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Menagerie: Soft Opening

While there will always be something left to do and more exhibits to build on in the new spring and summer to come, the Officiator has decided it's time to offer a soft opening before the winter months. The entries of the Fountain Contest will be displayed and those who show up can vote for their favorite! As well, there will be a limited supply of special Menagerie Plushies given out to celebrate the occasion and a special raffle hosted for a one of a kind uniquely designed Menagerie Mask! Come on down, bring a friend, and have a walk around.


July 10, 2017, 8 p.m.

Hosted By



Monique Ian Alarissa Silas Marian Ainsley Caelis Esoka Shard Estaban(RIP) Cristoph Tikva



Arx - Ward of the Compact - Menagerie Front Gate Plaza

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

It's a warm afternoon, for autumn at least! The clouds are scattered keeping the day a mild one, neither hot or too cool. Around the plaza's unfinished center piece, that being the fountain of which is a topic of the evening, tables of sweet treats, cool drinks, fruits, cheeses, and veggies are set out. Two pieces of 'artwork' have been set up on borrowed easels to display the two designs that have been submitted, as well as their description underneath them. There's numerous mystery pouches as well, on display. Also, there's a raffle set up to give away one of two prizes; a mask crafted froom Torian Culler and a scent from Nature's bounty. The activity was a mellow atmosphere, but it did look like there were prizes to be handed out throughout the day.

Kit, the grey fox, Brigid the Genet arrive, following Monique.

Aiden gets Menagerie Naso Mask from a pink gift bag.

Aiden drops Menagerie Naso Mask.

Aiden gets Summer's Twilight Perfume from a pink gift bag.

Aiden drops Summer's Twilight Perfume.

Aiden gets 2 books from a pink gift bag.

Aiden drops Raffle Tickets.

Silas has opted to wear a short-sleeved linen shirt today, seeking not to drench his nice silk clothes in sweat underneath the heat of warmer-than-usual autumn day. He's arrived early alongside Aiden, which isn't surprising, but has little to do with the event running itself! In fact, he's chowing down on the food and drink already.

Marian arrives at the Menagerie, newly minted as a Redrain. She gives nods to those that she recognizes at the event and then moves over to see the final two entries for the fountain. She looks over Entry #1 with a smile, "I bet Cristoph did that design." Then she moves to the next canvas, and gives a look of surprise when she spies Entry #2, "They picked my design as one of the final two." She wrinkles her nose as she looks at where folks can pick which design to go with and does not enter since her design is in the contest.

Silas chowing down on the food and drink at a nearby table.

Carissa, a Malvici bodyguard have been dismissed.

Silas is chowing down on the food and drink at a nearby table.

Prince Aiden Grayson was lingering around the center of the plaza, where the fountain would eventually go - which ever design had won, that was. He was wearing leathers over a yellow silken shirt and trousers, looking to fit the season! Aiden looks side long at Silas, "I should make you do the raffle tickets again..." he notes with some wry amusement at the chowing down going on. "I do have a trivia game set up for other prizes," he notes as his gaze finds those who are coming into the park. "I guess... I can do an official speech in a moment, when people start arriving."

Aiden checked command + leadership at difficulty 15, rolling 35 higher.

Esoka strolls into the crowd at the menagerie. She's dressed in fine leathers. Still the sort of thing meant more for work or riding than a party, but she's curled her hair and cleaned herself up a bit for this. She moves to get herself a drink, first and foremost.

"Is that one yours?" Alarissa inquires, coming to a stand beside Marian, in something other than glaring white, and even showing a little chest today. She glances to the bee fountain and with raised brows, looks over to the now Redrain Princess. "I would have to say, I quite rather prefers yours, versus that of the Duke Laurent." She murmurs. She offers her arm to Marian to take. "PRince Fergus not joining you? Or too busy picking out a horse?"

Estaban is dressed in his green jacket and leather green pants with black high boots and a white silk shirt under it, his sword at his side. He walks in the plaza with a most beautiful woman on his arm also known as Lady Admrial Caelis Malvici, "I can not wait to see how everything looks, its been a while since I vicited." he speaks in soft tones to Caelis.

Shard arrives on her own, at an unhurried pace. Her expression can best be described as 'skeptical', although she studies both people and scenery with clear interest.

Silas looks up and raises his hand to wave to Marian, Estaban and Esoka while he snacks on crackers and cheese with the other. Aiden grabs his attention briefly and he pauses his munching. "I'm terrible at counting, you know. I would not recommend..." They knew how well he did the last time he was put in charge of something! Though he did the raffle alright. "But I like your speeches. Always very dashing." He winks. The fountain designs then get his attention. "It'll be a tough contest..."

"I think the last time I was here was the fundraiser. But Prince Aiden has been pouring so much into this, I'd like to see it succeed." Caelis murmurs and looks to Estaban as she walks with him. She wears a red dress and her black hair tucked up with pins. "I'm sure it's going to be splendid Lord Saik." she tells him and glances about.

"He sadly had other duties this evening," Marian tells Alarissa with a smile as she comments on the whereabouts of her husband, "Although I can not endorse or deny his efforts in finding a horse." She gives her a teasing look, "My husband does not discuss everything with me." She then of course tells her friend, "And if you do like my fountain design, I do encourage you to vote for me." She gives her a wink. There's nothing wrong with promoting her entry to her friends.

"Also terrible at trivia," Silas asserts. "If Princess Sophie arrives my bet will be on her."

The thing about soft openings is that they don't have a distinctive "celebration" like a grand opening, where there's ribbon cutting and a bunch of other things going on. Today was light on that, with the idea to pull people into the Menagerie so they could get a look around. To that, Aiden does note the gathering crowds and makes a gesture to catch the attention of those coming in and those who have already loitered nearby. "Welcome to the Menagerie! I'm glad to see everyone has decided to come out and take a look around." He waits for a pause, looks to those enjoying themselves, and carries on, "It's been a long five months and we've still a bit to go, little pieces here and there to add to the Menagerie, however, as winter draws to a near, construction efforts do need to wind down. So I encourage you all to take a walk around the park today, not only to reacquaint yourselves with the animals you loved to see, but because there will be a trivia contest held near the end and you never know what sort of things I'm going to test you on!" He smiles, "We've got a raffle going on for some unique prizes, one particularly unique mask made and donated to the Menagerie from a Master Torian Culler. A runner up prize was donated by Mistress Maeve, of the Nature's Bounty. Tickets are only (1 econ) each! You don't want to miss out the opportunity! All proceeds will continue to go toward the growth of the menagerie...!" He takes a breath and then adds, "More importantly, tonight, to decide the winner of the fountain contest, we require your votes! So get your ballots in!" (whisper to Aiden). "For now, mingle, enjoy, walk around... the first trivia question is just a few minutes away!"

"I could vote for no others." Alarissa glances around, a smile strictly for that of Aiden is beamed across at him. But then the smile eases away at the sight of Caelis and Alrissa returns her attention to Marian. "Besides, in truth, I find that it fits much better with regards to the Menagerie's theme." Then her cousin is speaking and Alarissa devote attention mostly to him and his presentation. There's a glance to all the prizes mentioned but she seems a little pre-occupied mentally. "But don't tell the Duke I didn't vote for him. It might break his honey heart."

Esoka spots Silas' wave to her, raising a hand to him in return. "Baron Silas! Hello!" She approaches him. Mostly to get necessary information on the quality of food. "How is the cheese? I could do with cheese." She gets herself a glass of wine, at any rate, while listening to Aiden's opener. Trivia makes her arch her brows. Intrigued.

"Well I can't vote because I would be totally biased," Marian looks in the direction that Alarissa does and gives Lady Caelis a friendly wave before returning her attention back to her friend. She looks like she's about to ask a question but then Aiden gives his speech. She quiets to give him her attention. When he's finished, she gives a wave to Silas in greeting, "I loved your wedding present." She tells Alarissa, "He sent this wonderful bookcase that goes perfectly with the platform bed that Fergus bought me." And then nudges her friend to follow her to get raffle tickets.

Monique slips into the soft opening, eyes wide with enjoyment. "Stunning! What a beautiful place," the Minx enthuses, spinning around to take it all in. Aiden's directions are quickly followed and the woman heads his way with her compliments and money.

Aiden does remember something, a little awkward as a host sometimes but he manages fairly well. He looks to see several faces he knows in the crowd, smiling to Caelis, Estaban, Marian, Alarissa, and a few more he may not know quite as well! "For participation in the Fountain Contest, I would like to present Duke Cristoph Laurent and Princess Marian uh ..Redrain now as it is - A belated congratulations to you, Princess Marian.... I would like to present them both with a gift!" He looks around for the Duke but doesn't see him so adds, "I'll be sending Duke Cristoph his as I see he's not here. But Princess Marian is. Would you like to come forward and tell us a little about your Fountain? And of course, receive your gift?"

Silas smiles breezily back to Esoka when she approaches him. "Good afternoon, Dame Greenblood! It's nice to see you here." He peers back at his half-eaten cracker in his other hand. "I recommended the best caterers to Aiden... so naturally, it's great! Affordable, too. Should bring some Whitehawk booze next time..." Because self-promotion still isn't beneath him. He looks aside to Aiden again, clearly considering buying a few raffle tickets himself, but he doesn't commit to it just yet. Marian's compliment evokes a grin from him. "I'm elated to hear you like it. And congratulations once more, Princess Redrain."

Waving to Princesses Alarissa and Marian, Caelis furrows her brow noting Alarissa's reaction to her. She turns her focus to Aiden and listens to him speak. She leans in and squeezes Estaban's arm lightly. "I hate to leave you high and dry Lord Estaban, but perhaps I should leave."

Shard crosses her arms over her chest and eyes the contest entries narrowly.

"I still have to figure out what to get for you. At some point, I am sure that I will think of something, other than a thousand little silver ships so that you have your own fleet." Like she had talked about. The nudge draws her out of whatever little reverie she was in and Alarissa walks at Marian's side. "Or maybe a pair of bookends, bear and dragon, to go with that bookcase." But raffle purchasing is delayed as it would seem Marian is to go accept a prize and Alarissa smiles serenly, waiting where the two were standing so that the Redrain Princess could go do that.

Aiden gets an intricate tapestry depicting a wooded stream from a pink gift bag.

"I really do need to bring more Riven pear cider to parties," Esoka says to Silas, as she gets herself some cheese and crackers. They're nibbled. She considers the taste. Nods with approval. Then swallows. It is deemed tasty. "I am very bad at promotion. Mostly I have just been trying to force Calaudrin to buy it. Which is good as far as it goes, but it does not go very far." Her focus goes to Marian as the woman steps forward, eyes taking in the fountains.

Estaban waves to Aiden and Silas but then looks to Caelis leaning in to whisper something to her in soft tones. He holds her hand on his arm while they speak moving them over to get drinks and some snacks.

Marian wasn't expecting to be giving a speech at the event tonight but of course gives a smile when Aiden invites her to come up, and discuss her entry. She leaves Alarissa's side to move up where Aiden is and then looks over the crowd, "Thank you Prince Aiden for your well wishes." She turns her attention to her entry and motions to the canvas that has her concept depicted, "When I was given the challenge of coming up with a fountain to represent the Menagerie, I couldn't settle on one creature to depict, so instead, I took my inspiration from Petrichor and did my best to depict a safe haven that all creatures large and small could come and seek sanctuary. Because I believe that the heart of what makes the Menagerie a special place is that it offers sanctuary to the animals that reside here."

Aiden is not going to be able to keep up with all the happenings going on, but he does look for Marian in the crowd, as he receives a large parcel, a neatly rolled up tapestry by the looks of it. Nodding to the assistant, because Silas is stuffing his face over there, Aiden encourages of Marian with fond smiles. Yes, he put her on the spot. Sometimes that happens! He does grin as she closes upon the inspiration behind her fountain, offering, "Well said. As you all know," now he looks at the crowd, "Participation of community is one of the things I admire about this city. Without us coming together and helping eachother out, projects like the Menagerie behind us wouldn't have succeeded. Regardless of who the winner is for the fountain contest at the end of the day, I would like to recognize Princess Marian for the involvement she's had in the Menagerie thus far. To that end, I present her a tapestry, teeming with animals, so she may always remember her part in this day." He hands it to her, should she accept.

Shard's eyes narrow. The general skepticism in her expression grows noticeably deeper, and she gives Marian a careful sweep of her gaze; certainly more scrutiny than she gives the fountain, or the tapestry, although both do get looks as well.

Leaning in, Caelis shakes her head. "Have fun with your friend, Lord Saik. I'll see you in the training rings. I don't feel like doing this dance tonight." She murmurs and flashes him a quick smile before slipping out.

Rohm the Blackguard leaves, following Caelis.

"Pear cider sounds delightful. I want to try it," Silas notes to Esoka, curiously quirking one brow. "You could have him sell it, if he isn't already. I managed to strike up a trade contract to sell our goods and hopefully they'll be on the shelves of his shop for some time to come." It was also a good way for him to get his hands on it! When Aiden recognizes Marian specifically and rewards her with the tapestry, he finishes the remainder of the cracker and proceeds wit his applause.

Marian accepts the tapestry with a smile on her face and tells Aiden, "Thank you. I will cherish this always. And know that even though I have change houses, I will always have a place in my heart for the animals here at the Menagerie." With the acceptance of the tapestry, she moves off the stage for Aiden to continue his speech. Then she returns to Alarissa's side with a smile.

Silas is overheard praising Marian.

Alarissa is overheard praising Marian.

Estaban breaths deeply nodding his head to Caelis letting her take her leave, his eyes fal onto Princess Alarissa for a long moment then turns to head over to Silas to stand by the man.

There's a glance to the departing Caelis but the Alarissa's attention goes back to her former sister in law and the tapestry presented to her. When Marian returns, she peers at the tapestry. "Something now to decorate your room with Prinice Fergus. Or the room of your first babe." She points out quietly. "Whenever that ends up being." And she's gesturing toward the raffle tickets.

"You're welcome," Aiden nods to her, looking toward the crowd. He might notice a few people leaving but that doesn't keep him from pressing on. Once Marian has received her gift, Aiden collects the attention of those once more, "Now for the fun part... Prizes. Who doesn't love them?" Aiden grins, "With the aid of Baron Whitehawk, we've managed to come up with some goodies! In effort to spread the cheer and the celebration, I ask if you've already won a prize that you help others try to get one for themselves! Our first Trivia question! First person who runs up to me and tells me the correct answer will win their choice from this purple mystery bag!" Aiden waits with a grin, "How long do elephants live?"

Esoka nods firm to Silas. "I shall send you a case! It's pleasingly crisp. And one can never have enough booze." She moves, balancing her wine and cheese, to examine Marian's fountain more closely. The question about elephants just gets a blink from her. She does not attempt to divine this. She does sort of blink interestedly as she awaits someone else's answer, though.

Cristoph arrives, better late than never apparently. He misses quite a bit of the introductions but he strolls onto the grounds, looking interested and curious and peeking up at Aiden as he begins to ask trivia questions. "Ah, well. I... I have no idea about elephants." He murmurs to himself before mingling with the crowd.

Marian smiles at Alarissa and nods as she motions for them to get raffle tickets. But then Aiden asks the question that causes Marian to blink because by the look on her face she doesn't know. But not being shy, she decides to throw out a number, "Is it fifty years?" Surely an elephant can't live any longer than that.

Silas nearly beams at Esoka. "Please do." He averts his gaze sheepishly when Aiden credits him with the procurement of the prizes for the trivia contest, which means it would be imprudent for him to participate himself. In doing so he spots Estaban nearby, and notices his date for the event had abandoned him. He cants his head, clearly perplexed, but ultimately offers the young Saik lord cheese and crackers. "Astounding impression of a statue there, Lord Saik. Come join us for some fine dining!"

Aiden grins over to Marian, "Very close! Very close!" He gauges the level of interest and then offers a hint, "A bit higher! Amazing animals aren't they? Did you ever wonder why they have all those wrinkles?" He's teasing but otherwise he looks around to see if anyone has a different guess.

"Sixty!" calls out alarissa then, since Aiden hinted higher.

Aiden laughs and nods to Alarissa, "Yes! Sixty. An elephant can live between sixty and seventy years. Imagine that. Princess Alarissa, come on over and see what you like out of the goodie bag." He will indicate the purple mystery pouch.

Aiden drops Purple Mystery Pouch.

Alarissa gets an adorable brown bear plushie from Purple Mystery Pouch.

Estaban smiles, "Thank you Baron Silas, I do have many hours of practise." he takes the crackers and cheese. "When you have a moment, I do need to speak with you on a important issue."

Aiden picks up Purple Mystery Pouch.

Alarissa is somewhat surprised, though not too much. After all, Marian did the legwork for the guess and declared the winner, the woman in the dove grey painted silk dress moves forward so that she cen glance inside the bag. She looks at Marian with raised brows then reaches in to grasp a small plush bear from it's depths. A kiss pressed to Aiden's cheek and a whisper, she's returning to Marians side and presenting it to the woman. "Happy wedding present."

Monique slips over to her sister and Alarissa, giving a bright smile. "Congratulations, both of you. I can barely believe I've never been here before. Have you both known about it since inception?"

Aiden does look a little surprised at the kiss to the cheek, grinning toward Alarissa after the whisper, taking a moment to whisper back. Once she's left the stage, Aiden having spotted Cristoph in the crowd, offers, "It does look like Duck Cristoph has made it. Would he like to come up and tell us what inspired his design of his fountain entry?" A moment, "Duke Cristoph, I'd also like to present to him a token of gratitude for his participation in the community by entering this competition."

Alarissa is overheard praising Aiden.

(Didn't really say Duck icly, totally meant Duke -- you know, typists are bird brains sometimes)

Marian gives a laugh as Alarissa present her with the bear plushie, "Oh Fergus will be so jealous that now I have a Bear plushie." She takes the gift and then gives it a hug, having gotten a tapestry and a plushie all in one night. She gives her blood sister a grin as Monique approaches, showing off her prizes and then telling her, "Well...I don't know if I knew about it from inception but I was one of the first group of sponsors and actually donated the Stag and Doe enclosure as my nod to Greenmarch roots, putting it in our brother's name." Then she falls quiet as Duke Cristoph takes the stage.

Aiden gets an intricate tapestry depicting a wooded stream from a pink gift bag.

Silas gets his curiosity piqued even further when Estaban reveals he wishes to speak about something important. "Do you wish to wait until after the event, or is it urgent?"

Shard shakes her head very slightly. Her eyes dart between various people as they speak, though Aiden, being on the stage and clearly officiating, gets most of her attention.

Estaban smiles at Silas shaking his head, "It can wait till after the event." he looks over watching aiden move about doing things, giving out prizes. "I do not know if you saw my rescent journal." his eyes look to silas.

2 Grayson Guardsmen, Alejandra, a snowy white hound, Planchet, a young valet, 2 Iron Guardsmen arrive, following Ainsley.

Esoka continues to wind her way through the crowd. As much people-watching as properly mingling. Though she's kind of doing that, too. She ends up near Shard and so says, rather randomly, to the other woman, "The cheese is very good! And the drinks are not bad, either." A look toward Christoph, as he's called up.

Whatever his title in this crazy world is, Cristoph looks rather surprised to be called up to give a speech. In fact, he glances around and seems so puzzled that it almost appears as if he's expecting this to be a mistake. It passes after a moment and he takes the stage. "Ah, well. Hello. As anyone can tell it's a giant beehive. I'm sure people are thinking, 'That man has a real problem and needs to see a doctor' but, I swear, it's relevant. Bees pollinate our flowers which in turn help fertilize well, a lot of damn plants. Thank them for your crops, thank them for helping keep the wilds thriving. Which in turn, feed animals. So they're a cornerstone of our world. And yes sure, I /might/ be fond of them." He lifts a glass that he picked up a long the way and makes a little toast and a sly smile. "But I'd probably vote for Princess Marian's."

2 Armed Confessors, Mariah, a nanny, 2 Grayson Guardsmen, Thump, a yappy pupper, Confessor Warren arrive, following Tikva.

"All yours. He has to ask to play with it." Monique is there and Alariss smiles, splitting her attention between the redheads and Cristoph as he manages to arrive and get his own Tapestry. There's a touch to Marians elbow, a murmur about going off to find something to drink and she's parting ways from the Redrain Princess and her sibling.

Shard mutters in response to Esoka, without quite taking her eyes from the stage, "I don't doubt the quality of the cheese."

That hint seems to give him a vague idea of what Estaban might have in mind. His smile grows warmer. "Indeed I have. We'll talk about it when we retire, then," Silas decides and turns back to the table of food before him and nods sagely to the Duke's words about bees. "Without bees to pollinate things, we'd probably all die."

Aiden has a habit of putting people on the spot. Considering there were only two entries, it wasn't a big deal to necessarily ask the contestants what their fountains stood for. He steps aside, eyes flicking toward Shard and those amongst the crowd, while Cristoph speaks toward the design of his fountain. At that point, another tapestry is passed to him by an assistant, silver eyes searching among the crowd to see the reaction to Cristoph's design. When it's all said and done, Aiden looks considerate of the man, "That's an exceptionally good reason to have designed it as you have. We wouldn't be alive without bees." He puts forward the tapestry, "For the gratitude of showing your participation in this key feature of the Menagerie, I present you also, a tapestry alive with animals so that you can always remember your contribution, regardless of the outcome. Thank you once again, /Duke/ Cristoph." The tapestry is handed over.

Marian gives a wave to Monique as her sister heads off and then gives her attention to Cristoph as he gets up to talk about his fountain concept. She gets a smile as Cristoph finishes his speech by endorsing her entry and makes sure to raise her glass to the Duke up on stage for giving her entry his approval. She looks at Alarissa with twinkling eyes but doesn't comment openly about the Duke's speech. She does appear to agree with the man known for his love of bees that bees are important.

Estaban looks over giving a nod to Esoka and a small wave of his free hand, he looks over as the Duke was called up. He nibbles on some cheese and crackers and sipping his drink while he stands next to Silas.

"No! Ainsy! DO! Ainsy! Do *do*!" comes the increasingly angry voice of the tiny tyrant that is Tiber Riven. Which heralds the entrance of Ainsley Grayson and Tikva Riven. The former has a squirming toddler in his arms, which is threatening to pull hair and throw a tantrum if 'do' is not done fast enough.

Ainsley himself speaks in quiet tones to the toddler as he makes his way into the menagerie.

He gently pulls a toddler hand from his black curls, and points the little boy toward the fountains. Which gets the toddlers attention, and in that direction he goes.

Marian is overheard praising Cristoph for: For his love of bees.

Silas is overheard praising Cristoph.

Aiden is overheard praising Marian for: For Her Contributions to the Menagerie!

Marian is overheard praising Aiden for: For all his hard work on the Menagerie

Tikva's laughter is a bright and merciless carol for her affianced's toddler-wrangling. "I warned you," she says to Ainsley. Her fingers linger on Ainsley's arm as she drifts in the wake of him and her obnoxious offspring. She ambles in a flowing flare of blue and white silk and lace, sandals scuffing over the ground as she ambles after Ainsley with her instrument case swinging at her back.

Ainsley is overheard praising Aiden for: Wonderful job on the Menagerie.

"Oh, it looks like it's time for another trivia question. Those who have had a chance to wander around the park might have a better idea of the answer. However, guesses are definitely allowed! In fact, encouraged! For another chance a special menagerie plushie, from the teal bag this time, the first person who shouts out the correct answer will get their choice gift!" Aiden pauses as he notices a certain trio coming into the grounds, his eyes flicking to Silas quickly, alighting with a brightness before he turns back to the crowd, "Are you ready for it?"

Aiden's voice calls out: "Guess how many sponsored animal exhibits the menagerie currently has? Not areas, but specific exhibits!"

No fault of Aiden's, Cristoph just clearly wasn't paying attention! He smiles brightly when the tapestry is handed over to him. "Thank you, Prince Aiden. Always a pleasure!" Then he'll hop down off the stage and give the young man his space back. This is going into the sitting room! Which he announces to Ainsley the second he's near him. "I don't know you, but this is a wonderful tapestry." Look. He'll show you.

Toddler tyrant and another family member, Alarissa places a hand gently on Ainsley's arm, long enough to murmur something in his ear, greet her cousin and his wife, smile at the young child before she's making her way off ot find something to drink.

Ainsley and Tikva are rewarded with a casual wave from the Lord Commander when they trudge upon the Menagerie grounds and into view. "Hey Ainsley! Lady Rikva." Silas looks to Estaban again and leans in for a whisper.

"Do?" Tiber is a little confused by the tapestry. And immediately gets bored of it and attempts to climb up Ainsley's shoulders. Which means that Alarissa might need to dodge toddler feet. Ainsley just lets the toddler climb up until he's sitting happily on his shoulders, arms wrapped around the top of the Prince's head. Ainsley gives Alarissa a careful nod.

"That is a lovely tapestry, my lord. Did you win it just now?" asks Ainsley, of Cristoph. A wave of his hand is given toward Silas, though it immediately goes back up to help anchor Tiber in place. His free hand then reaches out to slide to the small of Tikva's back. He says, "Tikva, this is my cousin Princess Alarissa Valardin, she's Lark's sister. Alarissa, this is my bethrothed, Lady Tikva Riven. And the headbarnacle on me is her son and my future ward, Lord Tiber Riven."

"Tiber!" announces the toddler. He's helping!

Esoka makes an "Mmm" sound to Shard as she eats. Reaffirming the cheese's quality. Estaban's wave is returned, along with a quick grin. And then the voice of toddler gets to attention. She beams, angling her already up-to-wave arm at Tikva and Ainsley.

Aiden looks around at the crowd, "No guesses? Well, I'll give you a hint. It's less than the amount of themed areas in the park!"

Shard, despite this, isn't eating. Or drinking. She's mostly just standing there, looking skeptical and generally somewhat irritated at the entire affair. But since Esoka approached her, she's not putting any space between herself and the other woman either. A wary look is shot toward the noisy toddler, as if it were him, and not the wild animals further into the menagerie, that might be the more concerning threat.

Estaban looks over spotting Ainsley and Tikva come in with the little one, he watches them a long moment then looks at Alarissa again then to Silas leaning in to speak with Silas in hushed tones.

"Your Highness," Tikva says with an easy smile and the drop of a curtsey in a flare of layered skirts. "I'd apologize for the headbarnacle, but I did warn him," she says, and her grin widens as she upnods to Silas, wiggling her fingers. "Baron Whitehawk," she says with a hint of excessive grandness in her voice, laced with a bright, friendly humor, and then she waves more animatedly at Esoka in the fling of her arm through the air.

Marian decides to call out a number since no one has jumped in yet, "How about twenty five?" She knows there's quite a few but doesn't know the exact amount.

No escaping for drinks, not yet at least and Alarissa beams a smile to Tikva. "Headbarnacles, will be headbarnacles and if I did not already gift the plush that I won to the Princess Redrain, I would bestow it upon the headbarnacle." A nod back to Ainsley and now that Tikva is focused on Esoka, Alarissa's moving away in search of drink in earnest this time.

Cristoph smiles at Ainsley before rolling the tapestry up under his arm. "A gift, I think. For handing in a fountain design." He rocks on his heels before taking in the people around him in a more sane and less 'wow the last five minutes have been exciting!' way. "You're Prince Ainsley? I'm Duke Cristoph Laurent." He introduces himself before trying to guess at the other people around him. "Lord Commander of the Iron Guard, Baron Whitehawk and-" He misses the introduction on Tikva and settles for. "A woman that won't be angry at me for not recognizing her by sight even though I feel I should know this answer because..." He's nosy and good at naming strangers?

Aiden looks quite awkward that suddenly no one is really participating in the guessing game, clearly not an Arx favorite! Marian's guess has him exhale, "Much much lower than that! We have nine distinct areas in the menagerie thus far, it might just be half that number." He will give prizes away even if he has to give away the answer too!

Estaban speaks up, "Five my prince?" he calls out to Aiden looking ackward he just did that and smiles.

Esoka does some more wave-y arm-flinging in Tikva's direction, before she's satisfied her greeting has been received. Perhaps she's taking this mingling thing seriously, because she takes Shard's lack of fleeing her presence as invitation to talk at the woman more. "That's the best thing about these parties. The free drinks. I think I've seen your face before, but the name escapes me. I am Dame Esoka Greenblood. Sworn knight and Sword to House Riven." That all said, she eats more cheese.

"Ah- Yes! Lord Saik, that's correct! So far we have sponsors who have taken on making a special place to view, deer, magpies, butterflies, a giraffe, and lemurs! You'll have to go see for yourself when you wander out there-" Aiden notes and then gestures Estaban to pick a gift from the teal bag!

Aiden drops Teal Mystery Pouch.

Silas withdraws from Estaban before offering a sympathetic nod, and gives Cristoph a straight salute when he overhears the Duke acknowledging him. "At your service, Your Grace. Great fountain design." He tilts his head at Aiden when he notices the lack of guesses. It looks like he's about to provide his own answer before Estaban pipes up with the correct one! "Huh. Good job, Lord Estaban."

Estaban gets an adorable brown bear plushie from Teal Mystery Pouch.

"Shard," the woman returns. Her voice is rather flat and not particularly inviting, but that's not any real change from when Esoka's met her before. "Vice-Captain of the Valorous Few. Which means I'm Audric's second, if you're having any trouble figuring out his lazy naming scheme, for which I wouldn't exactly blame you."

Aiden picks up Teal Mystery Pouch.

Ainsley waves off toward Alarissa as she goes. He glances back toward Cristoph and says, "Aye. Prince Ainsley Grayson, Voice of House Grayson, Deputy Commander of the Iron Guard, and Paladin of the Sword." A glance is given upward, toward the toddler leaning over the top of his head. "An current host to the headbarnacle that is Lord Tiber Riven." A small laugh is given and he asks, "This is Lady Tikva Riven, mother of the barnacle, and my betrothed." He reiterates for Cristoph. "A pleasure to meet you, my lord."

Monique has been strolling around, looking at the exhibits, getting drinks, and just generally communing with the more natural aspects of the menagerie. When there's a lull, the Minx moves over to the host and asks Aiden (when he's free), "Are there any exhibits incoming in the near future, Your Highness, or any you aspire to?"

Tikva chortles. "Duke Laurent, hello!" she says, wiggling her fingers as she smiles up at him. "Your sister Lady Jael and I have spoken a few times but I believe you and I have yet to meet. -- Say hello, Lord Tiber," she suggests to Ainsley's passenger, earning a stern glare from above, where her son crowns his future stepfather's head, and an insistent, "No!" whereupon Tikva sighs, "Well, all right then," and spreads her hands. What can you do, says her facial shrug.

Marian is clearly not good at trivia and claps as Estaban is the next to win a prize. She's off by herself at the moment since Alarissa left to greet Ainsley and his bethrothed. Quite content to sip her drink and wait for the next question.

Cristoph looks up at the child clutched to Ainsley's skull and smiles warmly, "That is an adorable crown. Hello young Lord Tiber." He wiggles his fingers at the boy before he tells him 'No!'. It earns a laugh and he doesn't seem terribly put off by the whims of a toddler. "Well met, everyone. Thank you, Baron Whitehawk. I'm glad others are enjoying it." He sips from his glass and then peeks in Aiden's direction to hear the next question.

Estaban puts a hand on Silas shoulder, "I will be right back." Estaban had grabbed a stuffed animal from the bag and makes h is way over to Ainsley and his headbarnacle, "Your highness if I may." he holds the stuffed bear out to the young lord ontop of his head, "For you young Lord." he smiles looking at the child with hiis blue eyes.

Aiden looks to Monique when she approaches him, the lull allowing people to greet one another and such. A breather is very much needed for the Grayson Prince, "Yes. There will be more opportunities for further exhibits to be sponsored and brought to light. Construction will be slow throughout the winter though." A moment as he thinks, "As for my aspriations, well, there's nothing stopping us from making sure there's more educational material here." He shifts a little bit, "I'll be doing one more Trivia question, then pulling the raffle tickets... and finally announcing the winner of the fountain contest! Then, I will release you all to walk around the Menagerie, and don't forget to stop by Arx's newest gift store - housing three crafters giftware! Both Master Torian and Mistress Petal have stocked up their wares!"

Aiden's Question is: "When did the Revitilized Project First Start? A guess to the month will be close enough!"

"Well-met, then, Shard," Esoka says. Swallowing her food before talking. She has manners. Sort of. "I saw the work of some of the Valorous Few during the Siege. The company seems quite fierce, and professional." She turns at the asking of the next trivia question, brow furrowing. Again, an answer does not come. She is not the one you want at your table on trivia night, plainly.

Alarissa isn't near her cousin anymore, the Grayson turned Valardin Princess having surfaced in the mingling of people present, with a cup of somethign sweet and non-alcoholic, looking closer at the designs laid out for the fountains for individuals to vote upon, taking in the little details that are on Marian's offering.

Marian thinks for a moment and then calls out, "March of this year!" This time she's sure she has it. She puffs up as she looks at Aiden to see if she's on target for the last trivia question.

"Mistress Petal is a wonder," Monique concurs with a bright smile. "Absolutely talented with her craft." But the question throws her for a loop and she bites her lip, hazarding a guess, "Was it May?"

Cristoph taps his finger on his mouth, "June?" He calls out. He probably has no idea, but he'll go for it. How many months can there be?

"Generally in that order too," Shard says blandly. There might be humor there, but looking at her, it's really impossible to tell if she means it as a joke or not. She offers no answer to the trivia question either.

Aiden grins at Marian's guess, "Not quite Princess Marian..." Aiden looks to Monique then, "So very close! I already gave you the answer in my speech earlier if you were paying---" He looks to Cristoph and then nods, "That's it! I started this project in June! Duke Cristoph, come on up and pick your prize!" He points to the Lemon Pouch.

Aiden drops Lemon Mystery Pouch.

"Bear!" says Tiber, letting go of Ainsley's head in an attempt to get to the stuffed bear. Ainsley, luckily has a hold of the boy's legs. The Prince gives a small oof sound and says, once more to Cristoph, "Pleasure to meet you. My brother's done a spectacular job, hasn't he?" He grins a little bit more. Clearly proud of what Aiden's done with e Menagerie.

"Now he's going to make bear noises and try to terrorize you all," Tikva predicts, watching Tiber lunge with a slight crinkle of humor wrinkling the bridge of her freckled nose. Then she laughs. "Oh, congratulations," she adds, and clapclaps, fingertips to palm, for Cristoph's successful guess.

Cristoph laughs and shakes his head, surprised and amused to be right. Before he approaches to pick his prize out he'll comment to Ainsley and Tikva. "He's done a fantastic job, quite stunning. Oh and Lady Tikva, I'll say hello to my sister for you."

Cristoph gets an adorable duck plushie from Lemon Mystery Pouch.

Aiden picks up Lemon Mystery Pouch.

Marian gives a shake of her head and then takes another sip of her drink, making sure to give Cristoph some applause since he got the trivia question right." She grins at his choice of plushie.

Silas smiles again when he watches Estaban offer his prize plushie to the toddler... then he begins to have at it with the cheese and crackers once more. Munch munch. He seems especially pleased when Cristoph selects the duck plushie from the selection presented.

"So close!" Monique snaps her fingers with a low chuckle, commiserating with Marian even while she applauds the winner. "Alas. I'll have to buy myself a stuffed toy."

"Congratulations! We'll be putting some of the plushies will be put on sale in the Gifting Tree - take a look when you get the chance. Otherwise, you're welcome if you didn't get one in the trivia, to grab one! One each please! Limited quantities of course!" Aiden then remarks, "Last call for the raffle. We'll get to that right away."

Aiden drops Teal Mystery Pouch.

Aiden drops Lemon Mystery Pouch.

Aiden drops Purple Mystery Pouch.

Marian gets an adorable boa snake plushie from Teal Mystery Pouch.

Tiber gets a hold of the bear and waves it a little bit, smacking it against the back of Ainsley's head while making growling noises. "Grrr!"

Ainsley's head dips on occasion underneath the assault, holding a hand out toward Tikva he asks, "Shall we go look at the fountains?"

Esoka chuckles low at Shard's response. "Well, welcome to Arx, at any rate. Should sample a drink or two, while you're here. The drinks are the best part of these parties." Her own is empty at the moment, so she murmurs a "Pardon me" to the Vice-Captain and goes to procure more wine. And also do more of this mingling thing. Her coures takes her toward Tikva, Ainsley, and their toddler-bear. "//That// is very adorable," she proclaims. Of the bear.

Ainsley adds, before leaving, to Estaban, "Thank you, Lord Saik. Tiber already seems to love it."

Finally, the Raffle BOOTH is Closed! No more purchases! The big bin of all those tickets gets sent up toward Aiden. His hand mixes them up. "We'll draw first for the Summer's Twilight Perfume by Maeve at the Nature's Bounty." Aiden is tearing through this stuff so he can go mingle! And people can enjoy the exploration of the park. "Get your Tickets!"

Shard shakes her head as Esoka departs, but she makes no move for the refreshments. Instead, she eyes the others, scrutinizing again, until the raffle tickets are brought to the stage.

Aiden has rolled 1 105-sided dice: 98

Tikva laughs aloud, and twines her fingers through Ainsley's as she claims his hand. "Sure, why not?" she says lightly. She grins crookedly between Estaban and Esoka and says, "It will probably be less adorable at certain hours of the morning, but yes-- /thank you/, my lord, it is delightful of you to share." Her teeth set against the curve of her lower lip, she adds, "Oh, Maeve was that girl who stitched me up that time I almost died, wasn't she?"

Monique fishes for her tickets eagerly, listening for the results and casting a glance aside to Marian. Sibling rivalry, maybe?

"And the winner of the Twilight Summer perfume is Ticket Holder number #98!!" Aiden looks around to see who has the matching ticket.

Marian looks at her tickets and shakes her head because she is not the winner. She looks to Monique to see if she has the winning ticket.

Ian comes upon the scene at a slow pace, his gaze fixed entirely on his feet and where he places them, especially on this uneven ground.

Cristoph looks down at his tickets and goes through the process of checking them. He huffs and nearly drops them on the ground, a very graceful man! Before he catches them and turns one right side up. "Oh! I have a 98!"

Monique shakes her head to her sister, pouting those lovely lips. "Perfume! I would have loved that!" There's an appraising glance to the winner. Poor Cristoph.

"Apparently your lucky day Duke Cristoph!" Aiden applauds the winner of the Summer Twilight perfume, "That perfume is a well crafted one, worth well over six thousand silver! Do find someone to enjoy it, if you don't enjoy it yourself!" He winks and encourages Cristoph to come collect his prize!

Aiden picks up Teal Mystery Pouch.

Aiden dumps Teal Mystery Pouch and spills its contents all over the floor.

Aiden drops an adorable duck plushie.

Silas whistles when he hears the price of the concoction. "It's one of those super fancy ones, is it?"

Aiden dumps Lemon Mystery Pouch and spills its contents all over the floor.

Aiden picks up Lemon Mystery Pouch.

Aiden dumps Purple Mystery Pouch and spills its contents all over the floor.

Aiden picks up Purple Mystery Pouch.

Monique picks up an adorable boa snake plushie.

"I think have someone in mind, actually." Cristoph laughs, shaking his head with a terrible amount of amusement when he wins perfume. "Thank you for the generous prize."

Ian stays on the fringes of the crowd, leaning against some bit of fencing or architecture. His intense eyes move over the proceedings, and the pure focus of his attention takes it all in.

Done her drink, Alarissa lays down the glass in a spot safe enough to not find the glass dashing to the ground and for attendants to squirrel it away as raffle ticket numbers are announced. There's a smile when Cristoph wins the perfume, a tip of her head to him at his prized bounty. She remains by the drinks for now though, and the fruit, regarding the fete as a whole.

Aiden's attendants start putting out the plushies up for grabs - FREEBIES! They all need to be adopted! Aiden himself swirls around the raffle tickets again, "Alright. Now for the grand prize. The Menagerie Naso Mask, crafted by our very own Master Culler, a gift worth well over ten thousand silver. Make sure to check your tickets for this one!" Aiden makes a show of it. He reaches down and grabs another ticket!

Cristoph picks up Summer's Twilight Perfume.

Estaban picks up an adorable brown bear plushie.

Esoka checks her ticket, but a winner she is not. She's gotten herself that second drink, though. Which she takes as fine consolation. "I think he looks most ferocious with it!" she says, of Tiber and his bear. A little snort, at mention of Maeve and her life-saving. "I'm afraid I have to ask which time?" Because there are a few options. She fingers her ticket again, as more prizes are read off.

Alarissa picks up an adorable boa snake plushie.

Aiden has rolled 1 105-sided dice: 62

Aiden pulls out a ticket and reads it off, "The grand prize winner is ticket holder #62!"

Ainsley wanders off to the side with Tikva, while the barnacle-bear continues to hit him on the back of the head and make growling noises. To Esoka he grins a little bit and says, "Dame Esoka, pleasure to see you." At this point Tiber notices her as well and shouts at her, "Eessska! Essska!" The bear plushie is waved excitedly.

Estaban moves back over to stand with Silas falling silent now yup a statue.

Marian smiles as Cristoph wins the perfume, giving him a round of claps as he wins. She then looks down at her tickets when Aiden announces the last prize in the raffle. She really wants the mask so there's a hopeful look as he pulls the next number. But alas, the princess is not the winner and she looks a little disappointed, but then looks around to congratulate the one that is.

Monique is halfway down, picking up an adorably fierce boa snake plushie when the number is read. "Oh. OH! That's me!" The Minx leaps up with her ticket, smiling from ear to ear.

Cristoph scuttles out of the way of the next raffle winner, dipping off to the side and taking up some empty space. He tucks himself into some empty space and sips from the glass that he's been nursing the entire night now.

"Um," Tikva says. "The-- when we fought the awful blood thing in the rain at the gate," she says with a vague gesture. She laughs a little as she trails in Ainsley's wake, and rubs her hand at the back of her neck. "The plushies are pretty cute," she says. "Like that corgi I sent to Cara."

Which might be where Alarissa seems to direct herself, coming to a stand beside Cristoph. "I wonder that if one sprays that on themselves, in the dead of winter, might there be a chance of bringing back the summer?" The soft smile offered up. "Does the scent pair well with cornholing?"

Tikva picks up an adorable duck plushie.

Shard watches as the prizes are handed out, and the remaining plushes. Still, she remains in her spot, arms folded, watching but not really participating.

"You're looking fierce tonight, little lordship," Esoka says, waggling her fingers up at Tiber. "You shall be a fine war-leader one day, with creatures like that are your call." She reaches out to shake the claw fo the bear plushie. Then turns her smile to Ainsley. "Your Highness. It's very good to see you. We got to talk little at the Grayson dinner. Your honors to your fealty were very kind, and I was most humbled."

Aiden looks toward the Minx as she leaps up with the ticket, "Ahh, Lady Greenmarch! Splendid. Congratulations! I do hope you get some enjoyment out of the mask! Maybe for another party that requires them, hm?" He grins from ear to ear at the presentation, offering it to her, "Enjoy it! If anyone would like custom masks like that, Master Torian is the one to find. Also, from what I hear, he has little ear hats ready to be purchased. And there's a spider plushie in Petal's branch! Get them while you can." He grins, "And now, I'll allow people a few more minutes to vote on their favorite fountain design before announcing the crown jewel of the plaza, to be here for as long as stone may stand."

Monique picks up Menagerie Naso Mask.

Aiden picks up Raffle Tickets.

Cristoph tips his head to the side, catching sight of Alarissa as she arrives next to him. He grins and makes a little noise deep in his throat. "I'm not entirely sure, we can hope. The winter is coming soon enough." He tucks his long sleeves a little tighter against the crisp autumn air. "Are you enjoying yourself tonight, Princess Alarissa?"

Silas offers Estaban the last of the crackers and cheeses from the tray he was hoarding. "Last chance before they're gone."

Ian takes note of the fact that there are drinks here, and detaches himself from his leaning spot to head in that direction. Slowly. Once again, with all his attention on where he places his feet.

Monique looks beyond thrilled as she accepts the mask, nodding to Aiden, "Thank you, Your Highness! I absolutely will, and if nothing else, I feel my sister will appreciate me wearing it around the lodge whenever she visits." There's a sisterly teasing there, most certainly.

Marian resists the urge to stick her tongue out at her sister and gives her a nod, as if to let her know that she will be taking her sister up on her offer. She quiets down and then watches as people vote, abstaining since one of her designs is in the mix. She does make her way over to Cristoph to offer, "Which ever design wins, I'm sure it will be lovely." She gives a smile to Alarissa who's with him as well.

"As much as I can since my return." There's a gesture to the snake plush in her hands, that she's wound about her wrist. "Time will tell and time will test. At least I am no longer on the back of a horse in the autumn breeze." Alarissa regards Monique with her mask and Marion, then a glance toward Esteban and Silas. She dips her head to both respectfully then back to the ongoings. But here's Marian and she grins broadly. "Either entry is lovely and filled with meaning and will be appreciated by those who visit." Her hand not wrapped by plush snake coming out to rest gently on Marian's forearm and squeeze for a moment before dropping.

Aiden laughs a little at the competition over that mask, "I'm sure Master Torian would be happy to craft another." He looks parched and goes to retrieve a drink in the meantime, while people are given a little more to mull over their decision before they vote.

Ian is still standing near the drinks table, having just gotten a drink of his own. Preferably something with alcohol in it. He nods to Aiden. "Seems to be a good turnout, your highness," he remarks.

Estaban takes the crackers and cheese looking to Silas with a grin moving to pull him to the side while Aiden is busy and start to speak with him.

"Hello, Princess Marian. Congratulations on your wedding, I'm sorry I couldn't make it. I had one of those wretched stomach sicknesses." Cristoph grimaces in memory of it. "I'm of course, feeling better now." Lest anyone recoil in disgust. But he'll understand if they do anyway. "I truly loved your design. It's quite brilliant." He tells her, sounding completely genuine. He smiles at Alarissa and nods to her words and glances to the plushie. "Cute! I got a duck." He holds it up and makes it go 'quack, quack'. He's definitley a grown man, swear.

Aiden pivots toward Ian at the approach, "Lord Kennex, correct?" He looks over the crowd and nods, "It is decent. The main thing is that people actually go walk around and enjoy it after we get done with the official business of prizes and announcements." He smiles, "A lot of hard work has been put into this and not just by me. By everyone who has donated, who has made contributions with their ideas, and all the continued support granted to the project." He shifts a little, "I think, I'm happy where it's at before the winter comes. Minor touches is all it needs now." Silver eyes flick back to Ian, "It's good to see you have come out."

Monique moves over to check out the fountains once more, just to reassure herself she's made the right vote.

Silas catches a glimpse of Alarissa's nod and returns it in kind, before he's then pulled away by Estaban. He turns so the men could converse easily and quietyl enough without eavesdropping being a problem.

Marian gives Cristoph a forgiving smile as he offers his apologies for missing her wedding, "Oh, I understand. I'm glad you stayed in if you weren't feeling well." She gives a nervous glance at the fountain designs, "I do admit, I love my design but if yours wins, the bees are a lovely sentiment Your Grace." Then she laughs as he makes a few quacking noises and it helps break the tension for the princess.

"It's an interesting place," Ian tells Aiden. "Worth seeing. I never thought I'd see anything as bit as an -- " A moment while he goes searching in his memory. "... elifan outside of deep water. They remind me of whales. How did you get it here?"

Ainsley shifts Tiber down from his shoulders to his hip, and plays with the boy with the other hand. His gray eyes goes toward Esoka and he winces a little bit. "Aye." A dip of his chin is given and he says, "thank you, Dame Esoka." And then he glances back toward Aiden before asking of Tikva, "Which fountain do you favor? I favor the tree."

Alarissa falls silent, having missed the wedding herslf and most of the activities surrounding it as well, while Cristoph makes his apologies. "I heard that the dress has.. was it bear paws upon it, or actual bears embroidered upon it?"

Shard pulls a face; at what is anyone's guess, but it's accompanied by a slight shake of her head. She finally turns toward the refreshments and fetches herself a drink. A small drink, but a drink all the same. It's small enough she has it gone in two swift swallows.

Marian brightens when Alarissa asks about her wedding dress, "Yes, it had bear paw prints hidden in the lace for those that looked closely." She seems proud of that, "Mistress Aurora did an amazing job on the dress. I would definitely recommend her for anyone seeking a unique wardrobe."

"I like the beehive," Tikva says with a laugh on her breath. "I think the other one is just so /busy/. Besides, honeybees are cute! Bzz, bzz!" Says the lady with bug-themed clothes. "I missed a lot of the dinner, actually," she says cheerfully, "but I'm sure there will be other occasions for the house to celebrate the vassals. It's the kind of thing that honors Limerance, and all!"

Esoka notes the wincing from Ainsley. Brows going up. She doesn't ask, though. Her attention goes to the fountains. "My vote was for the tree as well. The bees are quite fun, but I rather liked the inclusiveness of the tree. Petrichor is a busy god, with so many creatures. Actually, Prince Ainsley, I was hoping to pick your brain about a matter I'm considering sometime. Tonight isn't the proper occasion, but perhaps if you've a few free hours soon?"

"It was here before I was, Lord Ian," Aiden supplies the answer, "I can't quite say how or who got it here. They can live for sixty to seventy years. There's nothing we can do to sail it back where it came from unfortunately. The undertaking would likely stress it out beyond measure. That is, even if we know exactly where to bring it back to." He looks toward the crowd, then back, "One would assume they had captured it when it was very small, perhaps, raised it from baby - which is another reason it would be utterly difficult to transport it back where it came. The best we can do, it see that it lives out a good life, the rest of it's days." He looks over toward Ainsley who has Tiber, grinning toward them and waving. When an attendant comes over to him to inform the voting is closing, he looks to Ian, "Excuse me for a moment? I have to announce the winner so people can go explore."
Aiden looks to collect the attention again, "Once again, thank you all for coming out tonight to celebrate the steps the community has gone to pull this project together. I hope that the menagerie can continue to give back to the community, as it is now open for day use enjoyment by all who live in our great city. Parties and outings are encouraged to be planned here! As long as the animals are respected, they shall remain with us - to teach us, to guide us, to help us learn what we've likely forgotten about them." He pauses then offers, "The voting was a close call. However, leading with sixty six precent of the votes, our fountain design winner is...."

"....Princess Marian's Metallic Tree design! Can we have a round of applause for both the contenders!"

Cristoph puts his drink down somewhere so that he can give a hearty round of applause for Marian's win. He also does one of those finger-whistles that are /really/ loud. "Congratulations!" He calls out. Even though she's 2.5 feet away from him.

Ian takes note of the single lonely duck left on the table. He thinks about it for a moment, then picks it up and, after staring at it like he has no idea what to do with it, tucks it into one of the larger pockets of his coat.

Ian picks up an adorable duck plushie.

"She had a hand in what I wear today. One of her assistants. Quite a bit of my wardrobe is stitched by her." Alarissa can agree to that. But then the winner of the fountainis is being announced and it would seen that it's Marian. Alarissa looks sympathetically toward Cristoph, reaching out to squeeze his lower arm gently and then take her hand back. "Perhaps other exhibits will need a fountain and yours will be placed there? Or we could sponsor such in another part of the menagerie." She's turning to clap for Marian then though, a golf clap and grin.

Estaban looks up and claps for the winner with a smile then looks back to Silas and starts to speak with him again.

Rivalry aside, Monique applauds her sister's win wholeheartedly. "Well deserved!" The Greenmarch Minx calls out. "Impeccable bloodline!" So many of them, now.

Marian looks very excited that her fountain was chosen. She gives Cristoph a friendly look, "Thank you. Thank you for the well wishes." She gives a salute to her sister's callout and a wink to Alarissa. And then she moves to join Aiden where he announced her winning.

"Maybe I can get someone to install a bee fountain in Jael's bedroom." When Cristoph goes missing later, it was Jael.

Silas pauses in his chatter to applaud the fountain contest winner. "It'll make a wonderful addition to the Menagerie." He grins at Cristoph's suggestion. "Put it in your courtyard! Mine has gnomes."

Aiden hears the suggestion from Alarissa about the bee fountain, "We might actually have a splendid place to put it, near the butterfly garden or the aviary." He notes, then turns to Marian, "We'll have the stone mason working on the fountain as soon as we can. They were sort of ready, regardless of which fountain one. It might be a little while yet before we see it come to life however. Not too long though, just enough for a mason to chip way and sculp what you've envisioned." He exhales a breath and looks well worn out. This is quite trying for him, to stand up and vocalize so much. He does address the audience one last time, "Now my friends and family, go forth! Explore, enjoy your day. Make sure to stop by at the gift store on your way out! If you want to learn about further opportunities, feel free to approach me now, later, or a year from now. The growth of the menagerie can only help our animals."

Aiden drops Menagerie Sponsorship Opportunity.

Aiden picks up Fountain Contest Entry 1.

Aiden picks up Fountain Contest Entry 2.

Marian looks deeply touched that her fountain was chosen, and nods as Aiden tells her what's next to getting the fountain created. She leans over and murmurs something to Aiden before moving to start exploring the Mengarie.

Monique is overheard praising Aiden for: Absolutely fabulous host! The Prince is doing great things!

Shard refills her drinks with a faint but unmistakable scowl. Maybe she doesn't care for it, although that would bring to mind the question of why she would want more.

Aiden's comment about placng it near the butterfly garden or the aviary brings a wider smile to Alarissa's face. "See. Consolation prize." And then her own words make her frown. Purse her lips. "I'm going to check the gift shop. See if there is anything I like. Excuse me." Alarissa murmurs, parting from the small group so she can make her way to the shop.

Alarissa is overheard praising Aiden for: Great soft open!

Elegance leaves, following Alarissa.

Ender, a Silver Gyrfalcon, Ursa leave, following Marian.

Aiden leans in to respond to Marian before he happily ... /quite/ happily leaves center stage if you will. His gait has a happy cheerful skip to it as he approaches his brother and his soon to be sister, "Tiber! Oo look at that bear you have! He looks so mean!" he grins toward the boy, then turns his gaze up, "Ainsley, Tikva. I'm glad you came out." He exhales a breath, "Are you going to take Tiber around the menagerie?"

Tiber growls at Aiden and tries to hit him with the bear. "GRRR!!"

Ainsley shrugs a little bit and gently hugs the boy closer to his chest. Which means he now gets hit with the bear. It is, apparently, endless fun to hit him with the stuff bear and growl. Ainsley turns his silver gaze back to Aiden and says, "You did a wonderful job with everything, Aiden."

Hearing Aiden's words, Cristoph lifts a hand. "I have some ideas. But that can wait until later." Holding quite a few things in his hands, he looks around and nods quickly to anyone remaining around him. "I'm going to go look at the exhibits." He smiles, bows and disappears to go do just that

Cristoph is overheard praising Aiden for: For throwing a great opening!

Shard picks among the food now that people are departing. She doesn't really select much of anything though. A little bit of bread. And yes, a small slice of cheese. But even these aren't eaten with much enthusiasm. Occasionally she glances up, as if keeping track of where people are heading off to.

Teeth flashing in a wide smile, Tikva says, "Thank you, Prince Aiden. You've done a lovely job with all of this," she inadvertantly echoes Ainsley, speaking within a breath of him, and then laughing. "Tiber loves the animals. I think he feels a kinship with the monkeys."

Ian finishes his drink and, having 'rescued' a duck and drunk something, leaves the way he came.

Estaban is still standing near Silas as they speak iin soft tones to one another there is a smirk on the mans face.

Aiden gets a little bear smacking from Tiber, which he oofs too, with some over exaggeration to it - "He got me!" He groans a little, staggers, and then grins at the boy. Silver eyes turn back to his brother though, after his little play of antics. "That means a lot, thank you," he watches as Cristoph goes and holds up his hand to give the man a wave on his departure, cranning his eyes toward where Silas and Estaban were whispering, but leaving them to it as he responds to Tikva, "The monkeys? I would think he's more to like the bears now!"

Monique approaches the gathering around Aiden and offers a curtsey, careful with her prize mask and snake plushie. "I beg your pardon for the interruption. Your Highness, it was a wonderful opening, and I thank you it. I shall be talking about it for weeks to come. I've come to bid you good evening, but with the hopes that we might speak again sometime soon. I'm interested in hearing more about your sublime efforts here."

Esoka savors her latest free drink. Considering the empty glass, as if weighing another. She does not, though. Instead, she says a few quick farewells and then drifts out of the party. Taking in an exhibit or two on her way home.

Elegance arrives, following Alarissa.

Aiden turns after the approach of Monique becomes more clear that she inevitably wished to speak with him, his silver eyes catching to her as he notes the balance of the mask and snake plushie, expression showing his absolute delight in that. "Oh you're very welcome. There's work yet to be done and then proper accolades to give out to all who were involved with the project, and more planning to do for a more extravegant party to come." He could ramble about it for hours. "Good evening then, Lady Greenmarch. I will delight in speaking with you again, certainly. At any point!"

Elegance leaves, following Alarissa.

Ender, a Silver Gyrfalcon, Ursa arrive, following Marian.

Estaban nods to something he and Silas said to one another then looks around to see who is still around, "I always am Lord Commander."

Shard finishes off her second drink. She half turns from the table, eyeing the small remaining gathering.

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