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A Rivenshari Winter Bardic Fire

Cookies, Dancing, Fire, Music, Song. Five things to never miss when the Rivenshari are involved. The Rivenshari Expanse sings with the song from thousands of bells through the evenings cold air. Large fires light the path to the Long House where music and song, and the scent of the infamous ginger cookies drift from. Come join the Rivenshari in a night of performances and merriment, all are invited.

Date

Dec. 16, 2022, 9 p.m.

Hosted By

Mattheu

Participants

Athaur Petra Kiera Titus Ann Esme Cillian Kael Eshra Keely Gaspard Marena Yasmine

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Longhouse

Largesse Level

Extravagant

Comments and Log


Alberico, the Malespero aide have been dismissed.

Mar, the Magpie have been dismissed.



Large bells toll their song in a slow rhythm which fills the air of the expanse. There chiming echoing through the Valardin Ward and upon winds to be heard as far as the beaches outside of the city. Their song long and loud, let to sing upon the winds, drowning out the small bells tied throughout the expanse within trees, and gates, upon the small bridge over creek, and yurts. Guests are lead by a series of small lit laterns leading from gates to the Rivenshari long house, where the Rivenshari nobels sit at Count's table with members of the house lining around the tables, a few sitting up in the rafters within. Even here, the large bells nearly drown out the bells worn by the house and family.

As people gather within the long house they are led to sit around the main fire within, its flames whip and lash around heavy logs set into a pyre. Smoke rises up through a small vent at top of the rafters of the building. The large heavy bells have started to slow in their long journey of ringing throughout the expanse, as Mattheu stands in front of the fire holding the reddened violin to his chest with his head down and eyes closed.

As the large bells find their last word a near eery silence hushes over the expanse as the voices of the small bells in trees, upon yurts, and gates slowly fill with their own songs upon the wind. Their gentle songs barely fill the silence left by the large bells, it's in this silence that Mattheu raises his head, saying a few words in Ravashari one of which a few may have heard already, 'Ima.' He then opens his eyes and addresses those gathered. "Friends."

A look back to his family, "Siblings. Family." A nod to Eshra first, then Athaur, with Petra last. A change in station only for the words he has to say next. "We wish our dearest friend, brother, husband, and father a safe journey. May their soul find the peace that many of us fight to seek while on this side of the dream, or that we find them again upon return within one that is filled with more joy, love, humor, and the ability to have a cookie handed to them. May the winds find another and carry their song upon them, leading their joy and the love which they shared with so many to the farthest reaches to be allowed a breath upon another's lips and cheeks. Always to be missed, always to be seen within those that are here and available to dance, laugh, and enjoy in who they were."

Mattheu takes a deep breath and sets the violin under his chin, closing his eyes again as he takes bow to the strings, "The bells have rung for their loss, joy, love, love shared, and most importantly, for those of us who will carry them with us in everything we do moving forwards. This song is to help them find their way upon the winds over the waters."

With a tap of his foot, a few Rivenshari towards the edges of the long house slip to have drums before them. A low and soft beat carries like a heartbeat slow to find life, as Mattheu proceeds to play a soft melody, short and sweet. One which carries out long drawn out notes allowing each to reverb and resonate throughout the hall before pulling bow to strings again.

The beat of drums stay slow and quiet, building only as the Rivenshari lord reaches end of his song. Opening his eyes, turning back to his family with a very soft and jingling nod. A hand to his heart, turning back to the fire and those surrounding. Drums pick up, their beat stronger, still that of a steady heartbeat as a cry of joy to the winds carries from the outside to those inside, Rivenshari stand from their seats allowing bells upon them to sing in their motion.

A thrum of bells in chorus as Mattheu then looks to their guests. "Tonight we find joy and love by celebrating life. Through song, dance, and story. The Rivenshari way!"

As Mattheu finishes his words Amelia leads out from the kitchens, platters of sweetend treats, breads, cheeses, stone fruits, berries, roasted meats, and fried fish are brought to the tables. While barrels of drink are rolled out, mugs filled to nearly overflowing.

Mattheu raises his voice over the crowd. "To the best performance tonight, we have a special blade. Thus, I open the Bardic Fire. To who ever may take to performing first."

Athaur lifts his glass of rum, pouring some of it out with a somber expression on his face. He is seated at the 'Count's' seat at the head of the hall, watching his brother as he speaks and performs.

2 Rivenshari Clansman, Timbo, agile and cheeky rivenshari youth, Apria, Starling of the jeweled wings, 2 Rivenshari Elite Guards arrive, following Eshra.

Petra listens with her eyes closed and head bowed as Mattheu opens the festivities, opening them when he starts to play his violin with the company of the drums. She smiles when he speaks of finding joy, then glances around as food arrives from the kitchen and the reverently attentive hall begins to come to life. Indeed, who will be first?

Kiera has entered softly listening from her place as mattheu speaks watching carefully as he plays, eyes traveling from the motion of his bow to his face and back again, closing her eyes for just a minute as the song ends and then opening them, looking about

As the toil of the bells sing out, from the snows step inside a tall and very pale southron, the face of the Warmonger known as Titus is gaunt and scarred as the crimson eyes look at those gathered here in song, dance and friendship. But as Mattheu opens the festivities, he bows his head in a show of respect to the hosts as the hall comes alive in the special way only the Rivenshari can do. As the bardic fire is opened, Titus makes his way over as the ice begins to melt off his armour and pale cheeks.

Ann has settled in with her three children close. Having told them they needed to be mindful and to watch carefully when Matti does his presentation. She has one boy who is ten and twin girls that are eight. They wear bells. Sil is wearing his on his wrist, Raya, also on her wrist. Ilan is wearing hers on her ankle. Ann has her own in her hair. She's quiet as she listens to the words and the music that is played. Hands go out when the children see the food coming out from Amelia and she can be heard talking quietly to her brood and it sounds like she's telling them to wait until the family has had their turn before her own children try to find the cookies they love best.

Everything is SO VERY captivating! Esme's emerald green eyes take in everything as she walks. The large bells that toll cause her to pause and study it. Then she looks over the small lit laterns, actually lowering down to touch her fingers across them. A breath is pulled into her lungs very slowly and released as she bounces to the balls of her feet. The auburn hair glowing in those lights as she moves to watch Mattheu play. A hand comes to rest against her breastbone as she blinks her eyes at the beauty of the music. For a few moments, she just continues to watch before there is a realization that people are talking. Her eyes sweep across the family as her full lips downward twist for a few moments at loss. Then she smiles about love and joy. When Amelia shows up, there is a narrowing of her eyes. The cookie challengee has arrived. Then a brilliant smile as she moves towards the Marquis' table to greet the family when the time as come.

Cillian had come a bit before it started, he sits around the fire holding a small girl in his lap, blond hair pulled up into a long braid that hangs down her back on her braid are the bells that have been woven into her hair. When Mattheu speaks Cillian watches him then when the music begins he closes his eyes and his head dips even the small girl can tell and she lowers her head like the one holding her. Once he is done his eyes open looking to the fire, Lily does not try to get done she stays in Cillian' lap moving her hand to hold his.

It is with an exceptional amount of care that Kael ensures that his boots, as well as Keely's boots, are clear of any snow or muck outside of the longhouse. Stepping in, Keely's overcoat is removed and hung up, and of course Kael sweeps a little bit of stray snow off of that as well. One must after all be polite in another's home. Whatever the case, once they are suitably unbundled, the Keaton is moving with the Princess Grayson onward and stepping to the outskirts as the words are spoken in honor of the departed. Through Mattheu's speech, as well as his song, Kael is standing with his head bowed and hands folded before him in silent remembrance. It is only once the Bardic Fire is opened that Kael moves. No, not to perform, but rather he goes to greet the leadership - the hosts - of the Rivenshari. "Good evening. Thank you all for hosting," he says politely. "Her Grace," and undoubtedly he means Princess Alis, "apologies for being unable to attend this evening, as she is currently outside of Arx. Still, she extends her well wishes." Evidently Kael is serving as stand-in for this evening. His head dips and he draws back with Keely when she is ready.

Titus has joined the line.

1 Rivenshari Clansman have been dismissed.

Lucky, the fishing cat have been dismissed.

Patock, A clever Youth have been dismissed.

2 Rivenshari Elite Guards have been dismissed.

Eshra was not there to meet each person that entered as she normally is, her laugh wasn't filling the hall. But she was here.

Wrapped in a dark cloak, Eshra sat to the right of Athaur with her one year old, Kaleia sitting on her lap. The baby chewed on her fist as she watched guests file in and Mattheu open the evening. If there was a blessing, it was that the child was too young to understand why the bells were ringing. Which was proved as the baby squeeled into the silence after the bells, causing Esrha to press lips into her dark hair before the woman nodded to her youngest brother. As Kael draws near, there is a small smile to him and Keely. "We thank you both for coming. Would you like to join us? Athaur was called away but you are welcome to the table."

Eshra has joined the The Count's table.

Joy, the advisor of roses have been dismissed.

Keely stands Very Still at Kael's side, lifting one foot and then the other for his inspection before they step farther inside. She smiles up to the Marquis gratefully when he assists her out of her coatdress, revealing opulent fabrics in rich golds and greens, their depth bringing out the snowiness of her porcelain skin, which is only marred by cold-induced cherry flush at her cheeks and nose. She is quick to retake her escort's arm, stepping around the outside of the room, and once they find a place to stand, she gives his elbow a gentle squeeze, folding her delicate hands before herself and bowing her head respectfully.

And then they are on the move again! A soft, gentle smile touches her lips as she regards first Eshra, murmuring a quiet, "Lady Eshra," followed by a similar expression toward Mattheu and a, "Lord Mattheu. Thank you very much for having us." And then she draws back with Kael, to allow others to approach.

Joy, the advisor of roses have been dismissed.

Mattheu puts the violin away and steps over towards the Count's table to wave gently to the little one with Eshra before turning to Kael and Keely. "Thank you both for coming." He offers a small nod to them both before he heads over towards the fire. A look to Titus, "Lord Titus. Do you have something to share?"

Titus checks charm and performance at normal. Critical Success! Titus is spectacularly successful.

As Titus steps to the bardic fire, he looks at the lively crowd in silence before he reaches into a small pouch at his side, letting pale sand with golden flecks be flung on the floor of the hall as it glitters from the fire he stands at. Almost like how snow glitters. He reaches behind him and produces a small wooden pole that has white fur and long terrible black claws with wooden carved figurines of children and what must be a very large bear carved from maybe white bone. When he speaks, it's a whisper from decayed lungs, a whisper from the past as the storyteller shares.

"We recognise those who came before us and on the lands we are on this evening and honour them, for their history is ours to guard and protect. And together, we step across the dunes of time, across the sands of the past and look back with our hearts to what once was and the stories remembered. Of moments split apart but connected in spirit. May we honour our mothers and their daughters by sharing tonight and our hosts the Rivenshari as we remember stories and wisdom in teaching us the long lasting effects of love. For the Cold desires to seek out the Flames and extinguish them, but the Flames must spark friendship and love of life like the Rivenshari offer."

"Our story begins a long time ago in the early days when things were still new and White Bear mother dug her den at the top of the world where the skies dance with colour and the snows never melt. And for a very long time, she was alone there, perfectly content with being so, as she was never bothered and could sleep for as long as she wished. The world passed her by, and many strange things happened, but White Bear didn't care about any of it. One time birds came to the entrance to her den and called, "White Bear! Your sisters are going to a new land, and would have you join them!" But White Bear told them to go away. One time a fox stepped a few feet into her den and called, "White Bear! The dead are walking and making a mess of everything, come and see!" But White Bear chased him out because she was tired, and no one should really believe foxes when they say such ridiculous things anyway and mothers must tend to their business and their families according to their own ways."

Titus gives a shake of the small totemic item, the claws clinking around the figurines as they seem to almost dance.

"One day, White Bear woke up and found two very new creatures at the entrance to her den, small and nearly hairless and wrapped in the furs of other, more familiar animals. "Who are you?" White Bear demanded, but the new, hairless creatures only cried. "Nevermind," she said, "I don't care. Go away."

"But the small, hairless creatures did not go away, and they did not stop crying either, and White Bear couldn't get back to sleep with all that racket. She picked both of them up by their stolen furs and carried them outside in her mouth. "Now see here," White Bear said, when she set them down in the snow. "You weren't invited, and I can't sleep. And when I can't sleep I get hungry, and I'm just this close to thinking about eating you both so I can get some peace." But the creatures only sobbed, and suddenly White Bear smelled death, and blood, and when she looked she saw that the snow outside her den was crimson, and littered with strange tracks and the bodies of larger, if still small, hairless creatures. White Bear breathed in, and she smelled something worse."

The storyteller pauses a moment, turning the small totem item as he brings his pale hand near the fire, giving a shadow to play on the wall. A shadow that looks not like an animal, but something that lives in spooky children's stories as the white bear figurine clinks near the little carved children.

"You have my gratitude for the invitation," murmurs Kael, this time speaking not of the event but rather the invitation from the Lady Eshra. He inclines his head, offers the woman a smile, and steps a little off to the side so that he can assist with Keely taking a seat before claiming his own. Naturally, he also inclines his head to Mattheu politely. Thereafter, shifting his attention to the other Rivenshari, he speaks a few words quietly at the table just before the tale begins. Of course his focus is on the storyteller soon enough, spine straightening and shoulders squared as he listens.

Kael has joined the The Count's table.

Keely has joined the The Count's table.

While everyone else makes their greetings and introductions, Petra steps off to one side and takes off her shoes. From somewhere she pulls out anklets heavy with bells. She secures them in place and starts to transform her outfit, making little modifications here and there that will make it easier to move in. As she lets out some laces here or secures a skirt there, she pauses to listen to Titus's story. She holds her arms and leans her head to one side, giving him her undivided attention.

Ann had been so engrossed in the story that was going on before them. Giving a nod to Sil and Raya letting them know they can go and get the food they were eying earlier. The two run off to help themselves. But it is Ilan that stays right where she is at. Climbing into Ann's lap as she listens to Titus. In seeing that shadow puppet play though? The dark haired little girl hides her face in Ann's chest. Ann strokes the back of her daughter and tells her quietly, "It's okay. Mama is here. It's a story. Just listen." Making soothing sounds as blue eyes look over at Titus with interest as she rocks her little one in her lap. Now fingers play in the darkness of her daughter's hair but attention fully on Titus and the story telling that is happening.

Of course, as Kael moves, so, too, does Keely, who slips into a seat with his assistance and then subtly claims his hand to hold once he is seated as well. After a second smile to Eshra and a glance aside to her companion's murmur, her dark eyes rise and linger upon Titus during his delivery of the story, widened a touch perhaps due to the subject. She seems perhaps a little withdrawn in general, quiet and reflective, and remains so for the time being.

Maybe the winter's wind howls outside like a stalking monster, but the fire here is warm and the storyteller continues his story.

"Give them to me," said a thing the White Bear mother never saw before, a thing that smelled of everything that could ever be wrong in the world, whose claws dripped with the same blood that stained the snows". says Titus in that dead sounding voice. "They don't belong in this place. I will take them, and you can have your sleep again, White Bear."

"But White Bear trusted her nose. "Leave," she said. "These can learn to belong here, but you never will." And with a shriek of rage, the thing that didn't belong ran at her with those long, bloodied claws, and White Bear bit it in half. It was the worst thing she had ever tasted, and she spat it back out to dissolve on the ground."

The shadow monster on the wall is no match for the bone White Bear figurine, and soon the bright fire makes the Rivenshari hall merry again.

"You're mine now," White Bear told the small, hairless, ugly little creatures, before she picked them up again and took them back inside her den. And from that point on, they were, for when White Bear decides a thing, there is almost never any possibility of changing her mind. She fed them, and spoke to them, and taught them how to hunt and fish, but mostly she taught them how to be bears, because being a bear was, of course, the thing White Bear knew most about. And when the small, hairless, ugly little creatures grew to be less small, if still hairless and ugly, White Bear sent them out into the world to make their own way, as that is the way of bears. And she settled down for a long nap."

"White Bear's children found other small, hairless, ugly creatures very much like them, and in time, they had children. And their children had children. And those children had children. And every now and then White Bear would wake, and amble to the entrance to her den, and would find some of those children's children's children had come to pester her about one thing or another. Sometimes she told them to go away. Sometimes she chased them off. And sometimes she would take them into her den and teach them how to be bears. Sometimes she would tell them of what she saw in her long dreams, and they would watch the color dance in the skies."

Here, Titus looks at each of those here and gives a little shake of his small totemic item, letting the figurines clink as if dancing or giving a small blessing.

"May you each be as brave and determined as the White Bear mother when you are challenged and you know that what is right is not easy. May you remember her words that when you bring others to your house and lands, to spend time to teach them how to be like you and yet give them the opportunity to be themselves too and grow your great Compact family. May we protect our differences and find even better reasons to come together by the fire rather than stay out in the cold so Flames shine bright and the winter's grasp fades for a new spring. Thank you for being teachers of this, house Rivenshari."

And with that, the Warmonger leaves his place at the fire and takes a spot to listen to the merry making.

Cillian tilts his head to the side when Titus starts to tell his story, he is captivated by it. He is not letting Lily down just yet, as he holds her the small girl listens her blue eyes falling to the man the tells the story just blinking at hi with those large blue eyes of hers.

After Keely and Kael settle at the Count's table.... Eshra speaks softly to the two, pouring rum for them, as the Kali flirts as only a toddler can. When the story starts though her eyes lift to the tale, listening quietly, even as she bounces her daughter lightly. When Titus comes to an end, her free hand clapping on top of the table in appreciation for the story and lesson.

Mattheu lets out a shower of bells finding their song as he bounces as Titus finishes his story. "Well told Lord Titus!" A nod to him as Mattheu then crosses back to the fire where Titus has told his story, a mug of ale in his hand as he also nibbles on a cookie. Looking out to the others, "I realize that the story was scary at times." He looks to the children in attendance, "Though Lord Titus has shared a lovely story with us, we will teach those that don't know of our ways." Mattheu turns to look to Eshra and Petra for a moment, "Most of what we have to share anyway..." There's a soft laugh as he winks to them both. "Who would like to follow such a grand tale?" He looks around, giving a few children a wave, pointing out three in particular. "Would the Crovane children have a story and dance to share?"

Stepping in, Gaspard enters with an air of muted confidence to his long-legged gait. He brings only his robust self, black silk tight to his frame and defining every rippling inch of his phsyique. He smells of peppermint, whiskey, and a hint of carnal conquest. Azure, gold-rimmed eyes roam, expression somber with pursed lips, hands clasped behind his back. His chin is held at a regal angle, the straight of his back an obvious mark of a regimented lifestyle.

Kiera listens as titus speaks, offering soft applause and then rises "I confess i had nothing planned for tonight but i am sruck by the words spoken by others, how the wind will carry maru's love and song connecting him to others to the future. i did not have the pleasure of knowing maru well but in this room is evidence of his love and those who love him. the rivenshari revere the wind and the water. These flow freely and persistently connecting us. in all seasons and in all times. Love can can do likewise but love, love is different from wind and from water. For the gods or spirits make the wind and the water flow without aid from us but love flows and connects only by our choice. it can also be withheld by our choice kept from flowing by our darker emottions. Maru chose to share his knowledge and share his love. Let us not forget that we must choose to share our knowledge and love for it to flow and flourish and connect us"

Petra applauds when Titus finishes his story and seems to go back to preparing for a performance of her own, though she is taking her precious time doing it. She returns Mattheu's wink. When the door opens to admit Gaspard, she turns that way and goes to greet him.

"Ah, good, you made it!" she says to the Blackram lord. "There is still plenty of entertainment to be had. Come! PErhaps you'll perform too? There is a tempting prize for the best performance."

Kiera she smiles softly " not much of a performance but from my heart"

Kiera checks charm and performance at normal. Kiera is successful.

Sil heard Crovane and he turns to look at Matti and is tugging at Raya. Whispering going on between the older two. Ilan pops up from her mother's lap and stares at Matti. Ann just laughs and gently pulls her off of her lap. "Let's go tell a story shall we?" Turning as she waits for Sil and Raya to join them. Then she's moving to join Matti and she's whispering in the Lord's ear. Who knows what the whispering is about? Then her hands touch each of her children's shoulders and tells them quietly, "Don't be shy. We are all friends here tonight." The girls know what they are suppose to do and look like they are ready to dance as Sil comes closer to Matti. It seems the oldest of the Crovane children will be the voice for his sisters.

Cillian looks to Lilly handing something to her and nods, "Go on." he says to her. The small child gets down off his lap and the four year old heads for Eshra at the Count's table. "Excuse ne Lady Eshra." the small girl says in a soft voice looking to the child in her lap and smiles, then her blue eyes fall onto Eshra again if Eshra looks she will see she is wearing the amber bracelet she was give the last time she was here. Cillian looks up as Ann and the children are called up, he leans back and oh looks a mug and mead. He brings the cup to his lips taking a sip not that Lily is not in his lap at the moment.

Ann checks charm and performance at normal. Ann is successful.

Flashing a roguishly charming, dimpled half-smile down at Petra, "Oh, i'm no performer." Says the giant man in a gravelly baritone easily. "But I am certainly here for the perfomances, and I hope I did not miss too much." His gold-rimmed azure eyes lift from Petra slowly, taking stock of each and every individual face in turn.

Petra smiles, loops her arm around Gaspard's, and speaks softly to him as she guides him to the tables. Each step jingles more than usual thanks to the extra bells around ehr ankles.

As Kiera starts her speech, Eshra looks up to listen, though as the words roll out her eyes close, face lowering to press her lips into her daughter's curls. For a long breath she is there, breathing in the baby smells as the room moves around them. It's the sound of her name that brings her back, eyes opening her head lifting to look down at the small girl. "Lady Lily, good evening to you." her normally dark and husky voice seeming perhaps a little tighter."This is Marquis Keaton and Princess Keely of Grayson." pointing out her guests to the child. Kali looks down at Lily, her eyes wide and returns to chewing on her fist.

Kiera returns quietly to her seat, looking first to eshra, then stealing a glance at matthey and giving a wave to gaspard as the crovane children make ready to take their turn


The Crovane children line up to allow Raya to stand at the front and side, Ilan just to her left and Sil behind them both. Then Sil gets a large grin and charges over to the drummers in the long house where he finds a small hand drum and brings it back. Starting his own drumming of a beat. A little slow, a small pause as he looks to his sisters then catches back into the beat that he's trying for. The Rivenshari drummers kick in a low beat to help give ambiance for Sil's drumming. The young boy smiles and picks up his own drumming, then nods to his sisters. Ilan starts to dance around with a few hops to show what Raya describes in the story. As Raya starts to tell a story of building a yurt within the hallways of their manor. How Tregva came to rescue them, and showed them how to rescue themselves teaching them of how to *properly* decorate a yurt. And that the strongest of them is when they are together to share in their joys and pain as a family.
Ilan plucks at an imaginary string and mimes pulling at it, tries to climb upon Raya's shoulders to show when they balanced to find hang the ceiling cords. Raya pushes at Ilan gently, taking them both to the ground in a combined laugh as their bells chime as well. Sil tries extra hard to keep the beat going, only to join in when his sisters start to laugh. Trying to fill in where his sister missed parts, "But then we... There was the rugs. And the DRUMS! Oh.. And... And..." Raya gets up to stand again, pulling at Ilan, "I'm telling the story!" Ilan decides to stay sitting and plays with her hair before looking over to Mattheu and gets up to hug his leg.

Mattheu smiles to the small child and laughs with her siblings. As Raya continues, "We have a yurt in our halls now. It's very pretty and we made it ourselves." She looks over to Tregva who waves with fingers back to the children, "Okay. We had help." Raya turns to the Count's table shouting "Thank you!" As her sister at Mattheu's leg and brother who has lost the beat again, both turn with a bow to the Count's table. In chorus, "Thank you." Ilan looks to Ann, "I can have a cookie now?"

A muscular arm laced by Petra, Gaspard leans in to listen, nodding lightly aside to Petra as he is lead to one of the tables, his steps slow but sure, murmuring something aside to Petra. He smiles faintly, greeting everyone each with that faint smile and eye contact, a dip of his head.

Ximon, a Cainite agent arrives, following Marena.

6 Silvershields, Genaile, Marena arrive, following Yasmine.

Petra gives Gaspard's arm a playful smack with her free hand at whatever he said, then releases him so that she can applaud the children. She replies something to him with a smirk.

When he is introduced - or to be fair, a little before he is introduced - Kael's attention drifts from Eshra and her babe to the incoming other child. There is a brief assessment made of Lily, likely an attempt to gauge age or parent. He dips his head politely and says, "A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Lady Lily," in greeting. Yes, just as if he was greeting an adult, though that smile of his is warmer. "I hope that you are enjoying your evening."

Titus gives a clap to the children's performance. "The future." he says in praise to them.

Accompanied by Yasmine, Marena makes her way inside the Rivenshari longhouse's tall double doors, using the vantage point at the top of the stone stairs to take in the pageantry. "Is it what you expected?" the narrow-faced Ximon asks Marena, and she glances at him, raising a shoulder. "I don't know what I expected," she admits, saying it to both him and Yasmine before beginning to descend the stairs to join the rest.

There is a look of a proud smile when her children give a performance of a life time. On occasion it is Ann that hides her face behind Matti's shoulder in some of the telling. Oh she's probably laughing or embarrassed or both. When the three are done there is applause from their mother. When Ilan asks if she can have a cookie Ann moves away from her shield and crotches eye level to her, "Yes." Leaning in to kiss the girl's cheek. "I am so proud of you!" Tousling the girl's hair as she run for said cookie. Finally, after that is when Ann spies Gaspard and she waves at him with enthusiasm.

Gaspard emits a small, rumbling chuckle as his muscular arm is swatted, providing firm resistance, like swatting a brick. He soon lowers into a seat at the table he was lead to, freeing himself from Petras arm gently after murmuring something to her, calmly. He lifts a ham-sized hand, wiggling some fingers in a wave towards Ann, with a faint but warm smile.

Eshra tries to split her attention between Lily at her side, while also listening to the children's story. When it is done, she again claps against the table when they are done. But when the cookies are asks for.. it's Eshra that lifts her voice. "Hyar... get your brothers and take out Yurt builders to the kitchen to teach how to get the cookies they desire please?" From the gathering.. four dark haired boys separate themselves, heading towards the Crovane children, with the intent of taking them back to the kitchen to steal cookies.

Keely continues to sit quietly, her dark eyes flitting hither and yon at everything going on around her before settling upon the drink that is in front of her. She takes a steeling breath, collecting the beverage and lifting it to her lips, the wince that overtakes her features something that she fights back with all her might. Then it is lowered back to the table, slid a little nearer to Kael, after which she takes a breath and resumes trying to keep up.

Kiera carefully approaches titus and leans over to whisper

Lily smiles looking to Kael and gives him a small finger wave with a grin and then she looks to Keely amd gives the princess a proper curtsy, "Hello, M...." she looks between them some words are so hard to say for a four year old, she nods her head when Kael speaks to her. "I am yes!" there is joy there. She looks back to Eshra, "I have something for you." she had it hidden behind her back and then hands it to Eshra now. Her hands stretch out handing a Turqouis and blue butter fly stuffy to her.

Cillian takes Turquoise and Blue Butterfly from Climbing vines upon crimson seasilk corset vest.

The performance of children is met with a pleasant surprise from Yasmine. "I did not expect this at all, nor am I too surprised considering it is a Rivenshari event," the Rovashani explains in a hushed murmur toward Marena as her eyes scan the crowd, immediately locking onto the sight of the Marquis of Oakhaven. "Oh, look, there is Marquis Keaton," she points out Kael to the Pravosi's attention with an excited breath. "I've had very positive business relations with House Keaton and a few other houses back during my obsession with creating a new crop for every fealty. It was an rather challenging, but a great success in the end," she beams, leading her friend over to Kael.

Yasmine has joined the The Count's table.

Titus has joined the Leftside Firepit couches.

Marena has joined the The Count's table.

Kiera has joined the Leftside Firepit couches.

Petra checks charm and performance at normal. Petra marginally fails.

Mattheu turns to the new voices over by the door, A cheerful wave to Marena. "Lady Marena!" He dips into a flourished and jingling bow, "Thank you for coming." He then looks to Yasmine as he steps out of the bow, "And you." A little grin upon his lips as the two set to walk directly to the Count's table. "Welcome to our home."

Cillian continues to sit where he has been drinking from his cup looking at Lily keeping a eye on her to make sure she is not getting herself into trouble the child can be to curious for own good sometimes. He does pay attention to the Crovane cubs they do their story and he grins.

The Crovane children happily follow Hyar and the brothers to the kitchen. Yes! Cookie stealing indeed. Ann is curiously looking over in the direction of Gaspard and Petra. Trying to watch the gathering, the fire, the party in general. But since she's still by Matti she offers her own greeting to the new arrivals, "Good evening, Lady Marena. It is so nice to see you again." This is said warmly from the Northern lady. A nod also given to Yasmine but she doesn't know this one though there's a smile for her in greeting.

A messenger in Grayson colors slips through the crowd, looking around until spying the Count's table, where she finds Keely, presenting the princess with a missive and a plush, rainbow muffin before marching off. Keely tilts her head, looking first at the muffin and then at the missive, before turning them over to show Kael with a small tilt of her head. However, just then, Yasmine is mentioning the Marquis, and this causes the young Grayson's dark eyes to rise with a measure of curiosity.

Mattheu watches the Count's table for a moment, as if waiting for a word or nod. Then shares a laugh with Ann as the twins set to show the Yurt Builders the means of how to steal cookies. He turns to share a soft word with her before looking back to Petra, "Ah. Aunt Petra. You have something you wish to share? Perhaps a dance? Or will it be a song?"

"Good, good," murmurs Kael to Lily with that smile of his brightening. Still, he does not continue to engage with the child and instead shifts his attention to the incoming Yasmine Champagne and her company. It could be that he caught his name. His head inclines in a deep and polite way, and when his chin lifts that smile still persists. "Yasmine Champagne he greets, "A good evening to you. It has been entirely too long of a time. Have you had the pleasure of meeting Princess Keely Grayson?" he asks her. To Keely he points out, "House Champagne," and by his tone he absolutely is meaning Yasmine here, "is exceptionally accomplished." This praise stands on its own, though his attention shifts to her friend with his head dipping once. To Marena he politely introduces himself with, "Marquis Kael Keaton. Well met." He smiles, but it has a hint of something apologetic to it, given that he is easing over to look over at that parcel and missive that Keely has. The contents do have him furrow his brows slightly, lips momentarily pressing thin before he shakes his head. Mystified.

Petra nods to Mattheu and replies, "A dance."

The time has come for Petra to take her turn at last, so she goes to talk briefly with the drummers. There is a moment of back and forth and nodding before she makes her way to the performance area with extra jingles in every barefooted step. She strikes a pose with one hand in front of her and the other above her head and waits there for the music to begin.

Much like the rhythms, the movements start small. Flat-footed steps jingle the extra bells tied around her ankles, the sound bright and clear as her skirts have been arranged to leave her feet unencumbered. With the lighter taps her eyes slide as her head does, and her arms and hands sway, curl, and uncurl. The bolder drum beats are matched with percussive movements of her hips, sharp accents to the slower movement.

After a bit the drums start to speed up, changing their rhythms, and so too does the dance. Harder smacks to the skin of the drums are matched by bigger percussive isolations in the hips and chest between sinuous circular movements. They become faster still, and soon there are spins and jumps that cause all of the bells sewn into Petra's clothes and tied into her hair to ring as though caught in a powerful wind.

What she had not accounted for, apparently, was Virgil choosing the instant that she was in such a spin to dart across the performance space. She feels the fur under her foot and just manages to avoid stepping on the poor creature, but it throws her balance off to the point that she stumbles in the correction and looses the rhythm briefly.

Lucky for her though, she turns it into one last spin mid-fall, her skirt spinning outward in a circle around her, before landing on her knees. She laughs and bows at her waist in a clear 'I totally meant to do that' sort of way that if she is lucky the children might believe.

Gaspard leans forward, observing intently.

The Merchant Princess sweeps into a graceful curtsey before Kael's esteemed company, saving her stunning smile for Keely and Eshra for her rise with a gentle gesture to Marena at her side. "I've had the pleasure of hearing all about Her Highness' accomplishments, but never the honor of making her acquaintanceship directly," she says demurely. "But truly, my lord, lady, and Your Highness, it is my special privilege to make the introduction of Lady Marena Inverno, General of the Dread Army of Caina. She's simply delightful and I've taken it upon myself to see her acquainted with some of the luminaries of the capital."

Keely's muffin is stuffed away into some pocked in her many voluminous skirts before her warm, cocoa-hued eyes are lifting more fully to Yasmine and Marena, an ear turned to take in Kael's words. "How do you do, Messere Champagne?" she greets Yasmine with a gentle dip of her chin before venturing to inform both that, "I have met the kind and wonderful Rook Champagne, but this is my first opportunity to meet his lovely wife. It is a pleasure." And then, when Marena is introduced, she is afforded a similar dip from the Grayson princess' chin, as well as a soft smile. "Lady Marena. Your Marquessa is one of my very dearest friends. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance as well."

Marena follows Yasmine to the table and smiles warmly at the greetings. "Thank you for having me, it's a pleasure," she answers Mattheu and Ann graciously. She inclines her head and dips a decorous curtsey to Marquis Kael. "Well met, lord," she offers, offering a polite moment for him tend to his missive as she sets herself down at the table and turns to observe the swirling activity of the evening, her attention moving to the swirling dance. Yasmine's introduction pulls her focus back and she curves the corners of her mouth into a vivid grin. "Miss Champagne is very generous in her characterization," she assures Keely. "But I'm very pleased to make your acquaintance as well, highness. We can trade stories about my cousin anytime you like," she offers with a sly flicker of a wink. "They're all good, though. She's a gem."

Eshra pauses as the blue butterfly comes out of behind Lily's back, for a moment it seems that the woman has to take a breath to gather herself before offering a smile to the little girl. "That is truly a beautiful butterfly, thank for very much Lily." reaching to take the gift, turning it slowly to study it then looking back to the little girl. "That is very thoughtful. Do you know they say there are times in the wind, that a butterfly will bring you news of someone you love and have lost?" arm tucking Kali close to her so she can lean forward and press a kiss to the child's head. "Would you mind if I let Kali hold on to it while we watch?" Since the infant's hands are already pulling at the plushie. It is only after the little girl has been thanked properly, that Eshra lifts her eyes to Yasmine and Marena that have approached the table, her dark eyes taking each in after glancing towards Kael, it seems that he knows them. "Ladies, good evening. Welcome to Rivenshari."

Kiera is overheard praising Keely.

Kiera is overheard praising Yasmine.

Kiera is overheard praising Ian.

Kiera is overheard praising Bonnie.

Titus is overheard praising Petra: Like water, lady Petra's performance doesn't need the power of rushing rivers but instead the quiet babbling of a brook which doesn't just quench thirst but lightens the heart with her dance and bells.

Gaspard is a silent creature, not really speaking nor conversing much. He is content to observe in his seat, appearing rather comfortable. His eyes widen slightly, at Petras performance with a slow blink.

Kiera has left the Leftside Firepit couches.

Winter, A Highhill Puppy, Angeline leave, following Kiera.

"Yes." she nods, her eyes close when her head is kissed then open again. She moves to hug some part of Eshra then turns and moves off back to over where Cillian is. But oh there is a Mattheu and she heads right for him. Cillian was about to warn the Lord but then grins and looks to get his cup refilled and watch Petra dance. He looks to Ann who might be near Mattheu and he makes a hand gesture to warn her of the incoming child.

Yasmine flushes with pleasure when Keely makes mention of her husband. "He is quite an industrious gentleman, completely wrapped up in his work for High Majesty as the Crown Minister. I could not be more proud of that man," she sings his praises as any doting wife would, then shifts her attention from Keely to Marena and Kael once more. "My Lady, I count the honorable Marquis Keaton among one of most cherished friends in the Oathlands. Look no further than he and his wife for shining examples of what it means to embody the ideals of the West. It helps, too, that he eventually became the Voice after our businesses concluded," she lowers her voice in a near conspiratorial tone for that last little fact, then turns to look among the other guests, many of them not quite familiar. "Oh, I should go make my rounds. Will you be alright here among such good company?"

Ann has been watching Petra do her performance and tries to not laugh outright when Virgil has decided he needs to be a part of it too. When the dance is done there is loud applause from Ann and she's blowing kisses at Auntie. "Well done!" If she was not suppose to show her enthusiasm? Whoops. Blame it on her Northern roots. She even gives Petra a thumbs out and says, "10/10." Virgil just made things interesting and Petra saved herself in the dance anyways, so there.

Petra laughs as she gets up and brushes herself off. Ann gets a wave before he pauses to switch out the extra bells for her shoes. She starts to cross the room, pausing briefly to grab a drink and say something to Ann, then moving on to sit beside Gaspard.

Keely's smile grows at Marena's words, and she dips her head gently in acknowledgement. "She certainly is," she agrees about Tyche being a gem, with a touch of fond rue in the words. Something catches her attention then, and her lips part and close again as she listens to Yasmine, lengthy lashes fluttering fleetingly against her fair cheeks. She wordlessly, gently squeezes Kael's hand where hers is joined with his already, turning her large brown eyes aside to him and study his expression carefully in profile.

As Titus and Kiera finish their brief talk, the lord does a Saffron Slip and departs as quiet and unobtrusive as possible amongst the merry making.

Titus has left the Leftside Firepit couches.

Comedenti, the Calderan Bearded Vulture leaves, following Titus.

Mattheu winces as he watches the large wildcat dash through the performance space Petra is in. Shaking his head as he keeps an eye on where the cat takes off to after leaping to the table to grab at some fish and take off just as fast while a Violeta gets up from her seat to go after the cat. He crosses over to give a hand to Petra to get up as he slaps at his one chest giving a resounding clap within bells. "A lovely dance shared by Aunt Petra." There's a soft word with her before he turns back to watch Lily bounce back to Cillian after delivering the plushie to Eshra and Kali. "Would there be another that would like to share with us. It can be anything that you wish. Or I can play another ..." Lily finds his leg as Mattheu looks down to the small four year old now claiming his leg. "Or I could share a dance with this one. Would someone care to play some music while our guests decide if they will share something more with us?"

Mihai nods from the drumming circle and starts a small beat. Mattheu looks to Lily, "I do owe you a dance, would you care to take a spin?" Lily nods with a soft jingle then hopping up and down with her arms out. "UP!" Mattheu picks her up and dances around in circles to the drums. Moving over towards the Count's table in each spin, getting closer to be able to nod to his sister. Once closer still holding Lily with a soft bounce, "Have you met my sister? Lady Eshra Rivenshari. Voice to our Marquis? We are in celebration of life for her and her children tonight. Do either of you have a performance to share?" He looks directly to Yasmine and Marena.

When Eshra speaks, Kael is glancing her way and nodding his head. "This," he informs the pair, "Is Lady Eshra Rivenshari, Voice of House Rivenshari." He takes a slow and deep breath and shifts his attention back to Yasine as she speaks her praise for House Keaton. He bows his head, a low and deep motion, and has it held just so. The next words he speaks are spoken quietly, more addressed to Yasmine than not, before he clears his throat. At least there is a flicker of a smile given her remark about his appointment of Voice. "Do have a good evening, Yasmine Champagne. We should see you visit House Keaton again sometime with another ingenious plan." And, after a breath, he offers as an aside, "And your cousin is lovely." Because of course Marquessa Tyche must be praised.

"I think I'll be alright," Marena is assuring Yasmine when Mattheu approaches the table where she's seated across fom Keely, prompting her to cant her head at a quizzical angle. "Beg your pardon?" she asks in clarification, giving Kael a fleeting smile at the kind words for her cousin.

Petra sips from her cup and engages Gaspard in quiet conversation as they sit together.

Cillian gets up and moves over to Ann, leaning in to say something to her softly. He moves to stand at her side a hand on her shoulder looking over to Mattheu and Lilly as they dance around. His hazel eyes look on the group that is sat at the table.

Eshra arches a brow, as if perhaps she is going to say something but then there is both Kael and Mattheu, to make introductions and it seems to press the meaning of this evening. When Marena asks for clarifiction. "Lord Mattheu means, that we are celebrating the life of my husband who just returned to the wheel. As is our way, we do so with stories, song and dance and Matti is asking if you would like to share one such." A softer smile given to Kael and Keely. "Thank you, Matti. Go dance with your lovely." nodding to the child he holds.

"We've created entire booming agricultural businesses, created fabulous fabrics, and designed ships that could very nearly keep up with even caravels, all while looking fabulous. What more shall House Keaton and House Champagne aspire to do next?" Yasmine reminisces of their shared accomplishments with a wry turn of her mouth toward Kael, though his hushed words sees her expression sobering. She says nothing at first, merely bowing her head before readjusting herself to allow for a brief, soft-spoken exchange.

There's a smile for Lily when she comes running towards Ann and Matti. Looking to see where the little girl's father is and there he is right next to her. Leaning to listen to the quiet words and it looks like she's extending a hand out. Laughing as she says, "I promise to not trip you." She must be asking him to dance with her as the drums continue their music.

Cillian smiles to Ann moving to bow his head, his own bells in his hair sing softly. "It would be my honor M'lady." he moves to take her hand. He has already been drinking a bit so he is feeling good. He has his jacket on for the moment as he moves to start leading Ann in a dance, he is starting to get the hang of it.

"Thank you for explaining the custom, lady," Marena tells Eshra with a grateful dip of her chin. "I would pale by comparison. It's a great honor to show my respect and admiration by appreciating the surely much more gifted performances," she responds with another decorous inclination of her head.

Kael murmurs a few words in response to Yasmine, brief, and there is a faint smile to go along with it. Afterward, he clears his throat and answers - albeit somewhat belatedly - the question posed. "I think," he says, regarding what they could accomplish next, "something that will benefit the safety of all of the Compact." His lips twitch slightly and he dips his voice before saying, eyes flitting to those he is near, "But I shall not bring business up at such an event." And, yes, the Keaton leaves it at that. It might help that he was just offered a refill of his rum. To which he politely declines with a shake of his head.

Mattheu nods softly to Eshra, then looking to the four year old. "We shall finish our dance then. Get you over to your father." He looks back to Keely with a nod, "Princess Keely. It is good to see you again." He shares a nod to Kael as well, "And you Marquis Kael." Finally a small nod to Kali, "And of course one of the important ones here." A wave of his fingers as the youngest Rivenshari coos and giggles before waving back with the butterfly plushie. As he sets to spin back towards the others, "Lady Marena. If you do wish to share in a song, dance, performance. We have a lovely prize for the best." With that he spins back towards Ann and Cillian, bouncing to the beat of the drums to let Lily to the ground as he bounces next to her. While she laughs.

From the kitchens comes a small horde of children, bells singing out as the set of twins take to pairing up with Raya and Ilan. Sil coming out with a tunic full of cookies. "Mom! Mom!" Hyar turns to their new thief, trying to shush him. "Yer not to yell til we get away with them!"

Ann chuckles when Cillian smiles and bows his head in her direction. Taking his hand in hers as she is lead to dance. "Look at you." Giggling. She has caught on that Cillian is more sure in his dancing. Or its the drink that has him a little bit looser.

"Something to collaborate on another time then. Perhaps over a warm cup of milk," Yasmine proposes to Kael with a gentle flourish of a hand, then turns away to look upon the celebration in muted appreciation and nostalgia. "I cannot remember the last time I was able to be among something so familiar," she expels a whimsied sigh, finally escaping from the periphery of the lord's table to pursue company among unfamiliar faces; like that of Inquisitor Ann. "Lady Inquisitor, I don't believe I've had the pleasure."

The little girl bounces around with Mattheu when he puts her down, she remembers watching Eshra dance and so she tries to dance like her. Her bells singing out as she does, she tries to spin her colorful dress bottom flaring out as she does so and giggles. Cillian grins at Ann as they move about, "I have been." he was about to say something when Yasmine moves over and his feet stop. She addressed Ann and so he straightens up a bit and waits for the moment.

Petra runs her fingers through her hair, causing bells to ring as she combs it back from her face. She continues her quiet conversation with Gaspard as she recovers from her performance.

Keely is quite quiet again, save for when Mattheu addresses her. She smiles gently, offering him another dip of her chin as she says, "You are looking well, Lord Mattheu. I hope you are staying warm now that the snows have come." After this, she is glancing to Marena and Eshra, then lifting her large eyes aside to Kael again, to resume her silent study of his expression.

Kael dips his head to Yasmine, his focus shifting on toward Mattheu when he is spoken to. "It is good to see you as well, Lord Mattheu," answers the Keaton with a nod of his head and a compliment. "You of Rivenshari have assembled a lovely celebration." With that statement, he finishes near the remainder of his rum, and thereafter leans in to murmur a few brief words to Keely quietly.

Ann looks up when she hears the mom from Sil and she's grinning over Cillian's shoulder as they dance. She moves a hand to put a finger to her mouth as if she's sharing a secret with her son and even gives him a wink as she moves her head as if to tell him in code to go and have fun with the boys and their bounty. Dancing along with Cillian and enjoying the quiet conversation until he stops entirely. Blinking at him owlishy. She realizes she is being spoken to. Looking again over Cillian's shoulder. She doesn't move from where she was dancing with the northern lord. "Well met, I do not believe I caught your name or your station?" But then she is all smiles for Cillian again.

Eshra tosses back what is in her glass, before handing the baby in her lap off to a young clansman that had just added wine and glasses to the table. "Have Rose get Kaleia to bed and see that those sons of mine have not tricked the Corvane children into something they shouldn't have." Looking to Kael and Keely. "I should do this before I can not. So if you will excuse me for just a moment?" standing nods to Yasimine and Marena. "Ladies."

Letting the cloak fall away, leaving the dark haired woman in layers of crimson silk that swirls round her legs and leaves her arms bare. Around the sweeping skirts, there is painted the majesty of a blue water dragon.. And bells.... so many bells. If one was to take the time to count, the would find sewn into her skirts, on wrist and ankle... hiding in wild curls of her hair...67 bells. One for every year of Maru's life plus 5 for each child that was born to them... it is without a word that Eshra crosses towards the fire pit.

It is still wordlessly that Keely reaches to collect her glass of rum after watching Kael down his, and she tries to mimic the motion. This results in a lot of quiet coughing that is momentarily muffled into the Marquis' arm, and her mostly-finished glass returned to the tabletop. Once she has recovered, she carefully lifts her face, turning her now-watery eyes to watch Eshra's approach of the firepit.

Cillian head turns to see who is speaking to Ann, he nods his head to the woman but he remains silent as his eyes look over to where Eshra is walking across to the pit then to where Mattheu and his daughter is. Then back to look on Ann and Yasmine.

Mattheu nods to Lily as they bounce, turning in spin to see Eshra heading over. He stops in his bounce while Lily keeps spinning and heads for her father. "Sister. Have you come to join us? Or do you wish to share?" His voice is soft as he asks, ready to nod to the drummers to start anew. He seeks out the violin as he watches Ann and Cillian in their dance. Without any need of signal from Mattheu, the drums pick up low. Finding a new beat, while Matti then takes to the strings of violin. A nod to Eshra. "The floor is yours."

Gold-flecked eyes flicker from Ann to Cillian and back again before an apologetic smile blooms over rose-stained lips toward the dancing pair. "Excuse me, my lord. My lady. I did not mean to intrude. I only meant to speak praise of your footwork," the Rovashani's eyes inevitably drawn toward Eshra at the whimsical chime of myriad bells as the Voice of Riva approaches the roaring fire. "I am Merchant Yasmine of House Champagne."

When Eshra is excusing herself, Kael straightens up and shifts his attention to her. "Of course," he answers to the Rivenshari Voice. It is evidently just that simple. His brows draw in toward one another and he sits up all the straighter when Eshra is revealing the painted water dragon, and that flurry of bells, but it is the fire that draws his eye. His attention goes back and forth from the fire to the lady and one thing is quite clear: the customs of the Rivenshari are alien to this Oathlander. His gaze flits to those near him, Keely and Marena, as if wondering if they know what shall transpire next. Ah, but Keely is coughing and thus, very swiftly, Kael is patting her on the back before rubbing it. He even leans in to check on her, a very clear 'are you all right?' in his expression.

What amusement or joy could be seen in Ann's features stills as it is Eshara that catches her attention now and the many bells on her. Biting her lower lip in thought. Blue eyes stray over to Matti. A hand comes forward to reach for Lily so that she may join her and Cillian. They have stopped dancing and out of respect for what may occur next Ann remains a solid spot on the floor. Swift smile for Yasmine and its a whisper not wanting to interrupt anything she says politely, "Well met, Merchant Yasmine of House Champagne." She's distracted as her gaze falls on Eshara and Matti when he picks up his violin to play and the drums sound their own music. A glance to Cillian and she looks down to Lily before her eyes track to forward.

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

Cillian nods his head, "Well meet, Merchant Yasmine of House Champagne. Lord Cillian Blackwood, sword of the Storm March." he peaks with a thick Norther shav accent. His hazel eyes track his daughter when she comes close he moves to pick her up in his arms. Its a one handed grab as the other still holds onto Ann's. His lips press to his daughters cheek, "Very good dancing." he says softly to her then he looks over as Mattheu starts to play and Eshra is about to dance. "Perhaps we should give Lady Eshra some space." he looks between the two woman.

As all eyes are drawn toward the climax of the event, Yasmine gracefully removes herself from the dance floor to return to Marena's side to have a quiet word while her own attention remains trained upon Eshra, waiting with breath bated for what might come next.

Eshra stood with her back to the room her face towards the fire.. the light turning the red silk and water dragon into living things. Her dark voice however could be heard over the soft drum beat that she had not yet acknowledged. "Maru would say that the only thing he loved to do more than dance, was to watch me dance. Which is not true. Other wise there would not be five children running around here with his chin." Then without any more explanation, there is a soft sway with the rhythm, then Eshra starts to move.

At first it is a turn, skrts of flame sweeping outwards as does her hair and arms, feet beating a measured counter beat to the drums that slowly pick up tempo.. by the time she made the first circle of the fire pit, the tattoo of feet and drums has doubled, her head fallen back, arms over head... it is not the seductive grace of Petra.. this is raw and primal, it screams life and death, love and sorrow... there are tears in the way she moves but there is also laughter and the sound of bells.. clear and cystaline in the air as they call out to all those around as if inviting them to hear the wind and water.. to taste what it meant to be Rivenshari.

Marena only murmurs a soft reply to whatever Yasmine has to say to her, otherwise watching Eshra's performance with earnest interest and awe.

Yasmine is overheard praising Eshra.

Ann agrees with Cillian and moves out of the way so all eyes can be on Eshara as Matti accompanies her in the music. Her hand clasps into Cillian's and she smiles at Lily when she rests in her father's arms. But then her attention is back to the beauty and rawness of Eshara's dance. It speaks volumes and there are quiet tears of Ann's that run in her features.

Marena is overheard praising Eshra.

Keely watches Eshra, utterly transfixed now, still emitting a faint cough behind closed lips and puffed cheeks every now and then but not seeming to notice. The hand that is not laced with Kael's rises to rest its splayed fingertips lightly against her upper chest in an absent motion, further conveying a sense of mystified awe as she watches the passionate display unfolding around the fire.

Ann is overheard praising Eshra.

Ann is overheard praising Mattheu.

Mattheu plucks at strings, adding to the song of the Rivenshari as Eshra takes to her dance. The whole long house nearly at a stand still as their voice spins and turns in *Her* dance. Bells find their songs as Eshra continues, the low thrumming of beating to chests and tables with mugs. Adding to the beat while voices start to sing a low song of life upon the rivers and seas. The march to find that moment of peace through all of which this clan has seen, where their children will not be forced to see any horrors which those older have been to endure in life. As the song comes to a close, Mattheu nods to Eshra. A few tears within his eyes have found his cheek as he smirks a little to the words which Eshra has shared. "As a true Rivenshari. We honor him. You, the children you share Eshra." He bows towards her once more before looking to the rest of the guests. A wipe of his sleeve to face as he nods with a soft swallow. "We shall continue to dance and sing until we are out of drink!"

Cillian holds Anns hand as he holds his daughter and watches Eshra dance, such raw emotions. The man is awe struck by her dance, he has his own tears that drop to his cheek. Lily watches then looks to her father and a small hand comes to clear them away. He smiles at his daughter, "Its okay." he tells her and looks back to Eshra and Mattheu a soft smile on his lips.

Petra's attention rests on Eshra as she watches her niece dance, her conversation with Gaspard apparently paused for the time being. A sliver of silver appears above her lower lashes as the longhouse swells with the song, and when Mattheu speaks she rises from where she sits to go join her family.

Yasmine touches her fingers gently to her lips, her expression one of quiet sort of awe and appreciation for the fluidity and strength that follows every one of Eshra's steps until the dance is completed and Mattheu yet again calls for the crowd to indulge in revelry and merriment once more to honor the memory of the honored departed. "The way she moves, it reminds me of a tale of about the Pact of the Unchained," she murmurs toward Marena, green eyes slow to pull from the party to shift back to the Cainite she stands beside. "There is a dance and a song that reminds us of why we do what we do in honor of the First Choice, even when stricken with grief and heartache."

Gaspard secures himself a drink before relaxing back into his seat, crossing a leg over at the knee idly, foot bobbing in the air patiently as he observes the ongoing dancing with a gentle smile gracing his masculine, chiseled features.

When the song ended, Eshra stood.. spent, her head lowered so non could see past the wild curls to the tear that wet her cheeks. It is not until Matti is done, that she lifts her eyes again. A touch to Petra who joins them, smile towards Lily before Eshra is accosted by a small boy wrapping himself around her legs. "I want to thank you all. This was not meant to be a night of sadness." bending to pick up Tiga, the boy wrapping his arm around her neck and head settling to her shoulder. "Rivenshari, thank you all for your kindness and friendship this eve." then leaving Petra and Matti at the fire pit, after a kiss to her Aunt's cheek, heads back towards the Count's table.



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