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Remember the Children

In the midst of all the turmoil within the city, it is easy to forget the little person. In this case, they are literally the little people. Alarie is calling forth people both high and low to come and remember the orphans of the city. She is sponsoring a toy drive. Bring a toy to donate to the children, offering them a bit of extra cheer. There will be prizes for the fanciest, most unique, and silliest toy!


Feb. 11, 2017, 1 p.m.

Hosted By



Acacia Tobias Belladonna Cassius(RIP) Ywaine Rook Leta Michael Eirene Sparte Max(RIP) Sarielle(RIP) Samantha



Arx - Ward of the Compact - Menagerie Front Gate Plaza

Largesse Level


Comments and Log


I put up my first event! It was exciting to do! I had so many people show up, bringing toys to donate to the orphans. The people present voted on the toys to see who brought the silliest, fanciest, and most unique toys. I did not vote myself, though I was partial to the little giraffe donated by Lady Samantha and the warship donated by Count Maximilian. It was a fun event, children were laughing, and the adults even seemed to be smiling. It warms me that so many showed up to give favors to the forgotten orphans of Arx.

An Unremarkable Associate arrives, following Acacia.

Pariah, The StormCrow, 5 Redoubt Buccaneers arrive, following Maximilian.

Maximilian arrives, following Alarie.

Alarie drops TOYBOX - Put toys here.

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

Sarielle arrives, following Michael.

Just as the event is about to begin, a pair of burly Thraxian men walk in carrying a toychest. Behind them is Alarie, smiling and fidgeting in nervousnous. The box is set down where she indicates and the seamstress quickly thanks the men. She steps up and lifts her arms, "Hello everyone! Thank you for coming!"

Maximilian steps off to the side, and while he wasn't one of the men carrying the chest, his guards were. He tips his head to the seam stress, and holds a cloth wrapped bundle in his hands.

Acacia slinks through the entranceway with a measured gaze upon the crowds and a small smile spared aside for the multitude of children. Her head ticks to the side when she stills for Alarie's announcement, with a roguish grin shared, before she simply initiates an applause on the spot with a slender teak box bracketed beneath one bent arm.

The menagerie is one of Samantha's favorite places in Arx, though it's been a while since she's been here. She's clutching a stuffed animal in her hands, a lovingly sewn and stuffed giraffe. Or what is presumably a giraffe. Hey, she tried, right? Surely some child will love it.

Maximilian unwraps his bundle, revealing - Hey - THe sailor brought a boat. Go figure - a toy boat. Way to play against type, Max.

Maximilian drops A toy warship with black sails and a glittery figurehead.

Leta enters the menagerie in an easy swaggering stride, a bright smile dancing on her lips as she takes in the decoration and the children running around, careful not to bump into any. One hand rests near her sword, though she's not particularly worried some tyke will run off with the big two-handed thing. The other hand carefully holds a rag doll, a soldier of some sort with a big red hat and a sword. Looking to the sound of Alarie's voice, the sellsword stops and looks around.

"It's been ages, since you fixed up my dress for the Duke and myself, Mistress Alarie," Acacia fondly relays to the woman once she wends her way through the front of the crowds a bit further. "And then, well--" Her lips quirk with a modicum of humor, "-- fixed it again shortly afterward. Thank you." The teak box is deposited with care within the marked container with a brief explanation, "It's what I would've favored as a child. Well kind of. Should we just-- you know. Flit about? Greet each other? Wait for some elaborate introduction? Chase children about? ... For athletic purposes."

Acacia drops a slender wooden box of polished teak.

Alarie smiles brightly, though clearly nervous. A young boy runs to the front to look to the toys that have accumulated in the front. The lad's eyes go wide. "Wow!" He announces aloud. Alarie smiles to the boy, then looks out to the crowds. Alarie looks to Acacia, smiling fondly. "It -has- been ages! We should catch up soon!" She then clears her throat and lifts her voice for all to hear. "We can all agree that our city has been in a lot of turmoil of late. There are some of us that can't weild a sword or shoot an arrow. We rely on the warriors of our culture for that! Some, like myself, have stopped to ask, 'How can I help?'. I tell you, we have to look no further than our own home right here in Arx. There are people that suffer. There are hungry people. There are those who cannot fend for themselves. So, today I have chosen a nearly forgotten populace. The orphans. Without families, homes, or people to care for them, they often must rely on the charity of strangers for survival. Some may find themselves led into a life of crime. I implore all of you to reach out and find kindness in your hearts towards the least of these."

Cassius arrives, following Belladonna.

Alarie has just given her opening statement, and people stand around holding various gifts for the toys. (Paged opening statement inc)

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

Alarie looks out to the crowd, trying to judge their reactions to what she has to say. "So! Those of you who have brought toys! Please! Bring them forward! Let us take a look at your creations and donations! Let us have fun judging the most unique, the silliest, and the fanciest of toys! Please remember, these toys will all be given into the hands of children. Bring them a little joy and show them that we can be kind to one another."

The clanking of armored men can be heard behind Tobias as the Mercenary General walks into the proceedings, his red and black tunic adjusted for the weather, and his swor scabbarded to the side. The six bodyguards behind him fan out at the entryway -out of the way but within sight- as Tobias himself looks around. "Don't see these very often. Good stuff." Tobias gives a smile as he heads over to a bench, sitting down as he watches the proceedings.

The Duchess and Duke of Setarco arrive at the Menagerie. That is, of course, Belladonna and Cassius Pravus. The Duchess is almost dressed in some number made of fine silk, fitting the leader of the Silken City, but it's truly impossible to tell because she is covered in a heavy winter cloak. The Duke, not too unlike the Duchess, is draped in a heavy black cloak made of a wolve's pelt. It's decidedly Northern and fairly unrefined, but almost surely warm. Of course, all of that is likely overlooked by what the Duke carries in his hand. A stuffed toy horse, with an alicorn strapped to his head. It's white and pink and so very brightly colored and ridiculous. Obviously Cassius likes unicorns. Cassius makes his way over to Alarie, leading Belladonna, until he's close enough to speak to the woman. "Good day, Miss Alarie. Where might I put this?" he asks, about his unicorn.

Maximilian stands off to the side, the toy ship in his hands - which is somewhat incongruious, the big man, the black armor, the liquid shadow cloak... the grim, scowling face.

The glittery boat.

With Sarielle on his arm, Michael casts a side glance to his Lady Cousin and manages a lopsided, undeniably boyish, grin. His lips part as if he aims to say something, but thinks better of it and accepts his silence to listen to Alarie's greeting and words. His smile extends into a brighter grin and he looks towards the puppy in his other hand. He guides his cousin towards the front following Alarie's invitation to bring the donations forward, "As always, you did well, Lady Sarielle,."

It's cold. It's stupidly cold. And the event is outdoors. Yes, Belladonna is in a heavy cloak, and it's pulled as closely around her as she can manage while still walking and staying on Cassius's arm. She does flutter a smile for Alarie when Cassius greets the woman, giving a dip of her head, but she doesn't offer up any words.

Acacia initiated applause before, preemptively perhaps, and seems to have little trouble starting it once more. A hint of amusement continuously infects her visage, before she steps back a bit with a hand very casually diving into the confines of her cloak to withdraw a flask. After unscrewing the top and indulging in a small sip, she confides aside to Maximilian in cordial deadpan, "It's a very glittery boat, my Lord."

The more distant Bisland gives the bearest hint of smiles towards those present, her fingers loosely curled around a doll. She moves with the grace expected of a noblewoman. "I simply assured we would have sometihng appropriate, Lord Michael." When they get to Alarie SArielle gives her a polite smile and incline fo the head in greeting. The doll she holds is placed in the place it is suppose to be then she silently waits for Michael to do the same. It's a good thing she is on the more social arm of her cousin.

Maximilian glances sidelong to Acacia. "This is a model of the Enrapturator. It.... was named by the late Countessa Nekarris, who was... unique... in her design choices. I can say with pride, that due to the ribbing and insults the sailors of the Enrapturator receive? It is one of the most brutal ships in my squadron. A fine ship."

Sarielle puts a darling doll wearing an elengant gown in TOYBOX - Put toys here.

Leta tucks the rag doll under her arm, carefully, and lifts her hands to clap at Alarie's announcement, though there's a faint wry quality to her smile. It comes and goes, giving way to a sunny expression once more as she strolls around, before heading towards the other toys are being kept, hesitating a moment as she looks about. After giving the little rag doll a few final tweaks, she putting it down by the toy box.

Cassius puts a white stuffed horse toy with a white-and-pink-striped horn tied to it's head in TOYBOX - Put toys here.

Michael puts an adorable little puppy doll with floppy ears in TOYBOX - Put toys here.

Maximilian picks up A toy warship with black sails and a glittery figurehead.

Maximilian puts A toy warship with black sails and a glittery figurehead in a slender wooden box of polished teak.

"Don't be shy! Come up and take a look at what people have put up for display! Enjoy the generosity of others! The voting will happen soon!"

Acacia gets A toy warship with black sails and a glittery figurehead from a slender wooden box of polished teak.

Acacia puts A toy warship with black sails and a glittery figurehead in TOYBOX - Put toys here.

Acacia gets deadly point of the unicorn oathlands steel dagger from a slender wooden box of polished teak.

Acacia puts deadly point of the unicorn oathlands steel dagger in TOYBOX - Put toys here.

Acacia picks up a slender wooden box of polished teak.

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

With the stuffed false-unicorn given to Alarie and added to the chest, Cassius dips his head and then turns off, leading Belladonna with him. He gives a brief look around, that stern look on his face. He notes a few people. "My lord," he greets Michael. "Miss Leta," he grumbles out towards that woman, as he steps away from the toybox. He angles himself towards Max. "Max," he says. "Giving away your fleet, I see?" he grumbles out.

"Just an awesome part of it." says Max. "I assure you, our actual ships are a little bigger."

"Count Darkwater," Belladonna does speak up to greet him, offering over a smile. The others get little nods of her head in greeting, and she follows Cassius as he moves. There's a chuckle for Max's response about the fleet, her expression briefly thoughtful before her smile turns amused.

A small nod is given to Alarie, and Michael looks at the items that have been donated before his attention turns back to Cassius. His chin tucks towards his chest in greeting, "Duke." And then, with Sarielle's arm still laced through the crook of his, he motions towards her, "Allow me to introduce my cousin, Lady Sarielle Bisland."

Alarie chuckles in Max's direction. As people mingle and take a look at the various toys, she takes a minor break to give them time to do so. "This one seems to be the finest of the fleet. It's a truly generous donation. I know a little boy will be happy to have that ship."

Maximilian tips his head to Belladonna. "Duchess Setarco." Says Maximilian, looking to the toy thats placed in the bin. He glances at Belladonna, then the toy, brows lifting in amusement. "Then that boy shall be a fine sailor in time, a dream kindled by a mote becomes a leviathan on the horizon of time."

There's a laugh as Max jests from Tobias. "I should get you drunk on something other than rum sometime, Count Darkwater. I'd bet a barrel of Lycene wine you'd be the life of a party." Tobias breathes a bit, then gestures to the six at the entrance to spread out a bit.

"M'Lord." Leta says to Cassius with a broad smile and a respectful nod, watching the other toys put in the box alongside her doll. "M'Lady." she adds to Belladonna, since she's right at his side. Then she steps back, after directing a few more "M'Lords." and "M'Ladies." all around. There, now she can take a breath, until her gaze comes to rest on Samantha. After another brief hesitation, the sellsword heads in that direction, offering the Marquessa a quiet nod and a smile on approach.

Belladonna checked composure + etiquette against difficulty 15, resulting in 36, 21 higher than the difficulty.

"I remember the Countessa," Acacia replies towards Maximilian, the flask hovering briefly about her lips. Ending that there, she turns her head merely to share a slim smile aside towards the Count, "I wasn't, however, aware of the story. It's a good one. You should tell it to the children." The suggestion comes with a lighter smile, before she steps back with a simple perfunctory bow provided the duo of Cassius and Belladona. Stepping back to excuse herself from such company, she adjusts herself nearer the box to chance a peer into the contents before further remarking to Alarie on her way past, "This was truly a good idea, by the way. The Duke sent you missive, aye? For his absence?"

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

Pawn, the courtier's apprentice, Quiet, the Grayward champion arrive, following Rook.

"Remember, Max... it's not always about the size of the ship," Cassius murmurs to the black-clad man. "Sometimes being manueverable and quick is preferred," he says. Because clearly Cassius, the mountain man, is well versed in things nautical. Cassius says this all, of course, with his usual gruff tone and no bit of humor. Cassius angles a look to Tobias. "I assure, my lord, Max is an equal opertunity drinker. No xenophobia in his county, not when it comes to getting inappropriately drunk." Cassius spots Acacia and returns her nod, then finally swings back to Michael. "Good to meet you, Lady Sarielle," he says. "My wife, Duchess Belladonna," he says, to Michael and Sarielle, handling introductions. Cassius must be in a good mood, all this talking he's doing!

Ywaine arrives with a large bag over his shoulder. The big man doesn't have his Crimson Blades tabard on today, just a small sidearm and dagger and regular clothes. He approaches the area to drop off the toys - making it clear these are commissioned, not hand made, along wtih a donation as well. He completes his task, folding the sack up with neat hospital-like corners, no doubt the vestige of military training. He looks around, taking his measure of the area.

Maximilian purses his lips - but says nothing further, amused. He glances back at Alarie, grinning slightly.. "I'm not much of a storyteller, Miss." He says to the other sailor. "Blood and guts and tits? Not for the kiddies."

Samantha checked dexterity + all against difficulty 10, resulting in 11, 1 higher than the difficulty.

"Oh, he can be," Belladonna looks over towards Tobias with a laugh. It's followed by an amused look for Max, a smile and a nod for Leta. Acacia's bow has her tilting a nod that way. The suggestion that Max tell one of his stories to children has her laughing abruptly before she catches it, clearing her throat. Oh, and she's being introduced. "My lady, it is a pleasure," she offers up warmly. While she is being a bit quieter than is generally normal, she's smiling and seems mostly relaxed, for all that she's perhaps a bit overly attentive to the surroundings.

Samantha drops a hand sewn giraffe.

Samantha picks up a hand sewn giraffe.

That boy that was gawking at the toys earlier, looks up to Max and smiles. "Blood, guts, and tits!"

"We're -late-," is being shared by Rook to his apprentice as he marches along the pathway up toward the gathering. "-Late-!" is reiterated by the lord courtier, as if this is the worst thing in the world. "It simply won't do," comes the insisted utterance. With his visor up, the swan plumes on his helmet bob erratically, swaying in the breeze created in his quick walk. The lumbering champion behind him seems in far less a hurry, detatched by a good few feet.

Samantha puts a hand sewn giraffe in TOYBOX - Put toys here.

Maximilian glances at the boy - grinning slightly and slipping him a coin. "Go find priest Sebell... and tell him Darkwater sent you."

Carissa, a Malvici bodyguard arrives, following Eirene.

"And he has his first admirer." Tobias says with rueful humor. "Corrupting the lads at a young age? I can see your game now."

When introduced to Cassius Sarielle gives a polite smile to him then Belladonna, "Duke and Duchess." she greets. She keeps her hand lightly tucked in the crook of her cousin's. She gives a brief glance around and all are given a polite smile but she does not move to talk to anyone outside where Michael is.

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

Samantha seems a touch troubled by how well...simple the giraffe she made is. But determinedly, she puts the stuffed animal into the toybox. It isn't perfect, but for the right child, she hopes it will be well loved.

Maximilian asks then - lifting his voice. "Marquessa Deepwood? Did you make that animal with your own hands?" he inquires, no scorn or judgement in his tone.

"I didn't add the tits part in, my Lord," Acacia casually reminds Maximillian, with with a rather failed quelling of the grin which pervades her countenance. As that expression dampens slightly, she elaborates a tiny bit more seriously, "These children grow up fast. As much as we try to protect them, or donate to them. Besides-- blood, guts? You could just--" She pauses, glancing briefly towards Cassius and Belladona, before opting, "Add a unicorn?" There's a small amused loft of her brows, before she steps back further to escape the path of Rook by a mere strategical step and a light, though corrected greeting of, "Roo-- Lord Rook."

the boy takes the coin and blinks. "Ok!" He says and darts off into the crowds.

Eirene checked dexterity + all against difficulty 10, resulting in 16, 6 higher than the difficulty.

Alarie checked dexterity + all against difficulty 10, resulting in 19, 9 higher than the difficulty.

Maximilian murmurs somethign quiwet to Acacia.

"I did." Samantha affirms, turning from the toybox to smile at Maximillian. "I'm afraid it's not very good, but now and again I like to make little toys like that. But I think you know how fond I am of the menagerie, yes? That ship was exquisite, by the way."

Cassius dips his head to Sarielle, then turns to eye the kid. And then eye Max. There's a shake of his head. He angles his gaze to Belladonna, then. "Should have had Felix make up some wooden swords and shields, with the Knights' sigil on them," he tells her. "Start them on a proper path."

Eirene brings toy swords. What else would House Malvici bring to such an event? Her aide carries a bundle in her arms which are brought to the toy box. Even as Cassius makes a similar suggestion. She scowls as a few kids run across her path, hands on her skinny hips.

Eirene puts City of Swords black opal Oathlands steel hairpins in TOYBOX - Put toys here.

"Don't they usually squire at that age anyway? Seems like a good fit, that one." Tobias offers, helpfully.

"Well met, Lady Belladonna," Michael gives the woman a bright toothy grin. He chuckles lightly at the notion of Max as an equal opportunity drinker, and tacks on, "I suspect you're in good company, Milord. Equal opportunity drinkers abound across Arx." His smile turns crooked and he casts another glance towards Sarielle at his arm. He turns his gaze towards his sister, "Your artistry far surpasses mine." He motions towards Sarielle, "Lady Sarielle relieved me of such efforts."

Eirene gets City of Swords black opal Oathlands steel hairpins from TOYBOX - Put toys here.

Eirene puts Malvici Crested Wooden Swords in TOYBOX - Put toys here.

"Mistress Gull, hello! How do you do?" comes Rook's reply to Acacia, a brilliant smile on his fair face. "Aren't you a stranger, I haven't seen you in some time. A nice reprieve from capital drama, I hope?" A gold, gauntleted fist is clenched and pumped to the air with as much enthusiasm as the overlapping steel plates will let him. "I made it here in one piece, did you come here also to share something with the youth of our populace?" As he says this he arranges the exchange between him and Pawn, taking a pouch he undoubtedly intends for the cause.

Ywaine approaches Tobias, finishing folding his bag just so and shoving it into his belt. "General, cousin. I brought some toys. Never had the skill for woodworking, myself, but I commissioned some wooden daggers and swords and shields and wagons and whatnot," he says as he approaches. He pats his belt pouches, coming out with a cigarillo that he shoves into the corner of his mouth.

"Oh, that would have been perfect, too," Belladonna chuckles, glancing over towards the place where the toys have been set. "We can send them over later; I'm sure they'll be distributing them all for a few days." She smiles up towards Cassius, then tips her head to Michael. "Well met," she offers.

"I'm sure," Cassius echoes Belladonna, with a nod. He then looks over, as Eirene enters. "Lady Eirene," he calls across the way. "A pleasure to see you," says Cassius, in his loud, gruff voice.

Alarie allows the mingling to happen for a few more minutes before she moves to retake her place. She lifts her hands to get people's attention. "Alright! We have our donations in place! I would like to hear people's votes for the different catagories! The only rule is you cannot vote for your own donation!" She smiles. "If everyone did that, then we would have only ties!" She chuckles. "Alright! First would be the Fancy section! Please call out which toy you deem the fanciest!"

When Michael speaks to Samantha Sarielle looks mildly surprised to see her, having missed her other cousin in her initial glance. The smile she gives Samantha is still polite but it holds affection in it. "Marquessa Samantha. IT is a pleasure to see you again." She gently guides Michael to move closer to Samantha.

Acacia scoffed out a bout of laughter at Maximilian's whisper, before replying with a mirthful tone, "Perhaps they'll agree with you. Or the boat will. But that's what the unicorn was for anyways, wasn't it? Either way! Good gift. I meant that seriously." She brandished a lingering grin further, before her focus strayed in return towards Rook with a questioning waggle of her finger, "Wait, wait. You're Gull, because you fly. I'm Sage. And Sky--" She pauses, before reiterating, "Very nice. You look... very gold. Dedicatedly gold. Rich, really. But yes. I commissioned a high quality steel dagger from Dame Ida. Because children need..." There's a light shrug, before she finishes, "... really sharp knives. What are you donating? ... Did you know that you're late?"

Leta circles around to tag after Samantha towards the toy box once more, peeking in at the giraffe before offering a nod to the woman, "M'Lady. Um. Samantha." she adds the latter in a softer voice to match her smile, though she only does so when the Marquessa is not otherwise occupied with conversation. "Made mine myself." she comments with a brief nod, before turning her attention to Alarie's announcement.

The six Crimson Blades bodyguarding Tobias look to Ywaine briefly as he approaches Tobias, but otherwise go back to their vigil. Tobias gives a grin to Ywaine and gestures to the chest. "I understand we're supposed to put them in there." Tobias gives a gesture to his bench, then. "Feel free to mingle, or sit with me. I'm here mainly to keep the peace."

Samantha blinks as she spots Sarielle. "Sari! Why are you being so formal? We're practically cousins." Making her way over. "And you managed to lure Michael out of his hidey-hole. Good." Samantha drigts over to them, and moving in to offer kisses to their cheeks. "I hope you're resuming your duties with the Iron Guard. They need every good man and woman." She then ah's, "Hello, Leta." Her smile is accented with dimples.

Samantha calls out to Alarie, "The ship, if you please."

Cassius calls out to Alarie, "The rag doll soldier!" That's his vote, for fancy.

"The ship," Acacia casts her vote aside towards Alarie.

"Looks like I showed up on time," Eirene replies with an amused snort to Cassius as she dodges another barrage of rushing rug rats. She makes a small nod of her head to the Pravus'. "Duchess, Duke. What'd you two toss in the box?" She raises her eyebrows as she walks over, not quite joining them but lingering nearby. "Fancy is the first category? The solider is pretty adorably fancy In that hat." And again- there's a smirk to Cassius.

Sparte enters the grounds looking every bit as young spirited as some of the children here despite his armor. He has a small sack of balls over one shoulder, a simple toy but one he could affort to get many of. He heads straight for some of the children playing, a hand rummaging through his bag as he approaches. The rest of the attendees he isn't even registering right now.

Maximilian calls out... "the long necked beast".

"I -know-, I'm -late-," Rook almost sobs, yet his voice strains just closer to that border before springing back to cheerful with the elasticity of a bow string. If anything is thought on for his misnaming Acacia, he doesn't say so anything to it. "A dagger doesn't seem really appropriate but look who that is coming from, hm?" The remarks on his glimmering armour cause him to laugh and he nods, simply: "It's ornamental! Yet, it has to serve a brief purpose of leaving me decidedly unstabbed when I ride with Duke Bisland's forces on the morrow." The pouch he jingles comes with a guilty confession next, "I didn't bring anything, so I'm going to donate a little coin to the cause and just watch the lovely event unfold. Sadly I've been far too busy to see to having anything made. For shame, I know."

Michael is easily drawn closer to Samantha, and he manages a dimpled grin for his sister. His arm drops for Sarielle's just to make his cheeks more easily accessible, and he aims to kiss her cheeks in turn. "I don't hide as often as all of that--" he objects with a laugh in his voice. "I have been..." his lips twist to the side uncertainly at Sam's assertion about the Iron Guard, "rather busy with the Guardsmen as of late." Despite himself, his eyes darken slightly and then, with a faint twitch, he offers Sarielle his arm again.
Micheal calls to Alarie, "The doll with the crown!"

Cassius casts his vote, then angles his gaze towards Eirene. "The stuffed horse, faking at being a unicorn," he offers up to her. "It has served House Pravus faithfully for nigh two months, I do believe, and as such I've relieved it of its watch, that it might attend to the children of Arx. Dutiful defender it is," he says, his voice stern and clear, as if he were addressing his troops.

Belladonna laughs as she glances sidelong up for Cassius for his vote, gaze sweeping over the toys all over again. So thoughtful. Eventually, "The doll with the yellow dress." Other than that she's staying rather quiet. She does look to Eirene when the woman speaks to she and Cassius. "The unicorn," she offers softly. "Lady Malvici." The greeting is paired with a tilt of her head before she's back to being attentive of the surroundings. So many children. She doesn't seem to be paying them much mind, though.

"Fair enough," says Ywaine to Tobias with a nod. He sticks his thumbs into his belt, rocking back and forth on his feet and watching the bantering and the voting that's going on.

Belladonna also clears her throat and looks thoroughly amused by Cassius's explanation of the horse, her eyes lighting with humor.

Tobias gives a look to Cassius as he gives his speech in a totally straight face... then bursts out laughing. Tobias then looks to Ywaine, giving him a once over... before he shrugs and looks to the voting.

Eirene has to steal a glance at Rook's gilded armor. The woman in the black leathers eyes it dubiously. "Maybe it will blind the fucking bringers when the sun hits it," she mutters derisively. "Larissa Whisper has a miniature horse with a stupid horn. We've been making jokes about a unicorn cavalry someday; since every other fucking mythical thing is real, why not them," she says with an amused smirk to Belladonna and Cassius.

Leta glances at the toys in the box, "Fanciest? I like the doll in the gown!" she calls out. Then she looks back to Samantha with a grin, "How's the day?" but steps aside to let Sarielle and Michael nearer, while she considers the toys in the box.

"It's hardly more inappropriate than you being late, my Lord," Acacia rebukes Rook with faux-formality, though the twitch to her lips clearly betrays her humor. She expels a breath though, engaging in a more thorough lean upon the nearest conveniently set table with a ring of her index striking the flask in hand. "Tomorrow though. I wouldn't have thought you the type, if you asked me a year ago, love, but you'll look ever striking as you go. You'll stay safe, won't you? And keep those around you safe? And well-- I don't know. Surely, you can concoct something more ideal for me to put here in my distinct lack of true prose." Eirene's comment earns her a look, before she faintly chuckles and admits, "You know. Blinding them might not be bad."

Sarielle releases Michael's arm so he can do his cheek presenting unhindered. Once he reoffers his arm Sarielle tucks her through the crook of his once more. "I simply mentioned to Lord Michael that I wished to attend this and he agreed to escort me." It was probably coupled with a look that would suggest displeasure if he declined joining her. Her own head tilts to welcome the kiss and easily she returns it. With family the stiff politeness disappears a little. LEta draws SArielle eyes when she moves and there a polite smile is offered.

The devestatingly handsome, cheshire grin from Rook is directed at the otherwise dubious look Eirene is giving him. "I hope so. Or if nothing else, if I'm taken captive, they'll be content with scraping the gold off my armour and prying the stones out and I can escape." Despite the serious topic, he keeps it chipper. To Acacia he confesses, "It's quite the opposite, sadly. Duke Bisland has kindly offered a subset of his forces in my protection while I engage them as an ambassador to the Compact. With every war, words must also be had. If there's anything I'm good with, it'll be those. Maybe if I smile enough, less people will fall to the violence?"

Maximilian responds now to Samantha, tipping his head to her... "I find yours the most pleasing. It has the most character, for is... personal nature. Well done, Marquessa."

Alarie smiles and begins to write things down. She is having difficulty in keeping up with the things being called out. "So far I have the doll with two votes, the ship with two votes, the giraffe with one vote, and the soldier with one vote!"

Belladonna clears her throat again when Eirene mentions the Whisper's horse. She nods her agreement -- yes, the woman does have a little horse -- and says nothing about it.

Cassius clears his throat, as he side-eyes Eirene. "Does she?" he asks, of Larissa's unicorn. He attempts to keep that stern look on his face, but he can't help the slight smirk that breaks on his lips. "Perhaps the Knights should look into it. Not actual unicorns, but on the barding," he says, musing for a moment. He looks to Rook, having seen that armor before, but there's still a quiet nod of appreciation for it.

Rook excitedly and takes a brief look at the toys to vote accordingly. "One vote for the darling little doll, this one!" It's pointed to, accordingly.

Alarie corrects, "So! We have a three way tie between the ship, elegant doll, and the soldier! So! If you did not vote for one of these three, please choose one of them!"

Alarie glances to Rook, "Three for the darling doll!" She beams a smile. "Who donated the darling doll?"

"You're very kind, my lord." Samantha says to Max, and then regards Sarielle with some amusement. "I forgot how formal you are, Lady Sarielle. My apologies, if it's more comfortable for you." The smile turns gentle, and she asides to Michael, "I've put a great deal of investment in the Iron Guard to help promote their honor and reliability with Silas at their head, and you and Prince Ainsley as members. Let me know if there's more I can do."

Maximilian offers up.. "The soldier."

Belladonna glares playfully sidelong up at her husband for the suggestion of unicorns for the Knights. She shakes her head at him, chuckling. Her attention does catch on Rook for a moment, the man studied, but then she's back to looking around the area in general again before too long.

Maximilian admits... "I prefer the hand made toy... but if I must choose from the three chosen, and I find it in poor taste to vote for my ship, I choose the Soldier."

"Ahh. That oddly makes more sense, my Lord," Acacia concedes to Rook with a reflective uptilt of her chin. "Then a lot must rely on you still." The bridge of her nose crinkles as she straightens, swallowing another gulp from her flask and exhaling the results. "But I don't want to dampen things. The atmosphere is dazzling with the decorations and all. Ahh, look. A winner." Aside, she adds chipperly, "You picked a winner. Congratulations." Tucking the drink back within the cloak interior, she prepares herself for applause with an anticipatory tick of her head.

"Should have guessed the ship was yours," Eirene says to Max with a laugh.

Discussion of the Iron Guard keeps that unusually serious edge to Michael's gaze, "Thank you, Sam." Following the name, Michael casts an apologetic look towards his cousin, and the call for who donated the doll prompts another apologetic glance towards Sarielle, "Lady Sarielle Bisland donated the doll."

Noone steps up to claim the doll, so since the soldier was next on the list, she smiles. "Alright. Who brought the soldier! That soldier is positively adorable." Count Maximilian has cast a third vote for it."

Maximilian tips his head to Eirene. "YOu should have been here earlier. A young boy was taken by it. I gave him a silver to go ask Priest Sebell about Blood, Gore and tits. He seemed very excited."

"Very good turnout," Ywaine says to Tobias, with a nod. He waves to Sparte, and lets his gaze settle around. He's been seen helping run the training regimen for the new Iron Guards - a former Captain himself, he's been trying to assist with the new recruits and filling in gaps.

Alarie looks to Michael as he says that and smiles. Her gaze diverts to Lady Sarielle. "Well! Congratulations M'lady!" She says warmly. She hands over a small parchment to one of Max's guards who delivers it to Sarielle. "You can use that for yourself or even gift it if you wish." Then she turns to the others, "Now! For the next catagory. Silly! Which of these toys made you giggle? Please call out your votes now!"

Michael gets quite the look when he announces her as having donated something. Were she a less formal person (formal in public, at least) he probably would have gotten a kick. Instead he gets a discrete stomp of the foot to his. A little reminder of her past self, just more subtle than she would have before. "You can call me what you wish." she assures Samantha, quietly, "You are family, after all." Then pointedly to Michael, "You have to call me LAdy Sarielle Bisland, Lord Michael." Punishment for his deed.

Maximilian answers immediately. "Duchess Setarco's Unicorn. I found it quite amusing."

"The faux-unicorn," Acacia votes, "It's... well. Bright."

"Well then, Sari, you must continue to call me Sam." The Marquessa insists, before lifting her voice. "The puppy!"

"It's my only intention to ply my talents how they might best be utilised by the Crown and Compact," Rook says took Acacia, "so here's hoping." The discussion of picking a 'winner' is overshadowed by the change in votes and he laughs, "Not quite, it seems. Still, they're all a wonderful collection." With a reach and a gentle touch of his hand to Acacia's elbow in brief, self invitation to excuse himself a moment, he wanders toward Alarie and has a quick word when she's waiting for the response to her address. "Mistress Alarie, a moment?"

Michael's fortitude withstands the stomp to his foot in stride, but he, rather dramatically, cringes as if utterly damaged by the motion. With a laugh in his voice, Michael notes back to his cousin, "As you wish, Lady Bisland. It's good to know that I've been so easily disowned and fallen into disgrace with you," but easy mischief can be heard in his tone and seen in his gaze.
Michael calls towards Alarie, "The giraffe!"

Eirene shouts, "The dagger. Because only an idiot gives -that- nice a weapon to a kid. They'll lose it!"

"The dagger!" Cassius calls out. He does not offer an explanation as to why the unicorn-clad instrument of death is silly. Of course, does he need to? Eirene is right beside him shouting the same. He side-eyes the woman.

Maximilian laughs - a sudden and deep sound - at Eirene's comment.

Maximilian is overheard praising Eirene for: Telling it like it is.

Again, Belladonna looks over the toys assembled, considering. When Eirene speaks up a bright laugh escapes, and she nods her head. "The dagger," she calls her agreement. There's a smile flashed up towards Cassius.

Belladonna is overheard praising Eirene.

"The - ah, the unicorn, I reckon, for giggles!" Leta calls out, then turns from Samantha to offer a grin for a moment in Maximillian's direction, "Made the soldier myself, m'Lord." she notes and looks rather pleased with herself.

Eirene grins up at Cassius before she winks at Max. She seems surprised at Belladonna's agreement and nods in appreciation. "I hope yours wins though. Very cute."

Rook agrees, sing songing idly: "The unicorn~!"

Sparte spots the wave from Ywaine, returning it with a friendly grin. His attention quickly returns to the children, as he gives another ball from his back to a group. Whatever will they do with them, well, that isn't his problem.

Maximilian tips his head to Leta. "Well made. I've the artistic skill of a blind alligator in heat, so... I paid someone to make mine."

Alarie is once again jotting things down. "Unicorn 4, dagger 3, giraffe 1, and puppy 1" She pauses as Rook approaches and looks to him, speaking quietly. There is a flash of a smile and she gives him a quiet thanks. "Very generous." She says softly to him. "Are there any more votes out there?" She calls back out to the crowd.

Alarie is once again jotting things down. "Unicorn 4, dagger 3, giraffe 1, and puppy 1" She pauses as Rook approaches and looks to him, speaking quietly. There is a flash of a smile and she gives him a quiet thanks. "Very generous." She says softly to him. "Are there any more votes out there?" She calls back out to the crowd.

"Yes, Bells... we all hope *your* unicorn wins," Cassius murmurs aside, to his wife. "Just glad you were able to bring yourself to part with it," he adds.

The brief touch of Rooks' hand provides Acacia with the great occasion of casting dark eyes towards the precious medal gilding, before she looks up towards Eirene's shout and the subsequent ones that follow. She barks out an immediate laugh, before she presses a hand in faux-wounding to her chest. "Forgive me, My Lady, for being -- overextravagant and obnoxious." Relinquishing a wistful exhale, she casually intones, "I only chose what I would've wanted as a kid. Perhaps better that I don't have children of my own." The flask is retrieved, before she laments, "They'd probably all turn to a life of crime."

Sarielle gives another look to Michael, this time both exasperated and amused. When she gets the voucher from Alarie she smiles to the woman, still quite politely, "Thank you." she says and hands the voucher to Michael to hold. He's set to minion duties for his cousin now. THen to Samantha, "Of course, Sam."

"It's very well made, Leta." Samantha calls out to the mercenary, leaning briefly shoulder to shoulder with Sarielle before straightening.

Eirene is approached by one of her medics, who mutters something. She grimaces and excuses herself, bowing to the Duke and Duchess before heading away quickly.

"Am I supposed to not take the credit for your victory?" Belladonna asks of Cassius, offering up another amused look. Then she's ducking her head, shrugging one shoulder in Max's direction.

Carissa, a Malvici bodyguard have been dismissed.

Alarie smiles "So the winner is the unicorn! I know there is a child out there that will fall in love and snuggle with that darling thing! Who brought the unicorn?"

"Nonesense," Rook murmurs half humbly to Alarie before he steps aside and wanders back toward the groups talking. It's then that he catches sight of Cassius and incliens his head, a respectful nod to the Duke. At the win of the unicorn for the 'silly' category, he crows to Acacia: "NOW I picked a winner. Look at this, I'm on fire." He didn't win anything, yet he looks as though he did. So excitable, is the lord courtier.

"Whatever victory I, I do for you, my love," Cassius murmurs aside, to Belladonna. He gives a nod to Eirene as she turns to leave, and then refocuses on Alarie. "The Duchess of Setarco," Cassius calls out, to Alarie. He dips his head to the side, to his wife.

Alariebeams a smile to the Duchess, "Thank you for your generous donation! I have a voucher for you!" She has one of Max's guards deliver the voucher to the Duchess to use as she sees fit. "Now! For the last catagory, the most unique! Which toy made you say.. Wow! That's different?"

"You're very remarkable," Acacia praises towards Rook, without a hint of subterfuge present in her brassier tones. "Should I ever be so lucky," she gushes upon the next exhale, before casting her next vote, "The soldier. It's perfect. And it has that... you know. Sword."

Samantha can't help herself, she calls out somewhat wryly, "The dagger."

Michael calls towards Alarie, "The dagger!" A smirk tugs at the edges of his lips and he nods towards Samantha.

Samantha elbows Michael a bit, giving him an askance glance with a smirk.

There's another laugh when Cassius calls out that she brought the unicorn, and she shakes her head at him. Belladonna accepts the voucher with a smile and a soft word of thanks for the guard, looking it over briefly before she makes to hand it up to Cassius. Then they're on to the next vote, and she looks over everything assembled before she calls out, "The...the animal with the long neck!" The giraffe, she likely means.

"You're awfully kind. Careful, I'm not prone to blushing but if I was, I would. I simply shouldn't with this complexion, you know," insists the Grayward gentleman to Acacia. As he weighs up his next decision, he nods once and calls: "The dagger, yes. I would never imagine a child running around wielding a dagger. It's frightening, really. What if they cut the silk drapes?!" Silk drapes probably aren't a thing where this is going, but Rook isn't imagining the slums, probably.

"The dagger." Says Max. "My father gave me one and then advised me to run down the hall withit. I do not think my father liked me very much."

Leta takes another step back, so as not to intrude on Samantha and family, though she's smiling and considers the remaining toys with a whistle, cocking her head to one side, then the other, "The ship! That's - does it float?" she calls out with a gesture to the box.

Maximilian nods to LEta. "Of course it does."

"And I bet they'd be perfectly color-coded to the couches too," Acacia agreeably states towards Rook, once again keeping that straight-faced countenance. "Imported, perhaps?" After only the slightest pause, she further elaborates, "Swords can be so heavy though. Daggers are... you know. Kid-sized. Well, that one is." Turning her focus towards the Courtier Lord more fully, she queries lightly, "When do you set off tomorrow and when is your scheduled return, my Lord?

Cassius leans to the side, to eye what Belladonna receives. When she hands the voucher to him, he takes it, and eyes it more directly. He tucks the voucher away, and turns his attention back to Alarie. "Yes, the creature with the neck," Cassius votes. "Does it come from the sea?" he asks, then angles a gaze towards Max.

"Eurus." Says Max, authoritaritively.

And once more, Alarie is writing down notes as they go along. She calls out the tally, "Soldier 1, Dagger 4, Animal with the long neck 2, Ship 1." She glances up, looking around. "Did I miss any votes? Look as if the dagger is winning." She peers into the box at the dagger.

Maximilian may not be able to spell with confidence, but he speaks with it.

Samantha calls out affably, "It's called a giraffe. They have them in the northwest corner of the menagerie." She elbows Michael once more, expectantly.

Cassius looks to Max, and his brows lift. "Ah," he says. Yes, that makes sense. All weird things come from Eurus. Weird creatures, exotic Gods. Cassius then looks to Samantha, and there's a curiosity there. He murmurs aside, to Bella. "I'm not sure I've ever walked the menagerie in full... we should," he says, to his wife.

"Nothing but finest southern silk for drapes, of course. Maybe imported from her grace's duchy itself, Setarco!" Rook concurs with Acacia so, so seriously. It helps to move onto the equally serious topic of his diplomatic ventures. "Early dawn and... the rest is an undisclosed amount of time. Honestly, I've never traveled with an army before. I imagine the uncouth behaviour already. I'm going to pack at least one bottle of champagne, regardless of what my advisors tell me. I can carry it," he lies, looking to Quiet only briefly. Apparently the Champion will be coming, too.

Samantha looks over. "If Your Graces would like a tour of the more exotic creatures, I'd be happy to walk you through." Samantha says to Cassius, and by extension, Belladonna. "I walk through the menagerie often."

The periodic elbowing between Samantha and Michael draw Acacia's attention, before she expels a lighter chuckle and remarks lightly to Alarie, "I suppose next time I'll have to more carefully hone my choices to more appropriate levels. Thank you again for caring about the -- well, as you put it, oft forgotten." Rook earns another look, more shielded this time, before she utters more seriously, "Words are important. I know Sky trusted you much. I look forward to your results. You know-- as much as someone like me can look forward to something like that."

Rook checked composure against difficulty 15, resulting in 20, 5 higher than the difficulty.

"We certainly should," Belladonna agrees, looking in the indicated direction thoughtfully. When Samantha makes her offer, she looks back that way. The woman is considered for a long moment before the little blonde nods. "I would like that," she says. "We will be in touch to arrange a time."

"Hey!" Michael objects towards Sam and he casts her a look in turn followed by a vague shake of his head. Nope. It wasn't him. But, much like when Sarielle stamped his foot, Michael cringes underneath the effect of the elbow while he politely continues with Sarielle on his arm. He waggles a finger at his sister, "No matter what anyone says, you, dear sister, have a very playful streak." His nose wrinkles, following which he winks at her. "Don't worry, I won't tell."

Alarie calls out the winner, "Congratulations to the knife!" She chuckles. "It is surely a unique toy, but may actually save a child's life with the dangers that lurk over Arvum." She hands the last voucher to Max who takes it over to Acacia. "Thank you everyone for coming. I want to encourage everyone to be kind to orphans and those who are less fortunate."

Rook looks momentarily solemn and knits his brow, daring to furrow that smooth forehead with lines. "I know," he murmurs softer, lighter; a near whisper. "Thank you, Mistress Culler," he shares with the woman, briefly setting the articulate plated fingers onto Acacia's shoulder and squeezing. "All in the name of the His Majesty, no? We can only strive to do our best. That's what Queen Alarice would ask us do."

Sarielle watches the interactions between her cousins with muted amusement. she leans when she needs too so she is not toppled with their elbowings. Her hand stays curled around Michael's arm, though. Her movements are simply reactionary to something that is potentionally normal for her. She spent a lot of time with Michael when younger, after all.

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