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House Velenosa Fealty Dinner

House Velenosa invites family and vassals to partake in an evening of authentic Lycene food, drinks, and entertainment.

Date

June 3, 2018, 6 p.m.

Hosted By

Isolde Jaenelle Talen Mydas Eleyna

Participants

Valdemar Ariella Merek Juliana Vanora Mirari Lys Leta Terese Antonio Luca Theo Signe Duarte Belladonna Calista Cambria Pasquale

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of the Lyceum - Velenosa Estate - Dining Room

Largesse Level

Small

Comments and Log


Aida, 5 Pravus Honor Guard arrive, following Belladonna.

Seryna, a charming Lycene handmaiden, 6 Grimhall House Guards arrive, following Vanora.

2 Grimhall House Guards, Gustav, a gruff Islander advisor, Vanora arrive, following Valdemar.

2 House Velenosa Guards, Dreya, an older woman in Velenosan livery arrive, following Saoirse.

Theo arrives, following Lys.

Entering the Dining Room on the arm of Eleyna, Talen's nod is given to those nearby, those who have gathered early enough to see them enter. "Good evening," he greets simply enough, having decided (by some terrible decision making process) to wear leather armour to dinner rather than a tunic or anything resembling comfortable formality. "Shall we give everyone a few minutes to navigate the labyrinth of this estate?" he asks almost needlessly.

Tempest arrives, following Signe.

Tempest have been dismissed.

Giuseppe, a kindly old man arrives, following Luca.

Cambria strides into the dining room of the Velenosa estate, seeking out a chair at the table and claiming it with casual ease. The Archduchess and her husband are given a wave of greeting as she does so.

Dressed in simple, yet elegant grey linen, Theo filters into the Dining Room with Lys de Lire at his side, his arm wrapped about her. He offers a few quick, polite nods and hellos, before guiding Lys over to one of the less crowded corners of the room.

"Likely. We should probably start posting maps up on the walls, but what would be the fun if someone didn't get lost everytime we throw a party?" Eleyna says in that low purr of a voice, speaking with idle humor. She sweeps in on her Consort's arm, dressed in the shades of black that have become her typical garb since the Battle of Setarco. Her pale skin and bright hair are a strong contrast to her dark apparel, though recent time in the sun on the voyage to the Wastes has made the pale blonde hair even more blond, if that's possible, and lent a the fair skin a -slightly- deeper shade along with a smattering of freckles across the bridge of her nose. She waits until Talen hands her into her usual seat at the head of the table, offering nods of greeting to those gathered.

Entering alone, Belladonna moves through the room to take a seat at the table, her guards having been left outside the building, her assistant Aida given the evening off. Inclining her head towards Eleyna and Talen, she smooths out the skirt of her umbra dress and waits, quiet.

2 Silvershields, 6 House Velenosa Guards, Sir Erron, Roger, Aurum arrive, following Mydas.

Gino, a surly sailor, 2 House Velenosa Guards arrive, following Antonio.

Merek has come to the dinner in the hopes of some nice food, as well as to socialize with people. He has on a cape which is adjusted to his umbra attire, as he walks through and looks around, inclining to others as he does.

Lys is dressed far more luxurious than the prince who is wound about her. Glimmering seasilk to his simple elegantly simple linens. Her coppery hair braided, and pined across her head like a crown by a set of dragonfly hairpins. She resists the guidance of Theo long enough to lift her hand in the direction of Eleyna, wiggling her fingers at her new patron before then relenting to head to that less-crowded corner.

Lys has joined the Dining Table.

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

Pale skin offsets combinations of aeterna and umbra to add just a bit of extra Mirrormask contrast to Lady Vanora Grimhall's dinner attire, her reddish-gold hair worn up in some elaborately coiffed arrangement, her further exotic accessorizing even including an Islander lord on one arm. "Just whisper in my ear, or elbow me, or find some other way of letting me know if I'm talking to someone you've not been introduced to yet. I can't keep track. I assume at least some of the company will be familiar to you, either through the battlefield or the party we attended that my cousins threw." She states to Valdemar.

Juliana settles to a seat, she is in black and white tonight, high colar, 3/4 sleeves and under the bust corset, takes what could have been a very modest dress and highlights the lady's natural assets. Settling into a seat without a word, eyes Eleyna as she enters. No doubt making sure the Duchess seems to be moving without difficulty as she waits for the evening to progress.

Talen rests his hands upon the back of Eleyna's seat until she's sat, finding some semblance of manners in that moment, before he inclines his head in reply to those who spare them their greeting; Cambria, Theo, Belladonna to name a few. "Duchess Pravus, Marquessa Mazetti, Your Highness," greets Talen, "I hope dinner tonight satisfies in more ways than one." As he slides into his own seat, he takes a serviette, splaying it across the scaled lap. "Wine, please," he says to hovering servant nearby, indicating his glass can be taken, and poured for. "I'll let my wife expand as she sees fit, yet tonight is an open invitation to all of our fealty, and guests thereof. If you have something you want to discuss and don't mind the openness of the table, please feel free. This is what these dinners are for. Otherwise, we have a story or two of our own to tell at some point during the evening, though there is of course no rush." A glance to Eleyna, brows up, as if wondering if she's going to add anything on that.

3 Fidante House Guards, Alejandro arrive, following Calista.

The door opens, a rush a cold air and an excecptionally handsome man enters the room, a confident yet curteous air. This is Antonio Velenosa, he moves with a swagger, which would be ridiculous if he weren't so good looking. He walks right toward his usual seat at the table, his swords jangling- his handsome, perfumed head held high.

Antonio has joined the Dining Table.

Juliana has joined the Dining Table.

Mydas, or Ettore, shows up clad in his usual outfit of umbra, and without attempting to grab anyone's attention, takes a seat at the table. His features are neutral, though as ever, his face lets little show, gold eyes considering the various guests, and nodding cordially to those who've already arrived. He's otherwise content to let others begin with the socializing, while a servant soon has handed him a glass of wine.

Signe's absent her regular four legged furry companions to join the dinner alone. Simple and comfort was her chosen fashion and extremely underdressed for the occasion. The young shaman does catch a few faces within the hall very familiar to her and without hestiation they all receive a warm and cheerful greeting as though months had passed since she last held their company. "Duchess Belladonna!" She smiled broadly then greeted, "Oh Lady Lys!" next.

Signe has joined the Dining Table.



A soft clip of boots heralds the entrance of a svelte, sleek figure through the entrance way into the dining. Terese moves with an easy grace though it seems that she neither has dressed for formality, clad in black and twiligh leathers that have been expertly tailored to her curved physique. Her dark tresses, glint with sub-streaked auburn highlights are swept up and pinned in soft gleaming coils and rolling curls. A dip of her head is given to Talen and Eleyna as they enter as the latter seats herself at the head of the table. "A good evening, I thought I would take up the invitation to dinner." Her azure gaze sweeps to the rest of those gathering and filtering in with another tip of her head before finally moving to find a place about the table.

Leta arrives in her own black. No umbra for her, silk brocade and satins and velvets to play texture against texture, purple silk here and there, and the glint of jewelry, gaudy at times. Her jaw's going to start turning purple soon, to match her attire. And her lip's been split not long ago. Whatever beating she was involved in, it leaves her stride a little stiff as she struts across the room to the dining table, bows towards Eleyna and Talen with a faint smile, then slides into a seat, grunting as she settles in.

Valdemar nods at the suggestions of his wife, and as he looks around, he responds quietly, "Yes, I see at least a few whom I recognize." With this, he lets her lead the way to the table, pulling out a chair for her once they get to it. Once she has settled into it, he takes one of his own beside her, giving brief waves to Cambria, Juliana and Belladonna. Otherwise, the Grimhall heir quietly observes the room for the time being, resisting the urge to tug at the collar of his seasilk tunic.

Theo draws out a chair for Lys at the table, waiting patiently for her to take her seat before he takes his own next to her. He raises his hand to a passing servant, indicating their empty glasses, which are soon filled with a delightful vintage from Southport. Glass in hand, he leans over, whispering quietly to his companion.

Ariella directed her retinue of ruffians to fuck off for the evening as she had to go to some fancy something or other. When she steps into the room she stands up on her toes and looks around, but Quenia and Lucita are nowhere to be found. Hell, she'd even take Luis at this point. But no. She's here by herself. Representing Igniseri on her lonesome. "Fuuuuuck, I should have dressed up." She did not dress up. No aetumbra here. Just leathers that are more salt than cow at this point and whose better days are long since gone. Still, if Ariella Igniseri is anything, it's lacking in everything that would lead her to caring much beyond that outburst, then she's looking over the tables, looking for a seat that calls to her.

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

Theo has joined the Dining Table.

Cambria, after inclining her head to their hosts for the evening when the acknowledge her, turns her gaze towards Valdemar and Vanora, offering the Grimhall couple a finger-waggle of a wave and a smile.

Juliana tosses a smile to Valdemar with the smile with a wink to Vanora. Her gaze slipping to the entrance of Antonio, head tipping just a little as she nods to the Prince. Otherwise, the Pravus is quiet and watching.

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

Luca couldn't look anymore like he'd just rolled out of bed if he tried, and while he didn't manage to find his shirt, he did fine his coat. It's autumn after all. Cold, evil, creeping autumn. He comes through the door to the dining hall, back-first, calling out, "El. Why are there people in our hallway?", and then he turns around to see just where all the people are. It's probably not shocking that it catches the Lycene a little off his guard. Does he pay attention to anything? There are, quite noticeably, two bottles stuffed into his coat, one in each pocket, and two haze cigarillos, one tucked into the corner of his mouth, the other in his hand, being brandished around. "Wow, we're just letting anyone come to dinner these days.", he says, loudly, by way of greeting, with a pleased smile on his lips, "We're not being robbed by beautiful southern people are we? If we are, take anything but the haze and the dust, please." He's bare of foot, breech-hugged, with coat and swordbelt, but that seems to be it.

A small retinue of Calista's entourage joins the Duchess as she arrives to the fealty dinner. As she crosses the threshold of the dining room, delicate fingers deftly unhook the brooch to her cloak and dark fur skims down the length of her arms. Alejandro, her faithful and dutiful servant is just in time to catch the garment before it falls to the floor. "Good evening, everyone." The tone of her mellifluous voice lifts with amusement as she passes a few recognizable faces and finds herself a seat at the table. "What a gathering, Archduchess!" Her warm smile touches her eyes as she greets Eleyna and Talen.

As wine is poured, Lenosia Red as usual for Eleyna, she expounds upon Talen's words, "As many of you already know, we recently took the Carlotta out on an adventure. she performed superbly and brought us to the Wastes in one piece. We want to begin the dinner by opening it up to anything you wish to discuss, even if it is just idle conversation amongst yourselves, then we can share a few things we learned on our expedition." The Archduchess nods to a nearby steward and the first course of the dinner is brought out, a pumpkin ravioli in a rich cream sauce and heavily spiced in the Lycene cuisine tradition. As the food is brought out, Eleyna eyes Leta and asks abruptly, "What in the Thirteenth happened to you?"

Ariella has joined the Main Dining Table.

Oleander, the tarantula have been dismissed.

Hiss, the Lenosian viper have been dismissed.

Bianchetta, a powerful white Ostrian horse have been dismissed.

"Leta," Talen greets, "you look like shit. Did you puppets and dolls come to life and fuck you up since you're out of practice from the sellsword game?" Leaning over, he tosses a napkin in her direction, an almost playful welcome to the table despite his goading. Aetumbra or no, Airella's entrance causes him to snort, before he calls out to the woman, "I am told frequently that my armour is not suitable dinner attire, and yet, here I am. You are fine. You just won't win the unspoken fashion competition ongoing right now." The arrival of Luca and Calista are given familiar movement of his hand, before he adds for the former's benefit, "If we're only taking in those of our fealty, you can get out, right now!" he insists. "Otherwise, sit your ass down and eat your pasta, you're looking a little thinner than usual and that normally means you've been smoking too much."

It should be noted that Lys' bottom lip is a little bit fat, and there's bruising starting to show around her left eye. But she otherwise looks no worse for the air. The redhead tilts her head toward Theo when he murmurs to her, her lips quirking up as she sips at her wine and murmurs back quietly. Glancing up between Leta and Eleyna and not being able to stop a little snicker, lifting her voice to Eleyna, "I did! But of course she happened to me too."

"Fisticuffs, your Grace," Leta rises from her seat to answer Eleyna's question with a bow of her head and something between a smile and wince. She looks sorry, at least. And touches her fingers to her lip a moment. "No puppets, and - well, my dolls ain't so good that Jayus will bring them to life like in that story. I think there's a story like that anyhow. Anyway, they're not that good or nothing," she reassures Talen that she's not building a creepily adorable army with another nod, this one pointing in Lys's direction. "Just so." And then she takes a seat.

Pasquale comes dressed in dark silks, as he does, taking a beat after passing the entryway to get a read of the room. And then slipping among the guests unobtrusively to find himself a seat.

"I'll introduce you to our hosts between courses at some point." Vanora states quietly to her husband, seeking out a glass of red of her own. Just before settling into the chair that is pulled out for her, she greets Belladonna with an air-kiss to each cheek. "Cousin, its delightful to see you." She doesn't ask how Belladonna has been faring, just launches into a pointless update or two about her own life. "I've been passing far too much time redecorating. Because Duke Harald hasn't the faintest interest in what anything looks like or how comfortable it is, and someone has to. That and shopping for extended family arriving in the city."

Eleyna glances between Lys and Leta and lifts her brows, shaking her head as a faint grin flits over her face, "I will never understand some people's obsession with hitting people on purpose. In the face! At least it looks like it wasn't a terribly uneven fight." She slants a glance at Talen, smirking, before she echoes Talen's words, "Everyone, sit down. Eat some pasta. Enjoy some wine. Maybe not you, Luca. You look like you've already enjoyed enough."

"That's cause you ain't seen me ribs, your grace." says Lys, a hint of the Lowers slipping into her diction.

"I'll fucking fight you.", Luca says to Talen, immediately, without heat to his words. There's a grin that comes over the man's handsome features. "Besides, there's no such thing as smoking too much. This second cigarillo isn't even mine. I just brought it for you. I thought you'd want it, since it's your stuff..", and he moves around the table to, indeed, pass the second one off to Talen, before dipping in to smooch Eleyna on the cheek, "Why do you let him talk to me like that, El. He wounds me. I'm very delicate..", before finding himself a chair as well. "Anyway. I'm glad you're glad I'm here. I can't wait to hear all about the Carlotta stuff."

A glance is given as Terese's gaze slips over the state of both Leta and Lys as they enter before catching sight of the backside of Luca. Always some show on display as the corner of her lips quirk though she eventually settles into a chair with a slide of her gloved hands behind her to flair the twin tails of her corsetted jacket before furling into the seat. "Indeed.." she muses softly though her gaze slips back to her aunt as Eleyna speaks. She glances at the server as the first course is set in front of her. Hands lift as she begins to pluck at one leather clad finger after another to remove her gloves.

Antonio spares Juliana a little glance and a smile- and then, as he usually does at these things, he falls quiet.

Talen studies Leta suspiciously for a long moment, eyes narrowed, before they widen and he permits, "Okay!" Then as he tucks into his pasta and wine, he relishes in each equally. "Eleyna's own ribs aren't doing too well either because she opted into the chariot racing the other night, Lady Lys," Talen shares, "so if nothing else nobody has room to call the other out for being reckless. You're a-ok." Luca's given an accusatory point, as if he's going to take the man up on his words for a brawlk, before he gets far too distracted by the offered cigarillo that he takes. "You're too sensitive, that's why, I'm here to toughen you up so you're not so squishy." Setting the joint down, he refocuses on food and wine for a time, attention listening to the other conversations on the air.

Terese has joined the Main Dining Table.

Theo inclines his chin in a friendly greeting to Luca, a bright smile on his lips as he retrieves from his cloak a thin cigarette case. "Have no fear on running out of haze, cousin," he says, tapping the case. Then, turning to face Lys again, he shrugs lightly, and leans in to whisper in her ear.

Cambria has joined the Main Dining Table.

"Oh, don't say ribs." Eleyna winces in sympathy and presses a hand against her own ribs, heavily bandaged beneath her dress. "I tried to crash a flaming chariot into a Grayson Princess. It didn't work out well for me. But, at least I went out in style!" The Archduchess catches sight of Terese and, for a moment, looks pleasantly surprised, before she says, "Terese! I'm so glad you took up the invitation." She then glances at Luca, smirking, "I let him talk to you that way for the same reason I let you threaten to 'fucking fight him'... because I do not care. Now, shut up and eat your ravioli. Storytime will come with dessert."

Lys flashes Talen a smile full of teeth, "Aah, but the rib pain is the best pain, your highness. Lets you know you well and truly got hit." She sips at her wine while tilting her head to the whispering prince. A snort is given at his words and she puts her glass down and scoots it toward him, while picking up her utensils to find her food.

Valdemar takes a glass of red wine himself, nodding once more to Vanora when she mentions introducing him to their hosts. Hearing talk of a fight, even if it is meant as a jest, causes him to grin a little, before the food set down in front of him draws his attention. He takes a bite of the pasta, something clearly unfamiliar to him, though he seems to enjoy it in the end while he listens to the conversation between his wife and her cousin.

Calista graciously accepts a glass of wine. Her emerald eyes widening a touch as the deep red vintage is poured in to her glass. "Oh, thank you, kindly." She murmurs to a Velenosan servant. If cigarillos are passed around, she declines for now and instead takes a good whiff of the succulent meal set before her. "This looks amazing! I have not had a Lycene dish like this in ages." Pumpkin ravioli is neatly cut and with precise table manners, a small forkful is taken into her mouth. "MMmm,sogood." When her eyes open again, mouth still full of pasta, she spots Mydas and flashes him a close lipped smile.



A soft chuckle is heard from the table and from the mirth that crosses Terese's features it's easy to tell she is holding her peace for the time. Mostly. The quirk of her lips grows into a fiery little grin as she catches Eleyna's gaze. "After seeing your blaze of glory.. or at the blaze of your chariot how could I pass the invitation up? I have expected it might have been a trick to woo the crowd if not for the mean tumble at the end." One to which she herself watched with as high amusement for the entirety of the race itself.

Mydas answers Calista's smile with an inclination of his head, and a slightly amused glance at the Duchess' enjoyment of the pasta. "And how do you do, dear Duchess?" the man asks, while her mouth is full, because he's that kind of friend. He even smiles pleasantly. He does not, however, dive into the pasta, instead enjoying his wine.

Luca's sure to nudge Talen in the side just as the man's attempting to put a bite of pasta into his mouth. Right before. Right when you can almost taste it, your mind is prepared for the glorious blending of flavors and the mastication to come, and then some asshole gets you with their elbow just hard enough to break the perfect alignment. A plan, ruined. A betrayal, unforgivable. As for his own pasta, he stabs at it with a fork a couple of times, not really eating, but pushing it around until there's been an appropriate amount of time for him to reach out and take his glass of wine, which he raises to Theo, "Oh, no worries! No worries here! We don't do that on this side of the table!", before he tips it back and kills what's inside the glass. He looks over to Terese as well, "Terese! I'm glad you could make it too!", he says, echoing Eleyna's sentiment. "And, I mean, everyone, of course. Clearly, I mean everyone. There hasn't been this many pretty people in one room since the last fealty gathering. Nobody else can compete, really." After, he mumbles, "I can't believe I missed chariot racing. I didn't miss any good deaths, did I?".

"It's not a fish." Is Vanora's sentence to her husband regarding the food, and there's no further clarification offered up to him. She takes a few bites herself and then focuses attention back to her wineglass. She gives a glance and a nod to Duchess Calista's assessment of the food, feeling the same. Her own bites are measured and small as well, and more wine than food is consumed at pace.

Vanora has joined the Main Dining Table.

Leta settles in, still a little sore. After watching the others nearby, she imitates them in their choices of utensils and manners and timing, and starts to dig in. Carefully. Both to avoid making a mess and to avoid reopening her lip. She seems quite happy with it, and eats as quickly as her careful manner allows. Since she's not really engaging her tablemates in conversation, she has plenty of time to stuff her face while she listens.

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

Theo offers Lys only a smile in reply, picking up his fork and knife and eating only enough to be polite before he, too, returns to his wine. After finishing his glass, he sets it down on the table, pulling from his cloak a thin flask from which he attempts to drink from discretely, if such a thing were even possible.

Valdemar has joined the Main Dining Table.

Eleyna actually grins at Terese as she says, "Well, someone had to show the crowd how a true Lycene chariot race is ran. Though, truthfully, I really was trying to take out the Grayson so that Jaenelle could get first place. There was no way I was going to win it. As my dear husband likes to remind me... I can't ride for shit. But I -can- cheat." She smirks and finally takes a bite of the ravioli as well. As she chews, she listens, pale blue eyes sweeping over the gathering with something akin to pride in their depths.

Talen stares at the uneaten ravioli that slips off his fork's end as he's nudged with the kind of wistfulness expected. Then, there's a pout, a small one. It lasts until he stabs it back up and repeats the process, defiantly shooting a dirty look at Luca. As he speaks quietly with Antonio, he seems to lapse into some internal thought, though keeps tabs on what's going on at the table even so. "You're not the worst rider, you're just not good," Talen adds for Eleyna. "You don't practice enough anymore."

Harlen arrives, following Duarte.



A veil of smoky lashes flicker as Terese glances towards Luca a moment when his elbow rises. With her gloves tucked away, her weight shifts to lean on one hip, the slice of one knee crossing over the other even as she plucks a form up and spears a ravioli for herself. It pauses in mid air, tines tilted up and backwards and for the briefest of moments it almost looks as though she might take advantage of the diversion before perking up as Luca's gaze swivels back around. A smile crosses her lips quickly, "I only come to the best of occasions Luca, hence sightings are rare." She passes him a quiet wink before that grin is flashed back to Eleyna, "I really thought you might have had her there for a moment. To miss.. with a dagger." She almost looks aghast despite the gleam within her azure gaze. As if somehow it must be the training in such that is amiss.

Duarte arrives looking a bit bewildered, but luckily a house servant found him before he walked unknowingly into a bedroom and was proper redirected to the dining hall. He looks relieved and thanks the staff before heading to a table.

Duarte has joined the Dining Table.

Theo tucks the flask back away as a servant appears to refill his glass. Tt didn't take very long between the emptying and the filling of the glass, really; Theo was just impatient. The late arrival of Count Duarte brings a smile to Theo's lips, and he inclines his head in the man's direction. "Good evening, Count. So very nice to see you, as ever." He lifts his glass to the man, taking a deep drink, and then turns back to Lys, leaning in close.

"Well, maybe you should take me out riding like you used to, hmm?" Eleyna makes a face at Talen before taking another bite. She looks at Teresa and says in mock-exasperation. "Really? You, too? Look, I am not a fighter. I only throw daggers when it is really truly necessary and usually not from the back of a chariot as it is speeding along! You miss one little dagger throw and suddenly every smart ass in the family wants to mention it. Next time, I'm going to stock the chariot with vases! I'm pretty good at throwing those."

Luca's pushes his food around a little more until he's satisfied that it looks as if he's given the eating of it his best effort. Then he leans back in his chair, a glass of wine in one hand, a cigarillo in the other, and watches the other people around the table, shifting his left wrist just enough to swirl the dark red wine around in the glass. He doesn't look like he's listening so much as he looks like he's picking out victims, with a languid expression on his face. When Terese is speaking to him again, his dark gaze cuts back to her, "It's a good thing we open up dinner here, then, or we might never see you. Are there really any other best occasions in all of Arvum?" He catches the woman's quiet wink, and passes one back. He can't help but fall upon Eleyna for the dagger thing either, if just in good fun. "We could stock the chariot with shade. You're pretty good at throwing shade, too. But daggers? Really? El. Don't worry. I'll help you brush up on it. If I have to. If only we had someone in the family who was really very good at throwing daggers. Someone dark and handsome, that you could marry.".

"I'm taken," Talen voices to Luca, before he leans back, and adds to Eleyna, "If we go riding like we used to, you'll need to take at least the afternoon off from paperwork," he reminds, "and when do we have the time, hm? Maybe you can spill your lantern on your desk some evening and 'whoosh'!"

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

"It isn't? I would never have guessed," Valdemar responds to his wife in a wry tone, giving her a sidelong glance before he takes another bite of the ravioli. As he eats, and sips slowly at his wine, he listens to the conversation about some chariot race that sounds like it occurred very recently.

Duarte sticks a fork into a morsel and rotates the utensil, pointing it upward, so he might inspect the food. "I am your only Count, my Lady." he comments to Lys, whilst peering at the food. "Is this a ravioli?" It isn't.

Calista takes a small break from eating and catches a similar expression on Vanora's face. She sits back in her seat, nursing her glass of wine as she speaks to the former Pravus. "Lady Vanora, congratulations on your recent marriage. How have you been? I missed your last stint in the Lyceum before Grimhall stole your attention." Her smile broadens a touch. The woman is clearly relaxed this evening.

"I think you have my confused with someone else, my dear. I mean, really. Who in the name of the Thirteenth actually brings paperwork on the trip of a lifetime? I like to delegate. Not just because I'm lazy but because life is too short to spend it doing paperwork." Eleyna shakes her head and finishes the last of her ravioli. That same steward, noticing the Archduchess finishing nods his head and servants move to clear the first course while another group moves in with the next. In keeping with the winter themed menu, a hearty Lycene pot roast is brought out next completed with a side of roasted vegetables.

Lys snorts at Duarte and says with a smile, "I'm quite certain there's another count /somewhere/ in all of the Lyceum, my lord."

6 House Velenosa Guards, Ibasia, the Velenosa Lady-in-Waiting arrive, following Jaenelle.

Theo pushes his half-eaten plate away, returning his attentions to the important wine-drinking that must be done. Looking over at Lys, he arches his brow, studying her thoughtfully for a moment. "It was a melee to remember," he says to Duarte with a smile, glancing over to Leta.

"Duchess Calista. Lovely to see you." Vanora dips her head at Calista in the sort of gesture appropriate for greeting a duchess without having to stand up to do so. "I thank you for it. It wasn't so much a 'last stint in the Lyceum' so much as the illusion of pause so you cannot be too hard on yourself for it hmm? I've been well, overall. Moments of less pleasant emotion but they don't seem to last. You've met Lord Valdemar? Love, this is Duchess Calista Fidante, of Tor." One course is removed only nibbled on and another starts allowing the opportunity for the same.

Signe's seated at a dining table with the plate of pasta before her, there's the occasional poke at it with her utensil as conversations carry on around her.

From those words a chime of laughter spills from Terese's lips at the chiding of her aunt. "Are my Lycene roots showing? I thought I had those dyed.." she muses as she lifts a hand towards her dark pile of tresses twisted with auburn umber. A few strands escape as ever, unbidden to fall and curl about her cheeks as she relaxes into her chair for as much as the twilight corselet beneath her jacket will allow. "I admit I am quite envious of your chariot ride as had I gotten there sooner.." She makes a soft chocked noise at Talen's statement, "Well at least it was for a good cause though it was your money up. My last advent with a horse and a wily recruit gave me more than a few cracked ribs and right after being named to coordinate cavalry. There might have been an unrelated accidental stabbing after that but it's unconfirmed." To Luca, her grins widens, "Not on your life, though I do remember hearing Victus remark on your fighting prowess. While dead." She finishes the last bit quickly, "I told him that would be something I'd truly like to see."

Leta has joined the Dining Table.

A messenger arrives and approaches Mydas, handing over a slip of paper that the prince briefly looks over. "Mm. Duty calls, I fear. Enjoy the dinner." he says to those near him before rising from his seat and stepping out, save a few muttered words to Eleyna and Talen.

2 Silvershields, 6 House Velenosa Guards, Sir Erron, Roger, Aurum leave, following Mydas.

Fashionably late? Sure! Jaenelle will go with that. "At least im not covered in blood this time" Jaenelle says pleasantly as she enters the dining room. Mydas' departure gets a shake of her head, "I think I scared him off, hopefully he enjoyed the dinner?" She totally takes his empty seat for herself.

Jiacomo, the Velenosa seneschal arrives, delivering a message to Antonio before departing.

Aida, 5 Pravus Honor Guard leave, following Belladonna.

Shaking his head a little, Valdemar looks at the woman that Vanora is speaking with. "No, I don't believe we've met before now. A pleasure, Duchess," he responds to his wife before greeting Calista, inclining his head to her somewhat. Most of his own plate is empty by the time one course is being traded for another, though he is still on his first glass of wine.

Leta eats. It's a dinner, so she eats. It keeps her mouth full and busy so she can avoid having to come up with witty conversation with the peers of the realm and whatnot. She nods now and then, when things seem innocuous enough, and waits for one plate to be exchanged for another, digging into the roast. An eyebrow raises above her eyes as she keep tracks of the conversation, occasionally glancing towards the Arch-Ducal couple with a curious expression. Utterly incomprehending, but pleased or something akin to it.

Duarte sets his fork down and leans back in his seat, making a motion of his hand toward the back of the room. Harlen comes over and exchanges some murmurs with Duarte.



Harlen stands and stares at the Count. "I hate you." he mumbles. He then rounds the table and grabs a free fork. Harlen dips the fork into Signe's food and lifts it up to offer a bite before her mouth.

"No one ever really leaves the Lyceum," Eleyna says to Teresa as she slants a glance at Vanora with a sly grin on her lips before her smile fades as Mydas rises, murmurs a few words, and exits the dining room. A brief frown furrows her brow, but as Jaenelle steps inside, her smile is back. "You missed the first course, but you mad eit for the main and dessert, which are the important ones anyway."

Cambria, who had made little effort to eat the first dish, seems more interested in the second course. She is not, however, much of a conversationalist. At least not so far, at any rate.

Oh, someone wants to talk about his fighting. Luca rises up from his chair, like a moth to a flame, and wanders around the table, wine in one hand still, cigarillo in the other. "Victus would know. That man's got the sort of strength that will rattle your teeth. I'd just as soon see him swinging that axe at people we can both appreciate as better off dead. I'm a little too unmotivated to be dodging the kind of sweeping blows Victus Thrax is good at.", and he pauses as he's navigating around the table to press a kiss to the top of Jaenelle's head after she's seated, "You scared him off, but the property value is going back up now. A good trade.", he teases, setting his emptied wine glass down near Jaenelle and making off with her own before she can raise a fuss over it, "Sorry, I need this.", and then he's off! Around the table, over to where Terese is seated. There's room next to her, right? There must be, or he makes it. "Anyway, Vic was probably lying to you. I'm still learning the sword. Yesterday, I figured out which part the pommel is, though."

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

After a little bit of conversation with Talen, Antonio gets to his feet, drumming his fingers briefly on the table top, before he turns to walk on out.

Signe's dawned a confused expression until 'Harlen' is identified. The poor teenage orphan boy some how coerced into feeding the Nightgold. The shaman offers the young teen a warm smile, "Hello Harlen. I am Lady Signe. Thank you but why don't you enjoy the first bite? Would you like to share my plate?" She asked of Duarte's orphan before turning her attention to the Count, "Surely you don't mind?"

"Marquess Mazetti, is it pumpkins or pasta that evades your appetite?" Talen asks, out of the corner of his eye, as he continues to discuss something that almost sounds like -work- with Antonio. Then, sidelong, he asks Eleyna as he reaches for his joint while waiting for the second course, "If dessert is the best course, why do we wait until last? We should have it first."

Theo seems to be *quite* enthralled with the meal he's not eating, doing very little in the way of making conversation. For the most part, he simply drinks, and exchanges looks with the redhead at his side.

Vanora no doubt picks up on the Archduchess' words for green eyes lift to meet Eleyna's sly smile and respond with a tiny little dip of her head. She takes a bite or two of the second course and no further, focusing on whichever glass of wine she's found herself on. She hears other bits and pieces of conversation and notices Mydas' retreating back and Jaenelle's arrival. "That was Mydas, but you've met so you knew that. This is his wife Princess Jaenelle...or did you know her already when you were younger?" She asks Valdemar. Talen asks the important questions, and she answers, "It's too late now. Remember next time."

Antonio has left the Dining Table.

Gino, a surly sailor, 2 House Velenosa Guards leave, following Antonio.

"I suggested that. Once. After the words left my mouth, the chef then looked at me like I was a five-year-old and said, very succinctly, 'I don't care if you are the Archduchess or the Grand Duchess or the Queen of Arvum. That is not how it is done. Now, get out of my kitchen.' I figured, after that, I just let her do her thing and stay out of the way," Eleyna says with a laugh as she takes a bit of the roast before her.

Duarte shakes his head with a lifting gesture of his hand. "Not at all. "



Harlen may still hate Duarte, but he is very happy with his new friend. He takes the bite and chews happily. "mmhank ooo" he says with gratitude and a full mouth.

"Not from when I was younger, but I have met her Highness before. And just spoke with her the other day, when I ran into her, Princess Leona, and some others at the Ebb and Flow," Valdemar answers his spouse, smiling as he looks over at Jaenelle. Once more, he seems to enjoy the food a good deal, eating the roast whenever he is not speaking. Apparently, he is perfectly fine not having dessert immediately.

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

Signe searches the table for a spare utinsil then pushes the plate between herself and Harlen to share. "You're quite welcome."

"A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Lord Valdemar." Calista replies. Eleyna's comment about never leaving the Lyceum has her the Fidante echoing a sly smile of her own. "Princess Jaenelle merely got here -just- in time. Dessert is the best part."



For the mirth in her words, Terese's lashes fall slightly in return to Eleyna's own. "No and considering the shelter the shelter of the Lyceum gave my brother and I and the flurry of family some years ago I wouldn't have it any other way." A hand that had reached for her glass as the first plate is swept away for a second, rests there upon the rim with a tap of her fingertips. Memories are swept away along with it as her lashes and gaze lifts once more towards Jaenelle. A dip of her head is given, dark pinned curls set a quiver, "Good evening," she offers as the women settles in only to nearly miss the rise and flutter about of Luca. She leans back further, lifting her glass in the process to curl in one hand. "Best when you can agree on your.." she lilts as he jostles the chair next to her with a hip check that sends her ass sliding half across her chair. "Oh no, please do be seated don't let me sit in your way!" she half laughs and uncrosses her legs to slip herself back upright. "I'd offer to teach you but from the sounds of it I'd just end up getting stabbed."

"Both," Cambria says to Talen. "Fillers," she then supplies, as though this just made absolute sense. "I am a poor gourmand for a Lycene, I confess." And yet it sounded an awful lot like the Marquessa did not care, confident as she was in her own skin. "Of course, my tastes are no reflection upon the Velenosan chefs."

Lucienne, a bubbly blonde shop girl, Shank, a hulking bald guard arrive, following Mirari.

"Well, the Lyceum also looks out for our own, though the reputation might claim otherwise, Teresa," Eleyna says with a nod. As the other diners are enjoying the food, she leans toward Talen and murmurs a few words before she settles back with her wine.

Merek looks around a bit and tries to socialize, though he seems to be interested in the wine, for the moment, as well as some food which has been placed about.

"How are your chariot war wounds, Eleyna?" Jaenelle asks as she is served the course she arrived on, only paausing briefly to receive a missive from the man who she scared away by walking in. Mydas' letter causes her to look towards Talen but the smile never faulters and she never says anything. The kiss from Luca is granted a wrinkle of her nose, "now now, perhaps we have a system where if we both are in the same place at the same time to much amazingness is in one place and we would not wish for you all to suffer because of it. She dips her head towards both Vanora and Valdemar in greeting, "yes, poor Valdemar had to hear Leona refuse to claim me as her sister. She is over it now, of course. You know how sisters can be. Especially twins. Princess Terese" she then greets the other woman with a bright smile, "welcome to dinner."

"Hey, surely someone has something fun to share!", Luca calls out, able to do that even while balancing his haze and his wine and being a little rude to Terese as he makes a place for himself. "I know you're all constantly up to no good and getting into everything. Someone's got to want to talk about it!", and then he looks over to Terese, "That's sort of the point of teaching, isn't it? Someone's going to get stabbed. But really, that's also the fun in it. What's a little blood between friends? It's bonding or whatever. I keep all my blades very sharp just to be as polite and friendly as I can with the wounds. A clean wound heals more quickly, Eirene tells me. All the time. Just, all the time." He takes a long drag from that haze cigarillo, leaning back in his newfound chair just a little bit and relaxing into the smoke in his lungs, before pushing it out through his nostrils, twin plumes of silver-white. To Jaenelle, he calls over, "Well, that's a good schedule to keep, I think. We can't have too much amazing in one room.".

Mirari slips into the dining room and finds a chair to settle quietly on.

Theo draws both hands up to the edge of the table, pushing himself up from it and standing. Collecting his case, he opens it up, retrieving a neatly rolled cigarette from within it, and tossing it in Luca's direction. "I believe," he says, glancing over to Lys, "that that is just about all the dinner I could possibly eat in one night. My thanks for the conversation, the company, and the food. My lady?" He offers his arm to Lys.

"Lycene food to your liking once again?" Vanora inquires of her husband when he takes enthusiastically to the second course. "Or just hungry. Remember what you like and I'm /delighted/ to try to get the chef to attempt...anything here at all. Anything close to anything here at all. Pretty please." She jests in his direction. "Oh dear. He does I'm sure. I don't have any sisters, only so many handfuls of cousins that a few may well have been. Brothers, I've my share and then some." she comments in response to Jaenelle.

With a nod to Eleyna, he then rises slowly, hands upon the edge of the table, a mild and silent twist of his lips for Cambria in recognition to what she says. "Everyone, if you can spare myself and my wife a moment, we should share a little news. More will come in written form as it's compiled but that takes a little longer than this; as you know, the Carlotta had its maiden voyage beyond the shores of Arvum, and off past the Mourning Sea. Our destination was the Southern Wastes and the trip was filled with the unexpected, yet it was a moment to rejoice for all of the Compact in that moment felt progress, a known voyage that we can speak on aloud. We have successfully managed to take a ship over open waters to lands beyond our recent ken. A few have managed, though their means are often secretive, while this is a voyage we can speak on personally." A pause, then he continues, "The Wastes are as they sound, completely desolate of life, though we do hope for that to change now. We arrived on the beaches in blistering heat, climbed the cliffs at the shore and set foot on the plains of the continent. This was a place where stories tell us that the Metallics once were betrayed, by fantastical dragons who belched fire, and with armies of brass dwarves who would march at the whim of their creator." Keeping it mildly fanciful, as if by convention stricly followed in the city, he licks his lips.

Eleyna watches Talen as he stands to speak, keeping quiet as he starts the tale of their journey.

Cambria gives Talen her attention when he stands, listening with a neutral expression.

Lys accepts Theo's arm and lets him draw her up, one hand curled about her ribs, as she attempts to sneak out without causing too much of a disruption while Talen is speaking.

Theo leads the lady out, doing his best to be as unobtrusive as possible, what with Talen's speech and all.

Lys has left the Dining Table.

Theo has left the Dining Table.

Theo leaves, following Lys.

Raising a brow at Vanora, the heir of house Grimhall remarks, "You make it sound as if I keep you in a cave, with nothing but fish, water and bread to eat and drink. If you want our cooks to try making Lycene dishes, you need only ask. I'll even hire a cook more familiar with the style, to teach them." Though he goes on to nod at Jaenelle's talk of sister, he falls quiet soon after, to pay attention to the tale their host is telling them.



The note of dessert being the best part draws Terese's attention for a moment. Her fork rises and tilts in the air, "Truth and people wonder why some of us are so partial to tea early in the morning. They forgot the little cakes that come along with it." For the time however it is roast and little finger potatoes that are savored with each bite once her glass is set back down. Eleyna's words bring a warm and rather fond smile to her features as her gaze lifts towards her aunt that turns towards Jaenelle, "Thank you, hard to resist such pleasurable company even if there are rabble rousers amongst them." She side eyes Luca with that though it's difficult to keep her composure completely serious. "And yet a cut from a razored edge never seems to want to stop bleeding," she quips back though he has the general right of it. "Curiously it's why I'm considering getting a set of red leathers next." Her brows lift as a fierce grin alights upon her lips. Her words quiet down though as Talen rises to speak.

A cigarette lands in Luca's lap, thrown by Theo, and the Lycene looks down at it, having not had the hands open to catch the thing, "Hey, thanks Theo. My first poisoned cigarette of the night. You're a real friend.", and he smirks at the man, but it isn't an unfriendly sort of smirk. His dark gaze catches on Mirari as she slips inside, watching her find a seat even as he's listening to Talen tell the tale of the voyage. "Did you bring us back some desolate rocks or something, at least?", he calls out, unable to help himself, really. "Or maybe a brass dwarf or something.", before he's listening to the rest of what is spoken. If there's to be more. That silence comes with the drinking of the wine he has in his glass, tipping it back for a healthy swallow.

Jaenelle checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 12 higher.

"Did you find them?" comes Jaenelle's question, her tone one of mild curiosity as she listens to Talen's words. She continues to work on her food though, glancing between Talen and Eleyna as the question could be answered by either really.

Duarte raises a hand.

Signe shifts in her chair, sitting upon it improperly to listen as Talen speaks of the voyage to the Wastes.

"Our trip was more than a year in planning," Talen explains, "and was in conjunction with the Faith of the Pantheon. Our agreement, in return for their share in the costs of building the Carlotta, was to ferry them across the ocean and to the Southern Wastes using our ship. Speculations was rife with what we'd find there, but in truth, none of us could really know. When we arrived we found the baked earth and felt the sorrow of a place that once was vibrant and lush and was no longer thus. It was like we could feel souls wandering, trapped due to their strife, and some of us even buckled under the agony of that loss that wasn't ours when it came over like a wind in our ranks." At Luca's call, he points out to him, as if the Champion is onto something but he's not ready to tell that quite yet. "The Inquisition, the Faith, and the Velenosa; a strange bunch to find working together if you believe the tensions, yet I'm proud to say we managed to each launch successful expeditions, and we found a crater that was the real reason to go; the site of the Betrayal, a battle that'll haunt that place, with visions and ghosts that need freed. Some were, by prayer. Others couldn't be. Perhaps one day we'll return and be able to make more of an impact. Yet still, we didn't come back with nothing, we have some hope for our fight going forward." A gesture to Eleyna, as he sits, before he nods to Duarte to speak.

Duarte says, "Dwarves. They are the wee folk, yes?"

Talen says, "We found visions and whispers, an image of what was, before and then during the Betrayel Jaenelle. Ghosts of the past."

Talen says, "Dwarves are the samll folk, yes. These were not living dwarves, however. They are long since dead, before the Reckoning I am told. These were unliving yet animated brass dwarves. Created by Brass."

Duarte nods and lowers his hand.

Taking her cue from Talen, it is now Eleyna's turn to rise. "We did not return from the Wastes empty-handed. You all know us, you know how we prefer to rule. We created a marvel of a ship and offered each and everyone one of you here the blueprints so that your own could be made. And now that we come back from this journey, we are prepared to share our latest discovery." Her pale blue eyes shift around the table, eyeing those gathered. "Listen very carefully to what I am saying and not saying. A substance was found in the Wastes, within the Crater that my husband describes. It is a substance that can devour the... life force of a person, making them weak. Some might say is robs them of the inner spark of life and magic that all people hold. It did the same to the land. We have conducted some preliminary studies into this substance and will be doing more. We do invite those with the proper knowledge in the fields of alchemy, medicine, metallurgy, and agriculture to get in touch. We have a lot to learn and, as we discover more, we will share our findings. This substance is -highly- dangerous and has to be handled with care and consideration. If any of you have any questions about any aspect of the journey, feel free to ask. We will answer with what we know."

Calista shifts back in her seat, casually crossing her legs as she brings the glass of wine to her lips. Her attention is focused on Talen and the tale of their travel to the Wastes. Occasionally, she will glance over to others such as when Luca finds a cigarette in his lap or when Duarte asks about Dwarves. When Eleyna rises, shadowed emerald eyes flit from husband to wife.

Jaenelle nods slowly at the answer by Talen, perhaps slightly disappointed in what it was. Then she turns to listen to Eleyna as she speaks next. She does not seem so inclined to speak herself or ask question, not right now anyway.

Luca lifts his voice, "Wait, you found killer ooze?", and it can't be helped. He sounds a touch excited at the prospect. "You didn't find anything to fight, though?".

Leta listens carefully, her mouth full. She forgets to chew much, fork still in hand as her eyes pan from Talen to Eleyna and her brow furrows as she tries to process this information. It's all obviously a bit much, and she scowls at the news, looking ever so slightly put off by what she's hearing. Now and then. Eventually, with a shake of her head, eyes lowered when questions are asked for, she resumes chewing.

"Obviously the next dinner will have a fighting pit where the winner throws the loser into the ooze, Prince Luca." Calista comments cooly with a mischievous smirk spreading across her lips.

"It's not ooze. It's more like metal. Very brittle metal," Eleyna responds to Luca and says in a deadpan tone of voice, "Nothing to fight other than a sunburn. Talen failed.:

Jaenelle wiggles her fingers towards her assistant, quickly writing something down and sending it off. "I know someone who might be able to share some information regarding this substance. I will let you know if anything comes of it."

Oh, that does seem to stir the excitement up in Luca just a little bit, "Oh, like a metal that could be.. uh.. whatever they call it. Strengthened? Could we make some wicked blades out of it with which to strike down our foes? Tell me that's what we can do!", and after he adds, "I mean, if we could, I don't see how this could possibly go wrong, even a little bit." Then he settles again.

"Unfortunately, the metal is far to brittle to be fashioned into a blade or armor. I'm not exploring ways to weaponize it until we understand more about it. Like I said, it's dangerous. Exceedingly so," Eleyna responds to Luca while glancing around the gathering.

Mirari shakes her head and after a moment she raises her chin slightly to call out. "If we're interested in working with you, do you want us to send you a missive or let you know this evening?"

Calista gives a pained look as the idea of fighting in brittle metal is not a good one after all. "Fidante will help in your research, Archduchess Eleyna. Whatever assistance you need from us, you will have it."

"I don't get sunburnt, I have the traditional complexion," Talen throws back. "As you can understand, this substance is something we'll want to look into for all of our benefits, and so we're not employing it needlessly when it can have such a damaging affect on our own health. It is capable of harming humans and the very earth we live on, yet if this is so, imagine how it must affect our darker enemies." To Luca, he shakes his head, letting his wife expand.

"Have we decided upon a name for this strange metal? And if not, may we now?" Duarte calls out in question.



While a few quiet words are spoken beneath the midst of it all, Terese's gaze remains upon Talen and Eleyna. "If I might ask, how exactly did you find out what this .. substance does considering the very precise wording of it's properties?"

Juliana who has been sitting silently, picking slowly at her food and listening to others talk (while her player faceplanted into the qwerty), looks up as the story ends and the question begin and finally lifts her voice as she reaches for her wineglass. "Your Grace, if you needing those of medicine, I would gladly offer my services in your study.

Talen says, "It's called Nethicite, Count Amadeo."

Cambria suddenly laughs a bit, notably at Duarte's question. She lifts a hand to her mouth, then shakes her head before saying, "No offense, Count." Her attention swings to the head of the table. "House Mazetti will offer its assistance as well."

"Either would be fine," Eleyna says with a nod to Mirari. She looks to Calista, "I was hoping so. I think some of our fellows in the Apothecary College would be interested in studying." Then to Terese. "I myself am an alchemist, trained by Blacktongue, once known as Donato Artiglio, one of the foremost alchemists in the Lyceum. I performed experimentation in the field with a field laboratory that I brought with me."

Talen says, "The rest of the journey information I'll dilute as soon as I can. It takes a little time to write it all up."

A smile steals across her lips as Terese dips her head towards Eleyna, taking mental notes as each question is asked and answered. Her own in hopes none of the party had befallen an ill fate. A hand lifts to lift her glass once more as she mulls over something, one nail tapping gently. "A sample was brought back or does it all remain where it was found?" A dangerous question perhaps.

Calista's face lights up at the mention of the Apothecary College. "Absolutely. I do not wish to speak for them but I will assume they will be ecstatic to have a project with such great importance as this. I will reach out to them this evening." She beckons Alejandro to come closer and she murmurs a few things in his ear. The man offers his lady a bow of his head and goes forth on his mission.

Signe breaks her quiet from one of the other tables, "What was the sky like when the party arrived? How was the weather the whole visit your Grace?" She looked to both Talen and Eleyna while asking.

"We brought a significant sample back with us for the purposes of study. Beyond that, given the effect that this subtance appears to have on all life, including vegetation, we thought it best to remove as much as we could from the area in hopes of its eventual recovery. As Talen says, we are working on a report that will be shared, but we wanted to get ahead of any rumor and conjecture about the trip as well as reach out for help in discovering more about what we've brought back with us," Eleyna answers with a nod before she smiles at Calista, "Please do. The more brains we have in on this, the better. She looks to Signe, "Very sunny and no clouds that we saw. Like any desert, it was hot in the days and very cold when the sun set. The sun sets were absolutely gorgeous, but the silence, without the sound of wind in the trees or any sign of wildlife was... disconcerting."

"Are we married to name 'Nethicite'?" Duarte asks with a bit of a scrunched face.

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

"It was what it was called before we ever even saw it, unfortunately," Talen tells Duarte, with a twist of his lips, before he asks; "Did you want to name it after someone who sucks all the life out of a party perhaps? I could see 'Valardium'."

Almost as if it is a reflex by now, Eleyna reaches over and smacks Talen's leg.

"All in favor of Valardium?" Duarte raises a hand and glances around.

Talen says, "Ow!"

Talen raises his hand and leans further away.

Signe laughs aloud, not raising her hand but absolutely tickled.

Juliana arches a brow at Duarte, dropping then back to her plate and giving it a push away from her before snorting a bit at Talen's commnet and kicking Duarte under the table.

Her attention is thoroughly enough captured to drastically delay Vanora's "I've never claimed that you keep me locked in a cave." measured response to Valdemar. She's focused on the exchange of information even to this point and adds as an aside, "I don't suppose Grimhall has any experts that might be willing to assist Velenosa? This is a bit outside my own area of expertise." She grins at Talen's joke, despite herself.

Calista glances to Duarte with a smirk. "Talenocite?" She chuckles into her glass of wine as Talen reacts to Eleyna's smack. "I kid, of course."

As everyone is talking, the servants emerge to remove plates and replace them with dessert; a decadent lemon and cream cake.

For the quip, Terese's lip flicker into a grin before she calls out, "Valardium! We'll take it." For herself she doesn't seem to mind in the least if anything a prideful fierce smile steals across her lips.

Valdemar, too, has been listening closely to what was said about this expedition, and the substance found. "None that I am aware of, unless my sister Ingrid has studied such things. We can ask her when we return to the longhouse, but otherwise, the only person I know of who might have the right sort of knowledge is not a Grimhall, strictly speaking," he muses aloud in response to his wife's question. The joking about a different name for the substance elicits a laugh from him as well as he glances around the room.

Juliana's sweettooth is perhaps one of her biggest vices. Her love for lemon cake unparalleled. But she remembers that last time she was served lemon cake at this table and politely shakes her head with a smile.

Calista smiles at Terese when she announces taking the name. As dessert is passed around, the Duchess pulls out a small silver case with rose scented clove cigarillos. They may be laced with haze or they may not. It is always more fun to play a game of roulette with party drugs. She offers to anyone who might want to take join her for an after dinner smoke.

Talen says, "This one is not poisoned, Lady Juliana. I promise."

"The other wasn't poisoned either. At least, not for everyone," Eleyna says with a smirk as she reaches out to take one of Calista's cigarillos when offered. "I have some theories to test about the substance and I would be happy to conduct a small exhibition of its currently known properties with those that are interested in studying it with me. The most important thing to note is that, again, it's dangerous. To plants, to animals, but especially to humans. Think of it like a slow toxin. We don't know if the damage that it is capable of doing could be reversed. We aren't even sure if the limited exposure that we've had isn't irrevocably dangerous."

Signe splits her lemon and cream cake in half to share with Duarte's orphan teen. "In a place devoid of nature's touch I do not know how the Spirit Walkers may aid this research. But I will pass on this information to the others and see if the spirits are willing to part with any wisdom of these lands." She offers to the household members.

Eleyna glances to Signe, "Actually, if the Spirit Walkers are interested, we would be happy to meet with any of you to discuss some of the spiritual happening that we did experience while there. I only know a little of the Northern shaman ways from my mother, who was also a Nightgold, so help interpreting what we saw would be most appreciated."

"Valardium," Talen muses again, before he laughs in a bark, and reaches for his drink. Draining it, he skips his dessert, waving it away to find another. "I'm apparently getting fat, so clearly I shouldn't be having this," he grouches quietly.

Cambria gets to her feet, saying, "I must depart, alas. Again, House Mazetti will offer its assistance however it may, should House Velenosa ask of it in future." With that, the Hydra Marquessa takes her leave.

Cambria has left the Main Dining Table.

5 House Mazetti Guardians, Possum, Marie leave, following Cambria.

"Yes, your Grace. Of course." Juliana nods to Talen, then Elenya as she qualifies the state of poisoning before. Still not asking for one however. Instead, moves to stand. "But as I did say, if you are in need of a physican for your studies, your Grace. I would be happy to help."

"I will reach out to you, Lady Juliana. I do need physicians, especially as concerns the effects on the human body." Eleyna says with a nod to Juliana.

Mirari listens carefully to the back and forth, glancing at Luca when the opportunity to mock Talen passes without comment. She raises her brows briefly in surprise before she leans past him to take his dessert.

"Strictly speaking." Vanora responds, tucking into her cake. She's some of the same inclinations towards sugar as Juliana, perhaps a recessive gene, and no memory so scarring as to interfere with taking small bites of dessert. There's another sip or two of wine and a tiny nod. "It's fascinating though, don't you think? I'm sure the old man would like one of those ships himself, at least I think he would. Who can guess anymore?"

Leta obviously has little to contribute to the studies, but she can continue to drink while while she listens apprehensively, brows knit in obvious concern. More wine, then. She shakes her head and toys with an earring, sniffing as she shifts around in her seat.

Oh yeah. "Skip it for a week, maybe!", Luca calls out, from where he's leaned back in his chair. He glances down to his own stomach, which is barely there, for all the naps he takes, and runs a hand over it, "You just need to drink more alcohol, Talen. It's worked for me."

"We are more than happy to offer a copy of the blueprints of the Carlotta to House Grimhall, if you do not already possess them. The ship was costly to build, but worth every silver spent." Eleyna says just before murmuring something to Sybilla. The lady's maid nods and moves quickly out of the dining room.



As Terese listens to the hum of conversation and quips, words are quietly spoken beneath to her new compatriot beside her as she reclines in her chair upon the curl of one hip as her elbow slides over the back of her chair. A smile is flashed towards Calista in return and though she doesn't take a clove she does lean forward a moment as they are offered to inhale the scent of them, "Mm, perhaps later and well met," she offers, "Terese Valardin, favorite niece of Eleyna." A liberty taken and an innocent lilt to her words as her gaze flickers towards her aunt for the quip as it might turn to least likely to scrape her way out.

"Excuse me. It's TeresA Valardin, favorite niece of Eleyna," The Archduchess smirks slightly before glancing to the doorway, awaiting Sybilla's return.

Shovels a piece of the cake into her mouth. Chewing it mostly up before replying to Eleyna, "I will speak with the others and send word of their reply. Many are traveling now but if interested we'll reach out." She says then a smile rises in the corner of her mouth, asking Eleyna "Your mother? That would be... Helena?"

"Yes, my mother was Helena. According to everyone who ever met her, I'm the very image of her, which explains why I don't look very Lycene at all." Eleyna laughs, gesturing to her milk pale skin as compared to the usual darker Lycene hues.

"I will look forward to it your Grace." Jules nods to Eleyna, the tosses a wink to Vanora before slipping out.

"I am sure Father would appreciate that, your Grace, thank you," Valdemar responds to Eleyna, glancing back and forth between her and his wife. With this, he begins to enjoy the piece of cake placed before him. When his gaze settles on Vanora, though, he pauses and explains who he meant between bites, "Lady Titania. She has some skill as a physician, as you heard earlier. But you know her a little better than I."



"See? She loves me, she does," Terese muses for the correction of her name in the Lycene style and smiles towards Eleyna. She is smart enough not to press her luck too far however as she lifts her glass in toast and takes a long drink to still her tongue until it smooths out once more. "I'm afraid I'm no scholar myself nor have much relevant skill to directly assist though I'm certain the scholars of the Faith are more than interested in it that I could speak with. Or if you've need assistance in any coordination efforts I am, as always, at your service." She dips her head low then, her words earnest in this.

"That would explain it then." Signe smiled warmly, sharing some of the mirth of discovery. "Thank you for sharing what was discovered. And the cake. Mostly the cake." The young nightgold relayed after pushing away an empty plate.

Juliana has left the Dining Table.

Tyce the gruff and disapproving leaves, following Juliana.

"That's it for me too." Vanora echoes Eleyna. "Spitting image of my mother." It's really only funny to anyone who might know what Vanora's Oathlander-born mother looks like. Not her. Not even sort of. There's a lift and drop to her shoulder in response to Valdemar. "She could be of use, maybe. And thank you, Archduchess. I'm not sure Grimhall is yet in a position to warrant our own, but it is worth aspiring to. If we can think of any contacts who might be useful regarding these investigations, we will aim them your way."

Talen is scribbling away on a piece of dinner cloth at some point near the end of dessert and then hands it over to Jiacomo, before he leans back. And that's how proclamations are born. On napkins!

"You've seen my brother. Same father. Same mother. Yet he looks like exactly like a Velenosa and I look like this. Funny enough, my own daughters appear to be turning out as blond and pale as I am. The Nightgold blood is strong." Eleyna laughs with Vanora before looking to Terese, "The Faith my be conducting their own investigations. I intend to direct my own in a more secular direction." She eyes what Talen has written, lifts her brows, and almost looks impressed.

Talen then asks, ruining it all, "How do you spell 'permission'?" It might be just for entertainment purposes.

Calista does her own sort of quick handwriting in the form of messengers via Alejandro who is back from his earlier mission. The cake sits before her, mocking her with its decadence. For now, she takes in a drag of the fragrant rose clove and notices that is -is- indeed laced. She gives a quick glance to Eleyna and murmurs. "Does yours have a special kick to it?" Lifting her 'cloved' fingers in question. She picks up the wine with her other hand and smiles slowly, like a cheshire cat.

Eleyna takes a drag just to check and coughs lightly, murmuring succintly, "Yep."

There might be a silly grin appearing on Jaenelle's face when Eleyna mentions seeing her brother, head tilting just slightly in that thought before she blinks and clears her throat. "Is this regarding the trading agreement as well, Talen?"

Talen finishes up with his proclamation and then dusts his hands off, looking around the table, before he asks mildly of Jaenelle. "Trade agreement?"

Calista flashes Eleyna a saucy little wink and continues to enjoy the company and conversation. After another tormenting five minutes of being tempted by lemon and cream cake, Calista gives in and takes a bite. She moans around the fork and her face is a portrait of satisfaction.

"It's pretty obvious which traits are superior your grace." Signe teased with a small amount of laughter to Eleyna.

Rhea, an apprentice shaman arrives, delivering a message to Signe before departing.

Luca rises from his chair, easily, wine glass in hand, and he takes a long drink from it before he drops what's left of his cigarillo in to extinquish it. "Woops, I just remember I had a thing. Wow, all this lovely company and dangerous talk and Talen having too much cake really distracted me.", and there's a smile for everyone, and a grin for Talen. "I was glas I could be here! I'll be at the next one! Let's do this again soon. The food was amazing."

GusGus, the fluffy Whitehold Mountain puppy arrives, delivering a message to Signe before departing.

"Oh," Talen remembers eventually at Jaenelle's words. "No, it's about reprising ships out of the hands of pirates, by pirating them. To supplement our navy, since it's taken heavy hits, and we might as well throw people looking for the glory, or who know their duty, or who want to earn a pretty penny... at our problems."

Luca is overheard praising Talen for: World's Okayest Dinner Host!

Luca is overheard praising Eleyna for: Thank the Gods Talen has you for these things.



With the cake neatly polished off and conversation moving on, Terese inclines her head towards Luca before sliding her own chair back. She unfurls one knee from over the other to rise, "As I should be going myself." Her gaze turns towards Eleyna and Talen, "Thank you again for the invitation. Dinner and company was delightful. Of course as soon as you've all returned it seems I am headed out to sea on the morrow. It's difficult to stay in any one place all too long."

Leta is overheard praising Talen.

Calista is overheard praising Talen for: Good job. No one died at dinner.

Vanora is overheard praising Talen.

Leta is overheard praising Eleyna.

Vanora is overheard praising Eleyna.

Calista is overheard praising Eleyna for: Hostess with the mostess. Literally, she has everything.

Talen inclines his head, "Thank you all for coming, if any need more private meetings, reach out. Our schedules are a little hectic for the moment but they'll calm down one hopes now we're back."

Giuseppe, a kindly old man leaves, following Luca.

Ariella is overheard praising Eleyna for: I'm stealing some food

Terese has left the Main Dining Table.

Signe rises up from her seat, "Please send word when you are available to discuss you graces. I'll relay the interest the others. Be well and may the spirits guide you."

Lucienne, a bubbly blonde shop girl, Shank, a hulking bald guard leave, following Mirari.



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