Laurent Pool Jousting
July 3, 2020, 8:30 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Laurent Manse - Gardens and Pool
Comments and Log
Confessor Imori arrives, following Tikva.
When the guests arrive, they're greeted by Laurent servants who show them to the pool area of the gardens, indicating they can take whatever seats they wish. Drinks will be coming around with servants, as well as many little delicious finger foods. It's evening and the garden has been lit up with an abundance of hanging paper lanterns. Also there's babysitting services available in the main part of the manse, children will be entertained there!
Duke Cristoph Laurent cuts an impressive figure, being both tall and reasonably muscular for a man that hasn't seen active training and combat as much as he might like. He wears an expertly crafted bathing costume of seasilk that fits him nicely. Along with the trademark beeara (that sits atop well arranged dark hair), and his ducal ring. Really, this is exactly as one would expect him to appear. Very dukely. Handsome! His sandals are rather nice as well... minus the seasilk socks he's decided to wear with them. "Has anyone seen Princess Zara tonight?" he asks curiously and in a way that's so-very-innocent. As a server passes with a tray of wine, he plucks one of the glasses from it and takes a careful sip. "I was hoping she might be here."
Resolute, an Oakhaven bloodhound arrives, following Kastelon.
Katarina is overheard praising Cristoph: He remembered!
"Did you have some socks and sandals fashioned as a prize, Duke Laurent? I am sure that will lure her like a Siren's call." Alis pipes up, having heard his question. "I mean, aside from... the ones you're... ah, wearing." Sorry, pardon her while she snorts into her glass trying not to laugh. She's already draped in a lounge chair, thank you. In an aeterna two piece bathing suit that looks like a cuirass and battle skirt. Yes, she did.
Going for something a bit more modest is the marquessa of Blancbier. Dominique slips into the pool area, with a towel drapped around her shoulders in a one piece bathing suit that accenuates her lithe and athletic figure. A chubby chunky green eyed baby boy clings on tight to his mother babbling away happily shirtless, wearing a similarly blue colored diaper.
Glancing about, she steps in front of Christoph and curtsies. "Duke LAurent, thank you for inviting us." she says. "I'd like tointroduce my son, Lord Dashiel." A seven month old babbles away happily.
Dog, a scruffy west oathlands puppy have been dismissed.
Where Alis wears a bathing suit that disguises itself as armor, Katarina has gone in the other direction and wears actual armor that aspires to be a bathing suit. Scale mail with each last scale engraved with a Valardin dragon -- no doubt various engravers around the fealty are sitting tonight out, their hands dunked into buckets of ice. With minimal coverage and maximum 'actual metal,' this suit is easily meant to be seen in, rather than swam in. All of which is to say: Katarina has crept into the party, and now creeps up behind Alis, to rest her hands on her sister's shoulders. "Oh? Are socks and sandals being awarded~? Now I must try even harder to win~."
Zara's here. Of _course_ Zara's here. She couldn't possibly _not_ be here. Watch the way she turns at the sound of her name; watch the way her expression freezes in a fixed rictus of courtesy as she hears Alis. Did she just say--
Zara _carves_ her way through the crowd with the soft chime of metal mail as she moves toward Alis and Cristoph. She parts the crowd with exquisite courtesy so that she can square off opposite Cristoph. She says, "No," in a low voice, choked with horror.
Norwood enters the room with Margerie on his arm. He's wearing a loose shirt over one-piece swimsuit just like Cristophs. Except that it doesn't quite fit him perfectly. It rides up just a bit in the buttocks portion and is DISTINCTLY not quite built for that part of Norwood's anatomy. He leans to one side slightly and whispers in Margerie's ears before leading her towards Cristoph. They have a GIFT BAG to give.
Being a constant present in the garden during the .. during all seasons, Mabelle is likely coming down from the treehouse when people begin to arrive. Her own swimsuit covered with a dress to be removed at some point, she did not want to blind the guests by it being so.. CORAL. Cristoph gets a stare, not for his physique, and Zara's own response is mirrored, "I know".
Norwood mutters, "I have ... had ... crack this bad in ... some time. ... a seam ... ... ... you are ready to shield ... gets ..."
Adalyn's lack of interest in fashion is on full display as she arrives in a baggy flannel shirt, trousers rolled up to her knees, and a jaunty beret - an outfit that she apparenty finds perfectly suitable to substitute for swimwear. Either that, or she intends to sit poolside and watch. She greets Cristoph with a grin, which only widens as she spots Norwood and Margerie's approach. "Duke Cristoph, you look positively summery and pool-ready."
Insaya is wearing an oversized blue-and-white linen scarf. That's it. It is knotted up and tied elaborately in the style of a sarong to cover everything in need of covering; Elysia knows, there's not much to show. It forms a gauzy piece of loungewear that leaves her arms bare, and legs below the knees. She has to even out her hood-lines, afterall. The commoner lays out poolside with an arm over her eyes.
Amari strolls in without an entire parade of animals following her for a rare change. She's wearing a dress that makes her look like a mermaid from the knees up, rather than the proper waist down, all shimmering scale of white with soft rainbow hues. In her long dark hair that's been swept into a neat updo, continuing the fish and pond motif, are hair pins topped with silk water lilies and tiny agate frogs. Rather than swords and bows, and quivers of arrows, she carries a delicate parasol that rests on her shoulder and twirls slowly back and forth as she looks to see who all has already arrived. Who to approach first? She can't seem to decide, so does the polite thing and dips her head in greeting to the well dressed host, Duke Cristoph.
"If I said that socks and sandals were a prize, I'm afraid Princess Zara would transform into a dragon and burn all of my possessions," Cristoph replies cheerful to Alis. As that's happening, there is suddenly a baby being introduced to him by Dominique. He smiles politely and affords the child a slight nod of his head. "Thank you for the introduction, Marquessa Dominique. I hope that you enjoy the party." When Zara arrives nearby, his smile turns from polite deeply amused. "Princess Zara, thank you for coming. It's good to see you again." Oh, yes, Zara. YES. As others arrive, he waves to them politely and with good humor.
Zara checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 40, rolling 20 higher.
Dame Rosario Nevarre of the Oathlands, Anouk Ardennes, Anais Ardennes, Triage, The white dove of Mercy, 2 Valardin Knights, 1 Templar Knight guards arrive, following Sophie.
Drake is wearing seasilk as well. It is purple. It is not terribly modest, because Drake is not, on the whole, a terribly modest person. He is not obviously at a pool party to show off fabric. He's here to show off a whole anatomy chart of lean muscle, a summer tan he's built a bit by working out shirtless, and only a scattering of fresh duelist scars. He's also here to look at what the women are wearing, naturally. That's the real fun. When he arrives at the party, the first thing he does is look to see where drinks are, but his eyes are definitely wandering all over the place.
Some of the Keatons have arrived. They are probably heralded by the fact that the children are VERY excited, and they are still excited even after they are herded off for baby sitting services. At least they come with their own nurses, in particular the little twins who are evidently going to maintain company with their siblings. Did someone tell Kael that his wife is no longer in a state that she needs to be carried? No, no they did not. For there is the Marquis Keaton, sporting his very modest seasilk one piece and carrying his wife all the way from Keaton Hall. He wavers, as though drunk. Of course he is not, he's just teeter-tottering because he's implying he's going to drop her. Spoiler: He won't.
Alis is the most awful cousin ever; surely her peal of laughter can be heard all the way back at the manor at Zara's horror. But, it's probably the first time she's been heard to laugh in weeks at this point so maybe she will be forgiven. "Burning them would be too good. She'd definitely spew poison over everything." she decides, trying to get Zara's attention. "But look Zara! Look, I dressed appropriately! Pay no attention to the sock and sandal thing. Look at meeee!" She's trying, honestly.
Margerie, on her husband's arm, is dressed in normal clothing. She has no intentions of swimming. Upon greeting Cristoph, she hands off a neat package to her duke. The Second is well behaved at her side, as always. She waves to a few familiar faces, whom she will absolutely greet properly soon, but she sees Dominique with a baby, and departs from Norwood's side with eyes wide and bright, ready to pinch a chubby baby leg.
Nomius, a deeply skeptical bloodhound, Siri, an attentive apprentice, Paris, a charming mercenary, 2 Keaton Huntsmen arrive, following Apollo.
Nomius, a deeply skeptical bloodhound have been dismissed.
Paris, a charming mercenary have been dismissed.
Ryhalt strolls into the garden and arrives at the pool area with a smile. He isn't wearing a swimsuit, but a pair of pants and bare feet instead.
Amid the flashy armour-turned-bathing-suits and bathing-suits-turned-armour (and Norwood), Veronica is dressed fairly plainly. She wears a modest one-piece which looks both worn and comfortable, baring long limbs to the cool breeze and sunlight. Her hair is tied up high behind her head, held in a bun to keep it out of her face: She looks entirely ready to swim. Behind her trots, Thunderboy, his leash in one of her hands, and Fion, who melts into the crowd of servants with one quick glance held between her and her mistress before she goes.
She waves to everyone she knows, bowing to Cristoph as the host, but her path takes her Insaya's direction and she drops into a crouch near the other woman. "That," she says frankly, with a gesture to encompass the scarf/bathing suit, "is very clever. I take it you're just sunbathing today, though?"
Zara's composure holds in the face of the CLEAR PROVOCATION that Cristoph presents. "Thank you, Duke Cristoph, for so kindly hosting us. _What_--" Just as her voice sharpens, Alis successfully distracts her. Her cousin a _balm_ to the soul, a _calming_ balm, she steps forward. "You look absolutely splendid," she says, emphasis subtle as she says that to Alis. AND ONLY ALIS. And NOT CRISTOPH. She glances past Alis to Mabelle, her eyes round as she says something lowly to her.
Zara mutters, "What ... the chances ... could ... take out his entire sock ..."
Sophie slips in, slightly late as usual, but then that's not abnormal for the busy busy Mercy. She's smiling as she arrives, though and she makes her way over to her cousins. It's Alis she sneaks up behind first and she leans in to whisper "boo" into her ear with a smile. Then she smiles and gives a little wave toward Zara.
ABANDONED. Norwood is left alone as his wife beelines to a different part of the bee party. This leaves Norwood quite alone and he SIGHS before taking up a stance not far from Cristoph. "Stylish, my Duke." The desert has nothing on the dryness inNorwood's tone. Adalyn gets a PAINED smile. SAVE HIMPLEASE.
Norwood has joined the line.
With a bit of a curtsy, she nods and beams brightly before heading on over towards one of the lounging areas to set the towel down. Nosewrinkling for a few moments, she bounces the young Dashling upon her knee who is making for the grabbyhands towards the pool "You'll get to joust once everything has calmed down, no worries." Dominique tells her son.
Katarina has joined the line.
Mabelle curves her lips as she notices Norwood and Margerie, "Would you look at that, if you could only make it sparkly pink it would be perfect!", she nudges Zara a little, "Wouldnt it?". Eventually she pulls up her dress over her head to reveal a one piece that is held with a single gold chain. Drake gets an impressed smile, be it the muscles or the bravery, who knows? Ryhalt's barefeet gets a whole gasp, "No boots! Call the inquisition!". When Zara murmurs to her, Mabelle keeps her voice area friendly, "He locks his room, I approached it with a torch once"
Cristoph has joined the line.
Drake has joined the line.
Amari has joined the line.
Each wobble has Reigna squealing, covering her mouth as she laughs. The Keaton Marquessa is clad in a bathing suit not unlike her husband's. A clingy one-piece that nearly reaches her knees, allowing for full freedom of movement. Still it is a LOT more daring than her usual public wear, and plays up the curvaceous figure of the statuesque Keaton Marquessa. Her hair is -- *gasp* -- not down, not fully anyway. Instead of her typical elaborate updo, she has a single thick plait that falls from the back of her head nearly to her hips. This braid sways to and fro as she grips her husband, "You! You will not drop me!"
Insaya grins and moves her arm so she can see Veronica. "I only doggie-paddle," she says, moving her arms in a digging motion, winking to show she is only kidding. "I could always re-knot, I suppose. But I would have to find someone wearing the rest of the tent." Sitting up, she says, "Thank you, my lady. Are you jousting?"
Zara has joined the line.
Camille, the Iron Maiden have been dismissed.
2 Valardin Knights have been dismissed.
Sirius has joined the line.
Kastelon walks in with a bloodhound shadow at his heels. He must have changed elsewhere in the manse, modestly, because he's barefoot on the garden pathway and wearing nothing but some swimming trunks and his signet ring.
Apollo did not opt for the prestigious one-piece he made for Norwood, Cristoph, and Kael; instead, he's got glorified (or at least drawstring) smallclothes on in a slightly muted purple. It's something, anyway. He squints against the sun and looks on as he arrives, seeing where people are situated.
Alis has joined the line.
Alis doesn't even jump when Sophie whispers boo in her ear. Instead, she squeaks happily and recognizes the voice, twisting around to clasp her cousin in a hug. "So glad to see you!" she whispers back, hopping up then so she can join those who are showing off their swimwear. She had explicit instructions for this bathing suit and she is going to flaunt it.
Mabelle has joined the line.
Apollo has joined the line.
Kastelon salutes Apollo as he slows his step for a moment. "My thanks, Apollo," he states. "These are excellent. Very flowy and comfortable." Probably true for someone used to wearing leather breeches all the time.
Margerie approaches Lady Dominique with a small grin. "Might I offer you an extra pair of hands?" She nods at the baby, clearly indicating she is willing to take Dashiel and play auntie.
Ryhalt chuckles at Mabelle and *wiggles* his bare toes at her. "Just lost my vote there, Lady Mabelle."
Adalyn likely sticks out like a sore thumb, being so covered at a pool party. She concentrates on rolling up the sleeves of her baggy shirt, head ducked to hide the humor in her eyes. "Papa. You look great! Like you're ready to frolic." As if Norwood ever frolics. She lifts her head, gaze settling upon her father as she tries valiantly to look earnest rather than amused.
Reigna has joined the line.
So many people. Amari smiles and nods and even waves to people milling around, looking most fabulous. It's Adalyn she eventually hones in on with a bright smile. She has to agree with her about Norwood. Her nod is solemn. "You really do, Uncle Norwood."
Clear provocation indeed, Cristoph doesn't bother to hide that deep chuckle that rumbles out of him when Zara turns her back on him goes over to Alis. He turns to Norwood and Margerie when the approach, "Thank you!" He looks inside of it. "Very nice, I'm sure Eadric and Annalise will enjoy it." He sips his wine and passes the bag off to one of the servants of the event.
Sophie happily hugs Alis, and turns her attention to the bathing suit contest. She slides her hands into the pockets of the white robes she's wearing. Clearly she isn't dressed for swimming, and that seems perfectly ok with her. She seems delighted to look at the others though, and she settles into a quiet part of the garden to watch.
Glancing upwards towards the older woman, Dominique beams brightly and glances down towards her son for a few moments. "Mmm, will you be a good boy for Lady Margerie?" she asks curiously before lifting up the chunky toddler who continues to babble away, making with grabbyhands towards Margerie. Let the auntying begin!
Drake looks over at Mabelle. His eyes wander a little, as he's blatantly trying to figure out what she's wearing under the other thing she's wearing. Then he notices her bracelet and smiles at her, meeting hers. Drake apparently had no idea people were judging swimsuits here, but he just sort of joins in the crowd.
Near the poolside, Veronica laughs, blue eyes bright with the smile that splits her face. "If your head's above water, then you've won," she says to Insaya, returning the wink. "Which I wouldn't bet on if you went swimming with that on. The fabric must gain about ten pounds of water when submerged!" She leans back into a recline, supporting herself on the ground with one forearm. "I plan to joust, yes. It should be fun," she says. "And how about you? Are you a jouster?"
(OOC)The scene set/room mood is now set to: Vote for your favorite swimsuit! Check out: Norwood, Katarina, Drake, Amari, Zara, Alis, Mabelle, Apollo, Reigna and cast your vote at https://forms.gle/YB7aT8Aw7yQn7Kqz7
Norwood's lips are thin, but he makes a slight bow to Mabelle for her words. But he's pretty sure that she isn't looking for a direct actor. Instead he looks at Adalyn. "...Frolic." There's an unspoken 'seriously girl?!' at the end there. The same look gets turned onto Amari when she pops out. "Let me give this over to you then. Perhaps your slighter frame might have less... well, it might cling less."
The line has been dismissed by Cristoph.
Some manner of trog-like simian by the moniker of Sirius Valardin arrives at the gathering, wearing a loose, silk shirt that hangs off of his already insipid body-fill and linen pants rolled up to the calves. He's pale, too pale; indeed, this troglodyte hadn't left his cave in months, perhaps years. In his hand is a pup, and he looks off frown-eyed to the many pets out and about. "Alright buddy, go make friends. If they dislike you, defecate under their bed too." He stoops and releases out 'Dog' to wander the surrounding acre, giving him a prompt pat on the butt of farewell.
Norwood has joined the line.
Drake has joined the line.
Sirius has joined the line.
Amari has joined the line.
Adalyn has joined the line.
Reigna has joined the line.
Veronica has joined the line.
Zara has joined the line.
Ryhalt has joined the line.
Kael has joined the line.
Mabelle gasps at Ryhalt, "Lost your vote? Then I will lose the entire contest!". Notice Drake's gaze, Mabelle teases him, "I am all beed out today. I almost outdid Cristoph, alas, he won with that", she eyes Cristoph's swimsuit.
Mabelle has joined the line.
Apollo has joined the line.
Dominique has joined the line.
Kiera comes in wearing a imple white one piece obviously javing missed the context notice and not giving any care at all and getting ready to try the jousting with o skill whatever. herere we go
Apollo checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 2 higher.
Norwood's dubious look earns a snicker and a helpless shrug from Adalyn before she notes Amari's approach, turning to greet her with a warm smile. "You see, Papa? I'm not the only one who thinks it. And you're looking lovely yourself, Amari. Very ethereal."
Insaya chuckles, "Its only linen. I made it out of a curtain, though. You know, saw it in a window, and just couldn't resist... If it wets, the knots SHOULD just get tighter. And if I float, I can always strip off and have a sail?" She shakes her head. "No, no jousting for me. Particularly if this is the sort of pool joust where you have to sit on someone's shoulders. I have limited contexts where I will put my legs around someone's neck to do violence... I'll cheer for you?"
Kastelon has joined the line.
Apollo spots Drake in a startlingly similar suit, and doesn't even scowl - flashes him a winning smile instead. No, instead, he makes his way over to greet friends and family - Adalyn is who runs into first, and gives her a little squeeze on the arm, a murmur in his ear, before eyeing other folks' suits. He might have opinions! Well. Of course he has opinions.
"He most certainly did not," Zara says with a glance at Mabelle as she suggests that Cristoph has won _anything_, anything at _all_, on a day where he wears _socks with sandals_. It's a struggle for her to ignore that long enough to return Sophie's greeting, but she warms talking to her cousins: "Alis, you should ask Sophie about the remarkable bravery she demonstrated the other day. Very brave in the face of the new and unexpected."
Sirius has joined the line.
Drake looks over at Cristoph. He will admit ... he wasn't TRYING to look at the men's suits at all. But... "The stripes are certainly striking," he has to admit. He gives Apollo a smile smile too. Maybe they got silk from the same supplier. "What ARE we jousting on? Not dolphins. I had guessed dolphins."
With a grin, Margerie collects the chubby baby into her arms and expertly balances him on her hip. "If you need me, just shout. I will keep him entertained so you can relax." She wanders back over to Norwood, Adalyn, and Amari, speaking in a high-pitched, sweet voice to Dashiel. She looks around, seeing the crowd has grown and waving quickly to Kael, Reigna, Apolloa, and others.
Sophie laughs and wraps an arm around Zara to give her a little hug. "Now now, Zara. You're the brave one. There's nothing all that brave about trying new foods. It's bravery to do what you do. Facing people with swords and things. " She smiles warmly at those gathered, and she gives Mabelle a little smile. "
Alis slides her gaze back over to Sophie, both brows lifted. "You can't leave it at that. You have to /share/." she prompts, nudging Sophie and Zara a little towards one of the lounge chairs. "Come on, have a seat and relax with us a little while."
Ryhalt nods sadly to Mabelle. "Yes, you shall surely lose without my vote. It's revenge, I guess?"
"I feel like I should have went for steel, but I thought I'd rust or sink to the bottom if the joust involved falling into the pool... which it must." Amari quietly remarks at Adalyn's compliment. She's not got a lick of proper armor on, it's all seasilk, no matter how scaley it looks. "Hello Apollo." She sneaks in when he passes by, then there's Margerie and baby to distract her, "Aunt Margerie, where did you find a baby? Uncle Norwood?" The last she asks as if he might have some 'splaining to do.
When Margerie is waving his way, Kael lacks the hands to wave back. Why? He is STILL carrying Reigna around. Still, he manages to wiggle fingers and flash a grin that is so stupidly, boyishly pleased. Please excuse the Marquis, it is rare that he gets out for a good time evidently.
With the names collected for the jousting, Cristoph is finishing off that glass of wine. Apparently the worst of his mischief is done for the evening. Most of it anyway. He stands on one of the chairs and calls out for, "Baron Norwood and Lord Drake! Would you please take up your steads!" Which are precariously floating wooden horses that look very unsteady. "And your weapons!" Wooden poles. "And begin your joust! Also, Lord Drake! Congratulations on your House Wyvernheart!"
Cristoph is overheard praising Drake.
Alis is overheard praising Drake.
Mabelle wiggles her fingers to Sirius, "No spiders here", she winks to him and waves to Sophie, "Hello there, Sophie, its nice to see you". Mabelle grins to Zara and notes, "See, you can still tease him for everything, I need to stop at some point, I think, or he will lock me out of my room", she eyes Cristoph before making her way to the side of the pool, sitting at the ledge. "House Wyvernheart?", she glances at Drake curiously
"Yes, it would be best to avoid sinking to the bottom of the pool." Norwood replies, and he reaches out a hand to Margerie like she's the center of his world - when Cristoph is calling his name for the duel. He'll limit his public display of affection to a kiss to Margerie's cheek before heading out to "joust"
Norwood checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 22 higher.
Surveying from a safe distance, Sirius takes in the sights of familial mingling with a wan, tired smile. Then, given that he's already here, he so chooses to approach Alis, Sophie, Zara and Cristoph in the mosh of conversation. With a quizzical look, he finds an easy seat on the grass by them and settles down with his knees up to his chest, watching them without commentary. Tracking their various expressions as they speak, each different configuration amusing him to varying degrees. "Luckily," he tells Mabelle blithely, rising a hand to wave her way amicably after.
Mabelle has joined the an elegant pool designed from natural resources.
"Apollo, glad to see you've come out for a bit of fun," Adalyn greets the leatherworker fondly. She scans the crowd to admire the variety of swimsuits, her head tilted in toward Apollo's as she lowers her voice, murmuring an answer. She nods knowingly at Amari. "Steel is always proper joustwear, except I suppose when there's water involved." As the jousting begins, she lets out a cheer. "Alright, Papa!"
Veronica stretches her legs out before her, the chuckle at Insaya's words still fading in her throat. "Clever /and/ efficient. Very Oathlands," she says, raising one hand in a lazy salute to Insaya. "To be frank, I'm not sure how this jousting is going to work, but if it /is/ about sitting on someone else's shoulders, I may really need your cheers." She's a tall, athletic woman: Even in the water, it wouldn't be terribly easy for someone her size or smaller to carry her. Then she spots the wooden floats. "Oh, look. No shoulders after all. All the better." She relaxes, waiting for her turn at the jousting, and turns so she can watch Insaya and the joust at once. "At least we can enjoy watching everyone else humiliate themselves."
Reigna is giggling madly and hollers, "Auntie Margerie! Hello! Tell your nephew he better not throw me into the water!" Yes, teh Keaton duo are clearly enjoying the heck out of themselves tonight.
Katarina has been off to one side of the lounge chairs Alis presides over, holding a drink and making small talk with someone or other. The conversation seems to be about whether or not Katarina can actually SWIM in a scale mail bikini, and having to acknowledge that it's not really useful in that regard leaves Katarina a bit fussy as she returns to her family. Rather than claim her own lounge chair, she sits on the edge of Alis's. "At least we are past the part where I spend these parties being asked if those of the Dune Kingdoms even know HOW to swim," she grouses quietly, to no one, before pounding her drink.
Alis wiggles fingers in greeting to Sirius when he approaches their little gathering and sits on the grass. "Are you having fun?" she wonders, curious. He is even less of a social butterfly than she is, and that's not saying much. "What? Next time you message me, Kat. I'll come over and start shoving people into the water for you when they do that."
In answer to Amari, Margerie exclaims, "Lady Dominique! This is the young Lord Dashiel." She turns to Norwood to afford his kiss a place to land. "Good luck, my darling." She waves her husband off before calling out to Kael and Reigna. "Kael, be nice to your wife! Also, when you have hands free, I have something for you."
Veronica has joined the an outdoor hearth with couch seating.
There's the slip of a smile that just shadows Zara's features as Alis takes the bait, chasing Sophie for details. She takes a seat on one of the lounge chairs and stretches out her sandaled, SOCKLESS feet to cross them at the ankle as she waits for her turn in the joust. "I grant your point," she says to Mabelle, inclining her head and then glancing past to Sirius with a wave. "Katarina, at this point I think of you at sea far more than I ever picture you with sand, I admit."
Sophie smile as she joins Zara and Alis, slipping onto one of the lounge chairs herself. "Of course I'll share. Shall I send the twins for a bowl of grasshoppers or lizard tales? I don't remember if you tried them, Zara. I think you did, didn't you? Even so, it's sort of an acquired taste. Sort of.. nutty." She grins at the both of them and raises a hand toward Anouk and Anais. She nods a head in greeting to Sirius as he's invited to join them and she smiles warmly. "Shall I order enough for you too?"
Drake checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 56 higher.
Margerie has joined the a comfortable wooden treehouse.
Oh look, it seems that Dashiel is getting to know his distant relatives. He continues to babble, his bright green gold flecked eyes sparkling brightly as he clings onto Margerie.
There's a curtsy as Dominique eases on up and stretches her arms in the air. Now that she's babyless, it's time to glance about and take in the sights as she hoots and hollars. "Go Drake!" she calls out to her cousin before looking towards Margerie with her son every now and then.
Drake takes up the weapon that Cristoph offers, and, using the spear - such as it is - as an impliment, gives a little salute with it as if it were a real joust. "Thank you. We'll do our best to hold the lands and work hard with everything we've started on." Mabelle asks him, and looks at her with a nod. "Small name change," says Drake, and gives her a wink. "Richard is the Count now as he was promised." He pulls the spear under his arm and gets in the pool, and then on a wooden horse. Time to... joust.
Now the situation is really quite awkward. But Drake is no stranger to the joust so getting used to jousting in a pool on a wooden horse is...
Okay, it takes SOME getting used to, especially paddling it forward so that it can get a proper charge on. But then once he figures out how to swim fast enough to get it up to ramming speed... the rest of the art is the same, mostly.
Margerie has left the a comfortable wooden treehouse.
Margerie has joined the a comfortable wooden treehouse.
"Pfeh," Katarina says to Alis, still pouting about how her swimsuit that precludes any actual swimming (but does show off her full-panel back tattoo!) isn't singling her out for praise and adoration -- the lifeblood some Princesses thrive upon. "I stopped receiving the swimming question some time ago. Probably around when I became Exploration Admiral~."
Margerie has left the a comfortable wooden treehouse.
Margerie has joined the a rustic garden patio.
The strawberry Insaya chuckles, and says, "I suppose I should have expected that, Lady Inquisitor Veronica. We *do* come from the land of cornhole and baconalia. Just good, squeaky clean fun..." She puts her fingers to her lips and emits a loud, high-pitched, and appreciative whistle in Apollo's direction. She makes a hand-sign to express "Niiiiiiiiice." Because she can. "Probably will get splashed, too," she observes to Veronica, leaning back on an arm. She is going to burn.
Margerie has left the a rustic garden patio.
Margerie has joined the an elegant pool designed from natural resources.
Margerie has left the an elegant pool designed from natural resources.
Margerie has joined the a garden of red orchids.
Margerie has left the a garden of red orchids.
Margerie has joined the a cozy sofa nook.
Margerie has left the a cozy sofa nook.
Margerie has joined the an outdoor hearth with couch seating.
"Were they dipped in something? Fried? Pickled maybe? Pickled lizard tail sounds interesting. I'm not entirely sure about the grasshopper though." Alis admits, face screwing up into a bit of a frown. This /is/ the woman who ate deep fried bacon wrapped pickles during her pregnancies people. Weird food is not really something that grosses her out. "Oh, oh. Okay then. But I haven't had a chance to shove someone into a pool in ages. How about everyone that didn't tell you how adorable you look in a metal bikini?"
"Sure, it's nice, just hearing everyone talk," Sirius tells Alis, looking relatively stranged towards such a notion. His boney shoulders rise, each which discomfited shrug away at some brisk breeze that lays across their berth with shuddering force. Zara's wave is returned with a smirk unlike to reach his eyes, and as Sophie approaches for his attention, a brief alarm leads his head to tilt back, the axis that is his neck tensing some. "Pardon?" He inquires, one brow tying down with confusion. "Order enough--you mean food? Yes, yes. Food. I'm starving."
Mabelle glances at Katarina amusedly, "Explosions admiral?", its noisy by the pool, "Are you burning Honey too?". She observes Drake to see what needs to be done in the contest, but that's not going to happen and so she asks him, "So you got your own lands now?"
Kastelon has joined the an elegant pool designed from natural resources.
"They restored the lands that were once the Steelharts." Dominique explains as she looks towards Mabelle. "When we decided to restore High Hill, I named Richard and Drake as the new lords of High Hill, with Richard being the count."
Kastelon walks up to the edge of the pool and sits down, putting his legs in the water. The bloodhound lays next to him, putting that furry head in his lap, and he absently fondles an ear while watching Drake with solemn admiration.
Veronica follows the path of Insaya's gaze (and whistle) to Apollo, and though she doesn't join in, she does lift a hand and wave cheerfully to him. "I suppose we will," she agrees to Insaya. "But if we move back, we'll miss the fun. Splashing /is/ half the fun, don't you think?" She smiles, then adds with a tilt of her head at Apollo, "Have you two met yet?"
Still standing atop his chair, Cristoph watches as Norwood and Drake get down to business in the water. He rocks on his socked and sandaled feet, awaiting to see what the result will be. "And the winner is Lord Drake! Congratulations!" He claps loudly for the man and then gives a wave of his hand. "Next up in the pairings we have, Princes Sirius versus Lady Amari!" He accepts another glass of wine from a servant and taps his foot upon the chair. "Princess Alis do you want me to throw you in the pool after this over?" Probably not.
Apollo gives Adalyn a peevish look, but there's a smile to go with - then he's distracted, first by Amari's greeting - that gets a chin-up and almost actual words - then the wolf-whistle. He tilts his head at Insaya like he's not actually familiar with that foreign language, then he just grins, lifts a hand to touch fingers to his brow, tip them her way, a salute, a sort of thank-you. He's gonna get a big head. He turns back to Amari. "Hello Lady Amari. I /love/ your suit." He turns back to Insaya - and Veronica, of course. "We haven't," he answers, "but I feel like we should have first." That's with laughter, though - he's not actually put out. "Hello."
"That's certainly one way to win the competition," Zara says, the laugh in her voice clear enough despite the reserve of her manner. "Drown the rest. You _do_ look adorable, though," she assures Alis, like a woman who doesn't want to get shoved in the pool and lose her hairpins. She just kind of goes, "Mm, mm-hm!" as the talk turns back to the other night's adventures in food. It is as vague as she can possibly get away with: not outright discouraging the idea of ordering more, but she's absolutely not encouraging. "Ooh, Sirius, good luck. I think you'll need it." She may or may not be cheering for Amari.
Margerie wanders for a few minutes, bouncing the baby on her hip and greeting various people until she finds a comfortable spot to settle in by the outdoor hearth. She keeps herself and Dashiel entertained with a game of peek-a-boo.
Mabelle realizes her mistake, Mabelle smiles awkwardly to Dominique, "Oh. I confused Philippe with Richard, Yes, I heard that. Congratulations on the restored lands", she offers the same smile to Drake and applause for his win. She then calls toward Cristoph and Alis, "Throw her in now, see her battle between contestants".
Drake gets off the 'horse,' climbs out of the pool, and wanders back toward the conversation. He sits on pool's edge, listening to people talking about something kind of important (the House) even while something silly (that is, pool jousting) is going on. But he likes the contrast of it. He'll give Norwood a hand out of the pool if he wants it. "I'm to be House Sword, though Richard will have to make some kind of proclamation I imagine. And thank you."
"No thank you, you've already thrown me in a pool once Duke Laurent. Perhaps it is my turn to throw -you- into a pool." Alis calls back, feigning both horror and shock at Mabelle. "Where is the love for the tiny tyrant General." She makes a sad face over at Zara to punctuate all that with.
Katarina claps for Drake -- a proper royal clap, supportive but not too excited. She looks to Mabelle: "No, I believe Zara is Explosions Admiral. Something about how she turns into a dragon and burns everything when our host mentions socks and sandals three times in a row? A unique skillset for a unique position. As my family attests, my strengths lie more in being adorable. ...this metal is going to get rather hot in the sun, isn't it...?"
Kael continues that teeter-tottering, for while Cristoph might be throwing out verbal threats, he is still just looking to threaten Reigna there. He manuevers around to the edge of the pool, near where Kastelon is sitting (and that man gets a brief nudge with his knee in passing, just a friendly hello, not trying to get him into the water) before he goes a polite distance further and - here it comes. No, he does not actually throw Reigna into the pool. What he does is spin so that his back is to the pool and fall that-a-way, dunking them both.
Kael has joined the an elegant pool designed from natural resources.
Zara mutters, "I ... ... you push."
Zara leans to the side to murmur something to Alis at _that_ suggestion.
Ryhalt emits the first jousters, laughing. When Drake is declared the winner, he claps. Hearing the next pairing, he continues watching with interest.
"Oh Gods," breathes out Sirius, hearing his name announced by Cristoph's booming, nearly disembodied voice. He stands, weak at the knees, and wobbles on forward towards the pool's edge. With all manner of awkwardness, he claws at the bottom hem-drop of his shirt and pulls it up, over his shoulders, before dumping it at his feet in a careless bundle. Bare at the torso, he dons scars in all available angles and shapes; wrinkles of muscle here and there; moles and things. Nothing too much, too overbearing. "I'm terrible at physicalities," he tells Zara with a doom-laden gleam over-shoulder. "No luck's going to save me now." And, with a sense of finality, he _steps_ into the water. Splash.
Sophie laughs and leans into Alis, "No, I don't know how they were prepared. The lizard tails were fried, I believe. They were sort of.. crunchy. The grasshopers were even more crunchy, though again, I don't know how they were prepared. Perhaps instead of ordering some we should visit the establishment together. Mistress Rukhnis seems quite proud of it and the interior is beautiful. Everyone was raving over the fried goat cheese and the whiskey." She gives Sirius another smile, "Though if you're hungry I'm sure we could find something." She teases, "I hope you like honey." Then she continues, "I'm sister Sophie Valardin, by the way. I don't believe we've met, and if we have I've forgotten. My memory is terrible with those sorts of things, you know."
And, well. Drake won THAT one. He shakes his now-wet hair out of his hair and accepts Drake's hand. Upon exiting he makes a VERY proper bow (everyone, imagine a wet dog bowing, that's Norwood) to Drake.
With a piercing whistle, Reigna calls out in her Keaton Outside Voice "GO AMARI! YOU ARE THE BEST!!!" Reigna is still comfortably esconsed in Kael's arms -- right up to the point that he begins to fall backward into the water, at which point her cheering turns into a long, loud "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO--Splorsh!"
And, well. Drake won THAT one. He shakes his now-wet hair out of his hair and accepts Drake's hand. Upon exiting he makes a VERY proper bow (everyone, imagine a wet dog bowing, that's Norwood) to Drake. "Lord Drake, that is high honor to be given. May you serve honorably."
Ryhalt has joined the an elegant pool designed from natural resources.
Kastelon glances up and nods to Kael in response to that friendly knee-nudge. He doesn't smile, but it's a friendly nod. The following antics between the Keaton Marquis and Marquessa make his eyes crinkle, which is probably the closest he usually gets to a happy laugh among so many people.
Mabelle calls toward Ryhalt, "Duke Farshaw, join me!", as she swishes her legs inside the water away from the drama. She grins afar to Alis, "Tough love is still love, Tiny Tyrant!", she winks to her and informs Katarina, "See, this is why I do not argue with her during breakfast. I'm afraid she will burn my cookies", she eyes Zara.
"Two-thirds. And the spray is cooling. I have been baking like a snake on a rock for WEEKS," Insaya relates, twisting her fluffy hair into a bun she can secure with a party-pick. She is a pragmatic commoneer, afterall. "So if the water cools us off, I am ALL for it." Toward Apollo, she inclines her head, more politely. "Assistant Guildmaster," she says, and receives her first splashing, courtesy Reigna. She lets the water stay, and evaporate, because it's too darn hot. "I think we bumped into one another at the feast the guild prepared for hungry people. Lots of rolls. Lots. Insaya Bergere, of the Inquisition. My pleasure."
Sirius checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 9 lower.
Alis giggles quietly at Zara, arm hooking with hers, just in case. The other, with Sophie. Just because. "I'd be glad to go there with you, Sophie. And it wouldn't hurt to become familiar with the ways of those whom we hope to sway." she adds, more for herself than anything. "Will you consider it tough love when I smear bug guts on your steelsilk the next time we are on an adventure together, Lady Mabelle?" she teases the other woman right back.
Ryhalt smiles as he hears Mabelle's invitation and heads over to the calmer side of the pool to sit nearby. He seems rather subdued today, perhaps worn out by the heat. "So, the question is, are the dogs going to make a surprise 'interference' in the last round?"
Amari wiggles her fingers after Margerie and Dashiel, a little reassured now that she knows to whom the baby belongs. There's a smile then for Apollo, and a thank you for the compliment. A cheer for the jousters, and, oh, it's her turn. When Cristoph calls her name and her opponent's, she holds her parasol out to Adalyn, "Would you mind holding this a moment? I have a Prince to introduce myself to." She heads for the floating horse opposite his, and bows her head respectfully to the man before Reigna goes plunging into the water. That was unexpected. If none move to fish her out, she'll try herself before readying herself for the joust and calling across a greeting, "Greetings, your Highness. I am Lady Amari Keaton. Pleased to meet you." Prepare to die.
Amari checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 20 higher.
The light humor that marks Zara's manner as she murmurs to Alis DARKENS in what surely must be an intentionally shaped and crafted scowl as Katarina names her Explosions Admiral, and outlines the conditions of her transformation. "You tread close to that third times, Katarina," she says in warning, but immediate death and fire is held pending Amari and Sirius's bout.
Apollo's peevish look receives a beaming smile in return before Adalyn turns attention to the jousting matches unfolding. "It was a good try, Papa! Well done, Lord Drake." As Amari is called, she lets out a loud whoop and reaches out to accept the duty of holding the other woman's parasol. "Happily. Make it an introduction to remember."
Continuing to wander about, she looks towards her child every now and then. Dominique heads towards Margerie and makes a bit of a squintyface, much like her son is doing as he continues to babble. "You sure everything is okay, Lady Margerie? I hope he isn't too squirmy. I know he's a fan of the water."
"I'll throw her into the pool after this match," Cristoph calls back over to Mabelle. No, bad, Cristoph. Bad. "No, no. Lady Mabelle's idea is very sound. I'll be over there in JUST a moment, Princess Alis!" Yes, look at him, he's rushing over there! Except he's not. He's still standing on the chair and observing the pool jousting. This is extremely /important/ work. As Amari and Sirius begin their joust in the water, he calls out for the next pair. "Would Marquessa Reigna and Duke Ryhalt please prepare themselves to compete? That's if Marquis Keaton can stop menacing his wife for a moment," he jokes with a broad grin.
Ryhalt checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 8 higher.
Reigna checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 4 lower.
Katarina replies to Zara's warning by wagging her eyebrows while she drinks another drink.
Insaya is overheard praising Laurent: What a lovely home.
Mabelle rounds her mouth, shocked, horrified at Alis, "That is not tough love, that is disgusting!", she wrinkles her nose entirely, "If Kedehern was here, he would.. take that bug stuff for me". Lowering her voice to Ryhalt, she asks, "Are you doing well? Perhaps a soak will be good do you - Oh and there, its your turn". She eyes Cristoph then, "With this ensemble, I should keep you under water too", she grins at Cristoph. "I'm joking, if I wanted to hurt you, I will burn your socks. Zara."
Veronica has turned briefly aside to exchange a word with her aunt Margerie, seated at the hearth close by; by the time she turns back, she's missed the chance to introduce her friends, but nods anyway. "Better late than never," she says cheerfully of the introductions. "Apollo, join us if you like. We're clearly in the prime splash spot." She straightens a little and inflates, using the full power of her lungs to yell: "Knock him in, Amari!"
Ryhalt laughs as Cristoph calls his name just as he gets settled. He nods in agreement to Mabelle that he is in want of a soak to feel better. Therefore he slips into the water and waits for his turn.
Peeping up and beyond the Sun's glare, a pair of squinting-white eyes try to make sense of Amari below the changing lights and heated illumination. "I'm--! I am, I'm, I am--! Hold on. Hold on, hold on," calls out Sirius, holding up a palm in the air as he adjusts the would-be prop with which he's supposed to shove Amari off of her center of balance. "I AM A PRINCE OF SANCTUM! SIRIUS VALARDIN!" He screams all-a-sudden, and off he goes, charging at Amari. Sirius' a cheat; he tries to kick water into her face, to duck n' weave, to ANYTHING to get the win, but his shabby physique means he accomplishes little and Amari ends up clotheslining him into the water, from which he doesn't resurface. Only a froth of bubbles where he fell speak for his shame.
Margerie cheers for her dear Amari, quietly though, so as not to harm the baby's ears.
Drake claps a few times for the winners of the next bit of awkward joust action. Sirius's excited dive earns him a bit of laughter. "Maybe I shouldn't be playing this game.... the competition seems fierce."
Kastelon stops petting his dog long enough to clap loudly for Amari's win. Then he hops into the water to try to dredge up the sad Sirius.
Kael naturally begins to rough house with his wife in the water, laughing and splashing water her way, bold grin on display. That being said, as soon as Sirius is making his grand decree, it has his head pop up and he hones in on the Valardin prince with a lift of his brows. "What..." he says, evidently speaking to Reigna. Shaking his head, he lifts a hand to get some water out of his eyes, then calls forth in true Keaton fashion, "Amari!" by way of her victory.
Katarina gets up to lean forward, trying to look into the water to see if she can see Sirius thrashing or anything. "...oh, dear. If he stays down much longer it will become cruel to tease him about it later."
Apollo does in fact wander close to Veronica and Insaya, narrowly dancing out of the way of that first splash, laughing. He gives a nod of his head to the latter, then corrects, gently: "Co-guildmaster," and gives her a smile. "I'm sorry you had to witness that," he says. "And glad that Princess Sabella didn't hold what happened against me."
Mabelle claps her hands slowly at what's going on at the pool, trying so hard not to laugh at poor Sirius. So hard. No, she cant, she's giggling behind her glass of liquer.
Reigna sputters to the surface, laughing and grips the side of the pool as she hoists herself up and out of the water. "Ooooooh, Kael you are going to get it later!" The threat has no teeth whatsoever, considering that she can't stop giggling. She tries to shake the excess water out of her ears, that thick braid whipping around. She hears her name called and bounces fetchingly, clapping, "Whee! Get ready for chaos, Duke Rhyalt!" She bounces over to her raft and very, very, nearly sends herself flying off before she's even firmly onboard the floating horse. Then there is the struggle with her "lance" and as soon as she and Rhyalt face off, the barest effort from teh Farshaw Duke sends Reigna splashing back into the drink with another squealing, "Noooooooo!"
Water horses are just like regular horses, as far as Amari seems concerned. Once she's up and balanced, she looks steady and composed. She rather starkly contrasts with Prince Sirius on that count, who she regards with quiet confusion before he wipes himself out with only a slight encouragement from her. It's a very graceful clothesline, for the record. When it's all over, she dismounts and offers a hand to the soaked Prince because she's a good sport.
When he hears Sirius shouting out his titles and such, Cristoph turns slowly from where he'd been ribbing Alis to stare at the spectacle that is Prince Sirius and Lady Amari. He has to work to contain his laugher, clearing his throat and laughing quietly into his drink. "Well, that was decisive victory in Lady Amari's favor. Marquessa Reigna and Duke Ryhalt, please proceed!" He shuffles a card and watches the next showdown. "And a victory for Duke Ryhalt as well! Congratulations! Would Lady Veronica and Marquessa Dominique please proceed!"
"Oh dear," Zara says, leaning forward as Sirius ... bubbles a concerningly long time. "Should we send someone over to fish him out? Oh -- good, of course Amari has him." She settles down, looking reassured that he's in good hands. "The competition is certainly splendid," she says like someone foreseeing a first round knock out.
"Its all fun and games until someone takes a lance somewhere delicate. Hold him under until he bubbles for mercy!" she cries in encouragement. "Thats the one that headbutt's people, right?" she asks of Veronica and Apollo. "Good luck, my lady! Get wet, win big!"
Dominique checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 34 higher.
Brave Kastelon does indeed fish out Sirius from deep beneath. He's more alike a pelagic horror than a man; his hair's all layered across his face in black droves of kudzu. His shoulders seem to sag with dejection, and from beneath the mantle of screening hair peep two squinting-hard eyes glinting with something frigid and horrible therein contained. "I've lost," he tells the Keaton Lord, his voice's aghast; unbelieving. He simply cannot fathom such a reality.
Veronica checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 30 higher.
Alis looks back at Cristoph with a shrug at Sirius' battle shout. "We usually yell 'For the Highlord' or 'For the Oathlands', Prince Sirius! For future battle shout reference!" she calls out, but tries to clap encouragingly.
Oomph! It's her turn. When her name is called out, she leans over and steals a quick peck upon Dashiel's cheek. "Wish mommy luck!" Dominique chirps cheerily before she dives into the water and starts swimming out to get onto her waterhorse. Glancing about for one of the wooden sticks, she waits until she sees her opponent doing the same thing. Once given the signal, she charges with a mighty roar. RAWR!
Ryhalt grins at Reigna. "Always!" It is a bit of adventure getting upon the 'horse', make more difficult by how much he's laughing at poor Reigna's struggle. This doesn't get any better as they face off and he probably wins mostly by virtue that he's more stable on the 'horse'. When she surfaces, he grins at her. "That was fun." Then he slips off the mount so the next pair can go and return's to Mabelle's side. "So, are you going to amaze us all with your jousting skills, Lady Mabelle? Like the dancing thing?"
"Would Marquis Keaton and Master Apollo please prepare to go!" Cristoph calls as Dominique and Veronica begin speeding across the pool.
Insaya shouts from nearby, "Oathlands!"
Kiera beams over at her brother before tourning to watch the marquessa
Cristoph is overheard praising Sirius: FOR THE OATHLANDS
Mabelle pat's Ryhalt's drenched arm, "Well done over there". She grins to him amusedly and admits, "I would not count on that, I still think the dancing contest was rigged."
"Badly," Kastelon concurs with Sirius, and winks unsmilingly towards Amari before hoisting the prince up to the edge of the pool and climbing up to sit by his bloodhound again. From there he watches the next match, dripping but not discontent.
"Headbutts?" Veronica shoves herself up with one movement, raising a brow. "I'm not sure what we're discussing, but I want to hear more about it as soon as I get back." This said, she leaps from the hearth into the pool and swims to her "horse", squares up in the water, and ...
TRIES to charge. To her credit, she mostly manages it, even raising the lance against her opponent when Dominique comes near. "Enjoy your bath!" she calls, and artfully dodges the thrust of Dominique's lance. Or would have, had she been on a land horse. The water one tips her straight off into the water, and down she goes, stick and all.
"Veronica! Revenge your Marquessa!" Amari suggests, even though it was Duke Ryhalt, and not Marquessa Dominique responsible for her having another involuntary dip in the pool. She'll still applaud, and smile down at Kastelon and Sirius, "Thanks for fishing him out. Are you alright, Your Highness?"
Apollo checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 4 higher.
Kael checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 23 higher.
The body in Kastelon's hand is without form; without limbs to actuate it, without sinew to harden it. It's as if he's dragging a prop of its own, made of wood, with very poor buoyancy. Once he hitches Sirius unto an edge of the pool, like sea reeds he adhesively splatters against the marble likeness of the wall and looks off towards Amari with a solemn, distant stare. Her question goes entirely unaddressed -- instead, he answers her; "I pictured that going a different way."
Ryhalt remains at the edge of the pool in the water since it is more pleasant than out of the pool and he'd have to get back in again next round. "Wasn't much I had to do there, just tapped her and she flew off." He smiles wryly at Mabelle.
Kael laughs at the display from Reigna, shaking his head and applauding his wife. Now, that being said, when he is called to participate he is dragging himself outside of the pool and walking over to where those bobbing horses are, then dipping in to claim one that is a lovely shade of purple - you know, the same color as Apollo's shorts there. "Apollo!" he calls, and make no mistake, this is no menace. This is absolutely Kael merrily facing off against Apollo. He raises a lance in encouragement.
Margerie has stayed by the hearth, playing with the baby and watching the jousting. Now she watches fretfully as Kael and Apollo square off.
"Good work, cousin," Drake says to Dominique as she departs the pool. "A close pass."
Cristoph watches with mild concern as Kastelon hauls Sirius out of the pool. He continues to watch him until he actually says something. And then he nods, apparently convinced of his continued longevity in this life. "The last win goes to Marquessa Dominique! Marquis Kael and Master Apollo are free to charge!" Then he's flipping cards. "Would Lady Mabelle and Princess Zara please get ready?"
"GO KAEL!" Reigna cheers wildly, clapping her hands. "SORRY APOLLO!" Apparently REigna's volume is set to loud today. She drips as she pads over to Amari, beaming, "You did so well!" She offers a grin to Veronica, going to hug her cousins wetly.
Mabelle checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 4 lower.
Zara checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 9 lower.
Hooray! She won! Dominique heads on over, slipping out of the water, stretching her arms into the air as she woohoos and heads on over. She beams brightly as she looks towards Margerie and wiggles her fingers under Dashiel's chubby cheeks. "I'll have to get another kiss for good luck later." she beams.
Sirius checked composure at difficulty 20, rolling 9 lower.
Veronica swims back to the side and hauls herself out, looking around for Amari. "Good to know you're still better on a horse than I am!" she calls, flopping back down on the edge of the hearth in front of Margerie and with Insaya. She smiles at the commoner, wringing out her wet hair. "There. Now I'm in the mood for a /real/ swim, though. Oh!" She accepts and returns Reigna's hug, beaming. "Have you met my Marquessa, Insaya?"
Apollo Oakwood gives Insaya a grin as he hears his name called, and then wanders over to pony up, in fact. He give Kael an equal greeting, and then goes, "Wait, we're fighting here, right? It's very serious." And - oh my gosh, he catually... manages a scowl, a proper scowl, looking like he might knock Kael right off his "horse".
And get up on his... horse, yes, of course. It isn't anything like riding a horse, people. He tries very hard to pretend like it is, which means he huffs and puffs and flails ineffectually for the most part, only his inherent squirrelly sense of balance to keep him atop it. SCOWL SCOWL SCOWL at Kael, when he's not busting up laughing. At least he manages to point the stick thing in Kael's general direction when Kael's coming at him, though a duck-and-cover maneuver atop one of those things is probably not the best idea...
Insaya chants, "In the drink, in the drink!" and claps with raucous enthusiasm. She squeaks, too, when the water splashes out, shockingly cool on her exposed skin on the pool deck. It's a fine, relaxed time. "I'd give you a favor," she offers to her returning poolside companions, taking a sip of something cool and sweet, "-but I'm wearing it." A glance to the Marquessa in question, and she rises herself up to make a curtsy, polite and far more restrained. "I have not. Your servant, my lady."
That scowl that is thrown his way, it seems to be a thing of menace. You know, Kael is peering at Apollo as though trying to figure out how serious he is. "Remember, Minister of Productivity," and yes, that is a declaration of his new role within Keaton, "to not hold this against me!" So it is that the two are making their pass and Kael takes it easy, making sure to just bump the other man off his faithful steed. The Marquis is also swimming back to assist, if needed, and swim with Apollo back to the side.
Drake now has his attention on the pool as Mabelle is heading for it. Maybe she'll be the winner... Or end up in the drink, but either way he's grinning about it.
Yes. Zara and Mabelle. NOTED as EXCELLENT jousters. "Oh, gods," Zara says, moving to the pool to face her opponent as she waits for their turn. "Show mercy." She sheds her cover-up, passing it off to one of her attendants and then saluting Mabelle with a gesture, her hand to her heart. "Lady Mabelle, although I find it difficult to fight you--" She's just gonna find it difficult to fight, guys. Period. "--I will do what I must."
"You have to be in the moment. Don't think, do." Amari says with a mild, but wry smile at the Valardin Prince. Before she can dispense anymore probably not hugely helpful or wanted philosophy, Reigna gets her. Her hug is less enthusiastic, if only because she's leaning away to avoid being soaked herself. Back pats and step away! At least she's laughing about it, "Thank you, Reigna. Thank you. That was a close match Veronica, you almost had her. And there goes Apollo."
Eyes Zara with some amusement and says, "Difficult my..bees". She slips into the pool and gathers the lance. What is this wooden thing? Do you use it to float? Lets see. Front.. alright, oh wait, if you float on your back and put your neck on it - that works too. Oooo wow look at that sun. "HOW IS THIS A CONTEST?", Mabelle asks aloud, but after she swishes her legs in the water, she apparently reaches Zara, and knocks her over or something, "Sorry!", she calls and slips back into the water so she wont hit anyone else. "This is useless", she informs Cristoph as she rests the lance upon the edge of the pool and swims back to dry out on the oppsite ledge.
Kiera smiles at dominique "well done marquessa, though if i fear i will break our streak quite shortly
Katarina supports Zara by clapping and also drinking more, which with her body weight (one pudding cup) is probably not her greatest idea.
Margerie politely applauds her nephew in his victory.
Amari is overheard praising Cristoph.
Reigna beams a smile to Insaya and nods her head, "A pleasure to make your acquaintance!" Reigna looks between her and Veronica, head tilted slightly to the side, "You two are fast friends?" Her smile is warm and welcoming, utterly friendly. She does keep an eye on Kael and Apollo though, and when Kael wins she cups herhands around her mouth and hollers, "KAEL!"
As the match up of Kael and Apollo begins, Cristoph can't help but laugh at the site of Apollo scowling so seriously at Kael. He shifts through his cards again. He claps loudly as the match begins. When Apollo is next off, "Congratulations Master Apollo on your appointment to Minister of Productivity in Keaton! But Congratulations to Marquis Kael on one winning this one. Princess Zara and Lady Mabelle! PROCEED!" Then there's some waving. And things are certainly happening there. He looks between cousin and princess and then over to RUPERT. "Who won?" he asks, and the steward replies, "I think it was Lady Mabelle."
Dame Rosario Nevarre of the Oathlands, Anouk Ardennes, Anais Ardennes, Triage, The white dove of Mercy, 2 Valardin Knights, 1 Templar Knight guards leave, following Sophie.
Adalyn lingers companionably near Margerie as the jousting continues, watching intently as Kael and Apollo prepare to face off. "Go get 'im!" she coaches, voice projected loudly toward the pool. "So very fierce. Appropriately intimidating, the pair of them. Isn't this exciting?" Her eyes follow the next match-up, Zara against Mabelle, as she continues to yell encouragement.
"I was in the moment," Sirius protests, his voice flamed by a conflagration of bitterness pooling in his throat, but Reigna's arrival and embrace of Amari shames him into silence, and he quickly uses that brief moment to skulk off of the water and clamber out of the pool, rolling on his side once out, seated, on the floor. His palms pulls at his hair, peeling up the dark layers until they stack haphazardly on the crown of his head. As Zara heads off to war, Sirius looks on with the nostalgia of family he's assured he might never see again. "It is your duty," he tells her, and nothing more.
Adalyn checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 30 higher.
As it happens, at some point Apollo did learn how to swim - and he's just as delighted to get dunked as to win. Though he tries scowling again when he pops out from under the water, it's very difficult to scowl properly with soggy curls streaming down your face; he winds up laughing at Kael, there, and murmuring something to Kael there as the get out. It's... gonna be a time, shoving his hair back. Oh, wait. He dallies a second, tips his head back, slicks it all back and holds it behind, shaking his head and laughing at the Marquis.
Kastelon checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 18 higher.
Rupert also calls for Lady Adalyn and Lord Kastelon! Because he's a helpful person.
Kastelon starts to clap even before seeing who wins the showdown between Kael and Apollo. He pats the dog beside him afterwards and then drops into the pool again, swimming over to clamber onto the water horse. It's a somewhat clumsy affair and he does not seem properly situated before propelling himself with some kicking and splashing in a somber-faced charge towards Adalyn.
"I'll call you as my next champion, Mabelle," Zara says as she peels herself back out of the pool, dimple flashing in a rare smile. She twines her hair back up into a pile atop her head, having been ruined on dousing in the pool. "Very well run." She drips her way back to her seat and settles with a sigh. "That was ridiculous." Her eyes light, "And quite a lot of fun, actually."
"At kleast we've won a couple," Veronica notes, gesturing to Amari and Kael with a little laugh. She, too, straightens up as Insaya does and inclines her head. "We work together in the Inquisition," she explains to Reigna. "And she has occasionally fed me, which I consider a blessing in and of itself."
She is distracted when Fion, approaching from behind, taps her shoulder. They have a quiet conversation before she sighs and shoves to her feet. "Excuse me for a moment, Insaya - Reigna, - Auntie - It seems I have a puppy problem. Again." She trots off with Fion, presumably to deal with whatever Thunderboy has done nearby.
Veronica has left the an outdoor hearth with couch seating.
Ryhalt stares at the chaos that ends up being the match between Zara and Mabelle. When Mabelle returns he comments, teasing her, "I think mounting the 'horse' tonight should be the bar for entry... those who can't," isn't saying her name! "should stay away from even pool lances."
Amari remembers to reclaim her parasol from Adalyn, and is conflicted on who to cheer for in this matchup. Why not both? "Go Adalyn! Go Kastelon!" Twirling her parasol upon her shoulder, she wanders back, takes notice of Insaya as she's introduced to Reigna and offers a polite nod as well. Her gaze glances off to find Zara and Mabelle after their ferocious match up, and smiles to both, looking quite entertained.
Apollo wolf-whistles, claps his hands, still dripping. "Go Adalyn!" he says.
Margerie looks over towards Sirius, concern knitting her brows together. "I do hope he is alright," she murmurs to no one in particular. She cheers on Adalyn, favoring her step-daughter over her cousin in this difficult matchup.
Mabelle grins obliviously at Zara, "Is there a clothes sale?, I will champion that!". She thurns her eyes innocently to Ryhalt, however, "There was a horse?", she observes the pool in slight confusion, "Cookie is at the stables". Amari gets a wink and assurance, "I will lose by technicality eventually"
"We should be doing the joust climbed on each other's shoulders," Drake quips, looking first at Mabelle, then at Zara, to... assumedly see if there'd be any takers on that one.
Adalyn jumps into the pool, swimming over to her water-steed and pulling herself up to perch atop it. "Lord Kastelon," she greets with exaggerated gravitas, although she's flashing a grin a moment later as they launch into action. It's quite a splashy affair as she begins kicking, propelling her way toward Kastelon and managing to send him into the water with a prod of her makeshift lance.
With legs hanging off of the pool's edge, each of his elbows overlapped on his lap, Sirius leans forward and witnesses Zara's downfall with eyes made narrow and disbelievingly so. "Oh, shoot," he grumbles, kicking off a jet of water in disdain with a swinging foot. "Hey, you did great cousin," the Prince dutifully reminds her as she's getting off of the pool, then his gaze's diverted to the water. On the way there, he notices Margerie's worried look, and he tenses a hesitant smirk her way, appeasing to some degree.
"This one goes to Lady Adalyn!" Cristoph calls out once they've made their pass against one another. "Lord Drake and Lady Amari, please return to the pool!" His voice is getting a little hoarse from all of this shouting. As the get into the water, he looks over to Mabelle and calls out to her, "As the only Laurent in the running, I hope you try extra hard," he teases her playfully.
Kastelon splashes back to the surface, and drags the floaty horse back to the starting point with several tugs through the water. "Gloria has favored you this day!" he calls back towards Adalyn, seriously, and then climbs up onto the edge next to Resolute again. "I've failed my House, also," he informs Sirius there, dryly.
Mabelle narrows her eyes at Cristoph, eyeing his socks, "So do I, cousin, So do I"
Insaya offers with a faint smirk, "Not to worry, Co-Guildmaster. Everyone looks more fetching wet, anyway. Except maybe someone wearing too much eye-shade and kohl. That's just unfortunate."
Drake checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 39 higher.
Ryhalt nods slowly to Mabelle about there being a horse. "The float thingy you rode on." Calling it riding is generous. At Cristoph's encouragement to Mabelle, he bursts out laughing.
Amari checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 31 higher.
Ryhalt checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 1 lower.
Dominique checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 17 higher.
There are too many people to narrow her eyes at and not enough eyes to go around. So Ryhalt gets a splash of water to his face and Drake will get his from Amari, maybe.
Awaiting Kastelon like some kind of dejected, cadaverous cornerman is Sirius. Indeed, there, on the pool's edge, watching him wade in defeat across the water then get up and just beside him. With a hand held out to the Keaton Lord, in his supinated palm is a sandwich full of meats and things. "Here," he says, his voice subdued yet companionable to their shared woes. "I thought you might need this." Next, Sirius turns to be witness to Drake and Amari's attempt, more or less crestfallen at this point.
As Drake and Amari prepare to charge, Cristoph wiggles his toes in the socks.
Zara's eyes narrow for no reason at all in Cristoph's general direction.
Mabelle points out a candle to Zara from afar, and just mimics the action of dropping it.
Ryhalt splutters as he gets a *deserved* facefull of water courtesy of Mabelle. Understandably he misses a little bit of the next match.
Zara is overheard praising Mabelle.
Adalyn flops into the water and swims to the edge to hoist herself out, rather water-logged with her shirt and trousers dripping as she emerges from the pool. "It was an honor to face off against you, Lord Kastelon," she intones, attempting a most serious expression although it's clearly a difficulty for her. The corners of her lips tug upwards into a grin. She gathers the cloth of her shirt, wringing it out as best as she can as she moves to rejoin the poolside spectators.
"You need to have socks next where each toe is in its own little thing. Like gloves for feet." Alis decides, making sure she is loud enough for Cristoph (and Zara) to hear.
Zara checked composure at difficulty 20, rolling 2 higher.
Watching, she looks out and hoots and hollars as she calls out. "Go Drake!' Of course, she has to root for her cousin, a fellow Wyrmguard, now Wyvernheart. It's then that Dominique leans in for another quick peck on Dashiel's cheeks as he happily bounces and wriggles, still in Auntie Margerie's grasps. "I'll be back!"
And she waits for her turn before she swims out and mounts the horse once more. Glancing towards Ryhalt, she oomphs as she charges once more.
Apollo grins brightly, and offers Kastelon a cheerful hand, murmuring a bit more to Kael - a good mood, he has. "We both did," he tells Kastelon, and then peers around. "I should go give the Baroness a hug while I'm still properly soggy," he says, undimmed, and heads to find Margerie.
"Alis," Zara says, just _Alis_, not a SHOUT, she is so composed, so controlled, she just says _ALIS_, tight between clenched teeth, "that is literally the most disgusting thing I've ever heard."
"I would prefer socks without toes at all, so that I could wear my toe rings," Katarina says, oblivious to Zara's plight.
Drake says something aside to Mabelle before he hops into the pool, and then lands in there with a splash. Now there's the matter of getting back on the weird hobby-horse. He tries the same method as before... Amari makes for a good opponent, and neither of them apparently are flailing too badly at this task. But it seems he stays on the horse (such as it is) a bit longer.
Kastelon is taking a big bite out of the sandwich from Sirius as he nods gravely back to Adalyn. He lifts the bitten sandwich in a friendly wave to Apollo, chewing.
With a little cheer, Margerie turns Dashiel to watch his mother in the next bout after she has stopped by. She's quite dry and amused as she is.
Alis just bats her eyelashes, full of innocence, when she looks over at the hissing Zara. "Are you sure? I thought my deep fried pickle things were the most disgusting thing you'd ever heard of."
"You can win the same way," Amari assures Mabelle, and she would know, she's a magistrate. Adalyn gets a whistle and Kastelon a round of applause, then she hears it's her turn again. "Oh, Lord Drake?" She heard that correctly, she thinks, as her hazel eyes flash on the man in the small purple shorts. There's a quick smile to Insaya and a nod, before she confidently strides off, mounts her proud water horse and lifts a hand to her opponent. She's ready, and when he is, they meet in glorious battle. It's a bit more professional looking than the Zara versus Mabelle round, as both command their water horses with skill and their wooden poles, almost equally so. Drake gets the advantage, and Amari overextends on her attack. Into the pool she goes, popping up to the surface like a bobbin with a laugh. "Almost had you!" She calls, before paddling to the pool's edge.
Drake is overheard praising Cristoph: An enjoyable event at the pools.
Mabelle cheers for Drake and Amari, "Woohoo!" She is loud enough as to not hear the nonsense Alis is saying and then Katarina and then in an outburst of fashion that makes sense, she blurbs, "Who needs socks in the summer?!"
"Toed socks, toeless socks. You Valardins are such fashionistas," Adalyn notes to Alis and Katarina with a straight face as she overhears the current conversation.
"Great idea!" Cristoph calls out loudly to Alis. Who he still hasn't thrown in the pool. "And the win goes to Lord Drake! Would Duke Ryhalt and Marquessa Dominique come to compete next!" A card is flipped. "And then we have Marquis Kael and Lady Adalyn! The loser of that round will face off against Lady Mabelle. I suppose there's a better way to figure out the odd number of matches--" Handwaving. A lot of handwaving.
"Once, when I was young and innocent, ignorant of the ways of the world, I thought that deep fried pickle things were -- dreadful. Now, I would gladly face a plate of them," Zara says, her eyes turned toward the sky, searching for the innocence she once had, "rather than the idea of Duke Cristoph squishing around in wet socks with _individual toes_. Squishing damply."
Cristoph is overheard praising Zara: Squishing damply.
Ryhalt splashes Mabelle back before he swims back out to a second match. Things don't go quite so well this time as his aim wobbles with his wet hand and his lance just glances off Dominique's side without any power behind it.
In antsy and uncomfortable fashion, Sirius attempts his best at being comforting by reaching out and giving Kastelon a singular pat on the back while he eats. An alienating act of comradery, for Sirius' entirely unused to camaraderie. "You did great," he supplies for him last, then finally chooses to stand up, his shirt in hand. He unfurls it from its curl and slips it on in spite of a drenched torso, meaning various wet spots appear all across the silk as he walks off towards the sock showdown. "Socks with individual toes? Like, little slots in the socks for each respective toe?" He makes a face.
"I'm glad we are finally being recognized for our amazing taste fashion. We're still working on being recognized for our wines." Alis says solemnly towards Adalyn. She can't quite keep the expression though, when Zara waxes eloquent on Cristoph and his squishy toes.
Alis is overheard praising Zara: At least you didn't call them moist toes.
Kael checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 51 higher.
Adalyn checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 27 higher.
Wading in the water, she winces as she watches the results. There's a bright smile as her name is called. When the joust is done with the duke, Dominique beams brightly and dives into the water after he falls in. "Good match!" she calls out, before swimming to the side once more.
Mabelle laughs suddenly at Cristoph, "You are putting me up against Adalyn or Kael and expect me to represent? That patio chair has a better chance". She eyes Ryhalt then, teasing, "Oooo you lost?", splashing him some more. "Can Drake be my horse?", she calls toward Cristoph.
Kiera is overheard praising Cristoph: always hosts such wonderfully creative events
Fion, Thunderboy, a juvenile Keaton bloodhound arrive, following Veronica.
Ryhalt grins at Dominique when he comes up. "Good luck next round!" He swims back to the edge of the pool. Muttering at getting splashed again, he says, "You'll join me, I bet."
While Zara looks to the sky, seeking some manner of help from above, all she receives is Katarina sitting down on the edge of her chair and then resting her head right on Zara's shoulder. Kataraina's eyes are closed, and the amount of wine she's taken in is clearly catching up with her fast. "We are incredibly fashionable," she murmurs, waving a hand in a vague gesture, eyes still closed.
"Marquessa Dominique emerges victorious from her bout against Duke Ryhalt! Lets see how Marquis Kael does against Lady Adalyn!" he calls out. When he hears Mabelle laughing, he tosses her a smile and shrugs. "You never know what can happen. Get ready to go again!"
"See, that's not such a bad suggestion," Drake says, looking at Mabelle, and then over at Cristoph. He's holding back a laugh.
Insaya moves back a bit from the pool deck to grab something to eat. She is having her out-of-hood experience as she grabs a few dainties from the snack board in a napkin to share, and hurries back so that she doesn't miss the next pair.
Margerie carefully hold Dashiel in such a way as to raise him arms in victory for Dominique and cheers happily.
Adalyn checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 34 higher.
Mabelle checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 8 lower.
Cristoph is overheard praising Mabelle: A very good sport. The best of sports.
Kael speaks a few words more with Apollo, and though he momentarily became thoughtful, overall he seems to be in fine spirits. "Lady Clement!" he calls forth to the young woman, offering forth a smile her way. "I believe that this will have to serve the sparring that we never had the opportunity to do, at least for now." With that he is leaping back (cannonball style, sigh) into the pool, and going to claim that lucky purple steed. With that he advances with a mighty charge. Alas, no battle cry goes with it other than his laughter.
Returning none too soon, Veronica bounds back to her spot, not before snagging a glass of cider for herself, and rejoins Insaya and Margerie up there. She tilts her head to hear something Insaya says to her, an incredulous look spreading across her face.
Kastelon glances dubiously after Sirius, but mutters, "My thanks, your highness," nonetheless. He continues to watch the pool jousting while eating his sandwich, and pulls a piece of meat out to offer the hound next to him, who wolfs it down with great courtesy.
Veronica has joined the an outdoor hearth with couch seating.
"Perhaps the general populace will come around to your brilliant way of thinking eventually," Adalyn remarks to Alis, grinning. She laughs at poor Zara's lament as she hears her name called once more and heads back into the water. "Marquis Kael, we meet at last! May our water steeds serve us well." She bows her head to the man before clambering onto the horse float, but this time she's clearly outmatched, unseated with a splash by Kael's charge.
"Excellent job Marquis Kael, advance to the next round. Lady Adalyn, you have another chance against Lady Mabelle." Cristoph calls, stopping to get a drink and rub his hand over his face.
Mabelle inspects that wooden lance once more, sighing, "I'm not a violent person", mostly to herself. But really, she is unlikely to succeed at it even if she was. She beckons Drake then, climbing on his back, petting his hair, "Be a good horse", but instead of spearing Adalyn with it, she throws it in her direction, obviously missing and also, remaining without a weapon and the dive to the pool is not far aw....blubblbubr.
Margerie grimaces watching her step-daughter face off against her nephew.
Reigna cheers loudly for her husband, shockingly, even if she winces a little at Adalyn's fall. "Good job!"
Ryhalt laughs as Mabelle's new 'horse' doesn't seem to be the trick that improves her jousting skill.
Alis sniffs lightly. "Nothing wrong with a little appropriate violence at the right time." she murmurs, sipping from a drink.
Drake is surprised enough that Mabelle went for this that he doesn't end up being a particularly good horse, when he gets into the water. But really it's her grace that causes her to tumble down in the end. He falls into the pool after her, just out of solidarity, and this gets his hair wet as he gets a good dunk in. He ends up grabbing her by the hand after she tumbles off. "Well, watch yourself."
Cristoph watches whatever it is that Mabelle is doing with that spear on top of Drake's back. He snorts and shakes his head. "And Lady Adalyn advances to the next round in this very serious jousting matches. Good work!" He's barely containing his laughter. "Lord Drake and Lady Adalyn. I swear I'm going got give you a break at some point!" he calls to the Clement woman. "Before your father absolutely kills me." He glances around for Norwood. He knows he's here.
Drake checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 26 higher.
Norwood has settled quietly beside Margerie, perhaps - defnitely - napping.
As Cristoph resupplies himself with a beverage, Sirius' witness to the act while sat beside Alis and Katarina. "I wonder if there's alcohol in that," ponders the Prince, his voice noisomely hesitant. His head also tilts somewhat, questioning it seems, that there's no pitcher within his reach for a drink of his own. At Alis' mention, he throws a relatively dubious gleam her way. "A coordinated sort of violence, the best kind."
Insaya shares a cluster of grapes, peeling her own with a thumbnail.
Adalyn checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 26 higher.
Once more Adalyn is hauling herself up onto the water horse, a good-natured grin sent in Mabelle's direction. She clearly doesn't expect the lance that is thrown in her direction, emitting a surprised squawk as she ducks the projectile and advances toward her opponent. "Feisty, Lady Mabelle. I like your style!" Cristoph's promise is met with an amused grin as she glances poolside, looking for her father. "Don't worry. I think he'll only try to kill you if I drown." And then she's off to meet her next opponent.
"You look like you may now be in physical pain," Veronica observes to Margerie, watching her expression while the jousters square off. She snags a grape from Insaya with a smile of thanks. "The sticks are hardly even pointed!"
Adalyn checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 52 higher.
Mabelle slips out of the water, "Did I lose?", she almost laughs at herself and swims back to the edge with the help of Drake. Settling next to Ryhalt anew, she asks Rupert, "Can I have a cookie now? I deserve a cookie now." She cheers for Adalyn, "You go you. He was a bad horse!"
Turning to Veronica, Margerie intones, "It is hard to pick between beloved family members!
Rupert fetches Mabelle a cookie and hands it to her very solemnly. He tells her, "I'm sorry that he's like this." Rupert means CRISTOPH. Which is kind of rude considering he works for the duke, but he's been around for years and years so he can get away with it.
"Then you msut be in constant agony!" Veronica says to Margerie, eyebrow rising. "Do you, in fact, have anyone here who isn't family?" She winks, turning it into a gentle jest.
Kiera stands watching her brother play at being horse fondly "he is such a goof. people shouldn't encourage him " as if she doesn't herself "Good sweets are so much more important" she consoles mabelle"
Drake checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 39 higher.
"Two cookies." Ryhalt advises Rupert in wake of Mabelle's loss. "At least falling off into the water doesn't hurt so bad as it does coming off a real horse onto the ground, in armor. If you'd turned into an expert at this too, Lady Mabelle, I would have been shocked."
Meanwhile as Drake and Adalyn are facing off in the most epic of water jousting competitions, someone else is shovingn an entirely different piece of paper into Cristoph's hands. His eyes light up, "Oh!" he reads through it and nearly hops off of the chair. He stops himself in time to watch how the latest one works out. "Congratulations Lady Adalyn! Would you please-- no, just kidding. Marquis Kael and Marquessa Dominique! Please. Go ahead."
Mabelle pats Rupert on the back, "Thank you, you're a good man. One day we will burn his socks". She eyes Ryhalt amusedly, "An expert on falling off horses and hitting the ground? That's not the best type of expertise".
Dominique checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 12 higher.
Kael checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 12 higher.
Margerie stands and positions herself and Dashiel to watch Dominque face her nephew.
Kael checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 28 higher.
Dominique checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 16 higher.
Ryhalt grins at Mabelle. "An expert? No. Just bound to happen when practicing. And yes, if you want a jousting teacher, find someone else."
For a second, it looks as if the challenge between Adalyn and Drake will be surprisingly close. At first, they ride past each other with neither falling off. But then he starts to get a little cocky... or... perhaps just distracted, as he starts to 'ride' over to Adalyn trying to unseat her... and loses his balance. He's actually a bit surprised to tumble and end up with wet hair again. But that's the end of his participation. Which means he can also get out and go for the snacks. "You'd better win it all now," he says to Adalyn teasingly.
Mabelle pats Drake's back as he gets out of the water, "Good run, good run.. You're a terrible horse though", she still deflects the blame of her loss and assures Ryhalt, "They are ridey Laurents. I dont need to be a ridey Laurent", she points at Cristoph and Norwood.
Considering she was in the water, she didn't get time to get a good luck kiss from her son. Dominique swims on out and mounts her horse and charges for Kael. Oomph! That didn't do anything. At least, not in the beginning. After a bit of a struggle, she flails and falls into the water with a kersploosh as she's struck square in the stomach, knocking the wind out of her.
That's what she gets for not getting a good luck kiss from the baby. A loss. WOMP WOMP.
Veronica slowly grows more absorbed in the quiet conversation she is having with Insaya. However, she doesn't miss Margerie standing up, and raises her voice. "Go Kael!"
Amari has, since climbing out of the pool, gone wandering as if to find the sunniest patch of grass to stand on to dry out as efficiently as possible while still being able to watch all the jousts. She whistles and applauds around the handle of her parasol, and despite looking a bit sodden in her seasilk fishscales, a smile is ever present. Eventually, she does end up following the sunshine to Margerie's side. She doesn't say anything, but shades her and the baby helpfully.
While Kael had been content to tread water for a bit and just relax, when he is called in for the Wyrmguard Marquessa, he dips his head politely to her in turn. No hooting and no hollering this time, but he is going to get his lucky purple steed. So it is that they go, a pass where neither falls, and when Dominique is de-horsed he does the same as Apollo, ensure that all is well and swim by her side back. "Good match," he says.
"I have some horse-like qualities," Drake says, without missing a beat, "But perhaps I'm better on top than underneath." He grabs himself a cookie, and flops into a seat to watch the rest of all the tumbling and falling from a safe low-splash distance.
Ryhalt chuckles and nods to Mabelle. "If you rode, it'd probably involve standing up on the horse's back and twirling about in your latest outfit. It's just as well we're all saved from that horror."
This time Cristoph /does/ hop off of the chair. He wanders over to someone and takes several carefully wrapped bundles, passing a few off to Rupert and then carrying the rest himself. He keeps an eye on the jousting, watching to see who comes out on top in the latest one. When it's Kael, he cheers (but doesn't clap because he's carrying stuff). "Congratulations Marquis Kael! You will now face off against Lady Adalyn to see who the victor of the pool jousting shall be! Prepare!"
Blurble blurble. Emerging from the water, Dominique beams brightly at Kael and bows her head. "It was fun!" she chirps cheerily as she slips out of the water and heads on over towards Margerie, Amari, and of course, her toddling lordling of a son. "I guess I can take him back. Maybe you'll avenge me in sixteen years." she teases, putting her hands out to take her son back.
Insaya comments only briefly as she snacks on cold chicken and applauds in a distracted way.
Reigna screams like a lunatic groupie when Kael defeats Dominique! Because of course she does.
While Zara looks briefly torn -- briefly! -- there's really no contest as she naturally cheers on the Sword of Sanctum: "For the Oathlands, Marquis!" she calls from the side as she plants herself on Team Kael.
This latest victory is not an easy one to come by, the match appearing quite close at first. When Drake is finally unseated, she grins widely and slides off the horse to swim to the side of the pool. "We shall see! You're clearly an accomplished water jouster yourself. Perhaps we ought to suggest this as the newest dueling method." She smirks at the thought, then waggles her fingers and turns to face off against Kael once more.
Mabelle draws a hand over her face at Drake's comment, mumbling toward him, "So subtle". She reminds Ryhalt then, "I own a darling. A kids horse. I'm not allowed on it". She reards the competition, amused, "What's the prize? numbing cream?"
Margerie bows her head to Dominique. "You performed enviously, Dominique. And young Dashiel is a pure delight. Please let me know if ever you need a sitter, I am happy to help." She passes the young lord back to his mother.
Kiera comes near her brother and gives a groan at her brother's quip "Drake!" she tries to mimic Richard's disapproving tone and ends up just patting his shoulder with a sigh
"He could almost begin training now." Amari says of baby Dashiel, "Look at those legs." She enthuses, like he's got super strong muscle legs, for a baby. Though when Dominique leans in to retrieve him from Margerie, she steps back politely and swings her parasol out of the way.
Adalyn checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 37 higher.
Reigna moves over towards Zara as she starts cheering for Kael, "Excellent choice in champion, your highness! Is that not the best looking swimming costume ever?" Reigna is totally checking out her husband.
Ryhalt chuckle's at Drake's comment and Mabelle's reaction to it. He grins at Mabelle. "I still think you should get a little cart. Could decorate the horse and cart to match. It'd be almost like dressing up babies." Almost.
Kael checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 22 higher.
"We're starting small. We set up a little kiddie pool in the gardens. He often like to splash away there now that he can sit up by himself." Dominique beams brightly as she hefts up the lordling and cuddles him close to her chest. "I know he wants to go to the water already, but it'll have to wait until the shenanigans are over."
With a laugh, Kael is waving to those on the side of the pool. Zara actually gets a, "For the Oathlands, your highness!" in response. "Luckily we have but victors here!" He's grinning and turning back toward his fearsome foe, laughing. "No matter who wins, Lady Clement, you and I *must* spar." Of course. So he is snaring his steed again, ye ol' purple, and off they go! And, just like that, the Marquis Keaton is de-seated by a well placed strike from Adalyn! He goes flying with a hoot, making sure to make a dramatic display of being lost in the depths for a moment before resurfacing. Yes, still laughing.
Drake grins smugly at his own horrible-ness even as Kiera reacts the way Richard usually does. If not quite as somberly, he thinks.
Mabelle sighs at Ryhalt, "The horse is already wearing a sweater, I'm not going to put a cart on her, that's wrong", because its not okay for her pets but its alright when you need a carriage to Artshall, right!? She jerks her thumb to Kiera and then cheers Adalyn once this is all over, "Woo! You make your father proud!"
Glancing sidelong at Reigna, Zara looks clearly amused by the way she's checking out her husband. "I could champion no other -- although I admit," she says, considering Adalyn with a respectful thoughtfulness, "the competition is truly fierce." She salutes Kael as he returns the call, and applauds the FINAL CLASH.
Apollo snuck snuck snuck snuck off, veering into some cover for a minute. The better to sneak up on Margerie, whisper urgently in her ear, and then glom wetly onto her in a hug, grinning.
Katarina has fallen gently asleep against Zara, to be easily mistaken for some manner of decorative jewelry by matter of size alone.
Reigna winces as Adalyn takes Kael down, though her joyous laughter rises and she calls out "WELL DONE ADALYN!" See? She can be happy for other people winning too. Still, she keeps a bit of a salacious eye on Kael and his now thoroughly soaked swimming costume. She peeks over to see if all her yelling has woken up Katarina, having the grace to look a little sheepish.
"Don't worry, Marquessa Dominique! We'll have another joust in the next sixteen years, I promise! Most likely on land next time, with real horses. After all, I need an opportunity for my sister to beat me at it again." Cristoph stands there with stuff in his hands, watching Adalyn and Kael face off with bated breath. When the final match of the competition comes to an end, he cheers for Adalyn. "Well fought! Congratulations on your victory Lady Adalyn!" he calls out with a laugh. Then he gestures for Rupert to approach the swimmers and show them what's in their packages. The duke's assistant tells them, "I'll keep these off to the side for you when you're done swimming." For Adalyn there's six pieces of Artshall velvet and for Kael there's six pieces of rubicund metal.
While that's being handed out, Cristoph is hopping onto another piece of furniture, he holds three bundles with him. "For best swimsuit, we have Lady Amari Keaton! Coming in second, Princess Zara Valardin! And in third, Princess Alis Valardin!" He jumps down to the ground and hands each of them a package.
Ryhalt watches the last match through banter and claps loudly as Adalyn wins. He chuckles at the winners of the swimsuit competition and grins sideways at Mabelle. "See, should have kept my vote."
Katarina is indeed awoken by Reigna's screaming, and instinctively sits up and begins to clap at a moment no one else is clapping. It takes her a second to realize what's going on, and in that second, the swimsuit winners are announced. "Congratulations~," she purrs over toward those within earshot.
"We must! I'll be looking forward to it, Marquis Kael," Adalyn enthuses, grinning widely. Once more, the joust begins and this time she manages to come out victorious. She gives her 'horse' a polite pat, then dives into the water and resurfaces with a smile. "That was incredibly fun! I would say I /almost/ prefer this kind of mount - almost - but I think my father would be horrified to hear it." She laughs, a grateful smile directed toward Cristoph. "Thank you, Duke Cristoph!"
Kiera is overheard praising Adalyn: quite a showing. huzzah for the victor
Apollo cheers loudly there with Margerie - hopefully not startling any children. "Way to go Adalyn! I am /avenged/." He laughs, and grins at Kael - sporting.
Margerie squeaks, feeling the wetness of Apollo's embrace soak into her dress.
Glancing in Christoph's direction, Dominique beams as she wiggles her fingers and tickles the bouncing baby in her grasp. "See, you'll have ot get started on training. Dame Alexis will begin your training, after we figure out walking." she tells Dash.
When Apollo starts cheering loudly though, Dashiel quivers as he looks startled but beams brightly, babbling on happily afterwards and clapping his hands.
Insaya is overheard praising Amari: Lovely!
Mabelle cheers for the winners, she is a good sport all around, "That is a magnificent swim-suit Amari!", she's not surprised one bit, "Oathlands fashion all the way", she grins and Zara and Alis, "Women rule!", she teases Cristoph and to Ryhalt she admits, "I win enough. I'm sure I still had your vote", she nudges him.
Drake, still with the corner of a cookie poking out of his mouth, claps his hands for the swimsuit winners. He has no arguments. He does of coures make absolutely sure to look at every swimsuit on display one more time just to inspect them for flaws, and so-on.
Alis claps for all of the other winners; both joust and bathing suit, before a delighted laugh escapes. "First fashion win, ever. And probably last." she quips, accepting the package handed to her with a grateful smile.
Veronica turns her head from Insaya to cheer - first for Adalyn's victory over Kael, then for Amari's victory in the swimsuit contest. "Congratulations!"
Apollo likewise beams at Amari's win for suit - he seems pleased with that, entirely.
"Congratulations Amari! You look lovely!" Reigna cheers for her cousin and flashes a beaming smile to Alis, "You too, Alis! I love the style!"
"It is smart to get him acclimated." Amari slowly nods, her tone reflective. "That way he shouldn't be too fearful when it's time to learn to swim. I'll have to make a note-" She stops short, and winces as Apollo sneak hugs on Margerie next to her. "It's like he was just waiting for you to hand off the baby. Apollo, for shame." Though she's not really applying guilt and true shame there. She's smiling after all, and more so when she hears her name and puts together the context. "Oh!" A hand is lifted, then a curtsey humbly offered the Duke and everyone giving congratulations, "Thank you!"
Cristoph checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 45 higher.
Apollo laughs at Amari. "I didn't want her to /drop/ him, what's the shame in that? You look /fantastic/ by the way." He squeezes Margerie yet harder a moment, then lets her go, bracing for the scowl with mischievous good humor.
"Well-deserved, though," Zara says to Alis, seeming _even more delighted_ that Alis made her mark than anything of her own achievements. She collects her prize from Cristoph without a hint of the SCOWL and STORM in her eyes and says, "Thank you, Duke Cristoph. I can always rely on entertainment." Then it's applause for the _real_ victors.
Zara is overheard praising Amari.
Zara is overheard praising Adalyn.
Insaya applauds, but has done with her snacking. She makes a series of curtsies to hosts and superiors, before she makes as though to seek the garden's exit.
Alis checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 15, rolling 31 higher.
Zara is overheard praising Kael.
Zara is overheard praising Alis.
Ryhalt shakes his head. "Nope, I didn't vote at all. Too many pretty outfits to even begin to pick when it's this hot."
Zara is overheard praising Laurent.
Like a rusty ornament in the background, Sirius claps a poorly modulated clap for the winners. It's slow, it's spiritless, but it doesn't keep him from voicing; "Congratulations, Alis," with an earnest smile, if only to shed some more positive glitter on his cousin's current joy. Dog is laid out flat across his lap in the meantime, basking in the sunlight like a lizard. Probably not good for his fat, bare little pink tummy.
Margerie turns and squeezes Apollo back, beaming. "You did well out there, really,' she says to Apollo, surprisingly nonplussed by the water stains spreading across her dress.
After he's handed out all of the packages, Cristoph replies to Zara, "I do try my best. Would you mind just watching this too?" he asks as he turns to Alis and calmly takes her prize BACK and places it down on the table. Then he makes good on that promise to sweep her up, stride to the pool and tosses her into the water. If successful, he'll dust off his hands.
"Of *course* you were among the winners, your highness," Reigna says, clapping for Zara, "Your style is among the most consistently superior in the whole of the city! Why I often find myself admiring your gowns."
Alis is about to very politely thank Sirius when she spies Cristoph coming her way, and tries to hug her prize to herself. "No take-backs!" she complains, trying to twist out of the way before he can grab her. Then trying to flail herself away - to no avail. "I'M GOING TO MAKE YOU ATTEND ANOTHER MEETING WITH ME FOR THIIIIIIIIIII...." *splash*
Kael eventually swims himself back to the edge of the pool and hoists himself out. With his seasilk dripping wet and looking something like a drowned bloodhound, he cups his hands to his lips and offers forth, "Amari!" by way of victory to her. That being said, his own gift from Cristoph has him incline his head in a more sober manner. Except, wait. What is this? Is Alis going to go off the edge there? The Sword of Sanctum is arching his brows to quite the height. "For Valardin!" he calls forth, making certain to skirt around the little grouping of Reigna, Zara, etc all. Cristoph might have not gone running like a ram, but Kael is. At his Liege. Clearly Reigna tampered with his tea before they came.
Mabelle calls toward Alis, "Did that remove the insects inwards from your suit?", she teases her
Adalyn drags herself up out of the water, accepting the packaged prize with a bow of her head. "Thank you, Duke Cristoph. This has been so enjoyable." Waterlogged, rivulets of water running off of her baggy clothes and onto the ground, she makes her way back to Margerie, waggling her fingers teasingly although she makes no effort to add to her stepmother's already damp dress.
Kastelon cants his head at these ongoings, watching altogether too solemnly while he strokes the head of the hound, who is also watching next to him.
Apollo grins at Margerie, and wiggles his /magic fingers/ for the Dashiel - making one, two, three of them disappear, then reappear all at once. "Course I did," says, humbly (ahem). "Lord Vitalis taught me to swim properly when we went to Ostria." He grins at her, drying curls starting to re-flomp in his eyes.
Amari has joined the an outdoor hearth with couch seating.
Cristoph is standing there, glorying in having thrown Alis into his pool for the second time in his life. And because he's just GLOATING, he doesn't notice at all that Kael is charging at him. He hears 'For Valardin' and turns around just in time to catch sight of him before he makes impact. His expression is frankly comical, the shock. THE SURPRISE. THE HORROR. And then he's crashing into the water with a giant splash. Damp socks and all. Squishy toes later.
"There better not be centipedes in here!" That's Alis only possible response to Mabelle's tease, while she frantically swims out of the way to escape the combined Kaelistoph cannonball. "You show him, Kael!"
Oo, TWO prizes. Zara lays her other hand on Alis's prize -- just watching!! -- as she takes a big, long step back. Big and long. It helps to be tall. Glancing to Reigna, Zara says, "Thank you! Honestly, the Oathlands are better-represented in the great battles of fashion than oh dear." The oh dear marks the moment that Kael charges. She takes another couple of steps back, clearing the chaos.
Oomph. It seems that Dashiel starts getting a little more fussy. He's been a bit overstimulated and is now getting ornery, much like babies do when they're tired. Whining for a few moments, he starts crying and flailing and then blinks for a few moments as Apollo wiggles his fingers. He claps with glee and then is all better, cooing.
Dominique watches, rather impressed as she grins. mmm, I think someone is getting tired and is late for his nap. Thank you once again for watching him so I could participate in the joust." and with that, the marquessa decides to head on out.
Not caring one bit about her dress (sorry, Apollo), Margerie gathers Adalyn into a hug of congratulations.
Alis is going to tread water and cackle for a moment, and she's not even sorry CRISTOPH.
Kiera is overheard praising Laurent: they always outdo themselves
Veronica exchanges a few more words with Insaya before she smiles and waves to the departing woman. Just in time to see Kael running and screaming like a madman. In the spirit of the thing, she cheers some more and begins to laugh. "All the jousting has got Kael's blood up!" she calls to Reigna - and anybody else who's nearby, for that matter.
Veronica is overheard praising Laurent.
"We should joust for real some time!" Drake says over to Adalyn, a bit loud over all the cheering. "I have a feeling you'd give me a good challenge there too."
Reigna all but jumps onto Zara as Kael zips by, and squeaks in startled surprise. Once Kael has bullrushed Cristoph into the pool, Reigna laughs hilariously, shaking her head as she looks up at Zara, "Yes, I agree. To all of that. We should do something, you and I, an Oathlands fashion show or something..." She laughs again and says, "Would you like to join me in the pool? I think it is high time we play a game of water tag!"
Reigna looks to Veronica and laughs, "Want to?"
Metzger, a great grey shrike, Jok, the muscley muscle knight, Maximus, the drooly Highhill Mastiff leave, following Dominique.
Kael comes up with a laugh, and maybe just maybe coughing some water. "You are avenged!" he calls to Alis - and please excuse Kael but he might actually be checking on Cris. Also to ensure that his bromance is well intact.
Eventually, Cristoph surfaces from the water, sputtering and whatnot. He seems to be just okay, wiping water out of his eyes and starting to laugh. "There will always be next time!" he calls out. "I will get you!" This threat does not sound particularly scary.
"Thank you, Sword of Sanctum. You have dispatched your duty with... vigor and maybe grace." Or maybe not. Alis intones this with due solemnity, waiting for Cristoph to emerge so she can splash him with more water.
A dutiful Valardin aide, Quiet, a Valardin champion, 2 Valardin Knights leave, following Katarina.
"Oh, I'd love that," Zara says, her eyes bright with delight. "It's high time the rest of the realm realized that the Oathlands make a statement." And that it's a _good_ statement. That's really the part they struggle with. She toes forward, saying, "I salute your bravery," to Reigna as she proposes going all in, moving toward the pool. "Maybe you're right, Marquessa. We better get in before someone _gets_ us in."
"Water tag?" Veronica asks Reigna, confiring the question the Marquessa asked her.
Ryhalt sighs as he sees his assistant, Cotyar, enter the area and come over to him. Whatever is said, he nods and drags himself out of the pool, saying farewell to Mabelle. He stops briefly to thank Cristoph as host when there's a chance then heads out.
Ryhalt has left the an elegant pool designed from natural resources.
Kiera laughs so much for introducing herself to the soggy host of the proceedings-someday she will formally meet the man whose home she has repeatedly crashed
Amari dips her head to Dominique and smiles after her little one, despite him being a bit fussy, he's still judged too cute to frown at. She watches the goings on at the pool, and all the horseplay with the same quiet amusement but stays back out of the way. She's already been dunked once. She's fine. Sitting near Margerie, she sets the package next to her and overhearing Drake, nods her endorsement to Adalyn, "Oh, you two should joust." Then louder, "Perhaps at the next joust House Laurent hosts?"
Adalyn beams at Margerie and, once she realizes her stepmother doesn't mind getting wet, happily returns the hug. Drake's suggestion earns an eager smile, her gaze sliding toward him as she nods in agreement with Amari. "I'd love to! I have a feeling it would be quite a match. You're a formidable opponent."
Margerie overhears the conversation about an Oathlands fashion show. "How can I help?
Having dried up enough, Mabelle climbs to her feet, finishing her cookies from Rupert, "Water is exhausting", she remarks and smiles to Cristoph, "Thank you cousin, this was enjoyable, although I put house Laurent to shame", she grins
Drake sits up a bit straighter as Amari discusses a proper joust. He nods. "I'd be delighted to participate in that. But I'm going to have to get back on the horse and back to riding training to keep up with her... I can already tell. Name the day and I will be there." He makes eye contact with Adalyn, accepting what to him feels like now, a proper challenge.
As people disperse towards the pool, leaving the lobbying surrounding more or less deserted, Sirius looks about himself and ensures all of the scarce belongings he arrived with are accounted for - puppy included - and hoists Dog up and onto a shoulder, where the lame-headed, snoozing pup lays across, continuing his nap on that wide berth as if it was no different to a bed. Gazing up to the sunny ether, Sirius squints at a ray of light and turns, silently leaving the pool area a bit redder than he had arrived.
Sir Rhys, a Valardin Knight, Laurene, a military adjutant, 4 Valardin Knights leave, following Alis.
Margerie turns, hoping to catch Apollo still nearby. "Apollo! Come by this weekend? I'll have a new baked good I am testing. Speaking of which..." She scans for Kael or Reigna.
Veronica has left the an outdoor hearth with couch seating.
Reigna beams at Zara and offers the princess her hand, as if to invite her to run and jump into the pool with her. Because today is a day to act carefree, according to Reigna. She jumps into the pool with a splash and immediately swims towards Kael with the intent to dunk him. With her noodle arms, she will attempt it!
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