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Grayson Fealty Cider Sampling - June (1017)

On this gorgeous, crisp autumn afternoon, the boardinghouse tavern has been arranged for informal socializing. The tables all have a small stack of cards describing the order in which ciders will be served, their origin and flavor profiles listed beneath each.

The usual, ample selection of beverages is also available for ordering open bar-style, and there are tables laden with autumn-themed snacks: pastries and finger foods bursting with apples and cherries, candy apples on a stick, cinnamon sugar cake rings, bowls made of bread heaping with a fragrant, hearty stew, individual servings of nuts mixed with dried fruit, and the standard offering of fine meats, cheeses, breads, and crudite.

Guests are greeted warmly at the door and all of these wonderful things are pointed out for them before they are invited to mingle and find a seat.

Date

June 15, 2022, 7:30 p.m.

Hosted By

Keely

Participants

Katarina Teague Kael Patrizio Alis Malcolm Felicia Mattheu Tila Renata Caspian Ilira Udell Temira Noah Deva Jaenelle

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Badger Boardinghouse Tavern

Largesse Level

Grand

Comments and Log


Katarina has joined the Large Table.

Patrizio has joined the Bar.

Where there is a cider sampling, there is Princess Katarina Valardin. Is this a truism that the universe might consider fundamental to its ongoing function? In a word: yes. Katarina is short of stature but easy to track around the tavern. Just follow the long, wild mane of sable ringlet curls. The Eurusi-born Princess currently has her hands folded in front of herself as a server pulls a seat out for her at a large table. She's a Princess; pulling out her own chair would be a catastrophic failure of etiquette and a mark of society's descent into barbarism. "Thank you," she trills.

You had me at Cider. That was the call in the mind of one Lord Teague Charon. As he comes in quickly dressed in armor as he moves in with a wicked pleasure filled chuckle as he looks over at the room. His head thrown back into a mirth filled laugh as he bellows out. "CIDER!" He is excited like a kid in a candy shop or more accurately a man from the north with lots of alcohol. As he rushes forward to get a good view of the drinks, studying them debating on the order. "Good evening to all, thank you for hosting!" His eyes on the room, as he seeks the hostess after his selects of the right order to consume all the drinks is made.

It is likely that Alis and Kael made their way from the Valardin ward with one another, or at least met upon the way, if that amiable conversation is any indication between the pair of them. If by amiable conversation one means talking shop. "Two more watch towers were raised at the coast." Kael does seem pleased by that, still continuing conversation as he opens the door for the Valardin Highlord. "The reports were clear at Briarthorne too." At least he has enough sense to cease talking business once they step into the establishment, his throat clearing as he glances across the area as a whole. After a moment of deliberation he casts a sidelong look to Alis and quirks a brow.

An attendant greets guests at the door, taking cloaks while explaining how this works! There are tables of snacks that each person is encouraged to help themselves to at their leisure, and the bar is open with its usual broad selection that also includes teas, hot chocolate, coffee from Bold Espressions, and juices. Each table has markable cards with the list of ciders that will be served alongside their flavor profiles and origins.

The hostess herself is sat at the largest table with several plates of sweets in front of her already, smiling broadly and welcoming everyone as they filter in. "We'll get started shortly, please help yourselves to snacks and get comfortable!" Warm smiles are offered to Katarina and Teague, but her whole face lights up when she spies Alis and Kael stepping through the door, and she sits taller rather than risking a disaster standing and toppling her chair, trying to make herself easier to see for the pair.

Havard, a battle-scarred gentle giant, Runa the clever, seafaring raven, Bryndis, another redheaded northern Prodigal leave, following Aella.

Hardly 'fashionably late' as might well be an homage to one of his cousins, Patrizio Pravus is almost precisely on time and without needing to be herded by that sextet of soldiers of his. The escort does, at least, linger back at a table closer the door to be as inoffensive as they can be within another fealty's ward, but the prince himself crosses over towards the crowd, and offers up the dip of his head respectfully to Keely. "Your highness," he offers with a chuckle, and then the draw of his head about, with nods to those he recognizes. "It seems quite the turnout for this event of yours."

Of course they're indulging in shop talk; it consumes most of their existence! "Oh good. One less thing to worry about, then. Are you prepared for the scouting teams we want to put together?" Alis' brows raise in query, though they then step into the establishment and she ceases with the military chatter. "Sweets and cider. I skipped dinner for this." Which means she intends to load up on the sugary goodness! And speaking of, a warm smile appears when she sees Keely and then Katarina there. "Hello! See, I told you I'd make it Your Highness!" to Keely, specifically.

Duke Malcolm has elected to attend the event today, dressed comfortably, but still befitting his status. He affords nods to those he does not have familiarity with, but at least makes his way over to a table where he selects some of the snacks for himself. Admittedly not the usual haunt of the duke, he nonetheless is in good spirits, taking in the surroundings for the time being.

It's a short jaunt to the Boardinghouse for Felicia, which is probably evident in the casualness with which she prowls into the room, trading paperwork with the valet that trails along slightly off to her left,"I'm telling you... there once was a brawl here, between a king and three high lords. Generations ago, of course. But, still." the Harrow might be overheard asserting to her companion.

Showing up early is Mattheu Rivenshari's plan to any event. It means more food can be claimed for the growing lad, and in true Mattheu form, is currently working on balancing two platters upon one arm, both covered completely with a wide assortment of sweets, pastries, two bread bowls of stew... And a large mug of ale in his 'free' hand. Making his way over to a table, he attempts to bow towards Keely before putting his take of food down. Giving cause of reason to wonder where an errant apple has rolled off to as the mug of ale is swung towards catching the candy covered apple in said ale. "Darnit..." Mattheu smiles softly over to Keely as he misses the apple. With platters down he proceeds to crawl after the apple only to find that it's rolled up to Kael's foot as Mattheu looks up to the Marquis with a quirk of grin. "Marquis. Good to see you again."

Teague nods slowly as he looks over the room as he smiles at Keely. " Princess Keely Grayson, thank you so much for the invite and hosting this amazing event. I love ciders so much." He grins at her boyish filled with mirth, as he walks over to do as she is offers once more, as he starts to get snacks so many snacks. He is loading up his plate that mountain of a man needs fuel for the drinking, as he walks over to Mattheu with a grin. "Hello Lord Mattheu. How are you tonight?"

Snow, 3 Sanna House Guards arrive, following Tila.

6 First Legion Centurions, Sparrow, an enthusiastic and bubbly assistant arrive, following Renata.

Katarina is easing into her chair with the dainty grace that one would hopefully expect of the young woman. She lifts her gaze, and golden eyes spy familiar faces. (If Alis isn't a familiar face to her, then something's gone horribly wrong somewhere.) "Your Grace," she coos from her seat. Calling Alis 'Sister' is reserved for more private matters than cider sampling. "Marquis Kael." She turns to look over Keely's way, what with the two of them being at the same table and all. "All of this looks simply wonderful. You excel at this sort of thing, clearly~."

Being fashionably late is generally an understatement when it comes to Tila, she arrives absurdly late, and after some work apparently. She offers a nod to familiar faces before finding a seat for herself.

Eyes slowly widening and mouth falling open slightly, Keely appears unable to believe her eyes as she watches Patrizio pass through the door. "Your highness," she voices softly, doing her best to mask her surprise with a friendly smile of welcome. "How lovely to see you! Welcome." For Alis, that smile grows into a radiant thing, positively beaming to see her patron. "Your Grace. You did say! And you have brought someone I thought I'd have to send samples to after the fact. Hello, Marquis Keaton." Dipping her chin to both the Highlord and Kael, she then seems to get lost, more and more people arriving which appears to be a pleasant surprise indeed to the young princess. She does her best to keep up with warm welcomes, for Mattheu and Felicia, Malcolm, and anyone else she has missed!

Tila has joined the Bar.

Teague has joined the Window Booth.

"Are you truly that surprised to see me? You did have me at alcoholic beverages." Patrizio grins to Keely when she's smiling to him, and then the smile's turned upon Alis and Kael. "It is good to see you again, Your Grace. My lord, I appreciate your response to the note... and still. My thanks for your words, and my sorrow, once again." He eases back a step, though, as if to allow others to come closer to greet the hostess.

Tila settles into a seat at the bar. A warm if subdued smile is shared for Patrizio. "Good meeting, your Highness." She offers with a quiet lilt. "I should have dressed better for the occasion."

Rather than responding with actual words, Kael vocalizes some vague affirmative in response to Alis' question. That serious expression he wears softens somewhat at the preparations made, as well as the commentary from Alis. "Of course," he says, remarking, "You should enjoy yourself." Which is undoubtedly a self-reminder that the shop talk is done. Note the way that he clears his throat, squares up his shoulders, and pivot his attention to their Grayson host. "Your Highness," he greets, dipping into a bow before taking a few steps in the direction of the large table. His steps? Abruptly halted when he has an apple near underfoot. His lips part and upon spying Matteau there, amusement flashes in his gaze. "Lord Rivenshari. I hope that you are enjoying yourself?" His focus lingers on the Rivenshari for just a moment before he cleanly takes a step back to avoid that apple and dips into a bow for Katarina. "Your Highness," he mouths to her. "Hello."

Mattheu has joined the Large Table.

Kael, additionally, shifts focus toward Patrizio when he is addressed. His expression sobers substantially and he nods with a deep bow of his head. That? A ridiculously humble motion. "Thank you," he says to the other man. Make no mistake, those words ring with sincerity.

"Being a High Lady has a few perks. Like coercing reticent Voices into being social by looking /horribly/ morose at the thought of showing up /all alone/." Alis makes the sad puppy dog eyes expression to show what she means. "Your Highness." To Prince Patrizio she offers a smile, and then nods of greeting to the others she recognizes. "As you should too, Marquis. You'll definitely try a few different ciders." She will gather them, and then food, and mother hen at him until he imbibes and consumes.

Alis has joined the Small Table.

Tila blinks slowly at Alis, then a soft murmur of a laugh comes from her. "I should have coreced a few more Sanna to join then." She offers with a hint of amusement in her eyes. "Though I may be a hair intolerable." She mentions in jest.

Renata arrives to the busy gathering, the cool autumn weather having drawn a light flush to her cheeks on her walk over. She smiles though, brightly too, as she peeks around at those assembled in the Boardinghouse. She's quick enough to spy Patrizio, soon gliding over to seek out her fellow Pravus with a cheery greeting, "Patrizio, I'm glad I'm not alone!"

Felicia offers Keely a brief grin and a slight bow,"Your highness. Perhaps you're familiar with the Boardinghouse's history...?" she asks,"Axelle doesn't believe me about the brawl."

"You say that as if /I/ had chosen to dress up," counters Patrizio with warmth to Tila, offering a smile in return as he dips his head to her. "Though I would argue that a few more Sanna would indeed.... Liven up the moment. Especially if a ballista was to be brought with." That grin of his hardly fades, though, when he's retreating a step further from the main table, and making sure that his hand is not without a cider for very long while he's getting his bearings with the crowd.

Teague starts to snack as he looks over the room as he nods to a few faces, not ready to speak yet it's chow time. One should never get between a mountain of muscle and war and food it is stated in many works of great works of literature and a few fables. As he keeps on chowing down as he sits against the table. As he starts to place the now empty plate down, as he watches waiting for the taste of the good stuff or people to great.

"Lord Teague." Mattheu nods to the tall Northerner as he reclaims the apple with a look at it as if he's tempted to eat it after its journey across the floor. "I'm well Marquis Kael." a quick response as he continues to examine the apple, only then deciding that it would be best to put aside, looking to Patrizio as he enters, "Prince Patrizio, you've been well?" Finally getting back to his platters where he settles in to take to the meal before him with a healthy gulp of ale. A quick look over to Patrizio, then to Tila. "Your family brings ballistas with them?"

As everyone gets settled, the first round of samples is brought out and served table to table: a crisp, bubbly cider with tart-sweet notes that is refreshing and light. It allows the apple flavor to shine through with no other distractions to the palate.

Keely watches the exchange between Kael and Matrheu with a soft giggle, making welcoming gestures to seats at the large table and then lifting her dark eyes to Felicia with a tiny grin "I do indeed, Dame Felicia! A very funny story about hats, if I recall. I still wonder the exact nature of the comment that started it all... do you know?" Renata's entry is met with a lighting of her eyes and a subtle lift of her hand to wiggle her fingers in a slight wave, and Tila is also offered a smile once glimpsed.

Caspian strides into the boardinghouse, because lets face it where there is cider there is sure to be a Caspian. He pauses as the PLETHORA of people and friendly faces catches him off guard, his face breaking into a broad smile. He cant help but break into a laugh as he moves into the room. "Ah im glad you all have finally come to realize that Cider is simply the superior drink!"

Alis casts a somewhat impish smile Tila's way. "You can also try intimidation. I do an excellent glower when the need calls for it. I'm Princess Alis. I don't think we've met yet?" Perhaps in passing, given that she is obviously related to Sasha. But, she is then a small blur of motion getting some cider samples and food to a table before she sits.

Tila flicks her eyes back toward the prince, and Patrizio gets a genuine laugh from her. "From Sasha. And Anali." She muses with a fond warmth, though a tinge of remorse. "Ah yes, we Sanna must honor Marquis Cirroch!" She calls out, though a frown follows not long after. Then she pauses nodding toward Keely with a smile to follow a short wave. Alis gets another wafish sort of grin. "Lady Tila Sanna, a pleasure, Princess, Alis."

Katarina mouths 'Hello' back to Kael with a grin. A wink, too. But then the first sample is brought out, and Katarina is just utterly delighted. She lifts the glass up to her lips, then pauses. "...this isn't like wine where we're supposed to spit it back up rather than swallow, is it?" Ah, yes, Katarina Valardin, Experienced Drinker.

Teague rushes forward now towards Caspian as he looks at the man with a wide smile. "Mead and Cider. If you list the two superior drinks. I will drink to that and rum. Well, three superior drinks. There I'm done." He grins at his friend as he clasp the man on the shoulder. "Master Wild. It is good to see you tonight."

Malcolm says, "Your highness," Malcolm says as he returns the welcome to Keely, and then takes a few moments to scan the room, taking notes of people's introductions to get an idea of who's who here. The relatively new noble being not so much a fish out of water, but a fish in a desert."

1 Templar Knight guards arrives, following Udell.

Felicia chucklces,"About hats? No, I knew about the brawl, but not the details about it. Do tell?" there's a glance and a gesture to encourage Axelle to step aside,"Perhaps after the sampling."

Renata flashes Keely a warm smile, lifting her fingers in a friendly little wave but not trying -too- much to interrupt the Grayson princess' hostess duties just yet. When she does have a moment though, she leans over to enthuse, "What a turnout! That dress is beautiful too."

"Lord Mattheu. A pleasure to see you again - I actually didn't hear you coming." The prince of Pravus tries to look at least a little serious at the concept of such a thing, even as those jade eyes certainly hold enough mirth to make a lie of the expression. "I'm well and... well, I think it was but the one time. The Marquis Sanna had an event at the Golden Hart where we all used it for... attempts to fly." This is not, given how Patrizio delivers it, a jest. Though there's a lift of a brow in contemplation, before he allows towards Alis, "With due respect, Your Grace, you also have people to intimidate /for/ you when the moment calls for it." And hearing more than seeing Renata, he briefly turns his head to look about for where his cousin has gotten to.

Caspian looks to Teague and bursts out laughing, "oh? only those? sure you dont want to add some ale, or wine to that list?" he smirked playfully as he went to embrace the man in a hug. "i was going to offer milk as another option for the list.. but i suppose we can make exceptions" his eyes danced as he looked around the room. "its some turnout to this thing!" he gave a bright smile and Wave to the faces he knew.

"I do not know," Keely confides in a near whisper to Katarina. "I did a private sampling to approve the flavors and nearly had to be carried home. So... perhaps just pace yourself." Her cheeks are a little pink already, suggesting she may have snuck some samples before everyone arrived. The benefits of being a princess.

"Duke Malcolm! Oh, you must come and meet people. You know Dame Felicia Harrow, I trust? This is Princess Katarina Valardin here beside me, and there is Lord Mattheu Rivenshari, my protege..."

Renata is afforded a grin, and Keely reaches to gently squeeze her hand in a less formal hello. "It is so good to see you, your highness, and you look stunning as always. Have you tried the cake rings? If you dip them in the cider they are perhaps the most delicious thing anyone has ever tried."

Tila seems to chuckle at the visual, "Ah, yes, that does sound much like my brother." She pauses after a time and tilts her head toward Patrizio. "Perhaps, you can tell me more stories, memories with him, it helps ease the hurt on the heart. I am sure you understand, your Highness?" She asks if only showing a hint more liveliness at the request.

Teague nods as he grins at Caspian. "Now we will be here all night, if we start to list. To Drinks and Good Company and good life." His voice is booms out as he chuckles as he looks over the gathering. "Indeed, it is packed house. It is good to see so many enjoyment in the in the air. We need these moments to stay sane."

"Spitting up the cider is no fun. I think that's for wine tasting, not cider sampling." Alis sounds sure of herself, yet probably has no idea what she's talking about in this case. There is her advice though. "Lady Tila. Well met, then. And I, for one, and a huge fan of ballista. It's a battlefield dream to be launched out of one right at the enemy in a surprise 'oh s... oh no' attack." It's really hard to tell if she's serious about that, but perhaps looking over at her longtime Voice and friend Kael will give one a clue about how often she suggests this and is told no. "Ahhh, Prince Patrizio. You're right of course. But leaving /all/ of the intimidating to others would be remiss of me don't you think? I need to keep my hand in, so to speak. Practice, so I don't suddenly become not menacing."

"Indeed," replies Kael to Alis, just a hint of a smile evident. That expression continues as he shifts his focus to Mattheu. "Good, I am glad to hear it," he says to the man. Though the apple has been removed, he remains standing where he is for a moment, though that might have more to do that the Highlord went one way and the host's table is another. The more crowded the host table becomes, with greetings, the easier his decision becomes. Though let's be fair: anyone that knows Kael knows he tends to favor the outskirts. So acquiring a glass of cider, he goes to that small table. Just in time to catch Alis' look, and yes, he grimaces slightly though tries to keep it good natured. "Marquis Keaton," he introduces himself to Tila as he takes a seat. "Well met."

Kael has joined the Small Table.

Mattheu grins broadly towards Patrizio as he takes another healthy mouthful of pastry. "It's a thankful thing that you know me then. Else you'd fall into the saying of the Rivenshari you don't hear..." He trails off with a small laugh about the attempts to fly. "Sounds of such a joy. Something which I'm sure my sister would disapprove of. Though would cause many gray hairs." He turns in a jingle of bells as Keely points him out, then standing from his seat to bow to Duke Malcolm. "A pleasure to meet you Duke Malcolm."

Ilira slips inside just a few minutes later than the rest, her raven hair and midnight duster rippling out behind her in the brief gust of wind at her back. She takes a moment to smooth her unruly curls with a gloved, dainty hand and casts her gaze across the crowd, noting every face and lingering on a few with a warm, impish glimmer. Though her honey diamond high-heels spike an extra four inches to her height, she still cuts a diminutive figure, winding between tables and around patrons with sinuous ease. Her slim, bejeweled fingers flutter playfully toward Keely and she flashes the young princess a joyous smile in passing. When offered, she accepts a sample and slinks up to Caspian from behind with her drink gracefully balanced in her left hand, then presses the cool glass against the back of his neck. "Boo," she grins as she appears at his side, and in front of Teague.

Udell enters the tavern, a Templar Knight dogging behind him and whispering before the former turns and says, "I'll not hear any more about it. Let's pretend a moment that I'm the Archlector and you're the one who is supposed to be my shadow. That is, quiet and ensuring I stay out of trouble, hm?" The look on the black-clad man softens before he claps the stammering man on the shoulder and finds a quiet place to the side, offering Keely a wide and genuine smile.

Renata perks up noticeably at Keely's recommendation, soon looking about to find the table where such treasures are being served, "Oh? That sounds delicious, I will certainly have to try that. I think I can leave Patrizio alone a moment and he won't do anything -too- silly." She might not be entirely convinced of this, but she leaves her cousin to his own chances anyway as she slips away briefly to find a server for treats.

Malcolm hears his name and goes over to where he was called,"Your highnesses," the duke says as he nods, "My lady, and my lord," follows, "I do not believe we have met, but I am glad to have met you all." He smiles and relaxes his posture, "I hope you are all doing well?"

When Alis confirms that cider is for drinking, not for tasting and then sputtering back up into some sort of ornate spittoon, Katarina lets out a breath of relief. "Good," she says. "I attended a Lycene wine tasting with... a friend recently. I was certain that I'd been poisoned and it was one of those party games with poison and all of that. Instead it was explained to me that I wasn't meant to /drink/ all of the wine put before me and that I was just /drunk/." She sighs. "The mysteries of culture." And then she drinks her cider.

2 Prodigal reavers, Dorius, A High Hill Mastiff arrive, following Temira.

Teague nods towards Ilira with a soft chuckle as he looks over at Caspian that mountain of a man laughing softly as he watches the act. "You have been gotten champion. Do you have to give your crown to her now? Is that how it is done beat the champ in anything you lose it all?" His voice is teasing, as he looks over at Ilira. "Good evening, I don't know if we have meet Lord Teague Charon at your service. On my feet for now, but when the drinks start to flow we will see."

The next cider to be served is a Tor cherry cider, named something suitably sexy and edgy. The sweetness of the apple base is cut by the tartness of plump red cherries, giving the beverage character and balance and leaving a pucker on the lips thereafter.

"Yes, I think there was something about a hat, I have it written down somewhere," Keely is belatedly replying to Felicia, getting more and more excited as familiar faces filter in and eventually giving up on sitting still. "Ilira," she voices with a brilliant smile, which is matched when she sees Udell and steps over to greet him quietly, with gestures made to various people while she murmurs to the Archlector before finally gently taking his arm and strolling with him to the small table with Alis at it.

Tila can't help but smile listening in on the banter between royals. Though her attention is wrested away by Kael. "Marquis, lovely meeting you as well. I..hope you caught my introduction, but Lady Tila Sanna." She offers again and against better judgement comments to Alis. "Just learn some legalese as they call it. It's confounding and menacing." She can't help but laugh, eyes lighting up for only a moment.

Felicia gives a small nod of her head in acknowledgment for Keely and Malcolm,"Yes. Duke Malcolm is married to one of my favorite people, Duchess-Consort Delilah." she affirms,"Though I wouldn't expect him to remember me, it's been a while, your highness." she offers with a polite half-bow for the duke, adding on a,"Your highness." for Katarina and,"Lord Rivenshari." for Mattheu.

Caspian lets out a surprised 'EEEP' as the cool glass is pressed to skin. He jerks slightly, looking around in confusion till he spies the offender. his face brightens into a broad warm smile and he shook his head, "Ahh.. should have know it was you!" he laughed merrily and went to make introduction. "Lord Teahue, allow me to introduce miss Ilira Starling. one of the Finest seamstresses and designer in all of the city, adventurer and fellow mischief maker. and yes.. i do believe she does get the crown now. but rest assured i shall reclaim it!"

Teague drinks the cider as he grins happily with a wide face as he looks over at Keely. "Where may we buy these if we enjoy them for our houses?"

12 House Velenosa Guards, Ibasia, the Velenosa Lady-in-Waiting, Ellani, the palm sized spider arrive, following Jaenelle.

Jordan, apologetic Gentleman of the Chamber, Jaenelle arrive, following Noah.

Udell has joined the Small Table.

Patrizio makes a face in the direction of Renata when he's being accused of silliness, which might not do anything to help contest the princess' assertion about him. Alis' words get an approving smile and the dip of his head, before voice is given to the thought. "No, indeed. At a certain point, it becomes a lot of work to gain such back... though that depends on what else one is doing in the interim, I suppose." And Mattheu's words - those get a very knowing look from the prince, and the brief inclination of his head, as if perhaps that was what he was, if in jest, intimating.

To Tila, his expression somewhat sobered, he does nod. "I would be honoured to tell you more such - I fear that I haven't the wealth of stories I imagine others have, but your brother was one I considered a good friend, and I do still feel his loss after the time that has passed, one of the few who could so easily tempt me into causing trouble on a delightful evening."

Teague looks over at Patrizio as he rises his glass hearing the name for a moment. "Marquis Cirroch Sanna. A mighty man, gone too soon." His voice is calls out towards them as he nods slowly, as he looks over at Caspian. "That man was a good friend. I miss him dearly." His eyes move over to follow the distance he is not having a moment your having a moment. "But, with that being stated good luck getting the crown back. That one seems crafty, which you are not my friend."

"Confounding /and/ menacing. I will keep that in mind." Alis confirms, raising a cider sampler to Tila in toast before she drinks from it. When Keely approaches the table she's at with the 'on the edges of the crowd' Kael, her smile brightens. "Princess Keely. Who have you brought to us?" A gesture is made toward the other seats. "I'm Princess Alis, and this is Marquis Keaton." Just in case - maybe he and the Marquis have met, but maybe he's also chugging cider and can't say anything just yet.

"Oh, their origins are all listed on the card on your table!" Keely's soft voice tries to make its way back to Teague as she guides Udell to the small table. "Highlord Alis," she voices in gentle tones, with a smile for her patron. "Forgive the interruption, but have you met Archlector Udell? He is from Bastion originally!" She smiles up to the Archlector and then, perhaps just a little awkwardly, abandons him to the Oathlands leadership to make friends while she tries to keep up with hosting.

Temira enters the tavern and semiles as she sees so many people gathered together. A quick look back and forth, long blonde hair following her, she spots some familiar faces and walks towards them. "Hello, my friends!" She says cheerily, pulling Ilira into her arms and then releasing her to turn herself to Caspian and do the same. She turns to Teague and stops and then says with a laugh, "If you would like a welcome hug too, I'll be glad to offer it." She pauses then says, "I hung the plaque in my room up by the way."

As Patrisio agrees, Tila seems to show only a hint of emotion that is quickly masked. "Aye, impulsive, witty, I love him dearly, even now." This thought halts as Teague ventures forth with speaking and her brows knit. "All it taks is someone with a little brains and a good lawyer." She then looks toward Patricio. "I lend you my skill free, a close friend of my brother's, is a friend to me as well, should ever you need."

Teague nods slowly as he looks at Temira. "That is good with the plaque you earned it well. Of course I wish a hug." He grins at Temira as he leans in quickly to give her a large hug that is broken quickly with a chuckle. "Now than, come try these two they are amazing." He points to two glasses that have not been touched. "This is good cider!"

Teague nods at Keely as she is states with a nod of approval and mouthing thank you at her. The big people are taling, not time for him to add into that.

Renata soon returns with both a glass of cider and some of the aforementioned cake rings, a delicate sip tasting the beverage as she comes to linger close enough to her cousin as she watches the other guests swirl and mingle about her. Looking aside at Patrizio, she lowers her voice a touch as she wonders to him, "Is there anyone here you think I should meet, dear cousin?"

"Lady Tila Sanna," repeats Kael with a nod of his head. "That is what I thought I heard, but the clarification is appreciated." The Keaton dips his head in a low motion, undoubtedly in a formal motion. At least he follows this with a drink of his cider, pulling back slightly after that sip to examine it and consider the notes. He shrugs a shoulder and drinks more. When Keely comes by with Udell however, he sets the drink aside and straightens substantially. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance," he says to the Archlector. Yes, he's also bowing his head deeply again in punctuation of his words.

Katarina grins over at Felicia and returns the greeting with a dip of her head. For the most part, she seems content to enjoy the party, though after a moment to consider the cider, she stands and drifts over Keely's way. "You're liable to trip if you keep rushing about like that," she asides. "Is there anything I can do to aid you?"

Caspian looks to Teague with a hurt expression, "What? not crafty? surely you jest! i can be horribly crafty if i wish. the bard will sing songs of my craftiness and schemeing ways. or they would.. if they knew of my schemes. thats how crafty i am" he gave nod, yes yes.. crafty man. Then Temira was there and hugging him and he laughed, "lady Temira! its good to see you! and plaque? oh yes!! for wooing poor Savio so masterfully!"

"Keeeely," Ilira lilts over to the princess with another flutter of her fingers, but swiftly turns back to her company at large. As the second sample is served, she receives it in her left hand and smiles against the rim as she sips, then muses, "Who says I haven't already won his crown, my Lord? Perhaps I am flaunting my spoils." Her smile broadens to a grin as she tips her chin to him. "Good to meet you!" Catching Caspian's gaze, she clasps his hand warmly in hers for a moment before spinning and throwing her arms open for Temira. "TEMI!" she squeals, a little louder than necessary, and covers her mouth with her free hand with a wide-eyed grin. She hugs her friend tight, and comments casually over her shoulder, "He can," in regard to Caspian's craftiness.

"Lord Teague." Patrizio smiles to the man and lifts his glass in salute and clear agreement with the sentiment, before he's taking a sip from it. He looks about to say something to Tila in return, before Renatal's joining them, and he chuckles. "Renata, have you met Lady Tila Sanna? Lady Tila, my cousin the Princess Renata." And he casts his gaze about for a few moments, before he allows, "I actually don't know who else you do or don't know, cousin, to be honest. There are weeks where I too wonder who I actually /know/ here in the city."

Teague grins at Caspian. "Well you will have to show me wrong my friend." His hand is moving over his glass as he downs the rest of it in one long sip with a soft chuckle. "Fine than we will settle this the best way with a series of games. With all of the Compact to watch. It will be Ilira VS Caspian. Challenges of might and wit and well craftiness." He nods slowly as he winks at Temira. "We already know who is the charming in our group. It is you, over and over."

Mattheu looks at the cider with a sideways tilt as the next one is put down in front of him. He leans back in his seat, with the platters having been cleared. "These are interesting flavors."

"My apologies," Malcolm says to Felicia, "I had forgotten. I will have to pass along to my wife I saw you. Though how do the two of you two know each other?" He takes a moment to grab a drink to sample as he talks. "And a pleasure to meet you, Lord Mattheu!" Malcolm smiles and takes a drink.

Temira thanks Teague with a smiling nod, taking the class of cider. Turning back towards Caspain, she wiggles her eyebrows. , "This must be heaven to you right now, huh Caspian?" As she takes a drink, she laughs, causing her to cough once or twice at Caspian's phrase. "Yeah, it was rather good, wasn't it?" She beamed and sipped, surveying the room to see many new faces she hadn't met yet.

Udell smiles and bows his head in reply to Kael as he settles into the seat that Keely abandons him to before he laughs and offers, "The pleasure is mine, certainly." Alis' question catches his attention and he beams over to her before his reply comes, "Yes, indeed, though I admit I will drink anything if there is enough strength to it. Sometimes it is the only thing that manages to ensure I have enough sleep or else they would find me exhausted in my offices. Though I do try and limit myself while out in public."

Tila offers a smile and looks toward the untouched cider on the bar beside her. Finally she takes a drink, and much to her lineage, it's not quite so little. Mouth full of cider and an introduction by Patrizio, she gives an owlish look for a beat before swallowing the contents in her mouth. "Ah, lovely met, Princess Renata." She offers warmly with a subtle inclination of her head. "I admit I always feel that way." She relays to Patrizio.

Malcolm has joined the Large Table.

Another! The next sample served is a spiced cider from Setarco, the fresh apple flavor warmed with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, with an optional half-shot of Setarco Fire whiskey served alongside. At the drinker's peril!

"Oh, I trip even when I'm not rushing around," Keely is cheerfully assuring Katarina, narrowly avoiding colliding with a server shortly after. "But you could help me! Duke Malcolm is still getting oriented and I wonder if you and Dame Felicia could tell him about your favorite things to do in Arx?" Flit, flit, hop. It doesn't seem like the young princess intends to slow down enough to sample any cider for herself.

This time when Archduke (consort) Noah Velenosa strides in like he owns the place, the former Grayson sort of does. He has on his arm the far more fun-sized Grand Duchess (Jaenelle). "We are coming in. No one is hugging me." A pause. "Besides Keely, I don't think I can avoid that. We do a few nice to meet you's. I drink all the cider in sight and then we back out. I'll say something about you look beautiful in your dress, but I want to see your skirts around your hips. People won't question. It's a great exit plan." Noah's deep voice rumbles as he speaks to his wife and they enter to ALL THE PEOPLE.

Jasper, an unflappable scoundrel, 2 Redrain Guards, 1 Redrain Veteran Guards arrive, following Deva.

"Ah, but I can't remember most days either." Renata laments aside to Patrizio, the Pravosi cousins seeming to share that same affliction. Her attention does turn to Tila and Teague then when the former is introduced and the latter greeted, both offered an easy and warm smile, "Ah, it's lovely to meet you, Lady Sanna. Clearly my cousin knows at least two people here, so that will do."

"Oh, well, when I served his majesty, she approached me about some of my families history. One of the first, actually... until then I had thought that 'king Harren Harrow' was something my grandfather had made up." Felicia admits with a rueful smile for Malcolm,"But we also know one another through the Explorers, too." she chuckles.

Felicia has joined the Large Table.

Katarina stands still as Keely is a blur of motion around her. She ends up with a cider sample in her hand and she's not really sure how it happened. These things just happen sometimes. "It would be my pleasure," Katarina says, mostly to Keely's back because the Grayson is already on the move again. In heading over Malcolm and Felicia's way, she stops to greet Noah and Jaenelle. "Archduchess. Archduke. Your Grace, it's a pleasure to see you once again. I've been derelict in keeping up."

Caspian gives ilira's hand a squeeze and then smirks impishly, "oh? Challenges is it? hmm well i you know me.. i never can say no!" he laughs merrily, looking to Temira "hmm.. very nearly! if it were the elysian halls i think i'd have all the cider right in front of me with taps already in them!" he snagged a cup passing by and raised it in salute, "We need more games and challenges i think! i loved the ones you devised for the party Lord Teague. they were marvelous!"

Teague looks over at Renata with a bow as he places the glasses now empty down. "Lord Teague Charon at your service. It is well meet Princess Renata Pravus. I hope you enjoy the cider." He looks over at the others slowly, watching it all as he nods to a few more known faces. As he waits for the next round of drinks. He looks over at Caspian with a soft chuckle. "You honor me, with such high praise. I enjoy making challenges and games, they are good for training body mind and soul. They are good, for they are fun and one can learn much of what we need to work on in our lives and ourselves."

"Your cousin knows more than two," Patrizio says, with a playfully warning note to his words when he's just smirking at Renata and shaking his head. Though while they're conversing, he does see one of his guard gesturing to him and... the glass in his hand is briefly tipped back so that he might finish it, before he's setting it on the bar. "I apologize, but it does seem that duty calls," voices the prince with a sigh and a shake of his head. "Lady Tila, it was a pleasure to meet you, and we'll have to speak again soon. Cousin... don't cause too much trouble." Patrizio briefly draws his arm around Renata for a gentle hug, before he straightens himself up fully, with those jade eyes casting about here and there at other familiar faces... and then a shake of his head. "If you'll excuse me."

"Are you a whiskey drinker, Archlector? I've some good recommendations for several that are guaranteed to knock a person out for awhile." Alis, fellow insomniac, reveals one of her own secrets to getting any sleep at all on a bad night. Spotting the Lyceum leadership walk in, she waves over to Jaenelle and Noah cheerfully. And then holds up one of the pastries. "You've got to try these ones, Archduchess."

Tila offers up a sheepish smile. "Duty first, your Majesty. When time allows. I look forward to the messenger's delivery." She offers warmly before nodding to Ranata. "Men always claim larger than actuality." She teases as Patrizio passes, of course it's in earshot. She does know how to cut jokes too it seems.

"Cousin Noah!" Keely's soft voice calls just above the din as she weaves through the room, nearly colliding with Katarina which is par for the course with their various event interactions honestly. But she makes it to the Velenosa couple and pauses to offer air kisses near Jaenelle's cheeks first (once Katarina has thoroughly greeted her), her smile warm and fond. "Your Grace," she greets the Archduchess with a dip of her chin to follow. And then her dark eyes rise to Noah, and she beams, giving one of his hands a gentle squeeze. "There are cake rings!" she tells him excitedly, like he should know what this means.

Katarina checks dexterity at normal. Katarina is successful.

Deva is arguing lightheartedly with her assistant on the way in, with crimson strands piled in a messy bun atop her head. "Look, I didn't think it would take that long," she sighs in exasperation, passing Jasper a small note between two fingers. He laughs under his breath before darting off with his delivery, leaving the redhead loitering awkwardly for a moment or five in the doorway. It takes her a moment to remember that she is very much in public, among peopole, and there is socializing to do. Hands slide down the front of her leathers to straighten them out before she strides forward and flashes smiles for familiar faces-- many! Patrizio gets a wave, Keely a finger-wiggle, and there's a snap of her fingers as she spies Tila as if remembering to do something. "Congratulations!" she beams over at the Sanna lady before venturing further into the tavern. Spying Alis, she taps her own nose and stares at the Valardin for a moment, as if communicating something wordlessly.

Patrizio has left the Bar.

3 First Legion Centurions, 3 Setarcan Royal Shields leave, following Patrizio.

"I can say the same to you, and I shall. Be safe, Patrizio." Renata bids this to Patrizio after the pair share a quick hug, a smile given to her cousin before she's waving him off in farewell. She looks back to Tila and Teague, dipping her head politely towards the latter, "A pleasure, Lord Charon. The cider is wonderful, one of my favorite things about this season, I must say. Have you tried the cake rings with it? Princess Keely recommended them to me, and they are well worth it."

Kael is content in his silence once he's greeted Udell, though that is not to say that he is not paying attention to the man. He listens to him politely, nodding his head in response to the words that are offered. He sips from his cider, indulging in an idle sort of way. When Alis is mentioning those recommendations, he confirms, "It is true. I believe I still have a bottle in my chambers." That latter comment? Almost as if a reminder to self.

Tila nearly misses Deva until she speaks, and her eyes light up and a warm smile plays her lips. "Thank you!" She offers warmly. "It's a welcome back more less, not that my trip is over. "Princess, it's lovely seeing you. I did mean to speak with you in private, perhaps another time we can speak and have dinner, to catch up." She gives a thoughtful assessment before tacking on. "Cirroch did speak highly of you."

"Deva!" Alis is always happy to see her cousin of Redrain, and gestures towards her own eyes with two fingers, then back at Deva, with a solemn nod. As if she totally understood that silent communication and is returning it with all due seriousness.

Mattheu wanders away from the table for a moment with cider in one hand, whiskey in the other to nod to Renata. "Princess Renata." With some attention to each drink he then bows deeply into a flourished bow, bells singing out as he does, only to stand up with a smile and a sip of his cider before the whiskey finds itself in the mug. "Lord Mattheu Rivenshari. I hope your evening is well."

Teague smiles at Renata as he nods slowly with a soft little chuckle. "Way too many. I will have to run so many miles before the end of it all. To burn it all off." His voice is calls out in mirth as he sips his drink slowly. "But thank you for telling me of them. Princess Keely's taste are always right on point with the tasty treats. So has never steered me wrong." His eyes move to Keely as he nods towards her. "Mini Pastries are now a staple of my house."

"Why would you think anyone wishes to hug you, Noah?" Jaenelle asks the man her hand holds onto lightly. "You are average at best, in physical features and offer little empathy in your touch. It leaves people feeling worse than went they went into the hug in the first place, and then they would have to seek out someone else. Just skip the step and go straight for the next person." The pregnant High Lord says this with a straight face. "This dress is beautiful, don't be jealous that I would rather wear it than you." Her attention shifts towards Katarina and she offers a bright smile and dip of her head, "punishments all around, I feel as if we have both allowed duty to get in the way of pleasures, Princess Katarina. We shall have to fix this." The pastry is given a glance and then her eyes travel down the holder's arm, and she releases her husband in favor of one of the platters of desserts, "I went to the King's Own tower the other day and say in their kitchens and ate an entire plate of pasties because they are the absolute best and I had to have some enjoyment in my life." She plucks one up and takes a bite, looking almost apologetic as it happens while Keely leans in to kiss her cheek, but not so embarrassed that she doesnt keep chewing through the greeting. "Keely, you beautiful creature."

"Aha!" Malcolm says and takes a drink, before responding to Felicia, "That I did not know!" He nods, "And yes, yes, the Explorers. I had forgotten," he winces a little. "I have been kept away too long." Mal quickly chuckles, a tad awkwardly, a tad in humor. "So any interesting news recently?" the duke inquires.

With another boisterous laugh, Udell nods readily and imparts with a bit of a conspiratory wink to Alis, "I am, as it happens and that warmed with a touch of cider is just the thing for a restful sleep. As well as for a good deal else that ails the body and the spirit." His attentions appear to be split between those at his table, respecting both the conversational nature and the comfortable silence of its occupants.

Caspian looks to Renata and smiles, "princess Renata! its good to see you!" he glances to Teague and smirks, "oh? well never you fear Lord Teague. i'll drag you to the training center or the Gauntlet and hammer of that weight in no TIME." he looked to Tila though and asked, "Wait.. are the tiny pastries actually common now?" he glanced dubiously as teague, trying to picture the big man daintily munching on a scone

"It is more than 'we shall,' but rather a 'we must,'" Katarina says to Jaenelle with a bright smile, immediately after side-stepping just in time to avoid Keely shoulder-checking her. Katarina is about to say something, when the arrival of Deva catches her eye. "Though -- I apologize, my manners must come across as something like a wild beast right now, but I must see to something that is of some urgency. Archduchess, Archduke." And then Katarina is heading Deva's way. She looks as serious as one can look with half a cup of cider in their hand.

Tila keeps a straight face, she's got a -very- good poker face as she looks at Caspian, then Teague. "The cake wars got their name somehow. I should plan another soon. For Cirroch's memory." She offers aloud to gauge Teague's reaction before smiling at Caspian, "So I suppose...he may have gotten caked a few times and come to love confections."

A messenger catches Ilira's attention from across the room, and approaches to deliver a cream-colored slip of vellum into her open hand. Pursing her lips in anticipation, she skims the few lines of script and hands it back with a subtle nod and a warm smile of thanks. She turns back to her group. "I gotta go. Forgive me." Sliding one arm around Caspian's waist and the other around Temira's, she tugs them both into a warm hug and lifts onto her tiptoes to murmur something fondly. "Sorry I have to dash, a pleasure to meet you," she inclines her head to Teague. And with the same artistry as when she slipped in, she slips back out.

"I suppose you can just think of it as a bit of extra insulation for the winter. Surely that must be a tradition in the north?" Renata wonders this to Teague with all the winter weather knowledge of a princess from a tropical chain of islands. An amused smile flits over her lips, her aquamarine eyes soon flitting to Mattheu and Caspian, the former receiving a curious look at his jingling, "It is, thank you, Lord Rivenshari and it's a pleasure to meet you." Caspian received a more familiar look, "Caspian, hello. How are you enjoying the festivities?"

Caspian beamed to Renata after giving ilira a hug farewell. "its CIDER! what not to love! finally a place i wont get all the weird looks when i pick up a keg of the stuff to carry with me.." he looked around, "i mean to take home..." he impishly, "And such variety here! have you been converted to see Cider as the best drink now princes?!"

And another! The next is a Laurent specialty-- a mixture of a dry cider and honey mead that somehow remains light and bubbly, not overly sweet, and with a pleasant floral finish

"Miniature pastries are a way of life that every civilized household should adopt," Keely remarks over her shoulder toward Teague with a small grin once her cousin and cousin-in-law have been thoroughly greeted. And Deva's here! "Your highness!" she greets the Redrain warmly, hurrying over to offer air kisses near her cheeks. "How wonderful to see you! Look, Archlector Udell has returned, do you remember him from the dancing lessons?" She points out Udell near Alis and Kael. "And you must try the cake rings dipped in the spiced cider, everyone will tell you."

"Ohhhh, I hadn't thought of that yet. A stout Stone Mountain whiskey with a touch of cider added. I'll have to try that the next time I'm wandering the halls of the manor and unable to sleep. Instead of just straight." Alis has found a new drink to try; now she will wander the halls with /this/ drink in hand. "Though I have admittedly been warming to a glass of good red wine of late too. Both serve well." A gesture is made to the silver skull pendant he wears. "You are the Archlector of the Queen of Endings and Beginnings, yes? Perhaps I can speak with you some time about a few questions I have."

Teague nods slowly towards Renata with a soft chuckle. "Indeed. You have found our secret the way we are padding and the way we can go through that cold cold winter." His hand is moving slowly through his beard stroking it with a soft chuckle. "Who has been spreading the secrets of the north to you?" He throws his head back with a mirth as he let's out a rumble of a laugh. "Now than, Caspian we can we will do that even if I gain not a pound of weight. Now than shall we move to the training sands after this, fight off the cider and cake. Now I will have mini pastries sent over for us to snack on."

Noah nods towards thows that acknowledge him. Then he gives a grin for Keely. "Why would you want to wear a ring of cake? You mean around your fingers?" Yes, Noah has no clue what ring cake is or a cake ring or some such. Jaenelle gets glanced at for a moment. Noah's grin fades and he nods his head properly and dutifully to her. "As is your will, Your Grace." A nod towards Katarina before he nods to Keely and moves in the direction of Mattheu, leaset he finds someone else first. By someone else, one really means a platter of drinks.

Felicia casts her eyes over the ciders before snagging a drink for herself. An acknowledging nod for Axelle for her valet to head off to her own entertainments as she chuckles for Malcolm's words,"I'd imagine that you have a rather lot more people to recall on a daily basis than I, your highness. And admittedly, this was largely before she became a duchess and we all had a little... ah... freer time and fewer battles to fight." she raises her cider his way with a rueful grin,"Not for me. Though we... my family and I... spent some time researching some of the heroics of past Crownlands nobility which was rather interesting I expect between the matter of Bastion and all that you've been a little... distracted lately."

Josse, a sharp-eyed Whitehawk falcon arrives, delivering a message to Teague before departing.

Teague reads over a messenger slowly as he stares down at as he slides it slowly as he looks at the room. "Sadly business is pulling me away. Each of you have a lovely night." With that he looks at Caspian with a soft chuckle. "Now than my friend do be well. I will see you in the sands soon." His hand is resting on his shoulder, as he looks for others to nod at for a moment before he is heading off.

Deva bobs her head agreeably to Tila, "Absolutely. I'll set a bottle aside and we'll catch up over a meal! Ahh--" Her expression softens, "The Marquis' larger than life presence is missed." Aside, to Alis, she nods subtly as if to say 'message received' and taps two fingers to her wrist. As Katarina approaches, she dips her head and scoops an unclaimed cider off the nearest flat surface. There's got to be one she can start with. "Good evening," she bids politely, with warmth in her tone. Air kisses are returned to Keely with a laugh, and she swivels to spy Udell and bow her head politely. "That's right! A pleasure, Archlector. Welcome back." There's a pause. "You had me at cake," she adds to the Grayson, with faux solemnity.

"I am not sure about the -best-, I think my cousin Bas has passed on his love of wine to me. But, I enjoy it very much nonetheless." Renata assures Caspian of this, chasing her words with another sip of the event's cider. Teague receives a pleasant farewell nod next, "It was lovely to meet you. Be well, Lord Charon."

Caspian gives teague a warm smile and nods, "i hope you vanquish the work swiftly my friend! i have found axes do wonder to solve stacks of paperwork!

Teague has left the Window Booth.

Mattheu smiles back at Renata's quirk, more than used to that look from others as they try to find all the bells upon his person. Quick to point out a few of them as he bops the small shark plushie sitting just behind a pouch on his sash belt. "Bells. Just bout every where." He blushes slightly as if he as made his own joke to the matter of the bells on his person. A glance to Caspian as he's handed a new cider by the blur that is Keely bouncing around the room. "Kee..." And now with two handfuls of cider she's off again. Turning back to Caspian. "It might be time for another fun brawl. Get some donations running up? Someone can keep an eye on Viol this time?"

Another nod comes as the Archlector finds himself with the aforementioned cider and cake, courtesy of his rather ever-present shadow. "I am Her Archlector, yes. And I would be delighted to, now that I have pulled myself from the mire, as it were.", Udell offers to Alis before he waves to Deva and says, "Thank you kindly."

Katarina walks up to Deva. She takes a cider as well, and has a sip. Her serious expression gives way to a wry smile. "Princess Deva," she says. "I've longed for a chance to speak to you for some time. You see, there is a merchant in the Eurusi Traveler by the name of Babr who hails from my birth kingdom of Suj'abbat, and..." The Eurusi-born Valardin's heavily accented voice dips into a murmur, whatever she says next apparently for Deva's ears only.

Caspian looks to Mattheu and laughs, "Well im always up for a brawl! but i swear if you spill cider we will have words my lord. WORDS!"

Renata shakes her head gently at Mattheu on the mention of the bells, "I enjoy the sound, I find. I'm... well, not a musician, but I do enjoy music so it's quite pleasant." The sudden decision of a brawl between him and Caspian though draws about a mildly startled expression and a murmured, "Oh dear."

When Alis is calling out to Deva, Kael's focus moves there and he attempts to make eye contact so that he can nod her way by way of greeting. He is about to comment to his table when a messenger intercepts him and he murmurs a few words of apology to those near him. Why? Because whatever seal is present there, it is enough for him to read the contents in the middle of the festivities. Grimacing, he shows Alis the contents. "I spoke too soon earlier," he remarks before clearing his throat. "I apologize. Archlector, it was a pleasure to make your acquaintance." He takes one final drink from his cider before reluctantly rising.

Temira smiles as her friend whispers to her, and before she can say a proper goodbye, Ilira is gone. "I never seem to get a moment longer than a moment with her," Temira says, with a hint of disappointment in her tone. "I'll go greet the hostess and greet people." It was partially said aloud and partially to Caspian. She moves towards the hostess, running to and fro, and isn't sure when to stop her, so she takes a few steps back towards her spot by Caspian. Looking over to Mattheu, she smiles widely. "Hello, good to see you. "How have you been?" Suddenly, looking towards Caspian with a quirked eyebrow at his words.

Caspian looks to Renata and sighs slightly, "wine has its place i know.. but when the sun is blistering, or your muscles ache and you feel exhausted.. wine wont perk you up like cider" he grins, "so its functional AND delicious!"

After making quick rounds to ensure everyone is greeted and has someone to talk to, Keely makes her way over to the small table she keeps buzzing around and slides a bit breathlessly into a chair. Glancing down to Kael's plate, she tilts her head a touch. "You did not want a cake ring?" she asks, looking at the untouched donut with concern.

Keely has left the Large Table.

Keely has joined the Small Table.

"Thank you, Archlector. I appreciate your indulgence." Alis replies sincerely, brow furrowing with concern when Kael pops open that message and then shows it to her. "Well, party's over for us. But hopefully I will see many of you soon." Alis makes sure to stop and give Keely a brief hug before she also makes her way out alongside Kael.

Katarina has left the Large Table.

Katarina has joined the Bar.

Alis has left the Small Table.

Sir Rhys, a Valardin Knight, Laurene, a military adjutant, 10 Valardin Knights leave, following Alis.

"I do recall the easier days, before titles and whatnot," Malcolm chuckles and then drinks, "But that is an... interesting story." He listens to Felicia explain her story, "That is indeed interesting," the Duke has been paying attention closely, though he does give a nod of affirmation to the last comment, "It is taking a little bit of time, but I will be right as rain soon enough. The dogs certainly help with it."

A small giggle escapes Keely as Alis and Kael are leaving. "It was very good to see you both," she murmurs softly, hugging her patron and smiling warmly up to the Marquis. "Thank you so very much for coming. Truly."

Deva lifts a hand to wave at Kael in return, a smile there, but slightly sad? Twisted with understanding? A little tired, maybe. She mouths something that looks like "soon" and then bounces her attention back to Katarina. There's a stiffness to her posture as she is whispered to, brows knitting together as she steels herself. There's a movement of her palm toward the floor, then a nod toward the door, as she quietly responds.

Caspian looks to Temira and nods, "ilira? yeah..she is always busy it seems. have to work to carve out time with her." he looks around at the blur that is keely, "And good luck trying to catch her.. im not sure she has stopped moving since i came in.."

"If you enjoy the sound of our bells, you should come to our expanse. I've a little party organized to race toy boats in the creek out front of the gates." Mattheu smiles back to Renata as he looks over to Temira with a nod and raise of his two mugs of cider which he's taken to sipping from and mixing together as they run low. "I'm well Lady Temira. And how are you?"

"I was drinking my dessert this day, Your Highness," murmurs Kael in response to Keely. Mind you, he's glancing down to that cake donut as if some mystery was finally solved. Shaking his head, he adds, "My apologies for our swift departure - it was, ah is, a lovely event." He bows swiftly, turns to dip his head to Udell, and afterward is moving through the crowd. On his way out though? He attempts to tap Katarina on the shoulder. Why? Just because he can try. There's no purpose to it. He does manage to nod to Deva again as he goes however.

Kael has left the Small Table.

"At least until the next one..." Felicia opines, raising her cider,"But I'm sure that you and the duchess will do everything you can to help protect your people." she chuckles,"and perhaps one of these days there'll be some non-puppy announcements...?" there's a loft of her brow and a cheeky grin for Malcolm.

"Toy boats? Those might be the sort of boats I actually enjoy. I will have to see if I can make it." Renata smiles amusedly towards Mattheu at this, quiet laughter soon drawn from the Pravosi princess at Caspian's enthusiasm towards the drink of the night, "Caspian, I think you might have missed your calling as a cider merchant."

Temira holds up her own nearly empty glass and then finishes it off. "I'm doing well as well. Thank you for asking." She picks up a glass from wherever it was sitting and turns to Princess Renata. "I should introduce myself to you as well, princess, Lady Temira Eswynd, pleasure." She held out her hand to the princess, offering a cheer in greeting, if she felt inclined to do so.

Caspian looked to Renata and smirked, "oh no no! horrible at selling.. much better at drinking. could you imagine me trying to sell it?" he smirked and looked to Temira, "Lady Temira can attest.. i can drink an awful lot of this. i'd be at my stall, peddling empty kegs by nightfall"

Felicia is overheard praising Keely.

The next round of cider that is brought out is a caramel apple cider, warmed and served with a caramel rim rolled in cinnamon sugar. It fills the room with delicious smells that mingle perfectly with all the fragrant snacks available.

A slightly frazzled-looking Keely with rosy cheeks has finally settled down in a seat across from Udell, and seems to be just... breathing. Chatting lightly and softly. And sneaking the untouched cake ring from Kael's abandoned plate.

Malcolm nods, "We will always endeavor to do so. It may not have been the path I chose, but it is one I will do to my best ability." He takes a drink a second before Felicia comments on announcements and it takes all of Malcolm's effort to not spit take. After he recovers, the duke says, "Maybe, maybe." Malcolm turns his head and coughs into his elbow, "My apologies, I was not expecting that."

Noah has joined the Large Table.

With pastry in hand, Jaenelle moves to collect her husband once more as he heads towards Mattheu's direction. She holds the hald eaten pastry up for Noah to taste before also handing him a glass of cider she collected from one of the servers, his with a shot of something while the one she takes for herself lacks the fun stuff. "Have you met Berenice's protege, Evaristo, yet?" she asks Noah. "He has recently taken an oath to House Velenosa. He is very charming."

Mattheu quirks a grin to Caspian, "Sounds like the best seller. Show the world how good the drink is, dare them to take it from you. It would drive the cost up." Mattheu doesn't really know what he's talking about here, though tries to smile as if this is a purposeful tactic in how a seller of cider should be. A soft laugh is hidden within another sip of his cider, now emptying one into the other and placing the empty mug upon a passing tray, as he turns to Renata, "Yes. Toy boats. Use about any method you can think of to send your boat past and under the bridge safely and there's a lovely prize for the winner."

Katarina and Deva are murmuring with one another, and Katarina eases back out of the murmuring. This involves no longer standing on tip-toes to reach Deva's ear. Short Princesses have it rough. "But yes, Your Highness, let us indeed speak soon. There is much to discuss where our interests overlap." She smiles, and offers up her cider in a toast. "I can release you to your revelry, if you wish~."

"Oh, but you already have your sales pitch all worked out. You just told it to me!" Renata insists to Caspian with amusement lingering in her smile, a curious expression turning to the new face of Temira. She lifts her own glass in return with an agreeable expression settling across her Setaran features, "A pleasure to meet you, Lady Eswynd. Renata Pravus."

When the next round of cider is brought out, she is quick to scoop up the latest variety while listening to Mattheu curiously, "I am not sure if I'm much of a captain of even tiny boats, but it sounds like fun nonetheless."

Jaenelle has joined the Large Table.

Noah pauses as there is a fun-sized Archduchess touching him and offering him food. A cant of his head. "Berenice as a patron?" Clearly, Noah wants to say something about this before he stops. His eyes look over the room and back to Jaenelle. "I have not." The deep voice rumbles to her as he looks almost longingly towards the table of Mattheu and Malcolm. So close. Then back to Jaenelle. "We should make rounds. Have you seen Mattheu over there? He's with Malcolm." Noah does take the cider though.

Noah is overheard praising Keely: She didn't force hug me. I consider this to mean her event is a win.

Felicia's chuckle is even more amused at Malcolm's spittake,"I have no doubt she'll give me whatfor later, but I confess every time I see an announcement I hope it's not going to be puppies. Not that I have anything against puppies, mind. Or that the nattering of a dame matters particularly."

Deva is not quite at ease as her whisper companion, Katarina. Quite the opposite. She seems on edge now, attention distracted to some thing that clearly seems to trouble her. Her smile is slightly stiff as she dips her head politely, and after tossing the rest of her cider back she pivots to slip right back out the door. She didn't get very far into the room, anyway!

Jaenelle is overheard praising Keely: Great kisser.

Jasper, an unflappable scoundrel, 2 Redrain Guards, 1 Redrain Veteran Guards leave, following Deva.

Tila looks up as one of the Sanna house guards show up, She takes the parchment from him and studies it quieetly. A soft nod is given as she passes the notice back. There she offers a curious glance before rising. "I apologize, work calls." She offers quietly. Perhaps she looks a hair overwhelmed.

Tila has left the Bar.

Snow, 3 Sanna House Guards leave, following Tila.

Udell is overheard praising Keely: Awesome event to come back to!

Katarina has left the Bar.

Katarina watches Deva depart, maintaining her composure and her smile. She starts drifting a bit, ending up in the general vicinity of Renata. "You know, before I arrived in Sanctum," says the woman whose Dune Kingdoms accent marks her as /clearly not being from Sanctum/, "I had never so much as paddled a rowboat. And now I am the Fleet Admiral of House Valardin. It is amazing, the abilities you find within yourself if you try."

Caspian looked to Mattheu and tapped his chin, "hmm.. artificial scarcity.." he grins and puts on his best pompous merchant accent, "im sorry good sir but that cask is 15000 siulver. why? well its the last cask in the city! i should know.. i drank the rest!" he laughed merrily and shook his head, "i'd be a merchant prince or a beggar inside a week." he looked from Renata to Temira, "Lady Temira is a MASTERFUL shot with the bow. and no slouch when it comes to daggers! Should you ever find yourself needing an archer, i think you could not do better!" he gives Temira a bright smile!

"Perhaps," Malcolm says and chuckles, "I will keep that in mind, and give you forewarning before any puppy announcements to save you the false hope," he takes a drink. "Has there been any recent news with the Explorers?" His tone has kept its jovial tone, and appears to be more relaxed.

Temira sips her cider and watches as other guests begin to filter out. "Maybe next time I'll get a chance to talk with them." She says aloud to herself, then turns back to the conversation about boats but apparently has now been changed to her as the topic, "Ah well thank you for the praise. I worked and trained hard and it seems that has paid off," She wiggles her eyebrows towards Renat, "I'm also quite stealthy, should you ever need any infiltration." She says, followed up by a chuckle and another sip of her drink

Udell has left the Small Table.

Jaenelle takes a sip of her cider before nodding her head, "I have given him a navy. Would you like to learn to sail?" Maybe Noah needs a new hobby. "Oh look, it is Mattheu and Malcolm," she very helpfully agrees with him as he heads more into that direction and Jae follows. "I like the idea of sitting in one place and having people come to me. I am not hosting this, so rounds are a little more stationary. Let Keely do her thing. She and I are going to hold something, if I ever find the energy again and stop being a terrible person."

"Ah. I have a rather complicated history with both boats and the sea... fortunately I have lots of cousins who are much better with it than myself, and I've found my talents lie with agricultural management." Renata explains to Katarina after a gentle nod of understanding, the princess looking between Caspian and Temira with a slight widening of her eyes, "Oh, I cannot see myself needing too much of that. Even the sight of blood makes me a bit lightheaded, combat and such is another place where I lack any talent."

Keely bids her farewells to Udell before rising again and wandering back toward the large table and slipping up beside Katarina where she lingers near Renata. "Your highnesses," she greets them both. "Which was your favorite cider? They did not put the caramel on the cup of this last when I was doing my sampling, that is really something."

Felicia makes a noise,"That would certainly save my poor heart from the disappointment." with all the solemnity she can manage. Which, admittedly, isn't much on that particular topic. Evinced when she takes up speaking on the Explorer's instead,"Well, there was the mapping we did for the Saffron in relation to that thing stirring over there. Which was a fair bit of climbing about and hacking through jungles but... no idea if it helped the larger issue. Yet. Being from the Crownlands myself, unless they start calling for additional help I don't suppose I'll know, either. Then of course, the Deathspeaker's will be heading back in to some of the more damaged areas of Bastion and surrounds to try and put some ghosts to rest. Mm, but if you know of any giant bugs or bug-infested types... I could use someone like that."

Noah answers Jaenelle as he pulls a chair out for her at the large table. "No thank you. I'm studying medicine currently. Perhaps when I am done with that one, then I will pick that up as my next hobby. I am rather doubtful of that though."

Caspian beams at Renata, "Well.. i am useless when it comes to agriculture and sneaking! so see it all works out." he looks to Keely and gives a radiant smile, "Princess keely i must thank you for hosting this! so many marvelous drinks! tell me.. is there a way i could see about buying a cask or two of all of it?"

"I will keep you informed, though I must admit my jealousy at the adventuring." Malcolm grins and looks to the new arrivals at the large table, "Good evening! I hope you are doing well, your highnesses," He nods to Noah and Jaenelle. The duke sets down his empty cup before selecting a second cider.

Mattheu nods to Noah and Jaenelle, as he is laughing at conversation with Caspian and Renata turning to Noah. "Prince Noah! It's been far too long." His drink is raised to Noah, only to be looked at with a squint as Mattheu realizes that one is empty and then proceeds to mix the few remaining drops of the other mugs in front of him until he has a full glass. A quirk of his lips as he drinks the mixture and raises the newly filled/refilled glass to Noah and Jaenelle.

"Who among us does not have a complicated history with the sea?" Katarina says with an easy smile. "Ah, combat is not my strong suit, either. I am handy enough with a dagger, I suppose, but I am simply not built to be a warrior. I believe one of the more uncouth trainers in knifeplay that I studied under determined the issue to be -- what was it in Arvani? Ah. Yes. 'A big fat ass.'" Katarina grins, and lifts her cider, as if in a mock toast. "I will find a way to endure." Keely arrives just as Katarina is talking about her big fat ass. "Ah! Princess Keely. My favorite was..."

Katarina has rolled 1 3-sided dice: 3

"I mean... any time you feel like being slapped about by a jungle and bunking down in the mud I'm sure you'd be welcome. Though I expect that Delilah would want me to make sure you came back in one piece." Felicia's attention is finally drawn away to notice Noah and Jaenelle and she half-rises from her seat to offer a bow,"Your graces." politely.

"...the third one. Absolutely delightful," Katarina concludes.

Renata greets Keely once more with an amiable smile, soon volunteering her own favorite among the horde of ciders, "I enjoyed the cherry one, myself. Cherries and apples are just so lovely together, very refreshing." She soon exhales a sympathetic sound at Katarina, nodding gently, "I suppose that is so. I was in a bad shipwreck when I was a child, so it's something that lingers with me still. I am glad you were able to discover such a hidden talent, your Highness." A soft laugh slips out before she concedes, "Even if neither of us will ever be outstanding warriors."

Keely has left the Small Table.

6 Grayson House Guards have been dismissed.

Wyla, a small wisp of an assistant have been dismissed.

Noah takes the drink and offers a smirk towards Malcolm. "It is good to see you in the city again. Now I will have to hold an event for all of us again." His smirk grows a bit towards Mattheu. "I knew you would be here since there is a party and drinking." Felicia is glanced at thoughtfully as if he's trying to place her. "You are a Harrow, yes?"

Keely chokes as Katarina says 'big fat ass', coughing behind her hand and turning her face away. "Mm. Yes, the spiced and cherry ones were wonderful. I did so like the mead one, but I have always been so fond of honey," she replies, after recovering from being utterly scandalized. They both get gentle, friendly touches to the arm as she continues on, making her way to Mattheu next. "Lord Mattheu! Did you ever catch your wayward apple?" She finally sees Caspian and flashes him a broad smile of his own. "Mister Wild! You made it! Hello there."

Temira lights up when Keely approaches. She waits until she has greeted the others then introduces herself. "Princess Keely, Lady Temira Eswynd, It's a pleasure. This party was quite enjoyable. "That atmosphere was very lively for the cider tasting." She smiles with a little sigh as she had wanted to greet the hostess since she arrived. It's only good manners, after all.

"Lady Eswynd!" Keely pauses to turn her smile to Temira, dipping her head in greeting. "How very wonderful to see you, it has been quite some time and I am glad to hear you have enjoyed yourself! Which was -your- favorite?"

Caspian gives a bow to keely, and warm smile. "of course! a cider tasting? you'd have to fight me back with a stick to keep me at bay!" he gives a laugh, shaking his head, "and i do hope there is a way to get some of these kegs purchased! the caramel one was just.. delightful!"

Katarina checks stamina and survival at hard. Katarina fails.

"I will keep that in mind!" Mal says to Felicia, and laughs, "I am sure she would, and to be fair, returning in one piece is my preference as well." He smiles and laughs as Noah arrives, "That would be most welcome. Keep me informed! What have you been up to?" He gestures to Felicia, "This is Dame Felicia Harrow."

Katarina checks charm and performance at hard. Katarina marginally fails.

"I'd have to agree with Princess Renata the cherry one was enjoyable"

Mattheu smiles to Keely and nods to the very dusty covered apple that has been set to the side of table while looking back to Caspian as he continues to drink the mixture of ALL THE CIDERS into one mug. "Ah Prince Noah. Do you care to take your chances with a toy boat race? It's to be..." Mattheu looks at the ceiling, "I think tomorrow."

Jaenelle has left the Large Table.

12 House Velenosa Guards have been dismissed.

Ibasia, the Velenosa Lady-in-Waiting have been dismissed.

Ellani, the palm sized spider have been dismissed.

Felicia offers a dip of her head, touching her brow with a couple of fingers to her forehead and then making a small gesture,"As the duke said, yes. Felicia Harrow. We've also met before, but, well. I don't expect to be remembered." she chuckles wryly.

"Ah, the mead was my /second/ favorite," Katarina observes to Keely with a big grin. "But I had to be wise and not drink too much of it -- mead, you know, it is quite strong. I adore honey, but I am rather such as a lightweight when it comes to... drinks, and the drinking of those drinks." Katarina sways on her feet slightly. "Ah, Princess Renata, I am sorry to hear that you have had such an ill fortune. When I was young, not much more than a girl, I set sail from the Dune Kingdoms. It nearly cost me my life -- my ship was wrecked in the Eventide Vast, and I was clinging to its wreckage, starved and half-dead, when I was found by my sister -- you know my sister, yes? Her Grace, Princess Alis. I was brought back to Sanctum in her custody and I was later adopted into House Valardin." By now in her rambling story, it's fairly obvious that Katarina is drunk. She's doing her best to hold it together, and she's at least a pleasant drunk, but she can't hide it. And then she seems to slip into speaking her native language without quite realizing that she's doing it.

Katarina says in Eurusi, "So you see, even in moments of crisis, there can come great opportunity, great fortune. Ah! Princess Keely, is there no dancing at this party? Dancing would be excellent, do you not agree?"

Renata looks increasingly sympathetic towards Katarina at her words, aquamarine eyes widening gently at the other princess, "Oh, it sounds as if we actually have a great deal in common... I was adopted into House Pravus after I washed up on a beach." It's only after a moment that she seems to recall they're at a party and it may not be the time to bond over tragic, shipwreck-related adoption stories. Clearing her throat, she seems to agree with something said by Katarina, even if it was in some other language than Arvani, however awkardly she tacks it on, "Dancing might be nice, yes."

Mattheu attempts to keep up in the story that Katarina shares. "I've only heard stories of the Eurusi, your travels have brought you far." Then looking to Renata with a grin, "Dancing sounds amazing! Are you offering? Or was it a suggestion?"

Caspian gives a laugh and bobs his head in agreement with the words being spoken. "God yes! dancing it always better!" he looks around, "are there musicians here? if not i can go grab my lute. hardly a good replacement for a full group but i can do my best!"

Noah has left the Large Table.

Jordan, apologetic Gentleman of the Chamber have been dismissed.

"Oh yes, the cherry one seemed to be popular. Tor really knows their stuff when it comes to making drinks," Keely enthuses softly to Temira, her eyes bright. "Oh you must take some bottles with you for Lady Medeia and Lord Haakon to try. Though... perhaps the spiced for the Lord, he does not prefer sweet drinks if I recall correctly." Katarina gets a tilt of her head as she begins speaking a tongue foreign to the young Grayson, and then Renata a look of surprise when she seems to understand. "Oh, dancing can be arranged!" She gives Mattheu a little grin as he sort of offers to Renata, then glances to Caspian with a small giggle as a band of musicians that has blended in and provided ambient music thus far picks up into a lively, rollicking jig at her signal, and she moves out of the way to clear the floor. "You should ask someone to dance!" she suggests with a grin to the Champion, dark eyes flitting to Katarina.

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


*** Katarina has called for an opposing check with Keely. ***
Katarina checks dexterity and performance at easy. Katarina is successful.
Keely checks dexterity and dodge at easy. Keely is successful.
*** Katarina is the winner. ***

Mattheu smiles to Caspian, "We can trade off. I'll play my violin while you have a dance, you play your lute while I dance. Or we can make use of my bells to create the song." Mattheu's cheeks are red from the drink, his nose in a warm glow as he offers a means towards sorting out the music. Then looks to Renata and back to Caspian.

"Ah thank you for the lovely time Princess Keely, IT was good to meet everyone, I hope you all stay well" She smiles getting up to head out the door.

"A beach -- ah, it is such a tragedy that the only sand to be found here is the beaches. I miss the dunes sometimes. But you! Princess Renata, you appear to have grown into a fine woman who makes her House proud, yes? And if you do not make them proud, you are young and it is possible to change that." Katarina looks over to Mattheu next. "You no longer hear /of/ Eurusi, my Lord -- now you /hear/ a Eurusi. I am Princess Katarina Valardin," she says, touching a hand to her chest in a dramatic pose. "But I was born Crown Princess Katarina al'Muraq-Sabbat, Scion of Untruism, the Veiled Rose of the Kalam Farigh, First Daughter of the Queen of Deception, heir to the throne of the Dune Kingdom of Suj'abbat, the City of Veils~"

Katarina doesn't wait for the music to start. She sets her drink aside. "It has been so long since I have danced as I danced in the land of my birth. I must see if I still remember /how/..." She moves her hips, the focus of her dance staying in her core as she seeks to almost... undulate a bit, stepping one way, then the other, staying on-beat, her arms moving sinuously... until.

UNTIL.

Katarina steps right into a small puddle of spilled cider. She loses her footing, tumbling forward, and headbutting Keely directly in the boobs. "Ah--!"

2 Prodigal reavers, Dorius, A High Hill Mastiff leave, following Temira.

Keely's modest bosom bears the full brunt of Katarina's fearsome forehead while she is in the middle of trying to play matchmaker. Because she isn't paying attention, when the Dragon Princess headbutts her, the Badger Princess goes down, arms crossing over her chest and frame curling into itself. "Oh," she wheezes, her young face scrunched up and her eyes pressed closed. And then, because she is Keely, "I am so s... so sorry your highness... are you all right?" Attendants and guards alike spring into action to help both princesses to their feet and, hopefully, into chairs before they cause themselves or others any further harm.

The third princess in attendance just stands off to the side and winces noticeably at the sudden collision of the various parts of her fellow royals. Once the scene has cleared a bit, Renata moves over though to offer out a hand to both as she leans over, studying Keely and Katarina with concern, "Are you both alright? Maybe dancing will have to wait for another night..."



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