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Valardin Fealty Tall Tales

House Valardin meets for dinner and to play a little game of tall tales to be shared around the table. All friends, family, vassals, etc... are welcome.

Date

Feb. 25, 2021, 8:30 p.m.

Hosted By

Cristoph Alis Kael Zara

Participants

Deva Mabelle Tyche Jaenelle Cirroch Fiachra Kiera

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Valardin Manor - Dining Room

Largesse Level

Extravagant

Comments and Log


There are people who probably have some words to say about the unusual decorations in the Valardin Manor dining room, many of them are simply impressed that there are this many ways to decorate a shield? Or some swords? Both?? Others are a bit concerned by the glaring contrast in colors and shades that cover literally every inch of the walls. Today the hearths are going, making the dining hall a nice cheery place to be for the most part. It's better than the biting chill that's currently occupying the air. The Valardin servants are moving to and fro, getting seating finished up and putting the final touches on the plates of food. While Cristoph isn't a Valardin by name, he is one of their Voices, and they've had a good streak going with holding these little events. So here he is, in mostly black with some embellishments of red. His expression is a little tight, but he's greeting the people that enter with as much politeness and grace as he can manage.

Alis is usually working the room while Cristoph is at the door greeting people. But this time, she's parked herself right beside him. Like a warning sentinel for anyone that looks as though they might say something she doesn't approve of. Still, everyone is greeted with at least a smile and a welcome. And usually a 'remember to look at the lovely sigil table' instead of the walls as people find their seats.

Time to crash the party. Deva arrives with the Archduchess Jaenelle, and for once she actually put some sort of effort into looking nice. Her hair is brushed (!) and upswept, she's wearing a nice dress, but there are the usual dark boots poking out from underneath her skirts rather than any truly matching footware. "I figured it would be a nice opportunity to work on my diplomacy," she tells Jaenelle in as delicate a tone as she can muster, which isn't saying much. "Duke, Princess," she greets Cristoph and Alis with a polite bow on her way in. Her expression is less smiley and more one of distant understanding.

Mabelle makes a quiet entry into the dining hall without her puppies but with way too many guards for her liking. She blames Cristoph. Clad in Laurent colors for a change, she is wearing a blue tweed outfit, hat included! And some interesting array of honeystones. She checks upon her duke when she enters but otherwise greets the hosts and those present, "High Princess Valardin, Cousin. Princess Deva", she offers a smile to the woman.

Tyche arrived with the Laurent duke, filing herself firmly under the 'friends of Valardin' category that makes her welcome at the party. As he stands to greet those who come, she does not crowd or insert herself, as she is a guest, having instead taken to gazing oer the dining room which is... resplendent with crests? So many coat of arms, sigils, crests, she begins to play a game trying to find similarities here and there. When she spies one with a bird, she recalls an earlier one with a bird and quickly backtracks to see if she can remember where it was. This game will sustain here long enough, hopefully.

"I believe diplomacy is in the eye of the beholder and the person you are trying to convince to do what you want them to do" Jaenelle says to Deva as they move closer to Cristoph and Alis. Or is that manipulation. Both have the same results, it doesnt matter! "Just say honor a lot, you have honor, they have honor, the food is honorable, especially any potatoes. Very honorable. Never sully the good nature of a Valardin potato. Hello!" she finally greets the hosts with a bright smile.

Cirroch steps into the manor and is louder than the guards and footmen announcing his arrival, which might not take much depending. "I WAS INVITED. MARQUIS CIRROCH SANNA OF GIANT'S REACH. Ah? Quiet? OH! Inside voice. Appologies..." As he steps into the Dining hall he is immediate looking up and STOPPING. The tall chestnut dark broad shouldered man who looks like he just came out of the mountains still wearing the bear fur coat and boots, stands in the middle of the entry slowly drifting between each of the sheilds and banners on the walls. "That's..." Cirroch looks down from the walls to see everyone else finding a seat, "That is an amazing display!"

Not a fan of the dining room's decor himself, Fiachra looks around as he enters and wrinkles his nose. And he lives here. The warden smiles at the others making their entrance and inclines his head in a nod this way and that. "Hello, everyone. Thank you for coming. Glad you could make it." Cirroch's loud entrance distracts him from finding his seat and causes him to look over his way and blink a few times. When he reminds himself to use his inside voice, the huntsman's expression softens to a smile once more.

Alis wide-eyes at Mabelle. "Blue tweed!" That's definitely a stage whisper and a meaningful glance. Deva is greeted with a smile of warmth as is Jaenelle. "We also have the most honorable forks. The sweet potatoes are iffy. Because potatoes should not be sweet and that makes the sweet ones dirty oathbreakers." she adds to the litany, completely deadpan and serious. It's when Fiachra wrinkles her nose that her lips quirk upwards in amusement. The decor never fails. "Oh my. Well, welcome Marquis Sanna."

"Princess Deva," Cristoph greets, looking past her briefly as he hears Cirroch shouting, even if he hasn't seen him yet. His eyes eyes sweep down to her boots and then there's a faintly amused smile that manages to work its way onto his features. "I hope that you'll be careful wearing those." The tone has the undercurrent of a joke, but possibly she's the only one to get it. "Mabelle, Archduchess Jaenelle. Good to see you, thank you for visiting us." And there is Cirroch in person now. "That's Marquis Sanna," he explains to Alis. "He's a lot of personality. Will you excuse me?" he explains and steps a bit back to find his way over to Tyche and where she's counting every shield.

Deva lifts a hand to wiggle fingers at Mabelle, offering the woman a quick smile as she eyes such a lovely hat. "It's good to see you," she says warmly, and with a respectful bow of her head to punctuate her words. A similar, familiar greeting for Tyche follows, and she watches the Marquessa bird hunt for a moment or two. "Honorable potatoes..." That may be all that she really picked up from Jaenelle's summary, but it may be all that she needs. "Don't besmirch any cutlery, either," she warns the other woman with a wide-eyed 'trust me' expression on her face. Upon Cirroch's boisterous announcement and entry, she can't help it -- she bursts laughing, and quickly clamps a hand over her mouth to muffle it. It takes a few seconds longer for her to fall silent, but it's really too late. She looks between Alis and Cristoph and offers an apologetic shrug while she composes herself and catches her breath. "I will do my best," she assures Cristoph with a smaller smile, poking the toe of her boot forward to give it a quick wiggle before stepping aside so others may enter and be greeted in turn.

Tyche senses Cristoph joining her before she spies him, so she is able to lean in and murmur, "Where is yours? I was trying to find it, but there are so many." She turns dark eyes on him, her lips curving upward in quiet encouragement. She looks past him then to see all those who have joined. "Princess Deva," her smile widens for the woman. "Hello! Come with your tallest of tales?" And then to the others, each receives a greeting in kind. Alis and her husband, Jaenelle, Cirroch - everyone! And finally to Mabelle she waggles fingers.

"Of course." Alis nods at Cristoph then Tyche, and then holds out her hand to tuck under Fiachra's arm to stand closer to his side. Surely there's a child in the hall and that's who giggles quietly at Deva's burst of laughter. It couldn't possibly have been the Highlord. "There's a nice potato and cheddar soup that will be served for everyone this evening. And, of course, a buffet table full of finger foods. There's tea and coffee and wine. Oh, and whiskey!" See Redrain, she remembers you too.

Mabelle bows her head to Tyche from afar "Marquessa Inverno, High Duchess Jaenelle, a pleasure to see both of you", she flashes both a warm smile of welcome, as well as Prince Fiachra. Her eyes land on Cirroch and she welcomes him, "Marquis Sanna, welcome to the Valardin manor". Mabelle twitches her lips in amusement at Cristoph and thanks him in return, "Thank you for allowing me to visit, though she knows its likely not aimed at her and as Deva mentions potatoes and forks, Mabelle tips her hat at her, "Do I even want to know?"

Cristoph checks perception at hard. Cristoph is successful.

Where are the Laurent arms? Cristoph should probably know this answer, but he merely winces a bit when Tyche puts him on the spot there. "Ah, maybe it's-- um. Or-- no, that's--" There's really a lot up there. But eventually he does find it and he seems very nearly triumphant about it. "There it is! Dark blue shield. Gold and black honeybee on it." With it's discovery and Alis announcing what sort of foods there's going to be, he tips his head in the direction of the table. "I suppose we should go take our seats." Mabelle is offered a very innocent expression and he lifts his shoulders, "High Lord Alis and myself were simply explaining the proper use of good fork to Princess Deva."

Cirroch turns to watch Deva start laughing and he smiles broadly to her, touching his heart with his right hand and then bowing, "Marquis Cirroch Sanna, of Giant's Reach. It is a pleasure to watch another have a smile these days." He turns to Cristoph and Mabelle recieve Cirroch's nod and his right hand still to his heart. There's a small pause as he looks to Jaenelle, "Ah! Princess Jaenelle! It is good to see you again."

Because everyone is doing it, Jaenelle takes Deva's arm and escorts the woman to the table. "Forks are serious business, and duels have been fought over spoons. And perhaps the one left over is the one that could actually kill you, so you dont truly wish to speak ill of /that/. What would a knife prefer to be called? Meat Dagger?" As she settles at the table, she smiles towards each person there who may have greeted her, "I hope all are well?" she wonders before turning towards Deva, asking, "is here a proper use for a bad fork as well?"

Tyche's lips flicker in amusement as Cristoph searches, and then finally finds, his own coat of arms. "Ah. I should have known," she laughs when he points out the bee. She spends a moment staring up at the sigil. When he speaks of food, she draws her attention away, and looks toward the table. "You pick, I'll follow," she tells him, but then his comment about forks has her looking questioningly to Deva, "Is that a lesson you needed, your highness?" And then Jaenelle chimes in and she laughingly gestures, "Yes, that too. Are there /bad/ forks?" She follows Cristoph to the table, claiming a chair.

"I'm only here for the food! I'm starving," Deva grins at Tyche. "But if I have to tell some awful story to get it, so be it..." Her tone suggests this really isn't much of a burden at all. "Do you have yours?" She then slides a sly look to Alis, the familiar one perfected by younger sisters that the Highlord probably personally knows so very well. "Be still my heart," she all but swoons, a hand held over her heart. "I really should catch you soon, Your Grace. I've got a thing or five to share with you. Another time, of course," she adds, with a look around the room. She then bobs her head toward Fiachra, offering the man a smile as well as she sidesteps further out of the way. "You don't. I wish I didn't." Her eyes narrow as she looks between both Laurents with a wary look and a shake of her head. "Proper my a--ahhhhh, any steaks?" She JUST catches herself in time, and spins away to go skitter along arm-in-arm with Jaenelle toward the table. "I already owe at least one duel. Maybe two. Some say three is a lucky number, so I'll cope." Her voice lowers as she sinks into a chair, her expression is a solemn for Jaenelle. "Did you know they eat -corn on the cob- with a fork?" Her voice isn't really a whisper, not really at all, but she is feigning horror very well. "Nope. Nope, nope, nope," is her very dramatic response for the marquessa.

"Each of the kids had to memorize a wall, when we were younger." Alis comments on 'the walls' to Cristoph and Tyche before looking for a place to sit. "So that if anyone asked where their coat of arms is, one of us would be able to answer. My wall was that one." As the youngest, you might think she had the smallest number. But no, it's more like the youngest wound up with the worst wall because everyone else got to pick theirs. So she gestures towards the long wall that borders the kitchen. She bypasses the fork discussion for a moment to wonder as people find seats. "Is there anyone who wishes to start us off with a tale? Ooooh, are you going to spill something about your brother, Princess Deva? Something we can use to taunt him with at the next Council meeting perhaps?" She sounds hopeful, even, definitely returning that sly 'little sister' smile back at the Redrain. "And yes, we will make time soon. There is much to talk about." she promises. She does, of course, murmur something to her spouse when the corn on the cob is mentioned.

Winter, A Highhill Puppy arrives, following Kiera.

Arriving at the table, Cristoph pulls a chair out for Tyche and then takes up the one adjacent to it. "Yes, our coat of arms is rather predictable. I don't know if you've ever noticed, but the Laurents have a real affinity for bees." He doesn't launch right into telling his own tall tale, if he even has one! Maybe he /doesn't/ have one! Turning up to the party empty handed. He leans back as a server comes by with some of the food, making sure to keep his hands out of the way. He continues looking very innocent as Deva mentions something about eating corn on the cob with a fork. When the bowl of soup ends up in front of him, he very deliberately picks up the fork next to his plate and spears out a piece of table. Does he conspicuously /not/ look at Deva? Maybe. This is all extremely natural. Normal.

Mabelle blurts in Deva's direction, "There are always pitchforks. Have you every tried eating with one of those? I gather you can have the entire leg of ham on it, but problem is it wont fit in your mouth", what? Mabelle glances at the walls a tad belatedly and gets blind, rounding her eyes but then Cristoph's shocking commentary on bees arrives and she adds, "Really? I never noticed". At least he's not eating the sandwiches with a fork this time.

There's a momentary look of horror on the Marquessa's face, and she leans toward Deva, "Who eats corn on the cob with a fork? What kind of monster..." She's swept into her chair, a quiet, "Thank you," for the Laurent duke. She allows the servants to set out the food, and moves to begin eating herself, but then Cristoph is... eating soup with a fork? She blinks, looking up at him in question. "Have you always eaten like this?" she asks. "I mean, I'm not sure we would have become friends had I known." She looks away from him slowly to Alis, glancing at the wall of sigils she was assigned. "My goodness. Do you still remember them all?"

"Corn on the cob with forks" Jaenelle repeats, head tilting as if she is going through how this might happen. "Like, a fork on either end, pushed into the sides so you dont hold hot corn? I think there might be an easier way, though I could see how doing it in such a way might prevent burnt fingers. I think Darren actually had a painting made of the High Lords? Though I might have heard such and it could only be a rumor. We need to break into his rooms to find out if its true, Donella would let us in." Clearly this is now becoming a spy mission. "I did not know I had to prepare a tale though when Deva kidnapped me. I am sure I have something to share though. Was there a specific topic the tale had to be?"

Relavor, A White Eagle with black eyes flecked in gold, 2 Valardin Knights arrive, following Lenard.

Cirroch has found a seat, the bear fur coat is slung over the back of the chair and he's sitting back filling the entire chair legs stretched out and watching as the soup is brought out. A smile and a nod as Cristophy stabs at the potato with his fork. "I've always enjoyed roasting a corn first, then the forks make sense, less one wants to pick up something nearly on fire? The fork is an underestimated wea..." there's a pause, searching for the right word, "utensil for eating. I have found that a knife can sometimes need some help, the spoon is the useless one if you ask me."

"About my brother? Of course, I'd be an awful twin if I didn't," Deva insists to Alis, dabbing at the corners of her lips with a napkin between bites. She's strangely dainty about it, as if -super concerned- about her table manners. "I used to steal my father's warhorse all the time. Like... all the time," she repeats herself for unnecessary emphasis, and gestures broadly with her hands. "Darren got all the good stuff and attention, usually, or he did in my head anyway. Because he was the important one, blah, blah, blah," a hand waves again, flicking something off her own shoulder. There's no lingering family trauma over this, oh no. Not at all. "This one time when we were seven the stablemaster was busy teaching Darren how to ride, because I had already had my turn and I wasn't paying attention because lessons are kind of the worst. Anyway, no one saw me sneak into the stables but everyone saw me gallop away. Darren thought he could show off and catch up. He didn't. He fell off. I crashed into a tree though, so really we all lost that day." There's a very obviously rambling manner in which she tells stories, but she grins the whole time while staring at a point on the wall, picturing the moment like a not-so-distant memory. "I don't think either of us rode for a year after that." Her eyes narrow warily at Cristoph, and she sloooowly scoots her chair in the other direction from wherever he's seated. "...The End," she adds unnecessarily. "I didn't KIDNAP you, I just severely peer pressured you! There's totally a difference," she scoffs at Jaenelle, wounded. As for Tyche's question, she just wide-eyed stares and shrugs with palms turned upwards.

"Of course. Honestly, that sounds so messy Archduchess." Alis wrinkles her nose a bit. "If you stab the fork into the pieces of corn and sort of peel it upward.. voila. Corn without a mess." Alis explains, looking around the table as if she's surprised there is nobody nodding in agreement here. And then pays strict attention to Deva's story. "Isn't that always the way? We have to learn early to out smart, our plan, and our strategize the elder siblings." A sage nod is given. "Did he break anything? It's easier to make fun of him for that if he broke something." is pointed out mildly. "And should I tell the log rolling jig story from that artifact finding mission? We had to log roll. It was amazing."

"His pinky," Deva tells Alis with a straight face. She holds her drink to her lips to conceal any further expression that may betray her honesty or lack thereof on the matter.

While Deva tells her story, Cristoph is listening. And continuing to look like this is the most natural thing in the world, which it's not. It's weird. But that composure cracks when Tyche asks him 'have you always eaten like this?' and he starts to silently laugh, shoulders hunching up and the fork is slowly lowered down to the table. He draws his hand down over his face so that he's not loud enough to actual disrupt any other storytelling. He's not a total spectacle or anything, but he does lean over to Tyche to murmur something quietly before he sits up. Notable, the spoon is reached for next and he goes back to consuming his meal like a normal freaking person. "Yes! Tell the story about the log roll."

Kiera enters the gathering a tad late and tries to secure a chair as quietly as possible

Despite the horror of Cristoph's strange eating habits, to see him laugh is enough for Tyche to forget about the fork. Her smile is quick, and she leans in to hear his whispered words. When they are imparted, she looks first to Alis, and then to Deva, and she, too, has to hide her laugh so that it is not disruptive. She straightens, reaching for her own utensil (a spoon) and begins to dive into her soup with the intention of eating a few bites, and then setting it aside for the next course. She listens to Deva's story of Darren, entranced by that rambling nature, and she seems more than content to be the audience member here. No tall tales from her yet!

Cirroch picks up the bowl and proceeds to drink directly from it, with the liquid gone he then using his fork to eat the larger pieces of potato. Wiping his mouth and looking up, "What's the log roll?"

"This is the story all about how a log was rolled and we didn't turn upside down." Alis begins, clearing her throat and taking a quick drink from her glass. "One little trip and they all got scared, said you're not allowed to log roll without somebody there." She rolls her eyes a little. "Okay but really. We were looking for these boxes of artifacts and on a way to this cave. But, the cave was across a river. A few people tried to put together a raft of some sort, and didn't Norwood and someone else try to walk further down? Was there like a broken bridge that could be fixed?" Her brow furrows trying to remember. But, right! The log. "Anyway. There was this log just /right there/. And we remembered..." she gestures, notably with a spoon, towards Cristoph. "... from our knight training. The /log roll/. You stand on the log and kind of jog on it, backwards. Sort of. And it moves the log. In this case, across the river. We were so good at it, we even did a jig dance of victory on the log." She gives a solemn nod there, not at all giving away that it was really Cris who was just that good at the log roll, or that she almost fell off.

Kiera blinks "Watwait wait. Baron Norwood jogged backwards on a log?"

Alis breaks out into laughter at that mental image. "No, just Duke Laurent and I. Everyone else tried something a little less ridic... safer looking."

"It's true, all of this happened. I was there," Cristoph says in agreement with Alis' story about how they got across the river. "Did someone fix a bridge? I remember people building a raft. But I was more excited to try and do the log roll across the river." He scoops up a bit more of his soup into his mouth before he hears Kiera's question. "No, no. High Princess Alis and myself went across on the log. But! I do have a story about trying to cross another body of water with Baron Norwood." That's all people do when they go to the Oathlands, try to cross rivers and stuff. Apparently. "Baron Norwood was trying to walk across these rocks, but then he slipped and fell in the river. There was a vine hanging down and I was successfully swinging over. But I tried to grab his arm and pull him with me. Except he's too heavy. So I went down into the water too and got stuck in the mud. And I stayed that way until Lady Adalyn helped her father drag me out again."

There's a shake of her head from Deva to Cristoph as he finally swaps to a spoon, and she smiles in amusement into her glass. There's a nod along with Cirroch, as she too is quite eager to hear this log rolling tale. "That's very impressive. I think you should market this all over the city and expand your lumber industry. Gods know I'd buy all my wood from such talented lumberjacks." A finger lifts, "Bridges often have terrible tolls anyway, so it was worth your risk, probably."

"Now. I just want to share this secret with you all" Jaenelle begins slowly. "I am not sure you know about these yet, but there is something called a boat, in which you sit in and move across the water by floating" And her hand glides through the air. "Much like a raft" she points towards Cristoph when he mentions one. "Logs are not modes of transportation, and I dont care how many Knight Schools there are that say differently."

"That doesn't sound too horrible. No worse than to walk the edge of the world in order to cross mountains." Cirroch has taken to plucking out the remaining pieces in the bowl than to use the fork anymore. Popping a smaller potato into his mouth, there's a slight smile and nod to Jaenelle, "Depends upon the size of the boat, maybe they were seeking additional excitement?"

Alis definitely looks amused at Jaenelle's helpful advice. What could be an unladylike snort of laughter starts to build, but she clears it with a cough. "But log rolling is much more fun. For the short term small river crossing. Larger bodies of water I will concede. After awhile rolling that log would be -exhausting-." See? Cirroch gets it. She gestures towards him in a clearly approving manner.

"Oh NOW you tell me they exist," Deva huffs at Jaenelle, letting her shoulders rise and fall in a dramatic fashion. "Gods, I've been swimming everywhere this whole time."

Kiera pictures adalyn and norwood fishing the duke out of the water while the baron mutters and shakes his head and refrains from laughter by shoving food in her mouth"Besides if you had to travel by land first carrying a canoe would be quite cumbersome

"Marquis Sanna has the right of it, log rolling was much more exciting than the raft. A time for Alis and myself to connect back to our youths! Or my youth, I guess. Since I'm so very elderly, as she reminded me this morning." Cristoph runs his fingers over his jaw in a thoughtful manner. He leans his forearm onto the table a bit before asking of Jaenelle. "Could you describe this 'boat' to us some more. It does sound like an interesting invention. Has anyone ever tried to make bigger 'boats'?"

Having excused himself while stifling a laugh from whatever it is that Alis whispered to him, Fiachra walks back into the dining room with a fresh bottle of whiskey. He reclaims his seat next to Alis with a wink to her and sets the bottle down upon the table's top. "I've never tried log-rolling," he admits before taking a drink out of his tumbler. "but it sounds like something I'd enjoy. Good exercise and reflex training." Looking sidelong at Cristoph and then Jaenelle then, he exhales a quiet laugh.

Cirroch slows in finishing the contents of the bowl and is left with his hand in the bowl a top of a potato, as he stares at Cristoph. "Have you never seen a boat?" The manner in which the words come out quietly and then haphazardly, its hard to say if Cirroch understands that people are joking or if he is honestly curious about if these are different boats.

"Actually, yes, you are all welcome on behalf of House Velenosa for your use of caravels since we created the blueprints" Jaenelle tells Cristoph, in response to his large boat remark. "But yes, let me explain it to you." She stands from her seat, and leaves the dining room completely. Soon the Archduchess returns with a large metal shield, probably borrowed from a suit of armor this house SURELY has. Somewhere. or stolen from a knight wandering around. They have those too. With this large metal shield, she moves towards an area of the room and drops it with a loud clang, curved side down and then CLIMBES INTO IT and sits. In the shield. She looks up, with the most graceful movements of smoothing down her skirts as possible as she remains curled in this shield. Her brows furrow slightly, she doesnt have any oars, so she proceeds to scoot the metal against the floor, hopefully not laeaving scratches. All of this is done with the most confused looks from Jaenelle's guards. "Boat."

Deva breaks. She starts howling with laughter into her hands. She may never stop. There are tears in her eyes.

Alis checks composure at daunting. Alis fails.

"I merely said you're older than I am and it's the truth. At least I'm the one with white hair." Alis points out, rolling her eyes dramatically. "Going to get you a cane for your birthday if you keep it up." she threatens, looking understandably confused as Jaenelle excuses herself, and returns with one of the guards shields. The guard, mind you, is trying to see into the dining room now to figure out what's going on too. She doesn't break when Jaenelle climbs into the shield. Or when she sits. Or even when she smooths down her skirts. But at the first scoot of metal against floor - that amazing potato soup sprays outward and she nearly chokes trying to keep the rest from escaping as her shoulders shake and an actual squeak escapes. That's how hard she's laughing. Or squeaking. One or the other.

Alis makes a wild gesture towards the bottle Fiachra just set down, and casts a pleading look at him too.

Cristoph checks composure at daunting. Cristoph fails.

Kiera nearly chokes on a piece of pototato as cirroch whispers to her and unthinkingly grabs at the first cup of nearby liquid to avert disaster, which happens to be a goblet of wine and takes a gulp, producing a look of surprise and fit of coughing

Tyche's laughter joins in the chorus, her eyes on Jaenelle in wonder as she 'boats' across the floor. Her spoon clangs in her soup, and she brings a hand to her chest, which is shaking mightily from the amusement. The other hand reaches out to grab Cristoph's arm, holding him as if that might put off the fit of laughter brought on by the Archduchess in a shield.

Fiachra checks composure at daunting. Fiachra fails.

There are few things in this world that Cristoph enjoys more than someone meeting one of his dumb jokes or trolling and returning in kind with it. When Jaenelle GETS UP, he's practically leaning into the table to peer after her to see what's going to happen. Should he follow her and find out what she's doing? No, no. He'll wait. But this is hard. When she returns with a shield taken from somewhere in the house and gets inside of it? He absolutely loses it. He takes in a deep breath and the howl of laughter that comes out has to be louder than any he's experienced in weeks. His hand drags down over his face and he turns and puts forehead against Tyche's shoulder as his own continue to shake.

Cirroch watches the 'boat' display and the resulting laughter, a smile forms as he looks over to Cristoph, "This is not too much different from the cake wars. And here I thought that you were dull." He raises his glass to the man, then takes a Sanna 'sip' draining the glass. There's a turn to Kiera as she starts coughing, and he is patting her back.

Hearing the others laugh too only makes Deva grin wider, once she's mostly calmed herself and caught her breath. She gives Jaenelle a warm, crinkle-eyed look as the Archduchess scoots around on a shield. "Cake wars?" Of course she perks up at that. She is otherwise quiet, maybe even content, sinking further into her chair in an unladylike, withdrawn slouch.

Jaenelle checks composure and etiquette at daunting. Jaenelle fails.

Tyche's laughter subsides enough to catch Cirroch's comment, and she looks at the man across the table, both brows lifting, "You thought the Duke Laurent was dull?" The very same man who is laughing against her shoulder. Whatever determination she draws from that is not spoken, perhaps because she has to wipe tears from her eyes from Jaenelle's spectacle.

Although visibly confused when Jaenelle stops her explanation to walk off to grab the shield, Fiachra eventually goes back to his drink in the span of those moments. The tumbler lifts to his mouth again and he looks over the rim of the container to watch Jaenelle cross the dining room again with...a shield. A shield in which she plonks herself down. He's not the most boisterous of the bunch, so the laugh that bellows from him might come as a bit of a surprise. Face red, he nods to Alis and does what he can to catch his breath while pouring her a drink. Whiskey winds up -everywhere-, but the drink gets poured and he manages to even shove it towards his hyperventilating wife.

Despite her very best intention to keep a straight face and to remain as poised as ever, there is no delicate way to get off this shield and Jaenelle wobbles slightly in an attempt to stand like the graceful dancer she is. Instead, she ends up looking more like a new born animal who doesnt know what legs are, and this causes her to laugh despite herself. With a heavy sigh, she lifts up both arms and the guards in the room move to lift the woman from her precarious position and back on her feet. "I am not quite sure what the next lesson might be, but I am certain it will be equally as informative." She nods once and moves back to her chair and whatever the servants have put in front of her to eat. "Since we are speaking about our twins, did I ever mention that Leona came to our birthday party, when the whirlpool was in the bay, and allowed me to meet it? It now lives with us."

Kiera is laughing as hard as th others "He's not been to a Laurent pool party yet" she notes of Cirroch"But I do think this tops all other events I've been too. I always try to people edcational events can be fun. perhaps this shouls start a new method for naval education

"Somehow I feel certain he meant Valardin in general." Alis drawls, sharing an amused glance with the rest of the Oathlanders at the table. She is finally catching her breath, in part thanks to the drink she sips at between snickers. And dabs of the napkin to wipe up spilled whiskey. "You win, Archduchess. I don't think any of us here have laughed so hard in weeks. I do hope you will be able to make more of our dinners. We try to have a theme for each of them." Though her eyes widen at mention of the whirlpool. "It's been ages since I've seen Leona and I miss her. But do tell the Whirlpool I said hello and I'm sorry I didn't get to meet it." she adds, patting Fiachra's back a little to help him recover too.

With a deep shuddering breath, Cristoph manages to stop laughing and he even holds it together when Jaenelle is getting off of her 'boat'. When Kiera remarks on naval education, he nods and says in a deadpan, "Yes, I know exactly what a boat is now. I feel much more educated." He straightens up finally and pushes his plate away from him, his attention slipping to Cirroch and Tyche before he lifts his shoulders and says with ample amusement, "People are allowed to think that I'm dull. Or anything else they choose. I'm just glad that it seems Marquis Sanna is having a good time."

The reason why everyone at the table is laughing is lost a little upon Cirroch. Jaenelle gave an adequate representation of what a boat is, no reason to laugh, besides, there's no cake hanging from the rafters yet. This is a tame party. He nods to Deva, "Yes. Cake wars. The Marquessa has a large collection of cakes, pies, and puddings. And the baker she goes to has a lovely...imagination to keeping our children entertained. Thus many dinners become a fight with dessert. Duke Cristoph came to one of our dinners, and ducked out to the whiskey to save themselves from the flying cake." There's a look for more wine or something to drink, with a wave of the tiny glass in the air for someone to point him to where to get more. As he's waiting out directions, he turns to Tyche with a small nod.

"Not to me, but I think I missed that particular birthday." And many others, but Deva does not bring that up out loud. "Where do you keep...? It's not in my old room, is it?" Her gaze lifts to the ceiling, as if trying to sort out just where one would store such a thing. "I would eat my way through a Cake War. I think I would emerge victorious in a Cake War. If only all wars involved cake." Her gaze grows distant then, focused upon a random shield on the wall, and there's a flicker of some unspoken grief on her face. She quickly tips her chin inward and gently pushes her plate away, appetite lost for now.

"The Whirlpool of Bad Decisions lives in the Lyceum, safe and away from ships or trade routes. I am going to visit it soon to give it presents. It is sad, and requires cheering up," Jaenelle says, because that is what one does with a whirlpool. "I have heard of cake throwing, perhaps from browsing the journals at some point. Though my own baker within the Hundred Cities inn used to create me new and interesting desserts often. Asparagus pie is not good. It has been years since I stepped foot inside the inn though, so I have had the cakes brought to me to enjoy. Not all of them are so interesting." As she speaks, Jaenelle reaches over to lightly tough Deva's hand with the tip of her pinky. A small gesture, barely there, but there never the less as to not crowd.

Alis stands suddenly, drawing attention when she gestures someone first to take care of Cirroch and his refill. But then, for whatever else is being served to be brought out. There is no cake there. Not even a single bit of it. "I prefer PIE. Fight me." she declares archly, as all kinds of pies are serves. Cherry pie, apple pie, blackberry pie, pumpkin pie... And more wine. "Does the Whirlpool like pie? I'll send one for it."

For a person that's had a very traumatic month, Cristoph's spirits have been decently high for most of the evening. But there comes a point where there's discussion of cake and cake wars that he drags the pushed away plate back to him. He pokes at what's in the bowl, even if he's not eating. It's just something to do, apparently, while the conversation moves along. When Alis stands up and starts talking about pie, he looks up from his plate and sends her a slightly owlish look and then a small smile.

The gesture does not go unappreciated. Wordlessly, Deva smooches Jaenelle's temple and gives the Archduchess a quick, fond look. Then she rises from her seat. There's a clear moment where she looks around and considers saying something-- anything-- but nothing really comes out. Maybe crowds are still hard. She settles for a quick, hopefully polite-ish, bow of her head for the table before she excuses herself with brisk steps out the hall. It's really not polite at all, but that's the way it goes.

Cirroch is sitting up more now after Alis makes her declaration about pie and fighting. "Be happy to, Princess Alis. Sasha would be happy to know that I am getting along with her kin. Would you prefer cake vs pie, or a proper spar?"

1 Inverno Ensign, 1 Inverno Captain, Cornelius, a studious looking attendant, 4 First Legion Centurions leave, following Tyche.

Kiera notes the change in to christoph's demeanor and suddenly recalls something she overheard and falls to finishing her plate

Fiachra is more than happy to help dab up the spilt whiskey with a napkin as well...once he's caught his breath a bit. The patting of his back compliments of Alis does seem to help that along. He gives her a thankful but still amused look. He glances Cristoph's way as well, seeming relieved by his high spirits. He looks from Alis to Jaenelle then curiously and arches an eyebrow. "Whirlpool of bad decisions?"

Alis is a shrump compared to Cirroch, which is obviously why she picks "A spar! We'll spar sometime." she decides, with a bright smile offered the Sanna Marquis. "Bye Dev.....a." She didn't even get a chance to finish. But, she determinedly turns to Fiachra to explain The Whirlpool of Bad Decisions that blacked the harbor for months during one of those times he had to be away on Warden business. She will keep the small talk going until people are tired of her, or it. Being a hostess is work, y'all.

"I dont know, but I assume everyone likes pie" Jaenelle informs Alis with a slight shrug, watching Deva stand and move from the room. There is a frown, but she covers it easily enough as she continues to speak to Fiachra, "I am not sure where it got its name from, only that is what it is called. I also am not sure what created it, but I felt the need to protect it. Soft heart and all." Then she reaches for pie, because pie.



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