Grayson Fealty Dinner - Dec.
Raven and Princess Macda are hosting this one, and attendees are highly encouraged to wear their fanciest hat or codpiece (or both) as there will prizes given out for the top tops. You can contact the hosts if you need more details.
Dec. 18, 2021, 7 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Grayson Mansion - Dining Room
Comments and Log
Fairen arrives, following Keely.
Finn the large Northern hunting dog with icy blue eyes, Rocco, the rascally assistant, Strawberry Pupcake, the Graypeak Mountain Dog arrive, following Thea.
A reserved assistant named Stojan, 3 Thrax Guards, An ostentatious curator named Sivas, Lady Snow, 1 Thrax Elite Guards, A nondescript man named Cato, Thea arrive, following Denica.
The dining room is extra festive this evening, dressed up in summer's end and autumn's beginnings. The fancy hat theme for the dinner plays out with charming subtlety throughout the menu: mushroom caps stuffed with savory meat or vegetable mixtures, sausages wrapped with elaborate plaited puff pastry codpieces, actual pieces of cod baked with citrus and dill. Lidded steins filled with harvest beers or cider. And each new course brought out under cloches to be revealed with a flourish.
Other bowls hold heaped roasted vegetables, chestnuts, mixed greens made more colorful with edible flowers, creamy squash soup. And there are condiments galore -- clover honey, mustards of varying heat, coarse salt and cracked black peppercorns, thin slivers of toasted garlic.
Dessert includes peach and plum cobblers, spiced apples, muffins dolloped with little hoods of stiff-peaked sweet creams.
And as always, just about any liquor imaginable is available with a request from the waitstaff.
Macda, playing hostess and all cleaned up in silver and gold tissue seasilk, loiters near the doors to Queenspeace Hall to greet guests and family alike. While a gold comb tries its very best to keep her hair presentable, most of the work is handled by the very tall kid leather hat she wears. Even small movements of her head send three model griffins wheeling about on their ring paths like racers around their track lanes, the bar supporting the rings marking both start and end. They're identical but for the letters painted near their wings: M, L, and K.
When Elora arrives, it's with the help of a Whitehawk guard and a cane. The quiet blonde's right ankle is bandaged, and she's avoiding as much weight on the extremity as possible. All the same, she hop-steps, hop-steps, hop-steps her way to Macda and gives as graceful a curtsey as one can with a sprained ankle. "Good evening, your Highness," she says; she's clearly a softspoken sort. "Thank you for your invitation."
Ian isn't wearing a hat. Or fancy clothes. But he's here! For all that it's worth, which isn't much. He slouches in a chair at some out of the way part of the table.
Eirene does not do silly hats. But her three children do, the two seven year old Malvici in little helmets with black feathers like spread out wings and her youngest Riven boy wearing a hat that looks like a fish bowl with a little fake fish in it. They're all being very well behaved, making little bows when presented. "Iris and Idris, my eldest, and Jace, my little one. We figured funny hat dinner would be a good test of the manners Anisha is drilling into them."
Raven strides in looking a bit sunkissed, the satin of the sails of her caravel hat fluttering as she shows up unfashionably late to a party she's supposed to be helping with. She arrives and bows to the guesta and then to Macda, closing the distance to murmur softly to the proper host.
Macda has a stein in one hand and the lid is held open by her thumb for easy drinking between greets. "Thank you for accepting," she replies to Elora, dimples bracing her grin. "What happened to you?" She's clearly the bad at etiquette sort. "Please, sit, rest. Drink! Enjoy yourself." Next in the line, the pugilist princess laughs aloud at the fish bowl. "Ha! So glad you did. Full permission for them to correct /me/ if they catch me slipping. Prepare a perch, my lords and ladies! Bread's on the table, all the hot things will be coming out soon."
Thea is here, naturally. Because Macda. Complete with a blindingly shiny hat. "Thank you for the invite, Mac,"she greets her friend. "You're looking, well--you're looking actually really nice. I'm not use to you looking so dressy." There's a flutter of her fingers at Raven as well and Eirene. At all her nieces and nephews, Thea grins too. "Hey you guys,"she greets. "Do you want to sit by me? I love your hats. I think Scratchers(the hawk) would love them too. Likely make him hungry..."
There is some bowing from the guards at the door as another Grayson arrives-- Keely, dressed in her autumn best, chatting quietly with Denica and Fairen, a small grin on her lips. "I am so pleased you could make it on such short notice," she is saying to Denica, passing off her capelet to someone and beginning to gently pull her gloves free of her hands. "I forgot to mention, there was something about hats..." Her dark gaze is drawn across the room to Macda, and the softest snort escapes her as she begins to laugh. This summons a coral flush to her pale cheeks, and she lifts a delicate hand to shield her mouth, glancing around furtively to see if anyone bore witness to the unseemly sound.
"It is good to see you," she murmurs with a warm smile to Macda as the group nears, a nod of greeting offered aside to Raven as well. Upon a closer look, she continues, "And that is quite a hat. ...wait, is the griffin meant to be me??"
"There was a loose paving stone in front of the Tournament Grounds," Elora responds to Macda, "and I lost my footing. It's only a sprain. My thanks again." And she hobbles off to find a seat.
Eirene's mini brood rush off to greet Thea when she waves to them and Jace admires the shiny hat. The Riven nee Malvici settles down and motions for them to sit with their aunt as she helps herself to a drink. "Okay, rules-" She nods to the trio of kids, "No yelling, fighting, or throwing food unless another adult does it first. Then you do it BETTER. And no pigging out on all the bread, save room for dessert. Yes, you may all have dessert."
Macda leans in toward Raven and chuckles, nodding agreement. Catching Ian slouched over in a seat, she hefts her stein in greeting to him as well before telling Raven, "I think we'll have plenty of room for stretching our legs tonight. You any good with making polite small talk? Thea!" Maybe Raven's off the hook! For now. She rolls her head, sending the three griffin models spinning around the tall column of the hat. Which one wins..? "Couldn't have anyone calling me out for not putting /effort/ into hosting, right? Especially after I swung so hard for the hat part. You're looking very shiny! Glad you could make it, pretty. Go on and get something fun to drink. Sister!" she laughs, turning to Keely, and peering uselessly up at the brim of the hat. "I don't know, did it win? If it won, it's absolutely me."
Macda has rolled 1 3-sided dice: 2
Denica arrives with Keely, who she is familiar with and Fairen, who she is less familiar with, but seems to know him enough to make quiet conversation. The young woman looks like she ran over, not having the time to put together a proper party outfit. Rather Denica is wearing a painters smock, though it's a dressy one. She does remove it with her coat when she enters, and emerges in a more appropriate dress, though somewhat daring given how she usually dresses. Having heard rumours about hats, she is wearing one that was also not meant for tonight. A giant sauce with a teacup and a cat sitting in it. Anyone familiar with the notorious Lady Snow would recognize the resemblance, but to others it looks like a white Maelstrom purebred, a paw lifted and ready for carnage.
A smile is offered to Keely, "it was kind of you to invite me your highness. I had heard rumours about hats and found something in the studio," she murmurs adjusting it on top of her head.
In a nod to the hat competition, Ian is wearing his star iron goggles perched atop his head. Alternately (and this is possibly more likely) he was swimming or something and just forgot to take them off. Either way, they're there. They're not a hat, but at least they might be useful if the room fills with smoke for some reason.
Looks like Liara-griffin one this twirl around. Mac chuckles and ushers a few others in toward seats and eats. "Leary," a grin for Fairen and a smile for Denica, "Highness. Right proper headdressing, sure to be the next big trend."
Raven grins broadly at Macda, "I think Macda may have been roped to assist me with this one, because...Well I'm me and two, I've come do discover we're rather kindred spirits." She bows her head to Thea, "That's a generous offer and one I won't refuse, My lady. I shall join you shortly." She promises with a smile and moves to greet other guests while she's up starting with, "Lord Ian, Ah, those goggles look familiar. I now understand why you brought those along to the dive. As usual, you think of everything."
Striding in with his ever-present folio under one arm and cloak swirling behind him, Fairen peers at the gathering over his spectacles. Upon spotting Macda he grins and bows, "Princess Macda! A delight to see you again, I am sure this will be a rather -interesting- dinner. I hope you've been well?" He returns to murmured conversation to Keely and Denica afterwards, wearing his usual everyday clothing which is fitted with a lot of pockets, excellent for scholarly needs. He raises a hand to balance the abomination atop his heaad and nods a greeting to the rest. "Lord Ian, Lady Eirene, Countess Thea, Blackheart." Elora he has to stare at for a minute while thinking. "Lady Elora, if I remember correctly?"
Carissa, a Southport bodyguard, Planchet the Lycene maggiordome leave, following Eirene.
Ian nods to Macda when she greets him, then blinks at Raven. He touches the top of his head. "Oh." Yeah, he forgot he was wearing them (because his player forgot he was wearing them). "They're good for dealing with silt. Hello, Marquis Leary."
"Did you anyone to look at that ankle,"Thea asks Elora with an lifted brow. Just in case you know. Leaning down to murmur to her niece and nephews, a brief smile there. "We'll show your mom how good you are, yes,"before getting a drink for herself. "Hey Ian,"Thea greets. "I've seen those goggles before. Looking good...Marquis Fairen, good evening. How have you been? Busy more than likely." Thea gives a slight wave and a smile to Denica and Keely as well before ACTUALLY settling. Adjusting her hat with just enough flare, the Wyvernheart nods,"I figure there is just enough shine to this hat, it would suffice would this evening."
"Oh, it looks like Liara has come in first," Keely states softly after watching the griffins find their way to the finish line, her grin growing slightly. "Either way, it is smashing. Thank you for putting this together, dear sister." Subtly, she extends an ivory hand to give one of Macda's a warm, gentle squeeze on the way past, the gesture mostly obscured by her full skirt. She leads the way toward the table, dipping her head and smiling kindly to the staff that pull out chairs for she and Denica as they near. "My lords and ladies," she greets more generally, with an equally pleasant smile for the rest of those gathered. "Has everyone met Princess Denica Thrax? Isn't her hat darling?"
Keely has joined the Griffon engraved dining table.
Thea has joined the Griffon engraved dining table.
Fairen has joined the Griffon engraved dining table.
Raven curtsies respectully as she's greeted, "Marquis, glad you could make it this evening. I haven't seen you much lately, but I imagine you have been keeping quite busy. That is a most exceptional hat."
Ian has joined the Griffon engraved dining table.
Raven has joined the Griffon engraved dining table.
Macda has joined the Griffon engraved dining table.
Denica has joined the Griffon engraved dining table.
1 Iron Guardsmen have been dismissed.
Due, a large hunting dog have been dismissed.
2 Whitehawk Guards have been dismissed.
Fiona, a Whitehawk falconer have been dismissed.
As Denica steps into the room proper she sees some familiar faces and she wiggles her fingers at Thea and Ian. "Thea! and Lord Ian, always great to see you both. Especially both of you in the same room," she adds with a little smirk. Not fuelling and fires, nope. As she is introduced by Keely, Denica flashes a wide smile at the group at large but says to her and everyone, "thank you-- it was modelled after my cat Lady Snow, notorious mouse murderer of the Mourning Isles." Denica slips into her seat, smoothing down her dress over her knees. "It's lovely to join you all here, thank you."
Ian nods to Thea, and then to Denica Then he goes back to picking at his food. Not that he's ever especially social but, well... put it this way, today isn't any kind of deviation from the norm.
"Extremely busy," Fairen confirms to Thea with a hand carefully keeping the towering abomination from falling off of his head when taking a seat at the table. "I've found myself with a lot to do recently. I won't complain about that, of course. How about you, Countess?" Smiling affably at Denica, he remarks to Keely, "Princess Denica quite saved my life at the party. If it wasn't for her dancing skills, I'd likely have caused great injury to someone - and she did it all with great grace, nobility and wit. A wonderful new friend to make." The Marquis gives a short nod to Raven, "I have been busy, yes, but if you need to talk about anything, just feel free to send me a letter. Thank you for the compliment, how have you been, Blackheart?" He considers Elora and asks, "Lady Elora, how has Whitehawk been?"
Macda lobs a grin after her sister as she moves off and more people come through. Once or twice, the angle of her gaze drops in search of any below-the-belt hats. None so far! Aside to where she last saw Raven, whether or not her cohost is still there, she mumbles, "Knew I should have ordered a codpiece too. Right! I think everyone knows how to come through a door," she decides, clapping her hands together and starting toward the table.
"Thank you everyone, for joining our family for dinner tonight. I'm happy to see some faces I already know and I'd love to get to know the newer ones better! I'm Macda, if we missed introductions. And I'd like to introduce and thank Raven, here," where /is/ she? Mac looks around and eventually gestures, pointing Raven out, "who took on the task of planning and hosting with me tonight. She's very generously provided the prizes we have tonight for our little contest. And if we all have enough sauce and we're feeling lucky, we can bet on the races," she points to her hat and the orbiting griffins, "send a bit of glory and coin to the charity of the winner's choice. Courses will be coming out as soon as you've all found your seats." Which most people have while she's been talking!
Thea mutters, "Do you ... Ian knows about that ... ... have with all ... glitter and the ... ... should ... ... his legs ... he's here, ... his height. Make sure it's appropriate ..."
Raven inclines her head and smiles, "Glad you can make it, Princess Keely. I hope you've been well? It seems I have always been stepping out as you've arrived." Raven's circling the table greeting everyone one by one. She looks up and smiles in chagrine to KEely, "aaand, as if on cue." She apologizes and moves around to blink and laughs at Macda, "I am amazed, Princess Macda. I think you've single handedly managed to find one wager no one here has ever made before. Untread ground amoungst this esteemed collection of guests is singularly impressive."
Raven adds an answer to Fairen, "I've been quite busy but in good company, Marguis. I'm pleased you could make it tonight."
Udell steps through the door without a look of regard for tardiness, and also, sans headwear. His eyes look about before spotting some familiar faces, bowing his head gently to them with a smile and offering, "Blackheart, Princess Keely, Marquis Fairen. I came to offer my regards and to check on everyone."
Fairen mutters, "... an extremely beautiful dress, ... wouldn't ... ... you'd ... something ... ... ... have many facets, apparently, Blackheart."
Keely settles in her seat, leaning aside to murmur something to Denica upon her descent. As Macda speaks, a wide and warm smile returns to her lips and her focus shifts across the table to listen attentively, after which a gentle applause is tapped at the edge of the table with the fingers of one hand. She shares that smile to Raven when she comes around. "Thank you for helping to organize this, Miss Raven," she murmurs, following her sister's speech. "And my compliments on your hat!"
Ian eyes Thea from across the table when he catches his name in her muttering, followed by the word 'glitter'.
Thea exhales. "I'd imagine Martino has tons of codpieces in his room. But I wasn't about to ask to go borrow one." Lifting her glass, Thea cheers,"To Raven and Mac. For showing they can be great hostesses!" Thea takes a drink then, answering Fairen. "I have been, yes. Bastion, Highhill, not to mention Baroness Lucita and I will be sailing out to where my cousin Calypso was last seen. Our PLAN is to find the ship."
Elora's eyes lift to Fairen, and she gives the man a warm smile. "Yes, Marquis Leary. That's me." Thea gets a nod. "I'm taking care of it myself, Countess. Elevation, rounds of leeches, the usual; it's healing well." Her own hat is deceptively simple. An asymmetrical rose leather chappeau rests just to the side of centre, flipping out in a subtle bend at the brim to shade blueberry coloured eyes. Upon closer inspection, however, one begins to see the shades of rose mottle and spot, unobtrusive veining until it resembles nothing so much as if some playful sprite had plopped the bell of a foxglove onto an unsuspecting Elora's pale curls. She stays quiet otherwise, however, following all the conversation with a smile that suggests she's enjoying her people watching.
Denica looks around the table and her lips curl into a grin, "I love all the hats," she expresses. "It's a fantastic idea!, a hat party," she says as she reaches for a glass of wine and takes a sip. The princess is whispering to both Keely and Thea, but every now and then her eyes drift and land on Ian. As though she is taking measure of him, but she never says anything and Denica maintains an innocent look that must have taken years at performance school to master. It doesn't really hide the mischief in her eyes. Rather she sips on her drink and then there is a smile at Fairen, "oh, you did well to keep up, and we both kept our toes, which was all that mattered!," she exclaims.
A soft giggle bubbles from Keely at something Denica says, a small, amused grin flashed at the other royal. She clears her throat softly, a hand rising to collect a stein of cider that looks nearly too big for the princess, but she manages it and takes a small sip, the lid barely missing her nose as it slams closed after.
Elora has joined the Griffon engraved dining table.
The look Ian gives Thea and Denica across the table takes on a note of vague and silent warning, but he's mostly just eating his dinner.
Thea completely looks innocent if Ian looks at her. HONEST! If she DOES the skim the man, it COULD be she's scoping out his goggles. "Racing,"she then asks Macda. "What exactly will be racing? I'm throwing this hat? I feel like Den's crazy cat will go after it,"her eyes drifting to the pile of snow. "That's good to hear then,"she says to Elora with a slight smile. "If you need anything, just let me know. I know you can tend yourself, but I've learned physicans themselves make the worse patients." Looking up at another face, Thea nods her head and greets the man respectfully,"Blessed Udell. Nice to see you again."
Raven smiles wryly to Keely, "I'm afraid the vast majority of the credit goes to Princess Macda. All I did was ponder ideas for a way to add a dash of cheerful novelty and scrounge up prizes and curios for guests to take with them to remember the evening." She finally moves to come and settles at a seat beside Thea, "Thank you for saving me a seat, Countess." She looks up and smiles, "Ahhh! Welcome Archlector! I am so pleased you culd make it."
Picking up a stein of cider, Fairen flips up the lid and takes a long sip - although he does almost laugh at how the drinking vessel appears huge for her. When she giggles at something Denica says, the Marquis gets nosy and leans in a bit, probably dropping eaves. "Your Highnesses, what's being discussed?" Such an innocent face he puts on! Returning Elora's smile, he asks with a curious look, "How fares the rest of your family?"
Raven bhows her head humbly, "Thank you, your highness. I must confess I absolutely adore your hairpins, they're beautiful."
There must have been some cue related to the number of butts in seats because the first course is coming out along with supplementals. Stuffed mushrooms on their tiny plates are set on larger plates before Graysons and guests, soup is ladled into bowls. Emptied steins are collected, replaced with new ones freshly filled with beer or cider. Or more delicate glasses for those after wine. Or milk. Nobody's shamed for their drink preferences.
"Countess, it continues to be a pleasure I'm able to enjoy.", Udell replies to Thea, smiling warmly as his head inclines before looking to Raven and saying rather mirthfully, "As though I would risk being scolded for never leaving the Shrine. The Templars have begun whispering about how long it'll take before I blend into the furniture."
"I might be moving around too much," Elora admits a little sheepishly to Thea's claim. "They remain in Hawkhold, Marquis. We're surrounded by the Gray Forest, and the holding must be prepared. So, I suppose they are as well as can be hoped for." Once again, the woman lapses back into silence. That her interest is engaged is unmistakable. Each person that speaks gets her full attention, ingenuously curious as she listens closely.
"Archlector," Keely greets Udell in a warm tone, with a curve of her lips to match. "Welcome, I am so pleased you have joined us." She attempts another sip, but when her stein lid bonks her on the brow she gives up and sets it aside, quietly requesting the same drink in a small goblet from a passing servant. "Mm? Oh, Princess Thrax was just telling me of the japes that Lord Kennex and the Countess play on one another," she replies to Fairen's query, loud enough to carry across the table to where Ian sits, though this does not appear to be on purpose. "They sound quite fun, I hope we will see some." The princess is then Very Distracted by the little mushroom caps on little plates, and she emits a barely audible sound of delight, beaming as she looks over the clever play on the theme. "Macda, how adorable," she coos in the direction of her sister.
Macda takes a minute to speak with one of the serve staff, who nods and moves off on some side quest offered by the Princess. He returns at some point to discreetly set up a small cloth between the tropical fish and Jace. Can't have the fish in residence getting jealous. Mac laughs across to Thea, "Deep in your cups already? Guess I'd better catch up." She taps at her hat, grinning wide. "Griffin racing, of course. You can bet on Liara, myself or Keely." Because that's not a charged set of options or anything. "We know where /my/ coin's going, of course. You want to do a round? Loser recites a limerick about a party guest."
12 Grayson House Guards arrives, following Liara.
Macda isn't immune to praise from her younger sister, even while she's unsubtly suggesting her own griffin is Greater. One dimple digs deeper into her cheek as she favors Keely with a lopsided grin. "Not too...over the top?" she chuckles.
Raven ahhhhs, "I am pleased your Templars are so dedicated to the Archlector's well being." At Keely's commentary there's suddenly a soft 'ahhh' of understanding and her lips twitch in amusement. She blinks and her eyes widen, "Gods, I haven't had a drink yet!" She then promptly drops her silk-clad rump into a chair and claims a goblet, "Though I do wish to thank all of those who made it this evening!"
Liara arrives rather late, sans hat, but with a deep appreciation of dinner. She strolls on over to find herself a seat, with a smile by way of greeting to various people about, and promptly helps herself to a bread roll.
Another unseemly, tiny snort preceeds Keely's giggle at Macda before she clears her throat and replies, "Not at all. I bet you thought they would..." she glances around timidly before quietly voicing with a brilliant coral flush in her cheeks, "Go over our heads."
"I might have a hard time topping that wedding present," Ian admits to Keely with a ghost of a smile, there and gone again so that it's more of a suggestion of an expression, rather than an actual expression.
Elora has left the Griffon engraved dining table.
Thea chuckles at Udell, telling him,"You flatter me, honest. I'll have to visit the shrine one day, I have some things to work out." There's a look of understanding sympathy to Elora, followed by a nod. Squinting at Macda, Thea snorts. "I didn't think I was, but you've proven me wrong I guess. Time for a refill,"also taking a bit of her mushroom. Hearing Ian and the mention of a wedding present, she lifts her eyebrow. THAT present.
Raven rises when the highlord joins and sketches a suitably deep curtsy to the highlord before she settles back in her seat, "Good evening, Your highness."
Keely's stein to face accident brings an approving chuckle when she requests a goblet instead, Fairen snickering a little at the giggles - and then comes the pun after she glances around and blushes. He groans deeply and loudly into his stein, drinking heavily of his cider - it's going to be one of 'those' dinners. Afterwards, he spots Liara and bows from his seat. "Highlady. Wonderful to see you."
Raven checks 'recovery check' at normal. Raven is spectacularly successful.
Liara offers a little flutter of her fingers to greet Raven. "How do you do? That is a most nautical hat." A quick smile follows, then she looks over to Fairen (plus accompanying model Leaholdt hat), and says, "I trust you are well, Marquis. I see you are very much more in the spirit of the dinner than I have managed to be, too."
Macda takes particular joy in selecting a decorated sausage when they come out alongside the baked cod. Grinning broadly, she turns to one side -- finds an Archlector? Turns the other way -- Thraxian princess. Looks back across to Thea and attempts some semblance of discreet as she wobble-waves the sausage at the Countess. Oh HI Liara... The sausage returns to her plate. "Oh, good! Thought you were going to miss this epic one-time event where one of your favorite sisters does /not/ set anyone's hair on fire, or call anyone by the wrong title or..." She leave the rest to imagination. "Raven's done a great job, too. Very glad for the assist," she raises her stein in Raven's general direction.
Keely lifts her attention away from Macda as Fairen speaks, at which point she smiles broadly across to Liara, lifting her chin slightly. "Your Grace," she greets her sister in formal address, with a gesture of her goblet aside to Denica. "Princess Thrax has joined us this evening. She has a hat-cat."
Denica offers a wide smile at the arrival of Liara, "always lovely to see you," she tells the woman, tipping the sauce part of her hat in dramatic greeting when Keely mentions it. Otherwise, her attention seems to circle the table. The occasional foreboding glance given to Ian, or a giggle to someone nearby. There is something that catches her attention, however. She looks Macda with her eyebrow lifted in curiosity, "did you really light someone's hair on fire?," she wonders of her. "What happened?," clearly she must know and is ready to hang on the woman's every word.
Raven inclines her head, "Thank you, Messere Petal does absolutely stunning work, She always manages to outdo herself." She lifts an eyebrow at Macda, "One of? Surely you're her factorite, Princess Macda." She smiles wryly, "That is most kind of you, your highness, to give me such credit." She lifts goblet in salute to Macda, "Regardless of credit I consider am pleased I had the opportunity to meet you properly. Kindred spirits are rare."
Ian nods respectfully to Liara, but otherwise seems to mostly be keeping to himself, aside from the occasional measured, warning look directed at Denica or Thea.
Liara ventures a suggestion in response to Macda along with a small, indicative wave of the bread roll she got, "If there is anything on the list that you still might do which produces a smell like hair burning, perhaps leave it until I have eaten." She offers a wiggle of her fingers to Keely and Denica both, and says to the latter, "A most excellent hat cat."
She offers some easy agreement with Raven, "She most certainly does." Finally, a quick smile to Ian, who is otherwise left in peace.
Thea is innocent, honest. Though she may be gritting her teeth, debating the sausage near her face. Seeing Liara, Thea greets her with a proper nod and smile. "Good evening. I fee like we run into each other more often."
Raven is overheard praising Macda: Ain't no party like a Princess Macda party
Liara has joined the Griffon engraved dining table.
"We take turns," Mac chuckles at Raven. "...I just take the least amount of turns." There's a gracious nod to Liara, a promise of sorts -- no burning hair, at least without warning! -- then she is sidling a mildly sheepish glance along to Denica. "It's not so much that I /lit/ it, Highness. Rather, I was in charge of a candle at the time, and we got to talking, and you know how it is when you're deeply engrossed and maybe you forget you're /holding/ a candle and it tips a little. Long story short, a close haircut in summer can actually look very sleek and refined on a lady."
Raven checks composure at normal. Raven is successful.
Denica holds her glass and sips it as she listens to Macda conversation, with interest. Her eyes go wide as she listens and she pretty much knows how it will end. Denica cannot help but laugh, but not at Macda but with her, from experience it seems. "I...you are not the only one that has done that," she grins a little, somewhat sheepishly. "A short cut can look very refined, I agree!," she adds quickly to that. "Plus, much cooler too, hair is only useful in the winter, really."
Raven bites her bottom lip briefly and takes a looooong sip before lowering her goblet and assuring to Macda sympathetically, "That could happen to anyone, your highness." the Blackheart casts a look around worldlessly soliciting support for this reassurance.
"We have, lately, although I would suggest that coming to my home would certainly skew those odds," Liara says to Thea, along with a flash of a smile. That smile turns to more of an amused grin as she listens to Macda. She refrains from passing any comment at all, and instead focuses pretty intently on her food for the moment.
Smiling at Liara, Fairen chuckles and raises a hand to his towering headpiece to nod at her and not have it fall off and crash land into his food. After a sip of cider from his stein, he comments to the Highlady, "Preparations are apace at the Leaholdt for the tour. The vassals and such will be called to hear from the royal family with a boring lecture beforehand from yours truly." He glances over at Keely with a low chuckle, "Something they always look forward to, I'm sure." The Marquis considers Macda and ventures, "Your Highness, I imagine you must be quite skilled at keeping people entertained - between singing, throwing punches and hosting parties, it seems you have it all covered."
"I'm sure that it could, though I've never done it myself...", Udell says to Raven, his eyes crinkling up from his smile as he looks about the table, seemingly interested in the goings on.
Raven's eyebrows shoot up and she looks to Macda, "You sing, Princess Macda?" she sniffs loftily and gives Udell a flat look as if to ask how is that information helpful?! "Well I reckon that makes you most fortunate, Archlector. Have you settled back into your duties comfortably since your return?"
Macda does seem relieved by the support, even a little bolstered by it. She nods strong agreement and lifts her stein with a laugh, toasting, "To covered lanterns!" And dessert! The blonde bruiser gives a cheery whoop as the servers return with the stone fruit cobblers, spiced apples and the muffins with their whipped cream hoods. She sets the stein aside, nudges a plate over, making room for a sampling of all the various sweets. Fairen earns a grin of his very own. "None greater, Leary," she winks. "No-- you make it sound harder than it is. Who makes you /work/ at helping them enjoy things that are already fun? All I'm doing is, just, nudging it along." Sometimes with closed fists. She tilts her head side to side in a noncommital gesture that reminds her of her hat as it teeters, and the racing griffins tink softly against the finish line. "Oh, right! Alright, at least /one/ official bet on this thing-"
Macda checks composure and etiquette at normal. Macda is successful.
Keely looks up from a murmured conversation with Denica to peer at Macda's hat, large brown eyes full of hope intently following the griffin marked with a 'K'. "Are all of the griffins the same size?" she wonders a touch warily, though her delighted smile returns when a plate of muffins with whipped cream hoods are placed in reach. And reach she does, with another happy sound that is soon muffled by muffin.
Raven drops Prize Chest.
Welp. Mac did hear Raven's question. She sucks in a breath and spends a little time eyeballing the sausage sat alongside her cobblers. Is she white-knuckling her stein? Naahhhhh. "I sure do," she chirps toward the Blackheart. "But we don't want to overshadow your prizes with my bounteous natural gifts, ha. Alright. Who's got Liara? Front runner after the inaugural race, pretty safe bet. But Keely will surprise you, can't count her out... They're the same," she promises her younger sister, grinning. "Ordered by age, not beauty, of course."
Ian is definitely paying attention, but doesn't seem to have a whole lot to actually say. He's definitely not interested in betting on mechanical griffin races.
"Know what, I'll go for Keely,"Thea chimes in. Just because--why not? "Why are we doing this again, "she asks.
Udell looses a gentle laugh at Raven's look towards him before he assures, "Just because I haven't set anyone on fire doesn't mean that it's an uncommon occurrence. And to answer your question, I'm as settled as much as one can be."
A smile, puffed at the cheeks with hidden muffin bites and capped at the upper lip with whipped cream adorns Keely's young face as she looks from Macda to Thea, eyes lighting up.
Raven grins, "I got something you may like if you liked covered lanterns, Princess Macda. I've a few conversation peices that are disasterproof." Unless one counts disasters against interior decorating. An we'll call it the Goodie box, enough in there for anyone who wants something in there to walk off with something if they want." She eyes Udell and purses her lips, "You're always so cheerful. Reckon it comes with the position but gods it just comes across as suspect." She leans forward, "What's the starting wager?"
Somehow Fairen missed Udell being here in the crowd, pausing with a muffin in hand. He smiles respectfully at the Archlector and dips his head respectfully to him. "Blessed Udell, how are you? I am glad to hear you're settling in well. Did you hear some of the puns? It was like a Harlequin snuck in here," the Scholar claims with a chuckle. He grins broadly at Macda, raising the stein at the pugilistic princess. "None greater indeed. I'm just absolutely delighted that you and the Blackheart had such wonderful ideas for this dinner."
Liara offers a sincere enough reply to Fairen, "I am sure that it will be most enlightening. I look forward to the visit." Another smile follows, then she returns to her food, listening to the ongoing conversation. That is, at least, until Macda says her name, at which point she looks up, and checks, "I take it that whatever this is does not actually involve me running anywhere? You see, I rather like staying still while I am eating."
Denica's attention drifts towards Udell when Fairen asks him if he likes puns. "Puns are my favourite kind of humour. I love nothing more than tormenting my cousins with them. But I've always been a fan of sharp wit. Humour can cut like a blade. It's a real knife changing experience," she says, deadpan.
Betrayal! Macda squints to Thea, sniffs once -- loudly -- and eases her head to the side so the griffins backtrack toward the starting positions. "There's one on Keely, then. One on Macda, very smart bet," she compliments herself, before she's distracted by Raven. "Do you really? Ha! I might have to walk off with that." It's glitter or griffins, Ian, choose wisely..! Smiling along the table to the Highlord, she waves toward her hat, "Your glorious winged representative will do all the work for you, sister mine."
"I did, Marquis, although admittedly, I didn't join in after seeing everyone so far ahead because it wold be unfair to begin with such a handicap.", Udell offers to Fairen with a somewhat sly grin, his attention caught by Denica before he opines, "Ah, I can see how terrified they must be, but I think everyone should take a stab at it at least once, no ifs, ands or cuts about it."
Ian has left the Griffon engraved dining table.
Denica pipes up from a whispered conversation she has a moment as people start placing bets. Denica might not have caught exactly on what they are betting for or why anything, but she immediately says, "I'll bet on Princess Keely," she hopes this is right but smiles anyhow. Udell's response warrants a bright laugh and her eyes light up. "Touche!," she exclaims between giggles. The princess likes a pun.
"Do you have any puns to share with us, Blessed..." Fairen immediately winces upon asking Udell, groaning loudly and taking a deep, deep swig of cider afterwards. "Yes, yes you do. Clearly, you do," he chuckles with a snort. Watching Macda get the racing griffons ready, his gray blue eyes light up. "Well now, I look forward to this..."
Raven chuckles softly, "Aye, I saw a Shark Jaw lamp but didn't think it'd be anything that'd interest a princess. I think it'd be poor form for me to wager but I shall certain cheer for our contenders."
Keely's cheeks flush a brilliant pink, and she smiles broadly aside to Denica, some of that color now spilling over the bridge of her nose. "I hope the Keely-griffin has not had as much dessert as I have," she murmurs, sinking down just a touch in her seat as her eyes are again drawn to Macda and her hat.
Thea waves off Denica's words in amusement. "I can't play favorites this evening. Sometimes it's the scary ones that are the scaries,"she says, looking at Keely with a wink. "Archlector Udell, how have you found your time back in the city? Busy I'm sure. Everyone has been busy."
Liara laughs lightly at Macda's reply and opines, "I am glad to hear that it is suitably glorious. I wish it every success." Then she returns to her food, her smile lingering, gaze turning from person to person as they speak. She queries of Keely, despite that she's in no hurry whatsoever to get up and move herself, "Do you not feel like a brisk run would do you good?"
Udell chuckles again at Fairen's and Denica's reaction to the puns, his amber eyes returning to Thea before he says with a affable grin, "Quite busy, so much so that I've asked my bed to be moved to my office. But I'm living a fantasy if I believe I'll be permitted to sleep for some time yet."
"Certainly, but I do not think wings of any size could lift me from the ground at the moment," Keely replies to Liara with a soft giggle, the cider she has been sipping perhaps going a bit to her head. She then turns her head to continue murmuring to Denica, though her eyes ever remain on Macda and her charming chapeau.
Macda sneaks in a bite of the peach cobbler while people choose their griffins - or prepare to watch. "Alright, alright," she chuckles, "we'll just do this one for bragging rights. But I think I'll be wearing this at future dinners. Or competing with the Champions for arbitrating challenges!" Probably joking..! She thumps a fist to the table for emphasis, "Grrriffins to your marks. Ready. Steady... Go!"
She can only be so official and dour about her announcing job, given she's also all three racers. And the track. With a dramatic tilty-whirl of her head, the griffins are sent flying! Of course, she can't actually see... "Who won?"
Macda has rolled 1 3-sided dice: 3
It appears Keely wins this round! Macda reaches up gingerly and finds the lower, K-marked griffin in the winner's slot. "Sod it," she chuckles, "you'd think I hadn't given mine the oiled track!" Still probably joking.. "Liara and Keely are tied for best, and Macda's trudging along in third place. Must be all my gravitas weighing me down. Well. If you'll all excuse me? I'm going to have a stern talking-to with my griffin trainer, but I should return before after-dinner drinks."
Denica watches with excitement as the griffons move, she is fascinated by the whole experience. It's hard not to cheer along and so she does, sipping her drink and enjoying a muffin while she claps excitedly. As the announcement she raises her glass to Keely and Liara, the smile lingering. The princess is clearly have a great time, enjoying the festivities and the conversation with everyone else at the table. Her eyes drift around from time to time, smiling at those seated.
A soft, surprised gasp escapes Keely as she is announced as the winning griffin for this round, and she looks from Fairen to Denica and then down to Thea with a brilliant, flush-faced grin.
"You're obviously going to do very well, Archlector. Can you imagine if someone wanted to serve the Queen faithfully, had a wonderful knowledge of puns and midwifery, but was an arachnophobe? It would truly be a curse," Fairen chatters on to Udell while munching on a biscuit, cheering for the griffins as they race about and around Macda's head. He glances over at Keely and murmurs to her, "Look, you came in first!"
Raven rises and curtsies, "Thank you very much for hostessing your highness. Don't forget to grab something for yourself from the chest on your ay out." She grins to Keely, "Well Done PRincess Keely!"
Liara settles back on her chair to watch with a broad smile, hands folded neatly together in her lap. She gives a low laugh at Macda's declaration, then offers up, bright and cheerful, "That was an excellent dinner. Thank you. I hope the griffin trainer learns every necessary lesson to make up for that in future." She tilts her head a little as she looks over to Keely, "Do you really go faster if we push you along a track?"
Thea chuckles at Keely. "I told you. It's the quiet ones." There's a look of amusement at Liara, suggesting,"Maybe if we---grease her up then just trudge her along.." Finishing her drink, Thea tells Macda and Raven both,"This was fun. Thank you." Telling Denica too, she says,"Our design will be just fine."
Udell applauds gently, clapping for the race and track in general as well as Kelly's victory before smiling to Fairen, "I'd not exactly call my knowledge of midwifery 'wonderful', it's merely adequate. I let the First Harlequin enjoy the thrills coming from the birth of children."
Macda gets a working lamp anchored in a shark jaw from Prize Chest.
Denica winks at Thea, seeming to be in agreement.
Macda isn't a sore loser, she's just an overdramatic one. She takes her plate along with her, cobblers and fancy sausage coming along for the stern talking-to. "Thank you again, everyone. Blackheart. Gorgeous hats all around, I might just make a song of it." Out she goes, with the griffin trio tink-tinking musically around on their hat rings. She takes the long route out to collect a certain lamp from the chest before stepping from the dining room!
"I did not realize that I was particularly slow," Keely voices somewhat inquisitively in Liara's direction, looking somewhat perturbed before taking a drink from her goblet.
Fairen gets An artistic cat sculpture holding a working lantern from Prize Chest.
Macda has left the Griffon engraved dining table.
6 Grayson House Guards, Thistleton, an elderly and devoted manservant, Liza, a young and energetic bard leave, following Macda.
Raven smiles to Liara, "Thank you for allowing me to assist, also credit to Princess Lou though she could not be here." She smiles to the guests, "Everyone is welcome to help themselves to the booty box. Hrrm. Goody box? I should name it something that doesn't sound like Reaverspeak."
Thea takes Rolling waters vinery corset vest from Prize Chest.
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