Sep Grayson Family Dinner
Sept. 15, 2020, 9 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Grayson Mansion - Dining Room
Comments and Log
As with every family dinner, Sabella is standing by the door waiting to greet everyone that's coming in with a brilliant smile. Finishing touches are just being put on the table and wines of all sorts poured out in glasses for the taking.
Noah stretches as he comes in the door as if he's just woken up and not been up for hours like the rest. Or perhaps ready to come back in. It's hard to tell with him. "This looks..." His blue eyes scan the area. "... as if everything is in place." A slow half smile curves his lips and he will offer Sabella a kiss to the cheek. "This is also why I prefer to attend late."
12 Grayson House Guards arrives, following Liara.
Sabella laughs and accepts the kiss, beaming at Noah, "As if I would have it any other way! Not even for family who might wander into this room a million times a day! Please sit and have a little of everything you'd like! It seems it might be a small dinner tonight, but that makes for more intimate conversation I think! The large events can get so noisy!"
Noah moves in that lazy manner of someone who doesn't have too much of a care. "They are noisy, but sometimes one can be most silent in loudness, yes?" He flashes a full grin and moves to get a drink. "How are you and Nik doing?
Liara strolls through from the Queenspeace Hall, all dressed up (when isn't she?) and offers a quick smile to those already present. "I tend to enjoy noisy," she says, as she heads over to find a seat.
1 Saik Guard, Fortescue, a snooty and disinterested Lycene coxcomb arrive, following Medeia.
Medeia arrives, following Harlan.
Liara has joined the Dining Table.
"Quite well! Extremely busy, but busy is always good! He's working on his latest play, I'm sure he'll be here momentarily to tell you all about it," Sabella replies to Noah before smiling to Liara, "Noisy is fun, but sometimes I think we all listen better when the crowd is a bit smaller. It's easier to focus, I think, since there are fewer conversations happening around us."
Noah has a drink in hand, because of course he does. He toasts this in Liara's direction. "I quite agree with you. It's not just because you pay me either, although it does help." He offers that slight smirk again before finding a chair to drop into. "Good on you for having friends. We were just starting to wonder if you did or not."
Niklas walks in to tell everyone all about it. "Sorry all! Sorry! Just working on my latest play! It's a rollicking tale of far off places, daring swordfights, magic spells, a prince in disguise." Niklas waves a hand. "You'll all see it when it debuts to rave reviews and lines that go from the Ward of the Crown to the docks in the Lowers." He wanders over to the table and plops down in his magnificent throne, which is when the servers, who know him all to well, bring over a couple of plates and just start putting healthy slices of everything on them.
Entering a bit late, is Duke Harlan and holding his arm is Lady Medeia Saik. The two are having light hearted conversation. The most notable thing heard is the words, 'bull' and 'riding'. As the two make it in to the dining room, their conversation pauses and he comes to a halt. "Your Highnesses. Thank you for allowing this gruff old duke some fine food and drink." He bows, "Might I introduce my companion for the evening, Lady Medeia Saik." He turns slightly and gestures at the young lady.
Taking a seat, Liara helps herself to one of the little bread rolls there to eat while it's not entirely polite to dig into all the other things yet - at least till someone else actually gets to the table. "I'll agree that it's easier to focus - and, why, easier to meet people." She looks over to offer a warm smile to Harlan, then greets Medeia, "How do you do, Lady Medeia? I'm Liara Grayson."
"Welcome," Sabella says with a bright smile to Harlan and Medeia, "I'm so glad you brought someone new, Duke Harlan! I'm Princess Sabella Grayson, this is my husband, Prince Niklas Grayson, my cousin Prince Noah Grayson is over there if you haven't met him yet," she gestures about after Liara does her own introduction, "Please have a seat and help yourself! We'll start our little game in a moment or two."
Medeia releases Harlan's arm to dip a curtsy to the assembled. "Good evening," she says. "It's lovely to be here. Nice to meet you all." She smiles at Niklas and Sabella. "Ah, yes, the couple who outdanced me at the ball." She grins at them, waiting to take a seat until Harlan moves toward the table.
Ramona - A Guard in Ashford House Colours, Bigsby - A Thoughtful Looking Young Man in Nondescript Clothing, 2 Ashford Archer, 1 Ashford Scout arrive, following Lisebet.
Noah studies Niklas when he enters. "I would be interested to see if you could write the dullest story in all of the realm. Yours always seem to be exciting and the talk of the town." He offers the drink salute to the others that come in and nods towards Medeia. "I don't think we've met." It looks like he's going to stop there but perhaps some inner voice of a parent forces him to continue, "It is good to meet you." He looks towards Liara and Sabella to see if that's the correct form of address.
Harlan offers a hand to help Medeia take a seat, "Lady Medeia is hosting a Bull Riding contest. Thought this would be a good way for her to get some Graysons to come." He smiles. "Lisebet might be coming. I think she was putting the kids to bed."
Sabella looks a bit perplexed at Harlan's statement, "A bull riding contest? No wait! Don't elaborate! Let me start the game! For those of you that have not played before or if it has been a bit since you have what we do is one person will share a little interesting tidbit about something they are doing or have done or plan to do that's exciting or that they think others might be interested in. Then--and this is the most important part--they pick the next person to share! So I shall go first--I am helping Lord Jyri currently organize an art auction to benefit the Faith! Details will be forthcoming, but if you have a piece of art you'd like to make or donate to the cause, please do reach out to him! I think it will be a really fantastic event so even if you don't donate you should come and bid on something! Now, Lady Medeia, if you would go next and share something about perhaps bull riding? Which sounds very intriguing but also like it might be dangerous and also leave one smelling like a bull."
"I once tried my hand at writing a very dull story, but then nobody believed that I'd written it and I ended up putting it in the archive and then someone found like a page and a half of it and decided that it was actually a proof of some bizarre, opaque theory. So I try to avoid doing anything but dazzling crowds and mesmerizing audiences." Niklas looks over to his wife when she spells out her particular news, his eyes widening. "Well! I hadn't heard about _any_ of that! I do hope Lord Jyri does well. He's a prodigal, you know, but really he's one of the good ones. Very artistic!"
Liara doesn't appear to be on the cusp of offering etiquette advice to Noah, though she does at least offer a smile towards him and Medeia as more introductions are made. She then gets to putting some beef, a pile of vegetables and probably too much gravy onto her plate, her attention turning to Medeia once more as Sabella gets things going.
Medeia look at Noah with a polite smile. "We have not, your highness. Pleased to meet you." She inclines her head to the prince before being helped into a seat by Harlan. "Thank you, Duke Ashford." She's silent for a bit, studying everyone until Sabella starts the game and listens attentively. "Ah, of course. Well, Duke Ashford held the Bovine Grand Prix recently, which inspired some exciting conversations with some friends, and led to me organizing what is being called the 'Golden Buckle Tourney,' a bull riding contest. The idea is that the winner will be the person who can stay on the longest." She pauses, looking around at everyone. "THey... buck. A lot. There will be plenty of medica, including myself, on hand. And the winner will get a trophy in the form of a golden belt buckle." She looks like she hopes that was enough, and looks at Prince Noah, raising an eyebrow. "Prince Noah? How about you?"
Noah nods towards Niklas. "That makes sense." He hears his name and looks towards Medeia for a long moment. "Well..." He downs his drink and comes to his feet to pour another one. "This month I was swimming in the frozen waters. They called it something like a plunge. So I plugged my nose and jumped right in. The moment I hit the water it was like I could not breathe. When I was under the shell of ice, there was something that moved. It was like a snake but different. A water snake? It started to wrap around my legs to drag me under." He drinks more and then looks at the others. "So then I fought against it and was not sure I'd ever breath again. However, I came to the realization it was just a weed and I got free. Or I did absolutely nothing." He gives a semi-charming smile and nods to Harlan. "How about you this time around?"
Lisebet sits quietly, listening. Don't pick her until her player gets back from afk.
Harlan kisses Lisebet on the cheek as she takes a seat and smiles. He listens to the two before him. Then gets picked. He seems a bit flustered. "I am always so bad at this game. I am rather boring I think." He grins and picks up his wine to take a drink. "Well I had an Idea to build a public forum in Ashford Keep where the commoners can gather to discuss the things they find to be issues for them." Another drink, "Make it easier for Master Aldwulf to get a finger of the pulse of the common folk." He smiles warmly. "How about you Princess Liara?"
Turning her attention upwards from her gravy-laden meal, Liara breathes a little hum, considering that momentarily. "Since we had the last dinner? I think my biggest personal interest has been in new fashion, though besides a few gowns, not much has come in yet. The usual House and domain matters, of course, but nothing of especial interest. I might say that if anyone is brimming with ideas for outfits, I'd be delighted to hear from them." She then adds, querying of Harlan's idea, "Something off the market square? A good way to keep one's common folk placated, too, perhaps, in these strange times." She looks about, then goes, "I think it's Prince Niklas' turn."
Niklas stares at Noah as the man relates the tale of being attacked by an underwater monster, only momentarily pausing in his quest to put one of every animal into his stomach. When the prince finishes Niklas gives a nod. "I thought you were going to say you were being attacked by a sharknoid. Those things are the vicious, hungraw maws of the deep. Had it been you may not even be here right now!" Niklas looks back to Liara and thinks for a bit. "Well, I suppose I'm planning on taking a pilgrimage when some of the current excitement is over. I'm hoping to visit as many shrines of Jayus as I can on the mainland. Playing and praying, as it were. So that should be quite exciting. We'll really be roughing it in our old wheelhouse. Only three bedrooms! It's going to be positively primeval." He looks around the room and considers Lisebet, who really is just the last person who has yet to go. "Duchess?"
Harlan nod at Liara, "Something not too far? Something a bit more official I guess. I think it a good way to let my people know I am listening to them. And I think it could also be used to perhaps have civil talks with the Abandonded tribes as we seek to unite Ashford lands."
"I think that's a wonderful idea, Duke Ashford," Medeia notes to the man. "Such knowledge could allow you to avoid investing in projects that won't serve your people effectively." She finally takes some food to her plate, only as much as she can reasonably eat between bouts of talking.
Niklas makes his way through a couple of pigs' worth of hams. "It's certainly an interesting notion and falls in line with Sabella's dream of settling more and more of the Crownlands. If you can bring more of the shavs to heel, then that's only a good thing."
"I shall be curious to see how it goes - perhaps something of the sort may prove suitable for Bastion, especially with the number of refugees that we admitted, to whom everything is strange and new," muses Liara, setting aside her knife and fork again for the moment.
Harlan nods as he takes a drink. A smile for Medeia and her support. He turns his head and nods to Niklas and Liara in turn. "I imagined it could come with a sort of... de facto Minister position. Minister of Commoner Affairs. Someone who makes it their business to track the concerns and desires of the citizens. Allow us the chance to deliver on things they wish to see done that I might not even have on my mind."
Liara gives a quick nod in understanding to that and observes, "Some Houses have a not dissimilar Minister for Petitions or similar. My protege, Lady Videl Igniseri, is one such. Perhaps it may be worth examining how it is performed elsewhere too?"
Medeia nods as Harlan and then Liara. "I have heard, I believe Thrax? Has a 'Minister of Grievances' for such a thing. I'm glad you recognize that you might not even think of something the commoners need, Duke. Their lives are often subject to concerns ours are not and thus might look over."
"Thrax is certainly a house that is prone to generating grievances," says Niklas lightly. "We have a similar minister, but if they've given Sabella a fancy name I'm not sure what it is. Minister of Everyone Loves Her, So They Love Us, perhaps? Minister of Vicarious Affection?"
Liara eases herself up to her feet after that, her meal polished off, and offers a smile to those about. "A pleasure to see you all." And off she goes.
Liara has left the Dining Table.
Harlan points his glass at Liara as he takes a bite. First some chewing and swallowing before he speaks. "Wise words as always your highness. I will have to find out how other houses have faired with it." He turns his head to Medeia, "I am hoping to be remembered as a Duke who championed all his people. Not just those with means." Niklas' comment gets a chuckle. He takes a sip. "They do seem rather full of grievances." A short pause, "Quite a long title. Commoner Affairs seems good for now.
Lifting a napkin to her lips to suppres a laugh, Medeia looks around the table. She bids farewell to Liara before turning back to Harlan. "I do think you're well positioned to have that be the case, Duke Ashford. Your personality, and apparent care, make that something within your grasp. Is there a particular area where you know you can do better?"
2 Whitehawk Guards, a perlino Sanna courser arrive, following Sapphira.
2 Whitehawk Guards, a perlino Sanna courser leave, following Sapphira.
Ramona - A Guard in Ashford House Colours have been dismissed.
Bigsby - A Thoughtful Looking Young Man in Nondescript Clothing have been dismissed.
2 Ashford Archer have been dismissed.
1 Ashford Scout have been dismissed.
1 Saik Guard, Fortescue, a snooty and disinterested Lycene coxcomb, Harlan leave, following Medeia.
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