A Very Serious Clement Garden Party
Baron Norwood Clement, Lady Adalyn Clement and Lady Amari Keaton invite everyone of a sober disposition to join them for a very serious garden party. Celebrate the autumn harvest (in a restrained and respectful manner) with sedate and appropriate entertainments and refreshments to be enjoyed strictly in moderation.
Absolutely no laughing will be permitted.
Feb. 18, 2020, 8 p.m.
Clement House - Beehive Garden
Comments and Log
Amari is front and center looking resplendent in aeterna and white silk, but also extremely serious. She stands at the entrance to garden ready to give solemn nods and greet the guests as they enter. They will be directed to take a seat and help themselves to tea and tarts. Both her dogs sit next to her, both wearing very nice white bows around their necks and looking so proper, and serious.
Wait, Norwood might have messed up the dress code for this. He comes out into his Bee Garden wearing his armor and then stops and blinks at Amari's back. Um. Should... he be wearing armor? Maybe he shouldn't be wearing armor.
Esme shows up for her bestie (Norwood)'s party. Esme's auburn hair is allowed to flow free and wild down her back to just above her waist. The color perfect for the autumn season. Her dress is well.. it's got a bit on display, but it's toned down for the Southern Cities. Those Torean emerald eyes scan over the people there. Her smile radiates from that inner being. She moves over towards the hosts of the event. The problem is this super serious event? Well, it's admitted one Esme Fidante to it. She will attempt to /hug/ every person she comes into contact with.
Adalyn stands nearby, ready to mingle and solemnly greet the guests. It must surely be a serious occasion indeed, for Adalyn Clement is wearing (gasp)... a dress! She turns, catching sight of Norwood. Her eyes fall upon his garb and, judging by her expression, it appears as though she's ready to sprint off and slip into /her/ armor at any moment.
Nina heard there was going to be a sedate and proper party.
However, even sedate and proper parties require entertainment, so she has come to potentially provide her services. She is dressed in red as suitable for autumn, a more crimson color than her own hair. As she is a commoner who only comes to such events because of the entertainment, she is not trying to make too many waves, so if she does believe that the event is serious and sedate then perhaps it really shall be so. Nonetheless, she has her lute with her.
Nina gets Carved Wooden Lute from Instrument carrying case.
Whenever there is a party where one must be unerringly stoic, the Prince of Sanctum is most assuredly going to be there and give it his all. He arrives dressed modestly in an arrangement of silk and linens befitting his station, a dutiful servant and entourage of guards in tow that disperse as he steps foot into the garden. Blue eyes are on the swivel until they can catch sight of the party's hosts. "Baron Clement, Lady Adalyn, Lady Amari," he greets the trio courteously, head bowed slightly, with a bottle and teapot in presentation to the host. "I've brought a gift, if you'll have it."
Jael arrives sedately, clad in an Oathlands-style semi-armor battle gown and a Very Serious Expression on her face. However, the baby peeking out of a sling on her front appears to have not gotten the memo, as she bounces and gurgles when the pair are close enough to the hosts, whom she clearly recognizes.
"Lady Esme, welcome." Amari says with a smile only in her eyes. She wears an expression of serene reserve otherwise, and it doesn't slip even the slightest when Edain next appears bearing gifts. "Your Grace, that's a very thoughtful gesture. Thank you." She intones very formally after she's offered the requisite curtsy, "Uncle Norwood will be most pleased to see you both." After, there's Jael and gurglebaby. "Lady Jael, Lady Nora Woode. I'm overjoyed you've both joined us this evening. Please, all of you, sit where ever you like." Nina is included in this, as she given an acknowledging dip of the head. "Are you a bard, my Lady?"
Jaelmakes Norwood feel a bit more comfortable. Semi-Armor is just a short step to full armor. He nods to the Laurent,but then his attention is turned to Edain. There is a formal bow given, "Prince Edain, this is lovely." The pot is curled up in his arm. It's not ridiculous at all for a man in full armor to be holding a tea-pot like a baby. No, this is very serious.
"I am!" Nina gives a little curtsey. "My name is Nina Autumndale and I am here from the Bard's College. With your permission, I will play proper and serious lute music as benefits your solemn occasion."
Then her eyes brighten up as she looks at the baby.
Jael returns the curtsy gracefully...well, as gracefully as one can with a baby stuck to her front. "Quite, quite," she declares gravely. Little Nora blows a raspberry at Amari before mother and daughter move to seek out the suggested seat.
Esme sees that Amari is marked no hug currently. She will try again later. This thought shows in her eyes. Then there is Edain and Esme spins to bounce on the balls of her feet. "OH! You are the first not-my-own High Lord that I have met. It is everso exciting to meet you." She lets her eyes slide over him, it doesn't possess the promising come-hither that most of those in her lands have. Her eyes slide to his sword before anything else. "Your sword is exceptional, you will have to tell me its story later." She brightens a huge smile and then saunters to Norwood's side. "Baron." There is a purr upon her lips to that 'r'. "I feel that I haven't seen you in /forever/." Humor plays upon her eyes though she tries to look away to hide that.
"Lady Esme, so glad you could make it," Adalyn greets in a tone that is polite and purely somber in nature. She sketches a graceful curtsy to Edain, head bowed at the gift. "How thoughtful! And Lady Jael, little Lady Nora Woode, it's lovely to see you as always." Hands spread wide, she scans the garden with a most Serious Look. "Please make yourselves comfortable and enjoy the refreshments."
Edain draws back from hosts to allow for others to greet them, his mouth tamed into his best personable smile. "It is my most favored tea, so I thought perhaps Baron Clement would enjoy a sober drink that's both invigorating and very ... serious, as called for for this garden party." The highlord may have just made a slight funny. Who can tell with his serious face? When Esme speaks toward him, he bows his head in amiable regard of her. "My lady, it is actually one of my most treasured swords. Perhaps later on, I'll regale you with the story of it once things have settled." He drifts off to find refreshments, and to be serious, in the corner. Statue Serious. Highlord Seriouspants, in the corner.
To be quite honest, all the seriousness felt a bit like a dare to Nina. Someone certainly is going to cause some trouble, right?
But it will not be her or at least certainly not yet. But she does, before she decides to play music, go get herself a pumpkin tart. There can hardly be trouble in taking just one.
Then, taking a cup of tea off to one side, she finds herself a chair, and sits in it, arranging her skirts and readying her instrument.
She begins the sort of quiet, sedate background string suitable for a somber occasion. It's good ambiance.
Hugging is simply out of the question for Amari, as it might cause an unsightly wrinkle or cause a single hair to be knocked out of place. That wouldn't do. Not at all. In lieu of that she offers a deeper dip of her head to Esme before giving the same to baby Lady Nora, even if she's blowing a raspberry at her. Nina then is looked to with a lifted brow, "By all means. As a member of the Bard's College myself, I am a great supporter of the arts. If you wouldn't mind, I'm sure we'd all very much enjoy your playing of a sedate, and most serious selection. Thank you, Nina."
"Likewise, Ada." Jael almost smiles! But catches herself and leans over to deliver air-kisses to Adalyn's cheeks. Nora burbles. They too retreat towards the refreshments, though not in Edain's corner because...well...no one puts baby in the corner. But nearby. "Have you given up the spear, Your Grace?"
Was that the beginning of a smile tugging upon the edges of Adalyn's lips? But surely no, it must have been a trick of the light. She returns Jael's air kisses and nods gravely to the infant's burbling. "Oh, yes. I quite agree, Lady Nora," she intones solemnly, waggling her fingers at the baby as the Laurents move toward the refreshments. Moving forward to continue mingling, she pauses to admire Nina's playing. "That's quite suitable and lovely."
Edain is doing the worst impression of a very stoic statue, his head lifting to regard Jael when a question is posed his way, mid-sip of a cup of tea. Pinky raised. Fancy. "It's important that a knight is well-rounded in their training with a few weapons, depending on the situation. As it happens, this week calls for a refresher of swordsmanship for the squires under my tutelage," he explains, daring a smile with a spark of excitement to his conversation.
A lone white duck waddles out from somewhere and just starts wandering around, quacking to itself like they're just another guest or is lost. It's probably the latter.
Esme casts a huge smile towards Adalyn, "Lady Adalyn, you are looking exceptional." Maybe that's her word of the evening. "I am sure that you give hearts a pause the moment you walk by." Her green eyes study Edain and she smiles towards him too. "Or another time if you would like. I'm always flitting about somewhere or another." Then there is Jael and a baby and Nina to entertain. She sort of bounces a little in place.
Edain flits a bewildered look toward the duck. His brows marginally lift before he reaches into his pocket, gathering a piece of bread to crumble and offer as a gift to the duck.
Edain checked charm + animal ken at difficulty 20, rolling 5 higher.
Once Edain has stepped away Norwood has to think of something to do with this tea pot. What would a Very Serious Person do in this situation? Clearly, "Lady Esme. It is good to see you. Here, take this pot of tea would you please?" Then he's going to shove the pot of tea at her hopefully empty hands.
Amari stays at the entrance to the garden for the time being, on the chance there's some guests yet to arrive. The duck is given a mildly stern look for just waddling in like it belongs here, but it doesn't seem to be bothering anything and it would seem an overreaction probably to scream at it and start arm flailing to scare it away. It will be tolerated for now. She chooses, in the meantime, to focus on Nina and her musical stylings which she seems to appreciate. She's not scowling, anyway.
"Ah," replies Jael, trying to keep a newly acquaired cup of Serious Tea away from curious infant. "Also I have often heard that there is a very great risk of putting one's eye out with a spear." Her lips press together firmly in speak disapproval, or to keep from laughing. Nora sees the duck before Jael does, and lets out a delighted eardrum-piercing squeal.
Jumbo the duck, because he is rather well fed looking, is quick to figure out that Edain is friend, and giver of bread. They're friends now. Best friends as long as the crumbs keep coming, at least.
Esme brightens as she sees the duck. "OH! A duck." As if no one was aware of it. She and Nora may have more in common. She moves towards it and then pauses as there is a teapot put in her hands. The knight stares at it for a few moments. Then she blinks and then looks around after she smiles at Norwood. "Of course, I'll take care of this." She moves over to Nina and hands it off to her. "You look like you need a cup of tea before you perform."
Used to bowing in armor more often than curtsying in dresses, Adalyn responds awkwardly to Esme's complimentary words. There's a half-bow, a sudden straightening of her spine, followed by a quick bob that could be considered curtsy-like. Despite her clear uncertainty, it's all very seriously executed. "You are much too kind, Lady Esme, but I thank you for your kind words. You are looking quite radiant yourself." She clasps her hands together and continues mingling, conscience of the shifting teapot and the lone duck who has graced them with his presence.
Norwood checked charm + animal ken at difficulty 15, rolling 27 higher.
Jael checked charm + animal ken at difficulty 15, rolling 33 higher.
The teapot having been deposited in a very serious and proper place, Norwood can look towards the duck. "That creature looks quite like the ones at Duskshire. I knew a duck once..." Nostalgia works its way into Norwood's tone and he kneels down to offer some crumbs to the duck. Come here ducky-duck-duck-duck.
Nina would in fact enjoy the cup of tea, so she pours herself a cup as the pot is passed in her direction. She takes a moment to enjoy its aroma, and smiles a little at it. Then she puts the cup aside for a moment, and looks for somewhere to hand the tea off. Amari looks quite official, so she passes it that way.
Then she takes a sip, and returns to her lute playing.
There is a gleam of pride upon the highlord's expression when he sees guests enjoying the pine needle tea, he himself drinking modestly of his own. Depositing himself onto a piece of available seating, it's with a severe bow of his head that he tells Amari, "There is an especially high risk of it. Spearmanship requires a certain talent of not impaling one's self on such pointy things."
Amari has a pot of tea, suddenly. A nod of thanks is given Nina, though she soon has it set on a table nearby as if she didn't really want a tea pot. There's a vaguely anxious look back to the garden gate, but as there's no guests pouring through she need worry over, she just pours herself a cup and takes her time about it. It is very aromatic. "How surprising that it's not maple." She comments after a small, polite sip.
Cithria of Cloudspine, a Gold Order page arrives, following Baelor.
"Wait," Norwood catches the edge of what Amari is saying. "Is there something special about Valardin and maple?" Very seriously and politely asked, of course.
"Is there not?" Amari counters politely, with a touch of confusion. She apparently thought there was something special about Valardin and maple. "Have I been misinformed? Your Grace?" Of course she'll look to the probably authority on Valardin maple, Edain.
The Clement garden provides a cozy spot for a small, solemn gathering. Serious conversations are held between somber-faced guests, a teapot is being passed around, and a lone duck appears to be waddling his way around the Very Serious Party.
Also, sorry Edain, but Jumbo the duck rudely waddles away, first to Norwood with his crumbs and coaxing, only, after gobbling down a few he totally dumps the Baron because Jael's got his attention now. Got it but good. He's duck-mesmerized with the Laurent, his quacking enthusiastic.
Jael is puzzled by this turn of events, since she didn't think she dropped anything. But here's a very attentive duck. "Uhm..." She very gently stretches out a slippered toe and pokes the duck in the side to try to back him up a bit. This is fine.
"I wouldn't assume so." Baelor had joined the garden party, skulking as he does. Except he brought along some young'n who is carrying a heavy shield upon her back. For little reason honestly, Baelor is unlikely to need it anytime soon. "Brother." He murmurs out the side of his mouth to Norwood.
Nina finds the duck to be cute. But hopefully it will give her lute a wide enough margin and not interrupt her. As she's playing, she can't immediately drink more tea, so it's cooling off.
Esme watches the teapot move through the people and then find the table near Amari. There is a tip of her head and then she sweeps in to sweep the pot back up. No camping! She saunters over towards Adalyn and will attempt to deposit it in her hands before offering towards Edain. "You know, there is something perhaps all of you can assist me with. In the Hall of Heroes, there is a Princess that was the High Lady of your lands, but she's in our hall. No one really seems to know about her, do any of you?" Her eyes mostly on Edain as he too is a High Lord.
Edain checked composure at difficulty 20, rolling 11 lower.
"Is he a duck investigator? Perhaps he's trying to quack the case," Adalyn notes to Jael without a hint of a smile nor even an apologetic look for her horrendous pun. Her eyes widen faintly as she finds the teapot left in her carry. She tucks it gingerly under her arm and inclines her head toward Esme. She seems to be mulling over the noblewoman's question as she spots Baelor in the crowd and makes a beeline toward him, quick to deliver the teapot into his hands. "Welcome, Uncle Baelor, have some tea."
"It likes you and the baby Jael." Norwood says for the duck who LOVES her suddenly. Baelor coming in gets a glance and a nodded head. "I hope you are ready to be quite serious." Because this is a Very Serious Party. Then a glance at Esme. "What is their name?"
Amari checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 10, rolling 9 higher.
Jael lifts her gaze from the duck to Adalyn. "I promise there was no fowl play," she says earnestly before her focus is back on this bird who is mysteriously super into her. "But why?" This is aimed at Norwood, just a trifle desperate.
It's quite impossible to maintain a stoic expression when someone is being awfully rude and maple-typing the highlord at a very serious garden party. He gives an indignant sniff, setting aside his teacup and wipes his hands. "Lady Amari," he says, turning to address the Keaton with a sigh. "I am terribly offended that you would think House Valardin has some strange affection of maple syrup. That is insulting and I'm afraid I cannot stand for it. As with such offenses, I would like to resolve this matter before Gloria in a duel."
Nina blinks over at this. A duel? Certainly he can't really be serious. But she believes it all the same, because this is such a serious party!
The ways of ducks are mysterious. Like, why is there even a duck at this party? Was he invited? Whatever the case may be, he does seem to have a sudden and intense fondness for Jael and baby Nora Woode. He wiggle-butts and waddles around the foot trying to hold him back and quacks about there, like he's trying to engage his new friend in a heart felt conversation about important duck stuff.
Norwood was ABOUT to answer Jael about the Duck and list reasons why a duck might like Jael and her baby daughter. But then Amari is being challenged and he's turning his head slowly. Mildly, "I recommend my daughter Adalyn as your champion - either of you." Norwood's got his daughter's back when it comes to work.
"Princess Dulceali." Esme offers as she looks towards Norwood. The comment about maple syrup and duels has her looking pointedly at Norwood now. POINTEDLY. Then she clears her throat and saunters back to the Baron. "She's in our hall, but there was some disagreement if she should have been in yours. No one seems to know about her."
After declaring his intent so very politely and seriously to Amari, the high lord turns his attention on Esme to consider her question. "It escapes my memory currently, I'm afraid. Perhaps you'll accompany me there to show me which statue you're referring to?" he requests. "It is high time I've paid a visit to the Hall of Heroes again anyhow."
"I am afraid I also know nothing," Norwood adds on to Esme.
Little Nora has quite a lot to say to the duck, as it turns out, though none of it's in Arvani and she is really breaking the no-laughing rule. And if there was a no-drooling rule, she'd be breaking that one too. Jael hops back a little. She's got no interest in important duck stuff, it seems.
"I beg your pardon, Your Grace." Amari replies most formally, and with a graceful little curtsy, "I have been terribly misinformed. If Valardin has no love of maple, I will never again imply such. Please accept my most sincere apology for the offense. It was certainly not intended." She looks to Norwood, who is not helping really, by suggesting a Champion, then straightens her back and crosses the garden, confident that Adalyn has Baelor greeted. "Perhaps you might be mollified by a game?"
Did someone say 'duel'? Adalyn's head swivels toward Edain, the Clement immediately perking up with interest. She bows her head respectfully to Norwood and, although her green eyes shine brightly, her expression remains perfectly solemn and resolute. "I would be more than happy to stand as either party's champion," she remarks agreeably, also not providing a terribly helpful support for Amari's apology. "I'm afraid it doesn't sound familiar to me." This last offered to Esme in her search for knowledge.
Norwood checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 26 higher.
Despite Amari glaring at himNorwood is completely and totally composed. Not even a flicker of a smile touches Norwood's Very Serious Lips. There is a glance to Jael, Nora, and the Duck. "Do you think she might have a gift with creatures?" This is a safer topic
Esme beams her smile at Edain, "Of course! I am happy to walk with you there and we can talk about her. It's just fascinating that no one knows anything either. I thought I would get this boring sort of thing, but so far. Nothing. Not even a little dash beyond what is known there. Just let me know whenever you have a free moment."
'Quack-quack-quack', says Jumbo in reply to Nora. They're good friends now. Clearly. Then it seems like there's too many quacks coming out of Jumbo, because there is. Another duck has joined the conversation, having wandered out from somewhere to stand behind Jael and chat as ducks do.
Baelor's eyebrows crease together as challenges get called out. He'll remain standing beside Baelor instead of chasing ducks or tea quite yet. "Adalyn is offering herself as a champion? How long will we be waiting for this challenge to commence?" Perhaps the prospect of seeing Adalyn fight is enough for Baelor not to scowl at the matter.
When Norwood suggests Adalyn as a prospective champion, Edain inclines his head gratefully before his brows lift in inquisitive regard of Amari. "A game," he echoes after her, hand lifted in indicative gesture to continue. "You've piqued my interest, my lady. And with such a gracious apology, perhaps I can be swayed into considering an alternative arrangement to a duel."
Dimples, a Kite of the Cloudspine arrives, delivering a message to Edain before departing.
"I don't understand," Jael says helplessly as another duck appears. Clearly her baby daughter has some kind of secret duck powers. She tries to edge carefully away, not wanting to step on any of the creatures even if they're freaking her out.
"It seems there will be none after all. Things are being smoothed over," Adalyn asides to Baelor. Does her tone betray perhaps a hint of regret? But then there's quacking nearby to steal her attention, her eyes narrowing on the duck. No. Ducks, plural. "Oh, look. He brought a friend." A brow arches as she eyes the second party-crashing duck, then shifts attention to her fellow hostess. "Good idea, Lady Amari. It's a good time for a game."
Nina perks up again to see what the game is all about. She rather likes games, as long as she knows the rules of them. "Ah, so no duelling then. That's a relief."
"That would be most excellent and kind of you, Your Grace." Amari replies in a silken tone before addressing all the guests, "I thought a game would be in order. I think I may have something suitable as a prize, if anyone cares to test themselves. A duel, of sorts - fought not with steel, but with wit."
Esme looks excited for a moment when she hears a duel of sorts, then she kind of looks less thrilled with wit. A sigh and then a bright smile. "Of course, I would be happy to play." And lose.
"I recommended that... is that another duck?" Whatever Norwood is going to recommend is forgotten entirely as Norwood realizes his name-child is making all sorts of friends. Stepping closer he'll pause next to Nina. "I promise you - there are usually not so many ducks in this garden. Usually just chickens. Adalyn," something just occurred to the Baron, "Where is Beaky Pom-Pom?"
"Chickens smell worse than ducks, in a large number," Nina says. She smiles a little at it. "I spent my childhood on a farm, you see."
Nina wanted to bond with someone in the nobility right? "Really?" Sorry, Norwood puts his full focus on on the bard now. "I did too. Adalyn was born on one also, the Clement Lands, near Artshall."
Wait, there's three ducks. Two persistently trying to express important duck things to Jael and baby Nora, and now a third is paddling about in the pool at the center of the garden. Just doing laps in there, round and round. Minding their business.
"I feel as though this was somehow planned, these ducks." Edain murmurs in sidelong toward Esme, a bewildered glance flung from duck to duck, but there's no goose and that's thankfully not the game being suggested. He knits his brows, taking count of the ducks. "Lady Jael, are you and the baby alright over there?" he finally notices the dilemma Jael has found herself in, mildly concerned.
"Oh, undoubtedly!" Nina laughs. "I'm sorry, I should not bore you with such common things."
She nods. "Chickens smell more than ducks but geese are meaner!"
Esme nods her head /solemnly/, however her eyes are flashing with humor. She just cannot lie with those blasted eyes of hers. "I think they were too, Your Grace. Perhaps it was the true meaning of the party." She looks over at the woman and child for a few moments longer. "How witty are you, Your Grace? I fear I am more towards a knight than most of my lands."
"I think I had better get Nora home," Jael announces with just a hint of panic in her voice. "I am not much good at games, anyway. Thank you for a lovely party, it's been very...staid." She gives a sharp little nod and turns to make her way back towards the Laurent Manse. Will the ducks follow? Will they be waiting for her outside her room tomorrow? Only the gods know.
Adalyn looks momentarily aghast as she peers toward the chicken coop and realizes Beaky Pom Pom is not there. "He's bound to be around here somewhere," she notes distractedly to Norwood, pursing her lips and emitting a high-pitched whistle. Does she really have her chicken trained to come when she whistles? She seems to think so does, at any rate. "My, but we're adding rapidly to the party, aren't we?" she remarks, gaze shifting over the garden as she comments not on the number of human guests, but those of the winged variety.
Nadine, an adorable bearded puppy leave, following Jael.
"Mistress," Norwood chides. "If I was bothered by such talk I would say so. But as my daughter," point at Adalyn, "Will tell you I find it no waste to talk about the ways that honest people earn money. What part of the compact do you hail from?" Someone distract Norwood quick before he talks Nina's ear off.
"Oh no. Whatever are we to do." Dry humorless response to Adalyn's assurance that there isn't to be an actual challenge. Baelor leaves the company of Norwood and Adalyn as they proceed to dither with Commoner and Ducks respectively. To cross the small garden and busy himself with pouring a cup of tea.
"You naughty ducks." Amari scolds as they both begin to waddle after Jael, trying to spare her the fowl stalkers, she steps in their path and they slowly scatter. "I'm terribly sorry, Lady Jael!" She calls after her, then looks to everyone else with equal apology in her eyes. "Please, if you'd just ignore them. Perhaps they'll get bored and leave on their own." Duck situation commented upon, she clears her throat and remembers there was a game afoot. "Lady Esme, you said you would participate. Anyone else? The aim is simple, repeat a simple sentence accurately and without losing your composure."
As Baelor departs from the companionship of one guest to another, Edain's attention is inevitably placed upon him. Recognition flickers into his expression. "Lord Baelor, of House Keaton?" he calls upon him, excusing himself to approach the knight while he listens out for Amari's explanation of the pending game proposal. "That sounds simple enough, but something tells me it will be a surprising challenge. I would like to participate."
"Whatever, indeed," Adalyn laments wryly to Baelor's retreating back. "Come, Lord Baelor, won't you try your hand at Lady Amari's game of wits?" Her attention turns to Nina, conducting a quick curious study of the young woman. No smiling allowed, of course, so a polite nod will have to suffice. "I quite agree. Geese can be such vindictive creatures." She pauses, then gestures to the gathering at large. "Will you be participating in the game?"
"My family comes from a ways to the south of Arx, though I was trained in music in Setarco," Nina says. "I believe I've been considered a Lycene as a result, though not really by heritage. Yourself?"
She tilts her head at the question of a game, and puts her lute down. "Yes. I would be glad to take part in a little challenge if you will have me."
Oh, Highlord Edain Valardin. "Pardon me, niece. I'm being called upon." Another deed added to your legendary lineage. Giving Baelor a very fine excuse not to join Adalyn's game. He'll hurry across the Garden to Edain to find out that he is mistaken, Edain is going to participate. "Yes, your highness. Lord Baelor of Keaton." A dipped bow to the man.
Esme looks up at Baelor and she takes note of the name. She's just about to put her own name forth and stops. Nina grabs her attention. "Pravus lands? But you are not Lycene?" There is a confusion that fills her features as she takes in the woman a little bit more.
"Excellent!" Amari proclaims as she situates herself in a central place, stepping up upon the stone lining the pool she has a bit more height. "Repeat what I say ten times as quickly as you can. Mistakes will be frowned upon and laughter not permitted, as good diction is a very serious matter and we must strive for excellence in all our communications, lest we end up offending a High Lord and being challenged to a duel. It happens all the time, and it's quite regretable." She lifts her hands, "Now, repeat: Six sticky skeletons."
Someone tell Norwood to stop harassing the poor bard about growing food. Good thing there is a game about to happen. Norwood crosses his arms on his chest and listens to the rules. He'll start silently, Six Sticky Skeletons.
Norwood checked wits + linguistics at difficulty 20, rolling 3 higher.
Esme checked wits + performance at difficulty 20, rolling 10 lower.
Nina considers for a second, and then she looks a little pink at the question. "Well I am in fact, but, the house itself I am not a member, is, what I meant to say. But I'm honored to be invited there to play at the very least."
She listens to the bit of the game, and clears her throat. "Six sticky skeletons."
She is generally pretty good at pronounciation.
Nina checked wits + performance at difficulty 20, rolling 19 higher.
Edain checked wits + performance at difficulty 20, rolling 7 lower.
Esme checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 30, rolling 1 higher.
Adalyn stations herself somewhere near Amari, arms folded over her chest as she watches each contestant in turn with a look of grave intensity. Apparently she's forgoing playing so that she may monitor for smiles and laughter which are, of course, strictly forbidden!
Edain checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 27, rolling 4 higher.
Norwood says the words out loud this time, slowly and carefully. It's probably all the honey that makes him so ~smooth~. This is why he's gotten two women to marry him, oh yeah.
Esme lowers her brows. She's not sure she has this right. Esme always talks TOO FAST. TOO FAST. This means that things come out all wrong when they do. "Six sticky skeletons." Esme's pride goeth before her fail-eth. "Six sketch.. no. Six sixe.. I mean. /Sex/ sticky skel-- wait, did I say sex?" Her cheeks flush a light rose pink. "Oh by the roses." Esme takes a breath. "Six skele... nope. Just nope."
"I've received your missive and spoken with your nephew, Marquis Keaton. He speaks high praise, so I would like to move forward in meeting in a more officious capacity not at a garden party soon about what we discussed," Edain informs Baelor with a firm bow of his head. "And perhaps I can assist you with that second matter as well, if you'd like. Or, at the very least, recommend someone who could make the logistics of it more... palatable." And then, he's turning to cast his voice in participation of the game. "Sex sticky skelefins," is generally what's said once he gains momentum in repeating it quickly. His cheeks pinken terribly, but he remains generally ... well-mannered, and stoic about it. Highlord Seriouspants.
Norwood is overheard praising Esme: She said Sex in Norwood's presence.
Nina neither mangles the words, nor laughs at all. She apparently does have some composure.
Amari is quite good at the stern and proper school marm character, which seems to be what she's affecting, as she gives everyone a nod to signify that they've passed (if only barely, and despite all the sex). "Very good. Moving on then, repeat after me, quickly now: 'If a dog chews shoes, whose shoes does he choose?'" This is a very serious question.
Norwood is overheard praising Amari: This is a very serious party.
Norwood checked wits + linguistics at difficulty 30, rolling 9 lower.
Nina checked wits + performance at difficulty 30, rolling 23 higher.
Norwood checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 29, rolling 14 higher.
"Someone needs to be attending you in a more officious capacity, your highness. Myself or someone similar." Baelor skates past trying to get involved in the silly game for this precise moment. "The joust has shifted focus. It will be hosetd in the Gold Order's lair in the near future. Some sort of charity aspect might be derived from it as well. I had only to speak of the Gold Order finding places for orphans from the lowers before things begun to take shape. Cithria being a prime example of such." Baelor is looking around now, to find the young teen but doesn't quite place his gaze upon her. "If you've an organizer to be hired for the event in mind. That would work be most appreciated, High Lord."
Edain checked wits + linguistics at difficulty 30, rolling 12 lower.
Esme checked wits + performance at difficulty 30, rolling 12 lower.
Wait, is that another duck? Yes, yes that's a fourth duck. It wiggle-waddle strolls out from under one of the tables and quacks by Baelor's feet like someone rather late for an important date. That is a duck that has places to go, and people (possibly Laurents) to see.
Esme checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 32, rolling 1 higher.
Edain checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 32, rolling 5 higher.
Adalyn unfolds her arms in favor of clasping her hands behind her back. Her lips twitch as she hears several slip-ups, her gaze flitting between the competitors for any hint of levity.
Esme clears her throat and tries to concentrate. Only she mouths the words and that doesn't even look right. "Oh comeon, a whole question?" A sigh and then Esme smiles vibrately, because she can't help it. "If a dog choose shoes, who's shoos does he .. .no wait. I mean if a dog chews shew.. no I mean.." A breath expelled as she listens to everyone else flawlessly speak. No salt over here. She just goes silent and drinks a cup of tea.
"If a dog chews shoes whose shoes does he choose," Nina says. She folds her hands and again quite seriously does not smile or laugh. Nothing was silly about this, it is clear. That or she is a fairly good actress at pretending nothing was silly.
She does almost smile when Esme doesn't quite get it, and look over at her with a small sparkle in her eye, but then forces herself to frown again.
Norwood opens his mouth and says all the words, "Dog show -sho,," Just let him pause for a second and try to pull himself together. It's a good thing he's really good at etiquette.
"You're doing wonderfully, all of you." Amari compliments everyone so gamely attempting her 'simple' sentences. Clapping her hands together gently, she proposes the third while definitely not smiling. Remember, diction is very serious business. "Please repeat after me: Rory the warrior, and Roger the worrier were reared wrongly in a rural brewery."
Norwood checked wits + linguistics at difficulty 40, rolling 21 lower.
Norwood checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 41, rolling 17 lower.
Adalyn tsks. "Being reared in a brewery, can you imagine?" she questions with feigned horror, posing the sort of question that might only be overheard in Oathlander territory. She quiets to hear the determined attempts of the participants.
Nina checked wits + performance at difficulty 40, rolling 7 higher.
Edain checked wits + performance at difficulty 40, rolling 18 lower.
Edain checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 38, rolling 4 higher.
Esme checked wits + performance at difficulty 40, rolling 24 lower.
Esme checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 44, rolling 22 lower.
NOrwood was doing okay until 'brewery'. It seems sacrilegious to talk about a brewery in his garden. Nope, he's done.
Edain is absolutely terrible at this game, though it's of no surprise that the highlord is able to maintain his composure with ease even when the urge to laugh arises as he stumbles and messes up the phrases they're given. He sucks in a breath, turning to utter in quick aside to Baelor, "A few names come to mind, though I will be sure to write them up and send them to you at a later hour once I'm not stumbling over this game."
"Rory the warrior, and Roger the worrier, were reared wrongly in a rural brewery." Nina smiles again. "Ah, this is fun. I like this. In a sedate and appropriate way."
She locks eyes with Edain. He has failed, but he has not laughed. And thus they are the two who are last standing, so to speak. "My Prince, I must say, it is quite an honor to be doing verbal combat with you."
"Woey." Esme doesn't even get the first word the first time out. She blows an auburn tress from her face and looks at Norwood. "Rory, the whoawe'er, and Roger the .. person. Got reared wrongly in a ruler brewy." Esme tries again and this just gets more mangled. Then she start to laugh. Then she starts to laugh until tears are coming down her face. THen... then.. she /snorts/ and laughs harder.
"No matter the victor, may you enjoy this game as much as I have," Edain graciously bids to Nina when their gazes meet, clearing his throat and working his mouth into its stoic neutrality yet again. He looks aside to Amari, waiting for the phrase.
Norwood lifts a hand and very awkwardly is going to pat Esme's shoulder. "There there." Don't die laughing please.
Amari is very much not laughing at Esme laughing. Her lips are pressed into a tight line because of some other reason. Clearly. She looks away not to compose herself, but because there's now a fifth duck, and it's quacking at the chickens in their coop. It's like that one is trying to incite fowl play. Regardless, after a stern look at that duck, the Keaton lady turns back to the players and announces, "Lady Esme and Baron Norwood, I'm afraid you are no longer in contention for the prize. Prince Edain, and Nina, please repeat after me: 'If you must cross a course cross cow across a crowded cow crossing, cross the cross coarse cow across the crowded cow crossing carefully.'" How she gets through that once is a feat in itself, but she does it and looks to the pair expectantly.
Amari drops a teapot of aromatic smoked pine tea.
Norwood gets a teapot of aromatic smoked pine tea.
Nina checked wits + performance at difficulty 50, rolling 8 lower.
"I'll be nearby until at least the end of next spring. Please do not feel like it is a rush, your highness. Especially with the Eursui matters." Baelor dips his head to Edain before stepping aside. You know, so he can embarass himself in peace. The Baron Norwood freed from torture, he'll comoe up to pat his elbow lightly.
Edain checked wits + performance at difficulty 50, rolling 7 lower.
Edain checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 37, rolling 1 higher.
Nina checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 28, rolling 6 lower.
Rather than keep his answer quiet, Norwood calls out, "Adalyn, have you beaten me in sparring yet?" That's totally a challenge.
"IF you must cross a course cross cow across a crowded crowded cow cross, crossing, course, cow across crowd--" Nina does her best. But alas, this phrasing finally gets the better of her, and she loses track of which words she has said and which words she has not said. She then still hears, a little ringing of Esme's laughing, and then she laughs... feeling finally that she can no longer hold a straight face under such ridiculousness.
She covers her mouth with her hands, but it's too late. She blew it!
Adalyn lifts a hand to scratch her nose, momentarily concealing her expression as she averts her gaze from the laughing Esme. Must. Keep. Composure. Her attention shifts to Norwood and now she finds it /most/ difficult to avoid smiling. She manages - but just barely. "Shall we face off and see?" she answers, mischief creeping into her tone.
Edain knits his brows mildly as he struggles through the phrases, but the true challenge comes when the laughter breaks on Nina's face. It takes everything in him not to break his fixation, quietly looking down at his hands and then back up.
"Oh well, at least there wasn't a dog on the line this time. Stupid Sebastian." Esme offers as she looks around as if the man might be there because she said his name. She's still kind of laughing as she reaches out and.... attempts to hug Norwood. It's life or death, surely this time? She does wipe her eyes and then watches the others. As Baelor approaches the Baron beside her, Esme beams at him. "Greetings, I'm Lady Esme Fidante. I don't think we have met."
"Your uncle," this is Norwood gesturing at Baelor. Really, there isn't a relationship, but what is one more uncle for Adalyn? It's not like Norwood doesn't already have a boatload of brothers, "Wants to know if I can still beat you. Why don't we invite him to an early morning spar so he can see for himself?" But there is a manorly thing to do for ESme, "This is Lord Baelor Keaton, my wife Margerie's brother."
"Although you both were quite unable to get through the sentence correctly. Nina, you laughed and that is not permitted." Amari pronounces sternly, in her very best Lady Magistrate of the Crown court of Arx voice. "Therefore, Your Grace, you are victorious. Your superior commitment to a serious disposition has won the day. Please accept this prize as both a symbol of this accomplishment, a token of Duskshire, and an apology for my earlier offense." From her satchel she produces a dagger wrapped in silk which she holds out to Edain, duck shaped pommel first.
Amari drops a deadly serious Duskshire duck dagger.
Nina is already out, because she already laughed.
But that means that she is permitted to keep laughing when she sees the duck-handed dagger. No one can stop her now! She tries to stifle giggles, but they come despite her attempts.
"I rise with the sun most days, I can meet you somewhere to observe a spar or four." Besides. Baelor is a GOOD Uncle. A very good Uncle. Probably. Teaching Adalyn...what has he taught her? How to recover from a hangover? "Lord Baelor Keaton. Gold Order Knight." He introduces himself to open air before he figures out who he was being introduced to.
Edain stares at the duck-shaped pommel that juts out from the sheath of silk encasing the dagger entrusted to him. He chuckles quietly to himself, the sound barely stifled. "I will treasure this and place it upon my hip for all to see. Thank you for this interesting and clever alternative to resolving our conflict."
Edain gets a deadly serious Duskshire duck dagger.
Nina is overheard praising Amari: What an incredible prize for your contest! I had so much fun!
Esme smiles vibrantly at the man. "Well it is well met. I shall leave you two, to your business." She saunters over towards Edain and peers at his dagger. "You know, if you don't really want that. I would be happy to um... hold onto it for you?" Esme gives some big hopeful eyes.
Nina is overheard praising Norwood: Thank you for hosting!
"I'd be agreeable to that. He shall witness which one of us shall be triumphant." Adalyn would normally flash a cheery grin here, but she's still attempting a mostly serious demeanor so she settles for a curt nod instead. It's clear she's pleased with the arrangement, however. As the winner is announced, she applauds for the victor. "Very well done!"
Nina is overheard praising Adalyn: A very proper party!
Norwood reaches out and clasps Baelor's shoulder lightly. "I think I hear Beaky Pom-Pom. I'm going to go see if I can catch that chicken before they do any irreparable harm." That shoulder clasp is good-night, but Norwood's words promise he'll be back. FADE OUT.
Norwood is overheard praising Adalyn: aw yeah seriousness
Norwood is overheard praising Edain: Make Clement Famous with that duck dagger!
Nina is overheard praising Edain: Amazing how you hold your composure in the silliest of situations!
Bayberry, an Oakhaven juvenile bloodhound, Steadfast, a dunskin stallion courser leave, following Norwood.
Baelor is overheard praising Edain.
Amari seems quite pleased with herself now that the game is done and the prize given, but perhaps less so about the ducks. In as dignified manner as possible, she excuses herself and begins to shoo and coax some of them off towards the quietest corner of the garden.
Nina finally stops laughing long enough to return to her cup of tea. There she once again attempts a sedate expression, though she keeps looking at shooed ducks.
As things seem to be winding down a bit, Adalyn excuses herself and moves to assist with the bird-wrangling - both with the multiplying ducks and her errant chicken on the loose.
Esme gives her own excuses and then she too is out the door.
Esme is overheard praising Norwood.
Esme is overheard praising Adalyn.
Esme is overheard praising Amari.
Esme is overheard praising Edain.
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