For He's a Jolly Good Leader
June 10, 2022, 8:30 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Laurent Manse - Main Hall
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A banquet has been raised on behalf of Duke Cristoph with tables filled with the city's finest foods and busy servers wander around offering the strongest drink to lower down people's inhabition. Not that low, we're not in the Lyceum. There are a few Laurents around the hall, dressed to the nines, smiling at their arriving guests, "Good evening! Join us! There's cake!".
That mountain of a man called Lord Teague Charon is coming in slowly he looks a bit lost, but than he sees the gathering moving forward slowly his hand is resting on his black leather belt. His eyes moving over the room, as he nods at Mabelle. "Lovely spread of food, Lady Mabelle Laurent. Truly amazing! You have out done yourself." His voice is booms out of him as he looks over making his way over, debating on what to grab that long crimson coat is open showing off the plan black armor under it, with the glint of his brand new Diamondplated ax swinging back and forth from the cheap leather strap. As he gathers food, trying to find a quite corner to eat trying to avoid being spotted, but he is not a stealth folk.
Cristoph is not dressed in all of his armor and he definitely did not get dressed out on the lawn, despite rumors to the contrary. He's lingering near the exit, greeting guests as they arrive. Yes, he is Cristoph. How does he spell that? Not with an H after the C, he explains to one person who he's just meeting for the first time. "Yes, I know, it can be very confusing. I'll understand if you make a mistake in future correspondence!" he tells them cheerfully.
"Of course there is cake," is offered as Denica walks with purpose into the Laurent Manse, dressed appropriately in artshall velvet and wearing a warm smile. Eyes sparkle as she takes in the sight of everything and catches a whiff of the delicious food on offer. The hem of her gown whispering across the floor, the short princess is all smiles as she greets the Laurents, "Duke Cristoph!," she exclaims and then to Mabelle, "and Lady Mabelle! What a delightful spread and what a great reason to celebrate!," there is a flash of a grin in the direction of the Laurent Leader with the later comment. The young woman knits her thick Islander eyebrows and looks around for a drink, seeing one on a tray passing by, paint stained fingers snatch it from place and she brings it to her lips, taking a quick sip. "Perfect," she murmurs of it and looks around to see who else has gathered here.
Alis is at the hot chocolate bar of course, having said her greetings and exclaimed over the abundance of food offerings. "Whiskey, coffee... cream..." They call go into the cup, stirred vigorously, and then she just pops up nearby Cris like she's a magical imp. "Have I been spelling it wrong all these years? With no H?" She's supposed to be a troublemaker today, right?
Eiran is indeed dressed in his usual honeysilk and beewing cloak, but his hair is aggressively mussed, like he'd just pushed out of bed minutes earlier. Just a light afternoon nap. "Mabelle," he calls, looking deeply harried, "Mabelle, gods, what do I have to do to get that terrifying bear out of the hallway?" He peels away without awaiting an answer, darting for the food. "Sometimes I like to use it like a verb, like, Cristoph Cristoffed somewhere. Cristoffed into the lake. Cristoffed to the lawn."
Teague lifts his hand towards Cristoph as he slowly make his way over to the man of the hour. "Greetings Duke Cristoph. It is good to see you again, it has been too long." There is a soft chuckle from him as he looks over at the man. "I do hope you enjoy your event, there are going to be stories I was told. I do love a good story." With that he makes his way with the mostly empty plate back into the line to grab more items, one has to try everything at such an event. "There is a bear that needs to be moved?" His eyes move towards Eiran with a confused look, as he makes a muscled arm. "I can help if needed!"
It is in that quiet way of his that Kael makes his entry. He is familiar enough with the Laurent Manse, to where he turns to move to where the festivities are, without the need for a guide. Naturally with the Duke of the hour being at the doorway, he pauses to dip down in that humble way of his. "My Liege," he greets the man before looking sidelong toward that particular individual that needed an explanation of the spelling of Cristoph. While Duke Laurent might understand misspellings of his name, by appearances Kael might not be so forgiving. Still, he clears his throat and after a discreet-ish clasp of Cristoph's arm he moves further into the festivity to scan the crowd and spread. Naturally those he knows are greeted with an inclination of his head.
"There's just one /singular/ H in the Oathlands version of Cristoph, at the end! I can't speak for how they spell the name in the Northlands, of course. I've heard it can be done with K in the front! And then all other various in between, but in the west? Only one H and with a C! I would know, I am one." Cristph is content to just babble on to these guests as well as Alis about the no doubt numerous ways his name could be spelled. "Princess Denica! I'm glad you were able to make it out," he says to her warmly. Then Eiran is swanning in with his verbs, "And of course it can be used as a verb. Has everyone met my cousin Eiran? He's a poet-knight! Kael is passing by and Cristoph returns the clasp, and spares an amused look in the direction the Marquis stares off in.
Mabelle inclines her head to Teague, "Lord Charon, lovely of you to come", she smiles at him but her eyes cannot not wander to the people asking for spelling advice from Cristoph at the door. "Princess Denica, dont you look lovely in that dress", she grins at her while moving to the chocolate cart to order exactly what Alis did. She moves with ease toward Eiran and notes to him, "It will require a million silver to move, its quite heavy". Her smile is cast toward Kael, remembering their last conversation, "Marquis Keaton", she pronounces quite slowly.
Her eyes then turn to the room, "So we had a very very successful campaign in our Home and we're here to Celebrate Duke Cristoph, his bravery and they way he leads us immaculately. That we already celebrated his 10 year reign is unrelated. Tonight I want stories and!! Whoever tells the most embarrasing one or funny one will have me singing their praises till the end of the week".
Ryhalt has come to celebrate Cristoph's success, smiling and dressed for the occasion. He accepts a drink in passing and makes his way over to where Cristoph is.and says, "Hello and congratulations to you and your House, Duke Cristoph." He quirks his lips in amusement at Mabelle's words.
Eiran holds his hand up to the side of his face and ducks somewhat as Cristoph calls attention to him. He squints at Mabelle. Squiiint. "Oh I've got this strapping lord here, look at his thick arm!" He asides to Teague, "It's a large wooden bear upstairs. Dispatch of it discreetly and I'll owe you something." Then Mabelle addresses the room, and Eiran lifts his wine. "To brave, brave Cristoph!"
Alis must have embarrassing stories of one kind or another rattling around in that head of hers, but she is apparently remarkably reticent to blurt them out. Instead, after causing some bit of trouble to begin with, swans back over to the drinks being made and puts a double shot of whiskey in a new cup to press into Kael's hands to drink. "Hot chocolate without the chocolate." she explains, figuring he'll have spotted her pouring the strong stuff for him anyway. "Should we make something up out of whole cloth?" Waves and nods are given to those she knows as she passes by, of course.
Teague nods towards Eiran as he grins with a wicked laugh as he throws back his hair all that hair is flying with the motion. "We shall see." He moves to a spot where he can munch on his food quietly, as he hears the next bit. "TO THE DUKE CRISTOPH!" His voice is howls out, as he yells it out setting his food down for a loud clapping round. Than, he is back to eating slowly as he is looks upwards towards where the bear might be.
Lifting her drink up as she saunters towards the offered cake and she is picking something sweet up, she doesn't spend too much time trying to pick as though she knows everything will be good. There is a warm smile of appreciation for Mabelle's comment on her dress and she returns the compliment, "you look stunning as always, perfect for the season," she comments on her gown. Alis gets a waive of familiarity, Eiran and Teague too. The princess's lips curl into a little smile at the mention of funny stories and she chuckles for a moment, taking a sip of her drink. Kael and Ryhalt get unfamiliar smiles while Denica seems to be searching her memories to come up with something, because participation is just being polite. There is a pause and she looks at Cristoph, "I've even heard of some going so far as using one or two Fs!," she adds to the varied spellings of his name.
Kael is distracted with the hot chocolate set up, his gaze lingering on it for an extended time. However, when Mabelle greets him so, his focus is naturally shifting toward her. He dips his head in a low manner and responds with the faintest hint of a smile, "Lady Laurent. A lovely set up as usual." There is Alis though, pressing the cup to his hand and he bows his head with a murmur of, "Thank you, Your Grace," for that seems to be precisely what he needs. The Keaton takes a deep drink from it, hissing underneath his breath from the bite. "Alas," he says to Alis with that faint smile still present on his lips, "I do not fare so well at making up wholecloth. I absolutely am looking forward to hearing your story though."
Kael's head, naturally, also inclines politely in response to Denica.
Mabelle smiles warmly to Ryhalt, "Duke Farshaw, it has been so long, its nice to see you at the mansion this evening. Apparently", she shares with him, "My cousin Eiran has issues with my choice of decor", her lips curve impishly and informs Alis, "What if I told you that you can have the chocolate and the whiskey too? Perhaps that should be my next laboratory project, chocolate whiskey". Someone tell that woman alcohol is not for the lab. Squinting a moment at Kael's title for her, she laughs, "A pleasure to have you here. Apparently, we are holding a spelling BEE instead". Oh you know it was coming. Blame Denica.
Teague nods towards Denica with a waving of his hand. As he keeps on munching, a mountain needs fuel there is so much to try. His hand is moving with slow attempts at grace, trying to have manners. His eyes moving over it all, as he studies the room trying to nod to each of the faces he knows. As he finishes the plate it is placed where they are go, as he starts to move through the crowd trying to find a good spot to mingle or watch quietly.
"I'm going to need a drink for this if she's calling for embarrassing stories, or maybe I'll be lucky and there'll be no embarrassing stories to tell!" Cristoph comments optimistically and breaks away from the cluster by the door to find himself a drink off of one of the trays. There are cheers for his name and of course, no one can tell if those are spelled with extra H's or not, so he smiles for them and lifts a recently liberated glass in acceptance of said toasts. He nods thankfully to Ryhalt in passing, then ducks himself into one of the chairs at a table. Denica's announcement of Fs being used is met with a bark of laughter and he calls over, "Chaos! Absolute pandemonium that."
"Whiskey infused chocolate? Count me in." Alis confirms, toasting Mabelle. "You're welcome." is added more quietly in a murmur to Kael. She might only have one shot of whiskey in her cup, but that might just be because she's that much smaller so two would be going way overboard. "Okay, a small story." she decides. "While we were out assisting Marquis Keaton in investigating something in his lands... we came across a village, a small one, where Duke Laurent and I were tasked with distracting the guard. We were in disguise, keep in mind. So, I began flirting outrageously with the guard. And Cristoph showed up pretending to be a jealous suitor - and we spun such a wild yarn, that we convinced the guard we needed to buy his home shack as prime retirement real estate. I'm fairly certain he's still waiting for us to show up and claim residency."
Eiran, for a moment, is /struck/ by just how much hair Teague has and how it FLIES. He smiles to Denica when he catches her eye, then stifles a groan at Mabelle's bee pun. As Alis finishes her story, Eiran laughs, "Poor sod. I love a good improv."
Mabelle apologizes to Alis, "See, I dont have access to chocolate, but I can try whiskey infused honeycombs. Ohhhh I will try to have them created before the honey festival!", she exclaims pleasedly. The story by Alis makes her laugh, "A shack as a prime real estate? Oh how they mighty have fallen. Did the distraction work?", she asks Kael.
"A... spelling bee." This is more mouthed than actually spoken by Kael. He looks sidelong back toward the Thrax princess to see if she is indeed to blame before his attention is soon enough captured by Alis. When she begins to tell the tale, he listens with a great deal of interest. His brows lift in unison and he almost looks scandalized by the tale. Except he's snorting with some amusement in the end. "I presume it was successful," he comments in the end to Mabelle with a smile. "No failed missions that the pair of them were involved in, in my lands. However, I was not actually there to see this exchange. Pity."
Teague claps at the story as he chuckles once more loud as he looks very pleased with it. "Poor man thinks he will be so big in his little pond. I wonder if he tells of that story now. When they go drinking, you know they will be back to pay a fortune for my home." His lips are spread into a very happy smile, as he thinks of that man. "Well done. The art of being subtle, very powerful!"
"You mean... chaof!," she responds to Cristoph, making that terrible joke and it's so bad even she looks sheepish about it. Distraction, Mabelle's comment has both of her thick brows lifting upwards. "Chocolate whisky sounds amazing! I would absolutely drink that, and it would go very well in coffee or mixed with milk or poured over cake," she is considering all the things she could use this new concoction for. Then she listens to Alis's story and she smirks a bit at the end and the talk about real estate purchases, a small laugh escapes her lips.
"Hmm, stories." Ryhalt scratches his sidewhisker and grins crookedly. "It's a toss up between his fearless trek through a forest full of *stuffed* bears hanging from trees. Trust me, it was fearful. Or, the time I broke one of the windows in a wild party." He nods with a smile, like Dukes go about breaking windows in other houses during wild parties in the Oathlands. "There was a moment where I was about to fall out of the window. I guess that would have been embarrassing for all involved." He shrugs with a smile, not so great at this sort of storytelling.
"Of course it worked!" Alis looks scandalized by Mabelle's /question/. "We're no amateurs. Just...never ask me about any festivals I've attended in disguise." she mumbles, though her brows lift at Ryhalt's windows story. "I don't believe I've heard about this very wild party. Tell us more."
Mabelle grins at Kael, "See, I am struggling to think of a tale myself. We've always been so serious in our ventures", but then Ryhalt brings out the stuffed bears and she shields her face with her hair. "I shall contact Master Venturo for you then, if you wish it so, Princesses", she notes to Denica and Alis.
Scrunching her eyebrows together, the princess takes another sip of her drink, "I think all my embarrassing Cristoph stories are also embarrassing Denica stories," she thinks at that for a moment and shakes her head. "Well, if we are talking about falling," she says of Ryhalt's comment and smirks a little. "Once, I was rather keen on finding some very specifically coloured bird eggs because I wanted to make that colour into a shade of paint.," this is probably normal for Denica. "Duke Cristoph kindly offered to assist me because," she presses her lips together. "I'm you know," she holds her hand out and lowers it a bit, she's not about to call herself 'short', but it's obvious. "So, I am trying to climb this tree and the tree clearly does not want to be climbed and I fall, and Duke Laurent being the chivalrous person he is, tries to catch me. Except he doesn't and we both fall. There were no eggs that day."
"Do we own that shack now? I'm fuzzy on the details of how that one wrapped up. For all we know that land increased in value over the last decade," Cristoph jokes from where he's settled down iwht his glass of wine. "Yes, be absolutely serious all the time!" he advises everyone in the room. "This way no one is able to tell embarrassing stories about you later unless they're about your excellent acting skiiillls..." and then Denica is telling the egg story and he clears his throat. "A man can't be on his game a hundred percent of the time. Sometimes he drops princesses. It happens." The throat clearing his followed by a short laugh and another swallow of wine.
Teague listens to the next story as he reaches over to grab a wine glass slowly as he sips it slowly with a soft chuckle. His eyes moving over the others, as he is debating something it seems his mind is not all the way here. As he bites into his own lip, as he walks around towards the exit and than he paces back to the others for a moment. He walks over at Mabelle as he listens to the next story with another chuckle as he looks around trying to find a place, he seems to be uncomfortable with the large gathering of folks.
Alis offers Denica her most empathetic look, and gestures between the both of them. Short ladies gotta stick together, she feels your pain. This all lends itself to a discreet nod Mabelle's way. Yes please! "Yes, sometimes he drops princesses, and sometimes he picks them up and throws them right into the pool at every single pool party that happens on his property." she quips, with a creeping note of determination. One day, it will not succeed. One. Day.
"That's /charming/, Princess Denica," Eiran grins. "I don't have many tales eiher," he laments. "Maybe I can start some rumors that he can't possibly live up to." He lifts his voice. "Once I saw Cristoph perform ten cartwheels in a row, backwards. Once a snake bit Cristoph and then the snake died!"
Mabelle echoes Eiran, "Cristoph once rode a horse", she ducks behind Ryhalt for that.
Mabelle peeps, "And the horse didnt throw him over".
Ryhalt chuckles at Denica's story and nods in agreement with Cristoph. Continuing to chuckle, he looks to Alis, "Jealous you missed it? Too many rowdy guests and not enough booze, maybe they hadn't gotten the hint that Oathlands are picky about such things." He shrugs. "It was mostly not my fault, I pushed someone--" He breaks off with a laugh as Mabelle starts to use him as a shield. "Oh, wow, this is cheating if you tell the most embarrassing story of all and praise yourself, Lady Mabelle!"
Kael dips his head in response to Mabelle, vague smile on his lips still. This is likely due to the fact that he is considering the various memories and tales. "I remember when Reigna had those blasted goats brought in." He shakes his head. "Duke Laurent participated in this goat wrestling match, in fact, _after_ proclaiming that he was my best friend." You know that smile of his? It's growing a bit larger, fonder, as he takes another drink. "So that goat around the estate for ages giving ornery looks? Caught by our fair Duke's own hand." His throat clears. "Possibly caught in a serious way. There was also some charity run performed in armor that I cannot quite recall, but I believe Duke Laurent volunteered us for." He gestures vaguely before draining the rest of his drink.
"Hell yes I'm jealous." Alis agreed with Ryhalt there, and shoots a grin Kael's way for the tale he tells.
Mabelle pauses and straightens behind Ryhalt. She totally was going to comment about Denica's tale but Kael said goat wrestling. "Goat Wrestling?", she looks at Cristoph. "Goat wrestling? So Painbow is a result of a goat wrestling contest?", her shoulders begin to shake, "He's... been kidnapped?", trembling real hard there, "Poor lamb, I keep threatening to eat him, what life he had!".
"Where's Painbow's kids anyway?" Eiran asks of Cristoph. "Did you sell them off to this weird goat wrestling ring?"
"Look, sometimes when you're at a pool party there's only one right decision and that right decision is to toss people into the pool. I can't be blamed for my good choices," Cristoph replies to Alis before he finishes off his glass of wine and slides it off to the side. "Yes! I caught Painbow in a Keaton contest. There were a bunch of baby goats in a pen, but she was the one that I scooped up." And then he's looking around at everywhere but Eiran. "She hasn't given birth yet." What.
The princess's thick brow perks and she looks suspiciously at everyone, "goat wrestling? I mean, I suppose we wrestle octopi in the Mourning Isles, so why not goats? This...explains everything," she says of the Oathlands.
Alis whispers, "Not all of us wrestle goats." Just so they're clear. She's /just saying/.
Teague looks over at Mabelle and than at Kael. As he shakes his head for a moment with another chuckle that long hair is moving with each shake with a louder chuckle, as he thinks on the moment. His hand brings that wine to his lips as he sips it with a soft little chuckle. "So there will be baby goats to adopt?" His voice is booming out of that massive frame, as he looks so excited. "I keep saying I need a pet!" He looks atr Denica for a moment with a wide eyes studying her. "How does one wrestle an octopi? So many arms, that most be a test of ones might!"
Mabelle worries now, "That's a really long pregnancy", she enjoys Cristoph's defending himself, looking quite amused, "But I suppose wrestling an octopi will get you all kinds of slaps".
Eiran stares at Cristoph for a long, suspicious moment, sipping his wine. Then he coughs and eyes Denica. "Octopi? What? How? ...What?"
"It was supposed to be a ludicrous display for amusement," Kael agrees in the wake of Alis' words, nodding his head toward the Highlord. That being said, he's momentarily distracted - double taking even - as he sends a look toward Cristoph. "That goat got pregnant?" he asks, incredulous. "I... well." That was almost an apology. At least it's an apologetic look sent his way. Because really, those goats.
Looking at Teague when he asks how one wrestles an octopus, the Islander princess says innocently, "carefully, otherwise you'd be seeing a sturgeon!," a smirk.
Mabelle considers Kael's question and wonders, "By who? Was it cotton? Because if so, it will be a colorful goat that sparkles in gold and faints. I love it already".
Teague stares at Denica for a long moment as he thinks his eyes closed as he shakes his head. "So than you will have to wrestle a fish. I understand like a battle royale. Very good, they are great for training mind and body. Make sure you can go long in battle, it is how I prefer to train. One spar, than the next and than the next till your body breaks. I get it. Very good way of training." He nods so firm, with such a serious look as he sips his wine once more, as he tries to move to the next bit of things to learn.
Alis is never off duty of course! So when her aide passes a message that can't be ignored, she rises from her seat and bids everyone a lovely rest of their evening. She also absconds with the cup that she can now claim she stole from the Laurent Manse.
Sir Rhys, a Valardin Knight, Laurene, a military adjutant, 10 Valardin Knights leave, following Alis.
"Were the goats not supposed to be able to get pregnant?" Cristoph asks Kael, now starting to look perplexed. Even more perplexed than that look Eiran is giving him over the length of said goat's real or imagined pregnancy.
The princess seems very curious as to how Kael will answer Cristoph's question and she looks over and waits to hear, eating something sweet with wide eyes.
"No, no, they were," concedes Kael regarding the goats. "I just -- why." He shakes his head, pausing momentarily to tell Alis a proper goodbye. "I was never one much for the goats." With that commentary he is moving off to the refreshment area so that he can pour another splash in his cup. You know, of the whiskey.
Eiran moves to fill up his plate yet again, and seeds even more ridiculous rumors of Cristoph's various unnatural skills to the guards and servants. Before he fades off to flirt with someone, he pantomimes the gruesome death of a wooden bear in Teague's direction, then gives an avid thumbs-up.
Mabelle assumingly regards Kael, "Dogs for you, yes? We're like minded in that, but I did have a goat for a bit but I felt cruel laughing every time it fainted".
3 Laurent Guards, Piri, a matchmaking devotion, Melli, an excitable aide leave, following Eiran.
Mabelle is overheard praising Kael: Most Essential Story!
Kael is overheard praising Cristoph.
Kael is overheard praising Mabelle.
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