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Greenmarch-Velenosa Wedding Reception

Come help the Greenmarch and Velenosa families celebrate the marriage of Alessandro Velenosa to Margret Greenmarch.

Date

June 23, 2018, 9 p.m.

Hosted By

Alessandro Margret

Participants

Sabella Bliss Alaric Felicia Monique Cullen Vercyn Simone Lorenzo Duarte Elgana Alessia Marius Norwood Gwenna Niklas

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Greenmarch Lodge - Greenwood Gardens

Largesse Level

Extravagant

Comments and Log

Gwenna

I had the pleasure of accompanying Prince Lorenzo to the wedding reception of his brother, Lord Alessandro, and Lady Margret. What an exquisite affair! The winter theme nearly made my heart ache for Farhaven, so true to a beautiful winter forest it was. Such warmth, too, not just from the braziers meant to stave off the cold, or lovely mulled wine, but from the entire Greenmarch family as well as my own dear friends and family. The newlyweds could not have looked happier or more content; I sincerely think that joy will be with them for many years yet to come. Truly, I took away so many wonderful memories, laughs, and special moments that I can hardly put them all to parchment. It was an enchanting night.

And snowballs - should you ever have a chance to see the stunning and famed Champion Bliss Whisper ice skate? Do not, by any means, miss such an opportunity.


In the spirit of the season -- and because it would be hard to do anything else at this point in the year -- the Greenmarch Gardens have been adorned in fine winter style. There is a large tent that has been set up with braziers to provide extra heat, and a skating pond has been set up across the way, the ice shimmering in the afternoon light. Surfaces have been swept of snow, but the rest of the plants and statues have been left as they are, lending a fairytale quality to the whole affair.



Alessandro and Margret are seated on the patio near the front, ready to greet the guests as they arrive. The former is holding the latter's hand and smiling in a manner that can only be described as 'deeply contented,' and he leans in toward his wife to murmur something quietly to her.

Isabelle, who isn't happy to be doing this, Steve, an ungainly pelican arrive, following Niklas.

Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting, Valor, a small brown and white corgi puppy, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting, 2 Grayson House Guards, Clark, an exasperated guard, Niklas arrive, following Sabella.

Steve, an ungainly pelican have been dismissed.

2 Crimson Blades Private have been dismissed.

Kit, the grey fox have been dismissed.

1 Greenmarch Guard have been dismissed.

In the spirit of the season -- and because it would be hard to do anything else at this point in the year -- the Greenmarch Gardens have been adorned in fine winter style. There is a large tent that has been set up with braziers to provide extra heat, and a skating pond has been set up across the way, the ice shimmering in the afternoon light. Surfaces have been swept of snow, but the rest of the plants and statues have been left as they are, lending a fairytale quality to the whole affair.



Alessandro and Margret are seated on the patio near the front, ready to greet the guests as they arrive. The former is holding the latter's hand and smiling in a manner that can only be described as 'deeply contented,' and he leans in toward his wife to murmur something quietly to her.

Zelda, the royal messenger, 13 King's Own Guardsmen arrive, following Alaric.

Coming back in from the reception, with Elgana on her arm, Bliss is all smiles as she does so. She and the Princess had been quiet during the ceremony, mostly talking to each other, and she sighs happily as she asks Elgana, "Isn't it just a lovely thing, seeing your best friend get married?" She reaches out to pat the woman's arm, then begins to look around for where it is that they might sit, a loose seasilk robe flowing around her, thin and clinging to her form, but not seeming to make her too cold - even with the exposed skin. "Where do you think we're supposed to sit?" she asks.

Felicia might not have been present for the actual ceremony, but the redheaded Harrow has shown up in her black leather for the reception, at least. She takes the opportunity to beeline for Alessandro and Margret to offer them both a genuine smile and enthusiastic,"Congratulations, both of you. I had a gift made, but it hasn't... been bottled yet." she grins briefly at them.

Simone stands quietly off to the side of the patio, watching as the guests enter. She stands near Margret, but just far enough away to insure that her cousins are the center of attention. She offers warm smiles and soft greetings to the guests.

Having arrived safely enough, Gwenna excuses the Crimson Blades detail her family are oft seen with and makes her way into the stunning gardens of the Greenmarch family. As a child of the northlands, she has a look of both joy and even a bit of wonderment evident on her features as she takes in the wintery scene. While donning a cloak, it is left open so that the armor and aeterna gown she wears can be seen, though how long that will last remains up to question. Her arm is linked with Lorenzo's and she can't help but offered a nearly awed murmur, "Isn't it one of the most beautiful things you've ever seen?"

Monique arrives on the arm of the King of the Compact, who just /barely/ manages to shine as brightly as her in the clothing department, but to be fair, his crown ekes her tiara out by a fraction of glimmer and pomp. The Greenmarch's smile is brighter, though, and she's got it focused on Alessandro and Margret, tugging Alaric along with her to greet the married couple seated on the patio. "Come, see the statue, greet the newlyweds. I feel like we ought to make a bet about who can make them blush brighter by the end of the evening," the Minx murmurs to the King, excitement lacing her tone.

Niklas comes sweeping in with Sabella on his arm, looking around at the setting and the decorations, clearly impressed with the enchanting atmosphere. "This is going to be hard to top, Sabella. Perhaps we should put ours off until Spring. Go for a vernal theme." After pulling her over toward the newlyweds, Niklas stops before the Lady and her former-prince. "Lady Margret, Lord Alessandro. It does my heart good to see the two of you finally married. Congratulations to you both."

After ambling out of the Lodge with a pleased smile on his coppery bearded face and hands thrust deep into the pockets of his coat, given that it is not exactly comfortable weather, Cullen picks up a mug of spiced cider and whiskey, a nod of greeting to all of the visitors before taking up a spot off to the side near Simone, just kind of lounging and sipping, watching the procession of guests through slate grey eyes.

Margret sits hand-in-hand with Alessandro on the patio, the smile on her face completely natural. "Of course I am." She says to Alessandro, and her smile widens and she squeezes his hand. She sees Bliss and Elgana and waves at them before she says, "Hello! Thank you both for coming! You can sit wherever you'd like, but the tent is heated and has food!" Felicia earns a broad smile, "Dame you are always ensuring we have enough to drink. Thank you." When she sees Monique approach with Alaric and she stands up to curtsy to the King. "Your majesty you do us an honor."

Arriving somewhat late to the reception, Vercyn pauses at the threshold to speak to a Greenmarch servant, while his gaze passes over the gathered crowd looking for, presumably, the groom and bride. Upon spotting the happy couple, Vercyn dismisses the servant with a simple wave of his hand, before striding towards the stars of the show.

"I think it more that we have a mutual appreciation for booze." Felicia opines with a wink for Margret, ceding the spot before the pair to Monique and Alaric with a graceful dip of her head before slipping off... coincidentally in the direction of the booze.

Sabella glances sidelong at Niklas, but then turns a brilliant smile on Margret and Alessandro, releasing her hold on Niklas' arm to reach out for both of Margret's hands, "I am so incredibly thrilled for the two of you! I usually wish couples that the world bless them with all the happiness they can stand, but I think the both of you do not need it, for I see how you look at each other and I don't see a time when that could possibly change."

Lorenzo arrives arm-in-arm with Gwenna, stylishly Lycene in umbra and aeterna, a warm leather cloak thrown over it. He, too, looks around at the gardens and how they have been decorated. "Ah, it is beautiful. I didn't know they could make winter look so beutiful. I'm glad they've set the braziers out, though." Lorenzo doesn't do so well with the cold of Arx's winter, but it looks like they have taken such things into account.

"In that order, I presume," Alaric replies to Monique impishly. "And you're just looking for a sure win with a bet like that. I'm sure I've never made anyone blush in my entire life," he declares airily. Somehow this is not very convincing. His warm cloak swirls around him as they go with the -real- order of operations and proceed up to the bride and groom, Felicia getting a quick finger-wave back before they arrive at the couple. "Lady Margret, Lord Alessandro, my sincerest congratulations to the both of you," he replies warmly to Margret. "The bonds so created between Houses Velenosa and Greenmarch make our Compact all the more stronger. I wish the both of you the brightest of futures together."

Elgana nudges Bliss a touch as they enter, the Redrain smiling brightly. "Not every day that my best friend gets married, no," she is saying to Bliss as they pause and then Margret is waving. Elgana immediately tugs Bliss that way. "Lady Margret! You look amazing as always," she says as she moves in for a hug, if Margret doesn't dodge or run away. "Heated! Ah, that's wonderful to keep in mind but this frosty air does wonders." She beams at the bride and then looks to Alessandro, and if he is still nearby and not busy, he gets a hug too. "It is so wonderful to see you both!"

Bliss and Elgana's entrance makes Alessandro's smile widen, and he lifts a hand to them, gesturing to punctuate Margret's assertion of where they should sit. He turns to Felicia then when she comes up to them with a little chuckle, replying, "Thank you, Dame Felicia. I look forward to getting thoroughly drunk when it comes." He catches sight of Lorenzo and Gwenna then, and again there's a wave to them both -- and if he had looked content before, somehow he looks even more so now. His brother is there -- all is right with the world.



He turns to Niklas and Sabella then as they arrive, and he nods in thanks, reaching forward to clap the former on the shoulder. "Thank you," he says, looking between the both of them, before his gaze settles on Niklas. "Now all that remains is for you to become a Prince, and then we will really all be where we should be." There's just a hint of teasing in his tone -- on the edge of joking. He stands himself then, taking a moment to bow to the king -- and Monique, since she's there too! "Your Majesty," he says. "Thank you very much. It means a great deal that you are here with us today." He straightens up then, catching sight of Vercyn on his way, and he calls, "Uncle! Thank you for coming."

Marius stands off to the side, by Simone, sipping from his heated drink. Tea with whiskey in it. Whiskey with tea in it. Either way, really, at this point. The Marquis offers welcoming smiles and dips of his head to each guest that enters.

"Oh, heated!" Bliss begins to say, looking at Elgana with excitement - and then utter, utter disappointment when the Northerner implies they will stay outside. It's a cold look, a long look held, and there's even a little pout. But a moment later, it is gone, and she's turning her head to brightly smile at Alessandro and Margret. "Congratulations to the both of you, and what a lovely ceremony. Some days, I consider going Godsworn just so I could do things like that - but I think I will leave it to others," she admits with a soft laugh. She lets Elgana get her hugs in, then moves in after for her own, before standing upright and giving a soft smile. "So, are you two planning on running away anywhere exotic for the winter?"

Simone gives Vercyn a wide smile. Her eyes sparkle mischievously as she makes certain to show a bit of her straight, pearly white teeth. "What a pleasure Duke Vercyn! It is lovely to see you again." As the King enters, she dips into a deep curtsy, "Your Majesty, thank you for attending and welcome to House Greenmarch." She turns a warm smile on Monique, moving to press her cheek against Monique's briefly with a sisterly hug, whispering in her ear.

Hands folded behind his back Norwood enters. He's taken care to look oh-so-presentable for the party (aka, he left his armor behind) though he still does wear Queensguard on his hip. The gathering about the couple discourages him from coming close to the pair and he hangs back for now standing quietly to look about.

Gwenna can't help but chuckle at the comment about the braziers. "They are lovely and add such a cheerful glow to everything. Besides the warmth," she replies and sidles up a bit closer for a moment. Watching as everyone makes their greetings to the newly married couple, she offers a wave back toward Alessandro and Margret. "They look so incredibly happy," is said to Lorenzo as they await their turn to approach. As they do so, she espies all sorts of friendly and familiar faces: Monique, Elgana, Vercyn... She gives a wiggle of her fingers cheerfully in a number of directions.

"He does you honor and /I/ don't?" Monique says to Margret, throwing a hand to her breast dramatically. "How dare you!" she teases her newlywed cousin, even as she waves to Felicia and returns Simone's hug, listening to her whisper. "/Almost/?" Comes her squeak. "Clearly, my escort outshines me tonight." She gives Alaric a mock glare. "Can't you just be... less handsome, less regal for the night?" There's a wave to Gwenna, friendly and warm.

So many guests congratulating the pair! Vercyn waits patiently for the others to have their turns, and only approaches when Alessandro calls him out. "Nephew!" He booms towards the younger man, wolfish grin spreading across his lips as he approaches with a big, callused hand offered. "Congratulations on this day! Look at you, all grown up." The bride, of course, receives his attention next. "And you as well, my dear. May you both be busy with producing children for the foreseeable future." Still, he's not going to hog the couple's attention for long - stepping back, he bows his head to Alaric, with a respectful "Your Majesty", before turning his attention to Simone nearby. "Marquessa Greenmarch. Such a joyous occasion for your House!"

Niklas glances to Margret, looking as if he might say something more, but the king is right there, his nobbery only being outshined by Monique's excess of personality, so he moves on to allow others to greet the newlyweds. As he walks the Princess over toward the ice skating pond, he pauses to snap up a cup of honeyed teafor Sabella and some cider for himself. A nod is offered to Cullen as they cross paths. "Lord Cullen, good to see you looking well."

Elgana turns and moves away from the happy couple to spy various others she knows. Finger waggles get returned to Gwenna and then she notes Vercyn. Giving Bliss a little nudge with her elbow she murmurs to the Whisper, "Look, Duke Vercyn is here." And then her gaze flits off. She gives Felicia little wave and then notes the king who gets a very polite curtsy from the Redrain. "Quite the night. Oh, look Niklas and Sabella are here, too!"

Felicia gives a tap of her finger to her own temple as Felicia heads towards the tents, and the booze, collecting herself a glass before offering a nod in the direction of Elgana for her wave. Content to lurk, at least for a few moments.

Alaric smiles regally to Simone as he steps away from the newlyweds before they hold up the line too terribly further. "Marquessa Simone, always a pleasure to be here," he declares with an approving look around the grounds. "Splendidly decorated tonight, you ought to be quite proud of yourself," he continues as his gaze pauses on the treehouse. "Now that's a sturdy-looking treehouse if ever I saw one. Was that always there?" He regards his squeaking and mock-glaring escort tolerantly. "Less? Goodness no, what's the fun in that," he declines Monique's request with offhand casualness. He returns Vercyn's bow with a regal nod. "Duke Vercyn," he says pleasantly, turning back to Monique. "So busy! We'd best claim some drinks before they're all -gone-," he teases.

"Why don't we invite them over to the tent, where it's warm?" Bliss asks Elgana with playful hope in her voice, though really, at least seasilk keeps out the weather fairly well. Right? She smiles as she keeps her arm looped in Elgana's, letting the flitting Princess guide her around as she does so, dipping her head toward Alaric in particular as she walks by, before saying to Elgana, "Also, we should get drinks. And food? Is there food here. Food at weddings is always amazing and I don't feel guilty eating it."

Lorenzo laughs and gives Gwenna sheepish grin. "They do give off a cheerful glow, don't they? Or is that the company of so many friends?" He gives smiles and waves to familiar faces as he sees them: Felicia, Monique, Elgana, Bliss, and others. With his arm still linked with Gwenna's, he moves through the gathering to speak with his brother Alessandro and his bride Margret. "Congratulations, both of you. You're both so well-suited for each other, and I know you'll have many years of happiness ahead of you."

"Thank you, your Majesty." Margret says to Alaric. Then she spots Sabella and Niklas and calls out, "Oh, I'm so glad you could both make it!" Then Elgana is hugging her, and she squeezes the Redrain Princess back. Releasing her she says to Bliss, "Thank you!" And then she hugs her before laughing, "I wish, but no." Then she smiles to Vercyn, "Duke Halfshav how lovely to see you. And thank you." She says in regards to the hope that they have lots of children without blinking. She waves to Lorenzo and Gwenna. To Monique she says, "Clearly I'm jealous that you've outshined me at my own wedding." She winks at her cousin. Looking to Alessandro she asks, "Shall we start moving down to the tent so people can eat?"

A bright grin is flashed at Felicia momentarily, then Cullen takes another drink of cider. Eyes widen as more people show up. What to do. Giving the king a proper bow, Cullen cheerfully greets him, "Your Majesty, always a pleasure to see you." Straightening up, a lift of his mug to some other people he recognizes, "Duke Halfshav, Princesses Redrain, Sir Norwood, Champion Bliss." Even Niklas and Sabella get a pleasant, "Lord Kennex. Princess Grayson." Not recognizing Alessia or Lorenzo, the Sword decides that formality can't go wrong - and hopefully is correct. "Lady, Lord." Nodding afterwards, he exhales in relief and gets back to drinking.

Simone smiles warmly at Vercyn and gives him a kiss on the cheek, "It is indeed! And I did not even realize that Alessandro was related to you until after the engagement. It was such a wonderful surprise!" At Monique's comments, she laughs softly, shaking her head before turning to greet Norwood with a warm smile, "Ahhh Sir Norwood! How lovely to see you this evening! Welcome to House Greenmarch, though if you keep assisting us then soon we will just have to adopt you." At the King's comment on the decorations, she gives Margret a warm smile, "Margret gets all of the credit. She has spent tireless hours planning this and done an exceptional job of it!"

Felicia has joined the A large tent.

The Gardens have been transformed into a winter wonderland. Torch-lined paths have been carefully shoveled out of the snow so guests can easily make their way through to the various outbuildings and areas where the festivities are happening. Glass lanterns hang from icy branches, their light reflected by the white of the snow and increasing visibility.



A tent has been set up on garden grounds with braziers to provide an escape from the cold. Long trestle tables with benches are decorated with holly, branches of pine, and winter roses and serve as a place to sit and enjoy the sumptuous buffet provided.



Across from the tent an ice skating pond has taken the place of a dance floor with musicians playing at the edge to provide music. Servants with baskets of ice skates standby to assist anyone with strapping a skate onto their boots. There is enough room to do tricks if one were inclined! (Check dexterity + athletics at 20 to show us a trick!)



The benches and other furniture has been carefully swept off, and servants are always on hand to pass out warmed blankets and warm mulled wine, cider, and tea with lemon, honey, and more than a hint of whiskey to ensure everyone stays warm and comfortable.

Monique catches sight of Niklas and Sabella, tossing them waves and smiles. With a fluorish of skirts, she turns back to Alaric, brows lofting. Her eyes slide to the treehouse. "Oh? Do you think? I've heard it's the perfect place for lessons. Really inspires learning, being so close to the heavens as it is." She smiles. It's a very deep smile. "Drinks sound lovely. Whiskey? Then you can admire the statue, Your Majesty." Margret's words have a mollifying effect on the dramatic Minx and she leans in to whisper something to her newlywed cousin, then leans back, greeting Cullen with a grin. "Looking rakish tonight, Cuz. Oh, look, Sir Norwood! Purveyor of the honey so recently stolen from me. First books, then honey! What could possibly be next?"

Norwood's entrance is not missed by Alessandro, and he waves to the man as well, and Cullen's arrival gets a wide smile as well with a nod to his brother-in-law. Vercyn's words then get a look of mock-horror, but it's exaggerated enough that it must be joking. Mostly. "Soon," he promises. "Lorenzo has already set us to having half a dozen." He grins at his brother then as he approaches, "Thank you, brother. You must join us often here. The springs are one of the only warm places in Arx, I believe." He shivers to make the point, before turning to Gwenna. "Princess Gwenna. I am glad to finally meet you in person. I have heard many good things."



He turns to Margret then, and nods, saying, "Of course, my love. And then someone must be the first to ice skate." He gives a look to Monique then -- volunteered! His gaze turns to Simone then, a softer smile on his face now, basking in the presence of so many loved family and friends.

At those who introduce themselves Norwood bows first to Cullen and then to Simone. She gets his words first though, "I would think that my duke might be a bit put-out if I was to be adopted away from his service." It's said with a smile before Norwood works his way to Cullen's side.

Sabella accepts the tea from Niklas and smiles at him, "They look so incredibly happy, don't they? If we are a quarter as happy as they are, I think we shall have quite a wonderful life." She gives Cullen a nod and a smile, Elgana gets a happy wave and Alaric gets a bit of a curtsey.

"Sometimes I forget I have an inordinate number of nephews and nieces," Vercyn shrugs a shoulder at Simone, before grinning wryly. "But Alessandro... he is my own sister's boy, and not one I forgot about." As Simone's attention shifts to other guests, Vercyn's will also follow, towards Sir Norwood. "Good evening, sir Clement." The Duke greets the grizzled old knight, but then he hears others calling his name and turns to nod at each person, Cullen first, and then Elgana and Gwenna. It is the latter ladies that he then drifts towards. "How are you ladies tonight?"

Alessia enters the gardens, dressed in red silk rather than her usual leather garb, to attend the wedding reception of Margret and Alessandro. The latter belonging to the family she swears fealty to. She smiles warmly at the man, Cullen, who greets her, sharp amber eyes gleaming in the light, before approaching. "It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance, lord. I am Lady Alessia Mazetti." Her words are formal but her tone is amicable.

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

Norwood gets a smoky mirror with an etched white rose from Wedding Favor Chest.

Elgana gets a smoky mirror with an etched white rose from Wedding Favor Chest.

Sabella gets a smoky mirror with an etched white rose from Wedding Favor Chest.

Gwenna gets a smoky mirror with an etched white rose from Wedding Favor Chest.

Bliss gets a smoky mirror with an etched white rose from Wedding Favor Chest.

Niklas gets a smoky mirror with an etched white rose from Wedding Favor Chest.

Lorenzo gets a smoky mirror with an etched white rose from Wedding Favor Chest.

"Perhaps a bit of both," Gwenna replies to Lorenzo and the echoes his remarks to the wedded couple. "Indeed, congratulations Lady Margret, Lord Alessandro. One need only see you two together to glimpse how you inspire such a lovely happiness in each other. I wish you years of the same, though suspect that will already be the case." Dipping her head politely, she again glances at the tent and surrounding area. "Shall we, too, see about getting a drink? Possibly nearer the braziers," is wondered to Lorenzo. "Though I am tempted to try the ice-skating! I haven't done so in what feels like years. A bit closer to Monique and then King now, she inclines her head. "Your Majesty, so wonderful to see you again. And Lady Monique, I do swear you look brighter and more lovely every time I see you. That tiara is extraordinary and makes me think of looking inot getting one of my own." The words are sincere, from the sound. The Halfshav is given a warm smile. "I am well, Duke Vercyn, and hope the same of you?" But then she turns to regard Alessandro again, her smile broadening. "As I have heard about you, my lord. I am so thrilled to meet you in person. Truly, this is a stunning affair and you both look quite content together."

Simone turns her attention to Niklas and Sabella next, giving them both warm smiles of greeting and a small curtsy, "Ahh Princess Sabella! You are as lovely as ever." She turns to Niklas and dips her head in greeting, "And you must be Lord Niklas Kennex. It is nice to finally meet you." She looks to both of them, "And congratulations on your upcoming nuptials as well!" Stepping back she offers a smile to the other guests as they enter as well, moving to stand near her husband and slip her arm through his. She gives him a teasing look then tries to take his glass to steal a small sip of whatever he is drinking.

More people spot him and Norwood bows to each of them in turn, first Alessandro with a murmured, "My congratulations on your wedding my Lord." Then to Duke Vercyn, "It is good to see you again Duke Vercyn." He makes no effort to reach for drink himself but stands all sorts of pleasant-statue-like there in a corner.

Tugging Bliss along and having drifted over toward Gwenna and Lorenzo, Elgana gives the pair a warm smile. "Cousin, highness, you both look very well," she says to them. And then when Vercyn makes his approach she smiles even bright. "Duke Vercyn, I thought you were in hiding as it has felt like forever since I had last seen you. I hope you have been well?"

"It must especially inspire learning to stop being afraid of heights," Alaric agrees idly with Monique, apparently forced into grinning brightly by the depth of her smile. "But of course. Won't do to come to the Lodge and not have the whiskey." So escorting Monique off to the drinks it is then, the King smiling and greeting people he recognizes along the way. Sure are a lot of them about! "Lord Cullen, hello again," Alaric adds to Monique's comment. "Sir Norwood, is it? Pleased to make your acquaintance. And Princess Gwenna, lovely to see you again as well."

Norwood has joined the A Skating Pond.

Norwood has left the A Skating Pond.

Norwood has joined the an open air shrine formed from trees.

Alessia gets a smoky mirror with an etched white rose from Wedding Favor Chest.

Simone gets a smoky mirror with an etched white rose from Wedding Favor Chest.

This isn't the tent, Elgana, and Bliss continues to have a pout on her face about that fact as she's brought over to Gwenna, Lorenzo and Vercyn, though it quickly changes into a bright smile as she sees the company she has been led to. "Ah, your highnesses, Duke Vercyn, how wonderful to see you here. The Greenmarchers have outdone themselves in honoring Jayus and Limerance today, I think. Such a beautiful ceremony and scene."

"They do, don't they?" Niklas smiles to the couple, then turns that smile on his betrothed. "It's a good sign. A good time for weddings." Expression wry he adds, "Vanora and Valdemar certainly seem happy, don't they? Ah, let's stay away from the king. I think he's seen me too much this past week and he's probably going to get tired of me eventually and then how are we supposed to go fishing?" When Simone approaches Niklas gives her the bow he rarely gives much of anyone, but one warranted a marquessa in her own home. "Marquessa Simone, it is a delight to meet you. And yes, we're just under a week out at this point. Hard to believe it's finally almsot here."

Snickering at Monique with a bright smile, "Indeed, rakish is a good look for me, I do believe. And you're looking quite stunning, Monique. That statue...I've made it practically a must see attraction to all new people I meet, bringing them up here to see it." Tilting his head to Norwood for a moment, Cullen whispers in return with a chuckle, clapping the knight on the shoulder. "Truly, Sir, your wisdom and humor are without parallel, I am glad you made it." Pointing with his mug at Alessandro, then at Lorenzo, "Is that your brother I've heard so much about? If so, a pleasure to finally meet you Lord Ignacio." Turning to face Alessia afterwards with a bow, "Lady Alessia, greetings and I am delighted to make your acquaintance. I have met several others of your House, both made fine impressions." Gwenna receives a friendly wave, "Princess Gwenna, you look spectacular, I am glad to see you here tonight." Clearly a lot for Cullen to say to a bunch of people at once, he stops for another drink and a breath.

"Please ice skate, Princess Gwenna," Alessandro says as he turns back to her. "I myself will not be doing so, though the estimable Sir Clement has been attempting to teach me to be a little bit more graceful." There's a look cut to Norwood then, a little guilty, though it's marred by the smile that's never far away. "Thank you for your congratulations, Sir Clement, and for your presence, which is appreciated as ever." Cullen's words, though, get a nod, and Alessandro says, "It is! Lord Cullen Greenmarch, my brother, Prince Lorenzo Velenosa. And Princess Gwenna Redrain, who it seems you already know."

Marius raises his brow slightly at his wife as she comes over to hook her arm and reach for his drink, but he simply offers the whiskey-tea mixture to her. Giving a little tug to her arm, pulling her closer, as he looks out at the reception with a small smile.

Monique preens in Gwenna's direction and Cullen's. She preens hard. "Thank you, Cullen. You're too good to my ego. Princess Gwenna," she greets as they find the whiskey. "I was fortunate enough to have Goodwoman Josephine to craft this tiara. She works /magic/ with gems and precious metals! Are you two going to skate? I'm looking forward to it!" She passes off a glass to Alaric, looking up at him. "Are you a skater, Your Majesty?

Margret begins moving towards the tent where all of the food and warmth is, and as she walks she continues greeting people. "Thank you Princess Gwenna. That is very kind of you to say. and I hope you do try to ice skating! I thought it would be a nice change from dancing." She spots Norwood then and waves to him, "Sir Clement!" Then she heads into the tent to grab a mug of mulled wine.

Margret has joined the A large tent.

Lorenzo gives a soft laugh at Gwenna's suggestion. "Ice skating? I wonder if a drink before or after would be the better choice. If you drink before, you might be more likely to fall, but less likely to feel it until tomorrow morning. I think I could use a drink before too long, though." He gives a bow to Alaric as they find themselves near him. "Your Majesty. How very good to see you." He flashes a smile at Elgana and Bliss as they join them. "Lovely to see you both as well. You're looking like quite the pair these days." He gives them a wink. As he is introduced to Cullen, he man a smile and a nod of his head. "Wonderful to meet you as well, Lord Cullen. I hope your family appreciates what a wonderful man you've gained in my brother." He gives him a warm grin.

Alessandro has joined the A large tent.

Alaric gets a full formal bow from the Oathlands knight and a murmured, "Yes, your Majesty." As he raises there's that shoulder clasp from Cullen that Norwood gives the slightest of smiles for. "I am here to serve." He steps away to return both Margret and Alessandro's greetings. "Lord Alessandro is an apt student. It is not the easiest of endeavors to change a lifetime of habits. My Lady Margret, it is a pleasure to see you so happy."

"Less than less than a week!" Sabella beams, reaching out to take one of Niklas' hands briefly, before looking to Simone, "Marquessa! Hello! It is always wonderful to see you! Are you going to try your hand at ice skating? Or, your feet I suppose. Along with the rest of your limbs. I'm not sure I'm brave enough, although I've heard its like you're flying! Just, with your feet on the ground."

Elgana starts to get the hint - warmth is nice - so slowly, very slowly she starts to head toward the warmth of the tent. She gives Lorenzo a little smile as she looks between him and Gwenna, "I'd say the same thing for you and my favorite cousin, highness." She winks at that. "You just remember what I said!" she teases as she tugs on Bliss' arm and toward that tent they start to slink. "Do you think you'd like to try ice skating?"

Alaric takes his whiskey from Monique and raises it to her appreciatively before taking a sip. "I have successfully failed to crash to the icy ground in a thoroughly ungraceful manner the last time I tried this icy bladewalking pasttime," he tells her reassuringly. "I don't think that necessarily qualifies me to be a 'skater' per se, but I'm certainly willing to risk my dignity in pursuit of winter adventure. Shall we, then?" He smiles to Lorenzo while he works on drinking down his whiskey in preparation for his adventures in hopefully-not-wiping-out. "Ah, Prince Lorenzo, wonderful to see you again. You must be very happy for your brother," he replies. Both Bliss and Elgana and Sabella and Niklas get little waves as they catch his eye as well while he has another drink.

Gwenna smiles warmly at Elgana and dips her head in apparent thanks. "As do you, cousin. That gray looks stunning on you and I love the snowflakes embroidery is just stunning." A few bobs of her head are then offered to Bliss and the famed Whisper and Champion's words. "Haven't they? I feel nearly like I am home just as winter is falling across Farhaven." Cullen's words draw her attention next, that same warm smile offered along with a wave. "You are too kind, my lord. You look ever the dashing knight, as always," she notes kindly. Alessandro and Monique make the princess laugh a bit. "I do think I will skate soon! Though I hope I do not embarrass myself dreadfully. I've never attempted such in a gown," she says, amused. "Oh, I know Mistress Josephine's work, Lady Monique. She made this ring that my brother gave me," is noted with a little wiggle of the finger it is worn on. "Oh! Lady Margret, I mean it sincerely. Also, I've a gift for you both. Is there a place for them?" That wondered, there a faint bit of color on her cheeks at Elgana's words. "Artur will be devastated," she quips and then looks back up to Lorenzo. "Well, nothing ever hurt from having a drink before it, hmm? We can at least start with that."

"Champion Bliss." Vercyn dips his head briefly at the woman, then sidelongs at Elgana. "I made a trip back to Whitehold, and only just returned yesterday. To some strange news, it would appear." He muses, but then Elgana and Bliss are both heading towards the tent, so hey, he may as well follow. Oh, but not before he adds to Gwenna. "Come join us when you are finished congratulating the couple, my lady?" And then he's off behind the women.

"Just these days, your highness?" Bliss asks Lorenzo with a little bit of an amused smirk. "Ah, well, you know us Whispers, we are never satisfied until we are working with the best. Not to mention that both yourself and the Princess Gwenna are hardly in need of dates to these events," she adds with a tease, though she leans her head to whisper something to Elgana. There is relief on her face as they are brought toward the tent, and she looks at Elgana with a little bit of surprise at the question given. "... I've tried it twice. It was - it was ..." and the Whisper looks up, then hold her hand level in front of her, wiggling it back and forth. "... It was," she decides. "I've just never been around ice long enough where I could get good at it." She waves back to the King when she receives the wave. She turns to make sure she's being followed, and smiles brightly at Vercyn. "Strange news, my lord?"

Bliss has joined the A large tent.

Elgana has joined the A large tent.

"Well they'll be a tough act to follow." Alessia chuckles as she pours herself a cup of cider. "May I ask? Which of my relatives did you have the pleasure of meeting?" She turns towards the bride and groom, remembering her manners. "Congratulations on this fine occasion Lord Alessandro and Lady Margret." She says to the two with mirth. "We haven't had the chance for a formal meeting. I am Alessia of House Mazetti." She takes a drink from her cup.

Simone laughs softly and shakes her head, "I have ice skated before when I was a child though I confess I have not done so as an adult. It would be a shame to ruin my graceful illusion by falling flat on the ice though I fear." Her eyes sparkle mischievously, "Then again, what are a few tumbles between friends?" Spotting Margret and Alessandro moving toward the tent, she starts off that way as well after giving Niklas and Sabella a smile and a softly spoken, "Pardon me." She pauses near Cullen, giving the group speaking to him a warm smile. Slipping her arm through Cullen's she says to Gwenna and Elgana, "Welcome to House Greenmarch, Princesses! It is always an honor to have our friends from House Redrain at our home!" She tilts her head to look at Lorenzo and Bliss curiously, "I do not believe we have met. I am Marquessa Simone Greenmarch."

"That's /stunning/!" Monique replies to Gwenna, leaning in to examine the ring. "Is that Farhaven in the Crimson Peaks? Spirits! Is there nothing that woman can't accomplish?" There's a certain envious look to Gwenna's ring before Alaric is distracting the Minx of the Marches. "Let us skate!" She lifts her own glass to him, tossing back the whiskey like it's a shot instead of a refined sipping drink. And then she chokes on it when Alaric leans in to mutter something. She glares at him as she coughs, eyes tearing up.

Monique has joined the A Skating Pond.

"I am sure you will not, Your Highness," Alessandro replies to Gwenna, before nodding to Norwood, with a smile that is wry mixed with a hint of pride, as one does have when one is praised, generally. He turns to Alessia then as she greets them, and inclines his head to her. "Lady Alessia," he says, "a pleasure to meet you. Thank you so much for joining us tonight. I hope you enjoy yourself, perhaps on the rink." His eyes twinkle with amusement as he looks to Marius then, tipping his head toward the ice with a questioning look, though he can't really land that with a straight face. Sorry, Marius.

On the way toward the tent, Elgana does return the greeting to Alaric, a wave and a curtsy. "Strange news?" Elgana asks Vercyn as she at least makes to pause so the Duke can keep up with them. "Stranger news than normal?" she teases lightly as she lets Bliss drift toward warmth, the Redrain herself taking her sweet time. At Simone's greeting she lights up and smiles. "Thank you. I couldn't miss such a celebration as this as Lady Margret and her lord husband are dear friends and I am ever so happy for them," she says to Simone. She lets Bliss and Simone talk while giving curious looks to Vercyn.

Alaric has joined the A Skating Pond.

Simone has joined the A large tent.

In obvious relief as she steps into the heat of a tent, Bliss is beaming now, tension just fading quickly from her shoulders and body, though her arm still on Elgana's, having only been guiding her slowly over to the tent. She does listen for Vercyn's response to her question, even as she dips her head to Simone. "Marquessa Greenmarch, it is an honor to be here tonight. I am a friend of Lady Greenmarch, and I've heard your name spoken of quite fondly by your cousin, Lord Ansel. I am Bliss Whisper," she says to introduce herself.

Despite the fact that Niklas actually brought her over to the skating pond, when Sabella asks Marquessa Simone if she plans to get out on the ice and try her hand at skating he pales just slightly. "Of course," he replies genially to Simone as she pardons herself, then he mutters to Sabella, "I ice skated once. Renny ran her skates right across my fingers. We had to have Octavia sew them back on and she did them all backwards, which is why my fingers are in reverse order." He holds up his hand to show her a perfectly normal hand with perfectly normal fingers. "Aah, so weird and gross. Anyway, the very idea of skating gives me terrible flashbacks to that awful day, so I should probably sit this out and enjoy watching you skate from somewhere I can drink some alcohol."

Felicia stirs from her contemplation with a wry smirk as people shift to the pond for some skating, her whiskey eyed, and then the pond with a brief laugh.

A dip of his head at Lorenzo as Cullen chuckles, "Indeed, I've come to realize your brother is quite the talented and charming fellow, and a fine addition to the House, Prince Velenosa." Drifting over to Alessia, a coppery brow quirks upwards before gesturing at the ice skating pond. "Have you ever tried ice skating, Lady Alessia? It can be rather tricky, I'll admit. Nonetheless, I think I might have to do so regardless. Ah, I met Lords Valerio and Vitalis at a festival held by the Keatons some time back." Refilling his cider and whiskey when Simone comes to wrap her arm around his, he beams a smile at her. "Cousin, are you going to ice skate as well? I am going to give it a try...after a little bit more drinking."

Margret heads over to where the servants are heating mulled wine, and grabs a few to pass out. A servant fills a tray to begin passing them out to people as well. "Here you are, Princess Gwenna. And thank you that is very thoughtful. If you'd like to give it to a servant they'll put it on the table over there." She smiles warmly at Gwenna as she passes her a mug. Then she starts towards Vercyn, Bliss, and Elgana. "Would you like some warmed wine?" She takes some off of the tray to hand to each. As Bliss introduces herself to Simone her smile widens, "Bliss is my favorite whisper. And Prince Lorenzo is Alessandro's brother. And have you met Princess Elgana, Simone? She's an absolute delight." She holds out a mug for Alessia to take. "It's lovely to meet you, Lady Mazetti. Thank you for coming."

Lorenzo nods and smiles warmly to the King. "Absolutely, your majesty. Alessandro has been a credit to House Velenosa, and I know he will be the same to Greenmarch as well." He gives Gwenna's hand a little squeeze and looks to her. "I think a drink first sounds excellent. Did I hear someone say they had mulled wine?" He laughs and gives Bliss a look of mock surprise. "Is saying 'these days' not long enough? I haven't been keeping close track of your engagements, but you do seem to be having fun when you're out with Princess Elgana." He turns to Simone as she addresses him. "Very nice to meet you, Marquessa. Prince Lorenzo Velenosa. Thank you for being so welcoming to my brother. I will miss him dearly in our family, but it makes my heart happy to know he is welcome in yours."

Vercyn grunts something unintelligible to Elgana and Bliss' questions regarding 'strange news'. "Stranger news than I am accustomed to, in any case. Regarding prodigal houses ennobling commoners, that is. But no need to worry, I intend to learn more about this before I decide whether I should be pleased, displeased or outraged." His tone is all rather casual, as he clasps his hands at the small of his back to observe the gathering, especially now that Margret is approaching and seems to be bringing Lorenzo along. "Oh, Lorenzo!"

Simone smiles warmly at Bliss, "Oh! So lovely to meet you! We are so grateful to the Whisper House in many ways." She leans in with her eyes sparklking merrily, "Actually Lord Ansel is my younger brother. I had wished that he might be able to attend, but Father keeps him terribly busy at the Tower. He is such a Tyrant!" Though she fusses about her father, her affection for both Arn and Ansel is readily apparent. Turning her attention to Cullen for a moment, she laughs, "I am undecided. I haven't done so since I was a child at the Tower!" Hearing her name called by Margret, she turns a warm smile to Lorenzo taking his hand and giving it a gentle squeeze if he will allow it, "Oh Prince Lorenzo! That means you are practically family! Please, I wish you to know that you are always welcome here at House Greenmarch."

"Thank you," Elgana says to Margret as she takes that offered glass. "This does not count toward seeing you, by the way, Margret. I owe you personal time. I've missed our talks and I barely got to see you at all when you both came to the Spirits that night. I fear business snags me so often anymore and duty always comes first." She waves all that off with her free hand before she sips her mulled wine. Lorenzo gets another little look, the Redrain grinning wide. Brows perk upward at Vercyn's muttering but then she nods. "Ah, yes /that/ news," she says. "We must see each other more often, Duke Vercyn. Though I suspect in the coming weeks and such, we shall."

Alaric checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 4 higher.

Sabella takes that gross normal hand in her own and laughs, "I think the Marquessa had the right of it, were I to take the ice and end up falling over and over again people would start thinking I wasn't the graceful princess I constantly try to portray and then people would start questioning everything, stars would fall from the sky, night would be day, Alaric would go back to sleep to get away from it all, and blood couches would be all the rage for spring so you'd never be able to sit down again." She says sagely.

Alessandro turns as he catches Lorenzo's words, and his smile widens a little bit, though he shakes his head. "My brother is the best champion a man could have," he remarks as he moves with Margret toward the tent. "It is quite strange not to bear the same name. Only Greenmarch would have had me give up Velenosa." He looks between his brother and Gwenna then, however, and there's a little bit of a knowing look -- maybe. It's gone quickly, so was it there? Was it?! Who knows.

Alaric harnesses his dance moves footwork enough to competently skate out onto the ice without causing some sort of Royal Incident in the process. Sighs of relief from various quarters likely ensue.

Gwenna adds a dip of her head to Vercyn as he moves toward the tent. "I will, Duke Halfshav," she notes with a few bobs of her head. "Right," the princess near-squeals at Monique before she heads off to skate. "Oh, you've not seen me attempt to skate, Lord Alessandro. Though I at least have boots one, which may help the cause." Simone's words draw her next, a warm smile remaining on her lips. "Thank you, Marquessa. Truly, we should be thanking you for the exceptional care you took of Princess Marian! I am glad that we share family and she speaks so wonderfully of you all as well. Really, we should have a dinner between the families." Ah, but then mulled wine is offered and she smiles even brighter, if possible. "Lady Margret, mulled wine is one of my favorite drinks. My mother used to brew a bit in Farhaven, and this by a fire in the dead of winter? I swear there is little more lovely. Thank you." Lorenzo's squeeze of her hand, though, softens her smile into something a bit more affectionate. "I can share mine?" Vercyn's voice echoing Lorenzo's makes her smile. "Your uncle, I recently learned. It is a small world." Overhearing the Mazetti name, Gwenna dips her head to the noblewoman. "Lady Alessia, did I hear correctly? I would swear I've met who may be cousins of yours at one event or another."

Bliss's eyes light up as she is offered warmed wine, and she nods enthusiastically to Margret, saying to her, firmly, "And this is why you're my best friend, Lady Margret," she says. She doesn't even drink the wine at first, just pulling it to her chest to warm herself there, before lifting it up and taking a slow drink of it. Her eyes close in absolute, utter pleasure as she gives a content sigh. "Okay. This will help," she decides. Vercyn's explanation causes understanding to flash in her eyes, and she nods. "Yes, well - we cannot expect to be so lucky as to have them all as wonderful as the Greenmarchers every time," she says to the Halfshav Duke, before she looks over to Simone again and laughs with an actual slight blush on her cheeks. "Your brother? Of course, my lady, and my apologies - that speaks even more highly of you. I suspect if I'd had siblings, they would have hated me." There's a glint of humor in her eyes, another sip of wine. "He is busy, yes, I have noticed. But then, so am I. I do enjoy when I am able to get some time with him, though," she admits.

Alessia happily takes the mug, despite the half full cup of cider in her hand. She finishes the latter rather quickly after politely thanking the bride. She turns to Cullen and nods. "Although not for a long time, I fear. But I am well inclined to try." A smile spreads as she glances at the skating pond while taking a deep drink from the mug.

Felicia gets a missive just as she sets down her empty glass and starts towards the pond. Her aide looking at her expectantly as she looks towards the pond, then back to the dark haired woman and finally sighs,"Fine." offered, and a small gesture given,"I'm coming, I'm coming."

"Dearest," Elgana says as she turns toward Bliss. "I believe Margret is /my/ best friend." She offers a little nudge to the Whisper, friendly like as she grins and winks. "She said so that night at the Spirits after all. Though, I am still waiting on my bracelet. But that's fine, it will come. For now, we celebrate her and her handsome husband."

Monique checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 36 higher.

Felicia has left the A large tent.

Monique takes to the ice after the Monarch of the Compact and flies by him in something that could only be considered abject showing off.

Simone watches the King out of the corner of her eye, then turns her head to watch more fully. As the King successfully skates out on the ice she does indeed breathe a soft sigh of relief at knowing that at least that scandal won't be heaped on Greenmarch! She leans in for a moment to whisper to Cullen before patting his arm and letting go of it with a warm smile full of teasing. Moving over to the drink table she quietly collects a drink, taking a moment to stand quietly and watch their guests with a happy smile.

Lorenzo flashes his uncle a warm smile as he spots the man. "Uncle Vercyn! It seems like it has been ages since we've had a chance to catch up. We should get together for a drink sometime, shouldn't we?" To Simone he smiles and gives her hand a warm squeeze (perhaps with cold fingers) in return. "Thank you, your offer is much appreciated. I know I have wanted to come by and meet my brother's new family, so now I'm sure I'll come by and join you sometime. And hopefully Princess Gwenna can join us as well." He gives the woman on his arm a warm smile.

"She said the same thing to me, darling," Bliss says to Elgana with a grin, entirely comfortable with the banter with the Redrain Princess. "If you forgot. I don't remember much from that night, but I do remember that she very clearly stated that she was my best friend," she adds with a nudge, and another sip of her wine. Her head turns out and she looks over at the ice skaters, contemplative. "Do you know how?" she asks Elgana, after speaking some with Simone about the absenteeism of Ansel.

"Goodness, all that!" Niklas grimaces at the skate pond, expression accusing. "Well then, I do think it's best we keep our distance, my dear." He finishes off his glass of cider and passes it off to someone whose job is to collect empty glasses and then from the opposite he collects a new glass, this time mulled wine. "We should go somewhere with a brazier, Sabella. Islanders are built to withstand rain, wind and devastating depression. But this damned cold is a step too far."

Leaning in to listen to Simone, Cullen chuckles and takes a sip of cider with a nod. After thinking for a moment, he whispers something in return with a more serious mien about him, then pats her arm and glance back at Alessia. "If it helps, it's been quite some time since I've skated either, not since I was a boy. But! The worst that could happen is a bruise or two, and there's no indignity in being defeated by the ice, even if temporarily," the Sword of Greenhaven confides with a grave nod.

"Dreaded duty." Margret says in sympathetic agreement with Elgana before she admits softly, "Although I confess I haven't been as sociable since we got married. I've become a terrible homebody when I've the luxury of staying home." She glances to Alessandro and smiles broadly before she lifts a hand to give her husband a little fingerwave. She laughs before adding, "I'm working on the bracelets for all three of us, but fortunately for the jewelers in the city and unfortunately for us they've all a backlog." She heads towards Niklas and Sabella and holds out mulled wine for both of them. "I hope you don't have to withstand devastating depression at our wedding, Lord Niklas. But I suppose the night is still young."

"It has been ages, my boy!" Vercyn greets Lorenzo boisterously, even slapping the younger man on the back with a large hand. "Ever since that spring when your mother brought you boys up to Whitehold. You were... what, twelve? Thirteen? I still remember the snot in your nose the whole time." The Wolf Duke chuckles at the memory. "Yes, drinks are most certainly in order. At least, they will keep you warm." Withdrawing his big slapping paw, Vercyn glances around those near him. "Do you know everyone here? Princess Elgana, who is /like/ a niece to me, and Champion Bliss, whom I am trying to get to call me uncle as well."

The wave gets a smile from Alessandro, and he moves to where Margret is with Bliss and Elgana. "Belatedly," he says to Bliss, "you are also my favorite Whisper, and my favorite Champion. I feel that I should like to offend someone greatly, simply so I have a reason to call on your services." He looks between Elgana and Bliss, before he adds, "You both look very well together." He catches Vercyn's words, though, and a laugh escapes him. "I believe that all my appendages are //still// not recovered from that particular trip, Uncle."

Simone laughs softly and nods, "Of course! Princess Gwenna and all of Marian's family are always welcome as well! A dinner among the extended family would be lovely." She turns her head toward Margret and Alessandro with a merry smile, "Or perhaps a hot springs party!" At Margret's words, she turns to study Niklas with a slightly chiding look that is fully of teasing, "Oh my please... no devastating depression allowed at a party!"

"It's just his Mourning Isles sense of humor," Sabella assures Margret, accepting that wine with a grateful smile, "The big joke there is that they're always mourning their lack of one. Did I hear something about a heated tent? Perhaps Lord Niklas would feel better next to a fire. We are both exceedingly happy for the two of you, Margret. I think it was your good fortune that rubbed off on us, so we owe you...hm, just about everything!"

Norwood has left the an open air shrine formed from trees.

Bayberry, an Oakhaven juvenile bloodhound leaves, following Norwood.

"When I was little we would sometimes ice skate, but I fear I have two left feet on the ice so I'd probably just keep falling on my ass," Elgana admits to Bliss as she looks toward the skating pond. She seems just as relieved as everyone else that the King is still upright. Margret's words get a bright smile. "I'm still working on a wedding present for you both. I fear there has been a delay as the crafters of this city are definitely backlogged but for good reason as they are too good at what they do. We barely deserve them." She then turns and beams a brilliant smile at Vercyn. "Quite right there, Uncle." She nudges Bliss at that as she adds, "Now you can call him 'uncle' and try to help me convince him to come drinking with us. For nieces he certainly neglects us!" At Alessandro's words she flushes a touch and laughs. "Just like you and Margret look so well together. Absolutely perfect."

The glaivedancer raises her mug to Cullen's words. "Indeed. And as I always say.. if you're without fear, you've forgotten the rules of life." She continues to drink the warmed wine, closing her eyes as she takes comfort from the warmth. "I will try my luck as soon as I finish." She observed those on the skating pond with amusement.

"No depression today, Lady Margret, I assure you. Why, today has been like the third Tuesday in June, which is the only day of sunshine we ever get in Stormward. Everyone plans their summer around it. It's also the goat's birthday, so it's a day of celebrations all around." Niklas reaches out for the wine and offers the bride another smile. "Too kind, my lady. Thinking of others even on your day." He holds up a hand to Simone and shakes his head. "With this company, how could I be? In Stormward it's mostly crusty old men with impressive beards and statues of crusty old men with impressive beards. I assure you all, no depression today. Just nobody make fun of my mangled hand." He takes a hefty drink from his wine, then nods to Sabella. "Warmth would be good. Though I suppose a group hug would work. Where's Saoirse?"

Bliss checked command + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 39 higher.

Alaric has not wiped out yet out there on the ice. No cause for panic so far!

Bliss smiles brightly at Vercyn, saying to him, "Are you trying to do so, my lord? You know, it's been about ten years since I've actually called anyone that. I suppose I might risk a little bit of neutrality to do you that favor, Uncle Vercyn, and as Princess Elgana says, we should drink together soon. We keep missing each other, it seems." the woman says in her strongly accented Lycene contralto. "Your hi-" Bliss begins to Alessandro, then clears her throat and corrects herself to, "My lord Greenmarch, your compliments are absolutely wonderful to hear and do me great joy. Have you seen me duel yet? I am afraid I should probably take a day or so off after my last one," she says, motioning at the bandage that is across her chest. "But Gloria was very, very firm in her answer to that particular question. Now, that being said, not all duels have to be serious. In fact, some of the most fun ones are those that are entirely light-hearted. For instance-" and she turns, and the Champion uses her pure stage voice to project:



"Princess Elgana Redrain, the Lady Margret Greenmarch is my best friend, and your insistence that she isn't is an insult to my honor! I challenge you or your champion to first blood!"



And then Bliss turns and, as if nothing has happened, pecks Elgana on the cheek. "Would you like to try to go ice skating, dear, and watch me make a fool of myself?"

Lorenzo laughs and tries not to get pushed over as he's thumped vigorously on the back by Vercyn. "Of course, that sounds about right. The trip to Whitehold is one of my fondest memories from childhood." Self-consciously, he touches his nose, grinning sheepishly. "Yes, of course, Princess Elgana is a good friend, as well as Champion Bliss. It would be handy to have a Whisper as a relative, wouldn't it? I wonder if you'd get a discount?" he jokes. Somewhere, Lorenzo gets a cup of mulled wine, and he makes sure Gwenna has one too. "Oh, there's ice skating too," he comments, looking over towards the frozen pond. Making absolutely no move to join, of course.

"Well! You are so insistent upon this fact - which is false and we both know it - that the Lady Margret is /your/ best friend when she is in fact /my/ best friend, I accept your challenge and shall name my champion to defend my honor and my friendship with my beloved best friend," Elgana laughs as she gives Bliss cheeky smile and a wink before she nods and turns her cheek for that peck of a kiss. "That was fun. I'll get some missives out and see who wants the honor and let's see how many times I fall on my ass out there on the ice."

Giving Margret and Alessandro a brief wave and a smile from where he's sipping cider and talking to Alessia, nodding in agreement at her words. "I agree with you there. When people saay they're fearless in the face of danger...." About to possibly make a trademark Cullen offensive remark, his jaws suddenly snap shut. Perhaps talking to Whispers and lectures from family have started to work after all. "Anyways! Yes, after this mug I'd be most happy to join you on the ice, and hopefully not crash into the king and cause a royal mess." Gods.

Monique whirls in dizzying circles near Alaric, inserting that as a pause into their quiet conversation. The Greenmarch looks entirely happy to be flying across the ice like a non-melting firebird.

Vercyn nods sagely to Lorenzo and is about to say something to Elgana's comments about being neglected, but is distracted by the arrival of a messenger who delivers a message. He excuses himself just for a moment to attend to it.

Gwenna returns Lorenzo's smile with a warmth that matches his. "I would not miss it for all the world," she says and then sips the mulled wine, looking rather pleased with the comforting drink. Vercyn's words to Lorenzo make her laugh. "I swear, my Duke, you recall us all at the worst times of our childhood," is quipped with decided humor in her voice. Simone's words make her arch her brows. "Hot springs, did I hear? That, I admit, sounds like a lovely thing this time of year. I wonder if we might have trays fashioned to float even," is mused and she quiets a moment to perhaps consider the possibility. The scent of the mulled wine in her hands, though, breaks such thought soon enough and she's soon taking a small drink from the mug. She nearly - nearly! - pouts at Lorenzo. "So. How many of these mulled wines do you think it may take to get you to come skate with me? Not, of course, that I'll be so devious as to ply you insistently with such." Cue innocent smile. "Just look at Lady Monique and His Majesty. Doesn't it look fun?"

"How can you mourn something you've never had?" Margret quips to Sabella jokingly before she nods her head. "Aye. It's warmed in there." She starts stepping in that direction to lead Niklas and Sabella that way. She laughs outright at what Niklas says, "Who is the goat?" Her happy expression turns to one of concern, "What happened to your hand?" Once she is in the tent again she says to Elgana, "Your friendship is present enough. But I do like opals." She winks, but Bliss's challenge to Elgana causes her to laugh outright. "Goodness." She turns to watch the pond and calls out, "Monique do a trick!"

Thank you, Your Highness," Alessandro says with a wide smile to Elgana, before he turns to her companion, replying, "Only once, but once was enough to cement my impression." And he might have said more, but the challenge issued from Bliss to Elgana gets a laugh, wholly amused. "Well, in that case I shall challenge someone every day, and you will be in even higher demand." He moves toward his wife then, as well as Niklas and Sabella. "The third Tuesday in June, you said? I shall mark that on my calendar should I ever make plans to visit Stormward."

Simone laughs at Niklas' jest about Saoirse, "I gather she detests hugs... or so it seemed on a debate that I attended once between she and Princess Caith. The debate was won I think by the sheer volume of hugs heaped upon Princess Saoirse. I felt sorry for her in truth!" Her eyes twinkle merrily at Niklas, "I have found those that I know from House Thrax to be anything but crusty old men! Indeed, I was promised a sailing trip once by a Kennex, but it never came to pass. I will just have to cajole my patron, Princess Katarina, into taking me I think. I am simply fascinated by the idea of sailing though I must admit!" She gives Sabella a curious smile, "Have you been sailing, Princess Sabella? If so, do you like it?" Turning toward Gwenna she laughs, "Indeed we do have hot springs! Ones that are even rumored to keep those who bathe regularly in them looking young. I've even heard tales of them having healing powers. Though one can never put too much stock in such things." Her eyes sparkle merrily.

"Nothing happened to his hand and anything he says is likely to be a fantastical story involving mermaids and unicorn horns for fingers," Sabella shakes her head and laughs, taking a sip of wine, "I have been sailing, Marquessa, and I have to say that I do not care for it. Or more precisely, my stomach does not care for it and then the rest of me becomes very against it. Was the Kennex that promised you a sailing trip my cousin Wash? If so, you ought to take him up on it, he is a wonderful sailor and his boat is quite nice. If you look at it from the dock. Which I don't actually recommend since that's in the Lowers. But! I would still recommend trying it. Once. It doesn't get better if you don't take to it. Trust me. And Lord Alessandro, make sure you bring the goat a present or it won't agree with you at dinner."

As the party goes on servants pass out plenty of hot drinks to wanting guests as well as warmed blankets to anyone who is cold. They even make up plates of food from the buffet on request!

Out on the pond, the King seems to be rallying himself to try and challenge his present limitations as a skater now that he's had some warmup laps around the frozen pond. Time to tense up if so inclined!

Marius sweeps the remainder of his drink and excuses himself for the moment with all the appropriate niceties.

Bliss seems to actually take a moment to motion her apprentice over, slipping her arm out of Elgana's, while still leaning on the woman, before she shows the text to her and asks, "What do you think? You'll have to respond to that?" Then she just seems to assume it's good enough, passing it back to Jared before turning her head to Margret and Alessandro both, her arm finding its way back into Elgana's, hooking the woman close and clearly, in no way, actually upset with her. "Such things you inspire, Lady Greenmarch," Bliss says to Margret with a grin, finishing up her drink and finally, finally looking warm, before she adds to Alessandro, "Just once is all most need to realize that I put something into my art that most don't. I will keep doing so." She looks to Elgana, then motions her head toward the pond. "Let's do this?" she asks.

Monique checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 32 higher.

Monique acquiesces to Margret's command, executing a lovely double axle upon the ice. She is very clearly showing off, judging by the 'I'm waiting' looking she gives Alaric as she skates away to give him a wide berth for his trick attempt.

Niklas's hand is perfectly fine, no matter what kind of nonsense may be coming out of his mouth. "Oh, he's a very tall goat. Closest thing to horses we had when I was a boy. But for all that, learning to ride on that goat has never held me back. Why, did you know I once won third place in a jousting contest? Tilted against the king. It's true. Mostly. Somewhat. A little." Not at all. Niklas looks over when a formal challenge is issued and shakes his head. "I'd challenge this challenge, but I think I may be getting too challenge happy. I'll wait for one of my seven current challenges to resolve itself." Alessandro gets a firm nod. "Count on it. We'll prepare for you a spread of our finest Stormward cheeses. Which is a phrase one doesn't hear said very often. For good reason. When you only have a few cows, you get creative with your cheesemaking. We have a number of native squirrels, for instance." Simone's words get a considerable brightening of Nik's expression. "I was at that debate! I do believe we set a record for the biggest group hug and the sourest person at the center of a group hug. Very proud of those records. Almost as proud as I am of the time I got third place in a jousting contest."

Elgana leans to look at the missive and then she breaks into bright, merry laughter. "Oh, you are terrible! I adore you so for it," she says as she leans in to press a plush kiss to Bliss' cheek. "I'm going to see if my sister will fight for my honor. Wouldn't that be a sight? I'm certain she'd love the chance." She gestures one of her ladies over, leaning in to murmur something to the blonde before she nods and slips off. Looking to Margret she grins. "Your friendship is worth it and more, dearest lady." Bliss gets a nod. "Let's see how badly I do."

Alaric checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 20, rolling 23 higher.

Pausing in his cider sipping, Cullen murmurs something to Alessia with a bit a of a chuckle before gesturing to the ice, "If I get outskated by my cousin, I'll never hear the end of it. Last time she hit me with a snowball and I missed in return...it was a shameful sight. For me, at any rate."

Lorenzo arches a brow at Gwenna as she indicates the frozen pond. "Well..." he muses, and is as usual unable to resist her suggestions. "I suppose we could try skating. You'll have to teach me, though, and promise not to laugh when I fall on my umbra-covered butt." He takes a drink of his mulled wine, hoping it will give him a bit of courage going forward. "Maybe we should plan to go to the hot springs tomorrow. I have the feeling I'll be covered with bruises after this. Worse than when I was nudged into learning the sword."

Alessia looks at Cullen curiously before he whispers his apology. "You don't have to apologise, sir. Harsh words won't drive me away." She gives a wry smile and quickly finishes the drink in her cup, clearly anticipating the thrill that awaits. "Shall we?" She nods towards the people on the pond.

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

Gwenna's eyes widen and nearly sparkle, really, at Simone's words. "Truly, Marquessa? I am sincerely intrigued! We've an augury at the villa with a scrying pool. The waters are warm as well, though not quite a spring, and sometimes people go into pool. Some find in blasphemous while others claim that if it wasn't something to be swam in, why did that put it /right there/," she explains and laughs a bit. As Lorenzo seems to acquiesce, she nearly squeaks with delight. "Truly? Just once around, I promise! And I hope not to embarrass myself at it as well," she says and tugs at his hand. "Shall we?"

Alaric builds some speed, does a quick transition to skate backwards, and then with a big leap does a half turn to land forward and keep going smoothly. Not really the flashiest trick ever, but it counts as tricky! But the real headline here is "King fails to injure himself on ice pond" to be honest.

"I will make a note, Your Highness," Alessandro replies to Sabella with a little laugh. "I suppose I should begin looking into what one should gift a goat. Grass is the obvious choice, but perhaps a bit overdone." Niklas' words, however, get a raised eyebrow, but quite a straight-faced reply of, "How delicious. You will have to arrange a tour of the facility you use to get milk from a squirrel, as well. I am interested to see it." Lorenzo and Gwenna going to the pond makes him look that way, though, and he gives his brother a grin and an approving nod, before applauding for the king and Monique's lovely performance.

Distracted by the skating for a momenent, Simone gives a faint smile at Monique's expert skating, but holds her breath as the King seems to ready for a trick of his own. Moving slightly so she can see, she watches in anticipation, grabbing Margret's arm slightly as she does. "Oh dear, please do not let the King fall!" she says softly. She finally breathes again as he executes a flawless maneuver, letting go of Margret's arm with a small smile of apology. Turning to Gwenna with a smile, she says "Well fortunately we have a wonderful healer here who I hope will someday confirm or deny those tales!" She turns a teasing glance to Margret, "Though I do hope the one about looking younger is true!"

Monique applauds just as brightly as everyone else for Alaric's perfectly executed, non-fatal trick. "Wonderful, Your Majesty! The King's Own are breathing collective sighs of relief right now, along with the leaders of House Greenmarch," she teases him, and then drops her voice once more to make him a quieter reply.

"Well then, Lady Alessia. Let us see what kind of grace or havoc we can wreak upon the ice," Cullen bids the glaivedancer with a crooked grin, offering his arm to her before setting out towards the frozen pond and the skates set alongside it. Pounding back the cider, an empty mug is handed to a nearby servant with a grateful dip of the head, then whistles in approval at the King's rather graceful show with a look of relief at Simone.

Margret glances down at Niklas's hand as Sabella speaks and her brow furrows just a little before she looks up at Niklas. "Oh!" She says, astonished and amused at the same time. Then a messenger brings her a piece of paper. She cracks it open and laughs outright, "It seems Count Amadeo is asserting that I cannot be your best friend, Princess Elgana. It seems Lady Ennettia Igniseri and he claim to hold that title." and then Monique does her trick and she cheers, "Beautiful!" Simone's grip of her arm causes her clapping to stop, but when Alaric goes uninjured she cheers and claps again. "Beautiful your majesty!" She says to Simone, "I think we'll all know in ten years time."

Lorenzo gives a little sigh and nods to Gwenna. "You know I can deny you nothing," he says, tilting his head at her and giving her a smile. He sees Alessandro watching him and waves a farewell. "Brother! Promise me you'll speak at my funeral!" he calls in a melodramatic fashion, as they head over to the pond.

Margret is overheard praising Monique: So graceful!

Lorenzo has joined the A Skating Pond.

Gwenna has joined the A Skating Pond.

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

Abalene, the Northern Hawk Owl arrives, delivering a message to Margret before departing.

Sabella starts lifting a hand to her mouth when Alaric goes backwards and then he jumps and she's halfway through a gasp when he doesn't break his neck or go through the ice. She spares a glance for his guards and then leans over to murmur to Margret, "You might want to make sure the King's guards get some mulled wine. Or at least an offer of it for later when they're off their shifts. If that made me nervous--well, I guess I'm glad I'm not a guard!" She then calls out, "Your Majesty, is there nothing you can't do?" At the messenger for Margret, Sabella laughs, "I'm pretty sure I'm everyone's best friend. At least, from my end."

Elgana is busy under her own flurry of messengers it seems but when Margret cracks up laughing, Elgana is not far behind her. "I fear I have far too many best friends. Is that truly a bad thing though?" She is flushed bright red and her eyes merry. "It seems I have a lot of missive writing and champion hiring to do!"

Vercyn finally finishes reading the message, which is crumpled and handed back to the messenger... who is then summarily dismissed. Since his gathering of nephews and nieces seems to have dispersed in the meantime, the Wolf Duke simply moves closer to the edge of the tent to observe all the ice-skating that's going on.

There just seems to be a sudden flurry of letters around Bliss as she laughs and writes, saying to Elgana, "Remind me to be more specific in my usage of pronouns, Princess," as she begins to walk with Elgana toward the ponds. "Yes, darling, you do, and do remember, I already have your favor. So, keep that in mind when you're hiring people." She shakes her head and heads toward the pond, looking around for the skates and, presumably, finding some that are maybe even close to her size!

Bliss has left the A large tent.

Bliss has joined the A Skating Pond.

Elgana has left the A large tent.

Elgana has joined the A Skating Pond.

"I most assuredly count on it," Gwenna tells Lorenzo cheerfully and then gives a dramatic roll of her eyes as he calls back to Alessandro. "Come now. Redrain are far more...loud...about murder. I suspect. I've not attempted one myself just yet, at least." And then, to the ice!

Alaric regally waves to his adoring fanbase on his lap around the pond side nearest the tent.

Alessia graciously takes Cullen's hand and approaches the pond with mirth, putting the skates on before entering.

Alessia has joined the A Skating Pond.

Cullen has joined the A Skating Pond.

Monique is overheard praising Margret: Married, and put together the most beautiful ceremony!

Monique is overheard praising Alessandro: Married a Greenmarch. Smart man.

"I promise that your eulogy will be particularly touching," Alessandro calls back to Lorenzo with a wider grin, before letting out a laugh at Gwenna's words. "So I have heard," he says, "and that is quite comforting, Your Highness." With that, he heads over to Simone then. "Cousin, I feel I have hardly seen you yet tonight. Will you be skating?" Though his tone is teasing.

"Wait, I thought I was Lady Ennettia's best friend." Niklas turns a reasonable approxomation of a hurt look to Margret at her declaration. "Huh. Well. I'll just keep that in mind next time she needs someone to slouch against at a public gathering." Niklas looks back toward the cursed skate pond, taking a moment to appreciate the sigth of people who know what they're doing doing a good job of it. Then he looks to Sabella, "I don't think my heart can take much more of this. I-" Niklas stops when his sour-faced assistant runs in and hands him a note. He looks it over and makes a face, then shows it to Sabella. "Weeee... should deal with this."

Hand in hand with Alessia, ice skates donned, Cullen gets out onto the ice with a mirthful grin. Attempting to balance at first, it's clear he's not done this in awhile, but it comes back to him quickly, watching to see how his partner from Ostria is doing as the Sword begins to slowly make his way around the edge of the frozen pond, grey eyes fixing on Monique, two fingers coming to his eyes then pointing right at her. "I am going to outskate you. Just you wait. I am still stinging from losing that snowball fight," he admits from across the frozen expanse.

Monique makes a 'bring it' gesture to her cousin as he takes to the ice, her lips curving in an infuriating smirk.

Simone gives Alessandro a soft laugh, "I have been asked that quite often this evening. I am starting to think that perhaps my family and friends are anxious to see someone fall on the ice, hence they ask me to skate!" She peeks up at Alessandro with a teasing glance. "The true question is... are you and Margret going to take a turn skating together?" Her eyes sparkle mischievously at them both for a moment.

Margret murmurs back to Sabella, "That is a good idea." She turns to get the attention of a servant, and has a brief murmured conversation who will likely try and push some mulled wine on the King's Own. "I thought I was your best non-romantic woman friend, Lord Niklas." She says in mock hurt. More missives arrive and she says with a laugh, "Spirits save me what is going on?"

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

Bliss checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 11 lower.

Sabella leans in to look down at the message and nods, "We probably should. But first apologize to the bride for being the only person in Arx not demanding that she is your best non-romantic lady friend." She grins, then says to Alessandro, "I'm afraid we do have to go, but this was not only a lovely party, you two are an inspiration! And I know you will outlast the stars."

With Elgana seemingly swamped by messengers, and a grin on Bliss's face as she begins to pull on her skates, lacing them, the Whisper calls over to the Princess, "Once you have everything sorted out, you should come join me! Watch out, for I'm going to be the graceful one!" With that, the Whisper just tries to run out onto the ice, and, well. She's Lycene, guys. Immediately, her foot slips out from under her, and she slams into it on her shoulder, just spinning in slow circles until the momentum fades away from the friction. A low groan comes from her, but then she shoots a hand into the air. "I'm alright!" she calls.

Although she momentarily struggled to get a hang of things, Alessia manages to get a good balance and before long she finds herself enjoying the activity. She glances from Cullen to Monique and chuckles lightly. "How large was /that/ snowball for you to seek such revenge?"

The messengers soon stop, the flurry of parchment dealt with, but not without leaving Elgana Redrain looking very 'red' in the face. "I am going to have to sort all of this out after the party," she concedes with a laugh as she moves toward Bliss and the frozen water. She gives it a little worried look before she blinks and watches Bliss just go /down/. She winces. "Are you okay?" she calls.

Harlen arrives, following Duarte.

"I am not certain I follow all this talk of 'best friends'." Vercyn rumbles, having left his observation post watching the ice-skating, back towards Alessandro and Margret, to chime in in response to Sabella's words. In fact, the Wolf Duke lifts his head in greeting towards Sabella and Niklas, as the pair appears to be the only people present that he isn't very familiar with. Or... at least, Sabella is; Niklas he has seen a couple of times, but not properly introduced?

Lorenzo checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 4 lower.

"It's - it's slippery," Bliss calls as she tries to push herself up, her hands slipping under her, and seasilk not offering the best kind of grip on the surface. Finally, she manages to drag herself over to the bank, laughing. "Oh, gods," she says. "Okay, let me try that again, a little more carefully," she says as she finally gets up to her feet, holding a hand out to Elgana. "Ready?" she asks her.

Sabella's words get a smile from Alessandro, and he inclines his head to her. "Thank you so much for coming, Your Highness," he says, then his gaze shifts to Niklas, "Lord Niklas. We are very much looking forward to yours as well. Princess Sabella, I have something to discuss with you as well that involves neither weddings nor best friends, but I shall send you a messenger." He turns toward Vercyn then with a little laugh, shaking his head, but he does not try to explain it, merely spreads his hands out in surrender.

Elgana checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 16 higher.

Elgana looks at the ice, looks at that offered hand and then she just breaks into a brilliant smile. "As ready as I can ever be!" And onto the ice Elgana glides. Look! She isn't on her ass! "This isn't so bad!"

Gwenna checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 20, rolling 1 higher.

Bliss has rolled a critical success!
Bliss checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 20, rolling 166 higher.

However, Alessandro adds toward Monique with another laugh, "No, cousin, not tonight. I believe it would put a damper on the festivities to see me break my leg in front of all our family and friends."

Lorenzo edges out onto the pond with Gwenna, one arm out, his other hand gripping hers for balance. "Ah... who thought up this activity? Sliding around on a frozen pond, ah!" And mere feet from the pond's edge, Lorenzo loses his footing and wipes out spectacularly, particularly impressive since they were barely inching along. Probably everyone at the party sees him go down on his ass. Hopefully he doesn't drag Gwenna down too.

Sabella gives Alessandro a warm smile, "Of course! Send a messenger and I shall reply promptly--but do so after you have time to relax after the party and enjoy yourself tonight. You both deserve it!"

However, Alessandro adds toward SIMONE with another laugh, "No, cousin, not tonight. I believe it would put a damper on the festivities to see me break my leg in front of all our family and friends."

Who loves a wedding reception? This guy ---------> Duarte. He couldn't be happier to be. Couldn't be happier to drink free booze. Couldn't be happier to eat free food. He's just happy.

Okay, so, the first time that Bliss went on the ice - that was bad. This time, she slides out hand-in-hand with Elgana, and doesn't rush it, instead getting a feel for the skates, how they purchase into the ice, and her confidence quickly grows. Three steps in, she's let go of Elgana's hand, and then she tentatively lifts a leg, pulling it in close to her. "Oh!" she says, as the spin begins and she laughs. "It's like - it's like ballet, but easier." And then she's twisting, her leg bending to drop nearly to the ice, and her other gets enough purchase that she spins in an arc and begins to pick up rapid speed. The gown she is wearing? All of that extra seasilk in it begins to blossom out as she comes up, rising onto a toe and beginning to twirl in place, laughing as she does so, still carrying some forward momentum across the ice. That initial blunder is gone, and slowly, she begins to add more acrobatics in, picking up the art almost immediately - and just. Making normally impossible moves look /easy/.

"Lady Margret, I assure you, you will always be my best lady friend to whom I am not related or betrothed." Niklas nods to Sabella, folds up his message and puts it away. When Vercyn approaches Niklas holds up a hand to the man. "Your grace. Lord Niklas Kennex. For now. I believe we've met previously at The Spirits. This is my betrothed, Princess Sabella Grayson. So give me a week and I'll be Prince Niklas Grayson and then I'll be utterly intolerable. More intolerable." Alessandro gets another smile. "I was genuinely honored to have been invited, Alessandro. Thank you for making us a part of your special day. Oh, bring your practice sword. It's possible my cousin Ian misunderstood something Sabella said and will be getting his brothers to attempt to kidnap her. Islander wedding games."

Elgana simply watches Bliss as she shows off, brows perked up toward her hair line. "Are you certain you've never done this before? You are a natural!" Elgana isn't floating along the ice as easily as Bliss is, but she's upright and that's all that matters! And as Bliss keeps going, Elgana just simply keeps staring, giving the Whisper room to move.

Simone smiles warmly at Sabella and Niklas, "Thank you both for coming. It was lovely to see you both." Quietly she moves over to watch the ice skaters, wrapping her arms around herself as she smiles over at her friends and family enjoying themselves on the ice. She takes a warm drink from one of the servants and sips it as she watches. At Bliss' skating, her eyes widen slightly with a very impressed look. "Oh my, she is really good at this."

"I can't wait to see your wedding. I'm sure it will be stunning." Margret says to Niklas and Sabella as they make their goodbyes. "I'm so happy for you both. And I'm glad to hear it, Lord Niklas." She may have said more, but there are people falling on the ice and she looks concerned. And then Bliss, after falling, does that perfect spin. She gasps, and then claps her hands together. "Bravo!" She's still clapping as she says to Simone, "Me? On ice? Oh no. It's my wedding and I get to watch everyone else fall." She grins.

Duarte checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 9 lower.

"That's actually a good question," Gwenna muses. "Perhaps someone was trying to escape and while others had always avoided the frozen waters, they had no choice?" Bliss' next turn on the ice is impossible to miss. It's like angels have set her before them, really. "Gods and spirits," the princess murmurs. But then Lorenzo loses his footing and Gwenna nearly does as well, but miraculously - not like Bliss ice skating miracle on ice miraculously though - keeps from going down, somehow clinging to the threads of balance. "Snowballs, are you okay? I feel terrible now," she says and goes to her knees on the ice in front of Lorenzo, brows arched. "Okay. We can successfully mark off another adventure, hmm? And you are a darling for doing it with me. Shall we go back and get more mulled wine?"

Monique looks between Cullen, to Bliss, and then back to Cullen. "Spirits! I think there's no point in us competing now. There's no way we'll be able to come even close to /that/ spectacular performance!" Does she sound jealous? Of course she does.

"I'm pretty sure he was kidding, or at least I was, but that note makes me wonder so we'd best go see about it. If the King's Guard is on edge now, a fake kidnapping at a royal wedding is probably not going to help." Sabella takes Niklas' arm, "From the stories I've heard, Porter can get a horse anywhere so. Let's not take any chances." She nods to Simone, then smiles at Margret and Alessandro, "We shall speak soon! And congratulations once again."

Duarte makes it a few paces onto the ice. Falls on his eyes with a thud. Spins himself around and uses his hands to scootch his ass like a dog back off the ice.

Elgana checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 3 higher.

Practice sword? //That// gets a laugh from Alessandro. "I shall find one specifically for the occasion," he promises, "and hope that I do not become the first person to kill themselves with their own practice sword." He might have said more, but then Bliss is basically killing it on the ice, and his eyes widen as he starts to applaud. He looks over to Simone again with a decisive nod, though still watches Bliss out of the periphery, because he just can't help it. "Isn't she? Now I shall really not try to follow that performance." He leans in to murmur something to Simone then, before nodding in farewell to Niklas and Sabella once more. Duarte's arrival gets a lifted hand and a nod, as well. "Count Amadeo, nice to see you."

Elgana keeps skating along, not nearly as graceful as she was as she hits a few rough patches that cause some pause but upright she remains. Though startled a touch when Duarte is suddenly there slipping and falling. "Count! When did you get here?" she says as she turns and skates toward his scooting figure.

Bliss continues those easy movements as she launches into the air, performing a horizontal spin to land her legs on the other side, then she suddenly grinds her blades on the ground and sprays a thin layer of ice - all over poor Duarte, who just happens to have landed in the path of the spatter from it. Still, Duarte, be comforted - the ice is glittering just as beautifully as it can before it dusts over you. She takes a few breaths, then grins at Elgana, answering her question with, "Twice, but - well, there's stories with those." She slows down to an easier pace, saying, "Once was part of the Folly - I, well, had other things on my mind. I wish I'd done that!"

"I dare say, you're a lot better than you had me believe. You just might outskate her... but I'd avoid complacency." The Mazetti laughs as she tries to build speed gradually. "Oof." She winces as she watches Lorenzo drop. "Hot springs. Then it might have been worth it."

Alaric is similarly struck by Bliss' transition to skating goddess, nudging Monique in the side. "Can we steal her skates?" he inquires by way of heist suggestion.

Niklas glances sidelong at Sabella, "Fake kidnapping?" Then he's sending up a wave that encompasses basically everyone. Even the king. Even Monique! It's a big wave. Then he's pulling Sabella with him toward the exit.

Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting, Valor, a small brown and white corgi puppy, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting, 2 Grayson House Guards, Clark, an exasperated guard leave, following Sabella.

Isabelle, who isn't happy to be doing this, Steve, an ungainly pelican, Sabella leave, following Niklas.

Vercyn nods to Niklas. "Yes, I recall that, Lord Kennex. Hopefully you weren't the person who tossed cabbage at me that one time I sang in the Spirits." The Duke attempts to recall, but seems more amused at the thought than otherwise. Still, it appears Sabella is about to yank Niklas off, so Vercyn simple inclines his head at the pair. "Good evening, then. I am sure when we meet next, I'll be 'Your Highnessing' you, Lord Kennex."

After dragging his ass off the ice like a dog, Duarte then shakes himself like dog sending those ice flakes flying about. "We don't do this sort of thing in Setarco. Ever." is his offered excuse for being horrible at anything physically involved.

Simone smiles warmly at Alessandro, then leans in to whisper back to him before walking off with a teasing expression clearly written on her face. Moving quietly over next to Vercyn she offers him a warm smile, slipping her arm through his should he allow, "Enjoying the party? Would you like a warm drink?" Turning her head slightly she motions a servant to bring Vercyn a fresh drink regardless of his answer. Looking toward the ice skating, she says softly, "It is a lovely sight to see our friends and family enjoying themselves." With a slight smile, she tilts her head and says in a soft voice, "I could not help but note the messengers. I trust all is well?"

Monique laughs to Alaric's suggestion, giving a shake of her head. "I think we'd have to steal more than her skates, Your Majesty," she comments with the unmistakeable note of envy, and then leans in to whisper something back, with a nod.

Whatever Simone says to him has Alessandro grinning, and he nods once to her, again decisively, before he moves toward the ice to watch the skaters again, taking Margret's hand as he does so.

"It is good to see you," Elgana says to Duarte as she skates a little closer, giving him room as he shakes himself off. "I can't imagine you have a lot of ice for skating in Setarco, though."

Margret collects a mug of mulled wine and a warm blanket, and trudges down to the edge of the pond to offer both to Duarte. "Count Amadeo. How lovely of you to join us." She squezes Alessandro's hand before letting out a content little sigh.

Bliss turns a moment, now that she's stopped, seeing all the looks at her, and she grins sheepishly before she glides back to the bank near Elgana and Duarte, saying to the latter, "If it makes you feel better, I bit it, too." She sounds fairly sincere about that, and there's actually color on her cheeks and neck. "I didn't think it would - well," she says, then waves her hand, getting the skates off and looking for her slippers again.

Alaric nods sagely to Monique. "Well, sounds like we'll have to do some -serious- heist planning, then." He grins at her. "Well, now that we've made skating fashionable and fun for everyone, I'd say we've earned ourself another trip for more whiskey," he declares congratutorily as he peels off from his loop and back to the edge of the pond, waving to the rest of the skaters as he exits. "Have fun! Don't hit your heads!" he advises brightly.

"Lady Margret, thank you for the warm welcome. My deepest good wishes and blessing for you and your nuptials." Duarte says with a bow and a broad smile for Alessandro as well. He regards Elgana and Bliss each, "The experience was worth the pain, all the same. Good to see you both."

Vercyn doesn't at all object to the arm-looping by Simone, only turning his head to regarding the much more compact Marquessa now at his side. "A warm drink would be most welcome, my lady. Nothing TOO warm, though." He notes and nods to the servant, before returning his attention to Simone. "This weather is quite mild compared to Whitehold, you see. We have springs that are colder." The Duke purses his lips and shakes his head, as if he disapproves of how everyone seems so scared of the cold. "And pay no heed to the messengers. Sometimes I feel like hiding away in some secret location, and see if they can still locate me. Alas, no one seems capable of escaping them."

Monique follows Alaric, stripping free of her skates and looking eager at the promise of more whiskey. As they pass Duarte, the Minx smiles. "Ah, Count Amadeo! Good to see you. How is our mutual acquaintance, Lord Vallor? Well tonight, I hope? Keeping his head straight?"

Alessia is as silent as her partner as she takes notice of Bliss' skill, her expression oen of awe. "I couldn't agree more. Perhaps with more practice though, we may be able to...." She watches Bliss leave the pond with a curious smile. "That was marvellous, my lady." She raises her voice although her tone remains polite.

And off the ice goes Elgana, grinning as she does and stepping aside for Alaric and Monique so they can pass by once they have reached the edge. "Always lovely to see you, dearest Count. Do you have the Lady Ennettia hiding somewhere warm and cozy with a glass of wine in her hand?" she asks as she starts to peer about for the Lady in question.

"Thank you very much, Count Amadeo," Alessandro replies to Duarte with an equally wide smile. "It is very nice to see you again." He inclines his head to the other man, before looking back toward the ice and snagging his own cup of mulled wine to take a sip from it.

Smiling at Alessia from the bank, Bliss lifts her hand to wave to the woman, even as she manages to get into her slippers. "Thank you, darling! I don't think I'll ever be able to pull something quite like that off ever again," she admits with a laugh as she stands. "I felt - inspiration. The touch of Jayus, perhaps, everything just seemed to make sense for a moment there." She steadies herself after, then puts her hand on Elgana's shoulder, saying to her, "Thank you for talking me onto the ice, dear," she says softly, before smiling to Duarte. "And thank you, Count Amadeo, again, for helping make sure I was alive today to do that. The wound is closing quite well."

Simone laughs and looks up at the Duke with a teasing look, "The cold does not disturb me as much as it does some. In truth, there were times in the winter that we would escape and go swimming in the lakes before they froze too solid to do so. It is quite a bracing experience I must admit." Her lack of a cloak this evening likely lends weight to her statement. "I am certain the cold is far different in Telmar than farther north though, but we still had our fair share of it." She smiles wryly and nods in understanding to his comments on the messengers, "Indeed, I have occasionally wondered how far I would have to go to actually find myself outside of their reach as well."

Alaric smiles agreeably to Duarte as well. "Count Duarte," he echoes, glancing at Monique. "Lord Vallor? Sounds like quite a headstrong fellow," he quips as he continues along to avail himself of a bottle of whiskey and two new glasses.

Cullen checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 26 higher.

Grinning at Alessia with a quick wink, "I am all for more practice, Lady Alessia. Perhaps with enough, we'll...come...somewhere remotely close to it? There's only one way to find out, yes? After all, we're both quite graceful people, are we not?" And at that, Cullen pulls off a perfectly...adequate...spin on one foot with his Ostrian partner, keeping their hands high up in the air. "Well. Not Champion Bliss level, not yet. But we'll keep at it, yes?"

"I am getting a bit chill." Margret says, and she leans against Alessandro a touch. Alaric's comment on whiskey has her saying, "Princess Gwenna brought us a bottle of Farhaven whiskey. We should go into the tent and taste it along with some food." She turns then to start that way, pulling Alessandro along if he comes willingly. As she limps to the tent she calls out, "Whiskey if anyone wants some!"

Alaric has left the A Skating Pond.

Monique waylays Margret and Alessandro as they head to the tent, whilst Alaric commandeers the booze. "Cousins, I promised the King a tour of the hedgemaze and a view of the glorious statue therein. I do hope you'll excuse us for a moment whilst I fulfill my promise? I should hate to be foresworn!"

"It was my pleasure to watch that moment of inspiration," Elgana says to Bliss as she reaches up to squeeze that hand on her shoulder. "You were amazing out there! I think you may have some North in you." She winks at that and then nods at the talk of the tent. "We should. Even I am getting a touch cold." Her cheeks are bright and rosy, taking Bliss by the hand, which she squeezes even tighter she starts toward the tent and warmth.

Duarte bows in courtly fashion before the King. "Quite! Your majesty. Lord Vallor of House Saik. I don't believe you've heard of him - how could you? He is simply one know to Lady Monique and I to be a touch, hmmm...well he isn't very head strong."

Bliss has left the A Skating Pond.

Bliss has joined the A large tent.

Elgana has left the A Skating Pond.

Elgana has joined the A large tent.

Alessia checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 7 lower.

Vercyn tilts his head at Simone with a faux look of shock. "How have you never been in Whitehold, my lady? If you enjoy swimming in half-frozen lakes, you would love it in Whitehold. There is large lake adjacent to my Keep where our boats are built; in the winter it is frozen solid from one end to the other, but in the summer it only freezes along the shores. You could swim for miles." He muses fondly of that memory, but is interrupted when the servant returns to deliver a warmed whiskey, which the Duke accepts. "Any more for you, my lady?"

Alessandro does, indeed, come willingly, especially at the mention of the whiskey. He puts an arm around Margret -- to help with the chill, of course. "Certainly," he says. "I quite enjoyed the Farhaven cider, and I am sure it is equally delicious." He looks over to Monique and Alaric then, and gives his cousin a look of feigned outrage, before it softens into a smile. "Of course," he says. "Just do not lose the king at our wedding, if you please."

Alaric hmms in mild curiosity at Duarte. "Is that so? How unfortunate. I suppose not everyone lives up to their name, alas," he observes. Poor Lord Vallor, he wasn't very valorous after all apparently. He glances from Alessandro to Monique with a slightly suspicious squint. "You couldn't lose me if you wanted to anyway. I'm fantastic at hedge mazes," he declares confidently.

"Whiskey and warmth sounds delightful," Bliss says, rosy-cheeked from her performance on the ice and the exertion it took, her thrill at the attention, and her just... general happiness at the moment. She leans into Elgana, hand in hand as they walk. "Thank you," she murmurs quietly, though she doesn't quite say what for. With the thawing in the tent, she looks around for something to drink, her eyes sparkling at the moment.

Gwenna has left the A Skating Pond.

Lorenzo has left the A Skating Pond.

Gwenna has joined the A large tent.

Lorenzo has joined the A large tent.

Despite her previous confidence, the glaivedancer's footing is almost lost after her partner's manoeuver. "I am not quite at your level, my lord." She chuckles, seemingly to cover potential shame. "Perhaps we should return to the tend. I'm partial to a warm drink." With that, she releases Cullen's hand to leave the pond.

"I would hate for you to be foresworn." Margret says to Monique before adding, "And clearly the King must see that glorious statue. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy looking at my cousin the Marquis's face whenever he looks at it, Your Majesty." She remarks with a little grin before calling out to Simone and Vercyn, "Duke? Simone? Whiskey?" When she gets to the tent servants have opened the bottle and are pouring it into glasses. "Princess Gwenna should have the first since she brought it." She picks up two glasses, and walks over to Gwenna and Lorenzo to offer them both a glass before she continues passing out glasses.

"He's got guards! He'll be /fine/." But Alaric's words have Monique's emerald eyes narrowing. Challenge accepted. Booze and King acquired, Monique turns towards the side of the lodge, intent on leading Alaric around to the daunting hedgemaze.

Alaric glances from Margret to Monique again, smirking a little at her narrowed gaze. "This statue is of /you/, right?" he quips, clearly tempting fate all too cheerfully.

Simone smiles teasingly at Vercyn, her eyes sparkling merrily, "Well, then, it seems I must plan a visit to Whitehold soon!" She shakes her head at the mention of more whiskey, "I do believe I shall wait to try the Farhaven whiskey that Margret mentioned. It sounds quite intriguing!" Overhearing the mention of Monique's statue, she just shakes her head with a laugh, "Well it is certainly a sight to see if you have not your Majesty! Please trust me when I say that it is truly a very unique piece of art!" She gives Monique a teasing look, that is none the less quite fond. She smiles up at Vercyn, "Shall we sample the whiskey, my lord? You can compare it to the one you already have if you like!"

Margret drops Farhaven Label Ten Winters Aged Whiskey.

Duarte bows again and takes his leave from the king and his company.

Once inside the tent, Elgana just sighs content. "Very lovely. This has been so very lovely," she says to no one in particular as she finds herself a glass of something to drink once more.

"Alright, let's get over to the tent then and have some warmth and drinks," Cullen replies to Alessia with a graceful dip of his head as they head off of the ice, no mention made of any slip. No slip at all! Ice skates removed, he offers his arm to her once more and then it's a wave at Alaric and Monique as they go off to drink or hot spring it up or both.

Cullen has left the A Skating Pond.

Cullen has joined the A large tent.

Monique has left the A Skating Pond.

Zelda, the royal messenger, 13 King's Own Guardsmen leave, following Alaric.

Alaric leaves, following Monique.

Alessia has left the A Skating Pond.

Alessia has joined the A large tent.

Departing the ice finally, Gwenna heads back to the warmth of the tent along with Lorenzo, the Redrain actually having to pull her cloak around her a little bit after the time on the ice. Margret's kind words make her smile and laugh a little. "Oh, no, no. You and Lord Alessandro should have the first drinks! It is your gift, truly, and one I was glad to bring. I must say, this has been such a lovely reception. The atmosphere is beyond and the company even moreso. Thank you so kindly for welcoming us to share in this wonderful day with you both." Looking to Lorenzo then, she says, "One last drink before you escort me home?"

Vercyn lifts his newly acquired mug of whiskey, eyeing it and contemplating the other whiskey being offered by Margret. "When I was a young boy, my father impressed upon me that it is a foolish man who turns down a choice of whiskey." He muses, gesturing in Alessandro and Margret's direction with the mug. "Shall we?" He'll let Simone lead the way, but pauses as Cullen and Alessia return from their athletic display. "Lord Greenmarch. When you are available, I would like a word." He rumbles, but will bow his head to Alessia, whom he doesn't recognize.

In response to that, Bliss just lifts her arm and wraps it around Elgana's shoulder - a small wince coming from her as she does so, and there is maybe just the thinnest line of crimson on her bandage. But she doesn't seem to give it too much mind, instead taking a glass of what Elgana has happened, lifting her glass toward bride and groom.

Gwenna's words gets a laugh from Alessandro, and a shake of his head. "You will never get my wife to take the first glass when there are others to be served, Your Highness," he says, "so you may as well just accept your glass if you want her to drink at all." The words are said very fondly, though, with a softer smile in Margret's direction once the laugh fades. He finds a seat himself, too, looking amongst those gathered with that contented expression from before.

Lorenzo happily accepts a glass of mulled wine from Margret, smiling at her gratefully. "Much appreciated. I think it's going to take me a week to thaw out, not to mention recover from the bruises. The party has been wonderful. This has been a wonderful start to your life together with my brother." He turns his warm smile to Gwenna. "That sounds like an excellent plan. It's far too late for you to be headed home alone tonight, without your guards."

Margret smiles to Gwenna when she insists she and Alessandro have the first drink. "Ah. Well, I'd like to say a few words about my husband before we drink." She comes to stand next to Alessandro and puts her hand on his shoulder before she smiles down at him. "I drink before you all the time." She jokes before she holds her glass in her hand so everyone can get something to toast with before she begins.

Picking up two mugs of hot cider and handing one to Alessia, Cullen takes a sip before nodding at Vercyn. "Of course, Duke Halfshav. And let me introduce you to Lady Alessia Mazetti of Ostria, who had the grace to put up with my request to skate with me despite the inherent risk of death or dismemberment in doing so." Flashing a grin at the glaivedancer, his smile then turns to Simone. "Cousin, I can't tell you how much I love the gardens, and now they look all the more beautiful, something I didn't think possible in winter."

Elgana lets her glass get taken by the Whisper, falling quiet as she turns to regard Margret and Alessandro. She does lean gently into that wrapped arm of Bliss' though, her smile content.

Chuckling at Vercyn's words, Gwenna says, "I shall have to have a bottle sent to the Halfshav estate for you then, Duke Vercyn." Alessandro's quip make her laugh and then Lorenzo's draw a faint smirk. "Much too late, certainly," she agrees and then turns her attention to Margret as the new bride prepares to speak.

"I am not a guest," Alessandro points out in response to Margret, but he falls quiet then, moving to stand at her side with his own glass.

Bliss drinks from the glass that she has claimed after that silent toast, taking a slow sip, before she playfully holds it to Elgana's lips after. She leans in to murmur something to her, then just busts out laughing at something Duarte says, turning her head to say something to him.

Simone keeps her hand firmly tucked into the crook of Vercyn's arm as she leads them over to where Margret and Alessandro and the others are gathering. Pausing she smiles over at Cullen, though a curious look is extened between Vercyn and Cullen at the mention of having a conversation. She gives Cullen a look that clearly expresses the word, 'behave' since it is obvious that she is fond of Vercyn. With a soft laugh, her expression softens at Cullen's words though, as she says softly, "I am just happy that our family loves it, especially Margret and Alessandro. This was my gift to them." She turns a warm smile toward the happy couple, the love she has for them shining clearly on her face.

Alessia returns to A large tent with her companion and immediately makes a beeline for the drinks, pouring whiskey for them both. She hestiates as she returns with the mugs. "Did you want something else?" She glances around her and notices Vercyn. "Lady Alessia Mazetti." Her introduction is curt but polite enough, although she tilts her head curiously at the two men as she sips from her mug.

"A lot of you don't know this, but I didn't learn Alessandro's name the first time I met him nor did he know mine." Margret says as she looks into her husband's eyes while she speaks, "But he left an impression on me. I told my sister about him, and she begged me to let her find him. I said if the Spirits willed it I would see him again. And I saw him that night." Her smile widens, "So I consider myself blessed with Alessandro. He is so very different from me, but it isn't a difference that tears at us. Instead it is complimentary. As if I wasn't whole until I met him. I am so happy that I get the privilege of being your wife, and that all of our friends and our family get to share this with us." She wipes at her eyes and then leans in to kiss Alessandro's cheek before she lifts her glass, "To Alessandro. He gave up being a Prince for me so he must like me at least a little." She laughs a little then.

Vercyn lifts his mug towards Gwenna in a toast. "My ancestors thank you, my lady." Cullen's acceptance of his request to speak receives a nod from the Duke, who then also inclines his head at Alessia. "Lady Alessia, the pleasure is mine. Are you new to Arx, then? I..." He trails off when he notices he might be delaying Simone. "...Ah, pardon me a moment while we fill our cups. In my case, a second cup." Turning to follow Simone to get their new whiskeys, Vercyn quirks a brow at Margret's gushing over Alessandro.

As Margret speaks, Alessandro's expression shifts just a little bit. He's not about to cry -- hopefully, anyway -- but he does look moved, and his smile has none of its usual amused detachment. When she's through, he lifts his cup too, and says, "I get paid by the Court to talk, but I cannot hope to match that, so I will just say that I am very happy this day has finally come, and I look forward to what the years bring us. Different or not." He leans down then to kiss Margret gently, and though it's brief, it is heartfelt. When it breaks, he turns to look out at those gathered, adding, "Thank you all for coming. It means the world to us that you are here."

Elgana reaches up to wipe at her eyes, really just a bit of something in the air, as she listens to Margret and Alessandro speak. Her glass raises to them both. "To the happy couple!" she says, her voice full of emotion and her smile bright.

"I'd be quite happy to.." Fingers curl around the whiskey glass when Alessia hands it to him, Cullen giving her a grateful smile. "Thank you, Lady Alessia. And my apologies, I'm so used to doing introductions for people that it has become a reflexive action by now," he admits with self-depreciating roll of his eyes. Simone gets a quirk of lips and a nod of understanding, "Indeed, this garden is a great present to them. Very thoughtful, not that I would expect anything less from you." A dip of his head at Vercyn, "Whenever you wish to talk, Duke Halfshav." The Sword then turns his attention to Margret and Alessandro as they speak, a happy grin upon his face with a raise of the tumbler at Elgana's toast, "To the happy couple!"

Alessia smiles at Vercyn's greeting, finishing her whiskey as she accepts the cider from Cullen. "Now is as good a time as any." She gestures to the cups. When Vercyn leaves she turns to Cullen. "I have returned to Arx after a short absence, to answer the question." She takes a drink of cider. "How long have you been here? As well as your friend." She nods to the departing man.

Lorenzo listens, touched, as Margret tells the story of how she and Alessandro first met. "Such a lovely story," he says, lifting his glass to the couple. "Many happy years to you both, and I look forward to the nieces and nephews!" He turns and gives Gwenna a warm smile. He doesn't even say anything, though he gives her a charmed smile.

Bliss picks up another glass as well, lifting it up into the air with a warm smile. "To the happy couple," she echoes Elgana. "May Limerance watch over the both of you as you fulfill your duties, and make both of your Houses the stronger for it." She takes a sip from her glass, a thoughtful look in her eyes as she doesn't say anything further, not even to Elgana, simply lost in her contemplations for a moment.

Gwenna returns Vercyn's toast with a little one of her own. "The very least I could do for you, my Duke," she offers him and smiles kindly. Margret's words, however, broaden that smile a bit more and her expression softens as she looks between the newlyweds. Alessandro's features and additional words do nothing to keep that sort of 'aaaw' look from her own face. Raising her glass, she echoes her cousin. "To the happy couple!" Taking a long sip from her glass, she then looks up toward Lorenzo with a smile similar to his. "I think, if you are ready, I'd like you to take me home. Though we should say good-bye, of course."

Harlen leaves, following Duarte.

Simone laughs softly at Vercyn, her eyes sparkling as she gathers up glasses of the Farhaven whiskey for them both. Making a production of offering Vercyn the glass of whiskey, she says teasingly, "I do hope that you enjoy them both, my lord. Though it is quite a lot of whiskey in a short time. I would certainly hate to see you pass out at the party." Turning toward Margret and Alessandro, her eyes tear up slightly as she listens. She gives them both a fond smile before turning toward Alessia. "It is lovely to meet you Lady Alessia. Please forgive me for not greeting you sooner!" She takes a tentative sip of the Farhaven whiskey, then smiles, "Oh this is quite nice!" She lifts her glass in toast to Gwenna with a warm smile, "A lovely gift to my cousins!"

Alessia raises her cup to toast the couple as Cullen does - despite having only met them that day. "To the happy couple!" She repeats before another sip. To Simone she turns. "And you, my lady. It is not often I find the time to engage in revels. It's moments like this I wish I did..." She tilts her head as she recalls something. "Lady... Simone I think I heard someone say?"

Lorenzo nods to Gwenna. "Of course." His cup is almost empty anyway, and after finishing it, he passes it off to a server collecting such things. With Gwenna's arm looped in his, he makes his way over to Alessandro and Margret. "Thank you for such a lovely party. Let's get together soon for a quieter evening, okay?" Then he grins at his brother and fishes something out of his pocket, handing it to him. "For the wedding present I'm having sent along," is all he says.

Margret returns Alessandro's kiss briefly before she smiles broadly at him, and downs the whiskey. "Oh! This is good! And there's plenty more to drink and eat!" She says enthusiastically, but then Gwenna and Lorenzo are saying their goodbyes so she makes her way in that direction. "Thank you both for coming. The whiskey was absolutely lovely. And I would like that very much."

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

Vercyn gets his new glass of whiskey, which is lifted up in a toast to the couple also. Clearing his throat, the Duke rumbles. "I am moved to tell some story of my nephew's youth, but I feel I will refrain from embarrassing him on such a happy day. Instead, I will say that, on behalf of my dear sister and the groom's own mother, we are immensely proud that little Alessandro has grown up to be a husband.... a husband to such a lovely bride!" The glass is lifted higher before he sidelongs at Margret in a deadpan. "Just remember, my dear Margret, when you meet Alessandro's mother, avert your gaze and do not look directly into her eyes."

Harlen arrives, following Duarte.

Harlen leaves, following Duarte.

Alessandro takes a sip from his glass, returning the smiles sent his way, before he looks from Gwenna to Lorenzo as they start to say their goodbyes. "We shall," he says with a nod. "Thank you both for coming. Princess Gwenna, it was a true pleasure to meet you." He takes the gift from Lorenzo, his eyebrows raising, but he does not question it, even though he looks curious. Time enough to find out later. "Good evening to both of you, and we shall see you soon." Vercyn's words, though, get a look his way, and he laughs, shaking his head a little bit. "I am eternally grateful for that," he adds, lifting his own glass, though the comment about his mother gets a little cough, which probably would have been a laugh, if one could laugh that way about one's mother. Clearly, one cannot.

Hearing Simone's words, Gwenna can't help but grin with a little bit of pride. "I will be sure to send a bottle to you as well, Marquessa, you are too kind. Your hospitality and kindness is truly beyond measure and I'm quite thankful." Then it is off with Lorenzo to make their parting remarks to the newlyweds. "Truly, yes, thank you both so much. Everything was lovely and I had such a wonderful time. Oh, and an evening out soon sounds great, I agree. As well, I am glad to have met the brother Lorenzo always speaks so kindly of." She can hardly help but hear Vercyn, the last words especially, which elicit a quick laugh. Dipping her head to the pair, she offers waves to everyone and then looks back to Lorenzo. "Shall we?"

Bliss finally does murmur something to Elgana, and then there's a knowing smile on her face, and she guides the other Redrain Princess up toward Margret and Alessandro. "My lord, my lady, thank you so much for asking me to come see your beautiful wedding, and this wonderful reception. I believe it is time for us to get some rest, but I wish you both all the happiest in the years to come."

Gwenna has left the A large tent.

Lorenzo has left the A large tent.

2 House Velenosa Guards leaves, following Lorenzo.

Lorenzo leaves, following Gwenna.

Simone smiles warmly at Alessia and nods, "That is correct! And revels of this nature do not come as often as one might wish, yet we enjoy them all the more when they do." Giving Gwenna and Lorenzo a warm smile, she says gently, "Thank you both for coming tonight. And I do sincerely hope to see you both at House Greenmarch again soon." She tilts her head to listen to Vercyn's story. Her eyebrows raise slightly at the discussion of Alessandro's mother and she turns a curious gaze towards Alessandro, but doesn't ask more now. Though her gaze promises more questions later. At Bliss' words though she turns her head toward Bliss and Elgana with a warm smile, "Thank you for coming! And for the incredible show of skating. That is one that I will remember for quite some time to come!"

Nodding and following after Bliss, Elgana wanders to the happy couple and moves to give them hugs, because hugs are nice. "I am so happy that you both are married and that Margret is /my/ best friend," she says to them both as she pulls away from all the hugging. "It was so lovely being here for your special day. I am going to steal you both for some quiet time soon - and steal you Margret for a girl's day - but I fear it is time to depart." She gives her goodbye waves to Vercyn and Cullen and everyone! Everyone gets a waves!

Margret gives Vercyn a look of utter confusion when he suggests that she not look into her mother-in-law's eyes. She looks at Alessandro when he coughs before she looks back to Vercyn, "I'll keep that in mind. Thank you, Duke Halfshav." She calls out, "Thank you for coming!" To Gwenna and Lorenzo as they depart. She hugs Elgana back before she releases her to hug Bliss. "Thank you so much for coming both of you."

Bliss turns and wiggles her fingers in a wave to so many, before she says to Margret, "Yes, it was great seeing /my/ best friend get married and be so happy." She bumps Elgana lightly with her hip at that, then turns to Simone in particular, being sure to dip her head. "Marquessa, I would love to speak with you again sometime, on - well, many separate topics. If you would be so inclined, do feel free to send me a letter," she says, "Or I might send you one anyway," she says with a grin. Then she returns the hug to Margret, tightly, before releasing her, telling her, "You look beautiful." Then, she's leading Elgana out, once all the farewells have been given.

An amused look is given to Vercyn at the odd warning given to his sister, although Cullen can't help but grin a great deal at it before glancing at Alessia. "Good things to know, Lady Alessia. Some I am considering myself warned about looking into my brother's mother's eyes, or some great diaster shall surely away. I guess? I'm not sure." His lips twitch slightly and then a wave is given to Bliss and Elgana. "Champion Bliss, Princess Elgana, take care, and good to see you both again."

When Elgana and Bliss take their leave, Alessandro says, "Thank you both for coming! Whisper Bliss, I may have need of you soon, though not immediately." Since obviously she can't be his champion when he's challenged her to the duel. He lifts a hand to wave as they go, before he looks over at Simone to catch the look, but he doesn't explain just yet. Instead, he just takes a sip of wine.



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