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Duel: Bliss Whisper & Princess Elgana Redrain vs Lord Alessandro Greenmarch

See Prince Luca battle Messere Aleksei Morgan to first blood to decide whether Lord Alessandro Greenmarch or Bliss Whisper and Princess Elgana Redrain shall bear the illustrious title of Best Friend to Lady Margret Greenmarch. Will it go to her husband, or will he be forever doomed to rate THIRD to the Champion Whisper and the incomparable Princess Elgana?

Date

July 9, 2018, 9 p.m.

Hosted By

Luca Bliss Aleksei Elgana Alessandro

Participants

Luca Bliss Simone Sabella Cybele Aksel Aleksei Waldemai Niklas Grazia Ember Zoey Blossom Margret Elgana Alessandro Josephine Tynan Dariel Melody Amanda Soren

Location

Arx - Ward of the Compact - The Proving Grounds

Largesse Level

Grand

Comments and Log


Dueling outside in the dead of winter. Who knows why it's so popular? But there, as is so often common lately, is Bliss Whisper, though this time she stands at the Judge's Desk, seated next to Elgana, her hands clasped together in front of her. "Fellow members of the Compact!" she proclaims loudly, a bright grin on her face, and dressed in a ridiculous outfit with bright white feathers. So many feathers. "It is an honor that you have come out today to see this, truly the most important duel, for it determines one of the most important questions. Does a man, just because he is married to a woman, also have the right to claim her as his best friend - particularly when she has already bestowed that title onto two others who are, clearly, so much more deserving?" she asks, motioning to Alessandro for the man, Margret for the wife, and herself and Elgana for the clearly more deserving. Clearly. "Today, Gloria will be deciding this matter for us, at least in this particular case! And here to represent the right cause is none other than Aleksei, returned back to the ring, and this time at least not directly representing a god." She claps her hands together happily. "To her the glory," she intones to Aleksei, repeating the common prayer. "And to us, the victory!"

Georgette, 1 Greenmarch Guard arrive, following Simone.

Rhea, an apprentice shaman arrives, following Cybele.

Waldemai applauds the rousing speech.

Aksel has joined the Commoner Stands.

Josephine was passing by and made her way to the commoners stands to take a seat, bundled up against the winter weather. A duel is a duel and she came ot bear witness.

Tynan has joined the Commoner Stands.

Octavian, a silken spaniel arrives, following Zoey.

Blossom looks around something to climb on so that she can see the fight, eventually settling on climbing up a fence and hooking her legs around the top rung. With her perch selected, she reaches into her bag for paper and a scrap of charcoal and begins to sketch, humming to herself as she does.

Simone has joined the Noble Seating.

Alessandro is sitting with Margret, his best friend -- in his own mind, at least. Though whether that is true or not will be decided by Gloria! He stands as Bliss speaks, looking very somber as befits the occasion, though he does seem to be working hard to keep a straight face throughout. When Bliss claps her hands, he echoes, "To her the glory," turning toward the ring and sitting down again, getting ready for his fate to be decided.

Cybele and Rhea step on into the grounds, moving onwards to the edge of the duelling field, greeting Bliss and other familiar faces with a simple nod, crossing their arms and cradling their staff while Rhea stands nervously to the side with the satchel bag full of healing implements at the ready.



"Maybe today, not get so hurt, Bliss Softest Whisper?" Cybele suggests. "But have herbs and bandages ready for you nonetheless."

Simone enters and makes her way to the noble seating area. Taking her seat she gives Alessandro and Margret a wave before turning to watch the proceedings.

Amanda Whisper steps into the Proving Grounds dressed in fine gray wool and a hood edged in fluffy white fur. Warmth is clearly her primary concern. She wears a smile all the same, and makes her way toward the dueling ring, but only so she might catch a glimpse of Aleksei's attention. If she manages, she'll send a wave and a blown kiss toward the man, then she turns to head for the commoners seating.

Tynan wanders into the field, blatantly unhappy about being out in the cold, but here he is. He gives a two-fingers-to-temple salute on over towards Alessandro before he huddles his arms back up around himself all over and climbs into the commoner stands to sit and watch the duel.

Amanda has joined the Commoner Stands.

Elgana doesn't seem to mind the cold at all, rosy cheeked and everything. The Redrain princess remains in her seat as Bliss rises to give her speech to the crowd, a few nods of thought given to what the Champion Whisper has said. A look is given to Alessandro, her smile wide and then she shifts her gaze to Margret who gets a wink as Elgana leans and mouths something that might be 'best friend' to the other seated woman. And then she turns to say much louder, "To her glory!" And then she turns toward the sands.

Aleksei is here looking a bit taller than usual. It probably has something to do with the toddler currently perched on his shoulders, all small and pale, auburn hair and grey-blue eyes. And currently anchoring himself with handfuls of Aleksei's hair. "All right, kiddo," he says, patting the boy's leg when the time draws near. "Remember what I told you! Don't worry if I get stabbed. A little stabbing never hurt anybody." Parenting 101. Fitz is attempting some sort of very serious argument about -- /some/ part of that, even when Aleksei hoists him off his shoulders and deposits him on one of the stands to be looked over by Keso. Aleksei catches sight of Amanda and grins wide, waving big at her, before he bounds out into the dueling ring with a brilliant smile. "I for one think that dueling for best friendship is a /great/ idea," says the person who totally challenged someone to a duel over best friendship many months ago.

Zoey wanders in and heads for the noble benches. She pauses near the ring and waggles a bottle of something at Luca, however, and points at him... then gestures at her outfit with one grand sweep of her hand. She's sparkly today. That accomplished, the Kennex Lady finds herself a comfortable seat and beginns drinking.

Zoey has joined the Noble Seating.

Aksel goes and sits in the commoner stands. While he's not running around in a short sleeve tunic, he is not bundled up like the rest. Just a woolen long sleeve tunic. He stiffles back a yawn, as his eyes train onto the ring, waiting for this thing to go down.

Of course, Amanda didn't see Fitz! Soon as she spots the child, and Keso, she's changing direction over to sit there. Surely in the Commoners Stands! "Hello, young man. I do not believe we've been properly introduced," the Whisper says to the toddler. If Fitz is lucky he'll even win a classic Morgan Family Handshake. The proper display of affection!

Luca's coming along, not quite late it would seem, if the words coming from Bliss are any indication of such a thing. He's not moving fast though, that's for sure. It must be something to do with the chill that's still settled across Arx. He does look a touch daunted by the temperature, especially considering the fact that he's not wearing his longcoat on this day, lean and muscular arms bare to the ravages of the elements, but if he's daunted it doesn't quite reach his grin once he's found a spot in the dueling ring. That dark gaze is casting around at the gathered people, drifting to Bliss and lingering for a moment as he calls out, "You look good in the judge's place, Bliss Whisper!", with a wink, before turning his attention to Alessandro. It's his cousin, so he blows the man a kiss, "Don't look so somber, cousin! You remind me of a friend of mine with that expression on your face. It's not a good southern look!", and he stabs the non-murdering end of his shortspear into the sands, to lean against it a little. He wanders over closer to Aleksei, "Gods alive. He's getting big.", he says, regarding Fitz, "I hoped you'd bring him. I brought him a brownie from Lottie's. Imagine all that chocolate."

Grazia has joined the Noble Seating.

Margret is sitting at the Judge's stand with her three best friends and a broad smile on her face despite the cold. She stage whispers to Elgana, "You're still totally getting friendship bracelets even if he wins." She turns her head to give Alessandro a skeptical look before she grins. "Don't worry. I'll still like you when you lose."

Tynan has left the Commoner Stands.

Tynan has joined the Commoner Stands.

"I bled enough last week! Stitches come out soon!" Bliss calls to Luca with a laugh from the Judge's Stand, safely out of the way of harm. Theoretically. She leans her arms against the railing, then whistles out to Aleksei and Luca, "Messere, your Highness, the show is yours to take from here. Do us proud!"

Alessandro waves to Tynan when he catches the greeting from the other man, though Princess Elgana's mouthed words to Margret gets a hand over his chest, as though she's deeply wounded him. It's too much for him to keep that face, though, especially when Luca arrives. He has to grin, calling back, "This is what happens when you marry a Valardin!" He looks to Margret then, his expression softening a little, "Thank you." He then looks back to the arena, a wave given to Simone then, as well as a wide smile for her.

Lyric, an aspiring vocalist arrives, following Melody.

Cybele huffs, and leans against the judge's stand, watching the prospective duellists dubiously. "Today Cybele will pretend to be Lady Eirene and be very cross if you get hurt!" They declare, to Aleksei and Luca. "So no-one getting badly hurt today!"

"I think we'll all be happy no matter who wins or loses," Elgana says as she looks from Margret to Alessandro then, giving them both a warm smile. "And you both are still totally my best friends no matter what." And then looking out to the sands once more she calls to the Champions, "Fight well you both!"

Aleksei checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 45 higher.

Simone gives Grazia and Zoey both a polite nod as they enter the noble seating area and returns her attention to the ring. Her eyes follow Luca as he enters with a cool gaze. As she catches Alessandro's wave, she returns his smile sincerely, trying to look more cheerful.

"Stop flirting with my client!" Aleksei tells Luca, shouldering him a bit before stepping bak when Bliss calls for them to take it over. "You heard Cybele," he tells Luca sagely. "Just make sure you don't step in front of my sword." And then he grins at him, unsheathing the plain steel blade at his hip and giving it a few flourishing twists and turns in hand before he settles more at the ready for an actual attack. "Last time you brought /me/ a brownie," he reminds Luca. This is very serious business.

Grazia settles down on the noble's benches to watch the fight, because duels are an interesting way of passing the time. Her neutral expression gives none of her thoughts away, though.

Aleksei wields an unadorned steel longsword with a leather-wrapped hilt.

3 Redreef Guard arrives, following Ember.

Ember arrives, following Soren.

Blossom kicks her feet a little, balanced on the fence, occasionally looking up at the duelists in the center of the ring before looking back down at her paper to keep sketching. At one point she has to push her hair out of her face, leaving a big charcoal smudge on her temple, but the artist doesn't even seem to notice the mark.

When Melody hurriedly steps out by the stands, she tosses out a wave to the folks at the judge's desk and mimes wiping sweat from her brow with the back of her hand, seeing as the duel hasn't started quite yet. She'd flash a smile as she catches both Soren and Ember behind her, beckoning the two over to the commoner stands that she's claiming in the meanwhile.

Melody has joined the Commoner Stands.

Zoey lifts the silver cup of brandy to her lips and sips mildly as she waits for the bout to begin. She spots Simone and Grazia, giving them both gentle smiles in greeting. She's quiet, however, long legs crossed at the ankles under the silk charmeuse of her amber gown. Thank the gods for her thick fur cloak, because this is seriously no proper weather for silk.

2 Grayson House Guards, Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting, Clark, an exasperated guard arrive, following Sabella.

Isabelle, who isn't happy to be doing this, Sabella arrive, following Niklas.

Soren isn't here so much for the duel, as much as he is for the aftermath of it. A medic's satchel carried over his shoulder, he arrives on the Grounds with Ember, eyeing for whoever's in charge of said duel, which is probably going to be the judge's desk, giving Melody a gesture suggesting he's going to take care of this little thing first. "Just going to point out that if one of the two contestants needs medical care after the fight, I can provide services for either of them. If you haven't already gotten a healer squared away." Medic for hire indeed, always looking to make a buck.

Luca, not one to be shouldered around, offers Aleksei just the same right back, but in a good-natured sort of way. "It was a compliment!", he says, though his dark gaze continues searching the crowd. At a point it lands on Zoey, and there's a low whistle of appreciation from the Lycene, "Monster, you got all dressed up for this! Am I unaware of a dance, afterward?", he calls out, laughing, then shivering, before he's turning around to watch Aleksei go through some motions with his blade. "You already had your brownie for the month. Fitz is a growing child. He should get at least one a day.", he says, like he knows everything about parenting. He plants that spear in the ground again, reaches down and grabs some sand, running it through his hands and roughing them up a little, before he grabs his weapon of choice again and takes a step back, brandishing it at his opponent. "You haven't yet begun to experience the amount of sweet treats I am going to sneak that kid.", he promises, with a sharp wink.

Luca wields Viper Riot, the Lenosian dueling shortspear.

A fight has broken out here. Use @spectate_combat to watch, or +fight to join.

Elgana's words have Alessandro looking to her again, and there's no hiding his smile into a feigned serious look this time. "I can agree with that," he admits. "I am used to losing in court, this cannot be much different." He turns back then as the champions start.

Ember smiles towards Melody, chuckling at Soren's words before she moves to climb up into the commoner's stands to take a seat. She pulls her cloak closer to her, shivering for a moment before she digs into a pocket to find her own flask.

Ember has joined the Commoner Stands.

Sabella comes in holding Niklas' hand, swinging it back and forth like two dumb newlyweds still in the honeymoon phase, giving him a big, lovestruck smile as they trail in behind Soren and Ember, "Oh, look! We aren't even too late for the fight! That's a first! See, this night just gets better and better! The real trick of this whole thing is that I'm actually Lady Margret's best friend and I am so certain of that fact I don't feel the need to challenge about it. I mean, maybe Alessandro edges me out. Maybe. But he has the unfair advantage of being married to her."

Zoey's full lips turn into an amused smirk when Luca whistles in her direction. "Tosh," she calls over. "I don't need a dance to look good. And you don't worry about what I'm wearing; you just focus on not getting gutted this time, alright?" She salutes her friend with her beverage and settles back comfortably to watch.

Harlen arrives, following Duarte.

Duarte has joined the Commoner Stands.

"Try stabbing him!" Bliss yells from her position above the two fighters, lifted onto the toe of one shoe as her arms provide the support, the woman clearly giddy as she watches Aleksei and Luca clash, her head lifting only briefly to offer recognition to those who had waved at her, and a smirk at Sabella, before saying something quieter to Margret in the Judge's Stand. The words 'best friend' are clearly repeated multiple times, to any skilled lip reader.

The last time Aleksei and Luca met on the field for a duel, they were bereft of armor; this time, both of them are decked out in leathers, but they're still both so light on their feet. Aleksei's blade flashes like quicksilver in those early moments, neither of them managing to get past the other's defenses, shifting out of the way of each other's blows before they can land. They get close at one point, and Aleksei manages a sharp elbow in Luca's side to try and throw him off-balance, but it'll bruise at best -- no blood. Not yet. Still, Aleksei's lips are tugged into a grin that's positively wolfish, and there's a light of energy in him that's undeniable as he meets his friend in the ring.

Zoey gets a bottle of Riven Reserve pear brandy from a monogrammed black calfskin satchel with silk lining.

Blossom checked luck + artwork at difficulty 19, rolling 21 higher.

Blossom has rolled a critical success!
Blossom checked luck + artwork at difficulty -6, rolling 112 higher.

"Hm. The joke was always that you would have married Alessandro and I Lady Margret, but I suppose that could have swapped around. But then I'd be Prince Niklas Velenosa, and that would just be weird." So, so weird. Niklas escorts Sabella up into the noble stands and leans forward, hands on his knees. As the fight continues he reaches up and takes off his top hat, revealing the coronet underneath.

Niklas has joined the Noble Seating.

Luca, for his part, doesn't seem to be letting the cold get to him at all. Or perhaps it's warmer to stay moving, and he does move, both hands on that dueling shortspear, catching Aleksei's blade when he can't manage to avoid not being where it is altogether. Those aeterna ribbons flutter and shimmer whenever he strikes, his blows confident and precise, not lacking for strength behind them, but the Morgan man is as quick as ever. That elbows catches him in the side, and he does lose his balance for a heartbeat before rolling the movement into a step back and a spread, steadying stance, "Pretty rude, Alley Cat!", he calls out, though it doesn't shake the grin from his face. He adjusts the way he's holding his weapon a bit, widening his hands just a hair and shifting the rear hand to the top of the haft instead of the bottom, before stepping in to engage once again.

Alessandro is speaking quietly to those at the Judges Desk as he watches, though Sabella and Niklas' arrival catches his attention, and there's quite an enthusiastic wave to them, as well as the clapping of hands in Niklas' direction, before something said at the table distracts him, and he looks over at Bliss with a laugh, shaking his head as he replies to her. Though then Luca takes the hit, and he winces.

Soren has joined the Commoner Stands.

Blossom scritch scritch scritch scribble, and she continues to kick her feet lightly as she draws, somehow not falling off the fence despite all of her motions, through either luck or grace. Finally she finishes her drawing and hops down, moving around to ask people where to find the little boy with /this/ duelist before pointing at the drawing.

Blossom drops who do you fight for.

Margret looks away from her conversation at the Judge's Stand to the crowds. She waves to Simone. Sabella and Niklas get a wave as well before she calls out, "Bravo Lord Niklas!" Her eyes turn to the ring then, and she grimaces in sympathy as Luca is elbowed.

Sabella has joined the Noble Seating.

"I thought it was friendly!" Aleksei calls back at Luca, /affronted/. It's a bit of a verbal dance that goes on amid the physical -- which really /is/ like a dance. They're both too good to give much quarter to each other, and as blade meets spear, both of them manage to keep the other from getting too close to a hit, dodging and parrying to safety. And there's a /flourish/ to all of it, a bit of an art: it's not just fighting to fight, after all. "You're just over-sensitive!"

Simone smiles warmly at Niklas and Sabella as they join the noble seating, "Hello again, you two. The play was lovely this evening Prince Niklas. Quite enjoyable." Catching Margret's wave she gives her a wave in return and a warm smile before turning a cool gaze once more toward the fighting ring to watch.

The little boy with /this/ duelist that Blossom searches for -- if /this/ duelist means Aleksei -- has now demanded shoulder privileges on poor Keso, Aleksei's assistant, so that he has a better view of the duel, which he watches with wide, watchful eyes and an expression of enraptured exceitement. Keso is a more resigned toddler perch than Aleksei, and there's a distinct sense of 'I don't get paid for this' in his manner.

Whatever Bliss is talking about with the people in the stands, it has her animated, her hand circling over her chest, before it drops below the railing of the stands. There's a grin on her face, a lot of laughter, and rapid movements of her head as she clearly is trying to banter while not missing anything important in the fight, generally not acting very Whisperly. Something catches her attention, and she just shoots a look at the new Greenmarch Lord that is all coyness.

There is a fierceness to Luca as he duels with Aleksei, though it isn't a fiercness he wears thick upon his handsome features. It's there in his eyes, however. It doesn't detract from that grin though, the one that delights in dancing around on the sands with a person he is seemingly so comfortable with. "Oh, it was very friendly! Friend!", he shoots back, sidestepping to the left and leaning in to catch nothing but air with that spear again, though the aeterna ribbons do flutter in such a way that even a miss is fun to watch. "What can I say? I'm a very sensitive man!", he assures. He kicks up a bit of sand, not at Aleksei, just as sort of a punctuation to his words, adding a bit of flair for the audience when he lunges through the sand to engage with his friend again.

Blossom eventually makes her way through the crowd with some of the worst directions ever, murmurs something to Keso about the drawing being for the boy when he's old enough, and then hands it over to the toddler perch with his hands already full. There's the scuff of sand that draws everyone's attention, and the artist with the charcoal smudged face disappears back into the crowd, far too short to pick out at a distance.

Niklas returns waves to various Greenmarches. "Thank you, Marquessa. Make sure everyone knows," he adds a little loudly, "that there are still tickets available for later in the run!" Then he turns his attention to the fight, calling out, "Go whoever is fighting for Alessandro!" He looks back to Simone, "Luca, right? They're cousins or something?" Then to the ring again. "Well, I'll probably cheer for Luca either way. I think he has the goods on Ford. Or the bads. Probably mostly the bads. I mean, it's Ford."

Eyeing both combatants, Soren looks like he's checking his medic's satchel, taking a visual inventory of what he has on-hand. Like he's getting prep'd for the eventual state of his hands getting bloody.

Zoey tilts her head a bit, watching with her chin in the palm of her hand as Aleksei keeps leaving bruises on poor Luca. She huhs at one point and takes another sip of her drink.

Sabella winces a bit, "Oof, there are mercies here, right? Are you able to intervene since the whole thing is them fighting over you, Lady Margret?" She asks with a bit more of a smile. "Isn't this the first of two?"

Margret says, "l"

It's a much longer fight than the last time they met for a duel: most of it they spend in the dance of avoiding each other's blows, and Aleksei keeps light on his feet as he twists and twirls out of the way of Luca's spear, his grin unabated. He takes a little knock, trades back another, but they're likely barely leaving bruises on each other. It's not until Aleksei takes a split second of a moment to size up Luca's defenses once more and then shifts his weight, leaping forward with a sudden aggressive attack that manages to finally cut steel to skin. First blood.

Cybele gives a look and a nod over to Soren, recognising a medical satchel. And a guild member. Happy to leave the matter to him.

Bliss checked stamina + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 43 higher.

Waldemai cheers the fighters. "Well fought and an honorable end! Huzzah!"

Zoey seems to be pleased when the fight is over and no one is gravely injured. She sets her cup aside and claps cheerily for Luca and Aleksei; a servant soon finds his way down to the ring with a flask of something potent for Luca.

With her sketch done, the scatterbrained artist quickly loses interest in the fight. Blossom is departing as it ends, with no clue of nor care for who won it. Instead, she waves to the people who gave her directions and disappears into the city.

Aleksei picks up who do you fight for.

It's that side again. That must be Aleksei's lucky side, where Luca catches the blow from that steel longsword. He knows he's had it. How can you not feel the parting of flesh by a sword so finely forged? But the crowd's here for a show, aren't they? So he couches his arm down around the blade of his friend's weapon, and just rolls with the wince that comes naturally from the pain of it. "My organs! By the gods, my organs!", he wails, a little theatrically. As theatrically as he can manage. Who can tell how good an actor he is, really? The man isn't particularly known for it. But he can't hold the ruse for long before laughter escapes him. It's laughter, and another wince, and more laughter.

Luca checked wits + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 1 lower.

When Aleksei gets first blood, the Softest Whisper lets out an incredibly loud cheer, pumping her fist into the air as the victory cry goes on. And on. And on! Finally, she lets it go, turning to Alessandro and Margret, and saying to the former, "My lord, your Champion fought well, but Gloria has shown us the truth today!" Still her voice is loud! "Already her husband, asking to be her best friend as well is simply too much, for that honor is already held by myself and the dear princess here!" And then she reaches to unhook a coin purse from her sword belt, tossing it into the ring at Aleksei's feet. "Well done, Champion!" she calls out.

Getting to his feet, Soren moves out from the commoner stands once the fighting looks to be over, already in the midst of opening his satchel, giving a not Cybele as a fellow member of the Guild. And it's toward Luca that he's heading in the direction of first. "Your organs aren't spilling out of you. Not yet anyways." There's a glance at Aleksei during Luca's dramatics. "He always like that?"

Alessandro says something at the table, his eyes turning back to the fight, watching intently -- until that hit from Aleksei that has decided that he is, indeed, not his wife's best friend. A groan escapes him, but it's mingled with a laugh as he shakes his head. "Well fought, cousin," he calls to Luca. "I suppose I should have known better than to try." He nods to Aleksei then, adding, "Excellent showing," before turning to Bliss. "I yield the title of best friend to you and Princess Elgana."

Elgana's conversation at the judges desk comes to a halt as her gaze casts out to the sands and then she is rising to her feet. She turns to grin at Alessandro and Margret. "Best friend!" she laughs and then once more her gaze is drawn to the sands as Luca starts to wail and then laugh. The Redrain simply laughs and shakes her head as she turns once more to Alessandro, her smile brilliant. "You are too kind and gracious Lord Alessandro," she says. "Both her friendship and yours are priceless."

"He is terrible." Cybele opines about Luca's acting, to Soren. "But we can cut him open and look at his organs to make sure they are not bad in any ways. I could give you an anatomy lesson." The shaman offers. Then, in their best Eirene impersonation (which grantedly is not very good) they yell at the duelist field "WALK IT OFF!"

Elgana is overheard praising Aleksei: Best defender of best friendship!

Alessandro is overheard praising Luca: A valiant effort!

Elgana is overheard praising Luca: Well fought! Second best defender of best friendship!

Margret is overheard praising Luca.

Elgana is overheard praising Margret: Best friend!

Amanda is overheard praising Aleksei: A masterful duelist!

Margret is overheard praising Aleksei.

Alessandro is overheard praising Aleksei: Thanks for making me not my wife's best friend!

Bliss is overheard praising Aleksei: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Margret is overheard praising Alessandro: You're still my favorite husband

Amanda is overheard praising Luca: Come to Whisper House for some acting lessons!

Bliss is overheard praising Luca: Yeah he fought pretty well, too, I guess.

Elgana is overheard praising Alessandro: Husband of the bestfriend! Still a really good thing to be!

There's a /split second/ when Aleksei freezes, like maybe he's about to /believe Luca/. And then he bursts out with a laugh and reaches to shove at Luca's shoulder before he thinks better of it. "You little shit," he cackles. "I barely touched you! Stop trying to scare the shit out of me!" And then he looks back out at the crowd, lifting a hand in a cheeky wave.

Aksel is overheard praising Luca.

Alessandro is overheard praising Margret: Luckily we don't have to get divorced.

Margret is overheard praising Bliss: Best friend!

Aksel is overheard praising Aleksei.

Margret is overheard praising Elgana: Also best friend!

Alessandro is overheard praising Elgana: An excellent best friend!

Alessandro is overheard praising Bliss: An excellent best friend!

Bliss is overheard praising Margret: Best friend!

Duarte has left the Commoner Stands.

Harlen leaves, following Duarte.

"No, no... we needn't turn everyone else's ears into toilets, as your father has," Amanda says, kindly, to the toddler next to her. This said as Fitz starts saying 'shit' over and over.

"That'll raise my rate." Soren says in what might amount to deadpan humor to Cybele. "Then again, I wouldn't say no to a new lesson. There's only so much you get time to learn during battlefield triage." A gesture at Luca with his hand, "Alright. Let's see what I'm going to be working with. Let me know if you want the stitches in shape of flowers. I can also do penguins."

As the fighting ends, Simone gives a polite smile and nod to the others seated there. She then quietly stands and makes her way down to where Margret and Alessandro are. She gives Margret a hug and a kiss on the cheek then turns to Alessandro, "Well, cousin, I suppose this leaves you free to be best friends to Monique and I. So there is a silver lining, no?" Her eyes sparkle merrily as she speaks.

Zoey slips out of the stands and pauses at the ring for a moment. "Just send that flask back when you're finished with it," she calls to Luca and Aleksei both. She blows a kiss to Luca, terribad actor that he is, and braves the crowd on her way out.

Cybele follows Soren over to Luca, and, while their fellow physician makes sure there's no scarring or permanent harm, Cybele loudly expounds on the various things that COULD be wrong with Luca, gesturing at him with a jingling staff and giving what is apparently, an impromptu surgery lesson. Though thankfully their knife stays sheathed.

Ah, it's over. Aksel gives a clap or three for the pair after he's corked his bottle of whiskey and stored it of course. He rises from the stands and gives a nod to those he was sitting with before making his way out of the grounds.

Once Luca finishes laughing, bringing up a sleeve to wipe at the corner of one eye, he opens the flap of his dueling jacket, "Oh wow, you were a lot more kind this time around..", he says, the amusement still breathily lingering in his words, and then his dark gaze turns to Soren, who seems to be the physician here. "Oh, if you stick around long enough I'm sure I'll get opened up at some point. I've got a big heart, I assure you. It's a good organ. Or is it a muscle? I think Eirene yelled something about that once..", he mentions. Then he adds, seriously, "Flower stitches, please. Penguins remind me of the cold." Then a servant's bringing him something strong from Zoey, and he takes the flask, looking it over, and blowing a kiss back to Zoey, "Thank you!", he calls, before taking a sip.

Niklas sits up and gives Simone a look. "What? No. Alessandro is my best friend." He narrows his eyes. "And I am only too willing to back that up with a challenge!" He looks around. "Has a challenge ever been issued at a challenge which was then immediately resolved by attendant Champions? Because that would be very convenient and also twice the show."

Grazia claps for the show that has just transpired, the combatants having put on quite the performance. The winner or loser makes little difference; it was a good fight.

Aksel has left the Commoner Stands.

Margret stands up from her seat to applaud both champions. When Simone comes over she hugs her and kisses her cheek in return. "You all are going to fill the Champion's purses with silver over this best friend thing." She says with a laugh to Niklas. She turns to say something else at the Judge's stand then.

Zoey has left the Noble Seating.

Octavian, a silken spaniel leaves, following Zoey.

Margret has left the Judges Desk.

Elgana has left the Judges Desk.

"Both, technically." Soren clarifies for Luca. "It's about as big as your first if you want to know the size of it." Kneeling down he gets out his various medic supplies. "Eirene yells a lot of things, but when it comes to healing, it's almost always on point." And he gets to work, giving the man a level look. "Gonna get started, so try not to move." A flask from the satchel is handed to the man. "Drink, if only to dull things on my side."

Alessandro says something at the table, before he turns to Simone with a wide smile. "Of course," he says, but then there's Niklas, and he laughs, continuing, "What a wonderful idea. This is clearly something that everyone should consider in the future." He moves away from the desk then, "I have to congratulate you again on your play. I have not laughed so hard in a long while. It was truly excellent.

Alessandro has left the Judges Desk.

Simone laughs at Niklas and shakes her head, "Prince Niklas, I beg of you please do not. It is one of my many goal in life to never have a duel fought over me. As a diplomat it seems somehow a failure of my calling to allow simple words to lead to any sort of bloodshed. I gracefully concede the honor to you." She gives Alessandro a faint smile, "It seems you are already spoken for, cousin." Simone steps back quietly to stand near her cousins.

Tynan clambers out of the stands as the fight seems to be finished. Duels really are a mystery. "Sorry you lost, Lord Alessandro!" He calls over the heads of the gathered masses crowding the challengers, "Better luck next time?" That's how this works, right? With that, he's off again, out of the field while huddling his arms around and resuming muttering about the cold all over.

Tynan has left the Commoner Stands.

Bliss gives a warm smile to Simone as she approaches as well, before she practically dances away from the desk and down onto the sands, walking right over to Aleksei and slapping him on the back, solidly. "Feel good to be back in the ring, Messere?" she wonders to him. "I know this is technically your second fight, but being a paladin doesn't count!"

Bliss has left the Judges Desk.

Ember gets to her feet, and steps down out of the stands, flask still in hand. She walks towards Soren, her arms folding over her chest as she watches him work. "You made it seem like this part might be worse than it actually is." She notes, taking a drink.

"Need a Champion, Prince Niklas?" Aleksei calls over when he catches a bit of the conversation from the stands. He's grinning wide, and he steps closer to Luca to set a hand to his shoulder and give it a squeeze, making sure that Soren has him in hand before he heads back over to the side of the ring where Keso is waiting with Fitz. "See, kiddo? Humans are good at things, too!" He plucks Fitz from Keso's shoulders to deposit him back on his own. "Hey, that wasn't being a paladin last duel," he argues with Bliss. "I got paid for that! In a crisp high-five. I know what being a paladin feels like, it's different." He grins a bit. "Feels good though, yeah. Fitz, can you say hi to Bliss?" Fitz peers down from Aleksei's shoulders at her, his pale eyes wide and watchful. "Bliss," he echoes carefully. It's /like/ hi.

"Hey, I thought I was your best friend!" Sabella says, giving Niklas' shoulder a shove. "I'm going to have to have those thank you cards redone! From Princess Sabella and Prince Niklas Grayson, best friends and spouses forever just won't work with you going around challenging other people over the title!"

Waldemai has left the Commoner Stands.

Elgana smiles at something that was said at the judge's desk before she makes to follow Bliss. "Thank you," she says when she reaches the Champion. Her cheeks are even rosier now and her dark eyes bright with mirth. "You did so wonderfully well, Aleksei." And then when Fitz is plucked up and set onto Aleksei's shoulders she gives a little smile and then, she melts. "Awwww!" She nudges Bliss with a wink.

Bliss checked composure at difficulty 20, rolling 10 lower.

Amanda rises from the stands, to step toward Aleksei, as he hoists Fitz up. "We've spent this time talking, Aleksei. Fitz and I," Amanda informs the man, with a bit of weigh to those words. Then she's glancing past Aleksei. "Good day, Bliss. How are you, love?" she asks the other Whisper. Elgana gets a warm smile as well.

"That's because his wounds aren't all that terrible." Soren says without looking away from what he's doing to Luca. "First blood duels usually only require a handful of stitches. Maybe some inter-muscular ones if the cut is deep enough." He tilts his head. "Since you're here, hand me that towel in my satchel." Which he'll use to wipe blood off his hand. The wound has been cleaned and sterelized(as much as it can be, anyways), and he's not starting to stitch it closed. "These are easy fixes. If they were going til one of them gave up, I'd have more going on and probably need a second person with me." Then to Luca. "You know the drill with stitches. No heavy lifting, keep it clean, if you're gonna fuck anyone, be on the bottom so you don't rip any out. The usual."

Simone catching Bliss' smile, she calls over to Bliss and Elgana, "Congratulations! And thank you both for your friendship to my cousin!" Her eyes sparkle merrily as she speaks.

Luca's got a flask, but he doesn't see the harm in a second. He tosses his spear to the sand and takes the other flask as well, "I trust Eirene completely. She's patched me up a lot, and for sillier reasons even than the silliness of this duel." He takes a sip from one flask, then the second that was given to him, because one can never get started too early. His dark gaze turns toward Cybele and their.. stick. "That's an interesting.. er.. staff, you have there.", he says, friendly enough, offering a smile. "You're a healer also?", he asks, keeping his attention off the person who is likely going to be stitching him up. "Oh sure. I know the drill with stitches. I think. Stay on the bottom, got it. That's good advice. You're a physician with your head on straight."

Tynan's words get a wave from Alessandro as the other man departs, before he turns to Sabella. "Gloria has clearly seen fit to decree that a husband may not be the best friend of his wife," he says. That's definitely what happened. "So I am sorry to say that you may not lay claim to the title, Your Highness. If I have to challenge you over it, I shall." Though he does not, in fact, issue the challenge, just laughs, reaching for Margret's hand as he looks over to Soren ministering to Luca, to make sure that his champion is fine -- though it seems to be going well which is always good.

"Thank you!" Elgana calls to Simone as she gives a wave back. "And of course! How could we not be best friends with such a lady? Her husband isn't half bad either!" And then she turns back to smile at Amanda. "Hello!" she says cheerfully. "I'm Princess Elgana Redrain. I don't believe we've met."

"I would offer, Prince Niklas, if I didn't have something to do after! Or whoever you are challenging, same thing!" she states firmly, and then Aleksei is addressing her she gives him a smirk. "You were fighting for a god, getting paid is just a whoaheyhihello!" she says as suddenly there is a toddler in her face, and her own head just instinctively /pulls back/, her eyes widening in something that might be fear. "I'm gooooood, thanks," she calls over to Amanda. Toddler. The stun lasts a full five seconds before she blinks and looks closer at the kid's eyes, recognition flashing in her own as she looks to Aleksei, whispering something low to him. And Simone gets a wave after!

"I believe in a world where people can have multiple best friends." Margret waxes poetically before she approaches Luca and Soren to watch the other Physician put in stitches. "Goodness I should start giving that advice when I stitch someone up." She laughs outloud before she smiles to Luca, "Thank you for fighting for Alessandro." She squeezes her husband's hand before she says teasingly to him, "I married you for your Lenosian...dimples." Her red brows wag just a little. "Not friendship."

Cybele gives a little friendly wave to Ember as she approaches, the physician dropping their gruff demeanour when not dealing with a duelist. "Hello. I am Cybele. I was Voice of Mercy but now I am Voice of Physicians instead." They offer cheerfully. Then looks to Luca. Shaking the stick. "Cybele is Master Physician and Elder Shaman. Yes."

Ember offers Cybele a brief smile, nodding in their direction. "Pleasure." She offers, drinking from her flask again as she takes a look at the aforementioned stick.

Niklas shakes his head at Aleksei. "Naw, turns out no one actually wants to be Alessandro's friend that much, so I get him all to myself!" He grimaces at the low key chastising Sabella gives him. "We will always be number one pals, Sabella. Er. Okay, so I sent a Best Pals pendant to Bastien, but he never said thank you, so it probably doesn't count." He gives his wife a winning smile. "You're my best friend I'm married to, and no one can take that away from you! Contractually!"

Not far behind Amanda, Melody is pressing to her feet and following the others towards the small gathering of people. A smile was shared with the two duelists as well as Fitz as she made her way over to Elgana's side. Bumping her shoulder against Elgana's side, even. "That's Amanda Whisper, she's been a kind teacher." With introductions out of the way, the prodigal directed a small smile and a wiggle of her fingers to Bliss before focusing her attention on Cybele. "Aha! There you are. I've been made aware that I need to catch you for -- Something. Another time." So introductions weren't done. "I'm Melody."

"So I've been told." Soren nods idly, continuing with his needlework. And by gods, he's made it into a flower pattern on the wound. How he managed that is anyone's guess, but if one has to have a scar, it might as well be artistic. "Cybele knows her shit. She's taught me a thing or two since I joined the Guild." That's about as glowing a recommendation that the man can give. With a swipe of his scalpel, he cuts the stitch line, using little tweezers to finish the job, tying it all off. "Alright. You're good. Just remember what I said. Those will come out in about seven to ten days. Small pair of shears and tweezers gets the job done with pulling them out. Just make sure you get all of them."

"Have you?" Aleksei looks to Amanda and then up towards Fitz, although he can't exactly get a good view of him with Fitz up on his shoulders. "What were you talking about?" He's all innocence; whatever could his cousin be referring to? "Thank you," he adds with a grin to Elgana before he looks back at Bliss, brows lifting. "He's not gonna bite you! Are you scared of kids?" His brow furrows a bit at whatever Bliss whispers to him. "Aw, no, they're half mine! His mom's eyes are grey -- were grey. Mine are blue, right, so he's kind of in the middle! C'mon, he already looks way more like her than he does me." He gives Bliss a sad, puppydog sort of look. Why would you do this, Bliss.

Dariel strolls onto the Proving Grounds with a curious look and perhaps even a touch of caution to his normal graceful swagger. "I heard there was to be a sparring session or duel of some kind? Please do tell me the fun hasn't ended just yet?" He peers around at the large gathering of people and smiles warmly, an inviting and cheerful looking smile.

Cybele gives a little wave to Margret as well, and blinks, looking to Melody. "Hello Melody. I am Cybele, Walker Inbetween to House Halfshav and House Redrain." The shaman offers. "Is good to meet you." And, well, Soren's flattery gets a big smile. Because Cybele's so vain, they probably thought this duel was about them.

Wilhelm the Iron Messenger arrives, following Sparte.

When Melody pops up, Elgana immediately turns away from the somewhat horrified Bliss to give the Prodigal a hug. "Dearest Melody! How are you?" she asks as she gives the other woman a little peck to her cheek. And then as Aleksei starts speaking on Fitz she smiles. "He's adorable. Bliss is just so taken back by how adorable he is." She nudges the Whisper and then looks back to Amanda since an introduction had been made. "It is always lovely to meet another Whisper!"

Sabella laughs and leans in to give Nik a kiss, taking both of his hands in hers, "That's true! You're stuck with me and you've yet to learn that mentioning you've given jewelry to other people means you better have something even nicer in the works for your wife. So, really, I think everyone wins in this duel! Except you and Luca."

Simone wandering over behind her cousins she watches Soren sewing the stitches for a brief moment with Margret, then turns a faint smile to Niklas, "I am uncertain if that is disappointment or relief that you are expressing, Prince Niklas. But certainly, Alessandro is a very worthy best friend." She gives Alessandro a warm smile, "Though I shall reserve the right to call him one of my favored cousins instead perhaps, along with Lady Magret of course."

"Hello," Amanda offers Elgana, along with a polite smile. She's barely said that when Melody offers her names. There's a faint laugh. "Thank you, Melody." Beat. "Indeed, I am Amanda Whisper. Etiquette instructor, amongst other things, at Whisper House," she explains, to Elgana. Then she looks between Bliss and the toddler, and her polite smile turns just a touch smirky. Finally, to Aleksei... "We were discussing how much he likes candy. Some man in the stands was kind enough to give him some." She smiles a touch sweeter.

Alessandro can't argue with Niklas' assessment, just shrugs, spreading his hands out in a very 'well-what-can-you-do' sort of way. "I have never minded winning by default," he says. "So, best friend it is. I shall have to make you a friendship bracelet as well. I've heard that is what one does for best friends." He smiles at Margret then, before Simone's words bring his gaze back to her. "That is a very good title as well, Simone, and one which I shall wear proudly."

Jared, an overworked-looking, nervous Apprentice Whisper have been dismissed.

"Well, a pleasure, Cybele. Perhaps you'll get to stitch me up sometime soon. This is starting to become a reoccuring thing, I'm finding out. It could be time to lay off the drinking.", Luca says, before starting his new devotion toward laying off the drinking by, again, taking a sip from each of the flasks, one in each hand. He shifts enough to get a look at his stitches, which is probably against recommendation already, "Would you look at that. It really is a flower pattern. Huh. I'm.. almost inspired to get a matching one on the other side.", he mentions, clearly a bit impressed by the handiwork.

Wilhelm the Iron Messenger leaves, following Sparte.

"Is maybe possible. Heard Bliss was duelling, came to heal her." Cybele explains. "Find her in judge's seat. Very strange."

"Dearest Elgana!" Melody calls out in equal enthusiasm and warm tones, wrapping up the Redrain princess in a warm hug. "I'm --" She pauses a moment, before smiling sweetly up at the woman. "I'm doing okay, thank you for asking. And how about yourself? Were you able to /finally/ get that good night of rest?" She followed with a wink for Amanda and then a nod at Cybele's introduction. "That's right -- I heard about you from Cleo. She's always talking so highly of you."

Once Luca has been stitched up, Alessandro starts toward him, offering him a hand. "Thank you for defending my honor," he says. "Very well fought. I truly know now that it was not meant for me to be Margret's best friend." He turns to Soren then, "Thank you for assisting my cousin. The flower is quite a nice touch."

Margret is overheard praising Soren: Healers need praise, too!

Aleksei is overheard praising Soren: Great job patching up my buddy so that I can stab him again later!

"You get weird requests from soldiers." Soren explains. "There was one guy who really wanted ex-wife's initials stitched on his ass after taking an arrow to it. Eventually, you get used to it." Starting to collect his things, he takes a small jar of water in his satchel, using it to wash his hands off, pinkish blood water spilling on the ground. Ember is looked up at. "Sometimes, I really enjoy my work. Rewarding."

Luca is overheard praising Aleksei: Har har har.

Amanda is overheard praising Soren: Part healer, part artist!

"Is good. Cleo is very good peoples also. Is very fond of Cleo." Cybele bobs their head in agreement with Melody, shooting a little smile to Elgana and Amanda. And giving satisfied nods at the praise Soren is given.

Luca is overheard praising Soren: What an artist! The man knows his stuff.

Aleksei is overheard praising Luca: My absolute favorite person to stab!

"Alessandro, I will hold you to that! I've always wanted a friendship bracelet!" Then Niklas pushes himself to his feet and holds out a hand to his wife. "Speaking of contractual obligations, lets head home. It's been a very long, very good day. No reason any of that has to end."

"I was sponsoring the duel," Bliss explains to Cybele, smiling at them. "But I appreciate you coming here just in case!" she says enthusiastically. Then she is looking at the toddler again, and at Aleksei. "I mean, he looks like you, too?" she counters. "But - just not used to kids! Don't do a lot with kids. I, uh - need to go a bit," she says with an apologetic smile.

Ember reaches up to pat Soren on the shoulder, holding his flask out to him. "I might have changed my mind on the flower after seeing that. Nice work." She tucks her cold hands into her cloak and shivers.

Aleksei drops Toddler Fitzcarraldo.

"Who is your friend, Melody, love?" Amanda asks, as she looks over to Cybele and returns that wave, holding a polite smile as she does. She looks back, to see the man doing the impressive stitches. There's an approving 'hm!'.

"That is some lovely stitching." Margret says in a tone that suggests she knows good stitching. She smiles to Cybele. "There is so much talent in the guild. I really must arrange another mixer so we can all meet each other." She slips her arm into Simone's, "Oh! When Bliss is not busy we should ask her to let us see the ballroom so we can plan more for the Gala."

"Aw jeez, how much candy has he had? Luca was threatening to slip him a brownie next." Aleksei frowns anxiously at Amanda. "How much candy do you think it's okay for him to have?" A++++ adulting. He calls over to Luca, "Don't let him see the brownie!"

Aleksei picks up Toddler Fitzcarraldo.

Sabella takes that offered hand with a smile and hands, laughing once again, "We definitely need to celebrate more. Like for an entire week, I think! While also mourning Alessandro's lost best friendship. You'd only be doing your duty, really." She says solemnly, but then can't keep a straight face, kissing him again, "Come on, before someone challenges us for being too happy! Good fight, Luca! I liked the part where you lost!" She calls out cheerfully. "That's what you get for stealing my tiaras!"

Luca reaches out to shake Alessandro's hand, "Thank you for having some good humor about it. It's not every day you get to let Gloria decide you can't be your wife's best friend. The Gods are fickle creatures, sometimes.", he assures, with a quick grin. "We should probably get drinks again soon. I haven't cracked that bottle you gave me, yet. Dinner, in the coming week, maybe?", he asks, before looking back to Soren, "I can imagine one might get all sorts of interesting requests from soldiers. They've clearly given you plenty of practice, though. That's a solid job." Aleksei grabs his attention though. He calls over, "Oh, I forgot about the brownie! He should get it now!"

"I was honest about the penguins. But no one ever asks for those." Satchel packed up, he takes back the flask and getting back to his feet. "Gonna head down to Traders. All this work has gotten me a touch thirsty." People are given a bit of a nod, Cybele, Melody, and Luca in specific. And then he heads off, looking like Ember is going to follow along with him.

Soren has left the Commoner Stands.

Ember has left the Commoner Stands.

3 Redreef Guard leaves, following Ember.

Ember leaves, following Soren.

Niklas offers waves and the like, then pulls Sabella down the benches to walk on home.

Niklas has left the Noble Seating.

Sabella has left the Noble Seating.

2 Grayson House Guards, Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting, Clark, an exasperated guard leave, following Sabella.

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

Cybele nods a happy smile to Margret. "That would be nice yes. More speakings, arranging of teaching. Reigna friend says Cybele is for teaching in guild." They explain. Tapping their lips and leaving Margret to her discussion with Simone, then glancing back to Soren. "It is good work you have done. Cybele would ask for penguins." They assure.

Simone watches Alessandro approach his cousin, her expression carefully composed, but with a cool expression in her eyes. As Margret loops her arm through hers though, she turns and smiles warmly at her, "Indeed we should. I am anxious to see it so we can determine if our plans will work with the space." She turns to give Niklas and Sabella both a wave farewell.

Amanda's gaze sweeps back to Aleksei. She blinks. "You can't seriously expect /me/ to know..." she says, sounding just a touch mortified. Knowing about children? Nothankyou! "My regulating candy consumption starts when they're old enough to need to worry about getting chubby. At this age, chubby is viewed as adorable. So... some candy will not be a problem," she concludes.

"My friend?" Melody echoes Amanda as she slants a sweet smile at Cybele, "Well, we've only just met, but she goes by Shaman Cybele. Cybele, meet the most wonderful Amanda Whisper." A hand falls on her hip and she turns to face Luca next. "Your Highness. I bet you on and I lost," she complains, "I even brought a /poster/ of you to cheer you on. I'm so terribly disappointed!"

Melody drops charging Luca with dagger and blade.

Dariel looks a bit lost, pouting adorablly when no one seems to notice him. However when Sabella calls out about stolen tiaras he wanders over to her and tilts his head. "Thats what this was all about? Stolen tiaras? I...cannot say thats a bad reason for fighting actually." He grins cheerfully and bows with a flourish. "I don't know if we were introduced properly last I saw you or not. Lord Dariel Bisland, at your service."

Grazia has left the Noble Seating.

Gia the peregrine falcon, 3 Rubino and Zaffria guards, 2 Armed Confessors, Rary the Lycene beauty leave, following Grazia.

"Of course," Alessandro replies to Luca with a nod, "I shall send you a message. Always good to see you, Luca." He smiles, reaching to clap his cousin on the shoulder -- gently -- before turning to Aleksei. "Master Aleksei, well fought as well, of course. I cannot even be angry -- it was beautiful to watch." With that, he turns back to Simone and Margret. "Shall we? At least I still get to go home with my wife. That is the most important part."



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