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Stormbird's Roost Grand Opening

The Stormbird's Roost, a pub and eatery featuring a mix of Eurusi cuisine with more standard Arxian fare, will finally be opening its doors to more than just refugees! The public is invited to stop by the Roost for this informal come-and-go event to enjoy music, food, and ambience from across the sea.

(OOC: Go to Honor Walk North, Stormbird's Roost, then up the stairs to find the Public Room on the third floor.)

Date

July 1, 2020, 9 p.m.

Hosted By

Rukhnis

Participants

Sophie Karina Thea Sabella Esme Samira Ras Zara Drake Katarina Oddmun Magnus Sapphira Kiera Emlyn Bahiya Philippe Rysen

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of the Compact - Stormbird's Roost - Public Room

Largesse Level

Average

Comments and Log


Sophie smiles as Drake introduces himself. She smiles and says, "I know. We're cousins. I'm Sophie, Sister Sophie Valardin." She pats Drake on the arm, "My father was a Wyrmguard." Then she leans in to kiss Zara on the cheek and she says, "You're lovely as ever, Zara. I always enjoy running into you." She then says to the bartender, "Tea for me please? Something exotic, if you have it. I'm quite willing to try something new tonight along with the grasshoppers."

Alighting from the top of the staircase, Karina pauses in her entry to take in the chamber with an appreciative gasp.
"Lovely," she breathes before making her way to claim a seat at the swiftly filling bar where she might observe the festivities. And the drinks, of course.

Oaty, a white Oathlands Vanner arrives, following Philippe.

Catching Rukhnis' eye, Thea waves over to her. "I didn't want to miss this. Even if it was for a little while,"as she makes her way to bar where Drake made her room. She lifts her eyebrow at the grasshoppers. "Really? Um well--How are these cooked exactly?" She's rationalizing as she talks again,"I guess they'd have to be cooked, so they don't hop from your mouth--"greeting those at the bar,"Hello again Princess Zara, good evening Sister Sophie, and well--those I don't know.."'

"--Mason never really talked about it but I bet there's cakes and things I'm sure it's like Crownlander food, but more spicy," Sabella tells Elizabetta as they finally reach the landing, beaming a smile at everyone. Elizabetta doesn't look so sure but moves off to stand with the other attendants that won't be heard from again all night, "Mother Sophie! Lord Drake! Princess Zara! Have you ordered yet!? You must tell me what's good! Is there a menu!"

Esme walks in with Joy taking notes as she talks in a light tone to her assistant. Then she spies the place. "I think I have only been in here.. did they say grasshoppers?" She cants her head a bit to the side to that for a long moment. Esme laughs and lights up. Right now, she just sort of takes in the room to see who she might know and who she might not.

Ras checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 15, rolling 87 higher. Ras rolled a critical!

A look of wonderment flickers across Samira's face as she climbs the stairs to arrive on the landing, drinking in the otherwordly atmosphere that the lights and music call to mind. "Wow. This is really nice." The lack of familiar faces in the crowd seems to make her feel ill at ease, but she sidles away from the stairs to clear room for those who enter behind her.

Ras emerges from the shadows around the stairwell to show up near Rukhnis, like manifesting out of thin air.

"Princess Sabella!" There may be a note of _save me_ in Zara's voice as she glances toward her, eyes bright with welcome. "Sophie has some suggestions," she says, but it sounds more like a _warning_ as she squeezes Sophie's arm with a quick, fond pat. "You'll have to tell me how you like those, and I'll try something else, and tell you how I like that. Divide and conquer." She inclines her head to Thea, gathering more forces for her approach. "What do you think, Lady Thea? Divide and conquer, everyone tries something different?"

Drake sometimes has a hard time keeping track of all the cousins, but that's how noble families are sometimes. "Ah-ha, right." He gives Sophie a little smile. "I guess we haven't sat down together in a while." He looks at Thea, and shrugs a shoulder. "You know. If we don't like them, at least they're small. Not ordering a whole roast and throwing it out, eh?" He looks at Zara, and adds, "Since I escorted you, let me cover the first round." He gives Thea a grin. "I'll cover your first round too."


There's a brief murmur among those near the door as another royal enters the party. Princess Katarina Valardin -- who is also Princess Katarina al'Muraq-Sabbat of the Dune Kingdom of Suj'abbat -- has her guards walking beside her in such a way that all may take in the splendor of her golden gown, whose backless inner layer and sheer outer layer result in the whole of her pointillist, mandala-like full-back tattoo being visible. The Princess greets various and sundry as she slowly makes her way toward the bar -- on an occasion like this, one takes one's time, and makes sure all are greeted.

It's another warm and muggy night in Arx, and yet up here on the third storey of this expansive old building, with the double doors throw open to the evening breeze and the lanterns casting playfully bobbing dots of light all around, somehow the worst of the heat seems to be kept at bay and the air has a faint tang of the exotic. The room is teased by the smell of cooking flavoured with unusual spices and unique combinations of more familiar ingredients, and Eurusi musicians set off to one side of the room fill the entire space with lively melody of the sort not usually heard by Arvani ears.

Rukhnis herself, hostess of the night, stands by the blackwood bar, trying to notice and greet everyone as they come in -- but there are a lot of people, which she's clearly both surprised and pleased by. Her usual dark and sombre garb is colourfully accented by a brightly woven blanket draped around her shoulders like a poncho, and she looks rather less shadow-like than usual as she bows to the arrivals. And then jumps slightly when Ras materializes like a spectre.

Arriving at the Stormbird, Oddmun is with Sapphira, the two of them arm and arm as they look around. "This is... different." the Sanna lord comments as he looks around the bar in interest. Right there, at the top of the menu--relief comes over his face as he waves to the server. "Black Ouzel Whisky!" he calls out in order, before he looks to Sapphira. "Do you want some wine? I see some interesting choices on the list. But he really sounds like he has no idea of what wine is any good. Redrain through and through, it's all about the whisky.


Of course, Rukhnis is the first on Katarina's to-greet list. "Messere Al-Katibi," the Eurusi Valardin trills, offering a curtsy that makes her dress shimmer. "I've been looking forward to this more than I think my family in Sanctum would like to hear me admit~."

The stairs creak audibly as Magnus climbs it. There's always a bit of trepidation entering a new building with more than one floor. It's a squeeze through the stairwell or anything, but he is cognizant of the confined area he's suddenly found himself in. Which is why the moment he sees an open balcony to the outside, he makes that his place to hang out for the time being, if only to stay out of most people's way. The Marquis may enjoy people watching more than anything else. The only to understand new cultures is sometimes simply watching them.

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

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

2 Grayson House Guards have been dismissed.

Clark, an exasperated guard have been dismissed.

"Oh good, I'm glad someone has some ideas because I've never been here before what with is just opening," Sabella says cheerfully, moving over to Zara and smiling to Sophie, "So I do hope you've ordered enough for everyone! Oh look, there's Princess Katarina! I'm sure she can offer some suggestions too!" she offers a wave to the other princess.

Thea straigthens and agrees with Zara,"I'm ready if you are. I mean, I touched spiders. I can eat--bugs." And she's totally serious and ready. When Sabella enters, the Malvici greets her with a wave as well,"Princess Sabella, good evening." A smile appears for her as well.

When Princess Katarina enters, Thea offers a little curtsy, because well--she's changed in a gown--Leathers be gone! Finally, she's kind of free, hearing Drake mention first round and whiskey. "I think you're my hero right now. I'll get the second."

Sophie teases Drake, "I often say that I can't throw a stone without striking at least one cousin here inside Arx. I maintain that it remains true, of course." Then to Thea and Sabella she smiles warmly, "Ah, I should go out more often. I have missed you both! I will share. I've ordered something new to try!" She then turns a little grin to Zara, "Of course I won't force you to try it, but we are here to embrace the differences of their culture, aren't we? They wouldn't serve something inherently awful would they?" Sophie lets a hand rest on Thea's arm. "My but it's good to see you doing so well." Then there are more Valardin guards. They're starting to form a little gang in the corner and her eyes search out Katarina's. She lifts a hand to wave at her as well. "It's a family reunion tonight, it seems!"

"Best make that two whiskeys," Sapphira chimes in, her arm threaded through Oddmun's. She's dressed in a floor-length light blue silk gown, dotted all over with little silver stars everywhere. The sleeves are closely fitted down to the elbow in the same blue silk, but flare out to the wrists in silvery lace for the remaining half. The neckline is low and square, showing a healthy amount of decolletage, while the gently flaring skirt swishes and sways with every step she takes. Her cascade of golden curls are held up on either side by silver combs bedecked with freshwater pearls. As always, she bears her gittern case, slung across her back--after all, one never knows when a bit of music might be called for!

Rukhnis bows to Katarina as her fellow Eurusi approaches, greeting her, "Princess Katarina, I am pleased to see you here. I hope that you enjoy your time here tonight, and the dishes and drinks on the menu. It is still a paltry selection compared to what one might find back in Eurus itself, but I assure that the cook is excellent, and you can surely have no complaint at anything you try."

Ras develops a briefly chagrined look as Rukhnis startles, then gives her a nod and steps back. There's a curious gaze leveled on Katarina before he drifts away and then heads for the stairs. He sees Magnus entering, and lifts his chin in a nod to the large northern nobleman as if he recognizes him, and goes down. A few minutes later he reappears with some platters of food, apparently helping the waitstaff deal with the crowd.

Kiera climbs up the staircase, carefully one step at a time and once on firm grounding, she takes in the sights around her fully and with an intake of breath at the sheer loveliness of her surroundings, spotting her brother at the bar walks up to greet him. brother, your highness" she greets warmly

Zara's eyes narrow as she's betrayed on all sides by bug-eaters. This is not going to plan. This is not going to plan _at all_. "That would be very kind of you," she says to Drake with a kind of resignation as she steels herself to her fate. She inclines her head to Katarina as Sophie calls her out, and then tips her head at Oddmun with a startled sort of pleasure to see him and Sapphira. "Hello, Lady Kiera. I think we're feeling adventurous tonight, so I hope you are ready." She doesn't entirely seem sure that _she_ is, but -- well. She is Valardin. She will face whatever comes.

From her place at the bar, Karina cannot appear to take in everything fast enough. Golden-brown tresses whip about her delicate form as her head turns this way and that, ocean deep eyes taking in faces, clothing, conversations and more. While she does not as of yet leap into the revelry or recognition, the smile playing upon the plush curve of her mouth suggests she's enjoying the atmosphere nonetheless.

Drake taps on the bar, and looks at Rukhnis with a wink of one eye. "I'll buy two bottles, one of each whiskey style, and we'll sample them around. And I'll cover a round of crickets too. Grilled goat cheese sounds interesting too... but I am not entirely sure how you pronounce it." Maybe that will be more to Zara's liking too. Drake smiles as Kiera arrives, getting up from the bar just a second to give his sister a one-armed hug.

Esme turns her head when she sees Magnus and offers him a bright smile. She seems content to hold back a bit right now rather than rush into the fray of people. There is a large smile in Sabella's direction before she looks back towards the hostess of the evening.

Sapphira checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 9 lower.

Sabella checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 60, rolling 13 higher.


Katarina reaches out to take both of Rukhnis's hands in what will ideally be a gesture of friendship, and at worst be a weird moment of Rukhnis flinching away or something. Should it succeed, the unbidden grasp is a gentle one. "I have every confidence in you and your cooks," she coos, and then turns to spy a familiar sight: "Grasshoppers?" she asks. Katarina's grin can barely be suppressed. "And those from the Compact are eating them...?" The Princess gives Rukhnis a sly smile. "You have already achieved something like a miracle. The rest of the night shall be easy." Of course, then Katarina moves right toward Zara, and asks, "What do you think, cousin? Of the grasshoppers, that is."

When he notices Magnus, Oddmun carefully guides Sapphira in that direction as they wait for the whiskeys to be delivered. As he notices Zara out of the corner of his eye, the Sanna lord offers a polite bow. "No horse talk tonight. But what is this talk of grasshoppers?" he asks in confusion before he makes his way to Magnus. "Marquis Stahlben?" he asks and smiles slightly. "I am Lord Oddmun Sanna. We're neighbors, of a sort." comes the introduction. "And this is Lady Sapphira Whitehawk. I am glad to see you in the story."


In coming up to bother her cousin, Katarina also returns Thea's curtsy with a beaming smile. She's already having too much fun!

"Right. Grasshoppers." Did Drake say crickets? (Is there a difference he now wonders between grasshoppers and crickets? This is why Kiera is a scholar and Drake is not a scholar.)

Emlyn saunters in, looking around with the sheer curiosity of an explorer. However, he approaches the bar with the needs of a drinker and orders the ginger beer, moving to have a seat there as he looks around the room and begins to people watch rather intently.

"Crickets?" Sabella repeats in that same perfectly polite yet slightly hollow voice Zara had a few moments ago, "Is that like, ants on a log? When you put the sunbutter on the celery and then the raisins?" She asks hopefully, looking around for someone that can make her imagination here reality, "Perhaps it's when you put chocolate on something else chocolate and crunchy?"

Rukhnis does, alas, flinch very slightly as Katarina takes her hands, but it's only a small momentary reaction that doesn't break the contact, and she inclines her head courteously to the princess at the same time. Looking vaguely amused and a little uncertain, she says, "I truly do not know why people here do not eat grasshoppers, when they are so plentiful. But perhaps that will change now." Anything could happen, right?

She then turns and looks as if she might actually take Drake's whiskey-and-bugs-and-cheese order herself, but her assistant Ayallah rolls her eyes, plunks her basket down on a stool, and goes to join the other staff in helping get people's orders. Rukhnis sighs after the younger woman, then turns back to Drake to say, "It is not so hard to say -- only hah-loo-mee. And never fear, if you are ever here and do not care to take your chances with pronunciation, you may simply describe the item and they will know what you are speaking of."

Rukhnis drops a rustic pine twig basket.

Thea sees Magnus enter. It's really hard NOT to. She bows her head to the Marquis, giving a him brief but flickering smile. "Marquis. Welcome back to the city,"just as Sophie touches her arm. "Thank you. It feels like yesterday I just arrived in the city and yet it's been two years..." When Sabella mentions whatever she mentioned, she just--,"What is that? Ants on a log?"

Drake gets a Stormbird's Roost souvenir tankard from a rustic pine twig basket.

From his little spot, Magnus surveys the crowd gathered. It helps when you've got a good foot and a half on most people in a room. Eventually the large man moves forward to navigate through the crowd, giving a nod to Ras and Esme both in passing. Where he had been going however, was toward Ruhknis, but comes up short when he's intercepted. "I am." he replies in his brass deep, but gentle voice. He blinks once, looking at Oddmun a long moment. "You'll excuse me if I ask if we've met before. I've been away from the Arx for almost a year and I've only returned recently." A nod then. "Neighbors would be a good word for it, yes. I never did get thank your family more for helping my people when we needed it the most." His slow gaze turns to Spphira. "Good evening."

Katarina takes a Stormbird's Roost souvenir tankard from a rustic pine twig basket.

Katarina has joined the an arabesqued blackwood bar.

Thea takes a Stormbird's Roost souvenir tankard from a rustic pine twig basket.

Sapphira smiles at Zara as Oddmun leads her past, dipping her head by way of greeting. "Your Highness, it's good to see you. Hopefully the evening is treating you we...." Even the normally unflappable bard's voice trails off, and she blanches at something she hears. There was just no way... was there? Could they actually be serving...

"...grasshoppers?" Her voice comes out in something of a squeak, as she tries to regain her composure to properly greet the Marquis. "Well-met, my Lord, an honor indeed."

Emlyn has joined the an arabesqued blackwood bar.

Sophie's momentarily distracted by the server delivering her tea, and she asks politely, "Honey please? I can't have tea without honey. It's just... not done." She smiles warmly at the server and reaches for the bowl of grasshoppers, turning on the bar stool to look at it carefully. She lifts it to her nose, sniffs, and then extends the bowl to her cousins, all half a dozen of them. "Who wants to go first? Zara? Katarina?" She bats her eyelashes and grins.

Sensing kinship, sensing understanding, Zara reaches to clasp Sabella's arm, her eyes searching Sabella's features as she answers that subtle hollowing in her voice: "It's not much like that, after all." She squeezes Sabella's arm, bracing her and providing what reassurance she can, before turning her attention to Katarina and her terrible, terrible question. "Oh, you know, I don't yet have an opinion. I couldn't form an opinion before trying it, now could I? And there's so many wonderful things!"

Sapphira takes a Stormbird's Roost souvenir tankard from a rustic pine twig basket.

Kiera has joined the an arabesqued blackwood bar.

Esme takes a Stormbird's Roost souvenir tankard from a rustic pine twig basket.

"We are all under Halfshav, Marquis. The pleasure to do so--and if we are needed, we will be at your call." Oddmun responds to Magnus, a polite nod offered to him. And when Sapphira squeaks, there's an amused look to her. "I think we may have to try those, if they are properly roasted. I mean, we have eaten odd things in the field?" he offers in suggestion as their drinks arrive and Oddmun hands Sapphira one of the tankards.

Magnus takes a Stormbird's Roost souvenir tankard from a rustic pine twig basket.

Oddmun takes a Stormbird's Roost souvenir tankard from a rustic pine twig basket.

Drake will let the princesses go first where it comes to sampling insects. But he does start pouring whiskey into glasses, since he did offer to buy the bottles.

Sapphira checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 15, rolling 6 higher.

Avoiding the knot of nobles gathered around Rukhnis, Samira hangs back and allows herself time to take in the surroundings, a moment of attention affixed upon the musicians. Overhearing the conversation of the present menu items, she draws closer, her nose wrinkling at the mention of bugs on the menu. A sidelong glance has her noting Karina sitting nearby and she gravitates toward the other singular person, offering a nod of her head in greeting. "Really nice set-up, isn't it? Planning to try something from the menu yet?"

"You're all really going to blanch at some grasshoppers?" Emlyn asks, before he orders a bowl of the crunchy grasshoppers, steadfastly drinking his ginger beer. The redheaded Lord hardly seems bothered by the entire fare - not even blinking once as he looks over the offerings of lizard tail, rat, or pigeon. He smiles bemusedly at some of the other reactions. "I think this might be my new favorite place to eat."

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

Sabella pats one of Zara's hands, a true kindred spirit in these difficult times, "Ah. Of course. They're grasshoppers! Which are not crickets! Which is such a shame because I've heard such good things. About them. Their music is quite lovely. When they're alive. Which I suppose they wouldn't be if one was eating them! Like these grasshoppers. Which are dead! And...for eating!" How long can Sabella stall? She looks around the bar rather than look at that bowl. Is she just a little pale? It's probably the lights, "And I'm sure very delicious! Why, I imagine they're quite crunchy! And...absolutely definitely a main course! So why don't we start with hum-muss?" she reads off the menu, "Really...work up an appetite. For the rest."

Katarina checked charm + propaganda at difficulty 60, rolling 2 higher.

Emlyn checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 20, rolling 11 higher.

Looking at one of the tankards offered to him, Magnus frowns at it. Not because he doesn't like, but more because he knows his bulky hand isn't going to be able grab the handle of it. Or at least, not comfortably. Tilting his head a little, he grabs it from the other side, large hand wrapping around over half of the tankard circumference. "What's this about...grasshoppers?" The word sounds alien in his mouth, and it sounds as much. Then again, not many bugs live up near the very edge of the world. "Some kind of food?"

Sapphira checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 60, rolling 42 lower.

Ras sets down a large platter of what looks like stuffed leaves on a round oak table as he's approached by a messenger in the crowd. He takes the note and wanders out to the balcony to read it, facing the street below so his expression isn't noticeable.

Ras has joined the on the balcony.

Kiera lights up and says "ooo goat cheese notably focusing on the cheese "Everythig goes with cheese, your highness she says helpfully, making it clear if she's going to try a grosshopper it will be with something to dip

Rukhnis looks slightly more sombre when Magnus makes his approach, but that doesn't mean she seems displeased to see him make an appearance at her gathering, only a little sad. Even though he's been waylaid, she makes a bow in his direction, and then goes back to marvelling at the crowd with a vague hesitancy, as if she's trying to decide when might be a good time to try to say something, or wondering if in fact there ever even will be such a time.

Joy, the advisor of roses leaves, following Esme.

Thea looks to Sabella and Zara, eyeing them both. Then she flicks her gold-flecked green eyes to Drake. Take a deep breath, her drink in one hand, she's going to reach for the bugs,"-I'll- go first. This can't be hard..."

Green eyes dance to alight upon Samira as the other woman addresses her, her welcome swift and warm in the ready flash of dimples nestling into her cheeks as she smiles. "This is a gorgeous place," she agrees. "It makes me want to paint it. And everyone is so breathtaking. There is a future work in this, I can feel it."
Turning her gaze upon the menu, she drums an idle finger against the curve of her jaw, pondering. "I may try the birch beer," she muses. Talk of grasshoppers upon the menu cause her expression to freeze somewhere between disgusted and intrigued, but she does not otherwise add to the general commentary on it.

That was Karina, of course...

Drake looks Thea in the eye, and winks at her. He picks his glass of whiskey up with a free hand, but he's watching. "I'm rooting for you." In the mean time, he's also already put in for an order of goat cheese too, so when that comes over, he offers one to Kiera.

Sapphira does not look at all well at the thought of eating bugs, just staring right at Oddmun as if he'd taken leave of his senses. "There are some things that belong in the field and not in one's mouth," she intones. However, if he were to press the matter, she might attempt it. Might. A very hesitant /might/.

Sophie smiles brightly as Thea offers, and she extends the bowl toward her. Once one is taken Sophie plucks one up for herself. She's smiling as she says, "We'll go together?" She gives her a little wink and holds the bug up toward her companion. "Cheers?"

As his bowl of grasshoppers is delivered, Emlyn starts picking them up and slowly crunching into them, one by one. Rapidly. He licks his lips and makes an 'mm' noise. "Not bad." He washes the legs and such down with his ginger beer before ordering another beer, and the pigeon pot pie. The Blackram lord seems quite happy with his bowl of edible bugs.

"Yes, the muss," Zara says, because that's what Sabella said, right? The muss? "Let's -- try that." She accepts a glass from Drake with remarkable alacrity for someone who's more commonly seen sipping tea, watching Thea over the glass of whiskey with intent eyes -- and saluting her with the glass. "Lady Thea, Gloria honor your boldness." Sophie gets the narrow-eyed scrutiny of a familial menace: fond, yes, but she's WATCHING YOU. This is all her fault.


There's some movement at the entrance as Bahiya'al'mathali arrives, her purple gown trimmed with gold, low on the shoulders and buttoned snug down her torso to split down the front over a pale under-dress of pale silk. Gold jewelry catches the light, purple gems matching the purple ribbon over her eyes, the woman guided by a young page in Redrain livery. She murmurs softly to young man and he nods, the slim, shoulder-high cane Bahiya holds tracing the floor before her as she comes into the room.

"Ah!" the diplomat sighs. "It smells wonderful in here." The page behind her helps her wander further in, leading her to one of the low tables before moving to stand at the edge of the room.


"You have not yet TRIED them? Oh, cousin." Katarina gives Zara's shoulder a gentle touch, resting her palm there and acting as though this is something for one Princess to console another about. She turns to regard Sabella as well, and purses her lips. "I will not force it upon either of you, but I will say only this~. When I arrived at Sanctum, lost and with so many of my sailors gone to below the waves, there were many things put in front of me that seemed as to not be proper food in my eyes. I could have denied them, but would have denied myself, as well~. If you try it and dislike it? At least you know you dislike the food, rather than simply fear it~." Katarina pats Zara's shoulder gently. "At any rate, we will all be eating Suj'abbati Khoresh. I will not hear otherwise~."

Bahiya has joined the a low ornate table.

Philippe trundles into the bar, oblivious to grasshoppers and other such delicacies. The old man takes his time making his way up all the stairs, admittedly mostly here to find Drake, who he was warned was here.

Amusement colors Oddmun's features. But he is not going to push Sapphira on the matter, from all appearances. Instead, he plucks a couple of grasshoppers from the bowl. Glancing at them, he decides to just pop them in his mouth and chases it quickly with the whiskey. Savor them? Nope. They'd be lucky if they actually touched tongue on the way down. "Nutty."

Sapphira checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 60, rolling 40 lower.

Reaching into the bowl, Thea takes a grasshopper or two and raises it with Sophie. "Yeah. A cheers with grasshopper." Because this is totally normal. She looks at Zara amusedly and winks. "On three,"Thea announces to Sophie.

Emlyn tilts his head as he regards the entrance of Bahiya, looking at her robes and the blindfold around her eyes. He stops briefly then to wave at Princess Zara, smiling at her - hopefully sans grasshopper legs in his teeth. "Hello, your highness! I hope you're having fun this evening. I'm enjoying this very much." His attention keeps wandering back to Bahiya, however.

Seeking to investigate this grasshopper thing more, Magnus moves up to where one of the bowls are, looking down in it. "Ah. Bugs." he utters, inspecting them a little more closely. "In Bonespire, food is carries it's weight in silver. If we had bugs there, we'd likely eat those as well." A meaty hand reaches in to grab a couple. "I have bitten into a mammoth's heart, I can't imagine this to be any worse." And then, he eats the few he had in his hand. While chewing, his head nods unconsciously, like he's writing a critique in his head. "Tastes like chicken." he says once his mouth is clear. "Not bad. The crunch is a little off-putting at first, and I can see how you'd want to be careful. Don't want to choke on a leg as it goes down."

Rukhnis's gaze drifts towards everyone who's clearly enjoying the grasshoppers with such pure relish and not a hint of horror or trepidation at all, then glances around the rest of the room, trying to catch a glimpse of whoever's come in most recently. Bahiya catches her eye as she makes her way in with the page, and since a nod is not going to cut it as a greeting for the blind woman she makes her way over to the low table. "Lady Bahiya," she tells the woman (with a bow nevertheless), "I am pleased to see you here tonight. I hope that you enjoy it. If you would like someone to tell you the menu, one of the staff here will be very glad to do so."

Sapphira covers her mouth, her eyes wide and aghast as she watches Oddmun down a grasshopper without a second thought. "Sweet gods..." She casts a dubious glance at the bowl, then at him, then back at the bowl. Her fingers actually tremble as she reaches for the bowl herself, plucking one of the roasted insects and staring it down. How bad could it actually be, right? Right!

Wrong!

She closes her eyes, pops the grasshopper in her mouth, and chases it with whiskey just as he did. For a moment, all seemed well. But only for a moment. She turns slightly green around the gills, starting to look a tiny bit desperate, her hand coming up to cover her mouth.

"It is," Samira agrees, a sweep of her gaze sent to admire the scenery once more. Karina's words seem to capture her focus a moment later, attention darting back to the other woman to study her intently. "I was thinking the same. Are you an artist as well, then?" A light of interest sparks in her gaze as she slides onto a barstool. The fingertips that tap upon the bar are smudged with charcoal. "I wish I'd thought to bring my sketchbook." She watches the nearby tasting of the grasshoppers with faint amusement before glancing back to her new companion. "I was considering the birch beer as well. Sounds like a decent choice, I think."

Drake has found himself a seat at the bar, with two open bottles in front of him, watching with glee as women around him all look uncertain about eating grasshoppers. Perhaps notably he has not yet eaten a grasshopper himself. But it's only polite to let ladies go first. He raises a glass in greeting to Philippe. Then he looks at the menu to try to figure out, from context, what dish it was Katarina was describing. "Actually, that dish sounds wonderful, Princess Katarina. I think I'd have it with lamb."

Oddmun lifts his brows high when Sapphira shoots the grasshopper, just like he did. And he was just about to cheer her on. But he sees that sudden turn. That look in her eyes. And that sudden change in her complexion. "Oh crap." he manages, quickly turning to lead Sapphira away from the crowd quickly--something he's used to doing, but he's also whipping off his hat and offering it to her.

Just in case.

Sophie counts, "1, 2... three!" and she pops the grasshopper in her mouth and chews it up. She does have the warm tea next to her that she hasn't had a drink of yet, since she's waiting for honey. That cup she pushes toward Sapphira as she chews. That, of course, leaves her nothing to wash the grasshopper down with. She reaches for whatever glass of whiskey is closest to take a drink. "Hmmm, yes. Nutty. Not bad at all, I don't think."

A soft laugh from Bahiya when Rukhnis says her name. "Ah, you have a fine setting here, Rukhnis al-Katibi, I am honored to be here on your opening night," the ambassador says, her face lit with joy. "It smells..." She falters, one hand reaching out to brush Rukhnis. "Something good, from home. It is pleasing. Very much so." Then, she perks. "Menu?" she asks. "Is there tea? Oh, please tell me you have one of the floral teas..." She rattles off a few types in liquid, chiming Eurusi.

Sapphira checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 60, rolling 19 lower.

The summer evening is still, but a very faint wind stirs the chimes on the balcony. Ras leans against the railing outside for a moment, studying the colorful crowd through the room, then straightens and makes his way back inside. He picks up a couple abandoned cups from one table and a bowl of discarded grasshoppers, and clears them to the bar while peering towards Sapphira and Oddmun with interest. Obviously he thinks she's going to spit something out and is not polite enough to look away.

It's such a gentle touch, but Katarina's hand weighs on Zara's shoulder so heavily. SO HEAVILY. The BURDEN and the EXPECTATION. "I'm sure the khoresh will be lovely," she says a bit distantly, watching Thea, Sophie -- Sapphira. She winces at that one. "After I try. This." Glancing sidelong at Sabella, Zara lifts her chin. She is ready. (She shields the glass of whiskey from Drake in her hand: her secret weapon.)

Sabella smiles at Katarina, looking from her to the bowl and back again like lady, no one put cooked bugs in front of you in Arvum! But she does, a little hesitantly, reach into the bowl to take out a grasshopper. And then she puts it back very quickly, "I'll work up to it," she promises, wiping her hand against her dress once, twice, three times, "Maybe get a better taste of the flavors of other things before...those."

Kiera catches sight of Emlyn as he says hello o to zara "Hello m'lord I didn't get to introduce myself at the Valardin dinner, I'm lady kiera wyrmguard

Rukhnis has left the an arabesqued blackwood bar.

Rukhnis has joined the a low ornate table.

On three, Thea tosses the grasshopper in her mouth and--it's CRUNCHY! Crunch crunch crunch! Reaching for the her glass of whiskey, that should be there, she hurries to take a drink. Downing the remnants of said legs and buggy parts. Swallowing, she clears her throat. "That-wasn't terrible."

The change in Sapphira's complexion is, unfortunately, a herald of things to come. At least she makes it out of the room before the grasshopper does. Oh, dear. Poor Oddmun. And his poor hat!

"That's -- a very reasonable approach," Zara says, _instantly_ persuaded by Sabella, who is -- after all -- notably quite the influencer and tastemaker.

Philippe approaches Drake with a nod. "Drake," he says, noticing the plate of grasshoppers. Philippe absently reaches over to take one. He's from Chevalle. This is how they live. "Are these salted?" He doesn't wait for an answer before eating it. He doesn't even flinch.

"I am," Karina states, pivoting just so upon her stool that she might face Samira more directly. Easing her slight frame against the edge of the bar, she laments with much the same wistfulness, "Alas, my sketchbook is back in my studio as well. There is simply no easy way to carry it and charcoal pencils about in a gown. They simply will not fit into most pouches."
Amusement dances in her eyes even as she laments the difficulty of lugging art supplies to social gatherings. "We would be quite the lives of the party," she confides to Samira with a lilting laugh. "Sitting alone, sketching the festivities. So very social of us, but art is a demanding mistress, is she not?"
Turning to the bar then, her eyes cast along the length of it before she turns back to face Samira. "At the risk of sounding like a fool... shall we order or fetch it ourselves?"

Emlyn isn't interested in women who can't really handle their grasshoppers. But he does perk when Kiera says hello to them, drawing his eyes away from Bahiya to turn to Kiera. He reaches out a hand toward her. "Lady Kiera, well-met. A pleasure to meet you. I did skirt away quickly at the mention of party games." He smiles at the woman.

Drake checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 15, rolling 15 higher.

"There is a fairly good selection of teas," Rukhnis replies to Bahiya, "as I have been careful to ensure. Your friend was surely not wrong in his opinion that good tea is difficult to find here." Pursing her lips briefly, she considers a moment before saying something back in Eurusi.

Ras is denied the chance at seeing Sapphira vomit, but he doesn't look upset by this, and glances around near the bar. He seems to be looking for someone in the crowd, but doesn't spot them, and instead notices Sophie. There's a nod of acknowledgment to the Mother Mercy.

Ras has left the on the balcony.

Ras has joined the an arabesqued blackwood bar.

Rukhnis says in Eurusi, "Of floral teas, there are chamomile, rosehip, and hibiscus -- the latter being my personal favourite of that kind, and which nobody seems to make here. But perhaps none of those are what you prefer?"

Drake pulls out a grasshopper, and eats it, also not flinching much at it as it turns out. He just wanted to make sure everyone who got one, wanted one. He is thoughtful for a second about it... more so about the texture than the taste. He makes sure the whiskey is available to Thea, and starts up already pouring from the second bottle.

Thea glances at Rukhnis as she starts listing teas,"Do you have anything I can bring to Kaia? To help with the pregnancy?"

"Good evening Count Philippe" Sophie calls over to him and she says to Kiera, "I don't know if we've met. I'm Sister Sophie. We're cousins. My father was a wyrmguard." Sophie gives Kiera a warm smile and she nods her head in greeting to Ras. "Master Ras, what a delight to see you here tonight." She nods toward Rukhnis and says, "You as well, Mistress Ruhknis. I regret that the Mercies have not been able to be of more assistance to you. I do hope that will change as things grow a little less busy, if they grow less busy." She retrieves her tea, and adds the honey that's delivered. With that she discards the whiskey at least for the moment, and instead she sips the tea. "Now that we've tried the grasshoppers... who wants to try to lizards?"

Kiera hms "I've yet to see a game in the oathlands that doesn't involve tremendous amounts of physical exertion, leaving me quickly behind and of breath

Bahiya grins, head tilting in Rukhnis' direction. "Hibiscus," she replies in Arvani. "And I can take some back for my aide? Perhaps a stronger blend too?" She gestures with a fluid motion, hand on her heart and bowing from the waist. "You are wonderful to create such a space. You will have much business."

Thea hears Sophie, checks on her glass. And totally lifts her hand. "Lets get this done." Thea is going to be drunk leaving here, washing down every food with a drink. Looking over at Magnus, Thea asks,"Want to try lizard?" She sees Bahiya as well,"Good evening."


Katarina favors Drake with a bright smile as he proves up to the challenge of khoresh. She lifts her hand from Zara, to flag down one of the staff and order the Suj'abbati Khoresh. When she turns back, Zara and Sabella have a perfect opportunity to lie and act like they have mouthfuls of grasshoppers they're swallowing, but... that'd be dishonest. "You all look truly excellent," she notes, giving a dip of her head to Sabella, Zara, and Drake in turn. "Thank you. Though this is Messere Al-Katibi's restaurant, it still warms my heart to see friends and family here, in this pocket of my own home within the city~."

Laughter rises from Samira's throat, a joyous sound that precedes her response to Karina. "Would it be terrible of me to admit that I've spent a few events doing exactly that, hiding in the corner, drawing? We may be looked upon as the opposite of the social butterflies in the room, but someone must make the sacrifice in the name of art, hm?" The dramatic remark is accompanied by an amused grin, and then she's turning, scanning the surroundings inquisitively. "A good question. I'm entirely unsure. I think I spotted servers running food, so perhaps we just snag one to place an order. Will you be trying the grasshoppers or lizard tails?"

Hearing a familiar voice and desperate for any distraction, Sabella says, "Princess Zara, do you know Ambassador Bahiya? She's quite lovely! Have you met her yet, Princess Katarina? I assume so, but lately I've learned that the assumptions I make aren't always correct!" There's a slight edge to her tone like the assumptions should be. They should be.

But back to the reason that Magnus came here to begin with, now that he has had his experience with eating insects, and washed it down with whatever was in his tankard. Birch beer did someone say? Either way, that was good too. So when he starts to move away, another voice distracts him, stalling him once again. "Hm?" he looks down at Sophie. Then at the lizard. "I don't see why not." Picking up the offered meat and biting into that as well. Like last time, there's a bit of consideration. "Has an odd aftertaste, but not bad."

There's a slight tug of Emlyn's lips as he takes his freshly delivered ginger beer. He sips at it and looks at Kiera. "This one was a game of truths and lies. I felt I'd better not sully reputation in front of Princess Zara after meeting her so soon," he says with a smile.

"Lizards're great in stew," offers Ras to Sophie, resting an elbow on the bar and scratching at his chin with that hand. Not that anybody asked. "They make rat kabob here too. But it's way better than in the Lowers. It's not like just a whole rat on a stick..." He shifts to place his back to the bar, gesturing with both hands, and then notices Rukhnis and Bahiya sitting across the room and his explanation dwindles off.

Sapphira slips back into the room, looking a bit more pale for the wear. At least she's not quite as pale as prior, though poor Oddmun is now minus a hat. "I think perhaps I'd best work up the courage to eat those safely at home, before attempting that in public again," she murmurs to him, with a rueful smile.

Philippe is eating a grasshopper as Sophie approaches. The old man nods to her courteously, but waits until he swallows to answer because he is nothing if not polite. "Sister," he says. "A pleasure. It must have been some time -- forgive my absence." At the mention of lizards, Philippe seems ready to volunteer. He's eaten a lot of strange things on long patrols.

Rukhnis turns to look over at Thea, tilting her head equivocally. "I have found that ginger tea is the very best for that sort of sickness -- I suppose I ought to have that served here as well. But the very next best is mint tea, particularly if you request the peppermint." Bowing towards Sophie, she makes a small dismissive wave of one hand, brushing off all regrets, and tells the woman, "There is no need to trouble yourself over that. Healers are ever busy and ever in demand, wherever they do their work."

Returning her attention to Bahiya, she nods, then turns her gaze back to the crowded bar. It takes her a few moments, but when she finally spots Ayallah she manages to capture her notice with a small wave of one hand, accompanied by a few quick gestures. "Hibiscus tea it is," she tells Bahiya. "And of course you may have some to take with you. Truly, I do hope that many people come here after tonight, and enjoy both the food and the palace itself."

Drake looks to Katarina with a smile. "You do seem right at home," he says to her. He watches Thea for a second, perhaps a bit protective to make sure the whiskey isn't hitting her too hard. As for what he's choosing to eat, he's gone back to the goat cheese now, at least for a bit. He considers Ras's comment. "...I suppose I've eaten a rabbit before, so a rat can't be too far off."

The hat is gone. Tossed. Lost forever. Because Oddmun would never be able to clean it out. He glances aside to Sapphira. "We will stick to more common fare." That will be his suggestion. "Some ginger tea if they have it to help settle your stomach? I'm going to have another whiskey." With that, he's looking for a place to sit with the bard. "I'd ask if there was a song in all this, but I'm not sure on that."

Oddmun has joined the a shadowy niche.

Bahiya beams at Rukhnis. "By the sounds of it, you will have that. Thank you again, Rukhnis al-Kabiti,"

"They've both got square teeth," Ras agrees with Drake, like the shapes of animals' teeth is how you judge how they taste. He studies Rukhnis and Bahiya for a moment longer, then looks back to the bar.

Sapphira has joined the a shadowy niche.

Sophie smiles warmly as she nods to Phillipe, "We've both been busy, I'd imagine. I do look forward to sitting with you soon to catch up." Then she calls over to the attendant, "May we have some of the lizard tales and the rat kebobs too?" She turns back to Ras with a smile and says, "I think we would all do well to try new things. Perhaps it will help bridge the gap between cultures, if we make an effort to welcome those arriving with open arms. Don't you?" She crosses one leg over the other and sips her tea before saying to Katarin, "I'm pleased to be here tonight, especially with so many family members. It fills me with a warmth I rarely feel these days, now that I am rarely at the manor."

"Hello again," Zara says as Sabella re-introduces her to Bahiya. The warmth and earnest delight of her face may not be reflected in her bearing, but it's echoed in her eyes. And only _slightly_ tinted with that same desperate desire for distraction. "What's this tea you mentioned? At this point you must be aware we take our teas very seriously in the Oathlands. I'd love to know more about your teas." The firmness of the sentence suggests she'd LOVE to know about TEAS and not ANYTHING ELSE that she's NOT NAMING.

"Ginger, or... mint, perhaps. Either would suit. And perhaps a closer look at the menu." Sapphira just smiles a little bit sheepishly, chuckling. "I suppose I could try writing a song about the lucky grasshopper who had the fortitude to escape from a bard..."

Emlyn has left the an arabesqued blackwood bar.

Perhaps now, finally, Magnus can do what he had been hoping to do ever since he got here. Seems the bugs were better than the lizards. Stepping away, he meanders through the crowd once again, until he reaches the table that Rukhnis has placed herself. "Hello Ruk." the giant greets. "I was hoping I was have a chance to talk to you. To thank you. Properly."

Kiera nods "Well, Lord Emlyn, if you owned to something horrible, people would know you for an honest man. Always a saving grace. bearing that in mind "How are the grasshoppers

Ras checked composure at difficulty 10, rolling 5 lower.

Ras gives Sophie a puzzled look at her question, then slits his eyes in suspicion. "What new thing d'you want me to try?" he asks her, almost accusingly. "Cuz I ain't gonna like it." He glances past towards Karina. "Hey, Karina," he calls, a little roughly. "Saw your shop was locked a while back. Open again?" Seems to be a subject change from whatever likely unintended offense he just perceived.

Laying a slender index finger across her lips, Karina casts Samira a playful glance. "I will not tell," she stage whispers, as though such an admission was a secret. Lowering her hand, she adopts a more serious demeanor as she states, "All jesting aside, I have done so myself on many an occasion. I love meeting new people and talking. I am simply not always very good at being the forthcoming one. So I watch people and I see what I can see."
Indicating Rukhnis with a most minute tilt of an open palm, she muses softly, "Look at her, for example. There is a poetry about her, stillness in motion which does not, when said aloud, make any sense. How can stillness be in motion and still be stillness? And yet, that is what I see? Like still waters. They can ripple, but motion does not detract from their depth."
Trailing off, she lowers her hand to her skirts, curling slim fingers into the fabric. "I suppose that got deeper than I intended, but I suppose all I meant to say is that I understand. We may jest about it, but there is so much beauty found in merely watching sometimes."


Katarina turns to look at Bahiya when Sabella attempts a re-introduction. "The ambassador and I have made acquaintance, indeed," Katarina purrs to Sabella. "However, to meet her again is always welcome. I hope the night treats you well, Ambassador~." Katarina looks to Zara and casts a wry smirk. "Whoever made the blends in that box you sent should stop by here and understand how far from the target their arrow flew~." Katarina winks, but offers no further clues to her cousin about possible tea flavors.

Emlyn chuckles quietly. He rubs the back of his neck when Kiera mentions owning to something horrible. "A scout's life provides opportunities in which you must make split decisions. Not all of them are good..." He gives her a slight smile but then shrugs his shoulders. "The grasshoppers? I'm sure I've eaten worse out in the field, frankly. I do like them. They're not bad, if you have the stomach for it." His pigeon pot pie has been long forgotten in favor of people watching and his beer, however.

Drake seems to be noticing Magnus here for the first time - quite a feat considering how tall the other man is, but, Drake is often distracted by women. When he goes over toward Rukhnis, Drake considers, trying to figure out if he's met him elsewhere before.

There is a menu to be offered to Sapphira, and Oddmun does so as he settles in at the table, looking over the offered fare. "It looks like everyone is getting along tonight." he says quietly, a quieter word for Sapphira, his eyes casting down.

"Marquis Magnus." Rukhnis turns around from the table to bow to the giant of a man, both courteous and respectful. When she straightens up, though, there's a look of deep regret on her face, and she gives a small shake of her head. "It is kind of you to say that you wish to thank me, but truly there is no need. I did nothing for your wife that any other healer would not also have done." She sighs, then says quietly, "I only wish there had been something else I could have done, in the end."

Philippe nods again at Sophie. He's holding off on another grasshopper because a lizard -- meatier, more filling -- might be on offer. The man is of the country and does not turn his nose up at anything cooked, especially if it might be peppered. In the meantime, the count moves to get an ale. After all, the old man can drink and keep an eye on Drake at the same time. In theory.

Sophie may very well take note of Ras' tone of voice, but she doesn't react to it. Instead she says pleasantly, "Ah, but Master Ras. Everything we do was new once. That's the trick, I think. To be open to new experiences. After all, if you aren't willing to step outside your comfort zone how will change ever occur?" She smiles sweetly, "Change is necessary, you know. Otherwise everything gets stale and boring.. and... static. Then we'd all sit around, lamenting at how nothing exciting ever happens. I, for one, would prefer things to remain interesting. Wouldn't you?" Of course she doesn't particular wait for an answer. Instead of retrieves the bowls placed on the bar in front of her and holds them out in offering to anyone in her general vicinity that might like to try lizard tails or rat kebob. "Would anyone like some?" She pushes the bowl toward Phillipe. "Please, I can't eat it all myself."

Is that relief when Elizabetta comes over with a very, very long letter? Certainly not! Sabella takes it, looks at who sent it and then says apologetically, "I'm afraid I must acquaint myself with the cuisine at a later date for I must go work on a response to this, but! I'm sure Princess Katarina and Ambassador Bahiya will not steer you wrong! With the teas!" She gives Zara a big smile, eyes very apologetic once again as she turns to go.

Samira grins faintly at Karina, bowing her head as if in gratitude for a secret kept. Following Karina's gaze, she allows her focus to settle upon Rukhnis across the room, features pulled into sudden solemnity. "No. It may sounds kinda strange to others, but I understand what you mean. There are some things that can't be captured fully with words. That's what art is for, capturing the beauty and contradictions and..." Her words trail off as she ends with a small shrug, making a face. "I'll sit and talk art all day if I'm allowed. I get the feeling you wouldn't mind, but we'd probably bore anyone around us to tears." Her gaze lifts to find Ras as she hears his question posed to Karina. A curious glance follows to catch her response, although she also calls to Ras in return: "Hey, Ras, have you tasted all the food on the menu? What's your favorite?"

Quietly recieving a message, Thea just blinks. Balks. And clears her throat. Downing the rest of her drink, she excuses herself,"I'm afraid I must be off, but--"she looks to find Rukhnis,"This was great. I'll have to come by for more---taste tests. I'll drink my brothers. Both of them. Order the grasshoppers and such." Is her voice distant? Strange? She hopes not. Bowing her head, Thea smiles and starts to head to the door,"Was nice to meet a lot of you. And see a good deal of you.."

Ras's somewhat aggravated expression fades as he listens to Karina describe Rukhnis. Weirdly, a slight smile grows, and he ducks his head and doesn't say anything. He seems content (and perhaps even hopeful) to have had his previous words lost in the commotion around the bar. When Sophie replies, though, he glances up from the edge of the bartop and just looks at her somberly. She didn't wait for a reply, so he doesn't make one, but it's evident that he might have read more into what she was saying. "I haven't tasted all of it," he replies to Samira. "But I think my favorite is..." It appears he's thinking. "Cranberry scones." Way to be boring, even if he sounds vaguely mysterious about that choice.

Sapphira glances over the menu with Oddmun, her voice low as she talks with him. "Have you ever tried... hum-mus...? And what is this grilled goat's cheese?" Perhaps those items might yet tempt the bard to be a bit more adventurous with other fare!

Philippe takes both a lizard tail and a rat kebob. "Thank you," he says to Sophie. A man of station must not turn up his nose at offered food -- it would be uncivilized. Rat isn't Philippe's favorite, but he's had a number of fine lizard dishes around campfires. He takes a big ole chomp out of the lizard tail as people start saying their good-byes, heedless of their queasiness.

Magnus gently puts up a big hand, shaking his head. "It is our way. We do not ask why the blizzard rages, it merely does. Because it is called to do so. Just so, we do not ask why the healer heals. Because they do. It is what they were called to do. Sometimes, a thing or a person simply must be. Simply is." the strong northern accent perhaps doesn't help the explanation. "There are no words in this language to explain it. When she was injured, you were the one that tended to her. You were the osprey. Among my people, your name is respected. Admired. You took care of one of the Bonespire's own, even if my wife was not of them. For that, we will remember. I will remember. There will be a place there, should one day you ever wish it. Simply know, I will remember the kindness you showed Arcadia and I will do my best to return in kind."

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

Looking from Sabella to her own aides, Zara rounds her eyes at them, as if trying to communicate some kind of unspoken demand: where is HER convenient letter. Abandoned, she can only say, "It was lovely to see you again, Princess Sabella. My best to Prince Niklas in everything except his search for the hat." Then she looks to Katarina, and she makes a gesture, opening her hands and holding them out to her. "I put myself in your hands, Katarina. What should I try?"

"Let's stick with the goat cheese and roasted boar. Those are things I know." Oddmun responds as he looks over things and places an order. "We can share that, and make sure you're good and settled."

Drake has moved on from goat cheese to sample a bit of kebabed rat, though it seems like he's also pouring himself more of that whiskey. The dish he's really excited about now though is Katarina's reccommended 'Suj'abbati Khoresh' - he is really not sure how to pronounce it, but does his best to order it anyway.

Thea has left the an arabesqued blackwood bar.

Finn the large Northern hunting dog with icy blue eyes, Rocco, the rascally assistant leave, following Thea.

Emlyn bows his head gently to Kiera. "Please excuse me, my Lady. I must get back to the Blackram Manor. It was a pleasure to meet you formally." He bows to her gently, throws back his ginger beer like a champ, and exits.

Drake is overheard praising Rukhnis: For the grand opening - quite an impressive menu!

Oddmun is overheard praising Rukhnis: She 'hopped to the menu and it was an interesting first night!

Philippe is overheard praising Rukhnis: Finally, some good food.

Rukhnis begins by listening solemnly enough to Magnus, her eyes still touched with sadness, but as he goes on there's a flicker of surprise instead, and by the end she looks not only deeply moved but as if she's having trouble finding the words to say. Finally she gives a deep inclination of the head and simply says to him in a low voice, "You and your people honour me. And it has been my honour in turn to lend my aid." Clearing her throat a little, she adds, "And whenever you have need of me again, know that you have only to call. Your house is a friend to me."

Then she's distracted a little as Ayallah whisks up with a tumbler full of bright cranberry-red tea, which she presents by carefully touching it to Bahiya's fingers and saying, "Your tea, my lady." Rukhnis tilts a grateful nod to her assistant, who smiles back before whisking herself efficiently back to the bar, looking as if she's glad to be just a server and not in anyone's spotlight

Magnus is overheard praising Rukhnis.

Lost in that world of artistic discussion with Samira, Karina does not immediately offer Ras's own query a response. Ocean deep eyes gaze upon Rukhnis with a rather far away cast, the gaze a tower princess might bestow upon a most captivating sunset.
"Mmm?" Drawn back to herself, to Samira, to Ras when Samira speaks, she nods. "I could talk art all day. Inspirations, the beauty of the simple and the complex, learning new techniques, sharing ideas... we must sit and talk art one day. Perhaps we might even colaborate on a work one of these days as well. Oh, but..."
Turning toward Ras as, belatedly, his question finally registers, she lifts her voice to him with an embarrassed flush creeping into her cheeks. "I am so sorry! I was completely unattentive. I haven't anything new up, alas, and I think I'll wait to open the Muse back up until I do. New works will give everyone an idea of what the brushstrokes are looking like these days. If I display old works and cannot deliver... well... I would not wish to disappoint people."

Kiera is overheard praising Rukhnis: what a gorgeous establishment


Katarina curtsies to Sabella. Either she doesn't notice Zara's silent pleading for her own escape note, or she's politely ignoring it. "Be well, Princess Sabella~! I hope Prince Niklas's play comes to the city soon -- I have heard the buzz from the Mourning Isles even from here, and I hope you take pride in this~." Katarina then turns to Zara and her eyes light up. "You must trust me, cousin, I would not steer you astray. Ask Lord Drake! He seems to he enjoying himself quite well." A gesture at Drake in the midst of sampling goat cheese or rat or whatever he has to hand. "I admit, there are elements of this menu that are... either not familiar to Suj'abbat, or that would have been..." Katarina's voice goes a bit stage-whispery, "...below the level of opulence demanded by the King." She lifts her voice back up. "But we shall first try the hummus, as any restaurant can be judged instantly by its hummus. Then perhaps the rice dolma, the tahchin -- we can split one -- and of course the khoresh, with lamb. We will need to be carried home lest we split our gowns with a step," she teases.

Zara is overheard praising Rukhnis: She sets a memorable table.

Katarina is overheard praising Rukhnis: The Dune Kingdoms could ask for no better introduction to the Compact than Messere Rukhnis's eatery.

Katarina is overheard praising Zara: You're family and I love you even if you won't eat bugs.

Bahiya smiles brightly as the cup is given to her. "My thanks, Rukhnis. You are a generous host, and this smells-" The ambassador takes a moment to savor the scent of delicious steam. Words fail her, at least in Arvani.

Bahiya says in Eurusi, "Perfect, delicious, a piece of home I wish to keep with me."

Zara is overheard praising Katarina: Very, very, very kind, just the kindest and most best cousin who does not make me eat bugs.

Karina is overheard praising Rukhnis: So much more than mere materials went into the creation of this venue. Heart and soul are evident everywhere I look.

Rukhnis looks subtly reassured by Bahiya's reaction, as if she'd been mildly worried over what a fellow serious Eurusi tea connoisseur might judge the offering. Then she gives Bahiya a soft nod of understanding, telling her something quietly back in Eurusi.

Rukhnis says in Eurusi, "Though home itself may be far away, I hope this makes the distance seem less. You are ever welcome here."

Ah, pity. The skies open, shining down upon Zara as Katarina lays out the menu. There's a bit of uncertainty, a narrow-eyed squint as she checks the words against the menu: hummus, okay; dolma, okay; tahchin, okay; and the khoresh has already been vetted. "That sounds lovely," she says with a whispering sigh of pleasure and relief. "I wouldn't be surprised to see some bits of this menu catching on."

"Cranberry scones?" Samira repeats Ras, unable to keep the surprise from her voice. "I figured you'd be hooked on some of the Eurusi fare by now, something a little more out of the ordinary. Not that scones don't sound good." Her gaze travels across the room, caught by something, a flicker of a frown tugging at the corners of her lips. But she recovers, returning attention to those near her and brightening with Karina's response. "Yeah, we'll have to do that. I would love to see your work and hear more about your ideas, what inspires you. A collaboration! That could be fun." It's evident that she means every word, excitement drawing her to full height as she radiates enthusiasm on this topic. Her gaze shifts from Karina to Ras and back, expression thoughtful. "Where is your shop? I'll have to visit when you're ready to reopen."

Kiera looks to hrother's plate and now that the blackram lord has depated and she cannot utter embarras she takes a bit of goat cheese and carefully inserts a grasshoper as if performing delicate surgery. one every bit is covered she pops into her mouth

Kiera checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 2 lower.

Drake is the kind of person who will always enjoy himself as long as there's food, drink, and women around. He chuckles at Katarina's comment, just a little. "I can try to carry one of you home if you need it. Maybe two, unless I'm too full myself."

Bahiya lifts her head after her first sip, but Rukhnis' words have the smilee fading from the ambassador's lips.

Bahiya says in Eurusi, "Home is not a place. It's the people you care about most. The place we left behind would not be so kind to those same people. I am content to import the parts of Eurus that are worthy of keeping. Like good tea."

"No more sad looks, Ruk." Magnus replies. "My wife died as she lived. A hero. Mourn her passing if you must, but celebrate her life in the only way she would want. By living happily." he gestures at the room. "And it seems you have done exactly that. So." He smiles warmly at that. "Keep your stick in the ice. Goodnight." Leaning up to this full height, he will take one last look about before moving away and down the stairs.

Kiera gets most of the beastie down but chockes on a leg and is forced to cough a small bit up discreetly in her hand "it fought back" she insists to her brother

Ras nods in absentminded understanding to Karina, and glances between her and Samira. "Maybe you could both work on a mural with Fortunato," he suggests out of the blue. "That'd be nice. He's good at murals..." He seems distracted, observing conversations across the room.

Magnus has left the on the balcony.

Hans the Helpful leaves, following Magnus.


Katarina grins brightly at Zara. "I hope so. If the path to my brothers and sisters of Eurus becoming more accepted by the Compact is through the Compact's belly, then so be it, as long as it works~." She looks over the tea list. "On this, however, I will guide you to simply trust your instincts. I would never deign to choose tea for Princess Zara Valardin~. It is simply not done~."

"Thrax Row Central," Karina responds to Samira, leaning toward the other woman with an air of excitement. The gesture is marginal; she is not in danger of surpassing her own personal space and infiltrating Samira's. "Muse of Mourning. You can't miss it. I spend much of my time there or in the loft above it. But please, if you would ever care to meet, send a messenger! Perhaps you can show me the places you love most in the city. I'm sure they must be inspirational in different ways to different artists."
But then is she abandoning talk of art for talk of food. Casting green eyes again toward the menu, then toward the lizards going around, she purses her lips in a pensive pout. "I wonder if it's all that different from eating a shrimp of a squid," she muses.
Ras earns himself a glance as well, even as Karina appears to be pondering the culinary situation. "A mural sounds like a grand idea. Perhaps."

Rukhnis inclines her head to Bahiya in silent agreement, but accompanies that unseen motion by a few more words in Eurusi, her head briefly turning across the room as if in search of something or someone before she looks back again.

Rukhnis says in Eurusi, "You are right, so far as it goes.. I hope there will never be any place here for such cruelty and oppression as exist throughout the Dune Kingdoms. But not all Eurus is so unkind. Nevertheless.. there are things I have found here that I would not give up for anything."

Sophie has left the an arabesqued blackwood bar.

Dame Rosario Nevarre of the Oathlands have been dismissed.

Anouk Ardennes have been dismissed.

Anais Ardennes have been dismissed.

Triage, The white dove of Mercy have been dismissed.

2 Valardin Knights have been dismissed.

1 Templar Knight guards have been dismissed.

Bahiya also nods in Rukhnis' direction, her smile returning, small but deep with warmth, replying softly. "You are correct. It was not all unkind."

Oddmun has left the a shadowy niche.

Umber, a bay courser have been dismissed.

A darling cremello Artshall mini horse wearing a red blanket have been dismissed.

Karina has left the an arabesqued blackwood bar.

Karina has joined the an arabesqued blackwood bar.

Sapphira has left the a shadowy niche.

2 Whitehawk Guards have been dismissed.

"Fortunato, hm? That's the second time his name has come up in as many days, so apparently I really do need to meet him." Samira drums her fingertips on the bar until she realizes the sound could be an annoyance and folds her hands into her lap instead. "A mural could be neat. Maybe on one of the older buildings, bring some color to it, you know?" This directed to Ras before dark eyes slide back to Karina. "I'll definitely come by some time. As for my favorite places - I guess not everyone might appreciate or understand them the same way I do, but most of mine are in the Lowers." She shrugs, watching for the other woman's reaction. "Yours?" Of the lizard tails, she adds: "We'll never know unless we try it."

Katarina has left the an arabesqued blackwood bar.

A dutiful Valardin aide, Quiet, a Valardin champion, 2 Valardin Knights leave, following Katarina.

Rukhnis looks a little sorry to see Magnus go, if she also looks vaguely dubious about the matter of whether she's living her life happily. But she lets him go with another bow, and looks back to Bahiya, speaking to her in Eurusi once more.

Lygeia, a calligrapher and alchemist, Leonce, an apprentice confessor arrive, following Rysen.

Rukhnis says in Eurusi, "You will have to tell me more of your life back in Skal'daja, one day. It is one of the few places my own people never passed through. We considered it a place of too ill omen even to go near, which I hope will not offend you to hear from me. But I expect you know this already."

Bahiya straightens a touch in her seat at the low table. Her head tilts towards Rukhnis, her expression somber, her voice equally so, brow furrowing above the narrow purple ribbon that covers her eyes. She speaks, pauses. Her chin tips up, her soft, generous mouth drawn down in unhappiness, and she says a little more, then sips her tea.

Bahiya says in Eurusi, "My family is of minor nobility. Wealthy, though, despite the small size. Our family crest ... is a gold color. Laced with chains." Her chin tips up, her soft, generous mouth drawn down in unhappiness. "Your people were not wrong."

Zara has left the an arabesqued blackwood bar.

Alette, a discreet lady's maid, Isabel, a calm diplomatic aide, Elena, a solemn knight attache, 4 Valardin Knights leave, following Zara.

Rysen and Lygeia make their way upstairs through the arch and into the public room of the Stormbird's Roost. Leonce is a few steps behind. "Well, is it haunted?" asks the apprentice confessor, glancing about. Lygeia rolls her dark eyes, while Rysen smiles, nor are his features untouched by pride when he notices the blackwood bar. "If you're too frightened, Leonce, go wait outside," says Lygeia in her thick Northlands accent. "Ha! And miss the chance for free booze? I think not!"

Rysen makes his way to the bar, and asks any attending it for whiskey, before glancing about for Rukhnis.

Kiera has left the an arabesqued blackwood bar.

Bahiya says in Eurusi, "OOC add: gold COLLAR."

Drake defnitely eats his fill, but once ladies start departing, it is only his sworn duty to make sure they all have safe travels home. He leaves a generous tip.

"I feel as though I'm still discovering my favorite places," Karina confesses to Samira. "I've been gone for so long, places I once may have bypassed are suddenly new and beautiful."
Easing an elbow onto the bar beside her, she nods to a passing server, lifting her free hand to indicate the tray they are holding. "Two birch beers, please."
Assuming this works, she turns a smile upon Samira, two fingers pressing the beverage toward the other woman.
"I'm sure there is beauty in the lowers," she remarks quietly. "Beauty isn't just skin deep. In fact, that's the least beautiful sort. It's fleeting. Sometimes... you just need to look deeper." A bea, then, "As to lizard tails, why not?"

Drake has left the an arabesqued blackwood bar.

Philippe sticks around just a little longer than Drake. It's mostly to finish his rat kebob. It's only proper to do so. Only after he's had his fill, left a generous tip, and nodded to assorted princesses, does the old man finally take his leave.

Ras checked composure at difficulty 10, rolling 0 higher.

Oaty, a white Oathlands Vanner leaves, following Philippe.

Ras nods to Samira's acceptance of his suggestion, watching Bahiya and Rukhnis converse, then refocuses on the vicity with a quick glance as Rysen nears the bar. A second look, and he shifts, straightening upright. "Rysen Crovane," he says, sounding weirdly blank.

Rukhnis's mouth gives a faintly distasteful twist at whatever Bahiya tells her, though it doesn't seem like the expression is personally directed at the other Eurusi woman. Being deeply engaged in conversation with the blind diplomat seated at the low table, Rukhnis actually fails to notice Rysen's entrance for once.

Rukhnis says in Eurusi, "I suppose I should not be surprised. Such cruelties so suffuse the entirety of the kingdom that I do not imagine it is easy for anyone -- of your station, at least -- to escape it. Even if you, perhaps, would have wished otherwise."

"Evening, Ras," replies Rysen, removing his twin blades from their scabbards and resting them against the bar. He takes a seat, and Lygeia takes one beside him. Leonce glances around a bit more. "It's... exotic," he mutters.

With whiskey in front of him, Rysen takes a sip, silent for a moment, to absorb, in the manner opposite Leonce, the atmosphere of Rukhnis's public house. "Tea, please," says Lygeia softly.



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