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Blackram Family Dinner Spring Edition

It's Spring. Barely. Not quite. It's Spring enough when you're from the Cloudspine. With family fresh in from the mountains and some returning, the Blackrams are turning out a feast in the Great Hall and inviting family, extended family, friends, and allies. Discussion will be recent news and events as well as the recovery of the direhorns since the recent attack.

Date

May 8, 2020, 6 p.m.

Hosted By

Teagan

Participants

Brianna Preston Rowenova Mabelle Aviana Gaston Estelle Cerys Dimitri Emlyn

Organizations

Blackram

Location

Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Blackram Fasthold - Great Hall

Largesse Level

Refined

Comments and Log


Balian, a Templar squire, Guy, a hunting kestrel, 1 Templar Knight guards, Direhorn Jeffers, a barded Templar wargoat arrive, following Preston.

Maple, a brown golden retriever, Toffee, a fluffy pomeranian, 2 Laurent trained guards, Cupcake, a cookie girl, Truffle, an energetic mountain puppy arrive, following Mabelle.

The Marquessa is already present at the table... working. She hasn't, despite taking the title, moved Gaston's preferred chair from the head of the table. Oh, sometimes she sits in it, but not today. Today she's at the opposite end of the table. Her brother is recently returned and one could say perhaps this meal is to welcome him back.

It is, in part.

It's also because plenty has gone on in recent months. She's been married (though her husband isn't present; it takes a lot to adapt to a wholly different life). Gaston has returned. Cousins have arrived in Arx. There's been some dire attacks. Teagan felt it was time for a meal and made sure to invite not just the family, but also allies and friends. Both because food and because there might be important things to discuss. The food is already laid out, for the most part, and what isn't ready is being ferried out by household servants as Teagan continues to scribble in a folio spread out in front of her.

2 Halfshav skilled veteran guards arrives, following Brianna.

Brianna sashays in fashionably late, finding a seat next to Rowenova. "Me? Miss a dinner? Hardly," she says airily by way of greeting.

Without his armour for once, Preston and the Templars arrive - Balian now lumbered with also looking after Jeffers, a stubborn looking Direhorn who is replete with Templar-sigiled barding. That said, even without armour on himself, Preston still has the two blades at his waist - the fancier look of Banisher sitting below the slightly shorter and plainer blade above it. The guards wait by the door as he moves closer, giving Teagan a bow of the head in greeting "Teagan." Preston offers, a warm smile coming to his lips and puffing his cheeks "A different feel to our last time in a manor house, mm?"

Rowenova welcomes Brianna, with a wave of the hawk quill in her left hand, as he right hand maneuvers the fork which stabs some roast hog on her plate.

Mabelle steps in quietly into the Great Hall of the Blackram mansion. She has never been there before and most faces are not overly familiar for her. She does spot Preston, to whom she owes her life and Teagan which she has spoken to before. A greeting is offered, "Good evening, I pray all are enjoying the arrival of spring", as she makes her way inside, not settling yet.

Aviana comes walking into the great hall its been some time since she has visted the Estate, a light weight cloak is draped around her shoulders as her feet glide her to the table, greeting Teagan bowing her head, "Marquesa Tegan, it is good to see you agan."

If there was any objections from Gaston to his sister about the placement of seats, especially his own chair, it was done earlier in the day and in private. He is also present at the table, in his chair with a glass of whiskey in hand, watered down if anyone studied it closely, which may be a surprise to some. For now, he is taking in the gathering as guests have arrived and are still arriving, returning small talk and pleasant greetings as needed. For the most part, he is quiet and not one to be the center of attention, even if Teagan intended to welcome him back with the dinner.

Instead of formal wear, Gaston is in his usual leathers and black trousers that he is more comfortable in, perhaps giving off the impression that even though it was a gathering of family, friends, and allies, it was not exactly a formal affair. This would be his preference, ever since he was young.

"Preston," Teagan offers to the Templar, standing to greet him with a broad smile. It's not an expression many get, but he does and she gestures for him to sit, even as she's drawn free of her work enough to close the folios. "Have we really not been in a manor in so-" Her expression shifts as she contemplates. "No, I always come to you, don't I? Well, I'm glad to see you. Please, sit." She nods to others who have arrived, a slight tilt of lips for Brianna's words. "Food arranged by others," she tells the Halfshav woman, "is always the best, isn't it?"

As she resumes her seat, she nods to Mabelle and Aviana as well. "I'm pleased word got out. And yes, I am glad for spring. I think I'm going to begin making early-spring camping trips a regular thing. Celebrate the season properly. How is everyone... in spite of things?"

Estelle steps inside the Great Hall with her habitual bright smile, making her way in a simple white Godsworn robe. She steps on over towards the laden table, circling around it to greet her cousins and their guests warmly. "It is a pleasure to see you all!" The tall woman settles down into an open chair to smooth down her robes and fix her attention on the others, starting with the Maquessa. "Oh I am doing rather well, all things considered. Sadly there is always a call for our sort of work, but we're happy to be there and helping."

"It's refreshing to attend an event I didn't have to plan," Brianna replies to Teagan with a grin. "I hope to see all of you tomorrow. If you've not received a formal invitation, consider this an oral invitation."

After a particular tasty bite, Rowenova cannot help but answer Teagan with a yummy moan before swallowing down said bite. "Fairly well, thank you!"

Mabelle smiles to Brianna, "Congratulations on your marriage. I shall have to apologize in advance for not being able to attend the festivities". Unfamiliar to Estelle and Aviana, she decides to introduce herself, "Lady Mabelle Laurent, a pleasure", before scouting the table for some cake, "I do enjoy camping", she notes to Teagan, which is a polite fib because Mabelle will not be sleeping in a tent.

"War tends to see me retreat back into the Compound. And we have had no shortage of war since we dealt with Ines Chevalle and put her to rest. We are loading things now for the East, to beat the Eurusi to Sungreet. And now these attacks in the west....though, we should speak of that another time. It involves the gentleman who tried to give you advice. Oh, and a sister to the treasure we recovered." Preston offers a warm smile none the less and steps to the side to find a seat and let others bother Teagan. Gaston gets a bow of Preston's head "Lord Gaston, it's been some time. I hope you are enjoying the freedom?" Mabelle also gets a broad smile "And Lady Mabelle. A pleasure as always, and slightly nicer circumstances."

Brianna's expression darkens at the mention of the Eurusi. "Do we know if the Dune Emperor himself will be among the host, or is this just an advance party?" she asks Preston, perhaps a bit too directly.

As Estelle takes her turn to greet family, Gaston offers her a warm smile and says, "I am glad you can join us for this dinner, cousin. As we are all busy with our own responsibilities, this is a rare blessing that we can have." Then his attention shifts to Preston as he bows his head respectfully in return to the other man's greeting, "Sir Preston, it has been some time. It is good to see you again." As for the freedom, he can only laugh and shake his head, "Freedom is always enjoyable, but I have learned that it must be taken in moderation, like many things. I am back and my intention is to stay to provide my sister any assistance she requires."

Another bite goes down with softer sounds before Rowenova chases it with the minty freshness of Cloudspine liquer. After, "Good to see you, Sir Preston. Thank you for your help a while back." Although she does not really specify, that is just that before she devours down even more of the feast food.

Rowenova says, "And congratulations on Carnifex, too."

"Sister Estelle," Estelle returns to Mabelle, "a pleasuer to meet you as well!" She grins back at Gaston, "Certainly! I only hope we are able to manage it more often, I do miss seeing all of you and am glad you have returned." She dips her head towards Preston respectfully, "Carnifex, I am happy to see you are taking the time away from all that talk of logistics and strategy to enjoy the excellent company here." To Teagan, she says more mirthfully, "And congratulations Cousin! I am sorry it has taken me so long to tell you that much, very glad to see it suits you so well."

Aviana has joined the A massive scarred and ancient mahogany table.

Aviana smiles to everyone moving to take a seat, she seems to be the quiet sort s she listens to everyone talk gathering food on a plate and sits down to eat.

Mabelle smiles warmly to Preston, "Indeed, it is nicer to meet on these circumstances and still I am grateful for your defense. Thank you", she offers him a curtsy and her eyes move to land upon Estelle, "A sister, are you a mercy then? I am a physician myself and an alchemist, like Nova here, but not as talented, I do not think", she wiggles her fingers to Rowenova who seems to be in the middle of a munch.

When Mabelle names her as an alchemist, Rowenova waves her fork a bit but simply shrugs about the comparison given before devouring down another bite.

"It is always nice to escape the claustrophobia of the city," Teagan tells Mabelle with a brief smile. Though she's not as bad as her brothers, the Marquessa does still get that need sometimes for the great open outdoors. "I plan to be there," she assures Brianna. "Prince Alecstazi is my cousin now-" she makes a brief face. "Keeping track of Thrax and how... interwoven they are is confusing. I may have made a mistake." Beat. "Don't tell Princess Alarissa I said that," she says in a faux-whisper. Her gaze does slide to Preston, taking in his words. There's a slight furrow of brow, but she dips her head in a nod. "I wanted to speak to you about a related treasure as well soon. It sounds like we need to sit down in the near future." She does give him a smile, but it's a tight one. Things never stay bright for long, do they?

For Estelle, there's a small shake of her head. "No need to apologize. You are always busy with the Mercies. And especially now, I imagine. I intend to travel with Sir Preston to Sungreet. Will you be in the host as well?"

"Blackram are good friends of the Templars - we have worked closely since some unfortunate actions by some others during the Great Road incidents. Not that there was any shortage of foolish mistakes by lower vassals in those times." Preston answers to Estelle, smiling still "It is important to visit friends, to honour them in your devotion, and in turn allow them to honour the Gods in providing hospitality." Rowenova gets another bow of his head as he takes his seat "Carnifex is....what was necessary. I know the disquiet many feel - they worry I will be an avenging warrior, purging any deviation from my preferred style of Faith. That the Orthodox will purge those who have misbehaved."

With Teagan's thin smile, Preston inclines his head "Never worry, the Gods give us the fortitude to bear what we must and the tools to deal with what we cannot. The cold you all felt at the manor house, it never touched me. Crusader seems to be that way, to cut a clear path." Poking around to fill his glass, Preston mulls over Brianna's question "I doubt anyone important will be on it. They will find their offer of hospitality at Sungreet is withdrawn and they can leave in peace or try to attack. If they attack, I will first smash their army, then I will smash the chains that bind their slave-soldiers. I am bored of the Great Empires thinking we are toys."

"I am!" Estelle confirms cheerily to Mabelle with a warm smile. "And oh? How exciting! We should all compare notes and techniques some time." Her head turns to include Rowenova in that as well. "I am always happy to learn new ways of doing things- never know just what one will have on hand when they are called to act." The Marquessa's question has the red-haired Mercy looking back her way with a nod. "Oh, yes! Mother Ailith asked me to come along and help to straighten things out with their Seraph." Spying Aviana as well, she greets seamstress with a wave. "It has been too long Aviana! How has business been?"

When Preston speaks of smashing the slave-soldier's shackles, Gaston shows a bit of interest and certainly approval in the Carnifex's proclamation though only in his features, choosing to remain silent as he listens in on the subject of Sungreet. As the Templar had mentioned in his greeting to the Blackram, freedom is indeed something Gaston holds a great importance to, not just for himself but others as well.

Mabelle winks to Nova and confirms to Teagan, "It seems many find that urge, I do not have it in me, not too often." She listens to Preston's speech almost charmed. Mabelle would raise a sword right now and go fighting, if she knew what to do with it. But Estelle rouses her from the dream of being a failed warrior, "We should. I have just submitted plans to a construction of a hospital in Artshall, perhaps you can donate to the curriculum if you like".

Rowenova hears out Preston, and she amenably nods. "I wish you the best luck." Then, her cobalt-blue/kohl-lined gaze slides over to Estelle. "I learned my alchemical techniques from Voice Valery of the Apothecary College as well as several others, but mostly her. I currently run the Defense Lab, and you are absolutely welcome to come over sometime, if you would like to. I just hired lab assistants and backyard gardeners who double up as research partners and helpful messengers every so often, too. They like to argue a lot about what should be quaffed and what should not be quaffed, hah." A humored grin, and then Rowenova grins back to Mabelle before looking curiously to Aviana.

When Preston speaks of that 'cold,' Teagan's features blank over and she stands, making quiet excuses to those seated around her. She crosses to the servant tending the hog at the hearth and busies herself with fussing over the state of the meat and seeing to it being served. This she stretches out as long as possible before finally returning to the table, only to pour herself a drink. "Well. It sounds like Eurusi will have quite the force to face and I believe, in this at least, an avenging warrior is exactly what is needed."

With that effort, Rowenova is all too happy to help. She gets up with her plate which she just cleaned of all other food and meanders over for seconds.

"And in your absence at least you know all will be safe." Preston observes to Teagan, inclining his head across to Gaston "You are kind to come back and serve your sister and house. I must admit, I have never understood the noble game. But the tolls it takes on people can be most cruel. To not get to wholly be yourself by dint of birth, to have something owed to so many. Mmph. Even I was made to wait until I was of age to say my oaths so I knew the costs of what I was." Preston bows his head "We - and your people - do owe you and your sister a debt for your good rule. Blackram prospers, I am told. And the first pikes from its training school for the Templars fought well near Artshall."

Estelle rather sheepishly seems to remember the plate in front of her, and starts helping herself to some of the food with perhaps the familial gusto. Swallowing, she nods in understanding towards Rowenova, "Very impressive! I will admit I don't know much of what goes into the various tinctures and solutions, just when and where to use them. So I may very well take you up on that offer and become more formally trained." The Mercy turns to nod readily next at Mabelle, "Of course, I would be very happy to be of assistance! Please feel free to let me know how I might be able to help." Spying Gaston's reaction to the talk of liberation, she gives him a warm smile, "Discipleship suits you quite well, cousin. They are fortunate to have you."

2 House Velenosa Guards, Sasha, a Velenosian Assistant arrive, following Dimitri.

2 House Velenosa Guards, Seton, A Velenosian Assistant, Dimitri arrive, following Cerys.

Mabelle collects a piece of pastry from the table and nibbles on it, confirming Preston's words, "They fought well. I do not know where we would have been without their assistance". Her smile dimishes a bit, as if it is a touchy subject and she apologizes, "It is drawing late and I should retire, thank you for hosting me and thank you all for your lovely presence".

When Teagan briefly departs from the table, Gaston's gaze focuses on his sister for a moment but chooses to leave her to her moment at the fire and hog, shifting his attention back to the the conversations at the table. From time to time, he would bring his glass to his lips for a slow sip, eyes studying those present as they speak.

When Preston speaks of the noble game, Gaston can't help but answer with a wry smile of amusement, "Sir Preston, I would be the last to admit that I understand the game you speak of, but I believe you to be right." At the thanks offered, the Blackram Lord can only incline his head politely, "There is no debt, for it is the hard work and efforts of the people that helps us all prosper as well as gets us through the hard times. If they owe us, then we in turn owe them as well, such is our relationship as a House and family. I am glad to hear that the pikes fought well, those who see to their training seriously will find that it will come to them at their time of need."

Looking to Estelle, Gaston shoots her a grin, "Freedom has always been in my heart, cousin, though I am learning to let other aspects in as well, not just freedom."

Maple, a brown golden retriever, Toffee, a fluffy pomeranian, 2 Laurent trained guards, Cupcake, a cookie girl, Truffle, an energetic mountain puppy leave, following Mabelle.

Aviana breaths deeply when the game of nobles starts to get talked about, it seems to be a subject she seems to be senstive about. "I thank you for the invite Marquesa Teagan, I should be heading back." she seems to be done with her food and moves to get up from the table, unless stopped she turns to leave.

Arriving fashionably late is the resident Lycene cousin and her Pravus husband! Cerys walks in at Dimitri's side, her hand tucked into his elbow and leading the way with a broad wave and smile for all and sundry. "Good evening! Mother taught me to never arrive empty-handed, so I have brought scotch! Love twenty year, single malt, oak-aged.. just -fabulous- taste with hints of fig and cherry!" She lofts the bottle up to be presented to Teagan while leaning in to offer a one-armed hug as he other arm is occupied. "Hello dear cousin, it seems -forever- even if its only been a few days! Health and wealth and prosperity be upon you!" She grins briefly towards the Marquessa before turning to the rest of the crowd and offering a bow, "I am Dame-Princess Cerys Velenosa, this is my husband, Prince Dimitri Velenosa, and I promise we did not get lost, we -are- supposed to be here!" Chuckling, she looks across at Dimitri and winks, "There, now you can smooth over the entrance and spectacle I've made."

Estelle sets down her glass to wave towards Aviana, "Be well! Hopefully we can catch up more soon." She turns then to take in the arrival of Cerys and retinue, offering them a smile of greeting. "Welcome!"

2 Halfshav skilled veteran guards leaves, following Brianna.

Arriving with Cerys on his arm, Dimitri is allowing his gaze to play over those that are already gathered and there's an incline of his head that comes to be offered, along with the hint of a smile that comes to tug at the corner of his lips, "Good evening, everyone." But it's Teagan that winds up with his attention settled upon her and there's a deeper incline of his head in her direction, "Marquessa. It is so very good to see you again." Now, his gaze plays back over towards Cerys and there's a playful loft of a brow and a little shake of his head, "I'm 'off duty', dear wife. You're entirely on your own in navigating the social graces of conversation." A quick grin and then he's looking back, "And what she actually means by way of the scotch is that it is a bribe, to forget the fact she took forever to get herself ready for this."

And there is Cerys with -scotch- bless her. Teagan looks to her Lycene cousin with every ounce of relief. "Cerys, so lovely to see you. And thank you. Please, sit, both of you." She dips her head to Dimitri as well. A slight grin does show when the scotch is revealed for what it truly is. "And yet, here we are-" she gestures at herself, at the table. "This is no Lycene ball, I assure you both. I can only handle one -- two, at most -- of those a year, I'm afraid. And I doubt we'd know what to do with ourselves if we tried hosting one. Cerys, you remember Estelle-" a gesture to their Mercy cousin. "And have you met Sir Preston?" Slow introductions being made as she reaches for a glass because oh yes, scotch.

When another cousin arrives, Gaston looks up and lifts his glass to both Cerys and Dimitri, "Cousin! Your Highness. I am glad that you both are able to make it tonight, welcome to the festivities. Please sit and enjoy yourselves." The interplay between the two has the Blackram Lord laughing lightly as he says, "She knows her marks well then, Your Highness, because it has already been forgotten." The introductions are left to Teagan as Gaston knows she is much more familiar with those present than he is.

"I do not think because debts are held in both direction, they should not be recognised. But you are right, it is the way the system is. You owe them your protection and care, they owe you loyalty." Preston turns his glass in his hands, watching the water swirl and slosh along the sides of the glass "But, there are those worth ones loyalty. Your family is one of those." But then he is being introduced and Preston lifts his head, offering a smile to Cerys and her companion.

Aviana has left the A massive scarred and ancient mahogany table.

Estelle dips her head and smiles warmly at Dimitri following Teagan's introduction of her. "A pleasure to meet you, your Highness." To Cerys, she offers a grin, "It has been ages! Look at you all dressed up and presentable, very impressive. Missing the Cloudspine wind any?" There is a teasing in the red-head's tone at the question.

"Me?! I am not the one that preened in the mirror! I just had to bathe so I didn't offend my cousins with my stink from the training center!" Cerys turns a faux-affronted look towards Dimitri before breaking down into laughter and looking towards TEagan. "He's right, though. I lost track of time at the training center, so our being late is my fault." The offer to meet PReston has her turning around with a smile, "We haven't had the pleasure, but we have of course, heard of the Carnifex. Its a pleasure to meet you, Sir Preston!" She offers a quick bow towards him before looking to Gaston with a grin, "Hello! Thank you for the warm welcome, I started salivating at the smell of the boar as soon as we entered. I'm looking forward to a plate of it with some of that amazing ham gravy and some spring vegetables." Estelle gets aan approach and swung up into a hug despite Cerys' being inches shorter before she's set back down and has Cerys grinning at her, "Its been forever, Estelle, hello! I miss everything about the Cloudspine always... though admittedly the Lenosian winters have been something of a guilty pleasure."

"The lack of attempted poisonings and need to veil words will a most welcome reprieve," is what Dimitri offers to Teagan at the mention of this not being a Lycene Ball and there's a grin that accompanies the comment. Turning his attention towards Preston, there's an incline of his head towards the man, only for him to then offer, "Though we've never met, his reputation precedes him. A pleasure, Sir Preston." There's a look to Gaston and then Estelle, so that he can offer each a quick smile before looking back to Cerys, a laugh coming at her admittance of things.

At Preston's words, Gaston raises his glass to the other man, "Thank you, Sir Preston, your words are taken to heart." The drink is then lifted to his lips and the contents slowly drained, having the Blackram Lord rise to his feet to go fix himself another, his usual whiskey though tonight, he is trying to subtly add a splash of water to the contents.

The best part of Cerys being around? Teagan is no longer the shortest Blackram. Even if Cerys is only like, Blackram by parentage only. Still counts! Still, 'shortest Blackram' is still one of the tallest people in the room. She clucks her tongue at Dimitri, "Veiling one's words. That's what I -always- forget when I'm at a Velenosian ball. I'm like a siege weapon in a ballgown." With a glass full of scotch, she sets the bottle within reach of any other who might be interested and settles back. "I do hope to see the Eurusi matter settled soon. And... I hope these attacks... well, I hope that they quiet. I want to begin work on that port town I've been talking about. It's time to stop talking so much about it and start -doing- something about it. It's part of why I sent Rien so quickly up to the Cloudspine. I wanted him to start conducting some surveys and he was happy to do so."

When Teagan says she is like a siege weapon in a ball gown, Rowenova lets out a hearty laugh and raises up her minty mug!

Estelle giggles at Cerys and nods, "We appreciate the bathing, certainly. Even so, would have suffered through it for you to join us of course. I trust you and your husband have been doing well?" She turns towards Teagan to listen then add, "It sounds like an excellent plan to me! I was thinking I could help to set up some shrines to the Pantheon and beseech their blessings on the new settlement, Magnata especially."

"THere is -nothing- wrong with a good trebuchet, cousin! Even in a ballgown." Cerys calls over to Teagan, grinning broadly if briefly. She kisses Dimitri's cheek and disengages from his elbow to go get herself a plate and start compiling foods. Collecting up a glass of the scotch, she wanders back into the fray with a grin for Estelle, "We have, thank you. Came straight here from the honeymoon. How could we possibly languish in Lenosia when everyone and everything is here? Besides, I hadn't seen any of you in forever, we had to come to Arx!" Lifting her glass towards her family, she takes a drink and looks to Dimitri, "Hungry, my dear? Would you like to pick off of my plate?" Teasing him lightly, winking at him.

Once he finishes his drink, Gaston makes his way back to his personal chair which Teagan had unfortunately placed at the head of the table even though she is the Marquessa and the hostess of the evening. Lifting it for another drink to make sure there was still a taste even if it was diluted, he was about to take a drink when he hears his sister speak of herself as a siege weapon in a ballgown and that almost cause the Blackram to cough and choke. The best he can do is try to casually disguise it as trying to clear his throat, hard, a few times.

"The Eurusi matter will resolve, hopefully. I should find a third of the order with me once I arrive at Sungreet, if all goes to plan. 50,000 Templars should dwarf anything Sungreet can muster, and Thrax will be there as well." Preston sips at his drink, musing over something "I would build what you can, Teagan. And keep an eye on those passes - my armies had only just left the damned Oathlands, and now I have standing armies sitting at Artshall and growing larger. Edain is going to start thinking I'm after his job." The mention of Trebuchets though gets a grin "Mmph. That reminds me, I should probably go make sure they are packing ours correctly. Sister Rosalie donated us one - we named it Gild, to sit along Skald and Aion."

After cleaning off her entire plate after the second helping, Nova swigs back more mint then settles back in her dinner chair. "When you say Thrax will be around Sungreet, are they going to be by ship? Are they using the new fire?"

There's an arch of Dimitri's brow at Teagan's words and it's followed by an almost playful grin, "You must, Marquessa, come to the next ball that is thrown. Such a delight it would be." A drink is claimed and a soft little snort at Cery's invitation for him to eat off her plate, "Not my day of the week to eat, my dear?" A quick little grin and he's claiming himself a plate of his own, along with a drink, before moving to follow over towards Cerys comes to settle herself. The talk of troop numbers has him falling silent, though it's clear that he's listening, gaze flitting between those that offer up information.

There's a slight tilt of lips at the laughter her words bring and Teagan cannot help but shrug just a little. "You will have Blackram's might as well, though it not be so great as the Templars or Thrax," the Marquessa assures Preston. "And what I may offer at the war table. I have been studying some things with the Academy. Funny enough, they consider me a mentor there. I don't quite feel one around many of the minds in that place." She watches Ro and gets to her feet, crossing to the sideboard to go through the bottles within. "I will try to make an appearance," she tells Dimitri. "Perhaps I will even find a suitable gown for my status as a siege weapon of words."

Teagan gets Cloudspine Mint Liqueur from a Blackram flourished wooden sideboard.

Estelle gives Preston a wrly amused look, "Skald seems a uniquely well-named weapon to wield against slavers." She too joins in Gaston's amused reaction at Teagan's new appelation, though doesn't bother with trying to salvage decorum by stifling her giggling.

Teagan drops Cloudspine Mint Liqueur .

Teagan retrieves and sets a bottle of the mint liqueur down near Rowenova. "Here, take it home."

Rowenova gets Cloudspine Mint Liqueur .

After being gifted the minty liquer, Rowenova carefully holds it as if it were a precious child in her bracer-clad arms as she gratefully gazes to Teagan. "Thank you, Marquessa!" Then, she grins brightly!

"That you'd need to ask Victus, I fear." Preston answers Rowenova "Victus has promised he is rousing his people to come. I don't know what else will happen or the details." Preston gently pushes himself to his feet though, and bows "And I'll look forward to that advice, Teagan. And if your brother needs a suitable weapon to hold while you are away, let me know. Dame Ida and Brother Felix are both friends. And the Templars have some ability to reward our friends." Gaston gets another bow of Preston's head, but he looks back to Teagan "Will you forgive me for leaving to go back to the troops?"

Cerys smiles warmly at her husband's joining her, leaning over to thump Gaston helpfully on the back while he 'clears his throat'. CHuckling lowly, she rolls up a slice of the boar and takes a bite. Looking towards Preston to see his response to all the questions and comments. Teagan's comment, hwoever, has her immediately responding, "Ironwool dress. It would have to be." She turns towards Rowenova and smiles, "Hello again. Scout Rowenova, correct? I remember you from the foray into the Spirits!" She flicks a glance towards Gaston, "I got to see Gaspard there. He's looking better."

After what Preston says, Rowenova nods twice. "Take Care, Carnifex." Then, Rowenova soon regards Cerys with a broad grin. "Aye, that is quite correct, Princess Cerys. Good to see you again!"

Estelle tilts her head towards Preston and favors him with a smile, "Good luck and safe travels! Rest well."

When the Carnifex rises to leave, Gaston also stands up from where he was sitting and respectfully bows his head in return, "Thank you for attending the dinner, Sir Preston. Be safe and be well." He then looks to Cerys and arches a brow when she mentions Gaspard, "Did you, I am glad to see that he is looking better."

Balian, a Templar squire, Guy, a hunting kestrel, 1 Templar Knight guards, Direhorn Jeffers, a barded Templar wargoat leave, following Preston.

"Dame, if we're using the working titles," Cerys winks at Rowenova with a grin, lifting her glass for a drink. SHe rises up to offer a quick bow towards Preston. "Carnifex. It was good to meet you. I may stop by sometime to inquire about the Templars." Smiling, she seats herself again and looks to Gaston with a nod. "I did and he was. A little quiet, but he's always been quiet."

Taking a sip of his drink, Dimitri offers an incline of his head towards Teagan, "I look forward to it, then." That said, he then begins to munch quietly on some of his food, picking at is slowly and taking just little bites here and there. Preston's leave has the Prince offering an incline of his head towards the other man.

"Oh, gods, I don't want to wear ironwool. It looks terribly itchy." Teagan shudders, but stands as Preston prepares to live. She tilts her head toward him with a smile. "Actually, speaking of weapons-" there's a look to her brother and a slight squint. "I need to speak with him about something on that very topic at some point." She starts to settle back into her seat, gathering up her whiskey. "So, Scout Rowenova, you do alchemy? What is involved in that?"

Estelle finishes her glass and shifts her attention towards Dimitri with a grin. "I see you're getting along quite well with the Dame over there, glad you have the patience for her," teases the Godsworn. "I hope you enjoyed your honeymoon and have found ways to keep yourself busy. What sort of interests do you have?"

After Cerys's reply, Nova nods once. "Dame! I will do my best to remember." Then, she looks forth to Teagan. "I do. I make my own cosmetics these days, along with cleaning agents for my own home and the Great Hall, too, plus have also assisted with chemical weapons and spreading recipes of the new solvent which could work versus Thornweave vines. I do believe it is now obsolete, though. I also keep a few things on hand." Motioning down at her alchemy belt, the wolf scout soon notes, "For spontaneous needs." Then, she cheekily grins after what Estelle tells Cerys and Dimitri.

"From what I understand, the trick to ironwool is to wear something UNDER it to keep it from touching skin. Apparently former Radiant Selene Whisper did a whole run of them with silk and the like under the ironwool. They look amazing, anyways," Cerys responds to Teagan with a bit of a teasing grin. When talk turns to the weapons, she looks between Teagan and Gaston, lifting a brow before settling on the latter. "I left most of my things back in Lenosia, been thinking of having a new weapon made up. Trying to decide what to get first. Do you still favor the two-handed blades?" Shifting forward in her seat, she grins around Dimitri at Estelle, "He's my perfect foil. Its worked out ever so well. Nothing ever bothers him. I can be as refined or crass or outrageous as I want and he just laughs and shakes his head and makes sure I don't step on too many toes.. and I try to be good for him when he wants to be sociable so he can relax and enjoy himself."

There's some awkward clearing of the throat from the Marquessa in answer to what Estelle says. Ahem. Teagan does nod to Rowenova's answer. "I am glad the need for clearing the vines is now obsolete. They were..." she takes a moment, staring at her drink. "terrible things." The scotch is downed and she reaches for the bottle to refill it. "I do recommend Dame Ida for weapons, though Felix is quite good also, but I personally go to Dame Ida for everything and she gifted me Winter's Light, the bow I personally carry. I have hairpins made both by her and Felix, though. Either one of them are quite talented at those."

There is a nod from Gaston at Cerys's question of the weapon he prefers, "I do, everything else just seems... small. I've tried a hand at longswords and such but, never suited me." Of course, being how tall he is, it isn't a surprise that the Blackram prefers a larger weapon in his hands." Then hearing what Dimitri has to handle, Gaston can only shake his head slightly as he says to the Prince, "Your Highness, if you have a need to get away for a bit, I know some nice, quiet places up in the Cloudspine. Peaceful." There is a twitch at the edge of his lips as he tries to keep himself from smiling.

Rowenova understandingly nods about the terrible vines. "That they were... scouted down in the Lyceum, and yeah. Was not good. Glad they are gone, too." More booze required! She swigs down a good amount more there.

"How could I not have the patience for her? She is, after all, the brawn to my brains." A sidelong look towards Cerys and there's a grin that dances to Dimitri's lips as he teases her with that comment. Then, his gaze is playing back to Estelle and there's an ever so slow, playful arch of a brow, even as the Prince offers up a smile, "Oh, the honeymoon was quite enjoyable." A glance towards Cerys. Then to Teagan and there's an even bigger smile when he looks back to Estelle, "Cerys spent a fair bit of time learning new swordsmanship techniques." There's a pause and then, "But as for I? I'm by far more social then my better half. I prefer words to weapons and have been trained as such." As Gaston makes mention of quieter places available, there's a quick laugh given, "Mm. Cerys would simply track me down and drag me back, I'm afraid."

"Or join you," Cerys inserts with a sage nod for her husband.

Estelle blinks at something, blushing faintly before refocusing away from past words while continuing to talk with Dimitri. "Well, excellent! Glad it sounds as though you two are as mighty a match as you appear to be, I look forward to hearing great things about the pair of you." Her attention flits back towards Gaston with more deliberate teasing in her tone. "I understand why you might shy away from the shorter swords, cousin. Not as intimidating when your opponents think you armed with just a toothpick."

"Very true, and when it also doesn't fill you with confidence when it feels like you are wielding a toothpick." Gaston says with a nod of his head in agreement with his cousin, Estelle.

Cerys glance to Estelle again and flashes a smile, "Before mighty deeds, we have an heir to get out of the way first. Better now when we're settling and learning our way around than later when we might be getting called on for serious matters." Nodding to Gaston's respons on the weapons, she offers, "Have you thought of trying the spear or dire flail, anything of that nature? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I don't appreciate a good hand-and-a-half sword... but I've been looking at branching out lately. Spear, glaive... maybe something a bit more.. exotic. I've been playing around with chain weapons, they have some interesting possibilities."

Teagan lets out something that is so very near a giggle, but she'd deny ever uttering one. The idea of her brother wielding a toothpick is, apparently, -very- funny to the raven-haired Marquessa. She grins into her drink, but just leans back to watch for the moment. "Well, if we're talking suitable blades. Cousins-" a look to Cerys and Estelle. "I've been considering having Gaston here become our Sword. What do you say?" How better to make him do the deed than corner him into it publicly?

After what Teagan proposes, Rowenova does not speak up but she does lift up her minty liquer in Gaston's direction.

"Thank you," is what Dimitri offers in regards to Estelle's comment and then he's falling quiet again, listening once more before Teagan mentions the prospect of making Gaston Swords of Blackram. This causes the Prince to lift his glass in a salute to Gaston, offering up a quick smile to him before he's taking a drink.

Estelle seems far less reserved than her cousins, and catches Teagan's giggle after Gaston's dry response. At the proposal she blinks and then looks between the Marquessa, Cerys and Gaston himself. Her diplomatic answer is, "Well, I don't have that sort of say anymore, but he is obviously a magnificent candidate, should he be willing to take on the role."

At the mention of weapons with chains, Gaston furrows his brows as he dwells on that for a moment, taking the time to have a slow and long sip of his drink. "I've never considered trying out other weapons though your words have me intrigued. Chains on a weapon, I have seen those but... the balance would be easily thrown off, no?" When he is ambushed by Teagan though, the eyes of the Blackram Lord goes wide rather quickly as he quickly directs his gaze at his sister, "Sister, it is too soon. I've just returned from the Cloudspine." Those are the only excuses he can come up on short notice and while in public. Proper decorum must be observed, of course. Though the encouragement from the others at the table is of course welcomed, there is still concern in Gaston's tone.

Emlyn makes his way into the dining area from who knows where in the manor, looking a bit like he's just woken up. He sits down wherever there's an empty seat and nods to everyone as if it's no big deal. Like he casually just went up the stairs for seven years and just came back nonchalantly. "Hello, family. It's been a while since we've seen each other." Hungover? Perhaps

"I think its a grand idea. Gaston, you're eminently suited to being the Sword of the Cloudspine. I can't think of anyone more worthy, in fact. You should take it," Cerys lifts her glass towards Gaston, taking a drink before nodding to Teagan. "Very excellent choice." Then she's leaning in against Dimitri and smiling, "Aren't you glad you don't have to worry about these things with me? We already have our Sword. And MInisters. I don't have to vie for anything other than your attention." She winks at him before looking back to Gaston with a nod, "Its a weapon that requires training and a degree of athleticism, but very worthwhile! They serve multiple purposes and are as deadly as any sword I've seen."

Estelle turns at the sounds of arrival and smiles at Emlyn, "Welcome! Still plenty of drink and food around so help yourself." She seems quite happy to find a possible diplomatic distraction.

"Emlyn, glad you could join us. Have you met Scout Rowenova yet? I believe you two would work well together-" Teagan gestures one to the other as the hungover Blackram joins them. Her green eyes alight on her brother than as he makes his protest. "Really? I imagine that makes you all the better. You know what the Cloudspine needs. We've been too long without a Sword. You're more than capable of carrying the Bite."

As Cerys leans into him, Dimitri is offering the hint of a laugh and a little nod of his head, "So very glad, my dear. It's simply rather nice to know that everything is already assigned and as you said, we need not worry about vying for anything but the others attention." A grin then and he's then turning his attention towards the new arrival, only to offer an incline of his head towards Emlyn before he's looking back over towards Gaston, "I think you've been out maneuvered on this. I recommend surrendering gracefully at this point."

After Teagan introduces her to Emlyn, Rowenova lifts her drink his way. "Greetings. Good to meet you. Nice bow, by the by."

When Cerys joins in with the others to push the responsibility of House Sword onto him, Gaston knows the scales of balance is tipped heavily against his favor. He looks over to Dimitri as if to silently beseech the Prince for help since he had offered the other man a hiding place in the woods of Cloudspine just earlier but it seems like there is no hope there. Seeing Emlyn make his entrance, Gaston quickly turns to the new arrival as if finding another potential ally, "Emlyn! Cousin, please help me talk some sense into my sister and the others."

2 House Velenosa Guards have been dismissed.

Sasha, a Velenosian Assistant have been dismissed.

It's not long before Emlyn is chowing down and asking the servants for more wine. Or whiskey. Something strong. He looks to Rowenova when there isn't a bite of food in his mouth and gives her a nod of greeting. "Well met, Scout Rowenova. And thank you - it was a gift from my generous cousin." He winks at Teagan, putting more food in his mouth when Gaston asks for his help. He swallows hard and smiles at Estelle. "Thank you," a possible distraction from what they're talking about. "What are we discussing? What have we all been roped into?" Emlyn asks. They're clearly in it together since Gaston has invoked the bro rule.

For Emlyn, Rowenova wolfishly grins before looking forth to Teagan with a nod, an approving one. Though, she seems to not say too much, pretty happy with a full belly and her dessert plate she still works on with minty drink here, too.

Estelle leans in a bit to catch Emlyn up, "Our dear Marquessa here is suggesting- strongly- that Lord Gaston accept becoming the Sword of Blackram." She toasts the two individuals named before taking another draught from her glass. She gives Dimitri a wry look of amusement at his tactical assessment of the situation.

"I already have a fine bow," Teagan explans to Rowenova. "A diamondplate one, gifted to me by Dame Ida. I won that one-" she nods to the one Emlyn has. "At a charity event. It's been sitting in our armory, should need ever arise. And when Emlyn came to the city, well... he seemed most suited to it. I'm glad it has someone to use it now. It is a rather gorgeous bow and there have been times I've been tempted to carry it myself, but the one Dame Ida made me... it's rather dear to me." She does look to Gaston, lips curling in a small smile. "Everyone seems to support the idea, brother."

Wrinkling her nose up at Dimitri, Cerys winks and nuzzles against his jaw lightly. When she straightens up, her attention turns back to Gaston. Reaching forward, she reaches out and squeezes his forearm, offering a faint grin, "Look. I think you'd do great at it. So does Teagan. But if you aren't ready for it, then you aren't ready for it. Simple as that. But then comes the question.. are we ever truly ready for any of this? We're in unprecedented times, Gaston. Things are chaotic and uncertain and they promise to only get moreso. Blackram NEEDS a strong Sword right now. You know you have the skill, and you have never lacked in confidence. Being Sword doesn't mean you have to be some flashy fop that runs around in towels and makes a spectacle of himself." She smiles towards him, "You already embody the best qualities, cousin. The rest can be learned along the way."

After what Teagan says, Nova nods back. "What did you have to do to win?"

"You're going to scar your family," is what Dimitri offers as Cerys nuzzles in against his jaw and when she then pulls out that rather serious voice, there's a little arch of his brow and a low chuckle in the back of his throat. His gaze plays over towards Gaston and there's a quick smile given, "She doesn't often pull that particular tone of voice out, Gaston. You might want to be just a little worried." And then his glass is lifted to his lips, another little sip of scotch coming to be taken before it's lowered back down once more.

Emlyn nods his head bit by bit, thanking Estelle for the briefing quietly. He seems scared to say anything to any of the women at this point, looking over at Gaston with raised brows. "It can't be me. I don't even know how to use a sword," Emlyn offers helpfully. He sips at the wine brought to him and shakes his head. There's no way he's getting in the way of a bunch of women being scary. The idea of Gaston being a flashy fop running around in a towel, making a spectacle of himself does make Emlyn laugh though, chortling around a forkful of food.

The words that Cerys speaks certainly makes complete sense and it's certainly rare for her to be this serious about it. Gaston does fall silence and his protests do stop for the moment as he thinks on those words, especially since it has coincided with texts that he has been studying as of late as well as his meeting the Princess Sorrel. "We are never truly for any of this, are we, Cerys?" He then looks to Teagan and says, "Sister, if you truly have the confidence in me to be House Sword, I will accept and serve to the best of my abilities." A pause before he side glances at Cerys, "And no towels."

There's an arch of brow in surprise as Cerys gets -serious- on them and the Marquessa watches her brother's reaction. "It was a raffle," Teagan explains to Ro. "To be honest, there was something else I was hoping for instead. I can't remember what it was now because that evening I spent most of my time talking to Archlector Hamish about the time he died... but I do remember that I had bought raffle tickets more interested in something else." She gives a small shrug, smiling at the Scout. "I was holding onto it to give to someone or perhaps to use as a prize in the archery competition I keep telling myself I'll sponsor. Apparently it was just waiting on Emlyn to come to the city."

When Gaston finally sees sense (she'd have just started tucking the sword under his pillow at night anyway), Teagan sits up a bit straighter and grins at him. "I have every confidence in you, Gaston. And no, no towels required. Unless they're appropriately embroidered with ram skulls."

Estelle glances back between Gaston and Teagan with some anxiousness, before relaxing when they seem to have come to an agreement thanks to Cerys. "Congratulations!" she lets out an excited whoop. "Absolutely going to be amazing at it, I know."

Cerys tips her head towards Gaston and offers a wry smile, "Not really. Best thing to do is just to be yourself and keep moving forward. I mean, c'mon. When was -I- going to get married, huh? But here I am." She looks back to Dimitri and winks at him, "And I'm doing just fine with my husband." Looking betwen Teagan and Gaston, she grins, then lifts her glass, "Cheers! To the health of the new Sword of Cloudspine! Couldn't have been a better choice!"

The topic of marriage makes Emlyn bury his face in his plate, eating all the more so he can't comment on a single thing. He raises his glass at the appropriate time when a toast is called - but he clearly doesn't want his reasons for being sent to the City to be brought up.

Dimitri is giving Cerys a smile and a little nod of his head, "Indeed you are." Then, he's looking to Gaston as he gives in, only for his gaze to shift to Teagan, "Should make the towels a required uniform. I'm certain a tailor in the city could make such luxurious ones that they wouldn't even be realized as such." His gaze flits back to Gaston, a grin dancing to his lips before he lifts his glass in regards to Cerys' little toast, "Congratulations."

After the story of Hamish by Teagan, Rowenova smiles with humor. "He has the best stories about such things." Then, she nods to Emlyn after what was spake about the bow given unto him. Though, when he looks to hide from marriage, Rowenova gives him a sad smile.

Estelle gives Dimitri a curious look, clearly finding towel-uniforms to be a strange concept. She smiles quickly though at the pronouncement and lifts her glass up in the toast.

Releasing a slow breath, Gaston is finally in the acceptance stage and finally offers everyone at the table a smile before lifting his own glass, "Thank you sister, I will not disappoint you." Like before, but that part has been left out, instead his gaze will be fixed to the present and future. "Thank you everyone, and I am sure at times, I will be asking for help from all of you, family, friends and allies." Then he does the contents of his glass, enjoying the taste even if the whiskey is diluted with water. "And Cerys, I think you had the easy way out with who your husband is." Then he quickly shuts up about marriage as he suddenly realizes where this discussion could lead to, already preparing more formidable defenses in case Teagan had another objective in mind for the night. Too cunning.

"Oh I absolutely won the jackpot in the spousal lottery, Gaston. You will never hear me claim otherwise. Gods know I could have been stuck with some dour old man that would want me to give up all this 'warrior foolishness'.. or worse, some brash young man that would view the marriage as a competition of who's the better warrior. But the point stands... things change. People change. You? You've grown. Not just up, but as a person. I remember the man you used to be. This is a big leap away. In the -right- direction," Cerys winks at Gaston and grins before lifting her glass for a drink. "Now! I have been far too serious for far too long! Quick! We need an irreverent topic! Teagan, what animal are you going to breed up next? I vote for llamas."

"I'm fairly sure Prince Edain would have my head on a pike if I made towels the fashion... After the whole slippers and robes fiasco. Oh no, I can't do that. Not for another year. At least." Teagan smirks, just a little, but then turns to Ro and leans towards the Scout. "Do you know if Lord Arik and the Archlector have ever spoken of such things? I really think they should if they haven't." She settles back with her drink in hand, taking a long sip of it. "Oh, gods. I haven't thought of more animals. The direhorns were such a success... and the herds are still recovering after the attacks."

Estelle seems content to work her way through another plate during the discussions, but then swallows and chimes in with obvious curiosity at Teagan's mention of the attacks. "Do we know anything about what could be behind them? ...It sounds rather monstrous by all accounts."

Dimitri flashes a grin at Cerys, offering her a little nod of his head, "Don't you forget it, either." His attention drifts back to Teagan, only for him to offer a mock-sigh and a little shake of his head, "For shame. I suppose I will have to champion such a cause myself. Though the Valardin Ward would not be my first choice for such an attempt." A little grin is given and then he's glancing about before looking back to the Marquessa, "Monkeys. That's what we need. More monkey's." A nod of his head and then a cant of his head, "Mm. Yes. Have you gotten any more information on the source of the attacks?"

Standing up from his seat, Gaston heads for the whiskey again and this time, there is no splash of water added to his glass, straight up alcohol this time. It seems like the poor Blackram Lord will need some assistance soothing his nerves after being appointed as House Sword. When the question of what animal to breed next comes up, he looks back over to the table and after a sip of whiskey, he says in a deadpan manner, "How about bear mounts?"

Emlyn is, like Estelle, content to eat his way through a second plate while the conversations turn. He listens carefully about the nature of the direhorn attack and dabs his mouth with a napkin. He stands up and heads over to Gaston, murmuring something low to his cousin while he also gets a glass of whiskey.

Emlyn mutters, "Sorry, old chap. The ladies are scarier than they look."

"Ah, well. That gets into the... less enjoyable things." Teagan sits up a bit straighter and leans in against the table, resting forearms against it. She looks primarily toward Dimitri and Cerys. "I know some of you are well aware of these things, some... perhaps not. There are reflections of the gods. One of those is something known as Legion. It has been... well I am not sure if it is targeting or simply sweeping through the North and Oathlands. The attacks were by a type of twisted, Abyssal beast commanded by it. A combination of wolf and centipede, from the accounts I've heard. The good news is, our direhorns proved their match. The bad news is... we don't know where the next attack will be. Or what else may be coming." She nods towards Rowenova. "Scout Rowenova here, along with Gaspard and some others will be going soon to try to find some answers. There's other things being worked on, too. This has been... a long ongoing battle and one not likely to end anytime soon."

Estelle frowns at the mention of the reflection's hand being behind the attacks before her expression grows more solemn. Nodding in understanding, she looks over towards Gaston and Rowenova, "Pantheon protect you both! Such dealings are dangerous, but I trust the both of you to be careful."

Hearing his cousin's whisper, Gaston smiles and with his free hand, lightly pats Emlyn on the shoulder, "Tell me about it." For now he stays by where the whiskey is instead of returning to his seat, content on enjoy the alcohol while he listens as Teagan gets serious as the topic turns towards a less pleasant direction. No need for him to sit at the head of the table when his sister is sharing crucial information with everyone that is present. Unfortunately, from reading certain texts recently, Gaston is aware of what Teagan speaks of and he can only look down at his glass of whiskey as the cause of his own uncertainty and worries of being House Sword is revealed.

After cleaning off her dessert plate, Rowenova quietly thanks a passing server for a minty refill before nodding back to Teagan. "Aye, they have spoken, Archlector Hamish and Lord Arik." Then, she grimaces slightly after the mentioned name, "The code name is Slaver. Some names are magically powerful. Anyway, I heard the news about your direhorns. Do you think we can take one during the scouting mission? I am padding the team with contingencies." Then, "Thank you, Sister Estelle."

Looking between Teagan and Gaston as Teagan speaks, she lifts a brow, sipping at her drink. Shifting slightly, she leans comfortably back against her husband once more, "You know I want to help cousin. However I can. I'm no great shakes with investigation but.. I can track alright and I want to be there when you're ready to make a stand." She flashes a grin, "And you can't deny me my dream of leading a flock of Direhorns in battle. It will be glorious!" THat said, the serious nature of it has her nodding and looking up at Dimitri, "This Leg-er.. Slaver creature has a minion.. Horned Guy... or God.. some pretentious ramshit title like that. He was responsible for a lot of what went on around Arx a few years ago." She looks back to Teagan and Gaston and lifts ashrug, "I fought in the Silent War. And the Gyre War. You learn things along the way, can't help but to learn them."

Estelle chuckles softly and nods after Cerys offers her own aid. "I will of course be happy and quick to patch you both up. Also, my investigative skills are something I can bring to bear if you so wish it." More solemnly she nods again, "It is a persistant foe, especially in Blackram lands."

Settling a hand on Cerys' shoulder as she leans back in against him, Dimitri is listening to what Teagan has to say and there's a little shake of his head at the mention of it all. His gaze drifts over towards Rowenova, only for him to offer, "My talents will be of little use to who in this endeavor, since it sounds as if there will be no need for a conversationalist. But, if you require supplies and the like for your mission, I can certainly assist in gathering such things."

"I am sure we can make that happen," Teagan tells Rowenova with a nod, tilting her head to the woman. "One, maybe two even. The herd is recovering. They survived, but we still lost a few. They fought well against the creatures, but they are more their match than their superior from the sounds of it." Sipping at her whiskey, she looks back to Cerys with a smile. "The Traitor, yes. And Cerys, you need to be mindful particularly. Our house -- our family -- are some of those who hear their whispers. Speak to the Faith if you ever suspect they may be trying to get to you. But there is a risk." She sets down her drink and offers a brief smile to Dimitri. "I am sure there will be need for those as well. An army travels on its stomach, mm? Always supplies in time of war."

Emlyn moves to sit back down with his whiskey, not interested in dessert while he listens. "A combination of a wolf and centipede? How does that even work?" Emlyn asks, furrowing his brows. His questions aren't meant to be disrespectful or disbelieving, but rather show his interest in the matter. He looks to Rowenova and smiles. "The Horned God? F..." He trails off after that, remembering somewhere down the line it's not polite to curse at a noble family dinner despite the recent use of the word 'ramshit'. "I can do some research... and of course assist where you need me to." He's still content to listen for the most part, drinking in whatever the others have to say.

Rowenova grunts softly, "You can help us chat up the shavs in your lands, and make sure they leave us alone and get information from them, if you wish to." After telling Cerys this, she soon regards Tegan, "Thank you, Marquessa." Dipping her wolf-framed visage with gratitude she sits up soon afterwards. "Direhorns: are they knights, do you think?" Then, she looks to Emlyn with a grim nod about the Horned God with a quiet sigh. She looks to Teagan again. "Would you all have Sylv'alfar blood, then? Is that why?"

"Think giant lineages are what we're usually accused of," Estelle muses in wry amusement before resuming the feasting.

"Abyssal magic," Teagan tells Emlyn, simply. For Rowenova, she gives a shrug. "I think Sir Preston calls his direhorn 'Sir Jeffers,' but I don't think they're knights." She seems mildly amused, but then the question comes and she takes a deep breath. "Ah, no. And- not so much accused," she says to Estelle, looking over to her cousin. "We are. Fomorian descended. They were... slaves of the Sylv'alfar, in a sense. And... the Slaver took them as well. Most of them, at least, it would seem."

After the Formorian information, Rowenova nods twice. "Seen the skull in the Lycene ward and heard some stories about their approach on Arx in ages past. Thankfully, you are all in good shape it seems." She looks around to them all before pointing out, "Some of those who are of the blood of the Sylv'alfar are not doing so well these days." Then, "What does the Faith do to help you, and who should I refer them to?"

When Dimitri and Teagan speaks of supplies, Gaston also nods as he agrees on the importance of keeping an army fed and clothed, "Logistics will be key for any army. Disrupting the supply chain will cause even the most valiant of soldiers to crumble, not from lack of bravery but strength." He also returns to the table to join the others, lowering himself onto his seat, while he listens in on the conversation about the great evil that is plaguing their lands.

Emlyn nods at Teagan as his plate is pushed aside and he adapts the classic Thinker pose, honing in on what Rowenova is saying. An analytical look shades his face. While some of the others may be more focused on the supply chain, he's more interested in the Fomorians and the Sylv'alfar.

"I don't know how much they can do," Teagan admits to Rowenova, though her hand goes to a charm bracelet bearing charms of all the gods at her wrist. "I've... not heard them. But I know some in the family who have. And I know Mother Ailith is always a sympathetic ear in such situations, as is Sir Preston. They may know who could help, at the least. I had a... similar situation, so I have been working on meditative pursuits to try to strengthen my mind. I do not know that it'll help, but I hope... if I am ever faced with something trying to take my will from me again? I can fight back."

Dimitri is giving an incline of his head in the direction of Gaston and Teagan, only to offer a smile up to the pair of them, "I shall do what I can, then, to assist in this endeavor." Quiet after that, he takes to drinking his scotch, simply listening further for the time being.

Looking like she's not exactly surprised by Teagan's revelation, she IS a touch curious about the terms being tossed around. She was raised with tales of 'giants' and 'mountain people' from her father, so that was expected. Fomorian was a new one though. Cerys sips from her glass, then looks to Dimitri and grins, "Well, now you know -my- pedigree, and this is only on my father's side! Watch my mother be from some long line of ancient assassins or witches or something. It would explain why they're so eager to start their own little dynasty!" She kisses his cheek before looking to Rowenova and giving a nod, "You've got me. I'll make sure to get kitted up quick and keep it ready for whenever you head out." She looks to Teagan, "If you know anyone that can help train against mental intrusion, I'd be game to learn."

Rowenova raptly listens then nods anew. "Thank you. I will write those two. Wishing you the best with staying well." A grateful look to Dimitri and Cerys, both. "And thank you both, too. I look forward to having you both join us." Then, "I will keep an ear out for those who can help teach and send word back, too."

Estelle is quietly thoughtful for a bit before admitting to Teagan, "Don't think I had known about that particular danger... Sounds like I should check with Ailith and Preston as well, for just in case."

There's a tilt of her head in a nod to Rowenova, but Teagan is looking... thoughtful now. "I wonder if there's a need for that, perhaps. I've been looking for a while, to be honest. Ways to guard one's self against mental intrusion. I've just always sought guidance and support from Mother Ailith. But-" She leans back in her chair, looking at the fire in the hearth. "Hmm." She blinks, once, twice. "I have an idea. I need to talk to someone before I say much more on it, but-" a look to a few of her cousins. "Something else you need to know of is that... magic is tainted for us. There is something in Arvum that... well, it causes it to be poisoned. Our blood. There is a ritual that can and truly must be done to cleanse it. But to perform the ritual, you must witness one. I'll see about finding a ritual for you all to witness so that you can undertake it. It's... not a difficult thing. In fact it's... enlightening, in a way, I think. But, for the good of Arvum, it must be done."

Rowenova points out, "Lord Arik is seeking people to help him with his, and, well, so am I, but I am still debating how I wish to do mine for three years, so he will be more reliable and more speedy than me." She may be super picky. "And yes, it is a good thing for everyone to do, but sometimes enlightens people who do it with visions and voices."

Dimitri is overheard praising Teagan: I will forever think of the Marquessa as a siege weapon in a ballgown.

Gaston is overheard praising Teagan: My sister, the siege weapon in a ballgown!

Dimitri is overheard praising Blackram: An absolutely wonderful family dinner

"It took me a couple years to decide on mine," Teagan tells Rowenova with a small nod of understanding. "I've had a chat with Lord Arik about his plans for his. And-" she looks to cousins and cousins-by-marriage alike. "I will write him about including you in his, if he is able. But, Gaston needs to undertake his as well. So there should be ample opportunities in the near future, I should hope."

Hearing his name on the subject of the cleansing, Gaston only furrows his brow with a hrrmph in response to what his sister says but he leaves it alone for now, content with just listening and drinking the whiskey that is in his glass.



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