One Of The Days Of Years End!
Feb. 24, 2021, 8:30 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Compact - House of Solace
Comments and Log
It's a party! And this party is happening in the House of Solace. There's a full buffet line going and various knights are collecting plates of food and bringing them to the patients that are staying here on this snowy night. Even the sick will be fed! They're also given little wrapped gifts. It's nothing exciting, mostly just interesting trinkets, but the hopes would be to raise spirits for those not at their best. Earlier on in the evening there were probably some speeches! About Gild and anything else relating to it. We're past the speeches and Porter is currently standing near the end of the buffet line where he's eating a biscuit.
Eirene had a couple of casks of ale brought over from the Riven's to help add to the party atmosphere. Although everyone knows she's not a Mercy, Eirene's presence isn't too surprising considering how close she works with them. Her young twins, dressed in matching yet reversible black and crimson cloaks, are pestering knights for stories of adventure. Momma Eirene eats a bit of cheese with dried salami wrapped around it, shoved onto a cracker. Many finger foods.
Azova finished with her helping of the handing out of food, drink, and trinkets to those who are bedridden. And, now she goes through the line between several of the knights to load up a plate with pastries and a mug of hot coffee. "Oh how... cute. The pastries are shaped like weapons." It's uncertain whether she's really charmed or disturbed by that honestly. But you know what? Once you bite into the hilt of a pastry sword, it's still a pastry. And so she is munching away happily, waving what is left of a blade at Eirene in greeting. And Porter too.
It's been a somber week for the Valardins, and Zara's garb seems to reflect that. Her features are solemn, more so than usual, and she glances around the familiar room with grave eyes. She heads over to the buffet table, though she barely fills her plate, only adding a morsel or so. "Sir Porter." She greets him with a nod once she reaches the end of the buffet line. "Lady Azova."
Yes, Porter has a biscuit but also coffee. And if a person were to look closely at his linen shirt, they might spot that there's coffee there as well. Perhaps there was an accident along the way! But he seems very satisfied with his current lot in life. "Hello! Are you eating the weapons? They're very good," he says to Azova. A wave is offered to Eirene and then he smiles politely at Zara's appearance. "Hello, Princess Zara. It's good to see you tonight. How is your family?"
Eirene offers Zara a grunt of greeting which might be condolences of some kind. Her kids, hearing Azova describe pastry as weapons, start to duel one another. She lifts a mug of ale over to Porter at his greeting and then smiles at Azova. "Nice to have a gathering where someone isn't wounded," she says with a chuckle.
"Your Highness." Azova turns at the sound of her name and greets the Valardin princess with all due solemnity. "I am so sorry to hear of your losses." Plucking a pastry shield from the basket she places it on the princess' plate as an offering. "They're very good, and I know that a pastry always helps me feel a little better." Yes, she eats her feelings. So what? Don't judge. Just like she doesn't judge that possible stain on Porter's shirt. She just glances over, quirks her lips slightly, and takes another drink of her coffee. "Isn't it though?" She definitely agrees with Eirene there. "It's been a bit busy of late."
"As well as can be hoped given the circumstances." Zara responds with a level voice, plucking a pastry from the buffet table at Azova's advice. "Don't speak so soon." She can't help but comment dryly at Eirene's words. "Thank you, though." She gives a grateful nod for the condolences. "I found myself drawn to the city's sanctified places."
Other people are trying to pass Porter at the buffet line where he has planted his entire SELF. So he just kind of inches a little bit over this way and then a bit forward and yep, that's it. Now he's not in the way but can continue speaking with everyone else! "If we speak too loudly about the current lack of fresh injury, we might find ourselves suddenly in the center of a lot of activity." He stretches his hand out and knocks on the wood of the buffet table. Whoops, he's in the way again. "Uh, sorry." A smile is offered to some random stranger.
"Noooooooo, let's not tempt any ne'er do wells into never doing well." Azova chides, shaking the last piece of her apple danish sword at Porter before stuffing it into her mouth. "I'd like to have a nice convival evening, without a lot of blood involved." She probably should include all unwanted bodily fluids in that comment. BUT, she's being polite. "Seeking comfort in the places of the Gods is a natural thing to do, I expect. I hope you feel the embrace of Lagoma's love while you are here, Your Highness." is noted sincerely. She can't help herself.
"I concede the point. Better we don't press our damn luck," Eirene agrees, eating more cheesy crackers. "Finding comfort in the Gods is good. I ran into Lady Mabelle at the Grace. She's finding peace in helping others... however we must get by, right?"
"How is she?" Zara asks suddenly when Mabelle is mentioned, her brows furrowing at this. "I haven't seen her." She sinks onto a seat. "I trust she's been healing well?" She takes a bite from her pastry. It does seem to liven her mood, notable in her softening features.
Porter finishes off the biscuit that's in his hand and works on slowly draining his coffee as they stand around talking. "Where are you getting those pastries from?" he wonders of Azova, but he doesn't charge off to find anything just yet. "I saw that Tanith had a proclamation posted about the Harlequins being prepared to offer grief counseling. I hope that everyone is able to find time to grieve and heal before the next big rush of things happens."
The darkly dressed Riven replies, "Physically fine," as she gives Zara a small frown. "Mentally she took a beating, as one would expect. She feels helpless, like she failed a little." The frown is gentle and not at all directed at Mabelle's reaction but at the situation. Eirene drinks deeply from her ale and nods at Porter. "Reminds me, I have to go see her about a pastry order."
Azova gesture towards a basket, and nudges it towards the edge of the table so Porter can see it. "Look, there's even a cherry turnover mace in there." Honestly. At least, she hopes that's cherry leaking out of it. A side glance is snuck towards it for a second look just in case. "It's hard, feeling like there was more you should have done and yet..." Her lips turn downward into a slight frown at the thought of what is being discussed. "Much more difficult I imagine, when it is family. I hope she takes advantage of the Harlequin's offer."
"I can understand that. No matter how often anyone tells you that you did all that you could, there's always the gnawing thought that says, 'what if?'" Zara says, staring ahead as she speaks. She blinks herself away from drifting into a reverie. "We know we have many godless enemies who'll exploit the sanctity of guest right." She exhales. "Self blame leads to despair and that's not something we can afford right now."
Is there... is there doubt that it's cherry? Could it be something else? Porter doesn't know that Azova may or may not have doubts so instead he just goes, "OOooOOOooh," and grabs it. And so his mouth is conveniently filled with cherry(?) turnover mace and his ability to speak is eliminated briefly. Further mention of Tanith has Porter nodding very enthusiastically to Eirene and making Hermrmrahffmthnth noises. They must mean something. But what? We may never know. "Very well said," he finally speaks on the heels of Zara's words.
Eirene glumly nods. "But-" she says, blatantly trying to cheer up the topic. "We have fires, food, fellowship, and... fancy drinks. My kids are getting some kind of tart jam on one another. We have a beautiful winter ahead of us. Gild is good to grant us these things. Well, not snow. But the rest."
In comes Piccola.
The General seems to be having a bit of a down evening. It would be a fair presumption to make, but no one quite sports the entire 'look but don't touch' mystique than her, what with her short punky hair, flashing green eyes, and black leather-and-ironwool attire that screams 'i could use more color in my life!'. But for her cupridium additions, she'd be dreadfully boring to look at; thankfully, she is also dreadfully boring to talk to most of the time, so she's got enough sense to coordinate.
But there's a problem: she doesn't appear to be armed with gifts.
"Gild is truly generous. And with the snow, a little too generous." Azova both agrees, and jokes at the same time. To help with that livening of spirits. "The best part of winter though, is being able to build a snowman or a snow fort and have a good snowball fight, and then curl up with a blanket in front of a fire with some hot cocoa." Ugh, she's too cheerful about the weirdest things sometimes. Her eyes get all lit up, and the smile is megawatt if such a thing were possible. "Oooh, General Piccola! Come in from the cold, get something warm to drink."
"You're right, of course." Zara nods at Eirene's words, glancing down at her plate. "No tragedy can erase the blessings Gild has granted us." Her lips quirk in the corners. "I should probably speak to a Harlequin." She admits, her voice growing faint.
"You're wrong, this thing is raspberry," Porter says to Azova between bites of his pastry, shaking it at her. It would be threatening if the pastry was really a mace, but it's not. It's just food. And he's about to start throwing food around in the House of Solace. Thankfully for Piccola, this seems to be the part of the night where a bunch of people crowd the buffet line and stand around talking about a bunch of random topics. Some more serious than others! Zara's voice growing faint catches his attention and he grabs another pastry from the basket, handing it to her. "But eat first!" He's like a grandma.
Eirene lifts a mug of beer at the General. "Piccola. Grab a brew, some tarty jammy things, and be thankful." She offers a faint grin. "I hope the princess feels better. It's not easy, what they're going through."
"I knew it didn't quite look like cherry." Azova laments, sorely disappointed in herself for her lack of pastry identification skills. "I hope so too, Lady Eirene. It's hard to see someone who does so much good feel so much pain." Her innate empathy rears it's head then, before she decides that determinedly cheerful is just going to have to be the order of the day. "Should we play something like 'identify that medical equipment?' A quick glance around and she shakes her head a little. "Maybe not the right crowd."
Bree is late! Which is not the reason for the rush of energy that comes through the door. She would be that if she were early, too. That's just her general air. She let Porter head of ahead, some matter of Solace business needing care, but now she's here. She overhears Azova's call for a party game, and she's laughing already, "I think you'd win that. I'd play, though!" She strides forward, laughter settling into a wide smile.
The General is the cold; she is the night.
"I will do so," she tells Azova crisply, coming closer to where others have congregated. After a brief farewell to Zara, Piccola turns her attention to Eirene, commenting quietly, "Are we talking about the Princess Zara or another Princess?" She eschews the alcohol, instead deciding on a warm drink for now. To the others, she makes her greetings. "Sir Porter. Lady Darkwater. Dame Harthall."
"Are we to play a game of strategy?"
"YES. Lets play identify the medical equipment!" Porter says this very enthusiastically. "I can't wait to lose," he adds on, smiling brightly at Azova. Then there is Bree's rush of energy and he lifts a hand to wave her over to him. "She'd definitely win. But we could make up all sorts of great names for things. Maybe people would use those names instead in the future, and in that way, technically we win. By deciding all future names." To Piccola, he nods his head in greeting. "Hello, General Tessere."
Eirene says, "That sounds like a game of "wrong answers only" could be in order...."
"I'm not sure I'd call it a strategy game. More like, a game I think I have a chance of winning at since Porter is always kicking my ass in the training center." Azova asides to Piccola, suddenly looking /suspicious/ at Porter when he's too enthusiastic. Bree's enthusiasm however...! That she embraces by beaming a smile back at the Dame. "It's been too long, Bree!" she decides, then gesturing at Eirene with her mug. "Yes! Excellent idea. Wrong answers only."
Bree joins Porter, her hand sliding over his back in an easy familiarity. "Hey," she greets him with a grin, and then turns her gaze to Piccola, "General Tessere! Hi. I've met your cousin, you know? Lord Yuri. We fought once at the Training Center. A formidable man!" She beams her compliment of the young lord, and then to Azova she's nodding, "It has been! Ages. Too many days spent out on the road," she says, and then laughs, "I mean, not enough, but also too many? I've strangely missed the city. Let's play your game. Wrong answers only! Get the equipment!" To Eirene she looks, a quick greeting offered, "Dame Bree Harthall! Happy end of the year."
A silly game of non-sensical tomfoolery?
The General looks to the ceiling and lets out a sigh. "Fine." She lets out her breath with exasperation. High-strung broody types don't like wasting their time, after all. So serious. Still, there is a warm drink. Tea? Coffee? Cocoa? The Littlest Snake sniffs it, and then takes a sip. Seems to be passable. "Like most of the men of our House, Dame Harthall, he is formidable with the blade and with his charm." Shrug. "He's also surprisingly single. And he runs the family's new holding: a ristorante, as they would call it back home." Sip.
"You all should come by some time," she murmurs.
Eirene sets her mostly empty ale aside and offers a hand to Bree. "Lady Commander Eirene Riven. Eirene is fine," she emphasizes. "So the rules are simple. Someone holds up an object or draws a picture. Then you all go around and say what it isn't. The best bizarre, silly, or just plain logical - but wrong - answer wins. We all vote who is the winner for that round and then pick a new thing.
Azova is excited at the mention of the restaurant, her smile kicking up a notch there even. "Reve and I were there for the opening. Truly, a lovely establishment. I look forward to dining there again." she admits, nodding at Piccola and apparently thinking nothing of the General's lack of enthusiasm. Surely between her and Bree and Porter there is enough enthusiasm for -everyone-!! "Oooh, I'll go get the things! All the things!" she declares, hurrying off to go put a bunch of /things/ on a tray to bring over. Forceps, scalpels, a (clean thank the gods) bedpan, maybe a poultice. Some ointment. Some ground up stuff. Whatever.
"Lord Yuri? I've fought Lord Yuri!" Porter is also very excited for having fought him, just as he is for weird games about medical equipment. He leans his weight somewhat toward Bree when she turns up, just a comfortable shift. "Yes, fetch the medical equipment away from the patients!" Someone over in a cot SQUINTS at Porter. "...from the mostly healed patients, not you, Sir Bobert!"
"You know, he's the second charming noblemen in recent days I've met who is surprisingly single," Bree's head tilts, as if some strange pattern is arising in this. "I offered to find that other one a match, but I could also try for your cousin, too! If you think he needs it." Bree's method of matchmaking is no doubt an interesting one. Probably involves some fighting. Some beating up. Some other things. She shifts back to bump against Porter, a quick smile given to him, and then she is watching Azova rush off to get the equipment. "I still don't know if I'll be good at this game," she admits candidly. "Perhaps you will win, Eirene? How are you at bizarre, silly answers?"
"Good Gods, no."
Piccola makes a snorting sound. "It is not that I do not wish to see my cousin happy; rather, I don't think he's sufficiently tempered for married life," she explains seriously. "He is enjoying himself. That's all that matters. No need to compliment that with marriage." Ooh, ouch. Someone's not ready for it? Anyhow, with all of her deadpanning of the idea of playing a //game// -- how pedestrian -- the General seems to be watching Azova from afar. Maybe to get an advantage?
You play to win, yo.
Eirene gives an evil smile at Bree. "I have two small kids, and a baby. I make up stupid shit all the time to amuse them." She wriggles her eyebrows. "You just say the strangest thing which pops into your head. Or the most utterly bizarre that only a six year old would get."
"We really need to get rid of that fish," Porter suddenly announces with a very worried expression on his face. /What/ fish? And why is he bringing it up right now? But the remark is aimed at Bree, whom he seems to expect to know which fish he's talking about.
and much fun was had
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