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Valardin-Style Seduction Lessons

Certain members of Valardin nobility have a noted lack of seduction skills. Lessons will be provided on how to be far more seductive to a targeted audience. Please bring weapons and armor. And volunteers will be desired to serve as targets. Of very seductive melee attacks.


Jan. 26, 2021, 8 p.m.

Hosted By



Alis Cristoph Drake Nazmir Katarina Cerys Lucrezia Armani Lore Piccola Fiachra Sabella



Arx - Ward of the Compact - The Training Center

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

Princess Sorrel Thrax nee Wyrmguard has promised seduction lessons, Oathlands-style, to some of the notables of the fealty. She's chosen to host her lessons in the Training Center, obviously so that no one will die from seduction gone wrong. And she has encouraged everyone to come with their sexiest swords for the event. As people begin to make their way in to see what sort of lessons these will prove to be, she offers a bow with great flourish as befits one of the Champions. "Hello and welcome!" she calls out gleefully.

Frost, a Maelstrom Forest Cat, Brutus, a very muscular Good Boi, Alair, an angry fluffy marmalade feline, Carolina, an orphan from Bravura arrive, following Lore.

Jenkins, an armed champion, Armani, Lore arrive, following Nazmir.

Alis could not resist showing up for this event, and with her most seductively amazing sword in the scabbard at her hip. "Your Highness." Eyes sparkling with good humor, she sweeps a knightly bow towards Sorrel and heads towards one of the benches. One close to the action of course. Can't miss out on this one.

Drake supposedly was busy with travel but heard something about a 'seduction competition' and sure enough, he's here. Apparently Drake's been in and out of the city as he hasn't been a fixture in the training yard for at least a month. But people still know him, and a few Champions recruits seem glad to see him back. When he gets here, he walks up to Sorrel, and gives her a look. "Obviously, I'm here to help teach, since I don't need the lesson. A little gender parity is nice after all."

Nazmir is making his way into the training center in the presence of both Armani and Lore, to whom he seems to be conversing casually with. Upon entering the center itself, there's a glance about the area and then he's looking to the two that he had accompanied, only to offer up, "Any preference on where you wish to sit?"

Katarina did not arrive bearing a sword. The diminutive Eurus-born Princess of the Oathlands is arm in arm with her older sister (that would be Alis; and no, they look nothing alike aside from matched grid points on the y-axis). Katarina releases Alis's arm so that Alis can bow, and Katarina herself dips into a curtsy. She's at least wearing an armored gown -- leather, not plate. Her hands fold in front of herself. A veil masks her face everywhere below her eyes. "Princess Sorrel," she trills in greeting. "Prince Nazmir. Lord Drake~." Katarina moves to sit with Alis.

Cerys heard that the Valardins were practicing seduction. And like a Velenosa she was curious and amused. Unlike a Velenosa however she is not here to mock, but to help. The Princess is in full polished rubicund armor and toting her diamondplate spear. She approches Sorrel and curtseies with perfect grace even in full plate. "Princess Sorrel. Please forgive my intrusion. I am Princess Cerys Velenosa. I would like to offer my aid as a test subject of sorts to practice on, if you like? I can handle it, fear not." She smiles serenely.

Lucrezia doesn't often come to the Training Center, but enters today with a keen edge to her smile. With her distinctively feral gait, she makes her way to a front row seat and sits down with one leg curled up, the foot of which rests on top of the bench. She wraps an arm about that leg and watches the arena intently, lips curved in that way a cat does as it's watching a bird it's stalking.

Armani moves on one of Nazmirs arms and she smiles a little as she looks to the Prince before she looks at those that have showed. "Where would you care to sit Highness?" she asks as she looks about "or shall we mingle?" she wonders

Lore strolls into the training center not at all armored, instead wearing a one-of-a-kind Aurora Thornburn original. Smiling and conversing casually with her companions, she offers a curtsy towards the gathered royals, "Your Highnesses. Your Grace. A delight, truly a delight. I absolutely -must- see how this works, and how to apply it!" Looking to ARmani, she grins, "Princess Katarina. She is the -best- person to sit with. Ever."

"Only because one never has to worry about my height obscuring their view," Katarina notes to Lore and Armani -- her smile can't be seen, but it can definitely be heard in her tone.

Lifting a hand, Nazmir is wiggling his fingers at Katarina, "Princess Katarina." Then, to Sorrel, there's a dip of his head and a smile, "Princess Sorrel. My attention has been piqued by this." Listening to Armani and Lore, there's a soft chuckle and a nod of his head as he offers to the two, "Well, then we shall sit with her!"

"Kat, you didn't mention just how popular you are." Alis murmurs, nudging her with an elbow lightly before she offers those approaching a friendly smile. "Only if you have no lemon bars on hand. If you have lemon bars, she's a thief." is offered as purely solemn advice. "Look at the crowd gathering. This /should/ be quite interesting. Will the two of you be demonstrating o... against... with.. each other?" She tries each of those on for size and just can't settle on one that sounds less sordid.

"A delight, Princess Cerys!" Sorrel declares with a sweeping gesture to the Velenosa and a broad smile. "And welcome to Her Grace, the ever delightful High Lady Alis Valardin, Princess of Sanctum. Today, we shall teach you how to properly flirt. I think you will find that it is largely in the hips." With this, the Thrax princess wiggles her hips and sweeps her sword out of her scabbard, gesturing with it with a broad grin. "Also confidence. You must have supreme confidence in your ability to flirt, even if you have no idea what you are doing. Faking it is how you make it here." Hips. Confidence.

Drake looks at Alis. Then he looks at Sorrel, as she demonstrates. "We're cousins. It would be weird. But I can accept volunteers." He looks at Lore as she walks in, and nods to her. Then to Katarina. "Now I'm sure not many of you need lessons here. But... eh, I'll follow Sorrel's lead."

Cerys dips her head respectfully to Sorrel with a soft smile. "Just let me know where I can best be of use yes?" She looks to Alis and smiles. "Well met your Grace. An honor to meet you. Confidence is key, when it comes to flirting it is like dancing with your blade. It is a back and forth, just a battle of exchanged words rather than blows. But sometimes it helps to compare the two if you are nervous. Take your courage in battle into flirting...if that makes sense? If anyone needs help practicing I will be glad to assist."

Pony, a tiny smoke-grey kitten with white points arrives, following Piccola.

Alis leans over to murmur something to Katarina, straightening then to dip her head in greeting to Cerys. "A pleasure, Your Highness." It certainly seems the Velenosan Princess speaks her language though, her thoughtfully narrowed eyes obviously recognizing a good battle plan in here. Flirt like you fight. /Perfect/. Poor Fia.

Lore is quick to head towards Katarina, chuckling, "But if I sit next to you then I get your company -and- I can see! And if someone tall and rude sits in front of you I can put you on my shoulders and play hero." See? Clever merchant, she thinks of everything. Drake is given a nod and a curtsy before she all but drags Nazmir and Armani towards the benches where Katarina sits. There's a surprising amount of strength in her grip! She turns that smile towards Alis, "You know, I've wanted to meet you for simply ages. I'm glad to finally do so! Its truly a pleasure, Your Grace. Oh, I'm Lore Artiglio, by the by. Merchant, adventurer, cartographer... I wear many hats. Good luck with the lesson!"

Nazmir is allowing himself to be dragged along by Lore, looking all the more dignified for it as well. His gaze does drift over to Alis, though, and he's offering a polite incline of his head, "Your Grace." Then, to Cerys, it's to offer, "Your Highness." And finally, he's looking to Drake, to tip a slight nod of his head towards the other man.

Engh, late again.

Piccola arrives, finally. Not that she would avoid this event after hearing the merry war of words that went on before it was scheduled. The Lycene General -- surely, she is a mistress of war //and// seduction -- takes up a post by the entrance, leaning lazily in an alcove where she can watch and listen in peace. And darkness: she is dressed head-to-foot in black leather and ironwool, her head covered by her hood and her face shadowed by the same.

So darque.

Armani laughs a little as she watches Lore head off to sit with Katarina, and she looks over to Nazmir with an amused glance "ahh merchants." she says bemused before her eyes go over to Drake and she smiles his way before she moves along following after Nazmir and Lore.."Lady Armani Gilden" she offers bemused

"I didn't mention it, and yet I still won best boaster at the Days of Libation," Katarina notes to Alis. "Not that I am to brag, or anything~." When Lore sits down to the other side of her, Katarina raises an eyebrow: "Messere Artiglio, while putting one's thighs to either side of another's head /is/ a form of seduction, it is almost certainly not one favored by the Oathlands~. So you can invite me to sit on your shoulders all you like, but you're not going to get lucky /that/ way~."

Whatever she is whispering back and forth with Katarina must be quite amusing, as Alis snorts back a laugh. And then tries to put her polite and dignified hat back on, speaking of those. "Well, it's nice to meet you then Lore Artiglio. Has my reputation as a tiny tyrant proceeded me?" she wonders, eyes wide with curiosity. Which is quickly followed by a garbled sound when Kat speaks up. "I... am going to just confuse the boasting and the thighs thing into one long sentence of doom if I comment, so perhaps I shall pay more attention to the lesson." she decides, inclining her head towards Armani next in greeting. And then Piccola, whom she waves at.

Drake looks at Cerys, as he didn't miss her introduction. "It's nice to have you joining us. Did I hear something about a volunteer?"

2 Valardin Knights arrives, following Fiachra.

Cerys smiles to Drake and bows her head respectfully. "Thats right. I came to offer my aid. I cannot teach very well but you can use me to practice on and for demonstrations if it will help?" She smiles gently.

Tsking lightly, Lore asides to Katarina, "The thought had never entered my mind, Your Highness. I thought only to your ability to view the lesson. Should someone be so crass as to block your view, I'll be happy to remove them in a much more mundane but just as satisfying manner." To Alis, she grins and shakes her head, "I don't know about tyrant, but you've been a figure of growing reputation for years! I would love to talk with you sometime about expanding my trade into the Oathlands and perhaps bringing a modest but steady increase to your economy and my profit margin."

In return, the General lifts her hand and leans back to a stance.

She approaches where most of the women, apparently, have gathered. Has the show begun? She can't tell. She glances at Cerys on her way to where the High Lord Alis is, to whom she gives a respectful, florid bow. "Your Highness." And then, she finds herself a place to sit nearby. "Your Highness," she also says to Katarina. "And Signora Artiglio." That's to Lore. "We are to learn how to seduce a member of House Valardin tonight?" she asks of them all, apparently, but no one in particular.

Her hood provides a nice cover for her smirk.

Katarina's comment to Lore has Nazmir giving a warm laugh, only for him to then quirk a brow upwards, "Quite familiar with that not being an Oathlands method, Your Highness?" A touch of a tease dances through those words before his gaze flits to Alis, a chuckle coming at her comment of confusing topics before he's looking to the others before drifting back to Lore, "That's what daggers are for, Lore. Just give them a nice little poke and watch how quick they move."

"This is a symposium on flirtation, Messere Artiglio," Katarina cautions, in a mock-serious tone. "Be wary of word choices such as 'satisfying.'" Katarina lifts her brows. The gleam in her golden eyes is as bright as any grin. "General Piccola~," she chirps in greeting to the Tessere. "Apparently so. Either that, or all of our Great House's secrets in the realm of sensuality are to be laid bare, naked for all to see~." Katarina looks to Nazmir: "Quite," she says, ambiguously.

Making his way into the training center, Fiachra pauses momentarily near the entrance to give a quick scan of the grounds. Once Alis is spotted sitting near Katarina on the bench, the huntsman moves with sure steps in that direction. With a quiet smile to the two of them, he seats himself on the other side of Alis in a fluid motion. "What did I miss?" he asks quietly once he's settled in.

"It's okay," Drake says with a half-smile. "I'm not that great of a teacher either. But I'm good at what's important." He draws out his steel dueling sword - nothing too complex here, but then he looks to see if Sorrel has a particular lead she's aiming for. She is the one organizing this after all. He wonders what she's about to do with that blade.

"An increase in income is an increase in the investments we can make to provide better for the people, so that is always of interest." Alis agrees, looking back over her shoulder towards one of the assistant's that seems to follow her everywhere, an upnod towards the merchant of many hats given so that a note is made. "Well, so far what we have learned is that it's all in the hips, swords are seductive, confidence is key, and to approach flirtation like battle." These are her takeaways, and fortunately she is repeating them just as Fiachra settles in on the other side of her and asks the timely question. "Princess Sorrel, Princess Cerys, and Lord Drake are going to demonstrate for us." is added. "And Katarina is talking about thighs."

6 Grayson House Guards, Maureen, an unflappable nanny, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting, Clark, an exasperated guard arrive, following Sabella.

Chuckling softly, Lore lifts a brow at Katarina, "What makes you think that it -wouldn't- be eminently satisfying, Your Highness? I was once a Champion in my own right, you know. There's a certain... gratification... to it." Tilting her head to smile at Nazmir, "I don't require a blade to make someone move. I simply... direct them where I wish them to be." Winking, she turns back around in time to catch Piccola's greeting, offering a wave in return, "Hello General! Wonderful to see you again! I can't imagine you need any assistance in swordplay -or- seduction, are you here for moral support?" And to show that she was indeed paying attention, she nods to Alis, "Please, fit me into your schedule whenever you have the time. I will work mine to suit yours." Fiachra gets a nod and a smile, "Hello, Your Highness. A pleasure."

"Mmmhmm," is what Nazmir offers to Katarina in return for her ambiguous reply, though there is a smile that remains firm upon his lips. His gaze darts back to Lore, a low chuckle coming to sound in the back of his throat, "Oh, I don't dispute that. I merely implied that daggers may be a little more enjoyable." Piccola's entrance has him turning his attention towards her so that an incline of his head may be offered in greeting.

"Oh, I think it would be a delight if perhaps Princess Cerys and Lord Drake might do a bit of flirting," Sorrel says with enthusiasm as she uses her sword like a pointer for a moment. "Now. Eye contact! You must be watching for your opponent -- I mean, your possible future lover's reactions. You want to be proactive, pushing the advance on them." She demonstrates this by pressing a little shuffle forward as if attacking. "But you also want to make sure that you can react to their own advances." She demonstrates a sword form of defense.


Piccola adjusts her weaponry, that she may be as comfortable as possible sitting with them on her. "I appreciate your conclusion, Signora Artiglio, but I am keen to learn more tonight," she tells the Merchant, giving her attention for a few moments in response to her compliment. Her tone is quiet and even. "If you are correct, though, then I shall not be leaving tonight alone." She catches Nazmir's head-bob, and returns with one of her own. To say that there is a melancholy about her would be a drastic understatement; after all, she is dressed in black and is comfortable in the shadows she creates with them.

Her attention then turns to Sorrel, as she goes silent.

Cerys looks Drake over curiously and unsheathes her diamondplate spear. "Want to put on a little demonstration for the audience? Lord Drake wasn't it?" She smiles softly. Waiting for his respose she idly shifts the spear in her grip adjusting it with an experts grace and skill.

Princess Sabella Grayson finds herself at the training center without her husband and a very curious expression on her face. She looks around at the gathered crowd and finds herself pleased to see many familiar faces - but still confused. She approaches the group and asks, of no one in particular, "What is a Valardin seduction?"

"Combat." That, of course, is Alis' succinct response to Sabella's question. And, also no doubt, the reason Sorrel saw fit to put this lesson together.

"My own thighs," Katarina says in clarification to Alis's words, after lifting her hand to give Fiachra a friendly little wave -- the Princessly kind where it's all in the wrist. "To discuss someone /else's/ thighs in such an open forum would be simply unbecoming of me~." Her obvious grin remains unseen but no less obvious for it. "Messere Artiglio, I don't doubt that there is much satisfaction to be had from the right tool and a skilled and steady hand~." Her grin seems to fade slightly as she observes Piccola for a long moment, and then discreetly motions to Lore, to put some distance between Lore and Katarina herself -- enough for another person to sit. "General, would you please do myself and Messere Artiglio the honor of sitting with us~?"

"That's right. Drake Wyvernheart. Sorrel and I are both with the Champions, but don't let that fool you." Drake looks at Alis. "Ah, well, it's combat flirting. At least, I hope, since that's some of my favorite combat." He takes a step back to look at Cerys. "Case in point. I love a woman who can handle a polearm. You've got a firm grip on the shaft." He settles in to a stance with his own sword held out.

Her title is called.

The General looks over her shoulder to Katarina. "Yes, your Highness," she says with a note of subservience before slowly rising and walking to where she and Lore are. Then, she takes a seat with the two other women, setting her weapons back into place, and then resumes being the watchful tactician she is, on a mission to learn more about others' hearts.

Piccola sets her hands in her lap, silent again.

Piccola has joined the Benches.

Katarina has joined the Benches.

Nazmir has joined the Benches.

Armani is overheard praising Drake.

Armani has joined the Benches.

2 Valardin Knights have been dismissed.

Drake wields a steel longsword engraved with the sigil of Gloria.

Lore has joined the Benches.

Alis has joined the Benches.

Nazmir is overheard praising Drake: 5

Cerys twirls her spear and smirks at Drake. "I have a very talented grip on the shaft yes. But the real question is, how well can you thrust with that sword of yours hmm? Lets find out." She grins impishly And assumes a fighting stance beckoning him closer.

Cerys wields an ornate diamondplate spear.

"Different strokes." Alis quips back at Drake, a dangerously impish smile appearing when he and Cerys ready to face off and find out who has the best innuendo.

"Combat." Sabella parrots Alis's answer flatly. "Reese would be far better at it than I. I think I will stick with Grayson seduction." A cheerful smile lights up the princess' face. "I had heard tell of some sort of lessons and my confusion simply had to be put to rest." Carefully she finds a spot to sit. "I suppose staying to watch is only polite."

Armani chuckles as she looks over to Alis her eyes sparkle before she looks back to the ones that duel

"As one flirts," Sorrel continues with her lecture on flirting, demonstrating what might be a sword form or maybe just a little bit of dancing with her sword in her hand, gesturing with it in a fluid sort of way. "One should keep one's eye on the prize. You should know when to thrust and when to parry, and when to have juice and when to have wine." She does a little shimmy, motioning to Cerys and Drake with a measure of delight. "Banter is always important. Smile. And confidence! All the confidence! They don't know you don't know what you're doing!"

Katarina shifts in her seat as well, leaning back so that Piccola's weaponry doesn't accidentally catch on her hair or anything horrible like that. Just to be safe! She pats Alis's forearm, and then says: "Sister, General, Messere Artiglio: between the four of us, we must ask -- what is to be made of her weapon being much longer than his~?"

A fight has broken out here. Use @spectate_combat to watch, or +fight to join.

As the ladies at the bench take to talking amongst themselves, Nazmir settles back to watch the exchange between Cerys and Drake, a chuckle escaping past his lips at the banter.

Lore chuckles as space is put between herself and Katarina, enough for Piccola. She smiles as the General joins them, though she doesn't bother the woman so intent on the match. Instead, she leans back just a touch to get herself comfortably situated. A grin appears over Katarina's question and she finds herself glancing towards the trio, "I would think, perhaps, it denotes that -size- is not so important as -skill-. At least, if he can best her. If not, well... then apparently size -does- matter."

"Perhaps the better question is why she would care."

Piccola draws a breath through her nose and lets it out slowly. "I am curious. For all of the lovers I have had who grew up in the Oathlands, I cannot say that any ever remarked on how well I fought. They seemed to care more that I was honest, respectful, and could ride a horse." She then looks to Lore. "Have you had many lovers from the Oathlands, Signora Artiglio?"

"If so, what did you mark of them?"

Drake sees Cerys is getting into the spirit at once, but he'd expect no less from a Velenosa woman. He thrusts at her with a few testing strikes, first. "Ah. Some women put up a good fight. The trick of course is a matter of simply breaking down the defenses." Not to thrust too hard, too quickly... but when he does see a spot, he lunges past it. Given she is in armor, and his weapon is blunted for the bout, the strike isn't a true one, but it does get past the defenses as promised.

"Oh there must be so many jokes to be made about that I'm sure. It's not the size of the weapon, it's how it's wielded. Or perhaps something about some preferring weapons with girth over length..." Alis grins over at Lore as they think along similar lines there. "And there /is/ a sort of seduction in one's fighting skill. Some fight with a deadly and mesmerizing grace, where others fight with cunning and ferocity. I find competence on the battlefield to be quite attractive, personally." she admits, without an ounce of shame. "If one can't handle a battle they quite likely can't handle me, after all."

Cerys smiles playfully eyes locked onto Drake. "Ah. But remember Ladies. You cannot give up too easily. Give your man a bit of a challenge yes? Give him something to work for. Make him fight for it, make him find the weak points inn your armor if he truely wants to see whats underneath it." She winks at Drake and defends herself as she is hit rather hard. Still she endures and redoubles her efforts.

"Mmmmmmmm, I honestly don't think that I have, General. I believe I intimidate them, in part. And the other part find my deameanor off-putting. Though I've had a few from Thrax and Redrain. In fact, my ex-husband was born of Thrax, though he himself was a bit of a showman." Lore lifts a small shrug and smiles towards the pair in the ring. Her smile grows to a grin and she nods to Alis, "You're getting it! Less substance, more style... oh the jokes are -endless-."

"Some men put up a good fight as well, Lord Drake, but it is less about wearing people down and more about learning to see if your steps are evenly matched," Sorrel suggests as she watches the fight, making a motion to Cerys to suggest an adjustment in her footwork. "Are you dancing together? Or are you clobbering one another? You want it to be silky smooth, graceful and stylish. Swords are sexy."

While watching Sorrel shimmy, and listening to the back and forth of innuendo, Sabella giggles to herself. "I shall have to ponder Grayson seduction, if Valardin is combat." Her cerulean gaze settles on Cerys and Drake, head tilting as she tries to distill some knowledge from what she sees.

"You are intimidating, Signora Artiglio, that is certain."

There's an in-joke there, from the tone Piccola uses. The General looks back to where Cerys and Drake battle for a moment. "May I ask you something, High Lord?" Her attention goes to Alis. "Do you remember me on a horse?" Beat. "I know I can manage a battle. I have always had to rely on my cunning and ferocity to get things done." Or so her reputation may suggest. "I can use a bow and a sword, and have beaten men a foot greater than I with my fists and feet."

"Do you think I might be a welcome addition to an Oathland House as a spouse?"

Katarina pats Piccola on the forearm, just as she patted Alis a moment before. "Honesty, respect, and the ability to ride a horse will take you far in the Oathlands, General," Katarina trills. "Look at how far I've come, having only two of the three." The veiled woman's eyes betray her smile as she seems to quietly but insistently force eye contact with Piccola. "Not all of Valardin seduction is combat, you know," she says. "Some of it is prayer, too."

"You're right, of course. There is a proper time to use a bit of ... persuasive force... and a time to be gentle." Drake has to think for a moment about the advice he's getting from Sorrel. He starts to drift back to dance lessons, rather than fighting lessons. Flirting, he can do, but with a crowd this is also a matter of showmanship. He starts to match Cerys's pace better, but slips in just a cheeky cut behind her spear. Not as heavy a thrust as before. As he does, he makes eye contact for a moment - without really thinking calculatedly about that one.

Alis turns her attention to Piccola when a question is asked of her directly. "It was unforgettable, my lady. You bested Baron Clement." is agreed, with a ghost of a smile. "And I think you would certainly be a welcome addition to an Oathlands House as a spouse. Honesty, respect, - and do not forget honor. And duty. All things that we value highly." is agreed with Katarina there. "Ah yes, prayer. There are many 'oh gods' jokes for that one." And of course, she is doing her best to pay attention to the seduction techniques on display. But can't help herself for a moment. "Persuasion yes. Persuasive force will get someone a steel toed boot somewhere unpleasant I suspect."

Cerys catches Drake's gaze with her own. Thier eyes lock her own gaze intense and probing as she offers him a dazzling and disarming smile. She lowers that gaze demurely trying to make him lower his guard, then she dances forward twirling her spear as she attacks once more dancing around him swift and graceful, enduring his attempts to hit her with sheer stubbornness.

"It's no fun making these jokes with my sister next to me, General," Katarina complains to Piccola, in a mock-pout. "She always knows the punchline I plan to reach before I can give it voice~."

Alis looks smug.

6 Grayson House Guards, Maureen, an unflappable nanny, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting, Clark, an exasperated guard leave, following Sabella.

Painbow, a militant pygmy goat arrives, delivering a message to Alis before departing.

"Then perhaps the jokes are best delivered when there aren't prying ears or eyes, your Highness."

Piccola looks down at her hands for a moment. Just a moment. "Some day, High Lord, I will win the gaze of someone who prizes what the Oathlands prize. Until then, I will always be seen as a Lycene woman, no matter how well I may write or how long I stay on my knees." She turns her attention after to Katarina. "You don't mind that I engage in banter in front of your family, do you, Princess?" She cants her head a little to the side.

"If you would like, I will attempt to be more bland."

Painbow, a militant pygmy goat arrives, delivering a message to Alis before departing.

Armani is overheard praising Piccola.

Nazmir is overheard praising Cerys.

Katarina gives Piccola a mock-scolding look. With her umbra veil in place, so much of her expressions are forced to rely upon only her eyes to get across; fortunately, Katarina has quite expressive eyes. "When Lord Drake and Princess Cerys have finished, what I would /like/... is to step forward and allow you a showcase for your prized qualities. I cannot promise that I am the most able or competent at what I suppose we must now call Valardin-style flirtation -- but I know a few Suj'abbati techniques that an Arvani tongue has yet to experience~."

"Princess Katarina, it is not my fault if your sister Princess Alis is more witty than you are when it comes to innuendo," Sorrel notes with an amused grin, then looks between Katarina and Piccola. "Well now. This is a flirting I think we all might want to see. And Princess Cerys is starting to flag a bit. Lord Drake could flirt //all night long//! I'll give her some pointers on footwork later, though. It's all about how you use your hips!"

Drake continues to work like a dance, getting a couple more touches in, but more softly. When Cerys counters with her own spear, he dances aside. He's quick on his feet. No one wins every duel, but there's a reason he's a Champion. Drawing his sword back, he holds it defensively as he does a slower circle. As her weapon has a bit more reach, he's standing somewhat inside of it, so that he can keep the playing field even. As his blade crosses with her spear, and he holds it there, he speaks up again. "Are you ready for the climax?" he asks.

"I would hope that in these times, with the foes facing us, any House would prize someone with obvious martial skill and tactical talent, General." Alis muses thoughtfully. "I feel certain that those who do not will find it to their future detriment." She smiles at Katarina then, and gives her a nudge. "Show them all how open minded we are." she encourages, while attempting to keep a straight face.

Painbow, a militant pygmy goat arrives, delivering a message to Alis before departing.

Nazmir turns his attention to Armani, to give an incline of his head towards her along with a smile and just the hint of a chuckle, "Indeed, it has been been most entertaining, I must admit."

Painbow, a militant pygmy goat arrives, delivering a message to Alis before departing.

And then Piccola smiles.

"It would be my honor to do as you wish, your Highness," she tells Katarina quietly. "And to show you, High Lord, that I am able to reflect that which the Oathlands value." There's something in her tone that this may have been planned. After all, doesn't a wise general always have a plan, no matter which field she steps onto?

"I should prepare myself," the General suggests, shifting before slowly rising.

"Did someone imply that you are not able to...?" Alis looks confused there for a moment. Genuinely. Lost Highlord is lost.

"I would hope that in any times, any House would prize someone with martial prowess. Nothing has been precisely 'quiet' for... about ten years now? Its a time of change and that will bring conflict. Conflict often turns into a fight. And fights mean needing someone with martial skills to lead the way, or at least the charge," Lore pipes up after having fallen quiet for some time. "Even those of us who aren't exactly trained for war and a battlefield have our place in combat."

Cerys blushes a bit and smiles impishly. "Aww...are you done with me already my lord? Very well, make it memorable no?" She grins and advances on him with renewed enthusiasm and aggression her spear flashing quick and furious and her movements graceful even though he is just as graceful in his dancing away from them. She smiles sweetly. "You do make a delightful partner though..."

Armani is overheard praising Cerys.

"Indeed, Messere Artiglio." Katarina nods to Piccola, and lets the General stand to prepare herself. "I am no great fighter up close and personally, but I am not an Admiral of Valardin's fleet by accident. Every set of skills one can bring is a gift to their House." She stands up, herself. "And I officially refute Princess Sorrel's assertation that my sister is better at innuendo than me. I'd like to see my sister handle the sheer amount of seamen that I do as Admiral."

Nazmir is overheard praising Katarina.

"Princess Katarina, I'm quite certain that your sister could manage. She's very good at delegation, after all. And that you wouldn't want her watching you handling seamen," Sorrel replies with an amused little grin, adjusting her pose for a moment. "But really, we all have our strengths, and we must play off those strengths, and the best way to seduce someone is to be absolutely appealing to them in a manner that honestly shows off your strengths. And sometimes a little athleticism doesn't hurt."

Cerys checks 'unconsciousness save' at easy. Cerys is successful.

Cerys remains capable of fighting.

Alis immediately claps her hands over her ears. Lalalalalalalalalalalalalalaaaaaaa. No, she definitely did not hear Kat say that. "Nope nope nope nope. Not touching that one. I'm also hoarding ALL of the lemon bars when we get home just for that." she hisses at the end.

Cerys checks 'unconsciousness save' at normal. Cerys is successful.

Cerys remains capable of fighting.

Armani has left the Benches.

Cerys checks 'unconsciousness save' at daunting. Cerys fails.

Cerys is incapacitated and falls unconscious.

Jenkins, an armed champion have been dismissed.

Drake isn't looking tired just yet, but... when he promises a climax, he starts picking up the pace a bit, his stance getting more aggressive, more forceful, and his strikes faster. He's not being as playful, thrusting straight on... but this is also a tactic that leaves his defenses open. He gets a bit of a slash in.

Then, for a moment, Drake is wide and unguarded for the Princess's retaliation. "Ah. I suppose... it is good for the Lady to give a little back. But ... it would be cruel if I finished first-"

Katarina looks from Sorrel to Alis with a confused stare written across widened eyes. "...I am saying that sailors' sea shanties are often provocative and full of innuendo," she says, sounding like someone who missed a step somewhere and can't figure out where it went wrong. "I did not realize that it would be such a contentious claim, my sister."

"I've never been particularly fond of seamen."

The General simply moves away from where she was sitting before, and quietly waits for her turn to hit the sparring circle. While Drake and Cerys continue, she draws her bow from her shoulder to check it and its string. Then, she pulls her sabre from her scabbard, and, shitballs, if it isn't one of the finest-looking swords ever made of -- is it cupridium? -- yes, it is. And then, she checks out the dagger -- it is an Oathlands blade, by its construction -- and then turns her attention to the ring.

Well, time to show what she can do.

Katarina takes Intricately forged ancient steel stiletto from glints of silver twisted around a provocative thigh holster for purely questionable purposes.

"You are so full of it." Alis, unafraid of calling her sister out. So THERE. But at least she is laughing when she says it?

Painbow, a militant pygmy goat arrives, delivering a message to Alis before departing.

Katarina checks composure and performance at hard. Katarina is successful.

Katarina recoils slightly from Alis's laughing response, as though the Highlord of House Valardin had just bopped her on the forehead. "I absolutely do not know of what you speak, sister," she says, and... does a pretty good job of sounding honest about it, really.
As Piccola prepares in her way, Katarina prepares in her own. "Messere Artiglio, my apologies," she says, before stepping one foot up onto the bench where she'd been parking her butt a moment before. Her leather dress has no high slit to it, so she has to pull up on it, enough to reveal leather boots that conform to her legs and go up not just thigh-high, but as far as can be seen, possibly /hip/ high -- maybe she's wearing a leather catsuit under the dress, even. But over one of the boots is a stiletto tucked into a garter, which Katarina withdraws. "Another battle to decide whether size matters, mm~?" she asks, as she smooths her dress back into place and, knife in hand, moves to stand opposite Piccola.

Pony, a tiny smoke-grey kitten with white points have been dismissed.

2 Valardin Knights have been dismissed.

Juba'al'samara, a Suj'abbati royal guardsman have been dismissed.

Katarina wields Intricately forged ancient steel stiletto.

Show time.

Along the way to the sparring ring, Piccola sets her bow and quiver down on a bench. "One of these days, someone will want to spar with me on horseback," she remarks to no one in particular. The General hops into the ring, pulling her transcendent sabre from its scabbard. "Mine's longer than yours, and just a little curved so it hit spots other blades can't." She doesn't even try to shade her innuendo there. "Or so I'm told. I don't really pay attention to how it looks." And so, with her weapon drawn, the Lycene woman takes a ready stance.

Green eyes fix on Katarina with characteristically-feral intensity.

Piccola has left the Benches.

Piccola has joined the fighting grounds.

Katarina has left the Benches.

Katarina has joined the fighting grounds.

A fight has broken out here. Use @spectate_combat to watch, or +fight to join.

Piccola wields a cupridium sabre with scaled patina blade.

Drake steps aside, and falls into a seat... his time on the field over for now. "I missed doing this," he says, kicking back a bit. "I think it's been too long."

Drake has joined the Benches.

"You are, of course, always forgiven, Your Highness," Lore responds with a smile, chuckling at Katarina's garter holster for her stiletto and leaning back to prop her elbows on the bench behind her. "The view was spectacular, even though I saw none of it as I politely looked away of course." She looks towards Alis and grins, "Your sister is forever one of my favorite people. One of these days I'll start working on my social skills again so that I can attain her level of personability."

"The curved comment, that was good." Alis will politely applaud that one for no reason in particular. She is also still of firm belief that Katarina is faking that confusion, so she just gives her sister that sibling 'look' of 'you don't fool me'. "Sparring is good. And can be both entertaining as well as... fun." A smile is cast Lore's way, then. "She has a way with words, does she not?"

Where Piccola's green eyes have a characteristic feral intensity, Katarina's eyes are gold and serene. The dark veil covering the lower half of her face and the mop of sable ringlets that is her hair both seem like they'd be liabilities in close combat. Yet moreso than either of those, it seems clear just from Katarina's bearing that she doesn't have a killer instinct. "I look forward to an honorable but spirited flirtation, General," she trills, dipping her head and shoulders in a respectful bow.

For all of Katarina's disadvantages -- the hair, the veil, the floor-length dress, the fact that most of her combat training lately has probably consisted of war games in which she decimates helpless armies of candies and sweet breads -- she's still a nimble young woman. She doesn't so much give her evasions of serious damage a balletic grace so much as she scampers like a gremlin, but it works. What hits she does take graze against leather. "General," Katarina says, "what do you take to be a successful flirtation? Simply one that ends in a conquest, a victory...?" Katarina throws a few dagger-swings of her own, but she's far outclassed when it comes to combat. "Or is it the flirtation itself that determines its own success...?"

The General engages the Admiral with gusto.

Nothing is held back. Honor, respect, and honesty demands effort. Katarina may not be a land-based soldier, but she seems to fend off Piccola's attacks when they come. The Lycene fighter moves with predictably grace and ease, as if she's done this thousands of times before. "Like all plans, it is matter of what one's objective is." She dodges a strike, and lashes out with a curved cut. "A warrior seeks to win a battle; a general seeks to win a war. A warrior finds victory through strength and skill in combat; a general finds victory without ever engaging in combat." She barely gets away from one of Katarina's attacks, and grazes her with her riposte.

"Flirting is what is done: the goal of the flirtation will dictate whether it is a sweaty orgasm or a look from across a room."

Drake sits back, listening and watching the fight. It's clear his attention is on the two women fighting more so than their words at the moment. He seems analytical, but clearly entertained.

"If you're not into sweat, I recommend a pool." Alis, offering unasked for opinions and helpful advice. Though she actually /does/ seem to be paying attention to the much different fighting style being displayed. Her gaze darts between the two combatants - and no doubt mentally cataloguing new armor pieces that Katarina needs.

Katarina doesn't have a killer instinct, but the more an experienced fighter has the opportunity to study her technique, it becomes clear that she has a /survivor/ instinct. She doesn't move with the well-practiced grace of the General, but instead with the jittery quickness of someone who truly does not wish to be struck by a sword.

"If you think that this current method of flirting is going to induce /that/, General, I--aaaahhh~!" Katarina yelps out suddenly. She got too caught up in smart-mouthing and walked right into Piccola's swing, doubling over from a sword strike that, in a more serious battle, would probably have let everyone in the Training Grounds see exactly what Katarina's iliac crest looks like under all the skin and fat. "...that wasn't... one of /those/," she clarifies. "That just really /hurt/."

Sorrel has fallen silent for the moment to watch the fighting, and she wanders over towards where Drake and Alis are sitting with a measure of amusement. "I think this has turned out very well," she says brightly. "We've learned a lot about different people's flirting styles."

Sorrel has joined the Benches.

"Do you want to yield?"

Piccola remains ready, but she doesn't lunge for the kill. See? Honor. "If you surrender, your Highness, I will accept. But I have to tell you: I don't mind when someone puts up a fight right until the end." She half-smiles. "The night is always darkest just before the dawn, or so they say."

She awaits the response.

Katarina takes a few steps, shimmying her hips as she gets over the spark of pain. "I'll flirt with you until the breath is knocked out of me, General," she says, her tone carrying a grin.

"She does at that, Your Grace," Lore nods, agreeing with Alis. She smiles towards the fight, a frown creasing her brow only slightly when Katarina takes a heavy hit. That Piccola asks her to yield smoothes the line out and has her nodding. She rises up with a sigh and offers a bow to the gathered nobles and royals, "Princess Sorrel, thank you for hosting, this was most fun. Your Grace, it was truly a pleasure to meet you, I will look forward to our meeting." She turns, "Prince Nazmir, it was a pleasure meeting you as well, I hope to run into you again soon." As the Artiglio woman makes her way from the benches, she calls out to Piccola, "You should offer to kiss it and make it feel better!" Chuckling, Lore Artiglio heads out.

Lore has left the Benches.

Frost, a Maelstrom Forest Cat, Brutus, a very muscular Good Boi, Alair, an angry fluffy marmalade feline, Carolina, an orphan from Bravura leave, following Lore.

"So be it, your Highness," says the General in the dark, voluminous cloak.

Ah, there is the sharp gaze of the overprotective sister when Katarina is injured. Alis hands curl around the edge of the bench a moment, squeezing a little so that she doesn't hop up when she isn't supposed to. And then, unfurl when things seem to be alright. She will smile over at Sorrel though. "Indeed. It's a bit fascinating, isn't it?"

Painbow, a militant pygmy goat arrives, delivering a message to Alis before departing.

"It is! And she'll be fine. No one will get flirted to death on my watch!" Sorrel says reassuringly to Alis with a smile and a purposeful nod. "And remind Duke Cristoph that he was certainly invited to this."

Drake looks over and chuckles at Sorrel's quip, there. "I know a fight and flirt isn't for everyone."

Alis raises both eyebrows at the suggestion she remind Duke Cristoph he was invited to this too. "I'm certainly not going to suggest he needs the lesson, and that's exactly how it would sound if I sent the reminder. Besides, I sent him a bottle of liquor after I saw those classifieds ads go up. Can you imagine attending this while drunk? Yikes." Not even she would do that! "Well, if it's not for everyone these two are certainly having as much fun with it as you and Princess Cerys did. So there is that."

Painbow, a militant pygmy goat arrives, delivering a message to Alis before departing.

The flaw in Katarina's technique is rather clear: she's used to being the shortest person in the room. Her style of attempting to get in close, under a taller opponent's reach and through their defenses, to stick and move... it doesn't work with a warrior who's the same height as her. Piccola is able to fight at Katarina's level, and thus keep her at bay without much trouble at all. Katarina would almost be better off sparring with someone who's ambiguously at least 6 foot 6.

"Wah~!" Katarina cries out, as another big hit gets her right in the leg, through the armor of her gown and her boots. Even if she's not cut, she's moving like someone destined for a painful bruise. "If you wish to take up Messere Artiglio's suggestion, General," Katarina says, while doing a bad job of acting like her hobbled bruised leg isn't bothering her too much, "I think that might be best suited for private tutoring, rather than an open demonstration."

"You mean to kiss you until you feel better?"

Piccola can't help but grin viciously. She enjoys a good fight, and it shows. "Ah, but the agony, your Highness, is an important teacher." She takes a step back, and circles while she talks. "That exquisite moment when your body can take no more? When you feel ready to release, so you hold it until you can bear it no longer?" She bobs her head. "Agony helps you focus on that moment and let it carry on and on until you choose to let it end, and when you do -- "

She lunges back into the fray.

"Clearly we should be drinking. Should I get a bottle out of my bag?" Sorrel wonders curiously to Alis, grinning between her and Drake. She looks to the fight, motioning to the pair. "This is some pretty serious flirting here. I'm quite impressed."

"Well, as you said, Princess Sorrel, it really is a matter of the confidence you have." Drake watches the two women. "And if you're offering, I could go for a drink."

Alis looks a little concerned, truthfully, at one or two of the slips of paper that she reads before scrawling back replies. But, she also forces a smile back onto her face and looks wryly at Piccola and Katarina flirting it out. "Creative, too. I'm afraid I lack poetry in my approach. Fortunately, Fiachra has never seemed to mind." Which, of course, prompts a smile. "A drink sounds like an excellent way to cap things off." is agreed, then. "And I think both Katarina and The General are going to need one as well. And a smoke, by the time they're done."

Katarina checks 'unconsciousness save' at easy. Katarina is successful.

Katarina remains capable of fighting.

Katarina checks 'unconsciousness save' at normal. Katarina is successful.

Katarina remains capable of fighting.

Katarina checks 'unconsciousness save' at hard. Critical Success! Katarina is spectacularly successful.

Katarina remains capable of fighting.

Katarina checks 'unconsciousness save' at daunting. Katarina fails.

Katarina is incapacitated and falls unconscious.

"Oh!" Sorrel says brightly. "I bet I've still got that cinnamon whiskey from the Northlands event the other day. Spicy and burning!" She watches the fight's climax with interest, looking a bit impressed.

Will Katarina need a drink when the fight is over? Or a smoke? Or kisses to make her feel better? Really, what she'll probably need most is a towel. The comment about the fight getting sweaty has proven to be prophetic. There's no elegant way to say it: Katarina's not really in fighting shape. Not close-quarter combat shape, anyway. Her veil is being pulled tight to her face and then shoved outward because she's huffing and puffing for air. Sweat is positively flowing from her brow. She's being much more active than she's been in ages, /and/ she's wearing a /lot/ of leather.

Katarina's exhaustion shows. Her banter fades because she loses the ability to both banter /and/ breathe at the same time, and her gremlin-like scampering turns to fatigued hobbling. Her hair falls in her eyes. She refuses to give in, even when no less than three times Piccola nearly knocks the Princess clear off of her feet. The coup de grace of their aggressive flirtation is more of a straw that breaks the Princess' back -- one final hit too many, as Katarina slows, staggers, and then pitches forward, unable to continue. She grabs at whatever will keep her from going face-first into the ground, and all that's within reach is Piccola.

And so the fight ends with Katarina's hands gripping Piccola's hips, and Katarina's face in Piccola's lap. "I yield," she groans, muffled.

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