Grayson Family Dinner!
May 15, 2018, 8 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Grayson Mansion - Great Gray Hall
Comments and Log
Ainsley has joined the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.
Octavian, a silken spaniel arrives, following Zoey.
As people start arrive, Sabella is still running around with last minute instructions, "We're going to need at least four more glasses and..." She eyes the table with the food, holding up both hands like she's measuring it, "...actually that looks pretty good! Just make sure that if we're running low on anything it gets restocked, okay?" Elizabetta gives a nod and goes bustling away. Probably to do that stuff.
Synder The Wolfhound arrives, following Barric.
Ainsley is just stepping out into the hall when Planchet streaks through it with a messenger for him. His eyebrows pinch together and he head directly for the doors.
Ainsley has left the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.
2 Grayson Guardsmen, Alejandra, a snowy white hound, Planchet, an unrelenting valet, 3 Iron Guardsmen leave, following Ainsley.
Cheryl the Assistant Innkeeper, Scourge, a hairless rat-dog arrive, following Mae.
Valor, a small brown and white corgi puppy have been dismissed.
Zoey enters with Niklas and smiles brightly at the sight of Ainsley... That smile falters when he rushes past. "Oh dear," she murmurs, looking a little less sure of herself now. She spots Sabella, however, and makes her glittering way over to them, Niklas possibly in tow.
3 Thrax Guards, Freja the long suffering arrive, following Coraline.
Reese arrives in the great hall while wearing lots of pink and lots of weapons too, bu then again who would expect otherwise? She has ribbons in her golden curls too. She has a smile for those gathered and goes to find a seat.
Reese has joined the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.
Sabella glances after Ainsley with a little frown of her own, "Well. Hopefully there won't be any more tragic news until after dessert? Because dessert is going to be amazing!" She tells Zoey, moving over with a bright smile, "I'm so glad you came! How'd married life?" She leans in to kiss Zoey's cheek if allowed, then turns her smile on Niklas, "Were you invited? I thought we had a one Kennex policy and I greeted Zoey first. Reesey! Help yourself to all the food. There's so much of it!"
Niklas follows along with Zoey. "...and Tikva said they might need to get me a coroner, so I asked Elara why they wanted to get me a bird and she said no, that's a cormorant. So that's good. I already have a bird." He looks around the half after entering. Pretty Thrax heavy in here. Didn't a terrible murder happen in here once? Coincidences are neat. Moving away from his fellow Kennex he makes his way over to Sabella. "Oh, should I go? I did have an important nothing else to do."
Mae arrives alone. Well, not if you count Scourge she's not alone. But her little pup is held in her arms, cradled like a baby. As ever, Mae is dressed in dark, in jingling with each step she makes. There's a bright smile on her face, but she doesn't say a peep, nor to seem particularly inclined to go find anyone. Just sort of out of the way, almost like the help. Almost.
coronet, not coroner, though that would be interesting
Dust the rat arrives, delivering a message to Niklas before departing.
Barric arrives arm in arm with Coraline, the two are not dressed exceptionally outlandishly, normal clothes for the pair of them. Of course given their station it's all high quality leather and silks at the least. Both swords are on Barric's hip as he cannot attend the family dinner without wearing the House Sword. As he enters into the hall he looks around to see who else might have made it to the dinner that Sabella has arranged. When he spots Reese he smiles over towards his cousin and then looks towards Coraline, "Told you it wasn't that big a thing." He tells her with a chuckle and then leads Coraline over towards where Reese is.
Barric has joined the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.
Coraline has joined the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.
Zoey smiles a bit at Sabella, returning the greeting. "Oh, I thought Niklas was your guest, darling. I came at Ainsley's invitation. Cousins and all..."
Having arrived on Barric's arm, Cora is looking decidedly nervous but grins at Barric's words, "Right, no big thing." This doesn't sound convinced. Still she finger waves those she knows and follows along with him towards the seat.
Reese peeks over to Sabella, having a warm smile for her sister that touches her blue eyes. "Thank you." She says in her direction. She then waves to Niklas and Zoey. "Lady Zoey and Lord Niklas, hi." She murmurs. Finally she looks to Mae. Reese seems surprised to see her, but the brunette gets a warm smile. "Oh, Mae, hi." She says gently with warmth in her tone. She then turns to Barric and Coralina, mumuring to them as they join the couch.
Niklas looks over at the sound of bells and for the second time today looks kind of confused to see Mae, but not so confused he doesn't offer a smile and a wave. Back to Zoey and Sabella he says, "I could send Wash a message. Really fill this place out with sailboats."
Sabella laughs, taking up Niklas' hands. "I suppose since you're already here it's a shame to send you away. Especially since if Tikva shows up you'll need to have your banjo-off. Or at least sing us a song." She also leans in for a quick kiss before more people have arrived, "Yes! Definitely tell Wash he is of course welcome! Prince Barric and Princess Coraline, I'm so happy to see you here together! Tonight will be a big, Grayson welcome to a bunch of soon-to-be-in-laws I think! And Mae, get a drink, put your feet up! Tonight's a night to relax and feast and talk among friends and family."
Zoey chuckles at Niklas' suggestion. "If you can get Wash here, I'll be surprised. He's been so busy lately." Brown eyes turn to Reese, and the Grayson general gets a smile. "Hello, Princess Reese. Are you well?" Barric, Coraline, and Mae are likewise given warm, if small, smiles of greeting.
Mae offers smiles to whomever seeks them. "Your highness," to Reese. "My lord," to Niklas. She then gives the brightest smile to Sabella. "Sure," she says. "Thank you." She turns, for a drink, and spots Zoey. "Oh, my lady. Congratulations! Belated," she says. Then she's off to fetch wine.
Confessor Imori, 1 Grayson Guardsmen, Confessor Warren, 5 Armed Confessors arrive, following Tikva.
Reese looks over to Zoey, nodding in response to her words. "I'm good." She says, before echoing Mae's words. "Oh, yes, congrats." Seh adds toward her. Reese finally gets up. She heads over to the food table with her cat-like grace.
"It was a hard choice you know Cousin," Barric tells Sabella, "You scheduled this right during that whole champions guild tourney thing." He smiles wryly, "I am wondering how many more people are going to forget that the Champions are doing what they are supposed to be doing, and it's not just a blood sport." He shakes his head a bit at that and smiles to Zoey, "Lady Kennex." He grins, "Remembered this time." Then he asks Sabella, "Soon to be in laws?" He looks around curiously.
Relic arrives, following Harlan.
Rogue, a black falcon arrives, delivering a message to Niklas before departing.
2 Grayson Guardsmen, Alejandra, a snowy white hound, Planchet, an unrelenting valet, 3 Iron Guardsmen arrive, following Ainsley.
Ainsley makes his way back in with his hand pressed to his face. His palm slowly dragging down his face... dragging his mouth open just a little bit.
Reese has a plate filled of food and a goblet filled of wine as she makes her way back to the couch. She carefully balances the plate upon her lap.
Chief Rin Redreef, 2 Kennex corsairs arrive, following Catalana.
Catalana arrives, following Wash.
Tikva strides in late in a flare of fabric and with far too much energy in the bounce of her step. She flings a leather bag down onto the nearest unoccupied chair and announces herself by going, "Whoof! What a day."
"Thank you, Mistress Mae," Zoey says, smile softening. But then there's Ainsley again. An eyebrow arches and she starts in his direction. She touches her cousin's arm and murmurs something quietly. Barric gets a quick, amused smile.
Niklas nods to Zoey. "An admiral's work etcetera etcetera." He's about to say something to Sabella when receives a message. He carefully folds it up and tucks it in a pocket. "Well, /I/ thought it was funny."
"Might I present Lord Niklas Kennex, who is soon to be Prince Niklas Grayson?" Sabella says to Barric with a gesture to Niklas, beaming. Beaming! It might as well be mid-day! "And I think it's never hard to choose family over everything else, although I did try to not schedule it the same time as anything else, there are so many challenges lately! And while I am quite all right with people praising Gloria, do they need to do it at dinner time?" She asks the room in general. When Ainsley comes back she says, "Is everything all right?" And then "Tikva! Did you bring a banjo?! Or wait, eat something first!"
Harlan enters from outside, dressed mostly in black today for whatever reason. He lifts a hand as he approaches the people in the hall, and inclines his head, "Your Highnesses, everyone else." He then looks around, eyeing the food and drink.
Mae fetches her wine, then offers a little wave to Tikva and Ainsley. "Your highnesses," she says. Then she meanders over to a couch to sit by herself. She sips, she sets her glass down on an end table, and then she digs out her sketch book and pencils.
Wash drags Catalana to this thing, possibly because he's unlikely to attend at all without her moral support and calming presence. He waves a bottle of vodka in one hand as a greeting gift though, because he's never without a bottle or two of Kennex' best.
Mae has joined the Plush Couch.
Catalana follows with her husband, a flurry of blue-green silk as she chuckles. She even wore flat slippers so she wasn't that much taller than her dear husband. Leaning into him, she keeps her arm with his as she exhales a bit.
Buio, a melanistic osprey arrives, delivering a message to Barric before departing.
To Reese, Cora smiles and says, "It is so lovely to see you again." As she settles down. Sabella gets a grin, "I am very glad I was able to make it. Er...yes what he said." Cora indicates teh soon to be inlaws question.
Reese seems to be all busy with eating for a moment. Nomom. She enjoys a savory tart. Catalina and Wash get a smile. So does Harlan and Tikva when she notices them. She then turns to Coraline. "oh, you too, its always good to see you though." She says to the Thrax princess.
Tikva flings herself down into the seat next to the bag that she has flung down, and her smile is quick and bright as she summons up some inner cheer from some internal wellspring somewhere. "I didn't bring the banjo," she says. "I have to get it from Calaudrin. I promised him. All I have is the balalaika."
Niklas looks from Barric to Sabella and back. "We've met! I've known Prince Barric for some time. I'd call us 78% of the way to bring pals, but a solid acquaintance and a half." He shoots Sabella a look. "I don't have my banjo! I was specifically told not to bring my banjo. All I have is my flute, and I might not even have that since Elara has it last and she has a habit of stealing things from me. Like dance off trophies." He cringes at Tikva and says, "Bless you!"
Buio, a melanistic osprey arrives, delivering a message to Niklas before departing.
As Wash and Catalana come in Barric smiles over towards the pair, lifting a hand in a wave and turning his attention towards the other new arrivals while still keeping up a quiet conversation with Coraline and Reese, though Reese mostly is eating it seems. "Wash!" He calls out with a wave and then to Catalana he compliments, "You are looking well Lady Catalana. It's good to see you out and about." Then he nods politely to Harlan and another respectful nod to Tikva but then Niklas comment has him chuckling, "As long as you don't try and make me go to a play, then I'd say we were a hundred percent of the way to being pals, Lord Niklas. I mean we have done so much together already. Travelled to the far reaches, fought wild animals, explored ruins... well I fought... I think you had lunch." He sounds amused.
"There is the piano too." Reese says toward Tikva.
Tikva pauses with her hand in the air, in the midst of summonsing up one of the servants to hand. "What do you mean, no banjo? I thought we were having a banjo off. How can we have a banjo off without banjos, Lord Niklas?" She sounds so distressed.
Wash casts his gaze around, looking to see who is in attendance at this gathering where None is Greater. He guides his way past the buffet, trading a bottle of vodka for a plate of finger meats. Then he's heading in Barric's direction to return his greeting. "Lord Barric." He says pleasantly.
Looking up to Barric she smiles brightly. "It's so nice to see you. And thank you. I've been doing so much better." Catalana gave the man a playful wink then as she nodded. "How are you? It's been a while...."
Mae's big eyes slip this way and that, looking at people, staring at people. Between sips of wine, her pencil moves. Is she sketching Graysons? Most certainly.
"You're the third person today to tell me they aren't at all interested in my play, Prince Barric," drawls Niklas. "I so appreciate this wave of honestly washing over Arx." Niklas points at Tikva, then throws his hands in the air, "I didn't know it was supposed to be today! There was no agreed on date! Aagh!" He looks curiously after Reese, "What's a piano?"
"Wash!" Sabella shouts, releasing Niklas to embarrass himself as she runs over to try and hug the former Grayson, "I'm so glad you came! And Cat! How are you feeling!? How are the children? Are you sure you're all right to be up and about?"
Tikva checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 10 lower.
Harlan offers a smile back towards Reese, and says simply, "And hello to you." He moves to go and get himself something to drink and eat before moving to take a seat somewhere quieter. He doesn't seem to be in a bad mood or anything, just a bit quiet.
Harlan has joined the Emerald Couch.
Tikva squeals out loud when Niklas asks what a piano is, springs back to her feet again, and goes, "This is an outrage!" and, while laughing in a suspiciously cacklish way that suggests there is, in fact, no outrage, charges away from the table and over to the grand piano. Tikva Grayson, patron saint of ADHD, or something.
Tikva has joined the a mahogany grand piano with an ornately carved cabinet.
Reese realizes she is being sketched or possibly being sketched and tries to sit straighter! She then looks over to Niklas. "Its that thing." She says pointing to the piano in the room. "Baron Silas made it. It has keys and makes music. It is pretty good though. But it sounds pretty when Tikva plays it and less pretty when I do."
Wash waves Sabella over and returns her hug. "She better be. I'm not hosting the Sailor's Ball all by myself." He assures Sabella. "You should come and see what we get up to, out on the sea."
"This is why," Mae says to herself, "you don't count on ticket sales to pay actors and actresses for certain plays." Surely just a random observation... Then she looks over to Tikva, to see the woman racing for the piano. Mae smiles brightly.
Tikva checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 27 higher.
Catalana smiles to Sabella, stepping back to let her attack her cousin. "I'm fine....I promise. I feel way better. And the children are wonderful. The little one was napping and Cerilla would only go if he went so....we left them with the nanny." A beat. "And how are you doing?"
"It's not just your play Niklas," Barric says with a chuckle, "I'm just not a patron of theatre. I like to read stories rather than watch them." He turns back towards Wash and Catalana, saying to the latter: "All things considered I am fantastic. Thank you for asking. It is an interesting time in a lot of ways but I am glad to be able to go exploring rather than off to another battle field." He chuckles at Tikva's squeal, "They have a Piano over at the Whisper House too. It always amazes me how the sounds are so different from a harp. Both strings and all..."
Looking in curiosity at the thing called a piano, Cora wonders if other musical addition will be added to the evening, she finds the performance captivating and considers which she prefers, although clearly the person performing is excellent.
Fingers beginning to dance over the keys of the piano, Tikva summons a particularly sprightly tune. But rather than immediately begin to sing anything, she runs along where her fancy takes her, playing a brief run of what could be accompaniment to a number of songs. It's a medley. Or a mashup. Or... musical ADHD. This is the kind of day I'm having, guys.
"You joined the Society of Explorer's did you?" Wash asks Barric. "I should probably be less lazy about it and join up some time myself."
"I'm wonderful! How could I not be?" Sabella replies to Catalana with a smile, "I'm surrounded by friends and family and--oh the food! You should go fill a plate. Fill three! Get your entire strength back!" To Wash she adds, "Nik joined too. Lou told me she wouldn't get him killed." And then to Barric, "You should try the theater! It's amazing, Barric! You don't have to travel to be whisked away to another world like--like Tikva conjures up emotions with her amazing music, you get to sit and enjoy a story played out right in front of you inspiring all sorts of emotions and reactions!"
"Thank you, Mistress Culler! Your managerial insights are always welcome!" Niklas says it in a tone which suggests they're less than welcome. Barric gets a nod and an understanding smile. "This is why I don't attend challenges. Though I understand I recently missed a good one." He wanders after Tikva, pausing to give Catalana a hug. "My favorite cousin! And Catalana!"
2 Grayson Guardsmen have been dismissed.
Alejandra, a snowy white hound have been dismissed.
Planchet, an unrelenting valet have been dismissed.
3 Iron Guardsmen have been dismissed.
Looking at Sabella like she had just wounded him, Barric gasps and covers his heart, "I /like/ exploring, why just watch or read about it when I can go see it for myself? Then it's real and not props on a stage." He teases Sabella and nods to Wash, "I did a little while back. It's been an interesting change." He chuckles, "I'm also planning another expedition shortly, but you should join Wash, we always need more skilled people." Then he gets a messenger and frowns at the message received. "Annd duty calls." He says with a bit of a frown, leaning over to murmur something to Reese and Coraline before he smiles to the pair. "Enjoy yourself Princess, I am a terrible man for inviting you to this and having to run so soon, I do apologize." Then he smiles at Reese, "Keep her safe Cousin." He says playfully and stands up.
Barric has left the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.
Wash salutes the passing Niklas. "You're on my list of favorites too Niklas. Very close to the top, I assure you." To Barric: "Send me a message with the details. I may have the time to join ou."
Looking surprised at Barric's leaving, Cora waves and settles back into the couch giving Reese a smile.
Synder The Wolfhound leaves, following Barric.
Tikva tips her head slightly with a high sweep of her eyebrows as she glances over her shoulder towards the others. "Well, if we aren't going to have our banjo off, I'll send another message and tell Calaudrin that I'll need to borrow his banjo another time," she says. "Personally I love the theater very much, and I'm sure that Niklas has a viewing public that is very excited to see his work."
"Okay, okay, everyone get something to eat, definitely get something to drink, and then for dessert...well, we have all these amazing things but I also ordered a special cake for anyone that likes chocolate..." Sabella trails off, gesturing to Elizabetta as she brings out an amazing looking cake! "I was thinking we could play a small game, not so much the getting to know you thing that it is usually used for, since we all know each other so well, but a quick little thing to catch everyone up on what we're been up to. I'll start! I have been organizing small plays for children in the Lowers every couple of weeks and so far it has gone very well! The children all love it and I love seeing them happy! Okay, now..." She looks around then points, "Tikva! You next! What have you been up to?"
"Politics, mostly," Tikva says with a vehement scrunch of her nose. "But at least I think we're through the gauntlet now. Now I just have to figure out how to stagger these weddings to keep all our brides from wanting to strangle each other."
Catalana nods to Sabella as she gives her a hug. "I will, I will. I'm telling you I am doing so much better...." AT that she looks to Tikva as she arrives. "So nice to see you your highness. I hope our'e well!" But she's off to that piano. Looking to Wash she nods. "Want me to fix you something while you mingle?"
"Well my cousin might have left, but I'm still here!" Reese says toward Coraline sounding a bit playful and like she is trying to be to be welcoming.
Niklas stops when he's standing near the piano, giving the thing a suspicious, narrow-eyed glower. "Looks like a broken pipe organ. Sounds like..." He peers under the hood or whatever you call that part of a piano what am I some kind of piano guy? "Huh. Okay. Seems like cheating, but sure." He moves back around so he can watch Tikva as she actually plays. But then Sabella's doing a party game and he turns his attention on her. "Here's hoping there are no squirrels in here."
Chuckling Cora nods, "You are indeed, and great company besides." She sighs and gives a helpless shrug, "I am terrible with parties, I never know what to do or say so tend to blend into the background."
Wash has a small plate of meats in one hand but glancing at the table. "Drinks?" He suggests to Catalana. "Squirrels in a piano? I hope they have teeny tiny wads of cotton in their ears."
"Oh, shit, I'm supposed to ask someone else now, right?" Tikva suddenly realizes, with the dignity and composure of a lady. "Umm." She twists on the piano bench, sweeping the room with a glance. "Lady Catalana, I'm well, thanks! What have you been up to?"
Sabella's face flushes a bit when Niklas mentions a squirrel and she gives a quick look around. Then she laughs at Tikva's wedding comment, "Oh, we'll be fine! Especially since I'm going first!" She pauses, "I am going first, right?"
Sabella drops an elegant chocolate mirror cake.
Catalana nods to Wash and gives him a wink before looking to Tikva. "Oh jus trying to keep up with my cousin. He's been on a roll it seems...." Letting out a laugh she nods. "That and the children. I'm planning to head home to visit my parents so they can see the new little one."
Wash chimes in. "And she's been helping plan a celebration for the Compact's Sailors. Sailor's Ball, hosted by the Golden Hart actually. In less than a fortnight."
"Beautiful children!" Mae pipes in, from her couch, where she sits and continues to sketch.
Octavian, a silken spaniel leaves, following Zoey.
"No, Aiden is going first, I think," Tikva says in a slightly muddled tone. "They were originally going to do it... um, about a week from now, I think, but then I wasn't available because I have to ride out of town for Laric, and now I'm not sure when it is. You haven't even got your dress yet, and Lord Niklas had to have the word tailor explained for and then spelled to him." You can tell this is a joke because she adds a comedy 'sting' on the piano keys, as a minstrel ought to do when performing random comedy, clearly. "Um, I think you're supposed to pick who's supposed to go next," she asides to Catalana after a beat. "But that sounds lovely, with the children!"
Niklas eyes Catalana for a long moment after her turn, then says, "What? Me? Oh thank you. Well, I'm preparing for a wedding by working with a delightful planner in Princess Tikva while, on a daily basis, adding to the number of drinks I owe her. Also, a play that I think someone might want to see." He looks around and points at Reese. "General, what are you up to?"
Reese looks a bit surprised when she was pointed to, suggesting she wasn't ready for being asked questions. Maybe she was really distracted by cake and wine. She gives Niklas a smile that touches her blue eyes. "Well patrols in the Gray Forest. Investigations about said patrols. Keeping watch from my tower. Patrols with the Iron Guard. Patrols in the Lower Boroughs with Solace." She says, her voice softening and going sorrowful at that. Cassius was her cousin. Leave it to Reese to bring the mood down. She freezes up for a moment as if not sure if she should mention him or not. "Duke Cassius." She says lifting her glass. "Who once told me that Gloria...that Gloria is all about Glory and attention, but often about duty and doing what is needed most."
Tikva modulates her piano playing to something suitably somber in honor of Reese's toast so as to avoid the possibility of 'Benny Hill'ing a memoriam.
Mae's brows lift, as 'Lowers' and 'Solace' are mentioned. She stares at Reese, and then, yes, the rest of that comes out. There's a soft frown on the small woman's lips. She turns her attention back to sketching.
Sabella also frowns a bit at Reese bringing up...well. Things she's been up to. Good party trick to pull out, Sabella! She raises her glass of sparkling wine and nods to Reese, "I think I speak for everyone when I say that we are all very glad for your efforts, Reese. That business with the Lowers..." She trails off with a shudder. "Well. I learned my lesson being down there too often. To Duke Cassius." She has a sip.
Catalana seems tired but in good spirits. Exhaling she looks to the table but catches Niklas' look. A brow raising but she chuckles at her Niklas. "You are in great hands, Nik. I'm sure the wedding will be beautiful...." Fixing those drinks for her and Wash, she passes one to her husband then slowly raises her own. "To Duke Cassius..."
Harlan calls out, "Indeed. To Duke Cassius, and may we hunt down and destroy his killer or killers." Other than that, he's being quiet though.
Mae lifts her glass as well, though she doesn't manage to avoid a nose-scrunch at Sabella's mention of lessons learned. She sips.
"To duty, honor, and the Knights of Solace," Tikva sings out with a kind of clarion brightness. She can get awfully loud, and she stops playing the piano to spin on the bench and reach for a drink of her own so that she can raise it. "I'm sure that Duke Cassius and the Knights of Solace had some reason to venture where they went," she adds peaceably, with a distinctly eyebrowy look cast over her shoulder, "while I am also certain that most of the Peerage has absolutely no business faffing about down there in our finery and I generally think social appearances down there are inappropriate. There's nothing charming about 'slumming it'. Those are people's lives, not those of animals in a menagerie."
"Well, can't get to the docks without passing through the Lowers." Wash points out.
Reese takes an eager sip of the wine at the end of Sabella's words. She looks all somber and troubled. "Am I suppose to ask someone next? Is this a game?" She asks like one distracted with memories. She then nods in response to Tikva's words, seeming to agree.
Sabella blinks, "Duke Harlan, apologies, I must've been looking the other way when you came in. And yes, Reesey, you pick the next person. Might I suggest the quiet Duke, here?" She grins a bit at Wash, "You're the only person that'll ever get me on a boat willingly, but I have guards now! So, maybe I'll walk down there to visit you every so often."
Reese looks over to Sabella, nodding in response to her words. "Okay, Duke Harlan, what have you been up to?" She asks.
Niklas protests, "The best tobacconist in the city is in the lowers."
"So is the best leather-worker." Wash says. "That's what messengers are for. Gods preserve Torian Culler for all he does, but I don't want to scare off his business."
Harlan offers a smile towards Sabella, "It is all right, Princess. I'm sure you've been quite busy." He looks towards Reese and says, "Construction, mostly. Building an addition to the house here in the city, and also in the process of setting up a trading center in Ashford lands. Of course, that'll benefit Grayson as a whole, naturally." He nods. A pause, "Other than that, I'm not up to much at all, honestly -- other than the standard business of being Duke, of course."
2 Grayson Guardsmen, Alejandra, a snowy white hound, Planchet, an unrelenting valet, 3 Iron Guardsmen leave, following Ainsley.
"You have enough instruments!" Sabella tells Niklas with a laugh. She nods to what Harlan says, "What is the addition going to be for? Oh, you need to pick the next person to tell us all about their interesting lives!"
"Sounds like good work, Duke Harlan." Reese says softly and has yet more wine. She looks flushed.
Reese checked stamina + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 43 higher.
"I did say social appearances, did I not?" Tikva asks with a high sweep of her eyebrows. She leans back slightly at the piano, drawing her ankles loosely together. She's wearing shoes, so clearly she had to have been doing something serious before she came to this party. "But naturally what is good for Ashford is good for us. Please let us know how we can help you, my lord Harlan."
Harlan smiles towards Sabella and says, "It's a surprise. I won't reveal it until it's finished -- I'll invite people to see it then, though." He hmmms, and says, "Prince Ainsley, what have you been up to, then?"
Inquisitor Jonathen, a fire salamander arrive, following Laric.
Laric strides into the hall, his pace purposeful and his expression dryly foreboding. The salamander perched on his shoulder is a sharp contrast, chirping cheerfully and appearing generally amphibian. He continues to stride through the hall until - oh, there's something going on. He pauses and frowns at the first person his eyes land on (sorry Lily) for several seconds, then slowly dials his expression down from a 'on my way to torture someone' work face to something a liiiiittle more sociable. "Good evening, everyone. What's the occasion?"
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Coraline before departing.
Wash is caught, mouthful of beef roll half chewed. He swallows hastily. "What have I been up to recently? Um... not much. Not really. Sailing three days out of every seven, which is good for what ails me. And... building boats. Well... learning about boat building. Well... talking to people who know how to build boats about the boats they are building. Well... talking to them at least." He decides that's probably enough said. "Mistress Culler?"
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Coraline before departing.
Mae's assistant, Cheryl, comes into the room from wherever she was hiding to hand off a message. Mae takes it, with a smile, and mouthed 'thank you'. She opens the missive, eyes it, squints, groans, then shakes her head. "Ridiculous," she mutters out. Then she looks up, seeing Laric enter. She flashes the man a sunny smile, with contrasts with that groaning from a moment ago. She then hears her name, and blinks, looking over. "Oh! Thank you, my lord," she says, with a smile. "Um-... I guess I should make clear, since folks were eyeing me... I'm Laric's protege," she says, gesturing to the man who just entered. "And he invited me here for this family gathering but doesn't know it yet," she adds. "And I am doing ... okay. Recovering from, a, uh... stabbing," she says, before clearing her throat. "Painting. Working on rebuilding an 800 year old legacy, by way of a theater. And-... um. That's it, I guess?" she offers. Then a shrug. "Laric!" she calls out. "Your turn. Tell your family and et cetera what you've been up to. Not like you've possibly been busy..."
Lily, who has better things to do than wonder if she's about to be tortured, slowly slides along the wall and behind a potted plant. "Laric! It's family dinner night, I'm so glad you could make it!" Sabella says brightly, heading right towards Laric with an intently cheerful look on her face and her arms spread wide. For a hug. "We still have plenty of food! And drink! And we're sharing what we've been up to." She pauses, remembering the last time Laric shared what he'd been up to. "...you can just gloss over a lot of it." She suggests as Mae calls on him.
Reese looks over to Mae when she shares what she has bene doing. "Oh, I am glad you recovered and I am glad you came." She says. Reese then looks curiously over to Laric when he is called on. She seems curious as to how he will answer.
"Ah." Laric's frown returns, but it's markedly less targeted. "Actually, I'm just here to pick something up," he says with an apologetic gesture deeper into the home - and then his frown shifts. He eyes Sabella speculatively as she steps in for the hug, like a man observing something odd and incredibly foreign. He doesn't move, but he's sure as shit not stepping into the hug either. He keeps his eye on his would-be hugger (potential assailant?) while he replies to Mae's question. "The Crown's business, I'm afraid, and the nature of it prevents me from saying much. There is an ongoing historical project I'm invested in. Relates to the Metallic Guards - the smaller knightly orders built around the most charismatic members of the Metallic Order, and the predecessors of several of our most dedicated defenders in the present day. The only one that survived the Reckoning and carried on to the current day is the Iron Guard, for example, but few know their duties were originally carried out by the Silver Guard, the survivors of which formed the Knights of Solace and King's Own." He clears his throat. History lesson OVER. He begins stepping ONWARD and away from the hug.
"And - how about you, Princess Coraline?" he asks the next person he looks at while making his tactical retreat.
Attention now turned on her Cora presses a little further into the couch looking like a deer in ..carriage lights? "Oh, um well not sure if this is exciting or not but I am setting up a tournament....just something fun for everyone to enjoy...." Eyes go left, eyes go right, who to call on next? "Wash, how about yourself?"
Reese looks over to Laric at his words. "Oh, wow." She says suggesting at least of some of his new information to her. She then turns her focus to Coraline. "A tournament sounds fun. I will try and go." She adds.
Wash isn't eating food when his name is called, this time he's sipping the drink Catalana has fixed for him. He doesn't look nearly as comical swallowing this time. "Well, I've been doing a lot of sailing. But I've also been spending time with my children and my wife. It's nice to have fewer responsibilities these days. What about you Sabella?""
"Oh, are you setting up a tournament? I wonder if that means that we shouldn't set up the tournament we were going to set up," Tikva says thoughtfully.
Mae's assistant comes into the Great Hall again. Another message! This one has Mae frowning, and then sighing. "Right, thanks," she mutters. Then the sketch book is packed away, and she rises up. "Thank you, Sabella. And all of you. I need to go-... attend... to something," she says. There's a little wave, then she scoops up her dog (who had been asleep next to her on the couch), and heads out.
Mae has left the Plush Couch.
Cheryl the Assistant Innkeeper, Scourge, a hairless rat-dog leave, following Mae.
Sabella is evaded! Impossible! And yet her arms are closing around the empty space where Laric once was. She twirls around and flings her arms out like she totally planned it that way, though, "The more tournaments the better! At least, that's what everyone always says about challenges. And me! Well, I mentioned the wedding and the plays, but I'm also still working on my charities in Bastion and here in Arx. And I've been helping research about the Metallic Order too! Kind of. It's something Lou is looking into. I'm not sure I totally understand it, but Elizabetta is really good at books, so she's been helping. And I'm going to make these dinners a regular event so that we all see more of each other!" She pauses, "Was that everyone? I think that was everyone."
Shyly Cora nods, "Ah yes I am sorry I didn't know you were setting one up as well. I don't have a date set or anything, and there is still a lot of work to do for it. I am sure we can coordinate something that works for everyone." This to Tikva. Reese gets a grateful smile, "I hope it will be fun, it will be over two days, a very Thrax based event sort of deal. A boat race on one day and a free for all on another."
Inquisitor Jonathen, a fire salamander leave, following Laric.
Tikva shouts from nearby, "LARIC. DID YOU JUST COME IN, DODGE A HUG, AND LEAVE?"
"What if each house held a tournament, and then the champions of each tournament participated in a more specific event?" Wash asks. "That might be interesting."
Tikva bellows after Laric, dramatically, and then turns back to face Coraline with wide open hands. "Oh, no, I don't want to stop you from doing your thing. We were just thinking of putting together a tourney as a kind of pre-wedding fete, you know, to celebrate ... persons. Your thunder shouldn't be stolen because of plans that were not yet firm."
Running a hand through her hair, nervous habit really, Cora smiles, "Oh well Wash's idea isn't a bad one really but I think it would be a bit more elaborate then anything I come up with. I would be happy to help on whatever event you do end up doing, behind the scenes is more than alright."
Sabella points at Wash, "That sounds amazing! Also like everyone in Arx would be interested! And the houses could get together to plan it, which would be good for morale and general getting to know each otherness!"
"Then let's coordinate, actually, because I think you, Princess Coraline, co-hosting /this/ event with us... would be /super/ appropriate," Tikva says with a wide, beamish smile. "I'll send you a note later with more of what I mean, but I think it should be fun? Maybe? If you don't mind working together." She tips her hand at Sabella, and says, "Although if we're doing that, I'm going to foist the planning off on you, dear, because that sounds like an exhausting amount of effort and one tourney at a time seems enough for me."
Confused Cora is confused but she nods none the less, "I would be thrilled to work together." Back to shy smiling because she doesn't really know what is going on and smiles are a great default! "I will be speaking with Victus later and I can bring it up to him, I don't see him having a problem with it, and well I was pretty much handed this to do what I like with anyway."
Reese is curled up on the couch. She listens to the talk of tournaments, not seeming to have much an opinion on such, but she does smile.
Wash finishes his drink and sets it aside. "Well. I think you'll do an amazing job of it, whatever it is. Let me know when the event is." Wash says. "I've really got to drop in on our other Grayson in Thrax sometime soon." He gestures to Catalana. "Do you want to join me?"
"I'd be happy to take the lead on it!" Sabella says, bouncing a bit on her toes, "Though I might ask you, Reese, for advice, since I know very little about tournaments except where to sit. Ah, the high lord! He's my patron. Oh, did I mention that to anyone?" She looks around with a grin, "I'm teaching him how not to get stabbed by his wife and he's teaching me...well, we're working on Thracian-Grayson interactions in general, So," she says to Coraline, "Tell him I'll be working on it and he'll probably be happy for it!"
Catalana looks to Wash with a smile, finishing her drink then. "Of course...." Smiling warmly she puts a hand on his arm as she nods.
Reese looks over to Sabella, nodding in response to her words. "Oh, I am happy go give advice." She says of her sister. She then seems impressed when Sabella reveals her patron. "Oh, congrats Sabella, what an honor." She says warmly in her direction.
Wash salutes. "Good to see you again!" He says all around. "Perhaps I will run into you at the Maw Sabella. If you pretend you do not know me there, I shall be extremely hurt." He jokes. "Night all."
"Congratulations!" Cora says to Sabella, "I will let him know what you said, and if you like just let me know when works to get together." Wash gets a wave, "Good night!"
Catalana turns to everyone, giving them a wave. "Goodnight all. It was wonderful seeing you all. Forgive me for not being so chatty." Smiling she takes WAsh's arm then.
"Goodnight!" Sabella calls out to Wash and Catalana, giving a wave and laughing, "I should expect I will need some backup from time to time, so I will definitely know you and stick to your side if I see you there." She promises. "Do take some cake with you for the children! Otherwise I will eat it all and Niklas won't want to marry me afterall."
Adds a goodnight wave to Catalana cause Cora's player is a dope and should have thought
Chief Rin Redreef, 2 Kennex corsairs leave, following Catalana.
Catalana leaves, following Wash.
Sabella adds to Coraline and Reese, "Thank you! I was quite pleased when he accepted. I saw that he was advertising for one and I thought, well, I am quite talented in many things that I think, perhaps, he is not, so it made sense. And then he said he once asked Alarissa if she had new wrinkles and--well." She spreads her hands, "How could I say no, at that point, to a man that needs such help!"
Reese's blue eyes widen. "He asked her that?" She says, seemingly quite amused. "He probably does need the help then." She adds a moment later.
Laughing Cora shakes her head, "He is particularly good at making women want to stab him." Something in her voice indicates she too has felt this desire. "He is a good one though, I am very happy he is the Thraxian High Lord. The changes he is making..lets just say they are appreciated." although her voice indicates it is more than appreciated can really cover.
1 Grayson Guardsmen arrives, following Macda.
1 Grayson Guardsmen, Thalia, a beautiful lady-in-waiting arrive, following Roxana.
1 Grayson Guardsmen, Thalia, a beautiful lady-in-waiting leave, following Roxana.
Niklas has been silent for some time, which is so unusual for him! But inertia means it's not hard for him to stay silent even though Coraline's comment about changes gets a bit of a look from him. Instead he looks to Sabella and says, "Go ahead and eat the cake, my dear. I think you're safe as far as my marrying you goes. You're quite stuck."
"I think that it's important for us to work together as much as possible," Sabella nods to no one in particular, "So, this will just be another endeavor where we can get everyone involved! Maybe even...well," she waves a hand, "Time enough to talk details later. And do let me know, Princess, if you would rather have your own tournament. I don't want to run over and take something you were working on and make it something else." Niklas gets a very fond smile and she reaches a hand up to pat his cheek. "You say that now, but I don't think you've ever seen me dive into a chocolate cake that looks this good!"
"Well, let me speak to Victus and see what he thinks. I like the idea of a joint tournament actually but I have to admit I am out of my depth as far as managing something that big. I am sure we can manage though." Standing she smiles, "And now I actually need to go meet a couple of advisers for that same tournament. Thank you all for the wonderful dinner. It was lovely." She totally missed Niklas' look and probably wouldn't have understood it had she seen it.
"Let me know what he says!" Sabella comments politely after swallowing the huge bite of cake she just took from her slice. "I'll start figuring out what a tournament is and how one goes about throwing one." Reese is given a pointed look, "Like, it's fighting, right? And ah. Jousts?" She guesses.
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