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October Grayson Family Dinner

The next installment of the Grayson Family Dinner is scheduled for October 15th! Grayson family members are of course welcome, as are any vassals or anyone somehow connected to the family. It's just a way for everyone to all get in the same room and catch each other up on what's going on. Attendance is not required, but strongly encouraged and light guilt trips may be arranged for those who can't make it because family comes first, right? None Greater Than Grayson At Attending Family Gatherings!

Date

Oct. 15, 2020, 8:57 p.m.

Hosted By

Sabella

Participants

Orrin Bedivere Macda Reese Medeia Niklas Lisebet Michael Thea Damiana Samantha Elizabetha

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Grayson Mansion - Dining Room

Largesse Level

Grand

Comments and Log


Grayson family dinner is, as usual, a pretty elaborate affair. There's roasted boar and beef and turkey and piles of vegetables and cupcakes and pies and cakes and maybe a little too many desserts honestly. Princess Sabella stands by the door beaming as people arrive, "Please grab something to drink and make yourselves at home! Once everyone's settled we can start our little game!"

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.

Arriving without any real flair, Orrin is in the process of shrugging off his cloak as he makes his way into the dining hall. There's a smile and an incline of his head given to Sabella, followed by, "Your Highness." Then, he's moving to the side, offering a smile to the others that may have gathered as he makes his way over to claim himself a drink.

2 Whitehawk Guards, Cabbit, a nub-tailed tabby cat arrive, following Bedivere.

Bedivere has joined the Dining Table.

Niklas has joined the Throne of Pena Stormryder.

Michael has joined the Dining Table.

Stepping inside (only slightly late which might be fashionable in Arx) is the Lord Bedivere Whitehawk with his trusty shoulder cat (who may be a soldier cat as well) upon his right side.

Macda is here! wait, really here! She lothes family dinners but the Princess Macda was in attendance today crossing her arms as she stands watching people float into the dinner

Reese has joined the Dining Table.

Orrin has joined the Dining Table.

Reese looks over to Sabella, having a smile for her sister. She goes eager to find a drhink, looking for the apple wine. The princess moves wit the easy grace of a highly trained warrior. She gives Orrin a polite nod of greeting. She smiles over to Bedivere and then to Macda. "Oh, it has been a while, too long, how are you?" She says to Bedivere.

After getting seated at the dinner table, Bedivere looks with comraderie to Reese in his olde/hazel eyes. He tells her, "I am doing alright these days. Thank you for asking. Working on the Whitehawk Military as per usual. You?"

Soft murmuring can be heard as Medeia enters the dining room, her hand lightly on the arm of Princess Damiana Valardin and followed closely by Lady Thea Malvici. If anyone is listening carefully, they would note that Medeia is describing the surroundings as they pass through the rooms to the dining room - as task usually performed by the handmaiden on Damiana's other side, but happily taken on by the Saik lady for the time being. Once inside the dining room, she pauses to scan the assembled and gives greetings to Reese, Sabella, and Orrin before introducing her guest. "I hope it is alright, I have brought along Princess Damiana Valardin to join us this evening. Princess Sabella, I thought you, in particular, might enjoy making her acquaintance." She carefully guides the princess out of the way of the oor while introductions are made.

Macda gives a nod of her head to Reese, before she grumpily gives a nod of her head to the other. She draws a breath and she looks to Bedivere and said cat. Her eyes shift harshly over her food as she finally chooses a place to sit.

Orrin is returning the nod to Reese as he offers, "Your Highness." With a drink in hand, he's then finding a seat at the large dining table. Bedivere's arrival has him dipping a nod to the man and there's one given to Macda as well before his drink is lifted upwards, a sip coming to be taken. Then he's catching sight of Medeia and there's a smile and an incline of his head, "Lady Medeia." He does look to Damiana a moment before his gaze then drifts about the room again.

Niklas has already grabbed himself something to drink and made himself at home, sitting slouched in the throne that has inexplicably been pulled up to the banquest table and busily filling a plate with a little bit of everything on offer. A little bit of everything and a lot of some things. Once he's got plenty of food, a veritable menagerie of meats, along with more butter-slathered roasted root vegetables than could possibly be healthy, he pours gravy all over everything and stops. There's a moment of staring at his plate, then he calls out to everyone, "Please! Sit! Serve yourself! Eat! Sabella says I'm not allowed to eat unless at least one other person starts and the potatoes are going to get cold." Looking to whoever is lucky enough to sit next to him he says, "I haven't eaten since my mid-afternoon meal. I've been making sacrifices due to the war, you know."

Reese looks over to Bedivere. "Working with the Grayson military as usual myself. We might be fighting side by side soon, depending on how things good." She murmurs. She then lifts her gaze, looking upon Medeia, Damiana and Thea. She has a smile for the trio. "Lady Medeia. I am very glad to see you again. And good to see you Lady Thea and nice to meet you Princess Damiana." She says.

"Of course! I'm so glad you could make it Lady Medeia!" Sabella gives Medeia and her entourage a big smile, "Lady Thea, it's always lovely to see you! And Princess Damiana! Please do make yourself at home and let me know if you need to be introduced to anyone! It's mostly family here but we always welcome friends as well! Count Orrin, hello! Macda, Reesey, and my love," the last to Nilas with a laugh, "Do please eat so that my husband doesn't lose his good humor or the turkey leg he's been eyeing."

Lisebet is in attendance today, on behalf of House Ashford. She smiles, offering a gentle curtsey to the royalty, and then settling down at a seat. She listens to the greetings and so on, waiting for a moment to say, "Princess Sabella, it's good as usual to be here."

Michael arrives quickly enough not to be mistaken for being late. For various reasons, considering his home's nearness to the Grayson Mansion. He is attired in warm and well-worn leathers and comes in with a grouping so that it is easy to split away and head towards.....well. Anyone. At leasats a chair to plop down into.

It's been a bit, but Thea does venture out with Medeia and Damiana. The latter she's just seen. There's a slight smile at those gathered and a wave to Reese and Macda. And of course Sabella. "Good evening. Yes. Thank you for having me. It seems like awhile since I was here last,"going to find a seat at the table.

Thea has joined the Dining Table.

Damiana follows alongside Medeia and is listening to how everything and everyone is being described. On hearing that the Graysons are now present and in company, she smiles towards the direction of Sabella. "Being a plus one is always an honor when it means sharing a place at the Grayson table. Gods bless our king and may Graysons never falter."

Cabbit catinually purrches upon Bedivere's shoulder, doing so in the most regal of ways atop that Knights of Solace tabard that the old gent wears. The feline does note Macda's attentiveness, however momentary, before he simply purrts as he lifts a paw to wash it. Meanwhile, Bedivere dips a nod of respect to his Academy-of-War buddy Orrin before he tells Reese, "It is heartening to fight at your side, Your Highness. I look forward to doing so." Then, "Thank you, Prince and Princess Grayson for the dinner as usual. It looks wonderful." He will soon find out if it is, but it does take him some time to scoop food to his plate... being a one-handed man and what not.

Samantha enters, an expression schooled to 'I hope I'm not late,' graciousness and inquiry. Pleasant smiles for those gathered, nearly all known. She is directed to a drink and takes a rosewater, heading for the table once that is gathered, settling - if she can - near Michael, Lord Bisland, a fond and familiar face.

From the hall beyond, the thump-thump-thump of slippered feet in a hurry dashes over carpet, before the Princess Eliza Grayson sweeps in as a flurry of golden tresses and gossamer silks. A beam lights her rosy face, a touch breathless, as she pauses by the door to greet her cousin and intake the gathered. "Sabella! Hi! Goodness, it is gorgeous in here! My first proper dinner in some time," she grins to the other princess. Her attention flits to Medeia with a flutter of a wave for she and her entourage, calling warmly out, "Lady Medeia, Lady Thea! A delight to see you again!" She approaches in a swish of silk, the rustle echoedas she sweeps a gracious curtsey to another fellow royal. "Princess Damiana, a pleasure to meet you! I'm Princess Eliza Grayson," she smiles, her voice identifiable by a bright soprano lilt.

Hearing Niklas, Orrin is looking over towards the Prince, only to flash a smile and offer, "Prince Niklas. That just begs for us to delay eating all the longer." A quick grin is then offered, but the Count does snag a piece of a roll to pop into his mouth and munch on, only to then wash it down with his drink. There's a smile and a nod to Thea and when Samantha enters, he's dipping an incline of his head towards her.

Orrin's reply to Niklas has Bedivere smirk, but only briefly, before he goes back to his usual unreadable expression (if it could be called that). "Welcome." says Bedit to the rush of Eliza. Cabbit spots her with curious regard.

"Everyone needs to stop sharing what they've been up to or how they are," protests Niklas. "There's a whole game based around that! You won't have anything to say!" Attention drawn away from the food to the guests he says, "Lady Thea! Duchess Lisebet! Lord Michael! It's so nice to see two thirds of you!" He widens his eyes marginally and gives Michael a meaningful look, then waves to Elizabetha. "Princess Eliza! So glad you could make it to dinner." And then for Damiana, "I don't know you, but clearly that will change just as soon as Sabella hears that you need an introduction to everyone."

A grin and pleased 'hello' are sent toward Elizabetha as Medeia leads Damiana to a seat at the table. Once settled, she leans in and describes the items available for dinner and offers to make up a plate for the princess. She listens for Damiana's preferences and gets everything taken care of before making up a plate of her own. She leans in once again, telling the princess who is who around the table, starting on the other side of her.

Michael tips his chin back and off towards Samantha at her approach. Of course he ses her. "You've come to the crush of family and fealty, I see." He'll ease a chair out beside himself for her to sit and join him. "Prince Niklas! I've been welcoming family back to the city and arranging for Bisland Forces to be ready for obvious reasons! Also, I've been doing Iron Guard investigations that are of no bearing in Grayson matters." He....he must've missed what Niklas was trying to do.

Thea gives Eliza a wave and a smile as well, and Niklas, well--he gets like a finger wiggle or two. Like two thirds worth. "Count Orrin, good evening,"reaching for a glass of wine. "Princess Sabella has the best introductions, really,"nodding to Michael when she notices him as well.

Sabella gives Damiana an even more brilliant smile, "Aren't you just lovely! Please do make yourself a plate and enjoy! We'll do a little getting to know each other game once everyone's been greeted--Marquessa Samantha! It's so nice to see you again and Michael of course! Eliza, we couldn't have your first dinner here in Arx to be anything less than brilliant so I do hope that it lives up to your highest expectations! Duchess Lisebet you are looking wonderful I hope the children are well and the good Duke of course! But yes," she grins at Niklas, "For those of you that might not know or who maybe haven't been here in some time we play a little game so that we might share interests and help each other and perhaps get to know one another a little better! How it works is someone will share something interesting that has happened to them lately or perhaps something fun that they're planning to do and then--and this is the most important part--you must call on the next person to do the same! So I shall start in order to ensure everyone knows what to do," she smiles as she moves to take a seat near Niklas, "Considering the threat from Eurus, I have been working on expanding the charity I had set up for those families who lost people in the most recent wars we've had since it is likely that we will see more--at least, if I and others working on diplomatic efforts are unable to find ways to avoid conflict! But I think it's good to be prepared for the worst outcomes while working strongly towards the better ones! Now--" she looks around the table, "Count Orrin, what have you been up to?"

Damiana is comfortably seated and listens towards the conversations around her. The topic of Eurus catches her attention though, and she glances towards Sabella's direction before preparing for introductions.

Orrin is mid-bite when Sabella decides that he's next in line in the little game and he's forced to finished chewing and swallowing quickly, giving her a mock glare in the process. But it does come with a smile as his gaze bounces between those that have already gathered, "There is no denying that Pearlspire has opened it's arms to refugees and continues to do so. It's in that vein that I continue to expand our efforts to provide a safe haven for those that seek refugee, whether it be through shelter and food, or the fact that we can provide the protection that they seek. And as her Highness has said, it's good to be prepared." A lift of his glass in a little salute to Sabella and then he's looking about for his potential target, gaze finally coming to settle upon Reese, "And you, Princess Reese. What have you been up to?"

Once Orrin has eaten that roll it's time for Niklas to start eating. Kind of impressive how much a man of his size can pack away the pork. Once he's cleared some space he quickly fills it with slices of ham. This continues for everything else he eats. Goodbye turkey leg, hello slices of ham. So long lamb ribs, greetings to you, my good friend ham. Eventually it's all ham, which gets doused with gravy and then he starts up on round two. The ham round. Sabella's reference to Eurus gets an unpleasant look from the Playwright who, now that the game has started, slows his eating so as to sit back and pay attention. More or less.

"Ah, Prince Niklas!" Elizabetha beams over with a bow of her head, "Glad I could make it!" Her grin lingers in dimples as she approaches the banquet table and casts a thoughtful eye across the offerings, before swiping a plate. Balanced in her right, she selects with her tattooed hand a range of meats, breads, cakes in dainty servings, then glides to the seat beside Michael. She quirks a little smile at Bedivere and his cat as she settles in to await her turn.

"Me?" Reese says while cradling her drink and then she gives the Count a smile. She peeks over to Sabella. "Oh, we always do this, I guess it is good though." She then hmms. "Well, I am gearing up to get ready to fight the eurusi on behalf of Grayson. Wondering if I will get chalenged as sword. Trying to keep in top shape. I guess that is mostly what I have been doing. I did get a new ship for the Grayson ship, well taken ship from Eurusi slavers. I might put pink sails on it."

Thea is enjoying her food, leaning over to talk to Medeia for a moment. Hearing Orrin, she smiles a moment. "I'm glad to hear things are going well at Pearlspire. I've enjoyed myself there,"listening to Reese too. "Pink. Sails..."her words trailing..."huh..."

"It's so wonderful of you to make such plans," Sabella nods to Orrin, packing her plate as well but with far less ham than her husband, then she gives her sister a smile, "I think pink sails would be wonderful! And then I'd know you were safe from afar when you sailed home! It might even get me to go down to the Lowers for once to greet you at the docks!"

Reese leans to Medeia and ohhs softly. "Oh, I choose Lady Saik!" She says. "What have you been up to?"

Reese hmms softly. "I would draw attention. I should have a decoy ship with pink sails, I pretend is mine, but is not really..."

Michael smirks across the table towards Orrin as if this inevitably was absolutely expected by him. A glance towards a mostly familiar face of Elizabetha beside him. And a nod to go with her settling into that chair. "Pink sails would be especially vibrant and easy to find. If you're sailing something of Eurusi-make, the contrast might be very important."

Macda smiles a little as she hears the words Pink sails "ohhh yes."

There's the hint of a grin to Michael before Orrin is looking to Thea, "Everyone should get to enjoy Pearlspire." Then a glance back to Sabella and a nod of his head to her words before he's looking to Reese, smile on his lips, "Pink sails. Mmm. Yes, that would stand out a bit." Then it's Medeia's turn and he's looking over towards her.

Elizabetha's cognac eyes glimmer at her cousin across the table. "That is brilliantly clever, Reese!" she grins, before her head dips to hear Michael's lowered voice.

Elizabetha has joined the Dining Table.

When the topic of pink sails comes up, Bedivere cannot help the half smirk before he takes a bite of meat.

"Ah," Medeia dabs at her lips with her napkin and takes a sip of water. "Thank you, Princess Reese. I think pink sails would be quite fetching! Well." She looks around the table. "I just recently delivered Lady Brianna and Lord Alecstazi Halfshav's lordling. My birthday was yesterday," She offers that part a bit shyly before clearing her throat and continuing, "And in a few night's time I will be hosting a party in celebration of the release of Saikland's newest whiskey - made by our excellent distillers under my direction. It will be at the Black Fox, and guests are encouraged to come and share in the drink and the celebration by sharing a tall tale of their choosing." She hmms, deciding that's quite enough for the night and turns to Damiana. "Princess Damiana, might you go next?"

"I considered buying a boat once. One of those caravels. For the college, you know. So we could fit an entire orchestra on the deck and sail around the bay and throw grand parties. Honestly, it was a wonderful notion, but in the end we realized we'd need to agree on what to call it and the three of us had a bit of a bitter argument about it so ultimately decided against it."

says Niklas.

"Happy birthday!" Sabella enthuses to Medeia, gesturing for Elizabetta to take her a cupcake or three, "And Lady Brianna had her son?! How fantastic! Happy and healthy both mother and baby? I'll need to send her something to congratulate the occasion! But are you a harlequin, Lady Medeia? I don't think I knew that!"

Damiana has been taking a drink of tea as she has a few slices of meat with a chunk of bread placed on her plate. She's listening to those near her talking about what they're doing. And hearing Medeia she beams a smile and lifts her tea cup, "May this year be one of growth, and in twenty years you look back with fondness!" With the belated birthday toast given, she gives a little introduction. "I've been enjoying finding the differences from my beloved Sanctum and Arx, and finding unexpected but delightful friendships. But the greatest thing so far with Arx is that I'm now reunited with my two sisters after being apart for years and while we each have grown up differently, we are united in our desire to see our people and lands safe and secure. To deal with particular threats and find friends who also desire to deal with them." She looks towards Reese's direction and says, "Father Aureth is consecrating and blessing a ship named the Intrepid in a few weeks, perhaps your converted Eurusi ship might also be blessed so the stains of slavery are washed away and your pink sails are a new symbol others held down can look for on the horizon with hope. Or dread, if they're still aligned with slavers. Pink is like a wonderful sunrise though when stars still shine and sparkle. Perhaps your ship will be girded with many broken chains or shields with your victories."

Remembering where Niklas was, she says to his direction, "I would very much like to hear next from you, sir."

Quickly, so as to not interrupt Niklas, Medeia replies to Sabella, "Thank you, yes she did, and I am! A fact which seems to be surprising several people today."

"Ooh. Happy Birthday!" Is what Orrin is offering to Medeia with a smile, following that up with, "And I have a feeling that you'll be getting a fair influx of people to the Fox." A little grin and then he's looking over towards Damiana to listen, "Well said, Your Highness, on the matter of washing the stains of slavery away."

Reese smiles over to Elizabetha. She then hmms softly. "Good point." She adds to Michael. "I do need to make sure that I don't get attacked in such by our own." She then listens to Medeia, smiling in response to her words and her dimples briefly appear. She then turns to Damiana. "Princess Damiana that is a wonderful idea. If he wouldn't mind, I would be happy to have the ship blessed. It might be for the best really. It was filled with slaves we freed." She seems flattered by Damiana's further words. "I am honored by your words, Princess and even more convienced of pink sails." The warrior then gets a message. "I am sorry, I should take care of this."

"Oof. I'm not sure I'd care to serve on a ship blessed by the Legate of the Lost. Seems like an ill omen." Niklas pushes himself to his feet. "Well! To be entirely honest right now, as we all prepare for war, I've not got a damned thing going on. Dauntless, my opera depicting the last two days in the life of the great Oathlander hero Sir Erec Redhill is written, we just need to find time to put the thing together. There are two or three more projects in the works, but since our grand tour of the Islands for the Song of Tala Everfree I've decided to rest on my laurels for a little while. Why be a world famous playwright if one can't stop now and again to enjoy being wildly beloved and such. I'm rather looking forward to the masq, even if there are rather too many scheduled this year. Mistres Aurora has plans for an outfit for me which promises to be magnificent, though I suppose I can't make too big a deal of it at the masq else people will think to themselves 'my, who is that fabulous treasure of a man? why, it must be Prince Niklas Grayson!' and the whole point of remaining anonymous will be ruined. Speaking of Mistress Aurora, she has consented to be my protege on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and alternating Sundays. Sabella will get her Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and the other Sundays, which is all very exciting." He scratches his chin as he considers if there's any more nonsense to say or random bragging to do. "Hm. I'm planning on a pilgrimage once it's relatively safe to do so. Which may very well be never. So. Ah. Lord Michael! Let's hear what you've been up to! There are no children present, so do not hold back on our account."

Macda looks over to Michael and she smiles a bit as Niklas asks for tales, "I should go, before I start singing." she says quietly "send me a missive if you need me for anything."

"Well. Iron Guarding. Training Lady Adalyn. Training Lady Neilda Saik. Occasional dabbling on honeysilk? I've welcomed family back to the city. Marquessa Deepwood hath returned." Michael waves hand at the Samantha sitting on the other side of him. "Bisland territory has caches to ensure troops that move to meet Eurusi landing armies will meet with supplies armies. I've found an old song I wrote for Silas and Aiden on Silas' birthday. Which will /not/ be resung. It was dreadful and I was drunk." He'll lean back and think more to himself. "If there is anyone else in need of a bit of time in the arena sands, I should be able to make time for it. Lady Thea? Just /whatever/ have you been up to? Aside from choosing poorly of cows and such."

Reese is overheard praising Sabella.

Reese is overheard praising Medeia.

Reese is overheard praising Bedivere.

Reese is overheard praising Niklas.

Reese is overheard praising Orrin.

Reese is overheard praising Elizabetha.

Reese is overheard praising Thea.

Elizabetha is overheard praising Reese.

Reese is overheard praising Michael.

Sabella turns to Damiana as she shares, beaming, "You have such a beautiful way with words, Princess Damiana! I have been witness to several reunions of families in Arx and it is always so inspiring and lovely to both see and know that it happens! Having two sisters of my own I know exactly how you must have felt!" She reaches out to clasp Niklas' hand in her own at his share, beaming proudly at him, "I should probably ask Mistress Aurora if she has any ideas for me or else I'll just break out my tried and true mask--the one I met you in! And I would very much like to hear this song," she laughs to Michael, "Does this mean I'll need to get you drunk to hear it?"

Macda is overheard praising Medeia.

Thistleton, an elderly and devoted manservant, 1 Grayson House Guards, a small twilit kingsnake leave, following Macda.

Reese has left the Dining Table.

Damiana has joined the Dining Table.

Thea is caught mid drink when Michael says her name. She squints at him over her glass. "The one cow I chose did fairly well, thank you. Pork however--,"her words trailing. Hurrying to take her drink, Thea straightens. "Right, well---I've been busy with just my trainings. I've been promoted to General of the Phoenix Brigade and well--I've taken a couple trips to Southport. The land defenses is finished, and it couldn't have completed at a better time." She watchs the table and clears her throat a moment, always awkward about the attention.

With near half of her plate cleared, Elizabetha reaches to pluck a few of the gourmet cupcakes and place them aside her breads, with a mischief-touched smile to Sabella in thanks. She casts her regard around the table as she listens in silence to others that share, graciously serene in her moments of repose. Her head briefly tilts for another murmured exchange with the Lord at her side.

Thea looks to Elizabetha, nodding in her direction. "Princess Elizabetha. What about you,"the Malvici asks with curiosity.

Lisebet quietly listens to the discussion. She eats a bit, but not too much. She's more thoughtful than anything this evening it seems.

Thea has left the Dining Table.

Finn the large Northern hunting dog with icy blue eyes, Rocco, the rascally assistant leave, following Thea.

Sabella shakes her head, "Sometimes I wonder what it must be like to prepare for war with the armies and the training and the like. Unlike Reese or even Lou, I've never really had a head for it. Or should I say the arms! While I could likely command a bunch of troops from a tent, it's unlikely they'd be able to hear me in the roar of battle. While I know the hope of things not coming to blows is fading by the day I still hold on to it! At Sungreet I was able to convince several groups of soldiers to lay down their arms in the heat of battle, so with any luck I shall be able to do so before the battles in the Saffron Chain begin as well. I worry so about all of you that will be making plans to sail away for battle--those I know, but also those I don't and might never meet."

Bedivere swigs down a bit of whiskey then sits back and pats Cabbit on the nog before he explains. "And just like Prince Niklas said... I have little to say because I already said it all before the game, well, except that I am in the market for a sculpture to be made of Cabbit here." He motions to the cat upon his shoulder there. "Looking for an artist who might make such for mew." yes, Mew. Though, it is slipped in there on the sly it is very obviously mew. Afterwards he offers to Michael, "Let me know if you need help with training. Also, that song sounds entertaining." Then, Sabella talks about not having 'arms enough for war', he musingly exhales through his nose. "Duchess Ashford!"

At the mention of Sungreet, Medeia looks up and studies Sabella carefully for a moment. Quietly, she slips in, "I hope that you are able to do that same again, your highness. It is that very success you had that likely enabled Lucits to return home. And there is not stopping her from going where she is needed again. I'm grateful to you for being there with her."

Orrin has left the Dining Table.

Diane, a bright-eyed peregrine falcon have been dismissed.

Sini, a very fluffy Northland shepherd puppy have been dismissed.

Listening to the playwright and finally Sabella, Damiana says over her tea, "Life is not a dress rehearsal, there are no do overs. We must fully commit to our duties no matter where in the battle we give our support, be it at the home line or front line. Knights can't battle with empty stomachs, blunt weapons and wrecked armor and expect to gain victories in Gloria's name. And our homes can't create bountiful harvests and flourishing economies without people earnest in keeping us safe and secure. May the gods bless those who commit wholly and without reservation."

Elizabetha's fork clinks against porcelain as she sets it down on her plate. "What about me?" muses the princess with a blossoming smirk. "Well, last week, I lost one wager and won the next with his Highness Talwyn, over a couple spars at the training center! I gifted him with my special hand-picked selection of favorite teas, and he purchased me this." The sleeve of her silken gown flares as she glides a sweeping gesture to the garment, and grins. "Oh, and I have encountered such a range of strange and wondrous people! Lady Medeia, Lady Thea amongst them," she dips her head to the two with a smile before Thea departs. "I've befriended an utterly delightful fellow young artist of the Lowers, a lady by the name of Samira Culler! Ah, and Lenosia's Sword and I have struck up a fine friendship too! As the next days and chapter unfold, I plan to commit to a few intensive lessons in diplomacy, as to better assist my family in the conflict with Eurus!" She inclines her head, finishing, "And that's most all I can offer, for now!"

Samantha checks composure at daunting. Samantha is marginally successful.

Lisebet looks up as her name is called, ans she smiles, lighting up her expression. "Thank you, my Lord," she says easily. She may have been here a time or two. "House Ashford is doing well. We are of course preparing along with everyone else. We've been trying to shore up our own roads with some success, though not so much as we might have liked. other than that, all is well. The children are growing too quickly, and Harlan is determined to be their favourite parent." She pauses, for a moment. "Things seem to be quiet on the surface, with a lot of activity still under way that has not yet borne fruit. No new boats or anything exciting of note, but progress nonetheless. Am I the last?"

Samantha shakes herself from reverie, a soupspoon that had been half-raised to her mouth, dipped back down, loose-held winks in the warm glow of candles and lamp light. Anyone following her gaze might note that it's fallen on a pie. Tender crust. Filling a blood red spill of sweetness. She returns to herself, blinks and snaps her mouth shut, spoon clattering. Her eyes yank to those gathered, awareness of the words swirling about settling and she reels for a moment, trying to gather the thread of the conversation. Reach for wine. Sip. Swallow. A breath. Watery smile. A breath. Better smile. There.

Elizabetha gently shakes her head. "Marquessa Samantha, would you like to speak?" she smiles.

"Oh, am I not last? Marquessa Samantha?" Lisebet asks, curiously.

Sabella smiles at Medeia, "I think your sister-in-law keeps us safe in ways we do not even know whereas I am merely lucky that I have a nice smile and a clever way with words when I exercise it! As for lessons in diplomacy, Eliza, I'm sure Nik here can help you with that if you've not already found yourself a teacher--which I would not be surprised if you had several offers already!" She laughs, giving the gown an impressive look, "Prince Talwyn has exquisite taste! He's quite the musician as well which I'm sure you're already aware! And yes," she nods to Damiana, "I agree that one must commit to one's actions, but I do think that planning for other outcomes is integral to ensuring that people are kept safe. I will continue to petition for an peaceful outcome, while at the same time making plans for those that will be left behind if such measures fail. I shall have to think up some sculptors for you, Lord Bedivere! Although if you are looking for one in wood I'd think Baron Silas would be quite good at it! And I am so glad to hear that Ashford is doing so well, although of course I am not surprised considering you and Duke Harlan are such wise leaders!" She turns to smile at Samantha, "I do believe the Marquessa is the last of us tonight! It's been quite wonderful hearing what everyone's shared this evening so far!"

Elizabetha leans forward, voice lower as she engages Bedivere.

After Sabella's reply, Bedivere nods. "I could have a relief carpentered by my dear Nephew, indeed. In addition to a clay or stone sculpture." Then, he goes and leans toward Elizabetha. Cabbit catpensates for that leaning.

With a polite smile at Elizabetha, Samantha nods, a glance at Lisebet. "I've come to Arx because word reached Old Oak that neonobles and prodigals are being targeted." She straightens and looks at Sabella, expression clear, mild, "The matter is of interest to me." She has, in fact, spoken eloquently on the matter on the floor of the Assembly.

Medeia turns almost /too/ quickly to look at Samantha, a look of interest on her face.

Bedivere has left the Dining Table.

2 Whitehawk Guards have been dismissed.

Cabbit, a nub-tailed tabby cat have been dismissed.

Sabella nods to Samantha, "I feel as if the tide is actually shifting towards those refugees from Eurus, although of course there are always going to be those who dislike the challenge to tradition that they think neonobles and prodigals are. One really need only look to what's happening in the Mourning Isles to see how bad it might get, although even us gryphons are not immune to such thinking as we've seen of late, unfortunately."

"I was at Sungreet as well. Fomented a slave rebellion. All quite exciting. Perhaps I should look for a nickname based on those dashing heroics. Try and get people to stop calling me the Prince of Fancy Hats." Niklas reaches up to adjust his very fancy hat, then brightens when dessert is served. "The whole mess with prodigal neonobles really is terrible. Certainly some of them are," he gives a slight shrug, "but I believe that for every few of those we have one Lord Jyri and he's just wonderful. Really one of the good ones!"

Elizabetha brightens from a brief reverie. "The Prince of Fancy Hats and Fomenting Heroics!" she laughs, then lifts a cream-swirled cupcake to her lips for a luscious bite that leaves her upper lip smeared in frosting. Unaware, she inclines her head to Niklas. "Would you be willing, Highness? I suspect I should begin such lessons at shortest notice!"

Samantha inclines her head to Sabella, "My pardon, I struggle to draw a sharp distinctions between those who swear oaths to uphold the Compact, whatever hinterland or shores birthed them." She lifts a glass, vague salute, "Gods bless that all the peerage should be 'the good ones,' new-raised or of ancient blood." She glances around, glass lifted, then drinks.

Nothing the time, and having finished her meal and sharing, Medeia confirms that Damiana is ready to leave before excusing them both. "Princess Sabella, thank you again for the invitation. I'm afraid it is time for me to go and escrt Princess Damiana home." She looks around the table and smiles brightly at everyone. "It was wonderful to see all of you and hear how you are doing." She ends her looking with Samantha. "Marquessa, I'd love to speak with you more, at some point. Have a good evening, everyone!" She steps back from the table and assists Damiana in rising, giving the princess time to say her farewells before leading her out the door.

Roselia, shy scholar scribe arrives, delivering a message to Michael before departing.

Damiana rises and has a hand to Medeia before she faces those at the table who remain. "Thank you each for the wonderful mean and for sharing your time with me. I'll have you each in my prayers so that tomorrow my hope is that you're rewarded with even the tiniest of blessings like finding a silver in your pocket, a really good drink shared with someone you haven't caught up with in a long time or some other thing that just makes you appreciate the day. Until our paths cross again, gods be with you."

Elizabetha inclines her head to the Dragon and the Lady. "Oh, aren't you wonderful. Both of you, do go well and with blessings!"

"I didn't think most of the Eurusi refugees had sworn oaths to the Compact yet, but I could be wrong!" Sabella replies to Samantha cheerfully, "I do know that many translators have been working quite hard to help get them settled--or at least more settled than they were than they just arrived!" As Medeia and Damiana move to go, Sabella stands, "It was lovely to meet you, Princess Damiana! And Lady Medeia you are always welcome to come by whether you bring guests or not!"

Damiana has left the Dining Table.

1 Saik Guard, Fortescue, a snooty and disinterested Lycene coxcomb, Fluffy, the wary wildcat, Damiana leave, following Medeia.

"I would say that anyone on their way to the Compact for refuge is someone who's loyalty would be earned rather than respected. But...I think that would be a matter for a salon debate." Michael does have a glass aloft and...the toast seems to have stalled out.

"Maybe I should learn to speak Eurusi. Get in on all of that treanslating." Niklas scratches his chin. "Though I do keep hoping Mistress Zyanya might teach me her language, assuming it isn't inherently indoctrinating just to know the words. I could see that. Insidious. Still, I imagine her poetry is even more beautiful in the original Jadairalian."

"Not many, no. It is the hope they will, isn't it?" Samantha smiles at Sabella warmly. She rises when their hostess does, for Elisabetha and Damiana, and Medeia, curtsying. "It was good to share a table Highnesses, though I fear I inattended the conversation terribly. No offense to our host or her guests intended." Her eyes land on Medeia, a nod, "Of course, please call on Deepwood Manor soon." She seats herself again and looks to the Bisland lord. "I'm not sure what you mean, Michael." A servant offers her pie and she refuses, barely looking at it. She looks instead to Niklas, "Perhaps you could collaborate on a play, Highness."

Elizabetha rises in a graceful sweep of silk and takes up her empty plate. "Family, friends, what a wonder it has been to see you! Sabella, thank you for remaining ever the brilliant hostess, and Niklas," she inclines her head, "Let us keep in contact--partially so I've a chance to steal your hat!" With a wink, she casts her attention to the farther end of the table and beams, "Marquessa Samantha, Duchess Lisebet, I do hope we'll meet again soon! Lovely to make the acquaintance. And you, Lord Bisland," she adds with a nudge to Michael's shoulder, "Will see me soon. In my carriage and gown and slippers." Her eyes narrow on him. "I assure it." her teasing warms into a beam as she leans in for a gentle hug and adds, "It was great to see you, friend." With a toss of her sunny blonde hair, she steps back form the table and slides in her chair. "Thank you so much for having me!" she beams, "Until the next." Her skirts rustle as she flows into a smooth curtsey and then straightens, gliding away to pass off her dish.

Elizabetha has left the Dining Table.

Elizabetha is overheard praising Niklas.

"Oh, no, no, please," Sabella shakes her head and smiles at Samantha, "It's terribly hard to keep up with things when we have a crowd, but utterly delightful to find one's self in such a predicament, isn't it? That so many interesting things are happening to so many talented and interesting individuals! And it does give me a few ideas as to how to help in some places and inspiration as to how to start other projects that have been simmering in the back of my mind. But I am glad to have you back in Arx, Marquessa, even if it is less than cheerful news that brought you here, we are all the better to have you around for it."

Michael rises too. People are getting ready to get going anyways. "Thank you, Princess Sabella." Courtesies given and a nod towards Elizabetha. "Boots are essential for life, your highness. Someone will be able to convince you." A hand lifts to pat Samantha's elbow a moment. "Are you heading home already?"



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