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House Laurent/Fidante Salon

House Fidante and House Laurent are closely related, this is a Laurent hosted event at Whisper House for members of both families and their invited guests to properly meet each other, be entertained and most importantly enjoy pleasant company in a refined environment.

This is ICly a private event with the core invitees being Cristoph, Cassandra, Leo and Calista, but also includes any guests they wish to bring along. Please feel free to bug said individuals if you know them and/or wish to attend and feel it makes good sense to do so!


Jan. 20, 2017, 6 p.m.

Hosted By



Alis Tristram Leo Monique Saedrus Dagon Calista Joslyn(RIP) Angelo Ford(RIP) Ferrando Rook Eirlys(RIP) Calandra



Arx - Ward of the Crown - Whisper House - Receiving Room

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

Welcome to the Whisper House venue for the House Laurent
and House Fidante evening Salon.

The Whisper House Parlour has been decked out to the event! It is a tasteful decor through the already luxurious architecture of the building, ribbons of gold silk link along the railings of the swooping stairways and glint with the fine gold chains carefully woven between each knot. The hanging chandelier overhead glistens for the candle light throwing a warm, comfortable atmosphere across the sprawling room; tear drop obsidian pendants hang from the great, gold arms that catch the light in oranges and copper shades.
A great banquet table is set with just the right number of seats for those attending. Each chair is ornate with soft, satin cushions and the table cloth is pitch fabric, a setting of gold finery for every individual placement. The cutlery and crockery is made for a three meal course, every implement is in its place and the glassware for wine, water and liqueur gleams.
Staff are present, some from the Whisper House and others might be recognised from the Grotto, lined along the stairways silver trays held in hand and at the ready. The men are dressed in pitch suits and intricate gold cravats while the girls don modest black dresses with gold sashes about their middle. The trays hold either Honey Meade, curtesy of House Laurent or fruit infused water (lemon, as it happens). On others is an array of seasonal fruits, thin cuts of cured meat, peppered-cracks and cheeses; all served as an appetiser while guests mingle. Each silver tray though is decorated by beautifully arranged flowers, all from Tor's most serene gardens -- because what goes better than bees and flowers?
At the foot of the stairs is Saedrus no doubt accompanied by Calandra, dressed in pitch coloured silk, with hands folded neatly at his front as guests arrive, greeting each with a gracious bow and brilliant smile.

Alis arrives, following Tristram.

Cristoph has ensure that he is in good time for his own party and is already present, positioned near the entrance and with an untouched glass of Laurent mead in one hand. He ensures that the Whisper hosts for the event are positioned to be able to initially greet arrivals but with himself there to follow such.

Calandra stands close to Seadrus, her graceful figure draped in a pale gold hued silk dress. Dark locks have been brushed to a silky sheen and reach to her tiny waist. Her cheeks are warm and her dark eyes are bright. She waits for the guests to arrive.

Tristram enters the Whisper House in his usual purple-and-black leather attire, but he's clearly overshadowed by the lovely Princess Alis, who accompanies him to the event.

Occasionally, Alis tries not to wear steel or leather. It's really not often. But for something like this she figured she should probably make the effort. And having never been here before, her curious eyes take in the ambiance.

Calista sweeps through the front doors of the Whisper House bathed in the color of deep crimson. Set against the shimmer of bronze flesh that is mostly on display due to the perfectly Lycene nature of her gown, the seasilk moves fluidly against her legs with each graceful step. At her side is her beloved, most trusted, Joslyn - so much more than a mere lady's maid but together the beautiful roses of Tor make their appearance. Though years between them, Calista has seen portraits of her Laurent cousins. She pauses at the threshold and reaches out to take his arm. "Time has only made you more handsome, Lord Cousin." And with her honeyed words, the young Fidante rises onto her toes to press the lush curves of her mouth to his cheek.

Immediately able to be spotted by the vibrancy of his coat(, Ford Kennex enters not far behind Tristram and Alis, taking a short glance at the staff. He moves along the procession line until he spots Calandra and gives her a smile and a finger waggle. Once he reaches the front, "Duke Laurent. It's good to see you again." Ford offers his hand and smile, "Thank you for the invitation, everything looks fantastic."

Cristoph adjusts his grip on the cup of mead in his hand as Alis and Tristram make their arrivals. "You honour us Princess Alis, Princess Tristram, I must apologise for the absence of my sister Arch Lector Cassandra but hope that you find this a pleasant distraction in these troubled times." He straightens then to incline his head to Calista, lips quirking slightly. "You flatter me my lady, for my part I would not have recognised you. Will your brother be attending later then?" Then a smile to Marquis Ford. "Welcome my lord, I suspect that Lady Eirlys will be attending and felt it much safer to have another of her victims present to bolster any accounts I might give of her ferocity."

A gentle smile curves Calandra's lips, bringing her dimples to bloom. She looks upon the guests as they arrives, first giving Princess Alis and Prince Tristram a curtsy. "Welcome to Whisper House your Highnesses." Next she notices Calista and Joslyn, dipping into another curtsy. "And Lady Calista and Ms. Joslyn." She says, seeming to have met Calista's lady maid before. Calandra smiles over to Ford once he makes an appearance, the delicate Whisper seeming to know him as well. "Marquis Ford." She adds, her voice softly expressive and her dark eyes still bright.

Ferrando is here mostly to be unobtrusively giving the Fidante guards clear instructions on how to properly stand guard and still remain out of the way of everything like a true Whisper House professional. Having marked his security provider territory to his satisfaction, he returns to his normal background standing around the periphery with a friendly watchful smile. Only occasionally does he need to go back to a Fidante guard to correct something they aren't supposed to be doing, like backing up too close to an end table. Wouldn't want to have your promising family guard career derailed by the social indignity of knocking over a vase in front of everyone, now would we? No, no we wouldn't, says his smile.

Eirlys was surprised to be invited honestly but makes her way in after many of the other guests, she is wearing a simple silk gown that is off the shoulder and short sleeved, the colors are a dark green that fades into black, her feet wearing black slippers to match. She forgot about the fanciness of the party and strapped her sword on to her side. She walks forward finding Cristoph first and smiling at him as she gives him a respectful bow of her head. "Duke Laurent, it is a pleasure to see you again." She politely leaves out talk of sparing though she adds. "This looks very lovely."

Monique is here and standing next to Cristoph, accompanying him sa excort for the evening. That hip-length hair of hers has been treated and brushed and styled within an inch of its life, every strand gleaming and the entire mass of it twisted up into an elaborate updo. She wears a brand new dress for the occasion, meant to honor the Duke and his family's business. Alis and Tristram both get warm smiles and winks, "Prince Tristram, Princess Alis.. always a pleasure." Callista is given a broader, more polite smile of greeting. "My lady, its a pleasure to meet you." Leaning in, she murmurs something to Cristoph before straightening again to offer Ferrando a bright smile, recognizing him from the Murder.

Tristram says, "And a pleasant day to you, Duke Laurent. I'm glad to be here. There is so much...incensed rhetoric and insult going on these days, those who would place spikes in the sacred bond between House and vassal, that to me, there are few duties more important in the realm of civic responsibility than that of upholding Limerance's laws and firming up that bond." He smirks and adds, "And there's no way I would've missed the mead!"

Saedrus offers an arm to Calandra, and should it be taken, leads her towards the center of the room near the head of the table. The male-courtesan does not particularly raise his voice, it carries easily enough through the room and still maintains the easy southern lilt without straining.
"Welcome everyone to this evening's Salon of House Laurent and House Fidante. The Whisper House is honoured to be the venue for the evening but all thanks goes to your Host, Lord Cristoph Laurent. Please everyone enjoy the honey meade, specialty of Artshall, and provided treats, though the three course meal is decidedly sublime so do not indulge too quickly. Enjoys yourselves and anything at all that any of you may require, please never hesitate to ask. Mistress Calandra and I, our staff, are at your service."
Saedrus bows again as the aforementioned staff move about the guests and Saedrus excuses himself politely to see that everything is running smoothly.

Calandra takes Seadrus' offered arm, entwining her slender one with his. When Seadrus bows, she drops into one of her graceful curtsies.

"I'm glad to be here, Duke Laurent." Everyone knows how horrible she is at social events, so obviously Alis is stretching the truth there. But at least her smile is sincere. "Monique, you look lovely. Who was your tailor for that? You know I am always looking to add armor pieces to my dresses." soon, she may just start showing up in armor and expect everyone to pretend she's wearing a dress. It's a great plan. Next, the princess inclines her head gratefully towards Saedrus and Calandra for their greetings before they head to the center of the room.

Ferrando gives Monique a pleasant smile and a light bow of ackowledgement from way back over near the wide elegant stairway to the second floor. Bouncer at work here, though. No time for chitchat.

Ford makes a show of eyeballing Monique and her dress as he passes, giving her an approving nod and a wink.

Prince Dagon Thrax slips in behind Ford. He appears somewhat fatigued with tired eyes that move from person to person. Reaching Cristoph, he nods, "Duke Laurent. I should thank Lady Calista for providing me with an invitation to this event, but it's always nice to make new acquaintances. A pleasure to..." He trails off, spotting Calista out of the corner of one eye. "... finally meet you. Please, excuse me while I go and make my greeting to the Lady." Smiling tiredly, he makes his way over to Calista, leaning in close to kiss her on the cheek and murmur something in her ear."

Calandra seems to know Monique, at least a little bit. The lovely redhead is given a warm smile of greeting that touches her dark gaze. She removes her slender arm from Seadrus, giving him a smile. The delicate Whisper then gathers a glass of mead bringing it to Monique. "Lady Monigue, would you like to try the mead?" She offers, her softly expressive.

Joslyn strides easily along Calista's side, adorned also in fine Lycene fashions, though slightly understated to set her apart from the nobility, a deeply cut sky blue gown with a simple skirt that seems completely uninhibiting. Spotting Calandra's greeting she smiles easily towareds the woman. "Good evening, Mistress Calandra," she says, in turn. Turning her attention to Christoph, she inclines her head in his direction. "Ah, Duke Calista, a pleasure to finally meet you in person," she says, dipping into a respectful curtsey.

Tristram's eyes follow Dagon as he comes in, and he smiles at the man, but doesn't interrupt his greetings.

Saedrus, of course, corrects himself for the verbal miss-step that the address should have been to Duke Cristoph Laurent. A soft, "my deepest apologises," as he passes Cristoph.

Her own hair is set up in intricate braids weaved expertly by someone, Eirlys sees her Cousin and sighs in relief. "Monique, It is good to see you. I would like a chance to talk when we are back home." She offers and grins. Then after having offered Cristoph a hello she moves into Parlour. She walks around slowly though if she can find a mug of mead she will gladly take one. When she notices Ford, Tristram and Alis she starts to head to them, first to Ford, if she can she will walk up behind him while he is winking at her cousin and tug on his jacket.

Chuckling softly, Monique winks at Alis and offers, "Aurora Thornburn of the Costumer's Closet. She is a true artist when it comes to clothing. I thought about having gold vambraces made up to go with it but I wondered if that might be too much." Ford gets a chuckle and smile for his response, but its Calandra that takes up the bulk of her attention for the moment. Smiling at her softly, she gives a nod, "Thank you very much, I would love a glass. I'm glad to see you again, I've seen the work going into the festival and it looks absolutely amazing. You're truly outdoing yourself." Leaning in she, murmurs delicately to the other young woman before offering a smile and turning back to help greet guests.

Cristoph takes a sip from the cup he is holding now, as people arrive and mingle, with greetings given, a slight chuckle and shake of his head given at whatever it was Monique said, an incremental shrug, then a definite nod to Tristram. To Eirlys then. "Well we can all feel rather a lot safer you you present my lady, not that I doubt the security of this establishment, I felt that as the defeated I should pre-empt your apparent plans to buy me a drink in consolation though." A bow of his head follows to Dagon. "A pleasure my lord. We do live almost as far from each other as is possible within the bounds of Arvum, but in these times? It is important for all of us to act in concert." Other nods given in return, but his poor player cannot keep up with everyone!

Tristram meanders over towards the meadery table and pours some drinks; bringing back a drink to Alis, muttering to her, and smiling at Cristoph.

Tristram meanders over towards the meadery table and pours some drinks; bringing back a drink to Alis, muttering to her, and smiling at Cristoph.

Calandra smiles with bright excitement when Monique speaks of her Festival. It is the kind of smile that could be considered beaming. "Thank you, so much Lady Monique." She says in her direction. She then murmurs something softly the redhead.

Eirlys is given a kiss on the cheek and a warm smile, "Eirlys, I'm do gladd you could make it! We'll absolutely speak later. For now, you should go have fun." Monique glances back to Cristoph, offering him a mirthful little smile and chuckling softly.

Calista moves about with Joslyn, greeting Calandra and Saedrus next. "Good evening, Mistress Calandra. Thank you for allowing my beloved cousin to work with the esteemed Whisper house for this event. Everything looks spectacular. You have all out done yourself and I offer my sincerest thanks." Just as she is about to glance about the room, the warmth of Dagon's body reaches her back first. A shiver dances the length of her spine and she turns then to cast a brilliant and inviting smile. "Your Highness, I am so happy to see you have been able to make it. I do hope Princess Donella will come by later." Their difference in height causes Calista to rise onto her toes and murmur something in return and press a delicate kiss upon his cheek as well.

Calandra turns her focus to Lady Calista and Joslyn next. "Oh, it was our absolute pleasure to work with the Duke." She says in her gentle voice. She goes to get both Calista and Joslyn a glass of mead. "Would you both like to try the honeyed mead?" She asks, holding out the drinks.

Before she goes over to tug Ford's jacket Eirlys grins widely. "Well this is one way to do that." She offers looking over the venue. "You have certainly outdone anything I could have involving a drink. As for your praise?" She gives a small bow of her head. "Thank you My Lord. I appreciate that you find my abilities to be talented. Though I still have much training to do, I was beat once." That obviously isn't something that sits well with the young Greenmarcher. She does however take a few moments to do the actual jerk on Ford's jacket to get his attention now.

In keeping close with Calista, Joclyn iclines her head towards Calandra. "I do hope that you've been well since last we met," she says with seeming familiarity towards the other woman, taking the offered drink with a smile. "I've not had it, no," she says.

Cristoph is overheard praising Eirlys for: Entirely formidable with a blade, enviably so.

"I have been well, Ms. Joslyn." The Whisper says in her soft voice, offering over the glass of mead. "I am sure we will see each other again." She adds with a smile. She then notices Prince Dagon. Calandra doesn't personally know the prince, but she is certainly aware of who he is. The Whisper drops into a curtsy that is directed toward him. "Welcome Prince Dagon." She gently says.

Tristram says, "I really should come here more often. I could use the relaxation. You know, Duke Laurent, this was a brilliant choice of venue."

Alis has obviously been struck dumb by something, since she's completely silent until Tristram arrives back at her side with a glass of mead. She'll just cling to that as if it's a lifeline thank you, and give him a grateful smile. "We haven't been able to spar yet, Eirlys. We should do that soon. Were your other victims in leather or steel? Since you should practice against both." Noting Dagon's arrival, she turns to give him a nod of greeting. "Prince Dagon, hello."

Calandra smiles as Tristram speaks of coming here more often. "Oh, we would be so honored if you did, Your Highness."

Leaning in, Monique murmurs something to Cristoph, then turns to grin at Tristram, "I've heard the massages here are simply /divine/. You might benefit from it with the tenseness your business is sure to draw onto you." Claiming her own glass of mead, she glances around the room again, appreciating once more the welcoming atmosphere.

Linden arrives, following Dawn.

Linden leaves, following Dawn.

Tristram glances to Calandra, listens to Monique, and says: "Mistress Calandra, can you recommend any particular Whisper who specializes in hand, shoulder and arm massage? I realize it is a pretty specific thing, but as an archer, that's where most of the tension comes in after a long practice."

"I was wearing full steel armour when she nearly gave me a concussion." Cristoph notes to Alis, then a smile to Tristram. "Thank you my lord, I have to admit the inspiration was necessity, given the state of the Laurent manor, but the guild has quite outdone themselves. Their reputation is certainly not exaggerated." Then he turns to Monique to say something, a sip of his mead, only to chuckle and gives a slight shake of his head. "Perhaps on another occasion my lady but for this evening I intend mostly to relax and have the opportunity to meet various notables and relatives. Whilst being a visible host, which savouring a massage might impede upon."

Responding to Calista's murmur with another one of his own, Dagon smirks once, then nods to Joslyn and Calandra. "Thank you, Calandra. It was Lady Calista here that extended me an invite, and I'm rather glad of it as perhaps it can afford me something of a distraction." Another incline of his head, and then he's turning to Alis. "Ah, Princess Alis. It's been far too long since I've had a chance to speak with you. I hope your brother is doing well. How have you been?"

Quiet, the Grayward champion arrives, following Rook.

Eirlys hears Alis's words and turns, smiling brightly. "Princess Alis!" The smile widens brightly, her dimples showing. "Well Duke Laurent was in steel? I am not sure a metal of some kind, Oh, See Duke Laurent knows." She says before adding." Marquee Ford was in some leather but I had nearly a full set, save the helm and cloak." She looks at Tristram. "What armor were you wearing Tris?" She asks without thinking about where she is. She looks at Alis. "I would look forward to the sparing, I managed to knock Ford out, Tris managed to knock me out. Fun all around." She actually seems to mean that part. She takes a sip of her mead.

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

Calandra seems thoughtful as she listens to Tristram's words. "Oh, Seadrus gives great massages or I would be honored to, your Highness" She says in a warm voice. She then smiles over to Dagon. The delicate Whisper fleets off on her slippered feet, to get the Prince a glass of mead. She then stops about two feet in front of him, offering over the drink. "Would you like to try the mead, your Highness?"

Rook's arrival from upstairs is steady, unhurried and decidedly confused when he gets halfway down the steps. With a long tailcoat slung over his arm, his hand runs through his hair to push it out of his eyes and give it some semblance of propriety. "Oh my," he begins, looking briefly to Quiet-- his lumbering giant of a champion-- and back. The lord courtier's steps are on soft, doeskin boots and take him steadily in a gravitational ring around the room.

Joslyn inclines her head to the departing Whisper "Oh, I'm certain we will, Mistress Calandra," she says as she takes a sip of the offered mead. Scanning the faces of the room, she gives a few thoughtful glances around. Her gaze ever watchful, and always looking back to Calista, should she need anything. For the moment, unless addressed, she contents with being a bit of a fly on the wall of sorts.

Calandra has a warm smile for Rook when he arrives, but she doesn't cease her hosting duties long enough to greet him truly.

"My brother is doing very well, thank you for asking. We both have been. And you?" Alis wonders politely of Dagon, her smile turning toward Eirlys then of course. "Maybe tomorrow, then. I feel as if I will probably need to spar. Or, beat up on training dummies at some point." It's better then snarling at people, okay? Dextrously, she starts to scratch one of her wrists with the edge of the glass of mead in her hand. Without spilling any.

Cristoph nods to something said by Monique at his sides, then does grin then pitch his voice carefully, not raising it, but certainly clearly audible through the room. "Please, lords and ladies, please do sample the mead on offer. I freely admit to having an ulterior motive in having others beyond Prince Tristram acquire a taste for my house's produce."

Saedrus passes Rook with a brilliant smile, "Lord Rook," he greets with a gracious bow as he continues seeing the Staff are managed and the event goes unhindered.

Tristram blinks at Eirlys' not using his title, but doesn't seem to be bothered all -that- much. "Usually, I wear leathers; but I've asked Prince Edain to set me up with rubicund. Not for sparring, necessarily, but...well, let's just say I've a feeling we'll need whatever edge we can get after recent events, with what is to come." Tristram nods to Calandra, saying, "I will definitely take you or Saedrus up on that offer, though not tonight, obviously." And to Cristoph's mention of his name: "Aye, the mead is -amazing-. Simply amazing. I feel like a spokesPrince. I've never been the sort to enjoy dry wine, and mead can be very refreshing."

Rook lifts a hand and lets his fingers dance for Calandra and Saedrus in a single sweep, the coat placed on the back of the green couch pulled off to the side. "What's going on?" he stage whispers to Saedrus from across the way. There's a steady bow for the table, the princes and princesses, lords and ladies all given their share of respect by the Bastion gentleman.

Smiling back to Cristoph, Monique lifts her own glass to drink from the mead very deliberately coincided with his pitched offer. Winking at the Duke, she steps away from his side briefly, just long enough to place a hand on Eirlys' shoulder and murmuring something into the shell of her ear. Squeezing her cousin's shoulder, she winks at Tristram and steps back to Cristoph's side smoothly.

Saedrus smiles warmly, pausing one of the servers to fix the gold cravat briefly before turning to Rook, speaking past the Lord's shoulder.

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

Cristoph gives an inclination of his head to Rook as he arrives, though seeing the man tended to, he then takes a perhaps dramatic and illustrive sip of his own mead. Then a grin to Monique, something said quietly to her before he starts to approach the table.

Catching a glimpse of Alis and Tristram, Calista smiles warmly as she moves to greet them. "Princess Alis, it has been far too long since I last saw you. I believe it was at the Tournament of Roses. Could that be true?" It probably is! "Price Tristram, I feel we have been running in the same social circles lately, how do you do?" And then to all the nobles present and near the Fidante Voice, she gestures to the brunette beauty beside her. "May I introduce Mistress Jocelyn Manicelli, beloved and trusted servant of House Fidante, she's recently arrived and I could not be more excited to have her here with us."

Eirlys blushes when Tristram blinks at her. She stammers out. "I said you could call me Eirlys.. and you told me to call you. I am so sorry, this was probably not proper." She is now really flustered and takes a gulp of the mead before saying. "I apologize Prince Tristram." She murmurs as she bows then proceeds to starts worrying her lower lip. Then she nods. "I will find a way to beat you and your arrows in the sparing ring." She offers seriously. She can sink into the floor right, this is possible, yes?

Tristram smiles at Eirlys. "No, Lady Eirlys. There's no need to apologize; it's a fair assumption. When we fight in the Training Center--or on the field--if there is no chain of command involved, calling me Tristram is perfectly fine. You've given no offense; just startled me." He grins. "And you will certainly beat my arrows in time, believe me."

Alis blinks at Tristram for a moment. "I don't have Robicund yet. If he says yes, let me know. Cause then I know I can get some too." She won't ask though. She'll just order it and send the bill. Little sisters are such a pain. "That would have been some time ago, Lady Calista. Hopefully it won't be as long until the next time we're able to speak to one another." she admits, smiling graciously at both Calista and then Mistress Jocelyn. "It's a pleasure to meet you. Welcome to Arx."

Rook murmurs something in reply to Saedrus as he lifts a hand, squarely setting it on the man's shoulder as he knits his brow. There's a glance spared for the table, studying the room, lips pursed.

"Good, I'm glad to hear that, Princess Alis." Dagon says, nodding. "I may decide to stop by the training grounds and watch you for a while if I find myself with some free time. As it stands, free time seems to be a fleeting thing these days." To Calandra, he reaches out to accept the mead. "I would be glad to try some. Just don't tell Darkwater that I drank mead, I think he would be sorely disappointed." Laughing, he raises the glass to her before taking a sip.

Tristram looks to Calista, and smiles; bowing to Jocelyn with a flamboyant display, doffing his hat in the process. "Welcome to Arx, Mistress Jocelyn. May you find it pleasant."

Saedrus brings himself back to the centre of the room, his rich tone lifting about the conversational tone of voices throughout. "Most esteemed guests, if you would all care to take a seat," a delicate gesture then to the banquet table so immaculately set, "dinner is ready to be served."

Moving with Cristoph towards the table, letting the light catch her dress at just the right angle to /really/ make it shimmer and flow, Monique smiles sweetly up at the Duke and offers her own quiet response before taking a sip of her mead.

Tristram meanders towards Dagon as the crowd flows towards the table, muttering something to him.

Calandra smiles with be-dimpled amusement in response to Dagon's words. Once the dinner starts, she flits away gracefully, heading to the kitchen.

Eirlys gives Tristram a relived look. "I am still new to big gatherings like this." She explains and she gives him a wry grin. "Oh I will. I am determined." She adds before heading toward the tables. She waits till most sit since she isn't sure where she is supposed to sit.

Joslyn smiles, and dips into a curtsey for the Princess. "Thank you, Highness," she says with warmth. "It is Princess Alis, yes? It is good to finally have caught up to Lady Calista," more respectful curtseys are given to the others around her, before dinner is called for. "A pleasure to meet all of you," she says, moving then to find a seat near Calista.

"Well now, I may use that as blackmail Prince Dagon. You should not have said anything." Alis quips, when he mentions nobody telling Max that he tried mead. Her smile at that will just have to go unseen as she makes her way to the table with the others. "But you are most welcome to watch the sparring match. So long as you promise not to laugh when Eirlys knocks me right over."

Cristoph moves to take a seat as people are gracefully herded to the dinner table by the Whisper attendants, there does not seem to be a particular hierarchy in the seating arrangements. He obtains a refil, then raises his glass. "I would like to thank everyone for attending, those who I know, however passingly, relatives long parted from and most of all those nobility whom I have not previously had the honour of introductions to. We are living in troubled times, the most troubled for centuries, I would ask that for this evening at least we do not dwell on the things that divide us but instead upon what we have in common and how we can best work to aid each other in our mutual struggle."

Taking her seat as well, Monique lifts her glass to the toast and calls out a rousing, "Here, here!"

Once everyone has taken up their seats, been tucked in and seen to by the servers with fresh meade should they wish it or water if it was required. As Cristoph speaks Saedrus remains watching the staff and waiting to summon the meal.

Rook redoubles his squeeze of Saedrus' shoulder and then steps on out of the receiving room to leaves the partiers to it, his hand snatching his coat on the way out. In a whirl of emerald, he's gone. "Do come along and keep up, Master Quiet," he says in a man that probably weighs three hundred pounds inclusive of his steel plate armour.

Quiet, the Grayward champion leaves, following Rook.

"I will make certain not to linger so long before we see each other again, Princess Alis." Calista offers the Valardin Knight a playful little wink before moving towards the table with Joslyn and searching for a seat. She possibly steals Dagon to join her on the other side if he is stealable for such shenanigans.

Dagon sips on the mead Calandra gave him, nodding to Tristram as he arrives. Listening to what he has to say, his eyes look to him and he nods, leaning over to murmur something back, then looking to Alis. "I won't laugh, and anyone who would laugh should have their ass handed to him for doing so."

One moment there is still, for all but the guests speaking, and then with a glance along his shoulder Saedrus quietly summons the smartly dressed staff who arrive with the first of the three courses.

For starters! How better to start a three course meal but with freshly cooked breads! The smell emanates from the far doors of the Parlour where surely the kitchen must be and fills the room with hints of herbs some have been baked with. Each is thick crusted, some with herbs, others sour dough and warm, but each plate that is set within reach of each guest has a select of oils and vinaigrettes to dip. The entre is relatively light, a creamy soup of fresh seasonal vegetables, spiced by herbs to match the breads and warm to taste.

"I've fallen behind on improving my weapon skills I'm afraid. I've spent more time on tactics and other considerations. I'll have to remedy that soon." Alis asides, continuing the conversation with Dagon briefly. "Then I can go kick their asses myself." One might even call her smile there impish, even while she raises her glass up towards Cristoph for his statement before the meal begins. "May we provide an example for others to follow." is murmured, as the room fills with the most wonderful scent of the food about to be served.

Cristoph, following his little speech, takes another sip of his beverage before speaking quietly to Monique at his side, then the meal begins and there is an obvious distraction. After a moment he notes over to Dragon. "You are, Prince Dragon, actually the first member of your house that I have had the honour of meeting in person given the separation between our homes. Might I ask how you met my cousin?" He inclines his head to Calista at that.

Pariah, The StormCrow arrives, delivering a message to Dagon before departing.

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

Tristram sits near Dagon, and in fact, has the server place not one, not two, but three different glasses of mead, each from different barrels or vintages, in front of him. He doesn't drink them all at once; he just wants to make sure he doesn't miss a flavor. After Cristoph's speech, he stands and raises one glass up to Cristoph, reiterating: "It is an honor for House Valardin to acknowledge, praise, and reaffirm our bond with House Laurent. May our bond continue under the light of Limerance and Sentinel, for now and all the days to come." And with a grin, "And I'm not just saying that because you brought the special reserve mead to this party."

Joslyn seems rather eagerly awaiting the arrival of the food, helping herself to the bread and the dip, indulging in it with somewhat obvious comfort, although she's not without manners. She maintains a quiet sort of dignity about her, and she looks around at the rest of the room again, many faces and names to learn. A smile is given to Dagon. "I believe you addressed me earlier? So sorry if I never answered your question. I do hope the evening is finding you well."

It seems that Dagon cannot be stolen by Calista as he remains talking quietly with Prince Tristram. Alis' comment causes him to smile and he nods to the Princess. "You should remedy that, Princess. There'll be many battles ahead and much honor and glory to be had. Ready yourself and your sword so that the people of the Oathlands can follow your example with pride." It's then that Cristoph approaches and after glancing to Calist, he says, "I met your cousin some time back. We have become rather good friends and I find her to be a wonderful conversationalist and someone who has a good taste in wine and whiskey."

Cristoph grins back to Tristram. "The best does originate from the great meadery within the granite walls of Artshall, thank you my lord." Then more generally. "I can confirm that, despite my patronising this event, I am primarily a soldier. As we speak I have commanded that fifteen hundred of my armsmen and knights move east to join Duke Gabriel's forces at Pride Hall." A nod then to Dragon, also Calista. "I believe that House Fidante wines will be accompanying our meal later in fact, I look forward to sampling them."

Pariah, The StormCrow arrives, delivering a message to Dagon before departing.

Everything at the table looks scrumptious. Calista takes in a breath and fills her lungs with the sensational scents of the culinary masterpiece. "Master Saedrus, Mistress Calandra, everything looks exquisite!" She is focused on the feast and not on how Dagon came to know Calista though as it continues, her shadowed emerald eyes shift towards Cristoph while the corners of her lips curve with a tender yet playful Tehom-may-care grin. "I am delighted to hear of this, Lord Cousin. I must say, I tried the honey mead for the first time the other evening and I think I am positively in love."

Pariah, The StormCrow arrives, delivering a message to Dagon before departing.

The servers are diligent and attentive. Glasses are refilled; various brews of mead on offer from the astounding honey, to a brew of nutmeg and clove, another with mulberries and, in honour of House Fidante and their exquisite roses, is a sweeter mead made with rose petals. Calandra is still about seeing that the guests are seen to while Saedrus oversees the servers attending to the meals. There is a bright smile for Calista and the Lycene courtesan bows graciously, "and it is a pleasure to see it enjoyed, my Lady." He chuckles in a rich purr.

Joslyn smiles at Calista, nodding as she continues to sip at her own mead. "This is definitely a different, but very good kind of drink!" she says. "There's a smooth refinement to it."

As the bread seems to dwindle, and the delicate bowls of soup are drained away the staff smoothly sweep between guests to see it all removed and not a crumb left to be seen.

Monique settles back in and smiles towards Tristram, "The special reserve /is/ a particularly good brew. I have to say I did sneak a sample of it earlier... the symphony of flavors nearly stole my breath away." With the food coming out, her smile broadens, very much looking forward to this part of the meal. She does glance up towards Dagon with a smile, "I believe I met one of your cousins and a vassal a few days ago. Harald and Abbas? Very lively pair, I enjoyed their company."

For her part, Alis has taken up the mead with nutmeg and clove. The combination of spicy and sweet is definitely to the liking of her palate. She will assuredly wind up spending outrageous sums of silver on stocking up.

"The thing to be careful about is drinking too much." Cristoph notes, after savouring a deft sip of his own mead. "It is extremely strong and will get you drunk perhaps five times faster than even particularly strong wine. It is definitely a beverage to savour rather than indulge in." Back to Calista. "Which is why even if mead is the signature product of my house I do enjoy wine. One can sit and enjoy wine for hours without then horribly regretting things the following morning."

"Excellent, House Fidante has the best wines." Dagon comments to Christoph, nodding to those around him as he steps away to handle a couple of messengers. Both cause him to frown as he returns to the group. "It seems as if every new day brings wonderful new events for us to all handle in our own ways. Would it not be easier if I did not have to simply wait sometimes." He smiles to Monique, nodding. "They are lively, I'll give them that. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed your time with them."

Dagon is overheard condemning Donrai for: Old and weak.

SURE! Now Cristoph gives that warning. After Alis has already imbibed all the honey mead that was in her first glass. And has started on the nutmeg and clove version. She pauses mid sip, and carefully sets the glass aside. Is that why the room is swimming already? Ahem.

Thanks to the watchful eyes of Calandra and Saedrus, there is a glass of fresh lemon-water set aside Alis' placement.

Calista holds back from downing her glass of mead. It's sweetness if simply sinful. A sheepish grin brings a flush to her cheeks or maybe it's the mead! Who knows. "Mead before wine, you're fine!" She tells Cristoph with a sing-song tone to her voice.

And then.. The mains! as there are choices (as it should be), are brought out on ornate silver trays, the staff holding them remain only long enough for the guests to salivate. The variety stems out from a colourful array of seasonal vegetables, roasted alongside fruits like apples and pears; flowers too adorn the edges, as well as the few fresh salads that sport an edible kind of arrangement! The center point is the roasted venison, and that meat will surely melt from the bone. Otherwise there is a spray of warm roasted quails, wrapped in thinly sliced cured meat; kid goat cooked on the bone in white wine; and finally scallops in the shell with saffron herb butter. The main is served with a white wine from the most illustrious Fidante vineyard, a not-so-dry that is refreshing and perfect for the meal.

"I did! Harald didn't seem fond of the whiskey we were drinking that night, but I haven't been able to stock up on good rum yet unfortunately. It is a pleasure to meet you finally, as well, Prince Dagon," Monique offers a smile towards him and lifts her glass towards him briefly before taking a sip from her mead. She glances aside at Cristoph for his late warning on the mead, chuckling into her glass as she imbibes a bit more. Well, this should be a fun dinner party! As the main courses come out, Monique offers an appreciative smile. Some of these things she's never seen before, but is looking forward to trying!

Tristram keeps an eye on Alis to make sure she's pokay, and says, "Eat! Venison is excellent, and here's a bunch of bread too."

Joslyn quietly murmers something to Calista as she takes a bit of everything, the venison getting particular attention from her. The Fidante wine also being poured into her glass, which she imbibes readily with a hearty smile. "Good to know I'll still have the comforts of home, all the way out here."

Cristoph does give a concerned look to Alis, but the Whispers seem to have that well in hand, he relaxes a little as he finishes his own cup. Then a smile to Calista. "That most likely depends upon the quantity imbibed my lady." Food provides a distraction, then to Monique. "If I do drink too much then I am going to place all blame upon Lady Eirlys. Even if I was clad head to toe in hardened steel she left me rather battered after I made the mistake of daring to spar with her."

"Ahh, yes, Harald would have preferred rum, but that's not always an option. Tell him to grow a pair of stones and just handle the whiskey the next time that happens." Dagon says, smiling at Monique. "Pardon me, I think a few matters require my attention, but it was good speaking with you." The Thrax prince turns and leaves.

Alis gives both Saedrus and Calandra a grateful look when she sees her glass has been replaced with lemon-water. Perhaps even more grateful for the arrival of food which can soak up some of the alcohol in her system. "This all looks so delightful. Quite an artfully chosen array of dishes." A nod to each of the houses present, it would seem. Tristram's urging to eat prompts her to make a face at him. "I know. The room's already wobbling." she whispers, in a not actual whisper.

Calista speaks quietly with Joslyn while indulging in the fine feast before her. When she glances up from her dinner, she gives the room a sweeping glance, happy to see most people quiet as they indulge. She gives Dagon a little bow of her head before he departs.

Joslyn continues imbibing on the wine, the glass ever full as she continues to pour. She has her quiet conversation with Calista, a wide grin upon her lips, swaying slightly in her chair.

Leo enters the Whisper House late to the gathering, dressed in dark red silks with touches of gold throughout, light green eyes drifting over the unfamiliar surrounds. He pauses just within the entry to the receiving room, waiting patiently to be approached by a member or servant of the house.

Grinning at Cristoph, she schools her face into something more serious and nods gravely, "Yes, we'll be sure to put the blame at my cousin's feet. I /did/ hear your helmet ring a few times from those hits dealt you... its not your fault if you can't quite remember how much mead you've had." Winking, she looks back to Alis and can't quite stifle the soft chuckle at her not-quite-a-whisper and offers, "Have some of the venison near the fat, and the quail, too. The fattier meats will help rush the alcohol from your body faster."

"Duke Leo Fidante," Saedrus, the courtesan overseeing the Salon this evening, greets Leo warmly with a gracious bow and welcoming smile. "Please, won't you take a seat? Dinner has just been served and there is a seat reserved for you."

Jason, a well-groomed blond gentleman-usher arrives, following Angelo.

Tristram noms, like, seriously noms, so much so he is also doing it in real life, because, yeah, noms. And mead.

Alis gives Leo a smile of greeting when he arrives. But, she's pretty much too tipsy for conversation already. So, pardon her while she tries to eat her way back to sobriety.

Cristoph does rise from his seat as Leo arrives, giving a bow to the new arrival. "Duke Leo, it is a pleasure, though I fear you have missed the first course and distribution of mead. Perhaps a wise choice given the effects that has had on some." He is careful to not look at anyone in particular there.

Alis thinks everyone knows who the lightweight in the room is, but bless your heart Cristoph.

Tristram looks to Duke Leo, and waves while in the middle of eating, but doesn't talk with his mouth full.

"There is still mead available, Duke Cristoph, if the Duke Leo would care to try some. I will see to it," Saedrus assures with a bow of his head to Cristoph. While glancing to one of the staff to get some more damn water on the table.

A small tilt of his head is on offer for Saedrus' greeting, following the other man to the table, though he takes a short detour to his sister, leaning in to give her a kiss on the cheek. "Calista," he says warmly before greeting Alis, "Highness." Joslyn is given a warm smile before he responds to Cristoph, "Duke Cristoph, thank you for the invitation. I apologize for my lateness, but I'd been otherwise detained. As for the mead, it is no great loss, I do not partake. Missing the first course, however, is a misfortune." He gives Saedrus a shake of his head before finding the place reserved for him.

Calista dabs the corners of her mouth with her napkin when Leo arrives and she takes a cue from Cristoph, rising from her seat to greet her brother with a hug and a kiss. "You made it! I am so happy you are here!" Her voice rises to a potential little squeal. Blame it on the alcohol.

Joslyn looks up from her meal and her quiet conversation to look over at Leo, with a wide smile, her teeth gleaming with joy. "Lord Leo!" she says, smiling, the title seemingly only there for public appearances as she rises, smiling at him with a fond familiarity. "It's so good to see you again."

A few moments after Duke Leo's arrival sees Angelo and his gentleman-usher, Jason, arriving to the Whisper House. "I hope you are right, Jason, we shall see," the olive-skinned nobleman comments to what ever conversation they were having, before he stops by the entrance to spot his family and the Laurent, as well as other chosen guests, dining and - to his relief due to his own lateness - the recent arrival of Leo. With a firm and straight-backed gait, he makes his way towards the table, seeing if someone will greet him and gesture him to his seat -- looking a teensy bit too reserved and pensive.

No sooner had Saedrus seen Leo to a seat at the table, the Fidante Duke seen to by servers for whatever he may wish to drink in Saedrus' wake, does Angelo make his appearance at the threshold of the Parlour. "Ah, Lord Angelo, a pleasure! You are just in time for dinner, my Lord," Saedrus gestures back to the table, filled with guests, and mead, wine and food with a brilliant smile. "May I show you to your seat?" Saed offers, and proceeds to do should it be taken up. Angelo too, would be attentively seen to by the staff dressed in dark suits, or dresses, with gold accents.

"It was a treat my lord cousin, House Whisper has certainly lived up to their reputation for excellence." Cristoph assures Leo, an inclination of his head then to the newly arriving Angelo as he seats himself back down, one hand guiding the pommel of the sword at his side as he ensures the scabbarded blade does not entangle with anything.

Squee, the Flying Squirrel arrives, delivering a message to Monique before departing.

And here's another! Alis nods politely towards Angelo, but seems really quite taken with her dinner. Which is probably for the best. Really.

There's an amused laugh at his sister's exuberance, "It's almost as though you never see me at the villa." Leo is still grinning when he turns to Joslyn, "I'm glad you're back in Arx, Calista has missed you dreadfully and there were few days when I did not hear of it, but I'm happy to have you back too." His attention shifts shortly to Cristoph, "I have not had the opportunity to have them host an event for me, though it appears I may need to change that."

Monique glances up from her plate to offer a warm smile of greeting towards Leo and Angelo, "Duke Fidante, Lord Fidante. Its a pleasure to have you both with us." With the flaming red hair and brilliant emerald eyes, the young Greenmarch as a decided Northlands cast to her features, but she's dressed to the nines in high Oathlands fashion, including a lovely new scent wafting about her. She smiles across at Alis and Tristram digging into their meals, then glances back to the conversation with a smile. "Mistress Calandra Whisper is indeed quite the event organizer. In addition to this lovely get together, she's also overseeing the bulk of the Commoner's Festival as well."

Tristram looks up from his food with a smile. "Well that was very good."

Angelo bends his torso into a polite social bow to the whole table as a whole before rising to his straightness to greet Saedrus with a slim smile. "Saedrus," he greets, sounding familiar enough with the man to know his name, "you may lead me." As the next greeting comes from Monique, he bows his head to her, before greeting the table -- with a look that goes from the Prince and Princess, to his family and his distant cousins, towards the rest: "Your Royal Highnesses, Lords and Ladies Cousins, I apologize for the lateness." His hand at his stomach flattens his midnight-blue silks, before he looks towards Saedrus to see where he might lead him -- where he might sit.

The arrival of another Fidante is well received. Calista moves from her seat to greet Angelo as well. It is not as exuberant since she's realized perhaps she was a little too excitable before but it is a warm and affectionate greeting for her maternal cousin. "Lord Angelo! You've only missed just a bit, not too much. Dinner is to die for." Not literally. "You were on Leo's heels. I am so happy to see so many of you here despite the state of the world, this is but a bright moment in dark times."

"Your apologise is not at all required my lord." Cristoph speaks to Angelo. "Arch Lector Cassandra sends her apologies but she will not be able to attend at all, especially grievous given that I cannot even take credit for this event, it was originally her idea." Then a slight nod given to Leo. "I admit that I would have hosted this event at the Laurent mansion if it was in a suitable state, without thinking of alternatives, but they are wonderful hosts and I do not regret the choice at all."

Monique's greeting pulls Leo's gaze her away and he studies the northerner for a moment, "Thank you, my Lady. It appears I've missed part of the evening's delights, but it is good to be here." As Angelo finds his place and offers a greeting, he gets a smile from the Fidante duke, "Cousin, I see I am not the only one finding my way in late."

Saedrus chuckles softly, smiling to Angelo as he leads the man about to a seat nearest Monique, opposite Calista and still within comfortable earshot of Cristoph. "Enjoy the meal, my Lord," Saed offers, quick to see an server to get Angelo a glass of wine.

Joslyn frowns momentarily and glances over at Calista. "When we've a few quiet moments, perhaps you can help bring me up to speed on what's going on. I'd heard whispers in my travels up here, but nothing firm," she says, and she smiles at Leo, not missing a beat. "Well, I'm sure they got quite enough of my moaning back in Tor. I couldn't get here fast enough."

"Hiding in our respective corners of the city would only further the divides that seem to be taking place. It's a credit to houses Fidante and Laurent to seek to host an event centering on unity." Alis decides to finally speak again, giving both Calista and Cristoph their due with a nod.

When all had been tasted, without over doing it one hopes, and the plates had been left untouched for the appropriate amount of time - enough so for the late entries - the staff do that magnificent disappearing act of cutlery and crockery. Then, the guest are left to rest with their wine, and /water/ and talk amongst each other.

"Hiding in our respective corners of the city would only further the divides that seem to be taking place. It's a credit to houses Fidante and Laurent to seek to host an event centering on unity." Alis decides to finally speak again, giving both Calista and Cristoph their due with a nod.

Chuckling, MOnique offeers a smile towards Leo, "You're welcome, my lord. But fear not, you haven't missed all the festivities. I am personally looking forward to seeing the dessert course!" She glances sidelong and smiles towards Angelo when he's seated next to her. "Its a pleasure to meet you, Lord Fidante. I am Lady Monique Greenmarch. Might I recommend the scallops? They're exceptionally well-prepared and cooked." She lifts her glass to sip from her mead.

Squee, the Flying Squirrel arrives, delivering a message to Monique before departing.

Angelo gives a warm smile to Calista and greets her, "Lady Calista," though her assurances that he has not missed too much seems to relax him enough. "Well, that is good. I was fretting I would be shamelessly late but..." This comes in time with Leo's greeting with draws a soft chuckle from him. "...great minds think alike, cousin! I fear I was caught on some business and I couldn't come sooner than latter. I promise to make it up." As he is shown his way to Saedrus' chosen seat, next to Monique, in front of Calista, and within the vicinity of Cristoph, to whom he greets: "My Lord, it is good to see you again." He sits down eventually, flattening his stomach with his midnight-blue silks, and turning to Monique as she smiles to him -- an expression he easily mirrors. "Honored to meet you, Lady Greenmarch. Ah--? The scallops?" he wonders with interest. "I will." His voice drops enough for a part of his response to her to be murmured, sounding like a question by how he pitches his voice, as he serves himself some of the praised scallops and takes a well-needed thirsty sip of wine.

"It helps that we're blood, Highness. Duke Cristoph and I share fathers that were siblings," Leo says with a small aside to Alis. Monique gets a quick smile, "It appears I've picked the perfect time to arrive, then." He glances up to one of the servants, a request on his lips, "Bring me a black tea."

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

Leaning in slightly towards Angelo, she smiles at the murmurs, then shakes her head faintly and whispers back to him. Straightening up, she gives him a friendly smile, looking pleased that her suggestion was taken to heart. Finishing off her own last scallop, she finishes her mead and gives Saedrus a subtle nod that she'll take a refill. Looking back to Leo, her smile brightens once more and she nods, "Indeed you have! And glad we are to have you."

Saedrus is overheard praising Cristoph for: A wonderful evening and excellent Host.

Calista is overheard praising Cristoph for: For bringing family and friends together in such a graceful manner.

Angelo is overheard praising Cristoph.

Calista is overheard praising Saedrus for: An exceptional Host who goes above and beyond.

One of the young women in a pitch dress and gold sash is curtsies gracefully to Leo's request. She returns briefly with a delicately decorated teacup and saucer with black tea.

Calista is overheard praising Calandra for: A wonderful hostess. Thank you!

Monique is overheard praising Cristoph for: A wonderful evening!

Alis inclines her head to acknowledge Leo's comment on the blood tie between both families. "While true, I still find it commendable." she decides. Or maybe she just -really- likes the mead and is enjoying the excuse to have been drinking it. Since now, she has only lemon water. She appears impressed with the speed of service as well, when dishes are whisked away.

Saedrus smiles softly to Monique and dips his head politely, turning his evergreen eyes up to another of the staff to see her drink is refilled.

Oh, but there's more.. Dessert. Tantalising, calorie-packed and oh, so delicious dessert. There are (surprise) options, but each plate that is brought out as elegantly as the other two meals had been sports a trio for each guest. This way there was no awkward serving, or reaching over the table and everyone is spoiled equally! On each divine, elegantly decorated plate is a miniature arrangement. Dark chocolate melt with stewed pear, cinnamon spiced honey drizzle; an adorably small glossy-topped fig tart and finally the finest sliver of strawberry cake which is decadently rich but small enough a serve to be worth indulging in. To top it all off, laid out along the center of the long banquet table are bowls of honey-sweetened cream, fresh berries in a brilliant variety of warm and cool colours.

Alis finds herself pulled aside by a messenger, and with suitable excuses and noises of apology made, she hurries out the door to deal with some urgent issue or another.

Tristram looks at the dessert, and smiles. "Mm. This looks amazing." To Duke Leo, he says, "Duke Fidante, I have to thank you for working with Duke Laurent. Alliances are important, and seeing us all work together is a great commentary--and a light of hope--for the future of the Compact."

It should also be noted that once the white wine has been finished to the last drop, the glasses are taken and replaced. With dessert is another Fidante wine, a blushed rose, sweet and a perfect way to end the meal.

Tristram is overheard praising Leo.

Tristram is overheard praising Cristoph.

"The Fidantes are never late, we're fashionably well-timed -- hence why we arrived together," Angelo leans forth slightly to comment over to Leo with an amused smile streaked over his bowed lips, reaching the wintry-eyed hues of his guise, looking as if he would laugh at his own jest on another setting -- not this one. He listens to what Monique murmurs before his lips curl up at the edges, and he murmurs something else to her, before he can be overheard wondering to her: "So-- my lady Greenmarch-- what a belated introduction, ours. I wish I had met you before. I suppose sometimes I can be hard to find -- I'm not notable for, hm, alfresco duties, I suppose. My family's dreadfully aware of this." He brings his utensils to the scallops and brings it to his mouth to chew... And he seems to like it! "Hmm-hmm."

Leo dips his head in thanks as the servant places his tea before him, taking it up for a small drink as he listens to the conversation about him. "As you say, Highness." He looks as if he's about to offer more, but then the desserts are arriving and Saedrus is given a considering look. Tristram's words draw a slow response, "He is family and Fidante has long had good relations with many in the Oathlands, despite the occasional hard memory."

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

Tristram nods. "Still--an example to be held out to all." As his messenger comes, he stands and says: "I've to go, but thank you for the invitation and it was a pleasure being invited."

Tristram takes his leave!

Calista sighs with relief. Even though every other course was superb, dessert is by far her favorite 'meal'. "I am overwhelmed, Master Saedrus and I say that in praise of everything you have done for us this evening. It is possible to make a noble feel like a King or Queen for an evening. The reputation of House Whisper is unmatched. You've outdone yourselves this evening and I will certainly be reaching out to you in the near future for other family parties."

When the dessert course is brought out, Monique's eyes round and sparkle with a true delight at the treasure trove of sweets placed before her. It takes actual restraint to keep from simply starting to shove the treats into her mouth like a young child might. Drawing in a deep breath, she lets it out slowly, then turns a brilliant smile towards Angelo. His murmured words draw a soft laugh of mirth and delight before she responds, lifting her voice after to offer, "Well, Lord Angelo, I must admit, I haven't been over much to the Velenosian side of the city, but I'll be happy to rectify that if you can escort me about and show me all the sights?" She seems genuinely pleased that he enjoys the scallops, offering another bright smile his way before finally taking a bite of the fig tart. Her eyes close and a near blissful expression crosses her features as she enjoys the tart.

Like his attendants, both from the Grotto and the Whisper House, Saedrus is ever attentive of the table. Quick to see that the guests never go without and that the servers are busy under the apparently silent orders from the male courtesan. Evergreens settle on Leo a moment and Saedrus bows his head lightly, causing a fall of dark hair across his shoulder. As he looks back up it is with a brilliant smile to Calista. "You are far too kind, my Lady, we strive for the very best and I hope we have fulfilled that this evening. The most praise should go to your Host, Duke Cristoph else the night would not have been possible. But thank you, for your praise."

Leo continues to sip from his tea, an amused glimmer in his eyes as the others turn their attention to the dessert. "Lady Calista speaks truly, Master Saedrus. I will do well to remember you for the next social gathering hosted by us." He doesn't taste of the desserts himself, however.

"Ah, yes, the House Whisper is a wonderful place," Angelo is quick to agree whole-heartedly, with a thankful bow of his head to Saedrus. "We should have more of these gatherings, shouldn't we?" he asks of Leo and Calista, before his attention is taken by the laugh of Monique. His lips spread into a laminal grin that hints the whites of his teeth. "Why, my lady, you needn't but to ask!" he insists to her as he impeccably finishes those delicious scallops to reach for a tart or two. "I would be more than happy to show you the Velenosian side..." He seemed as if he was going to add 'of the city,' but he leaves it at that, as if finding in that wording a better meaning. "I'm soon hosting a small gathering in the Fidante Parlor," he begins to comment to her, but he looks towards the rest of the table, Saedrus included, to hint that he's now going to make this a general topic, "with Her Highness Alarissa Valardin. My family and the esteemed guests and friends of my family are all invited, naturally. I will be sending invitation cards soon enough."

Joslyn sits quietly, taking a moment to enjoy the dessert and listen to the conversation surrounding her. She looks between Calista and Leo, eyes glazing over as she continues to enjoy the tarts, and bits of cake. There is a bit of a look of guilt in her eyes as perhaps she's overindulging just a little bit, but it's oh, so good! Towards Leo she addresses. "When I've a moment, we do need to catch up again. It has been far too long."

"I would be absolutely delighted, Lord Angelo. I'm certain you know all the best little nooks and crannies to explore," Monique turns a cheshire's grin on him briefly, mischief and mirth dancing in those verdant depths before she turns back to her desserts, reaching for the pear with its dark chocolate blanket. Cutting a piece from it, she tastes, then blinks once and swallows. "Oh my, what /is/ that coating the pear? Its utterly decadent!" Clearing her throat for showing ignorance of anything at the table, she recovers with a smile that grows slightly at mention of the Valardin name, "I would love to attend. Edain, Alis, and Tristram are my brothers and sister by marriage. I've been working to reconnect with them, I haven't truly seen much of them since... well, the... Tragedy." She clears her throat again, then offers a light laugh at Angelo and leans in to offer something in return.

Saedrus smiles brightly to Leo, "the Whisper House is always of service, my Lord. You need only contact any one of us, or the Radiant Selene and we would be most honoured. For each and everyone one of you as well," the Lycene courtesan bows graciously. Evergreens cast between each guest, to each a humbled smile. To Angelo Saedrus gives a delighted clap of his hands, "A gathering at the Fidante Parlour sounds wonderful, I do hope there will be some games involved, my Lord. I remember Princess Alarissa mentioning she knew a few." He excuses himself politely shortly after though, to speak with the staff briefly.

Saedrus ushers one of the young women back to see drinks are readily available to the guests, chuckling warmly for Monique's delight of the pears. "It is Artshall honey, my Lady, warmed and mixed with light spice. Divine, yes?"

Calista notices Leo is not indulging in desserts. She narrows her eyes upon her brother and leeeaaaanns his way with a tiny piece of pear that's been stewed and drips with chocolate. "You know you want just a teeny tiny bite."

Leo turns his gaze on Joslyn and flashes a smile, "No, of course. I knew you'd want to catch up with Calista, but she's not the only one that enjoys having you around! We will absolutely catch up soon. I'd very much like to hear of how things fair back in Tor." He lifts his teacup in recognition of the young woman before taking another drink, "Do not let Calista monopolize all of your time!" As Calista leans in toward him with the pear, he plucks it from her fingers with a grin and pops it in his mouth, "So much trouble you are, my dear sister."

Angelo smiles with amusement as Monique grins at him, lowering his gaze to the plate to bring the second of the tarts to his mouth -- he enjoys those. "The tarts are utterly decadent too," he agrees with her in a calm voice, only so that he can continue praising the Whisper House, "the cook should be lauded." As Saedrus and Monique chime in on the matter of his parlor games, he tells the courtesan, "Those are the exact parlor games we're going to play. I hope I can expect your presence, daer Saedrus," and then Monique, "If you wish to have them invited, my lady, I would be more than glad to meet them myself and issue invitations." The sight of Calista and Leo draws a faint smile from him, but then he leans in to murmur something to Monique in response to what she murmured.

Joslyn giggles, watching Calista tempt her brother with the chocolaty treats! She takes another bite of cake and grins, replying to Leo. "She won't occupy all of my time, of course. Only a great deal of it," she says, laughing again. "You know, those chocolate pears do look good," she considers. It is a wonder how a woman that can eat so much manages to maintain her figure.

Little sisters can get away with /anything/ it seems! Calista giggles, satisfied at Leo's reaction. "The chocolate pears are incredible." She says to Joslyn, "Master Saedrus, you may wish to host an evening of desserts where you give us some of the recipes as a gift. One never knows when they will need to seduce a lover with decadent confectionaries."

Saedrus chortles a rich purr to Calista, "and if I did that, my Lady, I would be left without secrets to keep such wonderful people enthralled."

The desserts remain until not a single scrap is left of them, or at least until it seems as though the guests have had their fill. Inevitably that wonderful time of night (namely, dessert) had to come to a close and the servers work their magic to see the table cleared away until there is naught left but small dishes, with painted gold trim, aside each person. Yes, yes there is the last addition for the night... Small bowls of sugar-laced rose petals are set along the center run of the banquet table; pinks, red, yellows, whites even black petals are present mixed in each. To accompany the edible little treats walks an elegant precession of both Grotto and Whisper staff carrying trays of tea, herbal and black, as well as coffee some brewed with different syrups. Tea cups and saucers are placed to those that wish for the after dinner breather, and cream, sugar, milk or mint is offered for those that wish it.

Joslyn giggles then at Calista's comment. "If they're as good as this, it might just work on me," she admits with a grin. She does decide to indulge in just a little bit of the pears as the final course is brought out. She gives a surprised look to the continuing procession and blinks as if to say "MORE?!" but she just smiles, and decides to indulge in just a little bit of tea while she sits, and digests.

Looking towards Saedrus, she smiles brightly, "Thank you! I've had the honey before, but that spice added an entire new dimension to the flavors!" Monique turns that smile towards Angelo and chuckles lowly, "I've already had one of them, I'm afraid if I eat more I'll start to grow fat. I've never had such sweets as are presented here." Not that she seems at all in danger of 'going fat' anytime soon, the young woman is slender and has a light muscle tone showing across her shoulders and arms that suggests she exercises at least a little. Monique looks back to Angelo with a warm smile, "I'm sure they would enjoy a chance to sit and speak with her, to play games, and be light-hearted for a time." Sighing, she picks up her napkin to dab at her lips, "Unfortunately, I must offer my farewells. I did promise my cousin a heart to heart talk tonight, and I would hate to have her think I don't care enough to keep the appointment." Before she stands, however, she does lean in a final time to murmur to Angelo, smiling as she stands, looking to Saedrus, "Thank you so very much for having us tonight at the Whisper House. This was absolutely amazing, all of it." Giving nods to Joslyn, Calista, and Leo, she murmurs her farewells and moves to depart.

Saedrus bows graciously as Monique bids her farewell. "It was been a delight to have you, Lady Monique. Thank you for attending."

Leo finishes his tea and rises. He leans over to give Calista a kiss on the top of her head before saying, "Be good, will you?" He turns a glance back on Joslyn, "She's matured much, Joslyn, but keep an eye out for her anyway, yes?" He offers a small bow to those present and Monique as she also makes ready to leave. "Have a good evening."

Joslyn gives a nod towards Leo, her smile filled with warmth (and perhaps leftover drunkeness). "Always," she says.

Calista rises from her seat to first bid Monique adieu. "My Lady, it was wonderful to meet you tonight, I would love to meet with you soon so we could speak more. You were an absolute delight this evening." Leo's departure takes some of the light from her face but she sighs softly. "For you? Anything!" However she playfully rolls her eyes and winks at Joslyn. "Be well, brother. I shall see you soon."

"Duke Fidante," Saedrus farewells dipping into another graceful bow as Leo moves to leave.

Kit leaves, following Monique.

Angelo rises to bid his farewells to the departing duke and lady before returning to his seat, reaching for his wineglass and resting back against his chair with a brief release of the pressure of etiquette when the gathering was bigger-- he's still on his guards, just allowing himself some license.

The evening Salon of the two Houses would keep on for as long as the guests wished of it. The wine would continue to pour, the tea, or coffee, as wished upon and the conversation as indulged as the feast. Saedrus and Calandra still present to see things were as flawless as only courtesan's could.

Joslyn sips at her tea, looking quietly full and satisfied, looking around the others and she smiles, inclining her head towards Calista. "Who started this anyway?" She asks, looking about. "This was the best meal I've had in months."

"The evening? Duke Cristoph decided it would be a wonderful way to meet and greet notable people in Arx a well as spend time with Leo and I since it's been probably, oh something like ten years or so since we crossed paths with our cousin. Our father, Lord Marcus Laurent is Duke Cristoph's father's brother. So yes, that makes Leo and I half Oathlander." Calista waggles her brows at Joslyn then. Such a scandalous Oathlander.

Angelo takes another sip from his wineglass as he remains silent for a few moments, remaining thoughtful about something, before he sets his wineglass on the table and rises. "This has been a nice way to spend the evening, but alas I should get back to Villa Fidante, if you will all excuse me," he announces in a soft voice.

Saedrus smiles stepping up to Angelo as he readies to leave, and bows most elegantly. "Thank you, my Lord, for attending. I hope it has been an enjoyable night for you."

"Oh really now?" Joslyn chuckles. "Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure we'd gone over it before. Of course you have my family that's lived in Tor for longer than we can remember," she pauses then and her eyes open wide. "This would mean I'm the first Manicelli to ever go this far... possibly in centuries..." she seems genuinly surprised at her own realization. "Glad I had a chance to meet him, even as briefly as that was." As Angelo takes his leave she smiles, nodding towards him. "Good to see you. I'll see you back home!"

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