Feb. 9, 2017, 9:30 p.m.
Delia Tristram Niccolo(RIP) Reese Calista Orathy Darren Drea Acacia Morrighan Marian Mailys Lyiana Kieran Valerius(RIP) Saedrus Sigurd Deva Demura Mydas(RIP) Alis Sophie Merek Aislin Julea(RIP) Agnarr Sparte Percephon Fiachra(RIP) Dominic(RIP) Valencia
Arx - Ward of House Redrain - Redrain Grounds
Comments and Log
Kieran wasn't exactly offering a sip, but he shrugs as it is taken. "We don't drink much wine here. We are more liquor sorts.". He gestures to Calista when she arrives, "But Duchess Calista might join you in drinking wine.". He chuckles before raising his glass to Sigurd and Morrighan as they pass. Darren's slap causes him to spill a bit of his drink and he chuckles, "Brother. Quit wasting passably alright whiskey."
Though many faces are familiar to the redheaded servant, there are some that elude her knowledge, but for those she recognizes, Morrighan offers a few waves along with a polite nod of her head. The teen ensures to greet the Redrain family properly before giving Mydas a faint nod of her head, murmuring passing greetings to Darren, Freja, Kieran, and Deva. She steps off towards the benches, easing away from the growing crowd, and plops herself down into an empty seat, legs stretched out comfortably and proceeds to partake of much whiskey.
Deva is followed out of the estate by a messenger. The words, when read, make her grimace. A response is issued in short order, leaving her taking a deep breath and rubbing at her face with both hands. Sweeping past a table, she grabs an entire bottle of whiskey for herself and holds on tight. "I think wine makes me queasy," she chimes in, showing up beside Kieran with a nod for her brothers.
"Funny how that works out, isn't it." It was hardly more than a murmur, with Acacia's muted footsteps falling somewhere between Niccolo and the guards which tarried behind him. The clasp of her hands at the small of her back was short-lived and carrying too much of a slouch to bare formal presence. It didn't last long, a strategical pivot fluidly made in order to filch a passing wine from a server and after a singular pause -- a second. This one is offered towards Niccolo's left elbow when she padded up half a step.
"Maybe if you held your glass better, Kieran, you wouldn't spill it all over yourself," comes Darren's reply with a warm laugh, before he nods over to Mydas and Sigurd. "My lords. Glad to see the both of you." Alis earns herself a wide grin and a wave in return. "Princess Alis, it's good to see you," he says, stepping over to her to murmur something quietly to her before he looks over to Deva and lofts a brow. "Why are you drinking wine?"
Merek comes into the place with slow steps, all his weapons peace-bonded, his cloak around him while his glassed visor on the fox helmet looks around a bit in his idle curiosity. He moves off to the side and seems to watch as people arrive.
Prince Dominic Thrax arrives without an escort. He carries his large frame with the support of his long-spear, using it as a walking staff. Through the gates and into the Redrain Grounds, the Thrax prince glances around for a familiar face before joining the festivities after not regonizing anyone. He grabs himself a drink and situates somewhere comfortable and out of the way.
Calista arrives for the festivities at the Redrain Grounds with a small retinue of Fidante Guards. A long, black fur cloak clings to her shoulders, sweeping behind her like a cloak, opened in the front to show off the tease of smoke and shadows of silk that cling licentiously to her sinful curves. Every step is more graceful than the next, bearing the confidence of a woman much older than her mere nineteen years of age. She overhears Kieran and smirks his way with a little tip of her head in his direction.
Marian gives Alis a smile as she offers to introduce her to others, "I have no expectations for the evening so feel free to introduce me to anyone that you would consider of note." She smiles a little wider, "I spend most of my time in the House so outside of Greenmarch and Valardin, I doubt I have spoken to many here." She pauses and then notes, "Perhaps introducing to our hosts first."
Stepping onto the Redrain grounds sans guards, or any accompaniment, is Valerius, a bottle of deep brown liquid in his right hand and a smile fixed firmly on his face. He pauses a moment, letting his gaze wander over the crowd, momentarily making note of the faces he sees, before he eventually makes his way over to Kieran, a hand outstretched to clap the man on the shoulder upon reaching him. "I'm sorry to interrupt," he says, lifting the bottle forward as he holds it up to the man, "But I thought I'd come with gifts, for my wonderful cousin."
"Are you suggesting I assault the Nightgolds for their whiskey?" Fiachra raises his brows at Alis, deliberately misinterpreting her words. Then he winks at her, including his cousin Marian in that gesture. "Be back shortly, unless you find us a place before then." He gives a deep incline of his head to Darren as the man approaches, before releasing Alis' arm and circling to find himself a drink.
Like Orathy's player, the Lowers Borough man is quite overwhelmed and so he steps easily off to the side, happy to just blend in and get a jist of what was happening.
Sparte is there at the event with, of all things, lanterns. He has a short pole over one shoulder with a few dangling in front and a few in back, all lit. Who needs lanterns at a massive bonfire? Guess he wants to find out.
"Very much so," Niccolo offers in agreement with his protege. He walks with hands clasped behind his back, looking forward as he addresses Acacia. His guards do as guards are wont to do and just follow him, half of them seem at ease with the woman's presence the other are unfamiliar. He pauses, with a side glance at Acacia when she steps over to procure the drinks, his hand already lifting to meet hers when she delivers it. He inclines his head in gratitude, before he brings it to his lips. "You look well." He notes, looking from his protege to the gathering.
With his long, leather coat enveloping him to help stave off any chill of autumn, Percephon arrives unaccompanied to the Bonfire. His dark eyes peer out from behind his glasses, the light catching a few flecks of those orbs into a lighter honeyed tone. For the moment, the scholar is content to remain upon the outer edges of the affair, looking for any familiar faces that are out in the crowds.
"I'm not. I'm just saying," Deva wiggles her whiskey in front of Darren with a sigh. Pensive, she takes a chug, squaring her shoulders as Valerius approaches. "You get presents? You lucky bastard," she grins at Kieran, nudging him with an elbow.
As the bonfire roars, the heat doing more than its share to keep away the night's chill, the Redrain servants and guards have seen to ensuring there is plenty of Northern goods and ales, whiskeys, and mead (as close to wine as they'll get) laid out on the banquet tables placed under the trees. The fire is the only source of light - save for the stars or whatever torches people may have chosen to bring with them from home.
Freja emerges from the estate a touch late, adjusting the albino bear headdress on her head as she finds a bench to hop up onto, the tall woman towering even -more- now over the throngs gather as her voice carries out.
"I am a woman of few words so I promise to keep it succinct so that we may get to what we are all here for - to drink and perhaps even start a friendly brawl or two." A pointed pause before she repeats. "Friendly. Anyways, I have no need nor desire to repeat what we all know is lingering at the edge of our shared borders and beyond. In days time, some of us will depart to face against them and strike while the iron is hot, some of us going where it is cold?" She goes for the pathetic joke, but surely she is dressed for a Farhaven winter? The scout -is- in the Northern, weather worn and sun-bleached scouting leathers.
"So join me, Redrain and all, tonight to honor those that will raise up their weapons and fight for us all and our way of life." She raises up her drinking horn, the ale sloshing a touch before she takes a deep drink, "SKAL!"
Fulfilling his duty as guard, Agnarr is in the background, semi-reluctantly ensuring the booze flows.
The party is starting to pick up, and Delia watches the assembled people with keen interest. When Valerius approaches, Delia sits up, gesturing grandly with her free hand. "I am certain gifts are always a welcome interruption," she says, standing up to let the men talk, idly running her fingers along Kieran's arm as she does so. She spares him a single blue-eyed glance before drifting off to mingle. The glance seems to say, 'I'll be around'. When Freja makes her announcement, she raises her glass with enthusiasm.
Valencia steps outside of the villa, blood red silk swirling around her, eyes black as sin scanning the people at the even. She smiles fondly. "Gods I love these evens." Gazing over the crowd she picks out the faces that she adores and she heads off into the crowd, her gait lithe and easy, hips sway under sweet Southern silk skirts.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Deva before departing.
Darren stands near to Alis, conversing with her quietly, though his attention turns to Freja when she arrives out on the grounds and speaks. He procures a glass from /somewhere/ along the way, lofting it in the air at the end of her speech. "To the last!" he calls out, before knocking back his shot, and then turning to step on over to Deva. He does offer a nod to Niccolo along the way, smiling warmly at the man. "Good evening, your Grace," he calls over, as he settles down to wherever Deva's made herself comfortable.
Sigurd lifts his glass up in the air, echoing Freja's toast before downing a good half of it in a blistering mouthful of amber whiskey, giving a bit of a flush even to his cheeks. Then he turns to call over to Fiachra, "You wanna try to take any of our whiskey, I'll be happy to let Morr be your first friendly brawl of the night, eh?...Suppose that would be cruel to you, though." He is leaning back on a bench with the mentioned Morrighan and his brother Mydas, very much at ease and apart from the main gathering as he watches casually, chatting to those nearby.
Alis returns the smile from the Redrain Prince, and of course reaches up to scritch Squee when she murmurs back to him. At least the squirrel likes her (so there, Vex!) "Here, I'll at least start listing off names for you." she promises Marian. "The man with the flying squirrel is Prince Darren.." she starts, gesturing then to the the other Redrain in attendance and naming them before she looks over at the Nightgold's to name them as well. "I would never suggest that Fia. Merely that you harass them for it." Geez. And then Freja makes her entrance, and the smaller woman quiets, cheering once she's done.
Merek takes a moment to let out a small sound which echoes with the words spoken, as though to join in the sentiment, then he shifts his cloak around him once more, as he finds a whiskey to toast it, then takes a drink. He looks at Sparte strangely with his lanterns, then back to see Valencia, while he waves to her.
Several words are passed towards Niccolo, obscured by the abounding festivities. Acacia's dark eyes lingered fleetingly upon his chin, before her attention traversed towards Freya with a small mirthful crinkle upon the bridge of her nose when her gaze passed up to the headdress. "Skal," the Culler toasted, with a visual comparison of the horn-sloshed ale and then to the wine that she had picked up along the way. After a small twist of her lips, she produced a whimsical shrug and then gulped the vintage as if it were liquor to share. After another look at Niccolo, her gaze briefly caught upon Orathy and then she added, "Perhaps we should be best to converse more when there's less... pressing festivities, your Grace. Inside smiles."
Calista's lips curl upwards into her signature Tehom-may-care grin as she moves to grab a drink. Whiskey of course. Heir and spare, she double fists the libations for now as she weaves her way through the crowd. Niccolo is spotted and she gives her liege a polite bow of her head.
Kieran snerks to Darren, "I wasn't expecting to be attacked by my own brother." He gives a nod of agreement then to Deva. "Yes, wine wooziness. A dreadful condition." Then the prince quiets to Freja's greeting. As she finishes, he raises his glass, "To the last...drop!". The young man proceeds to down the rest of his glass. "Have fun," he calls out to the departing Delia.
Sparte is awed and impressed by the bonfire. He keeps a slow pace so as to not run into anyone, just doing a casual circuit around the area with his lanterns while staring into the flames. If nobody stops him there is a decent chance he'll just keep walking in long lazy circles around the bonfire for the whole of the event, like a not exactly bright orbiting comet.
"Oh, yes. Blame it on the whiskey that I forgot the words. Darren, you have always been so much better at this than I." Freja's cheeks flush a touch, but that can be blamed on the spirits in her hand before she hops down from the bench. The moment her feet touch the ground appears to be the down beat on which the music beings; a Northern harp, lightly plucked and a soft drum as a bard begins a tale of the Northlands in a melodious drone.
"Dear cousin," Valerius says to Deva, a grin overtaking him as he wiggles the bottle he holds in her direction, "You're more than welcome to enjoy it as well. I'm pleased to say I have a growing collection of quality whiskeys, and I'm loathe to drink them all on my own." Freja's words are met with a broad smile from the Thrax Prince, his bottle raised as he uncorks it and takes a swig before holding it out to Deva proper, "Hurry, before I finish it all myself."
Marian laughs at Fiachra's remark, giving a fond look to her cousin. She nods as Fiachra detaches to get a drink, and gives her full focus on Alis as she introduces Prince Darren. She was about to say words in greeting but then Freja arrives and gives her speech. She looks at the bear headdress in interest and nods quietly as she speaks. Once she's done, Marian joins Alis in her cheer then she quiets once more to listen to the bard who speaks of the Northlands.
Mydas raises his own cup. "I wish you the best of lucks." he adds to Sigurd's statement before taking a long drink, looking quite at ease on the bench.
"Hey," Deva greets Darren, sounding almost grim between chugs of whiskey. Her fingers curl tight and possessively around the bottle she holds, although there's a glimmer of amusement as she looks to Kieran. "I'm sure you do, Valerius. Your sharing nature is most appreciated," she tells the man with a thin smile on her lips. "Nice music, Freja," she calls out to her cousin, giving the hostess a wave across the way.
Kieran then grins and eyes the bottle offered. "A gift, huh? From you? What did you do it?". He reaches out fir the bottle in slight hesitation as though it might bite him.
"To the last!" Drea shouts, scooping up a cup of mead to raise it. She moves over to her son Darren, giving him a kiss on the cheek, then moves down the line to Kieran, Deva and Freja. "It looks like the fun is about to start!" she says to no one in particular. She takes a sip of mead, surveying the crowd.
Delia has left the benches under the oak trees.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Deva before departing.
Dominic fishes for a cut cigar from his leather trousers and with a wick that he lights before hand, he brings the small flage to the tip if his cigar which now sits betweens his lips, and lights it. He is surrounded by a thick smoke as he works to get the leaf burning and exhaling the contents of his lungs with a deep exhale. A heavy cherry flavor dots the cloud from the giant's corner. He sits with a drink in hand and the cigar in another. His spear set to the side but within his reach. Dominic lowers the cigar to drink some of his whiskey, taking a moment to taste it's flavor. He licks his lips and sets the glass down, replacing the alcohol with another smoke. Chilling in his seat, his blue eyes dot about those present, studying them from afar.
"You did fine, cousin," Darren flashes a grin over to Freja and just shakes his head, coming to sit on the edge of the table, though not before he kisses Drea on the cheek. He looks back to Deva afterward and smirks. "You should see the bottle of whiskey Morrighan sent me. You could get drunk off the smell alone," he chuckles to his sister, "I'll send you a glass later. It's about all you'll need for the rest of the night."
Dragging in from the Marquessa Demura Lyonesse, come to pay her respects at the large gathering upon the Redrain grounds. She trots in on horseback but slips from the saddle as she begins to scan the area, over the various faces, familiar and strange alike. She is armored, though she doesn't seem to be on guard for anything in particular. Many a time, she presents herself in full plate formally due to tradition and nothing else. It also help keep her in top form; bonus. She approaches those she would know from House Valardin while giving a pleasant nod to others.
Dominic has joined the nook between the garden trellises.
"Whiskey, mead, and ale helps." Freja agrees to Drea as she appears. A glance to Deva and the scout dares a smile. "I am a glutton for the flavors and luxuries of home, forever and always. Did you happen to bring any cookies?" she asks her cousin vaguely, a sly look passing briefly over her expression.
Orathy is next to Lyiana, having a quiet conversation and watching the nobles with firelight catching in his eyes.
Lost int the crowd she moves first to say greet her beloved uncle, stepping towards him and offering her hand and then a light kiss upon his cheek. "Welcome, uncle Niccolo. I am glad to see you in attendence. Thank you for coming," she speaks formally yet politely. She turns to see the new face of Orathy and she nods in his direction warmly as she waits for her uncle to reply.
Valencia owns that
Lyiana is standing near Orathy, just beside him in fact, with a hand gently on his arm and in quiet conversation, hair falling around her face.
"To the last," Niccolo decides to share Darren's response to the toast from Freja. He lifts his glass, and looking at his drink just drains it in one shot. There's a look to Acacia after his drink disappears, before he inclines his head to Darren. "Your Grace," he returns the greeting and seeing him step toward Deva, his eyes move to the princess. There they linger and he offers a faint smile in her direction. Seeing Valencia he lifts his head. "Ah, my dear niece," he greets her, and then speaks quietly to Acacia. He meets her gaze. "Indeed. Go, mingle. There's a party going on after all," he says to his protege, turning to Valencia.
Valerius has joined the benches under the oak trees.
Percephon has joined the shaded garden grotto.
Calista has joined the nook between the garden trellises.
Drea leans in close to Freja for a moment.
"Hi Mom," Deva gives Drea's arm a quick squeeze, her voice a little quiet despite the liveliness of the party. There's a laugh for Darren, accompanied by a shake of her head. "I'll believe that when I smell it." Freja's question makes both eyebrows lift high, almost startled. "I, um... no cookies tonight," she coughs a little into her hand, head shaking with an apologetic smile. "I'll make sure there are some soon, though." As Niccolo greets Darren, she tips her head respectfully in his direction, the smile returned. "Glad you could make it, your grace. It's nice to see so many faces join our northern revelry."
"Marquessa." Alis addresses Demura when she approaches the small knot of Valardin' near the bonfire. "How nice to see you here. Have you met Princess Marian yet?" she tugs on the arm of their House's Sword, her sister in law, determined to encourage some socialization here. "Let's go join Percephon over at the Grotto area. I'm sure Fiachra will find us." she adds, having spotted the Telmar from the corner of her eye.
Calista takes a seat next to the weathered Thraxian in the shadowed nook. Her guards go off somewhere to eat, drink, and be merry.
Alis has joined the shaded garden grotto.
Marian has joined the shaded garden grotto.
Demura has joined the shaded garden grotto.
Freja lowers her head, tilting an ear to whatever Drea murmurs. She nods, drinking deeply from her horn.
Kieran grins at his mother as she greets them all before chatting quietly with Valerius as the other man joins him.
"You're assuming I would use a direct assault!" Fiachra calls in Sigurd's direction, after raising his glass to Freja's toast and taking a good swallow. He does look over Morrighan, and notes, "I'm afraid I'd be little challenge to the lady." He gives her a wink, and then starts to make his way in the direction that the Valardin folks seem to be gathering.
Fiachra has joined the shaded garden grotto.
Acacia presents a general bow towards Darren, Deva and company upon Niccolo's departure. A mild watchfulness was enlisted in for the span of several moments, before a passing server provided her with enough coverage for her to slip aside -- and gain a new glass in the process.
Sasha, a smoke-gray mountain lion arrives, following Tristram.
Sigurd calls out toward Fiachra, "Very few men are, in my experience! Don't be a stranger over there, my Valardin cousins!" He says in semi-invitation before turning to respond to something his brother and Morrighan say that has him positively chuckling and then nodding in firm agreement.
While softly chattering to the Brothers Nightgold from the benches away from the majority of the crowd, Morrighan pokes her head up on occasion, eyes flitting from face to face. Spying Freja off in the distance, she lifts her arms, near flailing them about to get her attention, waving to the Princess from her perch. When she notes Drea, however? The redhead nearly squeals jubilantly, "Mother Bear!"
Valencia's dark eyes watch the woman depart and then turns to Niccolo. "You look well, my uncle," she smiles up at him, although it is a faint one. The crowd growing she steps closer to speak with him, her head leaning in close.
Tristram arrives, fashionably late, bringing his lion with him. Dressed in purple as usual, the firelight shines off of his leather duster.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Tristram before departing.
Niccolo spots Calista's bow and he dips his head in her direction. "Duchess," he greets her, and watches as she moves to sit down. "I'm glad I was able to make it as well," he assures Deva, with a faint smile. "There's a lot of people," he notes, and looks over to Freja, inclining his head to her if she catches the glance. He sees a server walking by, and claims a glass as he passes by.
"Cookies?" Darren scratches his head, looking between Deva and Freja like he is trying to deduce if this is a strange inside joke. Then, he simply shrugs, and reaches behind him to grab a bottle of whiskey from the ones laying around. He looks over to Niccolo, nodding in agreement with his own sister's words. "It probably feels good to get away from the desk for a little bit, eh, your Grace?" he chuckles, before looking over to Deva with a smirk. "Believe me. I tried a sip and it was like getting punched in the face."
Off in the garden, Percephon's attention rouses from his stare at the fire with the approach of others. While now and then his attention flickers out to the crowds, his words are kept in soft conversation with those next to him.
"Yes, cookies. They are particularly filling after a night of indulging in ..drinking?" Freja attempts to explain, coughing into her hand and looking to Deva for backup on this one. She catches Niccolo's nod of greeting and offers him a smile in return.
Lyiana stands quietly, still conversing, though she looks a hell of a lot more comfortable, though still painfully shy.
The music shifts, the music a touch more lively as a group of men's voices raise in unison. The lyrics are somber though, leaving the overall effect as bittersweet.
Kieran looks up from his quiet conversation with Valerius. "What kind of cookies?"
Deva waves in Acacia's direction, offering the woman a pleasant smile. "A lot," she agrees with Niccolo, giving the grounds a bewildered look. "People really just like it when my cousin lights things on fire," she twists to give Freja a fleeting, cheeky smile. "Cookies. Duh," she jabs Darren's shoulder casually with a fist.
Merek eventually makes his way to leave the event, having only been around a little bit.
Drea nods quietly to Freja, her eyes moving over the crowd again. "Then I'll try to make it a good one." Then she absolutely beams at all of her children, looking pleased to see them all in a festive mood. Marvelling at tem in a way only a mother could, she starts to say something before hearing her moniker called, "Hello Morrighan! You look well and absolutely radiant." she reaches for the young redhead's hand, "Come here! Let me look at you and kiss your cheek!" she says to Morrighan.
Marian speaks to the others gathered at the grotto quietly, but she does pay attention to her surroundings as the party goes on around her. She smiles a little as the men start singing, enjoying the song.
"What kind of coo..geeze, ow!" Darren winces at the jab to his shoulder, narrowing his eyes at Deva. "You don't have to hit," he scoffs, lifting the bottle to his lips for a gulp of the whiskey.
Sparte continues to walk his path through the event, just taking it all in. He isn't partaking in the food or drink, too busy staring off into the bonfire as he goes. He has a short pole over his right shoulder, three lanterns hanging in the front and three more in the back, all lit. They're incredibly dim next to the bonfire's light.
Tristram meanders over through the party, fetching up near Percephon to whom he says, "Good day, Lord Percephon!"
"Yes, I do," Deva tells her brother Darren with a strained smile.
Kieran looks to Freja as his cookies question hangs and asks another, "Are we going to be jumping the bonfire again like we did the last time?
Sigurd lifts his voice in somber tune with the song being played out as he rises to snatch another glass of /superb/ Nightgold whiskey, the bottles proudly bearing the same sigil as on his armored chest. He pours a generous amount for himself as he sings, tipping the bottle to Darren in greeting and just taking it as well back with him to the benches, pouring a generous amount into Morrighan's drinking horn and just deciding that bottle is theirs now. Meanwhile, his owl has left his shoulder, Brigid flying silently above the partygoers as if seeking something, perching eventually on a branch above Darren, peering at the squirrel on the High Lord's shoulder. "Sign me up if we do!" He breaks off his singing to call to Kieran.
Percephon's chin tips up upon hearing a familiar voice, one hand lifting to give a wave of his hand upon Tristram's approach. "And to you as well, Prince Tristram. I hope the festivities of the bonfire will find you well!"
"I probably look tired, Valencia," Niccolo mildly corrects Valencia, but still smiles faintly at his niece. "But it is kind of you to not point it out," he says to the princess. "How are you, you look as lovely as ever," and when she speaks quietly to him, he replies to her quietly. With a glance to Deva he lifts a brow. "Or maybe people just like setting things on fire in general," allowing a grin to the Redrain princess, and a look to Acacia when he speaks of setting things on fire.
"I don't light -that- many things on fire!" Freja defends far too quickly when Deva makes her accusation. She refuses to explain anymore concerning the cookies everyone is asking about, instead draining the last bit of the ale in her drinking horn and wiping her mouth with the back of her hand. "The fire is rather towering, but by all means, Kieran. Please do. You can stack the benches or the table. There is always the pit to settle your brawls, or we can have Darren bring out his bear for a touch of wrestling." A smile is shot Morrighan's way once she catches sight of her.
After a few murmured words and a healthy quaff of liquor, Morrighan rises from the benches, smiling brightly over at Drea as she moves through the crowd, meeting the Motherly Redrain halfway. "'ello Mother Bear," the redhead greets with a elated chirp, and sidles over to Drea's side, aiming to give the Princess a fond hug. "How are you? Are you enjoyin' yerself?"
Handed a broom by another carl, Agnarr keeps his grumblings to himself, heading over to the wrestling pit to give it a quick sweep.
Tristram smiles to Alis, Fiachra, Marian, and Demura alongside Percephon and says, "It is now, now that I've found such fine company/ How does the evening find you all?"
"Like I'd ever do such a thing, with those new clothes." Mydas can be heard telling Morrighan before his attention's taken by the song, and he too begins to sing along. His voice is deep, a low reverberation in tune with the choir.
Alis perks up. Did someone just suggest bear wrestling! That always catches her attention, and she looks over from her discussion to peer around. Like, where's the bear? Was that a tease?? Dammit.
Darren murmurs a few quiet words to Deva with brows lofted, before something catches his eye. He shoves off the table and ambles over to Valerius, holding up the bottle in salute for the man. "Prince Valerius," he says in happy greeting. "How are you, cousin?"
Agnarr has joined the wrestling pit.
Kieran eyes the fire. "True. I am not yet drunk enough and the fire not shrank enough." He calls back to Sigurd, "You will have to wait a bit, My Lord.".
Valerius seems pleasantly surprised by Darren's approach, his already bright smile widening as he holds his bottle up to the man in greeting. "Dear cousin, I'm doing very well, it's a pleasure to see you," he starts, capping off his words with another pull from his bottle, "And yourself? I can't imagine things are moving slowly as of right now, I do hope you're not working yourself too hard."
Marian gives a smile to Tristram and silently greets him as he comes up to the group but is distracted by other conversations so it takes her a moment to give him greeting.
Sigurd begins to sing along with his brother, his own voice a touch higher and little bit less on-key, but enthusiastic and matching the man well as he wraps an arm around Mydas' shoulder and squeezes, drinking his whiskey and seeming relaxed, pausing only to shout to Kieran, "The longer we wait, the better the performance will be." He takes another slug of the whiskey as demonstration why.
"Here, let us remedy that." Freja reassures Kieran, moving to grab a nice bottle of strong Bloodrage whiskey, pouring him a generous refill before dumping the rest of it in her horn. "Lord Sigued, I expect you to catch up and join him in the bonfire jump." She raises her voice again and calls out, "Will any others dare?"
Deva is making quick work of her whiskey. At this rate, her face is already a little flushed. She just shakes her head at Darren as he peels away. "It's a good thing, Freja," she insists, rising to slip past the woman and give her shoulder a squeeze in the process. "See? Even the Velenosans agree," a hand gestures demonstratively toward Niccolo, the grin returned. Beginning to slip through the crowd, she seems to be headed toward Mydas now.
Drea smiles at Morrighan, giving her a hug and a kiss on the cheek. "Of course I am! It always does my heart good to see everyone in good spirits and full of cheer." She rubs the young woman's arms before letting go of the hug, "And it is just getting started! I see someone's in the wrestling pit already...it looks like...Agnarr! Who do you think is going to wrestle him?" She mouths the words of the song quietly, singing along as she watches the crowd a radiant smile on her face. "Someone should have a bucket of water handy for the bonfire jump..." she says aside, in a faintly concerned way.
"I missed Princess Freya lighting things on fire?" The greeting Deva provided has Acacia shooting over a bolder grin, followed by a belated, but passingly half-formal bow in return. "Too much fun, your Highness." She caught Niccolo's eyes for a held moment, and then tracked after Freya temporarily. Tapping her finger against the side of her glass, she swung her focus back to Orathy and Lyiana.
Mydas pauses in his singing to murmur something to Sigurd, before taking another drink as he watches Deva approach. He raises his cup in salutations. "Your Highness, please, join us!"
A glint of humor comes at Tristram's words, a wry smile curling to the corner of his mouth. His eyes shift, those dark orbs soak up the others. A few faces, at least semi-familiar, catch his attention, a polite dip of his head given to Freja and Valencia before he returns to the quiet conversation at the garden.
Darren utters a low chuckle to Valerius, smirking as he takes another drink from his bottle. "Things are certainly not moving slowly, that is true," he nods to Valerius, "But the work gets done, one way or another. How are things over in the Thrax ward?" he cants his head curiously.
The musicians seem to be taking it down another notch, a calm and meditative beat when coupled with their voices leaves one feeling pensive. It works perfectly as background music, or for those of the north, a familiar song that falls the theme of ubi sunt so near and dear to their heart.
Saedrus arrives, following Sophie.
Sigurd scoots a bit to the side, leaving room for Deva to sit with the Brothers Nightgold as she will, gesturing to her as he too breaks in his singing. "Yes yes, please sit, Deva! It is always a pleasure, and I know you were hoping to catch my brother."
"You'd be a smart man nae tae ruin what I jus' finished for you t'day," Morrighan warns Mydas, giving him a narrowed look and brings a hand up to her throat bringing it across as if that was the punishment for damaging his attire. Her attention swiftly returns to Drea, however, equally as pleased to see her - and every one else - in high spirits, enjoying themselves. "Hmn, who indeed? Freja perhaps? Sigurd over there? Who else," the teen trails off, pensively assessing those within her line of sight.
"What," Agnarr may be heard quietly murmuring, lifting his head and tip-toeing to peer over towards the female voice mentioning his name. Still rather oblivious to the why, though, he returns to sweeping, bending to pluck up ... something. Is that dirt? Dried bear poop?
1 Grayson Guardsmen arrives, following Reese.
Deva has joined the courtyard benches.
"Well, if you manage to pull that off twice," Valerius says aside to Kieran, amusedly, "Then I worry I won't be able to keep up with you. I seem to only get threatened by men." Looking back to Darren, then, the Thraxian Prince gives a half-shrug, "As well as can be expected given the recent events. Though very entertaining for me, as always. You should come join me for a drink when you aren't assaulted by responsibilities, enjoy yourself for an evening."
Reese arrives while wearing a simple a off-white woolen dress. She doesn't have her all steel on. Her cheeks are paled in a subtle sign of discomfort. Golden blonde locks are loose about her slender shoulders.
"Good to see you both," Deva tells Mydas and Sigurd, giving them a smile - perhaps a tired smile, but a smile nonetheless. She sinks into an offered chair with a brand new whiskey she claimed from the serving staff. "I'm afraid I know almost nothing about economics, other than that is an important thing I have deferred to people with a better sense of numbers for. So uh."
Kieran has left the benches under the oak trees.
Freja waves her fingers in a fond hello to Acacia when she sees her. "You. You have been gone far too long and we have much to catch up on." she teasingly accuses the other woman, her eyes shifting to Deva as she passes. "If the Velenosians agree with my setting things on fire then who am I to deny them?"
Niccolo converses quietly with Valencia and catching Deva's commentary, he chuckles once. "Fire is very pretty, as long as it's not burning your valuables," he observes, bringing his drink to his lips. With a glance to his niece, he steps over to Drea. "Your Highness," he greets the woman. "Enjoying yourself?" He asks her.
Sigurd pauses for a moment as Deva joins them, taking the time to note Reese and lift an arm in greeting to her, waving to get attention and shooting her a warm, friendly smile her way. "Princess Reese! A real honor to see you!" He then looks back to Deva and his brother. "Well, I will leave you to discuss this, I have to go fret over someone." And then he's rising. "Back in a moment."
Sigurd has left the courtyard benches.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Freja before departing.
Darren grins over to Valerius, blue eyes gleaming. "You know, people make that offer all the time. And yet, without a doubt, we end up talking more business than pleasure," he laughs, shaking his head a touch. "But I will certainly join you for a drink at some point, Cousin. I'll even go down to your side of the City. I've not seen much of the Thrax ward, but I do like that one tavern you have down there. It's always so lively," he grins. "Victus and I played chess down there once."
Valencia withdraws like a shadow under the trees, murmuing a final farewell to her uncle and looking less and less comfortable at the busy event.
Valencia has joined the benches under the oak trees.
Hearing Sigurd's words, brings Reese to look in his direction. She gives him a smile of greeting that cannot quite chase that look of pain from her features. "Oh, good evening." She says in his direction while looking over the gathering and then back to him. "I figured it couldn't hurt to get out, now that I have been cleared and all."
"The Ebb and Flow has the most aggressively drunken singing in the city, of that I have no doubt," Valerius says, audibly proud, as he takes another sip and leans forward slightly, "But I assure you, cousin, I've no intentions of talking business with anyone, let alone someone I rarely get to enjoy the company of. The only business we'll be talking is whiskey and rum, and if you enjoy games as much as I do, maybe dice." After a brief pause, the Prince calls out to Freja, "If we're taking a tally, Thrax certainly approves of fire-setting, cousin. Or, I do, at least."
By the time Sophie arrives on the silk-clad arm of the ever elegant Saedrus, she already had gotten the party started. With the blissed out look (and smell) of someone who has been smoking a large amount of primo haze, she leads her friend unto the Redrain Grounds only to pause at the sight of the roaring bonfire. With wide eyes, blearily blinking every so often, she admires, "Oooooooooh," as she absently (and chastely) fondles her friend's silken shoulder. (Silk is soooooooo smoooooooth and she is soooooooooo stoned.)
Sparte is there in all his Iron Guard armor, helmet hanging from his belt. Despite that he doesn't give the impression of any sort of peacekeeper, watching the bonfire with big eyes and a goofy grin. He is having a good time, in his own way. He isn't partaking in the food or drink, too busy staring off into the bonfire. He has a short pole over his right shoulder, three lanterns hanging in the front and three more in the back, all lit. They arn't very bright, but they're one of those few sources of light outside the bonfire itself.
Sigurd moves toward Reese, his owl floating down silently from her tree to alight on her master's shoulder. Brigid then hoots, loudly and in that odd way of Barred owls, bobbing her head at Reese in avian..Something. Greeting of some sort, probably. Meanwhile, he speaks in a quiet, concerned voice to her, gesturing to one of her arms and tilting his head to the side. Not touching or overly familiar, but definitely a concerned sort of look and cast to him.
Drea sways quietly with her mug of mead in her hand, like a reed in the wind swaying to the invisible rhythm of the music. "Ah! Duke Velenosa! It's good to see you. Yes, a good time, so much good energy in this place. How are you this evening?" she smiles at Niccolo.
"Well, if I have your assurances, I'll be sure to come," Darren says to Valerius with a warm laugh, before his eyes focus on the arrival of Sophie. His attention stays there for a moment, before he clears his throat and looks back to Valerius apologetically. "If you'll excuse me, I have to go greet a friend of mine before she gets too close to the fire," he laughs, before striding over to Sophie and Saedrus, the pair earning a friendly enough nod. "Princess Sophie, I was hoping you'd make it. Who is your date?" he cants his head over to Saedrus, the man unknown to him. If he's gotten a whiff of the haze (which, let's face it, he has), he certainly isn't saying anything about it.
"The Ebb and Flow as the most aggressive drunken city?! Clearly, you have never been to a victory bonfire of Farhaven! I'll have to throw one once I return." Freja beams towards Valerius with a bright ripple of laughter. She glances to Drea and asks something softly when she manages to catch her ear.
Valencia has left the benches under the oak trees.
Reese glances over to Sparte, giving the guard a wave of greeting. She turns her focus to the owl. She seems baffled on how to greet an owl, so she gives the avian an awkward smile that might not be understood. She listens to Sigurd's softly spoken words before murmuring something silently in return.
The music softens and a solitary woman's voice rings out, clear as a bell across the din. Freja closes her eyes and hums softly along with it, before her own voice gently joins in. A few of the serving women and even a few of the female guards join in; if the males do, they are certainly brazen.
"Of course, cousin, it's good seeing you," Valerius says to Darren as he watches the man step away, his gaze trailing for a moment before it finds Freja, "If I can enjoy good drunken song and some of your best whiskey, you'll have me, Freja. You might even convince me to join in, if you ask nice enough." With that, the Thraxian Prince breaks from where he stands by the benches, and moves to join Dominic and Calista further along the grounds.
Niccolo considers Drea's question, bringing his cup to his lips once more. He looks around, eyes finding Deva first, then Acacia, then they move to Darren. He spots Calista and Valencia and gives Freja a small glance. His attention returns to Drea, and as if he was trying to make his mind, he dips his head to the woman. "Better," offers a touch of a grin at this. "We need more festivities like this one. Princess Freja has done very well putting this together."
Niccolo is overheard praising Freja.
Saedrus is draped in mourning silks, all pitch shade save the crimson thread that melts through the fabric as he moves with dancers grace. Well, it would be dancers grace if he wasn't often tugged lightly on by Princess of the Haze Sophie next to him still fondling his shoulder or sleeves. He must be playing chaperon. "Lovely, isn't it?" he says to Sophie with a purring chuckle. Evergreens lift from Sophie to Darren's approach, and whispers something soft by the Princess' ear before he greets Darren with a gracious bow-- ack, Stoned Princess on arm, pulling..silk. Ahem. He rights himself and greets, "Saedrus Cicisbeo, your Highness," with a brilliant smile, readjusting Sophie's hand on his shoulder.
Acacia's grin once more slashes across her lips as she inclines her head once towards Lyiana and then towards Orathy. She meanders through the crowds with a slower prowl, glancing to the peripheral to those gathered in more secluded corners and then approaches Freja herself, "Your Highness-- I'm kind of waiting for another bold speech or something from you. I missed them. Quite a bit really." Catching herself for a bow shortly after, she ticks a look towards Niccolo and agreeably states, "She has, your Grace. Wine?" She's hardly waited for an answer, before she's snatched another bottle to try to precisely tip his off.
Lyiana quietly slipps out of the bondfire with a wave and a smile.
Sigurd smiles warmly at Reese, patting her shoulder very gently in support of whatever words she has murmured to him. "I think it's an excellent idea," he says to the princess, turning to snag a glass from the nearby table and pressing it into her hand. "I need to get back to Deva and my brother, but you take care, alright? Don't be a stranger, just..Don't overdo it, alright?" He then moves off, his owl disturbingly turning her head almost all the way the wrong direction to peer at Reese as the man moves to the benches once more, rejoining Mydas and his companion.
Acacia is overheard praising Freja.
Sigurd has joined the courtyard benches.
Nyx, a black falcon, Lady Mischief, a fennec fox kit arrive, following Aislin.
Tristram looks up and around all the people in the area. He spots Sophie, and smiles even more, waving. He mutters something to Percephon and heads towards his cousin and her escort.
Deva looks up from where she's seated with Mydas in mid-conversation. Something must be up, given the serious look on her face. It resolves with a crisp nod for the Nightgold man, and a lift of her whiskey in his direction. Her voice lowers, expression softening a little, her posture relaxing as her level of intoxication rises at a steady pace.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Aislin before departing.
Drea nods in agreement with Niccolo, "Oh! I agree. I definitely agree." Her bright blue eyes slide over to Freja, "She is a marvel isn't she? It's an honor to know she is my blood." With that she joins along with the song, lending her warm, woody alto to the chorus of singers.
"Darrrrrrrrren!" Sophie happily exclaims in the emphatic but not really loud way of excited stoned people everywhere. "How lovely to see you. This is my dearest Saedrus, favored of the dahlias, and and your beard." Unthinkingly, the hand that was chastely fondling her friend's silk just a moment before is reaching out to rub the Highlord's jaw. "Bristly," she nigh giggles, softly, her nose crinkling at the sensation. It should be unsurprising that she does not yet notice any of her relatives.
Calista has left the nook between the garden trellises.
At the small collection of Valardin people, Percephon's attention turns to Tristram. Whatever is spoken garners a firm nod of commitment from the man and a knowing look before the Lord's attention shifts, returning to his people watching.
Calista has joined the benches under the oak trees.
Dominic has left the nook between the garden trellises.
Dominic has joined the benches under the oak trees.
Reese looks up toward Sigurd at his words, giving the man a gentle smile. "Take care." She says as he starts back toward his bench. She continues further into the gathering, her features still pained. Tristram is given a wave of greeting and then the Princess Sophie is as well. She finds a place to sit, looking exhausted.
Exiting the pits and forcing the broom back into another carl's possession, Agnarr turns to sweep a look among the people present, reaching for his hat to undo it, hanging it by the strap from his belt. Eventually he finds somewhere to sit.
Demura has left the shaded garden grotto.
Agnarr has left the wrestling pit.
Agnarr has joined the courtyard benches.
Agnarr has left the courtyard benches.
Agnarr has joined the benches under the oak trees.
"Give me more whiskey and you'll have more song from me. It is you that is lax and remiss, not I." comes Freja's verbal riposte to Valerius before he departs tos tand beside others. The praise from Niccolo and Acacia has the Northerner flushing - to which she masks behind a deep imbibing of whiskey. "If you want another bold speech, I must be given a reason to do so...or something to be angered about." A wry twist of her lips there. "Shall we go looking for circumstances to kindle one?"
Morrighan hums along to the music, weaving through the crowd with a dancing step, soon approaching where all the liquor is kept for people to drink at their leisure. There's an inquisitive quality to her gaze as her eyes flit over each bottle, indecisive on which to take. She pensively gnaws on her bottom lip, eventually procuring a bottle of Stone Mountain and makes her way back to the benches where Deva and the Brothers Nightgold have perched, reclaiming her seat.
Calista moves out from the nook to join Valerius. Dominic follows close behind. "There we go, this is better." She comments to the men.
Niccolo's answer to Acacia comes in the way of him lifting his glass waiting for her to top it off. He inclines his head in gratitude and at Drea's words, looks in Freja's direction. "She is a marvel. I've grown very fond of your family as a whole, I admit," the duke points out, with a look to Darren and Deva as well. He allows his gaze to fall on his protege next, and lifts a questioning brow in her direction.
Coming from the shaded grotto, Demura notices Reese and moves over to have a seat next to her while surveying those gathered. "Princess, It seems you do get around don't you. How're you this evening?" If Niccolo notices, he would get a wave from Demura, perhaps a signal that she wouldn't mind a word.
"Sooophie," Darren imitates his very high friend, drawling out her name with a laugh. That deep chuckle only manages to become more lively as she starts to fondle his beard, and he reaches up to steal her hand and extract it after a moment. "Yes, somebody told me I should shave, actually. Thanks for the reminder," he winks to Sophie, keeping her hand in his in a friendly sort of way - perhaps to keep her from touching anything else. Like the fire. "How are you, my friend?" he lofts a brow at Sophie, before nodding over to Saedrus with a grin. "It is nice to meet you, Saedrus. I have no idea what dahlias are, but I'm glad you are favored by them."
Niccolo does catch the wave from Demura and that garners his curiosity. He inclines his head, a sign for her to approach if she wishes.
"Well, nobody's yelled at me yet, your Highness," Acacia lamented towards Freja with a great heaving sigh as she returned the bottle after nearly topping off her own glass. After pouring her gaze about the area for a bit, she casually mentioned, "I don't suppose someone could fight the lion. Maybe you're _too_ good of a hostess and so no one is going to erupt. More drinks for everyone then?" A partial grin is concealed within the wine which quickly slides down her throat.
The music switches, a call and response set of lyrics that any Northerner would know. It is easy enough, the reptition sound that even after a few rounds of chorus newcomers can join in.
A little late, because that is how she rolls (apparently) is the tiny whisper that takes the form of Mailys. She has a flask loosely held in her hand. Around she looks, idly inspecting for someone she knows or someone she can decide to randomly hassle. Though, if people seem too occuplied she opts to find a little spot to happily drink away in.
Reese looks toward Demura, giving her a gentle smile that touches her blue eyes but still cannot chase that look of discomfort away. "Oh, I do get around." She says softly, adding a moment. "I am alright. How are you?" She days, cradling her right arm against stomach.
Aislin makes her way in to the bonfire, trailing an uncharacteristic amount of wildlife for within the city walls. She has the look of someone who hasn't had a sufficient amount of sleep lately. Still, the sound of a Northern song brings a hint of a smile to the Ashford woman's face; she might be Southern, but her Nightgold mother taught her no small number of northern songs and traditions.
Tristram looks Saedrus up and down, very curiously, measuring him, but remaining quiet as he stays just clear of Sophie and the man, waiting for her to be done with the High Prince.
"Flowers, your Highness," Saedrus explains of the dahlias with a chuckle, evergreens watching Sophie carefully as she steps up to go running her fingers through Darren's beard. The courtesan dips in an elegant bow, "this gathering is wonderful, Prince Darren, I am grateful to attend." Gesturing out across to the Bonfire that --oh Gods, Sophie please don't touch it-- burns so bright and prettily and casts a look over the crowd in the same motion. There he spies Mailys and waves to his sister-courtesan.
"No one would dare it here, not again at least." Freja smirks, recalling something given the quirk of her scarred brow. "Will you join in a dance? I remember the last time we were around one another was...at the Velenosa estate? We got Audric to dance, did we not?" A pause. "Or may not, I did leave early and was way into my cups then. Regardless, I feel as though you should learn a Norther one. Wait, lion? Since when do we have a lion? I only ahve the vulture?" She furrows her brow and lowers her voice to stage whisper, "Was that a ...drunken purchase I forgot about?"
Saedrus catches the size-up from Tristram and blinks. There is a little tip of his head before Saed bows elegantly in distant greeting. Nope. No threat here.
"Noooooooo." It would seem that Sophie is against the shaving. And then to whatever Saedrus whispers to her, she blearily blinks a few times at tells him, "Not //mine//. I mean, maybe? But only insofar that he's the only Prince Darren I know. So... like... not some other Prince Darren." has it been mentioned that she's hella stoned? Looking back to the Highlord, she eventually concurs, "He is most handsome, isn't he?" Spoken not the least bit flirtatiously. No, it's merely a statement of fact that comes out because her brain-to-mouth filter is currently non-operational. And I am horrible," she then tells Darren, "but I feel wonnnnnnnnnderful." Of course, she does. She is so baked. So baked that she still doesn't notice her poor cousin Tristram. Even though he is RIGHT THERE.
Deva twists in her chair, waving brightly at Aislin. "Ohmygods is that a TINY FOX?!" Someone is well into their whiskey by now.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Aislin before departing.
"Can a vulture take on a lion?" Acacia's brow similarly creased and her voice sunk low to match Freja's own. "--Your Highness," she adds, with a scouring of the gathering made once more. After a substantial guzzling of the wine in her hand, she relieves herself of it with a dusting of her hands and turns to face Freja, "I'm all yours for learning a dance. Should we get more people involved? Preferrably those with less balance and lots of spontaneous intentions?" She pauses briefly, before wondering further, "Does it involve fire?"
Tristram looks over to Reese and smiles and waves, adjusting to move near her while at the same time keeping Sophie and Saedrus in view. He tips his hat to the Whisper, giggles at his cousin's antics, and whispers to Reese.
Catching that return from the Duke, Demura smiles and will surely make her way over soon, but first, it seems as though there is something wrong with Reese. She can see that the woman is clearly favoring her stomach and something about it doesn't settle well with her. "Princess Reese, my dear, is there something wrong?" She asks in a hushed voice so not to arouse alarm. "You seem to be a bit, out of sorts... is there anything I can do?" There is genuine concern in that tone.
Drea looks over at Valencia when Niccolo speaks of a protegee. "You and Valencia are very close," she says to Niccolo, "Keeping close to family is a very good thing I feel. Something we should all strive to maintain." She leans back towards Freja, nodding as she hears her words, then leaning back to whisper a few of her own.
Sigurd squints across the party at Deva's words, spotting the fox...About the same time his large owl does. The bird perks up, starting to flap her wings as if to take off. He scrambles to restrain her, hissing, "nonononoBrigitno! Not food." He clamps his hands over the creature's flanks and stops takeoff, earning himself more than a couple agitated hoots and several nips of her beak. Thankfully his fingers are armored.
At the sight of Saedrus a brilliant smile is given to him by Mailys. Over to him she makes her way and easily pecks a kiss to his cheek. Beyond that she doesn't interrupt his talking to Darren. She absently offers her flask to her fellow courtesan though, it would be lucky if it is not some crazy drink given she just tells the peopel who fill it to do whatever.
Reese looks over to Sophie, she is hard not to notice right now. Her smile is gentle, her blue eyes pained. This brings her to notice Saadrus as well. She met him once before, he gets a smile of greeting as well. When Tristram draws near, she whispers back toward him.
"Ah, flowers. Of course," Darren replies to Saedrus on the subject of dahlias, before blinking at the exchange between him and Sophie. Darren's eyes flit between the high Princess-Mercy and the courtesan and back again, before he flashes a bright and charming grin in Sophie's direction. "Most handsome, eh? I'm going to remember you said that, your Highness," he winks to Sophie, uttering another low chuckle. He keeps Sophie's hand in his own, mostly because he really is afraid she's going to go wander off and touch the fire, and he applies a gentle pat to it. "It is a wonderful gathering, and the music is quite good. My cousin's outdone herself, truly," he says to Saedrus, before wrinkling his brow at Sophie. "Well I'm glad you //feel// wonderful," he says to her. He looks over as Mailys joins them, and inclines his head to her as well, before he murmurs something to Sophie.
"Ah, I wasn't speaking of Valencia, Your Highness," Niccolo offers to Drea, with a wry faint grin. "Valencia and I are close, I suppose," he admits. He dips his head at the woman about to join Freja for a dance, Acacia. "That, is my protege. Acacia Culler is her name. I've been her patron since not long after I arrived to Arx," he shares. The mention of family has him grow a little somber, but he nods his agreement. "Keeping family close is important," he echoes, thoughtful.
Morrighan , much like the rest at the benches, perks up from her spot, eyes scanning over the crowd to spy the aforementioned fox. "Where..?" she begins to wonder aloud, just a moment before Brigid near scrambles off into flight, and the redhead erupts into boisterous laughter at Sigurd's attempt to prevent the owl from swooping. Because swooping is bad.
Aislin spots her cousin Sigurd's owl headed in her direction, and promptly scoops the little fennec up into her arms. "This is Lady Mischief," she informs Deva. "A gift from Lord Killian and Prince Ainsley for my birthday, a few days ago. She is something of an escape artist, and I've found I can't always get her to stay safely at home." Her friend's inebriated state is observed, and she remarks with an amused note to her tone, "I see you've been enjoying the party?"
Alejandro stealthily strides towards Calista as she continues her conversation with the Thraxian men. The tall, dark, and handsome man politely excuses himself to murmur something to his lady. Calista gives her guard a fain nod and soon after the man slips away, she rises from the seat. "If you would excuse me, Prince Valerius, Prince Dominic. Forgive me for having to make this an early evening. I need to return home."
"And that right there is why I didn't bring Aurum." Mydas voice can be heard saying after the excitement with the owl has been controlled.
Darren whispers something to Sophie and she then asks, "Do you have bacon?" She sounds as hopeful and excited as a stoned person can. At least until she realize, "Oh." Beat. "Wait." Beat. "You make terrible bacon."
Reese turns back toward Demura again, seeming uncertain quite what to say. "I just need a little more time and I will be again, I think." She says hopefully in Demura's direction, before speaking more softly toward her. Reese is all about the whispering tonight.
"Can I hold it?" Deva not-whispers to Aislin, hands pressing to her cheeks for a moment. "It's the tiniest, fluffiest thing I've ever seen. She's so cute. Where does she escape to? Does she climb into the treehouse? I would be so sad for you if she got lost, so she better not!" There's a lot of drunken, fond gushing. She leans to mumble something quietly to the Ashford, her expression briefly faltering after she rests her whiskey on the table.
Saedrus covers any sort of desire to facepalm over his whisper being repeated aloud brilliantly. He smiles to Sophie with a little shake of his head, looking briefly between Darren and Sophie before turning attention to Mailys when she arrives next to him; the offer of the flask declined softly. "Hello darling," he greets warmly to Mailys. Then to Darren, "she certainly has, your Highness, and I will need to tell her so myself. And, perhaps I should find you something to eat, Princess Sophie?"
Sigurd has gotten his bird under control...Sorta. Slowly setting her down on one of his (armored) legs but still lightly holding her wings in place. "hey, I didn't figure people would be bringing food-sized pets to this party, brother. She's even eaten, she's just being greedy and excited." He glances to Deva, snickering at her state but seeming amused with it, only a touch flushed in the cheeks himself and still stable.
Demura leans back towards Reese and returns the soft words with her own, still not wanting to draw undue attention.
Dreas dark eyebrows shoot up and her light eyed gaze moves over to Acacia, "Oh, I see. She is quite lovely isn't she? Very radiant I must say and she must be something special to have caught your attention." she muses. With that she takes a sip of her mead with her pinky up. She sways a little to the song, "Northern songs, are you familiar with them?" she asks Niccolo.
Marian has not left her close knit group in the grotto, even as her eyes wander here and there at the other party goers' antics.
"Of course!" Freja calls out over the crowd once more, "We will do one of the more traditional dances of the North, it is simple with a few twists and fancy footwork here and there. More elegant twists of the wrists and flicks of the hands, twirls. It makes the skirts move nicely when one has a care to wear them." Freja explains to Acacia before removing her headdress and breastplate, the arm wraps - the bulk of the heavy portions of her armor. With arms and head bared, curls cascading freely down her back, she leads the Culler woman closer to the fire and begins to show her the beginning intricate steps, her laughter bright and jovial as the musicians pick up on the change in pace and play something lighter for the women to dance to - and those that may freely join in as they wish.
Aislin offers Mydas a wry smile, and then glances to Sigurd. "Cousin, it's good to see you again." The Ashford woman glances at the little fennec in her arms, before handing the playful little ball of fluff off to her Redrain friend, murmuring something quietly as she does. "I didn't actually /intend/ to bring her; I didn't notice she was following me until I was already here. She's alarmingly good at slipping out of doors -- or windows, or gods alone know where."
"They have no bacon," is crestfallen Sophie's reply to Saedrus' offer to find her something to eat.
Darren rolls his eyes at Sophie, uttering a chuckle as he shakes his head. "We don't make horrible bacon. It's just not covered in maple syrup like yours is," he smirks, before looking over to Saedrus. "I'll get her something. Just make sure she stays away from the fire," he says, before releasing Sophie's hand so he can go in search of food. He returns just a moment later, with a small bowl of assorted berries, which he thrusts in Sophie's direction. "These should be good, freshly picked," he offers helpfully.
Mydas shakes his head, though he's smirking. "Still, my point stands. Aurum would probably find most people here food-sized." He answers Aislin's smile with a grin. "A pleasure to see you, cousin. I hope you're enjoying yourself?"
Niccolo lifts a brow at Drea, and follows her look to Acacia. "She is something special. Radiant... is a good way to describe her. But she's smart and cunning. She's been instrumental in helping manage some of our interest in the docks," he further explains. "I'm not very familiar with them, but I've been tempted to ask your daughter," he looks at Deva now. "To teach me some."
Calista has left the benches under the oak trees.
Dominic has left the benches under the oak trees.
"But they have lovely fresh berries, your Highness," Saedrus assures Sophie with a gentle hand to the Mercy's back.
It takes only a couple of beats after Acacia's name was mentioned for her gaze to taper to Drea's own. She produced a bow on the spot, a mere lowering of her torso, before Freja's enthusiasm snagged her focus with an abrupt laugh. "I'm not wearing a skirt," she faux-sighed, "However, I'll remember that they will at least hide the failings of my legs. I hired a Whisper for a month once to try to give me lessons. It's why I was hoping for the fire-- Ah, shhee--" Coughing through her curse, she half-stumbled after Freja with an involuntary laugh, before she sought to emulate the woman's more practiced steps. A spin here, a rather lacking dip here, a hyper-aggressive flick of her hair when she boldly reached out to try to clasp Freja's forearm and enlist her in a turn, "Are we allowed to touch? Do I need to ask for permission first?"
Calista is a bit surprised when Dominic offers to escort her home, but she gives the large Thraxian a kind bow of her head. "Why thank you. How very gallant of you, Your Highness. Thank you." A delicate kiss is pressed to Valerius' cheek. "Yes, whatever you need. Send word my way. We will see each other soon."
Marian notices the dancing starting and then makes moves to take her leave. She gives an apology to the others, "It is getting late for me. I will take my leave." She gives her a fond look to Alis and Fiachra before then quietly finishing her drink and making her way out. Her steps are quick and precise, indicating that she didn't nearly drink enough this evening.
Marian has left the shaded garden grotto.
Sigurd turns slightly to Aislin as the woman approaches, smiling in a friendly fashion. "A pleasure as always, cousin, of course. Even if you /do/ have my bird all in a tizzy, it seems." And indeed, the bird is fluffed up to about three times her normal size, head bobbing at the Fennec fox with a gleam that is pretty unmistakable, talons flexing. "And how have you been, Aislin?"
"It is horrible," Sophie tells Saedrus as politely and quietly as possible, about non-Valardin bacon, which ends being an unintentional stage whisper. There are berries, though. "Oooh." Blearily, the Mercy blinks, eyes widening. Then, suddenly, she looks to Darren. "Where is Squee?"
Deva holds her hands out to scoop up the little fox into her arms as Aislin passes the fluffball over. "She's so smallllll," she points out the obvious, after whispering a few more quiet words. "So she's sneaky. And smart. Fitting," she grins at the Ashford, giving the woman's shoulder a bump with her own.
Having said what she needed, Demura rises and gives Reese a squeeze on the shoulder before clunking away in that armor to find Niccolo.
Aislin starts to reply to Mydas, but then turns to stare at whatever Deva whispers to her. Her mouth opens. Her mouth shuts again. For once, the Ashford explorer is actually at a loss for words. That doesn't happen often. But then she decides that rather than answering, she'll just offer Deva a sympathetic look, and turn back to her cousins. "I'm doing well enough." The shadows underneath her eyes suggest this is not /wholly/ true, but she offers the Nightgolds one of her infrequent smiles nonetheless.
Reese whispers to Demura. She whispers to Tristram. She is being way too serious for a party. Her cheeks are still pale and her blue eyes still haunted. She does smile over toward Deva and the fox, seemingly a bit cheered up by the fun they are having.
Valerius smiles at Calista's kiss to his cheek, his head dipping silently before he takes another swig from his whiskey and follows her with his eyes, "Enjoy yourself, and let me know if there's anything in particular you'd like to drink." With that, the Thraxian Prince turns about, gazes over those still lingering, and watches quietly.
Before departing completely, Calista stops to bid Darren, Deva, and Freja adieu.
Dominic nods his head, turning aside to Valerius and bowing his head politely before offering his arm to Calista and escorting her out of the ward.
3 Fidante House Guards, Alejandro leave, following Calista.
"You are allowed. Others? Not so much. Luckily, I didn't stash the gelding knife in my right boot." Freja teases, keeping her balance with an innate grace at the familiar steps. "Lean as you need and wish. You are doing far better than you give yourself credit for." She murmur something softly mid-twirl, her laughter ringing out like bells in the valley before she closes her eyes and sways to the music and the whiskey singing to her sense.
Mailys flashes a most brilliant smile to Darren when he looks her way. THe flask is brought back to her side as she says to Saedrus, "Hey Saedrus." She continues to keep relatively quiet. She is quite content to just listen until people wish to speak to her.
"Squee?" Darren looks around himself, furrowing his brow, before shrugging his shoulders over at Sophie. "Probably foraging, somewhere." Of course, as he says that, a tiny squirrel comes darting out from under a table, sprinting across the grasses and straight to Sophie. It leaps! It soars! And then crawls its way up Sophie, to settle underneath her braid in a furious sort of snuggle. "Or.. right there, actually," he narrows a look at Squee, and just shakes his head. "I swear, Squee, you are going to get me in trouble one of these days," he grumbles.
Niccolo glances at Demura from where he stands alongside Drea. "My lady," he greets armored wmoan as she approaches. He drinks, sparing a glance to Freja and Acacia his eyes lingering on the pair before his gaze turns back to Demura. "How are you this evening?"
Deva grimaces while nodding to Aislin. The fox is bounced in her arms a little, her expression fascinated and then fond, before she holds it back out to the other woman to return her mini, fluffy pet. "She's adorable," she repeats herself, hands dusting off once they're free. And then she claims a whiskey, one recently offered by Mydas. It is waved in a welcoming manner at Reese across the way. "Isn't she cute?" a thumb jerks toward the tiny creature.
Drea's eyes slide over to Deva, "I see," she pauses, nodding in greeting to Acacia in the distance "You've taken an interest in my daughter as well? Have a thing for fire I see. You should, you should definitely ask her that. Northern songs are simple, but they resonate within you. The north stays in you." With that, she steps forward a little raising her voice, "Before everyone leaves I'd like to say a few words for those who are about to take up arms, to call upon the spirits to watch over them, in the northern way."
Saedrus tries not to laugh when Sophie stage whispers over the bacon, and collects a couple of berries from the bowl. "Berries are a lovely alternative," he tells her offering one out to Sophie's lips to take. Another couple are taken up, and offered out to Mailys, adding in a soft voice, "and I hope you have had something to eat today, dear," the courtesan says to Mailys. Then, holy Lagoma there's a farking squirrel snuggling up on Sophie. "Oh, well, aren't you a surprise.." Saed says with a tilt of his head to Squee.
"So cute." Reese says in response to Deva. She gives the fox a smile, how can one not smile toward little foxes?
When Sophie sees Squee? She squees. Somewhere else in Arx, Anze shudders and gets spooked at that exact moment. The Mercy, however, is delighted. "Dearest Saedrus," she languidly coos, "this is my dearest Squee." A flying squirrel whom she's already given a plump blackberry.
2 Valorous Few novice guards arrives, following Julea.
Sigurd perks up a bit, turning toward Drea as he hears the older woman call out, going quiet and somber, even setting his glass down for the serious business she suggests.
As the women dance, the music picks up for the true reason of the night - a steady drumbeat, a heart-piercing duo of women's voices calling out and falling in slow intonations for a builing war-chant.
Quiet words are parsed towards Freja from Acacia, with intermittent laughter comfortably slipping free. Taking a cue from the Princess herself, she sought to shut her eyes -- but it lasted only for the briefest of moments, before they ticked towards those on the sidelines once more in subtle gauging. Placing her back closer towards Freja then, allowing a moment of rhythmic sway, she mentioned behind her with a bit more sincerity, "I missed the freeness if your movements, your Highness. It's been awhile. But should you need a knife, I assure you, I always keep spares, love."
Sophie also happily noms the berry Saedrus plopped in her mouth. Such a good friend, he is.
Demura approaches and gives a bow before getting to close, and then finally responds to the Duke, "My lord, we haven't had the pleasure of introductions. I'm Demura Lyonesse. I wonder if I might have a word with you regarding an ongoing pursuit of mine?" She doesn't exactly beat around the bush, instead getting down to brass tacks.
"Quite adorable creatures. At least they stay small. You see a direwolf cub and you think that SURELY their size is exaggerated. And then they grow to be near as tall as you are." Mydas remarks as he looks at the little fox.
Aislin gives Reese a smile in greeting, holding the little fox kit out to her in case she'd like to pet it. "Honestly, Killian and Ainsley dropping this little one on me is the only reason I remembered my own birthday," she admits, to both Deva and Reese. To Mydas, she remarks wryly, "You know, it used to be when I told people direwolves existed, they looked at me as if I were claiming I'd seen elves."
"Hello there, Squee," Saedrus greets the squirrel with a little grin. "He is adorable, your Highness." said in equal parts to Sophie and Darren.
Freja ceases her dancing and turns her full attention Drea, even the music seems to soften at the High Shaman's words.
"She has quite the love affair with my squirrel," Darren says to Saedrus, managing to not even flinch when Sophie squees at Squee. Instead, he simply chuckles. "Squee has been sad you haven't been sending letters lately, Sophie. I have no excuse to send her over there so that she can get another berry bath," he smirks. His eyes linger over to Mailys after, and he cants his head over to her. "There's other food around here. And drink, too. You should help yourself."
"Your daughter was a good friend of mine," Niccolo says to Drea, sounding a little nostalgic. "She's been a good friend to me, during this difficult time," he adds, sparing a look in Deva's direction. When Drea steps forward to speak, he offers a respectful dip of his head and instead, lets his attention wander back to Demura. "A pleasure to meet you, Niccolo Velenosa," he introduces himself. "Of course. Is it something you wished to speak about here? Or did you want to meet later to do so?" He wonders.
Reese reaches out to tentatively pet the little fox. She gives Aislin a smile. "Oh, a birthday present." She says and smiles, her joy is real, but so is her pain also and the smile is not a bright one. She is not far from Tristram and Reese whispers back toward him.
Mydas smirks. "Please, send them my way. Aurum enjoys making people run out of the manor screaming of monsters. It makes getting messages in time a terrible burden." he replies to Aislin, before pausing to listen to Drea's words.
Agnarr has left the benches under the oak trees.
"It was your birthday? Fuck." Deva, with her arms free save for a bottle in her hand, twists to try and hug Aislin. It's a valiant effort, at least. As Drea calls for attention, she twists in her chair to look toward her mother.
Seemingly content with himself, Valerius breaks from his spot by the benches, makes his way over towards Darren, Freja, and Deva, and raises his bottle to them in passing. "I do believe it's time for me to leave," the Thraxian Prince says, his head bowing slightly, "But it's been good seeing you, cousins. If you'd let me, I'd love to have a family dinner at the Thrax Estate in the near future. I'll invite Jaenelle and Leona, and we can catch up."
Acacia provided the trailings of a slim smile upon the repeated whisper of the word, visible when she moved from her position to pivot at the side, "Vices." She similarly stopped beside the woman, with only a modicum of breath needed to be gathered afterwards. She provided Freja with an appreciative bow, "You do me much honor." She studied Freja's profile for a span of several breaths, before providing Drea with fuller focus.
Sigurd murmurs aside to Mydas, "We could get Blitz and Tempest and Enigma too, have them face a whole pack at once. Enough to make most sane men piss themselves, really." he snickers, but most of his attention is on Drea, hands folded in his lap.
"Don't you think she'd look lovely in Valardin blue, my darling?" Sophie asks of her oh so stylish courtesan friend. Saedrus would know, Darren. Saedrus would know. Then, "You could write to me, you know," she tells the Highlord.
Aislin offers Reese a look of concerned sympathy, but doesn't say anything aloud; instead, she turns her attention to Drea as well. (This might unintentionally move her just enough to make Deva's attempted hug fail utterly.)
Deva drops her arms and clings to her whiskey, instead. Chugchug.
Drea joins in with the women singing, her alto merging with their voices once again. She begins to sway to the rhythm of the drum beats, almost as if the beating drum takes over her body. Her slender arms raise, her frame a silhouette in the distance of the firelight, her visage brightly lit to those nearby with an orange glow. Her voice raises as she sings louder, her head turned upward toward the darkened sky
On this earth in this fateful hour
Julea steps quietly out from the forge on the northern side of the Redrain grounds, her shoulder coming to rest against the wall as she looks around from beneath the angled brim of her tricorn hat. One of her hands slides into the front pocket of her pants and there's a small smile forming as she watches people interact.
"I could write to you," Darren agrees to Sophie, adding a little more firmly, "I /should/ write to you. I will. There's some things I need to talk to you about, anyway. When you aren't..." He flourishes a hand, smiling. "Feeling so wonderful," he chuckles, before growing silent as his mother speaks, turning to look over to Drea and focus upon her.
At the garden, Percephon turns to leave. One last look is ast around before than man tugs his coat closer about him to ward off the chill that sets in as he departs from the fire, and those dark eyes cast one last look to note faces before he slips off down the road.
Percephon has left the shaded garden grotto.
"Earlier." Mailys tells Saedrus, in a vague sort of way. Which likely means it has been a fair bit of time. "I missed you terribly so I had to come find you." a little teasing to her fellow courtesan, likely. Though her voice doesn't lack affection. Then back to Darren the little Mailys looks, giving him another bright grin, "I am already helping myself to something quite enjoyable." she assures and beams, yet again, at him. She purposefully doesn't explain what leaving him to draw his own conclusions.
Alis is definitely well into her cups by the time it looks like she and the Greenmarch Lord she arrived with are preparing to leave. Has she seen Sophie? Maaaaaaybe. A glance is cast that way with mild concern. But, apparently she is well handled! Waves all around before it's time to wind through the crowd and head home.
Alis has left the shaded garden grotto.
Fiachra has left the shaded garden grotto.
Fiachra leaves, following Alis.
"Very dashing," Saedrus assures to Sophie of Valardin blue for the little squirrel. A warm chuckle escapes his lips as Saed looks to Mailys and he reaches out to curl slender fingers about her arm and draw her close to his side. He falls quiet then and looks up towards Drea as she speaks.
Reese pets the fox for a few moments, seeming to take comfort in its super adorableness power. She gives Aislin a gentle smile while remaining close to Tristram.
I place all the shining lands with its power
the sun with its brightness
the snow with its whiteness
the fire with all the strength it hath
the lightning with its rapid wrath
the winds with their swiftness along their path
the sea with its deepness
the rocks with their steepness
the earth with it starkness
all these I place
With the spirits almighty help and grace
between myself and the powers of darkness.
Drea sings, swaying gently to the rhythm, "Watch and protect these brave souls, please spirits!" she says lowering her arms.
Espying Julea's arrival, Agnarr drifts her way, wordlessly passing her a cup of whiskey before moving to stand off by the side, watching Drea.
Drea checked mana + occult against difficulty 25, resulting in 52, 27 higher than the difficulty.
Julea takes the cup of whiskey, curling fingers around it she gives Agnarr a grateful look for it, saluting him with the vessal before her attention too goes to Drea. She draws a step closer to the giant Redrain, lingering by his side, she brings her free hand to her forearm, brushing fingers over the goosebumps that form on her skin.
Sigurd closes his eyes, letting Drea's words flow over and around the area as he murmurs a few words quietly to himself, looking actually more than a bit comforted by them. He sighs in relief, turning toward the others and murmuring quietly, "Well said." He then starts to raise, making quiet, murmured pardons for farewell, looking a little flushes and in his cups as well as he wobbles a bit on his feet, looking much relieved at the blessing.
"Protect these brave souls, until the last." Freja echoes and raises her drinking horn before tilting it back, draining every last drop of whiskey that had remained.
Valerius has left the benches under the oak trees.
Drea nods to Freja, raising her horn, "TO THE LAST!"
Tristram drifts off, the crowd is too much for his player right now.
Mailys settles against Saedrus when he draws her into his side, resting against him comfortably. Towards Drea Mailys also glances, faling silent as well.
Sasha, a smoke-gray mountain lion leaves, following Tristram.
"Oh no, my lord. Here is quite alright. It's just that I'm going to be heading a march into the Oathlands to help rid it of the vile sort that plagues the lands of my allies and myself. Also, Duke Cristoph is enacting a march to rid the lands of the Bringers. I understand that there is a vastness between our lands, but I would be honored by your support in the matter." She smiles and takes a breath having gotten it all out. It's clear she is the sort that is more about action than conference.
"Cheers," Deva chimes in, whiskey held high as Drea finishes. Her posture remains otherwise slumped and casual in her seat.
Darren murmurs something under his breath at the end of Drea's song, closing his eyes just briefly before he shakes his head and turns back to Sophie, Saedrus and Mailys with a light smile. The latter of that group earns herself a loft to Darren's brows. "Ah, I didn't actually see you partaking in anything at all, but I'm glad you are enjoying yourself. I didn't catch your name?" he asks Mailys, canting his head curiously, before he looks back to Sophie and reaches out over her shoulder to give the squirrel hiding under her braid a little nudge. "I'll send Squee your way soon, Sophie. I know you don't actually want a letter from me, but I'll send you one anyway," he chuckles, unhooking his flask from his hip and unwinding it, before passing it over to Sophie. "Take a sip of this, please," he encourages, before murmuring something to her.
"TO THE LAST!" Mydas' voice roars in echo, raising his own cup, fierce pride written on his face before he turns back to his companions.
Reese smiles over to Julea and the Giant. She then looks upon Drea, her attention drawn by her song. She sucks in a soft breath. The song is comforting to. The blonde princess sinks down against the nearest bench. She waves to Tristram as he starts to leave.
Sigurd lifts his voice, adding the Nightgold's own words to those of the Redrain, "From the depths comes courage!" As he drains the rest of his glass, thumping Mydas on the shoulder and starting to move off, doing the same for Morrighan and Deva.
The bonfire continues well into the night, the musicians staying out as long as people require them. The guards will tend to the fire and any drunkards that may think to try and jump over the flames - now one story tall.
Darren is overheard praising Freja.
Deva is overheard praising Freja.
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