, before turning to Zoey and gesturing toward taped off playing area. "A game of my own devising, Lady Zoey. Something to challenge you mentally and physically. It's all ah... rather haphazard, but I hope to get some volunteers to help demonstrate the game by the ends night!" he explained with a laugh before glancing over to Aedric's arrival. "Unless everyone wants to play the loon and go swimming in these waters to catch their own dinner," he finished while tossing his mane of hair about.
1 Templar Knight guards have been dismissed.
a playful black tortie kitten have been dismissed.
"Not cold? I'm sure you're only saying that to show me up," Grady laughs to Cesare. One thing he DOES have going for him is that it's physically impossible for his hair to be even MORE of a mess than it is usually, so the wind hasn't done a thing to it that hasn't already been long since done. He smiles to Zoey, his broad and beaming smile that on its own combats some of the cold rolling off the sea, and then waves to Mattheu.
Zoey says, "Prince Kenjay." Zoey dips into a brief curtsey in reply to him when he greets the group. Others get polite nods as well. She turns again to Dycard. "I would like to hear more about this game. I can always change out of my gown if need be.""
"Prince Kenjay." Zoey dips into a brief curtsey in reply to him when he greets the group. Others get polite nods as well. She turns again to Dycard. "I would like to hear more about this game. I can always change out of my gown if need be."
Macda arrives paces ahead of her entourage, fists swinging safely at her sides as she passes over walkways and drops into the pale colored sand to approach the party place. While her headband does keep her hair from her eyes for the most part, the salty air has already wrecked the dark golden blonde mass for anything regal and it puffs out around her cheeks and shoulders. Drinks and eats on offer do appeal, but, somebody somewhere once hammered it into her head that it's polite to greet hosts first. So! The Princess follows sigils like points on a map to find a particular Blackshore...for all that the skeleton of the game draws her eye once she's close enough. "I volunteer," she pipes up, cheeks dimpling around her grin. "What am I volunteering for?"
Kenjay offers Zoey a bow, then eyes the water with disfavour. "It looks rather cold," he murmurs. "I think I will stay ashore, if it is all the same to everyone else. If I catch a chill now winter is done, I shall never hear the end of it." His Arvani is stiff and formal, tinged as it is with Eurus.
"Note that I am saying this while fully clothed and not while diving into the water to retrieve shellfish like your esteemed uncle," Cesare says dryly, bumping his shoulder against Dycard's. "Dear gods, aren't we eating before we try the game? I'm famished, and while I'm already planning to perform terribly, I'm going to be even worse if I don't get some food in my stomach before attempting a physical and mental challenge. My little brain doesn't do well when it's running on empty." He makes big eyes and bats his lashes, doing a very credible impression of someone with only about a walnut-sized brain who is mostly riding on his good looks and his tremendous amount of shiny hair.
Following Zoey's prompt, Dycard offers a polite inclination of his head to Kenjay, smiling slightly as his head listed to the side. "Prince Kenjay, is it? Dycard Blackshore, at your service. If I haven't been already," he offered, chortling. "It's a pleasure," before turning to acknowledge Macda's blind volunteerism. "Your Highness! You're too kind. It's a game i've been working on - I call it Seven Hole. I just wanted to demonstrate a much more... uhh... condensed form, between drinks and eating of course," he explained, gesturing to the bizarre assortment of tools for said game.
"I'd like to thank everyone for coming, as it were," he continued, raising his voice slightly over the din of wind and the sound of the surf. "My esteemed uncle and some of our most daring - or, honestly, those who have irritated my sister - mariners have volunteered to help keep us well fed, but if you wish to procure your own morsels... well, the sea is right here. Regardless, i'll take some volunteers to help demosntrate this new game under my direction in just a few moments. I still need to warm myself with drink," Dycard joked to those assembled. "Feel free to warm yourself by the fire or partake at your leisure."
Macda checks composure at easy. Macda is successful.
"It looks as though we are to be expected to play for our supper," Grady laughs to Cesare before setting out to find somewhere warm to sit. It goes without saying that he's not going in the water in search of shellfish.
"I think this sounds like fun," Zoey tells Grady. She looks over toward Macda. "Shall we both volunteer then?"
Some jokes make themselves, and sometimes there are enough people talking that Princesses who make those jokes aloud thankfully go unheard. Eyes bright for the name of the game, Macda's already laughing before her words form, and then Dycard is talking to the group. So her attention diverts instead, thoughtful, to Aedric and the option of bucketing up her own food. "Ha! Yes, you and me, lovely," she grins to Zoey. "But first, libations. How have you been?"
Kenjay inclines his head deeply to Dycard. "My lord, I am honoured by your welcome," he replies. "Many thanks." He's volunteering too... to stay by the fire and let other people be adventurous. "For those who do not know me, which is many here I think, I am Kenjay Redrain, known as the Scarlet Storm. It is a pleasure to meet you all, now that the weather is warmer."
“Foraging is not for everyone,” Aedric replies dryly, dropping either bucket beside the collection of freshly caught molluscs. He returns to the tide and crouches, rinsing his hands and blade in cold seawater, before something of interest catches his attention. He slowly reaches his arm forward, elbow and palm resting inches above the surface, before abruptly plunging it downward. There is a struggle. Something long, something heavy, fights viciously -- body struggling against the mariner’s grip. The knife catches it near the jaw and it promptly stills. When the sailor again makes his way to the bonfire, he carries with him a spotted eel. The creature is easily three and a half feet long and weighs nearly fifty pounds. He lays it atop an unused table. “Do you prefer cooked or uncooked, Whisper Cesare?” is inquired simply, slicing the thing from neck to base of tail.
"Lord Grady Deepwood. Delighted to meet you, I'm sure, Prince Kenjay." Grady is Kenjay's adventurous partner in being warm by the fire while other people do the not-warm-by-the-fire things. He rises long enough to bow to the prince before sitting down again, and hits the Redrain prince with the full force of his broad smile; amusement glows gold in his hazel eyes.
"It is, it is, in warmer weather. I used to catch crabs for my dinner in Setarco," Cesare counters to Aedric, dropping his gormless facade as the eel is presented to him. 'Oh, I /love/ seafood. Particularly eel and crab, and any sort of fish. I suppose - some of both, really? It would be a shame not to try it baked in those big clay ovens, but I confess my favorite is raw fresh fish with just a bit of citrus juice." He offers a small flash of a smile to Aedric, eyes focused on the gutting of the eel.
Zoey greets Macda with a warm, familiar smile. "Ah, Princess, it has been too long! And I think I will join you for a drink first. It has been a long year. And you?"
Drifting across the sands of the beach, Dycard stops to refill his mug in an overtly generous fashion before coming to a rest near his uncle and his display. "If I weren't trying to play the gracious host, Uncle, I may have caught something at -least- that big between my teeth," he joked, leaning up against the table and claiming some fresh oysters as a morsel in quick succession. "Cesare, are you going to join the ladies in trying out this game after we piece out this latest catch? I hate to be a bore and demosntrating Seven Hole is the only real entertainment I had planned for the night. I really just wanted an excuse to drink and see my uncle."
Kenjay inclines his head deeply to Grady in turn, and his smile in reply is warm, if perhaps more reserved. "It is my pleasure to meet you, Lord Grady," he replies, before looking over towards the more adventurous types with another smile.
"I'm not sure if I have enough holes to demonstrate with," Cesare answers mildly, with no visible change of expression. "Of course I'll demonstrate. Do you normally need an excuse for drinking? I don't. I just invite people to my office and pour them drinks, and rarely does anyone decline. It makes talking business much more enjoyable, I find."
“An excellent combination,” the elder Blackshore muses, swiftly separating sinew from bone. In less than a minute, he has cut from the eel a fillet capable of satiating the appetites of the soiree’s more courageous guests. This portion is divided into twenty-some strips measuring no longer than three inches in length and half an inch in width. “The texture of eel is smooth but chewy. It tastes faintly of brine and pairs appropriately with citrus, peppers, or fine wine. Eel can be baked, dried, or even pickled -- but at sea, and when faced without practical alternatives, it is often consumed raw,” he explains to no one in particular. Cesare is presented three of these meager portions atop a plate. “I am not certain if our attendants brought lemon, but they may have considered lime.” Cerulean gaze shifts to Dycard. “Don’t make them wait. They can eat as they please. There’s plenty of food. I trust none of it will go to waste.”
"Prince Kenjay," Macda greets in acknowledgment. Riding the Eurusi tailcoats of his idea, she announces herself for anyone not familiar, "Princess Macda Grayson," then the raised hand lowers again and she offers Zoey her elbow, laughing. "Yes... a long year." She may have missed the eel cutting in her search for drinks for herself and the Kennex! "I needed something like this. Itching to do /something/, you know?"
"I suppose it's expecting a bit much, isn't it, to hope to find a cup of tea out here," Grady muses, half to Kenjay, half to himself. "Yes, of course. Where would they boil the water? Well! It can't ALL be spirits, now, can it?" The very fact that he's phrasing that statement as a question makes it pretty clear that he's not half as certain of the answer as he'd like to pretend. It's an Isles event, after all. It absolutely CAN all be spirits.
"Mmm, the citrus also acts as a mild preservative," Cesare says, delicately picking up a slender sliver of white flesh and sliding it right down the hatch, no dressings needed. "In Setarco we often have all sorts of fish marinated in citrus with a sort of - slaw, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, sometimes apples or olives. It's very good, have you ever had it? But that's for something a bit more mild in flavor, like white fish or shrimp. You wouldn't want to spoil the taste of this." His eyes close in pleasure as he finishes the other two strips of eel, savoring the pure flavor of the sea."
Dycard checks wits and medium wpn at hard. Dycard is successful.
"I absolutely do," Zoey says, taking Macda's arm and then the offered drink. "Ian made me promise 'anywhere but Bastion,' so I am on the lookout for adventures to go on. It has been far too long since I got out of the city last."
Waving a hand around dramatically, Dycard grabs a slice of eel with a grin to devour the tidbit before plodding through the sand toward the start of his makeshift 'playing field.' "I invite you all to behold the future sport of nobility and commoner alike! I'm calling it Seven Hole, for now - because it's intended to be played across seven, ah... holes... but for our sake, we'll play with one," Dycard calls, approaching the tables holding the various paddle like clubs and grabbing the largest of them in his free hand.
"The objective, as you might guess... is to get one of these balls into ah... the hole - marked by that flag there," he explains, kicking one of the small leather balls out in front of him. I imagine this will be a rather... standard sized segment..."
The Blackshore lord set his mug down some distance away from him before approaching the ball and taking the paddle up in both hands, glancing from the ball to the flag, and then taking a measured swing. The ball sailed some way down, toward near where the dog leg curved to the left toward the city, before bouncing and settling in the sand.
"Ultimately, I suppose... the object is to get the ball in the hole in as few swings as possible."
Having finished his eel, Cesare slants a grateful gaze back to Aedric, and then waltzes over to demonstrate the game, as he said he would. "Well, Lady Zoey, Princess Macda? Are you ready to absolutely slaughter me?" He judges the different sizes of paddle-clubs, trying to judge which one is correct for his height before picking one up, bumping one of the balls over with his foot, and squinting over at the hole. "You need a better name for this, Lord Dycard. Something catchy."
Cesare checks dexterity and athletics at hard. Cesare marginally fails.
"Oh dear." Grady watches Dycard's demonstration with an uncertain air. "That looks distressingly close to billiards on a grand and rather sandy scale. I still haven't entirely gotten over the humiliation of the last time I unwisely allowed myself to be talked into playing that wretched game." Which goes a long way to explain why he's not jumping up to participate. The other half of the equation being how warm it is over where he is by the fire.
Zoey checks dexterity and archery at hard. Zoey marginally fails.
Kenjay inclines his head deeply to Macda. "Your Highness," he greets her politely before looking to Grady. "We have fire, my lord; perhaps a kettle and some leaves will be found." And then he's partaking of raw eel, and watching Dycard swing at a small leather ball with a large paddle.
“I have not, but that does sound delightful. Cultural cuisine is something to be celebrated, for certain,” Aedric replies, taking a moment to try and imagine how the slaw contrasted with freshly caught fish. “I wish you the best of luck, my lords and ladies. Dycard has been plotting this game of his for some time, now. I’m sure all of your criticism, constructive or otherwise, will be welcome and appreciated.” He then sets about completing his deboning and serving of the eel, entirety of attention fixated upon ensuring that the party’s guests were properly fed and attended to.
3 Thrax Guards, 1 Thrax Elite Guards arrive, following Jasher.
Zoey looks at Macda, grins, then looks at Cesare. "Go on then! I will go after you."
Cesare's first shot isn't bad. But it definitely does not go in the hole. It skews wide, and he makes a noise of disapproval at where the ball lands, then dashes out across the sand to where it went, which is at least considerably closer to the pennant-marked hole. "If I blow away," he calls back, "I want it recorded that Lord Dycard sent me to my doom." He readies to take another swing, kicking his shoes off to plant his feet more firmly in the sand.
Cesare checks dexterity and athletics at hard. Critical Success! Cesare is spectacularly successful.
Grady doesn't have nearly the culinary bravery to stuff himself with raw eel meat, and eventually braves the relative cold away from the fire to go in search of a small amount of clam chowder or something else similarly bland and familiar.
Dycard checks wits and medium wpn at normal. Dycard is successful.
Dycard let's out a wild laugh at Cesare's second shot, clapping in a quiet, subdued manner - a Seven Hole clap - as he begins to stroll down the beach toward his ball. He calls over his shoulder to Zoey, "Lady Zoey! I think if he can pull it off you can!" He stopped near his own ball, squinting at the pennant and lifting his paddle up to his face in a duelist's salute before leveling it at the leather orb and taking his next swing, sending the orb dancing within range of the hole. "Beginners luck, they call it, Cesare! I've been practicing too much before trying to unveil this!"
Cornelius had been relatively silent, slaving over a boiling pot that had been set out along a rather vibrant and roaring fire. A giant wooden ladle had been sifting around the pot as the lord began to curl up the sleeves and cuffs of his coat. The contents of the pot held a rich and creamy broth, perfect for adding whatever bits of seafood were looking to be thrown in to each guest's bowl or plate, if they so chose. Occasionally, he glanced outward to watch the games and players take swings, offering his silent input with various expressions and solemn nods as Cesare sunk his personal shot like a champion.
Zoey checks dexterity and archery at hard. Zoey is successful.
Zoey checks dexterity and archery at normal. Zoey is successful.
Zoey checks dexterity and archery at easy. Zoey is spectacularly successful.
"How rude!" Cesare answers to Dycard, glowering as he walks back toward the gathering. "I will have you know that I have plenty of physical ability, my lord. Just because I am a courtier doesn't mean that my earthly vessel isn't a finely-tuned instrument." He sticks out his tongue, impishly, for a moment, before returning to reclaim a freshly filled glass of whiskey and watching Aedric as he continues to fillet and debone the eel. He makes a soft aside to the elder Blackshore.
Dycard checks wits and medium wpn at easy. Dycard is successful.
Tovell trails onto the beach; he's fashionably late. Or just late. Still, the stocky man soon slips in amongst the collected bake-goers---he's bee-lining it for that huge bubbling pot of goodness which Cornelius Lords over. He has little else but eyes for the ball-whackers who play away down the beach. A whistle escapes him with the clean sink Cesar's square-on hit earns the man.
Kenjay, busily spectating, has his watching interrupted by the arrival of a messenger; with a bow for the assembled and a murmur of thanks for the host, he turns to make his way back towards the gate and Arx beyond.
Jasher is rarely late to anything, but perhaps that's more than enough reason to let this singular time slide. The warmer weather demands lighter dress, which he achieves, though he's also managed to incorporate much of the same somber, monochromatic hues as he's wont to wear for all seasons and occasions. A slimming vest is layered over a white undershirt, pairs with caliginous pants and sleek ebony boots. Light glints off a dagger sheathed at his right hip, prepared for any occasion. Wordlessly, he approaches the game everyone is participating in, the course itself comprised of sand, which appears to stymie their efforts to land a shot. Everyone is presently whacking away at leather balls with wooden sticks, sand flying; it's really a sight for sore eyes, and indeed, he appears the perfect combination of amused and perplexed. As he does not wish to interrupt the game, he waits patiently until all gamers have completed their rounds to utter greetings.
Zoey gives a clap for Cesare before approaching to make an attempt of her own. Being an archer rather than a wielder of blades she is used to finding a proper stance to make a difficult shot, but that does not stop her from mostly just whacking at sand on her first swing. She looks down at the ball critically before her next attempt, then sends it sailing! Not all the way to the hole, like Cesare, but a good shot. She trots along excitedly to it for another successful swing, then finally the flag is close. She takes a moment to adjust her stance again, a look of intense concentration on her face while she sizes up the situation. The flag is easily at least six feet away from the ball when she gives it a knock to send it rolling home. "Yes!" she exclaims as it lands in the designated hole.
Grady winds up with a bowl of broth that may or may not actually have any seafood in it and a small hunk of bread. He carries these back to the fire, and goes about picking at his food with the kind of fussy table manners that are totally at odds both with the environment and the food he's trying to eat, while he watches people playing the game. He makes the occasional appreciative noise or soft, restrained bout of applause.
Kenjay mutters, "Many thanks ... your hospitality, my ... and I apologise for my early ..."
Grady gives Mortimer an impatient look when his assistant appears at his elbow, but a few words spoken is enough to get him to set down his food with a sigh. "Alright, we'd better go back and see what we can do with it."
Finishing his round, Dycard plays a series of shots to eventually knock his ball into the hole just behind Cesare and Zoey. He goes to reclaim the orb, and then trudges back up to the beach and picks up his mug again with a laugh. "I think i'll need to make up rules for getting it in the hole sooner than others, but I suppose the Whisper has taken the game today. I'll have a bottle of booze sent from The Intrepid for you!" Dycard calls with a grin, cradling his mug in one hand while resting his paddle over his shoulder on the other. "It's certainly a work in progress... and New Hope has much better ground for it than a beach. I was hoping the Duke or Lady Laurent might be here so I could convince them to let me set something in their neck of the woods. I bet it'd be great Seven Hole territory,"
Cesare applauds for Zoey's performance - and Dycard's - with verve, and then surprise when it's claimed that he 'won' anything sports-related. The appearance of a certain, rather somberly-dressed Thrax prince catches his eye almost immediately. He glides in that direction, obtaining a second glass of whiskey, and offers it to the new arrival. "It is a relief to see you, your highness. You've arrived only just too late to see us take turns demonstrating our finesse with balls and holes. But you must try the eel Lord Aedric is filleting. It's simply divine. Have I said I love seafood? I love seafood. Come, come, don't stand like a statue off to the side."
Tovell's bee-line toward the bubbling pot of seafood-stuffs is one defined by an inexorable deflection toward the sand, balls, and requisite beating sticks. Soon enough Tovell's boots find themselves sinking into sand, and he a hand on one of the handled sticks. Hefting it over one shoulder he turns to survey the gathering-goers, "...Why, well! Have any of you an interesting in playing out a second round of balls and holes?"
Ballard, a grizzled mariner, 4 Thrax Guards arrive, following Romulius.
Octavian, a silken spaniel have been dismissed.
Ruslana Stormshead, an aide in Kennex livery have been dismissed.
3 Kennex corsairs have been dismissed.
"It's called Seven Hole! Tentatively..." Dycard laughed, downing his mug as he began to shift about. "It's certainly a drinking game... and ah, i'll try a second round, though i'm afraid I only set up this one course..." Dycard stalked back toward the table where his uncle was working, seizing up another bit of eel to eat raw as he turned his gaze over the party and caught sight of Jasher. "Ah - Your Highness. Cousin-In-Law? Is that a thing? My lawyer never really makes it out in public..." he joked, offering a bow of his head to the prince. "I'm honored you could join us. Fancy taking a round at... the game... since Sir Tovell wants a shot at it?"
Macda is supposed to be out there, but you can't leave a drink alone in a place like this, it will get sand in it. And the drink after that, same problem. And.. well, see, it's just a matter of duty. But she cheers enthusiastically for both Cesare and Zoey, and eventually wends her way across the sand to take her turn, too. "And what happens at the end, with a longer game?" she calls to Dycard after spitting a few flyaway strand of hair out of her mouth. Noting others are volunteering now, though, she sidesteps sheepishly to wait for groupings or whatnot.
"Oh, was I supposed to be drinking? I only had a sip so far," Zoey admits to Dycard, looking down into her recently reclaimed cup. "Prince Jasher! Good to see you. Are you going to give it a try?" She also gives Tovell a warm smile and a nod in greeting.
Furrowing his brow at the question, Dycard pads across the sand to reapproach the stand he had set up to host Seven Holes implements. "Well... my hope was by the end of the game everyone is vaguely drunk, and maybe the spectators are throwing things at the players to make it more interesting. It's a sport of equality, right?" he explained with some hesitation, as if making up the answer on the spot. "At anyrate, someone has to win. If we fancy another round, i'm game."
Blackshore's Sword must be the sort who values punctuality and propriety, if his garb is any indication. Of course, Romulius Thrax never wears *anything* but the dour and austere fashions of the Mourning Isles, aside from plate armor, and he is certainly *not* punctual today. The small accompaniment of guards are addressed by the prince and summarily dismissed, save for the least armed amongst them - he might not be a part of the security detail at all, really, when he gives a nod before wandering off to mingle with Blackshore's mariners. When Romulius turns the distinct cerulean that serves as a signature of his bloodline towards the various beachgoers on his approach, familiarity and warmth painting themselves readily on a rough-hewn countenance. Cutting strides carry him towards where his father and uncle work to prepare more of the feast, a nod and a murmur offered to each man in turn before he finds a place to watch his brother's game.
It's a place with a full glass of rum and a small tray of oysters, of course.
Jasher has folded his arms across the breadth of his chest while observing the tail-end of the game; if he's perturbed that he missed all of the most entertaining parts of the event, evidence of it is chased away by Cesare's appearance at his side. What passes for a smile by Jasher's estimation plays out over his visage as he replies with dry inflection, "Good to see you. Indeed? And I see that you've managed to come out on top this round. What are we calling this?" A hand gestures vaguely out to the sandbar of play. When Cesare suggests that he should try eel, the prince shifts to observe the creature sliced and diced with a look that reveals a measure of unease, though for what reason remains largely unsaid. "Unfortunately, recent events have quashed my appetite for eel. Nothing personal, my Lord Aedric. If you've anything else...?" A look is shared with Prince Romulius as he makes his way over to the festivities, hoping he'll catch that assertion. "Lord Dycard, yes, I believe we are cousins-in-law. Cousin works just as well. Simpler to say." Finally, Jasher turns to address Lady Zoey with as much warmth as he can muster. "Lady Zoey, hope you are well. I...well, sure." He's caught somewhat off-guard by the question, but does not let it stop him from reaching for a stick and preparing to give it a proper try.
Tovell spins his beating stick in hand while waiting for any others to filter down from the crowd in answer to his challenge. Zoey's smile is reciprocated with a bunted upnod; but then he's looking on past the Lady toward Macda and Dycard as they gather together at the head of the course, "Well met, Highness, my Lord. Though I fear that if anything too fleshy--" he eyes the filleted eel guts which likely abound "--strikes me square, this ball may stray from the course! Why, accidentally, of course... I'm new to this game of ball beating."
"Clams, oysters, crab, mussels. Fish, if you so desire -- though that would require another trip to the reef, your highness," Aedric replies to Jasher, politely dipping his chin in greeting. Attention shifts to Romulius, who is offered a small smile. "Good evening, and welcome." At mention of his relative state of undress, the sailor glances downward. "Temporary, Romulius. Someone had to fetch our guests their meal and I wasn't about to do it in my platemail," the sailor explains, folding arms across bare chest.
Bosun Orrick, a looming Blackshore mariner have been dismissed.
Pirate, a calico kitten have been dismissed.
Dycard checks wits and medium wpn at hard. Dycard fails.
Dycard checks wits and medium wpn at hard. Dycard fails.
Dycard checks wits and medium wpn at hard. Critical Success! Dycard is spectacularly successful.
"Put one of those crabs in the ovens for him," Cesare suggests. Eyeing Jasher, he adds, "Or two. If he doesn't eat one, I'll eat it." He waves to see Romulius enter. "Prince Romulius! How are you? We need to get some color in /your/ wardrobe too. So much black and grey in the Mourning Isles. And with those blue eyes, too." He shakes his head, chuckling softly to himself, and follows to watch the next round of SEVEN HOLE, murmuring something softly to Jasher before slipping off to the side.
Jasher's look gets a flash of brow from Romulius, smile only half-present at whatever memory his fellow prince means to invoke with the off-handed remark on eels. "If you let such things affect you so, Cousin, you'll never find a plate at dinner." Attention shifts back to the two elder Blackshores, then, Aedric given a quick nod of acknowledgment and a half-shrug. "I'd have thought the servants would have fished up plenty, but I suppose it always tastes better when you catch it yourself." Not that he'll be wading into the surf any time soon, more than happy to help himself to his uncle's labors and work at shucking an oyster before liquor and flesh is imbibed with eagerness. Cesare's greeting earns a wry look, a brow raised at the suggestion made to the event's 'chef'. "Softest. I assure you that the Guildmaster is hard at work at that very effort." Gaze turns soon after to watch his brother's attempts to show off this novel sport of 'Seven Hole'.
Dycard grabs the paddle he had been using and goes to present on his ball before noticing the distinctive shape of his brother. "R-ah, Your Highness!" he calls, grinning wildly and waving. "Glad you could make it to the family affair. Uncle Aedric has been keeping us fed, don't worry!" The playfully affectionate, if sarcastic, nature of his quip was evident as he turned back down to regard his ball. Whatever happened next though was a mystery. His first swing caught dirt, sending the ball a mere few inches. "Just a practice swing - still counts, I suppose... the ball moved..." he explained to those around him as he sidled up for his next stroke. Then there was another hacking bout of sand flying into the air. "It's this -damn- beach. Seven Hole wasn't meant to be played on a beach!" he snapped, scowling as it looked like he might throw the paddle. The third stroke though was masterful - connecting with the ball and sending it sailing down to hit the flagpole and drop into the hole.
Dycard immediately dropped to a knee, holding the paddle in one hand as he pumped his arm before jumping up. "That's how it's supposed to go!"
Tovell checks strength and medium wpn at hard. Critical Success! Tovell is spectacularly successful.
Jasher checks dexterity and medium wpn at hard. Jasher is successful.
Jasher checks dexterity and medium wpn at normal. Jasher is marginally successful.
Jasher checks dexterity and medium wpn at easy. Jasher marginally fails.
Jasher checks dexterity and medium wpn at easy. Jasher is successful.
Tovell watches Dycard's swings with a fervent focus; he nods along, apparently eating Dycard's lines about warming up on the beach without question. "Right-- Alright." He grabs up a lumpy leather ball and drops it to the sand, right in the spot that the Lord had started from. And then... down from the shoulder swings the huge thumping stick he picked out for himself; feet set, hips wiggle, fingers knit. He glances from the ball toward the still-disitant flag. /Wack!/ --And off goes the ball! He thumped it hard, and it flies true---right down into the hole after the Lord's ball. "Aha! This beach isn't so bad, so long as you can keep from hitting the stuff!"
Macda moves off to let others take the next game first, which proves timely as her elderly manservant politely approaches to speak with her. The Princess nods and moves around, meaning to murmur a few words to Zoey before starting away from the beach. That broth travels well enough though, right? She might take a bowl of it and some of the fresh seafood fixings for the walk home, but someone will bring the dinnerware back.
Zoey lowers her glass from her lips and nods to Macda in agreement with whatever the princess said, murmuring her reply before paying attention the the game once more.
6 Grayson House Guards, Thistleton, an elderly and devoted manservant, Liza, a young and energetic bard leave, following Macda.
Jasher follows Cesare's suggestion with a polite inclination of his head in the direction of the eldest Blackshores preparing the meals. "If it is no trouble, my lords," he adds, and then watches as Dycard reiterates and demonstrates the rules of 'Seven Hole,' or so his cousin called it, spat out mid-complaint. This doesn't look all that hard at all, and this prince of Thrax is about as dexterous as they come. Thankfully, he's far too modest to assert his skillfulness by any other means than winning the next round. So after entertaining Cesare's private murmur, responding to it with the merest flick of his eyes to the honey-gold band surrounding his right wrist, Jasher steps away and lines up his shot. Thwack. The ball, along with a wave of sand kicked-up with the blow, sails through the air and lands within reasonable distance of the hole. His brows lift with an expression of surprise, and then he strides across the beach to take the next shot. Thud. It rolls and stops just short of the hole. Brows furrow. Thud. It rolls past the hole. An explicit word is mouthed. Tap. The ball goes into the hole. The prince stands there for a long, drawn-out moment to observe the results of his attempt, and after a sigh of resignation, he bends down to pluck the leather ball up from the hole. "Nice work," he says in agreeable tones to Tovell, though his expression remains flat, unreadable, save for the tension expressed in his jaw from clenching.
Cesare waits for Jasher to return from his Seven Hole-ing, holding his drink and offering it to him when he's finished his round. "I think the crab shouldn't be much longer," he asides. "Lord Dycard, you've got something on your hands with this game. Would you like me to put it to Lady Mabelle? I'm sure she'd be thrilled. She had us all battling with candy canes." His lashes dip, looking into his own almost-empty glass, and then he murmurs something aside to Jasher, a small smile tucking up the corner of his mouth.
It's a testament to the cruelty of siblings that Tovell's spectacular performance draws little more than a quick look of surprise and respect - short lived, though, when Romulius's attention turns instead towards Dycard after the more polarizing display of Seven Hole ability. A cup of rum is raised in a mock toast to the younger Blackshore, the prince calling out without the usual measured propriety that he maintains in public, "I'm glad that the two flags became one at the end there, Dycard. Next time, if you wait for them to align *before* your first hack, you might manage to put on a better showing." It's a rare thing for him to actually *taunt* anybody, but his brother seems to be the exception. Jasher's showing, at least, earns a little more notice - nepotism is a funny thing - though there's nothing quite as scathing delivered to the man. "Well done, Cousin." His tone suggests that he's aware it wasn't terribly well done, though, even if the Sword doesn't entirely understand the game.
"It was my intent to mention it to her. I had actually hoped she'd show up," Dycard replied as he strode back in from collecting his ball. He nudged Tovell with a grin, "It's not ALL that easy, y'know - or I hope it isn't. It's supposed to be a challenging game." The younger Blackshore lord set his paddle down as he returned to the party, letting out a sigh and fetching a new drink - who knows where his old one went. He raises the mug in return to his brother, rolling his eyes. "The game was meant to be played on cleaner ground, Rom. I thought of it while visiting New Hope. Perhaps if you try to pick it up it'll be something you can best me at besides hitting things!"
Dycard grinned wildly at his brother, no slouch at quick barbs, before joining in acknowledging Jasher's play. "We'll have plenty of time to sink as many balls as you want, Cousin. I intend to spread the game across all of Arx, if you want to help."
Zoey politely applauds Jasher and Tovell each, and Romulius' remarks about waiting for the multiple flags to align causes her to raise her free hand to her lips to stifle a laugh. She brings her drink with her to say something to him before going to Jasher. "Good showing!It took my four hits to get it in, and the first was mostly sand. Can I get you something to drink?"
Tovell has only a slanted grin, teeth flashing, to turn back toward Jasher with the constrained compliment sent his way. "Just here to hit things, Highness." Dycard's nudged grin is evenly matched. He returns his ball beating stick to its place and tromps up the sandy beach toward the tabled seafoods; he scoops up a victory clam. It's promptly slurped back and chased with a healthy belch. The Knight doesn't seem to make much of any eyes cast his way---or at least he tries. Still, there's a hitched grin which just refuses to die down and hide away.
Aedric wades back into the tide and disappears somewhere near the reef, silhouette consumed by a series of cresting waves.
Whatever aside it is that Zoey offers to Romulius sees lips part to reveal the flash of a white sickle grin, quickly hidden behind a sip of his drink. When he settles, there's a quick murmur offered back to her before the prince greets the returning golfers. Dycard's riposte of a verbal foil do little to dampen high spirits, and it's a quick return of his own - though, the older brother has always been the far less clever. "The game *is* hitting things, Dycard. Explains why you still need so much practice." When Tovell makes his way towards food and refreshments, the knight is offered a quick dip of head and a glance-over of cerulean that makes no attempt to hide that it's an inspection, and one that sees a critical look at the belch. "Well struck. Something of a natural, then?" He's distracted from further questions by his uncle's trek into the surf and... and out of sight.
The ball and associated whacking stick are set gingerly down where they belong: away from his incredibly unskilled hands. With that, he brushes his calloused palms against the front of his vest and resumes his former position beside Cesare, well-within range to catch the silent murmur of words and return some of his own. Nothing in his manner of address seems to suggest anything is amiss, though the lower half of his mouth is hidden behind the accepted drink for the duration of the encounter. When Lady Zoey approaches, he returns the glass to the Softest Whisper and turns to smile - yes, smile - tentatively at her. "Thank you. As with anything, practice will certainly make perfect. Ah, yes, thank you. Rum." The smile fades as he turns to address Dycard. "Cousin, my compliments to you on the game. I wouldn't mind playing again in due course." Lord Aedric's departure is incredibly hard to miss. Beryl eyes follow his slow, processional steps into the waves, and inevitable disappearance beneath them. Thereafter, he turns to rest the full measure of his stare upon Romulius. Nothing of it is spoken, but the look should suffice to communicate his thoughts. Namely, 'the fuck was that?' "I am sorry, I do not believe we've been acquainted," he suddenly says in direct address to Tovell. "Prince Jasher Thrax."
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