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Grayson Fealty Dinner - Nov.

The next installment of the Grayson Fealty Dinner is scheduled for Tuesday, November 16! Vassals, friends, allies, and strangers interested in learning about the Grayson fealty are all welcome to attend this dinner. It's a great way to get together, foster new connections, and recruit for projects.

Date

Nov. 16, 2021, 7 p.m.

Hosted By

Lou

Participants

Macda Eirene Liara Sydney Tikva Felicia Ivy Damiana Ahriman Lailah

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Grayson Mansion - Dining Room

Largesse Level

Small

Comments and Log


12 Grayson House Guards arrives, following Liara.

One might say that all of the meetings of the past week have shown some wear and tear on the otherwise NOT social Lou Grayson. She looks positively exhausted, and things are not about to get any better any time soon, with yet more meetings and affairs she needs to attend over the next few coming days. However, she's made it to the dinner she signed up to host, and she's sitting at one of the several tables in the place. There's a glass of whiskey already poured, as servants come through serving roasted beef with roasted vegetables, and drippings. There's also fresh hot rolls ready to be buttered and every kind of drink one might want.

Macda flounces -- flounces! -- into the dining room in a swirl of silver and lilac and green and chiffon and seasilk. Matchy matchy throughout? Not so much. But she isn't barefoot and some sort of /attempt/ has been made to make her hair presentable, even. Oh yes, the pugilist princess is /ready/ for this! "Ho there! What's to eat?"

Treb, a restless direhorn, Rascal, a large striped skunk, Dash, a Kite of the Cloudspine, a feral Bastion kitten arrive, following Ivy.

(OOC)The scene set/room mood is now set to:

Servants sweep through serving roasted beef with roasted vegetables, and drippings. There's also fresh hot rolls ready to be buttered and every kind of drink one might want.

Eirene falls into a chair with a grunt after strolling in. She grabs her whiskey and lifts it salute to the Grayson royals. Buttery rolls are also taken for the munching.

Clad in umbra and aeterna, a wool coat over the top, though it's shed and passed off to a servant after she enters, Liara comes into the hall. She's not long behind Macda, and she laughs on overhearing her sister's question; not having an answer, she continues towards the table to find out, a smile cast towards the others already present.

Liara has joined the Griffon engraved dining table.

Eirene has joined the Griffon engraved dining table.

Macda has joined the Griffon engraved dining table.

Sydney's hair is, for a change, not flowing behind her, dangerously close to dragging over stone and sand. It's bound up in a beautiful braid and lanced with a lovely (or by turns grisly) hairpin. Even so braided, it hangs heavy at her waist. Let no one say this woman doesn't belong in high society, given the look of her armor, gaudy though it may be.

It's really not until she opens her mouth that the illusion is dispelled. A flash of teeth displays a half-feral grin, and she replies to Macda, in a thick Lowers drawl that eases with every word into something more. "Oh, y'know. Imagine the usual, eh? Rats on skewers, mystery stew. No? Have I got myself turned around again?" A glance this way, then that. She makes for refreshments and loads up. All the food. All of it. Plate piled high.

The first thing that Tikva raids is the rolls, and having claimed one, she perches on a seat with one bare foot tucked beneath her thigh. She is a little distracted, though, and her gaze keeps trailing to one of the paintings that she doesn't remember being here the last time she managed to appear for a family dinner.

Liara gets Dining Table.

Sydney has joined the Griffon engraved dining table.

Felicia's a little on the late side for the dinner. Though the redhaired Harrow doesn't seem in a particular hurry when she prowls in. A respectful bow is offered in the direction of Lou before she wends her way towards a seat... and a whiskey, to judge from the lack of plate armor in favor of a simple shirt and pants likely she was directing renovations over at Defiance Hill before heading over.

Felicia has joined the Griffon engraved dining table.

Ivy has to be shown how to get to the dining room by one of the household staff, thanking them as she enters, then turning and... pausing. That's a lot of royalty. Drawing in a breath, she puts on a smile and offers a bow to the room before scooting around towards a familiar face. Findina seat near Eirene, she sits quickly and murmurs, "Hello, how are you doing?" She back into her usual simple leathers and linen, requesting a dry cider for the drink before looking to the food offerings.

Ivy has joined the Griffon engraved dining table.

Lou is definitely not fitting into high society anywhere with her camouflage exotic leather armor. Truly, the only clothing that she has that's close to a fancy set of dresses is the one that Natalia gave her covered in murder death kittens and the one Lou requested from Tikva long, long ago and flung money at her to get her some party clothes, otherwise what you see is usually what you get. She grins up at Macda. "Roasted beef, today, with vegetables and gravy made from the drippings. I couldn't decide between that or venison, but figured I'd hear less about beef from Jerrica than if I'd put a deer on the table. There's some other veggie stuff too, if you're eating er... less meat these days." Because Lou's not certain if Jerrica's influenced any other Graysons to eat no meat these days.

Tikva has joined the Griffon engraved dining table.

Frogshield, the Oathlander battle turtle, Lady Astraea, a provincial Oathlander, 4 Valardin Knights arrive, following Damiana.

Lou has joined the Griffon engraved dining table.

Eirene replies, "Good, good," to Ivy's inquiry as she lifts her glass in toast. As usual, the Riven woman is wearing her armored leathers from exotic foreign locals and looking very comfortable in it. "All of this looks delish," she says to Lou, motioning to the spread on the table.

Macda descends into a seat with a laugh, chiffon clouding out around her. "Could be, if I'd been hooked into planning. Themed dinners, right? Conversation starters." Or enders, in the case of rat skewers, maybe. She has a glass, beer! And it lifts to Sydney in cheerful acknowledgment. She, it seems, has dodged both dinner planning duties and impassioned pleas to focus on plant predation. Her plate is well stacked with the roast, rolls to sop up the drippings, and enough vegetables to at least add some variety in colors. "Yes, good choices, Lou," dimples deepen around her grin and she toasts the Pathfinder as well!

"I love meat," Tikva declaims, too loudly, although to be fair most of what she says is loud. She gathers some beef onto her plate so that she can apply the roll she already took to it, and otherwise suffers herself to a moment's silence, watching the guests arrive as she snabbles up morsels.

"Raven is super keen to host one of these dinners. I'm more than happy to let her. You could talk to her about a themed one for next month?" Lou suggests to Macda.

Sydney plonks her table down with a distinctive lack of grace that's in stark contrast to her garb. She raises a hand to her mouth and clamps a glove between her front teeth in order to get started with tugging them loose. She finishes the job with the opposing hand. Eating in gloves is uncomfortable, dang it. It's just common sense. She tucks them into her coat pockets and takes up fork and knife as weaponry, choosing first to mingle with her beef than any of the other partygoers. Her hands tell themselves a pretty little story, for those that look. Bruised and chapped knuckles, swollen phalanges, all the hallmarks of a woman who's been in far too many scuffles that don't involve swordplay.

Small wonder she's peering at Macda between chews with a fixed gaze that seems to be assessing the princess. Still, far more engaged with greedily packing away meat, like she hardly gets to taste the stuff.

Settled in comfortably at a chair about halfway down the table, Liara sees about getting some food together - an abundance of vegetables do feature, some beef on the side. She remarks after a moment, "It occurs that we might do the usual dinner game, but then we might all end up telling each other about home and it would be quite cyclical." The talk of themed dinners draws Liara's attention, gaze flitting curiously from Lou to Macda.

Accompanied by her trusted handmaiden, Lady Astraea, Damiana makes her way into the room. Her hand resting on Lady Astraea's arm, she allows a smile to cross her lips at the sound of a rather chaotic dinner already in progress.

"Good." Ivy offers a quick glance to Eirene before getting herself a plate of the beef and a roll and some vegetables. Not picky, she really just gets a bit of everything, then returns to her seat. She looks to Lou and lifts her brows, "Themed dinners? Do you wear costumes for them?"

Lou was mid-bite of beef when Ivy asks her question. She pauses, her body going still, and both her brows raising. She looks to Macda to answer the question instead, putting her cousin on the spot. "Yes, cousin? Are costumes required?" she asks, a tinge amused she's passing the question off. "I would assume you just meant the cuisine but...." she gives a shrug of her shoulders. She then looks to Liara. "I'm traveling to Foraiso at some point, to go look at the caves and tunnels there the dwarves gifted to the Shaman. We know they lived in the mountains of Avairon's Peak, but they also lived in the mountains of Mt. Drakorsis as well, before demons chased them out. Mt. Drakorsis is near Foraiso, which is located between what was one Uanna - now the Sythryn Wastes - and Cardia."

Felicia is definitely more a meat with a side of veggies kind of gal. And rolls. Glorious rolls. Especially dipped in the drippings. An acknowledging dip of her head offered towards Ivy, and Eirene, she apparently decides better of her seating... collecting her plate and whiskey and electing to move to that section of the table,"Lady Riven." she offers for Eirene,"Lady Blackram. May I?" with a gesture towards an open nearby seat.

"It's fun to think that people might be interested in hosting dinner parties for us," Tikva says with an amused little scrunch of her nose, reaching to pour herself a glass of red wine to go with the drippings. As Lou starts to explain the geography, she turns her bright gaze to her, curiosity reflecting in her expression.

A seat off to the side is selected by Lady Astraea, and after Damiana takes a seat she heads over to retrieve a plate and some of the food items. She is careful to stay out of the way of the others moving back and forth, waiting patiently. As does Damiana in her seat.

Damiana has joined the Griffon engraved dining table.

How did Macda end up the underdressed one here? Sneaking a few envious glances at armored kin and guests, one dimpled cheek rounded out around the food she's chewing, her laugh is only a bit muffled by the bread stuffed in her mouth. "What, delegating? I'm on it. Raven," she repeats, nodding to herself. She's up for a game too, but Liara's point is a good one and Mac grunts vague agreement. Star iron and peridot gleam at her knuckles while she dabs at her mouth with a cloth. "Oh... costumes! There's an idea. I didn't think too far past a really unique menu plan, really," nodding then in confirmation of Lou's words. "I'll track her down, see what she thinks. Maybe the dinner after Dame Felicia's week," watch out, Fel, Mac's dodging center stage!

"Just Eirene, please," she insists to Felicia as the woman motions to the chair. "I don't stand on titles unless it's 'Commander' and we're in the middle of a war-zone. She grimaces at the idea of a costumed dinner, her displeasure known.

Felicia is just about settled in her new spot, beef halfway to her mouth when she hears her name from Macda's direction and pauses. Drip. Drip. Blink. Blink,"Uh... sure? Though I was waiting until Skullhaven's fully set up and was going to have a dinner there..." a glance is given to the food on her plate, as if considering options.

It's not until she's already well on her way to well-fed that Sydney sets down her fork, dabbing her lips with the back of her hand and peer across at Lou, "...Hell of a trip. To the point where I hardly recognize half of the shardin' names." She folds one leg over the other, one foot bouncing along as she snorts, "...Costumes. I feel like I can only handle the one costumed party per few years, when the blood moon's up, and everyone's all hushed whispers."

Reaching out carefully with one hand, Damiana hovers it over her plate before reaching down to retrieve one of the hot, steaming rolls. She picks it up carefully and draws it back, breaking it in half with her other hand, before placing it into her mouth, chewing softly. She nods in approval.

As she starts into her dinner, Liara lends an attentive ear to Lou. She goes as if to speak, and instead breathes a low laugh, only eventually commenting, "Perhaps the game was a good suggestion after all. That is fascinating." She greets Damiana affably, "How do you do, your highness? It is good to see you again." Then her attention turns to Macda, amusement evident in her tone. "A costumed dinner here would certainly be novel. Perhaps one for the great hall and an even broader audience?" Then she gets back to her meal for the moment.

Lou gives Macda an amused look. "Costumes for dinner should be optional. But themed foods?" she seems okay with that "Don't make me get a mask for dinner." Is all she's going to say to that. "I do wonder, is anyone here considering in aiding with Bastion? I'll be traveling with Aindre back into Grayhold. I know we've still got spaces open for the other missions. I think Liara's set forth a pretty good plan for what we're going to be doing."

"Dame Harrow, a pleasure. And Ivy, please." She glances to Eirene, then back to Felicia with a faint smile, "I try to keep dinners informal. It feels strange to use a title when asking someone to pass the butter." She takes a bite and looks back to Lou, then over to Macda, chuckling at the back and forth. Looking back to Eirene, she asks, "How are the donations coming along?"

Eirene nods back at Sydney. "I've been to two masked balls, one was the Celestial ball because stars are my husband's favorite thing outside of me and our kids, and the Blood Moon." She keens her head at Lou's question and hmms. "I've been asked to go with Princess Denica to rescue the Blackwood prisoners, but I may head out with you and Aindre, depending on if they need me. Aindre's my patron." She grins at Ivy's question and answers with a brisk, "It goes well. Medeia's planning a fundraiser and I got no idea what Rook's is for, otherwise they're doing it on their own outside of our efforts. Reminds me, I should talk to 'em and find out if this could coordinate so we're not spinning our wagon-wheels over the same things."

"What about just ... really elaborate hats?" Well, Macda likes the idea, anyway! Eyes glint electric bright, and her grin grows. "Keeps your mouth free, costs less, and you get extra points if you can avoid dipping all your feathers and festoonery into the gravy."

Late. An older and seldom seen figure in the family makes an appearance. Prince Ahriman comes after a time away from the family doing who knows what. The former fleet admiral of the Grayson Fleet in the days and rule of Alaric enters the Dining Room fashionably late. Grim-face and with a stoic disposition he carries a can but not use it. The cane has a lion's head which he holds and he makes his way to the Griffon engraved dining table, "Get away from me." He tells a servant that greets him coldly. He wears a naval jacket with high collar and a tailored shirt that goes all the way up his neck. A black tricorn hat and gloves adorn his person. He takes a seat at the table and is silent.

Happily chewing her roll, Damiana reaches out with her hand, hovering over another roll from the plate. A hit, apparently. Lady Astraea leans over and places a hand on Damiana's arm and murmurs into her ear. This prompts the Princess to drop her hand in its quest for a roll, and turn her head somehwat in the direction of Liara. "I am quite well, your Highness, all things considered. How are you faring in these trying times?"

"Oh, rats, I'll be back," Tikva says in answer to something she gets from a messenger, and abandons her plate to scurry out into the hall. WILL SHE BE BACK? IDK it depends on my dad.

Tikva has left the Griffon engraved dining table.

Confessor Imori have been dismissed.

5 Armed Confessors have been dismissed.

Confessor Warren have been dismissed.

"...did anything happen, during the Eclipse of Mirrors, that people are aware of?" Felicia asks of the group, acknowledging Ivy and Eirene's words with a small flash of a grin. A swallow of a mouthful before she elaborates with,"...I swear it looked like the moon was... covered by insects briefly, during that time. And ever since then, it's been visible during the day. I confess it has been... bothering me." the Harrow offers as delicately as possible.

"Costumes are for those with short hair or the unending patience that comes with properly setting it up." Sydney proclaims, wagging her fork like an extension of her index finger, "...Else you end up in an oversized mask that covers your entire head, and you're still not foolin' anyone. Tch." She pauses for a moment to tongue at her teeth, trying to free some gristle that's made close friends with one of her molars. She pauses at Felicia's question, and lifts a shoulder quietly. "...a bunch of muttering, that I was privy to. So it rather depends on who y'ask, I suspect."

Lailah enters the dining room quietly, also late; and if not fashionably so, at leaslt appropriately dressed for dinner. The Bisland lady glances about, drawing in a quiet breath and squaring her shoulders before moving forward, without even so much as a book for a shield.

Gaze flitting over to Macda with a grin, Liara then gives a little shake of her head and looks back to Damiana. "Excellently, thank you. I am pleased with the way matters are progressing. I am glad, too, that this second home is here and still vibrant. I hope that you have had some success in finding answers to your questions."

Noting Ahriman's entrance, and then Lailah's as well, Liara offers a smile and a small flutter of her fingers to greet each.

Lou looks to Eirene as she speaks and nods. "I think he'd feel better if you did come with us to Grayhold," she tells the Riven noble woman. She glances to Macda. "I could do a fancy hat. But if you make it full blown costumes, I'm coming dressed as myself and I'll bring my flying griffon as a prop. I'll be Lou Grayson at Whitepeak," she informs her pugilist cousin, an extra mischievous smile on her face. She blinks as Tikva jumps up to head out, then shakes it off. That's when she sees her father.

Lou watches Ahriman as he enters the room, making careful note of how he walks, if he seems injured, or if he might just need help. She gives him a silent nod, before telling him, "The roasted beef and vegetables is delightful." She then glances over to Felicia, furrowing her brow. "Do things usually happen at the Eclipse of Mirrors?" she cannot help the curiosity in her voice. "I never attend big fancy balls like that," she adds. Not even most Grayson ones, though she has in the past.

A slight tip of her head. "Not many, unfortunately. Most of it continues to elude me." Now, Damiana reaches out again, hand hovering over the plate in search of one of those hot rolls. A slight front crosses her expression, as enough time has passed that the rolls are no longer hot. She sighs, withdrawing her hand and placing it back in her lap. Lady Astraea slips away from her side.

Macda nods along in apparent sympathetic agreement with Sydney. She may not have the length but she definitely has the volume sometimes... Hard to fit a dandelion puff into most costumes. And okay, yes, she's snorting into her roast beef at Lou's comment. Big fancy balls. Dinner party plans are set aside and she turns to see her glass filled again, quiet but interested at the talks turning to buggy blood moons and future trips. Oh, and a.. "Bisland!" she calls a greeting across to Lailah and lifts her beer glass high. "What's that eluding you, Highness?" is next, a question to Damiana.

Liara gives a small tip of her chin in assent to Damiana. "I wish you success in your search, your highness." She polishes off the last of her meal before too much longer, and then gathers herself to her feet, a few words offered to the various other dinner guests. "Excuse me, please. I have an appointment to attend."

Eirene answers the question about the ball with a grimace. "Yeah, weird shit from the other side of the mirror tends to slip it's way out," she says, crypticlaly. As to the issue of Grayhold, the medic/commander nods back at Lou. "I've sent Denica word about not going with her expedition. They got Thea as a doctor, they'll be fine." But the moon. Ugh, the moon. She glances at a nearby window to see if she can spot it. "The moon's a totally different ball of wax and a nasty one at that." She nods to Liara as the Highlady departs.

Ahriman's hand lifts to remove the tricorn hat as he settles at the table. He has a wild mane of hair that matches his thick beard. Grey streaks the beard and hair in places. Dark eyes scan those present as he folds his head. At Lou's word he presents a singular nod and keeps a stern disposition upon his face. Jaw set and rigid with unbendable emotion. He doesn't call for roast beef or anything other than water which he will drink and set down. No words. Just observing.

Sydney spreads her fingers expressively, "Fucked if I know. Was my first time in attendance. About the most I can say about is that I saw some things I wish I hadn't in the mirror." She cranes her head Eirene's way as if in deferential agreement. She lifts a brow, "Whatcha got against the moon? It's just hangin' out there in the sky. Doin'... moon things."

Lady Astraea returns with a plate of hot rolls, and this time, some of the roast beef. She sets it carefully in front of Damiana, and briefly places a hand on her arm. Damiana reaches forward with what appears to be a practiced motion to retrieve the fork. She works it slowly down the length of her hand, touching fingertips to tines, and then walks it back up to grip the handle. "I would not call what it is currently doing a "moon thing" at all." The fork slowly approaches the plate until it hits a piece of beef and sinks in, before it is drawn back and turned to bring the meat towards Damiana's mouth.

Liara has left the Griffon engraved dining table.

Felicia nods Eirene's way with a small gesture to accompany as if the Riven lady has answered Lou's question as well as she could. Sydney's question merits a tight smile,"There's a lot of stories about the moon. Folklore suggests that it is the skull of Destiny, slain by Skald. An event purported to have given rise to Death." and others, something in the way she pauses may well suggest,"Given events at Grayhold, and the things I saw on patrol during the Eclipse of Mirrors... call me superstitious but a sudden change in the moons behaviour is... concerning."

Lailah offers a curtsy and a brief smile to Liara's greeting, and then another to Macda's salute as well. But then she settles at the table as well. "Good evening," she greets those nearby. She listens to the conversation with interest, though doesn't contribute just yet, perhaps still gathering her bearings, and dinner.

Ivy offers belated response to Lou's earlier question, "I'm building a team of alchemist, agriculturists, and poison experts to help deal with the plants and vines around the cathedral, once the two teams have cleared it of other dangers." She takes a quick bite of her roll, glancing back to her plate before looking back to Eirene, "If I can help with the fundraiser at all, I'd be happy to."

Macda favors her sister with a wide smile and raised hand, murmuring some sort of simple farewell to Liara as she heads out. Overhearing Ivy, she asks with curiosity, "That involve the what's it, the solution Eirene and the others figured out before? Or something new?" And over at the moon conversation, some nodding to Felicia's description. While awaiting Sydney's reply, she passes a curious glance over the silent Ahriman. Points to her beer and raises brows in silent offer.

Eirene nods at the discussion of the esoteric history of the moon. Whatever folklore it is, she knows it and agrees with it. "Problem is, Ivy, they ain't plants. It's bugs. Millions of tiny bugs -acting- like a plant. So unless we got some insecticides..." she offers Ahriman a sharp nod of respect- one officer to another.

Lou scrunches her nose a bit when Eirene mentions the moon. She glances to the same window the other woman does. "It's eerie, the moon. Some might expect Destiny is now watching us, waiting for his moment to return from the dead and enslave us all on he path he wishes for us. With luck, we'll win this fight against the Traitor and he'll be made to go back to sleep... at least, I hope." She'll find that hope somewhere. She will! She glances to those who are new to the dinner, "And, as though to inspire a bit of hope...." she grins. She's gonna do it. She is!

Lou reaches into her backpack and pulls out an object, which she carefully unwraps. "Queen Symonesse once bid me to remember that not all things in the world are bad, that there are wonders in it too, just after the sacking of Bastion. It was hard to remember them then, and were it not for this trinket found at Whitepeak, I might have lost it entirely. But, it serves as a reminder that there are indeed wonders out there. Marvelous ones."

The trinket she talks about is a statuette of a tiny brass griffon, made of cogs and wheels and many colored features. There's a key in the back of it. She turns it once, twice, three times, and she sets it down in the table. The griffon unfurls from its sleeping position, it yawns, looks around, and then flits up into the air and circles around their head three times before it finally makes a landing back on the table before Lou. Her eyes never leave the thing as it flies around, a small but of awe captured in them as she watches it, until it finally yawns, settles back into sleep and goes quiet once more. "Marvelous ones," she repeats quietly, as though reminding herself.

Sydney looks rather introspective, and hesitantly offers, "...Is it really all that different from seein' it a few hours at dawn and dusk? Don't think it like... portends the end of days, or nothin'. Just maybe we've been having clearer days, or somethin'." She shrugs quietly, "...All I saw in the mirror was tunnels spider-webbing out in every direction, and myself in the middle of it all, a guttering candle threatenin' to blow out with every draft." A shudder crawls up her spine and she shivers in spite of herself. She quiets down for Lou to say her piece, and she crosses her arms, considering. "...Ain't it kinda conceited to think if there's somethin' as big as that in play that we can do a damned thing about it, one way or the other? Like throwing rocks at the rain. Least, it's how I feel, half the time."

Looking first to Macda, then Eirene, Ivy sighs, "We don't know -what- they are. We can't just assume that because the vines at the shrine are bugs, the vegetation we encounter everywhere is. So I have to look at multiple possible options. If they aren't susceptible to the reagents and concoctions we've used against other sentient or malevolent vegetation, then we have to look at other options. I'm working with Archscholar Oswyn on that. And hopefully some of the others. There's... something that might be done. But it will almost certainly not be ready by the time we go back to Bastion. So I have to prepare to try -something-." She takes a few bites of her food, washing it down with the cider. "There are a number of different forumlas that have been used to counteract the malevolent vegetation. Eirene has done it, so have I, so have others. It's a matter of finding out what works for the particular plant. If they're insects like at the shrine, then they'll likely need to be cleansed, and I have an idea for that but it needs a few more components and a LOT of help."

"Wonders yet to be discovered," Lailah agrees, her voice quiet and calm. "And perhaps greater appreciation for some things we did not much pay attention to before." The scholar watches the tiny griffon with no little delight, her dark eyes lingering on it even after it settles back to "sleep". She is silent for a few moments more, listening and considering. "It is hard to not feel like someone throwing rocks against the rain--but history indicates again and again that people have done just that and made a difference. Sometimes without knowing that they have, others to magnificent effect for good or ill." She looks to Ivy. "If you have need of other hands, I would be happy to assist as well."

"That's the shrine Lagoma though, here in Arx," Lou counters to Eirene as she carefully re-wraps the griffon and puts it away carefully in her backpack. "Are you so sure the ones in the Cathedral area aren't just plants? Did they grow back when people were fighting them? Like at the shrine?" She furrows her brow. "I think people might be confusing the two. I know, for instance, bitevines /are/ a thing. Some of the ones they described sounded like those. Poor Norman the Explorer encountered them at a zoo in Blancbier."

Lou glances to Sydney, tilting her head in a curious manner. "Right now? He's locked away. Like all the other fiends. When it's the Traitor trying to free him? I don't think it's conceited at all. No more than the Traitor thinking /he/ can become a God by convincing the dream he never lost the Sylv'alfar War. And, even if it is, it doesn't mean we should stop trying to stop them from killing all of humanity and half-bloods, just because the Traitor's ego is hurt because we can be more powerful than he is at magics."

Eirene has to smile at Lou's little toy. It gives her a much younger look that her usual smirk or scowl. "It's bloody amazing we used to be able to do shit like that." She gives Sydney a shrug. "I Chuck the rock all the same. Whatever we can do to fight back the Abyss." But to Ivy she says, insistent, "No, they're bugs. I got a really good look, as did Archlector Giada. Trust me. But- yeah. Try anything you think will work. If I can help or whatnot, just Lemme know."

Repeating the process until eventually the entirety of the roast beef is gone from her plate, Damiana places the fork down next to the plate, and moves her hand to hover over the plate. A smile breaks out as she waves it past the steaming roll, and she reaches down to claim it.

The retired Grayson Fleet Admiral continues to watch silently, "In all our days and endeavors. Things die. That can be killed brings hope for tomorrow. Until there is a day when we cannot, not matter how difficult, bring about the end to something that comes our way. We will prevail. That is what we do as Graysons. This will be no different and tongues of doubt are like poisoned daggers in the back. We are made of sterner substance than the rest and so to it we will see Light in the darkest of passages. Come what may." This all said in a gruff and raspy tone that has lingered in the man since his return. Once a strong and dominant sea voice before retirement and his many years in Shav captivity. The man drinks his water to wet his throat and clears it after he has spoken. No smile or warmth crosses his expression when he speaks. His eyes do seem to have a measure of a judgmental nature to them as he looks and listens with each person that speaks. Many whom he is not familiar with.

"You've decided not to accompany us then? To the harbor?" Felicia asks of Ivy distractedly,"If so... it would be appreciated if the physicians could spare a good combat medic. Ideally we wont be getting close enough to the harbor to be attacked, but, with the reports of giant flying centipedes... I will be surprised if we don't have to fight them off while trying to dismantle the corpse blocking the port." at Sydney's follow-up she turns her attention her way again.

"Look." she offers as she settles down her food, spreading her hands and advising the table,"I'm not a shaman. So, there may be grains of salt that need to be taken with this. If one's inclined to believe in this sort of thing, fine, if not, that's fine too. Hundreds of years ago, in the wake of Queen Alarice's war... the Elven War or War of Stolen Names, as people also like to call it... some of the scholars of Vellichor spoke with Abandoned tribes. And the story was reported at that time as Death having come to a group known as the Mor'ral. That back when the First Choice was made that the moon was up there every night. That Death told these people, the Mor'ral, that it was the skull of Destiny, and that it was trying to wake up. It was said back then, that the master of the Traitor that attacked Grayhold was trying to gather people to... sing to the moon. To try and re-awaken Destiny and bind us all once more. Now. Obvious. Stories. All that." she reaches for her whiskey,"But given that I haven't seen it's behaviour change like this in my memory, and then suddenly Bastion gets overrun and it starts appearing all the time...? I'm more than a little concerned."

A slow nod from Damiana as that story is recounted. "It is unclear whether it is all coordinated, or simply opportunism by several while one has us distracted." She breaks the bread in half. "It is clear that someone is chaining the moon. And we can surmise the purpose easily enough." She pops the piece of bread into her mouth and chews happily.

There's too many glances and counterpoints for Sydney to address them all. The fistfighter offers an expressive little shrug of her shoulders, "...All I know's what I saw. The kind of shit that I can't put my fist to. Would that I could go back and train as an archer all these years, eh?" She spears the last bite of her meat and forks it into her mouth, talking around it, "...Ain't saying it's /stories/. Far from it. Just fail to see what we're meant to do against some of the things I saw at Bastion, other than pissin' ourselves and making a run for it. I'd /love/ if someone had a concrete answer on how to put down centipedes the size of the fuckin' sovereign bridge." She exaggerates. Probably.

Sydney lifts a hand to rub her temple with two fingers, "...So long as no one suggests we sing 'em all a lullaby, I'm quite open to suggestion."

Macda is interested in what Ivy and Eirene are saying, but the subject is beyond her. Her familiarity with plants probably doesn't go far past the ones she's eating, and experimenting and solutions...if it can't be punched into more favorable conditions, well. It's probably too foreign a concept for her. The flying brass is a pretty distraction and she chuckles with pleasure, watching the griffon's flight. Smile lingering even as talk wanders deeper and deeper into serious subjects. Ahriman's commentary, rare enough to be notable even without considering the poignant message, earns a lifting of her glass before she takes a swig. "Ho- don't underestimate the impact of a good lullaby!"

Lou glances to her father a moment, taking time to listen to him. She nods her head gravely in Ahriman's direction. However, Sydney's words catch her attention when she speaks them, and for a moment her face grows haunted. "What we saw in Bastion, you and I, Sydney, isn't there anymore. Whatever those... things... were..." Lou gives off an obvious shudder, and looks for all the world as though there's a heavy weight on her shoulders. "They've moved on to other places. I guess they had their fill of killing that night. Those many thousands..." her voice trails off as she gets caught up in the memory.

"I hate bugs." Felicia can't help but utter with a small shudder, draining her whiskey and looking for a refill,"I really, /really/ hate bugs. But. I have found that if you stab something enough times, it'll die. The trick is mostly staying alive until you stab it enough times." the quirk of her lips at the end might suggest a certain degree of gallows humor about it.

Eirene leans over towards the old sailor and offers Ahriman a sharp nod. "I'm Eirene Riven," she introduces herself. "Lady-Commander of the Heron's Wing- a battle medic unit. Also Assistant Guildmaster to the Physicians Guild." She picks up the "fellow soldier" from his bearing.

Ivy motions towards Lou and nods, "Exactly. I did bring a suggestion to Archscholar Oswyn about a potential solution to the issue at the shrine. We have to do some more research, and we'll need a LOT of help with it... but it might work. Maybe." She turns to Lailah and smiles, "I'll take all the help I can get, thank you." Pausing, she glances around the table, then clears her throat, "Maybe after the dinner, though." Then she's looking back to Eirene, "What is in Bastion may not be the same as what is in Arx. So I'm preparing for the possibility that we can deal with immediately. If that doesn't work, then we'll look at possibly using the idea at the shrine at the cathedral. If -that- works. Which is no guarantee." Ivy lets out a breath and then nods to Felicia, "Yes, I'm already working on ensuring that you have a medic, and preferably one that can swing a blade as well if needed. I fear in the harbour I would be more of a hindrance than a help."

Sydney sets her fork down quietly at Lou's words. "...Ain't that even more of a discomfort? What's killed is proper dead and gone. What's missing, is typically quite well, and quite able to return. Just like before. Without notice. Without warning." Her smile has faded. Her lips draw a thin line, "...If it's true they moved on, what's to stop 'em moving back?" She dips her hand to her hip and pulls up a garish little flask with an unfamiliar family crest etched into it, taking a long swig. "...Fuck me, I didn't mean to turn this into such a dour conversation on account of the moon." A fatigued smile, stillborn. It vanishes. "...Enough to make one wonder if and when it all happens here, though, don't it?"

Ahriman responds to Eirene, "Retired Fleet Admiral Prince Ahriman Grayson." Also esteemed father to three daughters Lou, Reese, and Sabella. His words are sharp. Curt. He goes quiet after bit and instead goes back to those dark judgy eyes and observations while wearing an expression of stoicism.

"I suspect that it is not," offers Damiana to Ivy's assertion about the shrine vs Bastion. "As I said, there are more than one forces at work against us, and while our attention is divided they can all prospere. Meanwhile, we are wasting our time looking for connectiosn that do not exist." She reaches out to hover her hand over a roll again, smiling at finding one still warm enough. She claims it, and breaks it in half once more.

"Sir." Thats Eirene's crisp reply, coupled with a nod, as the stoic introduces himself.

Eirene introducing herself startles Lou from her thoughts. "Oh! Oh! Oh my!" she blurts out a bit. "Yes right. Everyone, this is my father, Prince Ahriman Grayson." She flushes in his direction at her forgetfulness. "Eirene's already introduced herself.... This is Sydney," she motions to Sydney, "whom I had the honor of fighting beside during the sacking of Bastion," of which she was present, "Dame Felicia Harrow," she motions to Felicia, "Lady Ivy Blackram, Princess Damiana Valardian, and Lady Lailah Bisland." She glances to Macda, then back to Ahriman, "And you must remember our cousin, Princess Macda Grayson." She glances around the room, eyes hitting each person to make sure she's got them all.

"I could follow up with the Archscholar as well," Lailah offers to Ivy, warmth entering her smile, perhaps at the more familiar aspects of researching. "I have done some agricultural work as well, though I suspect we will be pulling from a much deeper knowledge than that," she observes, though then nods in agreement with later. "I would be happy to meet with you wherever you wish or the Academy, or through messenger as well, I know that everyone's time is quite precious at the moment.

Sydney offers a somber bob of her head, "...Sydney Waterfall, as it pleases ya. Surname's made up, of course, but aren't they all, in the end?"

Lou glances over at Ivy, "As I suggested during the Cathedral meeting, you may wish to involve either Lady Olivia Ashford or Petal Penrose. They're quite adept with plants."

"Your Highness." Felicia offers with a respectful dip of her head towards Ahriman at her introduction, nodding acknowledgment to Ivy for her words,"Thank you. Let me know how you go. It would be a pity not to have a medic on board. Just in case."

As the introductions go around, Lada Astraea places her hand on Damiana's arm, her fingers moving along fluidly. Damiana nods slowly as she listens to the names roll by.

Eirene offers Felicia, "I can see if any of the Guild medics would want to go. They're mostly civilians and not cut out for dangerous missions. But I can check."

Eirene has left the Griffon engraved dining table.

Carissa, a Southport bodyguard, Planchet the Lycene maggiordome leave, following Eirene.

Carissa, a Southport bodyguard, Planchet the Lycene maggiordome arrive, following Eirene.

"Given that my younger sister will be with me and she is not... the martial sort, I am hoping to avoid fighting if possible, La... Eirene. But I'm also a realist. And an occupying force isn't liable to just cool their heels while we float a ship up the river, drag out a gargantuan corpse, and send a bunch of souls home to the Mother. So I'm preparing with the thought that we're liable to wind up with a bunch of very large bugs attempting to eat us. And well, I'd rather prefer not to become bug chow."

Ahriman nods to those introduced in turn. He nods to Macda, "Ah, yes. I knew your father and you were young when I last saw you. I always thought he chose the best of names for you." He dips his head, "You have grown."

Nodding to Damiana, Ivy murmurs, "I concur. There's Sylv'alfar magic, Abyssal magic. We've Legion, the Traitor, and a lot of stirrings from other directions as well." Then Lou pulls her attention again, "I'm reaching out to both of them. Also Countess Thea. And I've sent a missive to Guildmistress Auda of the Apothecary College, and Lady Medeia Eswynd, asking if they have any members that would like to volunteer as well." She nods to Lailah, "I'm happy to work with both of you on the matter. We have a good start to a plan but admittedly the first meeting got sidetracked, as all good intellectual conversations inevitably do. BUt when I reach back out to him, I'll note your interest and suggest we meet, either together or separately, however it works out." THere's a smile for her before she's looking to Felicia, then to Eirene, "I was going to see if Lord Richard had interest. He's both a medic and a fighter, so may be of more overall use to them."

Eirene says, "I can't say I know Richard personally, but he has a good rapport with the Guild. And a battle medic is Always a good choice." She winks at Ivy as she stands. "Highness Graysons- I have to get going. Have to see to my little monsters and bring them some dessert."

"My understanding is that Thea is going with Denica, since Eirene is no longer attending the prisoner rescue mission. They'll need medics there for certain to tend to any wounded prisoners," Lou remarks in passing to Ivy. "But I'm glad you are reaching out to them," she further adds. "I've a fair number of people on the Grayhold team. I have to hold off adding others to it until Aindre and I have had a chance to discuss if we're breaking off into two groups or not." She glances up at Eirene and nods her head, "Thanks for coming Eirene," she tells her friend. She then glances to her father, lifting her brow in question since dinner seems to be winding down. "Father, did you wish to finish the discussion we started before dinner?" she asks of him.

That earns a lopsided grin, one dimple pulled deeper than the other as her mouth slants. "Little bit," Macda agrees with Ahriman on the subject of her growth. Of course she sort of stopped growing pretty quickly too, topping out at just a few inches over five feet. "Good to have you at the table when I've made it, too." She raises three fingers in a wave for Eirene who is readying to leave. "Ask them what they think about fancy hats!"

"Excellent, I respect you both and am certain that whomever you send will be..." there's a pause and her face blanches slightly before she clears her throat, downs her current whiskey and rises to her feet,"...marvellous. Yes." she concludes,"If you will all excuse me... I should get back to work."

Felicia has left the Griffon engraved dining table.

Eirene grimaces at something and makes a murmured comment to Lou before giving Macda a more natural smile. "They love dressing up, so yes to fancy hats."

Lailah offers respectful bows of her head for Eirene and Felicia as they depart. "That is much appreciated, my lady," she offers gently to Ivy in return.

Sydney seems to be lost in thought after her extended musing about Bastion and the state of things. She leans back in her chair, hooking her toes under the table to balance herself as she tests the limits of the chair's ability to keep her upright. Fortunately, she appears to have a decent handle on that. And the way she's nipping at her flask, seemingly she's confident in her ability to hold her liquor. "...Tsk. This all's made me out to be quite the pessimist, ain't it? Not anything of the sort, just more... cautious about my optimism, of late." A blink, and she mutters, "Is that the same thing?"

Eirene is out, on that note.

"Ah! Good, good. Okay, then perhaps I'll touch bases with the Archscholar sooner, see if there are some alchemy-minded people that want to experiment on corrupted flora." Ivy nods to Lou before turning to watch Felicia's departure with a faint look of concern. Eirene gets a smile, "Exactly my thoughts. It was good to see you again. I'll try to stop by Riven soon, drag Liam out into the city for awhile." TUrning back, she gives a nod to Lailah, "Of course. I actually -just- joined myself earlier today. So I will welcome the help and gladly." Looking to Sydney, Ivy lifts a shrug, "I think it's nature to want to 'hedge your bets' when stakes are as high as they have been and the dangers are as deadly as they've been getting."

Carissa, a Southport bodyguard, Planchet the Lycene maggiordome leave, following Eirene.

Lailah shakes her head at Sydney's question. "I do not think so. I am certain there are some who tend to be more on the optimistic side or the pessimistic side that allow that propensity to blind them to what they see and experience and plan for, many more exercise a certain degree of better judgement. It is not wrong to take into account one's experiences when evaluating plans."

"As Princess Damiana said earlier, I think folk are making far too many connections to events between Arx and Bastion that they might pigeon-holing themselves a bit in terms of planning." Lou remarks quietly, a grimace on her features. "So I'm glad Ivy is preparing for both possibilities, since every time I hear stories about the Cathedral they get taller and taller and taller about what's there, to the point that people are not wanting to shoot flaming ballistae at man sized plant men!"

Damiana nods in agreement with Lou. "I know that we all like to find links, but we exclude very real possibilities if we assume." She reaches out over her plate, and much to her delight feels the rising warmth of the final roll. "And assumptions can be deadly." She picks it up, breaking it in half, and consumes one of them.

"Agreed, but it is also very natural. I have heard similar comparisons, though not necessarily about the vines, but most of the time it seems like those planning or leading efforts are keeping at least somewhat of an open mind," Lailah offers in her soft-spoken tone. "Though of course, it may be those that I am privy to tend to be infused with more people who are used to taking in a wide scope of information with a relatively open mind, and preparation to hear out another's view as well," she acknowledges.

Ahriman touches the fingers on each gloved hand in a steeple. The man is rigid in his eat as he observes. Clearly no intention to take part in the conversations or dialogue. When approached by a servant the glare he gives for being disturbed sends them away. The prince wets his contempt in the last of his water and he pushes it to the middle of the table so no one gets the message to bother with a refill. His eyes watch Lou when his daughter speaks, Then he looks to the Princess Damiana and his head cants slightly at her agreeance. And so forth his observations go as he takes in every sentence and utterance with firm attention but little participation.

Sydney offers an appreciative bob of her head to Ivy and Lailah's perspectives, then rocks up and onto her feet, "...Well. Enough of my seemingly-dour self darkening the mood, regardless! Thanks for the food, and all." She casts a glance towards Macda, and upnods. "...Curious to see what kind of a punch you can pack, one of these days, princess. Reputations travel faster up here than down below." She winks, and casts a parting glance to Lou, "...If there's ought you think I can do, even if it's throwing stones at the rain, you know how to get in touch." With that, the young fistfighter is up and headed for the exit.

Nodding to Lou, Ivy smiles faintly, "It -did- get a bit out of control at the last meeting. I think there was a lot of exagerration over what would be found at the cathedral. We have two very well put-together teams of warriors that will be securing the courtyard and cathedral, eliminating the obvious threats. And then my team will come in behind. I fully expect the alchemical response to work. But if it does not, then I want to have something working to deal with it. And none of it should be harmful to the building or the people of Bastion. Even if we -do- have to go to Plan B, that might actually work in Bastion's favor. in the overall." She turns a nod to Sydney, "It was nice to meet you."

As the conversation turns more martial, Damiana returns to consuming rolls. A slight nod from ALada Astraea sends her off for another plate. Bringing the warm ones back, Damiana holds her hand above the plate again, seeking out the warmest in delight.

"Oh, /any time/," Mac grins Sydney's way. "You bring the rat skewers, I'll bring the fancy dishes, we'll make a proper mess of a tavern or training center." She peeks toward Lou surreptitiously. Maybe she didn't hear the part about volunteering Grayson dishware for violent entertainment.

Lailah offers a respectful bow of the head towards Sydney as well, as she departs. "Good evening," she offers with a brief smile. Though then she falls quiet once more, listening seeming far more natural for the scholar than speaking.

Lou isn't judging the destruction of dishware. She has her good camping set so she has dishes all the time! "Rat's not so bad, if by rat you mean squirrel," she throws out there. "Don't tell Jerrica," she winks at Macda.

Sydney has left the Griffon engraved dining table.

Ahriman goes to his knee with a gloved hand to retrieve his tricorn hat. He lifts and places it on his head. In this moment he grips his cane and uses it to stand. The cane then hooks on his wrist as he turns and makes his way out of the room. No fond farewells. Just the blank slate of his expressionless face. He waits for a servant to open the door for him rather then opening the door himself. And he takes his leave.

"Rat itself isn't even terrible if cleaned properly. But that can be said of any small 'game' animal, really. Gopher is a little on the greasy side, but it makes an excellent stew." Ivy offers as an aside between bites of her beef.



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