Feb Grayson Fam Dinner
Feb. 15, 2020, 7 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Grayson Mansion - Dining Room
Comments and Log
Showing up right on time is Lord Bedivere and the trusty Cabbit upon the shoulder section of his divine tunic: apparently aligned to Knights of Solace.
Also punctual, if quiet: Orrin, along with his daughter. He seems thoughtful, which likely makes sense.
Peri is lost in thought with her father. She takes a seat next to him. She is quiet as the guests flow in.
Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise arrives, following Niklas.
Stepping around behind Orrin and Peri, Bedivere (and Cabbit, too, of course) quietly greet them. Bedi soon settles by the father figure of the two Seliki.
Sabella is here greeting those who come in with a brilliant smile, "Count Orrin, Lady Peri, Lord Bedivere! Please come in and welcome! Help yourself to whatever you see out and if you need anything else just let me know and I'll have someone find it and bring it here immediately!"
Bedivere says, "Thank you, Princess Sabella. I missed you hosting events like this."
12 Grayson House Guards arrives, following Liara.
First Sam Serenas walks in, followed shortly by her boss, Prince Niklas Grayson, who is reeling off a list of seemingly random things, ending with, "...find someone who can make a gigantic wheel which can be lacquered so as to be painted and erased twice a night. Surely someone has figured something like that out, so go find them. The wheel will need to be," he thinks, "thirty feet? With some gears on the back, but we can figure that out later." He offers bows all around when he sees people gathered for dinner. "My lord, my ladies, Count Orrin, my wife, greetings to each of you in turn."
Sabella beams at Bedivere, "Oh, we do this every month so keep a lookout and do stop by each and every time you have the ability!" When Niklas appears she brightens even further, "Nik! So glad you could pull yourself away from planning yet another amazing work, but I made sure that we had that pork dish you liked so much last time," she gestures to the table, "Do come eat your fill everyone, we'll start up our little game in just a bit when everyone's full and relaxed."
Orrin offers Sabella a bow, of course, and a smile. "Your highness," he greets. "Thank you, as always, for the hospitality." Likewise, Bedivere is greeted, and then - when he comes in - Niklas, with, "My Lord," and "Your highness," respectively. He finds a seat and settles down; no special requests from him today, though he listens with a hint of amusement to Niklas' presumed stage requirements.
Liara shows up without much fanfare, and following a quick smile and flutter of her fingers to the people about, she proceeds towards the table: she rather appears to have a meal on her mind.
Standing up, Bedivere sets Cabbit down on the seat that he warmed before speaking up once again. "What on earth do you want a wheel so big for...?" Curiously asks he of Niklas. He soon averts his hazel gaze to Sabella, though, and smiles brightly. "I certainly will!" Then, he nods over to Orrin, too. A greeting wave is sent up via left hand to Liara's appearance here, too. Mewnwhile... Cabbit peeks over the table edge but only just with his triangular ears adorably swivelling toward each speaker. He does not jump up there, though, still standing on the chair abandoned by Bedivere.
Orelia saunters into the dining room with a hand on her hips and a smirk on her lips, taking a moment to glance around the room and take account of faces familiar and not. She announces her own arrival with a bow and a flourish. "My lord, ladies, your highnesses, and your grace, I apologize for my tardiness, but I have arrived at last."
Before Peri can get settled in a messenger comes to pull her aside. There is some quiet and serious discussion before she nods at the conclusion. "Go, I will follow shortly." She steps back to the table and gives her apologies. "I am so sorry, I must attend to a situation at the docks with one of our ships." She bows to Liara, "Your grace." and to the host and others. "Princess Sabella, I am sorry to leave your dinner so early."
Niklas lights up when Bedivere asks after the wheel. "It's to be the background of my latest work, an opera based on the last two days of Sir Erec Redhill's life. There will be a sun on one side and a moon on the other and throughout the course of the opera it will slowly turn. However in the second to last scene of the last act while the sun half of the wheel is under the stage we will have stage hands paint arrows on it, so as it comes up the actors portraying the shav army of Angus the Goat will draw on their bows and then fire and the sky itself will darken with the volley which finally fells Sir Erec. It will all be quite dramatic to see. The Nightingale and I have already had a miniature mockup crafted to show off the effect and it really is stunning." He walks over and drops into his throne, offering Liara a wave as he does.
Niklas has joined the Throne of Pena Stormryder.
Orrin, seeing Liara arrive and Peri having to make her exit, rises, giving his daughter a nod as she goes. "Your grace," he greets Liara, then resettles, finding himself a proper plate of food. To Niklas, he offers: "I felt quite lucky that I was able to have time away to see your production at Stormwall, your highness, a very fine play. It must be lovely to have such talent at your call."
After Niklas's reply, Bedivere ahs softly. "That sure sounds quite stunning, indeed, Your Highness. I do hope I can be there to see it, especially after everything that everyone has spake about your opera in Stormwall." Then, the whitehawk Lord nods over to Orrin to ultimately reference what he just said. Picking up the nub-tailed kitten, and doing so with his left/only hand, then Bedivere sits down once more and sets up Cabbit to be a lap cat for meow.
"I hope everyone is well," Liara says as she settles in, and then she gets to filling her plate up with food. "Angus the Goat?" she wonders, though a mite distractedly.
Willen arrives, following Lou.
"Liara!" Sabella glances between her and Nik with a laugh, "Don't get him started or he'll ruin the play for you. Lady Orelia! Don't worry we aren't marking down tardiness, please come enjoy what we have," she takes a seat at the table to start loading up a plate of a little bit of everything, "Don't give it all away, my love, save something for when we talk about what's been going on! I missed the Assembly of Peers but I heard it was somewhat interesting."
"In any case, Willen, after that meeting I'm going to put what resources I've gathered to get a caravel for the Explorers. I think it'll be necessary, and with Faye working on researching how to travel across the ocean to Eurus, I think it's prudent to get one built now, rather than later." Lou is talking to her Chief Archivist from the Society of Explorers as she walks into the Grayson dinner. He's following after her, taking notes, and likely making lists as he is the more organized between the two of them.
"There will be no excuse not to see it! We've scheduled a four week run at the Bard's College, so hopefully anyone who wishes to see it can. And a few people who don't wish to see it, such as all of my cousins!" Niklas starts scooping himself out potentially lethal helpings of various animals and root vegetables. "Lady Orelia! So glad you could make it!" To Liara he says, "Angus the Goat was the Redrain warchief who tried to take advantage of the weakened westerlands to come down and, you know, kill and burn and pillage and that sort of thing. Sir Erec met him at the bridge over Redhill ravine and single-handedly defended the bridge against a thousand Northern screamers. It's quite a story. By the time Sir Erec was killed the horde moved on to Redhill to find it deserted and all of their best stuff taken with them. As a result Angus's second in command, Vjergolf the Pragmatic, tossed Angus into the ravine and they all went home." He offers Lou a wave as she enters.
Orrin's plate is more reserved, if only due to a sense of distraction. He glances up at Lou's entrance, a definite interest in what she's saying, of course. A smooth rise-bow-resettle is quick, respectful without flash. His eyes turn on Sabella, like he's considering what he might say about the Assembly, but apparently he hasn't decided just what that is, yet, so he turns to smile at Liara. "Quite well," he answers, and sets about eating. More listening follows than anything, though he'll likely pipe up when he's got something in his stomach.
Orelia smiles to Niklas and Sabella before loading up a plate for herself. "Glad my timing isn't an issue then."
Liara listens to Niklas' reply, then eventually, really labouring the point, remarks, "I understand pragmatic as a moniker. Goat, however, leaves many more questions unanswered." She takes a few moments to actually eat something, then says to Sabella, "Somewhat. A shinily dressed individual told us that we must not only fend off the Eurusi from Arvum itself, but, somehow, proceed to then invade Eurus. Being that I had been considering sending soldiers there and the general advice was that it was impractical, I cannot see how this changes that. We cannot very well abandon our defences until the immediate threat is handled. It rather reminds me of Brass. He made great promises, as I recall, but I am unaware of any having come to fruition. If we are going to do something good, let us do it for the sake of being good, not because of nebulous promises."
"Presumably he had a tremendous tonker," says Niklas, serving himself up several slices of pork loin.
Lou wiggles fingers at her sister, sibling-in-law, and cousins as she arrives. She pulls out a seat for herself and gets settled. "That shiny individual was Prism," Lou perks up a bit when Liara talks. "My understanding from Tikva is that she's a most trustworthy individual, on part with the likes of Copper, in getting things done. She's also Skald's Seraph. Tikva and Mason can probably tell you more about her, as much of what I know comes from her or Mason. We were briefly considering sending one of the children with Prism, when word reached us that Obsidian Hunters were coming after Mason, until it was determined that as Seraph she'll have her hands firmly involved with what the Gods want of the people, and arranging and seeing to those things."
Bedivere says, "obsidian hunters?"
"Sounds like I missed quite an assembly," Orelia says between bites."
Sabella beams at Lou when she enters, but mostly listens to Liara's synopsis, "Interesting," she says after a moment, a bit thoughtfully, "I really wish these mysterious strangers would show up to talk to people individually or perhaps with less fanfare. Why is it that they always choose the Assembly of Peers to make grand, sweeping announcements out of nowhere?" She shakes her head and has a few bites of food before saying, "Let's start our game. For those who haven't played before, we go around and say a little something interesting that we've been up to or that we are planning to do and then call on the next person to go! So for me I've been very busy with the embassy plans and am only waiting to hear back from one highlord before making the official offers and I have it on good authority that at least one of them will accept! Then there's also the planning of a Taste of Arx which is happening again so do get ready to display something that your House is famous for! We did Grayson apple wine last year I'm wondering what we'll do this year," she butters up another roll and then looks around, "Lou! It seems like you're busy. What are you up to?"
"That it was," Orrin remarks sidelong to Orelia; apparently, there's that much he can say. He quiets for the rounds of 'what are you doing and who's going next', attending Lou's answer.
Niklas gives a faint sniff. "I swear, every time we have an assembly someone who doesn't actually live here shows up and tells us what to do." When Lou names the woman he gives a little ah. "She build Skald a magic house. Which is one of those odd things I wish I didn't know, because the idea that a god needs a human to build him a house is perplexing to me."
"Assassins sent to kill anyone with a trace of Eurusi royal blood," Liara explains to Bedivere. She gives a small nod in understanding to Lou. "That is more clarity than she was willing to offer. Thank you. Hopefully, she will make a less grandiose entrance next time, and with any sort of luck, might even answer straightforward questions. I am most ill-disposed to these outsiders showing up to tell us what to do, but I shall listen to what they have to say all the same."
"Doesn't actually live here," Orrin says, glancing up at Niklas from his food - as if he doesn't understand what the prince is referring to.
Lou glances to Bedivere. "The simple, safe for dinner answer is that Obsidian Hunters are the assassins of the Prophet of the Sands. A warning has been going around to those of royal Eurusi blood that they are on the hit list." She nods to Liara as she puts it succinctly. She looks to Sabella, offering her a small smile. "Let's see. I've been invited to lead a trip back to the dwarves, for one. I'll be giving a talk at the Society of Explorers next week regarding my first trip to meet them. It's not entirely advertised to the public, for various reasons, but if you see a large group at the Explorer's Hall, you're welcome to come join us." She furrows her brow. "And I'm aiding a few people in research. Faye is looking to find safe travel paths to Eurus - and would love help with the research - that don't involve throwing people overboard to feed the leviathan, for instance. I'm doing more research into the Prophet of the Sands. And, I'm desperately trying to find someone to replace Sunaia in speaking to the Eurusi refugees that are making their way to the Crownlands so we can find out what new news htere is to find about what's going on out there. Our last report is outdated, from two years ago."
After Liara and Lou reply, Bedivere nods back to each individually. Though, the Whitehawk lord speaks to both at once, "Thank you." He stays quiet during the ongoing talk, motioning over to the approaching servant who helps plate the roast beef for the one-handed man.
"Oh, you know, Zulara or Zulana or whatever it is, and the Praetor, Marcus, and Brass. Falak, too, tho it was less telling us what to do than walking around being creepy and, uh, shedding everywhere. Perhaps Prism has a home in the Lowers? I don't often go. It's rather grimy." Niklas looks back to Lou. "Are your adventures up north being put off by the troubles out east? Oh, and pick someone to go next!"
"I don't know. I mean, I have room to travel still and do other things, but it's largely dependent on the person doing the inviting." Lou replies easily to Niklas with a light shrug of her shoulders. "They may be waiting until they figure out how to speak dwarven, even though I've told them that's not necessary. The dwarves we spoke to could speak a dialect of Arvani just fine. I suspect either Brass or Norman the Explorer taught them." She glances around the room to consider those that are there, tapping her chin a moment. "I choose Count Orrin to go next."
After Niklas's naming of those meddling kids... er foreign folk, Lord Bedivere quietly grunts. After the roast beef and a few good looking sides have been placed down before him, he quietly thanks the serving staff before digging in with some enthusiasm. Meanwhile, Cabbit catiously peeks over toward Orrin.
Orelia eats and listens to Lou's answer with open interest. "Damn, you do have a lot going on!"
Sabella listens to Lou with rapt attention, "I can't imagine how you have time to do all of that and I know it's only a fraction of the things you're actually juggling, Lou! I might be able to help with the refugees, but there are a few other things I am tending to right now so I couldn't do it next week, perhaps the week after if you're still looking by then."
"It appears that entities based in Arx are happy to deal with refugee welfare. That being the case, it is less urgent that we do so; as long as our security is attended to, the actual settlement of them can presumably be put on to a later date. I shall keep an eye out for someone to replace Lady Sunaia," suggests Liara following the mention of Sunaia.
Orrin glances up at Lou, gives a nod of his head. "I think I'll be able to send someone around to speak with you about talking with the refugees, your highness." He absently gives Cabbit a scritch, if the cat draws near; thinking. "I've been working with House Crovane concerning patrols of the northern Mourning Sea, which isn't as much new as it is... renewed in its importance, I suppose. The potential for conflict with Eurus as they sail has occupied a good deal of my attention, of course. We've finished settling those freed on the Isle al'Aswaq, which is where I might draw some help for you, Princess Lou." A pause, then he glances aside, says: "Lady Orelia, what have you been up to?"
Sir Struttington, Esquire Messenger Peacock arrives, delivering a message to Orrin before departing.
Leaning out toward Orrin's hand, Cabbit happily purrs and rubs up against the man's fingers with his adorable eyes half closing.
Lou cracks a wry smile at Orelia. "I do, usually. And, most times I try to drag people in where I can, if its specifically my stuff I have going on." She perks up when Sabella says she'll be able to help. "Just do please let me know, one way or another," she tells her sister. "I'll need time to find someone who can do it before everything goes to hell with Eurus, likely." And then Orrin is offering someone to help too. "Or your person could do it too. Really, I just need someone willing to lead it, and put together a group of people to help, and be willing to let Lady Miranda Mazetti tag along on the mission as well - she s a person I wanted to help attend to it."
Orelia finishes her bite and stands up while she answers. "Well, I haven't been back in town long enough to get in nearly enough trouble, so mostly I've been testing my skill against others in the training center and volunteering for dangerous missions on or near bodies of water," she says. "Last week I actually went swimming in a cave with a few people people who couldn't fight their way out of a flour sack, but I made sure they got out alive and with some treasure in their pockets. Let's see." She looks around the table. "Prince Niklas, why don't you take your turn?"
"If you can find someone before then please don't wait on me," Sabella replies to Lou, "I'd love to help, I truly would, but as I think is the case with all of us there is just so much to be done it's rather crazy," She tilts her head towards Orrin when he talks, "If I might ask those at the table, what are your views of Eurus and their actions? I know Liara is here and she's called the banners, but I'm curious what the opinions are of people who might not be as close to it."
"I heard a mention of that. I hope nothing in the water tried to harm you," Liara remarks to Orelia, looking up from her food.
"Well, of course I have my next theatrical engagement coming up, an opera called Dauntless about the last two days of Sir Erec Redhill's life. Which I've already thoroughly covered here. I'm also finishing up my next play, which is a more straightforward, no-singing, no-dancing ribald comedy that presents itself as a serious one-man play about a heroic knight who never actually existed. When people study my works hundreds of years from now, I want them to know that no one knew what I'd do next, but it was all, of course, a body of towering genius." Niklas stacks up some pork loin, squab, lamb and prime rib, then cuts through them all and enjoys a forkful of four animals. "I'm also assisting the Nightingale with exploring the history of the building the Bard's College inhabits. I'm guessing it will lead to the influence of an ancient demon, but you never know. And I'm helping my sister out with a project that involves our great grandfather, who was an artist that went insane and turned into bugs." He waves a hand. "You know how Islander marquises are." He thinks, then adds, "And then there's the ironwool project, about which most of you already know. Lady Orelia has been so kind to allow people to stab her over and over as the product is refined."
Niklas then points at Liara, "Your grace?"
"Oh, a few things tried," Orelia replies to Liara with a grin. "And cleaning them off my armor after I dealt with them was the hardest part."
Although Lord Bedivere is usually humorless, something spurs a slight smirk upon the older man after the humorous way Prince Niklas says what he says. Though, he soon covers with another forkfull of the roast beast before his hazel gaze soon turns to Liara. Meanwhile, Cabbit catinually enjoys Orrin pets (if those are still being given).
"Besides mustering an army, I have had one or two things going on," Liara starts out, a little dryly. Then she gives a small wave of her gloved hand and goes on, "Mostly, I have had engagements with a range of people from across the Compact, at various meetings, private conversations and through letters. If anyone has questions to ask or suggestions to make that will benefit from my attention, please do contact me - even if it is a matter that is being handled by someone else, I will at least be able to direct you to them."
Liara also tacks on, "I've also given some time over to ironwool, for that matter. I very much look forwards to seeing it come to fruition."
Orrin glances up at the invitation to speak on that, brows lifting then dropping. "I don't know that we're exactly further from it, Princess Sabella," he says. "I married an Islander and - since the High Lord's proclamation to end thralldom, my interest in the Mourning Isles, its houses and peoples, has only grown. But in terms of what I think -" he pauses, frowns. "They seem rather spectacularly unsubtle. Ordinarily that heartens me, as unsubtle foes often telegraph what the intend far in advance, or don't take adequate care, when they think they've got you outmatched. In this case, it does not, as any engagement with an enemy so thoroughly unknown, nor with such a breadth of capabilities I neither know nor can account for. That said, I've misgivings about every course of action I've heard suggested in recent days, and find myself more cautious to speak and commit myself to any of them until I've more information."
"Sometimes, you won't always have more information at your fingertips. Sometimes, you have to make a decision based solely on faith alone," Lou speaks up at the table at Orrin's comments, though does look in Liara's direction a bit when she says that, "and trust that the people you surround yourself with will come through in the end." A pause, "I say this as the leader of the Explroers, of course. Most of the places we find are based on part due to research, but largely because we have the faith that all of the effort we've put into a project will follow through and we'll find lost races, like the dwarves, and lost places of magical wonders like Whitepeak." She grins, "I promise not to show off the clockwork griffon again," she notes, flushing a bit; but she's made her point.
"My biggest concern with Eurus is that just because Skal'daja is doing a thing doesn't mean any of the other kingdoms aren't doing something just as malicious, but which isn't being seen because the armada is so pressing. And while they trumpet this prince, we have no idea what the Emperor is doing. If the civil war in Eurus is truly at an end, it makes me wonder if all of this may very not be a feint." Niklas shrugs and slices up a roast turnip. "Of course, I've no mind for war. That's the sort of thing Aethan and his brothers were always better at than any of my siblings. Well, except Renatta. As good a soldier as Ian, a sailor as Wash and a leader as Aethan." He looks to Liara, "Pick someone, your grace!"
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Liara before departing.
"I believe Lord Bedivere is actually the only person that hasn't gone yet," Sabella points out, helping herself to a slice of chocolate pie, "And that's interesting, Count Orrin, I don't think I realized all of that about you. Having married an Islander myself, I must say that you have excellent taste!"
"An easy choice, then," Liara says, after being prompted to pick someone. She flashes Bedivere a quick smile. "Your turn."
Niklas brightens at Sabella's comment. "It's almost whitefish chowder season!"
"I said we have great taste, not you," Sabella says sweetly, giving her husband a charming smile.
Orrin smiles - at the compliment, at Niklas' comment and Sabella's sweet retort? And offers: "I rather like whitefish chowder." What coastal lord wouldn't, though.
Lou receives a message and her face pales more than a bit. "Good gods!" she exclaims. "Thirteen slaves for each of the Eurusi ships was sacrificed in order for those ships to travel safely across the ocean," she announces, looking around at the table. "That's as bad as the Traitor sacrificing loves to make his gargantuans."
"What?" Sabella blinks, looking over to her sister, "Is that...would that be the work of the Magisters of the Mirror or the Dune Emperor? Or both? I'm afraid I'm still trying to catch up on how everything is oriented over there."
Orrin's lips press, but he doesn't seem particularly surprised. He quiets; no more smiles, but he continues eating.
"The Magisters of Mirror, I think." There's a slight pause from Lou as she looks over at Sabella and adds. "I hope. In order for the Eurusi ships to come back and forth, they must appease the leviathan. Feed it, essentially. Thirteen sacrifices, for each ship. Those sacrifices are most assuredly coming from the slave numbers. There are 30 ships coming here." She lets those numbers sink in. "I mean, when Faye told me there were sacrifices involved with safe passage, I didn't realize it was so many. It's why she's researching a way to get back and forth to Eurus around the leviathan, without having to sacrifice anyone." She leans over and passes the message to Sabella to read.
Liara wonders of Lou after a moment of pensive consideration of that, "Just for the big ships? As of last I heard, they have perhaps as many as four hundred ships, of which thirty are the size of our caravels. A vast number, either way, of ships and of lives."
Orelia frowns and puts down her fork. "Dear gods, are these men or monsters?"
Lou flushes a bit at Liara. "Every ship, not just the big ones, so more than 30.. There are others too." Once Sabella is done reading, she passes a copy along to Liara.
@emit Lord Bedivere quickly swallows a roast bite, doing so with utmost etiquette and briefly sips from the wine glass before he quietly clears his elderly throat. "Well, I look forward to continuously training not only Whitehawk troops but also the Knights of Solace who might need extra help. Should we need any more siege weapons, I intend to buy those." It sounds like he might just do it on his very own without the barony's expense. "And further investments into our military needs, too. I have heard our Grandmaster Jeffeth of Knights of Solace would like to help the Eurusi refugees, which were mentioned a bit ago. So, helping with those things. Otherwise, I have no new news, since I have been on patrol of the Great Road between here and Hawkhold."
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Liara before departing.
Liara takes a moment to look over the note, nodding a little when she's done, and then mentions to Bedivere, "Handling the refugees properly will likely be a tricky endeavour. I wish you every success with it if you end up doing so."
Sabella grimaces and sets down her fork, her piece of pie not even finished, "I find it so hard to come to terms with things like that. So many lives lost and for what? I wonder if there might be something the Choir could do. Lull it to sleep or something like that? But then that would take them away for a whole voyage and who knows if that would even work."
Orrin clears his throat, has a drink. "The Choir?"
To Liara, Bedivere nods. "Thank you." Then, he looks over to Sabella, "Do you mean spellsingers like in the Lianhan's day?"
Lou is looking rather weary and so she definitely lets her sister field that particular question. "I think I'm done with dinner this evening. I'm going to go hug my children." She rises from her seat, preparing to make her leave.
Bedivere says, "Farewell, Princess Lou. Thank you."
Sabella nods to Bedivere, "Oh, yes. I forget that not everyone has been informed of the fact that there are lots of spellsingers around Arx these days. So many it's actually quite surprising. And I'll find you later, Lou. Give the children my love."
Sabella adds, "They were there during the battles against the Gyre. There was a lot of talk about them then. Princess Tikva, Baroness Lucita, and Princess Sorrel."
"Yeah, I heard about those recently," Orelia says of spellsingers. "Met someone trying to become one even."
Lou nods absently to Sabella as she passes out of the room.
Willen leaves, following Lou.
Lord Bedivere hmms quietly. "Hmm. Thank you. I did not know who they were, but now I know." He looks from Sabella to Orelia, "How do you become one? Is it a learned ability, or do you already 'know deep down' but have to 'rediscover everything'?"
Orrin tongues at his teeth a moment, then considers his food - half eaten, and it wasn't a particularly full plate. "No," he agrees. "Not everyone has been informed. Quite a lot, you say?" That's to Sabella.
Liara gathers herself to her feet, her meal finished. "Lovely to see you all. I am going to get some rest, and then perhaps also a day off." She offers a little flutter of a wave and off she goes.
"I think it's something you have to be born with," Sabella admits, looking to Orrin and Bedivere, "But honestly, I don't know a lot about magic except the things you find in fairy tales. I'm unfortunately not so gifted myself and I spent most of my life desperately wanting to be the Lianhan!" She then nods to Orrin, "I know of at least..." she starts counting on her fingers, "Seven. Eight! And I'm sure there are more I don't know about."
Orelia shrugs at Bedivere's question. "I wasn't able to get much on that, just who to go to about it if the friend of mine dies trying," she replies. "I don't know all that much about magic either."
Bedivere wows after the number scales up from 3 to at least eight. "Can we go take down every gargantuan, then? Is there a way to get them all together and... just 'go for it'?"
"I don't think it's that simple. When we fought them at the Lodge it took...a lot. And don't forget Lianhan lost herself when she took down the Slaver last time," Sabella points out, giving her pie a longing look but not picking up her fork again, "I mean, I suppose one could try. But getting them all in one place seems like a great way to lose them all in one go."
Bedivere hears out Sabella then slightly nods, "Good points, all." Then there is more forking for a few moments. After polite dining, he pipes up. "So you had wanted to be Lia?" He sounds curious, but only prompts but would back off, and not push it, of course.
"While Eurus gladly pitches five thousand slaves into the maw of some dark thing in the sea." Orrin's head is tipped; he's caught a headache, or a spot of a bad mood. The topic lends to both, doesn't it? "Are there any other great causes for hope that I've missed?"
Orelia says, "I could stand to hear a few.""
Sabella brightens at Bedivere's question, "Of course! A singer with a magical voice? I drove my sister and my mother crazy with my songs when I was younger. Nothing magical every happened though. Once I thought it did, when a beloved bear of mine flew threw the air towards me, but it turned out Reese had thrown it. And oh, there are so many causes for hope," she tells Orrin and Orelia earnestly, "We're in talks with Cardia and Jadairal about embassies, our world is widening and it might turn out that we have more allies than we do enemies! Little by little magic and memories that have long been lost to us are returning, making our world even more dazzling than it already was! And you have only to look around Arx to see how fealties are working together to know that whatever the Abyss thinks it's doing, whatever fight it wants to have, we'll always have ways around them. Ways to bring light to the darkness. Everywhere I look there's nothing but hope."
Niklas rouses from his reverie. "I wonder how Reveka Tyde fits into all of this, given that she has replaced the Gyre in the abyssal armies." He pauses, then adds, "Which is a term I'm just making up to describe servitors of the abyss, and not an actual thing."
Bedivere grimaces faintly after Orrin's words, but Sabella's story about the flying bear and Reese's involvement with it helps brighten the dour mood for the Whitehawk lord. Cabbit, too."
"Friends and allies that have told us that cooperation with the other is grounds to wage a war on us as well, if I remember correctly," Orrin says. "Or has something changed to warm Cardia and Jadairal to each other? It would have to be a strange and mighty event indeed, I think."
"I don't know that even I can warm those two to each other, but I intend to try," Sabella promises, "But neither are we taking the offers of the nations, which is what they were each against us doing. Establishing embassies is something different. Although we'll see if they each think so. But we're on the cusp of a world in charge and it's all exciting and new for everyone I think. We're all new to each other."
Cabbit hops down and walks over Sabella's way and gently rubs against her if actually able. Though, it could be that he is swooped up before he ever arrives. Meanwhile, Bedivere hmms quietly before he goes back to chowing down on the free food from this Grayson dinner. After he finally cleans his whole plate, he again speaks. "I think it would be nice if Platinum would help, rather than holding out for us to bow down to him. But, that is wishful thinking."
"If nothing else it would be nice if they'd recognize that we're human in our own fun way and ceased using our wilderness for their proxy wards." Niklas gives a slight shrug. "That said, Eurus is no one's ally. Though it does seem as if neither nation will lend a hand whatsoever to assist and will instead wait to see if we need them. To prove a point."
Orrin glances at Niklas, mouth pinched, and nods. "Friendly behavior, if I've ever seen it." He glances at his drink, but - it seems - he's done. "Begging your pardon," he says, "I think I've had enough this evening. With thanks, again, for the invitation and hospitality." He pushes back to rise, offers a bow to those still present, and makes to leave.
Sabella reaches down to scoop the tabby up if it lets her and will snuggle it in her lap with lots of pets, "That's part of the point of having them establish embassies. They need to recognize that we are a sovereign nation and that the land of Arvum is ours. And thank you for coming, Count Orrin! We do this every month so do feel free to stop by."
Bedivere stands up and briefly bows to Orrin before sitting down once more. "Farewell, Count Orrin." says he before looking to Niklas with an agreeing nod and a quiet aye. He looks down at his empty plate for a brief moment before lifting up his hazel gaze once more. "Yes, thank you for this hospitality: apologies that I do not have much new news."
Of course, Cabbit happily accepts those snuggle pets from Princess Sabella.
"I say this with all sincerity your highness, I wish you the best of luck with that," Orelia tells Sabella as she rises as well.
Niklas tilts his head toward Orrin. "Have a good evening, Count Orrin." He settles back, having eaten a small forest's worth of animals and vegetation. "I just hope people don't forget the important things in life. I wonder if they have art in Jadairal. I know they do in Cardia, though it's unpleasant."
Yes, bows! Bows for all assembled, and a smile that says 'you too' as much as any words could to those who've given well wishes, and then Orrin is slipping out.
Bedivere looks over to Niklas, "According to Emissary Zulana, they do, and according to her there are many blessed by Jayus there. But, I have never seen what she says with my own eyes."
Niklas raises his eyebrows at Bedivere. "For true? Well, I suppose I'm glad to hear that. I've thought to ask Zulara if someone could teach me their language, but part of me fears that just knowing their language could re-arrange the mind in such a way as to make it bend to the Emperor's will. Like a voluntarily self-applied writ."
After Niklas's words, Bedivere momentarily mulls over them. "I would fear the exact same, I fear." See what he did there? Though, he is partially serious, "What language /do/ they speak there, anyway? Is it Jadarialiarian?"
"Even I don't know and it feels like I should," Sabella admits, paying more attention to the cute little kitty than the two men that are left, "I think that Platinum is doing what he thinks is best for his people. For all people, really. And I don't agree with it, but I can...I can understand what he thinks he's doing. It comes from a place of love, but I think that doesn't mean that it can't become...twisted in its own way."
Cabbit catinuously purrs, doing so with whiskery cheeks happily rubbing at her hands.
Orelia was getting ready to leave, but... "Can learning a language really do that?"
"I have no idea. I've asked a few of the more well-informed people I know and they weren't sure. Or else they just weren't going to tell me." Niklas shrugs. To Orelia he says, "I don't know. But learning a language changes the way we interact with the world. Watch children as they come to grips with language and begin understanding entire concepts that evaded them before. It's hard to see the same thing in an adult, since even if you learn a new language it's mostly concepts you already know, but even so you can find concepts for which we have no words. The marin'alfar, for instance, have a degree of differentiation between different types of current that is mind-boggling. But even in Arvani by learning the language of poetry, rhythm and rhyme, the pace of the schools and the ways some people break from those schools, teaches a new way to hear and understand the world. Language is the first magic. Available to anyone who wishes to learn. I see no reason why, if the rex'alfar have a single word that describes a way to break someone's will so thoroughly they would take their own life at your request, that Platinum could not have mastered a language that influences its speaker to be more pliable."
Bedivere certainly finds sensible reason in Niklas's words. He soon stands, though, "Sounds wise, to me. I should head off and bed down." He looks over to where Cabbit and Sabella are, "He knows his way back home, if you want to pet him until you have to go to bed, too." Especially since they are in the same ward, here.
"That reminds me, I have a new poem I need to work on," Orelia says in reply to Niklas. "It was lovely seeing you both. Thank you for your hospitality."
Orelia is overheard praising Sabella.
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