Pravus Ward Official Opening Celebration
Come mix and mingle in a lively party. Music and dancing, drinks and favors at the Dancing Feather, a tavern spot for nobles and commoners alike. Celebrate a grand opening in style! Party favors provided for the early arrivals.
(To get to the Dancing Feather, go to River's Edge, then S, S, E, DF)
Sept. 6, 2020, 7 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Pravus - Dancing Feather - Main Floor
Comments and Log
Tyche has joined the Central Bar.
(OOC)The scene set/room mood is now set to: The Dancing Feather has a big stage for acts, and one central bar. A Bard's College band is playing some cheerful tavern music on the stage as the party begins to pick up. Drinks are flowing from the central island, and the smell of meats grilling is wafting in from the back. This is a grand opening of a brand new joint, and there's an energy and flurry as servers rush treats out to partygoers. Near the entrance is a box that contains some 'take one' community props, most of which include colorful silk fans, but which also includes the occasional noisemaker for those really interested in getting rowdy. The drink selection here is plentiful, with Setarcan wine taking center-stage of course, but also plenty of beer, rum, brandy, and other spirits to suit the taste of anyone. This is overall an inviting venue rather than a stuffy or upscale one, as befits a dockside party. But some of those arriving are Pravus luminaries dressed to the absolute nines. Let the party begin!
Sebastian takes a liquor cabinet full of drinks from a velvet gift bag embroided with the leaning coins of Gild.
Sebastian drops a velvet gift bag embroided with the leaning coins of Gild.
Sebastian takes a velvet gift bag embroided with the leaning coins of Gild.
Sebastian drops a liquor cabinet full of drinks.
The Dancing Feather is the place to be tonight for anyone interested in celebrating with Pravus about the opening of their brand new, dockside ward. It's late in the afternoon when the band arrives, and starts setitng up on the stage under the supervision of Nina Autumndale. As the bard-in-residence and Pravus's official party planner, she now has the title Glass Butterfly of Setarco, and she seems eager to live up to the challenges of whatever it will take to secure her place in organizing for the Ward and the fealty. Nina herself vanishes briefly... as food is brought out and people are filing in. She has to make a grand entrance, of course, in proper party attire.
The Dancing Feather has a big stage for acts, and one central bar. A Bard's College band is playing some cheerful tavern music on the stage as the party begins to pick up. Drinks are flowing from the central island, and the smell of meats grilling is wafting in from the back. This is a grand opening of a brand new joint, and there's an energy and flurry as servers rush treats out to partygoers. Near the entrance is a box that contains some 'take one' community props, most of which include colorful silk fans, but which also includes the occasional noisemaker for those really interested in getting rowdy. The drink selection here is plentiful, with Setarcan wine taking center-stage of course, but also plenty of beer, rum, brandy, and other spirits to suit the taste of anyone. This is overall an inviting venue rather than a stuffy or upscale one, as befits a dockside party. But some of those arriving are Pravus luminaries dressed to the absolute nines.
Medeia takes A silk fan decorated with a colorful peacock from Pravus Party Favors - Choose One.
Gwenna takes A silk fan decorated with a colorful peacock from Pravus Party Favors - Choose One.
Alessia gets A silk fan decorated with a colorful peacock from Pravus Party Favors - Choose One.
Tyche gets A silk fan decorated with a colorful peacock from Pravus Party Favors - Choose One.
Nisaa gets A silk fan decorated with a gold butterfly from Pravus Party Favors - Choose One.
Cassandra takes A silk fan decorated with a gold butterfly from Pravus Party Favors - Choose One.
Oaty, a white Oathlands Vanner arrives, following Philippe.
Philippe arrives, following Verity.
Scarlett takes A silk fan decorated with a gold butterfly from Pravus Party Favors - Choose One.
Sebastian gets A silk fan decorated with a gold butterfly from Pravus Party Favors - Choose One.
Adrienne gets A curious carved noisemaker from Pravus Party Favors - Choose One.
Rosalind takes A curious carved noisemaker from Pravus Party Favors - Choose One.
Calla takes A silk fan decorated with a gold butterfly from Pravus Party Favors - Choose One.
Philippe takes A curious carved noisemaker from Pravus Party Favors - Choose One.
It may be little surprise to a few that Gwenna would attend. For one, the Redrain almost famously favors wine to whiskey, and what better wines are there than those from Setarco? After a small stroll through the ward, she enters the establishment and steps off to the side so as to take the place in (and not block the doorway for others to come through). A favor is taken, of course, and she opens and shuts the fan a couple of times, seeming quite pleased with the colors. "Stunning," is murmured as she loosens her scarf and ventures further in to find familiar faces and a seat, one would imagine.
Scarlett Carver, dealer in rare commodities, has come here to see, to be seen, and to finally flaunt some of her clothing. As she enters the Dancing Feather, Scarlett reaches in with care to avoid stabbing anything with her rubicund false nails, plucking gently out a fan and then snapping it open. She turns it in the light, beaming, and bustles on further, saying in reply to Gwenna as she fans herself lightly, "Oh, stunning is hardly the WORD!"
With the party in full swing, the Marquessa of Inverno lingers by the bar - because it is central, and she likes to be at the center of things! She already has a glass of wine in her hand, and is already very much enjoying the warmth of the company if the smile on her face is any indication. She's engaged in a rather lively discussion with a Pravus about the twisted maze it takes to reach the district, musing back, "But then we know who /really/ wants to find us. It makes those who walk these streets all the more valuable!" Her point made, her dark eyes scan the room and immediately spy Gabriella lingering near. "If you'll excuse me," she murmurs to her companion, and then cuts a path through the crowds to join the much more intimidating looking woman. "Your highness," she grins, dipping her chin in greeting. "Are you drinking yet? There is much to celebrate tonight, I think." A hand extends, pale fingers lightly touching the other's arm as she leans in to murmur a few quieter words.
What may be a surprise is the representative of the Faith that arrives. Out of all the Legates, Cassandra is probably the one they least likely to be expected. Yet, the Legate, dressed in her robes and tabard, steps into the dancing feather, her hands folded in front of her before she chooses a fan to pick up. And that is when she notices a friendly face. "Princess Gwenna!" she says, raising her voice just slightly to be heard and lifts her hand in greetings to her cousin before approaching. "This is all rather lovely, is it not?"
Sebastian is here. On time, and not drunk at all. It's likely his assistant, knowing him as well as she does, told him the event started much earlier than it does, because he looks vaguely surprised as he enters. Perhaps it's just all the decoration -- certainly the artist's gaze is drawn to the surroundings with an appreciative smile, making a beeline towards the hostess, waylaid by Gwenna and Scarlett's comments with a brilliant smile. "It's lovely, isn't it?" he steps up next to the pair, smiling at the Redrain Princess and Lady each with a nod of his head. "Mistress Nina's work." He lifts a hand, as if to seek the attention of the woman in question.
Count Philippe Blanchard is not the first to arrive, but he arrives in the first wave of guests. The old man has finally been able to swap to his heavier autumn cloak, which is much to his preference than sweating all summer long. He is not a fashion plate, but what he does bring with him is an appetite. The old man is guaranteed to make sure that easily disposable finger foods disappear down his gullet, along with a pony keg of ale. Believe it or not, his appetite was even larger as a younger man. His courtier and majordomo Verity Locke accompanies him to the affair likely to ensure the old man does not fall asleep in a chair and have to be carted out in a wheelbarrow.
A runner has already brought the count an ale. He takes a sip as he starts what amounts to a patrol through the vicinity to try to locate his favorite party snacks. "Do you think I can call a duck with this?" he asks of Verity, gesturing with his noisemaker.
Rosalind heard there would a party and Pravuses she KNEW! Making her way in, grabbing a--WHAT IS THIS! Bring it to her mouth and blowing, Rosa blinks. Her large hazel green eyes taking in this new duck resurrect-er. "What.is.THIS!"she exclaims with a laugh. Seeing people she knows, the red headed Ravenseye waves to the people she knows,"Hello Princess Gwenna and uh--Prince Sebastian right?" The scout even wore a dress for this occassion. A dress!
The walk through the Lowers, and the beautiful new ward, brings Medeia into the Dancing Feather, dressed in a swirl of silks. Notgint he party favors, she selects a fan before making her way to the bar for a glass of wine. As she enters, she looks around for familiar faces, nodding at Cassandra.
Looking every inch a princess of the Compact tonight, Adrienne Valardin surveys the festivities gravely, pale eyes fixing longest on the musicians. A smile breaks, more felt than seen, and Adrienne waits thusly entertained to greet the hostess and the Archduchess. The box of favors draws her attention while she waits, and it is with captivated curiosity that she picks up a noisemaker for delicate inspectio-
Adrienne tests it and her brows lift, delighted and amused.
The Archduchess of Pravus walks into the tavern after doing away with any retinue that might have been coming with her with kisses on the cheek and making Aida vow she will enjoy the night free of any responsibilities. Her servant quickly rubs her cheek and makes a face, promising no such a thing. With an exasperated roll of blue eyes, the Archduchess walks in with a gait that very much shows she enjoys the music, and always full of flourish the blonde bows towards the band playing, a smile upon her lips as she takes the sight before her with one hand resting upon the curve of a hip.
She seems to appreciate Nina's work, a smug little smile on her face as she seems pleased with the looks of the Dancing Feather and that people are already drinking. Drinks which she readily seeks, or come to her, as the ruler of the Silken City says not a word before she is properly given her tithe in alcohol. Yum! " The Archduchess passes by people and those who approach her, commonborn or not, get her attention as the Chainbreaker chats them up and, if they are one of -those- clingy people who don't know when to stop, Bella just talks around them and introduces them to somoene new before bailing the hell out of there.
Eventually the Archduchess fingerwaves at her family, from Gabriella, Tyche and Sebastian, and greets outsiders with a little more pomp, but with the swagger and charm that is expected of a Sin. Enjoy while she is not drunk as F. For the moment she slowly walks about, taking note of the party, and making sure she knows exactly where to praise Nina, and where to complain. So far, so good!
Balian, a Templar squire, Guy, a hunting kestrel, 1 Templar Knight guards, Direhorn Jeffers, a barded Templar wargoat arrive, following Preston.
Briar, the fleet and agile shrike, Alejandro, a gravely sober Torean in Fidante Livery arrive, following Aconite.
Aconite arrives, following Michael.
Stopping by a chest on her way in with party favors, Alessia's eyes glitter with delight at the beautiful designs, retrieving the peacock design after a moment of perusal. She appraises it with a grin before handing it to her maid for safe keeping. Then she's taking in the room fully, lifting a hand in greeting to Nina. "Messere. What a beautiful venue!" She calls before dipping her head to Belladonna. "Your grace." She offers with a warm smile. Sebastian gets a hugged greeting as she ventures further into the room. "I am loving the statues in the ward."
Scarlett veils her lips with her fan as she half-lids her eyes at the approaching Sebastian. "Then I simply MUST compliment her when I see her, your highness, for this is already a delight and *I haven't even had a drink!* I must say that it is an honor to meet you as well, sir, here in the flesh -" and here she dips into a deep rustling curtsey to Sebastian before straightening up and, mysteriously, remaining within a yard or two of him for the immediate future.
Gwenna halts on her way to fetch a glass of white wine from the bar when Cassandra's familiar voice calls her name. "Legate!" While the Redrain may use her cousin's title, there is a warmth and fondness in the sound of it. "It is beyond lovely, I have to say. Did you have a chance to look around the ward on the way in?" That wondered, she turns and dips her head when Sebastian approaches. "Stunning, your highness, truly. I have heard Mistress Nina's name quite often as of late. All good words, and I can see why," is remarked with a tap of the fan lightly on her palm. "Are the statues some of your work, I have to imagine? I don't think I saw them all, but will do so at some point." Rosalind's voice tugs her attention next and she beams a smile at her protege. There's a chuckle because of /course/ the Ravenseye would take a noisemaker! "You look positively elegant, Lady Rosalind." It's hard not to notice the Archduchess, certainly, and Gwenna gives another respectful dip of her head, and smile, this time in Belladonna's direction.
Verity gets A silk fan decorated with a gold butterfly from Pravus Party Favors - Choose One.
As the crowds gather and begin to mingle, the music comes to a natural stop with a lowering sound, and a small lull. Nina, the party planner, steps out onto the stage. Appropriately for the name of the Dancing Feather, she is dressed in a peacock-inspired brocade gown set, her half-cloak festooned with feathers in green and blue and gold streaking down her back. It's a colorful and bold statement, reflected in some of the fans she's crafted for the event as well.
Nina clasps green-gloved hands together. "Welcome everyone! I won't be giving a long speech, but myself and fellow Bards will continue to entertain you throughout this evening! My only wish for everyone is to eat, drink, and be merry!"
"Tonight... we celebrate success! Of not just Pravus, and not merely our Archduchess--" here Nina gestures to Belladonna, clearly a Very Important Person among the guestlist-- And Nina waits for appropriate acknowledgement and applause -- "But also for all of the Compact. We celebrate our expansion! New beginnings, new fortune, and new friends! I hope some of you out there will make some new connections tonight! And that the wine and song will flow throughout the evening!"
"And so," Nina says, "Before I return the stage to my Bard's College associates, I hope that you will all raise your glasses...and cheer, for the opening of a new Ward... and a new bar! And to Pravus!"
There was no way that Nisaa Whisper was going to miss this party. She had been looking forward to the day for a very long time. She arrives not only on time, but a little early, dressed in umbra from head to toe. The dark colors against dusky skin make her eyes exceptionally bright this evening. Spending some time admiring the decor, she almost missed the fact that there were fans for the taking. With a delighted energy, she carefully picks a butterfly bedecked fan and opens it with a deft flick of her wrist, fanning herself dramatically with a smile. She spots Sebastian then and lifts the fan, closing it once more and using it to wave towards Sebastian.
Michael gets A silk fan decorated with a colorful peacock from Pravus Party Favors - Choose One.
"Perhaps you should ask Oaty," Verity counsels Philippe.
The courtier extraordinaire was of course needed for this event beyond her usual likelihood of being the one showing the old count around. A trip through the Lower Boroughs, with their let's-go-with-'charming' street layout, is smoothed by someone who's familiar.
Verity makes a stylish escort for Philippe this time, but, then again, it /is/ that kind of a party. Her customary modest work dresses have been exchanged for a fabulously crafted outfit that both flatters the figure and pays homage to the cavalry uniforms one would associate with House Blanchard. With the recent marital news, someone has to represent Oathlander fashion.
Presently, Verity is amusing herself by the silk fan she's taken up from the party favors. She's already got the trick with her wrist to get it to fold open and snap shut again with a gesture.
"What do you think of the strategic value of the ward's location, my lord?" Verity makes no indication that this is one of those questions intended to get a rise out of Philippe, but he probably knows.
Aconite gets A silk fan decorated with a gold butterfly from Pravus Party Favors - Choose One.
Aconite takes A silk fan decorated with a gold butterfly from Pravus Party Favors - Choose One.
Tyche's attention drifts momentarily from Gabriella when she senses the presence of Belladonna. And by senses, it is more the crowd that moves around the woman than the woman herself at first. When she catches the waggling of fingers, she matches with a little wave of her own, and a lifting of her glass in salute to the Archduchess. "Congratulations," she mouths the word, not yet at the point of shouting across the room, but there is a wealth of pride and accomplishment etched on her features as she sends the silent praise across the room. "To the new ward, and to Pravus!" she finds herself not-so-silently adding, as Nina calls for such!" Her interest returns to the woman stood near.
Aconite puts A silk fan decorated with a gold butterfly in Pravus Party Favors - Choose One.
A bow of her head to Medeia, Cassandra returns her smile as she looks around the party. It seems to be all so overwhelming, but the Legate is able to meander slightly. She is not in work mode today, but at least she is not out converting people to the Faith? "I had not had a chance to see the statues, I will have to do so when I have time." she admits before she nods. "I had heard a little of Nina before this event, but she has surely shone tonight." Though, in time with the Princess, she bows her head respectfully to the Archduchess. Just before Nina shows off her dress and the Legate lifts a hand to her chest. "Gods, that is gorgeous. As if Jayus himself had a hand in it." she shakes her head and agrees in a silent toast to Pravus.
Maren arrives along with the tide of many others, her bearing elegant as the silver-and-snow haired elder looks about the tavern with no little curiousity and delight. Her dress, while finely crafted of silk, lacks the bright color of many--a high collared wrap-design gown, trimly fitted, with just a hint of the silver underrobe underneath at the neckline, and long full sleeves that show a silver lining as well. So too does she take in the swell of people, though when Nina claps her hands to bring attention, hers is given raptly.
She accepts a glass of wine from one of the servers, and joins in the raising of the glasses as well.
There's a not very subtle wince from Sebastian at the sound of /quacks/ across the room. "An excellent memory," the prince says approvingly of Rosalind with a smile. "My lady. I think it's what hunters use for some of the game, though I've never had the experience myself." There's a sly glance across the way towards the Archduchess, Sebastian's smile brilliant for Bella as he watches her cross the room. Nina's call for a cheer and toast has him casting about for a glass -- fortunately there's plenty circulating, and he picks two glasses up off a tray, handing one to Scarlett. "Well, let's fix /that/," he says with a smile. "I don't believe we've met, I-" Gwenna's compliment earns a pleased smile, but before he can answer he's greeting Alessia with a brief hug. "Have you met everyone, Lady Alessia?"
Oh dear. Michael only had a few expectations when he decided to show up to the Pravus Opening. Gowns and women and men and overwhelming noise and chatter. No stately and drab, quiet and exquisite ball is this. Its loud and it manages to flicker a smile upon his face. "Careful, Aconite. Don't lose me or I'll never escape again." The pair manage to scoot free of the entryway and step deeper into the party.
Rosalind lifts her glass of-wine? Yes. Wine as a speech is made. She waves over to Belladonna too, a smile for her too. "Oh wow! There's more people I know than I thought!" Oh! "Hi,"she calls over to Alessia too. Rosalind goes and finds a place to talk to people. "This is so nice,"she declares. Looking over to Sebastian, she grins. "I'll uh..put it to good use.."
Calla sashays into the party with a wide smile on her lips as she offers smiles and little waves to those that she knows, stopping at the party favors to pick out a fan with a gold butterfly on it, snapping it open and fluttering it slightly. When Nina calls for a toast, she grabs a drink from the nearest server, a glass of red wine, and lifts it into the air for the cheer. When that's done, she wanders over to Nina with a wide smile, "This party is absolutely perfect! You should be beyond proud of yourself, and these favors are fantastic." She adds with a flutter of her fan.
Preston tugs on the sleeves of his aeterna shirt as he steps into the Dancing Feather - looking a little out of breath like perhaps he got lost three or four times. He has forgone the usual heavy plate armour in favour of his simpler aerterna clothing with his priestly robes, though still with a sword belt carrying the two blades of the Templars. As he has seemed to come in at a cheering and celebration moment, he claps along "Yes, to Pravus and her Archduchess." He celebrates with a warm smile as he edges around to seek out the Legate he had spied. His legate in fact. "There are enough Oathlanders here to form a Crusade, Mother." he observes looking around the room "I am glad to see such friendship across the fealties."
Philippe seems to be genuinely considering asking Oaty. Perhaps this is a form of advanced Oathlands humor. He did marvel at Verity's outfit, but he is a man who sees a garment that is too snug in the gut as a potential risk. Verity can do this and all is well. Such is youth.
"The ward would do well with the occasional patrol to aid travelers," he says. "Perhaps the buildings could be painted matching colors. Fortunately in the evening I may use the stars to wayfind back to Valardin ward."
1 Templar Initiates have been dismissed.
3 Templar Knight guards have been dismissed.
Sir Geddyorf, a heavy-set snapping turtle have been dismissed.
Having acquired her glass of wine, Medeia moves away from the bar to mingle, scanning the crowd that has grown since she entered. Her eyes land on Michael and she gives a little wave, before spotting Belladonna. Steeling her nerves, she approaches the Archduchess and executes a perfect curtsy. "Archduchess Belladonna, I am Lady Medeia Saik, it is an honor to finally meet you. Congratulations on all you have to celebrate tonight."
To see Verity here is no particular surprise. To see her Uncle Philippe, however, has Adrienne tracking his movements with same incredulous intensity she would if, say, Legate Cassandra suddenly burst into dance. Cassandra's arrival does distract her for a moment longer, and equally so to see Carnifex Preston /at a Pravus party/. Fascinated, Adrienne forces herself to refocus on Belladonna as she curtseys, slow and dignified. "Archduchess, your new Ward is spectacular - and your celebrations ever lively. Has it lived up to your hopes for it?" Here, her crisp and educated Oathlands accent stands out among sly Lycene.
Aconitepeers into the Party Favor chest with curious glee and plucks one of the golden fans from it before the tall Courtier flicks it open and nods towards the party. "You'll do fine. I see one or two familiar faces. We should go and say hello, Lord Bisland." Aco's inky gaze drifts out over the gathering and her smile grows wider as if energized by the activity. She smooths her fingers over the fan and then tucks it into her pocket. "After you."
One who doesn't know Gabriella Pravus might expect her to have the sense of tone to leave behind her weapon during an event meant purely for celebration, hosted by her very protege. Those who do, of course, would know the opposite is true. All this to say, the warrior princess of Pravus is a sight that certainly stands out in the crowds thanks to the ever-present sight of Gluttony still defiantly strapped to her back even in the midst of this inaugural event. It's peacebound, of course. So that's something.
Its presence, at least, does not make Gabriella any less full of that approachable, welcoming mirth of hers as she speaks with family and friends amidst the throng of recent arrivals. She is swift to welcome anyone she recognizes -- and even those she does not -- with deepest respect and warmest regards. Egregiously casual finger wriggles are reserved exclusively for Belladonna, as she passes her by, a single brow arched. But the knight's one-woman welcoming party is at least briefly disrupted by a familiar flash of red hair, coupled with an even-more familiar voice. Sky blue eyes flutter in a blink. And her smile is redoubled, as she pivots smoothly on a champagne silver heel to face Tyche, one hand pressed to her heart. "My marquessa," she greets, with that respectful deference that has become so signature of her greetings to the woman -- same as the twinkle in her eyes. Her hand moves, to clasp over Tyche's for a brief, fond squeeze, leaning in to murmur a few words before she looks towards the vast array of opportunities for alcohol.
"I have not yet decided what to drink, I am afraid; it is an intimidating selection," confesses Gabriella. "Perhaps, if I had a suitably sage guide to help the perfect liquor find its way into my hands...?"
When Sebastian offers her a glass, Scarlett BEAMS - and takes it, with a light clink of stemware, before she says, "Scarlett Carver, your highness. I hope to open a bit of trade in the neighborhood, so I felt it was meet to drop by and pay my respects." She half-closes her fan at the sound of distant early quacking and taps her lower lip with it, frowning in what may be a Demure Moment of Thought. Her eyes then turn up at the presentation and she raises her glass - "To success!"
Gwenna quickly gets a glass, sips from it because /come on/, and then raises it. "To Pravus," she calls out. "Her new ward and all the marvels within!" Looking back, she nods her head a few times after Cassandra speaks. "I have to agree. The colors alone are sure to be legendary," is noted. "I imagine if she owns a shop, it must sell out within minutes." There's a grin when Sebastian smiles, and she turns it on the Mazetti noblewoman joins them, dipping her head in greeting. "It's so lovely to see you again, Lady Alessia. Quite the party, isn't it?"
Michael flashes a quick smile for Medeia that fades just as quick as Gwenna is spotted. "After me. Of course. I have to deal with a nemesis first." Aconite and himself thread through people directly towards the Redrain Princess. "Don't be alarmed. The malice runs deep. She may say some awful things...PRINCESS GWENNA!" Michael near shouts as he gets close enough. "How is Stompy?"
"Surprisingly... a great many here." Alessia says, when she's released the prince, glancing around the room. Her eyes settle on Gwenna. "Her highness kept me company during the joust a few weeks ago." She gives a fond smile. "It's wonderful to see you and it /is/ a wonderful party. So lively. We really should meet up for tea like we planned. I'm starting to become accustomed to it. I know who to blame for that, of course." A chuckle escapes her throat. "Rosalind." She smiles warmly. Then to Scarlett. "I don't believe we've met, messere." She adds, warm smile still in place.
Nina is handed a glass of red wine, and raises it, just as the bards behind her once again begin another song. It has a bit of a spring to it, the flutes and strings echoing in a way that invites dance and celebration. The toast given, Nina then steps down off the stage, and, with a gesture, keeps the bards' song moving. She may get back on the stage herself later this evening, but for now, she wants a moment to mingle. It's not often she can supervise entertainment AND greet guests. Calla walks up to her, and Nina smiles brightly. "Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoy the favors. I told you I was going to be up all night folding fans. But I think it was worth it!" Hearing just a bit of her compliment, Nina smiles over at Cassandra as well, and gives a short bow.
Seeing so many fans adding even more splashes of color here and there throughout the tavern seems to tug an even more prominest smile to Maren's lips, though for now she does not approach to claim one. Instead her gaze moves towards the stage, and the musicians playing there, as she takes a sip from her glass, considering. The noise and liveliness of the room seems to buoy her as well, amusement overtaking her serenity, with not a little hint of nostalgia.
Belladonna bows to Gwenna from a distance, seemingly happy with the woman, as she enjoys her drink, only manifesting to shout a loud 'Booo!' when the Archduchess is named. She even thumbs down the woman! In good spirits, the Archduchess raises her glass to cheer the new ward, bar and Pravus, showing absolutely no bias when she does holler for the House of Setarco and the Saffron Chain. She blows a kiss at Tyche from afar and signals in a circle that this is a celebration for all of them.
Slowly, she approaches the Legate Cassandra herself, giving the woman a respectful bow. "I am glad you could make it, Legate. It is a honor to have you among us. Please to scream if you need directions, or a dance partner." Quickly, she raises her glass when Preston calls for another cheer, and then moves to greet Medeia. The woman seems relaxed in front of the Saik, hoping to cause the same calmness. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Lady Medeia. Your House has always been nothing but good to Pravus, and it is my pleasure to have you here tonight."
To Adrienne, she simply hugs the woma tightly, her chin upon the Dragon's as she squeezes her and lets the Valardin go. "Absolutely. That is why I have ministers, they are there to blow my mind." She waggles her eyebrows, and she smiles, "Your words are too kind, but be sure to compliment Nina and maybe Sebastian, for the ward and the party! Maybe not Sebastian, we don't want him getting too cocky!" She mouths a 'Welcome' to the woman, seemingly eternally pleased.
After that, the blonde does find something that captures her attention and she frowns, going after it. Some people, swear to the gods!
"I'm never sure if I'm impressed or baffled that you cleave to star-based navigational techniques in the middle of a city, my lord," says Verity. She snaps her fan shut one more time and glances over to consider Philippe.
"It must keep your heart halfway in the field, though. Are you drunk enough to start meeting people, yet?"
The courtier taps the folded fan against her jawline as she surveys the room.
"Let's see. There's Princess Gabriella, who we haven't seen since the construction of the Rose of Solace. Well, you haven't seen. I still have an outstanding bet. Should we go over before she's deep enough in her cups that she starts challenging people to do more pushups than her?"
Tyche laughs freely as Gabriella all but invites her to be her drink guide for the evening, and she turns to to eye the many varied choices to tempt and confuse. "Mmm. I wonder where you might find such a guide," she muses, purposefully obtuse. "One who knows you better than most, knows what your taste buds might respond to best..." She holds up a finger, "One moment," and then drifts toward the displays of liquor. She spends entirely too much time examining the choices, but ultimately decides on a glass of Setarco Fire. It poured, she turns to rejoin the woman with the big ol' sword, but finds herself momentarily distracted by the sight of a newly familiar face. "Princess Gwenna!" she calls, lifting up the cup she's had prepared for Gabriella. "Try the Fire. Trust me, it might rival some of the Redrain whiskeys." And then she reclaims Gabriella's interest with a few steps, and an extended hand with the cup. "Here. More for my pleasure, than yours," she admits with a mischievous grin. "I had to drink an entire bottle of this recently, and I may never be the same." When the glass is transferred, she tilts outward to look at the growing crowds. "Isn't this wonderful?"
"Aid me and I will prevail," Philippe says, lifting his glass toward Verity in salute before taking another drink.
Aconiteis taken a moment by the Hosts and she applauds with the others in support of House Pravus though Michael's words draw her attention back. "What?" Her eyes widen as she's drawn along looking mildly alarmed by his words. The Eurusi woman's long legged stride keeps pace easily enough though she does drop back a step.
Cassandra returns Nina's bow with a short smile as she clasps Gwenna's upper arm for a moment. "I have not forgotten to visit you." she reminds. "I still need to do such. And I will bring Baroness Margerie Clement with me. She has been my protege for a while, and I think she may have some insights into what I want to ask. I am still looking for Proteges and someone that may want a Legate as a protege themselves." she says with a small laugh.
As Belladonna approaches, Cassandra offers a curt, polite curtsy in response. "I thought it proper as a member of the Legates to at least make an appearance. I confess, I am taken away. It is all quite beautiful." And then there is the offer of finding a dance partner. And she laughs. "Oh dear, your Grace, I fear noone has wanted to take me on a spin on the dance floor since I was an eligible heir." she comments wryly, though she does glance over towards Gabriella. "...though, have I not met her yet?" she asks in some thought. "Would you be willing to offer an introduction?"
"Trade?" it's hard to say whether Sebastian is scandalized at the use of such a word at a Pravus party or merely surprised. The fact that he laughs a moment later suggests the latter, though, giving Scartett a pleased smile. "Ah. You'll want to speak to Messere Drusila, then. I believe she's still in the market for those willing to undertake trade into the Saffron Chain. Messere Scarlett Carver, the Lady Alessia Mazetii -- a glaivedancer of unparelleled skill. She's kindly agreed to a demonstration at my wedding." Michael's shout towards Gwenna earns a brief look as he sips and half turns. A certain whisper catches his attention, and he lifts a hand: "Whisper Nisaa. Won't you join us?" he invites with an easy smile.
Adrienne looks baffled when Belladonna hugs her and it takes her a moment to return the embrace, arms held a bit at length like the lost duck she had imitated earlier. "Thank you," she mouths in return to Belladonna before saying, "I can't say praises enough of Nina Autumndale. As for Sebastian, he does not need our help." Adrienne turns an amused look toward Sebastian's circle before offering a respectful tilt of her head to Cassandra and retreating. "Enjoy your evening, Archduchess."
Family calls Adrienne's attention, she bows her head in greeting to Verity before surging through the crowd to press a kiss to the air beside Philippe's cheek. "I did not think to see you here. You are very lost. Did Verity Locke tell you this was a agriculture seminar?" There's a smile to Adrienne's eyes for Verity to give voice to her otherwise deadpan joke.
Rosalind has joined the by the bear claw hearth.
Oh. If there is one voice Gwenna will always recognize, it is that of Michael. The Redrain keeps the smile on her face as she replies. "Stompy is wonderful. I think he's only torn up four pairs of slippers the past week and a half. A new record," is drawled out. "I think, perhaps, we might be even. I would send him back, but the staff at the villa adore him. He's crafty and smart, that one." Taking another sip of her wine, her smile softens and she offers a small laugh. "Ah, you kept me just as much company during that joust, my lady. Though yes, tea very soon if we can manage it. I've snuck in a few nice winter varieties into the villa's liquor cabinet so that there is always some on hand." The Redrain then truly laughs, amused when the Archduchess boos. And then another familiar voice is heard and Gwenna's grin broadens. "Marquessa Tyche! Ah, if it might rival our whiskeys, I am already afraid," she calls back with a chuckle. "I promise I will try it, though. Just one." She seems to be genuinely enjoying herself. Turning her attention back to Cassandra, she nods. "I know how duties can be, and can only imagine yours are incredibly demanding. When time allows, I'm very much looking forward to seeing you and Lady Margerie."
"Scarlett Carver," Scarlett says unto Alessia, beaming to her as well. "I am charmed, my lady! I must admit I have never come to a Pravus fete before, so please forgive me if I seem like a naif." Then her eyes turn towards the approaching Archduchess with a suitable gasp, the fan upraised again. (Sebastian gets a wink and a murmured, "Thank you, sir - I shall surely remember.)
Calla giggles softly at Nina as she takes another sip of her wine, "Oh, so very worth it! Hopefully you can get a good night's sleep after all is said and done." When she spies Cassandra, the Baroness bobs her head politely, "Mother Cassandra, so good to see you again. I hope you've been well." The springy music has her swaying a little bit in place, slippered foot taping a little bit as she continues to sip at her wine.
Preston bows his head to Belladonna as she passes by the Legate "Archduchess. It has been a number of years." Comments about dancing from Cassandra get a gentle cough from the Templar "Princess Sorrel I am told can provide lessons, Mother" Preston offers, a little tongue in cheek "Though I am waiting for my own lessons, so I fear I have to avoid dancing in the interest of the safety of everyone's toes. I can hardly lead us against the Eurusi if everyone is hobbling." He folds his hands behind his back and looks out again to the group "Quite a good mix though."
Nina looks over with interest as Cassandra picks out Gabriella. She walks over with a spring in her step and the feathers on her half-cape flapping about breezily. "Please, let me, the pleasure is all mine! May I introduce my patron, the Princess Gabriella, she of the hefty sword, a powerful knight and breaker of chains!"
"I was told there would be beer and cheese," Philippe says to Adrienne, in his normal dry Oathlands deadpan. People who think the old man is humorless do not tend to understand the Oathlands' tradition of flat, even-handed deliveries of punchlines. He inclines his head to her kindly thereafter. "I would congratulate you on your impending nuptuals. Naturally you must convince me that this man is satisfactory on horseback before you may receive my endorsement." The old man has never withheld an endorsement despite his constant threats.
Once done greeting Belladonna, Medeia turns and sees Calla. She approaches with a smile. "Baroness Calla, hello again!" She inclines her head. She does the same for Cassandra. "Legate, good to see you."
Belladonna gasps at Cassandra, hand to her chest, as she looks at Gabriella. "What -is it- with that, huh? Well, Legate, as you have now fallen into my web, you shan't leave the premises before you dance. It does bring us closer to the gods, you see. I know that much. Or did I imagine it?" Belladonna seems to think, before she shrugs, "Regardless. You will be dancing. As a favor. Now come here. Let me introduce you properly."
"GABRIEL-" As Nina comes over, the Archduchess arches a brow, staring at her Butterfly. She holds the frown for a moment, those narrow eyes seemingly unpleased, before her face brightens up and she grins. "I am surprised you didn't elbow me out of the way, Nina. This is taking your station seriously!" She seems humored, and steps back, hands up in a surrender motion, letting the Butterfly, well, fly!
"Of course," Nisaa says in her accented voice before she makes her way closer to Sebastian and those near him. "The place looks amazing. I cannot wait to explore more of it and see the lovely sights it offers. Congratulations to you, Prince Sebastian, and to all the Pravus Fealty. You have worked so hard and achieved much due to that and the dedication of your family and friends." She curtsies slightly. "I am honored to be at tonight's celebration." Looking to the others near him, she lowers her head and says, "good evening to you all."
"Unparalleled." Alessia repeats, waving a hand with entirely feigned modesty. "But yes, I did. Princess Adrienne seemed intrigued to see it too. And it's easier than picking out a gift." She winks at this. "Oh, no. How could you think that?" She asks Scarlett with a chuckle. "You seem lovely. And it's a party. Blame the alcohol when in doubt." She turns her head, noticing the Carnifex in the room. "Preston!" She calls with a beaming smile, waving a hand.
Verity inclines her head in deference to Adrienne in turn. After that bit of formality is out of the way, she twirls her folded-up fan between her fingers on the way to stashing it into one of her coat pockets. See? It's more use than looks.
The courtier makes a dismissive gesture to Adrienne, but the smile in her eyes betrays the game before it's started.
"Your highness, you've got it all wrong. I've convinced the count that after a long career of brutally destroying his enemies, he should focus his retirement on becoming a fashionable socialite. I've got an entire warehouse of silk ready for him."
Verity leans over to look past Adrienne to the rest of the room, but it's only a moment until she glances back to the princess while maintaining the same poise. "Will we be introduced to your suitor tonight? I admit I'm eager."
Rosalind hurries to go sit with the wine. A wave and a cheerful smile coming from her as she passes people. "Am I--allowed to explore and things,"she wonders aloud.
"Lady Medeia! We just keep running into each other," Calla greets her with a wide smile and a dip of her head in return. "I'm so glad you came! Isn't this party amazing?"
Before Adrienne retreats, Cassandra pauses her with a squeeze of her hand. "Let me congratulate you on your upcoming nuptials. I imagine you will be getting more acclaimed to being here?" she asks with a lift of a brow before she releases her hand when Calla comes to greet her. "Baroness, you are quite lovely tonight. You are still acclimating to the city well?" she asks hopefully. "Feel free to write me sometime if you have need."
She's about to say more when Belladonna makes her announcement and the Legate gives a short bark of a laugh. "It might be because I am a terrible dancer. What, all those hours I spend studying?" she asks, before both the Duchess and Nina are in a race to introduce her to Gabriella.
The Legate approaches and when the name is made, she offers a bow in greetings. But Belladonna said she wanted to make the formal introduction, so Cassandra is polite and waits.
"Only four? I spent a solid week training him to do more than that." Michael's frown is something to see as he pulls Aconite along beside him. "This is Mistress Aconite, out of the Velenosa ward. Shes here to make sure I don't say anything to get me in trouble. This is Princess Gwenna Redrain. My second cousin." He'll look back to Gwenna though, and lean in to pop a kiss into her cheek for politeness sake only. Just to be polite. "This place is in an uproar and I'm beginning to think this is dull for them."
"Verity must also assess him but her criteria are unknown to me," Philippe asides to Adrienne. "It adds an element of danger. Danger is important in a suitor."
Perhaps the elder woman notes the introductions being made, though Maren's gaze never lingers impolitely, surely the studied mark of a people-watcher. Contented for the moment, she seeks a place at least so she will be out of the way of the most active of the crowd. She finds a spot to soak up some of the additional warmth of the bear claw hearth, taking another sip of her wine, her eyes moving once more to those on stage, before they enjoy noting more in the crowd.
Maren has joined the by the bear claw hearth.
Aconite's brow arches and she casts an amused sidelong look at Michael. She Courtier does dip into a boneless curtsy as the Redrain Princess and smiles in greeting. She's distracted a moment by a glimpse of duskweave and Aconite lifts a hand to greet Alessia by waving a gloved hand before she turns her attention back to the Nobleman beside her. "An honor to meet you, Your Highness." Michael's comment earns him a quiet laugh as she shakes her head. "It's just getting started though, Lord Bisland."
Adrienne has a bit of the Blanchard look in her serious, pale eyes - and quite a bit of the deadpan delivery. "Thank you. Sebastian handled My Lady more expertly than she deserved." With a sparkle of pale eyes, she leans in to whisper something for Philippe only. Leaning back, she continues, "But I would be happy to introduce you if you would like to make your own assessment on his seat or his dangerousness." Verity is included with perhaps more warmth in that invitation. "I should add, uncle, that Verity has been invaluable to me recently. I'm grateful to borrow of her many skills, and likely had you not already taken her, I would have claimed her myself." She gestures over the vibrant room. "There still is time, Verity," Adrienne notes, mostly teasing.
Cassandra's squeeze of the hand is returned; the Legate has for the moment Adrienne's full attention. "Thank you, Cassandra. Truly. I'm glad you're here. It makes this place more like home."
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Medeia before departing.
Nina jumps in the way, says her announcement... flushes, a bit, and then gives Belladonna a head bow, her cheeks a bit red. She then opens her mouth in a cheerful laugh. "You know how I am, Archduchess, always trying to be certain that everything is in order and everyone is having a good time! I'm thrilled to see the reponse not just to this bar's opening, but to all the lovely places we have throughout the ward."
"Honestly," Sebastian says to Nisaa's words, "Most of the credit for the ward is due Archduchess Belladonna's exceptional and demanding vision, however much she might try and offload the credit elsewhere," just loudly enough that his cousin can hear it of course. "Nisaa, you know the Lady Alessia?" he introduces with a tip of his hand, with a brilliant smile, his laugh audible above the din of the party. "Wait, we had the choice for a gift instead? I suppose I can settle, since it's decided. And, truly, something to behold."
Preston seems glad of the distraction when he spies Alessia's raised hand, the Carnifex lifting his own hand in greeting before moving away from the busy Cassandra and Bella to speak to her "Lady Alessia." he offers in greeting "I am glad to know there is an excess of Templars at parties these days."
Drawn as much by word of mouth as by the sound of music and voices lifted to accompany the music itself, Kalani holds a drink in one hand as she moves through the room, more or less going with the flow of the crowd. The cheerful music being played by the band has her attention and she drifts closer, a smile on her face, one foot tapping lightly in time with the music.
A messenger finds Medeia and she reads the missive with furrowed brows. She looks up at Calla with an apologetic smile. "I didn't want to miss it, it's beautiful. Sadly, I must attend to this missive. I hope to return!" She finishes her wine and deposits the glass with a passing server before exiting.
1 Saik Guard leaves, following Medeia.
Kalani takes A silk fan decorated with a gold butterfly from Pravus Party Favors - Choose One.
Tyche overhears the 'just loud enough' comment from Sebastian, even if it wasn't intended for her ears, and she turns to nod at him. "So true!" she calls out, but she's otherwise engaged in her Gabriella sphere, which seems to have Cassandra and Belladonna soon to be added!
Preston earns a look from Cassandra and a small smirk. "I am sure that Princess Sorrel can teach me a good number of things that would not include dancing. I would not want to take up her time with that." She offers. Perhaps just a /touch/ defensively. She remembers dancing. Executing it? That remains to be seen.
"I'll come be your handmaiden when my lord count finds a better assistant than me," says Verity, whose smile is by now not only suggested in her eyes. She throws it away to instead put on a thoughtful expression.
"Though... perhaps I'd be willing to sacrifice my days off, now and then, if you invite me to the right kind of party."
Verity looks up to Adrienne, eyes wide.
"That seems a fair exchange, doesn't it?"
"Oh thank you," Calla replies to Cassandra. "I am doing as well as can be expected. Very focused on getting the new house ready. I am sorry I didn't reply to your messages, I've hardly had a social life. But I will certainly do that." When dancing is mentioned, Calla's amber eyes light up at the prospect. When Medeia takes a message, she grins, "I hope you do! I'll keep an eye out for you." Left all alone with her wine, the Vaevici Baroness wanders closer to the band as well, smiling at Kalani when she pulls up next to her. "Great music huh? Just makes you wanna dance."
Gwenna rolls her eyes and manages a wry laugh at Michael's words. "Perhaps all the scraps the kitchen staff feed him are starting to lull his killer instincts," is quipped back before she turns and smiles at the introduction. "A pleasure, Mistress Aconite. You surely have your work cut out for you," she says, though it meant to sound light and teasing. "It's a lovely affair, though, don't you both agree? The ward, though I've yet to see it all, is breathtaking."
Gabriella is a saintly font of patience as Tyche very purposefully meanders her way through the deep mystery of the princess' perfect drink; the climb of her brows and the cluck of her tongue, of course, are just ways one shows their deep well of patience in Setara. "It utterly boggles the mind," she agrees, tone effortlessly flat -- which does not hinder the shine of amusement in her stare, nor the hint of a grin at her lips, before she sees Tyche off with a tip of her hand in the marquessa's direction. While Tyche is on her grand quest (and exchanging of pleasantries and liquors with others), Gabriella's sky blue gaze takes stock of the room. Her stare falls upon Verity and Philippe from afar, brows lifting in recognition.
The knight is in the midst of raising a hand in greeting for the pair of Oathlanders, when a drink of Setarcan Fire finds its way into her grasp. Fingers clasp effortlessly around cool glass -- and Gabriella favors the conquering hero that is Tyche Inverno with a truly pleased grin. "See? You truly know my heart, my marquessa," the princess announces, roundly -- and then raises that glass towards Verity, Philippe -- and now Adrienne, the later earning the curious tilt of her head. "-- Have you met Count Philippe Blanchard and his minister of loyalty, Verity Locke? If not, we must correct this; they are exemplary people, worth knowing. I have an outstanding wager with the minister, you see, on the matter of a certain drinking contest--"
But before Gabriella can finish her anecdote, Nina, Belladonna, and Cassandra are upon her with varying degrees of enthusiasm and/or polite, respectable distance. Gabriella blinks. Her head cants owlishly to the right.
"Well," begins Gabriella, "... now I am feeling quite smitten by all this attention." But -- at the very least, she waits, for the other side of that introduction to be made, a warm, amused smile at her lips.
"Unfortunately, I hadn't." Alessia says, shaking her head when she's introduced to Nisaa. "It's a pleasure. It's always lovely to meet more Whispers. There hasn't been one I haven't gotten along with." She murmurs something quickly to Sebastian, before turning to address Preston. "Well, you want to knock off the unfortunate stereotype that Orthodox never have fun, no?" She muses. "Not that I claim to be. But still." Her tone turns apologetic. "I got your message. And I would be delighted to aid you, once I find the time."
Philippe reaches out to pat Adrienne on the shoulder. It's good cover for Adrienne's covert muttering. These are practiced moves on the part of the count. This is not his first party. "I am old, Adrienne," he says, continuing as if Adrienne had told him nothing at all. Though the old man rarely smiles, it's in his eyes all the same. Verity's good humor is like permission to him. "You need only wait. Verity has many long years of service left and seems pleased with your company." Another pat, and a quieter word. "I will expect you to care for her when I cannot."
Philippe looks over toward Sebastian for a moment, perhaps to keep any dangerous sentiment from rising, and then back to Adrienne. "Nonetheless -- yes, that is encouraging. An introduction would not be remiss. Particularly if I may see him in the stables now and again. Certainly if he will be a fixture during festival time." But he hears his name and starts looking toward Gabriella. The matter does not seem imminent but naturally he will need to see to that. Some more ale helps. Yes.
Though she doesn't sway or bounce to the music played, Maren's lowered eyes and warm smile seem to indicate that it is very much appreciated. There might even be just a touch of movement of the liquid in wineglass, as if a fingertip tapped out the rhythm perfectly alongside. The relaxed nature of her smile, and perhaps the lighting, seem to shed quite a few years from her visage, as if memories from a much earlier time mingle with her view of the partygoers as well.
"It absolutely does," Kalani replies, a delighted smile on her face as she remembers to actually sip from the drink she's holding, not just hold it. "I love music. And especially something like this! Cheerful, up beat, and a crush of people to enjoy it," she gestures - carefully - with the drink she's holding at the room in general. "This place is just wonderful."
"I will have to give her my praise then, when she is not being overcome with well wishers and adoring fans." Nisaa looks over in the direction of the Archduchess Belladonna. "I truly am not surprised with the beauty of the place. I have always known the Pravus to have an eye for it." She does another small curtsy, this time to Alessia. "Good evening. I believe it has been a long time since we have seen one another, so you may have been forgetting me. Understandable, to be sure. It is good to be resolving that tragedy now and to remake your acquaintance."
Better late than never! Well. Depending on who you ask in the room, maybe. Gianna sweeps in, golden shimmering on blue peeking out from a large black fur that is surely keeping her warm in the autumn chill. She shrugs it off near the door, casting a cool gaze about the room.
Tyche is given no time to answer yay or nay to knowing Phillipe and his minister of loyalty, because the story never finishes! What a tease Gabriella is, but the Marquessa will have to survive now that her chosen companion has become the center of attention. She grins, easily stepping back to make room for others.
Rosalind has left the by the bear claw hearth.
"Sir Preston," Sebastian says, as the Carnifex approaches Alessia to greet her. "It is, indeed, a relief to see an excess of Templars these days. And we look forward to seeing your number with us in the Saffron Chain. Did you secure yourself a drink?" he asks easily, looking to flag a servant as if to offer that. If he's aware of the looks of Adrienne's family his way, he's adept at pretending otherwise. "I should love, actually," he says, picking up the thread of conversation with Alessia and Nisaa, "To see you two collaborate on a dance. You both have such unique styles: it would be something else."
When Belladonna is given the privilege of being all official and introducing her cousin properly, she gleefully throws it in the Bella Pit of Missed Opportunities, and instead simply hugs the mighty warrioress' arm. She eyes Gabriella for a moment, so the knight has a second to adjust to what is coming, and keep her stoic face as stony as she likes throughout. The Archduchess grins brilliantly.
"This is my absolutely adorable cousin, -Princess- Gabriella Pravus, the leader of the Swords of the Evening, and daughter of our amazing uncle, Tiberio. Don't let her fool you, for behind her serious visage there is an extremely... serious individual." Bella frowns and stares at her cousin, "I am sorry, I feel like I am not doing this whole knight thing justice. Do you want to pick this up and run with it? I don't speak... this whole language." She motions between Cassandra and Gabriella. "This is the Legate, as you must know, so treat her -excellently-! As you would... Mmm. ... Just treat her excellently!"
She nods firmly and then at Cassandra, who gets a nod as well. "You owe me a dance. Or Gabriella. You can pick your Pravus." She waggles her finger and although she is smiling, the Archduchess dows notice the arrival of Gianna, who gets an arched brow from the Archduchess. That brilliant smile is replaced by something more subdued, but still smiley-ish, as she nods at the woman and stands there.
"I'll have to steal him and ensure he is ready for further mayhem." Michael pats at Gwenna's elbow. "There is enough silks and brocade here to float a fleet large enough to defeat with the Dune Emperor." The man teases absolutely nobody in particular as he looks out amongst the crowd....to spot Kalani and loft a hand towards her in a wave.
"You will have to explain what the wrong kind of party is, Verity," Adrienne notes with Oathlandic gravity. Her attention follows Philippe's to Gabriella. "You are a notable, Uncle Philippe. May I show you to my future husband before allowing Verity to ferry you to... I believe that's the Princess Gabriella, is it not?" She then scolds him with a glance. "You are not old." But in the next breath is somber dignity; of course, she will care for his people. Then she offers Philippe her arm, gaze travelling to Sebastian.
"A crush of people is right," Calla replies with a giggle as hips sway a bit in time with the music. "I agree, the music is just right for the festivities. It's a joyous occasion. I'm Baroness Calla Vaevici, by the way. I feel like I'm going to spend most of my evening introducing myself. Hopefully I can squeeze some dancing in to."
Nina turns her attention to the entrance, as guests are still arriving. Nina does, after all, have a few Bard's College members on the stage, working flute and lute in perfect harmony under her instruction. Sometimes at events she also plays herself, but it seems today she is merely serving as manager of program for the time being. She walks through the crowd cutting wide with her peacock skirts as she greets Gianna near the entrance. "Gianna! I'm so glad to see you here! It's wonderful that you came out to our opening and want to celebrate with us." She steps back. "And your gown is fantastic too!"
1 Saik Guard arrives, following Medeia.
"It is always hard when you are introducing one person known to be stoic to another known to be stoic." Cassandra gives Belladonna a small smile. "But I appreciate your effort, Your Grace." she says with a laugh before her attention turns to Gabriella fully. "I am Legate Cassandra Laurent. And it seems by unofficial edict by your Duchess, we will at least have one dance tonight." She says this all so formally and politely, it may be hard to miss the Oathlander humor that comes with it.
"Though I will also have to take the Archduchess for a turn on the floor as well, since it seems to be she has given me a choice, to which I say 'Both'." There's a wry twist of her lips. "Though I feel rather underdressed, all in my official garb."
"A pleasure to meet you, Baroness, I'm Lady Kalani Seliki," Kalani's words are paired with a lightly graceful curtsy of greeting, always fun to do while holding a drink, there's a bit of nuance required to avoid spilling! She's laughing as she straightens, though doesn't hold still either, still moving just a little, one foot then the other, to the music. "You could dance and introduce yourself, at the same time?" she suggests, moving the drink from her right hand to left so that she can wave in return toward Michael. "Or you could make it like speed dating, but speed introductions instead, dancing from person to person."
Medeia sneaks back in, the urgent missive dealt with, and heads to the bar for another glass of wine.
"Mmm. The Orthodox just have a different definition of fun - with canticles and candles. And rigorous adherence to liturgy. Though I am not the embodiment of all the Orthodoxy, and so myself am not much fun, I am sure." Preston's head bows a little, smiling warmly to the glaivedancer "And truly, it is not urgent - I like the chapter to know what I am doing, to be involved if they wish, or for them to say that actually they want to do something similar or different, and can we help them. We are a family, of sorts." As Sebastian addresses him, Preston turns and shares his smile with the Pravus prince "Well, it is time we did our duty, and as your holdings become established, so the Faith grows and our seraphs recruit. Though Dame Celeste will handle much of the practicalities. Much as I would relish a chance to renew my friendship with Bella, I am also conscious that there must be space for others to bloom. One day my luck will run out, and it will be easier for all if there are battle proven and clear successors." Mention of drink gets a small shake of his head "No, but, with the Legate here I suppose I am a little on duty."
Maren has left the by the bear claw hearth.
Gwenna manages a genuine laugh at Michael's words. "You are a terror," she says with some amusement. "I do believe I need another drink, and I do want to see the selection offered. Again, Mistress Aconite, a pleasure to have made your acquaintance. I imagine we'll cross paths again before the night is over. Hopefully my husband, Lorenzo, will yet make an appearance, but naval duties keep him busy." She dips her head and then makes her way to do as she said she was going to do: review the bevy of spirits on display.
Aconite seems taken with the dazzle of all the finery and some of the truly momentus fabrics and designs on display. Her reply to the Princess is slightly delayed for a solid few breaths before she finally replies with an airy, "I like a challenge." Aco replies to Gwenna, yellow-gold tinted lips breaking into a laughing smile. Michaels comment gains a soft cough to cover a light chuckle. "I'm speechless, really. When Lord Bisland mentioned we'd be coming he hadn't quite prepared me for the magnitude."
"The wrong kind of party may only be judged by the energy in the air," says Verity, with /Oathlandic/ solemnity. They're in good company.
The courtier follows after Adrienne and Philippe, however, continuing to speak on. "You have Princess Gabriella to thank for the Rose of Solace's lovely wine cellar, among other things. It's lured more than a few knights of Solace to take an extended residency there. It seems she's swamped in attention for the moment, though."
Cassandra quickly snaps her head to Preston. "You are not." She points to her guards. And that large snapping turtle. "You are not at all a little on duty. Unless you want me to order you to say if you are asked to dance, you will do so." Is she serious?
Scarlett sips her drink after telling Alessia, with a little playful laugh, "I shall be sure to remember that if the guard finds me!" and then stepping out of the press of things a skoch to eyeball the situation. Perhaps, in Scarlett's reckoning, there is now too large of a crowd round Sebastian to orbit tightly. She is also briefly dismayed at the sight of the turtle, for reasons known only to her.
Gianna inclines her head to Nina, crossing toward her. "Nina, so good to see you. What a wonderful party you've organized - and a beautiful outfit, too. Those are... the birds, yes? Peacocks? Lovely colours, great contrast with your hair. That's sure to start some trends, isn't it? I like it very much." A flicker of a hint of a smile. "I hope the bards have been performing to expectation? Please excuse me a moment, though." She turns to make her way toward Belladonna.
Philippe takes Adrienne's arm. It is pleasure for him to do so. Sometimes there is a flicker of something in his eyes in these moments. Remembering something, or imagining something. It passes; he makes it leave him. The ghosts will come to him when it is quiet. "Show him mercy," Philippe asides to Verity, but it is clearly a jest. "I am glad for that wine cellar all the same."
"Oh, really?" Alessia seems genuinely surprised to hear this, studying the whisper for a moment longer. "Gods... my mind has been elsewhere it seems. My apologies. I'll be sure to keep this meeting ingrained in my mind. And you're a dancer?" She asks with a curious smile, to Sebastian's comment. "If I know anything, Preston, it's that my sister generally surrounds herself with /fun/ people." She takes a glass of wine from the server the prince has called down. "Does that mean with you here, that I'm on duty?" She asks the Carnifex with a teasing smile.
"The pleasure is all mine, I think you are the first Seliki I've had the pleasure of meeting in my short time here in Arx," Calla replies to Kalani, sipping at her drink before laughing softly at the lady's suggestion. "You know what, that's actually not a terribly bad idea. I'm not sure I'm familiar with speed dating though." When she spots Medeia come back in, she offers her a wave from where she is standing near to the stage, swaying in time with the music.
"Stay safe, Princess Gwenna. Don't trip over any cats or books." Michael murmurs as Gwenna takes off and he'll turn back to Aconite. "Perhaps a drink....No. I'm not storming that castle." The decision made and immediately dismissed as he looks towards where drinks are being dispensed. "You should meet Lady Kalani. I don't think you would've come across here. Lady Medeia I am sure that you have." Then the pair venture down towards the dancefloor to try and track down Kalani specifically.
With a new glass of wine, Medeia rejoins Calla. "I return! Triumphant, even. Did I miss anything good?"
"Dame Celeste is already well battle proven, though I admire your eye to the future," Sebastian answers Preston with an quick smile. "We will all return to the Wheel at some point, after all." Sebastian seems to take Cassandra's correction of Preston's status to heart, given he selects a glass of whiskey from one of the servers and offers it to the Carnifex. "A good, strong whiskey, I'm told. Not really my thing, so I can't comment." Alessia's words turn his gaze towards her, and then to Nisaa with something like anticipation.
"You forget that I've been to Valardin parties," Adrienne notes with a smiling glance to Verity as she escorts Philippe through the crowds of the tavern generally and those surrounding Sebastian Pravus specifically. A kind look passes for those nearest, familiar and not - Alessia, Nisaa, Scarlett, Preston and those others too. "Sebastian?" she asks, reaching with her free hand to capture the prince's attention and his elbow. "May I introduce my uncle, Count Philippe Blanchard of Chevalle? Attending him is his aide, Verity Locke. She's Legate Bianca's protege, you may recall. They've heard me sing your praises too often." Aside to Sebastian, she adds, "You look handsome tonight. Are you enjoying the party?"
"Absolutely," Nina says, answering both of Gianna's questions at once. She watches the other woman walk past... and drinks from her wine, taking a moment's peace in her emcee work to seem pleased so far with the turnout. Perhaps now she can begin drinking in more earnest, since things are going smoothly enough. An attendant walks by her and offers her a skewer of speared chicken, which she takes in delicate gloved hand.
Maren rises from her seat near the hearth, careful but graceful steps carrying her closer to where Nina is mingling about with all the partygoers. Though she is careful to not interrupt, once she gains the hostess' eye, she will offer an elegant bow that does not quite seem to be fully Arvani. "Thank you for hosting such a wonderful party," she offers with a warm but gentle smile. "The music is a delight." Though her words are unaccented, save for a slight flavor of the Mourning Isles, the cadence is a little unusual, as if fluency is returning slow and steady.
"Good evening, Carnifex," Nisaa curtsies to Preston. "I do not believe we have ever been meeting. I am Nisaa Whisper." Turning towards Alessia, the Eurusi Whisper smiles and nods. "And yes, I am a dancer. Mostly of the Eurusi style. Are you familiar? What is your style of dance?" Gently shaking her head to and fro she says, "no apologies necessary, please. I believe it was just a meeting in passing before. I used to spend some time with the Mazettis. Easily forgotten." She tries to reassure Alessia with another smile. And to Sebastian, "you know I would always be honored to dance for you when you request it, whatever the occasion might be. You also know how honored I would be to." Adrienne nears and she is greeted with a warm smile. "Princess Adrienne." Curtsy. "It is a pleasure to see you again."
"Really? I'll do my best not to embarrass the family name," Kalani's reply is made with a fine measure of impish amusement, a distinctive gleam in her eyes as well as she follows Calla's line of sight and also spots Medeia to whom she also waves. "There's music, which is fantastic, and dancing, somewhat, which will get better, I'm sure, as there's more liquid in glasses," she sips from the glass she's holding, in fact, because it's better to sip it than to spill it, as she might do if she does more than move her feet to the music.
"I am sure Dame Celeste will do a fantastic work within the boundaries of her jurisdiction." Bella offers simply, and nods at the mention of friendship, agreeing.
Belladonna approaches Gwenna as the woman peruses the spirits, and she does so by leaning a little closer to the Redrain, and pointing at the ones she would suggest. They are all wine, and that is just what you get when dealing a Setarcan. "Trust me," she says briefly, tapping whatever bottle of Setarcan Red is there. Maybe some Setarcan Fire, the stronger, non-wine beverage hopefully powerful enough for those of the Northern persuasion.
Still, she straightens her back and awaits for Gianna to approach, looking quite placid, not her usual MO, hands laced before her, eyebrows slightly arched. "The Nightingale herself. Are you finding the night to be of your liking?"
"It is why she joined the Faith, I am sure. We are known for our fun." Preston retorts in saccharin sweet tones to Alessia. His smile widens as he catches Cassandra's comment, and Alessia's query "Mm. Thankfully disciples are not always on duty. And the Legate forgets that one of the threats in the city is Eurusi agents, and on matters of Eurusi threats, she does not outrank me as she otherwise might, and I can be as much of a stubborn Oathlander as the Mother. Even for one born...well. Probably somewhere around here anyway." Preston's look becomes a little more serious as he addresses "In truth, I never drink alcohol much, your highness. A habit from being guard of the Dominus. While I am in the Parish of Arx, I am his obedient servant and always must be ready to go to his side. An affectation with little meaning to anyone but myself, but a reminder of origins, and we must enjoy all fully before we return to the wheel, mm? A Paladin's life is not long, but it is one of adventure."
Aconite lifts a silk gloved hand to hide a smile. "I wonder if you can help yourself at all, Lord Bisland." The Courtier muses still with bright excitement that seems to match her electrifying dress. "I would have tried, Lord Bisland, if I'd thought to break free of the books long enough to notice. It is truly something worth celebrating." the statuesque Fidante ward glances about before turning her attention back towards Michael as he leads them down onto the dance floor.
Preston also offers a bow of greeting to Philippe and to Nisaa as she introduces herself "A whisper, and thus the honour and pleasure in the meeting is all mine." he offers with a more formal bow of his head.
Gianna bows forward in acknowledgment; Whisper training. She straightens and tips her chin up. "Archduchess. I am indeed," she says. Casting a glance about, she says, "I've only been to the Pravus Ward once before, to have this dress made. This is... it's good to build something yourself, isn't it? And be able to stand there and see people come to celebrate? This is something to be proud of. A great accomplishment." A quick peek down. "And I love your shoes. Is that diamondplate? I never would have thought of that."
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Preston before departing.
"Fantastic!" Calla replies to Medeia when she comes over again. "Not sure if you missed anything, there are so many people here, I can hardly think let alone pay attention to everything going on at once. But I suppose that's a mark of a greaty party." To Kalani, she smiles warmly, "I doubt you could manage that. I'm more worried about embaressing my poor little House by pure accident. The Compact is still so new to me."
The faint touch to his elbow is sufficient to pull Sebastian's attention with an effortless smile when he sees Adrienne. "Of course," he says, with a nod towards Philippe. "We've met, of course, on a couple of occasions. I believe we spoke of horseflesh, Count Philippe, and my wish to see a breed strong enough to thrive in the Saffron Chain. A task," he adds with a sudden wryness, "I hope the far more qualified Ave will take over, now that she's joining us. Messere Verity," a nod for her too. "Ave's told me very nice things about you, I assure you. And I'm quite enjoying myself -- do you all have drinks?" he offers out the whiskey Preston's smoothly refused. "You know the Carnifex, Sir Preston? The Lady Alessia Mazetii, and the Whisper Nisaa, I hope?"
"Do you pay me to be merciful?" says Verity to Philippe, with far too much perk for the content of her words.
Verity slows her step so that Philippe and Adrienne arrive first. She remains standing slightly behind them until she's introduced, at which point she bows her head to the Pravosi prince. This isn't the kind of dress you curtsey in. At all.
"I'm overjoyed to meet the man behind the stories, your highness. I'm already filled with relief that my lord count's darling niece has made such an excellent match. I've heard that a musician of the voice such as her often benefits from anchoring to a more tangible art when it comes to encouraging the creative process."
As Nina departs from their throng to play the ever-charming host, Gabriella watches her protege go with a fond look of approval. "We ought speak soon, Nina," she calls after the woman, before her knightly attentions turn anew onto Belladonna and Cassandra. Her right brow edges ever-slowly upward.
"And now you have an intensely flattering introduction, and an intensely dour one; it would seem I make for a complex portrait," Gabriella observes, before a radiant grin settles on her lips like it was meant to be there. "Despite my inestimable Archduchess' words, though, I think you will find that underneath my stoic exterior," a subtle pause here, "... I am even more stoic than even she could ever know."
Gabriella brings a hand to her chest. And despite the obvious weight and sheer size of the sword at her back, she still manages to dip into an effortlessly fluid flourish of a bow. "Legate Cassandra Laurent. It is my considerable honor and pleasure to make your acquaintance." She rises once more, the gravity in her voice not quite reaching the smile on her lips. "Please be assured that I shall take the grave task of our dance with all the serious attention that it deserves." And that smile just grows, the slightest bit, as she brings her glass up pointedly. "Your garb suits you sublimely. And besides; if there is one thing I have learned, Legate -- it is that a good dance, a good drink, and better company does wonders for worries."
Nina looks at Maren, and gives a short curtsey of her frilled skirt. "Hello! Welcome, and thank you! I don't think I caught your name before! Sorry if I missed a greeting in all the fuss. The turnout is as good as I had hoped for."
The onstage bards, meanwhile, move toward upbeat dance songs as the night goes on, making sure that those who are willing to get out to the dance floor have a good accompanyment for it.
"I do not," Philippe says to Verity, and now he smiles. Oh, that's alarming.
But back to work. Philippe gives the approaching group of people a nod. Preston is the one he knows best -- Philippe is among the most devout of Oathlands nobles and stands when the Faith so much as looks in his direction. There is a powerful respect in Philippe for Preston, perhaps more so in these uncertain times. But yet Philippe is immaculately mannered and makes sure everyone in the group knows that he sees and acknowledges them. It is highly effective nodding. His focus moves to Sebastian. Philippe moves to shake his hand. (In his other hand is an ale, though half-drained.) He's taking his measure, but Sebastian would know that. There is some ritual theater in it all. "Your Grace," he says. "I would compliment you on your refined taste and insight in choosing a partner. Clearly you understand what truly matters in life. It is a pleasure to finally meet you in person." His eyes move betwene Alessia and Nisaa. "My lady, mistress -- a pleasure to make your acquaintance."
Lady Kalani," Medeia greets the woman warmly. "It is good to meet you properly, rather than in passing next to cows. I received your note today, I can't wait to talk to you more about our ideas." She Smiles at Calla and gently places her hand on the Baroness's arem. "You're going to be fine, I assure you. I know you have help, but please, I'd be glad to be a resource for you, if I can." She sips from her wine as she sees Michael and Aconite moving in the general direction of her small group.
There is a chuckle that comes from the Legate. Almost girlish as Gabriella speaks to her and Cassandra finds her smile more genuine. "And you are very striking and lovely in your uniform, Your Highness." she responds. She glances to the drink and considers. "When you have finished that..." she gestures with a hand towards the glass. She is a little respectful of some customs that come with never setting down a glass you intend to come back to. "Perhaps we should see if we are better company upon the dance floor?" she asks, and then smiles sublimely. "It could break the ice for others to join in?"
As introductions and greetings continue, Adrienne looks from Sebastian to Alessia and Nisaa. "Did you extend an offer to Whisper Nisaa, too? Please, if he has not, /I/ will. I watched you dance at Juliana's gala. You're very talented, and an even match for such skillful performers as Nina and Lady Alessia present. It would be an honor have you." She offers a half-bow to Alessia and Nina as she speaks. Her focused gaze travels to Preston and Adrienne slips into a more formal curtsey. "Grandmaster, how wonderful to see you here. Sebastian's generosity is always most prevalent with alcohol," she starts to say just as Sebastian proves her point. "Congratulations on your latest appointments. How are you?"
Gratitude travels in her expression toward Verity and Philippe for the compliments, and then past - the Nightingale is here, and Adrienne narrows her eyes fondly (and perhaps again with some surprise. Tonight is full of surprises.) Sebastian's mention of the Saffron Chain and Blanchard snaps Adrienne's attention back to the present. "You are both too kind. Of course I'd be happy to assist. I'm intrigued by Sebastian's vision."
Gwenna offers another dip of her head to Belladonna and smiles as she glances from the Archduchess to the suggested bottles. "I tend to favor white wine, though the reds from Setarco never disappoint." She ponders over the Setarcan Fire briefly before pointing back toward the red, which is quickly filling a glass that will soon be hers. "Thank you kindly, Archduchess. The party and ward are truly extraordinary," she says kindly and then she espies Gianna, who gets a warm smile of greeting. The Nightingale's remark about diamondplate leads the Redrain to glance down at Belladonna's footwear. "Oh, how brilliant," is noted and sounds genuinely appreciating. "And clever. More than once I've lost a heel to some spirited dancing and I imagine that might never happen in your case."
"The Faith's responsible for a lot of interesting events. The Festival of Death, for instance." Alessia points out to Preston before taking a drink from her glass. "Glaivedancing. Which is exactly what it sounds like." She grins at Nisaa. "Truthfully, it's more stylised when I do it for show than when I'm actually stabbing people. Sebastian's seen the latter." She nods to the prince. A nod is given to Adrienne. "A pleasure to see you again, your highness." Then to Philippe. "And to meet you, my lord. I've seen Mistress Verity speak to you on a few occasions, but we never got the chance to speak."
Aconite and Michael make it /all/ the way to Kalani and her assembled friends. "Kalani!" Michael forgets the lady at the front as he pulls Aconite along. "This is Mistress Aconite, my babysitter for the evening. This is Lady Kalani Seliki, perhaps my dearest and truest friend." And then to turn towards Medeia as well. "Lady Medeia Saik...who you've probably already met, haven't you?"
Maren shakes her head slightly, as if to wave away any need for apology. "I have returned to Arx from being so long away I should perhaps be considered as new," the silver haired woman says reassuringly. "Only arriving but less than a fortnight ago, along with my daughter. It is a plesure to make your acquaintance. I am Maren Lir. Though Princess Sabella and Prince Niklas have told me of your work with the Bards' College, and so I am sure it shall not be the last time our paths cross. I do not wish to take you from your duties long, however, my dear." She indicates the crowd around them with a gracious bow of her head.
Belladonna nods and mouths 'So good' when Gianna says she is enjoying the night. "I am glad the Ward has been providing well enough. The dress looks amazing." She smiles some more, and looks about, "I don't make what I wear. I simply leave it to greater minds and pay them with my silver, but I do love them." She smiles a little more, eyes closed, sunny as hell. "As for accomplishments, we will see. I am always starving for the next thing. Alas, I rejoice that my people can enjoy this moment of respite. They have well-earned it. Please, enjoy the night."
She eyes Gwenna, then, and she arches her brows, grinning brilliantly at the Redrain, "I have never danced in these. Care to put them to the test?" Her eyes widen ever so slightly, to make the moment more light-hearted, the offer on the table for the Princess to take. She also pours some more wine for herself, once more. Can't dance on an empty tank.
"The Count Blanchard is Defender of the Faith, your highness." Preston offers in re-assurance of the fore-knowing of one another, a warm smile greeting the Oathlands noble as he makes his introductions "His niece is the Knight Marshal of the Oathlands, a Godsworn Templar of great fervor and skill." Adrienne also gets a bow of the head "Your Highness. I was commenting on how much of the Oathlands seemed here...." It's then that Preston gives a little sideye to Alessia, a grin curling the corner of his mouth "Mmf. That I will grant you. I do like to collect the plushie spiders."
Kalani laughs quietly and admits to Calla, "The very first time I attended anything remotely formal, after being away from the city for some time, the conversation included speculation about climbing the old Clock Tower and arranging a expedition to pull it off. I dare say, you can't possibly embarrass your family by accident in comparison to that bit of social debacle," that impish smile remains in place even as she turns slightly and nods to Medeia, the look of delight again on her face as she offers another of those quick - but graceful - curtsies, this time to Medeia. "It's wonderful to meet you properly as well, in person, that is, not just by messenger," said as Michael and Aconite are arriving to join their little group. "Lord Michael, and Mistress Aconite, a pleasure to meet you, Mistress, and good heavens, what ever did you do to get assigned babysitting duty?" is wondered, laughter shading her tone of voice, "May i introduce you both to Baroness Calla Vaevici?"
Nisaa stiffens slightly and looks just a touch alarmed when Preston mentions the Eurusi agents. It is not her favorite subject, to say the least. The moment is brief, and she smiles again as he bows his head in greeting. She smiles to Adrienne, her chin tucked just so. "He had not, until this moment," looking at Sebastian, she ask, "if that is what you were asking in saying you would love to see Alessia and I dance together?" Verdigris eyes drift back to Adrienne. "Though, I assure you, regardless, I will be there, and I will be dancing, one way or another." Towards Alessia she says, "oh yes! Many of the Mazetti are practiced glaive dancers, are they not? I have yet to see it for myself, but shall look forward to it."
"I admit," Sebastian says with a quiet laugh at Verity's words, "I'm honestly curious at precisely what stories she's told. I don't know whether to tell you that all of them are true -- or none." The look he gives Adrienne though is wry. Readily, Sebastian reaches out to take Philippe's hand, shifting his glass of wine to his other, once he's deposited the as-yet-untouched whiskey onto a nearby tray. "I'm pleased and honored to hear that from someone so respected by my future wife," he tells Philippe with a broad smile. "If she hasn't yet," he adds, "Make sure your niece takes you for a tour around our stables. I made sure her room has an excellent view of them." Adrienne's question of Nisaa goes unvoiced on, though the glimmer of his gaze suggests he's pleased with the offer. "No," he answers Nisaa, "Though it's an excellent idea, if you're both amenable."
"We're blessed with very fine crafters in Arx," Gianna tells Belladonna, with a flicker of a ghost of a smile curving her lips. She nods again and steps aside to greet Gwenna. "Princess Gwenna, I fear it's been too long. Lovely star iron, and the pockets." POCKETS. "I do agree you ought to help the Archduchess test out her shoes." And Gianna can get a drink, perhaps. Possibly someone will be willing to give her one.
"Cows?" Calla comments with a brow lifted in curiosity, before turning to back to Medeia at the feel of her hand on her arm. She gives her a thankful smile, "I really appreciate it. Yes, I have fine people helping me out, but I wouldn't say no to more. You must simply come see my new house sometime, it's my own little piece of Sangris away from home." Then to Kalani, she giggles softly, "Oh dear. I see what you mean. Thanks for the vote of confidence, I can use all I can get. When a pair walks up an does introductions, she recognizes one of them and her smile brighten considerably, "Mistress Aconite! How lovely to see you again!" And then she turns to Michale with a curtsy, "And a pleasure to meet you, Lord Michael..." she trails off a bit, perhaps trying to prompt a family name from someone.
"Thank you! And it's not at all a problem to greet a guest." Nina grins happily at Maren. Then she raises her own glass to her lips, actually draining it. "It's always a bit tense when things get underway. But then the relief when things are over! Followed by that just... little bit of sadness, that you finished your work. But my work is never really done so long as there's parties to throw. And I have at least three more that I'm planning. To say nothing of the wedding coming up, of course."
"I find it's best to withhold comment and allow the audience to imagine for themselves, your highness," says Verity to Sebastian.
Now that her hands are free of folding fans, the courtier takes another kind of party favor: a glass of wine from a passing tray. When in Setarco, etc., etc.
While the carnifexes and counts and so on speak about Faith and other matters, Verity's gaze wanders off to people watch.
Aconite smiles and dips into a curtsy in greeting to Kalani, Medeia and the rest of their group. "Nice to meet you all as well. I have met Lady Saik." SHe agrees to Michael and smiles towards Medeia. "You look stunning, as do you Baroness Calla. It's wonderful to see you as well. It seems an eternity but that's just because I've been locked away with work." The tall Courtier's contralto voice warbles softly as she laughs. "It seems your bovine fascination is everywhere, Lord Bisland."
Resolute, an Oakhaven bloodhound arrives, following Kastelon.
"We met on a beach, no less." Medeia says to Michael, inclining her head to Aconite. "Good to see you again and thank you. I had this dress made special... to match a gift." She's sips her wine as Kalani makes introductions. "Yes, Baroness, cows." She clarifies. "Duke Ashford recently held a cow race, which Lord Bisland was a part of. The run off - there was a tie - will be held soon, just before the ball. And I would love to come see the house sometime. I am curious how much Sangris might remind me of Nilanza."
Gianna gets A silk fan decorated with a colorful peacock from Pravus Party Favors - Choose One.
Maren laughs gaily, a sound as bright and silvery as the hair on her head. "I remember those days well," she agrees. "Though the mark of one with the truest talent is that they make it seem effortless, and this work seems to very much become you," she offers. "I shall hope that I will have again the occasion to attend one of your gatherings. Three and a wedding, quite ambitious!" And from her tone, the elder woman sounds wholly approving.
"Truly," Gwenna wonders of Belladonna, glancing briefly to the shoes once again. "They seems like the sort of thing once /should/ dance in, as surely those heels much catch the light brilliantly." Taking a sip from her glass, she closes her eyes a moment and the smile betrays how much she must appreciate the taste. Opening them again, she lifts one shoulder in a half-shrug. "I'm not opposed to putting them to the test, though hopefully won't step on your toes. Which offers another bonus to steelsilk married to diamdondplate; you surely wouldn't feel it terribly much if I did," is noted with a chuckle. Looking to Gianna again, she pats one of the pockets on her pants. "Thank you. I've started demanding pockets as of late. The star iron pieces are a bit of mix and match, but special in their own way. It has been too long since our paths have crossed and it's wonderful to see you. I don't make nearly enough of the Bard's College events."
"I shall hold you to that promise," Adrienne assures Nisaa, reaching out to take the Whisper's hand and offer it a warm squeeze. A turn of her attention to Preston and Alessia, "I'm remiss in congratulating you on your new discipleship Lady Alessia. How are you finding it so far? I hope the Carnifex is not too stringent a taskmaster." Sebastian and Verity's banter, however, has Adrienne clearing her throat. "/Sebastian/. Of course they are true. And yes, the stables are magnificent. I'm hoping to restable my horses this week before the weather takes a turn."
"Lord Michael Bisland, Sword of Pridehall...Voice of Bisland...Heir to the Duchy, Lieutenant of the Iron Guard, Finalist of the Grand Melee, purveyor of Bovines. Um....herder of Peacocks. Swordsman instructor. I wear a good deal many hats, Baroness." Michael rattles them all off and side-eyes Kalani as if she could dare forget to include all of that. "I blame Ashford now. They did the Grand Prix, I aim to ensure there is a clear winner this next week for the Queen to award the cup to."
Bringing her glass to her lips, Gabriella drains a single, modest sip from its contents. "I am glad it is to your taste, Legate," she offers sincerely in the aftermath of that sip "I do not think I could dare to hold a candle to the Archduchess or Nina's impeccable flair for fashion, but I do know what I suits me best." It's a simple, easy confidence that carries in the knight princess' voice -- and it is that same energy that draws her towards deep consideration as to Cassandra's proposal. She ponders her glass. Ponders the dance floor.
And then Gabriella drains the rest of that Setarco Fire in a single shot that would be patently ill-advised for anyone even only modestly reasonable at holding their alcohol.
"Ah, it seems my glass has emptied itself," observes Gabriella, before she quite fluidly moves to set it upon the nearest tabletop she can find so that she may fluidly offer that freed hand to Cassandra in the same gesture, blue eyes alight and brows lifted in amusement. "Shall we, Mother Cassandra?"
A very belated wave is given to Aconite when Alessia sees her in attendance, though she tries not to disturb her from her conversation. She turns to Preston. "There surely have to be Gloria themed plushies in the works." It's unclear from her tone how serious she is. Finishing the drink in her glass, she waves over a server for a refill. "They are, indeed. Chosen at birth. Though some... well one, can leave the order." She muses. On the subject of her discipleship, she shakes her head. "Not in the least. I like keeping busy, anyway. I've spent a good deal of the weak in the Shrine, and it's been soothing. Isle hands are the abyss' plaything after all." She smiles faintly.
Kastelon pauses for a moment as he comes in from without, the brief draw of his hand down to Resolute's head to stroke there for a moment or three as his eyes briefly survey the room, as if to see what he has wandered forth, before he is easing off to one side to get the lay of the land.
Aconite has joined the Grand Stage.
"Hopefully upwind," Philippe jokes to Sebastian. "Naturally I will accept a tour." Alessia prompts Philippe to wordlessly glance to Verity before returning to Alessia. "I am sometimes in high demand, my lady. Forgive me if you wished my attention earlier." Learning of her discipleship gets the old man's attention.
Both of Cassandra's brows lift as Gabriella drains that glass so easily and she gives a small laugh. "Confidence or courage?" she asks curiously of the Princess before she offers her hand to the Pravus general and Princess. "I would be delighted." she finally decides, waiting for Gabriella to link up with her so that they may take to the dance floor. Since she is in their ward, she decides to say to Gabriella as they walk. "If you do not mind leading. It will give me some idea of what to expect?" she asks helpfully as they walk.
Cassandra has joined the Grand Stage.
Gabriella has joined the Grand Stage.
Michael has joined the Grand Stage.
"I still say there should be three races," Kalani voices her opinion on this matter with a bit of a sidelong glance toward Michael in return, a look of wide-eyed innocence as he recites his titular list of lists, titles of titles. "Make it a annual thing. If there's one winner for all three races? Easily sorted. But if there's individual winners, or even two out of three, finalists could go into a final heat, winner takes all. Just think, the trophy could be presented by which ever notable host sponsors the final round, or two."
Tyche has been basking in the din of the party, listening in on various conversations (obviously), drinking delicious wine (obviously), and generally enjoying the successes of Pravus. As Gabriella downs her drink and makes to dance with the Legate, the Marquessa shifts to crowd Belladonna's space momentarily, wherever she might be! "Did you determine you imagine that your cousin and my protector would be the star of this show tonight?" she muses with a grin after the woman. This brings her near Gwenna once more, and she draws a connection between the Archduchess and the Redrain princess with the sweep of her hand, "I had the pleasure of drinking some Setarcan wine at the Redrain villa earlier today. Our influence spreads," she remarks gleefully to the ruler of Pravus, and then in quieter voice, she murmurs something to the two women.
"Oh thank you, you look fantastic yourself. I've been busy myself aclimating, which is going well, though I don't want to jynx myself." Calla replies to Aconite with a genial smile. When the mystery of the cows is revealed, her mouth makes a small 'o', a little at a loss as to twhat to say to that. Then to Medeia, "Fantastic! I'm afraid I am not familiar with Nilanza, but I feel like Sangris has a style truly its own. Although, with how isolated we've been for centuries, I could be dead wrong about that." When Michael provides a list of titles, she blinks softly in surprise, giggling a little bit. "My, you certainly do, I hope your head can cope with that many hats." She remarks with a twist of her lipst upwards, "Herder of Peacocks sounds intriguing!"
Kalani has joined the Grand Stage.
Calla has joined the Grand Stage.
Medeia's eyes catch on a very tall familiar face with surprise. "Lord Keaton?" She calls to Kastelon. She waves him over. "You're back? You had said you were returning to Oakhaven..." She turns to Calla. "Speaking of the race, Lord Keaton's cow was one of the two that tied for first." Then she makes introductions. "Lord Kastelon Keaton, this is the Baroness Calla Vaevici, Lady Kalani Seilki, you know Lord Michael Bisland of course, and Mistress Aconite of House Fidante." She listens as Kalani speaks. "Oh! I am planning another event with the help of Duke Ashford, I believe it'll provide quite a lot of entertainment."
Nina walks up to the island bar, with all her many skirts, and gets herself a bit of rum to drink - it looks like a double. Hopefully she'll remember her way back home tonight, but this is a cause for celebration and she's happy things are going smoothly. While dancers make their way onto the cleared part of the dance floor, Nina stands near the bar for a moment as if watching her handiwork unfold. She looks pleased so far... her ears filling with gossip about cow races...
"Best, perhaps, but not the most entertaining," Sebastian replies to Verity with a genuine laugh, one that only fades at Adrienne's not-so-subtle intervention. "Of course they are, Ave," he agrees with ease. He, too, follows Phillipe's look towards Alessia at Adrienne's words: as if it's news to him, as well. There's a look from him, around the room -- at those heading to the dance floor with some pleasure, towards the hostess and the group around her, and his Archduchess, before turning back to the group at hand.
Preston nods in agreement of Alessia's statement of the shrine "It is a place of quite a bit of solace, the Shrine of Gloria. I still enjoy cleaning the firepit there - an old task I did as a squire, one I continue to do now. A reminder that in honour we are all equal. And a chance for me to be alone with my thoughts of Gloria and the Gods." There is contentment in Preston's voice as he recalls that task "And the Templars are a most calm duty - guarding, training, and sometimes fighting in holy war." Preston offers to Adrienne "A fulfilling live, your highness."
Her congratulations to the hostess completed, Maren yields her empty glass to an appropriate server with a murmur of thanks, and then with that moves with the ebb and flow of the crowd to find her way out of the tavern.
There's the faintest hint perhaps of surprise when there's the call to him, and Kastelon's head turns to contemplate from where he's being summoned in the midst of such festivities, and then there's the faintest shadow of a smile before he's alighting from where he'd paused, coming over to where Medeia's called out to him. "It would seem that my feet led me here just as I was being spoken of," comes his voice with the faintest hint of amusement as he joins the group, an inclination of his head to the others about and especially to Lord Bisland, as he listens to the turn the conversation is taking.
Gianna collects a drink from the bar as well, letting her huge black fur drape from her elbows. She asks Nina, "People are discussing cows. This seems odd."
Aconite says, "You're lovely, there's no reason at all that you wouldn't get on, Baroness." The Courtier assures with warmth in her smile before lifting a hand to her collarbone and laughing. "I am sorry I wasn't able to see them." When lady Seik introduces her she curtsys, "A Ward of House Fidante." The correction is delicate and warm. "Well met, Lord Keaton. I hope you'll excuse me if I seema bit distracted there's so much to see."
Belladonna doesn't seem to fall far off from the Pravus tree, for when Gabriella pulls off the 'oh where has my drink gone to' she does the same, showing a healthy disposition for getting rid of wine on command. She does not have a problem, she can stop whenever she wants, how dare you?
With winsome smile the Archduchess offers her hand for Gwenna to take, one eyebrow arched with all the swagger of someone who feels quite at ease on stage. "Even if not for the steelsilk, sometimes a little bit of pain adds a special little layer of enjoyment." She motions towards the grand stage, and leaves with the Redrain after giving Tyche a wink.
"You mean, a triple race. Where the Duchies of Grayson host one each? Shepherd, Ashford and Bisland?" Michael side-eyes Kalani just a touch at that. "I would need to squeeze in a Bisland race sometime very soon instead of the run of race. And harass the Duke or Duchess of Shepherd to have one before the Autumnal Ball." Michael grins at Kastelon's appearance. "Of course, speak of the matter and one of them appears. Hello, Lord Keaton."
Nina has joined the Central Bar.
As groups form and reform, Adrienne looks from Alessia to Preston to Nisaa. "Will you not be dancing tonight? I would be honored to partner with you if you seek one. I've had little enough opportunity for dancing of late." Aside, she offers a knowing look to Verity and gently squeezes Sebastian's arm in thanks. "We should speak soon, Verity, on the subject on which we exchanged letters. Perhaps after our tea with your patron."
"It was a surprise to a few." Alessia notes the curious looks when she speaks of becoming a Templar. "Being Lycene and all. But in times of strife, especially, it's important for a warrior to remember Her doctrine so they don't lose themselves in the war." She takes another drink from her glass. "I don't have my glaive with me, your highness, alas."
"You are too kind to say, Mistress," Calla replies, a touch of blush coloring her cheeks. "Anyway, enough about me. Are cow races really a thing here in Arx? How do you race a cow? They seem stubborn beasts." When yet another is brought into the little group, she curtsies a bit at the introducetion Medeia makes. "Lord Keaton. I don't believe I've met any Keatons either yet while I've been here. I'm just collecting all kinda of new House names tonight, how exciting."
Nina nods to Gianna. She's overhearing the bit about cows. "I think there was some kind of cow race!" She seems to be considering what to say. "I think they make good milk, certainly, but are they good racers? I know the bull ride sometimes can be a real challenge. Maybe the'll have one of those some time next."
Gwenna inclines her head to Tyche and laughs a bit. "Well, that wonderful vintage was brought to the villa by Prince Sebastian, and it was all I could do not to hide it away in my own personal stores," she says with a wave in his direction. "However, I will happily accept all attempts to spread Setarcan wine influence. It's my duty, really." She can't seem to help but smile wide at making such an offer and then takes Belladonna's hand. "Cross your fingers I don't embarrass myself!"
Once more Tyche seems to have lost her conversation partners to the dancefloor! She laughs good-naturedly as Belladonna and Gwenna take to the stage, following Cassandra and Gabriella. "I'm sure the two of you will make quite the partnership!" she encourages both women, and then takes a step back to play proper voyeur.
Verity puts a hand to her cheek in faux shock. "Oh! It seems like everyone's tithing time or swearing to the Templars these days. Clearly the order's mettle has been proven by recent events for so many to flock to its banner. This bodes well for the Faith."
The courtier turns her attention from people watching to instead favor Adrienne with a smile.
"Your highness, there's not much else to do at a tea than speak. And drink, I suppose, considering the tea. How fortunate the three of us are such clever conversationalists. I'm curious, though--"
Verity makes a small, respectful gesture toward Sebastian.
"You implied that your interest in this matter was related to upcoming events. I trust everything is well?"
Belladonna has joined the Grand Stage.
Gwenna has joined the Grand Stage.
Medeia has joined the Grand Stage.
Gabriella Pravus' laughter is a brief but warm thing as she takes Cassandra's hand in hers. "Interest," is her answer to the question in lieu of the two options provided, obligingly leading them both towards the floor with the steady clip of her heels. When they are close enough, she draws their hands out, her other tucking against the Legate's back as she offers a conspiratorial sort of smile.
"How long has it been since you were on a dance floor, Mother?" wonders Gabriella, offering both conversation to focus on and expectations to set as she leads them into the beginning, gentle motions of a waltz.
Philippe finishes his ale with a thoughtful expression. He nods at Preston's discussion of cleaning the firepit. He, too, finds peace in manual labor. But then Verity asks a useful question. Philippe glances between the two to assess their answer. Treachery!
"What's that about bulls? A bull ride? Why would any sane person ever want to ride a bull?" Gianna is puzzled. A little line appears between her brows, and she has a sip of her drink. Somewhere along the way, she collected a fan. Spying Alessia, the Nightingale tips her chin up in greeting. "Hmmn. Duskweave. I'll have to get my hands on some of that."
Aconite mutters, "You should ask one of ... ... to ... Lord Bisland."
Michael is overheard praising Kalani.
"Nightingale." Alessia beams when Gianna greets her, smoothing her gown. "I love the fabric. I had to get it as soon as it was available in the market. I may have a spending problem." She muses at this. "I'm keen for the day there's a 'dawn' version."
There's another inclination of that head of Kastelon's as he offers up another ghost of a smile at Michael's comment about his appearance. "These things are sometimes but good fortune. Before anyone thinks I was perhaps lurking to await a proper moment to appear." His eyes do sweep over to Calla, as he looks more thoughtful at her comment regarding collecting new houses, but more the matter of the race. "I think the stubbornness suits racing. Once you get it in your mind that you should run, and that you should win, what stands between you and the finish, after all?"
Belladonna takes her time to walk to the stage, always chatty, "Please. The only way to embarass one's self dancing is by being inauthentic." The Setarcan turns suddenly towards the Redrain princess suddenly, as the two reach their destination, feet close together as she brings Gwenna closer. With a slight dip of her face, as if to share a secret, she whispers loudly enough to be heard.
"However... we must not allow the Legate and her pesky knight to outshine us. There is much at stake here, my friend." She gives the statement with a serious, serious face, that soon breaks into a warm smile, before the dance begins. The Setarcan is not in the Dancing Feather to inflict upon the Northerner the crazy, fast-paced and Sinful dances of Setara, so Belladonna starts slow, something appropriate to the environ and the songs being played, always guiding and giving the Princess ample time to follow.
She does speak to the Redrain throughout, and flashes narrowed gazes at Gabriella and Cassandra, so they know they are in a totally (un)serious competition!
"You could offer to host the third one," Kalani suggests in a quiet aside to Michael as he does the side-eyes thing again. She grins then, nodding to Calla, "They are. But only recently, as the first - ever - bovine Grand Prix was only just held a few days ago. And as to how.. rather slowly, and with a great deal of encouragement."
Adrienne addresses Verity with Valardin dignity and Blanchard candor while the diamonds on her gown glint under candlelight. "You know as well as I that things are rarely well. That being said, Prince Sebastian is himself as skilled a conversationalist as you or the Legate. I'm blessed in my company and such a blessing should be shared." There may be more that she'd say, but Gianna's arrival has Adrienne's attention swivelling, something starry-eyed in the typically grave Valardin. "Nightingale? You look well and as dazzling as I've come to expect. how are you enjoying the gala?"
Cassandra accepts Gabreilla's guidance, one hand following out as she feels the hand on her back. This brings an amused smile, for she knows the waltz and who takes up which position. Her own hand settles on Gabriella's shoulder as she closes the distance to allow private conversation if the Princess wishes to take it up. "How long has it been since I danced on a dance floor? I believe I was only ninteen at the time." she admits. "It was with a suitor that had my father had chosen for me when I became Duchess. He was a terrible dancer. Stepped on my feet and kept trying to tell me how breathtaking I was." She rolls her eyes at that. "It was a few days before I would take the field and be injured and lapse into unconsciousness that would eventually bring me to Gloria."
Though now that she has touched the subject, she moves with the Princess, each step being remembered as she steps with the left. Then the right. Forward. Sideways. Back, sideways. As she was taught. "I have to admit, you are just as bold as your sister." comes Cassandra's compliment.
"And yelling. About not eating the grass or the flowers. And a bell.....Lady Medeia? Can I steal you a moment? I haven't had the opportunity to dance with you and it has been the only thing on my mind." Michael interrupts the cow talk with a hand crossing the space amid this small group towards Medeia.
With Sebastian's attention briefly distracted by the shifting crowd -- including a mute toast towards the hostess, Nina -- it takes the prince a moment to pick up the thread of conversation in the group he's in. Belladonna dancing is difficult to ignore, and it earns a quiet, pleased smile from the Pravus prince. "It does seem like Battle of Sungreet inspired many to the cause," the Pravosi comments on the heels of Alessia's words. Verity's gesture towards himself has him glancing at Adrienne with a mute query, though he smiles readily enough. "If you mean the wedding -- the difficulty is selecting an appropriate design for the outfits. I do wish to honor both Pravus and Valardin. As well as, I'm not ashamed to admit, hoping to surprise Ave with the outcome. My twin, however, is excellent at design and wouldn't stand for anything less than the best." He's barely touched his wine, usually for him, so it's near full enough to lift towards Gianna in a toast as she joins the group. "Nightingale. It's been some time: I trust you're well?"
"Oh." Medeia blinks at Michael. "Of course, Lord Bisland." She find a place to set her wine glass and takes the offered hand.
"Without a doubt." Alessia nods at Sebastian's words, before her maid approaches. She leans in to hear her quiet words. "It appears I have an urgent matter to deal with back home." Turning her head to the others. "It was a pleasure, all. Until next time." She taps the prince on the arm, before heading for the door.
Aconite murmurs something to Michael and his return makes her brow lift and she shakes her head. "I couldn't possibly know, Lord Bisland." She inclines her head and steps to the side a bit grinning when Michael invites Medeia to dance and she smiles at Lady Saik. She takes the distracted moment to seek out the inspiring Duskweave dress and its owner with a curious eye. Once spotting Alessia speaking to the Nightingale and she begins to gravitate that direction.
Nina is going to slip into that conversation if Sebastian is considering talking fashion. She overhears just a part of it, stepping away from the island bar again to walk over and linger a bit nearby. "I hope at least that I can help with the decorations for the wedding," she says to Sebastian. "Even if your twin is doing the gowns!" She gives a wave to the departing Alessia as well.
Aconite has left the Grand Stage.
"Wise words, Your Grace," Gwenna replies to Belladonna with a dip of her own head. The Redrain then glances toward Gabriella and Cassandra. "I do not know the Breaker of Chain, the Princess Gabriella well, but Legate Cassandra is my direct cousin. Surely our mothers taught us many of the same steps, so hopefully that makes us even in skill." Her face seems hopeful on that score, at least, and super serious. There may be hints of a smile trying to make an appearance at the corners of her mouth, but she tries /really/ hard to school it. "I will not let you down," she then promises and seems relieved at the slow pace, following along respectfully enough. So far, so good!
Verity keeps her smile focused on Adrienne. "Your highness, at what point are we forced to admit that consistently unwell has marked the new level of wellness?"
But then she looks away to feign a demure concession. Her attention finds Sebastian next.
"I know the wealth of a mere county is little compared to the legendary grandeur of the Pravosi, but I'm sure that my lord count would be glad to offer assistance in supporting the wedding however you would need. Perhaps a consultation on Oathlandic fashion, at least."
Sirra, a very quiet maid, an indeterminate number of cats, 3 House Mazetti Guardians leave, following Alessia.
Aconite misses Alessia in the din and hums dissapointedly to herself before heading the direction of the drinks.
Gianna begins to reply to Alessia, but then the Godsworn has to excuse herself. Quite alright; Adrienne's addressed her. "Oh, hello. And thank you. Congratulations are in order, as I understand it." She looks from Adrienne to Sebastian. "A wise partnership. And yes, I've been well. The College fares well, as do its members."
"Oh, I see. What an amusing idea, and you said there's to be another one?" Calla asks before finishing off her wine and handing off the empty glass to a server. Then she turns to Kastelon with a grin, "i suppose stubborness could be an asset in that case, I stand corrected." When Michael and Medeia head off in their dance, she turns to those left with a bright smile, "Anyone up for some dancing?"
Cassandra checked charm + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 16 higher.
Michael checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 15 higher.
Sipping from the glass she's holding, emptying it in fact, Kalani glances toward the floor then back to Calla and nods. "The more the merrier, as far as I'm concerned, when it comes to dancing. Plus," she tips the empty glass she's holding in a slightly side-to-side manner, "I'm out anyway. More libations are required," and sets the drink down before she waves one hand lightly toward the dance floor, tips her head as well and heads for the floor to join in the dancing.
Medeia checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 17 higher.
Lexir checked wits + brawl at difficulty 15, rolling 1 lower.
Preston offers a bow of his head to Gianna as she arrives with the group "Nightingale" Preston greets, his eyes slipping to Alessia as she leaves, waving a hand. Preston takes a step to the side and gives Sebastian another bow "Your highness. Thank you for the hosting of the event - and the conversation. Perhaps soon I can invite yourself, or indeed Bella if she wishes it, to meet with Celeste and I at the Templar Compound? I fear I should return to the Shrine and let my people get their dinner."
"Of course, Nina," Sebastian's welcome of the Glass Butterfly is immediate, touching her arm to draw her in and smiling brilliantly. "Ave and I have already discussed it. How could we not engage you to help? Do you know... everyone? This is our lovely hostess, Mistress Nina Autumndale." Verity's words earn a considering, then genuine smile. "I'd be delighted to take you up on that." Gianna gets a quiet laugh: "I'll take that as a compliment. I would've chosen, mm, 'challenging'?" he looks towards Adrienne as if to see what she thinks of that choice of word. Preston's bow is returned with a nod. "Always happy to accomodate the Faith, Carnifex. Until then?"
Hazel eyes watch whilst Michael and Medeia drift from the group for a moment to partake in some of the dance as if to consider some of what was said... and in all apparent seriousness turns back to Calla on the matter. "There is to be, indeed, in a few days' time. And I do intend for my Bessie to win, as she ought have the last time. But... no, I don't think as of yet that dancing's in the cards for me tonight, I fear."
Verity's observation requires no answer and it is with grim mirth that Adrienne suddenly finds her accoutrements of far more interest than usual. She clears her throat, letting Sebastian handle the politics of dress with Nina and Verity by stepping forward to offer a kiss to the air outside Gianna's cheek and a few murmured words. "Your kind words are most welcome. Thank you, Gianna. Do you have any concerts planned?" A not uncommon question from the princess, it seems, as she pulls back. Her gaze travels to Preston and she half-bows, courteously. "I'll contact one of your aides to arrange our own meeting, Grandmaster. I hope the evening finds you well. Gild see you home safely."
Kiera steps in quite let to the gathering curiosity of course winning out and she seaches the crowd for the princess to offer congratulations
Nina gives everyone a green-gloved wave. Then she nods. "The Count Philippe and I have met. And I believe I saw you at a very interesting wedding, though I didn't get the chance to say a proper Hello!" Nina then nods to Verity in greetings. "So a pleasure to meet you now properly! Thank you for coming all the way out to our event. I know the wards could not be further away so it's a bit of a trip on a cold evening!"
Gianna inclines her head to Preston. "Be well," she informs him. She raises her glass briefly to Sebastian and notes, "Most things worth doing are?" To Adrienne, she says, "I really ought to, oughtn't I? It's been a little too long, I think. Time for another show." She inclines her head to the Princess, nodding at something said more quietly, and murmurs a response.
"Feed them well," Philippe says with a nod to Preston. "Their work is essential. High praise to all." A runner takes Philippe's empty glass to bring him another. He considers Gianna. Naturally, he waits for an introduction, for now content to listen politely as the conversation moves.
Aconite succeeds in finding herself an out of the way spot where she can get herself some wine and watch the dance floor with a brightly entertained smile.
Nisaa did hear Adrienne's question to her, but with so much beauty all around her to admire, she got a bit distracted. "Apologies," she says when she finally comes to her senses. "I had not planned on dancing this evening, but perhaps I might. Not just yet though. I would like to watch the others for a moment."
"I agree!" Calla replies as she moves to follow Kalani, turning back to Kastelon with a bit of a pout when he refused to come dance. "Well if you do feel up to it, please, come joing us." And then she turns and joins the throng of dancers, finding Kalani in their midst and starts to move with the lively music.
"I'm only ever a messenger away," says Verity to Sebastian. "But I fear if you call for me while I'm working, I'm usually dressed far less excitingly."
The courtier spares an amused -- and mildly sharp -- look to Adrienne, but otherwise lets the princess escape to Gianna.
Verity turns to Nina, for whom her expression lights up. She clasps her hands together.
"You're the one I've heard so much about! I've heard that you're profoundly industrious, and this evening does nothing to dissuade me from my suspicion. I feel a certain kinship with you, considering our backgrounds, though you seem to have gone on to much grander things than I."
Verity casts a worried glance at Philippe after saying that, but it seems to be for comedic effect.
Adrienne 'takes' Sebastian's choice of adjective with the (presumably) expected lift of her brow. "Would you now? My apologies, my prince. Shall I find you a seat so that you may rest from your many trials? You must be exhausted." Mouth twitching, Adrienne dismisses Nisaa's concerns with an easy shake of her head. "I don't blame you, Whisper Nisaa. The stage is a pleasure to watch." And that humor seems to persist, just a little, as she watches the many dancers on the floor for a moment and converses softly with Gianna.
Nox, a kitten black as pitch with star-dappled fur arrives, following Ophira.
Gabriella feels narrowed eyes cast her way.
She responds by flashing Belladonna with a smile as radiantly friendly as the sun. It's the brightest, friendliest, most welcomingest 'BRING IT ON' there could ever be.
Gabriella's attention, however, is for Cassandra. As the Legate levels her confession, Gabriella favors it with a soft chuckle and a sympathetic eye. "My father," she begins, tone conversational "felt my suitors should prove their worthiness on a battlefield, than a dance floor. They were afforded whatever weapon they felt most comfortable with, on whatever stage they might like." And here, she demonstrably wiggles her fingers between Cassandra's to let her feel the lack of ring. "I never lost, of course. The rigors of matrimonial bliss are, tragically, not to my taste." She waits a moment, and then adds, "My father was also an avid dancer, however, and a strict perfectionist, and so you find yourself in excellent hands, legate. Worry not. And should we misstep..."
And here, Gabriella looks to suddenly and confidently guide Cassandra into a graceful spin before drawing her closer in once more, to share with her a most conspiratorial of whispers. A grin dances at her lips as she draws back. "You are too kind, mother," she declares after, and waits exactly three seconds before adding, with a quite terribly purposeful croon: "Have I mentioned how -breathtaking- you are?"
Gabriella checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 32 higher.
"That is a truth," Sebastian concedes to Gianna with a tip of his glass, and even a noticeable sip this time. Nina's reminder that the weather will soon turn colder earns a faint grimace from the silken-clad Prince. "Winter is at our doorstep. Fortunately, I think I can rely on you to arrange social events here in the ward so I don't have to travel far, or I'd never get out in the winter." Adrienne's response to his choice of words earns a quiet chuckle. "I quite am, actually. But I'll endure for now." He seems pleased to overhear Verity's praise of Nina.
Sebastian is overheard praising Nina.
Philippe plays into the comedy by going out of his way to look skeptical at Verity. It is clear he does not mean it.
Scarlett is overheard praising Nina: For staging a SPECTACULAR event. So spectacular I did not think about money, star iron, or two or three other things for at least a quarter-hour!
"Oh, thank you," Nina says with a nod of her head toward Verity, and then a slight raise of her glass. "So you are also a trained courtier! I took my lessons in Setarco, and let me say that without the etiquette and other lessons I learned there I would never have come so far in life. Hard work pays off, but it's important to play and relax, too! So I'm very glad you were able to join us. That coat of yours is very lovely," Nina adds, giving Verity's outfit another look. "The work we do is like the lubrication that makes the wheels of a house turn smoothly!"
Laurene, a military adjutant arrives, delivering a message to Scarlett before departing.
Gianna casts a curious look to Verity, pausing for a moment before asking, "Have we met before? Gianna Delvecchio, Nightingale. I'll be quite disappointed in myself if I've forgotten you. Another courtier?"
"Cousins, huh? Well, if this is not just perfect!" Belladonna smiles at the small coincidences of the night, going so far as sticking her tongue out at Cassandra while still giving her own cousin baleful gazes of fierce competition. With a grin, she states at Gwenna, her own hand resting upon the Redrain's hip as she slowly guides them in what is quite the well-behaved affair that slowly grows a little more agitated, the more experienced dancer trying to get the Northener to ease up and get into a groove.
Gabriella smiles, which in on itself would just mean the sun has risen in the horizon. Stupid, sexy Gabriella. The Archduchess keeps her dangerous gaze at the knight. "She is showing us up, Gwenna! That heavy metal weasel is showing us up!" Bella even gasps, all shocked proper. She looks at Gwenna to find the Redrain aaaaalmost smiling, and she grins some, feeling her overly serious brainwaves melting away.
"Don't smile at her, that is how they know they have you," she whispers at Gwenna, grinning and keeping it conversational with the other woman. The words about House Pravus have her smiling, and the blonde cannot help but show it hits a chord. She arches her brows, "My family and people inspire me deeply. Without them I would be nothing. You should visit Setarco sometime. You would... in the very least not hate it." Still, the pause allows her to exhale like aleviating pressure, "But thank you muchly. All for them, as I am sure you would agree. Family first, isn't it not? Oh my, you do dance superbly well, Gwenna~ I might have to kidnap you more often!"
Belladonna is overheard praising Nina: An amazing start for the new chapter in the lives of the people of the Summer Seas. I knew we had picked the right woman for the job, and even then she always exceeds expectations.
"I promise to you, Princess Adrienne, that should tonight not find us together on the dance floor, another occasion will." Nisaa smiles towards her, lowering her head as she makes that promise. She then turns to watch the others, grinning as she enjoys the conversation and celebration around her.
As they talk, Cassandra glances aside to Gwenna and Belladonna as they pass by. "Apparently to get past dancing I will need to challenge Gabriella to combat. Would you mind, I promise I will probably not harm her as much as she will harm me." the Legate says as she lifts her brows and a smile blossoms on Cassandra's face, for a moment nearly hiding the scar on her cheek.
"You are terrible." she chides with soft undertones and then gives her ring finger a squeeze. "That, I cannot claim." she points out, her own finger wearing a very old ring of the Faith upon it. "But if we are allowed to choose our own weapons..." she looks up with a coy smile. "I would choose milk drinking. I hear is a weakness of Pravus." That is very much teasing as she leans in closer to the Princess, dropping for a moment into more private conversation, but not before smirking at Belladonna. "Surely you invite Gwenna, but not me? I am hurt. Terribly so. It is because of Celeste, is it not? Do not worry, I will be having her work nearby soon enough, Preston and I have put her in charge of the newly developed Templar Navy."
Kastelon contemplates as Calla and Kalani move off, and he's not going far himself, availing himself of a beverage while he's watching after the members of the group have moved off to enjoy the dance floor, a hand absently dipping down to stroke Resolute's head as if he's weighing the seriousness of his declaration about not feeling up to such things. And then another sip of his beverage.
Having arrived late, perhaps fashionably so or maybe there was some squabbling issue to deal with, Ophira Seraceni arrives with features that were pensively collected. But beholding the vivacious festivities? Utter delighted enjoyment too precedent. A hissing swish of silks in sumptuous glide bringing he Siren of Setarco to where the drinks might be, fingers curling in lithe, spidery claim to a proffered glass of something visceral before slipping off to the side and merely enjoying the chance to spectate.
Kalani has found a place nearer to the stage than not to dance around in, and she is doing precisely that. Not one of the formal court dances, or even some of the more reserved ones, the Seliki is just enjoying herself, and moving in time to the beat of the music that is being so cheerfully produced by the bards on the stage. She beams a happy smile to Calla as the Baroness joins her, and everyone else, on the dance floor.
Ophira is overheard praising Nina.
"Ah," Verity exhales in a sigh, "the fabled etiquette schools of the south. Alas, I was forced to learn my trade piecemeal in the city, but that's the way of things."
She judges Nina with a canny eye. "Perhaps I could learn something from you sometime. I think I shall even if you don't give me lessons, because I've a feeling that I'll be hearing about that outfit of yours for the rest of the season and seeing derivatives for the season after that."
Verity turns her attention to Gianna, to whom she gives a deferential bow of her head.
"I certainly know of /you/, Madam Nightingale, but I perhaps I slipped your gaze. I'm pleased to meet you more sincerely, all the same."
Nisaa is overheard praising Nina.
Gianna is overheard praising Nina: A most excellent party. She continues to demonstrate her excellence.
Nisaa is overheard praising Belladonna.
Tyche is overheard praising Nina.
Nisaa is overheard praising Adrienne.
Ophira is overheard praising Belladonna.
Nisaa is overheard praising Alessia.
Ophira is overheard praising Sebastian.
Nisaa is overheard praising Sebastian.
Tyche is overheard praising Belladonna.
Aconite is overheard praising Nina.
Nisaa is overheard praising Tyche.
Aconite is overheard praising Kalani.
Nisaa is overheard praising Ophira.
Ophira is overheard praising Tyche.
Aconite is overheard praising Medeia.
Ophira is overheard praising Nisaa.
Kiera finds Adrienne and offers "Congratulations on your betrothal your highness" she offers quietly
Lexir is overheard praising Nina.
Ophira is overheard praising Lexir.
Nisaa is overheard praising Cassandra.
Aconite is overheard praising Belladonna.
Kiera is overheard praising Nina: a lovely event
Aconite is overheard praising Nisaa.
Aconite is overheard praising Ophira.
Aconite is overheard praising Gianna.
Ophira is overheard praising Aconite.
"The pleasure is mine," Gianna tells Verity. "I do love that necklace. What excellent work --- where was it made?" Spying Ophira, she inclines her head to the Seraceni and raises her glass in a sort of greeting.
Aconite is overheard praising Cassandra.
Aconite is overheard praising Verity.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Ophira before departing.
Aconite is overheard praising Scarlett.
Aconite is overheard praising Gabriella.
Aconite is overheard praising Sebastian.
Aconite is overheard praising Tyche.
Aconitefinishes her wine, checks the dance floor one last time and pauses to talk to a few people on the way, quietly complimenting the party and those within as she goes before she dissapears back out into the city.
Briar, the fleet and agile shrike, Alejandro, a gravely sober Torean in Fidante Livery leave, following Aconite.
"I'm fortunate... the House is happy to provide me with brocades from time to time as long as I have a good use for them," Nina says to Verity. "The Oathlands fashion is quite striking, though, isn't it? I heard about an armored fashion show coming up, but I am not certain exactly how to make something that looks like armor. Maybe I could get some pointers from you. If we're to have a Lycene, Oathlands blend after all, maybe a combination of both fashions will become the newest trend."
Calla is overheard praising Nina: The Pravus Ward opening was exceptional! Well done!
Crystalline rim is raised to lips to taste a sip, khol lines eyes flashing towards Gianna to which Ophira greets the fabulous beauty with a waving flicker of dusky fingers.
"Indeed," Gwenna replies, her eyes glancing down to watch Belladonna's steps here and there as the pace begins to pick up. Thankfully a couple glasses of wine are helping the Redrain feel a bit more willing to attempt such steps. "Our mothers are sisters, with mine having married into House Redrain, perhaps obviously. Even in Farhaven, she is a quiet force whose heart of the Oathlands is as fierce as my father's heart of the Northlands was." Rather than linger on that, she glances again to Gabriella and Cassandra. "Do you think they are? I admit, that spin was a fancy move, but can they do /two/ spins," she wonders, her grin now beginning to show despite herself.
That grin, though, Gwenna keeps facing the Archduchess, until it is eventually schooled back in to place. But not before she has to briefly share it with Cassandra. But! This is /serious/ dancing. Serious! "I would gladly visit Setarco, in the winter," is remarked with a chuckle. "I have heard it is beautiful and there are pools one can simply sit in while drinking wine. What could I possibly hate about that?" She's quiet a moment, concentrating on keeping her steps, and then nods. "Family first, always, and our people along with them. Duty that you feel good about. Ah, you flatter me, though! If you weren't leading, I doubt I would look half this good. I'm going to have to learn some new moves for the next event."
Brow knitting, Adrienne tears her attention away from the dancefloor and Gianna to focus on Kiera. "Lady Wyvenheart? You are most kind, thank you. I hope that you did not walk all this way simply to share your congratulations." She includes Philippe and Verity into the conversation with an expansive glance. "I'm as happy in my familiar company as I am among the new. How do you find Highhill?" Despite her promises to not talk shop tonight, Adrienne can't quite seem to help herself.
Adrienne picks up on some of the conversation between Nina and Verity and interjects fondly, "Yes, that seems like an excellent question for Verity Locke. Will you be making more of such pieces, Nina?"
Kalani is overheard praising Nina: For hosting such a wonderful event with live music, dancing and plenty of drink and snacks to go around!
Gwenna is overheard praising Nina: A most colorful and splendid affair!
Kalani is overheard praising Lou: For hosting another wonderful, exciting, and fraught with danger chapter! Every new chapter is like one of those 'choose your own adventure' stories, the best possible kind!
Kalani is overheard praising Ian: For employing his knowledge of traps, trip wires, rigged stairs, pressure points, did I mention pit traps? and more! wonderful companion for a mysterious adventure.
Gwenna is overheard praising Belladonna: House Pravus does not disappoint, both in company and in festive affairs!
Verity glances down to her necklace as if she needs to inspect it to answer such a question. The silence stretches on as she brushes a hand across the star iron. Moments later, she offers Gianna an apologetic smile.
"I'm sorry, but I couldn't say. It was a gift. It is very striking though, isn't it?"
The courtier looks to Nina to reply: "There's a /very/ particular trick to not letting it overwhelm the outfit or unbalance the silhouette. It always helps to think 'fierce!' and perhaps wear a haughty look while you're sewing."
She purses her lips and looks off toward the ceiling, and then adds: "Another trick is to look at soldiers or warriors and then think 'but what if that looked good?'"
Kalani is overheard praising Azova: For being a wonderful adventure companion, and for sharing the general dismay of the reality of spiders big enough to saddle up and ride.
Calla is doing much the same as Kalani, twirling and dancing around without a care in the world, saffron mane bouncing around her shoulders as she picks up the skirts of her gown to better move. "Oh I needed this!" She says as she twists around Kalani with a wide smile on her face.
Nina is overheard praising Adrienne: Congratulations on your engagement!
"Quite," Gianna tells Verity. She looks thoughtful for a moment, then suggests, "Very fine maille. Especially good shoulder adornment."
Kalani is overheard praising Belladonna: To the lady herself & her house for hosting such a wonderful event with live music, dancing and plenty of drink and snacks to go around!
Tyche has left the Central Bar.
1 Inverno Ensign, 1 Inverno Captain, Cornelius, a studious looking attendant leave, following Tyche.
Nina is overheard praising Sebastian: Congraulations on your engagement!
"It is such an interesting mix," Sebastian agrees, on the talk of fashion, "Blending the Lycene and Oathlands styles. I really do look forward to seeing what you come up with," he says, glancing from Nina to Verity with a smile of anticipation. Adrienne's address of Kiera turns his gaze towards her with a nod. "Lady.. Wyvenheart? I haven't the pleasure. Highhill?" he echoes that with a lift of brows that becomes a faint, noticeable furrow. "Yes, how are things there?"
Kalani is overheard praising Orrin: As always, for being my favorite uncle, and for being willing to listen to somewhat crazy - if not entirely far fetched - ideas.
"If the feather brocade corset turns out to be a popular style," Nina says to Adrienne, "Yes, I think I could make a few more. I really got into my focus making this one. I was so determined for it to turn out well."
She considers Verity's advice, thoughtfully, with a finger under her chin. "I will have to practice my haughty look and give it a try." She bows her head. "Thank you! I think I will go give the band a break. I appreciate you all for coming out tonight and supporting us. Please enjoy walking around the ward as well. My Lounge is open often and ... it's a quiet place to relax."
Kiera hms "A work in progress to be sure" she answers the princess "Drake was kind enough to have the library be one of the first rooms to be refurbished in the manner and surprise me with, so many shelves to fill. I hope we are ready to host a formal gathering soon. I am excited about the prospects but have no delusions that running a house will be easy
Kalani is overheard praising Calla: For being willing to dance, in a crowded room, with lots of other people, most of whom are also dancing, plus, there's liquor! And music!
Ophira is overheard praising Aedric.
Cassandra declares her weapon of choice. And it is as she does that Gabriella, looking properly aghast, presses a strong, secure touch to the legate's back and dips her low. The intricate braidwork of her hair dangles at her temples as she looks upon her newfound nemesis and dancing partner with a stare of resolve.
"And you are far more ruthless than I took you for, Mother Cassandra," proclaims Gabriella Pravus, truly shocked. Mind not the grin. "It is a surprise I do not mind in the least." And here, she lifts Cassandra anew to fall back into the waltz proper, sharing those quiet words before casting a look Belladonna and Gwenna's way. "My cousin is famed for her cruelty as much as she is her charity. All the better to keep her family on their toes, of course."
With a laugh, Kalani nods in whole-hearted agreement with Calla, using both hands to hold the sides of her skirt to keep her feet free and unentangled. She spins about as well, moving about, avoiding colliding with any other dancers on the floor, her feet moving at a lively pace. "Dance is such a joyous thing! If this tavern is always this lively, I'm going to need to come here often."
Cassandra checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 9 lower.
Nina has left the Central Bar.
His eyes drift over the throng who are enjoying the music, as he's enjoying his drink, as he's contemplating the matters of those things in which he excels, in which he feels comfortable... and how many of those things are involved in the evening's activities at this party. Another swallow, and Kastelon's pawning off the now-drained glass as he seems to have come to some sort of decision, the emptied hand stroking the back of Resolute's head as if to tell him wordlessly to remain where he is, and preferably not get underfoot. For moments later, still without effecting even a smile as of yet, he moves off towards where Kalani and Calla are dancing. After all, it could be rude to turn down the obvious invitation to join them.
Smoothly, Adrienne moves to cover her gaffe as she steps back to include Sebastian in her converesation with Kiera. "Lady Kiera nee Wyrmguard is among the favored, fortunate few who have rebuilt Highhill. I should introduce you to Count Richard. I'm an admirer. Lady Kiera, my husband-to-be Prince Sebastian Pravus. I hope to have an invitation to that house warming when the time permits. I'm anxious to see Highhill if... well, if time permits." Gaffes abound and she is stone sober. Adrienne clears her throat and answers to Nina and Verity, "The southern style makes me feel clumsy when I wear it, but I know the climate of Setarco and the Saffron Chain is served well by it. I'll need a few new pieces in my wardrobe." She adds straight-faced for Verity's benefit. "You find armor unattractive? Interesting."
Belladonna eyes Gabriella and Cassandra briefly, furrowing her brows as if she has noticed something interesting, and after that, she turns to Gwenna, allowing her eyes to fix on the Redrain even as she speaks with the Legate who is in the arms of her knight cousin. "You will find yourself surprised, Legate Cassandra. The only weakness of Pravus is a drab time, and I am not sure you are capable of it, despite the training."
Still, she focuses on Gwenna and nods. "Lets do it, darling." Belladonna teases the twirls way before she does them, the first quite slow so Gwenna can get the hang of it, the Archduchess' hand over the two of them, offering a point of reference for the Redrain, before she pulls the princess back close. The second is different, as she unfurls their arms and yanks Gwenna back like she means to cause whiplash on the Notherner, a grin on her lips showing she is just having fun with the sensuous, slow motions.
The subject of Celeste, the Navy and the Templars goes unresponded, probably not by mistake, as Belladonna offers as she pants subtly, "You still owe me a dance! Pay your debt, and be invited." She teases the Legate, before leaning to whisper something to the Redrain, a smile on her lips as she does so, blue eyes flitting about in the sharing of something secret.
Cassandra was not expecting to be /dipped/. As Gabriella takes her low suddenly, the Legate lets out a surprised gasp and sudden laugh that is so unlike the Legate, one would have to wonder exactly what happened to her in that moment. Even her guards look worried as she throws her arms around Gabriella's neck to keep her balance.
When she's pulled back up, her cheeks are enflamed in a bright red and her dark eyes are cast downwards, as she tries to clear her throat and attempt to re-find the decorum she left somewhere over ---> there on the dance floor.
Gianna watches the dance floor with some curiosity, though she is distracted by the arrival and introduction of Kiera. The Nightingale inclines her head in greeting.
Verity gives Adrienne a concerned look -- don't say it's a pitying look. It's definitely not pitying.
"You must admit that sometimes it could be... classed up a bit," she says. "Do you want me to put a bit of lace on your breastplate? I could do that for you."
Edmund arrives, following Bridget.
"Oh it certainly is!" Calla replies with breathless laughter of her own as she puts her arms up and twirls once more, her willowy form almost fluid in the way she moves to the beat. When she spies Kastelon heading their way, she offers him a bright smile. "Have you come to join in or just watch Lord Keaton?" She asks as she sways closer to him.
Gwenna checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 27 higher.
Attention was indeed on the dance floor, that pleased smile not quite matching that predatory pleasure at watching Legate Cassandra be dipped. However the bounding introductions drifted towards the group and Ophira briefly took in the Wyvernheart. Then someone is talking about lace on breastplates and the Seraceni almost snorts her wine as she swallows down a laugh.
Kalani checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 6 higher.
Sebastian coughs at Verity's look at Adrienne. Or is it a laugh? Who knows: hidden, mostly, behind his glass of wine as he lifts it for a timely sip. He gives a nod towards Kiera. "I'd always heard excellent things about Highhill's hounds, and its stalwart people. It's a legacy I'm sure you'll uphold well, Lady Kiera." The faint snort nearby serves to attract Sebastian's attention, alas. "Lady Ophira! I hear congratulations are in order. Come, join us," he beckons.
It's really all Gwenna can do to /not/ smile. The banter, the dancing, even the bit of wine all conspire against hiding away such good spirits from her features. She manages to keep up, though a mis-step here are there are neatly covered as though she absolutely just did a bit of improvising. When the double-spin is taken up, she murmurs, "Snowballs." She survives the first spin well enough. Even the ballrooms of the Oathlands allow a spin or two. The second? The Redrain manages to hold fast to the Archduchess' hand and the yank back that could have gone so wrong, goes so right.
"Glorious," Gwenna remarks, a bit breathless. Leaning in for the quieter words, she listens and glance back to Gabriella and Cassandra before murmuring back.
"Perhaps I could ease you in to the silken designs, Princess Adrienne," Nina says. "You'll find the light wear suits well in the summer, but since we're moving into the cold months now, there's plenty of time to get used to the idea." She beams. "Oh! We'll take a trip to Setarco! For shopping!" Her hands clap a few times, and then Nina gives everyone another curtsey, and starts to move toward the stage. But she glances at Adrienne one more time... like that was a threat.
Kalani is moving lightly still, rising to the tips of her toes, spinning around, then stepping lightly away and back. She scoops her hair back from her forehead with one hand, uses the other to wave at Lord Keaton as he joins the dancing throng. "See? The more the merrier," said with a delighted tone to her voice.
"I've never seen a man in armor and thought, 'Handsome. If only he had more lace.'," counters Adrienne to Verity with dry amusement, gaze drifting to include the entertained Ophira in the moment. "But perhaps I lack vision. Will my Uncle model one of your creations?" The corner of Adrienne's mouth curves before she continues, "Perhaps for the horses. I'll admit to not knowing what equippage /they/ may need so far south." Sebastian's cough has Adrienne, oblivious, turning a look up to him, brow arching with concern before she narrows her eyes at Nina, as wary as a horse in a wolf den.
Gianna waves a hand in a dismissive gesture. "Lace on armor? I could make it happen." She seems rather confident.
Verity gestures with both hands at Gianna while looking at Adrienne. The 'SEE?!' is implied.
Adrienne's brow lifts regally in answer to Verity and Gianna. "Could and should are different matters."
"I don't know if there's much a point to my coming over to watch, mmm?" Kastelon offers up in a tone that hints that to him, at least, Calla's perhaps posed an amusing question. He's certainly not as gifted in looking as if he's at ease, or even quite capable of moving as gracefully to the music as either she or Kalani, but he's clearly not about to allow that to keep him from joining the two women in their revelries.
Philippe drinks ale. He seems content, at leastr for a while. "There is much work to be done at Highhill but Richard would be better able to explain the challenges there," he says to Adrienne. "For my part I only seek to help him tame his lands so that they may be productive." He seems to take a moment to consider if he could wear lace. The man has probably never worn anything that wasn't made out of wool or cotton. He considers himself and takes a longer drink.
Kiera curtsies to Sebastian "Yes, of course to you both. It may be some yet before a formal gathering is held but you are both welcome for a private visit before that. I would have thought perhaps drake had showed you without my knowing
"I don't know, most men I know wouldn't mind watching a couple lovely ladies dancing, but I'm glad you've come to join in." Calla replies, her own amusement clear on her face as she twirls around him with a giggle.
"Perhaps a painted, lace-like pattern," Gianna muses, swirling her drink around casually in her elegant glass.
As her name is called, aureate sights shift from the dancefloor where Gwenna seems to be moving perfectly in stride and it's that small glimmer of a win that causes her own smile to flourish, cheery features lingering with amusement now alighting on Sebastian. With a silkened ease, the slinking greymalkin of a female dipped darked head into a nod of greeting, "It would seem congratulations are in order for you as well!" There is a brilliant gleam of pearly whites towards Adrienne, "Lady Ophira Seraceni, it is a pleasure to meet you." This is then extended not just to the Pravus betrothed but the Wyvernheart and Blanchard clan as well.
Opting to follow Calla's lead, Kalani dances around Kastelon in the other direction, that fine gleam of impish amusement once more making her eyes sparkle with mischief. "I promise not to step on your toes, at the very last," is offered in a reassuring tone of voice. Reassuring, possibly, if she didn't look so amused.
Gabriella Pravus is nothing if not a model example of decorum and composure herself as she lifts Cassandra back up. If one disregards the bright laughter that is very much implied in her eyes, and her lips, and her general body language -- the important thing is, the knight does not laugh; she just implies it.
She lingers for a moment. And then Gabriella slowly takes a single step backward, one hand drawing away from Cassandra's, and the other slipping from her back. "Mother Cassandra," she begins, a hand rising to her chest as she dips her head low; studiously, she makes no mention of that blush, or the downward cast of Cassandra's stare. "It was my deepest joy to have given you cause to return to the dance floor after so many years. It is good to see the grace of a Legate is an enduring thing."
And here, she lifts her head once more, looking sidelong towards Belladonna. "... But I fear if I do not let my dearest Archduchess have her due, she may say even more unsavory things about my stony disposition. Let us speak again soon, yes?" And here, she steps back, a single brow lifting as she waits for the perfect moment, to, "--And that look suits you very well, Mother," -- say that, as she parts. Expertly timed.
The band is still playing lively dance hall tunes as the dance floor is moving fast, and Nina has good enough sense of timing to wait until the flurry of the set calms down. Then she steps back onto the stage, addressing the room. "Hello everyone, I want to say one more time that I appreciate, very much, that you're here! I'm going to take a brief opportunity to explain some upcoming events, and then, of course, the bar will remain open for the rest of the night for one and all! Until last call!" She seems pleased with herself for this small rhyme.
"In our new theater space, there will be an upcoming musical celebration! I'm performing personally, but I am interested in any other act that wishes to share stage time, so don't hesitate to reach out!" Nina continues, breezily. "After this performance, at a date to be announced, House Pravus will be hosting a winter ball masquerade. I'm very excited about the possibilities of this event, and it's going to be a great chance for people to meet."
Nina grabs her skirts with a curtsey. "I hope you have all enjoyed the party tonight, and I hope you will all explore and get to know the place we now call home!"
"Your highness may find that the line between 'should' and 'could' is frequently also the line between tradition and revolution," says Verity to Adrienne. There's no hiding that sly smile of hers; she's having fun by now.
The courtier backs off -- conversationally speaking, at least -- when Ophira comes to meet Adrienne. She leans in to whisper helpfully to Count Philippe: "Lady Appolonia's cousin."
That is exactly what Gabriella did to Cassandra. Her hand flutters to her heart, a lost butterfly roosting there when the Princess pulls away. "Thank you, Your Highness." she manages, a smile as she waits for the Princess to depart. "I do hope you are not leaving for the night, however? After all, if I steal my cousin's dance partner, who will she dance with?"
She turns to face Gwenna and Belladonna, a small clearing of her throat. "May I cut in? I believe I have been reminded that I would offer some time in the arms of the beautiful and charming Archduchess."
"Perhaps in summer," Sebastian is quick to suggest, towards Adrienne as much as Kiera. As Ophira approaches, he lifts his glass to her, taking a small sip, seemingly pleased as he regards the Seraceni woman. "Indeed. And much, I'm sure, to Marquis Dio's loss. Though you are, I hope, joining a house that will allow you to sail the seas still?" He pauses, briefly at Nina's words, lifting his glass at the end, "To the Hostess!" he calls, drinking deeply. Verity's words towards Adrienne are both noted and responded to with a quiet chuckle.
Gianna adjusts her grip on her glass to lightly applaud Nina's speech. When Ophira approaches, she inquires, "Oh that's right, isn't it? You're to be wed as well."
"I feel like that should be my line." Kastelon does allow himself a faint smile when Kalani's assuring him that she's not going to trod on his toes... but move he does, to something that quite nearly resembles a rhythm when he's shifting this way and that, with each of the pair's rotations about him. A glance to Calla when she's offered up the bait of it. "Perhaps, but such depends on the moment and the music I'd think. And again, what most men want is hardly a good way to decide things, because then you only end up with what most men get, and that's not a lot."
Scarlett Carver has been circulating and no doubt got into some kind of complex business deal in an odd corner while eating a canape. She has, however, been called forth once again by a single word spoken carelessly by the belle of this event, the organizer, the axis mundi of the festivus: Nina.
"Did you say shopping?" she says, waving the fan over herself as her eyes turn towards the dancing figures. "Once the seas clear up I think it would be wonderful to go to Setarco. I've never been. You hail from there yourself?"
"I'm hopeful," Adrienne begins with a glance to Sebastian before she answers Philippe, "to see the Pravus holdings soon. I'm to visit Westrock Reach not long from now, however. I simply must see Highhill if I can divert that way." Where there's a Valardin will, there's probably a way. "I'm grateful for what you're doing, uncle, as I hope you know." There's a hurt there, at what happened to Highhill. She trails off to listen to Nina's denouement and claps when the moment merits it while taking in the prowling Lycene who has joined them with a focused look. "Lady Ophira Seraceni. Thank you. How are you enjoying the party?" The focus breaks to look with momentary exasperation at Gianna and Verity. "You are a revolutionary, Verity," she admits with ease. "But I'll tolerate no crimes against aesthetics."
Calla slowly comes to a stop when the music does, her color high and eyes bright as she puts a hand to her corsetted midsection and breathes heavily for a moment. "I should know better that to dance in a corset, but that was so much fun." She smiles at both her dancing partners before turning her attention on Nina with a grin. Eyes light up considerably when Nina mentions a winter ball masquerade. "Going to have to get a new outfit for that. A masquerade sounds so fun. Everyone in masks, not knowing who others are under theirs...Reminds me of an event I went to just recently where everyone was blindfolded and had to feed each other. I still don't know who my partner was for that one, but the mystery is the best part."
Verity raises her hands to clap in Nina's favor as well. Once the applause dies down, she gives a look of chagrin in response to Adrienne. "Is it too much to ask for leniency from the court to account for good intentions?"
Having been spinning round and round at the end of the song, Kalani is just a little bit dizzy, but terribly amused as she rights herself and brushes one hand lightly across her forehead, again. "You know, that's terribly clever, and in many ways, very very apt," she notes with a glance up at Kastelon. She fans herself with one hand, breathing while the room stops spinning, and shares a grin with Calla. "It really is, isn't it? The dancing is, sometimes, the best part of these big events."
"Oh, no. I plan to linger yet; I have not enjoyed nearly enough Fire to call the event a suitable success," declares Gabriella with great certainty. She looks Gwenna's way, offering the princess of Redrain a warm smile. "There are some guests here tonight that I am overdue the company of -- but I would be more than pleased to be indebted a dance to you after, should you wish it."
To Kastelon, Calla smiles again, "Another astute observation Lord Keaton, you're just full of them aren't you?" She tosses a wink his way with that statement before tuning once more to Kalani. "Well let me know fi you come back here for dancing anytime and need a partner. My new house is very close thankfully."
Philippe claps when prompted. He is a good audience member. Philippe nods to Verity's guidance, trying to learn who is whom as quickly as possible. It is an uphill battle. He makes eye contact with Ophira. "My lady," he says. "A pleasure." Much to navigate. Some ale helps. "Highhill is better than it once was, but there is work to do there," he says to Adrienne, trying to moderate expectations. He inclines his head slightly at Adrienne's acknowledgement of the work he does there. The old count tries to preserve Richard's pride and not make his patronage so obvious -- but his goals demand that he act. So it goes.
Adrienne's mouth twitches reluctantly at Verity's chagrinned response. Ignoring it - princess privilege! - Adrienne instead says, "The party seems to be quieting. Would you care to speak now? I've no wish to steal you from Uncle Philippe or the merriment, but I would happily meet with you both if your time permits." She gestures toward an empty table with a questioning look.
Back to list