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Grayson Winter Party

House Grayson is hosting a party! People are invited to come and enjoy themselves in a recently opened wing of the Grayson mansion. There will be food and drink in abundance, and musicians too. Anyone wondering how to dress is encouraged to go for a wintry theme. A range of prizes is also promised, although for what, people shall just have to find out at the time.

Date

Feb. 27, 2021, 7 p.m.

Hosted By

Liara

Participants

Zoey Cristoph Emberly Dio Michael Nazmir Niklas Felicia Keely Cecilia Jerrica Renata Taliene Liam Thalamina Varan Ophelia Eirene Adrienne Merek Patrizio Armani

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Grayson Mansion - Bastion Hall

Largesse Level

Extravagant

Comments and Log


12 Grayson House Guards arrives, following Liara.

2 Valardin Knights arrives, following Gwenys.

Rupert, the Laurent Archivist, 2 Valardin Knights, 1 Laurent veteran guards, Michael arrive, following Cristoph.

1 Kennex corsairs, Wyatt, a large Kennex Laika Hound, Mary Lucennia, an alluring lady's companion arrive, following Cecilia.

Liara Grayson shows up to the lounge, chatting with a Grayson-liveried servant on her way through, who parts from the princess' side to head off to some task or another. The place is a-bustle with more staff, who furnish people with food or drink on demand - there's a buffet table to one side for people who prefer picking their own. Seeing the people already present, Liara brightens with a smile and speaks up, "Welcome, welcome! I am glad to see you all here."

Isabelle, who is just so tired of everyone's nonsense, Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise, Roland, the worst bard in Arvum, Duc De Wool, a most curious golden fainter arrive, following Niklas.

Petroc, the most unassuming man you have ever met, 2 Sanna House Guards, Bear arrive, following Cirroch.

Zoey is here, of course! A party with the Graysons is not to be missed. She smiles as she goes to greet Liara, waddling slightly despite her best efforts not to. "This is lovely, your grace! I am glad to see you again so soon. Perhaps I should just ask Michael if I can keep my old room at the Bisland Manor so I can stay in this part of town when the mood strikes!"

Cristoph Laurent arrives with... well, his assistant Rupert. The man frankly looks a little exhausted at having to follow the duke around all of today, but he's generally just keeping an eye on him from a distance. The party is given a sweep of Cristoph's eyes and he moves toward the buffet line. He doesn't actually pick anything up to eat, more or less just moves along, seeing what's available. When Liara begins to greet people, the Oathlander offers up a friendly enough wave and polite greeting, "Good evening."

Bonehilda, the prettiest-colored spider arrives, following Felicia.

2 House Deepwood Guards arrives, following Taliene.

Taliene arrives, following Thalamina.

3 First Legion Centurions arrives, following Renata.

"I am sure you could. I have not heard about it in a while so I expect that the difficulties that arose with the pond have since been fixed, which is all the better," Liara remarks to Zoey, with some amusement showing about whatever that difficulty was. Then she greets Cristoph with a little tip of her head, saying, "Good evening, Duke Laurent. My condolences on your recent loss."

2 Valardin Knights leaves, following Gwenys.

Emberly moves into the party in her white gown, she smiles softly as she moves along side Prince Nazmir, her new Dress and Tweed coat, and hat to really draw all the pieces together. She smiles a little to him "thank you for attending with me." she says quietly his way as they enter.

Dio arrives to the Bastion Hall dressed in a sable seatouched wool frock coat with gold brocade lining. He is flanked by Anne, who is dressed is also dressed in a naval coat, and Owen of Farhaven, who wears a black seatouched wool robe as befits a scholar. After accepting a glass of wine from a passing servant, Dio makes his way toward Liara to offer a greeting to the High Lord and host.

"Oh. No. I need more lead time than that." Michael is just suddenly nearby, nearby enough to catch Zoey's random happenstance spoken thought. "It might have mops in there. Or it might be tapestry storage. I cannot remember what the staff did with the unoccupied rooms off the atrium. We have freshly opened rooms upstairs, however. By the study. I do that so I have an excuse to leave the study when someone comes by and I can escape meeting.""

Following Emberly into the Hall, Nazmir is taking a look around the room, occassionally giving a little nod of his head to those that he knows. Then his gaze falls back over to Emberly, a smile hinting to his lips as he gives an incline of his head, "My pleasure, Lady Emberly."

"Your condolences are most appreciated, your grace," Cristoph replies to Liara with a respectful dip of his head. "And this party looks like it's going to be very lively. My best wishes in greeting your many, many guests." There's a pleasant enough smile for that, polite and measured as he glances around. Then he's stepping back, staying out of the way of the crush of people with as much good grace as he can manage.

The first party in the new wing naturally had brought out Niklas Grayson, the Prince and playwright strolling in accompanied by a faint tapping as a diamondplate and jeweled walking stick held in his right hand. The man wearing a new outfit of gem encrusted soft luxury velvet and aeterna. The Grayson Prince's gaze working over the room seeking out the familiar in the new landscape. Soon enough that gaze finds Zoey, and the tempo of the tapping increases as the man and his little entourage make their way over. The last of which took shape in the form of the smaller Duc who trotted along looking quickly here, there, everywhere.

Cristoph has joined the a round table with inset amber and glass badgers.

Felicia is, for one of those rare occasions, not wearing armor. Not that it stops her from having Wheelspinner strapped to her waist in its usual spot... /but/ the Harrow has come in wearing an actual dress. The slender straps of which do absolutely nothing to hide the smattering of burn scars across the knight's shoulders. And the low-cut back of it leaves more than a few other marks on display also. Still there's more knightly prowl than ladylike sashay in her walk. But at least /some/ effort was made to adhere to the dresscode.

Doing her best not to look nervous, Keely floats into the lounge, head high, shoulders back. At the sight of all the Important People gathered here, she can't help but shrink a bit, edging closer to the corner of the room, but fighting the urge to disappear into the shadow. "Lovely idea, sister. This should be fun," she greets Liara with a smile. She's actually starting to recognize more people too! Several of those here get waves or nods of greeting.

Niklas wields Diamondplate walking stick of the Prince of Winter.

"How do you do, Marquis?" Liara greets Dio as she continues to welcome guests. When Michael shows up, Liara snags a griffin plushie(!) off a nearby servant and pretty much imposes the thing on the Bisland, declaring, "Our first prize winner of the evening, for being the only person in the room to have given a cow to the Queen."

Cecilia enters in with Anne of Morisco behind her. Both women looks like ice sprites from the ocean though it is Cecilia who looks more impressive by far. She grins as she follows the lead to greet the High Lady before joining her cousin. She murmurs something to Marquis Dio on her way.

Jerrica, having gone through the effort to actually fix her hair for the event, strolls into the hall surveying the crowd. She smiles and waves at her friends and family members as she sees them. "Good evening, cousin," she greets Liara. "The new hall is lovely."

Zoey turns to Michael and chuckles. "I will take whatever is available if it means not having to travel to the other end of town, only to return again less than a week later," she tells him. When Niklas arrives at her side she nods to him in greeting. "Princes Niklas! We missed you at the mixer. My, you look fantastic tonight! Did you see Cecilia? I think I saw your sister around here somewhere."

"Hello!" Liara says to Keely, by far the simplest greeting so far. Then she gives a quick smile to Jerrica, replying, "A little taste of home, too. I have a few plans to further extend the wing, too."

Dressed in a honeysilk gown of soft rose and peach shades, hair pulled up and pinned on one side. Aquamarine eyes scan the crowd, searching for familiar faces among them - several leap out at her. Felicia, Michael, Liara and Keely each receive a deep bowing of Ren's head before she starts to gracefully drift deeper into the room, away from the door.

Lifting a hand upwards, Nazmir is sweeping his fingers through his hair, drawing it out of his face and back behind his head .. at least for the moment. There's another glance about the area, smile resting easily on his lips as he lets his gaze play about the area, taking in the others that have come to gather.

"Very well, Your Grace," says Dio, bowing in the courtly Lycene manner. "Thank you for inviting us into your hall." His eyes linger for a moment on the embroidered umbra gown of the Princess. "It is worth the misery of this frigid season to behold you in such an exquisite gown." Cecilia's words cause Dio to turn her direction and he smiles. The marquis takes her hand, and bowing, kisses it gently. "Good to see you again, My Lady."

"Princess Renata, good to see you again," Keely greets warmly as the Pravus princess goes past. "Oh my, so many people here," she continues, trying not to sound shy at that fact. No, she can Do This. "Cousin," she greets Jerrica with a welcome grin. "Yes, it does feel like home," she agrees with Liara, letting out a content sigh. "Which I was just starting to miss."


Taliene is a slender figure in white silk, sapphire ribbons twining intricate curls down the arms of the long-sleeved gown and white fur accenting her decorous decolletage. Her fair hair is loose and her wide blue eyes a little shy and overawed, as she steps into the extravagant splendours of the hall.


Emberly smiles softly to Naxmir as he draws his fingers through his white hair, and she smiles to the prince, "do you dance Highness?" she wonders of him softly

"A pleasure to see you again, and what a lovely gown - I am glad to see honeysilk in more and more use," Liara greets Renata with a light smile. Then to Felicia, as she goes on greeting entrants, "Dame Felicia, how do you do?" Back to Dio, she gives a quick smile, answering, "Thank you very much. The prospect of getting to bring it out was almost reason enough in itself to hold a party."

Cecilia laughs at the mention of her name. "Zoey ... I'm right here." She says at her cousin's side. "Trying to lose me in the shuffle?" She teases the woman before giving her cousin a warm kiss on the cheek of greeting. "Niklas!" She calls out when she sees her brother. "We have so much to catch up on!"

After having completed his greetings to the hostess, Cristoph moves through the crowds and finds a nice empty table. There's a gesture for his assistant to follow him and the duke takes a seat there, accepting the offer of a drink from one of the passing servants. For now, he seems content to stay right where he is, observing the swirl of the party as it moves around the room.

"Theres the Lion's Overlook, but thats too many stairs for you, now. I'm sure there is a guest room somewhere." Michael takes several long moments to evaluate something that Zoey had said. Then distracted as he is prominently plushed so vividly. "AHA! Look at this thing." Hands lift, grasp, sqqquuueeeeeeze and squish to test the limits of the stitching before allowing it to reform to its original shape. Princess Liara, of course, is back to greeting people and he'll reach out to snag Felicia's elbow and grasp it with both hands. To whisper devious things into her ear.

The greeting from Zoey earns a grin from Niklas, "Oh is that a fact? I had heard from Sabella she may...need a proper match to be found for her." The man's eyes glinting with mischief and a bit of happiness. His gaze searching over the room briefly before turning back to Zoey. "Yes, I was deep in thought and seeking out the mysteries of our fair city. I completely lost track of things I'm afraid." The man offering by way of apology before he is falling silent leaning in close to murmur softly to the woman as his gaze settles upon Michael and Felicia.

Niklas mutters, "Please ... me ... ... seeing this right, Looks like ... is ... on ... No?"

Felicia inclines her head Renata's way with an impish grin, but at Liara's words turns to offer the High Lady a respectful bow,"Your grace. I must say it's been a while since I swapped my armor for a dress." suddenly she's seized by the elbow by a Michael and can't help but turn her puzzled attention his way. Oh the grin does not bode well for him, probably not at all.

Nazmir is turning his attention back over towards Emberly, a low chuckle hinting in the back of his throat as he gives a little nod of his head, "I do dance. Not as well as I like, though good enough so as not to crush toes."

Niklas mutters, "Please tell ... I am ... this ... Looks like Michael is ... on ... ..."

Liara turns to the room at large and gives a quick clap of her hands before she speaks up, "I have a request of all our guests this evening, if you would be so kind as to oblige. Look around, and the moment you see a person who you do not recognise, say hello."

Hearing her name, Renata turns and offers a warm smile to Keely and then to Liara. "Princess Keely, Princess Liara - I do hope you don't mind my unexpected appearance for a second time!" she murmurs, dipping a quick, graceful curtsey to the pair. "It is quite the crush," she agrees, shifting her position as subtly as possible to offer some measure of barrier between Keely and the biggest part of the crowd. Her fingers brush over the fabric of her gown, a faint pink creeping into her cheeks. "Thank you, yes - honeysilk is ideal for Setarco, and I couldn't bear to leave it behind."

"Try? Of course not! But you know how my mind has been the last few months," Zoey replies to Cecilia, resting a hand on the great swell of her belly. She watches Michael go with a fond smile for her cousin, then looks again to Niklas. She whispers something to her and she shakes her head.

Jerrica has joined the a round table with inset amber and glass badgers.

Robyn, an artful archeress, 2 House Velenosa Guards arrive, following Ophelia.

Zoey mutters, "Perhaps, or perhaps ... I have learned that ... is not my ... unless he invites me to make it so."

Michael checks perception at normal. Critical Success! Michael is spectacularly successful.

Dio chuckles, and nods to Liara. "I hope it will not be the last, Your Grace." The dark eyes of the marquis pass briefly to Cristoph, and a slight shadow of concern passes over his features. With a clap of her hands, Liara steals Dio's attention, and he turns to Thalamina - the first person he doesn't recognize - and says, "Hello, My Lady. My name is Marquis Dio Seraceni. It's a pleasure to meet you."


Liam tries to slip in quietly, moving to one side so as not to block the passage of others making their way inside. Drawing in a breath, he steadies himself as he glances around at the gathering mass. So many people from which to search for a familiar face, but first courtesy. Moving towards Liara, he pauses until she finishes speaking to the room and companions to offer a bow and some words, "Good evening Your Highness, I bring you the warmest and most sincere regards from House Riven along with gratitude for your kindly invitation to this evening's event."


Mary Lucennia, an alluring lady's companion arrives, delivering a message to Dio before departing.


At Liara's cordial instruction to the room, Taliene obediently glances around the glamorous assembled party. She brightens at the sight of both the Princess and Liam, raising a slender hand in salute -- not intrusive, but friendly. She approaches the princess to offer her greetings, too. "Your highness, such an event." Her eyes sparkle. "it's extraordinary."


Emberly nods her head a little to Nazmir, she smiles a bit and she moves along his side with poise and confidence, she looks around and she smiles as she chooses a place to sit. She allows her eyes to move to Liara and she smiles her way as she watches the plushies being handed out. "ooh plushie." she grins

Cristoph is not so totally engaged in his conversation with his assistant that he doesn't notice Dio's eyes passing in his direction. A hand is lifted and he offers a polite, if brief, acknowledgement of the other man. Then it seems Jerrica has joined his table and he turns to speak to her in tones that don't pass beyond that general space.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Alantir before departing.

Emberly has joined the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

Nazmir has joined the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

Felicia casts her attention over the room rather than at Michael with tha grin plastered on her face, like she's totally attempting to work something out. Subtlety is not her strong suit, after all. One might think she's hunting for someone... even if she has to pause long enough to wink at Renata.

Having Renata blocking her view does help Keely to at least focus on those nearby. "Of course we don't mind!" she says sincerely. "I'm always glad to see another familiar face, even if it's only familiar as of a few days." She considers her sister's instruction to say hello to someone she doesn't know. "Oh, well, um. That should be easy enough..." she says looking around -- and yet hesitates.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Alantir before departing.

There is no beautiful gowns or delicate jewels in Thalamina's existance at the moment, having come to the party in her rather uneventful leathers. Her eyes scan the room a moment before she turns towards the first person who speaks to her, and offers Dio a smile and curtsey, "Lady Thalamina Shepherd, it is a please, certainly." Whether she means meeting him is one, or the pleasure falls squarely on him isnt shared besides a slightly more grinning smile.

Liara greets Liam with an easy smile and a quick nod at his words, "It is good to see you here, my lord. I hope that you enjoy the evening thoroughly, and I dare say you will have ample opportunity to make some new acquaintances - do let me know if you need any introductions."

Speaking of people that go unrecognised, Prince Varan Grayson the Magnificent trundles in from elsewhere in the building. He's dressed down for the evening, apparently only aware there was a party even going on because of the noise... but never one to turn down food and company, Varan wanders his way in with many a wave and an easy smile to anyone that happens to be looking even vaguely in his direction.

Dio checks composure at normal. Dio is successful.

Cithria of Cloudspine, a Gold Order page arrives, delivering a message to Liara before departing.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Alantir before departing.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Alantir before departing.

Moving to the large couch to settle down, Nazmir turns his attention over in the direction of Liara, to offer a smile to her and an incline of his head, only to then lift his voice a touch, "Your Grace. A truly wonderful event. Thank you for the opportunity to attend such a thing."

Ophelia Velenosa arrives with pointy heels clacking against the flooring of the grand hall. She pauses in the entryway for a moment to sweep her gaze over the immediate area, a fond tightness in her chest making itself known for this lovely estate. The princess smiles brightly when she recognizes a few guests and gives a friendly wave to them while making her way inside the room. She's dressed in colors that resemble a wintry sky and her heels sparkle like snow crystals with every step she takes.


Liam turns slightly to one side to accommodate Taliene's arrival and he dips his head in greeting to the young lady. "Milady Deepwood, tis a pleasure to see you again and not up to your chin in the snow." Looking back at Liara, he bows again. "You are too kind, Your Highness. Thank you. There are one or two about that I recognise and I suspect in time, that number shall grow considerably." Looking across to Taliene again, he offers his arm, "Care for at least a casual acquaintance to escort you for a moment or two? You can keep me company amongst this sea of strangers. In fact I beseech you to aid me in this."


Cecilia grins at Zoey. "Did you need anything? I need to get a drink myself." She murmurs to Zoey.

"You are most welcome, your highness. Should you wish for any introductions, do let me know, and I recommend mingling as much as is humanly possible, because you are in splendid company," Liara replies to Nazmir. Then she notes Ophelia's entrance and comments with some evident delight, "What an utterly splendid dress."

Felicia's elbow is released in momentary disdain for her. "I've got to go and greet that Deepwood over there. At least stay out of trouble, you absolute Wreck." Michael slips away from the redhead and crosses the room towards Liam and Taliene, to sidle up and smiles between the two of them. "Careful, Lord Riven. Something about this room has men and women forsaking previous friendships for the sake of humor." A hand reaches out to pat-pat Liam's elbow a moment.

Renata catches the wink from Felicia, and laughs quietly - she smiles widely, eyes sparkling. But her focus remains with the women in her immediate vacinity. "You're so kind, your Highness." She is quiet a moment before she offers, "Perhaps you would be kind enough to accompany me - I thought to get a drink, and then perhaps we can say hello to someone new together?"

Mary and Anne Lucennia speak quite happily together. The sisters could not look more different, but however divergent their paths in life, they are clearly very happy in each others' presence.

When Thalamina introduces herself, a light of recognition gleams in the eyes of Dio, bu the lady's manner and curtsy seem to put him at ease, and he smiles warmly. "Your renown as a hunter precedes you, My Lady." His dark eyes remain on Thalamina for a moment, and he leans closer to the Shepherd Lady to share a quiet word. As he takes a sip of wine, watching Thalamina's expression, Mary delivers him a note, which he quickly reads. "Aye, thank you, Mary," he says in reply.

"Thank you, Your Grace. I'll keep that in mind." Is what Nazmir offers to Liara with an incline of his head. When he catches sight of Ophelia, he's lifting a hand to give a little finger wave in her direction, only for him to then offer the same in the direction of Niklas.

Emberly laughs nodding her head to what Liara says, "indeed, I do not know many here myself to offer such introductions." says Emberly to Liara, "I was just telling him your name and Princess Ophelia's of course." she amiles brightly looking over to Nazmir then around. Her eyes flicker to Thalamia and she smiles softly watching her a moment before she falls quiet once more.

Niklassmirks hearing the response from Zoey, A little nod given before he is reaching down to pluck free a few silver. The man letting the coins play through the fingers of his free left hand as he murmurs softly to her once more. Moments later the coins are tucked away and Niklas is glancing down at Zoey's baby manor. "So how much longer until we get to celebrate the arrival of a new Kennex anyways?" His brow just barely lifting as his gaze lifts once more. When there is mention of greeting one who he had not yet met Nik's smile grows and he crouches down only to lean in close to Zoey's baby manor, "Greetings little Kennex, Now if your a boy kennex.. You best be good to Zoey and listen to her, she is your mom.. Now if your a girl Kennex.." It's then his words lower and he says under his breath "you give Ian any mischief you want, he likely deserves it." With that said he begins to raise back up looking to his younger sister, "And Cecilia, because my Bella put such a thought in my mind.. She simply wishes you as happy as we are, is that so bad?"


Taliene, still managing to combine silk-clad elegance with Distinctly Overawed Blue Eyed Vibe, looks visibly grateful for Liam's offer of an escorting arm. "I'd be glad, milord," she murmurs, and casts her gaze around the room at the hubbub of glamour that is the cream of Grayson society. When Michael comes up to them she can't help smiling at his sheer vivacity, even if the subtlety of his comment might elude her.


Felicia laughs wickedly at Michael's back, offering a dip of her head towards Zoey with a contemplative grin before she saunters in Renata's direction,"Apparently I'm awful." she declares to the Pravus princess cheerfully.

Cecilia checks composure at normal. Cecilia is successful.

And then there's another plushie. Liara slips over to pass it off to Emberly, and she comments with a quick smile, "There are a number of notables from the Crownlands present. Rather than direct you at anyone in particular, I'd recommend you just pick someone at random, and you will invariably be pleasantly surprised."

"Oh, it's you who are kind," Keely assures Renata, happy to have her suggest they stick together. "A drink would help, I think. And then, yes. Let's go together," she agrees. As Felicia approaches, she offers a nod in greeting. "Alas, I've already met you, so I don't think you'll count for my challenge," she says cheerfully. "Here, I'll go fetch us all drinks." With that, she's slipping through the crowd to do so.

Ophelia is sure to give Liara a polite curtsy in greeting. "Thank you, your grace. I'm delighted to attend. Grayson manor always brings me such fond memories of Luca." A smile follows and she inclines her head in a respectful nod before making her way to find a drink. As she clacks her way toward a table, she gives another smile to Emberly and Nazmir and detours toward them to say hello. "Lady Emberly! How /are/ you? It's been quite a while, yes? Your hat is lovely!"


Liam manages a smile for Michael even if he isn't certain of the meaning of the other man's words. "I am not one to forsake a friendship easily, milord. You are looking well." His green eyes indicate Taliene, "Are you acquainted with Lady Taliene Deepword, Lord Bisland?" He's ready to make introductions if necessary. "We had the good fortune to meet in a snowstorm and rescue one another from the elements."


Renata blinks, brows rising slowly at Felicia's declaration, the corners of her lips tugging upwards into a wry grin. "Are you indeed? So what does that make me, as one who thinks you are nothing of the sort?"

Zoey shakes her head to Cecilia with a warm smile. "I think I am fine for now, but I will need to sit soon," she says, moving a hand to better support her lower back. Niklas earns a laugh. "It could well be one of each! Your wife finally got her wish and I am expecting twins in about two months, give or take. Two, long, months." She glances Michael's way one more time, then returns her attention to her companions.

"Whiskey for me, please... your highness!" Felicia calls after Keely, lofting a brow Renata's way to ask,"...challenge?" with perhaps a spark more interest than is warranted,"And well, yes. Apparently. According to Michael. I mean... I'd have thought it was obvious, but... still." she clears her throat,"And well, you /are/ a Pravus... I'm sure there's a few who would think you as awful as I."

Emberly smiles to Ophelia, as she gets a plushie she smiles then to the princess, "thank you so very much Princess, tell me have you met Prince Nazmir?" she asks curiously "he has graciously accepted my company for the night." she laughs softly her eyes glittering before she gets a plushie handed to her "this is lovely Highness!"

Thalamina leans forward to hear the words shared, ahing softly as she leans back once more. She allows him to wait a moment, eyes remaining on his face a moment longer than is polite before she once more leans forward to share her response. It is now her turn to tilts her head as she waits to see Dio's reaction. While she waits, her eyes shift as people begin to filter into the room and it grows louder the more new voices mingle with the old.

Liara offers Emberly a quick grin, then making for Thalamina next, Liara says, "Little did Lady Thalamina realise that there was a prize forthcoming for flower embroidery on a leather satchel with a mountain dog sigil." What a ludicrously specific prize category, but in any case, the high lady pretty much foists a cape onto Thalamina (or at least has it set conveniently close by).

Jerrica has left the a round table with inset amber and glass badgers.

Looking from Emberly and over in the direction of Ophelia, Nazmir is giving an incline of his head towards her, "A pleasure, Princess Ophelia." A pause and then a smile, "And lovely choice of attire, if I may say so."


Taliene's answering smile to Liam is warm, and her reply soft. "Indeed, it was a most welcome snowy meeting - winter so stark and emphatic, but new connections made amidst the flurry. Thank you again for your assistance, milord." As Liam introduces Michael, she turns to incline her head to his respectfully. "Lord Bisland, it is an honour to meet you, I have heard much."

Cecilia flushes slightly as Niklas speaks of marriage for her. "Well thank Sabella for me my dearest brother." She laughs softly before she goes to get her own drink. It is from there that she moves to join Lady Thalamina and Marquis Dio. To get away from the conversations of staying in Bastion and Babies. "Marquis Seraceni, so good to see you again. Pleasure to meet you, I am Lady Cecilia Kennex." She introduces herself to Lady Thalamina.

Zoey has joined the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.

Niklas has joined the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.

Her laughter is bright and immediate when Felicia gives her one word response. "I may well end up stealing that whiskey right out of your hand when it arrives, Dame Harrow," she warns. The comment about Pravus, and the assumptions that may be made of her due to her name, has Renata's smile fading slightly, bright blue eyes once again scanning the crowd. "I'm afraid you are right - not one person who I do not already know has said hello."

After a conversation with Jerrica comes to a close, Cristoph lifts his hand to wave to her briefly before he returns to the previous conversation with his assistant. While the party continues to move along around him, he appears by all means to be content enough to stay in that quiet corner.

At the site of Varan, Jerrica's face lights up. "Brother!" She waves across the hall trying to get his attention as she rises from her seat.

A slow grin plays across Dio's features at Thalamina's response, but, as Liara mantles her with new cape, the marquis takes a sip of wine. "A bit of both," replies the marquis to the Lady of Graypeak once Liara is finished bestowing her prize. Turning to Cecilia, Dio smiles. "It is always a pleasure, My Lady." He stands beside her as she introduces herself to Thalamina.

Apparently distracted with some servant or other, Varan's attention is easily grasped by the all too familiar voice of his sister across the way. Bidding adieu to the gaggle of attendants he has acquired, the third best looking Grayson meanders over to the rising Jerrica. "Hullo, sister. Fancy meeting you here."

Eirene shows up, hardly dressed for a party. She's dressed for warmth. Or war. Or both. Her umbra overcoat buttoned down, her sword-belt empty as she checked her weapons at the door, but there's still a militaristic way to her walk and steady stride. The Riven woman's one concession to her noble standing is her fancy jewelry, hair braided and pinned up with pins and wedding band gleaming. She scans the room for people to see who she needs to say hello to. Liam is given an instant wave of hello.

"See? Awful." Felicia declares,"Never come between a woman and her whiskey." she sniffs,"And we could do the rounds, once her highness gets back." she drops her voice somewhat and leans in to say something to Renata with a truly wicked toothy grin.


"Oh good. I'll remember that, Lord Liam. Oh, have you? From Sam. I'm sure. She does on occasion say nice things about me." Michael glances back towards Taliene with a smile. "And you, are Lady Taliene. Because Samantha does say nice things about a lot of people, I have heard of you! Welcome to Arx and all of its fun, or welcome back. I think I missed you the first time or two around."

Ophelia shifts her gaze from Emberly to Nazmir. "No, we've not met. It's a pleasure to meet you, Prince Nazmir. And thank you!" Her heels clack as she takes a step back to glance down at her wintry dress. Her attention then lifts to regard them again and she smiles brightly. "It's lovely to see you both." With a polite curtsy, the archeress excuses herself and makes her way to collect a drink.


Upon seeing a hand waved at him, Liam's gaze focuses for a moment on Eirene and he offers a bow of his head with a truly warm smile. Family! His attention returns quickly to both of his companions, noting to Michael. "I saw Dame Felicia and Princess Renata yonder. I thought I might introduce Lady Taliene to both, as admittedly, they are the only faces other than yours I have a name to match to. That is, prior to my Aunt's arrival."


When a plushie is handed to her, and the reasoning behind the prize, Thalamina can't help but laugh softly. "Thank you, Your Grace, it is an honor and what are the chances that I would do the exact thing that was required to earn such a favor. I shall never take it off, which I am sure will cause a few of Shepherd staff to question such when I go swimming." Dio is glances at once more and his answer causes am amused roll of her eyes, "well that is good then, I would have hated if the answer had been no one cared at all." Upon the introduction by Cecilia, another gentle bow is given to the woman, "Lady Thalamina Shepherd," she introduces herself once more. "Apparently I have wandered the forest for too long, and have missed out on so many new faces."

Jerrica glides across the room to her brother. "How are you? Can you believe how well the party has turned out?" She sqeezes his arm rather than than embarass him further by a public hug.

Zoey raises a hand from where she sits with Niklas on the couch, the other still resting on the great swell of her middle, and waves to Eirene with a bright smile.

Eirene's about to engage Zoey and Liam when her servant approaches with a note. "Compound fracture? Ah damn. Okay." She waves to them and turns and follows her aide out. "Sorry, hospital duty calls," she shouts before leaving.


"The Marquessa is so kind," Taliene agrees, nodding earnestly to Michael's comment. "And Arx is awe-inspiring, to tell the truth." Another smiler, and a quick glance at the others in the Hall. She looks back at Michael and hesitates, and murmurs, "I have been encouraged to speak with you at some time, milord, about access to libraries or archives. I have enormous interest in both. But -- probably not a discussion for a party." Indeed not, although the way she speaks of books has a little wistfulness that suggests the woman is more at home in a dusty archive than in a hotbed of social glamour. She does seem charmed, though, glancing admiringly at the clothes and animated conversation all around.
When Liam speaks of perhaps introducing her to some people, she looks hopeful, straightening a little, slightly coltish with her six foot height, but elegant enough.


Liara offers a quick grin to Thalamina and a further pair of plushies is produced, this one for the Seraceni Marquis and another for Cecilia, with Liara offering an easy greeting to the latter, "A pleasure to see you here, Lady Cecilia, and I do hope you enjoy it." Then the princess is off to another part of the hall.

Unashamed with public affection, Varan easily slips both arms around his sister and pulls her in for a very public embrace. "I had no idea cousin Liara knew how to organise such a gala," he says with a grin, "much less would want to. This seems more like something you would do."

Emberly smiles a little as people get introduced and she looks over to Liam her eyes linger upon him for a while, "do you know him?" she wonders of Nazmir and whomever else might be overhearing.

"Once again, a pleasure Your Highness," is what Nazmir offers to Ophelia before she takes her leave and then his attention is turning to Liam before he's looking back to Emberly, to give a shake of his head, "I do not. Shall we go an introduce ourselves?"

Dio chuckles at Thalamina. "Quite the opposite, My Lady." He leans forward to offer another quiet word to her. Dio accepts his griffin plushie from Liara and laughs happily. "Thank you, Your Grace. I will treasure it."

Ophelia collects a glass of wine from a passing server and gives them a nod of gratitude before she regards the room again. There are places to sit and she walks slowly with glittery winter heels clacking against the flooring while deciding where she should dwell. Her glass is then lifted for a sip.


"Oh good. Another person that can read for me." Michael smiles broadly towards Taliene and her hesitant request. "I've a study in the manor with quite a few books. And a smattering of scribes and researchers with far too little to do now. Definitely send me a missive and we'll arrange a visit to my little touch of academia. I don't spend as much time in there as I should, the headaches you see." A quick wheeze of a sigh though. "I must continue circulate. Don't forget to missive me, because I promise I'll forget to send for you. Especially without Lyros and his little journal of my tasks."

Emberly nods her head and she smiles as she raises up out of her seat she takes the Prince's arm as she walks along side him, her dress shimmering in the light. She smiles shyly as she moves closer to Liam

Cecilia gladly takes the plushie, "Oh thank you, Your Grace." She says warmly before she inspects the plushie with much admiration. "It is adorable." Her attention moves back to Thalamina. "Well the forest seems to have suited you." She bows her head. "What brought you back to the city?"

"You think I need to do what?" Cristoph can be heard asking Rupert in a voice that sounds mildly incredulous. But then his voice lowers back down to something that's much more subdued. Not upset by any means, just seeming a bit surprised. His drink is lifted to his mouth and he takes another quick swallow before continuing.


Michael receives a respectful half bow from Liam as he announces taking his leave of Liam and Taliene. "It was good to see you again milord. Until next we meet." Once Michael has departed, Liam turns to regard Taliene but before he can something, he notices the approach of Nazmir and Emberly. "Good evening," he says to the pair, keeping in mind Princess Liara's command at the beginning of the evening. "I am Lord Liam Riven and this is Lady Taliene Deepwood. Well met this evening." His words are followed by a polite half bow to the pair.


Liara happens by one of the sofas next and, following a flit of her gaze from Niklas to Zoey, she declares, "For sitting next to its inventor," and has another cape produced from the bag a nearby servant has. There's a plushie, too! This one is left in convenient reach. A quick grin for Niklas follows and she adds, "Being its inventor, I dare say you can arrange your own."

Rising from the couch, Nazmir is offering his arm to Emberly and when she takes it, he's making his way over in the direction of Liam. Once the pair have drawn close enough, there's a smile and an incline of his head to both Liam and then Taliene, "Sorry to interrupt, but we figured we'd offer introductions. Perfect opportunity to meet new people." His free hand lifts to Emberly, "This is Lady Emberly Crovane and I am Prince Nazmir Redrain."


Taliene can't help smile at Michael's candour of his inevitable forgetfulness, and she agrees with enthusiasm, "I'll most certainly write to you, milord, and thank you. I look forward to it, most truly." Another earnest nod, and she glances around the chamber. She notices Emberly approach Liam, and glances back to him, and steps back a little, to give them space together if wished. One slender hand drifts to the sapphire ribbons at her left sleeve. When Liam introduces them both, she inclines her head and smiles warmly, murmuring her own salutations,. "Well met, milady, milord."


Jerrica happily squeezes her brother returning his hug. "It is wonderful isn't it?" she says surveying the room. "There are so many people. Who should we talk to?" She takes two glasses of wine from a passing servant and holds one out to Varan.

Emberly smiles to Taliene and she inclines her head, red locks brush her shoulder and she smiles as Nazmir introduces she gives a little curtsy to the pair, "it is very nice to be meeting you both" says the lady.

Overhearing Jerrica, Liara suggests to the other princess and to Varan, "If you have not had the pleasure of meeting Duke Laurent yet, I certainly recommend it, although I must admit to knowing him primarily by reputation myself, Lady Mabelle being my protege."

"Everyone must return at some point, day dreams only last for so long before responsibility returns and seduces you with promises of greater things" Thalamina tells Cecilia with a gentle shrug of her shoulders and a soft expression. "I went on a scouting mission recently, and I thought I deserved to remove myself from the city for a bit to find my balance once more. It is never easy to witness such terrible things without having nature to fall back on to remind you there is beauty."

Niklaschuckles at the words from Liara as she gives Zoey her gift, The man's brow moments later lifting hearing her remark on how he could arrange his own. "Fair to suspect Liara, I do have a small stockpile of it tucked away."

Keely returns to Felicia and Renata after a few long moments, trailed by a servant with a tray of selected drinks. "Apologies, I realized I forgot to ask what you would like," she admits with an embarrassed laugh. "So I brought a few choices. Please," she gestures for them to take what they'd like. "Have we met anyone new yet?" she wonders.

Liara gets a snarling griffin plushie from Plushie Bag.

Varan offers a quick shrug of his shoulders, though he does rather eagerly accept the offered glass of wine. When Liara makes her comment, he nods slowly, "Yes I had the privilege of meeting Lady Mabelle briefly yesterday." he glances around the room slowly and does his best to suppress a small grimace, "Though you know I'm no good in such... large and varied crowds."

"Ha! My Ironwool scarf saved my life once," Zoey says as she examines the cape with a smile. "I can layer it over a seasilk shawl the next time I go traveling. Thank you!"

6 First Legion Centurions, Maxence Fairborough, a steward arrive, following Adrienne.

Liara drops off another plushie next to Niklas - the room's really starting to get cluttered with the things - with a quick grin, then says to Zoey, "You are quite welcome!" and away she goes again.

Cecilia nods softly, "Did you find what you were looking for, in nature I mean?" She asks Thalamina before taking a sip of her wine.

Felicia snags a whiskey from the tray with a grin for Keely,"Well, apparently there might be a Kennex lady I haven't met somewhere in the room, so I vote we start there... though we might as well make a full round of it, yes?" she asks the other two ladies,"And it may be we might have to introduce ourselves to a few just to find this mysterious Kennex... what a tragedy." any efforts at ladylike are utterly ruined by the way the knight throws back that whiskey though, scanning the room intently.

Ophelia takes another sip of her drink and pauses by one of the fireplaces to enjoy its warmth. It is winter and the Fox Princess does appreciate the flickering flames as she lingers near them -- she's content to stay here for a moment where it's comfortable.


"It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Your Highness and Lady Crovane, especially here at such a wonderful event hosted by Her Royal Highness." Liam looks between the pair. "Have you resided her long? I cannot speak for Lady Taliene, but I have only just returned after an absence and am finding my feet once more. At times, I find the city to be overwhelming and long for a return to the Twainfort where it is certainly more quiet."



Taliene's blue eyes are warmer than their hue, as she greets Emberly and Nazmir most cordially, and she seconds Liam's query. "It is a pleasure to meet you both. I am, er, new come to Arx - do you know the city well? I must admit, I was taken by surprise a little by the turn the weather took. I lived for many years in more southern climes and seem to have forgotten some of the necessary steps to avoid becoming an icicle." A slight blush touches her upper cheeks.
"

As Thalamina speaks with Cecilia, Dio bows his head. A last word from the Lady of House Shepard brings a smile, and he takes his leave, moving towards Cristoph's table. Dio stands for a moment before the Laurent ruler speaking with his retainer, with an expression that says 'I'm sorry for your losses,' but, at Liara's party, the words that come from the Pirate Lord are, "It is good to see you, My Lord. How are you this evening?"


Michael's steps take him around the outskirts of the gathering to find the Grayson Pair drinking wine and looking inwards. Varan and Jerrica greeted quickly. "Your highnesses! I had heard rumors of your arrival, Prince Varan....hold on. I've got to do something." Hands reach up, pluck the wreath from his head and he reaches forward to settle it pertly atop of Jerrica's noggin. "Absolutely splendid."

Renata takes a brandy for herself, and she chuckles quietly. "Thank you your Highness; Dame Harrow, it seems your glass shall be safe from me this evening." She, too, turns to scan the room. "I am afraid I do not know the Kennox's in Arx, so will trust in you two to guide me."

It's an expression from other people that Cristoph is learning to recognize from many miles away, it usually comes with the words themselves, so he's braced for that. But when Dio chooses to say anything else instead, there's a look of relief on the duke's face. Cristoph nods once to him, "It's good to see you as well, Marquis Dio. I'm as well as can be expected. How have you been in my time away from the city?"

Thalamina pauses for a moment to find the right words, "there are no secrets in nature. You know where you stand. Everything wishes to kill you, and they make that known from the start. The elements, the animals, and you are the only thing standing between such a fate. Every decision you make matters. At Court it can be a bit more dangerous, knowing how to traverse the social mores and etiquettes expected of you." There is a slight grin after her words are spoken. She looks back towards Dio when he slips away, giving him a polite dip of her head for his departure.

Emberly nods her head to Liam and she mmms a little "it is rather busy indeed." she says as she holds onto Prince Nazmir's arm. She smiles softly "I have been here a little while yes, always find the winters cold, but nothing is too cold for this Northern Prince yah?" she smiles jovially to Nazmir

Once Felicia and Renata have taken their choice, Keely takes a glass of wine for herself and then shoos the server away. "Oh, I should not be trusted as a guide," she notes with a laugh, shaking her head. "But your plan seems sound to me, Dame Felicia. Let us go in search of your Kennex." She tries to sound more confident than she obviously feels. So many people!

Jerrica nods at Varan as she takes a sip of her wine. "I remember. But it is good for pe...." Her sentence is cut short as as Michael places the wreath on her head. "Thank you, Milord!" she says surprised by the gift. "How are you this evening, Lord Bisland?" she inquires as she pats the new adornment encircling her head.

A smile is given to Liam and Taliene, "Indeed, it is a pleasure to meet you both." There's a pause and then a little nod of his head, "I am somewhat new, having been here for only a few months." A pause and then he looks to Taliene, "You should see how cold it is in the North in the winter, Lady Taliene. The city hardly compares." A little grin to that before he looks back to Liam, "Indeed. The City can be overwhelming." A glance to Emberly, "Exactly. Nothing is cold enough, actually."

Absent escort, Adrienne Pravus takes her time through the ritual of removing cloak, gloves and all the other accoutrements of winter in Arx. The snowflakes melting on the high collar of her gown contrast with the summer's tan from weeks spent in the Saffron Chain. She takes in the room and, attention on the musicians, weaves through the crowd in all their finery to slow near Niklas's perch. "You look the part, Niklas. How are you?"


Taliene doesn't hide her curiosity at Nazmir's remarks, bowing respectfully to the Prince as he describes the unbridled chill of farther North. "It sounds most intriguing, Your Highness. Do you - do you miss it?" She inquires tentatively, perhaps wondering if she oversteps, but she clearly is very honestly curious, and also sympathetic.


Cecilia watches Dio for a long moment before turning her head back to Thalamina. "Sounds enchanting in its own way." She says with a grin and a slightly laugh. "Though I think I will leave my fate to the courts." She bows her head. "Have you met Princess Adrienne? She is amazing, she got me out of a bind when I snuck on board a ship to Pieros."

"Right then!" Felicia sets her empty glass on the servers tray even as they try to escape, pausing to rub her hands together,"Let's start with Lady Zoey and Prince Niklas... if anyone knows an unwed Kennex in the house, it's going to be her." she asserts. Turning her attention towards the two so named she seems entirely comfortable with leading the way... even if it takes about three steps for her to grab a wad of her skirt to stop herself from tripping over it with her long legged stride.

Renata will shift her glass to her off hand, and then crooks her elbow out towards Keely, a silent offer of escort, and of support, for the shy princess. "Shall we?"

With Adrienne's approach and her greeting given Niklas lifts his diamondplate and gem studded walking stick to the woman, "One must look the part, Especially when that one in question is me. Could you think of it? Me not ready for a party.. dread the thought. And might I offer Princess that you look resplendent as ever. A vision to behold as always." His head dipping to her before he motions to the sofa occupied by Zoey and himself, "Please sit."

Adrienne has joined the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.

Emberly smiles a little as Taline asks the question of Nazmir and she smiles gently almost as if to encourage the lady's curiosity.


"Perhaps Your Highness, you may be inclined to tell us more of your home?" Liam glances about their current surroundings and is quick to add, "In a somewhat less formal environment? And where one does not need to lift their voice above music and a hundred other voices to be heard?" Liam extends the invitation to both ladies, "Lady Taliene and Lady Emberly, perhaps you would care to attend such a smaller gathering as well? Though I dare to presume Lady Emberly knows more of Prince Nazmir's home and does not require another lesson in such."


Keely gratefully takes Renata's arm, clinging to it tightly as she dares and shooting the Pravosi a small smile. "Yes, okay. I know them," she agrees to Felicia's plan. Easier to wade in than dive right into the deep end, after all. She takes a breath, and a sip of wine, and then follows after Felicia, still holding tight to Renata.

"Yes, please to join us!" Zoey insists to Adrienne, patting the seat beside her. She smiles and then resumes her quiet conversation with Niklas.

Adrienne admires Niklas's walking stick with all due politeness. "It's a handsome piece for knocking a fool's head in." Adrienne, visibly pregnant despite a flowing aeterna gown, tilts her head in assent to Niklas. As she sits, hearing her name has her gaze turning outward to Cecilia and Thalamina, head tilting quizzically. She lifts a few fingers - 'hi!' - turns her humored look back to Zoey. "We should take a wager, Zoey. You look lovely."

"Away myself for the most part," replies Dio to Cristoph with a familiar smile, "sailing with the Eswynds, thought I returned in time to ride with Princess Adrienne." He sighs. "One day perhaps I will beg of you one of your riding masters so I might prove less of an embarrassment as an equestrian." Dio takes a sip of wine. "I hope Lady Mabelle has had Lottie's cookies and cakes delivered with grate frequency since you've been back?" Amid the polite conversation, Dio takes a seat across from Cristoph and says a few more words to the Duke with an expression of deep sincerity not often seen on the face of the Count of Ischia.

Renata tucks Keely's arm tightly against her side as if it were not in the least bit out of the ordinary to escort a beautiful woman, rather than be escorted herself. She takes a small sip from her brandy, and then leans her head in to murmur something softly to her fellow princess, making a gesture to the room at large with her glass-holding hand.

Zoey says, "A wager? On what?"

"Your highness, lady Zoey and uh... Princess Adrienne Valardin, I believe?" Felicia offers with a small bow towards the trio,"May I introduce Princess' Renata of Pravus and Keely of Grayson... your highnesses... erm... other, highnesses." a small gesture made from the redhead like 'voila, mingle'.

"Do I miss it?" There's a partial shrug of Nazmir's shoulder at Taliene's question, "At times, I suppose. But the City holds it's own wonders and there are far more people to meet then up in the North." A smile, "So, it balances itself out." A pause and then, "I'd be happy to tell you about it some time." His gaze then shifts to Liam, grin tugging to his lips, "Oh my. You really haven't heard of the bear wrestling that all Northern's must go through?"

"I dont believe we've met" Thalamina tells Cecilia, before she looks surprised, "how does one sneak onto a ship without knowing where it was going to? You had to have known what you were in for when you did? It is always important to have someone there to assist, most definitely." As Adrienne turns her attention on the pair, Thalamina offers a curtsey in the Princess' direction.

Cecilia waves at Adrienne. "Oh I knew where I was going .... I wanted to be in Pieros." She says mischievously. "Just didn't think anyone would bring me there." She laughs warmly. "It was quite the adventure and not one I regret taking. Think of it like finding peace in nature. I was finding peace in the adventure." Her eyes move over to the Marquis Dio and Princess Adrienne again. "It is a trip I will not soon forget.

Adrienne is not quite able to sit as the duties of a ball take precedence. Her golden gaze lands on Felicia, narrows in that awkward span of a moment where she tries to remember who this woman is. "Felicia Harrow, how kind of you to perform introductions." For Renata, family-by-marriage, Adrienne leans in to press a kiss to the air outside her cheek, a few words murmured. She straightens to tilt her head in welcome to Keely. "Keely Grayson. You're happy in your company. I hope Renata is keeping you on your toes." There is undeniable fondness there in her otherwise straight and sober tone.

Next up to come out of Liara's bundle of somewhat randomly-conferred prizes is, of all things, a sword, meticulously peacebound. Also a plushie. And this, it seems, is about to be passed to Liam, to whom she remarks, when a suitable pause in the conversation arises, "I am delighted to see people make new acquaintances."

Liara gets a snarling griffin plushie from Plushie Bag.

Keely leans in to listen seriously to what Renata is telling her, and then looks around at the crowd thoughtfully before nodding and whispering something in return. Then her attention is back in order to attend to the introductions Felicia is providing so graciously. "Oh, she is being wonderful," Keely assures Adrienne, shooting another thankful smile to Renata. "And a pleasure to meet you, Your Highness."


Taliene continues to look intrigued, and she nods most earnestly to the Northern prince. "I would love to know more of those icy climes, your Highness, most certainly. I am curious, in so many ways. I find myself wondering what poetry is inspired by the snows." It's an artless admission, and when Emberly smiles at her, encouraging of curiosity, the taller woman smiles back, shy but friendly, and that smile meets Liara too. "Truly this is an excellent party, your Highness, with such interesting conversation!" The tall woman is enthustiastic.


"If you're looking for a riding master, you'll have to speak with Lady Jael or Baron Norwood. I'm a terrible rider, alas. I do my Oathlands heritage a disservice." Cristoph offers Dio a rueful smile on that regard. When the cakes and cookies are mentioned, his face pales a little and he shakes his head. "No," that answer comes shortly. Then he's getting to his feet but not before hearing the last of Dio's words. "Of course. I'm sorry, if you'll excuse me?" And then he's making a quick exit.

Ophelia is in mid sip of her drink when her assistant, Robyn, walks over to her with a note. The glass of wine is set down and the princess reads said note before smiling to herself and nodding, handing the parchment over to her friend. With a nod and a polite wave to a few familiar faces, the archeress clacks her way out of the hall upon glittery winter heels.

Cristoph has left the a round table with inset amber and glass badgers.

Rupert, the Laurent Archivist, 2 Valardin Knights, 1 Laurent veteran guards leave, following Cristoph.

Robyn, an artful archeress, 2 House Velenosa Guards leave, following Ophelia.

Emberly smiles to Taliene and then to Liam "you are welcome to join the table if you would like I know for certian Nazmir would adore to tell you tales of the bear wrestling." sh elaughs looking about "I must get one more introduction tonight and then I will join you?"


"Bear wrestling?" Liam doesn't bat an eye at Nazmir's telling of Northern habits. "That truly must be a lively event and a warm one. I have a coat made taken from a bear, a gift from an old friend." He asides to Taliene, "The very coat I loaned you, Lady Taliene. I trust you found it warm enough." He then pauses in amazement as he is gifted such a prize by the Princess. "Your Highness," he takes his plushie with care and bows deeply to Liara, "I shall treasure such a prize till the day I die." The words are said with such solemn sincerity, one might believe Liam just made a vow.


"Adrienne!" Renata's eyes widen, warmly, as she tips her cheek up to accept the kiss from her cousin in law. She laughs, the sound almost musical, eyes sparkling. "I believe I may be keeping Dame Felicia on her toes more than her highness," she admits with a glance towards the redhead in question before she dips her head in greeting to the others as she is introduced.

"Lucky Dame Felicia." Renata's whispered answer to her has Adrienne's eyes narrowing fondly. Courtesies otherwise exchanged, Adrienne studies Keely's gown for the evening and pauses when she notices the golden pin she wears. "Ah. Are you musician Princess Keely?"

6 First Legion Centurions arrives, following Patrizio.

Cecilia has joined the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.

"Poetry? I'm afraid that I couldn't speak to that. Though, I'm certain there has been no shortage of it." A smile is given to Taliene with that statement and then Nazmir is looking to Emberly, "Bring more people over for me to meet, Lady Emberly! I must meet more new people." A glance back over towards Liam, grin tugging to his lips, "It's rumored that all Northerner's go through a rite of passage which involves bear wrestling. But we can neither confirm nor deny whether there is truth to this or not." There is a touch of a tease in those words.


"Bear wrestling?" Liam doesn't bat an eye at Nazmir's telling of Northern habits. "That truly must be a lively event and a warm one. I have a coat made taken from a bear, a gift from an old friend." He asides to Taliene, "The very coat I loaned you, Lady Taliene. I trust you found it warm enough." He then pauses in amazement as he is gifted such a prize by the Princess. "Your Highness," he takes his sword and plushie with care and bows deeply to Liara, "I shall treasure such prizes till the day I die." The words are said with such solemn sincerity, one might believe Liam just made a vow. <Repose>



"I am doing well, Princess Jerrica. Getting out and not sitting in a stuffy room is doing wonders for my disposition." Michael is examing the wreath now atop Jerrica's head with a critical eye before giving a quick nod. "I made an excellent choice. This one is your brother, right? Thats what I've caught through the messengers and the like." He'll reach out a hand towards Varan for a handshake.

Emberly smiles a little as she looks over them both, she laughs softly as she looks to Nazmir "More people?" she asks looking about as her eyes move over to Dio "Marquis Dio?" she asks as she looks his way, "have you met the charming - bear wrestler - Prince Nazmir?" she asks a little her eyes dancing with humor as she calls over to him

Liara offers Liam a ready smile and then, since she's pretty much next to Taliene, Liara slips a couple of steps closer. Another ironwool cape is produced from the bag next, and Liara comments to the Deepwood lady, "I adore that gown, my lady - the work on the fur in particular. While I certainly would not recommend it as part of that particular outfit, this may prove convenient outerwear."

Merek walks along and into the place in his dark attire, scarf pulled along his features while he takes a moment to find a place to settle in.

"Verbal deathtraps are less likely to be lethal than the other kind." Felicia opines as her attention turns towards Zoey,"...I heard rumours that there was another Kennex here tonight?" she asks.

Late, but perhaps better late than never, Patrizio's looking a little less like he's making a statement with his arrival from without, and more like perhaps he's simply lost track of the time. A hand brushes some of the flakes from his shoulders as he's taking a breath, jade eyes glancing about as if getting a sense of where he ought move in the room, though there are familiar nods to the others of his Legion present, which hints to him that there are perhaps some of his cousins about.

"I do indeed have the honour of being Princess Jerrica's brother," Varan says, trading his wineglass to his other hand before shaking the offered one from Michael, "As she has the burden of having me for a brother." He glances along Michael's arm and down the man's torso for a moment, "If I'm recalling correctly you must be the Sword of Pridehall, no? The knightiest knight that ever knighted all night?"

Keely glances down at her own pin, smiling demurely. "Aspiring musician, I think is more accurate," she admits. "I don't hold much rank, but I am a proud member of the Bard's College. But I hope very much to improve!" She glances sidelong to Renata. "Every new skill takes practice, isn't that right?"

Dio rises, not without some concern for Cristoph as he leaves the hall. He swallows the rest of his wine and sets aside his glass. The mention of bear wrestling seems to capture the marquis's attention, and he comes to stand not far from Liam and Nazmir. "That is something I would very much like to see." At Emberly's words, Dio smiles. "I have not, My Lady." He turns to Nazmir and bows. "Marquis Dio Seraceni, Your Highness. It's good to meet you."

Zoey had been listening for Keely's response to the question about music, but when Felicia asks the question she turns her attention and nods. "Yes indeed! Prince Niklas' youngest sister, Lady Cecilia. She had to step away for a moment, but I will be happy to make introductions when she returns."


Taliene looks decidedly eager to sit and hear of ice and snow, and nods willingly, smiling at the Lady Emberly and padding vaguely in the direction indicated. She smiles again at Liam, and admits, "The coat was exceptionally warm, milord, and truly most appreciated. I must return it soon, for the chess game you described."
Then: "bear wrestling," she murmurs, thoughtful - "one would surmise that strategies that conventionally suffice in such human combats would not be adequate in those feats." She's obviously quite gripped, what with the thought of cold weather and ursine conflicts.
Then Liara kindly addresses them, and gives her such a beautiful cloak. Taliene gasps, her hands touching the fabric reverently. "Your Highness, this is so lovely, and truly it could not be more timely." Eyes shining, "You are so kind."


A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Renata before departing.

"You're not a burden at all, Varan!" Jerrica reasures him. "I think the knightiest knight is a good description, no, Michael?"

"I met Lady Cecilia in Pieros. Perhaps we shall see more Kennexes there in the future." Here a respectful inclination of her head to Nilkas and Zoey before Adrienne turns a grimly delighted look to Felicia. It's Keely, however, upon whom Adrienne focuses. "Gianna has a remarkable eye. And what is your talent-to-be, your Highness? Are you a singer as well?"

"I can't fault you for adventures. I was just in the jungles surrounding Pieros. All we found was twisted diseased men" Thalamina says to Cecilia with a small wrinkle of her nose. "Not what we went looking for, but at least there are less of what we found in the world now. It cant be a bad thing?" Then she laughs softly, "I should not take up all of your time, I am sure there are others you need to speak to than making sure I dont get lost somewhere. It was a pleasure to meet you, Lady Cecilia. Perhaps if I am lucky we shall meet again."

"We will need to discuss matters of the North when it's a touch quieter," is what Nazmir offers to Taliene and then to Liam, only for his gaze to turn to Emberly and then over towards Dio, "Marquis. A pleasure to meet you!" There's an incline of the Prince's head in greeting.

"Do please make sure to have a layer on under it," Liara advises Taliene - ironwool's reputation for itchiness is well-known. She parts from that group and simply takes a moment to survey the room, perhaps determining who to set upon next. She offers a cheery flutter of a wave to Adrienne and Patrizio both.

Niklas has left the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.

Isabelle, who is just so tired of everyone's nonsense have been dismissed.

Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise have been dismissed.

Roland, the worst bard in Arvum have been dismissed.

Duc De Wool, a most curious golden fainter have been dismissed.

Emberly smiles to Taliene, she nods her head as she moves to join the table, and Dio comes to say hello, she grins to Nazmir, well he asked for people, and look! A legion of folk arrive and she waves to the Prince of Pravus, "Prince Patrizio, have you met Prince Naxmir?" she asks then before she smiles coyly to Nazmir "enough people yet?"

Felicia ahhs thoughtfully,"I'd like that." she advises, distractedly offering Adrienne a smile as she nudges Renata,"Cecilia." she says to her with a sagacious nod and takes the opportunity to scan the room, as if scouting out the location of Michael.

As Liara waves to Adrienne, the Pravosi princess returns the gesture which calls her attention to how many Pravus guards are here and then, at last, to Patrizio's arrival. Touching Renata's arm, Adrienne calls her cousin's attention that way, too. "Patrizio came. I didn't think he would leave the Estate for another month if not two."

Taliene has joined the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

Liam has joined the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

"Oh. Yes. Most days, knightiest Knight who ever rode or swung a sword. I won't play at too much modesty. It surprisingly doesn't come up very often anymore. Too busy playing administrator for Bisland concernsin Arx." A quick handshake is exchanged with Varan before releasing. Somehow...Michael feels something somewhere.....the look of deep-seated jealousy and desire for mischief. A side-step or three places Varan directly between himself and Felicia.


Liam nods to Nazmir and then follows the conversation and looks to Dio, yet another acquaintance to be made and a princely one at that. "Good evening, Your Highness. May I introduce you to Lady Taliene Deepwood and I am Lord Liam Riven." Liam then bows his head respectfully to the newest Prince he has now met.


Eyes twinkling with humour at Keely's seemingly innocent comment, Renata inclines her head in agreement. "Indeed." she agrees, simply. Nudged, Renata sends a brief smirk towards Felicia before following the Dame's look. She smirks faintly, a twinkle of mischief in her bright blue eyes, and tips her head. Before she can comment, however, Adrienne is touching her arm and directing her focus towards Patrizio. "I saw him out just the other night - at the tavern."

There's a little laugh as Emberly calls out someone else and Nazmir is looking over in the direction of Patrizio, to lift a hand and give a wave to the fellow Prince, "A pleasure, Prince Patrizio." A glance around to the others that are with us, "Can I get any of you a drink? I do need one myself."

Cecilia feels like she is hearing her name everywhere. "It was a wonderful trip. I would love to go back sometime." She looks curiously over in Felicia's direction. "Nice to meet you! I'm Lady Cecilia Kennex." She shouts to FElicia and REnata. Not sure if they know her or not. Was she getting a reputation? Her eyes then turn back to those with her. "What did I miss?"

Glancing to look at his sister, Varan shakes his head slightly, "Oh it must be a burden to so often be linked to me. You with your causes, dear Babette with her Inquisition. To be stuck with a philanderer and a poet as a brother? I don't know how you cope." He winks at her, clearly, and his attention is once again taken by Michael, "So often the case these days, it seems. Turning sword to plowshare, though in a far more metaphorical way. Do you find administration as challenging as your knightly duties?" He is very careful not to look over his shoulder as he is interposed between Michael and Felicia.

"The pleasure's mine," replies Dio to Nazmir. "And it is good to meet you as well, My Lord," he says to Liam. "I hope you will not mind if I should find you to hear more of the traditions of the Northlands, Your Highness," continues the marquis to Nazmir. "I have traveled there rarely, and find myself most often here or in the Chain, sometimes blessed by the company of Lady Emberly." Dio flashes a grin to the Lady of House Crovane as she introduces Patrizio. Dio bows his head to the General of House Pravus. "Good evening, Your Highness," says Dio to Patrizio, and when Liam speaks, the Pirate Lord's dark eyes shift to Taliene. "Marquis Dio, My Lady. A pleasure. I've had the good fortune to spend some time with Marquessa Samantha. I hope she is well."

"Ah, we came to the right place," Keely notes to Felicia, as Zoey is able to quickly clarify which Kennex they were seeking. "That was an easy search." She gives a quiet laugh, before turning a little more self-conscious as conversation turns to her music. "Singing, yes. Not... as well as I'd like. And I hope to learn to play the vielle, if I can find a good teacher. Or any instrument, really. But often my dreams seem to outgrow my actual abilities."

The notice of the wave has Patrizio turning in Liara's direction - that and noticing that Adrienne's over there too, and his feet are drawing him in that direction, though he does certainly pause, so that he can greet Emberly and Nazmir as well. "I /think/ we've crossed paths, highness," he offers, with a courtly bow to the prince, and the inclination of his head to Emberly, that warm Pravusi smile finding his lips as he's considering both. "A pleasure to see you both this evening."

Though his head's turning when he's called, and the smile turns more apologetic as he's turning to Adrienne as well, and the touch of colour to his cheeks at the comment. "I'm usually in my office, new cousin, more than at the estate. My guards would probably prefer I /stay/ there where it's safe and there are no windows, either." A tease, certainly, and a smile for Renata as well. "We did at that. A man does not live on being trapped over a map alone." That grin, too, is turned to Liara, as he bows once more to her. "Your Grace. Thank you for having me, and excuse my tardiness. Matters of planning kept me busy later than I expected." And gratefully, he offers a smile, too, to Dio.

Zoey grins when Cecilia returns, then gestures to her cousin-by-marriage as though to present her to Felicia and Keely. "She has introduces herself already, so I will take the other half. Lady Cecilia, Princess Keely Grayson and Dame Felicia Harrow."

Liara replies easily to Patrizio, "You are most welcome, and I hope you enjoy yourself. I would suggest that it is perhaps an excellent opportunity to meet a few new people, too." Then, 'happening along' near Keely, or more accurately pretty much heading right on over, Liara goes to pass a green woolen garment to her sister. This one comes without comment beyond a quick smile before the high lady makes to slip away once more.

Emberly smiles warmly to Patrizio before she looks over to the small group forming at the table to hear tales of the north. She looks to Dio "please do join." she says warmly before looking to the table "and you too may join us once you have mingled if you like." she says softly to Patrizio before she leans in to speak to the table

Felicia can't seem to spot Michael, mercifully for him, though the look of Varan in her direction does give her a sudden suspicious squint that's only erased when she hears Cecilia call out,"Ah-ha!" and then there's introductions, the redhead offering a broad grin and her hand Cecilia's way,"Lady Kennex. Can't help but admire a woman that can send Lord Michael scurrying." she beams delightedly.

"That's what dreams are for, Princess Keely." A brief, amused look then Adrienne lays a hand on Patrizio's arm familiarly, fondly, though her tone is dry as she stakes out the many guards. "They would lock me a tower if I'd let them. But Renata has already given your secret away unless you've turned your office into a tavern." She glances back to Emberly and Nazmir. She murmurs something in an undervoice to him.


Taliene settles into the chairs by Prince Nazrim and Lady Emberly, and as Lord Liam and Prince Patrizio approach she stands again, respectful and clearly shyly intrigued, at the prince's arrival. "A pleasure, your Highness," she murmurs --" truly, so many climes and landscapes to be discussed!" - perhaps the lady's interests are a bit on the meteorological for a party, but there is no mistaking her sweetly earnest interest.
She's clearly most eager for the conversations, and so it's unfortunate that at that moment a messenger in Deepwood colors makes his way through the crowd, and hands her something. Taliene's blue eyes cloud as she inclines her head and listens, and looks at what she is given, and she nods ... and then turns a rueful expression on her companions. "It is with regret I need to take my leave --" and she does look very sorry indeed. "I truly hope we can have other opportunities to converse?" She clearly means it, very sincerely.


"Scurrying?" Zoey lifts an eyebrow and looks at Cecilia. "What did you do?"

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Nazmir before departing.

Jerrica raises an eyebrow "What I do not see, I cannot judge, but I like your music," she tells Varan without admonishment in her tone. She moves to further shelter Michael from what she is not sure. "No boring talk of administration tonight. Each of you tell me of your latest adventures. You both have interesting lives," she suggests as she finishes her glass of wine and looks around for a place to put the empty glass.

"Lady Taliene allow me to accompany you. Your family's estate is not that far from mine and given our last meeting, I feel inclined to ensure you do not get lost int he snow." Liam bows to the smaller gathering of which he is a part of. "It was an honour to meet you all this evening. If you will excuse me and I do look forward to meeting you all again in the near future. Please enjoy the rest of your evening. Good night." Liam then offers his arm to Taliene and if taken, escorts the lady home.

Keely takes the green coat from her sister with a slightly questioning look -- before thinking better of questioning good fortune, and simply returning the gesture with a smile of thanks. "Lovely to meet you, Lady Cecilia. And yes, well, you are quite right, Your Highness," she agrees with Adrienne's comment about dreams, blushing just ever so slightly.

Briar, the fleet and agile shrike arrives, delivering a message to Michael before departing.

Considering a moment, Nazmir gives a nod of his head in the direction of Patrizio, "Oh, that's right! My mistake!" A little shake of his head and then his gaze turns back over towards Taliene, smile on his lips, "A pleasure to meet you, Lady Taliene. Until next time." His gaze darts back over towards Dio, grin tugging to his lips, "I find that most people don't travel to the North unless they have an absolute reason to." His attention then turns to Liam, another incline of his head given, "Lord Liam, a pleasure. Until next time." At that moment, a messenger arrives and he's accepting it, to give it a little read before his nose wrinkles, "It would seem that I must attend to a few things, myself." A glance to Emberly, "Lady Emberly, thank you for the evening. I apologize that I must depart so early."

Liam has left the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

Cecilia shrugs a bit. "Usually men don't run for me until they know what I want and they are eger to get it for me." She says with a large amount of humor in her voice. "Pleasure to meet you all. I'm glad for this beautiful affair." She says warmly as her ocean eyes move over the crowd watching it.

Taliene has left the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

"Mostly I send mean missives to barons to remind them that I can and will march an army into their territory and eat them out of house and home if they don't stop being stubborn. Adminstration." Jerrica is asking for things /other/ than boring talk and he'll hmmm to himself. "My laest adventure? Well. Just tonight, I've sent Felicia off like a bloodhound to scent out a woman for me to dance with." Michael takes a moment to lean sideways and glance over Varan's shoulder before dipping back into obscurity.

2 House Deepwood Guards leaves, following Taliene.

2 House Riven Soldiers leaves, following Liam.

"That ought be the goal at any affair, I'd think, to get to meet new people," voices Patrizio as he's inclining his head anew to Liara, an easy smile finding him. There's an apologetic one, turned to Emberly at the invitation to join, as he's caught up for the moment with his cousins by Liara. Even as he's hearing Taliene's apologies, and he inclines his head to her. "As my cousin here oft reminds me, one can't help when duty calls," he says to her with that play of a smile. "Just means having to meet more intently at another time."

Which is followed so easily by a smirk to Adrienne. "Some of us would be agreeing with those who think sometimes you ought be better protected," he counters, very seriously, "and I'm not even the Blackhearts to be thinking such a thing. But I know my place... and Renata has not most certainly seen the bar that's in my office. Your husband, though..." His gaze shifts from Adrienne to Renata, before there's a playful laugh. And then the soft offer to Keely, "I don't believe we've met, highness. Patrizio Pravus, if such wasn't already apparent."

Emberly nods her head a little to Nazmir and she chuckles a little and she shakes her head "nonsense. Thank you for attending and having me help with introductions. She smiles softly to Patrizio and she inclines her head slightly before she leans back to listen and watch to see who is remaining

Renata finishes off her brandy before extricating her arm from Keely's to hand the empty glass off to one of the passing trays. "I shall have to remedy that," she informs Patrizio before dipping a quick curtsey. "If you will excuse me." is offered to the group as a whole before the woman steps back and fades into the crowd.

Nazmir has left the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

Jenkins, an armed champion leaves, following Nazmir.

"You're far too good to me, dearest," Varan says as he appreciatively pets Jerrica's shoulder with his free hand. He hasn't touched his wine. He reaches out to take her empty, and offer her his full one. "Well, Lord Michael, I do believe that my dear sister is free. If you were still looking for an amiable partner, I could think of few her equal in both conversation and grace."

Felicia gives a delighted laugh for Cecilia's words, nodding slightly,"Oh I like you." she offers brightly, distracted at the worst moment as Renata slips away,"Of course... he appears to have managed to slip away right now. But that's okay.

Dio chuckles at Nazmir's reply, and manages to acquire more wine. "Aye, Your Highness. It's bloody c~" Dio notices Adrienne standing beside Patrizio, "cold - but I hear the country is beautiful, and if you're wrestling bears, there is clearly much excitement in Farhaven. My retainer hails from that region." Dio glances over his shoulder looking for Owen, and sees Cecilia, Zoey and Keely. Hearing Emberly, he smiles. "I will be right back if I am rejected." He takes another long drink of wine, and moves across the hall toward Cecilia.

Keely releases Renata's arm easily, no longer needing to cling now that she's found another group to anchor her. "Thank you, Your Highness," is offered quietly to her, although for what exactly, she doesn't specify. To Patrizio, she smiles and nods in greeting. "A pleasure to meet you, Your Highness. Keely Grayson, since I don't think it would have been apparent," she says with a little laugh.

Adrienne exchanges a few words with Patrizio, her pale gaze drawn over his shoulder - until his last comment, which draws a simmering look from her. "By all that is good, I swear Sebastian and the Blackheart have talked to every family member, friend, and vague acquaintance of ours." A glass of wine is offered to her on a tray and she waves it away irritably - and then apologetic for it to the unlucky server. "Keely, Patrizio is our General and generally a wonderful acquaintance. Patrizio, Princess Keely is an aspiring musician. Perhaps you will be dancing to one of her peieces before long."

Cecilia has left the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.

Cecilia has joined the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.

3 First Legion Centurions leaves, following Renata.

Keely has joined the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.

Emberly follows Dio's look and she laughs softly, her eyes bemused as she sips on her drink, she looks to her plushie a moment before she looks back to Adrienne and she offers the Princess a little smile before she stands and looks for others to meet.

Patrizio offers up a grin to Renata when she's speaking of remedying it. "Though my office bar is not much to be seen, I fear," he muses as he's considering this. There's a shiver at the mention of the cold, and worse about willingly going to such things, and the sharp look at Dio, and Nazmir by extension.

But more pleasant aspects of his duty come when he's offering that smile back to Keely. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance, highness. And no, not quite so easily apparent, which many things about this city are not."

And to his newest cousin, as he's shaking his head. "We worry because we care about you," he reminds her gently, without hint of it being either a joke or too gravely serious. "Though I'm clearly not in a position to assert myself on that. But dancing /would/ be something that'd be a pleasure at the right time."

Jerrica tilts her head and studies Varan's face while taking the full glass he offers. "I think you must be plotting something. You're being incredibly complimentary this evening." She then glances at Michael to see if he's still comfortable being hidden.

Adrienne checks willpower at normal. Adrienne is successful.

Liara gives a ready smile in acknowledgement to Patrizio, then after another moment surveying the hall, she notes Merek and gives a flutter of her fingers in greeting.

The high lady then continues through the hall to where another pair of Graysons are, namely Jerrica and Varan, and she checks, "Enjoying the party?" More things are produced from the gift bag, a set of hairpins for Jerrica and a cape for Varan. And plushies.

Liara gets a snarling griffin plushie from Plushie Bag.

Liara gets a snarling griffin plushie from Plushie Bag.

Cecilia grins as Dio approaches them. "Marquis. You finally come and grace us with your presence. I was wondering if I did something to offend." She is clearly teasing the man warmly before she moves to take his arm and guide him to the table. "Have you met Dame Felicia. I don't know much about her but I like her. There is of course my cousin Lady Zoey. Princess Keely." And everyone gets introduced even if they have already met the Marquis.

"You are not wrong, Your Highness," Keely agrees with Patrizio. "The city is far more complicated than I would have imagined. I haven't even figured out what the mysteries _are_, let alone hope to solve any of them." As she's introduced to Dio, Keely offers a friendly nod. "I don't believe we've met. Marquis, is it?"

"Marquis Seraceni," Zoey says to Dio with a respectful nod. "Please, join us."

Resist, Adrienne. Resist! Mollified perhaps by Patrizio's comment or simply recognizing that this is neither the place nor the time, Adrienne continues to hold to his arm and shakes her head incredulously. "That care is returned, and I'll seek not to waste it frivolously." Introductions are made and she inclines her head to Dio in welcome. "Marquis, you've chosen good company. We were just getting aquainted with Princess Keely."

Emberly was headed over that way to - in order to meet Cecilia, she smiles a bit as she catches some of the introductions. She dose not join the table but her eyes wander over Felicia and then Zoey then finally Keely "Greetings Ladies, and Highness." she dips her head softly to the others before she leans away a bit to not tread where she is not invited.

Jerrica clutches the hairpins and the plushie to her chest. "They're beautiful! Thank you, cousin!," she says to Liara."

"We've met only once before, Your Highness," replies Dio to Keely and Adrienne. "It is good to see you again. Since you have come to the city, we've been blessed with concerts and parties. It seems wherever you are, the best of art and conversation are sure to be found." He smiles. He takes a few steps further to stand beside Cecilia and Zoey. He bows to the Voice of Stormward. "Good evening, Lady Zoey," says Dio. "Thank you." He turns to Cecilia, laughing wamly. "Gods no, My Lady," he replies at the notion she somehow gave offense. He turns to Felicia. "I don't believe so. I am Marquis Dio of Ischia." His eyes pass to Zoey. "I believe I heard you are expecting twins. Allow me to offer congratulations to you and Lord Ian. In Ischia, they still speak of how your husband not only survived a ceiling collapsing on his head, but that he rose from the rubble himself through sheer force of will."

Michael turns his gaze back to Jerrica, eyebrows cinching together. "I think a far smaller affair for a dance with your sister would be better. If her conversation is so artful, I would worry for not hearing it in all the clamor of the evening." A lean sideways to spot Felicia and Cecilia..meeting Dio at the moment. "I'm currently safe for the moment. Lets start the dancing together regardless. Varan, you'll take Felicia over there. Have a care for your feet. She dances like she fights. With vigor and little care for what else she damages." First names only when one is conspiring.....interruptions. "I'm not up to anything." Michael quickly professes to Liara.

Emberly has left the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

Liara, only overhearing the bit actually directed at her, takes a moment to assure the room that, "Lord Michael Bisland is possibly not up to anything whatsoever and there may be little cause indeed for everyone to turn and look at him."

Felicia salutes Dio briefly with a sparkling flash of a smile. She's distracted momentarily but other than giving a dip of her head in Emberly's direction turns her attention back to Dio to offer a respectful bow,"Dame Felicia Harrow. And Lord Ian is not a man to be taken lightly in my experience."

It is right as Liara makes her announcement that Varan sidesteps to his right, clearing the view for any Dames that might be looking around for him. Any at all. "I'm not much of a dancer, my lord," says the Prince with a coy-but-knowing smile, "but to encourage my sister into more social events, I will gladly sacrifice my toes."

"I wouldn't know from mysteries, I hate to admit. The only mystery I've found is why anyone would tolerate the snow that's without." Patrizio chuckles, but avails himself of a passing server to get himself a glass of wine, something to better busy his hands as he's briefly wetting his whistle and, perhaps, finding an excuse to still his voice for the moment.

Dio is overheard praising Liara: There is no better place to spend a winter evening than as a guest of Princess Liara Grayson.

"My apologies for forgetting! These weeks have been something of a blur, and I've met so many people," Keely says to Dio, blushing faintly. She nods to Emberly's greeting, smiling kindly. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance. I'm Princess Keely Grayson." To Patrizio, she laughs. "Well, perhaps the snow is to make us appreciate the summer's warmth that much more?" she suggests.

Zoey grins at Dio and his praise of her husband. "That sounds like the beginning of a tall tale, if I ever heard one," she says. "Perhaps I will write one myself." She turns and looks in Michael's direction, suddenly curious.

Adrienne looks perplexed by the Grayson antics occuring in her vicinity. Her pale, serious gaze lands on Michael then Varan then Liara, brow arching, then Felicia. "I hope these comments are but welcome banter, Dame Felicia." The Valardin-who-was squares her shoulders, chivalry in her blood.

Cecilia grins as Dio talks about Ian and looks between Zoey and Dio. "My cousin is an impressive man." She says in praise of her cousin. Her arm still stays on Dio's as she sips her wine. "Princess Keely ... there are so many around Arx, it is hard to keep track. I wouldn't be flustered about it." She leans and whispers something to Dio.

Emberly smiles to Keely, a smile touches her lips gently "Lady Emberly Crovane." she says in introduction before she looks to Michael as well and she chuckles a bit before looking around the room at large. She continues to mingle shifting among the people - Royalty and Nobles whom she greets in soft hello's. Her eyes move to Varan and then she shakes her head a bit chuckling as she turns to find herself a drink.

"Your highness, I mean it truly, I have had occasion to see Lord Ian's bravery and skill for myself, and he is not to be taken lightly. It was intended as an agreement with the Marquis' assessment, and compliment to Lord Ian." Felicia advises with a brief chuckle,"Though as I recall when we first met it was in context of speaking on Deathspeakers and the Mother... I was once one of the Kings' Own and am a Knight-Lieutenant of the Iron Guard. Current attire not withstanding." there's a small shrug of her shoulders.

Stepping back slightly from Varan and Michael, Jerrica's brow furrows as she appraises everyone looking in their direction. "I feel I have missed something, but Varan I wish your toes luck," she murmers to keep the conversation somewhat between the three of them."

"Your experience aligns with all I've hear, Dame Felicia," replies Dio on the topic of Ian Kennex. He chuckles softly at Michael's words regarding Felicia's style of dancing. He shakes his head, smiling at Keely. "I do not doubt it, Your Highness." And when Zoey speaks of tall tales, Dio smiles. "Aye, they have much to say about your skill with a bow, My Lady," replies the marquis. "The testimony of Dame Felicia and Captain Tancred suggest the tales of your prowess are more than fables." Whatever Cecilia whispers to Dio causes him to glance her way with wide eyes. He clears his throat, and sets aside his glass of wine. "May I have this dance, My Lady?" Dio asks Cecilia.

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

At some point, Liara directs the person with the plushie bag to simply head around and distribute them as and when people indicate they would like one, rather than happening upon people with them at random.

Liara drops Plushie Bag.

Cecilia nods to Marquis Dio, "I would love a dance." She says warmly after she finishes her glass and sets it aside. "I do love dancing. It is my favorite part of these things."

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

Felicia gets a snarling griffin plushie from Plushie Bag.

Another sip of his wine, and Patrizio's chuckling quietly when he's listening to the back and forth. "I don't know - I think that most things are more fun with a little peril, even if it's but one's toes," muses the Pravusi prince, with regards to dancing, and there's that impish twinkle to his eyes that hints at his amusement being genuine. "Not that I know if I'm in a mood to perhaps take to the dance floor myself this evening, but it's a lovely way to show one's grace off the battlefield."

And yet, perhaps against that image of being a soldier and general, there's that discreet gesture to the person with the bag, as if he perhaps does have /some/ touch of whimsey.

Patrizio takes a snarling griffin plushie from Plushie Bag.

"Lets go visit?" Michael gingerly takes up Jerrica's hand to wind it through his elbow and pull her along while his other hand settles upon Varan's shoulder to direct the man along with him. All three of them make their way across the hall towards Felicia+Zoey et al.

Varan seemed to be just about to say something to Jerrica, but then they're off to the races and being directed like petulant children towards the larger segment of the gathering. Ever the consummate people person, he makes no gesture to resist the guidance, instead plastering on a smile enough to make even the happiest person look disinterested.

Armani enters, but not in a gown, shes dressed in her blue armor, as if she just got off a ship. The Gilden looks around but dose not really seem all to sure about being here. She looks to the plushies shifting her eyes slightly to them.

Felicia totally missed the discussion about her dancing technique, grinning briefly as Cecilia and Dio slip off and making a musing noise as she scans over the room, spying Michael and pointing at him like 'ha!'.

Jerrica accepts Michael's arm. "Why not?" she shrugs and walks with the two men to the larger group.

"I'll sit," Adrienne tells Patrizio after casting him an amused look. She relinquishes his arm to rejoin Zoey on the couch, even as she follows his glance to the bag of gifts and fights a twitch of her mouth. Then her gaze travels up to the ceiling. "I believe this is my first gala at the Grayson Estate. Liara's had it decorated so beautifully."

Dio smiles at Cecilia and bows to her, offering a hand. Making his way to the part of the hall designated for dancing, Dio's eyes meet those of his partner, and, without another word, he beings to move with simple, rhythmic steps to the music with Cecilia if she should allow him.

"Her Grace is one of the finest hostesses in the city," Zoey tells Adrienne with a smile. "Her events are absolutely not to be missed."

Taking a moment to herself, along with a cup of tea, Liara spots Armani entering and slips over nearer to offer a quick smile in greeting. "I do not think we have met. I am Liara Grayson, the Princess of Bastion. How do you do?"

Armani sticks to wallflowering for the moment her eyes move from face to face, she smiles a little as Zoey praises the Grayson Princess, "perhaps I will dust off some gowns for the next one." she says to absoultely no one

"I hope to one day have even a _fraction_ of my sister's ability to host events," Keely admits to Adrienne and Zoey, as she looks around at the grand room.

Cecilia moves with the music and with her partner's lead as she allows Dio to move her around the dance floor. She continues to dance and hold Dio's gaze with a warm smile as they move across the dance floor, the ocean honey silk of her dress sweep across the floor with her.

Zoey is overheard praising Liara: Truly the Hostess with the Mostest!

Felicia is overheard praising Liara.

Patrizio laughs warmly when Adrienne's acquiescing to the matter of sitting down, and he's looking on approvingly. "I think this is my first time over in the manor as well," he finally admits, when he's considering it, and smiling to their hostess. "Though it's the matter also of the fact that I should perhaps be out and about more frequently and enjoy the sights of the city besides the taverns that I frequent when I'm shirking my duties."

"Felicia!" Michael exclaims as he approaches, a quick glance around though finds Cecilia already dancing. "This is Prince Varan Grayson. I've warned him of you, but I suspect you can manage to keep collateral damage to a minimum if you two embark upon the dance floor." With that, his hand slips from the Grayson man's shoulder and he'll turn to Jerrica. "A turn on the dancefloor, since things seem to have quieted significantly?"

"And why shouldn't you?" asks Adrienne of Keely as she follows the attention toward where Liara converses with Amari in her blue armor. "You do not lack for aspirations." A simple, candid observation in the cultured accent of Sanctum. "What is your greatest aspiration?" Her chin tips up toward Patrizio. Then the corner of Adrienne's mouth quirks knowingly. "Has your guide been published yet?"

"Wait... what?" Felicia can't help but ask with a blink at Michael. Mouth opens, she thinks better of saying something and it closes again with a narrow-eyed squint at Michael before dipping her head to Varan respectfully,"Your highness, anything he may have said is at best exaggeration. Assuredly." never mind that the smile she directs the Bisland lord could curdle milk.

Armani looks to Liara and she gives a little nod of her head "Lady Armani of Gilden Princess." she says "I am new to the scene, well any scene, cant say I know anyone here." she laughs "well except the Marquis Dio." she says bemused

Presenting a low bow to Felicia, Varan chuckles heartily as he raises, "Ah, Lord Michael is a knight. I doubt he would know grace and care if it hit him over the head with a mallet." He's clearly teasing, as the glance he offers towards his sister and her dance partner has a certain twinkle. Or maybe that's the lighting. "Never the less, it would be my honour to join you in showing everyone else here how to actually dance."

Jerrica watches Varan walk towards Felicia then turns her attention to Michael smiling. "Of course, Milord," she offers him her hand. "But be warned my brother may overstate my dancing abilities."

"A pleasure to meet you, my lady. There are a few too many for me to introduce adequately all in one go, I think," Liara remarks to Armani, "although as I observed earlier, one could turn at random in here and whoever you would be facing would be a most excellent person to know." Then Liara turns to the room at large to introduce Armani, with a simple, "May I introduce Lady Armani Gilden?"

Dio and Cecilia swirl amid the other dancers on the floor. His calloused palm meets that of the Lady of Stormward, and after a swirl of seatouched wool and honeysilk, the dancers come together again. Dio laughs happily as he dances, and at the song's conclusion, offers Cecilia a deep, respectful bow.

"Oh, well," Keely replies to Adrienne with a bit of a blush. "I mean, perhaps one day." She smiles faintly, but still looks self-conscious. "My greatest would be, well... to be great at _something_. To make a true name for myself, and do Grayson proud." This brings on a deeper blush, and she tips back a longer sip of wine as though that might help it.

Liara's words are magical. Adrienne lifts her attention away from her conversation to look from the Grayson High Lord to Armani. She scrutinizes the woman, new to her, then inclines her head in welcome before returning to her conversation.

"Then that's a blindness I myself must suffer from." Felicia admits with a grin and the slightest shake of her head,"I wont promise to be the most graceful dancer in the city, there's a wealth of princesses that could make me look like a three legged dog out there. But. I mostly manage to avoid treading on people's toes." there's a small pause,"I didn't think there was a Grayson in the city I hadn't at least seen in passing, but, it has admittedly been a few years since I served his majesty."

"Soon. I've the first draft of a few of the locales written up - I'm having a few friends look them over to make sure that they're not completely off-base, and then we'll publish them. I want to have some of them out before we sail for the Saffron... just in case." Patrizio's a reasonable sort, when it comes down to it, and he's trying hard to be positive about the matter. Though the question about aspirations gets his attention, so long as he's not the one having to answer.

Felicia checks dexterity and performance at normal. Felicia marginally fails.

Varan checks dexterity and performance at normal. Varan marginally fails.

Cecilia continues to dance with Marquis Dio as they move across the floor. She swirls out and swirls in. She laughs happily with Dio and at the conclusion when Dio gives her a deep bow she gives a flourish of a deep curtsy. Standing she takes his arm again and exits the floor. "Thank you for the amazing dance." She says before whispering into his ear softly with a mischievous grin.

"I am sure your dancing will be fine, indeed." Michael departs from the small collection of people with Jerrica at hand, Felicia and Varan having joined the dancefloor before them. The pair were near to Jerrica's brother....but Michael waits for them to start off and move away before the two start dancing proper. "Just need to get some distance.....So. What have you come to Arx to do?"

Varan and Felicia do manage to actually make it towards the dance floor without too much in the way of malady. Of course that all changes when they actually join together and dance. A polite person might say that they are simply unfamiliar with each region's dancing customs... the unkind would say they appear like two newborn deer stuck on the ice, with weights on their heads. It's not pretty.

Michael checks dexterity and performance at normal. Michael is successful.

Felicia is definitely more comfortable in armor, and while that dress might be made for dancing... she is not while wearing it. No matter how dignified she attempts to be, all it takes is one wrong step onto the hem of her gown and it's all likely to go downhill from there with an undignified 'erp'!

In quiet consultation with Zoey, Adrienne raises her attention back to Patrizio, firelight catching the gold in her eyes. "Soon," she repeats as though she can hold him to that promise through words alone. "And of those you have seen, have you chosen your favorite?" That aside, there's something sympathetic in the look she turns back to Keely. "It is uniquely difficult to be born into a great family and seek to find your place within it. I have no doubt that you shall," she concludes gallantly.

Armani laughs a little as she gives a little nod of her head to those that she is introduced to, she laughs softly before she looks over to Varan, and she shutters a little before she looks over back to the room at large. Her eyes fall on Adrienne and she gives the other woman a nod of her head before she brushes her hand over her leathers. "Sorry I was not able to change before attending, highness."

Cecilia has left the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.

1 Kennex corsairs, Wyatt, a large Kennex Laika Hound, Mary Lucennia, an alluring lady's companion leave, following Cecilia.

Jerrica was not expecting Michael to be so good at dancing. She let's him swish her around the dance floor avoiding her brother and his partner. "Why have I come to Arx you ask?," Jerrica pauses to chuckle. "Well I'm a bit of a pacifict, and I wanted to see if I could make a difference in all the things that are happening here these days." She is aware that this answer is probably not what the kight was expecting.

"I have, but that'd be telling." Patrizio's grinning the grin of the cat with the canary, but he's chuckling softly. "I have a few that are near and dear to my heart, but, but none that I'd yet be telling anyone to avoid. Well, depending on the company one has." He's looking a hint like there's a bit of scandal to that statement, but the smile disappears behind his wineglass when's contemplating the matter more fully, as well as glancing about their company.

Varan checks dexterity and performance at hard. Varan is successful.

"Your faith in me is appreciated," Keely says to Adrienne with a soft smile and yet another blush. "I shall hope to live up to it." She takes another sip of her wine, more sedately this time, using it as a chance to hide her face until her blush quiets.

"Truly, My Lady," replies Dio to Cecilia as they walk together from the dance floor, "it is I who must thank you." Her quieter words bring a smile and reply. Finding his wine again, Dio notices Armani and raises his glass in greeting. Coming to stand before Adrienne, Zoey and Patrizio, Dio raises his eyebrow curiously at the words of the latter, until his attention falls on the blushing Keely. "I should be getting back to the Manor," he says softly. "Good night, and fair winds." He nods to Owen and Anne, who move to his side, before coming to Liara. "Thank you for a wonderful evening, Your Grace." He bows reverently, and departs the hall with his retainers.

Twist, twirl, stomp... feck. Varan dips Felicia slightly, as a guise to free her hem from under her foot. He says little but winks at her in understanding and beams a cheery, somewhat comforting smile. "I'm rather new to town," Varan confesses, now that the dancing is actually under way, "Arrived shortly after my sister there, Princess Jerrica. So it's not unreasonable to have no idea I existed."

"Will you help me?" Adrienne asks of Patrizio as she holds up a hand to him. Asking for help does not come easily to the reserved and regal princess; she rushes through the words. "Zoey, Princess Keely, I should return to home. It has been a pleasure to join you."

Dancing is similar to swordplay, honest! In the sense of dodging other swordspersons like Felicia on the dance floor. "A pacifist? This is /the/ city to advocate for more peaceful solutions. Charity can be centered here and driven outward with relative ease. From what I've seen." Nope! Michael plucks Jerrica from the floor a moment to pull her sideways AWAY from an approaching Varan/Felicia. "I've heard the argument between strength of arms and strength of diplomacy many times at my parent's tables. I haven't come down on one or the other side quite yet."

Felicia checks dexterity and performance at hard. Felicia is successful.

Armani watches Dio make his way out and she smiles as she turns a bit to follow him out.. she is careful not to look any one way for too long, not a social creature this one.

Zoey smiles to Adrienne. "Indeed! Let us meet for tea soon, shall we?"

"Perhaps," Adrienne demurs to Zoey and it is to Patrizio that she glances. "I'll be returning to Pieros soon."

"A pleasure to meet you both," Keely offers to Adrienne and Dio. "I hope to see you again soon. I'm sure our paths will find a way to cross." Her eyebrows furrow at the mention of Pieros. "Or perhaps they will not, for awhile. Still, I hope to see you again."

"I'll always help you, new cousin," Patrizio says warmly to Adrienne, when he's holding out his hand, and offering her that help when she's asking for it. "I should hope that a return to Pieros isn't all that soon, given how we're liable to have to winter and the like down there, at the rate things are going." That is not a pleased sound from him.

"I'm glad you are open to the discussion," Jerrica tells Michael as she takes large steps backwards....and in heels....away from the other couple. She stifles a yawn. "Milord, it is getting late. I may retire soon. Could we continue this discussion at another time?" she inquires.

"I'd enjoy that, your highness." Michael murmurs as Jerrica slips from his grasp and away. "A less bustling occasion would be better." It also gives him chance to step from the dancefloor as well, away from those still circulating.

Bowing her head to Keely, Adrienne looks her gratitude to Patrizio for his assistance and pushes up to kiss the air beside his cheek. "I'm calling on Setarco first." That doesn't sound like disagreement from her. She manages a tight-lipped smile. "Duty calls." And with a half-bow in Liara's direction, thanks to the hostess, Adrienne - and her coterie of guards - slip back out into the winter.

Felicia's face goes as red as her hair for at least a few moments, opportunity taken to as surreptiously as possible untangle skirt from feet without leaving a trail of fashion destruction in her wake. Her recovery rather more graceful than their outset had suggested it could be. Perhaps it merely took working out the right footwork. There's an embarrassed little laugh from Felicia, grateful that it didn't result in a wardrobe malfunction,"Oh! You're Jerrica's brother? I don't know her well but she seems, ah... lovely. Pardon me." the last as she takes a hand away for a moment to resettle the strap of her gown across the burn scars on her shoulder,"I was among the Kings' Own for a few years so there was a time when I knew them all by sight if not name and in passing. Now it feels like there's a whole new batch of the Peerage that I simply don't know yet." she offers with a rueful smile.

Adrienne has left the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.

6 First Legion Centurions, Maxence Fairborough, a steward leave, following Adrienne.

Keely is overheard praising Liara.

Varan checks dexterity and performance at daunting. Varan fails.

Apparently distracted by Falicia's near-malfunction, Varan is about to say something kind and profound about his sister... instead he manages to step on the hem of that self-same dress and skid like a cart on the ice. To his credit, he manages to release the Dame before he goes ass over head and lands in the lap of a knocked down waiter... who himself had managed not to spill a drop of his tray of drinks. There is a pause that hangs in the air before the Prince retrieves a glass of the good stuff, raises his glass to the waiter, "Good evening," and downs it.

Attention drawn by the brief commotion, Liara looks to Varan with some momentary surprise. Then, she just sips at her tea rather than draw any further attention, and leaves the helping-up-of-cousins to the conveniently nearby waiter.

Felicia can't help it, it brings out an abrupt laugh from the dame. She grabs a fistful of her skirt in order to make it safely over to the downed prince and... offer a hand up? Well, yes, but only after retrieving a glass of whiskey from the startled waiter first,"Sorry. This thing is beautiful, but... well... I should have just worn my armor." she offers ruefully.

Felicia's comment does get a smirk from the Pravusi prince, but Patrizio's not saying a word about choice of apparel for a moment. And then, "I think armour's plenty formal, depending on the occasion. It's all the question of whether or not you want to dance."

Appreciatively taking the proffered hand, Varan eases himself up, and then leans slightly to place his glass back on the tray, and then take the tray itself from the waiter, "Good man. Didn't spill a drop. You're unharmed, I hope. I think the bruise on my ego should be big enough for us both, eh?" He grins at the waiter and glances back towards Felicia, "I think that putting you in a dress is like gilding refined gold. There's beauty enough there already."

Zoey braces herself on the edge of the couch and gets to her feet. "Ah, well, this has been a most lovely evening, but I think it is time that I retire."

Felicia shoots a glance Patrizio's way,"and what kind of dancing you plan on." of course, mostly bare shoulders do nothing to hide the knight's musculature in helping Varan up. Especially with the counterbalance of her planted feet and the whiskey glass in the opposite hand. The snort offered at the compliment as ladylike as the rest of her,"Your highness, either you are horribly drunk... or should have your eyes checked. One could swing a waiter and strike any number of more beautiful ladies. But thank you for the compliment." she grins broadly.

Liara offers over her own thoughts to Felicia, "I would heartily recommend that you keep it up with the dress, Dame Felicia, and if you fancy wardrobe suggestions, I am happy to provide."

Then Liara turns to the room in general. "I thank everyone for coming - I certainly had a lovely time. And for now, I am going to withdraw, although people are welcome to stay for as long as they wish."



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