There will be food. No one should be knighted without ample provisions. Also, the Duskshire horses and mules have been put somewhere far away. Anyone wearing a dress will be nice and safe.
Jan. 5, 2020, 8:30 p.m.
Outside Arx - Duskshire - Duskshire Keep - Clement Lands
Comments and Log
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Tesha before departing.
Every effort has been taken to turn rustic Duskshire into a place for a celebration. Oodles of green bunting have been shipped in (does anyone know how hard it is to get mules to not eat green fabric? Seriously.) and placed along the astute stone walls to soften them. Laurent, Keaton, and Clement symbols hang about the hall, along with liberal signs of Gloria. Each table has small glass horses upon them (PLEASE TAKE THEM).
Yesterday's stable-hands wander the hall serving drinks and food to those who come to support the soon-to-be-knight. It isn't the most posh, but everything that etiquette demands has been strictly adhered to. Not a single fork is wrong.
A small dais has been erected for those who are to speak and pray - and for the Knighthood ceremony itself.
Cassandra gets Glass horse figurine.
Adalyn takes Glass horse figurine.
Reigna takes Glass horse figurine.
Amari is seated at the big table, because she's almost a knight now, and wearing full plate armor for much the same reason. No helmet, however, as that would seriously impede the conversations she's been having and the drinks she's been drinking. In place of the helmet, a crown of silk wildflowers and her two loyal canine companions, Barf and River have garlands of summer flowers around their necks too. It's a fancy occasion.
Kael's arriving with Reigna on his arm, as the pair of them are prone to traveling. A few gentle words are offered to his wife, a tilt of his head to the side sidelong before he is looking forward and bowing toward the host as well as the honored Lady should they already be present. Thereafter he is turning to regard the area as a whole, seeking out appropriate seating to guide Reigna toward. Ah-hah. That table over there will do just fine and that is precisely where he shall go. The occasion is enough to have him smiling, that ever-present fatigue at a minimum.
Eddard is here! The mud from the orchard has been scraped from his boots. And...something heavy. Something very heavy. At least to him. A wrist lifts and wipes across his forehead. He takes a pause and nearly keels forward to breath dep a few moments. Then he keeps...almost dragging. Lifting and dancing forward a few steps. Then pausing again to regain his strength. Once he is close enough to wherever gifts go, its like the object has become normal weight and he lofts it upwards and settles it onto the table. Then removes the linen cover to leave a chestpiece of diamondplate upon the table before meandering towards drinks.
Here as a representive of the Crown or the King's Own or just as a former Oathlander or all three, Sir Corban is here resplendent in his silver rubicund armor and with his perfect alaricite blade on his hip. He smiles to those he sees, making small talk with squires and stablehands wanting to hear about life in the Hundred.
Reigna walks with a serene expression, her fingertips so very lightly resting on Kael's arm. Her fatigue is present, weighing on her, aging her. But despite this, she has a warm smile for Amari, pausing to curtsy to the woman of the hour before Kael deposits her at the table. She has a murmured thanks for his genteel manners and quietly takes a seat, folding her hands in her lap.
Tesha arrives without an escort and there's a look about her that states she was hurrying to get to the event on time. She gives a smile to Norwood when she sees him and there's a moment taken to greet him, "Baron." she smiles. "I bet you're considerably proud of Lady Amari." she states as she looks around for the soon to be Knight. She gives a look to Eddard when he seems to be having such trouble with the armor, "Do you need some help?" she asks him.
Cristoph is here! He's wearing his typical outfit of leather, silk and steel with black and gold for his colors. He doesn't appear to be doing anything particularly exciting at the moment, he's off by the drinks chatting with another guest.
Norwood drops A table with a judgmental wooden horse.
Norwood drops Wall alcove.
Norwood drops Around the Dais.
Duskshire, home sweet home. Adalyn arrives outfitted in her usual Clement-themed armour, a crown of wildflowers perched atop her head - a rather incongruous look, but it adds a festive touch of whimsy. A look is cast toward Amari, a beaming smile of pride and excitement sent in her direction. And then the Clement is off to mingle and to locate a drink.
Lisebet might have been to Duskshire once before. Or maybe not. But there's not a chance she'd miss this! So she's here and relaxing, as she has a drink and puts herself somewhere to watch whatever goes on.
Norwood circulates as a good host does. He is NOT in armor, because he's been told that's not actually appropriate as the host. Something about inspiring confidence. He does wear Queensguard though, so there's that small nod to it. He pauses beside Amari and lays a hand upon her shoulder. "Are you ready?" It's a rhetorical question, but a good one none-the-less.
While she may not be officially a member of House Laurent, Cassandra isn't one to just not be there at least in unofficial support. That would be the Legate's reasoning for being there, and nobody questions a Legate on where they feel like going. She wanted to come out here, here is where she came. However, as this is a knighting, Gloria's representative made sure to look her best. Rubicund and steelsilk have been oiled and polished to a shine of red and silver. Chivalry's Point, the blade carried by the Sword of the Faith hangs on her hip. And for the time being, she hangs in the back a little, with a little grin on her face. Maybe nostalgia, maybe something else else. Whatever the case, she does see to be a in good mood.
Amari dips her head respectfully to Kael and Reigna as they arrive, her expression sober until it suddenly isn't. It's all warmth she shares with everyone else in the form of warm, fond smiles. Little nods or the odd wave is offered to everyone as they arrive until Norwood's hand is on her shoulder. To his question, she takes in a breath and nods. "Shall I stand? I'm not sure what you have in mind." She begins to rise anyway, just incase.
Norwood claps a hand onto Amari's shoulder to push her back into her seat. "I will announce when you are to rise. For now, enjoy your family and the people around you." There's a squeeze of that hand to shoulder before Norwood removes it. "Marquis Kael, Marquessa Reigna, thank you. It has been one of the greatest pleasures of my life to have had the teaching of one of your household." That is said with a bow before Norwood moves away. Cristoph is next. "I wonder if this is a bit like how your father felt when he knighted us." It's a random conversation starter. Hi other guest, Norwood's just going to cut in.
Lisebet inclines her head to Norwood, as the host, when he comes by, offering him a smile and a greeting. She also offers Kael and Reigna a polite greeting. "Good day, all. Thank you for letting me come by and visit," she offers. Cristoph gets a smile from the petite duchess, who seems to have left her husband home for the day. For the moment, she leaves Amari to her family, but she's here.
Reigna returns the smile to Amari, love apparent in her expression. She bows her head to the Baron, and Reigna says, "As it has been our honor to entrust one of our beloved family to your tutelage. She is spectacular, Baron Norwood." She looks to Lisebet and bows her head, "Greetings, Duchess. I hope you are well?"
When Norwood is offering forth those words, Kael rises smoothly from his spot at the table. This is so that he can bow his head in a low, humble manner. "It is an honor to us, to Keaton, that you would teach her." The words are in the wake of his wife's own but no less heartfelt. Before he takes a seat, there is a dip of his head toward Lisebet, along with a polite smile. He's quiet on this day it seems.
"Oh, perhaps. I'm not really sure, you know my father wasn't particularly fond of expressing his feelings," Cristoph replies to Norwood while sipping from a glass of wine. Still, there's a fond smile shot toward the other man for the question. He lifts his chin when Lisebet smiles to him, "Duchess Ashford. Good to see you again."
Corban makes his way over to Teeha when he spies his cousin and goes to give her a tight hug, rubicund armor be damned. A kiss to her cheek and then he turns to take in Amari as the ceremony, it seems, is about to begin.
Tesha gives a look up in enough time to see Corban and the woman smiles at him and wraps her arms around him to hug him. Armor wouldn't hurt her any worse than other things. She then turns to watch the ceremony with him, a smile on her lips as she does.
Binky, an asshole crow arrives, delivering a message to Cassandra before departing.
Amari stays put then. Norwood has a plan and she's obviously not keen to mess it up on him. "Very well, Uncle Norwood." She quietly acknowledges. As she was encouraged to not sit there alone and silent, she pats the empty chairs next to her and looks to the assembled still standing and mingling, or drinking by themselves. "Please join me, if you like. Anyone. I feel a little silly sitting here like this." It's a big table, plenty of room. Pat pat.
Taking advantage of a lull in conversation, Adalyn makes a beeline toward the table where Amari is seated. "All your hard work and training comes to fruition today. I am so excited for you!" Still, she remains seated as if she won't linger terribly long here, knowing others will want to greet the guest of honor as well.
Standing. Adalyn remains standing.
"At least there are no angry old men," Hint, Norwood's grandfather "to yell that this is not being done properly. I did consult an expert on the matter." Norwood lays a hand upon Queensguard's hilt with a smile that hints at some joke that is being expressed. "IF you'll pardon me, Duke Cristoph, Duchess Lisebet." Norwood turns and makes his way towards the Dais to mount it.
Upon the Dais Norwood puts on his Loud Voice to call over the room. "If you will all please take your seats. We have the honor of having Legate Cassandra Laurent to bless this night with prayer." Norwood bows to where Cassandra stands and steps aside to give plenty of room to the Legate.
A smile to Reigna, as Lisebet replies, "I am well, thank you. And you? It seems very much that you are doing very well." She nods to Kael as well, not adding more there. And to Cristoph, she says, "It is very good to see you again as well, m'lord Duke. I am pleased to be able to be here, to celebrate with you." And then she smiles as Norwood begins to start things off. "I suppose I should find a seat."
At the instruction to take his seat, Corban does just that, moving and settling down next to Tesha, squeezing his cousin's hand. "It is so grand to see a new knight made. A tradition that goes all the way back to when the First Knight was freed from his bonds."
Reigna offers Lisebet a smile and then turns her attention to Norwood, staying in her seat and falling silent, looking to Cassandra. Quiet Keatons are quiet.
"Thank you, Lady Adalyn!" Amari beams, for the moment shaking off the lingering tiredness about her. She may not have slept too well last night, for all the excitement. That must be it. More quietly, she adds, "We should take a ride together after this, before we all pack up for Arx again. I think our horses would love to see Duskshire again." There's a coaxing gesture, and invitation if Adalyn does want to sit. Norwood did ask everyone to, after all. As Norwood announces the Legate leading a prayer, she grows quiet and attentive.
Tesha settles in next to her cousin and there's a soft smile to him when he squeezes her hand. "It is good to see more take the Oaths." she agrees with him. Then she focuses on Cassandra as she is called to lead prayer.
"Yes, let's! I would love that almost as much as our horses would, I think," Adalyn responds with a wide grin. When her father announces a call to prayers, she obediently drops into a seat next to Amari, casting the other woman a cheery grin before adopting a more appropriately serious and attentive demeanor.
This, apparently, was what Cassandra had been waiting for, having been standing a bit in the back of the gathering with her trio of Templars. Pulling off her helment, she tucks it under her arm, giving a gesture with her free hand with a wordless signal to her guards to hang back. Moving through the crowd, she gives a couple of smiles and waves to those she knows, family and the like, until coming to step up to dias with Norwood and Amari. "Baron Clement, thank you for letting me play a small part on a memorable day for one who has risen to the call." Her smiles continues, gaze gliding to Amari. "Lady Keaton, I would like to offer you my personal congratulations. One never does quite forget the day they earn their spurs. It's one I recall fondly."
At that she will turn to those gathered. "Welcome all. Baron Clement has given me the other to bless this ceremony. There are some tasks in my role as Legate I enjoy in others. This, is perhaps on of my favorites. But," and her tone will take on a more reverant one. "To Gloria, in her ideal, the knight is not one who fights, for to her, there is no glory in the taking of life dishonorably between warriors. The knight, for us, in one who sacrifices themselves for the sake of others. Their task is the respect and defense of the elderly, the defenseless, and above all, the children who are our future. It is this task and this role that Gloria has placed upon those who take the mantle of knighthood. We gather here to today to celebrate that again. To some, this is a well-trodden road. To others, a new one yet not ventured down. But it is always memorable and it always mean something. May Gloria bless you all this day. And may the Gods and their ideals keep you all true to the path." Giving a gesture to end of the prayer, she steps back slightly, letting the ceremony commence.
The liquid at the edges of Norwood's eyes is NOT TEARS. Nope. Not at all. He'll deny it up and down if anyone should ask, touched as he is by Cassandra's words. When it ends he steps forward. "Lady Amari Keaton. Rise and come forth to kneel before us all." Norwood gestures to the place before him, even as he pulls Queensguard forth.
Amari rises when she's told to, and she's not crying either. Nope. Not at all. It's dusty in here (it's not). Approaching Norwood and Cassandra, she sweeps her cloak back on the side her Wildly Innappropriate is sheathed and hanging from her hip. She rests her hand upon the pommel with it's iridescite white heart and bows her head to Cassandra, "Thank you, Legate. I'm humbled and deeply grateful."
Lisebet settles to a spot, sitting as directed by the baron. She bows her head for the prayer and then raises her gaze to watch the knighting ceremony.
Norwood stands over Amari as soon as she has kneeled then pulls Queensguard and lays it upon Amari's shoulders. His voice is serious and controlled. "Lady Amari, Do you swear your life, your sword and your sacred honor in service to Marquis Kael Keaton, Marquis of Oakhaven, Sword of the Sanctum, to come in the aid of those sworn to Keaton and to rise to action when he is called forth?"
Amari kneels after she's said her thanks to Cassandra, so Norwood needn't wait long at all. She looks to him and stills as Queensguard comes to rest on her shoulder. "Baron Norwood, I swear my life, my sword and my sacred honor in service to Marquis Kael Keaton and will aid any sworn to House Keaton when the call is raised."
Norwood doesn't waste a moment, "Do you pledge to defend the gods and their church, protecting the Faith of the Pantheon, and to stand against the Abyss in whatsoever forms in which it may arise?"
Amari doesn't delay in answering, either, she solemnly commits herself, "I Amari Keaton, pledge to defend the gods and their church. To protect the Faith of the Pantheon and stand against the Abyss in whatsoever form it may arise."
Rasing his eyes to the crowd Norwood says to them, "Amari has traveled between Arx and Duskshire, praying at all shrines, and assisting any of those who sought her help. She has already shown her willingness to this next, but to make it formal, Do you pledge to protect the weak and the defenseless, will you be a shield for those that need shelter, and a sword against those that would harm them?
There's a tiny, tiny trace of a smile threatening at the corners of Amari's mouth as Norwood speaks about her journey, but no amusement is evident in her voice when she makes her sober answer and promise, "I pledge to protect the weak and the defenseless, to be a shield for those that need shelter and a sword against those that would harm them."
"Do you swear to act with courtesy and dignity, and bring no dishonor upon your sworn lord?" There is a small nod to Kael and Cristoph as Norood intones this.
Again, no delay or hesitation from the Keaton knight to be. Amari answers: "I swear to act with courtesy and dignity, and bring no dishonor upon my sworn lord."
"Do you swear to keep your word sacred, tell no lies, and take no oaths that would interfere with your service?"
"I swear to keep my word sacred, tell no lies and take no oaths that would interfere with my service." Amari answers solemnly.
"Do you swear to obey any lawfully given command, excepting those which would place stain your honor or that of your lawful Lord?"
Reigna watches the back and forth between Norwood and Amari, the pride shining through her expression, clearly so very happy to see Amari going through such an ancient ritual.
If anyone was expecting Amari to refuse one this late in the ceremony, they will be disappointed. She swears it. "I swear to obey any lawfully given command, excepting those which would place a stain on my honor, or that of my lawful lord."
"Do you swear to act fairly and kindly, to reflect the grace of the gods?" For those in the know, this is the last of the traditional knighthood questions, and since this is a rather traditional ceremony, it's almost time to cheer.
"I swear to act fairly and kindly," Amari replies, her voice steady and pacing no faster than when she began, despite being so close now to the end,"And to reflect the grace of the gods."
Norwood can't help it, his sober expression blossoms into a smile. Queensguard is sheathed again, and he holds out a hand to Amari. "Then, Lady Amari Keaton, hereafter entitled to the title of Dame, rise as a knight." Turning to those gathered, "Lady Amari Keaton, knight of the Oathlands."
Isidora just sat quietly in the back. Her body ram rod straight as always as her serene 'Princess' face is upon her. Though no one can see her internal thinkings she is quite taken in about the knighting of a new knight. Pride for her people. Happy that the gods were being upheld. All of this went on behind her eyes but to the outside world she was a quiet viewer of these events.
Isidora is overheard praising Miranda.
Isidora is overheard praising Amari.
Rapt reverential silence indicates that Adalyn is clinging to every word, both Cassandra's prayer and the exchange between Norwood and Amari that follows. Her gaze reflects pride and fondness alike as she leans forward, desiring to catch every moment of what unfolds. Once Amari is proclaimed Dame, knight of the Oathlands, she raises her voice in an exuberant cheer.
Amari takes the hand offered and hoists herself up with a soft click of rubicund plate shifting with the movement, rising as a knight. When Norwood turns to address the guests and witnesses, she turns as well. Not quite smiling exactly, but not looking unhappy either. Relieved, perhaps.
Lisebet listens to the ceremony quietly, politely. And as soon as there is the right moment, she calls out, "Congratulations, Dame Amari!"
Adalyn is overheard praising Amari: A brave and honorable woman. Congratulations, Dame Amari!
Eddard is overheard praising Amari: Dame Amari!
Reigna is overheard praising Amari: Congratulations dearest Amari! You deserve this!
Lisebet is overheard praising Amari: Congratulations, Dame Amari!
Giving an exuberant amount of claps of her own, this is the most animated Cassandra has been in some time. "As Legate of Arts, the Faith officially recognizes the knightnood of Dame Amari Keegan by Baron Norwood Clement. May her swordhand be stady, and her watch honorable."
Tesha applauds when the questions are over and there is a bright smile for Amari. She was excited to see her get Knighted!
Eddard gets Glass horse figurine.
Reigna is overheard praising Juniper.
Reigna is overheard praising Khanne.
Cassandra is overheard praising Amari: Congratulations, Dame Amari!
Reigna pushes to her feet, cheering quite loudly, despite that fatigue. She's even using her Keaton Outside voice to do it.
Norwood squeezes Amari's hand, and then gestures for her to leave the dais. "Go forth Amari, this is your party." Then stepping back he offers his arm to Cassandra. "Legate, shall I show you some of the changes we have made to the KEep since the bandits were driven out?" Last time Cassandra was here there were ducks. So. Many. Ducks.
Well, it's official. Cassandra has spoken, the Sword of the Faith herself. Amari turns to give her a deep bow of her head and when she looks up again, she's finally smiling, fully. She holds out her sword hand before her to show Cassandra just how steady it is. The blessing is working perfectly so far. With the cheers, and Reigna's Outside Voice, usually reserved for when Pickles is let in the hall, she turns to everyone else and gives a humble bow. "Thank you, everyone. The Keatons were once a family of knights, and I'm proud just to be part of that tradition and history. I may never be the equal of Dame Brianne Keaton, but I will remember her example and strive to match it."
Reigna leaves her table and moves to Amari, seeking to embrace her cousin and murmur something in her ear. Once that is said, she laughs and shakes her head, "You are Dame Amari Keaton, and there will be legends aplenty attributed to your name!"
Cassandra shakes her head. "May I give you some advice, Dame Amari? From one knight to another." Right, because long ago, before Legate, before Archlector, there was a Dame Cassandra too. "The only equal you have to live up to is the woman who looks back at you when you're polishing armor. Don't ever compare yourself to the deeds of others. The deeds you do are yet to be written. But so long as you remember the vitures of knighthood, the ideals that Gloria has placed before us, your name too will be remembered. Make what you do now mean something, even if it is something simple. For we do not see the reactions a simple act of charity or defense can do." She smiles a bit. "But, the Baron Clement has trained many a Laurent knights. My siblings some of them. You couldn't of asked for a better mentor."
Isidora stands and quietly excuses herself. Glad to have seen the knighting.
Kael is rising up to honor the new knight, and though he applauded earlier this is much more solemn a response. One that has his head bowing low and deep, as respectful as any courtly bow might be. When his chin does finally lift, the pride is absolutely unmistakable.
Tesha gives a smile as others cheer, "Congratulations, Dame Amari." she states to the newly minted Knight. Then after a few whispers words to others the woman is heading out quietly.
"Thank you, Legate and you're absolutely correct, especially about Baron Norwood. Without him, I'd still be nearly killing your brother Duke Cristoph with arrows, and Norwood too." Amari answers after she's given Reigna a return squeeze and a fond smile, mindful of her armor and sword. "Thank you as well, Reigna. Thank you so much." Then there's Kael whose bow she answers in kind. Curtseying in full plate never looks quite right. "My lord." She intones ever so formally, though she's smiling quite broadly. As people congratulate or begin to slip away, she waves or smiles after them as well.
"You'll provide your own example for others to follow," Adalyn remarks with an expression of utmost faith in the newly knighted Keaton. A broad smile crosses her features. "Congratulations, Dame Amari." A slight emphasis is placed upon the new title as she celebrates this new change.
There's a wince as Norwood thinks about how Amari totally shot him with an arrow. Quietly he takes himself to one side because some guest has had way too much to drink and is trying to jump the chain covering the stairway. Something, something, ghosts, don't go that way~ Nothing important.
Lisebet finally approaches Amari with a smile. "Congratulations, Dame Amari," she says, in a lower voice. "I am very proud of you. This is wonderful!"
"Thank you, Duchess Lisebet. Lady Adalyn, I certainly hope to." Amari smiles, before letting out a mild, slightly amused sigh. "I had a speech in mind, but it's completely gone. I'll not be able to bore you all to tears now. I've squandered the chance." Shame. "Let's all drink in moderation to celebrate instead! I'll tell you all about my exciting adventures on the road. I'll probably skip over the part where I tried to plow a field for the first time, but I assure you it was glorious, in a way - just not as exciting as the runaway wagon crash... or a song? Shall we sing?"
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