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Laurent Family Reunion

Is your last name Laurent? Is your mom's last name Laurent? Your dad? Your uncle? Are you an in-law? Is your in-law an in-law? Do you just want to crash a family reunion and get access to the newest mead from the duchy that creates the best honey in the entire Compact? This party is for you! Come down for a night of socializing, reconnecting with old friends and family and making NEW connections. Held in the fine gardens of the Laurent estate.

Date

June 1, 2018, 8:30 p.m.

Hosted By

Nicia Cristoph Jael

Participants

Kael Norwood Margerie Gwenna Reigna

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Laurent Manse - Gardens and Pool

Largesse Level

Refined

Comments and Log


It's party time! The end of fall is here and while the air isn't uncomfortably cold, it certainly is crisp. A table has been set out near the entrance of the garden with a few fun items for the taking. The fire in the hearth is burning, adding a warmth to the air that might not otherwise be there. Lanterns are strung up, casting a friendly glow to the gardens. Cristoph is meandering around, putting the finishing touches together before the guests arrive. He's dressed appropriately for the night, armor put away someplace safe. It's all very relaxed without anything terribly formal about it, there are servers wandering around passing out tasting... desserts. Because desserts are the most important part. Along with wine. Lots of wine.

While having the Redrain name, Gwenna is arguably half Laurent, thanks to her mother, and looks quite pleased as she enters the garden. The table boasting items of Laurent influence quickly stop her in her tracks and if she looked pleased before? She looks almost twice that now. A pin it taken and attached to her tunic while a bottle of honey and cider are tucked away safely into her backpack. Favoring wine to whiskey, she gratefully takes an offered glass and meanders her way further in. Being bred in the north, the climate is probably quite tolerable for her. Espying Cristoph, she edges that way and grins. "Duke Cristoph," is offered with a bit of formality and a quick dip of her head. "I have been so looking forward to this. I have a present from my mother! One of her brews that I've shared here and there in the city. Thank you so much for having a dinner. The gardens here are stunning."

Norwood is basically as good as family so he's here. Walking through the gardens he has hands tucked behind his back and despite it being RELAXED he's all stiff and upright standing. Gwenna gets a smile

A Laurent to end all Laurents (not literally), Jael walks in briskly from the direction of the Manse, a long warm cloak and fetching beret keeping her warm against the season's chill. She stops to peek into the otter burrow before joining the group. "Evening. Ooh!" She goes for a pin as well, attaching it neatly to the beret with an air of satisfaction.

Cristoph smiles brightly when Gwenna produces a bottle of the Farhaven cider and glances between that and the Laurent ciders on the table. Something about the situation makes him laugh, deep and boisterous. "Thank you for coming! And thank you for the gift. I'll add it to my growing collection. The gardens are probably my favorite part of our home. There are tentative plans to further cultivate them." Norwood and Jael are arriving and he waves them over. "You remember Jael, yes? And this is Sir Norwood Clement, the Sword of Artshall and the most upstanding citizen in all of the Compact."

"One more sign that the two of you are family there," Norwood glances between the ciders that have been exchanged. He nods at the introduction, bowing to Gwenna.

"One more sign that the two of you are family there," Norwood glances between the ciders that have been exchanged. He nods at the introduction, bowing to Gwenna. A hand sweeps towards the bee hives OVER THERE, "Perhaps an Apiary some day." BEES. When Jael sweeps in and puts that pin on her beret Norwood lifts a hand to cover a smile. "I am glad you are enjoying your hate Jael."

Mmm, hate

*hat

Gwenna offers the smile that hasn't much faded to Norwood along with a dip of her head. "A pleasure to meet you, Sir Norwood. I have heard your name no few times both in Farhaven as well as here in the city." Jael's 'ooh' tugs her attention and her eyes widen a little. "Right? I love this pin! The bee is so finely detailed," she notes and runs a finger along the one she nabbed. Turning back to Cristoph, she bobs her head a few times. "I do remember, though it almost feels a lifetime ago since I visited the Oathlands as a girl. You said cultivate? More plants or a simple expansion, do you think? Mistress Valery tends a rather large garden and children's school beside the villa in our ward. I've visited a few gardens in this ward, though, and the all nearly make me feel like I'm in the forests again."

Jael settles her hate hat neatly on her head and smiles sweetly at Norwood. "I only hope you are enjoying yours half as much," she tells her former mentor and then nods enthusiastically to Gwenna about the pins. "I don't even know where Cris gets the things, he must have a jeweler hidden away somewhere.

"Oh, we don't have a hat for Gwenna." Cristoph mourns this briefly before taking the one off of his head and offering it to their cousin. "It's something of a running joke in the family. We might as well share it." He glances in Norwood's direction before grinning broadly. "I'm going to take a seat by the hearth, before all of the good spots are taken." Of course, he's the duke so he could probably just make people move. But that would be terribly rude.

Norwood just whips out his hat RIGHT THERE and if someone doesn't stop him quickly he's going to offer the beret to Gwenna.

"Oh, to have a jeweler hidden away at all times," Gwenna muses wistfully, though the laugh that follows seems to betray the joking nature of the words. Glancing between Jael and Norwood, her lips wrinkle a little. "Are hats very much in now? I almost hate to admit that my fashion skills are about as good as mine with a spear, which is to say not at all," is admitted with a grin. "Thankfully, perhaps, I can skirt by on that whole barbarian north looks. A little fur and..." She upturns her hands and grins. When Cristoph offers his, she positively beams and puts it on straight away. "I shall return it, cousin, and have one made just like it. If that might be alright, of course?" As he meanders toward the hearth, she starts to head that way as well. "A good fire outside is one of my favorite things. Couple it with cider to help keep you warm? Nothing better." Adjusting the hat a bit, she grins at the knight. "Ah, good Sir Norwood, I'd not think of taking yours. It is very complimentary on you!"

Gwenna puts a Crisp Laurent Hard Apple Cider in pale snowflower leather backpack.

Gwenna puts Laurent Honey Jar in pale snowflower leather backpack.

"In? I don't know...we got one for Norwood-" and there's a blue glare at the knight for his treatment of the beret, "-and so he got us some in return, but I think maybe he doesn't /like/ his sometimes. Someone named Kaine makes them, I think." Jael moves towards the warmth as well, and she will happily make people move if she needs to.

"Of course! I feel terrible that I don't remember exactly where I purchased the one for Norwood." Jael supplies the name and he 'ah ha's quietly'. "That tailor is probably very perplexed at the increase in beret sales..." Cristoph taps his lips in a playful fashion before snagging a glass of wine from one of the passing servings and finding a comfortable chair to sit down in. He looks doubly entertained when Norwood also tries to give his beret away. "That was a gift, Sir Norwood!" Belatedly he replies about the jeweler, "I think at the tournament I had the pins down as Guildmaster Joscelin's shop. This time I went to Dame Alexis'. I rotate around the city."

SIGH. The knight will just have to put his hat back from wherever it came from (not his head though.) "I might say the same to YOU Duke Cristoph." Norwood POINTEDLY looks between Gwenna's beret-d head and Cristoph. He will follow Cristoph over to the side and stands all straight and attention like there too.

"Aaaah," Gwenna draws out as she takes a seat near the fire, happily sipping at her wine here and there. "I was actually in Master Kaine's shop earlier having a table made. But wait...not like it?" The Redrain glances from Jael to Norwood, a hint of disbelief dancing across her features. "They are so lovely, though. Truly, I am going to have one made with a little snowflower, I think. I'll have to visit that shop again it seems." Nodding again, she chuckles a little. "Irony, truly. The table I had made was for Dame Alexis actually. Well, for the Gold Order really, of which she heads. Still, how goes with everyone? How does the garden do in the winters here?"

"There's a little mark in it, see?" Jael whips off her hat briefly to show off the little label inside the band before settling it jauntily on her dark locks again. "Cris has /loaned/ his hat, Norwood," she points out impishly, reaching for a mug of cider from a server passing neaby.

"It seems everyone in this city is connected in one way or another." Cristoph sends a cheeky smile Norwood's way when he points out the double standard in hat re-gifting. His smile only broadens when Jael makes his case for him, he points at his sister when it happens. "Ah, I hadn't thought to look on the inside of the hat. How silly of me." As for the garden, "It... is very grey in the winters when there's no snow. But I guess that's to be expected from everything except the evergreen plants."

"I stopped being able to win with either of them the moment puberty hit." Norward laments this in Gwenna's direction, despite the long-suffering smile upon his lips for said lament. "The winter sleep is necessary for the beauty the rest of the year." Farmer Philosophy yo.

*Norwood

Gwenna leans over to look at the mark shown by Jael and 'oooh's before nodding her head. "Perhaps I will send word to Master Kaine then and see if he might agree to fashion one like these. If, of course, you don't object?" That question posed, she then says, "His Majesty attended the open hours His Grace, Prince Darren held and told me that his mother had the Laurent name as well. He said he had planned to come to this even, though I imagine duties often keep him away." Sipping her wine, a few more nods are offered. "That is the one thing I do miss from home. The grey lasts for such a short period before all the brilliant white of snow makes everything seem a bit brighter. This will be my second winter in Arx. The summer was my first and son of a motherless bear, I can see why the Lycene dress they way they do." The knight's remarks draw a chuckle. "A very good point, Sir Norwood. Do you tend to plants at all? My mother hobbies at it and I can just hear her saying something similar."

Jael waves her free hand airily. "'Course not. Hats for all." She nods. "His Majesty is a cousin of ours." With a glance around the crowd she shrugs. "I'm sure he's very busy. I'm not much help in terms of the gardens; mostly I just know enough what not to step on. Most of the time."

Oaken, an Oakhaven bloodhound, 2 Novice Keaton Huntsmen, Gigi, an apprentice physician's assistant, Orin, a Felhound Sergeant arrive, following Reigna.

Echo, an Oakhaven bloodhound, Vern, Devo, an extraordinary Oakhaven bloodhound, Reigna arrive, following Kael.

"I find that King Alaric has a tendency to just drop into events in my home at his leisure. He showed up to my wedding party several hours after it started. He's quite..." Cristoph sounds fond when he talks of his distant cousin. "He's very similar to a bird or a cat." He decides with a smile. "I hope that he's able to make it." He plucks at the front of his shirt and adds, "And this isn't even as hot as it can get in the Lycene. Though in truth, Artshall is located pretty far south as far as the Oathlands are concerned. Our winters are pretty mild compared to the frosty north. How goes the construction efforts with Crovan and Stormwall, if I might ask?"

Enter those of House Keaton. There's no Laurent blood there and yet there is no mistaking the fact that they have definitely decided to crash this particular event. They are not even being shy about it, not at all. You see, those of House Keaton are evidently going to bring their menagerie along with them. It's typical for Echo and Oaken to be in the mix, but while Kael has Reigna on one arm, on his other arm is a red bloodhound pup with massive paws. The puppy is nestled in the crook of his arm, burrowed in, and just as content as he possibly could be getting spoiled.

"I'm afraid I know more about bees, but I enjoy helping weed when time permits." Norwood eyes a patch of freshly weeded ground before looking up again. The group are gathered over by the health, chatting quietly. Hey, look, cider! Norwood will take some of that belatedly.

Looking pleased, Gwenna once again gives a few nods of her head. "Wonderful! I will send word when I return to the villa about having a hat made as well. As for plants, I know only a little bit. Mostly from following my mother around as she tried this or that. She managed some lovely roses one season, but I think the winters were too much for them to last more than a spring and summer. I don't think His Majesty is a cousin of mine directly at all, though I haven't really studied lineage much. It can get so hard to follow." A roll of the eyes follow and she looks vaguely amused. Turning back to Cristoph, she says, "I think I might die in a Lycene summer. The one in Arx was not what I expected. I'm told I'll get used to them, though. When Stormwall was discussed at the open meeting, Duke Asger noted they were about 75% completed." Pausing to sip her wine again, she manages a bit of a laugh again. "His Majesty did rather just stop by when I saw him at the villa. It does seem to be his way, hmm? Ah yes, the famed bees, of course." That latter to Norwood. "I actually find weeding therapeutic at times, I'll admit." The entrance of the Count and Countess tug her attention, as do the famed hounds that accompany them.

Jael lets out a low whistle, impressed. "75% already, that's something else. Rei! Count Kael," Jael exclaims, and then when she catches sight of the puppy a muffled high-pitched noise comes out of her.

Reigna is indeed on Kael's arm and there is an amused glance to the Prince of Puppies on his opposing arm. Reigna is dressed in her leather and seasilk gown, moving with postpartum grace. She is full of sunny smiles and kind eyes. She is looking around the room to spy the rest of those gathered, though as Jael calls her name, there is a brightening of her smile and she moves away from Kael, just so that she can chase after Jael and claim a hug. "Jael! How have you been?"

"The Crovanes are truely an industrious family to have managed to expedite the rebuilding like that." Cristoph declares, whistling low just like his sister. In fact, he notices them both do it at the same time and squints at her. Then he re-adjusts his position on the seat and waves as the Keatons make their entrance. "Ah, the Keatons are here! Gwenna, have you met them yet?" He asks, happy to see them and taking stock of the puppy in the man's arms. "I see you brought one of your children with you."

Norwood sips at his drink but when the Keatons arrive he turns his attention to them. "Count Kael, Countess Reigna," they get a bow before Norwood is straightening to look more closely at the puppy. "What //remarkable// eyes."

Gwenna bobs her head a few times to both Jael and Cristoph. "That's what they said, indeed. I've not been back since the evacuation before the war, though progress seems to be going exceptionally well," is said agreeably. "Soon, a few of us will be heading to Farhaven to pay out the penions to the families who lost people in the war. Hopefully before the first snows, or we might end up stuck there until spring," she adds with a faint smirk. "I have. Well, Coutness Reigna I have. It is so good to see you again. Kinder times this go around," is said cheerfully with a dip of her head. "Of course this must be Count Kael Keaton. A sincere pleasure, my lord." It's hard to keep her eyes from the four-legged companions around them, though. "Snowballs, but I could almost cuddle each one of them for hours, I think! Well, if they would like such a thing. They are such gorgeous hounds, my lord, my lady."

"Lady Jael Laurent!" Kael counters in turn to his name, his eyes glimmering with brightness and a grin coming forth on his lips. "I have been meaning to track you down to speak business with you -- however, that is a conversation not for this eve." Especially not since there was that squeal. Look at Kael. Look at him chest puff and beam, just as if he was indeed showing off the newborn Talis. No, it's a little red bloodhound pup instead, a magnificent specimen, who peeks his head up and examines what all the excitement is out. Those gold eyes! Those paws! Yeah, he'll eat it up for a while from his cozy spot. Before showing him off too much, he manages to deliver an expert bow toward Cristoph, even with the pup. "My Liege, good evening. I hope that you do not mind, but I could not resist meeting more of the Laurents." His voice lowers. "And Aeryn is having another tantrum." This point is punctuated with a twitch of his lips, just so. To Jael, he asides quietly, "This is Devotion, or Devo. I have never seen his like. Would you like to hold him?" So it is, with such exceptional care, that if the Lady accepts the pup is transitioned. Thereafter he shifts his focus to Gwenna, nodding his head to her and rumbling, "Well met, and thank you for the compliment."

2 Novice Keaton Huntsmen, The Second arrive, following Margerie.

Jael sets her cider mug down to hop up and wrap her arms around Reigna. "Good! How are you? Recovering all right? Shall I get you a fruity drink?" She lightens the tease with a flash of a smile, then she nods to Kael. "Of course. I'm sorry, I've been running around a lot lately but we'll chat." But not right now. Right now Jael is going to reclaim her seat and cuddle dat puppy. "Look at his /feet/!" She gently squeezes one of those paws.

There is a snort at Jael's tease, and Reigna shakes her head, "No. I do not think I will be imbibing anything stronger than water tonight, but thank you. And yes, this time was much easier than Aeryn's." She laughs and when the puppy is being passed to Jael, there is a shake of her head, looking back at Kael. She turns then to Cristoph and executes a lovely curtsy, "Good evening my liege." She offers Gwenna a smile and makes a clicking noise to Oaken, who pads over towards the Princess, "Hello Princess Gwenna! Oaken would love some attention." The bloodhound seems happy to go cuddle seeking to the Redrain Princess.

"I believe that there might be more bloodhounds at this party than people." Norwood is not at ALL upset about this by the way he looks over to where his own Bayberry rests happily looking at where a small critter just recently disappeared into the ground.

"He's a fine specimen of a dog." Cristoph agrees when Kael begins to show him off to the room. "No, of course not. And honestly, who ever tells someone that they can't bring a puppy around?" He says this as if that would be quite the bizarre decision to make. He drinks quietly from his glass of wine, happily entertained by how the bloodhounds rapidly become the center of the party. "Good evening, Countess. I'm glad to see you as well."

Smiling wide as the golden-eyed pup is handed over to Jael for further cuteness inspection and cuddling, Gwenna beams a bright smile at Reigna. "Oh! I would be quite happy to oblige," is exclaimed as she sets her wine glass down and makes wiggly finger motions until Oaken is in petting reach. "Snowballs, but you can get lost in his eyes." Her smile softens and she tentatively starts rubbing behind one of his ears, testing out a favored spot of whatever dogs she might be used to. "It seems a lifetime ago that we spoke of the hounds, Countess. They are as beautiful as I've heard. Moreso, really. You're well? My belatedly congratulations to you both, as well." She glances to Cristoph and notes, "This is exactly how the best parties go, cousin, and I'm so grateful to be here. Fire, wine, hats, and dogs? It is nearly like home."

Margerie's guards stay outside, so there's another dog and another person entering the gathering! The Second is happy enough to be loosed to join some of his family and acquaintances. It can't be a shock that the socialite would end up with a well mannered pup, quick to make friends. For her part, Margerie seems just as happy to head over to meet people, albeit with less sniffing. She starts with the Host with the Most and extends her hands to Cristoph in greeting. "One last get together outside in the gardens before the cold weather sets in, then? How are you, m'lord?"

"Sir Clement," murmurs Kael by way of greeting, moving over so that he can clasp the other fellow on the shoulder just once and squeeze before he withdraws and takes point next to his wife. "And thank you, my lord." Of note, he's glancing back to where Devo is, just to keep eyes on the puppy... and that puppy, while content for the affection, is actually creepily doing similar. Or maybe adoringly, depending on your viewpoint. "Thank you," he adds, when Gwenna is offering forth congratulations regarding their second born. He adds, to the Laurents in general, "You should come over sometime soon to see Lord Talis, he is *beautiful*. Though of course he is, doubly so since he favors my wife. Now, what was the point of conversation before we rudely interrupted?" He attempts to cease his conversation and instead nestle in at Reigna's side. Ah, except: "Good evening, Aunt Margerie," he offers, stepping in to steal a swift kiss to the cheek once she's taken care of greeting the host -- and likely Norwood.

"Don't let them bother the otter," Jael calls out in mild concern, catching a flash of what Boulder's up to, and then grins at Reigna. "We will get your alcohol tolerance back up soon. "Aunt Margerie, look!" Supporting the soft red dog butt, she gently holds up the gorgeous red bloodhound puppy she's been cuddling even though it's probably pretty likely that Margerie's already acquainted with him.

Norwood returns that clasp to Kael, as respectful in fondness as Kael is. As Margerie enters Norwood bows again, coming up with a smile that's reserved JUST for Margerie (it'd be weird otherwise, srsly). He stays firmly over here though and will wait like a good li'l knight.

When Kael comes to cuddle in against her, Reigna looks up at him and slips her arm around him, though she cannot help but notice the looks between Kael and the puppy. She laughs softly and simply shakes her head. Looking to Cristoph she smiles, "I do not think you were far off the mark when you called Devo Kael's child. I think he has more pride in the pup than in Talis." She's clearly teasing, smiling brightly. When Margerie appears, she waves to her Aunt.

"Ah, before you came over we were talking about hats and the king and Stormwall. You know, just the usual things to discuss at a party." Cristoph tells Kael with another spurt of laughter, swallowing the rest of his wine. Snickering lightly at Reigna's comment he also adds, "Yes, we do need to come over to see the new baby." Margerie is arriving and he's putting his glass down to take her hands in return. "Yes. Enjoying the fall weather before that cold sets in on us. I'm good. And how have you been, Lady Margerie? I feel that I don't see as much of you lately. Busy?"

Glancing up from Oaken and espying Margerie once she's joined the circle of people, Gwenna's wide smile tugs a touch higher at the corners. "Lady Margerie! It is so lovely to see you again. I believe one of the last times we were being quite good artists," is remarked with some mirth evident in her tone. Her attention returns to Kael and she gives a few bobs of her head. "You are quite welcome, my lord. A growing family is true blessing and a light against some of the shadows of the world, I do believe." Jael's remarks make her eyes widen just faintly. "You've otters as well? The wonders I have missed by being just a ward away," is quipped and followed by an amused sounding laugh. Managing to coordinate petting Oaken with one hand, she retakes up her wine glass. "It has been a rather diverse set of topics, hasn't it? Still, I am glad. I can hardly wait to order my own hat."

It's almost as if Margerie and Norwood were some staid, settled couple with longstanding routies and everything. A little smile at one another, but greetings? Those can wait until they've done pesky things like taken care of their duties. Like the greeting of the host with a squeeze of hands before releasing. "I imagine all of us have found plenty to keep busy with, Duke Cristoph. It sounds as if you have certainly been very active of late, yourself!" And things like letting her Count and nephew kiss her on the cheek in greeting, like touching a hand to her chest and smiling dotingly at Reigna, bubbling up with love for her friends and family, grinning at Jael and her puppy love display while trying not to laugh. "What a handsome one you've picked out!" Hate, kings and Stormwall, though? That raises an eyebrow And of course, there's also a Gwenna. "Princess Redrain! What an honor to have you here. It seems as though the hounds have a fondness for you. Are they bringing back those childhood memories? And yes - talented artistes are we!"

Jael nods to Gwenna, setting Devo back in the hollows of her skirts before gesturing over the gathering to the little burrow near one of the pools. "He was a gift from Princess Katarina. To Cris, but he foisted him off on me." She beams at Margerie. "I didn't pick him, Count Kael brought him over and he /clearly/ loves him more than me and longs to get out of my lap, yes I can tell, yes I can." The last bit is said to the puppy directly.

Cristoph pauses in his attempt to further the discussion about hats to suddenly shift forward in his seat, take Norwood by the hand and look at his fingers. Rude. There's a noise in his throat before he lets the poor man go again.

Correction, Cristoph takes Norwood by the neck and looks at that instead.

Kael wrinkles his nose and sends a little scowl toward his wife, sidelong, before rumbling, "Do not say such things. I am going to take our second born and steal him away so that I *can* lavish attention and affection on him without our first born throwing a temper tantrum." A pause. "But maybe when he grows a bit -- it is so much easier when they are older to carry them, though *not* to deal with tantrums." The conversations at hand, at least previously so, has him quirking a brow and tilting his head to the side, just so. In the end he is just grinning however, as well as nodding. Ah, but when his Aunt is commenting on Devo, Kael is shooting a swift look that way, looking momentarily relieved when Jael clarifies. He grins then and, yes, is doing another little status check of the pup (pup behaving) before turning back to ... peer at Cristoph very oddly. Because out?

*out = wut

Norwood was NOT EXPECTING to be suddenly grabbed by Cristoph and jerks forward in Cristoph's grasp. "Cristoph!" Exclaimed before Norwood is AS POLITELY AS POSSIBLE pushing back against the Laurent duke. Don't worry, they're just gonna scuffle, and Norwood is going to win. >:(

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Cristoph before departing.

Reigna just looks back at Kael and offers him a wide smile in response to that scowl. "As you say." Though as Cristoph grabs Norwood, she peers curiously at him as well, her brows lifting as the Duke manhandles his Sword. Her lips purse and then she looks up at Kael questioningly.

Gwenna can hardly keep a smile from her face this evening. "They are indeed bringing back those childhood memories, Lady Margerie. With His Grace and Princess Donella returned, it is my hope to have time for more personal pursuits that I have not had much chance to follow up on. As well, commission a hat. Maybe even a lesson to improve my art skills. Perhaps we might yet cross paths at canvas again." Attention back to Jael, she laughs a bit. "Duke Asger has an otter that I used to go visit on occasion. I made her a little crown and everything, though suspect it may be buried someplace by now," she remarks and chuckles. The exchange between Cristoph and Norwood does draw a faintly arched brow, though she's from a family that wrestles bears or naked - or both. Maybe she brushes it off to custom or is just waiting to see what happens. She has wine and is petting a dog, after all, /right here/.

Cristoph shakes his finger at Norwood as if he should very well know what he's on about. In fact, "You know." There's suspicious look darted towards the manner and he politely (for a man who just wrestled another man by surprise) excuses himself to go to the edge of it where he proceeds to make Rupert run back and forth. Poor Rupert.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Cristoph before departing.

"They all love Kael. I've wondered if he doesn't sneak in to the whelpings to try to get the puppies to imprint on him, but surely he doesn't have time for such things," Margerie muses after Jael's declaration of Devo's devotions. Then Cristoph and Norwood are scuffling and Margerie? She's looking skywards, silently imploring the gods for patience before stepping out of range of their kerfuffling. "Boys." She steps closer to Gwenna side and murmurs, "You see? The Oathlanders are not always so terribly stodgy after all!"

Norwood checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 1 higher.

Norwood manages to keep it all contained but he is going to go talk to Cristoph, over there, where he's making Rupert run about. Whisper Whisper Whisper.

Cristoph checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 4 lower.

"Hmm. A crown." Jael taps a finger againt her chin lightly, gaze trained in the direction of the otter burrow before her brother goes at Norwood and she sighs. "Cris, please don't damage the Sword."

While over there at the edge of the party, Cristoph gets another message via Rupert (who looks out of breath). He frowns at it before looking off at the manse again, then Norwood is coming over to him. Thankfully, he doesn't make a total spectacle of himself. He does however look frustrated and annoyed and there's lots of eyebrow furrowing as he begins to talk to him furtive mutters.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Cristoph before departing.

Kael tips his head to the side and presses a kiss to his wife's brow when she concedes in such a manner. As the continued... whatever that is, that is going on there continues... he tilts his head to the side. He shifts a bit, his muscles tightening, as though what it is precisely that he should do. In the end it is nothing, at least for the moment. Except, of course, respond to his Aunt: "No sneaking out. I am rather open about needing to see the Echo and Oaken pups to evaluate... and maybe bond. Devo is special though; I will be keeping him."

"Devo *is* rather unique." Reigna replies, looking from Kael to Margerie and back. She leans in to kiss Kael's cheek and then rests her hand on his chest, looking over to Devo and holding her fingers out to the pup to see if he'll give her a kiss. "This one is for Kael alone. Moments after his birth he was crawling to climb onto Kael. I've never seen anything like it."

Again, Gwenna can't help but remain in amused spirits. "Oh, I never thought such, Lady Margerie, I do promise," is said with all sincere honesty. Bobbing her head toward Jael, she says, "Would you like me to send one over? They are small and, really, are little more than painted wood. Sort of like those art projects they'd gather us up to do as children." A roll of the eyes and grin follow the words. Again, though, she glances to where Norwood and Cristoph have moved off to. "Is this..." The Redrain doesn't fully inquire, though, instead turning back to focus on petting Oaken and sipping her wine. "Devo does seem unique. The eyes, at the least, I've never seen in another dog that I can recall."

Cristoph weakly pushes at Norwood, exasperation on his face. Before he's explaining something to him in low tones that seems to involve a lot of gesturing.

"An...otter crown?" Jael confirms with Gwenna, giving Devo an opening to hop off her lap if he wants to. "I don't see why not." Cris might, but Cris is off doing something bizarre.

Margerie takes another look at the puppy in question as people describe Devo. There's a speculative look and a hmmm. "What interesting timing you have, little dog. But welcome to the family all the same." She smiles at the dog and then reaches over tolightly touch Gwenna's arm. "Oh, I imagine you are far too gracious for such a thought to enter your mind. Will you excuse me? I'm might go see if the lads need someone to act as arbitrator in this little dispute of theirs."

Kael can't help it, he's continuing to shoot little glances yonder toward Cristoph and Norwood, his brows furrowing a bit more. he shifts a bit uncomfortably and thereafter is glancing back to the pup. He's making with a wobbly rise and Kael, he is on the move to fetch him and let him tuck into the crook of his arm again for some good lounging. The pup'll be content with his high, spoiled position, to peer on at the goings before settling down to doze. Count Keaton nods to Margerie then glances to his wife, leaning in and murmuring a few words before looking back yonder to Cris. It isn't subtle: he is asking or talking about the kerscuffle between the two men.

Norwood is standing RAIL STRAIGHT and absorbs that blow with a stony - then //utterly// confused face.

Cristoph is making more hand gestures until he's not and then he's slowly inching away from Norwood like he's about to run off.

Reigna leans in and listens to Kael, answering in an equally quiet voice, her expression just as confused and perturbed as his. She shakes her head and makes a soft whistle, Oaken, who has been absorbing all of Gwenna's love perks an ear and looks over to Reigna. He gives Gwenna's hands a thorough licking before he pads back to Reigna's side.

So I've a hat to order and an otter crown to make," Gwenna notes, perhaps as much so she will remember than anything else. Then she's quickly bobbing her head to Margerie, a glance to said lads. "Of course, my lady. As always, you are far too kind as well." As the famed matriarch steps away, the Redrain finishes up her wine and grins as Oaken returns to Reigna. "I should actually head back to the villa, loathe as I am to leave family and exceptional company. I spent half the day at the ledgers and I think it's catching up with me. If you might please give the Duke my regrets and regards? I think it best I not interrupt their discussion," is said with a bit of a grin tugging up one corner of her mouth higher than the other.

Norwood looks at Cristoph like he just grew a pair of horns, shakes his head once, then bows to the Duke. "Of course." That is loud enough for everyone to hear. "If you'll all pardon my rudeness?" Norwood calls out to Bayberry and is just going to... go. That way. Before he fails another composure roll.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Cristoph before departing.



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