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Ball in the Palace

The 1010th year after the Reckoning is fast approaching, and there's going to be a ball in the Palace to celebrate the enduring nature of the Compact. All are invited. There will be food and drink in abundance, music, dancing and a marvellous chance to meet people from across Arvum.

Date

Nov. 24, 2018, 6 p.m.

Hosted By

Liara

Participants

Lisebet Corban Sebastian Sapphira Victus Maddox Terese Tovell Evaristo Donella Samuele Lore Theo Caspian Amari Tikva Lilia Elsbetta Gianna Eddard Macda Archeron Rook Yasmine Anabelle Acantha Sabella Niklas Veronica Sabine Reese Thorley Ouida Duarte Rinel Aella Miranda Gilroy Niccolo River Caith Kaia

Organizations

Grayson The Crown

Location

Arx - Ward of the Crown - The Palace - Great Hall

Largesse Level

Extravagant

Comments and Log

Duarte

Attending the ball at the palace was a blast. I had quite the time muddling my way through on the dance floor and had the most gracious of partners who managed to enjoy herself regardless. My protege, Rinel, also attended and was her usual charming self. My thanks to Princess Liara, the Crown and House Grayson. None greater.


Reedy, a King's Own aide arrives, following Corban.

2 House Velenosa Guards, Renault, the mustachioed Lycene arrive, following Theo.

Lisebet arrives with her sister, the pair of Farshaw siblings not necessarily identifiable as such, but still so. There's definitely a gleam in Lisebet's eyes, mischief showing, and a new dress to be worn. She's relaxed, looking forward to the fun. "Come on, Elsbetta, everyone will be glad to see you."

2 Novice Keaton Huntsmen arrives, following Amari.

Anya, the cool as an ice cube Champion apprentice, Renn, the mousy, scholarly brunette, Morgan, a roguish looking gentleman arrive, following Caspian.

Caspian arrives, following Lore.

Liara emerges into the hall, and while there are people already there, the band - presumably by prior arrangement - gets to playing as the Grayson princess arrives, providing a subtle ambience. She raises her voice a little to greet those people present: "Welcome! If you have not already, help yourself to food or drinks. You are all most welcome." Helping one's self in this instance may presumably also take the form of asking one of the numerous bustling servants. Then Liara turns to site herself near the door to greet further new arrivals.

3 Last Watch Sentries arrives, following Donella.

Caspian checked dexterity + legerdemain at difficulty 15, rolling 35 higher.

"It feels odd being here /not/ on duty, doesn't it, Tovell?" asks Corban as he walks into the palace alongside his brother, the other Sir Telmar. "I feel like I should go find a door to stand in front of or a guest to demand his name." But it is said in all good jest as the First Captain waves off salutes from the King's Own that /are/ on duty tonight.

Dressed -- deliberately, one might guess, and unusually -- in a mixture of black-and-white, Lord Sebastian Pravus sweeps into the ball room. Immediately, he claims a glass of wine from a passing server: more as a prop than any particular desire to drink, it would seem, since he doesn't immediately imbibe. Instead, he steps towards Liara with a growing smile. "Princess Liara, what a lovely ball you've put on." His gaze flickers around the room -- perhaps looking for someone, or merely admiring the setup. "You always seem to outdo yourself."

Sapphira arrives here alone. The word of a Ball intrigues her so much, she left behind the warm manor and travelled here to see the beauty of the Palace. She hopes to meet some new people, and hear some inspirational music tonight.

It's something of an oddity for the Prince of Maelstrom to be attending a ball. Yet, Victus is here. He's not dressed in excessively formal garb, but rather form over function. His greatcoat is freshly dusted with the snow from the outside which it slowly shakes away as it drifts across the floor. Sat upon his shoulder is the Claw of Arx herself, and his guardsmen divide off into their own corners as to not crowd the Prince with an armored shell of reavers. Beyond his dress, the man is also wearing a rather severe expression. As is natural. His eyes remain on the crowd as he himself remains on the periphery of everyone filtering in.

Maddox is just walking around the peremiter of the floor with Kaia, speaking softly to her. "Thinks look to be starting to happen."he comments, as he sees the procession of people arriving.

Terese arrives, the stately clomp-clomp of platemail announcing her presence to all. Ah, the joys of being a Valardin. She offers a friendly smile to Lisebet and her companion as she arrives, she tromps about offering pleasant greetings to those in attendance, happy enough to strike up conversation with those who wish it.

Tovell looks like he hasn't entirely decided what he thinks about being here off duty either, so he casts his brother a sidelong grin as they enter. "I comfort myself," he says, "with the knowledge that one way or the other we are /always/ on duty." He too nods to the Sivler Swords on duty as he goes by, and to people he knows outside that order, glancing around for a table. "It will be nice not to have to stand all night at least."

Evaristo lingers at the doorway for a while, just taking in the scene, browsing for familiar faces of which there' none that he can see. This does not bother him, a growing smile on his face as he lazily saunters in and picks out a drink from one servant, some snacks from another so that he soon can occupy himself with the very free food, before socialising.

"Cousin," says Donella to Victus, as Sebastian sweeps by. The timing is such that she could be addressing either of them. As she takes herself round to make her courtesies to the hostess, she asks of the rather more severe one, "Where has your lady wife gotten off to? How will I know how far behind the fashion I am, if she isn't on your arm?"

"Thank you, my lord. The question still remains of what way I intend to surprise my guests," Liara remarks to Sebastian, though she does add, "I'll let everyone know once most have arrived." She continues to dally by the entrance to the hall, almost invariably where someone from the King's Own would much rather be standing, offering welcomes to people as they filter in.

towering above many, The visage of a Lycene man with the hair and eyes of many a Rubino graces the presence of the hall with an almost comically startled look as there are quite a few people about when he drifts in wearing the colors of his house. He pauses, at the door, murmurs to a guard, then pauses to make sure his greatsword is firmly secure in his baldric, explaining to a guard about the weapon before he is permitted, into the hhall, shuffling around many and almost knocking into Evaristo, before he sighs in relief getting his broad back against a wall.

"Princess Terese, good evening. You look wonderful as always. Have you met my sister, Elsbetta?" Lisebet both asks and greets at the same time. She returns Liara's acknowledgement of the early folks with a smile and nod of her own.

Cecily, a coy secretary arrives, following Agostino.

"That's the spirit," says Sir Corban to his brother Tovell, clapping him on the shoulder and giving a small smile. "Do you have anyone you are hoping to meet tonight? A princess I might make an introduction to or somesuch?" He seems to be teasing in that regard, even as he looks for a table to himself to button himself up at.

Corban has joined the Gray Table.

Arriving together, Lore has her arm threaded through Caspian's, letting him lead the way into the great hall. Glancing up at him, she smiles, "Thank you for letting me borrow your cloak.. again. At this rate I'll never end up having my own made, its simply too convenient to just wear one of yours!" Chuckling, she removes the cloak to hand off to whomever deals with them, revealing an outfit of undeniably Lycene design. From the rubicund shoes to the sheer red seasilk netting, to the actual seasilk panels floating about, and the gold filigree that keeps her just this side of scandalous. "Well then, it would seem that once more you're at an advantage, Cas. I don't know most of the people here. How about you? Anyone you wanted to greet?"

Terese shakes her head in the negative to Lisebet, smiling to Elsbetta, "It is an absolute pleasure to meet you, Elsbetta. I have always enjoyed the company of your sister, and so I hope to enjoy yours should you ever desire it."

Theo has set up at a table of his own, drumming his fingertips along its surface, and watching the comings and goings with a detached smile. A glass of wine sits untouched before him, a full decanter next to it, but for the moment the Lycene prince, rather uncharacteristically, does not seem interested in drink.

Tovell has joined the Gray Table.

Theo has joined the Green Table.

In walks the pair of Champions, Caspian and Lore, arm in arm, with the man smiling to his companion and speaking to her as he says, "I might as well let you keep that cloak, if you keep forgetting to buy one!" He says to her with an amused grin. Looking around at the guests, he seeks out familiar faces, then guides Lore over to Donella and Victus, greeting the two with, "Prince Victus, Princess Donella, always good to see you, especially you, princess. How has mother hood been treating you?" He looks over to Lore, explaining to her, "Princess Donella is the one who I owe my freedom to."

Amari filters in with many others, but by her lonesome. She offers a polite curtsey to the hostess, murmuring a 'Your Highness' as a greeting and acknowledgement both. She'll sweep on by afterwards, not wanting to hold up the line of guests arriving. From there, off to a side which happens to be where Victus and Donella have ended up. She suggests another curtsey to the pair and offers a smile, but she doesn't interupt beyond that and doesn't get near enough that the Claw might pounce her.

Iseulet has joined the Darkened Alcove.

Tikva arrives in a swirl of fabric and glittering gems, considering the broad swath of people here as she arrives blithely unescorted and bright-eyed with a crooked smile on her lips.

More of the Telmarch arrives soon enough; Lilia Telmar, not far behind all of them, though her representation of Valardin fashion involves enameled scale, complimenting a gown appropriate for a ball. As if she might expect to dance at some point. After she's made some proper greetings, beginning with the princess-hostess. "What a splendid event." And then she's off, off to get a glass of wine and to join the milling mass.

Elsbetta says with a friendly smile "Good evening Princess Terese very nice to meet you. I hope we will have many more opportunities to meet and get to know each other"

Thistleton, an elderly and devoted manservant arrives, following Macda.

"Oh, I do so love surprises," Sebastian replies to Liara. "The last one was quite well done. I'm not sure how you'll top your last effort -- but I look forward to it," the Pravus Lord says with a genuine interest. As she turns to greet other arrivals, he murmurs, "I'll leave you to it," as he steps further in. If the Pravus Voice is surprised to be greeted -- maybe -- by Donella -- he covers it well, offering a brief upward twitch of lips and a nod to the Princess. Given she's in conversation with Victus, however, he doesn't stop to talk, weaving his way through the growing crowd towards Lilia, reaching to touch her elbow lightly to gain her attention.

Tovell follows Corban to his table, foregoing the drinks for now although he does get himself some food. He bows to Liara as he goes by, and to Terese with a smile, adding similar greetings to those he knows as he settles down. His reply to Corban is somewhat lost in the din.

"Cousin Donella." Victus greets in kind, a thin grin working its way onto his lips. "I'm not sure where the wife is to be honest. She might be helping Prince Jasher rearrange the Cross Hall. Or she's chasing kittens out from under the furniture. Or..." A hand raises to rub at his bearded chin in thought. "Maybe those four kids are being an awful problem. Take your opportunity, you can be the brightest dress in the whole room." A hallow chuckle rumbles in his chest before he's turning to the pair of Champions, Lore and Caspian. "Grandmaster Caspian. And... We met before?" He poses to Lore. There is also a nod for Amari's appearance, albeit with a disdainful glare from the maimed feline decorating Victus' shoulder.

Jeeves, a sophisticated valet, Yasmine arrive, following Rook.

Lisebet grins at her sister, and then to Terese, amused somewhat. "Elsbetta is a bit more shy than I am, but I thought to bring her out and introduce her to a few folks." Never mind that Elsbetta is actually the elder sister. As she catches a glance at Amari, she waves that way as well. And also to Princess Tikva. "There seem to be quite a few of us today, unescorted."

Sapphira walks up in line as well to greet the hostess, Liara. She curtsies to her, "Thank you for hosting such a lovely event. It is truly an honor to be here tonight and to meet you. I am Lady Sapphira Whitehawk, newly arrived to join my family here." She will leave it at that so as to be polite and allow her to greet her other guests.

Samuele has joined the Shadowy Corner.

Cecily, a coy secretary leaves, following Agostino.

"Oh! Lilia! Lilia! Over here!" Corban raises a hand to the fellow Telmar, trying to gesture her over to his and Tovell's table. And look, a princess that Corban can introduce his brother to! "Princess Tikva! I was glad to see that I did not have to carry you down the stone watch tower near the Lodge!" Probably an inside joke.

Maddox has joined the Alcove By the Stairs.

Liara warms with a ready smile for Sapphira. "A pleasure to meet you, my lady. One hopes that you dance as wonderfully as certain others of your family." Then she gets on to saying hello to whoever might arrive next.

Kaia has joined the Alcove By the Stairs.

Gianna sweeps into the hall in eerie light-swallowing black sprinkled with stars. Well, not stars, but a helluva lot of beadwork on the umbra bodice and twinkling little stones arranged all along her skirt. People here are used to umbra gowns, and somebody's always got the great idea to go with a night sky theme, but there is something slightly unusual about Gianna's glittering skirts. The Nightingale Whisper extends one arm, clad in a long umbra glove, to take a flute of wine from a server. Gloves mean no finger food. She pauses to have a glance about.

"Yes, that would have been very inconvenient for you, Sir Corban!" Tikva answers, turning to stroll towards Corban and Tovell with a bright, sunny smile on her face. "Especially considering how /very/ pregnant I was at that particular performance, it might have done unpleasant things to your lower back."

A pair of Oathlanders arrive into the Great Hall, arm in arm. Lady Anabelle Lyonesse in a seasilk gown colored like the fading and falling leaves of Autumn. Lord Eddard Clement arrives dressed in..Leather Armor. Its well crafted and has an aeterna cloak draped over its shoulders. They halt for the time required before striding in to begin to mingle.

Thus Lilia gets about far enough to procure a glass of wine before Sebastian catches up with her. The touch pauses her and wins him a brilliant flash of a smile, which suffuses with good humor just a moment later. It's the same that she gives Corban, across the way, his gesture acknowledged by a little lift of her glass. She doesn't head that way quite yet though, but lingers to murmur something to the Pravus.

Donella smiles warmly and shakes her head at Caspian's greeting, and inclines her head graciously to Lore in greeting. "As well as I suspect your championing is going, or so rumor tells me, Grandmaster. Besides, I'm to have another, come the end of spring. And you really musn't tell her such things about me. It feels dreadfully inaccurate. It's a pleasure to meet you." She turns, too, to give a genial salute to Amari. She respects the wariness, where the Claw is concerned. She is keeping herself on the OTHER side where she can.

The Princess Macda Grayson walks in with flowing silk parting for her stride. Having handed off her long cloak to her dutiful butler. Thistleton is shooed off with a last hard look, and then her eyes start scanning faces and glasses as they pass in kind. A few stand out, but she seems determined to a drink first.

Tikva has joined the Gray Table.

Samuele continues to eye the crowds with a look that is probably between a grimace and a scowl, though not it would seem of anger or discontent, rather the towering Rubino looks to be rather out of place in such a gathering, making sure he keeps out of the way of servants though he plucks up a glass of wine from a server who approaches.

Sapphira heads over toward the band at first, but the music is sweeping her up and she eyes the dance floor. She is without a partner, and looks around considering others here.

Evaristo finds his chance to bow to princess Liara and bows deeply to her. "Your Highness - thank you for hosting this amazing ball," he tells her, violet eyes intent and earnest. There's a flash of teeth, a rascally smile. "Evaristo Arterius, at your service." He doesn't linger either, giving a quick bow once more before he tosses his scarf over his shoulder to leave room for someone else.

Archeron steps into the Grand Hall, pulling at his silk shirt to settle it. And in time to catch his liege lord's greetings "You could always drop them off with Margot, Prince Victus. She would enjoy seeing them, I am sure. And her little ones would enjoy the play mates. I fear I have been very remiss in providing them with playmates." Archeron gives the room a look around, seeming a little out of place "Hrm. I must admit, we didn't have too many balls in the Ashford Keep."

Terese nods to Lisbet with a smile, "Well, shy or not, you're both absolute delights. How have you both been?" she offers to the two sisters, "I've been starting to work on medical studies, that I may hopefully save a few lives in addition to providing a strong fighting presence."

Iseulet has left the Darkened Alcove.

Courvoisier, a fluffy golden cat with a flat face leaves, following Iseulet.

Rook turns up on the arm of his lovely companion, moving through the doorway and into the palace with a smile upon his face, the casual look of a man seeking a drink and a good time. As he moves towards the glasses, a set of fingers to clasp the stem, he lifts and sips before remarking offhand, "Quite the plethora of remarkable individuals here, I see," he utters.

Sebastian's clearly amused by whatever Lilia murmurs to him, given he's laughing softly, eyes amused. He responds to her quietly, though his gaze flickers past towards the man gesturing towards her. "Are you being summoned? He doesn't look familiar -- you must introduce me," he says, easily.

Lore grins broadly up at Victus and shakes her head, "Don't believe we have. Lore Artiglio, at your service. Tal was telling me I needed to meet you, though. Something about drinking and picking a fight. This probably isn't the best place for it, but whenever the pair of you are ready to hit the Lowers and see if we all survive, I'm game!" Turning that grin towards Donella, it warms a few notches as she offers a slight bow towards the Princess. "The pleasure is mine. And if you had even a hand in Cas' freedom, then it truly is a pleasure to meet you."

Donella says, "Well, do get on that, Archeron, or I fear Margot may never let you hear the end of it. That's a pity about balls at Ashford, though I can't say we did much better on Maelstrom. The mood didn't always lend itself to revelry. Especially during the wars."

When Liara's sister, Macda, shows up, the hostess offers her a cheery little wave. A bit less formal than some of the other welcomes. Then she greets Evaristo, with a quick smile. "You are very welcome." The flow of guests arriving abates a bit, and at that juncture, the hostess detaches herself from the entrance way and makes instead for the top end of the hall, procuring a glass of red wine from a passing servant on the way.

"Ah, yes, Princess Tikva. But I would have done it nonetheless. Chivalry demands nothing less." Corban winks at the Grayson princess before then gesturing to the fellow next to him. "Princess Tikva, might I present my brother, Sir Tovell Telmar. In a show of family strength, he has the same profession that I do, in the King's Own."

Yasmine enters on Rook's arm in an outfit that is rather more muted than her usual ridiculousness. She tilts her head toward Rook when he speaks, grinning bright as she offers in return, "What do you expect of a ball held at the palace, my darling?" She eyes the dance floor eagerly and offers, "You should get a drink or two. We -are- dancing tonight."

Feeling a little overwhelmed since she is used to living much simpler at Westrock Reach Elsbetta is still finding that she is enjoying herself. Turning to Terese she says. "Medicine what a facinating area to study! how have you been finding it?

Gianna makes her way toward Liara, glass in hand but as of yet unsipped from. She leans over in a shallow bow, the skirt of her gown glittering with actual constellations. "Everything looks lovely," she tells the Grayson princess. One of the Grayson princesses, anyway. "I do like that pendant. Duskstone is so beautiful, don't you think?"

"But it's the truth," Answers Caspian back to Donella with a shake of his head. "You freed my sister and I, may she find greater freedom in the shining lands, giving myself the opperunity we would never had had." He says back to her with a fond smile. "Don't diminish that." He looks over to his scandalous dressed partner, Lore, telling her, "The Princess is just being modest. She really did do something wonderful for me."

One quick last smile for Victus and Donella before she's wandering off, and a half warning look for the Claw as if Amari's trying to impress upon the cat that's she's not to be trifled with. It's an obvious bluff, but she tries. A drink is found, and Lisebet waved to when she spots her. That's who she eventually directs herself for with an admiring look for her attire. "Lady Lisebet."

2 Armed Confessors, Kirwin arrive, following Veronica.

Maddox smiles a bit watching the arrivals, and mostly staying out of the way. Listening and observing as he speaks softly to kaia at the table they are sharing currently.

Rook models blue steel. It's gorgeous. He's gorgeous.

Anabelle seems completely at ease on Eddard's arm, her gaze scanning the room before leaning in to murmur in the man's ear, "I don't hardly recognize anyone it seems. Hope you don't mind if I stick close." She asks even as she subtly guides them towards some drinks, heavy skirts of oxblood gown swishing with each step.

"I have no idea what to do with things medical, I must admit," Lisebet says. "Of course, I am also far from a strong fighting presence. It's a good thing I'm cute."

Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise arrives, following Niklas.

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

Tovell rises to pull out a chair as Tikva approaches so she can be seated, inclining his head to her. "It's an honour, Your Highness," he says. "And it sounds like I have some stories yet to hear." He chuckles as he retakes his seat, leaning in to hear his companions over the buzz of chatter in the hall.



Lady Acantha arrives on her own and dressed in black silk with violet accents. The newly arrived woman looks around the room and seems to find out that Lord Halfshav has sent her to a HUGE event and told her she'd be just fine. She makes her way in and finds herself a drink and a wall to make a friend with for the moment. People watching was the first part of the list.



"Lady Amari! How good to see you, my friend. This is my sister, Elsbetta, and you have met Princess Terese, yes?" Lisebet says next, glancing over to Amari. "Should we perhaps find a table?"

"Big Sister," Macda jests as she sees Liara and manages the pathway with ease. When she's finally made it to her sister's side, a short embrace attempts not to ruin Liara's perfect outfit. "I think you can consider it a mild success." The shorter sister adds with a grin. "Is there anything you need last minute or otherwise?"

Tikva drops a deep curtsey to Tovell, sinking in her shimmery gown, and then straightens up with an easy smile and airy panache. "The honor is surely mine," she says. "Sir Tovell, I feel like we may have met before, but either way, I'm happy to be making your acquaintance at such a fine occasion. The dedication that House Telmar has shown to the Compact by sending two of its finest sons to the King's Own cannot be overestimated."

"I /did/ try a courtship, Princess Donella. I am just a very difficult person to put up with. We are all overshadowed by Prince Victus' excellent skills at cake cutting, so, it is understandable that we are all pebbles to his shining jewel by comparison." Archeron answers, giving the Princess a small bow "And it is a pleasure to see you - though I must admit I am cross with your northland houses. Not a single one got in contact about marriage contracts when we tried to resume our old alliances."

"It'll be good to get out for a night. Really out. Celebrate with everyone," Sabella is saying to Niklas, who she appears to be dragging along beside her. Despite this, she's all smiles, beaming around the room, "We absolutely must find Liara and give her our compliments! This place looks amazing! Look at all the food!--oh, I should not look at the food, but it all looks very good for those who are partaking. We'll need to do a lot of dancing. Away from the desserts table." She says gravely, taking a quick look around to make sure she knows where the light is falling so that when she walks she absolutely sparkles!

"I certainly do," Liara replies to Gianna, then adds, "I almost just sought some stygian to keep with the theme, then thought that the dark blue might suffice." Then she's on her way, a bit, again, and embraces Macda with one arm, her other taken by wine. "Oh, I think I have all I need," she replies. Then with a quick smile, she proceeds further up to the top of the hall, and, after sourcing a spoon from a servant, because she absolutely needs something to clink against her glass, she pauses near the top of the hall.

Donella says, "I'm afraid they are all very... hmmm. How to put it? Its not that they aren't delighted by the prospect of a match out of faction. They are. They just tend to make plans and become set in them before the matchmakers can put in their oars. Forgive them their sentiment, Archie. You and I both know they are they poorer for having passed."

"It would seem that I am," Lilia acknowledges. "And if we do not go over there, they might come over here and collect me. Shall I introduce you?" Because she is going to. She offers Sebastian her arm, then, so that they might both head toward the merry band of Telmar, where she will, shortly, join into explaining who is who. "May I present my cousins, Sirs Corban and Tovell Telmar, both stalwart members of the King's Own. And off duty tonight, I gather, or they'd not be drinking. Yes?" Corban in particular gets a look as she says this, brows lifting, as if she's daring him to challenge the idea. Tikva is unfamiliar, though probably not for very long, under the circumstances. Then she gestures slightly sideways with her glass. "And this is Lord Sebastian Pravus."

Lilia has joined the Gray Table.

Evaristo has taken up a spot a bit on the edge of everything, drink in hand - his second already. He choses to people watch too for now while nibbling on something edible, admiring outfits and jewelry with quick darts of eyes. Some draw more attention than others and he isn't shy to ogle admiringly. Attention goes to Liara when that clinking sound comes, waiting with anticipation.

2 Armed Confessors, Kirwin leave, following Veronica.

Terese offers a friendly chuckle to Lisebet while answering Elsbetta, "Why, it's quite the challenge for me. I'm thankful to have Physicians and Mercy's of such great renown in the Valardin family. I can not profess myself a genius or adept, but I believe that if I continue to work hard, that my efforts shall pay dividends as the bankers sometimes say." she adds to Lisebet, "And the both of you are absolutely stunning, as well as most excellent company. Perhaps someday I shall have the pleasure of making the trip to visit the quieter reaches of your home, should you wish to entertain there at some point. I imagine the riding opportunities there must be absolutely lovely."

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

"We definitely should find a table." Amari nods after smiling politely to Elsbetta and Terese, "Hello, Your Highness. Wonderful to meet you, Lady Farshaw." The Princess she clearly remembers from the snowball fight.

Eddard has joined the Green Table.

Niklas shows up on Sabella's arm, wearing an outfit he wore before one time so everyone's all damn what a fukkin scrub forget that nerd. "It is beautiful. It's always nice when Alaric lets people use his living room for their parties."

"Please. Margot already has two kids. I couldn't imagine doubling her up on that as well." Victus mused to Archeron when he makes his appearance, the Prince gesturing for a glass of rum from the serving folk. His attention turns back to Lore then, who he regards with a fairly stony gaze. "Good evening in that case, Lore Artiglio. I heard you've recently taken the head of your household. I'd say congratulations, but I'd also say that it's not always an enviable position to be in. How are you adjusting thus far? Decently, crushingly, greatly?" A brow raises before he's letting out another gruff chuckle. "Oh and speaking of kids. Donella, when you bringing your rascal to meet his sea family?"

Gianna saw Amari around here somewhere, didn't she? Gianna is not so dazzled by her own legendary fashion choices that she can't see her Keaton friend. Wine in hand, she takes a moment to smile at Niklas and Sabella before heading toward Amari. Alright, Sabella's gown gets a second look. She nearly bumps into some minor lord but pretends that didn't happen.

Eddard directs Anabelle through the receiving line before picking up glasses of bubbly for them to take off towards a table as everyone else is arriving as well.

Anabelle has joined the Green Table.

2 Armed Confessors, Kirwin arrive, following Veronica.

Sebastian has joined the Gray Table.

"I dare say we should -- in case /collect/ turns into /kidnap/ -- since there's plenty of dancing to do yet this evening," Sebastian replies to Lilia with a wry smile, a waved gesture with his glass in that direction before he offers he settles Lilia's hand onto his elbow to escort her in that direction. The Pravus Lord's gaze is keen, flickering over Corban and Tovell in turn, "Sir Corban, Sir Tovell. A pleasure to meet you both." Lilia's mild chastisement for drinking earns an amused, sidelong glance, as he adds: "Given it's a ball in the palace, one could argue they are doing double-duty, no?"

Lisebet has joined the Great Table.

Amari has joined the Great Table.

Elsbetta has joined the Great Table.

Gianna has joined the Great Table.

Lisebet spies Gianna and smiles her way as well, gesturing towards the great table where she promptly takes a seat, procuring a tray of drinks and setting it down to share with everyone.

"Could I have everyone's attention briefly, please?" asks Liara, her voice pitched to carry across the hall. And she taps her glass, because. Whatever amount of attention she does get, she carries on after a brief pause. "You are all most welcome. If you have not already been furnished with the food or drink of your choice, please do ask the staff and they shall accommodate you. It is now the one thousand and tenth year after the Reckoning. The Compact has seen off threat after threat, thanks to the valiance and the sacrifice of many, and still it stands, as indeed does the Lodge of Petrichor. You might all be so good as to join me in a toast, then we will proceed to dancing." And she raises her glass, and enunciates, "The Compact endures."

Upon the entrance of his lovely companion, Rook veers off towards a few he knows, stopping by the delightful Donella and the splendiferous Sabella and the nuclear Niklas. Either way, kisses and hugs, smiles and hugs, waves and nods. As he moves towards the liquor, he remarks mildly to his other half before settling in a corner. "The oufits tonight, quite stunning, no? So much purple."

Caspian gives a few nods of is head to Donella, putting his finger to his lips in a 'shush' sound. "I understand," he says to her, nodding a few times, then looks to Donella and Victus at the mentioning of their children meeting, seemingly delighted at the prospect. "If I could be a fly on the wall for that meeting. Kids, I love 'em." He looks to Lore with a bright smile, leaning in to give her a peck on the cheek.

Terese has joined the Great Table.

Tikva calls out, "We endure!" with a glass held high to answer Liara's fine toast.

Donella smoothes down her knit gown, and says, "So many answers to give.. As soon as the scent of cat doesn't raise the gorge? When I can keep him decently in pants, as, like his father and kin I seem to have bred a little nudist? Its the one I'm carrying now that will be coming to foster with you, you know, coz." she looks round for Rook, and raises her drink is dry salute, smiling over the watered rim.

Archeron inclines his head to Donella with a slight grin "More so because it was my sister and not I that we were looking for a match for then. Lethe has always been the better half of the pair." Archeron takes a step to the side, away from the bustle and throughfare of the dancers and various others coming through "And well, the offer of friendship is always there still, Princess. We do remember our debts." Spying Victus grabbing a drink, Arch decides this is a very sensible plan and he obtains his own - though it is a grayson wine - from a passing food burdened person "Well. A childhood friendship, and even later perhaps a match, between Tyde and Thrax seems like an idea Margot would want to promote, your grace." Comes Arch's answer to Victus before he points out Amari to Donella "Lady Amari Keaton. If you haven't met her, a lovely one. And very good on law and trade. And my former intended, so you know she has good taste." Ah, but now is time to shush and to raise his glass to the toast.

Anabelle follows after Eddard with a grin, raching for one of the glasses he'd managed to snag and taking a long sip before smiling at the man and looking wistfully towards the music before Liara gets everyon's attention. When she calls for a toast, Ana raises her glass as well.

Maddox rises from his seat, and lifts his wine glass at the toast. "Here here." he agrees, taking a sip of his wine in salute.

Gianna pauses to raise her glass for the toast. "We endure!" she calls out, her voice carrying clearly.

Macda raises her glass of wine, though nearly empty, to her sister's toast, "We endure!

"We endure," Lisebet echoes, raising her glass as well, joining in the toast with feeling.

Caspian "We endure!" Caspina says, thrusting his fist up into the air!

Sapphira picks up a glass from a passing by server, and raises it to toast. "Here here! We endure!" Then she takes a sip of the wine.

"We endure!" Acantha calls as she raises her glass after Liara has given her toast. She then takes a sip and looks around to see if there's any faces that she knows here.

Rook puts out his tongue to Donella, then laughs, and raises his drink.

Elsbetta raises her glass as well echoing the "We Endure!"

Berenice, a sleek black queen of a cat arrives, following Sabine.

"The compact endures," Evaristo toasts, and downs that second drink in one go, snagging another as a servant passes by. He looks outright chuffed about how easy those drinks ends up in his hands.

Elsbetta seated with here sister smiles at Lady Amari "Very nice to meet you lady Amari. Hard work generally does pay dividends" Her smile widens to a grin as she looks at Princess Terese "I am sure in your case they will be very high indeed."

Yasmine's gold-flecked green eyes take in all the lovely clothes with the eyes of a connossoir of fashion. She snakes her arm through Rook's as he makes his rounds, offering her own greetings even as she's gawking all around her. As Rook drags her off, she murmurs, "Darker colors are usually more popular when it's colder. So, how about that dance?" She gently tugs him toward the dance floor, grinning.

Lore lets out a laugh and gives a nod towards Victus, "Ah, yeah, the Archduke couldn't do it himself and with our uncle busy with... whatever it is he does on his own that I don't want to think about... it was offered to me. I like to think I'm doing the crushing. I've sent out feelers to the family, starting to get us set up. Trying to lure some of our other members up from Lenosia to come help out. And we're working on building up our merchant fleet. I want to get the Hounds howling again." She smiles at the peck from Caspian and calls out, "We endure!"

Sebastian is just as quick to raise his glass, echoing, "We endure!" with a nod towards Liara for her toast, before he turns his attention back towards the conversation at the table.

Sabella gasps at Yasmine's outfit, "Oh, I love that pendant! And the bag! All of it!" And there are smiles and hellos to Rook too, of course. She waves brightly to Gianna, motioning to her ears and then mouthing a 'wow!' as Liara starts her speech. She then takes a glass of something sparkly from a nearby waiter and raises her glass, "We ensure!" She echoes along with everyone, maybe smiling not as brightly as she was before, but still. She has a sip, "Where do you want to sit?" She adds a moment later, "Not near the food."

Terese raises a glass in like, "We endure!" she smiles to Amari, "Lovely to see you again as well. You did marvelously at that snowball fight. I just enjoyed crashing into those snowy structures, I admit."

Amari lifts her glass to share in the toast, echoing the crowd with her own, "We endure." After she slips into a chair and arranges herself neatly there, to watch the goings on and speak with her friends, Gianna very much included.

Niklas lifts a glass and joins in the toast, "We endure!" then downs his drink. Somewhat quieter he adds, "And still the Lodge stands."

"We endure!" Lilia too joins in the toast, lifting her glass with all the rest. Her smile fixes, briefly thoughtful, though it is but a passing thought and she soon joins back into the quieter conversation at the table.

Veronica, the Sword of Keaton, makes no great point of her entrance. She stands momentarily at the doors when the toast is offered, not wanting to interrupt Liara's words. Once it's concluded she heads down to the gathering below with a suprisingly quiet step for the armor she wears. The steel is neither terribly decadent nor gaudy, and bears a few scratches that no amount of polishing can remove. Clearly, it's meant for use, not for show. But it shows a significant amount of care and careful design, built around and for Veronica's athletic frame. In perhaps her sole concession to style, her thick mane of blonde hair is worn down and pulled forward over one shoulder, framing her face in honey yellow. It keeps her sword arm free and exposes the fabled Sword of Keaton strapped between her shoulderblades, worn upright as if a badge of office. Her gauntlets hang from her belt, and leather boots guard her feet from the chill.



Her blue eyes spot Amari in the milling crowd, and with a relieved expression Veronica starts a path in her direction.

A late arrival but calm in her tardiness, Sabine slides into the room chin high and lips curled by the smallest of smiles. She trails umbra behind her and gleams with pearl, glitters with diamond-- gown simple and jewelry the focus, but for the Countess herself. Green eyes assess the nearest clots of crowd and her course is a leisurely one. She surveys, and assesses, and enjoys the spectacle for what it is, a whorl of life and light and colour.

Upon hearing Sabella, Yasmine smiles brightly at her and says with shame, "This was a gift from a tailor named Imane. Isn't it gorgeous? She has a real talent!" She glances down at her gown and then back up. "I'm trying to convince Rook to dance with me!"

Those words said, Liara retreats from her place at the top of the hall and towards the dance floor. The band's still playing a subtle ambience. She speaks up again then. "I know a person or two was wondering what the surprise at this ball might be. It's this: I shall gift party favours - of the marginally more practical variety than griffin backpacks or Princess Reese dolls - to a few people, dependent on a few conditions. The three people who dance with the most complete strangers, people they've never met - even if they do know them by reputation - will receive a favour, with an additional prize for the one of those three who does so while dancing the best." Then she gives a little wave over at the band's leader, and the music picks up to something that people might more readily dance to. "Of course, should you wish to eat, chat, and so on, you absolutely should."

Terese offers a friendly greeting to Gianni, "A pleasure, I hope you enjoy the ball and our company as much as I enjoy having such fine companions this evening."

Theo has left the Green Table.

2 House Velenosa Guards have been dismissed.

Renault, the mustachioed Lycene have been dismissed.

Sapphira looks very bright and enthused byt the words of the hostess. She was going to dance no matter what! Maybe then she will find someone to dance with!

"It's the intention of Princess Alarissa and I to see Duchess Margot's boy married to Astrid when she comes of age. For security and prospriety. I'm sure once the two of 'em can start talking they'll have plenty to nag each other about. I worry for what Astrid may do to mine and the Duchesses' shins in the meantime though." Victus recounts with a thin grimace across his face. "It's incredible how many wooden toys she can break in a month." His eyes move back to his cousin, Donella. "Naked, eh? Well I'm sure if you let him run out in this weather he'll learn quick why the people dress warm. Send him over to me, I'll show him what it's like standing on a wispy ship in the rain. Heh." Then onto Lore once again, now with a fresh glass of rum in hand. It looked out of place in such a fancy glass. "Then it sounds as though you're taking your responsibility seriously. Good. Now, are you sure you want to potentially tarnish that with a bar fight?" Spoken partially as a jest, from the way that smirk curls up his scarred cheek.

"My darling, don't even start. We cannot but enjoy your exhibtionism this night," insists Rook to Sabella as he drifts with Yasmien off into a curl, pull, a tug. As he turns her over for a roll and twist, he pushes his mouth to her ear to speak as he deftly maneuvers the floor. As Victus begins to dance, speaking to Donella, he watches, only to call out, "Repsonsibility is never taken anything less than seriously by those who understand what it is. If you do not, you're being a child, my good grace and high lord."

1 Grayson House Guards, Peaches, a lovely white war filly with a peach saddle, Deliverance, an albino falcon, Stormy, a silvery gray hunting hound, Rascal, a hyper terrier, Rosalie, a lady in waiting arrive, following Reese.

2 Harthall house guards, Niall RedTree, adorably awkward page arrive, following Ouida.

"It's amazing! I'l have to seek her out," Sabella replies to Yasmine before looking to Liara at her next announcement. She laughs and nudges Niklas with her elbow, "I suppose we're competing tonight then!" She peers around the crowd trying to spot someone she doesn't know. Aha! She weaves her way through the crowd and taps Sapphira on the shoulder, "Hello! I'm Princess Sabella Grayson! I don't think I know you, so would you like to dance?"

Ah, so? Sabine tilts her head upon hearing Sabella's instructions and the idle regard with which she pierces the crowd becomes more thoughtful. So few familiar faces which makes her stranger or near-stranger to all. So the Countess performs a slow turn about the edge of the dance floor to show herself to best advantage. Her fingers curl in the air, hand outstretched, ready for a claiming partner to match the light steps so well-suited to a paired dance. Someone will materialize, surely.

"How about that," Evaristo says, a soft laugh at the challenge offered to win prizes. He puts that drink down, and wipes his hands off on a handkerchief before he strides out to find someone to dance with. Literally knowing not a single person in here, he can just ask the first one he comes up to, which happens to be Veronica, giving her a deep bow. "My lady, do you want to dare that dancing thing with me?" he asks, eyes glittering. He moves close enough to add, with voice lowered; "I can fake it well enough, I hope, if you're willing to take the risk. I'm Evaristo Arterius."

Reese arrives in the palace hall while adorned in lots of pink and moving with her normal nimble grace. She glances over the area, trying to get a feel for things here.

Anabelle settles in at the table, perching on the end of her chair so as to not ruffle her dress too badly. Sipping her drink, she lets her eyes wander the crowds, still looking for anyone else she may recognize. Liara's proclamation has her giggling softly to herself, "Well that's one way to get people to mingle I suppose."

Lore curls a grin at the conversation occurring between Victus and Donella, especially about her little boy's penchant for nudity. Laughing lightly, she shakes her head, then looks up to Victus with a grin, "Tarnish? The HOUNDS? With FIGHTING? Are you sure you've met my family, Your Grace?" Then sh'es looking to Caspian and clucking her tongue, "A complete stranger, hm? I guess that means we'll have to save our dance for later. You should find someone amazing and go sweep them off their feet!"

You're supposed to start off the dance with the one who bring you before you go off looking for new partners. With Ouida on his arm, Thorley glances towards Ouida as he prepares to cast off his cloak. "..though I wish I had worn a better outfit for the evening." the new Baron admits as he's only in his best sailcloth clothes. He hasn't had a chance to shop for upgrade silks yet.

Sapphira turns when she is tapped, and her face lights up! She curtsies, "Princess Sabella! My sister, Tabitha, told me about you. I am Lady Sapphira Whitehawk, and it would be my honor and pleasuer to dance with you."

Caspian lets out a little chuckle to Victus as he lays out a bit of logic for Lore, shrugging his shoulders as he syas to the two of them, "Bar fights are only really bad if you lose in one, especially after you start one." After that he looks over to Lore, telling her, "Let me know when you want to start dancing. I could go for a dance or two myself."

Evaristo has joined the Dance Floor.

"It is a good thing she had a boy then I suppose. I do not think she plans to have more - two children from each of us is the edict. It's pragmatic, but many nobles...ah, it isn't what they want to hear. Marry in for 3 years of drudgery and then all the freedoms of a ducal house seems more tempting on paper than reality, Prince Victus." Archeron smiles warmly though at his liege and lifts his glass "Did Victus tell you that we went to go see some interesting woodland creatures, Donella? I actually had a rather good time." The news about dancing gets a small sigh "Think I can blame an old war wound and avoid dancing?"





Veronica winces at the word 'strangers'. She catches a wave from Amari and heads through the crowd a little more directly, excusing herself with a polite murmur when she catches herself nearly bumping into someone. The tall blonde at least at least is easy enough to spot, and flashes a smile at Amari when she's getting closer.



She comes up short when Evaristo asks her to dance, blinking in wary surprise. She even checks over her shoulder. "Me? I... yes, my Lord, I suppose I will," she says cautiously. "Pardon me a moment to set my things with my cousin?" she requests, and steps over to Amari's table. Everyone gets a collected nod of greeting, and she sets her baldric and weapons across the back of her chair, cloak included. Heartrender stays put on her shoulderblades, setting a new record for people attempting to dance while armed with a longsword.



She returns to Evaristo and nods shortly, looking a little tense. "I'm... not the most skilled of dancers," she admits. At least her gauntlets are set aside and she's not wearing hobnailed boots. Her hands move, a little awkardly, into a follower's position, one hand resting on her shoulder.

Reese continues further inside the hall. She peeks over to Archeron, having a smile of greeting for the Lord that reaches her blue eyes. She then searches down a glass of wine, choosing a light white wine.

Sabella has joined the Dance Floor.

Sabella's smile freezes on her face and she pales just a little when Sapphira gives her name, "S-apphire? Ah, Sapphira! Of course," she shakes her head and rallies with a brighter smile, "Lady Tabitha did write to me, so I'm sorry she isn't here to make the introductions. We shall just have to make the best of it and then regale her with the stories of how we became the best of friends in an instant. But let us take the dance floor right now and see if we can't start the night out on the right foot and win this contest!" And assuming Sapphira is into it, she will be happy to lead with a hand on her waist and the other held aloft, "Have you been in the city long?"

Donella steps back to avoid some of the crush as people press in to join the dancing, but she doesn't join them. She says, "I'm sure he'll grow out of it. Or that we will devise better ways to keep him in his trousers. You needn't make excuses. You are giving me someone to cling to, should my head start spinning again. Darren will stop letting me go out if I keep falling." She hangs her arm out obligingly. "Dear sweet gods and spirits witnessing, did I just hear you talking about SERIOUS RESPONSIBILITY at a party?" she calls to Rook. "That's got to be a demerit, or something. Hmm? Otters were not involved?"

"I'm going to go find someone to dance with, make sure you find me when you're ready to dance," says Caspian back to Lore as he leans in and plants another kiss on her cheek, then waves to the small group they have going over there and goes to the dance floor.

Eddard has left the Green Table.

Eddard has joined the Dance Floor.

Caspian has joined the Dance Floor.

Tikva has left the Gray Table.

Tikva has joined the Dance Floor.

Tikva strolls forth onto the dance floor with blithe confidence and flaring skirts, shimmering in darkness and stardust that would be much more dramatic if her mouth weren't quirked in a sideways little smile. Her bright eyes flick over the floor, and she finds a woman standing tall and elegant, awaiting a partner. "My lady," she says, dropping a deep curtsey to Sabine, and then straightening.

"Do not fear, my friend," Ouida tells Thorley in a hopefully reassuring manner. "I am certain that with so many luminous beauties all around us to gaze upon and remember, that those of us who are not quite of their grandeur can find solace in the shadows between." She winks at him. "We will both just have to rely upon our considerable charm, won't we?" Her laughter is light, but warm, as she too draws off her cloak, revealing a gown of silk and amber, simple but well suited to her.

Lisebet smiles at Veronica, having met her previously. "Good day," she says, mischief showing on her face. She gets to her feet. "Enjoy your dance." now the petite Farshaw lady's on the move, looking for someone to dance with. She looks around, from here to there, and then she heads over towards the table where Corban and Tovell are seated. "Good day, my lords. I do not believe we have met. Would one of you care to dance?"

Thorley has joined the Dance Floor.

Lisebet has left the Great Table.

"I'm a captain of a ship, but that is my only claim to titling," Evaristo explains, "though I would hardly label myself as /common/," he says with a rascally grin, looking quite thrilled to go out there on the dance floor. He does so with some suggesting he has danced before, steering in rhytm to the music; he enjoys himself, doesn't seem TOO worried about making a fool of himself and has taken to the challenge with gusto. "I'm assuming that sword of yours is a hosue sword," he says, squinting at her. "Keaton?" he says, some of her attire suggesting that after all. "Sorry - I'm not usually rubbing elbows with nobles," he says with a grin.

Ouida has joined the Dance Floor.

Eddard stands up from the green table and tugs upon Anabelle's elbow just a touch. "Dancing, my lady. If you would be so kind as to accompany me to the dance floor?" Then the pair head over to join the growing crowd upon the dance floor.

"I do not take demerits," Rook insists, "I am completely outside of the negative system, and instead take thet ones that would be applied to mylsef, and apply to them to others." The merchant prince then necks his champagne and indicates broadly, "Besides, if I were to take such a sacking, what would I do? I'd be -ruined-."

Aella has joined the Grayson Royal Couches.

Evaristo checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 18 higher.

Niklas stares at Sapphire when she introduces herself, his expression suggesting she just said something deeply tasteless. Though when Sabella voices her self-correction he exhales slowly. "So good to meet you, Lady Sapphira. More Whitehawks is a win for Arx, I've always said. Or at least have said two or three times."

Sabella has rolled a critical success!
Sabella checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 77 higher.

Sideways smile or no, quirky or not, Sabine isn't displeased by the flourish Tikva performs before her. "My lady," she echoes, gently stressing the possessive while sinking in a whisper of umbra as well. Rising, she extends her hand to the shorter woman and-- being the taller-- steps out first onto the dance floor. With arm slightly raised, the way is cleared for Tikva to traipse prettily forward as she cares to. Anything to set off stardust and shadow.

Amari looks highly amused when Veronica is intercepted by Evaristo in search of a dance party. Not that she doesn't approve, she shoos her cousin along with a smile. It'll be fine! Totally fine. Still, if the Sword of Oakhaven is dancing, she rises as well, to follow to the edge of the dance floor. At first it seems as if she's going to just watch and embarrass Veronica as much as she can with her enthusiastic encouragement, but since she's there, she looks around, for unfamiliar faces. They seem to be in slightly short supply for her, however. She does make note of Archeron over there though, so smiles and waves at him.

Atreke, a severe-looking scribe arrives, following Rinel.

Harlen, Rinel arrive, following Duarte.

There's a small smirk. "Just be glad I paid /some/ attention for formal dance, otherwise, I would feel pity for your feet." Thorley offers to Ouida as one hand settles lightly in hers - and the other sets to her side and he nods as he starts to lead the pair in a dance. "If you see someone you wish to switch for, let me know." he offers to Ouida.

Sabine has joined the Dance Floor.

Donella says, "You are much too pretty to be ruined, you appalling champagne sink."

Tikva checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 35 higher.

Reese glances over the growing gathering on the dance floor, seemingly curious about such.

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

Sapphira takes Sabella's hand, and the places her other hand on her shoulder. "Yes, let us dance and win this contest! My sister will be so thrilled to know we have met." Once they are ready to begin dancing, she replies, "I only arrived yesterday. I just settled in at the manor, but I could not resist a chance to come out and meet more of the wonderful people here. Thinking of the music being played just inspired me to attend."

Donella is overheard praising Rook: Too pretty to be ruined.

Ouida checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 17 higher.

Lisebet has joined the Gray Table.

Anabelle has left the Green Table.

Anabelle has joined the Dance Floor.

Archeron offers a small wave back to Reese, that slightly awkward across the room wriggling of fingers, unsure if the other person is really looking at you, or someone near you, or possibly eyeing up a drink. "Princess Reese...one of the first people I met in the city. Was quite a giddy moment for a little Ranger boy from Ashford to meet a General of the Graysons." Archeron explains to Donella as he steps back and takes Donella's arm so she can have someone to lean on. "Margot will be sorry she missed this."

Duarte enters the great hall with Rinel in his arms, her legs draped over one of his forearms. "You are not nearly as heavy as you claimed." He sets her delicately on her feet and Harlen gives her back her usual walking cane.

Eddard checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 25 higher.

Sapphira checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 12 higher.

Yasmine rolls her eyes affectionately at Rook, murmuring to Donella, "He usually gives his demerits to me, your highness. Of course, most of the time I deserve it." She smiles cheekily and blows a kiss to Rook.

Niklas checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 28 higher.

Veronica checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 8 higher.

Rinel takes her cane with dignity. "Perhaps you are stronger than you appear, Count Bravura," she says briskly. She sweeps her coat back behind her with a bit of a flourish.

Anabelle grins at Eddard, eyes lighting up when he mentions dancing, "I thought you'd never ask." And practically bounces all the way to the dance floor after him.

Reese glances over to Archeron and Donella, smiling once again to them. "That was a while ago now. It has been my honored to run into you twice recently." She says toward him. "And it is nice to see you Princess Donella." She adds.

Dramatics are not at all rare for Tikva Grayson, so although she's never met Sabine before today, she's quick and bright in her smile as she clasps the taller woman's hand upon the dance floor and pulls her into the sway and spin of the steps, starting traditionally but not without a certain athletic flourish. "Tikva Grayson," she says in the midst of a energetic shift of her diamond-slippered feet. "We haven't met before, but I saw you in need of a partner."

"No, I can't say I've met any of the Artiligos to be honest. You're the first and the first to offer a bar brawl to go along with it too." Victus replied in earnest, the amusement clear on his face. "My excuse for not dancing will but that I just don't wanna dance. I'm sure you can grab your leg and act like it's broke if you really need to." This said to Archeron while he's taking Donella by the arm. Lilybelle casts her glare to the dance floor. Merriment and fun. Bah! "I'll take you up on it sometime, Lore. If Talen says so, that at least means I can deflect the blame onto him. It's easier to do that than to deflect onto Rook with how much trouble that boy gets into."

Now on the dance floor, Caspian is keeping an eye out for anyone who looks like they are not paired up yet, adjusting his leather jacket as he eyes the people dancing.

Reese notices that Caspian is without a partner and starts toward him. "Grand Master Caspian, might I have the honor of a dance with you?" She asks politely.

Anabelle checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 18 higher.

Donella says, "Thank you, Princess Ribbons. I am shocked at you, though, not leading teams excursions up to the hot pools just now."

Lore grins as Caspian goes to find a stranger to dance with, then looks to Victus. "Well, Your Grace. I do believe we only just met tonight, which still lets you count as a strange. Care to go wreck the dance floor with me? Step on peoples' feet and bump into them, just really make it hard for them to have all this 'fun'?"

Liara seems quite content to hold her silence for the moment, though she stays near the dance floor. She does remark, grinning at the flow of people onto it, "I don't know everyone so I don't know if you all know each other, so please do keep count. Probably easier for you than for me, or indeed the poor chap who has to record it all for me. We shall try."





Veronica lets Evaristo lead her along, and at least she doesn't tread on his boots or stumble and pratfall in her armor. That would be embarassing. Her conservative following style gives her a modicum of grace and the Sword follows him in a simple, uncomplicated step.



"Aye," she confirms, nodding at his question. "I'm Veronica Keaton," she tells him. "I'd leave the sword behind, but it's... something of a badge of office. Traditions," she says, head turning minutely in an apologetic suggestion of a shrug. "What is the name of your ship then, Captain?"

Reese has a playful smile for Donella. "Maybe that will come later. It has been a while since I visited there." She says in her direction.

Terese chuckles warmly to Gianna, "Truly? Well, I would not be one to deny such a modest request should you like, though I must admit, that dancing most certainly is not my forte, so I must leave myself in your care, if you so desire."

Energetic is not a thing Iriscal's Countess has been accused of before but there's balance in Tikva's athletic grace and Sabine's cool polish. She matches the sways, the spins, and always sets her feet just where they ought to be. It helps that she's lifted the hem of her gown up in one hand-- less risk of tripping for herself and the other dancers involved. "Sabine Tessere, your highness. It's an honour to make your acquaintance... you'd be the second Grayson who's blessed me with their attention, how fortunate I feel. May I say you look delicious? Is that a proper compliment in the Crownlands?"

Apparently the courteous Harthall knight seems to have received some instruction in dancing as well, as they do, for she seems perfectly content to be led in the dance by the Baron, her steps matching easily to his. "Well. 'Tis true, I did not wear my steel boots today, though I daresay that your toes might be in similar peril!" Ouida's smile is bright. "But not tonight, I think." As they dance, her attention is mostly on her partner, but of course it's hard to not have one's gaze caught by one or another. "The first dance is yours, my lord. And if another takes your eye, you're more than welcome to switch as well!"

"I was looking for someone I don't know to dance with, but I'll give you the honor of the first dance," says Caspian back to Reese, holding out his hand for her to take. "Besides, if I remember correctly, you've won a dance competition before against me. I was quite envous!"

Donella says, "Well, I'd do it myself, but my dress would shrink. And there's just not that much room for it to shrink to, these days."

"Are you a musician?" Sabella asks, leading Sapphira through a number of complicated turns and spins as if they've been dancing partners for years and years. She appears to know just the right movements to make their green and black gowns swirl over the dance floor to make it look like they're floating rather than just dancing, "I wondered when I got the message from Tabitha--I'm always interested in meeting people she suggests, but Lady Evonleigh was an actress, so it would make sense that you were possibly interested in the Bard's College?"

Tovell has left the Gray Table.

Tovell has joined the Dance Floor.

Lisebet has left the Gray Table.

Lisebet has joined the Dance Floor.

"Broken might be tough to fake, your grace." Archeron answers to Victus, but he does pull at his trouser leg, lifting the silk to show the start of the rather brutal winding scar on his leg "But, I can still scare small children enough." Straightening, Arch smiles once more to Reese before she goes "The Pricness is right, Princess Donella. We have bumped into each other lately too. Slowly I am understanding that nobility requires public appearance. Amari's lessons are not entirely wasted on me."

Gianna rises from her seat, offering Terese a hand. "You're kind to indulge me," she tells the Valardin princess with a gentle curve of her lips. She nods to Elsbetta as well. "Perhaps you, after, if you like?" And then it's to the dancefloor!

Gianna has left the Great Table.

Gianna has joined the Dance Floor.

Serenity arrives, delivering a message to Amari before departing.

Tovell rises from his table, with Lisebet on his arm, leading her across to the dance floor. As the taller partner he offers to lead as they step on and mururs quietly to her as they begin.

Reese reaches out for Caspian's hand, nodding in response to his words. "I think I did." She says, thinking back upon such. She then starts to trying to dance with the GrandMaster. Reese grins over to Archeron. "Oh, yeah, we do have to get out sometimes."

Reese checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 31 higher.

Kaia has left the Alcove By the Stairs.

"Very nice to meet you," Evaristo says and flashes another smile, looking quite honored to be dancing with her, like she did grant him a big favor. "My ship, a small caravel, is named Josie," he tells her readily. "I'll be staying in Arx a few weeks however, as my ship's name sake, my beloved cousing Joscelin - she is having a baby soon. I'm sticking around for that, cause it's so fun seeing her with that big belly," he explains, blinking innocently at Veronica. "No wait, that's not it. I want to see that baby, that's why."

Liara is overheard praising Grayson: For providing for a marvellous ball.

Caspian checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 45 higher.

Lisebet manages to coax Sir Tovell up onto the dance floor with her, amusement showing in her blue eyes. "Thank you, Sir Tovell, for dancing with me." She is perfectly willing to accompany the man, since she instigated.

Tikva is overheard praising Liara: What a splendid party!

Sabella is overheard praising Liara: What an amazing party!

Liara is overheard praising The crown: For opening up the palace and offering its staff to host a marvellous ball.

Acantha is overheard praising Grayson: For hosting a fantastic event!

Tikva is overheard praising Grayson: Nobody dances like badgers dance!

Macda is overheard praising Grayson: Another wonderful event.

"As long as you remember the last dance is also with the one who brung you." Thorley winks. "Though that's null and void if Violet shows, or if you find someone to keep you company." he teases the Harthall knight as he notices Lisebet and Tovell joining the floor, but then - there's Elsbetta by herself. That simply will /not/ do. Moving his hand from Ouida's side, he gestures to Elsbetta for the other Farshaw sister to join him and Ouida on the dance floor. A three person dance may be unorthodox, but not unheard of!

Lisebet checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 33 higher.

Evaristo is overheard praising Liara.

Macda is overheard praising Liara: Bestest Hostess.

Terese smiles and rises a touch clankily as she accepts Gianna's hand, and makes her way to the dance floor a tad nervously, she queries, "ought I to lead or follow, I absolutely am not certain which is the easier of the two"

"Am I? I hope we haven't swarmed you overmuch. I know the pack of us can be rather overwhelming, like fleethounds." Tikva's smile is sunny, borne on an easy breeze of humor as she matches her steps to her partner's as they glide over the floor. "I'll take delicious, although it does make me think of pie. Your clothes look to me like the finest artistry!"

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

Kaia has joined the Alcove By the Stairs.

Yasmine tightens her grip on Rook's arm and gives those others a bright, beaming smile, "If you will excuse us..." She drags the courtier out to the dance floor amidst the other couples and takes the lead in their dance as she leans in to murmur.

Yasmine checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 39 higher.

Terese has left the Great Table.

Terese has joined the Dance Floor.

Reese has joined the Dance Floor.

"Dancing? I don't dance." Victus' gaze narrows. "I hope you're prepared to fall on your ass, because that may be the best you get with me." He sets his rum into his stewardesses' hands and offers a leather bound hand. He cants his head to Donella then. "Watch me, cousin. This may be the last time you ever see this in your lifetime."

Victus has joined the Dance Floor.

Reese is overheard praising Liara: Great Party!

Lore has joined the Dance Floor.

Elsbetta has left the Great Table.

Elsbetta has joined the Dance Floor.

Donella has a sit down in an alcove. "Will I be glad that is the case?..."

Sapphira is swept away at how lovely her dancing partner leads them to the music. "Yes, I am a musician and a singer. I play many string instruments, although I only have one with me for the journey here. I have joined the Bard's College, and do hope to be performing here soon. I must still speak with Kenna, but there was talk that I could perform at the upcoming Craft Fair."

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

Maddox has left the Alcove By the Stairs.

Acantha gives a soft smile at the dancing and things going on. The woman finishes off her drink and settles it down for one of the staff to clear away when they get a chance. She doesn't seem too inclined to dance as she didn't bring anyone with her. She then makes her way for the door, leaving as quietly as she had entered.

Gianna looks amused. "Lead. I'll make you look good," she tells Terese. Once they're on the floor, Gianna takes the knight's hand and settles her other hand on the woman's hip. And then they're away!

Gianna checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 37 higher.

Kaia has left the Alcove By the Stairs.

Donella has joined the Darkened Alcove.

Lore checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 27 higher.





Veronica laughs, a quiet sound, and gives Evaristo a vaguely scolding look along with it. "Spoken like a man who's not had to bear that weight around for nine months," she says, clucking her tongue. "I'd be careful saying that around your sister. My cousin got adept at throwing things at people so she'd not have to get up to chase them."



"A caravel. That's a merchant ship, no?" Veronica inquires, still moving with a cautious but athletic step. She's not putting any flamboyance into her maneuvers, but she's certainly keeping up readily enough.

Duarte has joined the Great Table.

Demetria Arcuri arrives, delivering a message to Niklas before departing.

Maddox stands and offers an arm to Kaia, leading her over to the exit, making appologies, that he needs to ensure the lady's safe return to her family grounds. And he wil then make his way out of the room respectfully.

2 Bisland pride guards leaves, following Kaia.

2 House Deepwood Guards, Kaia leave, following Maddox.

"Two isn't a swarm. If the whole of your family descend, then I'll learn what it feels like to be hunted... or /especially/ honoured. There would be worse things," Sabine remarks with a small and fleeting smile. "My maid Nurie's work, and the jewelry a gift from a suitor. It's no easy thing to compete with a collection of worthies such as this, though." She's quiet through a series of turns before inquiring, with deepest curiousity, "Do you not like pie?"

Elsbetta makes her way to thorley and Ouida as they dance. She smiles in relief at seeing familiar faces. "Nice to see you both" she says

Yasmine has joined the Dance Floor.

Duarte moves deeper into the hall. He carefully selects a glass from a servant's tray as he passes by the various settings and eventually seats himself at the great table, with a proper view of the dancing.

Rinel blinks in confusion at something Duarte says before following the man to the table he has chosen.

Rinel has joined the Great Table.

Anabelle follows Eddard's lead, her steps light and sure as she follows him around the dance floor, skirts swishing around behind her, wearing a bright smile as honey amber hair bounces about her shoulders. She keeps a tight hold on Eddard as he swings and spins them about, bubbling laughter sporatically issuing forth of it's own volition.

Tikva laughs in a bright, cackling peal, certainly loud enough to carry further than the intimacy of the dance floor, and then lowers her voice as the dance carries them on.

Terese nods and accepts the instruction of Gianna, "It shall be my pleasure." she begins to lead Gianna in a stately waltz, quite common amongst nobility and fairly easy to manage, even in platemail, "I shall do my best and thank you for having me."

Niklas looks around, desperate for someone he doesn't know. It's gotta be someone graceful and lovely given how his wife is just tearing it up on the floor. So he walks over to Aella, smiles to the Ravenseye countess and offers his hand. "Dance, my lady?"

Thinking quickly, it is easy to incorporate Elsbetta into the orbit of Thorley and herself, as Ouida extends a hand to the Farshaw lady to draw her in, and then is keen to set up a pass back and forth between them. "You look lovely tonight, my lady. Is it your first time at such a grand event? Those hairpins bring out the most extraordinary colors in your eyes!"

Demetria Arcuri arrives, delivering a message to Niklas before departing.

Sapphira is overheard praising Liara: Beautiful party! So lovely!

Archeron watches Victus begin his dancing, tapping his foot in tune and nodding along "He isn't terrible, I'll give him that. All the practice with the axe I suppose - just need to throw a few reavers at him and he can really get into his rhythm." Archeron observes.

"I've already said it a few times and suffered the consequences. Almost worth it! I still have a bruise at the side of my body from where she punched me yesterday," Evaristo explains cheerfully. "But I can't help it, she waddles like a duck. I figure, she can't catch me if I run, at least," he says, all jokes and mischief. However, the mere fact he brings it up, and a bit of pride in those violet eyes makes it obvious he's a proud soon to be 'uncle'. "A merchant ship, indeed - though I've also taken people up and down the coast when convenient. I'm available for hire to go just about anywhere." A pause. "Weelll, some places should probably be avoided." Quick grin at that. "Still, are you in need of a ship, don't hesitate to contact me." He makes a spin and moves the two with a sort of lazy relaxed enjoyment, not too worried about doing the steps perfectly, long as they're having fun. "And you, my lady? What is your preferred choice of enjoyment?"

Sabine's laughter is of the quieter variety. No cackling! But she's amused as well and on their last turn, she takes Tikva's hand and holds it gently as she lowers herself into a deeper curtsy, the sort paid vassals to liege. Bowing over the princess' hand, she dusts her lips over clasped knuckles. "Princess Meringue it is, then. And I the fortunate to have enjoyed the first taste. Thank you for the pleasure, your highness."

Drawing in their third partner, Thorley grins at Elsbetta. "It's a dance. Noone sits alone." the knight points out simply as he creates a circle of the small group, and considers for a moment. And then with Ouida taking over the pass, there /might/ be a ghost of a smile. "But I believe at this moment, I will switch partners. Do excuse me." And with that, he leaves Elsbetta in Ouida's arms.

Tikva is overheard praising Sabine: I've been entirely bested at this compliment game!

Lisebet and Tovell get to the dance floor and Lisebet offers a smile and a nod to all the dancers. She doesn't even wince when her foot gets stepped on, simply turning on more charm.

Lisebet is overheard praising Liara: Excellent fun party!

Sabella laughs, "Well, in that case..." She starts expertly moving Sapphira through the crowd, towards where the Nightingale herself, Gianna is dancing. She sweeps up beside her and her partner, Terese, "Nightingale! I have the latest applicant to the Bard's College for you! Lady Sapphira Whitehawk! She's a singer and a musician and I believe you ought to dance with her before the Entertainers Institution scoops her up instead!" She says with a big grin, "And of course, I'd be happy to keep Princess Terese entertained!"

Elsbetta smiles at Ouida "Yes definitely the first time at such a grand event with so many in attendance. The music is lovely don't you think?" She is glad to be with familiar faces. She is able to see sister dancing a little ways away. "Lise always is so much better at such events"

For the benefit of those who hadn't heard her the first time out, Liara turns towards the tables of food and seated people to say, "For those who didn't hear, I will be awarding some few favours to those who manage to dance with the most complete strangers. By the looks of him, that means that Niklas -really- needs some help getting someone he does not yet know." She lifts her wine to take a sip, turning again to watch the dance floor.

"Thank you for the dance," Tikva says with a bright grin. "And the compliments. I'll remember them well for next time. Now, I think I had best find the gentlemen I so rudely abandoned..."

Elsbetta is overheard praising Liara.

The Ravenseye Countess lets out just an overly elongated sigh. She had collapsed on the couches and started to spread out in a very (un)dignified way. When the Prince comes calling, Aella looks up at him as if this is some sort of extreme imposition. But eventually she grabs onto his hand and with a yank pulls herself to her feet. "Don't be mad at me when your wife gets jealous." The Countess nearly grunts, going to follow Niklas towards the dancefloor. She is Very Confident.

Gianna swirls and dances with Terese, making her, as promised, look good. The Nightingale Whisper is light on her feet, and when the dance is over, she gives her partner a shallow bow. "You were lovely. Thank you for having me," she tells the princess.

Aella has left the Grayson Royal Couches.

Aella has joined the Dance Floor.

Niklas has joined the Dance Floor.

Now seperated from Ouida and Elsbetta, Thorley moves across the floor to where Sabine and Tikva are dancing, and when Tikva breaks, the Baron bows. "My lady, may I have the honor?" he asks Sabine. "I am Baron Thorley Farwatch." At least he's learning to use his name.

Aella checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 6 higher.

Gianna turns in Sabella's direction and inclines her head to the princess and Sapphira in turn. "Do excuse me," she tells Terese, and then she's heading over.

Niklas checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 28 higher.

Tikva has left the Dance Floor.

Tikva has joined the Gray Table.

Victus on the dance-floor is the most unnatural look he's ever had. The cat he was wearing as a scarf vanished from sight awhile ago, no doubt fleeing from the cavalcade of dancers. For what it's worth, he does alright. Just enough coordination to be in step with the beat and... not much else. It's acceptable.

"My best to him as well," Sabine bids ado to Tikva, tilting her head to give her a smiling and lingering look. Then it's back to surveying those lingering nearby and moving upon the dance floor. A trio swaying by catches her attention, and Thorley's arrival leads to the extension of her hand to him. "Such a gallant introduction, I'd be a terrible person to refuse. Sabine Tessere, Countess of Iriscal, and I am at your service, my lord." A pause. "Upon the dance floor." It's important to clarify these things, apparently.

Rook has joined the Dance Floor.

Donella has left the Darkened Alcove.

Elsbetta with a twinkle in her eye says to Ouida "It seems we have been abandoned" her grin indicating that she is very much jesting. "Thank you for dancing with me."

And just as easily, despite being clad in skirts for the evening, Ouida seamlessly slips into the role of lead, should Elsbetta allow it. "'Tis," she agrees amiably, of the music. "That just means you shall have to attend more, dear lady." She draws them in the next pass closer to Lisebet and her partner. "You are doing quite well! Though do let me know when you need a rest, and I'll see you settled and with something to drink if you like. It can get overwhelming! But people-watching is always fun as well."

As some of the dancers start to separate or pair up with others, Liara gives a little flutter of her fingers over at the band's leader, and the music changes, this piece being more lively and even featuring an occasional beat of a drum. The sort of thing one might stomp one's feet to if that way inclined, or on their partner's feet for the less able.

Rook joins the dance floor somewhat later to enjoy the company of Yamsine, to latch hands, and move around the floor. As they do, he speaks to her ear, and nods politely to the nearby festivities.

Donella pushes back her fluffy cuffs, and excuses herself from the party, apparently to take a message.

3 Last Watch Sentries leaves, following Donella.

"Clearly upon the dance floor." Thorley offers with a laugh. "I will be sure to keep my blade away from hitting you untowards." After all, he is carrying the Farshaw blade upon his side as he takes Sabine's hand to pull her back out on the floor. "Iriscal? That is in the Velenosa lands is it not? What is it that your land is most famous for?" he asks curiously. "As a new Barony, it is important to know what resources could be found where."

Thorley checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 5 lower.

Sabine checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 57 higher.

Sapphira is thrilled to be dancing here, and now to be taken to meet the Nightingale herself! She saw her in the crowd last night, but this is so much better. "It would be an honor to dance with you, if you like."

Niklas has left the Dance Floor.

Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise leaves, following Niklas.

Gianna brings Terese along with her to meet with Sabella and Sapphira. "Princess Terese, this is Princess Sabella Grayson." Introductions made, she takes Sapphira's hand and settles her other hand on the woman's waist. "I love the earrings," she tells her as she begins to dance. "Are you settling in well?"

Gianna checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 42 higher.

Of course, a lady of Sabine's beauty is clearly distracting - or the cut of the Velenosan dress - or just the fact that outside the field of battle, Thorley's possessive of a pair of left feet.

Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise arrives, following Niklas.

Thistleton, an elderly and devoted manservant leaves, following Macda.

Eddard checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 39 higher.

Elsbetta checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 3 higher.





"The duties of a Sword don't leave a great deal of time for personal pursuits," Veronica tells Evaristo, cautiously moving through the step. "But as has been said, 'love what you do and you'll never work'. The study of swordplay is my main interest," she explains. "Perhaps someday I'll have to take up a real hobby."



She pats Evaristo's arm as the music comes to a lull, and flashes a fleeting smile. "'twas a pleasure to dance with you, Captain Evaristo. If you'll excuse me, I should bid my cousin a hello." She bows slightly (armor making a curtsey impractical at best) and turns to head back to Amari's table.

"We're north-most of the Lyceum," Sabine agrees as she settles within Thorley's arms. But where Tikva led before, it's she who guide their steps now, ensuring that neither sword nor man tread where they oughtn't. The toes of those gathered-- including her own-- are safe. "Most famous for? Outside of the Hundred Cities, we're admired for our tapestries, my lord. Within... they do love us for having survived our treason." This with a straight face, near deadpan.

Enjoying the dancing and the music Elsbetta smiles at Ouida. Piching her voice above the music she says "what have you been doing since the last time we met?"

Tovell has left the Dance Floor.

Sabella checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 15 higher.

Reese checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 39 higher.

Lisebet checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 1 higher.

Sabine checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 23 higher.

"Thank you, Lady Keaton," Evaristo says and does a flourish bow in return, that scarf sweeping across the floor when he does. He isn't lingering, stepping out of the way and sweeping his gaze around to see who is free to dance.

"Treason? I would have to hear this story - but perhaps it is more of a cautionary tale. As a new noble.." Thorley asks Sabine as he loosens to allow the higher rank of the pair to lead them across the floor. "What advice would you offer to a newly elevated noble that has been placed in charge of his first land?" he asks curiously.

Terese smiles in greeting to Sabella, "I shall hope that I may meet your standards of dance, Princess Sabella. How do you do? She offers to dance with Sabella."

Caspian checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 61 higher.

When Gianna and Sapphira appear to hit it off, Sabella beams and offers a hand out to Terese, "I'm sure you will, Princess Terese! How is your brother? It's been some time since he serenaded me! He always had quite the romantic streak to him and it came through in all of his songs." And then she takes the other princess' hands and they're off, spinning through the crowd, though not quite as fast as she was before. She seems a bit out of breath!

Sabine gives the question due consideration. Also it does take a moment to steer Thorley about a greater concentration of dancers, and one particularly enthusiastic one. That gauntlet navigated, she tilts up her chin to meet his eyes and gives a small smile. "Never, ever tell your liege lord or lady what you /really/ think of their new hat. Even if it's evident, from every angle, even Jayus couldn't model it to good effect," she intones. But surely, Tessere treason didn't consist of /that/.

Evaristo sees that Lisebet leaves one dance partner and walks her way with a complete lack of shyness, bowing to her. "May I have this dance, my lady?" he asks her. "I'm Captain Evaristo Arterius," he tacks on, giving her a broad smile.

Sapphira takes Gianna's hand, and her other hand settles on her shoulder. As they begin to dance, she replies, "I am. My room is just lovely in the manor, and my family is so thrilled that I made the journey here. I could not imagine a better welcome than what I received."

Sapphira checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 27 higher.

Lisebet turns as someone bows, and she smiles. "A pleasure to meet you, Captain. I'm Lady Lisebet Farshaw. I would be pleased to dance with you." She obviously loves to dance, and is pleased to have a new partner.

Evaristo checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 27 higher.

Lisebet checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 13 higher.

Niklas escorts Aella out onto the floor and boy what a combination they make. The softest boy the Islands have ever produced and the Northern Countess who is just about 50/50 scars against unblemished skin. One the dance floor he gives her a quick bow and a smile, then steps back, pulls off his jacket and flips it around before pulling it back on. Whaaaaat? It was reversible! It's a whole new outfit! What a snazzy guy! Then he grabs the Countess and leads her in an enthusiastic dance around the floor!

"I will have to make sure that a hat is proper doffed then." Thorley says with a smirk and a chuckle as the knight notices the pair coming upon a grouping. "It seems this is where we will part ways, my lady. I hope to see your tapestries someday and perhaps speak of trade." he offers as he notices the Sword of Oakhaven and he gives her a small bow and a beckoning of her hand to encourage her return to the dance flkoor.

Terese can't help but grin at the mention of her brother, "I've not seen him in a bit myself I'm sorry to say. He's always been a romantic though, and had a way with charm and grace that has eluded myself." she accepts Sabella's hand and takes up the dance as best she can. Fortunately, her endurance the saving grace to her lack of skill at dance.

Gianna sways and steps elegantly with Sapphira. "Excellent," she tells her dance partner. "Have you stopped by the College yet? You should take a look around if you haven't. The performance hall is wonderful. We'll be putting on Prince Niklas' musical play very soon."

Tikva has left the Gray Table.

"I should like that, my lord. I wish you the gods' own blessings upon your new course in life, and many heirs to follow behind you," says Sabine, rather formally as she makes her curtsy. Then, turning, and silent again she discovers Ouida and Elsbetta. Her hand extends to Ouida, wordless. A third dance was required and here's a partner, neatly presented.

Elsbetta says with a smile. "It would be nice to find a quiet spot and have a drink I think. I will follow where you lead." She dips her head towarda Ouida. "I have not been doing much getting to know the city a bit. It seems you have been much busier than me."

Sapphira shakes her head to Gianna as they make their way around the dance floor, "I have not found it yet. I just discovered the shop where I got my gown, and boots, and checked out a bit of the market. I will make sure tomorrow to go to the College. I have heard of Prince Niklas' play from my cousin, Evonleigh. I cannot wait to attend and support her."

Reese has left the Dance Floor.

Corban has left the Gray Table.

Reedy, a King's Own aide have been dismissed.

Gianna inclines her head to Sapphira as their turn in the dance ends. "It's going to be wonderful. Your cousin is very talented! She also didn't cry during practice, which I quite approved of. And thank you for the dance."

Victus manages to break from the crowd of the din. "Relay your evil genius ideas to Talen, I'll be sure to be there. For... whatever it will be." He calls back to Lore. "Drinks, bar brawls, all that... Think it's gotten too loud in here for my liking." With that he calls back his stewardess with that glass of rum, prepared to make an escape. "Lord Archeron, I'll be calling on you soon. Got ideas. Big ideas that you'll probably like." With that, he's making his way to the door. "We'll be in touch. Enjoy the party."

even from the Dance Floor, Lisebet waves fingers at the departing Victus.

"I'll be sure to do that, Your Grace," Lore calls back to Victus with a grin before getting lost in the sea of dancers once more.

After seeing Elsbetta settled with a cup of chilled wine as she catches her breath, with a quiet, "I shall check in on you in a bit, but do not be afraid to grab a winsome lady or lord in the meantime!" Ouida is once more claimed. The extended hand that Sabine offers is gently lifted to her lips so that Ouida may offer a courtly air-kiss to the back of her knuckles. "My lady," she greets Sabine. "I did not think it was possible, that one could continue to grow in beauty as you have. I hardly recognized you. May I have this dance?"

Sapphira inclines her head as well to Gianna, "That is quite promising! Thank you for sharing that, and this dance. We shall meet again soon, hopefully at the College."

The music gradually becomes livelier and livelier, perhaps approaching the end of a song or perhaps it's just going to continue that way for a bit. (It continues for a bit. Liara organised this, after all.) The hostess continues to occupy space by the edge of the dance floor, wine glass in hand. The departing Thrax High Lord gets a flash of a smile from her

Ouida checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 11 higher.

"I like plans, your grace." Archeron observes from his little bit at the side of the dance floor "And anyway, if it is good for Thrax and Tyde, then whether I like it or not is irrelevant." Victus gets a small bow and Archeron turns to follow his lord "I think though, your grace, I might head back as well, and make sure Princess Donella got home safely."

Sabine checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 26 higher.

Terese laughs warmly to Sabella, "Oh sweet Gloria, I do not. The only singing I've done is that din of sword upon sword. or the clatter of metal on metal in full plate. I've not an ounce of bardic ability I'm sorry to state. Though I enjoy well enough the performance of bards and the kin of bards. There's a special enjoyment of seeing people doing what they love best, I think."





Veronica pauses long enough to grab a drink of water. She's fit enough that dancing-- even in armor-- isn't terribly taxing. She's there just for a moment when she spots Thorley beckoning her from the dance floor, and looks around again as if trying to establish who he's waving at. A little surprised at the invitaiton, the lanky blonde heads out to the floor and flashes a polite smile at Thorley, ducking her head very slightly in greeting in lieu of a proper curtsey. "Are you inviting me to dance, my Lord?" she inquires of the fellow in front of her.

Claiming Ouida and claimed in turn, Sabine winds an arm about the other woman and dips into the whirl of movement upon the dancefloor. "Grief suits me," she quips with another of those mild smiles. "I've been remiss and not paid my respects to your family, since coming to Arx. I'd hoped you'd accept this dance as my first overture of apology." A close apology it is, inclined to Southerly ways, leaving her swaying close to Ouida. "You've been well?" She pauses for a beat. "A question that spans years, I know."

Gianna inclines her head to Sapphira. "Excellent," she says. She glances toward the tables and says, "I could use a bit of wine. Please excuse me, and good luck! See if you can get a dance with Prince Niklas. He's also part of the College, and my patron."

Gianna has left the Dance Floor.

Gianna has joined the Great Table.

Sapphira has joined the Dance Floor.

Victus has left the Dance Floor.

"I am, my lady. I believe I have seen you at some of the Keaton events, though we may not have been introduced." Thorley offers. "I am Thorley Farwatch, Sword of Farshaw and new Baron of Farwatch.. Baron Clement and Baroness-Consort Margerie Clement are friends of mine." he comments, "Though I did not know that all of the Keatons were so attractive." There's a grin at that as he prepares to lead her onto the dance floor anew.

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

Veronica checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 7 higher.

Sabella twirls Terese around and heads towards her super flashy husband, "Well, we'll just make sure to pair you up with partners tonight that can keep you looking great on the dance floor! Princess Terese, have you met my husband, Prince Niklas? If we're to get to know people tonight, he'll be sure to introduce you to everyone. Just don't believe have the things he says." She offers her hand to Aella

Lore checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 29 higher.

Reese has a last smile to those gathered here and then quietly slips out.

Eddard has left the Dance Floor.

Sabella has rolled a critical success!
Sabella checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 79 higher.

1 Grayson House Guards, Peaches, a lovely white war filly with a peach saddle, Deliverance, an albino falcon, Stormy, a silvery gray hunting hound, Rascal, a hyper terrier, Rosalie, a lady in waiting leave, following Reese.

Anabelle has left the Dance Floor.

Jean have been dismissed.

1 House Lyonesse Adept Guards have been dismissed.

1 Lyonesse Trained Guards have been dismissed.

Niklas has joined the Dance Floor.

Rook swoops up Yasmine in the middle of a laugh at what she says, and hurries out of the ball, only a half managed wave for his nearby fellows.

Rook has left the Dance Floor.

Yasmine has left the Dance Floor.

Jeeves, a sophisticated valet, Yasmine leave, following Rook.

Sapphira looks around the dance floor. Where or where can she find another dance partner? It seems Sabella is busy, and she should find someone new. Hmmm.

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

Well OBVIOUSLY people are going to line up to dance with her. When she's been putting out the moves she has been, it's a certainty that couples will fight over her incomparable moves. The Countess looks over Sabella almost imperiously, then over her shoulder to Niklas. Then back to Sabella. Niklas is abandoned in favor of Sabella and her hand is taken immediately. Get ready for hips everywhere because that's the only move she has! Watch out, Sabella!





Veronica accepts Thorley's lead, moving with an easy and careful grace. Her armor is light and mobile, made for a duelist rather than a heavy knight or footman. "You're too kind, my Lord," Veroica remarks with a flickering smile. "I'm sure you haven't met my cousin Amari, then. She's by far the real beauty of Keaton House. My name is Veronica," she tells him. "I'm the Sword of Keaton. I regret we haven't been properly introduced before. I'd heard of your appointment to that role, however. Congratulations," she remarks, moving in easy circles through the steps. "How do you find the Baronetcy suiting you so far?"

Corban has joined the Gray Table.

"The fault rests not with you, my lady," Ouida says gently, as silk whispers against silk in such a close dance. "We have been so entangled in our own concerns here that when word of your arrival came I do not believe anyone reached out to your household either. The apology shall be accepted, and I hope that you will accept mine in mind." The two of a height, she can look directly in Sabine's eyes, her expression as bright and warm as Sabine's is mild. "I have been, one foot put in front of the other still."

Niklas laughs as Sabella comes over to take over and gives Aella a grin. "It appears you managed to make my wife jealous after all. With those moves it's no wonder she wants to give you a spin." He backs off, handing Aella over to the princess, then turns on Terese with a quick bow and then grabs her up for some more dancing. Like a chicken with the face of a monkey, he flies! No flashy wardrobe changes this time, tho.

Niklas checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 21 higher.

Luckily, Sabella is pretty good with her hips thanks to some dance lessons by Yasmine and when Aella swings those hips to the side she's there to bang hers right against it, laughing and spinning around, "Princess Sabella Grayson," she introduces herself to the other woman, "I'm surprised my husband could keep up with you!"

"I was far more used to the idea of just being a knight and sword alone. The idea of being a noble is heavy - though my wife has been instrumental in helping me settle in." Thorley offers in response to Veronica before he chuckles. "Really, it would be hard to say any is more beautiful than the other when it comes to Keaton women." There's a wink to Veronica at that. "How have you balanced being a noble with being a sword?" he asks her curiously.

Terese nods to Sabella and finds herself passed off to Niklas so effortlessly that she blinks, noting that Sabella's talent at dance must be graced tonight by the divines. she finds herself greeting the flashy, Niklas Grayson, "Will you favor me a dance? I've been passed about a few times already, I profess, but never so well passed off as your wife has done."

Elsbetta has left the Dance Floor.

Elsbetta has joined the Great Table.

"We do like our distractions," Sebastian's murmuring to Lilia as he stands from the Gray Table and offers her a hand upwards. "And I'm not adverse to them, myself," he admits, happy to abandon his mostly full glass of wine in favor of leading the Telmar Lady out towards the dance floor.

Amari considers the invitation from Duarte, glances across at the dancers and then nods her ascent, even if she does look a touch dubious, "We'll make quite the pair then. Let's. If you'll excuse us, Scholar Tern." She rises and will wait for escort to the dance floor.

Liara finishes up her glass of wine and passes it off to a servant. She drifts over to murmur something to the band's leader, and the lively tune being played turns quieter, slower, melding into a wholly different piece of music - this one bereft of drums and done largely with stringed instruments - suited to a slower dance. "Anyone still awaiting a dance?" she then wonders, with a little arch of her eyebrows and look about.

Elsbetta wanders back to the Great Table with her wine in her hand she smiles at Lady Amari and Gianna. "Ladies I hope you don't mind me joining you again"

It could be argued that Aella's partners are the ones that are dancing well and that they are making her look good. But that argument is STUPID.



Aella continues in a frenetic shaking of her rump while silmultaneously engaing in a hip swinging battle with her partner Sabella.

It's an opportunity for a more leisurely study, so close do they turn together. Sabine takes advantage, gaze roving from Ouida's eyes to the shadow of her hair, and from there lower where paler shadow collects in the hollow of her collarbones. "You look well for someone who's been pacing out her steps for so long," she observes with a faint trace of humour. "It would be unkind to refuse an apology so graciously given. I have some of Martinus' effects still, I'll have to come pay my respects soon and return them to his rightful family. " So civil. And so quiet, the murmur which follows.

Duarte excuses himself from the table and takes Amari's hand to escort her to the dance floor. And perhaps those who are 'in the know' have noticed and have begun to make way for the havoc he is about to wreak.





"Much to the offense of the peerage, I simply pay little attention to my title," Veronica tells Thorley, with a sly expression. She seems to lack any urbane response to his flattery, so simply tries to focus on not stepping on his feet. "I'm a Sword first and noble second. I find it simpler, and the people I respect most have more regard for the former title than for the second. I'd prefer to be known for my deeds with a blade than anything else."



"And yourself? Do you find your swordplay has waned some since taking on the titles?" she inquires of the man. "It sounds as if the Baroness has certainly helped you with managing this new role."

Duarte has left the Great Table.

Duarte has joined the Dance Floor.

Amari has left the Great Table.

Amari has joined the Dance Floor.

Lilia has left the Gray Table.

Sebastian has left the Gray Table.

Sebastian has joined the Dance Floor.

Tovell has joined the Gray Table.

Lilia has joined the Dance Floor.

Sebastian has rolled a critical success!
Sebastian checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 34 higher.

Amari checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 13 higher.

"I find myself out of practice, yes. Perhaps in the morrow or near future, you can help me knock the cobwebs off." Thorley offers to Veronica as the two of them continue across the floor, near to where the bumping hips are. "Have you met Princess Sabella yet?" he asks of Veronica. "I know well of her, but I do not know her partner.

Sabella laughs so hard while dancing she almost falls over. Except she's too damn good on her feet and she even makes a slight swoon look like a dainty twirl, "I think you have more energy than I do!" She tells Aella, laughing again and adjusting her more traditional dance to keep up.

Lilia checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 7 higher.

Brenlin, Aide-de-Camp arrives, following Miranda.

"I suspect most of us like a bit of distraction, now and again." Lilia allows herself to be helped up from the table, and follows Sebastian out onto the dance floor, joining the glittering throng. The Pravus is apparently going to be let to lead this little expedition, subject to whatever distraction she offers up with that bright smile.

Duarte checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 0 higher.

Rinel has left the Great Table.

Atreke, a severe-looking scribe have been dismissed.

Aella checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 4 higher.

Duarte checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 15, rolling 30 higher.

Everything above Duarte's waist works to try and convince you he is a marvelous dancer despite odd changes in tempo, missed cues and often non sequitur foot placements. Who could really say this /isn't/ the 'style' of dance in Bravura, hmmm? He certainly appears to be confident in what he's doing, and maybe it might even be fun.... (poor Amari)

"Sabella has always been excellent at passing people off, to be true. She's had plenty of experience at subtly passing me off when she needed some peace and quiet." Niklas dances the armored knight around, but after some time he shakes his head, "I think I may need a break. Thank you for joining me your highness." He steps off the dance floor and holds up a hand toward Sabella, mouthing something at her before he makes for the door.

Niklas has left the Dance Floor.

Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise leaves, following Niklas.





Veronica *does* manage a coy expression at that. "I'm not known for being a casual opponent in a duel, m'Lord," Veronica tells Thorley. "You'll find I train hard in the ring. I welcome challenges, however. I can be found at Keaton Hall most days if you're nearby."



She glances over her shoulder to follow his line of sight to Sabella, and shakes her head at Thorley. "I'm afraid I've not been properly introduced, no. I'm somewhat lax in attending to social events of the court."

Sebastian seems rather in his element out on the floor -- settling a hand at Lilia's waist, the other on her shoulder, as he begins to lead her around. There's a kind of carefulness in the way he dances -- not anything speedy even when the beat of the music goes that way -- more kind of measured, though he does throw in a twirl for Lilia once he's sure of her skills. "Some of us a little more often," he counters to the Lady Telmar's words, looking pleased.

Evaristo has left the Dance Floor.

The dance with Evaristo over, the young Farshaw lady retires briefly to get a drink, her gaze flicking over the crowd to see if there is anyone else without a partner.

With her feet flying everywhere, Aella has remained silent as the grave this entire dance. She's letting her hips do the talking(they don't lie). At one point, Aella is doing some strange dance move from the far north. Where she goes completely horizontal on the ground, rolling her back into her hips and then her feet as she lays on the ground, inching forward just a bit. Mostly it looks like the coppery countess is just writhing around. But hey, she's smiling. At least we have fun.

"Ah, then I shall make the introduction and hands you off, my lady." Thorley responds and then laughs lightly. "I would only expect your very best, Lady Veronica. And I look forward to the challenge." the knight offers as he gestures to Sabella and Aella, and he looks down at the lady on the ground. "Are you hurt?" he asks in worry, ready to lift Aella off the ground and carry her off to the healers if she needs it.

Somewhat fashionably late, Miranda arrives at the ball, decked out in her lovely finery. A rare sight for those who may know her. She smiles as she takes in the great hall, the decorations, the people dancing and, well, just the overall 'fun' going on. Her hands remain mostly at her side, lightly holding her gown up. She does relinquish her cloak to someone who might have to hang it elsewhere, but she looks about curiously, honey-brown eyes taking in the sight!

Sapphira is still looking for someone to deance with, but the lovely music just sweeps her feet away and she has to twirl a bit on her own.

Amari follows Duarte's lead to the dance floor, either ignorant of his 'talent' or bravely game enough to see if she might be able to survive a dance with the man. She, at least, is able to keep her feet from being tromped upon, but it does take concentration to try and anticipate the somewhat random, off tempo moves he's throwing down. She manages, and somehow looks graceful doing it, all ashimmer in diamonds. At first she tries to keep a neutral expression, but after a particularly jerky hip thing, she just has to laugh. "Marks for originality, Count Duarte."

Catching sight of Sapphira, Lisebet promptly moves over to join in, offering a hand.

Terese uses the opportunity to escape once more from the fray of dance. In the brief lull, she gets herself back to the great table, rejoining Gianna and Elsbetta, "Phew, this dancing is tough." she offers to Gianna, "I can only imagine practice is quite difficult for those who aim to master the art."

Terese has left the Dance Floor.

Terese has joined the Great Table.

Sabella can do this. She can work with his. When Aella starts flopping on the ground she steps over her with one foot, standing over the worming woman, one hand on her hip as her head shakes side to side, other arm extended as her finger shakes out at the room. When Thorley asks if Aella is hurt she bursts out laughing, "She's just got an incredible dancing imagination, Baron Thorley. This is Countess Aella, would you like, ah, a turn?" She gives Sabine a big smile, "Princess Sabella Grayson, at your dancing service!"

Lisebet checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 21 higher.

Samuele has left the Shadowy Corner.

Sabella says that to Veronica and not Sabine. Of course.

Elsbetta smiles at Terese "I completely agree I do not have my sisters endurance it seems" She looks fondly after her sister. Taking a sip of her wine

"Yes! It is the latest in constantly shifting dance crazes in Bravura," Duarte explains to Amari after an utterly failed attempt (or was it?) to do a stylish something or other. "It's called 'the chowder'..." To his credit (or Amari's) toes have not be squished.

Sabine curls her fingers under Ouida's chin as their slow revolutions come to a halt. "We dare," she quips, a response to a murmured question. She dips close and for a moment it seems she might kiss the woman. Instead she feather her lips over first one cheek and then the other, before withdrawing. "Delightful." So saying, she withdraws in graceful retreat away from the dancefloor, to claim a glass of wine and a breather.

Aella draws Liara's attention. There's a faint arch to the princess' eyebrows - bafflement, curiousity, concern? Then Sabella steps over and Liara cants her head back a little, grinning. She calls over at the two, "What do you call that?"

Sabine has left the Dance Floor.





Veronica gives Aella a look of mild concern. She does seem to be stricken with some kind of rhythmic palsy, but the Sword's concerns are assuaged by Sabella's reassurances. Introductions are made and Veronica bids Thorley a farewell with a touch to his forearm and a smile, before looking to Sabella. She ducks her head in lieu of a curtsey. "It's my honor to meet you, Princess Sabella," she tells the woman. "Veronica Keaton," she replies, introducing herself.



"I... shall we dance?" she says, looking around the swirling crowd near them. "I'm afraid I am not a terribly good dancer, but I can try to lead if you wish."

Sabine has joined the Comfortable Crown Couches.

Gilroy wanders into the palace great hall like he's just accidentally found his way into the front room of the Murder of Crows and oh hey look it's where the king lives crazy but then he's sidling his way over to the food table. Demonstrating that he really does belong her, he casually says to people as he passes by, "Such a lovely evening," and "Can you believe that she planned such an amazing party?" and, "Oh, the dancing has been delightful!" and then he's filling his face hole with desserts.

"Class." Aella chirps once she pops up to her feet over to Liara. "Class. And style." The Countess declares boldly before looking over to Thorley with a cocked brow. "I understand the desire to touch something that is so appealing, Friend, but there's no need for a rescue here." She holds her hands up in a forestalling gesture before giving the entire dancefloor a deep curtsey. "Arx. You are welcome."

"I shall carry that to my brother and my sister," Ouida promises. "Perhaps we might entertain you and yours for an evening. And I thank you for carrying his effects all the way here. We are truly grateful." And that it seems is very sincere, the sky blue eyes never leaving the Lycene noblewoman's own, until the dance is over. The light as air kisses are returned, though half-a-moment behind. And as Sabine retreats, who can blame her if she watches, a growing smile on her lips. Though then the knight wanders from the floor as well, in search of refreshment and perhaps a chance to gawk at the other dancers for a time.

Sapphira has a hand offered by Lisebet, and she takes it. "Oh, thank you! I am Lady Sapphira Whitehawk. It is lovely to meet you!"

"The Chowder." Amari repeats, trying to lend it an air of respectability by saying it very seriously. Since it is a for real dance from Bravura, she attempts a version of it or to mirror some of Duarte's moves, only less awkwardly and in a way that sort of strings them more properly together. She tries, and grins while doing so. So she's having fun. That's the important thing. "I'd heard of the Jumping Octopus. I believe you danced that one at one of the previous Shadow Carnivals?"

Ouida has left the Dance Floor.

Miranda looks to have just arrived herself, judging by the way she meanders about, apparently not with anyone! The scandal! A lady alone? No entourage? Wait... Yes, that's right. No entourage. Well, a lanky Aide who hovers around her looking out of places. Miranda watches the dancing and those about. People watcher, that's her! She makes her way through the room, regarding the various places to sit or standing.

Lisebet inclines her head, smiling in return. "Lady Lisebet Farshaw. How lovely to meet you, Lady Sapphira. You look lovely today, and I hope you are enjoying the ball?" She dances well enough, her steps fairly consistent.

Terese smiles to Elsbetta, "Your sister is certainly most at home out there, and you've done well, you survived that maelstrom of dance quite well. I just managed to get myself extricated from the grand engagement."

Evaristo makes his way to the exit now, he's had enough of the fun for the evening. He bows to Liara in thanks in passing.

Sapphira checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 26 higher.

There's just confusion on Thorley's face. Then he just decides. "Then you are danced out?" he asks the Countess. "You are from Redrain, correct? My wife hails from there."

"I can lead!" Sabella says brightly to Veronica and grabs up her hands in a terrifyingly lively fashion, "Keaton, are you related to Lady Amari and Marquessa Reigna? Or I should say, how are you related?" She does glance over to make sure AElla got up because it sure would be the worst if she was in her death throws on the floor while a Grayson Princess danced over her. Whew! She seems okay.

Sabella has rolled a critical success!
Sabella checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 85 higher.

Veronica checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 25 higher.

Thorley checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 24 higher.

Elsbetta's smile widens. "You have done fabulously in the armour Princess. I would never have managed"

Sapphira dances with graceful steps around with Lisebet, "I am enjoying the ball! I've met new people, the music is delightful, and I am inspired to write a song. Nothing could be greater."

"That's impossible, and you look silly for just suggesting it." Aella gurantees to Thorley with a light 'pshaw' and his question. "I've given enough to Arx for one night. I don't want to overload them. Yes, Countess Aella Ravenseye." She greets as she starts to retreat from the dancefloor.

"It was certainly new to me," Liara answers Aella, mild-mannered and easy. Then she offers Evaristo a smile in parting, her gaze otherwise roaming the dance floor. Though the princess doesn't note Gilroy's presence, a servant does, but nobody seems to mind much - there's a lot of food and it's there for eating.

"I believe you refer to the squid? Yes." Duarte says with a smirk that grows to a winsome grin as his 'dancing' begins to slow a touch, in gentle suggestion to his partner that he's had his fill. "You are graceful as ever, my lady. And intrepid. Kudos to you for trying new things."

With Aella retreating, Thorley just shakes his head in amusement at the young woman and her vigor, bobbing his head as he looks around to see if there's someone he hasn't danced with yet that he could dance with - Lisebet's partner is an unknown, but she's busy at the moment.

Gilroy leans back against the table, reaching out to snap up whatever treats happen to pass his way. Foodwise, that is. The people are safe. Once he's had more scallops that anyone really needs, he grabs a goblet of something a pleasantly amber color, then heads over to where Aella is fleeing the dance floor. "Better company this evening, Countess?"





Veronica exhales relief when Sabella offers, and her momentary good cheer is utterly defeated at the sheer energy that Sabella projects. She's *dancing*, and doing so to a degree that laughably leaves Veronica's earlier efforts outpaced. Perhaps throwing herself gamely into the teeth of the challenge, Veronica starts moving with bolder steps as well, trying to keep up with the Princess' lead.



She does not, however, do the worm, or any variation thereof.



"Amari and I grew up together in the same household," Veronica explains, trying to speak and keep track of Sabella's movements at once. Her swivelling hips are a little licentious and very distracting. "And Reigna's married to Kael, who is Marquis, and also a cousin."



"And that fellow you came with-- Prince Niklas, if I'm correct?" Veronica inquires, nodding at the fellow across the dance floor. "He seems quite at ease here."

Miranda makes a circle of the room before she eyes the entrance. Likely calculating how many folks she needs to walk by to make it out, alive. She smiles a bit and begins to head that way. She is in no rush, but is definitely bee-lining for the exit.

As Sebastian leads Lilia around the floor, the faint murmur of exchanged voices can be heard, the Pravus Lord looking -- as almost always the case -- lightly amused -- though it's clear he's enjoying the dance at hand.

Lisebet smiles, and then says, "Well, here, let me introduce you to another new person? Have you met Baron Thorley?" she asks. She winds their dancing over that way, reaching to pull the new Baron into the dance, and then disengaging herself. "Lady Sapphira, Baron Thorley. I believe I need a drink." That said, Lisebet slides back and off the dance floor, making her escape.

Willow, a silent attendant, 2 House Velenosa Guards arrive, following Niccolo.

Brenlin, Aide-de-Camp leaves, following Miranda.

Liara -does- spot Miranda moving off. But all she says is, "That is a really marvellous gown." And she lets the Rubino escape! Then she starts to drift further onto the dance floor herself, though without a partner, and a little flutter of her fingers over at the band brings them on to the next piece. This one's pretty loud and bombastic, though still paced as something one could dance to.

Liara has joined the Dance Floor.

Sapphira is simply all smiles tonight! She curtsies to the new man she has been introduced to by her latest partner. "A pleasure to meet you, Baron Thorley. It is truly an honor." Her melodic voice in complimentary harmony with the music. "Thank you Lady Lisebet."

Terese nods in agreement with Elsbetta, "It was indeed Prince Niklas, I was passed between wife to husband so easily, I must remark that Princess Sabella is a dancer of the highest order to my experience, though I am hardly a good judge of such things, even her grace was plain for me to see." she speaks her mind freely, "Many here are indeed quite at home, I'm glad that I did decide to come, I got to meet yourself, and so many people I've never really had a chance to meet before. As for the armor, I feel most at home within it. And as a Valardin, you get very used to marching in armor from a young age."

Sabine reclines into the support of the couch she's chosen, a wineglass balanced in one hand and her gaze roving again. There's a quirk of lips when Gilroy is spotted making inroads on the feast table, interest mild and amusement foremost. What? If the palace /guards/ aren't going to make a fuss, she won't trouble herself to do so either.

The amusement is at least mildly contagious; Lilia matches Sebastian's smile almost as well as she does his dance. There's a look up toward the ceiling as the music changes, and as the first notes of it strike up she laughs, a ripple of sound audible until it's swept over by the enthusiasm of the melody. She murmurs something back to him, though at more than a few paces it's now discernible as only the movement of her lips.

Lisebet ends up near Gilroy, offering a smile and a nod his way, as she collects a couple treats and a drink. "Lovely dance, isn't it?" she offers briefly.

"The pleasure is mine, my lady." Thorley offers Lisebet a smile as he's switched out and offers Sapphira. Taking her into his arms, he moves to lead her in the faster beat. "You are new to Arx, or have been here for a while?" he asks as he offers the Lady a smile.

"Prince Niklas was born to be royalty," Sabella replies with a laugh, "So, it was a good thing we met since he was born a Lord. But he also has an artist's heart, which is why I fell for him in the first place. You simply must see his upcoming play! Well, it's not exactly a play as there's a lot of singing in it. But it's not an opera, it's something in the middle," she chatters on easily, "Lady Amari is one of my favorite people. I don't see her nearly as much as I'd like to," she pulls Veronica through a complicated turn that she makes look so simple and practiced! "I don't actually know Marquis Kael, well, at all really. I know we've been to some of the same parties, but it's usually the Marquessa I end up talking with."

Sapphira checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 60 higher.

Thorley checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 11 higher.

Amari takes the hint, smiles at the compliments tendered and bows her head to her dance partner as they both come to a stop. "The squid! Of course." She's corrected, but doesn't seem to mind. "Thank you for the dance, Count Duarte. I'm not often exposed to the unique and exotic styles of Bravura." After that, she'll happily vacate the floor with Duarte, so that neither become obstacles for the whirling dancers around them. Of them, she notices her cousin and Sabella, so wiggles her fingers their way as she slips by.

And then Lisebet makes her way to stand by the Great Table, leaning down to murmur something to Elsbetta briefly.

Sapphira takes his hand and places her hand on his shoulder, she dances even better with this faster beat. "I am new to Arx, yes. My sister, Tabitha, came here ahead of me to join with my cousins. I finally decided to come and join them, and while it has only been two days now, I am loving every moment I have been here."

Duarte frees Amari and takes a step back so he may reward her with a courtly and ostentatious bow. "A delight, my lady. Thank you." He then reclaims his posture and walks with her away from the dance floor. Disaster has been averted and no one got hurt.

Elsbetta nods as Terese is speaking "I too am glad I came though I have to admit Lisebet did have to twist my arm a bit. It was lovely meeting you as well. I hope we can further our acquaintance in the future where our conversation need not be over such spectacular music. You are very right there are many great dancers here. I managed not to embarrass myself but I have to admit I am more comfortable in more intimate settings."





Veronica holds her breath as she's lead through the turn and, marvel of marvels, makes it actually look good. She catches sight of her cousin and smiles, mouthing a 'next dance!' at her, and comes around to Sabella's hands again. "Reigna is lovely. She was meant to be a Keaton," Veronica says with a small smile, playing on Sabella's earlier words. "I don't know enough of theater to offer any critique of Prince Niklas, but I do hope his his debut goes well," she informs Sabella. "I admire anyone with a flair for the creative. It's something that's a little beyond my skill, I think."

Willow, a silent attendant have been dismissed.

2 House Velenosa Guards have been dismissed.

Duarte has left the Dance Floor.

Somewhere in the crush, Lore Artiglio and Caspian Wild dance themselves right off the dancefloor and through the Great Hall. The pair wrapped up in each other and offering only token waves to friends as they dance their way right out of the palace and off to their own private party!

Lore has left the Dance Floor.

Caspian has left the Dance Floor.

Anya, the cool as an ice cube Champion apprentice, Renn, the mousy, scholarly brunette, Morgan, a roguish looking gentleman leave, following Caspian.

Caspian leaves, following Lore.

"Tabitha.. ah Whitehawk. Any relation to Delilah?" Thorley asks as he moves with Sapphira across the floor. "I know her through our connection with Dame Felicia Harrow - it is nice to meet someone else from her family." the Baron comments as he glances around him. "I would call this a success. "Have you had a chance to meet our hostess yet?"

Amari is overheard praising Duarte.

Liara drifts languidly across the dance floor, not dancing, but more closely observing those who are. Then she announces, "We will have one more piece of music, perhaps two if people are eager, and then I shall see who has met the most new people and danced with them. You can dance after that, of course. Some of you have frankly remarkable energy."

Amari has left the Dance Floor.

Amari has joined the Great Table.

Duarte has joined the Great Table.

Elsbetta murmurs back to her sister. "Go show off to your beau. I am sure I will be able to find my way back home or tag along with others."

Gilroy returns Lisebet's nod. "It is indeed. Not much of a dancer, me, but anyone can feel comfortable anywhere if they decide to fit in." He pops another scallop and looks to the dancers. "Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves. Is this for charity? Or just for everyone to enjoy themselves after the whole ... thing."

Sapphira nods, "Yes, Whitehawk. And Delilah is my cousin." Her dancing is right on beat and she is so light on her feet. "I would say this is the most wonderful Ball I have been to in a long time. I did meet the hostess when I came in. Aside from pleasantries, that is all so far. I'm sure she is overwhelmed with how successful it is. Hopefully I can meet her again in a quieter setting soon."

Terese smiles and nods to Elsebetta, "I enjoy the more intimate setting as well. Perhaps another time, do keep in touch, you and your sister both."

The entrance to the Great Hall is far enough from the streets of Arx that the partygoers are insulated from the biting wind and snow outside. Nevertheless, there is a clear chill to Niccolo Velenosa as he arrives. And literal frost on his shoulders. Scanning the room as he removes his heavy cloak and hands it to his attendant, the cold does not seem to extend to his demeanor - he has a faint smile on his lips as he moves to find whiskey.

Lisebet smiles at Gilroy. "I think it's just everyone getting a chance to cut loose and relax a bit. Enjoy the party." And then she is slipping towards the exit, pausing to offer Liara a curtsey and a "Lovely party, your highness."

Oli, a flute playing apprentice with green eyes arrives, following River.

Amari makes her way back to the table, smiling at Duarte the entire time as if she had fun. No toes were lost, culture was exchanged, a good time was had. She'll settle in again after claiming a fresh drink, sitting on the chair Veronica has hung her sword and cloak on.

Liara flashes Lisebet a ready smile. "I hope you enjoyed it! And perhaps even met some new people?" A rhetorical question, seemingly.

"Maybe we can have another snowball fight Princess." Elsbetta smiles at Terese "This time I will get to see your prowess and participate as well."

A wave to Elsbetta, a flash of a smile to Terese and Amari, a grin at Thorley and another wave for Ouida, and then Lisebet chuckles, calling back over her shoulder to Liara. "I most certainly did! This was wonderful, thank you."

"I agree." Thorley says with a nod of his head as the pair of them continue to move. "It is a pleasure to dance with you, however. And I look forward to hearing off your adventures." He's pretty heavy on his feet, but he's attempting to keep it up as he notices Terese and smiles at the armored Princess. "If you do not miond, however, I know the markings of Valardin armor and would like to meet a new acquaintance." the knight offers with a nod to terese.

Lisebet has left the Dance Floor.

Ramona - A Farshaw House Guard, Bigsby leave, following Lisebet.

Serenity arrives, delivering a message to Amari before departing.

Sweeping into the hall, River glances about and grins, waving to people he knows and bowing to some of the nobility that pass before he drifts over the floor looking about for familiar faces.



Spotting Gianna he drifts in the Bardess's direction smiling as he maintains the case held to his back by the shoulder strap and bows when he approaches.

Aella has left the Dance Floor.

Aella has joined the Great Table.

Wine has been had, and time enough to breathe. Sabine sets aside her wine glass and sweeps to her feet again, refreshed.

Sabella catches the look Veronica gives her cousin and spins her over that way, "I'll make sure he sends some tickets your way," she promises, "But go ahead and dance with someone else! That's the point of this ice breaker after all!" She looks around and offers Prince Niccolo a wave, "Prince Niccolo! I haven't seen you in ages!"

Gianna looks up at River and inclines her head, raising her wine glass in a sort of little salute. "River," she says. "You left Whisper House?"

Sapphira nods, "of course. It has been a pleasure, Baron Thorley."

Terese offers Thorley a friendly smile from her seat, waving him over to join her at the table if he would like.





"Your very gracious, Princess Sabella, and a wonderful dancer," Veronica tells the woman as the number draws to a close. She ducks her head respectuflly and heads off the dance floor, moving towards Amari and seating herself in Amari's vacated chair. "I was not expecting dancing," Veronica admits to Amari, and touches her fingertips lightly to her brow. "I would have worn my leathers instead of the plate mail."



Long fingers curl around a cup of water and she takes a few heavy sips, trying not to guzzle. "How're you doing tonight, cousin?" she inquires, giving Amari's hand a quick squeeze of gentle affection. "You looked quite elegant out there."

With a bow to Sapphira, Thorley makes his way to where Terese is seated. "Your Highness. I am Baron Thorley Farwatch." he chuckles. "I'm getting plenty of practice with the new name tonight and title. May I entice you to join me on the dance floor for what may be the final dance of the evening?"

"I have Nightengale, but it is not for want of something better, but I have recently married and so I was not able to stay on. Still, all is well and I still do work when possible. Radience Lumen had sent a wonderful gift of funds in congratulations." River smiles then he glances to the floor, and asks, "Is there dancing to be had, or should I play... something? I assume there is a harp?" He glances over to the orchestra, and pats his case. "I have brought music! and I believe there are a few popular Orchestral scores."

"One more piece!" Liara calls out as the music winds down, and then the band picks up with a sedate enough tune, with a slow and steady beat to it. "How many strangers have we all danced with, then?"

Sabine has left the Comfortable Crown Couches.

Berenice, a sleek black queen of a cat leaves, following Sabine.

A well-seasoned navigator of hors d'oeuvres platters, ale tables, wine tastings, and so on, Niccolo finds himself near a bartender in short order and a whiskey is in hand a moment later. Catching sight of Sabella on the dance floor, he lifts his glass in greeting from afar. "Ages, yes - lovely to see you."

Gianna blinks twice. "Married? Oh," she tells River. "Congratulations." It's not terribly enthusiasic. Gianna has feelings about marriage, and they are not great ones. "It seems the music and dancing are just about finished. The College isn't playing at this event, in any case. Nobody asked." Her shoulders rise and fall in a slight shrug. "It's nice to get a chance to just come and dance sometimes."

Leaning forward, Aella watches Gianna and River closely. Perhaps she's expecting a fight. Or maybe she's just really interested in their conversation. Either way, while she drains another glass she watches the pair of them with a very distracted set of eyes.

Terese chuckles warmly, "Princess Terese Valardin. A pleasure to meet you Baron Farwatch. I must decline your fine offer, I am absolutely done with the dancing for the evening. Not at all my forte, but as with you, I have been meeting so many new and wonderful people." she smiles, "I apologize for declining to dance further, but if you care to take a load off for a few and chat, I am quite amiable to that. I just am not eager to enter that fray on the floor again this evening."

Sabella calls out, "Four!" Then looks around and rushes over to grab Gilroy's arm, "FIVE!" She shouts, "I'm Princess Sabella Grayson, let's dance!" She says before dragging him towards the dance floor!

Sabella checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 21 higher.

River nods in Gianna's direction before he spots Liara, and he calls, "Hostess! Would you care for a dance, I am dreadfully alone and it seems that I must get at least one dance in, No?" He beams a broad smile and then says aside to Gianna cheerfully, "Well, I must partake in the event then, mm."

Halfway through a chicken leg, Gilroy simply isn't prepared for what happens next. "Oh, we've actually m- awk!" And then he's being pulled out onto the dance floor where he...

Gilroy checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 30 higher.

"I believe there is one I have not caught in a dance yet?" Thorley responds to Terese with a polite bow to the Princess. "But I shall come back for conversation." the knight offers a she turns to find Lilia. "May I entince you into a last dance, my Lady?" he asks of her. He doesn't give the number of partners he has - mainly because he's been terrible at keeping track of them.

Sapphira has only met four this evening, and looks around to see if there is one more she can dance with!

When River and Gianna don't fight, Aella lets out an overly loud disappointed sigh. Pour another glass.

"Fine. Happy to not be trying to dance in plate." Amari replies to her cousin, setting her drink down so that she might tap her knuckles lightly against Veronica's shoulderguard. "I'm surprised there's no steam coming out the neck hole of that." No visible steam, anyway.

Elsbetta with a huge grin says. "Greetings Baron Farwatch."

"By all means," Liara replies to River. She's over near the dance floor. She does add, however, "There is a small competition for people to dance with complete strangers, however, and you might find that there is someone in need of another for that, for this last dance."

...isn't too bad, considering he still has a chicken leg in his mouth. Gilroy sweeps around with the princess, sending winks to all those who are privileged enough to get to watch him dance. During a dip he plucks his chicken leg from his mouth and tosses it up onto a passing waiter's serving dish. "You are quite light on your feet, Princess!"

Gianna offers Veronica a faint smile. "Lady Veronica, hello. Lady Amari's told me so much about you. I'm Gianna, Nightingale of the Bard's College." Aella is given a sidelong look. "And you are...?"

River checked charm + seduction at difficulty 15, rolling 14 higher.

River dips his head to Liara and then glances to Sapphira, and grins, drifting away towards the woman, calling, "I see, with enthusiasm." Then with a courtly bow he bows to the woman, asking in a warm tone, "May I have this dance?"

It's only this actual break in the music - and Liara's question - that makes Lilia pause for real. She ends up laughing, then, partly at Sebastian, partly at Thorley. "Oh. Oh dear. We will have to revisit this later, Lord Pravus," she tells the former with another slightly sharper flicker of a smile. Then she turns, offering Thorley her hand. "You may. I'm not certain you are an actual stranger, but we will have to make due."

"Countess Aella Ravenseye." Comes the immediate answer as the coppery countess pulls her glass away from her face to answer. "You're the nightingall, right?" She then looks down to Veronica and Amari. "Countess Aella Ravenseye." She drains that next glass and slams it down. "I'm from the north." She adds, just to be clear.

Sapphira curtsies to River. "I would be most honored. Thank you kind sir." She holds out her hands to dance, "I am Lady Sapphira Whitehawk. It is a pleasure to meet you."

Sapphira checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 57 higher.

River checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 27 higher.

"I've had lots of practice," Sabella assures him, "I didn't actually catch your name Lord...?" She prompts politely.

River checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 49 higher.

"Well, I mean, we have met - be it ever so briefly, my Lady." Thorley admits with a laugh. "And of course, when you've taken as many hits to the head as I have, it tends to rattle the memory and dull it." There's a grin, sharp and warm at that as he moves around with Lilia to the last song of the evening. "You feel you have had a successful evening?"

If there's any disappointment at Thorley's approach to his dance partner, it doesn't show in the Pravus Lord's expression. Indeed, he gestures towards Lilia with an easy smile. "I look forward to it. Enjoy, Lady Telmar," he says, as he smoothes down his black-and-white outfit, and winds his way deliberately off the dance floor.

Thorley checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 30 higher.

Amari rocks her head side to side thoughtfully enough, saying, "He is handsome enough, but I'm afraid he was a bit of a recluse so no one seemed to know who he was. I did my best to cure him of that though." The exchange between Aella and Gianna draws her attention, and when the Countess gives her introduction she replies reflexively in kind, flawlessly polite, "Lady Amari Keaton, so nice to meet you. From where in the North do you hail?"

Lilia checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 2 higher.





Veronica shoots Amari a gimlet side-eye, but laughs a little despite herself. "I was doing fairly well until Princess Sabella started shaking her hips. I felt inspired to keep up," she says, trying to scathe Amari with a dry tone. It's Not Very Effective.



She shifts to look at Gianna, and smiles at the woman with a slight nod. "I'm sure she has," Veronica says, giving Amari (another) flickering side-eye. Suspiciously! There is an undercurrent of unreserved affection in that look, though, and she looks back to Gianna. "I'm pleased to meet you, Lady Gianna. I hope dear Amari hasn't been stretching the truth *too* much," she murmurs.



Aella's blunt introduction is met with an unoffended nod and a direct look that's somewhat atypical with the court at large. "Veronica Keaton," the blonde woman says, forgoing any title. "Sword of Keaton," she says, introducing herself in turn.

"Of course, If you are a competent dancer, than I shall not hold back," River says, to Sapphira, adding, "Let us give these people a show, yes?"



THen with back straight and a look of confidence on his face, he leads Sapphira onto the floor, before wisking her up into a graceful floating dance, perfectly timed with the music, steps intricate and matching The woman's though perhaps with a little less quality than Sapphira's own. Still he makes up for it with courtly elegance and most certainly playing to the crowds of onlookers that may be.

"All good things," Gianna tells Veronica, her tone light. And then she gently corrects Aella with, "Nightingale. Are you any relation to Lord Jayden Ravenseye? We're very grateful of his talents with woodworking at the College. He makes very good instruments."

"It seems you've nearly described myself." Duarte says with a chuckles. He finishes his drink and sets it on the table for collection by one of the rotating servants. "And to which I must return: my reclusivity." He pushes himself up from the table and bows once more to Amari, "Thank you again, my lady, for a fine evening." And nods to the rest of the table, "Enjoy the rest of the party."

River has joined the Dance Floor.

Pausing to collect a glass of wine, Sebastian spots a familiar figure, winding his way across the floor towards Niccolo. "Uncle," he greets in low, wry tone as he approaches the older man. "It's been some time. Enjoying the food?" with a little glance at the selection.

"By some measure of success," Lilia answers, falling into step to follow Thorley's lead. Perhaps not quite so fluidly as she managed with her last partner, but what can one do? She does watch Sebastian's departure for a moment or so before he's lost in the dance, or else she is, but aside from that she's content to shift her conversation. "There is only one other thing I'd hoped to accomplish tonight, but in retrospect I do not know if would have been an improvement on the evening, or just a temporary source of amusement. And you? Are you enjoying yourself?"

Liara, paying attention to the hall in general for a moment, notes Duarte's impending departure, and offers over to him, "I hope you enjoyed the ball, my lord."

Gilroy laughs at Sabella's question, letting her take the lead since she's the one who knows what she's doing. "Lord Granthem Gilden, of course!" He shakes his head with a grin and amends, "Not truly, but wouldn't that be a thing? No. No lord here. Gilroy Grayhope, of the Lenosian Grayhopes. Good to finally meet you, Princess Sabella Grayson."

"Stormheart." Aella spits out rapidly to Amari. To Gianna's correction, Aella waves a hand sort of dismissively. Yeah, yeah. Then she gives a smirk and a nod. "You know little Jayden? Is that so. I didn't know that he tried to come here to push all that stuff off on the poor southerners. No one in Stormheart would take them." She smiles brightly and lets out a laugh before shaking her head. "I'm just kidding. We took some of them." Still coming off the laughter her attention rolls to Veronica. "Lady Keaton, Sword. Pleasure. I'm sure." Did she finish her last glass. She holds up and squints at it. It's empty. Huh.

"I doubt that you are ever considered to be an amusement, my lady. Delightful, surely." Thorley responds easily as he finds himself leading tonight. "I feel as though I would have enjoyed this more with Violet - but at the same time, I doubt I would have attempted to meet anyone knew short of her prodding me with her boot to encourage me onto the floor. I look forward to speaking you and your father further on the assistance you can offer to our fledgling Barony."

Duarte smiles across the distance to Liara and lifts his hand, "Indeed I did, your highness. Thank you. None greater." And then he's off.

"I suppose I do have a type." Amari smiles after she's bowed her head to Duarte in kind. "Enjoy the rest of your evening as well, Count Duarte."

Duarte has left the Great Table.

3 Thrax Guards, Carys, a slight woman with ink-stained fingers arrive, following Caith.

Sapphira is just swept off her feet her cheeks blush with excitement as she dances with River in harmony together. She has been trained well, but it is the music within her heart that leads her to the best abilities as she floats with him. "You are an amazing dance partner!" She is so thrilled it just cannot be hardly contained.

Niccolo matches his nephew's grin. "Ah, Lord Sebastian. Some time indeed." To the man's question, he glances over to the table, sounding thoughtful. "I have always found it better to pass on the food at such events. Strictly drinks. And you," His dark gaze returns to Sebastian, "Are you enjoying yourself? I met someone last night who wanted to meet someone from House Pravus, so your timing is ideal."

Amari also echoes Gianna, "All good things." Veronica has nothing to worry about. Her smile is very very not crooked at all. Not even a little bit at the corner there, unless one squints and imagines things.

River checked strength + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 45 higher.

"A Grayhope?" Sabella seems surprised but she tries to cover it with a smile, "Well, Master Grayhope, it is likewise nice to meet you. And this is umbra so don't worry about getting anything on it," she assures him nicely.

Lilia's smile brightens with some of that amusement. "Oh, I didn't me, at all. My father did instruct me to make an effort to make him put in a few more social appearances, but he was indisposed this evening." Hence, no doubt, the humor that glitters in grey eyes. "Violet is your... wife?" It is maybe not a guess, but hazarded with some tentativeness, as if the exact details were a bit hazy for her. "And you should. Send a messenger. Maybe not in the morning, but soon."

"Then Let us try something more difficult," River states, gauging the type of music, before he bids, "Perhaps a half lift?" He asks, then he is eyeing the floor and marking out a path before he steps gracefully, into a turn,twirling Sapphira out and then when he brings the woman back in, he flexes and attempts a simple lift, of course making it look more showy than actually difficult before he comes to the other side of the floor if successful of course.

The lift of his glass seems to be Sebastian's response to Niccolo's observation of going 'strictly drinks'; "A motto to live by," he agrees. "Oh, I'm having quite the fun. You know the Duke Arn, of course? The lady over there is his daughter, and /quite/ unlike him." He gives a nod to where Lilia is dancing with Thorley. "That saying about apples and trees definitely does not seem to apply." The latter observation earns a lift of brow, and he turns fully towards the Velenosian. "I'm surprised you aren't sending a steady stream of people our way, in that case. Who /wouldn't/ want to meet someone from House Pravus?" he says, with a low-throated laugh. "But I'm more than happy to entertain such things: who is inquiring?"

"I have also been hearing all the nice things Amari has been saying about you Lady Veronica. I am Lady Elsbetta of Farshaw older sister to Lisebet." Elsbetta smiles

"Aye. Baroness-Consort Violet Farwatch. She is the commandant of the Crimson Blades." Thorley explains with a laugh as he flashes a smile. "I believe she is at least half of the reason that my Duke decided to respond with elevating me to the level of Baron." the knight admits with a hint of color in his cheeks. "I will make sure that we are both present for meeting with your father, though."

Gilroy's smile tightens marginally at Sabella's comment, but he graciously says, "You are so thoughtful, your highness! Thank you for letting me know. I'm often so concerned about spilling soups and stews on the ladies with whom I dance that I can barely talk!" He glances sidelong to where River is doing a strong man act. "Now there's a man who isn't worried about getting his stew all over the place."

Having made a spirited attack on the refreshments available, Ouida is once more pleasantly weaving her way through those gathered watching the dancers. Her gaze falls on several faces in turn amongst the dancers, which brings a pleased smile to her lips. But then she is drifting over towards the great table, wineglass still in hand.





Veronica regards the conversation between Aella and Gianna with a thoughtful expression. Aella's blunt tones seem to be mannerism of the North more than an intent at hostility. She's distracted by Amari's flirting with Duarte, and nudges her cousin's foot discreetly under the table and gives her an interrogative quirk of her golden eyebrows.



When Elsbetta speaks, Veronica smiles at the woman, looking a little abashed at all the (alleged) praise Amari's heaping on her name. "A pleasure to meet you, Lady Eslbetta," Veronica assures the other woman. "And Veronica, please. 'Lady' is reserved for formal court address, in my mind," she assures her.

Gianna inclines her head to Aella, raising her glass to the other woman and taking a long sip. She looks to the dance floor, blinks at something, and wrinkles her nose. At least she didn't spit-take.

Better late than never, eh? Caith huffs into the ballroom -- she's clearly been running but she pulls up at the last moment and takes the final few steps into the ballroom at a leisurely pace. You know, like a dignified person. Looking like some kind of GOTH PRINCESS all in her all-umbra getup, she unfastens her cloak and hands it off to .. oh, I don't know. One of the people hired to do that sort of thing. In contrast to her 'my outfit is BLACK, just like my SOUL' thing she's got going on, the Thrax royal beams a radiant smile for the room that is all lightness and joy. Oh look! A drink! She snatches it from a passing tray and then starts to mingle. Mingle, mingle, mingle.

Sapphira is all for trying new things tonight, and the idea of the lift has her inspired! She follows his lead, and does what is needed so that she does not fall, or knock River over. As they come to the other side of the dance floor and she is back on the ground she lets out a bit of some happy sound, "That was unexpected and fun!"

Liara starts to drift along, light-footed, towards the band. A portent of an impending end to the meeting-strangers thing? Idle pacing? She also procures a fresh glass of wine from a passing servant on the way.

"Of course." Lilia nods as Thorley clarifies, smile undimmed, though there's something else that appears, briefly, in her expression. "Oh. She is?" The commandant, that is. "Why ever did you leave her at home? You should've brought her and let me dance with her instead." Is the Telmar teasing? Very likely. In good spirits. "Just let me know when and I'll see that the duke is available. You may want to send 'round some indication of what specifically you hope to gain. Or meet with me in advance of it, if you care to suffer through two meetings instead of one."

Elsbetta smiles widely at Veronica. "Ouida will you join us? I am unsure whom you know since everyone here is a new acquaintance for me but they have been most gracious and kind to me I am sure they will forgive any misstep from me."

"Well, it is about fun I do suspect," River agrees, with a warm chuckle, spotting Gianna and giving a bit of a roguish smile and a wink.



5 He is content to float through the rest of the dance with a contented smile, introducing to Sapphira, "I am River Culler. Formerly of the whisper house. It is so lovely to meet you, You are such an excellent dancer, it is wonderful to have the opportunity, since I have not danced in...well, quite some time. I rarely attend such large events. So thank you for making it memorable."

Sabella spins under Gilroy's arm snd as the song comes to an end she falls into a dip, "Well, thank you for the dance, Master Gilroy. How long have you been in the city?"

River is overheard praising Sapphira: Going out on a limb while dancing is really awesome of course!

Corban has left the Gray Table.

Reedy, a King's Own aide leaves, following Corban.

"She opted to stay home and feed Sorcha. She didn't feel up to dancing." Thorley admits with a laugh. "Though I'm sure she would have happily danced with you as well." And then there's a Caith. Someone else he doesn't know, and one last chance to top Sabella. "If you will pardon me, my lady?" he asks as he bows to offers his hand to Caith. "Would you care to dance, my lady?"

"Oh, just a few days. But I'm hoping to make it big." Once the dance is over Gilroy steps away from Sabella and offers a nod. "This seems like the sort of city where anyone with a smidge of talent and a lot of iron will can do just about anything."

The band drops the music back to a subtle ambience as Liara arrives at their place, then she raises her voice to carry. "That's the last dance for now, though the band shall facilitate a few more before we finish for those who somehow still have energy. Now, if I am not much mistaken, the person who has met the very most strangers has met six. Anyone met seven? I obviously cannot know everyone's prior acquaintances. How about those on five?"

Ouida's warmth is bestowed upon those gathered around the Farshaw lady as well. "Only in passing, I think, at a few events here and there," she says to Elsbetta. "I'm glad to see you enjoying yourself so!" She curtsies to the others. "Ouida Harthall, Sword of Fair Harbour," she introduces herself. "What a lovely gathering."

Terese excuses herself politely from her table, wishing those present a lovely evening, before stepping out for a bit of fresh air.

"You will find I have no shortage of mottos to live by, and live by that one I do." Niccolo smirks absently as his attention follows Sebastian's nod toward Lilia. He does not comment - not his style - but his smirk remains. "We are of like mind there, nephew. One day away from Setarco is always a day too many. I believe her name is Delilah Whitehawk. Do you know or her?"

Though it seems that the dances are over for it now, Thorley decides it's his own time to take a drink. With this one, it's going to be a cider - non-alcoholic.

Would she care to dance? Oh, would she ever! Caith tosses back the remainder of her drink (glugs are involved since it was nearly full) and she hands off her empty glass to a passing someone-or-other. "Yes, please!" she trills in reply to Thorley, slipping her hand into his. "It has been far too long since I have taken some turns around a dance floor. Forgive me if I commit a crime against your toes; I may be out of practice!" She laughs at the thought of this and sticks out one footsie, wiggling it around in a mock-menacing fashion.

Terese has left the Great Table.

Gianna drains the last of her wine and sets the glass on the table, murmuring something to the others there as she rises.

Caith has joined the Dance Floor.

Lilia has left the Dance Floor.

Thorley has left the Dance Floor.

Sapphira dances around with River, and inclines her head, "It is an honor to meet you. Thank you for your kind words. It seems my abilities run through my family, so I am blessed to have been born a part of them all. I do so hope you will come out to more events in the future. You have been a lovely dance partner, and I shall remember you and this evening for a long long time."

"Ouida do you have plans later tonight or will you be heading home after this?" says Elsbetta with a smile

2 Bisland pride guards arrives, following Kaia.

2 House Deepwood Guards, Kaia arrive, following Maddox.

Maddox steps back in with kaia a little while after they had to leave earlier. Pausing to see who is all here still and what might be going on.

Tovell leaves his table and the very grim-looking conversation he was having there, to amble over towards the edge of the dance floor and get a better vantage to listen to Liara.

Tovell has left the Gray Table.

There's a none-too-subtle brightening of Sebastian's gaze at Niccolo's mention of Setarco. "Well spoken. I was back there recently, actually -- hoping to seek a new pressing of red. I've almost finished that case of Setarco Serpentine. For a time I was saving it for a special occasion, but that seems frivolous. Much better to drink it while I can -- and I have enjoyed it a great deal." As he mentions Delilah, the man looks thoughtful. "The name sounds familiar; perhaps in passing. I've met a handful of Whitehawks. Undoubtedly a sister of at least one of them. I'll keep an eye out."

River smiles and then he ends at a respectable point, his arm held out for Sapphira as he moves to the edge of the floor, turning to look towards Liara, "Thank you so much. Really, I have been in less than acceptable health and am only now really attending such funtions." Then he falls silent.

Kaia looks around for a moment, before whispering to Maddox. "Should we go get ourselves something to drink?"

As most of the dancing is now concluded Lilia makes her way back to the table previously held by the Telmar contingent of the party. And as now only Tovell seems to be still in residence, it is him that will have to bear the brunt of her smile, and her amusement. "You're lucky they're finished, or I would've made you go out and dance with me," she informs him. It might be an idle threat. Especially since he yields the table entirely, giving her most every choice of places to sit again.

Lilia has joined the Gray Table.

Gianna has left the Great Table.

Veronica brightens when Ouida introduces herself. "I'm Veronica," she tells the woman. "Sword of Keaton." Swords gotta stick together! "Please, join us if you're not in a hurry to return home," she suggests to Ouida. "You were dancing very well earlier," she compliments the other woman.

Et tu, Caith? Sabella luckily is unaware that her besets friend and hug rival is trying to ruin her chances of winning this event! "You are so right!" She enthuses to Gilroy, "Anyone can be anything in this city! Just reach for your dreams and I'm sure you can be a great..." She looks him over, "...baker?" She guesses.

Thorley returns to his group of Farshaws and Harthalls. "Did Lisebet sneak out on us?" he asks, as Elsbetta asks Ouida to accompany her home.

"I believe that Baron Farwatch there has managed to dance with no fewer than six complete strangers. Princess Sabella and Lady Sapphira Whitehawk there are on five each, or is it four for you, my lady?" The latter directed at Sapphira. Then she asks, "Have I overlooked or miscounted anyone? Regrettably, I am not -quite- all-seeing."

Liara said that.

Tovell laughs, offering Lilia a bow. "You would regret it," he says. "You can ask Lady Lisebet how it went when she tried. But by all means, next time there is a social event, I will claim a dance from you then." He straightens. "For now, I am afraid I will be going, though. Perhaps next time we can talk some more."

Maddox nods to Kaia and he will escort her over to get drinks, Wine from a waiter for himself. "Thank you" he then asks "Do you prefer wine?" to Kaia. He looks over and gives a wave to Princess Sabella, as he does this. "Have you met the princess Sabella as yet?"

Sapphira is quite pleased with her latest dance partner, and as she is asked, she replies, "It has been five, yes."

With a twinkle in her eye Elsbetta says "Yes Lisbet wanted to show her new dress to someone special. I assured her I would be more than able to find my way back"

River is content to stay where is until such time as his dance partner wishes to be escorted. He glances after the departing Nightengale with thoughtful expression on his face, but mostly he's all smiles.

Niccolo lifts his glass again, this time in thanks. "I am glad you have enjoyed it. I have a few more bottles hidden here and there, but there is never a shortage of good wine to be had from that island. As for the Lady Whitehawk, she confirmed she was from the forest and a few other details - I believe she is acquainted with Luca and Ophelia - but otherwise I am short on detail." Niccolo is a master at keeping conversation at surface level. "But I will send her your name. See she doesn't get murdered." Dry enough to be a joke, surely.

Lilia lifts her hand in a sweeping, gracious gesture as Tovell demures. "I will hold you to that, cousin. Be well!" She may not be over long at the table though. She sits long enough to catch her breath, to settle after those turns on the floor, and uses this then as the penultimate opportunity to skim the party, as if she's hunting someone or something in the crowd.

Kaia nods. "Wine would be fine." she replies, before looking over to Sabella. "Ah, yes. I believe I met her briefly as I walked through the streets in search of a tailor. Lovely lady, she was very kind and friendly." she replies to Maddox.

Wait, what, huh? She was asked to dance and then her partner wandered away to drink instead. Caith looks .. confused! Like, legit puzzled. She looks at the dance floor (upon which she already has a foot planted) and then back at Thorley. Dance floor. Thorley. Dance floor. Thorley. Granted, she arrived late and has noooooo idea that there is some kind of competition under way; she just wants to shake her tail feathers, dammit! She wants to shake what her mamma gave her, gee whiz! So she does the only thing one can do in this situation: she wiggles around solo. So there!

Caith checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 44 higher.

Thorley blinks a few times when he counts off on his fingers. Yeah, he comes up with six as well - Caith would have been seven!

"When you are ready to go, my lady, I should be glad to see you home safely," Ouida smiles to Elsbetta. "I have just received some words that require my attention, but it can keep for a little while." She smiles proudly at Thorley. "I believe our Baron Farwatch has outdone himself!"

Maddox retrieves a glass of wine for Kaia and offers it to her "Here you go." he smiles a bit, and looks about the room. Quietly for the moment after that, seeking to see what conversations are going on.

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

"Very good, then. My congratulations to Baron Farwatch for managing to dance with an astounding number of people he'd never met. A very warm welcome to Lady Sapphira to Arx. And my dear cousin, Princess Sabella, was - I think inarguably - the most sophisticated and most creative person to dance, including with the northern piece." Liara lifts her wine to take a sip. "Congratulations to you all, and a servant shall be along momentarily with some small favours." Then she glances about, and suggests, "Given how it was received earlier, I rather feel like a second run of the first toast is quite in order. It is the one thousand and tenth year after the Reckoning, and the Compact continues to withstand all that threatens it." And she lifts her glass, and repeats what some already heard, "The Compact endures."

Sebastian looks -- briefly -- considering at the idea of hidden bottles -- like maybe that's a challenge for later. "I'll go through the haul and see what there is. If I find any particularly good bottles, I'll be sure to send one your way." He gives a brief nod at the impart of information from Niccolo, ending in a low-throated laugh at that dry observation. "I shall try my best, but no promises." They are Lycene, after all, and there are appearances to be kept.

Lifting his glass in response, Thorley echoes Liara's toast. "And so shall it continue to do so!"

After a moment, Sebastian holds his glass up, nodding towards Liara, and then drinks deeply.

Sapphira notices River's expression and his glance. She wonders about that, but will wait until a better time to speak to him. She beams with the mention of her name by the hostess, and when she calls for another toast she joins in with the others, "We Endure!"

Sapphira is overheard praising River: Such a lovely dancer!

Elsbetta joins in the toast "We endure!"

Ouida lifts her glass in salute as well, adding her voice to the others.

"We endure," River echoes with a serious nod to Liara, smiling aside to Sapphira, asking lowly, "You are new to the city? then I am glad you have had such a wonderful start. I think my first event was a :Duel, and it was quite impressive. So much goes on here."

Kaia takes the glass of wine that Maddox had just given her and at the sound of the present toast been given by the hostess she raises it "The compact endures." she repeats quietly and then with a bit of a smile she takes it to her lips to take a sip.

"We endure!" Amari toasts, having been distracted for a time in the careful reading of a missive. She tries her best to catch up with the goings on at her table, first smiling a greeting to Ouida then turning to Veronica to murmur something quietly to her cousin.

After the toast, some servants do circulate at Liara's behest, handy little leather cases with them with sundry useful documents, letters of introduction, and so forth, to present to the three winners. Then Liara finally departs the region of the dance floor, to make for the largest of the tables, herself. The band starts back up, more dance music, sedate in manner - much more so than earlier on - to allow those who wish to continue to dance more.

Liara has left the Dance Floor.

Liara has joined the Great Table.

Veronica raises her glass as well, joining the toast. "We endure!" she remarks, her voice a chiming clarion.

"We en--" The rest of it is a grunt. Aella has been drinking a lot. It was probably endure. But there's a strong chance she shouted 'we endeer'. The countess takes another long gulp.

Sapphira nods to River. "I just arrived yesterday in fact. My sister, Tabitha, came ahead of me, as well as all my cousins."

Niccolo arches a brow as he finishes his whiskey at the toast. The drink is for the hostess, but the expression for Sebastian: "No, I wouldn't think so." He comments, again with a dry tone as he lifts his now empty glass to call the attention of a nearby servant. "Are you back to another dance then? Picking apples?"

Kaia says, "Such a lovely celebration, wouldn't you agree Lord Deepwood?" Kaia asks her date for the ball."

Elsbetta says "Princess Liara it is a pleasure to finally meet you. This event has been spectacular thank you for hosting. I am Lady Elsbetta of Farshaw."

The blonde Thrax royal ends her solo dance with a twirl -- twiiiiiiiirl! -- and then claps her hands together. "The Compact endures! Hurrah!" Caith is chipper and bright and, gosh, she's only one drink into the evening. Just think how perky she'll become after a few more glasses! When someone grunts, she turns and looks over thattaways, her smile hanging lopsided as she peers at Aella.

"We endure," Lilia agrees, collecting one randomly abandoned glass from her table to lift to join the toast. She returns it to its place soon enough, and waits for the band to strike back up to get to her feet. The now empty hand brushes down her skirt in a lazy sort of gesture before she goes to thread off through the crowd.

Maddox also raises his glass, but what he says is drowned out by the other voices. After a sip he nods to Kaia, "indeed.. I agree." he moves with her around, through the gathered people, listening casually as he talks to Kaia.

Lilia has left the Gray Table.

"Ah, so very new in fact," River comments to Sapphira, nodding his head as he nods to a server and plucks up a glass of wine when offered. Then he looks back to the Whitehawk's seat, asking, "Shall I escort you?" the glass lifted to his lips.

Having found herself a seat at the table - she's been on her feet the entire time so far, even if not dancing - Liara offers Elsbetta a warm and ready smile. "I am glad you enjoyed it, my lady. Do please help yourself to food or drink as you like. Amazingly, some people still have energy," she adds, looking towards the dance floor.

Sapphira nods. "Yes, please. Although it has been a lovely evening of dancing, I think I should take a moment to sit down." She takes his arm so he may escort her there.

"No, I think I've had my share of dancing for the evening," Sebastian says, his gaze flickering towards the floor. He doesn't miss his uncle's expression, just a slight tension to his shoulders to indicate such. His gaze flickers down to his glass, and with a slight tip towards Niccolo, he takes a sip with the smallest of smiles. "Do have a good evening, Uncle." A moment later, he's winding his way through the crowd -- pausing briefly near the large table to nod at those present, and more specifically to address Liara: "It's been a wonderful ball, your highness. Do have a good evening," is offered to her with a smile, before he makes his way out.

Sapphira has left the Dance Floor.

Kaia is overheard praising Liara: Such a lovely celebration!

2 Harthall house guards, Niall RedTree, adorably awkward page leave, following Ouida.

Sebastian has left the Dance Floor.

2 Pravus Honor Guard leaves, following Sebastian.

River nods and then, keeping well paced with Sapphira, he leads the noblewoman over to her chair, waiting for her to be seated.

Caith has left the Dance Floor.

Amari is also going to rise, at first to curtsey to Liara, and give thanks with a smile, "Wonderful event, Your Highness. Thank you." She dips her head to those at the table as well, adding, "It was very nice to see you all, as well. I should be going though, before it get too late." There's a look to Veronica, to see if her fellow Keaton is planning on staying or going herself, but she looks resolved to depart, and will either way.

Liara offers an easy smile in parting to those leaving, and takes another small sip of her wine. Seated though she is, she retains pristine posture - for the moment. She wonders aloud, "Anyone still seeking to dance? If so, speak up and I'm sure we'll be able to match a couple of pairs." To Amari, she says, "I hope you enjoyed it, my lady."





Veronica rises and joins the general exchange of approbations, and slings her baldric back around her hips. Her heavy cloak is pulled across her shoulders, clasped into place to guard her from the snow but keep her sword arm free. Gauntlets are tugged into place and she nods at her cousin, moving to accompany her to the door and the snow-filled air outside.

Aella has left the Great Table.

River is overheard praising Aella: makes drinking look awesome!

Amari is overheard praising Liara.

Amari has left the Great Table.

2 Armed Confessors, Kirwin leave, following Veronica.

2 Novice Keaton Huntsmen, Veronica leave, following Amari.

With no one to dance with -- woe! WOE!! -- Caith drags herself off the dance floor with feet that seem to have turned into stone. So. Heavy. Dragdragdraaaaaag. An attendant wanders by with a tray full of drinks so the blonde comforts herself by grabbing one. Booze always mends a sorrowful heart! Or does it make it worse? Whatever! She sips it down rather quickly and then returns to mingling, a third glass magically turning up her in hand soon enough.

Sabella has left the Dance Floor.

Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting have been dismissed.

Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting have been dismissed.

2 Grayson House Guards have been dismissed.

Clark, an exasperated guard have been dismissed.

At the hostess offer Kaia grins and takes a glance at her date. "Well then Lord Deepwood" she pauses giving him a challenging look "...will you ask me to dance, or should I take the hostess on her offer to find me a dancing partner?" she says with a chuckle.

Glancing about, River states to Sapphira, "I best make my greetings to the princess before I am not able to do so. Thank you so much for the company, Lady Whitehawk." He bows formally, then turns and with a straightening of shirt and sash, makes his way over, bowing to Liara. "Good day, My lady and thank you for such a fun event. I was so glad to attend at least part of the festivities."

Maddox pauses a moment at Kaia's words, and he chuckles "I would be honored to try to dance.. though my skill may show to be somewhat lacking. There was little dancing in my history. " he bows slightly to her though "But I will be honored to dance, should you wish." and, assuming she does, he will lead her onto the floor.

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

Liara offers River a quick smile and lifts her wineglass in a light gesture of acknowledgement. "I am glad that you enjoyed it. It was marvellous to see so many meeting new people."

As Sebastian makes an exit, Niccolo receives a fresh glass. The Velenosa is always difficult to read - his expression casual enough to appear at ease as he begins to wind his way through some dancers. But tonight his eyes belie his schooled features - there is an edge to them, even as he adopts a smile when he reaches Caith's side. "Saving a drink for me Princess?"

Sapphira inclines her head to River, and then picks up a passing glass of wine and finds a place to sit for a moment, resting her dancing feet.

And so she is. "Well, my feet will probably regret me asking for it, but hopefully it'll be fun?" she says with a grin. "Worse thing that could happen...you step on the hem of my dress and we fall." she says feigning an anxious expression.

River straightens, smiling and nodding enthusiasticly. "I must agree, I was just so glad to attend. And what a way to get people to mingle. Oh, my apologies. River Culler. It is a pleasure." HIs manners may be an odd contrast to the family name of some reputation.

Kaia has rolled a critical success!
Kaia checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 25 higher.

Twinkle! Caith grins up at Niccolo when appears next to her. "Of course," the Thrax woman laughs, wrinkle-crinkling her nose cutely as she holds up her glass to clink-clink with his. "You know that you are my favorite drinking partner at these events." She tucks her arm in with his, settling her hand there in the crook of his elbow. "It's good to see you! It's been far too long." Tipping her head slightly, she looks him up and down, as if checking him over.

Maddox is clearly not a dancer, he gets mixed up on the crossover, and never quite manages to get back in time with the music.

"It is good to meet you," Liara says to River, then she peeks towards the dance floor with a smile as a couple of people do venture back out onto it.

Sapphira realizes the time, and gets up after finishing her drink. She leaves the glass with a server, and makes her way over toward the hostess. "Thank you for the most lovely evening I have had in many years. I should return to my family and finish getting settled into my new room. I hope to meet you again soon." She waves to River, and then makes her way on out of the Great Hall.

Elsbetta stands and elegantly curtsies to Princess Liara "Thank you again for a wonderful evening. Hope we shall meet again. I must be heading home now. Good night."

River lifts his hand to wave to the departing Sapphira, and then bids to Liara, "I should make my departure as well, thank you once more." He bows and then drifts away.

Kaia being more dexterous at the art of dancing helps Maddox get back into the rhythm. "Careful now, follow my lead..." she offers " One, two...one, two... and spin~" she'd say, all the while enjoying the fact that he still seemed to be trying.

With a gracious smile to the people leaving, Liara says, "It was lovely to see you all here. I wish you as warm and dry a trip home as can be had!"

Elsbetta has left the Great Table.

River is overheard praising Liara: Great party and a great hostess!

2 Whitehawk Guards leaves, following Sapphira.

Maddox is overheard praising Liara: A wonderful party with lots of people, perfectly planned.

River has left the Dance Floor.

Oli, a flute playing apprentice with green eyes leaves, following River.

"We do seem to find each other at the refreshments, don't we?" Niccolo also takes a moment to look over Caith. For his part, he seems the same as always, and as she takes his arm he nods toward a hallway off the main hall, "Join me for a moment?"

Niccolo has joined the Alcove By the Stairs.

Caith has joined the Alcove By the Stairs.

Maddox finishes the dance as best as he can, then leads Kaia off the floor "Thanks for keeping me from making too big of a fool of myself. he will lead her over to Liara directly and bows to the hostess "A wonderful party Princess." he then adds "I am Lord Maddox Deepwood, and this is Lady Kaia Bisland."

"A pleasure to meet you, my lord," Liara replies to Maddox. "The inestimable Lord Grady is my protege." Then she offers Kaia a ready smile. "A pleasure to meet you too, my lady. Is that your perfume I detect? It is exquisite if so."

"That we do," Caith replies with a radiant smile before taking a siiiiiip of her drink. She is plowing through this third glass of wine at a decent clip (as she is wont to do) and is skilled enough to do so while walking! The princess allows Niccolo to guide her over to a tucked-out-of-the-way spot and it is there where she lowers her voice and a more private conversation takes place.

Kaia would make a courtesy to Liara. "Your highness." she says "Lovely party, thank you for having us."

Kaia would then smile and give a gentle nod. "Thank you, your highness. It is, the lovely Lorna Redvale was kind enough to commission it for me."

Maddox smiles to the princess and offers "Lord Grady and I were raised together, along with his sister Emily and My sister Braelynn. Until he came to the city, we spent many many days together... His presence is a relief for me to be honest."

"It is just delightful," Liara says to Kaia. Then the Grayson finishes up to her wine and makes to rise to her feet. She gives a gentle incline of her head to Maddox. "He's a good fellow to have around." A brief aside then, to a lingering servant, who heads off to tell the band they can start packing up - everybody's either busy departing or just chatting at this point.

Caith squeaks all of a sudden! Yes, there is a very distinct SQUEAK from over there in the alcove by the stairs. It sounds startled.

For the record, Niccolo is not accosting Caith or otherwise physically eliciting the squeak.

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

Kaia smiled at the princess remark "I'm glad you find it so, princess." She was listening to the exchange of words between Liara and Maddox; when suddenly, she heard a squeak in the background and, naturally, turned around briefly to take a look. She rose a brow, but her attention quickly shifted back towards her current companion. "Shall we be taking our leave then, Lord Deepwood?" she asked her date.

With Kaia and Maddox making to depart, Liara detaches herself and glances about the hall. Niccolo and Caith are chatting privately, and she doesn't make to disturb them. Instead, without any fanfare (the band's gone anyhow), she has a last word with a servant, and departs. The food and drink remains available to stragglers for a while afterwards.



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